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Reply #5: I think I am with you, but could never have expressed it as well [View All]

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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-19-08 09:03 AM
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5. I think I am with you, but could never have expressed it as well
I think I was a little less surprised because I never was totally sure about Obama. Kerry's endorsement did make me more convinced, but I never was sure whether things both he and Kerry stated as his positions were as firmly held by him as they were by Kerry. But, I knew that by the time Kerry told Obama he would endorse him, there were only 2 other possibilities. Both would have had less chance of being the change needed - and even without the affair, Edwards stood a good chance of losing. At this point, I think that Obama will have to be a great President, but he might not be the one who can make the real changes needed in the political culture or as big a change as Kerry would have made in foreign policy. (I also don't like his transportation Secretary - unless he has changed his position on high speed rail.)

I also was not happy that in his convention speech he singled out the Clintons, Gore and Biden for thank yous - leaving Kerry out. (Yes, I know many others spoke - but Kerry should have been treated as Gore was.) Not to mention, Kerry was nearly the last person added to the schedule - another slight. Yet he still gave the best speech of the convention. Yes, I saw the backstage photo of him obviously happy with Kerry, but it was not the same - Kerry deserved that same public status, especially after that speech. The same thing is happening now - there was a public meeting with Gore a day or so before Obama made his energy choice known - likely because having Gore there gave Obama some credibility, while Kerry has not been seen with him - even as he went on this important transition trip. Obama could have had a short photo op with Kerry before he left, saying things that could have indirectly countered the Clinton backed smears - likely driven by their vindictiveness over Kerry's endorsement of Obama. Instead there are just little Obama spokesperson comments that Kerry was going to report back.

What also bothers me is that Obama likely had thought of who he wanted as S o S back before the election. There are stories of asking Biden about S o S or VP and there was a shift in Bill Clinton's behavior sometime in September/October when he stopped the intentional faint praise of Obama. Obama should have known Kerry well enough to know he was 100% sincere when he said he would work his heart out to elect whatever Democrat got the nomination. It would have been better had he pulled Kerry aside and explained that he would not offer Kerry the position. This would have allowed Kerry to both save face and to say in Massachusetts that he would be there for the state, rather than qualifying the answer. I assume that would have helped Kerry gain more of the affection he deserves from the state he obviously loves. The only thing I can think of is that Obama was either so self centered he didn't care or he was afraid that Kerry would be less willing to be out there for him - so he led him on, which all of us know is not likely.

Another story, that seemed to bother me and few others was the story of Obama and Biden going to a 4th grade math class. Obama praising the kids for learning "hard" things like decimals, joked that Joe Biden didn't know decimals. Biden played along with it. This bothered me on at least 2 levels. One it was a public demeaning bullying of Biden, who HAD to react pleasantly. When DUers thought it cute, I asked them to substitute Michelle and see what they thought of it. Other than a Biden supporter who sometimes comes here - everyone disagreed. This was after 2 months of Biden being smeared by the RW because he was the VP. The other level is that it is patronizing to say that to the kids - especially as decimals are one of the easier things they learn in that grade. I doubt a single teacher doesn't show them that dollars and cents are really decimals. He was charismatic and the kids loved him, but kids KNOW when they are being talked down to - he was genuine when speaking of the dog, but he was awful speaking about schoolwork.

A diversion - When my oldest daughter was in fifth grade, I took her to work with me on "Take your daughter to work day" at Bell Labs where I worked. A group of people had put together an extraordinary day for the kids. To begin with Arno Penzias, who had won the Nobel Prize as one of the Scientists who proved the Big Bang theory, spoke to the kids. He explained to them that Physics was the science of how things worked and he delighted them by telling them that science was NOT the rote memorization of words that many teachers made it. In answer to a kid, he explained how they were able to prove the Big Bang had happened - by comparing it to observing a race starting an hour after it started. You could show they started at the same point if the faster moving people were further out than the slower moving people. Penzias, like Obama, was not an educator - but what he did was the opposite of what Obama did. He made physics sound fun and something they could do. Obama confirmed some views that math was hard and there was no hint that it could be fun, andthough he did make the point that it was needed - he said his VP didn't know 4th grade math. My daughter, who interests were more writing and art, spent the next two years saying she wanted to be a physicist.

I hadn't seen that Chicago era story, but I had seen others. Between those stories and the choice of Emannuel, I think that Obama, like the Clintons, is a typical very ambitious politician who sees loyalty as a one way street. At this point, I am where I was when I realized that I would vote for Clinton - which happened when Bush vetoed SCHIP. I am happy that we have a Democratic President and I hope that he will run a cleaner administration with more principles than Bill Clinton did. I also want to do what I regret I didn't do in the 1990s - which is hold Obama to the same standards I would hold a Republican to. Seeing this - but still hoping I'm wrong, I am actually glad that Kerry is independent. He will still give his advice - and whether Obama takes it or not is likely independent of the job he has. When they disagree, it will allow Kerry to be Kerry. Obama can't expect loyalty at his point especially when he doesn't return it.
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  -Some reflections as the year comes to an end beachmom  Dec-18-08 10:04 PM   #0 
  - Error: You can't recommend threads from this forum  JoeIsOneOfUs   Dec-18-08 11:44 PM   #1 
  - You echo my thoughts exactly  WildEyedLiberal   Dec-19-08 01:54 AM   #2 
  - I agree with you and beachmom, but JK will get the recognition he deserves  MBS   Dec-19-08 06:35 AM   #3 
     - As to writing about John Kerry's work, I have no choice in the matter.  beachmom   Dec-19-08 07:35 AM   #4 
  - I think I am with you, but could never have expressed it as well  karynnj   Dec-19-08 09:03 AM   #5 
  - I think Hillary would not commit to the SoS job in Sept.  beachmom   Dec-19-08 09:31 AM   #7 
     - That is interesting  karynnj   Dec-19-08 10:13 AM   #10 
  - Just a quick few points before I leave.  Mass   Dec-19-08 09:22 AM   #6 
  - I agree with most of this, but have a slightly different take on this:  ProSense   Dec-19-08 09:50 AM   #8 
  - Well, the betrayal was not that Obama didn't pick Kerry for SoS.  beachmom   Dec-19-08 10:33 AM   #11 
  - So, why are we here? And what do you believe?  TayTay   Dec-19-08 09:57 AM   #9 
  - The answer is I don't know. And I think part of the struggle is giving  beachmom   Dec-19-08 10:45 AM   #12 
     - When did this happen:  ProSense   Dec-19-08 11:18 AM   #13 
     - I disagree with what you have said.  TayTay   Dec-19-08 11:32 AM   #14 
     - Thank you Tay n/t  sandnsea   Dec-19-08 12:18 PM   #15 
     - It was not "someone in his transition team" who knocked dkos. It was Obama himself:  beachmom   Dec-19-08 12:59 PM   #16 
     - This piece is from 2006.  ProSense   Dec-19-08 01:09 PM   #18 
        - I know it's from 2006. I doubt he has changed his mind on dkos.  beachmom   Dec-19-08 01:11 PM   #19 
           - That single statement from 2006 simply doesn't  ProSense   Dec-19-08 01:24 PM   #21 
              - Yes, but that was for campaigning. Of course, he will reach out when  beachmom   Dec-19-08 01:30 PM   #22 
                 - He reached out in 2005, that was not campaigning. n/t  ProSense   Dec-19-08 01:34 PM   #24 
     - I don't want to be yet another Liberal Interest Group.  beachmom   Dec-19-08 01:20 PM   #20 
        - You don't have to be, that's the beauty.  ProSense   Dec-19-08 01:33 PM   #23 
     - I agree with alot of what you say here, and it was basically the topic of discussion I had with my  Mass   Dec-19-08 01:08 PM   #17 
        - I think we should criticize.  TayTay   Dec-19-08 01:43 PM   #26 
  - I am not the only one struggling with all of this. Read this poignant  beachmom   Dec-19-08 01:39 PM   #25 
  - Here's an interesting piece from TPM  ProSense   Dec-19-08 01:59 PM   #27 
  - The Obama moment is not about Obama  TayTay   Dec-19-08 01:59 PM   #28 
  - I agree that it's not about Obama  MBS   Dec-20-08 09:00 AM   #33 
  - I think Obama IS different...  YvonneCa   Dec-20-08 03:07 PM   #36 
  - Speak of the devil, the netroots is beginning to grapple with the changes  beachmom   Dec-19-08 02:41 PM   #29 
  - shuts down discussion:  beachmom   Dec-19-08 06:44 PM   #30 
  - True - not even during the awful time after the media distorted Kerry's skipping a word in a joke  karynnj   Dec-19-08 06:55 PM   #31 
  - Every blog post was closed  sandnsea   Dec-19-08 07:24 PM   #32 
  - This thread is very depressing. n/t  YvonneCa   Dec-20-08 11:53 AM   #34 
  - As the year comes to an end for me, I am really...  YvonneCa   Dec-20-08 02:29 PM   #35 
  - I am bothered to, but in a different way  TayTay   Dec-20-08 08:08 PM   #37 
  - Great post. Thanks for taking the time...  YvonneCa   Dec-20-08 09:17 PM   #38 
     - Yes, exactly so  TayTay   Dec-20-08 09:29 PM   #40 
        - Bush "disinvited the people from their own government"...  YvonneCa   Dec-20-08 10:03 PM   #41 
  - I agree that this thread is very depressing, but it is a combination of many things.  Mass   Dec-20-08 09:26 PM   #39 
  - Thanks for this. I agree with everything you said. I also...  YvonneCa   Dec-20-08 10:14 PM   #42 
  - I will be there. Being part of an Obama team was too important to me  LittleClarkie   Dec-23-08 09:22 PM   #61 
  - Lest we look a gift horse in the mouth...  ginnyinWI   Dec-21-08 02:10 AM   #43 
  - Excellent, excellent, EXCELLENT post! You said so...  YvonneCa   Dec-21-08 12:43 PM   #44 
     - aw, thanks.  ginnyinWI   Dec-21-08 12:58 PM   #45 
        - Stay warm...  YvonneCa   Dec-21-08 01:03 PM   #46 
           - you could say that!  ginnyinWI   Dec-21-08 03:14 PM   #49 
              - And I complain when we hit...  YvonneCa   Dec-21-08 04:04 PM   #50 
              - In hunkering mode as well  Inuca   Dec-21-08 04:24 PM   #51 
                 - I haven't cut into it yet --needs to chill overnight in the fridge.  ginnyinWI   Dec-22-08 12:16 AM   #53 
                    - That looks DELICIOUS...  YvonneCa   Dec-22-08 10:55 AM   #58 
  - Thanks to all for the thought provoking reading  Inuca   Dec-21-08 01:44 PM   #47 
  - You describe well the ambivalence...  YvonneCa   Dec-21-08 02:07 PM   #48 
     - Ambivalence is fine  TayTay   Dec-21-08 05:21 PM   #52 
        - true  ginnyinWI   Dec-22-08 12:32 AM   #54 
           - your personal story is very apt  MBS   Dec-22-08 08:07 AM   #55 
              - yes and even more so because he's relatively new  ginnyinWI   Dec-22-08 09:37 AM   #56 
                 - It is a positive. And I agree...  YvonneCa   Dec-22-08 10:52 AM   #57 
                    - A lot of people struggle what being president of all the people mean.  Mass   Dec-22-08 11:15 AM   #59 
                       - Great post. I think we agree. :) About the...  YvonneCa   Dec-22-08 11:44 AM   #60 
  - How is everybody feeling these days? I just re-read this...  YvonneCa   Feb-20-09 12:48 PM   #62 
     - It is a great thread  TayTay   Feb-20-09 04:37 PM   #63 
     - Very heartfelt. I think that's really...  YvonneCa   Feb-21-09 11:52 AM   #65 
     - Keeping fingers crossed and  Inuca   Feb-21-09 08:14 AM   #64 
        - I get an 'inner smile', too, when I hear or write...  YvonneCa   Feb-21-09 11:56 AM   #66 

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