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What Went Right for Obama

After devoting nearly 1,500 words (as several readers helpfully pointed out) to an exegesis of what Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) did wrong in her bid for Democratic presidential nomination, it occurred to us that the counter argument about what Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) did right was also worth exploring.

As captivating as Clinton's fall from presumptive nominee to also-ran in the space of the last 18 months is (The Post's Anne Kornblut and Dan Balz penned a detailed "what happened" piece today that is well worth reading), it doesn't hold a candle to the meteoric rise of Obama who went from a defeated congressional candidate in 2000 to the party's presidential nominee eight years later.

While the rise may seem effortless to the casual observer, a number of decisions -- both large and small -- over the course of the past 18 months changed the course of the contest in Obama's favor. That Obama and the Obama campaign chose right in nearly every instance is a feat of political strategy and tactics for which they deserve a huge amount of credit.

Below you'll find our take on the key factors that led to Obama's victory on Tuesday night over Clinton. Agree or disagree? The comments section awaits.

* Change vs Experience: When talk began to bubble up about Obama running for president in the fall of 2006, the biggest question was: "Is he ready?" There seemed little doubt among the Democratic chattering class that the Illinois senator would one day run for president, but there were major questions about whether a guy who had served in the Senate for less than two years could convince voters he was ready to lead at a critical juncture in American history. Obama, to his credit, saw what many people missed -- that while he would take his lumps for his lack of Washington experience, those criticisms would pale in comparison to the desire among Democratic voters for fresh faces and a promise of doing things differently. The genius of Obama's calculation is that instead of simply running against the Bush Administration, he used his call for change to take in Democrats -- particularly Bill and Hillary Clinton -- as well. In doing so, Obama was able to turn the primary into a battle over "change" versus "more of the same." In a political climate like this one, "change" wins every time.

* Follow the Rules: Early on in the primary process, the Obama campaign embraced the idea that there was a very real possibility that the race wouldn't be over in Iowa or New Hampshire or even on Feb. 5, when the Super Tuesday primaries were held. They made the decision to begin to send staff to states like Maryland, Virginia, Louisiana, Washington and Wisconsin -- all of which would vote between Feb. 6 and March 3. The Obama on-the-ground organization paid off as the Illinois senator went on an 11-contest winning streak over that month that, in retrospect, clinched the nomination for him. Not only did Obama win 11 straight times but he took advantage of Clinton's lack of a plan in these states to run up HUGE margins that built him a triple-digit delegate lead that the New York senator was never able to cut into. The Obama campaign realized that the only metric that mattered in the end was delegates, a strategic assumption that Clinton never made. (As late as Tuesday night she was touting her popular vote victory and her ability to win swing states. Both points are as true as they are meaningless; the nomination is decided on delegates, nothing else.)

* Patience is a Virtue: It's hard to remember now but roughly one year ago, many people were questioning whether Obama was ever going to seriously challenge Clinton. While polling in Iowa was showing a close race, Clinton was dominating Obama in the national polls, a domination that drove a storyline that Obama's candidacy might be all hat and no cattle. Lesser candidates (and campaigns) would have panicked -- making a series of changes on the messaging and staff fronts in hopes of changing the narrative of the campaign. Obama stuck to his plan, knowing that you don't chop down a giant the size and power of Clinton with a single stroke. Instead he and the campaign stayed disciplined and focused on their core message: the only way to bring about real change is to nominate someone who hasn't been knocking around the political system for the past several decades. As summer turned to fall, the seeds Obama had planted began to sprout. The rest, as they say, is history.

* Emphasize Iraq: An analysis of how to beat someone as well connected, well funded and seemingly invincible as Clinton began and ended with her vote in favor of the 2002 use of force resolution against Iraq. It was Clinton's most obvious Achilles Heel, a place where she was clearly out of step with the average Democratic voter. (Atrios as well as a few other in the blogosphere have pointed out the role Iraq played in Clinton's defeats and called out The Fix on the oversight. Point taken.) Early in the race, Iraq provided Obama the justification to challenge Clinton. None of the other serious candidates had opposed the war from its start, a position that gave Obama instant credibility among the anti-war left and distinguished him from the crowded field of contenders hoping to be the anti-Clinton.

As the contest wore on and narrowed to just Clinton and Obama, the impact of the war vote transformed; it became Obama's most effective response to Clinton's repeated questioning of his experience. Every time Clinton hinted at the idea that Obama lacked the requisite experience to be president, Obama brought up his initial opposition to the war and Clinton's vote in favor of the use of force resolution. Judgement trumped experience.

* Small is Better: Of all the hard-to-imagine components of this Democratic campaign, perhaps the most difficult one to have foreseen was the massive financial advantage that Obama enjoyed over Clinton as the primary race wore on. How did he do it? Both Clinton and Obama took a traditional approach in raising their early money, relying heavily on the recruitment of major donors able to bundle thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollar in contributions. But, as the campaign continued, it became clear that Obama had another fundraising gear thanks to the massive outpouring of small dollar donations collected almost entirely over the Internet. While many people tend to regard Internet fundraising as nothing more than a spigot that can be turned on and off, building the capacity -- and the grassroots energy -- to rake in the tens of millions that Obama collected takes time and money. The early (notice how that word keeps coming up in regards Obama's campaign) investment in online fundraising paid off as each side tapped out its big donors and had to look elsewhere for cash. Clinton wound up dipping deeply into her own pockets even as Obama was collecting anywhere between $35-$50 million A MONTH -- the vast majority of it online.

* Chicago Central: Politics and real estate don't have that much in common. But, one thing that is central to both professions is location. Where a candidate chooses to base his (or her) campaign headquarters has both practical and symbolic importance. Obama's decision of Chicago as his base of operations allowed his campaign team -- almost all of whom had roots in Washington -- to get outside of the Beltway echo chamber. That made sticking to the campaign plan easier as the campaigns' strategists didn't have lunch every day with a reporter or party operative who spent the meal raising questions about the strategic direction of the campaign. On a symbolic level, putting the campaign in Chicago reinforced Obama's basic message: I am an outsider who does not know the ways of Washington. (Unlike past presidential campaigns, not knowing the ways of Washington was a huge plus for Obama.) Clinton's campaign, on the other hand, was originally based on K Street in Washington (ugh) before moving to Ballston in northern Virginia. Neither one helped Clinton make the case that she could be a true change agent in the race. And, the closeness of the campaign HQ to Washington made it tough for the Clinton operation to divorce itself from the conventional wisdom of the capital city.

What did we miss?

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 5, 2008; 7:40 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Comments

Obama has shown he has "experience" other candidates have not shown. He applied his community organizing experience to develop a winning campaign strategy, played by the rules, and won.

The Clintons, McCain and others seem to underestimate Obama's organizational "experience" and yet it seems likely that future campaigns will study Obama's strategy. In that sense Obama has already achieved a measure of change in how campaigns will be run.

Now McCain appears to be trying to rein in Obama by suggesting as many "debates" as possible to capitalize on the drawing power of a truly unique candidate. The crowds for Obama have been remarkable, and McCain will certainly benefit from claiming half the "tickets" for any debate, since he has not shown that kind of drawing power. Of course, McCain also benefits because he will not need to spend his funds to promote these events.

The irony is McCain's frequent use of "dear friends" last Tues. left viewers wondering where his dear friends were (behind the green screen?) - and now JMC is counting on Obama to bring in crowds and audiences that McCain has not drawn on his own. What kind of strategy is that?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 8, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Most of the main assets of Sen Obama's campaign have been covered.

I'd like to propose another, minor asset - Sen. Clinton's ability to dispose of the other candidates.

We'll never know, but I'm not sure things would have panned out this way if it had been Richardson, Biden, Edwards (and possibly some others), joined by this unknown Obama.

Clinton saw off some heavyweight talent (some who didn't even get as far as the first fence), with the strength of her 'inevitability' - leaving Obama to reap the benefit.

Posted by: strum | June 6, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Chris:

The most important reflection to make on this campaign is this: Hillary did this to herself. Hillary had more than enough people supporting her at one time or another to win the nomination and go on and win in November - but she drove them away.


It started from the first days in 1993.


Hillary went into the White House and was NASTY FROM DAY ONE.


Seriously.


There is a story that there was a list of people waiting for interviews for Presidential appointments - campaign workers and supporters. Hillary went through the list and declared that there were too many "White Males." She ordered hundreds of people CUT from the list based on that criteria - and ordered a search of non-campaign workers and non-supporters to fill minority and women supporters.


hhhhmmmmmmm


Does this sound famiiar? See Hillary CUT her natural supporters and went off in a direction - many of the people they got for those positions had little loyalty to Hillary or the Clintons - they had loyalty to affirmative action. The people who were on the original list were naturally offended and had little reason to completely support the Clintons from that day forward.


Chris if you look back - thousands of Presidential appointments took a long time to fill in 1993 - ask around the news room see if you can get someone to confirm this story.


Hillary continued to conduct herself in a way that did not build support - instead she knew better - she never had a good reputation from the early early days of the campaign - the secret service had secret names for her in 1992.


Hillary decided to run for President in 1998 - from that point it was all about her.


Her support for Al Gore was weak - she stole valuable media time from him in 2000 - and that may have been one major factor why Al Gore did not make it that year.


Hillary was not focused in on helping Al Gore.


Hillary's involvement in Washington with the Dean candidacy - Hillary was concerned Dean would win in 2004 - delaying her Presidential campaign to 2012 - and by then the country might be willing to go Republican.


Chris - if you do not know this inside story ask around - Howard Dean was talking about it at the beginning of the Rules Committee meeting - fitting that he was there - clearly stating why he was backing Obama and clearly broadcasting how those votes were going to go that day and why.


Did you catch that at the beginning of the meeting when Dean spoke?

Posted by: 37th&OStreet | June 6, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Just a few more-

He used advocates to paint the Clintons as manipulative, power hungry (as if he isn't running after 2 years in Senate), dirty and biggest one of all Racist so that he could ring up large margins in states where AAs or educated whites dominated the Dem party.

He charmed or scared the media into not challenging anything about him- the Rev. Wright thing floated around for a year+ before ABC put it on.

He created a narrative where anyone who said anything, true or not, was a racist- not just the Clinton's but their advocates- read the actual text of what G. Ferraro said- was it the same as accusing the govt. of creating AIDS and Crack to kill AAs? (Wright) He also threw his grandmother under the bus in the same speech.

He ran on a vague- MTVish bunch of rhetoric and words. Change-undefined- meant whatever one wanted to project on it. His policies were actually less ambitious than HRCs.

He presented a public face different from what was actually going on. He took money from bundlers, which includes lobbyists and corporations- but not from PACs and lobbyists directly (less than 1% of HRCs funds) and acted as if this was very differrent. He chose to forgo public financing based on this illusion, and the media are not calling him on it.

I will vote for him but don't be fooled- this guy is pure politician.

Leon

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Honestly, what is it that has poisoned all of us to the degree that we can not hear honesty from deceit? I read these posts, I start to get infuriated at the writer, their narrow point of view, their desire to just "win" their point and make someone look bad and then I realize that there is actually another human being writing that. Somoeone's mother, brother, life partner. I personally don't dig John McCain, not after he supported Bush in '04. Your "maverick" title goes out the window when you support the most man of "the man". And still, I listen to him. Are my ears slightly tinted? Yes. And still I do my best to listen, as best I can, with an honest ear. Do the same. Don't FOX it. Don't HUFFINGTON POST it. Don't draw a line in the sand, where your personal worth is somehow defined. Just listen for a moment.Honestly. And then decide.

Posted by: Jeremy | June 6, 2008 3:33 AM | Report abuse

"She was touting her popular vote victory and her ability to win swing states. Both points are as true as they are meaningless."

WHA?!?

Did you just represent Clinton's popular vote victory as truth? That would certainly seem to be a minority opinion in the political news media.

Posted by: w05 | June 6, 2008 1:50 AM | Report abuse

Grass roots organizing. This ties into the targeting of mid-February states early. I also understand that the campaign had set up field offices in every Feb. 5th state -- in some cases as early as November (e.g. in the case of Wyoming and Colorado). This one ties in with a 50 state strategy. In the case of a proportional delegate awarding system this was absolutely key.

In the late stages of the contest -- post Indiana and North Carolina -- Obama seemed to make a general election pivot. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but my sense is that Obama started conserving resources in advance of the general election at this time. The trade off here is that his loss margins were probably more substantial over the last month, but the calculation seemed to be that he was going to win just enough to put his campaign over the top by focusing on winning Oregon -- a key swing state in the general election.

One thing to look at going forward is the move to register new voters. This is a case where Obama's experience going back to 1991 and a historic Illinois voter registration drive which brought 150,000 new voters on the rolls is likely to be a model. Turnout in November is likely to be key. Rather than just mobilizing existing voters and waging a battle in the political center Obama is likely to supplement his numbers through new voter registartion. This was on of the keys to Obama's first win in Iowa -- he was able to get his victory margin based on support from new voters and by competing strongly for voters in the middle.

The focus on making substantial increases in new voters across the country -- work that is being done largely by volunteers and not through one of the traditional voter registration organizations -- seems like a very cost-effective way of going about this. It will be interesting to see if this works.

A final note that I'd add is that Obama has articulated a positive vision for the direction that the country should be headed -- a number of these achievements at the ground level have quite a bit to do with Obama's ability to inspire volunteers to get off their backsides and get involved in the political process. This is one of those intangibles that is hard to measure. Some politicians use fear as a motivator -- for the most part Obama has focused on getting folks motivated using positive emotional appeals.

Posted by: JP2 | June 5, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

i think crucial to obama's win, especially in the early contests, was his ability to attract young voters, independents, and soft/disaffected/disillusioned republicans, in addition to a fair number of tradtional democrats.

add to the above obama's ability to win as much as 95% of the african-american vote you can see that hillary never really had much of a chance.

Posted by: a. g. c. | June 5, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

At 10:03 June wrote the following:

"To the poster at 940
Your comment is this:
To Aspergirl,
In your post, you insinuate that Obama won by a devious trick: using new fangled technology that most people were not using and taking advantage of "a lot of bored, lonely kids". This characterization is below the belt slander.

This comment is disrespectful of the First Amendment - you are attempting to bully Aspergirl and you are attempting to discourage her from posting.
Your name calling is sexist and wrong.
Aspergirl has legitimate opinions and your tactics are OFFENSIVE TO FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY.
If you are connected to the Obama campaign, you should identify yourself as such"

To respond, I am afraid I cannot agree with you. The fact that I disagree with Aspergirl is reflected in the opinion I wrote. In my view (and I am sure it is shared by just about everybody), so long as I do not make personal attacks or inappropriate comments (such as racist or sexist slurs) I am entitled to react as I see fit. What on earth do you think the First Amendment is all about but to allow for the exchange of opinions? My comment was a criticism of her opinion - that is what an exchange of views is all about. I agree with you that she has every right to express her opinion, but I also have the right to disagree with her.

As for being disrespectful, I do not think that I was. In fact the motivation behind my comment was to point out that it was Aspergirl who was being disrespectful, what with dismissing millions of Obama supporters as "kids" and lonely losers who are working on his campaign just to find friends. I consider that bellow the belt and denigration of the dignity of those supporters, who are also exercising their First Amendment rights and democratic rights. Do you honestly consider that her opinon was respectful?

How you can justify calling my opinion sexist is beyond me. Was it because I in some way denigrated Ambergirl on the basis of her gennder (of course I did not)? Or is it merely that she was a woman? Was there any other reason besides that? Am I not entitled to express my view because it is critical of that of a woman? I am really mystified as to what you are talking about. What about the bullying and discouraging her from posting? In what sense did I do that? You know very well that I did not. I submit that you are full of hot air and little else, and if you consider this last mentioned opinion to be sexist, bullying, or anything else, I honestly don't care.

Since Aspergirl did not raise any objection, herself, I am sure she can handle herself and the criticism without your officious intervention. Butt out!
Nobody appointed you to be the thought police. Moreover, you do not set the rules for posting comments on the Washingtonpost, so you have no business telling me what I should do, such as your instruction that I am to identify myself as connected with the Obama campaign. Since you are so interested, I will tell you that I am not connected with the Obama campaign, but whether I am or not is not of you business.

Posted by: Marecek | June 5, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

"The issue here is "Judgement" not years in Senate."

Quite. How about twenty years in Trinity United, listening to the pastor's rants? And also Father Pfegler's who apparently was a frequent guest there?

Posted by: Krishna | June 5, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Now I am convinced that there is an affirmative action policy established to elect the Democratic Candidate, but no way this will happen in the Presidential election.

Maybe for the Democrats, experience is just another word, but it takes more than tons of money, the media behind you, and a good speach writer to become a World class leader!

Posted by: Caronte | June 5, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Wanted to share with others this other excellent analysis of the 2 campaigns from LA Times.

http://tinyurl.com/64rmfq

I think these articles are helpful for the healing process.

================

Posted by: Orion101 | June 5, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

The issue here is "Judgement" not years in Senate. I know people that do the same damn thing for 30 years and call that experience. That's crap! That's one year experience, done for 30 years. For example, Rumsfield, Chaney, McCain and many others taut their experience. Years in office doesn not always equal experience. President Obama will be the best president we've ever had.

Posted by: Real Deal | June 5, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Good write-up Chris.

After a loss (especially a close one) it stings for a while and we are not quite ready to review what we did wrong.

But with time, we regain our strength and balance ... and these objective assessments become valuable inputs for learning and accepting the outcome.

I hope the links to these mistakes and successes will be maintained on the site for sometime - so that these key lessons can reach us when we are ready for it.

Introspection, reflection, acknowledgement and adapting to the new reality - these are good things to practice!

Posted by: Orion101 | June 5, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

You also missed that he consciously threw dirt on his white blood, and this is the main reason he will just be remembered as the first black Candidate!

Nice try kiddo, but no cigar!

Posted by: Caronte | June 5, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

I guess you missed his bowling style!

Posted by: Caronte | June 5, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I have to disagree with all those who said the media was biased in favor of Obama. Hello? Rev. Wright? Pflager? Oh, I guess Obama's people put that out there to showcase his remarkable ability to dodge kitchen sinks (wink, wink) Good strategy. The reality is that the media trashes everyone when the opportunity presents itself. No one is spared.

Posted by: dcp | June 5, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

There is one thing the fix missed in its analysis of what Obama did right . . . his sheer calm and unflappability! Lest we forget why most campaigns derail, it's because candidates don't show the calm, patience or certainty of their convictions to maintain principal instead of succumbing to political calculation. The "Clinton Brand," by contrast, is inextricably linked to political calculation. There is no question that Obama's calm in the face any manner of indignity not only kept him on track strategically, but it distinguished him as someone who could make the right decision no matter what was buffeting him. That's the kind of President people want.

As an aside, I love the Republic "minions" who come out en masse to these comment boards and newsgroups to vilify anyone left of Atilla the Hun. Speaking of political calculation, these "comments" about Tony Rezco's sure seem like a typical GOP concerted effort to use character assassination as a means to political end. That's GOP politics as usual, though. So, let me address this on their level. Two words . . . Ken Lay! You guys quibble about a distant political groupie of Obama that perhaps netted him thousands in contributions out of hundreds of millions that Obama collected from genuine small donors. Ken Lay, on the other hand, was a VERY close family friend of the Bush's who raised millions as an official "Bush Pioneer" campaign fundraiser . . . and who, incidentally: bilked the American public of tens of billions of dollars; caused the California energy crisis that bankrupted several state public utilities as well as costing state energy consumers billions; and, finally, oversaw the greatest Corporate accounting scandal in WORLD history! Seems to me that's a pretty big glass house folks!

Posted by: Goldbear85 | June 5, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

It's Iraq stupid. Chris still hasn't gotten the significance of Clinton's pro-war vote. It did more than give Obama the opening to challenge Clinton. It was crucial for his fundraising and his finding passionately committed volunteers. Clinton's defeat, for these people, is righteous retribution.

Posted by: New Zealander | June 5, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Well then. Lots of cranky people here today. I'm mystified by all the assertions that Obama somehow got a free pass from the MSM. He attended a madrassa? He sat in a hate-filled church for 20 years? He mispoke on a very true point about Republicans resorting to wedge issues? He can't bowl, so he must be an elite egghead? Have you people been watching/reading the same MSM I have? I'm also mystified by all the so-called Democrats who would rather sign on with the shameless, shape-shifting McCain than take a few lumps and get on board with a progressive candidate.

Posted by: David J. | June 5, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

What about the Spousal Missteps.

Michelle Obama's foot-in-mouth moments may come back to haunt Obama during the GE, but they didn't seem so big once they had passed.

Bill's Irritant Factor always seemed to climb, never diminish. Don't you wag you finger at me you miserable miscreant! And I voted for him twice and would have done a 3rd time if it was possible.

Al Gore may have misplayed his 2000 GE by not tapping into Bill's star power. Hillary was better served when Bill STFU!

Posted by: Roofelstoon | June 5, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Chris:

I would expand on the whole Iraq War issue. Maybe Obama has been planning to run for President since he was in kindergarten. Who knows? But he was clearly considering a run in 2002. I don't know if he's an expert in middle east culture, politics and religion, but he at least had the good sense to recognize which "experts" knew what they were talking about and which didn't in the run up to the war. So, I guess, as far as the issue of experience and judgment goes, in that case at least he demonstrated the good judgment to take his cue from people who knew what they were talking about. So, in my opinion, he made a smart poltical calculation to come out against the war and simply state what a lot of experts (or unpatriotic individuals (or worse) according to the Bush administration) were saying. If the war had turned out the way the Bush administration predicted (we wish!), he would not have had the neccessary "hook" upon which to push his bid for President. So, it wasn't just the fact that the Iraq war has gone so horribly and he could always fall back on the issue to promote his superior judgment, it's the fact that he made a strategic decision to make that speech. Had he not done so, he would have been just an inspirational orator with a very thin resume and he would not now be the Democratic nominee. I for one would prefer someone who is smart, has intellectual curiosity and enough confidence to actually be willing to listen to other points of view. Obama has to work on not coming off as arrogant, but I'll take someone who is smart and arrogant over someone who is stupid an arrogant any time. If he is elected President, I hope that his administration is as well organized and smart as his campaign has been. I know a lot of people argue that citing how a candidate has run their campaign is not a basis to say they would do a good job as President, but none of the last 3 contenders, Obama, Clinton or McCain has ever been in charge of running any organization -- so we don't have much else to go on in that regard -- and Obama's campaign blew Clinton out of the water (and McCain's campaign was practically the equivalent of an Chapter 11 reorganization). Just think if the public had really considered what an abject failure "W" was in the business world. My understanding as far as the office of Governor in Texas goes (and I'm sure I will be corrected if this is wrong) is that the position of Governor is largely ceramonial, and it is really the Lt. Governor that handles the day to day administration of the state government. So, it didn't really demonstrate "W's" abilities. Unfortunately, being President has. It's somewhat comforting to think that no matter who the next President is, it can't get any worse than it already is, can it?

Posted by: jjl3964 | June 5, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

The Obama campaign may have taken the High Road most of the time, but they knew when to get down and dirty on one thing. They had almost immediate comebacks to those Clinton surrogate seemingly innocuous comments (and finally to the Senator herself with the assassination comment). They just used a variation of the Clinton technique.

When the Clinton Campaign floated those subtly damaging comments, the Obama campaign immediately slammed them on it, feigning indignance. They beat the Clinton Campaign by just pushing the Clinton tactic back at them.

It will be interesting to see if they can they handle it as well in the General Election campaign.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | June 5, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

William P. - I'm with you. You succinctly captured my sentiments.

Democrats are intent on losing thi selection on what another poster termed White Guilt. So be it.

Posted by: Krishna | June 5, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Considering how Hillary feels sexist attitudes are key to what did her in, and much stronger than she expected, and that Barack supporters are vexed and hyper-vigilant with the racism they continue to face, and that in some ways each feels their respective prejudicial opposition to be the stronger, as directed at them, might there be some deeper common ground, focused on countering BIGOTRY as the problem, both deliberate and unconscious.
There are many bigotries (it's a nasty word) beyond these two. The stigma of mental illness, ageism, classism, ethnocentrism...

Posted by: Jess | June 5, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

The Fix: After voting 40 years for Democratic Presidents, the hardest of which was on leave from Vietnam, I just signed on with McCain and made a donation. I was an avid HRC supporter + witnessed the worst character assassinations by the Media and the Democratic party directed at Bill and Hillary. To me, it's all about honor and not policy. Both houses don't accomplish anything. WaPo/CNN/MSNBC/NYT, you got what you wanted, now revel in it. Yes, I'm a bitter White working class voter with a college education. Not a racist, just disgusted with cheap Chicago politics and an empty inexperienced suit, that panders to everyone and a hijacked party. Good luck, in the fall without us!

Posted by: William P. | June 5, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"What did we miss? "

"we" (pompous, aren't you?) missed -

his Incredible Dumbluck
his Free Pass from Criticism from most of the Press
his barechested swimsuit pictures
his surrogates on MSNBC, Washington Post, CNN (to a lesser extent)

that's for now.

"This is called the WHITE GUILT CAMPAIGN - it is more pathetic than Hillary's fake tears.

Chris YOU ask what Obama did right? He got away with a RACIST campaign. - Posted by:"

I can see why the above post wished to remain anonymous. The Obamaniacs are a formidable lot. They can't countenance criticism of the Messiah.

The biggest feat he achieved was to inoculate himself from any criticism, and instill mortal fear in anybody but FOX, if they dared criticize him. Otherwise you cannot explain the pass he got for all of his gaffes, and the way Hillary was crucified for hers.

Whenever he committed a blunder, couple more Super Delegate strickled into his column; as if they thougt let's not get this runt beaten up.

You know what he should do to ensure his election? Committ a few more gaffes, and drag more of the likes of Rev Wright from his closet. That will only endear him to his constutuency, harden his suport. And more pictures from the beaches of Hawaii, to send chills up the legs of the likes of Chris Mathhews of Hardballs.

Amazing!

Posted by: Krishna | June 5, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

It turns out Obama is just another Washington politician-- what is up with his speech at the AIPAC? Does that sound like a new politician? "Change" crowd, take that! If he is elected, he will do what every other politician before him did. So much for the "breath of fresh air"!

Posted by: Amazed | June 5, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Great job, Chris. I agree with all of your points. Win or lose Barack has forever changed the way presidential campaigns are ran. He has set the new standard. Now, let me go over to Barackobama.com and give another donation. Obama 4 America 2008 & 2012!

Posted by: Carita | June 5, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

One of Obama's selling points was that he was against the war in Iraq from the beginning. This means his veep should have the same selling point, otherwise the veep would undermine his so-called principles. This, in turn, disqualifies Hillary Clinton for the no. 2 spot (not regarding the fact that her personality is too strong for that position).

Posted by: dcp | June 5, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

What went right for Obama? Media bias and DNC stupidity pushed him over the top. Both groups will suffer for it in November. Hopefully, we'll see many Dem loses in the House in November and Nancy Pelosi losing her job. I believe the media is already suffering from loss of viewers/readers and there will be many more when Senator Clinton exits on Saturday.

Posted by: hazwalnut | June 5, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Don't overlook the appeal of Obama's intellect. Despite Hillary's attempting to portray Obama as "elitist", huge blocks of voters from across the political spectrum have been attacted to Obama specifically because they view him as both intelligent and as having judgement to go with it. Even people who don't regard themselves as intellectuals appreciate intelligence when coupled with candor and have found themselves intrigued by a candidate who can put an entire sentence of two and three syllable words together in a way that makes sense. Obama should thank W. Bush for the gift of a public fed up with terminal dumbness in its highest official.

Obama's appeal to intellect has also been a critical factor in his fundraising. People who appreciate intellect seem to be able and willing to pay for the pleasure of having a little of it around.

I believe that it is also Obama's intellectual appeal that will pull a significant block of "moderate" Republicans (mostly younger white suburbanites) into the Democratic column, thus boosting many downballot Democratic candidates in the process.

By the way, forget everything I just said if Hillary is the Veep.

Posted by: Stonecreek | June 5, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

For people wanting to get the registration fixed. Try talking to the Ombudsman, Deborah Howell. It's pretty much her job to reflect complaints and stuff to the newspaper.

Deborah Howell can be reached at 202-334-7582 or at ombudsman@washpost.com

Yeah, you can even call her.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 5, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

If Sen. Obama did all those things right to get nominated, then kudos. That's some clever work if what you told Chris was true.

Jokes aside -- compared to what we had where we are now and where we are headed if we stay the GOP course. Sen. Obama did right just by showing up.

Stop with the guilt by association crap. There are some strange bedfellows in all parties and politics and we all know that.

I'd like to take this time to thank G W Bush, however. As a Black woman I'd never thought I'd do this -- ever. Because of you Bush, and your ability to mess up a country to the point it is unrecognizable and to do it across 2 terms made even White men vote for a Black Man for President.

SO here's to you Mr. 30% approval rating president man -- Sen. Obama would have never made history and I would not be enjoying this wonderful historical time with my kids as the impossible surely has happened in our life time if not for your ability to be the biggest F*%$ up in White House history.

Finally you do something to help African-American's. If Sen. Obama makes it all the way to the 1600 and Penn. Ave you just might make up for at least half of your Katrina screw ups.

Posted by: love2muchSE | June 5, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

DDWAD...Do you have 20+ Years of being stupid?

Posted by: DDWAD | June 5, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

"20+ Years Friendship/ Association With Rev. Wright!

20+Years Membership in a Militant Black Liberation Theology Church!

20+ Years Friendship/Association With Rev.
Pfelger!

20+ Years Friendship/Association With The Ayers!

20+ Years Friendship/Association With Rev. Farrakhan!

Many Years Friendship/Association With Other Hate-Filled, Disgruntled Souls!"

I think you forgot 20+ years of being black.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 5, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse


washingtonpost.com's Politics Blog
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What Went Right for Obama
After devoting nearly 1,500 words (as several readers helpfully pointed out) to an exegesis of what Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) did wrong in her bid for Democratic presidential nomination, it occurred to us that the counter argument about what Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) did right was also worth exploring.

As captivating as Clinton's fall from presumptive nominee to also-ran in the space of the last 18 months is (The Post's Anne Kornblut and Dan Balz penned a detailed "what happened" piece today that is well worth reading), it doesn't hold a candle to the meteoric rise of Obama who went from a defeated congressional candidate in 2000 to the party's presidential nominee eight years later.

While the rise may seem effortless to the casual observer, a number of decisions -- both large and small -- over the course of the past 18 months changed the course of the contest in Obama's favor. That Obama and the Obama campaign chose right in nearly every instance is a feat of political strategy and tactics for which they deserve a huge amount of credit.

Below you'll find our take on the key factors that led to Obama's victory on Tuesday night over Clinton. Agree or disagree? The comments section awaits.

* Change vs Experience: When talk began to bubble up about Obama running for president in the fall of 2006, the biggest question was: "Is he ready?" There seemed little doubt among the Democratic chattering class that the Illinois senator would one day run for president, but there were major questions about whether a guy who had served in the Senate for less than two years could convince voters he was ready to lead at a critical juncture in American history. Obama, to his credit, saw what many people missed -- that while he would take his lumps for his lack of Washington experience, those criticisms would pale in comparison to the desire among Democratic voters for fresh faces and a promise of doing things differently. The genius of Obama's calculation is that instead of simply running against the Bush Administration, he used his call for change to take in Democrats -- particularly Bill and Hillary Clinton -- as well. In doing so, Obama was able to turn the primary into a battle over "change" versus "more of the same." In a political climate like this one, "change" wins every time.

* Follow the Rules: Early on in the primary process, the Obama campaign embraced the idea that there was a very real possibility that the race wouldn't be over in Iowa or New Hampshire or even on Feb. 5, when the Super Tuesday primaries were held. They made the decision to begin to send staff to states like Maryland, Virginia, Louisiana, Washington and Wisconsin -- all of which would vote between Feb. 6 and March 3. The Obama on-the-ground organization paid off as the Illinois senator went on an 11-contest winning streak over that month that, in retrospect, clinched the nomination for him. Not only did Obama win 11 straight times but he took advantage of Clinton's lack of a plan in these states to run up HUGE margins that built him a triple-digit delegate lead that the New York senator was never able to cut into. The Obama campaign realized that the only metric that mattered in the end was delegates, a strategic assumption that Clinton never made. (As late as Tuesday night she was touting her popular vote victory and her ability to win swing states. Both points are as true as they are meaningless; the nomination is decided on delegates, nothing else.)

* Patience is a Virtue: It's hard to remember now but roughly one year ago, many people were questioning whether Obama was ever going to seriously challenge Clinton. While polling in Iowa was showing a close race, Clinton was dominating Obama in the national polls, a domination that drove a storyline that Obama's candidacy might be all hat and no cattle. Lesser candidates (and campaigns) would have panicked -- making a series of changes on the messaging and staff fronts in hopes of changing the narrative of the campaign. Obama stuck to his plan, knowing that you don't chop down a giant the size and power of Clinton with a single stroke. Instead he and the campaign stayed disciplined and focused on their core message: the only way to bring about real change is to nominate someone who hasn't been knocking around the political system for the past several decades. As summer turned to fall, the seeds Obama had planted began to sprout. The rest, as they say, is history.

* Emphasize Iraq: An analysis of how to beat someone as well connected, well funded and seemingly invincible as Clinton began and ended with her vote in favor of the 2002 use of force resolution against Iraq. It was Clinton's most obvious Achilles Heel, a place where she was clearly out of step with the average Democratic voter. (Atrios as well as a few other in the blogosphere have pointed out the role Iraq played in Clinton's defeats and called out The Fix on the oversight. Point taken.) Early in the race, Iraq provided Obama the justification to challenge Clinton. None of the other serious candidates had opposed the war from its start, a position that gave Obama instant credibility among the anti-war left and distinguished him from the crowded field of contenders hoping to be the anti-Clinton.

As the contest wore on and narrowed to just Clinton and Obama, the impact of the war vote transformed; it became Obama's most effective response to Clinton's repeated questioning of his experience. Every time Clinton hinted at the idea that Obama lacked the requisite experience to be president, Obama brought up his initial opposition to the war and Clinton's vote in favor of the use of force resolution. Judgement trumped experience.

* Small is Better: Of all the hard-to-imagine components of this Democratic campaign, perhaps the most difficult one to have foreseen was the massive financial advantage that Obama enjoyed over Clinton as the primary race wore on. How did he do it? Both Clinton and Obama took a traditional approach in raising their early money, relying heavily on the recruitment of major donors able to bundle thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollar in contributions. But, as the campaign continued, it became clear that Obama had another fundraising gear thanks to the massive outpouring of small dollar donations collected almost entirely over the Internet. While many people tend to regard Internet fundraising as nothing more than a spigot that can be turned on and off, building the capacity -- and the grassroots energy -- to rake in the tens of millions that Obama collected takes time and money. The early (notice how that word keeps coming up in regards Obama's campaign) investment in online fundraising paid off as each side tapped out its big donors and had to look elsewhere for cash. Clinton wound up dipping deeply into her own pockets even as Obama was collecting anywhere between $35-$50 million A MONTH -- the vast majority of it online.

* Chicago Central: Politics and real estate don't have that much in common. But, one thing that is central to both professions is location. Where a candidate chooses to base his (or her) campaign headquarters has both practical and symbolic importance. Obama's decision of Chicago as his base of operations allowed his campaign team -- almost all of whom had roots in Washington -- to get outside of the Beltway echo chamber. That made sticking to the campaign plan easier as the campaigns' strategists didn't have lunch every day with a reporter or party operative who spent the meal raising questions about the strategic direction of the campaign. On a symbolic level, putting the campaign in Chicago reinforced Obama's basic message: I am an outsider who does not know the ways of Washington. (Unlike past presidential campaigns, not knowing the ways of Washington was a huge plus for Obama.) Clinton's campaign, on the other hand, was originally based on K Street in Washington (ugh) before moving to Ballston in northern Virginia. Neither one helped Clinton make the case that she could be a true change agent in the race. And, the closeness of the campaign HQ to Washington made it tough for the Clinton operation to divorce itself from the conventional wisdom of the capital city.

What did we miss?

By Chris Cillizza | June 5, 2008; 7:40 AM ET | Category: Eye on 2008
Previous: Clinton's Departure a Bow to Reality | Next: Dean Stays at DNC, Tewes Joins


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CommentsPlease email us to report offensive comments.

What did yoiu miss? Hmmmmm let's see.

1.) How about the fact that Obama earned his political chops the old fashioned liberal way, in Chicago, the long-standing corrupt political cesspool. He was outside when he was inside.

2.) Obama is cut from the same cloth as every other radical left-wing liberal. They are so driven by their world-view beliefs that actual facts, truth and reality are not even visible when viewed through their ideological glasses. To the radical left-wing ideologue, it's the end result that counts not how you get their. The only truth and reality that exists, are the ones they have defined. That's is why the radical left has taken so strongly to Obama. His messianic skills make him the ideal cult leader to deliver the message and pour the kool-aid.


Posted by: occam | June 5, 2008 1:57 PM

While the Internet money boggles the imagination, I think you missed the difference between the Dean Internet campaign and the Obama Internet campaign. Both raised large sums of cash. But in 2004 the Dean online campaign was all ether. Getting excited, attending a rally or two and hosting a meetup didn't affect the actual primary voter or caucus goer. The Obama team actually turned all that online support into people on the ground (and yes there were Dean people going door to door in Iowa) in what was presumably a more organized manner owing from his experience in community organizing.

I also think the playing field needs to be emphasized. The 22 contests on Feb 5 played a huge role. If they had been spread out more Obama could have raised his vote total in some states like CA, NJ & MA, but on the other hand the Clinton camp would have had time to correct her message and win delegates Obama won unopposed. Back in January I thought the 22 contests on Feb 5 would be the Obama killer. That Obama needed time in each state to outperform Clinton. He needed the time to let his money edge wear her down. That she would come out with a small to medium lead and then just hang on. Instead, while she had a lead, it was Obama who racked up the victories and then outlasted her.

Posted by: muD | June 5, 2008 1:47 PM

I, for one, am stil shocked that this relative new-comer was able to defeat the Clinton machine. It seemed like the entire Democratic establishment was in Sen. Clinton's corner. It's just amazing how this guy came out of nowhere to win this thing.

I don't think he can win in November, though, without a significant contingent of Clinton's supporters. I'm not convinced that she really wants him to win. The tone of her speech Tuesday night was shocking to me. I voted for Giuliani in the primary, and my wife voted for Clinton. Tuesday night, my wife got really angry at the way Clinton was making everything about her and not really taking that first step to unite the party and rally her supporters to Obama.

Lastly, whenever she does make the endorsement speech, she needs to make it clear that Obama actually WON the primary contest and stop misleading her supporters with the "i won the popular vote" nonsense because she didn't.

Posted by: Carl | June 5, 2008 1:45 PM

Good analysis, Chris. You hit most of the high spots on Obama's impressive list of strong moves.

I would add:

-- the use of online communities to bolster local-level organizing;

-- focus on turning out the youth vote;

-- selecting solid professionals for his staff based on their campaign credentials rather than their loyalty;

-- avoiding all the internal bickering and drama that permeated other campaign staffs;

-- writing his own speeches and sticking to a consistent message: always addressing the American people as adults capable of digesting and internalizing complex ideas was a remarkable gesture from a national leader;

-- keeping his cool even in the face of crises that touched on his most personal issues and values: maintaining remarkable emotional composure, he looked genuinely presidential under pressure;

-- never, ever succumbing to the temptation to throw the "kitchen sink" at Hillary Clinton, even while she sank lower and lower;

-- not giving in to the urge to pander, especially on the silly McCain/Clinton proposal about the gas tax holiday: his intellectual integrity paid off big time;

-- devising a powerful 50 state strategy that was designed for the long-haul rather than the swift kill.

For decades to come, scholars will write books about the brilliance of the 2008 Obama campaign. I can't wait to read Barack's own account of this historic race.

Posted by: dee | June 5, 2008 1:16 PM

Honestly,

I wasn't there when the cat was there!
I didn't hear all of the cat's cries!
I only heard the cat cry when you did!
I just read about the cat in the media!
I wasn't there when the cat cried!
It wasn't the cat I knew!
The cat cries are just a distraction!
What's important is the cat's disappearance!
I apologize if the cat cries disturbed you!
I can no more disown that cat than if it was my cat!
That cat's cries are not my cat's cries!
Was`that your cat I just hit with my bus?

Posted by: Concerned14 | June 5, 2008 1:09 PM

Anonymous 12:54

Also don't forget that all judges are part of a highly secret sect of Masons. If you say "Tubulcane" at anypoint during a trial, they are forced to rule in your favor and paddle themselves with a cricket-bat.

Posted by: JesseW | June 5, 2008 1:05 PM

13:00 - Uh. Yeah. You've outted me. Wapo? This is becoming absurd.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 1:03 PM

Anonymous 12:54

Maybe _you're_ the one who hears voices telling them to do the bad things?

"Clearly this was done by anti-Clinton forces within the DNC"

Yeah, and if you go to the east end of the Teddy Roosevelt bridge and say "Betelgeuse" three times in a row, a midget will go slap Mary Matalin in the face!

The Clintons OWNED the DNC. Get real. Stop blaming all of your dissapointments on strangers who scheme to bring you down.

Posted by: | June 5, 2008 1:02 PM

Itdoesn'tmatter:
You do know that USNORTHCOM's AOR is "air, land and sea approaches and encompasses the continental United States, Alaska, Canada, Mexico and the surrounding water out to approximately 500 nautical miles. It also includes the Gulf of Mexico and the Straits of Florida." (your link)

As you'll note, that's nowhere near Iran. I don't know how an excercise by that command could be a prelude to war.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 1:01 PM

Just to be clear, I have been "behind the goat" about 30 times and he was behind me about 50 times. (this month I mean).

that is why I say it is more likely he will "get you from behind than vice versa".

I am going to get the cat declawed.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 1:00 PM

what did Obama do right - he ran against a known criminal.

Posted by: kingofzouk | June 5, 2008 12:57 PM

"On the day Barack Obama hoped to unite his party after wheezing over the finish line and claiming the Democratic nomination, a jury in his hometown of Chicago convicted his longtime friend and fundraiser Tony Rezko of multiple felonies," said Republican National Committee Chairman Robert M. "Mike" Duncan.
"This is further proof that Obama's high-flying rhetoric is just that, and in no way represents the kind of change our nation demands."


Posted by: Thomas | June 5, 2008 12:56 PM
==========================================
But you quote RNC Chairman...Mr. Corrupt 101 to make what point?

Posted by: Hans Folger | June 5, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

wine track winner. the rise in college educated and young voters in the democratic coalition coupled with a near monopoly of the black vote proved able to overcome the challenges that previous liberal insurgents had

Posted by: college kid | June 5, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, occam. And let's not forget about Obama's pal Tony Rezko, now convicted of mail fraud, wire fraud, soliciting bribes, and money laundering.

One of the counts against Rezko detailed how he funneled the proceeds of an illegal kickback scheme into Obama's 2004 Senate campaign.

Rezko's co-conspirator, a former trustee of the Illinois Teachers Retirement System named Stuart Levine, told the jury that he directed the TRS to invest $50 million with a firm called Glencoe Capital. In exchange, Levine arranged for himself and Rezko to be paid a fraudulent $500,000 "finder's fee." Levine routed Rezko's half to an associate named Joseph Aramanda in March of 2004. That month, Aramanda wrote a $10,000 check to Barack Obama's campaign.


Obama said yesterday "That's not the Tony Rezko I knew". Isn't it?

It's hard to believe that Obama could be so clueless about Rezko's character, just as it's hard to believe that Obama sat in Jeremiah Wright's pews for 20 years and had no idea that the man was a radical black nationalist.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | June 5, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

What did yoiu miss? Hmmmmm let's see.

1.) How about the fact that Obama earned his political chops the old fashioned liberal way, in Chicago, the long-standing corrupt political cesspool. He was outside when he was inside.

2.) Obama is cut from the same cloth as every other radical left-wing liberal. They are so driven by their world-view beliefs that actual facts, truth and reality are not even visible when viewed through their ideological glasses. To the radical left-wing ideologue, it's the end result that counts not how you get their. The only truth and reality that exists, are the ones they have defined. That's is why the radical left has taken so strongly to Obama. His messianic skills make him the ideal cult leader to deliver the message and pour the kool-aid.

Posted by: occam | June 5, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

While the Internet money boggles the imagination, I think you missed the difference between the Dean Internet campaign and the Obama Internet campaign. Both raised large sums of cash. But in 2004 the Dean online campaign was all ether. Getting excited, attending a rally or two and hosting a meetup didn't affect the actual primary voter or caucus goer. The Obama team actually turned all that online support into people on the ground (and yes there were Dean people going door to door in Iowa) in what was presumably a more organized manner owing from his experience in community organizing.

I also think the playing field needs to be emphasized. The 22 contests on Feb 5 played a huge role. If they had been spread out more Obama could have raised his vote total in some states like CA, NJ & MA, but on the other hand the Clinton camp would have had time to correct her message and win delegates Obama won unopposed. Back in January I thought the 22 contests on Feb 5 would be the Obama killer. That Obama needed time in each state to outperform Clinton. He needed the time to let his money edge wear her down. That she would come out with a small to medium lead and then just hang on. Instead, while she had a lead, it was Obama who racked up the victories and then outlasted her.

Posted by: muD | June 5, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I, for one, am stil shocked that this relative new-comer was able to defeat the Clinton machine. It seemed like the entire Democratic establishment was in Sen. Clinton's corner. It's just amazing how this guy came out of nowhere to win this thing.

I don't think he can win in November, though, without a significant contingent of Clinton's supporters. I'm not convinced that she really wants him to win. The tone of her speech Tuesday night was shocking to me. I voted for Giuliani in the primary, and my wife voted for Clinton. Tuesday night, my wife got really angry at the way Clinton was making everything about her and not really taking that first step to unite the party and rally her supporters to Obama.

Lastly, whenever she does make the endorsement speech, she needs to make it clear that Obama actually WON the primary contest and stop misleading her supporters with the "i won the popular vote" nonsense because she didn't.

Posted by: Carl | June 5, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Good analysis, Chris. You hit most of the high spots on Obama's impressive list of strong moves.

I would add:

-- the use of online communities to bolster local-level organizing;

-- focus on turning out the youth vote;

-- selecting solid professionals for his staff based on their campaign credentials rather than their loyalty;

-- avoiding all the internal bickering and drama that permeated other campaign staffs;

-- writing his own speeches and sticking to a consistent message: always addressing the American people as adults capable of digesting and internalizing complex ideas was a remarkable gesture from a national leader;

-- keeping his cool even in the face of crises that touched on his most personal issues and values: maintaining remarkable emotional composure, he looked genuinely presidential under pressure;

-- never, ever succumbing to the temptation to throw the "kitchen sink" at Hillary Clinton, even while she sank lower and lower;

-- not giving in to the urge to pander, especially on the silly McCain/Clinton proposal about the gas tax holiday: his intellectual integrity paid off big time;

-- devising a powerful 50 state strategy that was designed for the long-haul rather than the swift kill.

For decades to come, scholars will write books about the brilliance of the 2008 Obama campaign. I can't wait to read Barack's own account of this historic race.

Posted by: dee | June 5, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Honestly,

I wasn't there when the cat was there!
I didn't hear all of the cat's cries!
I only heard the cat cry when you did!
I just read about the cat in the media!
I wasn't there when the cat cried!
It wasn't the cat I knew!
The cat cries are just a distraction!
What's important is the cat's disappearance!
I apologize if the cat cries disturbed you!
I can no more disown that cat than if it was my cat!
That cat's cries are not my cat's cries!
Was`that your cat I just hit with my bus?

Posted by: Concerned14 | June 5, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous 12:54

Also don't forget that all judges are part of a highly secret sect of Masons. If you say "Tubulcane" at anypoint during a trial, they are forced to rule in your favor and paddle themselves with a cricket-bat.

Posted by: JesseW | June 5, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

13:00 - Uh. Yeah. You've outted me. Wapo? This is becoming absurd.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous 12:54

Maybe _you're_ the one who hears voices telling them to do the bad things?

"Clearly this was done by anti-Clinton forces within the DNC"

Yeah, and if you go to the east end of the Teddy Roosevelt bridge and say "Betelgeuse" three times in a row, a midget will go slap Mary Matalin in the face!

The Clintons OWNED the DNC. Get real. Stop blaming all of your dissapointments on strangers who scheme to bring you down.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Itdoesn'tmatter:
You do know that USNORTHCOM's AOR is "air, land and sea approaches and encompasses the continental United States, Alaska, Canada, Mexico and the surrounding water out to approximately 500 nautical miles. It also includes the Gulf of Mexico and the Straits of Florida." (your link)

As you'll note, that's nowhere near Iran. I don't know how an excercise by that command could be a prelude to war.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Just to be clear, I have been "behind the goat" about 30 times and he was behind me about 50 times. (this month I mean).

that is why I say it is more likely he will "get you from behind than vice versa".

I am going to get the cat declawed.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

what did Obama do right - he ran against a known criminal.

Posted by: kingofzouk | June 5, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"On the day Barack Obama hoped to unite his party after wheezing over the finish line and claiming the Democratic nomination, a jury in his hometown of Chicago convicted his longtime friend and fundraiser Tony Rezko of multiple felonies," said Republican National Committee Chairman Robert M. "Mike" Duncan.
"This is further proof that Obama's high-flying rhetoric is just that, and in no way represents the kind of change our nation demands."

Posted by: Thomas | June 5, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I was a Hillary supporter and voted for her in my state's primary. I regret that vote, in the face of the ego-mania she is driven by.

Why is she acting like a spoiled child that was told it was past her bedtime and it was time to go to sleep - yet she refuses to go to sleep?

She felt the nomination was hers - and it wasn't. Before I thought she would make a great running mate, but she's only screwed herself - but good.

Good riddance, Hillary

Posted by: Frank G | June 5, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

To look at what really happened. The DNC handed Obama the election when they made the decision not to hold a re-vote in Mich. and FL. Clearly this was done by anti-Clinton forces within the DNC and insured that Clinton could not win the Democratic primary. This even though she would carry more votes than Obama and would be the stronger candidate against McCain. The granola eating hollywood liberals really did steal the election from the middle American Dems. The Clintons saga has run it's course in American politics. The Dems will now go on to lose what should have been an easy victory in November. Perhaps just deserves?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Embrace Similarities. Obama made the right tactical choice not to stress differences. By delivering a similar message on issues, he did not give Clinton fodder for an arguement while at the same time giving issue conscious voters what they wanted in substance and a more attractive candidate with less baggage.

Posted by: Harry, Milwaukee | June 5, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

12:42 - Ummm... Okay. I take it you've never been in a barnyard, stalker? Don't you know there's no such thing as a good goat? Heck, they're more likely to get you from behind than vice versa. There's a reason Satan is often depicted with goat's legs and horizontal pupils.

They do make mighty fine composting lawnmowers, however.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

How about the fact that Obama never went negative on hIllary despite her constant effort to get him to do so. How many times ddid you hear Obama utter the words: Lewinsky, Mark Rich, McDougal, Whitewater, Vince Foster, Billing records, or Travelgate? I'll tell you - none! It is remarkable to me that he could keep his cool and not ever bring these things up despite Hillary bringing up Rezco and being coy about his religous beliefs. It hink it is the class in which he ran his campaign that made a big difference in the end.

Posted by: NM Moderate | June 5, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter:

Has that voice inside your head stopped telling you to do the bad things yet?

Posted by: JesseW | June 5, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"Don't risk our National Security on Inexperience."

I'll take risking it to correctable inexperience to stubborn incompetence any day.

Posted by: FLDem | June 5, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Bsimon-
Don't you wish you could have been a (fly on the wall / bug on the phone / inside the head of undecided superDs) for conversations between (SuperDs / superDs and the campaigns)? Those would have been fun.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

"she was touting her popular vote victory and her ability to win swing states. Both points are as true as they are meaningless... " -- how is her popular vote claim true? Only way she gets there is by including Michigan and ignoring the caucus states.

Posted by: tomj | June 5, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

It really doesn't matter what went right or wrong for Sen. Obama

Bush will attack Iran before Inauguration Day, all to be preceded by a national military exercise, conducted by known as "VIGILENT SHIELD 08" or "VS 08" for short. The exercise will occur between Oct 15-20 and be conducted by The United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM).

The directive released on May 9th, 2007 has gone almost unnoticed by the mainstream and alternative media.

In this directive, Bush declares that in the event of a "Catastrophic Emergency" (social, economic or otherwise) the President will be entrusted with leading the activities to ensure constitutional government. The language in this directive would in effect make the President a dictator in the case of such an emergency.

The language written in the directive is disturbing because it doesn't say that the President will work with the other branches of government equally to ensure a constitutional government is protected. It says clearly that there will be a cooperative effort among the three branches that will be coordinated by the President. If the President is coordinating these efforts it effectively puts him in charge of every branch.

More info on this story at The United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) website:
http://www.northcom.mil/News/2007/083007.html

Posted by: it doesn't matter | June 5, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I also use the goat for a lot of other stuff too. a good goat will do that.

;)

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Mason writes
"The youth vote is an important thing to mention, and one of the key reasons is a simple matter of population numbers. The US population pyramid has an hourglass figure with the chest in the Boomer range and the Gen Y/Millenials at the hips. Gen Xers represent the waist... BHO was able to draw massive support from these new voters."

I have to wonder how much this impacted the superdelegates. I would think that forward-thinking dems would be looking at a candidate that can draw from the next generation of voters from a pretty positive perspective.

Posted by: bsimon | June 5, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

12:36 - Bored yet? Can we get that IP banned please?

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget his books. I was out of the country during the 2004 convention and missed his speech, but several friends who had seen it were saying he will be a major player someday. So I read Audacity of Hope when it first came out -- and it looks like a lot of other people did. Here was someone who was trying to appeal to our better nature, not to our fears or greeds. Then there was the incredible oratory -- -- I had a chance to catch part of one of his speeches when he was campaigning for a congressional candidate in the 2006 election.

Like many, I was still skeptical. Could he run a campaign? After all both his primary opponent and his initial election opponent in the senate race had self-destructed. Who among us couldn't beat Alan Keyes? But Senator Obama's books and speeches warmed us up. Once he proved himself in Iowa and once a few of our early-on favorites to be the un-Hillary dropped out (mine were Dodd and Richardson), we began to flock to his campaign.

An old fart for Obama

Posted by: Kit Taylor | June 5, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

12:29 12:34 - Don't bother picking though my garbage looking for SSNs. I use a cross-cut shredder.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

That wasn't me. everytime you see my name and it isn't me, it is me. got it?

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Mike-
Another poster on here (not saying who, b/c I don't want to start that argument again) was blaming Bush's election on Y's complacency. I disagreed, saying that it was boomers and older. While I don't think I changed his mind, nor did he change mine, I did dig up fun numbers that were seemingly beyond reproach. Truth is, only 4% of Y could vote in 2000 and only ~20-25% percent in 2004. That's more like ~45-55% now, as there's a bit of a bump in the middle of the demo around your son's age. They call it and "echo boom".

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Well, how's the conversation going, Mason?

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm talking to you, Mason.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

12:23 - Huh... Now my stalker is talking to himself. Or is he talking to me? It's so hard to tell since there's no registration on this farking comment board.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Good analysis of the youth demographics, Mason.

I guess I fall into Obama's "other" demographic, educated white male. And at 45, I guess people classify me as the end of the Boomer generation.

My oldest son just turned 18, and luckily he seems to be a thoughtful voter. You have to be careful, though. I'm almost afraid to talk up Obama to my son, because anyone I like can't be "cool" enough for him.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | June 5, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Obama can sure pick a staff! Someo of them were new to this level of politic; Axelrod sure wasn't.
Is there anything a president does that is more important than picking his staff and cabinet?

Posted by: Frank Palmer | June 5, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

A sound strategy and good execution. Just ask what will be the outcome of the Lakers-Celtics series. Having a tremendous key player also helps

Posted by: nclwtk | June 5, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Mason,

I don't care if it was you or not and I don't care if you like cats or not.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Chris, you didn't miss much. I guess we all would like to see more positive articles.

Posted by: DenisR | June 5, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

12:20 - Also not me. Though the original false poster at 12:19 was right. I'm not a cat person. Dogs like you, and goats will mow your yard for you.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

12:19 - Not me.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Jim J

That's right, Obama just can't be good enought to win on the merits. The biased "media" handed to him. Doesn't everyone who campaigns for president had a media relations person? I guess the horribly biased "media" just didn't listen to Hillary's media relations people. Maybe because her campaign was too busy trying to score political points by blaming the media for what was going wrong with her campaign.

It's a little like blaming an NBA loss on the refs. It only buys you more losses later on.

Posted by: JesseW | June 5, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

that wasn't me! Me and the krazy kat lady have hundreds and I would never demean cats or Democrats.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I don't have a cat. they just hang around looking for food. they are obviously Democats.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I was also going to add Obama's 50 state strategy - he walked the walk and framed his candidacy in terms of broad traditional Democratic themes that had an air of inclusivity to it. People out here are hungering for that message. Clinton's problems was that while she talked about these broad same themes, she campaigned (particularly in the beginning) strictly strategically, only focuses on certain states. Her message never went beyond the state she was in that period. It was not until later she took a page from the Obama book, but fumbled it as well.

Posted by: Obama '08 | June 5, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Technically you may be correct but you have to ask why? Obama managed to make himself a story and that in it''s self is a strategy. Hillary with all he name recondition didn't do that. She ignored the fact the the public is fickle and can be lost in an instant. She needed better PR people. Even the most top ratted TV program will eventually go off the air if the public is allowed to lose interest. A better show came to town in the name of Obama and people took notice, Hillary didn't know how to deal with it.

++++++
No serious discussion of "what went right for Obama" could exclude the embarrassingly fawning coverage of him by the mainstream media. I thought you guys sucked up to Bush, but that was nothing compared to this. I was going to say you all should be ashamed of yourselves, but after you being MIA on the whole run-up to Iraq I won't bother -- you obviously have no shame.

Posted by: Jim J | June 5, 2008 11:54 AM

Posted by: cccccccccccccccc | June 5, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

The youth vote is an important thing to mention, and one of the key reasons is a simple matter of population numbers. The US population pyramid has an hourglass figure with the chest in the Boomer range and the Gen Y/Millenials at the hips. Gen Xers represent the waist. During the last couple of cycles, only Xers, who are relatively few in number compared to their older and younger peers, and the oldest of the Yers could vote. Now that the more than half of a generation equal in number to the Boomers can vote, that generation can actually have an effect. BHO was able to draw massive support from these new voters.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I recall reading (somewhere) a comment from a superdelegate who ultimately gave his support to Obama that he was thoroughly impressed that the Obama campaign had planned out the entire nomination battle, predicting with great accuracy precisely how Iowa and the early battles, Super Tuesday, and the caucuses would play out, right up through the toss-up in Pennsylvania.

Obama's campaign analyzed the entire campaign process and the likely outcomes of states correctly, and it constructed and consistently followed a plan around the primary and caucus schedule that would guarantee victory.

Had the campaign misjudged or panicked after New Hampshire, we'd be having a different discussion right now.

Posted by: blert | June 5, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Is that your cat up in the tree, Mason?

Posted by: NYFD | June 5, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"I would have no clue those people that I befriended throughout my life who would turn up as rotten apples if I were ever to run for a political office....."

How about if they co-signed on a house you couldn't afford? how about if you went to church every sunday for 20 years and got married and baptized by them? how about it it was the first person to hold a fundraiser in their living room for you?

these are not just casual friends. these are close as you can get. He seems to have a very high tolerance for bad behavior. and when confronted, dumps them immediately, sort of.

Posted by: kingofzouk | June 5, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Two things, Chris....one an elaboration, the others additions.

Elaboration: What many democrats don't realize is that Howard Dean's chairmanship of the DNC represented a significant change from the previous model of national political organization put forth by Terry McAuliffe during his chairmanship of the party. McAuliffe, Clinton, et al. represented a centrist, "try to look strong by copying RNC talking points" theme epitomized by the DLC and an emphasis on fighting only in strategic states while giving up on "guaranteed" republican seats and districts. It's this policy that cements swing states in status. Clinton was married to this "50% plus 1" strategy. The problem is the attempt, via this policy, to take immovable votes from the Republicans. Moreover, this strategy relies on an extremely charismatic politician like Bill Clinton. What charisma and appeal Hillary Clinton had wasn't developed until the end of the campaign, when it was too late.

Obama, on the other hand, embraced the priniciples of Dean's "50 State Strategy" by which no safe republican seat or state goes unchallenged. Fight everywhere and fight along the lines of traditional Democratic themes rather than strategy: labor, health care, kitchen table issues, war as it relates to the average citizen.

This thematic rivalry was a clash of old versus new, political appeasement versus riding the war into successful challenge in states Clinton couldn't ignore if she wasn't going to get blow outs.

Addition 1: Obama was able to look self-assured and presidential in response to controversy, whether that controversy was something like Wright or strategic response to Clinton's or McCain's attacks. It was the political expression of turning adversity into opportunity and Obama is very good at it.

Addition 2: He actually was able to deliver the youth vote.

Posted by: Karen H. | June 5, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Concerned14's response is exactly the type of Ann Couter, Bill O'Reilly garbage that has been way too frequent over the airwaves. Since Concerned14 is so great at "reading" Obama, perhaps she can apply the same talent to McCain. However, I also have an idea that he/she would like to characterize Bush. I would like to see some fairness.

Obama is for real. This guilt by association garbage is just that. At this moment, I would have no clue those people that I befriended throughout my life who would turn up as rotten apples if I were ever to run for a political office. Also, people have been known to change over time. Those who like to persecute others give no credit for this.

Posted by: Earl C | June 5, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Here kitty, kitty.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

12:02 was not me. See what I mean Wapo? Get on the stick.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

OnToTheShow:

I don't know if FL is going to be close, but I'm pretty sure that MI will come around. Right now McCain is getting some votes from disappointed Democrats. MI went for Gore and Kerry, and I don't see us going for McCain in the end (although I did vote for him--in the 2000 GOP primary!)

PS: Please don't send the Clintons to MI--keep them in FL.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | June 5, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Mike.
I have. I think that inbox leads straight to /dev/null.

In any case, some of what I'm saying is aimed at other posters (AC or named).

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone seen my cat? She ran away last week.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Now, as for what went right for BHO:
Better organization.
Better fundrasing.
Knew the rules.
Not a Bush/Clinton.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Mason, et al,

There is an email link for complaints at the top of the comments. The email is

blogs@washingtonpost.com

I don't think anyone is reading our comments line by line looking for complaints. The most they probably do is scan for obscenities.

Please email them there if you want to correct the problems.

Thanks.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | June 5, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

As an extreme example of the civility that registration can bring, compare the discussion linked below to the discourse on this page.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Muhammad/images

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Check out this map on RCP:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/maps/obama_vs_mccain/?map=10

This is the map we should all concentrate on. It shows Obama winning the election (272 to 266) IF the candidate currently leading in each state wins that state. (There is another map that shows the toss-ups, but I like this one because there will be no toss-ups in the final count).

Some interesting points
- The map shows Obama winning OH and PA, but losing MI and FL, giving credence to the view that there is a path to the presidency without MI and FL.
- Some may read this as a blow to Hillary's influence, i.e. if Obama is winning PA and OH now, her efforts can't add much. I think that view is wrong, because those states are so tight that Obama needs every edge.
- Right now, Obama's "change the map" strategy needs some work. He picks up CO and NM, but doesn't get VA and NC.
- McCain does create problems in NH, but he's not going to pick up MN, so he's got a harder time identifying pick-up opportunities.

So if I were Obama, I would
- Pick Warner or Webb from VA to put it back in play ... the "Native Son" strategy usually doesn't work, but with VA's changing demographics and the closeness of the race, Obama has a shot.
- Tell Hillary and Bill to spend the next 5 months in PA, OH, MI, IN, maybe NC. If they leave one of those states to campaign anywhere else, arrest them and return them to those states.

Posted by: OnToTheShow | June 5, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

No serious discussion of "what went right for Obama" could exclude the embarrassingly fawning coverage of him by the mainstream media. I thought you guys sucked up to Bush, but that was nothing compared to this. I was going to say you all should be ashamed of yourselves, but after you being MIA on the whole run-up to Iraq I won't bother -- you obviously have no shame.

Posted by: Jim J | June 5, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

See... WAPO? This is what I'm talking about. Your forum can be meatpuppeted, astroturfed, and spammed up the wazoo. Is this AC the same as the last AC? Who the hell knows? You do, because you have IP records (you DO have IP records, right?) but your users have no bloody idea. Get with it. Hell, even Wikipedia, the paragon of crowdsourcing, puts IPs on ever single post/change, UNLESS someone is logged in and registered.

This isn't China. We don't need annonymity to discuss politics.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

I appreciate your points and explanation. The real issue today as we stand on top of this historical event in the life of our country is to see how Barack manages the campaign from here. Granted that his primary campaign was almost without flaws. Obama readily admits that some of his responses to Clinton's attacks were out of character with who he is and the nature of his campaign. Actually, it is quite refreshing to hear someone with Obama's candor. The strongest points for Barack are his apparent transparency, his friendly smile, his ability to respond quickly to attacks without being disrespectful and sarcastic, and his clear articulation.

Personally, I do not think Hillary will add to his campaign. I would like to see him choose someone with whom he feels comfortable, someone who can challenge him in his mission as President. Granted that Hillary can challenge him, but Hillary has shown a sarcasm in debate and response that wears old very quickly.

I heard the spin yesterday that Obama must get out in front rather than to respond to the town meeting and let's-go-to-Iraq challenges from McCain. I say, let Barack be himself. McCain has no clue what he is asking for. Barack knows town meetings. Barack will have McCain so tied up in 15 minutes that McCain will only be left with only a silly grin on his face. The sad truth is McCain is not a public speaker. When he strays from his prepared text, he stumbles badly in English usage.

I believe that Obama is getting stronger each day. The main groups of people who will be left defending McCain will be the fundamentalist religious right (gay marriage and abortion are the only issues that matter) the extremely wealthy (who may again be faced with paying their fair share of taxes for the benefits that they receive) and those who would never vote for an African American (I call these people bigots).

Posted by: Earl C | June 5, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Other things that Obama did right

1) He wrote a book that actualy inspired people instead of one that was wonkish. That enabled him to have an immediate national campaign

2) He utilized new networking technology, Facebook, that easily enabled him to stay in touch with supporters.

3) Obama's campaign was even-keeled unlike the highly emotional Clinton campaign.

4) The brilliance of the strategy can be seen on the week before Super Tuesday when he was campaigning in DE and ID while his opponent was ignoring them.

Posted by: David | June 5, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Sherry Kay:

Keep calling him a phony messiah and blaming WAPO for what's happening. That way there will be no one to recognize that Obama's a pretty effective politician and he'll simply dance his way to the presidency.

You can keep thinking he has no talents and he can keep beating you or you can figure out what his strengths are, develop a plan to overcome them, volunteer for the McCain campaign, and stop him.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

You miss:

1) Treating voters with respect, dignity and intelligence

2) His sincere decency, kindness, class and generosity tempered with resolve, courage and conviction.

3) NO DRAMA!!!!!!!

4) His life experience and world view.

5) He is ONE OF US - ie anyone who chose to work hard against all odds to succeed.

The media truly downplayed he is no trust fund scion, that he went to university on scholarship, that he just PAID OFF his school loans, and has worked very hard not only to succeed but more importantly to help others. This is NOT the case of having any silver spoon in his mouth, unlike HRC, McCain and worse, Bush.

Posted by: NWPoster | June 5, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Sen. Clinton has significant baggage and does not speak as well as Sen. Obama.

Her time to run was 2004. She miscalculated.

Posted by: pdurand | June 5, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

this is the problem with the republicans, remember when president bush did coke, how about the keating 5, how about john macain's 1st wife, becarefull about throwing the 1st stone. obama 08

Posted by: g.r. | June 5, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Concerned14:

I think there's a convention of people who are convince that Area 54 still houses alien spacecraft. I think you'd be very welcome there.

I would have liked it if the connection between the Nixon administration and the Bush administration was a bigger factor in 04. It wasn't. I got over it, you should get over this.

Posted by: JesseW | June 5, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Oh dear me,so what will WAPO Obama Shills
like Chris and all the Kool Aid Drinker
Obamabots do when they see their phony
Messiah crooked corrupt Chicago Way poltical hack liberal elitist loser cocaine
snorter Barack Hussein Obama frog marched
away in handcuffs after Obama's former
fundraiser Chicago slumlord now convicted
felon Tony Rezko the jailbird sings like
a pretty little songbird all about all the
shady and crooked totally corrupt deals that Barack Hussein Obama and him put together with each other now then? And how
will the Obamabots like becoming Obamafools? No Way Barack Obama! NOBAMA!

Posted by: Sherry Kay | June 5, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

"I don't suffer fools, AC. Grow a name."

I have a name. I don't use it for jokes.

Didn't you just tell everyone to ignore ACs? I think you do suffer fools.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

What Obama did right - he utilized the convenient idiots of the MSM.

today, another of his close friends convicted of fraud and other felonies. this is the guy who co-signed on his house while under investigation while his latteness was "working for the poor".

If you work for the poor while taking advantage of rich crooks, does that cancel out?

so now we have a look into Barack's personal life. to date all of the following seem to have issues:
wife
pastor
fundraiser
real estate partner
political mentor

Does he have any "normal" friends at all?

Posted by: kingofzouk | June 5, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

The High Road comments are good observations.

In denying Obama's nomination Tuesday, Hillary Clinton heaped praise on herself.

In acknowleding his own nomination, Barack Obama heaped prase upon Hillary.

Therein lies the difference.

Sure, Obama knew that he couldn't isolate Hillary supporters - it wasn't pure egalitarianism.

However, Clinton had to know that her political future is now tied to Barack Obama (whether she wants the VP slot or not) and being petty sure wasn't a good thing to do politically

Posted by: JesseW | June 5, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

"What Obama Did Right"

I've got news for you!
Coming soon to a headline near you:

What Obama Did Wrong To Cause Him To Dropout!

20+ Years Friendship/ Association With Rev. Wright!

20+Years Membership in a Militant Black Liberation Theology Church!

20+ Years Friendship/Association With Rev.
Pfelger!

20+ Years Friendship/Association With The Ayers!

20+ Years Friendship/Association With Rev. Farrakhan!

Many Years Friendship/Association With Other Hate-Filled, Disgruntled Souls!


20+Years Friendship/Association/Dealings With Convicted Felon Antoin Rezko!

Many, Many Years Of Telling Tall Tales!

The picture emerging is that of The Great Pretender!

Obama is the opposite of what he says he is and what he appears to be!

OMG!

This is the Democratic Nominee For President of The USA?

Woe Unto All!

Posted by: Concerned14 | June 5, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

His name was not Clinton.....or Bush for a start. Everything else is gravy!

Posted by: poorrichard | June 5, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Foremost: Obama earned his delegacy by staying on task. He didn't whine and drone when some pointed to his lack of experience on The Hill or his color. He didn't stoop to Hillary's antics and cause a commotion by redirecting the focus from where the future of this country is headed to a "Poor Me...I'm a Woman...Hear Me Roar" dirge. He remained calm and delivered his message, one he truly believes he can deliver with the help of a new breed of politicals desperately wanting a fresh way of doing business in the US. Obama lacked something Hillary has in reserve....a sense of entitlement. Her rise has been plotted and planned since her college days, you can be sure, and Bill has been the millstone around her neck for decades. His shenanigans will continue. A tiger doesn't change his stripes and this was a run for the Oval Office that was fought in tandem....HillBilly Drama would continue for the next Presidential term. Speaking for myself, I'm not interested in 4 years of cover stories on US/People magazines about Hillary kicking Billy to the curb...another US first...a Presidential Divorce while in office. I won't vote for a woman simply because she is one, won't sacrifice a vote because of a candidates race and I certainly can see the forest for the trees. I won't stand for 4 more years of White House Drama. This country has some serious work to do. I pray that Obama doesn't choose Hillary for VP. Let's let sleeping dogs lie....she'll do more good out of the limelight.

Posted by: rdonal | June 5, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Rehashing the prior months and analyzing the keys to Obama's getting the nomination at this point is boring!!! This conversation just seems like a playground for trolls.

What does the future hold for Obama?
1) What are the positives that can be built on?
2) How is he going the meet oncoming new challenges?
3) What is the strategy for courting the demographic groups that are not his constituancy.

Posted by: vcsmith | June 5, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

"Obama has no business experience, no economic experience (beyond buying his cocaine) and no experience at all in the Senate on economic issues (he was off on a book tour and other stuff while still collecting a paycheck from the American people.)"

Meanwhile, McCain admits to not being strong in economics, and vows to learn by reading former Fed Greenspan's book. He also points out that the current economic plan is leading this country in the right direction.

Gee, can I vote early?

Posted by: John in Mpls | June 5, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

ditto to egc52556

Obama may not be the saint that some of his supporters claim him to be, but he is a savvy politician.

Being a savvy politician is what propelled him to victory and if his opponents continue to delude themselve with notions of voters who are spellbound by his "fairy-tale" and a media/right-wing/left-wing conspiracy are destined to be defeated the next time.

When you refuse to admit your opponents strengths you never learn to beat them.

BTW, the fact that the media was relatively favorable to Obama is not an accident. McCain has also learned that an effective candidate takes care to cultivate good media relations. Blaming your misfortunes on the media only makes you appear weak and invites more media scrutiny

Posted by: JesseW | June 5, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

THE HIGH ROAD AND OBAMA'S TEMPERMENT
Over many years, I have come to believe it was sadly impossible for a candidate to win taking the high road. One of the reasons I and many many Obama supporters have been passionate about his campaign is because he stuck to the high road--- and won!! He had REAMS of Clinton scandals to use and he did not go there.) He has the right temperment to lead--calm, confident, brilliant, thoughtful, inspiring, gracious. Not only did he overcome the inevitable candidate and her machine he was DOUBLE TEAMED throughout by no less than the most popular Dem president in 50 years.

Posted by: kathleen | June 5, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I don't suffer fools, AC. Grow a name.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"It's an idiom."

Grow a sense of humor.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Some missed points:

* Obama is not just a good orator; he can be an elbow-throwing strategist when necessary. Note his taking of the Illinois State Senate seat from incumbent Alice Palmer (after she failed to win congressional seat.) Note his "I'm looking forward to you advising me, Hillary" comment during debate. He is not all sweetness and light. This rope-a-dope combination makes his opponents underestimate him. As Clinton did.

* Obama's response to Rev. Wright -- this blow to the kneecap would have taken down a lesser strategist and orator.

* Obama's and Clinton's policies are similar, so personality became a premium. Not everybody will agree, but I think voters like Obama's personality more than Clinton. Her high and consistent negative ratings bear that out. His high-road strategy helped.

* Message. Paraphrasing Bill Clinton, "If one candidate is selling you experience, and the other is selling you hope: hope wins." (I'm sure I have that quote wrong, but could not find exact source).

* Bill Clinton = Mr. Toxic

Posted by: egc52556 | June 5, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Don't be daft, AC. It's an idiom.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to invite everyone who is worried about racism and sexism to stop the statements of "if so-and-so were a man/woman/white/black"

The fact is that no one can accurately claim to know what would happen if Hillary or Gerry Ferraro was a man or black or Barack was a woman or white.

If Hillary weren't a woman, she wouldn't have been married to Bill. That would mean that all of the important things she did while First Lady would have never happened. Who knows, the male Hillary might have been a dentist. So we can't even begin to talk about how people would have treated a male Hillary.

If Barack weren't black he would never have been a community organizer in Chicago. This lead to the start of his political career. Again, another dentist.

If Gerry Ferraro were a man, she probably wouldn't have felt as strongly about womens issues as she does now. This means that a male Ferraro probably wouldn't have been a prominent member of a Hillary campaign. Therefore the male Ferraro wouldn't have been around to make the statement that the female one did.

Making blanket statements about what would happen if this person was one gender/race or the other simply illustrates our own backward assumptions about race and gender relations.

Posted by: JesseW | June 5, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Mason writes
"Grow a sack and get mandatory registration."

Dearest Mason- it is not the sack that matters, but the contents. To wit: Goddam it, WAPO, grow a ball and get mandatory registration.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Commenters have noted the importance of social networking to the Obama campaign.

Also important: Youtube and blogs. These sources of info. have allowed the Obama campaign to bypass much of the mainstream media. Case in point: the Philly racism speech. Because of youtube viewers could watch the whole thing on demand, as opposed to relying on soundbites. I can understand why msm 'journalists' (I put that in quotes because how few of them actually do anything more than rehash press releases anymore??) would want to ignore this, but the use of these sorts of media outlets appears to have been a calculated ploy of the Obama campaign, and one that the Clinton's never figured out.

The other crucially important thing: Obama does not talk to voters as if they are nothing but fearful idiots.

Posted by: R Mc | June 5, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

And to the posters: Stop responding to anonymous cowards. Let them spew. Like any child, they'll stop once they realize no one is paying them any heed.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

To the anonymous poster who keeps putting in double-spaced attacks on "JesseW" but won't give his or her own name or any name, even a phrase:

Please stop filling up this comments column with repeats of the same posts. Submit once, give the software time to put up your comment. It just takes a few minutes.

Also, please stop trying to fill up the column by padding your arguments with tons of line spaces. I find this abusive of all the rest of us trying to read through the general discussion. You are hogging the microphone and that doesn't exactly make your arguments more persuasive.

To repeat: Sign your posts, if only with a phrase rather than your actual name; use single space and fewer paragraph breaks; and don't repeat your posts over and over simply because you are too agitated to wait for them to appear.

More generally, you should recognize that the purpose of the Comments section here is to respond to Chris's column and have an interesting group discussion as political enthusiasts. This is not the place for a flame war because most Washington Post readers are not familiar with that idea and will simply assume you are nuts, and because we don't want to watch two random anonymous people flail at each other. Who cares, you can see that anywhere on the Internet. Please go elsewhere if you just want to share how much you dislike a particular politician. That is not the point of this forum.

Posted by: Fairfax Voter | June 5, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Thank-you for this! You may have eluded to this, but my attention was turned to Senator Obama when my 18 year old daughter saw him at ASU and said she wasn't washing her had because Barack shook it! What politician says, "Give it up for......" when introducing someone? He touches into contemporary culture like nobody else has for a long time, at least I think so, and becuase of my daughter, I have been drawn into looking further into this man. My daughter experienced what thousands have and was changed by hearing him speak! I mean, this is Arizona, her brother was in Afghanistan, and knew, because of his military background, her parents had already voted for McCain in the primary. Millions of parents took a closer look at Obama because of their kids! I found her enthusiasm infectious and refreshing for a first time voter! History in the making! (oh yeah, in true keeping with her generation's culture, she didn't even mention his ethnicity, and she is caucasian!)

Posted by: Lois from Phoenix | June 5, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

God damn it, WAPO. Grow a sack and get mandatory registration.

Posted by: Mason | June 5, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

So we can sum up the anti-Obama posts as:

Obama is a racist

Obama is sexist

Obama snorts cocaine

Obama was friends with a man who has been convicted of fraud and money laundering.

None of these are going to be big impacts in the general election.

Nobody but the hillary-fringe and the right-wing fringe really believes he's sexist or racist. Nobody cares about drug use in the distant past. Every politician has been associated with a criminal at some point (Bill, Hillary, W, and McCain all have at least some connection) and no one believes that Tony Rezko was close enough to Obama to make much political difference.

So I'm feeling pretty good

Posted by: JesseW | June 5, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

WHAT OBAMA DID RIGHT IS ADDRESS US INCLUSIVELY, AS 'WE' AS IN "WE WILL ACCOMPLISH THIS, YOU AND I TOGETHER, WHEREAS HILARY WAS ALWAYS 'I," AS IN "I CAN DO THIS, I WILL DO THIS, AND EVEN IN THE END, 'WHAT DOES HILARY WANT?" IT WAS NEVER, WHAT DO WE THE VOTERS WANT.

Posted by: molama | June 5, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I think the biggest mistake that this analysis makes is to suggest that Obama's anti-war stance appealed to the fringe left.

He brought a lot of moderate Dems and moderate Republicans (including myself) on board by being amazingly prescient about the absurdity of this war.

Posted by: Dave | June 5, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

The anonymous hater of cocaine-users better not have been a Bush supporter. His cocaine use is legendary. To whit he said "when I was young and stupid, I was young and stupid."

Again, if your only argument against Obama is cocaine use, this is going to be an easy election.

Posted by: JesseW | June 5, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

What Obama did right?... he wasn't Hillary, who is all sharp elbows all of the time. She's a say anything, do anything, ends-justify-the-means manipulator a la Bush.

No thanks.

Fight is good, fanaticism is scary.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | June 5, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

The question the American people should concern themselves with is WHO IS THE BEST CANDIDATE TO LEAD THE NATIONAL SECURITY OF THIS COUNTRY?


Cocaine use, and propensity to use cocaine again should be a factor in that decision.


Consideration of Obama as Commander in Chief responsible for our military is laughable.


The next question should be:


WHO IS THE BEST CANDIDATE TO LEAD THIS ECONOMY ?


Obama has no business experience, no economic experience (beyond buying his cocaine) and no experience at all in the Senate on economic issues (he was off on a book tour and other stuff while still collecting a paycheck from the American people.)

That is basically what the American people, especially young people, should be evaluating.

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

The Fix did a decent writeup. The next assignment for The Fix should be to delve into the major party candidates' respective organizations for the general. Where are they building campaign infrastructure? The Dems took the race to 48 states (excluding FL&MI) - meaning Obama & Clinton have organizations of some kind in each one. How about McCain? Are they focusing on swing states or going for the 50 state strategy? NYT reports this AM that Obama is already dictating new fundraising rules to the DNC. He's now the de facto party leader. On the GOP side, Bush is still the de facto leader - how does this impact the McCain campaign? There's a pretty deep well of content for The Fix to pursue. Get some buckets & see what you can pull up!

Posted by: bsimon | June 5, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Not only did Obama beat Clinton with savvy political maneuvering, fund-raising, strategizing, planning, messaging, and pivoting, he was more of a professional than she was. Let's admit it . . . politics is a profession, and Obama's poker face turned out to be much better than Clinton's. His professionalism (consistently trying to take the high road) and leadership by example won over many more fans and voters than the incessant inevitability, re-tooling, re-messaging, campaign shake-ups, "shame on you's", red faces, finger-wagging, and "fight to the finish" posturing from the Clinton campaign. The "No Drama with Obama" slogan was spot-on, and I believe it is exactly what you need if you are going to be the next POTUS and leader of the free world.

Posted by: tfseem | June 5, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse


The question the American people should concern themselves with is WHO IS THE BEST CANDIDATE TO LEAD THE NATIONAL SECURITY OF THIS COUNTRY?

Cocaine use, and propensity to use cocaine again should be a factor in that decision.


Consideration of Obama as Commander in Chief responsible for our military is laughable.

The next question should be:


WHO IS THE BEST CANDIDATE TO LEAD THIS ECONOMY ?

Obama has no business experience, no economic experience (beyond buying his cocaine) and no experience at all in the Senate on economic issues (he was off on a book tour and other stuff while still collecting a paycheck from the American people.)


That is basically what the American people, especially young people, should be evaluating.


.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

To emphasize bsimon's point:

Why is it that Gerry Ferraro says "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position" and the anonymous poster believes her to be an innocent victim of race baiting and sexism but Obama can call his own gradmother a "typical white person" and that makes him racist?

For the record, Gerry Ferraro is nether a racist nor an innocent victim of race baiting. And as a "typical white person" I don't believe that Obama is a racist for his statement either.

Posted by: JesseW | June 5, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

One thing that has astounded me from the beginning of this campaign is how the "conventional wisdom" got completely flipped on its head.

Hillary Clinton was branded as the most divisive, polaraizing woman in America. Nominating her would have meant a guaranteed Republican win in November.

Over the course of the campaign, however, she somehow became the champion of disaffected, lower-income whites, and as such, she was the only hope of beating John McCain in the general election.

Huh?

As a voter in New York, I originally was going to vote for Hillary. She's been a decent home-state senator, and I felt she would be a decent president who could accomplish incremental change in the right direction (things like greater coverage for children's health insurance, etc.)

However, the more I heard from Obama, the more impressed I became. That, I think, has been the secret to his success. Because he's only been in the Senate for four years, voters are tempted to think of him as a lightweight. But when they listen to him, they discover that's he's actually an intellectual heavyweight.

How refreshing after seven-plus years of a dumbed-down White House.

I voted for Obama in the primary because I was impressed by his intellect and I was impressed with the fact that so many young people actually went to the polls and voted for him (most candidates talk about the youth vote, Obama is the first one I've ever seen who's actually delivered it).

John McCain's push for 10 town-hall style debates will probably be his undoing. In the same way that Carter's push for debates with Reagan proved to be his.

The more people hear Obama, the more they like him.

The only thing standing between him and the White House is the depth of the underlying racism in this country, which can be hard to predict (witness Harold Ford Jr.'s senate campaign two years ago--for that matter, witness some of the insane rants on this message board).

I hope he picks Jim Webb as his Veep.

Posted by: Doug in NYC | June 5, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

The anonymous punk posting is Words of Wisdom, 37th&O Street, or whichever sock puppet sobriquet you would like to use on it. It has been shamed and humbled, and rather than being gracious in defeat has abandoned any pretense of reason and is sticking to its core message of racism.

If you antagonize it, it either floods the message board with five or six consecutive garbage posts, rants about the First Amendment, and/or tells you to review the message board rules. Pay it no mind.

Posted by: bondjedi | June 5, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

oBaman can not even buy his own house (in his case Chicago mansion) without direct help from his dearest friend Tony Rezko.

How can America trust oBaman to solve nation's deteriorating housing crisis?

oBaman is just another Bush Lite with different color party label. If oBaman is elected, America is doomed for ever.

Posted by: Steve | June 5, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP writes
"Of course, now that Tony's going to the penitentiary, Obama says "This isn't the Tony Rezko I knew"

Wait a minute...didn't he just say that about Rev. Wright?"


In a true political irony, this is also what the White House is saying about Scott McClellan. Somebody's lyin'.

Posted by: bsimon | June 5, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

Two things you left out. What went right for Obama was (1) the Democratic party's apportioning of pledged delegates. By using a weak-kneed system of assigning delegate Obama overcame his competitors. (2) Mr. Obama had the distinct privelege of being born male. It's great day to be a man in America. (My God, was Gerry Ferraro right?!)

Posted by: Tom | June 5, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

anonymous coward writes
"NO Jesse Obama is the RACIST - did you hear him slip saying "typical white person""

OMG!!! Have you heard? Obama called his OWN GRANDMOTHER a 'typical white person'!! HOly Crap!! How is he gonna get out of this one? My grandmothers were typical white people too - where does this guy get the audacity to claim his white grandmother is more typical than mine? And he wants to be president? OMG!!!

Posted by: bsimon | June 5, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Obama's coming out to my backyard, Nissan Pavilion, this afternoon.

Should make traffic fun. I look forward to sitting on 66 with all the Prius's, VW bugs, and Volvo's.

Posted by: JD | June 5, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I challenge you to find any quote by Barack Obama that disparages Geraldine Ferraro.

I also challenge you to tell me how to interpret "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position" as anything other that inflamatory.

Geraldine Ferraro said something stupid. She is probably not a racist, however, her statement certainly was. She refused to repudiate it and even defended it. Any PR person knows that the best thing for Ferraro to have done was to say "I'm sorry, what I said came out the wrong way. Here is what I was trying to say ..."

Had she done that she would not have damaged the Clinton campaign nearly as much.

How you can interpret the Obama as racist and mysoginist because of what Gerraldine Ferraro said is beyond me. Please, stop being bitter. My candidate is not a racist simply because your candidate lost. Neither is he a woman-hater simply because his opponent was female.

Calm down.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

JesseW


I am calling you a liar because you are lying.

What are you talking about ???

Obama would have never taken Gerry Ferraro to task if she were black - no she was attacked because she was white.


The whole attempt is to bully white America while attempting to unite the blacks ALONG RACIAL LINES.


Be serious, those are two contradictory positions.


That is why I have called you a liar.


I have supported my assertion as well.

You should apologize to the majority of the country that has white skin.


.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

JesseW


I am calling you a liar because you are lying.

What are you talking about ???

Obama would have never taken Gerry Ferraro to task if she were black - no she was attacked because she was white.


The whole attempt is to bully white America while attempting to unite the blacks ALONG RACIAL LINES.


Be serious, those are two contradictory positions.


That is why I have called you a liar.


I have supported my assertion as well.

You should apologize to the majority of the country that has white skin.


.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

JesseW


I am calling you a liar because you are lying.

What are you talking about ???

Obama would have never taken Gerry Ferraro to task if she were black - no she was attacked because she was white.


The whole attempt is to bully white America while attempting to unite the blacks ALONG RACIAL LINES.


Be serious, those are two contradictory positions.


That is why I have called you a liar.


I have supported my assertion as well.

You should apologize to the majority of the country that has white skin.


.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

JesseW


I am calling you a liar because you are lying.

What are you talking about ???

Obama would have never taken Gerry Ferraro to task if she were black - no she was attacked because she was white.


The whole attempt is to bully white America while attempting to unite the blacks ALONG RACIAL LINES.


Be serious, those are two contradictory positions.


That is why I have called you a liar.


I have supported my assertion as well.

You should apologize to the majority of the country that has white skin.


.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

NO Jesse Obama is the RACIST - did you hear him slip saying "typical white person"


Did you read his book??


Obama's book is FILLED with perceived slights which he thought WHITES MADE AGAINST HIM. The whole book is about RACE.

To be honest, I WAS OFFENDED by the contradictions in Obama's Philadephia speech as well.

I was offended by the "bitter" comments about small town America - which was directed toward WHITES.

Obama does not want to REPRESENT ALL OF AMERICA.


Wake up.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

To the anonymous poster who said,

"In response to your comments, I can not believe that 17 million people would vote for a former cocaine user for President."

I hope you didn't vote for Bush. I also hope you didn't believe Bill Clinton's "I didn't inhale drivel"

The rhetoric in these posts is getting downright conspiratorial.

If the only criticisms of Obama are that he is a racist for responding to the Hillary campaigns statements and that he admitted to cocaine use and that he's friends with Tony Rezko, then get ready for President Obama. Because there is no way the election is going to be decided on any of those things.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

JesseW


I did call you a liar. I believe you are attempting to deceive other posters on this board with your assertions.

You are either flat out wrong or a liar.

Clean up your act.

Obama DID run a campaign based on race.

The Obama people should have never made an issue of Gerry Ferraro - that was disrespectful - and it brought her into the campaign attempting to damage her reputation.


That shows no respect toward a woman.

The Obama people do not respect women, democracy or the First Amendment.


The Obama people do not respect the Voters of Michigan or Florida - or the Obama campaign would have fully and completely supported re-votes, and not sought to prevent re-votes.

I find Obama to be a horrible person, OFFENSIVE TO DEMOCRACY, OFFENSIVE TO WHITES AND OFFENSIVE TO THE POST RACIAL IDEAS THAT HE CLAIMED TO SUPPORT.


TAKE IT SOMEWHERE ELSE.


.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

To the anonymous poster who said,

"In response to your comments, I can not believe that 17 million people would vote for a former cocaine user for President."

I hope you didn't vote for Bush. I also hope you didn't believe Bill Clinton's "I didn't inhale drivel"

The rhetoric in these posts is getting downright conspiratorial.

If the only criticisms of Obama are that he is a racist for responding to the Hillary campaigns statements and that he admitted to cocaine use and that he's friends with Tony Rezko, then get ready for President Obama. Because there is no way the election is going to be decided on any of those things.

Posted by: JesseW | June 5, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Obama,
Brought home humility and approachability and many of us could very easily relate to him. Where as Hillary was jingoistic, her mouth pieces were blatantly lying and distorting facts. Hillary team was playing every card to diminish her opponent and threw anything they got to see it stuck. Hillary's voice (tone), demeanor early on was very repulsive, she was trying to show she is no less than a man to demonstrate that she was as tough. Obama stuck the rules, helped grow grass root outreach, imagine he attracting 80000 in Portland, OR. These were not bussed crowd which Bush used to do and Hillary did in ceratin places.

All that shows, we can expect Obama to govern this nation more effectively than we had seen recently. Nation, fasten your seat belts and get ready to take off with Obama at the controls.

Posted by: MN | June 5, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

JesseW


In response to your comments, I can not believe that 17 million people would vote for a former cocaine user for President.


What if Obama wants to go on another binge ?


Cocaine is very addictive and we still do not have the answer to the question as to whether Obama ever used crack cocaine.


Or did Obama always stick with the more elitist white powder cocaine ?


I think the democratic party could have advanced a better candidate. Is this the best the democrats can do ? Why why why?


There must be better candidates in the democratic party.


For the judgement of the 17 million people, I realy don't believe they were thinking "Who is the best person to handle our NATIONAL SECURITY?"


I think they were thinking, "I am going to prove I am not a racist by voting for Obama, boy does that make me feel good about myself."


To that I say to the Voters: your Constitutional Responsibility is to pick the person best suited to make decisions for the NATIONAL SECURITY OF THE COUNTRY, not some guy off the street who makes you feel good about yourself.

Another snort please ???

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

To the anonymous poster calling me a liar.

I watched your stupid link and am at a loss to determine its relevance.

Fact: Bill and Hillary and other Hillary surrogates made many statements leading up to the SC primary that were interpreted by many to be at the very least implying that Barack Obama's was the "black" candidate. Maybe they were, maybe they weren't. The fact is that many in the media, many voters, and yes, many in the Obama campaign felt they were.

Fact: In response to this an Obama strategist developed four pages of talking points on what the Clinton campaign had said and how those statements are racist.

Fact: After the retoric escalated out of hand, Obama declared a "truce" and said that both campaigns need to put this behind him.

Fact: The Tim Russert part you have repeatedly pointed out has Tim Russert pointing out the "4 pages of talking points" you keep bloviating about and then asks Obama if he would reject those talking point. Obama answers in the affirmative. He rejects them now and going forward.

Could someone conclude that Obama was not blameless for the racially charged back and forth? Of course.

Could someone conclude that Obama is a racist based on that video? Of course not.

As a matter of fact, since you seem to think that Clinton's statements were taken out of context and that she is not a racist for making them, how can you then turn around and call Obama a racist for talking points his strategist made that he publicly rejected? It seems as if you have the attitude that nothing that Clinton said should count against her but _everything_ Obama said should be construed in it's ugliest possible light.

Take a deep breath and relax.

Also, I'll thank you not to call me a Liar just because you disagree with me.

Posted by: JesseW | June 5, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Great list. I would, expand slightly on the message & discipline of Obama's campaign.

- Message: He picked a message and stayed with it. Yes, it was the right message, but he, and all of his campaign staff, stayed with it.
It speaks volumes that Clinton, and now McCain, ultimately adopted his message.

- Discipline: He ran a very disciplined, steady campaign. This is in stark contrast to both the Clinton and McCain campaigns (although, more apparent with Clinton). He had a few slip-ups with the NAFTA stuff & the Samantha Powers interview, but those were blips in a VERY calm, disciplined campaign.

And I'd also say that it's not just his message, but how he delivers it. A president must be able to inspire and lead effectively. Obama has shown he can do that better than anyone since Reagan.

Posted by: vshawnt | June 5, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

JesseW


In response to your comments, I can not believe that 17 million people would vote for a former cocaine user for President.


What if Obama wants to go on another binge ?


Cocaine is very addictive and we still do not have the answer to the question as to whether Obama ever used crack cocaine.

Or did Obama always stick with the more elitist white powder cocaine ?

I think the democratic party could have advanced a better candidate? Is this the best the democrats can do ? Why why why?
There must be better candidates in the democratic party.

For the judgement of the 17 million people, I realy don't believe they were thinking "Who is the best person to handle our NATIONAL SECURITY"


I think they were thinking, "I am going to prove I am not a racist by voting for Obama, boy does that make me feel good about myself."

To that I say to the Voters: your Constitutional Responsibility is to pick the person best suited for the NATIONAL SECURITY OF THE COUNTRY, not some guy off the street who makes you feel good about yourself.

Another snort please ???

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Chris
I would add 1) Grassroots vs. Grasstops and 2) Utilization of Congressional Race experts to gain delegates

Grassroots vs. Grasstops: Obama concentrated on the grassroots. They dug deep up here in New Hampshire to get a base of "regular" folks. Clinton went to the oracles and party leaders.

While it worked for her (just barely remember) in New Hampshire, it didn't work for her in the majority of other states she could have locked up (IA, VA, MD, MN, etc).

Congressional Experts: I think history will show that having Ploufe, Hildebrand, Tewes -- experts from Congressional Races -- and targeting the unique features within each Congressional District as to how Delegate counts worked was the most critical factor in minimizing losses (Texas, NH, Caucus states, etc) and maximizing victories.

Winning the nomination meant winning delegates. It was the detailed groundwork done months before the primaries started by these Congressional experts (Ploufe, Tewes, Hildebrand) that probably helped get the campaign through the tough times.

Posted by: RPin NH | June 5, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

If Obama takes his name off the ballot in Texas and several other states in November, does that mean that McCain's votes in those states do not count ??
Posted by: Anonymous| June 5, 2008 9:04 AM

Chris, you should be embarrassed that after half a year of you guiding us through this tour of hell this guy/gal doesn't know that primaries are conducted under different rules than the general election.

Posted by: aleks | June 5, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Barack's uplifting, optimistic, eloquent oratory was another important reason for his victory. He inspired millions of persons in this country as few politicians have in several decades. Unlike Hillary, he seemed more genuine and authentic, especially during the first three months of this year.

Posted by: Independent | June 5, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

CC writes "Chicago Central: Politics and real estate don't have that much in common"

Yes they do! Tony Rezko, to be exact. He's been heavily involved in both for quite some time. If it weren't for Tony and his influence, Barack Obama wouldn't be where he is today.

As fellow political fixer Stuart Levine said "I have never been in a better position than I am right now," boasting in a conversation secretly taped by the FBI. He said of Rezko, "This guy is making decisions . . . and can get anything done that he wants done."

Between Tony Rezko, Jeremiah Wright and father Pfleger, Barack Obama's rise to the top of Chicago politics was all but certain.

Of course, now that Tony's going to the penitentiary, Obama says "This isn't the Tony Rezko I knew"

Wait a minute...didn't he just say that about Rev. Wright?

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | June 5, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Hi all, I had a message drafted and hit some funny button before completing it. So if a half-written little comment making the same point as this one, but breaking off in mid-sentence, turns up, that's what happened. Trying again:

Chris, to answer your question, I think you missed an interesting additional factor: Obama's books. Saturday Night Live even made fun of the way that so many Obama supporters first learned of Barack Obama after reading his books (including, in SNL's skit, a wide-eyed General Petraeus, who devoted his Senate testimony to Dreams from My Father). But the books really did make a difference.

First was the somewhat traditional factor that they led to wildly successful book tours that gave Obama a look at many parts of the country and gave many parts of the country (including local media) a look at him. That has presumably happened before with other authors--although I think the books had a special impact because they are about his biography, rather than policy, so they were a great way to introduce himself as a person.

What I think is different is the content and nature of Dreams from My Father. It was written before Obama was a politician and it is a very personal, though not uncomfortably personal, memoir. As with any good memoir, you come away from it with the sense that you have "met" the author. You also can tell that the author is a thoughtful and very smart person who is comfortable in his own skin and clear about his political and social philosophy. Talk about retail politics. It is like a virtual one-on-one with the candidate, with a good wide vocabulary and no pandering or "talking down." The voice is, above all, authentic, not manufactured. This is who he is and what values he has in living his life. When you put It Takes a Village up against Dreams from My Father, I am afraid that there is just no comparison.

So my theory is that, in the primary, these books were huge, silent ambassadors for Obama. What I am curious about is how much they penetrated the (largely middle class, female) book club circuit. Dreams would be a wonderful book club choice for discussion but I don't know if the book clubs tend to shy away from politics. Certainly a good thing for the campaign to think about moving forward.

Posted by: Fairfax Voter | June 5, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

OK another false statement by JesseW below

**************************************


JesseW (being completely out of touch with reality) writes:

Obama has consistently taken the high road. Anybody trying to be objective on this couldn't possibly claim that he used his race to his advantage. Most objective observers believe he succeeded _despite_ his race.

***********************************

Well the South Carolina Obama campaign spent weeks and weeks pressing RACE as the issue in that state. RACE was the issue in South Carolina.


FALSE CHARGES OF BEING OFFENDED were the issue on several occasions with the Obama people


Video clip proving these point:


From the major networks:


Tim Russert confronts Obama about playing the race card - his "4 pages of talking points

http://tinyurl.com/6gcstl


Jesse you are either completely out of touch with reality or out of your mind


Which is it ???

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

i agree with an earlier post, it was the candidate himself; he was able to inspire thousands of volunteers, like myself, who repeatedly went door-to-door to get out the vote. all over this country, in good weather and bad, in urban areas as well as rural, volunteers marched, knocked on doors, smiled, encouraged and thanked voters. as talked continued relentlessly about hillary's supporters, little was made of the millions of us who felt just as strong for this intelligent, disciplined and thoughtful candidate.

Posted by: sbv | June 5, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

JesseW is so out of touch with reality we have to go with each point


************************************

JesseW writes

Obama never stated that he deserved a break for being black.

************************************

Well the Obama people did say that the Superdelegates should vote for Obama because the Superdelegates should "fear the backlash from the black community" and there will be "riots in the black neighborhoods."


Don't say that didn't happen and wasn't all over the media - being put out there by the Obama people.


That is basically a RACIST campaign conducted to get Superdelegate votes.


So on that point, you are a LIAR.

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Check out theAtlantic.com "The Amazing Money Machine," June '08, by Josh Green.

Obama's secret weapon were Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.

Posted by: felicity | June 5, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

To the anti-Obama people posting. Let me show you how to be gracious and deferential to your adversary.

For the record, I can't stand Hillary, I can't stand George W. Bush either.

Why did Hillary win her senate fight? Why was she the presumptive winner of this nomination contest? Why did she come so close even in defeat? Because she is a talented political operative and because many of her issues resonated with the public.

Why did George W Bush win in 2004, even though the war in Iraq was already not going well? Because he was able to effectively keep the election focused on whether or not the public could trust Kerry to run a country in light of his seeming inconsistencies on many, many positions.

I say this to point out to the 'anti-Obama' crowd that it is not a sin to give respect to your adversary.

In fact, Hillary deluding herself that Obama won through some mix of trickery, political correctness, and media conspiracies only made it is easier for Obama to beat her. Bill's "Fairy-tale" statement leading up to the SC primary is a prime example.

So go ahead, refuse to believe that Obama won this on the merits. Continue to encourage McCain to treat him like some impudent little boy, and watch Obama beat McCain in the election

Posted by: JesseW | June 5, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

You wrote:

The Obama campaign realized that the only metric that mattered in the end was delegates, a strategic assumption that Clinton never made. (As late as Tuesday night she was touting her popular vote victory and her ability to win swing states. Both points are as true as they are meaningless; the nomination is decided on delegates, nothing else.)


In fact, the Clintons always knew it was all about delegates, but went to the PV when they lost the delegate fight. See--
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/02/the_path_to_the_nomination.html

Posted by: A,W. | June 5, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

JesseW

I WAS OFFENDED BY THE RACIST NATURE OF THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN


WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU


View these clips from the major networks


Tim Russert confronts Obama about playing the race card - his "4 pages of talking points

http://tinyurl.com/6gcstl


.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

What went right for Obama was that at important junctures in his already very excellent campaign, "big gun" superdelegates stepped in and immeasurably helped Barack Obama keep up whatever momentum he had and/or minimize whatever reverses he might be ready to experience -- e.g., the Ted Kennedy and some other important Kennedy family members, Bill Richardson . . .

Posted by: tina | June 5, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

JesseW

I WAS OFFENDED BY THE RACIST NATURE OF THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN


WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU


View these clips from the major networks


Tim Russert confronts Obama about playing the race card - his "4 pages of talking points

http://tinyurl.com/6gcstl


.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

You wrote:

The Obama campaign realized that the only metric that mattered in the end was delegates, a strategic assumption that Clinton never made. (As late as Tuesday night she was touting her popular vote victory and her ability to win swing states. Both points are as true as they are meaningless; the nomination is decided on delegates, nothing else.)


In fact, the Clintons always knew it was all about delegates, but went to the PV when they lost the delegate fight. See--
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/02/the_path_to_the_nomination.html

Posted by: AW | June 5, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

What did you miss? You missed the candidate, dummy. The key to Obama's win has been from the start the charisma of the man. All the strategy in the world can't overcome the odds he did without the ability to connect with people through sheer force of personality--reflected especially in his ability to move a crowd and also project basic decency face to face.

Posted by: fulrich | June 5, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I think you missed the most important aspect of the Obama campaign. As a professional organizer myself, I can tell you that the key to a successful grass roots campaign is to motivate and empower people to believe that they are the ones - not some megalomaniacal "leader" - with the ability to improve their lives no matter what the issue may be.

As a former community organizer, Barack Obama took that fundamental principle and moived it from the micro level to the macro. He always talked about "you", and "us", and "our" and "we". HRC's operative pronouns were "I", "me", "my" and "mine".

That makes a world of difference. It takes a political race and makes it a social movement. It was implicit in every aspect of the Obama campaign, from message to fundraising to strategy to tactics. It even impacts logistics. Remember the buses lined up outside his events to take people to early voting sites?

Ultimately, it is a philosophy. It is why and how a President Obama may indeed change the country and the world.

Posted by: Organizer 721 | June 5, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

ep thorn

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

ep thorn


The discussion on metrics centered around arguments to convince the Superdelegates - both Moveon.org and the Obama campaign for a while STATED THAT THE SUPERDELEGATES SHOULD VOTE FOR THE CANDIDATE WITH THE MOST POPULAR VOTES.

Then when they realized that Hillary would win the popular vote (which she did) they changed their tone.

Get your facts straight. There is nothing wrong with advancing an argument to the Superdelegates.

What you don't get is how underhanded Obama's campaign is.


What you don't get is that Obama turned his post-racial campaign theme into a fraud by his own actions in South Carolina.


.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

ep thorn


The discussion on metrics centered around arguments to convince the Superdelegates - both Moveon.org and the Obama campaign for a while STATED THAT THE SUPERDELEGATES SHOULD VOTE FOR THE CANDIDATE WITH THE MOST POPULAR VOTES.

Then when they realized that Hillary would win the popular vote (which she did) they changed their tone.

Get your facts straight. There is nothing wrong with advancing an argument to the Superdelegates.

What you don't get is how underhanded Obama's campaign is.


What you don't get is that Obama turned his post-racial campaign theme into a fraud by his own actions in South Carolina.


.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

ep thorn


The discussion on metrics centered around arguments to convince the Superdelegates - both Moveon.org and the Obama campaign for a while STATED THAT THE SUPERDELEGATES SHOULD VOTE FOR THE CANDIDATE WITH THE MOST POPULAR VOTES.

Then when they realized that Hillary would win the popular vote (which she did) they changed their tone.

Get your facts straight. There is nothing wrong with advancing an argument to the Superdelegates.

What you don't get is how underhanded Obama's campaign is.


What you don't get is that Obama turned his post-racial campaign theme into a fraud by his own actions in South Carolina.


.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

The fact that so many poster's are claiming that Barack Obama ran a racist campaign and that he somehow won _because_ he is black is both untrue and deeply, deeply offensive.

When exit polls consistently showed that up to 20% off voters in predominantly blue-collar white states _admitted_ that race was a factor, no one claimed these voters were supporting Obama. In fact, they were voting against Obama.

Obama never claimed that Hillary or any of his opponents have an advantage because they are white.

Obama never stated that he deserved a break for being black.

Obama never claimed that Hillary, Bill, or even Geraldine Ferraro were being racist when they made the comments that got each of them in trouble. In fact, Obama made public statements stating that he did _not_ believe Hillary, Bill, or Ferraro had done _anything_ racist.

Obama has consistently taken the high road. Anybody trying to be objective on this couldn't possibly claim that he used his race to his advantage. Most objective observers believe he succeeded _despite_ his race.

BTW, if Bill and Hillary and Ferraro had _not_ made their respective statements, but had instead taken Obama seriously as a candidate, they probably would have beaten him easily. It was their hubris and incredulity that led to their downfall

Posted by: JesseW | June 5, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

More politically important at the moment is the stratigic decision made by Obama to select dear Caroline Kennedy to lead the trio to recommend a vice president for the Dems. Does she know something others don't, being a Kennedy she'll probably recommend herself for the position. lol.

Posted by: r.s.newark | June 5, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Chris
You continue to demonstrate a wonderful clarity in the assessment of all things political. I think while it is clearly very newsworthy to discuss, rather negatively, what went wrong for Hillary (putting another boot in!), it is much more interesting to ponder what Obama did right.

It is now widely said that it was post-super-Tuesday February that won the election for Obama and that his organising in these caucus states allowed the running up of very big delegate margins effectively clinching the election. This is true, he was very well advised to set up grass roots organisations in these places. BUT, no amount of organisation would have mattered had he not been someone worth organising for. It was his charisma that allowed this organising to matter. I suspect that if Clinton had shown similar foresight and made a showing in these states, that she still would not have been successful. At the time of these caucuses really only a charicature of Hillary was known to the people. It was safe to be a Hillary-Hater, because most people did not really know much about her. The people still really saw her as an appendage of Bill. They saw her as someone who was there not entirely as a result of her own skills. Not yet.

I think that Hillary has learned much through this process. In fact, I am sure that the Obama 08 approach will be the blueprint for every future democratic primary while the rules remain the same.

How could Obama have done better? He definitely could have. The fact remains that he failed to vanquish Clinton all together. Despite protestations from all around, Hillary has managed to establish herself as a very important figure in contemporary politics. If she looms as a presence that Barack ignores at his peril, I think that it is because of the miscalcuations that I describe below. Hillary has grown beyond being an offshoot of Bill. I suspect now, she is much more likely to listen to her own council (Bill, get back to your charity work 'sweetie').

I actually think that if Barack had implored his supporters to be a little more gracious towards Hillary, that the party wouldn't feel quite so divided. I think that he would have done well to ABSOLUTELY REFUTE any dialogue that Hillary or her actual close advisers (I don't mean just one of those generic people "from the Hillary camp" that we kept hearing about, just because at some stage they had indicated support for Hillary), were injecting race into the campaign. I feel fairly sure Barack doesn't feel that Hillary has a racist bone in her body. I don't think it would have made any difference to his electoral prospects to put a stop to this talk. It certainly does not help him to allow his party to have senior members painted as racist. Allowing this dialogue allowed people to identify with Clinton, allowed people to feel that she was being wronged and I suspect galvanised them into action supporting Hillary. Surely this made for a few tense moments for the Obama campaign before Indiana, after which it became clear he would be the nominee.

Having said that, Hillary should not have allowed any further discussion about patriotism, about past associates and about silly off the cuff comments (aka bitter). She knows as well as he that when you are on show for months and months on end, when you do thousands and thousands of interviews, eventually you are going to get quoted making an ill conceived comment. I think this was a mistake by Hillary. Rise above that sort of behaviour and stick on your message.

Furthermore, it is very disappointing to see the quibling over the two disputed states. That should NEVER have been encouraged by Hillary unless it was clear that a fair outcome (ie rerunning a primary) would actually realistically have put her ahead in the pledged count. She risked losing a lot of reasonable voters by making the argument that Michigan should be counted (Florida was a MUCH more reasonable argument to make).

So both made mistakes (but then again they are human), both had successes, both grew through the process. Now BOTH need to remember that winning a democratic primary needs a totally different strategy than does winning a November general election. I would highly encourage the Democrats to make use of the voters that both candidates have almost equally galvanised between them. As a team they can go forward. Obama having won must and thoroughly deserves run this team, but Hillary, having made a great showing, should be utilised to the highest degree. The message of change and new politics will be hard to sell to the country, if Barack can't show he can collaborate effectively with the second most popular democrat.

Finally can everyone remember how lucky we are to live in a democracy, where a change in political direction can be made merely by the power of words and debate. It is important that living in a democracy, that we all accept a loss and move on. There is always an opportunity to change things in the future. I, indeed will shed a few tears regretting Hillary's loss (she remains my ultimate and only ever political hero), but I look forward with optimism to see how we can all work together for what we think is right, for true democratic values.

Posted by: adamjacobbryant | June 5, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

UGLY UGLLY UGLY REPUBLICAN RACISTS

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

More politically important at the moment is the stratigic decision made by Obama to select dear Caroline Kennedy to lead the trio to recommend a vice president for the Dems. Does she know something others don't, being a Kennedy she'll probably recommend herself for the position. lol.

Posted by: r.s.newark | June 5, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

More politically important at the moment is the stratigic decision made by Obama to select dear Caroline Kennedy to lead the trio to recommend a vice president for the Dems. Does she know something others don't, being a Kennedy she'll probably recommend herself for the position. lol.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

@TED - 10:05
You statement virtaully endorses Obama votes as based on his race, which is very true. He would not have been here, in spite of his eloquence and what not, if he was not an Af-Am. Look, it is all 'cool'...bring in an Af-Am guy on political podium who is suave so that we can all hide our collective sins under it and go about doing our damages, while we present a fantastic facade as liberal and progressive. This is what Obamaism stands for ..talk and do nothing really.

Posted by: Sen | June 5, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

To the poster at 10:05 AM


Go down to State Street in Chicago and there are black men who speak as well as Obama - are they qualified to be President ?

I think there is one very eloquent speaker in front of Old Navy with a microphone.

What you say DOES NOT JUSTIFY ELECTING AN INEXPERIENCED UNQUALIFIED PERSON TO RUN OUR NATIONAL SECURITY.

Obama needs to do his job in the Senate first, learn some things, get some experience and get back to us.


Don't risk our National Security on Inexperience.

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Two things in a row I would disagree with.

"...the only metric that mattered in the end was delegates, a strategic assumption that Clinton never made."
- Well, it seemed to be a reality to her and her campaigners in the beginning of the battle. Ickes went and told Tim Russert "The delegates are all that matters." (so said Russert on the last show). It would seem that the Clinton campaign knew about the delegate angle but decided to focus on another reality when it became clear they had botched that one.

Second, "As late as Tuesday night she was touting her popular vote victory and her ability to win swing states. Both points are as true as they are meaningless; the nomination is decided on delegates, nothing else."
-Well, this sentence implies that her "popular vote" argument is true (as it is, of course, meaningless). I haven't heard anyone who is not a Clintonista actually swallow the math she's using to get to that... I remember imaginary numbers from high school, but I don't remember them being quite as ridiculous (16.5mil+i) = white house?). She claims the popular vote by brilliantly counting those states she won votes in- including ones in which she was the only name on the ballot- and excluding any state which she DOESN'T win in (i.e. caucuses). I wish I could play football and ignore all the touchdowns made on my end zone...

Posted by: ep thorn | June 5, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Too many conservative bigots on this blog. Do you really think your disgusting posts will make a difference in the election? Then, you're all morons as well as bigots.

Posted by: Harry, Los Angeles, CA | June 5, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

bonjedi


Where have you been this week? Down at the Federal Courthouse waiting for Obama's friend to be convicted??? What was it 16 Federal Counts?


hhhmmm

Resko - maybe he has some information on Obama that we all would like to know......

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

No matter how much money Obama had, no matter how skilled his organization was, no matter how consistant the message was, it would all be meaningless unless the delivery of the message was compelling. Obama's speaking ability is what captivated his supporters early. His candidacy actually began with his speech in 2004 at the Democratic Convention (though I'm sure he didn't even know the path he was on). The speech was riveting and really was the beginning of the end of the Clinton years. Obama's tone of inclusion and unity was and is what many Americans wanted to hear, after the turmoil of the Clinton years and the narrow-mindedness and dogma of George W's tenure. In fact, I believe Obama's getting off that message of hope and trying to play more retail politics is what caused him to stumble in the later primaries.

Symbolism: Would Obama be where he is today if he weren't who he is--A man who is obviously black with an immigrant father and who also is a "rags-to-riches" American success story that anyone can relate to? There are many voters who "feel good" to support him. It's almost "anti-racism"--whites partially supporting Obama BECAUSE he is black.

Posted by: Ted | June 5, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

bonjedi


You are clueless You are offensive to democracy. Words of Wisdom supports McCain.


What is wrong with you?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

...besides, with all the 'Change' mumbo-jumbo and liberal wave and anti-Clintonism, Obama has barely managed 50%+ of Dem votes. Did that went right?

Posted by: Sen | June 5, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

To the poster at 940

Your comment is this:

To Aspergirl,

In your post, you insinuate that Obama won by a devious trick: using new fangled technology that most people were not using and taking advantage of "a lot of bored, lonely kids". This characterization is below the belt slander.


**************************************

This comment is disrespectful of the First Amendment - you are attempting to bully Aspergirl and you are attempting to discourage her from posting.

Your name calling is sexist and wrong.


Aspergirl has legitimate opinions and your tactics are OFFENSIVE TO FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY.

If you are connected to the Obama campaign, you should identify yourself as such


.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Tyler Cornelius wrote:

"What hasn't been mentioned on 'the Fix' is the 'anti-Hillary' discourse, articulated by right wingers, some talking heads, and many in the democratic party. These people seemed to hear what they wanted to hear, attributing every misstatement or gaffe to Hillary's machiavellian desire to get power at all costs. This was especially evident in discussions about her crying in New Hampshire, and in her comments about RFK's assassination."

I really don't understand how you and other people can chalk up national sentiment to some perversion perpetrated by "media" or "right-wingers" or "pro-Obama democrats."

First, if the people in on this perversion of reality consist of the media, right-wingers, _and_ pro-Obama democrats, then who _exactly_ is left? At what point do you realize that if _everyone_ is in on a conspiracy then it _isn't_ a conspiracy.

Second, how _exactly_ was the RFK comment misinterpreted? She was asked why she was still in the race, she claimed (falsely) that her husband hadn't wrapped up the nomination until June, and then she mentioned that RFK was _assassinated_ in June. What other interpretation can one get from that statement but that _one_ of the reasons for staying in is that assinations can happen?

Third, I specifically recall that Obama's statement about blue collar voters "clinging to guns and religion" was a big deal in the "media," was a big deal to "right-Wingers" and was very effectively used against Obama by Hillary. So where's the slant?

Stop denying reality. Hillary lost because Obama was a better candidate. She didn't lose because of any "conspiracy" or media slant or because people got hoodwinked. She just plain lost

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if Words of Wisdom/37th&O Street can take a few minutes to step away from the anonymous mask it has been using, and describe its feelings of embarrassment and shame, and acknowledge that Obama's shock-and-awe overwhelmed its racism.

Posted by: bondjedi | June 5, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

To the poster at 9:40 AM


You miss the point - the point is an analogy to the Michigan situation in which the Obama people claim that because Obama took his name off the ballot in Michigan, Hillary's votes in Michigan should not count.

I believe McCain has decided to take that "Obama logic" and McCain is going to remove his name from the ballot in Illinois and California - in those states votes for Obama WILL NOT COUNT.

Is that OK with everyone ????


.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

To the poster at 9:35 AM you do not have any respect for the First Amendment freedoms.


We should all remember that in the 70s the Nixon administration attempted to tread upon the Freedom of Speech of the Washington Post because this paper did not agree with the administration.

You should respect eveyone's opinions - your bullying tactics of name-calling are distasteful and a disrespect to freedome and democracy.


.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

THIS IS THE FEDERAL INDICTMENT SUMMARY OF OBAMA'S FRIEND TONY REZKO


IF OBAMA DOES NOT HAVE THE PROPER JUDGEMENT TO STAY AWAY FROM THIS KIND OF GUY, WHAT KIND OF JUDGEMENT DO YOU THINK OBAMA REALLY HAS ????

OBAMA HAS BEEN IN A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION WITH THIS GUY REZKO WHICH THE CHICAGO PAPERS HAVE SAID NETTED OBAMA $300,000 IN EQUITY IN REAL ESTATE - CHECK IT OUT - READ FOR YOURSELF.


BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER.

Obama was able to somehow keep the media from informing the public of the charges against his good friend Rezko


Here are the charges against Obama' good friend These are the ACTUAL CHARGES IN THE FEDERAL INDICTMENT


Defendant Antoin Rezko is charged in the superseding indictment with devising and participating in a scheme to defraud by depriving the beneficiaries of the Teacher's Retirement System ("TRS") and the people of the State of Illinois of Stuart Levine's duty of honest services.

As part of this fraud, Rezko used Levine's position on the TRS Board and the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board ("Planning Board") to obtain financial benefits for himself and his nominees and associates.


During the course of the fraud scheme Rezko and Levine solicited, demanded, and received hundreds of thousands of dollars in undisclosed kickbacks and payments for themselves and their nominees and associates from, among others, investment firms seeking to do business with TRS and from a contractor seeking to obtain a contract to build a hospital.

In addition, Rezko and Levine attempted to establish a company to serve as an asset manager for TRS so that they or their nominees could participate and benefit financially in the operation of the asset
manager without that participation being disclosed to TRS.

As Rezko knew, Levine intentionally concealed from and failed to disclose to the TRS Board and the Planning Board material facts concerning the financial benefits that Rezko and Levine sought to obtain for themselves and their nominees from official actions taken by those Boards and their staff members, as well as ex parte communications in which Levine had engaged with third parties concerning these official actions and related matters pending before the Boards.

As a result of those actions, Rezko has been charged with fifteen counts of mail or wire fraudunder 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341, 1343, and 1346, one count of attempted extortion under 18 U.S.C. § 1951,six counts of corrupt solicitation of funds under 18 U.S.C. § 666(a)(1)(B), and two counts of money laundering under 18 U.S.C. §1956(a)(1)(B)(i).


OBAMA IS GOOD FRIENDS WITH THIS GUY REZKO - WE NEED THE FULL STORY

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

What went right?

Well, that would be his race. 40% of Dem voters are Af-Am and they voted en-block for him. From then onwards, it was just a matter of collecting Clinton haters and some pseudo-liberals who has no connection with reality and the concoction went fine. I think Dem leadership is on a suicidial track now. Even an improbably Pbama win in November will not change anything. More of the same : Rezko, Wright, anti-Americanism ...this is what Dem's have identified themselves with now!!

Posted by: Sen | June 5, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

One huge factor was Obama's decision not to make personal attacks on Hillary Clinton. Obama did not go negative, even when presented ideal points on which he could launch a personal attack. He did attack her record, but that is fair game in a political campaign. Clinton could not make the same claim, nor could she overcome the fallout from her own mudslinging. There was an obvious difference in campaign style, too. Obama was stressing "yes WE can" while Clinton supporters were stressing "yes SHE can" - so Obama supporters were part of a larger whole, while Clinton supporters belonged to her cult of personality. Obama ran an inclusive campaign. Hillary sought to triangulate. This explains the bitter, angry, biting remarks and unsupported claims by Clinton supporters in these comments. They tied their political hopes to a divisive figure, and in the end, divisiveness is all they have left.

Posted by: T.D. | June 5, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

To Aspergirl,

In your post, you insinuate that Obama won by a devious trick: using new fangled technology that most people were not using and taking advantage of "a lot of bored, lonely kids". This characterization is below the belt slander. A person has to be 18 to vote, therefore they are not "kids", but adults. What are you proposing in any case, that voting should be restricted to persons 30 and over? Yours is a typical Rovian tactic - paint the other side as full of people that are somehow deficient and questionable. The only reason Obama won, according to you is that a bunch of immature losers with nothing better to do (You did attend university, didn't you? It does involve alot of work, remember?) were somehow swept along by Obama's cult. So according to you it is a bad thing that younger adults are enthusiastic about and involved in politics.


Amanda Shaw wrote:
"If Obama takes his name off the ballot in Texas and several other states in November, does that mean that McCain's votes in those states do not count ??"

I think you are already well aware of the answer to this one: any major-party candidate taking his or her name off a state's ballot in the general election cedes all electoral votes of that state to the other party. Since the general election is not a matter internal to a political party (which is not a state organization), it can follow its own rules in deciding which primaries to sanction (which is what both parties did in this case, and I don't hear anyone whining about the Republican Party doing it). However, the general election is a contest for federal office (not for nomination to be a party's candidate), so that the Constitution, federal and state law apply. But in case you are curious, there are contingencies for the scenario where a state contest in the general election goes terribly wrong. Remember Florida in 2000 - since the vote there had gone terribly wrong and been tainted and then was embroiled in court battles, the state legislature was contemplating simply voting on its own slate of electors (and as it was Republican controlled, they would have sent a full slate of Republican electors). The US Constitution provides that electors in each state shall be chosen as that state's legislature directs, so apparently they were contemplating tossing the state statute calling for the electors to be chosen in a vote of citizens in favor of having the legislature itself chose the electors. Since the US Supreme Court stepped in and stopped the recount, the Florida legislature's contemplated step became unnecessary.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

TOO BAD THIS SITE HAS BEEN TAKEN OVER BY THE UGLIEST REPUBLICAN RACISTS IMAGINABLE.

HOW SICK THESE PEOPLE ARE, WHO HAVE NOTHING TO DO BUT SIT AT A KEYBOARD ALL DAY AND TYPE POISON. POISONED MINDS, SICK, SICK PEOPLE.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

"No drama."

This groundrule of the Obama campaign helped them stay focused on content instead of personality, on interests instead of positions. Obama's "organizing" background helped with building a successful team.

Posted by: bjohnson1 | June 5, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Obama playing by the rules was a tremendous help. He did not get in the mud with Hillary over Michigan and Florida. People recognized that Clinton was making a power play when she realized that Florida and Michigan delegates were needed for her to win the nomination.

Posted by: afam 212 | June 5, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

That was an excellent summation of the many ways the Obama Campaign rocked this primary. I would only add that the campaign was able to change the media narrative to 'change' and keep it focused on 'change' whenever it strayed. They were more than savy when dealing with 'freak show' politics, and always did a good job dealing with the news cycle. They also used Oprah particularly well - to create blanket news coverage and give him a real push when he needed some positive energy to jump start the bandwagon.

What hasn't been mentioned on 'the Fix' is the 'anti-Hillary' discourse, articulated by right wingers, some talking heads, and many in the democratic party. These people seemed to hear what they wanted to hear, attributing every misstatement or gaffe to Hillary's machiavellian desire to get power at all costs. This was especially evident in discussions about her crying in New Hampshire, and in her comments about RFK's assassination. These people tended to hear what they wanted to hear, and those negative impressions were repeated throughout the MSM and on the blogs. I didn't sense any such vitriol directed at Barack Obama (perhaps because he so much less political baggage). So perhaps you could add another category to your analysis, covering what Obama did right, what Hillary did wrong, and the patterns that emerged in how the media covered the candidates and their talking points.

Keep up the good work,

Posted by: Tyler Cornelius | June 5, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

You're right about the point that Obama's all about change--including change in Democratic politics.

To me, that's what's new. It's not just a change in party (which it usually is about), it's a change within the Democratic party as well.

Posted by: streamrdr | June 5, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I think another key factor is in the way Senator Obama managed his campaign staff. As has been pointed out many times before, Senator Clinton's campaign staff was dysfunctional at best. The reports of infighting, arguments and dissension became a major distraction to her campaign. What is remarkable is the total absence of such factors from Senator Obama's campaign. An article in the Post a couple of months ago raised the idea of how a candidate's campaign was run would be an indicator of what sort of administration you could expect from the candidate. Obama's campaign was efficient, focused, well organized and strove to stay on the high road. Unlike Senator Clinton, Senator Obama's message was in sync with how his campaign was being run. For many people, myself included, I believe this was the deciding factor.

Posted by: Mr Ecks | June 5, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Obama has an uncanny knack for assessing needs and hiring correctly. One small example ...

The Obama Campaign hired Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook, to manage the New Media aspect of the campaign. He was 23 years old at the time. I don't think we need to go into how important that was to the success of the campaign. Most experienced pols would have blanched at the thought of a political neophyte being in charge of such an important aspect of their communication strategy.

I've watched the campaign do this again and again. It seems they can honestly assess their organization's needs, develop a strategy and take action to get it done. From a management perspective alone, it's brilliant execution.

Posted by: BJA | June 5, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Add Obama's steadiness of identity, not quite covered by your "patience is a virtue." He remained himself through it all--calm, thoughtful, hopeful, smart. She, panicky after Iowa, shifted postures like an acrobat: tough, victim; insider (experienced), change agent; sensitive, nasty; feminist, beer-chugger; etc.

One hopes that many voters, in the gestalt deciding, were swayed by his reliability, reflected not only in personal image but the campaign he ran. If he can keep it up against McCain, who's groping to become a change agent despite deep roots in the rancid Bush soil, Obama's steadiness will help elect him. Or so one hopes.

Posted by: trashandsend | June 5, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

June wrote:

"capemh
You seem to forget that 80% of the people involved with that were DEMOCRATS - it was a DEMOCRATIC scandal."

This is so typical and reminiscent of playground whining - But, he did it too! as a defense to everything. It is not an issue of painting one party or the other as corrupt and in the pockets of the wealthy, but but of emphasizing PERSONAL responsibilty and character. So, while it may be the case that 80% of the Five were Democrats, they are not currently running for President, but the 20% of the Five who is Republican (you know, McCain) is running for President. His involvement in a very serious scandal has to be seen as a question mark over his suitability to be President, and like it or not the issue will be raised.

Posted by: Marecek | June 5, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to take kebob's observation a step further. I think Obama's blackness reinforced dramatically the statement of change. Here was a man who had lived change in the way he and his people have been treated over the last 46 years. But he didn't succumb to stereotypes; he ever so gently spoke of a unity that I think only a minority or woman could convey. It just doesn't ring as true coming from a white man. Obama IS the change he preaches. And he IS the unity he preaches.

Posted by: Laura M. | June 5, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

KEATING KEATING KEATING

KEATING KEATING KEATING


KEATING KEATING KEATING


KEATING KEATING KEATING


Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

The below, from a previous poster, is a biggie, too.

Obama ran a reverse-racism campaign, exploiting every black Chauvinism angle, drawing from black racist energy, playing on white guilt and invoking the Black President fairy tale theme.

"OK Chris, Obama was able to trick Hillary into running a post-racial campaign - Obama talked the talked - and made the other candidates walk carefully when it came to race. Then Obama pushed racebaiting, race in South Carolina and Obama caused Hillary to hold back her counter-charges"

Posted by: AsperGirl | June 5, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Forget HRC for VP.

Barack Obama & Bill Richardson, the perfect ticket!

Posted by: OBAMA/RICHARDSON 2008! | June 5, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Also, you forgot the social networking of the online wired generation of young people who found friends and social connections through getting involved in the Obama campaign. This provided a foundation for the Obama supporter social-political culture.

The wired social network as a communications channel enables the kids to quickly distribute talking points and memes almost instantly, share their defenses of their candidate thereby maintaining solidarity and immunizing their minds from doubts raised by the candidates' negatives, and other tight political organizational plusses.

This element of his campaign became very powerful as the Hollywood writer's strike threw a lot of bored, lonely kids online and into contact with each other and a new cause.

The Republicans should brace for the Fall surge in college kids returning back to their schools and rejoining these social networks and mobilizing for the general election. They should be starting with their plans and strategies on campus and targeting young people now.

Posted by: AsperGirl | June 5, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Tim Russert confronts Obama about playing the race card - his "4 pages of talking points

http://tinyurl.com/6gcstl


.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

The bizarre thing about Michigan popular vote - the Michigan Democratic Party said that exit polls said Obama had the support of 75% of the uncommitteds - so just credit Obama with 75% of the uncommitteds.


WHAT is so hard about that ?

Seriously folks give Obama about 170,000 of the uncommitteds and call it.

I don't know what to tell people who want to say that the Voters of Michigan dont count or count half

You people need lessons in democracy -

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Amanda Shaw


If Obama takes his name off the ballot in Texas and several other states in November, does that mean that McCain's votes in those states do not count ??


.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Amanda Shaw


If Obama takes his name off the ballot in Texas and several other states in November, does that mean that McCain's votes in those states do not count ??


.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

The one thing Mr. Cillizza missed is what Senator Obama didn't do. He didn't really go hard after Hillary Clinton.

I think as a black man he would have been badly hurt by playing really rough against a white woman. My guess is that's still a major taboo in America. And I think Senator Clinton kept hoping Obama would get mean and nasty and suffer the backlash. But that's the cynic in me speaking.

Posted by: kcbob | June 5, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

capemh


You seem to forget that 80% of the people involved with that were DEMOCRATS - it was a DEMOCRATIC scandal.


.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

I think you pretty much nailed it. The one thing I would add with regard to Obama's wise decision to focus on delegates vs. Clinton's decision to cling to pop. vote/swing states is that it took a while for the media to start covering delegates. In the early contests the media covered primary night like traditional election night, basically ignoring how a candidate's victory (percentage wise) doesn't always net many delegates more than his/her opponents. This may have helped fuel Clinton's view of the playing field.

I wonder how this race will impact coverage of future primary races and whether future candidates will stay in the race longer to see what happens.


Posted by: owlsfan | June 5, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

You are actually saying that Clinton won the popular vote? On what facts do you base this statement? As I understand it, she "won" the popular vote only if 5 caucus states were not counted and if Obama received zero votes from Michigan. Of course, he didn't receive any votes in Michigan since he wasn't on the ballot, but thousands of his supporters, like my daughter, elected to vote "uncommitted" for that reason--also many others did not go to the polls since the DNC, and Hillary Clinton's strategist Harold Ickes who voted on the Rules Committee to take away the Michigan and Florida delegates, had said their votes would not be counted. Clinton is so fond of saying every vote should count and all 50 states should count--how does that jibe with her assertion that she "won" the popular vote?

Posted by: Amanda Shaw | June 5, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

In addition to Obama's message and charisma and his campaign's tactically brilliant strokes, what also helped Obama were the deep flaws in his main opponent, Hillary & Co. When Clinton decided after Iowa that she couldn't successfully sell herself on the merits of her platform, she decided take the low road of selling herself on the supposed demerits of her opponent. It didn't help her cause that she would have weekly (daily?) chameleon-like transformations (from the misleading 35 years of experience to the change candidate to the beer-sipping/woiking-man's/woiking white man's personae). That she & her minions (husband included) relished the Rovian playbook ("now the fun part begins!") only accentuated what Obama had been emphasizing all along: he is the candidate of hope and change, & Hillary, by inference, is the Beltway insider. It's a shame, though, that now he has to not only take on McCain but also do a lot of repair work within the party, due to the Clintons' scorched-earth campaign (which continued through her non-conceding, hubristic speech on Tuesday). Hope that what "went" right for Obama up to now continues into November.

Posted by: Bob in CT | June 5, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

This, too, from another poster:

"Chris, I forgot to add that most of the 17 million people who voted for Obama had not heard of the Rev. Wright when they voted for Obama. And most still haven't heard of Tony REZKO"

Posted by: AsperGirl | June 5, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

You forgot that the media ran interference for his campaign, blocking out negatives, spinning for him, attacking and cutting up his rivals and providing him with 24/7 favorable coverage.

As Joe Scarborough called it, it's the most lopsided election coverage he's ever seen.

Posted by: AsperGirl | June 5, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

What went right for Obama? Big Media wanted him to win!
-Wm Tate
http://www.atimelikethis.us/

Posted by: Wm Tate | June 5, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

And to the person writing Rezko ad nauseum, I would say:

Keating

Keating

Keating

Keating

Posted by: capemh | June 5, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Obama was able to somehow keep the media from informing the public of the charges against his good friend Rezko


Here are the charges against Obama' good friend These are the ACTUAL CHARGES IN THE FEDERAL INDICTMENT

Defendant Antoin Rezko is charged in the superseding indictment with devising and
participating in a scheme to defraud by depriving the beneficiaries of the Teacher's Retirement System ("TRS") and the people of the State of Illinois of Stuart Levine's duty of honest services.
As part of this fraud, Rezko used Levine's position on the TRS Board and the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board ("Planning Board") to obtain financial benefits for himself and his nominees and associates.


During the course of the fraud scheme Rezko and Levine solicited, demanded, and received hundreds of thousands of dollars in undisclosed kickbacks and payments for themselves and their nominees and associates from, among others, investment firms seeking to do business with TRS and from a contractor seeking to obtain a contract to build a hospital.


In addition, Rezko and Levine attempted to establish a company to serve as an asset manager for TRS so that they or their nominees could participate and benefit financially in the operation of the asset
manager without that participation being disclosed to TRS.


As Rezko knew, Levine intentionally concealed from and failed to disclose to the TRS Board and the Planning Board material facts concerning the financial benefits that Rezko and Levine sought to obtain for themselves and their nominees from official actions taken by those Boards and their staff members, as well as ex parte communications in which Levine had engaged with third parties concerning these official actions and related matters pending before the Boards.

As a result of those actions, Rezko has been charged with fifteen counts of mail or wire fraudunder 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341, 1343, and 1346, one count of attempted extortion under 18 U.S.C. § 1951,
six counts of corrupt solicitation of funds under 18 U.S.C. § 666(a)(1)(B), and two counts of money laundering under 18 U.S.C. §1956(a)(1)(B)(i).


Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

The sight of Obama, McCain and Hillary falling all over themselves to kiss the lardy asses of those AIPAC Zionists was too much for me. I just threw up.

Posted by: candide | June 5, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

a big difference between the two candidates was also a stance on lobbyists. this was an important issue for me. clinton embraced lobbyists early on. edwards and obama did not. when trying to pick between candidates whose stand on issues were similar, those who spurned the old washington practice of embracing lobbyists seemed more appealing.

Posted by: adam | June 5, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

The seeds for Obama's victory in the primary go back to the '90's and the Clinton triangulation tactic which, while benefiting the administration politically, would negatively affect Democrats down ticket. They held on to the Presidency while Democrats became the minority party in Congress.
This proclivity of the Clintons made it easier for old guard Democrats (like Kennedy and Kerry and most of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation here) to come out for Obama and, while it didn't win him MA, it gave him credibility needed to survive the argument that he didn't have the experience for the Presidency. After all, even if he wasn't experienced, he had experience around him.
It also gave him Kerry's donor list from 2004.

Posted by: capemh | June 5, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Just like you can't post your name with your racist posts...I'd like to call out a key factor to the HIGH ROAD. He tried. And people recognized that and voted for him. Early on in the campaign with the punjab Indian issue, he gathered his campaign and corrected them for spreading dirt. He got rid of Powers for her "monster" comment. Geraldine is a racist. Give me an example of white enslavement by Americans, lynchings because of their skin color and I'll concede reverse racism. Until then shut up (and consider having the guts to even post a fake name).

Posted by: Irishspacemonk | June 5, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Chris


I forgot to add that most of the 17 million people who voted for Obama had not heard of the Rev. Wright when they voted for Obama.


And most still haven't heard of Tony REZKO


REZKO


REZKO


REZKO


REZKO


REZKO

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Two other things that Obama did right:

1. He displayed a masterful ability to successfully confront controversy, real or manufactured, particularly with the Rev. Wright issue. In response to Wright, Obama gave a remarkable speech on race in America that will go down in the history books. It's amazing for a president to give an historic speech that actually gets Americans thinking about an issue, let alone a presidential candidate. Obama's ability to weather this incident also showed that he is tough and tenacious, a quality that Americans certainly look for in a president.

2. Obama never took the low road, even though he must have been tempted many times given all the negative comments and tactics of Hillary and her campaign staff and surrogates. He told his supporters he was going to end the politics-as-usual in Washington, and he displayed that in his actions on the campaign trail. I think that impressed a lot of people. This might be the first presidential campaign that disproved the age-old adage that negative politics always works in America.

Posted by: davidkc | June 5, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Chris

Why is the media downplaying the CONVICTION OF OBAMA'S CLOSE FRIEND Antoin "Tony" Rezko ????


REZKO


REZKO

REZKO


REZKO

REZKO

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

chris, unless you're going to count votes from a state where only one name was on the ballot, then the truth is Clinton DID NOT WIN THE POPULAR VOTE. every time you print that, you should have an asterisk next to it noting this is only true if you follow north korean election rules.

Posted by: enkidu1 | June 5, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Re the dustup between Boutan and the other poster who wrote second and did not give a name:

I cannot speak for Boutan, but I do not agree with shutting out voices. On the other hand, people are within their rights to refuse to respond to voices that do not maintain a semblence of connection to reality, as well as a civil tone. One of the things bothering me about many anti-Obama posters is the spewing of accusations that I frankly do not feel have any basis in fact. Would you mind backing up your rather harsh assertions with more specifics; otherwise, how can you expect us to engage in debate on matters of public interest (remember the First Amendment?). I don't agree with you that Obama has "CHEATED", but if you can cite for my a clear rule and a specific and verifiable infraction of it, then perhaps I will rethink my position. But this is how an exchange of views works - you can't simply rattle off unsupported and truly angry sounding accusations and then expect people to take you seriously and respond. Bear in mind another point. The disagreement may, at base, be a difference of opinion. It is quite clear that some people might virilently disagree with Ferraro's comments and find them offensive (I certainly did, and very much so) and others that don't. So let us hear what specifically it was about Obama's actions that you think was so offensive. In my view, one of the most serious problems we are facing as a society is the inability to discuss and resolve disagreements between ourselves. Let's hope we can all work on it to get past that.

Posted by: Marecek | June 5, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

We need and want change and Obama recognized that.

Posted by: chlind | June 5, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

What you missed is the magic, Obama's incredible ability to connect. After 8 years of embarassment and arrogance, a principled, elegant man takes the stage and speaks with intelligence, authenticity and inspiration. Fundraising strategies, careful planning and all that aside - this is one great man.

Posted by: jofo | June 5, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

OK Chris

1) Obama was able to trick Hillary into running a post-racial campaign - Obama talked the talked - and made the other candidates walk carefully when it came to race.

Then Obama pushed racebaiting, race in South Carolina and Obama caused Hillary to hold back her counter-charges


2) Obama was able to hold back the media in calling Obama on his RACIST campaign - Tim Russert made the charge in the debate, Tim Russert was right and the media did not pick up on the fact that Obama's campaign theme was a fraud.


3) Obama was able to get the black community to vote RACIST and he fooled the white community into believing he was post-racial


4) Obama was able to attack Gerry Ferraro and the media let him get away with his FALSE CHARGES OF OFFENSIVE REMARKS


5) Obama was able to basically made a RACIST campaign with the Superdelegates - convincing the Superdelegates that they were more afraid of the potential backlash from the black community v. the potential backlash from the rest of the democratic party -


This is called the WHITE GUILT CAMPAIGN - it is more pathetic than Hillary's fake tears.


Chris YOU ask what Obama did right? He got away with a RACIST campaign

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Irishspacemonk


What are you talking about? Look at this video and tell me if Obama stayed on the high road - Obama ADMITTED TO TAKING THE LOW ROAD


These are clips from the major networks


Tim Russert confronts Obama about playing the race card - his "4 pages of talking points

http://tinyurl.com/6gcstl

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I'm a white voter from Georgia, and I didn't vote for Obama out of guilt.
I wouldn 't consider Hillary's appeal to women sexist.
Nor use any kind of label for an older white male who votes for McCain.

Ok, back to ignoring the haters.

Posted by: Minor thread | June 5, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Today Rezco was convicted. Another long time friend of Obama who played on the wrong side of the track. Reverend Wrigth who racist remarks Obama listened to for how long? And now Rezco is not the man that Obama knew. Right, You would have to be a fool to think that Obama is honest. Just like he told Ohio he wanted to dismantle NAFTA and He told Canada that not to worry he was just politically posturing. I for one am voting for McCain. Obama is an inexperienced pie eyed lier.

Posted by: anonoumus | June 5, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Great points listed.

You missed a very important one. Barack Obama. All of these tactics wouldn't have worked if it had not been for the authenticity, intelligence, and wisdom of Barack Obama himself.

Posted by: elle | June 5, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

As a corollary to some of your points, Chris, O's organization, understanding of the rules,and appeal to wine track voters gave him a structural advantage in caucuses that H could not overcome had she tried (which she assuredly did not). This caucus advantage helps explain why Obama's delegate lead outpaces his vote total lead.
Also, I got my shirt yesterday. Very nice.
I have already been asked on 2 dates.

Posted by: Dan Greenstone | June 5, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Chris: good point about the advantages of running Obama's campaign out of Chicago. I hadn't thought of that. What I admire about Obama is his confidence in his game plan and his staff.

I find myself thinking that Hillary was a more formidable foe than McCain will be...

[and to the anonymous poster at 8:04, use a name next time (it's considered polite), and wipe the spittle from your chin. People also respond better to arguments that make sense, but it's a free country...]

Posted by: Trakker | June 5, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I think you missed his charisma and his amazing oratorical skills. There were a few speeches that he gave that were unlikely anything given in years. Even the somewhat annoying Chris Matthews said that one of Obama's speeches got his leg all tingly or something to that effect.

All you have to do is compare McCain's and Obama's speech from Tuesday, to see that if Obama can travel the country giving speeches before huge crowds, McCain is in deep trouble.

Posted by: LouisXIV | June 5, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Chris, I agree with all the points you mention, and I would add from the point of view of an early supporter, that Obama didn't only stand strong against deviations from his plan proposed by talking heads but also by his own supporters. Unlike the Hillary campaign and also like the Kerry campaign of 2004, Obama had a relatively small pool of key decision makers who got along well.

This helped him to become the first successful Internet era democratic Insurgency candidate not to be totally overtaken by his supporters' enthusiasm. They kept the message centralised while stimulating and encouraging as much grasroots activity as possible. Howard Dean, who ran a great internet campaign, in the end was more controlled by it than otherwise.

http://obamalondon.blogspot.com

Posted by: ObamaLondon | June 5, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

I think you missed perhaps one of the most crucial aspects of his campaign, but one I heard repeatedly (even by Richardson) as their reason for supporting Obama. He kept the campaign on the high road as much as possible, disregarding attempts to hit back with personal attacks. It wasn't easy, but I think if he'd gone low, and focused on too much of the Clinton baggage, he would have started to turn people off.

Posted by: Irishspacemonk | June 5, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

No one stare at the crazy person in the room.

It is impolite.

(Once again, perhaps the WaPo people could do us all a favor and fix registration though... it is ruining the comments section)

Posted by: Boutan | June 5, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Boutan

There is one curious aspect of CHEATERS - they usually expect everyone else to play by the rules - they get really upset when other people try to cheat too.

You have got to be out of your mind.

Obama CHEATED in South Carolina - he said one thing - he got the other candidates to agree to be post-racial AND then Obama went out and CHEATED.


He made bogus attacks against Gerry Ferraro


NOW Obama wants Hillary to PLAY BY THE RULES. Obama wants Hillary to accept the result of Obama's cheating. Boutan you are wrong, you do not know how life works - Hillary is going to go to the Convention WITH her delegats and force all of Obama's people to say that Michigan and Florida are worth half a vote. Well, you caused this situation, not Hillary.


Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Boutan


I am not going anywhere - You are unAmerican by not being willing to tolerate opposing views. In fact YOU are hostile toward the FIRST AMENDMENT


This is an example of the Soviet style of the Obama people - "let's silence the opposition by whatever means"


Boutan do you want to know why Hillary is refusing to work with the Obama people? This is one reason. The tactics of the Obama people have been way out of bounds. You want out of bounds? You will get out of bounds.


.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

What sealed it for me was the Clinton attitude of "entitlement" from the start. Then came Bill's rantings, reports of campaign blow-ups, race baiting, "woe is me" whining and, importantly, the shrill whine of far too many old feminists who were fighting the fight of the 1970s's telling me I had to vote for a woman, any woman, or be labled "sexist".

The end of the campaign and reports of Bill's temper were fuel to the destruction fire. Clinton thought she held all the cards, drew badly and tried, in the end, to draw to an inside straight. It didn't happen.

Now Johnson, Davis and too many others are trying to force Clinton on the party and nation as Vice-President. These efforts will not only fail but backfire. Senator Obama needs no "trojan horse" as a running mate and the "horse's" spouse as a loose cannon behind his back.

For future female canidates for President (and there will be a number of them), a piece of unasked for advice. Don't sit on your duff in Northern Virginia or D.C. and expect everything, including the vote, to come to you. It will never happen as the average American could care one whit about what goes on inside the Beltway. In the end, it is up to each individual candidate to work their backsides off. Obama and Clinton did, but, in the end, Obama's efforts were better targeted. McCain, watch out. You'll be out organized, out fund raised and out thought! Let the general election campaign begin.

Posted by: No Divine Right | June 5, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Please everyone ignore the anonymous idiot who double posted at 8:04... it is the best strategy to make these fools go away.

Posted by: Boutan | June 5, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Obama's engagement of Generation Y had a huge impact.

People talk about the "youth vote" as if each generation of youth are the same.

But Gen Y are very different from their cynical Gen X predecessors.

Gen Y are far more politically inclined - but they normally reject mainstream politics and focus on groundroots activities like sporting clubs, college groups, church groups etc and thus fly under the radar as being "politically active". Obama's campaign knew better... and he has engaged the generation. It will help him in the General Election.

Finally, he stayed on POSITIVE message nearly all of the time. This took a lot of discipline, considering how often he was under extreme attacks. Kudos to Obama and his team.

Posted by: Boutan | June 5, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

OK Chris

1) Obama was able to trick Hillary into running a post-racial campaign - Obama talked the talked - and made the other candidates walk carefully when it came to race.

Then Obama pushed racebaiting, race in South Carolina and Obama caused Hillary to hold back her counter-charges


2) Obama was able to hold back the media in calling Obama on his RACIST campaign - Tim Russert made the charge in the debate, Tim Russert was right and the media did not pick up on the fact that Obama's campaign theme was a fraud.


3) Obama was able to get the black community to vote RACIST and he fooled the white community into believing he was post-racial


4) Obama was able to attack Gerry Ferraro and the media let him get away with his FALSE CHARGES OF OFFENSIVE REMARKS


5) Obama was able to basically made a RACIST campaign with the Superdelegates - convincing the Superdelegates that they were more afraid of the potential backlash from the black community v. the potential backlash from the rest of the democratic party -


This is called the WHITE GUILT CAMPAIGN - it is more pathetic than Hillary's fake tears.

Chris YOU ask what Obama did right? He got away with a RACIST campaign.

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

OK Chris

1) Obama was able to trick Hillary into running a post-racial campaign - Obama talked the talked - and made the other candidates walk carefully when it came to race.

Then Obama pushed racebaiting, race in South Carolina and Obama caused Hillary to hold back her counter-charges


2) Obama was able to hold back the media in calling Obama on his RACIST campaign - Tim Russert made the charge in the debate, Tim Russert was right and the media did not pick up on the fact that Obama's campaign theme was a fraud.


3) Obama was able to get the black community to vote RACIST and he fooled the white community into believing he was post-racial


4) Obama was able to attack Gerry Ferraro and the media let him get away with his FALSE CHARGES OF OFFENSIVE REMARKS


5) Obama was able to basically made a RACIST campaign with the Superdelegates - convincing the Superdelegates that they were more afraid of the potential backlash from the black community v. the potential backlash from the rest of the democratic party -


This is called the WHITE GUILT CAMPAIGN - it is more pathetic than Hillary's fake tears.

Chris YOU ask what Obama did right? He got away with a RACIST campaign.

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

A big factor is his natural campaigning abilities, his charisma, and his ability to mobilize and excite massive numbers of voters including (especially?) young people.

Posted by: bsengel1 | June 5, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

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