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Posted at 10:20 AM ET, 12/28/2010

User poll: Should Obama weigh in on divisive issues?

By 44 Editor

President Obama has weighed in on a number of divisive social and cultural topics during his time in office. What do you think of the following statements he has made? Are you glad he spoke up or do you think he shouldn't have commented?

By 44 Editor  | December 28, 2010; 10:20 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

The POTUS should use the bully pulpit to speak on social issues, but not about celebrity situations. He can always logon and address personal issues here like the rest of us.

Posted by: scottNV | December 29, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"President Obama offered support for a man who did the right thing by offering a 2nd chance to Michael Vick...."

Posted by: donaldeasley | December 29, 2010 12:21 AM
======================================
How many other ex-cons does Laurie employ?

Vick did his time. He has the right to play if someone would hire him to play. Laurie has the right to employ Vick to achieve the team goal of getting in the playoffs and winning the Superbowl. And make more money for Laurie.

None of which equates to "giving a second chance...."

Football is a business. This all is a business decision. No charity here.

Vick is a one-in-a-million. I wish the President would have saved the sentiment for the other 999,999 ex-cons.

Posted by: kishorgala | December 29, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

This is one weird President we have. I guess he's bored by domestic and international crises, i.e., terrorism, Afghanistan, Iraq, nuclear Korea, nuclear Iran, etc. Too much time on his hands, so to break the boredom he decides to call the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles??!! This is just too weird. And to make matters worse, where is his common sense and where are his priorities. How on earth could he possibly compare Michael Vick's situation to the situation of other convicts in terms of the dilemma faced upon release from prison? Does he not see a difference? The decision to give Michael Vick a job after he came out of prison had no charitable motive whatsoever, and to commend the owner of the Eagles for a good deed in giving a job to a convict is patently absurd. This is weirder than Howard Dean screaming out the names of the states he would conquer.

Posted by: stamer1 | December 29, 2010 12:34 AM | Report abuse

President Obama offered support for a man who did the right thing by offering a 2nd chance to Michael Vick. I'm sick of the hypocrites who take every opportunity to down a man who was cruel to some DAMNED DOGS! What about those men who show cruelty to other PEOPLE or continually circumvent our laws with no repercussions!

For example: George Bush / Dick Cheney, who, based on a series of lies, thought nothing of sending thousands of our young people off to die in a foreign land. At least 4500 lost their lives along with more than 100,000 Iraqis. Hundreds of thousands of people's lives will never be the same because of these men. And where are they now? LIVING IN LUXURY!

As Republicans try to deny voting rights to ex-convicts while their criminal buddies are recycled (G. Gordon Liddy, Oliver North, Elliott Abrams), we see hypocrisy in full bloom. And drug-user Rush Limbaugh? Give me a break!

Posted by: donaldeasley | December 29, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Vick x Obama = Alpo

Posted by: Defund_NPR | December 28, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

President Obama will never get a fair shake in this hate filled Christian Society. Some of you(white supremacists)do a good job at cloaking your hatred, however your comments make it evident of the primitive nature that continues to abort your evolution...

Posted by: hritewing | December 28, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

I am so sick of people hating Mike Vick on something he has done in the past. You all are so wrapped up in protecting animals how about the millions of abused women, children, and elderly. I don't hear a peep about that but you worry about an animal that G-d gave man domain over. I am not agreeing to what Mike did to the dogs but he has did his time. Get over it! I have owned 3 dogs who passed away naturally, but everyone is entitled to a second chance if they are heading in the RIGHT direction. I agree with the President Obama everyone deserve a second chance. Be more active about PEOPLE being abused!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: IT4mi | December 28, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

In the final analysis it's that Vick, already a multimillionaire, with shovelfuls of money due to come in from pushing product on the horizon, engages in dog-fighting for money.

He wasn't a heroin addict who had to get his "stuff" by robbing a liquor store. Vick is dirt. Anyone who speaks up for the thug is the same.

Posted by: sperrico | December 28, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

In the final analysis it's that Vick, already a multimillionaire, with shovelfuls of money due to come in from pushing product on the horizon, engages in dog-fighting for money.

He wasn't a heroin addict who had to get his "stuff" by robbing a liquor store. Vick is dirt. Anyone who speaks up for the thug is the same.

Posted by: sperrico | December 28, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

President Obama can speak on anything he damn well chooses. Michael Vick was not the primary reason for placing the call to the Eagles, however it was not out of line to commend the owner for his compassion, when many NFL insiders and owners blacklisted Michael Vick. The peanut gallery, most notably white supremacists will stop at nothing to attack Obama for any trivial matter. If there was transparency in Obama's bathroom Obama would have critiques attacking the way he wipe his azz. Backbiting is not a lost art for most...

Posted by: hritewing | December 28, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

I am officially done with Obama. He should have kept his opinions about the monster Vick to himself.

Posted by: retabroad | December 28, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

In his 2008 Father's Day speech urging black fathers to be more involved in raising their children: "We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child - it's the courage to raise one."
=====================================

Let's be clear here, obama has daddy issues. He was clearly talking to men like his father. Men who abandon their children, forcing their wife and son to abandon a country they truly never loved to live in Indonesia.

Obama claims he cares, but point to one piece of legislation that truly helps Americans!!

Posted by: sanmateo1850 | December 28, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

WaPo who comes up with these stupid polls?

Posted by: rlj1 | December 28, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Well, from the survey, it seems as if folks are ok with him speaking about "general" social issues like black responsibility and gay marriage that most previous Presidents have discussed somewhat; but not specific issues like Kanye or Michael? Interesting. Also, interesting the way the issues that cause the "majority" to have such a problem are largely involving black people? Hmmm? Mr. Obama, you are the President. When we start putting a muzzle on other Presidents, we'll put one on you!!

Posted by: OneStop1 | December 28, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Nope. the Big Mouth in Chief Comrade Leader
Barack Hussein Obama definitely should have
kept his big mouth shut and not even said a
thing about that dog torturer evil cruel thug Micheal Vick here now then.

However,just like "Birds of a Feather always Flock Together," so do thugs like convicted thug psychopath Micheal Vick and
the Chicago Thug from Kenya Barack Hussein
Obama,only prove "Thugs Always Stick Together" now then. Isn't it 2012 by now?

Posted by: Ralphinphnx | December 28, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

When in listening range of the media, the President of the USA has to choose his words and topics carefully.

Obama does not have the life experience to know when to keep his mouth shut. If it were not for his staff preventing a recurrence of his terminal Foot in Mouth, he would be a much greater embarrassment to the White House than he already is.

Have you noticed he tends to chew on his foot more when he's on vacation with fewer staff around?

Posted by: asmith1 | December 28, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

When in listening range of the media, the President of the USA has to choose his words and topics carefully.

Obama does not have the life experience to know when to keep his mouth shut. If it were not for his staff preventing a recurrence of his terminal Foot in Mouth, he would be a much greater embarrassment to the White House than he already is.

Have you noticed he tends to chew on his foot more when he's on vacation with fewer staff around?

Posted by: asmith1 | December 28, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

".......This is where the line gets drawn - whites serve time and their crime is forgotten and they get a second chance. The blacks commit crimes and serve time for the rest of their lives....."

Posted by: sun52shine | December 28, 2010 1:21 PM

_________________________________________________________________
IMO, Your logic is very flawed. White or black, it depends upon who the criminal is. Like a lot of people, you seem to want to make it a race issue instead of a person and / or crime issue.

At the same time, there are more blacks in prisons -- but, as Obama has suggested, black men have issues -- not responsible for their children, etc.
Overall, my feeling is that a criminal released from prison is an ex-convict and always will be. I would not hire them without knowing the crime and knowing the person well enough to know how trustworthy, honest, sincere they are.
Using the race issue is so over used and too easily blamed.

Posted by: pjcafe | December 28, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Obama forgets his place. As President of the US, there many things he can discuss in the privacy of his own home, but there are also many things that he should not dicuss with the media.

The man has a serious case of foot in mouth. Whenever his staff is not around, he says all kinds of things he should not say for a man in his politican position.

Posted by: asmith1 | December 28, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I think President Obama was within his rights to speak up for Michael Vick. Vick has paid his debt and it is time for hatters to allow him to move on.
-----------
Would this make us "mad hatters"?

Posted by: redhotCAPSaicin | December 28, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

The President is entitled to his opinion. He has every right to say how he feels on any issue that he wants to discuss. People are so mean. Who hasn't done something bad? Maybe we haven't committed acts as atrocious as Michael Vick but we have done bad things. Let the man get back on his feet and move on! Let he who is without sin cast the first stone!

Posted by: lilahkelly | December 28, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't our commander in chief have anything BETTER TO DO!!!!!!!!!!!?? Is he on vacation again? This man is an egotistical train wreck!!!!

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | December 28, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

What Obama has done is make a comment that says as long as you have money and are famous, when you do something wrong, it's OK

Well, it is not OK and the President does not know where to keep his nose out of things.

No he does not have free speech like everyone else. He is the President of the United States. He needs to learn to act like one

Posted by: ieklein | December 28, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

THis was an interesting poll to participate in, but basically I don't care about any of this stuff.

President Obama can exercise his right to free speech just like any other American.

Like anybody else, he will be right part of the time and wrong part of the time. I think my fellow poll takers and I called it right in our results. THE END.

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | December 28, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

So What about Lindsay Lohan?

Pete Rose?

O J Simpson?

Paris Hilton?

Mark McGuire?

Barry Bonds?

Roger Clemens?

Bernie Madoff?

Are these lesser citizens not worthy of mention by the President?

Posted by: kishorgala | December 28, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Being President doesn't force a person to become dumb, mute and not entitiled to voice an opinion. Last time I checked, this was a free country and with everyone else being able to rant and rave and make issues out of every stupid thing, why can't the President? All the neocons and tea party poopers living in glass houses need to get off their high horses and stop throwing stones at the President. You know what they say about people who live in those structures. SMDH.

Posted by: sjcsando | December 28, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Obama can say anything he wants to say. It's a shame the press won't stop talking about Vick or the President. Everytime I hear Vick's name in the news they always say since or before he went to prison let it go. What about the QB that was charged with RAPE you never here about that!!! I can't wait to see him kick $ss in the playoff and win the super bowl this is how the headline will read. Michael Vick the dog fighting ex-con wins MVP and the ship. People get a life stop talking about the pass and stop reading more into every little thing Obama has to say.

Posted by: MsSexy4Life | December 28, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Obama can say anything he wants to say. It's a shame the press won't stop talking about Vick or the President. Everytime I hear Vick's name in the news they always say since or before he went to prison let it go. What about the QB that was charged with RAPE you never here about that!!! I can't wait to see him kick $ss in the playoff and win the super bowl this is how the headline will read. Michael Vick the dogging fighting ex-cons wins MVP and the ship. People get a life stop talking about the pass and stop reading more into every little thing Obama has to say.

Posted by: MsSexy4Life | December 28, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

President Obama had a private, or what he thought was a private conversation, which the owner made public...During the conversation he cited the owner as doing a good deed giving Vick a second chance. If Vick is so damn bad why are fans paying to see him play and why is the NFL allowing him to play...What Vick did will never be right, but he did pay time for during the crime. The rest of his punishment, if any, is up to God!

Posted by: october30 | December 28, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I'll never be over what Vick and his nasty friends did AND no one needs to tell me how I should feel. Plus, love the President but he shouldn't have commented on this subject.

Posted by: MILWI | December 28, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Obama's comments should always show sympathy with the victims and not support for (allegedly) reformed convicts. Vick is only sorry he got caught and punished.

Posted by: SSTK34 | December 28, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I don't see what the big deal is. The President had a conversation with the team owner and he touched on Michael Vick, among other topics. The President did not call a news conference and announce his pleasure with the success that Vick is achieving. The owner reported the conversation. So, where is there an issue. It is totally natural that the President would comment on Vick because Vick is the major topic of conversation these days in and out of sports.

Posted by: GBED989 | December 28, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Vick did his time. Now it's OUR time to get over it. Even PETA is over it!

Posted by: Casey1 | December 28, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

He could have spoken to the issue of restoring voter rights to ex-cons, but instead he chose to jump on the recent Vick love train.

Posted by: moebius22 | December 28, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

ya notice the trend in his speaking about black folks?

Posted by: TheCohen | December 28, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

ya notice the trend in his speaking about black folks?

Posted by: TheCohen | December 28, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I am glad the President of the United States spoke up.

If only there were more MEN like him, who are unafraid to take the HIGH ROAD and represent those who have faced trials and tribulations in this world, as opposed to cowering in the shadows like a bunch of punks.

All men and women are deserving of a second chance in life, regardless, of who they are and they also need more people like President Obama to be moral supporter and an example for them.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | December 28, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Michael Vick has all the rights to play in the NFL or whatever else he wants to do.

And this should be none of the President's business.

I am sure there are athletes or famous people of other skin colors who have slipped in their lives.

I don't remember the President making a comment about them.

Granted, his was a private call to the Eagles' owner, the President seems obliged to side with "My people" again and again.

Having a right is one thing, whether it is right or not is a different thing.

Posted by: kishorgala | December 28, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

The President has the right to vocally express his opinion, the same as every US citizen. This does not mean that I have to agree with his opinion. Michael Vick has served his time in prison and should be allowed to live a life of productivity without restrictions. This is where the line gets drawn - whites serve time and their crime is forgotten and they get a second chance. The blacks commit crimes and serve time for the rest of their lives. They never get a second chance. Everyone desires a second chance except child molesters, rapists and sex offenders.

Posted by: sun52shine | December 28, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

If people like what the President says then it is no problem. Some people however who don't like President Obama will use his comments to demonize him and justify their unreasonable hatred for President Obama.

See, many people are commenting and obviously never bothered to read the article and see what the President actually said and who he said it to. People who hate President Obama would rather he just disappear but instead they will just seize on anything they can to demonize him.

Posted by: catmomtx | December 28, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Obama is constantly commenting, as the President, inappropriately on things outside the realm of the Prsidency. His comments would more at home on day time TV talk shows rather than the Whitehouse.

Posted by: llennoco1 | December 28, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

OK This poll shows one thing.... The milder the issue, people are more comfortable speaking about. I'm glad the President spoke about these issues. Someone has too. We stick our heads in the sand way too much.

That being said I have major reservations about Vick. The public attitude is just what created Michael Vick in the first place. Yep he can run and throw a football better then anyone else in the NFL right now. But the things he was involved in were that of a sociopath. So I reserve my judgment until prover otherwise. Crazy is as crazy does. Let's see what happens in two years when he's the toast of the world.

Posted by: mriley0223 | December 28, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I am amazed Obama would choose to remark on this discusting person. Vick has not redeemed himself, he is sorry he was caught. Would Obama like Vick living next door to his children and dog? Vick is like a child molester and cannot ever be trusted again. Telling lies is part of his makeup. He hired a publist that said now is the time to complete the last part of his redemption: ask for a dog! This is just a business that makes the Eagles money, period. No class here, make money no matter what. If it were not for football, Vick would not have a job. He can play football and nothing else. He is not a role model for any human being, and I am sad he had children. They have to live with the family name for the rest of their lives. Perhaps in 20 years, if he continues to speak out against the things he did with gusto, he may come out of the mud to the sunshine of humanity. I am very sad that Obama even mentioned Vick. Shows Obama does not know anything about felons and seems to live in "La La Land."

Posted by: 123416 | December 28, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Vick is a monster who electrocuted and drowned dogs and cats for sport and then quickly went on to lots more fame and money. No, Obama shouldn't have said any of it is okay, and Vick certainly didn't need another cheerleader or defender.

Yesterday was an enormous disappointment to anyone who has ever had a dog or cat.


Posted by: sarahabc | December 28, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I think President Obama was within his rights to speak up for Michael Vick. Vick has paid his debt and it is time for hatters to allow him to move on. I am happy for the progress he's made and for the fact the Eagles put confidence in his ablilty to be a come-back-kid.

Posted by: debraroberts | December 28, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Most of Obama's comments on social issues show him to be a racist and class divider. We do not need one such as Obama to be Pres of the US. He is supposed to be for all Americans - not just for the ones he thinks will vote for him!!

Posted by: annnort | December 28, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

3rd option: Between "yes" and "no" there's always "who cares?"

Seriously should the president have called the owner of a private company to congratulate him on giving some guy a second chance?

Is this really newsworthy, or is the week between Christmas and New Years typically a slow part of the news cycle?

Posted by: JPRS | December 28, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I am glad the President spoke out about Michael Vick. The man paid his time for the crime. We used to have something called rehabilitation in this country, but I guess it's just as hollow a promise these days as fairness and equality.

Posted by: ruthella10 | December 28, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

The (accurate) statement on Kanye West was made off the record in conversation while they were setting the recording levels for a serious interview. Another reporter for a different organization tweeted it and later apologized for misunderstanding and believing it was on the record. Why is that treated as someone "speaking out"? Don't mix apples and oranges.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter1 | December 28, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the President should have commented on Vick. If he wants to comment on formerly jailed African Americans who get hired to good jobs, generally, then OK, but Vick is a world class athlete so his chances of finding an employer who will hire an ex-con is 100x better than your every day joe in the same boat. The Eagles should not be commended for hiring a man who will make them millions of dollars due to his athletic ability. It's a no-brainer.

Posted by: PghKid | December 28, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the President should have commented on Vick. If he wants to comment on formerly jailed African Americans who get hired to good jobs, generally, then OK, but Vick is a world class athlete so his chances of having trouble finding an employer who hire an ex-con is 100x better than your every day joe in the same boat. The Eagles should not be commended for hiring a man who will make them millions of dollars due to his athletic ability. It's a no-brainer.

Posted by: PghKid | December 28, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the President should have commented on Vick. If he wants to comment on formerly jailed African Americans who get hired to good jobs, generally, then OK, but Vick is a world class athlete so his chances of having trouble finding an employer who hire an ex-con is 100x better than your every day joe in the same boat. The Eagles should not be commended for hiring a man who will make them millions of dollars due to his athletic ability. It's a no-brainer.

Posted by: PghKid | December 28, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

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