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Obama's Overseas Success: What's His Secret?

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:54 PM
Original message
Obama's Overseas Success: What's His Secret?
http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/07/23/obamas_... /

Obama's Overseas Success: What's His Secret?
By M.J. Rosenberg - July 23, 2008, 1:20PM


I think I have read every word Barack Obama uttered on his visits to Israel and Palestine and I'm struck by his ability to navigate this tricky issue with such dexterity. After all, everybody is just waiting for him to trip up on the Arab-Israeli issue. Joe Lieberman, the Israeli media, the right-wing pro-Israel organizations are just waiting to pounce on some misstep.

It didn't happen, just as it didn't happen in Afghanistan or Iraq.

And here's why. He knows his stuff. I worked on Capitol Hill for 20 years and I can tell the difference between a staff driven politician and one who knows what he's talking about. The staff driven pol (McCain is an example) is always capable of the big blunder. He does not mix up Shiites and Sunnis because he "misspoke;" he really doesn't know the difference. Same on the economy, he studies a memo and works to assimilate it. But there is no depth.

The sad fact is that most of our politicians are like that. On the Arab-Israeli issue, all they know is that they need to sound pro-Israel. So they end up mouthing the most superficial pieties. They are afraid to talk about the Palestinians because they might say the wrong thing.

They pander and pander, knowing that they won't get into trouble by just sucking up.

Not Obama.

He is pro-Israel and he supports the two-state solution. He is for keeping Jerusalem undivided but supports resolving Jerusalem's status in negotiations. He acknowledges the Iranian threat to Israel but does not endorse a military response to deal with it.

So what's Obama's secret. He's smart. He reads. He knows his sh*t. And that is why the Republicans who are counting on him to lose this election through some verbal blunder are going to be disappointed.

I'm not saying that McCain cannot win. He can. But he'll have to win it. Obama is not going to hand this election to him by stumbling.

I just talked to a friend who saw Obama in Israel. I asked him what his friends in the Israeli media are saying. "What are they saying? They are saying that he's the next President. And they think he's the smartest American politician they have seen yet."

Me too.
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Muttocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:56 PM
Response to Original message
1. :)
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. :) and I raise you :)
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BOSSHOG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
2. George Bush!
I would opine that every country on the planet wants to rid the universe of the cancer that is dubya and anyone associated with his party. And mccain is doing an incredibly nice job of making himself out to be a bush wannabe. Ergo, the right wing media whine.
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Muttocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
3. author's biography:
Biography: M.J. Rosenberg works in Washington supporting US efforts to advance an Israeli-Palestinian agreement. Previously, he worked on Capitol Hill for various Democratic members of the House and Senate for 15 years. He was also a Clinton political appointee at USAID. In the early 1980s, he was editor of AIPACs weekly newsletter Near East Report. After the signing of the Oslo Accords, Rosenberg broke with the AIPAC position and became a strong advocate of the "two-state solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The views he expresses at TPMCafe are his alone.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. I figured M J Rosenburg had some
credentials, thanks.
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Barack_America Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
4. I feel honored to be living now...
So that I can tell my children and grandchildren how I worked to get this man elected.

We don't all have the chance to live during one of America's "proud" moments. I am truly grateful that I do.
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Peacetrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
5. Well said!.. Finally after 7 1/2 long years of an
embarrassing amount of riches of ineptitude, it is heart warming to have a leader who can string more than 5 words together in a cohesive sentence. I can't but I sure as heck want the President too. :)
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Mz Pip Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
6. Obama understands
the nuances of global politics. Unfortunately, most Americans are clueless and decide how they feel about an issue based on 30 second talking points.

My concern is that most people, while not necessarily stupid, are lazy when it comes to taking the time to listen, read, or pay attention. McCain uses language they can understand. He may be completely wrong on the issues, but people who support him only know that he makes it easy for them. I hope Obama proves me wrong on this.

We will get the president we deserve. Either way.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:06 PM
Response to Original message
7. They wanted him to stay at the University
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 05:09 PM by zidzi
where he taught..

Con Law
What the University of Chicago right thinks of Obama.

by Jason Zengerle
Post Date Wednesday, July 30, 2008

In the spring of 2000, not long after Barack Obama was trounced in the Democratic primary for a South Side Chicago congressional seat, Daniel Fischel staged an intervention. Meeting with Obama in the main lounge at the University of Chicago Law School, where Fischel was then dean and Obama was a part-time senior lecturer, Fischel offered Obama some unsolicited advice. "I told him that it was obvious his political career was going nowhere," Fischel recalls, "and that he really ought to think about doing something else."
The particular "something else" Fischel had in mind was a full-time tenured professorship; to sweeten the offer, Fischel said the law school would even hire Obama's wife, Michelle, to run its legal clinic. Although the move would require Obama to give up his state Senate seat, Fischel tried to convince his junior colleague that Chicago professor might be a more natural role than Chicago politician for a cerebral guy like him. "I mentioned people who'd been faculty members like Scalia and Posner and Easterbrook and many others who had gone on to very distinguished careers outside of academia or in combination with academia," Fischel says. "I told him he could be a faculty member as well as a public intellectual."


http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Ah Fate..and America getting someone intelligent who can actually win this thing.
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Blondiegrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #7
25. How nice it will be to have an intellectual for a president.
... as opposed to the current intaleckshul representing this country.
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
10. Who needs depth? McCain's job is to be the ideal beer companion.
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 05:29 PM by Boojatta
The staff driven pol (McCain is an example) is always capable of the big blunder. He does not mix up Shiites and Sunnis because he "misspoke;" he really doesn't know the difference. Same on the economy, he studies a memo and works to assimilate it. But there is no depth.
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Labors of Hercules Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
11. But but but... do you want to have a BEER with him????
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 05:26 PM by Labors of Hercules
I do. :toast:
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #11
24. Obama's the whole
9 yards :toast:
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jaysunb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 05:34 PM
Response to Original message
12. Authenticity
That's my take.
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:09 PM
Response to Original message
13. Great editorial. Yippee!
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FKA MNChimpH8R Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:14 PM
Response to Original message
14. First, he's really smart and thinks
before he opens his mouth.

2. Ergo, he is thoughtful.

3. People on both sides of the Atlantic are desperate for the Chimpoleon era to end.

4. He's handsome and charismatic.

5. He's one hell of an orator.

6. He reminds older folks of that JFK fellow.

7. His message is the antithesis of fear-mongering.

8. He represents the best of the US' traditional image.

9. They might as well start liking him now, as he's gonna be POTUS for 8 years starting in less than six months.
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dbmk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Your point 1 and 2 is basically all it takes.
Especially since it stands in stark contrast to what we have seen for the last eight years. Which I guess adds a little bit of 3.

He's just a smart and levelheaded guy. Thats what I see from over here. Now if he had spoken on Saturday, I might have considered taking the trip down to Berlin. :)

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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:17 PM
Response to Original message
15. And he's humble enough to learn from others wherever he goes.
He may be as smart as Feingold.
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FKA MNChimpH8R Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. At least
I went to Harvard Law with Barack's wife and missed BHO there only by a matter of months. Barack graduated magna. In all seriousness, that is an astonishingly difficult thing to do. HLS in those days had a very mushy B curve and to average what was necessary to graduate magna is one massive accomplishment. You have to at the very least be incredibly brilliant at taking highly complex tests to get to that point. Which means that you must be able to master and manipulate enormous amounts of complicated and sometimes contradictory information. BHO's current trip success is no surprise to anyone who spent three years in such a demanding environment as information mastery and careful elucidation are the essence of what he did at HLS.

My profs at the state univ where I earned my BA said I was one of the smartest students they ever saw in 10-30 years, depending on how long the prof in question had been teaching. I got into HLS quite easily and did well, but I sure as hell didn't graduate magna or make the Harvard Law Review. I did spend three years on one of the voluntary (the HLR is by election only) law reviews, though.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
17. K&R!
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:56 PM
Response to Original message
19. before the trip he went to the gym three times - he knew that he was going to have

an opportunity to take a shot in a gym and that it would be covered by the media.
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kevinmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:58 PM
Response to Original message
20. Obama = Preparation and Excellent Management Skills IMO .... n/t
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ecstatic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:00 PM
Response to Original message
21. So true. McCain is so arrogant, I bet he hasn't read one single document yet
If Obama is willing to read then that act alone will put him worlds ahead of the so called 20/30 yrs of so-called experience that the other Senators have. 20 years of not doing their mf'in jobs!
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AZBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
22. Me three!
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Rosa Luxemburg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:03 PM
Response to Original message
23. Breath of fresh air
such a change to have an intelligence person as President!
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MarjorieG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:46 PM
Response to Original message
26. So infuriating that most media can be so dismissive, like Gibson. "Rookie?"
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liberalla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 05:08 AM
Response to Original message
27. "What are they saying? They are saying that he's the next President. "
"...And they think he's the smartest American politician they have seen yet."

Love it! (and I also agree)


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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
28. Now, if we could just find a way to replace more of the "staff-driven" DC pols
Problem is, politics is all about money. It's a business, and most national politcians are thus successful businessmen, with whom they share the same mindset. They aren't scholars, they aren't experts at anything other than raising enough money to get into office and the "art of the deal" that keeps them here, term after term.

Money-driven American politics is the problem.
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