Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Obama's Secret Weapon

[My article in today's paper.]

There are a lot of reasons why a guy with the improbable name of Barack Hussein Obama just won the presidency of the United States -- such as Wall Street's meltdown, a wildly unpopular president and an opponent so in love with his own maverick image that he picked Annie Oakley as his running mate. But one reason became obvious only over the past six weeks: his temperament.

President-elect Obama has a temperament so even, so balanced, so cool, you couldn't faze it with a flamethrower.

Even in his victory speech at Grant Park on Tuesday night, at the end of an exhausting campaign, he kept things steady, on script. He never exulted, and showed few flashes of anything like the joy that saturated his audience. His speech was sober, serious and sweeping, commensurate with the historic nature of a black man being elected to lead a nation built with slave labor.

Obama over the past two years proved himself an ironman, someone who knows that half the battle is showing up every day. He had spectacular moments, but he also showed an uncanny knack for avoiding mistakes. Like a great golfer, he knew how to grind out the pars. His opponents sneered that Obama has no experience, that he's never been in charge of anything, but by the end of this campaign he didn't look green at all. He seemed fully in command of his campaign and his own emotions. He even visibly aged before our eyes, with more gray in his hair.

He was never excitable, and he eventually made that trait part of his pitch. Listen to what he said on "Monday Night Football" on the eve of the election:

"I don't get too high when things are going well and I don't get too low when things are going tough."

Temperament: Who knew it could be a secret weapon?


Obama's final rally took place late Monday night in Manassas. Something like 90,000 people filled a swale of the Prince William County Fairgrounds, packed under bright lights, framed by oaks and maples in their autumn glory. Obama delivered his standard stump speech, showing little sign of fatigue, never succumbing to the urge to phone it in. In the darkness, back near the traveling press corps, stood campaign strategist David Axelrod, the architect of a historic victory.

"One of the things I told him in the beginning: Presidential candidacies are like MRIs for your character. You can't hide anything," Axelrod said.

Does Obama ever lose his temper?

"Everybody loses their temper, but I've never seen him lose his control," Axelrod answered. "I've never heard him scream in rage. He's got a great facility for turning anger into something constructive."

[Click here to keep reading.]

By Joel Achenbach  |  November 6, 2008; 7:28 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Print Journalism Lives!!!
Next: Obama Among the Radicals


Keeping an even keel when the ship is listing is a valuable skill indeed...


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 6, 2008 7:44 AM | Report abuse

*re-reading previous post and looking for more coffee*


Posted by: Scottynuke | November 6, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Fantastic article Joel.

Posted by: dmd2 | November 6, 2008 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Good Kit

Here's a short story.

The Curse of the Blogotyposaurus

The Blogotyposauros woke up in his cave. He went outside, cursed the weather, and went back to his cave.

The End

Posted by: Braguine | November 6, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Bravo, Brag. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 6, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

As predicted by my conservative coworker, there was a riot in Baltimore Tuesday night.,0,550937.story

Sixteen were arrested including a Johns Hopkins anthropology professor and a Hopkins sophomore that wasn't even an Obama supporter.

For those unfamiliar with Baltimore neighborhoods, Charles Village is the area just east of Johns Hopkins University where JHU has several dorms.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 6, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, those Hopkins guys: they're a rough crowd. Thank goodness we got off lightly, without an excruciating dialectic.

Posted by: ScienceTim | November 6, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Morning all.. Son of G and I had a great time at the YWDBPH. Scotty, I was also disappointed to find this morning that we can't see the breakdown of votes that came out of Mianus.

LA lurker explained it well... I feel like a weight has been lifted. The past few months were exhilarating and the past few days exhausting as we rallied, worked to get out the vote and then celebrated, and I do feel tired... but great. As Son of G says... the air smells sweeter, things even taste better now.

I know I've never seen anything like people taking to the streets across America to celebrate an election. It seems that the healing has already begun.

I have to thank my boodle buddies for picking up the check for me and my son in thanks for our hard work to turn Virginia blue and help elect Obama president. I appreciate it so much. Our hard work was rewarded Tuesday night, but every little bit helps! Son of G noted on the way home that we've all become like family and how much fun it is to gather just to be together.

Of course, gathering here on the boodle is just as much fun.

On a different note... I think MiddleofthePacific/Aloho's story about her husband scooping ice cream with our president-elect is very, very cool. I like having a boodle-bacon number so low, but I also like knowing that my president is a man who once scooped ice cream. That's "real America."

Posted by: -TBG- | November 6, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Found this e-mail from my wife when I got to work a few minutes ago:

Sad News.

Please join me in remembering a great icon of the entertainment community.

The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection and trauma complications from repeated pokes in the belly. He was 71.

Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch. The grave site was piled high with flours.

Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded. Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times, he still was a crusty old man and was considered a positive roll model for millions.

Doughboy is survived by his wife Play Dough and three children, John Dough, Jane Dough and Dosey Dough, plus they had one in the oven. He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart. The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | November 6, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Although I try to avoid thinking about it because it makes me break out in cold sweats, some years ago I took a series of courses on Project Management. For the proper running of complex entities has associated with is an intricate theoretical framework incorporating lots of matrices covered with real little print. This is not easy stuff to master. GANNT charts alone have been known to bring strong men to tears. All of this is intended to transform minds of mush into finely-tuned jargon spoutin’ lean mean management machines. In other words, to do pretty much what the President is supposed to do.

But near the end of the course, the instructor puts away his well-worn copy of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (Third Edition), locks the door, and gathers the class around. In hushed conspirational tones he reveals the Big Secret. Which, despite the risk of Midnight Knocks, I am passing on to you:

Most managerial problems come down to temperament. Personality clashes, ego, temper, unresolved mommy issues, and the other plethora of dysfunctional emotional impulses of the flesh are what bring down nearly all unsuccessful human enterprises. Conversely, at the core of most successful projects one will find men, and increasingly women, with correspondingly high emotional quotients.

Why is this such a secret? Because talking about such things is considered grossly unprofessional by the Middle Aged White Guy cadre. Talking about personality and temperament is all holistic left coast Kumbaya stuff best left to preschoolers and the Get Along Gang. Sure, there is whispering in the hallway and muttering at the urinal, but it is never brought out into the open.

But clearly it is essential, especially with the Chief Executive. Many feel that Ike kept us out of war because of his even temperament and inner calm, while Nixon pushed the nation into crisis because of his lack of the same.

Presidents all tend to be pretty bright individuals (even the current one). They all get similar incomplete data and have to react to ambiguous situations where ideological crutches are not very useful. A successful President remains calm and evaluates data carefully like Gene Kranz, the mission control guy.

So I’m pleased that President-Elect Obama is such a cool character. It should help keep things from getting too hot.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 6, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Good appraisal. I think a leaked British diplomat's assessment of Obama called him "aloof", so that word's been hovering around.

I figure that after two folksy presidents, the public's ready for something else. Maybe Obama could one day become the second former president to take a seat on the Supreme Court (except by present-day standards he'd be too old. No one over 55 allowed).

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | November 6, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

That's an important and mostly overlooked insight, RD. I really do believe President-Elect Obama has the capability to be one of the greatest presidents in the history of the Republic. He will certainly be tested, and his temperament will make the difference.

Posted by: slyness | November 6, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Although I have an "is" for an "it," the most egregious error in my post is that I wrote GANNT instead of Gantt. Named, of course for Henry Gantt (1861–1919).

My apologies to you PMI folks out there.

You know who you are.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 6, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Update on Michelle Obama's red/black/microburst/cummerbunded dress:

Designer is Narciso Rodriguez; dress is new in his spring line and not in the stores yet.

Dress design -- with high contrast colors (bold)! -- is not the best for TV. She also wore a small sleek black cardigan -- November in Chicago -- , which blurred with the lines of the black cummerbund treatment above the waist.

Red against black "pops" in such contrast light conditions.. This "visual lifting" effect would support slightly the rumor that Michelle Obama is with child.

Context also frames our reaction to the dress. We expected some sedate, elegant two-piece ensemble of woven fabric. We expected a color of gravitas: deep burgundy, regal blue, silvery grey.

The vermilion she choose would have fit our notions of fashion-to-the occasion had the fabric been woven, and more importantly, the cut and style both conventional.

So. bold color combination plus fabric-and-cut really surprised us. The surprise is off-putting because we do not want surprise to interfere witth the larger event.

Imagine, however, encountering the dress at a holiday party. Works splendidly.

A mistake, then, I would say. But I really like that knitwear for women may become part of the acceptable power-profile closet. New possibilities for movement. So many women's styles restrict movement. However, with the flexibility of knits comes responsibiity. As in eat right and exercise. Knits forgive but reveal also.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | November 6, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Great kit.

I'm with TBG, Wheezy and LA lurker and everyone else who feels relieved and "weightless" with the lifting of anxiety. I'm sure President-elect Obama (I love to say that) doesn't exactly feel that way, but I think he's up to the job.

I'm glad everyone had a nice time at the whateverBPH. Having finally been to a BPH in Oct, I'm really frenvious now when I'm missing one.

Aloha/MotP - I don't remember hearing that story and I loved it. Baskin-Robbins was my first job. Does that give me a boodle-bacon number with President-elect Obama? If it does, oh happy day!

Posted by: Kim1 | November 6, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of the Supreme Court, it has been bandied about that Hillery might be considered if and when a vacany comes up.

Posted by: ebtnut | November 6, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I had no problems with the entire family's ensemble, but I AM A guy, so...

And we have YWDBPH pics!!!

*off-for-a-jog Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 6, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Ahhhh. The "Party of God" (per Don Fowler, DNC Chair celebrating a hurricane) rolling in the splendor of the manic phase.

I am framing today's Onion.

"Nation's Sh**iest Job Goes to Black Man!"

Wheewwww. Wheeeeeeeewww!!!!! We Won! We Won! Whhheeeeeewwwww!!!! (fists pumping in air).

Yes, you won.

The Booby Prize.

John McCain retires to his ranch in Sedona, curling next to beautiful Cindy, the Bud Babe Billionaire.

Yeah. You won.


Fools. Conformist, intolerant, hateful, vindictive, mean-spirited urbanist fools.

Not much of a margin, was it?

Maybe the bitter classes aren't so hot on youse guys from Chicago.

His numbers don't add up. The facts were never brought out. The billion dollar buyout after flip-flopping was ignored.

And, as we speak, the lobbyists and Leftist special interest groups are molding society and further enriching themselves and their Limousine Liberal Ivy League friends (of both parties).

In their "self interest," which you advocate.

Will the last journalist please turn out the lights?

Posted by: wpfree | November 6, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Link to what the dress looked like on the runway:

Side by side photo of Michelle at the event, also.

The dress is a cocktail dress for a lady with lovely, toned, athletic arms. Perfect for Michelle. The vermilion is also rock-on right for her skins.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | November 6, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

RD, Briggs-Myers personality typing got into my workplace about a decade ago. Not seen lately.

Eisenhower hid behind an inarticulate facade of the Greenspan variety.

There's been comments about Obama and poker.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | November 6, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

CP I love that she took a risk with the dress, and was not conventional - time for the role of "First Lady" to change/adapt/modernize - I hope she is able to do that.

Posted by: dmd2 | November 6, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Link to much speculated Mrs. O.'s gown:

Thanks, Scotty, for photos. Nice time had be all at a somewhat sedate PBH. Don from I 270 dropped by, which was so nice.

The ice cream story is great. I wish more families embraced the value of work for their high schoolers rather than "internships."

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | November 6, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I don't care what anybody says (especially Weingarten): I liked the dress, and I liked that she dared to be different.

Welcome to the Boodle, wpfree. How's it feel being a whiny pathetic loser?

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | November 6, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

CP, when I saw the dress Tuesday evening, my reaction was, I don't particularly care for that. But you're right about it not looking good on TV, especially at night. Michelle is a beautiful woman, and she can pull off a bold dress better than anyone I can remember, besides Jackie. More power to her! I'll try not to be frenvious of her fashion power and sense.

Posted by: slyness | November 6, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

DMD and Mudge -I like what this signals, too. We all need many fashion get-out-of jail cards.

I don't mean to offend anyone. Don't mean to sound petty about these huge events. Pardon the musings of a costume designer/stitcher trained to note what works best and flatters those on stage...or underscores visually some aspect of the character or plot.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | November 6, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Here's my favorite picture from last nights BPH:

Hard to believe it's been 2-1/2 years since my first BPH. Lots of good times.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 6, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I like the fashion commentary, CP... keep it coming. After all, Robin Givhan won a Pulitzer prize for showing that fashion is much more than about clothes.

I'm thrilled about this family being in the White House. I love the idea of children and sleepovers and puppies there.

Posted by: -TBG- | November 6, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Don't apologize CP - your comments on the clothing are very insightful. That she choose and unconventional dress says much about her character.

Posted by: dmd2 | November 6, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Pur-leeeez, Michelle is clearly so much more of a babe than Cindy.

Posted by: schala1 | November 6, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I was just listening to MSNBC as I did a little housework. They had one of those scrolling thingies that said, "RNC to establish online forum for suggestions for improving the party".

OMG - can you even IMAGINE what an online hellhole that will create?

Posted by: Kim1 | November 6, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

No offense taken, CP, not by a country mile. And I like reading your analyses; keep 'em coming. All I'm saying is, I don't really care about "what's proper" or "what's expected." (In fact, I hardly care about "fashion," at all, which will come as absolutely no shock to anyone.)

One reason I like your commentary is that -- unlike a lot of fashion commentary, even from people like Weingarten -- is that it isn't snarky and snobby and catty. I really don't mind fashion commentary at all -- it's just the cattiness I can do without, and you are never that, CP.

[The notion of Weingarten, of all people, deigning to comment upon someone's appearance and clothing as he did yesterday is just more than even I can handle, irony-wise. I mean, really, Gene, Jeez. I mean, that'd be like me criticizing somebody's dancing, fer cryin' out loud.]

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | November 6, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Oh boy, I do not envy the unlucky soul(s) in charge of moderating that forum.

Posted by: schala1 | November 6, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

I enjoyed Joel's article, and cannot help but chuckle at the memory that my own '71 Plymouth Road Runner was purple.

And had a horn that went "Beep Beep."

The differences and similarities between the Obama and GW Bush Administrations will make for interesting comparisons over time. Some wags would suggest that the differences would be akin to corporate Cost Centers versus Profit Centers.

But I could consider that the differences might be more like those between a service business and an active private club.

I'll leave it to the reader to determine which may be which.


Posted by: -bc- | November 6, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Mudge. I thought so. However, digital venues sometimes need clarification. I also feel uncomfortable in doing the critique in such an open venue.

About Weinie, Genie: I think he is intermittently funny and brilliant. However, that modern humor is so often a stab and jab, snarked and mean-archly ironic saddens me. Tis the quick and cheap road to laughs. Such humor is best occasioned with spoken words and not written ones. Writing --especially in web environments means that the commentary persists. Just think: the Obama girls can -- even now --search on their parents' names. Sigh. To protect them from that is nigh impossible.

But, I am sometimes at work critiqued because I want people to "play nicely."

Mudge, that I am not catty on the clothes, thanks. Means something from you.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | November 6, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I'm laughing at the GOP online thing. Of course, *all* those kind of suggestion-box things are just prurient nonsense to begin with, shallow PR attempts to make people think they are being "involved" in the "dialogue."

But be that as it may, yes, schala1, monitoring that site'd be a hoot. Hey, stick around, by the way.

And not that I don't mind a nice piece of snark now and then. Here's a dandy block of it from Kurtz's column quoting Newsweek. Lotsa catty fodder in here for me:

"While publicly supporting Palin, McCain's top advisers privately fumed at what they regarded as her outrageous profligacy. One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family--clothes and accessories from top stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.

"According to two knowledgeable sources, a vast majority of the clothes were bought by a wealthy donor, who was shocked when he got the bill. Palin also used low-level staffers to buy some of the clothes on their credit cards. The McCain campaign found out last week when the aides sought reimbursement. One aide estimated that she spent 'tens of thousands' more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as 'Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast.' "

"And: "At the GOP convention in St. Paul, Palin was completely unfazed by the boys' club fraternity she had just joined. One night, Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter went to her hotel room to brief her. After a minute, Palin sailed into the room wearing nothing but a towel, with another on her wet hair. She told them to chat with her laconic husband, Todd."

"No wonder they loved her.

"But not any more. Unnamed McCain aides tell Fox's Carl Cameron that Palin didn't know which countries were in NATO; the essence of NAFTA, or that Africa was a continent, not a country. She refused interview prep before the Katie sitdown, Cameron reports, and later threw "tantrums" and was so "nasty" that she reduced some staffers to tears. It's getting brutal."


See, in all the discussion about whether Palin will endure and be around in four years, or whether she'll disappear back into a Trivial Pursuit card hinge on this. It has nothing to do with "political skills" (I think those who say she has them are outa their minds) nor with "proper"/approved Conserv idealogy. The woman is basically a Wasilla hillbilly, as the McCain saffers are saying, and here's the key: They don't respect her. And that's what's gonna kill her. She cannot get past "Caribou Barbie," because that is in fact all that she is. The sexy facade is NOT masking some deeper, more profound inner talent, knowledge, philosophy, etc., only raw ambition with nothing to sustain it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | November 6, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Sarah is definitely the first goat being led to the altar. Methinks Schmidt will also spend some time in the hot seat before all is said and done.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 6, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Hmm, the powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity IS abating somewhat.

RD, regarding your good 9:02, what bemuses me is when an excellent businessman has a "system" employed to great success, so much so that he or she writes a book about this system, never seeming to realize that it's not the system that made the success, it's the personality.

Posted by: Jumper1 | November 6, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Jumper it is possible the authors of those books do realize it is their personality that matters, but count on the general population not to realize that - thus book sales and money :-)

Posted by: dmd2 | November 6, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

The trouble with calling her a "goat being led to the alter," yello, is that it makes it sound like she's innocent, that's she's being scapegoated. But sometimes the guilty are being led to the alter, too -- and she's guilty as he11. Of course, there's plenty of blame to go around.

Me, I'm enjoying these circular firing squads immensely. I say pass out more ammunition, blindfolds and last cigarettes. And let's make sure the firing squad gets proper 15-minute breaks, potty breaks, Murine, ear noise suppressors, etc., whatever's needed to do their work thoroughly and well. And since it's the GOP we're talking about here, we won't need translators to interpret "Ready, Fire, Aim" into Spanish.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | November 6, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

If Schmidt, Kristol, et. al. foisted this unvetted babe in the Great North woods on McCain and then covered up how grossly incompetent and unknowledgeable she was, I would put more of the onus on them than her. She may have had no clue that this wasn't how things were done. After all, what experience did she have to know she was that far out of her league?

To torture a sports a metaphor, if the manager calls up a rookie from the bush leagues and she walks her first three batters and then beans the next one, who's to blame? The rookie, the incompetent manager, or the desperate team owner?

Posted by: yellojkt | November 6, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Jumper - that's a great observation. And it represents a real challenge for government. Time and time again I read about some great program that works well in one place but whose success is difficult to duplicate elsewhere. Often it seems to turn out that the program wasn't as great as much as the person running the program.

That's why I support investing heavily in cloning.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 6, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Mudge - making me laugh.

I guess Joe "I never questioned his patriotism" Lieberman is meeting with Harry Reid today. Wish I could be a fly on that wall.

I know the Dems need to keep as many people in the fold as they can, but I can't help hoping that Harry Reid kicks him to the curb. His behavior in this campaign went way beyond the pale. And I used to be a big Joe Lieberman fan. The hubby was never a fan of Joe's and he has not missed one opportunity in the last 4 months to say, "I told you so", dang him.

btw - CP - I vote that you continue your fashion commentary.

Posted by: Kim1 | November 6, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I don't see a real future for Palin for the reasons articulated so well in this piece by Peter Beinart. America is tired of the Culture Wars.

For, to me, a big part of Obama's victory is the willingness of America to move beyond the Baby Boomer mindset. Or, as Andrew Sullivan writes so eloquently, his election encourages us to say "Goodbye to all that"

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 6, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Being a baby boomer, I can say I'm ready to declare a win in the culture wars (that's what BHO's election is, isn't it?) and move on. Way, way, way on down the road to bigger and better things.

Posted by: slyness | November 6, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I don't see Obama's victory as a win in the culture war, and I think Obama himself would strenuously deny that it is.

Because the Culture War can never be won, it will just keep going on and on with each side retreating sullenly to lick their wounds before attacking again.

I view Obama's victory as a transcendence of the Culture Wars by a person, like myself, who simply refuses to see the world through that filter. it isn't a victory of one side over the other, as much as an embrace of a third way.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 6, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Hey all,

1. On limericks, thanks. Too bad, I love Toles’ cartoons. Special thanks to Yoki. You can see we take our poetry conventions pretty seriously up here. As a general rule we leave the subject alone after two drinks.

2. RD, I just assumed you were shouting GANTT with enthusiasm.

3. Scotty, you might be too late for the exit polls from Mianus, but maybe the new boodler from CO can tell us about the polling in Loveland.

4. Okay, here I go. I didn’t particularly care for MO’s dress. There, I’ve said it. While I’m at it, I have another thing to get off my chest after hearing about Kenyans cheering Obama as somehow one of their countrymen: is there anything nice that can be said about BO’s father? I tend to view fatherhood as something more than DNA.

Posted by: engelmann | November 6, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Oh my goodness. I think Milbank is really on to something:

But all I really want is, you know, free coffee.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 6, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

As much as I liked Sullivan's column, Padouk, he (and you) was wrong to link the Culture Wars to the Baby Boom generation. There's no such linkage. Even Sullivan acknowledges that the war flared up in the 1960s (and mirrored the one in the 1920s), while the first of the Boomers (me) were still in high school, so we had nuthin' to do with it. The primary leaders of the Other Side were in the generation before me: Robertson, Falwell, etc., people now in their late 60s, 70s and 80s. [The oldest Boomer is 62.] And its followers extend well into Gen-X age groups. So please don't link it to the Boomers. Makes it sound like you post-Boomers have had nuthin' to do with it.

If you *do* insist on linking it to the Boomers, then at least give us credit for finally mortally wounding the g--d--- beast (though it ain't dead yet). And if that's how you see it, then acknowledge that it was the Boomers who took the most casualties, got most of the blood on their hands, took the hits. And yes, we accept your thanks.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | November 6, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

AP just called the Oregon Senate race for the Dem challenger...

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 6, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I've been snickering about the scewering of Palin by the campaign losers ever since I heard about it.

And then in the shower this morning I realized, hey! Since Palin is now permanently off the stage, perhaps her poor daughter won't be railroaded into a disasterous marriage for purposes of optics. And that thought made me very happy.

Posted by: Yoki | November 6, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

All these comments about the First-Lady-Elect's dress are late to the party, IMO.

I put something out there while she was still on stage:

"Goodnight, Boodle.

Very good speech from Obama. Inspiring.

I do like Michelle Obama a lot, though I am perplexed by the spiderwoman dress.


Posted by: -bc- | November 5, 2008 12:26 AM"

I'm so over it.

And with the idea that the GOP and McCain campaigns are setting up shop in the Donner Pass, just trying to Survive.

I believe it was LiT (forgive me if I have that wrong) who pointed out that Sarah Palin was demonstrating that she was as equal to the role of being McCain's running mate as any man -- that role being "fallguy/gal."

I won't bother with the "You've come a long way, ...." comment.


Posted by: -bc- | November 6, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

mudge, I'm shocked at your callous contempt for the woman who was a mere eight million votes away from the second (or first, opinions vary) highest office in the land.

You have driven me to help poor Sarah out and come up with some alternative employment options for her outside of politics.

Feel free to make suggestions.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 6, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Didn't mean to offer disrespect to those who fought the good fight, nor to insult an entire demographic ('specially such a large one.)

When I say "boomer mentality" I mean people, of any age, who see the world through the prism of the culture wars.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 6, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

RD, sure seems to me that transcending the war means that it's won, but I won't belabor the point.

Posted by: slyness | November 6, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Fair enough, 'Mudge, but I think your point is a good one. If anything, the Boomers were all about not engaging in culture wars.

Posted by: Yoki | November 6, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

hmmmmmmm very interesting

Posted by: greenwithenvy | November 6, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

The important point, is that I think America is ready to move beyond this cultural conflict, whether it has been won or merely abandoned.

This is, again, why I think Palin won't succeed. Because she would, I assert, take exception with the notion that the culture war is over (despite not being a boomer). I have no doubt that she and her supporters are just waiting for Real America to come back strong and finally win the culture wars.

Yet I think she will find an increasingly few Republicans who want to indulge in that kind of "us -vs- them" politics.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 6, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

What is, gwe?

Posted by: Scottynuke | November 6, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I was doing a little research this morning to find out exactly what is a Hokie

Posted by: greenwithenvy | November 6, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

AP just called NC for Obama:

I don't know if I can stand any more happiness!

Posted by: slyness | November 6, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure nittany lions eat hokies.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 6, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Whaddaya mean she's not a Boomer? Of course she's a Boomer. She was born in February 1964, the last year of the boom by most (but admittedly not all) definitions. Here's Wiki:

"There is some disagreement as to the precise beginning and ending dates of the post-war baby boom, but the range most commonly accepted is 1946 to 1964. In the United States alone, approximately 76 million babies were born between those years."

1964 is the year I graduated high school, and I turned 18. She's only 17 1/2 years younger than me. So please don't tell me she's not a Boomer. (God knows, I'm not all that thrilled to include her 'mongst the Good Guys' Generation. But there it is.)

Uh, when where you born, Padouk?

Anyway, I get all itchy about statements that claim "America" is some sort of monolithic entity that is "ready to move on" or ready to do this or that. Judging by the election about 46 percent of America is in NO d@mn mood to do any such thing. Ditto a lot of crap I've been readying about America being a "center-right" country, or is now moving "left," etc. I don't find those kinds of sweeping generalizations remotely useful (he said, making a sweeping generalization).

I'm also tetchy about the notion of dismissing the Culture Wars so cavalierly; to my ear it makes it sound like people think those issues just weren't all that important, and that you younger folks are somehow "above" those old issues. Well, two states just approved bans on gay marriage, so don't tell me the war is over, or that the issues are just for us old farts to argue about.

This is exactly the same thing as when some of the old-line feminists of the 1960s and 70s (Boomerettes, I suppose, and definitely the hard-core Hillary folks) who get bent out of shape because the younger generation of women don't think all those Women's Lib battles and issues are important, and that the younger women have "moved on." Well, I side with those older Women's Libbers and think they're right to get bent out of shape. They were the ones in the trenches, they took the hits, and by and large they won. They have earned every ounce of my respect.

So yeah, I get tetchy -- maybe even super-tetchy -- when I detect a whiff of younger people not showing some respect and appreciation for what their elders have been through, and of having their issues dismissed.

Obama is a Boomer, BTW-- born in 1961. He's one of "mine," not one of "yours."

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | November 6, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Especially cheese steak hokies.

Posted by: Yoki | November 6, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

slyness... I know how you fee! Can you believe we did it?

Hey... where's DNA Girl? When will you be sworn in as a citizen? Can we make it a boodle event?

Posted by: -TBG- | November 6, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I was also born in February of 1964 (who knew I had so much in common with her?) and consider myself only a technical boomer. I don't have any real affinity or connection with the traditional perception of boomers. My dad was born in 1940, so he is too old to be one. So just about everyone between us has some claim on boomer status.

Posted by: yellojkt | November 6, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Nora Ephron on exhaling...

"So we held our breath for twenty-two months, twenty-two months of an election that everyone claimed would bore us witless. The exact opposite turned out to be true: it was riveting...."

Posted by: -TBG- | November 6, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Wow, what side was Condi Rice on again?

"This was an exercise in American democracy, of which Americans across the political spectrum are justifiably proud, said Rice,
"I want to note that President-elect Obama was inspirational, and I'm certain he will continue to be,"
"One of the great things about representing this country is it continues to surprise; it continues to renew itself; it continues to beat all odds and expectations. You just know that Americans are not going to be satisfied until they really do form that perfect union. And while the perfect union may never be in sight, we just keeping working at it and trying,"
"As an African American, I am especially proud because this is a country that's been through a long journey in terms of overcoming wounds and making race not the factor in our lives. That work is not done, but Wednesday was obviously an extraordinary step forward,"

She was more, how shall I put it, succinct on McCain.
"I want to note that Senator McCain was gracious. He's a great patriot.",0,7680347.story

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | November 6, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

IIRC I typed 'Yikes' seconds after Ms Obama walked out on stage wearing what I thought was an apron.

Posted by: Boko999 | November 6, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Do the latest results mean we can now call it a 'trouncing?'

Posted by: Yoki | November 6, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Cheesesteak hokies wit'.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | November 6, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

New kit

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 6, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

We've been down this road before. As I mentioned earlier, I do not link "boomer" with year as much as with ideology - ideology linked to the 1960s, which to me, politically, had more to to with the Banana Splits Club than anything else.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 6, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely, Yoki. "Trouncing" is accepted, as are "a$$-kicking," thumping, whipped, whupped and/or whapped, thwacked, throttled, and a couple of Dan-Ratherisms I can't even remember.

We will also accept the adverb "decisive/decisively" under just about all circumstances.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | November 6, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

RD, talk about coincidences! Just last night, bc and I were talking about project management and mastering the PMBOK. (For the uninitiated--lucky souls--it's pronounced "pimbock."

Scotty, this means that there are now three bits of boodle wisdom: 1) Don't start a land war in Asia 2) Don't bump-draft in the corners and 3) Emotional intelligence is more important than the PMBOK.

TBG, do you think they have the PMBOK in Mianus?

Posted by: Raysmom | November 6, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Um... Obama didn't win. Didn't you hear?

Posted by: goaway41 | November 7, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company