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hiaasenrocks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 09:04 AM
Original message
The Audacity of Hype
I know two people personally who support Obama for president. They can't tell me why he would be a great candidate, nor what his rationale for his candidacy is. Those are the two most important questions about a candidate. I've read posts here on DU and on other websites. I have yet to hear or read anything convincing about this guy.

My hunch is that his celebrity status (hype) combined with his not having a record allows people to project upon him their best hopes. I guess that's fine, but...what's the substance?
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 09:10 AM
Response to Original message
1. He can win
that is all the hype he needs...

He has charisma. He is the new hottie in a field of broken oldies. The fact is, we don't need substance; Cheney and Rummy are filled with substance.

Politics is about winning elections. It is not about policy, it is about hope.

HOPE - which candidate gives us the most hope?
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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 09:47 AM
Response to Reply #1
11. don't be so sure . . . his name will be a real turn-off to many voters . . .
no, it shouldn't be that way . . . but it is . . . after six years of demonizing Muslims in this country, anyone with a Muslim-sounding name is going to have a very tough tow to hoe . . .

frankly, I don't think he's electable in the current political climate, albeit for all the wrong reasons . . .
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #11
28. see, i hear you, and agree
Right now I am feelin John Edwards...

The OP asked what it is all about.

It is about HOPE.

Peace to you
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #11
32. . . . his name will be a real turn-off to many voters . . .
:wow:
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #1
26. Its all about hope, always was always will be
'Cheney and Rummy are filled with substance' and it smells bad
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #26
30. agreed
:kick:
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Faygo Kid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 09:14 AM
Response to Original message
2. It's the "vision thing."
His personal story is compelling, his approach to the issues thoughtful. He is bright, empathetic and articulate (there's a big change). I agree that there isn't a long record there, but I'm not sure that I would vote based on a resume, anyway. People are looking for hope, not cynicism, and see it in Obama. That's why he would make a great candidate, and his rationale revolves around restoring that hope, and the values that have been trashed by this Administration. I am not a supporter, and am just trying to explain. You are right, people are projecting "upon him their best hopes." I am not sure that is an intrinsically bad thing, as hope is in short supply right now. We shall see about him. I am withholding judgment. 2007 is going to be one hell of a dangerous year for us under Bush, and there will be many opportunities to sort all of this out.
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ray of light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 09:15 AM
Response to Original message
3. Well...first...his speach at the convention in 04 was terrific!
But the rightwingers are already throwing out that he used cocaine when he was younger. I didn't believe them and called them a liar. I was pretty ashamed to discover that the wingers spoke the truth on that. But is it insurmountable? I don't know.

Also, what if he runs this time but it's too soon? Would he then disqualify himself for 2012 when he has more experience?

I think we need to talk about the whole experience issue. People are feeling mighty burned right now. Who doesn't remember Bush's reply to that question about experience, "Well, I'll surround myself with experienced people..." and look at where THAT has gotten us!!!

These are the qualities I'm looking for in a candidate:

1. experience creating legislation.
2. experience in diplomacy
3. long term support of jobs, businesses, healthcare, all things military including Iraq and veterans, and environment
4. experience in presidential campaigns. (Kerry, Gore, Edwards...and even Clarke was highly involved in supporting the campaign in 04.) I think Kerry, Gore, Edwards learned the most from their experiences and will do a much better job fighting the propaganda than someone who just thinks, "It won't happen to me..."


Things I don't want:

1. Self-serving corporatists. (guess that means Lieberman is out!)

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illinoisprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 09:16 AM
Response to Original message
4. I can tell you why I support him
I like his stand on the issues. I like his ideas on health care, energy, diplomacy. If you looked at the legislation he has tried to introduce but, the gop congress kept blocking most of them, you would see his concern for families, fairness, and worker rights and vet rights.
He has passed some important legislation helping vets.
He is not a showy person regardless of what his detractors try to say. He is extreemly intellegent, gifted, thoughtful and insightful.
He wants to change the tone of political discourse and have us move away from plain ideology to finding solutions.
His work as a community activist for so many years impresses me because I'm from social service and see his commitment to working to help the disenfranchised.
I like that he is not such a partisan that it hurts more than it helps.
His pushing thru the health care coverage for kids under 18 here in Illinois was terrific. I also like the fact that he is a major supporter of alternative energy and looks for real solutions.
He doesn't just talk about things but, tries to find ways to make things work and implement ideas.
He can break down the most complicated subject and explain it in ways you understand. His far ranging interests in the world and understanding of what is the problems and possible solutions. He minored in International affairs.
Was the youngest editor of the Harvard law review and was a constitutional professor which shows his understanding and respect for the constitution.
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BuelahWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. So where can we find his stands on the issues?
Does he have a website?
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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #7
27. All senators have a website.
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illinoisprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 09:20 AM
Response to Original message
5. two more things: I like his independence and candor and I respect him
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johan helge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 09:35 AM
Response to Original message
6. Focus on victory - a white male should run
Edited on Sun Jan-07-07 09:39 AM by johan helge
The Democrats should focus on the same thing the Republicans focus on - and that's to win. And Obama is probably not the Democrats' best card in that respect - he's half black, remember. The same thing applies for Hillary - she's a woman! So I go for one of the white males - Gore, Kerry, Edwards.
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Connie_Corleone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Why stop there? Only white males should be in the Democratic Party.
We can't have blacks, latinos, women in our Party. Everyone knows that the white male vote is more important.


:sarcasm:
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Nevernose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Hillary can't win b/c her last name's Clinton
Not because she's female.
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Faygo Kid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. I trust you're kidding.
Geez, and I'm of Norwegian descent. Is this what passes for critical thinking back in the "homeland?" Be more like the Republicans?
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johan helge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Kidding and not kidding!
I was kidding with American attitudes, that women and blacks can't be elected. But that is still a reality, I think. And the Democrats should take that "fact" into account this time, just like they (and the Republicans) always have done. Obama and Hillary probably can't win. Gore, Kerry, Edwards can.

Anyway, it's not the President's name which is important. It's the "D" behind the name that counts.

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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #6
29. Love your avatar, strongly disagree with your statement.
I have concerns about Obama as a candidate but his ethnicity, race, and gender are not among them.

Although there is something to be said, if the Republicans have a white, male, virile-looking candidate (that last leaves out a lot of them), and we don't, then some voters will make their choice based on that shallow basis. But if our candidate is correct on the issues and well-marketed, it won't matter much.

I think being wrong on the issues and other potential problems, would far outweigh any votes lost due to racism or sexism.
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johan helge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #29
33. Keep the focus on winning!
Thanks. It may not matter much, or it may. Why take the risk? If the Democrats loose because they nominated a woman or a black man, I simply don't think I will be able to stand it. The loss in 2000 because of Nader was bad enough.
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nevergiveup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 10:05 AM
Response to Original message
13. For starters, do your homework.
Have you read his new book or listened to his recent speeches? Do you know anything about his legislative record in the Illinois Senate? Geesh, the guy has great potential and all the qualities of a super candidate.
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johan helge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. I'm sure Obama is excellent
But many won't vote for him, because of the color of his skin.
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flashlighter Donating Member (246 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. voter turn out will be key
If you look at presidential election turnout, and you break it down by race, you see that minorities typically don't vote in large numbers. However, with the first serious black contender for president, I think the voter turnout could change the race in many many states. People who have never voted before will be lining up to vote for Barack.


For example: I live in Mass. We just elected out first black gov, and even though it was an absolute ROUT, and there was no way Attack-Ad Barbie was going to win, the voter turnout in black neighborhoods was off the charts. No one talks about this, but I think it could make a huge difference.

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johan helge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. If you're right, I support Obama.
I'm for the candidate with the best chance of winning. If that is Obama because of an increase in black votes, then I'll support Obama. Does anyone know anything about the research on this?
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flashlighter Donating Member (246 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #17
20. there is no research
it's never happened before. I'm going on common sense. I saw him speak this summer in Boston and he was amazing. He will get so much free media, BECAUSE he's the first black candidate (as will Hilary, for similar reasons), and he's only been a senator for one term, so he doesn't have an ugly voting record to explain.
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MN ChimpH8R Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #17
36. Obama has experience as an organizer
While in Chicago, one of his pet projects was voter registration, at which he was highly successful. Someone was talking about this, and Obama's career, at length on Al Franken's show Friday afternoon.

I suspect that if he runs, grass-roots organization will be a high priority, given his record.
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flashlighter Donating Member (246 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
16. great name BTW
I'm reading "Stormy Weather" right now.... :)
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
18. Why shouldn't he run? I would love to see a broad range of primary candidates.
Let anyone who has the inclination and resources do so.

If you really care, I'm sure you can find where his stances are on the issues. there's this lovely tool, it's new, and I recommend it highly.

It's called Google, find it here: http://www.google.com .

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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
19. Still waiting for Al to throw his hat in the ring.
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johan helge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 10:21 AM
Original message
I hope for Gore too
My guess is that he has the best chance of winning.
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flashlighter Donating Member (246 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #19
22. I don't think Al will run
I think he realizes he can do more to educate/warn on Global Warming as a private citizen than as a politician. The next guy (girl?) will be forced to spend 60-70% of the term dealing with Iraq.
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johan helge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. Be serious.
"I think he realizes he can do more to educate/warn on Global Warming as a private citizen than as a politician." That's rubbish, and you know it.
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flashlighter Donating Member (246 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. I AM serious.
Do you think the president could have done "An Inconvient Truth"? Do you think the next president will have to spend MOST of his time dealing with the mess in Iraq? Of course.

Clinton has said that as a private citizen he can do more for AIDS prevention world wide. Carter started Habitat, as an ex-president, not while in office. Who has done more for Darfur? Bush or Bono?

The presidency is not for getting difficult stuff done.
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johan helge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. Ok, but Gore wants power, of course.
The Presidency may not be for talking about difficult stuff. But nothing is better for getting it done. Gore would give his arm for trying to stop global warming as President instead of just making a movie about it, of course.
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #22
35. I think he will.
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MN ChimpH8R Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. I agree
Edited on Sun Jan-07-07 02:22 PM by MN ChimpH8R
Some Dem talking head pointed out that as a result of his time on the Google board and connections dating back to his vice presidency, he has unparalleled ability to raise money as well as money of his own (think Google stock). He only benefits from delaying any announcement as long as possible. If Al gets in, he can come in later than would be possible for others, and IMO, he bigfoots everyone else out of the race including Hillary. The man has been right about everything for the last six years.

My dream ticket: Gore/Obama or Gore/Clark

edited for spelling
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. Love that first ticket.
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DemocratSinceBirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
21. Obama Had The Good Sense To Oppose The IWR From Its Inception..
Edited on Sun Jan-07-07 10:21 AM by DemocratSinceBirth
So much for experience and wisdom being synonymous.
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davsand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
31. He's the anti-Bush.
There was an interesting op-ed titled "Obama the Anti-Bush" in the LA Times back in December, and it hits some interesting points:

Obama the anti-Bush
Candidates in 2008 will trumpet their differences with the president, but no one is more different than Barack Obama.
By Michael Tomasky, MICHAEL TOMASKY is editor at large of the American Prospect.
December 21, 2006


SHOULD HE or shouldn't he? Everyone, it seems, has an opinion about whether 2008 is the right time for Barack Obama to throw his Bears cap (famously donned during that "Monday Night Football" set piece) into the ring. Even in the unscientific realm of political punditry, rarely have assertions so plainly unprovable been delivered with such unyielding certitude.

He's too young; no, quite the contrary, he'll be too old if he waits. He needs more Senate experience, some legislation to his name; nonsense years of service in the Senate are a negative, not a positive (just ask John Kerry). He doesn't stand for anything; pshaw he stands for a great deal simply by being who he is.

All these claims have to do with Obama himself. But there is another factor, one that argues for an Obama candidacy that has nothing to do with Obama and everything to do with George W. Bush. I call it the Attraction of the Opposite.


Full article here:

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-tomasky21dec2...


I think he makes some points worth considering.

I will also tell you that from having observed Obama up close and personal in his Senate Primary here in Illinois, there is something about that man that is magnetic. I have NEVER seen a politician that connects with people like Obama does.

I love Durbin, and have always considered him to be one of the *BEST* I had ever seen at working a room and pressing the flesh. THEN I met Obama and had the opportunity to watch him as he captivated every crowd he was in front of. From union guys to university professors Obama was a phenom like I have never seen before in politics. He motivates people and he literally has even the most jaded ones nodding in agreement when he's speaking.

To put it simply, Obama is a force of nature, and if he runs I think he'll win. A friend of mine refers to him as a chimera, but honestly, I think Obama really does present a sort of hope that we CAN be the kind of country that our social studies and civics teachers talked about.

As for Obama's positions, he IS a progressive. He was speaking at anti-war rallies when he was an Illinois Senator, and he's walked the walk when it comes to civil liberties issues. As an Illinois Senator he got a lot of pretty progressive bills passed at a time when the GOP controlled our state. He did that by making "Liberal" ideas a matter of common sense rather than some wild-eyed political pipe-dream that the Illinois GOP could dismiss.

THAT ability will be what makes him a winner if he runs.

Just my two cents.



Laura
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Telly Savalas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-07-07 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
34. Read his book.
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