Scorpio’s World

Thoughts on Politics, Race, and Middle Earth

“Our Choice”

Posted by scorpiomkm on July 9, 2007

The Felicity Daily Herald

Analysis: Doubts continue to nag Obama

By BETH FOUHY, Associated Press Writer 

NEW YORK – For Barack Obama, the millions of dollars he’s raised can’t quite paper over the nagging doubts and growing pains.

The Democratic presidential hopeful recently reported raising $32.5 million over three months, a staggering haul that shifted focus from the question of whether the 45-year-old political phenom is ready for prime time.

The first-term Illinois senator continues to draw large crowds — as he did in Iowa last week — and his message of hope and unity has captivated many voters weary of political polarization. The campaign has already attracted more than 259,000 contributors — a jaw-dropping figure.

But in the weeks before his cash totals were disclosed, the Obama campaign hit a series of rough patches that seemed to highlight his relative inexperience on the national stage.

_Critics dismissed as somewhat lackluster Obama’s performance in three nationally televised debates. One was a civil rights forum in which Obama, the field’s only black contender, was expected to shine.

The debates proved an effective showcase for rival Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the strong reviews she received helped reinforce her status as the Democrat to beat. The candidates will debate again July 23 in South Carolina.

_Obama’s relationship with Chicago real estate mogul Antoin “Tony” Rezko continues to draw scrutiny, even as the candidate has sought to further distance himself from his longtime political consigliere. The Obama campaign has already shed about $37,000 in contributions connected to Rezko, who was indicted last year on charges he sought kickbacks from companies doing business with an Illinois state pension fund.

_An Obama campaign research memo surfaced criticizing Bill and Hillary Clinton‘s financial connections to India. The memo fell into the hands of Clinton’s communications team, who promptly shared it with reporters. The snarky tone of the memo — which at one point identified the New York senator as “D-Punjab” — seemed to contradict Obama’s stated commitment to running a positive campaign.

Obama blamed his staff for producing the memo, the third time he’s publicly pointed the finger at employees for campaign mishaps. He then spent most of an Iowa campaign trip distancing himself from the memo and apologizing to his Indian-American supporters.

Obama is to some extent a victim of his own success — when you come blazing out of the gate, it makes it very difficult to continue to beat expectations,” Democratic strategist Dan Newman said.

To be sure, none of the stumbles were fatal or even likely to sway many votes at this stage of the campaign. But evidence suggests Obama’s fabled charisma hasn’t closed the sale yet, either.

In Iowa, which holds the first voting contest, Obama is locked in a tough fight with Clinton and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards.

Observers say Obama is building a strong organization in Iowa but has a lot more work to do to pull off a win.

“When Barack‘s here he draws great crowds, but that doesn’t necessarily mean great support,” said David Nagle, a former Iowa congressman and state Democratic Party chairman. “He’s got to get here, he’s got to get more intimate and he’s got to realize that just having a lot of money doesn’t cut it.”

While some polls put Obama even with or ahead of Clinton in South Carolina, the former first lady has maintained a significant lead in several other early voting states, including New Hampshire, Nevada, Florida and California.

Obama aides acknowledge the campaign was roughed up a bit during the last few weeks but said their fundraising and huge donor base demonstrated a level of interest in Obama’s candidacy that can transcend a few bad news cycles.

“It’s the biggest show of grass-roots support of any presidential campaign in the history of the republic — it’s larger than a financial bottom line,” Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

Yet separate from a few campaign stumbles lies the more enduring question about Obama: Whether with just 2 1/2 years in the U.S. Senate, he has the experience necessary to lead in a dangerous world. Aides say privately the issue of experience remains the campaign’s fundamental challenge.

“It’s a valid question, but a long campaign benefits us in that regard,” campaign manager David Plouffe said. “People will closely watch and make a determination of whether they think he’s ready, and I have a high degree of confidence that they will.”

Obama has taken steps to address the experience question, offering detailed plans on how he would handle a variety of issues as president, including health care, global warming and government reform.

The campaign has also run television spots in Iowa and New Hampshire that flesh out the candidate’s biography, including his years as a civil rights lawyer and Illinois lawmaker. A Republican state Senate colleague is interviewed in one ad, praising Obama for working effectively across party lines.

Whether Obama’s message ofchange and unity can stand up to Clinton’s campaign discipline and emphasis on experience remains unclear. But many strategists argue that Obama will have more staying power than the grass-roots darling of the 2004 Democratic field, Howard Dean.

“This isn’t just some phenomenon of the Internet — to liken Barack Obama to the flash-in-the-pan Dean campaign does him a disservice,” Democratic strategist Garry South said. “There is something happening with this guy, and I don’t think he should be given short shrift.”

___

I’m a huge Obama Fan. A Fan, not because he’s a Brotha <g>, but because I Believe Obama can bring a New Civility and Wisdom to the Office of President of the United States.

Barack is a Statesman! And not since JFK have I seen Statesmanship in the Oval Office. And as I was discussing with a friend the other day:

“Isn’t America sick-and-tired of the same old ‘Drop a Bomb’ and ‘Shock & Awe’ mentality with respect to dealing with terrorists?”

And for those who hold that all we have to do is drop bombs and tear up some outgunned country; well, Vietnam SHOULD HAVE long ago dispelled that idea. Hell, Israel should have proven that guns alone can’t defeat so-called Terrorists because how many of you TODAY feel SAFE visiting there, hum?

And whats it been: over 50 YEARS!

We NEED a President that wants to TALK with EVERY NATION (and clique or Group) on the face of the earth! People just don’t wake up in the morning wanting to DIE for NOTHING!

 People just don’t sit around WANTING to strap explosives to their chests or drive cars and planes into buildings for NOTHING!

But until we establish an attitude of Respect & Trust amongst Peoples of the earth ~ at least enough to want to TALK ~ then we  might as well expand Arlington Cemetery by another 1,000 acres, and YOU get used to ‘Big Brother’ deep in YOUR LIFE, because that’s the way life as we know it will forever be lived.

But see. A New Mentality must be embraced to enable a Man like Barack Obama to do his thing.

I KNOW a large number of Americans won’t VOTE for Obama simply because he’s Black. I’m not naive. But it seems to me that Americans would VOTE for a Martian if by doing so it would reverse this dangerous trend and hole we’ve been falling down since 911.

With a President Obama,I firmly Believe a New Direction in dealing with Terrorists would happen. And I say that because I Believe that Obama KNOWS what I know …. in that before one can Address the Issue of Terrorism, first a SERIOUS attempt at UNDERSTANDING  terror’s CONTEXT must be measured. Which means there must be First a Dialog amongst the parties and factions.

 Now, I KNOW to TALK with al Qaeda or Humas, or Fatah is not as sexy as Bombing the hell out of them …. but it works! And by labeling a country as an ‘Axis of Evil’ does nothing but prohibit any MEANINGFUL Dialog from taking place.

Obama would CHANGE all this!!

And, too. Aren’t you Folks sick-and-tired of having your President despised across the known Universe! Hell, I am!

I recall as a kid watching JFK parade around Europe and Latin America … with huge crowds LOVING him as if he was one of their own! My little chest would swell with Pride seeing how ‘My President’ was so loved and RESPECTED around the World! And there’s no doubt in my mind that should a President Obama visit Europe, Latin America, Asia or Africa:

that he would drive the ‘Approval & Love Meter’ clear off the chart!

Look at the List of Republican Nominees for President, then tell me WHO can turn this malaise around? (this poisonous atmosphere of Fear, Doubt, and business as usual)

Look at the Dems: do you get Inspired or Motivated listening to Hillary’s ‘canned’ speeches?

Aren’t you fatigued by the Bush & Clinton Gang?

And this ‘lack of experience’ mantra by the Media needs to STOP. Because if nothing else George Bush has PROVEN that OBVIOUSLY experience doesn’t mean squat …. because just how much ‘screwing of the pooch’ can you have take place by  former governors, actors, or VPs than we’ve had now for decades!!

Maybe Americans want to LIVE under Martial Law and tight Security for the rest of their lives: I don’t!

Maybe Americans want to go on Believing that ‘Might Makes Right’ (??) and that we can solve all our Security Problems with chest pounding, bravado, and F18s: I don’t!

Maybe Americans have grown used to the World HATING us, or having our President regarded as one of the world’s TOP TERRORISTS too: I haven’t and I don’t like it!

But we’re going to see early next year what and WHO  America wants Leading them into the Twenty-first Century. I HOPE Barack Obama is “the chosen one”; but then again …. nobody has ever lost a dime OVER ESTIMATING the American Electorate!  

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