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Obama's Speech -- What Did You Think?

That speech, delivered by Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) yesterday in the face of growing concerns about the nature of his relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is one of the few seminal moments in a campaign defined of late by molehills, not mountains.

Wright's statements -- as captured in a series of recently surfaced You Tube clips -- forced Obama to react. But the candidate did not renounce the man in his speech; instead, he took the issue of race head on.

Everybody and their brother had a perspective on the speech. Make sure to read Post reporter Dan Balz's take and the New York Times analysis. And there's plenty more worth your time: Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times's Lynn Sweet , Dick Polman (formally of the Philly Inquirer), New Republic's Michael Crowley and Politico's Roger Simon.

After you've read all of that, and watched the speech again, we want to hear from you in the comments section below. Was Obama's address enough to put the Wright controversy behind him for the remainder of the primary? Has he insulated himself on the issue in the event he is the Democratic nominee in the fall?

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 19, 2008; 7:55 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008 , Wag The Blog  
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Comments

It amazes me how there are still people who can't come to grips with the fact that this guy is an incredible public speaker. His political stances, some of which I profoundly disagree with, have never stopped me from appreciating his skills as an orator. His opponents often suggest he excites juvenile emotions in his audience; this, to me, seems particularly absurd. What does it say about their own maturity if they can't even admit what should be self evident by now, that Obama is extremely intelligent and a very gifted speaker?

Posted by: mahmud010 | March 25, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

As many have acknowledged it was a well thought out speech. Something that I doubt he came up with in just a weekend.

He has known that race and sex would be part of the Election Trail.

He has also know SINCE he decided to run that Wright could well be a stumbling block.

His campaign is very quick to complain about racism..(Nothing directly from Obama.)

He has made statements in his speeches then told or had told different versions to other parties. (Canada, Israel, lied about being present when Wright gave speeches.)

He hides behind being bi-racial. Only using his mother's heritage when it suits his purpose. Utilizes his father's hertiage to indicate that he knows both sides of the race issue.

This speech is going to go down in history as the second coming of MLK.. and JFK.. but
tells everyone that he is a unifier..

If Wright had been publicized prior to the beginning of the General Election in January.. AND the DNC and mainstream media had DONE THEIR JOB to investigate Barack Hussein Obama. It may have very well changed the election results as posted today. AMERICAN VOTERS ARE angry at the way the GOVERNMENT has been operating for the past seven years under GOD BUSH. They have been demoralized by how the GOP and Bush and his cronies have run the country into the ground.

Now the DNC thought they had the ideal candidate to galvanize the black american vote. AND they have the only problem is..

Do we want another president that has a different AGENDA than the presents in is speeches.

Obama is from the NOW GENERATION. He wants to be President of the United States, because he would be the FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT in the history of the UNITED STATES. And in CONTROL.

BEWARE THE LAMB IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING.

Posted by: miller51550 | March 24, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

The fact that Obama can give a speach when given some time to sit down with his coaches is well known. The fact that it would be "exactly what America needed to hear" is obvious. Come on! He' not an idiot! Don't you get a little suspicous of a guy who always manages to say "exactly what America need to hear"? I am flabbergasted at the amount apathy so many people have about this big con game he is pulling off. In some cases its not apathy, its passionat devotion, and that's disturbing! Don't vote or make political decisions based on what people say, base it on people's track record. That is the only thing that can't always manage to tell you, "exactly what you need to hear". Is this type of common sense really that gone due to this guy's smooth talk? The speech was great, unfortunately it came about 15 years too late! This speech should hav been given byObama to Pastor Wright 15 years ago. If people like Pastor Wright didn't exist, and people like Barack Obama didn't give him an audience, there would be no need for the speech that "America needed to hear". What we really needed to hear from Obama was some apologies and answers, not smooth talk saying, "Its alright folks, my hand really wasn't in the cookie jar, you all need to just get over your problem with the fact that I like cookies". Its pastor Wright who was doing the racist anti America bashing, so don't implicate the American people and act like they have something they need to apolgize for, Mr Obama!.

Posted by: chipsalom | March 24, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

You're asking the wrong question -- again.

Obama turned the question away from "how does this affect the polls?" to questions that truly matter: "How can America overcome the divisions that continue to impede our progress as a people and as a nation?"

His speech challenges us to stop thinking about the presidential campaign as a game with a score, with winners and losers, with home runs and errors. Instead, we need to think about the campaign as a quadrennial evaluation of where we stand and where we want to go as a people.

Will this help him? Will this hurt Clinton? Will McCain be able to counter?

Irrelevant points. Stupid questions.

The campaign is about us as Americans, about what we believe and what we want. The campaign is about whether we are individuals wanting things for ourselves, or whether we are a people, a community, a society, a nation, wanting what is best for all of us.

You ask if this will help Obama. The real question should be whether this will raise the level of discourse of the campaign. We can only make that happen if we ask the right questions.

You missed.

Posted by: bvwatson | March 23, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama is simply the most impressive person to run for president since Robert Kennedy. Senator Clinton's "kitchen sink" approach to her attacks have been relentless. I like Mrs. Clinton, and she deserves credit for her tenacity. However, Senator Obama has taken it all without losing his cool, and it it is just one more affirmation of his credentials. Governor Richardson sees it, and I hope this opens a floodgate of significant super delegate endorsements.

DT Fishkill NY

Posted by: danieltappen | March 22, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

He Got an A. I think he will be the best president we have had in a long time, very much in the style of Teddy Roosevelt, without the expansionist bent.

Posted by: majorteddy | March 21, 2008 1:29 AM | Report abuse

The Clintons and their network have shown their true c o l o r s again. "Shame on you", Clintons and supporters! The resignation of Ferraro for her racist remarks was meaningless and definitely not an apology, just an overt act. As to Hillary's "apology", a farce, she really knows how to turn the tears on and off! When Powers resigned from the Obama campaign, her statement was a true apology, though unnecessary. Had Powers comment about Hellery included the word Rotten, excuse me, Rodham with monster, Powers' apology even then would not have been due.

What voters need to be reminded is that Hillary is the jilted wife of an adulterous liar who womanized women no less than Spits Sir (excuse me, Spitzer aka Spritzer, aka Puttin' on the spritz big time). C'mon Americans, these are the people who are governing this country's family values with core values like theirs? Personal lives do affect the values of people who govern. The mere thought of letting Silly Billy Boy get near the White House again to womanize more than before is and should be repugnant.

Isn't it ironic how convenient Slick Billy used LBJ over MLK (who has a National Holiday in his honor!) Lest we forget where Billy boy found it convenient to smoke pot (excuse me, inhale pot and save his own neck while protesting against LBJ) in England during LBJ's Vietnam War for which LBJ will never be honored.

The truth of White Water may never be known. However, because of the stakes involved in demanding a wholesome candidate for the highest office in the greatest country in the world, may the results of the investigation always be subject to question--her word against his(deceased).

Of course, Clintonville has tried in every which way to refute the aforementioned and to stoop to any level to get elected. (Getting Florida delegates, Hillary--sounds like another Bush ploy in the making.) However, be reminded of speakers for JFK, the true author of "LBJ's" civil rights, and Eugene McCarthy, the absolute is held by HIM and, too often than not, isn't it hard to accept the truth.

Had Barack Obama's judicious lead to a higher road in American Politics and his good judgment on international politics been followed, ALL of the people of the United States would be two trillion dollars richer with thousands of lives saved too! On the other hand, the Clintons were brainwashed into believing there were weapons of mass destruction. If Mrs. Clinton was so easily duped by her husband, imagine her sharpness in world politics--she didn't even know what was going on in her own bedroom!!!

If all of these politicians' feet were held to the fire by way of a polygraph test, the test would reveal Obama has a lot more class, integrity, American patriotism and family values than his critics possess combined. How about a polygraph for ol'Billary and Hillary on White Water? Ferraro's Family values??? include raising a son who was caught pushing/selling drugs at Middlebury College in Vermont!!!

Posted by: MurphyMorseJohnson | March 20, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

The Clintons and their network have shown their true c o l o r s again. "Shame on you", Clintons and supporters! The resignation of Ferraro for her racist remarks was meaningless and definitely not an apology, just an overt act. As to Hillary's "apology", a farce, she really knows how to turn the tears on and off! When Powers resigned from the Obama campaign, her statement was a true apology, though unnecessary. Had Powers comment about Hellery included the word Rotten, excuse me, Rodham with monster, Powers' apology even then would not have been due.

What voters need to be reminded is that Hillary is the jilted wife of an adulterous liar who womanized women no less than Spits Sir (excuse me, Spitzer aka Spritzer, aka Puttin' on the spritz big time). C'mon Americans, these are the people who are governing this country's family values with core values like theirs? Personal lives do affect the values of people who govern. The mere thought of letting Silly Billy Boy get near the White House again to womanize more than before is and should be repugnant.

Isn't it ironic how convenient Slick Billy used LBJ over MLK (who has a National Holiday in his honor!) Lest we forget where Billy boy found it convenient to smoke pot (excuse me, inhale pot and save his own neck while protesting against LBJ) in England during LBJ's Vietnam War for which LBJ will never be honored.

The truth of White Water may never be known. However, because of the stakes involved in demanding a wholesome candidate for the highest office in the greatest country in the world, may the results of the investigation always be subject to question--her word against his(deceased).

Of course, Clintonville has tried in every which way to refute the aforementioned and to stoop to any level to get elected. (Getting Florida delegates, Hillary--sounds like another Bush ploy in the making.) However, be reminded of speakers for JFK, the true author of "LBJ's" civil rights, and Eugene McCarthy, the absolute is held by HIM and, too often than not, isn't it hard to accept the truth.

Had Barack Obama's judicious lead to a higher road in American Politics and his good judgment on international politics been followed, ALL of the people of the United States would be two trillion dollars richer with thousands of lives saved too! On the other hand, the Clintons were brainwashed into believing there were weapons of mass destruction. If Mrs. Clinton was so easily duped by her husband, imagine her sharpness in world politics--she didn't even know what was going on in her own bedroom!!!

If all of these politicians' feet were held to the fire by way of a polygraph test, the test would reveal Obama has a lot more class, integrity, American patriotism and family values than his critics possess combined. How about a polygraph for ol'Billary and Hillary on White Water? Ferraro's Family values??? include raising a son who was caught pushing/selling drugs at Middlebury College in Vermont!!!

Posted by: MurphyMorseJohnson | March 20, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

The Clintons and their network have shown their true c o l o r s again. "Shame on you", Clintons and supporters! The resignation of Ferraro for her racist remarks was meaningless and definitely not an apology, just an overt act. As to Hillary's "apology", a farce, she really knows how to turn the tears on and off! When Powers resigned from the Obama campaign, her statement was a true apology, though unnecessary. Had Powers comment about Hellery included the word Rotten, excuse me, Rodham with monster, Powers' apology even then would not have been due.

What voters need to be reminded is that Hillary is the jilted wife of an adulterous liar who womanized women no less than Spits Sir (excuse me, Spitzer aka Spritzer, aka Puttin' on the spritz big time). C'mon Americans, these are the people who are governing this country's family values with core values like theirs? Personal lives do affect the values of people who govern. The mere thought of letting Silly Billy Boy get near the White House again to womanize more than before is and should be repugnant.

Isn't it ironic how convenient Slick Billy used LBJ over MLK (who has a National Holiday in his honor!) Lest we forget where Billy boy found it convenient to smoke pot (excuse me, inhale pot and save his own neck while protesting against LBJ) in England during LBJ's Vietnam War for which LBJ will never be honored.

The truth of White Water may never be known. However, because of the stakes involved in demanding a wholesome candidate for the highest office in the greatest country in the world, may the results of the investigation always be subject to question--her word against his(deceased).

Of course, Clintonville has tried in every which way to refute the aforementioned and to stoop to any level to get elected. (Getting Florida delegates, Hillary--sounds like another Bush ploy in the making.) However, be reminded of speakers for JFK, the true author of "LBJ's" civil rights, and Eugene McCarthy, the absolute is held by HIM and, too often than not, isn't it hard to accept the truth.

Had Barack Obama's judicious lead to a higher road in American Politics and his good judgment on international politics been followed, ALL of the people of the United States would be two trillion dollars richer with thousands of lives saved too! On the other hand, the Clintons were brainwashed into believing there were weapons of mass destruction. If Mrs. Clinton was so easily duped by her husband, imagine her sharpness in world politics--she didn't even know what was going on in her own bedroom!!!

If all of these politicians' feet were held to the fire by way of a polygraph test, the test would reveal Obama has a lot more class, integrity, American patriotism and family values than his critics possess combined. How about a polygraph for ol'Billary and Hillary on White Water? Ferraro's Family values??? include raising a son who was caught pushing/selling drugs at Middlebury College in Vermont!!!

Posted by: MurphyMorseJohnson | March 20, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

The Clintons and their network have shown their true c o l o r s again. "Shame on you", Clintons and supporters! The resignation of Ferraro for her racist remarks was meaningless and definitely not an apology, just an overt act. As to Hillary's "apology", a farce, she really knows how to turn the tears on and off! When Powers resigned from the Obama campaign, her statement was a true apology, though unnecessary. Had Powers comment about Hellery included the word Rotten, excuse me, Rodham with monster, Powers' apology even then would not have been due.

What voters need to be reminded is that Hillary is the jilted wife of an adulterous liar who womanized women no less than Spits Sir (excuse me, Spitzer aka Spritzer, aka Puttin' on the spritz big time). C'mon Americans, these are the people who are governing this country's family values with core values like theirs? Personal lives do affect the values of people who govern. The mere thought of letting Silly Billy Boy get near the White House again to womanize more than before is and should be repugnant.

Isn't it ironic how convenient Slick Billy used LBJ over MLK (who has a National Holiday in his honor!) Lest we forget where Billy boy found it convenient to smoke pot (excuse me, inhale pot and save his own neck while protesting against LBJ) in England during LBJ's Vietnam War for which LBJ will never be honored.

The truth of White Water may never be known. However, because of the stakes involved in demanding a wholesome candidate for the highest office in the greatest country in the world, may the results of the investigation always be subject to question--her word against his(deceased).

Of course, Clintonville has tried in every which way to refute the aforementioned and to stoop to any level to get elected. (Getting Florida delegates, Hillary--sounds like another Bush ploy in the making.) However, be reminded of speakers for JFK, the true author of "LBJ's" civil rights, and Eugene McCarthy, the absolute is held by HIM and, too often than not, isn't it hard to accept the truth.

Had Barack Obama's judicious lead to a higher road in American Politics and his good judgment on international politics been followed, ALL of the people of the United States would be two trillion dollars richer with thousands of lives saved too! On the other hand, the Clintons were brainwashed into believing there were weapons of mass destruction. If Mrs. Clinton was so easily duped by her husband, imagine her sharpness in world politics--she didn't even know what was going on in her own bedroom!!!

If all of these politicians' feet were held to the fire by way of a polygraph test, the test would reveal Obama has a lot more class, integrity, American patriotism and family values than his critics possess combined. How about a polygraph for ol'Billary and Hillary on White Water? Ferraro's Family values??? include raising a son who was caught pushing/selling drugs at Middlebury College in Vermont!!!

Posted by: MurphyMorseJohnson | March 20, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

ARE WE MORE THAN THE COLOR OF OUR SKIN?
IS THE WHOLE GREATER THAN THE SUM OF IT'S PARTS?
Obama's father was Kenyan, privileged, and a Muslim with black skin and most significant absent. His stepfather was Indonesian, privileged and a Muslim with brown skin. His Mother was American, privileged, a Kansan with white skin. His controversial mentor is American, Christian, a Marine Veteran, and unapologetically black. Other than his wife Michelle, the Rev Wright is the only real tie that Obama has to Black America. It's a double edged sword, but Obama needs Rev. Wright to retain the Black vote.

In a perverse way Geraldine Ferraro was right--Obama wouldn't be where he is if he wasn't black. Ironically, however, he really isn't black! Obama should stop apologizing and redefine himself as a citizen of the world, multicultural and all inclusive.


Posted by: bigreddog | March 20, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

The reality is Obama has black skin but did not know what is was like to be a Black American. He grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia. He attended a prestigious preparatory high school and attended a predominantly white college.

With political aspirations in mind, he intentionally joined a black church to assimilate into Black American culture. Despite Rev. Wright's harsh rhetoric, Obama stayed with the church for 20 years as worked on his metamorphosis.


Posted by: bigreddog | March 20, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Hispana,

Shall I say welcome to you and your poor grammar? You moved from NYT here? Or, you just write wherever you could to advocate your marvelous opinions? May I also, besides improving your grammar, suggest that you use less "!!!"? They made you sound very angry. You know well that when Rev. Wright got angry, he made you feel uncomfortable and even threatened, right? You made us, your readers, uncomfortable, too.

Posted by: pinepine | March 20, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

A letter to Barack Obama:

I have been watching your candidacy over the past months comparing you with Hillary Clinton and my hope has been to be able to select a candidate that can bring forth sound leadership, experience, credibility, grit and judgement which are essential attributes on the leader that will take this nation on such a crucial time and bring forth CHANGE that will take us in the right direction.

As a candidate you bring your intellectual ability, education and capacity to speak and steer the crowds. I see that in experience you lack a sound resume with limited national experience and mostly local activist activities. From the beginning your theme is you are the CHANGE candidate and best qualified to UNITE this nation. The majority of the media and a significant group within the Democratic party see you as the individual who would take the party to win this election.

So, as your past begins to unravel, little by little and NO THANKS to the media who has been totally in a state of TRANCE from the beginning, we start to see that perhaps YOU ARE NOT the persona that YOU APPEAR TO BE!!!

From the beginning I wonder why is it that basically you are only able to win the smaller states, mainly due to CAUCASES and who is really voting for you. Every state that you win through Caucases presents a problem and we hear about a great majority of complaints on the process, activities of your surrogates on intimidation and coercion of voters. There is very little that can be done about this process, but the end result of your WINS would remain as highly questionnable.( So, ACTION note for the party to correct this discriminatory process immediately after the election because it is anti-democratic and selective.)

I wonder about your surrogates activities in New Hampshire on the night of Hillary Clinton's win questionning the nature of this win and injecting RACE as a factor. I also wonder about the total misconstruing of Bill Clinton's words in South Carolina and how underhandedly and swiftly the masses were moved to CRY RACE!!! At this point I realize that you have great experience in Activism and that Sharpton and Jackson must be great Counterparts.

The marvelous thing is how you have appeared to run a campaign above the fray, avoiding a racial connection and as the intellectual who has convinced the intellectuals and media.

Reality sets in and finally after many months the TRUTH begins to surface with the revealing of your church and Pastor's radical beliefs. To me it is NOT news because this was common knowledge in Chicago, where you had a shady reputation. I wonder at the total naivete of the media and your supporters of ignoring totally FACTS that surround your life.

Your speech has been a product that you had ready for many months because you knew that your past would catch up with you and be revealed. Again, you use your ability to speak to deliver a speech that frankly has confused our Media and elites. On the surface it is eloquent, but when we unravel the facts within I see that it just a major ploy, diversion and daring use of our sensitive racial past to bring about confusion. You move to try to bring about a racial discourse, but the psychology of your approach fails to understand the character and sensitivities of the american people:

1)The speeech is crafted to avoid and deflect any true discussion of the extremism of this individual who has supported hatred, anti-semitism and dislike for our nation. Deep down I realize that you would not sever your support of these beliefs and connections. So, you craftily tried to turn this into a discussion of race at a moment where it cannot result in any positive outcome. You are not the best qualified individual to do this. You also failed to realize that you are supporting a mentality of trying to preserve an ideology that is entrenched in the past, does not promote UNITY and feels that we all owe you major dues. The great majority of Americans are sensitive to this ugly period in our past, but we are bringing forth change in this nation and want to go ahead and put this behind us. It is about time!!! So, this is not the time!!!

2)Excerpts from this speech reveal a great deal about your values and identity: your public expose of the troubles that your grandmother had goes against all of our family values and let me advise you that indoing it you reveal that you are callous and an opportunist. We respect our elderly and DO NOT expose to the public their problems no matter how we differ. So, your only motive to do this was political. Also, your statement today of her comments being those of a "typical white person" can be construed as condescendent and racist.

3)Your support of this Black Liberation Theology is suspicious and lead us to think that perhaps you are not about Unity after all!!! Frankly, this is totally radical and Anti-American. To what extent is the black community going to dismiss such hatred and consider it as common practices in the black faith? Well, this certainly gives plenty of room for thought. In America, we do not support such ideology. Our nation has been founded on Christian values that promote love, tolerance and forgiveness so these beliefs are totally Anti-Christian and alien to our faith!! I DO NOT believe that you have supported this Pastor for 20 years and not know what he truly stands for. He could be responsible for some good deeds but overall this hatred and racism trumps any goodness. How could you expose your wife and children to such radical mentality for so many years? Was yours an opportunity where you sacrificed all of your family? A church is a community and all that happens is known sooner or later.

4)So, last I come to your qualifications. Your involvement with this Pastor and your response frankly pose a question about CREDIBILITY, JUDGEMENT and CREDIBILITY and at this crucial moment. You have used RACE as a subterfuge to divert the attention of the media and public. But, once we passed the sudden impact of your eloquent but hollow speech, reason takes over and we see that you are just another politician trying to score a point at any stake, but perhaps and unknowingly losing your values and identities.

Frankly, you have lost your opportunity to win this election with good deeds and wasted your abilities. You need to walk a path of true learning by your actions before you can aspire to this most important leadership position. Was it greed or lack of vision that was really your motivation?

No, you are NOT the proper candidate to lead this nation!!!

Posted by: Hispana | March 20, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I am reading about Obama:
"I cannot say he will be a good leader"
"I can't say he will unite America"
"unfortunately, Obama already"
"I need to know more about a candidate"
"his voting records are little clear"
"how I'm sure he will not follow Wright's"
"how can I be sure he is not a madrassa"
and all that ridiculous bs!

Who the heck they think they are? Bunch of hotfart-bags! That is what they are. You don't need any excuse; stay clear of Obama and that's all. Nobody is begging you to play and vote honest.

How in hell you are going to DEMAND such things from a candidate?

The only thing that those childlike tantrums demonstrate, is that their author(s) are ready to bolt out of "likin/acceptin/believin/hopin'g" Barack Obama in a split second, and going to defenestrate him to death at his smallest burp if he's elected! What is RACISM!
The "impatience", the "need", the "qualities" they feel and expect from Obama, they dared not request'em from Bush, or from Reagan, or from Gingrich. In other words, minorities are always objects of racists' SCORN in any of its varieties!
Bunch of hypocrites! That is what they are! Republicons at heart, enough said.

Relative to the speech, to me sounded like any other speech of him. Well articulated and pronounced. Period.
What I think is going on, is that the establishment have realized that kicking Obama down, are empowering Clinton, which scares the marbles out of their peebrains.
And now, are backpedaling like crazy. At unison almost, all publications (after 24hrs), find speech "sublime".
Look at the first "comment" of this row, which tells "commentators" the line to follow: it's bending backwards on "how BRILLIANT Obama is" and even outlines HOW TO read Obama's thoughts. But, give me a break.

Posted by: SouthStar | March 20, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama should never have been blamed for his former minister's thoughtless comments. Mr. Obama's speech showed he has testicles. He demonstrated that he will be a great leader and not an evasive coward.

How is it that plenty of pro-choice politicians attend churches where they get married and their families are raised, and they never have to address the whole country because of the twisted things their church leaders do and say? "Twisted", as in setting up a display of jars containing what they claim are aborted fetuses and photos of "murdered children" in the 4H tent at the local county fair on Kid's Night? Why did Obama have to lead a discussion of race because of what his reverend said?

I am glad Obama gave the speech. We don't need the kind of snipes I've recently read about, though I'm sure those who made such comments -- we know who they are -- believed they were being clever. Sure. Maybe I don't understand. Hearing and reading, "Obama's black and he's running for president, so he should be made accountable," has become somewhat trite.

Posted by: lmckinney | March 20, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

By stating that speeches of a close associate that alleged government-led genocide were merely manifestations of a lifetime of frustration taken too far, Obama legitimized an intellectual basis to which all aggrieved parties can subscribe: if you have been wronged by anyone at any time, any perspective you hold is a valid reaction to your grievance and needs to be understood through the lens that grievance. This is a dangerous step, as feelings --- and the distorted realities they create --- replace truth and fact as the basis for policy alternatives.

Posted by: ArlingtonREIT | March 20, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"A new and brilliant perspective on the state of race relations in America today."

I just don't see what is new or overly insightful here. If you have ever given the subject some thought with a bit of good will in your heart you already undertood everything covered here.

Unfortunately, fair and reasonable debate is not the state of politics today, nor was it ever in the history of civilization.

What most annoys me here is that for months Obama almost hid from the issue of race (and probably fudged the issue of what he heard when) and now that he has to deal with it he casts himself as the nations conscience on this issue.

Time after time he demonstrates that he considers himself above the basic (petty?) rules of politics. This may work when wowing the inexperienced, the intelligensia and the chattering classes, but this will not work when he is facing the assault of the Rove driven McCain campaign.

Can you say "four more years"?

Posted by: lithium452 | March 20, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"A new and brilliant perspective on the state of race relations in America today."

I just don't see what is new or overly insightful here. If you have ever given the subject some thought with a bit of good will in your heart you already undertood everything covered here.

Unfortunately, fair and reasonable debate is not the state of politics today, nor was it ever in the history of civilization.

What most annoys me here is that for months Obama almost hid from the issue of race (and probably fudged the issue of what he heard when) and now that he has to deal with it he casts himself as the nations conscience on this issue.

Time after time he demonstrates that he considers himself above the basic (petty?) rules of politics. This may work when wowing the inexperienced, the intelligensia and the chattering classes, but this will not work when he is facing the assault of the Rove driven McCain campaign.

Can you say "four more years"?

Posted by: lithium452 | March 20, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Obama's speech was a supberb lawyer's brief-on a par with the likes of David Boies. It was organized beautifully beginnig with a historical background, and each word was well chosen and eloquent. And Abamo made a great case for the defendant (himself), by changing the subject of the speech which was his alleged bad judgment in choosing a bigot for a mentor and inspiration, to a treatise on race relations. As a treatise on race relations I found it to be eloquent but not original and greatly ineffectual because it did not even hint at solutions. It was not original because almost everyone reognizes the long term effects of centuries of injustice to the blacks. It has been recognized in the Brown case and for better or worse in the legislation provided by many in support of Affirmative Action as a partial solution. It has been the subject of many films and TV series such as Dead of the Night, Guess Who Is Coming To Dinner, The Cosby show, and the Archie Bunker Show. It was ineffective because although he recognizes the bitterness of some blacks and the bitterness of whites who must bus their kids to school, he did not even hint at a solution. If he did he would develop enemies. In made no mention in his speech of confronting his pastor, or even discussing these matters with his pastor, nor did ne mention any effort to have Church groups discuss these things. It would appear he did nothing to influence the views of his pastor or his wife. Some would designate him a profile in courage. I totally disagree. I would give the designation to Bill Cosby who is trying to find a solution even if he suffers enemies while doing so. And I would not elect Aboma to be leader of the free world on the basis of his eloquence alone.

Posted by: dan20 | March 20, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

He Threw his grandmother under the bus in favor of his Pastor. He spent 20 years in that church, one day he never heard any of this hateful sermons, now he's changed his tune. I think he Truly Agrees with his Pastor and his Hateful & racists sermons. How could any Parent let there children listen to this? They will now believe being racist is fine and that the Government wants to give every one aides.
How sad , we will never Again Trust any thing Obama has to say. Now we understand his wife's remarks about not being Proud to be an American. We don't need Racists or Biggots in the White house, We can no longer support Obama Period

Posted by: ladya2004 | March 20, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Sticking by Wright as a person, while rejecting his comments, was the action of a stand-up guy, and will be seen as such by the voters. I remember talking to my cousin in rural New York years after Clinton became president. He said he lost interest in Clinton when he abandoned his friend Lani Gaunier. This, again, was years after she was in the news.

The flip side of the personal loyalty character issue is the sensitivity to Obama's mention of his white grandmother. For voters who believe you stick with your friends and family no matter what, who may even have questioned whether the Unabomber's brother should have turned him in, did the speech come too close to criticizing a family member? I hope not.

Ironically, I believe what happened here is that he, as a good grandson, pulled his punches in referring to a painful moment that's described in more detail in his first book. In the book, the grandparents are fighting about his grandmother's reaction to a strange man on the street, the grandmother storms off, and the grandfather turns to Barack and says something like, she's just frightened of him because he's a black man. And then, horrified, he apologizes for telling his black grandson this, but it's too late.

So this was not some kind of expedient, vague new generalization, but a specific memory he wrote about before entering politics -- and I think it was a fair comment, in the context of the many positive things he also said about his grandmother in the speech.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | March 20, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Don't you see that Obama's speech was not just about Rev Wright? Just as Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was not just about the Battle of Gettysburg?

Obama's speech was about much more than Rev Wright's inane, insane comments. Obama spoke to a far broader topic: namely, we do not face our racism in this country. We pretend it does not exist. We are, nationally, in denial. And when some radio personality or sports figure or TV personality slips, and spouts a racist comment, we all act SO offended and SO surprised. C'mon! Obama has challenged us to "get real".

Almost all of us are politically correct and most of us are not racist, but racism DOES exist in bars, living rooms, taxi cabs, corporate boardrooms, and yes, churches. Obama did not deny that Wright's comments were racist and extreme. But, Obama did point out that they were real. Those comments actually DO represent the views of MANY (read, millions) Americans.

Obama was calling us out. To ADMIT we have a problem with racism and to CONFRONT IT and not remain in denial.

As Obama said, do we finally confront this difficult issue or do we -- once again -- get sidetracked and fight over the details of this one particular episode? He stated, correctly I believe, that if we allow this one to divert our attention, then there will be another diversion, and another, and another, and so on...

So, he challenged us. Face it now. Is it a difficult, complicated issue? Yes, absolutely. But... Obama has the high intelligence, the personal experience and the eloquence to lead the discussion.

Lincoln, in his Gettysburg Address, called us to a higher plane, he knew we could do better. He challenged us, do we REALLY believe that "all men are created equal"? Lincoln's speech was not just about the battle, it was not even just about the Civil War, it was about who we are and what we value.

Obama, too, has appealed to the "better angels of our nature", and his speech of 3-18-08 will be discussed in your children's history books. Obama knows, we Americans, can do better.

Posted by: AdrickHenry | March 20, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

It's getting a little tiresome to read the double-standard from people who have no intention of ever voting for Obama or any Democrat.

Can you folks just go back to the Free Republic site and spew your garbage there? It's getting really, really old.

To these folks no Democrat will ever be perfect enough or right enough for them. Yet all a Republican has to do is have a pulse, breathe and don a blue suit and red tie. I mean, look at George W. Bush. That guy is a total moron...but a very well-connected one.

I guess George W. Bush would have been more eloquent on this matter, like he has been on so many others. The fact is we've become so accustomed to having a President with severe learning disabilities, that we don't know what to do with an individual like Barack who communicates so ringingly clear.

I am not naive. I know full well there is a chance that Obama may lose in a general election due to race.

But this guy is different. He thrives under pressure. He just gets better as the heat gets put on him.

So Hillary, please throw more kitchen sinks at his campaign and sharpen your nail file for that "knife fight" you and your supporters crave.

Because I think Obama can take it and win.

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | March 20, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

There are a lot of minorities that have suffered pain and still do. I am so sick of hearing about how obama was a poor black boy with one parent. Who had special privileges growing up. He went to a very expensive prep school, and then Harvard? Most people have not had the opportunities this man has had. I am sorry if this may offend anyone, but give it up, move on, take what happened to you and your ancesters and help another minority. In this country women are being held as sex slaves, who came here to have a better life, and unknowingly sold their souls to dishonest men who make money from them. They are snmuggled into this country and many die in transporting due to not having any in oxygen in the paneled trucks.
Jesse Jackson and King sent messages of hope and encouragement and positive words to make things happen, not wallow in the past pain. Obama,is not the person he portrays hisself to be and cannot be trusted.. dig deeper before you vote for this man to be our Commander and Chief. Also, as Bush has shown us, a President can have the last say, and can make our lives miserable.

Obama is right that he did not vote for the war in Iraq, and he could not as he wasn't in office until 2003/2004. Just another way he spins the truth.. Again look at his own website.. Do the numbers..That is how he claims he has the advantage over Hillary and McCain..Even though his record on voting on issues involving Irag are the same as Hillary's and then we have the 128 times he couldn't make up his mind to vote yes or no, but wanted everyone to know he was present.

Posted by: rlarkin2 | March 20, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

There are a lot of minorities that have suffered pain and still do. I am so sick of hearing about how obama was a poor black boy with one parent. Who had special privileges growing up. He went to a very expensive prep school, and then Harvard? Most people have not had the opportunities this man has had. I am sorry if this may offend anyone, but give it up, move on, take what happened to you and your ancesters and help another minority. In this country women are being held as sex slaves, who came here to have a better life, and unknowingly sold their souls to dishonest men who make money from them. They are snmuggled into this country and many die in transporting due to not having any in oxygen in the paneled trucks.
Jesse Jackson and King sent messages of hope and encouragement and positive words to make things happen, not wallow in the past pain. Obama,is not the person he portrays hisself to be and cannot be trusted.. dig deeper before you vote for this man to be our Commander and Chief. Also, as Bush has shown us, a President can have the last say, and can make our lives miserable.

Obama is right that he did not vote for the war in Iraq, and he could not as he wasn't in office until 2003/2004. Just another way he spins the truth.. Again look at his own website.. Do the numbers..That is how he claims he has the advantage over Hillary and McCain..Even though his record on voting on issues involving Irag are the same as Hillary's and then we have the 128 times he couldn't make up his mind to vote yes or no, but wanted everyone to know he was present.

Posted by: rlarkin2 | March 20, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Billdamon is "right on." How easy it is to discount and forget with whom previous Presidents have "ministered" in the past. Ministers and pastors who voice similar outrageous stands on issues and have met weekly with Presidents. How easy it is to focus on this 30 second time bite and try to associate Obama's beliefs with Dr. Wright. How easy it is to try to make this one "stick." NOT THIS TIME, NOT THIS TIME. NOT THIS TIME!

Posted by: pegwelch | March 20, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I think Obama did a great job with his speech, and I think it went over well with the media and of course his core group. I find nothing has changed in my eyes. He supports a church and a minister, like an uncle, that talks of history and all that the country did wrong and how blacks were seriously abused under this system. I think it would be good to go once to hear this man speak but to go for twenty years, thats roughly 800 times. I think Obama has some serious issues with white americans, and he clearly could go to churches that are more progressive and that speak of hope and change, his favorite words..He could try to move forward, not backward. He has so many excuses...It amazes me as to how blind the country is to this double talk. Rezko another friend..Black Panthers..more associations..At this time I have watched his every speech and every debate, he takes what works from other people, and owns them like he invented the words. His first debates did not include all of Clintons agenda, but he continued to take more of her words and now what he says he will do, looks a lot like what she had outlined from the beginning. He keeps falling into the holes he has made in the past, and continues to dig out with elequence. We have had 7 plus years of lies, this Chicago Senator knows how to play-politics and he knows how to lie really well, elequently.. I am from the midwest, he has learned politics quite well out there, and how to play the game. He is dangerous because people get caught up in how well he presents himself. But he never really says anything. If he is the democratic elect, I will do whatever i can to get all the Hillary supporters to move to an Independent. Obama scares me even more than McCain and that is really scared..

Posted by: rlarkin2 | March 20, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

He chose his words well, but the fact is he belongs to this Church that their own charter is racist at the very least. He sat and listened to this guy for 20 yrs gave the church lots of money and declared him his Mentor. Is probably the reason his wife wasn't proud of America for all her adult life. If he really had disagreed with the sermons he should have found another church, but like his Friend REZCO he chose to continue his relationship with him. That folks is bad judgment. What other surprises does he have for us? their is Farrakhan and one or two more. And in this speech that was supposed to smooth things over with everyone he managed to take a few jabs at Hillary about her vote on authorizing the war and Ferraro's remarks .
The fact that he wasn't in the Senate in 2002 when the vote actually took place and was not privy to the intelligence Bush was presenting ( we all know it was a bunch of lies now ) but had he been he might have voted the same way 75% of the US Senators did . and in 2004 he made a statement that he pretty much agreed with Bush on his handling of the war, And since he did become a United States Senator his voting record is exactly the same as Hillary's on the war.
I stress that he was not a US Senator when the vote actually took place and couldn't have voted YES or NO even if he had wanted to unlike his career in the ILL. State legislature where he voted PRESENT a good number of times. The remarks by Ferraro was of fact not racist and has been apologized for although I see no need to have done so, he is the one that keeps throwing out the Race Card.

Posted by: cowboy66 | March 20, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I see leadership, crisis management, integerty, honesty, and courage.

Posted by: fortsonl | March 20, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Obama.

It IS okay to suffer fools quietly and yes, we all have that embarassing uncle.

It is NOT okay to choose that uncle as your spiritual mentor for 20 years. It is NOT okay for a leader who sees himself as a future President to sit quietly and listen to Racism.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Posted by: wreuvenspam | March 20, 2008 04:10 AM

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

Excellent post, wreuvenspam. And proof that good things sometimes actually do happen at 4:10 in the morning!

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 20, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

since the speech was after Pastor Wright's disturbing remarks, I feel it was more political.

He denounces Pastor Wrights words because he know some Americans find it quite disturbing, yet he embraces Pastor Wright because he knows he could lose some followers if he didn't.

Unfortunately, right now I cannot say he will be a good leader, nor can I say he will unite America. What I can say is because of the timing of this speech, he is a good politician.

Posted by: ca67klein | March 20, 2008 03:37 AM

***

ca67klein,

The clips of Rev. Wright's previous sermons surfaced because of exactly BHO's presidential candidacy. What BHO tried to do with his speech was to show the American the context that had been missing in Fox News and YourTube and ABC GMA. With an understanding of the context, you might know that the anger in the black community you feel uncomfortable about exists rather commonly, and that Rev. Wright, of course unnecessarily, used a higher pitch to express the anger. By announcing that he can't disown Rev. Wright for his imperfections, BHO actually announced that he can't disown the entire imperfect black community. Please notice the bigger picture. Please tolerate the imperfections we all bear.

Posted by: pinepine | March 20, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

We should all consider the fact that the media has taken Rev. Wright's most shocking statements and condensed them into 30 second soundbites. Although we disagree with his statements he has in fact given hundreds of thousands of sermons. Maybe it would behoove all of us to look at some of his less inflamatory sermons in order to get a fuller picture of the man (for example the sermon that inspired Obama's, Audacity of Hope). It is up to us to consider how to judge him and Obama's connection to him--only after being fully informed. Should we accept the way the media has portrayed him in 30 seconds rather than 36 years? Are we big enough to be open to look at his other sermons before we fully judge him and Obama? Perhaps those 30 seconds were intentionally edited to inflame you and to be repeated over and over again to scare the daylights out of voters for other reasons. We owe it to ourselves to be fully informed, to look deeper into Wright's real work and other sermons even if we disagree and even if it forces us out of our comfort zone. We also should use this as an opportunity to understand where his rage comes from. In making an effort to understand something that is difficult, we can work to heal this nation. Are we up to the challenge? It is up to us.

Posted by: hickmanjen | March 20, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

"While I'm certain that millions of Dems are actually not paying any attention, that 'move,' if placed back into context, is nowhere near as crass as trying to seat the MI delegates when BHO's name didn't even appear on the ballot. That is the current "gold standard" of undemocratic posturing in this year's primary."

Good point from the Judge.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | March 20, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

jac13 sounds like you are a boomer, sorry about my presumption about your age, no disrespect My pont was that Sen Obama's age does guarantee he is a about the future and vice versa.It is reasonable to conclude that there will be massive change with either, their rhetoric and ability to get bills through Congress will be the difference.
As for Lehey I recall he and Byrd showering Hillary with praise for her knowledge and persevearance in the US Senate, which frankly I have neve heard about Sen Obama. Lehey is from Vermont and likely has endersed Sen Obama, that nonetheless does not diminish his praise for the work of Hillary as a US Senaor.

Posted by: leichtman | March 20, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

All the obama supporters are defending him staying at the church, ALL the black ministers are defending Wrights preaching, that simply tells ALL Americans they also support his feelings of anti- America and white hatred that the church preaches. No one says Obama cant attend the church for 20 years, or raise his daughters to be racist like his wife, what we ARE SAYING is that HE CANNOT REPRESENT ALL OF AMERCIA AS U.S. PRESIDENT! Rev Wright was and most likely still is a paid advisor on Obamas campaign??? Obama and David Axelrod insisted that Obama be the black candidate early in SC when they tried to spin it on Bill Clinton, it worked for the biased tabloid media like CNN cronies, since then, we ALL have come to realize Obama has problems with the truth and we learned this week for sure where his faith and true beliefs are, its obvious THERES ABSOLUTLY NO CHANGE WITH OBAMA, HE WILL DRAG U.S. BACK TO THE 60'S RACIAL DIVIDE at a time our country needs to unite. He cannot do that, no matter how many black news casts tell you he can

OBAMA STANDS BEHIND SPIRITAL ADVISOR WRIGHT!
"Wright is like an uncle you love and respect" As imperfect as he may be, he has been family to me for so many years, I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community, said Obama. The man who believes and preaches the U.S. government formulated the HIV AIDS virus to commit genocide against blacks also preaches "We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye on 9/11. This is the same man Obama had as advisor on his Presidential staff until this week. Rather than break ties with his demagogic, anti-American pastor, Obama used a speech on the non-back race to excuse his behavior and sweep the controversy under the rug. Passing the buck. Obama supposedly condemning Wright's shocking verbal assaults against the U.S and White Americans, but April last year; Obama was the first and quickest to demand Imus' ouster for making a racially insensitive remarks. His opinions and issues change with the weather, he is too UNSTABLE and proven he cannot make a decision or stay with one. Next we have ALL corrupt campaign financers, business and personal friends as indicted Rezko, former Dallas Mayor Hill, Rep. Rick Renzi and Mr. Auchi, leading supplier of arms to Saddam's regime convicted for corruption in France, the same British-Iraqi billionaire lent millions and millions of dollars to Obama all coming out of the woodwork. ALL this from the half black ex-Muslim who touts change and claims to be a uniter of all people? Proof he is just another in-experienced Washington politician that the media has like CNN has given a free pass at the great risk of our great country! There will soon be allot more video of Rev Wright and Obama coming, all this has proven without doubt if he is the nominee the democrat voters he cannot win the general election, just the black vote will not do it. Its time for Obama to leave this race and take his not so proud of America racist wife, spiritual advisor and anti white church with him..

Posted by: rozz62 | March 20, 2008 6:45 AM | Report abuse

The Grandmother to Pastor comparison was disturbing, and underlines an apparent cycle of emotional abuse, that Obama perpetuates by going from one racially charged environment to another.

Posted by: thinktank | March 20, 2008 4:15 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Obama.

It IS okay to suffer fools quietly and yes, we all have that embarassing uncle.

It is NOT okay to choose that uncle as your spiritual mentor for 20 years. It is NOT okay for a leader who sees himself as a future President to sit quietly and listen to Racism.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Posted by: wreuvenspam | March 20, 2008 4:10 AM | Report abuse

Barak Obama's speech was just that a speech. Given the seriousness of the situation that he had found himself in by associating with a Reverend or pastor that would jubilantly tell his congregation to condemn America "God damn America". It was self-serving to interject race, as this issue and scandal was about hate. I would think that no one could argue that Barack Obama knew this was the issue going in. But instead he interjected race in a self-serving attempt to hoodwink those concerned about his own judgment associating himself with such a man for 20 years. That he would sit still for that long journey and any such inspirational/controversial statements, and have his kids present to have there'll fragile little minds warped by such a man. And the notion that he could not refuse to further associate himself with this hatemonger of the United States is jawdropping. Barack Obama literally compared right to his grandmother. Like if his grandmother was shoveling this garbage on a consistent basis in front of him and children. He would not have the courage to give her some type of ultimatum. Either tell grandma to shape up and refrain from spewing such hate and agree never to do it again or there would be no further contact until she could show some restraint. Does anybody really have to spell this solution out for Barack Obama? Or is it that the ideals of Reverend Wright, his spiritual mentor of 20 years, are also so dear to his own heart that he could never separate himself from the man or the beliefs that maybe his as well. Someone needs to say it. Nobody in the media cares, and I guess that includes Chris becuase no one will even report what is really going on in Illinois. And what part Barack Obama is currently playing in ongoing racism at IDHR & EEOC it's a more devastating story than Wright.

Posted by: Chaos45i | March 20, 2008 4:00 AM | Report abuse

I'm just saying do we really want to spend another 4-8 years wondering who is atttending to B.Clinton's needs while Hilary is busy doing running the country. They had their turn in the Oval office and it wasn't all business related activities. We need someone new, not old tired wineskins. FRESH IS ALWAYS BEST! OLD TURNS INTO MOLD! ESPECIALLY IF IT IS EXPIRED AN BROKE ALREADY

Posted by: goldengood1 | March 20, 2008 3:38 AM | Report abuse

The young Senator Obama's speech was very good and insightful. I hope it will cause schools and communities to have open discussions about racism in America. I just wish he had done this speech earlier. It should have come after South Carolina or after the Ferraro mess. However, since the speech was after Pastor Wright's disturbing remarks, I feel it was more political.

He denounces Pastor Wrights words because he know some Americans find it quite disturbing, yet he embraces Pastor Wright because he knows he could lose some followers if he didn't.

Unfortunately, right now I cannot say he will be a good leader, nor can I say he will unite America. What I can say is because of the timing of this speech, he is a good politician.

Posted by: ca67klein | March 20, 2008 3:37 AM | Report abuse

Hey if you want the same thing we had in the 90s...scandal upon scandal in the white house then vote for Hillary...if you want a honest and open presidency then vote for Obama. Simple as that.

Posted by: Webster51 | March 20, 2008 3:14 AM | Report abuse

To USMC_Mike

Why can't you be more like Dave? He is not an Obama supporter but at least when he offers criticism; he does it in a way that is reasonable and non-offensive. You come off as a jealous, petty, a-hole. Is it a simple case of penis envy whthh you or are you really that big of a Jerk?

Posted by: txazga | March 20, 2008 12:50 AM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP,

Your type of trivial scrutiny of a presidential candidate made me trembling. I am sure you have been proud of the results of your scrutiny of G. W. Bush who certainly does not have to be associated with Rev. Wright, not as a certain young BLACK soul used to when it was in searching a place to belong to spiritually and emotionally. By the way, the contempt you hold upon Rev. Wright also made me trembling. Rev. Wright might not be pleasant for you, but he has the constitutional right to being entitled to his own opinions. Your viewing him as a dog is telling, your pride is indeed terrifying.

Posted by: pinepine | March 19, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

leichtman,

"My generation?" I was born in 1948!

Thanks for the thoughtful and thorough response. We'll have to agree to disagree.

BTW, hasn't Sen. Leahy endorsed Obama?

Posted by: jac13 | March 19, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Hi proud -

I had a conversation with an executive-who- happens-to-be-black in my office today. We got derailed from work and talked about Wright. I told him that I recalled an argument I had with a black minister I vaguely knew, outside City Council chambers, in the 70s, as follows.

I was before Council for a zoning variance for a builder. He was before Council for a zoning variance, I think for his church.

He ranted. In the hall later I said "how can you expect them to vote for you after you called them racists and compared them to slaveholders?" He told me he was just trying to light a spark. I said that striking matches on dry tinder was dangerous when you did not know the direction of the wind.

My client/friend said that Wright probably knows the direction of the wind in his congregation. He then pointed out that a leading white minister in Austin, a man we both knew well, recently deceased, had been comparing Israel to South Africa for years, and most of his Congregation vehemently disagreed, but they did not leave.

So while I really do understand and share the critical view of Wright as an ignorant fire-starter, and agree that the speech could not possibly "fix" that, I am going to allow for some time and distance as to "judging" BHO.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 19, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

incremental healthcare, as you call it, actually rewards AntiSelection. What that means is that if healthcare is not required and is voluntary much like W wanted to make SS, young people and those who think they are medically invinsible and can game the system. Not obtain healthcare until they get sick. just like telling the guy that rearend you its OK if you don't have car insurance go out and get it now. We all pay when that happens and you can't tell me that a majority of those under 25 will likely do just that under the Obama plan which is one reason he is populawith that demographic. Sen Obama in the debates has never answered that gap
Th New York Times lead sun story 3 weeks ago stated that Sen Obama has little to show from his 3 years in the Senate, accordng to his own colleagues that were interviewed. As to his years in the Illnois Senate I was totally turned off by his missng critical votes on state gun laws and juvenile justice reform chronicled in the Audacity o Hope.

I trust the 25 generals who have stood by Hillary and believe that she has he correct plan to safely and expeditiously leave iraq. When Sen Obama's own foreign advisor said that his talk about removing troops was not genuine, that said a whole lot more to me then his speech in 2002.
I also trust Robert Byrd and Pat Lehey who have raved about Hillary's actual accomplishments in the US Seate with realbiptisan legislation lik rural healthcare and expnding tricare to the reserves. I just couldn't imagine taking my State Senator who might have a few years in the USSenate seriously to guide or economy out of the ditch. Hillary was writing legislation last summer to cap adjustable mtg rates before it became a crisis, and was integrally involved in the economic stimulus plan that Sen Obama simply ignored. My views about the superiority of Hillary's healthcare plan come from conversations with doctors and h.r. experts who believe that it will take comprehesive healthcare reform to keep premiums under control and for my generation looking at $1200-$1500/mo. in healthcare costs that is a big deal. I was also impressed that Hillary spoke at the national energy conference while Sen Obama was busy campaigning at UT and said it was just not that important. It was. Unlike many Obama supporters I don't dislike him, I just strongly feel that he is vastly unquaified to be presdent and that really conerns me and my family. And for that I am labeled as a hater. No just someone who after 7 years of having a totally unqualified Pres running our country intothe ground, prefers someone who has the skills, beyond rhetoric to actually get something accomplished like universal healthcare. Does that sound unreasonable?

Your last arguents are rather bothersome becaue it reminds me of the Abby Hoffman line don't trust anyone over 30, a generational war. Sen Obama is intelligent that is agreed, and I think his age likely speaks to your genration, but this country is not only for those under 30 which is the message I have received here and his age crtainly no guarantee that he is abot thefuture. Heck W was rather young when he assumed ofice and tooks back to the 19th century. the bottom ine is that in these uncertain economic times, someone who has beeninvolved in a succesful administration is not the worst thing in the world to bring a steady hand to rite the US ship. So ts inspiration vs a steady had that has actually been at the foreront of the excutive branch. That is my take on why Hillary wold make the more succeful President and their dfferences as I see it.

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

55anything writes "These pledges are anything but inclusive and preach the opposite of the ideas that Obama has campaigned on."

That is the real problem in this for Obama. He cannot sweep away a 20 year relationship with Rev Wright and his offensive, ugly, divisive rhetoric by making one speech.

The issue is not one of race, as Obama would like to have us discuss. The issue is about Rev Wright's indefensible comments over years and years and Obama's alignment with him and his church.

Obama elevated Rev Jeremiah Wright to a key position in his presidential campaign as a committee leader and advisor. To now try and pivot to a discussion about unhealed wounds in America is disingenuous and false.

It's about Wright, his rhetoric, and Obama's tacit acceptance of the divisive race-baiting from the pulpit that Wright engaged in for years, even though he now attempts to contextualize it. In the words of Rev Wright...No, No, No!

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 19, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

mnteng - On the Pacific Coast the college discrimination against Asian-Americans was so pronounced in 1987 that the current numbers in the UC System, perhaps with twice as many Asian-American students as then, are greatly more reflective of merit.

At that time, the "affirmative action" in the UC System fell disproportionately first against oriental Asian-Americans [and next, against Jews].

But I am sure that you have stated the matter correctly as to MIT and CalTech, even today.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 19, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

wpost4112:

The genocide of Native Americans certainly is a stain on our nation's past. In our defense, it was initiated by the British (and the wonderful Lord Amherst who tried to give them smallpox), though we certainly continued it during our westward expansion. However, killing Native Americans was never codified in our Constitution, the most basic expression of our political and legal system.

Posted by: mnteng | March 19, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:

I appreciate your summary of the undergraduate admissions for Princeton.

On the flip side, I'd like to add that Asian-Americans have suffered from a "reverse" quota system. Strictly based on SAT, GPA, etc., schools like MIT and Caltech would have an even greater disproportionate representation in the undergraduate population. As it is, there is a much greater representation of Asian-Americans at MIT and Caltech than in the general population.

Posted by: mnteng | March 19, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

OK, leichtman, I'll bite.

I support Obama because I know him to be highly intelligent, thoughtful, and articulate. He has an even temperament and appears to have worked well with his colleagues during his 11 years of holding elective office. When he arrived in the Illinois senate he caught the eye of a senior senator named Emil Jones, Jr., who later became senate president. (Jones had known Obama years earlier as a community organizer.) Jones was impressed enough to make Obama his point man on ethics reform. And I'm sure you are aware of the story of Obama working to coordinate support for requiring recording of confessions in capital cases. (Read about this at www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/03/obama200803)

On the main issues:

I prefer his health-care plan because, unlike Hillary's, it is realistic and incremental. Universal care will never be passed. His slightly more modest plan, which begins by requiring children to be covered and addresses reducing costs by preventive care, has a better chance of passing and will be a good start towards universal coverage.

On foreign policy, he advocates an end to the foolish policy of not speaking to regimes we don't agree with, which has frozen peace efforts in the Middle East, among other things. (For this, he was called "naive" by Hillary.) He had the foresight to recognize in 2002 that the Iraq war was not only a mistake, but would result in our becoming bogged down in a long and costly conflict -- which has been proven to be prescient. I think he would bring a breath of fresh air to our relations with other nations and would go a long way towards restoring out standing in the world -- which I'm sure you would agree is in the sewer after 7 years of cowboy unilateralism.

I admire his leadership qualities and his ability to speak effectively to motivate people, and to talk candidly about issues that are off-limits to most politicians, as demonstrated by yesterday's speech.

Yes, he is young. Yes, his experience is limited (although I simply do not buy Hillary's exaggerated claims of superior experience). On the other hand, he has accomplished an impressive amount in his 46 years, all by his own hard work.

He has run an extremely good campaign: he chose able people to run the campaign and advise him; his message has been consistent; and he has done a very good job of articulating it.

He's not perfect, but I believe he would make a better candidate and president than Hillary. She comes into the campaign with built-in negatives of over 50%. There is a plausible argument that but for Hillary's mismanagement of health-care reform in the 90's, when the Democrats held the WH and solid majorities in both houses of Congress, we would be a lot closer to universal health care right now. Her nasty campaign tactics over the past month have harmed both her and Obama, and have harmed the party's chances of winning in November.

Bottom line: I think Obama has demonstrated the intellect, maturity, and leadership to be president. I think he represents the future. And I agree with him that Hillary represents the past and the old, business-as-usual way of doing things in Washington. I am realistic and know he will not get everything done that he's proposing. But I also know he will change the narrative of government and I would be proud to have him as my president.

Posted by: jac13 | March 19, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Is there a website which clearly states the educational level of various talk show hosts (liberal or conservative) and organizations to which they belong?

Posted by: whatdoesthismean | March 19, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Is there a website which clearly states the educational level of various talk show hosts (liberal or conservative) and organizations to which they belong?

Posted by: whatdoesthismean | March 19, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Is there a website which clearly states the educational level of various talk show hosts (liberal or conservative) and organizations to which they belong?

Posted by: whatdoesthismean | March 19, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Is there a website there clearly states the educational level of various talk show hosts (liberal or conservative) and organizations to which they belong?

Posted by: whatdoesthismean | March 19, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

leichtman, I do not like any federalized health care plan, but I prefer BHO's to HRC's exactly because by reason of being non-mandatory it is LESS federalized.

Before you were a poster here, many of us had a serious three day long discussion of health care. I do not want to revisit that now. I was just responding to your query.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 19, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

It was a brilliant and honest speech. He is what we need in the White House - a GROWN UP!

Our current Vice-president only watches FOX, a hate-spewing network if ever there was one. But apparently, white conservative hate is okay. And here are the commentators at FOX today shocked SHOCKED that anyone in the Black community is spewing it out too. They shake their heads with all seriousness, "This is divisive." they say.

And I fell off the couch laughing.

Posted by: corridorg4 | March 19, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

strongman wrote:

"...under affirmative action, admission standards have been relaxed in order to fill up slots."

That has not been how Ivy League undergraduate affirmative action has worked.

I attended a detailed exposition on the subject by the then Dean of Admissions at Princeton in 1990 in Austin, with my then
17 year old daughter and about 30 others.

He asked: "How many of you scored above
xxxx [the 96th % at the time] on your SATs?"
All raised their hands.
"How many of you have A averages?"
All raised their hands.

"The good news is all of you can get into Princeton; the bad news is only about three of you will this year."

He went on to explain Princeton's changing "community" needs. The previous year "too many" people applied as English majors and "not enough" had applied in Math. Math applicants had a big edge the previous year.

If the Opera Society needed altos, his job was to find them. Another year they might need tenors.

All the sports teams needed fodder because there were no athletic scholarships. The women's field hockey team was national champs but none of them had ever played field hockey in high school. From the qualified pool he had picked girls who had competed in other sports in HS but who were not quite Div1 athl. scholarship material.

The engineering school wanted at least 45% women, but if within the qualified pool of applicants only 15% were women who wanted to be engineers, then their chances for acceptances tripled the norm.

Princeton wanted black, hispanic, and native American students [totalling under 14%, as I recall], and there were more than enough who qualified. But within the qualified pool, their chances were better of acceptance, in proportion to caucasian Americans.

He said that 10/11 of Princeton applicants were qualified; that only 1/11 were rejected out-of-hand. However, only 2/11 were accepted and half of them attended.

MIT and CalTech could concentrate on the highest scoring seniors, but an Ivy League school needs to pick for "community". Beyond grades /scores /class rank there were so many variables to consider, that his job was richly rewarding in its complexity.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 19, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

When if ever will we ever hear from the Obama suporters here, that they believe he is the better candidate b/c of his stand on heatcare, the economy etc. I am ready for that debate rather than the nonsense that even his most loyal supporter has now debunked that he is not Jesus, Lincoln etc. Why has there been absolutely no discussion about which candidate is best prepared to fix our economy which is on life support rather than just hyperbole and I hate Hllary rants? Do those matters just not count here?

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Its a real struggle to uderstand if Senator Obama is Jesus as his pastor has claimed,

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

It's a real struggle to understand that anyone can take that literally.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

can we spell hyperbole?
Its a real struggle to uderstand if Senator Obama is Jesus as his pastor has claimed, Lincoln, JFK or RFK? Somehow it is the continuation of these absolutely ridiculous discussions that makes me wonder, oh yes and throw in the ocassional I hate Hillary comment as a substitute for logic. I cannot recall the last time I have read a post here which says somethng like I prefer Senaor Obama because I prefer his healthcare plan. Why has that discussion simply disappeared,which is a rasonable argument? There is a good reason for that, because once the veneer that Sen Obama is Linclon/Jesus/RFK/JFK is pealed back, the rational for his candidacy disppears.

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Pledge to Make the Fruits of All Developing and Acquired Skills Available to the Black Community
Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting Black Institutions.
Pledge Allegiance to all Black Leadership Who Espouse and Embrace The Black Value System.
Personal Commitment to Embracement of the Black Value System - to Measure the Worth and Validity of All Activity in Terms of Positive Contributions to the General Welfare of the Black Community and the Advancement of Black People towards Freedom.

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

You could substitute "Irish" or "Catholic" or "Jewish"" or "Israeli" or "Gay" or really any group that wants to empower itself. There are plenty of groups/churches/schools that do the same every day in America.

You just hate blacks. Pretty simple really.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

MSNBC,you mean the Obama News Network, 24/7. You have got to admit if you really want to say you are obectie that Keith has become a shill for Obama.
------------------

LOL. You're the one with a crush on Todd... Just reporting his words. Don't matter whose show it is on. He still says Hill is two-faced on the MI primary. I'm just the messenger! LOL.


Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

MSNBC,you mean the Obama News Network, 24/7. You have got to admit if you really want to say you are obectie that Keith has become a shill for Obama.

Interesting, Todd slammed Obama about Michigan last night as did every guest on hardball an hour ago, saying Hillary was taking the high road and that Senator Obama's position conlicts with his claim of being a uniter.

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama made a crucially important point when he said, "we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together - unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction - towards a better future for our children and our grandchildren," in his speech "A More Perfect Union."

The only problem is that for twenty years he has belonged to a church that has promoted the "Black Value System" since 1982. This value system promotes the idea that blacks and whites don't hold common hopes and dreams. This value system disavows the pursuit of "middleclassness," because this is one of the three ways in which "the captors" (i.e. whites) use to separate "the "talented tenth" of those subjugated, especially those who show promise of providing the kind of leadership that might threaten the captor's control" from the rest of the black community. The idea of Black middleclassness is a "psychological entrapment" used by whites on the most talented members of the black community, "seducing them into a socioeconomic class system which while training them to earn more dollars, hypnotizes them into believing they are better than others and teaches them to think in terms of 'we' and 'they' instead of 'us'." This is basically saying that the idea that we all have common hopes is a psychological trick played by whites on blacks.

Furthermore, no one could get the idea that this church believes that everyone can and should work together to better our lives after reading the pledges of the Black Value System (listed below).
Pledge to Make the Fruits of All Developing and Acquired Skills Available to the Black Community
Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting Black Institutions.
Pledge Allegiance to all Black Leadership Who Espouse and Embrace The Black Value System.
Personal Commitment to Embracement of the Black Value System - to Measure the Worth and Validity of All Activity in Terms of Positive Contributions to the General Welfare of the Black Community and the Advancement of Black People towards Freedom.

These pledges are anything but inclusive and preach the opposite of the ideas that Obama has campaigned on. Yet, this is the church in which he has chosen to raise his children.

Posted by: 55anything | March 19, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Obama is on the verge of something truly great, in our time. No Kennedy ever had anything on him. Who else could have made that speech? Who better to help bridge the nations' racial divide than Obama? Who worse than Hillary, a race-baiting hack?

Posted by: gmundenat | March 19, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Chuck Todd who is another shill for Hillary according to YOU, has reported the exact same Obama strategy and called it the high wire chicken strategy.

-----------

Actually Todd was just on Keith and agreed that Hillary was talking out both sides of her mouth concerning Michigan.

Seems in NewHampshire, her view of leaving her name on the ballot was quite craven.

Poor Hill...always carrying so many "truths" in her head.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

A top Michigan Democrat

"who has not backed either presidential candidate"

reports that negotiators working to pass an 11th-hour plan for a re-vote in the state are increasingly frustrated with Barack Obama's failure to either embrace the plan currently being considered, or propose an alternative.

why don't you bother reading the entire statement before you make your offhanded remark that this was from Wolfson.
Chuck Todd who is another shill for Hillary according to YOU, has reported the exact same Obama strategy and called it the high wire chicken strategy. You would have to be living in never never land to believe that Senator Obama has any intention of allowing a revote. He knows that, his campaign knows it, but his supporters refuse to ackowledge the obvious, that Senaor Obama does not want votes to be counted in either Fla or Michigan. Sounds a lot lot Katherine Harris, Jeb Bush, and the Ted Olson strategy, redeux.

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

I watched the entire speech and was impressed by his courage to not walk away from a contraversy. So often politicians try to say just enough to dispell the contraversy. I decided I wanted Barack Obama to be President in 2007 because I knew he would not back away from controversy, and that it would be an opportunity to discuss racism in this country in a meaningful and constructive manner. I hope that other politicians would have the same courage that Barack Obama showed during that speech. We are going to need that courage to address currently impassible issues such as immigration, taxes, and medicare.

James Hauser
Greensboro, NC

Posted by: jameshauser | March 19, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

See no one can be sure if he actually deserved his admission, because under affirmative action, admission standards have been relaxed in order to fill up slots.

So how is that equality? How is it that our Consititutional principles have been upheld ???


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

hm.

huh?

someone's had too much sugar.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

The speech did exactly what Obama needed it to do, but he did it without any hint of strategy or intention.

He spoke on race in America. He pinned it with some recent issues that have come up, but the essence of the speech was race in America from the point of view of a multi-racial adult who has seen a bit of every perspective in his life. It's a good place to speak from.

But what his speech ultimately is going to do is shore up support from educated Independents, the people who voted for him in Iowa through Super Tuesday but who are getting scraped off by the Wright controversy. Fortunately these are educated and intelligent people and for these people, there was only one way to hear the Obama speech.

Right-wing pundits and hacks will all hear whatever they want to hear from the speech. They'll nitpick it to death and always find something to whine about. But they were never going to vote for Obama in the first place...so who cares?

Obama reigned in the people he's been losing slowly for a few weeks and polls will soon show he's back on top across the board. Just wait and see.

Posted by: thecrisis | March 19, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

If George W. Bush deserved to get into Harvard (and Yale), then Barack Obama certainly did...

Posted by: jps78 | March 19, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

There is a stain on Obama's Ivy League Degree.


See no one can be sure if he actually deserved his admission, because under affirmative action, admission standards have been relaxed in order to fill up slots.


So how is that equality? How is it that our Consititutional principles have been upheld ???


See - if those standards were never relaxed, no one could ever call into question whether Obama ever deserved it - including Obama himself. I believe he raises the question himself in one of his books.


There is a stain on Obama's degree - until we have a colorblind society - racial divisions will fill this country.

Sugar...........

Posted by: strongman7777 | March 19, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I PREFACED MY POST WITH "TO WHOM THIS APPLIES", YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS?
I wrote:
To whom this applies, how ironic that if someone has a different opinion other.....

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

doh!

Sorry. My mistake.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

I PREFACED MY POST WITH "TO WHOM THIS APPLIES", YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS?

I wrote:


To whom this applies, how ironic that if someone has a different opinion other than supporting Obama %100 the response is that we hate him and always have, instead of having a thoughtful back and forth discussion.

YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND THE FOLLOWING, WHICH WAS IN THE SAME POST?

I appreciate the thoughtful discourse on either side of this issue.

Your reply is irrelevant to what I said.


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

1. You assume, wrongly and against the evidence, that every Obama supporter demonizes anyone who criticizes him.

2. By doing so, you demonize all Obama supporters and are therefore guilty of your own accusation.

3. Credible and reasonable criticisms seem to be accepted or challenged reasonably.

4. Unsupported accusations, personal attacks, illogical conclusions, misrepresentations, and hyperbolic accusations like the one you just made are derided for the claptrap they are. As are their perpetrators, as they should be.

5. Speak reasonably, have proof, use logic, eschew personal malice and you'll get a fair hearing. Innocent humor helps.

6. Otherwise, all is fair.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 02:24 PM

Posted by: synergy52 | March 19, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

The Framer's were keenly aware that they were drafting an imperfect document, which is why they allowed for changes. Slavery, though that particular term doesn't appear in the document, was a concession to the Southern colonies in order to get enough votes for ratification. It was a stain on the Constitution that was necessary for the formation of the United States of America.

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

Exactly.

But I would also agree with a post from yesterday that the original stain was the genocide of native Americans. Slavery increased and deepened the stain. Even native Americans had Black slaves.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

strongman7777:

You clearly haven't read the Constitution. Slavery was permitted by the Constitution for a period of 20 years after ratification. Importation of slaves was prohibited by law in 1808, but the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery wasn't ratified until 1865. Furthermore, it took the 15th (1870) and 19th (1920) Amendments to take race and gender out of the equation for voting rights. And poll taxes were done away with in 1964 with the 24th Amendment.

The Framer's were keenly aware that they were drafting an imperfect document, which is why they allowed for changes. Slavery, though that particular term doesn't appear in the document, was a concession to the Southern colonies in order to get enough votes for ratification. It was a stain on the Constitution that was necessary for the formation of the United States of America.

Thank goodness for the foresight and intelligence of Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, and Madison.

Posted by: mnteng | March 19, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

wpost, lovely words

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

which?

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

You're right, no white person can ever really know what the black experience is like, but neither can a black person say unequivocally (as I've heard many times) that they have to work twice as hard to get half as far. How does anyone really know the struggling of another?
--------------------

Pretty far. Do you have even one close black friend?

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

wpost, lovely words

'but neither can a black person say unequivocally (as I've heard many times) that they have to work twice as hard to get half as far. How does anyone really know the struggling of another?'

indeed. how does anyone? but yet you can say what it is a black person is allowed to say.

'As a society, there isn't enough we can ever do, it seems, to finally pay back for our previous generations mistakes.'

what a telling comment. your grudge is showing, dear. tell me, exactly what have we done to 'finally pay back' these 'mistakes'? they weren't 'mistakes' -- they were atrocities. how do you pay back that?

and when will you get over your resentment?

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

pinepine, It wasn't a private matter for Mitt Romney either. It is perfectly reasonable to look at a candidate's character based on whom they have asscoiated themselves with for decades of their lives. One is known by the company one keeps.

If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.


wpost: "You have expended no effort to walk in the shoes of Barack or his pastor."

Barack Obama is the consumate liberal politician, and I disagree with his politics. He and his Pastor are, indeed, free to believe and espouse whatever they wish. We're not electing Minister in Chief here.

You're right, no white person can ever really know what the black experience is like, but neither can a black person say unequivocally (as I've heard many times) that they have to work twice as hard to get half as far. How does anyone really know the struggling of another? As a society, there isn't enough we can ever do, it seems, to finally pay back for our previous generations mistakes. I can't do it. Neither can you with a vote for one man.

I haven't walked in John McCain's shoes either, but in my opinion, he would make a better president.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 19, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

"'The Obama people are blocking it in the legislature,' the Democratic source tells CNN, who says that the group has repeatedly and unsuccessfully reached out to the campaign for input and cooperation."

An anonymous source blaming "the Obama people." This reaks of Wolfson & Penn.

Let's vote again! Disenfranchisement! Caw caw caw! Unfair! We don't need to buy salt for the sidewalks this time! Caw! Caw! Experience! If you release the schedules, they'll know where I was when Bill sparked on the dress! Caw caw!

Posted by: bondjedi | March 19, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

WPost4112
Thank you for your postings, however your hatred is showing. Have you ever been proud of America ???


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

Sugar, we show pride in America by speaking our minds and letting others do the same. THAT is America.
WE are America.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP,

Since you have been very active and, worse, shockingly ignorant (given you have a Ph.D degree) today, you need to be reminded of that BHO hasn't had any SCANDAL for you. That he had to explain to the public his handling of his relation to his religious mentor is a shame of the public, or rather, of those people like you who holding Ph.D. degree yet believe that religion is NOT a private matter.

Posted by: pinepine | March 19, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

"wpost, Again I posit, Obama's a caluclating pol, and he's counting on the deep well of white guilt in this country to close the deal. And it seems you are firmly tapped into it."

Calculating pols do not risk their candidacy by standing by a cherished friend who has some out-dated and irrational beliefs. My support for Senator Obama is based on his record and his vision, not guilt, however much you may wish to believe it otherwise.

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

"Why don't we get a Native American for president, if we want to wash away our age-old sins via the presidency."

Again, the guilt motivator is a non-issue for me.

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

"Ok, I'm a privileged white woman - there, I admitted it. Now, does that excuse, in any way, the hate speech and treasonous sermons of Obama's pastor and Obama's refusal to address it until it was the last possible second?"

I don't think a prophetic sermon about America's sins is treasonous. The USA has in fact done things that are damnable. That's truth. The pastor has also said some things are just nonsensical. But unless you grew up black, you will never know how a black person feels in this country...nor what fuels some of the righteous and non-righteous anger in those churches.
And until you actually go to those churches, listen to the sermons and talk with the people in the pews do you have any moral right to make judgment upon them or so maliciously misrepresent the many facets of Afrocentrism.

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

'In your mind, all is absolved because Obama said so. Like zouk posted: Obama's speech was not supposed to convince critics but to reassure supporters and fellow-travelers, in order to keep the "useful idiots" useful. '

While you may operate under the delusion that you can read minds, let me suggest that it is an impossibility.

Absolution is not mine nor yours to give. It belongs to God herself. Now, if you want to talk about someone breaking the law or something concrete, go ahead. Otherwise, we enjoy freedom of speech, and I respect the pastor's right to speak as he feels, just as I respect Hagee's or any other American.

But the pastor is not Barack Obama. Nor has Barack evinced in word or deed anything close to what the pastor has preached. Barack's entire life is an example of bridging the racial divide....an example of true American bravery and freedom.

I used to spend a lot of time with my grandmother as a boy, and when I was 11 years old I remember watching the news on the TV in her living room and she came out of the kitchen and stood in front of the TV and said, "Thank God someone shot that ni**er!"

I adored my grandmother and still do. It wasn't until I was much older that I understood whom she was talking about and why. I didn't love her any less. So I understood immediately what Barack was talking about.

That pastor was a father to him, having been abandoned by his own. He was and is family. 99% of his life has been amazingly inspirational...from his days as a Marine fighting for this country to his days helping the blacks of south side of Chicago raise themselves up financially and spiritually.

A few wacky ideas do not obliterate the rest of his life, nor the deep love between a substitute father and his son. Just as my grandmother's wacky ideas about Blacks and Jews (she was a 2nd generation German immigrant) never obliterated my deep love for her.

Reading your posts, I come away believing that you have no interest in understanding another point of view. You come only to condemn. You have expended no effort to walk in the shoes of Barack or his pastor. I could be wrong. After all, i can't read your mind and I do not know your personally, I can only comment on your words and what they reveal.

I do know they betray opinions that are poorly researched and rely more on the shallow comments of right-wing pundits than any seasoned or respectful thought.

That you rely upon someone such as zouk is commentary enough about the sincerity of your discussion.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

It is very interesting and catty for the media to use the remarks and opinions of another man to discredit Barack Obama. Especially when all the candidates have had affiliations with others who may have controversial opinions. Has anyone decided to sort through the other candidates list of friends to see if they said anything of the cuff. It is very obvious that critics of Obama are looking for everything they can to discredit him without just coming out and being racist. Which is exactly at the root of their tactics. The most important thing that the other candidates have to realize is that people of color, especially African-American are filtering through their speeches to see if they hear anything that is subtle racism or prejudice against Obama, because it gives them an idea of how the candidate will see or treat them if they are elected. Making comments like he is not qualified, inexperienced or look who he has as friends. Are comments that have been used against people of color to prevent them from obtaining jobs, housing and education for centuries. And it is a cringing reminder to our psyche when we hear potential presidential candidates using the same tactics. Which leads us to the ROOT OF OUR PROBLEMS. AMERICA WAS CREATED AND CURRENTLY FUNCTIONS BY RACIST PRINCIPLES. Starting with the genocide of Native Americans, the enslavement of Africans, the discrimination towards immigrants particularly against hose from the Middle East . THIS IS FACT, not make believe or fantasy, once we realize this and acknowledge it as true we can began to work on the necessary changes that have to be made for the good of everyone. That why I was impressed with how Obama addressed this current issue of racial indifference and the internalized pain of rejection and inferiority that have plagued people of color living in America for centuries. Because it is real and it cannot be ignored or push aside as if it no longer exist. It is time for us to come together and talk about the issues and find solutions that will heal not hurt or re-injure. Americans of all skin tones are important, one is not better than the other. And what is unique about Obama is that he represents both White and African-Americans because of his mixed heritage, so he can fully relate to both demographics. If America plans to be successful in this global era, than we are going to have to deal with our issues of race and injustice right now. Because the UNIVERSE IS A RAINBOW OF COLOR IT IS NOT JUST IN BLACK & WHITE!


Posted by: shynistarr | March 19, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Bad questions. Obama was clearly aiming much higher.

A better question is, Do you think that this speech will help to open conversations about race in this country? Answer: Yes I do.

Another better question: Do you think that this speech will help to reduce racial divisiveness in the US and the world? Answer: Yes, I do.

Posted by: nancy.griffeth | March 19, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

(CNN) - A top Michigan Democrat who has not backed either presidential candidate reports that negotiators working to pass an 11th-hour plan for a re-vote in the state are increasingly frustrated with Barack Obama's failure to either embrace the plan currently being considered, or propose an alternative.

Lawmakers are facing mounting pressure this evening to come up with an agreement before the legislature adjourns Thursday for a two-week recess.

"The Obama people are blocking it in the legislature," the Democratic source tells CNN, who says that the group has repeatedly and unsuccessfully reached out to the campaign for input and cooperation.

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

VoiceofReason writes "Name one speech as honest or inspiring that Bush or Clinton has given"

Well, Bush isn't running for office. But here's part of a speech given by John McCain that I found very inspiring:


Now, we begin the most important part of our campaign: to make a respectful, determined and convincing case to the American people that our campaign and my election as President, given the alternatives presented by our friends in the other party, are in the best interests of the country we love.

I have never believed I was destined be President. I don't believe anyone is pre-destined to lead America. But I do believe we are born with responsibilities to the country that has protected our God-given rights, and the opportunities they afford us.

I did not grow up with the expectation that my country owed me more than the rights owed every American. On the contrary, I owe my country every opportunity I have ever had. I owe her the meaning that service to America has given my life, and the sense that I am part of something greater than myself, part of a kinship of ideals that have always represented the last, best hope of mankind.

I understand the responsibilities I incur with this nomination, and I give you my word, I will not evade or slight a single one. Our campaign must be, and will be more than another tired debate of false promises, empty sound-bites, or useless arguments from the past that address not a single American's concerns for their family's security.

Presidential candidates are judged on their records, their character and the whole of their life experiences. But we are also expected to concentrate our efforts on the challenges that will confront America on our watch and explain how we intend to address them.

... Americans aren't interested in an election where they are just talked to and not listened to; an election that offers platitudes instead of principles and insults instead of ideas; an election that results -- no matter who wins -- in four years of unkept promises and a government that is just a battleground for the next election.

Their patience is at an end for politicians who value ambition over principle, and for partisanship that is less a contest of ideas than an uncivil brawl over the spoils of power.

Nothing is inevitable in America. We are the captains of our fate. We're not a country that prefers nostalgia to optimism; a country that would rather go back than forward.

We're the world's leader, and leaders don't pine for the past and dread the future. We make the future better than the past. We don't hide from history. We make history.

That, my friends, is the essence of hope in America, hope built on courage, and faith in the values and principles that have made us great. I intend to make my stand on those principles and chart a course for our future greatness, and trust in the judgment of the people I have served all my life.

So stand up with me, my friends, stand up and fight for America -- for her strength, her ideals, and her future. The contest begins tonight. It will have its ups and downs. But we will fight every minute of every day to make certain we have a government that is as capable, wise, brave and decent as the great people we serve. That is our responsibility and I will not let you down.

http://www.johnmccain.com/HomeLogged.aspx






Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 19, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

One of obama's key advisers has previously praised him as the tiger wood of politics and is free of baggage because of having spent little time within the beltway. Now it becomes clear that the biggest baggages carried by Obama are Tony Ruzko and Rev. Wright. , as evidenced by the two revelations in the past week:
1. Obama has received at least quarter a million dollars donation from the notorious Chicago developer Tony Ruzko for his past oilitical campaigns, much bigger than obama originally admitted.
2. Rev. Wright has been praised as his mentor, spiritual adviser and 'family member'. His preaching shows he is anti- America and radical in politics. In his big speech, Obama has declined to disassociate himself from his mentor and his controversial church, which has served as Obama's main bridge to black-America.
These two baggages directly contradicts to his original images of Unite-hope-Changes in his rhetorics.

Posted by: ypcchiu | March 19, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Bigotry, Hate-spewing and Narcissism is what we are getting on this blog and it is not what we need.

Your attempts to fully convey your comments are over shadowed with bigotry and hatred.

If your intent is to present yourselves as smart or smarter, then show us your wisdom.

Stop the hyperbole.

If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.

Buckle-down, show us your skills and write something we can think on and be proud of.
With all the hoopla going on in the Democratic Party citizens need to hear intelligent comments which can lead to intelligent solutions, not bigotry and bickering.

Please move forward before you are ticketed for loitering in the same spot, move on, solve some real issues, inter alia.

Primary fitugue.

Posted by: Iwantmyvoicetobeheard | March 19, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Now let's look at where terrorism is REALLY coming from:

Predictably, in virtually every major terrorist attack against the United States over the last twelve years, the men actually pulling the trigger at the end of the day have been Saudi Arabian.

These include:
The Saudi National Guard bombing in November 1995, which killed five Americans. All four of the men convicted for the bombing were Saudis.

The Khobar Towers bombing in June 1996, which killed 19 Americans. Of the 14 men indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice for that bombing, 13 were Saudi Arabian, including all five of the men who drove and detonated the truck bomb on the day of the attack.

The Nairobi embassy bombing in August 1998, which killed 12 Americans. Both of the men who drove and detonated the truck bomb were Saudis.

The USS Cole bombing in October 2000, which killed 17 Americans. According to both the Prime Minister of Yemen and a well-known former Al Qaeda operative, both of the men who drove and detonated the explosives-laden boat used in that attack were Saudis.

The Riyadh residential compound bombings in May 2003, which killed nine Americans. All nine of the suicide bombers killed in the attacks were Saudis.

The Mosul mess tent bombing in December 2004, which killed 18 Americans. The lone suicide bomber responsible was identified in numerous press reports as a foreign insurgent from Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

A conference call today where the Weekly Standard and WSJ defnd McCain [no bias there]...

One of the reporters on the call, The Weekly Standard's Michael Goldfarb, blogs about the call here, describing what most intelligence experts would characterize as black and white as "The Gray Area" of Iran-al Qaeda Connections." Money-quote (which is so rich it could finance a fleet of wagons for the Right's growing circle):

'I was struck by their insistence that Iran wouldn't collaborate
with Sunni extremists, and that they had offered as evidence the
fact that Iran had recently almost gone to war with the Taliban.'

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

'WPost4112

Thank you for your postings, however your hatred is showing. Have you ever been proud of America ???'

HIS hatred is showing? after the racist screed you posted. I, for one, am proud of America when it does the right thing -- not simply because it is America.

'Like zouk posted: Obama's speech was not supposed to convince critics but to reassure supporters and fellow-travelers, in order to keep the "useful idiots" useful.'

no hatred there.' fellow travelers' -- commies?

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

WPost4112

Thank you for your postings, however your hatred is showing. Have you ever been proud of America ???


Posted by: strongman7777 | March 19, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

WPost4112

Thank you for your postings, however your hatred is showing. Have you ever been proud of America ???


Posted by: strongman7777 | March 19, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

wpost, Again I posit, Obama's a caluclating pol, and he's counting on the deep well of white guilt in this country to close the deal. And it seems you are firmly tapped into it.

Why don't we get a Native American for president, if we want to wash away our age-old sins via the presidency.

Ok, I'm a privileged white woman - there, I admitted it. Now, does that excuse, in any way, the hate speech and treasonous sermons of Obama's pastor and Obama's refusal to address it until it was the last possible second?

In your mind, all is absolved because Obama said so. Like zouk posted: Obama's speech was not supposed to convince critics but to reassure supporters and fellow-travelers, in order to keep the "useful idiots" useful.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 19, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

yea wpost Hillary has been hanging out with some really dangerous ministers like Jim Wallace and Minister Ted Strickland. You are right these are really scary people and that story as you said should explode soon.

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Full disclosure: I'm white, a woman over 40, and Christian.

This was the most honest, risky, spot-on speech given by a politician or candidate in decades.

Obama's speech was not poll-vetted to death; nor did it play to his "base." It was honest -- and called the Elephant in the Room: race, class -- which has been used to divide us for years, and is a HUGE reason for all the troubles our nation now faces.

True, the speech was given because of fallout from Rev. Wright fiasco -- but Obama's turned ugly politics into a positive opportunity.

As for Rev. Wright: Religious scholars of all types -- white, black, Christian, Jew -- agree that it's a cultural difference behind his ugly comments. Apparently, African American sermons, which can be loud and boisterous, often criticize our nation. But it's out of a desire to improve our nation -- and it's out of love for our nation. Just as you might criticize your child's schoolwork in order to improve it. Also, one must remember: the African American world view is rooted in slavery. And Africa. Of course there will be differences.

Obama understands White and Black because he is White and Black. And he knows we must I.D. the Elephant in the Room and unite if we're ever to pull our nation out of the quicksand. Obama showed AMAZINGLY GOOD judgement yet again. Obama IS NOT his pastor.

Obama has risked his candidacy to attempt to unite us. Whether he was able to put Wright behind him I can't say. It depends on whether or not Americans have paid attention, really listened to the entire speech, and can see the big picture -- not just divisive soundbites or vidclips.


Name one speech as honest or inspiring that Bush or Clinton has given. Name one that hasn't been divisive. You can't, can you?

Obama deserves to be president. But do we deserve an amazing leader like him? We'll see.

Posted by: VoiceofReason5 | March 19, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I watched most of Senator Obama's speech on TV and read about it in today's Post and believe that he was "spot on". He could have gotten into the mud with the right-wing commentators who keep playing the outrageous comments of Reverend Wright but he did not. Instead he used the opportunity to talk about the race issue in the USA. As he noted things are better than the Reverend Wright said they were. However, I can understand where revereend Wright's hatred comes from after seeing the poor way black officers were treated in the US Army from the time I first went into it as a 2LT in 1959 (if you made it to field grade level you were considered a successful black officer) until I retired in 1980 as a LTC and there were Black General Officers. I remember that there was a book out a while ago called Profiles in Courage. Obama's speech should be added to that book. Obama is the one in '08!!!!!!

Posted by: AnthonyFasolo | March 19, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Easy to be privileged, you say?

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

Indeed I do. Any white woman in the USA is privileged beyond imagining. Esp one who writes as you do.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Easy to be privileged, you say?

I did not attend the most expensive prep school in Hawaii as a child. I didn't go to Ivy league universities.

I have been in my life many things, a former victim of spousal abuse, a widow, a single mom putting herself through college, and a successful professional, among them.

I am priviledged to live in a country where individual success is available to all Americans through hard work and sacrifice, even for a women. I would say that is my only priviledge, and one for which I am eternally grateful.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 19, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

the lunatic rightwing hatemongers are here in force today -- not a surprise.

Mark -- you wondered about McCain's foreign policy.

Well first, he was the co-sponsor, back in '98 of the
"Iraq Liberation Act of 1998" -- which committed us to overthrowing Saddam. Waaay before 9/11. He co-sponsored the joint resolution to authorize the use of force against Iraq.

and 'McCain negotiated (in September 2006) a compromise in the Senate for the Military Commissions Act of 2006, suspending habeas corpus provisions for anyone deemed by the Executive Branch an "unlawful enemy combatant" and barring them from challenging their detentions in court. Coming on the heels of a Supreme Court decision adverse to the White House, McCain's compromise gave a retroactive, nine-year immunity to U.S. officials who authorized, ordered, or committed acts of torture and abuse, and permitted the use of statements obtained through torture to be used in military tribunals so long as the abuse took place by December 30, 2005.[23] McCain's compromise permitted the President to establish permissible interrogation techniques and to "interpret the meaning and application" of international Geneva Convention standards, so long as the coercion fell short of "serious" bodily or psychological injury.[24] Widely dubbed McCain's "torture compromise", the bill was signed into law by George W. Bush on October 17, 2006, shortly before the 2006 midterm elections.

In October 2007, John McCain stated of waterboarding that, "They [other presidential candidates] should know what it is. It is not a complicated procedure. It is torture."[25] However, he voted against HR 2082, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, which included provisions that would have prevented the CIA from waterboarding prisoners.'

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

There are so many thoughtful and eloquent responses posted here. Senator Obama deserves praise, whether you agree or disagree with him, for speaking to the nation honestly and for challenging us to think about this difficult issue in a more constructive manner. Imagine the possibilities if we tackle more of our problems in such an intelligent way. Obama possesses the ability to frame the national conversation in a way that actually moves us forward.

Posted by: jps78 | March 19, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Obama's speech was one of the best closing arguments for the defense that I've heard.
But, honestly he will be defeated. There are too many people who feel betrayed by his being a human. The court of public opinion is not always fair.

Posted by: seedobecome | March 19, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

At its heart, Afrocentrism is based on a profoundly anti-white and paranoid ideology. First, it asserts that the entire foundation of Western Civilization was stolen by the Greeks from Egypt, which, Afrocentrics claim, was ruled by ancient blacks. Second, it claims that whites are deeply inferior.

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

Once again, good ol white GOP launches a malicious, shrill and shallow attack on a much more complex subject.

Easy to be privileged.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

At its heart, Afrocentrism is based on a profoundly anti-white and paranoid ideology. First, it asserts that the entire foundation of Western Civilization was stolen by the Greeks from Egypt, which, Afrocentrics claim, was ruled by ancient blacks. Second, it claims that whites are deeply inferior.

Afrocentric texts often describe whites as "ice people," whose defective melanin, or skin pigmentation, makes them susceptible to a host of mental and physical deficiencies, including sexual deviancy. And, finally, Afrocentrism encourages blacks to fear whites.


Rev. Wright's hateful jeremiad against "the U.S. -- KKK -- A.," and a government that "gives [black men] drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America . . ." has its antecedents in rants by other prominent Afrocentrics, among them Leonard Jeffries, a City College of New York professor who has been involved in his own controversies for anti-Semitic statements, and Maulana Ron Karenga, the inventor of Kwanza who was convicted of torturing two female members of a violent black separatist movement, United Simba, which he founded in the late 1960s.

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NjZkMmI1ODIwZTgxMWQzZDg3YTM4ODk0ZTEzMjhhOWQ=


Thnaks to Wright and other black "leaders" who lie to serve their own interests, many black Americans believe that AIDS and the health measures used against it are part of a conspiracy to wipe out the black race.

A survey of black church members in 1990 found that an astonishing 35 percent believed AIDS was a form of genocide.

35% of blacks think their own country is deliberately trying to exterminate them. That is as shocking as Mr Wright's hate speech, and it's HIS fault. Shame on these black churches for perpetuating these lies. What about the sin they have committed right from the pulpit?

And from Obama, instead of accountability, we got excuses. Instead of disavowal of demagoguery, we got whacked with moral equivalence. Instead of rejecting the Blame America mantra of left-wing black nationalism, we got more blame Whitey.

Obama's a caluclating pol, and he's counting on the deep well of white guilt in this country to close the deal.


Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 19, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

"Haven't you people ever heard of a women's Bible study group before? Sheesh."

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

Well, there are women's Bible study groups and there are women's Bible study groups....

"Clinton's prayer group was part of the Fellowship (or "the Family"), a network of sex-segregated cells of political, business, and military leaders dedicated to "spiritual war" on behalf of Christ, many of them recruited at the Fellowship's only public event, the annual National Prayer Breakfast. (Aside from the breakfast, the group has "made a fetish of being invisible," former Republican Senator William Armstrong has said.) The Fellowship believes that the elite win power by the will of God, who uses them for his purposes. Its mission is to help the powerful understand their role in God's plan."

http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2007/09/hillarys-prayer.html

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

And by the way, the comment about the Constitution being stained, I find that offensive.

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

No surprise.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Shelby Steele depicts Barack Obama as a man without real convictions, "an iconic figure who neglected to become himself."

There was no way that he didn't know about Jeremiah Wright's anti-American and racist diatribes from the pulpit.

Someone once said that a con man's job is not to convince skeptics but to enable people to continue to believe what they already want to believe.

Accordingly, Obama's Philadelphia speech -- a theatrical masterpiece -- will probably reassure most Democrats and some other Obama supporters. They will undoubtedly say that we should now "move on," even though many Democrats have still not yet moved on from George W. Bush's 2000 election victory.

Like the Soviet show trials during their 1930s purges, Obama's speech was not supposed to convince critics but to reassure supporters and fellow-travelers, in order to keep the "useful idiots" useful.

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/ThomasSowell/2008/03/19/obamas_speech


Posted by: kingofzouk | March 19, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Currently, HBO is showing a miniseries on John Adams. What was really striking to me was to see John Adams and Ben Franklin editing the document that Thomas Jefferson, all of 33 years of age, had drafted. That was a pivotal moment in our nation's history.

The HBO miniseries makes me think about how men like Ben Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson would negotiate the challenges our nation faces today. But what the HBO miniseries also makes me think about is who would we send from today back to those crucial moments at the founding of our country. Who would we send as an emissary to help the founding fathers tackle the challenges they faced? Who would we send to convey to them about what it means to live in the 21st century?

I think after yesterday's speech, I'd send a constitutional law professor from Illinois.

Posted by: desmondwebster | March 19, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Haven't you people ever heard of a women's Bible study group before? Sheesh.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 19, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

You can find all about it in a widely under-read article in the September 2007 issue of Mother Jones, in which Kathryn Joyce and Jeff Sharlet reported that "through all of her years in Washington, Clinton has been an active participant in conservative Bible study and prayer circles that are part of a secretive Capitol Hill group known as "The "Fellowship," a k a The Family. But it won't be a secret much longer. Jeff Sharlet's shocking exposé The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power will be published in May.

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

Wow, Wonder how those sex-segregated prayer groups are going to resonate with the feminists she depends upon.
This looks like its going to explode all over her campaign.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

There's A Stain on Obama's Ivy League Degree

News reports this week appear to be missing the point.

This Country should respond to Obama's speech on race.

What this country was looking from Obama was a repudiation of black liberation theology and its economic thought that the black community still deserved compensation for slavery. America didn't get that. Instead, America was lectured to by Obama about black anger and about how it is justified that the economic thesis of black liberation theology should be on the national agenda.

Talk about audacity.

Over half of Obama's speech is an outline and justification of the economic arguments of black liberation theology which basically states in Obama's own words

"black families could not amass any meaningful wealth to bequeath to future generations. That history helps explain the wealth and income gap between black and white, and the concentrated pockets of poverty that persists"

For those who are unfamiliar with black liberation theology, the general idea is that the wealth of this nation was stolen by white families from black slave labor - and that wealth has been passed down through the generations of white families.

That, combined with continued discrimination, explains today's income gap. Nothing else.


The exact mention by Obama of "immigrant families" is actually a continuation of the discussion of the economic thoughts behind black liberation theology. Obama states that immigrant families "don't feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race" - however it is unmistakable that Obama's believes they are.

Obama's mention of immigrant families is telling because immigrant families are truly innocent bystanders to the black liberation theology economic idea that great white wealth coming from slavery has been passed down through the white generations.

It sure appears that the translation of Obama's paragraph on immigrant families should be this: Obama understands that immigrant families feel they should not participate in the compensation plans for the black community, however Obama believes that immigrant families should participate in the compensation anyway.

Obama then states something rather bizarre - immigrant families really should not be resentful of these compensation plans because the "real culpits of the middle class squeeze" are other people who inside deal, practice questionable accounting and approve trade deals which send jobs overseas.

Nice attempt at a distraction.

Obama is saying to America: you are getting ripped off already by all these other people so direct your resentment at those people and don't worry about the compensation plans of black liberation theology.

Obama has finally shined a light on his priorties.


The basic truth behind all of these racial discussions is that Obama has engaged America in a contradiction which he can't get out of.

The basic theme of his campaign of "transcending race" means to whites: "let's put all this behind us and move on." Martin Luther King wanted a colorblind society of equality. Let's stop it with all these racial divisions.

To blacks, the basic message of Obama's campaign is this: "This is the moment we have all been waiting for" the moment when the economic compensation plans of black liberation theology finally make it to the national agenda.


No wonder Michele Obama had tears in her eyes at the end Obama's speech - he finally revealed to American that he actually does support the economic notions of black liberation theology, he is headed for the nomination, he is leading in the polls for November and this is going to be the agenda for the nation.


The curious thing about the past few months of the Obama campaign is commentators have been baffled by the sermon-like tones and actual meaning of all these high-sounding code words which Obama has been sprinkling through his speeches.

The contradiction in the center of Obama's high-sounding campaign sure appears to have been all along more of a deception than a contradiction - however America should make that call.

Instead of receiving the rejection of black liberation theology that America deserved, Obama instead lectured to the nation about why black anger is justified. Audacity yes.

The real situation in this country is that if anyone says anything about race that another persons doesn't like, that person runs the risk of being called a racist.

That is, whether that person is a racist or not. So no one talks about race. Now the blacks are complaining that no one is talking about race.

Then, the other real truth about America today is that affirmative action has stopped racial progress stone cold.

Instead of creating more equality and moving America toward racial reconcilation, affirmative action has actually fueled racial divisions and made people more intolerant.

America has gone backwards on racial progress over the past 15 years because of affirmative action.

More people in America are upset about race on account of affirmative action now than ever - it is not helping.

When the liberals recognize the truth about affirmative action, that will be racial progress.

And by the way, the comment about the Constitution being stained, I find that offensive.


Posted by: strongman7777 | March 19, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

There's A Stain on Obama's Ivy League Degree

News reports this week appear to be missing the point.

This Country should respond to Obama's speech on race.

What this country was looking from Obama was a repudiation of black liberation theology and its economic thought that the black community still deserved compensation for slavery. America didn't get that. Instead, America was lectured to by Obama about black anger and about how it is justified that the economic thesis of black liberation theology should be on the national agenda.

Talk about audacity.

Over half of Obama's speech is an outline and justification of the economic arguments of black liberation theology which basically states in Obama's own words

"black families could not amass any meaningful wealth to bequeath to future generations. That history helps explain the wealth and income gap between black and white, and the concentrated pockets of poverty that persists"

For those who are unfamiliar with black liberation theology, the general idea is that the wealth of this nation was stolen by white families from black slave labor - and that wealth has been passed down through the generations of white families.

That, combined with continued discrimination, explains today's income gap. Nothing else.


The exact mention by Obama of "immigrant families" is actually a continuation of the discussion of the economic thoughts behind black liberation theology. Obama states that immigrant families "don't feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race" - however it is unmistakable that Obama's believes they are.

Obama's mention of immigrant families is telling because immigrant families are truly innocent bystanders to the black liberation theology economic idea that great white wealth coming from slavery has been passed down through the white generations.

It sure appears that the translation of Obama's paragraph on immigrant families should be this: Obama understands that immigrant families feel they should not participate in the compensation plans for the black community, however Obama believes that immigrant families should participate in the compensation anyway.

Obama then states something rather bizarre - immigrant families really should not be resentful of these compensation plans because the "real culpits of the middle class squeeze" are other people who inside deal, practice questionable accounting and approve trade deals which send jobs overseas.

Nice attempt at a distraction.

Obama is saying to America: you are getting ripped off already by all these other people so direct your resentment at those people and don't worry about the compensation plans of black liberation theology.

Obama has finally shined a light on his priorties.


The basic truth behind all of these racial discussions is that Obama has engaged America in a contradiction which he can't get out of.

The basic theme of his campaign of "transcending race" means to whites: "let's put all this behind us and move on." Martin Luther King wanted a colorblind society of equality. Let's stop it with all these racial divisions.

To blacks, the basic message of Obama's campaign is this: "This is the moment we have all been waiting for" the moment when the economic compensation plans of black liberation theology finally make it to the national agenda.


No wonder Michele Obama had tears in her eyes at the end Obama's speech - he finally revealed to American that he actually does support the economic notions of black liberation theology, he is headed for the nomination, he is leading in the polls for November and this is going to be the agenda for the nation.


The curious thing about the past few months of the Obama campaign is commentators have been baffled by the sermon-like tones and actual meaning of all these high-sounding code words which Obama has been sprinkling through his speeches.

The contradiction in the center of Obama's high-sounding campaign sure appears to have been all along more of a deception than a contradiction - however America should make that call.

Instead of receiving the rejection of black liberation theology that America deserved, Obama instead lectured to the nation about why black anger is justified. Audacity yes.

The real situation in this country is that if anyone says anything about race that another persons doesn't like, that person runs the risk of being called a racist.

That is, whether that person is a racist or not. So no one talks about race. Now the blacks are complaining that no one is talking about race.

Then, the other real truth about America today is that affirmative action has stopped racial progress stone cold.

Instead of creating more equality and moving America toward racial reconcilation, affirmative action has actually fueled racial divisions and made people more intolerant.

America has gone backwards on racial progress over the past 15 years because of affirmative action.

More people in America are upset about race on account of affirmative action now than ever - it is not helping.

When the liberals recognize the truth about affirmative action, that will be racial progress.

And by the way, the comment about the Constitution being stained, I find that offensive.


Posted by: strongman7777 | March 19, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

But he wasn't completely out of danger either. When he went outdoors one night to make a cell phone call, he was followed. He still gets calls from Family associates asking him to meet them in diners--alone."
----------------
Man the loony tunes are out today.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | March 19, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

He still gets calls from Family associates asking him to meet them in diners--alone."

dun ta dun dun..

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

When is the media going to look at Hillary's own - and much more perverse - religious associations?


"There's a reason Hillary Clinton has remained relatively silent during the flap over intemperate remarks by Barack Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. When it comes to unsavory religious affiliations, she's a lot more vulnerable than Obama.

You can find all about it in a widely under-read article in the September 2007 issue of Mother Jones, in which Kathryn Joyce and Jeff Sharlet reported that "through all of her years in Washington, Clinton has been an active participant in conservative Bible study and prayer circles that are part of a secretive Capitol Hill group known as "The "Fellowship," a k a The Family. But it won't be a secret much longer. Jeff Sharlet's shocking exposé The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power will be published in May.

Sean Hannity has called Obama's church a "cult," but that term applies far more aptly to Clinton's "Family," which is organized into "cells"--their term--and operates sex-segregated group homes for young people in northern Virginia. In 2002, Sharlet joined The Family's home for young men, forswearing sex, drugs and alcohol, and participating in endless discussions of Jesus and power. He wasn't undercover; he used his own name and admitted to being a writer. But he wasn't completely out of danger either. When he went outdoors one night to make a cell phone call, he was followed. He still gets calls from Family associates asking him to meet them in diners--alone."


http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080331/ehrenreich

Posted by: JohnY63 | March 19, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

'Entitlements' are precisely that. We in the system have PAID for them and we are entitled to receive them. You cannot have any sensible discussion about them without talking about taking the Social Security Trust Fund out of the general budget and STOP SPENDING IT for general expenses. Privatization is off the table. Period. The transition costs would bankrupt the system and divert billions of senior's money into the pockets of unscrupulous brokers, drooling to take advantage of the elderly. Privatizers of course know this.

We also need to stop borrowing from China at this rate -- 8% of our budget is a HUGE amount that's just going down the toilet for debt service. And we cannot forget the trillions we are spending, unaccountably, around the world on no-bid crony contracting.

Most of all, we need to think about the way we spend our money going into the future--and not just continue failed policies of the past. What I find most disturbinng about McCain is that all he seems to be able to think about is Iraq forever:

" In almost every discussion of foreign policy, not just today but in previous years, what stands out is McCain's inability to see beyond the immediate issues of military tactics to any firm grasp of strategy or America's real vital interests. His free willingness to commit to a decades long occupation of Iraq is an example, his push for ground troops to be introduced during the Kosovo War is another. His refusal, almost inability, to grapple with the political failure of the surge is the most telling one if people will sift through its deeper implications.

The idea that fighting jihadists in Iraq or policing the country's sectarian and ethnic disputes is the calling of this century is one that is belied in virtually everything we see in flux in today's world and which seems certain to affect us through the rest of our lifetimes and our children's.

It is very difficult to draw practical lessons from history. But one of the closest things to a law is that military power is almost always built on economic might. And the former seldom long outlasts the latter. Indeed, countries with sound finances have routinely been able to punch over their weight -- great Britain and the Netherlands during different periods are key examples. So fiscal soundness even over the medium term is much more important than any particular weapon system or basing right.

Then you step back and see the huge number of dollars we're pouring into Iraq, the vast mountains of capital being piled up in China, the oil-fueled resurgence of Russia, the weakness of the dollar (not only in exchange rate but in its future as a reserve currency), the rising tide of anti-Americanism around the world. I don't think I've ever heard anything from John McCain that suggests he's given serious consideration to any of these issues.

Candidly, I do not think I've heard sufficient discussions or solutions to these challenges from my preferred candidates. But neither has the myopia that McCain has about Iraq. Or the willingness to spend -- how else to put it -- like a drunken sailor in that country at the expense of everything else now going on in the world.'

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Also, Randy Scheunemann was an advisor to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Iraq.

So this is the guy McSame is listening to. Exactly the same people as George Bush, only the crazier ones.

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Please bookmark March 18, 2008 as a defining day in the ongoing progressive movement toward the hopeful realization of what America has always intended to be: "We the People, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America".

Recognize this day as the day We as Americans have been officially challenged to call upon "the better angels of our nature" and self-bridge the deep fissure of race that has long divided us so that we can finally unite to begin to deal with and overcome the crucial harsh realities of a failing economy of rising prices, the losing of our homes, seeing our children educationally left behind, the decline in our overall health and coverage, the increasing sudden impacts of adverse climatic change, and the bearing of the burden of a potentially never ending misplaced costly unjustifiable war...... all critical urgent problems we all share in common as Americans.

Treasure this day as the day a rising transcendent political leader of our country spoke from his heart with great intelligence and candor to all Americans sharing with us what we need to know and have to do for our collective better future as opposed to simply saying what some us wanted to hear as a matter of the moment for political expediency.

For a cynical self-professed Christian few, no matter what Senator Barack Obama said yesterday, they will never be satisfied with how he answered the media driven political question of the day.....has he distanced and disowned his self enough from a misguided Christian? So be it. But for the great many of us who are less cynical and more hopeful, I believe he has clearly answered the most critical question of our generation....can he lead us as Americans to a more perfect Union?

Today, for a great many of us, the answer to this most crucial question is Yes He Can! because yesterday on March 18, 2008, Senator Barack Obama once again asked us are we ready for change when he delivered.......

A Speech Worthy of a President!

Posted by: csfoster2000 | March 19, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Randy Scheunemann:

A well-connected lobbyist and political insider with strong ties to the neoconservative political faction, Randy Scheunemann has been involved in a number of advocacy campaigns aimed at pushing an aggressive U.S. foreign policy agenda in recent years, helping found the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI), an advocacy outfit that emerged in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to push for war in Iraq. Along with other like-minded groups, including the now mostly defunct Project for the New American Century (for which Scheunemann served as a director), CLI played a key role in forging coalitions of political figures behind a neoconservative-inspired Middle East agenda that had at its core toppling Saddam Hussein. CLI members included several prominent congressional figures, including Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

Scheunemann worked previously as a campaign adviser for McCain's 2000 presidential bid. According to journalist John Judis, it was during this period that McCain first began advocating a foreign policy agenda strikingly in line with neoconservative prescriptions (New Republic, October 16, 2006). McCain began "seeking to differentiate his views from those of other Republican presidential aspirants and from the growing isolationism of House Republicans ... [placing] his new interventionist instincts within a larger ideological framework," Judis wrote. "That ideological framework was neoconservatism. McCain began reading the Weekly Standard and conferring with its editors, particularly Bill Kristol." Shortly after his staff consulted with Kristol, McCain hired a bevy of neoconservative-aligned operatives, including Scheunemann, Marshall Wittmann, and Daniel McKivergan, according to Judis.


Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

NBC News political director Chuck Todd asserted: "[T]his was not a one-time slip and so, you know, this just shows you how much bank -- how much of the foreign policy experience stuff he's got in the bank, because had [Sen. Hillary] Clinton or [Sen. Barack] Obama done something like this, this would have been played on a loop, over and over, and would have absolutely hurt them politically."

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

true that.

life is unfair.

has yet to faze Barack.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Okay, the Michelle Obama comment is way way way over the top :-)

Posted by: PDiddy | March 19, 2008 02:28 PM
------------------
Made me laugh. Too funny.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | March 19, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

During the March 19 edition of MSNBC Live, while discussing Sen. John McCain's admittedly false claim during March 18 remarks to reporters in Amman, Jordan, that Iranian operatives are "taking al-Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back," anchor Mika Brzezinski stated that McCain "had this little slip of the tongue on the Iraq war." After airing a condensed clip of McCain's misstatement, NBC News political director Chuck Todd asserted: "[T]his was not a one-time slip and so, you know, this just shows you how much bank -- how much of the foreign policy experience stuff he's got in the bank, because had [Sen. Hillary] Clinton or [Sen. Barack] Obama done something like this, this would have been played on a loop, over and over, and would have absolutely hurt them politically."

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin, we need to expand the budget conversation beyond just entitlement spending. The federal debt isn't ballooning just because we're paying for Granny's Rascal. We've spent a half-trillion so far on our neverending adventure in Iraq, and hundreds of billions more on the entire prison/military/surveillance-state apparatus. I know, there are Scary Brown People everywhere, but some 10% of our economic output is now devoted to guarding the other 90% like it's Fort Knox.

So, yeah, let's talk about entitlement spending. But let's also talk about all of our budget priorities.

Posted by: novamatt | March 19, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

All these platitudes are revolting..
Both Hillary and Obama got more money from arms manufacturers than the GOP this election cycle..Obama got backing from the Nuclear energy company of Yucca Mt notoriety, you've got to be so naive, ..to think that his words have anything to do with facts...as we are finding out more and more, vetting hurts!

Posted by: vammap | March 19, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Obama's speech was so much more amazing than I had imagined it would be. Will it be enough? Probably, but maybe not.

There will be always be a significant number of people who will find fault with Obama, just as nearly equal numbers of people find fault with Hillary and John McCain. McCain will be too old, too boring, too conservative, too liberal; Hillary will be too whiney, too eager to please the hawks, too Clinton, too damaged by her past; and Obama will be too inexperienced, too slick, too black (and, he'll have Pastor Wright).

I think there will be at least 30-40% of the active electorate spewing ugly negatives which the media will always be happy discuss (with little perspective), but it likely won't make any one of the candidates more electable than the other. Ultimately what will matter is who garners the most support in the election cycles. Barack isn't expected to do well in Pennsylvania, but if the tide turns drastically away from him beyond that, then damage has probably been done.

I personally hope Obama weathers this, because I do believe this could be an important moment lost in America's history. (Not that either Clinton or McCain wouldn't be better leaders than the Administration we've had for the past eight years, I just firmly believe that the overwhelming enthusiasm for Barack Obama is based on something real.

Posted by: shannons1 | March 19, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight: 4,000 American troops are dead, 10,000 maimed, $1,000,000,000,000 squandered in debt -- on a war launched on a systematic campaign of lies - lies which most in politics knew to be lies, but lacked the courage to oppose.

But that's not what's important - what's important is not anything Obama said or did, but something somebody else said?

Meanwhile, we're into year six, but "we've achieved so much" so race, not the Iraq war, is the issue.

Have I got this straight?

Posted by: al75 | March 19, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

How do you distinguish between "entitlements" and recovering all the money we've paid into the system from our paychecks?

Or do you?

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

mark, I'm not overly concerned about any one person having undo influence on a McCain presidency... there'll be no Cheneys needed.

Yes, he has a variety of advisors, and his foreign-policy advisers are a mix of traditional Republican "realists," who favor a pragmatic approach to the world, and neocons as well. I've always liked and agreed with Kristol on most issues, so it's not a red flag for me, but at any rate he's just one of many, including James Woolsey.

I am heartened by the fact that McCain is willing to "use military force when necessary as a last resort," said Randy Scheunemann, the campaign's director of foreign policy and national security.

But McCain also believes the war on terrorism "is a war of ideas,". aka he's no Bush, and his speech today outlines the start of a new direction in diplomacy.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 19, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

mark-ill bite, what does the good madam propose to solve the entitlement programs?

budget cuts? raising taxes? privatizing or ending social security and medicare?

me? i would advocate strong look at how we budget our money. like this

intrest on debt-ok how about paying off our debt, thats probably several billion right there.

non defense discresionary-not sure what that entails, can anyone enlighten me on what that is?

Defense-i would have to agree with another poster-with the extreme execption of keeping north korea at bay,drug interdiction the thought knowing soviet tanks will not roll down main st. usa, pull our troops out and re train for counter terror activities.

social security-its solvent but if the gop is so insistant on fixing it then lets but no privatization. raise the retirement age or limit how long you can recive it.

medicare- im suprised no one even mentioned the fact that in order to keep costs down you have stay healthy. going to a doctor and your 40 lbs over weight and diebetic and you want free health care is laughable.

Posted by: jaymills1124 | March 19, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Well, as that character in the movie, A Few Good Men, said: "You can't handle the truth!"

Few can.

Art is proof. When we look back on the history of art or music, almost every major artist is rejected in his or her own time, certainly in their beginnings.

Why? Because artists open a new window onto truth...onto the reality of our existence. And it always takes us a while, a generation, sometimes several, to see it, to appreciate it, to understand it, to live it. Some see it right away...but they are always few in number.

It's why our spiritual leaders almost always are killed. Their direct revelation of truth is too much for the rest of us. We just aren't ready. Too afraid. Too threatened.

What Barack spoke about race in the USA is too much for some people. But the good news is that it is just right for so many more than it would have been just 30 years ago, let alone 230 years ago.

Barack is a different kind of American politician. Not completely different. Not perfect. Not saintly. Not free of error or mis-step. But willing to speak honestly and thoughtfully in response to the usual bitter banter of American politics.

It will take time. But he has opened a new chapter for America. Some are reading with understanding. Some won't turn the page. Some misunderstand the words. Some are stuck on a passage. Some are skimming through. Some have closed the book. Some just want to look at the pictures. Some need footnotes.
Some are still reading chapter one. Some want to burn the book. Some want to call it the Bible. Some are already finding ways to live out the words. Some are reading just the book reviews.
Some have dog-eared it for future reference.

Whatever the response, a new chapter in American history has begun.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

For those who are enjoying holding contempt upon BHO who has trusted their intelligence and ability to reflect and self-reflect:

Anonymous said...

This man can't be american. He is too thoughtful, too deep, too nuanced with too good a knowledge of the history of this country and too empathetic.

He is also surely too forthright and truthful to be running for president.
3:56 PM

Posted by: pinepine | March 19, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

The Fix goes on vacation and Obama gives a speech that I've seen favorably linked to Lincoln's House Divided speech and Kennedy's Catholicism speech.

He gave an adult speech. The pessimist in me says he's hosed. I want to believe that he flipped the situation by showing people he is the only adult in the Presidential nursery. That he threaded the gap between Bill Clinton's tendency to throw people under the bus and the Bush's hyper-loyalty to the incompetent. Only time will tell.

Posted by: caribis | March 19, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

"Ok - so how many of those posting negatively about Obama's speech voted for Bush... twice...? Or even once?
Posted by: luvadog | March 19, 2008 02:33 PM "

RESPONSE:
For my part, I voted for neither Bush but I did respect Bush Sr.; Bush Jr.'s a overage frat boy & a dry drunk. He can't depart soon enough.

Posted by: pgeagle | March 19, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

My last post for the day. Proud ahs raised the point no D ever seems to want to acknowledge. Entitlements are about to drive the entire tax-and-spend process [I am loathe to call it "budgeting"].

Actually, most Rs do not want to talk seriously about it either, to be fair.

If we threadjack to talk about entitlements, I am in, after about three hours.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 19, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"Oprah walked away from his church I guess he just disagrees with Oprah. Maybe you will call her a hate monger as well but your rants are certainly not worth the time of serious discourse."

So now it's about Oprah, I see. Will Hillary be making that argument to the supers, vote for me because Oprah left a church? Might as well, everything else has fallen flat.

What Hill supporters are terrified to admit is that Obama is beholden to no one. He is his own man, and that is the common thread behind these preposterous Rezko/Wright slurs. Why no tax returns yet? Where are the library donors? We all know that she is beholden to Bill, to the point that she turned a blind eye while he rutted into interns like a hog during their marriage. Who else will she be turning a blind eye towards? Wal-Mart? Marc Rich?

Posted by: bondjedi | March 19, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

My only objection to the speech is it took a near-implosion of Obama's Cinderella story of a candidacy to force him to openly discuss the role that his white mother and grandparents played in raising him. His first book, "Dreams of my Father...", in essence was written in honor of the father who he never saw after age 2+, yet his white mother and grandparents rarely get a positive mention.

Moreover, did he have to use his maternal grandmother's (supposedly irrational) fear of black people to compare to Rev. Wright's hate-filled screeching?

Obama joined that church because it was a good career move; unfortunately his pastor eloquently pointed out that there is as much racism in black communities as there is in white communities.

Let's see an actual vote in FL and MI and don't allow Obama to "run out the clock" to get the nomination.

If he prevails, he'll be much stronger for the effort. My bet is he will.

Posted by: pgeagle | March 19, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Rev. Wright's inflammatory comments can also have an unintended result: getting us off of our collective apathy to transform the reality of what it means to live in the greatest county on earth, but one, also that has left behind many of its citizens who cannot access the dream. Senator Obama's speech on race and politics is the most important and revealing statement made on this subject in recent history. These inflammatory issues continue to poison and threaten our way of life, one that, ideally, supports the general welfare of all citizens of this country without sacrificing the rights of equal access for any particular group. In 60 minutes or so, Senator Obama manages to lay bare the layers of myth, blame, bitterness and hurt that have historically poisoned "We, the People...". He offers a way out of our separation and self-imposed constraints: an inclusionary, participatory form of government that, through individual positive actions, promotes equal justice, opportunity and welfare for Black, White, Latino, Asian and Native Americans.

Yes, I support Senator Obama's candidacy, and while your views may not parallel my own, no one can honestly listen to Senator Obama's words and remain unchanged. Clearly, we can see the current results of our failure to care for each other and the world around us: destruction of natural resources, failure to provide equal access to good health care and education, an ill-advised war and all of its tragic costs, a trade imbalance and loss of jobs, as well as an economy teetering on the brink of recession if not depression. Given our collective will, we can walk out of our nation's imperfect history and begin a new conversation about what is possible for and in each of us. Should we choose, once again, not to do so, acts of internal and external terrorism will pale in the face of our own continuing self-annihilation.


Posted by: dingdong9 | March 19, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

If BHO and HRC both withdraw, would the DNC
be free to offer the delegates the DNC's own choices?

Or would McC simply be unopposed?

Those of you who argue that the other candidate "withdraw" for the "greater good" are just silly.

Proud, that was a good statement by McC today. I have become concerned since I learned Bill Kristol and his buds are supposedly on McC's advisory team. What do you know?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 19, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Adrick, The question is, what percentage of the total budget is it and how much is it going up. For Fiscal 2008, the Congressional Budget Office has these figures -from the Federal pie chart of total expenditures:

Interest on the debt 8%
Non-defense discretionary 18%
Defense 20%
Social Security 21%
Medicare/Medicaid, other mandatory 33%


According to the CBO, entitlement programs will increase to well over 80% of Federal spending by 2017. THAT looming crisis is what needs addressing.

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdoc.cfm?index=7731

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 19, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Ok - so how many of those posting negatively about Obama's speech voted for Bush... twice...? Or even once?

Posted by: luvadog | March 19, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, no. I'm afraid there is no insulation thick enough to cover this. It shows too large a hole in his judgment argument. And from now on, every time I hear him talk about parenting, I'm going to think of his daughters, and how they were subjected to this atmosphere, which Obama now acknowledges he was aware of.
The Rezko affiliation shows another hole. A very large one, and a situation of which he also had to be aware. Rezko's slums were in his district, after all. Go do some research online, even on his hometown newspaper and tv stations' websites, and you will be appalled, too.
I'm afraid Obama may need to withdraw his candidacy for the good of the party, and clean up his act... a lot.

Posted by: mbolack | March 19, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, no. I'm afraid there is no insulation thick enough to cover this. It shows too large a hole in his judgment argument. And from now on, every time I hear him talk about parenting, I'm going to think of his daughters, and how they were subjected to this atmosphere, which Obama now acknowledges he was aware of.
The Rezko affiliation shows another hole. A very large one, and a situation of which he also had to be aware. Rezko's slums were in his district, after all. Go do some research online, even on his hometown newspaper and tv stations' websites, and you will be apalled, too.
I'm afraid Obama may need to withdraw his candidacy for the good of the party, and clean up his act... a lot.

Posted by: mbolack | March 19, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

not much has changed on here much,but ive got some time before i have to fly to alabama for a family reunion.

On Reverend Wright-ok im assuming the majority of posters on the fix are Caucasian, correct? have you ever been inside of a black church? anyone? if your gonna take a 30 second soundbite and apply it to every black church, then it seems fair to post everything that jerry fallwell, hagee and fred phelps has said everyday.

Wright,even though some of what he has said was wrong, is only venting what african american have gone thru since the end of slavery. its nothing new. but to totally ignore the fact that the black church has done more for the surrounding neighborhoods, than BOTH politcal parties is wrong in its self. if anything i would refer you to crt12's post at 9:08 AM, and tell me with a straight sober face that you would get up out of your pew seat and leave.

you cant choose your god, folks.

On the speech-its not the gettysburg address or "i have a dream" but Obama speaking out,was important. the questions about his church, his wife and being the black canidate should be put to rest. last i checked, Michelle obama, Reverend Wright and Trinity UCC church are not running for the democratic nomination. Obama is running for all americans, and to continue to talk about race as if it was talking point instead of the issues at hand is in fact a distraction we all fall into.

so lets talk about the issues for once.

Posted by: jaymills1124 | March 19, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Obama as Pres. You have finally proven your zealtry.
Actually I listened to his speech live and have a heck of a lot more respect for him then I do for his out of control supporters. It was a good speech but I test a person more by their actions than their words. Oprah walked away from his church I guess he just disagrees with Oprah. Maybe you will call her a hate monger as well but your rants are certainly not worth the time of serious discourse.

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

'But, IMHO, the root of their dislike for America is jealousy.'

Actually, I'd guess it's probably the attitude of people like you.

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 02:23 PM


ah, drindl attacks. How shocking.

Posted by: JD | March 19, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Okay, the Michelle Obama comment is way way way over the top :-)

Posted by: PDiddy | March 19, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

While we cannot dismiss the way in which Rev. Wright delivered his observations on race and politics in this county, we can no longer afford to dismiss the history, outlined in Senator Obama's speech, a history that has propelled us to this pivotal time and place. Consider the following: Rev. Wright's inflammatory comments could also have the capaciy for getting us off our collective apathy to begin a national transformation of what it means to live in a true democracy. Senator Obama's speech on race and politics is the most important and revealing statement made on this subject in recent history. These inflammatory issues continue to poison and threaten our way of life, one that, ideally, supports the general welfare of all citizens of this country without sacrificing the rights of equal access for any particular group. In 60 minutes or so, Senator Obama manages to lay bare the layers of myth, blame, bitterness and hurt that have historically poisoned "We, the People..." . He offers a way out of our separation and self-imposed constraints: an inclusionary, participatory form of government that, through individual positive actions, promotes equal justice, opportunity and welfare for Black, White, Latino, Asian and Native Americans.

Yes, I support Senator Obama's candidacy, and while your views may not parallel my own, no one can honestly listen to Senator Obama's words and remain unchanged. Clearly, we can see the current results of our failure to care for each other and the world around us: destruction of natural resources, failure to provide equal access to good health care and education, an ill-advised war and all of its tragic costs, a trade imbalance and loss of jobs, as well as an economy teetering on the brink of recession if not depression. Given our collective will, we can walk out of our nation's imperfect history and begin a new conversation about what is possible for and in each of us. Should we choose, once again, not to do so, acts of internal and external terrorism will pale in the face of our own continuing self-annihilation.


Posted by: dingdong9 | March 19, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

To whom this applies, how ironic that if someone has a different opinion other than supporting Obama %100 the response is that we hate him and always have, instead of having a thoughtful back and forth discussion.

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

1. You assume, wrongly and against the evidence, that every Obama supporter demonizes anyone who criticizes him.

2. By doing so, you demonize all Obama supporters and are therefore guilty of your own accusation.

3. Credible and reasonable criticisms seem to be accepted or challenged reasonably.

4. Unsupported accusations, personal attacks, illogical conclusions, misrepresentations, and hyperbolic accusations like the one you just made are derided for the claptrap they are. As are their perpetrators, as they should be.

5. Speak reasonably, have proof, use logic, eschew personal malice and you'll get a fair hearing. Innocent humor helps.

6. Otherwise, all is fair.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

'But, IMHO, the root of their dislike for America is jealousy.'

Actually, I'd guess it's probably the attitude of people like you.

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"No one questions Senator Obama's wins "on the level" b/c certainly Ca and Ohio were not on the level and are totally irrelevant. "

Sigh. Here we go again ... If you can sit there and with a straight face type that you expect HRC to make up her deficit in pledged delegates obtained on the level by both candidates, by winning 65% of the vote in the remaining contests (even though you are fixated on PA, because you know about the cans of whoop-ass to be opened in IN, NC, etc.), then I am sorry for misunderstanding the level of your zeal.

You act like Obama debating Hillary is a mark of desperation on his part. Did you notice how he took the initiative with his historic speech yesterday, condemning intolerance and bigotry (whoops, guess not!)? With his debates, he lands the coup de grace to the failed Clinton experiment in tyranny and the misplaced devotion of her dead-enders.

Do you know what REALLY has Hill worried? She can live with Obama becoming president. What's killing her is knowing that, after his two terms are over, it will be Michelle Obama and not Hillary Clinton who is the first woman president of these United States.

Posted by: bondjedi | March 19, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

People dislike America because people always hate the rich kid on the block. Bush's muscular foreign policy might have have something to do with it, I admit. And us not kowtowing to the UN really riles the tired old nations who have far more perceived power than actual power (I'm looking at you, France).

But, IMHO, the root of their dislike for America is jealousy.

Posted by: JD | March 19, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

This guy has been exposed as a phony, LIER, racist, and other things, in less than a weeks time, and The Media continues to report how wonderful he is without any semblance of TRUTH.

Posted by: lylepink | March 19, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Excellent point, wpost4112

Posted by: AdrickHenry | March 19, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

To whom this applies, how ironic that if someone has a different opinion other than supporting Obama %100 the response is that we hate him and always have, instead of having a thoughtful back and forth discussion, is that response all your capable of? How Un-Obama like, very polarizing which is against his message.
In the same vein, just because some people are now leary of Obama, some enough that they won't vote for him, you reject any concerns because we must not have been for him in the first place. You would be an embarrassment to Obama.

The hate is coming from those who are making these comments and degrade this "conversation". I appreciate the thoughtful discourse on either side of this issue.

Posted by: synergy52 | March 19, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

drindl, I thought Cheney's nonchalant dismissal of overwhelming American sentiment against this Administration's policies spoke volumes about the arrogance and opaqueness of this Administration.

This is why I chose Obama in the Clinton vs. Obama horserace. Obama's stance on transparency in government is refreshing. His willingness to confront issues with honest, thought-provoking sentiment as opposed to shrill soundbites was evident yesterday. It stands in stark contrast to Clinton's unwillingness to publish her or her husband's financial records, or those of her husband's presidential library.

Posted by: PDiddy | March 19, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Proud, most of those deployments are based on Cold War thinking. It is time for a new strategy. One that faces the world of 2009 and not 1990.

Do we really still need nearly 64,000 troops in Germany? I don't think anyone thinks the Russian tanks will be rolling anytime soon.

What is the price tag for deploying 370,000 troops around the world? Could this money be used more efficaciously?

Posted by: AdrickHenry | March 19, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

France and Germany don't love us, Zouk. Neither does China, nor India, nor most of the rest of Asia, nor most of the 3rd world. Our own neighbors in Latin America do not care much for us either, Zouk. A rough estimate would be that about 5 billion people dislike America. The number is probably higher, actually.

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

I think it's necessary to distinguish between those who hate "America" and those who hate the Bush administration.

In my travels, most everyone I've met, excepting the information-starved. love America and the Americans. They equally despise George W and his administration. But they do distinguish between the two. As do we when we think of Iraqis. I don't know any intelligent Americans who hate Iraq or Iraquis, but plenty who rightly distrust and contemn their political and religious "leaders." Same with Putin as opposed to Russia and Russians.

I'll admit that it is we, collectively, who have allowed Bush to wreak havoc in the world for 8 years. In as much as we have not protested or worked against his delusional policies, we share responsibility.

We now have a chance to reject, renounce and repudiate the past 8 years and rebuild what has been damaged.

The world still looks to us...more warily to be sure, but with still a glimmer of hope in their eyes. If we cannot unite, however imperfectly, we will not be able to meet the challenges
that China, Russia, Iraq will bring, not to mention our own internal fissures.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

"other fifty that show the opposite! Caw! Caw! Caw!" rather childish.

I am waiting for your 50 polls, where are they?
No one questions Senator Obama's wins "on the level" b/c certainly Ca and Ohio were not on the level and are totally irrelevant.
The point is that even your candidate by his demand for more debates understands that the nomination is far from over, more realistic then his zealous supporters. And your response after your candidate loses Pa, who cares about states like Ca, Ohio and Pa, they don't mean squat, look at the caucus states he won.
I will wait for your 50 3-19-08 polls.

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

>>> "The news programs I watched last night used completely different video clips"

The funniest part of this is that Obama's speech was more or less soundbite free yesterday. He spoke thoughtfully and eloquently for about 30 minutes.

It shouldn't be surprising that cable and network news producers lack the attention span to parse such a statement.

Axelrod and Plouffe should have handed out copies with yellow highlights in the areas that were "important".

Gotta love the bloated talking heads...

Posted by: PDiddy | March 19, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, Spectator.

Both camps would probably rather see Joe Biden, Chris Dodd or Wesley Clark.

But... it is what it is.

And BHO/HRC or HRC/BHO is better than: staying in Iraq indefinitely, making Bush's tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans permanent and conservative justice picks.

Posted by: AdrickHenry | March 19, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

drindl, Your tired mis-characterization of John McCain's quote is getting really old.

We've had troops stationed in Kuwait since 1991, and there's no one protesting in the streets of D.C. about that. That's the level of involvment he was talking about, and you know it.

We have troops stationed around the world. Presuming that you do not wish the collapse of the world eceonomy, we must remain as a presence in the Gulf region unless and until our interests do not require it.

Here's a list of the country's where US troops are now stationed:
Africa
Not including Djibouti, there are about 2,400 American troops stationed in Africa.

Kenya - 153
Cairo, Egypt - 29

Asia
The US military has about 97,000 troops in Asia, not including the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Philippines.

South Korea - 26,477 troops
Japan - 48,844 troops
Diego Garcia - 311
Hong Kong - 10
Jakarta, Indonesia - 19
Singapore - 115
Thailand - 113

Australasia
Australia - 26
Marshall Islands - 26

Europe
Not counting Bosnia or Kosovo, the US military has about 90,000 personnel in Europe.

Germany - 63,958.
Souda Bay, Greece - 386
Italy - 11,693
United Kingdom - 10,967
Spain - 1,268
Norway - 3
Turkey - 1,365
Keflavik, Iceland - 81 (Last U.S. serviceman left on September 30, 2006)
Belgium - 1,367
Portugal - 864
Netherlands - 444
Greece - 562
Thule, Greenland - 138

Middle East
Not counting Iraq and Afghanistan, there at least 2,500 US military personnel in the Middle East.

Qatar - 158
Bahrain - 2,333
Kuwait - 10
Oman - 1
United Arab Emirates - 37

Western Hemisphere
Not counting the US and its territories, there are about 1,500 troops in the Western Hemisphere

Antigua - 2
Colombia - 7
Saint Helena - 3
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - 1,457
Manta, Ecuador - 13
Netherlands Antilles - 10

The military of the United States is deployed in many countries around the world, with more than 369,000 of its nearly 1.4 million active-duty troops serving outside the United States.

After combat operations cease in Afghanistan and Iraq, we will still be there in a non-combat fashion, just like in all these other countries around the world. THAT is what McCain is talking about.


Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 19, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Does this kill the rumor of his religion?
Does this kill the rumor of his lack of patriotism?
He was a minority in Hawaii, in Indonesia, at Occidental, at Columbia, at Harvard and in Chicago. He found himself and his voice in Chicago.
Do those non-black clergy members who know Rev Wright think he is a racist?
Have the speeches from the pastors or other clerg members for Sens Clinton and McClain been vetted for the last 20 years?
Doesn't everyone have a non-politically correct grandparent?
If the focus is on race, he loses. If it is on ideas, it is a toss-up.

Posted by: sgibson | March 19, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"I am sure that you will not like these poll numbers(and label them as hate filled or some other lame excuse) in Pa, Ohio and general election b/c they don't verify that your candidate should be spending his time measuring for oval office curtains."

I love seeing your new posts, because you just back yourself into a corner more and more. "Look at the polls from PA & OH! They matter! The past results from contests Obama won on the level don't! Look! I found four polls that show Hill with a lead! Ignore the other fifty that show the opposite! Caw! Caw! Caw!"

The winner of the November election will be measuring curtains. You can rest assured it won't be Hillary.

Posted by: bondjedi | March 19, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

How You Can Identify a Republican...

"When asked how that assessment comports with recent polls that show about two-thirds of Americans say the fight in Iraq is not worth it, Cheney replied, "So?"


Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

its doubtful Hillary would want to hand hold Senator Obama for 4 year, but again why are we measursuring for curtains with Senator Obama still needing almost 400 delegates and getting crushed in recent Pa polling.

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Adick: If that's what it takes to keep the doddering, cranky McCain out of the WH, it better get done.

Whichever candidate gets the Veep slot will then have to keep most of his/her supporters in line. Of course some brats will not go along but most will do what the greater good requires.

Posted by: Spectator2 | March 19, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

from Spectatot2: "a BHO-HRC ticket is possible too."

This may be the only way to keep the Party together.

Posted by: AdrickHenry | March 19, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Since his supporters are so absolutely certain that he is the nominee, then why did Senator Obama insist on new debates, considering his claim we've already had 21(typo) debates why does he now claim we need more?

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Hillary/Biden '08

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

An eloquent and thoughtful speech with a great deal of historical context. However, I don't know whether it will have the desired political effect, especially on the immediate target audience of white male voters in Pennsylvania.
I'm old enough to remember the 60's, and as a history teacher I appreciate both the depth of historical analysis and the sophistication of the rhetoric (though I do wish Obama would stop using such obvious devices as imitating the beginning of the Gettysburg Address). However, I'm not sure the speech had a single clear focus that could easily be summarized, and that will probably limit its effectiveness.
As Howard Kurz noted in his media chat yesterday, much will depend on how the media played it rather than on the content of the speech itself. The news programs I watched last night used completely different video clips, not to mention the wide variety of headlines in the newspapers, so I'm not sure what the "conventional wisdom" will be on what message the speech actually conveyed.
Frankly, I'm surprised the Wright issue didn't come up earlier and that the Obama campaign didn't have a damage-control response already in place. I remember reading several months ago, back before Iowa, that Wright was likely to be a liabilty. Obama seems to have been slow to recognize this -- he did heed campaign aides' advice not to have Wright give an invocation but still kept him in a (largely honorary?) advisory position on his campaign until the videos started circulating. I'm not sure the speech will overcome questions about his political judgment on this matter.

Posted by: jhurwi | March 19, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Democratic Presidential Nomination Gallup Tracking Obama 44, Clinton 47 Clinton +3
Pennsylvania Democratic Primary PPP (D) Clinton 56, Obama 30 Clinton +26
USA Today/Gallup 03/14 - 03/15 685 LV 51 46 2 Clinton +5.0 3-18-09
Ohio: McCain vs. Clinton PPP (D) McCain 44, Clinton 45, Und 11 Clinton +1
Ohio: McCain vs. Obama PPP (D) McCain 49, Obama 41, Und 10 McCain +8

I am sure that you will not like these poll numbers(and label them as hate filled or some other lame excuse) in Pa, Ohio and general election b/c they don't verify that your candidate should be spending his time measuring for oval office curtains.

Since his supporters are so absolutely certain that he is the nominee, then why did Senator Obama insist on 2 new debates, considering his claim we've already had 2 debates why did he now claim we need more?

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

If LBJ with his massive ego and grudge-holding ability could sign on with JFK, whom he didn't like and considered a lightweight, a BHO-HRC ticket is possible too.

Posted by: Spectator2 | March 19, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

So much 'good news' coming out of Iraq. Today there was a 'reconociliation conference, which failed. The so-called 'Surge' -- which was supposd to be over now and to have accomplished its only mission, which was political reconcialation, is a failure.

'I think everyone can agree that if you go to the trouble of organizing an Iraqi political reconciliation conference, it's generally a bad sign if a number of key players don't even show up.

The idea behind the conference pushed by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki was to have a national "dialogue."

The largest Sunni bloc, former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's party, and a prominent minority party of Shiites and Sunnis all boycotted the conference. No representatives of the insurgency (either Baathist or militia members) were there. Supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr walked out of the conference, as did a prominent Sunni tribal leader who's been key to the so-called "Anbar Awakening."

And then there's a more direct explanation from that Anbar tribal leader, who's quoted in The Los Angeles Times (under the headline "A no-reconciliation conference"):

"I didn't stay any longer than it took me to smoke my cigarette. It was a total failure, because the Iraqi politicians are a failure," Sulaiman said.'

We spend 5 years and a trillion dollars, 4000 lives and god knows how many lives ruined and the Iraqis can't even be bothered to sit together in a room. What a joke. And John McCain wants it to go on another 100 years.

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

They do love of in England (and Australia) and Eastern Europe ('cause we beat the Russians). But that stands to reason as we pretty much inherited the Britain's role in the world after 1948. Plus, much of British economic interests are intermeshed with ours.

Posted by: AdrickHenry | March 19, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Hey... I think this kills the Obama is a Muslim rumor, huh?!

Posted by: AdrickHenry | March 19, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

'radical religious fanatics'? Mr. McCain? What about the money-grubbinb radical fanatics Rev. Parsely and Hagee that you begged for their support? You still haven't denounced them for calling Catholics 'wh*res'. When you gonna do that?

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I can still see a Dem "Unity" ticket as the end game for this mess.

Posted by: Spectator2 | March 19, 2008 01:12 PM


Seriously? I thought that they really don't like each other, and they both (*especially Hillary*) hold grudges forever.

Posted by: JD | March 19, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Obama was about 26 years old when he met Rev. Wright. That age is a very trying time for many young folks. Some simply decide to ignore the church and God.

Rev. Wright offered him Christianity instead of other religions. Thank God for that.

Posted by: whatdoesthismean | March 19, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

France and Germany don't love us, Zouk. Neither does China, nor India, nor most of the rest of Asia, nor most of the 3rd world. Our own neighbors in Latin America do not care much for us either, Zouk. A rough estimate would be that about 5 billion people dislike America. The number is probably higher, actually.

Why is this, Zouk?

Truth is, Zouk, most of the rest of the world views us as arrogant, militaristic, shallow, materialistic and greedy.

Posted by: AdrickHenry | March 19, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Fair point, zouk. Clinton's "Mandatory Health Care" and Obama's "National Health Plan" are guaranteed disasters. The government has no business being in the business of disseminating health care to the people. It has a regulatory role, for sure.

In my opinion, the two biggest barriers to insurance in this country are cost and availability. On availability, I think it's amoral that insurance companies deny coverage or charge differently for people with pre-existing conditions. Any health care plan must forbid this practice, and both the Obama and Clinton plans do.

On cost, I do agree that Obama's "National Health Insurance Exchange" is a good approach. It would set standards and price schedules for insurance, and ensure that the insurance companies play by the rules. I like that the insurance companies will be forced to participate on a level playing field and that they will be forbidden from running roughshod over the consumer as they do today.

I do NOT like the Clinton and Obama idea of creating a government run bureaucracy to provide health care for those who prefer not to go through a private insurance company. It's bound to become yet another unfunded entitlement that will spiral out of control and place a lien on future generations.

Posted by: PDiddy | March 19, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Obama's speech was the best I ever heard. He DID address everything. Yes, he heard controversial remarks. So what. His pastor was venting. Its just words. What more do you want from OBAMA? He is just a man.

America (white power structure) has disowned every opportunity to fix its relations with Black Americans but they refuse. The Hannity's of America said he should have left his church.

I want to know who is Hannity to tell a man to leave his church. Hannity is 'friendly' with Billy Graham who made racist remarks about Jews at the White House. Should we fire you Hannity for your association with Graham? You hypocrites.

Who are whites to be equal with? If your name aint GOD or JESUS then I have no reasoning to be equal to YOU.

Because of your inability on a macro level to make eqaul public policies, you will see more Eve Carsons. Your policies gave us no identity so what do you think. If you don't occupy us in the system we will act in a state of nature.

You want us to get over slavery? O.K. Then I want Whites to get over the 200 plus years of free labor we gave them.

Oh, you changed your mind now. Give me your daughter so my Black male friends can rape them and give them babies.

Give me your sons to work them from birth to death in a field. That is how my great grandfather died. A heat stroke from working in the fields with no pay.

I will treat you with respect and love you White folks because I am a Christian but I will NEVER forget.

Oh, yeah, you know that slogan from 9/11/01, We Will Never Forget.

WE (Blacks) WILL NEVER FORGET.

Posted by: thomasdv | March 19, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

As a long time Republican, I found this speech to be a great and much needed national discussion on American Race relations. What is most troubling is that people of this board are ignoring what Mr. Obama said. There has yet to be true healing of the races in this country, and that is clearly evident in the responses to this article. I saw Mr. Obama on several news venues before this speech, and he said he was not in the pews when the questioned sermons were being preached. Think about it like this, if a person is Catholic, does that mean that they agree with the vast cases of child abuse within the church? Or that they support the holocaust because the Catholic church turned a blind eye to it? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Do you really think that he's racist? How could he hate white people when his mother, and his grandparents who raised him are white?

What upsets me most is that as Americans we are choosing to look at history through the lens of pride. Unfortunately, our country has participated in some very shameful acts through the years. However, this nation has accomplished great things all over the world. It's high time we take an honest look at history and policies at home and abroad. Unfortunately, many of us are turning a blind eye to the communities of fellow Americans where crime is bad, schools are terrible, and jobs prospects are few.

When was the last time any of us drove across town to tutor students in a poorly performing school? Or aide a single parent by watching the kids to support them as they pursue a much needed education?

In order to fully embrace our nation, we must accept the good and the bad. Let's not miss the point! This speech was a great start, I hope he gets the nomination.

Posted by: sweetg155 | March 19, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

don't look now - good news for America is bad news for Libs. October surprise coming. Purple middle fingers extended toward Libs.

BAGHDAD - Iraq's presidential council withdrew its objection to a provincial elections law on Wednesday, giving a major boost to U.S.-backed efforts to promote national reconciliation on the fifth anniversary of the war.

The U.S. hopes new elections, to be held Oct. 1 according to the draft measure, would give the Sunnis more political power and thereby weaken the insurgency.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 19, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

In the space of two weeks, we have heard lofty speeches by two very prominent public officials who had to explain their behaviors.

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

LOL. Eliot Spitzer's speech as "lofty"?
Even "speech" is a stretch. Like saying George W has a foreign policy.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"As usual, Mr. Obama's speech was dazzling in its eloquence, so much so that it blinded the reasonings of many of his listeners, especially members of the media."

I found the speech flat and forced. Do we all just say Obama is a great speaker because others have said he is? I thought the part about his Granmother particularly forced. I must admit, I tuned out on Obama after New Hampshire. All of his speeches are similar and I catch way to many instances where he paraphrases civil rights activists in actual words or overall tone (MLK, Malcolm X "bamboozled", etc). The speech did not enlighten my thinking on race relations in anyway. It certainly did not change my opinion on Jerimiah Wright. He certainly speaks better than GWB I will give him that.

Posted by: hdimig | March 19, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

America must be a good role model


"Americans and Europeans share a common goal - to build an enduring peace based on freedom. Our democracies today are strong and vibrant. Together we can tackle the diverse challenges we face, whether radical religious fanatics who use terror as their weapon of choice, the disturbing turn towards autocracy in Russia or the looming threats of climate change and the degradation of our planet.

But the key word is "together". We need to renew and revitalise our democratic solidarity. We need to strengthen our transatlantic alliance as the core of a new global compact - a League of Democracies - that can harness the great power of the more than 100 democratic nations around the world to advance our values and defend our shared interests."

John McCain
Published: March 18 2008 17:45

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/c7e219e2-f4ea-11dc-a21b-000077b07658,Authorised=false.html?_i_location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ft.com%2Fcms%2Fs%2F0%2Fc7e219e2-f4ea-11dc-a21b-000077b07658.html%3Fnclick_check%3D1&_i_referer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.weeklystandard.com%2FWeblogs%2FTWSFP%2FTWSFPView.asp&nclick_check=1

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 19, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

PDiddy: I think we agree then - he IS like every other politician - not someone who will revolutionize political discourse in this country or "change the world".

He gave a good speech. Great. We knew he could do that.

Of course he challenged America to stop race-baiting (even though it's what his campaign had been doing from the beginning"!!

He couldn't just come out and say "let's stop talking about this - it's killing my campaign!"

Posted by: write2caro | March 19, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I filled up at $3.79/gallon here on the left coast yesterday.

Good thing I traded in the fancy sports car for something sensible or I would have lost enough money for four more martinis.

Posted by: PDiddy | March 19, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

"My point: the popular vote is extremely close depending on what states votes you count, "

WE KNOW THAT'S YOUR POINT ... "depending on what (sic) states (sic) votes you count." Selective counting is what a Clinton victory hinges on! Ignore the caucuses, OH and CA matter, ID and SC are small states, count FL and MI even though they were bogus elections, Obama has a lead of "only" 700,000 votes, etc. Blah blah blah.

And when you say that Obama is behind McCain, presumably you're relying on polls, because the general election hasn't gone down yet (more future votes Leichtman is counting!). What then of the polls that show Obama beating Hill handily, saying he should have the nom? How convenient to ignore those, eh?

Ignorance, deceit, creative accounting, trademarks of the Clinton camp and its zealots.

Posted by: bondjedi | March 19, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Democrats haven't cracked 50% in a presidential election since 1976.

Posted by: PDiddy | March 19, 2008 01:21 PM

Or it could be the daffy liberalism that no one wants.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 19, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

On the contrary - Let's. It is a Dem specialty.

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

And much preferred to the lock-step no-criticism-allowed rigidity of the Republicans. SO glad John Adam's philosophy did not prevail in Philadelphia!

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

"Except these chickens live over at hate sites like Daily Kos and call themselves drindl and LOUD and DUMB."

There's no one named LOUD and DUMB posting here, illiterate numbnuts. So who are you talking to, and thereby not ignoring?

Try a little harder, SFB.

Posted by: Spectator2 | March 19, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I am a 61 year old white male who was raised in Alabama. My parents were racists. I loved them and would never disown them for being racist. I would also disavow their racist beliefs. People are not ONE thing. I understand what Obama is saying and I agree with him 100%

Posted by: joaustin1952 | March 19, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

The one thing Democrats specialize in is eating their young.

Could be why the Democrats haven't cracked 50% in a presidential election since 1976.

Posted by: PDiddy | March 19, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Prepare for some pain at the pump. I wonder which will affect the elections more - Obama's pastor, or gas at $4 a gallon?

'NEW YORK -- Gasoline has hit record levels - and experts say it will likely continue to soar in tandem with the skyrocketing price of crude.

The national average retail price for gas has risen about 30 cents in the past month to $3.279 a gallon, exceeding the all-time high set last year, according to the motorist organization AAA.

And experts say motorists should prepare to pay nearly $4 a gallon - and in some places even more than that - before the price of gas finally stablizes in the late spring as high prices crimp demand.'

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

In the space of two weeks, we have heard lofty speeches by two very prominent public officials who had to explain their behaviors. In both cases, they showed they had bad judgment. When Gov. Eliot Spitzer gave his resignation speech, his "private matter" was glossed over, but he at least understood that his actions were problematic and divisive. In his farewell address, he properly referred to the need to carry out the initiatives he began and serve the people of the State of New York. His resignation showed that the people take precedence over his personal ambition. In Senator Obama's speech, although he acknowledged the unpatriotic, seditious and damning hate of his pastor, he could not bring himself to dissociate himself from the teachings and inclinations of a supposedly religious man who clearly has a seriously dysfunctional relationship with the country he resides in. Obama attended this church for many years, and to characterize his attitude to Mr. Wright as "tolerance" is too charitable. Senator Obama clearly indicated he embraces this radical as equal to the family that raised him, which gives us a very clear impression of his family "values". Sen. Obama is quite gifted in diverting a sharp issue into more softer, philosophical terms, but so are many other politicians who discuss serious issues. This speech is hardly historic; it represents an effort by a candidate to preserve his ambition, solidify his standing with his political base, and try to divert attention by a lofty but cynical couching of the controversy over his faulty judgment of long-time association with a radical into a "conversation over race division". This topic is not the central issue of this presidential campaign. The true issues are actually: (1) the financial problems associated with the subprime mortgage collapse; (2) trade imbalances; (3) loss of manufacturing jobs and expertise by layoffs and corporate restructuring; (4) the stabilization of the Middle East; (5) energy self-sufficiency and it climatic implications; (6) proliferation of arms worldwide; (7) spread of infectious diseases like AIDs that can destabilize whole countries.
Knowing the media (CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox etc and leading newspapers) and their penchant for controversy, they will provide ample forums for Sen. Obama to continue his discussion of racial differences. It is the media that has lost perspective as to what is really important in the determining who should be President of the United States.

Posted by: ChrisHahin | March 19, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I do agree that Hillary has done a great job resurrecting her campaign. It's unfortunate that she had to resort to the "kitchen sink" philosophy, but that's politics and has been for hundreds upon hundreds of years.
_____

So is this where we act like Clinton is responsible for Obama's church selling this filth on DVD???

I think this was Obama's own kitchen sink hitting him right in the head.

Posted by: write2caro | March 19, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

And for whatever blunders were made, she's picked herself right back up, despite them.

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

Just like George W.
Oblivious of reality and the greater good.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Let's not belittle one for the sake of the other.

Posted by: PDiddy | March 19, 2008 01:14 PM

On the contrary - Let's. It is a Dem specialty. Talk about the chickens coming home to roost. Except these chickens live over at hate sites like Daily Kos and call themselves drindl and LOUD and DUMB.

continue digging Libs!

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 19, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Ah, spectator--he just. can't. stop. every post is about you and i, and oh yes, he's obssessed with daily kos... and jimmy carter. what a character. i wonder where he is incarcerated?

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

>>> "Obama gave a politically-motivated speech to save his presidential run."

Well, he is a politician. To quote the great Tom Clancy line, "When he's not kissing babies, he's stealing their lollipops".

Applies to all of them, quite frankly.

But the thing about the speech wasn't the timing or the week in which it was given. It was about the content. Obama challenged us to rise above the counterproductive race-baiting to have an honest dialogue about what makes us different and, more importantly, what we have in common.

I'm still shocked that there are lots of white people who haven't heard of what goes on in a black Church. Haven't they seen "Sister Act"? :-)

Posted by: PDiddy | March 19, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Some of the criticisms on the post are INCREDIBLE!!!

If you like Obama, this was further evidence of why.

If you do not like Obama or want him to win, you will find something here to support your position.

If you are still undecided, you will likely remain that way until you cast your vote and this didn't move you any more than Wright did. I hope it means you care about the issues and not this foolishness.

However, regardless of your political position, to continue to pretend to be incredulous at the fact that you live, work and play with American citizens who feel the way Wright does is just plain stupid and draws us right back into the same argument that his "speech" tried to lift us from. Can you really not understand the outrage of a black man who came of age at a time when whites openly and legally discriminated against "coloreds" and when he could do little to protect his family? Really? Remember the Tuskegee Experiment where the gov't knowingly infecting blacks with syphilis to "study the impact"? Do you really think there is nothing to at least try to understand here?

There are younger blacks, like myself, who do NOT identify with that generation until I hear some of the ignorance of folks who are trying to make this a political issue and overblowing the Wright significance. YOU ARE UNWITTINGLY MAKING WRIGHT'S POINT - that America CAN do wrong and turn it's back "without batting an eye"! More than that, you seem to joy in attacking the folks who are pissed off and speak out about it!!!!

Just a month ago, my two sons were called n****rs by a white kid and I taught them how to look past it and let him know that they do not appreciate it. They decided to remain friends as they learned he got it from his dad.

Too bad there are still people posting here who are not as mature as my grade school children. You self-righteous folks who seem to feel like you just "can't imagine being around such racists people" are full of crap. In my community, if you took that approach, you'd have no friends - black or white. GROW UP!

Posted by: dlove127 | March 19, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

You know, this notion that Obama has all Blacks lined up for him is sheer and utter crap! I'm half-black and half-Latino, 23, I live in Rhode Island (where Obama got his behind handed to him on two weeks ago!), and don't buy into anything this guys spews! I am for Clinton, have always been for Clinton and will be for her in November (unless he somehow beats her). In that case, McCain has my vote up-and-down. Sadly, here in RI (and across the nation, I'm sure) I am sure I will not be the only one to switch sides.

And how can you justify listening to "hate" being "preached" for 20 years and only speak up about it when you're running for President on a weak/thin/"hope"less platform?! GET REAL!

Posted by: Javier2 | March 19, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I do agree that Hillary has done a great job resurrecting her campaign. It's unfortunate that she had to resort to the "kitchen sink" philosophy, but that's politics and has been for hundreds upon hundreds of years. If you can't take the heat...

That said, both of these candidates have a diverse following. Let's not belittle one for the sake of the other.

Posted by: PDiddy | March 19, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I can still see a Dem "Unity" ticket as the end game for this mess.

Posted by: Spectator2 | March 19, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"On the level of pure process, it was gutsy - leaderly -- for him to do this. "
____

Comments like these baffle me.

Leadership would have been making this speech YEARS AGO, after leaving the church because of its divisiveness.

Obama gave a politically-motivated speech to save his presidential run.

This is hardly leadership.

Posted by: write2caro | March 19, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

But I understand why most of the rest of the world hates us. And it is NOT because they are jealous of our "freedom" or wealth as many conservatives would have you believe.


Posted by: AdrickHenry | March 19, 2008 01:00 PM

False Lib talking point. Germany, France, and others are heading more toward us every day. the entire east bloc loves us. Africa cheered Bush. australia, Japan and that area are our best allies. Just who is that hates us - syria, Libya, Iran? I must assume that this is some electoral ploy to fool people into hiring bill clinton to cruise (pun intended) the western capitols reparing our image and collecting interns. He is, after all, the world's most loved pol, except in SC, oh an TX and NH and....you might as well just say except for in the US...oh and France, and germany, and Japan and....

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 19, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

"For the political junkies in the audience, you have to admit that Clinton has made some fairly serious strategic and tactical blunders throughout her campaign."

And for whatever blunders were made, she's picked herself right back up, despite them.
You have to give her a lot of credit. It would seem she's a much better representative of a diverse America than Obama; she's beingn supported by Black, Latino, Aisian, Jewish, etc.. She has the diverse voting block, not him. What an irony!

Posted by: vammap | March 19, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

bondjedi your comments are over the edge.

My point: the poular vote is extremely close depending on what states votes you count, and Senator Obama is still almost 400 delegates from 2,024(maybe its 399 if that makes you feel better).

The Obama supporters understandably would like to measure for curtains oblivious to the fact that he is now behind in a McCain matchup and in a matchup with Senator Clinton 51% to 46%(that was a Real Politics No that I am sure you can yell at as well) Its really too bad if you don't like that reality. And whether you like it or not hundreds of superdelegates have not weighed in yet and by dnc rules, not your rules of shouting at them, are free to vote for whomever they choose.

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

wpost, meant we should discuss real issues, not trumped up ones that only appeal to our most prurient interest in race, religion, or sex. As Obama indicated yesterday, the issue isn't Reverend Wright, it's how we as a nation view race. It was an inevitability that he would have to face that question, just as President Kennedy had to face the Catholic question 48 years ago.

A frank, honest, professional, and adult conversation about race would be welcome.

Another week of talking about Reverend Wright serves no purpose.

Posted by: PDiddy | March 19, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"bondjarjar, fyi -Spectator is a female"

You might want to reconsider that one, einstein.

Posted by: Spectator2 | March 19, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Avoiding the points aren't you?

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

LOL. Points (at least the non-obvious ones) were made long ago. The rest is just fun. You can xerox that.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I just don't get where the "Obama has no substance" argument comes from. We live in a soundbite society, where debates are timed (whether there are rules or not in the debate) at 2 minute intervals to maximize soundbites for talking heads to fawn over.

The real substance is where it has been all along: on Obama's Web site. (same with Clinton, I should add)

Now, you may disagree with a plank of his platform, and that's awesome. Let's debate it. I think that would be a welcome diversion from all the unsubstantiated moaning that people are engaging in. In fact, I would love to hear contrarian viewpoints about health care given that I think both Obama and Clinton are wrong on the topic.

For me, Obama's plank on "Ethics" speaks volumes about why I want him to be president. It stands in stark contrast to his opponents. The Clintons have accepted millions of dollars from the Saudis to help fund the Clinton Presidential Library, President Clinton has accepted over $300,000 in private jet transportation to/from Saudi Arabia to give untold hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of speeches, and Clinton continues to sit on the fence about where and from whom, exactly, she and her husband received their income since he left the White House. It's important to know this, because as the last 8 years have shown us, it's important to know to which special interests, corporations, and foreign countries our president is beholden.

These are facts, and these are points worth debating.

Can we get off this Reverend nonsense now?

Posted by: PDiddy | March 19, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

bondjarjar, fyi -Spectator is a female, I thought you might like to know, since you apparently can't read and you've already made your homophobia/gender identity issues known. Have a pleasant day.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 19, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Question for Ace "Buggsy" McNumbnuts: Who is this LOUD and DUMB you incessantly rant about?

Posted by: Spectator2 | March 19, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

"those were CNN numbers not mine."

My point exactly - the work of an uncritical flack, throwing anything against the wall in a desperate attempt that it stick. Sounds like you knew they were BS numbers, but because they implied a narrower - far narrower - mandate than actually exists, you use them to justify ... what? What is the point of your hate-filled screeds?

Posted by: bondjedi | March 19, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I also think it's sad that on this week, the fifth year of the Iraq War, we are discussing this complete drivel instead of substantive ideas of how to get out of the quagmire in a thoughtful, reasonable fashion.

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

Don't agree.

It is precisely an active involvement in elections that will effect policy.

If the internet were so entwined in American culture in 2000, George W and his fellow Brownies might never have done so much damage to this country.

Frank discussion about the candidates and their history/views/relationships are crucial....for the voters AND the politicians.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

from FairyTale1: "Of course American foreign policy was at the root of 9/11, of course the country is controlled by rich white people, of course Hillary has never been treated as a second-class citizen, of course American policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been one-sided."

This is too much truth for this board. Indeed, this is too much truth for most Americans.

Most of us do not travel much. Most Americans have not gone beyond these borders.

Travel does an amazing thing. It shows one that there ARE actually other Ways of Life that work. One learns that our American Way is not the ONLY way. People -- all over the globe -- are doing just fine.

I love this country. I served in the USAF for 4 years. My entire unit went to Desert Shield, and then, Desert Storm, back in the early '90's.

But I understand why most of the rest of the world hates us. And it is NOT because they are jealous of our "freedom" or wealth as many conservatives would have you believe.

Posted by: AdrickHenry | March 19, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

pdiddy you are 100% right.

Almost 4,000 dead and a sinking economy and 47 million without healthcare. Hopefully we will learn more about who will be the best economist in chief rather than the best minister in chief.

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't think, there is much doubt left that Obama will be the Dem nominee, the 100 delegate lead is insurmountable. the question is, what will be left of the party by then? will you succomb to the dark side and self-destruct via Daily Kos/drindl/LOUD and DUMB hate, exposing the lie that it was Repubs all along? will Obama continue to dissemble and turn out to be just another typical pol? will he ever come up with some substance? will he continue to waffle on most of his lefty promises just to get elected, only to revert back to uber-leftism, like the Pelosi congrees? Of course he will!

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 19, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Come on now...you're just plagiarizing me. And we know how bad that is!
=======================================

Avoiding the points aren't you? Obamanite thinking. Don't. Just listen to the words.
Was this speech, yesterday, really xeroxed (I love that word.)from that previous whats his name gov.?

Posted by: bnw173 | March 19, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I also think it's sad that on this week, the fifth year of the Iraq War, we are discussing this complete drivel instead of substantive ideas of how to get out of the quagmire in a thoughtful, reasonable fashion. A debate on those ideas is far more useful than a debate on whether Obama has put his children in danger by asking them to listen to Reverend Wright (an absurd notion to begin with, but righteous indignation is all the right wing wackos can come up with).

3990 dead American soldiers, 4298 total from the "Coalition of the Willing". Tens of thousands of Iraqis dead, leaving behind numerous orphans who will fester in anger and hatred and fuel an entire generation of America-hating terrorists. Untold billions spent that would otherwise be better spent providing health care for our people, education to our children, and infrastructure in our country.

Yet we're talking about these distractions.

Wake up, people. Think.

Posted by: PDiddy | March 19, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"For the political junkies in the audience, you have to admit that Clinton has made some fairly serious strategic and tactical blunders throughout her campaign."

Add to that not remaining on message, allowing underlings to undermine/determine perceptions of her general level of honesty. Too may cooks spoil the spinning.

"While a general election strategy would be necessarily different for Obama, I doubt he will change his core message or staff."

Agreed. Why bother? McCain and his 'allies' will do a great job of alienating potential "McCain Democrats" and all Obama has to do is stay above the fray while the 527's dish dirt. And get under McCain's very thin skin in the debates.

Posted by: judgeccrater | March 19, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

those were CNN numbers not mine.

and the hate sir is comming right off of your keyboard. Apparently anytime anyone questions anything at all about the Obama campaign you go right to your computer and us the word hate. Drop it already its getting old.

I have been proven wrong on everything? I said that Senator Obama would oppose Fla and Michigan revotes no matter how they were proposed Last. Have you heard anything to contradict that? Last night Chuck Todd, obviously a Clinton supporter, said exactly that and went so far as to characterize Sen Obama's strategy as a game of high wire chicken (his words not mine).

I have also called Pastor Wright's statements as inappropriate and devisive but not hateful, and that Senator Obama should have distanced himself from at least a year ago. Oprah agreed and left the Church.

Again everyone here is not obligated to drink the cool aid and agree with you and your candidate's qualifications to be President or risk be branded hate mongers. Again do you have any any idea how truly frightening that attitute is. Of course not.

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

This was posted by someone at Pollster.com It's the reality that Obama supporters just can't face, the reality on the ground. Caucus votes made up of Independents and Republicans are not an indication of results in a National

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

Oh, it's only been argued a million times on this blog. Just as meaningless those other 999,999 times.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

This was posted by someone at Pollster.com It's the reality that Obama supporters just can't face, the reality on the ground. Caucus votes made up of Independents and Republicans are not an indication of results in a National Election.

"Another key swing state where Hillary is more likely to beat McCain than Obama (OH). We're seeing the same thing in FL and we'll surely see it in PA. Those are considered the 3 most important swing states in the presidential election and those 3 states have decided the last several elections. Even if Obama can bring a few smaller formerly Red states "into play" (which is becoming more doubtful), he won't be able to overcome wins for McCain in PA, OH, FL, and the other states where the demographics favor McCain over Obama. I'm sure the superdelegates are paying close attention."

Posted by Patrick on March 19, 2008 12:32 PM www.polster.com

Posted by: vammap | March 19, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"racism is bad - now why didn't I think of that?"

Best line of the morning.

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

Not much of a morning, eh?

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Curious though why Oprah decided to walk away from this church and Senator Obama did not.

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 12:40 PM

Obama needs the votes.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 19, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

zouk is fresh and witty like Carrot Top is fresh and witty.

Posted by: Spectator2 | March 19, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

The other thing I'll add about Obama is that with most presidential campaigns you see two phases: the nomination and the general election. Each of the two phases consists of entirely different strategies, messages, and sometimes even staff.

While a general election strategy would be necessarily different for Obama, I doubt he will change his core message or staff. Again, he has run his campaign so effectively, so resolutely, that I believe it is a harbinger of what an Obama Administration would be like.

Posted by: PDiddy | March 19, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

What happened to "ignore moonbats," you sniveling tool? Try a little harder, homeslice.

Posted by: Spectator2 | March 19, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"See spectator -- he's obssessed with both of us, in additiona to Jimmy Carter. he and proud are quite the team, aren't they? Like Dumb and Dumber. Or Curly and Shemp."

Don't lump Zouk in with GOP. Zouk is fresh and witty, GOP parrots what he heard on Rush five minutes earlier.

Posted by: bondjedi | March 19, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I'm all in for Obama and would have happily been so for Clinton until the "kitchen sink" nonsense. If she somehow finagles the nomination, I will vote for her, but I will not organize for her, raise money for her, or contribute to her campaign myself.

For the political junkies in the audience, you have to admit that Clinton has made some fairly serious strategic and tactical blunders throughout her campaign. She surrounded herself with friends who wouldn't help her craft a message that resonated, ultimately had to dismiss those friends after attempting to broker peace between them, and let her husband run "off the reservation" (to quote one of her staffers), giving Obama an entry into South Carolina and beginning his 11 state winning streak. She still has no idea who she is.

Obama, on the other hand, has not wavered in his campaign strategy, his tone, or his vision for the campaign. He clung to one message, "Hope", and has executed near perfectly on it. Faced with his first real crisis, he rose to the occasion and did what all leaders do: pull us out of the muck and help us see the bigger picture.

Posted by: PDiddy | March 19, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

When I dissect his speech, it really boiled down to a very well written take on "Can't we all just get along?"

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

Anyone can parrot Rush, simplistic as he is.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

See spectator -- he's obssessed with both of us, in additiona to Jimmy Carter. he and proud are quite the team, aren't they? Like Dumb and Dumber. Or Curly and Shemp.

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

It is disingenuous to say that all or even most of the people who voted for either Obama or Clinton are opposed to their non-preferred candidate becoming the nominee. In reality, most Democrats view the race as I have: two eminently qualified candidates, and I'll pick the one I prefer and be happy to vote for the other one if it comes to that. The polls showing that a McCain/Clinton or McCain/Obama race are virtually identical prove this out.

Stop spreading your Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.

Stick to the facts.

Posted by: PDiddy | March 19, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

"The unofficial state-by-state count maintained by CNN gives Obama 13,023,873, or 50.26 percent of the 25,909,054 votes cast for the two of them. Clinton received 12,885,181votes or 49.73 percent of their combined total through March 11."

Typical Clinton camp spin - spew hatred and prejudice, then jog the numbers - eliminate the caucus results, throw in bogus election results from FL and MI ... and Hillary still comes up short. Maybe you can book results from Guam in advance, like Hillary's friends on Wall Street have been cooking the books with future earnings. Throw in some 2012 projections while you're at it.

Despite the intolerance, despite the lies, despite the sleight of hand, it all comes back to the numbers. Leichtman has been proven wrong on every single point it has made. Still, like the fictional Wall-E, from an upcoming Pixar release, it soldiers on, long after the rest of the world has acknowledged Obama will receive our party's nomination for president.

Posted by: bondjedi | March 19, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

actually I don't consider it to be hate speech. I found Wright's comments to be offensive,unAmerican and patently stupid but I really don't think that is the same as preaching hate, I just won't go there as absolutely wrong and inappropriate as they were. He walked right up to that line, but didn't cross it and it didn't constitute hate. Heck even Pastor Wright told Senator Obama a year earlier to distance himself from his own speeches. Curious though why Oprah decided to walk away from this church and Senator Obama did not.

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Turn off Obama and think for yourself.

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

Come on now...you're just plagiarizing me. And we know how bad that is!

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I heard that even the clinton supporters are now boycotting the hate-filled Daily Kos

Pretty soon it will just be the jackels - drindl and Loud and DUMB. Watch how ignoring them infuriates the little temper filled monsters.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 19, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"I believe Gravel is technically still in the race."

Right you are, zouk. Mike Gravel for Dem nominee. Now there's one Dem who's a straight-talker!


"racism is bad - now why didn't I think of that?"

Best line of the morning.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 19, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

My first thought on hearing the speech is that it is at least six months too late. This would have been the speech to deliver last August, but then there was no reason to. My next thought was to name it - "The Eloquent Duh" speech. It was very well written but simply a collection of stereotypes and problems that whites and blacks already know. I could not help but think of "Do the Right Thing" when listenting to this speech, a movie that dealt with the same type of perceptions people hold. For me, that movie is still more effective in getting me to address race issues and make me realize where people are coming from. When I dissect his speech, it really boiled down to a very well written take on "Can't we all just get along?" and the subsequent government must bridge this divide. The thrust is that there needs to be a government solution that works for people of all colors and not just tailored to a particular race. He said:

"This time we want to talk about how the lines in the Emergency Room are filled with whites and blacks and Hispanics who do not have health care; who don't have the power on their own to overcome the special interests in Washington, but who can take them on if we do it together."

Does that mean that the discussion up to now only talked about the white people in line? I don't think so.

I can't say the speech was brilliant or the best in my lifetime on the subject. It sounded very good but what did it actually say that was new or revolutionary?

Posted by: dave | March 19, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I heard that even the clinton supporters are now boycotting the hate-filled Daily Kos. serves you right for cuddling up to them in the first place hillary. go back to the DLC where you belong, where you could win and where you make sense. all this veering left has been your downfall. Like the delicious looking chocolate bar when you are on a diet, resist temptation. ask bill how caving in to it ends up.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 19, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

'I see that Ace "Buggsy" McNumbnuts is here right on schedule with his unique brand of drivel.'

Yes, shift starts at noon, can't be late. here again with his loony, baffling obssession with me and Jimmy Carter. Go figure the way a demented 'mind' works.

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

leichtman -

I am not an Obama "apologist;" I am an Obama supporter.

I don't subscribe to your link -- with no evidence -- between the way the Democrats treat the primary voters and who carries the two states in November. The latest polls suggest that McCain will carry Florida, anyway. On the other hand, Michigan, with a Democratic governor and the highest unemployment rate in the country, is likely to go with the Democratic candidate, whoever it is, no matter what is done about a re-vote.

So I think that argument is unfounded, and is mainly being used because it appears to support what the Clinton campaign wants.

My bottom line is, as other posters have said, it sets a dangerous precedent to allow states to thumb their noses at the party rules with impunity. There's no point in having rules if they allow that to happen, and if you like this year's primary/caucus set-up (which, as I recall, you don't), you'll love what you get in 2012 when there are no rules and anything goes.

Posted by: jac13 | March 19, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

hate-filled musings=disagreeing with Senator Obama.

Nice to know that folks here are so broad minded. I guess everyone of her 13 million supporters are 'hate-filled" because they do not want Senator Obama as their president.

Do you have any idea whatsoever how offesnive and frightening that is?

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

Of course. You remind us of it hourly. Mistakenly, but no less regularly.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

" should be split 50-50 between the two remaining candidates."

Pretty much settles it, in my view"

and that bs of 50/50 split would settle it for me as well and my blind allegiance to the dnc. Obama looses Fla by 300,000 votes and should be rewarded with exactly 1/2 of their delegates. Only in the delusional world of an Obama supporter who will say anything and do absolutely anything including shutting Fla and Michigan delgates out to succeed. Again Obama supporters pull that stunt and you will see not just me but millions of lifelong Dems leave the party for good. And I would also suggest that your candidate if he is the nominee to not bother campaigning in either Fla or Michigan in Nov.


Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 12:07 PM

I agree, this is the biggest problem the Dem's face this year. If the DNC doesn't figure out a solution to the Florida/Michigan debacle it may be catastrophic.
You definitely can't just split the delegates, but I am not sure how a revote is going to happen.

Posted by: jnoel002 | March 19, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

LOL.
Giving a speech that actually hurts one's chances to be elected is hardly opportunistic. But to realize that, one must turn off Fox News and think for oneself.

Posted by: wpost4112
-------------------------------------------

Hurt one's chances. You must be one of those (as a poster wrote yesterday) had as soon as he said hello. His chances were hurt already. This was a cover my butt speech. Turn off Obama and think for yourself.

Posted by: bnw173 | March 19, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"until your remark about the kkk."

do you deny that this constitutes "hate speech"? I don't consider you one of drindl's jackels like LOUD and DUMB and the other brainless tools. but declaring that America sux and whites are evil sounds like drindl talk to me. his hopefullness is suffering from an acute case of cognitive dissonance.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 19, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

hate-filled musings=disagreeing with Senator Obama.

Nice to know that folks here are so broad minded. I guess everyone of her 13 million supporters are 'hate-filled" because they do not want Senator Obama as their president.

Do you have any idea whatsoever how offesnive and frightening that is?

The unofficial state-by-state count maintained by CNN gives Obama 13,023,873, or 50.26 percent of the 25,909,054 votes cast for the two of them. Clinton received 12,885,181votes or 49.73 percent of their combined total through March 11.

Was that the message of the the speech, if you do not agree with our candidate's qualification to be President you must be filled with hate?

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that in spite of Senator Obama's eloquent delivery on race, relationships and the Church many folks continue to miss the point. Yesterday, Obama gave America a gaze into the complex intricacies of relationships, particularly as it relates to an African American's relationship with their respective church families. The peep inside and subsequent dialogue as presented was not placed their as a point of condemnation but more so presented as an aspect of introduction into the social behaviors and pathologies of ones experience as an African American. To continue to harp on the disbelieve and aghast as oppose to incorporate this as a new found intimate understanding of ones socialization would be no more be fair than when one is introduced to a foreign country and its cultures and customs and then condemn there way of living because it is so far removed from ones personal existence. My long held thoughts were that America was bigger than that.

I respect Senator Obama's candor as well as his loyalty to a friend. I believe that aspect is unique in a political culture where individuals readily abandon old friends, acquaintances and past colleagues at the drop of a hat when threaten with the possibility of losing an election. As an African American I know that ones affiliation to a church is not exclusive solely to ones relationship with the pastor but more broadly your communion with the flock and the works/ministry thereof. Indeed, your fellow church members become much closer sometimes than your family. particularly when family is often times miles away. And as in families you may never agree 100% with their positions or perspectives but you certainly want everyone to feel free to express their views that is how we learn and grow and the bases of which this wonderful democracy is suppose to operate.

I can never excuse or agree with the words expressed by Reverend Wright but I absolutely respect his right to say them and open up a deeper dialogue, an introspective examination of America's behavior in the open world. Perhaps it is painful to hear because some folks want to applaud defend America's poor actions in the broader world community. It justifies its superior standing even if it means maligning others standing. Such justifications over the centuries allowed the perpetuation of slavery, the destruction of Native American civilization, and the Jim Crow policies that Rev. Wright came of age under. And given Rev. Wrights unique experience and encounters with America's policies he has rightly or wrongly carried the harmful pain of this experience over the decades. He may carry this baggage for the rest of his life but the true measure of America is --will they?

Posted by: daphne_mcbryde | March 19, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Pastor Jeremiah Wright:

I must say it was painful listening to Obama's Pastor's heart wrenching
remarks. But, after some of the pain subsided I soon came to the realization
that much of what was said was true. So what's the problem? The truth always sounds terrible and should come with a pain-pill, I guess.

True, it was jolting, but real. The intended shock of the video is quickly
deflating in the minds of many. After all most of us have been exposed to
far worse and more shocking things than this.

The fact is if you did categorize the remarks as racist remarks, which they were not, who do you believe was more offended, whites or minorities? The answer is probably White's in general were more offended by Pastor Wright's remarks. Why?

Fact is again, minorities have been subjected to similar remarks which have been far
more debasing, racial and radical for hundreds of years. Prevelent in Blogs.
For years White's had a SPORT called "I'm gonna get me a ******" and proceeded to hunt, chase and run-down minorities then engage in shooting or lynching them. Never saw mammoth, colossal, gargantuan, gigantic, epic, mega unveiling news coverage on this fact. But again, it's reality and we have all been living with it. Modern day lynching is called. . . "The Stroke of a Pen"

Or has this country forgotten?

But this is not the way we want to live in our country.

My point is many of us have experienced harsh inequities in our society and once we learn how awful inequities makes us feel, we should embrace it and use it as a learning tool to encourage all of us to respect, understand and love one another.

Truth is the majority believe Senator Obama has chosen to embrace all people from all races in order to make our country a better place for ALL. . .

It's called EQUALITY.

p.s. The people who don't hear Obama, want and need divisions to remain.

Posted by: Iwantmyvoicetobeheard | March 19, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I have started watching Fox news.(Never thought I would say that) They are much more balanced toward the Dems.

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

Put. The. Bong. Down.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Senator Obama's speech is one I will never forget. It was an amazing experience to see and hear it and I think it will be studied for a long time. He is proving that he can be the one to move us toward a more united country instead of divisive red and blue states. No one else could speak as he did and move so many of us to be better Americans. He truly is an agent of change.

Posted by: ksusan | March 19, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Nice to know Cheney is having a good ole time on the 5th anniversary. He's has good, good friends among the shieks and will, I'm sure, have a lovely place to hide when the US is hit with the terrorist strikes that will undoubtedly occur once we invade Iran:

"MUSCAT, Oman - Vice President Dick Cheney went fishing in the waters between Oman and Iran on Wednesday, borrowing the Sultan of Oman's 60-foot royal yacht for the mission.

A Cheney spokeswoman said the vice president, his wife Lynne, and daughter, Liz, a former State Department official who is traveling with her father as a private citizen, headed out under sunny skies into the Gulf of Oman on "Kingfish I," owned by Sultan Qaboos bin Said.

As a quiet U.S. military ally, Oman allows the United States to use four air bases _ including one just 50 miles from Iran _ for refueling, logistics and storage of pre-positioned military supplies.

In a pre-trip briefing, a senior administration official said Cheney wanted to visit the sultan to show U.S. appreciation for its cooperation in fighting terrorism. However, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to more candidly discuss Cheney's 10-day trek to the Mideast, also said he expected Iran would be a top topic of discussion."

And John McCain is there at the same time. Just a coincidence, though.

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Obama the Ditherer
by Dean Barnett

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

If that's the bigger question, we are all in trouble. I suggest you broaden your horizons.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

king you had me agreeing with you, which makes me uncomfortable, until your remark about the kkk. That was way out of bounds, and should be withdrawn.

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I see that Ace "Buggsy" McNumbnuts is here right on schedule with his unique brand of drivel.

Posted by: Spectator2 | March 19, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"And I would also suggest that your candidate if he is the nominee to not bother campaigning in either Fla or Michigan in Nov."

Since Obama is a 50 state candidate, he would still have 48 to campaign in, were he to take your idiotic advice, that is.

Why don't you give up your hate-filled musings? They're not welcome here anymore. And tell Wolfson & Penn to come up with some new attacks -- all the good Obama dirt has been flung by FOX News in the last few weeks.

Posted by: bondjedi | March 19, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I have started watching Fox news.(Never thought I would say that) They are much more balanced toward the Dems. The give them both hell and not just Hillary like CNN and MSNBC, the Obama networks. Don't you know it just killed Matthews and Olberman to have to run the Wright tapes. I noticed they always followed with a Hillary negative. I watched to see if they would run them. I guess they had too. Their bias would have really been totally exposed if they hadn't. Did you notice the tough questions Olberman asked Obama. Softball game. Fawned all over him. He was somewhat pe'od when Obama was late. When Obama apologized he fell all over himself. Gushing. I watched hardball a little while last night to see what Matthews said about the speech. He thought it was almost as good as Lincoln's.

Posted by: bnw173 | March 19, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Read this:


What a silly ruckus this seems -- raised by plucking a few passages out of context from the sermons of Obama's former minister at Trinity United church on the South Side. In that troubled community, by any fair assessment, Reverend Wright was a genuinely Christian figure, a force peace and the betterment of his congregation. I say this, what's more, as a white man (whatever: Southern Italian) who lived and worked on the other side of the social divide, teaching in Evanston at Northwestern. Yet the good works of Wright and Trinity United were impossible to ignore, and I attended a few times, and I also heard the minister speak at Chicago State University, close by his church.

Did I hear Wright criticize the white American power structure? Mos def, as the rappers say. And while he did that, did I hear him reference earlier great African Americans, like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X (who originally used the figure of "chickens coming home to roost," after Kennedy's assassination)? Of course. But were these criticisms anything like the whole point of Wright's sermon? Did they result in threats towards me or any other of the many whites in attendance? Absolutely not. Wright's angrier comments were never simply about getting Whitey, but always in service of a larger message of empowerment and integrity. And that message -- well, it appears some folks in the media should get a look at the Gospels, sometime. Wright was only trying to speak as Christ himself did, decrying the hypocrisy of "whited sepulchers" and the destructive, self-seeking Pharisees.

Indeed, after 9/11, I heard many a white church leader point out that the horrific events of that day were a case of chickens coming home to roost. That is, these white pastors (including my own, up at Lake Street Church in Evanston) pointed out that violence and callousness will always beget more of the same. The attacks of 9/11, though indefensible in themselves, had their roots in the indifference with which the US condoned poverty, homelessness, and brutality in the hijackers' homelands. And this insight turned up often in the sermans, essays, and editorials of thinking people whose skin was a lighter shade than Wright's.

If Obama hates the white man, than I must hate him worse, because I sought Wright out when I wasn't even a member of his church. Shame on those in the media who would reduce a good man's sensitivity and forthrightness to a hateful formula -- and then, more shameful still, use that same utterly inaccurate formula against one of the congregation.

-- Posted by John Domini

Posted by: pinepine | March 19, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a fraud. I am not surprised that there are so many Obama supporters on this blog. Axelrod has had plenty of experience fooling the naive and impressionalble voters. Barnum once said that there is a sucker born every minute and Axelrod, the ad salesman, knows that quite well. Obama appears with time to be Elmer Gantry, a snake oil saleman, who could sell you anything including the brooklyn bridge with his words and speeches. Noam Chomsky once wrote that the supporters of Obama have smoke in front of their eyes. I am waiting for the smoke to dissipate and I hope it won't be too late.

Posted by: rifrif | March 19, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

vammap -

By definition, a "bedrock principle" is one that is self-evident and unchanging. It is, by definition, not a "principle" that you discover or arrive at out of necessity or convenience.

This so-called "principle" was apparently not self-evident to the Clinton camp, or she would never have signed the pledge not to participate in the MI and FL primaries, or referred to the MI vote as "not counting for anything."

The obvious fact is that Clinton thought when she signed that pledge that she wouldn't need these voters since she would wrap up the nomination by Super Tuesday. Only when that didn't happen did she suddenly discover this "bedrock principle."

What's really disturbing is that she has succeeded in selling this snake-oil to the MSM and enlisted them in pressuring Obama to agree to a re-vote, even if it unfairly prejudices him because it is impossible to replicate the electorate that existed on January 29 -- and painting him as the "spoiler" for insisting that, if he is going to be a party to HRC going back on her pledge (is there any other way to see it?), that at least she not get an advantage out of it.

It's about "keeping your word" and "fair play" - two other "bedrock principles."

Posted by: jac13 | March 19, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I have several thoughts on the speech:

1. If he can't "hear" what that preacher was saying - over 20 years and with those enormous ears, how can we reasonably expect him to hear what N Korea, Iran, russia, china are saying - in a much more clouded tone?

2. He once again covers every topic in a fluffy way, which is nice, but only offers gentle hope, no actual concrete solutions or ideas. racism is bad - now why didn't I think of that?

3. Why did he cancel the appearance by this pastor if he had no idea what he was about? either lying or stupid, either way, not as advertised.

4. One can actually choose a church, not an uncle. comparing this anti-american ranting every Sunday to a mother's under-breath comments to a child is pandering in the sickest of ways. they are not comparable. does he need those votes so bad he can't refuse the support of the Black KKK? too bad. He just fell back into the anti-white, angry leftist kook category after fooling us for so long.
Some of us understood he was jimmy carter jr all along.

there's always the clintons to fall back on still. and I believe Gravel is technically still in the race.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 19, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

All Obama really did was speak TRUTH...that is what this nation needs, truth, transperancy on issues that can be talked about, and yet the skeptics want to criticize instead of acknowledging something prevelant in most of our communities nationwide.
Sometimes in order to fix a problem, you have to know what is wrong with it, so dont you skeptics think that he was listening to the "angry black community" with the intention of personal knowledge?? Just because you attend and listen to different perspectives, does not mean you agree, your gaining insight into the roots of peoples emotions. That is why he spoke the way he did, because he has compassion for the anger, but believes that it can fuel the country into solving the problem, and you can tell by the way he carries himself that he does not feel the way his pastor does. If he was truly influenced by this Rev Wright politically, you would have heard in a debate him accusing hillary of not being a such and such and that she did not suffer like him because of skin color, but no, he never used those tactics, because he is a good man.
So go ahead skeptics and continue to demoralize a man who stands for all of us, who has a profound gift to lead all walks of people, and whose judgement is being criticized for maybe being informative on a personal level and at the same time loyal to someone he views like family.

By the way Im a conservative, and was moved by the dialogue which i've hoped had been reached along time ago, it is time. This man doesnt play politics he confronts politics, that is what a president should do, and if you want to talk about political posturing, McCain switched on Bush Tax Cuts because the party grabbed him by his B@ll$ like they always do to republicans, and Hillary says what people want to hear, Obama stands out clearly above these two politically washed out senators who have been in politics for too long

Posted by: pkrstd2 | March 19, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

" should be split 50-50 between the two remaining candidates."

Pretty much settles it, in my view"

and that bs of 50/50 split would settle it for me as well and my blind allegiance to the dnc. Obama looses Fla by 300,000 votes and should be rewarded with exactly 1/2 of their delegates. Only in the delusional world of an Obama supporter who will say anything and do absolutely anything including shutting Fla and Michigan delgates out to succeed. Again Obama supporters pull that stunt and you will see not just me but millions of lifelong Dems leave the party for good. And I would also suggest that your candidate if he is the nominee to not bother campaigning in either Fla or Michigan in Nov.

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Lytton Strachey, the father of modern biography, once cleverly wrote: "It is harder to write a good life than to lead one." Clever, but wrong. The same ultimately applies to Obama and his speech. He gave a good one (so can many others) and made insightful observations about race in America (as many less eloquent social scientists and social philosophers can, too.) But context is everything, and the context undermines and silences the ringing praise by the chorus stretching from the NYTimes throughout the universe of pundits.
The bottom line is a UTube video smoked him out and forced him to make this speech. He was reactive rather than proactive. The dirty little secret that Obama has been inhaling Afro-Centrism, anti-American, anti-white and anti-Semitic attitudes for 20 years by his spiritual mentor -- not to mention the nutty paranoid thinking that passes for "logic" in too much of the black world -- until forced to do so is appalling. With the full glare of publicity on him he made a very good speech. So what? The issue, as many have said, is the old Nixon query: "What did he know and when did he know it?" A man who wishes to lead the world's greatest pluralistic democracy sat silently for some 20 years listening to the ravings of a bigot. (His preacher even denies that Jesus was a Jew!) With all of his purportedly high principles -- repeated ad nauseam by his idolators and himself -- why didn't he get up and walk out? He didn't vote with his feet: he sat and took it all in.
Double standards? You bet. If a white candidate attended a "church" of a white nationalist bigot he would have to withdraw from the race. If a Jewish candidate had been a devotee of Rabbi Meyer Kahane his candidacy would be over. Obama does not deserve a pass on this.
His honesty about the pathology and madness within the black community -- which he spoke of affectionately as belonging to its gestalt -- perhaps suggests that no black candidate can be credible for some years until the tribe frees itself from the poisons heaped upon it and which it generated internally. Perhaps the bitterness is too raw. Like the Israelites, perhaps African Americans must wonder in the desert for another 40 years and cleanse themselves of the aftereffects of racism before being capable of producing a candidate that can represent all of America.
Rev. Wright isn't going away. An elegant but ultimately evasive and self-serving speech won't do the trick. Of course Obama cannot renounce Rev. Wright or the black community: his candidacy would be over in a moment. He walked a tightrope, hid in a closet, and now the ghosts are out and they will haunt him to the day he finally loses to Senator Clinton.

Posted by: svetistephen | March 19, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Lytton Strachey, the father of modern biography, once cleverly wrote: "It is harder to write a good life than to lead one." Clever, but wrong. The same ultimately applies to Obama and his speech. He gave a good one (so can many others) and made insightful observations about race in America (as many less eloquent social scientists and social philosophers can, too.) But context is everything, and the context undermines and silences the ringing praise by the chorus stretching from the NYTimes throughout the universe of pundits.
The bottom line is a UTube video smoked him out and forced him to make this speech. He was reactive rather than proactive. The dirty little secret that Obama has been inhaling Afro-Centrism, anti-American, anti-white and anti-Semitic attitudes for 20 years by his spiritual mentor -- not to mention the nutty paranoid thinking that passes for "logic" in too much of the black world -- until forced to do so is appalling. With the full glare of publicity on him he made a very good speech. So what? The issue, as many have said, is the old Nixon query: "What did he know and when did he know it?" A man who wishes to lead the world's greatest pluralistic democracy sat silently for some 20 years listening to the ravings of a bigot. (His preacher even denies that Jesus was a Jew!) With all of his purportedly high principles -- repeated ad nauseam by his idolators and himself -- why didn't he get up and walk out? He didn't vote with his feet: he sat and took it all in.
Double standards? You bet. If a white candidate attended a "church" of a white nationalist bigot he would have to withdraw from the race. If a Jewish candidate had been a devotee of Rabbi Meyer Kahane his candidacy would be over. Obama does not deserve a pass on this.
His honesty about the pathology and madness within the black community -- which he spoke of affectionately as belonging to its gestalt -- perhaps suggests that no black candidate can be credible for some years until the tribe frees itself from the poisons heaped upon it and which it generated internally. Perhaps the bitterness is too raw. Like the Israelites, perhaps African Americans must wonder in the desert for another 40 years and cleanse themselves of the aftereffects of racism before being capable of producing a candidate that can represent all of America.
Rev. Wright isn't going away. An elegant but ultimately evasive and self-serving speech won't do the trick. Of course Obama cannot renounce Rev. Wright or the black community: his candidacy would be over in a moment. He walked a tightrope, hid in a closet, and now the ghosts are out and they will haunt him to the day he finally loses to Senator Clinton.

Posted by: svetistephen | March 19, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

All Obama really did was speak TRUTH...that is what this nation needs, truth, transperancy on issues that can be talked about, and yet the skeptics want to criticize instead of acknowledging something prevelant in most of our communities nationwide.
Sometimes in order to fix a problem, you have to know what is wrong with it, so dont you skeptics think that he was listening to the "angry black community" with the intention of personal knowledge?? Just because you attend and listen to different perspectives, does not mean you agree, your gaining insight into the roots of peoples emotions. That is why he spoke the way he did, because he has compassion for the anger, but believes that it can fuel the country into solving the problem, and you can tell by the way he carries himself that he does not feel the way his pastor does. If he was truly influenced by this Rev Wright politically, you would have heard in a debate him accusing hillary of not being a such and such and that she did not suffer like him because of skin color, but no, he never used those tactics, because he is a good man.
So go ahead skeptics and continue to demoralize a man who stands for all of us, who has a profound gift to lead all walks of people, and whose judgement is being criticized for maybe being informative on a personal level and at the same time loyal to someone he views like family.

Posted by: pkrstd2 | March 19, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

As a middle aged white woman who has lived my teen years through the 60's riots etc I appreciate Obama's frank speech on the races. But I find it extremely hard to believe that if Obama is the candidate of change then why would he expose his 2 young daughters to the same old story by his minister? If he wants to really change he would have broken this link so they do not grow up with these prejudices. This makes alot of sense to me and many I have discussed this with. I don't know if he can overcome this and win the election in November. I would have 2nd thoughts about voting for him. So would many of my friends.

Posted by: geriak | March 19, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to say, I would have voted for him prior to this speech, had he won.

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

Call me crazy, but somehow, I doubt it.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 12:02 PM

My sentiments exactly!

Posted by: chadibuins | March 19, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse


The bigger question is Does Barack Obama believe in fulminations his pastor preaches?

http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=1901

.

Posted by: PollM | March 19, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to say, I would have voted for him prior to this speech, had he won.

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

Call me crazy, but somehow, I doubt it.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Though obama's speech is important, it is also supremely important to think about five years ago today, when GWBush gave this speech:

'My fellow citizens, at this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.

...and each year since, has marked the anniversary with a speech.

One year:

There are still violent thugs and murderers in Iraq, and we're dealing with them.

Two years:

Iraq's progress toward political freedom has opened a new phase of our work there.

Three years:

We are implementing a strategy that will lead to victory in Iraq.

Four years:

There's been good progress.

And now, five years:

No one would argue that this war has not come at a high cost in lives and treasure but those costs are necessary when we consider the cost of a strategic victory for our enemies in Iraq

U.S. Fatalities: 3,990
U.S. Casualties: 40,229
Iraqi Fatalities: Unknown
Iraqi Casualties: Unknown
Cost: $504,000,000,000.00

And what will it be a year from now if John McCain is elected?

'The Surge is Working [trademark]'

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

What an audacious speech. He actually expects non-black Americans to believe such hypocrisy.

Sorry to say, I would have voted for him prior to this speech, had he won. I cannot, in good conscience, vote for him now. Actions always speak louder than words.

He spewed words amounting to nothing more than political rhetoric.

He proved, without doubt, that he supports and aligns himself with someone who isn't much different than Adolf Hitler was in the early days of his underground movement toward power.

He said he didn't agree but managed to imply that those being discriminated against were somehow at fault, not his pastor.

He said that his pastor of 20 years had never expressed similarly appalling anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-white opinions while he, his wife, and small children attend his Church.

I ask you, what's the difference between openly aiming at planting the seeds to polarize African Americans against Hispanic, Jewish and white Americans; and polarizing Germans against Jews?

He speech proves that he will not bring on change. He will likely repeat the sins of the past, should he be elected.

As an American citizen, I'm appalled by his actions. I will do what what's right for all Americans, not what's right for my race, come election day.

Posted by: joan.gigliotti | March 19, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for that link, jac13. "That said, because millions of people from Florida and Michigan should not be punished for the short-sighted acts of their state's Democratic Party leaders, the states' delegates should be welcome at the national convention in Denver. But the delegates "won" in those noncompliant elections in January should be split 50-50 between the two remaining candidates."

Pretty much settles it, in my view. Without a well-run, fair 'redo' everything else is politics and attempting to derive meaning from tea leave. The DNC should, as the courts have affirmed, have the right to run primaries as they see fit. The problem deliberately and consciously created by FL and MI in 2008 would be nothing compared to the absolute chaos in 2012 if the DNC (or the RNC, for that matter) are deprived of the ability to run their own show.

Posted by: judgeccrater | March 19, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

A great BS. cover my butt speech, full of lies and contradictions. Pretty well read, I admit, but pure BS. The grandmother remark made me want to vomit. How can some folks be so blind. This speech could have been avoided
by showing some intelligence. How could he get himself into such a political mess?

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

Well, after all, no one has quite your level of intelligence.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

hat an audacious speech. He actually expects non-black Americans to believe such hypocrisy.

Sorry to say, I would have voted for him prior to this speech, had he won. I cannot, in good conscience, vote for him now. Actions always speak louder than words.

He spewed words amounting to nothing more than political rhetoric.

He proved, without doubt, that he supports and aligns himself with someone who isn't much different than Adolf Hitler was in the early days of his underground movement toward power.

He said he didn't agree but managed to imply that those being discriminated against were somehow at fault, not his pastor.

He said that his pastor of 20 years had never expressed similarly appalling anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-white opinions while he, his wife, and small children attend his Church.

I ask you, what's the difference between openly aiming at planting the seeds to polarize African Americans against Hispanic, Jewish and white Americans; and polarizing Germans against Jews?

He speech proves that he will not bring on change. He will likely repeat the sins of the past, should he be elected.

As an American citizen, I'm appalled by his actions. I will tdo what what's right for all Americans, not what's right for my race, come election day.

Gigliotti

Posted by: joan.gigliotti | March 19, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Obama the Ditherer
Answering the question no one asked.


After watching Obama's generally maladroit handling of the Jeremiah Wright matter, it's safe to conclude that he is indeed a lot more passive than the typical politician.

The clock began ticking on this scandal thirteen months ago when Rolling Stone published an article on the Meshuganeh Minister. Obama resolutely did nothing. He didn't leave the church, nor did he make a statement that would put the matter to bed long before the voting began.

He apparently had the audacity to believe that hoping the matter would disappear was tantamount to a plan.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/894ztiry.asp

For those looking for indications of what kind of resolution and rapid response the Obama administration might show at a time of crisis, the handling of the Reverend Wright affair provides a teachable moment.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 19, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

jac as an Obama apologist I am sure that are quite comfortable with following the Katherin Harris/Charlie Crist Florida practices of disenfranchising Floridians. Good luck with that. 20% of Floridian voters are already saying they will hold that against any nominee they view as disenfrachising them, in Nov, but heck who cares if we piss off a few million Florida Dems so you can have your way and manipulate a nomination. I call that cynical and so do millions of others. Its good we didn't have you leading the 2000 legal effort to count votes for Al Gore.

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

wpost: True--because it is grating as well as destructive. :)

Posted by: chadibuins | March 19, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I liked this speech better when Governor Deval Patrick delivered it.

Posted by: pkilgallon | March 19, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

By the way Im a conservative, and was moved by the dialogue which i've hoped had been reached along time ago, it is time. This man doesnt play politics he confronts politics, that is what a president should do, and if you want to talk about political posturing, McCain switched on Bush Tax Cuts because the party grabbed him by his B@ll$ like they always do to republicans, and Hillary says what people want to hear, Obama stands out clearly above these two politically washed out senators who have been in politics for too long

Posted by: pkrstd2 | March 19, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

We have people here -- many people who feed off hate,

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 10:22 AM

finally something drindl can actually speak about from personal experience without cutting and pasting Kos.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 19, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

GOETHE: "Nothing is worse than active ignorance."
------------------
except passive-aggressive ignorance.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

What amazes me about this is all the time and energy that is being wasted by the media. This always happens some time during a campaign. The media goes on a rant and never focuses on the real issues we need the candidates to present. We have invaded two Muslim countries and the wars are not going well, where's the media focus? Pakistan looks like it is falling apart. They have nuclear weapons. Where's the media focus? Investment banks have jepordized the IRA's and savings of millions of Americans and possibly their future retirements. Where's the media focus? Oil prices are going through the roof. Where's the media focus?
Although stories are run in the newspapers and TV about these issues, where has there ever been any tough questions to John, Hillary or Obama about these issues and how they "specifically" plan to handle them? But, let a clown throw down some racist remarks and we get days of focus on this side issue.

Posted by: HadEnoughAlready | March 19, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

.
.
.
Tolerance -- the one word Obama didn't mention in his speech, yet the one word his speech was about. He was offended by Wright's comments, on occasion, yet did not vilify Wright or walk out of his congregation. Why? Because the good outweighed the bad, so he tolerated the bad. Obama was occasionally offended by his grandmother's "stereotypical" comments that made him "cringe", yet he did not vilify his grandmother or walk out of her life. Why? Because the good far outweighs the bad, so he tolerated the bad.

I'm reminded of Obama's willingness to talk to our enemies. This is essentially Nixon and Kissinger's policy of "detente." Do we have profound disagreements with other nations? Sure. But we talk to them. Nixon visits China. Why? Because the potential good outweighs the bad so we tolerate the bad.

I think the speech can have only helped Obama. It certainly didn't hurt him. It was a speech that requires a thinking audience. And despite some conservatives already saying that Obama's speech won't help him among the Joe 6-Packs -- an insulting (to the Joes) point of view -- I think the voters in Pennsylvania, and other places, are QUITE capable of discerning the nuance in Obama's comments.

Peace.
.
.
.

Posted by: egc52556 | March 19, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP writes
"he seemed to be saying 'it's alright, everybody does it' to defend his pastor."

No, that's not what he seemed to be saying. He was saying that its wrong, but that he understands why people say such things. He was saying that its time to move past old grudges. The difference between Cosby's comments and Obama's, is that Cosby wants to pretend the past didn't happen, while Obama realizes its impossible to achieve that level of make-believe and still make progress.

Posted by: bsimon | March 19, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

A great BS. cover my butt speech, full of lies and contradictions. Pretty well read, I admit, but pure BS. The grandmother remark made me want to vomit. How can some folks be so blind. This speech could have been avoided
by showing some intelligence. How could he get himself into such a political mess?

Posted by: bnw173 | March 19, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Happy 5th anniversay of Iraq, everyone. Today there was a 'reconociliation conference, which failed. The so-called 'Surge' -- which was supposd to be over now and to have accomplished its only mission, which was political reconcialation, is a failure.

'I think everyone can agree that if you go to the trouble of organizing an Iraqi political reconciliation conference, it's generally a bad sign if a number of key players don't even show up.

The idea behind the conference pushed by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki was to have a national "dialogue."

The largest Sunni bloc, former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's party, and a prominent minority party of Shiites and Sunnis all boycotted the conference. No representatives of the insurgency (either Baathist or militia members) were there. Supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr walked out of the conference, as did a prominent Sunni tribal leader who's been key to the so-called "Anbar Awakening."

And then there's a more direct explanation from that Anbar tribal leader, who's quoted in The Los Angeles Times (under the headline "A no-reconciliation conference"):

"I didn't stay any longer than it took me to smoke my cigarette. It was a total failure, because the Iraqi politicians are a failure," Sulaiman said.'

We spend 5 years and a trillion dollars, 4000 lives and god knows how many lives ruined and the Iraqis can't even be bothered to sit together in a room. What a joke. And John McCain wants it to go on another 100 years.

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Obama's speech was very good and inciteful. If Obama had disown his former pastor I would have lost a lot of respect for him. He accomplished what he wanted to say with respect to Rev. Wright, that he disagreed with Wright's divisive and inappropiate language from some of his sermons, but there is much more to the man than 10-second sound bites. I would hate to be judged by some of the 10-second sound bites in my life.

Of course there will some folks out there that will never support Obama simply based on the color of his skin

Posted by: ajtiger92 | March 19, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I must say, and I know I may not be unbiased, but I do attempt to see things from other points of view--but I do not see how any Dem, Progressive, Center-left, Moderate, or Liberal could not hear Obama's speech and think that it is exactly what we need and what we have been struggling for, arguing for and hoping for.

EVEN if it doesn't inspire you to vote for Obama, for whatever reason, it is definitely in line with the thoughts and philosophy of those outside the Neo-Cons and religious right. And H#LL, he even went there with them and exposed bussing and attempted to reach out to their fears as well.

Again, I don't care if he converted people (I hope he did) but I don't see how anyone could read and listen to that speech and not see humility, bridge-building, honesty, bi-partisanship and intelligence.

GOETHE: "Nothing is worse than active ignorance."

Posted by: chadibuins | March 19, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

As a moderate I was listening carefully to his speech as he wants to be President of all of us and to unite us. His campaign is about words and what the person who saids them means them. What I do get is a sense that he does want united, but I do have this feeling that he means "liberals Only" any others that feel any differently are not included. His speech was a politician supporting his minister, but rightly so, but don't slam your grandma who was just talking to you not the public. I wanted to get to know Obama and feel that if he cannot understand the hatred of his minister, how is he going to deal with the world situation. I feel that if he wins, this country may face more serious problems and with an inexperienced person, we may fall in grave straights

Posted by: bkamin | March 19, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I am sure that the Obama supporters have done a very good job of speaking to their choir and reporting back here how impressed their other Obama supporters are with the speech. So what, who cares he is not Lincoln, Jesus or RFK as his supporters have told us. Unlike Senator Edwards, Senator Obama has not campaigned in Apalachia or the 9th ward but has chosen to visit as many universities and upscale neighborhoods as he can find, not exactly matching his rhetoric.

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Except John McCain, the true maverick and consistent straight-shooter, there are only parsing politicians in the race.

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

LOL. That's rich.

Flip-flopped on tax cuts. Flip-flopped on religious right. Flip-flopped on torture. Flip-flopped on neo-con agenda. Flip-flopped on Roe VS Wade.

Shoots about as straight as Barney Fife.

Keep those scientific, fact-based statements coming!

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Amen, judgecrater.

I was just about to tell leichtman that changing the rules of an election after the vote has been taken sounds a lot more like Russia to me than insisting that if there is to be a "do-over," it be fair to all candidates.

This piece in today's NYTimes sums it up very well: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/19/opinion/19giddins.html?hp

Posted by: jac13 | March 19, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

This comment from Arlington, VA on the Post's political hour sums it up perfectly:

So, it's okay for white (and black) Baptist preachers and Catholic priests to rail against gays and liberals and abortion, as well as other issues, but it's not okay for a black minister to condemn America for its historically abominable treatment of blacks? I don't get why this is such a big issue, other than the fact that it makes white people uncomfortable to confront our history. If these were things that Obama himself had said, I agree that they would be fair game, but some out-of-context sound bites from his pastor's sermons seems like a stretch to say this must be how Obama also thinks. Where's the outrage about McCain's embrace of lunatic white ministers who are anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic?

Posted by: thebobbob | March 19, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

All Obama really did was speak TRUTH...that is what this nation needs, truth, transperancy on issues that can be talked about, and yet the skeptics want to criticize instead of acknowledging something prevelant in most of our communities nationwide.
Sometimes in order to fix a problem, you have to know what is wrong with it, so dont you skeptics think that he was listening to the "angry black community" with the intention of personal knowledge?? Just because you attend and listen to different perspectives, does not mean you agree, your gaining insight into the roots of peoples emotions. That is why he spoke the way he did, because he has compassion for the anger, but believes that it can fuel the country into solving the problem, and you can tell by the way he carries himself that he does not feel the way his pastor does. If he was truly influenced by this Rev Wright politically, you would have heard in a debate him accusing hillary of not being a such and such and that she did not suffer like him because of skin color, but no, he never used those tactics, because he is a good man.
So go ahead skeptics and continue to demoralize a man who stands for all of us, who has a profound gift to lead all walks of people, and whose judgement is being criticized for maybe being informative on a personal level and at the same time loyal to someone he views like family.

Posted by: pkrstd2 | March 19, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Obama camp takes the low road to stop voting. It would be impossible to vote for anyone who inhibited voting.

"The Clinton campaign believes the right to vote is a bedrock principle of our country and that empowering the people of Michigan and Florida to make their voices heard must be a priority for any candidate running for the Democratic nomination," the Clinton memo states. "As such, we must either honor the original vote or hold a state-run primary that doesn't leave the taxpayers footing the bill."

The memo also takes issue with the Obama campaign's contention that many of its potential supporters may have voted in the Republican primary in January.
The Obama campaign's allies in Michigan organized an effort to get people in Michigan to vote for "uncommitted" in the Democratic primary, helping to bring the uncommitted share of vote to 40 percent," the memo states. "So the Obama camp can't reasonably argue supporters participated in the GOP primary and didn't vote in the Democratic contest."

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/

Posted by: vammap | March 19, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

PatrickNYC--not to belabor a point--what I was saying was that yes on Friday he denied hearing the comments--AND in his speech he said he heard "controversial statements"--those two things do not neccessarily exclude each other--that was all I was saying.


Posted by: chadibuins | March 19, 2008 11:23 AM
-----------------------------
Point taken, thanks. I am not getting any pleasure over this, in fact it is making me sick to my stomach that McCain can actually win in November because of it.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | March 19, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

The underlying message I got from Obama was that even if I vehemently disagree with him, he can see redeeming qualities of me as a person, treat me as an adult with respect, and process my opinions and point of view in a thoughtful way.

Let's get back to common sense here, has anything remotely resembling Wright's remarks been uttered by Obama?

To answer Chris' question, if this is the only time we hear from Obama, or anyone else about race, no this hasn't put it to rest. But my sense is that he has successfully changed the tone of the dialogue, so that when it comes up again with a new revelation or in a debate, he has already laid important groundwork.

Posted by: northpotomacdad | March 19, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

"But to realize that, one must turn off Fox News and think for oneself. Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 11:38 AM"

What, voluntarily remove the teat of Approved Thought from one's lips? You, sir, must be joking.

Posted by: judgeccrater | March 19, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

"I am sure there will be millions of Dems who will see such a move as crass and will be making the same choice. I find it to be disgusting and cowardice."

While I'm certain that millions of Dems are actually not paying any attention, that 'move,' if placed back into context, is nowhere near as crass as trying to seat the MI delegates when BHO's name didn't even appear on the ballot. That is the current "gold standard" of undemocratic posturing in this year's primary.

Posted by: judgeccrater | March 19, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"Obama is an opportunist. His speech was political."

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

LOL.
Giving a speech that actually hurts one's chances to be elected is hardly opportunistic. But to realize that, one must turn off Fox News and think for oneself.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

By addressing race head-on in a thoughtful and frank manner that acknowledged the concerns and history of both whites and blacks, BHO gave me confidence that he will be able to deal with the race factor in November (should he be the nominee). When Republican machine turns on the race-mud-flinging machine, this speech will energize Democrats across the board.

In my small sample of 30-40yr old Dems, most (men and woman) were moved to tears by the speech. My parents and their generation worked to raise children that could see past color and ethnicity. And now that generation of children born after the civil rights wars is coming of age (into their 30s and 40s) and their children are reaching early adulthood. So Obama's speech is especially moving to this generation of Democrats. Also among my Christian friends, the speech left them moved beyond words. In the national media, the positive social missions of churches (and synagogues and mosques) is rarely talked about --- that is the mission of social justice and helping the poor and unfortunate. (disclosure: I'm an Obama-supporter but not Christian.)

Here's Andrew Sullivan's take
http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/03/the-speech.html

Posted by: e2holmes | March 19, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"What did you think of that section? "

It was not the focus or the core message, instead he chose to give us a history lesson on race relations in America.

He sounded like the politician that he is. After throwing everybody under the bus including his grandmother, he seemed to be saying 'it's alright, everybody does it' to defend his pastor.

If what we want in a president is someone who can tell it like it is and get folks to move on to a post-racial society, then I nominate Bill Cosby for president!


Obama is just like every other politician. He says what you want him to say, when it's convenient for him to say it.

Except John McCain, the true maverick and consistent straight-shooter, there are only parsing politicians in the race.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 19, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

My guess is that many people who are ranting negatively about Obama's speech or questioning it's validity did not read or listen to it in it's entirety. These folks are pulling things out of context and asking questions that have previously been addressed.

Posted by: sabrina1 | March 19, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"As long as those votes aren't counted, half of the Dems will view Obama's candidacy as invalid.
-------------------------------
Talk about high-pitched posturing!"

Posturing. No its called democracy.I don't much care for our system of voting trying to immitate voting in Russia. Did we learn nothing from Bush v Gore. Personally if the Obama campaign pulls off cynically blocking Michigan and Fla delegates, there will be absoluetly no way that I will ever consider supporting him in Nov if he becomes the nominee and will take a pass on the pres slot. I am sure there will be millions of Dems who will see such a move as crass and will be making the same choice. I find it to be disgusting and cowardice.

The definition of Cynical politics:

"legislative leaders said the proposal . . . won't go anywhere until Obama embraces it," Bell writes.

Michigan's plan for a June 3 re-vote would be on track -- except for concerns raised by the Obama campaign. "The plan's fate is in serious jeopardy, in part, because of a wait-and-see tactic adopted by Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., the Democratic front-runner who has the most to lose from allowing a re-vote to go forward," ABC's Teddy Davis and Eloise Harper report. "A re-vote proposal is under serious time pressure: the Michigan legislature is currently scheduled to go on a two-week Easter recess at the end of business on Thursday."

Chuck Todd yesterday called it Senator Obama's high wire game of chicken. They must be proud.

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

'Your comments (eg you wrote yesterday "uppity n**ger" , and " US of WHITE America") are extremely racist and offensive, that's the fact.'

I don't know what it is about the winger posters on this board, who seem obssessed with attributing to me things I did not write, like 'US of white america' --sorry, no. I used the other pejorative precisely because it is racist and offensive, because when journalists and others start calling Obama 'arrogant' this is precisely the stereotype they are harking back to. Oh, y'all are too 'polite' to just come out and say it, but it IS what you mean.

And when you say that I am being pejorative by referring to white creatures that live under rocks as 'white' -- then whatever your education, your brain has been damaged by too much rush limbaugh.

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Of course American foreign policy was at the root of 9/11, of course the country is controlled by rich white people, of course Hillary has never been treated as a second-class citizen, of course American policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been one-sided.

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

Bother and blow.
Such overly-simplistic and mal-formed accusations get us nowhere.
Neither do overly simplistic and lazy protestations of patriotism.

The reason why Barack's speech was so important is because he refused to use such shallow thinking and cheap rhetoric. Our problems are complex and need honesty and intelligence and the art of compromise to solve them.

Accusations end conversations.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

The Speech was Great!

People are hating on Obama because he did not change church's or "reject and denounce" Wright. I heard some folks talking yesterday about this, isn't it the christian thing to do to forgive and move on. Obama forgives him for being ignorant, and in no way agrees with him, and people still want to cause problems. You people need to get a life.

Posted by: sjxylib | March 19, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I, too, am here because of Ashely.

Steve
Upstate New York.

Posted by: smikulen | March 19, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

bsimon--thank you for addressing that point. Obama has been ringing the "self-reliance" bell for a while.

Proud--thanks for responding, when you mentioned the "pharmacy degree", you started sounding like a long time friend of mine, and I thought "What a coincidence." But . . . no

Posted by: chadibuins | March 19, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Obama is an opportunist. His speech was political. The only thing his speech did was to define him as, a black man running for President, instead of a man running for President, who happens to be black. Race has been an issue since South Carolina. Look at the type of voters who voted. He tried hard to make Bill Clinton to be Racist, even Rev. Jackson stated that was wrong. American people can excuse one due to an racist or sexist remark, but they can not excuse Anti-American or Anti- Semitic remarks. Obama belittled his grandmother, but praised and excused Rev. Wright. He also lies to the American People, he stated he never heard him make those remarks, then stated he was present in church, and heard the words. One is often judged by the company one keeps, and this just may be one of those times. Obama has made some serious bad choices, Rev. Wright and Rezko. He call Farraro remarks racist, but after what I heard she may be right. If all this info came out before Iowa , Obama would not be where he is today. He has repeatedly shown what an calculating and cunning politician he really is.

Posted by: jpannebecker | March 19, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I, too, am of a mixed racial background and have seen and heard comments that are not good. The Democrats have always taken for granted that minorities will vote their way in order to get goodies from the nanny state. You can not have your cake and eat it also. Keep them dependent and they are yours for life. One statement he made stands out. "There must be personal accountability." That flies in the face of historical democratic and republican tactics. Both parties pander to the baser instincts of the electorite so a pox on all of them. We are going the route of the Europeans and turning into a socialist society. It is high time for a viable third party.

Posted by: billwm737 | March 19, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

"It's possible that McCain or Hillary will win this election, but Obama remains ready to come back in 4 or 8 years."

If you think things are bad now (and they are!) wait'll John "All War All The Time" McCain finishes trashing our financial independence. As I keep saying, fiscal conservancy within the GOP is long dead. It's merely a straw man that the GOP takes out to beat people over the head with right before going back to being the Largest Deficit in American History party. And with an enemy behind every tree, more war is a wonderful way of continuing to set such records.

But no, let's obsess over the risks of the completely hypothetical hypnotism of BHO by his pastor instead. Absolutely no facts at all to support it, of course, but independent thinking isn't America's strong suit anymore, is it? Better to suck up inflammatory yet unproven statements and spit them out as truth.

Posted by: judgeccrater | March 19, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

PatrickNYC--not to belabor a point--what I was saying was that yes on Friday he denied hearing the comments--AND in his speech he said he heard "controversial statements"--those two things do not neccessarily exclude each other--that was all I was saying.

Posted by: chadibuins | March 19, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"Obama missed an opportunity to give advice to the black community for healing and resolution of this deep-seated bitterness he described. "

Actually, he didn't. Proud, are these your words, or are you quoting? I ask, because in the speech - at least in the text version I read online - he mentioned that the black community has to start taking personal responsibility, which he explicitly mentions firstly as an American trait & secondly as a 'conservative' principle. What did you think of that section?

Posted by: bsimon | March 19, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Someone should take a Poll in Europe and South America on what people there think of Reverend Wright's comments. The results could probably shock most Americans, since I'm sure most people outside the US agree with most of the things he says, including the most controversial comments. The Conservative side of the nation would surely say that they are not Americans, and so they could not care less what they think, in the same way that they say that if Black people are unhappy, they should go back to Africa. But for a lot of Americans, it would help them confront a hard reality: most of what Reverend Wright said is actually correct.

Of course American foreign policy was at the root of 9/11, of course the country is controlled by rich white people, of course Hillary has never been treated as a second-class citizen, of course American policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been one-sided. These are the truths that America needs to hear, the truths that are not considered one bit controversial in Europe, but the truths that the US has refused stubbornly to acknowledge. Sooner or later America will need to drop its self-righteousness, and take a hard look on itself. When this happens, the man that is being demonized now will actually be considered a trailblazer. For this simple fact, Reverend Wright has my respect and my admiration.

Posted by: FairyTale1 | March 19, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

"Instead of instilling hate and division in churches, perhaps the leaders like Wright would be more effective in promoting healing and an end to bitterness if they stuck to the gospel, forgiveness, and personal responsibility."


Judge not, lest you be judged.

Of course, by just saying that I'm judging too. It sure is easy to sit back and criticize others while ignoring our own faults.

Posted by: bsimon | March 19, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

chadibuins, My husband; active duty Air Force actually. 22 years and counting.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 19, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Obama missed an opportunity to give advice to the black community for healing and resolution of this deep-seated bitterness he described.

Why didn't he challenge the black churches and community, like Bill Cosby has, to take responsibility for their attitudes, themselves, and their children.

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

Try actually reading his speech:


"For the African-American community, that path means embracing the burdens of our past without becoming victims of our past. It means continuing to insist on a full measure of justice in every aspect of American life. But it also means binding our particular grievances - for better health care, and better schools, and better jobs - to the larger aspirations of all Americans -- the white woman struggling to break the glass ceiling, the white man whose been laid off, the immigrant trying to feed his family. And it means taking full responsibility for own lives - by demanding more from our fathers, and spending more time with our children, and reading to them, and teaching them that while they may face challenges and discrimination in their own lives, they must never succumb to despair or cynicism; they must always believe that they can write their own destiny."

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

actually he said he heard Wright make controversial comments, he never changed what he originally said that he was not in the service when those remarks that were being played on YOUTUBE, et. al. were made.

I usually am more than happy to agree with you, but you have obviously changed your stance on Obama--or at least in my recollection.

Other than that, I agree with most of what you say in reagrds to society and politics.

Posted by: chadibuins | March 19, 2008 11:04 AM

---------------------------
I have changed my stance and only time will tell if the rest of the country has as well. If he gets the nomination I will vote for him though, so that has not changed. As for his comments on Friday as far as I recall, and saw reported yesterday, he did deny hearing the comments on Friday. As for how often he was in the church, one day is too much for me.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | March 19, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Obama missed an opportunity to give advice to the black community for healing and resolution of this deep-seated bitterness he described.

Why didn't he challenge the black churches and community, like Bill Cosby has, to take responsibility for their attitudes, themselves, and their children.

Cosby's message is one of ending divisive rhetoric and hatred through personal responsibility, not constantly placing blame on others or the past. What's done is done. Time to move on.

Even Obama admits this is a flaw of Rev Wright's and some black churches, to never admit that progress has been made or that things can't change.

Cosby urged parents to make sure they know where their children are, encourage them in their schoolwork and build their sense of self-confidence and personal integrity. And he asked others to do the same with nieces and nephews and other children in their lives.

What goes on within the four walls of a home should be what goes on within the four walls of the church, Cosby said. "There's no foolishness."

"These kids are lost," Cosby said. "They have no clear idea of the old mantra that used to be put on the youth."

Instead of instilling hate and division in churches, perhaps the leaders like Wright would be more effective in promoting healing and an end to bitterness if they stuck to the gospel, forgiveness, and personal responsibility.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 19, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

"I'll say my doctoral degree in pharmacy is probably a more advanced scientific/ fact-based education than yours. "

You're a fraud and a liar. You're sitting in a trailer in a moth-eaten bathrobe as you create your hate-filled rants, and you don't deserve a president as great as Barack Obama.

Posted by: bondjedi | March 19, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

ProudtobeGOP: Actually racism is more about power and superiority of one race over another--drindl's comments may be considered divisive, but they do not seek to inflict or retain your rights, therefore they are not racist.

this is part of the problem--people are confusing racism with prejudice. Prejudice is sad and divisive but part of free speech--Racism is when those prejudices are given legal heft or institutionalized socio/economic teeth to be carried out against another race.

BTW--is it your husband or brother who is in the Navy--no strings attached-just asking. :)

Posted by: chadibuins | March 19, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Libs are all about feelings, after all.

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

Such an objective, fact-based scientific statement! Lends you solid credibility.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

My fear is that he is 20 years ahead of his time and we are not ready for such honesty and brillance. I'm wishing Ms. Clinton could see this NOW and bow to a more qualified leader.

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

Fear not.
After Abraham Lincoln gave his "A House Divided" speech, he lost the Senate race. That speech showed his willingness to speak truth at the risk of political damage...for which he was faulted at the time.
He went on later to win the Presidency.

It's possible that McCain or Hillary will win this election, but Obama remains ready to come back in 4 or 8 years.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

PatrickNYC said: "Just because Bush is worse does not give this fake and liar, he said on Friday he never heard Wright speak hate, then he said yesterday he did, a free pass."

actually he said he heard Wright make controversial comments, he never changed what he originally said that he was not in the service when those remarks that were being played on YOUTUBE, et. al. were made.

I usually am more than happy to agree with you, but you have obviously changed your stance on Obama--or at least in my recollection.

Other than that, I agree with most of what you say in reagrds to society and politics.


Posted by: chadibuins | March 19, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

bsimon:

I agree that cherry picking a few inflammatory statements out years of sermons is not indicative of what each individual congregation member believes. We have American Catholics that are pro-choice, evangelicals that accept evolution, etc. And how the Obama's are bringing up their children is really none of anyone's business.

But, as you can see day after day on these boards, rationality is not the provenance of political thought for a goodly proportion of our populace.

Posted by: mnteng | March 19, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

"you folks don't like facts or science much, do you?"

Keep telling yourslef that if it makes you feel better. Libs are all about feelings, after all.

I'll say my doctoral degree in pharmacy is probably a more advanced scientific/ fact-based education than yours.

Your comments (eg you wrote yesterday "uppity n**ger" , and " US of WHITE America") are extremely racist and offensive, that's the fact.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 19, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

As long as those votes aren't counted, half of the Dems will view Obama's candidacy as invalid.

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

Talk about high-pitched posturing!

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I sobbed.
My fear is that he is 20 years ahead of his time and we are not ready for such honesty and brillance. I'm wishing Ms. Clinton could see this NOW and bow to a more qualified leader.

Posted by: sabrina1 | March 19, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Senator Obama's speech was exactly what I'd hoped he'd say. I'm still trying to discern which, if any, of Dr. Wright's comments were wrong, untruthful, in error or mistaken. In my humble opinion, they make perfect sense from the perspective of a well-educated, highly experienced African-American minister who's spent his adult life fighting bigotry, racism and poverty.

I can't remember quite the hoo-haa arising against White Republicans when Pat Robertson labeled 9/11 God's Wrath on America for permitting sodomy. Or any of the other calls to violence perpetrated by the right-wing Moral Mojority over the years in the name of abortion and homosexuality, which are certainly a LOT worse than stuff like the Tuskeegee Experiment, or leaving black sharecroppers on the flooded levees during the 1928 floods on the Mississippi while white landowners were rescued. This is what Dr. Wright knew about and fought against during his lifetime, and he's still, rightfully, pissed off.

Get a grip, people. Obama's the man, and he'll have my vote as long as HRC doesn't steal the nomination in her Rovian way.

Posted by: susan.robertson | March 19, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

'Gerson, and others, seem to want Sen Obama to categorically distance himself from Pastor Wright. '

Yes, and where is media DEMANDING that John McCain distance himself from his hateful religious advisors, Rod Parseley and John Hagee, who calls Catholics 'wh*res'?

No, they love McCain too much to ask that he rise to the same standard. They're his little pets.

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Many Americans do not want to be reminded of what occurs in their name domestically or around the globe . Obama did a good job. Those who supported him still do; those who oppose him always will.

Posted by: sperrico | March 19, 2008 09:59 AM
------------------------
Reading the news every day I am reminded of how our country trashes the people of Iraq in an unfair and unjust war by the corrupt Bush government. Also as someone who looked forward to voting for Obama and now will only do so if he survives this mess, I doubt he will, I will do so while holding my nose.

Just because Bush is worse does not give this fake and liar, he said on Friday he never heard Wright speak hate, then he said yesterday he did, a free pass.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | March 19, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"The Obama campaign has cleverly slow-walked the debate over the Florida and Michigan primaries, knowing that the clock on their side. With Florida essentially giving up, and Michigan struggling to find a solution, Clinton's time -- and options -- are fast running out. "

http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1723175,00.html

As long as those votes aren't counted, half of the Dems will view Obama's candidacy as invalid. A little more fact and a lot less high pitched posturing might show us Obama supporters have their feet on the ground. But, for months now their posts only reveal one thing: truth is not part of Obama "uniting a divided country." To the contrary, his actions and words just don't jive.

Posted by: vammap | March 19, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

'Your're starting to sound like Rev Wrong, drindl.'


And you're starting to sound like every paranoid dittohead that ever existed, seeing enemies at every turn. 'White' is the color of creatures that live in dark places, away from the light. That's just a scientific fact, but you folks don't like facts or science much, do you?

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Kimkimini--when you say you don't see what race relations has to do with health care and jobs--you show an amazing sense of naievete'. And sadly, that is the reason these issues have not been dealt with becuase too many people are like you or even worse in their naivete' or ignorance--and refuse for whatever reason to do anything about it.
Maybe if ears could be opened and both sides were validated we could begin the healing process--Obama started this yesterday--but as long as people are allowe or allow themselves to remain woefully ignorant; and as long as members of one race are not allowed to have their own viewpoint be validated; as long as we'd rather hide behind flag, G-d, and country instead of living up to the ideals represented by flag, G-d and country--we will continue to wallow in a mess of our own making and will never be who we were designed to be by the Founding Fathers or who we could be by our own will.

Posted by: chadibuins | March 19, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Kimkimini--when you say you don't see what race relations has to do with health care and jobs--you show an amazing sense of naievete'. And sadly, that is the reason these issues have not been dealt with becuase too many people are like you or even worse in their naivete' or ignorance--and refuse for whatever reason to do anything about it.
Maybe if ears could be opened and both sides were validated we could begin the healing process--Obama started this yesterday--but as long as people are allowe or allow themselves to remain woefully ignorant; and as long as members of one race are not allowed to have their own viewpoint be validated; as long as we'd rather hide behind flag, G-d, and country instead of living up to the ideals represented by flag, G-d and country--we will continue to wallow in a mess of our own making and will never be who we were designed to be by the Founding Fathers or who we could be by our own will.

Posted by: chadibuins | March 19, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

As I listened to Obama's historic speech, I was overwhelmed with the sense of how wonderful it was to listen to someone with real intelligence, real courage and a truthful grasp of such a complex, and volatile, issue.

Today Obama speaks about Iraq, and unlike McCain, I'm sure he knows that Sunni al Qaeda isn't training in Shiite Iran.... something McCain said twice in the last few days as being "common knowledge," until a whispered correction in his ear from keeper Joe Lieberman. He later labeled the comments as misstatement. Twice?

As Obama said so well... "For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle.... we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.

"We can do that.

"But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we'll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change."

Amen, Obama. I for one say... "Not this time."

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth_Hunter | March 19, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

mnteng writes
"[Gerson's] point was that it fell short in explaining BHO's relationship with his pastor, something that has been raised in this thread initially by mark_in_austin."

It all depends on what your expectations are or were. Gerson, and others, seem to want Sen Obama to categorically distance himself from Pastor Wright. That Obama didn't do that is viewed as 'falling short'. I disagree. Perhaps the difference is that I find the whole topic irrelevant; I think cherry-picking a pastor's hyperbolic excesses in order to smear a political candidate is counterproductive to the task of selecting our next President. We have people getting their panties in a bunch over the Obama children being exposed to this pastor's words. But how frequently were those words uttered from the pulpit? Are we talking every sermon, or was an infrequent tangent he'd veer down? Do we know how or whether the Obamas discussed such things with their children afterwards? We don't. But a lot of people have made up their minds to judge despite their ignorance of the facts. That's their decision, though I don't find it particularly rational or relevant.

Posted by: bsimon | March 19, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Obama proved he can hit a curve ball. His critics talk about lack of experience but it is clear that this guy can hit big league pitching. He was faced with a mini-crisis and not only did he rise to the occasion - he transcended it. He turned this strongly negative episode into a real positive. He has used this "firestorm" (his word) to honestly address the subject of race in America.

In his speech last night, he took a chance: he talked to us like adults. He did not duck and cover - he leveled with us; no... he did more than leveling with us. He showed us a better way. Instead of pretending that everyone's political correctness was genuine, he openly discussed the challenge we have as Americans concerning race. He pointed to a better future. One, in which, we overcome our divided past - not deny it or try to cover its stench with the perfume of PC.

Other, typical politicians, would have thrown Rev. Wright under the bus and did their utmost to evade this firestorm.
Obama did not do that. He confronted it head on - honestly. And fearlessly.

Obama stood by his long-time friend while denouncing his outlandish rhetoric. Of critical importance, however, is the fact that Obama went further than just denouncing those inflammatory statements of Wright; Obama openly challenged us, all Americans (black, white, Hispanic and Asian) to face racism, and what's more, to work toward reconciliation and resolution. We can do better.

Obama, last night, gave us an indication of how he would handle a crisis if he were President. It is clear to me that we Americans would be in good hands with him at the helm.

Events threw Obama a hard slider on the outside corner of the plate and he hit a rocket into the left field bleachers.

Posted by: AdrickHenry | March 19, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

"I had a racist grandmother, vote for me!"

What a joke.

Posted by: apnarken | March 19, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I see drindl is on again today, using "white" as a pejorative term. Your're starting to sound like Rev Wrong, drindl.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | March 19, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I am not an Obama "hater", I was a supporter but I can't ignore the facts. He is running for president, he may have given a great speech regarding race but that doesn't change the fact that he lied about not knowing about Wright's horrendous sermons and how he views the United states, Jews, Whites and more. He compared himself and Wright to the listeners in a clever way "I'm sure (sure?) many of you have heard remarks from your pastor, priest or rabbi with which you strongly disagree". Sorry Obama no, not so, and if it were most of us would be out of there. Do people really buy that Ms Ferraro is a comparison that is logical? I'm sick of people comparing this to being endorsed by religious leaders of questionable character and beliefs, that is not in the same universe as having a close 20 year relationship, and even now needing Wright in his life, Obama respects him and considers him family. Obama is not Presidential material. By the way there are many African Americans that know clearly what is going on with Oback and fearlessly speak up. They are being threatened, insulted, and branded as "Uncle Toms". They are the brave ones, the only reason Obama gave this speech was to try and salvage his run for president, he wasn't fearless, he was and is fearful that this is going to derail his campaign. If he has to have Wright in his life to prop him up no matter what Wright stands for, remember as Obama says, words mean something, he is in no way ready to be president.

Posted by: synergy52 | March 19, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

In my opinion, it is not the speech Sen. Obama gave, or the fact that he HAD to give it to protect his run for the White House. The problem that I have and that MANY Americans will have, is first he said he'd never heard those kind of words while in the pew, and then yesterday he acknowledged he had. Thats' a bold face lie, either during the speech, or the first day this issue surfaced. Lastly, and I feel more importantly, the man sat in that church for 20 years, hearing that crap, letting his daughters hear it and never denounced it until his campaign was in jeopardy? He is a LIAR, just like George W BUSH!

Posted by: martha.a.coats | March 19, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

It was honest. That alone, makes it brilliant in the political landscape.

Posted by: mcmcnabola | March 19, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Of all the idiotic prerequisites for being a viable presidential candidate in this country, our demand that our leaders be "men (or women) of faith" is easily the most ridiculous. Every four years we prove again and again that our commitment to the separation of church and state is mere lip service. Forget women or people of color; I long for the day when an avowed atheist or agnostic will have a legitimate chance at becoming leader of the free world. (It'll never happen.) Which is not to say that I think religion lacks value (I'm a recovering Catholic); but it should be a private matter and have absolutely no bearing on our politics. Yet its influence on our electoral process grows ever stronger and more insidious every time we give play to bleating morons of the Falwell-Hagee-Robertson ilk. The confluence of religion and politics is continually a recipe for disaster. Look no further than the current administration, which seems to believe it speaks with the voice of God.

Posted by: cmhagan | March 19, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

'Too many, it presently appears, have fallen for his Hitler like hype.'

CC- it appears you've turned over a flat rock. Watch all the ugly white wiggly things that come crawling out from under it.

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

bsimon:

Actually, Gerson had some very significant praise for the speech:
"Obama's speech in Philadelphia yesterday made this argument as well as it could be made ... It was one of the finest political performances under pressure since John F. Kennedy at the Greater Houston Ministerial Association in 1960."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/18/AR2008031802594.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

But his point was that it fell short in explaining BHO's relationship with his pastor, something that has been raised in this thread initially by mark_in_austin.

It's clear that this speech alone will not convince any in the audience to change their allegiance. But as a non-Caucasian, I really hope that people will think about what he said and start a discussion on race relations in this country.

Posted by: mnteng | March 19, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

This politician is particularly dangerous. Obama designed his speech to baffle the general public and retain his core supporters. In this, for the most part, he apparently succeeded. He is too glib. He too easily glosses over his lies. Too many, it presently appears, have fallen for his Hitler like hype. Time, as usual, will reveal his fate and ours.

Posted by: act | March 19, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

This politician is particularly dangerous. Obama designed his speech to baffle the general public and retain his core supporters. In this, for the most part, he apparently succeeded. He is too glib. He too easily glosses over his lies. Too many, it presently appears, have fallen for his Hitler like hype. Time, as usual, will reveal his fate and ours.

Posted by: act | March 19, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

"That is truly disturbing if that is the rationalizing and cognitive dissonace of his supporters."

Big words from a punk-ass Hillary fan. Did Wolfson teach you "dissonance"? Can you go back and ask him how to spell it properly?

Posted by: TheTruth | March 19, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I am wondering if we could get the punk-ass perspective, from punk-ass losers like vammap, GOP, svreader, etc. Did you like how Obama looked presidential? Hope so, because you'll be seeing it for the next eight years.

Posted by: TheTruth | March 19, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

An awesome speech that clearly elevates Obama head and shoulders above Clinton and McCain in presidential stature. Did he do well enough? Of course, at least to those supporters and non-supporters willing to judge fairly. Let's think about this. In the entire course of Obama's political and non-political career, including the beginning of the run for president, has he EVER made comments or espoused positions that didn't reflect the best interests of ALL his constituents? It amazes me that there is this mindset among some that Obama MUST be under the control of Wright simply because he has a spiritual relationship with the man. Anyone notice the inherent racism of the (mostly)panicky whites, and white-controlled press involved here?

To the far right wingnuts, there will never be enough ways and times he can say he doesn't follow Wright's incendiary beliefs. Which is a shame, considering how the republicans and McCain pander to, and seek out endorsements from the Evangelical haters like Revs. Hagee and Parsley, but the mainstream media gives them a pass. Of course these guys rant about and hate gays, catholics, etc.,etc. Apparently as long as its a right wing WHITE guy, its OK to hate America and some Americans. There is such an obvious double standard when it comes to controversial black and white public figures. I'm still waiting to see Tim Russert running after John McCain demanding that he "reject and denounce" Hagee and Parsley. Think we will ever see that? Don't bet the house on it. If it hasn't been foreclosed on yet, that is.

Posted by: wkepics01 | March 19, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Words are words; it's actions that count.
Obama was the first candidate to call for Imus firing.

"Obama -- who in a major speech Tuesday decried controversial remarks by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. dating back to 2001 -- called for Imus to be fired just one week after Imus made the remarks in April 2007, two months after Obama had announced his candidacy."

http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/03/18/before-wright-firestorm-obama-called-for-imus-firing/

Posted by: vammap | March 19, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I don't know what health care and jobs have to do with race relations. But I do know Obama says what ever is convenient and self promoting, and just what you want to hear. You might link some of Wrights sermon faintly to the bible, but not all of it. Now Obama tries to manipulate the lower aptitude into believing his lies. Theres no way he can beat MCcain, The right wing has to much on film, along with his wife's comment, he's history. For the parties sake he should concede. But he'll keep playing the race card and changing the subject to race every time he get cornered.

Posted by: kimkimminni1 | March 19, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

This is how our DC media sees it -- they've already decided how it's going to be. Like short-attention span cats, they've played with the mouse and now they just want to kill it...

"Obama Miracle Toast" --says politico, in its Deeply Serious way.

"Geez USMC_Mike...

Could you be any MORE ignorant?"

Answer, Boutan -- NO. Waste of time.

We have people here -- many people who feed off hate, off division. The last 30 years has seen the fostering of a Republican-led us-against-them mentality that has systematically demonized Democrats. Karl Rove has said it out loud -- the strategy is divide and conquer. Any tinpot dictator knows all he has to do to strengthen his hold over his people is to evoke a boogyman, a common, dehumanized enemy. 'Libs' 'welfare queens' 'w*tbacks' 't*welheads', 'the homosexual agenda' -- we've seen all the wedge issues used successfully here.

The question is, can Obama overcome this knee-jerk hate? Of course, for the hardcore, no. For those willing to listen to reason, yes, but given the last few years, I wonder how many of those are left. But like you, not just for my country, but for the rest of the world, I hope to God we can somehow avoid a third even more disastrous term of George Bush.

Posted by: drindl | March 19, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I took the liberty of copying/pasting some of Jeremiah Wright's comments that have caused the controversy. Don't make up your mind unless you've read the things he said in context.

"The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people..God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts
like she is God and she is supreme."

9/11 comments:

"We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in
New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye"

"We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans,
and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right
back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost"

Posted by: stefan.block | March 19, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

The catalyst for the speech given by Sen. Obama... irrelevant. The speech was delivered. Seldom do you hear a criticism of the logic for the American Colonies splitting from England. The fact is... they revolted, and we are a single nation!

Americans from coast to coast can continue to argue the "intent" of specific sentences. We can continue to be distracted from the challenges facing our time. But with that distraction, we must all take responsibility of our nation troubles.

The problems facing our nation are not a Republican problem. The issues facing every family in America struggling to survive are not a democratic problem. Yet, there are many in the media that would like us to believe these affirmations.

The fact of the matter is that we ALL have allowed our country to slip into its current state. We ALL have been distracted by self-interest, by sadness, by defeat. As Americans, we have all experienced some level of loss over the past several years. Loss of income, loss of retirement savings, loss of loved ones to diseases that are killing people in record numbers, and loss due to war.

"United we stand, Divided we fall."

I believe Americans have all heard that phrase at some time in their lives. I believe that philosophy had meaning at one time in our nation's history.

We can continue to fight, we can continue to argue, and we can continue to slip deeper into this seemingly endless struggle. But until out nation, until The United States of America can proudly live up to our legacy of unity and passion for the state of our union, we will achieve very little.

Posted by: Nicholas.J.Fantini | March 19, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

In response to Michael Gerson's WaPo OpEd piece "A Speech That Fell Short" (link below):

Obama's speech made an example of Wright as a preacher from an understandably angry generation speaking on issues that sometimes anger the whole of the Black Community. While explaining why Wright could make such incendiary statements, Obama was quick to condemn them.

He then continued to explain that condemning the man would be a step too far because to condemn Wright personally would be to condemn the feelings and invalidate the experiences of an entire generation of the Black Community. This he would not do, and this is where he fell short?

In this speech, Obama spoke of Race in America from all points of view: black, white, young, old, historical, social, and family.

As I review the commentary in the media, it seems to me that the only people who believe this was something less than masterful are those who are committed to finding and perpetuating the conflict, perhaps unintentionally, but effectively nevertheless.

Obama's speech was not about Rev. Wright.
It was about Race in America.
It fell short of nothing.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/18/AR2008031802594.html

Posted by: Jimdotz | March 19, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

This is telling, knowing whom is speaking. The following is from the 'Opinions' box on the wash post front page (online):

'A More Perfect Union'
Robinson: This was a landmark speech in American politics.
Gerson: The speech fell short.
Editorial: It was extraordinary.

Go figure, the liberal liked it & the conservative (former Bush speechwriter) didn't.

Posted by: bsimon | March 19, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

America is in denial about racial issues.
But since Obama had the courage to speak out and bring specific instances to America's attention, we try to "sweep racial encounters under the rug."

Specifically, we have allowed racists news commentators to invade our privacy with vicious unethical remarks about anything and anybody. We swallow their raucous comments without bias and let their voices become ours. Wake up! The news media is trundled by commentators who take sides with the issues they report. What happened to reporting the news while leaving personal comments up to the listeners?

Stay focused, America. Don't stoop to letting media control your intelligence.

Read, interpret and listen before you "jump on a band wagon" tainted with negative attitudes.

I, personally could relate to every racial issue Obama confronted. He's asking you to confront your own.

Posted by: drellawilliams | March 19, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Senator Obama delivered a truly extraordinary speech that got to the heart of the Black-White divide. But even the best laid words will not erase the tapes of his long-time pastor's divisive sermons. If Obama becomes the nominee of his party, Wright's words and the picture of Obama and Wright together will become part and parcel of Republican campaign ads and assure McCain's victory in November. That's politics.
http://www.reflectivepundit.com/

Posted by: bn1123 | March 19, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Senator Obama's speech was brilliant, lyrical, and inciteful, but it will not put the Wright matter behind him because for those who want to make the Reverend Wright's diatribes an issue, nothing Senator Obama could say would do that. He will be swift-boated with the Reverend Wright until election day. Senator Obama, I suspect, knew that. His speech reflects the kind of statesmanship we should, as a nation, expect from those who would aspire to lead us. He used the controversy as an opportunity to encourage a national dialogue on the problem that has infected our national life throughout our history and which we have, with the complicity of our national leaders, ignored for generations. Senator Obama may not have solved his "Wright problem," but he has demonstrated courage and a capacity for inspiring leadership so badly needed in American political life.

Posted by: mlgoldberg1 | March 19, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I was not turned off by the reverends speech. I'm not a black american, but have been to a lot of black Sunday services with friends. I have heard everything under the sun, as I have at my "white" church. We have heard the same kind of speech from white evangelical ministers, that have endorsed other candidates, and haven't heard this kind of uproar. People need to get over it. I don't even want my own religion in politics, let alone someone elses, it's time to move on. I haven't made my mind up to who to vote for, but comments not made by the candidate will not sway me. I am smart enough to realize that this crap was bound to come out on all sides and was prepared for it. We all have a relative that says things we are always proud of, but we don't need to apologize for their speech. We don't disown them either.People are smart enough, or should be to make and informed opinion of the candidate. I also understand that I can't hold a candidate accountable for all that they say at election time. I vote for the person close to how I feel, and regularly vote across party line for who I feel will do the best job. So people get over it.

Posted by: woodard3 | March 19, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

My husband and I looked at each other after the Obama speech and both agreed that it is going to be so refreshing to have such an articulate man in the White House in 2009. After suffering for eight years with GWB's lack of eloquence and logic, it is going to be wonderful to have a President who can articulate the hard issues facing this country today as we try to repair the damage to your reputation that has been the result of the U. S. Supreme Court decision to allow the inexperienced and unqualified George W. Bush to occupy the White House.

As a white woman, I would love to now hear Hillary Clinton's views on religion. For that matter, I would like to hear any of her views that have not been polled tested and would reveal the true depth of her character if she has any. I would love to hear her provide some specifics on how she allegedly got the experience to be President from her role as First Lady when other First Ladies did not acquire such a skill set.

Posted by: lavinsr | March 19, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

We are so JUDGEMENTAL. Many of us claim to be CHRISTIANS but fail in the basic Christian value which is hate the sin and love the sinner.

It bothers me greatly that we pretend we have no one in our circle of friends, extended family and immediate family that have very different thoughts than we do. I think if we want to talk about something not being honest, that is not honest.

I think it is a sad state of affairs that Barack Obama is being held accountable for words that he did not say. None of his actions have ever shown this is how he feels. This whole concept that he should leave the church or denouce the person is NUTS, we would then say he is not loyal and interested only in politics.

Just imagine every Catholic left the church because of the bad behavior of a few priest and the cover up by the Archbishops. We all don't go to the church for the Pastor, the church and those in it are much bigger than the Pastor. Anyone who doesn't understand that I think is being narrow or closed minded.

For those saying he lied, he said last Friday night that he did not hear personally those inflammatory remarks shown on the news, he NEVER said he never heard him say anything controversial. He said he was NOT in church for those sermons they showed on the NEWS, not that he was NEVER in church during a controversial message. Go back and read the transcripts from those interviews and stop listening to the talking heads paraphrasing!

Posted by: miaperry2 | March 19, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

majorteddy writes
"Excellent speech. This is an effort to pull this country together instead of tear it asunder..."

Clearly. Equally clear is that certain people prefer a country torn asunder to one united in common cause.

Posted by: bsimon | March 19, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Many Americans do not want to be reminded of what occurs in their name domestically or around the globe . Obama did a good job. Those who supported him still do; those who oppose him always will.

Posted by: sperrico | March 19, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Ditto, novamatt.

Posted by: jac13 | March 19, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I thought it was profound! I'm a 26 year old white person and it made a lasting impact. For those that say he didn't answer why he sat there for 20 years, I disagree. He stated that isn't all he knew of this man and they had a lasting relationship. You don't walk away because you have a different opinion. I think it shows how he listens to all opinions.

I thought it showed that as Christians we are called to forgive and not to judge people. Barack showed loyalty, leadership, and character. I can say I've never been so proud to be supporting a candidate as I am now. He did a remarkable job and has changed the discussions now. Fox news was the only channel that kept replaying the clips. Every other channel took this opportunity to discuss race and how it still remains an issue in society.

Posted by: huddlestoncasey | March 19, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

"Obama needs a bus tour of Appalachia "

Which is exactly what I posted on Monday, that comparisons to RFK by his genuflexing supportes, rings hollow in comparisons to either RFK or John Edwards who actually campaigned in Appalachia, Watts and rural parts of this country. For candidate who believe he is bringing the country together he has truly forgotten about a large part of our country that isn't connected to our universaties.

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

He mentioned Ferraro because he was condemning what people said about her. I thought it was part of the olive branch portion of the speech.

Getting back to novamatt's point, the thing I worry about is that the Obama campaign is conceding PA because their strategy all along has been to stay close enough in the big states and clean up in the small states. While this bodes well in the march towards the delegate count, it doesn't help stem the tide of all the bloated talking heads on CNN, Fox, and MSNBC harping about Obama's inability to connect with white males. We know from his coalitions in South Carolina, Washington State, and elsewhere that he is fully capable of connecting with all Americans, independent of race, religion, or economic background. But if he doesn't change the narrative in PA, he may end up committing a tactical blunder in an otherwise brilliant strategy.

Posted by: PDiddy | March 19, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Excellent speech. This is an effort to pull this country together instead of tear it asunder like the Bushes and Clintons do.

Posted by: majorteddy | March 19, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Extraordinarily well put, novamatt.

Posted by: PDiddy | March 19, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

The speech was so wonderfully above the fray of the campaign trail. Why on earth did he feel it necessary to specifically mention Geraldine Ferraro by name? I think what she said was idiotic. However, her name ringing through in the middle of his address brought the whole thing down to muddy politics. Unfortunate.

Posted by: jamesclicktr | March 19, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Truthful. Ground-breaking. Historical.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 19, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Let me amplify something harlemboy said in his excellent 9:09 post. Obama has had a problem with working-class whites all along, with or without Hillary, and will need them in November. Without being explicitly racial about it, he really needs to do more to signal to working-class whites that he will be their president too, that he understands what is at the root of their concerns -- economic and social insecurity -- and then show them that he respects them and their concerns and provide some examples of what he will do as president to alleviate those concerns.

And I think he can do that. Maybe not fully before the PA primary, but before November. Working-class whites in central PA and elsewhere have the same concerns as working-class blacks in southside Chicago: good jobs, decent wages, strong families, vibrant and safe communities, health care, education, a country safe from harm.

Obama needs a bus tour of Appalachia, from eastern Kentucky up to northern Pennsylvania. He needs to listen to their concerns, he needs to pay his respects, and he needs to make them part of his coalition. Jim Webb once said that if (and I'm paraphrasing here) poor blacks and poor Scotch-Irish (who are my people) ever figure out a way to work together for a common purpose, American politics will never be the same. I'd like to see Obama make that happen.

Posted by: novamatt | March 19, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

harlemboy's observations about Obama's need to identify with rural working class voters is spot on. There is no doubt that Obama moved his core audience of young, educated, liberals and African Americans to tears. As a young, caucasion, professional man from rural Maine, I thought the address was by far the most eloquent and thoughtful speech I have heard from a politician in my lifetime. However, I really don't think my working class parents and brothers can relate to Obama's history lesson in the same way I can. Though I grew up in rural Maine, I was educated in private schools in New York and Boston and lived abroad for a couple of years. I am also married to a Japanese woman and have biracial children so I understand both blatent and more subtle racism and the struggle we still face as a nation. White, working class men and women who have never challenged themselves to go outside of their comfort zone and who are uncomfortable with the issue of race will probably not be convinced and may repeat conservative talking points about the 30 second soundbites of Wright's more inflammatory rhetoric without taking the time to read or listen to the speech in its full context. That is unfortunate but reality. Obama has to find a way to connect to bubba on a gut level that goes beyond his usual lofty prose.

Posted by: billbolducinmaine | March 19, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

This was a comparison I read from an Obama blogger about pastor Wight who said with great pride.

"not unlike some Right-Wing preachers who sit with presidents today". That is truly disturbing if that is the rationalizing and cognitive dissonace of his supporters.

Personally I prefer the words of Jim Wallace and Reverend Ted Strickland.

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

"Also, it would be a confirmation of the electorate's tendency in our history to react to sensational events on an emotional level, apart from a candidate's competence or stand on the issues, and allow ourselves to be blinded to the relevant strengths and weaknesses of the candidates."

I see I was not clear here. By "it," I obviously meant the dooming of Obama's candidacy.

Posted by: jac13 | March 19, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

paul_hardt, I don't think so...not yet, anyway. What this speech did do was highlight Obama's leadership style and contrasts it sharply with that of Clinton.

To me, it was apparent in the manner in which Obama has run his campaign. From a strategic standpoint, Obama decided early on to bet on the smaller states, pouring his resources and organizing ability into racking up huge delegate leads through voter turnout and his charisma. So instead of getting into a protracted land war with Clinton in, say, NY or CA, he outflanked her and mitigated any delegate advantage she would have gained in a 55-45 win in bigger states with a 65-35 or better win in the smaller states and caucuses. This was a brilliantly devised strategy that was equally brilliantly executed. He's doing the same thing in Pennsylvania, trying to minimize a loss, but trying at the same time to rack up big wins in Indiana, Oregon, and elsewhere. For us political junkies, you have to admit how masterful this was.

Second, we are now in the phase of the election where we voters actually no longer matter. Obama's speech yesterday was as much for the people who support him and who are yet to vote as it was for the Superdelegates. The Superdelegates will decide this election now, whether they like it or not. Notice how Obama now eschews the large 20,000+ person gatherings for more intimate conversations or speeches designed to make him look more presidential.

Where Hillary has changed her message almost monthly, had significant staff turnover, and has had to resort to the "kitchen sink" strategy, Obama has remained steady and consistent with his original vision for his campaign. We are not only witnessing (in my opinion) the birth of a great president, but we are witnessing (indisputably) a masterfully run campaign.

Posted by: PDiddy | March 19, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Obama's speech was a closing argument to the jury. Now we the jury get to decide if we want to continue down the dark alley of gender and race politics or to unite and address the crises ready to engulf our nation.

Posted by: optimyst | March 19, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Let's face it. The people who are against Obama are going to slash and burn this as ridiculous, hypocritical drivel.

It was a beautiful speech. It was eloquent and went in the face of expectations. Some will think his comments and explanations for the pastor were nowhere near enough. I wonder how many of those people are so pure...

There's a small portion of our society who represent hate. They scream the loudest and get a lot of airtime.

Are you sick of it? I am. The Al Sharpton's and the Bill O'Reilly's all need to shut up now. America doesn't need more negativity and fear. America needs hope. America needs a new direction. America needs to rebuild. Rebuild its standing, rebuild its economy, rebuild its sense of right.

No more torture. No more presumption of right. No more our way or no way. The world needs to unite, not fight. The America I remember was a positive influence. There have been lots of negatives over time. The basics of this society need to be put back in place and the world given another chance to see what this country was all about. Open discussion. Preservation of rights. And not all about hate, negativity and division.

Of all the candidates, who seems most likely to begin that process? Obama. I'm sorry if you think he's inexperienced. I'm sorry if you think he's incapable. If you take the partisan glasses off for a moment, perhaps you might see a potentially historical figure of this age. Maybe you should give him a chance instead of looking for reasons to not even try.

His speech yesterday gave people a reason to believe. It gave people the thought that perhaps one day, this endless hate could stop.

The shame is that it is so hard to believe that it will. But we should all give it a try. If we don't then what kind of society are we?

Posted by: LarryL1 | March 19, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I am a 49 year old white Republican who rightly feels that my generation was cheated with the death of President Kennedy. Our future stolen by a bullet. After watching Mr. Obama and having gone to a speech last month I made the choice, much to my son's delight, to vote as a Democrat for Obama so that my son's generation could have what my generation lost.
This speech in the context of race and as a litmus test for honesty and disclosure for future politicians will find it's place in history.
As opposed to running head on into war over issues that arised, that some have used for their own television ratings, Mr. Obama had the aducity to trust the American people to listen to and be able to understand what we were hearing and seeing. For the first time, in a long time, I feel that a politician respected my intelligence and did not just offer us a sound bite. Fox News and Wolff Blitzer should be ashamed.

Posted by: Bulldoglover100 | March 19, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

USMC Mike wrote, "And I for one came away offended at the notion that it is somehow 'normal' to hear this infective, ignorant, and downright hateful crap at 'any' Church. How dare you Senator."

If you have any nieces or nephews old enough to have heard and understood Obama's speech, they'll be nodding at his references to THAT uncle we all have.

Posted by: optimyst | March 19, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I think what will be interesting, now, is the question, "Has Obama taken the 'race club'out of Hillary's hands?" Has he succeeded in framing the debate, so Hillary can't use the race club, risking sounding like "Old America"?

Posted by: paul_hardt | March 19, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Why were know media there to ask questions? last Fri. he said he never heard his rev say these things /now Tue. he says he was at church and heard him.wake up people this man his giving you a snow job.God help America if he gets elected

Posted by: yankeenana2 | March 19, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Why were know media there to ask questions? last Fri. he said he never heard his rev say these things /now Tue. he says he was at church and heard him.wake up people this man his giving you a snow job.God help America if he gets elected

Posted by: yankeenana2 | March 19, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Why were know media there to ask questions? last Fri. he said he never heard his rev say these things /now Tue. he says he was at church and heard him.wake up people this man his giving you a snow job.God help America if he gets elected

Posted by: yankeenana2 | March 19, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Why were know media there to ask questions? last Fri. he said he never heard his rev say these things /now Tue. he says he was at church and heard him.wake up people this man his giving you a snow job.God help America if he gets elected

Posted by: yankeenana2 | March 19, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Why were know media there to ask questions? last Fri. he said he never heard his rev say these things /now Tue. he says he was at church and heard him.wake up people this man his giving you a snow job.God help America if he gets elected

Posted by: yankeenana2 | March 19, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

The comments highlight two issues: the substance of the speech and the effectiveness of the speech.

As substance the speech was blunt and honest about race in America in a way political speeches never are. Obama did not, as most political speeches would have, simply sweep questions under the rug, or seek to turn the topic to something else. Instead he wanted his audience to *understand* the reasons for the very different perspectives hold on race.

The second issue raised has been about the effectiveness of the speech-- did it convince the people that needed convincing? This can only be answered by each individual, as they hear the issues and, hopefully, read the transcript or listen to the speech itself. The *political* question is to ask whether people were convinced. But I'm not sure that's the right question to ask.

The more pertinent question may be what did the speech indicate about what Obama would be like as President. There are plusses and minuses here. The minus is that this speech might have come, and been more effective (again, the political question) earlier. The plus is that it shows a politician that treats his audience as adults, is willing to tackle hard questions, recognizes complexity, and uses the platform at his disposal to try to persuade people, rather than simply issuing pronouncements or avoiding issues. These are all good qualities in a President.

Posted by: mj64 | March 19, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Also, don't forget that we will soon be in the phase of the campaign where it will be inevitable that whoever the Democratic nominee is will win this election. I love John McCain, but his time was 8 years ago, and had he confronted Bush's absurd allegations then like Obama confronted this nonsense yesterday (head on, with conviction and courage), we may have had a phenomenal president over the past 8 years instead of what could easily be the worst president in our nation's history, and certainly the worst since Harding. But after 8 years of Bush, I have faith that this country will choose competence over ideology.

Nevertheless, all the right wing wackos will be out in full force with their convoluted positions, righteous indignation, contorted semantics, and nonsensical drivel.

We just have to weather nonsense like stuff with this Pastor.

Posted by: PDiddy | March 19, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

As some other posters have said, the speech has to be analyzed from two perspectives.

Viewed apart from the events and issues that prompted the timing of it, the speech was an extraordinary, daring, well-written political document that sought to elevate the discussion of race above the stereotypes and knee-jerk reactions, by shining some light on the darker side of the issue that is never discussed. On that level, it succeeded, and maybe opened some doors that will not again be closed. Time will tell.

As an explanation -- for those who require one, and I am not one of those -- of Obama's not distancing himself from the church before now, I believe it will probably change few minds. From reading posts on this and other blogs, it appears that most (although admittedly not all) of the people who profess to be offended by Obama's long affiliation with this church were disposed against Obama before this, and just gobbled this up as a way to undermine his candidacy. Hence the references, for example, to "sitting on his hands for 20 years" -- as if Wright gave an obnoxious sermon every single Sunday through that whole time. No one can know what was in Obama's mind when he heard (or heard about) racist and anti-American sermons or statements that, if one considers the entire period he has belonged to the church, must have been very occasional. Maybe because I am sympathetic to Obama and favor his candidacy, I can see how he distinguished between the good things the church and its pastor did, both spiritually for him and his family, and for the community. He chose to avail himself of what was good about Wright and his church while disagreeing with Wright's extreme views and comments.

If this dooms Obama's candidacy I believe it will be tragic for this country, in the sense that IMO he offers a chance for a departure from the old stereotypes of the past, and his election would send a message to the world that we are a grown-up nation that practices what it preaches about tolerance and diversity. Also, it would be a confirmation of the electorate's tendency in our history to react to sensational events on an emotional level, apart from a candidate's competence or stand on the issues, and allow ourselves to be blinded to the relevant strengths and weaknesses of the candidates.

Rev. Wright's horrific statements unfortunately exemplify one narrow and extreme end of our political spectrum (the other end isn't very pretty, either), and my belief is that it is unfair to judge Obama guilty by association (much as his detractors are trying to do with the Rezko situation, even though there is absolutely no evidence of any quid-pro-quo or wrongdoing).

Posted by: jac13 | March 19, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I am here because of Ashley.

me too!

Posted by: chadibuins | March 19, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

The speech was 'spot on'. He nailed it with compassion, sincerety, specificity, and honesty. Let us all make the sincere effort to enter into the unfamiliar and at times uncomfortable discussion of race and its impact on our individual lives and our country with the same courage and personhood that Mr. Obama has.

Posted by: denisescreen | March 19, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I loved the address!
I'm a white guy, my grandmother and mother have said the same things that his grandmother said. Before yesterday I knew on an intellectual level that Obama is the cure for Bush. After the speech I knew on an emotional level that this is the guy we need and deserve.

As for Wright's comments-
They were no worse than those of Pastor Hagee and in some ways I can see where they come from. This is not a compassionate country. Our government does not show compassion for the poorest among us but certainly does for the richest. Our government bails out banks but not the mortgage holders. Expressing outrage over the insensitivities of the country is what every citizen should be doing.

Posted by: osprey_7 | March 19, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

I began as a Bill Richardson supporter - I was looking for a candidate with depth, experience and an ability to connect with folks.

Since BR's withdrawal, I have come to support Obama because, while experience isn't his strong suit, electability is. His judgement about the war also means alot. I believe he'll have the good judgement to build a strong cabinet of good people who'll work hard to get us back on our feet as a nation. So while I can't be counted as one of the "Obama cultists", I can say, unequivocably, that because Hillary can't win in the general; because she not only voted for the war, but went on to recently vote for the Kyl-Lieberman amendment with a sorry-ass excuse about why she did it (we know the real reason - AIPAC - but that's another post) and because I deplore the politics her campaign has employed, I am quite happy to support Obama 'til the bitter end.

Now for the speech. I haven't seen it. Yet. I've only read the entire transcript. I cried. Aloud. At work, no less. Thank God I'm in my own private office.

If you're not impressed...if you've decided to ankle bite it to death because of your own agenda? Your cognitive dissonance? Your partisanship? I'm sorry. You don't know, and perhaps will only realize way down the road (if you're lucky), that you had an opportunity to witness something extraordinary. A once or twice in a lifetime speech.

Posted by: luvadog | March 19, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

The speech was not important because of the moment in which it was presented. Rather, it's importance arises from the leadership style of a man fighting for the presidency alongside two other eminently qualified leaders.

We know full well that when the chips are down, both Clintons employ the "kitchen sink" strategy of divisive, distracting politics of personal destruction.

Yet, we know from yesterday that when Barack Obama's chips are down, he confronts problems head on, with dignity, self-respect, and respect for others. We know from every one of his concession speeches, in which he first thanks Senator Clinton, that Senator Obama has respect for his opponents and this process, and therefore us.

Ignore the mountain everyone is making out of his molehill. They're picking on this silly issue because they have nothing else to glom onto. They couldn't get Rezko to stick. They couldn't get the "arrogance" claim to stick. They couldn't get the "it's just words" claim to stick.

So now they're feigning righteous indignation over this Pastor. The right-wing Evangelicals have several crazy uncles in the basement, each of whom preach as much vitriolic hate towards gays, people of color, immigrants illegal or otherwise, and so on. But every individual evangelical I've met, and most every evangelical politician I've met or watched on television seem to be of exceptional character. Am I supposed to believe that Senator Lindsay Graham is full of hatred and bigotry? How about Senator John McCain? How about Governor Haley Barbour? These are all men who have met on numerous occasions with the crazy uncles of the right wing, who have attended churches where pastors foment hatred towards gays, and yet whom I respect a great deal nonetheless.

Grow up, and start focusing on the real issues in this country: 3990 American soldiers dead in a war that should never have been fought, close to 20% of Americans without healthcare, rampant corporate malfeasance and declining shareholder accountability, a thorough lack of transparency into the machinations of our government.

Posted by: PDiddy | March 19, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Mark's comment about the beauty vs effectiveness is good stuff.

No one is questioning the beauty.

And I think Mike is questioning the short term effectiveness regarding the Wright debacle.

But we also need to assess the LONG term effectiveness that will stretch WAY ahead to the General Election.

I would argue that having this issue peak now is GREAT for Obama. The truth is he is VERY likely to be the nominee (see the trading markets on this for best guidance... follow the money). This could have been a disaster if it happened as an October Surprise.

Obama has now cast the Republicans as "people of division" if they keep playing this card over and over.

So I think he has another rough few days... then people will start referring to the speech as the turning point.

Long term = effective.


Posted by: Boutan | March 19, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

A great speech, not sure it achieved what people were thinking of.

Do you believe Barack Obama's speech on Race was the clincher for his nomination?

http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=1896


.

Posted by: PollM | March 19, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Difficult to argue that it wasn't a great speech, rising above even the high bar Obama had already set for himself. Clearing that bar should go a long way towards reassuring those who wondered how his ties with Rev. Wright might influence his ability to govern. His full frontal assault on the issue of race in America, while not totally unexpected from him in this speech, was by most accounts surprisingly blunt and unsurprisingly personal. His unique narrative may help garner additional voters based on this personal appeal alone. Those that, long before the Reverend's comments came to light, decided that they would never vote for a black candidate, either weren't listening, don't read blogs or the internet, or were unmoved. They were not the intended audience of the speech.

Posted by: lengo | March 19, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

'While Rev. Wright's words may be inflamatory?' May be inflamatory?
What is it about his g.d America that leads you to conclude that it 'may' be inflamatory. Words count according to he Senator and his own children sould not be exposed to such garbage nor should our nation. He made a choice by staying in the pews and neither not getting up or leaving or at least confronting Pastor Wright.Its not the choice Ibelieve most Americans would have made. While the Senator was not responsible for te anger f Pastor Wright he was responsible for his own choice to stay and be silent. it speaks to his judgment.

Even Oprah has had the good sense to disasscociate herself from Pasto Wrght:

"Oprah, Obama, And Wright
It has been reported that Oprah Winfrey, who endorsed Obama, is the other famous member of Wright's now controversial church. However, she seems to have moved away from that church quite some time ago - this is from 2002 ["The Church of O" by LaTonya Taylor]:

When Oprah goes to church in Chicago, she has been known to attend Trinity United Church of Christ, located on the city's South Side...According to Trinity's senior pastor Jeremiah Wright, however, Oprah has not attended a service there in the last eight years"

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Senator Obama's speech, all without notes or teleprompter, was as intelligent as it was inspiring. Try to imagine ANY other politician stepping into those waters. It wasn't canned or cliched. It was a high-wire act where any slip-up meant a fall. He had already made strong rebukes of the minister earlier, but this speech went farther into the minefield of race than any elected official has ever gone.No pandering, no groveling, no empty rhetoric. I am 55 years old, and have not seen a person of his stature and intelligence since I was a young man. America, this is a rare opportunity. Let's take a chance on Obama.

Posted by: neshaw | March 19, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Senator Obama's speech, all without notes or teleprompter, was as intelligent as it was inspiring. Try to imagine ANY other politician stepping into those waters. It wasn't canned or cliched. It was a high-wire act where any slip-up meant a fall. He had already made strong rebukes of the minister earlier, but this speech went farther into the minefield of race than any elected official has ever gone.No pandering, no groveling, no empty rhetoric. I am 55 years old, and have not seen a person of his stature and intelligence since I was a young man. America, this is a rare opportunity. Let's take a chance on Obama.

Posted by: neshaw | March 19, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Geez USMC_Mike...

Could you be any MORE ignorant?

Obama was right in reminding us that the greatest racial divide in the USA occurs for an hour on Sunday.

Wright's 36 years of ministry produced a 30 second sound bite for Fox News, and for people to get in a huff over. But black church culture is a different world than for white folk.

And it ain't all bad.

I'll tell you what I find offensive:

Bland, boring, un-evolving, conservative Protestant churches that fail to live up to the proactive social gospel of Jesus himself.

Don't drink. Don't have sex. Don't swear. Be here each Sunday for our outdated music and bland services.

At least Wright's church is doing something about homelessness, about the poor, about AIDS in Africa.

I'm a Youth Pastor at an aforementioned boring Protestant church, and I wish our white churches could learn something positive from black churches, instead of spewing all this crap about how offended we are.

Posted by: Boutan | March 19, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

I thought Obama's speech was really moving. I'm sure he infuriates right-wingers when he points out that racial politics (most effectively exploited by the Republicans for the last 40 years) obfuscates the real problems that have their roots in corporate greed and corrupt government. However, it remains to be seen if he can actually bring together a winning coalition that includes the Reagan-Bush Democrats. I stand firm in my conviction that he needs to prove it in the Pennsylvania primary.

I'm glad The Fix highlighted Ron Fournier's column focusing about what I have already said bothers me about Obama: his tendency to be condescending, paternalistic, elitist, etc. Bill Clinton won twice by making a gut-level connection with working-class Democrats and independents and persuading them that he "feels their pain." Obama needs to convince those voters of his humility and empathy.

I think working-class voters have an innate sense of struggle, an innate sense that they have been screwed by the powers that be within the system for years, an innate sense that people in power will always try to screw them, and therefore an innate mistrust of the falseness of Obama's message of idealism. For me, the Hillary-bashing bloggers just exemplify the hypocrisy of this message, in that the most partisan backers of Obama can't refrain from playing like Hillary (confrontational) instead of Barack (conciliatory).

Posted by: harlemboy | March 19, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

What's pretty clear is that people who hated Obama before (and I don't think that's too strong a word) still hate him, as I'm sure we'll see as the comments fill up here. They have a whole lot invested in their candidate and don't want anything that might complicate that.

I liked the guy plenty before and figured he'd do well with this kind of speech, but I was stunned at its sweep and his refusal to pander and his determination to move the ball forward on this tricky tricky subject.

On the level of pure process, it was gutsy - leaderly -- for him to do this. On a more substantive level, that might have been the best piece of political rhetoric (and I don't mean that in a bad way) in my lifetime. This guy is different. Love him, like him, or hate him, Obama is a transformative figure. And given the tired stale bs politics we've been living through for the past generation or two, that's a great great great thing.

Posted by: novamatt | March 19, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

That's all for today. I've got a big evolution.

Hope there is a meaningful discussion today about the speech.

And I agree with Mark's post on the earlier thread; the beauty of the speech, and the effectiveness of the speech, are two different things. I grant the Senator the former.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | March 19, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

He drew outragesous parallels between Ms. Ferraro's innocuous comments, comments that were dredged up from an unknown newspaper by Mr. Obamam's own campaign and leaked to the press

Speaking of lying....

Posted by: billdamon | March 19, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Leichtman and USMC_Mike have articulated the major critical talking point against the speech--namely, that Sen. Obama admitted hearing things from Rev. Wright that he did not like, and that he would nevertheless continue to have a relationship with the man. Folks are questioning why he doesn't leave the church. I find it interesting that most people agree with what Sen. Obama had to say on the race issues, and have found a religious issue to tackle. To that, I would pose the following hypothetical:

You belong to a major Christian faith. Stories begin to surface that the clergy of that major Christian faith are molesting young boys who assist with the service. These stories are eventually confirmed, and a meeting of the faith leaders convenes. At that meeting, it is proposed that any clergy member who has acted inappropriately in this manner should be excommunicated--one strike and you're out. This proposition is overwhelmingly supported by the lay membership of the faith, but the clergy vote it down. That Sunday, the clergy at your parish give sermons about forgiveness, and seek to avoid the controversy. The offending clergy members go off to low-profile positions, and the matter is never discussed again.

You continue to attend services.

That is the position of the vast majority of Roman Catholics in this country (including myself). Frankly I find the Catholic Church's opinion on lots of things distasteful (it's tough being a Catholic Moonbat, as Zouk would say), but none more than the idea that we just let priests get away with buggering little boys. And honestly, I think my decision to stand by the Catholic church through that decision is more reprehensible than Sen. Obama or the rest of the Church of Christ standing by Rev. Wright. Rev. Wright's comments were offhand, individual statements made during a sermon. The Catholic Church articulated a specific policy position on a matter and stuck with it--head to toe. By being a practicing Catholic, I am complicit--and by that, I am ashamed.

But I don't leave the Church. Why? Because I believe in the pastoral ministry of such folks as Mother Teresa, Sister Helen Prijon, St. Thomas More, and, yes, at times, Pope John Paul II. It gives me spiritual nourishment. It keeps my head on straight. And it does this even though it is complicit in what is probably the most abominable act any adult could engage in.

It's a paradox, I know. That's the point. The point is that it's harder than just to say, "hey, if your priest says something you disagree with, leave the church." If God gives you lemons, you don't just go find a new god. Everyone criticizing Sen. Obama for staying with his church and with his minister should think about that for a second.

Posted by: crt12 | March 19, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

As usual, Mr. Obama's speech was dazzling in its eloquence, so much so that it blinded the reasonings of many of his listeners, especially members of the media.

Mr. Obama's speech, which was only made under extreme pressure from the media and the voters, did little to address the core problems of his candidacy, namely, his judgement or lack thereof, and his ability to adeptly handle serious issues, issues he will have to face if he ever becomes president. As usual, he diverted his listeners' attention by subtly changing the subject, much in the same manner an astute parent will change the subject when a toddler is frustrated and throwing a tantrum. It is condescension to the extreme.

Mr. Obama lied about what he knew and when he knew it as on Friday he repeatedly stated and wrote that he was not aware of Rev. Wright's hateful speeches. He drew outragesous parallels between Ms. Ferraro's innocuous comments, comments that were dredged up from an unknown newspaper by Mr. Obamam's own campaign and leaked to the press, and Rev. Wright's hatemogering rants. He also drew parallels between his loving white grandmother and the odious Reverend. Why isn't everyone as outraged at these stretches of truth as I am, I wonder. Finally, when will Americans learn that pretty words do not a leader make. One blogger actually wrote that had Mr. Obama been Shakespeare, people would still have rejected him. Though a great playwright, Shakespeare would have been an awful president, just as Mr. Obama might be. He is cynical, condescending and now he has proved that he is also a liar.

Posted by: feliciaczin | March 19, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

As usual, Mr. Obama's speech was dazzling in its eloquence, so much so that it blinded the reasonings of many of his listeners, especially members of the media.

Mr. Obama's speech, which was only made under extreme pressure from the media and the voters, did little to address the core problems of his candidacy, namely, his judgement or lack thereof, and his ability to adeptly handle serious issues, issues he will have to face if he ever becomes president. As usual, he diverted his listeners' attention by subtly changing the subject, much in the same manner an astute parent will change the subject when a toddler is frustrated and throwing a tantrum. It is condescension to the extreme.

Mr. Obama lied about what he knew and when he knew it as on Friday he repeatedly stated and wrote that he was not aware of Rev. Wright's hateful speeches. He drew outragesous parallels between Ms. Ferraro's innocuous comments, comments that were dredged up from an unknown newspaper by Mr. Obamam's own campaign and leaked to the press, and Rev. Wright's hatemogering rants. He also drew parallels between his loving white grandmother and the odious Reverend. Why isn't everyone as outraged at these stretches of truth as I am, I wonder. Finally, when will Americans learn that pretty words do not a leader make. One blogger actually wrote that had Mr. Obama been Shakespeare, people would still have rejected him. Though a great playwright, Shakespeare would have been an awful president, just as Mr. Obama might be. He is cynical, condescending and now he has proved that he is also a liar.

Posted by: feliciaczin | March 19, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

As usual, Mr. Obama's speech was dazzling in its eloquence, so much so that it blinded the reasonings of many of his listeners, especially members of the media.

Mr. Obama's speech, which was only made under extreme pressure from the media and the voters, did little to address the core problems of his candidacy, namely, his judgement or lack thereof, and his ability to adeptly handle serious issues, issues he will have to face if he ever becomes president. As usual, he diverted his listeners' attention by subtly changing the subject, much in the same manner an astute parent will change the subject when a toddler is frustrated and throwing a tantrum. It is condescension to the extreme.

Mr. Obama lied about what he knew and when he knew it as on Friday he repeatedly stated and wrote that he was not aware of Rev. Wright's hateful speeches. He drew outragesous parallels between Ms. Ferraro's innocuous comments, comments that were dredged up from an unknown newspaper by Mr. Obamam's own campaign and leaked to the press, and Rev. Wright's hatemogering rants. He also drew parallels between his loving white grandmother and the odious Reverend. Why isn't everyone as outraged at these stretches of truth as I am, I wonder. Finally, when will Americans learn that pretty words do not a leader make. One blogger actually wrote that had Mr. Obama been Shakespeare, people would still have rejected him. Though a great playwright, Shakespeare would have been an awful president, just as Mr. Obama might be. He is cynical, condescending and now he has proved that he is also a liar.

Posted by: feliciaczin | March 19, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Mike and Boutan both have reasonable responses to the speech - because while it is a great speech about race in America it could not do the impossible and quiet the notion that BHO had subjected his children to a batty and hateful preacher for their entire lives.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 19, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I find it stunning that while guys like Haggee and Falwell have had alot of direct access to presidents, hardly anyone said a word about those relationships. Why is Wright any different from them? Wright has sad some bad stuff about America that I deplore. Falwell and his like said things like the U.S. deserved terrorist attacks and natural catastrophes. What could be more anti-american than those statements?

The difference I see is that Wright was not going to have any say in policy where as these others have.

I don't like what many of these types of pastors say, especially Wright. And I'm stunned that Haggard could meet with a U.S. president weekly while preaching his hatred of millions of citizens.

Posted by: billdamon | March 19, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Boutan - I'm glad you're touched to tears.

I'm also glad you're not voting in my election.

There are plenty of things to cry about in life.

(This speech is not one of them.)

Posted by: USMC_Mike | March 19, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

LiveFree - Juan Williams was an Obama supporter. I always saw him defend him against HRC, and the rest of Chris Wallace's panel.

He's also an honest man.

And he's quite upset (understandably) at Obama for this.

If I were a black man I would be furious, and embarrassed.

I hard JW this morning too, and that's the sense I got.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | March 19, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Obama is not responsible for his pastor feeling anger and lashing out against what we must honestly admit has been a brutal and bigoted treatment of black folks (most minorities actually) by the mostly white Euro-American masses. Is it finally time to move past that for BOTH blacks and whites..? Probably. Hopefully. But the painful truth really is....we whites aren't particularly nice people at times, are we..? We deserve to admit the sins of racism and bigotry. Ask the American Natives. Some people are sinply going to snarl and shout until that happens. Most likely, someone still needs to do it. Obama was put in a position where he had to defend himself because the other side of the political race demanded he explain this other man's position. To me, he didn't have to do that. That he did so at all was a profile in courage. That he did it so well is a profile in stature. I'm from Kansas also, and my elders (not parents but older family) at times made some EXTREMELY racist remarks. My grandmother didn't like people from Indiana at ALL because she didn't know what a Hoozier was. She never let it go. The only difference is instead of preaching it, they whispered it. I grew up knowing better (good parents), and I still have love for my family. I don't feel the need to defend myself because of them. I simply don't agree with my elders point of view on some things. That was then. This is now - and this is ME - not them. This is HIM, not the pastor. Please America..stop making this an issue. We all know folks who hold a point of view we disagree with and we still maintain a relationship of some sort with them anyway. He is no more responsible for those words than we are for the words of our friends and family. Obama just keeps impressing me over and over again. Just saying......

Posted by: geoffreyshannon | March 19, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm here because of Ashley.

Posted by: schencks84 | March 19, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

I stayed up until 3am over here in Sydney Australia to here that speech.

I'm not an American, and I can't vote in your election.

But I had a gut feel that history was being made as I sat and watched the live coverage.

I have now cried twice in the last year. The first was when I watched his New Hampshire speech. The second was last night.

Our moment IS now.

And by "our" I mean everyone, in every nation. We wait in anticipation of a Presidency that will not be an embarrassment to your nation - but a beacon of hope and light.

Posted by: Boutan | March 19, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

I heard comments from Juan Williams on NPR this morning, and he praised the speech but remained dubious that it would end the controversy over Rev. Wright's rhetoric.
In a nation that celebrates freedom of speech, to the point that public commentators can spew uttter nonsense and hateful epithets, I do not understand why some have been so damning of Senator Obama for his former pastor's remarks. For these people, who cannot get past their own biased viewpoint, nothing will change their minds.
While Rev. Wright's words may be inflamatory, there is some evidence as reason to argue that this nation has committed some awful transgressions. Only the love-it-or-leave-it crowd will object to factual discussions about the liabilities and unfortunate consequences of American foreign and domestic policies over the past century.
For thinking Americans, this speech will be remembered for its sharp focus and depth of understanding about the racial divide that still plagues our American culture.
Having studied the civil rights movement as dissertation research, I think it could be a turning point for political thought (except for those who view the world through television).

Posted by: LiveFree | March 19, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Will there be enough of us, we who clearly see, and can direct that sight toward electing brilliance to the world stage? A brilliance not seen for so long, it no longer has been hoped for, forgotten along history's road, trampled underfoot by the tired cynicism of the disheartened. How else to begin the beginning of healing, than to begin? Great men and women stand and speak what is difficult, point to what the rest are too terrified to see. This is what we are witness to. We are watching a great man as he tries to get us to face ourselves.
As far as I am concerned, and others like me, Barack Obama is already our president.

Posted by: carychrysler | March 19, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Obama's speech was EXACTLY what our country needs to hear. He was balanced and honest in dealing with issues. He repeatedly renounced the hate rhetoric; but also showed where those feelings of bitterness came from. He even went out of his way to appeal to the middle class whites who "don't feel their race has been such an advantage for them."

He attempted to explain and expound on racial attitudes from both sides; and was able to "go there" concerning the hidden racism (like his grandmother's) and institutionalized racism--2 things, in my view, many whites are squeemish to admit or "out".

This speech was what we need to hear if we are to hope to move past the sins of our past.

AND---more than once he proved he was extremely humble in his candidacy--to spite the Fournia article form yetserday.

AND--he was realistic--he point blank stated that he never believed that one race, one candidacy or one candidate would be enough to move us past the race issue--this is just a beginning.

I honestly do not see how you could listen to or read the entire speech--not snippets taken out of context--and not see the good that will and should come from addressing issues like this.

Gobama!

Posted by: chadibuins | March 19, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

"imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me..."

You can't choose your family. If your uncle is crazy, he's still your uncle.

You CAN choose your pastor, and your Church.

This is (yet another) false comparison by the Senator.

Don't let him pull a fast one.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | March 19, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

"And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me...I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother"

As well intentioned as this speech was this phrase will come back to haunt the Senator Obama campaign, and will certainly not play well in places like Scranton, Youngstown and Jacksonville. I am sure that I will be yelled at and told who cares, but politcally, failure to fully disasscoiciate himself from Pastor Wright will not play well on Main Street and may doom his campaign.

Posted by: leichtman | March 19, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Obama was forced to give the speech. It wasn't something he necessarily planned on doing yesterday. It wasn't on his schedule. The speech came only as a result of media attention.

That said, there are several positives:

First, under duress, Obama proved he can deliver a semi-'inspiring' speech.

Second, he was right, that America *has* evolved, and that race relations *have* improved, dramatically, from Wright's generation to ours.

However, he did not do what he set out to do.

He made broad, sweeping statements about reconciliation, but he still is the race candidate. He is not above it all, post-racial. Maybe some of that is Hillary, who willingly injects race.

That he "dumbed down" Wright's comments, and compared them to what a 'normal' person might hear from his pastor or priest, is irritating and rediculous. There is nothing my priest says with which I "PROFOUNDLY" disagree. Were that the case, I would find a new parish.

Second, he never explained his poor judgement of character. Or that his children were subjected to this.

Can we be expected to believe after 20 years he never heard these comments? He's already lied to us, at first categorically denying hearing them, then yesterday, saying yes "of course" he has been "deeply" offended. Which is it, Senator?

Finally, to compare the public rantings of an obvious, vicous racist to the private comments of his grandmother was tasteless, and (yet another) false comparison. It was sneaky, and unsettling.

Overall, I would say he probably rescued his imperiled campaign, and career yesterday. The speech was well crafted, flowed well, and well delivered.

But to those of us paying attention, it did not fulfil his duty to explain his poor choices, and indeed, his poor JUDGEMENT (the basis of his campaign), to the American People.

And I for one came away offended at the notion that it is somehow 'normal' to hear this infective, ignorant, and downright hateful crap at 'any' Church. How dare you Senator.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | March 19, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I thought Obama's speech was excellent. He took on the issues and spoke directly and persuasively to them. I thoughthe did a great job walking the fine line between totally rejecting his pastor (which would not have been believable) and totally embracing his pastor (which would have been disaster.)

It was very interesting watching the commentators comment on the speech. The African American commentators, generally, were very moved. This was an African American speaking for their community and speaking the "unspeakable"--telling whites what African Americans have been trying to say for decades.

I was very disappointed in Pat Buchanan. I normally like him, although I don't agree with much of what he says. He's smart and kind of funny and he's got a good sense of humor.

However, he showed he still just doesn't get, in his remarks after the speech. He, and the other Republican commentators, continued to say, "Well, this isn't going to satisfy everyone. He just didn't do the job." What these commentators don't get is exactly what Obama was saying--that there is a group of people in America who want the racial divide to continue, and grow wider. There is political power to be gained by dividing people, not uniting them. Pat, unfortunately, is one of those dividers.

Posted by: paul_hardt | March 19, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Obama knocked it out of the park.

Posted by: davide | March 19, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

As I wrote on the previous thread, the excellent speech stands apart from the immediate events that led to it. It is the best current public speech on race in America.

Read as an apologia for Jeremiah Wright it must, I think, fail. Read as an attempt to synthesize for an American audience the possibilities that lie within our grasp it succeeds.

This may not heal the wound to his campaign, understandably and even reasonably. But if you were to read the speech without regard to the campaign itself, the words have merit. Try reading it in that light.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 19, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

obama spent the last 20 yrs sitting on his hands while his pastor spewed vile against america. and when this vileness was exposed, he now rejects it?

hypocrite.

Posted by: mikel1 | March 19, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Obama's speech was BRILLIANT and clearly shows his talents as an eloquent and thoughtful man who has the potential to be an extraordinary leader. While most of Obama's core supporters and some independents will agree that the speech was way above the norm for a political speech, I suspect that there are still many others who will listen to the 30 second soundbites of Wright's inflammatory rhetoric and have already made up their minds about Obama's values. That is truly unfortunate, because the real meaning of Christianity is forgiveness and guilt by association has destroyed far too many people. Yes, Wright's remarks played over and over by the media were incendiary, but I'm sure the man is more complex than the monster he is made out to be. If People actually take the time to read and listen to ALL Obama's speech in its entirety, they couldn't help but being moved by both his personal narrative (including poignant references to his White grandmother) and his message of racial healing.

Posted by: billbolducinmaine | March 19, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

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