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I know that today, Barack Obama is considered a bit of a rock star, perhaps even a messianic leader. I find this most amusing. I don’t think I will ever see Barack Obama as the rock star that others seem to see. This is because I had the opportunity to meet Obama years before the hype. At that time, I saw a man who I thought would be a great president. I still see that same man now.

I first met Barack Obama in 2000. At the time, he was running for Congress for a seat in the House of Representatives. There was a Democratic primary debate a couple of blocks away from my house in a small church. There was no line out the door, no overflow crowd of thousands, no crush of reporters. Barack Obama was a state senator representing a nearby district. During the debate, I saw a thoughtful man. Here was a man full of intelligence, who taught Constitutional law, a man who really thought carefully about the issues, instead of just always spouting the latest party line. This was a man who used his law degree from Harvard to help the community and not just enrich himself. I thought to myself that this man represented the best of us. We needed men like him in our government.

In 2000, Obama was crushed in the primary. There was a little bit too much power in incumbency, and the incumbent (who is still in Congress) won handily. But during that race, Obama won my vote. And it was back in 2000 that Barack Obama won my vote in the primary and general elections in the 2004 Illinois race for the U.S. Senate and my vote in the primary and general (hopefully!) elections of 2008 for U.S. President.

In 2004, Obama ran for the Senate. I volunteered for his campaign during the primary. Peter Fitzgerald, the incumbent, had chosen not to run. It was a crowded primary. When I first volunteered, it really didn’t seem like we had any chance. Obama was pretty much at the bottom of the Democratic field. Phone banking seemed to be about explaining who the guy with the funny name was. We were always scrounging for office supplies at the campaign office. You had to ask around to find such luxuries as staplers and paper clips. But somehow, the message got through. We registered so many voters. Phone banking got easier and easier. By the end of the campaign, nearly everyone we called while phone banking not only had heard of Obama, but had decided to vote for him. We still always seemed short of office supplies, buttons, and stickers.

I am still volunteering for Obama now in 2008. The national campaign headquarters is much nicer than the Chicago Southside campaign office back in 2004. The carpet is nice and not tattered and office supplies seem to be much more plentiful. But the Barack Obama I see now in 2008 is the same Barack Obama I saw back in 2000—a man who represents the best of all of us. He still talks the same way and talks about the same things (though now in front of much bigger audiences).

It is a great time to be a Democrat. We have two great candidates running for President. (I really do adore Hillary Clinton.) But I have to say, you don’t have to buy into the hype to be an Obama supporter. Back in 2000, I met a man who I thought would make a great president. There are millions who now agree with me. I only wish that those millions could have seen the man I saw back in 2000—before the hype, before the media attention.  But maybe that is what is great about country. People really can make a difference. All around us, there may be future leaders and future hopes. Great histories are written with the smallest of gestures.

Originally posted to KP on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 10:22 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wonderful diary! (27+ / 0-)

    "Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time -- we are the ones we've been waiting for." Barack Obama

    by ggottlie on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 10:27:00 PM PST

  •  Good diary (74+ / 0-)

    Some of us Obama supporters on here get really ticked off with the rock star and religious references even if you meant them in jest.  I think we all are tired of being called cult members by some asshats.

    That said, how cool that you have known Obama for so long and that you are working for him again now.  Thank you for all your hard work.

    Yes we can change. Yes we can heal this nation. Yes we can seize our future. - Barack Obama 01/26/08

    by MadAsHellMaddie on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 10:27:19 PM PST

    •  indeed, and great diary (46+ / 0-)

      earlier tonight someone claimed obama had never gotten any legislation passed in the senate, so i corrected him with three bills he has gotten passed.  

      the response? i was accused of hyperbole, and told to stop believing that he can leap tall buildings in a single bound.  huh - here i just thought he was a competent senator, a progressive candidate, and a charismatic speaker.

      that seems like a perfectly reasonable basis for picking a candidate to me.  am i missing something?  or is it the anti-obama people who are the irrational cultists? (and i don't even mean the clinton folks - there's a whole crowd of people here lately whose main obsession is to prove how barack obama eats babies or something.) because they sure act creepy and deranged sometimes.

      l'audace! l'audace! toujours l'audace!

      by zeke L on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 11:20:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know! All the information is out there if (5+ / 0-)

        anybody is interested enough to check, and it's a very impressive list of accomplishments, but there are so many people who have absolutely closed their mind and continue to spout untruths and inanities.  It is extremely frustrating.

      •  I don't understand (12+ / 0-)

        If I see (or we all see) Obama as a potential "great president", or as "a man who represents the best in all of us", then why do I have to read about how I see him as a "rock star" or "a messianic leader"?

        Who the hell has been trying to read my effing mind and coming up with that crap?

        I'm a converted Edwards supporter, and aside from being truly enough impressed with Obama to think I should have given him a much closer look earlier on, much of the basis for my support is what I consider a pragmatic approach based on his apparent ability to build a movement. And he is doing more than soliciting votes, he is actively building a movement. With a movement behind him it becomes easier to accomplish what he wants to get done, and what the movement wants to get done. The Kos community, the online community are only a small part of this movement. You can see how large it is getting from the pictures and stories of overflow crowds at campaign events, lines around the block, far beyond what other campaign events (Republican or Democrat) are bringing in.

        So I find this "rock star" and "messiah" crap insulting.

        •  Well, you can't deny that he is a (0+ / 0-)

          political rock star who zoomed to the top of the charts in short order with a spectacular performance!

          The messiah theme...I donno...people always try to define  events with familiar terms...particularly perhaps when a group begins to talk of their chosen leader as one who is fostering 'a movement.'

          An undefined 'movement' is open to a lot a of interpretation.  In addition, Democrats are rightly worried about religious zeal and politicians and where that coded language has led to the election of Bush and his wacky people...and how it has played out in government.  Not surprising that people would seek to know and define what such a movement is, what it might mean, who the leaders are and where they might be taking the country this time...if we make the leap of faith in Obama and...simply believe.

          It's a lot to ask, given recent history.

          Tell me how you spend your time and how you spend your money -- I'll tell you what your values are.

          by oldpro on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 08:54:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The media calls anyone who draws a huge crowd (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          oldjohnbrown, ZinZen

          a "rock star."

          Then, when it's a relatively new politician on the national scene, they use that label to trivialize him rather than look harder at the message to see what is really drawing all of those people.

          I think the "messianic" part comes from the fact that Obama calls on us to do our part in lifting up ourselves and each other.  Since most religion also ask this of us, he gets labeled and dismissed as "messianic."

          But, again, the message is one that is good for us personally and certainly good for the country.

          Hope gives you the courage and energy to act!

          by Happy Days on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 08:59:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  the cynicism makes me sad (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zeke L, oldjohnbrown, ZinZen

        This is the first election where we've had an honest shot to nominate someone who doesn't appear to be the "business as usual" politician type. Y'know, the types of politicians who seems to parody themselves by exactly mirroring the Politician trope.

        Is it so cultish to take a look at someone's record and skills and decide that they might actually be the real deal? Must every politician we nominate be just like all the others?

        I'm putting it down to some sort of deeply ingrained cynicism that all politicians must be like their forebears.

    •  This is such an important decision (17+ / 0-)

      Some of us are on our THIRD candidate in a few months, not by choice but by circumstances. I'm not a kool-aid drinker, a blind follower nor am I swayed by polls, pundits or much of anything but the simple facts of a man and his plans for my country. One of the reasons I was drawn to Kucinich is he so clearly is one of us. I have the same feeling about Obama, no heir to a political dynasty, not a career politician but a real man, a good man, one of us.

      •  I'm not nearly (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Robespierrette, oldjohnbrown, ZinZen

        as excited about Obama as I was about Dean but I chalk that up to being older and wiser (?). I had never noticed candidates much before him. At the same time, there are things about Obama that are a lot more exciting. But yeah, kool-aid, not so much.

        tragically un-hip

        -5.88, -6.82

        by Debby on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 08:30:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  So clearly one of us...and (6+ / 0-)

        no heir to a political dynasty, not a career politician but a real man, a good man, one of us.

        If you'd been involved in '92 in the presidential campaign, you'd have seen the same reaction to the candidacy of Bill Clinton.  People saw 'one of us.'  A kid from the wrong side of the tracks, broken home, brilliant communicator from Hicksville Hope, Arkansas.  No political dynasty or machine except what he could draw from the public and from friends in Arkansas...a lot like Jimmy Carter and John Edwards in that way.  Average American lives and upbringing...no privileged/protected childhoods and private schools like Kennedy or Kerry...no sense of entitlement but with great expectations...largely achieved by hard work and competence.

        Obama, however, is in the Kennedy/Kerry mold...and they are his mentors and sponsors in this campaign.  He is the 'heir' to that experience and support network, while Hillary Clinton is 'heir' to the network of her successful husband.

        It's the Yankees vs. the old Brooklyn Dodgers of the 50s..."dem bums!"

        It always was a good game and I cried when the Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to (yikes!) California.

        Sorry...a little nostalgia moment there...

        Tell me how you spend your time and how you spend your money -- I'll tell you what your values are.

        by oldpro on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 09:14:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for writing this! (54+ / 0-)

    I read Obama's book last week. The book he wrote in 1995, long before entering politics. Before he was famous or important.

    What struck me, reading "Dreams of My Father" was the incredible CONSISTENCY of who he was. Even then he was talking about change, how it happens from the bottom up, how it requires moral courage, how you can disagree without being disagreeable. All of the ideas that he introduced to this campaign, the political climate he has tried to create...all of it was evident even then.

    Obama is the REAL deal. The same person that he was when he was 23 organizing poor neighborhoods in Chicago. The same deep thinker he was as a young lawyer. I have started to really bristle at the whole Obamaphilia meme that is developing. But I deeply respect this man. I do. And my respect comes from the life he has lived, rather than the "hype" that surrounds him now.

    Anyway, thanks so much for writing this!! He really has come very far.  

    •  Can' t recommend the book enough (13+ / 0-)

      I was quite skeptical about Obama for much of last year.  But every time I watched a debate--I would tune in for a moment here and there--I noticed that Obama was more than holding his own with Hillary.  Then came his victory in Iowa and I listened to his victory speech--I hadn't been so moved by a political speech in my lifetime.  Then I read his book--and I was floored.  He knows who he is and what he believes in and it is a vision of the country and the world that I deeply share.  Above all, he has a humility about himself that only comes with self-knowledge.  If you haven't read his book, you are missing something.

  •  Great diary, expect to be trashed. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DrKate, AbsurdEyes, homogenius, JVolvo

    The Obama folks here have a narrative.

    No deviations, not even from folks who may know the candidate very well.

  •  Why do people keep saying: "We have two great.. (22+ / 0-)

    .. candidates running for President"

    Which part of the fact that Hillary Clinton voted for the war (that's the worst blunder in several generation) qualifies her as a "great" candidate for the Democratic party nomination? I can't understand that.

    •  Nice hijacking. (14+ / 0-)

      I'm glad the diarist has more class than you.

      Fuck me once, shame on you. Fuck me twice, shame on me. (Amended in response to Obama accepting support from Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell on top of McClurkin.)

      by homogenius on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 11:18:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's a reasonable opinion that I stated. (10+ / 0-)

        A million people lost lives from that war which should never have been authorized. Democratic party should stand up for peace, not unnecessarily pre-emptive war mongering. That's why it's necessary to distinguish between candidates on this vital matter in the Democratic primary.

        For these reasons, I do not consider her to be a "great" candidate.

        Your comment is arrogant in deeming that people are not allowed to express opinions about something said in a diary.

        •  I thought it was a "reasonable opinion". (4+ / 12-)

          And don't put words in my mouth, asshole.

          Fuck me once, shame on you. Fuck me twice, shame on me. (Amended in response to Obama accepting support from Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell on top of McClurkin.)

          by homogenius on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 11:32:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  your arrogance is astonishing. (13+ / 0-)

            You called my comment "nice hijacking". How does that square with thinking is was a "reasonable opinion".

            Down below, you've posted some concerns of yours of Obama. Why is it that your concerns aren't hijacking and mine here where a million people are dead from the war that Hillary Clinton isn't?

            HRing for calling me an "asshole" to add insult on top of another.

            •  you know, look in the mirror. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              homogenius, Osiris, dewley notid

              It does go both ways.  And please try to have a little respect for what the diary is about, and to be on topic.  It is way more helpful than this.

              sign the petition at http://www.impeachbush.org

              by DrKate on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 12:32:48 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You have no reason to inject yourself (6+ / 0-)

                into this unwanted exchange created by the poster above declaring my opinion as "hijacking."

                •  "Civility, Like Peace, Begins with You" (7+ / 0-)

                  Actually, she does have reason to do so.  It's called community moderation and it's been called for many times in recent weeks.  The most recent call for civility and help with moderation came from MeteorBlades in a diary titled Civility, Like Peace, Begins with You.

                  One of the big problems here lately is with people swooping into candidate threads specifically with the intention of stirring up shit and causing trouble.

                  "The walls between art and engineering exist only in our minds." --Theo Jansen

                  by joanneleon on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 03:29:19 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  if thats the case (2+ / 2-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Christin, Miles in WesternWA
                    Hidden by:
                    DrKate, homogenius

                    then I agree with the NeuvoLiberal. Obviously homogenius has no reply to the 1 million deaths. Dear homogenius, Don't talk out of your asshole. tell us about 1 million deaths. You know, dead people.

                    •  The "Two great candidates" (4+ / 0-)

                      comment looked like a random and unrelated comment, perhaps, but NL was commenting directly on a line in the diary, first sentence, last paragraph, so it was fair game.   Distracting, but fair game.  Sorry HG and Dr.K.

                      NL, may I just say that the war is a HUGE issue for me too.   And I chose not to support Clinton in the primaries because of it.  But if it comes down to Clinton-McCain, one war voter is significantly worse than the other, and I will give her my vote, and try to keep my mind on the good things she has been, done, and said, instead of the part she played in enabling this horror.

                      I spend most of the energy that I could spend worrying about that, though, into working for Obama now.  If he wins the nomination, we don't have to have those discussions again.  So first things first, and you know, I have found that there is so much substance to Barack Obama that I don't need to discuss why Hillary is the wrong choice to make a case that Obama is the right one.

                      •  good for you (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        homogenius, dewley notid

                        and I stand by my comments on the interjecting of Obamamania into a diary that is intended to work with Hillary supporters.  All you all can do is blame her for the war.

                        sign the petition at http://www.impeachbush.org

                        by DrKate on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 08:26:17 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  My comment was a criticism of (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          dmh44, eddie233

                          Hillary Clinton's war vote, because the issue matters to me and it should matter to all Democrats dearly.

                          There's a reason Lieberman was booted by CT Democrats. Hillary Clinton voted for Bush/Cheney/Lieberman/McCain was resolution, and she should be held accountable for it.

                          "All you all can do is blame her for the war."

                          She's an adult running for President that CHOSE to vote for the war resolution. She is responsible for her vote.

                        •  I will vote for her and work my ass off for her (0+ / 0-)

                          if she is the Dem nominee.

                          I can't give you more than that.   I do blame her, along with everyone else who enabled the war.  I'm sorry if you disagree with that.   I can forgive her, if she asks, and I can vote for her in the general even if she doesn't.

                          And I would have voted for Edwards in the primary, and he co-sponsored the resolution.   It was his explanation, his apology, and his actions since his error in judgment that earned my primary support.

                          There is a lot to admire Hillary Clinton for, but in the primary, she will not have my support.

                    •  Sure, let's talk about 1 million deaths-- (7+ / 0-)

                      And put the blame squarely where it belongs--on George W. Bush and the neocons who perpetrated it.

                      The enablers in congress and the media...bad, but not the ones primarily responsible.

                      Oh, and hyperbole much?

                      Fuck me once, shame on you. Fuck me twice, shame on me. (Amended in response to Obama accepting support from Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell on top of McClurkin.)

                      by homogenius on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 06:37:05 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Congress gave Bush the authority (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        dmh44, eddie233

                        to wage the war. Hillary Clinton was a member of congress that was one of those that voted to give that authority.

                        Actually, Hillary Clinton had greater responsibility than that. As one of the leaders of the Democratic party, had she decided to ask the tough questions instead of co-opting Bush, Cheney, and the neocons' war mongering, her voice would have mattered.

                        Al Gore even gave her and other Democrats a cover when he came out opposing the war and asking congress to ask tough questions. Had Hillary and Bill Clinton taken Gore's approach, there would have been far greater opposition to the war in the Democratic party. Had Bush and the Republicans gone ahead with the war anyway, the war would've belong to Republicans alone. We could used that to beat them up in 2002, 2004 and won even bigger in 2006. Instead, we lost in 2002 and  2004.

                        The Clinton apparently made the calculation that supporting the war would be best for her presidential run. Considering that millions of people tend to die in such wars, that's a cold-blooded political calculation.

                        •  Greater responsibility? (0+ / 0-)

                          A leader of the democratic party?

                          Oh, so when it suits you she's a "leader". Otherwise she has less experience than Obama. Well isn't that con-veen-ient.

                          She was a freshman Senator--they're expected to be seen and not heard.

                          Don't try and hang the war on her. You gotta go down a long list of names before you get to her.

                          Fuck me once, shame on you. Fuck me twice, shame on me. (Amended in response to Obama accepting support from Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell on top of McClurkin.)

                          by homogenius on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 11:21:08 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            dmh44

                            "A leader of the democratic party? Oh, so when it suits you she's a "leader". Otherwise she has less experience than Obama. Well isn't that con-veen-ient. She was a freshman Senator--they're expected to be seen and not heard."

                            Matter of fact: Hillary and Bill Clintons were and are a power center in the party. Their opinion would have recieved tremendous attention, more than Al Gore back in 2002/2003.

                            Many sensible Democrats like Kennedy, Feingold, Dean, Gore, Kucinich, Obama etc did stand up to oppose the war (following Gore's lead from his landmark speech, apparently. See here as well).

                            DLC/hawish Democrats were pitching the argument (which we have just seen resurface) that Democrats should act like the Republicans on foreign policy and try to win elections on "kitchen sink" issues. That was the screwed up argument that not only helped pave for the war, but also led to Democrats losing in 2002 and 2004. The Clintons were on this side of the game. Trying to pretend otherwise isn't supported by facts.

                            "Don't try and hang the war on her. You gotta go down a long list of names before you get to her."

                            She is responsible for her vote as a member of congress. Within the Democratic party, she was on the wrong side of the matter: the DLC/neocon hawks' side.

                          •  she has claimed 35 years of experience. (0+ / 0-)

                            She is a former first lady. Most people don't know the names of their lead senators. TIn the senate she is junior but in the nation, she is a leader. So sorry. You cannot really have it both ways.

                    •  this is really ridiculous (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      homogenius, Osiris

                      now you want people on this blog, who are violently against the war, to "defend" a million deaths they did not cause?  As you pin the war on one person?

                      You, NL, and others are just plain wrong here and making assumptions that just becuase one supports Hillary they support the war. That is baloney and you know it.

                      I would hope for the sake of your candidate and yourselves that you grow up.

                      sign the petition at http://www.impeachbush.org

                      by DrKate on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 08:19:42 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Hillary Clinton is responsible for her (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        dmh44, eddie233

                        vote for authorizing the war along with other members of congress that voted for the war.

                        She's also responsible for taking the wrong path as one of the leaders of the Democratic party.

                        Furthermore, her judgment and conscience stand in question with regards to the job she's seeking to ascend to, the presidency.

                      •  Hillary was in a unique position vis a vis iraq (0+ / 0-)

                        having been first lady in the white house when Bill throttled Iraq with sanctions for 8 years following gulf War I. Half a million children died due to those sanctions. Iraq was on its knees. She should have known that Iraq was neutralized as an "existential" threat to America (USA). It blows my mind that we, but especially she, could buy into the notion that Iraq threatened the USA. There is a reason why USA is unanimously considered a superpower. No need to dumb ourselves down. It is like chasing after houseflies with an M16 rifle when far more effective means are available.  .

                        She was even on committees that had access to classified information (NIE). She won't say it, but she very likely had access to classified type opinions and such. she is after all a former first lady, and claims it implicitly as part of her 35 years of experience.

                        It is more than flawed judgement. It hints at a type of political cynicism that should sgive every living democrat pause.

                  •  You're preaching to the wrong person. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    dmh44

                    "Civility, Like Peace, Begins with You" (6+ / 0-)

                    Let's examine who was uncivil.

                    I expressed an opinion centered around an issue. My comment was civilly worded. The poster "homogenius" butted into first call my comment a "hijack. Then he had the audacity to call me an "asshole". I still did not respond in kind (do you think I couldn't call him an asshole in reciprocation?).

                    "One of the big problems here lately is with people swooping into candidate threads specifically with the intention of stirring up shit and causing trouble"

                    That shit-stirring and causing trouble was caused here by "homogenius".

                    I get called a hijacking asshole by this arrogant poster for expressing an opinion civilly, and you're giving me a lesson in civility? That's unbelievable.

            •  Arrogance? (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DrKate, Osiris, dewley notid, Antifish

              Pot, kettle, etc.

              All donuts gratefully accepted--It was well worth it.

              Fuck me once, shame on you. Fuck me twice, shame on me. (Amended in response to Obama accepting support from Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell on top of McClurkin.)

              by homogenius on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 06:38:43 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  your (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dmh44

                pompous self-importance is what is exposed in this thread. If that thrills you, enjoy.

                •  Heh. (0+ / 0-)

                  Fuck me once, shame on you. Fuck me twice, shame on me. (Amended in response to Obama accepting support from Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell on top of McClurkin.)

                  by homogenius on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 11:17:04 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What is you point? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    dmh44

                    As I pointed out, you had a comment in this diary expressing some reservations about Obama. OTOH, you butted in to call my comments expressing my own grave concern about Hillary Clinton "hijacking" and then proceeded to call me an "asshole."

                    Doesn't your objectivity show you your own hypocrisy and uncivil behavior?

                    •  I called hijacking and I stick by it. (0+ / 0-)

                      You injected a load of Hillary-bashing into a thoughtful, positive, sincere diary. That's my opinion. People can take it or leave it. And you can piss off.

                      Fuck me once, shame on you. Fuck me twice, shame on me. (Amended in response to Obama accepting support from Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell on top of McClurkin.)

                      by homogenius on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 11:32:53 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  That's nonsense (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        dmh44

                        My original comment was:

                        Why do people keep saying: "We have two great candidates running for President"

                        Which part of the fact that Hillary Clinton voted for the war (that's the worst blunder in several generation) qualifies her as a "great" candidate for the Democratic party nomination? I can't understand that.

                        which is far shorter than your comment downthread expressing concerns about Obama (and, as usual, attacks on Obama supporters). It just made one damn point that I don't agree that she's "great" candidate given the fact that she supported the invasion of Iraq. How is that a "load"? If it is, why isn't your downthread comment a bigger load and worse hijacking?

                        In fact, it's your injection and interjection and abusive profanity that turned this into a massive thread which it needn't have been.

                        •  No, it's your whining. (0+ / 0-)

                          You don't see me whining about the HRs. I called you an asshole and took it on the chin. You repeatedly called me arrogant. But, of course, that's so much more civil.

                          And abusive profanity? Honey, if I wanted to use abusive profanity you would damn well know it. LOL

                          Again, I stand by the hijacking charge. You didn't just say she supported the war, you tried to hang it around her neck. It was a partisan attack in a non-partisan diary. You are repeatedly disingenuous about your intent. So spare us the crocodile tears.

                          I have no more time to waste on you. Now or ever. buh-bye.

                          Fuck me once, shame on you. Fuck me twice, shame on me. (Amended in response to Obama accepting support from Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell on top of McClurkin.)

                          by homogenius on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 11:51:21 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  First, HRC is nearly as responsible as McCain (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            dmh44

                            for the invasion of Iraq. She owns the war as much as any senator that voted for the war does.

                            "And abusive profanity? Honey, if I wanted to use abusive profanity you would damn well know it."

                            Well, my friend (as McCain would say), if you think you have a patent on using profanities ...

                            "Again, I stand by the hijacking charge. You didn't just say she supported the war, you tried to hang it around her neck."

                            Well, at the time you interjected, all I said was that her war vote makes her not a "great" candidate. Once you did interject, we covered the some ground on details.

                            "It was a partisan attack in a non-partisan diary. You are repeatedly disingenuous about your intent."

                            Originally, tt was just a strong opinion, not meant to be an extended criticism. You turned into one. In other words, you've hijacked the thread.

            •  FAQ says you shouldn't HR when (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DC Pol Sci, homogenius, dewley notid

              you're involved. FTR and all. It's considered retaliation.

              Failure is impossible. ~Susan B. Anthony

              by belly on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 06:43:08 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  umm (7+ / 0-)

          Hillary Clinton is not responsible for the war.  Did you forget the warmongers?  Next, and fact, Obama has voted exactly like Clinton on the war.

          Final fact, you hijacked the diary for your own petty personal need to trash Hillary.  Do you not understand that you have now cheapened and trashed a diary that is supportive of your candidate?

          Stop going for instant gratification.  Have a little dignity and respect.

          sign the petition at http://www.impeachbush.org

          by DrKate on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 11:46:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  and, what about all the other dems (6+ / 0-)

          who voted for the war?  Biden, Dodd? Richardson would have voted for it too.

          Sorry this is not a reason not to vote for Hillary, especially given Baracks similar voting record in the senate for the war.

          And did  you forget that he has stated that he doesn't know how he would have voted if he were in the senate?

          sign the petition at http://www.impeachbush.org

          by DrKate on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 11:48:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If the AUMF is not a reason to reject a candidate (16+ / 0-)

            then there IS no reason to reject any candidate.

          •  Response. (12+ / 0-)

            "and, what about all the other dems who voted for the war?  Biden, Dodd? Richardson would have voted for it too."

            They're no longer candidates. Richardson's case is more complex since he wasn't in the senate and he was sort of on both sides of the issue at various times, but as I recall, his view in March 2003 was to allow the inspectors to complete their mission and not to pull the trigger until they finished their work and found some evidence of WMD.

            "Sorry this is not a reason not to vote for Hillary, especially given Baracks similar voting record in the senate for the war."

            Obama didn't vote to authorize the war. Had the war not been authorized and not waged, there would not have been a need to fund it or not fund it.

            "And did  you forget that he has stated that he doesn't know how he would have voted if he were in the senate?"

            In July of 2004, at convention time, Kerry and Edwards were our ticket, and both of whom had voted to authorize the war. When Obama was asked about it then, he was put in a bind; he obviously didn't want to be too critical about the war vote because that could have been used by the GOP to attack Kerry and Edwards. Hence he said that while he didn't think that a case for war was made, he wasn't completely certain about what the senators knew or were told. That's the common sense thing to do/say on his part.

            To understand this, suppose that HRC becomes the nominee this year. Would you then want to see Barack get excessively critical about her war vote at and after the convention and give the GOP ammunition to attack Clinton with?

            That quandary that Barack faced has a lesson to teach us here. If we nominate Hillary, Obama and all of the rest of us will need to start making excuses for her war votes and her flip-flopping and dancing all around it. McCain will make a case that she flip-flopped on the war while at the same time claiming credit for the "surge". He's already started doing that. The mess would also make it hard for Democrats across the board to run against the war. In other words, the entire party will be in a bind, once again.

            If you recall, in 2004, we had not only failed to win the WH, but we also lost seats in the house and the senate. All the more reason to not vote for HRC given her potentially highly handicapping war record.

            •  No excuses for any war vote, imo (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dewley notid, Antifish

              for any candidate, and no excuses for Obama on this either.  They both need to come out and tell us exactly what they are going to do to get out of this war.  No tip toeing around.  And I believe, once the primary is settled, both will go after Bush and the war with a vengence.

              Still, this diary is not about who is better, and my mind is made up here.  Nothing you are saying is changing it, and I dare say, it just gives more ammunition to your opponents because it is not well reasoned, very biased, and offers only a limited viewpoint on this issue.

              I do not support Clinton's vote for the war, nor the other dems, nor do I like it that everyone voted for Kyl-Lieberman (remember, Obama was too busy to vote on that one, so he can say what he wants).  But those votes alone, given the number of dems who have caved to Bush and refuse to stand up to him, are not enough to not make me work for Hillary. And lest you think otherwise, I personally beleive the Iraq war is a crime against humanity and is a total lie.

              I know what she will do on day one to get our troops out of Iraq.  I have no idea what Obama will do.

              I will not participate in the hijacking of this diary any more.

              sign the petition at http://www.impeachbush.org

              by DrKate on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 12:44:55 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I disagree with the (4+ / 0-)

                oft repeated claim that we have "two great candidates".

                "it just gives more ammunition to your opponents because it is not well reasoned, very biased, and offers only a limited viewpoint on this issue."

                You can't get away by saying something like that. I have  a well-justified basis for that opinion. You don't have to agree with it, but unless you are going to address specific arguments of mine, you can't loosely claim that my arguments are not well-reasoned.

                "But those votes alone, given the number of dems who have caved to Bush and refuse to stand up to him, are not enough to not make me work for Hillary."

                All of them are accountable for voting for the war, up to their share of responsibility (in our system, unless the congress authorizes war, a President can't start and sustain a war). It's always been my view that the war vote justifies challenging them in the primary. Guess what? Obama is doing just that and we're debating the primary here.

                "I know what she will do on day one to get our troops out of Iraq.  I have no idea what Obama will do."

                Obama has promised to pull out all combat troops in 16 to 18 months. Here, I should make it clear: I am looking for the next President to do the right thing in Iraq which I define as follows: to pull out all the troops as soon as possible (with a rough 1-2 year flexible timeline), while making our best effort to leave Iraq in a self-sustainable state. And, I oppose permanent bases.

              •  DrKate what she will do on day one is jack U up! (0+ / 0-)
              •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dmh44

                This doesn't even make any sense. You say there are no excuses for Obama or any other Dems for voting for the war funding but you entirely excuse and give Hill a free pass for her politically calculating vote to actually give Dumbass authorization go to war in the 1st place.

            •  This is the crucial part: (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Robespierrette, dmh44

              In July of 2004, at convention time, Kerry and Edwards were our ticket, and both of whom had voted to authorize the war. When Obama was asked about it then, he was put in a bind; he obviously didn't want to be too critical about the war vote because that could have been used by the GOP to attack Kerry and Edwards.

              Mr. Obama was downplaying or moderating his own views for the sake of the party -- its unity, its message.  It was the loyal thing to do.  And then Clinton tries to take that and use it against him -- and on an issue where she is in the wrong anyway.  I see it as just an instance of the Clinton campaign's negativity and dishonest and disloyal tactics -- which probably constitute the biggest reason that I don't support her in this nomination race.

          •  actually that's a false (15+ / 0-)

            Clinton talking point.

            He stated clearly and strongly that he wouldn't have voted for it, even as that asshole Tim Russert was trying to get him to say something bad about Kerry and Edwards, the nominees:

            MR. RUSSERT:  You also said this:  "...I also know that Saddam possesses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history."

            The nominee of your party, John Kerry, the nominee for vice president, John Edwards, all said he was an imminent threat.  They voted to authorize George Bush to go to war.  How could they have been so wrong and you so write as a state legislator in Illinois and they're on the Foreign Relations and Intelligence committees in Washington?

            STATE REP. OBAMA:  Well, I think they have access to information that I did not have.  And what is absolutely clear is that John Kerry said, "If we go into war, let's make sure that we do it right.  Let's make sure that our troops are supported.  Let's make sure that we have the kind of coalition that's necessary to succeed."  And the execution of what was a difficult choice to make was something that all of us have to be concerned about.  And moving forward, the only way that we're going to be able to succeed is if, I think, we have an administration led by John Kerry that's going to allow us to consolidate

            the relationships with our allies that bring about investment in Iraq.

            MR. RUSSERT:  But if you had been a senator at that time, you would have voted not to authorize President Bush to go to war?

            STATE REP. OBAMA:  I would have voted not to authorize the president given the facts as I saw them at that time.

            John McCain, 100 years in Iraq "fine with me"

            by taylormattd on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 12:39:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  thats why they (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            arielle

            dropped out of the presidential race. The song goes " Another one bites the dust..." by Queen. We are still waiting for the other ones...

          •  There are many reasons... (0+ / 0-)

            ...to vote for or not to vote for any candidate.  It's up to each one of us which ones we choose to accept and which ones we choose to reject.  That, I believe, is what's called "democracy."

            Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

            by DC Pol Sci on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 06:50:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I never know if people are sincere (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Boorad, dmh44

            when they say "he has stated that he doesn't know how he would have voted if he were in the senate"

            Is that the only part of his quotes you have seen so you think that is exactly what he said and meant?
            Or have you seen that on the various interviews at that time that he always went on to say more

            What I know is that from my vantage point the case was not made.''

            ''What I don't think was appropriate was the degree to which Congress gave the president a pass on this,''

            I know that, as somebody who was thinking about a U.S. Senate race, I think it was a mistake, and I think I would have voted no.

            I don't want to be insulting although I don't know if it is more insulting to assume people are intentionally misleading or that they are making statements without checking to see if they are accurate.

        •  you are a spamming diary-hijacker (0+ / 0-)
      •  I think Hilary is a big question mark I'm waiting (0+ / 0-)

        to hear her say what all the other Dem candidates have been able to say so far, and a long time ago. That is that she will not let the ongoing investigations into the Bushes fall by the way side if she becomes president. Instead all I see is Hilary at times trying to get cosy with the Bushes, which I find suspicious. She will likely do what Bill Clinton did with the 1st Bushes and Iran Contra.

        May the Schwartz be with you! http://www.ebaumsworld.com/endofworld.html

        by FLS on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 01:08:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  she has gotten some good things done (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mijita, thursdays child, vernonbc

      her speech in China was awesome back in ?? Anyhow, her bio was on MSNBC today, wasn't glued to it, but got some unpleasant reminders of what she had to go through with Bill. There have been numerous occasions when she took a courageous stand for what was right, but...

      What struck me is that the pattern of doing whatever it takes to win, even if inauthentic , started long ago. The bio recalled how she dyed her hair, got rid of her glasses and stopped using Rodham to be a more proper Southern lady so Bill could win his 2nd term as governor

      -7.75, -6.10, http://www.xanga.com/nicolemm

      by nicolemm on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 11:22:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  i agree with you totally. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DrKate, NeuvoLiberal

      i think it's a "gracious" (read fake) thing to say - but i don't personally think it's an admirable or honest thing to say.  if i ever say it, i have officially lost my mind.

      Do we support the Democratic party, or ARE we the Democratic party? -Loudoun County Dem

      by jj24 on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 11:32:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are times ... (0+ / 0-)

        when being gracious is more effective, more powerful, wiser and beter than being honest. Good judgement tells us when to be gracious and magnanimous and when to be brutally honest. Intelligent people can disagree as to whether such a time is upon us, but only a fool would disagree that such a time will be upon us.

    •  One reason is that we will have to reconcile. (10+ / 0-)

      Whoever wins is going to need the other candidate's supporters to win in November.  Showing respect to the other candidate and his or her supporters helps that process along.

      Look, I think Obama is going to get the nomination. I would just like Clinton supports to be as OK with that as possible. If we try to make friends with each other a little bit, it's going to take some of the sting out for whoever's candidate loses. And if Hillary wins, I know that it'll be a little easier for me to vote for her if I don't hate all of her supporters.

      Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

      by expatjourno on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 12:13:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  to me, it comes down to whether (6+ / 0-)

        something said is true and reasonable or not. I have no problem with Clinton supporters talking about factual record/rhetoric of Obama.

        The race is far from over. Hence a case will continue to need to be made until a winner emerges. As long as people stick with facts, discussion and debate is democracy in action.

        •  Sure, but it matters how you make your case. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          homogenius, Cyber Kat, banjolele

          No need to piss off people now whom a) you might be able to persuade and b) you're definitely going to need later.

          Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

          by expatjourno on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 12:47:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Response (6+ / 0-)

            My sigline carries a detailed treatment of HRC's war vote record, and here I simply stated an opinion that I do not consider her to be a "great" candidate on that basis (I actually think that it makes her a very bad candidate, but I did not say that in my original comment here). Why is that not well-made "case"? I back up my claims w/ evidence and justify my opinion with reasoning as best I can. I try hard to be as rigorous as I can be in both cases; that's the only way I know how to think and operate.

            "No need to piss off people now whom a) you might be able to persuade and b) you're definitely going to need later."

            Talking about pissing people off, I don't know if you frequent myDD, but if you do, then you will know the specious attacks they make on Obama (some appear here as well), day in and day out. Then there were these tactics straight from the Clinton camp. Let's not forget that the Clinton camp is also going to (perhaps more acutely than the other way around) need Obama supporters later. That isn't a one-way street.

            Long and short, I am still puzzled why there needs to be this much back and forth about a simple opinion that HRC's war vote makes her not a "great" candidate?

            •  I never go to myDD. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NeuvoLiberal, banjolele

              It'd just make me angry. They don't convince anyone to change sides and they alienate people like us. I mean, maybe I could vote for Hillary, if she got the nomination, but I wouldn't stand in the rain for her. And since I wouldn't want to even be in the same room with a lot of the Clinton supporters I've encountered, I wouldn't volunteer my time (even if I lived in the U.S.). So they hurt their candidate a lot by what they do.

              We can give them well-deserved payback, or we can win them over, but not both. I'm not saying you did or did not make a good case. And I agree 100% with your sig. And mine isn't exactly flattering to her. I'm really just trying to make a general point here.

              I also think it's time to look ahead to what we'll need after Obama wins the nomination, because unless the Obama campaign stumbles badly, Clinton is toast!

              Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

              by expatjourno on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 02:39:54 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I give up. I can't do it. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Robespierrette, NeuvoLiberal

              The latest brouhaha over Clinton trying to get MI and FL delegates seated has turned my stomach for the last time.

              Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

              by expatjourno on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 08:13:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  democrats are a family. Tell the truth. piss 'em (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            expatjourno

            off. Then McCain can't come back at you later because you know what to expect.

      •  For unity, use info from this site (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        expatjourno

        to extract promises from you candidate. Up front. Obama said Universal health care today (Saturday) in a speech in Virginia. NOLA speech may have been weak on how he was going to help them do what they wanted to do, hence no 40% spread in the victory. You know what to do. Grassroots power trickles up.

  •  Hearing from people who knew Obama some time ago (38+ / 0-)

    it is reassuring to see and hear the man and his thinking have not changed to fit the moment. What you see and hear is who he is and has always been.

    •  Yep. One of his former students got me (6+ / 0-)

      to take a close look at him a long time ago.  I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn about him both from someone who knew him personally (before the hype), and to learn about him before the primary season began.

      •  When I was trying to chose a candidate (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Robespierrette, chockfull, Sopiane

        after giving up on Gore I wanted to know who they were before the Senate (since all 3 had short Senate records and similar policies)
        Have to love the internet. I found old articles and interviews and comments...

        I began looking leaning vaguely Hillary of the top 3 and really assuming I'd never support the rookie Obama.

        After all my research I ended up just amazed by Obama and he was a clear choice-based on experience of all things.

        Finding quite a bit of what his students had said was part of it because it was so consistent with what people said about him. I was also impressed by his time on the Harvard Law Review because there was so much turmoil on the campus at that time and he presided over ardently polarized editors and brought them to consensus on controversial issues in much the same way. It wasn't him convincing them, it was listening and asking questions that shifted mind sets.

        That seemed the same way he got through some difficult bills in the Illinois Senate. Reading what people who opposed him said about working with him...whether it was others in the Senate or outside agencies like the police.

        I was impressed by his community work and the voter drive and what people said about him then.

        I found so much old information that by the time I first heard him speak after Iowa his words didn't sound like rhetoric, they sounded like the summary of how he had lived amd ;earned and worked for the last 20 years.  

  •  Great diary, although I might consider (5+ / 0-)

    changing the first sentence. :)

    Mitt Romney looks like an American President in a Canadian movie. -Dave Letterman

    by jj32 on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 10:36:23 PM PST

  •  I hope you're right. (11+ / 0-)

    This cult thing is really a turn-off.  So is the Hillary bashing.  Especially, when I look at his record, voting practices, corporate contributors, and centrist policies (why not live by principles and demand single-payer health care and vote against funding the war and not misrepresent the Iran vote/talking with our enemies context?), I'm not buying it yet. He's got to do more than co-opt Clinton '92's hope/change platform, while his supporters claim Hillary's taking his ideas.  At this point, I see him as as much of a calculating politician as Hillary, no more "future" than she is.  Put another way, she's got as much a right to the future/change rhetoric as he does, as they both know and work the Washington political machinations, however good their motives are to make this country better.  That is not going to change.

    •  But I love Hil! (12+ / 0-)

      I just think that Obama is a really rare opportunity for us to move the country and change the political map.  He does not have an untarnished halo, no matter what you read from his most juvenile supporters here.  The fact that he has a pragmatic streak actually was what won me over to him, because the hope stuff charms the kids, but I wanted to know that he could fight for our ideals, and now I know he can.

      Stephanie Dray
      of Jousting for Justice, a lefty blog with a Maryland tilt.

      by stephdray on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 10:44:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So will Hillary. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DrKate, Antifish, a synthetic cubist

        The Moment is no more his than hers.  The world will love us because the next president, if a Dem, is completely different from Bush.  The political map will not change.  Red states, with few exceptions of little electoral number significance, will stay red.  Especially with McCain.  With Obama, Florida also goes red, as well as Arizona.  The reality of politics in Congress - thank you Nancy Pelosi for following through on your promises - is what it is, and Hillary has worked with folks of all stripes to get things done.  Charm did very little for Jimmy Carter until after he was out of office.

        •  "Little electoral number significance"? (12+ / 0-)

          There has been no such thing as little electoral number significance the past few elections, so to brush aside states that have been recently labeled as red states is ridiculous.  As for Florida and Arizona, they've both gone red the last 2 elections, so why bring them up?  Either Obama or Clinton is going to carry the reliable blue states and the Republican is going to carry the reliable red states.  The question is who is more likely to carry swing states like Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Colorado, NH, and take the independent vote.  And if McCain is the Republican candidate, we know he's going to attract a lot of that independent vote against Clinton, but has a much harder time doing that against Obama.

          As for Hillary working with folks of all stripes to get things done, you imply that that's something that Obama hasn't or doesn't do.  If that's what you think, you need to brush up on the facts, since Obama has always worked with what you call "folks of all stripes" to get things - as a community organizer, civil rights attorney, state senator, and U.S. Senator.  And he was able to work with "folks of all stripes" and get things done while being charming to boot, so that's just an added plus for Obama.  

          •  Let us not forget the Republican base! (7+ / 0-)

            The disenchantment with McCain for the republican base of the evangelical and socially conservative voters could be a very serious problem for him in the general election.  You know regardless that BO or HRC would receive the full support of the dems, and the evidence suggests that BO can pull in many independents and moderate repubs.  If McCain cannot count on the full participation of the republican base in the election, he will really be toast, and some states which were considered to be safely red in the presidential race may not be.  

            I do believe from what I know that Obama has the best shot at winning this race, and gathering the independents and moderate repubs, and if there is low republican base participation while there is very high dem participation (again, evidence for this - from the primary turnout) this could be a popular and electoral landslide that would have a transformational effect on American politics for some time.  Things like a  filibuster proof majority in the senate would be very likely.  

            ``...Stand still. The forest knows
            Where you are. You must let it find you.''
            from `Lost' by David Wagoner

            by dlcox1958 on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 11:35:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I think Obama has the potential to change the map (24+ / 0-)

          Read through the many postings on Obama here and you will find many, many times people note with surprise that solidly republican family and friends are saying `I can vote for Obama' or `I will vote for Obama'.  His crossover appeal is for real.  Whether fair or not, with the baggage that the media and the Clinton's themselves have attached to Hillary, she simply does not have that same appeal.  

          If the key to the future is the ability to enable that transformation, then I would submit that there is a strong  case to be made that Obama is the right person for this time, and Hillary is not.  I don't mean by this post to denigrate her in the least-she is a remarkable person, incredibly intelligent, very hard working, and I will support her fully if she is the nominee.

          But someone like Barack Obama comes along only, say, once every 50 years at best.  I am going to work for him to be the nominee of the dems.

          ``...Stand still. The forest knows
          Where you are. You must let it find you.''
          from `Lost' by David Wagoner

          by dlcox1958 on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 11:29:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I guess for me personally, (14+ / 0-)

          I don't accept that politics must be divisive. Voters from all parties are encouraged to be at each others' throats because that is the method politicians use for winning. We're not all that different in real life, we just need to set down the megaphone and realize it: that's it. Obama is the candidate that is attempting to do that. It's incredibly pragmatic. At least, that's one thing that draws me to him most. I am not being rude to you at all, however Obama has a specific style that can not be regulated to charm.

          For me, it's not completely about turning red states blue, it's more about getting everyone to work together because we essentially want similar things. Well, a large majority of the population want the same things.

          A good side advantage is that Obama is a Democrat, but not only that, he's a liberal. Rather, he's the most liberal one out there. It'd be really nice to show Red State America that liberals are nice folks too! The status quo is set up specifically to get one side to hate the other.

        •  The map has to change (10+ / 0-)

          If it doesn't, Hillary won't win either.

          Stephanie Dray
          of Jousting for Justice, a lefty blog with a Maryland tilt.

          by stephdray on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 11:37:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not really. She's not filling stadiums. (8+ / 0-)

          No one in my lifetime has had a moment like Obama is having. It's a real groundswell.

          And the red states are not a given. Fourteen thousand people in Boise? If Obama can draw the biggest crowd in Boise since President Eisenhower came through, he's got a shot at winning some purple states that Clinton won't.

          Charm won't be enough, but sweeping in a lot of Democrats on his coat tails and intimidating the s*** out of Republicans with a landslide in November might help a lot.

          Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

          by expatjourno on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 12:22:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The world would love us if (0+ / 0-)

          we elected a real life version of Hannibal Lechter to the throne er... office. At least he's far more personable!
          (I... just wouldn't want to get a job as one of the ah... cooks).

          It is this simple. Vote Republican- Iraq is Forever. Vote Democratic- Iraq is history.

          by RElland on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 05:02:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I beg to differ (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cyber Kat, Capt Morgan

          Pelosi did what she had to do to become the first Female elected house speaker. Her job, it seems, is done. she is in the history books. She has decided not to work on her superlatives. No matter, it is a new day in America, and maybe her time has passed. Nothing so irritating as a grandfather/mother pretending to be a tween. We have plenty of bright girls/women who can take over where she jumps off (ask Cindy Sheehan)!

          It is about a president and so sorry, the inevitable Hillary might not be it. Let's ruminate on that for a while. Then go about the business of picking a leader.

        •  The world will prefer us (0+ / 0-)

          if we install a President who never, ever liked the war in Iraq. Africa, which the West has treated so poorly for so long, will be jubilant.

          And the old strategy of sticking to blue states doesn't work. It only worked for Bill because there was a spoiler candidate on the Right. (Coincidentally, the two elections after Bill featured a spoiler on the Left.)

          Obama has a massive ground game in 48 states and a lot of money. McCain has soft support and very little money. Obama can make McCain work for every single state, something McCain can't afford to do. Obama has proven capable of pulling  in numbers that have never been seen in the South for a Democratic candidate. McCain is struggling to fend off a protest candidate fielded by a powerful Republican voting bloc that's making noises about forming a third party.

          In the general, because of the whole primary-date thing, Obama will only have to work actively on building campaigns in two states, MI and FL. Everything else is in place. The more people are exposed to him, the more they like him (see his trend lines everywhere in this primary—why would FL be different?).

          Against Obama, McCain would actually have to fight for the South. He would have to fight hard for the Mountain West and the Midwest. He would have to fight hard for the Northwest and even the Southwest (he pulled fewer than 50% of the votes in his home state). And of course the Northeast is a write-off. Obama is already prepared to contest all but two states, and he's drawing numbers that have never been seen before in most of those states. How's McCain doing? Not so hot.

          No laws but Liberty. No king but Conscience.

          by oldjohnbrown on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 12:24:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Cult (20+ / 0-)

      I can't understand why ardent supporters of Senator Obama are being labeled a cult.

      I can't understand why the MSM insist on calling him a 'rock star'.  He actually has a fairly stodgy resume.

      Would anyone have called the adherents to Dr. King's philosophy of non-violence 'cultists'?

      Were the anti-war protesters of the VietNam era a cult?

      I get tired of the MSM hype about him too.  There is actually great content to what he says.  If you're listening for content and not style.  Granted, the effectiveness of his oratory can distract from the content, but the content is still there.  I get a little annoyed about people always talking about how he's 'inspiring' even though he is, because he is a whole lot more than inspiring.  He is thoughtful, considered, pragmatic, confident and even.

      Sheesh already with the cult meme.

      •  Right. There is only one USA, and he happens to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oldjohnbrown

        be the one that articulates it most unambiguaously. You look at the crude speeches of the republicans and you would forget that this is the safest country in the world.

      •  I think the rock star (0+ / 0-)

        concept comes form the frenzied excitement he generates. I mean, who is really excited to see a politician?  But he excites people - it's one of the things I like about him - and I wouldn't take that as an insult.  The 'cult' concept, is perjorative, and I agree it is insulting.  

    •  then elect him, and after, kick him out!!! But... (0+ / 0-)

      nobody else brings the nation closer to the dream of why it means something to be American (Obama). People in the world are empowered because of American opinion. It's time to realize that it is extraordinary to be American. Come on now, it's your country: if you don't like it, get busy making it better. Is Hillary the answer?

  •  This is a lovely diary (34+ / 0-)

    Thank you so much.  

    Some of us Obama supporters aren't with him because we're drunk on hope and fluffy bunnies.  We see in this man enormous talent and promise.  He's an excellent weapon for us to wield for good.

    I think a lot of voters are nervous about the hype, and they should be.  But Obama's not an empty suit.  He's a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity for our party and for our nation.

    Stephanie Dray
    of Jousting for Justice, a lefty blog with a Maryland tilt.

    by stephdray on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 10:40:39 PM PST

    •  Not picking on you Steph, but liked (8+ / 0-)

      the way your comment describes how I feel... in the reverse, or 'literal' so I'm piggy-backing, here.

      I do fear that Obama is an empty suit.  And even this diary, which has several comments of praise, and is no doubt, heartfelt, doesn't have a whole lot of 'substance' to help me see the back-up so I could change my opinion (I know that wasn't the diarist's mission). I think Friday had a good diary for people like me, if I can find it.

      These are the things I read: - Great orator - Intelligent - Talking about change since 19xx - Thoughtful on issues - A man who would make a great president

      What I'm looking for are real examples of what he has accomplished - proof.  Where has he really stuck his neck out for principle where he could have, or did get hammered. Where/when has he driven legislation across party lines.

      Completely contrary to what it seems nearly every pundit, prominent person and otherwise, I'm not looking for a visionary.  I want a president who knows the nuts and bolts of every situation and knows what they are going to do about them.  Someone who is going to keep their butt in that desk chair in the Oval Office 12 hours a day minimum to make up for this slacker of a prez-dunce we've had the last 7 years.

      I don't want to be the only one seeing that the emperor has no clothes, like in 2000.

      Every minute, every word you spend on parlor games, hurts real issues.

      by coffeeinamrica on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 11:13:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why not pick up his books? (10+ / 0-)

        I'm not saying that to be snarky, and I realize that since he wrote them, they are probably more than a bit self-serving, but if he can't convince you no one can.

        I'm sure some folks here could loan you copies too if you asked.  

        And for what it's worth, I read Hillary's biography and it really helped me understand her and why she's running so I'm not suggesting you do anything I wasn't willing to do myself!

        Stephanie Dray
        of Jousting for Justice, a lefty blog with a Maryland tilt.

        by stephdray on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 11:41:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thx.. (0+ / 0-)

          I will see what I can find on the books.  What I really want, as you hint at, is some independent, historical summary of actual events that would address my unknowns.

          Even the Obama web site early in the campaign, when I read through it, didn't have the facts I was looking for or even details of his proposals.

          Every minute, every word you spend on parlor games, hurts real issues.

          by coffeeinamrica on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 12:50:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  That's the media's fault, not the candidate's. (14+ / 0-)

        I think Obama's website is as specific as anyone else's. But 20,000 people in Minneapolis or 14,000 people in Boise is a helluva story for the media. So that's what you hear about.

        The first diary I ever wrote was very anti-Obama. I came over to his side only after Edwards dropped out. But as I learn more about him, I do find him pretty impressive and his speeches quite moving.

        I understand the need to resist the hype. But it's the media that's creating it instead of talking about substance. I mean, he gives hour-long speeches. Do you think he just says, "Yes we can" for an hour while people cheer? You'd be forgiven if you do, because that's all the media reports!

        Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

        by expatjourno on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 12:32:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But see... (4+ / 0-)

          THIS is what scares me! ;-)

          pretty impressive and his speeches quite moving.

          Because that is the essence of what I'm hearing and it isn't enough for me.  Reagan had great speech delivery skills, everybody wanted to have a beer with good ol' Bushie back in 2000....

          A candidate can articulate all kinds of visions they have of the world, but Obama has to show me where he has already demonstrated action in aspects of these visions in his life and the substance that would show he can fulfill what has been spoken.

          Every minute, every word you spend on parlor games, hurts real issues.

          by coffeeinamrica on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 12:57:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If being impressive and giving moving speeches (6+ / 0-)

            were all it takes to get the massive support Obama is getting? Mario Cuomo would have been president.

            Coffee, THE most incredibly impressive speech/speaker I've ever heard was Mario Cuomo when he filled a venue in redder than red Indianapolis several years ago.  The most stoic of grown men were on their feet in 15 minute thunderous ovations.  It was astounding the reaction he elicited.

            Cuomo was a potential presidential candidate at the time.  That evening, it seemed as though his ending up in the oval office was inevitable.  But it was not to be, for a number of reasons that became apparent over the following months.  Cuomo wasn't an empty suit by any means, but the pieces weren't there to complete a presidential puzzle.

            Obama is no empty suit.  You may find that his positions, actions and accomplishments are not a fit for you, but there is a great deal of substance to the man.  

            Because someone can move masses with a rare gift of oratory doesn't qualify them to lead the country, but that ability also does not disqualify them.

             

            "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

            by 417els on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 02:33:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'd argue (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Robespierrette, zencat

              That Obama is the canidate with by far the MOST substance in this race

              Hillary is the one who puts her finger in the wind and then decides what to support

              •  mmm like that name, Capt'n! (0+ / 0-)

                Makes me thirsty.

                However true it may be about Hillary's directional sniffing, I do have confidence that when she picks one, she is a determined, inscrutable student who makes sure she knows the details and be forceful in execution.  

                That is her undisputed history and what people on all sides of her have said since her days in college.

                Every minute, every word you spend on parlor games, hurts real issues.

                by coffeeinamrica on Mon Feb 11, 2008 at 07:57:20 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks for the input (0+ / 0-)

              I understand what you are saying.  I'm just trying to express (poorly) that, whether it is just my personal filters, or 'the media' or the candidate and his campaign, the substance of (what is now in the media as 'authenticity') isn't coming through to me - a slightly more than casual observer...

              Communication, behavior and the analysis of them and media are core elements of my professional life, so I'm thinking, how am I missing it and are there others missing it too, but not because it isn't there?

              Every minute, every word you spend on parlor games, hurts real issues.

              by coffeeinamrica on Mon Feb 11, 2008 at 07:51:36 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  But you are hearing through the MSM's filter. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cyber Kat

            I appreciate the fact that you aren't getting much substance, but since when did the MSM ever report substance? They are only going to give you the emotional highlights because that's their narrative. That's what they think draws eyeballs and readers.

            This time, they may have a point because this kind of groundswell has never happened before in my lifetime.

            For substance, you have to go to each candidate's books, position papers and websites. And as for whether a candidate can fulfill his or her promises, much of that depends on how wide the Democratic majority is and how big a mandate the candidate wins. We saw what happened to health care after a narrow victory by another Clinton.

            Personally, I think Obama has a good chance of winning by a bigger margin than Clinton would and also having larger coattails. I base that on my belief that people who haven't voted since Reagan would crawl out of the woodwork to vote against Teh Clinton and on the extraordinary enthusiasm Obama generates everywhere he goes.

            Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

            by expatjourno on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 02:56:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thx for the reply (0+ / 0-)

              was slow getting back on this... ck my other notes here for more ;-)

              True, I only dug into Obama's website early on.  But also, I doubt that much of the electorate comes close to doing the kind of research and communicating that we do here.

              Every minute, every word you spend on parlor games, hurts real issues.

              by coffeeinamrica on Mon Feb 11, 2008 at 08:00:14 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  and so you are saying? n/t (0+ / 0-)
          •  Quick read (0+ / 0-)

            The guy's a very hard worker, and has been for a long time

            Read this

            "The only thing we have to fear - is fear itself." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

            by orrg1 on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 05:52:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  May I suggest you do some digging and find some (0+ / 0-)

            articles written about him, the kind that go into some in depth detail about where he's been and what he's done, especially ones that interview people he's worked with.  I've read dozens that gave me so much more information (and were interesting to read) than his dry policy papers from his website.

            There are also a bunch of interesting YouTube interviews with him such as his appearance at Google and a number of interviews with editorial boards of newspapers.  They'll give you a really good feel for what he's all about as he talks about what he wants to do and how he thinks.  You'll be impressed.

      •  Once again.. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vernonbc, zencat, Capt Morgan, eddie233

        The editor of the Harvard Law Review, a "mixed race" man from a relatively humble background and is currently winning in a hotly contested race for the nomination for the President of the United States in the Democratic Party

        Is an empty suit?

        I could sell some of whatever you are smoking for a small fortune and just fucking retire rich and sail and surf to some island nation where bikinnis are wedding gowns and everyone has the perfect tan.

        Send me a ton or so, and I'll vote for more of the same old, same old chickenshit bickering that tends to make me poorer, and the Washington D.C. lobby-folk richer. And leave.

        Obama's the real deal. The Clinton days are over. Get on board. Or don't. It really doesn't matter.

        Now, to get rid of NAFTA. And that pesky, annoying little mess in Iraq. And that dear friend of the Clintons - Johm McCain.

        'But they'll burn ya out' The unsteady eyes dropped to the ground. "I know. They done it before" - Steinbeck

        by SecondComing on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 01:03:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  NOT as a person - as a politician (5+ / 0-)

          And I didn't say Obama was an empty suit. I said that is my concern, that he could be and I was playing off the words Steph had used.

          I am familiar with Obama's CV.  Where someone went to school, or even the fact that they received a degree, does not mean they are going to be effective in any job they seek.  In fact, Obama reminds me of a Harvard Law grad friend of mine in a striking way.

          I'm not happy with 'typical Washington' and don't want to see more of the same - that's why I am raising the questions and sincerely seeking information.  I'm not here boostering for Hillary!

          Bitter, much? Or mostly just pithy?

          So besides your creative writing skills - I'm smoking nothing - Dad and Uncle dead because of lung cancer - what can you provide me in terms of the information I seek??

          And I beg to differ -

          Get on board. Or don't. It really doesn't matter.

          It matters - VERY MUCH!

          Every minute, every word you spend on parlor games, hurts real issues.

          by coffeeinamrica on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 02:00:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Obama's substance (5+ / 0-)

        I wrote a blog entry over at TPM on this subject:

        A brief pointer to Obama's Policies and Substance, Part I

        As someone who picked Obama early due mostly to his tone and policy, I can understand the frustration!  Here's a key quote from one of the articles linked to in the blog:

        I can't remember another freshman Senator who so routinely pops up when I'm doing research on some non-sexy but important topic, and pops up because he has proposed something genuinely good. Since I think that American politics doesn't do nearly enough to reward people who take a patient, craftsmanlike attitude towards legislation, caring as much about fixing the parts that no one will notice until they go wrong as about the flashy parts, I wanted to say this.

        This is part of why there's little talk about his work; it's all head-down, grinding out legalization work, not flashy "look at my cool bill!" stuff that gets headlines.  
        And, if you think about it for a moment, it's a lot like his current campaign.  He might be a rock star, but the day-to-day work is, from what we've seen, the act of grassroots organizing, putting boots on the street, working with local media and supporting unions.  This is not stuff that the media really knows how to cover, as those of us who've done it known only all too well.

      •  Here is something from the wonkiest of bloggers (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oldjohnbrown, funemployed

        that I think may be of some help.  I think it's very specific and talks about a lot of important of things that are not necessarily "marquee" issues.  Unfortunately, I don't know how to embed a link, but maybe you can deal with this?

        http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/...

        Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought-JFK

        by obamamama on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 07:37:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  look at his senate record (0+ / 0-)

        In his brief US senate career he's already accomplished far more than HRC has in her entire career

      •  I'm guessing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Isara

        you didn't look much to find what was in that suit? Of course most voters wouldn't so they need to find a way to get more focus on his history.

        It's funny because before I ever heard him speak I was supporting him based on everything I had found on his 20 years of experience.

        But here are a couple of articles
        Obama Forged Political Mettle In Illinois Capitol

        Judge Him by His Laws

        They cover some of the touchiest issues he drove across party lines...in fact in some both parties had a lot of opposition.

        How would you answer the same on Clinton?
        real examples of what she has accomplished - proof.  Where has she really stuck his neck out for principle where she could have, or did get hammered. Where/when has she driven legislation across party lines?

        There are so many links I could offer and have in the past...but it seems like I usually do it for nothing because "what has he done" turned out to be a rhetorical question.

        This is Kid Oakland's diary list. He has many that go over Obama's work and policies on various issues in a very clear way

      •  A couple of articles (0+ / 0-)

        From the Chicago Reader and Chicago Magazine.

        As far as working legislation through, see his work on death penalty reform in Illinois.

        No laws but Liberty. No king but Conscience.

        by oldjohnbrown on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 12:34:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary! (8+ / 0-)

    It's so nice to hear from people who knew Obama from his days in Illinois politics. I've been very impressed by how gracefully Obama seems to handle fame and power.

  •  I remember in 2002 (18+ / 0-)

    He came and spoke at my hospital for MLK day.  I had no clue who he was, I guess he was nobody!  But he spoke and throughout the speech I kept looking at the program like "Who is this guy?"  "Damn he's really good" and that impression spread throughout the room.  It turned an MLK program into an MLK celebration.  

    Super Tuesday: 13 States. More Delegates. Yes We Can!

    by Hope08 on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 10:43:01 PM PST

  •  Post a Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    and see all the mojo come your way...

  •  Are you Wilson from The Castaway? If so, (14+ / 0-)

    you write pretty well for a volleyball.

    We're fools to make war on our brothers in arms . . . Dire Straits

    by begone on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 10:48:19 PM PST

  •  Others CAN see that Obama (11+ / 0-)

    by reading Dreams from My Father.

    That's what convinced me beyond any doubt that the Obama we see today is the same man he's always been.

    ------
    "We are the ones we've been waiting for." --Barack Obama
    "If Obama is the nominee, we are doomed." --Rush Limbaugh

    by Troutnut on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 10:57:57 PM PST

  •  It just points out what many of us already know.. (25+ / 0-)

    and that's why we support this candidate.

    It puts the lie to every one of the ignorant, dishonest cliches that have been thrown at Obama since he declared his candidacy--that he is an empty suit, that he is a media creation, etc.

    There are a lot of Obama supporters that decided early on--before the crowds, before the newspaper stories, before the hoopla--that this is the guy we wanted in the White House. And we did it based on who he is, not on his image. We saw not only a man who could express progressive values in a way that made them part of traditional American themes, but who lived those values, and had worked on the streets for those values his adult life.

    I am not a "big rally" kind of guy. I prefer bar bands to arena concerts (my rule is I never go to see a band that if I have to stand farther than 10 feet away). I'm not all that interested in standing in line for hours to see Obama in a large venue--I have been fortunate enough to hear him in a conference room with 50 or 60 attendees.

    I am somewhat bemused at the outpouring of emotion I see at his appearances. But I figure, hey, if that helps build support and enthusiasm and it translates into money and votes, I am all for it, even if it is not my cup of tea.

    What I see is not a rock star, not a messiah, not a cult figure. I see a candidate who has a unique perspective and a deep understanding of what my country needs to move forward. I see a leader who can inspire Americans of all backgrounds to support progressive legislation. I see a man who has the judgement to make the right decisions and the right choices on economic and foreign policy. I see a new voice who can restore America's honor in the world.

    In short, I see a President.

    Deny. Distort. Divert. It's not just for Republicans anymore....

    by Azdak on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 11:03:17 PM PST

  •  Wonderful (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    2lucky, greenearth, newhorizon, Antifish

    Just wonderful.

    Everything about Barack Obama is just wonderful.

    But this diary is wonderfully short on specifics of any kind, just like the candidate.

    What's known of the specifics - him claiming to have pushed the wrong button on key votes, Exelon, him voting present a zillion times, him leaving 15 million uninsured in his health care plan, or him saying, as he did tonight, that we  need emissions reductions by

    2050!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    that doesn't sound so wonderful, now does it?

    •  every candidate disappoints (28+ / 0-)

      Obama's weak no vote on Leiberman-Kyl was very disappointing.  His initial support for clean coal was disappointing too, but to his credit he fixed that.  I need to learn more about his nuclear power support, but I will note that this is a point about which reasonable people can disagree (and have many times here on DKos). I am a scientist who opposes nukes, and if you go the archives you can see my take there.  But many of my colleagues support it for some good rational reasons - lifetime greenhouse emissions are comparable to wind and photovoltaic per energy generated, and safety is considerably higher than coal.  I cannot overcome the problems I see, but there is the chance that Barack Obama is more in the camp of my colleagues for similar rational reasons.

      To play this sarcastic game while ignoring the disappointments of Clinton, who I am guessing you support, is in my mind dishonest.  

      Hillary Rodham Clinton, along with about 25 other democrats severely disappointed me in 2002 when she voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq pending the outcome of the inspections.  Anyone at that stage who did not think Bush was hellbent on going after Saddam was not being honest.  I defended John Kerry in 2004 despite his own terrible defense of that vote, because I felt I had no choice.  In the time since, there clearly is a choice to rebuke your position on this, as John Edwards did very clearly and publicly.  Hillary once again disappointed me by not doing this.  

      More than Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton disappointed me with her support of the Leiberman-Kyl resolution on Iran.  

      These are big things.  I can name more.  

      Every candidate disappoints.  Who does not disappoint among friends, loved ones, family, clergy, bosses, etc?  It is quite possible to be highly enamored of someone while holding a share of disappointment in your heart.  

      To quote Stephen Dunn, the Pulitzer prize winning poet:

      ``...I'll say I love you,

      which will lead, of course,
      to disappointment,
      but those words unsaid

      poison every next moment.
      I will try to disappoint you
      better than anyone ever has.''

      ``...Stand still. The forest knows
      Where you are. You must let it find you.''
      from `Lost' by David Wagoner

      by dlcox1958 on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 11:47:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's an utterly worthless comment. (5+ / 0-)

      This is a diary about a personal experience and all you do is come out with the usual attacks. Well, nobody's perfect.

      But what is the point of having this debate in this diary? Your comment is seriously off-topic and I'm tempted to hide it. If you were tellng a story about Hillary's early years, would it make sense for me to bring up her sleazy fund-raising, her vote to send hundreds of thousands of people to their deaths in Iraq in a misguided attempt to preserve her own presidential prospects, the bankruptcy bill, Kyl-Lieberman, triangulation, Terry McAuliffe, Walmart, partnership in an anti-union law firm and so on?

      You owe the diarist an apology.

      Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

      by expatjourno on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 12:01:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I understand that Clinton supporters (7+ / 0-)

      view Obama as an ethereal naive upstart, whose supporters live in never never land.

      But frankly, this is an entirely positive diary, and there's no need to be rude to us who support Barack.

      For heaven's sake, don't be such a Debbie Downer just because we are in love with our candidate.

      Haven't we earned the right to be inspired, after 8 years of such a turd?

    •  Just ugly.The above tantrum is ugly hyperbole. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      applegal, Cyber Kat, dmh44

      This has been a refreshing civilized diary and comment string, with a few exceptions and your bile is among the exceptions.

      "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

      by 417els on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 01:41:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How is this uprated? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dmh44

      Read the man's record.. no one is perfect.. but Obama is one of the good guys more often than not.

      What has hillary accomplished in the senate?

    •  A zillion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dmh44

      less than 1% and completely inline with colleagues... what's the difference, right?

      Idiot.

      I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

      by zonk on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 09:04:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  thank you for your diary (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    2lucky, mijita, snout, Cyber Kat, begone, vernonbc

    I think I would have been taken with the real Obama too

    Proud to be a Bleeding Heart Liberal

    by sara seattle on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 11:19:56 PM PST

  •  Thank you for this diary (7+ / 0-)

    It is nice to have your beliefs confirmed.

  •  Fantastic diary... (10+ / 0-)

    ...really liked your positive mention of Hillary as well.  Most of us agree that she is a really good candidate.  But to me, Obama is just the right person at this unique moment our nation's history to be our President.  

  •  Thanks, great diary (7+ / 0-)

    I've said it before, I'll say it again:  Well-written, articulate personal-experience diaries like this one are the best diaries, period.

    So this is how liberty dies -- with thunderous applause.

    by MJB on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 11:23:21 PM PST

  •  the first diary I have read which actually (12+ / 0-)

    tried to persuade me in a rational nonconfrontational way to vote for Obama. Nice writing, thank you for your perspective!

    Tuesday is fast approaching (our primary day) and I'm still pining for Edwards. (sigh)

    "Watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, fanatical, criminal..."-7.75, -7.28

    by solesse413 on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 11:24:26 PM PST

  •  Really wonderful recollection. (5+ / 0-)

    I remember how Obama caught my attention in 2004. I think that's why the whole McClurkin/Caldwell thing was so heartbreaking--the "ex-gay" thing is completely radioactive for me.  I might even have recovered from that if so many of the rabid Obama supporters hadn't been so intent on shoving him down our throats and discounting our concerns.

    Still, I think he's a great candidate and I'll have no hesitation supporting him if he's in either spot on the ticket. But it will take some time to get the bad taste out of my mouth from these people I so utterly despise--he deserves better.

    Fuck me once, shame on you. Fuck me twice, shame on me. (Amended in response to Obama accepting support from Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell on top of McClurkin.)

    by homogenius on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 11:24:58 PM PST

    •  I think it's hard (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      funemployed

      to empathize sometimes... I think many of us Obama supporters feel impatient, and those of us not closely aligned with the GLBT cause were affected by that story differently than those who are. I know that I was able to say, "Oh, he fucked up." And I think a lot of Obama supporters said the same thing, and were impatient when not everyone took it that way.

      Impatience got in the way of empathy.

      (-7.75, -7.08) Be one of the thousands saying yes we can.

      by a synthetic cubist on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 05:19:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent! (6+ / 0-)

    And while my own story isn't nearly as in depth or as personal as yours.. I will say that a good way for those who have never had the opportunity to meet Obama, to get to know him a bit better, is to read his books - especially "Dreams from my Father".

    Read that - then realize that it was written when he was 33, well before he was entrenched into National Politics.  

    Flowers Bloom for my Ex - though Honeybees are pretty cool too.

    by Yoshi En Son on Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 11:42:28 PM PST

  •  Make This a Campaign Commercial (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    speck tater, boobs

    Enough of the celebrity endorsements ... an endorsement like this will get people out for Obama. Film it, put it on Youtube.

    •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      speck tater

      the best endorsement is from real people.  not that celebs and politicians aren't real people i guess....  but people make the difference.  these kinds of stories are important ones.  they would definitely carry more weight with regular folk.

  •  Karl Rove? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidkc, nadeane

    Is that you?

    UTTERLY SHAMEFUL.

    Oh no! A "Republican Talking Point!!!" Hide the children!

    by snout on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 12:10:05 AM PST

  •  Great Diary... here's the view from Nebraska (11+ / 0-)

    When the candidates started announcing their intentions to run for president, I would have bet every dime I had that I would never support Barack Obama.  But I am, and  I have never felt as good about a presidential candidate in my life.

    Those who say this man is just a smooth talker have not been watching, listening, and reading the same things I have.  If you haven't done it, watch some of the videos on his web site.  This guy is no empty suit.

    I live in Nebraska and I honestly believe that this reddest of red states could actually cast it's electoral votes for a Democrat this year.  If Barack Obama can win in November in Nebraska, he will easily win the White House.

    It might sound corny, but again, I am from Nebraska, so...
    Yes, we can !!

  •   Obama-Webb 08 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sam I Am, RElland, Tom Enever

    "Yes dear. Conspiracy theories really do come true." (tuck, tuck)

    by tribalecho on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 12:15:41 AM PST

  •  "Rock-Stars" are highly overrated (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cyber Kat, begone, marcoto, Capt Morgan

    I still miss my dreams of an Edwards Presidency.

    "Barry" (as he was known in High-School) Obama is the best candidate still in the race by leaps and bounds.

    Thanks for writing.

    'But they'll burn ya out' The unsteady eyes dropped to the ground. "I know. They done it before" - Steinbeck

    by SecondComing on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 12:27:03 AM PST

  •  Links to Videos of Obama in 2000 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TaraIst, musicalhair

    You can see videos of him in 2000 on these two websites: http://www.richsamuels.com/...
    http://www.museum.tv/...

  •  Although I didn't jump on board as early as you (6+ / 0-)

    I still remember the first time I saw then-Ill. Sen. Obama in a primary debate, back when he was still a longshot, at least to us down-staters. I spent the whole rest of the campaign telling people how this guy brought a whole new perspective and a unique intelligence and how I would gladly follow him into White House. Though I never thought it could happen until his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

    Injustice is a mental disposition which removes equity from the realm of morals- John of Salisbury

    by kafkaesque on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 01:20:44 AM PST

  •  Me, too! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cyber Kat, begone, Miles in WesternWA

    I went to the University of Chicago from 2002-2006, so I had the chance to meet Obama before he was a "rockstar."

    It's his pragmatic liberalism that won me over.  His rhetoric is moving, but I know it's deliberate -- he learned his lesson in 2000 when he lost to Bobby Rush

  •  who says Obama is "messianic"? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arielle, rweba, tobendaro, dmh44

    It's the Hillary supporters, that's who.  Hard as it may be for you to believe, I don't support Obama because of any "hype" or "rock star" status or "messianic" qualities.  I support him because I agree with his positions in nearly all areas, because I think he has the qualitied to be a great president, because I think he can bring together a divided country and world, and because I think he has a much better chance of getting elected than Hillary Clinton.  I'm really sick of diaries like this that imply that Obama supporters are all cult-like lemmings.  It's insulting.

    •  I think KP, the diarist, agrees with you. n/t (6+ / 0-)

      We're fools to make war on our brothers in arms . . . Dire Straits

      by begone on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 03:53:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Reading is fundamental (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cali Scribe, highacidity, begone, Antifish

      The diarist just said that.

      Also, attacking HRC supporters in sentence-one, agreeing with anyone in 'nearly all areas' and offering a spirited defense when not challenged makes one appear to be a brainwashed lemming who needs to convince himself more than everyone else that he isn't.

      Just saying.

      Vote _____________ for a better tomorrow!

      by JT88 on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 05:29:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

        The diary makes overt assumptions that many of Obama's supporters do not see the same real man (somehow, even though he hasn't changed) but have just bought into 'the hype'. Really, that seeems its entire premise.

        •  Please re-read the last paragraph (0+ / 0-)

          It says very clearly that you don't have to believe the hype.  And it also says it's a great time to be a Democrat because we have two great candidates.  And that Obama hasn't changed.

          Do the people on this website realize how much space we could all save if we just READ THE DIARY FIRST?  Look at the mess at the top of this thread!

          This has got to be one of the beautifully written pieces I've ever read on DailyKos.  What it is is a testament to the man, to the Democratic Party, as well as a forum that shows WHAT WE NEED TO WORK ON.

          All this talk about commenting before reading through something...all this "rec the other stuff"...do we not realize that that is who WASHINGTON WORKS?  Politicians who spout lines only to have to "explain" them after learning what they should have learned before opening their mouths is exactly the same thing I see happening in the comments below excellent diaries all the time.

          My point: if we don't start practicing what Obama is preaching, we can kiss the White House goodbye.  This diary points out that it took both an intelligent man AND intelligent supporters to get him to where he is today.  And if we let "the hype" cloud that simple formula, then hope is lost.

          Great job, KP.

          Edwards + Obama = Change. Hillary + Bill = Yesterday.

          by Soundpolitic on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 09:16:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Good diary, KP!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musicalhair, dmh44, vernonbc

    Enjoyed reading it.

    Nonetheless, I'm glad that NuevoLiberal critiqued you with his challenge:

    Why do people keep saying: "We have two great candidates running for President"?

    Which part of the fact that Hillary Clinton voted for the war (that's the worst blunder in several generation) qualifies her as a "great" candidate for the Democratic party nomination?

    I see his comments, not as "hijacking," but as constructive criticism.

    We can't reform the corrupt nature of Democratic politics in the USA today unless we can accurately CALL OUT politicians who are corrupt and unethical.

    Which means it's unhelpful to write diaries labeling corrupt, unethical and dishonest politicians as "great candidates" to be U.S. President.

    •  who says we have two great candidates? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MariaSquared, dewley notid

      why, Barack Obama himself says this! Part of my great support for the man is that he is NOT divisive--unlike your comment. I think Mr. Obama would repudiate your comment as the politics of the past.

      •  It hasn't made him stronger (0+ / 0-)

        Who says we have two great candidates?  Why, Barack Obama himself says this! Part of my great support for the man is that he is NOT divisive...

        I'm aware of Barack's sentiment.  He is wrong.

        He says crap like that because it's part of the vocabulary of the "unity" he champions, and because it lends a dignified, statesmanlike aura to his persona.  Unfortunately you don't get elected President of the USA based on being dignified and statesmanlike and really, really nice.  And that's part of why he's running neck and neck with Hillary and unable to assert a clear, commanding lead (so far).

        If you go out of your way to promote your rival as a credible alternative to yourself, many voters will take you at your word and make their choice based on their pre-existing bias or on the most superficial of criteria:

        "Well, they're both equally good just like Obama himself admitted and I've always liked cute blondes so Hillary gets the nod..."

        "Well, they're both equally good just like Obama himself admitted, but I generally think Caucasians have better managerial skills, so..."

        •  You are making Obama sound ethical... (0+ / 0-)

          ...because it is unethical to say things that you don't believe. I prefer to believe that Obama means what he says that he thinks Hillary Clinton is a decent choice but by no means the best choice. He isn't going out of his way to show that Hillary is a credible alternative to himself. I think he makes it very clear that he believes he would be the better choice and says precisely why.

        •  i humbly disagree... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Miles in WesternWA

          but the proof will be in the pudding won't it? if obama wins the nomination, he will show that he is right and you are wrong. if he does not win the nomination, then you will be proved correct.

          I'm praying that Obama is right on this one.

          •  I would LOVE to be wrong... but at the end of the (0+ / 0-)

            day we still live in a white-supremacist nation and the Clintons are white authority figures (however disgraced and corrupt) whom millions of Americans of all colors are willing to defer to.

            We'll see what happens.

        •  High bar? (0+ / 0-)

          And that's part of why he's running neck and neck with Hillary and unable to assert a clear, commanding lead (so far).

          If you think Obama would perform better by going more negative and contradicting his entire political platform and persona, and by resisting even the baiting and goading of the most adept political masters of antagonism, you are really missing the point by a long mile.

  •  One of the best diaries I've ever read (6+ / 0-)

         Thank you.

         The accounts of those who know the candidate before he became a political phenomenon are illuminating (and generally reassuring) .

  •  He has gravitas... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    applegal, faithfull, Vinz Clortho

    I've heard him speak.
    He has it.
    He has the voice, the manner, the words.
    He has gravitas and it pulls people to him.
    He is not a cult leader, although in another life time, the potential for it is there certainly, he is not a rock star, that's just a media that's become so simplistic that they can't see a truly grown adult any more with out a five cent sound bite to match it in their heads.
    But.
    The questions remain.
    Will he pull out of Iraq?
    Will he put together a real international coalition of policing forces that will bring together the world to fight the terrorists 'r' us organizations out there?
    Will he really create a comprehensive stimulus package which will get us away from oil while at the same time work to advance our ability to work towards a more progressive stance in the world?
    Will he make a start at getting our health care back to a point where we don't have so many people looking at the edge of the abyss if a family member gets sick or injured?
    Will he begin to help the car industry rebuild itself so we have more people looking to by American over foreign? (And yes, I do mean helping to convince the old folks home that Chrysler and General Motors calls a board membership that maybe something besides a reactive stance to customer needs is necessary rather than standard operating procedure.)
    Will he be able to convince Congress and Senate to make sweeping changes in helping the American public switch over to non-oil based cars?
    Can he bring home the bacon?
    He's going to fail in some things.
    He's going to succeed in some things.
    But in the end, will it be the gravitas that makes the spoonful of medicine go down well enough to handle what he does and doesn't do?
    I hope so, because as it is now, I'm seeing a man who will be president, if not now, then certainly in the future. And he should be.

    It is this simple. Vote Republican- Iraq is Forever. Vote Democratic- Iraq is history.

    by RElland on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 05:29:18 AM PST

    •  What he has ... (0+ / 0-)

      is empathy ... a high priority, IMHO. This follows an administration so devoid of it that it is sociopathic.

      And he shifts the focus ... not that he has it being the important feature, but it is in the saying, "Yes, we can." He is making us focus on the "we."

      He has years of experience in this community organizing feature ... the empowerment.

      So we must ask ourselves what we are willing to do to help bring about these changes in every area of policy. This is not a man to elect president and sit back and say, "Now, Barack, you do something."

      A man with intelligence, soul and vision. What a tribute to America if we can put him in the White House. It means we believe in ourselves.

      Against silence, which is slavery. -- Czeslaw Milosz

      by Caneel on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 08:33:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Really nice diary. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cyber Kat, blueintheface, vernonbc

    I've recc'd it and subscribed to you.

    It's nice to read some positive first person accounts here of my candidate.  I'm getting awfully tired of the growing negativity towards us Obama supporters.  Many people seem to take their criticisms straight from the mouths of Rush Limbaugh and Pat Buchanan (or others of their "ilk").

  •  Obama a rock star??? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueintheface, dogtracks

    what are you talking about :)

    Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com

  •  Messianic leader? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zagatzz, faithfull, greenearth

    God... this term only came about because the media shoved it there. He's a fucking candidate for an election, not jesus christ. Thank you.

    I am crass and hostile. If you want to be comforted and babied, unplug your internet connection and call your parents.

    by nanobubble on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 06:13:17 AM PST

  •  Met him in 2004 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caneel, annan, Cyber Kat, vernonbc

    He stopped by Champaign to speak. We had a brief chat, and I told my son and daughter, who were 11 and 5 at the time, that they had just met someone who was going to be President someday. My son is now 15 and is a huge, huge Obama supporter.

    It's funny you wrote about this this morning - I was just looking for the blog entry I did the day we met him and found it. A part of his speech will be my new sig.

  •  Well done! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caneel, faithfull, Cyber Kat

    Nicely written, to the point, heartfelt and enlightening.  I thank you for this diary.

    Peace,
    Lisa

    "The force is really rather strong with you, Luke" - Eddie Izzard (I miss you, La 3/5/06)

    by Bexley Lane on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 06:45:16 AM PST

  •  Thank you for a positive diary (5+ / 0-)

    This is the kind of diary that I appreciate.  It's positive in tone, doesn't slam the other candidate, and is based on either personal experiences or clarifying policy issues.  Those diaries are so incredibly rare these days so a huge thank you for writing one.  Hopefully others will begin to follow your example and elevate the level of diaries available.

    Speak out for those who have no voice...Do not turn away from the great struggles before us. Do not give up on the causes that we have fought for. John Edwards

    by sobermom on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 06:58:23 AM PST

  •  When he was introduced at the 2004 convention (8+ / 0-)

    I said "Who is that guy?"

    When he was finished speaking I said "That guy is going to be president some day."

    Bipartisanship: I'll hug your elephant if you kiss my ass

    by Uranus Hz on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 06:58:52 AM PST

  •  Sign the petition to demand (0+ / 0-)

    that women's issues and the sexism that has been running rampant in the media's coverage of this election is discussed in the next Presidential debate!

    "Presidential Debate - Women's issues and sexism in the media coverage of the 2008 election".

    Please take a moment to read about this important issue, and join me in signing the petition. It takes just 30 seconds, but can truly make a difference. We are trying to reach 1000 signatures - please sign here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/...

    Once you have signed, you can help even more by asking your friends and family to sign as well.

    Thank you!

    "You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas." Shirley Chisholm

    by Hillaryisbest on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 07:04:44 AM PST

  •  Messianic is right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, dogtracks

    And, that is what puts me off of Obama from the start.

    I recoil at the fact that so many are so eager to be swept away by fancy rhetorical flourishes that have no more substance than thin air.

    There may well be a future for Barack Obama as President. But, progressives around here seem to forget that this man has already said that Universal Health Care is "not achievable." His health care plan leaves out 15 million, and worse, his own Health Care Task Force, set up in 2004 has said MANDATES ARE NECESSARY.

    Obama's a rock star.

    But, he's not ready to be president of the United States.

    You can read all about his health care flim-flam--not that you will, because the truth isn't what interests you--MESSIANIC HYPE is what interests you:

    http://facts.hillaryhub.com/...

    "Hope has to be made a reality in politics." ~ Hillary Clinton

    by SignalSuzie on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 07:06:07 AM PST

  •  Go back earlier (6+ / 0-)

    He was my professor in law school in the late 90's.  A really decent, thoughtful man.

    I remember thinking at the time kind of the way people described when they first heard Bill Clinton speak.  You got the sense he was destined for great things politically.  

  •  yes! the hype is the worst part (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    faithfull, Cyber Kat

    About Obama, Hillary, any candidate. Thanks for sharing your personal account of Obama, KP. Sadly the hype blinds people to the truth, facts, or at least clear reading comprehension.

    I agree Obama will make a great President. And I'll support Hillary if she gets the nomination. I used to say I wouldn't vote for her, but of course I'd vote for the Democratic candidate. No way will I purposely try to get another Republican elected.

    •  Politics is personal, which is why it's so (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CalNM

      emotional. They've done studies which have shown that in a political discussion, partisan people use their emotional brain, not their analytical brain, to come to conclusions:

      "We did not see any increased activation of the parts of the brain normally engaged during reasoning," says Drew Westen, director of clinical psychology at Emory who led the study. "What we saw instead was a network of emotion circuits lighting up, including circuits hypothesized to be involved in regulating emotion, and circuits known to be involved in resolving conflicts." Westen and his colleagues will present their findings at the Annual Conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Jan. 28.

      Once partisans had come to completely biased conclusions -- essentially finding ways to ignore information that could not be rationally discounted -- not only did circuits that mediate negative emotions like sadness and disgust turn off, but subjects got a blast of activation in circuits involved in reward -- similar to what addicts receive when they get their fix, Westen explains.

      "None of the circuits involved in conscious reasoning were particularly engaged," says Westen. "Essentially, it appears as if partisans twirl the cognitive kaleidoscope until they get the conclusions they want, and then they get massively reinforced for it, with the elimination of negative emotional states and activation of positive ones."

      I'm not trying to excuse blind faith, but it does seem to be part of our human nature.

  •  IRead (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caneel, blueintheface

    Thanks for your thoughtful interpretation. I saw Obama in Seattle Friday, had all the same concerns given the size and raucusness of the crowd (many seem to forget it is not a rock concert), and came away very satisfied by the demeanour, refinement and measure of the man. Today, we are cautiously optimistic in our house.

  •  hype (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chaoslillith, Antifish

    Let's just change the name of this site to Daily Obama.

  •  I have no doubt that he is nice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Antifish
    in person.  But so is Hillary.  I recently met a nurse who had been working in the hospital emergency room the night that Hillary's father died.  And she said over and over how nice Hillary was in that moment of loss and tragedy for her family.

    The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

    by mikepridmore on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 07:33:07 AM PST

  •  Way to stand up, man! (0+ / 0-)

    For change!

    And hope!

    Changehopehopechangehope!

  •  Here is a great article written about Obama (6+ / 0-)

    way before he was a "rock star" - it's from 1995.

    What Makes Obama Run?

    Here is just an excerpt:

    What makes Obama different from other progressive politicians is that he doesn't just want to create and support progressive programs; he wants to mobilize the people to create their own. He wants to stand politics on its head, empowering citizens by bringing together the churches and businesses and banks, scornful grandmothers and angry young.

    One more:

    "What I liked about Barack immediately is that he brought a certain level of sophistication and intelligence to community work," Owens says. "He had a reasonable, focused approach that I hadn't seen much of. A lot of organizers you meet these days are these self-anointed leaders with this strange, way-out approach and unrealistic, eccentric way of pursuing things from the very beginning. Not Barack. He's not about calling attention to himself. He's concerned with the work. It's as if it's his mission in life, his calling, to work for social justice.

    "Anyone who knows me knows that I'm one of the most cynical people you want to see, always looking for somebody's angle or personal interest," Owens added. "I've lived in Chicago all my life. I've known some of the most ruthless and biggest bullshitters out there, but I see nothing but integrity in this guy."

  •  What makes you think they don't? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldjohnbrown, lisastar

    I only wish that those millions could have seen the man I saw back in 2000—before the hype, before the media attention.

    Your diary contradicts itself some; or it just doesn't give people the same credit Obama does. His risk, as oft repeated, was in betting that voting Americans desire and are able to discern more open honest and genuine politics; and that they want to be engaged and empowered by their political leaders with respect.  Your diary makes assumptions about his supporters, originated and are perpetuated by his opponents, that his appeal is based much on unsubstantial aspects. I don't think many of his supporters agree.

    But I appreciate the witness reassurance that Obama is in fact genuine.

  •  The American Electorate (0+ / 0-)

    The American electorate are a really forgivng people. It amazes me how they forget or rather ignore their recent history.

    Charlie
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    Eddie
    http://query.nytimes.com/...

    Eddie's underling
    http://abclocal.go.com/...

    Of course the recent $1 million dollar err campaign contribution was explained away as "What! We had no idea! We'll return or donate those funds away ... immediately!"

    Business as usual will prevail in American Politics... So speaks the electorate.

    •  KP, thanks for the diary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cyber Kat

      ... and thanks, too, to commenters who left links to some very interesting articles.

      May we rise to the challenge!

      Against silence, which is slavery. -- Czeslaw Milosz

      by Caneel on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 08:56:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't get what the first two articles have to (0+ / 0-)

      do with Hillary.  The third one is old news. Hsu's donations were returned or given to charity.  So what's you point?

      If you hate Hillary Clinton, it is so... about you. - Bill Maher

      by Antifish on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 10:09:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Chinese Triads are just philantropists (0+ / 0-)

        Point? No point. Asian Oranized Crime figures are philantropists. They just love the idea of donating Millions of dollars to US political candidates... of course no strings attached. Get a clue. Maybe dig up your own US Senate Investigation On Asian Organized Crime.

  •  Everyone asked him to run for president! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldjohnbrown, Cyber Kat, janew2

    Remember that? I lived in the Chicago area when Obama was running for the US Senate, met him a couple of times, and everywhere he went heard everyone ask him the same question: Are you going to run for president? Amazing. How many politicians--before they are well-known and have a powerful established political support system--have had crowds of people asking them to run for president. I think it must be precedented only by George Washington.

    My point is that, like you and me, the American people recognized right away that there was something special about Obama and that he was a leader who would represent them.

  •  As a Hillary supporter (0+ / 0-)

    I think every day that Obama is more and more likely to win the nomination. I think Hillary will fight hard but the Obama wave is only going to build.

    Both have strengths and weaknesses. But I doubt they will pair up as a ticket in the general election. And I have a nagging feeling that McCain will somehow beat either one of them.

    After seeing an embarrassment of riches in the wake of the 2006 midterm elections, I am not having a good feeling going into 2008.

    •  I share your concern but I do not count Hillary (0+ / 0-)

      out. She will do fine in Ohio and Texas. It will come down to the super delegates for either of them. He will not win enough pledged delegates for the nomination, wave or no wave. To date, he has not received more votes, per ABC today

      Hillary 9,098,319
      Obama 8,679,824

      And that does not include Florida and Michigan. He's done great in Caucuses but the delegates can be flipped (Mondale did just that in 1984). This thing is far from over.

      Without an Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton ticket the Dem's will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Take a look at this from ABC:
      http://abcnews.go.com/...
      If Clinton is the nominee, 15 percent of Democrats say they'd rather vote for McCain; if Obama's the nominee, 20 percent say they'd go to McCain. A key factor is the extent to which those intraparty tempers cool after the Democratic race is decided.

  •  Top notch diary, thanks. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldjohnbrown

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyJ72iZ3tW4

    by keeplaughing on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 09:21:21 AM PST

  •  just beautiful...thanks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldjohnbrown
  •  Clinton - the fat lady is warming up (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    Tom P

    She is just waiting for her cue to come on.

  •  I see some Lincoln in him (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldjohnbrown

    It is in times like these, we turn to Illinois for the next iteration of American Democracy.  Obama's "losing" candidacy then resonated far beyond the parochial self-interests of a Congressional district.  Like Lincoln, his message kept resonating outside of Illinois, and in losing, he actually was spurred on to greatness.  

    It is not a little ironic that Hillary chose not to return to Illinois to launch her own national campaign.  It is a downright astounding juxtaposition!  Literary in its evocativeness.  

    Obama is on a mission, and I wonder yet if the America of today is prepared to let an inspiring leader hold sway.

  •  KP (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldjohnbrown, KayCeSF

    Please see my similar diary about Obama, who I met in 2003.  I also volunteered for his Senate Race.

    I cannot agree with you more that Obama is a genuine and sincere man.  I thought when we sent him off to Washington that people would make him a devil or a saint!  And he's neither!  He's such a great guy.

    truth, kindness, endurance, Obama '08

    by CupofTea on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 10:48:23 AM PST

  •  Just expected to hear "I don't know how to love (0+ / 0-)

    him" from Jesus Christ Superstar playing in the background that's all.

    "United we stand, divided we fall"

    by Cassandra77 on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 11:38:14 AM PST

  •  Obama's Generation Jones ID is key (0+ / 0-)

    Interesting take on Obama's pre-BaRock Star days. A key story being overlooked in Obama's candidacy is his generational identity, notwithstanding all the Post-Boomer blah blah.  Only recently are journalists realizing that Obama is part of GenJones (see, for example, Jonathan Alter's column in this week's Newsweek in which he argues that Obama is specifically part of Generation Jones, and that that matters, http://www.newsweek.com/...

    But more relevant is understanding the key role that GenJones (the heretofore lost generation between Boomers and Xers, now aged 42-53) is likely to have in deciding the Hillary vs Barack contest.  The older generations continue to support Clinton, the younger generations continue to support Obama, and it's the voting segment in the middle which are most "in play".  Look at the exit polling, and you'll see that it's Generation Jones voters who are most evenly divided between the two candidates, and since Jonesers make up such a huge slice of the voter pie (Jonesers were 29% of the '06 midterm electorate), it's amazing that more attention isn't being paid to this crucial voting segment.

    •  I didn't know we were a Generation Jones... (0+ / 0-)

      ... interesting.

    •  Son of a bitch! (0+ / 0-)

      I'm 54, and therefore still at the tail end of the Boomers.  You pups may think it's hard to see The Boomers hogging resources, but think of poor me, not old enough to cash in on the free love and Haight under LBJ; stuck with Nixon's Long Decline.  A nightmare, I tells ya.  And your old man is gonna suck my SSI dry.  I can feel it.  Son of a bitch!

    •  I think it's fantastic (0+ / 0-)

      that even if Obama were to lose, he is creating a whole new generation of democratic voters.  Up until now, it has been hard for me to get my young friends to take any interest in politics.  After this, it'll be a lot easier.

      Flee fro the prees and dwelle in sothfastnesse.

      by mismolly on Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 03:30:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Finally Generation Jones getting deserved press (0+ / 0-)

      Great to see Generation Jones finally getting long-overdue attention.  I was born in 1962, never felt like a baby Boomer, never felt like a Gen X'er.  Immediately identified with Generation Jones when I first heard of it a couple years ago.  As I've watched the Obama phenomenom, I've tought several times to myself that he clearly is a Joneser, so I'm glad to see politicos catching on to this.  And fascinating point about the potentially decisive role that Generation Jones is playing in the Clinton/Obama race.  Makes perfect sense that Jonesers, more or less in the middle, and given their huge size, will determine the oucome of Obama v Clinton.

  •  I never knew (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KayCeSF

    that Obama taught Constitutional law.  If there were ever a time that we needed this sensibility in The Big Chair, it's now.  Pray God let us return to sanity.

  •  Great Story (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KayCeSF

    I appreciate your the sacrifice you have given for your cause.

  •  This is a useful datapoint to me (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the perspective -- this is the first diary I've read that has given me reasons to be cautiously optimistic if Obama eventually gets the nod.  

    Of course, I disagree with his positions on healthcare and space, and voted for Clinton in the primary...  and have also been frankly really put off, creeped-out even, by the whole rock-star/messianic leader bit. To the point of wondering if I'd rather sit out the general it it's either a choice of either that or drinking the kool-aid.  Good to see that "one doesn't have to buy into the hype" if it ever comes to that point...  

  •  Obama in Omaha (0+ / 0-)

    An exciting week for me here in Omaha.  First, on Thursday, after working the night before from 11 PM to 7 AM and a little sleep, I decided to go to the Obama rally to be held that afternoon at the Civic Center.  I left home about 1:30 and after parking and walking four blocks to the Civic Center, I found that there was already a line of people two blocks long, going both directions from the front entrance.  I got in line on the south side of the building and it was not bad standing in the sunshine.  It was a long wait until 3:30 when the doors opened, but the crowd was great to watch and very friendly.  Everyone was excited to see Obama.  When the doors opened, it took awhile for me to get in, but I headed for the front of the building and went to the very top tier of seats, overlooking the stage.  I was the only one up there for about 15 minutes, but by 4:30, the place was packed to full capacity and there were very few seats left.  There were about 3000 people standing down on the main floor in a huge, tightly packed group.  All together, there was between 10-11 thousand people there.  The music was great and Bright Eyes came on to play three songs.  I am not into that type of music, but it was OK.  Obama was running late and did not actually show up until near 6 PM.  He was supposed to start speaking at 4:30, so everyone was anxious and we did lots of yelling and waving around the room. The music they played over the sound system was good and got everyone into a great mood.  There was one black lady sitting a couple of rows in front of me and she put on a show that kept us entertained.  She really let fly with some good comments during the afternoon and she was loud enough for lots of people to hear.  

    When Obama showed up, he gave one of the best presentations that I have heard from any politician in a long time.  Man, is he forceful within that type of setting.  I have not seen anyone get a group of people excited like he did, since the days of JFK.  The biggest yell and approval of the speech came when he said "George W. Bush will not be on the ballot this November."  He spoke for about 45 minutes and then spent another 30 shaking hands with everyone on the front rows of the ground floor level.  All in all, I was extremely glad that I took the time to go, even though I did not make it back home until 7:40 PM.

    You can go to this web site and see some of the pictures:

    http://www.freedomroadproject.blogsp...

    On Saturday, I got up early and went to the caucus place for my district, which was the middle school on 84th & Lakeside Street.  I was one of the first people there, but a big crowd arrived shortly afterwards.  We all went into the good sized gym.  I did not stay to find out the total attendance, but it was close to 1000 people.  It was obvious from the start that Obama was going to be the winner.  Almost everyone that came in, went to the Obama side.  I wore my "Nebraskans for Obama" T shirt and everyone who came near me really liked it.  The Obama side was filled with all sorts of people and many that I would have never suspected would be Democrats, let alone, Obama supporters.  Over 200 people who were Republicans switched over to Democrats just to vote for Obama.  One lady, about my age, that I sat next to for awhile, was a Republican.  She was reading Obama's book on Hope and was just thrilled to have switched to the Democratic side.  I could not believe all the young, college age, people who were there.  And, all the old, white guys, just like me who came to the Obama side.  That was very encouraging to me since I generally think that most old white guys in Nebraska are red necks.  Not true anymore, for sure.   I was quite and just listened to everyone talk.  It is obvious that all those old white guys are very angry, like me, about what has gone on in the country over the last 7 plus years.  And, if they don't get Obama for the Democratic President, they will be extremely angry people at everyone, Democrats and Republicans, just like I will be.  They/I don't want any more Clintons in the White House stuff.  We want to clean out the old "Washington Establishment" house and start a political revolution to change how things are done altogether.  Obama is our best hope for doing this and it will be a tremendous fight that I want to be a part of.  The USA will not survive without that taking place.

    At last count, over 38,000 Democrats took part across Nebraska in the Saturday caucus.  That is not an actual number since large numbers of people were turned away because several places did not have enough room to hold the crowd.  In Sarpy county, south of Omaha, they turned away several hundred people because they were completely over run by the crowd.  They ran out of ballots and did not have room.  I also saw the TV pictures this morning from Lincoln, of the crowds down there and the pictures from the University of Nebraska blew me away.  Super turn out and very exciting day for everyone who came out.  If Obama maintains his momentum and takes the nomination, I predict that this is only the tip of the ice berg.  On election day in November, the country will witness the biggest landslide victory for the Democrats in the history of our country.  We will once again have a chance to restore our country to some degree of respectability in the world.   Obama will bring the US together and may even bring the world together.  I believe he will be a great President we can be proud of and take us from the bottom of the barrel to the top, as far as Presidents go.

  •  I have a Few Questions for Obama Supporters (0+ / 0-)

    Obama has had a great campaign and weekend. But he has just said that the Super Delegates should not override the voters decision. His wife would not say she would support Hillary if she won. Donna Brazille has said she would quit the Dem party if the Super Delegates voted differently than the voters. That begs a couple of questions:

    1. Should the candidate with more popular votes, including the caucus votes and pledged delegates receive the votes of the Super Delegates and therefore win the nomination or should we go by the rules that are in already in place?
    1. Should there be a do-over of the Florida and Michigan primaries?

    Per ABC:
    http://abcnews.go.com/...
    If Clinton is the nominee, 15 percent of Democrats say they'd rather vote for McCain; if Obama's the nominee, 20 percent say they'd go to McCain. A key factor is the extent to which those intraparty tempers cool after the Democratic race is decided.

    •  How Many Republicans and Independents (0+ / 0-)

      Will go for HRC and how many will go for Obama?  I believe that Obama's numbers wil far outpace hers in this demographic who have already made up their minds never to vote for HRC.  As a result, he needs a lot less "traditional" Democrats - but he'll probably get them any way than HRC because he'll change the composition in ways that HRC simply cannot.  This is why Barack is much stronger than Clinton as our nominee - for every Democrat he loses (for racial or other reasons) he picks up two soccer moms, students, seniors, etc. who voted for George Bush 4 years ago or didn't bother to vote at all..

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