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Analysis: Obama's Gravitas

Barack Obama's press conference this morning in Amman, Jordan, was a major moment -- perhaps the major moment -- of the Illinois senator's much-ballyhooed trip abroad this week.

All eyes were on Obama to see how he would perform on a world stage with every political reporter of any consequence either on the trip with him or watching closely on television.

And, as he has done before in the course of the campaign, Obama seemed to be up to the moment -- sensing the need to convey gravitas and bipartisanship while also strongly defending his own beliefs about America's role in Iraq and the broader Middle East.

Gone were the jokes and "rah rah" language that won over many Obama partisans but left many undecided voters wondering whether there was any there when it came to the Illinois senator. Instead, we saw a serious explication of his position on removing combat troops in Iraq, a position bolstered in recent days by repeated calls by the Iraqi government to remove U.S. military forces from the country by 2010.

"Regardless of who becomes next president we are going to have to strip away ideology, strip away the politics," Obama said when asked the proper future course for Iraq. "The next president is going to have to make a series of very difficult judgments."

As for the disagreement between him and Sen. John McCain about the future of the country, Obama again took the high road, insisting he was not interested in having a "colloquy" with the Arizona senator over the next four or five days about the issue because it was not in the best interests of the country. (Well played, although does the average person have any idea what the world "colloquy" means? The Fix had to look it up.)

While Obama largely avoided any attack on McCain or his approach to Iraq, he did offer a vigorous defense of his plan to redeploy troops from the country and dismissed the idea that there were only two ways to approach the future of American involvement: a rigid timetable or an open-ended commitment.

"I reject that those are the only two options," said Obama, adding: "My job, should I be commander-in-chief, is to set a strategic vision for what's best for U.S. national security" -- a directive that requires flexibility and a belief that the situation is not as Manichean as many people in the states present it."

The press conference wasn't all roses for Obama, however, as he provided Republicans more rhetorical ammunition by again refusing to say he should have supported the troop surge last year.

Obama said that "we don't know what would have happened" if the plan he put forward in early 2007 -- a plan that would have had all combat brigades out of the country by March 31 of this year -- had been implemented.

That is sure to be fodder for Republicans who were up in arms last night over the fact that Obama told ABC's Terry Moran that even in hindsight he did not support the troop surge.

Already McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds is out with a statement condemning Obama's attitude toward the surge. "By continuing his opposition to the surge strategy long after it has proven successful and by admitting that his plan for withdrawal places him at odds with General David Patraeus, Barack Obama has made clear that his goal remains unconditional withdrawal rather than securing the victory our troops have earned and the surge has made possible," said Bounds.

(McCain's campaign, too, is already showing signs of using the allegedly fawning coverage of Obama's trip against him. In an e-mail entitled "The Media is in Love", McCain announces a video competition to choose between two different ads that reveal the press' "bizarre fascination with Barack Obama." )

Overall, however, Obama cleared a crucial bar in today's press conference. He looked and sounded presidential at a moment when the eyes of the world were on him.

Will it dramatically affect the race at home when Obama returns? It's hard to tell. But, rest assured that if Obama today had come across as flip or not sufficiently versed on the issues in Iraq and the Middle East, it would have been a major problem for his candidacy. Obama cleared that hurdle with ease.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 22, 2008; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Posted by: Paul | July 23, 2008 11:24 AM

"Every time Barack opens his mouth I feel like I'm sitting in class listening to the teacher's pet...I'm sure Obama is smarter than us, but he's not so smart that at the end of the day most of us (supporters and opponents alike) won't realize that we're allowing the teacher's pet to get over again."

Friend, I'm sorry if you feel inadaquate in some way. How exactly is it Obama's fault that you're not as educated as he is? I feel bad for you. I went to college and grad school in the states and found it enjoyable and very helpful professionally.

I don't think I'm as smart as Obama, either, but how's that a minus? I liked that Bill Clinton was smarter than me. I have a lot of respect even for Nixon's intelligence.

How an average IQ and poor elocution became the STANDARD for the US Presidency is beyond me. Forget that last bit. I understand quite well. IT'S AMERICA. OF COURSE. Half the country doesn't know who's the Vice President. 70% of the country can't locate his or her home state on an unlabelled map. 90% of the country doesn't know who their Representative is.

99% of the country knows who Britney Spears is.

John McCain and the USA. PERFECT TOGETHER.

Posted by: DexterManley | July 24, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Finally some praise for Senator Obama from the proprietor!

Compare the last two foreign outings of the two candidates. Obama has been calm, serious, masterful diplomatically, and respectful of his hosts.

McCain's visit to Colombia was quite the opposite. He was handed a golden opportunity to bask in the reflected glory of President Uribe when the FARC liberated Ingrid Betancourt and the 3 CIA guys. All he had to do was say "the world thanks you and your excellent armed forcess for this." That's it.

Instead, he had to make it about himself and turn the whole thing into some showdown. He apparently had some unkind things to say to Uribe about Barack Obama during their meeting. A reporter asks if Obama's name came up and Uribe said that they'd discussed the Senator but not in detail. McCain calls Uribe a "liar". While in Colombia! During Uribe's moment in the sun. What gall.

Look, I support Gaviria for president of Colombia but I have a grudging respect for Uribe. Kind of in the way I have a grudging respect for George Bush Sr.

McCain made himself look the fool, once again demonstrating his lack of "foreign policy credentials" bad judgment and bad temper.

How is this not a crystal-clear choice? How is Obama not running away with this?

Nevermind, I know why.

Posted by: DexterManley | July 24, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

I think Chris loves Obama more than he loves himself. Chris card Obama gave you read good.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 24, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama is the most suitable candidate for the White House and he has proved it time and again. The so-called flip-flopping is media manufactured slang which has got no gravitas, of course.

As a commander-in-chief, he needs to have a vision and the ability to adjust to arising needs of the moment swiftly without compromising interests of the country and people involved, and that's what he is articulating. Simply understand that he would never be a 'bubble-gum' president who would stick to a place/thing based on certain 'notions' and then refuse to budge, come what may. (WMDs ???!)

The world has already accepted him as the future president of the US and it would be really unfortunate if the votes swing in opposite direction.

Barack Obama has the personality and the potential to resurrect US' lost place in minds and hearts of people all around the globe which got battered brutally after Bush's misjudged and misguided incursion in Iraq.

Posted by: Anju Chandel | July 24, 2008 2:03 AM | Report abuse

It is interesting that quite a number of anti-Obama writers here accuse him of that dreaded sin, elitism. To be sure, his being a Harvard-educated lawyer with (it seems) an impressive academic record likely does distinguish him from the gang down at Bubba's lube rack (and, no, there's nothing wrong with working at a lube rack!). And, to keep it close to home for me, Obama's being an urbanite does distinguish him from me and most of my fellow West Virginians (I live in a town of c. 3000--a bit different than Chicago).

The elitism charges against Obama fail for two reasons:
1) McCain's background and current circumstances are far more elitist than Obama's. McCain was raised in relative privilege, and the wealth of his wife means that his lifestyle is vastly more different from ours than is Obama's. Do you really think McCain really gets the "kitchen table" issues (price of a gallon of milk or gasoline or of a loaf of bread, etc.) more than Obama? Puh-leeze! . . . McCain's Republican economic policies alone place him more on the elitist side of the fence.

2) The fact that Obama seems to be very smart, and apparently, smarter than McCain (dragging Dubya into this comparison is downright cruel, but fun . . .) is somehow regarded as a bad thing. Incredible! Don't people want their own physicians and lawyers to be the smartest damned people on the planet?? So we shouldn't want the same in our president??? Oy! If you're bothered by the fact that Obama's erudite vocabulary is different than yours or that he seems like a teacher's pet, recall the dangers which occur when the president ISN'T very smart--we're learning that particular lesson the hard way with the current administration. OK, so you think that McCain is in fact smarter than Obama--so be it. But don't reject either because they're TOO smart. When it comes to choosing a president, there is no such thing as a candidate being too smart.

It's been well-documented that people vote with their guts more than their brains. The strong tendency is for people to vote for the guy "most like me." Remember the guy (from Florida, I think) who said that he voted for Dubya because Dubya cleared brush from his ranch (a behavior more Floridian, apparently)? WRONG IDEA, chaff-for-brains!

The really dangerous kind of elitism is that which says that the most privileged among us deserve to become even more privileged. If you think that's a good idea, then vote for McCain.

Posted by: old white male democrat in WV | July 23, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"The Fix had to look it up."
Chris, you are sooooo salt of the earth, teh regular guy, aren't, I mean, ain't ya? Give me a break. You work with words for a living?
Or are you posturing in the style of the beltway narrative? Either way, GIVE ME A BREAK!

Posted by: Tom | July 23, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

McCain erred when he referenced the Iraq-Pakistan border and the Obamaites jumped all of it. Where weere these guys when Obama said he was going to run in all 57 states---that's right--five seven-- Brilliant!

Posted by: depoulins | July 23, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Whining about the teacher's pet?

Would you rather the dumb jock that is McCain instead, who needs to be reminded that Czechoslovakia doesn't exist anymore and that the Awakening preceded the surge precisely because of the threat of the US leaving?

Grow up!! These are life and death issues and we need someone that clearly understands what the hell is going on. This petty BS about elitism (which is inferred) is detrimental to the discourse and to the shaping of our leadership.

Wahhh wahhh he's smarter than us!!!

Do you realize how pathetic you sound?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Every time Barack opens his mouth I feel like I'm sitting in class listening to the teacher's pet.

He sounds like the kid who just read a book for extra credit and needs to distinguish himself from everyone else by weaving every last detail he learned from it into day-to-day conversation.

The fact that the language is twice as dense as it needs to be doesn't mean it's deep or insightful, it just means there's that much more room to hide a politician's mistakes, inconsistencies and prevarications.

Even if it was just a case of a thoughtful man thinking out loud, I'd argue that to be an effective leader the candidates thought processes don't have to be on display in such excruciatingly detail.

I'm sure Obama is smarter than us, but he's not so smart that at the end of the day most of us (supporters and opponents alike) won't realize that we're allowing the teacher's pet to get over again.

Posted by: Paul | July 23, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

After watching Bill Clinton on the World Stage squander everything to become tabloid fodder followed by the Bush Administration that is power hungry, blind to any opinion but theirs, foolhardy, greedy and ignorant I find myself watching Obama in awe. I a no spring chicken and its been a very long time since I saw an American leader go abroad that made me feel proud and hopeful. I could get used to this feeling.

Posted by: Annie | July 23, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

SukieTawdry don't forget to pat yourself on the back. Trust me, you're no intellect. Any 9th grader with the ability to reason would laugh at your comment.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 6:20 AM | Report abuse

I didn't read the transcript, but if the quotes provided are the best examples to be found of the candidate's "gravitas" in his "major moment", he's in more trouble than I thought (or we are). But then, I didn't have to look up the meaning of "colloquy."

Posted by: SukieTawdry | July 23, 2008 2:44 AM | Report abuse

Carter was a cherry, but he came after watergate. Clinton was a sleaze, but he came during a recession. And, sin of sins, Obama is a black man, and he's coming after another period in which the failed policies of the Repugs have played themselves out. Enron? Iraq? Hello!

So, we spent 2+ trillion dollars to establish a Arab democracy in a country that would vote us out in a heartbeat. What kind of republican logic is that?

And we love free markets, and don't want regulation, but when the greedy buggers take the financial system to the point of ruin then we, the people, have to bail them out.

Let me get this straight. The richest 1% of the population gets the windfall profits, but when their investments start to go bad Joe and Jane sixpack have to fund the bailout- and minimize the rich investors risks. And Joe and Jane don't get healthcare or good schools for their kids?

Who is scr*wing whom?

This ain't about gravitas. If people could get beyond their racist biases, this election is about common sense.

I hope we don't fail, as a nation, to do the right thing and make the right decision yet again. After Nixon, Reagan, and the Bushs this is getting old.

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 23, 2008 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Given the record of miserable failure, why does the GOP persist?


The Republican History of Foreign Policy.

Without the Republicans support you may have never heard of any of these characters.

Saddam Hussein
Bin Laden
Noriega
Taliban


The Republican motto should be:

Supporting Terrorism since The Reagan Days.

Posted by: Ask Yourself | July 23, 2008 12:53 AM | Report abuse

i love reading all the gop suckers on this page whining about the "fawning" media coverage. guess what, you thug-enablers, it's not just the press that's taking note of what a magnificent job obama is doing representing the u.s. it's the american public. mcbush, that lying, whining, gasbag of a senile candidate has NO chance of winning. the "surge" was bunk because this whole filthy war is bunk. obama is right about bringing our soldiers home. malik says as much. mcbomb wants to keep our people there to guarantee the oil industry's profits, and he is itching to bomb iran. he's a total joke and you mcbush supporters are cracked if you think the american public is going to allow the corrupt, morally bankrupt criminal gop to continue to run this great country into the ground. bye bye scumbags.

Posted by: Manny | July 23, 2008 12:47 AM | Report abuse

"*In a quiet comment about the newly ascendent Reagans in the White House, Rosalynn said that "they make us feel comfortable with our prejudices."

How typical that liberals like the Carters look down on leaders who are better than they were. It's a view into the narrow-minded prejudice, not of Reagan, but of the Carters.

I am sure if Bush had uttered the "Israel will always be a friend of Israel" that Obama gaffed today, it would be hailed as 'proof' of Bush's stupidity. Obama gaffes on a daily basis, but the Obamedia ignores it:
http://no-bama.blogspot.com/2008/06/more-obama-gaffes.html

Bush for all his faults is a far better President than Obama can hope to be. Difference in leadership is not about the malapropisms, but about other factors. One is judgement, and Obama has horrible judgement as proven by his need to 'throw under the bus' so many people whose association cause him grief. Obama put political expediency ahead of sounds decisions. It will be a disaster for our nation if he is President. The fact that liberals cant see that, we'll, "they are comfortable in their prejudices."

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

dwfortin writes
"The chief problem with Obama's supposed lack of gravitas is that this is how the GOP has been trying to frame him and somehow it has stuck."

It has stuck because it is the truth.

There is a difference between a lifetime in military service and being an elected official in the Congress for over 20 years, and a guy who spent merely a year in Federal office and held not a single committee hearing before starting the run to be CinC. There is something about being a POW for 5 years that shows a bit more commitment to one's country than anything Obama could muster when he voted present as a state senator. And Obama further has zero executive experience save for managing senate staff.

Obama's flip flops and broken promises on campaign finance and FISA tell us we cannot trust what he says. Nor can we go by his record for he has none.

A look at his judgement track record is an awful one of having extremist radical friends and being wrong on basic things, like saying the surge would fail to reduce violence and then we observe in the real world that violence went down 80%.

Obama is a complete empty suit. He has almost no real accomplishments or experience that makes him qualified for President save that of getting elected. Off teleprompter, he's a standard issue left-liberal with not an original thought in his head. His main skill and expertise is packaging himself (ie his campaign and bio-books) and gulling people into thinking a vote for him is a transformative thing. Its a hubristic and narcissistic enterprise, to write yourself into history before you've actually 8done* anything worthy of being there, a truly bold act of charlatanism, and millions have been gulled. Such skills do NOT make a good President.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Wow, Chris I bet this is the last time you admit to not knowing a word. Readers really took you to the woodshed on the colloquy remark. At least you didn't poke fun at Manichean.

But really, isn't criticism of Obama's speech and command of the English language a sign of how happily and defiantly dumb and dumber our country has become? We currently have the most inarticulate, "stupid is as stupid does" President. A man whose vocabulary grasp is at the 4th grade level at best. Apparently (and according to many reporters) George W. Bush now sets the standard for Presidential intelligence and speech. To paraphrase Rosalynn Carter (bless her heart) George W. Bush has made us feel comfortable with our stupidity*. Or, to use a popular culture phrase from the early 60s, how low can we go? (limbo)

Yesterday on Post Politics hour, Paul Kane brushed off John McCain's many geographic and foreign policy blunders by saying "[s]eriously folks, compared to the slipups of the last 8 years, I don't see McCain's as being that definitively bad." Talk about lowering the bar! Geez, I would hope our next president knows that Iraq and Pakistan don't share a border, that Czechoslovakia is no longer one country but two, and that there are different muslim sects (Sunni and Shia) with very different views. And John McCain prides himself with foreign policy knowledge and experience? Each time he has been on tv lately, he comes off like a clueless Mr. Magoo.

My God, haven't we suffered enough with George W. Bush? Haven't we been humiliated on the world stage? Can we afford another bumbling, out of touch, wealthy, elderly establishment guy in the White House? I don't think so. The world is changing, it's moving on and we are watching the whole parade disappear into the horizon. So Chris, don't set your standards so low. Get a perspective. Read and listen to other politicians, perhaps some not of our time period.

*In a quiet comment about the newly ascendent Reagans in the White House, Rosalynn said that "they make us feel comfortable with our prejudices."

Posted by: Susan | July 22, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what to make of this "Fix" fellow. First he has to look up "colloquy" and I think 'illiterate SOB'. But then, he does look it up. Has a dictionary at hand and is willing to use it. Good. No comment on the fact that Obama probably chose the best possible, and indeed civil, word under the circumstances. But then "Manichean" passes without a whimper. Now that's a word that we could have a quite interesting conversation about.

Oh well.

Posted by: Banjo Andy | July 22, 2008 11:55 PM | Report abuse

"McCain knows that both he and the Bush administration have caved in and followed Obama in the most important of international issues: Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran.

You can dress it up with "general time horizon"...but you are still following what Obama said no matter what sematics you use, my friend."

Are Obama koolaid drinkers *all* this stupid?

Obama comes late for the parade and starts marching out in front and hubristically calls himself the leader.

Truth: Obama was willing to lose in Iraq. He preached the "I've always been against it" line. Now that Bush and Patraeus have succeeded in Iraq, following a strategy that McCain supported and was right about, and Obama opposed and was wrong about, we can go to the next step: Victory and then bring troops home.

Obama is in a box. Obama has to let our troops finish the job, but the surge has done SO WELL, Obama will just pretend that they are 'coming around' to his 'withdrawal'. its nuts. Its like being against WWII and then saying the allies came around to pacifism in May 1945.

Obama is now flipflopping to a 'general time horizon' Do people not notice that obama is the one who kept shifting the goalpost?

Now comes the Obama let-down. He is dissembling, pretending to not change his position while in fact doing so. And so we learn ... Insiders in Obama's campaign suggest that his "residual force" that stays in Iraq to "target any remnants of al-Qaeda, protect remaining U.S. troops and officials and train Iraq's security forces" could include as many as 50,000 troops. (See WashPost article on it)

50,000 troops!!! In 2012?!?! What happened to 'all troops out except the ones guarding the embassy'? What happened to 'get them out by spring 2008? Why not spring 2009? Out the window.

Just Like Obama's FISA promise, his primary election promises are baggage to be jettisoned at the first available moment. Like now.

If Obama admitted this in January, Hillary would be the nominee. In the Dem primary, Obama hammered Hillary for admitting that we might still have troops in 2013, while Obama touted an ironclad get the troops out ASAP.

Hillary must be hitting the hard liquor right about now, aghast that she lost to this rookie who managed to bamboozle voters and steal her thunder.
... Amazing!

And McCain ... he can take some small satisfaction that Obama's attempt to be less exposed on this issue has removed some of the space between them. but the fundamental problem with Obama, that his decisions are political calculations and not actual national security-based decisions, means that our Iraq success is still at great risk if his is President, hostage to the wind of political expediency.

Posted by: PJM | July 22, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

The GOP, in general, and the McSame campaign, in particular, relentlessly criticized Sen. Obama for formulating policies with an alleged lack of knowledge of facts "on the ground". Sen. Obama then took time out of his very busy campaign to go to the Middle East (he had been there before) to learn what he and every other person with any modicum of intelligence had known all along. There were no surprises, and I seriously doubt that Sen. Obama will change any of his policies. This is especially so since Bush and McSame now appear to be taking pages out of Sen. Obama's playbook in handling the problems of the Middle East. And, Prime Minister Al-Maliki has endorsed Obama's policies.

For anyone out there who wishes to use his/her mind to find out the truth, it is obvious that the surge was only one of the reasons for the decrease in violence in Iraq. The other reasons are the cease fire called for by the radical cleric who heads the Mehdi army and the decision by Sunni leaders to join with the Americans in fighting the insurgents. Without the last two factors, the surge would have failed.

However, this misses the essential point. Parenthetically, Iraq was a 1 Trillion Dollar distraction from the fight that should have been carried out against Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban in Afghanistan and the tribal regions of Pakistan. Doesn't it bother McSame supporters that Osama Bin Laden is still alive and well, although it has been approximately seven years since the attacks of 9/11 occurred. It certainly concerns me.

Finally, we have to consider the great geographical shift that has occurred in McSame's brain. According to McSame, Iraq and Pakistan share a border that is home to terrorist camps. Unfortunately, for McSame, Iraq and Pakistan do NOT border each other.

Posted by: caliguy55 | July 22, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

"What will be remembered by voters about this trip is that it was a great success."

LOL, no I think his gaffeprone "uhhh" filled presser will remind us of how unReady this Rookie is for the CinC job. The Obamedia did everything they could to make all the photo-ops for this taxpayer funded campaign junket, but they couldnt improve the empty suit candidate.

" Not only was he treated to a red carpet in Iraq, he was taken seriously in Afghanistan, Jordan, and, one thinks, everywhere else."

Great, then President McCain can appoint him ambassador to Afghanistan so he can bone up a bit more on his foreign policy credentials, and will be beloved by these muslim folks who take him so seriously in those countries.

Obama is not only an awful candidate, but is becoming an awful, arrogant, presumptuous, thin-skinned, elitist candidate to boot.
He manages to combine the worst elements of Carter , Mondale, Dukakis and Kerry in one package. ...oh, and he needs to learn a bit of humility for a Change. He's not President *yet*.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse


Funny the contortions the liberals are going through to prove that despite mcCain beign right about the surge, and Obama being wrong about the surge, that somehow thats a plus for Obama.

Such as:
"The GOP caused the mess, then they found the solution to the mess."
The GOP has shown it can learn from mistakes.

Obama, by not admitting that the surge has indeed worked and was a success and was the right thing to do in 2007, has shown that he cannot.

Score 1 for the GOP. And Obama is unfit to be President.

Posted by: Obama's Racist Pastor | July 22, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

"I thought Yale Law School was bad but this is what Harvard is turning out?!"

Hey, Bush's Alma Mater. What a coincidence.

Great ... Obama is the new Bush!

Posted by: PJM | July 22, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

"The thing that gets me is that Obama has been demonstrating gravitas for some time--look at his speech on race in Philly "

Yeah, that BS speech where he said he would never disown his good friend Rev Wright even though Rev Wright said "God d8mn America" and worse. Obama sat in the pew for 20 years while Rev Wright spewed racial bile about "White Mans Greed" and he lapped it up. he gets in trouble for it and he makes such a great CYA speech, except 6 weeks later he did what he said he would never do in that great Philly speech and disowned Wright, because Wright kept yammering about how the Govt created AIDS and it became obvious to everyone that Rev Wright was a total lunatic. A lunatic and extremist who just happens to preach radical Black Liberation Theology that Obama loves so much he called Wright his mentor, and titled a book after the radical sermon of Wright's. Great speech? Gravitas? No, it was a disgusting act of deflection and deception that didnt answer the basic question/issue honestly, a question he never fully answered: If obama did not agree with the principles of Black Liberation Theology, why did he join and stay in that church for 20 years? Or did he in fact agree with the extremist tenets of black liberation theology? Obama never really answered that question AT ALL.

Obama lied/flipflopped about FISA, he lied/broke his word on campaign finance, and his whole race speech and other speeches on the matter was about his own political survival above all else, as proven by his later self-serving actions.

All of these acts of self-serving political BS you call 'gravitas'. I feel sorry for you and for America that you are getting suckered in by this phony hype. Obama will be the worst President of our lifetimes.

Posted by: PJM | July 22, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the Washington Post has turned into Pravda. Kruschev would have killed for this kind of fawning coverage.

In fact, I think he did....

Posted by: smtides | July 22, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse


"has anyone watched McCain's "love affair" video? i don't see how that is an effective strategy. for one, he's criticizing several of those reporters simply for covering Obama or traveling with him....that's their job."

It makes a valid point in a funyn way:
THE OBAMEDIA IS MAKING IT THEIR JOB TO GET OBAMA ELECTED. It's so obvious that the gaffe-prone out-of-his-depth inexperience Obama is having his water carried massively by the media.

His presser was pathetic, and yet you get slavering foolishness like "Oooh he's got gravitas" over the Obama pap that came between his stammering and gaffes. Gimme a break. Are liberals that stupid?

Yeah, right. " Isreal will always be a friend to Israel." Wow, how profound, what gravitas!


Obama was wrong about the Surge, was wrong to say it wouldnt work, was wrong to propose immediate troop withdrawals that would have lost the war that we instead are now decisively winning.
THE FACT THAT HE WONT ADMIT THAT NOW IS IN ITSELF A DISQUALIFICATION FOR PRESIDENT. He is simply UNFIT to lead if he can't learn from his mistakes!
he was wrong, and now is too stubborn to admit he was wrong and the media is too in the tank for him to expose his stupidity.

Obama was willing to LOSE IN IRAQ and now that Bush and Patraeus have done the heavy lifting, we can now move to the next step: Win the war and bring the troops home *after*.
Obama pretends that his foolish premature withdrawal policy is what they are coming around to. For shame. Obama's like a kid waving his arms in front of an orchestra thinking that he's a conductor. You gotta be a real moron or a pretty heavy shill to buy the cr*pola Obama's selling.

Posted by: PJM | July 22, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Dianne. Is 72 your IQ or your age?

You've posted that same comment in several different threads. Do you really think that comment is so witty that it deserves saving in a file and pasting into a message board?

Posted by: MyVoteDoesNotCountInAlabama | July 22, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Sure, Obama's awful, It's not just his thinking, it's his excruciatingly high number of "uhs", "ums" and "ers". I thought Yale Law School was bad but this is what Harvard is turning out?! Nevertheless, he's way ahead of McCain, a man without Party, campaign or hope. And, he dethroned the Clintons. Now that's something!

Posted by: Francis X. Steinberg | July 22, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

At least Obama can talk without having to have Joe Lieberman lean over his shoulder and tell him what to say.

I'm not sure why McCain is complaining about a lack of coverage. Every time he goes on TV he shows how little he knows. His numerous Sunni-Shia mistakes. His Iraq-Pakistani border mistake. His misunderstanding about how many US troops are there. Not knowing that Czech republic and Slovakia are different countries.

McCain is literally clueless. Somehow the surge has worked. Yet, leaving Iraq is defeat. Saddam is dead. His sons are dead. There is a government. The US military paid the Sunnis to stop killing Americans. What exactly is McCain waiting for? If we can't leave now, we won't be able to leave in ten years, or twenty years.

Posted by: edzo2 | July 22, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I think that the right wing nut job posters are correct that Barak does come across as self-righteous/arrogant in discussing the middle east- as if he has had the answers all along- although he had no facts and no political reprocussions when he made his initial speeches. They are also correct that the media has adored and not questioned Barak and actually rationalized his inconsistencies and problems.

But for this trip--who cares? McCain et al challenged him to do the trip and he does it successfully- good for him. It does elevate him slightly in my book as previously I was really seeing much less substance than he produced the last few days and much more political expediency. I was voting for him anyway, but I may not have to hold my nose now.

Leon

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Posted by: lily | July 22, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

You expect to much. After all, he is just the Paris Hilton of Politics (famous for being famous). And as far as his Excellent Adventure - he's just trying to get his Forrest Gump on (associate himself with someone else's history/ accomplishment).

Posted by: lucky | July 22, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

some of us want a president who can do more then just look and sound presidential Chris! I actually dont think he looked presidential at all, every pic he is smiling ear to ear?!?! Really what is he so happy about over there?

Posted by: mountain man | July 22, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

"Colloquy" isn't that exotic a word, y'all. It just means dialogue. And what's wrong with so many people that they don't want their president to sound intelligent?

Posted by: Emma | July 22, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

No WE didn't. That's why we didn't vote for him.

>>>>>>>
But then again, that's what we thought about Bush in 2000 - and we see where that got us.

Posted by: Christina | July 22, 2008 8:23 PM

Posted by: delantero | July 22, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

has anyone watched McCain's "love affair" video? i don't see how that is an effective strategy. for one, he's criticizing several of those reporters simply for covering Obama or traveling with him....that's their job. it isn't like they're groupies who just can't get enough. they are paid every day to cover the presidential campaign.

the second main point the clips make is the commentary that journalists make about the inspirational nature of obama's speeches. i agree that journalists should never comment about the news - they should just present the news. but the whole video screams of a jealous rage. as if mccain is crying "why can't the media say MY speeches are gooooood"

i wanted to leave a comment on McCain's site about it but .... surprise, surprise, it's not an option. guess he doesn't want to hear what others think. sounds pretty familiar to another republican i know...

Posted by: supergirl44 | July 22, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Being a leader is demonstrating his/her beliefs, usually from past success. B. Hussein Obama has NO past success in his whole political career, just a bunch of photo-ops and telepromter speeches. How much lower Chris can you and the rest of the liberal elitists in the media go? This love-fest with the messiah can only go on for so long before it backfires, and trust me, it will backfire quick and hard if you arrogant fools keep it up. When you are B. Hussein Obama, and you have no substance, then image is EVERYTHING! LMMFAO!

Posted by: Toxic Avenger | July 22, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

What will be remembered by voters about this trip is that it was a great success. Not only was he treated to a red carpet in Iraq, he was taken seriously in Afghanistan, Jordan, and, one thinks, everywhere else.
The American people are hungering for change and so is the rest of the world. By the time Obama arrives in Europe and is greeted by thousands and thousands of people who still believe America is America, after all, this country will begin to comprehend that his Presidency is exactly what we need to begin to restore ourselves.
But, just listen to the Republicans insult, dismiss, and demean the whole rest of the world believing, as they do, that only they know anything about everything.
Obama will win by a landslide.

Posted by: cms1 | July 22, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

So what if we didn't know what "colloquy" meant? Wouldn't it be excellent to be challenged to reflect on the context and thereby learn something?

Chris worries needlessly for "average" Americans. Understanding language is a natural gift not improved by formal education, so Chris has no cause to consider himself the "canary in the mine" much less, the gold standard for vocabulary.

Posted by: jhbyer | July 22, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

McCain knows that both he and the Bush administration have caved in and followed Obama in the most important of international issues: Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran.

You can dress it up with "general time horizon"...but you are still following what Obama said no matter what sematics you use, my friend.

Obama's nuanced understanding of international relations is what made me support him to begin with. I hope my fellow Americans can see past McCain's distortions. Obama has never said withdrawl would be unconditional, and yet the misrepresentation of that opinion is the only leg that the McCain camp has to stand on.

Posted by: Krissy | July 22, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

I think some of the comments here tonight are very telling.

Obama is criticized as 'arrogant' because he is acting too presidential. On the other hand, had he not commanded the stage as he did, he would be labeled as not ready to be commander in chief.

Which is it? Can't have it both ways, kids. I think he is doing an amazing job, by the way.

Posted by: Susan | July 22, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

How's that leg thrill thing going Chris-bama? Why does the WaPo have a partisan writing a blog on it's front page? This is journalism? Not!

Posted by: guido28 | July 22, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

I will give Obama credit. He is surrounding himself with bright people who see Iraq in the same way that he does. I fully expect that he'll put together a smart group of people in his Presidential Cabinet.

But then again, that's what we thought about Bush in 2000 - and we see where that got us.

Posted by: Christina | July 22, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP...
When exactly did Andrea Mitchell imply that Obama was arrogant?

Posted by: Bill | July 22, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

McCain and his supporters come across as shallow and incompetent, with nothing to offer but criticism, distortion, and gimmicks. They have no choice. The GOP agenda has made a mess of America and the entire planet.

Posted by: bam | July 22, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Oh...and by the way Chris. I'm an average person and I know the meaning of colloquy. In fact, I wish we had more of it! Thank goodness Sen. Obama has enough confidence in the American people that he doesn't dumb himself down for us.

Posted by: Joyce | July 22, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Men and women have still died in the surge and in a "horizon" their could be the same violence that was occurring before the surge.

So, in reference to the surge working or not working, means little. The issue is in Afghanistan and Pakistan border as it always has been no matter if Sen. McCain says that Iraq and Pakistan share a border together.

Posted by: jerry rubin | July 22, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Derek...
I'm assuming your groupthing post was in regards to the Bush propaganda machine? They'll surely try to scare us again. But, I think the American people have finally wised up.

Posted by: Joyce | July 22, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Karen, You're exactly right. It's pretty interesting that even MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell is calling Obama arrogant, and she's on the traveling press corps and seeing first hand how he handles himself with Generals and actual Heads of State, (as opposed to psuedo-presidents like himself). Shhh..don't tell his campaign advisors, he's not the presidnet...they already insist on implying that he is every time his plane lands in a new country.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | July 22, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

No wonder the average reader does not know what colloquy means if writers such as Chris are not familiar with it in the first place. Talk about dumbing down. Any one who attended, even a fourth rated, university should have attended a colloquium/conference in his/her college years. If they did not, they wasted their money and time.. . and perhaps end up as talking heads if nothing else.

Posted by: Dave John | July 22, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

This is rich! McCain has been harping non-stop that Obama hadn't been to Iraq for a year and a half. (Hello McCain...In case it slipped your "swimmy mind" Obama has been busy winning the nomination.)
And now that Obama is impressing the foreign leaders and citizens of the world, McCain is whining..."What about ME-E-E-E-E-E?" Sheesh!

Posted by: Joyce | July 22, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

McCain knows that both he and the Bush administration have caved in and followed Obama in the most important of international issues: Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran.

You can dress it up with "general time horizon"...but you are still following what Obama said no matter what sematics you use, my friend.

Obama's nuanced understanding of international relations is what made me support him to begin with. I hope my fellow Americans can see past McCain's distortions. Obama has never said withdrawl would be unconditional, and yet the misrepresentation of that opinion is the only leg that the McCain camp has to stand on.

Posted by: Krissy | July 22, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Chris seems to have missed Obama' doublespeak on the success of the troop surge. CNN has 3 out of 4 commentators saying Obama's press conference showed his arrogance and conceit my not admitting the success of the surge. Chris's rose colored ears, hearing what he wants to hear not what was actually said is just more fodder for the media bias argument

Posted by: Karen | July 22, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Chris, a little bit of deep background can be obtained through the King of Jordon's very professional website. Or, Patel on the faith boards here at WAPO has written about community building efforts in conjunction with the Kingdom of Jordon and the Queen.

I got a kick out of the King driving Obama to the airport. Am sure they maintained the official speed limit in that Mercedes, not.

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a mercedes benz...

Posted by: Mark W. | July 22, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

From Wikipedia:

Baron says in conclusion that the pervasiveness of "groupthink phenomena" has been underestimated by prior theoretical accounts.[7][8]
We're all afloat in a boundless sea, and the way we cope is by massing together in groups and pretending in unison that the situation is other than it is. We reinforce the illusion for each other. That's what a society really is, a little band of humanity huddled together against the specter of a pitch black sea. Everyone is treading water to keep their heads above the surface even though they have no reason to believe that the life they're preserving is better than the alternative they're avoiding. It's just that one is known and one is not. Fear of the unknown is what keeps everyone busily treading water. All fear is fear of the unknown. If someone in such a group of water-treaders betrays the group lie by speaking the truth of their situation, that person is called a heretic, and society reserves its most awful punishments for heretics. If someone decides to stop struggling and just sink or float away, every possible effort is made to stop him, not for the benefit of the individual, but for the benefit of the group. To deny at all costs the truth of the situation.

Posted by: Derek | July 22, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

From Wikipedia:
Symptoms of groupthink

In order to make groupthink testable, Irving Janis devised eight symptoms that are indicative of groupthink (1977).

Illusions of invulnerability creating excessive optimism and encouraging risk taking.

Rationalising warnings that might challenge the group's assumptions.

Unquestioned belief in the morality of the group, causing members to ignore the consequences of their actions.

Stereotyping those who are opposed to the group as weak, evil, disfigured, impotent, or stupid.

Direct pressure to conform placed on any member who questions the group, couched in terms of "disloyalty".

Self censorship of ideas that deviate from the apparent group consensus.

Illusions of unanimity among group members, silence is viewed as agreement.

Mindguards -- self-appointed members who shield the group from dissenting information.

Posted by: Derek | July 22, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi Galoe- better watvh your back. Hillary Clinton's gunning for your job now, since clearly she's not on anybocy's short list these days.

Obama's already declaring himself to be president these days; maybe you ought to try the same tactic and announce that your approval ratings are at an all-time high just to see if anyone's paying attention.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | July 22, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Chris, nice to hear about Barack's smooth sailing overseas. Thanks for the report.

Posted by: USS Forrestal 1967 | July 22, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Wikipedia:
Causes of groupthink

Highly cohesive groups are much more likely to engage in groupthink. The closer they are, the less likely they are to raise questions to break the cohesion. Although Janis sees group cohesion as the most important antecedent to groupthink, he states that it will not invariably lead to groupthink: 'It is a necessary condition, but not a sufficient condition' (Janis, Victims of Groupthink, 1972). According to Janis, group cohesion will only lead to groupthink if one of the following two antecedent conditions is present:
Structural faults in the organization: insulation of the group, lack of tradition of impartial leadership, lack of norms requiring methodological procedures, homogeneity of members' social background and ideology.
Provocative situational context: high stress from external threats, recent failures, excessive difficulties on the decision-making task, moral dilemmas.
Social psychologist Clark McCauley's three conditions under which groupthink occurs:
Directive leadership.
Homogeneity of members' social background and ideology.
Isolation of the group from outside sources of information and analysis.

Posted by: Derek | July 22, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

So what if Barack sounded presidential in Europe and, before that, he went to Harvard and was President of the Harvard Law Review and all that. At the Academy, Mac and I always strived for a gentleman's D, I mean, C. It was not our fault what happened to us at USNA. By the way what is a "double-secret suspension"? We never got full credit for our term papers and examinations on which the instructors kept writing "Incomplete" or "Please see me." So what if O can give a good speech. We'd do well, too, if it weren't for some new fangled thing called a "teleprompter." Next thing you know people will have computers in every office.

Mr. 895

Posted by: 895th in Mac's USNA class | July 22, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

how many of the benchmarks have been met.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 22, 2008 1:18 PM

15 of 18 last month.

Posted by: | July 22, 2008 1:27 PM
--------------------

Oooo, sorry buddy, but I'm going to have to call "BS" on you. They're not on the pass/fail system. 15 of the 18 are now rated "satisfactory," which is basically getting a "C." The benchmarks, which range from a review of the Iraqi constitution to legislation to divide Iraq into semi-autonomous regions HAVE NOT BEEN MET. Repeat, the HAVE NOT been met. The report stated that satisfactory progress is being made.

Now, I'm not at all trying to take away from the accomplishment of our men and women in uniform, or even the Iraqi people and their government. But, for the sake of reasonable political discourse, let's make sure that we're talking about reality here. If 15 of 18 benchmarks were left, even Bush and McCain would be booking return flights for all of the troops.

Posted by: Dan | July 22, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

The Fix wrote: "does the average person have any idea what the world "colloquy" means? The Fix had to look it up."

Is this how far intelligence has fallen as a mark of pride in this country? I'm 100% certain The Fix (presumably a college educated journalist) knew what colloquy meant beforehand. And yet, you feel the need to act like you're too dumb to know what it means so that you can fit in?

Why is it more virtuous to be stupid?

Posted by: English major | July 22, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Why shouldn't he look and sound presidential? If it had been John McCain who was there, would you have commented with surprise and interest that he 'looked and sounded presidential'? Are you surprised that someone who is not as white as mashed potatoes is able to perform at a high level? Time for a paradigm shift!

Posted by: Max | July 22, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Why shouldn't he sound presidential? If it had been John McCain who was there, would you have commented with surprise and interest that he 'sounded presidential'? Are you surprised that someone who is not as white as mashed potatoes should be able to perform at such a high level? Time for a paradigm shift!

Posted by: Max | July 22, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Hasn't everyone noticed by? The Conservatives rely on the Average Guy mentality, which in this country means High School education, white, middle class workers who don't like people that don't look like them. They dumb down the debate into sound bites and rhetoric. Truth is immaterial, all that matters is what resonates with the Average Guy.

The Average Guy often resents people with an education. If they don't understand a conversation, they tune it out.

Conservatives know this. This is not open for debate, just look around you for examples of the truth to this point. As soon as someone speaks intelligently, they are derided for being "Elite". All Conservatives care about is maintaining the Status Quo. Yet, the Average Guy is ignorant to the fact that merely being a political figure puts you in the position of being an elite. No one can say the Bush family isn't elite. No one can say McCain isn't an elite. They are elite because they are in positions of power. Period. Yet the Average Guy will try to argue this fact, ignorant of its basis in definition.

The root of Conservatism, by definition is to maintain traditional, status quo. It was conservative thinking that enraged the Pope enough to force Copernicus into saying the Sun revolved around the Earth. It must, tradition told us that. It wasn't until mid-way through the 20th century that the Pope formally recognized the fact that the Earth revolved around the Sun.

Groupthink is very powerful. Don't know what it is? Google "Groupthink" or click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink

Conservatives are not Progressive.

Progressive is Liberalism.

How terrible it is that Liberalism brought about the end of Segregation. The end of Slavery, the right to vote for women. The list is endless.

To be Progressive is to embrace new ideas, to be Conservative is to maintain the Status Quo.

Sadly, it is easier for Conservatives to present their sound bites and rhetoric to the Average Guy since the message doesn't matter, all that matters is that people buy into. Whereas Progressives need people to understand their ideas and this takes focus and thought.

As is evident in the silly diatribes here, we can see how easily the masses buy into simpleton rhetoric.

I encourage everyone reading this to stop and think. There isn't enough thought in this country anymore.

Posted by: Derek | July 22, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

bird brain - thanks for covering for me. just because we have not passed a budget, have tinkered with trivia, broke all our promises and can't deliver you'd think we would get a break with Bush in charge. no we are lower than he is. I don't want to still be known as the worst speaker in history. Do something. hillary told me to cry on 60 minutes. Barack told me to fool the press.

Maybe someone with a very tiny intellect could help. Harry Reid was hiding under his bed, so I have come to you.

Posted by: Pelosi Galore | July 22, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

What is victory?

"To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women."

Posted by: Conan | July 22, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Sure Obama looks good on TV. The pro-Obama networks edit out any mistakes for him. When he said we had 57 states--it missed the nightly news. Get him away from a teleprompter & he's helpless.

Posted by: Spark | July 22, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

McMaimed want to win the wars, Vietnam or Iraq whatever, but no one can say what victory may actually be or why either should have been fought in the first place.

This is delusional, misinformed, and financially and morally ruinous.

Posted by: tarquinis | July 22, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Of course Barack takes the high road and sidesteppes invitations to trash McCain. He doesn't have to. The NYT, WP, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, and NPR do it all for him--and it doesn't cost his campaign a dime.

Posted by: Fergie | July 22, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Obama might not might not have shown to know foreign policy as well as, or even better than McCain. And his performance might or might not have impressed anyone other than his supporters. Two things we know for sure:

1. He did not confuse the Sunni with the Shias and did not need a Lieberman or some other senator to remind him of that; and

2. He did not say that Iraq and Pakistan have a common border.

These points by themselves expose McCain's claim of "foreign policy" experience and that he knkows "how to win a war". Don't you think a prerequisite to winning a war is to know the geography?

Posted by: Steve Chan | July 22, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

When you elect people who hate government (conservatives), you get a government that hates (and is bad for) people and a government that is ineffective.

Posted by: birdbrain | July 22, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

What a stirring contrast between Barack Obama and John McCain. While Barack takes the high road, sidestepping invitations to trash McCain the McNasty campaign has gone all out this week in an attempt to desperately try to divert attention from Sen. Obama's trip. Hey, claiming Obama was solely responsible for rising gas prices (rofl ... he REALLY says that in his ad), whining about lack of press attention(from the guy who throws private BBQs for his buddies) lying about picking a VP this week to try to get some attention, all of this wasn't enough. So McCain has to stoop even lower -- he dares claim that Sen. Obama wants us to "lose" the war. That's disgusting and not something even Karl Rove would pull. The new DC parlor game: how low can he go? Apparently he's still got a lot of ground to cover.

Posted by: straight talk my a** | July 22, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Please Chris, don't be too obvious about your crush on me.

"Gravitas" is a thing I do. As a kid I was great at getting laid, trick is you have to look 'em in the eye and give a great, big smile. Makes 'em think you really care.

P.S. this link is for you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfogMFL7UJo

Posted by: Barack Obama | July 22, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I guess "Change that you can believe in" really just means changing the battlefield from Iraq to Afghanistan!!

Posted by: annakarenina | July 22, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

To geena Davis:

Liberals can't govern? Really. You think the last 7 years - 6 of which included Republican conservatives with control of the White House, the Senate, the House, and the Supreme Court demonstrate that conservatives can govern?

When you elect people who hate government (conservatives), you get a government that hates (and is bad for) people and a government that is ineffective. For those that think government is a problem there is no incentive to make government work for the people. It sure would be nice to have a sensible, competent person elected to the highest office in the land. Go Obama.

Posted by: birdman | July 22, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Zouk - maybe instead of your repetitive and by now unfunny snObama posts, you can get off your can and go hang some friggin' yard signs.


Posted by: bondjedi | July 22, 2008 4:18 PM

I put up a sign in my yard today. It says:

Obama - change you can buy a coke with


I am looking to divest to Caymen.

Posted by: kingofzouk | July 22, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

I portrayed a president on TV with gravitas. I was cancelled midway through my first season. Watch out Barry, your time is almost up. there is little long term interest in liberals. they are entertaining in a circus sort of way, but the reality is, they can't govern.

Posted by: geena Davis | July 22, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

gravitas? I eats 'em on my taters! Duh

Posted by: dianne27 | July 22, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

"It's one thing to portray gravitas -- a good actor can do that -- but, it's another matter altogether to actually HAVE gravitas."

Hmmmm sounds just like what they said about Reagan.

Posted by: Clint | July 22, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

While Obama has been acting like a real president in the Middle East, McWhiny has spent all of his time and money on ads attacking Obama without giving us any ideas on his solutions for the many problems facing this country.

He's looking more and more like the confused, grumpy great uncle who everyone avoids at family gatherings...

His biggest attack point on Obama, the idea that Barack is naive because he wants a timetable to get out of Iraq, has been shot out from under him by Iraq's leader Malaki, President Bush, and apparently even Gordon Brown...but like a sad wind-up toy, he seems unable to realize his points are moot now.

Posted by: wagonjak | July 22, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

While Obama has been acting like a real president in the Middle East, McWhiny has spent all of his time and money on ads attacking Obama without giving us any ideas on his solutions for the many problems facing this country.

He's looking more and more like the confused, grumpy great uncle who everyone avoids at family gatherings...

His biggest attack point on Obama, the idea that Barack is naive because he wants a timetable to get out of Iraq, has been shot out from under him by Iraq's leader Malaki, President Bush, and apparently even Gordon Brown...but like a sad wind-up toy, he seems unable to realize his points are moot now.

Posted by: wagonjak | July 22, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

It's one thing to portray gravitas -- a good actor can do that -- but, it's another matter altogether to actually HAVE gravitas. Obama is fooling many people, including almost all the media (sadly, I must say Chris C. is one of them), with his smooth acting style.

Obama is not deep or profound; he does not have gravitas. He's a polished actor emoting lines written for him. Actually, I find him to be rather dull, someone with modest intelligence. He has little experience and conviction to carry out Presidential duties with gravitas. Unless the electorate snaps out of their swoon, we all will be stuck with a shallow "leader", one who will be easily manipulated by Pelosi, Reid, Gore, MoveOn.org, etc.

Posted by: Bitter small towner | July 22, 2008 2:54 PM
============================
Then I guess you are stuck without a candidate because if you think this way about Obama I would hate to read what you think about McCain.

Posted by: Just a reader | July 22, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

The McCain campaign has jumped the shark. He's so desperate for attention now that he has to question Obama's motivations, going so far as to accuse him of preferring to lose a war if he won the election as a result; as quoted by Fox:

http://embeds.blogs.foxnews.com/2008/07/22/mccain-obama-would-rater-lose-a-war-in-order-to-win-a-political-campaign/

"This is a clear choice that the American people have. I had the courage and the judgment to say I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war. It seems to me that Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign."

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

The 'Surge' was Gerneral Shinseki idea and not Mcain's so he should stop lying about it.

Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary,called the estimate by Gen. Eric K. Shinseki of the Army that several hundred thousand troops would be needed in postwar Iraq, "wildly off the mark.

The weakness of Mr McCain's policy is that the fall in violence is attributable not only to the surge - the sending of US reinforcements - but to the Mehdi Army militia's truce ordered by its leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, and tons of money showered to the suny insurgents.

Posted by: Checko | July 22, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Alert!! Major Speech!!

Obama gives major speech -- again!

It is really, really MAJOR this time.

No, really, not like the major speech yesterday. We are all still swooning over it, but this one was even more major. Like a major MAJOR speech. It was a major point, kind of a major thing-like, soughta a MAJOR press conference, because I declared it a very, very extremely MAJOR speech.

Really. I am an objective media type, but Obama said this is MAJOR, so it really is MAJOR. Maybe others were minor MAJOR speeches, and we thought they were MAJOR, but we didn't know how MAJOR this was going to be. Sure, Obama told us it would be MAJOR. We have so many - MAJOR religion speech, MAJOR race speech, MAJOR patriotism speech. But sometimes MAJOR just isn't discriptive enough for liberals who are in love

We are talking a major, major MOMENT. Chris declare it so.

There was MAJOR censorship of flubs, and major embellishments of Obama's gravitas, but that is minor.

Obama is a major, major important president.

Posted by: OntoTheMediaTankers | July 22, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Not only that, but I bet Obama knows that Iraq does not border Pakistan. Fuzzy memory and thinking, such as McCain's, is charming in your kindly old uncle. But it doesn't fit a future commander in chief. Barak continues to show that he is the one to be trusted with the nation's security.

Posted by: AlaninMissoula | July 22, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

As a recovering republican and practicing cynic, I thought Obama's demeanor and presentation were very statesman-like. He obviously is capable of thinking before speaking, and it was refreshing not to watch him embarrass himself and our country in front of the world press. After 42 years of voting in every election, perhaps this is the year I'll finally be able to vote FOR a candidate rather than the lesser of two evils.

Posted by: steve | July 22, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cillizza,

Why do you call it "the troop surge" when that was only one part of the set of counter-insurgency tactics?

As others have noted, as well as the WaPo's reporter Ernesto Londono, the factors included
- rehiring the Iraqi Army in the guise of "The Sons of Iraq" militias and paying them $300 a month
- Moqtada al Sadr calling a ceasefire and keeping busy with his studies in Iran
- apparent payments to Sadr through Shia channels
- negotiating with the insurgents (yes, if you read the news you'll see we had American military actually talking to insurgent leaders) so that they might become former insurgents
- and the political reconciliation, especially the oil wealth distribution.

I'm not dissing the US troops stuck in the middle of what the guys in Londono's piece called simply "miserable" situation. But we could have sent more troops and had a repeat of 2003-2006 if we had not done the other activities.

We'd be better off calling "The Big Bribe" and I'd be satisfied it was an accurate description. If bribery gets our guys home sooner and safer, I'm all for it. But crediting the troop surge with the success is out and out misrepresentation.


Posted by: boscbobobb | July 22, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse


The 'Surge' was Gerneral Eric Shinseki idea and not Mccain's so he should stop lying about it.

Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary,called the estimate by Gen. Eric K. Shinseki of the Army that several hundred thousand troops would be needed in postwar Iraq, "wildly off the mark.

The weakness of Mr McCain's policy is that the fall in violence is attributable not only to the surge - the sending of US reinforcements - but to the Mehdi Army militia's truce ordered by its leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, and tons of money showered to the suny insurgents.

Posted by: jupiter | July 22, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

It must be particularly galling for McCain to see that ABC News video footage of enthusiastic soldiers, Marines and embassy employees mobbing Obama in Iraq.

Posted by: Patrick J. Kiger | July 22, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Bush to Cheney:
"That boy Obama says he's not a 'Manichean Candidate' can you believe he can talk like that and get away with it?!

Neo-Cons to Fox Network:
"Obama must have gone to college... better bring in the consultants to back up Chris Mathews and the rest of the gang". "Also, you'd better run more Chuck Norris re-runs and reality TV to keep the viewers occupied"

MSM to MSM:
"How do we cover a guy who has a brain?"

Posted by: JBE | July 22, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Israel is Israel's best friend? Weird how Chris missed this during his big O during Obama's speech. Try being objective, Chris. You want Obama to appear presidential. Twice he said he was already president.


Let me be absolutely clear," Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, said today at a press conference in Amman, Jordan. "Israel is a strong friend of Israel's. It will be a strong friend of Israel's under a McCain...administration. It will be a strong friend of Israel's under an Obama administration. So that policy is not going to change."

Posted by: NoBO | July 22, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Gary Masters.

I dont get it. You saying that I got it right by saying McCain is ODD? And because of that it makes him an American hero?

when I say ODD I dont mean as in oddball. That's to comical. Im serious. ODD as in at least 6 fries short of a damn happy meal.

No joke. War hero or not the man seems to have issues that makes me feel very, very uncomfortable.

Posted by: llewis40 | July 22, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Weird how Chris didn't see Obama's gaffe

Israel is Israel's best friends, and will remain their best friend.

Gravitas. We love Obama. Gravitas. Don't think for yourselves, believe us, he is God.

Posted by: Karen | July 22, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Wow, you fudged a quote. Obama said "As the commander-in-chief, ..." He then corrected himself. Like the press, he forgets we all get to vote. He also made several verbal errors, that McCain would have been committed to an old age home for, but Obama is declare gravitas.

I think the fix is IN. The next video will be of the left-wing hacks in the media mooning over Obama. Please check out the DailyShow "Barack O'Bon R". You press guys are letting yourselves out of the closet. Sadly, the women are acting more manly than the men when discussing Obama.

Posted by: Karen | July 22, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Spectator.

Let him keep on impressing us. I love the man.

Very refreshing to have someone running for president who seems to know what he's talking about instead of a fool like Bush.

Ive no qualms about OBAMA using whatever words he needs to express himself. The man has it going on.

You wont here him say things like:

"They misunderestimated me."

"Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dreams"

or crap like "I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family" N.H Chamber of Commerce. BUSH SPEAK.

Get the picture?

Posted by: llewis40 | July 22, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

the surge only worked because of al Sadr!

"In a possible turning point in the recent upsurge in violence, Muqtada al-Sadr ordered his Shiite militiamen off the streets but called on the government to stop its raids against his followers. "

mcCain the hero takes credit for all thats good!

Posted by: philospherkingtomas | July 22, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I like the word "colloquy". In the case of posters like snObama, though, the word "butthead" will do just fine.

Posted by: geok3 | July 22, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

McCain wasn't even close to being a pioneer of the surge. It was proposed by think-tank conservatives.

(Ever notice that all conservative ideas come from academics sitting in "think tanks", and yet they call the left the "ivory tower elite"?)

Obama says things are difficult when they will be. He acknowledges nuance when it exists. And then he says we can meet the challenge. Sounds Presidential to me.

Posted by: BB | July 22, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Lol. Gary E. masters, and are you in Iraq now?? or sitting at home on your PC criticizing those who want our troops outta harms way?? Way to g armchair patriot!!!! I salute thee.....

Posted by: The Oracle | July 22, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm still waiting to hear what positive proposals McCain has to offer. His campaign has become one long critique of Obama.

When one man spends all his time criticizing another, it there really any question which of them is the better man?

Posted by: BB | July 22, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

"The man is ODD. And strange. And weird. Gives me the creeps I tell you..."

You got that right. He is an American hero and no slacker will ever recognize his strengths.

Posted by: Gary E. Masters | July 22, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

While Obama has been acting like a real president in the Middle East, McWhiny has spent all of his time and money on ads attacking Obama without giving us any ideas on his solutions for the many problems facing this country.

He's looking more and more like the confused, grumpy great uncle who everyone avoids at family gatherings...

His biggest attack point on Obama, the idea that Barack is naive because he wants a timetable to get out of Iraq, has been shot out from under him by Iraq's leader Malaki, President Bush, and apparently even Gordon Brown...but like a sad wind-up toy, he seems unable to realize his points are moot now.

Posted by: wagonjak | July 22, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

While Obama has been acting like a real president in the Middle East, McWhiny has spent all of his time and money on ads attacking Obama without giving us any ideas on his solutions for the many problems facing this country.

He's looking more and more like the confused, grumpy great uncle who everyone avoids at family gatherings...

His biggest attack point on Obama, the idea that Barack is naive because he wants a timetable to get out of Iraq, has been shot out from under him by Iraq's leader Malaki, President Bush, and apparently even Gordon Brown...but like a sad wind-up toy, he seems unable to realize his points are moot now.

Posted by: wagonjak | July 22, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

GENERAL ERIC CHENSEKY LONG AGO SAID THAT ME NEED MORE TROOPS AND FOR THAT WAS PUNISHed. MCCAIN LIES WHEN HE CLAIMS HE IS THE 'PIONER OF THE SURGE'
The weakness of Mr McCain's policy is that the fall in violence is attributable not only to the surge - the sending of US reinforcements - but to the Mehdi Army militia's truce ordered by its leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, and to Iranian support for Mr Maliki.and don't forget tons of many were paid to the Suny insurgents. This makes the political situation in Iraq very unstable.

Posted by: miny | July 22, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Whining about the media - not presidential. McCain campaigns like a spoiled child. He's not used to being ignored by the press who used to adore him and give him a lot of pass for his gaffes. Poor me, that's what McCain seems to be saying. Is this how a commander in chief act?

Posted by: M. Stratas | July 22, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

While Obama has been acting like a real president in the Middle East, McWhiny has spent all of his time and money on ads attacking Obama without giving us any ideas on his solutions for the many problems facing this country.

He's looking more and more like the confused, grumpy great uncle who everyone avoids at family gatherings...

His biggest attack point on Obama, the idea that Barack is naive because he wants a timetable to get out of Iraq, has been shot out from under him by Iraq's leader Malaki, President Bush, and apparently even Gordon Brown...but like a sad wind-up toy, he seems unable to realize his points are moot now.

Posted by: wagonjak | July 22, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Dody, you are so right. If OBAMA had made such ridiculous remarks as McCain has been doing at least every other day OBAMA would be the laughing stock of this nation.

Maybe because the media knows how much an ODD, off kilter person McCain is. Like that fact that he knows how to win wars and may be still fighting one as I post.

The man is ODD. And strange. And weird. Gives me the creeps I tell you.

Posted by: llewis40 | July 22, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Upon reflection, "colloquy" was a bad word choice, Barak. It's precise meaning is unclear if you had looked into several old and new dictionaries.

It derives from the same root as "olloquial" which means plain, everyday normal speech between us folks.

Thus, one would suspect it means an informal dialog.

But, most modern dictionaries define it as a formal dialog. Some, just as a dialog.

Please tell everyone what you meant, Presumptive Nominee?

I like you anyway, and will vote for you in a heartbeat, but please, don't try to overimpress...

Posted by: Spectator | July 22, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Manichean....colloquy...really?? This is all you can think of to pick on?? All it proves is that he had a college education - this is a bad thing?? I thought Americans respected and wanted education for all. I have a college education too, and it doesn't make me elitist any more than it does him. Why would someone be so bizarre as to pick on Obama for having a vocabulary, and then let McCain slide for a MAJOR geographical mistake citing the border between Pakistan and Iraq. I find McCain's assertion that the media is "in love" with Obama is ridiculous when the media gives McCain a free pass on nearly everything and nitpicks every nuance of every word that comes out of Obama's mouth. McCain needs a reality check.

Posted by: Dody | July 22, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

While Obama is making a popelike world tour and exuding that presidential vibe missing for the last 8 years, the McTitanic camp is in the middle of Bumf**k, NH, dealing with this:

"Addressing the Republican presidential candidate during his town-hall forum in New Hampshire Tuesday, a woman identified herself as a volunteer for his campaign, and said she had come to believe it was time McCain hired a new staff in the state.

'You've got to make some changes,' the woman told McCain. 'I've had problems with a lot of your paid staff.'

The volunteers had put up all the signs ahead of the town hall event, she complained. 'You've got two people sitting right here next to me...They have done more work for you volunteering than a lot of your paid staff have. All your signs that are up outside today, they were put up by us, not by your staff people.'"

Zouk - maybe instead of your repetitive and by now unfunny snObama posts, you can get off your can and go hang some friggin' yard signs.

Posted by: bondjedi | July 22, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Chris, it's unsurprising you had to look up "colloquy". Journalism is one of the weakest academic majors. What is also unsurprising is how little awareness you have, like most reporters have, that most of your readership is more astute than you.

Your comment, how many average readers understand the word "colloquy" because you had to look it up, shows how condescending and also misguided about your own intellectual capacity you are as a Washington Post journalist. This is a good example of the kind of ignorant condescension than made Obama supporters in the media attack the New Yorker for its front page art (claiming that they understand satire but the average American isn't sophisticated enough to, when in fact it was the Obama supporters in the media who suffered from the lowbrow partisan hackle-raising).

Journalists, even Washington Post journalists, aren't really smarter than the average reader despite their hyperlingualism. If you were, you wouldn't be so impressed by Obama having great affectations of intellectual authority and affectations of elitism, versus being the real thing.

Most readers are not as stupid as you think. Really.

Posted by: AsperGirl | July 22, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Just to prove I'm smart and you're not consider this:

I wrote two books about me that made me a millionaire. the books talked about my life's accomplishments, of which I have none. But the books still sold. and you intellectual liberals bought them in droves. now who is smart and who is dumb. Hint - one guy wrote a book about nothing and ran a campaign about nothing and the others were fooled into believing the emptiness was substance.

But then liberals always thought they were much smarter then they actually are. Remember Gore is a drop out and Kerry barely got a C average.

But I was a professor and never published anything but a book about me. I am so smart. I can even use words that people have to look up. And I eat arugula every day.

Posted by: snObama | July 22, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

What do the repubs have against intelligence? Here is a smart, gracious and thoughtful person (Obama) representing them overseas and in their blind hatred all they can do is criticize. Haven't they had enough of someone embarrassingly stupid in the White House? I know I have. Go Obama.

Posted by: Rene | July 22, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

The surge worked only because the U.S. government paid the insurgents to stop fighting.

Posted by: bklvr | July 22, 2008 3:35 PM

___________________________________

I agree with this observation. Why is so little written about it????????

Posted by: Spectator | July 22, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

The surge worked only because the U.S. government paid the insurgents to stop fighting.

Posted by: bklvr | July 22, 2008 3:35 PM
___________________________________


I agree with this observation. Why is so little written about it?????????

Posted by: Spectator | July 22, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Scrivner. We dont need blue gummed intellectual blacks who are going to give away this country to the Muslims in the WHITE House. We need more guys like George Bush in teh White House who are going to kick those guys over there in A-rab country in the nuts. I am sick of those idiots who were diapers on there heads and their are plenty of pictures on the internets that Obama is one of them - I saw him wearing a diaper on his head to.

Posted by: I'm with Scrivner | July 22, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

how to solve our problems? that's easy: hope, hope, hope. and talk a lot without saying anything. After you doze off I will empty your wallet and spend it all on my friends, the ones I disowned while running for office.
thirty years from now I will be that failure of a one-term President, like my mentor Jimmy. but it will be a great run for me in the meantime. too bad for you though.

And BTW, I am clever and smart. I went to Harverd, you know.

Posted by: snObama | July 22, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

The GOP proves they are a Black and White kind of party, almost entirely White.

Only the Surge could produce the Iraq of today.

Which party got us into the friggin' mess that required a Surge? GWB's/McShame's party! Wanna give 'em another 4 years at the helm?

The GOP caused the mess, then they found the solution to the mess. Reminds of Billy Mays, creating a spot on the carpet to prove that Oxy-Clean will take care of it. Mays/GWB/McShame shouldn't be making spots on carpets at all - leave that to Barney.

Posted by: Roofelstoon | July 22, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

At least Obama didn't resort to Bush speak...He was pretty darn staight forward.

Posted by: willandjansdad | July 22, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Bitter and King2641

OBAMA is Presidential material. While McCain is confusing himself by not informing us exactly what or which wars has he the hell won. Is he still fighting the Vietnam war? Sorry. I just dont trust McCain with his finger hovering over the little round red button. He's to damn ODD for my tastes. To ODD to be President.

Posted by: llewis40 | July 22, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

The translators of the world never get a break. First they struggle how to translate words like misunderestimated.

Now they have to struggle with Manichean.

I wonder how the Arabic speakers are dealing with the semantic difference between 'timetable', 'deadline' and 'time horizon' or 2010?

Posted by: NoOneImportant | July 22, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

To: I'm confused, I'm a Lib

What part don't you understand? From your statement, and the way things have turned out it seems that you and your ilk (ie Repubs) are the ones who are confused.

Posted by: JR | July 22, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

scrivener wrote: "In one tortured elocution, Obama told us this morning why he probably will NOT be elected President of the United States."

You mean, because he's smarter and better-educated than you?

Not exactly a "tortured elocution," other than to you dummies for whom intelligent discourse is torture.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Snobama: You are awfully quick to put down Obama. But I don't see you offering up any solutions of your own.

Like how to get us out of Iraq. Or how to deal with our energy situation.

So, please. Since you have decided nothing Obama says will work, how about you offer up something of your own?

And whilst your at it, please explain to us how invading Iraq was a good idea, and how it is that the war that your party said would be over in a year and be paid for with Iraqi oil is now going on year six and will cost the US a trillion dollars, plus of course lives lost.

Let's hear your views.

Assuming you have any.

Posted by: Hillman | July 22, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

The surge worked only because the U.S. government paid the insurgents to stop fighting.

Posted by: bklvr | July 22, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse


IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MANICHEAN COLLOQUY, STUPID


Chris: You buried your lead. Glance one line above.

Yes, Obama seemed studied and well-briefed.

Perhaps over-briefed... in a Manichean, colloquial sense, that is.

"Manichean Colloquy" will prove to be the Obama mirror image of Dan Quayle's "POTATOE."

In one tortured elocution, Obama told us this morning why he probably will NOT be elected President of the United States.

Also, it was an object lesson on why the mainsteam media has failed to grasp this truth earlier.

The problem, dear Chris, is not in the colloquy. It is in the over-intellectualized choice of verbiage issuing forth from Obama's purplish lips.

Purple political prose, indeed. Obscene, only in the sense that it's unfathomable that even after their (Manchurian, not Manchean?) candidate has been branded as "effete" and "elitist," Obama's handlers have been unable to make this most self-absorbed young man change his politically suicidal ways.

This is a shame; for this is a man with promise. So much promise that the "audacity of hope" once again has trumped his good, common sense.

Get off the pedestal of verbosity, Barack, before your legion of now-questioning followers pulls you down. Your highbrow hubris, apparently, cannot be contained.

Not even your masterful hook shot, your well-executed lay-up, can compensate for an overwhelming air of snobbery that colors your otherwise well-played political game.

Some time ago in this forum, I suggested that Obama do a multi-day tour of New Jersey -- from the refineries to the shore-town bars to the shuttered factories in between -- so that Bruce Sringsteen can teach him how to relate to his Jersey crowd...

... the workin' at the car wash guys; the high-haired diner waitresses; the shift workers; the casino dealers and the Vietnam veterans now doing duty making sub sandwiches -- all folks he must bring along if he is to carry through on his "improbable journey" to the White House.

As of this moment, Obama is caught up in his "Manchean colloquy" and no verbal extrication can free him from this elitist trap.

Only getting down and dirty with the real people can fix this one -- along with a curbing of that elocutious tongue.

IF YOU CARE ABOUT DEMOCRACY, THE RULE OF LAW
AND THE RIGHT OF DUE PROCESS, CLICK BELOW:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/vigilante-injustice-organized-gang-stalking-american-gestapo-are-they-doing-hi-tech-torture?

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Posted by: scrivener | July 22, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: snObama
----------------
I know you think you are clever, but you are in fact a douche bag.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Newsflash folks... the surge is not a strategy, it is a tactic. Please learn the difference!

Posted by: Ro | July 22, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

zzzzz huh wah? what do you mean Bush is no negotiating with the Iranians and Malaki is supporting Obama's timetable??? Oh well just point out that Obama is black again and all the racist trolls will still vote for me anyway. Now bake to my nap! zzzzzz

Posted by: McBush | July 22, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I am too smart. I didn't publish anything or vote on anything or pass anything or take a stance on anything or make tough decisions because I AM smart. not because I'm not.

Posted by: snObama | July 22, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Chris, you are right on the money! Barack Obama looked every part the 21st century leader the USA needs.

The past eight years of in-your-face be with me or against me arrogance will be put behind us in November 2008 when Barack Obama is elected president.

Graham's whining comments should have been directed at those Republicans who are trying miserably to defend John McCain.

"Sen. Obama-should-say-he-was-wrong-about-the-surge" "nah nah na nah nah" What a bunch of whining toddlers!

Five years and countless billions of dollars later, a few days of so-called success should be celebrated! What an insult to the American tax payers! Some value for one's money!

The argument that John McCain is the ace on foreign policy is being agressively challenged with the recent developments in Iraq. The long term occupation of Iraq for which this nation was taken to war is now being clearly exposed, McCain lacking in geography has the foreigh policy ace running for cover!

McCain seem to be the odd man on the world stage with the Obama, the government of Iraq and Bush all dancing to the same beat! Get out of Iraq!

Posted by: ricky2008 | July 22, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see the neocon whiners pissing their diapers because they are so worried about McBush napping on job while Obama looks presidential. But go ahead post some more attacks here and maybe you can alay your fears for a brief time. Get used to President Obama hahahahahahaahah.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

It's one thing to portray gravitas -- a good actor can do that -- but, it's another matter altogether to actually HAVE gravitas. Obama is fooling many people, including almost all the media (sadly, I must say Chris C. is one of them), with his smooth acting style.

Obama is not deep or profound; he does not have gravitas. He's a polished actor emoting lines written for him. Actually, I find him to be rather dull, someone with modest intelligence. He has little experience and conviction to carry out Presidential duties with gravitas. Unless the electorate snaps out of their swoon, we all will be stuck with a shallow "leader", one who will be easily manipulated by Pelosi, Reid, Gore, MoveOn.org, etc.

Posted by: Bitter small towner | July 22, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I acted and looked Presidential once. vote for me.

Posted by: Martin sheen | July 22, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Obama has done us proud! And by "us" I mean the entire country. His grace, intelligence, and understanding of the world around him is such a stark different from Bush's arrogance and ignorance.

I have to add that I laughed out loud at
McSame's post above. Too funny!

Posted by: Lori | July 22, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Cian!

Posted by: PeixeGato | July 22, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

While everybody loves a good ole media bashing, McCain needs to remember to play it safe. The media has hardly taken a critical look at McCain. The last thing he wants is media report after media report about his anemic economic team and their dated ideas. Couple that with shot after shot of him napping through the 2007 State of the Union and he can kiss SC and UT goodbye.

Posted by: muD | July 22, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Tomorrow I am traveling from New Hampshire to the next-state over, Wisconsin, to speak at the Dirt Convention.

All are welcome to come see me and answer any question you like, so long as I can be done by 4:00 p.m. That is when I eat dinner.

Posted by: McSame | July 22, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

This foreign policy stuff is just soooo boring -- kegger at my house tonight!

Posted by: Cindy McBotox | July 22, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

You're clearly not too sophisticated, Mr. Fix -- but try to understand something. The 'surge' is a sound bite, a PR gimmick. The situation in Iraq now is due to a number of factors. Here, let someone with a brain explain it to YOU. Go ahead, Obama...

-Cian

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

Of course, Obama was so prescient he predicted the surge would fail and that things would only get worse. He certainly didn't anticipate ANY of what is happening now.

Posted by: JamesC | July 22, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"He looked and sounded presidential at a moment when the eyes of the world were on him."

This sums up the entire Obama campaign based on narcissim and personality not substantive policy. I guess that is just asking too much...

I don't want someone who looks and sounds presidential to occupy the Oval office for four years (many Hollywood actors have pulled this off). I want someone who can "be" President there is a vast difference between the two. In order to be President one must have experience (substantive policy & leadership) and a track record of accomplishments that show one can deliver when needed most under difficult circumstances.

Name one piece of substantive legislation that Sen. Obama has passed in his tenure in the Senate!

What leadership has he provided his constituents or the nation ?

Posted by: King2641 | July 22, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse


I still hate, therefore I am.

Join me over at Kos and Huff. today we are in glory over several deaths.

Posted by: drindl | July 22, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"..snake oil salesman..."? Look, USATday is reporting closed door meetings with GOP COngressmen and Senators where they are encouraged to vote *against* Bush and Wall Street. The expected losses in November are so catastrophic that Republican's are being encouraged to act vote with Democrats, do whatever it takes, to get re-elected. Seems to me that if the GOP is so desparate that it eants to hide what it really stands for, then the snake oil salesmen are all Republican's.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 22, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

With great anticipation like a hamburger to ketchup, the RNC are looking for anything...anything that would make Mr Obama seem "weak"..so that they will eat him alive....toilet paper on the heel of his left shoe, perhaps..or maybe his zipper opened on his pants...lipstick on the collar...."body" language..."body" odor...something...anything....

There will soon be an RNC ad with a message of peace and love for all nations of the world....

They are so desperate for something to happen to Mr Obama, they will even create some "lies".....

Well when Mr Obama has the "gaffes" of Mr McCain then its all over... but he's way too intelligent and charismatic to be foiled by the clowns of the RNC....

But keep sharp, look smart and carry your globe...you might never know when there will be a geography lesson....

Posted by: AlexP1 | July 22, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I am ready to announce my other retreat and surrender schedules:

Germany - 3 months
Japan - 6 months
Bosnia - 12 months
turkey - 5 months

I heard we have troops in other places too and am looking into this. I am also recalling all naval vessels and all aircraft. these guys should be home in their own beds at night.

As I learn more from my travels, I will be announcing more retreats. someone told me that aircraft carriers can stay at sea for months. what a waste of gas and a hardship on the families. I also heard we have bombers in the air at all times. they are going to land when I am in charge. they are burning a hole in the sky.

Posted by: snObama | July 22, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

The professional objective media...HAH!

I am sure the Wash Post editors were relieved that this report was submitted electronically since the reporters DNA did not have to be scraped off the hard copy!

Posted by: Clintononline.com | July 22, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the press conference was the high point of Senator Obama's international tour so far. The high points were Malaki's agreeing to a more or less definite time for US troops to leave iraq. It may have been a serendipitous moment. Nevertheless, it had the effect to trash the Bush/McCain/Neo-Con notion that the US must stay in Iraq until "victory" is achieved even if it takes forever and financially destroys the United States.

The 2nd high point was just talking with the troops and seeing their smiles and talking with Gen Petraeus and seeing his smile, etc. And, talking talking in press released and a press conference in a manner that displays that he knows a lot about foreign affairs.

And, to Chris: sad to learn that you had to look up the meaning of colloquy. Here are two more words for you to find the meaning for:

Victory as McCain loosely uses it.

Serendipitous or serendipity

Posted by: Peter | July 22, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

anObama/zouk? still no job? still on this website every day, all day long, throwig your ape feces? Pathetic.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

You're clearly not too sophisticated, Mr. Fix -- but try to understand something. The 'surge' is a sound bite, a PR gimmick. The situation in Iraq now is due to a number of factors. Here, let someone with a brain explain it to YOU. Go ahead, Obama...


CNN) -- Sen. Barack Obama said Tuesday he was pleased with the reduction of violence in Iraq since the deployment of more U.S. troops, but added it was a result of several factors, not just the "surge."

"We don't know what would have happened if the plan that I preferred in January 2007 -- to put more pressure on the Iraqis to arrive at a political reconciliation, to begin a phased withdrawal -- what would have happened had we pursued that strategy," Obama said after landing in Amman, Jordan.

"I am pleased that as a consequence of great effort by our troops -- but also as a consequence of a shift in allegiances among the Sunni tribal leaders as well as the decision of the Sadr militias to stand down -- that we've seen a quelling of violence," he said.

But, Obama said, a functioning Iraq ultimately will depend on the capacity of the Iraqi people to unify themselves, get beyond sectarian divisions and set up a government that works for the people.
"There is security progress. Now we need a political solution," he said."

Get it now?

Posted by: Cian | July 22, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I thought the shots I saw of Obama with the Iraqi President and PM portrayed him as somewhat weak. He was actually leaning forward in his seat like an over-eager reporter-the body language just wasn't right

Posted by: Tim | July 22, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I am ready to announce that from here on out, Michael Moore will be my press secretary and will handle all my propoganda... I mean announcements. He is just so good at editing out the truth, I had the perfect spot for him.

Now Michael, go out and make me look like I know what I'm doing, despite having three days experience in foreign countries. thank God, that just like on Star Trek, they all speak English. It is just you people who should speak French and spanish, not me.

Posted by: snObama | July 22, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

McCain's campaign has entirely melted down and they are peeing all over themselves...

'The McCain campaign has come up with an intriguing new way to sell his opposition to a timetable for withdrawal: McCain just might withdraw from Iraq sooner than Obama's 16 month deadline!

"He'd like troops to come home earlier than 16 months if the conditions allow it," said Congresswoman Heather Wilson of New Mexico, on a conference call with reporters just now. "Senator Obama has said it's a 16-month timeline no matter what."

One is reminded of George Orwell's classic novel 1984, in which the ruling regime ran an intentionally never-ending war with the frequent promise in news updates that it was "within measurable distance of its end."

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

All those supporting the "success of the surge" should have to answer.. how long can we afford to keep the surge going unless there is pressure on the Iraqis to make the strategies sustainable. I don't want to pay for this "success" forever. It is very costly, and we need the money at home. We have essentially walled off Baghdad neighborhoods from each other and have to have round the clock security to keep the violence down. We can't do that forever. We need those timelines, to force people there to the table and get the political work done and then get the laws carried out. If we are just babysitting the country while we spend millions to be the babysitters, that won't force any change. Obama is right. If we had used timetables to begin with instead of just using our military to stand guard we might already be out of there.

Posted by: Goldie | July 22, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

the repugs and MaGoo have been reduced to "reactionaries". How sweet it is. Can't wait for their comments in between sobbing as the millions come out to support Obama in the European Capitals. Best election ever.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | July 22, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"the normandy invasion was just plain wrong. France never attacked the United States and used to be one of our best allies before the administration stopped talking to them." --snObama

When the Big Red 1 landed at Omaha, who did they fire on? Sure as hell wasn't the French.

Al Queda in Iraq does not equal Al Queda who blew up the WTC.

Try to get your facts in line before you embarrass yourself again.

G.A. Custer, 7th Cavalry

Posted by: Capncuster | July 22, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Why didn't the three major news networks follow McCain on any of his numerous trips to the middle east.

You libs are so dumb, you still haven't realized that this election is over, your guy won.

Voters don't have time to research the facts, so they listen to the news, the news is for Obama and therefore the people will be for Obama.

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. -Churchhill

And you libs will identify with this one in 5 years..
Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy.-Churchill

Posted by: Joe | July 22, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

With 300 advisors and keep interviews to a minimum and excluding foreign press interviews, who traditionally ask more probing and difficult questions than US media, even a moron could look good. After all he said next to nothing. Why are people taken in by this snake oil salesman?

Posted by: Lavrat2000@yahoo.com | July 22, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

It was government intervention in the financial markets, which is now supposed to save the situation, that created the problem in the first place.

Laws and regulations pressured lending institutions to lend to people that they were not lending to, given the economic realities. The Community Reinvestment Act forced them to lend in places where they did not want to send their money, and where neither they nor the politicians wanted to walk.

Now that this whole situation has blown up in everybody's face, the government intervention that brought on this disaster in the first place is supposed to save the day.

Politics is largely the process of taking credit and putting the blame on others -- regardless of what the facts may be. Politicians get away with this to the extent that we gullibly accept their words and look to them as political messiahs.

-- Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Posted by: tom | July 22, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"While Obama largely avoided any attack on McCain or his approach to Iraq, he did offer a vigorous defense of his plan to redeploy troops from the country and dismissed the idea that there were only two ways to approach the future of American involvement: a rigid timetable or an open-ended commitment.

"I reject that those are the only two options," said Obama, adding: "My job, should I be commander-in-chief, is to set a strategic vision for what's best for U.S. national security" -- a directive that requires flexibility and a belief that the situation is not as Manichean as many people in the states present it."

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

What seems lost in the analysis is this passage, which is a move away from the rigid 16 month timetable Obama has regularly proffered, depending on the moment. So, he will stick to his 16 month schedule (he has said time and again), but he will also pursue a flexible strategy that rejects a rigid timetable.

Obama is clearly giving himself wiggle room using a rhetorical high wire act.

Posted by: JamesC | July 22, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I am not in hiding. All who wish to reach me may find me speaking at the Granite Room of the Nashua, NH Holiday Inn.

Please send me the latest on Obama, so that I may again pass off his ideas as my own.

Posted by: McSame | July 22, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

The Bush mafia threatened to tax Senator Paul Wellstone to death before they murdered him. Their messages read more like a death notice from the Prescott Bush mafia than a campaign ad.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mandy-grunwald/republican-front-group-sk_b_114107.html

Here is a petition to the Federal Election Commission to force the loyal Bushies to abide by the law and reveal their donors:
www.jeanneshaheen.org/petition/ajs

Posted by: Singing Senator | July 22, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I see that John McCain is a student of the Dick Cheney school of action - whenever things get hot, go into hiding.

First McSame falls for the dopey "strategy" to invade Iraq, then it's the dopey gas tax/oil drilling strategy, and now its the go hide "strategy" whenever Obama makes some noise.

Who is pulling his strings? Zouk?

Posted by: bondjedi | July 22, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Stunning achievement: Obama has put republicans on the defensive over national security. Both the White House and McCain are clearly rattled.

Republicans are going to be out of power for a generation.

Posted by: dastubbs | July 22, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's now time for Obama to write another book about himself. How many will that make? Three? Maybe it could be in the form of a colloquy with himself.

Posted by: John | July 22, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Obama has shown the gravitas that McCain did not when he went to the Mideast a little while back and got the Sunnis and Shias and other things all mixed up. McCain just does not measure up, and despite all their claims about Obama, he is proving that on the world stage, Obama, not McCain, is the one who shows the leadership qualities that the world will take seriously.

Posted by: Goldie | July 22, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Quite right. this week of country hopping has created for the first time ever, a dram of foreign experience for the newcomer.

he can now officially lay claim to being an expert on foreign affairs. boy is he a fast learner.

Just like I know all there is to know about Germany, just from walking through the airport. It's great to be so brilliant. I think I'll write a book about myself.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

the Democrats made unsatisfactory efforts toward all lawmaking in the last two years.

Pelosi calling bush a failure - that's rich. while she was investigating steroids, Fannie was sinking. surprised - another huge government beast failing on us.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I love how Senator Obama makes the right-wingers froth at the mouth :-)

Posted by: gipper1 | July 22, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Scrivener of the "Purple political prose" is just upset that there's no candidate as overtly stupid as Bush to vote for this time. So he'll take the least "over-intellectualized" guy he can find.

Shame on you, Barack Obama, for not pretending to be an idiot so that Scrivener would feel more comfortable with you.

Posted by: Aleks | July 22, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

"The improvement followed the surge, but began in Anwar Province when there weer no more troops there than previously.
What began there was hiring Iraqi nationals (Sunni tribesment in Anwar) as -- essentially -- rent-a-cop s. With something to do all day, they had less time to set up IEDs.
(Ironically, the American reconstruction efforts have avoided hiring Iraqis. We won't pay them to pour concrete, because they may be allied with a terrorist organization; but we will arm them.)

Posted by: Frank Palmer | July 22, 2008 12:16 PM"
--------------------
This quote merits a reposting. Has The "surge" worked, or was it the "bribing" of 100,000 Sunni fighters that "worked?" What is clear now is that Iraq's Leaders agree with Obama about getting our troops out in a timely fashion, and have de facto said No Thanks to McCain's proposal of permanent Military bases InCountry. At the same time McCain has come to (albeit, reluctantly) agree that Afghanistan needs more attention since that is where Al Qaeda was hiding during 9/11, and even now regroups between the Afghani/Pakistan border. Obama's vision of what needs to be done militarily in the region is strong, as are his plans to get this economy back on the right track.

The choice in this election is clear: McCain continues us on the Bushian path of unregulated Free Market Capitalism that has squeezed the middle-class while enriching the wealthy; Obama promises to grow the economy from the "middle out." As one of the 95% in the American middle I say it is about time that a Politican thinks about the vast majority and NOT further enriching the top 2% income earners in some vain hope that the wealth will "trickle down" (in the past 8 years, despite the lowest tax rate in over 20 years, the wealth, in fact, has continued to only trickle back up.)

Posted by: radical_moderate | July 22, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Well, I guess this trip has turned old Barack into an experienced, well rounded, first class, international diplomat, and man of the world. He must really be ready to run the country now with all his new found experience.

Lord, I'm getting goose bumps just thinking about it.

Posted by: Capt. Howard | July 22, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"15 of 18 last month."

The Iraqis made satisfactory 'efforts' towards 15 of 18 benchmarks, according to a White House report last month.

Can't hit benchmarks? Redefine the targets! If anybody can move goalposts better than team bush, I ain't never heard of em...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

The McCain camp keeps blathering on about "victory" ("...the victory our troops have earned..."). Just what do they mean by that? What is their definition of victory? Since they seem completely unable to define it for the NYT op-ed paage, we are led to understand that their definition amounts to sucessful attacks upon their political opponents. The mindless stuff shirts of the Bush-McCain never ending campaign are an embarrasment, and a dangerous embarrasment at that.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 22, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

This comment board is the worst venue for colloquy in America.

Posted by: danny | July 22, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I feel sorry for you Chris. Your blog is completely populated by Republican trolls. It is not worth leaving a thought full comment in the company of wolves.

Posted by: katjam | July 22, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

"15 of 18 last month."

Go find me any evidence that says that 15 benchmarks have been accomplished. Any link. Go for it.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 22, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Chris: Your observations about Obama's press conference and his trip are spot on. He has indeed looked, sounded, and behaved like a world leader. What a contrast with McCain (driving around with Poppy Bush in that golf cart!) who seems puny and irrelevant with his silly complaints about the media. McCain shrivels up into inconsequentiality as time passes. Obama grows in stature on the world stage.

Obama is right to point out that while the violence in Iraq has been quelled for the present, the important question is how to reach a viable political settlement that will bring lasting peace and stability to that country. McCain has absolutely no ideas on this subject, except to insist that American troops should stay on indefinitely.

By continuing to hammer on his support for the "surge," McCain reveals that he is an empty uniform with no new ideas and no respect for the wishes of the sovereign people of Iraq. With cronies like Bush/Chaney and advisers like Phil Gramm we already knew he had no respect for the American people; now we are learning that this disrespect extends to nations around the world.

Posted by: dee | July 22, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Yes it is a long term approach. Once all your money is gone, we will re-examine it for effectiveness. In fact, all my solutions are long term - as long as the money holds out.

Posted by: snObama | July 22, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

What's all this chest thumping about the "surge?" We put more troops into Iraq in order to quell the violence so Iraqis could get their house in order so that we could leave. Well, last time I checked, we're still there, and the same people telling us that this so-called "surge" was such a master stroke are also telling us that we can't even have a timeline for leaving. Huh? We knew the surge would quell the violence so how can simply quelling the violence be considered some great victory? These McCain types engage in so much double talk and propoganda, they wouldn't know the truth if it walked up and kicked them in the butt.

Posted by: me | July 22, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Oh my having to look up "colloquy" but kudos for doing it...

Posted by: janie | July 22, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Re: I'm confused, I'm a Lib | July 22, 2008 1:18 PM

I think it would be pretty obvious what that means. He's saying, how does one become a suicide terrorist?

And then explaining that the generally, they are people who have a complete lack of empathy for those they consider "the other" (us, in this case). And that failure to develop empathy often results from the crushing poverty with no way out that many people in the Middle East live in. So one way of defeating terrorism is to stop the cycle of poverty and give them a chance in life (ie education).

Its a long term approach, and obviously there are terrorists who don't fit this profile.

Posted by: just 'plaining | July 22, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

The fix had to look up "colloquy"?

Wow.

Posted by: rjr | July 22, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MANICHEAN COLLOQUY, STUPID


Chris: You buried your lead. Glance one line above.

Yes, Obama seemed studied and well-briefed.

Perhaps over-briefed... in a Manichean, colloquial sense, that is.

"Manichean Colloquy" will prove to be the Obama mirror image of Dan Quayle's "POTATOE."

In one tortured elocution, Obama told us this morning why he probably will NOT be elected President of the United States.

Also, it was an object lesson on why the mainsteam media has failed to grasp this truth earlier.

The problem, dear Chris, is not in the colloquy. It is in the over-intellectualized choice of verbiage issuing forth from Obama's purplish lips.

Purple political prose, indeed. Obscene, only in the sense that it's unfathomable that even after their (Manchurian, not Manchean?) candidate has been branded as "effete" and "elitist," Obama's handlers have been unable to make this most self-absorbed young man change his politically suicidal ways.

This is a shame; for this is a man with promise. So much promise that the "audacity of hope" once again has trumped his good, common sense.

Get off the pedestal of verbosity, Barack, before your legion of now-questioning followers pulls you down. Your highbrow hubris, apparently, cannot be contained.

Not even your masterful hook shot, your well-executed lay-up, can compensate for an overwhelming air of snobbery that colors your otherwise well-played political game.

Some time ago in this forum, I suggested that Obama do a multi-day tour of New Jersey -- from the refineries to the shore-town bars to the shuttered factories in between -- so that Bruce Sringsteen can teach him how to relate to his Jersey crowd...

... the workin' at the car wash guys; the high-haired diner waitresses; the shift workers; the casino dealers and the Vietnam veterans now doing duty making sub sandwiches -- all folks he must bring along if he is to carry through on his "improbable journey" to the White House.

As of this moment, Obama is caught up in his "Manchean colloquy" and no verbal extrication can free him from this elitist trap.

Only getting down and dirty with the real people can fix this one -- along with a curbing of that elocutious tongue.

IF YOU CARE ABOUT DEMOCRACY, THE RULE OF LAW
AND THE RIGHT OF DUE PROCESS, CLICK BELOW:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/vigilante-injustice-organized-gang-stalking-american-gestapo-are-they-doing-hi-tech-torture?

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/zap-have-you-been-targeted-directed-energy-weapon-victims-organized-gang-stalking-say-its-happening-usa-1

Posted by: scrivener | July 22, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

how many of the benchmarks have been met.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 22, 2008 1:18 PM

15 of 18 last month.

Pelosi Galore congress - 1 of 10.
A miserable failure. the worst speaker in history. meanwhile Hairy Reed still has his head in the sand. Lowest approval rate in history. lowest number of bills passed. still no approps, after two years! that is Dem leadership in a nuthouse, I mean nutshell.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Obama has said that as president he would increase the number of troops and aid in Afghanistan, but when given the opportunity to vote in the Senate to do just that, he voted against the bill.

What day is it. I may alter this tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Posted by: snObama | July 22, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes, had to think about this for a moment--it was HRC and her campaign that originally stuck the lack of gravitas label on Obama with her desperate "just words" strategy. The GOP just picked it up and ran with it after her campaign tanked.

As for the McCain supporters on this comment board--why not do some heavy lifting and actually compare Obama's positions with McCain's? Go to their websites with an open mind. You'll find at the very least that Obama has outlined very detailed plans on a number of issues, from health care to social security to foreign policy to the economy. McCain's is full of empty holes and lack of detail. You may not agree with Obama's positions, but he's much better prepared intellectually at this point than McCain.

The bottom line is who do you want making the important decisions--someone who has done his homework and understands the issues or someone who relies on his gut and experience?

And that's what the real character debate ought to be about....

Posted by: dwfortin | July 22, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

As we speak, Obama struts around Iraq with his signature arrogance and bereft of the shame he's earned for his insistence we withdraw in defeat there, pretending that history's repudiation of his surrender policy is a vindication of his prescience and wisdom. And they tell us President George W. Bush will never admit his mistakes!

How strangely paradoxical it would be if Barack Obama were to sail into the presidency on the strength of his own failures. Crazier things have happened.

Posted by: ah the irony | July 22, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

dwfortin writes
"The chief problem with Obama's supposed lack of gravitas is that this is how the GOP has been trying to frame him and somehow it has stuck."

What is more curious, to me, is how Senator McCain's military expertise has morphed into alleged foreign policy credentials. There is no doubt that he is very familiar with the military aspects of foreign policy - but there's more to FP than just sending the troops to every potential hotspot. There's the diplomatic angle, not to mention global economic relations. Of course, all three aspects of effective FP are intertwined. We could arguable add environmental policy as a 4th leg of that stool. So why is McCain basically given a 'pass' on foreign policy, when his real expertise is limited to the military aspects?

Posted by: bsimon | July 22, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

The surge worked? I think I'll ask the paraplegic with erectile dysfunction to show me how many of the benchmarks have been met.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 22, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

explain Obama's statements shortly after the 9/11 attacks, reported in the Hyde Park Herald Sept. 19, 2001: "We must also engage, however, in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness. The essence of this tragedy, it seems to me, derives from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers: an inability to imagine or connect with the humanity and suffering of others. Such a failure of empathy ... most often ... grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair."

Posted by: I'm confused, I'm a Lib | July 22, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

If I ever admit that the surge was a success, my famous judgment will sink like a stone. Can't one of you MSM fools find a way out of this for me?

I don't have much else to run on.

Posted by: snObama | July 22, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Please wehner, join us back on planet Earth. The U.S. deployed additional troops to Iraq because we didn't have enough troops there to begin with. You make it sound like MacArthur's landing at Inchon. How utterly absurd.

Posted by: view from the couch | July 22, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Hi everyone! I have no life, and at 35 I still live in my Mom's basement. I have no idea what I'm talking about, so I mock a U.S. Senator and contribute nothing to the conversation.

(To be honest, it's 'cause I'm jealous. Obama has a wife and two kids, and I ain't never seen a woman naked. At least not in person.)

Posted by: "snObama" | July 22, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Someone on MSNBC said it is between Biden and Bayh. Obama Team wants Bayh but surely do not want to lose his senate seat in Indiana.

Evan Bayh stock is soaring today at In Trade Market. Something is happening.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

the normandy invasion was just plain wrong. France never attacked the United States and used to be one of our best allies before the administration stopped talking to them.

Posted by: snObama | July 22, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

wehner,

You seem to be forgetting one thing. Nobody really knows what would have happened if we had set a timetable for withdrawl and pushed harder on the Iraqi government to get its house in order, or divided Iraq into three seperate states, or any of the other ideas that were floated prior to the surge.

Assuming that the surge was the only strategy that would have worked is intellectually lazy. The fact that Barack Obama doesn't support the surge even though it appears successful was neither misinformed, ideological, nor reckless. It is his opinion that there might have been a better way, rather than put more troops in harm's way and further taking our eye off the ball in Afghanistan.

Posted by: JamesCH | July 22, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

CC: You had to look up colloquy? I agree average Americans don't know the word, but any politico does. (It's Congress-talk 101!) That said, I actually think it was a *good* word choice: it added more gravitas, avoided potential negative connotations of words like "debate" or even "exchange," and anyone listening still understands the thrust of his comment.

Posted by: Joey | July 22, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"There came a time when liberal Democrats decided Afghanistan was the Good War and Iraq was the Bad War. This was about the time the Afghan effort appeared successful and the Iraq effort not."

Wrong. Many of us opposed the Iraq War from the very beginning, because it was obviously a bad idea for many reasons. (At the same time, we supported the invasion of Afghanistan, to defeat the Taliban.) Afghanistan is a morally justifiable war, if not a Good War. Iraq is, in every possible way, a Bad War. This has nothing to do with our success in the wars; it's about the justification for the wars.

Posted by: Blarg | July 22, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

fake news from the Fraud in chief:

MITCHELL: Let me just say something about the message management. He didn't have reporters with him, he didn't have a press pool, he didn't do a press conference while he was on the ground in either Afghanistan or Iraq. What you're seeing is not reporters brought in. You're seeing selected pictures taken by the military, questions by the military, and what some would call fake interviews, because they're not interviews from a journalist. So, there's a real press issue here. Politically it's smart as can be. But we've not seen a presidential candidate do this, in my recollection, ever before.

Posted by: it's all fake | July 22, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Knowing what you know now, would you support the surge?"

Obama's answer was, "No."

This must surely rank as among the most misinformed, ideological, and reckless statements by a presidential candidate in modern times. The McCain campaign should do everything they can to make Obama pay a high price for it. That one word answer, "No," should be advertised in bright neon lights. It should become Exhibit A that Obama not only doesn't have the "judgment to lead;" he has now supplied us with evidence that few people possess judgment as flawed as his.

The evidence that the surge is working is simply beyond dispute. Obama himself has now conceded that part of the argument, even to the point of admitting that victory in Iraq is possible. To admit to progress while still insisting that you would deny the means to that progress is to position of a fool. And this is not an issue of marginal importance. The surge, after all, is easily the most important national security decision and debate we've had since the war to liberate Iraq began in March 2003.

That Obama opposed the surge is bad enough -- but that opposition was not itself irresponsible or unforgiveable. It was understandable, if in retrospect quite wrong, to believe that Iraq, caught in an apparent death spiral in the latter half of 2006, was unsalvageable. Critics of the surge argued that we were sending American troops to die in a lost cause.

It turned out that Iraq was redeemable and that the President's strategy, brilliantly executed by General Petraeus and the American military, worked faster and better than anyone thought possible. To say that he would oppose a military plan that one day may well rank as among the best in our history is stunning. Whatever would motivate Obama to say what he did -- political cowardice, willful denial, astonishing blindness to the facts, or the mindset of an ideologue -- it ought to cause Americans to rethink, in the most fundamental way, whether Obama is responsible enough to be President.

I suppose it's also now reasonable to ask Obama if he would, in hindsight, oppose the Normandy invasion. His judgment is that open to question.

Posted by: wehner | July 22, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

There came a time when liberal Democrats decided Afghanistan was the Good War and Iraq was the Bad War. This was about the time the Afghan effort appeared successful and the Iraq effort not. So the big word became "distraction": The Afghan War was necessary -- at least defensible -- but the Iraq War was a mere "distraction."

Barack Obama, obviously, sings from this book. It's not just that he appears not to have an original thought in his head -- he appears not to have a thought outside liberal-Democratic orthodoxy. So, while visiting Afghanistan, he said, "I think one of the biggest mistakes we've made strategically after 9/11 was to fail to finish the job here, focus our attention here. We got distracted by Iraq."

Yes, and if we had let the threat of Saddam gather and he had created further, worse havoc in the Middle East -- would anyone be complaining more obnoxiously than Barack Obama?

Posted by: Jay n. | July 22, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

There came a time when liberal Democrats decided Afghanistan was the Good War and Iraq was the Bad War. This was about the time the Afghan effort appeared successful and the Iraq effort not. So the big word became "distraction": The Afghan War was necessary -- at least defensible -- but the Iraq War was a mere "distraction."

Barack Obama, obviously, sings from this book. It's not just that he appears not to have an original thought in his head -- he appears not to have a thought outside liberal-Democratic orthodoxy. So, while visiting Afghanistan, he said, "I think one of the biggest mistakes we've made strategically after 9/11 was to fail to finish the job here, focus our attention here. We got distracted by Iraq."

Yes, and if we had let the threat of Saddam gather and he had created further, worse havoc in the Middle East -- would anyone be complaining more obnoxiously than Barack Obama?

Posted by: Jay n. | July 22, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I think after 7 1/2 years of "strategery", a little "colloquy" is in order.

Posted by: Susan | July 22, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm still waiting to hear what McCain believes and what he would do as president. He can complain about Obama and the media until he's red in the face. It won't answer the key questions.

We know what you're against, Senator McCain. What are you for?

Posted by: LESD | July 22, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Manichean colloquys aside (and yes, I don't know whether the plural is colloquys or colloquies), the guy is an accomplished writer and he just has a really broad active vocabulary that he uses well. I kind of enjoy learning occasional new words, although I happened to know those two.

My favorite Obama addition to the national vocabulary, though, is much homier: "dust-up". That phrase, which apparently means a bit of a scuffle, also has never been in my active vocabulary before. I've noticed it has soared in usage since Obama offered it as a description of President Bush's odd Knesset-based political attack and the ensuing fuss. I have heard "dust-up" used quite often by both left- and right-wing pundits since then. My theory is it's a Midwestern term, though whether from Kansas or Illinois I don't know.

Posted by: Fairfax Voter | July 22, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I am back to my false patriotism as you can see - I am wearing my flag pin.

Just another in the long series of flip-flops I am offering the voters.

Posted by: snObama | July 22, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I Like this guy,he sounds so cool and rationale.

Posted by: Minnesotta | July 22, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

somehow it has stuck.

Posted by: dwfortin | July 22, 2008 12:40 PM

Ummmmm - because it's true!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

The thing that gets me is that Obama has been demonstrating gravitas for some time--look at his speech on race in Philly or his recent speech on foreign policy as examples. The latter was brilliant, but got underplayed in the media, as it covered a variety of issues and was not good for soundbites or 3 minute analysis. If you read the text, it is brilliant--it reminded me of some of Tony Blair's best speeches, where he could take an issue like climate change and tie it to terrorism.

The chief problem with Obama's supposed lack of gravitas is that this is how the GOP has been trying to frame him and somehow it has stuck.

Posted by: dwfortin | July 22, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't care if the surge was a success. I am against sucess. Unless its mine.

Posted by: snObama | July 22, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

After eight years of a guy Americans would love to have a beer with, let's bring on the Manichean colloquys!

Posted by: Doug in NYC | July 22, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Sen:Obama is a true Renaissance man,you
notice every thing,he does.every he touch's
turn into gold,let face it,the man is just bless,and extremely lucky!and I believe that luck will be rub off on the country,once he is elected,and did you see that three pointer he shot,Michael Jordan
or KG could'nt made a better shoot,it's time for Hannity to put on his lipstick!

Posted by: HORNY FOR HANNITY | July 22, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Chris - you are spot on here. On this entire trip he was not just Presidential but a leader. Being smart and thoughtful and inclusive in your approach helps as well.

Look at the pics of him with the various people he has met with. Where Bush and others who have preceeded him always look uncomfortable with people of different backgrounds, clothing, color etc Barack exudes a warmth and ease.

Having lived in other cultures clearly helps him feel at ease when he is not in an American or western European one.

The schedule these guys have kept up, the breadth of people being met with and the scope of the miles covered is impressive...

McCain's childish whining this week is another example of his lack of Presidential qualifications.

Instead of whining/blaming put out concrete not pandering solutions to problems.

Study some geography as well for God's sake!!

Posted by: John Nail | July 22, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Sen:Obama is a true Renaissance man,you
notice every thing,he does.every he touch's
turn into gold,let face it,the man is just bless,and extremely lucky!and I believe that luck will be rub off on the country,once he is elected,and did you see that three pointer he shot,Michael Jordan
or KG could'nt made a better shoot,it's time for Hannity to put on his lipstick!

Posted by: HORNY FOR HANNITY | July 22, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I will leave the Mexican- US border wide open, but I am going to concentrate on sealing the Phakisthan border tight. All I need to do is talk to them a little.

After that, I think I'll write another book about myself.

Posted by: obamassiah | July 22, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the traditional media, continuing to kneel before their King Barack Obama.

Halli Casser-Jayne http:/www.thecjpoliticalreport.com

Posted by: Halli Casser-Jayne | July 22, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Brian and Ddawd - Tensions are rising on the Iraq-Pakistan border: that "wide spot" now called "Iran".

Posted by: MarkInAustin | July 22, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

The McCain campaign wants a video contest entitled "How much in love the media is with Obama?". How much will McCain offer to the winner?

What a dumba$$ idea! Instead of focusing on real solutions that help average Americans, McCain allows himself to get involved in political game-playing.

Hopefully Obama's overseas tour goes smoothly and safely with 50,000+ turnouts for his speeches in Europe. This would be like adding jumbo-sized cherries to the desert. With a smooth and successful overseas trip, Obama can dedicate another week to his fact-finding and diplomatic trip while he catches up on the recent economic news so that he can refocus on the number issue in voters' minds, THE ECONOMY!

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | July 22, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

To answer my own question...

McCain appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" a few hours ago, and Diane Sawyer asked if he believed "the situation in Afghanistan is precarious and urgent." McCain, carefully avoiding Sawyer's adjectives, responded, "It's a serious situation, but there's a lot of things we need to do. We have a lot of work to do and I'm afraid that it's a very hard struggle, particularly given the situation on the Iraq-Pakistan border."

I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he meant to say Afghanistan. The question was about Afghanistan and we have been having trouble on that border. I think McCain's foreign policy expertise is overblown, but I don't think he's THAT dumb.

The clip is here

http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/16270.html

Posted by: DDAWD | July 22, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

The improvement followed the surge, but began in Anwar Province when there weer no more troops there than previously.
What began there was hiring Iraqi nationals (Sunni tribesment in Anwar) as -- essentially -- rent-a-cop s. With something to do all day, they had less time to set up IEDs.
(Ironically, the American reconstruction efforts have avoided hiring Iraqis. We won't pay them to pour concrete, because they may be allied with a terrorist organization; but we will arm them.)

Posted by: Frank Palmer | July 22, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"After all, he just mentioned yesterday that tensions were rising on the Iraq/Pakistan border. He'd be right...if Iraq and Pakistan bordered each other."

Is this one of those quotes like the 57 state thing where its obvious he just had a little slip? Was he talking about Afghanistan or Iran the whole time and then throw in Iraq at the end?

Or did he genuinely think the two bordered?

Posted by: DDAWD | July 22, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Haha, the "bizarre fascination" is not bizarre at all. Although, I could see how reality would be confusing for someone as old as McCain. After all, he just mentioned yesterday that tensions were rising on the Iraq/Pakistan border. He'd be right...if Iraq and Pakistan bordered each other.

Posted by: Brian | July 22, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Hahaha, the Media In Love contest is nonsense, but its hilarious.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 22, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

good thing it wasn't a Manichean colloquy...that should help with the blue collar voters - they can ponder that while munching on their argula

Posted by: tony | July 22, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

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