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No one wants to see Barack Obama run a great campaign more than me.  Yet, I can't stop being disappointed by him.  I'm really hoping he has more to offer in this campaign, which is set to officially begin in a few hours, than he has so far, because we need more.

The man mystifies people, and I understand why.  He has incredible demeanor, he's good looking and he delivered an unforgettable speech.  But for me - a young person with lots of student loan debt, living paycheck to paycheck, watching friends go to war, balancing the challenges of a disabled parent, every time I hear him speak, I find myself thinking, "Where's the beef?"

As our world faces a global crisis - the magnitude of which we've never seen before, America, the beacon of hope and the world's leader is in shambles.  Our military is just a division away from being broken - bogged down in a war where the only options are worse and worser.  Our citizens are ill-equipped to compete in the global economy.  There's not one domestic policy that can easily be made right.

Facing these daunting challenges "redefining the nature of political discussion" just isn’t enough - definitely not coming from a candidate with a thin a legislative record, who has only been on the national stage for a little more than 2 years.

Maybe Barack is holding back - fearing he'll peak too soon.  I really hope that's it, because in the case of me and most of America, I need a leader who can deliver and I can't waste my time and talents working for someone who is all sizzle and no meat.

I'll be up early to watch the announcement in Springfield.  I really hope he puts his many talents to use and begins saying something that addresses the problems on a level that connects with Main Street and not just government students in Memorial Hall...

Originally posted to DWCG on Sat Feb 10, 2007 at 01:47 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I agree. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YestoWes

    He's damned purty, he's charming as all get out, his vote against the Iraq war resolution was a winner.  

    But, i feel the same visceral revolt against Obama that I feel for Hillary: It's MY turn.  

    It's like we're supposed to buy into Hillary and Obama cuz of the a)Hillary  money and b) Obama: most likely to undercut Hillary's money.

    I really do admire both, for a multitude of reasons.  I resent the arrogance of both.  I tossed out my first "Hillary for President" mailer; I'll toss Obama's too.  

    Go ahead, you two.  Waste your money.  I will NOT contribute to either one of you.  

    I'm not thrilld with any of the candidates, but I'll be damned if I financially support either of your "inevitability campaigns.  

    Clark?  Gore?  I will hear them out.  

    A success that hasn't occured yet.

    by 2lucky on Sat Feb 10, 2007 at 03:32:36 AM PST

  •  My grandpa used to say (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YestoWes

    "spit in one hand and wish in the other...and see which one fills up first."  Obama talks a lot but doesn't say much.  We need implementable solutions to so many problems...energy, healthcare, illegal immigration, poverty, trade, debt...you name it.  It's not enough to be hopeful or to speak in abstract terms about what is to be done.  

    All candidates aside, what bothers me most is that we shouldn't have to wait until after the next presidential election for these problems to be addressed.   I'm tired of all the discussion and proposals.  When is Congress going quit talking and DO SOMETHING.

  •  Not related, but funny... Weiner kicks butt (0+ / 0-)

    I thought this was funny: Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York has had enough of that "Democrat Party" crap from the wingnuts, so he dishes it right back -- see how many times he calls them "the Republic Party".

    - Israel has the right to exist, and responsibility to coexist.

    by Opinionated Ed on Sat Feb 10, 2007 at 03:54:03 AM PST

  •  I think you'll see Obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NotGeorgeWill

    start to really flesh out his positions subtantively speaking. Check out his new website.  Look at his call to pull out troops next year.  He knows he has to distinguish himself on more than looks and charm. And I do think he can do it.

  •  Check out his statements pre-Iraq invasion. (0+ / 0-)

    Obama was right on the money on his analysis of the Iraq invasion.  He was one of the few voices at that time saying that what we really needed to do was to refocus our energy priorities -- to cut our dependence on oil and our strategic dependence on the Middle East.  

    In fairness this was something that Jimmy Carter talked about as far back as 1980.  But still, it's only been in the past year or so that other politicians have started making this a point of emphasis.  Back in 2001--a clear-headed president who wasn't beholden to big oil--would have recognized that this was a key element of fighting the war against Islamic extremists.

    I haven't decided on a candidate yet to back.  But Obama's pre-war comments are one of the reasons that I am taking his candidacy seriously.  It wasn't just that he was "against the war," but that he was thinking in the right direction about one of larger long-term national security concerns.  Even for a "rank" novice, his analysis looks awfully prescient in hindsight.

    I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.

    I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.

    I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars. So for those of us who seek a more just and secure world for our children, let us send a clear message to the president.

    . . .

    You want a fight, President Bush? Let's finish the fight with Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, through effective, coordinated intelligence, and a shutting down of the financial networks that support terrorism, and a homeland security program that involves more than color-coded warnings.

    You want a fight, President Bush? Let's fight to make sure that...we vigorously enforce a nonproliferation treaty, and that former enemies and current allies like Russia safeguard and ultimately eliminate their stores of nuclear material, and that nations like Pakistan and India never use the terrible weapons already in their possession, and that the arms merchants in our own country stop feeding the countless wars that rage across the globe.

    You want a fight, President Bush? Let's fight to make sure our so-called allies in the Middle East, the Saudis and the Egyptians, stop oppressing their own people, and suppressing dissent, and tolerating corruption and inequality, and mismanaging their economies so that their youth grow up without education, without prospects, without hope, the ready recruits of terrorist cells.

    You want a fight, President Bush? Let's fight to wean ourselves off Middle East oil through an energy policy that doesn't simply serve the interests of Exxon and Mobil.

    Those are the battles that we need to fight. Those are the battles that we willingly join. The battles against ignorance and intolerance. Corruption and greed. Poverty and despair."

    Barack Obama Pre-Invasion Iraq Speech

  •  If you are looking for a candidate (0+ / 0-)

    who focuses on describing in detail his ten-point health care plan and fifteen-point education plan then Obama is probably not your candidate. (Although Obama has proposed a bill/plan to get American soldiers out of Iraq by next March.)

    As for the "Where's the Beef" comment, I well remember when the establishment candidate Walter Mondale used that line effectively against upstart candidate Gary Hart in the 1984 Dem primaries.  Mondale beat back Hart to win the nominatoin that year - and then proceeded to lose 49 states that fall.  

    It's no advantage to be the candidate with the "Beef" if your Beef is rancid.

    It's time for something fresh.

    (-2.75,-4.77) I prefer POTUS Candidates who opposed the Iraq war in 2002

    by Sam I Am on Sat Feb 10, 2007 at 05:48:02 AM PST

    •  The Ironic Twist of Mondale's Use of Wendy's Tag (0+ / 0-)

      Hart had much more beef to him than virtually any other candidate who had run in a long long time up to that point and probably since.  But communicating intellect, ironically, makes candidates seem emptyheaded to ordinary Americans because it is all "abstract" to the average person.

      The things that prevent someone from being labeled with this tag line seem to be that people have experience with that candidate already, so they know what they are buying... as in, I've had that hamberger before... so I know it is probably going to be decent.

      As you said, ultimately, that criterion is often not very good.  But the zinger tag line can still be devastating, nonetheless.  And that is unfortunate, because the tag line is not particulalry meaningful in itself.  However, it points out a flaw in the Obama campaign, which may or may not be bad - and it's not just his experience - it is the experience of the people with him.  In the African American community, I think this will be an important issue and I think the community now mistrusts the white bandwagon for Obama, probably again, not for the best reasons, but because of lack of familiarity with him and the sense that he is being pushed on the community from outside.

      I think the key to understanding the "where's the beef" tag is the sense of the population that a candidate is "authentic" - whatever that actually means.  Obama is clearly authentic, but if key parts of the audience don't yet know him enough or don't feel comfortable yet with him, that goes to the issue of his arrival at this current fortuitous position by non-traditional means.  His book, plus the timeliness of his arrival, plus the power of his intellect and personality are huge - but they may face other electoral challenges that fame cannot overcome.

      Anyway, I'm excited about his candidacy, though other than Gore, I have no absolute persons I would support if they run.  I like Barack a lot and I like Edwards a lot right now, and I have deep interest in Wesley Clark - so I continue to follow his candidacy.  I keep hopes for Hillary, but she never ceases to get on my bad side with her pandering and conservative leaning vote gathering.  Otherwise, I love her dearly.  I wish she would stay my Senator until she gets it - and here is a candidate with "experience" and authenticity" and yet, to me, she just doesn't get it.  That doesn't mean she doesn't have a good shot at winning.  But I'll be nervous about her until she proves herself to be the person I always hoped she was inside, but whom she has not turned out to be.

      Apoligies for the divergence.  I hear your ideas friend.  Maybe Barack will still bring you into his fold.  He's a good guy.

  •  How much research have you done on him? (0+ / 0-)

    Have you read any portions of his books?  Have you perused his legislative record?

  •  Experience guarantees nothing (0+ / 0-)

    Who was more experienced in 1960, 1968, 1976, 1980, 1992, 2000?  Who won those years?  Not the "experienced" candidate.  People want hope, and wisdom.  Any president can and should surround him/herself with intelligent advisers.

  •  Watch Iowa Carefully (0+ / 0-)

    Iowa remains a strange and unique filter for candidates. Tons of money can't buy it, because the caucuses are primarily motivated by social factors rather than the intensely private voting booth activities.

    In that realm, John Edwards' populism and the very heavy commitments he has from labor already are going to be really significant factors. He'll come out one or two, unless he makes a major goof. (Hiring bloggers without meeting them is a goof--defending them from bigots isn't, but neither will be serious a year from now.)

    Who will come in third--that's the question. Who would Vilsack take votes from? Those who want to participate but not really decide? Whoever ends up third there is on thin ice.

    My guess is that Obama will be stronger in the "living room" setting of Iowa than Hillary, and that Edwards will have trouble in the more esoteric and independent state of New Hampshire.

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