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Questioning Obama


Sen. Barack Obama canvasses a neighborhood Oct. 12, 2008, in Holland, Ohio. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By Dan Balz
For the past two weeks, the focus of the presidential campaign has been on John McCain. Given the state of the race, it may well stay there for a while. What can McCain do? Should he attack more? Should he go all positive? Can he come back?

With 22 days left in the race, that's understandable. McCain is the focus because what was thought to be a close race doesn't look like one at this moment. Which is all the more reason that the real focus now ought to be on Barack Obama.

The Illinois senator has been the political beneficiary of one of the worst months of economic news in the country's history. Since the fall of Lehman Brothers, Obama has expanded his lead and solidified his position in the presidential race.

He leads nationally in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll by 53 percent to 43 percent. He leads, too, by a wide margin in estimates of the Electoral College. Virtually all of the closest states left at this point voted for President Bush four years ago.

The presidential race is not over, but at this point, Obama has a better chance of becoming president than McCain, and as a result, the questions ought to be going toward him as much or more than McCain -- questions not of tactics but of substance.

Obama has dealt deftly with the economic crisis -- at least in a political sense. Unlike McCain, he was fairly calm during the first days after Lehman's collapse and the government bailout of AIG.

He stayed in close contact with Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke and with Democratic congressional leaders. He both embraced the sense of urgency to act on the $700 billion bailout package and offered criticisms of the administration's initially sketchy plan. His criticisms were in line with changes that Congress made before eventually approving the package.

But it's not clear that he has had any better ideas -- or put them forward more aggressively -- than Paulson and Bernanke when it comes to dealing with the crisis in the credit markets. It's not clear that he has pushed ideas that would have dealt with the crisis more effectively. At every turn, he has voiced support for the general course the administration has outlined, but he's not been far out ahead.

Nor is it evident that he has dealt realistically with the impact the economic crisis may have on the next president. He has not backed away from ambitious plans for a second stimulus package, for dramatically expanding health care, for reducing dependence on foreign oil or for other spending plans that long have been part of his campaign agenda.

Changing circumstances have not changed his view of what can or should be done if he becomes president. It would be helpful to voters to know now, rather than after the election, whether he will take a zero-based look at everything and rearrange priorities.

It is hard to think of a new president who inherited such a rapidly altered landscape. Franklin Roosevelt inherited a country in crisis, but the crash on Wall Street began years before he was elected in 1932. The 44th president's world has been turned upside down in a matter of months, and literally on the eve of the election.

How adaptable is Obama to all of this? How willing is he to address these questions in real time, as opposed to later? How much time has he given recently to rethinking the scope and ambition of a possible Obama administration? Would he come to office with a determination to be bold or to be cautious? Is he the pragmatist that allies have suggested -- or committed to a more ideologically oriented agenda, as his critics say?

Other questions that ought to be raised include what his commitment to bipartisanship amounts to at this point. He has talked about turning the page on old politics throughout his campaign. What does that mean?

All hard-fought campaigns become more partisan toward the end, but how much would that color Obama's approach, should he end up in the Oval Office? Will he hew closely to the wishes of Democratic congressional leaders or will he demonstrate some independence from them in an effort show the country what he might to do create a broader coalition as president? Will he do anything before the election to signal what he thinks?

McCain has begun this week with a fresh stump speech, a "fighting McCain" persona and the determination of an underdog, which is always where he is most comfortable. Speaking in Virginia Beach on Monday morning, he said with a smile:

"We have 22 days to go. We're 6 points down. The national media has written us off. Senator Obama is measuring the drapes, and planning with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid to raise taxes, increase spending, take away your right to vote by secret ballot in labor elections, and concede defeat in Iraq. But they forgot to let you decide. My friends, we've got them just where we want them."

His criticisms of Obama were not personal, as they've sometimes been in the past week, but substantive. He hopes to claw his way back into the race and he hopes that the polls could tighten as Election Day nears, and that, if that happens, the voters will take yet another look at their choices.

McCain has been criticized for raising questions about Obama that were seen as questioning his patriotism or his commitment to the values the country holds dear. But there ought not to be any moratorium on asking hard questions of both candidates right now, and especially of the Democratic nominee who sits in the pole position heading into the final three weeks.

By Web Politics Editor  |  October 13, 2008; 12:53 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Dan Balz's Take , John McCain  
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Next: Obama Proposes New Economic Measures

Comments

The 9/11 hijackers began their plot with driver's licenses. Obama is such a radical he still wants every illegal to get a driver's license.

It gets worse. He's called for illegals to get Socical Security Benefits. He even wants them to get free government health care.

Who pays............we do!!!!!

Fox analyst Dick Morris says: "The National Republican Trust is a very effective organization that can make a huge difference on election day."

Barack Obama can be defeated.

Posted by: risque1 | October 20, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

the very thought of obama winning scares the living heck out of me ! the likes of ayers et-al will have there own keys to the whitehouse. we will be socialist as soon as his hand leaves the bible at his swearing in. i thank god almighty for the freedom we have in voating here, any one you want!! i beg the lib's to think twice before pulling the switch !!!

Posted by: listowelguy | October 20, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

DOES AN OBAMA PRESIDENCY SCARE YOU?
THEN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
“EVIL PREVAILS WHEN GOOD MEN DO NOTHING!!” …Edmund Burke
Obama must be stopped. But the McCain Campaign's not going to do it.
It's really up to the people to step up to the plate, and influence a few votes!
McCain Can Still Win! But there has to be an organized plan among his supporters, in addition to the McCain campaign,
Check out this website. It's an easy way we can all make a difference in this election.
http://www.theobamacure.com/

Posted by: theobamacure1 | October 19, 2008 3:43 AM | Report abuse

BO/Biden campaign broke their pledge to accept public financing during the election. Now they are padding their coffers with contributions from mystery donors that don't exist. Now they are padding their totals at ballot boxes across the country with votes from voters that do not exist. From OH, FL, wisconsin to Nevada from the organization (ACORN). What is worse is the Obama/Biden campaign has funneled more than $800,000 to ACORN for work to get the vote out conducted by the left leaning organization.

Case # 2:2008cv04083......Plaintiff Philip J. Berg alleged that defendant Barack Obama is not eligible for the Office of President because Obama lost his U.S. citizenship when his mother married and Indonesian citizen and naturalized in Indonesia. Plaintiff further alleged that Obama followed her naturalization and failed to take an oath of allegiance when he turned 18 years old to regain his U.S. citizenship status.

But, facts are facts and it sounds like we have a lot of Mickey Mouse voters out there.

And...John McCain is not President Bush.....they do not even look alike!!!!

Posted by: risque1 | October 18, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

My opinion is that we need to look at what president bush has done for this country,(which is absolutely nothing good) and see exactly what Obama and McSame is saying they will do, and weigh the probable outcomes of each and then vote for who is the best for our country. Through my eyes Obama is the most worthy so my vote is for him.

Posted by: slipknot93 | October 17, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

To all that watched the debate....McCain said the public needs to know the full story about Obama's connections to Ayers but also to ACORN.....the community group that is being investigated for voter registration fraud in states from Nevada to Ohio.

I want to know the whole story.

Posted by: risque1 | October 16, 2008 11:47 PM | Report abuse

ScottVA:
Regulation is the difference between U.S. baby formula you can confidently give your child;
Versus the melanine-laced Chinese poison that has caused senseless deaths.

If you can breath clean air, eat unspoiled food, drink uncontaminated water, and live in a home that won't cave in on itself, thank a regulator.

Posted by: Smoke_Jaguar4 | October 16, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Dan - Last I checked, this election wasn't over. BOTH candidates must be held to the SAME HIGH standard. It really boggles the mind that you'd think - and write - that Obama needs to be given a closer look, when McCain's own running mate refuses to talk to you or anyone else at the WaPo or anyone else of note in the mainstream media & refuses to be fully vetted by independent (ie unconnected to the campain/not in the RW news world) media. We have no way of confirming or discovering what's true behind the myriad inconsistencies in Palin's record, and McCain himself has been a huge flipflopper on what once were his major issues, and you think we still don't KNOW ENOUGH about Obama?! Please. Your neocon slip is showing.

And stop equating Obama's negative ads challenging McCain's ISSUE POSITIONS with McCain/Palin's willingness to tolerate & inspire expressions of violence against Obama at their rallies. 7 years after 9/11, there is a VAST difference in calling someone "erratic" and saying "pals around with terrorists" and anyone of even moderate intellingence knows that. You should too.

Writing a "balanced" news story does not mean EQUATING the tactics of each side. By your logic, criticism of Hitler would be on a par with his abhorrent actions. Better review your Journalism 101. standards.

Posted by: j9gast | October 15, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

What utter balderdash, not to mention blatant pandering to the right wing. Why should Obama be treated as the Presiden-elect before the election? Why does he merit more scrutiny than his opponent? Are you saying, "Let's kick the tires a few more times to make sure we won't have buyer's regret" while suggesting that we shouldn't inspect McCain with equal throughness? Shameless.

Posted by: Adam17 | October 15, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Really interesting point you make here, Dan, about the press's obligation to be tougher on the front-runner. Intrigued, I went back to find instances where you have made a similar argument in previous elections--ones in which Republicans held the lead, for example. And... weirdly, I didn't find any. The thought just occurred to you now, perhaps?

Posted by: gcollins1 | October 15, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Why in the world should one candidate be more heavily scrutinized than the other? That would indeed constitute biased reporting.

As to the Presidential/Congressional perspective, the real question is how Obama's plans may differ if the Democrats enjoy wide majorities in both Senate and House (say 60+ Senate seats and 250+ House seats) than they would be otherwise. At that point Obama will not need Republican support, but he will need the support of moderate/conservative Democrats---such as the so-called "Blue Dog" budget hawks.
The question here is not whether Obama will be "going along" with Congressional leaders, but whether he will be able to effectively lead Congress by building wide coalitions so that he will not have to compromise dramatically upon his agenda. His agenda will be the centerpiece. There will be no Congressional agenda. It will be the President's agenda.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | October 15, 2008 6:34 AM | Report abuse

This is blatant bias. Really, stunning, outrageous, bias. It's incredible that this reporter is allowed to cover politics. Sadly, it's what I've come to expect from the Post: shoddy thinking, a pronounced tilt to the right a pronounced tilt to the right and blind kowtowing to the powers that be.

Posted by: trexbean | October 15, 2008 3:58 AM | Report abuse

Balz is proposing a double standard: now that McCain is behind in the polls, focus the scrutiny on Obama.

This guy is a journalist? Why does WaPo employ such an obviously biased political hack?

Posted by: Gatsby1 | October 15, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Dan No-Balls. Totally in the tank for McBush, like most of the MSM these days. Pathetic!

Posted by: mwleonard | October 14, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton confirmed to Supreme Court.....Obama signs tax increases!!!!

David Freddoso demonstrated that despite the hype, BO doesn't represent "change" or new thinking in American politics at all. In reality, he is a far-left liberal politician in the mold of Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Al Gore, Mike Dukakis, and Walter Mondale....but with charm and political savvy that rivals that of Bill Clinton.

The liberal media has presented Obama as a kind of political saviour who will infuse us with hope by delivering change.

OB has vowed to raise taxes and increase government spending...who has promised unilateral retreat from the war on terror...who has had close relationships with a former terrorist, a hate spewing racist minister, and the corrupt operators of Chicago machine politics....and he is on the brink of becoming the next President......

Posted by: risque1 | October 14, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, Dan, I'm beginning to think it may be time for you to write about something else - movie reviews, maybe - or perhaps you should think about retirement. Now I don't mean to be rude (which I may have already been - I apologize), but what exactly do you think has been going on for the last 18 months? Do you honestly think that Obama has not been adequately vetted in that time by media, by opponents, by each and every rabid partisan on the planet? True it is that the changing economic climate may call for a change in investigative focus, but to suggest that the fact that Obama is ahead in the polls means that the MSM ought to give McCain a break or some time off because he's down in the polls is ludicrous. My god, McCain just introduced new economic plans today. But, okay, let's just leave McCain alone for awhile. I don't know where to start in listing the false assumptions and false logic which plague your thinking in this article, so I'll leave that to someone else. I'm tired. Just one question though: where do you come up with these wild ideas?

Posted by: sellio4291 | October 14, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Duncan Black understands what Balz means, very well:
http://www.eschatonblog.com/2008_10_12_archive.html#3958502984252763738

"The thing is that the press has had 18 months or so to cover these candidates. Balz doesn't mean that reporters should suddenly, say, take a look at Obama's health care plan and be like, "hey, that's not such a bad idea." What he means is to throw up every potentially bad thing around one last time just in case voters didn't hear it the first 300 times they covered it.
* * *
"All of these [suggested questions] are personality traits, and basically not even real ones but the kind of personality narratives campaign journalists love to talk about so that they can avoid addressing questions like, "Is Obama's health plan a good idea?" It's the presidency as reality TV show, the only kind most campaign journalists seem to understand."

When you want to know the conventional, narcissistic, right-of-center D.C. journalist is thinking, there's no better source than Dan Balz.

Posted by: jcbarrett44 | October 14, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

And ScottVA...

"Has anyone asked him how his economic policies of wealth redistribution differ from socialism?"

The bailout is socialism as well, do you support it? Under Bush we privatize the gains so only the rich get richer, and we socialize the losses. The middle class and poor get screwed on both ends, at least with this different type of socialism the middle and poor get a share.

"He is not providing tax breaks; he is providing refundable rebates, which people who don't pay taxes also get. That is welfare; that is socialism."

Please provide us with a link. I'll provide you with one, try reading it.

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/economy/

"Who has asked him to explain how taking the money from those who create J-O-B-S will create more jobs?"

Repubs go on and on about small businesses. How bout by building wealth in the middle class it allows people to start new innovative small businesses.

"Who has pinned him down on his associations (racist pastor, crooked developer, etc.), or his voting record (most liberal in the Senate)?"

He's been pinned down, I think its the outcome you really want changed. Both have racist pastors, both have shady connections, and who cares if he's liberal? I don't think thats a slur anymore.

"Only Sarah Palin has really pushed these issues."

Your goal isn't to have the questions asked, its to influence our response to the answers.

You know, like in 2000 when McCain was accused of having a illegitimate child by Bush's campaign. "Why hasn't anyone pinned down McCain?!?!"

You're really saying "why are you all voting for him still?"

"Yes, take a close look at who you want to run our nation: you will get the economy of Jimmy Carter, and the power grab of FDR (who made the Depression worse).

Is that what you really want?"

By that train of extreme logic you would have to say with McCain you'd get the economy of Bush (Hah) and the power grab of Bush (Hah).

Posted by: scotthawk | October 14, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

"Who blocked the oversight?
DEMOCRATS"

You're telling me that after years of complaining about Dems in Congress investigating things, now you're saying they haven't done it enough?

The Fed has direct oversight of the market, they are Republican appointees.

"Regulation is government telling corporations how to run their businesses: how much they may charge, to whom they must sell, etc."

You're 'etc' encompasses the "normal" types of regulation.

From Wiki: "Common examples of regulation include attempts to control market entries, prices, wages, pollution effects, employment for certain people in certain industries, standards of production for certain goods, the military forces and services.

"to whom they must sell?" Ohh right, the "Microsoft Can Only Sell to Denmark for $14.99 Law of 2007" I forgot.

Posted by: scotthawk | October 14, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Geez, Balz, how thin can the veil over your bias be? Yeah, we get it, your man is trailing and you don't like it. You want the Press to get tougher on the guy that's tromping all over him in the polls. You sound a lot like Schmidt. You aren't on the McCain Camp payroll are you? Under the table, maybe?

Posted by: CarolBG | October 14, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Can the man get elected first before you demand that he save the world? He's only been running for two years! With each passing day after it became clear that Hillary wasn't going to win, he has gracefully and openly responded to media scrutiny and pseudo-scandal no other candidate has had to face. Now you want act like there may be something else there that hasn't been "exposed" or addressed! Why don't you demand that Ms. Palin explain why she had a witch doctor praying over her head to exorcise witches in front of a congregation and a camera? Or demand McCain explain his association with his opinionated, Jew-hating religious associate? Barak handled the Rev. Wright scandal the way most of White America demanded! Why don't you demand Ms. Palin explain why the rest of America should subscribe to her views on abortion and abstinence when those views clearly did not work in her own family? You darn well would have impugned Barak and his wife's characters if one of their Black daughters turned up pregnant during his campaign! Why don't you insist that Ms. Palin explain her association with and her husband's membership in that clearly un-American Alaskan secessionist/supremacist group to whom she told to "keep up the good work"? At least by the time whatever "intimate" involvement Barak had with his "terrorist", that terrorist had chosen a different, kinder, inclusive, mature, collaborative, Constitutional approach which reflected a willingness to participate in the democratic process as defined by The Founding Fathers -- unlike the mean, sour, exclusionist kook The Palins have been cavorting with! (For you non-believers, check out YouTube for some video of the information the media is not reporting and commenting on at length the way it has on Obama.)

Posted by: iphoenix | October 14, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

ScottVA says:

"Deregulation did NOT cause this economic mess.

LACK OF OVERSIGHT caused it.

Who blocked the oversight?
DEMOCRATS"
*
That's just wrong Scott. Specifically, deregulation did not cause anything but it allowed everything. And I'd be curious to hear your theory on how democrats blocked oversight.

Posted by: MichaelTexas | October 14, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Another point:

Let's be clear.

Deregulation did NOT cause this economic mess.

LACK OF OVERSIGHT caused it.

Who blocked the oversight?
DEMOCRATS

Oversight is the government ensuring corporate officers do not abuse their offices.

Regulation is government telling corporations how to run their businesses: how much they may charge, to whom they must sell, etc.

Posted by: ScottVA | October 14, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Balz is right on this.
Some here are claiming that the Community Organizer has been asked enough questions.
Who has actually asked hard questions of him?

Has anyone asked him how his economic policies of wealth redistribution differ from socialism?

He is not providing tax breaks; he is providing refundable rebates, which people who don't pay taxes also get. That is welfare; that is socialism.

Who has asked him to explain how taking the money from those who create J-O-B-S will create more jobs?

Does he think government jobs create any economic benefit?

Who has pinned him down on his associations (racist pastor, crooked developer, etc.), or his voting record (most liberal in the Senate)?

Only Sarah Palin has really pushed these issues.

You call these things "personal" and "pejorative", but character matters, and he has not displayed good judgment or character.

Yes, take a close look at who you want to run our nation: you will get the economy of Jimmy Carter, and the power grab of FDR (who made the Depression worse).

Is that what you really want?

Posted by: ScottVA | October 14, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that if Mr. Balz had been looking and listening for substance throughout this campaign instead of the stupid horse race trivia that he and his colleagues focus on, he would realize that many of his questions about Obama have already been answered.
Why can't the media ask tough substantive questions about both sides simultaneously?

Posted by: brucek1 | October 14, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

This is a mind-boggling stupid idea. A double standard on the candidates, treating one as the heir apparent & giving the other a bye?

It's bad enough the press just repeats every insidious and ridiculous Republican charge as if it's relevant, now they want to tilt even further for the GOP?

Posted by: livin_n_the_city | October 14, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Great. Now Dan Balz is suggesting the media have a double standard when questioning political candidates, based on "how likely" it is that they are elected. QED: Dan Balz is a know-nothing hack without a shred of journalistic integrity. Do your job. Question both candidates.

Posted by: lgraham1 | October 14, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"Sen Obama, you have stated you would double the size of America's foreign aid, which nations that undermine American interests would you give more American tax dollars to?"

I see this question asked a lot by rightwing halfwits, and yet they always struggle to answer clarifying questions, such as "can you name a few countries which the US funds and which undermine American interests?" and "how much money is given to these countries, and how much of the federal budget does it represent?"

The rightwing: so eager to hate, so detached from reality.

Posted by: castanea | October 14, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

So is this McBush & Palin's official concession? Their erratic, stumbling policies and lies and corruption and support of deregulation forever should knock them out. Their recent massive solcialization project is interesting & we need details, especially if they want to pay banks full price. However, until they concede McBush & Palin bear watching--not just for the entertainment value, but for more corruption as well.

Posted by: durk2 | October 14, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

More McCain leaning tripe from a WaPo reporter. This is all about the "Who is Obama" meme and also about avoiding calling out McCain on his erratic, hatemongering camapign.

Posted by: thebuckguy | October 14, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I back Mac for a free America

Posted by: peterdaol | October 14, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Re: McCain has been criticized for raising questions about Obama that were seen as questioning his patriotism or his commitment to the values the country holds dear. But there ought not to be any moratorium on asking hard questions of both candidates right now, and especially of the Democratic nominee who sits in the pole position heading into the final three weeks"

Certainly.

But the following GOP tactic/strategy is beyond deplorable:

Take for example the handling of the so-called "Obama-Ayres-Connection"
The report from inside the McCain campaign is disturbing on many levels. While chiding his supporters at public rallies for using violent rhetoric, his campaign has taken the opposite tack behind closed doors. The public sees a campaign not responsible for violent outbursts, but THE TIME REPORT, 10/12, reveals a ground operation that trains volunteers to elicit violent responses in voters- by making false claims about Obama's connection to terrorist attacks on U.S. military buildings.

This "palling around with terrorists-personal relationship" myth could be considered hilarious, except for the fact that there are extremists among us, who are not interested in values or morals

How dangerously creative!
In one fell swoop, a switch coupled with a double negative, professional to personal association, treason and terrorism.
One would think the genius, channeled, could have been focused inwards, creating a cohesive game plan, a strategic campaign.
Instead, we have this external onslaught, uncontrolled rallies, where half-truths are dumped on the crowds, unconfirmed.

The GOP is well aware of the big picture, the following professional association:
Annenberg contributor/sponsor-President Reagan's Campaign-Annenberg US Appointee-Annenberg Foundation philantropy-Education Reform sponsor-Chicago Annenberg Challenge project sponsor-Professors Barack Obama and William Ayres, former terrorist, participants-Annenberg GOP contributor/sponsor.

Yet from these encounters, the “Obama palling around with terrorist” link continues to be the sole by-product, the singular rally cry.

Based on the presentation, it’s obvious that the GOP fails to tell the whole truth by omission or distortion and does not question Obama's patriotic commitment but suggests the lack of it.

Posted by: vizbit | October 14, 2008 5:45 AM | Report abuse

I just want the Bush bashers to be clear. The bill that effectively removed all of the safeguards that were put into place after the stock market crash of 1929 was signed in 1999 by none other than Bill Clinton.

Posted by: icanhandlethetruth | October 14, 2008 4:56 AM | Report abuse

There seems to be a couple of you that need to look up the difference between the federal defecit and a budget surplus. With that said, tesser...you need help brother, dillusion can be a real problem and i sypathize. Negative words from those complaining of negativity doesent do anything for your cause. I have a question for the good senator. According to Perry Sutton (Malcolm X's attorney), you were introduced to him by Dr Khalid Al Mansour (radical muslim and chief advisor to saudi arabian prince talal) in order to get Sutton to write a letter to Harvard in an effort to get you accepted. I guess my question is ..... HOW THE HELL DO YOU KNOW THESE KIND OF PEOPLE!!!!!

Posted by: icanhandlethetruth | October 14, 2008 4:35 AM | Report abuse

I don't have a problem with questioning Obama about Ayers or anyone else. The problem I have is in the manner the Republican party has gone about doing so. I am sick and tired of the lies and the negative bs that the Republican party and the McCain campaign have been relentless in using. Do they think the American people are idiots? Well we are not idiots but the ones who are running the Republican party are. Yet they get away with it time and time again. In the past 2 elections I voted Republican and most likely would have again if not for Palin's palling around remark AND her refusal to co operate with her "troopergate" inquiry. It's one thing to say you welcome an investigation and then because you are in a national campaign slam the door on it. Palin and McCain question if Obama is hiding something. Well Pain must be hiding something too then. Yet Obama is doing his best to sticking to the issues like the economy and refrain from the bs McCain and Palin are spewing.( mostly Palin ).
I know both sides have been at each other's throat which accomplishes nothing but the manner that McCain and Palin have done so is flat out wrong.
Watching the vice president debate I was impressed with Palin. She looked at Biden and addressed him politely but firmly. She was respectful of him and he was respectful of her. They talked about the issues without the bs. I liked that type of debate. Then she had to go ruin it by the personal attacks on Obama. Like I said I have no problem with questioning Obama on Ayers....but do it in a respectful manner. I liked how McCain told that one ignorant supporter that Obama was not an Arab and that he was a decent family man. If McCain would have stuck to that type of campaigning throughout AND talked about the "issues" I believe he would not be in the sad state of affairs he's in now.He would have shown class and a cool temperment....instead he has turned into anything but an honorable man. So because of the way the Republicans have conducted themselves I am voting for Obama. I believe he will be the cool handed President we need in these troubled times.

Posted by: JimBeam1 | October 14, 2008 3:42 AM | Report abuse

From TNR: Playing Balz

Washington Post news analyst Dan Balz has written a missive to the campaign press corps urging them to, well, there's no other way to put it: start holding Barack Obama to a higher standard than his opponent. Balz is one of the most prestigious members of the Washington press corps, and his commentary has already been fronted by conventional wisdom-arbiter The Page, so it's likely to be influential.

Why should the press train its sights on Obama? Balz says because the election is all but over:

He leads nationally in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll by 53 percent to 43 percent. He leads, too, by a wide margin in estimates of the Electoral College. Virtually all of the closest states left at this point voted for President Bush four years ago.

The presidential race is not over, but at this point, Obama has a better chance of becoming president than McCain, and as a result, the questions ought to be going toward him as much or more than McCain

In other words, Balz argues, Obama should be treated as if he's already president, rather than as one of two candidates for the presidency. I suppose that, if you think the election is truly a formality, an argument could be made for skipping ahead to post-election coverage. Yet, a few paragraphs later, Balz says that it's important that this new phase of one-sided inquiry happen now so that voters can potentially decide if they want Obama at all:

It would be helpful to voters to know now, rather than after the election, whether [Obama] will take a zero-based look at everything and rearrange priorities.

Does this make any sense? Balz is saying that voters need to know all these things about Obama (he does not say they need to know this about McCain) before the election. Why before the election? It can only be because they might decide they prefer McCain instead. But why should voters be making this decision on the basis of how they judge Obama, rather than an even comparison between the two candidates? Balz is saying that the press should give Obama the scrutiny of an incumbent president so that voters can potentially choose somebody else to be president. I suppose that if voters decide to start flocking to McCain, Balz's logic would compel him to urge the press corps to start suddenly applying one-sided scrutiny to the GOP candidate -- unless it happened too late.

Posted by: osullivanc1 | October 14, 2008 3:28 AM | Report abuse

I believe that Obama has been QUESTIONED enough. But wouldn't it be nice if he would ANSWER? It's all sliding off his back. Pretty slippery guy!

Posted by: elvisbythesea1 | October 14, 2008 2:58 AM | Report abuse

sblower Somehow the small business guy the same one you see at the hardware store or your local car repair will have to pay higher taxes because he chose to work 80 hours a week for 20years and you didn't is only fair is the moral equivalent of taking what you want from that hardware store or writing a bad check for your car repairs. Will you care when those same people won't be able to pay their bills or retire on time and when they close up shop and have nothing left who will take care of you? Immigrants from all over the world come here work hard and ask for nothing from the government. The American dream is available to all your plan is to take from the one's that achieved it.

Posted by: casheydawg | October 14, 2008 2:48 AM | Report abuse

When Biden said "Look, all you have to do is go down Union Street with me in Wilmington or go to Katie's restaurant or walk into Home Depot with me where I spend a lot of time, and you ask anybody in there whether or not the economic and foreign policy of this administration has made them better off in the last eight years."

It turns out that Katie's restaurant, where Biden gets his feel for the average American, closed 20 years ago. The only evidence that he spends any time in Home Depot is that it appears a pipe wrench must have fallen on his head too many times.

Posted by: risque1 | October 14, 2008 2:43 AM | Report abuse

Mr Balz,

Your article makes one dwell on the fact that your name is a homonym for a colloquialism for the word hubris!

Mr Obama has laid out his approach to dealing with a broad range of issues. For him to commit to nuts and bolts specifics would prempt the role of congress and would make negotions with the legislative body much more difficult.

Mr. Obama has demonstrated the ability and willingness to find and follow sound advice! This is what is needed to craft and propose effective legislation.

Mr. Clinton had a majority in both houses of Congress when he took ofice. By trying to prempt the legislative proces he alienated his own party and doomed many of his legislative priorities.

Mr. Balz,
You are suggesting that Mr. Obama be pushed to make the same mistake. Mr Obama is too intelligent to fall into your trap!

Posted by: ivanhoe2 | October 14, 2008 2:35 AM | Report abuse

According to CNNMoney.com, Wall Street securities and investment firms have given over $35 million to Democratic candidates this election cycle. And the amount they have given to the Clinton and Obama campaigns is nearly five times the amount they've given to McCain.

If you've wondered why the financial industry has a meltdown...and taking your 401(k) or investment down...now you know.

That's why betting their industry on "subprime" loans to people with no jobs and no collateral made sense to them...and why betting the entire U.S. ecomonomy on the likes of Hillary and Obama makes sense to them now.

Posted by: risque1 | October 14, 2008 2:27 AM | Report abuse

If Mr. Balz would read his own newspaper, he would realize

Mr. Obama has answered all of the questions raised in his

column.


Posted by: bobnsri | October 14, 2008 2:15 AM | Report abuse

"What about Palin's husband's ties to that guy who heads some group about Alaska removing itself from The United States? I hear he's one guy with alot of hate for the U.S. Why doesn't anyone bring this up when someone questions Obama's patriotism?"

Well, steve770, you must be talking about Joe Vogler, the fuehrer of the fascist outfit called the AIP. He had planned, with the sponsorship of Iran, to go before the UN in 1993 to condemn US "tyranny" and demand independence for Alaska.
Unfortunately for him and his movement, he disappeared and was later found murdered as part of a plastic explosives deal gone bad. I'm sure he thought he was just buying fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Hey -- what about G. Gordon Liddy, the convicted Watergate burglar, talk show host, and ex-con (5 1/2 years including 100 days of solitary -- pardoned by that awful liberal Jimmy Carter so he wouldn't have to serve his full 20-year sentence). He and McLame are good buddies, and he's contributed $5,000 to the Senator's campaigns. He once advised his listeners: " Now if the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms comes to disarm you and they are bearing arms, resist them with arms. Go for a head shot; they're going to be wearing bulletproof vests. ... Kill the sons of b*****s". He also admitted in his autobiography "Will" (as in "Triumph of the . . . ") that he'd once made plans to murder muckraking journalist Jack Anderson.

Bill Ayers? Ahem. People who live in glass houses shoudn't throw stones.

Posted by: unclefactor | October 14, 2008 1:49 AM | Report abuse

How quickly we forget! Right after 9-1-1 every U.S. citizen would have been concerned about ANYONE (much less a presidential candidate) who had the ties to some of Obama's associates. Irregardless of what your political beliefs are and what you feel about this issue, to say that no one has the right to even raise a question or concern about these past relationships when trying to make a decision about who is the best candidate for President of our country, goes against everything our country represents. This is what many Americans are angry about--that they are suppressed by the media (and Obama supporters) for even wanting to ask these questions! Goodness knows they've delved with a vengeance (and a million questions) into Palin's personal life: her daughter's baby; media disdain for taking her youngest child with her; questioning her husband's influence (as if Obama's wife isn't out in the media doing TV shows and interviews, as well as Hillary Clinton's husband. Unbelievable!

Posted by: lettie2 | October 14, 2008 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Balz,
I'd love to hear how you "see" the statement being made by today's McCain/Palin supporter pictured at five-thirty-eight.
If nothing else you'll benefit from their polling breakdowns.

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/

Posted by: klcscott | October 14, 2008 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Ok AmericanJED, Democratics have their eyes wide open. Democratics are not looking for government to take care of them. We are looking for government to just police those crooks who just want to take advantage, and keep those who they think are below them down so Republicans can stay greedy and abuse their powers, like your hero Sara Palin. Stop being mad at the United States government for making changes that you dont agree with. You're probably still made for the government passing the Civil Rights Act 1964, so you can continue to run over people who dont look like you. If we get rid of government, then lets take away police patrolling our streets, lets take away 911, so you can help your self in an emergency. Palin is the nothing but trouble to the Whitehouse, she is another Bush in a skirt. So you wake-up, AmericanJED!!!

Posted by: sbowler2002 | October 14, 2008 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Their are people in America who have not learn a single lesson of what is happening for past 8 years..i said it again and again that people are watching America at this time..there are two option in this election..elect a president who will bring back American glory or elect a president who will draw American more down that people will look the other way..One McCain is not welcome at all around the world because he will drag the world to world war with his policies while Obama will Change the way people think of America.

No country who their economy is not strong and they will be world power or who don't regard other counties and still be world power.for past 8 years we have seen the type of judgment McCain and Bush had made that draw the whole world to these mess we are into.

I wonder how McCain will be talking about War as if he will go out and fight again, let him remember that he want all young American who will be the leader of tomorrow to die in a useless War he vote for.

We have to reason when McCain said he have his country in his mind first.(laugh) how can he say that when he want his personal reason of choosing a woman who he will be sending to funeral as a vice president..i want to say a Vote for McCain is a Vote for war which we cannot afford this time.
LET A WISE MAN LOOK INTO HIS EYES AND SEE THAT HE IS LYING ABOUT HIS INTENTION FOR AMERICAN PEOPLE.

Any person who will question Obama intention is not a true American...a man with a humble beginning,who work his way up there and who have been working for people all his life and who want to do things for ordinary people and who is working for tomorrow ,please let look into Obama eyes and see a compassionate person who did not forget how he was raise by a single mom,someone who don't want to see all young and old American to suffer the way they have in past 8 years under Bush/McCain.

Their are lot of reason that will make us to think twice about McCain.

1) McCain said he did not know about economy.

someone who did not know anything about economy then how can he handle his mess.and he put around him all those people who brought us to this mess as his advisers.

2) he who don't know how to handle his campaign talk less of handling a country.


3) i want people with good reasoning to complete this question coz its many things that he don't know and can't learn.

A wise man is a person who see tomorrow...

Obama is for future.vote for him.


Posted by: costlyboss | October 14, 2008 1:01 AM | Report abuse

JED

Do you honestly believe that McCain has the best interests of the USA at heart?

>

Because your comment "It’s all about him – and he doesn’t care how he gets into the White House" seems to me very descriptive of Sen. McSame.

Posted by: BudG024 | October 14, 2008 1:00 AM | Report abuse

I will not vote for McCain or Palin if they the only 2 running. She want to called some a terrorist than call her own husband a terrorist. He was a member of the Alaska Independent Party. A terrorist Group. Sarah Palin was their guest speaker who worked with them. Her husband was a member for 8 years. Is this who you want in the White House. They will be sitting in there with Todd Palin running the White House. The people in Alaska are speaking out about Palin and the things coming out are not too good. McCain knew what she was about and he went and got her any way. Watch out America. Wake up.

Posted by: vgreen1 | October 14, 2008 12:57 AM | Report abuse

"McCain has been criticized for raising questions about Obama that were SEEN as questioning his patriotism or his commitment to the values the country holds dear."

I guess you managed to "see" the "questions" as something else. Please Dan, is it okay if I call ya Dan? tell us how you "saw" those rather unambiguous statements. It would be no doubt helpful for those us who might take a second look after the clawing McCain settles in to his final pose.

Posted by: klcscott | October 14, 2008 12:37 AM | Report abuse

I am still amazed that people refuse to face the truth. They want to believe that Obama is going to be their redeemer and pour manna from the sky.

This country is based on people using the talents they have been blessed with, instead of putting their hand out for someone else to provide for them.

Why are people so blinded by what the Democratic Party really wants for their supporters? They want to keep people down and dependent on government so they have some very needy people to vote for them and keep them in office.

Wake up! You deserve better than that, and certainly better than Barack Hussein Obama, who I don’t believe has the best interest of the USA in mind at all. It’s all about him – and he doesn’t care how he gets into the White House. Obama – how do you sleep at night?

Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin you have my vote!

God Bless America!

Posted by: AmericanJED | October 14, 2008 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Well gosh darn it Dan take the bull by the horns here. Get Rick Davis the heck out of your chair and write up your questions, then send them the heck off to BOTH candidates. You and the old WaPo could publish their gosh darn answers in black and white, side by side and apples to apples! Then you could make campaign history by cajoling McCain into having his running mate give her first press conference, you know with follow up questions and all.

Posted by: klcscott | October 14, 2008 12:27 AM | Report abuse

"The vicissitude that will most mark Obama's administration is how he will completely transform American politics"

Measuring drapes again?

It seems to me the American People are still ALLOWED to vote in an election NEXT MONTH aren't we? Or maybe I missed the Obama dictatorship we had now entered....???

Posted by: chicago77 | October 14, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse


The vicissitude that will most mark Obama's administration is how he will completely transform American politics into a polity of inclusion. Every 35 year old in America will be trying to become president, and they will know that it is not a far fetched pipe dream; it can happen.

The biggest casualty of this is that an Obama win will mean that it will be a very long time before America embraces the typical mature white male candidate as the foregone conclusion for the presidency of the United States. The youth and vigor of Obama and Palin in this year's election have seismically altered the political landscape forever.

This shift in our worldview is due to the Internet, and to modern technologies - an impact will only intensify in the years to come.

By Marion TD Lewis, Esq.

Posted by: MarionTDLewis | October 14, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it ironic that McCain/Palin is always making up false statements or lies on Obama, but when people tell McCain that he and his followers are preaching/supporting hate and racism, McCain gets very offended and feels people are lying on him. But my opinion is his supporters are mostly racist and individuals filled with hate. I can tell by the supporters language they are filled with hate, and probably think of Obama as the "N" word. If and when Obama becomes next president, I hope and pray that his Secret service protection is very tight on watching him and his crowds. These individuals at McCain rallies really scary/dangerous individuals. I think the FBI should have majority of these followers investigated and watched very closely and thoroughly because I think they are a serious threat to Obama. These are the type of people that are ignorant and racist and cant think logically. Their views are very backwards and dangerous. I hope that the FBI keeps close tabs on these ignorant (nutz) to make sure that Obama is protected 110%. Palin is even more dangerous because she uses her powers to take advantage of others and this is a sign of scandal she can be bring to the WhiteHouse from Alaska. Not all Republicans are probably like this but they sure have a majority that are very questionable about their hatred of Obama, and those of a different shade of skin.

Posted by: sbowler2002 | October 14, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Question 4

Sen Obama, you have stated you would double the size of America's foreign aid, which nations that undermine American interests would you give more American tax dollars to?


Question 5

As a Chicagoan, I know your record here in Illinois well. There is not one piece of legislation of great import that bears your imprimitur, why should we believe you will be any better in the most powerful office in the land?


Question 6

Obviously you are a good speaker and Oprah was very impressed with you and suggested you run for President, do you think talk show hosts are the best judge of National Level Leaders?

Posted by: chicago77 | October 14, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

K I S S!

VOTE OBAMA.

Posted by: thevoodoodoll | October 14, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Balz has Obama confused with McCain. McCain is the one who states repeatedly, "I can fix this economy" without explanation NOT Obama. .
Punching the air with his fist, McCain has claimed repeatedly to know how to win wars. Why not ask his plan for that, considering he fought in a war that tore the country apart to no avail. It's absurdly biased of Mr. Balz to claim Obama has some 'splainli' to do, whcn its McCain who has continally made promises he's can't fulfill.

Posted by: jhbyer | October 14, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Questions for Obama:

Why did you make the statement last week that you assumed William Ayers had been rehabilitated? Ayers has said of his escaping justice, "guilty as sin, free as a bird".

When you give tax refunds to 45 % of Americans who pay no taxes, isn't that wealth redistribution?

How was it possible for you to attend Rev.
Wright's church for 20 years and not hear
any of the anti-American rhetoric?

Will you condemn Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid for stating several months ago,
"the war is lost"? I have heard Iraq veterans say this statement emboldened the enemy costing American lives.

During last week's debate, you stated 95 %
of small businesses in the U. S. make less than $ 250,000. Where did you come up with this number?

Will you make a statement about ACORN's voter fraud charges in at least 12 states?

Americans who care about their country deserve some straight answers.

I predict that after this election, no matter who wins, the U. S. will be more polarized than ever.

Posted by: theodor1 | October 14, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

At this very blog, there was a posting just a couple weeks ago about BHO being asked, "Beatles or Stones".

So, I think we all know that the WaPo and the rest of the MSM will never ask BHO a real question.

Anyone who wants BHO to be called out on his lies and his incredibly flawed policies has to do it themselves.

*You* have to go to a BHO appearance, ask him a real question, and get his response on video. Then, upload it to Youtube so millions of people can see how he's not qualified.

Details here:

http://24ahead.com/blog/archives/008071.html

Please send that link to everyone you know, and contact those listed at the link and urge them to help promote the plan.

Bear in mind that if enough people ask BHO a real question, that will also have the impact of making the MSM look very, very bad.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | October 14, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

What about Palin's husband's ties to that guy who heads some group about Alaska removing itself from The United States? I hear he's one guy with alot of hate for the U.S. Why doesn't anyone bring this up when someone questions Obama's patriotism?

Posted by: steve770 | October 13, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

That's right!!! Obama has to come under increased scrutiny!

I fear that Obama is a proxy "Manchurian Candidate" and that there's something fishy about his candidature for two reasons:
1. His dangerous associations with subversive and militant elements' and
2. The staggering quantum of his campaign fund-raising (remember, McCain who married rich and Bill & Hilary Clinton with tens of millions to their name and their years of contacts on the cocktail circuit could collectively raise only a fraction raised by this first time greenhorn senator) Where are his funds coming from?

Also the scary thought that the Democrats would be controlling the Presidency and both the House and Senate should wake up most Americans to the utter danger facing the nation with the left wing running riot in government.

Finally, with 95 to 96% of African Americans openly declaring their allegiance to Obama, this makes it the most racial of elections in US history. Wait for the backlash in the polls!

Posted by: frankinlaw | October 13, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

While watching Anderson Cooper 360 this evening, a reporter interviewed one of Palin's supporters and he swore up and down that Obama was not a christian, not an United States citizen and is a muslim. When the reporter told the supporter that he was wrong the supporter became angry and asked the reporter if he was calling him a liar. This ignorance has become so pathetic and embarassing. I was a McCain supporter at first and was going to vote for him until he picked Palin for his VP, and was even going to reconsider my vote, but as everyday goes by, I can say that it will not happen. I have never seen so much hatred and ignorance during these McCain-Palin rallies. I don't understand how this is tolerated. What scares me is the possibility of some type of hate related violence in the future and from what has been going on, I wouldn't doubt it if something horrible was to happen which I hope not.

Posted by: steve770 | October 13, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

The difficulty of questions should be based on the candidates' positions. The saner, more rational, more understandable, steadier positions (overwhelmingly Obama's) should be treated accordingly. The crazier, illogical, contradictory positions (McCain's)should get rigorous, merciless scrutiny.

Posted by: awmarch1 | October 13, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

jbfromfl

Just kidding I pity the fool that vote for McPalin.

Posted by: r4147824 | October 13, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Obama took money from the rank and file employees of Freddie and Fannie. As far as the CEOs, directors, etc. of Freddie and Fannie, McCain got $168,000 and Obama $16,800.

And McCain's friend, Phil Gramm, was the man who put in amendments to provide that both commodities and credit default swaps were deregulated--ergo Enron and Lehman Brothers. After all, Gramm's wife was on the board of directors of Enron making $300,000/yr while the rank and file were losing their pensions.

And, unfortunately, McCain was going to have Mr. Gramm as his Treasury Secretary until just a few months ago.

That's the problem with McCain and experience. I don't think he learns--Keating and Gramm. Vietnam and Iraq--both wars we shouldn't be in. Its a shame; he's a good man, just not too wise sometimes.

Posted by: anonymouse12 | October 13, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

jbfromfl

Thanks I will now vote for mccain.

Posted by: r4147824 | October 13, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

tesser_actsoflove1 & all other Obama supporters: READ IT AGAIN! If you support this man and you don't still have questions to be answered then you deserve your loss when Obama wins. Obama was the 2nd highest bribed (under the guise of political contribution) by Fannie & Freddie which set off the disaster. Obama, Dodd and the other Dems took money in exchange for NOT increasing regulations or investigating these questionable financial schemes. The fact is, the Democrats allowed this to happen, and then rode in to save the day with the Alpha&Omega, Obama's help. You're all nothing more than a group of mindless cattle huddling together beneath a tree in a thunderstorm. Personally, I've never supported a Republican. But since the Dems picked the wrong nominee, I have no choice but McCain.

Posted by: pbrews1 | October 13, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I am happy that Mccain told us of the fannie/freddie fraud and who were involved.

All Recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Campaign Contributions, 1989-2008

Name - Office - State - Party - Grand Total - Total from PACs - Total from Individuals

Dodd, Christopher J S CT D $165,400 $48,500 $116,900

Obama, Barack S IL D $126,349 $6,000 $120,349

Kerry, John S MA D $111,000 $2,000 $109,000

Bennett, Robert F S UT R $107,999 $71,499 $36,500

Bachus, Spencer H AL R $103,300 $70,500 $32,800

Blunt, Roy H MO R $96,950 $78,500 $18,450

Kanjorski, Paul E H PA D $96,000 $57,500 $38,500

Bond, Christopher S 'Kit' S MO R $95,400 $64,000 $31,400

Shelby, Richard C S AL R $80,000 $23,000 $57,000

Reed, Jack S RI D $78,250 $43,500 $34,750

Reid, Harry S NV D $77,000 $60,500 $16,500

Clinton, Hillary S NY D $76,050 $8,000 $68,050

Davis, Tom H VA R $75,499 $13,999 $61,500

Boehner, John H OH R $67,750 $60,500 $7,250

Conrad, Kent S ND D $64,491 $22,000 $42,491

Reynolds, Tom H NY R $62,200 $53,000 $9,200

Johnson, Tim S SD D $61,000 $20,000 $41,000

Pelosi, Nancy H CA D $56,250 $47,000 $9,250


There are republicans on this list too. All of them should be charged with raqueteering/fraud!

vote Mccain!

Posted by: JBfromFL | October 13, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

"But it's not clear that he has had any better ideas -- or put them forward more aggressively -- than Paulson and Bernanke..."

Why the double standard? Why is Obama expected to out-expert the experts to prove he's fit to govern? Why does he have to know more about finance than Paulson, AND presumably more about military affairs than Petreaus, AND more about economics than Milton Friedman, AND more about health care than the AMA, AND more about football than Bill Walsh, while McCain and Palin blather around like dolts and get a free pass?

"Is he the pragmatist that allies have suggested -- or committed to a more ideologically oriented agenda, as his critics say?"

Is this what you asked Bush in 2000, or even 2004? Where does the new-found right-wing worship of bi-partisanship come from? Where has it been for the last 8 years plus?

"Unlike McCain, he was fairly calm during the first days after Lehman's collapse and the government bailout of AIG."

Pretty much says it all.

Posted by: liberalconservative | October 13, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

This another Balz entry that is void of intelligence. Apart from the debates, no one is asking either candidate any questions. No one is asking McCain questions, hard or difficult. The media is debating the McCain campaign, not the candidate. The media is questioning the campaign effectiveness, not the candidate's policy positions. The reason they are doing this is because the campaign is floundering. I guess Balz wants the media wigs to debate how the Obama is equally floundering and point out all the missteps. If Balz had a functional memory he might remember such debates that were proliferating several months back. It's terrible when someone in Balz's position becomes embalmed by his own senility. That must be the root of his empathy for McCain. He see himself floundering around for something to write.

Posted by: TeddyRoosevelt | October 13, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

So, what of McCain's ties to G. Gordon Liddy? You know, Watergate? The guy who suggested we shoot the ATF in the head? The one planning firebombings and kidnappings?

Or, what about Acorn releasing it's photo of McCain at their own rally? Or the fact that many, many republicans have been supporting Acorn, and signing bills drafted by Acorn, some as recently as this summer?

This is all whipping up hysteria where there isn't. It's character assassination. The republicans scream of a biased media, when it is clear that if the media brings up Ayers or Acorn, these facts should come up.

Posted by: GingerRed | October 13, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

A M E R I C A N S


who are the REAL SOCIALISTS IN THIS COUNTRY?????


who doesn't pay any taxes and wants the government to pay their way through life as they play the influence peddling card...


well obviously the current administration and just about every republican you can point at and some democrats....Dianne Feinstein, Schumer, Kerry, Lie brrrrrrrrrman....yes there are a few...but let's march on a bit shall we???

.

what's wrong with the country and the current corrupt government ????


they enacted a _P_L_A_N_N_E_D_ rigging of a game,


the FINANCIAL MARKET place,

the wealthy have fixed it so

that the rules, PRIVATIZE PROFIT


while SOCAILIZEing RISK....


what does that mean???? it means if you know the right people, you can BET THE ECONOMY AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA....without taking any personal risk...

IF _they_ ,

the filthy rich screw up, THEN,

YOU pay for it....Congress guarantees it...they pass the laws so that you have to handle bush and COMPANIES risks....

HOWsomeEVUH, IF you screw up you pay for that too....

if they send your jobs overseas and you can't pay your bills and your homes go into foreclosure and and you're sleeping in bus stops.....wellllllllllll


obviously that's your fault.


there's no risk to THE CORRUPT, and NO INVESTMENT in making sure that YOUR lives turn out okay....

but YOU THE PEOPLE ARE PAYING FOR THEM from the get go...


their risks are SOCIALIZED....part of our GOVERNMENT PAYOUT...


listen closely, the wealthy are on welfare, it's called tax breaks for the elite.....and development costs paid for corporations by citizens...

what do you think the _I_L_L_E_G_A_L_ invasion of IRAQ is about....you, the citizens, are paying the business expenses of BIG OIL...you pay the military to steal it

and _THEY_ get the oil deals and the rights to sell you at a huge profit the oil that your military captures for them...


and the soldiers???? they get less bennies than under Viet Nam, and they have to hire a lawyer to collect medical benefits even

if they got no legs.........or half a skull missing ??? see the film "Body of War."


how do you feel about those non-compete bids for HALLIBURTON, CARLYLE GROUP, and BLACKWATER


huh!!!!?


AMERICA????


palin 'n mcCain.....they're the puppets that evil wants to elect to stand in front of this corruption.....help them out,


keep them from going to hell....

don't vote for them.


.
don't send them to hell...you don't deserve them.


.

Posted by: tesser_actsoflove1 | October 13, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

A M E R I C A N S

what's wrong with the country and the current corrupt government ????


they enacted a _P_L_A_N_N_E_D_ rigging of a game,


the FINANCIAL MARKET place,

the wealthy have fixed it so

that the rules, PRIVATIZE PROFIT


while SOCAILIZEing RISK....


what does that mean???? it means if you know the right people, you can BET THE ECONOMY AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA....without taking any personal risk...

IF _they_ ,

the filthy rich screw up, THEN,

YOU pay for it....Congress guarantees it...they pass the laws so that you have to handle bush and COMPANIES risks....

HOWsomeEVUH, IF you screw up you pay for that too....

if they send your jobs overseas and you can't pay your bills and your homes go into foreclosure and and you're sleeping in bus stops.....wellllllllllll


obviously that's your fault.


there's no risk to THE CORRUPT, and NO INVESTMENT in making sure that YOUR lives turn out okay....

but YOU THE PEOPLE ARE PAYING FOR THEM from the get go...


their risks are SOCIALIZED....part of our GOVERNMENT PAYOUT...


listen closely, the wealthy are on welfare, it's called tax breaks for the elite.....and development costs paid for corporations by citizens...

what do you think the _I_L_L_E_G_A_L_ invasion of IRAQ is about....you, the citizens, are paying the business expenses of BIG OIL...you pay the military to steal it

and _THEY_ get the oil deals and the rights to sell you at a huge profit the oil that your military captures for them...


and the soldiers???? they get less bennies than under Viet Nam, and they have to hire a lawyer to collect medical benefits even

if they got no legs.........or half a skull missing ??? see the film "Body of War."


how do you feel about those non-compete bids for HALLIBURTON, CARLYLE GROUP, and BLACKWATER


huh!!!!?


AMERICA????


palin 'n mcCain.....they're the puppets that evil wants to elect to stand in front of this corruption.....help them out,


keep them from going to hell....

don't vote for them.


.
don't send them to hell....


.

Posted by: tesser_actsoflove1 | October 13, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

I strongly disagree that Obama should provide more information than McCain. Were Obama to do so he would in effect "be measuring the drapes in the White House", something the public would find justly offensive.

It is ridiculous to expect either candidate to deal in hypotheticals. For insights, look to the record.

There is plenty of information about Obama, his stands, and the manner in which he runs his campaign. My perception is that he's an intellectually curious individual who is pragmatic more than dogmatic. His VP choice indicates he values a talented person who doesn't necessarily share all his opinions. In writing his own speeches, you can see Obama is able to synthesize, prioritize, and organize. He communicates well, listening as effectively as he speaks. He has stated his economic position in far greater detail than McCain has. Obama has worked with Republicans in the Illinois Senate, with Hagel, Lugar, and Coburn in US Senate and I see no reason to suspect he would change his bi-partisan pattern. He thought outside the primary political box in emphasizing voter registration drives and in having his people deal well with the caucases. He has developed a base of donors...millions of small donors. He is internet savy. He has maintained a cool head when those around him were urging him to heat up the rhetoric of the campaign.

There's a lot to like about Obama. His actions speak well for him. I don't think McCain can match him.

Posted by: Ceeee | October 13, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

First, he didn't write the first book; word is, it's been written by Ayers - compare it to his Fugitive SOn, same language, same structure and nothing like BO's actual writing - befoe or since. SO, no, not a good source for What The One Really Thinks...
And, the slander and defamation of character being hurled at Gov Palin ARE patently libellous, and BO is behind much of it. His minions plant false stories, perpetuate runors but worse - they carry out full-on assaults on her - physical, verbal, and emotional, calling for her to be stoned, aborted, beheaded, etc. This i sno different from the disgusting and vile assaults he made on Hillary, and now John McCain. Just because he doesn't do it from the stump doesn't exonerate him. Gov Palin has TONS more Courage than that whiny squirrel who hides behind his webmasters and his fightthesmear lies and his multiple versions of whathewasdoing and whenhewasdoingit and howhedidn'treally knowtheguy. She has the guts to ask the tough questions and how does he respond? "Taht's racist!" Good reposte, nice dodge, answer the question. Mature handling? Have you seen the Truth Squads at work? Have you heard about the complete clampdown on dissent? And talk about passive perpetuation of the lies and slander - get a clue!

Posted by: gaelgirl | October 13, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

We know who Obama is Mr. Balz. He is the candidate not having hissy fits and whipping crowds into frenzies of hate and prejudice. He is the candidate who has not lost his message to the American people.

He is the man who steadfastly talks about the problems tearing this country apart rather than acting out with school yard tactics on national media in an attempt to tear his opponent apart.

A better question might be who are you Dan Balz?

Write better.

Posted by: JWoode | October 13, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

This is a ridiculous argument. The existence of polls (and poll results) has no bearing on who should be asked "tough questions." It's irrelevant. It's a PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION -- both candidates should be asked tough questions.

That being said, the reality is that both of these candidates have been making their cases for over a year. If there exists an advantage of one candidate over the other in polls, perhaps, just perhaps, it's because of the way they've dealt with "tough questions" and more recently, the way they've handled themselves in "tough times."

Posted by: uretards | October 13, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

As for spending more in response to the looming recession: Yes, that's what government does in a recession. Spend more. Preferably on good jobs and projects that will give a long-term return on investment, like energy research and infrastructure repair. It doesn't make sense to say you supported his spending proposals until the economic storm hit, and now want the government to spend less. Unless you didn't learn anything at all from the Hoover response.

Posted by: Deborah5 | October 13, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

I love McCain's new slogan, "A man for troubled times." Didn't he steal that from Alice Cooper, "a troubled man for troubled times"?

Posted by: thrh | October 13, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Dude. There are two candidates for president. They should be held to the same standards. (One can skip Ralph and the parrot.)

In effect you are arguing "We'd better ask questions of Obama! If he looks at all iffy, we can go with McCain, who will look much better since we haven't been asking these same questions of him." This is rather transparent, no?

In September someone at TNR asked "If it's this weird now, what level of bizarreness will we reach in October?" Mr. Balz seeks to answer that question.

Posted by: Deborah5 | October 13, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Question: If no one who makes over 250k will get a tax increase, how does Obama explain what will happen when he eliminates the Bush tax cuts?

Posted by: Virgil1 | October 13, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Excuse you. No one questions Obama. He is The One we are all waiting for! He is God.

Posted by: Texan2007 | October 13, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Think of it like this: Barrock O'Bama - HE'S IRISH DAMMIT !

Posted by: Tomcat3 | October 13, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Balz tells us that" there ought not to be any moratorium on asking hard questions of both candidates right now". He wants us to forget McCain and focus on Obama.
EXCUSE ME!
We could write a book about how the media beginning with Johnny Apple [The New York Times late journalist] and so many of the DC/White House/Senate media plumbers have never really challenged McCain's hero role. They never seriously examined his role with the Keating 5; Fort Ord; his playboy role while in the Navy; why did he crash so many planes? His dad was the admiral. Read the latest issue of The Rolling Stone - good journalism.
http://www.rollingstone.com/news/coverstory/make_believe_maverick_the_real_john_mccain
The fact that he picked Sarah Palin should be enough to discredit him from the Presidency. I don't want her in charge of the ship if McCain croaks.
VOTE OBAMA!

Posted by: jcinsanmig2008 | October 13, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Remains of Alaska Separatist Are Identified
October 15, 1994

The blue tarp and duct tape in which the remains were wrapped, officials said, matched a description given by a convicted thief, Manfred West, who confessed last summer that he had killed Mr. Vogler in a plastic-explosives sale gone bad and had then buried him.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940CE3DB153CF936A25753C1A962958260

Here are some of the many despicable things that Joe Vogler said about the greatest nation on earth:

"The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government. And I won't be buried under their damn flag."

"My government is my worst enemy. I'm going to fight them with any means at hand."

The motto for the Alaskan Independence Party is "Alaska First! Alaska Always!"

Todd Palin joined the AIP one year after this article was published. He dropped his allegiance in 2002 when Sarah Palin ran for public office.

Country First? You betcha!

Posted by: wunderwood | October 13, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Wow, man you are some kind of spinner of the facts, aren't you. Last gasp of the GOP supporters I suppose.

Why don't you get it? The kinds of statments being shouted out at the rallys for McCain/Palin, even those from the candidates themselves, are slander and defamation of character to which I believe our justice system would consider patently libellous. Mr. Obama is to be commended for his mature handling of this stuff and your comments do not take him down in the least. You should be ashamed of yourself for passively supporting the lies and slanders on this man's character.

Posted by: lindalp | October 13, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

So you think Senator Obama still needs to put more information out there to tell Americans “who he is?” Really. Try his website. It is difficult to imagine how Mr. Balz ever secured a job with the Washington Post.

Posted by: BarryOR | October 13, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

"Other questions that ought to be raised include what his commitment to bipartisanship amounts to at this point."

Well, I'll bet it doesn't include questioning the patriotism of his opponent and suggesting he can be compared to bin Laden. Wait, didn't someone running for president just do that . . .

Posted by: renegade1 | October 13, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Dan and co,
this is ridiculous commentary. What question hasn't Obama answered that's appropriate in relation to policy? He keeps rolling out details (as much as can be when you're not yet in charge and doesn't know the make-up of Congress), in fact before the press asks for them. Then they're just ignored. What's great about Obama is that he mostly tries to anticipate and address, instead of reacting from the gut. When he has to react, he carefully gets the lay of the land (which is not the same as just reading the polls) before providing measured responses.

Posted by: karstrial | October 13, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

This Balz article is amazing. If the question is about Obama the man, he's been running for two years and you suddenly have questions? If it's about the crisis that is unfolding as we speak, you really think an immediate, from-the-hip plan/approach/solution is what is required? Obama's an open book, which is perhaps why he seems so intriguing to those whose job is to dig. But the crisis is so momentous that the last thing we need is yet another cowboy approach to its solution. The real question is: where is the Washington Post we knew?

Posted by: Makhno1 | October 13, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Ahh, I guess your head has been in the ground for the last two years.

Posted by: Brigadere | October 13, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

1. Ayers, Rezko, ACORN?

2. How do you cut taxes for 95% of the country when 40% don't pay any income tax as it is?

3. What's FAIR about making the 5% of this country that already shoulders 40% of the tax burden pay even more?

Yes, he should be questioned extensively...but he won't be.

We should call him Obama-wan-kenobi. All he needs to do is wave his hand and say, "You don't need to ask me these questions." And the press will nod and say, "We don't need to ask him these questions."

Posted by: causeisaidso | October 13, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Watch Hank Williams JR- "The McCain-Palin Tradition" Vid

http://www.mccain08-hillary2012.blogspot.com/

Posted by: dcpsychic | October 13, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm tired of so many of the old white guys:Balz, Broder, the Bushes, Paulsen, Bernanke, Greenspan and now McCain.
They have allowed this country to disintegrate. Week after week, old white journalists in the newspapers, TV and talk radio tell us "some say the world is flat and some tell us it's round." They rarely sit, think, analyze and give thoughtful analysis about anything. They only report what the idiots have told them. We no longer want that.
I suggest Dan Balz and everyone get a copy of THE ATLANTIC, September edition, 2008, James Fallows'[ a thoughtful white guy] article or better yet read it on the internet if you even know how to download it:
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200809/fallows-debates.
Fallows says a lot of great things but towards the end he summarizes what so many of us have noticed about Obama: [1] "the fact that Obama’s most important speeches are short on eight-point action plans is a strength rather than a weakness: it’s a sign that serious business will be done."
And finally he says: [2]"For better and worse, if Obama wins, a thinking president is what we’ll have."
A THINKING PRESIDENT. How refreshing!
VOTE OBAMA
A disgusted angry old white guy!!!

Posted by: jcinsanmig2008 | October 13, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Repeat after me:

President Barack Obama...

Posted by: jerkhoff | October 13, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

AMERICA IS IN DANGER!
OBAMA’S POLITICAL CAREER STARTED WITH HIS AFFILIATION WITH WILLIAM AYERS AND BERNARDINE DOHRN, THE UNREPENTANT TERRORISTS ... part of “The Weathermen” terrorist group which launched a campaign to bomb" the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol. In the 90’s, both “Community Organizers” Ayers and Obama worked together for years, radicalizing the Chicago school system.

At a 1969 "War Council" in Flint, Michigan, Weatherman leaders Ayer and Bernardine Dohrn proclaimed that the time had come to launch a war against "Amerikkka". The Weather Underground went on to claim credit for some 25 bombings over the next several years, detonating explosives at the rebuilt Haymarket statue, a bathroom at the Pentagon, the Capitol barber shop, the New York City police headquarters, and a variety of other targets.

BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA’S CLOSE ASSOCIATION WITH RADICAL EXTREMISTS PUTS AMERICA IN DANGER of being taken over by a group of radical terrorists that would “change” America as Obama has promised;…but the change would be to fulfill the dreams of the Weathermen of overthrowing capitalism and launching a race war against the “white” United States.

AMERICANS OF ALL PARTIES MUST COME TOGETHER AND DEFEND OUR COUNTRY against dangerous terrorists and vote for a True American Patriot, John McCain!

AMERICA FIRST!
JOHN MCCAIN AND SARAH PALIN

Posted by: Manolete | October 13, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Michael Barone, a syndicated columnist for Newsweek (hardly a conservative publication) wrote this:

"I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors," Barack Obama told a crowd in Elko, Nev. "I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face." Actually, Obama supporters are doing a lot more than getting into people's faces. They seem determined to shut people up.

That's what Obama supporters, alerted by campaign e-mails, did when conservative Stanley Kurtz appeared on Milt Rosenberg's WGN radio program in Chicago. Mr. Kurtz had been researching Mr. Obama's relationship with unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers in Chicago Annenberg Challenge papers in the Richard J. Daley Library in Chicago - papers that were closed off to him for some days, apparently at the behest of Obama supporters.

Obama fans jammed WGN's phone lines and sent in hundreds of protest e-mails. The message was clear to anyone who would follow Mr. Rosenberg's example. We will make trouble for you if you let anyone make the case against The One.

Other Obama supporters have threatened critics with criminal prosecution. In September, St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch and St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce warned citizens that they would bring criminal libel prosecutions against anyone who made statements against Mr. Obama that were "false." I had been under the impression that the Alien and Sedition Acts had gone out of existence in 1801-'02. Not so, apparently, in metropolitan St. Louis. Similarly, the Obama campaign called for a criminal investigation of the American Issues Project when it ran ads highlighting Mr. Obama's ties to Mr. Ayers.

These attempts to shut down political speech have become routine for liberals. Congressional Democrats sought to reimpose the "fairness doctrine" on broadcasters, which until it was repealed in the 1980s required equal time for different points of view. The motive was plain: to shut down the one conservative-leaning communications medium, talk radio. Liberal talk-show hosts have mostly failed to draw audiences, and many liberals can't abide having citizens hear contrary views.

-------------------------------------------

Obama wants to eliminate our 1st Amendment rights. Anyone who disagrees with him will be prosecuted (AKA persecuted), threatened, or attacked. Heil Obama! What is the difference between liberal thugs and supporters of Hitler, Stalin or Castro.

Posted by: Dodgers1 | October 13, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

You've got to be kidding. Haven't you been reading the research, Balz? 75% of the press on Obama has been negative.

I think it's more than that.

What the heck hasn't been gone over with a fine-toothed comb?


On the other hand, there are a ton of unanswered questions about McCain, starting with his infidelity. You want to know who Obama palled around with...what about McCain?

McCain hasn't been faithful to the women he claims to love, so what happens to the country he promises will come first?


There's no freaking way I'm voting for McCain, and this article doesn't do a bit to change that.

Posted by: michaelfairbanks | October 13, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Hey Dan, Obama has had reporters surrounding him for the past two years. He has endured more than 20 debates and been on almost all the news shows. He has provided sober assessments of issues, provided detailed positions on tons of topics and has shown he can actually think, something not reflected in our current president. Just what is it that you think needs to be asked of him that has not already been asked a zillion times? It is not like he is Palin, ducking the press. Your column sounds like it was written by the RNC.

Posted by: Pearl77 | October 13, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

1. The media should always be asking serious questions of all candidates, not looking at polls and deciding who needs slowing down and who needs a boost.

2. The press is polymorphous and can focus attention on more than one candidate at a time.

3. When this election is over everyone is going to be amazed at the amount of policy info the Obama campaign has made available (much of it via the internet), and at Palin's success at getting around professional journalists.

Not to confuse issues, Dan, but as others have pointed out, Obama has been campaigning and answering questions for 20 months. Sara Palin was introduced to the public this summer.

I'm still waiting for the Palin press conference. You know the one where someone challenges her, follows up, and demands references.

Posted by: protagoras | October 13, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Dan posted this article early on October 13, before Obama's major address on the economy. I think the reports on that speech, understandably, are taking a "horse race" tone, looking for isolated bits of news. The overall speech, however, does a great job in answering many of the concerns in Balz's article. I strongly recommend viewing the entire speech for yourself to see what you think: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxQcYiLKWqs&feature=user

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | October 13, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Some of you forget McCain said he did not love his country till he was a POW and now he uses that term as much as he can to deflect anything about himself for any reason.Fact check is truthful most just don't like it cause it shows their canidate in a bad light ,which ever one it is.I do have to say fact checker has found that The McCain/Palin people especially the two of them have either outright lied or stretched the truth way past the breaking point much more often than the Obama camp did,Just the facts folks

Posted by: bennie1 | October 13, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

To PA_DC
I totally agree with you. Obama is a degreed intelligent. Most democrats are even thoug I am not a democrat. I just quote from Paul Krugman(Nobel winner in Economics from Princeton)...
.... saying the Republican candidate is "more frightening now than he was a few weeks ago" and earlier that the GOP has become "the party of stupid."
The URL is
http://money.cnn.com/2008/10/13/news/economy/nobel_prize.ap/index.htm?postversion=2008101309

Posted by: mnseeker | October 13, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Obama's published 2 books, he's been interviewed hundreds of times over the past 18 months, has participated in numerous debates during the primary season and 2 with McCain. Yet you still don't know who the man is? I'd suggest you spend more time reading and listening and less time bloviating.

Posted by: interestingtimes | October 13, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

The first and last question for McCain is:

How stupid do you think the people of the US of A should be to ignore your judgment in picking a completely unqualified running mate?

Posted by: mdpilot | October 13, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

The ONLY presidential candidate who ran his campaign like a tight ship is Barack Obama. No drama with staff, no financial problems, steady hand at the tiller guiding the O Team.

So much for experience....it is the Dick Cheneys, GW, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, all harking back to Bush Senior's administration that screwed up this country. Thank God for Obama!

Posted by: cile92 | October 13, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I do agree that the country deserves a serious issue oriented campaign isntead of personal attacks. But I disagree with your characterization of McCain's "new approach" such as his Obama is "planning with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid to raise taxes, increase spending, take away your right to vote by secret ballot in labor elections, and concede defeat in Iraq." It sounds like Obama is personally concealing his agenda on taxes even after his explicit position on income taxes increases only for the top 5%, and that Obama is a defeatist in Iraq. If that is not questioning Obama's motives then I don't know what is.

McCain, by his keeping his Rovian friends in charge of his campaign, at this point may talk somewhat less abusively and leaves the attack role to Palin, but deep down, his personal ambition and win-at-any-cost aproach is not going to change.

Posted by: steviana | October 13, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Balz sounds like McCain's great grandma after she's had a few.

Posted by: wtammelleo | October 13, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse


The Marxist Obama IS a lying deceitful political hack.

Obama is an arrogant empty suit South Chicago political street punk.

He has close relationships with terrorists, racists, ACORN, would side with Muslims and has a very incomplete past.

He has a very angry bitter racist anti American wife.

Obama should never get anywhere close to the White House.

Posted by: ChangeWhat | October 13, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Dodgers1.

It is sad Obama camp is extremely irritated when people try to find out more information on the unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist group because they know Obama can not stand tall on those issues. Do we Americans expect higher standards from a President?

Posted by: Hurt2008 | October 13, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Apparently some of you forget where John McCain got his start whenyou make allegations about Senaror obama and Mobs,.Cindt's father hda a big in with those people and he got McCain into politics is what I have read.So people in glass houses should not throw stones.I have never hear senator Obama say anyone was racist.Others may have but not him.where McCain and Palin have certainly fanned the flames of hatred and incitinf people to riot.Now they try to tone it down a day late and a dollar short

Posted by: bennie1 | October 13, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

He would probably answer like this:
Question 1

Sen Obama, what in your brief Senate career 3 years, most of it campaigning for President gives you the capability, knowledge or experience to command the world's great military or preside over the great country in the world?
I did/do believe that the Irag war should not have started but I like everyone else support the troops. I also have voted for the recent GI Bill that McCain did not vote for that would benifit troops. Even though, I did not serve in the Military, VoteforVets.org has given me a solid 'B' as oppose to McCain that got a 'D' when it comes to supporting laws and legistlation in supporting troops.


Question 2

Since you have never held a real job or run a real businees, do you think some Americans might have reason to doubt your abilities or fitness?
Well, I was a state senator from 1997-2004 and became a US senator in 2004-. I have also been serving the public since I came to Chicago almost twenty years ago. I have been campaigning for about twenty months.

Question 3

Do you really think if you were white, blacks would be voting in a monolithic block of 95 percent plus for you? and would that be considered racist?
Yes, they would, because blacks normally vote for democratic candidates. In 2000 Gore got 90% of the black vote, 2004 Kerry got 94%, So no it is not suprising. If I was a Republican I would not get the support. Look at Michael Steele in Maryland who is a Republican and only got 21% of the black vote in Maryland when he ran for senator 2 years ago. Ben Cardin who is white got 78%.

Posted by: chicago77 | October 13, 2008 8:53 PM

Posted by: d_garmon | October 13, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

You have questions? Ask them, but be careful what you wish for. Obama is a brilliant man and he'll win more and more support each time he gets "air" time. It's Sarah Palin that NEEDS to hide from the Media, not Sen. Obama. It's silly to blame Obama for the horrible campaign that McCain put forth. It was stunt after stunt. He is THE KING OF BACKFIRE.

Posted by: PA_DC | October 13, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

The premise of this lame piece is that only one candidate can be the "focus" of the media at one time. Hmm...interesting, given that the media is broader than the Milky Way galaxy, with lots of room and lots of supposed reporters capable of asking supposed questions. This is just one of those "Aw shucks, we're not 'liberal media' in the can for Obama" pieces. Laughable from the newspaper that was a key cheerleader for the Iraq War. "Liberal media." Now it's sulk time, for reporters and for McCain. "Measure the drapes." No, it's all just that McCain is a loser, plain and simple. So is Palin. But at least she's a loser with a future. McCain has none. If I was him I'd be having the drapes washed and ironed at his seven homes so he can retire off into the sunset where he deserves. He ran a desperate and befuddled and deplorable campaign, but after eight years of Bush we know all about deplorable. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Republican smears didn't kill the Dems and Republican mismanagement and lies did make the Dems stronger. Take your advantages when you can get them. Thanks for nothing but debt and a War Based on Lies and the perfection of smears, all you Republicans out there in Negativeland.

Posted by: Plutonium57 | October 13, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Michael Barone, a syndicated columnist for Newsweek (hardly a conservative publication) wrote this:

"I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors," Barack Obama told a crowd in Elko, Nev. "I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face." Actually, Obama supporters are doing a lot more than getting into people's faces. They seem determined to shut people up.

That's what Obama supporters, alerted by campaign e-mails, did when conservative Stanley Kurtz appeared on Milt Rosenberg's WGN radio program in Chicago. Mr. Kurtz had been researching Mr. Obama's relationship with unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers in Chicago Annenberg Challenge papers in the Richard J. Daley Library in Chicago - papers that were closed off to him for some days, apparently at the behest of Obama supporters.

Obama fans jammed WGN's phone lines and sent in hundreds of protest e-mails. The message was clear to anyone who would follow Mr. Rosenberg's example. We will make trouble for you if you let anyone make the case against The One.

Other Obama supporters have threatened critics with criminal prosecution. In September, St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch and St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce warned citizens that they would bring criminal libel prosecutions against anyone who made statements against Mr. Obama that were "false." I had been under the impression that the Alien and Sedition Acts had gone out of existence in 1801-'02. Not so, apparently, in metropolitan St. Louis. Similarly, the Obama campaign called for a criminal investigation of the American Issues Project when it ran ads highlighting Mr. Obama's ties to Mr. Ayers.

These attempts to shut down political speech have become routine for liberals. Congressional Democrats sought to reimpose the "fairness doctrine" on broadcasters, which until it was repealed in the 1980s required equal time for different points of view. The motive was plain: to shut down the one conservative-leaning communications medium, talk radio. Liberal talk-show hosts have mostly failed to draw audiences, and many liberals can't abide having citizens hear contrary views.

-------------------------------------------

Obama wants to eliminate our 1st Amendment rights. Anyone who disagrees with him will be prosecuted (AKA persecuted), threatened, or attacked. Heil Obama! What is the difference between liberal thugs and supporters of Hitler, Stalin or Castro.

Posted by: Dodgers1 | October 13, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse


Mr Balz,

You should have lead by example and listed at least 5 questions you wanted Obama to answer. But none of that stuff like?

1. Are you a muslim?
2. Are you an Arab?
3. Do you love America as much as McCain does?
4. Where is Reverend Wright?
5. What size shoe you wear?

You get me drift, right?

Posted by: jamdn463 | October 13, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

"Pelosi who oversaw a Congress with the lowest approval ever..."

I'm confused. Is this the same Congress that is projected to see huge Democratic gains on election day?

I believe so.

Posted by: castanea | October 13, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Obama tried to tie McCain to Bush. Do you know the difference between Obama and Pelosi who oversaw a Congress with the lowest approval ever! Is that called Obalosi?

Posted by: Hurt2008 | October 13, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

########################################

And you are trying to untie McCain from Bush. Do you really think, after eight years of republican corruption and incompetence, that the American people should just forget about it and vote for McCain?

As for ratings, Congress always has a lower rating that the president. You are comparing apples to oranges.

Posted by: maggots | October 13, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

My goodness, Mr Balz! Where have you been the last 20 months??
Seems to me you've not been paying much attention or you're totally inept, much like the Bush administration. Give me a break

Posted by: chasemanlv | October 13, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

"Having said that, Obama NEVER wrote for the Harvard Law Review."

Not surprising--he was the editor. Editors don't always write copy. Writers don't always edit.

You do understand the difference, don't you?

Smarter rightwing trolls, please.

Posted by: castanea | October 13, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

This is like the flavor of the week for McCain. Now he is ready to fight for us!

For what? Our right to party? Or the self-perceived rights of conservatives to keep ruling the roost in this nation?

Who knows what McCain will say next week.

Posted by: maggots | October 13, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Obama tried to tie McCain to Bush. Do you know the difference between Obama and Pelosi who oversaw a Congress with the lowest approval ever! Is that called Obalosi?

Posted by: Hurt2008 | October 13, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Lincoln served 1 term as a Representative. Then he ran for President. Seems like 8 years in the Il state legislature and 4 year in the Senate should suffice.

BTW -- seem McCain's sinking in the polls has gotten the luddite conservatives in a real racist lather...interesting.

Posted by: Dee_El | October 13, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

The liberal MSM has had 20 months to ask Senator Obama questions.

Instead the liberal MSM wasted their time asking if Senator Obama was a Muslim, what is his connection to Ayer's, Freddie and Fannie, about buying a house for less than the asking price, relationship to acorn, fist bumping, his health records, college transcripts, citizenship and the list goes on and on and on....

In the mean time the liberal MSM has given Senator McCain on selecting Gov. Palin, Palin's latest problem in Alaska, on McCain's missing 1200 page health records, for details on the his plans, what does he mean when he says he knows how to fix it......

Posted by: knjincvc | October 13, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

My goodness, Mr. Balz is right on top of things in the campaign world, and not a moment too soon. We've only been at it for two years. His advice to the news biz is timely.
In this call to arms, does he mean Obama should face tough questions or cheap shots? What's his pleasure?
And, by the way, soon Mr. Balz may even notice Captain America's forces are chronic complainers about press coverage. It's okay to have Gidget-Goes-To-Washington smear Obama with baseless allegations of 'pallng around with terrorists, and hurl other ripe moose manure, but it's off limits to delve into the McCain family's (Cindy's) real estate dealings with Charles Keating or to question why McCain gets the mantle of 'war hero' when he was a lousy pilot who crashed and who had the weird judgement to choose to stay in a POW camp when he could have returned to the field of battle and worked on his political resume.
McCain complains. It's called a media strategy. Some journalists fall for it. Others use it to try to pivot coverage their way, Mr. Balz.

Posted by: jmf3210 | October 13, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Clinton was the last good American President and hear they (Repubs) are worrying about Obama. Obama follows in Clinton's footsteps. Clinton left office with a budget surplus, oil at $30 a barrel and gas at $1.35 a gallon. Obama's tax plans, by the way, are going to help everybody by stimulating the economy and helping the middle class. He won't keep the Bush tax cuts on the top 5%, but most of them don't care. They will have so much more money anyway as the economy expands and the middle class spends. Most on Wall Street are big Obama supporters. Repub policies are nothing but a disaster for the markets and the economy. Both always do better under a Democratic President.

Posted by: magnifco1000 | October 13, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Whack jobs, you can say Ayers, Rezko, Muslim, Arab, Black, Terrorist etc, all you want, it isn't resonating with the public. It seems the more you say it the less the public wants to vote for Republicans.

I guess if you have a destruction complex, by all means, please, keep it up.

Not only do you sound stupid and racist, you prove you are.

Posted by: hmmmmmer | October 13, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

To Chicago77:

Here's the answer to your nonsensical questions:

Mr. Obama's 180 IQ. Makes him capable of doing the job.

Based on your rants your IQ is hovering around 60 percentile.

Posted by: cruzan99 | October 13, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

More serious questions of Obama would be great. Too bad we have to waste our time listening to baseless accusations and guilt by association. Less McCarthy and more serious questions would be grand.

Posted by: DWDKN | October 13, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

I am a Dem-turned McCain supporter. I totally disagree with those who tried to equate Obama to Ayers, to Wright or even to Bin Laden. However, to admire a mission that has promoted hatred in our own land for 20 years does not measure up to the higher standards we expect from our president.

Posted by: Hurt2008 | October 13, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

neocons


use the same three or four tools over and over,


variations on a single them....

the lie...

they use the same tools that the CIA uses...

in deposing OTHER democratically elected leaders of other countries...

George W's father,

George H.W. Bush started the "destroy the reputation," as _his_ major ploy....and

the neocons continue it as if it were the Holy Grail...

for example
"
IRAN CONTRA, Cheney to the Rescue

One of the key congressional Republicans fighting this rear-guard action was Rep. Dick Cheney of Wyoming, who became the ranking House Republican on the Iran-contra investigation. Cheney already enjoyed a favorable reputation in Washington as a steady conservative hand.

Cheney smartly exploited his relationship with Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind., who was chairman of the Iran-CONTRA panel. Hamilton cared deeply about his reputation for bipartisanship and the Republicans quickly exploited this fact.

A senior committee source said one of Cheney’’s top priorities was to block Democrats from deposing Vice President Bush about his Iran-contra knowledge. Cheney ““kept trying to intimidate Hamilton,”” the source said. ““He kept saying if we go down that road, we won’’t have bipartisanship.””

So, Hamilton gave Bush a pass. The limited investigation also gave little attention to other sensitive areas, such as contra-drug trafficking and the public diplomacy operation. They were pared down or tossed out altogether.

Despite surrendering to Cheney’’s demands time and again, Hamilton failed, in the end, to get a single House Republican to sign the final report.

Only three moderate Republicans on the Senate side –– Warren Rudman, William Cohen and Paul Trible –– agreed to sign the report, after extracting more concessions. Cheney and the other Republicans submitted a minority report that denied that any significant wrongdoing had occurred.

The watered-down Iran-contra majority report essentially let Vice President Bush off the hook. Bush’’s political career was saved.

With the Iran-contra scandal contained, Bush mounted a 1988 presidential campaign that set the modern standard for negativity, race-baiting and a win-at-all-cost ethic. In 1989, Cheney became Bush’’s defense secretary.
"

they CON tinue to use the same tactics of appeal to emotion,


with no truth, honesty or content...

let's examine some of the posters here...


heh hehh hehh

Posted by: tesser_actsoflove1 | October 13, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Millions of dollars funding these Socialist groups who in turn supoport the Lefist Democrat candidate, all at taxpayers expense, it's great isn't it?

Posted by: chicago77 | October 13, 2008 8:
-------------

Sounds good to me.

Posted by: davidscott1 | October 13, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Dan WTF would BO give answers to those questions before the election, you think he's stupid?

You'll find those answers methinks sometime after Nov 5th...You reporters will have 4-8 years to ask these and other questions, so quit trying act Polyannish and chill with the rest of your kind!

Posted by: vinkeith | October 13, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Obama will suck this country dry of any entreprenuerial and economic strength. he's a leech that wants to feed off the hard working Americans who pay taxes and create jobs for others. his protectionist idealism will only lead to the demise of our economy. He's the great equalizer of all non-working people and will drive American people to the lowest common denominator.

you democrats tell me how open-minded and "liberal" and tolerant you are, but no where is that shown or seen, unless it drives all people in American to lowest common denominator of mediocrity.

and you actually believe your charismatic man who professes to do no evil came out of the Old Chicago boys' network without doing anything ethically wrong??? you can't get elected into Chicago and Illinois positions without selling your soul. impossible. lowest common denominator in the U.S.A. just got lower.

Posted by: jbinnova | October 13, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

22 days left and Dan Baltz has decided that questions should be asked about the Democratic nominee for President.

What an effing hypocrite and what a cynical move. Is Balz trying to create some record of even-handedness, in the blank slate that is the Washington Post vetting of Barack Obama, that someone on the Post has questioned him?

Posted by: AsperGirl | October 13, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

prescient being that I am, I wrote this over a year ago....


we as a nation need to think of a strong, intelligent, well schooled citizenry as an asset....

not as Malaysians being cheaper than AMERICANS,

while our taxpayer base ERODES SO SIGNIFICANTLY THAT WE HAVE TO BORROW FROM FOREIGNERS TO KEEP OUR GOVERNMENT WORKING...

then when bushCO and CRONYs have moved all of their assets to DUBAI, and foreigners start taking over AMERICA's resources as debt repayment, and bushCO and CRONYs say, "that's not us,"

and the citizens are saying, "what happened to our once great country..."

because we let the "bottom liners," run things... get your head out of your buts...


if it's happening on George W. Bushes watch it's probably short term PROFIT TAKING THAT DOESNT BENEFIT THE NATION....


like deregulating the Savings and Loans, allowed the Savings and Loan industry to be looted....AND BAILED OUT...


STOP IT NOW !!!!!!!

and you won't need a BAIL OUT.

.

Posted by: tesser_actsoflove1 | October 13, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't take a genius to see the better candidate. Just watch the debates. Obama, most always, cool, calm and collected. Well reasoned statements and positions elaborated on across a range of issues. McCain, pacing back and forth, gritting his teeth. It's plainly evident he's trying hard to keep his anger in check. His positions, platitudes to American patriotism and restated old neocon positions. Essentially, Bush with an IQ. As for Palin, let's not even go there. She's a disgrace.

Posted by: magnifco1000 | October 13, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse


The Cult of Obama is out in force tonight & how dare you criticize the Dear Leader!!!

Dissent used to be patriotic. On November 5th, Dissent will be a racist hate-crime, punishable by post-viable abortion.

Cult of Obama unite!!

Posted by: rielle_hunter | October 13, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

This article is kind of ridiculous. Obama is in the home-stretch of a presidential campaign. He doesn't have the time to reformulate policy. Furthermore, he's shown repeatedly that he is flexible and able to adapt to circumstances. Balz is trying to look into the future to see what kind of president Obama will be, but there's no way to predict the future -- even Obama doesn't know what will happen. This is the kind of article journalists write when they have nothing substantial to say.

Posted by: CalebMurdock | October 13, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Dan, I know you'd like a closer contest but John McCain is killing his own campaign. This is not Obama's fault. One million voters a day are casting ballots.

Posted by: asja | October 13, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

"The Republicans in Congress lost their way," Greenspan wrote. "They swapped principle for power. They ended up with neither. They deserved to lose."


the liars here, won't tell you the truth...

they won't tell you that Greenspan called BILL CLINTON the best president for the economy


________________________EVER___________________


take back AMERICA people....


.destroy the republican party for what it has done to AMERICA.


thanks so much.

......

.

Posted by: tesser_actsoflove1 | October 13, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Palin was a disasterous choice by McCain. She knows nada about geopolitics and global economics. Lieberman would have united all Americans not just White 1950s phile.

Palin is a good ole girl who plays the race card. FOX News (O'Reilly and Hannity) is pure shanty clannish trash. While Perez, Marek, O'Neill, Petreca, McArtur, Jackson and Brown conducts themselves as a Band of Brothers in Iraq, they have been betrayed at home by 20th century bigots that seek to divide us rather than unite us at this time of global crisis.

Rest assured that the Spanish and British empires would never permit this cancer to spread. We can write our destiny provided we are united as a Band of Brothers. Otherwise we will be a second rate power like France, Russia, and Ottomans.

May God bless and keep America

Posted by: FloresdelaHoz | October 13, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

I regularly comment about drug trafficking being a part of bushCO and CRONYs

I think most of you probably put that off as "not a concern."

think about this. YOU as AMERICANS pay for addiction and it's cost. Not just in the cost of addicts, but in their thefts, their violence, prostitution, murder, court costs, Hospitalizations, mental institutions, accidents, shootings...poverty

SEARCH ON Gary Webb, Parry, CIA, Letter of Understanding...
the letter of understanding gives the CIA/IRAN_CONTRA people running the whitehouse the ability to drug traffick with impunity and keep profits w/o reporting them...how much profit is on 8,200 TONS of HEROIN??? that is what AFGHANISTAN produced this year...

struggles with heroin addiction scourge

By Hamid Shalizi
Sun Oct 14, 8:24 PM ET

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan, the world's biggest heroin producer.....

Afghanistan produced some 8,200 tonnes of opium in 2007, or 93 percent of the world's supply. More land is used to cultivate drugs in Afghanistan than Bolivia, Colombia and Peru combined, the United Nations says.

In the past, opium was smuggled abroad from Afghanistan and then processed into heroin before it hit the streets of Europe, the Indian sub-continent and the Middle East.


_THIS_ is bushCO and CRONYS not some liberal delusion...

take them down....show them the way home...

they care nothing for AMERICA...

they care nothing for you...

but THEY USE _Y_O_U_R__M_O_N_E_Y_


to fund their operations, as they retire to Buenos Aries

on your dime.

.you _own_ them, act like it.

Posted by: tesser_actsoflove1 | October 13, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

How dare you question the great Obama!

No dissent! No dissent! No dissent!

Posted by: rahaha | October 13, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

.


.


A great deal has been said of Obama as head of the Harvard Law Review - however the evidence is that he was voted into that position because the people thought it would be "cool" to have a black in there, not because he was more qualified than the other students.


Having said that, Obama NEVER wrote for the Harvard Law Review.


There is NOT ONE ARTICLE WRITTEN BY OBAMA IN THE HARVARD LAW REVIEW.


There is a pattern of Obama getting positions or jobs through affirmative action and then NOT doing those jobs.


1) First, he took a position in the class at Harvard Law School (from a white student) however Obama NEVER became a lawyer,


2) Obama became head of the Harvard Law Review, however Obama NEVER wrote a law review article.


3) Obama became a State Senator however Obama RARELY voted yes or not, voting present many many times - Emil Jones placed Obama's name on numerous bills which were Emil's work, and Obama took credit for Emil's work because someone decided that Obama was going to be pushed forward.


4) Obama was selected to be the Chairman of the SubCommittee to review NATO's role in Afghanistan however Obama NEVER held any hearings of this SubCommittee.


5) Obama was elected to the US Senator, however instead of doing his job as a Senator Obama went on a book tour and started a campaign for President - HOW MUCH TIME HAS HE REALLY SPENT ACTUALLY BEING A SENATOR ???

Sorry However NONE OF THIS IS IMPRESSIVE. In fact, it is rather sad.


Are you afraid to place such an inexperienced person in charge of the economy ???

.


.

Posted by: 37thandOStreet | October 13, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Obama has the intellectual capability and reasoning ability to be President. And, that's what counts right now. "Six Pack" Palin barely manages to keep up and old John is still stick in the "Nam.
Obama didn't grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth either and he graduated Harvard Law. Can Obama be successful? He certainly has done plenty of planning and it's easy to access what he proposes on his web site. Is he over-reaching? Perhaps? But after 8 years of no vision and no hope, what's wrong with that for a change. Visions can always be adjusted and changed, but having no vision and no ideas cannot be.

Posted by: magnifco1000 | October 13, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

An actual post from a typical Lefty: "Let's ask some hard questions: Should racism be tolerated in society, at presidential rallies, or in the voting booth?"

I agree. Racism should not be tolerated.

Obama & his surrogates should immediately concede the election for playing the race card against the Clintons, the Palins, the McCains, & everyone else who questions them.

Oh, you meant that racists shouldn't be allowed to vote? Are you going to head up that committee to point out the racists for us, Mr. Sharpton?

To all the Sharptonites, Dissent is not a racist hate-crime!!!

Posted by: rielle_hunter | October 13, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Dan Balz; drinking the Crystal City kool-aid while he takes his turn on the right wing tire swing. Obama is the most scrutinized candidate in recent American history. If McCain has been having to answer more questions recently it has everything to do with the bizarre nature of his campaign. Palin? PALIN?

And when will McCain be asked to answer questions regarding his ties to criminals? There;s Keating of course and G. Gordon Liddy; facsist, terrorist, convicted felon, perpetrator against the Constition and rule-of-law, and John McCain's BFF.

Posted by: HeavyD1 | October 13, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Question 1

Sen Obama, what in your brief Senate career 3 years, most of it campaigning for President gives you the capability, knowledge or experience to command the world's great military or preside over the great country in the world?

Question 2

Since you have never held a real job or run a real businees, do you think some Americans might have reason to doubt your abilities or fitness?

Question 3

Do you really think if you were white, blacks would be voting in a monolithic block of 95 percent plus for you? and would that be considered racist?

Posted by: chicago77 | October 13, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

HEY!!!!!!!!! A M E R I C A N S

what's wrong with the country and the current corrupt government ????


they enacted a _P_L_A_N_N_E_D_ rigging of a game,


the FINANCIAL MARKET place,

the wealthy have fixed it so

that the rules, PRIVATIZE PROFIT


while SOCAILIZEing RISK....


what does that mean???? it means if you know the right people, you can BET THE ECONOMY AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICA....without taking any personal risk...

IF _they_ ,

the filthy rich screw up, THEN,

YOU pay for it....Congress guarantees it...they pass the laws so that you have to handle bush and COMPANIES risks....

HOWsomeEVUH, IF you screw up you pay for that too....

if they send your jobs overseas and you can't pay your bills and your homes go into foreclosure and and you're sleeping in bus stops.....wellllllllllll


obviously that's your fault.


there's no risk to THE CORRUPT, and NO INVESTMENT in making sure that YOUR lives turn out okay....

but YOU THE PEOPLE ARE PAYING FOR THEM from the get go...


their risks are SOCIALIZED....part of our GOVERNMENT PAYOUT...


listen closely, the wealthy are on welfare, it's called tax breaks for the elite.....and development costs paid for corporations by citizens...

what do you think the _I_L_L_E_G_A_L_ invasion of IRAQ is about....you, the citizens, are paying the business expenses of BIG OIL...you pay the military to steal it

and _THEY_ get the oil deals and the rights to sell you at a huge profit the oil that your military captures for them...


and the soldiers???? they get less bennies than under Viet Nam, and they have to hire a lawyer to collect medical benefits even

if they got no legs.........or half a skull missing ??? see the film "Body of War."


how do you feel about those non-compete bids for HALLIBURTON, CARLYLE GROUP, and BLACKWATER


huh!!!!?


AMERICA????


palin 'n mcCain.....they're the puppets that evil wants to elect to stand in front of this corruption.....help them out,


keep them from going to hell....

don't vote for them.


.
don't send them to hell...you don't deserve them.


.

Posted by: tesser_actsoflove1 | October 13, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Make no mistake. I'm an Obama supporter. However neither nominee, in my opinion, has done much other than partisan politics as usual, retreating to their own respective 'corners'-the stances and talking points they've spouted since the conventions. If the questions that Mr. Balz puts forth are addressed by the Obama campaign, thoughtfully and truthfully, that could be the knock-out blow I for one have been waiting for. Mr. McCain has proven time and time again, no more so than in the past few weeks, that he is out-of-touch and has allowed his political ambition to change his once respectful stance. Hopefully on Wednesday, and over the next 3 weeks, we'll see the 'fight' in OBAMA and all but put this one to bed.

Posted by: Dreasimpson | October 13, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

right now I sense a certain...let's say....BITTERNESS?!!! HA!HA!!!!

Posted by: gq_online | October 13, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Yes it is true reporters and newspeople and media people in general lean to the left.
-------------------------------
First, this country has no "left."

Second, none of the major network news programs have adequately questioned the right. Republicans held the House from 1994 to 2006 and the entire government for four years. What did we get out of it besides a war and trillions in new debt? Abstinence-only sex education? Denial that global warming is caused by humans? Cmon. Today's Republican Party is an freaking nightmare.

Third, most US newspapers are Republican owned and endorse mostly Republican candidates.

It's 2008. Anyone who identifies with the Republican right today is not a thinking person.

Posted by: davidscott1 | October 13, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

who is John Mc Cain???

he's the heir apparent of the bush family business....certainly it's all bush people running his campaign...and they have been hiring and firing in Washington D.C. for 20 of the last 28 years....there's a lot of


bush family people EMBEDDED IN WASHINGTON D.C.

what does that mean to AMERICA ????

most of them don't have a mutha fxxxing clue as to what hit them....

but


look at the empty factories

look at customer service overseas

look at computer jobs, overseas

look at medical jobs going overseas

look at foreigners controlling former AMERICAN COPORATIONS, and making decisions based upon what is best for their "families," AND NOT EVEN considering what is best for AMERICA at all...


globalization ??? right....that's what it is.


if you consider the MAFIA a governing body


bushCO and CRONYs und families is ~= mafia


"~=" means is "approximately equal to"

bushCO und CRONYs ~= "ORGANIZED CRIMINALS"


republicans ~= bushCO und CRONY's

.they are the ones obstrucing.


they are the ones that had 6 years of UN VETOED PORK....


that's a fact...

republican majority got no vetoes.

.

Posted by: tesser_actsoflove1 | October 13, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Demonizing a group that works with the poor doesn't win you elections.

Let's ask some hard questions: Should racism be tolerated in society, at presidential rallies, or in the voting booth?

Should we continue to cut taxes leaving our next President with fewer resources to address our economic issues?

Should we continue a war based on a lie?

Seems pretty simple to me.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | October 13, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse


You heard it here first: Obama will win by the slimiest...oops I mean slimmest of margins.

ACORN & the Obama-cult will have succeeded in achieving the highest amount of voter fraud in US History. The people will scream for a re-vote because Obama stole the election.

Then Obama & his surrogates (Rev Wright, Sharpton) will accuse everyone of racism because people are clinging to old stereotypes of African-American men "stealing".

Finally, the "change you got deceived with" will result in the most divided country in history. And Dissent will be a hate-crime punishable by post-viable abortion.

Posted by: rielle_hunter | October 13, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

What a ridiculous statement, Obama has been questioned hard for almost a year now. By every news organization in the country, including the most adversarial cable news station, Fox News, by Bill O'Reilly no less.

McCain on the other hand has had a free ride. I don't hear the main stream media questioning his involvement in the Keating Five scandal and how it relates to the current financial mess, or his association with G. Gordon Liddy. McCain is the one who needs to answer the hard questions!

Give me a break!

Posted by: robfenwick | October 13, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Dan, the only person that needs to answer questions is Sarah Palin. Obama has debated and answered a ton of question. Chill out, your wish will not come true this NOV. Obama will be your new president and if you don't like it, Palin will show you the route to RUSSIA.

Posted by: okaforanthony | October 13, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Questions any candidate should have to answer:
-- How much deficit spending is appropriate to pull us out of economic crisis?
--- What will you do immediately to address global warming and start curbing greenhouse gases?
-- Medicare is not remotely sustainable financially in its present form. How will you address the long term disparity between projected obligations and funding?
Are you prepared to take on the obscene profits of the Medical/Drug/Insurance Complex?
-- The gap between rich and poor has exploded since 1980, and the wealthiest Americans pay less in taxes than the wealthy in most leading industrial nations. We are foregoing revenues that we cant afford to forego. Are you prepared to make America's rich help sustain the society that enabled their wealth?

Posted by: davidscott1 | October 13, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

The Chicago machine now controls the state Capitol in Springfield, they want DC bad.

Normal Americans don't yet understand the political connections of all these
Left-Wing "non-partisan" groups that do the bidding for our politicians here.

Millions of dollars funding these Socialist groups who in turn supoport the Lefist Democrat candidate, all at taxpayers expense, it's great isn't it?

Posted by: chicago77 | October 13, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Dan Balz makes a fair point that, even though we have read his 2 books, watched all of the debates and read his position papers on everything from Health Care to Welfare, it is the responsibility of an informed electorate to question their leaders even harder to ensure the success of this Democracy into the future. Mr. Balz is a great columnist and diligent American for suggesting that we completely vett our leaders.

My belief in Obama is iron-clad and I feel that, with the increased scrutiny, his popularity will grow even more and his ability to govern will be that much easier come January when he and his administration will be monumental.

Way to bring it mr. Balz!

Posted by: Linus66 | October 13, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

So let me get this straight. You think Obama should rethink his position in light of changing circumstances? Let me quote you:

"Changing circumstances have not changed his view of what can or should be done if he becomes president. It would be helpful to voters to know now, rather than after the election, whether he will take a zero-based look at everything and rearrange priorities."

Why not just concede. At least that would be honorable, rather than throwing red meat to the right wing wackos to fuel the fires of flip-flopper, for before he was against, etc. You really have to be kidding.

What good reason would he have to shoot himself in the foot with something like that? That is exactly what would happen.

I can see it now.

Posted by: CitizenX | October 13, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

During the same period that Bill Ayers was a member of the Weather Underground, Gordon Liddy was making plans to firebomb a Washington think tank, assassinate a prominent journalist, undertake the Watergate burglary, break into the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist, and kidnap anti-war protesters at the 1972 Republican convention.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carl-bernstein/ayers-and-the-mccain-g-go_b_134256.html

Posted by: lichtme | October 13, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize winner in economics, of Princeton University called McCain's economic plan frightening: "he has said Republicans are becoming "the party of the stupid" and that the economic meltdown made GOP presidential nominee John McCain "more frightening now than he was a few weeks ago."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081013/ap_on_bi_ge/eu_sweden_nobel_economics;_ylt=AhTa8kGpWx4S6Dhdvbw7HAKs0NUE

Posted by: leiguo1959 | October 13, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

LIDDY: Your experience in the Hanoi Hilton is remarkable. I mean, I put in five years in a prison [for masterminding the Watergate burglary, and associated crimes], but it was here in the United States, and they didn't torture - the only torture that I had was being forced to listen to rap music from time to time.
McCAIN: Well, you know, I'm proud of you. I'm proud of your family. I'm proud to know your son, Tom, who's a great and wonderful guy. And it's always a pleasure for me to come on your program, Gordon. And congratulations on your continued success and adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great.

Which of Liddy's "principles and philosophies" was McCain referring to? Liddy's advocacy of break-ins? Firebombings? Assassinations? Kidnappings? Taking target practice with figures nicknamed Bill and Hillary?

Posted by: lichtme | October 13, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Bolz.

Posted by: Hurt2008 | October 13, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Phony Polls had Carter ahead of Reagan too!

GO McCain We are with YOU on ELECTION DAY,
The Poll the counts!

Posted by: chicago77 | October 13, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

chicago77: Here's an idea - ask yourself the real question. Do you actually believe somebody who was registered as Mickey Mouse would actually appear at the voting booth and try to cast his/her vote under that name. Get real ! One of two things has happened : either some republican hack has filled in the false registration forms in the name of Acorn or, much more likely, Acorn pays people by the sheet for completed registration forms and the smart guys have been sat drinking a beer in while filling in forms by the dozen to get their pay. Don't be so simple minded about the "attempted registration fraud" it just dozen jive

Posted by: aredee | October 13, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

McCain attended ACORN rally

Miami, Florida – February 20, 2006 ― Leaders from a diverse array of sectors will hold a rally in Miami on Thursday, February 23, 2006, in support of comprehensive immigration reform in an effort to keep immigration reform at the forefront of the public debate. Leaders from both political parties, immigrant communities, labor, business, and religious organizations will gather to call on Washington to enact workable reform.

The rally will feature Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as the headline speaker along with elected officials, immigrants and key local and national leaders. Sen. McCain is one of the chief sponsors of the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act; bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform legislation introduced last Congress and scheduled for consideration by the Senate in the coming weeks. A similar rally with Sen. McCain is planned for New York City on February 27 [...]

The rally in Miami is being sponsored by the New American Opportunity campaign (NAOC) in partnership with ACORN

Posted by: lichtme | October 13, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Yes, we need to ask Obama the really tough ones, like "Have you stopped beating your wife?" or "Are you still having an affair with Laura Bush?"

Posted by: daweeni | October 13, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Sure, Senator Obama should have to answer some difficult questions -- but for the sake of the country, how about after he wins the election. Do you really want another four years of Republican misrule? I absolutely do not! No McCain, no Palin no way!

Posted by: bkogan | October 13, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Obama WILL NOT get my vote, even if the FAKE LEFT WING BIASED NEWS POLLS have him leading by 99 percent!
-------------------------------
Now now John -- go read up for your debate. And didnt anyone tell you that even Fox News's poll has you getting clobbered?

Posted by: davidscott1 | October 13, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Carl Bernstein moves the Liddy/McCain connection a little closer to the mainstream. It really is a remarkable: a mainstream candidate proactively sought - and recently - the approval of a convicted terrorist whom the candidate knew was a terrorist. (Obama had no idea of Ayers' previous history.) McCain went so far as to praise Liddy's "principles and philosophies!" I'm with Carl on this:

McCain should be asked at the debate to tell the American people exactly which "principles and philosophies" Liddy holds that he agrees with.

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/

Posted by: lichtme | October 13, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

This is too funny, the article is about Obama, and all you obamacrats can do is bring up Palin?

I can't wait until you all get smoked on Nov 4th, come on GOP and let's go McCain.

True Americans for McCain/Palin 08

Posted by: blevins20061 | October 13, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

If You want Chicago machine, ACORN style phony "voters" running the country you are about to get a taste of what we have put up with here for decades.

GO for it chumps!

Posted by: chicago77 | October 13, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

After 6 or 7 weeks of increasingly strident character assassination, to the point of hysteria, has faied to have its intended result, Mr. Balz now thinks that Obama's campaign will fold if he's asked tough questions on substance? Not even really on substance, but on McCain's falsehoods about Obama's positions on taxes, spending, Iraq, and his one-sided unthinking position on the union check-off card issue.

Obama has no obligation to answer McCain's lies. He's obligated to point out the falsehoods and state his positions as clearly as possible.

Anyway, has McCain really abandoned the character assassination aspect of his campaign, or just decided to delegate it to his underlings, like the chairman of the Virginia GOP yesterday trying to draw a link between Obama and bin Laden? How classy!!!!

The truth is that McCain has followed the GOP game plan, himself trying to substitute the usual GOP fare of hate, fear, inuendo, and pandering to xenophobia and ignorance, self-righteous religiosity, and blind patriotism for substance.

Posted by: bfieldk | October 13, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

McCain's answers have been much more vague than Obama's

-----------------------------------------

Nonsense. McCain has given several plans while Obama has been relatively quiet with only a few ideas here and there.

You are not listening.

Posted by: celested9 | October 13, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Obama WILL NOT get my vote, even if the FAKE LEFT WING BIASED NEWS POLLS have him leading by 99 percent!

Posted by: chicago77 | October 13, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

I think if you actually look that Obama has answered a lot more questions than McCain has. And that would go 10 times for Biden/Palin. But somehow the right still twists everything around--their only hope

Posted by: taid | October 13, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

chicago77: Unfortunately statistics show that McCain/Palin's negative ads far outnumber (about 3:1) the negatives coming from Obama/Biden. It's the classic example of people living in glass houses throwing stones. No sense in playing the one who's been hurt now - McCain should have anticipated the effect of negative advertising.

Posted by: aredee | October 13, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Yes it is true reporters and newspeople and media people in general lean to the left. But, what is anoying is their constant overcompensation. This works to the advantage of the conservatives. It is really tiresome the far-fetched arguments reporters, like Balz here, come up with. Ask question to Obama??? DUH! Yes that's an idea. That's laughable. What can Obama, or any reasonable person say about the fincancial crises, but to do what is beign done right now? Conservatives should stop whinning. The left tilt works to their advantage.

Posted by: RegisUrgel | October 13, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

dcsportsfan1

Hey, Obama's medical records, his college records, his Annenberg years and on and on. They are all important.

His medical records should be a no brainer for this so called young, vibrant "stud".

So why the hangup? Yes, give us your medical records.....or we shouldn't vote for you.

Posted by: celested9 | October 13, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

actually thought it was a fair article. It wouldn't matter if McCain got up and walked on water at this point he can do no right in most peoples opinions. So I appreciated the questioning of where Obama would take our country if elected President; that is a valid question, one that he really hasn't answered (don't kid yourselves). But I would expect his supporters to jump to his defense and ridicule McCain because that is what the election has turned into: crucifying one candidate without really looking at the other. I thought that was the jist of the article; encouraging people to ask questions and get straight answers instead of laying back and letting the momentum of current events carry you through.

Posted by: amirja99 | October 13, 2008 8:08 PM


Excellent points all.

They do NOT want to answer any questions that would make voters STOP and THINK about where Obama is going to take this nation.

Posted by: chicago77 | October 13, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

rielle_hunter: Since you blindly insist on making this statement - could you please clarify us as to why Rev Wright qualifies to be called "racist" Please look up the dictionary definition of the word first

Posted by: aredee | October 13, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

au contraire

He is leading in the polls BECAUSE he has answered questions.

Posted by: osroe | October 13, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Obama will win on November 4th.
Here is my bumper sticker on November 5th:

Obama lied,
Taxes rise,
More soldiers died,
Racism still alive (thanks to Reverend Wright)

Posted by: rielle_hunter | October 13, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

We should be concentrating on MCain for his dirty tactics which he's hard pressed to lighten-up on Obama:
http://www.rollingstone.com/news/coverstory/make_believe_maverick_the_real_john_mccain

Posted by: grdn_nell | October 13, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Clearly Obamma, you OWE answers to Dan Balz...another journalist like Sarah Palin! oh, wait, Balz is a political journalist not a sports journalist...I guess that's different.

Posted by: mgardner666 | October 13, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Christopher Hitchens has endorsed Obama. Game. Set. Match! Your convention was a Klan rally. You should be mounted on ponies, sucking a frozen margarita in a 2008 cool, loose-fitting, earth tone sheet with spooky holes encased in glitter at the feet of Stone Mountain with General Nate extolling the virtue of white superiority, white flour, white power and white phosphorous and innate stupidity beneath a harvest moon with a fiery cross for effect! Nineteen Saudis attacked us and Republicans are writing ten billion a month in bad checks the Klan ain't paying to steal oil. Bad, Bad, Bad Klan BUBBA! Put down the dead bodies, the oil can and slowly back away Bubba! Bubba McMoron is machine gunning "barbarians" into fruit stands downtown Baghdad from an illegal combatant, Blackwater, our rep from Jesus, the American Way and a brand spanking new Fallujah KFC. God Bless Bloody Oil!! Grand Oil Party, daid on arrival!!

Posted by: rhyer | October 13, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

The majority of the print and broadcast media (80 percent) and counting are Democrats, who support the Democratic Party nominee relentlessly.

It's amazing to me that the public can make indepedent informed choices anymore.

The media has completely abandoned any attachment to truth seeking or unbiased reporting, they are simply an organ of the Democrat/Socialist Party now.

Personally, I will vote for any candidate thet the media endorses and shills for.

Posted by: chicago77 | October 13, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

McCAIN/PALIN: HISTORIC TICKET??? MAYBE IN THE BAD SENSE.

Now that Sarah Palin has been found to have abused her powers, violated state ethics, and lied about it, I did a little digging and found an interesting historical footnote.

The McCain/Palin ticket is the first in American history in which both candidates were found to have violated ethics standards before a national election.

McCain, of course, was admonished by Senate Ethics Committee "for exercising 'poor judgment' for intervening" with federal regulators on behalf of Charles Keating, as part of the infamous Keating Five scandal.

And now McCain's running mate has also been found to have violated state ethics laws and abused the powers of her office, as part of the "Troopergate" scandal.

The nation has had 102 major-party tickets covering 51 presidential elections over more than two centuries. And we've never had a ticket in which both candidates on the same ticket were responsible for ethics violations before a national election. McCain/Palin is the first.

It makes the whole "reform" pitch a little more difficult, doesn't it?

Posted by: d_hyperion | October 13, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I actually thought it was a fair article. It wouldn't matter if McCain got up and walked on water at this point he can do no right in most peoples opinions. So I appreciated the questioning of where Obama would take our country if elected President; that is a valid question, one that he really hasn't answered (don't kid yourselves). But I would expect his supporters to jump to his defense and ridicule McCain because that is what the election has turned into: crucifying one candidate without really looking at the other. I thought that was the jist of the article; encouraging people to ask questions and get straight answers instead of laying back and letting the momentum of current events carry you through.

Posted by: amirja99 | October 13, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Ii wonder why obama does not produce his medical records. his dr's letter indicated he had a rash. he was in his 20's when he started to see this dr. i wonder if RASH is a code word for some kind of VD. tha he does not want the public to know about. i also wonder why he has spend thousands of dollars on legal fees in order not to produce a certified copy of his birth certificate. both these matters the public has a right to know.

Posted by: ls4118 | October 13, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

just the kind of really important stuff that will really determine how to choose our next leader. a rash in his 20s? please, you're a moron. and two clicks on the intertubes will produce a certified copy of his birth certificate.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | October 13, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

rielle_hunter: Wrong again ! The concept of race in the US usually implies color. I don't believe Rev. Wright said "God damn WHITE America" but generalized his statement to all America - so how is that racist ?
Doesn't he have the right to criticize his own country ? Or would he only be allowed to do that if he was WHITE ? Whatever happened to the right of free speech ?

Posted by: aredee | October 13, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Please do, keep asking the hard questions. Barack Obama has not only been answering hard questions for the two years that he's been campaigning, he's been asking them of himself for most of his forty-seven.

That's what we like about him. He does not run away from hard questions AND he is self-probing.

Have you read "Dreams from My Father"?

Barack Obama wrote that book -- an absolute masterpiece of a memoir -- when he was thirty-four years old. That book is one long stream of self-questioning, like nothing I've ever seen!

I would have you start there; then I would like you to read his other book, "The Audacity of Hope," which is his reflections on politics and his own political mindset. Again, he asks himself many questions ... and forthrightly answers them, too.

Oh, I know -- you're wondering if he's a Muslim!

Never mind.

Posted by: terry1960 | October 13, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse


Balz wonders if Obama is considering
financial steps. Doesn't mention that the natural leader Obama has at his disposal a quartet of the most trusted and talented men in the country. They've been named publically. Stood around him.

And Balz' rationale for taking some snitty criticisms of Obama, are silly. Particularly since he was on talking head shows all weekend saying McCain can catch up. And crying the blues about how the McCain campaign says it's not getting loving press.

Like Hiatt and some of the other woe is me
wapo columnists lately, he's sounding bush league.

Posted by: whistling | October 13, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse


Senator Obama, you & your surrogates have called the Clintons, the Palins, & the McCains "racists" several times in the last 3 months.

Is everyone but you & Reverend Wright a racist?

Posted by: rielle_hunter | October 13, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Please do, keep asking the hard questions. Barack Obama has not only been answering hard questions for more than two years, he's been asking them of himself for most of his forty-seven.

That's what we like about him. He does not run away from hard questions AND he is self-probing.

Have you read "Dreams from My Father"?

Barack Obama wrote that book -- an absolute masterpiece of a memoir -- when he was thirty-four years old. That book is one long stream of self-questioning, like nothing I've ever seen!

I would have you start there; then I would like you to read his other book, "The Audacity of Hope," which is his reflections on politics and his own political mindset. Again, he asks himself many questions ... and forthrightly answers them, too.

Oh, I know -- you're wondering if he's a Muslim!

Never mind.

Posted by: terry1960 | October 13, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Shame on you liberal media for not doing your job! You are hurting the American people and our democracy by giving Obama a free ride!

Shame on you!

http://www.obamaunveiled.com

Posted by: nnia | October 13, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

k.jarrell01@comcast.net: The right of citizenship through place of birth is one route. If you look you'll probably also find that having a US citizen as a parent is another. So don't waste your time trying to imply Obama doesn't qualify. With respect to Mr Ayers and the non-association with him, you might also reflect on McCain's association with him ! After all, the Anenberg family foundation that Ayers worked with is also the foundation of the family that publicly supports McCain - doesn't that make McCain and "associate" of Ayers by the same logic of association you use for Obama ?

Posted by: aredee | October 13, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Nice to see reason and logic surging to the forefront of political debate.

If Obama wins the election and spends the next 8 years proving a competent White House can make as much of a positive difference as Bush's has been negative, I would think some of you might step forward and apologize.

But I bet instead you will be here ranting about how much better it would have been had a Republican been in charge and everything good in the world 2008-2016 was all W's doing.

people are so predictable.

Posted by: starthom | October 13, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse


Great column. Makes me think that the media had better ratchet it up and get the questions Mr. Balz asks, answered. Bob Shiefer had better get this right in the debate. Let's see how Obama really thinks on his feet. It is despairingly obvious that he hasn't had an original thought all campaign, now is hardly the time for on the job training.

This is not a Hollywood Audition. We are picking a President not an underwear model.

Posted by: PeteKent | October 13, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse


"90% of the media are in the tank for Obama" - Terry McAuliffe, Democrap

"MSNBC's coverage of Obama was embarassing" - Ed Rendell, Democrap

You can believe these 2 quotes because Democraps never lie.

Case closed. You heard it from the horse's ***.

Posted by: rielle_hunter | October 13, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Magoo who's 72 and an idiot hand picked another idiot to be sidekick. I am a real print journalist and my profession has been beaten comatose by corporate purchase of dailies and cable, General Electric owns NBC and AOL Time Warner own CNN. They publish the corporate news you need to murder a million Iraqis in cold blood after nineteen Saudis attacked us and somehow think it's for their betterment. But Bubba Big Oil already had an oil deal with the House of Saud so they fly away Sept. 13. Who's your Daddy Republicans? Sooooooooooooo Republican Big Oil parasites told our kids they'd die from an atomic bomb if we didn't forget about Bin Laden and overthrow Saddam to privatize his oil and make hundreds of billions in oil contracts in an illegal act of war! Soooooooooo, Republicans who are still tooooooooo stupid to understand they murder their kids for Hunt and Halliburton oil contracts can still consider voting for the murderers of their kids, all planned, all orchestrated and all censored by our corporate news waving an American flag near you. Take your nation back and help print journalists get their jobs back. Open newspapers and tell the truth. It is essential for our survival. Vote Obama and take pity on yourselves! Good luck and make Hunt and Halliburton oil companies explain how Kurdistan became "autonomous" and how they got illegal oil contracts and how Ray Hunt got on the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board only two weeks after 9-11 and 12 days after the House of Saud flew home in our jets with our fuel and our taxpayer paid escort, ALL HAND DELIVERED BY THE BLOODY OIL THIEVING REPUBLICAN HANDS OF GOD. "Stupid is as stupid does." Forrest

Posted by: rhyer | October 13, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Ii wonder why obama does not produce his medical records. his dr's letter indicated he had a rash. he was in his 20's when he started to see this dr. i wonder if RASH is a code word for some kind of VD. tha he does not want the public to know about. i also wonder why he has spend thousands of dollars on legal fees in order not to produce a certified copy of his birth certificate. both these matters the public has a right to know.

Posted by: ls4118 | October 13, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

In some sense Balz is right. Obama should be spearheading nationalization of some U.S. banks. He's got a fresh Nobel-prize winner on his side. McCain is reportedly coming up with, yet a new economic plan. Whatever strange concoction he comes up with this time, I doubt he will push for nationalizing banks. Obama better be ready on Wednesday.

Posted by: RegisUrgel | October 13, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Dan, I have a question I wish someone in the media will ask Barack Obama, since none of his minions will.

When you taught Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago Law School, exactly what was the subject matter and what reference material did you use? For example, did you cover voting and voting registration, and was any of your source material from the group ACORN?

Posted by: ross3 | October 13, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

I know that reporters like Mr. Balz mostly regard this topic as passe, but NASA Chief Scientist James Hansen and others warn that unless we act soon on global warming, we may pass a tipping point where we can no longer avoid an environmental castastrophe.

Mark my words: global warming will be a world crisis and dominant topic long after the questions Mr. Balz prefers to discuss have faded into history. The US media has colossally failed its responsibility to address this.

Posted by: davidscott1 | October 13, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Alaska politics are strange. They have a very high number of corrupt politicians. (KTUU.COM) They have the highest crime rate in the country. Rape and murder against woman doubles the national average. In Alaska you can receive per diem payments for staying at home and it will not count to as income. Palin owes taxes but it is not an issue with the IRS.
Alaska receive money for a bridge and a road to no where and its not important. Abuse of Power by it governor, and its ok. What a dump.

Posted by: MILLER123 | October 13, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

It is without president that Obama has refused to offer us a valid copy of his birth certificate. Secondly, he has hidden all of his college recoreds. Much of his early years is murky at best. There is discussion that he was actually born someplace other than Hawaii, yet he refuses to show the proof that American is entitled to.
Finally, his associations with so many less than reputable people should be enough to prove to America that his inability to make good solid decisions is enough for us to deny him the Presidency. There is simply something there that offers too many chances of lies and falsehoods.
Michelle is hidden these days leading up to the final 3 weeks before the election. Why is this? They afraid she will blow it again and there won't be enough time to cover up her lies and rude statements?
Where is Rev.Wright, and Ayers? Are they enprisoned someplace now to keep them quiet?
There is so much we simply just don't know about this man, and so much we do know. We know well that he is encapable of leading all of America in a fair and open manner.

Posted by: k.jarrell01@comcast.net | October 13, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

dang! not one word about... grandmother,his half-brother and half-sister,Tamar Yonah, Kapiolani Medical Center, Queens Medical Center, Jerome Corsi, Antoin "Tony" Rezko, Rod Blagojevich, Saul Alinsky, L. DAVID ALINSKY, Jeremiah Wright and lets not forget Alexi.......

Posted by: madmilker | October 13, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Balz--The Post really should demand you add a republican disclosure tag next to your name. Although your partisan bias is always obvious, as a matter of professional integrity, surrogates always disclose their party affiliation. It perfectly acceptable for a journalist to endorse a candidate--we see it all the time. When a journalist has strong partisan/candidate preferences, he/she discloses it--you are an exception, not the rule.

Posted by: jandcgall1 | October 13, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

I think McCain has already conceded the race by having run his campaign in such a lousy manner and responding so poorly to the economic crisis. We've seen more than enough. I think it's important to ask hard questions, but I don't think those questions matter as far as our vote is concerned.

Posted by: ChrisL1 | October 13, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

rielle_hunter : Ever watch FoxNews - if you really want to see biased media reporting you can't do better than that.

Posted by: aredee | October 13, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

"90% of the media are in the tank for Obama" - Terry McAuliffe, Democrap

"MSNBC's coverage of Obama was embarassing" - Ed Rendell, Democrap

"I personally witnessed voter supression by the Obama campaign in the Nevada primary" - Bill Clinton, Democrap

This election is over. Obama & his goons in ACORN already stole it.

But if there is a single terrorist attack on US soil during his administration, he's going to be impeached.


Posted by: rielle_hunter | October 13, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

You're missing the point and being drawn away from the real issue. That is the question of Palin. It is ABSOLUTELY scandalous that the American people do not have access to questioning Palin through the media (other than Fox and friends) or by any other route. This person could potentially hold office as President of the USA and we know NOTHING about her and her capabilities other than what we're "fed" by the Republican media. No self-respecting or American people respecting campaign should behave like this or should be allowed to behave like this.

Posted by: aredee | October 13, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Dan Balz,
You are one of the reasons for where McCain is today?
Didn't you get the memo from your co-worker, George Will
"McCain has lost his head."

Posted by: MILLER123 | October 13, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Not just Obama but McCain also has not come up with any better ideas about how to deal with economic crisis or its impact on next president. Neither has McCain backed away from his extension of tax cuts or his own hodge-podge of numbers to come up with a balanced budget by the end of McCain’s first term. It would be equally helpful if McCain spells out his ideas if Obama is required to do the same. Ultimately American voters would have to decide if they want to continue failed Bush policies of last eight years or do they want a fresh start.

Posted by: simplesimon33 | October 13, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

A marginal tax rate increase --even an across the board tax increase-- is the least of our problems right now. If the economy collapses there won't be anything to pay tax on. That strikes me as a worse situation! Clearly, even though he did promise a tax cut, Obama has more freedom to do the right thing. Recall Clinton also promised a middle class tax cut. It took him four year to make good that promise. Not a drama. McCain, on the other hand has sworn to God to continue scrupulously the disastrous fiscal policies of George Bush. Bush has cut taxes every year since elected. Based on his and McCain's theories we should be prospering beyond belief now. I'll take the tax increase.

Posted by: RegisUrgel | October 13, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Earth to Balz...
Things must be getting pretty hairy on Planet McSame in the Palin'nebula.
Must have dozed of or sumpin' when Pres. Obama (cue the baying of the uglies) was being grilled by just about everybody.

Posted by: dukie1 | October 13, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Dan Balz sez: "the questions ought to be going toward him [Obama] as much or more than McCain -- questions not of tactics but of substance."

Really? Ok, but only if you factor in the fact that Obama's masterful campaign - strategically, managerially, substantively, emotionally, directionally, hopefully, and, again, substantively - shows how much better he would lead our country than McCain, given McCain's amazingly incompetent campaign - strategically, managerially, substantively, emotionally, directionally, hopefully, and, again, substantively.

Posted by: washpost16 | October 13, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

"What can McCain do? Should he attack more? Should he go all positive?"

So is Balz a reporter or a Republican campaign consultant? Oh, wait, we already know the answer to that one.

He and the AP's Ron Fournier ought to set up their own shop. I'm sure Rove would throw a little business their way, for old times' sake.

Posted by: PeterPrinciple | October 13, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

That's a laugh-ask Obama the hard questions. Seems to me Obama has been consistently answering the hard questions of all kinds. McCain/Palin have been avoiding the objective press - won't talk to them - especially Palin. How cn they answer hard questions if they avoid being accessible except to Fox news. Give me a break.

Posted by: concerned15 | October 13, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

rielle_hunter: As pointed out over the weekend, Obama has indeed taken on his party. When he chose to run against Hillary Clinton he went up against one of the strongest democratic families in the USA. All we have heard McCain do is whine about the Republicans then vote with them a VERY HIGH percentage of the time. I believe that's called hypocrisy>

Posted by: aredee | October 13, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

LOL. Noe that the media has lied and spun the American people into electing their candidate and the result is no longer in doubt, partisan hacks like Balz will pretend they are journalists and make a token effort at doing the job they haven't done for more than a year now.

Sorry Dan. Too late to save your reputation. You were part of the one-sided noise machine and no amount of last minute flailing will change the fact that you were a large part of the lowest moment for American journalism.

Posted by: bobmoses | October 13, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

"He has not asked any tough questions of Sarah Palin because he doesn't have access"

Fishgiver
-------------------------

I though Palin already has answered the 'tough' questions from Couric. She's just about irrelevant at this point.- Except for that small subsections of Joe 6-packs and hockey moms.

Posted by: insideman | October 13, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

What a ridiculous and desperate attempt of Mr. Balz' to "push" McSame at a point, where he has already shown more than enough of his erratic and irresponsible "leadership" and so-called policy "proposals" (i.e. the continuation of the disastrous Bush policies).

Barack Obama has been predicting the current crisis and been calling for the necessary steps to a new regulatory framwork for the 21st century for years. At the same time Mr. McCain has promoted his Republican tax-cuts-for-the-rich-and-powerful and deregulation-deregulation-deregulation agenda and is now trying to fool the American people by trying to somehow create a campaign alter ego and talking about regulation and "massive oversight".

In sharp contrast, Barack Obama has laid out a detailed and coherent plan to address all the major causes of this crisis and to restore fairness and justice to a bankrupt and failed system.

So, give it up already, Mr. Balz! You won't fool anyone any more, and 22 days from now you and your ill-placed and misleading articles will be totally irrelevant.

The most progressive American president ever is about to come and bring the change this country so urgently needs!

Posted by: DiversEquality2008 | October 13, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Yes, we all got the memo from Drudge. Retooling to Nowhere is now in full operation. How many different campaigns has McCain run in the last two months? Would he govern by lurching from one strategy to the next? Who doesn't understand the difference between strategy and tactics?

Posted by: gjcomm | October 13, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

You do not have to be a genius to figure out that if John McCain’s wins the Presidential election it will have the effect of dividing our country by race and ethnic group.

His campaign has been built around race, negative ads and hatred of obama.

It did not have to be that way. BUT THAT’S THE TYPE OF CAMPAIGN THE REPUBLICANS ARE RUNNING…Just this week The chairman of the Virginia Republican Party Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick has compared Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama to Osama bin Laden….

IF ELECT PRESIDENT, McCAIN WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO BRING THIS COUNTRY TOGETHER. THE WOUNDS ARE TOO DEEP….OUR COUNTRY IS BEING DESTROYED FROM WITHIN…

Posted by: WVUWEIRTON | October 13, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

What is this? Buyer's remorse before buying? The current crisis is a technical disaster. Technocrats or/and technicians are dealing with it using the best techniques we have learned over the last 100 years. Paulson and Bernanke are about to nationalize U.S. Banks. So they are not republican anymore. Or at least they had to take off their republican hats to work this out. When push comes to shove, every rational person agrees that's the only way to go now. What do you want Obama to do? At least he doesn't have looney partisans screeaming about socialism as if someone is being murdered when the technocrats are doing what needs to be done. That means to me the job is more likely to get done right if he is elected.

Posted by: RegisUrgel | October 13, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm disappointed by this article supposedly written by Dan Balz. I read his resume on wiki and he seems to be a respected personality in this business. But this article is simply way to partisan. There is no candidate that should be questioned more than the other. Both should in the same article. What is McCain economic plan/ Given the recent findings about Paling abuse of her power, was McCain judgement the right one? etc. etc.

Posted by: Klausy | October 13, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Balz writes: "How adaptable is Obama to all of this? How willing is he to address these questions in real time, as opposed to later? How much time has he given recently to rethinking the scope and ambition of a possible Obama administration? Would he come to office with a determination to be bold or to be cautious? Is he the pragmatist that allies have suggested -- or committed to a more ideologically oriented agenda, as his critics say?"

Where has this intrepid reporter been? The answers seem very obvious to anyone who's been paying attention

Posted by: bdunn1 | October 13, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

By all means, ask the hard questions. Having listened to the candidates for 2 years now, here is how the answers will look. John McCain's answers will be self-referential: "I am the maverick. I am the underdog. I have sacrificed since I was 17. I have fought for you." And on and on. Barack Obama's answers will be centered on the voter: "This is a plan that protects your mortgage. This is a plan that cuts your taxes. This is a plan to bring health care to you. This is a plan that brings your sons and daughters home from Iraq."

So go ahead. Ask the questions. Nothing has been preventing you from asking the hard questions of Obama, like everyone else, for the last two years.

Posted by: AKwatchman | October 13, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey, crazy idea here. Instead of TALKING about asking questions--hey, just go ahead and ASK for heaven's sake.

It strikes me, however, that if you quote McCain saying, Obama is "planning with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid to raise taxes, increase spending, take away your right to vote by secret ballot in labor elections, and concede defeat in Iraq." and then you say that McCain is NOT attacking Obama personally,

yet it's been documented again and again that these are not Obama's positions, but misstatements (euphemism for lies),

well, I'm thinking you don 't care too much about asking questions or getting answers for the sake of enlightenment. You just want more attack ammunition.

Sad.


Posted by: student41 | October 13, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Here's a few questions that I'd like Obama to answer:

- You've never stood up to your party or your hateful leftist base. Are you a total coward?
- You & your surrogates have called the Clintons, the Palins, & the McCains "racists" several times in the last 3 months. Will dissent be considered a racist hate-crime in your administration?
- Why do you lie & say 95% of the US will get tax cuts?
- Why do you lie & say that you're going to bring all of the troops in Iraq home?
- Why do so many leftist white liberals feel so guilty about racism? What have they done in their past that makes them feel so guilty?

Posted by: rielle_hunter | October 13, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

There seems to be a lot of Republican ranting and raving about Obama's leadership qualities. Well, since you want to question leadership, how about telling us all what McCain has really done in his political (or actual)lifetime in the way of leadership. As far as I can see he appears to have spent his whole life being "anti" everybody and everything (not unlike the young Mr Ayers in fact). Certainly his achievement in the Naval Academy was hardly something to shout about and throughout he seems to have been living in and hating the shadow of his father. In politics he appears to have decided to be "anti" the party he swears allegiance to. So other than being "anti", please tell us what he has really achieved.

Posted by: aredee | October 13, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

No, Dan, no. You, the other bloggers here, and the Fact Checker have spent months coddling Obama's image. Now you want to throw out a few pieces like this so you can later claim to have been even-handed. No, Dan, you haven't been.

What a hypocrite you are. You wait until it's clear that Obama has serious momentum to speculate that he should be answering more pointed questions? Then, why weren't you asking them? Weeks ago.

You might have merited some respect if you had just continued carrying Obama's water as you have been doing for months. At least then you would have been consistent. But, to wait until the McCain is on the ropes and then come out with some sanctimonious statements?

You might have been a journalist once, but you are a blogger with a bias now.

Posted by: grohlik | October 13, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

What a poor excuse for reporting. Are you a political commentator nit wit who isnt listening to the debates and media. Of course Obama has been question, probably more intensely than McCain.

Posted by: paulnolan97 | October 13, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse


By PETE YOST Associated Press Writer | AP
Oct 7, 2008
Republican Sen. John McCain served on the advisory board to the U.S. chapter of an international group linked to ultra-right-wing death squads in Central America in the 1980s.
The U.S. Council for World Freedom also aided rebels trying to overthrow the leftist government of Nicaragua. That landed the group in the middle of the Iran-Contra affair and in legal trouble with the Internal Revenue Service, which revoked the charitable organization's tax exemption.
The council created by retired Army Maj. Gen. John Singlaub was the U.S. chapter of the World Anti-Communist League, an international organization linked to former Nazi collaborators and ultra-right-wing death squads in Central America. After setting up the U.S. council, Singlaub served as the international league's chairman.
McCain's tie to Singlaub's council is undergoing renewed scrutiny after his presidential campaign criticized Barack Obama for his link to William Ayers, a former radical who engaged in violent acts 40 years ago. Over the weekend, Democratic operative Paul Begala said on ABC's "This Week" that this "guilt by association" tactic could backfire on the McCain campaign by renewing discussion of McCain's service on the board of the U.S. Council for World Freedom, "an ultraconservative right-wing group."
In two interviews with The Associated Press in August and September, Singlaub said McCain became associated with the organization in the early 1980s as McCain launched his political career.

Posted by: Vonnie932 | October 13, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Obama is NOT an American Patriot. And if he is, God save us all.

Posted by: Texan2007 | October 13, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Palins husband is involved in a group that wants to seperate Alaska from the US. He is quite digusted with US and has protested vehemently. Like husband like wife. Why isnt her patriotism in question? hmm?

Posted by: Vonnie932 | October 13, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

So Mr. Balz You are a journalist or at least you purport to be one.

So why do you not quit your whining and ask the questions?

Oh yes I forgot.

You do not wish ask questions because you do not want the American people to know that Obama's Tax cuts are for the middle class and not just McCains big shot pan handling buddies on wall street, who just stole another trillion dollars of the US Tax Pay.

You do not want the Obama health care policies discussed because McCain has not got a policy for health care.

You dont want to talk US national security because then you have to talk about the GOP lies that led to Iraq.

You do not want to talk foreign policy because we will have to talk about the GOP turning the US into an international pariah.

You dont want to talk about the economy because you are a GOP suporter and you do not understand economics or business and the GOP has flushed the US economy down the hole.

No you dont want to ask real questions, YOU JUST WANT TO WHINE mr balz dont you?

Posted by: walker1 | October 13, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

We haven't completely understood the ramifications of this abuse of power charge against Falin.

Now matter what Congress and the media says, McShame should have gone to jail for influence peddling in the Keating scandal.

Anytime you accept $100K+ from a donor, fly on his jet, stay in his vacation home, and then write letters on his behalf to delay action against him even though you know he's participating in criminal activity. You should go to jail.

McBush, along with his Democratic cohorts cost the American people billions of dollars. His actions, not his associations, should be investigated.

McShame/Falin -- Judgment deficient.

Posted by: DougH1 | October 13, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

How come Obama refused to post his Christian baptism certificate on barackobama.com to dispel any doubt he is a concealed Muslim? It should take less than 5 minutes to post as he did with his birth certificate on barackobama.com (fight the smears). For the benefit and respect of American voters, Obama should post his Christian baptism certificate.

Posted by: K30a | October 13, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

First, it is important to understand that Dan Balz has made excuses for McCain and Palin since the race began. He has not asked any tough questions of Sarah Palin because he doesn't have access. Of McCain, Balz has never even attempted to get past the spin McCain is programmed to repeat. But now that McCain is clearly losing, Balz is interested in subtance.

Snip- "The presidential race is not over, but at this point, Obama has a better chance of becoming president than McCain, and as a result, the questions ought to be going toward him as much or more than McCain -- questions not of tactics but of substance."
-Dan Balz

What I would like to ask of Mr Balz, is why he hasn't already asked substantive questions of all the candidates? I hope he asks Obama the serious questions we all need answers to. It will be a refreshing break from Balz spinning for the GOP. But while you are at Mr Balz, please make sure you get the interview with Sarah Palin and ask her the same questions, and John McCain, and Joe Biden. Make sure that if Palin refuses the interview you point out that without those answers, we have a candidate who is refusing to participate in our electoral process. The first amendment was written to assure that a free press could objectively vet out potential and existing leaders. This article assumes that Obama is somehow avoiding substance, when the truth is that all we have gotten from Dan Balz is a rewritten set of excuses for Obama's opposition. Do your job Mr Balz... not the job you do for the GOP as a shill, but the one you are supposed to be doing for the American people as a representative of a free press.

Posted by: fishingriver | October 13, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

BREAKING!!!
-
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/john-stephenson/2008/10/13/will-media-investigate-obama-affair-rumors
WILL MEDIA INVESTIGATE OBAMA AFFAIR RUMORS?
-
Snips:
Having now spoken to someone tracking the story, I can say:
1) It’s not just a silly little rumor.
2) It will break in some form shortly. The question is how prestigious an outlet breaks it. (PS, at best, it won’t be that prestigious, at least at first, but there’s a lot here so when someone finally touches, there is a good chance of an Edwards-like “Oh yeah, we were working on that too” pile-on.) Fire is being held as those who know the story try to get someone of import to break it; if they pass, it will be flooded out through secondary channels.
-
3) The story has a Fred Baron. Not THE Fred Baron. But actually– an even better Fred Baron. The woman is “working” in the Caribbean drawing a salary from…. uhhh… let’s say from someone who is a big, shiny part of the dirty Chicago political machine. And it makes no sense that she’s doing her supposed “job,” for which she seems unqualified anyway, in the Caribbean, of all places. It’s unclear how she could possibly do this job at all, never mind from the Caribbean. And she’s been there for at least a year. (At least.) This isn’t some sabbatical or few months’ of “work” on an island paradise.
-
UH-OH... HERE WE GO!

Posted by: Vituperator | October 13, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Look at the internals of the most recent poll.

You will see a 9% difference between Democrats and Republicans. I looked at the history and found that they asked more republicans than Democrats after Sarah Palin was selected.

Polls should not be used to sway public opinion, they should be used to measure public opinion. Too bad we are witnessing the death throes of political journalism.

How convenient that the reporting and rhetoric about the economy during the 2004 campaign is now true 1 month before the election.

Was the media visionary or did they lead this?

There will be no real examination of Barack Obama. Once elected we will see the real Obama.

The big lie is that only small businesses with revenue above $250,000 will be taxed more as if the majority do not. Actually it is not a lie, it is 80% of small businesses that make more than that.

So it will only be a tax on 80% of us.

Plus, 40% of Americans pay no taxes, how can 95% of Americans not have their taxes raised? Only 60% have the ability for their taxes to be raised.

Here is the question you will never hear asked of Obama.

"Since it takes 4 years of negative reporting to cause an economic crash, what role did you and other politicians, as well as reporters, play with regard to this crash? Since only now have we have sunk to the level Democrats declared in the 2004 campaign?"

Posted by: thelaw1 | October 13, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Hello? Is anyone paying attention to the fluff, here? BO hasn't produced one good idea or "plan" for all of his rhetoric! JM has been producing and closing plans (except for that 2006 plea to regulate FM/FM to which BO said "NO! ) for years, establishing a strong track record. BO's new economic plan? He stole part of Hillary's (which he had earlier mocked) added a few McCain touches, then basks in his own glorified aura, as the media bows down in ignorant bliss. Did you hear his new ideas in the debate for Energy? Practically lifted Gov Palin's response verbatim, then sticks up his nose and acts like he thought it up all by himself. He’s a fraud! An actor, a script memorizer (why do think Hwood loves him?) And he's scary. Noone is asking the tough questions and the McCain Palin ticket is probably just as bewildered as the Hillary campaign at why the media is refusing to shine light on this guy (oh, sorry, can I say that without being called "racist"?)

Posted by: gaelgirl | October 13, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse


McCAIN-PALIN'S 'FELLOW TRAVELER' INSINUATIONS:
WHAT IF U.S. SECURITY FORCES AGREE?

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/mccain-palins-fellow-traveler-insinuations-what-if-u-s-security-forces-agree

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 13, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

"ehperkins has a good point. Why do we expect instant answers to a problem that no two economists can agree on. This is making McCain look dumb for coming out with a 300Billion answer that is not well thought out. I don't expect a candidate to have THE answer now. What I want is a president who 1) has the intelligence and decision-making abilities to handle a crisis, and 2) is more focused on finding the best solution than on justifying their answer, or what their party and supporters like to hear. This is one reason why Bush is such a failure. He surrounds himself by hardcore people who think the same way, and won't listen to anyone who has a different point of view, no matter how experienced they are or how much expertise they have. In fact, he publicly attacks anyone who disagrees. I want a president who will listen to the best experts, regardless of their politics, and ultimately come up with the best solution. Wouldn't it be nice to have a candidate who shows some respect for others, even political opponents? Wait, we have one, and it's not the one with the attack pitbull as a sidekick."

That's what you Obama worshippers don't seem to understand. He HAS NO track record as a leader, has never had to make hard decisions that would hurt some and help others, has never had to sacrifice and put himself at personal risk for a position or a decision. That my friends makes him completely unqualified to lead this country. Being cool, hip and telling everyone what they want to hear is not leadership.

If anyone can give me any example of where and when the buck has stopped at Obama, I might change my opinion.

Posted by: coop2911 | October 13, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Regardles of what the print and news media say, it is time, that Bama steps up and answers many questions Look... We can continue questing the Ayers-Obama connection however, his associations with ACORN, his campaign contributions, Aslinksy, Rezko and Wright are just example of additional issues which need to be addressed. The ACORN relationship, particularly, should be addressed. His early years as director of training, seems to be baring fruit for him with all the voter fraud investigations going on now in ALL the swing states. It really bothers me as it should, all Americans.

Posted by: dnicolo1 | October 13, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

When has McKlan EVER been questioned???

Posted by: ccatmoon | October 13, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

This is fair commentary. One of the frustrations I've had with the format of the debates -- the only fora in which the candidates this year regularly submit to questions -- is that neither Sen. Obama nor Sen. McCain has been asked very much about how they would do things.

They have been asked what they would do, but that is not the same. When Sen. Obama says he has a tax plan, well, that is fine; how does he propose to amend it in like of an altered economy that will make the plan he has now worse for the federal deficit, and how will he sell the amendments in Congress?

The same question can be asked of McCain, but for Obama there is something even more fundamental. The next few years could be pretty rough, and whoever is in the White House may have to do some things that aren't very popular. I don't know about McCain's judgement on some questions, about what I do know about Obama is that he doesn't do unpopular. He brings people together, he gets everyone around the table, he flatters and inspires and that's all swell. Faced with the necessity of doing something as President that most of the country, or even most of his own party, will strongly disapprove, can he do it? He never has had to do that before.

A line of questioning like that would put McCain in a more advantageous position than Obama. But another line of questioning, equally necessary after the last eight years, could do the reverse. How would each candidate change how the Presidency is run? The Bush White House has claimed vast powers for itself. It has operated in secret; it has given the Vice President far greater authority than any other administration in American history. How would Obama be different from Bush? How would McCain?

Obviously this is an easier question for Obama to answer (without getting too far off his talking points) than it is for McCain. McCain's strongest supporters only got really enthusiastic about this race when he put someone on the ticket with him who brings to the table the same qualities George Bush did eight years ago; inviting him to repudiate specific parts of Bush's record would be hard for him to respond to. But since Obama has never served in an executive capacity -- apart from presiding over his own campaign -- this is a question he needs to be pressed to answer as well.

Posted by: jbritt3 | October 13, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

The focus has been on McCain because the Obama campaign has been very boring. When you are winning you can afford to be conservative and boring.

McSame on the other had did very news-worthy things:

He picked a running mate the no one knew from a state with the least possible electoral votes.

His new unknown pick screwed up 4 interviews in a row (not counting the infomerical on Faux News

He suspended his campaign...NOT
He canceled his Leterman interview
Falin managed to complete debate without throwing up or fainting and lost because she didn't answer questions and winked too much
He called Obama "That one"
He allowed his Falin to say that Obama, in effect isn't like his followers in the way he feels about America
He introduced a new mortgage company bail out plan during debate
He fell significantly in the polls
He corrected a person's assertions about Obama at a town hall
His still barely known VP pick was found to have "abused her power" by a majority Republican oversight board in her home state
He changed his stump speech yet again

What a roller-coaster ride. As long as McCain continues to make news, Obama can focus on fleshing out his programs and ground game and winning this thing.

We still have to assume it be close. We have 3 weeks to go.

Posted by: DougH1 | October 13, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

I see from the comments that ACORN is alive and well paying the uniniatiated and signing up more of the dead on their registration drive for the Democratic party faithful from these clueless remarks being made. Hang in there Dan write another true article like this and lets see more of the Democratic support their Messiah.

Posted by: bob111 | October 13, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

You know, the premise of this article is not only wrong; it reflects one of the central faults of the political coverage to date. Each candidate should get the hard questions consistently, not simply when either rises in the polls. Not much to ask when a paper such as the Post has reporters already assigned to both candidates. Otherwise the media is not only failing to provide balanced and consistent reporting, it simply ends up servicing whomever is behind at the moment. That's about as balanced as a ship tilting back and forth in the waves.

Posted by: anotherviewpoint | October 13, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

This is not surprising at all. Was just saying to someone today that the race will tighten up as the press gets bored with the current state of play and starts rooting for a closer race to report on. Great job Dan Balz and right on cue.

Posted by: cane151 | October 13, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

I agree. I think it is legitimate to recognize the fundamental intellectual bankruptcy of today's Republican Party and -- by extension -- of McCain's candidacy. It it crucial that Republicans be held accountable for their colossal malfeasance over the last eight years. But yes, we need to know how President Obama will address the vexing issues that Republicans have avoided.

Posted by: davidscott1 | October 13, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

What about Sarah ? Dan . In McCain's speech today he stated he has a plan for everything but no details. McCain always says he knows how to fix the economy , win the war etc. What war has John McCain won? What economy has McCain fixed ? By the way it's a little too late in the game for McCain's attempt to rehabilitate himself . His campaign went there last week and right now it's a little hard to believe he really puts country first. Dividing the nation is not putting country first. I wish him the best after this is over however, I cannot support him when I have lingering doubts about his judgement.

Posted by: grammy29649 | October 13, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

“Questioning Obama”

So now you want to be a journalist? Careful they will call you a racist.

Posted by: stknox | October 13, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Obama has basically gotten a free ride from the corporate mass media going on about two years now. WAPO and Balz has been front and center in this effort. Why change at this point three weeks from the election?

Posted by: brewstercounty | October 13, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Why don't we ask John McCain to COME UP WITH AN ECONOMIC PLAN IN THE FIRST PLACE! Yesterday morning, his campaign announced he had one -- then, later that day they announced he didn't, but would come up with ideas "as developments required." Was that a joke? Pretty bad one.

Posted by: Brooklyn3 | October 13, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe this article. Obama today outlined his plan for recovery. On his website he describes all his proposals in detail. All I keep hearing from McCain is:
I have a plan to fix the economy, I know how to get bin Laden... WHERE ARE THE DETAILS??

Posted by: Heather6 | October 13, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

i am a small business owner who is NOT better off after 8 years under gwb. if senator obama's economic plan will help put my finances over the $250,000 limit, i will be more than HAPPY (actually thrilled) to pay higher taxes. the economy is in the sh*tter and when the economy is in the sh*tter, my business is in the sh*tter. people are struggling just to pay for the basics which leaves little for non-essential items. it is as simple as that.

Posted by: smartchick1 | October 13, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

The blogs. People against Senator Obama come on the blogs with conspiracy theories, "is he born in America", "is he Muslim", "is he anti-American". They never come blogs saying how THEIR candidate, John McCain, will turn the country around. Even those McCain supporters who make sound arguments AGAINST Obama NEVER give McCain credit for what they consider the RIGHT SOLUTIONS. That's because they don't believe McCain has them and HE, MCCAIN, never talks about the RIGHT solutions for the country. He proved that by picking his gimmick VP choice, Sarah Palin. Get her alone with a good reporter who will ask follow-up questions, unlike in her VP debate with Senator Biden, and you will see the eyes glaze over and give responses like the ones she gave Katie Couric. That is when the McCain-Palin ticket started dropping in the polls, not the economic crisis. No one remembers that and the media wants to sale the most SENSATIONAL news, which is, the republicans are tanking due to the economy. Bull!

No, McCain started it losing Americans when the REAL Sarah Palin was revealed as being clueless on how to run this nation. Not her fault. Her background is in communication/journalism and she is the Governor of the third LEAST populated state. What did we expect? People decided to TRULY put country first and go with a ticket that could govern, especially in these crucial times.

One last thing. Senator McCain touts Governor Palin as an "energy expert". I would like to hear her in a 30 minute interview on how she will solve America's energy crisis, dependence on foreign oil, as VP? If she is the energy expert he claims she is and NOW she claims she is, lets hear it? Why isn't she talking about "her strength"? Or, is this title given to her because she is from an oil producing state? If it is the latter, than ANY Alaskan or Texan is NOW an energy expert.

Posted by: ajackson3 | October 13, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Dan Balz is an idiot.

Posted by: danielburns | October 13, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Oooo! Dan Balz just had the nerve to suggest that someone ask tough questions. How about the past 8 years, Dan? How tough were the questions then?

I fully expect the supine press to serve their corporate masters well when Obama is President. They will suddenly discover they have a spine, and spend the next 8 years asking the tough questions.

I'm looking forward to Glenn Greenwald giving Balz more of what he deserves for his reporting cowardice.

Posted by: PutDownTheKoolaid | October 13, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Balz:

The reason that McCain seems to be getting the tough questions that Obama apparently isn't seems very clear: McCain has done all but present a comprehensive, cohesive plan to tackle our problems on different realms. Obama doesn't appear to be getting the tough questions because he is preemptively addressing them in his stump speeches. It seems that you are implying that somehow the media is responsible for being biased in how they approach both men, but McCain's direction and actions have been of his own volition. It was McCain himself who set up the expectations of him much higher by consistently presenting himself as the “experienced” one, in contrast to Obama, the novice but when the crises presented themselves, we saw no more experience or wisdom in him than in the rookie.

My opinion, based on the subject of his stump speeches and debates is that he came into this race with a sense of entitlement to the presidency because of his war hero status. This sense of entitlement has reigned in his campaign from its inception: he came into this race with no apparent plan and performed stunt after stunt, from selecting a VP partner with no intellectual capacity in any area of substance that matter to Americans to "suspending" his campaign to in Washington during the bailout crisis to asking about the “real Barack Obama” while the market drops to record lows. Mr. War Hero seems to hold contempt and disdain for “that one” because the latter is young and has not served in the armed forces. Unfortunately, to his chagrin, the economic woes couldn't have happened at a more inconvenient time for a campaign with no plan but lipstick on a pig: during the last stretch of the race.

McCain seems to finally be coming to his senses and has begun talking about substantive matters, albeit late in the game. If his campaign had been conducted strategically rather than tactically, McCain would have realized from day one that his “maverick” brand was the most important assert he had, not his war hero status. Had McCain conducted the campaign strategically, he would have selected a VP who complemented his strengths and weaknesses, and he would have devised a plan that would have been capable to weather the crises. In his tactical thinking process, McCain abandoned his “maverick” brand and decided to become a full-fledged opportunist, making headlines with inane events and comments. For the American people facing a sobering period of rising unemployment, decreasing returns on their investments, diminishing standing in global affairs, etc., it is evident that McCain doesn't seem to exercise much forethought and, unfortunately for him, 'A man without a plan is not The man'.

Posted by: Marve1 | October 13, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Dan Balz minimizes the incendiary McCain-Palin anti-Obama hate speech of the past two weeks.

That is not objectivity. It is lying. And it is every bit as dangerous as the hate speech in Dallas before JFK was assassinated there in November 1963.

Posted by: pb1123 | October 13, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

bob111,
Bill Ayers hasnt even donated to Obama's campaign...but about 5 million other AMERICANS have...get a clue bob

Posted by: erikpreuss | October 13, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

How silly.

That's like forcing the fastest runner to wear heavier shoes, or the fastest rider to have his/her brakes on...

An even playing field will suffice.

Posted by: ped1 | October 13, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

5 stars finally for the Washington Post and Dan Balz for printing a true article. Heretofore most of the liberal media has printed nothing but articles supporting Obama. This article brought all of the surrogate joined at the hip clueless young out in support of their Messiah.
Most of these people are brain dead when it comes to thinking things through, this is like a college pep rally to them not a campaign for the highest office in the country where if the wrong person is elected the countrys future is in jeopardy.
The points you brought out need to be voiced by all of the media not just the Post. Many of the media have already elected the Democratic candidate but the race is not over yet. The majority of those responding to your article have probably been paid by the Democratic campaign to work for ACORN in rounding up the drunks, homeless, and mis-informed to take them to a registration center with promises of another bottle, a warm bed, or something just to get their signature, look at the hundreds of thousands of invalid names being registered at this moment by the Democratic party.
The Democratic candidate is not a Messiah, he is a glib talking smooth Cook count politician from Illinois which is the crookedest county by far in the U.S. who is backed by many of ill repute and questionable donations from those bent on destroying America. Get a clue folks

Posted by: bob111 | October 13, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

The media has been grilling McCain and Palin precisely because they have not been forthcoming about their backgrounds - be it in debates or interviews. Obama has been asked some really tough questions over the past 20 months. No stone has been left unturned with respect to his past, and I think it is fair to say that he has passed with flying colors. If McCain and Palin are not willing to be honest about themselves, then they deserve to be put on the spot.

Posted by: vmunikoti | October 13, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

peggylou4,

You just don't get it do you? The Bush Administration and every other administration that I can think of that was Republican have wanted less government. Look where that has gotten us. Can you really say that we will be better off with McCain as president then with Obama? Obama's tax plans will hardly effect small businesses, and they are the only way to get this country out of debt. Consider this: Last time we had a Democrat as a President their was A SURPLUS!! we are now 10 Trillion Dollars in debt. You think small business' will continue to prosper if the economy continues to faulter?...not a chance don't be so blind.
pro36,
Its scary how ignorant you are...the people we need to keep out of our WH are racists like YOU and our incomprable president.

Posted by: erikpreuss | October 13, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

MY FELLOW PRISONERS.

What was McCain thinking?

How much time does he spend, in Alzheimer's land of
past-is-present, doing his Ronald Reagan imitation, "where am I"?

Posted by: ottothewise | October 13, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Soullady53. We do need to find out if McCain is a citizen. We know he was born in Panama when it wasn't a US territory. He should be forced to withdraw from the race so that Sarah Palin can lead the ticket. Unless Alaska has seceded from the US, that is.

Posted by: boredgeorge | October 13, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

You don't ask the Messiah questions, he asks YOU.

Posted by: enaughton27 | October 13, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

I agree, Mr. Balz, I hope, wrote his mysterious piece before Obama's speech on the economy today. If he didn't, he was apparently not listening.

Posted by: harry88 | October 13, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

The media asked NO questions about Bush. They still don't. Based on the absence of journalism over the last eight years, we really ought to dig up Nixon and apologize.

Go ahead, ask about Obama. We, as a nation, have higher expectations of the Democrats. After all, somebody has to be the adult.

Posted by: mmax | October 13, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

PALIN I was not guilty.

The facts: broke a statute against using her power for personal gain.

Posted by: ottothewise | October 13, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

What an absurd concept that the candidate leading the polls should be subjected to greater scrutiny than the guy lagging behind (what about the so-called "vulnerability" of the mid-October polls?). Is this one more erratic attempt to throw the guy who happens to be the exponentially better candidate under the bus? People are tired of these GOP double-standards.

Bottom-line: every candidate running for president or VP deserves tough questioning and scrutiny - not only the guy leading the race (certain hockey-mom-candidates, however, get locked away to be spared tough questions).

Posted by: mielcar | October 13, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: nowanna3 | October 13, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

INDEPENDENTS. Did you hear McCain's latest:

"MY FELLOW PRISONERS", he began a speech on the stump.

MAKE SURE HIS ALZHEIMER MOMENTS ARE IN THE KITCHEN IN ARIZONA, not in the White House, please.

Posted by: ottothewise | October 13, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

The chairman of the Virginia Republican Party Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick has compared Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama to Osama bin Laden…

YES, INSTEAD OF TALKING ABOUT THE ECONOMY, HEALTH CARE, JOBS, AND THE WAR, the Republicans continue to slander Obama.

I am a Polish America and Catholic who spent over 30 years in a steel mill until Bushes polices put us out of business. Besides losing my job, I lost my health care and life insurance...

WHILE THE RICH ARE GETTING RICHER; THE MIDDLE CLASS HAS BECOME THE "WORKING POOR."

I WILL BE VOTING STRAIGHT DEMOCRATIC FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE. “HELL WILL FREEZE OVER BEFORE I VOTE FOR ANOTHER REPUBLICAN AGAIN”!!!!!!

Posted by: WVUWEIRTON | October 13, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

"Obama broke the law when he bought that house in Chicago together with criminal REZKO.No wonder considering his Chicago mob connections.Do we need the criminal in OUR WH?"..........It's hard to believe a part of our population is this dim-witted. Any relation to Andy Martin?????????

Posted by: rrau22 | October 13, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Well,
I think more than Obama don't "get it." I believe Mr. Balze is suitably in the dark. This country has been subjected to the most personally negative presidential campaign I can remember and they are tired. Had all those personal attacks come at the beginning and then been dropped, we could deal. But they've come up repeatedly and ad nuseum and are seen as exactly what they are: transparent attempts to sway the audience away from a weak campaign. I really don't know if McCain is stupid, but his campaign has been...Worse, in fact than Hillary's got toward the end -- virtually unravelling before our eyes. The most apt criticism of McCain is now that he is erratic, and this one's sticking because it's obvious. It was War Hero-cum washington "outsider" -cum saver of the economy - cum TV star - cum Mama Palin - cum saver of the economy redux. WE ARE ALL TIRED, and only the most mindless is still with this person. I didn't think so at the time, but Paris was right!

Posted by: pica11 | October 13, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Memo to Balz: And your point is?

Posted by: pjkiger1 | October 13, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

"What I want to know is this man a citizen of the United States? Why haven't we questioned his citizenship and birth records? Why hasn't the msm done its job? Let's take a look at his citizenship before it's too late."....This is troll stuff. Not even a legit question. People like you want to focus on this and some other Limbaugh junk which takes away from the debate about qualifications. Are YOU a citizen? Probably an illegal passing as an American.

Posted by: rrau22 | October 13, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Dan, I think if anyone has shown a clear ideological line it has been McCain (the whole the markets should be left alone). This ideology extends to those individuals who bet on markets to fail or those who price fix or those who aggressively knock competitors out of markets to secure a monopoly. It should be reprehensible for anyone to rig the market, not just the government.
Regardless of that, I think a pragmatist is what America needs at the moment - someone willing to get the job done even if it goes against their political ideology. Increasing business taxes in a recession would be silly, but I think Obama is likely to surround himself with people who will tell him that. Obama most seems like the person who will surround himself with people who will debate rather than just say "yes mr president". Let's hope that is the case.
And for all the neocons out there calling people socialists left right and centre, why is it that Keynesian liberalism now equates to socialism? Why are liberals at all considered "left wing"? It just goes to show you how extreme you people are. Milt Friedman would be a socialist in this day and age.

Posted by: phillayton | October 13, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

This is another worthless article. Just because Obama is in the lead we have to question him and not McCain? I would think if you vote for someone your questons have somewhat been answered already and they favor the person you have voted for. Duh!!

McCain has answered all my questions. I know he is unqualified to be President. He has no sense of the econmoic problems or any other problems for that matter. He scares me and the fact he chose Palin scares me even more!! She has no place in Washington and has a mind of a 10 year old.

I no longer question Obama especially when we have McCain in opposition. I do question the author of this article and his subconscious. I think maybe he should read his companions (Vedentam) called "Will race hurt Obama?"

Posted by: secondvision | October 13, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I see absolutely no reason that Obama should be questioned any more stringently than McCain. Au contraire. However, I'm sure he will be, and I'm sure you'll get thoughtful, sensible answers from him. You'll never get any answers at all from the McCain organization about anything, and it's clear that you've given up trying, you sorry excuse for a journalist.

Posted by: nicekid | October 13, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

What I want to know is this man a citizen of the United States? Why haven't we questioned his citizenship and birth records? Why hasn't the msm done its job? Let's take a look at his citizenship before it's too late.

Posted by: Soullady53 | October 13, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

i do feel both candidates should answer in more details but looking at the time limit they were given at the last 2 debates, how are they suppose to elaborate with a few minutes on hand? i, however, do hope our new president will be bipartisan (as much as possible) and innovative to prepare and lead us to still be a top rank nation, instead of fighting a civil war which we don't have time or resources for. we should reunite under a good president... with that said, i, as a female independent, still don't believe Palin comes close to be qualify as our VP, even though i would LOVE to see a woman president, a competent one.

Posted by: abc2008 | October 13, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Obama broke the law when he bought that house in Chicago together with criminal REZKO.No wonder considering his Chicago mob connections.Do we need the criminal in OUR WH?

Posted by: pro36 | October 13, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Obama has been thoroughly vetted. I am satisfied with what I need to know about his vision, his policies, his potential administrative style, and his character. I am sure that he will answer the toughest questions with integrity and admit when he has less than what he feels is a satisfactory answer.

Posted by: EarlC | October 13, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Balz's notion of supposed journalistic "objectivity," this article on Salon, "Dan Balz’s corrupted journalistic 'balance'", is worth a read:

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/10/09/balz/index.html

Greenwald writes: "The Washington Post’s Dan Balz has an article today perfectly illustrating how the modern journalist’s conception of 'balance' leads them to distort the truth. Balz’s article is about the increasing use of 'character attacks' in the presidential race, and rather than state the truth — that the McCain/Palin ticket is now relying almost exclusively on some of the ugliest and most outright dangerous character smears seen in a modern presidential election — Balz instead pretends that this is a phenomenon of which both sides are guilty in equal measure."

Anyone with half a brain cell who has been following the race in the past weeks knows that one side has been engaging in vicious, vituperative character assassination while the other has responded by attacking, yes attacking, but on the issues and erratic comportment of the other candidate. It is senseless and indeed profoundly foolish to attempt to achieve a "balance" in covering the two sides by pretending that the truth lies somewhere in between their respective positions, assertions and behaviors. It is like establishing that 2+2 must equal 5 since one side says its 4 and the other says it's 6. Sorry, but it doesn't work that way. As McClatchy Washington Bureau Chief John Walcott said upon receiving the I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence:

"That brings me to may last point: Relying on The Times, or McClatchy or any other news source, for all the truth is dumb, but it’s infinitely preferable to the pernicious philosophical notions that there is no such thing as truth, that truth is relative, or that, as some journalists seem to believe, it can be found midway between the two opposing poles of any argument... .

"Does the truth lie halfway between say, slavery and abolition, or between segregation and civil rights, or between communism and democracy? If you quote Dietrich Bonhoeffer or Winston Churchill, in other words, must you then give equal time and credence to Hitler and Joseph Goebbels? If you write an article that’s critical of John McCain, are you then obligated to devote an identical number of words to criticism of Barack Obama, and vice versa?"

Exactly...

Posted by: gparrablessing | October 13, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Obama is the muslim communist with a communist agenda for this great country.Do we need the muslim communist in OUR WH?

Posted by: pro36 | October 13, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm a free thinker to look past the negative things that McCain and Palin Camp has been spreading,it seems like the Republicans are not thinking about fact, they are going around with their heads cut off accusing Obama of the unthinkable. Look at the facts Obama is an American you like you, stop hiding behind a mask and finding fault, when your party has done nothing to fix the mess that Bush has gotten us into. You can't rally behind anything, so you put down Obama, shame on you, shame on you. Obama will be elected to the Office of the Presidency. Thank that, you stupid palinzers!!!!! And for my state Sentor, Lindsey Graham, you seem to have your head up John McCain $$$. I hope you are kick out of office too. Because your are joined at the hip. The Blind is leading the blind. Way to go Lindsey Graham, thanks alot for parading around like a cheerleader.

Posted by: jamessingleton | October 13, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

peggylou4:

Since you pay 100% health care on 15 employees how would this part of Obama's business tax plan affect you?

Small Business Health Tax Credit. New refundable tax credit of up to 50% on premiums paid by small businesses.
http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/23496.html

Posted by: nowanna3 | October 13, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm pissed off at McCain, and find Sarah Palin repugnant, but can't get around the fact that Obama has no practical experience whatsoever. He has talked his way to where he is now. Different party line, but Bush did the same. Some of our current problems ar bigger than Bush. And Obama's using the last 8 years for blame fodder, won't hold water for very long. I don't like either candidate. Talk is real cheap.

Posted by: ooxomoxoo | October 13, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I really get sick of all the stuff I hear from the DEMS and the MSM about being racist, John Lewis even compared John McCain and Sarah Palin to George Wallace, he said "George Wallace never threw a Bomb..". It was so ironic because Lewis was complaining about Palin bring the Terrorist Bill Ayers into the conversation, who threw many Bombs. The point I would like to make is this, do you think I would be voting for a White Guy that had Frank Marshall Davis as a Mentor and Bill Ayers for a Friend?? NO WAY!

Posted by: hank48188 | October 13, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Hey, if Obama spent the last week jumping up and down with his head up his @ss, he would be getting a lot more questions, too. Unfortunately, McCain and Palin have the market cornered on that sort of thing, as your own paper can attest:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/10/four_pinocchios_for_palin.html

While Obama should be asked substantive questions, just like any other presidential candidate, I don't think the coverage of McCain and Palin's fiasco of a campaign is any excuse to try and think up "hard" questions to trip up Obama with.

On the other hand, your corporate masters must be pleased with your effort to protect their Bush tax cuts.

Posted by: BillinChicago1 | October 13, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Apparently you wrote this BEFORE Obama's speech today.

Posted by: kj_593 | October 13, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

========================================
This is all he can do-speeches.What a loser

Posted by: pro36 | October 13, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Obama broke the law when he bought that house in Chicago together with criminal REZKO.No wonder considering his Chicago mob connections.Do we need the criminal in OUR WH?

Posted by: pro36 | October 13, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Obama is such a dimwit.
No wonder when he has all those brainless liberals to support him


Posted by: pro36 | October 13, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Apparently you wrote this BEFORE Obama's speech today.

Posted by: kj_593 | October 13, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

They've been running for almost two years and you still haven't asked the questions you would like? Time to look for a new profession, I guess.

As for the economy and bailout, it wasn't the candidates' job (either one of them) to be anything other than one of 535 representatives to fix the problem. It was and is a national problem, not something for the campaigns to compete for. I still wonder if some of the additional $100 trillion between the first House vote and second House vote was because of politics instead of politics.

And the writer would like more? Oh my.

Posted by: amaikovich | October 13, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

The media desperately wants this to be a close race. So Balz suggests all of these questions to Obama when they could just as well be put to McCain. There is no reason to "especially" question someone who is ahead in teh polls when both are running for the same office.

Posted by: KC11 | October 13, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Don't listen to what Obama is saying, he will tell you anything to get elected, just look at his Friends and the ideas of his Friends, they are Obama's ideas as well. Obama's Mentor in Hawaii was Frank Marshall Davis, a Communist and a sexual pervert, he was introduced to Frank by his Grandfather, so you can see where his Family is coming from, I don't think your Family would know this Communist. You've heard the Views of his Pastor, Rev Wright, Obama sat there for 20 years because he AGREES with the views of Wright and Father Mike too. Bill Ayers and his wife, Beradine Dohrn fit with Obama's world view, they have been close for years. There are others but you get the idea, all of Obama's friends find this to be a terribly flawed Country in need of their ideas to repair it. Obama was endorsed by the New Party in 1996 while running for the State Senate as a DEM, the New Party is a Socialist Group and Obama's shares their ideas, that is why they endorsed him. I think Obama stated his intentions very clearly today while talking to a Plumber, he told the guy he wants to take some money from him and "spread it around"

Posted by: hank48188 | October 13, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Obama is the muslim communist with a communist agenda for this great country.Do we need the muslim communist in OUR WH?

Posted by: pro36 | October 13, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

How many people did William Ayers kill? . . . . . Answer: ZERO. . . . . But the Chairman of the Virginia GOP compares Obama with Bin Laden!!? . . . . . .
look Mr. Jeffrey,

Even William Buckley, Jr., editor of the National Review, is supporting Obama. And two of the reasons he sites are: . . McCain’s mud slinging and Sarah Palin's inadequacy.

LOOK EVEN IF WE LIKE McCAIN, WE CAN'T VOTE FOR HIM -- we can't afford Sarah Palin.

Remember, not only did the Alaska Joint Committee ( 10 Republicans, 4 Democrats ) hold Sarah Palin guilty of abuse of power, but also her story about the trooper is a bit flaky. She stated that she heard him threaten her family while toting a pistol on his hip. Yet she takes no defensive position herself, nor does she call the police, nor does she get a restraining order. Instead, she goes to a meeting. . . !!!!???

Likewise, Ms. Palin's decision ( much like George Bush ) to repudiate her earlier pledge to cooperate fully with the inquiry does not offer assurance about how she would conduct herself as vice president -- or PRESIDENT. Who amongst us believes that there is even a 40% chance that McCain will survive his term in office.

WHAT WOULD A PALIN PRESIDENCY LOOK LIKE? . . . . . My God, think of the draconian judges she'd appoint to the Supreme Court. Think of how renewable energy would be ignored. Think of the shambles of our foreign policy. Think of this mental lightweight handling our economy!!?? . . . . . . . . . . . . . Now tell me John McCain exercised good judgment choosing Sarah Palin as VP.

We can't risk a Presidency of Sarah Palin.

Posted by: coldcomfort | October 13, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

I welcome a focus on Obama, but it's weird to expect Obama to solve the crisis since he's not the current president! If Obama acted like he were, he'd get grief for acting "Presumptuous"--remember the McCain comments in August? Obama can't win for winning, can he?

Posted by: Vaughan1 | October 13, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Obama broke the law when he bought that house in Chicago together with criminal REZKO.No wonder considering his Chicago mob connections.Do we need the criminal in OUR WH?

Posted by: pro36 | October 13, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

If McCain would ran the country in the same way that he has ran his campaign, you should be SCARED TO DEATH. McCain’s behavior lately has been erratic, unstable, and has showed no true leadership during this economic crisis. He hasn't only been running one of the dirtiest campaigns ever, but he has BEEN WRONG during the crisis. Again, everyone sees that... that's why he is behind in the polls, and that's why people saw Obama as the winner in all the debates. His choice for VP is a bad joke... as you could see in the VP debate where Biden lectured her; she looked like a high school student, winking, repeating lines that someone else wrote for her, dodging questions and giving non-answers. AGAIN, LOOK AT THE TEAM: Obama has the judgment and experience, and Biden provides EXTRA EXPERIENCE, IN CASE NEEDED. They complement each other! Palin is hurting McCain, and even conservatives say that! Once again, McCain showed poor judgment by picking her!

OBAMA HAS BEEN SCRUTINIZED FOR MONTHS, it is now McCain who has to respond to numerous shady associations! The same goes for Palin, who has suspiciously been shielded from the media from day one... and when she took Katie Couric BASIC VP WANNA BE questions, she failed terribly. If the media scrutinized McCain as they do with Obama, McCain would have a LOT OF QUESTIONS TO ANSWER!

Posted by: d_hyperion | October 13, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Obama is the muslim communist with a communist agenda for this great country.Do we need the muslim communist in OUR WH?

Posted by: pro36 | October 13, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Obama broke the law when he bought that house in Chicago together with criminal REZKO.No wonder considering his Chicago mob connections.Do we need the criminal in OUR WH?

Posted by: pro36 | October 13, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Other than Dan Balz is a Republican, a racist, a mental migdet, or all three, why should Obama be held to a higher standard than Sen. John Dubya McCain?

Posted by: jjedif | October 13, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Why should the onus be on Obama, just because he's in the lead? BOTH candidates need to answer these same questions. All the talk about McCain has been because of Palin or his own erratic campaign strategies including the hate mongering. But there certainly have not been any hard-hitting issues-oriented questions asked of him. I'd like him to talk about Keating, about his $300 billion mortgage bailout plan, his deregulation votes, how he can run our country when he hasn't been able to successfully control his own campaign. I see no indication of realism in McCain's current stump speech... he still "doesn't get it".

Posted by: DogBitez | October 13, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

The media has focused on McCain because he has been pulling stunts- Palin, suspension of campaign, Obama-pals-with-terrorists. In contrast, Obama has been been doing what he has been doing from the start, staying on message and focusing on the economy and the war in Iraq. Guess who is winning and who is losing?

Posted by: homer4 | October 13, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey Balz, why don't you sit down with Palin for those hard questions about Obama? You've been at for 2 yrs now and still don't know the essential? Get a grip!

Posted by: tydicea | October 13, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

hey balz the questions are hard for you because ya haven't thought about them. though here's one, do ya want a brilliant leader who at least has as a goal the promotion of the common good, or a sad little liar who's supported murderous aggression? here's the answer to the question 'is mccain lying about barack's tax plan?":
http://www.parade.com/news/intelligence-report/archive/how-much-would-you-pay-taxes.html

Posted by: e9999999 | October 13, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

"As Obama leads polls, he ought to be questioned as much or more than McCain."

In other words, this uppity black man is winning the battle, and so, I, Dan Balz, shall personally slap him down to where he belongs, picking up crumbs from underneath my mom's kitchen table.

Thanks Dan.
Your being a wretched bigot was only a strong suspicion until now.
Have you even LOOKED at the things McCain has back-tracked on, fumbled, blatantly lied about,
shown total ignorance of, misunderstood, distorted . . . . well I'll spare you half the negative verbs in the Webster Dictionary for now.
Is Disneyland closed for the night yet?

Posted by: wardropper | October 13, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

ehperkins has a good point. Why do we expect instant answers to a problem that no two economists can agree on. This is making McCain look dumb for coming out with a 300Billion answer that is not well thought out. I don't expect a candidate to have THE answer now. What I want is a president who 1) has the intelligence and decision-making abilities to handle a crisis, and 2) is more focused on finding the best solution than on justifying their answer, or what their party and supporters like to hear. This is one reason why Bush is such a failure. He surrounds himself by hardcore people who think the same way, and won't listen to anyone who has a different point of view, no matter how experienced they are or how much expertise they have. In fact, he publicly attacks anyone who disagrees. I want a president who will listen to the best experts, regardless of their politics, and ultimately come up with the best solution. Wouldn't it be nice to have a candidate who shows some respect for others, even political opponents? Wait, we have one, and it's not the one with the attack pitbull as a sidekick.

Posted by: garyv33 | October 13, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Amazing to see how many people on this blog hate successful people.

Isn't that the American dream? Some of you make it sound so shameful.....guess you want all of us that worked hard to improve our lot in life to just give it away to all of you that have your hand out.

Obama will promise everything to get elected. One step further to socialism....when all of us small business owners get driven out of business, who will pay for all your handouts?

Posted by: peggylou4
---------------------------
I am now convinced that like many Republicans you argue just to argue.

No one hates success. What people generally find disingenous are poeple that become successful and them cast disparing remarks about those that they leave behind.

Based on what you have said on your blogs and by the way I do not understand why you would need to combine your personal income with that of your coporation but I digress; you have more to gain from Obama's defined plans than John McCain's undefinded vaugue reference to assisting small business by not raising taxes. If I am not mistaken the tax cuts that were instituted by Bush had marginal to no affect on small business. I am amazed that you would not be happy about plans that are directed at you as opposed to large businesses who by recent reports use a mulitude of tax loopholes to reduce or eliminate their tax burdens.

Posted by: justonevoice | October 13, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the question for the Palin/McCain ticket should be:

How sick is John McCain?

Read this:

http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn10122008.html

Do we really want Todd and Sarah running (or should I say ruining) the country?

Posted by: MickyD1 | October 13, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I beg to different with Obama's "plan".

His plan does NOT benefit business. He plans to hike payroll taxes, he plans to charge a new tax if you do not provide health insurance, he plans to raise the limit on Social Security taxes...which employers foot half of the bill on. In CA, a NEW tax has just been imposed on Gross Sales, which is a killer...what do all these taxes really mean?

Businesses HAVE to cut costs...which means less hiring, less advertising, and stagnated growth.

Posted by: Belle6 | October 13, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

There is a fundamental difference between McCain and Obama which you have layed out in this article-intended or not. McCain sees everything as a fight. This is not unlike Bush II whose idea of bipartisanship was my way or the highway. Obama on the other hand seems to work quietly behind the scenes to get things done without having to demonize his opposition which creates an environment where constructive solutions can be developed without impugning the judgement or honor of those who have a different perspective. If ever we needed bipartisanship it is now. It is fairly clear who has the personality that will increase the odds of bipartisan solutions.

Posted by: cdierd1944 | October 13, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Obama and the Democrats have helped the poor by pushing for amnesty for illegal aliens who take their jobs along with H-1B visas for the jobs that they hoped to work their way up to. They then got them into mortgages that they can't afford and destroyed what credit they did have for years to come. Now, after voting along with McCain to give $750 billion of their money away, he has teamed up with McCain to offer tax reductions and programs that will have to be paid for with more borrowing which will lower the value of any money they might have left.

With the tax base eliminated, the government may be pressed to borrow the money.

To top it off, he wants to take the money away from those who have earned it and destroy the American Dream, which has kept them going in spite of great odds.

At some point, you've got to say, enough with the help, already.

http://ewebsmith.com/self/StandUp.html

Posted by: websmith1 | October 13, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that the Housing Crisis unfolded during a Democratic Congress and Senate, with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd as key committe Chairman with Oversight.

As a Democrat, I find it appalling that Pelosi and others were quick to point fingers at Republicans...when BOTH contributed to the mess.

I also find it interesting, that the SOLUTION came from a Republican President, not a Democratic one.

I don't believe Senator Obama has been properly vetted for the highest office in the land. Don't you think it is time to get off Wright, racism, and find out who Obama really is, versus his Obama Satellite channel?

Posted by: Belle6 | October 13, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Here's a question for you, Mr. Balz... If Paulson and Bernanke were clueless about what to do when the market fell, why in the world would expect Obama to come up with a better idea? That's kinda senseless. Bernanke is supposed to be the smartest guy in the country when it comes to economics. Paulson is also supposed to be an expert. If the experts were dumbfounded, why would you expect Obama to be verbose? McCain knows even less about economics than Obama and he's questioning Obama's substance? Balz, in all seriousness, your question, assertion, point of contention makes no sense.

Posted by: ehperkins1971 | October 13, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

justonevoice


We are incorporated. Still have to combine for the incomes. If the business goes under, they can't take our house. We have invested all of our money, savings, etc, in the business, so what does it matter? We are taking the risk and working the hours.

Amazing to see how many people on this blog hate successful people.

Isn't that the American dream? Some of you make it sound so shameful.....guess you want all of us that worked hard to improve our lot in life to just give it away to all of you that have your hand out.

Obama will promise everything to get elected. One step further to socialism....when all of us small business owners get driven out of business, who will pay for all your handouts?

Posted by: peggylou4 | October 13, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Dan,

FDR did not call for a New Deal in the 1932 election. He said he would balance the budget. You "take" is gratuitous and way off the mark. The "focus" has been on McCain? Forget about it. I suspect you will be ignored by Obama as FDR would have ignored in 1932. As always, your "answers" will come post election. In the meantime, keep telling us that "22 days is a long tinme" and "Anything can happen."

Posted by: adhardwick | October 13, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Why would Obama say that he is willing to "take a zero-based look at everything and rearrange priorities"?

That would basically be saying "All the stuff I promised to do will be reevaluated after I'm elected".

That's a really dumb thing to do when you are comfortably in the lead, and the McCain campaign would jump all over it.

I think Dan Balz knows that, and I think that is exactly what he would like to have happen.

Posted by: cowboythecat | October 13, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

No, Dan, you don't ask one candidate, what promises will you sacrifice and not ask the other.

Moreover, it's not at all clear to me that managing from the sidelines is more effective than having private discussions with people in a position to implement policy, particularly when public commentary on the shoulds and oughts is inevitably going to be spun as "meddling."

Noble ideas, buddy, but not with the campaigns we have or the press that enables them.

Posted by: krm13 | October 13, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

If the press wants to ask Obama questions, that's fine. But, after reviewing this article, I'm hard pressed to find a question in it that Obama has not already answered. He's laid out specific policy proposals. In the last debate, he was asked about priorities. He listed them: Energy (jobs), Healthcare, Social Entitlement matters.

About "turning the page"... I'm not sure how one can be a Washington press corps member and not know what he means by that. Obama has repeatedly talked about elevating the discourse of our politics and not engaging in unfounded character attacks, which is largely how he's run his campaign.

So, again, if you want to ask him questions, that's all fine and good. But, you should actually review what he's already said first. You make it sound as if there are many things that he hasn't specified, and that's simply not the case.

I've always thought the press often gets a mysterious case of amnesia about issues, particularly when it comes what Obama has and has not addressed, and that seems to have happened again.

Posted by: associate20 | October 13, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

amitchell13

I too enjoy an intelligent discussion.

We do have health care for everyone...we have medicaid, medicare, and every state has healthcare options that fit everyone's budget. Here in NJ, below a certain income, it is free for everyone in the family. If you are above that, you can buy varying stages of healthcare, from high end to just the basics.

Why is it that people will spend $2000 on a computer, but won't spend it on healthcare insurance?

I know from personal experience, that a good portion of the people choose not to pay for healthcare. They would rather drive a new car, have that new computer or just spend it with their buddies on Friday nights. They take the chance that nothing will happen to them. I do all the healthcare for our company, and I have had to talk people into taking it when they didn't want to. We now just pay for it 100%, and no one turns that down. I can sleep better at night, even though it costs alot.

Competition in every industry is what makes this country great. Take that away, even in the healthcare industry, and it becomes mediocre at best.

We do need incentives to help businesses provide health insurance.

I do not want the government telling me what doctor I can go to, what procedures I can have done, and that I am too old for some procedures. Look at Europe, look at Canada. They have charts that tell you what procedures are acceptable at what age. Too old....sorry. Need a hip replacement? 6 month waiting period. Over 70? Can't do it.

I just want less government. Our founding father's knew it....I think we have just lost our way.

Posted by: peggylou4 | October 13, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Posted previously: "Reduce taxes on a business and the extra profit which results from that reduction will go towards investing in that business. The investments will make it necessary to hire more people." I am all for small businesses--who employ more Americans than large companies--but the catch in the above statement is the "extra profit" part. I know quite a few small business owners, and I don't see them investing their tax breaks into hiring more people. I see them buying everything from carpet shampooers to luxury cars and calling those "business expenses" even as they complain about their taxes. If lowering taxes is such a good strategy for our economy, we should be in very good shape right now.

Posted by: westerner | October 13, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

What?!?!?! You want to question the Meessiah?!?!?! Heretic!!!

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | October 13, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Obama has been the benefactor of unusal campaign changes from Ill State to US Senate and never had his background examined. There is questions about his citizenship resulting in a pending law now suit in PA where the DNC is backing Obama. Obama has not been open about his birth certificate (on-line is not authentic), medical records other than one page (compared to hundreds from McCain) his college records. His associations not only with Ayers, but his fund-raiser in Chicago is another ex-SDS and his support for Raila Odinge in Kenya a socialist schooled in East Berlin. But the MSM is ignoring all this. Why?

Posted by: NancyLV57
-------------------------------
That there is so much ignorance in these post that it is astonishing! So what do you think; his mother is not his mother? Or is it thst Hawaii isn't a state? Maybe she adopted him? What?

The adoption part you can give up, it doesn't take a DNA test to see that Obama looks just like his grandfather so I guess we are back to wither Hawaii isn't a state or she had him in another country? Please!

Do you honestly believe that anyone claiming to be a US citizen can campaign for the presidency? The state department is asleep? Tell us the basis behind you skepticism. This obviously keeps you up at night.

Why don't you speak about the issues? Why doesn't John McCain speak about the issues? You people and your fear mongering and conspiracy theories are funny at the least but frightening.

Posted by: justonevoice | October 13, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

What? Are you kidding? You want the MSM to ask substantive questions of The Anointed One? Did you fall and hit your head or something?

Halli Casser-Jayne
http://www.thecjpoliticalreport.com

Posted by: PolitiHAL | October 13, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

We should be asking questions of both candidates. This article isn't adding any insight to anything. And McCain's underdog act is a farce. He's an underdog if the polls are correct, precisely because after 26 years in the Congress, we still don't have substantive positions about what we would do if elected to the office of president? We do know he's changed positions. We do know that he has dramatically changed the dialog from issues to personal slime attacks. We have seen the last move as he has hired and embraced the same people that slimed him in 2000. So essentially that tells me he's desparate enough to win this prize that he would forgo his character and judgment for personal gain. That's a consistent message with his hiring of dozens of lobbyists to run his campaign. Rick Davis in particular, is offensive, as one who has denied taking payments from failed companies, weaseling out on a technicality over a matter of days, and claiming that his firm benefitted, not him. What the net situation is, McCain's available for a price. Always has been, and always will be. Maverick? Just a distraction. Maverick just means strays from the herd. It doesn't mean good nor bad. And it doesn't show a consistent, logically laid out thought process. It's a good label to have if you constantly need to shift your positions for another bidder. Frankly, I am amazed, regardless of whom he is running against, that he has more than 25% of any constituency.

Posted by: nihao1 | October 13, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Too bad you didn't think to ask George W. Bush these questions...or are they only reserved for Democratic candidates?

Posted by: bscott3 | October 13, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

THE GREAT MEDIA (AND THAT INCLUDES FOX AND WASH POST AND NY TIMES) CONSPIRACY

Dear Mr. Balz,

Yes, we know what kind of question is really being asked by you--as a card carrying member of the so-called liberal media--how can we (the media) influence the race NOW to make sure that it tightens up and we get greater readership or viewership. The one thing that the Washington Post, the New York Times, Fox News and MSNBC all have in common is a NEED to make this a tight race, so the "horse race" will make readers pick up the newspaper or keep viewers glued to the TV set!

Posted by: Right2 | October 13, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Hi Peggylou....I think you may be living beyond your means. I see it all the time folks making a $100k year-- thinking that it's a lot...time to cut back a bit-- we're in a recession. I see folks everyday in $500,000 to multi-million dollar homes who are way in over their heads, do I want to bail these people out?....It's unfortunate that we started with 35 candidates-- this is what we have-- it's very clear that Obama is heads above anything McCain has to offer: be honest with yourself, has McCain really been rational lately? or even presidential? he has no clue...just throwing out policies to see if they'll stick. His time has past him by-- he's no longer ready to lead-- time to setlle down with his honey in Sedona. God Bless America!

Posted by: pax_vobiscum2002 | October 13, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Tough ain't enough.

We need a leader, not a hero.

.

Posted by: poortrekker | October 13, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

You Republicans are a joke.
For eight years you've been telling us how Republicans are keeping this country safe from terrorist....and now on the eve of losing an election...you decide a known terrorist living amoungst us and teaching school in Ill.
The only terrorist in this election are the Republican hacks trying to spread their fear.

Posted by: miker2133 | October 13, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

"...beneficiary of the worst economic news..." Are you out of your freakin fuddeldudelling head? In a crisis, Obama has shown the quality of a great leader while McZheimer has panicked, cried, whined and slured. Your mouth smells funky.

Posted by: transav | October 13, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

John McCain's bid for the presidency failed in 2000, yet now he's the Republican's party's poster child?

Talk about lowering the bar!

But Mr Balz asks, as he should, "How adaptable is Obama to all of this?"

More adaptable than "that" septuagenarian.

Posted by: poortrekker | October 13, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

want all of us to decide on how we spend our money. I think all of us should take care of ourselves, and ask for help only when absolutely necessary. Buying a 250,000 house when you make 50,000 a year is dumb, and anyone who does it should accept the consequences...losing the house and any money you invested.

It is time for Americans to stand up and take care of themselves, instead of asking the government to solve all of their problems. Vote for Obama, and we become closer and closer to a socialistic society. Take from the rich (and that definition will change constantly) and give to the poor. Why would anyone be motivated to work hard?

Posted by: peggylou4
-------------------------------------
Having read several of your post, I am astonished that you are a business owner.

A. you should incorporate your business so that you are not mixing your personal tax liability with that of your company thereby reducing your tax liability and insulating yourself in the event that your company fails.

To the other issues. It seems as though you stopped reading the Obama plan before you got to the good parts. You are set as a small business owner to receive several tax incentives. Additionally he is attempting to open up your borrowing power so that you are able to paydown current liabilities such as payroll etc. All of these affect you! If you are drawing a salary of $100K under the Obama plan you will not have a tax increase.

Now about your annoyance with lower income individuals, you must remember that no matter what business you are in, they are the sources of your revenues! If they can't buy, you can't sell!

So get a grip...increasing the purchasing power of the lower and middle class population is what will stir the economy. Obama is the only politician using "we" in his stump speeches. You are in the collective "we."

Posted by: justonevoice | October 13, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who still believes that the balanced objective journalism at the Post of the 60s and 70s still exists, should now be disbused. Between Fred Hiatt and Dan Balz, we long-time readers of the Post have watched it slip ever rightward. Today Obama lays out not just a lon-term economic vision, but a robust shorter-term economic plan, and Balz would still ask questions of Obama? We haven't heard enough from McCain to even ask him a question; it's been nonstop lies and smears with no substnce. I almost thought they might have something going when I'd heard they'd huddled all weekend to come up with a plan but in the end they said "Nevermind!". Did you ask them anything about that, Dan? I honestly don't see much difference between the Times and the Post anymore, 2 rags with no guts or brains.

Posted by: Toutatis | October 13, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

peggylou4 ... you are civl in your discussion and I like that:

We know already we are the richest country on the fae of the earth and euqally as strong militarily ... don't you think is will be good on us to enusure that every man woman and child in these United States have health care coverage ... and yet another way to make America great among nations? Truly, we can send a man to the moon and we can continue to afford $10 billion a month in Iraq ... we can do this?

You and I might agree on Immigration Reform.

Posted by: amitchell13 | October 13, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Obama has been the benefactor of unusal campaign changes from Ill State to US Senate and never had his background examined. There is questions about his citizenship resulting in a pending law now suit in PA where the DNC is backing Obama. Obama has not been open about his birth certificate (on-line is not authentic), medical records other than one page (compared to hundreds from McCain) his college records. His associations not only with Ayers, but his fund-raiser in Chicago is another ex-SDS and his support for Raila Odinge in Kenya a socialist schooled in East Berlin. But the MSM is ignoring all this. Why?

Posted by: NancyLV57 | October 13, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

YoungAtheart

Bigger government is bad. We need to have the government back away. Stop making everyone reliant on them for everything.

Americans are strong, smart and know how to make a buck. Let Americans do what they do best.

Stop taxing to death everything we do.

STOP trying to solve everyone's problems.

Let people clean up after their own mess.

Let businesses fail, if necessary, and prosecute those that ripped investors off.

Posted by: peggylou4 | October 13, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

YoungAtHeart

You see this is the problem that I am having still as an independent Republican

Rich people know all of the loop holes in the Tax Code and System ... and they have it both ways ... IF YOU SPEND they get filthy rich IF YOU TAX they still get rich and poorer Americans who don't know about the loop holes ... they bear the burden of the tax.

IT DOES NOT SEEM FAIR TO ME ... and that is why Obama (as in the last debate) was pulling me his way IT IS ALL ABOUT SOME SENSE OF FAIRNESS. The $800 billion passed by Congress (darn them for doing something but they had to) was to help out Wall Street and continue the trickle down hand outs we call laons for house, cars, our children college education. The $300 billion proposed by Joh McCain to again bail out banks ... was his answer to help these poor irresponsible home buyers in their over priced homes.

Something has to change and we cannot miss this opportunity in America to at least REVISE what is wrong with the Americal and Global Financial System.

Who would you trust to do this?

Posted by: amitchell13 | October 13, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Hey Balzy.... Obama delivered today. And you need to answer for your column which equated the McCain attacks on Obama, to Obama attacks on McCain. Every clear-minded respectable journalist has said that the McCain attacks and race baiting was far more toxic and divisive than anything Obama's camp ever said. So Balzy I'm questioning you now... where is your journalistic integrity?

Posted by: AB68 | October 13, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Wait, this is weird... I need to pinch myself to see if I am dreaming. I am reading the Washington Post, and they're really truly not slamming McCain and they're actually asking real questions for Obama. I really must be dreaming... either way, I am so happy to see real points being made. Not commenting on what I think of each candidate's plans one way or another, but it's refreshing to really see real points and issues on the washington post. I have to take this moment in and remember this point where real valid questions are being asked of Obama... how refreshing.

Posted by: KAustin1 | October 13, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

peggylou4:

Since you pay 100% health care on 15 employees how would this part of Obama's business tax plan affect you?

Small Business Health Tax Credit. New refundable tax credit of up to 50% on premiums paid by small businesses.
http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/23496.html

Posted by: nowanna3 | October 13, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

It is ridiculous to think that somewhat higher taxes on the most profitable corporations will result in more lost jobs than would otherwise happen anyway. With 2/3 of Fortune 500 corporations, paying near-zero taxes with loopholes for the last 20+ years, American jobs have been steadily moving overseas, first union jobs in the 80s, then non-union jobs in the 90s and finally white-collar jobs in the 2000s.

Obama's progressive tax and spending plan is needed to correct two decades of wealth redistribution from the middle-class to corporate balance sheets, especially in healthcare, oil and investment banks.

Obama/Biden plans are targetted at programs to rebuild America from the ground-up --
- Immediate tax relief for the middle-class
- Universal healthcare to head off emergency room costs for the uninsured
- Competitive bidding on healthcare to keep costs under control
- Tax cuts ONLY for companies that build jobs at home
- A large enough alternative energy proposal ($150B over 10 years) to really kick start the alternative energy industry
- Educatonal support for highschool seniors

JOBS and NEW DEMAND for made-in-America WILL COME from these working these plans.

Posted by: YoungAtheart | October 13, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Thank You peggylou4

Posted by: amitchell13 | October 13, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

How can John McCain lead this country if he can't even lead his own campaign?

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 13, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

amitchell13

All I can say is this: I don't want the government passing more laws on how I can spend my money. I don't want the goverment taxing me more and more to give it to people who always seem to have their hand out. I don't want the government growing and growing any more than it already is.

I want all of us to decide on how we spend our money. I think all of us should take care of ourselves, and ask for help only when absolutely necessary. Buying a 250,000 house when you make 50,000 a year is dumb, and anyone who does it should accept the consequences...losing the house and any money you invested.

It is time for Americans to stand up and take care of themselves, instead of asking the government to solve all of their problems. Vote for Obama, and we become closer and closer to a socialistic society. Take from the rich (and that definition will change constantly) and give to the poor. Why would anyone be motivated to work hard?

Posted by: peggylou4 | October 13, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I've spent my time in the private sector, too. I feel better working to keep people healthy than I did working to make a capitalist filthy rich. I'm funny that way.

Budget cuts could put me on the street anytime, it ain't as rosy as everyone thinks.

Posted by: BudG024 | October 13, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Bud, now I understand. You work for the government. You don't have to worry about being fired, healthcare, retirement. You can't get your pay cut.

Makes complete sense.

Not all of us have the security you do Bud. All you have to do is show up for work, and you are employed for life.

Posted by: peggylou4 | October 13, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

A second stimulus package is necessary BECAUSE of the recession. Government spending is a vital tool to get the economy moving. Economists are very clear on this point.

The fact that Mr. Balz doesn't seem to understand this is disturbing.

Posted by: racheljl | October 13, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

peggylou4 this is what is bothering me ... still undecided ... but leaning Obama

Trying to get all of you who smear with labels like TAX AND SPEND .... to understand that SPENDING IS A TAX WHEN YOU ARE USING OTHER PEOPLES' MONEY

That is why we are in this crisis ... it was once once alled a "housing crisis" then a "credit crisis" then a "banking crisis" DOES NOT MATTER - IT IS A CRISIS and all of these smart labels do not get to the heart of the problem PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY ... that is why McCains quick vote economic measure to spend $300 billion more cause me to finally jump off this Republican band wagon.

IT IS FLAWED LOGIC

Posted by: amitchell13 | October 13, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Oh , peggylou, you'll love this. I'm a public employee!

What have I done? I've volunteered at school, served on local government advisory boards, spent 18 years working in public health, testified at legislative hearings, written letters to elected representatives, and given about $100 to Barack Hussein Obama the next president of the United States.

Posted by: BudG024 | October 13, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

John McCain is a Republican. The Republicans controlled the Congress for 6 years prior to 2006.

This country is a bazillion dollars in debt. We are spending 700 bazillion dollars a minute on a war in Iraq, a sovereign nation that we overthrew for no apparent reason.

We are more and more dependent on petroleum energy, a resource that is rapidly being used up, thus becoming more scarce and more expensive (and profitable if you've got the well) - and McCain's solution is "drill baby drill"

We either embrace HOPE or FEAR. FEAR is easier, you just curl up in a ball and tremble. HOPE requires a little faith and action.

MICHELLE 2016

Posted by: BudG024 | October 13, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

BudG024

We keep our employees for an average of 10 years each. We do the best we can for them and their families. Where do you work Bud? Walmart? Maybe on welfare? Want a bigger hand out? What has the government done for you lately is your only question?

What have you done for anyone, including this great country of ours, in your life Bud? Time to think about the big picture, and how we can all help.

Time to grow up.

Posted by: peggylou4 | October 13, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

amitchell13

Obama is a democrat. The congress has been democratically led for two years. If Obama is elected, the same people will be running it: Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and friends. How is that change? Obama's associations over the years are questionable at best. And don't forget...for those of you talking about the "rich" John McCain, the Obama's made over 4 MILLION dollars last year. Not chicken feed. He has no room to talk about the rich McCain's. Michelle Obama's "charity" work got her $375,000 a year. Don't get me wrong...I believe in the American Dream and all it can give you. I just think Obama is totally inexperienced, will tax and spend this country into a deeper hole than we are already in. His associations with Ayers, Wright and crew makes my skin crawl.

Posted by: peggylou4 | October 13, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I scare you? I'm probably just like one of your 15 employees.

I scare you because I've noticed that the federal government is being run for the benefit of giant corporations, at the expense of the Average American?

I scare you because I give money to the Obama campaign every month?

BOO

Posted by: BudG024 | October 13, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Balz, I'm not sure what you are saying. The article was pretty general.

If you are asking if Senator Obama can lead in this crisis and set of difficult problems the country has, that is understandable. I think it is difficult to get in the middle of an economic rescue package and do too much in the public eye- it's not good politics especially as the issues are complex and unfolding quickly. What you do know is that Senator Obama has been working with all the right parties in a bipartison fashion- but without self-egrandizement. I think that's appropriate until now. The last couple of weeks are a good time to show a plan that goes with the vision and objectives- since things have cooled down regarding absolute panic.This seems like what he is doing now.

Senator Obama has proven himself to be a quick learner, quick on his feet and to be a pragmitist with a great deal of bipartison track record in his state and in the US Senate. I'm sure we will hear more about that in the coming days.

I think that Senator Obama has proven over his life experiences and in the campaign that he is highly intelligent with capability of immense complex thought and has high emotional intelligence of a political mind. So many friends, colleagues, and great opinion leaders have been references, but also, we have seen him for ourselves.

I would like to see not only the people that he has around him now, but some of the people he would like to have in his cabinet. It is true this is unusual, but the times are unusual. A bipartison cabinet like Lincoln would be great.

Senator Obama has proven himself to be a man of integrity and character. The associations you mention, in my opinion, are just noise. He needs to answer questions, sure. But leaders and politicians do bump into people with pasts and people you don't always agree with. You learn to work with them and manage the situation as needed. We are adults and living in a black and white world as sometimes our media and moral hypocrites demand, is simply childish.
And finally, Senator Obama has kept his campaign cleaner than the McCain campaign an this says a lot. Many of us know the long list of bad boys that Mr. McCain has palled around with and many have cost our country- and me- billions of dollars (Keating and many lobbyists), some are racists and antisemiticists and religious low life, and some are people like Libby who broke the most basic of laws. McCain has had 26 yrs in the Senate and is no angel- he has skeletons rattling in all the closets of his 7 houses. Many of us know it and many know his life going back to the early days and the missing Vietnam POWs. As he made his rise, he was an opportunist with ambition. Morphing his brand into the hero in his biographies became a mid-career effort.

Posted by: lucy2008 | October 13, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

PEGGYLOU4

How do you figure ... just by saying what you believe about Obama?

I am an Independent Republican being convinced that we need a change.

Posted by: amitchell13 | October 13, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

BudG024

Wow, in NJ with 5 people, 100,000 isn't much. Did I mention that all of our savings/investments were used to start the business? It is people like you that scare me. My husband and I took a huge risk, all of our savings, to start a business. We give 15 people a decent income with total benefits. We assume all the risk...while you sit and ask the government for hand outs. Vote Obama in, and you will get your handouts, Comrad.

Posted by: peggylou4 | October 13, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

The meaning of a true patriot is to let the government keep giving it to you in the a$$ and just keep bending and taking it. I'd rather be an american.

Posted by: republicrat | October 13, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Problem is, everything there is to know about Obama has been written about and there are no more skeletons. The rivaling party has no compunction about "just making stuff up." Let's see how they re-write the Ayers, Wright, Flag Pin, Hand over heart during National Anthem stories,yet, again.

Posted by: republicrat | October 13, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

peggylou,

It's nice that you're rakin' it in. $100,000 salary is a lot to most of us.

If you reinvest your business profits in your business, you will limit your "income" and likely grow your business ... or just raise your salary, isn't that how it goes?

I don't have a lot of sympathy for people who have to pay a lot of taxes because they're so dang well-off. Sorry about that.

Posted by: BudG024 | October 13, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Straight Talk by Obama

"We’ve lived through an era of easy money, in which we were allowed and even encouraged to spend without limits; to take out as many credit cards as possible, to take out as many credit cards as possible, to borrow instead of save,” Mr. Obama said. “Now, I know that in an age of declining wages and skyrocketing costs, for many folks this was not a choice but a necessity just to keep up, I understand that.”

“But we now know how dangerous that can be,” he continued. “Once we get past the present emergency, which requires immediate new investments, we have to break that cycle of debt. Our long-term future requires that we do what’s necessary to scale down our deficits, grow wages and encourage personal savings again.”

Posted by: amitchell13 | October 13, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

"This ass clown could not even pass the secret service background check due to association with a known terrorist! And you want him to be President?

You are most certainly not "clear, steady and lucid"

Posted by: prhornbeak "

Speaking of "ass clowns!" Just what is it you're referring to, anyway, phorny?

Posted by: thrh | October 13, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I see that Bill Kristol has suggested in the NYTimes that McCain should fire his entire campaign staff and start over; in return, the McCain campaign has now thrown Kristol under the bus.

It's so much fun when they start eating their own!

Posted by: thrh | October 13, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

In response to: rebnrdu

Obama wants to tax at $250,000 and over. I am a small business owner, taking a salary of $100,000. I have to add my business taxes in with my personal. I make enough to fit Obama's tax schedule. He taxes me MORE than I already pay (40% plus, including local, state and fed), I will have to cut jobs, and cut the health care that I offer. How is that helping? There are thousands of other small business owners in the same position. You CANNOT raise taxes in an economy such as ours. All the middle class folks will then lose their jobs, such as the ones I offer to 15 people. I pay for their healthcare 100%.

Take out of your 401K now...you really think people who bought houses way over their heads are going to use their 401K money to pay it off? No, they are using their future money to live now, and will hand the keys back to the bank for their houses.

We need to stimulate the economy with jobs. Jobs that come from small business owners. Don't send me out of business too, as I have seen alot of my associates.

Posted by: peggylou4 | October 13, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Any candidate questioning Obama's policies or past during his entire Presidential bid, has done so at his or her own political peril. Obama's campaign strategists have shrewdly insulated him from scrutiny and criticism by using his race as a defense. As a result, the American voter, is yet, to be fully convinced of Obama's credibility and capability to be President. Truth matters. Integrity counts. Deception, no matter one's ethnic or cultural backbround, is not what Americans want to see, or perceive, in their President. For this life-long Democrat, Obama lost my vote when his campaign played the 'race card' on President Clinton, downplaying his legacy; only then to turn their own brand of politics of personal destruction on Senator Clinton by distorting her record and questioning her integrity.

Posted by: mpwynn | October 13, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

ACORN has been registering people in the ABSENTEE VOTING BALLOTS as Obama democrats, and if these are not verified then all those dead people will have their votes counted. As Americans, come on, doesn't that fact bug you just a little. The problem with folks is that they want to believe everything that Obama mutters, but without verification. He has so many holes in all of his stories that he had to hire 300 people to keep the lies straight. Obama wants to raise our taxes in a recession, which will lead to a DEPRESSION. Several renowned economists have stated that FDR kept our country in a depression longer by raising taxes, inflating wages and consumer index prices. Obama will do just that. This country can not survive without the ingenuity of those men and women who PROVIDE the jobs we need to sustain ourselves. If the employer's taxes are raised substantially enough, that employer will be laying people off or will not be hiring. Therefore, those potential employees will not be earning money to get tax breaks. Not hard to understand folks. I am no economist, but I know destroying and over taxing business only yields UNEMPLOYMENT!

What congress should have done is to have suspended Wallstreet for one week, so that the market could try to correct itself. What this government also needs to do, is forgive all debts. We have to wipe the slate clean in order to clear up the debris left by our government officials and wallstreet. It is like when you paint a room; you clear away the furniture and tape up the edges, leaving clean surfaces. We can not allow our government to have control of the banking industry or they will be just like Hugo Chavez, who is socializing every business and industry in his country and that country is doing poorly. We have politicians who are corrupt in every fashion. Why are Barney Frank, Charles Rangel,and Chris Dodd still being allowed to have a space at the bargaining table? These are the same people who knew about the issues on wallstreet, but were too busy getting their slice of the pie at our expense. Then we have our republican friends going along with idiot legislation that helped this financial crisis grow. Not one of them had enough balls to go against the powers to be. Not one of them created ads or bought newspaper space to tell US what was going on. They allowed this to happen behind our backs, and it is on the backs of hard working Americans where the solution can be found without the impediment of these politicians. I keep yelling this loud and clear but we need TERM LIMITS! And it won't happen until some of you get your heads out of the partisan sand and start wising up to the issues we are now facing.

Posted by: candyzky | October 13, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

For sake of argument I will accept McCain's plans/ideas as being the answers to our country's issues/problems. However, I cannot accept John McCain as the president of this nation. I do not want the leader of this country to be a representative of a hypocritical - change of position - mean spirited - bi-polar type individual. In my opinion his choice of VP exemplifies his character and personality.

Posted by: IamSure | October 13, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

All of you who think McCain won't raise taxes are dreaming.

Posted by: republicrat | October 13, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

paulstewart wrote: "I think Obama is explaining and proposing things just fine. He is clear, steady and lucid."

Hey Paul...you forgot crooked! You forgot anti-American! You forgot inexperienced!

This ass clown could not even pass the secret service background check due to association with a known terrorist! And you want him to be President?

You are most certainly not "clear, steady and lucid"

Posted by: prhornbeak | October 13, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Drainyou,
Newsweek writes about 13 cars! CARS!
QUIT reading Newsweek.
Obama has at a minimum 13 terroist or UNAmerican ties.
Newsweek, You are FIRED!

Posted by: Texan2007 | October 13, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Voting for Obama is suppose to be for change. The Congress has been under Democratic rule for 2 years, and look what happened! Is Obama going to fire Barney Frank, Dodd and friends? It won't be change...the same incompetents that ignored the situation, and actually encouraged more loans to unqualified people, will still be running the country. Voting for a dem president and all dem congress is suicide for this country. No checks and balances at all.

Posted by: peggylou4 | October 13, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Obama is NOT an American Patriot. And if he is, God save us all.

Posted by: Texan2007 | October 13, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

For the past two weeks, the focus of the campaign has been John McCain’s negative attacks. The focus has definitely not been any of the questions to be asked of Obama in this story. McCain should be thrown some good scenarios as well. The only thing we've learned about McNasty during the past 2 weeks is what a JERK he is. Obamas calmness through the economic storm proves he works exceptionally well under pressure. McCain wants to bail out the banks by allowing them to purchase mortgages at what the home owner purchased it for and not what it's worth now and then selling it back at what it's worth now. So if a home sold for $100, 000 and is now worth $50,000, the bank gets a $50, 000 slice of the deal. How's that helping homeowners? Obama wants to create a temporary tax credit for firms that create jobs in the U.S, to make 401(k) and IRA withdrawals through 2009 penalty-free, and allow families to withdraw up to 15 percent of their savings, up to $10,000, have a 90-day foreclosure moratorium for homeowners making "good-faith efforts" to keep up with their mortgage payments, Create a new entity to lend to state and local governments, allowing for an effort similar to the liquidity assistance that the Federal Reserve recently extended to commercial banks and also temporarily eliminate taxes on unemployment insurance benefits. Those are just a few of his better ideas. Somebody give some of McCain’s good ideas!!! PLEASE!!!

Obama/Biden 08

Posted by: rebnrdu | October 13, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Balz:

You aren't paying attention to what Senator Obama's on the stump, in interviews and at the two debates. You aren't paying attention to his demeanor, either. He presents himself as calm, understanding and knowledgeable. There is no reason think he will have a hard time understanding and executing his responsibilities as President of the United States.

Your questions are an effort to unnecessarily raise the qualification bar for Senator Obama. Why, again and again? What is your real motivation here?

Posted by: pbarnett52 | October 13, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

The thing you fail to consider, Mr Balz, is that from January 20th forward, events will always change from one day to the next.

At this point, with all the time we have had to get to know both Obama and McCain, I believe the most important questions are already answered. We know who has the steady and thoughtful temperament, the superior intellect, and, most important, who knows what he doesn't know and surrounds himself with the top experts in order to make the wisest judgements. Barack Obama is the only one who fits this bill.

Posted by: zmar2 | October 13, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

They should be ashamed.

Posted by: bubba31138 | October 13, 2008 3:18 PM |
_________________________

No, it is you that should be ashamed. Really.

Posted by: paulstewart | October 13, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I think Obama is explaining and proposing things just fine. He is clear, steady and lucid. If there is anyone that should be doing some explaining and proposing, its McCain. Oh right, he did that several times and none of it makes sense. So why is it we should excuse McCain again? I don't get your logic at all. You are just in the pocket of the McCain campaign's new strategy to get another start. I mean, you don't get a second run at a crisis you know? McCain has failed on many things. He failed to manage his campaign, it is managing him. He failed to select the right Veep candidate - no one can say she is the right choice with a straight face. He failed to get his approach right - you can't be 100% negative, really, that is stupid. And he failed in his response to the economic crisis. Not once, but twice. First he supported all the deregulation that let it happen, then he flubbed his response by flying to Washington and pretending to stop his campaign - result of his efforts - his Republican friends voted the rescue package down.

Now, if there is any more detail or clarification needed of Obama than McCain, I just do not see that. Let's get him into office asap and quit wasting time.

Posted by: paulstewart | October 13, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"Questioning Obama"? Well, that would be a good thing, but I don't think it will happen. From the very beginning the mainstream media have served as apologists for Barack Obama, covering for his every perceived weakness, minimizing every flaw, and coming down severely upon any of his critics, especially including the McCain campaign. The media have devoted attention to the McCain campaign only in an obvious effort to destroy it. The media bias has been at its most flagrant in the matter of Obama's questionable past associations. He spent most of his adult life in the chosen company of urban terrorists, left-wing extremists, racist hate-mongering preachers, Chicago political hacks, ACORN, and even criminals. It is inconceivable that these influences did not help to form Obama's character and ideology, but any attempt at critical analysis has been branded as racist or unfairly questioning Obama's patriotism. As for the latter charge, it should be perfectly appropriate to question Obama's patriotism in light of his past. The media have shamelessly disregarded any responsibility to objectively report these important issues concerning Barack Obama. They should be ashamed.

Posted by: bubba31138 | October 13, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I like to see people not brain washed
by the obama sleigh of hand.
look too close, and there is nothing
of substance.
He is all talk, going to infuse money
into the economy by letting people
take 15% of their 410K's out?
that is so backwards!
we need to promote savings!
NOBAMA!!!

Posted by: USA3 | October 13, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Today Obama announced some more economic plans. The problem is that none of his suggestions address the core issues. Further, his plans would put taxpayers on the hook for an unstated cost and would simply grow the size of government (one suggestion includes creating a new government office. Where does the money come from for this?)

We have already seen what bad government can do to our economy, our jobs, our taxes. Why do we want MORE of the same (and it will be more of the same; all the promises of change are just that promises. They will be tossed out the window next January. They always are).

Whether McCain or Obama wins, the President is ONE person with limited powers. Not a dictator. Not an omnipotent god. Not a magician with a magic wand. The President will still have to contend with Congress who may have different ideas than the President.

We The People must return, for the sake of our nation, to the virtues of thrift, self-reliance, and independence.

Posted by: NoneoftheAbove08 | October 13, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

It is funny that this trickle down economy has worked perfectly well for Sen. Obama and his wife Michelle. There were no complaints there. I have not heard anything about Sen. Obama protesting the Wall Street largesse while he was in the US Senate. He has not protested the IRS tax code either, despite the fact that as a US Senator he could have done it. I have not heard him protesting the Bush bailout plan that favors the Wall Street spenders and speculators, on the contrary Sen. Obama, Speaker Pelosi, Majority leader Sen. Reid, and others were star struck when they sat next to President Bush. Thanks to Speaker Pelosi’s stupidity the bailout failed. However, they were at it soon afterwards and passed it loaded with pork. The voters will have a chance to voice their opinion on November 4th and get them out of Washington.

Posted by: Wiel | October 13, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Jobs do not come from stimulus checks.
Jobs do not come from Government spending or taxes.
Reduce taxes on a business and the extra profit which results from that reduction will go towards investing in that business. The investments will make it necessary to hire more people.
Raise the taxes on the business and the business will have less to invest making it unnecessary, imprudent, perhaps impossible to hire more.
If the business is required by its lender (bank covenants) to pay down its debt and its profits have shrunk as a result of higher taxes and a recessionary economy, the business may have to sell assets and displace empoyees.
This is not theory.

Posted by: dlo7 | October 13, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

A lot has been said about Dan Balz's (both fair and unfair---some of the comments on this thread are a good example), but you've got to give him that: his unwavering support of John McCain is a testimony to his commitment to the Washington Post's long time loyalty to the GOP (The Washington Post has steadfastly supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq, warmed to President George W. Bush's proposal to partially privatize Social Security, opposed a deadline for U.S. withdrawal from the Iraq War, and advocated free trade agreements, including CAFTA. In November 2007, the Washington Post was criticized by independent journalist Robert Parry for reporting on anti-Obama chain e-mails without sufficiently emphasizing to its readers the false nature of the anonymous claims.)

I am not sure what impact, if any, Dan Batz's articles have on public opinion at large. I suspect that the hardcore McCain base that already agrees with whatever Senator McCain's campaign's "talking point" of the day happens to be, find his articles comforting in the sense that his op-eds preach to the chorus and fit in with the familiar echo-chamber they are comfortable with, while most people probably look at it the same way they look at Bill Kristol's column in the New York Times. All in all, talking points are as talking points do (and are recognizable as such), and most people know it: their purpose is not to inform but rather to help standardize the responses of sympathizers to their specific cause while simultaneously co-opting the language used by those discussing the specific subject.

Posted by: marniebowen | October 13, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I think we need to forget this talk about GOP versus Dems and take a good hard look at each of their proposals and talk to people to understand which one signifies real change from the last 8 years, and which one offers pretty much a continuation or an extension of past policies. We need to look at how their campaigns are staffed and how they are funded to understand which one will really reform washington and which one is just talking reform. We need to look at their respective temperaments and understand which candidate is unshakeable under pressure and which one takes risky moves...We need to evaluate each proposal and understand if they are water tight. Offering me a tax credit by taxing my healtcare benefit is NOT a net plus for me. It is a Net Net. Continuing the perspective that we have to be strong armed and unilateral in foreign policy has not worked...doing it the same again is insanity. Giving tax breaks to the rich has NOT benefited the economy, so why are we convinced it will work this time? Saying that you are going to clean Washington when your own campaign is staffed and financed by lobbyists and special interests is equivalent to taking the american people as fools. You can toot the 'experience' horn all you want, but you can hire experience, and you can buy knowledge, but it is a person's moral compass that is rare and unique. Look at how each candidate has run their respective campaigns and it will be clear which needle is misaligned and which one is pointed true north to the interests of everyday folks like us. We need solid ideas and a pragmatic thought process, not a thick fat resume with nothing but populist proposals and impractical ideology. We need a candidate who has CONVINCED pundits, not one who is trying to win his campaign by 'fooling' them. yes, the candidates are very different this election. We just need to pick the right one for the situation we are in today. There is a huge difference between common sense and common talk.

Posted by: andytoh | October 13, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

DOTTYDO WROTE:
I fail to see anywhere Obama has led?
He is much less qualified as a leader, than Palin is.
-----------------------
And where exactly has Sarah Palin led and what exacatly are her qualifications, Do-di-do-do?

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | October 13, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

McCain/Palin and Palin/First Dude and all of her high school friends from Alaska that are now in high places. Is this what the GOP has come to? Us wondering who might replace Palin when she becomes President of the United States and in the VP's Office?

Are we all renegades and gamblers?

Posted by: amitchell13 | October 13, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

On the contrary Obamacrats, every scandal that comes out about his associations making people take notice of who he really is.
Take for example, HUGE rally today in Virginia for McCain/Palin...would you know about it? NO, it's buried in the Metro section.
Character does matter, and that will prevail on Nov 4th.


Go McCain/Palin 08
True Americans


Posted by: blevins20061 | October 13, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Here is yet another example as to why Senator Obama is surging in the polls. Senator Obama is talking to the American people about the economic crisis, not about the culture war ephemera that the McCain-Palin campaign has been immersed in for the past two weeks. Moreover, Obama's economic policies represent a national plan and don't seem to be wedded to failed ideologies, whereas McCain and Palin continue to be tethered to such failed policies as trickle-down (Reaganomics) and the Bush Doctrine (neoconservative utopianism). As we move into the Fall, the winds of change are blowing, and McCain and Palin remain wedded to the failed experiments of our past.

Posted by: osullivanc1 | October 13, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

"We have 22 days to go. We're 6 points down. The national media has written us off. Senator Obama is measuring the drapes, and planning with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid to raise taxes, increase spending, take away your right to vote by secret ballot in labor elections, and concede defeat in Iraq. But they forgot to let you decide. My friends, we've got them just where we want them."
----------------------------------
ALL THE ABOVE IS WHY MCCAIN IS GOING TO BE DEFEATED; HE LIES.

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | October 13, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Translation: we in the media think we get better ratings if it is a close election, so we need to attack Obama, so our candidate, our Maverick can win.

Posted by: julian9682 | October 13, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I fail to see anywhere Obama has led?

He is much less qualified as a leader, than Palin is.

The only idea Obama has mouthed have been disenfranchisement for new and struggling business owners.

Blah blah Blah doesn't work, so why try it?

Posted by: dottydo | October 13, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Ah, DLO7. Now I see.

You've revealed yourself to be a partisan who doesn't understand economics or budgets.

You see, taxes are the same as spending.

Its money flowing out of the treasury.

The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center says that Obama's policies would increase the debt by $3.5 trillion over 10 years. The Tax Policy Center adds that McCain's policies would lead to an even bigger increase in the debt of $5.1 trillion.

So, yes. Let's discuss who is more like Bush...by all means, lets.

Posted by: IndiePendants | October 13, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Give me a break. You, the beltway media, have give huge coverage to every McCain attack on Obama. Its a joke there have been nothing but negative stories about Obama. The only negative stories on McCain are reporting facts. Like him being behind in polls, or comments from his ugly rallies. The media obsessed over Ayers without ever covering John McCain or Sarah Palins. Cover both candidates fairly no matter who is ahead!

Posted by: julian9682 | October 13, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

dlo7, you must not know any (none) economists or taken an economics course (other than econ 101)....

I think opinions tend to break down by party affiliation or political leaning - the far right and far left hate it for different reasons, the moderate right is ambivalent and the moderate left and centrists love it.

I think even you have to admit, however, that if the New Deal banking and stock market controls were still in place we would not be repeating the 1930's all over again today!

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | October 13, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

dlo7 wrote: "After 911 we were headed for a recession and W decreased taxes for everyone. We increased employment dramatically after the tax reduction."

Yeah, we increased the amount of WalMart jobs people could obtain...low paying, corporate run, keep the poor people poor type of jobs. The middle class, however, lost their wages. The good jobs dried up, and with the tax breaks that businesses received for shipping many of these jobs overseas we lost them forever.

Lower taxes for the poor and middle class, but F the rich. Raising the rich people's taxes will mean less WalMart employees...big deal. Maybe then the WalMart workers will get off their duff, stop eating little debbie snack cakes, get an education and create new businesses.

Posted by: Grant_x | October 13, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

this is crazy! check it out: http://www.OBAMAMCCAINBIDENPALIN.INFO

Posted by: parsonsscott | October 13, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I have come to the realization during this campaign that there are fundamentally very few differences between these candidates. Obama is painting himself as more of a conservative than his far-left brethren, and McCain is painting himself as a maverick who has turned his back on the far right. The 1st debate basically consisted of them saying the same thing different ways and defending themselves against accusations "I'M not going to raise taxes, but HE is...NO, HE is..." et al.

I also have realized that the person who holds the office of President really doesn't have a great deal of unilateral power (GW Bush's attempts aside). He is a figurehead, a symbol of America internally and externally. His job is to motivate, clarify, represent, and unify...not ramrod detailed policy into law.

I'm technically a libertarian, but I'm voting for Obama.
Reason: while I disagree with some of his policies, I
1) Trust him to be a far better leader and face for America, a unifier who hopefully can calm some of the extremely vitriolic partisanship that comes from both sides, and
2) Trust that a GOP Congress will take control in a few years to help keep him in check.

Intelligent people are spending lots of time picking apart the fine details of each candidate's agenda, but I'm not seeing a great deal of difference. Both candidates are treading close to the center and eschewing certain aspects of the extremes within their parties.

I'm voting based primarily on who do I trust to lead this country? And I simply don't trust John McCain as much as I used to - there was a time many years ago when I contemplated volunteering for his campaign. But now, with his partisan rhetoric and latent ties to GW, and especially his choice of Sarah Palin for VP...there's no chance I can vote for him.

Posted by: JMGinPDX | October 13, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Balz,
Your writing is little more than intellectual vomit.

Posted by: TOMHERE | October 13, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Comments posted herein show some very adept cut and paste work. Most of the liberal democrats are using someone else's opinion then calling it their own. Fake and phony just like Obama, Frank & company. Most Obama supporters are sheep, bleating endlessly and following other sheep around aimlessly.

These guys plotted to bring down the economy with bad mortgage loans. They blocked every attempt to correct the direction Fannie and Freddie took. They colluded with ACORN to pressure local or regional banks to make these loans. They encouraged brokers to join in the bonanza.

Several of these democrat idiots even tried to blame it on deregulation...which is just another example of criminal activity when they knew exactly what was going down with mortgage loans. There were numerous predictions of the calamity but the democrats chose to ignore and block the attempts to correct. Every one of these clowns including Obama should resign at the least and go to prison at best.

Obama's unsavory associations are not the ones with Ayers (who is a piss-ant compared to the real crooks) but those with ACORN, Barney Frank, Harry Reid, and Dodd. He has not been vetted by the MSM as they have never delved into the way he got into Harvard or his record while living in NY, or his membership in socialist organizations.

Posted by: prhornbeak | October 13, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Are you saying the New Deal did not prolong the Great Depression?

Posted by: dlo7 | October 13, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

McClatchy does its due diligence yet again, and slams down the last-gasp attempt of conservative mouth-breathers to save this election by blaming the financial meltdown on poor people.


"As the economy worsens and Election Day approaches, a conservative campaign that blames the global financial crisis on a government push to make housing more affordable to lower-class Americans has taken off on talk radio and e-mail...."

"Federal housing data reveal that the charges aren't true, and that the private sector, not the government or government-backed companies, was behind the soaring subprime lending at the core of the crisis."

"Subprime lending offered high-cost loans to the weakest borrowers during the housing boom that lasted from 2001 to 2007. Subprime lending was at its height from 2004 to 2006."

Federal Reserve Board data show that:

* More than 84 percent of the subprime mortgages in 2006 were issued by private lending institutions.

* Private firms made nearly 83 percent of the subprime loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers that year.

* Only one of the top 25 subprime lenders in 2006 was directly subject to the housing law that's being lambasted by conservative critics.

"The "turmoil in financial markets clearly was triggered by a dramatic weakening of underwriting standards for U.S. subprime mortgages, beginning in late 2004 and extending into 2007," the President's Working Group on Financial Markets reported Friday."


Here's some more mavericky straight-talk, my friends:
.
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/251/story/53802.html
.

It wasn't ACORN helping minorities get affordable homeloans. It wasn't Jimmy Carter's fault for signing the Community Redevelopment Act in 1977.
.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 13, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Are you saying, dlo, that the New Deal-- the establishment of the FDIC, the SEC, Social Security, farm support, the Tennessee Valley Authority, reform of the financial industry, setting minimum wages and maximum hours, putting people back to work, etc...was a bad thing for the stability of America or American economy in the long-term?

I can't see how you could unless you're one of the nonsensical Ron Paul people.

Posted by: IndiePendants | October 13, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

McCain was born in Panama. Does that make him less American? No, and no one in the Obama's camp will think so.
Please let's get back to what matters in this campaign. People are hurting in the ongoing crisis and it's no time to divert their attention to nonsensetic issues. Are McCain's people running out of ideas?

Posted by: jjfsob | October 13, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Barak Obama: Cut taxes : raise spending
George W : Cut taxes : raise spending
John M : Cut taxes : lower spending

Who is more like Bush?
Americans for more OBush!

Posted by: dlo7 | October 13, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I think people need to appreciate that there is a HUGE difference between running for office and being in office.

NO candidate is going to say what programs they are promising will be cut or cancelled.

First, not being in office, they have no idea what will be the circumstances they will find. Second, they really do not know what congress will look like yet. (I can tell you 1 thing, however - if congress shapes up the way it looks right now, McCain has burned so many bridges on both the left and the right in the last month that he will barely be able to pass water much less his legislative programs, especially with 60 Democrats sitting in the Senate....). Third, they do not really know what existing programs can be piggy-backed or altered to accomplish their goals.

That does not mean they do not understand the situation and are not prepared to respond to it. It is foolhardy to say that they won't. I have no doubt both men would modify many of their objectives. The critical thing for voters is which ones?

What is more important is to look at their over-riding philosophies.

McCain, for instance, sees the reason for what we are going through due to bad characters acting in bad faith. Obama tends to be more pragmatic - it is policy and procedure being carried out by people who may be sincere but who are making incorrect assumptions.

McCain also appears to have embraced the idea that cutting taxes will cure any and all economic issues - and, perhaps, a few moral ones, too. The fact that he has held a different position most of his political career seems not to be noticed. Obama, again, is more pragmatic. When the economy has worked the best the tax burden has been more equally shared.

Asking the rich to pay more (as a % of income) and letting the Middle Class (the ACTUAL Middle Class, not the Republican definition which appears to include Buffet, Gates and Cindy McCain) pay less is better fuel for the economy than excusing the Rich from any responsibility as citizens (oh, am I tipping my hand?)

Look at recent history: the 2 biggest market crashes and the 2 periods of the greatest suffering for the middle Class have come during the 2 biggest eras of Welfare for the Rich - during Reagan and during Bush. The biggest expansion of the economy EVER came during the administration of Bill Clinton - when taxes on the highest income earners were raised.

In any event, I do not care if neither McCain nor Obama tell us what they might cut. What I do care about is what they say about how they will get money in the treasury.

Nothing they promise can happen with out 1) Congress approving it and 2) money in the bank to allow it.

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | October 13, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

You will find very few econimists(none) who do not admit that the new deal deepend the depression.

Posted by: dlo7 | October 13, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"Nor is it evident that he has dealt realistically with the impact the economic crisis may have on the next president. He has not backed away from ambitious plans for a second stimulus package, for dramatically expanding health care, for reducing dependence on foreign oil or for other spending plans that long have been part of his campaign agenda."

The economic crisis makes it all the more important that he pursue those plans!

Economic stimulus, increased energy efficiency, improved infrastructure, domestic energy production and affordable health care are exactly what America needs to get out of this.

Saying he's not being realistic about this is like saying someone who has cancer shouldn't spring for treatment because they'll be off of work and will have to save money.

Did anyone think Roosevelt shouldn't have gone through with the New Deal because of the tough budgetary times of the Great Depression?? Yeah, I guess there were a few. Evidently, they were wrong.

Posted by: IndiePendants | October 13, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

As the right wingers on here show, all they have to offer are attacks on Obama and vague platitudes about McCain's character. Again, we are just supposed to trust that McCain will be nothing like George Bush, even though just over six months ago he trumpeted his consistent support of the president.

And still, no one--certainly not McCain--has been able to tell us how he differs from George Bush and on major issues and policy positions.

They seem to just want us to cross our fingers and hope that the same plans will somehow lead us to a different direction.

Posted by: ethel08 | October 13, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

with everyone insulting each other and wanting to see sparks fly, I'd thought of throwing my 5 cents worth in.
"May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits"

Posted by: marmiteyone | October 13, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Now, the REAL TRUTH about OBAMA...

He ain't perfect.
But he ain't Republican.
And that's good enough for me.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 13, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

There is an exact parallel with another president who inherited a nation in turmoil -- Herbert Hoover. The stock market crashed in October 1929 and Hoover had just taken office in March of that year. He failed to see the economy was already in crisis and relied too much on the time-honored Republican view that the private sector could fix the problem, relying on volunteerism and public-private sector cooperation. Sounds too much like McCain. History is repeating itself.

Posted by: aphilsmith | October 13, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Obama is not president yet. Bush still has 3 more months to screw things up even more. It looks like a scorched earth policy: Restart the Cold War, stand by while the mortgage crisis unfolds, preside over Wall Street's collapse and scream, "Bailout, NOW!" What's next? Devaluation of the dollar as China begins to dump dollars?
Who knows what Obama would face in January? You must kidding!

Posted by: Akamai1 | October 13, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

"It is hard to think of a new president who inherited such a rapidly altered landscape. Franklin Roosevelt inherited a country in crisis, but the crash on Wall Street began years before he was elected in 1932. The 44th president's world has been turned upside down in a matter of months, and literally on the eve of the election."

Anybody who's been paying attention--Like Paul Krugman---has been saying for decades that the income disparity in this country was unsustainable. The chickens have come home to roost and there's no way to for Fox and Friends to make to turn that into anything vaguely "Fair & Balanced [tm.]".

Posted by: robinlandseadel | October 13, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

You cannot increase taxes on businesses heading into a recession. When Mr Bill raised taxes we were headed into the internet boom. Increased taxes on businesses will reduce employment. After 911 we were headed for a recession and W decreased taxes for everyone. We increased employment dramatically after the tax reduction.
We are in a world economy fighting with other countries for jobs. Our corporate tax rate is the second highest in the industrial world. Raising taxes on businesses will result in higher unemployment.
Hate anyone you want. But do not raise taxes in this economy!

Posted by: dlo7 | October 13, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

So, let me get this straight...Obama should start focusing more on detailed answers while McCain gets a free pass because he's behind? Call me crazy, but I think most people want answers from BOTH candidates.

McCain's answers have been much more vague than Obama's and if you do the research, you'll often find the details you are looking for in Obama. I don't care if he's behind, McCain should be more focused on answers than attacks, no matter how tame.

I would love to see an overhaul of the debate format, but let's not kid ourselves into believing that there was actually time for decent answers during either debate.

Look, I'm all for details and substance, but this is an old argument and it makes me think that you haven't done an ounce of research other than what the TV tells you.

You really ought to think about that.

Posted by: natalieinaz | October 13, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

This article contains zero information. The MSM, including Post, have been kissing Republican behinds for eight years. You don't have to kiss more in the name of seeming "balanced".

Statements like "... he hopes that the polls could tighten as Election Day nears, and that, if that happens, the voters will take yet another look at their choices." Have a signal-to-noise ratio approaching zero. Stop shoveling pablum.

Posted by: diggyzazz | October 13, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Well my dear name-calling flinston,

What specific experience does McCain bring to the economic issue? He was a P.O.W. ! He's admitted that economics is not his strong suit.

Obama is smerter than me and smarter than you. He can inspire people to work together, and at least he understands that when you CUT TAXES you can't INCREASE SPENDING.

The "situation" is the result of deregulation efforts by McCain and Co., so I don't get how the DIMocrats caused it.

Posted by: BudG024 | October 13, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Presidential candidates are NOT economists, however their thought process, management and leadership style reflects on the policies they would pursue and what type of a team they would assemble to implement that policy.

A few points to note;

1. I think the situation demanded that the political candidates not float a lot of ideas since the Govt. is actively trying to float and implement ideas.

2. The Economic teams of the 2 teams speak for themselves (in my opinion the Obama team is steps ahead of the McCain team)

3. The Obama team has run a tight ship with a consistent message. A good indication of his management and leadership style.

Posted by: rsingh182 | October 13, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

"Is he unwilling to share these same points on the debating stage for fear of making a mistake that could cost him the election, opting to stay safe with a more rhetorical approach?"

I think it might have more to do with the ludicrous format restrictions and time limits in these debates. Did you watch the second debate? Brokaw asked "follow up questions" that took longer to ask than the candidates had to answer them. One minute is not much time to talk about one's spending priorities. But at least Obama made an attempt to answer this question.

Posted by: ethel08 | October 13, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

One question for Obama is how can he truthfully say that under his tax plan 95% of americans will receive a tax break when almost 40% don't pay any federal income tax.
Oh I forgot, we as taxpayers are going to send them a gift of either $500 or $1,000 and that will continue every year. At that rate it will become just like another great democrat idea the alternative minimumu tax, typical dems they just forgot to allow for inflation, they really don't care, they think it's their money anyway. Second question,Obama says most small businesses don't make over $250K, that is flat out not true, who in the media is calling him to task for this. Let's face it the mainsteam media is in the tank for obama. However I'm heartened that after 4 years of Obama and the left wing congress the next election will be just as sweeping for the republicans.

Posted by: gosforth1 | October 13, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Dan Balz writes:
We have 22 days to go. We're 6 points down. The national media has written us off. Senator Obama is measuring the drapes, and planning with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid to raise taxes, increase spending, take away your right to vote by secret ballot in labor elections, and concede defeat in Iraq. But they forgot to let you decide. My friends, we've got them just where we want them."

His criticisms of Obama were not personal, as they've sometimes been in the past week, but substantive.

Are you kidding me? Substantive? I guess Balz's idea of substance is to outright lie about your opponent's positions. What a howler!

Posted by: NMModerate1 | October 13, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

If you're John McCain, you know you've lost your Man of the People image when Newsweek begins a story:


"When you have seven homes, that's a lot of garages to fill. After the fuss over the number of residences owned by the two presidential nominees, NEWSWEEK looked into the candidates' cars. And based on public vehicle-registration records, here's the score. John and Cindy McCain: 13. Barack and Michelle Obama: one."
.
http://www.newsweek.com/id/160091
.


Not to mention when it closes by noting that the car your wife Cindy actually drives isn't even registered in her name, but in that of her massive beer distributorship.
.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxT0s_I5WtA
.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 13, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Robert NYC...John McCain is George Bush is not a lame message, it's a perfect one. Bush, the lesser, used it against Gore in 2000, connecting him to outgoing impeached Pres Clinton. And frankly, it McCain's own fault. He has yet to show how he differs from Bush. So, you, RobertNYC, are clueless. Not as clueless as Sarah Palin based on your cogent and coherent responses, but clueless nonetheless.

And to the readers:
JOHN McCAIN = GEORGE BUSH (...smile for me Robert NYC)

On taxes, war strategy, healthcare, social seecurity, energy-- he is virtually the same.

Posted by: indytucker | October 13, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Here's the inept Dan Balzless in another clumsy attempt to appear "fair and balanced" while, in fact, he strains to justify Grandpa's egoist exercise in outdoing his daddy and grandaddy (haven't we just suffered through such freudian angst and hasn't it cost us and the world plenty?).
All you need to know is that it is, by far, the republicans who've ruined our economy, government and standing in the world. Change is demanded by we, the people.

Posted by: mot2win | October 13, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

So tell me, what specific experience does Obama bring to the issue of our faltering economy? The ability to read a teleprompter? Verbal eloquence? A gift for verbosity (which Biden also shares)? I'm confused. How is it that a Dimocrat (and his party) is seen as being the rescuer in this situation when it was the Dimocrats that created this situation?

Posted by: flintston | October 13, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

To the republican "deregulation fans" out there, why don't you use the Ronald Reagan theory here towards the banks/financial institutions. "Trust, but verify". We all trusted the financial institutions, but they dumped us. Now it is time for us to verify their actions. Anything uncontrolled/unregulated is going to create a mess in the longer run is proved again this time.

Posted by: sampath29 | October 13, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Nice try Balz.

Posted by: rlcampbell | October 13, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Well, I may not be too informed about what Obama has said and what he hasn't. But what I know is that both candidates had to be questioned three times during their first debate to clearly say how their campaigns would need to change if they were to become the president of a country that is in a trillion dollar deficit, but even then, their responses weren't really clear.

So I think Balz's critical view is warranted, especially considering the gravity of the situation. But as AJ2008 wrote:

"He's given detailed policy speeches which the press largely ignored to focus on the horse race"

Is he unwilling to share these same points on the debating stage for fear of making a mistake that could cost him the election, opting to stay safe with a more rhetorical approach? I also wanted to respond to AJ2008's other point:

"And to suggest that he's being vague right now about the economic crisis is a bit silly and impractical. He's not president right now. He's not in a position to fix this. We've got months to go before he is in a position to fix it."

I think its understandable that things will change, and so will his plan. But you can demonstrate to the public the detailed nature of your plan if things stayed the way they were right now. Then they may judge you on the merits of this plan - should things change in the future, the public may be confident that based on the soundness of his past plan, he will be able to adjust appropriately. But providing a vague plan based on the fact that "something could change in the future" doesn't inspire confidence, and doesn't really show the public that you know anything beyond rhetoric. The whole point of the election is that you need to show the public that you can lead, that you understand the economy. The candidate should demonstrate how capable he would be in a hypothetical situation - say if he were president tomorrow, what would he do? How would he answer the challenges he faces? Then the audience can know *something*, as opposed to vagueness.

I'm not sure elections would have much of a point if nobody said anything useful on the basis that things could change in the future. It isn't so much a judgement of the plan as it is a judgement on how capable and knowledgeable the president is.

Posted by: sw0rdfish7 | October 13, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

As an independent let me tell you, neither of these guys would be able to deliver all they have promised. I do know however that I really don't want in the next 4 years what we had in the last 8. The second thing that playes into my consideration is Palin's ability....she doesn't come accross as intelligent. What happens if she is called upon to take charge if McCain's health fails (god forbid). Rolling the dice with Obama is looking like a better option at this point.

Posted by: JP17009 | October 13, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

McCain's $370,000 Personal Tax Break*
Earlier this year, the Center for American Progress analyzed John McCain's tax proposals. The conclusion? McCain's plan is radically more regressive than even that of President Bush, delivering 58% of its benefits to the wealthiest 1% of American taxpayers. McCain's born-again support for the Bush tax cuts has one additional bonus for Mr. Straight Talk: the McCains would save an estimated $373,000 a year.


*Paying Off $225,000 Credit Card Debt - Priceless*
That massive windfall from his own tax plan will come in handy for John McCain. As was reported in June, the McCains were carrying over $225,000 in credit card debt. The American Express card - don't leave your homes without it.


*Charity Begins at Home*
As Harpers documented earlier this year, the McCains are true believers in the old saying that charity begins at home:
.
Between 2001 and 2006, McCain contributed roughly $950,000 to [their] foundation. That accounted for all of its listed income other than for $100 that came from an anonymous donor. During that same period, the McCain foundation made contributions of roughly $1.6 million. More than $500,000 went to his kids' private schools, most of which was donated when his children were attending those institutions. So McCain apparently received major tax deductions for supporting elite schools attended by his children.
.
Ironically, the McCain campaign last week blasted Barack Obama for having attended a private school in Hawaii on scholarship. That attack came just weeks after John McCain held an event at his old prep school, Episcopal High, an institution where fees now top $38,000 a year.


*Private Jet Setters*
As the New York Times detailed back in April, John McCain enjoyed the use of his wife's private jet for his campaign, courtesy of election law loopholes he helped craft. Despite the controversy, McCain continued to use Cindy's corporate jet. For her part, Cindy McCain says that even with skyrocketing fuel costs, "in Arizona the only way to get around the state is by small private plane."


*Help on the Homefront*
In these tough economic times, the McCains are able to stretch their household budget. As the AP reported in April, "McCain reported paying $136,572 in wages to household employees in 2007. Aides say the McCains pay for a caretaker for a cabin in Sedona, Ariz., child care for their teenage daughter, and a personal assistant for Cindy McCain."


*Well-Heeled in $520 Shoes*
If clothes make the man, then John McCain has it made. As Huffington Post noted in July, "He has worn a pair of $520 black leather Ferragamo shoes on every recent campaign stop - from a news conference with the Dalai Lama to a supermarket visit in Bethlehem, PA." It is altogether fitting that McCain wore the golden loafers during a golf outing with President George H.W. Bush in which he rode around in cart displaying the sign, "Property of Bush #41. Hands Off."
.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxT0s_I5WtA
.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 13, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

*The $100 Million Man*
Courtesy of his wife Cindy's beer distribution fortune (one her late father apparently chose not to share with her half-sister Kathleen), the McCains are worth well over $100 million. (In the two-page tax summary she eventually released to the public, Cindy McCain reported another $6 million in 2006.) As Salon reported back in 2000, the second Mrs. McCain's millions were essential in launching her husband's political career. Unsurprisingly, the Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti, who four years ago called Theresa Heinz-Kerry a "sugar mommy," has been silent on the topic of Cindy McCain.


*The Joys of (Eight) Home Ownership*
While fellow adulterer John Edwards was pilloried for his mansion, John McCain's eight homes around the country have received little notice or criticism. His properties include a 10 acre lake-side Sedona estate, euphemistically called a "cabin" by the McCain campaign, and a home featured in Architectural Digest. The one featuring "remote control window coverings" was recently put up for sale. Still, their formidable resources did not prevent the McCains from failing to pay taxes on a tony La Jolla, California condo used by Cindy's aged aunt.


*The Anheuser-Busch Windfall*
As it turns out, the beauty of globalization is in the eye of the beholder. While John McCain apparently played a critical role in facilitating DHL's takeover of Airborne (and with it, the looming loss of 8,000 jobs in Wilmington, Ohio), Cindy McCain is set to earn a staggering multi-million dollar pay-day from the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch by the Belgian beverage giant, In Bev. As the Wall Street Journal reported in July, Mrs. McCain runs the third largest Anheuser-Busch distributorship in the nation, and owns between $2.5 and $5 million in the company's stock. Amazingly, while Missouri's politicians of both parties lined up to try to block the sale, John McCain held a fundraiser in the Show Me State even as the In Bev deal was being finalized.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 13, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I think the column is a bit off the mark. While I do think we need more substance, its a bit ridiculous to phrase the request as "Now that you're ahead, why don't you start thinking about your Presidency, instead of the campaign."

It would be reasonable to argue for mixing up the next debate format & asking both candidates for more details about how their planned administrations would change due to the ongoing financial crisis. But to single out one candidate because he's ahead and say "stop focusing on the election, start acting like you've already won while the other guy tries to come from behind" is a patently ridiculous thing to ask. There will be plenty of time between November 5th and Jan 20th to ask the winner what they will do differently. If that is too late, ask the questions of both candidates, not just one.

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 13, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

McCain doesn't know what to do about our tanking economy because it doesn't affect him.


McCain in April 08 declared that there had been "great progress economically" during the Bush years. On more than one occasion, he diagnosed Americans' concerns over the dismal U.S. economy as "psychological." (Phil Gramm, McCain's close friend and economic adviser supposedly excommunicated over his "Americans are whiners about the economy" remarks, is back with the McCain campaign again.) McCain, a man who owns eight homes nationwide, in March lectured Americans facing foreclosure that they ought to be "doing what is necessary -- working a second job, skipping a vacation, and managing their budgets -- to make their payments on time." And when all else fails, McCain told the people of the economically devastated regions in Martin County, Kentucky and Youngstown, Ohio, there's always eBay.


In his defense, McCain's shocking tone-deafness may just be a matter of perspective. When you're as well off as he is, anything below a $5 million income (a figure exceeding that earned on average by the top 0.1% of Americans) seems middle class.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 13, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

McCain & others like him, wrap themselves in the national flag, all day long.

Only Republicans can be proud Americans? All the rest of us are recent arrivals to all that is good? Where, may I ask, does McCain come from?

Seems we all got here the same way. One man and one woman. No one decides where our parents live or what country they are from.

People who need to stand on others heads in order to see the big blue sky above are to be pitied. Yes, pitied ... for they forget that we are all equal. We are equally born. Not one of us can choose that man or woman that gives us life & who are our parents.

McCain and his über-patriotism is terrifying silly. It reminds one of the Aryan ideology of the past. Only Aryans need apply? His insistence on "my" country, on "my country first" and the like nonsense goes against our common humanity.

None of us is "first", no nation is "first", no country in McCain's noggin either.

All of us belong & reside on the same plane: curved Earth. That's where we start & finish.

McCain prides himself as an über-American, when in fact he & his parents are immigrants to this American continent, just like all or us. All or us are immigrants somewhere or sometime. What a dummy contradistinction.

Instead of raising the standard of political discourse, McCain denigrates ideas & others and belittles our common lot.

Abraham Lincoln was a President. McCain, on the other hand, is mean-spirited and self-centered in his nationalistic exclusivity.

Perhaps, in Vietnam, he shared with others. Since his marriage into wealth (to Cindy) he has clearly lost his way and direction. Too many exclusive houses, too many expensive cars parked in front of his in-which-house-am-I-today"

He is wrong about "his country first". First comes our common humanity. His pejorative slogans are exclusive and elitist. A man of his advanced age should teach us about our commonality. A man aspiring to the highest office should recognize the good in all of us.

McCain, compared to Lincoln, is a poor frustrated negative Scrooge.

Posted by: hchiba | October 13, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

McCain, Palin are both liars as are most Republicans. It's time to take the garbage out and clean the closets of our country. We know about Obama because we read and listen. All you neocon trolls do is regurgitate what you hear on Fox News and Limbaugh. Some education. No wonder they think Americans are 'dumbed down'. Repubicans are, and they are part of a cult machine that would not know a rational thought if it bit them in the butt.

Posted by: skolniks | October 13, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

CNN is now called the McCain FOX Network

Posted by: amitchell13 | October 13, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Obama has nothing to answer for at this stage of the race. As AJ so eloquently shouts - W is still President, like it or not. McCain has made this a contest of character and personality, and guess what: The American people have responded positively to deliberate, measured and thoughtful consideration, versus brash, go from the gut recklessness. What a breath of fresh air. We expect what ever leader who is in charge to respond in a manner best for the country. McCain dug the hole he is in. Sadly, it looks like he doesn't have much help digging his way out.

Posted by: mkcornish | October 13, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and you neocon trolls? Save your breath. Get a life. You will be out of a job soon too - no more pay from the McCain sleeze machine.

Posted by: skolniks | October 13, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

The polls will tighten - they already show signs of doing just that. For those obsessed with polling numbers - remember 2004 - which left most pollsters standing scratching their heads - I don't think they've gotten any smarter.
I keep hearing Obama supporters stating that "we already know enough about Obama" - I did hear the same refrain during the primaries. Good - if you know enough, stop paying attention.
Also, unlike the democratic party primaries, Obama does not get to declare himself king - this time the votes will get counted. No super-delegate or RBC games. Sorry buddy, you'll have to sweat it out until Nov. 4 --- Phillip Morris thanks you.

Posted by: minghia | October 13, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Maybe if the press didn't spend more than half their time obsessing on Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers there would have been more time to ask questions of real substance. For Balz to complain at this late date that Obama hasn't been fully vetted is absurd. And funny I haven't heard the pundits and press use the one word that best describes Sarah Palin and the "dude" : IMMATURE. Far too immature to get anywhere close to occupying the oval office.

Posted by: marcopolo511 | October 13, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and you neocon trolls? Save your bteath. Get a life. You will be out of a job soon too - no more pay form the McCain sleeze machine.

Posted by: skolniks | October 13, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

This is a superb analysis.

Posted by: caraprado1 | October 13, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

"His criticisms of Obama were not personal, as they've sometimes been in the past week, but substantive." - Balz

"Senator Obama is measuring the drapes, and planning with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid to raise taxes..." - McCain

Substantive? Not a bit of it. The "new" McCain's attacks are both personal and false, as usual. McCain's "new" economic ideas - more tax cuts for the rich. Oh, brother.

Posted by: dmbraddy | October 13, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

RobertNYC,

You seem to know so much about Obama...(sarcasm)


Do you know anything about McCain?

If you did you would know that Obama's policies are MUCH MUCH better then McCain's.

So call me and idiot, but I will be voting for the guy with the plan to reduce debt, increase jobs, fund alternative energy, and fix healthcare.

I hope you like drilling, bombing, and losing freedom if you like McCain.

Btw, McCain is 90% like Bush. McCain said so himself. Are you calling McCain a liar?

Cause I am.

Posted by: Independent4tw | October 13, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Obama's connected to too many "questionable" characters and organizations, ACORN, Rezko, Ayers,the Rev., to name a few. His economic "plans"
sound too much like WELFARE, (which Clinton
got rid of, and Obama's going to bring back). Obama's tax cuts don't make any sense anymore, especially since the bailout. He's expecting corporations and wealthy to pay 60% taxes...be real, what are the chances of that happening? Thats where our jobs come from, and we're going to lose our jobs if we try to tax corporations 60%.. those remaining corporations will go overseas. Get real. This is not a plan, its B.S., from a B.S., inexperienced candidate!! Wake up
America!

Posted by: ohioan | October 13, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, have I missed something here or have those of you that think Obama has not been questioned enough, been living on a different planet that does not have cable access, internet connections, radio waves or trees to print newspapers on?

Jeez.....how many stump and special speeches must be delivered, debates televised, references reviewed, books published, websites built, pundits interviewed, blogs written and conversations around the kitchen table for you guys to drop the malarkey about whether we know Barack Obama or not?

Bottom line:

1). McCain = old, cranky, clueless and if he dies in office we'll be stuck with Ms. "LipstickPitbullYaBetcha".

2). Obama = young, fresh ideas, hopeful, smart, presidential and if he dies in office, we will still have a solid president to run the country.

Elect Obama/Biden.

Posted by: chick1 | October 13, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: IndyInNH | October 13, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Dan, you're a shill.
Classic concern troll for the pugs.
Don't you know the U.S.S. McCain has them where it wants them?
Strawberries. That's it - they forged a key for the freezer.
Say a Hail Mary.

Posted by: Sonofabob | October 13, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Cut the crap Mr. Balls, The only questions McCain has been asking are not questions they are fear and smear lies about Obama. McCain is not a leader and has no answers. Obama is a leader and has answers. The Republican fear and smear campaign is not going to work this year. you can't seem to comprehend that little fact. So stop the pseudo objectivity. You are obviously biased against Obama for whatever reason your RED little heart desires. As a matter of fact, with all the fear and smear against Obama, it seems some facts about McCain and Palin are not being brought up or minimized. They will be. More later.

Posted by: skolniks | October 13, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Obama is one of the smartest people in the country. Some of the smartest people in the country are advising him on the financial crisis. He reportedly had an enormous positive influence on Congress during bailout negotiations, working behind the scenes and "across the aisle", using that new-fangled device: the telephone (to McCain's scorn). He has shown great political ability during this campaign. Nobody can predict precisely how any candidate will govern as President, but Obama's looking pretty good. I was worried about the "experience" issue when Obama was first nominated, but right now, he's looking like the Chief.

Posted by: jmls1 | October 13, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

The news media would like a horse race, it results in more hits on web pages.

Posted by: Merican | October 13, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Is this article from The Onion?
The focus has been on McCain?

Really? And here we keep reading about Obama/Ayers/etc, and McCain's ad questioning Obama....

I've seen absolutely NO focus on McCain and his dodgy connections, nor ANY mainstream reports on Palin and her AIP affiliations.

Like how she spoke at the secessionists' party convention THIS YEAR praising their good work.

Ain't denial wonderful?

Posted by: franglais | October 13, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

":Posted by: scootmandubious:Both the fact checker on WaPo and Fact Check dot org have debunked the lie about the Ayers connection.

I have both sources, summarized and linked in one article, for handy reference:"

what a crock! Ayers is "more than a terroriest he's a well known educator"???

that's like saying Bin Laden is more than a terrorist he's a philanthropist!! good grief! what?? because he's an "educator" that makes him sacrosanct??? get a life!! the man bombed the pentagon and admitted it and stated he wished he'd done more!

I love this part "That statement can certainly be read as an attempt by Obama to minimize his dealings with a controversial figure. But it is hard to qualify it as a "lie."

sorta like "I didn't have sex with that woman" yep, we're headed for the clinton era all over again.
Go ahead, vote for someone who's going to tell you how much of your money you get to keep, what kind of car and house you can drive, when you can be sick, and with what disease, go ahead - sit in a corner and be spoon fed pablum.
me? I'll vote McCain, and if he loses,so be it. But I'd rather vote for a man of Honor than one who doesn't know what it means.

Posted by: rogerbales | October 13, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

My question to Mr. Obama is why are you refusing to produce the documents called for in the Berg vs Obama law suit?

Mr. Obama, What are you hiding?

I am calling on all of the DNC leadership to tell Mr. Obama to produce every document and produce them NOW! The DNC has a very small window of opportunity to salvage the election. If they do not act now it could very well result in a Republican majority in the House and Senate with John McCain in the oval office.

Here is how I got there;
1. The new Berg YouTube video is going viral and will be the leading story of every media outlet soon.
2. The Rally Congress "Stop the Obama Constitutional Crisis" site was setup just a week ago and is averaging 1,000 emails and letters to Congress every day.
3. Ask any libral elitest and they will tell you the avarage American will interprite Obama's refusal as "What is he hiding?"
4. If the majority of Americans start asking "What is Obama hiding?" it will not just be Obama that goes down. He will take the DNC down with him.
5. If the DNC does not take the lead then the GOP will.
6. With the GOP coming on the scene as the protectors of the Constatution every Democrat up for re-election must chose between the Party or the People.

For the sake of Democratic party the leadership must act before the GOP gets the high ground on this issue.

Posted by: tunes59 | October 13, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

You cannot go wrong underestimating the idiocy of the american electorate. Obama's key campaign focus is 'John McCain is George Bush'. How pathetic is that? I checked - they are not the same person. Obama cannot campaign on being more qualified, experienced or of having better ideas. Obama cannot campaign on his dedication to the american people, sacrifices or anything in comparison to McCain. All Oblama can do is tell YOU John McCain is someone else and the funny thing is - YOU (YOU IDIOT) are believing it. Oblama runs in circles saying 'hope, change, McCain is Bush' and thats all he does, although being the worlds most successful panhandler he does take time to grub for money here and there. Oblama has flip-flopped on EVERY major position he took at the beginning of the campaign. He has had multiple plans for things but he has also said 'I am not telling what they are yet'. Oblama has a graveyard of skeletons of past friends in his closet he refuses to tell the truth about, cannot (or will not) produce a birth certificate, has told us all we should speak spanish, need to lower our heat and eat less, that we cling to religion and guns because we are stupid, etc... It is amazing that any of you retards are actually going to vote for this fraud of a candidate. He is nothing more than a power hungry snake oil salesman.

Posted by: RobertNYC | October 13, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I do think that Balz is being biased here: Biased towards a close race, like most of the media. Last week, when McCain and Palin were attacking Obama personally and stirring up a lot of unhinged anger at their rallies, Balz wrote a piece claiming that "both sides" were engaging in very negative attacks. They weren't. Only McCain and Palin were doing that.

This week---while all of the polls show Obama ahead---and some show him ahead comfortably, even in former Bush states, Balz is trying to make this look like it's going to come down to the wire. Why? Because Balz WANTS this to come down to the wire. It keeps attention on him and keeps people watching and reading.

So much for accurate, realistic reporting.

Posted by: snesich | October 13, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Obama could be indicted shortly for his dealings with Rezko. Rezko is making deals right now to lessen his sentence. There is a lot more evidence against Obama than there was against Senator Stevens. Why isn't anyone putting more pressure on Obama making him say more than just that he was a "bonehead" for dealing with Rezko?
http://www.stoptheaclu.com/archives/2008/10/12/breaking-story-prosecutor-fitzgerald-could-send-obama-to-jail/
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hQmszDq4LOiRMcYNSaUdrmvTcB2AD93OCDFG0

Posted by: MyView49 | October 13, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Until Mr. Obama becomes president, he cannot gauge the total amount of damage done by the republican economic terrorists who have brought down this country and the world with their "trickle down" theory. That theory was long ago discredited as "voodoo economics" and that has now been proven to be true--all that trickled down was the debts of the rich. I have no doubt that a man as well educated and smart as Mr. Obama will make wise choices as President, unlike the choices made since Reaganomics was put in place. Goodbye Voodoo Economics, the middle class will not miss you. GOBAMA!

Posted by: louisegertrude | October 13, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

A few day ago, the CNN announced that Sen. Obama won by the landslide. Now, the New York Times contemplates “A race so close so tense.” I am totally confused. I wish the national media could make up their minds who they are supporting. I sort of envy Obama voters who remind me of a blindsided horse charging ahead to a deep ditch on the side of the road.

Posted by: Wiel | October 13, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Here is how I read it 100% of McCain/Palin ads are NEGATIVE 34% of Obama/Biden's are NEGATIVE. However, I make this distinction between NEGATIVE and NASTY/RACIST ... If ads are negative and substantive ... this is good for the people ...but, Republicans have come to believe that nasty works ... Karl Roves way of winning. SAY NASTY UNTRUTHFUL STUFF and foce the opponent to respond to it or the gulible to fall for it.

Barack Hussein OBama promised a different kind of politics ... AND YES ... that means we can ackowledge that he is black, that his second name is Hussein and that he has a black wife ... an GET US AMERICA past those labels. Remember how many years and generations it took us to get over Vietnam. It was Bill Clinton whom we were told visited Russia, who smoked pot but did not inhale and who was womanizing. None of those labels helped us Independent Republicans ... until the "swift boat" brought Vietnamm back into our consciousness again ... Now McCain has no control on the message of the Republican Party ... by having his extremist say that OBama is friends to the same crowd as Osama Bin Laden. Disappointing ... wished the election was tomorrow.

Posted by: amitchell13 | October 13, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

To: Dan Balz
From: Fred Hiatt
RE: Good Effort!

Thanks, Dan. Rick was pleased with your piece, in line with the new strategy. It's going to be a tough slog, but maybe we can still pull it out for our noble buddy. I've got CK and The Dean lined up with some excellent stuff. Hitting BHO head-on certainly riles the natives, so sniping from the sidelines, like you're doing, is def. the way to go.

Posted by: IndyInNH | October 13, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

How interesting now that the media has done more vetting of the Republican VP candidate than the Democratic Presidential candidate, they decided to maybe ask more questions; maybe they could ask what his role was in defining the tactics used by ACORN. Of course it is far too late many Americans have already mad up their minds. It is time to question the role of the media in today's society form the use of unverified "iReporters" to drive a company's stock down, to the unsubstantiated rumors of total violence in the dome in New Orleans, the media is more intent on making news than on objective reporting.

Posted by: Ethicist | October 13, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

The sad part is that America has been purchased by those with the most money all over the world.

The "suits" whom you have had so much confidence in, who have been in power here in the US for so long, no longer have any power.

They have all become puppets and pawns of the Central Banks.
You are still grappling over skin color, and totally incognizant that your comfortable little world has been swallowed up around you.

America has already become socialized…inspite of your rantings and blame that it will become that under Barak.

Headlines in newspapers all over the world have informed their citizens of this fact. Why don’t Americans have a clue?

Posted by: saveoursouls | October 13, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Watch how the man ran his campaign. Watch how the man chose his VP. Watch how the man deals with rapidly changing realities both financially and politically. Read his positions on his website. In a direct comparison between Obama and McCain, there's no doubt who would be the better chief executive.

It's time for a change.
Bush/McCain. No more years.

Posted by: thebobbob | October 13, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, there are a lot of questions that Obama has danced around and never answered. The MSM has pounded McCain the whole time and acted as if they were on Obama’s payroll…It’s time to make Obama stop the lies and answer some questions!

Also, if you people think that Obama can deliver on any of the promises he is making you then you need to rethink things big-time!

Posted by: dlennis | October 13, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh, so this is the new line of right-wing attack: since Obama is close to winning the presidency, then why hasn't he just started acting like he is president already--appoint his cabinet, explain exactly what he will do when president, and propose better and more forceful solutions than the two men who are actually in charge of dealing with this crisis--Paulson and Bernanke?

Give me a break. The GOP is clearly shifting back and forth, flailing from attacking Senator Obama on his "associations" and then, when those aspersions fail to stick, accuse him of not being specific enough about his plans, though McCain has never consistently talked about his own plans.

Meanwhile, these pundits and the McCain campaign itself continues to be unable to give compelling reasons to vote for McCain. The only argument they have, apparently, is that the man has character and that we all really should trust that he won't be like George Bush at all, even though he shares Bush's policy positions on almost every major issue, has failed to release a cogent plan on any major crisis facing the country, and picked a neophyte as a running mate.

Is it really any wonder why the electorate is saying "no thanks"? Obama hasn't benefited from the economic crisis. Instead, it has highlighted McCain's quick temper, inability to lead, and failure to generate cogent policy.

Posted by: ethel08 | October 13, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Balz, your article is like a breath of fresh air. You are so right in the call to question Mr. Obama's substance, and given the general media trend, so isolated in doing so.

Posted by: petersuares | October 13, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

how the hell is "concede victory in iraq" substantive criticism, dan? sounds like fear-mongering nonsense to me.

Posted by: ewww | October 13, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

zukermand ... not so fast with your SPIN ... I am an indepenedent republican ... and the question is: Can John McCain revese the fortunes of Republicans who got us into this ECONOMIC MESS?

CAN JOHN IS 3 WEEKS UNDO WHAT IT TOOK GW 8 YEARS TO CREATE?

Doubt it Pal!!

All the 800 billions and other huge bail outs John calls RESCUE PLAN is to bail out 5% of American Tax Payers the very rich. There is nothing yet for the poor and the increasingly smaller middle class.

Our children will have to wait another 10 years at least to enjoy the good times we had under Bill Clinton ...which is nor 16 years out. So there is going to be at least 2 generations of Americans young and old that will have a hard time.

Do I trust anything coming out of the mouth of Republicans anymore? NO ... you will also see the results in races for Congress.

John McCains promise as much as we can and hoping aginst hope that RACE will matter ... is disappointing. I think her already has damaged the Grand Old Party and leave us with Pain when Huckabee and Romney would have been clearly better picks. Even when the talk now to support the GOP ... I am not listening because they are backing this reckless person.

I did not like this recklessness with Bill Clinton but you guys have perfected through SPIN how to be lawless unless you are caught foot tapping in washrooms or using your authority figure on whitehouse paiges.

Many of us ... me included have been waiting since 2004 for this moment. We gave GW another 4 years ... OHIO ... he clained the American people gave him a lot of capital and he was going to use it ... and this is what he have now. So pointing fingures and who might or might now have gotten money from Fannie & Freedie is distracting but will not work this time around.

Posted by: amitchell13 | October 13, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Dan Balz wants the race the tighten up. I saw Balz on the ABC's Sunday talk show This Week with George Stephanopolous. I'm sure Dan likes being on TV.

Neither one of the candidates should be giving "far-out" leadership advice on the economy. LIKE IT OR NOT, GW BUSH IS STILL PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.! GW BUSH'S TEAM HAS ACCESS TO MOST OF THE ECONOMIC INFORMATION IN THE U.S.!

Posted by: AJ2008 | October 13, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Balz,

After 20 months of campaigning, it seems absurd to argue that Obama hasn't been questioned enough.

Frankly, this just sounds like the media trying to generate a new story line.

The media has an interest in a close race. More to report on. Now that the race seems to getting less close, suggest that the front runner hasn't been vetted. That will make it close.

Again, it's absurd. He's been under a microscope. He's given detailed policy speeches which the press largely ignored to focus on the horse race. He's demonstrated his temperament in a crisis.

That's a pretty sizable body of evidence for American's to make a decision on.

And to suggest that he's being vague right now about the economic crisis is a bit silly and impractical. He's not president right now. He's not in a position to fix this. We've got months to go before he is in a position to fix it. In that time the situation may change considerably. So it's entirely pointless to get into the level of specificity the press is now demanding. What I'm more interested in are the principles that will guide his thinking and he's demonstrated these very aptly.

The other sad thing about this whole new meme you're suggesting is that it dovetails perfectly with GOP talking points and the frame they'd like to create.

You're a journalist. Your responsibility isn't to amplify campaign frames.

Posted by: wappinne | October 13, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

"We have 22 days to go. We're 6 points down. The national media has written us off. Senator Obama is measuring the drapes, and planning with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid to raise taxes, increase spending, take away your right to vote by secret ballot in labor elections, and concede defeat in Iraq. But they forgot to let you decide. My friends, we've got them just where we want them."

His criticisms of Obama were not personal, as they've sometimes been in the past week, but substantive
==============

...and, at best, misleading, more likely, false. Strange of Mr Balz to fail to mention it. One might think he's interested in prolonging the suspense a bit. Why would that be?

Posted by: zukermand | October 13, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Since the economic crisis has pretty much been the result of years of the GOP mantra, deregulation, I am not sure I want help from the GOP on economics, at this point.

As for bipartisanship, didn't Senator Obama have Sen. Hagel by his side on his foreign policy trip? Listening to the stridency of the GOP message these days, designed to appeal simply to the right-wing base, what is McCain defining as bipartisanship, his friendship with Joe Lieberman?

I think on any number of levels, Obama has been far more substantive in talking about a plan, than Senator McCain and Governor Palin. They want to talk about only one thing...William Ayers.

In that spirit, I have a post for fellow Dems to use, the next time they are confronted with the Ayers lie in a message forum.

Both the fact checker on WaPo and Fact Check dot org have debunked the lie about the Ayers connection.

I have both sources, summarized and linked in one article, for handy reference:

http://scootmandubious.blogspot.com/2008/10/fact-check-debunks-lie-about-ayers.html

Posted by: scootmandubious | October 13, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

See the best Sarah Palin impersonations, short clip. Very Funny.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMebGbcC2Sg

See What they didnt show during the debate
What the media didnt cover, the debate outtakes. A tense moment between tom brokaw and John McCain.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mng0njC1D6c
watchdebate.com

Posted by: pastor123 | October 13, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

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