Friday, February 22, 2008

John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama

Clips from three speeches on Tuesday night, compiled by TalkingPointsMemo. I think this says it all.

TPM also has the news on its website that Sen. Russ Feingold, who I believe is the conscience of the US Senate, said that he voted for Obama in the Wisconsin primary and is most likely to support him as a Superdelegate. Feingold had specifically declined to endorse before the primary.

Thanks to M.E.R., the superdelegate of my heart, for passing this along:

17 comments:

Nancy D., Girl Detective said...

The man thinks he's Jesus Christ resurrected.

Betty & Bimbo said...

Yeah, I'm not really into this so much, Koko. Obama's "we" is just as calculating as anything Clinton or McCain is saying, and the cuts back and forth from McCain-Clinton don't do anything for me. You could have made the same video contrasting them, with their very different stances on the issues.

Remember that Obama is just as "spun" and coached as anyone. There is an article on the front page of the NYT about it today -- he has spent just as much money on consultants as Clinton. I concede that he is much better at delivering it with natural ease.

If he's the nominee, I hope he wins, and I hope he is half as good as he talks. I hope.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like some people are bitter about Sen. Clinton's decline.

Jasen said...

god drew, you sound as cynical as me...

Koko the Clown said...

I'm not trying to suggest that Obama is not spun, coached, etc. In fact, there is probably not a single political figure in American history who said only what they believed, or never made a calculated political statement.

But since everyone is spinning all the time, the more important question is: what is the message that might have some chance of breaking through the gridlock of washington to allow for some real achievements? That gridlock and the useless mudslinging back and forth --often with little in the way of an ideological agenda behind it-- is part of why the vast majority of Americans tune out what happens there and are (Obama support notwithstanding) totally cynical about what can be done there.

McCain and Clinton sound too similar -- too focused on a negative message (whether it be about Obama specifically or the opposing political party more generally) and not really wanting to put anything out there that is constructive. Seven to eight months of them throwing empty rhetorical bombs at each other would no doubt depress the hell out of me and many others.

Even the candidate that I previously supported, John Edwards, took more progressive positions than Obama, but they were positions that were inconsistent with his past voting record. For the most part, I didn't hear too many people complaining about that.

Elections are about the future, not the past. That is a big part of why Barack Obama has won as many states as he has, and also why I now think he stands an excellent chance of beating both Clinton and McCain.

Koko the Clown said...

and by the way, you can try to be uplifting and not aspire to be Jesus Christ. Plenty of Ministers, Rabbis, Imams, and yes, politicians, do it all the time.

But anyone who wants to just stay mired in cynicism can rest assured that no one will be able to talk you out of it - unless you want it.

John & Yoko said: War is over if you want it. And they were laughed off the stage as fools too. But they were right. There just weren't enough people who wanted it badly enough.

Nancy D., Girl Detective said...

I'm more skeptical of the cult of personality than any particular political promises.

Montserrat Nicolás said...

14 days ago, I de-endorsed my endorsement. Enough cult!

bests

Jasen said...

Brilliant move by the party faithful. Wait until there is a candidate who inspires young people and people who have been disenchanted with politics, and then write them all off as a cult! This is what wins the Dems elections!

Also, in other election news, in case you missed the photo making its way around the internet (thanks probably to a Clinton staffer,) Barack Obama has been to Africa, his father is from Africa, and yes, he respects other cultures. Can he be trusted?

Jasen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jasen said...

One more thing. Frank Rich just wrote a great piece in which he addresses the issue of Obama's campaign as a cult. He writes: The Obama campaign is not a vaporous cult; it’s a lean and mean political machine that gets the job done. The Clinton camp has been the slacker in this race, more words than action, and its candidate’s message, for all its purported high-mindedness, was and is self-immolating."

I won't go into the other good points that Rich makes, but I do encourage you all to read it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/24/opinion/24rich.html?em&ex=1204088400&en=3e9996b4403c243c&ei=5087%0A

J

Betty & Bimbo said...

Jasen, Did you ever think that some of the reasons that people are "disenchanted with politics" are not valid ones?

Of course there is graft and corruption and ego and cronyism and all the bad stuff we can all agree to dislike.

But then there is also the hard work, organizing, fundraising, learning about and pushing policies, strategizing, hitting walls over and over and over again. This is the kind of slow, often boring, often not sexy work that Koko has been doing in Maine and that you did this summer in New Hampshire. And that people in communities all over the country have been engaged in for the past ...4 decades!

I think people who flock to the charming and handsome and highly capable Obama because they were "disenchanted with politics" before are full of shit. Cry me a river. Politics is boring, frustrating, and hard. And in my opinion, that's no excuse not to care.

So you're joining up with Obama '08 because you think it's gonna be all rallies and yes we cans all the time, you're in for a surprise. Let's just hope you stick around.

Jasen said...

Betty,

Whether or not their reasons are valid isn't really up for us to decide. My point was that for whatever reason, these people like Obama because he is positive and they genuinely think he can fix the system.

Also, it's just absurd to say that because Obama's supporters are at times more enthusiastic, his campaign is a cult. Frankly, that is pretty insulting to someone who has poured blood, sweat and yes some tears (after NH) into Obama's campaign.

If you haven't read the Rich piece yet, read it. It is worth the time.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/24/opinion/24rich.html?em&ex=1204088400&en=3e9996b4403c243c&ei=5087%0A


J

Betty & Bimbo said...

Ooops, I should have said more like 6 decades ---I keep forgetting what year we're in!

Jasen, I am happy to read the Frank Rich piece you've linked to (and probably would have anyway) but I am much more interested in YOUR arguments and those of other bloggers (in this forum at least) than those of well-known writers that we read all the time. That's why I don't just link to Paul Krugman pieces when I argue that Barack and Hillary come off as essentially the same when you consider their policy proposals!

I do think that "cult" is a little strong, but I do think the excitement around him is hyperbolic, given what he actually stands for, which I do not understand to be major social reforms. In fact, I understand it to be "bipartisanship" which I also understand to be "moderate" at best. So while I did vote for him because I don't want Bill Clinton anywhere near the White House, I'm not like THRILLED about him. But I will work for him if he is the nominee.

Anonymous said...

OK I think the only member of this blog who worked for Bobby Kennedy as a high school senior and voted twice (on the same day) for George McGovern needs to say something.. I can understand if people dont want to vote for Barack, that is their perogative...But to belittle all of those who have chosen to believe that he offers something more than a candidate who cant decide is she is for or against NAFTA; for against the Iraq war; and for or against Dont ask dont Tell, is a bit over the top...I frankly dont care if people chose the politics of cynacism over the politics of hope, but lets not get down on those of us who chose to believe that perhaps, just perhaps, Barack Obama offers something a bit greater than those who claim to be more experienced
///We are all in the same party....when John McCain runs against Barack Obama, the fact that he will be able to run ads with Hillary Clinton saying that Barack is not ready to be President will be devastating!
Lasly as pointed out by Trinity graduate George Will the most experienced person to ever be elected President served 5 terms in the hOuse; 10 years in the Senate; Secretary of State and Minister of France...James Buchanan...he served one term and is regarded as the worst president(prior to W) of all tim..He was suceeded by a one term congressman from Illinois in 1860...get the point! Melkyman aka Michaelmaine

Nancy D., Girl Detective said...

I'm sure this thread is long-since dead, but my point is less about bashing Obama than about the fact that a campaign built on "inspiration" doesn't have a very firm foundation. How are the people fainting at Obama's speeches going to feel if he's elected and everything...kind of...stays the same...trundles along...changes slooowly...

Jasen said...

Nancy,

I do understand your point. I guess I would just say that I really do believe what he says about changing Washinton. And if he does become Prez., he will certainly have a lot of pressure to deliver big on these promises. I think your concern is valid, but I find it hard to fault voters for being inspired...