Browsing the archives for the Barack Obama tag.

Wanted: Experienced Editor. Send Resume to B. H. Obama, Chicago.

Politics, US Politics
lived through three world wars

Ann Nixon Cooper: lived through three world wars

Barack Obama has, with justification, earned a reputation as a talented and inspirational speaker.  Furthermore, by all reports, he actually writes most of his own speeches, which makes him almost unique among recent presidential candidates (Adlai Stevenson, another Illinoisan, also wrote a lot of his own stuff — look where that got him).  Talented and inspirational speakers, however, can sometimes get carried away with their rhetorical brilliance and the sheer enormity of their own wonderfulness, so much so that they eschew more mundane matters such as fact-checking and editing.

That has been an irritating problem with Obama during the campaign, no more so than in the final week.  At his victory fest at Grant Park last night, Obama said:

But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it’s been done in America for 221 years — block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

We’ve been remaking the nation for 221 years?  It’s true that 1787 was an important year in the history of the United States — that’s when the constitutional convention met in Philadelphia.  But the nation was already eleven years old at the time (remember all of that bicentennial business back in 1976?).  What were we doing for those eleven years?  Kicking back and relaxing?  Was there a moratorium on remaking the nation “block by block, brick by brick” until James Madison and his pals staged their genteel coup d’etat?  One wonders.

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Chicago Tribune Backs Obama: Temperature in Hell Dips Below 32 Degrees

Politics, Presidential Elections, US Elections, US Politics


On Friday, the Chicago Tribune announced that it was endorsing Barack Obama for president. Now, there’s nothing particularly noteworthy about a newspaper endorsing a particular candidate for high office. Indeed, I’m confident that there are very few people out there who are saying to themselves: “I’m so conflicted, I just wish my local newspaper would tell me who I should vote for.” The Tribune‘s announcement, however, had more of a “man-bites-dog” quality to it than most newspaper endorsements, as it marked the first time in the paper’s 161-year history that the Trib had given its nod to a Democratic presidential candidate. Joseph Medill, the influential editor during the newspaper’s formative years, was one of the co-founders of the Republican Party, and the Tribune was an early supporter of Abraham Lincoln’s 1860 campaign for the White House (after briefly considering giving its nod to John McCain), so the paper’s endorsement of Obama marked something of a seismic shift in the tectonic plate of midwestern politics. That whirring noise you heard on Friday was the sound of Col. Robert McCormick furiously spinning in his grave.

Apart from its purely historic character, there are two reasons why this endorsement carries some special significance.

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Whither Racists?

Presidential Elections, US Elections, US Politics

Ben Smith shares an email he received from an Obama volunteer who canvassed in a white, working-class area of Philadelphia:

“What’s crazy is this,” he writes. “I was blown away by the outright racism, but these folks are f***ing undecided. They would call him a n—-r and mention how they don’t know what to do because of the economy.

Around here, political yard signs are often grouped together by party — a McCain sign will often stand right next to signs for Republicans running for congress, judge, etc. The other day I passed a yard that had one of those Republican groupings, but there was no McCain sign in the crowd. Instead, there was a sign that said the following:




Is this guy really going to vote for Obama? Or is he just being provocative (and not a little obscure)? Why this instead of a McCain sign?

What I’m curious about is how many of these people will stay home rather than vote for McCain — or even, maybe, just go ahead and vote for the black guy.

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“That One”

Debates, Uncategorized, US Elections, US Politics

Seems to be the big moment from the debate. I’m seeing reference to it everywhere and just saw it on CNN.

It doesn’t seem that horrible to me but is definitely of a piece with the disdain/ condescension takeaway from the first debate (when McCain couldn’t manage to make eye contact with Obama).

Not good for McCain.


Notes From a Battleground State: Bruuuuuuuce!

Presidential Elections, Uncategorized, US Elections, US Politics

Sometimes, it’s awfully nice to live in a battleground state.

AP/ Terry Gilliam

AP/ Terry Gilliam

Barack Obama has paid us a call here in Columbus, Ohio several times already and I’m sure he’ll be back again before election day. And yesterday, Bruce Springsteen came to town to give a free concert and get out the vote.

It was a gorgeous fall day — sunny but cool, with blue-blue skies and leaves just beginning to turn. My daughter was excited about going to her first real concert. (“Rock star” is currently her career goal.) I expected a madhouse but the crowds descended upon the Oval at OSU in a relaxed, strolling way. Lots of smiles.

No tickets were required for the concert, but tickets existed — they could be picked up at various Obama field offices. I didn’t bother. As we were walking, a young guy asked me if I had a ticket. I said “no…” fearing that the rules had changed or I’d misunderstood something. He said “here” and thrust a ticket at me. Uh, thanks!

Then a guy next to him looked at my daughter and asked if we needed another ticket. Well… He handed his over. Wow, thanks!

So, red tickets in hand (indicating that we were Brian and Sam, respectively), we worked our way towards the SPECIAL entrance (closer-up!) for ticket holders.

There were a bazillion people (evidently 10,000 total!) and this took awhile, with much winding and meandering of lines, even though everything moved pretty fast.

There were a small pack of protestors — about five — waving McCain/ Palin signs. I caught the eye of one guy who was smiling fixedly and walked straight towards him instead of diverting around their patch of turf. His eyes widened a bit and he got out of my way. A woman took his place and waved her “NOBAMA!” sign at me. I said, pleasantly, “Why do you support them?”

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Notes From A Battleground State

Presidential Elections, US Politics

I live in Ohio. In my immediate area there were a lot of Obama signs before the primary. One person on my street was a rabid Hillary Clinton supporter, though. She had about five different Hillary signs on her lawn and festooned to her porch and one big handmade one — “We’ve got your back, Hillary!”

Just drove past her house today and saw this in her yard:

It doesn’t mean that much in and of itself but it made me smile, anyway.


Barack Obama: Antichrist?

Presidential Elections, US Elections

An item, published in the Charlotte Observer, and picked up by ThinkProgress:

Fort Mill Mayor Danny Funderburk says he was “just curious” when he forwarded a chain e-mail suggesting Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama is the biblical antichrist. “I was just curious if there was any validity to it,” Funderburk said in a telephone interview. “I was trying to get documentation if there was any scripture to back it up.”

The story goes on to note that the e-mail in question “claims the biblical book of Revelation says the antichrist will be in his 40s and of Muslim ancestry.”  And in a stunning bit of journalistic honesty, the author of the Observer article, Stuart Watson, actually writes: “There is no such scripture. And Obama is not a Muslim.”  Of course not.  Islam was founded in the seventh century, about six hundred years or so after the Book of Revelation was written.  Far from mentioning Islam, the Book of Revelation doesn’t even mention Christianity.  So props to Watson and the Observer for correctly pointing out the blindingly obvious.

Funderburk, however, is not so easily swayed by the facts.  “When asked if he believed Obama was the antichrist, Funderburk replied, ‘I’ve got absolutely no way of knowing that.'”

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