Monday, December 11, 2006

Campaign 2008: NH Voter Offers Sound Opinion About Obama And Hype

Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) came to New Hampshire for the first time in his life on Sunday. He was met by two sold-out halls, the closest thing to a political rock star.

Officially, the media has dubbed him the Democrats "strongest alternative to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as a presidential contender," even though Obama has said he's not sure he's running.

But should Democrats believe the hype surrounding a potential candidate with a whopping two years of experience as a U.S. senator, and whose biggest claim to fame is a great speech, at the 2004 Democratic National Convention?

I will say this: I am suspicious of hype," Obama said during a book signing in Portsmouth. "The fact that I’ve become, that my 15 minutes of fame has extended a little longer than 15 minutes, is somewhat surprising to me.”

It's true that George W. Bush had barely more experience on the national stage when he ran for president in 2000. But some would argue that give his dreadful performance, it might be good not to repeat history.

And with the country at war, and in a worldwide fight to stop Al Qaeda, the world is far different than it was pre-9/11.

Democrats would do well to skip the hype, and consider the advice of New Hampshire resident Robert Padian, who told the New York Times: "I’ve looked through his book, and he barely touches issues. I think he’s a serious candidate, but I don’t think he has great potential. No track record, and there are too many guys ahead of him in line.”

When all is said and done, Obama may be the best candidate for the Democratic National Convention. But hype alone is not what the Democrats should rally behind.


Anonymous PAdem2 said...

My goodness...
That kind of realistic, level-headed thinking has no place in today's politics!!!

1:08 AM  
Anonymous Infinite Hope said...


1:08 AM  
Anonymous Catch22Dem said...

With all due respect
I don't think his book is supposed to be a whitepaper on his stance on all the issues as written from the perspective of a presidential candidate. He's not my candidate of choice, at least not at this EARLY stage, but I don't think his book and a non-campaign speech in NH should be a disqualifier.

1:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree

It, and the earlier book, are meant to introduce Obama, and his opinions, to a national audience.

And it's not an isolated thing. Watch him on Meet the Press and it's a bunch of mush. He's a nice person, I'm sure. But thus far, politically, he hasn't articulated any real tangible ideas as to how to change the country. It's a lot of "hopes and dreams," but not much substance behind it.

It's the sort of thing that we all criticized GWB for back in 2000.

1:09 AM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

And the sort of thing we continue to critize GWB for in 2006. That's the result of having an inexperienced political hack as president.
Bush became president only because he had more money backing his campaign than any other Republican candidate in 2000.
Obama lacks experience also, but at least we know he has a good heart and a life-long track record of achievement and success.
By comparison, Bush grew up in a wealthy familiy, ran four or five business that all failed, was targeted by the SEC for insider trading, was best friends with the president of the biggest corporate criminal enterprise in history, had a mediocre record as Texas governor where he sentenced record numbers of people to the death penalty.
Bush background of failure and lack of political experience differs significantly from that of Obama.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous wtmusic said...

I don't understand the "Obama magic". I watched his speech at the 2004 DNC and all I saw was a skillful teleprompter reading.

He and Hillary are two flavors of mush. We need bold, aggressive leadership a la Russ Feingold, and there has been none forthcoming.

2:29 PM  
Anonymous hippiechick said...

I watched the NH speech on Cspan and it's the same tried and true Dem base issues that every pol drags out every election ...
no specifics, no substance.

And will someone PLEASE tell our candidates to read Howard Zinn? This country wasn't founded by "13 rag tag colonies wanting to overthrow a tyrant and try something new" ... it was founded by a bunch of rich white men who owned other human beings!! Rich white men who didn't want to pay taxes to the English. Thus it is, as it ever was. Women and blacks are STILL not equal. So shush with all that mythological noise and bring us some TRUTH.


2:29 PM  
Anonymous goclark said...

He did not write the book to define "political issues"

He wrote the book to define his life up to that point.

Now if he wrote a book today ~ that would be a different story.

He could then give it the title ~ " Here Are My Political Views On The Issues Facing Our Country In 2007."

I've also read that some believe that Obama needs to "stand in line" to be President.

That is how we got GW Bush, his father put him in the front of the line and guess what --- he "won."

The "line" that candidates need to respond to should be the "line" of voters at the polls.
That is the only line that I know of as a requirement.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

he certainly touches on several political issues in both of his books.

The main point is that Obama has to earn votes. If he gets the nomination on a wave of hype, he'll be crushed in the general election.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous goclark said...

And McCain and Rudy will be held to a different standard ?

Their entire political life has been based on hype.

If we go with the hype theory, I just heard a "guest" on the so called MSM say that Gore's book is a lot of hype, designed to have him run for President.

Now, I love GORE, absolutely love GORE and I was offended by the remark.Right now, Gore is a "Rock Star" with his film and his public appearances and Obama is a "Rock Star" with his book and his public appearances.

That may all change tomorrow if the RW keeps on putting negatives that Democrats buy into in the way. They keep building them up so that even Democrats will start picking away at them. This is a tried and true Rove tactic that has worked for them in the passed.

I am thrilled for Gore and Obama as I believe Democrats should be proud of their own and nurture them.

Of course Obama touched on several political issues in his book.
The details of those issues have certainly changed since the book was written. His vision on issues has certainly changed since it was written.

One thing is for sure, he is brilliant and intelligence should be a real factor in this election.

His speeches now are certainly not designed to outline his political views in depth to the American public, that would be left for the run up to the election IMO.

I believe in the Democratic Process. If Obama or any other candidate can get passed the primaries, he/she will have the support of the Democrats and many others.

I am not saying that he must win, I am saying that he has a right to participate in the process without holding him to a higher standard than anyone else.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not the same point
A person can have hype, and have a long resume with which to be judged by. Obama has the hype, but lacks the lengthy resume.

I'm not suggesting there's a line that Obama has to wait behind. I'm saying he needs to make clear his views on issues, so that people are voting on what he believes in, not the fact that he's popular. There's someone in my office who said she'd vote for Obama because he's cute. She doesn't know much about what he stands for, though.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous goclark said...

When he announces then he can make his views on issues known

Currently he is not running for President.

By the way, I voted for JFK because he was "cute" and I liked his new, fresh vision for America.
I really didn't care about his resume, I wanted to know what his vision would be.

IMO,GW had a legacy and a "resume" full of lies.
He forgot to list AWOL.


2:30 PM  
Anonymous izzybeans said...

Experience as a silverspoons kid vs. a community organizer and editor of the Harvard Law Review

I'm weighing them in each of my hands and one of them seems overwhelming different.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous uberflama42 said...

Bush now his six years of experience in the Oval Office And he is still not qualified to be President. This doesn't mean Obama is qualified, but it makes you question the value of experience. If a candidate is qualified, their experience might not matter. If, as in Bush's case, a candidate is criminally incompetent, no amount of experience can make him a good choice.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Connie_Corleone said...

It's more than just a lack of experience with Bush...
He's also an idiot.

Obama is not an idiot. He was smart enough to oppose the war in Iraq before the invasion.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous fuzzyball said...

Bush was the governor of 2nd biggest state for 2 terms so had "executive" experience. He also signed checks on the front.
Mr Obama has never worked as an executive or for a profit making
enterprise. Sorry, he is not 10% as qualified as someone like Sen Bayh who also has been a governor. Bayh is 10 times better candidate than Barak Hussein Obama will be for a very long time.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you can almost tell when it's a conservative -- they like to remind people that Obama's middle name is Hussein, as if that means anything. fearmongering, anyone?

2:34 PM  
Anonymous ripple said...

I agree with a lot of what you say but keep in mind that a number of more experienced candidates have the sort of experience that we either might not want in the WH, or that we might not wish to have picked apart by the other side in an election. The IWR is a perfect example. Experience should be considered, but that alone isn't what makes a person qualified, IMO.

I agree with you about the hype. I support Obama, but I worry that it's a bit early for him to be gaining so much momentum. I believe he has good, sound views on a number of policy issues, as well as a strong and unifying vision for our party and our nation, so I'm not concerned about his qualifications, but I worry that all of the hype could backfire. Look at Dean's fall from grace (at least, in the MSM's eyes) in 2004. Obama is already under the microscope and once he announces, he's pretty much guaranteed that spot up until November 2008, provided he wins the primary. That's not an easy position for anyone to be in, let alone a politician that the media is trying to recast as a celebrity.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous IAmJacksSmirkingRevenge said...

Exactly - Dick Cheney has lots of experience

Does that mean we want him elected President? Hell no.

As for Dean, though, that was media assassination, pure and simple.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous beaconess said...

I agree - justifying Obama's background by pointing to Bush leaves an opening for attack a mile wide
"I don't think Obama has enough experience."

"He has as much experience as George Bush did in 2000."

"Yeah - and look where THAT got us!"

No - that's the wrong argument.

The right argument is that Obama DOES have outstanding experience. Moreover, it's not one's resume that determines whether one will make a good president - otherwise Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman would be shoo-ins. The question goes beyond resume - to one's character, judgment, intelligence, vision, ability to unite the nation, leadership.

Bush is a failure as president NOT because he didn't have enough experience - hell, he now has 6 years as President under his belt and he's STILL a disaster - but that he lacks the qualities we need in a president.

I believe Obama has all of those qualities. Some may differ. But what's on his resume is much less important to me than what is in his head and his heart and his hands.

2:35 PM  

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