Tuesday, October 24, 2006
# Posted 10:03 PM by Ariel David Adesnik
The more substantive questions for Obama, came from Tim Russert. This one should not have been any kind of surprise, but Obama wasn't sure how to handle it:
MR. RUSSERT: Well, nine months ago, you were on this program and I asked you about running for president. And let’s watch and come back and talk about it.Big deal. Every candidate plays down his or her ambition before deciding to run for president. But most candidates dance around the question instead of committing unequivocally to serving out their current term of office. They look silly when they do, but their dance is soon forgotten. But if Obama can make a personal promise with such certainty only to go back on it nine months later, perhaps he needs to know himself better and place less emphasis on saying what others want to hear.
But running for president wasn't the only question that Obama tripped on:
MR. RUSSERT: Two years ago in September of ‘04, this is what you told the Associated Press: “Democratic Senate candidate Barack Obama ... opposed invading Iraq ... but pulling out now [he said] would make things worse.Again, Obama seems forced to retreat from a position he took that was convenient at the time. There is a certain amount of sense to saying that things are worse now than they were in 2004. But the real issue is tone. "A slap in the face" to our soldiers? Those sound like the words of either a GOP hack or a Democrat acting tough when the polls say that tough is good. Now that tough is bad, Obama has softened his tone.
To be fair, neither of the gaffes I've pointed out are of major significance. But they do provide an important contrast to the adoring press coverage that presents Obama as nothing short of the next JFK (who himself was no JFK until after he was dead).
Moreover, Obama seemed genuinely surprised at being confronted with what he himself had said not too much earlier. Perhaps he will learn the lesson of consistency now, when he can afford it. (6) opinions -- Add your opinion
Perhaps MoDo is jealous of the handsome, younger man who can make more Democrats swoon with his warmth than she can with her hard-bitten cynicism?
Spot on, as per usual.
letter to dowd
Today's attack on Obama just supports my contention (since 2000) that you are a closet Republican. My friends (including a Republican or two) agree that you have significant responsibility for the Bush victory in 2000 with your witty assassination column on Al Gore. I remember it well. I hope you do too, since it gives you some responsibility for the Iraq war, global environmental deterioration, an even more conservative supreme court, possibly the 9-11-01 attack, and on and on! The Obama column is unlikely to have such ramifications, but it certainly puts down one of the more intelligent politicians around. Who needs Rush Limbaugh when they/you have Maureen Dowd? Too bad. You seemed to have some intelligence in many columns. I guess you just can’t let go of a humorous piece, unable to think of consequences. I’d call it the Quixote defect.
I was a fly on the wall at one of Obama's pitch sessions early in the '04 campaign to a very small group (4) of very heavy hitting doners.
The one heavy hitter who had been doing business for years in Africa was deeply under-impressed.
The one who had black busines partners on deals in the past was neutral.
The two whose rise to mega-success had been in areas of life where blacks are/were absent above the clerical level were totally blown away.
Obama's a nice guy, but his 'star power' is soley a creation of his audience.
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