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Wag the Blog: A Question of Temperament?

In what has been a relatively slow news week, a made-for-television exchange between Sen. Barack Obama and a extremely persistent man requesting a photo with the Illinois Senator became all the buzz of the chattering class on Wednesday.

Here's video of the exchange:

Note: Please upgrade your Flash plug-in to view our enhanced content.

Just in case you had trouble hearing, our colleague Shailagh Murray provides a partial transcript.

Obama is visibly annoyed at the man who, the Senator's campaign insists, was seeking an autograph to sell on ebay and, therefore, was not genuine in his motives.

Our sense in watching the series of clips is that Obama could be justified in his cold response to the guy. The man's hawking of Obama for a picture seems similar to those folks who pushed young kids out of the way at spring training to get Don Mattingly to sign 200 of his rookie cards "for their collection."

But, this episode is sure to raise questions in some circles about Obama's temperament -- and whether he is suited to the pressure-cooker of the presidency. For those of you who doubt us, there have a significant number of stories written already this year about Sen. John McCain's (Ariz.) temper and whether he is suited for the most powerful position in the world.

McCain even addressed the matter earlier this week in a speech at his former high school; "In all candor, as an adult I've been known to forget occasionally the discretion expected of a person of my years and station when I believe I've been accorded a lack of respect I did not deserve," McCain said Tuesday.

For today's Wag the Blog question, we want to hear from the Fix community on whether a candidate's temperament matters when you are deciding who to support? Why or why not?

The most thoughtful and insightful comments will be featured in a post of their own. As always, let's do our level best to keep the conversation respectful and polite.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 2, 2008; 7:27 PM ET
Categories:  Wag The Blog  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Clinton Unveils New 3 AM Ad, McCain Responds
Next: Obama's $40 Million Haul (And What It Means)

Comments

When I read stuff like this on the front page of a major daily I don't feel so bad that newspapers are going out of business.Does it make sense to make all Americans pay more for services that benefit the 13% of Americans below the poverty line?), or how Clinton and Obama will ensure quality education for America's children even though their campaigns will be beholden to teachers' unions that will object to any semblance of performance-based pay.
---------------
Ancil

Trivia Game Challenge

Posted by: Ancil | August 18, 2008 1:49 AM | Report abuse

When even know and went on me. were told turtle,

Posted by: housekitchen | April 22, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: qdfybp wdsfeay | April 11, 2008 1:19 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: qdfybp wdsfeay | April 11, 2008 1:19 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: qdfybp wdsfeay | April 11, 2008 1:18 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: rhmldtku chlneoxw | April 11, 2008 1:18 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: gsjoarhn ifznpral | April 11, 2008 1:17 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: pocyfa qsfepkgz | April 11, 2008 1:16 AM | Report abuse

What do you mean Chris there is no today's
"Obama Bowls" or another "Obama Drinks A
Beer With Workers" or "Obama Milks Cow"
Story in WAPO today? lol

Posted by: sandylong5274 | April 6, 2008 2:21 AM | Report abuse

What do you mean Chris there is no today's
"Obama Bowls" or another "Obama Drinks A
Beer With Workers" or "Obama Milks Cow"
Story in WAPO today? lol

Posted by: sandylong5274 | April 6, 2008 2:21 AM | Report abuse

What do you mean Chris there is no today's
"Obama Bowls" or another "Obama Drinks A
Beer With Workers" or "Obama Milks Cow"
Story in WAPO today? lol

Posted by: sandylong5274 | April 6, 2008 2:21 AM | Report abuse

What bothers me more than McCain's temper is his penchant for pointing out the candor or "straight talk" of his own statements. Tell me that isn't a tell.

Posted by: light_bearer | April 4, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Chris - I'm seriously disappointed with the content of your posts. You're not even a top five blogger anymore.
1. Ben Smith
2. Mark H
3. Marc A
4. Kos
5. Josh Marshall
At least they are either a) totally on top of breaking action b) analyzing relevant and newsworthy issues with intelligence.
Your posts suck in comparison. No offense.

Posted by: anthmroy | April 3, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of -- can you IMAGINE this guy being allowed by the Secret Service to interact with Pres. Bush in the same way? Even if Bush were campaigning? I bet you won't see any more incidents like this; some agents are going to get a good talking-to from their supervisor.

Posted by: gbooksdc | April 3, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight: if you are photographed with person X, and person X happens to be a sleaze, you're attacked for being associated with a person of X's character. BUT -- if you decline, however politely, to be photographed with person X, you're a bad guy? If person X refuses to take no for an answer, you're supposed to put on a fake smile and cave in? And when the discussion drops to this level, aren't we really reaching for reasons to attack Sen. Obama? What's next, are we going to interview the waitress he tipped 20%, who thought she deserved 25%? (And this really does tend to support the accusation that CBS is in the bag for Hillary, which is a topic that Howie Kurtz should look into, except that he stopped being a serious reporter about the time he made it on TV.)

In related news, I would HATE to be in Sen. Obama's detail. That scene reminded me of nothing so much as the black woman who tried to assassinate MLK by stabbing him. They HAVE to let people approach him, as he is seeking votes, but they've got to be on split-second reflexes in case someone produced a weapon instead of a camera.

Posted by: gbooksdc | April 3, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

BNW173, since when are you qualified to talk about poor judgment. Based upon your recent posts supporting this inane, divisive non-issue, I'd watch the bonehead talk. Remember, people who live in glass houses...

Posted by: windycityward | April 3, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

This is totally ridiculous. What is wrong with people who view real-life events like this and criticize Sen. Obama for acting appropriately during a circumstance could be have been dangerous, was rude on the part of the man asking for the photograph, etc.? I cannot believe that this is what our country has come to but obviously it has. While in college, I read a book called "The Dumbing of America". It has happened and now we have a dumb president who has bankrupted our country, has shredded our very important Constitution and now the public seems to delight in criticizing a good man for not going along with the desires of a very rude and pushy man for a photo-op. Again, totally ridiculous.

Posted by: kjboy27 | April 3, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

MI/FL petitioner #
10701 Patrick Callahan - INDIANA

OBAMA SAYS FL & MI CAN VOTE, BUT ONLY IF THE VOTES DON'T COUNT. IT LOOKS LIKE HE REALLY IS SADDAM'S COUSIN. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Former Senator Tom Daschle, a supporter of Obama told CNN's Gloria Borger that Obama would like to "give Florida the opportunity to vote" - but not in a way that would change the overall outcome. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Same line Obama supporter Chaka Fattah said on "Hardball" the other day. Count the votes, but only if they don't really count. . . , , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not counting Florida and Michigan into the nominating process makes the nominee illegitimate. Can't say it any plainer than that.


--

It's all here -

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/seatourdelegates/signatures.html


-

Posted by: straightmedia | April 3, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Chris you gotta be kiddin me Obama has got the right temperament to be President this picture thing is non-sense! the guy who has the bad temperament is the "race card kid" Bill Clinton just ask Bill Richardson! I would also question Hillary Clinton's mental well being after the Bosnia, Ireland, SCHIP delusions now she says Bill Richardson is lying about her saying Obama can't win! Billary is saying that Richardson is the one who said Obama couldn't win! A he said she said! Who do you believe Chris? Billary is a serial liar! I think a vast majority of the American people know that Billary is lying AGAIN Billary is just not honest and the polls all of them reflect it!

Posted by: gfsurrette | April 3, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

-- Definitely reveals an arrogant side to his personality. This has always been his Achilles' heal. It does give me pause. --

-


...haven't you heard? Hillary is the
one who thinks she's entitled. Obama
is a Man Of The People.


(unless you live in MI, or FL... ;-)

-

Posted by: straightmedia | April 3, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

The encounter was scary in that this guy was a stalker who should have been handled swiftly and firmly by the Secret Service detail. The fact that he was not is disturbing.

Sen. Obama's behavior was cool, detached, calm and effective as always. It was appropriate to the situation and does not merit more analysis. His temperament is ideal for a president or for anyone required to show sound judgment under pressure.

There is no political content in this particular event at all. Please get back to covering the actual news. Thank you.


Posted by: dee5 | April 3, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

You're better than this Chris.

Posted by: seli0052 | April 3, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I do think this is a slow news day story, funny though how it recieved over 400 posts. Obama's haters are reading it the way they want, as are the Obamacultists. Is it a story? I have seen many stories on McHothead losing his temper, much worse. But Obama has had fw negatives from the MSM outside of Wright and Rezco.

The true loser though is the SS, how could they let him so close to Barak is way beyond belief.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | April 3, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand. Obama was calm and cool like he always is. Are you serious with this article?

Posted by: Carolp23 | April 3, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

This little piece only goes to show how The Media will go to any lengths to portray Obama in a favorable way. The whole thing was handled badly, by Obama, The Media, and the SS as well. The "Jerk" got more than he wanted.

Posted by: lylepink | April 3, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse


Richardson - VP
Hamilton - Defense Sec
Both - Sellouts

Barack - desperate for validators,
makes calls with jobs in hand...

-

Posted by: straightmedia | April 3, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

-- The man's hawking of Obama for a picture seems similar to those folks who pushed young kids out of the way at spring training --

-


How so? The man didn't push anyone out
of the way.

-

Posted by: straightmedia | April 3, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"But, this episode is sure to raise questions in some circles about Obama's temperament..."

I think that the "some say" rhetorical device, of which this is a variant, should not be used by serious journalists. It is a lazy and deceptive way of pushing forward an opinion that the journalists has, or some rival campaign staffer has, or the journalist's boss has, without telling us who the "some circles" are.

Let me guess. Would the "circles" include Ickes, Wolfson and Penn? Or are you just floating it out there to try and get it started?

I think the real story on Obama's temperament is his remarkable cool under pressure. His brief loss of it on the debate stage in South Carolina was a rare event. The Clinton campaign has made heroic efforts to provoke him and he has not responded in kind.

Contrast Obama with John McCain and his frequent red-faced outbursts, at everyone from Bumiller to random voters. The reason his temper is finally being written about, even by his adoring fans in the press, is that it is a real-life issue, and it has been raised by real people on the record, like Senators and Generals, not by the anonymous detractors in "some circles."

Posted by: snelson648 | April 3, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I would have said, with a polite smile, "Stand back, young fella, while Agents Bauer and Gibbs check you for weapons. While they pat you down, you may state your business, or your grievance."

Stalker: "My wife is a school teacher and she wants a photo or video of you for her class."

M_In_A: "Agents, is he clean?" [Gibbs nods] "Excellent. Please take your photo."

Stalker: "I'm using my cell phone video, can you say something to her? Her name is Farfelle."

M_In_A: "Hi, Farfelle. "Butterfly" is such a pretty name in Italian. What do your students call you? Hi kids. Get your parents out to vote for me."

Stalker: "Oh, thank you. We love you."

M_In_A: "Agent Bauer, help this young fella on his way, please."

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 3, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Chris was just being clever on a slow news day. This was his Seinfeld entry (a blog about nothing) and you all bought into it. Good job, Chris!

Posted by: optimyst | April 3, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

leichtman, I am having a coffee break and I see your post to me. Point taken. I believe you understand my frustration with the security aspect.

But "wpost4112", who likes BHO, found this episode to give him pause [11:34A], so I do not think universal condemnation of BHO supporters is warranted.

Frankly, I thought BHO conducted himself reasonably, but not in the stellar fashion that I would have conducted myself. And
If HRC had conducted herself in exactly the same way I would have thought her very calm and healthily detached, considering the security risk. If McC had conducted himself as BHO did, I would have said "Thank God you did not go off on the guy and make an incident for YouTube."

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 3, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

More than being just arrogant, it reveals something FAR MORE disturbing, and more to the point, about Obama-his TOTAL lack of people skills, his total unwillingness to accomodate a pesky, yet potential vote by posing for a simple photo, just as the other candidates had done, and made him go away-you didn't notice this man having an issue with Hillary, now did you? Because it shows that she has MORE COMMON SENSE.

If this man Obama, with his poor people skills, his total lack of leadership qualities can take a mundane situation on the campaign trail and blow it up into something that reflects very badly on his character and his ability to deal with minor irritants-JUST THINK OF WHAT HE'D BE LIKE IF HE WAS FACED WITH A TENSE INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT-AND HE WAS BEING ROUNDLY CRITICIZED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRERS-OBAMA IS NOT PSYCHOLOGICALLY FIT TO BE PRESIDENT-HE'S GOT THE KIND OF PERSONALITY THAT IS NO WAY SUITED TO BE A POLITICIAN, BECAUSE PEOPLE SKILLS ARE EVERYTHING FOR A POLITICIAN AND A PRESIDENT-HE HAS NO PRESIDENTIAL QUALITIES ABOUT HIM WHATSOEVER.

VERY VERY DISTURBING VIDEO, AND VERY INSIGHTFUL AT THE SAME TIME.

Posted by: farfalle44 | April 3, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Definitely reveals an arrogant side to his personality. This has always been his Achilles' heal. It does give me pause.

Posted by: wpost4112 | April 3, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:

I like your idea. I think the problem would be to select appropriate samples from the different stump speeches, as they have evolved quite a bit even in the last couple of months.

HRC and BHO have had to give their stumps pretty frequently during this campaign, so I would hope that they improve with practice!

I think that HRC's campaign figures she has won the experience battle over BHO. So she can take out some of the wonkiness in her speeches and make them more human to connect better with the audience. But she seems to have also learned the ebb and flow of a good campaign speech as well.

BHO has always given a great speech. And his evolution as a debater is apparent over the course of this campaign. But in interviews, he does appear to think too much and comes across as an aloof, pointy-headed, ivory tower intellectual, which hurts him in trying to connect with "regular" people.

I think McC's problem is that he's no longer speaking from a stump speech, but rather he has to talk about specific policy issues (or VP selection) as they arise. That gives him little opportunity to test out what works and what should be discarded. He might be the least gifted of the three in terms of public speaking, but an expert campaigner nonetheless.

All in all, I think we have a choice among three really excellent candidates. I won't be holding my nose when I go into the voting booth in Nov.

Posted by: mnteng | April 3, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

more astonishing stupidity--

"Chris Matthews' latest problem with race: MSNBC personality suggests blacks, college grads aren't "regular people" - Earlier this week, obsessing over Barack Obama's bowling excursion, Chris Matthews told MSNBC political analyst Michelle Bernard, "You know, Michelle -- and this gets very ethnic, but the fact that he's good at basketball doesn't surprise anybody, but the fact that he's that terrible at bowling does make you wonder." It was, of course, an incredibly odd thing to say -- it certainly sounded as if Matthews, while getting "ethnic," believes black people are necessarily good at basketball. With this one under his belt, Matthews decided to dabble in some more bizarre racial talk again yesterday, suggesting only whites with high school diplomas qualify as "regular people."

Posted by: drindl | April 3, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Chris you gotta be kiddin me Obama has got the right temperament to be President this picture thing is non-sense! the guy who has the bad temperament is the "race card kid" Bill Clinton just ask Bill Richardson! I would also question Hillary Clinton's mental well being after the Bosnia, Ireland, SCHIP delusions now she says Bill Richardson is lying about her saying Obama can't win! Billary is saying that Richardson is the one who said Obama couldn't win! A he said she said! Who do you believe Chris? Billary is a serial liar! I think a vast majority of the American people know that Billary is lying AGAIN Billary is just not honest and the polls all of them reflect it!

Posted by: gfsurrette | April 3, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

This is a non-event. The candidates are all getting tired (well, not McCain so much, he can coast a bit), and making mistakes.

Posted by: JD | April 3, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: anthem20042001 | April 3, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

"Glenn Greenwald -- The central paradox of our political life is that the right-wing faction that continues to dominate our political institutions and win elections embraces fringe beliefs which have little popular support. That's why their overarching objective is to remove substantive considerations from our political debates "

--hmmm...

Posted by: drindl | April 3, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

A very slow news day, I'm sure.
Most of you news reporters (not journalists) are egotistic and vulture-like. Let it go.

Posted by: sscookie | April 3, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Let's turn it around: Wouldn't a candidate who would allow a commercial autograph seeker to badger him endlessly without rebuke be regarded as a "wimp" and a "softy" who coundn't be relied on in a crisis?

Chris, your silliness quotient just took a huge leap.

Posted by: Stonecreek | April 3, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Here, CC -- let me help. Here's an actual news story:

Net Loss 6,700 GOP Voters In NC

"Thanks to a team of gracious number-crunchers at the North Carolina State Board of Elections, here's another fascinating tidbit about voter registration in the state -- custom-crafted at NBC/NJ's request.

It's big news that the number of NEW registrations is off the charts here in the Tar Heel State, as many voters wake up to the blinding spotlight of presidential politics aimed unexpectedly in their squinting eyes. Over 165,000 previously unregistered voters have signed up since the first of the year.

But there's also a lot of movement within the ranks of registered voters. Between January and March of this year, more than 30,000 currently registered voters changed their party identification. More than 12,000 of those, about 40%, are previously Republican voters who have moved OUT of the party to register either as Democrats or as unaffiliated voters able to participate in either primary on May 6th. Subtract from that the number of Dems and unaffiliated voters who moved into the GOP, and there's still a net LOSS of about 6,700 Republican voters in three months. In contrast, the Democratic party nabbed a net of about 4,000 voters - previously Republican or unaffiliated - who moved into the D column. And the unaffiliated group, which gained almost 50,000 new voters in the last three months, added an additional 2,700 net from the shuffle.

Why am I telling you all this? Unaffiliateds are the big bold wildcard in the Carolina election - they're difficult to poll and even harder to target, and their motivations are all over the map. From Republicans hoping to throw a monkey wrench in the Democratic primary at Rush Limbaugh's urging, to disenchanted partisans seeking a unity candidate, to last-minute undecideds, these are the voters who could surprise us all."

Now, kids, wag the blog. What do you think the real story is here? Why are so many R's in NC swiitching to D?

Posted by: drindl | April 3, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

mark no one is defending this creep especilly not CZ or how the SS responded. What I can t understand is why any time ANY quuestion is posed to Obama supporters they attack the questioner with a how dare you. Politics is not for the feint of heart especially Presidential. Still no response to my querry what would today s response had this been HC? Certainly not way to go girl. More likely she would hsve been called an out of control b++++. I am waiting to hear an Obama uppoeter say otherwise.

Posted by: leichtman | April 3, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

FARFALLE --STFU, YOU MORON.

jeezus. what a nation of idiots.

Posted by: drindl | April 3, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I can't THINK of a more meaningful post on Barack Obama than this one Chris! This is a reporter's JOB to report on how the candidate reacts to situations on the campaign trail, and wheb you have a candidate who reacts in such a haughty, arrogant and dismissive manner to a potential voter, regardless of how pesky, and reacts with such poor interpersonal skills, escalating a mundane situation on the campaign trail to a major reported incident, then a reporter has a DUTY TO REPORT THIS AND PROVIDE A SUBTEXT FOR DISCUSSION. AND THE AMERICAN PUBLIC NEEDS TO SEE THIS CANDIDATE FOR WHAT HE IS, WHICH IS SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T BELONG ANYWHERE NEAR THE WHITE HOUSE, HE IS UNSKILLED AS A LEADER, AS A POLITICIAN AND AS A HUMAN TO DEAL WITH ALL SORTS OF PEOPLE ON A DAILY BASIS WHO WILL BE QUESTIONING HIM EVERY STEP OF THE WAY, FROM NOW ON OUT.

OBAMA'S LACK OF DECORUM, HIS LACK OF GENIALITY REGARDING A POTENTIAL VOTER'S REQUEST FOR A PHOTO, SPEAKS VOLUMES ABOUT HIS UNPREPAREDNESS AS A POLITICIAN, HIS LACK OF PEOPLE SKILLS, WHICH IS AN ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL TRAIT FOR A GOOD PRESIDENT-GOOD PEOPLE SKILLS-OBAMA DOESN'T HAVE, THIS VIDEO SHOWS IT, AND SO CHRIS IS DOING THE AMERICAN PUBLIC A FAVOR BY SHOWING IT AND DISCUSSING IT

BRAVO CHRIS-MORE LIKE THIS, PLEASE!

Posted by: farfalle44 | April 3, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Ahem, for the record, only 'kiddies' post in all caps.

Posted by: judgeccrater | April 3, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

farfalle --you are hysterical. get a life. see a doctor. take your meds. step away from the keyboard.

mark -- if you talk to that cop, please let us know what he says. i find this security breach to be jaw-dropping. this guy was close enough to stab obama with a kitchen knife. what the hell goes on here?

Posted by: drindl | April 3, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

To give CC a break, the press corp has been this juvenile and irresponsible for a generation now. He's never seen much real reportage. But it's stomach-churning to watch the press clown around bufoonishly while we're trying to decide who's the next president of the most powerful nation on earth.

On this Jon Stewart clip, watch the media hysteria over -- yes, bowling -- starting at about 2:50: Unbeleivable.

http://www.mediachannel.org/wordpress/2008/04/02/daily-show-obama-bowling-for-votes/

Posted by: drindl | April 3, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

It's VERY amusing to see how the "little kiddies for Obama" are jamming this blog, because they are SO worried that their guru is being portrayed in a less than flattering light, to say the least! I think this blog has more Obamaite BS on it than any blog the Post has initiated about the Dem. candidates thus far!

This is a VERY newsworthy post-it points to a very troubling fact, that those of us who have been watching this man have been able to see from the very start: OBAMA HAS NO LEADERSHIP SKILLS WHATSOEVER, HE IS A RAW BEGINNER, HE TURNED A MUNDANE EVENT ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL INTO A MAJOR CONFRONTATION, REVEALING HIS NASTY ARROGANT SIDE, HIS LACK OF PEOPLE SKILLS IS APPALLING, AND IT RAISES REAL QUESTIONS ABOUT HE WOULD REACT IF HE WERE PRESIDENT, WHEN FACED WITH A VERY TENSE INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT, WHEN HE WAS BEING "PRESSURED" BY A RECALCITRANT CONGRESS, WHO WAS NOT GOING TO GO ALONG WITH WHAT HE WANTED, AND MOREOVER, WERE GOING TO CRITICIZE HIM AS WELL.

Obama is disturbingly thin-skinned, we learn from this video-he doesn't know how to deal with people who don't lay down at his feet and idolize him, he has NO leadership/management training, he's never worked for the federal government so he doesn't have any idea how a big bureaucracy works-no experience in large group organizations whatsoever THESE INSIGHTS INTO HIS PERSONALITY THAT ARE REVEALED HERE IN THIS VIDEO AND THE QUESTIONS RAISED ABOUT HIS TEMPERAMENT COULD NOT BE MORE RELEVANT TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC WHO ARE TRYING TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS MAN AND HIS PERSONALITY, HIS CHARACTER-AND ANYONE WATCHING THIS VIDEO, SEEING OBAMA REACT TO A POTENTIAL VOTER IN SUCH A NASTY DISMISSIVE WAY, HANDLING THE SITUATION OF SOMEONE WHO IS PESKY ON THE CAMPAIGN TRIAL WITH SUCH POOR PEOPLE SKILLS, CANNOT FAIL BUT BE VERY DISTURBED ABOUT THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN WHAT OBAMA SAYS HE IS ALL ABOUT-CHANGE, INCLUSIVENESS, UNITY AND THE UGLY REALITY OF HIS TOTAL LACK OF PREPAREDNESS IN DEALING WITH PEOPLE -OBAMA DOESN'T REALLY LIKE PEOPLE, IS WHAT THIS VIDEO SAYS, AND HE HAS A DIFFICULT TIME DEALING WITH PEOPLE AND SITUATIONS THAT OTHER CANDIDATES WOULD SIMPLY HUMOR AND LAUGH ABOUT-IN OTHER WORDS, OBAMA IS NOT WILLING TO COMPROMISE, THIS VIDEO SHOWS, NOT EVEN FOR THE STUPIDEST LITTLE MATTER WHICH IN TURN, CAUSES THE MATTER TO ESCALATE IN THE MOST NEGATIVE WAY POSSIBLE FOR OBAMA.

I will repeat: OBAMA DOES NOT BELONG ANYWHERE NEAR THE WHITE HOUSE-I HOPE THE FECKLESS DEM. "LEADERSHIP" AND THE SUPERDELEGATES ARE WATCHING THIS VIDEO CLOSELY-THEY CANNOT FAIL TO BE DISTURBED BY WHAT THEY SEE, ABOUT THE MAN WHO CLAIMS TO BE READY TO BE IN THE WHITE HOUSE WHO CANNOT EVEN HANDLE THE SIMPLEST, MOST MUNDANE SITUATION OF A PERSON REQUESTING A PICTURE, A PICTURE THAT THE MAN GOT FROM THE OTHER CANDIDATES-BUT NOT OBAMA, OH NO, NO YIELDING, NO COMPROMISE, NOTHING BUT GRIMNESS AND HAUGHTINESS IN HIS TREATMENT OF A POTENTIAL VOTER-THE VIDEO AND BLOG REVEAL: THERE'S NO WAY IN HELL THIS MAN COULD BE PRESIDENT-NO WAY IN HELL.

Keep up the good work, Chris! YOU KNOW, like the kiddies here do not, how important this video is for the American public!

Posted by: farfalle44 | April 3, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Threadjack.

I think an interesting topic for "The Fix" would be the evolution of the candidates as speakers and as campaigners.

My gut feel is that HRC has come a long way as a public speaker during this campaign, and that last week she sounded engaging, sometimes invoking in me memories of Ann Richards, something she certainly could not do as recently as February, 2008.

My gut feel is that McC has slipped from the very charming person he was in 2000 and I would suspect some hearing loss.

My gut feel is that BHO now seems more comfortable without the teleprompter and easier in conversation, but still appears to think before every turn of phrase. The habit of a law [senior instructor]? On POTUS'08, I still hear the "ums".

Perhaps Chris could pick "early" and "late" sample videos for each, in three separate threads.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 3, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

This is the most riducilous story of the day. For anyone to try and question Obama's temperament over this is just nuts. Just shows you the media will try and find anything to make Obama look bad. Cazilla and his other media buddies need to get a life. Translation of getting a life: Start reporting some serious news stories.

Posted by: lumi2
--------------------------------------------

Everybody is missing the real story here. This guy, Obama, according to his cult, is almost superhuman. How can he be heckled all day and not take care of it. It could be done subtly. If he can't take care of a persistant heckler, how can he take care of these World's dangerous pests?

I think this shows problem solving abilities and poor judgment. My goodness how boneheaded.

Posted by: bnw173 | April 3, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Let me add that the video shows no evidence that the crowd has been in any way checked by the Service. This is not a video from a screened campaign event.

I may get a chance to talk to a cop friend today for other reasons - I am curious what a pro would think about this. My limited knowledge of security work leaves me with Judge Crater on this one: "unimpressed".

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 3, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

leichtman, please look at the still frame Chris posted in his intro. The fellow appeared previously while BHO was talking to kids, and then followed him and in the still, he is touching the candidate. That is a security lapse.

If this had happened to HRC, I would have hoped the Service was alert enough to keep this man at least six feet away. I would hope this for McC or for BHO. I actually think that for once, Chris, whom I admire, has seized on the wrong "story".

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 3, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

What the chattering classes should be concerned with is how such a known sleazeball could have been given this kind of access to a Presidential candidate. Question: how many known autograph-for-profit-seekers have been casually allowed to confront McCain, HRC or even GWB?

Based on the available data, this is a Secret Service-proof, Disney Fastpass means of getting close to anyone in government. Color me unimpressed, once again, with our tax dollars at work.

Posted by: judgeccrater | April 3, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

In reading the CZ post I don't see that he is defending this jerk only raising an issue for discussion. Apparantly Obama supporters are so sensitive that even asking questions of Sen Obama is herisy. I can only imagine what we would be hearing if this were a Hillary stalker. Somehow I doubt it would be way to go girl.

Didn't John Kerry get heckled at a speech a year ago where he called on the secret service to stop him and the news media slammed Kerry. That was not fair either but neither is politics.

Once again it was only a question not a defense of this jerk. Shouldn t we insist on consistency from the news media or should they only pounce when HC opens her mouth?

Posted by: leichtman | April 3, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Wow. What a sleazy story. Smells like a set-up. Hey Chris, do you know that guy? Slip him a few bucks to harrass Obama?
To the Secret Service...what is wrong with you morons? That could have been the next james earl ray!

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | April 3, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Cc -- and where is the story about how McCain went ballistic -- nutso, beet red, loony ballistic -- when reporter Elizabeth Bumiller asked him a very legitimate question about when he had discussed the possibly of joining Kerry's ticket?

He raged, he blustered, he stammered, he lied.

But you never reported it. Why?

Posted by: drindl | April 3, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Everyone's talking about McCain wanting to find a VP now -- five months before the elections, it is because HE cannot take the heat ALONE...He is making one gaffe after another, and he needs someone else become the center of attention for awhile, so the American public doesn't notice that he is COMPLETELY INEPT! It is quite a clever move on his part.

Posted by: piompino | April 3, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

The press corps is trying to damn hard to be trivial and superficial, and succeeding marvelously. The Secret Service doesn't do its job -- and somehow the story is about some perceived flaw of a -- a Democrat, of course.

But can the press be bothered to report on the fact that the Iraq 'war' has taken a very bizarre turn? If you're old enough to remember Vietnam, this should sound familiar. At least the reporter here was discerning enough to understand that this is the purest propaganda. Whose 'enemy' are we talking about here? Not the US', but rather Maliki's POLITICAL OPPONENT in the upcoming elections. You perhaps know that these so-called enemy forces are a rival political party, and that the US has now rained 104 f*cking bombing runs on a civilian village. How many kids are dead?

"Operation Charge of the Knights. " Think about that for a moment. What are they saying? Knights, for chrisake? Why not just come right out and call it 'The New Crusades' -- because that's how the rest of the world sees it. They think we're just out to kill Muslims. And who could blame them? This so-called 'war' has turned into an incoherent slaughterfest. This is shameful and disgusting.


"BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A U.S. airstrike "against enemy forces" in Basra killed one person and destroyed a house, the U.S. military said Thursday.


Iraqi children stand on top of a destroyed Iraqi Army vehicle in Basra.

The strike was carried out overnight in support of Iraqi security forces and hit a house in the western Basra neighborhood of Qibla.

One "enemy" was killed and no civilian deaths were reported, according to a military spokesman. The military is looking into reports that civilians were killed in another airstrike, he said.

The Basra strike supported the Iraqi-led offensive that began last week, targeting criminal elements in the southern Iraqi city. The troops are targeting strongholds of Shiite militants, including members of cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army, which has a strong presence in Qibla.

The military had no further details about the incident.

Hundreds were killed and wounded in the fighting across Iraq's Shiite regions, which ended when al-Sadr ordered his men to stand down after talks with Iranian and Iraqi Shiite officials.

The United States and Britain have supplied air support during the campaign in Basra, called Operation Charge of the Knights.

The U.S. military said on Thursday that Iraq's fledgling air force also has been involved in the operation.

That force has "planned, executed and monitored 104 missions in support of Iraqi ground forces in Basra between March 25 and April 1."

104 BOMBING RUNS OVER ONE TOWN IN ONE WEEK. A SLAUGHTERHOUSE.

Posted by: drindl | April 3, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Are you serious? This guy had been dogging Obama all day. I'm suprised his SS agents let him get as close as he did. I'm actually impressed that Obama didn't yell at the guy, didn't lose his temper (and I know from losing my temper, and that certainly wasn't it.) Obama was very clear with the guy that he was bothering him, finally relented and gave the guy a picture, and hoped he'd go away. Period. Why is this news? Why does it generate titillating gossip? Why is everyone so blinded by their own political preferences to see this for what it was - an annoying jerk harassing someone? I don't know. But here we stand.

Posted by: Mazarin | April 3, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

i woulda maced that guy in the face

Posted by: schencks84 | April 3, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with most posters -- how far to the bottom of the barrell does the press have to dig to find a way to discredit Obama?

First it's BOWLING, for chrissake, now it's some jerk. The only story is that the Secret Service isn't doing it's job. Obama SHOULD have been furious -- at them for letting this nut get so close to him.

Seriously, CC -- think before you write-- that is just sad.

Posted by: drindl | April 3, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

What is fascinating here is the inverse relationship between the content of the blog entry and the comments it generates. As has been pointed out in myriad ways, this blog entry lacks any semblance of news quality. I'm not sure whether to be more disappointed with Chris, or the enthusiastic respondents who have nothing to say when higher quality entries beg a higher level of intercourse. Be very careful people. By responding in such quantity, are you not inviting more such vacuous entries? Might this just morph into a "Sound Off" blog? It wouldn't be ALL Chris's fault.

Posted by: optimyst | April 3, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

When did Journalism become 7th Grade Gossip Mongering? The guy was being a jerk, a potential security risk, disruptive, and generally obnoxious and the pundits want Obama to kiss him and bless him for his interest?

Mr. Hinckley: Mr. President, could you turn and face me please.

Mr. Reagan: John, just come on over hear and give me a hug!!

Posted by: 33rdStreet | April 3, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

It is a security risk for any candidate to have a person run up to them like that. He should have been taken aback.

Posted by: rkreyn | April 3, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if the guy had been African American would he have pushed him aside?

Posted by: nroman26 | April 3, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Chris needs a vacation. Obama needs better Secret Service protection. The autograph seeker sounds like someone with a serious personality disorder, some sort of manic obsessive problem perhaps. Also who knows what his background is and if it is a Republican trick to have Obama pose with someone who has a shady past. This autograph seeker sounds mentally ill to me.

Also - what about more serious, investigative type stories - What happened - Where's the news on the Clintons tax returns, donations to the Clinton foundations? What's going on with Tibet, Iraq, Zimbabwe?

Take a vacation please.

Posted by: LisaSteiner | April 3, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Actuakky I live by the moniker kill them with kindness. That is something I remind my adult children when they talk to me about a problem. The lesson here is this Senator Obama no matter how big a pain someone is if you kill them with kindness they go away a lot faster whether they are selling the picture on ebay or not (by the way the guy is just trying to male a buck or two).

Posted by: navyvet48 | April 3, 2008 6:35 AM | Report abuse

Well, I was glad to see the Secret Service guys really watching this guy's hand and arm movements.

HOWEVER, this dance with the guy (who he could not have known was an EBay seller, and just what is so wrong with someone in Pennsylvania economy using EBay for income???) would have been easily avoided by just standing for a photo quickly.

Here's an exercise. How would we have felt if this had been a video with, instead, Hillary ?

Transcript from the pool report
(with Hillary's name replacing Barack's
and vice versa)

Run In #1

Man: Senator, Can I have a quick picture with you?
(Clinton refuses to take a picture)

Run In #2

Man: "Senator, Can I get a picture with you?"
Clinton: "You are wearing me out..."
Man: "I got one with Barack Obama and I got one with McCain, come on Senator that's not right."

Run in #3:

Man: "Senator, can I please, a quick one?
Clinton: "No, you know what, no."
Man: "Can I just say something to you real fast?"
Clinton: "Yeah, you can"
Man: "I had one with Barack Obama, had one with Senator McCain."
Clinton: "I am sure you do. Because when I was trying to talk to some kids - and I know ... look ...
Man: "No, my wife is a school teacher and she was there, she had to go back and that wasn't right what wont you just take a picture with me, I'm not asking you for a autograph its for my family."
Clinton: "Yeah well whatever. Just take it. I won't be smiling. Because you're wearing me out. ....No no, you've been really rude about it. Just take a shot."

(Does it seem ruder coming from her ?)

Posted by: Andrys | April 3, 2008 5:36 AM | Report abuse


Hi there
I am from Switzerland... although I am not American hater; but after 2003; after the start of the Irak war decided not to visit USA... or not to buy any US products...
America is a great country, the land of opportunity; and the land which has the potential to bring the whole world together as a single democratic nation ...
Since couple of decades you have presidents who lie for their cause... who were/are selfish... real politicians than humans...

See how bad the US economy is, see how the people are suffering in the war zones, see how other people from other nations think about America...
Its really sad; how a nation could fall this much down; because of the politicians and their selfish policies ....

I will visit USA and start to buy US products; if the new US president is young and energetic to bring the whole world together
I will visit USA and start to buy US products; if the new US president can think logically and judge the things in the right way and time
I will visit USA and start to buy US products; if the new US president is wise enough to create a dream team around with best people for their job
I will visit USA and start to buy US products; if the new US president is a human than politician

This is not the mind set of one person; try to talk to people out side US

Actually you people need a change!

Posted by: kalamchatty | April 3, 2008 5:15 AM | Report abuse


Hi there
I am from Switzerland... although I am not American hater; but after 2003; after the start of the Irak war decided not to visit USA... or not to buy any US products...
America is a great country, the land of opportunity; and the land which has the potential to bring the whole world together as a single democratic nation ...
Since couple of decades you have presidents who lie for their cause... who were/are selfish... real politicians than humans...

See how bad the US economy is, see how the people are suffering in the war zones, see how other people from other nations think about America...
Its really sad; how a nation could fall this much down; because of the politicians and their selfish policies ....

I will visit USA and start to buy US products; if the new US president is young and energetic to bring the whole world together
I will visit USA and start to buy US products; if the new US president can think logically and judge the things in the right way and time
I will visit USA and start to buy US products; if the new US president is wise enough to create a dream team around with best people for their job
I will visit USA and start to buy US products; if the new US president is a human than politician

This is not the mind set of one person; try to talk to people out side US

Actually you people need a change!

Posted by: kalamchatty | April 3, 2008 5:13 AM | Report abuse

test

Posted by: absurdistan2007 | April 3, 2008 4:19 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if Congressional security cameras have ever caught one of Senator McCain"s famous temper tantrums. I'm sure one of those would really be something to see. I head Senate Pages are not even allowed to go near him lest they encounter one of his purple profanity spewing rages. I think this story is definitely a sort of joke or political prank, which ought to provoke some scrutiny of the other candidates

Posted by: refyjef | April 3, 2008 4:01 AM | Report abuse

Chris, this isnt even news. He wasnt even rude to the guy who was being a real pain in the arse. He never even raised his voice, never mind using insults or swear words! people will try and make this a Teresa Heinz-Kerry moment when it really isnt. Surely there are better things to write about?

Posted by: mcculloughd | April 3, 2008 3:50 AM | Report abuse

I can't THINK of a more meaningful post on Barack Obama than this one Chris! This is a reporter's JOB to report on how the candidate reacts to situations on the campaign trail, and wheb you have a candidate who reacts in such a haughty, arrogant and dismissive manner to a potential voter, regardless of how pesky, and reacts with such poor interpersonal skills, escalating a mundane situation on the campaign trail to a major reported incident, then a reporter has a DUTY TO REPORT THIS AND PROVIDE A SUBTEXT FOR DISCUSSION. AND THE AMERICAN PUBLIC NEEDS TO SEE THIS CANDIDATE FOR WHAT HE IS, WHICH IS SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T BELONG ANYWHERE NEAR THE WHITE HOUSE, HE IS UNSKILLED AS A LEADER, AS A POLITICIAN AND AS A HUMAN TO DEAL WITH ALL SORTS OF PEOPLE ON A DAILY BASIS WHO WILL BE QUESTIONING HIM EVERY STEP OF THE WAY, FROM NOW ON OUT.

OBAMA'S LACK OF DECORUM, HIS LACK OF GENIALITY REGARDING A POTENTIAL VOTER'S REQUEST FOR A PHOTO, SPEAKS VOLUMES ABOUT HIS UNPREPAREDNESS AS A POLITICIAN, HIS LACK OF PEOPLE SKILLS, WHICH IS AN ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL TRAIT FOR A GOOD PRESIDENT-GOOD PEOPLE SKILLS-OBAMA DOESN'T HAVE, THIS VIDEO SHOWS IT, AND SO CHRIS IS DOING THE AMERICAN PUBLIC A FAVOR BY SHOWING IT AND DISCUSSING IT

BRAVO CHRIS-MORE LIKE THIS, PLEASE!

Posted by: farfalle44 | April 3, 2008 1:49 AM | Report abuse

Come on Chris. Since Senator Obama has had SS since the start of his campaign, aren't you just a little concerned about people out there that are just a little crazy??????? Think about JFK, RK, AND MLK.

Posted by: JUSTOYA2 | April 3, 2008 1:24 AM | Report abuse

My hats off to McCain, Clinton and Obama. Not only do they have to deal with death threats, security issues, 24 hr scrutiny and whack jobs like these for the past 18 months, but they also have to deal with asscracks like the WaPo putting nonsense like this on the front page.

I really do pray for the safety of all these candidates, even the ones I am not voting for - with this country's history it would seem the WaPo would do better investigating the security lapses on the campaign that this video so clearly indicates.

Are they safe?

Posted by: wtwo | April 3, 2008 1:23 AM | Report abuse

It's hilarious that so many people have posted that this is a non story. However, there are way too many multiple posts. I suggest the WaPo invest in some software that will prevent multiple posts by the same ID (I know that will not necessarily prevent a person from setting up multiple ID's, but it would be a start.)

You get one chance to comment, and that's it. Seems fair to me.

Last thought: change to the format used in the regular articles, where there are 'pages' and the most recent comment is listed first. I posted a short comment here about 3 hours ago and now I can't find it.


Posted by: dotellen | April 3, 2008 1:13 AM | Report abuse

"This is a VERY important video-would that the Post could find more of these on Obama-like I said, a video like this is worth a thousand of Obama's empty rhetorical speeches-because it shows how badly he reacts to a very mundane situation-VERY VERY TELLING IN A VERY VERY BAD WAY FOR OBAMA!"

I COULDN'T agree more, S! For once, the Post has a reasoned and thoughtful blog going about a very minor incident on the campaign trial blowing up into a very nasty and unflattering major incident by a Presidential candidate who continually likes to crow about being a uniter not a divider! WOW-VERY VERY TELLING MOMENT ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL ABOUT OBAMA'S DECEPTIVE PERSONALITY -JUST KEEP HIM AWAY FROM THE WHITE HOUSE, AND HE CAN DO WHATEVER HE WANTS!

Posted by: arrabbiato | April 3, 2008 1:13 AM | Report abuse

"This is a VERY important video-would that the Post could find more of these on Obama-like I said, a video like this is worth a thousand of Obama's empty rhetorical speeches-because it shows how badly he reacts to a very mundane situation-VERY VERY TELLING IN A VERY VERY BAD WAY FOR OBAMA!"

I COULDN'T agree more, S! For once, the Post has a reasoned and thoughtful blog going about a very minor incident on the campaign trial blowing up into a very nasty and unflattering major incident by a Presidential candidate who continually likes to crow about being a uniter not a divider! WOW-VERY VERY TELLING MOMENT ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL ABOUT OBAMA'S DECEPTIVE PERSONALITY -JUST KEEP HIM AWAY FROM THE WHITE HOUSE, AND HE CAN DO WHATEVER HE WANTS!

Posted by: arrabbiato | April 3, 2008 1:13 AM | Report abuse

"This is a VERY important video-would that the Post could find more of these on Obama-like I said, a video like this is worth a thousand of Obama's empty rhetorical speeches-because it shows how badly he reacts to a very mundane situation-VERY VERY TELLING IN A VERY VERY BAD WAY FOR OBAMA!"

I COULDN'T agree more, S! For once, the Post has a reasoned and thoughtful blog going about a very minor incident on the campaign trial blowing up into a very nasty and unflattering major incident by a Presidential candidate who continually likes to crow about being a uniter not a divider! WOW-VERY VERY TELLING MOMENT ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL ABOUT OBAMA'S DECEPTIVE PERSONALITY -JUST KEEP HIM AWAY FROM THE WHITE HOUSE, AND HE CAN DO WHATEVER HE WANTS!

Posted by: arrabbiato | April 3, 2008 1:13 AM | Report abuse

"This is a VERY important video-would that the Post could find more of these on Obama-like I said, a video like this is worth a thousand of Obama's empty rhetorical speeches-because it shows how badly he reacts to a very mundane situation-VERY VERY TELLING IN A VERY VERY BAD WAY FOR OBAMA!"

I COULDN'T agree more, S! For once, the Post has a reasoned and thoughtful blog going about a very minor incident on the campaign trial blowing up into a very nasty and unflattering major incident by a Presidential candidate who continually likes to crow about being a uniter not a divider! WOW-VERY VERY TELLING MOMENT ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL ABOUT OBAMA'S DECEPTIVE PERSONALITY -JUST KEEP HIM AWAY FROM THE WHITE HOUSE, AND HE CAN DO WHATEVER HE WANTS!

Posted by: arrabbiato | April 3, 2008 1:13 AM | Report abuse

"This is a VERY important video-would that the Post could find more of these on Obama-like I said, a video like this is worth a thousand of Obama's empty rhetorical speeches-because it shows how badly he reacts to a very mundane situation-VERY VERY TELLING IN A VERY VERY BAD WAY FOR OBAMA!"

I COULDN'T agree more, S! For once, the Post has a reasoned and thoughtful blog going about a very minor incident on the campaign trial blowing up into a very nasty and unflattering major incident by a Presidential candidate who continually likes to crow about being a uniter not a divider! WOW-VERY VERY TELLING MOMENT ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL ABOUT OBAMA'S DECEPTIVE PERSONALITY -JUST KEEP HIM AWAY FROM THE WHITE HOUSE, AND HE CAN DO WHATEVER HE WANTS!

Posted by: arrabbiato | April 3, 2008 1:13 AM | Report abuse

Yes, temperament matters. If this is as bad as we've seen from Obama, he's pretty even-tempered. The Secret Service should have shut that guy down after his second try. You should never allow someone to heckle the candidate, which is what this guy was doing.

Posted by: johnsonc2 | April 3, 2008 1:13 AM | Report abuse

No one has any sort of automatic right to getting their picture taken with a presidential candidate. It sort of amazes me when I see various candidates in video from the campaign trail posing constantly with members of the crowd. Well, that's a nice trophy, isn't it?, and something to brag about to Aunt Marylou, but other than that, what is the purpose? To prove you could stand next to someone famous for a moment or two? It's just dumb. I covered campaigns long before this year and this sort of thing was just not done, ever, on rope lines or in crowds. No one would have thought to ask a presidential candidate to stop and take an individual picture.

From what I have seen in recent years, the so called "general public" has come to regard celebrities and other well known people as more or less public property. Imposing on their time for a moment of personal glory is, in fact, embarrassing, but who cares? The coach of the Dallas Cowboys reported that one man came up to his dinning table in a restaurant, pushed his plate of food out the way and demanded an autograph. Obama is running for president, not to be someone's buddy on the streets of Philadelphia.

This little incident is actually helpful, in that it gives the Secret Service some real time practice at moving a potentially dangerous person out of the way. As for temperament, I am amazed that the candidates can put up with as much as they do. Getting angry is not a sin. It is the way adult human beings show something is of great importance. We need a leader who can muster up some anger and direct that toward resolving problems which has been allowed to fester and grow for decades.

McCain's outbursts are of a different order. If he, in fact, bullies his staff, the working stiffs who try to keep the wheels turning, he shows, in the process, a lack of human respect and judgment. No president, no Senator, should browbeat the staff because it is an inherently unequal relationship. He can tell them off, but they can't tell him off, short of quiting and walking out the door. (Bush shows similar disrespect in giving everyone, including Cabinet Secretaries, his silly little nick names, which they, being respectful, can't return.) Such conduct, also, is counter productive because an intimidated staff cannot provide the honest assistance required.

Posted by: DougTerryterryreportcom | April 3, 2008 12:58 AM | Report abuse

One more thing: TEMPERMENT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH BEING A GOOD PRESIDENT, IN A NUTSHELL, SOMEONE WHO CAN GET SO IRRITATED SO EASILY BY A PROSPECTIVE VOTER SHOWS HE HAS NO BUSINESS WHATSOEVER ANYWHERE NNEAR THE WHITE HOUSE-HE'S A NEOPHYTE OF THE FIRST ORDER, AND AS THIS VIDEO CHILLINGLY SHOWS, THE IDEA OF PUTTING SOMEONE WITH THIS HAIR-TRIGGER TEMPERAMENT AND ARROGANT ATTITUDE IN A CRITICAL INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT IS QUITE LITERALLY -ASKING FOR TROUBLE!

Great video Chris!

Posted by: arrabbiato | April 3, 2008 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Shame on you, Chris. The misleading title on top of that stupid commentary you made should count as one of the low points in the WPO history. That guy seems a bona fide jerk and wacko ---- I think Obama responded to him as courteously as any sane man could do in that circumstance. Do you expect a St. Francis of Assisi from a presidential candidate?

Posted by: neuroberks | April 3, 2008 12:49 AM | Report abuse

This is making something out of very little -- but the most important point is that while most people diminish this nonsense in their above posts -- if, heaven forfend, this had happened to Hillary Clinton, and she had shown a lack of patience, these self-same people claiming this is much ado about nothing would have been decrying her arrogance and cruelty to the highest hill.

Posted by: anifin | April 3, 2008 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: jazzgrrrl25 | April 3, 2008 12:44 AM | Report abuse

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, CHRIS! WOW. The Obama-Zombies are REALLY worried about this video, aren't they Chris? Well, they are kiddies, so you have to cut them some slack, since they clearly are taken aback that their man is appearing in SHOCK! REAL LIFE REAL TIME, LIKE YOUTUBE VIDEO REALITY, LIKE!

And we know, THAT SIMPLY WON'T DO-SO LET'S ATTACK THE POST BLOGGER FOR PUTTING OUT A RATIONAL AND REASONABLE QUESTION REGARDING A VIDEO, ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL WHICH SHOWS OBAMA'S SHOCKINGLY THIN-SKINNED RESPONSE, HIS GLARING LACK OF INTERPERSONAL AS WELL AS LEADERSHIP SKILLS IN DEALING WITH A VERY ORDINARY SITUATION FOR A POLITICIAN: A PESKY VOTER, OR IN ANOTHER SITUATION, A PESKY REPORTER.

And the little kiddies WANT this man with his hair-trigger irritation, his absolutely unremitting arrogance, to have his hand on the nuclear trigger? Unlike McCain, Obama has NO EXPERIENCE IN DEALING ANY CRITICAL INCIDENTS, HE'S NEVER BEEN A LEADER, NEVER BEEN IN MANAGEMENT, NEVER WORKED AT THE DEPT. OF JUSTICE OR A FEDERAL AGENCY AS A LAWYER, LEARNING ABOUT WHAT A FEDERAL BUREAUCRACY IS ALL ABOUT-HE'S DONE NOTHING-AND NOW, HIS LACK OF EXPERIENCE IS SHOWING, SHOWING HOW VERY UNLEADERLIKE, WHAT A RAW BEGINNER BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA REALLY IS.

This is a VERY important video-would that the Post could find more of these on Obama-like I said, a video like this is worth a thousand of Obama's empty rhetorical speeches-because it shows how badly he reacts to a very mundane situation-VERY VERY TELLING IN A VERY VERY BAD WAY FOR OBAMA!

That's okay, the man will NEVER get elected President, nor should he ever be-he simply does not like people, does not like to answer to ANYONE ABOUT ANYTHING-DO AS I SAY NOT AS I DO-

Obama is a joke, the anomoly candidate of 2008. He'll be gone thank god, after November, hopefully never to be heard from again.

THANKS AGAIN CHRIS, FOR A GREAT PIECE OF VIDEO, AND A THOUGTFUL BLOG-FOR ONCE!

Posted by: schmetterlingtoo | April 3, 2008 12:43 AM | Report abuse

This is a really bad item to have on the front of the Washingtonpost website. Regardless of whether Mr. Obama's treatment of the autograph-seeker was justified or not, the fact that we can write off this day as a "slow news day" when there could be much more relevant and insightful material for the front page such as a rundown of the situation in Tibet (just to name an extremely obvious example) is truly unfortunate. This may be more the responsibility of higher-ups than Chris Cilizza, but this is an unacceptably poor selection of topic.

Posted by: metonyme | April 3, 2008 12:41 AM | Report abuse

I would just like to say to those of you who refer to Obama supporters as "Obama-Zombies" that disrespect towards someone solely because he or she holds a view different from yours is unnecessary and rude.

I support Obama, as do many other people in my life. This does not make me a "groupie", it doesn't mean that i and others don't take into account his actions, words, and what they all mean. I support him because, as a young person, he is the only candidate that has restored my hope in this country. He has shown respect for all of us and yet you treat him with disdain.

I feel that people should respect the decision i have made to support Barack. Is it somehow wrong of me to vote for a person that evokes feelings of hope? is it wrong for me to feel inspired by him? Because that's the message i'm getting. I could start calling you names; I could make fun of you for making the "wrong" choice by backing someone else...but i can't do it because unlike you, i try to understand others. So who do you like? Hillary or McCain? Why not tell us why? How about discussing the differences..the pros and cons of each...rather than bringing down Obama's supporters?

You call us groupies for standing by our candidate; for getting excited over this...but what about you? Do you rip your candidate apart when they have a bad news day? Do you seriously try to look at your candidate's view & the views of his or her's opponents with an open mind?

Stop embarrassing yourself and try accepting and listening to other views for a change. You might just learn something...and you might just find that respectful arguments about politics can be interesting, enlightening, and even fun.

Posted by: e_bonne | April 3, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Is this a joke? When do we get to see a video of Sen. McCain turning purple and yelling profanity at an 18yr old Senate Page. Give me a break. Talk about bias. I can't believe this is on the front page.

Posted by: refyjef | April 3, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

What was once a pocket of lucid writing and insightful thinking in an otherwise toxic blogosphere has officially jumped the goddanm shark with this post.

First Shillizza encourages the idiotic Clinton deadenders to cut-and-paste their fibs, now this. Woodward & Bernstein are in a bar right now, lamenting the sh1++y generation of "journalists."

Posted by: TheTruth | April 3, 2008 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

I don't normally write in response to the comments section, but I feel obliged to say something. First, let me say that your representation of the incident is notable, though the matter has been blown out of proportion by mostly the 24 hour news shows. Second, it is revealing to read the many insults being hurled on this site because the events publication. This reinforces my belief that Obama is seen by many as sacrosanct in the world of politics; apparently, he is not just a politician, but a superstar with defenders who take umbrage at stories they don't like.

Posted by: tfburke19 | April 3, 2008 12:29 AM | Report abuse

This is the most riducilous story of the day. For anyone to try and question Obama's temperament over this is just nuts. Just shows you the media will try and find anything to make Obama look bad. Cazilla and his other media buddies need to get a life. Translation of getting a life: Start reporting some serious news stories.

Posted by: lumi21us | April 3, 2008 12:28 AM | Report abuse

mjno

Great comment about the kiss remark. Obama has been mocking and demeaning to Clinton throughout the campaign, why would anyone think giving stranger a kiss would be a good idea?

zona

Posted by: joanormond | April 3, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Noticed, some Obama nuts are still epileptic over Hillary's Bosnia remarks. On the other hand, we Clinton supporters hardly get a chance to go ballistic over any one single statement of Obama because his contradictions and lies just keep piling up. There's hardly any time to reflect on one lie because you are hit right away with another one.

E.g.

Obama said he was for a single payer health system, but now opposes plans that cover every American.

He promised to repeal the Patriot Act, but then voted to extend it.

He promised to normalize relations with Cuba, but flip-flopped when he started running for president.

He rails against NAFTA in Ohio while his top economic advisor assures the Canadians his rhetoric is just "political positioning."

He promises to opt in to public financing if the GOP nominee does, but then breaks that pledge in real time.

He promises to withdraw from Iraq within 16 months, and now his top foreign policy adviser says that he's not relying on the plan.

At first he knew of no controversial remarks from his pastor. Then he knew it. Then he knew some but not others.

At first the "union" that brought him into this world was caused by the bridge crossing/civil rights movement in Selma which, by the way, actually happened 5 years afterwards. Long after he was born.

He flattered Kennedys by crediting them for funding his father's arrival to US when the Kennedys had nothing to do with it.

Don't even get me going over the questionnaires he has filled indicating positions he has completely contradicted during this campaign cycle.

List keeps on growing.

Posted by: Umbria | April 3, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

I'm not a media basher in general but this piece merits a little bashing...The Post needs to think twice about what it puts on the front page. This was the most inane commentary that I have read all election season...slow news day I guess. Better to write nothing than this dribble!

Posted by: expatfamily | April 3, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Wow this may be the dumbest post you have ever had. When you have to explain to people the questions you think the video should raise, you are pushing a narrative clearly not shown in the video. I thought you were a journalist? Get out of your beltway bubble and post on real news.

Posted by: julian9682 | April 3, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

You have got to be kidding. This is a valid news story? Obama was not rude to this "strange" persistent man. In fact, under the circumstances he handled the situation very well and made me feel even more confident of my support for him.

Loving Obama

Posted by: palaszewskifam | April 3, 2008 12:20 AM | Report abuse

EXCELLENT RESPONSE FROM OBAMA...the guy could have been a schizo ready to do serious harm so that the quick brush-off became imperative in view of the obvious lapse in security! GO BARAK HUSSEIN!

Posted by: RudeIsraeli | April 3, 2008 12:20 AM | Report abuse

money matters

this is why Obama will win

(if he is not murdered)

we read this treatment of a good person and we contribute

so where are the Clintons' donors?

you waste zeros and ones for free, can you give the Clintons money?

ooops.

Posted by: shrink2 | April 3, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

The Clintons have shown that they will not hesitate to say anything or to cross any lines for more power and more money. The Clintons records during and after the White House speak for themselves:

- Most number of convictions and guilty pleas by friends and associates
- Most number of cabinet officials to come under criminal investigation
- Most number of witnesses to flee country or refuse to testify
- Most number of witnesses to die suddenly
- First first lady to come under criminal investigation
- Largest criminal plea agreement in an illegal campaign contribution case
- First president to establish a legal defense fund.
- First president to be held in contempt of court
- Greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions
- Greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions from abroad
- First president disbarred from the US Supreme Court and a state court

Before Bill left office, he gave favors in exchange of money... For example, shortly after beeing pardonned by President Clinton, fugitive financier Marc Rich had his ex-wife giving $400 000 to the Clintons library foundation: Source:
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,98756,00.html

The Clinton foundation received recently a $31.3 million donation after Bill expressed enthusiastic support for the Kazakh leader's, undercuting both American foreign policy and sharp criticism of Kazakhstan's poor human rights: Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/31/us/politics/31donor.html

Let's press the Clintons to release all their records (tax returns, White House records, list of big donors to their foundation) so that we understand what lies below the tip of the iceberg.

The negative campaign of Hillary is representative of what the Clintons are; corrupted politicians with a lot of connected friends in the party who owe them and in the lobbying business who hope to collect for their favors to Hillary's campaign and/or to the Clinton's library foundation which is a money laundering machine.

Posted by: Logan6 | April 3, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

This story points to three things:

1) First, as the comments section shows, the only people who think this reflects poorly on Obama were already rabidly pro-Hillary -- which certainly raises the question of where Chris Cillizza's coming from if he thinks this is newsworthy.

2) More broadly, it's deeply embarrassing that the Post put this on the front of their site. It's not even a slow news day. Today, Elizabeth Edwards called out McCain's health care plan, and Obama got the endorsement of Lee Hamilton, co-chair of the 9/11 commission. How this story manages to ace out those stories -- hey guys, remember the issues? -- is a sad reflection of the media's fixation on the horse race, at the expense of any kind of discussion of issues.

As an Obama supporter, this article is simply annoying. But if I opposed Obama's candidacy for intelligent reasons, I'd frankly be offended to read an article like this that trivializes the decision not to support Barack.

3) Finally, the video provides a healthy reminder to all of us that Obama is risking his life more than any other candidate in recent history. The Secret Service can only do so much to protect you. In that sense, this video is a reminder of Obama's courage -- as well as the endless patience and courage that it takes for *anyone* to run for the presidency. For that, the candidates all deserve our admiration and respect.

Posted by: davestickler | April 3, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

What an embarassment of a blog post. Total non-story, a guy was overly aggressive and Obama STILL took a picture with him. Cillizza=total hack. How about, I don't know, the issues? Why would you care about that though when you can drum up some horse race hysteria. Thanks, Chris

Posted by: danielberger | April 3, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

I see nothing wrong with Obama's reaction. I just wonder why the Secret Service didn't remove this obnoxious and possibly dangerous man.

Posted by: SamuelBerry08 | April 3, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

John McCain divorced his first wife when she got disfigured in an auto accident, and then married the rich woman who he was having an affair with, Cindy. Cindy took McCain from his bureaucratic position in D.C., where McCain was riding his father's coat-tails, to Arizona, and her money turned McCain into a politician. No matter his irrational temper, his two-faced approached to lobbyists, his active cancer, and his tendency to fall asleep. Whoops. I am commenting on the wrong article.

Posted by: kat2 | April 3, 2008 12:13 AM | Report abuse

I think you pretty much said it all when you wrote a relatively slow newsweek. Candiates don't lose the right to their personal space and their right to say no just because their running for public office.

Posted by: Arny | April 3, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, Chris, for helping fill the vast empty canvass that Obama is. Who is this guy? What does he think? How does he feel? We are only know getting to find out.

Some are saying, well, he is only human. But obviously we expect our Presidents to be a little more than that. Why else would we mince Hillary over whether there was actual sniper fire in a place that was clearly a war zone. We could just as easily say: well, it's human to forget or it's human to embellish a little bit.

I am really amused to read the hypocrisy of these Obama supporter to whom even Hillary's sneeze is evil but who immediately rush to wrap Obama up in humanity when he turns out to be just as flawed.

Posted by: DecencyFirst | April 3, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

This is not a news story and I am can't believe it is front page on Washington Post. Obama had reason to be concerned about this man's behavior and I am amazed the secret service didn't step in sooner. Repeated attempts by anyone to get that close to a candidate should have worried his security detail. I thought Obama acted very cool under the circumstances. I'm not for McCain but would not have criticized him in these circumstances either.

Posted by: NHvoter1 | April 3, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

So Obama is a little cold to an obviously obnoxious jerk.

You've shown an ability to write something out of nothing. I guess it's a skill journalists need once in a while.

Posted by: wsealsjr | April 3, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

This is the second time i've watched the clip and i tried to view it with as little bias as possible.

Upon first viewing this clip i was astonished at how this man managed to get so close to Senator Obama...he was practically chasing him into the building. This alone could justify Obama's uneasiness and annoyance with the gentleman. In fact, it makes ME a bit uneasy to see that Obama's secret service entourage allowed this somewhat fanatic individual within such a personal distance to the Senator.
Secondly, I did not see anything in the clip to make me question Obama's temperment. In fact, taking into account that this man was not keeping a respectful distance nor acting in a respectful manner, i'd say that Barack Obama handled himself rather well.
Just because you've finally caught the senator on tape being anything other than friendly does not mean he has a poor temperament--it means he's human, just like any other average person. Do you take kindly to being badgered, harrassed, or annoyed? How about when you're having a bad day? or when you haven't been able to get much sleep? Would have been as respectful to that guy as Barack Obama was? I doubt it.

Now please, I must insist that people who post comments about Barack Obama leave out any ignorant remarks they have to say. I especially resent the fact that someone actually posted, "Barack Hussan Obama."---and, the english freak in me wants to scream at them partly for the fact they didn't even spell it right.

So, let's all stop being ignorant and start trying to understand and treat eachother--and ALL the candidates--like human beings.

Now CAN WE PLEASE focus on issues that are actually important?

Posted by: e_bonne | April 3, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

If this is all you've got Chris, your day job is in serious jeopardy of being lost. Do you wonder why your adversing dollars are falling off the cliff?

Next time, just leave the blog blank instead of embarrassing yourself and costing your paper readers.

Posted by: infuse | April 3, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

> Wag the Blog: A Question of Temperament?

I'll stop reading the fix. Manipulative headline.

Chris Cillizza and wash post owe an apology !!!!!!!!

Posted by: jj121341234123 | April 3, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Talk about a non-story! If anything Obama was overly polite. The Secret Service let the guy off easy.

Posted by: hypo | April 3, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

---------------Billary-----------------

-----------marines or army-------------

Bill says hillary tried to join marines
Hillary says she tried to join the army

....investigate this Chris Cillizza.....

Posted by: moneyfools | April 3, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Having watched the video, reviewed the transcript, spent countless hours following the current presidential campaign, lived in the City of Philadelphia for 20 years and given the preesent matter careful consideration, I can only come to the conclusion that this is the dumbest, least relevant story I have seen to date. Man, you reporters need to take some time off. Frankly, were I in the Senator's shoes, my emphasis and diction would have been considerably less restrained. What does it say about Obama's character? Well, he's a lot more tactful than we generally are here in Philly.

Posted by: chuck.goodwin | April 3, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Let's be honest here. At an intellectual level it doesn't seem like this should be a story. But looking at the video one sees Obama in a unique, ruffled light. THAT is what makes this news. Frankly, he is not a flattering sight. This might really hurt him. He sounds like a petulant celebrity.

Posted by: tuscany1 | April 3, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

---------------Billary-----------------

-----------marines or army-------------

Bill says hillary tried to join marines
Hillary says she tried to join the army

....investigate this Chris Cillizza.....

Posted by: moneyfools | April 3, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

This is simply stupid.

Posted by: muktaramin | April 3, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

---------------Billary-----------------

-----------marines or army-------------

Bill says hillary tried to join marines
Hillary says she tried to join the army

....investigate this Chris Cillizza.....

Posted by: moneyfools | April 3, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

---------------Billary-----------------

-----------marines or army-------------

Bill says hillary tried to join marines
Hillary says she tried to join the army

....investigate this Chris Cillizza.....

Posted by: moneyfools | April 2, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

The unanimity of the criticism of this inept attempt to raise questions concerning Senator Obama's possessing a temperament suitable of a President displays the intelligence and discernment of your readers, qualities not apparent in Mr. Cillizza's rationale for bringing the issue to our attention; "this episode is sure to raise questions in some circles about Obama's temperament -- and whether he is suited to the pressure-cooker of the presidency."

Has anyone so argued? Who? Where? And would any reasonable person find reaching such a conclusion to be justified?

Your readers have provided the clear answer to the last question: No

Posted by: richard.nagel | April 2, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

If Obama had simply and resolutely stuck to his no this wouldn't be a story. What makes this a story is his whiny "I won't be smiling". There is something distastefully childish about it.

Posted by: aamittal | April 2, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

"Is this even news? Give me a break."

I couldn't agree more...

Posted by: lucendro | April 2, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

This is not a story, Chris. Obama was annoyed, but did not lose his temper. There is no story here. I thought that Obama and the Secret Service agents were quite patient with the man in question. This man would exhaust the patience of anyone.

Posted by: dupagnem | April 2, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

---------------Billary-----------------

-----------marines or army-------------

Bill says hillary tried to join marines
Hillary says she tried to join the army

....investigate this Chris Cillizza.....

Posted by: moneyfools | April 2, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Billary

marines or army

Bill says hillary tried to join marines
Hillary says she tried to join the army

investigate this Chris Cillizza


Posted by: moneyfools | April 2, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what the tapes of the first encounters between Garfield and Charles J. Guiteau would have looked like. After all Guiteau claimed to be a supporter of Garfield and essentially shot him because he didn't get a political patronage appointment. The secret service should have stepped in and acted sooner in this case. This guy's conduct was a lot worse than Guiteau's initial conduct and should have sent up red flags. Obama displayed a lot of patience.

Posted by: dcraven925 | April 2, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

I've never left a comment in a forum like this before, but I am moved to comment here by the inanity of your highlighting this incident and suggesting that it truly raises any serious character question. You and your editor ought to apologize for framing it in this way. It makes you look like either an overt Obama-hater or a journalist utterly desperate for a juicy story.

Posted by: dshenk | April 2, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

snap1 said: My two cents:
1. The reflective news here is not Obama's demeanor, but the fact that Cillizza reported it, and that the WaPo put the link on its front page.

2. Most comments point out that this was not worth reporting. What is surprising however is the fraction of very opinionated comments for and against Obama.

3. I am not going to read the Baltz' and Cillizza pseudo-reporting for a while. The hope is that when there are substantive speeches on policy by the candidates, WaPo will emphasize them more than the latest quasi-presidential burp and stumble.


___________

I agree wholeheartedly with your three cents. Anyone else care to join? We could make this a Boycott of Sense.

Posted by: VoiceofReason5 | April 2, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

I think articles like this are a great example of why 24/7 news services are not ultimately useful. In order to achieve ratings, there's always pressure to come up with some dramatic "breaking news," including the days on which news is neither dramatic, nor breaking. I wouldn't call this news. It looks to me like someone who has gotten a lot of media attention and is annoyed at certain paparazzi-style characters following him around.

So this belongs on Washington Post's front page, eh?

Posted by: memilygiraffe | April 2, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Well, at least you had the prudence to note that it was a slow news day/week. Let's see. Eisenhower had a temper, but that didn't present him from running D-Day. Carter wasn't exactly a lamb. Bill Clinton is famous for his temper. He managed to do okay, other than his silly dialliance. Why don't you give it some thought, come up with really critical indicators of what it means to be a good leader? Like having a long-range time perspective. Like being smart. This may come as a great surprise to you, but we actually have some reasonably good ideas as to what to look for in potential leaders. Go to the web, to to the library, review some of the literature on leadership, and then come back with some substantive questions.

Posted by: lstrauss2 | April 2, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

How could you stoop so low? Is this Fox?

Obama was WITHIN HIS RIGHTS AND THEN SOME to protect himself. For all we know, this guy could have had a gun.

Remember JFK? RFK? Lincoln?

Last time I checked the blogs, there are more than a few lunatics out there who wouldn't mind pulling the trigger. (But they DARE NOT if they have even a pea brain.)

This is insane, yellow journalism. What has happened to the WaPo?

If this non-story grows legs I think I'll vote in another country.

Posted by: VoiceofReason5 | April 2, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, Brother! Obama is clearly the coolest customer and cucumber of the three still in the race for the O.O. If - a huge IF - had gotten near McCain, Johnny Mac would've terrorized HIM. and if he had tried to approach Hillary, Bill would've sicked the Ragin' Cajun on his behind. Puh-lease. April Fool's indeed.

Posted by: johnnieoz | April 2, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Hats off to my fellow citizens for recognizing a dolt with a byline. One of the most encouraging set of comments I've read in years.

Posted by: dmgerstein | April 2, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

What an idiot - once he said yes he should have smiled for the camera. Now the guy with the wife who teaches fourth grade has the only picture in the world of Bam-bam not smiling - that's gotta be worth some money...

Posted by: hariseldonsr | April 2, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Obama was 100% correct in behavior towards that guy, this is way below the wpost's standards, even for a blog.

Posted by: alex | April 2, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

This post must be meant as an April Fool's joke. One line in particular sounds like a Daily Show parody of bad punditry: "But, this episode is sure to raise questions in some circles about Obama's temperament -- and whether he is suited to the pressure-cooker of the presidency." Can't be serious, right?

Posted by: dcl | April 2, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

This incident is significant in Senator Obama's case because his campaign is built on a sunny and positive image. Most people voting for him don't really have a body of work to anchor their votes in. They like him because of his humbleness, candor and accessibility. Anything that reveals the usual crankiness or self-importance of people in power can be quite harmful to his candidacy.

Posted by: vishalg_99 | April 2, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Wow,

I think Obama is a PRATT, but even I won't fault him for this trivial nonsense.

Have we gotten so lame as a society that this is what we call news?

Obama is a liberal opportunist who would destroy this country if elected, but he did nothing wrong in that particular situation. I'm surprised the Secret Service didn't flatten the guy for pushing his way up.

Posted by: butterbar25 | April 2, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

After disclosure of O'Bama's 20 year membership in, and support of a hateful racist organization I'll never understand how he is still viewed as a viable candidate. His attitude toward that the guy (no matter what the guys motivation) pales in comparison to O'Bama's attitude toward Whites, Jews, Mexicans, and especially Muslims.

Posted by: rpatoh | April 2, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Temperament absolutely matters. In a president we need leadership, composure, and dare I say a paternal (or maternal) disposition that is reassuring and sets an example for the country to emulate. A presidential demeanor has been missing from the White House for seven years. President Bush has the temperament of a Cheshire Cat; disturbingly cool at the wrong times.
All three of our presidential contenders have their flaws. McCain nervously wrung his hands when asked to address the inappropriateness of his companionship with a female lobbyist. Clinton has shown her capacity for pettiness with remarks like, "..Change you can xerox." with regard to Obama's borrowing lines from his Massachussetts colleague for a speech. And Obama has had some distastefully conceited moments like when he said, "..and I've made some pretty good speeches."
Will these blemishes on their armor prevent any of them from answering the call at 3a.m.? Likely not. Most of us tend to rise when duty calls. Will these moments of imperfection prevent them from solving the health care crisis in an equitable fashion? In the case of the democrats - probably not. As for the Republican contender, I am not so sure. Will these character flaws prevent them from bringing the country together? Probably not for McCain and Obama. I am not so sure about Clinton's ability as a uniter given her underhanded campaign tactics. Will these imperfections prevent them from rescuing our planet's oceans from boiling? Probably not. When it gets hot enough the self preservation instinct will kick in.
Would any of the people we respect for their indelible integrity in our respective communities deign to become president of the United States? Probably not. It requires a character flaw to enter the race in the first place. One must think themselves worthy and fight for the right to call themselves top dog. A president is not anointed thus by a community of adoring subjugates. They are all extreme egotists to start with, but does this prevent them from leading our country? Certainly not.
Temperament is important, but the temperament of each of the three presidential contenders is sufficiently presidential to be well, president. The voter's decision should be based on the philosophical disposition of the candidates in this race, not the different flavors of temperament they exhibit.

Posted by: jackwest1972 | April 2, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, you could have asked if Senator Obama was firm enough with the guy. I mean, do we really want a President with absolutely no boundaries? One who says yes to everything and everyone? Uh, like the current occupant, for example?

I thought the Senator was far more polite than most of us would've been in the same situation. To make it sound as if he lost his cool... please. Surely you can do better -- even on a slow news day.

Posted by: lisatann | April 2, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

God, what IQ do you have to have to be a blogger for WAPO, 12? This is among the stupidest lines I have ever seen in a newspaper context. I watched this whole video. this guy should have been tasered and left at the curb, but he is the intelligent sounding one when compared to Chris stutterer. It must be time for a little housecleaning in DC. I mean if we can get Bush to give up Gonzo and Rummy maybe we can get the post to jettison this kind of stupidity.

Posted by: whalestail | April 2, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

In looking through the first twenty posts I have to congratulate you on something:

You have created a post where none of the Obamopaths blamed Hillary for anything or brought up Vince Foster or called her a female dog or a liar.

You've finally done it- it is a moment in history- they are actually briefly focused on only idolizing their adored candidate instead of shooting down the other.

Leon

Posted by: nycLeon | April 2, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

well done...i get it... compare a progressive Obama who demonstrates a reasonable reaction to a crazy stalker next to war mongering short-tempered McCain who is hell-bent on growling at anyone who disagrees with his inept proposed policies both foreign or domestic....shame on your obvious comparisons of the two...looks more like your developing excuses for the republican candidate's shortcomings....

Posted by: pswee | April 2, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

This would not be a "Wag" to revisit, I think.

I referred, earlier, to "The Caucus" as the NYT's weak attempt to flatter you by imitation. However, tonight it has taken a more appropriate subject for a temperament study:

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/

Has anyone, aside from posters here, suggested this video documents a security breach?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 2, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

What is with you? All we want, all any of us want is a better country. You write this stupid stuff and we are just going to end up with a government even worse than the one we already have. You can do better than this. Write meaningful things, not petty pointless, useless nothing. Get your head out of your ass. My name is Cathy Bagley and I live in Torrey, Utah.

Posted by: cb245 | April 2, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

The autograph seeker acted like an ass.

Obama was pure class.

Didn't get angry, didn't put down the guy, just told it like it is.

"You can have the photo, but I won't be smiling, because you were rude."

And THAT'S exactly what we want from a president. Cool, calm, and collected.

Can't wait to vote for the guy.

Posted by: nezbangi | April 2, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

You're kidding, right?

Posted by: rjbeeson | April 2, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

My two cents:
1. The reflective news here is not Obama's demeanor, but the fact that Cillizza reported it, and that the WaPo put the link on its front page.

2. Most comments point out that this was not worth reporting. What is surprising however is the fraction of very opinionated comments for and against Obama.

3. I am not going to read the Baltz' and Cillizza pseudo-reporting for a while. The hope is that when there are substantive speeches on policy by the candidates, WaPo will emphasize them more than the latest quasi-presidential burp and stumble.

Posted by: snap1 | April 2, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

What a joke. I don't blame Obama. Nor would I blame Clinton or McCain in similar circumstances, of which there are no doubt many, just waiting to be "YouTubed."

Posted by: mnjam | April 2, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Does Chris Cillizza actually work for the Washington Post? This exchange between Mr. Obama and an intense autograph seeker seemed to be pretty well handled.

Posted by: ef_lansing | April 2, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Poor guy, just wanted a photo.

Obama is quite adept at GUTTER BALL POLITICS!

Posted by: cheersdk | April 2, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

I get it that it's a slow news day, but really...why not follow up on something that happened on a fast one?

For example, how about the story of McCain's military leadership's frightened pleas that he not be the one with access to the button?

What about looking into exactly who REALLY was into his passport files (we know that Clinton's was a trainee, and he was immediately redirected and admonished; what about McCain's? Barack's was by someone working for a company that was managed by a supporter, but does that mean since I'm a supporter, one of my employees ought to be ok'd to break the law??

Let's take some time to do some real journalism!!!

Posted by: maryTnurse | April 2, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

This reminds me of the Bush-Cheney rude days,oh how I am going to miss those days.. making comments about a reporter and Cheney cursing at a congressman (at least Obama did not curse.....out loud). But as a person in Obama's position,as a Democrat you have to know how to deal with all types of people and rise above, and clearly he cannot. By the way, isn't also funny I cannot find this story on MSNBC.com or CNN.com..hmmm funny

Posted by: jtjrs1 | April 2, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

this just proves that on temperament obama crushes the crank, irritable, dyspeptic mccain.

what obama should have said: "You'll get nothing and like it, beeotch!"

Posted by: Spectator2 | April 2, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

I will never, ever, ever vote for Obama, BUT that man wanting the picture taken did seem a tiny bit scary.

Obama must be looking over his shoulder every day, and it's got to be disconcerting to have someone hounding you like that.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | April 2, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Dear Editors of the Washington Post:
Please give Chris some pointers on responsible journalism on a "slow day". The New York Times must be ecstatic to see you shame yourself. Tom Ray
thomaskray@aol.com

Posted by: thomaskray | April 2, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Now your can follow Hillary. Her slip might be showing -- assuming she ever puts a skirt on. Maybe you can catch McCain without his teeth.

Posted by: esch | April 2, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Chris, You're living in a bubble. I can't believe you think this is even newsworthy, not to mention that your characterization is ridiculous. I used to read the papers because I thought what was reported mattered and was important. This is as much a joke as George W Bush is.

Posted by: Pajaro1 | April 2, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

This is a silly story being made to seem important by a lot of silly people with a lot of time on their hands. Speaking of time on the hands, may be these folks, including Chris Cilliza, should try a diversion like masturbation or self-flaggelation.

Silly stories by a silly and stupid press aimed at silly and stupid folks.


Posted by: pbarnett52 | April 2, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight: McCain wants to keep U.S. troops in Iraq for the next 100 years, the nation is plunging into a recession, and the Washington Post is worried...about whether Obama was sufficiently polite to an autograph hound. I can't believe you wasted my bandwidth with this video.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | April 2, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

By all accounts it looks like you failed in turning this in to a question about temperament.

Posted by: MichaelAkbar | April 2, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

This is news?

Frankly, he showed more patience than I would have. I would've cleaned the guy's clock.

Posted by: gmckinney | April 2, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

This clip was rather brief, but from what I saw, the gentleman was a bit TOO persistent. Why was he that desperate for a picture and autograph anyways? Honestly, all Obama and the secret service know, this guy could have been some "crazy" with a gun or knife.

I'm surprised the secret service let him that close regardless...

Posted by: terpaholic23 | April 2, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Y'know, it's one thing to engage in character assassination by pretending that a presidential candidate has a non-existant character flaw, or by implying that he has acted in an improper fashion when he did not.

That alone is petty and childish, and absolutely inexcusable in a blog appearing in a major newspaper.

But for Mr. Cillizza to do this to Obama while simultaneously including all of the evidence needed to demonstrate incontrovertably that Barack Obama was courteous and self-controlled in the face of an obnoxious weasel...

Now that is just plain dumb. Most character assassins have the good sense to exclude the proof that they are being unfair. That way, their lies-by-implication are harder to detect.

Posted by: Bartron | April 2, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

VERY important video and blog, Chris-thanks for this! Not that I needed any further proof about Obama's complete unfitness to be President, his complete and utter lack of political leadership skills, his thin-skinned personality when he gets challenged, but this video puts it all together, for the entire world to see! And it ain't pretty, but one video of Obama getting upset over nothing, and showing poor interpersonal and leadership skills is worth a thousand of his useless little speeches!

MORE PLEASE!

Posted by: schmetterlingtoo | April 2, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to believe that the Washington Post would run a story even raising the question whether Obama is unqualified for President because he did not sign stalker's autograph or pose for a picture. If this were the standard no one could pass even putting aside that Obama was incredibly patient and measured. Are candidates never supposed to get angry?

Posted by: jwagner | April 2, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Worst. Blog. Ever.

Step your game up, Cillizza.

Posted by: blitzburgh64 | April 2, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Slow news day is right, you are pathetic. Obama seems like a very cool customer most of the time. But he isn't a robot and had a natural reaction to an idiot.

I have an idea for your slow news day, how about doing your job? Report on telecom immunity or about excessive oil company profits or the proliferation of sexual assaults in our military, etc.

Posted by: winoohno | April 2, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

The fact that this made news, much less the front page of the online edition of the WaPost is ridiculous. Chris is an idiot. But he's a blogger and the Post loves bloggers because they are inexpensive. The Post has pasted decline and is a shell of what it used to be. Shame.

Posted by: taftdt | April 2, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

The big story here is the Obama campaign's manufactured excuse about the guy "wanting to sell the picture on EBAY"

That simply doesn't make any sense.

A picture of a person who isn't famous with a candidate is only valuable to the person themselves.

Like most of Obama's after the fact excuses, it doens't hold up.

Posted by: svreader | April 2, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

What part of NO don't you understand. What about when he's President? The only 'people' who get near Bush are those who are very good at either sucking or kissing.

And People voted for him - TWICE!

Posted by: stodayxx | April 2, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Chris:

Instead of the illogic of claiming that this speaks to Obama's temperament, how about some research on the stalker, and whether he was a threat to the man who might be the next President? From watching the video it seems like Obama and the Secret Service were actually really patient with the man, who seems really annoying. Also, isn't Obama "allowed" to be annoyed once in a while? Why set him up as a superhuman. This whole article was just ridiculous.

Posted by: mohansikka | April 2, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

I'll bet proudtobeGOP would just LOVE to get waterboarded. Problem is that he has absolutely no useful information to divulge.

Posted by: angelos_peter | April 2, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Chris, you sir, are the greatest hero in American history. Thank you for this great service to your profession and your country. Pulitzer!

Posted by: neilrlca | April 2, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Arogant bama....

Posted by: ekjon_us | April 2, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely temperament plays a role in who I choose to support for President, but this situation with Obama is very different than some of the situations involving McCain. Obama was provoked and got short with a guy who wouldn't leave him alone. As a sitting US senator who is protected by the secret service, I think his comments were warranted and justified because his safety might have been at risk. The stories I hear of McCain's temperament are actually related to policy and politics. Telling another senator (Sen. Leahy, I believe) to go violate himself because he doesn't agree with McCain's policy position is absolutely out of line. This kind of situation could lead one to believe that McCain will shun adverse opinions in his administration and potentially in his dealings with other world leaders... and we don't need more of that. So clearly temperament plays a role in deciding for whom to vote, but the context matters. Obama's incident with the man today had nothing to do with being President - the guy just wouldn't leave him alone. McCain's incidents were far more serious because they related to policy, and for all we know, he was not provoked to the point of saying something he would regret.

Posted by: Schuy2 | April 2, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks again, Chris, for posting this video prominently-it's almost as interesting to see how alarmed and upset the Obama-Zombies are at seeing a side of their guru that is not all sugar and spice and everything nice!

VERY VERY ALARMING INDEED IS THIS VIDEO-IF OBAMA ACTS ALL UGLY AND IRRITATED ABOUT ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, ABOUT ONE NAGGING PERSON, WHAT IN GOD'S NAME IS THE MAN GOING TO DO WHEN HE'S FACED WITH REAL OPPOSITION, CRITICISM FROM EVERY CORNER? WHAT'S HE GONNA DO, OBAMA ZOMBIES, WHEN THERE'S A TENSE INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT? IS HE GOING TO GO ALL BALLISTIC WHEN HE GETS SOME OPPOSING VIEWPOINTS? GET ALL SHORT TEMPERED AND CALL OUT THE NUKES, SIMPLY BECAUSE HE'S AN ARROGANT SOB, HE'S ANGRY AND HE HAS THE POWER?

If you absolutely obtuse little cultists cannot see how important this video is, then all I have to say is those of us Dems. who don't hold with anyone who has a spiritual advisor who spreads hate, and who want the best for their country will do what needs to be done, if Obama is the Dem. candidate-HE IS SIMPLY UNSUITED IN EVERY WAY, BUT PARTICULARLY TEMPERAMENT, TO BE PRESIDENT-THIS VIDEO SHOULD ACTUALLY SCARE PEOPLE WHO USE THEIR BRAIN TO THINK HOW SHORT-TEMPERED THIS MAN IS BEING OVER NOTHING, AND THINK ABOUT ALL THE TENSE AND CRITICAL INTERNATIONAL INCIDENTS THAT THE INCOMING PRESIDENT HAS TO DEAL WITH IN A RATIONAL, LEVEL-HEADED MANNER?

And you know what? THE ENTIRE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY HERE IN WASHINGTON IS READING THIS BLOG AND WATCHING THIS VIDEO, AND WILL BE SENDING IT BACK TO THEIR RESPECTIVE COUNTRIES FOR COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS.

AND NO ONE, LEAST OF ALL AMERICANS, WHO WATCH THIS VIDEO OF OBAMA GETTING UPSET AND ALARMINGLY SHORT-TEMPERED OVER NOTHING CANNOT HELP BUT BE VERY VERY CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE SEEING OF HIS JUDGMENT AND CHARACTER. THE VIDEO SPEAKS VOLUMES ABOUT HIS LACK OF JUDGMENT AND LEADERSHIP SKILLS, NOT TO MENTION HOW THIN-SKINNED HE IS-OBAMA IS SIMPLY NOT CUT OUT TO BE A POLITICIAN, NOT IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM.

Posted by: farfalle44 | April 2, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Just to add to the chorus, this reveals more about the media and the secret service. I'm impressed Obama engaged the annoying guy at all, and told him why he didn't want to give the photo. All this blog wanted was the web hits, so good for you -- I came to the blog once, got sucked in by b.s. hype and I'll never come back -- good job for the short run gain. As others have asked: this is the Washington Post, right?

Posted by: nappyk | April 2, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Barack Hassan Obama.....

Posted by: ekjon_us | April 2, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

svreader,

Wah, dull child.

Posted by: binkynh | April 2, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

army or marines,

which is it Billary

Posted by: moneyfools | April 2, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

I think it is very difficult to judge a candidate's temperament unless you know the candidate personally. So, no-I don't think it is a consideration for me.
However, this example doesn't justify the question. Obama is human and showed annoyance at someone. Stop the presses!
This is not an example of a possible temperament problem- in my book anyway.

Posted by: Lorischwartz | April 2, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Wake up America! Obama may win the nomination of Democratic party but he will be doomed in November.

Posted by: ekjon_us | April 2, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Obama didn't give the guy a hug and the jacket off his back. After taking the picture he actually walked away, instead of having a beer with the man. As if he had more important things to do like run for president. I think this shows an arrogance that makes him unsuited for the nation's highest office. How grateful I am that we learned this now. The scales have fallen from my eyes in Obamaland.

Posted by: eatbees | April 2, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Give me a break!!! Are our presidential candidates allowed to be human or some kind of perfect robot created by the ridiculous media???
I was lucky enough to shake our future President's hand (Obama, of course) at a rally in Baltimore. The woman next to me was extremely touched by his presence and said she was happy to be there because it reminded her of seeing Martin L. King at the March on Washington when she was a little girl. As Obama approached our area of the receiving line, this 50 something year old woman began to cry tears of joy. Obama paused, touched her shoulders, smiled, looked directly into her eyes, and said, "aaaaahhhhh." He then gave her a genuine hug.
That is the real Obama. One who cares about people who really care. For those rude people who are opportunist and want to capitalize on a "kodak moment," move on. You deserve to be verbally slapped!

Posted by: preed1 | April 2, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Of course Chris it might be too much to expect you to do a little reporting on the guy trying to take the photo - a background check is in order - not just him,
but also you and your journalistic integrity.
Why are all you reporters turning into fox news clones.

Posted by: moneyfools | April 2, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

I happen to think that Obama is an arrogant jerk who has gotten a free ride from the media and acts like a spoiled child whenever criticized. I also think he would be an unsuitable president and I would rather vote for your average homeless person. That being said, this exchange is meaningless, and this is a non-story. The video of Rev. Wright, thru whose sermons Obama sat for 20 years, is however quite revealing.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | April 2, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chris, why don't you make yourself useful and arrange with the SS to have the same guy harass Bush in the same manner to see what happens?

Posted by: angelos_peter | April 2, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

The quality of your news story is as dead as a post.

A long fall from Woodward and Bernstein.

Posted by: Schla001 | April 2, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Wow. The bar for news is set obviously low. How is this even news? "Breaking! Obama doesn't like annoying man!"

While I am an Obama supporter, I feel like the media have been desperately trying to make mountains out of molehills for all three candidates. Are issues simply too boring? This interaction says absolutely nothing about Obama's temperment, either positively or negatively. The only thing this shows is that the media need to create the illusion of conflict to sell papers, to get people to click on their website, and to turn on their mindless 24-hour news cycle.

Chris - pause for two seconds and think about the value of things before you throw them on your blog.

Posted by: JackSlims | April 2, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Chris,
Your short "article" left out an important piece of information. This man had earlier interrupted Sen. Obama, possibly repeatedly, when Obama was trying to talk with a group of children. I think the Secret Service should have pulled him aside, taken him far away from the Sen. and questioned his motives. It's possible the SS wanted to do that and the Sen. discouraged them from doing that. I think Obama was very polite considering.

Posted by: Observer10 | April 2, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Chris Cillizza
Why don't you get off your fanny and do some real reporting.
Find out if Hillary tried to join the army as she says, or the marines as Bill says.
Find out who the recruiter was, if they had logs. Find out if it's true.
Do'nt be so lazy, earn your keep for heavens sake. Have some integrity and do a better job.

Posted by: moneyfools | April 2, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

In the words of Will Ferrell, "I feel like I'm taking crazy pills."

Mr. Cillizza, can I ask you a question: do you think before you post, or is The Fix meant to be an exercise in senseless stream-of-consciousness? Let me suggest that the Washington Post does not need to follow the rest of the media lemmings off of the cliff of irrelevancy and lunchroom gossip masquerading as meaningful news coverage. For example, it might be interesting to wonder about a candidate's temperament - but with Exhibit A as an isolated 20-second clip of a missed autograph?

Oh yes, thank goodness I'm getting my WaPo analysis of this crucial turning point in the election of the century. Let me suggest something else Mr. Cillizza - gee, maybe you should do some homework and bring some actual NEWS and ANALYSIS to your readers rather than regurgitating what you saw other worthless news outlets covering.

I think plenty of intelligent Americans are hungry for something other than a monkey see, monkey do media.

Posted by: jscrap7 | April 2, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

This blog is stupid. Are you sure you are not that guy stalking Obama and further displaying your disappointment in this blog?

I am surprised Secret Service even let this nutter get this close to Sen Obama.

Shocking behaviour!

Posted by: harobamason | April 2, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

really! Where did Obama become offensive. I thought he handled it Ok. Mcain probably would have popped him one. How bout' Bill C's recent tirade. Where is the front page story on that. what crap!

Posted by: stanley.decusatis | April 2, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Goes to show what one person considers an arrogant rebuff, another might consider to be a fairly gracefully handled incident with an abrasive pest.

It also is another prime indication of what it wrong with our entire political system, and why we keep getting leaders who lack courage, who steer well clear of nuance, and who try to be all things to all people when effective governance requires hard truths and doing the best with a range of unpalatable choices.

What am I talking about? Our phenomenally short attention spans and abandonment of the reasoning process. How can anyone in their right mind draw inference about Obama's character when they are presented with an incomplete view of the situation and don't know the whole story?

A nation that makes political decisions based on soundbites and short clips focusing on tempers (or lack thereof), haircuts, dress color, etc., gets the leadership it deserves.

Posted by: lde2c | April 2, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

Is there any proof at all that the guy wanted to sell the photo on EBAY?

It doesn't make any sense.

If it was a photo of Obama alone, or with someone famous, one could imagine it.

A photo of Obama with a person who isn't famous is only valuable to that particular person.

Obama treated a potential supporter very, very, poorly.

Posted by: svreader | April 2, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Chris Dude get a job your current day job as a journalist is being wasted on this kind of crap story. It must be frustrating to not be able to dig up new dirt on Barck Obama seeing as how everytime you small minded types bring up nonsense he takes it on head first. Go home and think of a new career perhaps a local fast food place is looking for a fry guy.

Posted by: pedraza1 | April 2, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Much to do about nothing! The guy was arrogant and pushy for a picture, where OBAMA was clearly in a hurry, and Obama is clearly a human being who get tired, frustrated, vents, etc. and is allowed to be annoyed just like the rest of us in the human race.Posted by: soccerxyz
===========================================
Yeah. But Goofus has set himself above everyone else. You put yourself on the pedestal and you're bound to fall. I question his judgment here. How in the world could he let this guy follow him all day. Looks to me like anyone as intelligent as Obama is supposed to be could have ended this problem with the snap of the finger. Yep, poor judgment, exemplified.

Posted by: bnw173 | April 2, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm NOT an Obama supporter...but this is really about nothing. Obama handled himself well. There are a lot of individuals who are nuts out there and he's not running for office for everyone to have a personal photo to hang on the wall.

Posted by: tmcinroy | April 2, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

The video clearly shows the man acting physically aggressive in his pursuit of Obama. The Secret Service agent clearly yanks the man away from Obama. Physical aggression toward anyone is unacceptable--indeed, against the law. It's called battery.

Further, what's up with the guy demanding an autograph to sell on e-bay? This is a campaign, not a commodities trading event.

Whether a private citizen, celebrity, or candidate, we all have the right to walk down the street without be accosted. The aggressor is clearly out of line.

Posted by: txgall | April 2, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

bink --

I'm probably quite a few years older than you, kid.

Please don't insult me.

As far as your candidate goes, you can have him.

He's as phony as a three dollar bill.

Its too bad for you that you can't see that.

Posted by: svreader | April 2, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

This is news? Seriously? The guy was annoying and verged on scary. Reporters need to get a life. Why don't you talk to the candidates about how to support a peaceful democratic change in Zimbabwe instead of glorifying stalkers?

Posted by: mle123 | April 2, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

svreader, you've completely run out of arguments (if you had any to start with). All you are now is a broken record of ad hominem attacks.

Posted by: treetopflyer | April 2, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Does temperament matter in electing a President? Sure; we want a President who can draw a line & get upset when it's crossed. Our best Presidents in recent history - Kennedy & Reagan, were both known for their charm skills. Yet during their respective terms they both let it be known that charm was not to be confussed with cowardice. If we were electing the next Dalai Lama the autograph incident would be a concern; however Oboma earned another stripe in my book for standing up for principal. He's got the makings for a great President!

Posted by: GarrisonLiberty | April 2, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

This is the first time I've posted a comment on washingtonpost.com and I've got to say that this guy was a complete jerk and Obama treated him far better than I would have. Sometimes, the candidate can't win. What if Obama took the photo with the guy? He'd be called phony and a pushover. If the Secret Service intervened and pushed the guy away, Obama would be called heavy-handed. The candidates need to treat voters with respect -- and vice versa. I give Obama credit for calmly rejecting this obnoxious autograph broker and avoiding what I would have done -- backhanding the guy.

Posted by: flipdown | April 2, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I read the comments here before I saw the video.

Then I watched the video several times and posted my initial reactions.

I did some other things, came back, and watched it a couple more times. just to make sure.

I'm simply amazed that people can't see how incredibly rude Obama was to this guy.

His supporters are even more rude with anyone who disagres with them, or who dares criticise their cult leader.

Its disgusting.

Posted by: svreader | April 2, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

svreader,

When will you finally get it that though you imagine you're doing your candidate Hillary Clinton a favor with your omnipresence in these WAPO forums you're really pretty much a perpetual annoyance who does your candidate more harm than good?

Wake up, son.

Posted by: binkynh | April 2, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Much ado about nothing.

Posted by: lgmellowdog | April 2, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

This guy was very rude, and Obama handled it about as gracefully as possible. What could you possibly fault about Obama's temperament?

Posted by: jzcohen | April 2, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Whoa! YOU OBAMA-ZOMBIES ARE AS MUCH A HEAD TRIP AS YOUR GURU-ITS EASY TO SEE HOW YOUNG MOST OF YOU ARE, BECAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE S--T FOR INSIGHT INTO PEOPLE'S CHARACTERS, THAT'S FOR DAMN SURE-LIKE HIM, YOU'RE VERY VERY TOUCHY ABOUT ANY CRITICISM-GOT NEWS FOR YOU-YOU CAN'T BE THAT WAY AS PRESIDENT, YOU HAVE TO LIKE PEOPLE, YOU CAN'T BE NASTY TO THEM, NOT WHEN YOU ARE PRESIDENT! YOU CAN'T STIFLE CRITICISM AND DISSENT EITHER, WHEN YOU ARE PRESIDENT, BECAUSE THEN YOU'LL BE LIKE DICK CHENEY. YOU SEE, OBAMA'S CHARACTER IS ALL EFF'D UP, BUT OBAMA'S YOUNG ACOLYTES ARE TOO GREEN AND NAIVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT!

Posted by: farfalle44 | April 2, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

The only really disturbing thing about this clip is that the Secret Service did not IMMEDIATELY get between Sen. Obama and this obviously hyperventilated opportunist. What were they thinking? And what were you thinking, Chris, when you chose "temperment" as a hook for your blog, rather than the security lapse this filmed moment highlights?

crocker

Posted by: crocker | April 2, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Just to add that the link from your front page describes this as involving 'an autograph speaker.' That is not accurate, unless the guy got the autograph earlier and was seeking the photo as confirmation for an Ebay sale. In which case Obama was not only restrained but more than justified.

And it does seem overkill to have this linked so prominently from front page.

Posted by: bburros77 | April 2, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Obama is likely to be killed.

The amount of money/power at stake here is extraordinary.

The half black candidate is drawing more money from his supporters than ever seen before. Not creepy fat cats like the Clintons' friends. Regular people.

The Clintons have gone into debt to destroy him. He is still there, side by side with people every day.

Now what. What can you Obama haters do other than get him killed? This video scared me. Are any of you old enough to remember how Bobby and Martin got killed?

Chris is a fool. These campaigns, every hour, every day, are a matter of life and death for Barak Obama. Don't pretend you have a clue anymore Chris. Get fired.

Posted by: shrink2 | April 2, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Wow, so I guess defending Obama makes you a groupie. Well, at least that's better than "cultist". I guess we should give Hillary supporters credit for just spitting acid instead of venom this week. ;-P

Posted by: treetopflyer | April 2, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Did you notice that 99% of them were on one side of the issue and that you were on the side with 1% of the affirmative comments?Posted by: gandalfthegrey
===========================================

Shows there are a lot of you stupid people out there, doesn't it. I'm with svreader.

Posted by: bnw173 | April 2, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

OMG OMG Obama yawns!!! Stop the presses. Front page headline.

Posted by: vflex | April 2, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Slow news day is right. Where was the Secret Service to allow this guy to accost Obama. They should have intervened earlier. If Obama were the president, this guy wouldn't be allowed within 100 feet. He is a picture hawker, and endangered Obama.

Where is the rest of the news?

Posted by: mgrfin | April 2, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Much to do about nothing! The guy was arrogant and pushy for a picture, where OBAMA was clearly in a hurry, and Obama is clearly a human being who get tired, frustrated, vents, etc. and is allowed to be annoyed just like the rest of us in the human race. Where's the beef on this story!! OBAMA was being nice, even took a picture with the Idiot. You put a camera on anyone of us 24/7 and sooner or later you will see shortcomings. WE ARE NOT ROBOTS... WHERE IS THE BEEF!

Posted by: soccerxyz | April 2, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Much to do about nothing! The guy was arrogant and pushy for a picture, where OBAMA was clearly in a hurry, and Obama is clearly a human being who get tired, frustrated, vents, etc. and is allowed to be annoyed just like the rest of us in the human race. Where's the beef on this story!! OBAMA was being nice, even took a picture with the Idiot. You put a camera on anyone of us 24/7 and sooner or later you will see shortcomings. WE ARE NOT ROBOTS... WHERE IS THE BEEF!

Posted by: soccerxyz | April 2, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Can't you think of anything to write about in your blog other than this banal B.S.? The video clip tells me absolutely nothing except that persistent autograph seekers always are present during candidates' walkabouts and rope line appearances. What else is new?

Posted by: Ozexpatriate | April 2, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

THANK YOU VERY MUCH, CRHIS, FOR PROMINENTLY FEATURING THIS VERY IMPORTANT LITTLE VIGNETTE INTO OBAMA'S CHARACTER- THE REAL AND NEGATIVE SIDE, THAT WE ALMOST NEVER GET A CHANCE TO SEE! I hope everyone in the MSM takes note of this video, because I think the Post is doing a VERY important service to its readers by prominently featuring it, so as to the REAL Obama-and the REAL Obama should give everyone cause to reevaluate what they think they know of this man-YIKES!

I would expect the Obama-Zombies not to like it, because it's not very Presidential to be so irriated at nothing-what's he going to do when he's faced with a REAL PROBLEM HUH? AND PEOPLE WANT TO PUT THIS THIN-SKINNED, BROOK NO CRITICISM, ARROGANT SOB IN CHARGE OF THE RED PHONE?

OH NO-THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN, BECAUSE WE DEMS. WHO CARE ABOUT THIS COUNTRY WON'T LET IT HAPPEN!

Farfalle, I think you're on to something there, Obama shows some ALARMING similarities to Richard M. Nixon!

Posted by: arrabbiato | April 2, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

OMG!!! Is this a joke? The video didn't show Obama has a bad temper, it actually showed he was extremely patient with this wacko guy that was harassing him for a picture. Obama was even nice enough to actually let them take the photo, but said he wouldn't be smiling hahaha.

Posted by: vflex | April 2, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

I've read The Fix loyally. Daily. in fact, for more than 3 years. ONE more column like this and I'm done. Going to daily kos and politico for the left and center, respectively and other blogs to hear about the right. I know you've got column inches to fill, but this is LAME!

Posted by: justdamian | April 2, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

You 'news' hounds must be really hard up today. I give credit to the Secret Service detail for not decking the guy. What a non-story.

Posted by: nickylyons | April 2, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Very irritating and misleading headline on this post.

Posted by: BrownShirtGeorge | April 2, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

"Obama would have been better off to just stand still for five seconds and take the photo"

OK. You may take my picture, but I won't be smiling. No siree, not me. No smile here. Nolo smilio. Na Ga Da.

I'm a bratty spoiled child and I didn't get my way, so I'm not gonna smile no matter what you say.

And don't say cheese, either. Harumph!

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 2, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

If this happened to any other presidential candidate the person would be wisked away (imagine it happening to the "vetted audience" president that we currently have).

In my opinion, Obama showed the guy too much respect by stopping to point out that he was harassing him (and if he didn't stop, you wouldn't have your article).

If you are harassing someone and they tell you that you are harassing them, that is not an invitation to continue.

Posted by: Selims | April 2, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Obama has an average crowd size 10 times that of Hillary, McCain, or Bill. He has been dealing with general election sized crowds since he announced(17,000 at the announcement and 22,000 2 weeks later in Houston).

The dude seeking the photo was just creepy.

Brian
http://www.politicalinaction.com

Posted by: bschick20 | April 2, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

I don't have time to be distracted by this kind of trivia. I'm focused on the real issue in this race: Obama's low bowling score. I think it says a lot about a candidate's character if he doesn't have the necessary steel to effectively compete, regardless of the setting.

Posted by: alloleo | April 2, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

You've got to be kidding with this story. Front page worthy? Really? Questioning his temperament with a psycho hounding him? Honestly you should feel embarrassed for even having written this waste of an article.

Posted by: readyforchange | April 2, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Chris,
Valid question that truly has but one answer, and that answer is embedded in the question. And you seek to perpetuate this pablum by posting the most lucid and salient post. You disappoint. Your own journalistic bonafides and pedigree is better than this; so I thought. Slow day
for the chattering "CRASS"? You're better than this. Make me believe again !!!

Posted by: hookmc1 | April 2, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Critics of Obama will see this as confirmation that he is 'arrogant' or 'aloof.' Supporters will view it as evidence of the relentless 'Freakshow' nature of media coverage devoted to the campaign - ridiculous to present as news given Obama's rather subdued though irritated reaction. My own sense is the guy was a jerk (keep in mind that the first interaction, where he reportedly interrupted Obama's discussion with children, is not included in this footage). But on reflection Obama would have been better off to just stand still for five seconds and take the photo. Even so, Obama did not speak derisively or heatedly in his face. It seems a huge stretch to suggest that this episode raises any questions about his temperament.

Posted by: bburros77 | April 2, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Wow Obama really seems to be getting offended quite easily .. just by a press photographer ?

He will be grilled by tons of republicans for the election and will be in a debate with John Mccain who is already very used to getting angry .. I wonder what it will come down to .. showdown of the two big wigs??

Posted by: ashukti1 | April 2, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

"Wake me up when he calls someone a "major league [expletive]"

bsimon, Come on over to NoDak on Friday and you may hear it straight from the horse's mouth.

It's gonna be interesting...two major league candidates in this podunk town? I never would've thought that would happen.

If we get news coverage and you see a blonde chick rooting for Hillary in the crowd, that'll be me. Go Hilldog! ;-)

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 2, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Makes sense that svreader has Cillizza's back on this 'story'. Frankly, I'm not surprised Chris wrote about it. He's no Broder...

Posted by: formerDCresident | April 2, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

There's nothing here. The first clip shows Obama displaying annoyance at a person who, quite frankly, comes across as a whining pest. The second clip shows Obama granting the man's request for a photo. Obama didn't lose his temper, nor did he didn't make any derogatory or disrespectful comments to the man. Now, about that war in Iraq, the failure to defeat the Taliban, the economy, health care, energy policy, Social Security, education...the way that Obama would tackle these challenges is what will determine who votes for him, not his really rather mild reaction to an annoying photo seeker.

Posted by: Bob22003 | April 2, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

I can tell by the writing styles that many of these posts are by the same person. Or, they could be "seminar posters" from the Obama campaign. It would be nice if there were some way to filter them out.

Jethro

Posted by: jethro1 | April 2, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Chris. I usually like your blog. But, this is right up there with some of Mr. Ponuru's posts on Right Matters. And no that is not a compliment.

Posted by: rogerlc444 | April 2, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Obama supporters attack anybody who dares criticise him like a school of parana fish.

They can't stand anyone questioning him and they want to force anyone who does off the board just like they want to force Sen Clinton out of the race before people have a chance to cast their votes.

That shows they have a deep sense of insecurity about their candidate.

They are right to have that concern.

Obama wouldn't stand a chance in a general election against John McCain.

It would be suicidal for Democrats to nominate him.


Posted by: svreader | April 2, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Slow news week, Cillizza?

I thought you could be counted on being more than trying to make something out of nothing.

Shame on you.

Posted by: binkynh | April 2, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I am more interested in Hockey.

Does Obama have security or was this guy searched.

Posted by: mul | April 2, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

The filtering software didn't like my original comment. I've resubmitted an edited response, below:

Wake me up when he calls someone a "major league [expletive]"

Posted by: bsimon | April 2, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey Washington Post! Zimbabwe just elected a new President after years of dictatorship by Robert Mugabe, who drove that country into the ground causing millions to starve. That's real news!!!! Why aren't you giving that more coverage, for example by giving us a profile of the new President and what he is likely to do for that country? Instead you cover insipid pieces like this. It's gonna be a long time until the conventions. Clinton needs to bow out now so you so called legitimate news outlets can go back to covering the real news. Instead you are pretending like she still has a chance because you are desperate for stories and it's easy to print whatever lines the campaigns give each day. Look around, the stories are there, you are just too lazy to research and print them.

Posted by: Exfan | April 2, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Clearly he hasn't passed the picture-pose test. Or the bowling test. What will he stand up to the North Koreans? Ask the tough questions of This Obama! How, Mr. Obama, do you intend to respond to Chinese strikes when you have no bumpers to protect you!!! Nicole Simpson can't rap!! PRAISE THE FIX!!!

Posted by: unitedeed | April 2, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

You clearly have either lost perspective on what is relevant in the vetting of presidential candidates, or, as I've increasingly noted on the Washington Post editorial, have a thinly veiled bias against this candidate. For shame.

Posted by: valeriefawzi | April 2, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Whoa! YOU OBAMA-ZOMBIES ARE AS MUCH A HEAD TRIP AS YOUR GURU-ITS EASY TO SEE HOW YOUNG MOST OF YOU ARE, BECAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE S--T FOR INSIGHT INTO PEOPLE'S CHARACTERS, THAT'S FOR DAMN SURE-LIKE HIM, YOU'RE VERY VERY TOUCHY ABOUT ANY CRITICISM-GOT NEWS FOR YOU-YOU CAN'T BE THAT WAY AS PRESIDENT, YOU HAVE TO LIKE PEOPLE, YOU CAN'T BE NASTY TO THEM, NOT WHEN YOU ARE PRESIDENT! YOU CAN'T STIFLE CRITICISM AND DISSENT EITHER, WHEN YOU ARE PRESIDENT, BECAUSE THEN YOU'LL BE LIKE DICK CHENEY. YOU SEE, OBAMA'S CHARACTER IS ALL EFF'D UP, BUT OBAMA'S YOUNG ACOLYTES ARE TOO GREEN AND NAIVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT!

Posted by: farfalle44 | April 2, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Hey svreader --- did you read all these comments?

Did you notice that 99% of them were on one side of the issue and that you were on the side with 1% of the affirmative comments?

Do you realize that is how you are about everything - svreader?

On the wrong side -- out of step...an outlier -- wrong again --wrong always.

svreader you are not just obsessive-compulsive - you are always wrong -- about everything.

Why is that?


Posted by: gandalfthegrey | April 2, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Is this post an April fools joke a little late? You've got to be kidding.

Posted by: dcpsparent | April 2, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Chris, you get paid for doing this? Bloggers and for that matter, pundits are useless and add no value to the discussion. They make it possible for people to not have to generate their own opinions or for that matter, their own thoughts. Get a real job.

Posted by: slietzke | April 2, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Little was ever reported about Bill Clinton's temper but it didn't stop him from being a very popular effective president. Frankly the man hounding Obama was obnoxious. He acted like it was his entitlement to a picture. I thought Obama handled it pretty well. I guess the guy doesn't understand, "no."

Posted by: olddeadkin | April 2, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I can hardly wait until Friday, when oth Senators Obama and Clinton will be in my town to speak at the state Dem convention.

I can see the scrum of reporters now.
Hillary will probably work the crowd.

Obama will have everyone cordoned off so there will be zero chance of any annoying interactions with the "typical white people".

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 2, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Chris: Are you nuts? He didn't shout, hit, scream, taunt. He was measured in tone and in choice of language. This "raises questions about Obama's temperment?!" It raises questions all right....about what little is left of your dignity as a political analyst.

Posted by: frank_jannuzi | April 2, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

@svreader: Instead of spending your time insulting Obama supporters, maybe it would be better if you spent your time working to get your chosen candidate nominated. And if Hillary doesn't get the nomination, you can join the McCain campaign.

But, it would be a lot more constructive than spending all your time tearing down your fellow Democrats online.

Think about it.

Posted by: rebeccajm | April 2, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

You Obamapologists are wearing me out.

There is nothing wrong with the Post to show a little video of the encounter with the photo seeker.

Is it just a personality clash or is it the result of a grueling schedule fatigue factor. Why is everyone so gosh-darn sensitive?

Everyone can lose their cool - Obama, Michele, Hillary, Bill, John or Cindy. Some people just make your blood boil. So what?

Posted by: alance | April 2, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

We see a still frame of an unknown person placing his hand, apparently unwanted, on a candidate.

If I were another candidate I would see a security nightmare in this video.
---------------------------------------
There may well be a story here.
-------------------------------------

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 2, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

You've got to be kidding. With all of the important issues facing the nation, we are asked to consider something as inane as this?

From the description, I was expecting a clip with Obama losing his temper and shouting at or pushing the guy. This reminds me of the asinine attention devoted to Hillary's "crying."

Really, please find something more important to write about.

Posted by: carlod | April 2, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

This blog is stupid...

Do you see how pushy that guy was? Why was no one else surrounding Obama as pushy as this guy? Obama kept saying something about the guy trying to get a picture see on E-bay.

I saw Chris Cillizza on Hardball with Chris Matthews introduced by Matthews as a up-and-comer in the political world. This post just proves Chris Cillizza has a long way to go.

Posted by: ajtiger92 | April 2, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

When a stalker harms Obama, then we'll see what these wise people have to say. I don't care what people in South Philly think but if this rude jerk is representative of them, that's a worry.
MLK and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated. Reagan nearly was.

I'm sure footage like this emboldens loonies who want to make the front pages and muddy his candidacy with a scandal non-event. If people don't appreciate the international shame that would befall America if he was physically harmed in this election contest, they need to re-think the matter.

As a candidate, he can't throw punches or shove someone away from his face. It goes a long way to making clear what conduct is unacceptable from a member of the public. Obama's Secret Service detail, is large, lethal and sometimes rivals Bush's (a sitting president) because of the threat assessment chatter around him.

Even if you don't support him politically, stop being ridiculous.

Posted by: asja | April 2, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

I really hope you got the point of most of the commenters to this post. This was a silly, pointless entry. And you comparing this situation to McCain's anger issues is a sign of desperation. It bothers me even more that this supposed "news" is given prominence on the Post's home page. How disappointing. When I saw this video, I wandered how it was that the Secret Service did not act more quickly to get the creepy guy away from Obama. He's probably received many threats against him. How about covering that angle?

Posted by: hinesyfile | April 2, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't know who I'll be voting for, but my decision won't be based on how Obama handles obnoxious people.

Aren't reporters at the Washington Post supposed to be a cut above the reporters who write for People magazine?

What's happened to investigative reporting? Answer: cutbacks on the newsstaff because of people like me who Washingtonpost.com but only pay for the Sunday edition.

Posted by: ksargent2 | April 2, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Chris, you complained a couple of weeks ago that the demands of covering the campaign hadn't allowed you time to take a vacation with Mrs. Fix. Clearly, now is the time for you to take that trip. You deserve it and there is clearly nothing newsworthy going on.

Posted by: rickedelson | April 2, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

What is wrong with you Chris - you start by saying that there's not much news for you to cover this week and this.

Really, I mean really this is the best issue you can come up with? What a waste of space and an insult to this paper

Posted by: Crossover | April 2, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

OH HOW MANY MANY TIMES HAVE I SAID THIS? JUST THIS WAY, ON THE POST'S BLOGS? I REPEAT, FOR THE TEN THOUSANDTH TIME, OBAMA, BY TEMPERAMENT ALONE, IS NOT, REPEAT NOT, SUITED TO BE PRESIDENT! DON'T YOU IDIOT OBAMA-ZOMBIES GET IT, WITH THE COKE SNORTING PERIOD? HE CAN'T TAKE IT WHEN HE'S CHALLENGED, OR NAGGED ABOUT IMPORTANT ISSUES, HAVING TO ANSWER TO ANYBODY OR ANYTHING ABOUT WHAT HE IS DOING, OR HAVING TO DO ANYTHING OTHER THAN BASK IN ACCOLADES OF ANOTHER WELL-DELIVERED, BUT ULTIMATELY MEANINGLESS SPEECH-SPEECH MAKING IS REALLY ALL THAT OBAMA IS GOOD FOR! AND JUST HOW IS OBAMA GOING TO ENGAGE IN THE FINE ART OF COMPROMISE, OF BUILDING COALITIONS WITHIN CONGRESS TO PUSH FORWARD A PLATFORM ON BEHALF OF THE CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY, IF HE CAN'T BE CHALLENGED ON ANYTHING? IF HE GETS IRRITATED AT NOTHING? I HAVE SAID THIS BEFORE, OBAMA DOESN'T LIKE PEOPLE! NOT AT ALL! HE'S A RICHARD M. NIXON IN THE MAKING, AND HE WILL TURN PARANOID IN THE RIGHT POWER SETTING-NOT LETTING ANY INFORMATION OUT!

HOW IS HE GOING TO LEAD CONGRESS WITH THIS TEMPERAMENT, HUH? WHAT'S HE GOING TO DO, WHEN HE'S FACED WITH A RECALCITRANT CONGRESS, WHO'S JUST NOT GOING TO GO ALONG WITH THE OBAMA BANDWAGON, HUH? WHEN HE STARTS GETTING CRITICISM FROM ALL OVER? WHAT SORT OF CRUTCH WILL HE USE, HOW IS HE GOING TO REACT? IS HE GOING TO EXPLODE IN AN INAPPROPRIATE WAY WHEN HE DOESN'T GET HIS WAY? EVERY INDICATOR POINTS TO THAT!

WHEN ARE PEOPLE GOING TO COME TO THEIR SENSES ABOUT THIS MAN? THIS MAN WHO HAS NEVER EVEN BEEN A TRIAL LAWYER, A JOB WHICH PREPARES YOU FOR BEING A PRESIDENT-NEGOTIATION, COMPROMISE, PERSUADING JURORS OF THE RIGHTNESS OF YOUR CAUSE, GREAT EMOTIONAL UPS AND DOWNS-HE COULDN'T DO IT!

IT'S SURREAL-THAT THIS NO EXPERIENCE, HEAD TRIP, CLOSET RACIST DISINGENUOUS LIAR IS EXPECTED TO LEAD THE WORLD'S ONLY SUPERPOWER. SURREAL AND CRAZY!

Posted by: farfalle44 | April 2, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

You could see OBAMA's disdain. This guy was "Italian" and we know how Obama feels about "garlic noses."

He couldn't control himself, it was written all over his face.

Posted by: mjno | April 2, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Must be of some interest, several of you go on about how ridiculous it is.If you think that is the case, you should ignore it and not comment on it, you are justing adding fuel to the fire.

I know you do not want to admit that Obama is not all he has presented himself to be. Now he is white while in PA, rolling up his shirts with workers.

What color will he be in the next state? Lets see when he is in NC, he will be wearing overalls and picking tobacco Oh ever mind, he will be in Chapel Hill On Edwards front door asking for his endorsement.


So much for one America, huh? I think we have a candidate that use to be a sheep herder and a very good one!(and I am not speaking about Bush either)

Posted by: nuddxela1 | April 2, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Chris, are you kidding with this? You've taken a non story, actually a story that should have been a credit to Senator Obama if you consider the background facts (but that would be responsible journalism and not NEARLY as senational), and you've managed to perform yet another feat of yoga 'journalism' with it. I think you need to go clean out your closets now -or something.

Posted by: colleen.witt | April 2, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Yes, absolutely temperament matters.

I'm not sure that the reaction to an overzealous autograph hound is the best measure of how a president will react in the face of a global crisis -- unless of course that autograph hound somehow happens to be in the White House at 3 AM in the morning hounding the president when the call comes in.

I think I saw an pilot episode of 24 once that traced that plot line. It was a disaster, armagedon ensued, but fortunately the guy did get his autograph before the S-H-T-F.

Posted by: JPRS | April 2, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I am sorry, Chris, I like your blog but this post is inane.

Posted by: bensonbark | April 2, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Both Obama and his supporters are very poor at handling any kind of critcism.

Chris,

Your question was reasonable.

Readers that attack you for asking it are not.

They're rude and arrogant.

Posted by: svreader | April 2, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

lindley writes "Perhaps if Bush-Cheney got in front of the general public a bit more often it would clear their thinking."

You have no idea what you're talking about. FYI, President Bush is an extremely personable guy. The hatred displayed from the liberals toward the current President is truly astounding, and I think it reflects poorly on your much touted intellectualism.

Here's one recent anecdote that shows just how wrong you are about President Bush.
For those of us who sometimes find ourselves having doubts about our President, here is an excellent piece -- worth every minute it takes to read it.

This story is from Bruce Vincent of Libby, Montana who had gone to the White House with others to receive an award from the President. (The President spends a lot of time meeting with veterans, families of veterans and volunteers throughout the country; he ususally doesn't do it in front of the cameras, so the public is often unaware of his dedication to meeting with many thousands of Americans every year.)

Mr. Vincent writes: "I've written the following narrative to chronicle the day of the award ceremony in DC.

Stepping into the Oval Office, each of us was introduced to the President and Mrs. Bush. We shook hands and participated in small talk.

When the President was told that we were from Libby, Montana, I reminded him that Marc Racicot is our native son and the President offered his warm thoughts about Governor Racicot.

I have to tell you, I was blown away by two things upon entering the office. First, the Oval Office sense of 'place' is unreal. The President later shared a story of Russian President Putin entering the room prepared to tackle the President in a tough negotiation and upon entering, the atheist muttered his first words to the President and they were "Oh, my God." I concurred. I could feel the history in my bones.

Second, the man that inhabits the office engaged me with a firm handshake and a look that can only be described as penetrating. Warm, alive, fully engaged, disarmingly penetrating. I was admittedly concerned about meeting the man.

I think all of us have an inner hope that the most powerful man in our country is worthy of the responsibility and authority that we bestow upon them through our vote.

I admit that part of me was afraid that I would be let down by the moment -- that the person and the place could not meet the lofty expectations of my fantasy world. This says nothing about my esteem for President Bush but just my practical realization that reality may not match my 'dream.'

Once inside the office, President Bush got right down to business and, standing in front of his desk, handed out the awards one at a time while posing for photos with the winners and Mrs. Bush. With the mission accomplished, the President and Mrs. Bush relaxed and initiated a lengthy, informal conversation about a number of things with our entire small group.

He and the First Lady talked about such things as the rug in the office. It is traditionally designed by the First Lady to make a statement about the President, and Mrs. Bush chose a brilliant yellow sunburst pattern to reflect 'hope.'

President Bush talked about the absolute need to believe that with hard work and faith in God there is every reason to start each day in the Oval Office with hope.

He and the First Lady were asked about the impact of the Presidency on their marriage and, with an arm casually wrapped around Laura, he said that he thought the place may be hard on weak marriages but that it had the ability to make strong marriages even stronger and that he was blessed with a strong one.

After about 30 or 35 minutes, it was time to go. By then we were all relaxed and I felt as if I had just had an excellent visit with a friend.

The President and First Lady made one more pass down the line of awardees, shaking hands and offering congratulations. When the President shook my hand I said, "Thank you Mr President and God bless you and your family." He was already in motion to the next person in line, but he stopped abruptly turned fully back to me gave me a piercing look, renewed the vigor of his handshake and said, "Thank you -- and God bless you and yours as well."

being in the west side of the office. I was the last person in the exit line. As I shook his hand one final time, President Bush said, "I'll be sure to tell Marc hello and give him your regards."

I then did something that surprised even me. I said to him, "Mr.
President, I know you are a busy man and your time is precious. I also know you to be a man of strong faith and I have a favor to ask of you." As he shook my hand he looked me in the eye and said, "Just name it."

I told him that my step-Mom was at that moment in a hospital in Kalispell, Montana, having a tumor removed from her skull and it would mean a great deal to me if he would consider adding her to his prayers that day.

He grabbed me by the arm and took me back toward his desk as he said, "So that's it. I could tell that something is weighing heavy on your heart today. I could see it in your eyes. This explains it."

From the top drawer of his desk he retrieved a pen and a note card with his seal on it and asked, "How do you spell her name?" He then jotted a note to her while discussing the importance of family and the strength of prayer.

When he handed me the card, he asked about the surgery and the prognosis. I told him we were hoping that it is not a recurrence of an earlier cancer and that, if it is, they can get it all with this surgery.

He said, "If it's okay with you, we'll take care of the prayer right now Would you pray with me?" I told him yes and he turned to the staff that remained in the office and hand motioned the folks to step back or leave.
He said, "Bruce and I would like some private time for a prayer."

As they left he turned back to me and took my hands in his. I was prepared to do a traditional prayer stance -- standing with each other with heads bowed. Instead, he reached for my head with his right hand and pulling gently forward, he placed my head on his shoulder. With his left arm on my mid-back, he pulled me to him in a prayerful embrace.

He started to pray softly. I started to cry. He continued his prayer for Loretta and for God's perfect will to be done. I cried some more. My body shook a bit as I cried and he just held tighter. He closed by asking God's blessing on Loretta and the family during the coming months. I stepped away from our embrace, wiped my eyes, swiped at the tears I'd left on his shoulder, and looked into the eyes of our president. I thanked him as best I could and told him that me and my family would continue praying for him and his.

As I write this account down and reflect upon what it means, I have to tell you that all I really know is that his simple act left me humbled and believing. I so hoped that the man I thought him to be was the man that he is.

George W. Bush is the real deal. I've read Internet stories about the President praying with troops in hospitals and other such uplifting accounts.

Each time I read them I hoped them to be true and not an Internet perpetuated myth. This one, I know to be true. I was there. He is real. He has a pile of incredible stuff on his plate each day -- and yet he is tuned in so well to the here and now that he 'sensed' something heavy on my heart.

He took time out of his life to care, to share, and to seek God's blessing for my family in a simple man-to-man, father-to-father, son-to-son, husband-to-husband, Christian-to-Christian prayerful embrace. He's not what I had hoped he would be. He is, in fact, so very, very much more."

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

Say waht you want about his policies, but President Bush is no arrogant elitist like some politicians.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 2, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you, Chris. Contrary to the Obama cult members trying to tell you how to do your job, this is very damning footage. It makes Obama look like a prig.

He needs the Secret Service to protect him because he's SO delicate. So, so delicate.

Not presidential.

No matter how annoying the "eBay guy" is. This will not sell well in South Philly, where this is how people are.

Obama can't deal with such "ruffians." Interesting.

Posted by: Seth27 | April 2, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

You journalists really have nothing else to do. The man was a stalker. People hound Barack for autographs and then sell them online. They go for like a couple hundred bucks. I'd be upset, too.

Posted by: R_ainy | April 2, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

After an appearance in my hometown of Parma Heights, Ohio, Obama was approached by a man who would not let Obama go until he listened to the man's lengthy complaint about an immigration issue. The man simply did not care that others wanted to say hello to Obama.

The public does not "own" public figures. Public figures are not obligated to say "yes" to every demand made on them.

Obama handled this situation very well. He was firm but polite. The man persisted and would not take "no" for an answer. Yet,Obama still gave him the photo he demanded.

My concern was safety: why was this obnoxious man able to get so close to Obama?

Posted by: jgtcleveland | April 2, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

If the jerk had punched Obama before being wrestled to the ground by Secret Service, everyone would have wondered why in the world he was so close to the guy.

People seem to forget that Obama and other candidates risk their lives in presidential race. The guy was way too aggressive and rude. If he had been approaching and talking to Hillary like that, Secret Service would have taken him down. No question.

John McCain's temper would have gotten the better of him in that situation. Arrogant, I think not. I've seen people snap at their own children for behaving like that.

Posted by: asja | April 2, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Part of being Presidential material is being able to deal with all kinds of people, including difficult ones.

Chelsea, who's not running for office, handled the guy who asked her about her fathers's sex life far better than Obama handled this guy.

She handled it with maturity and grace.

Obama handled this far simpler challenge very poorly.


Posted by: svreader | April 2, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Chris, come on. Is this why entered journalism? You can - and should -- do a lot better. This is the kind of silly, non-news stuff that sunk Al Gore's campaign and made an ignorant frat-boy president. Most of the "journalists" who participated in that trashing are now regretful. Please don't start another cycle with another candidate.
MMOverbey

Posted by: mmoverbey | April 2, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

The only thing more ridiculous than you making news of this nonevent is washingtonpost.com deciding this was worthy of front(web)page placement.

To borrow some vague phrasing: this posting is sure to raise questions in some circles whether this blogger is fit to handle the pressure cooker of legitimate journalism.

Posted by: amherst | April 2, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

This raises two questions:
1. How a Post journalist can say this incident "raises questions... about Obama's temperament." Just by admitting it has been a slow news week at the start does not excuse lazy work.
2. How the Post editorial staff would not only let this stuff get air time, but would put it prominently on the web page.

Posted by: davenaomi | April 2, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

You ask your readers to be polite in response to a question that is so breath takingly asinine, that readers have little choice but to be impolite. What's your next probing question: Is Obama too thin to be president? You need to think and read a little more before you type. You know, exercise your synapsis. But I suppose that's a novel and hard to grasp idea for most so-called journalists. You should apologize for insulting the intelligence of your readers. But, of course, you won't because the other grating quality of most reporters is their bottomless capacity for unrepetence.

Posted by: amitrovica | April 2, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

The only thing this posting reveals is that "The Fix" has, in TV parlance, "jumped the shark."

You need a vacation!

Or, an attitude adjustment.

Or something I am too polite to mention here.

Posted by: rebeccajm | April 2, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I think this incident raises concerns about Obama's temper.

Posted by: jethro1 | April 2, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Is this a high school paper?

Pretty sad day,watching testimony about our imploding economy, the desperate situation in Iraq and finding this.

I'll take the video as a parable of Clinton's campaign: she has to have the nomination, so she will badger us in every possible way to get it.

Maybe it was a Clinton operative--he seems to be echoing the "only Hillary Clinton and John McCain" theme their campaign has been trying to drill into our skulls.

Posted by: dwijas | April 2, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm not voting for John McCain no how, no way, but this "temperament" "issue" is ridiculous. What do people think, he's going to get ticked off and launch ICBMs at Damascus because he thinks the Syrian ambassador said something rude at lunch? Besides, there's not a single decision a president makes that can't be rescinded five minutes later. Or an hour. Or a day, whatever.

Posted by: mcdooley | April 2, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it is a question of temperament, and once again, I wonder if you really have the temperament to cover the political scene fairly.

Your love of the "horse race" makes you seek to make mountains out of molehills and, far too often, molehills out of nothing at all.

Wag the blog, indeed...

Posted by: pagun | April 2, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Chris -- Did YOU watch the video???

I cannot believe that you wrote this asinine piece and then actually sought our input.

Chris - if you want a story -- investigate who the obnoxious jerk is and make that the story...

Do a story on the shills and wackos who try this stuff will all of the candidates. Check it our with the local cops or the Secret Service --nah - they will not talk.

Apparently this guy was with a group of people who had tried earlier at the event to force their way past a group of 3rd graders??? Is that true??

There is your story Chris.


Posted by: gandalfthegrey | April 2, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh, please, this is gazing way below the navel.

If you can't get a story, at least get a grip!

Posted by: Martinedwinandersen | April 2, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

"You Obamanites don't have a clue. Hillary and McCain have been doing open town meeting from the get go. Obama has been doing sheep meetings with the cult. This ks new for him. Get your facts straight sheep.

Posted by: bnw173 | April 2, 2008 09:35 PM"
----------------------------------------------

ha ha ha... the blind leading the blind!

Posted by: jlm062002 | April 2, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Can't win 'em all, Chris.

Posted by: newageblues | April 2, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

PS to CC:
I really DO want to be dazzled by your insightful THOUGHTFULNESS again (soon).

Posted by: miraclestudies | April 2, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Certainly, a candidate's temperament and personal conduct are relevant. Perhaps as relevant as the broader issues of where they stand on policy.

I am decidedly not an Obama supporter, but I didn't see anything in this particular exchange to further solidify or increase my distaste for him.

Obama has always come across as cold, superficial and arrogant in my opinion. I think this was just more of the same.

Posted by: nlynnc | April 2, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

As usual, President-elect Obama handled himself very well. I'd have gone Sonny Corleone all over that stalking putz.

Posted by: AmnonT | April 2, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Get a life! Next thing you'll say is that Obama didn't brush his teeth this morning.

Pathetic article. Bark up another tree: How many $millions and lives did Bush waste in Iraq today?

Posted by: lip111 | April 2, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

If this post proves anything, Chris, it's that the blogger was what got wagged.

I recently told you I was disappointed in your columns of late the other day but this one just makes me SAD (for you) and I think the response (above) that this is FAR more about your judgment than Senator Obama's is right on target!

But I'm hoping that this means nothing more than you're just distracted, Chris. Whazzup?

Posted by: miraclestudies | April 2, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

At least Obama and the other candidates are interacting with members of the public. Perhaps if Bush-Cheney got in front of the general public a bit more often it would clear their thinking.

Posted by: lindley
-------------------------------------------

You Obamanites don't have a clue. Hillary and McCain have been doing open town meeting from the get go. Obama has been doing sheep meetings with the cult. This ks new for him. Get your facts straight sheep.

Posted by: bnw173 | April 2, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Well, it did raise a question in one circle: the empty one that is the writer's skull.

Posted by: roberttobey | April 2, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

I have heard the tape. You really must be stuck for topics. There was nothing particularly intemperate. Just imagine if the guy dogged McCaine or Madame Clinton!

Posted by: axolotl | April 2, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Well, at least he didn't start crying right before a primary.

Posted by: jlm062002 | April 2, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Could the blatant pro-Clinton bias of the Washington Post be any more laughably apparent? They have become just as desperate as she is.

Posted by: foolchild0 | April 2, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

It's plain as day that the guy is a rude jerk.

What should Obama have done? Deck him? This is an unbelievable headline!

Posted by: pdurand | April 2, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Often I'm left feeling deeply depressed by the vitriol of the readers reactions to a story.

THIS TIME-- I'M PROUD. The vast majority of people who read this nonstory knew it was utterly ridiculous!!

It will be interesting to see if any of the cable news shows pick up the PR disaster.

Chris and CBS what were you thinking?

Posted by: mhitchons | April 2, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

I read the story before I watched the video. I got the impression Obama blew up on the guy and looked like a total jerk. Having seen what actually happened: what is wrong with the journalists at the Post? Are you guys so desperate for a story that you're trying to doll this up and make it real news? He didn't even raise his voice. He spoke calmly, but sternly, to a guy who was borderline stalking him. How does this call his temperament into question? He seemed to react in a perfectly reasonable, justifiable way, and judging by the comments to this posting, that seems to be the general consensus amongst everyone who has human feelings. Find some real news please. And if there isn't any, just don't post. It's a blog. You're not on a deadline.

Posted by: ManUnitdFan | April 2, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

There is a story here. Obama is used too large mania crowds. Where he didn't have to worry about non-supporters. He has to be careful in this venue. I heard you same posters giving Chelsea hell because she would not answer questions about Lewinski. Everyone of you jumped all over her. Whats the difference? Obama was agitated. Didn't show a lot of class.

Posted by: bnw173 | April 2, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Can I get an photo, Chris?
Can I?
Can I?
Can I?
Can I?
Can I?

Pretty annoying, huh?

With topics like these, who needs the MSM?

Posted by: windycityward | April 2, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

This is news? Heck, why not post Hillary dissing a questioner who she claimed was "planted". Candidates aren't robots... get back to the issues.

Posted by: RealChoices | April 2, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Chris, come on. You are really fishing here and the bait is spin.

This might have been a slightly interesting and relevant exercise if you had simply posted the video, some basic context info, and the transcript. Then, readers would have had a chance to respond and interpret individually. Instead you provided your own interpretation through the questions you are asking in regard to the video. Your spin of the event immediately slants/frames the discussion in a particular way.

Posted by: jonvdaniel | April 2, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I think you need some time off!

Posted by: rsmbsm | April 2, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

The simplest thing would have been for Obama to allow the guy to have a picture with him.

So what if the guy wanted to sell the picture on EBAY?

That's too easy an excuse for treating a voter badly.

He gets hot under the collar too easily.

He showed his temper earlier in the primary season when he held a press conference but then walked off the stage in a huff after just a few questions about his dealings with Rezko.

Posted by: svreader | April 2, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

I buy used books, and sell them on Amazon.com and eBay. I have to say that many of the other buyer/sellers that stand in line with me (and that abuse good manners' rules by bringing 5 or so other people who arrive later, like after I have been number 4 in line in the freezing cold, then these others show up and suddenly my pain is not my gain). Most of these eBayers are pushy and shovey and not very nice people once inside the buying fields. I pragmatically refer to them as jackals. If Obama blew one of them off, then I say more power to him (him meaning Obama)

Posted by: pvdw | April 2, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Huh? That was it?

Where's the BEEF?

Posted by: scoob1900 | April 2, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Chris Cilliza:

You are a very lazy reporter; go cover something that really matters.

Posted by: jlm062002 | April 2, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

OK, Chris, time for you to get a real life or read a book about Walter Lippman or something. Jeez, what passes for journalism! You've lost a reader.

Posted by: blakeslee_74 | April 2, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

It's plain to see the man was after something else besides the photo. No one should be that pushy just to get a picture taken. Being that pushy goes beyond the limits of being nice on the part of Obama. Who knew if the guy wasn't dangerous in the first place. Everyone is passionate come election time about their candidate getting the nomination. No one knew what was the mind of this person. He should have been arrested and taken away. It's better to be safe then sorry, just to please the media and how they would portray the man making a pest of himself.

Posted by: houstonian | April 2, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Puh-friggin-leez. You're a hack and shouldn't believe everything you hear when Matthews kisses your butt on his MSNBC show. Here's a clue: he does it to everyone. Get thee a life and your head out of your rump.

Posted by: greener_pastures | April 2, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Chris, this piece was not worth the keystrokes you made to write this drivel. Thank God that I am not your editor; I would dock you a day's pay for this trash you call a story.

As for this obnoxious guy in Philly, the Secret Service were too nice to this man. Should have taken him in for questioning. He was over-the-top.

Posted by: meldupree | April 2, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

This just shows how the media is trying to pick at the candidates, and drive them to fight with one another--all just for ratings. Are you really serious? this story is about nothing. Will there big a post next time asking the readers to judge the candidates on how well they walk? That goes for both Hillary and Obama. The media and specially this post are being ridiculous.

Posted by: jlm062002 | April 2, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

You're right about one thing, Chris. It was definitely a SLOW news day. This post is absurd. I might have whacked the jerk. Why don't you write about baseball or cherry blossoms when things are this slow and so un-newsworthy????

Posted by: loulor | April 2, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

intcamd1, have you given any money to the Clintons?

Can you tell us why they are "broke" (again)?

I can tell you why the Obama campaign has so much money and a lot more ready to be donated. Would you like to know?

Posted by: shrink2 | April 2, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

At least Obama and the other candidates are interacting with members of the public. Perhaps if Bush-Cheney got in front of the general public a bit more often it would clear their thinking.

Posted by: lindley | April 2, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

This is news worthy? Hey Cillizza, you just jumped the shark.

Posted by: DrMPM | April 2, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

I didn't realize that Rupert Murdock had bought WaPo, too.

But I guess so, eh, Chris?


Don't you people have some, uh, "news" to cover?


Posted by: Christian_in_NYC | April 2, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

What this column illustrates best is the intellectual laziness of the author, more than a weakness in Sen. Obama's personality. You must have sweated like a dog in those ten minutes it took to whip this out.

Posted by: nwvp | April 2, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Good lord Chris.

Sure to raise questions about his temperament? The only question this raises is whether some "news" stories are better left unwritten...

Posted by: ssergio | April 2, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Chris:

This is not journalism. How could this nonsense make it onto the front page of a respectable publication like washingtonpost.com? Are you doing this because this is a "relatively slow news week." You have zero credibility in my book.

If you keep this up, don't be surprised if the Post starts burying your work in the classified advertising section. Contrary to your claim, Obama was calm and collected, even though the stalker was rude and worthy of very little respect. Thank God for video, which does not lie, unlike you and your blog.

Sam

Posted by: shijab2002 | April 2, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

You're right...it must be a slow day for this to pass as news. To speculate on its impact on the election and a candidate's ability to lead is just stupid.

Posted by: formerDCresident | April 2, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I'm a Hillary supporter, but I have to go with Obama on this one. This coverage is ridiculous! And, on the front page of the Washington Post?! Give me a break. The Senator was being hassled and, in my view, was extremely courteous, given the obnoxious behavior displayed by the "gentleman" in the clip.

Posted by: markmelton | April 2, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Are you kidding me! This story is about nothing. Couldn't you write an article about grass growing? It is spring you know.

Posted by: bruce.w1 | April 2, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

The guy asked for a photo, Obama said no, then he kept asking and asking and asking. I'm not an Obama supporter, but I'll just say that if it had been me, I would've punched the guy. And that's probably the reason I'll never run for office -- we expect candidates to put up with things that we would never tolerate in our own lives.

Posted by: jttnewguy | April 2, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Stop shilling for Hillary, Chris! Hillary has lost her temper several times and shown a startling lack of grace for someone on the public stage so far (remember "should we get Barack a pillow?"). So far, Obama has been cool and graceful. Blowing off a single annoying person does not a hothead make. Making completely irrational, hyperbolic statements, getting pissed off at everyone, and wagging a finger at anyone who doubts them (Bill and Hillary) could be a sign of somebody with problems. Just today, for example, Bill shouted at a delegate supporting HIllary because she had the AUDACITY to say she was "sorry" to hear Carville compare Bill Richardson to Judas. God forbid some good-intentioned person believe that loyalty to one's ideals and country is more important than loyalty to a political clan.

Posted by: freedom41 | April 2, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

The Obama groupies are sucking up to their man and blamin the media. What a novelty?

If the shoe were reversed and if it was Clinton, these shameless scumbags would be all over her.

These Obama groupies are worse than groupies who try to hang out with rock stars. They have no shame, no thinking. At this point, the Obama groupies are just blindly pimping for their man, and have no clue what his stance is on a whole bunch of issues. They will eventually find out, but will be too late.

Posted by: intcamd1 | April 2, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Oh wow! Talk about some Serious News! I'm speechless!

Posted by: reppics | April 2, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I think the guy was a Clinton "plant". He was there to get Obama to react & it worked. Now the press will have a heyday about his "temper". How dumb can the press be? Duh, pretty dumb.

Posted by: sdansker2002 | April 2, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

The posting is trivial, but it reflects only credit on the candidate. A president weak enough to be waylaid by every petty hustler who grabs his lapel isn't up to the job. Nobody does community organizing in Chicago who isn't damned tough, but this little item provides another, minor confirmation of what we already knew. The guy is ready for the job.

Posted by: jrmiles | April 2, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

What exactly are you all talking about? Precisely when in this video did the Senator "lose his cool"? Can anyone provide a quote from the video that demonstrates this?

Posted by: jarmstrong | April 2, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

"But, this episode is sure to raise questions in some circles about Obama's temperament -- and whether he is suited to the pressure-cooker of the presidency."

Dude, you are wearing me out! What are you talking about? If candidates stopped to take a picture with everyone that asked, we'd still be in Iowa, for pete's sake! A video post on Huffington gets it right...the guy was harrassing Obama.

Posted by: ZnanaB | April 2, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

This proves that the media really does not have anything to do with its time. The Washington Post, which was respectable, is quickly becoming another journalistic rag that spends its time on crap you would expect of the National Enquirer.
For the record, Obama's response was highly appropriate considering that the guy was obviously a nut case. Why don't you spend your time with stories of substance instead of dealing in sleaze?
The Washington Post should be ashamed of itself.

Posted by: Amelgepo | April 2, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

wangbang says this is just a blog.

But (your handle is too yucky to type twice) the problem is Chris said there is no news today. That is a lie.

The Clintons' campaign is bankrupt. Even NPR "covered" the story. That is amazing, big time news.

Most important, the reason is the money from their fat cats has dried up and their "not college educated" supporters just won't pay the few $ the Obama rank and file have contributed.

Why? That is the news.

Posted by: shrink2 | April 2, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Hillary supporter and I don't see what the big deal about the video is... I'd be annoyed too.

Posted by: spotch | April 2, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

I cannot find words to define how stupid you and your post is. Where do you get your credentials -- the press is below slime in their service to the public

Posted by: gweeks | April 2, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

The real question is wether you are suited to be a journalist

Posted by: svarada123 | April 2, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

The real question is wether you are suited to be a journalist

Posted by: svarada123 | April 2, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

The real question is wether you are suited to be a journalist

Posted by: svarada123 | April 2, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

There must not be much new on the campaign trail for you or any of the press to fixate on this.

How about covering the two recent Wisconsin Supreme Court elections? In both cases a less qualified candidate with ethics problems was elected with the help of millions of dollars of sleazy, dishonest ads from outside interests?

Some of the ads for yesterday's election were analyzed for veracity by Annenberg and Newsweek and found lacking.
http://www.newsweek.com/id/124577

Posted by: LouiseFletcher | April 2, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I agree with mjno that the exchange yesterday with the female Hillary supporter was just as concerning as today's incident. As Time Magazine reported, Obama approached the woman and tried to woo her, asking: "What do I need to do? Do you want me on my knees?" and then said "I'll give you a kiss." This approach speaks volumes about his personality. He feels he can charm his way through anything, I fear, and to a certain extent he has! He's got half the Democratic party under his spell, thankfully the other half is not buying it. And when things don't go his way, he becomes pissy like he did today.

Temperment is of enormous concern in a candidate, whether it's McCain, Obama or Clinton. That's why these next few months are so helpful, to get a preview of the candidates under pressure.

Here's the Time Magazine link:

http://thepage.time.com/2008/04/01/obama-woos-clinton-supporter-ill-give-you-a-kiss/

Posted by: Vnd22 | April 2, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I want to know why the Secret Service didn't step in sooner and firmly get the guy out of Obama's face.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | April 2, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

It is sad that the Washington Post has so lowered their standards that this actually made the paper.
Shame on you!

Posted by: almost_wise_one | April 2, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

INANE BLOGS: A QUESTION OF JOURNALISTIC ABILITY?

On today's Washington Post website, Chris Cillizza echo-chambered CBS's attempt to make news out of a nonevent. How does this bode for Cillizza's ability to write about something interesting, or even to come up with his own stories? If the rest of the media are compared to vultures, does this mean Cillizza is just a moosefly?

Posted by: treetopflyer | April 2, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

This story is very embarrasing. For the Washington Post.

Posted by: winstonsalem | April 2, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

It is unfair to compare Obama's relative impatience with a heckler (who also interrupted Obama when Obama was taking pics with third graders - see cbs and foxnews.com) with John McCain, whose anger stories are much more serious (like telling fellow Senators to F&&& Off).

In any event, neither's so called 'temper' problems are relevant. What is relevant is what these candidates will do to make the US a better place. How will they deal with the war? How will they deal with the foreclosure mess? How will they deal with rising gas prices? How will they deal with loss of jobs? These are the most important issues. Stories like this are done to take the voters' eyes off the real problems. Just like in 2004... where we were told that Bush was like us, and Kerry was an Elite. This gutter-type Karl Rove politics must end, and you sure aren't doing your share to end it by actually having this story up without even giving all the facts (that this heckler had been outside Obama's hotel, he'd interrupted Obama when Obama took a pic with third-graders).

Posted by: dmuradyan0126 | April 2, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I could care less if any of them have a temper. It tells me they are human just like me. If someone continues to get in my face, I would also lose my temper. There will be times when a President will lose his/her temper, so what. Much to do about nothing. Find something better to blog about.

Posted by: Nickolas1 | April 2, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Obama is tough but keeps his cool, which is exactly the right temperament for a President.

McCain, on the other hand, does not just lose his cool. Some of his Republican Senate colleagues refused to endorse McCain because of his penchant for expletive-laden tirades directed at them. This is not just a hot temper. It's psychological instability. I do not want McCain to have his "finger on the button."

Posted by: harlemboy | April 2, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

This "story" of 2 April is exactly one day late.

Posted by: dsk61 | April 2, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Media criticism is rarely tempting for me as it usually verges on whining if doesn't exceed it to simply shrill irrelevancy, but in this case I must agree with the majority of comments here that criticize Mr. Cillizza's post that linked from, oh my, the front page of the premier newspaper of my nation's seat of government. Most analysts on cable and working for the major papers claim the two remaining Democratic candidates have no policy differences, when, really, they actually do: what is Ms. Clinton's policy regarding unilateral strikes against al-Qaeda camps? We know Mr. Obama's: do it if we have to when the local sovereignties don't. Nonetheless, many of these reporters and analysts treat the candidates as synonymous besides personality and we get articles like this one that seems to take the neutral position of presenting the forum for a discussion about temperment, but really hides the assumption of it's posting: temperment does matter; otherwise, why would a discussion about it even be merited. Now, of course temperment matters, but the quality of the discussion is not actually up to the demands of the merited inquiry. Why isn't there an article about how their policies and professional conduct connect with one another outside the exigencies of street-level harassment. This just seems to be a rare instance of the Post eliciting response to a largely salacious occurance in the guise of journalism. This was poor judgment on the part of the online editors and Mr. Cillizza.

Posted by: jstenarclark | April 2, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Chris, I am disappointed and surprised by your posts of the last couple of days.

Has the WaPo been taken over by CBS News? Fox? People Mag.? Puhleasse!

This post is infantile.

Look, Obama was being harrassed. He needs to watch his back -- much more carefully than Clinton or McCain. Why? Well, if you can't figure that one out, you're really in the wrong job.

Obama is well within his right to firmly tell the aggressive "fan" to back off. It doesn't matter if the man simply wanted an autograph or not.

That, my friend, is a show of strength - not weakness.

Can we please move on to posts with substance? No? Maybe Us Online has more insight...

Posted by: VoiceofReason5 | April 2, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Temperament certainly matters, but no presidential candidate has a better temperament than Obama does. Even in these clips, he's firm, not rude, while the fellow is wheedling and importuning him in a suspicious fashion.

Posted by: cvh1787 | April 2, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Gee, if the Senator could have only been more diplomatic, like Dick Cheney, he could have told the stalker "Go F**k Yourself."

Posted by: mgscherm | April 2, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

This is just a blog, you stupid morons. Every day you dumb morons have to post "is this news?" This is a BLOG--can't your walnut size brains understand that?

Posted by: wangbang747 | April 2, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

For this, truly, you ought to apologize to your readers. If you won't, then your editor should. You know better.

Posted by: macasper | April 2, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Did Rupert Murdoch buy the Post? Seems like it....some stalker confronts Obama and the National Enquirer puts up a headline asking whether this raises questions about Obama's Presidential judgment?

Correction: I meant to write Washington Post, but National Enquirer came out.

Posted by: robertell | April 2, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Temperament IS important, and Obama handled this beautifully with his usual honesty professionalism. The poster, here, who said he came off cocky and arrogant baffles me. He's not running for Miss America. Bush has never been to a soldier's funeral on the theory he can't go to them all, a bogus excuse, because no one would expect him to or could corral him. On the other hand, if Obama posed with this man, a line would form in a flash. It's unDem-like to play favorites. He's public servant not Paris Hilton. [Why am I bothering to explain the obvious? Because I take Chris's column seriously. Hmmm.)

Posted by: jhbyer | April 2, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

Your posts over the past couple of days have been well, pathetic, really.

I am disappointed and surprised. Am I on CBS News? Fox? Come on! What a stretch. Puhlease.

What has happened to the WaPo?

Look, the man was looking after his own safety: there are a lot of folk out there who think (wrongly) that Obama is a) a muslim terrorist; b) the wacky Rev. Wright -- and these people -- racists, if you will -- wouldn't mind if something "bad" happened to Obama. That's got to be simmering in the back of his mind, as well as in the minds of those in his campaign.

And, if the harrasser was trying a bit too aggressively to get an autograph - for eBay or not - it's within Obama's rights as a human to firmly tell him to back off.

I don't blame him at all. It shows strength.

What would you do, Chris? Let the man jump you?

Can we PLEASE move on to stuff less tabloid???

Posted by: VoiceofReason5 | April 2, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

So, we've got some jerk who wants to get a picture of Obama so that the jerk can sell it and make money? And Obama gets annoyed?

FUC.KING RIGHT! I'd GET FU.CKING ANNOYED, TOO. This guy wants to STEAL Obama's image for monetary purposes. Obama owns his own face.

Nope, nothing to see here.


So, we've got some jerk who wants to get a picture of Obama so that the jerk can sell it and make money? And Obama gets annoyed?

FUC.KING RIGHT! I'd GET FU.CKING ANNOYED, TOO. This guy wants to STEAL Obama's image for monetary purposes. Obama owns his own face.

Nope, nothing to see here.
Posted by: snortz_the_cat |
------------------------------------------

An Obamanite being Obama like. Bless your heart. My candidate or the hiway arrogance.
He is supposed to be liberal. Help the poor. Give this guy an autograph and picture so he can pay his gas bill.

Posted by: bnw173 | April 2, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Really, Chris? Really? This is the best you can do?

Posted by: mpete72 | April 2, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

It is not a slow news day you pathetic Clinton flak.

The news is the Clinton campaign is going so far into debt to try to get a >10% win in PA that this is now all or nothing for them.

Who will pay the bills for the Clintons' campaign Chris? You?

The people who have nothing other to do than post here sure have not given their money. So what next, the Cintons will pose as the candidates of the little people who have no $50 to give?

You will be fired. Post that as insightful.

Posted by: shrink2 | April 2, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton and John McCain are reported to sometimes have bad tempers. Bill Clinton's latest tirade, as reported in "The San Francisco Chronicle," is a bigger news story than this story. I find it incredible a mainstream newspaper could make such a minor incident "worthy" of such prominent attention at its website.

Did the "Washington Post" and other major news outlets cover the more serious display of bad temperament by Senator Clinton, when she lost her cool about the issue of wha were accurate election handouts supposedly
misrepresenting her positions on NAFTA and health care? Why did they not cover this as an important issue, reflecting bad temper by a presidential candidate?

I doubt if anyone can name a recent president who at least occasionally did not lose his temper. Bill Clinton, according to numerous news reports, often had a bad temper, especially in the morning to his staff.

Barack had every right to be annoyed at this person and the Secret Service should be chastized for allowing such a person to approach him.

Posted by: Koreen | April 2, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

You have got to be kidding -- talk about a complete non-story. Check out when John Prescott, former UK deputy prime minister had a dust-up with someone who chucked an egg at him -- a left to the chin!!


http://youtube.com/watch?v=VRQDnGTcc4A&feature=related

Posted by: knopsjane | April 2, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Apparently a lot of people are going to read way, way too far into this.

Obama doesn't have to take pictures with anyone. It's not like he slapped a baby instead of kissing it. You can see this guy was being a pushy jerk and was not approaching Obama in a way that a man would if he was a genuine fan of Obama.

Obama composed himself very well in this situation. I can't even imagine what a hothead like McCain or an arrogant jerk like Bush would have done. They probably would have had the man sent to Guantanamo or something.

Give it a break. This is uninteresting garbage at best and Obama showing he isn't endlessly patient with jerks shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. If it is, you're a clueless idiot and should get a lobotomy.

Posted by: thecrisis | April 2, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Temperament only becomes an issue if the person is a "it's my ball and I'm taking it home." Everyone get mad and I might be suspicious of one who does not express such emotion, so long as the emotion does not affect the ability to think rationally.

Posted by: jcd0912 | April 2, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

The secret service is not on their job. Obama has had secret service protection for quite sometime and we all know the reason.

I don't like this because we know the history of this country. Not just here, but high profile politicians draw all types.

Posted by: OneFreeMan | April 2, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

So, we've got some jerk who wants to get a picture of Obama so that the jerk can sell it and make money? And Obama gets annoyed?

FUC.KING RIGHT! I'd GET FU.CKING ANNOYED, TOO. This guy wants to STEAL Obama's image for monetary purposes. Obama owns his own face.

Nope, nothing to see here.

Posted by: snortz_the_cat | April 2, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm not going to vote for Obama (or McCain) because I think they only offer more of the same political non-answers. At this point the Republicans and Democrats are basically the same and REAL CHANGE is needed, not just a different puppet.

That being said, Obama's response to a nutball harasser was 100% appropriate for the situation and this is a non-story.

It makes me wonder why this kind of fluff is being promoted by the Washington Post. Why not address real political issues instead of focusing on irrelevant distractions?

Posted by: thoughts | April 2, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Why did Obama immediately assume this guy wanted an autograph to sell it on Ebay instead of him being just an enthusiastic supporter? There is not exactly a booming market for Obama autographs on Ebay.

Posted by: ccatmoon | April 2, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

I read your blog often, because of the interesting and insightful comments you add to the coverage of this race. But, I must admit, I was rather astonished by this blog post. I strongly agree with the readers who have noted that not only should this not be a mainstream news story, it should most definitely not be an indicator of Obama's temperament.

I have volunteered for the Obama campaign as often and as extensively as possible since he announced his candidacy for president, and I have had the pleasure of meeting him several times during my experiences volunteering. Each and every time, I have been pleased to talk with a man who is incredibly sincere, calm, good-natured, and kind. He never hesitated to sign a book for a member of my family or take a picture with me - if anything, he took the time to chat for a moment, rather than hurrying away for the next handshake.

Anyone would react with a bit of frustration to the type of hounding that Senator Obama experienced from this man in Pennsylvania, and I think he handled the situation as well as anyone could.

Of course temperament matters in a presidential candidate - but the reality is that this video clip doesn't give a valid indication of Obama's temperament.

Posted by: stephanie.trifone | April 2, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

This is news? I mean, someone from CBS was actually paid to film this and some other moron aired it as news?

God help us all.

Posted by: WmJLePetomane | April 2, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

I think the exchange does have minor significance although not in the way Chris implies. An exchange like this would have hurt McCain because it plays into the idea that he has a temper. In contrast, the negative stereotype of Obama is that he is not tough enough. Anytime he scraps it up a bit as long as its not excessive helps him.

Posted by: CH1234 | April 2, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Did Obama act optimally? No. Does it make one whit of difference? Also no. This reminds me of the inanity of another story about how much of a tip another candidate left after visiting a diner earlier in the cycle. I suppose the media would be overjoyed at the idea of running around interviewing every person the candidate ever met looking for that "hint of character" that would make a difference.

Get a grip!!

One would think after so much Sturm und drang that we'd be in a better place than this...

Posted by: ethanquern | April 2, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Are you kidding? That was nothing. Obama was downright reasonable in that clip. I was expecting far worse.

Posted by: andrewgerst | April 2, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

If anyone here needed additional proof that Chris Cillizza is a pro-Hillary hack, this is it. Get a life!

Posted by: johnatbd | April 2, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

You have GOT to be frakkin' kidding me! That guy reminds me of no one so much as that annoying kid in the Bugs Bunny cartoon who kept yelling, "I want an Eastah egg! I want an Eastah egg! Gimme an Eastah egg!" I for one am glad Obama didn't give a phony, nervous laugh and instead was straight up with the guy - you'll get your picture, but don't expect me to smile. It's those refreshing moments of honesty that will keep him stable for the really important things.

Other politicians have had to vent, too, and no one questioned their ability because of it. E.g.:

Kennedy: "Mister Kruschev, you won't turn me into a communist and I won't turn you into a capitalist."

Reagan (to hectoring Republican colleague): "Sit down and shut up!"

Sometimes you just have to call a spade a spade (no, I don't mean THAT).

Posted by: treetopflyer | April 2, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

This is what's considered news? Anyone who will now reconsider voting for Obama because of this probably shouldn't be voting in the first place.

Posted by: webaccounts | April 2, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

This is news? I mean, someone from CBS was actually paid to film this and some other moron aired it as news?

God help us all.

Posted by: WmJLePetomane | April 2, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Democratic Party has lost 7 out 10 presidential elections in last 40 years.

These are the people who lost elections to Republicans:

Humphrey (1968), McGovern (1972), Carter (1980), Mondale (1984), Dukakis (1988), Gore (2000) and Kerry (2004).

Why do you think these people lost elections and Obama will win? American people have never elected liberal candidates in modern American history. Obama is more liberal than six of the above candidates, except Carter. Thanks to Obama mentor, Senator Kennedy who gave away whole election in 1980 to some Republican actor.

Can you even name two democratic candidates who won presidential elections over last 40 years?

If you have said: Carter in 1976 and Clinton in 1992-1996. Yes, you are correct!

If you are true democrat voter who wants to win in November, stay with Clinton.
Clinton wins!

Posted by: YesWeCanForFREE | April 2, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Washington Post, why are you putting the pretext in this article of this guy was seeking the photo "to sell it"?, "based on Obama campaign"? How do you know that was true? Why did you take whatever Obama campaign is selling as the truth? Is that how you were tought in the jouralism school?

Or, simply, Washington Post is really not in the journalistic business.

Posted by: gwshening | April 2, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

This is news? I mean, someone from CBS was actually paid to film this and some other moron aired it as news?

God help us all.

Posted by: WmJLePetomane | April 2, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

I think the exchange does have minor significance although not in the way Chris implies. An exchange like this would have hurt McCain because it plays into the idea that he has a temper. In contrast, the negative stereotype of Obama is that he is not tough enough. Anytime he scraps it up a bit as long as its not excessive helps him.

Posted by: CH1234 | April 2, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, Chris. If this is all you have to blog about, you should spend more time with the Missus. Watch a movie or something. How about "Primary Colors"?

Posted by: mnteng | April 2, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

I think the exchange does have minor significance although not in the way Chris implies. An exchange like this would have hurt McCain because it plays into the idea that he has a temper. In contrast, the negative stereotype of Obama is that he is not tough enough. Anytime he scraps it up a bit as long as its not excessive helps him.

Posted by: CH1234 | April 2, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Two comments-
1. I think Obama actually was quite tolerant of this possible nut. (I would not have been so tolerant of the guy.)

2. I think we can all understand Obama's possible reluctance to have a picture taken given we are two days from the 40th anniversary of Dr. King's death. Maybe the Secret Service has advised him not to pose for pictures.

Posted by: bfjam | April 2, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Surely you jest. It really has become silly season.

Posted by: jovitman | April 2, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm a big Hillary supporter...but come on? The other guy was rude and annoying. Obama handled it well. Bill Clinton would have shook his finger in the guys face for an hour.

Do some more research on Obama's role in his church for the past 20 years along with is relationship with Rezko, why he keeps changing his stories on each, and his extreme liberal voting record.

Posted by: badger3 | April 2, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Obama has benefited from legions of uncritical fans, an adoring media, and endorsements from many white haired men. If he was put under even a tenth of the pressure that Senator Clinton has experienced, he would deflate like an empty suit. Clinton has so much more courage.

Posted by: brewstercounty
-----------------------------------------

Worth repeating Brewstercounty. Right on. Wonder how he is going to handle the MSM when they adopt McCain?

Posted by: bnw173 | April 2, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Say, edanddot, if you were a well-known public figure (which you will obviously never be), how would YOU respond to some unknown character who kept aggressively approaching you ? Would you feel safe, act all friendly and gracious? Would Hillary or John have warmly embraced this creep and posed for photos? Of course not. The Secret Service should have wrestled the creep to the ground. Nice try, your comments are patently stupid.

Posted by: garry2 | April 2, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Say, edanddot, if you were a well-known public figure (which you will obviously never be), how would YOU respond to some unknown character who kept aggressively approaching you ? Would you feel safe, act all friendly and gracious? Would Hillary or John have warmly embraced this creep and posed for photos? Of course not. The Secret Service should have wrestled the creep to the ground. Nice try, your comments are patently stupid.

Posted by: garry2 | April 2, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

This post and your last post on Hillary actually have a serious chance of winning are incredibly lame posts showing inane analysis. Math, reason, and reality show Hillary cannot win this thing. Give up trying to keep this campaign going longer than it can just to make news. As for Obama's character being revealed in a refusal to oblige a follower, PLEASE...both he and Hillary are tired and may get testy now and then. Rather than question his ability to be president, I think we would gain more from questioning your ability for political analysis. NEXT TIME, cover some thing real.

Posted by: gmaggrmi | April 2, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

you're losing it Chris

Posted by: shanedenley | April 2, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Readers of the "Fix" should always remember:

The Washington Post endorsed Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: jamdn463 | April 2, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

You yourself seem embarrassed at posting this. This is a good thing, because this post was useless and the incident not newsworthy. I understand that you're a blog writer, and that thus you must always have more to say on ANYTHING having to do wth elections. I can only imagine (or hope) that there is something in Senate, House, or Gubernatorial races worth saying.

Posted by: cmwall1 | April 2, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Barrt's supporters are up to their usual whining. No matter how you try to justify it, Barry screwed up big time. I thought he was a man of the people. Only selected people, I guess. Barry is a pompous, no experience poser. The only experience he has is LYING.
We'll see what lie he will release for this
revealing aspect of Barry.

Posted by: edanddot | April 2, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Slow news week indeed.

Obama acted appropriately.

Posted by: brian_away | April 2, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

CHRIS:

Usually, you are dead on. But, this guy is at worst, a STALKER, and at best, a real JERK. Obama is awfully, calm, collected, and firm. Clearly, this demonstrates "resolve" under pressure. And grace in the heat of a tough campaign.

Posted by: pscohl | April 2, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

I refuse to watch commercials on my PC so I won't see the video clip. Oh well, I'm sure it's not earth-shattering news that I can't live without ha.

Posted by: Quietnoise | April 2, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

I think it is a good test of character - many people would have told this anxious, pseudo-stalker where to go, especially with his persistence in the presence of the Secret Service. Despite the annoyance, Obama still makes good and resolves the situation professionally. The news for me is it's quite unnerving to see how easily someone can get through security and make direct contact with a presidential candidate.

Posted by: DonJulio | April 2, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, this post is a sign of how slow the news is right now, but we gotta obsess about something . . .

And the question itself is valid: McCain does have a reputation as a hothead who holds grudges. Is this the right temperment for what's undoubtedly the most FRUSTRATING job in the world? You've got bin Laden to deal with, the Palestinians and the Israelis, Putin, the Iranians, Rush, Sean and the gang, the French, and, to top it all off, Congress in all its dilatory glory. Very frustrating. Perhaps not the job for someone who should be in Anger Management 101.

Posted by: 661oldpost | April 2, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Raising questions in some circles? That's the threshold for news nowadays? If so, the MSM can't die out fast enough, so keep hammering those nails into your (and formerly my, sad to say) profession's coffin.

Posted by: TomHRyan | April 2, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

You can see from the video that the guy was being pushy and obviously trying to stir up Senator Obama.

Key word = heckler.

Heck I'm more surprised that the Secret Service didn't respond more forcefully to the guy.

Posted by: edelatorre | April 2, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, I'm surprised that even decent Americans can get next to somebody with Secret Service protection and this guy is...something else. Instead of revealing out Barack Obama as a high-handed jerk, I think this scene shows him to have the patience of Job. You getting the alternative is like making war hero John Kerry out to be a draft dodger.

Posted by: bfulton | April 2, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Obama has benefited from legions of uncritical fans, an adoring media, and endorsements from many white haired men. If he was put under even a tenth of the pressure that Senator Clinton has experienced, he would deflate like an empty suit. Clinton has so much more courage.

Posted by: brewstercounty | April 2, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Wow, this video really freaked me out -

How did this obviously slight unhinged guy get so close to Obama- not once, but twice?

What was the secrect service thinking? Didn't Cheney's guys arrest a guy who just talked to him at some high priced ski resort a couple of years ago? This guy would have been black bagged if it had been Bush or Cheney.

How scary was this - I had no idea some random whack job could get that close to any presedential candidate, much less the candidate that the public frets for his safety the most. Wasn't there an article a month or so ago in the NYT about security lapses at one of his big events? The Post should really follow up on some of those issues.

By the way - what is the appropriate temperment to have towards a stalker?

Posted by: holly | April 2, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Well I feel exploited. Yes, you made me click through and look at a pointless video. You tried to draw larger conclusions from it. The big story here? WPost is losing it. Why not fire whoever writes this and get a real blogger?

Posted by: thebigfast | April 2, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Obama was courteous and said no. The guy almost was stalking. The fact that this made news is a joke.

Posted by: Juked | April 2, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

For pity sakes, Obama's temperament was positively conciliatory-- easy-going, in a very irritating situation. The picture seeker pressed so hard the Secret Service had to pull him off the candidate. The picture-seeker kept changing his rationale, and after after a brief exchange Obama relented, saying mildly, "OK, take your shot. But I won't be smiling, 'cause you're wearing me down."
Yes, temperament counts. The President should be able to handle great stress without getting rattled. In the face of overwhelming demands, humans typically resort to displays of temper to get many or their harrassers to back off. But the more effective tactic is to quickly resolve the confrontation with a little humor, as Obama did, or appeal for consideration & assistance in sharing the load of demands.

Posted by: SoldiersMom | April 2, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

HE IS CALLOUS AND ARROGANT, I want to address the inappropriate way Senator Barack Obama engaged a woman in Scranton Pa yesterday: please see link below to on-line Time article where it is reported that Obama asked a woman wearing a Hillary button if giving her "a KISS" would help change her mind to vote for him instead. He treated this woman as a sexual thing who could be manipulated by his charm. As a professional woman I will tell you that this is frightening. The last thing a working woman wants is to be addressed sexually - in any manner. It subtly - and sometimes not so subtly - keeps her in her patriarchal place. I believe Obama's comment to this woman says a lot about the ways he would address (NOT!) issues related to women's rights in America. I just am not convinced that he is the best candidate to voice issues that concern me and my daughters, e.g., equal pay, sexual harassment in the workplace, equal opportunity in the military, etc.

Posted by: mjno | April 2, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

The real Obama is captured on video. Obama's behavior in this video is quite revealing. He's quite pompous, arrogant, and condescending to the gentlemen. It's a campaign and one should expect different kinds of people, but to act like Barry did is pathetic. Barry does not want to be president. He wants to be god.

Posted by: edanddot | April 2, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Hey JFelicetta, nice try at Obama bashing. But that creepy stalker should have been hauled off and arrested. Why should any individual-- especially a well-known political figure-- have to tolerate threatening, unwelcome behavior? Would Hillary or John have warmly thrust their arms around this creep and said "sure, take as many photos as you like" - NO, of course not. Obama's response was justified and completely understandable.

Posted by: garry2 | April 2, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

This man is a psychopath and I completely agreed with Obama 100% on how he handled this man. This man obviously had an agenda and that was to get a picture with Obama so he could sell on EBay. This man even pushed kids out of the way in order to get what he wanted. How sad..

Posted by: HoaLu | April 2, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

This is positively ludicrous. The Post has been fairly decent in political coverage, but now you're just clearly stretching to fill the space between now and the next election cycle.

Put yourself in Obama's shoes. You campaign 16 hours a day, non-stop. You've been doing this for 13 months. You know that every single thing you do or say will be nitpicked and ridiculed by idiots like Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan. You're tired, you miss your family, and you're expected to pretend to be everybody's best friend. Obviously, it takes a special type of person to be a politician, and a campaign for the presidency is like the world's hardest and most protracted job interview.

But still.

STILL.

You're approached by a jerk, who has clearly demonstrated himself to be a jerk, and who has nothing but selfish, material motives, and who demands that you stop what you're doing to fulfill his requests. You want to punch the guy's lights out, but instead you tell him curtly that you're not going to give him a picture. He persists. You tell him he's bugging you. He persists. He feels ENTITLED. "I got a picture with Hillary and McCain, you owe me one too." He thinks he deserves to be able to boss you around. You give him the picture, reiterate that he's bugging you, and go on your way.

And then, of course, everything you do and say is picked apart by idiots like... Chris Cilliza.

This is ridiculous.

Posted by: russhulltx | April 2, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Possibly the worst piece of journalism EVER.

Posted by: jherzog1 | April 2, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

>>> "But, this episode is sure to raise questions in some circles about Obama's temperament"

I think it raises more questions about the media's unwillingness to explore what the "Ethics" plank of Obama's platform means, or the intricacies of Clinton and Obama's health care plan (is "mandatory coverage" a better option? If so, how? Does it make sense to make all Americans pay more for services that benefit the 13% of Americans below the poverty line?), or how Clinton and Obama will ensure quality education for America's children even though their campaigns will be beholden to teachers' unions that will object to any semblance of performance-based pay.

You know, the issues.

Stop covering the horse race between Clinton and Obama, and start covering the issues. We know the Clintons are born liars, so the Bosnia incident is meaningless. We know Obama is African American and attends a Church with a pastor who came of age in radically different era and therefore has hardened and extreme views on a multitude of topics.

The topics that need further discussion are how we're going to get out of Iraq (admittedly, the Post has done a fabulous job presenting a multitude of opinions here), ensure adequate and affordable health care for all working Americans and their children, and turn this economy around.

Yeesh.

cue svreader, Thinker, rat-the, and all the other drones who'd rather distract us from the results of 8 years of Republican rule...

Posted by: PDiddy | April 2, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

When you use up precious space to blog about this kind of nonesense - you are hinging on becoming a glorified enquirer - get back on track and report real news- we already have to deal with Cable News and MSM being petty and "silly" - please do NOT endeavor to go down the path with them.

Posted by: lettie1 | April 2, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see a candidate who doesn't feel compelled to pander to every pushy, gimme, self-serving suck-up for a change. If Bush/McCain could only say the same.

Posted by: AdamOnDemand | April 2, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, Chris, how is this a story? He got annoyed. THAT'S ALL. He didn't verbally or physically assault the guy. He didn't call him a name or insult him. I think the fact that this is his first such incident after months of intense scrutiny and coverage shows there's nothing wrong with his temperament. A lost a little respect for you on this one.

Posted by: txsig78 | April 2, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Chris, I have a feeling that, now that you've run out of lint to remove after all your navel-gazing, you've moved onto equally weighty matters.

Maybe to give your question even greater weight, you might have asked what should Obama have done if this same guy had asked for a picture during a 3 A.M. phone call.

Posted by: johnmcampanelli | April 2, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Obama blinks! Does this raise questions about the ability of his corneas to withstand the heat of the presidency? Watch this spot.

Posted by: hquain | April 2, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Completely and utterly inane. When I read stuff like this on the front page of a major daily I don't feel so bad that newspapers are going out of business.

Posted by: gcharest | April 2, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

This is still The Washington Post right? Pathetic Chris.

Posted by: mack1 | April 2, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

slow news day, eh Chris?

Posted by: mjayes | April 2, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

NO -- NOT EXACTLY....

"Has it occurred to anyone that Senator McCain may be so anxious to find a Vice Presidential candidate NOW-five months before the convention, because he knows that he's too ill to finish the run for the Presidency and he wants to anoint his own successor?"

Posted by: darrren12000 | April 2, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

It looks like the same fluff over Howard Dean's "temper" in 2004. A popular, grassroots candidate arises to be the frontrunner, and the media grasps at anything they can to try and spear them. It's just as much a non-issue now as it was then.

Posted by: riff_raff17 | April 2, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

AGREED! AND I DONT EVEN LIKE OBAMBI. GIVE ME A BREAK. THESE "NEWS" OUTLETS THAT PUT BLOGS ON THEIR FRONT PAGES AS IF THEY WERE NEWS IS A DISTURBING TREND....

"That you have written a blog about this is proof positive that (i) there are too many 24/7 media covering this campaign with too much time on their hands, and (ii) there is nothing so trivial that somebody, somewhere, won't comment on it."

Posted by: darrren12000 | April 2, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

What an epically stupid post. This guy was obviously a jerk and frankly I think the secret service was relatively nice to him.

Yeah right Obama is so arrogant. With a crowd of people there one guy muscles his way to the front and obnoxiously tries to get a photo.

What this raises is questions about Chris Cilizza's judgment

Posted by: creweeny | April 2, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

What an epically stupid post. This guy was obviously a jerk and frankly I think the secret service was relatively nice to him.

Yeah right Obama is so arrogant. With a crowd of people there one guy muscles his way to the front and obnoxiously tries to get a photo.

What this raises is questions about Chris Cilizza's judgment

Posted by: creweeny | April 2, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the previous commenters, it's ridiculous that you'd put this on the front page of WashingtonPost.com. What, no Britney news available?

Posted by: TheGreenMiles | April 2, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Was this actually published yesterday and was meant as an April Fool's joke because if it wasn't, you need a very long vacation Chris.

How about chewing on this one instead:

Has it occurred to anyone that Senator McCain may be so anxious to find a Vice Presidential candidate NOW-five months before the convention, because he knows that he's too ill to finish the run for the Presidency and he wants to anoint his own successor?

Please note that McCain had promised his medical history by mid-April and now is postponing the release of those reports until May. Also he often appears distracted, confused and tired.

Posted by: mhitchons | April 2, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

The mainstream media is useless. Is this even news? Give me a break.

Posted by: lostzephyrs | April 2, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Obama's behavior in this episode is actually quite revealing. He's quite cocky, arrogant, and overly sure of himself. He's been receiving a free ride from the press on this, but the reality is that he feels he's a man on a mission. The downside potential here may be quite steep.

Posted by: JFelicetta | April 2, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely it makes a difference. For example, when McCain is visibly upset with someone and then makes condescending and pejorative comments (or even letters) to others, it portends an attitude I would not want to have control over the executive branch of my government.

On Barack and that guy did their thing, the guy would not leave him alone (based on the video) and finally Barack gave him a picture. But the guy was way out of line.


Posted by: swanieaz | April 2, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

That you have written a blog about this is proof positive that (i) there are too many 24/7 media covering this campaign with too much time on their hands, and (ii) there is nothing so trivial that somebody, somewhere, won't comment on it.

I think what we see here is a candidate who is harassed by somebody -- where the candidate can't really be sure this person isn't unbalanced and/or doesn't mean him harm -- to the point where he got short with him.

End. of. story.

Posted by: jac13 | April 2, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

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