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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 01/24/2008

Obama and Health Care

By Michael Dobbs

"I never said that we should try to go ahead and get single-payer [health insurance system]. What I said was that if I were starting from scratch, if we didn't have a system in which employers had typically provided health care, I would probably go with a single-payer system."
--Barack Obama, Democratic debate on CNN, Myrtle Beach, S.C., January 22, 2008.

During the CNN debate from Myrtle Beach, Hillary Clinton cited Obama's earlier advocacy of a single-payer health insurance system as an example of his inconsistency on health care issues. Obama indignantly denied the charge, arguing that he may have been in favor of a single-payer system in principle--"if I were starting from scratch"--but did not regard it as a practical proposition for the United States.

The Clinton campaign promptly dug up an old 2003 clip in which Obama described himself as "a proponent of a single-payer health care program, without some of the ifs and buts that he has used more recently. They also posted the above clip on YouTube of Obama trying to explain away apparent inconsistencies in his position to Meredith Vieira of NBC.

The Facts

A single-payer health insurance system is a system whereby a single entity--usually the government--takes over responsibility for insuring the health care needs of the entire population. (Patients still get to choose their own doctors.) Canada, Australia, and Denmark are examples of countries with single-payer health insurance plans. Such a system is typically funded by a mixture of taxes on employers and individuals.

As Obama was preparing to run for the U.S. Senate in June 2003, he gave a speech to the AFL-CIO, in which he said the following:

I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer health care program. I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, is spending 14 percent, 14 percent, of its gross national product on health care, cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody...A single-payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that's what I would like to see. As all of us know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, we have to take back the House.

In other words, he favored a single-payer system, but recognized it would be difficult to get such a law passed unless the Democrats were fully in control of both the executive and legislative branches of government.

Over the last year, the Land-of-Lincolner has been saying something somewhat different. He told a Town Hall meeting in Iowa in September that he would probably establish a single-payer system "if I were designing a system from scratch" but "for now, I just want to make sure every American is covered...I don't want to wait for that perfect system." He no longer talks about the single-payer system as a reasonable mid-term goal, even if the Democrats control both the White House and Congress.

Asked about the 2003 quote, Obama spokesman Bill Burton said that Obama "has been consistent in saying that single payer health care is a good idea that we cannot achieve right now. This is just another dishonest attack from Hillary Clinton on an issue where she herself has been all over the map."

The Pinocchio Test

Obama's explanation that he is for a single payer system in principle, but not in practice, seems a little tortuous. His 2003 statement sounds as if he thought such a system was more feasible than he does today.

(About our rating scale.)

By Michael Dobbs  | January 24, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  1 Pinocchio, Barack Obama, Candidate Record, Candidate Watch, Health  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Clinton vs Obama on CNN
Next: The GOP debate in Florida


Obama "I never said.... "

What does the word "never" means? Does it mean that he is not in favor of it now?

Obama out right lies and gets a single pinoccio.

Clinton's "quotes" Obama about admiring Republican "ideas", but Obama is ok because he did not say he "admired".

What kind of analysis and fairness is this?

Media just want a weak Democratic nominee so that they can kick him around through November. They would not dare touch the Republicans as their advertisements will be choked out of them :-) Media knows Clintons will go after them and not try to play nice like Mondale, Dukakis, Al Gore and Kerry.

Democrats need to get tough.

Posted by: Seed of Change | January 24, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Truly, truly unbelievable. At first I congratulated you for finally fact-checking something Obama said. Your analysis shows that what he said was false, not a grading or shading.

The media love-fest for Obama continues...

Posted by: seufet | January 24, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: jameswhanger | January 24, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

What he said was true, but did not capture how his thinking about the healthcare problem has evolved. It is true that he said "in September that he would probably establish a single-payer system "if I were designing a system from scratch" but "for now, I just want to make sure every American is covered...I don't want to wait for that perfect system." However, it is also true that he did like the idea of a single payer system.

Posted by: jameswhanger | January 24, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Bill and Hillary have been vetted by a $60 million investigation and cleared and the media still accuses. He had sex and lied about it. Who hasn't? Gulliana? What have they said about Obama that is not true.
Hillary was originally my fifth choice, even behind Obama. Now she is my first All the news outlets sound like Limbaugh and Hannity. Amazingly Fox News is the only one who somewhat defends her. I time each
program to see how long they can go without
hitting on Hillary. I long for the 90's
and the great economy. I most resent Obama
for endorsing Reagan and slamming Bill as not having ideas.

Posted by: Bobby Wilson | January 24, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Poor Obama? Those awful Clintons are picking on the media"s baby. Shame, shame.

Posted by: Chief | January 24, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

My father had a saying that I think Obama should here. Quote Hope in one hand and crap in the other and see which one gets filled first.

Posted by: roncraw | January 24, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

In my last comment should read hear not here

Posted by: roncraw | January 24, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

By the end of each of these "fact check" columns, I'm wondering what "fact" is being "checked".

Posted by: zukermand | January 24, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

This is simply much ado about nothing! Obama said that a single pay system would be more efficient. FIVE years later he is saying that trying to achieve that goal is unlikely as we saw when Hillary wasted eight years in the white house trying to achieve the same. He is saying that trying to reform the existing system is a realistic goal that could be achieved in a relatively short time period. I would rather see something achieved than nothing like what we got the last time hillary was in control.

Posted by: ken luskin | January 24, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I have heard it said that while all the other candidates' proposals CLAIM to offer universal coverage, in reality Clinton's and Edwards' plans would leave roughly the same number without coverage as would Obama's. One difference is that he acknowledges this, another is that by focusing on cost, rather than on a mandate, he is trying to make it more POSSIBLE for people to purchase insurance rather than making it ILLEGAL for them to fail to do so. I like that.

I will go further than that, and say that Obama is right, both in saying that a single-payer system would be ideal and in acknowledging that in today's political climate, it would be a non-starter. Where's the problem with that, Clintonistas?
Obama, in my own humble opinion, doesn't deserve ANY Pinocchios for this.

See the front page of the Post for a three- or four-Pinocchio offense from the Clinton campaign.
Note to the Fact Checker:- the various provably false assertions being made by the Clintons against Obama could provide you with a column or four...

Posted by: bokonon13 | January 24, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

As Seed of Change said earlier in this thread, the corporate media role is to help pick a weak Dem nominee -- one acceptable to the nation's centers of power.

The last thing the WaPo wants is a repeat of its Watergate days -- long, long ago, sonny boy! -- when the reward for its courage was losing ads and watching its stock price get hammered.

Posted by: Harry Contrary | January 24, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I think EXACTLY the same as Obama, and therefore I cannot see what the fuss is: I am for a single payer system, but that would be wholly impractical in our current set-up. He's not inconsistent: he's coming to the same conclusion a lot of us are seeing. And I'm getting so deeply turned off by Hilary's attacks. On the one hand she says she is the great innovator for change. But she shows us with these attacks that for her, it's just politics as usual. I'm liking her less and less.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 24, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Facts: Meredith Vieira is not on CBS but NBC..maybe start there before you point out the length of anyone's else's nose. Credibility is important on both sides of the stories.

Posted by: jridge | January 24, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I too, think this is much ado about nothing.

The way i read it, Obama has been saying (even in that 2003 quote) that he'd like to see a single payer health plan. Wanting it, and knowing whether or not it can be done, are not contradictory.

I would VERY MUCH like to see a single payer plan, but there is NO WAY that would get through congress. NO way. Obama's plan is a good one- moving when you can, as much as you can, until you reach the destination.

I read an article- (that i have since tried to find all over the web, with no luck) that reviewed the top 3 dem's healthplans. The economist writing the review said that in the long run, Obama's plan was the most likely to result in a single payer plan, as a result of the natural sway of the market. It was something like, if you offer a cheaper government insurance plan, people will naturally gravitate to it, from the private insurance companies.
The same article pondered whether or not Hillary's and Edwards' plans of forcing Americans to buy a product from private companies, is even constitutional!

All that said, Hillary Clinton consistently misrepresents her plan, and LEAVES OUT the fact that her plan is just to force people to buy insurance from private companies. She gives voters the impression that everyone will "get" insurance, without telling them that they, the voter, are the ones who'll be getting it themselves.

Is it possible to do a "fact check" when someone leaves out the truth?

Posted by: julieds | January 24, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I guess when the Clintons have to explain the meaning of is, they will parse words like this. Obama said this in '03? 4-5 years ago. Things have changed tremendously since then and Obama's position has changed very little. What was Hillary saying about the war 4 years ago? Has she changed her position on that or will she maintain her position of 4 years ago? Will we really remain in Iraq througout a Hillary presidency? She is more like Lieberman than Republican Chuck Hagel on her Iraq position.

Posted by: lynettema | January 24, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Poor Hillary, "the media aren't fair" to them. The "boys" are picking on her. The guys are "double teaming" her. She and Bill do plenty of their own whining. Is Obama supposed to be the Clinton's punching bag? If he didn't hit back, everyone would say he was weak. Make up your mind.

Chief wrote:
Poor Obama? Those awful Clintons are picking on the media"s baby. Shame, shame.

Posted by: lynettema | January 24, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Hillary has accepted huge amounts of money from the health insuance lobby. How do you think that will affect our chances with fair national health coverage?

Posted by: lynettema | January 24, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

We've seen how disastrous a 'Stay the Course' mentality has been.
Obama sees that a single payer system would never make it right now, so he suggests an alternative.
I'd much rather be offered government insurance than be forced to buy insurance from private companies (as proposed by Clinton & Edwards) who raise the deductibles to unaffordable heights and refuse coverage when they can find a loop-hole.
How does requiring Americans to buy into the insurance industry scam help Americans?
It mostly helps the insurance and pharmaceutical CEOs reap billions.

Posted by: jmroyster | January 24, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks jridge for pointing out the mistake on Meredith Vieira. I corrected it.

Posted by: The Fact Checker | January 24, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

this blog consistently fails to deliver

Posted by: lumpydingle | January 24, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

The more I think about it, the more I am pro-Hilary. We need someone who will take it to the Republicans aggressively, not another High Minded idealist (read: John Kerry, and Al Gore). Every nasty thing that can ever be said about someone already has been said about Hilary, and I don't even thing the Republicans can come up with anything new at this point. By the time the Republicans are done with Obama he will be a communist member of the nation of Islam.

Posted by: DCDave | January 24, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Five pinnochios for the media darling Obama once again and for the post in their biased reporting. Every time he opens his mouth a lie jumps out and then he, like the media, thinks the American public is too stupid to catch him or that he can dupe America somehow. What a disgrace he is to all people and a fake to boot!

Posted by: rayacop | January 24, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused. What lies are the Clintons telling on Obama? Did he not say Reagan and the Republicans were the last people of ideas in the last 10 to 15 years. Did he use dope in the neighborhood? I seem to remember he and Edwards started these attacks in debate. Please, tell me where I,m wrong.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 24, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

The last post, "I'm confused", was by Chief. The name did not take. Sorry

Posted by: Chief | January 24, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

It appears to me, as an outsider, that Americans are so hypnotized by news anchors, political commentators and celebrity opinion leaders, that they have lost their legendary ability to pick the pepper out of the B.S.

If Oprahbanna becomes president I would suggest that you do away with elections altogether. Why spend the billion or so dollars? Just put all the anchors and commentators from CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX in a room, with Oprah as chair, and let them decide who is the one. You will get the same result they will lead you to anyway and you'll save a billion $. The US will then be lead in perpetuity by the best snake oil salesman. Great idea, right???

Posted by: Clifford MacPherson | January 24, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Chief, Obama mentioned Reagan as a person who was able to change the direction of the conversation, or something like that. He then went on to say that he in no way agreed with the direction in which Reagan wanted to take us -he was only talking about Reagan's ability to inspire others, not whether or not he agreed with the things Reagan inspired them to do,

Posted by: bokonon13 | January 24, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely no inconsistency here. The 2003 quote says he supports single-payer, but that we may not achieve it immediately given the political reality. At the recent debate, he said basically the same thing: He ideally supports single payer (if we were starting from scratch), but would not attempt to implement it given the current reality. Many comments on this post fail an accurate reading of what he said. They are reactions based on pre-conceived judgements about who he is. We'll never get anywhere if we don't exercise some basic analytical thinking.

Posted by: SS | January 24, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Well Chief, here we go...
They said he praised Reagan and the republicans for having 'good ideas' te last 10-15 years. Wrong.
He said the republicans were known as the party of ideas the last 10-15 years, he did not say the ideas were good. He's right about that, contract with america, courting values voters, etc.
The drugs thing, he admitted to the use of them when he was a teen. Bob Johnson tried to make an issue of this without saying it directly. Then said he was talking about Obama' community work. Then at the Nevada debate she said she took him (Johnson)at his word that he was not talking about drugs. Then Johnson apologized. So he was lying, she knew he was lying and never disavowed his statement.
All I'm saying is this, if Obama gets the nomination she will have given the Repubs. the ammo to win. That means no Dem. in the Whitehouse right? So, she will have destroyed his name and the Dems chances just to win. Which in my mind equates to: 'I don't care about the Democratic party, just myself'.
How does that help Americans?

Posted by: priceisright | January 24, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

The problem with most Americans is that they do not have critical thinking. Indeed, Obama prefers single-payer; but, (a BIG BUT) at this stage of in our society, single-payer cannot happen which means there won't be insurance for many Americans. Therefore, Obama has a proposal (not single-payer at this time, it is a precursor) which will cover a lot of Americans who otherwise would not have health insurance at all. See, we have to read the long sentences and arguments. Great ideas cannot be said in one short PHRASE. We Americans must learn to READ and LISTEN. Hillary is following Rove who has totally destroyed the Republicans because of this devious strategy and that 50 + 1 crap of a strategy to win an election.

Posted by: M. Stratas | January 24, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Has it been made clear that Hillary's Health Care program will not be in place until 2017 or never.

" . . . Well, I want to have universal health care coverage by the end of my second term."
Source: 2007 AFSCME Democratic primary debate in Carson City Nevada Feb 21, 2007

Haven't heard much about this.

Posted by: Carol | January 24, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

My take on the Clintons' bringing Obama's (admittedly small) inconsistencies into the limelight is that it has less to do with how inconsistent he was, than with how he handles the accusations. They have succeeded in showing us a side of Obama we hadn't seen before -- irritated, a bit flustered. The office he and Hillary are running for will attract much worse attacks than these, a fact she well knows, which is why it makes sense to look at how each candidate handles them.

Posted by: seeworthy | January 24, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Please tell this rookie salesman to stop crying and whining...this is only the primary. Just figure this out, what if this rookie is the nominee, is the Republican machine will get him a free ride?. HELL NO! It will get worst.

Posted by: graysce101 | January 24, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

When Edwards and Clinton bring up that Obama's health plan leaves 15 million uninsured , he doesn't deny it or say their plan is bad. I don't know many good Democrats who think Reagan had better ideas than Clinton. Where was Obama or pricesright, during the 90's. I believe Clinton had those people with all those new ideas to fight and still got great things done. Reagan didn't get elected because of his ideas but because Carter was so bad. I don't care how you sugar coat it, or what context used, saying Reagan and the Republicans were the ones with good, new, or indifferent is a dumb statement by any Democratic candidate.Obama was in politics when he wrote his book. Why would you have to write that he used dope. I've done a lot of stupid things but I would not tell about it in a book or testify about it in church. Still not convinced the Clintons are lying.

Posted by: Chief | January 24, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I think it speaks extremely well for Obama that he is willing to stand up and speak back forcefully.

All this picking apart of words- ignoring the true intent of the statements- is typical George Bush politics.

Do you really want another president who spins the truth for their own benefit?

Not me. Never again.

Posted by: Lynn Moor | January 24, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

What is all the change Obama talks about. All I've heard are words, no specifics. I know he talks about working with Republicans. Both parties are expected to say that. Clinton and Edwards have more experience on bi-particianship than Obama. I've heard a number of Republicans say how suprised they were on how well Clinton worked with them. I'm not trying to be snide, but wheres the
beef. Again what change.

Posted by: Chief | January 24, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

It is time for Obama to remind voters that Bill Clinton has a history of telling lies to Americans. In fact Bill Clinton has been convicted of telling lies under oath. Bill is a convicted felon who lost his license to practise law. Clinton has no shame telling bald face lies such as " I never had sex with that woman" Monica, while looking straight faced into tv cameras. Obama should tell voters that if Bill was giving testimony in court, his statements would be discounted as coming from a convicted felon for perjury. Clinton is testifying to the court of public opinion and Obama should tell voters to ingore his negative statements because Bill Clinton is a convicted Liar.

Posted by: ellisc007onMaui | January 24, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a fake and a pathetic snake oil salesman that gets constantly trapped in his rookie lies. You Obamarama supporters need to take off the blinders and pull out the ear plugs!

Posted by: rayacop | January 24, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Five pinnochios plus a devils tail for Obama!

Posted by: rayacop | January 24, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I think every clear-thinking Democrat would like to have a single-payer system, but they are realistic enough to know that it is infeasible.

Obama's health care approach tries to address not just the lack of coverage but also the skyrocketing health care costs of those who have coverage. Both are problems that we have to deal with. If a family has insurance but it covers only a small (and decreasing) portion of the cost of care, that family is at risk, though at less risk than a family with no insurance at all.

Posted by: wesfromGA | January 24, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Why should Obama remember word for word what he said five years about single payer? He expressed the same concept and gave a satisfactory and truthful explanation. Clinton has nothing, so she just attacks everything and anything, trouble is this makes her the most dishonest candidate out there. She and Bill are making the Republican candidates look good. Obama is so far above the Clinton's raunchy, sleazy games.

Barack Obama will bring honor and integrity to the White House!

Posted by: Katy7540 | January 25, 2008 2:02 AM | Report abuse

Mr Obama is a cheater!! He started his political carrier with the funds of a one Mr Rezco who is an indited businessman!!!!

He tells about running a different campaign!!!!!!! I ask him some questions!!!! He tells he is a very superior decision maker, but he says he was boneheaded to buy a land from Rezco!!! Common Obama, you bought that land for 300 thousand less than the asking price the before one day, when Rezco's wife bought the next land for asking price!! You made whopping 300 thousand profit on one deal!! You are very shrewd cunning cheater, you are a razor sharp knife, with honey touch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just think about it, we are all blaming Clintons for attacking Obama!! Oh!! pooooor Obama!! Didn't he attacked Clinton saying She was on Walmart Payroll, when he was working for poor, and only to retaliate his comment Hillary replied about His involvement with REZCO(Cheater, slum lord)!!!

When one of the channel asked him about REZCO, he just said that he was boneheaded to do that deal, that's it!!!!! he moved on and said that he thinks people don't care about it and all they care is for change!!!! Are we mad and boneheaded like him!!!!!!! to elect an boneheaded leader like him!!! Yes We are!!!!! That is why he is winning like this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wake Up fellow Americans!!! Realize there is no change with Obama, only cheating !!! If we elect Him we are sending people like REZCO into White house!!!!!!!!!!!!

A great man said "If you want to judge a person!! See his friends!!!!! With REZCO is his first Fund Raiser and His initial political contributer and Friend!!!! You Judge Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Oprah!! you are great lady!!!!!!!!!!!! Haven't you asked all these questions before supporting him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hillary is better than Obama!!!!!!!!!

He talks about Change and Hope!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oprah says a quote that he is a guy with an ear of eloquence and a tongue of truth!!!!

Common Oprah!!

What about REZCO deal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! had he asked a few people in Chicago!!!! they would have told about REZCO!!!!!! But he did not do that and dealt with him all these years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This proves he does not have both things you said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He returned whopping 86,000!!!!!!!!!! dollars to REZCO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! in this campaign!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oprah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you just gave him!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2300 dollars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but do you think REZCO is a boneheaded person like Obama to give him whopping 86000 dollars to Obama's campaign with out any profit!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is just known amount!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you don't know how much it is unknowingly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Obama!!!!!!!!!! is different!!!!!!!!!!!!!! he keeps changing his positions, but if somebody points it out, they are playing dirty politics!!!

So what we are doing is We are electing a leader!!!!!
1.) Who was drug edict in his young age!!!!

2.) Had a fraud businessman as a friend, fund raiser until now!! and had done real estate deals with him and profited more than millions from that!!!

Posted by: sharatshastry77 | January 25, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Changing your mind, marginally, after 5 years of thinking about an issue does not, by any stretch, equate to lying.

Posted by: ronwlevy | January 25, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Actually the real problem is this: the reality is that any candidate who has the gall to let his/her ideas evolve is tagged as a "flip-flopper." The more thoughtful among us know what is wrong with a foolish consistency. But US politics cannot accommodate nuance enough to allow evolving ideas. This forces campaign staffers to point out common threads between old positions and new ones. Obama shows us just how difficult it is for an honest and thoughtful candidate to speak openly and with nuance under the nasty and narrow-minded media and public scrutiny.

Posted by: ronwlevy | January 25, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

i think americans need to really think deep and realise that there is a need to have a change in the people they vote for into the white house in the last 18 years or so all you have is the family of BUSH AND whats the difference between Robert Mugbabe of Zimbabwe who has spent over 29 years as a president and the U.S
i believe there are much more better qualified candidates than these people.please americans you have choices don't let 2 families tell you what you can and not do.
As a democrat i think we should let the clintons realise we do have a choice and they don't dictate to us.....for me Edwards is the man i would go for but Obama to is not bad
As a republican should aslo need a change of course Mcain is your man.

Posted by: seyi | January 25, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

This is absurd. Obama wants to get things done. Billary just wants power.

Clinton has not gotten one single substantive bill passed into law during her vast "experience," NOT ONE.

On the other hand, Obama has passed and has seen become law the Lugar-Obama act to decrease nuclear proliferation and to help the United States and our allies detect and stop the smuggling of weapons of mass destruction throughout the world.

Obama and Feingold took on both parties and proposed ethics legislation that was described as the "gold standard" for reform. Their leadership ended subsidized corporate jet travel, mandated disclosure of lobbyists' bundling of contributions, and enacted strong new restrictions of lobbyist-sponsored trips became part of the final ethics bill that was signed into law. The Washington Post wrote in an editorial, "The final package is the strongest ethics legislation to emerge from Congress yet."

And how about Google for Government: "Americans have the right to know how their tax dollars are spent, but that information has been hidden from public view for too long. That's why Barack Obama and Tom Coburn (R-OK) passed a law to create a Google-like search engine to allow regular people to approximately track federal grants, contracts, earmarks, and loans online." The Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "It would enable the public to see where federal money goes and how it is spent. It's a brilliant idea."
Take a look!

One of the worst -- and most ignored trouble spots in the world is the Congo.
Obama and Leahy successfully passed an amendment to provide $13 million in assistance to the DRC for military reform and election assistance. The bill also provided the the US policy is to oppose and fight against the rape and killings of women that is a particular horror there. Obama has recently sent a letter to Sec. Rice demanding a report of their efforts there.

Obama got funds for Predominately Black Colleges which create routes upward for kids from families who have never sent anyone to college before.

There are more laws that he got passed in his short time in DC. He IS effective.

In Illinois, Obama was recognize for his work: he received the Outstanding Legislator Award, Campaign for Better Health Care and Illinois Primary Health Care Association, 1998; Best Freshman Legislator Award, Independent Voters of Illinois, 1997; Monarch Award for Outstanding Public Service, 1994; "40 Under 40" Award, Crain's Chicago Business, 1993.

He passed legislation requiring videotapes of all police interrogations (Chicago just paid $20 million settlement to 4 men incarcerated on false confessions tortured out of the in the 80s) WITH the cooperation of the police.

He got an expansion of health care coverage to 150,000 people.

In 1998, Obama joined forces with former U.S. Sen. Paul Simon (D-IL) to pass the toughest campaign finance law in Illinois history. The legislation banned the personal use of campaign money by Illinois legislators and banned most gifts from lobbyists. Before the law was passed, one organization ranked Illinois worst among 50 states for its campaign finance regulations.

The list in Illinois goes on and on.

Please can you tell me ONE law Hillary Clinton MADE happen (besides naming post offices and pork for NY state)?


Posted by: sam d | January 25, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

osama obama really worries me when it comes to the health of the people!

When he was in indonesia he helped muslim terrorists to butcher 1 MILLION CHINESE people just because China is a communist country! Most of those Chinese were good and hardened capitalists running many profitable business in indonesia at that time and yet he assisted in their genocide.

osama obama must publicly confess and apologize for his great crimes!

Posted by: 1chris | January 28, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I am wondering whether two comments on this blog should not be removed.

1. the one by sharatshastry77, or whatever the handle is, is disturbingly incoherent, but may simply indicate that the commenter has serious issues with mental health.

2. the one from 1chris is equally ill-informed, and would be slanderous in most contexts.

Posted by: thaimex | January 28, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

I am not sure reporters should be fact checking because you have suggest the candidates have said something, you to haven't provided the full context of what the other said. As with obamas statement of meeting with dictators, he did say he would meet with them personally and Hillary said she wouldn't that her diplomatic team would during the first year. So though maybe this news paper believes that it is providing a service in "facts" you to scew them.

Posted by: sarah | February 1, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I think the problem here is the same thing that's a problem for folks in everyday life, at least a good portion of the population.

We come at this with preconceived ideas and our minds already made up, usually based on what someone else has told us to believe, so we pull from the total context of what someone has said the things we can pick apart that make the candidate that we don't like look bad.

This world is filled with people who like to TALK but do not LISTEN, so when someone is speaking, especially someone they have decided they do not like, they only hear what they want to hear.

I think the comments from Ronwlevy, Mstratas and lynettema are brilliant and tells he they were listening.

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