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Barack's G.O.P. Problem

Sen. Barack Obama is running against Republican Sen. John McCain for the presidency, but right now he has to do battle with the G.O.P.: the Great Obama Panic. Blue America is freaked out that Obama could lose the election in a year that appears to be made for Democratic victories.

When I was in New York for a Rockefeller Foundation dinner Monday night, once-confident Obamanistas worried that the senator from Illinois allowed himself to be mugged of the "change" theme by McCain and his running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and they groused that Obama wasn't being aggressive enough to wrest it back. They must have been apoplectic over yesterday's lipstick controversy. My colleague David Broder on the Post op-ed page today argues correctly that we should reserve judgment. But I do believe Obama's supporters have good reason to worry.

Obama's response to the lipstick smear against him was lacking. Not rhetorically. He said all the right things. But reading "enough is enough" from prepared text isn't enough. He needs from-the-gut passion -- a roar from the heart -- to make people understand that he's not going to take a beating from McCain-Palin lying down. Obama's capable of it. He showed raw emotion when separating himself from Rev. Jeremiah Wright. And he showed refreshing feistiness when he leaned forward in his chair to challenge the aggressive questioning of Fox's Bill O'Reilly.

In the one scintillating moment of his acceptance speech, McCain implored Republicans to "stand up, stand up, stand up and fight." Obama needs to heed his rival's call, starting now. "I never throw the first punch," he said yesterday after his education event in Norfolk, Va., "but I always throw the last." To quell the G.O.P., Obama needs to put some knuckle in those punches.

By Jonathan Capehart  | September 11, 2008; 10:10 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

From:
Head of State
http://tinyurl.com/6lbfdv

Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Palinism: Politics as The Content-Free Violation of Expectation

What is Palinism?

What is it about?

What policies?

What ideas?

What positions?

Even in the Lincoln-Douglas debates, while no doubt many were motivated by regional partisanship, local prejudices, and "the measure" of the candidate, one suspects that at least a rough rendering of the issues--secession vs. Union, free vs. enslaved--was carried in and animated the crowds.

Now, it is pure reaction to pattern. To one impulse expectation violated by the provocation of another impulse, that feels--good.

We have reached the content-free phase of American politics.

A form, an image--glasses, hair, a voice, what it suggests--is enough. She could be speaking the words to the airport timetable, the swearing-in speech of Ferdinand Marcos, the ingredients of a
box of Sizzlean--the image, the sound, and the gathering impulse, the bare stirring from dull lack of novelty--is sufficient to awaken the crowds to angry perturbance at...the stimulus to be perturbed, and the bare sense of actual directed action and purpose that comes with doing so.

Palin herself wears a glazed, slightly confused look in her eyes--what is it that has unleashed this roar, this approbation. Being used to herself, and having been among those who are well used to her, she is unaware of the novelty that her mere form releases in the dazed electorate, yearning for a pretext for expression. Soon, she'll believe it herself.

And, after all, isn't that what democracy is all about? The ability to choose to decide without knowledge? Better yet, to choose your knowledge, irrespective of fact, in correspondence with the liberating, confirmation-free impulse?

This is what today's moment stands for.

These are our satisfactions and securities in this golden age.

Cite:
Head of State
http://tinyurl.com/6lbfdv

Posted by: Marie Stewart | September 11, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

There is so much to hit McCain on that is true and yet Obama has tried to go above the fray. Sorry my friend but it you don't fight him at his level you are going to be trounced. For example, lets take a look at wolf killer Bloody Sarah, his supposed strength. She is at this moment pulling a George Bush, citing executive privilidge to avoid investigators get a hold of emails that she cc'd her husband, a unelected official! She said she was going to cooperate with the investigation but now she is not? That alone is proof electing her and the dishonerable McCain is more of the same!

Posted by: Narnia | September 11, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Typical worthless pundit pap.

McCain lying is analyzed from the prespective that Obama is at fault in how he is responding to McCain's lies, rather than in exploring the deficiencies of McCain's character in spreading these lies, or the failure of the media to call these lies lies.

It's classic horserace analysis crap. Safe, shallow, stupid and ultimately a disservice to readers and voters.

Posted by: Egilsson | September 11, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Says Capehart, "To quell the G.O.P., Obama needs to put some knuckle in those punches." True, however, the real power in those punches can only come from voters like you and me. McCain's campaing needs to hear the roar of indignation from Obama's supporters, loud and clear. Repeat Obama's refrain: "enough is enough!". And Clinton supporters -- please put your act together and let's stand united lest we all get "swiftboated" yet again by the merciless GOP propaganda machine. Time is running out...

Posted by: Power From Within | September 11, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

After hearing about the "swift boating" for the last seven years, the claims of false outrage from the right rings pretty hollow.

Posted by: rmorrow | September 11, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Stand up Chuck, let 'em see ya!

Posted by: Joe Biden | September 11, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Barack's GOP problem? Heavens no! Barack's Obama problem!

He's self destructing.

One Hockey mom shows up, and he's in a panic. And, frankly, he's looking like a boy who got his knee scraped on the playground.

Okay, okay, so we've seen your Obama trial baloon. It's now deflated. So, who's your real candidate? We want to know. Please don't wait until October to tell us who the man or woman is.

Posted by: Bob | September 11, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Obama needs to take a point from Marc Antony in his speech concerning Julius Caesar and appeal to the commoners emotions and not intellect....Palin and McCain did this beginning with their speeches on change....and will continue to....I am worried...where is he in this fray?

Posted by: Sidda | September 11, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

If Obama were to apologize to that woman, Palin, for a tried and true metaphor used by McCain over and over again against Hillary Clinton, he would have lost my vote! Why is everyone tip-toeing around this woman, and the GOP campaign all of a sudden? She and McCain are supposed to be so tough and ready to fight! He certainly withstood a mountain of criticism over the last 19 months he has been vigorously campaigning...Now with this last minute revitilization of McCain's tired and lackluster campaign, they might have an opportunity to skate into the White House...Obama had better take off the gloves and get in the ring. Forget about these cable network pundits asking him to tame his "angry black man" persona....It's nonsense...He has been too nice, too polite for too long..Obama set the tone for the most monumental and historical election in American history on so many fronts...Now he needs to take back the torch for the sake of us all!

Posted by: Terri | September 11, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

If you're a left-wing lunatic who lives on DailyKos, you think anger is the solution to everything. Righteous indignation is coin of the realm among the nutroots.

But sane people can't possibly think that Obama getting angry is the solution. If you thought that racism hindering Obama before (and I know you do!), what do you think the right is going to do when Obama comes out looking like an Angry Black Man?

Posted by: AK | September 11, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Let's make one thing clear: we are not talking anger here. We are talking tough stance and focus on what's important. If you need analogies -- think martial arts.

Posted by: Power From Within | September 11, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Typical worthless pundit pap.

McCain lying is analyzed from the prespective that Obama is at fault in how he is responding to McCain's lies, rather than in exploring the deficiencies of McCain's character in spreading these lies, or the failure of the media to call these lies lies.

It's classic horserace analysis crap. Safe, shallow, stupid and ultimately a disservice to readers and voters.

Posted by: Egilsson
*****************
AMEN!!!

Posted by: 2008 | September 11, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"I never throw the first punch,"

So Obama would prefer to be reactive and wait for us to be attacked again rather than be proactive to ensure the attack doesn't happen in the first place.

Posted by: Alan | September 11, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

As usual the Democratic Party shot itself in the foot. A Clinton/Obama ticket would have given trhe Democrats the White House for the next 16 years.

Posted by: Ager50 | September 11, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

If Obama's wife had used the line "What's the difference between a mom of two daughters (refering to herself) and a pit bull? Lipstick" at the DNC and less than a week later McCain had used the "Lipstick on a Pig" comment, don't you think Obama would be pushing for an apology?

Posted by: Alan | September 11, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Just look at this webpage - nothing but opinions from the liberals at the WaPo (Capehart, Cohen, Dionne, Kinsley, Marcus, Mallaby and King). This country is split right down the middle or maybe it is a tad right-leaning (after all, GWB won the last two elections), yet the WaPo fails to find a balance of editorial opinions, stacking the deck against Republicans day in and day out. And you wonder why newspapers are losing money all across America.

Posted by: coffeetime | September 11, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Obama supporters may be quick to panic, but Obama clearly is not. The Republicans launched their fireworks to great effect with the Palin selection, but its a long way to November 4. When the smoke clears and the echo fades what has McCain/Palin to offer? From the looks of it, not much. Obama, steady on.

Posted by: joebewildered | September 11, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

responding by going ugly would be the worse thing he could do, if that's what you mean by 'knuckles'. but he sure as heck needs to do something. my hope is that the obama campaign is preparing something big, strong, powerful, inexorable, and isn't cowering in fear of the palin bump. she took everyone by surprise, but there is nothing in her rhetoric or mccain's stated policy positions that cannot be forcefully, intelligently, articulately refuted. and obama's the man for that.
if he will just stand up and do it.

Posted by: suz | September 11, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

When the Sen. McCain trotted out Gov. Palin the day after the Democratic National Convention closed, it was a signal. When the Republican Convention maneuvered Pres. Bush out of its schedule - citing the storm in the Gulf, as if the President couldn't conduct business or depart in the event of an emergency - it was another signal. And when the speeches of so many at the Republican National Convention expressed contempt and dismissal of Sen. Barack Obama's intelligence and integrity, it was a signal. They want to go toe-to-toe.

But they're going to have to do it on the issues, not on personalities or invented slights. If you've never been the black kid in the schoolyard, then you don't know a whole lot. Someone soon is going to get a face full of fist and wish they hadn't picked on the guy they took for an easy target. And they shouldn't cry they hadn't been warned.

Posted by: Jazzman7 | September 11, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

So where is the outrage from McCain claiming Chelsea Clintons ugliness comes from Janet Reno being her dad? Why isnt that being talked about? Keep it up America, forget the problems in this country and only focus on lipstick....

Posted by: Same ole Same ole | September 11, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

"once-confident Obamanistas worried that the senator from Illinois allowed himself to be mugged of the "change" theme by McCain and his running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and they groused that Obama wasn't being aggressive enough to wrest it back."

In 2004, Senator Kerry (war hero) was made to look weak, while draft dodging then-Governor Bush was made to look tough. In the background there is a fear--instead being tough its change--that this will happen again. In other words Senator McCain will be made to look like an outsider, despite his many years in Washington, and close ties to President Bush.

Posted by: Beil | September 11, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

AK wrote - "If you're a left-wing lunatic who lives on DailyKos, you think anger is the solution to everything. Righteous indignation is coin of the realm among the nutroots."
I say if you're a right wing nut job who lives on Fox and Friends, Rush Limbaugh, or Bill O'Rielly, you think lying and hypocrisy is the solution to everything. I say crying sexism is the last bastion of scoundrels who want to hide from the failures of Bush and the repubican party over the last 8 years, including John McCain.

Posted by: jeffc6578 | September 11, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

If Senator McCain succeeds in convincing voters he is the agent of change, then things are only going to get worse.

Posted by: Louis | September 11, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

September 11, 2008
There are some in the Democratic Party who say we should hold onto our dignity and rise above Karl Rove style politics. Some say the Republicans have caught onto the "essential truth that you can fool some of the people all of the time." I think that that's the rub. Exactly how many of those people are there? I think it's a profound insight to stand back and actually have to wonder or question - Are there actually more people in numbers who either don't see or don't care that our economic infrastructure is on the verge of a serious collapse? And now it's not just Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae but others like Behr Stearns - just listen to the financial news for ten minutes and you'll hear of other giants scrambling in a panic to line up behind them. Although you would think it seems obvious that the reputation of our country around the world is the lowest it has ever been in our history. Our education standards are lower than Europe and Asia. There are less people, based on our total population, that are covered by our healthcare system (whether private or public) than almost any developed country in the world. Our young boys are fighting two wars at once with multiple tours of duty that were unheard of until this time and with no end in sight. They return home to substandard health care and no real support for retraining and no real GI Bill where we take care of their total education after they took total care of us. And we never see them on the news. Why is that? We need as a nation to take a collective deep breath and see where not choosing to go in another direction will leave us. We cannot continue to watch the Titanic as the seas seep into the Steerage below and think that it can't possibly affect the glistening glitter of the ballroom above. And yet we're supposed to keep our dignity, our quiet reserve as we wonder if P.T. Barnum has resurrected and is selling tickets to the show.

Lisa French Smith
Norhport, New York

Posted by: Lisa French Smith | September 11, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

The media seem to find organization boring: e.g. you don't read or hear about voter registration; get out the vote efforts, or who has how many offices, too often do you? Attack ads are almost by definition sleazy.

However, most (not all) of the media devote the resources to covering the mudslinging: i.e. who attacked who, who released what ad. If all you hear about is who attacked, who attacked who, or released what sleazy ad, day after day, it can seem more depressing that it actually is.

Attacks and ads are important, but they are only part of the story. A more accurate--and less depressing--way to report would be to report attacks ads in the context of the bigger picture: e.g. voter mobilization efforts.

Posted by: Louis | September 11, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

CORRECTED (see corrections below)
McCain Camp Offended by Obama Pig Remarks
Presidential candidate neither porcine nor cross-dressing, aides say

By M K Trout
1 hour, 54 minutes ago

RICHMOND, Virginia (Reuters) - Staff for Republican presidential candidate John McCain said yesterday in a statement that Democratic Rival was attempting to shift focus off issues with "scurrilous lies and playground insults."
ADVERTISEMENT

The flap arises in the wake of Mr. Obama's use of a colloquialism about putting lipstick on a pig to describe the policies of the McCain campaign.

The McCain camp originally indicated that Mr. Obama was making sexist remarks regarding the Republican running mate, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. The latest volley indicates that they have changed tactics on the metaphor.

In a statement, campaign manager Steve Schmidt stated, "We are willing to take Sen. Obama at his word that he was not speaking about Gov. Palin in his comments on Tuesday. At the same time, though, we do not feel it makes the comments any less offensive that he was calling Sen. McCain both a pig and a transvestite in a single sentence. Sen. Obama must stop his campaign of scurrilous lies and playground insults and focus on what's important to our nation -- lies about earmarks and more giveaways to big corporations."

Former McCain rivals were no less vocal in their condemnation of the junior Senator from Illinois.

"As someone who is often compared to [cartoon loser] Droopy Dog and [children's cereal magnate] Frankenberry, I understand how these shallow insults can sting," former Tennessee Senator and actor Fred Thompson, who had previously challenged Sen. McCain for the Republican nomination, said in a hastily assembled conference call with reporters. "The man lived in a box in Vietnam for five years, but that doesn't make him a pig. This is a new low for the Democrat party."

Looking at the other side of the metaphor, former New York mayor Rudolf Giuliani released a statement saying "As we remember the victims of 9/11 and how that day changed our country forever, it is unconscionable that a community organizer would accuse Sen. McCain -- an American hero -- of wearing lipstick... not even if the lipstick tube were shaped like the World Trade Center twin towers which we all -- as Americans, not Democrats or Republicans -- watched fall on that fateful 9/11 day."

In an odd twist, Giuliani's statement went on to say that McCain would never do anything that resembles cross-dressing "because he knows he couldn't look half as good as I do in drag. 9/11."

The Obama campaign's response to the latest kerfuffle was an uncharacteristically terse written statement of their own. The full text of the statement read, "We're speechless. This is astounding. If the voting public is so stupid as to buy this, we're all [expletive]ed anyway."

--

CORRECTION: A previously issued edition of this article incorrectly identified Frankenberry as a children's cereal mascot. Mr. Berry's press secretary indicates that, while he appears on the box it is as owner of Frankenberry, Inc., thus he is more properly identified as a children's cereal magnate. We regret the error.

(Editing by Eric T. Red)

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Posted by: Kurt Vonnegut | September 11, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I have to laugh at the liberal biased journalists if Obama makes personal remarks that is good fighting but if McCain fights back that is below the belt. get real Sarah Palin has put the Obama camp on the back foot and they have to find a way to make people want to vote for them the ridiculous whinging and mourning from Obama and the left along with the media is exciting people who are already going to vote for Obama but it is not adding one new vote which he has to do and do it quickly. All is not lost for Obama but if he stays out of touch like he is at the moment it won't be long before it is to late.Ranting and raving at Mcain is not the answer tell America what you will actually do and not only what the others have not done.Obama seems his only strategy is to get people to vote for him because they do not like McCain boy how time change in just a short time when we heard how big a celebrity he was.

Posted by: Bob /Australia | September 11, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Don't get mad, get even

Posted by: nancy | September 11, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Obama knew what he was doing. He knew that his audience would read between the lines and infer that the pig in lipstick was Palin. The man is a wordsmith, an accomplished writer. Further evidence that he was attacking both Palin and McCain was the stinking "old fish" allusion--clearly a shot at McCain.

He phrased both comments in a way that gave him-- in the Nixonian phrase-- "plausible deniability."

In perhaps the most entertaining line in the most sensational speech of the campaign Palin uttered a single word: "lipstick." 38 million people, nearly as many people who watched Obama's stadium extravaganza, heard the word and were thoroughly charmed. Obama was trying to take the lustre off that line. He was trying to soil it.

Obama's point: "I can be just as nasty as I want to be, because I'm more clever than the editorial board of the Washington Post."

He did it because he knew he could get away with it.

He did it to assuage his supporters, who are beginning to doubt his toughness. "I can trash them and they can't touch me."

McCain didn't buy it and explained the remark in a way that made it clear what Obama was up to. I'm thinking McCain, who has already picked up 20 points among white women with his Palin pick, just picked a few more.

Women know what the word "pig" means when its used against them.

Posted by: theduke | September 11, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

It's sad for me to say this, but I think what people are saying is true. Obama is a classy person who generally takes the high road. Unfortunately we live in a soceity that seems to prefer the low road - at least that's how it votes. Obama needs to fight fire with fire and show a strong personality undecided voters want. I think Kerry's passivity cost him 4 years ago and hope this won't happen to Obama.

Posted by: Jeremy | September 11, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Obama is fine. He's run this campaign on a message of change, a different kind of politics, so far he's sticking to message.
There will come a time when the candidates stand across from each other and they can't help but talk about policies. It will, in fact, happen several times. Obama is going to crush John McCain in the debates because McCain is just a continuation of the failed Bush policies. The Maverick got roped, herded and sold to the Republican National Conference.
That will likely become apparent as Obama continues to hammer the policies and McCain just builds on the impression he's a whiner.
McCain and the Republicans will be firmly fixed in most peoples minds as the little boys who cry wolf by the time this is over. His campaign has already been called out on several lies it's repeating thus far today.

Posted by: dijetlo | September 11, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

sorry, johnnie the well-dressed man. but what obama has to overcome is a corrupt and cowardly press corps more inclined to protect their job security -- and those most tasty teevee appearances -- than seek out the truth.

although, i must give props to the few who have been disgusted by mccain's disgraceful behavior and have actually called him out for it.

Posted by: linda | September 11, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Once I at least respected John McCain. No longer. He and his campaign are now up to their eyeballs in lying excrement. Has anybody else noticed this?

Posted by: oldhonky | September 11, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

John McCain wrote:

Hello, I'm John McCain, a former POW. There was a time when I didn't have lipstick and I didn't have a pig. And even if I had, the Vietnamese guard would not have let me put the lipstick on the pig. Now, I don't care if you vote for me or not, but I do care about the right to put lipstick on a pig.

I tried to put lipstick on Gov. Palin, but she said, "Thanks, but no thanks. If I want lipstick, I'll go out and shoot a Polar Bear and make lipstick from its blood."

I tried to put lipstick on Cindi, but she said, "I've already got three coats of primer and face paint. Any more, and I'll look like Heath Ledger in that Batman movie."

Please vote for me. I've lost all my integrity, but if you vote for me, I'll give you a house. Did I tell you that I was a POW?

I'm John McCain, a former POW, and I approved this message.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Blue America is freaked out that Obama could lose the election in a year that appears to be made for Democratic victories.
******

well, if nothing else, mccain's surge to the lead puts to rest the 'notion' (barry's fav. word) that barry is some kind of unusual political talent, or that his campaign has been well managed and the execution has been there

if barry had even slightly less wind at his back, he'd be losing this by 10 points.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

We have reached the content-free phase of American politics
********

no, we reached that 9 months ago when obama won iowa.

sorry, had to say it

Posted by: was for obama | September 11, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

John McCain adds Sarah Palin to his ticket and the entire Democratic party goes off its feed. This lipstick-wearing, gun-comfortable hockey mom, who happens to be governor of an energy-important state, represents a moose-sized monkey wrench for the braying crowd. Obama and his bloviating and plagiarizing sidekick don't know how to handle her.

Now you have a campaign between two straight talkers on one ticket and a verbal conjuror and gasbag on the other. Obama is backing and filling so fast his novice status is becoming an embarrassment. No wonder his acolytes in the press, in the left blogosphere and on the campus are worried.

Posted by: Paul Bloustein | September 11, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

It is interesting that Jonathan cites Hussein's Wright dustup as the "right" stuff.
In reality the Wright controversy revealed Hussein to be a serial liar who was willing to say and do anything to win. My god, he called his granny a racist!
And Wright was spot on in his analysis of Hussein as just another political hack.
Hussein knows how shop worn his schtick has already become.
After all he only has his recurrent charge of "old politics" to wield and once that is gone Hussein really is just an empty suit.
No, Hussein has to get his pit bulls out... sadly Biden is not proving up to it and so we have the sad spectacle of Hussein trying to use the Clintons.
The problem is that no matter what HRC or Bill say lots of us Clintonistas will not forgive the Messiah and will never vote for Hussein.
So sad, too bad, Hussein is toast!
He and his campaign's claims of superiority are a Fairy Tale!

Posted by: JamesT | September 11, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Palin is Spiro Agnew in panty hose.

Posted by: rlambert12 | September 11, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"Blue America is freaked out that Obama could lose the election in a year that appears to be made for Democratic victories. "
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Says you....I am a part of Blue America and I want Obama to lose. Indeed, I have contributed to McCain and shall vote for him in November.

Why do you assume all Democrats or all Liberals are for Obama?

Do you not see his unprepardness, unfitness in public policy? He has not EVER shown interest in public policy per se.

Unlike Bill Clinton, Obama has NEVER been interested in public policy. Also unlike Bill, Obama is running to BE not to DO.

Wake up.....No Obama in November

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

"I never throw the first punch," he said yesterday after his education event in Norfolk, Va., "but I always throw the last."

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

Baloney!! Obama does throw "first" punches, but he does so in a passive aggressive way, which is this mode of combat.

Remember when he flipped off Hillary with the faux face touch? That is his mode of operation.

So yes he does throw punches; he is just sneaky about it.

NO Obama in November

Posted by: Truth Seeker | September 11, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

If Obama's wife had used the line "What's the difference between a mom of two daughters (refering to herself) and a pit bull? Lipstick" at the DNC and less than a week later McCain had used the "Lipstick on a Pig" comment, don't you think Obama would be pushing for an apology?

Posted by: Alan | September 11, 2008 11:47 AM

-------------------------------------------
Um Princeton and Harvard educated Michelle Obama would never use that metaphor. Classy and smart women don't call themselves bi$ches!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Hillary began winning when she showed her passion for her causes and for people in need. She was credible because she had a 35-year history of being on the right side. She kept fighting even though she was under relentless attack by many Obama supporters and the media. Even Republicans admired her grit. She seemed invigorated in the final primary months while Obama seemed depleted.
Obama could not have gotten this far without strength. He needs to show it.
Obama ran on the promise of a post-partisan government and a healing of the racial divide. He and a lot of his supporters are naive. The Republicans do not want to lose their immense power and access to trillions. Enough voters are racist in key states to make a difference.
A lot of people believe if you can't fight for yourself, I can't trust you to fight for me. I will vote for him but I am very scared he will lose.
By the way, you are good on TV. Fair and funny.

Posted by: DRD | September 11, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Democrats for John McCain in 2008

Posted by: Mike | September 11, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Let's face it: Right Winger's hired a MILF and have deftly avoided talking about the issues, like they always do. Americans have never let a little thing like the performance of an administration stand in the way of making their vote. Just look at the last two elections.

Posted by: Jay Double U | September 11, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

when it is said is just as important as how it is said. Is Obama so dumb not to notice the cheer just as soon as he said? Or is he smart enough to leave the implication up in to air so he can plead innocence when the uproar erupt? I think his smartness keeps on trapping himself into this political melee. Again this is exactly why people think he is condescending! when McCain used the analogy, he used it as an analogy without sarcasm.

Posted by: tampa | September 11, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

when it is said is just as important as how it is said. Is Obama so dumb not to notice the cheer just as soon as he said? Or is he smart enough to leave the implication up in to air so he can plead innocence when the uproar erupt? I think his smartness keeps on trapping himself into this political melee. Again this is exactly why people think he is condescending! when McCain used the analogy, he used it as an analogy without sarcasm.

Posted by: tampa | September 11, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

All four canididates for President and Vice President are people of integrity and love their country.

It is unfortunate that their handlers and supporters will not let the dialog be one of dignity and respect for each other, which would then allow them to focus on the issues.

Posted by: rljmsilver | September 11, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Marie' my sweet dear,
hidden in your soft delicate
words,
images of Slavery and free men
struggling with a truth,
that at the time was
never assured.
and then
the cute vain
character attack'
you must have a saggy ass
that another woman
threatens you so?
lose a man or two to
younger, more attractive
women?
on character and issues My dear'
not on your insecurities'
loosen the girdle hon'

Posted by: usa3 | September 11, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

OMG!

Could Capehart be any more in the tank!

You friggin' shill!

Posted by: Shill Detector | September 11, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I am a Republican who has posted some prety caustic things on the Washington Post site and other sites.

However, I cannot --- in good conscience --- defend that old quote of McCain's about Chelsea.

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

If we can't win on ideas, I'd just as soon lose.

Posted by: Ashamed Republican | September 11, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BROWN SUPPORTS BARACK OBAMA

LONDON, Wednesday - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown voiced support today for US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, saying he would help Americans struggling with an economic downturn.

In a move seen by some British media as a break with a political convention requiring foreign leaders to remain neutral ahead of US elections, Mr Brown praised Mr Obama as a fellow “progressive politician” who would help ordinary Americans in tough times. With eight weeks to go before the presidential election, Mr Obama and his Republican rival John McCain are neck-and-neck in domestic opinion polls.

Mr Brown described the race for the White House as “electrifying” and said: “It is the Democrats who are generating the ideas to help people through more difficult times.”

“To help prevent people from losing their home, Barack Obama has proposed a Foreclosure Prevention Fund to increase emergency pre-foreclosure counselling, and help families facing repossession,” he wrote in an article in The Monitor magazine, a monthly political publication.


WHY A BARREL OF OIL ILLEGALLY SHOT UP FROM $24 TO $145 DURING THE GOP REPUBLICAN ROB AMERICA ADMINISTRATION


GOP REPUBLICAN BUSH I OOOOOIIIIILLLLL MILLIONAIRE OIL COMPANY EXECUTIVE
GOP REPUBLICAN BUSH II OOOOOIIIIILLLLL MILLIONAIRE OIL COMPANY EXECUTIVE
GOP REPUBLICAN CHENEY OOOOOIIIIILLLLL MILLIONAIRE OIL COMPANY EXECUTIVE
GOP REPUBLICAN RICE OOOOOIIIIILLLLL MILLIONAIRE OIL COMPANY EXECUTIVE
GOP REPUBLICAN GUILIANI OOOOOIIIIILLLLL MILLIONAIRE OIL STOCKS MILLIONAIRE
GOP REPUBLICAN MCCAIN OOOOOIIIIILLLLL MILLIONAIRE OIL STOCKS MILLIONAIRE
GOP REPUBLICAN PALIN OOOOOIIIIILLLLL COMMISSIONER OIL STOCKS MILLIONAIRE


TOGETHER WHAT DO THEY ALL HAVE IN COMMON?

THEY ARE ALL GOP REPUBLICAN OOOOOIIIIILLLLL STOCKS MILLIONAIRES


GOP REPUBLICAN OOOOOIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLL IS THE NEW CRACK
GOP REPUBLICAN OOOOOIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLL IS THE NEW CRACK
GOP REPUBLICAN OOOOOIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLL IS THE NEW CRACK


CAN YOU SAY GOP REPUBLICAN CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD THE AMERICAN PUBLIC, ROB OUR U.S. TREASURY, AND SPECULATE FOR OBSCENELY HIGH PROFIT RETURNS ON WALL STREET OIL STOCKS

WAKE UP AMERICA, BECAUCE THE WORLD ALREADY KNOWS ABOUT THE CRIMINAL GOP REPUBLICAN PARTY OF CONSPIRATORS

NATIONALIZE U.S. OIL FOR NATIONAL DEFENSE AS A VITAL RESOURCE

AMERICA AND AMERICANS FIRST

NO MORE GOP REPUBLICAN WALL STREET OOOOOIIIIILLLLL SPECULATION AND FRAUD AGAINST THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

IF YOU SAY THAT YOU LOVE AMERICA, THEN PROVE IT AND STOP THE GOP REPUBLICAN RAIDERS UPON OUR U.S. TREASURY AND OUTSOURCING OF U.S. JOBS


Will the GOP Republican get rich by selling America party take credit for any of their disasters? GOP Republicans are successful at failing and hurting OUR COUNTRY in the eyes of the WORLD. Can we really afford to ignore what the ENTIRE WORLD THINKS OF US?


How does the WORLD perceive AMERICA led by Barack Obama? Extremely favorable.

How does the WORLD perceive AMERICA led by John McCain? Extremely negative.

FOR MORE YEARS ANYONE?

Eventually, Americans will realize that doing the same thing (electing GOP Republicans) will not yield different results (stock market disasters, economic disasters, world view disasters, failed foreign policy disasters, failed domestic policies disasters).

Spraying perfume on a new GOP Republican Pig will not create a bright and shiny candidate. Garbage in equal garbage out. GOP Republican garbage in yield (stock market, economic, foreign relations, domestic policies) garbage out.

McCain has perpetually been a failure from school until now.
Palin has perpetually been a failure (with a hillbilly hockey mom accent) from day one until now. Her bear hunting Arctic outback kids prove it.

Do you really need someone to tell you these basic facts? Under the Freedom of Information Act, all of this information is available free if you choose to type in the questions.

Lets prove to the Europeans and the World that we are not stupid, because they think that we are after two terms of Forrest Gump Bush.

D Student Crash Every Plane McCain and Hillbilly Trailer Palin are not reflective of the American People.

If Palin had a brain, then she would have considered the immense responsibilities demanded of the Office of the United States Vice President or President; and politely declined McCain’s crack induced invitation. GOP Republican Party is a joke.

If FOX NEWS does not clean up it’s filthy RACIST acts of discrimination, then American and European audiences will B O Y C O T T FOX RACIST NEWS.


REPORT SAYS GOP REPUBLICAN OIL AGENCY RAN AMOK

INVESTIGATION OF GOP REPUBLICAN OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET

INVESTIGATION OF GOP REPUBLICAN MINERALS MANAGEMENT SERVICE OIL MARKETING GROUP


GOP REPUBLICAN Government officials in charge of collecting billions of dollars worth of royalties from oil and gas companies accepted gifts, steered contracts to favored clients and engaged in drug use and illicit sex with employees of the energy firms, federal investigators reported.

Investigators from the Interior Department's inspector general's office said more than a dozen employees, including the former director of the oil royalty program, took meals, ski trips, sports tickets and golf outings from industry representatives. The report alleges that the former director, also netted more than $30,000 from improper outside work.

The report from Inspector General contains fresh allegations about the practices at the beleaguered royalty-in-kind program of Interior's Minerals Management Service, which last year collected more than $4 billion worth of oil and natural gas from companies given contracts to tap energy on federal and Indian lands and offshore. The revelations come as Congress is set to consider opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and areas off the coast of Florida for drilling.

The royalty-in-kind program, based near Denver, allows energy companies to pay the government in oil and gas, rather than cash, for the privilege of drilling on government land. It has been the subject of multiple investigations since 2006 by the Interior Department's secretary, its inspector general, the Justice Department and Congress for alleged mismanagement and conflicts of interest.

In the report released yesterday, investigators said they "discovered a culture of substance abuse and promiscuity" in which employees accepted gratuities "with prodigious frequency." The report cited one e-mail from a Shell Pipeline representative asking a woman in the royalty office to attend "tailgating festivities" at a Houston Texans football game: "You're invited . . . have you and the girls meet at my place at 6am for bubble baths and final prep."

Besides Shell, the energy company employees mentioned in the report worked for Chevron, Hess and Gary-Williams Energy. The social outings detailed in the report included alcohol-, cocaine- and marijuana-filled parties where certain employees of the Minerals Management Service were nicknamed the "MMS Chicks" by the energy employees. The companies paid for federal workers to attend football and baseball games, PGA Tour events, Colorado ski trips, paintball outings and "treasure hunts," investigators found.

"The OIL INDUSTRY holds shocking sway over the ADMINISTRATION and even KEY FEDERAL EMPLOYEES,". "This is why we must not allow BIG OIL'S AGENDA to be jammed through CONGRESS."

The current director of the Minerals Management Service, said that he takes the report "very seriously".
Employees identified in the report told investigators that they didn't think ethics rules applied to them because of their "unique" role in the agency and that they needed to socialize with industry representatives for "market intelligence," according to the report. Those employees, some of whom have been transferred to different offices, have been recommended for internal administrative action.

The inspector general's release comprised three separate reports, including one devoted to the program's director. It alleges that Smith improperly worked part time for Geomatrix Consultants, an Oakland, Calif.-based environmental and engineering firm, and marketed the company to government clients.

Additionally, the report said that the director had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a subordinate whom he paid to buy cocaine, promising her a bonus in return. The director admitted to the sexual encounter.

The director, who now works for a private oil company in Denver, did not respond to requests for comment. Investigators referred their findings to federal prosecutors.

Justice officials also declined to comment on their decision about the criminal case against the highest-ranking official named in the report director of the Minerals Management Service, who worked in Washington. She is accused of improperly arranging a million-dollar deal for two retired employees.

The wife of the procurement policy administrator for the WHITE HOUSE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, retired from government service Jan. 31. She declined to comment on the report. She told investigators she had a "personal issue. The Justice Department's decision to charge created a rift with Interior officials.

One of the two retired employees pleaded guilty in July to a federal conflict-of-interest charge related to the investigation. Another employee has been under investigation for similar conflict-of-interest allegations.

Before he left, Mayberry created a job for himself by writing the job description and the criteria for selecting the winning bidder, court documents show. He started a company out of his Texas home and was awarded a $150,000 contract in June 2003. He later hired Dial, the report said. Mayberry's firm collected $788,000 worth of contracts.

The royalty-in-kind program, which started as a small pilot project a decade ago, has been touted as a way to simplify the way OIL AND GAS COMPANIES pay for the right to drill on federal land and offshore. Instead of calculating the profit from a well, they can simply give the government one-eighth to one-sixth of whatever they take from the ground.

Revenue rose quickly, from $1.5 billion in 2004 to $4.3 billion last fiscal year. But the growth occurred "in an environment with relatively unstructured in-house oversight," the congressionally convened Royalty Policy Committee said in a December report. Previous reports have said that companies were allowed to revise their million-dollar bids for projects indiscriminately, that government workers routinely failed to seek out legal advice on complicated deals and that the agency used outdated computers and a $150 million software program that resulted in royalty money going uncollected.

A lawyer who represented states and tribes entitled to a cut of the royalties, said it was nearly impossible to get accurate numbers from the agency. "They kept hemming and hawing," she said.

In late 2006 questions arose over its handling of leases written in 1998 and 1999 that allowed major oil companies drilling in the Gulf of Mexico to avoid billions of dollars in royalty payments.

Former Interior Department auditors accused the agency of failing to bill companies. "We weren't allowed to audit them. It was disturbing," said an auditor who sued the federal government for not collecting royalties. "You couldn't see what was going on."

The minerals agency director said that the harm done by the royalty employees was to public trust and Treasury, and acknowledged that financial considerations were given to firms that gave favors to federal employees, and he said the contracts will be audited.


Do you really question the motives of GOP Republicans Criminals? America must Immediately Nationalize U.S. Oil and Gas For National Defense.

Posted by: GOP Republicans Put Greed First | September 11, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Just look at this webpage - nothing but opinions from the liberals at the WaPo (Capehart, Cohen, Dionne, Kinsley, Marcus, Mallaby and King). This country is split right down the middle or maybe it is a tad right-leaning (after all, GWB won the last two elections), yet the WaPo fails to find a balance of editorial opinions, stacking the deck against Republicans day in and day out. And you wonder why newspapers are losing money all across America.

Posted by: coffeetime | September 11, 2008 11:53 AM
*******************

Ah, you must be a new idiot on the block, eh? The WaPo is well-stocked with rightwing blowhards: they've all decided to take the day off. They must have found it kind of difficult to defend the chickSchmidt tactics of the McCain camp.

Posted by: abqcleve | September 11, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Just look at this webpage - nothing but opinions from the liberals at the WaPo (Capehart, Cohen, Dionne, Kinsley, Marcus, Mallaby and King). This country is split right down the middle or maybe it is a tad right-leaning (after all, GWB won the last two elections), yet the WaPo fails to find a balance of editorial opinions, stacking the deck against Republicans day in and day out. And you wonder why newspapers are losing money all across America.

Posted by: coffeetime | September 11, 2008 11:53 AM
*******************

Ah, you must be a new idiot on the block, eh? The WaPo is well-stocked with rightwing blowhards: they've all decided to take the day off. They must have found it kind of difficult to defend the chickSchmidt tactics of the McCain camp.

Posted by: abqcleve | September 11, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Obama needs to show guts and emotion in his ads relating to the horrible state of the economy. He needs to scare people and to get the message across that it is the Republicans that got us into this mess and the Democrats who have in the past and will in the future get them out of the mess. Bill Clinton needs to be his economic advisor and Hillary Clinton his health care advisor and put the whole team to work. People remember the good times under Clinton. Good economy, balanced budget etc. If Obama shows a lot of anger directed at any individuals personally it wakes up the latent or overt racism in whites. Don't kid yourself. Racism is the elephant in the room here. If Obama personally attacks Palin verbally in an angry fashion, white people will see race, not reality here. I am probably the only person at my senior center who is voting for Obama. When I mention that McCain wants to cut Medicare and Obama wants to give us at $50,000 or less complete federal tax relief, their answer is, "Do you trust that "N-word" muslim? He needs to get his economic message out in a huge forceful way. Money talks louder than race if one can get a word in edgewise!
Sorry to say it, but the "tapdance" mentality is alive and well
Stick to the issues and pound the hell out of them.

Posted by: Pam | September 11, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and Joe Biden all told us that Obama was not qualified to be President ... what else do we need? ... I guess we needed to see a VP on the GOP side with little more experience than him to realize just how inexperienced he is! His liberal buddies Kerry and Kennedy can't get him "selected" as President .. he has to get elected!
McCain-Palin '08
Hillary 2012!!!

Posted by: Francisco Cardenas | September 11, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I agree. I think Obama should give a speech similar to the one he gave on race. It would outline lying in politics and how destructive it is to our democracy. Liberal doses of past sins and their consequences could be illustrated as only Barak could do them.

Just a wish, perhaps soon a reality. I can't totally dismiss his campaign, he did beat the Clintons after all.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Obama was probably in third place this far out from winning the Iowa caucuses. HE put it together and won and will do so in the general election as well.

Posted by: ejgallagher1 | September 11, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

That term or phase “Lipstick on a pig” was uttered by John McCain as well in a previous public speech. It’s a reference to Washington and how you can’t dress up Washington to make it pretty; the people running Washington are still pig's at the end of the day. I wish America would quit pretending. Obama’s experience is not why you don’t want him as President, for if that were this reason; Republicans wouldn’t have choosing Governor Palin, because she is quite inexperienced herself. Obama’s gender isn’t the reason you don’t want him to be President, for if it were again Palin would not be a candidate for VP, because we all know this is a white male dominant society. I can’t say that Obama’s intelligence is an issue, because he graduated top of his class at Harvard University. It’s his family…well that’s not a problem either; he only has one wife, who is highly educated herself, and two girls. Maybe it’s his past, well then again investigators haven’t been able to find enough dirt to slander Obama’s name. Well what makes people not want to vote for Obama if it’s not his experience, his gender, his education, his family, or his past? The irony in this reason I am about to give is hilarious. Technically Obama shouldn’t even be considered black. For he is more white American than he is black American. But the truth of the matter is because America considers Obama to be black this is the reason we don’t want him in office, PERIOD. People can’t wrap there brain around having a black President, because how can a black man or what we consider a black man rule this country, THIS IS OUR COUNTRY! As republicans say COUNTRY FIRST!

Posted by: Jaz | September 11, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and Joe Biden all told us that Obama was not qualified to be President ... what else do we need? ...

What do you know, I agree with the Clintons on something.

Posted by: Fergie | September 11, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Obama's an idiot. And this author doesn't get it.

Obama's problem is not the GOP, its not Sarah Palin, its not the swiftboating.

Its that Obama could barely close the deal in getting his own nomination.

And now he's got to convince the rest of the country. He is to the left of general America, and we don't agree with his policies.

That's why he's not way ahead. He's not been accepted.

It may or may not happen.

Posted by: tennismom | September 11, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Obama's next book will be titled "I am now afraid of women". For Barack, Hillary was the first thorn in his nuts. She gave him a run for his money. But finally he prevailed to be only thrown into another match with Sarah Palin. The problem for anybody to run against women for the public office is, it is easy for a woman to make fun of men during the campaign, but not the other way around. One has to be extremely cautious. McCain has learned that by marrying twice.

Posted by: Joe Christo | September 11, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

What Obama needs is a few women cheerleaders. Not the old farts like Hillary Clinton. Somebody very young, like in their 30s. McCain found his cheerleader in Sarah Palin. He is using her as his Monica Lewinsky. Now Obama has to find his Monica Lewinsky. Michelle Obama is not good enough for that. He should get some tips from professional football players. Get a white chick with some good work done in the upper part of the body. That will attract more attention from people. And one more advice to Obama. Don't talk about issues anymore. People are tired of hearing about what he will do for healthcare, education, mortgages etc. Half the people don't have a mortgage and they don't worry about that.

Posted by: Stacy Sloan | September 11, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

some of this is just rediculious, i'm sorry, but (almost) all of you are hacks.

Posted by: mike | September 11, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Yes I'm sure Obama is cowering under the bedsheets. Some other journalist today was claiming Obama was flustered. You have to be kidding me. I've never seen Obama remotely flustered. And then tonight after the faux flap over lipstick and pigs we get Palin contemplating war with Russia over Georgia. Only in America.

Posted by: John | September 11, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

As one poster avered, the problem with the Obama agenda is that it is just pure socialist pacifism and reminds one of him being just a hack for the Chicago Daly machine. The guy really has no agenda that is going to persuade any red states nor even some waffling purple states. The arrogant faux Messiah has displayed chutzpah that he deserved to be elected. Yet his answers were the same old McGovern-Dukakis-Kerry malarky that looked like warmed over New Deal nostrums. Sure, he touched into the Bush derangement disease and had the MSM support. But, raising taxes, more regs, depending on the UN for pete's sake, nationalizing health care, using and abusing our military as Meals on Wheels(can anybody except the Kosites see this empty suit as CIC?),is for out and out infanticide which Reagan Dems must find disgusting, and whose appointments to SCOTUS would resemble Chavez, Castro and his old friend , Bill Ayers! Dems of old would have laughed at him being a Presidential candidate. Truman, Scoop Jackson, even JFK would have eaten him alive. So stop the fantasy and elect a guy who actually can be CIC and will actually defend even the lefty loons on this and other forums!

Posted by: phillyfanatic | September 11, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Here's an answer: STOP TALKING SO MUCH! You're not that impressive. Shut up, Talk Less and listen more.

He's as winded and blowharded as Joe Biden. I'm watching the national service forum and he can't utter an answer in under 30 sentences and a gazillion words.

Get crisper, shorter on your answers -- this is the soundbite world dude!

Posted by: Obama Talks WAAAAAAAAAAYYY TOOO MUUUUUUUCH & TOO LONG. | September 11, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

I sit here, not panicking, yet, but wondering can American voters really be that (deleted) stupid? I thought Hillary's PUMAs were nutty, but the Palinistas are unthinking, unquestioning, uncurious, soundbite parroting bubbleheads. Truly incredible. Let's hope Broder is right and the right wing loons will burn out.

Posted by: ghinHI | September 11, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

As an Obama supporter the way to hit back is to join the campaign and make sure the turnout is big in PA, VA , OH and FL. If Dems comeout and vote democratic the Republicans can't win in these states the numbers are too high. No need to panic just vote and make sure your people vote. If Obama has these states he wins.

Kerry was swift boated but that isn't why he lost. The Christians came out in big numbers to vote against same sex marriage initiatives. The Kerry team hadn't accounted for these numbers.

The Dems have registered a large number of new voters and Obama only needs to flip 1 state like OH, CO, or VA and we win so don't panic.

He needs to just hammer the economy message. Biden can throw punches at McCain/Palin. Also the media will be looking for every oportunity to get the gotcha story on McCain/Palin because of how they are trashing them too.

Posted by: Leonard | September 11, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

How's this for a strategy? The media actually does its job and calls out McCain for blatant lies and hypocrisy. How about the media doesn't air McCain commercials they know are full of lies and distortions? How about they report the fact that McCain and Palin's stump speeches are littered with lies? How about you stop giving a pass to McCain because he had you guys over at the ranch for a BBQ? Obama is not only fighting the GOP's usual goon squad, but he's also fighting a press corps that seems reluctant to speak the truth about McCain. The same media who helped Bush waltz into office and into Iraq is doing the same shoddy work they did before. And lastly, is Obama the only one in this fight? Where are the effective Democratic surrogates? The media has been so engrossed in the Palin soap operat that have ignored serious news stories that may affect this election. Is that Obama's fault too? The lipstick controversy would have been a non-story had the fourth estate done the right thing and ignored the story. Instead they displayed their complicity once again by perpetuating a story they knew was ludicrous. If Obama deserves some blame, give it to him. But, for all that's holy give the blame to the media because you have failed to do your job, again.

Posted by: Hope | September 11, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

This black male writer claims that Obama had a lipstick smear made against Obama and I disagree.

Obama's "lipstick on a pig" was poorly timed, off color, insensitive and juvenile. The phrase took on a different meaning after Sarah Palin's speech at the Republican Convention, and he/the Democrats knew it. And if Obama coulnd't figure that out he needs to remove himself from running for our executive leader because he is plain stupid.

More troubling is the fact that he refuses to even acknowledge that some women might have been offended or insulted by his poorly placed comment. His indifferent behavior has been consistent since the start of the primaries and is reflective of his disregard and disrespect towards women. If McCain said something about a "monkey in a suit" McCain would be crucified even if he did not say Obama's name. But Obama gets away with his bad behavior - after all he made Bill Clinton into a racist and everyone suported that as well. Ugh - he is a sexist pig and needs to be called on it by name.

Barack Obama - like this writer - is a "Sexist Pig" - just think that Obama has given himself a new 'brand' name - "Sexist Pig".

Come on WOMEN - demand better of your politicians and you media.

Posted by: Black Men Are Sexist | September 11, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

AK writes: "If you thought that racism hindering Obama before (and I know you do!), what do you think the right is going to do when Obama comes out looking like an Angry Black Man?"

I have seen this argument repeatedly as a reason why Barack Obama shouldn't show anger, and I understand the root of it. But at this point in the election, we all know who Barack Obama is, and "the angry black man" is not it. We can see who he is in his gentle demeanor and thoughtful manner of speech.
Anyone paying attention knows he has been trashed and lied about, and I for
one feel a show of anger would be reasonable and justified. But his lack of response comes from a position of strength, not weakness. I greatly admire this man's self-control. He keeps his passion and anger inside for use when it serves his own purposes; he reveals his emotions proactively. Whereas, from what I understand, John McCain can be provoked.

What will "the right" make of anything?
I like Barack Obama and the way he presents himself, and I intend to vote for him.
That's my answer to what the right makes
of him.

Posted by: Janelle | September 11, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

McCain is a national hero; Obama is essentially a zero. He has to be the most ill-prepared, naive, inexperienced candidate ever to seek the Presidency. The prospect of an Obama presidency is truly frightening. His lofty promises to expand existing social programs and to create new ones will be meaningless if our country does not survive.

Posted by: dsapp | September 11, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

McCain is a national hero; Obama is essentially a zero. He has to be the most ill-prepared, naive, inexperienced candidate ever to seek the Presidency. The prospect of an Obama presidency is truly frightening. His lofty promises to expand existing social programs and to create new ones will be meaningless if our country does not survive.

Posted by: dsapp | September 11, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

dsapp: Well, I am going to vote for him anyway, how's that?

Posted by: Janelle | September 11, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

You see BHO was, is and will always be a puppet. He was groomed by others for this historic presidential run by the DNC since his speech at the DNC convention in 2004. If elected, he will be the "proxy" POTUS having others pull the strings behind the scene. He is a good spokesmodel, no? Just want his puppeteers want (and maybe the US citizens - hey good spokesmodels are a valuable commodity are they not?. In some respects, this is not so different than what has gone on with GWB - in that he is being controlled by others (in a bad way too!).

McCain, on the other hand, was not the RNC's man on the presidential ticket from the get-go. It has been pure blind-luck that JSM survived the Republican primaries and is now ahead in the polls against BHO. He IS THE original maverick and no one pulls his strings. He may be volatile, bad tempered, speaks non-soaringly and old, but I must admit, he does have much bigger kahunas (that being balls) than BHO.

Posted by: Puppeteer | September 11, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Have any of the posters bothered to go back and read the comments? You are preaching to the choir. Why bother?

Posted by: mia99 | September 11, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't it be great if the press (you know those supposes-to-be professionals) actually said enough of this effluent:

"No Mr. McCain. That's a willful distortion - Mr. Obama did not vote to teach kindergarten children to use condoms"

"No Mr. Obama, it's silly to say that Mr. McCain opposes an energy bill that hasn't yet been written so that he can protect the interests of the oil and gas industry."

"Now why don't you both stop the nonsense and tell us what your specific plans are for the future of our nation on these critical issues."

Yeah - and if frogs had wings, they wouldn't bump ass.

Posted by: fr3dmars | September 11, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Maverick Smarverick!
While the politicians are practing their craft; John McCain putting his campaign before the needs of the country; Barack trying to get the last punch; the media talking about lipstick, pigs and hockey Moms instead of being bold enough to find out who this woman is. I sit here out of work for the first time in 30years. I can't find a job. I just broke my foot and can't afford the bill. I can't afford my regular food shopping list. I want to hear what these men are offering so I can make a good choice for my future. On a lighter note Johnathan made me laugh so hard when he was on ABC's This Week. He did a great impersonation of John McCain. I believe it was not his intention to be humorous but I thought he was hilarious! Fight, Fight, Fight with me. Stand up, Stand up. I was thinking maybe Cindy McCain can give me a loan so I can start a small business or maybe she can hire me at one of her companies so I can stand up and fight.

Posted by: Diane | September 12, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the "pig" comment, I think Obama should have said, "Yes, she is in fact a pig. Anyone - man or woman - who approves shooting wolves from airplanes so that unsportsmanlike hunters from the lower 48 can be guaranteed a caribou kill when they visit Alaska on an expensive luxury hunting trip, is a pig."

Posted by: Pete ATL | September 12, 2008 1:19 AM | Report abuse

Jonathan, the Republicans are playing Grand Master chess while the Democrats are playing kindergarten checkers. Using game theory the Republicans are ten moves ahead of the Democrats with the Republicans laying the trap and the Democrats acting like Pavlovian dogs salivating over the bait. Republicans are playing mind games on Obama and have totally psyched him out. Simply put, Obama will be his own worst enemy by defeating himself.

In particular, I believe that the Republican’s overarching goal behind this whole lipstick kerfuffle is to tarnish Obama’s brand equity in order to disillusion his political base of independents and college kids. At stake is voters’ “gut” feeling about his authenticity--as Drew Westen, George Lakoff and Tom Friedman (today) have pointed out, voters don’t vote with their “head” on issues but rather with their “gut” on character. Republicans like Rick Davis know this well: “This election is not about issues. This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates.” They intend to exploit Reverend Wright as a character witness with his comment that Obama is just another politician who will say anything and do anything to get elected. What the GOP seeks is to compromise Obama’s authenticity. Simply put, they intend to show that Obama’s lust for power has changed him -- he is not the same person who wrote The Audacity of Hope. What is truly fascinating is that both the Clintonites and the Republicans have taken Obama’s strengths and like a judo flip somehow persuaded him to use it against himself. The issue here is not about experience but rather maturity – the Shakesperian “to thine own self be true.”

At his core Obama is a not a fighter but a conciliator (at least that is what his political base wants to believe). Recognizing the potency of Bush’s 2000 campaign theme of being a uniter rather than a divider (hey, propagandistically it worked!), the Republicans are goading Obama into a fight to turn him into a partisan prizefighter. To accomplish this the GOP has successfully co-opted influential commentators (e.g., Maureen Dowd’s “Obambi,” Chris Matthews and Cokie Roberts’ celebration of politics as the Machiavellian exercise of power, and your advice above) and establishment Democrats (“We will not be Swift boated again!”). Fight! Fight! Fight! If they hit you, you come back and hit them even harder: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Bring back Clinton’s war room and old school hardball politics! The implication for his base and swing voters will be that Obama is not “The One” to end what Ron Brownstein calls the Second Civil War that has polarized America and paralyzed Washington. When the inner Obama resists, establishment Democrats say that he is egotistical--that he has to do things his way. I believe what is going on here is that he is trying to resist going over to the Dark Side--at his command he will be able to unleash the Democratic attack dogs (or wolves as the new McCain/Palin ad paints). Mano-a-mano is not Obama’s style but once he unleashes his wolves he goes over to the Dark Side and turns into Darth Vader. This is the character test that the Republicans have laid out for Obama. Untested, this is the first time that Obama has tasted such commanding power. Whether he goes over to the Dark Side will determine whether he is “mature” enough (versus experienced enough) to become president.

The second prong of the Republicans’ attack is that they are positioning McCain/Palin to run against Washington--in particular against Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid’s “liberal” Congress with its historically low 18.5/72.5 job approval rating (versus Bush’s 33.4/63.8). So expect the Republicans to counter Bush/McCain with Pelosi-Reid/Obama. Another piece of evidence to his base and swing voters that Obama has sold out is that he opted to frame “change” in terms of what David Brooks calls “policy change” as opposed to “systemic change.” The reason why Obama did not have a post-convention bounce is that his “workmanlike” Denver speech was underwhelming (as characterized by Brooks, Michael Gersen, David Broder and most recently, Tom Freidman). Obama blew it! He failed to inspire. With his emphasis on economic populism Obama became a conventional “liberal” Democratic politician. The liberal press (Mark Halperin giving Obama an A+ for his speech) and the Democratic establishment (calling the Denver convention a success) have transformed Obama into Hillary Clinton (economic populism). Ignoring Westen and Lakoff, Democrats seem fixated that they can win on issues by appealing to the head rather than to the gut. More ominous for Obama is that he may be out of synch with the Zeitgeist from
+ a likely collapse of oil prices in October (due to demand destruction caused by a slowing global economy, Saudi’s commitment to maintaining high production output, and the CFTC’s crackdown on futures speculation),
+ subprime mortgage foreclosures subsiding (only to face a tsunami-proportioned new wave next summer when option-adjustable rate mortgages reset), and
+ the success of the surge (which was sort of predictable because Petraus’ strategy of taming Baghdad was the same as Giuliani/Bratton’s flooding of NYC with a cop on every street corner).
So in a “relative” sense, these kitchen table “issues” may be looking up for the Republicans by November. Regardless of whether my predictions come to pass the fact that Obama’s poll numbers haven’t improved indicate that economic populism is NOT the silver bullet. Forget Bush/McCain and sharpening the differences: what worked in 2002 is NOT working in 2008--it is NOT the economy stupid! The upshot is that McCain/Palin will argue that unified Democratic government (ala Jimmy Carter and Clinton’s first term) does NOT work and that DIVIDED government (ala Clinton’s second term before Monica) works best. As a lowest common denominator, a bipartisan maverick in the White House rather than another “Jimmy Carter” is how the People’s business can best get accomplished in Washington.

So what should Obama do? First he should NOT go over to the Dark Side and play the GOP’s game--despite what James Carville, Paul Begala and Donna Brazile believe, Democrats suck at playing their game. Besides, the Republicans have already set the trap and Democrats are now dazed and confused. Second, Obama should take David Brook’s advice by becoming “weird” to reboot his campaign with a proposal for systemic change. Obama needs to preempt Reverend Wright’s criticism is that he is just a “politician” (in the pejorative sense). Specifically the systemic change that Obama could bring to Washington would be to change the political rules of the game from winning (narrow advocacy) to joint problem solving (i.e., Arthur Schlesinger Jr’s definition of poitics as the “search for remedy”). Paying tribute to DNC Howard Dean, Obama could use Dean’s 2004 campaign slogan of the GREAT AMERICAN RESTORATION to restore the deliberative democracy that America’s Founding Fathers had envisioned (see citations to the Federalist Papers below and remember that Obama was a constitutional law professor). And using the sports metaphor for suburban soccer & hockey moms, this systemic change will be a change from winning at any cost (e.g. steroids and clotheslining your opponents) to fair play in the pursuit of the common good (e.g., good sportsmanship). “Fair play” is the word that Obama should own. [Question: Is fair play for sissies?] Like he did yesterday (and the speech that Michael Douglas gave in movie The American President) he should once again standup and roar ENOUGH! Obama needs to deescalate the testosterone-driven tit-for-tat dynamic of partisan warfare before it disillusions his base and swing voters. Let’s give “peace a chance.” Thirdly and most “weirdly” (in the David Brooks sense), Obama should retell Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and tell Democrats to “turn the other cheek,” “love thy [Republican] enemies,” and “do onto others and you would have them do to you.” Like the speech that Kevin Kline gave in the movie Dave before he had a brain aneurism, Obama needs to tell the nation that his “from-the-gut passion” is to end America’s Second Civil War by fixing our broken political system -- and ask the American people to judge him on how he will govern by how he campaigns. (Here Obama would be seizing the moral high ground and unlike Anikan Skywalker, the end does not justify the means.) Moveover Obama should enlist the help of Al Gore whose book The Assault on Reason made the point that in order to solve societal problems such as global warming we first need systemic change to fix our broken political system. And in the spirit of the Madisonian political tradition of the pursuit of the common good through reason (see President Clinton’s 2006 Georgetown speech Securing the Common Good), Obama should engage McCain in civil political discourse to “refine and enlarge the public view” (Federalist #10) and gain the “deliberate sense of the community” (Federalist #71) on solving our societal problems -- and in doing so show the nation that there is much common ground (versus sharpening the differences) through which the common good can be achieved (Federalist #57) [cf. Obama’s 2004 keynote convention address (E pluribus unum!)]. In Obama’s call for unilateral political disarmament the Democratic establishment and the Republicans will probably crucify him. They may not know it yet but what that will show is that he is “The One” to end America’s Second Civil War. Most importantly by not going over to the Dark Side his political soul will remain intact and there still will be the hope for a new kind of politics. [How’s that for a Maureen Dowd psycho-drama!]

Posted by: MSA | September 12, 2008 3:02 AM | Report abuse

I was born and now live in Alaska; a state which is 1/5 the size of the continental United States and has a population of less than a 25th of a percent of the country's population. Our state is a major supplier of energy and seafood for the nation, a strategic defense against our enemies, and a critical air cargo route for world transport. Alaska has more money in its bank account than any other state in the Union; there are a lot of entities who would like that money spent on their projects but the Governor has taken a fiscally conservative route and actually cut out long lists of projects that weren't right for the state. She has proven to be a shrewd governor in good times, and a formidable force amidst the worst attacks of her foes. She has been criticized for her hairstyle, her daughters circumstances, the clothes she wares, keeping her special-needs child, and yet she has proved resilient. She will remain strong in the days to come and be an example of what any women can be; a leader, a mother, compassionate, and have the strength not to stoop to her opponents levels. I have had the pleasure to know Sarah personally and can tell you she is no woman to take lightly, she has beat what many called impossible odds a number of times and done it with a smile. If you would like to know more about her and the formidable opponents she has faced check out www.palinfightscorruption.com

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 5:28 AM | Report abuse

I was born and now live in Alaska; a state which is 1/5 the size of the continental United States and has a population of less than a 25th of a percent of the country's population. Our state is a major supplier of energy and seafood for the nation, a strategic defense against our enemies, and a critical air cargo route for world transport. Alaska has more money in its bank account than any other state in the Union; there are a lot of entities who would like that money spent on their projects but the Governor has taken a fiscally conservative route and actually cut out long lists of projects that weren't right for the state. She has proven to be a shrewd governor in good times, and a formidable force amidst the worst attacks of her foes. She has been criticized for her hairstyle, her daughters circumstances, the clothes she wares, keeping her special-needs child, and yet she has proved resilient. She will remain strong in the days to come and be an example of what any women can be; a leader, a mother, compassionate, and have the strength not to stoop to her opponents levels. I have had the pleasure to know Sarah personally and can tell you she is no woman to take lightly, she has beat what many called impossible odds a number of times and done it with a smile. If you would like to know more about her and the formidable opponents she has faced check out www.palinfightscorruption.com

Posted by: Seth Church | September 12, 2008 5:28 AM | Report abuse

is this an election we are talking about here or a reality tv show?

this election seems to be losing all substance. pigs, pitbulls and lipstick shouldn't really be any part of choosing our nation's leaders.

but, since we seem to be hell-bent on emphasizing the ridiculous...why don't we just go all the way and actually turn the election into a reality tv show...we could put the candidates in a barn with a pig, a pitbull and an assortment of lipstick and see who can apply the most appropriate shade to each animal in the shortest amount of time. then we can let America decide who wins by text messaging their votes...and in the event that the pig or pitbull wins, well perhaps we'll be better off...because I am seriously beginning to question whether any of these people are remotely ready to lead this country.

*** warning: actually trying to apply lipstick to either a pig or a pitbull would be unsafe and should not be attempted by anyone

Posted by: confused | September 12, 2008 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Baracky Hussein Obama has an extremely liberal Senate voting record - he cannot run and hide from that fact.

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008

Posted by: Helen | September 12, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

What is Obama going to do? He seems like a French Poodle going up aganst a Pit Bull.

And what does this say about how strong of a leader he will or will not be?

He looks terribly weak, and totally out of touch with the people...

Posted by: Gooch | September 12, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

A democrat working for Obama told my wife that Sarah isn't like a pit bull with lipstick. The woman loves dogs. Sarah's like Dick Cheney with lipstick. And the woman telling my wife has a close friend who lives in Ankorage and knows Sarah quite well.
I don't know if Sarah should feel insulted or not - but I think to be fair and balanced we should hear what people who know Sarah well think of her.

Posted by: Jack | September 12, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I have a friend who knows Barack Obama quite well and he says that Obama's feet smell like strong cheese.

Sheesh, Jack, you are a simpleton.

Posted by: Jack's alter ego | September 12, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Now, Obama is yelling on his ads.

Not a little too panicked, are you, Obama?

Posted by: Sensitive Ears | September 12, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

If I went to Rush Limbaugh and asked him to host a fundraiser to launch my political career, you could justifiably conclude my views are right-wing.

Obama went to Bill Ayers.

Posted by: Wise Eyes | September 12, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Just look at this webpage - nothing but opinions from the liberals at the WaPo (Capehart, Cohen, Dionne, Kinsley, Marcus, Mallaby and King). This country is split right down the middle or maybe it is a tad right-leaning (after all, GWB won the last two elections), yet the WaPo fails to find a balance of editorial opinions, stacking the deck against Republicans day in and day out. And you wonder why newspapers are losing money all across America.

Posted by: coffeetime

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

And yet most of those same newspapers, on top of reporting McCain's sudden "surge" (no pun intended) in the polls of him being ahead of Obama (If they were for Obama, wouldn't they at least skew the results in Obama's favor?), fall for the "lipsick on a pig" outrage distraction garbage that's coming from the McCain campaign? Are you serious?

Posted by: SAGG | September 12, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Obama knew what he was doing. He knew that his audience would read between the lines and infer that the pig in lipstick was Palin. The man is a wordsmith, an accomplished writer. Further evidence that he was attacking both Palin and McCain was the stinking "old fish" allusion--clearly a shot at McCain.

He phrased both comments in a way that gave him-- in the Nixonian phrase-- "plausible deniability."

In perhaps the most entertaining line in the most sensational speech of the campaign Palin uttered a single word: "lipstick." 38 million people, nearly as many people who watched Obama's stadium extravaganza, heard the word and were thoroughly charmed. Obama was trying to take the lustre off that line. He was trying to soil it.

Obama's point: "I can be just as nasty as I want to be, because I'm more clever than the editorial board of the Washington Post."

He did it because he knew he could get away with it.

He did it to assuage his supporters, who are beginning to doubt his toughness. "I can trash them and they can't touch me."

McCain didn't buy it and explained the remark in a way that made it clear what Obama was up to. I'm thinking McCain, who has already picked up 20 points among white women with his Palin pick, just picked a few more.

Women know what the word "pig" means when its used against them.

Posted by: theduke

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

No, McCain knew what HE was doing. He wanted to create a controversy to continue to distract from our current problems in the economy, and to keep Obama on the defensive. It's as simple as that. I know Obama was simply talking about McCain/Palin doing the same exact thing on continuing Bush's. It's a term many a politician (including McCain himself twice recently) has used. I'll give it to you guys that you're on a roll--for the moment, and that you want to keep it going, but this election has been pretty wacky so far, and I believe it'll go the other way. The only poll I'M interested in seeing is on Nov. 5th. We'll see then who'll have the last laugh.

Posted by: SAGG | September 12, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

When are we gonna get some good Eugene Robinson shilling?

Jonathan, your shilling is pedestrian and mediocre.


Posted by: Shill Inspector | September 12, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

I know the lefts' rage compels them to strike out blindly and with absolute hate but I think I can tell you that that the attacking of Sarah Palin is hurting the democrats chance of winning the white house. If this continues McCain will win this in a walk. The press has openly shown its bias and its easy to see as its in no way subtle. I am here in NYC and I have yet to find anyone that I speak to in order to get a feel for what New Yorkers are thinking.. to find ONE, yes ONE person who has told me they would vote for Obama. .. And this is in New York City... the home of the left. True many of these folks are "Liberals: but they are not "Progressives".I have not spoken to anyone that is a Progressive to my knowledge, but to lots of people who describe themselves as Democrats and who will vote Republican for the first time in their lives...

Posted by: james m reilly | September 12, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Tonya Harding could hit harder than Obama !

Posted by: Nancy Kerigan | September 13, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

re:
"And Clinton supporters -- please put your act together and let's stand united lest we all get "swiftboated" yet again by the merciless GOP propaganda machine. Time is running out..."

Put OUR act together??????
You're kidding, right?

Hillary Clinton has already gotten swift-boated, by Barack Obama.
The Clintons -- of all people on the face of the earth -- came out of the DEMOCRATIC primaries with the label "Racists" painted across their foreheads.

Sarah Palin is saying everything we wanted Hillary Clinton to say! So, believe me, for us Clinton supporters...
This is absolutely delicious!!!

The way for us to have stood "united" would have been for the DNC to have a united ballot.

After being hand-picked by the DNC, Barack Obama chose to ignore 18 million voters.

Our message to the DNC:
GOOD RIDDANCE!
PUMA

Posted by: Jan | September 13, 2008 6:57 AM | Report abuse

Both John McCain and Sarah Palin have raised lying to a new level of political hypocrisy. Yet the media is still not being as aggressive as it should in reporting the distortions and gross manipulation of the facts that are part and parcel with the negative GOP campaign.

The American people now know that John McCain's first "Presidential" decision was his selection of his running mate, Sarah Palin. He essentially thought so little of the American voters that he decided on a real light weight whose views are not in step with the majority of the American people. John McCain might have been better off if he had nominated Paris Hilton for VP.

The media failed miserably in the exercise of its responsibilities in advance of the immoral Iraq war. History now seems to be repeating itself. People who allege to be "journalists" should hold their heads in shame for allowing the lying being done by McCain/Palin to go unchallenged.

Posted by: Fl Voter | September 13, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Obama's Problem is Obama. He's an Ultra-Ultra Left-wing Socialist, the DNC overreached badly when they thought the could hoist this smooth talking (with a TelePrompter anyway)empty suit into the Presidency of the United States. Way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory (and thank you very very much).

Posted by: KeythL | September 13, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I think Obama is in a tough place. Many of the characteristics and policies that helped get him the Democratic nomination are not what his supporters want from him now.

I didn't see "feistiness" in his leaning towards Bill O'Reilly trying to get a word in while O'Reilly kept interrupting him. I saw a man, respectfully trying to get the floor again, and that's not a bad thing. I also thought he was being pretty assertive in an interaction with a man who obviously enjoys rough and tumble verbal jousts. For a person who processes information in a more lineal, deliberative manner, as Obama does, it had to have been frustrating trying to stay in the mix.

I have many concerns about Obama being our president, but if he gets there I hope his supporters will let him be the person he is and not have to remake himself to fit their image of how "tough" he should be. He has the capacity for "raw emotion" but I suspect only when it makes sense to him. That is his authentic self and he needs to honor that and not try to out-Hillary now that there seems to be some buyers' remorse.

My one piece of advice is if he wanders into a silly minefield like the lipstick one, say you didn't mean it and walk away. Honest to gosh, how could a campaign known for disciple have subjected us all (even the McCain supporters) to several days of dumb posturing that only leads to retaliation. Pick your battles!

Posted by: annetta | September 13, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I spent the morning surveying households in Virginia concerning their voting preference. I don't know about certain high ranking campaign officials but I can tell you the real people out here are not panicing. Obama voters are solid but humble. McCain voters are cocky and confrontational. The Gallup tracking poll has been trending toward Obama for the past three days.

Posted by: cdgainesville | September 13, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Obama said "enough" once in the speech to which you refer. I and other Dems thought that single word was brilliant. Keep it simple, stupid.

Posted by: Pat | September 13, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Jonathan, this is an update to my September 12, 2008 3:02 AM posting above. I am glad that annetta affirms my recommendation that Obama be authentic -- “This above all: to thine own self be true.”

It has been said that the mistake that Al Gore made in 2000 was that he was not authentic. Instead of talking about his passion of global warming he focused on kitchen table issues like the Social Security “lock box.” Gore did not have fun and it showed: he was seen as stiff and boring. Fast-forward to 2006 with An Inconvenient Truth and everyone loves the now unleashed and passionate Al Gore -- “This above all: to thine own self be true.”

As Michael Gerson describes in his piece “Obama The Orthodox” (WaPo, 08/30/08), Obama is repeating Gore’s mistake: “Obama's transformation was complete. He had systematically taken the advice of every cynical, hard-edged Democratic political consultant. Get rid of the airy, cerebral rhetoric. Pitch your message to the focus groups, not the historians. Go for the old man's jugular.” The Republicans, establishment Democrats, and the mainstream media are trying to force fit Obama to become like the Clintons. But the true Obama is not a fighter but a conciliator. Tom Friedman (NYT, 09/10/08) wrote, “Obama has gone from cool to cold.” One explanation is that unlike Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and establishment Democrats, he is not passionate about economic populism and probably finds kneecapping McCain distasteful. Obama is not having fun and it shows -- “This above all: to thine own self be true.”

I believe that what Obama is passionate about is the audacious hope for a new kind of politics. To connect with voters he has to make the case that to solve America’s economic (and more broadly societal) problems we first need to fix our broken political system--which is Al Gore argument in his book The Assault On Reason. By focusing on economic populism Obama is putting the cart before the horse: systemic change has to come before policy change. Given that Sarah Palin is the new “celebrity,” Obama should now hold those mega-rallies and make the case that he is “The One” who can end what Ron Brownstein calls the Second Civil War that has polarized America and paralyzed Washington -- “This above all: to thine own self be true.”

Now that John McCain has stooped to using Karl Rove’s tactics of distorting the truth, he has turned to the Dark Side: for him the end now justifies the means. He is no longer authentic and has become a “politician” (in the Reverend Wright pejorative sense) who will do anything and say anything to win. He has now poisoned the well and if he elected the Democrats will be so bitter that he will have absolutely no chance to govern in a bipartisan fashion. He may still be a maverick but nothing will get done in Washington. Our nation’s grave problems will not get solved. America is tired of partisan rancor and by continuing the Second Civil War he has forgone putting Country First. Rather than unite the country he now seeks to divide it: he should be deemed unfit for command. In his lust for power, John McCain has turned into George W. Bush -- “This above all: to thine own self be true.”

So in answering Friedman’s observation that “Obama will need to find another way to connect his ideas — clearly, crisply and passionately” it is that we cannot solve our country’s grave problems until we fix our broken political system: systemic change must come before policy change. And because McCain has turned to the Dark Side, Obama now is “The One” who can end America’s Second Civil War. The “fierce urgency of now” is to fix our broken political system and the concrete proposal for systemic change that Obama can put forth is the Great American Restoration of the deliberative democracy that America’s Founding Fathers had envisioned* by changing the political rules of the game from “winning” (narrow advocacy”) to joint “problem solving” (Arthur Schlesinger Jr’s definition of politics as the “search for remedy”). [As a former constitutional law professor Obama should know well that one of the goals of the US Constitution was to “break and control the violence of faction” (Federalist #10).] According to Frank Luntz and AARP’s Mark Kitchens [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/26542881#26542881 ] swing voters are looking for “accountability--compromise, cooperation--that [politicians] are going to deliver what they say they are going to do.” Here Obama from his gut should roar ENOUGH! to the Republicans’ dirty tactics and make the “good faith” bargain with voters by asking them to judge how he will govern by how he campaigns, and hold him accountable on election day. Obama can say that he intends to walk the talk: the end does not justify the means, and that he is a true uniter not a divider -- “This above all: to thine own self be true.”

Returning to Friedman, the single word or phrase that should come to mind with Obama’s name should again be “HOPE”--the hope for a new kind of politics. At his core Obama is conciliator not a fighter so rather than “sharpening the differences” he should change the tone of his campaign and reach out to Republicans by showing them how much common ground there is (like in his 2004 keynote convention address). To solve America’s grave problems Obama needs to ask Republicans and Independents for their ideas and invite their criticism to “enlarge and refine the public view”(Federalist #10) and gain the “deliberate sense of the community” (Federalist #71). He should view the upcoming debates not as contests of narrow advocacy but rather opportunities to learn from each other through which cooperation and compromise can spring. We should always be open to improvement through rational criticism and what should count is not whose partisan pet policy solution “wins” but rather that America’s problems “get solved.” [Here Obama’s policy proposals should be taken as a “first draft” or strawman to stimulate discussion: Democrats do NOT have the monopoly on good ideas (in the David Brooks sense how “weird” is that?)] Joint problem solving (Schlesinger’s search for remedy) through civil political discourse is how Obama can demonstrate a new kind of politics being practiced in a deliberative democracy: the restoration of the Madisonian political tradition of the pursuit of the common good through reason (Federalist #57). In sum, Obama needs to pivot from policy change (“Promise of America”) to systemic change (“The Great American Restoration”). Ending the Second Civil War that has polarized America and paralyzed Washington is how Obama can get his groove back. America’s grave problems will not get solved until we first fix our broken political system. We need a new kind of politics and Obama is “The One” who can deliver that -- “This above all: to thine own self be true.”

-------------------------------
*Yes, I agree that this “vision” fell apart by the Election of 1800 but the “Camelot” of a deliberative democracy is what the Founding Fathers had “envisioned” when they framed the Constitution in 1787.

Posted by: MSA | September 13, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Obama was extremely arrogant when he ignored the 18,000,000 votes for Clinton.
He basically thumbed his nose and expected that the 18,000,000 voters were going to vote for him, because he is Barack Obama the annointed democratic nominee of the democratic super delegates.
The democratic party should have truly come together (the unity they claimed but didn't deliver) by selecting either Clinton as VP or a female. Instead after claiming "unity" and "change" they picked Biden. Biden received less than 20,000 votes in the primaries and has been in the senate for more than 30 years. I ask, Is that "unity" and "change?" Even if you are an Obama supporter you must admit that he failed to the deliver the unity and change that he promised. That was Obama's first big decision, that of a choosing a running mate and he got it wrong.
McCain probably sat back and said I will deliver unity and change to my party, and I may even pick up a few votes from Hillary supporters (believe me He Will).

With the elections as close as they have been in the past few years, Obama's mistake may be enough for McCain to win.

Arrogance doesn't win elections, the right decisions does.

Posted by: Mary E. | September 14, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

every time MSM and WaPo in particular prints ink or electron, they further cement the new Reagan Era

the problem is, you have all the left over hippies from 60's in charge who really don't get it at all. In their typical hedonistic socialist little hearts they just keep at it. Go ahead, keep pushing the envelop of 'endorsing a candidate' to 'campaigning for a candidate'

Right now MSM is more powerful that Rove in making sure Dem's lose this electio

Posted by: laughing at the dems | September 14, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

The problem for Obama and the Democrats is that Sarah Palin is real. She is authentic. She actually came from nowhere: no family connections, no money, no political connections, no Ivy League Education, no advantages. She got to where she is by sheer talent, hard work and grit. She resonates with all Americans (of either gender) who have come from nowhere and work every day for their families, futures and America.

I was raised on a farm in Iowa, one of 7 kids, by parents who never went to highschool. The family business is still farming today. What the liberals and elite do not get, is how much people like this relate to Sarah.

Finally, she will not be taken down by the Democrats, Obama or the media, because she is exactly as described above: real authentic, tough and grounded. Every attempt to attack her will gain her votes.
Thank you.
Steve

Posted by: steve in michigan | September 14, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

The Senator from Illinois faces an insuperable obstacle blocking his way to the White House. It’s the Electoral College, and the way most of the states choose to apportion their Electoral College votes. Obama’s core base of voters, African Americans, is distributed mostly in those states where they are of no use whatever to his winning the Electoral College of those said same states.

The best example of this dilemma is found in North Carolina and Ohio. In North Carolina African Americans comprise about 25% of the population, in Ohio it’s about 13%. White block voting in North Carolina will ensure that Obama never receives more that twenty percent of that vote. Assuming he receives nearly 100% of the Negro vote, Obama is going to loose North Carolina 45 to 55 percent.

Whereas in Ohio, if the nominal white minority of voters who always vote for the Democratic candidate running for state-wide office were added to a reliable rock, solid 25 percent of the electorate, Obama would win Ohio by 51 to 54 percent. But with the actual Negro vote in Ohio only 13% of the total, Obama is going to loose Ohio by 47 or 48 percent, to McCain’s 52 to 53 percent.

This same fact is true in Missouri and Colorado. There are not usually super-majorities against the Democratic party candidate in state wide races, but Senator Obama does not have a large enough core of voters who; when added to the white Democratic minority who reliably vote Democratic; will produce a majority of the population.

Posted by: rc115shepherd | September 15, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

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