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Sunday Conversation: Obama's Berlin Speech Re-examined

The immediate reaction to Barack Obama's speech in Berlin earlier this week was almost exclusively positive.

The images of the Illinois Senator speaking in front of several hundred thousand people as the sun set on Germany's capital was praised as uniquely arresting. The text of the speech was seen as effectively walking the delicate line between arid foreign policy address and rowdy campaign rally.

But, as Robert Schlesinger argues in a column for U.S. News and World Report, first impressions of major addresses are not always lasting ones.

"Obama's rock-star turn before 200,000 in Germany has received predominately positive press coverage," writes Schlesinger. "But U.S. politics is littered with speeches remembered far differently in history's final drafts than in its first ones. The lesson for Obama is that powerful words and images are still subject to larger events."

Schlesinger, a Fix friend, knows of what he speaks. He recently wrote a book entitled "White House Ghosts: President and Their Speechwriters" that details the little-understood art and importance of speech-writing.

As evidence that outside events can often change the way in which a speech is viewed through the lens of history, Schlesinger notes that President George W. Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech in 2001 was originally quite well received while President Richard Nixon's "silent majority" address was panned by media types but resonated with average Americans.

"Presidential words are effective when they resonate with the country's political realities (whether the media perceive them or not) and when a chief executive has the skills to alter the context to fit the words," writes Schlesinger. "The degree to which Obama has these other skills required of a president remains unknown."

Amid all the attention Obama's address has received over the past 72 hours (or so), it's worth remembering Schlesinger's words of caution about drawing hard and fast conclusions about the impact of any speech so soon after it has been delivered.

Agree? Disagree? Discuss.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 27, 2008; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Posted by: ламинат | August 12, 2008 5:04 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: ламинат | August 12, 2008 4:56 AM | Report abuse

The reason there were so many thousands of people at Obama's speech in Berlin is because Obama's campaign and the city of Berlin hosted a pre-speech concert by some of the most popular European artists right before. This was a carefully choreographed ploy by the Obama campaign to make him look presidential, important and like he would mend international ties. If you don't believe me, do a google search "Obama Berlin speech concert." This is something that Obama has done before at other venues in the states, and goes along with why he wants to gives his convention speech in a stadium. He is all about hype, deception, imagery since he has no substance. The man is a con artist. There is no way in hell I will be voting for this man, and I fear him becoming president because of his unbelieveable deceit.

Posted by: Jasoninpa10 | July 29, 2008 2:35 AM | Report abuse

No one in America saw Obama's speech. Just because the media love him and say it was great doesn't mean Americans will take note. They distrust the main stream media more than any other institution. Paid liberal hacks. But they will be disappointed in November. As usually, the elites underestimate the intelligence and good sense of the average American. He or she knows a phony when they see it. And Barack is a typical power hungry pol, running for office for the past 12 years. That's all he is good at. McCain will win in a landslide. Watch and learn.

Posted by: awad | July 29, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

GWB's "Mission Accomplished" speech well received?? Schlesinger must have been listening to Fox News. Even the conservatives I knew thought it was at best premature.

And as for the media and Obama, for goodness sake, get off it! He did well -- just to slog through that heavy schedule was impressive enough, let alone the tightrope he was walking about what he said and how he said it. So he made no big gaffes, obviously engaged world leaders, gave a good speech that 200,000 came out to hear and cheer. But the MSM can't leave it alone -- and though they couldn't find much to pick on, they chose to let the aging and forgetful John McCain speak for them, NEVER ONCE CHALLENGING MCCAIN FOR HIS TRASHY ACCUSATION THAT OBAMA IS TRAITOROUS (had it been the reverse, Obama wouldn't have been able to get those words out before the press would have been snapping at him). Shame, shame!

Posted by: amanderson | July 28, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Agree or disagree with what? "Time will tell," isn't an argument, it's journalistic filler.

Posted by: Gringocho | July 28, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Thanks BadgerOne. Wow! That Gallup poll isn't being posted anywhere by the major media. I finally found it on Real Clear Politics. The major news outlets are suppressing it pretty well. But since USA Today and Gallup do it it will have to come out in USA Today. Although they tend to bury positive stories about McCain in the back pages. Thanks for the heads up. That it's likely voters versus registered voters is important, too. We all know 50% of registered voters don't vote.

Posted by: Tarheel | July 28, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the Berlin speech, the first poll since the speech was released today. It's from Gallup.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain moved from being behind by 6 points among "likely" voters a month ago to a 4-point lead over Democrat Barack Obama among that group in the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. McCain still trails slightly among the broader universe of "registered" voters. By both measures, the race is tight.

The Friday-Sunday poll, mostly conducted as Obama was returning from his much-publicized overseas trip and released just this hour, shows McCain now ahead 49%-45% among voters that Gallup believes are most likely to go to the polls in November. In late June, he was behind among likely voters, 50%-44%.

Posted by: BadgerOne | July 28, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I liked Sen. Obama and still do except for a Presidential candidate.
I voted for Hilary in the primary as she did not flip flop her answers when asked a question.
That is a problem.
I did not like the Berlin speech. What country is Obama trying to run for President? The Muslim countries or the US?
I understood Obama to say he wanted all walls to come down, including the Muslims and other non christian countries. He wanted to present the Muslims to the US. Obama wanted to Show America was wrong in their beliefs about the Muslim.

America believes you do not kill because someone has another faith. Will America let the Christians be cowed down that they cannot preach the truth from the Holy Bible?
What do the Muslims do, to Muslims that turn to Christians?Do they execute them and chop off their head or what? Do they get 7 virgins when they give up their life and kill christians? Does the family kill daughters or wives if they commit adultry?
God loves all sinners. He said we cannot serve two masters. We will love one and dispise the other, etc. Peace is something we all want. I truly believe World Wide peace will never be, until the Lord comes again.

Posted by: sincere texan | July 28, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with Katherine. That history ultimaely will judge the true impact of a speech? A resounding duh! Even Lincoln thought the gettysburg address was ineffective.

Posted by: Nareg | July 28, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Why can Obama draw a crowd of some 200,000+ Germans?

Could McCain draw that kind of crowd?

Obama represents the side of America that many in the world still admire: Fair, smart, industrious, and even-handed.

The "extreme arrogance" of the Bush Administraion is indicative of the worst that America has to offer.

The Germans just showed us that they, and all Europeans, would welcome America's return to sanity. And leadership.

Posted by: AdrickHenry | July 28, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I have to say, Chris, that this column is a bit of an empty tease and quite disappointing. Where's the beef?

Posted by: Katherine Kennedy | July 28, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

This is a real problem in English and many languages. Some languages have two pronouns for "we/us"--one for "we" exclusive of "you" and one for "all of us together." But Gary, come on, use the context to figure this one out. Considering Obama kept referring to the people of the world, I believe "us" was absolutely everyone.

Posted by: kater | July 28, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Gary ...LOL

The continued use by you and your ilk of the words arrogant and presumptuous to describe Sen Obama rings like substitutes for old fashioned terms when you did not like to see minorities appear or present themselves in positive lights.

"Me" think you, McShame, the neo-cons, the republicans and many pundits who use these code words protest too much. Your language is decipherable and you fool no one!

Posted by: Vgirl1 | July 28, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse


I don't think you need an Ivy League education to realize using "us" is inclusive ...not exclusive.

How you come up with (I can't stop chuckling) Obama using the word "us" as "arrogant"

is just... sorry...stupid. and I don't have an Ivy League education.

Posted by: dl | July 28, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

For every beginning there is an end. To every end, there is another beginning. It was clear watching a thoughtful Obama in front of a 200,000 Germans strong crowd hungry for a different American face. The Old World has always loved this New World. This New World offers hope, it feeds imagination, it nourishes dreams, and so, when a smirking Bush offered the old message of vengeance and crusade after 9/11, the love gushed on us from different parts of the globe quickly dried up. It is not because vengeance is never justified, it is just that forgiveness is so, so much more charismatic.

It isn't that Americans have lost our innocence; it is that our security and our sense of safety have been coopted by the greed of a few. So the timing is perfect for this young man from Chicago who professes change just as it was perfect for the young PT boat soldier who stood up against the negativity of a calculating and conniving politician. It is to his credit that Obama continues to be himself and does not aspire to take on the mantel of JFK or RR or WJC or another President. It is to his credit that this young Senator has read the tea leaves of his times and concluded that this is the time for an American to call himself a citizen of the world instead of continuing to mutter the empty and vitriolic bumper sticker We're Number 1. It is to his credit that he continues to dare to be intelligent and thoughtful while those around him feed on spin, on script, on numbers and on facts.

There is yet a part of me who wonders as a first generation American: has the curve of civilization passed this New World? Has it become old? Has it lost its edge? There is a part of me which wonders if the change Obama offers can be done as I hear the comments and the reactions of those who continue to refuse to vote for him no matter how ignorant, how hateful, how full of venom his opponents are.

With some imagination and some intelligence, we can all realize this is the world this New World has always offered. That's the reality which has somehow been rendered questionable by the actions of a few. Once before, faced with the choice between Nixon and JFK, a hopeful nation chose the younger man. This nation has been wounded and turned inside out, upside down in this "moral" era of the far right. Will we Americans make the choice that will lift our nation back within the brotherhood of the world? Will we understand that we still carry the hope of the world without needing to beat our chest?

Posted by: Quan | July 28, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Cgris I disagree with many who say this was more a speech for Americans back home.

Maybe the words but the "greatness" of the speech and the entire trip for that matter is that the world saw this.

What Obama did with a visual image of 200,000 people from a foreign country waving American flags and world leaders praising not only obama but what makes "America great"

is priceless and a material that because of McCain's choice of aligning with Bush 95% of the time...

he and the country would somewhat throw in those same faces if he were to be elected.

Unfortunately because of the choices that McCain has made like the good will we received from Septemeber 11's tragedy... a Mccain win would be like what Bush did with that good will.

That is the bottom line...

the speech is great for what it did to motivate the ball being back in our playing field as a country.

as would Obama's election...

unfortunately again for McCain supporters that is the truth.

Posted by: dl | July 28, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

its time the American people are aware that they can start to be proud again to be a USA citizen
What a fascinating inspiting man will represent your country even with the help of many great advisres.
I will be proud again after so many years that I have many friends in America/

Posted by: Prof Hoek | July 28, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Obama's use of the first person emphasis when he said, "The time has come for us" is so filled with arrogance and hubris that I can't believe Americans will reasonate with it. Narcissism is in among many but we don't like to have a leader who is so blatantly narcissistic.

The time is not just for the young, Ivy League bunch but also for working class Americans who Obama resents.

Posted by: Gary | July 28, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

This is one of the most pointless posts I can remember on The Fix. CC points out that everyone loved Obama's speech, but maybe they won't look back at it so fondly in a few years. So what? That can happen to any speech or any event. It's meaningless. You could make this same post after every speech given by any candidate and it would be equally accurate. It's just filler.

Posted by: Blarg | July 28, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

JD - If you still descend into this morass -
what do you think of Summers' opinion, expressed at

I am guessing you opposed the FNMA guarantee ab initio, but now that it has occurred, do you think the boundaries expressed in the article make sense?

Posted by: MarkInAustin | July 28, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Capt.Howard - While junkets for pols are, as you suggest, less than earthshaking, did you criticize McC and Joe for their ME junket or McC for traveling to the UK, South America, and Canada on a candidate junket? Did you criticize McC for his very political Canadian speech, designed to draw distinctions based on NAFTA and other issues between him and BHO?

No. And neither did I. We hardly get to complain now b/c BHO was well received on his junket.

The junkets are made to allow us to imagine these men as Prez. Subliminally, they probably work.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | July 28, 2008 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Rock Concert and Free Food and Beer at Obama's Speech

Will Media Report Concert Before Obama's Berlin Speech?
By Noel Sheppard

Remember back in May when media gushed and fawned over a huge crowd in Portland, Oregon -- supposedly gathered to hear the words of Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama -- but chose not to report the free concert given before his speech?
Well, it has been learned that before the presumptive Democrat nominee spoke to a crowd in Berlin Thursday, two popular German acts -- reggae artist Patrice and rock band Reamonn -- entertained the gathering audience.

Will media report this tonight, or just gush and fawn over the huge crowd again?
While you ponder, here's what was reported by Spiegel Online moments ago (h/t Hot Air and Gateway):

++ Pop Concert for Obama Fans ++
6:33 p.m.: The tens of thousands of Obama fans are being entertained as they await the senator. The reggae musician Patrice kicked things off, followed by the rock band Reamonn.

I'm sure this will be part of ALL media reports concerning this speech...not!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2008 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone tell me how this speech in Germany is going to affect American lives? This whole international trip of Obama's was only a show for the media. It was a great political strategy, but it won't solve one problem for Americans. The man is only candidate, not the President. If he wants to be a citizen of the world let him spend his life travelling. I'd rather my President was a citizen of the United States of America.

People, you need to start looking at substance, not glitz! So far, I haven't seen much substance from either candidate, but I have to admit Obama is putting on the better show. The show must go on, and on, and on.......

Posted by: Capt. Howard | July 28, 2008 6:53 AM | Report abuse

The response to Obama and his speech has been very positive in Europe. I have lived in Europe for 5 years and the general consensus is that he is very well liked and they respond more to Obama then McCain. Obama is the fantasy candidate for Europeans; he embodies 2 of the greatest hero's of modern American political history, Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy.

The speech delivered the other day was full of symbolism, there lies the problem, Obama said everything that Europeans wanted to hear, 'I am a world citizen', 'we must work together', and more. He is their projected wish fantasy of all their hopes and dreams for a social democratic leader in the model of the European example. The realities, of course, are much different; Obama is not a social democratic but rather a pragmatic politician who creates policy to reflect the current orthodoxy (2 examples are his turn around on religion in public government, and his soften approach to a complete withdrawal).

Ultimately, they have put him on such a pedestal that he is bound to fall as he will not be able to deliver on all the lofty expectations of the Europeans. In his speech he used eloquent symbols for describing the world of tomorrow. However, without substance and being able to deliver, symbols become mere words. The speeches that have stayed with us are the ones that have delivered on the words spoken. Talk, at the end of the day, is just that talk.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2008 3:12 AM | Report abuse

IBM, while it may mean nothing to the business at hand of governing the country, the Edwards story will have a very loud and disruptive effect for at least the next month or two of the political race itself. If you don't believe this, then you are more optimistic about human nature than I am.

Posted by: Disappointed in Fix | July 28, 2008 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Hey IBM who cares what you think this blog has never been anything but Obama's PR department. Chris is not jumping on alot of stories harmful to his Puppetmaster Obama.

Posted by: Leader | July 28, 2008 12:58 AM | Report abuse

To Disappointed:

This is a POLITICAL site. I don't care about John Edwards' supposed "love child". I want political news and commentary. This is what this site is about.

You might want to know who is "bedding" who, but really it means nothing at the end of the day.

You might want to direct your inquiries to the "National Enquirer" to satisfy your incredibly moronic search for "affairs and liasons".

Posted by: IBM (yes those are my real initals) | July 28, 2008 12:43 AM | Report abuse

McCain graduated from Annapolis in 1958, 790th in a class of 795. McCain was in the bottom 1% of his class (actually the bottom 0.76%)

And the Navy allowed him to fly even though he barely passed math. (Yes, all those vectors and math calculations that pilots have to deal with). His strong subjects during his time at Annapolis were Literature and History - hardly something that leads to becoming a pilot. He must have had his father influence something.

Also, it is no wonder he got shot down. He probably didn't know where the borders where back in that era. Geography - another weakness. The Iraq/Afghanistan border - hey everyone - it DOES NOT EXIST. There is this little problem nation called IRAN in between them.

The man is not inquisitive, thought-searching and - most of all - not taking the time to THINK, ANALYZE and ASSESS an issue.

Eight years ago, he might of been the best of the choices facing the voters had he won the nomination (as opposed to Bush Jr.)

Today, he is just scary.

Posted by: IBM (and yes they are my real initials). | July 28, 2008 12:29 AM | Report abuse

McCain is coming off like a nut more and more.


Posted by: Anonymous | July 28, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

I LOVE this site-- I come here every day (embarrassingly), several times a day. But I am really disappointed in Chris Cilizza who is glaringly holding punches on the Edwards love child story. This is going to be **massive**, and I am depressed that The Fix wasn't the first to step up.

Posted by: Disappointed in Fix | July 28, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Connie, you make no sense but I see where the act is going. Those over 50 are not all sterotypes of senility like you would like to portray others your age Connie.

Posted by: Moniker | July 27, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse


• Due process denied, the Constitution discarded by "extra-legal control mechanism" said to resemble KKK, Stasi

• "Anti-terrorism" programs fund vigilantes?

• When will Chertoff and Mukasey take action?


A virulent form of "domestic terrorism" is destroying the rule of law in America.

Victims of so-called "gang stalking" or "community stalking" charge that the rule of law has broken down nationwide at the hands of state-funded vigilantes -- operating under the cover of citizen "volunteer" programs and corps.

Organized groups of private citizens, supported and funded by elements of government at multiple levels, are the backbone of an "extra legal" control mechanism that is said to be denying citizens their constitutional right of due process under the law.

Victims of community-based "gang stalking" say this extra-legal vigilante militia is patrolling the streets, stalking and harassing, allegedly inflicting physical harm upon persons targeted by this extra-legal control mechanism.

Even uniformed police are reported to have been intimidated by this network of extra-legal control, using volunteer citizens as the "street muscle."

Victims say that in addition to being physically harassed, their property is being vandalized; their privacy is being invaded; their mail is intercepted, financial and billing statement altered, family finances decimated; and their physical well-being has been compromised, using hi-tech modes of physical punishment.

Victims charge that a network of government programs appears to work in tandem with this extra-legal control mechanism, using the unchecked power of the bureaucracy to erode the financial, physical and social well-being of individuals and families -- often a silent degradation that becomes known to the targets only after the damage is done.


That is the charge from victims who say they are being persecuted and denied their legal rights.


Some of the agencies looking into those matters may have long-standing knowledge of these programs.


President Clinton often talked about "the politics of personal destruction." Hillary Clinton warned against the "vast right-wing conspiracy," a concern she reaffirmed, albeit in milder descriptive language, in her autobiography, "Living History."

The network of programs and policies that are allegedly circumventing the judicial system, violating constitutional rights and meting out vigilante justice, might collectively be termed the MECHANICS of personal destruction.

It's alleged to be happening all over, in virtually every city and town and county in the nation -- including right there in Washington and in bedroom communities across the river.

It is the rule of the jungle supplanting the rule of law. And there is testimony from victims that horrific, silent and potentially deadly microwave, laser and x-ray weapons -- "directed energy weapons" which are replacing traditional armaments -- are being used by rogue elements to slowly degrade the health and destroy the livelihoods of targeted persons.

I wonder aloud whether Bill and Hillary Clinton weren't trying to warn the rest of us about an evil that even the power of the presidency could not keep in check.

I know your beat is politics. Chris. But politics, and the entire electoral process, is being marginalized, relegated to little more than window dressing, as true power is stolen away by a neo-fascist element that has found a way to seize the reins of power and authority. It is analogous to what John Dean called "a cancer" -- not just on the presidency, but on the entire body politic.

Amazing as it sounds, this powerful apparatus appears to exist under the radar of most elected members of Congress. Those who should know, perhaps they believe such programs exist to target "terrorists," so-called enemies of the state. They naively refuse to believe that these programs, over time, appear to have morphed into a vast system of extra-legal vigilante control not unlike the East German Stasi, the KKK of the old South, the Gestapo of the Nazi Third Reich -- and that these programs effectively deny innocent American citizens their constitutional rights.

This appears to be nothing less than neo-fascism under the guise of "national security" and "keeping America safe." And liberals and progressives, arguably disproportionately targeted by these programs, naively insist that "it can't happen here." Only the Libertarians seem to perceive the threat.

Whoever is elected the next president will inherit these programs. That person, if he learns of such programs, is likely to be told of their necessity and propriety -- that such an extra-legal control mechanism, employing citizen vigilantes as street "muscle" and extra-legal programs targeting financial resources, can co-exist with democracy.

In fact, this extra-legal control mechanism is destroying our democracy; much damage already has been done. Individuals and families are being slowly destroyed. Some call it a "silent holocaust" due to its clandestine nature and the use of silent, invisible directed energy technology.

I've written about this neo-fascist threat based on first-hand experience. I do so at risk to my personal well-being. But I do so because there is a crisis in our nation; the boil must be lanced before the national body politic becomes fatally infected.

Here are the links to two articles I've written about this imminent danger to our constitutional democracy. I urge you and your colleagues to study this issue, do some research, and start asking some tough questions, starting with the Department of Homeland Security:

"Mr. Chertoff, are you aware that many Americans believe they have been the victims of so-called community or gang stalking, possibly perpetrated by persons equipped and trained by federally funded volunteer programs under your charge? Have you heard of such reports, and are you investigating to ensure that these programs and their resources are not being misused?"

That would be a good place to start. I believe it goes much deeper; but the curative process must begin before more Americans are seriously damaged by this descent from the rule of law to the nihilist rule of the jungle.

A FINAL NOTE: My communications are subject to constant disruption. I would appreciate it if Fix readers would forward the links below to people you know at the,, or any other group that could help. I can't do this alone; and I have put myself at some risk already.


Posted by: scrivener | July 27, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Folks it has been fun , good-night. OBAMA 08

Connie from Indiana

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Moniker: My brother was a good guy . As far as age bashing , just blame it on my age. That how all of us seniors do. Was it McSenile that said he was older than dirt,then laughed at his self. GOT YOU on this one. OBAMA 08 Connie from Indiana

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

I get it Connie. Your brother gave veterans a bad rap but Mcsenile? Come on! And you are a senior citizen age bashing? Something is not right about you.

Posted by: Moniker | July 27, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Moniker; I believe you repubs have decided that because McSenile served and was a pow that qualifies him to be president. With his age I am saying if that is the qualification to being president on day one he needs to pick a vp that has served also. I do not believe there is one on his list. I will take intelligence over servicing, something we have been lacking in a leader with the last president.Sorry I guess he was lacking both. OBAMA 08
Connie from Indiana

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Moniker, I am always serious that is why I am voting for Barack Obama.We can not take another four years like the last seven and a half.As disrespecting a veteran, I believe John McSenile has done that over and over by the way he has voted on bills for Veterans. As a senior citizen myself I know he is not fit to be president. I had a brother that was shot in WW2 and lost a lung, believe me he wasn't presidential material either. Obama 08
Connie from Indian

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm not calling him silly names Connie. Barrack or Barack go figure that does not rise to the level of disrepect. Act your age not your shoe size. By the way, what was your point, about VP serving or not Connie?

Posted by: Moniker | July 27, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

McCain is going to pick Pawlenty.

He can't pick Romney because Republicans have conditioned their evangelical base to see Mormons as freaks.

And picking Portman ties McCain in too closely with Bush's failed economic policies.

And Jindals does amateur exorcisms, which is a bit much, if not for the looney christian right then for the marketing gurus who's job it is to exploit the loonies.

Posted by: Republicans are DUMB | July 27, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Moniker: if you do not want to disrespect McSenile you may want to spell his name with two C's OBAMA 08
Connie from Indiana

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

"Afghanistan is the war on terror."

Explain how.

Posted by: Chet Lemon


Bro, tell me that you are joking.

Posted by: Republicans are DUMB | July 27, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I know cocaine is bad.

Posted by: Doris | July 27, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

"Afghanistan is the war on terror."

Explain how.

Posted by: Chet Lemon | July 27, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Connie you are serious, I hoped you were just playing dumb. You win and I don't know if Mcain will choose a VP that served or not. Lets say his VP choice, whoever it maybe did not serve. Go, Connie, go. And feel free to continue disrepecting a veteran like Mcain just because Obama does it.

Posted by: Moniker | July 27, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

To Doris, you may want to be careful,I believe John McSenile just barely graduated ,fifth from the bottom of his class and he admitted he almost failed because of his drinking and partying. Obama 08
Connie from Indiana

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Bush did coke too. So what? And McCain is the biggest joke. He tries to be so sanctimonious about the environment but he's missed every single important environ vote this year. Obama and Clinton both made 11 of 15.

And McCain's charge of sedition against Obama is ludicrous. Does anyone really believe that Obama wants our troops to lose? If it were up to him we wouldn't have fought Iraq II at all.

Believe what you want but McCain lied to the country when he help Bush sell his war to Americans. He broke his oath. He lost his honor.

Afghanistan is the war on terror. Iraq is the war for oil. McCain and Bush lied.

For those of you who believed it, well, as Bush would say, "fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice, we can't get fooled again..."

Posted by: Republicans are DUMB | July 27, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

"...almost exclusively positive."

Yeah, "exclusively" from the Lefty press.

The thing was an absolute, unmitigated dud that did Obama more harm than good.

"Citizen of the world" seems to be running for President of the World.

Posted by: Chet Lemon | July 27, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Obama is getting a bounce. And this 9 or 12% lead is probably really 12 or 15% when you factor in increased participation this year by young and black voters. I wonder how big the lead will get after the convention, especially if Gen. Powell is the surprise keynote speaker. And after the debates when McCain flubs a economic policy response...

Posted by: McCain's gonna get smoked | July 27, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Duh, to: Republicans are DUMB, Mcain found time to do both while Obama got his freak on with cocaine.

Posted by: Doris | July 27, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Moniker: Don't have a puppy and I believe that McSenile probably has not driven for years,you know the rich have drivers. So your question should have been did his driver run over my puppy.And again flinging mud to avoid answering the question , which of McSeniles VP choices have served? OBAMA 08

Connie from Indiana

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Sen. Obama is performing public service for our country as we speak.

So typical for Republicans to think that the only way to serve your country is in the military.

Knuckleheads. You need Obama and new educational policies more than you'll ever know.

Posted by: Republicans are DUMB | July 27, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Mcsenile? Are we disrespectful because Mcain ran over your puppy or Obama supporters just think its the thing to do?
Ask Mcain Connie, all I know is Mcain served Obama did not. But you say Obama not serving does not matter but it seems pretty important to you if Mcain's VP choice served? I'll remind you Obama did not serve. Okay it is your turn Connie, go.

Posted by: Moniker | July 27, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Sen. McCain would be well cast as a warlord giving speeches like this:

Blood and destruction shall be so in use
And dreadful objects so familiar
That mothers shall but smile when they behold
Their infants quarter'd with the hands of war;
All pity choked with custom of fell deeds:
And Caesar's spirit, ranging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch's voice
Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war;
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.

Posted by: McCain = Warlord | July 27, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

It was a good speech, but not one that historians will refer to as being particularly noteworthy. It likely won't even be particularly noteworthy as a significant moment of the campaign.

Posted by: bsimon | July 27, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Moniker: I know what I said" All of our presidents have not served", was a statement.That was because you all seem to believe only a Veteran is fit to be president. The question that you seem to not want to answer is which one of McSeniles VP choices have served? OBAMA 08
Connie from Indiana

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Get that sludge out of your veins Obama junkie.

Posted by: Clean and Sober | July 27, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Monike: I know what I said" All of our presidents have not served", was a statement.That was because you all seem to believe only a Veteran is fit to be president. The question that you seem to not want to answer is which one of McSeniles VP choices have served? OBAMA 08
Connie from Indiana

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Obama's speech was good given his predicament (i.e. being only a presidential candidate at this stage). Obama was not speaking as the president of the United States even many of the pundits want to view it that way so they can compare Obama to past president speeches.

Past major speeches are always viewed from a "hindsight is 20/20" stance. When Bush did his "mission accomplished" speech, at the time, most of America as well as the political pundits, like Robert Schlesinger, though Bush's speech was excellent. It is only 5 years after that speech that these so-called "knowledgeable political pundits" can over-analyzed and now criticize when their own positions and analysis was different in April of 2003!

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | July 27, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Posting trouble this is what you said Veteran1.

"He and Fox news dared Obama to go overseas and when he did,"

Posted by: Jerry | July 27, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

It's not what I'm saying it's what you said veteran1. Here is what you said below.

All McCain did was call Obama a traitor for being willing to loose a war to win a campaign.

they spent the week criticizing him for it. How immature is that?

Posted by: Jerry | July 27, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

"All of our presidents have not served.", is what you said Connie. I was just being sarcastic.

Posted by: Moniker | July 27, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what you're trying to say.

Posted by: Veteran1 | July 27, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

To Moniker: If you do not know who served you may want to Google, I believe Bush 41 was the last one. But for being so intelligent I ask which one of John McSeniles VP choices have served, like Romney, Jindal etc. I guess if that is a prerequisite for being president they had better start floating some other names. OBAMA 08
Connie from Indiana

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

What lies Veteran1 you said it yourself Obama got wound up and spun like a top. Real presidential

Posted by: Jerry | July 27, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

The was the Gulf War you know Skippy.

Posted by: Totrue | July 27, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure Grant, and Kennedy served to name just two for you off hand.

Posted by: Moniker | July 27, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Veteran2 I like how you hold it against Barack Obama that he didn't participate in a war that ended when he was 14.

Posted by: SkippyFlipjack | July 27, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

To Moniker and Veteran 2, All of our presidents have not served.Please tell me which one of McSeniles vp choices have served?Geo.Bush served ,but never showed up, Dick Cheney never served. I am sure this is just a few of your hero's.You both are talking about those of us who blog for Obama just like your hero John McSenile, that some how we do not love our country.Thats the repubs way if you can't win insult by throwing dirt. Well listen up the American people are going to speak in November and they are going to say "not this time repubs, not this time". OBAMA 08

Connie from Indiana

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Hey "Get It?": Apparently it's you who doesn't understand satire, if you really believe that Kerry "dissed" the troops as "uneducated". It's amazing how many people don't know the truth (because the media found it more fun to perpetuate the "dis") and sadder how many more know the truth but enjoy willful ignorance better.

Posted by: SkippyFlipjack | July 27, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Jerry, go ahead and vote for McCain. That is your right and I have no fault for that. I support Obama but would never try to deny any one the right to choose. I only require that we have an honest discussion of the facts. These smears and lies are sickening and I am just really tired of it. People can have their differences and still get along. That is what I fought for and that is what I am proud of in America.

Posted by: Veteran1 | July 27, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

wow, we're scraping the barrel in terms of quality comments on the topic.

Okay, my 2 cents on the actual blog topic:

I agree that speeches age just as wine does, and some get much better while others sour. The Berlin speech was very good, and I predict it will age well. It's not the South Carolina acceptance speech, or the race speech, or even some of his subdued but well-researched policy speeches, but it is a very good speech. If Obama is elected President, it will be re-visited with more scrutiny and would likely represent a cornerstone of US international aspirations for years to come. It did not set policy, but it did do a good job of highlighting the values of democracy that Obama hopes to restore.

Posted by: Beth in VA | July 27, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Veteran1 are you really saying Obama was double dog dared and caved by going overseas.
Wow, sign me up for Mcain no sitting on the fence for me any longer.

Posted by: Jerry | July 27, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

All McCain did was call Obama a traitor for being willing to loose a war to win a campaign. He and Fox news dared Obama to go overseas and when he did, they spent the week criticizing him for it. How immature is that?

Posted by: Veteran1 | July 27, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Tell that to my baby, my only youngest left in my family and her boys. Obama seems to gather followers with no respect for anything this country stands for. Mcsenile, old, wheelchairs... He is not to be discriminated against due to his age just like Obama is not to be discriminated against due to his race. Obama called him confused but Mcain did not call Obama anything but Senator. I'm voting for Mcain you do as you please.

Posted by: Veteran2 | July 27, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Veteran 2;

I also saw combat. I served 2 tours in Vietnam, winning two bronze stars, two army commendation medals and a purple heart.
That in itself, does not qualify me as a candidate for president.
You say that Obama scares you and I would like to know why?
Another 1st term senator from Illinois without any military service served as president and did a pretty good job. He was Abraham Lincoln.
Alot of people holler that McCain supports the troops but does he really? He has voted against every attempt to increase VA funding, he voted against the GI Bill, he voted for extending tours of duty in Iraq, he voted for the Iraq war, he voted against raising military pay. Just where in all of that does it show that he supports the troops?
John McCain is a veteran, a hero (who, by the way, violated the Military Code of Justice by collaborating with his captors and making propoganda tapes. I don't blame him for that, but it is a fact that he redily admits to in his book. The Code of Justice has since been changed but was in effect at the time of his capture, and has served his country well. But that does not make him a leader. He has flip-flopped on almost every issue that made him a "maverick" in his early years. His temper is legendary, he showed a remarkable lack of integrity in the "Keating 5" scandal, he divorced his disfigured wife to marry a pretty millionaire upon returning to the states after his imprisonment. He seems to get confused when he has go deal with more than one topic at a time. His wife had to bail his campaign out when he nearly bankrupted it in 2007. He has fired almost all of his original campaign staff. I mean, if he runs the country like he runs his campaign, we will be in a lot of trouble.
So don't tell me how Obama scares you, he is intelligent, thoughtful and so calm under pressure that Republicans like to refer to him as aloof.
Do me a favor and study the stark contrasts between these two men and maybe you'll understand why so many of us are excited about his candidacy.
By the way, I was a Republican all of my life until George Bush, Dick Cheney, Alberto Gonzalez, John Yoo, Scooter Libbey, David Addelton, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly showed me the errors of my ways.

Posted by: Veteran1 | July 27, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

There are no people like you Veteran2 becuase you probably are some phoney. Obama will not be needing a wheelchair ramp in his White House.

Posted by: Obama08 | July 27, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm just gonna try and keep quiet after hearing Veteran2 but my hats off to all you veterans. Mcain should be treated with more respect by Obama. This is after all a Veteran himself who cares how long ago he served. The colors of our countries flag do not run or truly fade with age.

Posted by: Jerry | July 27, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I once was pinned down. Firing an enemy machine gun until the barrel actually glowed red. I was affraid then, enough to piss myself without realizing it. Fear is a healthy emotion years ago, I swear it kept me alive. One choice over another made the diffrence then. That one movie recount of reaching over and touching a pile of goo that used to be your friend is not exaggerated. People did not come home. Veteran1 should remember. Mcain does not scare people like me as Obama.

Posted by: Veteran2 | July 27, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Well Veteran 2, you are right that McCain served in the military and that Obama did not. Is that a crime? Does that disqualify him from office? Does that make McCain a better leader than Obama?
With that type of thinking then you must have voted for John Kerry and not George Bush, who had his daddy get him into the National Guard to avoid duty in Vietnam. If you didn't vote for Kerry, then you're nothing more than a hypocrite.

Posted by: Veteran1 | July 27, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Moniker, the fact that McCain, some 40 years ago, served as a Navy pilot - he was never a troop - in no way guarantees his support for today's troops. Regardless, he may well care, but if true, he'll have the votes to prove it. Or not.

Posted by: jhbyer | July 27, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Hey Veteran1 Mcain or Obama is a no brainer. Mcain is one of us and took one for America. Obama stayed home and did coke. They both ended up in the same place and thats America but who is more American than a man that serves this country in time of war. One gave for this country the other just takes a free ride.

Posted by: Veteran2 | July 27, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

I am getting a little tired of all this "Obama" bashing by ignorant Republicans. After all, Obama and his wife Michelle are products of our wonderful country. No one gave them anything. They didn't get their education paid for by "daddy" or get into the Naval Academy through their father's and grandfather's connections. They worked hard for it, borrowed money for it and were successful at it. Both graduated with honors at or near the top of their class. They both came from lower middle income families and were instilled with middle class values and work ethics. Obams's family even had to live off food stamps for awhile but it did not deter his determination to succeed. Neither of them have been an alcoholic, an underachiever or a "party" person. They have just gone about their business succeeding in everything they have done. They have raised two wonderful, well-behaved and typically American daughters in a religious and caring environment.
Yet, for some reason, Republicans can't help but try to tear this family down. Why is that? Is it their nature to do so? When they have a very weak candidate and are reaping the sorrows of their parties 8 years in office, maybe that's all they are capable of.
Now, I would like to talk about Iraq. Obama wants to pull out the combat troops from Iraq in a responsible manner ("we need to be as careful in leaving Iraq as we were careless in going to Iraq"). The Iraqi government and the Iraqi people also want us to withdraw from Iraq. The vast majority of the American people want us to withdraw from Iraq. So, in my humble opinion, if we don't withdraw per Iraqi wishes, we are then forcibly OCCUPYING Iraq and will and should be regarded as a rogue nation engaging in an illegal occupation of a sovereign nation. So, where is that argument of staying until we decide to leave coming from? Are Republicans so self-absorbed that they insist that we get to decide the fate of Iraq and the Iraqi people?
In case those ignorant Republicans haven't been paying attention to the news, Obama just announced that he is convening an economic meeting with former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin; former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers; former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker; New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine; former Labor Secretary Robert Reich;chairman and CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt; and billionaire investor Warren Buffett. Now that seems like a serious and thoughtful effort on Obama's part to address our country's economic problems. On the other side, John McCain has relied on his former economic adviser, Phil Gramm, for his policies. The same Phil Gramm that deregulated the energy and banking industries that has directly led to our economic problems today.
To put it in simple terms for you Republicans - Obama does, McCain reacts.

Posted by: Veteran1 | July 27, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm calling the bluff on all who parrot the accusation that Obama's speeches lack substance. At least I hope you're parroting, because it's a confused notion. Reports have substance. Speeches, by definition, do not. Speeches express sentiment on one or more topics without reporting on the substance.

Did Lincoln's Gettysburg address have substance? MLKjr's "I have a dream" speech? Kennedy's "Ask not what your country can do for you"? Any of Churchill's, Reagan's, or FDR's speeches? If you think they did, you misapprehend the word's meaning or don't remember the speeches.

Excuse me. I need to go bang my head against a wall.

Posted by: jhbyer | July 27, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Mcain was a troop himself unlike Obama ever. So don't tell me Mcain does not have concern for the Men and Women in Uniform here and abroad.

Obama affraid he's just a little guy...
Pentagon kept him from going really? Obama was more concerned about appearances than anything else. The troops would not have been affected by Obama going only his Obama and his campaign. Obama even said so. No cameras or reporters as just a Senator visiting you dolt.

Still waiting for your excuses for Obama Connie.

Posted by: Moniker | July 27, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Mcain was a troop himself unlike Obama ever. So don't tell me Mcain does not have concern for the Men and Women in Uniform here and abroad.

Posted by: Moniker | July 27, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

To Moniker: Number one the troops overseas or anywhere else are not John McSeniles troops.The pentagon following the repubs dirty tricks kept Obama from going. Check John McSeniles votes on Veteran bills as opposed to how Senator Obama votes.Don't take my word Google it, see how your guy stands up for them. OBAMA 08
Connie from Indiana

Posted by: | July 27, 2008 7:06 PM

Obama affraid he's just a little guy...
Pentagon kept him from going really? Obama was more concerned about appearances than anything else. The troops would not have been affected by Obama going only his Obama and his campaign. Obama even said so. No cameras or reporters as just a Senator visiting you dolt.

Posted by: Moniker | July 27, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

I would rather take my chances with the "unknown skills" of Barack Obama, Chris,than take the so-called "skills" that McCain has. The only skills I see in McCain, are the ones that have to do with memory loss, tempermant, and pissing off leaders in other countries.
The other skill he has is TELLING UNTRUTH"S. He can't even read a prompter
without having absolutely no personality whatsoever. THE MAN IS A JOKE.

Posted by: patti m | July 27, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

re: BB

"Because Phil Gramm isn't running for President."

But he was functioning as McCain's economic brain, and he is corrupt. That was a major issue the press let by.

"unfortunately we don't have a functional FEC at the moment."

actually, we do. and tom delay's buddy was names chairman. and the press isn't reporting on the fec, but they are back at full strength and their first order of business should have been to stop mccain from spending any more money. he's already over the limit. again, a material issue that is going unreported.

"It was a multiplicity of factors, including a fundamental change in the nature of the American deployment. The US is paying for security provided by former insurgents. By your definition, any US monies spent in Iraq are bribes."

No, when we pay people to not shoot at us it is a bribe. Not all money spent there is a bribe, just the money we put in Iraqi pockets.

"A conspiracy by definition involves conspirators. Plural. If a reporter reports, no conspiracy exists."

When person A leaks grand jury testimony etc. to person B in the media there is a conspiracy.

Anyhow, you can believe what you want and vote for whom you want- it is a free country. Good evening,

Posted by: Anon #3 | July 27, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

To Moniker: Number one the troops overseas or anywhere else are not John McSeniles troops.The pentagon following the repubs dirty tricks kept Obama from going. Check John McSeniles votes on Veteran bills as opposed to how Senator Obama votes.Don't take my word Google it, see how your guy stands up for them. OBAMA 08
Connie from Indiana

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Guy in diner you weren't the person escorted out for flashing. I heard there was a ruckus but the ladies they said it was no big thing.

Posted by: Moniker | July 27, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

I don't get it. Drudge reports today Barack got a big bump from his overseas trip; he's up 9 now. I personally thought McCain would be the one who got the bump, especially after his stirring speech before us five people at Joe's Diner in Dayton. Well, six people if you include Aunt Maybelle, 'ceptin' she didn't eat. It was a fine speech, too: I had chicken fried steak, potato salad, and rice puddin', and then washed it down with strawberry Kool-Aid. Best speech I ever had. Those 200,000 in Germany couldn't have had it better than we did at Joe's Diner. Did they have strawberry Kool-Aid?

Posted by: Guy Who Heard Mac Speech In Diner | July 27, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Captain American Disinformation:

My "beef" with Obama is that he is running from his earlier positions on the issues.

Trying to paint that legitimate criticism as racial tells me that you may be among those who are paid to post here, to make mischief, and to take names.

Have a nice day.

Posted by: scrivener | July 27, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

To: posted at 6:34 PM, At least Mcain does not blow off are own troops overseas.

Posted by: Moniker | July 27, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

John McCain sure is a maverick, I'll give him that.

In just a week, he's managed to alienate the Iraqi Prime Minister, the Iraqi people, the American people, and the veterans community. The question is, is this the kind of maverick that we really want to see?

First, just after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki backed Barack Obama's plan for a timeline to redeploy from Iraq, Senator McCain stubbornly said that he would not listen to the Iraqis , despite past statements saying he would. This, despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of Iraqis want us to set some kind of timeline, that the American people want some kind of timeline, and that the Bush administration even had to cave on timelines.

In response, we at launched this ad, featuring Iraq War Veteran Brandon Woods. In the ad, Brandon makes clear - we fought in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and freedom means the Iraqi's sovereign government and the Iraqi people have the right to self-determination.

Then, at a town hall in Dover, NH, Senator McCain said we should ration care for veterans, by directing the VA to focus on those veterans who sustained injuries as a "direct result of combat."

As a letter veterans from 18 states sent to McCain today makes clear, this would be a retreat from a promise we've made to veterans ever since 1930 - that no matter how or when they received service-connected injuries, they would receive timely and quality care.

Further, McCain's new policy goes against every single veterans organization. Year after year, in the Independent Budget, the major veterans service organizations make clear that the answer to issues in VA care is not to cut or ration services, but to increase funding, which has been billions short for years.

So, there's your maverick. Not afraid to blow off foreign leaders, the population of other nations and the citizens of our own, or veterans and the organizations who look out for them. What's next, puppies and kids with special needs?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Moniker is right on target.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse


Ted Sampley, a Vietnam Veteran and former Green Beret, issued a CHALLENGE to John McCain "If you can show us that the information presented in our mailer is untruthful . . . we will Stand Down" This CHALLENGE was issued during an interview with INSIDE EDITION on January 17, 2008.
John, family members of Vietnam POW/MIA(s) have been waiting for more then 14 years for you to have the courage to face them eye to eye in front of the American Public - Here is your opportunity for some "STRAIGHT TALK." Stop hiding behind your fabricated "War Hero" persona. You know we can prove your collaborations with declassified government documents . . . It is time for the American people to get to know the REAL John McCain - the John McCain that the POW/MIA families witnessed during the 1991-93 US Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs .
Bring It On John! HERE IS OUR NUMBER 252-527-0442

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Anon#3 - I assume I'm talking to the same person, but one never knows. It'd be easier [rant if YOU'D JUST PICK A HANDLE /rant].

"Gramm's wife was also on the board at Enron. Hello. The point is that he's hip deep in the scandal, and that the press hasn't called him out on it. Why?"

Because Phil Gramm isn't running for President. He did years ago and flamed out. Let me see. The candidate is responsible for the spouse of an advisor. How about his third cousin? Or dog? I have disliked the guilt by association attacks throughout this campaign. If you have a beef with McCain's policies, then spell it out. Or perhaps you think Rev. Wright will be taking over as chaplain at the Natl. Cathedral if Obama wins.

"Why hasn't the press called McCain out for skipping out of the matching campaign finance system, after having used it to secure a loan?"

Have you bothered reading here? This issue has been discussed IN DETAIL on the Post blogs. It's a borderline issue, but unfortunately we don't have a functional FEC at the moment.

"Why does the press talk about the surge in troops working, when in fact it was the surge in bribes paid to Sunnis?"

Here you are dead wrong. It was a multiplicity of factors, including a fundamental change in the nature of the American deployment. The US is paying for security provided by former insurgents. By your definition, any US monies spent in Iraq are bribes.

"When someone leaks something to the press it is, by definition, a conspiracy."

That's just plain stupid. A conspiracy by definition involves conspirators. Plural. If a reporter reports, no conspiracy exists. Check your Webster's. Or Wiki.

"And both sides are engaged in a bloodsport for economic and political control of the country. And they don't always play fair."

You finally said something correct. Politics ain't beanbag, bucko. I just don't see many folks on the comments section who know how to play the game.


Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I believe "Mission Unaccomplished" was in May 2003. Also, I think the point Chris makes is valid, but Obama wasn't speaking as a sitting Commander-in-Chief. His words did not have immediate consequences for many people in the U.S.

Posted by: Mike | July 27, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

If Obama gets elected there's no need to protest for someone stealing Obama's note off of the Wailing Wall. Israel will be no more. Once he cuts-and-runs and surrenders from the Mideast, he'll never go back if Israel is attacked no matter what he say's right now. He'll never risk another war there again and go through what GWB is going through now. About the only good side of a scenario like this is that we will save about $3 billion a year in aid.

Posted by: tic | July 27, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

It was a great speech, setting the stage for US/European co-operation on many fronts. Obama is good for America and her image. When did Republicans become heavy breathers? They have lost all ability to reason or present reasonable arguments. If I were a Republican I would be looking for McCain to step up his presentation and heighten the quality of the discussion to reflect my values. Instead, both he and his followers are presenting irrational/hysterical arguments and further damaging the lousy image Americans have of their party. I've never seen such a display! Winning is losing! Look at me! Look at ME! I've got nothing to say but I deserve attention anyway. What happened to meritocracy. Doesn't McCain even have to try and win the game or does he score all his points by yelling at the ref?

How can anyone "lead" when they are continually seen stamping their feet and looking pissed off at the slightest set back. Our enemies are not going to see it as a threat if McCain gets red-faced, shouts a couple of bad names and storms off the field. The threat to any rogue state is the number and quality of allegiances they face on the other side. Obama understands the game of global politics and he is showing he knows how to win it. McCain is showing incredible weakness and his fans are too.


Posted by: ignatious | July 27, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse


• And what kind of seminary student steals a private communication from a holy site?

• This journalistic desecration should be condemned by the Israeli government, the chief Rabbi and all decent human beings worldwide.

To the seminary student:

"Gay en drareht en bach bagel."

(Rough translation for the Yiddish-challenged: "Go to Hell and bake bagels.")

Israelis should boycott Ma'ariv!

Email the paper's owners and editors to tell them how you feel.

Posted by: avi | July 27, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I am amazed by what Senator Obama has accomplished. I have been in this country for 5 years and when I arrived I was struck at how poor and uneducated most blacks are. I could never figure out why most had children out of wedlock, sold drugs, and were in jail. I suppose it is the slave metality from generations ago but at some point they will have to take responsibility. I think that is the reason Senator Obama appeals to so many whites because he isn't 100% black. He has a black face but the mentality of a white person. That makes the vote palatable and they can feel good about themselves. I doubt many of these white voters would go for an Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson - just too black and they are for more representative of the black american - not Barack Obama.

Posted by: Rahiq Syed | July 27, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama will always get the America-hating European and Muslim Mideast vote because they think of him as one of their own. They know that Barack will kiss their a** and genuflect to their globalist god and Socialist/Communist ideas of a government-ubber-alles and a people nothing more than the peons of the almighty state. President George W. Bush and John McCain on the other hand they don't like because they're Americans first and stand for freedom of the individual and who believe in a government that governs least as governing the best.

Posted by: madhatter | July 27, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

"Scrivener," where to start? First, I'm not clicking on one of your bogus links and have my computer fried. Second, the Manchurian Candidate slur does not apply to BO. Interestingly, the Lawrence Harvey character was a brainwashed POW. Third, having HRC harpies scream and holler at the convention (again I am not talking about the reasonable HRCistas like Solis-Doyle and Rendell, just the losers) will "rescue" no one. It will just give Hannity, Rush, and Andrea Mitchell more filler for the broadcast day during the event. I've read your rants and name-calling against him, but to be honest, I'm not sure what your beef with BO is. I suspect it's that he's, uh, right-handed or he's an uppity, uh, right-handed person. That it? Sorry to bother you because I know the compound cafeteria closes at 5:45. Hurry...

Posted by: Captain America | July 27, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

To Moniker, you say the people of Germany did not even know Senator Obama they just wanted to be on world wide television. What problem does John McSenile have every one knows him and I think he has to pay people in the US to show up. Obama 08
Connie from Indiana

Posted by: | July 27, 2008 5:31 PM

I don't think Mcain is more concerned about illusion in Germany than Americans in America.

Posted by: Moniker | July 27, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Robert Schlesinger is a pathetic old fossil and Chris Cillizza is a foot-kissing journalistic scank. Other than that, there's not much to debate here.

Posted by: Peter Principle | July 27, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

To Moniker, you say the people of Germany did not even know Senator Obama they just wanted to be on world wide television. What problem does John McSenile have every one knows him and I think he has to pay people in the US to show up. Obama 08
Connie from Indiana

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

The average American, I think, has filtered the Berlin speech much like this...

Posted by: James | July 27, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Americans love to see their presidential candidates playing to a bunch of pacifist European crowds and apologizing for our country. That's just great. This guy is not as smart as his followers believe (watch him stumble and "ah" when he doesn't have a prepared speech)and I find him incredibly shallow and arrogant.

Posted by: D Truth | July 27, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

"Winnurs", I didn't really believe that you believed your drivel. I figured Bowling for Dollars just went off ESPN and you had nothing better to do than to provoke. But you really believed it -- I know because you repeated it: that being an idiot is a qualification for President. No, it isn't; it's just being stupid. By your logic, Jessica Simpson would be a slam-dunk winner. So would Rosie. I have to assume (don't you?) that if someone was 894th in his class he didn't just do poorly on exams, he probably didn't even bother showing up. How is that for taking responsibility? And BO was not an A/A student -- he was president of the Harvard Law Review -- that is by far the most prestigious honor a law student can receive. It seems too silly to mention this but Wilson, Eisenhower, JFK, Nixon, and Clinton were excellent students. Indeed, Clinton was a Rhodes scholar, and no (before you ask) it's "Rhodes," not "Roads." Look, Winnur, take a timeout, ask the sentry at the compound if you can leave and go into Mayberry or Mount Pilate for an hour or so to see what has happened in the world the last, oh, sixty years like integrated soda fountains and indoor plumbing and canned beans and cable TV. After that you'll have a new point of view.

Posted by: Captain America | July 27, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

When asked about racism Obama said inner-cities should not lay blame on it for there problems. They should not root out active racism. What an insult! Racism may not be the main factor in slums in my area but it is a factor still. He as a rich black man who's reporting it does not matter. Maybe for him! What a jerk.

Posted by: Tawanda | July 27, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Bad analysis Chris, Robert comparing the mission accomplished speech with Obama's Speech Thurs. in Germany? Get Real!

Posted by: Gordon | July 27, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Here's another way of analyzing the speech:

Most people able to find anything to fault in the speech are incapable of putting themselves in the position of delivering it. Few people (if there are any) who could command that sort of crowd would be able to make a speech of the quality Obama gave.

The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.

Posted by: FlownOver | July 27, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I am amazed by what Senator Obama has accomplished. I have been in this country for 5 years and when I arrived I was struck at how poor and uneducated most blacks are. I could never figure out why most had children out of wedlock, sold drugs, and were in jail. I suppose it is the slave metality from generations ago but at some point they will have to take responsibility. I think that is the reason Senator Obama appeals to so many whites because he isn't 100% black. He has a black face but the mentality of a white person.

Posted by: Rahiq Syed | July 27, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

so let me get this right-so-- many are comparing Obama with Hitler? You people on the side of the GOP make me laugh. You have all lost your minds to think for one second that John McCain, just because he is a hero and fought for our country, which I would not deny him, doesn't make him qualified to be commander and chief.
HE is the scary one, he cannot remember sh_t, and talk about a flip flopper, he would win in that category only in my book.
I truly cannot believe that people really buy in to all of his crap. There is so much that the mainstream is keeping from the public about him, and they take McCains word for gospel. Please do not believe everything he says. Do your homework people. This guy has an axe to grind when it comes to war, and I can guarantee if he were to somehow to miraculously be voted in-that there WILL be much more chaos in the world.
You obviously don't know sincerity when it is in front of your face......

Posted by: patti m | July 27, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Must be nice beach weather on the Jersey shore this weekend, eh Chris, hence mailing it in?

The real shock isn't what Obama SAID in Deutschland, it's the VISUAL of hundreds of thousands of people in Europe who were NOT PROTESTING the visit of an American politician.

It's been a long time since we've seen thatl.

Posted by: boscobobb | July 27, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Someone else said it best. How many of these Germans knew anything about Obama before hand. More likely they were trying to be on worldwide television.

Posted by: Moniker | July 27, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

We all know Democrats are more intelligent. John Kerry, 2.76. George Bush, 2.77
Al Gore: Invented the Internet
Charles Rangel, Tax Man. Somehow has 4 Primary Residences.
Teddy Kennedy. Driving Instructor.
Bill Clinton: The Definition Of Is.
Yeah, the Beltway Brain Trust.
Just ask 'em.
Let's trot out a few drug addicted Hollywood stars who dropped out of high school to rally the Dems.

Let's just admit the Republicans did not corner the market on stupidity.

NO ONE thinks McCain is better at speech giving and reading a Teleprompter than Obama.

He's the Einstein of Telegenesis.

And, unfortunately, not much more. Fluff.

Posted by: Mensa or Densa? | July 27, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

so some of you actually think that mccain is more intelligent than obama?

wow. we do need educational reform in this country!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Seems like a variation of the village retort than "this must be good for Republicans." And as for Bush's Mission Accomplished speech being well received, I'd say that owes more to the stupidity of the villagers than it actually being a good speech. Chris Mathews, after all, famously opined about the size of Bush's package that day.

All in all, Chris, a piss poor couple of efforts on your part today. David Broder would be proud.

Posted by: Greg in LA | July 27, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Hey Capn Crunch: Winnurs is a deliberate misspelling. It's frequently seen on T-shirts sold in Southern areas. It's poking fun at folks like you who THINK they are more intelligent. Sort of like the troops in Iraq after Kerry dissed them as "uneducate": "Halp Us Jon Kary We R Stuk in Irak." And I thought you Democrats understood satire: Obama in the New Yorker. Oh, sore point. Sorry.

Obama's attendance at a wealthy prep school and selection for an affirmative action minority quota HLS slot does not necessarily equate a huge intellect. He's no dummy. But neither is McCain. (Let's recall Dershowitz's spiral downfall, and a few of the other enormous gaffes at the People's Republic of Cambridge.)

And, if you knew history, you would recall that the leading Commanders (which is exceedingly well illustrated by Weasel Wesley Clark as the antithesis) rank ACADEMICALLY low in their classes. Check out Eisenhower, Patton, etc. Yes, Patton. He failed his plebe year.

So, if we are electing a President and Commander in Chief, I'll take McCain. If we are electing a pimply faced debate team captain for junior high, I'll take Obama. Well, maybe Michelle. She has a great angry "game face."

Posted by: Get It? | July 27, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

The only way this comparison makes any sense at all is if you're a conservative who's hell-bent on sullying Obama's speech and reputation. That's what "Fix friend" Robert Schlesinger is doing for his right-wing rag, U.S. News and World Report (which is just one shade of red lighter than National Review Online).

Subsequently, unless you're a truly stupid individual (and I'll give the benefit of the doubt and say that you're not that stupid, Chris), I can only conclude that you're just another disingenuous conservative who's trying to instill fear, uncertainty, and doubt about Barack Obama by attempting to undermine his universally regarded speech.

Posted by: buddhistMonkey | July 27, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I think the "Broder Syndrome" has taken over the fix. This is simply the silliest thing I have read on this blog space in a long time. Please take a nap, Chris, and start again.

Posted by: existential2000 | July 27, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

One wonders how the media forgot that there are hundreds of thousands of voting Americans living in Europe. Apparently they count about as much as the media counts the majority of Americans who are rather sick and tired of the Bush dynasty.

I suppose it isn't even remotely possible that voting Americans could have been in that crowd in Berlin.

Posted by: kevinbgoode | July 27, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Is the Republican brand so onerous to the American people that they constantly have to engage in this fear-and-smear nonsense, especially when they have no better a candidate than John McSame, a man the GOP themselves threw under the bus to deliver the country George W. Bush? And the American people are supposed to believe they have something "better" now in John McSame, who can't seem to remember one position from one day to the next?

And here we have this astounding comparison to the Dubya's "Mission Accomplished" "speech". . .as if the Dubya has ever been very good at delivering an address before the American people. Never mind that he lied to get us into Iraq, costing us thousands of dead and creating billions of dollars of new debt that conservatives happily pass on to their children and grandchildren. Never mind that the "mission accomplished" was supposed to be Osama bin Laden, who rapidly turned into a Republican Osama bin-Forgotten. And yet now we are supposed to believe this ridiculous spin that Obama, who is already a noted public speaker, risks the same issues Bush (who isn't recognized by even a basic speech class as a good speaker) does with a message?

I think the most telling point here is that we aren't even pretending McSame, the heir apparent to the GOP's Bush Administration, is capable of presenting a motivating speech to the American people. For some reason, Republicans do not want leadership which can rally or unite people - and small wonder. . .their entire campaign process for a decade has been about demonizing other Americans and trying to barely squeak into office. Then they declare that the "winner takes all," and immediately try to shut down any voices that might oppose what brand of toilet paper they prefer in the Larry Craig stalls.

Enough already. We know the media is supporting McSame, if for no better reason than their corporate masters want to increase their monopoly rather than serve as a voice and an agent of the American people. But that's just as the GOP wants it - you can't establish fascism without harnessing and destroying the credibility of the media. And they've done a wonderful job of doing just that.

Posted by: kevinbgoode | July 27, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse



• Have they used "psy ops" to transform Mr. "Change" into an establishment tool?

• What About Pelosi's turn from 'Frisco "rad" into the "Stepford Wife of the House"? Nobody's talking about that one!

If you a true-believing starry-eyed Obamanaut and not a disinformation troll, let me say this:

I was for Obama until a few months ago. Then he changed. His Iraq nuances don't bother me; I think he remains fairly consistent and realistic on the Mideast.

But then came FISA/immunity... and a sinking feeling that this guy is not only vacillating, but has revealed his lack of principles...

Then came the DC gun control decision, which he countenanced. Suddenly he's pro-handgun, a total flip-flop from previous positions, in which he supported reasoned gun control legislation while still backing the right to own a gun for hunting or self-defense at home.

Then he expressed approval of the expansion of the death penalty, even though black males are disproportionately among those found to be wrongfully convicted of capital crimes. Then he signs off on a further blurring of the separation between church and state. And yes, his pandering is consistent on that one -- just like he used Rev. Wright's church to build a political base, tolerating the Rev's hateful rhetoric for 20 years while denying he ever heard it, when in fact he quoted some of Wright's purple hate prose in his book.

Then he takes on the air of Stalin, taking his cult of personality stadium persona to Germany -- of all places -- just egging on his critics who already see a bit of the "Ubermeister" in this guy's overblown stagecraft and his "audacity of verbosity."

If only his dedication to his earlier stated positions on civil liberties were as entrenched as his hubris.

If he had come home after the Mideast, he would have triumphed. But he just had to play the role of "Mr. President," without benefit of the election. JFK, you'll recall, was the President when he declared "Ich Bin en Berliner."

As the Chicago Tribune cartoon rightfully declared, Barack's paean to the masses told the world: "Ich Bin en BEGINNER."

The guy is starting to SCARE me. I know others who feel the same. He's getting creepy -- and another big stadium scene only reinforces the Third Reichian comparisons. He's already shed some core positions; yet he pontificates as if he's truly a "change agent" when he is proving himself to be more like a chameleon -- changing his colors to suit the moment.

Remember how we laughed when Bill Clinton said Hillary was the "real" change agent? I'm starting to realize what he was trying to say; same with his "fairy tale" remark, even if he backed off on that one.

This IS turning out to be a fairy tale, and if the election is lost, it will end like Hansel and Gretel and not "happily ever after."

Let's give Barack the benefit of the doubt and posit that the "psy ops" teams got to him. First they reported threats, then they surrounded him 24/7, took away his privacy, made him realize that the apparachnik really calls the tune. Then, over a period of months of conditioning, his tune begins to change, taking on more conventional, acceptable tones.

Presto, change-o! Meet the Manchurian Candidate. Mission Accomplished.

Now that's the KIND interpretation; a more cynical view is that he always was the Music Man, coming to town to sell the rubes on a boy's band that plays on the "think" system. Just "think" about "change you can believe in" -- with an emphasis on the "BELIEVE" and not on the "CHANGE."

I bought this guy's act for a while. Now I think we have been sold on the "O-Kee-Doke," to borrow a phrase.

I'm not buying it anymore.

I call on Hillary Clinton to do the right thing and mount an 11th hour challenge, because Barack is looking insincere and manipulating and the general electorate is not going to buy an attractive but audacious chimera.

(Okay, Hillary had to backtrack on the Bosnia sniper fire "conflated memory." But is that any less audacious than the constitutional lawyer Barack flip-flopping on warantless wiretapping and handgun control?

If he does get elected, I hope he proves me wrong. I will be among the first to admit my misguided opinion and fall in line.

But if he's backing off from his core values now, before the real pressure is brought to bear, can you imagine how he'll cave when the power elite applies the muscle?

At least Hillary knows how to fight and not merely bend like a weak reed in a stiff wind.

I am more disappointed than angry. But I fear that I am right.

The Dems can't afford to lose, and that's where this thing seems headed.

Hillary to the rescue!


Posted by: scrivener | July 27, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

"Democrats are All Spelling Bee Winnurs," great post. Let me get this right: So the worse I did in school, and the less intelligent I am, the better I'm likely to do in the general election. That is terrific news -- for me. Thanks for that insight, "Winnurs"! Take that Harvard Law Review.

No. 894 in USNA graduating class
IQ: [Not disclosed]

Posted by: Captain America | July 27, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

So, Bush spent 2+ trillion dollars to establish a democracy in an Arab country that hates Americans and would vote us out completely in a heartbeat.

What kind of Republican logic is that?

It is, and I'm not sure you can quite wrap your tiny conservative head around the above idea, DUMB.

A colossal mistake. 2+ trillion dollars worth.

We built their democracy. Now they can ask us to leave and sell their oil to Russia and China.

Yeah, that's wicked smaaaht.

And, look, Bush got into Yale because of his daddy; ditto with Kerry. McCain got into and out of Annapolis because of his. So don't give me this GPA bs. They are all stupid.

Posted by: Republicans are DUMB | July 27, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Dear Stupid: It's Stupid is AS Stupid Votes. Since you appear to be a Forrest Gump fan, I assume you are from Alabama. Perhaps Republican voters have looked at a Democratic President who went on live TV to wag his thumb at them, lying about something so clear cut as Monica Lewinsky. And "the defintion of what is, is." Not having the Ivy League sophistication and education to misunderstand both sex and "is," they resort to "clinging" (and other realities). Perhaps the Republican voter reads headlines like "Charles Rangel (Ways and Means) has FOUR rent controlled apartments and leads in real estate contributions." Their feeble Republican minds conclude that Democrats are hypocrites and limousine liberals. Now, that doesn't mean they all think George Bush is their pal, anymore. They don't even think he is a Republican. But maybe, just maybe, those Republicans know that Democrats like you are going to p*** down their back and tell them it's raining. Like Charles Rangel. And Teddy. And Jesse Jackson. And on. And on. And on. The fact that McCain is so close ought to send the DNC into immediate session. But it won't. Country Club Republicans and Limousine Liberals, blindly supported by Leftist fools, aren't too popular anywhere, anymore. But next time you want to label Republicans stupid, just remember, we heard that in 2004 about Kerry. And we found out, George Bush, GPA 2.77; John Kerry, GPA, 2.76 HaHaHaHaHaHaHa!!!! Democrats are SOOOOOOO Smart. Just ask one!

Posted by: Democrats are All Spelling Bee Winnurs | July 27, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Now, we are talking about the man who designed Sen. McCain's economic plan. So the future of the American economy is being designed by a guy who was hip deep in the Enron scandal.

And the media didn't see fit to analyze that? The analyze everything else to death.

Yeah, there's something wrong with that picture.

And it isn't a conspiracy theory. It's a conspiracy.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse


Gramm's wife was also on the board at Enron. Hello. The point is that he's hip deep in the scandal, and that the press hasn't called him out on it. Why?

Why hasn't the press called McCain out for skipping out of the matching campaign finance system, after having used it to secure a loan?

Why does the press talk about the surge in troops working, when in fact it was the surge in bribes paid to Sunnis? Might I remind you that Al Qaeda are Sunni. And that years ago the Taliban were called "freedome fighters."

Why would the Republicans want to have partisan control of the vote counting?

Just because there's no pleasant answer to a question doesn't mean that we shouldn't ask it. The press has been complicit in so many scandals who can trust them any longer.

The Iran/Contra/Crack fiasco could never have happened unless the MSM decided not to blow the whistle. So, yeah, conspiracies happen. Every single day.

When someone leaks something to the press it is, by definition, a conspiracy. There is a vast left wing conspiracy and a vast right wing conspiracy. The media is in this thing. And both sides are engaged in a bloodsport for economic and political control of the country. And they don't always play fair.

That's reality, BB, that's all it is.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Skippy, the similarities of Obama to Hitler, at least in terms of being a "change agent," attempting to come to power during economic hardship, use of blindly loyal youth, and the race, sex, and age issues are eerily reminiscent. The Farrakhan Nation of Islam, based in Chicago, Obama's cradle in politics, is totally anti-Semitic. Whether it's the Ayers Weather Underground pals, the Reverend Wright racist church, or the Hyde Park crowd of pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel types, it's exceedingly hard to see Obama as not being anti-Semitic in background. Lovely speech to AIPAC in the last few months not withstanding. Finally, no one thinks Obama will be against his huge black base, gays, or other victims of the Holocaust. The Millenial followers hate whites, Christians, heteros, etc. But, the choice of Germany for a huge rally was stupid. He alread suffers from appearances he is against the middle and working class white, the religious, and women. Michelle's seething hatred for Hillary, right down to the last speech picture, further makes me think the Left has signed off on a young, "well-intentioned" and exceedingly self-adoring candidate. The Berlin Rally just seals the deal. If only momentarily. That's the context of this set of posts. Perception. Don't worry yourself so much. It is what it is. A young, "eloquent" politician before a crowd of cheering Germans. Again. JFK to some. A pompous windbag to others.

Posted by: Not Skippy | July 27, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Riddle me this Batman, what have whites in the deep south gained by voting Republican?

What have working and middle class Americans gained?

The corrupt have done their r&p job on our economy- they've bilked the system, and now that it is falling apart Joe Sixpack is left to bailout the system.

The rich get the big profits, the middle class foot the bill.

Are you middle-class Republicans really that stupid?

Posted by: STUPID is a STUPID votes | July 27, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Anon#2 - Perhaps you're the same person. If the first post had said Phil Gramm rather than a flip Mr. Enron (there was a person directly connected with the company). Also, any thorough reading of all the events around Enron would leave Gramm as a minor player. Putting it all on the bit Gramm slipped into a bill is a naive reading of history. For example, the market manipulation that strangled California was far more important in my view than a company failing. This had little to do with Gramm's amendment.

And, glad to know that you're a fan of conspiracy theories. Noone controlling an election would let it come down to a few hundred thousand votes in Ohio. If the fix was in, Bush would have won in a walk. Kerry deserves the blame he gets for losing an utterly winnable election. Save the fairy tales for small children,.


Posted by: Fairlington Blade | July 27, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

hey "Obama Arrogance" -- you're sort of making stuff up. Please detail Obama's "anti-Semitic background". Please describe how his "crew" (perhaps you might use "posse" next time) led an "anti-woman coup" against Hillary. (The press perhaps had a sexist angle at times, but Obama's camp did not.) Do tell why it's appropriate to make Hitler allusions with your use of "Obama Youth". Or please quiet down.

Posted by: SkippyFlipjack | July 27, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse


May I refer you to my post yesterday in which I explain why I rank among the disappointed former Barack fans?

I am not reviewing his speech; I am commenting on the likely reacton to his speech upon the undecided, as opposed to the blindly accepting.

But since you asked, I thought it was a well-delivered aggregation of well-meaning generalities and cliches, bereft of specificity.

Please stay tuned for an upcoming screed on why the Democrats are the "Eloi" and Republicans are the "Morlocks."

(Reference courtesy H.G. Welles.)

And no, your computer won't crash if you hit those links, which will provide some clues as to why our fragile democracy is doing so in cities and towns across America.

-- Scrivener

Posted by: scrivener | July 27, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

By the way, note that Schlesinger writes in US News that after Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech, "underlying the criticisms was jealousy at a well crafted--and television-dominating--political event."

Let's recall again how disgusting it is that a sitting president's status report on a war in progress is seen as a "political event". Once the president is elected, his duty is to his country first, not to his party. Thank goodness we have only a few months left of this un-American, petty little dictator.

Posted by: SkippyFlipjack | July 27, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Senator McCain crossed a line that he shouldn't have this week when he said that Mr. Obama "would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign." It was a lousy comment, tantamount to calling Mr. Obama a traitor, and Senator McCain should apologize for it.

Posted by: McCain is EVIL | July 27, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Obama made a mistake in the Berlin rally. Over the last decade, after rebuilding and safeguarding Germany for 50 years, most Americans have learned that millenial Germans are now more anti-American than most Europeans. I think his anti-Semitic background will also not help this perception of a young Adolf on his rise to the top. The intolerance of his crew, whether the anti-woman coup against Hillary, or the agist, racist rantings of his Obama Youth, is also remarkably similar. He sure didn't help swing many voters over to his side. Foolish stunt.

Posted by: Obama Arrogance | July 27, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

The "Mission Accomplished" speech is a silly parallel for this one. Basically, Obama gave a speech outlining his vision for America. Bush, on the other hand, landed in a fighter plane on an aircraft carrier, strutted across the deck in a ridiculous flight suit, positioned himself in front of a "Mission Accomplished" banner that he would later personally blame on Navy personnel (it was actually at his staff's direction), and give the American people an erroneous status report on the war's progress. The speeches have nothing in common except to people who wish Bush's pratfalls would befall Obama.

Posted by: SkippyFlipjack | July 27, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Scrivener, what hate site are you getting this junk from? Aside from the folks sitting in the compound with you, who in America didn't think it was a good speech, a great speech with an impressive message? Give me a break. And, no, Scrivener, no one is idiotic enough to click on the links you have in your comment -- so stop including them. I don't want my computer to crash. Nice try.

Posted by: Captain America | July 27, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Actually McCain is much more like Hitler than Obama. Hitler's philosophy is quite like the Republicans: tell a simple lie, repeat it, and people will believe it.

Democrats for years have been trumpeting complicated truths that represent progress. Republicans have been telling simple lies.

If you don't get that it is because you are a product of our simple-minded educational system. Not your fault. It's the Republicans for dumbing down the discourse - and the people - in this country.

It is stupid to keep our people stupid. And it is sick to keep our people sick. But you conservatives don't like change, even as the world does...

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 27, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the most significant thing about Sen. Obama's trip is not the speeches, but the meetings he's having with world leaders that he'll, likely, need to collaborate with starting in 6 months. And they seem to have a good rapport with him.

The other thing is the Afghanistan business that Obama is trumpeting. I've said it before, it's like we were in a bar and got sucker-punched by a guy in a tan shirt, saw two guys wearing tan shirts and deliberately went after the guy who was smaller but didn't do it.

The Afghan-Pakistan border is a tough place to wage an offensive. But that is where the blood debt needs to be paid.

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 27, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Obama said absolutely nothing in that speech. Nothing. For more substance, I recommend that book about learning everything you need to know in kindergarten. That had more useful take-aways than this embarassing, self-aggrandizing whipped cream cloud of nothingness masquerading as something of substance.

Posted by: Hillary Supporter | July 27, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse


• Barack ignored key factor: voters at home decide elections on bread-and-butter issues -- not on bread and circuses

• Europeans, their leaders, and media aren't 'deciders'

Presumptuous and self-aggrandizing.

That is the way people on the fence may be inclined to view Obama's foreign jaunt.

I can just hear them on the barstools at the local joint: "Hey Barack -- didn't you forget something? Like, THE ELECTION?"

Fact-finding in Iraq and Afghanistan and visiting the troops would have sufficed, and would have rendered moot the concern that Obama lacks the standing to be a player on the world stage. Remember the original rationale for the trip: Obama hadn't been in the war zone for some time, and he needed to renew his Mideast bona fides prior to the fall campaign.

But to play "Mr. President" in European capitals -- and to have the chutzpah to deliver a cult-of-personality- like paean to the masses (in Germany, of all places), just gives his critics at home another chance to call him out on his hubris -- and for being politically tone-deaf.

That's right; his Berlin speech won over the German crowds (not a bad thing to see Europeans wave the American flag instead of burning it), but the only people at home who came away really impressed were those already sitting in the pews of the "Church of Barack the Blessed Savior." For people still unsure what to think of this talented but self-absorbed young man -- the Reagan/Hillary Dems, the independents, the fed-up Republicans -- Obama came off once again as an eloquent but calculating grandstander who puts style over substance.

Far better it would have been had Obama quit the journey after the trips to the war zone. Then he could have avoided the charges of premature self-congratulation, and come back home to rail against the Republicans on the key issue upon which he stands the best shot of beating John McCain -- the economy.

Obama also would have better positioned himself to regain the confidence of the disillusioned among his flock, the former supporters who see him equivocating on core principles and key issues such as: FISA/wiretapping/telecom immunity; gun control; expansion of the death penalty; and the separation of church and state.

It wasn't that he shouldn't have gone abroad; he just should have stopped after Afghanistan and Iraq, when he was still ahead.

If he had, he wouldn't have fallen victim to what may have been something more than a simple misunderstanding: the supposed mix-up over whether a planned side-trip to visit wounded troops in Germany would have been considered electioneering.

Apparently, Obama blindly accepted that interpretation from the Pentagon -- and then was roundly (and predictably) criticized for ignoring the troops. A "Segretti-Rovian surprise"? Who will ever know?

Of course, most of the Obama cheerleaders will gauge the trip by how it went over with foreign leaders and the faithful -- but they're not the ones Obama needs to win over to take the White House.

So give the week of Obama's Great Foreign Adventure to McCain. It was Obama's to lose, and he did -- because once again, he "pulled an Obama."

The definition: acting presumptuous and self-aggrandizing, to the detriment of one's substantial talents.


Posted by: scrivener | July 27, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I think it's fair to say that the posts regarding similarity to Hitler are not completely off base. First, Hitler was a young, unknown, "Messiah-like" figure who came to power during an economic upheaval. The more mature posters would readily differentiate the vast difference between post WWI Germany and the US now. But, beyon d that, his radical friends, the ultra liberal (National Socialism?) background, coupled with his Anti Semite friends, make you wonder if Obama's staff was delusional with this Nuremberg-rally style appearance. What was hoped to be JFK may appear to be more A.H. than they hoped. As unfair as that is, the arrogance, the "professorial-style" lectures on every subject, and the pomposity of Obama do strike one as intolerant. I think Berlin was a huge mistake. Obama is snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Posted by: Disappointed | July 27, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

20,000 handpicked supporters wildly cheered the leader as he stood in front of the Brandenburg Gate and declared "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall!" Of course, we all know that was Ronald Reagan.

And 70,000 heard John F. Kennedy say "Ich bin ein Berliner."

I don't know how you can compare Obama to Hitler, but skip the other charismatic speakers who have given memorable speeches in Berlin. Your lack of historical perspective is so blatantly ridiculous, I hope that no one takes you seriously.

Posted by: Ann | July 27, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Chris. That's the stupidest thing I've ever read.

No, wait - the comment up there by "William", THAT's the stupidest thing I've ever read.

No, WAIT....

Posted by: Jb | July 27, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse


WHEN, WHEN, WHEN are you going to examine John McCain the same way you examine Barack Obama???? NEVER is there a word of criticism here or when you are a guest on MSNBC. All you do is tear apart Barack Obama and nod in agreement when someone else does the same thing. How can you possibly refer to yourself as an "ethical" journalist without giving both sides of an issue? Maybe I'm out of touch and journalism is no longer an "ethical" occupation. Perhaps the person you should be "examining" is yourself.

Posted by: sweladi | July 27, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

re: Fairlington Blade

Gramm was the Texas Senator who sponsored and pushed through the legislation allowing the Enron scandal to occur. That McCain would ask him to be his econ advisor is a tone deaf move; that the press would fail to report on the obvious implications of having Mr Enron create econ policy is a scathing indictment of the mainstream media.

Regarding the Ohio elections, there actually is more than just circumstantial evidence:

"In the summer of 2003, Representative Peter King (R., N.Y.) was interviewed by Alexandra Pelosi at a barbecue on the White House lawn for her HBO documentary Diary of a Political Tourist. "It's already over. The election's over. We won," King exulted more than a year before the election. When asked by Pelosi--the daughter of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi--how he knew that Bush would win, he answered, "It's all over but the counting. And we'll take care of the counting."

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

The fix is starting to think of himself as the "Donald" or Madonna..come on you are pretty smart no a damn smart pundent but as they say you are getting far "too cleaver by half" stick with really stuff, your Christian name and stop trying to be a provocature.

Posted by: dad4nj | July 27, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse


How sad that our media consistently steps so low that the majority of your readers aptly and easily identify your clear bias in this piece. Once upon a time, journalists lacking objectivity and ethics hid their flaws masterfully. I don't know if the media simply believes us too stupid to notice, or that We the People hold no power to change the status quo. I suggest either view needs to undergo radical change, for the blogs demonstrate the obvious. We the People WILL find a way to effect change, and the corporate powers to whom you currently bow can not withstand change forever!

GWB lied to the American people throughout his Mission Accomplished speech, and THAT is why history views his speech through a different lens. To compare that speech with Obama's speech in Berlin exceeds audacity, perhaps even idiocy. Stop pandering and start reporting. The citizens of the U.S. grow increasingly more restless with the false journalists of the day!

Posted by: MommaKat | July 27, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

There was another orator who drew great crowds in Germany. He too had a cult like following and support of the media there. Wrote a book of his struggles.

He led the German people down the path to ruin. Adolf Hitler.

Posted by: William | July 27, 2008 1:39 PM

I don't care who you support or what you believe but, no matter who was giving this speech, your comments are completely disgusting. How hateful and unAmerican you are.

Posted by: sweladi | July 27, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I agree with MrEcks whole heartily. John McSenile has made not small gaffes this past month ,but major ones and no one calls him on it.I think comparing Obama's speech to Nixon or Bush's should be a crime in it's self, shame on you.I as a white women believe that Senator Obama has been scrutinized because he is black. The old white, mean man can say any thing the media gives him a past.
Connie from Indiana

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

1. All that matters is how the speech is perceived from now until the first week in November. After that it really doesn't matter.

2. A couple-hundred thousand non-French foreigners showed up to hear an American deliver a speech. It's been a long time since any American, with or without a guitar, could draw that kind of crowd - Anywhere! In an election when people want change that is undeniable change.

The point of the trip was to stop McCain carping on him and to show people Obama can perform on the world stage. That was accomplished. The people you really have to feel sorry for are foreign police departments. They've spent the last couple of decades perfecting the art of protecting American Presidents from angry crowds of protesters. If Obama wins they have to completely shift gears and protect an American President from adoring crowds. This is not an easy task. Flag burning, rock throwing, McDonald's defacing crowds can be universally treated as hostile threats. Barricades can be erected, motorcades can be re-routed, it is all standard stuff. But adoring mobs have to be greeted and addressed. A true hostile threat can easily hide in this type of crowd where 99.9999% of the people are genuine fans.

Posted by: muD | July 27, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

My friend, I respectfully suggest the Germany speech was unworthy of a presidential candidate. Obama should have chosen a more appropriate American forum such as a German restaurant in Ohio, Arby's, Jack in the Box, or Burger King, speaking only to the handful of slobs, er, patrons who happen to be there at the time. Mr. Schlesinger, you are a friend, a patriot, and a great American.

Posted by: Mac | July 27, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I can see why this blog is called "the fix" because your shameless commentary ridiculously tries to create viewpoints without a lick of sense. Your purpose is to "fix" inane irrationality to a dissembling lexicon of buffonery.

GW Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech was a "great" speech? Really. What moronic expert did you use to prove that? The moron "knows what he's talking about" you say? You mean, all I have to do is quote just one stupid idiot to make a stupid point. Wow, Chris Silly-zzza, you truly deserve to wear the dunce cap for this exquisite piece of rubbish.

Oh, I forgot, Dubya is the fella the media-stupids like you told the public was a man joe six-pack could drink a beer with. Al Gore wore the inappropriate tie, and Howard Dean screamed into a mic after the media removed the loud back-ground chatter. And John McCain's staff is filled with corrupt lobbyists, but Obama is a bad boy because he wears sandals instead of sneakers to the gym?

And the Swiftboat liars for untruth should get daily press treatment, because you need to always represent both sides of the argument: the lie more prominently than the truth.

Tell me what it means, Chris Silly-zzza. I'm too stupid to make sense of this difficult to understand breaking news stuff.

Lying shills like yourself, Mr."Silly-zzzzzzaaaaa" actually get paid to push this pitiful logic on the feeble public.

You sound like pre 1789 French Aristocrats who actually believe their own propaganda that the sans-culottes will support the emperor who wears no clothes -- because dumb idiots like yourself don't have any clothes either.

Posted by: Ginardo | July 27, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Wherever there are world leaders trying to show a responsible way for the world community to face difficult challenges, and do so in a bold and inspiring way to get broad international support, it seems there are always Robert Schlesingers who bite at their heels just as they have since the time of Samson. In the end the words and deeds of the greats are remembered, and the irritating backbiting of the Schlesingers, indeed the Schlesingers themselves, are forgotten. The "Mission Accomplished" and "Silent Majority" examples he gives are inapt, they were not newsworthy as speeches: the first was notable as a government's understanding of the progress of a event (regardless of whether you agree with it)and the second, merely as a campaign slogan. It is really sad that Schlesinger cannot, as most of the world has, sit back for awhile and appreciate a memorable historical event. It is highly unlikely that decades from now serious historians will look back and say what a bad idea it was for Barack to announce the US intends to lead, and be partners with, the world in problem solving. Schlesinger's "analysis" was churlish and silly.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Obama is going to expand the war in afghanistan and lead a war into pakistan.
He's a part of the pro-war, let's get filthy rich govt, much more so than McCain.

you people are fools if you believe Obama is interested in anything but wealth, power, and expanding the colonization of the world for American business.

Posted by: Danks | July 27, 2008 1:15 PM

WHAT in heavens name have you been smoking? You just gave us a sample of the Republicans' vision using Obama's name by mistake. Silly you.

Posted by: sweladi | July 27, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

The speech has already faded in importance. All eyes are now on Obama's inability to close the deal in his fight with McCain. He should be up by double digits now.

Posted by: matt | July 27, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Obama is getting a bounce. And this 9% lead is probably really 12% when you factor in increased participation this year by young and black voters. I wonder how big the lead will get after the convention, especially if Gen. Powell is the surprise keynote speaker. And after the debates when McCain flubs a economic policy response....

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Chris -
I read your column on a regular basis, and I usually find it quite interesting and informative. Unfortunately, I find a common thread in a lot of your postings about Obama. You tend to examine in a critical way the most minute aspects of Obama's campaign while rarely (never?) doing the same to McCain's campaign. Over the past couple of weeks, there have been numerous gaffes by McCain that have received no attention from you.

What gives? I admit that I'm an Obama supporter, but I am a firm believer in the press bringing a critical eye to all sides of an issue. I don't mind when there are news stories that are critical of Obama. It forces me to examine why I support the candidate, and ask myself whether those issues affect how I feel about the candidate. However, at this point, I'm finding the underlying bias in your posts has reached the point where I can no longer read you with an open mind.

Would you be willing to look at your personal opinions, examine them against the tenor of your posts, and discuss them here? I want to know whether you agree with this criticism of your column. Thanks.

Posted by: Mr. Ecks | July 27, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Anon@1:25 - Mr. Enron (Ken Lay) was convicted and died while appealing. Having AN advisor who worked for Enron is distinct from

And, hey, I have an honest question. Why did you post anonymously (as in no handle)? It's not like anyone is going to track me down in Fairlington and figure out who "The Blade" is. [It's not a reference to kitchen utensils.] I can't believe it's lack of ability to find a snappy handle. You had an interesting, substantive comment. I don't agree with you (the Florida vote was put under a microscope and Ohio just wasn't that close), but I respect the opinion.

Oh well. Just one more.


Posted by: Fairlington Blade | July 27, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure the comparison between Obama's speech and the "Mission Accomplished" and "Silent Majority" speeches is a good one, since the latter were both delivered by sitting presidents.

I think Obama's task was perhaps the toughest of the three (certainly than that of Bush). Obama needed (or wanted) to show that he has what it takes to be commander-in-chief, to earn the respect of European leaders, and to signal to the European public that his administration would collaborate more closely with our European allies. I think he probably could have accomplished all three without giving the speech. Certainly, it was well-delivered and well-received, and the staging probably couldn't have been better. But, on balance, I think it only furthered the (accurate) perception that Obama is Europe's choice for president.

We all know how far that got John Kerry.

Posted by: rn1211 | July 27, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Haha! Yeah! Anyone who talks to Germans is Hitler!

Posted by: Kagro X | July 27, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Interesting. The initial press consensus was that Obama only needed to avoid stepping on his own private parts for this trip to be gauged a success. Now that it has exceeded expectations the trip is being re-evaluated in terms of whether anyone can hypothesize the slightest imperfection.

Sounds to me like a serious case of journalistic revisionism at the behest of the McCain camp.

Posted by: FlownOver | July 27, 2008 1:07 PM

Well Said.

Posted by: GandalftheGrey | July 27, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

There was another orator who drew great crowds in Germany. He too had a cult like following and support of the media there. Wrote a book of his struggles.

He led the German people down the path to ruin. Adolf Hitler.

Posted by: William | July 27, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Cilliza, you really need to get outside the beltway and away from all the idiot thinkers that reside there and call themselves pundits.
They have no clue what they are talking about or why.
To keep from being dragged into this pot of out of touch thinking, which you are in danger of, you need to go on a road trip into the real world.
get some perspective.
get some reality thinking.
The pundits are just as desperate as the McCain campaign to find things to criticize Obama about. Why is that so? Can;'t you guys just say the guy did a good job and be happy about it?

Posted by: vwcat | July 27, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I also agree with most of the comments here. The media wants to focus on McCain's statements that Obama was wrong about the surge. That was the main topic on Sunday's talk shows. Are you kidding me???? This speech cannot be compared to those of Bush or Nixon in my opinion. He was on foreign soil not in Ohio so please stop with the ridiculous analogies. I have said before and I will say again here - the media bias for John McCain is going to interfere in this election. Chris and others cannot continue to ignore McCain's BLUNDERS and still provide the voters with vastly important information. The media is going after this man because he is black. If it were say..John Edwards...we would have an entirely different picture being shown to us. And, I am a white woman, age 61 who did not vote for Hillary Clinton, so take my comments as you will.

Posted by: sweladi | July 27, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Are you asking us to look historically back at a speech that took place 72 hours ago to see if it has stood the test of time?
Hey, wait til a week passes for some real historical perspective at least!

Posted by: dave | July 27, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

If the WaPo and NYT analyzed issues of voter fraud in swing states like Ohio and Florida with half of the enthusiasm with which it analyzes the minutiae of the these contests then the people would be better served.

That we can fight these contests so hard, vote, and then have the votes from a national, Presidential election counted by a Republican organization is absolutely abhorrent.

Obama gave an inspiring speech, one that helped heal our frayed relations with our European allies. Obama supporters liked it, many conservatives opposed it because they oppose him... just like they opposed alternative energy plans 30 years ago because they opposed Carter...

I, like many political junkies, like getting a daily FIX of political news. But the fact that we are allowing Republicans to control the vote counting in our national elections is a whole different FIX.

The press has let McCain get away with having Mr Enron as his econ advisor. It has let McCain get away with his criminal break from the matching campaign finance system. And it has given him a pass on his support of the Iraq War, and conveniently doesn't call him on his promise that the war would be quick, have few American deaths, and be paid for by Iraq oil. I can almost get over that.

The notion that this election could be FIXED by Republican vote counts... That is simply unacceptable. That the WaPo is complicit in allowing this to occur speaks volumes for the values it holds.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

You know, even if you are going to write bullsh&t it has to make sense. You are not even smart enough to concoct a good lie.

Obama is going to expand the war in afghanistan and lead a war into pakistan.
He's a part of the pro-war, let's get filthy rich govt, much more so than McCain.

you people are fools if you believe Obama is interested in anything but wealth, power, and expanding the colonization of the world for American business.

Posted by: Danks | July 27, 2008 1:15 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 27, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Obama is going to expand the war in afghanistan and lead a war into pakistan.
He's a part of the pro-war, let's get filthy rich govt, much more so than McCain.

you people are fools if you believe Obama is interested in anything but wealth, power, and expanding the colonization of the world for American business.

Posted by: Danks | July 27, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I think the media is caught in a quandry: they "demand" that Obama prove his bona fides as having not just foreign policy experience, but acumen. They demand that he "look" presidential, meet in a presidential fashion with world leaders, visit Iraq and Afghanistan in a presidential fashion, meet with the commanders on the ground in a presidential fashion and the list of artificial thresholds that this presumptive Democratic nominee continues to grow as he exceeds all expectations.

McCain dodders through the Middle East with Lindsay Graham and Joe Lieberman correcting every other word he utters, and the media largely turn a blind eye to his gaffes. Obama attends meeting after meeting with no mistakes, no aides whispering in his ear, with Chuck Hagel and Jack Reed staying in the background and not needing to "correct" Obama, and media jumps on Obama's Berlin address as being "too lofty."

Although the media would have preferred Obama to have staged a gaffe-a-thon, he didn't. Tomorrow there will be criticism of the tie choices Obama made on his trip.

As a person of color, the unspoken underlying message coming from the media and McCain and the Republicans is a "double standard couched in doublespeak." The ever-shifting goalposts that white America has always imposed on people of color. We have said always that we have to be at least twice as good, accomplish twice as much to get half the credit. That plays out here.

McCain's insistence for example, that President Obama has to defer to Gen. Petraeus illustrates that faulty reckoning. Since when is the President of the United States subservient to and answerable to the very generals who are subordinate to him? Apparently that rule applies only to Obama.

John McCain gives political speeches on military bases with no complaint, yet the Pentagon suddenly imposes "restrictions" on Obama merely visiting injured troops in Germany.

President Bush visits a foreign country and is met by thousands of protestors in so-called allied countries. They burn the American flag and hang him in effigy. Obama is greeted, not like a rockstar -- the dismissive way the media characterizes him, a political Michael Jackson, if you will -- but greeted like a statesman. Yet the media cannot grasp that.

It would have been very easy for every foreign leader to have met with Obama for the 5 minute cursory photo-op. They have no obligation to meet with a US presidential candidate. None of them did. And although he was careful not stray too deeply into anything that could have made foreign policy, clearly their discussions were substantive.

So here we have Mr. Cilizza fixating on the Berlin speech, and failing to see the big picture. The purpose of the Berlin speech was to introduce Obama to the rest of the world. He succeeded at that. Secondarily, it was to present the superficial imagery Americans claim they want to be able to compare side by side, McCain and Obama with Reagan, Kennedy, Clinton, Bush and all the other Presidents. Which one (or two) doesn't belong? In my book, strikethrough McCain and Bush.

Obama succeeded at a task which was tailor-made for him to fail. And the media cannot figure out how to knock him down. So they apply false labels of "presumption" or "audacity" or "arrogance" or "elitism" or "rock star." They do this because they cannot bring themselves to report what an abject failure John McCain is or would be as President.

Posted by: Jade7243 Hussein | July 27, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I've not changed my mind after having viewed the entire speech several times now. I have it recorded on DVD. Obama gave a speech of the 21st century to a group of people who are living in the 21st century. Different from that of Kennedy's or Reagan's speeches, Obama definitely reached out to the world in friendship and hope. If there is anything wrong with this, there is something wrong with those who think it is wrong. Obama was given a moment, thanks to the Republican think tank, and he seized the moment to give an address as powerful and eloquent as JFK gave in the early 1960s.

Rather than try to tear up Obama's speech, Americans should feel proud again that we can send forth a person of Obama's appeal and stature to speak in coherent sentences and present a message of unity and hope.

Posted by: Earl C | July 27, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Interesting. The initial press consensus was that Obama only needed to avoid stepping on his own private parts for this trip to be gauged a success. Now that it has exceeded expectations the trip is being re-evaluated in terms of whether anyone can hypothesize the slightest imperfection.

Sounds to me like a serious case of journalistic revisionism at the behest of the McCain camp.

Posted by: FlownOver | July 27, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Mr Cilliza:

Don't you have something better to do that provoke trashing of Senator Obama's fine speech in Berlin. Are you jealous or uncomfortable because Senator Obama is black, smart, gracious and a superb orator?

Or, are you just a lazy hack who some how managed to get a job writing?? for the Washington Post?

Posted by: Peter | July 27, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Why even ask? It's just a setup to say, "Obama's well received speech is good news for Republicans!"


Posted by: Nathan | July 27, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

GWB's "Mission Accomplished" speech was May 1, 2003 -- not 2001.

We'll find out in November whether it was a good speech. If BHO wins the Presidency, the speech may well be remembered as a moment where he showed his "presidential" chops to a world audience. If he loses in Nov., then the speech will likely be relegated to the dustbin.

Posted by: mnteng | July 27, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Agree with the comments here...and also feel that the MSM has spent more time looking in the mirror at itself and wondering whether they're giving too much attention to Obama and not enough to McCain...

While Obama appeared on the world stage to enthusiastic and US flag waving crowds in Germany, McKrusty was appearing in grocery aisles and Kraut N' Fudge Hauses in the US and looking like a grumpy old guy...

This was clearly a Huge Win for Obama, no matter how Chris and others in the MSM try to spin it!

Posted by: wagonjak | July 27, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

The degree Obama has other skills necessary for the Presidency remains unknown ?

Not anymore than any candidate's skills remain unknown to an extent. But watching him campaigning for two years anybody with a minimum of brain and a willingness to go beyond stereotypes can fairly tell what obama will be good at and what he will need to work on.

Posted by: benjamin | July 27, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Images of the rock star they call "The One" are ALWAYS reported positively by the slavishly devoted phalanx of reporters following him, and has little to do with the quality or appropriateness of what has been said. A German friend tells a different opinion. Lured by the novelty, they felt he spoke well but lacked substance and would never vote for him. As David Brooks said in his Op-Ed piece, this was "Disney".

Posted by: zaney8 | July 27, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"Mission accomplished" proved to be a calculated a lie. Bush has admitted he never meant to bring our troops home, just the opposite.

So where's the comparison, Chris?

Unfair comparisons are a staple of propaganda. I despair The Fix doesn't know that much journalism, or worse, seeks to muddy readers' historical view.

Posted by: jhbyer | July 27, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

In assessing the impact of Senator Obama's speech in Berlin, we are able to distinguish between its immediate impact and one which will reveal itself over time. Historians such as Mr. Schlesinger rightfully wonder how the speech will be judged years from now, but we the present day "citizens of the world" are more concerned that "The images of the Illinois Senator speaking in front of several hundred thousand people as the sun set on Germany's capital was praised as uniquely arresting." Some of us are quite willing to say this was enough, a good campaign stop, not an attempt to channel MLK, JFK, or RMN.

Posted by: small d dem | July 27, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh good GOD! If the doddering McCain had given a good speech there, or even
a relatively decent one...

you'd be jumping through hoops and fixin' WON banners.

It was a major victory. The endless silly complaining by the neocons (see krauthammer and Brooks) are merely neocons angry that their plans are gonna be thwarted.

Ameria is reuniting with Europe (Israel won't be the main emphasis)...and there will be no staging area or bases in Iraq to protect Israel and Iran won't be bombed on the US dollar. We might even get our place back in the world.

Poor neocons.

Posted by: Lanny | July 27, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I think the speech and the trip were like my taking vitamins and getting a vaccine, all aimed at promoting my health and stamina when the going gets tough.

Now, any renewed Obama emphasis on domestic issues -- environmental, energy, healthcare, etc. -- can come in a context of confidence that he is every bit as skilled and able as a foreign policy wonk to go onto the world stage without stumbling.

Posted by: lenstewart | July 27, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I think the issue of the speech should be taken not for the wording as much as the basics that Germans, French, Great Britain people came out to hear him.

If it were GWB there would have been protests. If it were Sen. McCain, there would have been no speeches and the meeting of the different heads of state would have possibly less cordial, since his stance on Iraq is his only talking point.

Posted by: jerry rubin | July 27, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

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