You are viewing an obsolete version of the DU website which is no longer supported by the Administrators. Visit The New DU.
Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

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

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Democrats » John Kerry Group Donate to DU
karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-19-08 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
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.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top

Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Democrats » John Kerry Group Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC