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Old 01-05-2008, 05:56 AM   #466
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I don't think Edwards will take the second spot again.
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:04 AM   #467
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Why America needs Obama

By Deval Patrick | January 5, 2008

I am proud to be a Democrat, but sometimes Democratic politics can be tiresome.

For years, candidates have appealed to voters by arguing how they can win or why any Democrat would be better than any Republican. They miss the fact that voters are more interested in why Democrats should win than how we will. They mistakenly believe that discontent with Republicans will assure a Democratic victory, when in truth most of us aren't buying 100 percent of what either party is selling. So, election after election, we end up with the same old debate and commentary about competing electoral tactics rather than a vision for the future.

We have a chance this time to choose a different kind of candidate, a different kind of president.

Barack Obama is the only candidate in the field who has demonstrated the ability to unite people across differences around common cause.

From his work in Chicago neighborhoods, to the Illinois Senate, to the US Senate, to his success in campaigning for other candidates in so-called red states like Missouri, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Virginia, Obama has shown an uncommon ability to work across differences and get meaningful results. Applying that talent to a vision for a better, safer, more just, and more prosperous American future could not come a moment too soon.

We face profound challenges. The Bush administration has been ineffective in foreign policy and absent in domestic policy. While our troops are performing well abroad, their mission was poorly conceived and their exit strategy nonexistent. At home, the poor are in terrible shape and the middle class are one month away from being poor. Healthcare and college costs are getting further and further out of reach, roads and bridges are in disrepair, and a lot of the people in power have spent more time denying climate change than trying to defeat it. Everyday people are anxious, and their anxiety knows no party.

America needs Obama.

He has comprehensive plans to end the war in Iraq, provide universal healthcare, lift up schools, and to save the planet. I like many of his ideas. But frankly most candidates in the race - Democrat and Republican - have a couple of good ideas. What I want, and what I sense the American people want, is more than good policy. We want great leadership.

This is where Barack Obama rises above the field. Instead of calculation or connections, he has risen on convictions. Instead of stoking partisan anger, he calls on our common aspirations. Instead of the right and the left, he is focused on right and wrong. At a time when so many of us - Democrats, Republicans, and independents - are tired of petty division and desperate for change, Obama makes a claim on all of us to join in restoring the American dream. His leadership is about articulating a vision and motivating others to reach for it.

That is why Obama consistently polls higher with independents and Republicans than any other Democrat. That is why he is greeted by crowds made up of every kind of person, from all kinds of backgrounds. That is why he won the Iowa caucuses on Thursday. That is why he has received more than 750,000 donations, mostly from small donors, and signed up a half-million supporters from all age groups, states, races, and political affiliations - many of them involved in the process for the first time. When people try to imagine the kind of leadership they want and know we need, the image that comes to many minds is Obama.

And here is where the wise guys and gals come in. The political commentators and self-appointed experts start telling us that we can't have what we want. I heard that throughout my own campaign. I ask the people of America to do now what I asked the people of Massachusetts to do: take a chance not so much on a candidate, but on your own aspirations. If we do, then Obama wins - and so do we.

Once in a generation, a candidate comes along who is committed to more than succeeding at the partisan food fight in Washington. Once in a generation, a candidate comes along who is both book smart and street smart, who is equally at ease with the meek and the mighty - and perhaps most especially with himself. Once in a generation, we get the opportunity to take a quantum leap forward in our politics. Barack Obama is that candidate and this is our opportunity. I don't care if it's not his turn, because I know in my head and in my heart that it is his time.

Deval Patrick is governor of Massachusetts.
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:10 AM   #468
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And yet style over substance is what I'm getting from Obama so I don't know what this writer and everyone else is seeing that I am missing. Lots of talk about hope and optimism, not a lot of specifics.

But yes, it was an exciting night for sure.
Exactly. I'm not buying any bumper stickers (for anyone) just yet.
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:17 PM   #469
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For whatever reason his style is working for people, and if he can continue to draw the support of the youth, independents, and even some republicans he will be unstoppable.
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:27 PM   #470
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Originally posted by joyfulgirl


And yet style over substance is what I'm getting from Obama so I don't know what this writer and everyone else is seeing that I am missing. Lots of talk about hope and optimism, not a lot of specifics.
Yes.

I really am not understanding what is so great about this guy. I like to think that I watch a lot of news, but (with the exception of debates) whenever I hear the guy talk, I never hear him say anything specific about positions or issues. It's just a bunch of vague generalizations. All I seem to hear is "change hope change hope change change hope change change future brighter America." That's stuff anyone could say, but somehow people see it as inspiring. If he gets the nomination, he's not going to be able to get by doing just that.
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:34 PM   #471
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That's stuff anyone could say, but somehow people see it as inspiring. If he gets the nomination, he's not going to be able to get by doing just that.
I hate to praise Mitt Romney for anything but he, along with maybe Huckabee and Paul to a lesser extent, is the only one who seems to actually see reality for what it is. This argument you are using is the same one Hillary used for a year and fat lotta good it did her. You live in a country where a good number of people voted for Bush over Gore because he was a guy they could go have a beer with. Now all of a sudden you think that a candidate has to go out there and outline their issues rather than giving off a Bobby Kennedy-esque vibe? That's fine, you can choose to ignore it, but Mitt is right, if the GOP does it, it will cost them.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not necessarily sold on Obama's proposed policies (some I actually dislike). But he is absolutely electable and he's ridiculously likeable and when he speaks in front of a crowd, it's magic. Nobody else has that. If you think lesser people haven't won before on that same sort of style over substance, then think again.

I would not want to run against him. Not with the history of how your country chooses who they vote for.
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:00 PM   #472
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Latest CNN poll results:

Dems: Obama 39, Clinton 29, Edwards 16
GOP: McCain 32, Romney 26, Huckabee 14, Giuliani 11

The Obama train is gaining steam.
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:32 PM   #473
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When it comes to policy, I think Obama has some good ideas, and I'm certain he has some not so good ideas--in this regard he's no different than any of the other candidates. If you want the honest truth, in addition to Obama, I would be okay with Edwards, Clinton, and believe it or not McCain, from a standpoint of whether they would make a good president. Most of the candidates this election don't seem truly dangerous (the way I felt about Bush in 2000. I do get that same vibe about Romney and Guilani to a degree though--the sense that these men really shouldn't be running the country) and I think that's good.

But what I like about Obama is that he is motivating people to become involved in the political process--people who ordinarily wouldn't have been, people who had been tempted to give up on the value of their participation. This can only be a good thing. The more involved people are, the more real accountablity our leaders will have to provide. The people of this country HAVE to believe that change is possible. . .they have to be optimistic, to have hope. It's not just touch-feely, warm-fuzzy stuff, it is vital to the health of the republic! What bothers me most about the Obama critics is that the criticism so often seems to come from a place of resigned cynicism, which I think is sad.

Let me also add, that again, if you take the time to look at what Obama is actually about--he really is different. That's what stood out for me about him when I first read about him two years ago. He really is outside the knee-jerk party line way of thinking. All that talk about bringing the country together--it's not just talk. He listens to the opposing side, and actually considers what they have to say. Who does that anymore? Or admits to it anyway? I have a feeling that Obama will disappoint some of his supporters when he takes office because he will take surprising policy stands that won't always toe the line of either party.

And finally, Anitram is right. The "hope and change" thing really can take you all the way to the White House. Two names come to mind.

John F. Kennedy
Ronald Reagan

Regardless of what you think of them or their policies, that sense of possiblity is a large part of what got them into the White House.
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:50 PM   #474
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By Frank Rich
New York Times, January 6, 2008


...What felt good was not merely the improbable and historic political triumph of an African-American candidate carrying a state with a black population of under 3%. It was the palpable sense that our history was turning a page whether or not Mr. Obama or his doppelgänger in improbability, Mike Huckabee, end up in the White House. We could allow ourselves a big what-if: What if we could have an election that was not a referendum on either the Clinton or Bush presidencies? For the first time, we found ourselves on that long-awaited bridge to the 21st century, the one that was blown up in the ninth month of the new millennium’s maiden year.

The former community organizer from Chicago and the former Baptist preacher from Arkansas have little in common in terms of political views. But as I wrote here a month ago, the author of The Audacity of Hope and the new man from Hope, Ark., are flip sides of the same coin. The slogan “change”—a brand now so broad and debased that both Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney appropriated it for their own campaigns—does not do justice to the fresh starts that Mr. Obama and Mr. Huckabee represent.

The two men are the youngest candidates in the entire field, the least angry and the least inclined to seek votes by saturation-bombing us with the post-9/11 arsenal of fear. They both radiate the kind of wit and joy (and, yes, hope) that can come only with self-confidence and a comfort in their own skins. They don’t run from Americans who are not in their club. Mr. Obama had no problem winning over a conclave of white Christian conservatives at Rick Warren’s megachurch in Orange County, Calif., even though he insisted on the necessity of condoms in fighting AIDS. Unlike the top-tier candidates in the GOP presidential race, or the “compassionate conservative” president who refused for years to meet with the NAACP, Mr. Huckabee showed up last fall for the PBS debate at the historically black Morgan State University and aced it.

The “they” who did not see the cultural power of these men, of course, includes not just the insular establishments of both their parties but the equally cloistered echo chamber of our political journalism’s status quo. It would take a whole column to list all the much-repeated Beltway story lines that collapsed on Thursday night. But some are worth recounting because they prove nearly as instructive as they are laughable. The Benazir Bhutto assassination was judged as a boon for Mrs. Clinton because it would knock the silly voters to their senses by reminding them it was no time to roll the dice with foreign-policy novices. Oprah Winfrey’s Obama rallies were largely viewed as a routine celebrity endorsement, while Mr. Romney’s address on “Faith in America” was judged as momentous as Mission Accomplished. Only a week ago, Mr. Huckabee was literally laughed at by reporters for his “Howard Dean meltdown” at a press conference where he contradictorily exhibited and then disowned an attack ad on Mr. Romney.

The final Des Moines Register poll— Mr. Huckabee up by 6 points and Mr. Obama by 7—was greeted with near-universal skepticism. John Edwards and John McCain, we were reliably informed by those “on the ground,” were surging in Iowa. Mr. Huckabee might have fatally insulted voters by ditching Iowa on the eve of the caucus to appear with Jay Leno. All those collegiate Obama enthusiasts, like the Dean brigades of the last Iowa political insurgency, were just too flighty to actually bother to caucus. What was mostly forgotten in these errant narratives were the two largest elephants in the room: Iraq and George W. Bush. The conventional wisdom had it that both a tamped-down war and a lame-duck president were exiting so quickly from center stage that they were receding from the minds of voters. In truth, they were only receding from the minds of those covering those voters.

The continued political import of Iraq could be found in three different polls in the past six weeks--Pew, ABC News/Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal/NBC News. They all showed the same phenomenon: the percentage of Americans who believe that the war is going well has risen strikingly in tandem with the diminution of violence—from 30% in February to 48% in November, for instance, in the Pew survey. Even so, these same polls show no change at all in the public’s verdict on this misadventure or in President Bush’s dismal overall approval rating. By the same margins as before (sometimes even slightly larger), a majority of Americans favor withdrawal no matter what happened during the “surge.” In another poll (Gallup), a majority still call the war a mistake, a finding that has varied little since February 2006. It’s safe to assume that these same voters did not forget that Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Edwards enabled the Iraq fiasco. Or that Mr. Obama publicly opposed it. When Mrs. Clinton attacked Mr. Obama for his supposedly “irresponsible and frankly naïve” foreign policy ideas—seeking talks with enemies like Iran—she didn’t diminish him so much as remind voters of her own irresponsibility and naïveté about Mr. Bush’s Iraq scam in 2002.

In the Republican field, no candidate has less association with Iraq than Mr. Huckabee, a politically lucky and unintended consequence of his spectacular ignorance about foreign policy in general. When he finally did speak up in a newly published essay in Foreign Affairs, he condemned the Bush administration for its “arrogant bunker mentality” in its execution of the war. Mr. Romney, sensing an opening among the party faithful, loudly demanded that Mr. Huckabee “apologize to the president” for this insult. But Mr. Huckabee had the political savvy not to retreat, and in Iowa’s final hours even Mr. Romney desperately reversed himself to slam Mr. Bush’s mismanagement of Iraq.

Among the Republican candidates, Mr. Huckabee is also as culturally un-Bush as you can get. He constantly reminds voters that he did not go to an Ivy League school and that his plain values derived from a bona fide blue-collar upbringing, as opposed to, say, clearing brush on a vacation “ranch” bought with oil money attained with family connections. “People are looking for a presidential candidate who reminds them more of the guy they work with rather than the guy that laid them off,” he told Mr. Leno, in a nifty reminder of Mr. Romney’s corporate history as a Bush-style, Harvard-minted MBA. It’s such populist Huckabee sentiments that are already driving the Republican empire to strike back. The party that has milked religious conservatives for votes for two decades is traumatized by the prospect that one of that ilk might actually become its standard-bearer. Especially if the candidate in question is a preacher who bashes Wall Street and hedge-fund managers and threatens to take a Christian attitude toward those too poor to benefit from the Bush tax cuts.

No wonder the long list of party mandarins eager to take down Mr. Huckabee includes Rush Limbaugh, Robert Novak, the Wall Street Journal editorial page and National Review. Dan Bartlett, the former close Bush adviser, has snickered at Mr. Huckabee’s presumably low-rent last name. Fred Barnes was reduced to incoherent babbling when a noticeably gloomy Fox News announced Mr. Huckabee’s victory Thursday night.

But if, as the new narrative has it, Mr. McCain will ride to the party’s rescue, the Republicans’ relief may be short-lived. He is their most experienced and principled horse, but he’s also the oldest and the most encumbered by Bush and Iraq baggage. The NBC News analyst Chuck Todd may be on to something when he half-jokingly suggested last week that there was a 5% chance that the GOP may have to find a nominee not yet in the race.

Mr. Obama is in a far better position in his more-or-less ideologically united party than Mr. Huckabee is among Republicans, but, of course, he could lose for a myriad of reasons. Mr. Obama could make some world-class mistakes; the Clinton machine could land some attacks more devastating than its withering critique of his kindergarten paper. But if Clinton operatives know how to go negative, they don’t have the positive balance of a 21st-century message. Iowa confirmed that the message the campaign has used to date—experience—is DOA in post-Bush America. It was fascinating to watch that realization sink in on Thursday night. In her concession speech, Mrs. Clinton had her husband, the most tangible totem of her experience, standing right beside her, yet she didn’t mention him or so much as acknowledge him. Even before that tableau was swept away by the sight of the Obama family all but dancing across the stage in celebration, it looked like the passing of an era.
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:26 AM   #475
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Barack Obama's popularity soars - in Germany

BERLIN: Barack Obama's popularity extends far beyond Iowa and into the heart of Central Europe. Germany has swiftly developed a serious case of Obama-mania.

Obama's high standing goes beyond his opposition to the Iraq War, which has always been unpopular here. The sudden crush is intimately bound up with the near constant comparisons here between the young senator from Illinois and President John F. Kennedy - still admired in Germany and particularly in Berlin - which have stuck fast as his identity in the German press.

The Berliner Morgenpost over the weekend ran with the headline, "The New Kennedy." The tabloid Bild went with, "This Black American Has Become the New Kennedy!"

An editorial in the Frankfurter Rundschau went one historic president better with a headline that read simply: "Lincoln, Kennedy, Obama," adding that "hope and optimism" are "the source of the nation's strength."

Obama's newfound popularity among Germans underscores not only the breadth of his appeal but also the opportunity he might have as president - though he is still far from the White House, much less his party's nomination - to mend fences abroad as well as at home.

...
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/01/...ope/berlin.php
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:35 AM   #476
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this really is a "change" election.

and i can't think a 70 year old iraq war supporter is going to have a shred of a chance against Obama.

don't forget, McCain crushed Bush in NH in 2000 and didn't win the primary. i'd much rather have McCain be the nominee than any of the rest of these egomanical infants, but now that every candidate from both parties is talking about how much they are all about "change" -- really, who's got the credibility?
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:38 AM   #477
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Barack Obama's popularity soars - in Germany
Damn, wouldn't it really be nice to have a president that isn't just liked by it's base and that's it. It would be great to have a president that is liked internationally again.
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:43 AM   #478
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Damn, wouldn't it really be nice to have a president that isn't just liked by it's base and that's it. It would be great to have a president that is liked internationally again.


we might even go back to using soft power to get what we want, instead of bullying and invading.
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:48 AM   #479
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we might even go back to using soft power to get what we want, instead of bullying and invading.
The right would love that...

They seem to like the gun-toting version of Jesus better.

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Old 01-07-2008, 01:11 AM   #480
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Damn, wouldn't it really be nice to have a president that isn't just liked by it's base and that's it. It would be great to have a president that is liked internationally again.
I was trying to find images of our newspaper front pages over the weekend, all plastered with big photos of Obama, and very positive "America turns a corner/Dawn of a new age" type headlines. They don't seem to archive them, but this article - way more striking when you know that the author, Paul Sheehan, is actually a well known conservative cheerleader here - is the sort of angle our media is mostly reporting, ie ObamaCrush.
http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/a...554482216.html

Internationally, it's always going to be the candidate perceived to be the furthest from a certain George W. Bush that will be the most popular.
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