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I just read David Mizner's The Sphere Coalescing Behind Edwards in which Sean Casey asks an honest question:

What is it about Obama that is causing people to leave Edwards and move to him? I just can't understand it. Neither Obama or HRC is offering anything impressive, where are they winning the battle against Edwards. After what has happened the last 7 years, are people just that complacent?

I attempted to answer in the diary but was one of the last posters.  I'd like my response to go on the record so...I decided to diary it.

Here it is, below the fold:

The rest of this diary is my response, except for this. Please watch it as I'd like ya'll to consider it a little NOLA-type New Year's present to all of you.  Some of you have already seen it.

So, without further adieu:  Here is my response to Sean.

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

I'll attempt to answer this as honestly as I can but it will only be my perspective.  What other one could I possibly present?

I have suffered in my life.  I have had battles where I have been misunderstood.  I have had difficulty in love affairs.  I am creative which has its own burdens to bear. I have been cruelly criticized for my love of the world by those who are afraid of the world.

Through this, I have succeeded and know what it takes to do that without becoming bitter or jaded.

When I read Obama's book, it was clear to me, that he is like this, too.  When you've experienced certain things and in a certain way, you recognize a kindred spirit.

I know what it takes to face anger, prejudice and misunderstandings and to still care about those people even though they've hurt me.

I know what it takes to carve out your own "self" when much around you makes that difficult.

I know what it is to be altruistic and how that's manifest.  So does Obama.

I love the world and the life in it.  And, from reading Obama's own narrative, I know that he does, too.

One of the things that tells me that he is who he says he is is that people, who know him, corroborate what I know of him and they've known him for along time - far more intimately than I ever will.  

He would make a great President, perhaps more so than the others, because he is more goal directed.  You don't get where he's gotten because of favors granted through birthright.

It's not that he's experienced more of the world than the others (although a strong argument could be made that he has).  It's that he has experienced the world through eyes that seek to understand.  He has a history of being the kind of person who enters openly into new situations with curiosity and the desire to make sense out of his experiences.

Maybe I'm wrong but it looks like his marriage is solid.  He adores his family and they - him.

Policy does not concern me so much, especially in this election.  What does concern me is what our future President's approach to the world is.  Presidents always have plenty of policy wonks around them and good Presidents use them wisely.  Obama's political leanings aren't perfectly matched to mine, but they are close enough so that I can have faith in Obama's policies and that he isn't going to spring something on us that will hurt us.

No, policy isn't that important this election.  What's important is character.  I'm not dissing any of the other candidate's character by saying that it is Obama's character that impresses me the most.
After a President like George Bush, who is so weak of character, our next President needs to be as free of questionable character as possible.  I believe Obama is that person.

This is not to say that the other candidates don't deserve the honor of being our President.  It's just to say that Obama is my choice for the reasons I've given.

Originally posted to nolalily on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 06:31 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You posting a Tip Jar? (3+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the vid!

    I like what you said here:

    It's that he has experienced the world through eyes that seek to understand.  He has a history of being the kind of person who enters openly into new situations with curiosity and the desire to make sense out of his experiences.

  •  Policy isn't important (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mdgarcia, Newzie, planetclaire4

    Tell that to the 40 plus million without access to health care. Tell that to the people of other countries who have had to deal with the results of a disasterous policy from the compassionate conservative. Tell that to the millions of Americans that have had their jobs shipped overseas. Policies ARE important. No one is saying they are going to leave from the lips of a candidate for President as is but this pretending that policy and how a candidate intends to approach a specific problem is no biggie is a complete and utter quandry to me. I thought the difference between us and them is that we were willing to take something apart and see if it held up to scrutiny. Apparently, I was mistaken if charecter(whicxh is the one thing I'd say they all have) is the criteria for voting. I really had hoped that the country had learned from using the "beer test" last time around. Sigh.

    •  cwaltz. (6+ / 0-)

      Obama has pollicy.  Perhaps what I should have said was, (but I believe I did) that policy isn't important to me with our group of candidates because I trust them all to be able to fashion decent policy.  

      Did you get the gist of my diary?  Please read with the desire to understand - maybe not agree, but at least to understand that what is important to me, doesn't have to be what's important to you.  It doesn't make us any kind of bad people.

      •  I am reading with the desire to understand (0+ / 0-)

        Trust me. I am trying to see what you all see because I may find myself having to defend him during a general election(I'm in Virginia, a purple state at best).

        His foreign policy to me is an easy one. He's superior to either of the other two IMO. His domestic policy though is all over the map for me and I don't even want to go into how much I dislike some of the tactics he's employed to appeal to voters.

        If I weren't attempting to understand I would have just gone past the diary and my statement by no means be construed as I think you are "bad people". I don't know you and I'm sure you are a perfectly nice person with a different viewpoint then mine.

        •  great then. (0+ / 0-)

          You will find, I hope, that if Obama is the candidate in the general, people will be open and receptive to whatever you have to say.  Think of how his nomination will be perceived.  There will be some people who are very angry about it, but my best guess is that there will be a much greater exhale of air and the country is going to be behind this guy.  It won't be too difficult.  However, by that time, his policies will be even clearer.

          I understand that we are not used to a candidate who is putting forth concepts rather than concretes, philosophy rather than platitudes.  

          It stretches us.  It puts out of our comfort zones.  But, in so many ways, our concrete, materialistic, greedy, self-interested society may just sense what's best for it after all and your job won't be so hard.

    •  Not everybody (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fromdabak

      is a policy wonk (not a pejorative) like most of the people on here. She's just expressing her opinion and in her opinion character is what's most important. And , yes, everybody does have character, but some are better then others.

      •  My point is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Newzie, planetclaire4

        not that charecter doesn't matter. My point is that if the individual is going to go about fixing all Bush's screw ups then they need to have solid policy positions now. We can't wait for them to come up with them later on down the line or hope that their positions will be what we want somewhere down the line(because we think they are a good person). We need to have a clear way from A to B because dollars to donuts if we do not we are going to be up the creek without a paddle. My instincts tell me that once Bush leaves office the poop is gonna hit the fan and the person we put in charge needs to be ready to deal with just about every single aspect of his incompetence. My instincts also tell me that the electorate is getting restless and if we (the Democrats) don't get someone who can start dealing with problems like health care or Iraq in a way that shows then we will be in similar shape to the GOP as they come to the conclusion that we aren't any more capable of leading then they are.

      •  Ya'll are really (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        recusancy, fromdabak

        helping me with this and I mean it.

        To clarify, perhaps it was hasty for me to say that policy doesn't matter.  It is more truthful to say that, although policy is important, I trust just about all of our candidates in regard to fashioning policy.  

        So, because I'm not worried about that, I am voting on, who I perceive to have the best character for the times.  And, in my opinion, which is purely subjective, it's Obama.  After Bush, character is extremely important.

  •  It amazes me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    planetclaire4, Louisiana 1976

    Obama has spent the last weeks of the campaign sh#@ing on progressives and yet they support him anyway:

    Attacking unions as "special interests"

    Running Harry & Louise style ads against the truly universal health plans of Edwards and Clinton

    Dissing Al Gore

    Attacking trial lawyers (our last line of defense when regulatory agencies are run by lobbyists for the industries they are supposed to regulate)

    I'll still support Obama if it comes down to him vs. Hillary, but as long as there's a major candidate who's actually campaigning as a progressive (Edwards), I just don't understand the attraction to a candidate who is pointed running AWAY from progressives right now.

    "We are building a political movement -- not one that wields the power of lobbyists and corporate interests, but the power of millions... who seek change." --De

    by Jim in Chicago on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 06:42:51 PM PST

    •  hmmthey way I see it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gwilson, extradish

      obama the progressive campaigning as a centrist vs Edwards the centrist campaigning as a progressive.

      I'll take my chances with the guy who has a proven progressive record in government.

    •  but, you're dissing Barack Obama. (0+ / 0-)

      n/t

      •  No just being a realist (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        planetclaire4

        I strongly supported him for Senate in 2004 and have been disappointed by how he has cozied up to people like Rahm Emanuel in opposition to progressive grassroots candidates. The change in his rhetoric about the war the moment he got to Congress (again, Rahm's influence) also shocked me as did his SPONSORING the coal-to-liquid bill.

        I may vote for him if Edwards is not viable by Feb. 5, but if so, I will do so with my eyes wide open this time.

        "We are building a political movement -- not one that wields the power of lobbyists and corporate interests, but the power of millions... who seek change." --De

        by Jim in Chicago on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 07:32:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The reason.....I haven't (0+ / 0-)

      decided on him is his issues page doesn't front-page New Orleans or Katrina--which are national issues, not regional or local.

      "We are all New Orleans now."--Barbara O'Brien

      by Louisiana 1976 on Thu Jan 03, 2008 at 09:06:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for that personal insight. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    planetclaire4, fromdabak

    ... now, sure it had nothing to do with the question that was posed, which was how come, after a year of coverage of the lead in to the primaries as a two-horse race, Edwards had not exploded into the lead ...

    ... but I'm sure that for people looking for why you support Senator Obama, it will be useful.

    SupportTheTroopsEndTheWar.com and Energize America

    by BruceMcF on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 06:43:03 PM PST

    •  Ya know, Bruce. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      extradish, fromdabak

      I don't expect anyone to care why I support Obama.  Won't stop me from writing a diary about it though.

      •  Great Diary Nola, from most of your posts it (0+ / 0-)

        seems as if you see Barack Obama comes off as the person who has had to come from nuffin to something despite others efforts to bring him down....

        Bush Clinton Bush Clinton that isn't change, it's leapfrog.... Edith Bolling Galt Wilson First Woman President....

        by fromdabak on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 06:50:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is one of the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          extradish, fromdabak

          things that tells me he can do it.  He wasn't born "everybody's darling" although you get a very strong impression, from his books, that his family loved him very much.  But what I mean is, he's no silver spoon baby.  He's had to fight for alot.

          •  The honesty factor does it for me... How can I (0+ / 0-)

            tell my troops to have some integrity in all things when their chain of command lies or hides the truth!!!

            Bush Clinton Bush Clinton that isn't change, it's leapfrog.... Edith Bolling Galt Wilson First Woman President....

            by fromdabak on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 07:05:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Certainly (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fromdabak

              that's what they're facing now.

              •  When those ex-Generals testified in front of (0+ / 0-)

                Congress during the Pat Tillman hearings, I almost lost my lunch....  I was disgusted by the buck passing and not me comments...  Sad and pathetic...  I couldn't have gave them the answers that they provided to Congress....

                Bush Clinton Bush Clinton that isn't change, it's leapfrog.... Edith Bolling Galt Wilson First Woman President....

                by fromdabak on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 07:53:15 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Last year during Mardi Gras (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  fromdabak, Louisiana 1976

                  I was at a parade.  There's often a Marine corps that marches along with the krewe.  

                  Well, this Marine corps comes marching up behind a school band and I lost it.  The next thing I know, my face is all red, my chin and bottom lip are quivering and I'm trying not to cry.  I'm standing in the midst of massive devastation, my country has forsaken me and is sending our sons and daughters off to die for a lie and a country that condones torture.

                  I'll be so glad when that motherfucker is out of office.  Plus, I'd really like to see him tried as a criminal.

                  •  I wish I could ask all of our candidates if they (0+ / 0-)

                    were elected would they open a transparent investigation into EVERYTHING of the last eight years...  Everything from the 2000 election to Iraq to Katrina to the AG firings every fucking thing!!!!

                    Bush Clinton Bush Clinton that isn't change, it's leapfrog.... Edith Bolling Galt Wilson First Woman President....

                    by fromdabak on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 09:18:43 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Now I feel.... (0+ / 0-)

                    very sad--but what makes me even sadder is not only the fact that

                    I'm standing in the midst of massive devastation, my country has forsaken me and is sending our sons and daughters off to die for a lie and a country that condones torture.

                    but the candidates including Obama aren't treating New Orleans as the major campaign issue she should be treated as and the mainstream media have mainly been silent.

                    "We are all New Orleans now."--Barbara O'Brien

                    by Louisiana 1976 on Thu Jan 03, 2008 at 09:09:59 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Hey, there (0+ / 0-)

                      Just saw your comment.  Obama has not made an issue out of NOLA as John Edwards has or rather let me put this another way - Obama doesn't go about it as John Edwards has.

                      There is a very extensive Obama initiative on his website regarding New Orleans.  I am on my way to the doctor and am late.  I'll try to link for you later.

                      However, since this diary is almost done, I'll tell you that I have very specific reasons why I am not voting for Edwards over Obama.  But...until our nominee is chosen, I have sworn to a vow of mouth shut.  Hope I can keep it.

                      In addition, Obama mentions New Orleans often and, I believe has a true grasp of the problems we face.  

                      Good to see you here.  Hope you're feeling better.

                      •  Thanks! And bear with me... (0+ / 0-)

                        I feel conflicted on both candidates because even though Edwards has done what he has for NOLA, there are other reasons I'm not totally comfortable with him.

                        And there are also reasons I'd like to be able to decide on Obama for sure. I have seen his New Orleans recovery initiative--in fact, there's a link to it in a diary I've been working on. I'm kind of in a rush myself, having to catch a bus--but if I get this diary published there'll be more about what I think on him.

                        "We are all New Orleans now."--Barbara O'Brien

                        by Louisiana 1976 on Sat Jan 05, 2008 at 10:23:31 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

      •  At its core, the blogosphere is a P2P network ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... I don't know if it'll 1,000's, but there will be some ... maybe a couple, maybe dozens, maybe hundreds ... who will find something of value to them in what you wrote.

        SupportTheTroopsEndTheWar.com and Energize America

        by BruceMcF on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 07:08:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Who has the answer to that, really? (0+ / 0-)

      Isn't who we vote for, what we find attractive quite a personal experience?

      I think my diary explains why Obama and not Edwards.  Maybe if there was no Obama, Edwards would have exploded.  

      Maybe, just maybe there's something to Jung's collective conscious and maybe Obama fits the bill.

      •  As to why Obama and not Edwards ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... the diary gives your why Obama.

        "Not anybody else" follows directly ... but the diary is as much about any of the other second "current or former holders of high elected office" or event about any of what is probably hundreds of people seeking delegates for the Democratic nomination.

        In that sense, its no more a diary about Edwards than it is a diary about Gravel or Dodd or Kucinich or Biden diary.

        SupportTheTroopsEndTheWar.com and Energize America

        by BruceMcF on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 07:22:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm just curious why you think (0+ / 0-)

        Edwards is less of an altruist than Obama (because I think they're definitely on par on that score).  I haven't watched Obama as much as I've watched Edwards, but Edwards' has enough quick sensitivity and empathy for 10.  (Not saying Obama doesn't, assuming he has a lot, but, without meaning offense, I thought yours was an odd comment.)

        Please, God, don't let the Democratic party make me vote for some pinhead who believes in the GWOT.

        by planetclaire4 on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 08:46:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I appreciate it that (0+ / 0-)

          you have asked me a question about how I feel about Edwards who is your candidate.  And will take that as a sign that you aren't afraid I'm going to say something that could hurt you.

          I will say this, I hope Edwards is sincere.  Otherwise, I think it's probably wise if I don't go into my character issues with Edwards here.  I've done this before and it was a stupid thing to do.  All I can say is, whoever wins, I hope they prove to be the right choice.

  •  Voting for assumed character (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dallasdoc, denise b

    and not for policy is sort of what got us George Bush. There are plenty of people who went out to the polls, thinking George Bush was a better person than Gore or Kerry even though they were voting against their best interests.

    If you know the person's character from firsthand knowledge (i.e., you know them personally), then by all means it seems a reasonable thing upon which to base your vote. If you don't know them personally, the policies should outweigh.

  •  I'm a little confused here... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chigh

    When you say this:

    Policy does not concern me so much, especially in this election.  What does concern me is what our future President's approach to the world is.

    What kind of distinction are you trying to draw?  What is the manifestation of character in a politician besides the policy portfolio they bring to a campaign?    Are you saying that Barack wrote a more inspiring biography than anybody else, or that he's the guy you'd most want to have a beer with?

    I have chosen to support John Edwards precisely because I see his character reflected in his policy proposals:  He's a champion of the people he grew up with against those who victimized them.  I come from similar working class Southerners, some of whom are aware of the issues Edwards champions.  Others are distracted by their pastors and their TV viewing habits into caring about trivial distractions.

    I admire Obama's biography too, but his policies and his rhetoric on the campaign trail concern me.  The character you admire seems fragile to me, given the choices I've seen him make.  I wonder if it will survive the ordeal of a general election campaign, let alone the full press of the plutocratic power structure should he gain the White House.  I'm not as optimistic about Obama's character and toughness as I wanted to be early last year.  

    •  There have been times (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fromdabak

      when I've been a little nervous (oh, us of little faith - how I  envy those who never have a doubt) regarding the policies of all the candidates including my own!

      And, there's times when I thought he appeared a little shakey and I've asked, can he do this?

      As a musician, I have asked myself often, "can I do this?"  "can I pull this off?"  I was always amazed at how some people are practically willing to push you off the stage, begging to sit in.  Often, they are just terrible.  The only one who thinks they're any good is them.  Well, some of our candidates are like that, too.  So I don't begrudge Obama that so much.  What I look for is, how does he come out on the other end?

      So far, he's doing pretty good.  Plus, his background tells me, he can do it.

  •  Great diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dallasdoc, chigh

    If you're going to advocate for Obama, this is the way to do it. He inspires such sentiments in me as well. Especially his 2004 convnetion speech.

    But you said you were surprised I am supporting Edwards. I would like to let Michael Moore answer for me since I hate to teype on this laptop.

    And then there's John Edwards.

    It's hard to get past the hair, isn't it? But once you do -- and recently I have chosen to try -- you find a man who is out to take on the wealthy and powerful who have made life so miserable for so many. A candidate who says things like this: "I absolutely believe to my soul that this corporate greed and corporate power has an ironclad hold on our democracy." Whoa. We haven't heard anyone talk like that in a while, at least not anyone who is near the top of the polls. I suspect this is why Edwards is doing so well in Iowa, even though he has nowhere near the stash of cash the other two have. He won't take the big checks from the corporate PACs, and he is alone among the top three candidates in agreeing to limit his spending and be publicly funded. He has said, point-blank, that he's going after the drug companies and the oil companies and anyone else who is messing with the American worker. The media clearly find him to be a threat, probably because he will go after their monopolistic power, too. This is Roosevelt/Truman kind of talk. That's why it's resonating with people in Iowa, even though he doesn't get the attention Obama and Hillary get -- and that lack of coverage may cost him the first place spot tomorrow night. After all, he is one of those white guys who's been running things for far too long.

    •  Yeah. I read that today (0+ / 0-)

      and I didn't have a problem with it at all.  

      Thanks for the link.

    •  By the way, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TocqueDeville

      I respect the hell out of you and always have.

      My father, a man of great faith, asked me when I was 16 if I believed in God.

      I never had to lie to my father so I said, "No".

      He asked me why.  I told him.

      He said, "Good.  Because only a jackass believes in God because someone told them they should."

      I asked him if he believed in God and we spent the rest of the afternoon exploring why he did.

  •  "Dreams From My Father" was so well-written, and (0+ / 0-)

    so compelling, that you do feel like you know Obama after you read it.  What struck me about him, other than his brilliance, was his empathy for other people.  Regardless of what happens in Obama's political career, I think "Dreams From My Father" will become an American classic, read for hundreds of years.  As our society produces more multi-racial people, his book will be a touchstone for the multi-racial experience, and for life in the USA in the second half of the 20th century.

    But God willing, he'll be more famous for his presidency.

    Participation will save the human race.

    by extradish on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 07:09:27 PM PST

  •  Standard election diary tags added (0+ / 0-)

    2008 elections, president, primaries, Democrats

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