Sunday, January 21, 2007

"Obama-mania is running wild!"

As Michael Medved warns: "We dismiss him at our peril."

Some other points made by Medved:

He's the first candidate to post an announcement on his website, rather than hold a press conference or announce it in a tv ad. Why is that significant? Because part of Obama's appeal is that he represents a younger generation (he will be 47 when he runs); a fresh change at a time when many of our Congressional leaders are aging baby-boomers.

He may be "inexperienced" and "untested" in the eyes of many of his critics and supporters; but never underestimate the power of charm and charisma over substance. And he has it in plenty: articulate, bright, and quite impressive, when you look at how he did not put his announcement for an exploratory committee up until the day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, with an explanation in the Chicago Sun Times that he did this so as to not draw false parallels to King's heroic struggles. It may be politics, but it is a smart, classy thing for him to put out there.

In many ways, he actually has more experience than Hillary Clinton, when you look at his record of campaigning. Hillary may have 6 years to his 2 years serving in the Senate; but his total years of public office is 10 to her 6, as before becoming a Senator, her only experience was being the wife of Bill Clinton. Obama ran twice for state senate, and won both times; he ran for U.S. congress, and lost.
Medved believes that if during the democratic primaries, other candidates end up dividing the votes, then Hillary will win over Obama. This is because Hillary has a core base of Clintonista loyalists. But if it turns into a strictly Obama-Clinton confrontation, Medved believes Obama will be the Democrat's choice.

Another thing that Medved points out, is that the media has yet to pick up on Obama's wife. He may be the media darling; but Medved says when the media picks up on his wife's credentials, they will be fawning all over her. She, in her own right, apparently, is a very impressive, remarkable lady.



Obama has a very liberal voting record. However, in a reality where we have big-government Democrats and big-government Republicans, Obama is calling for "smart government". It sounds good, and that's part of Obama's charm: making things sound good, and fostering the sense of bipartisan solutions.


What worries me most, is that should Obama become the Democratic Party's candidate, I don't know if the Republican Party has anyone comparable, of rock-star status. Giuliani has name-recognition and charisma; but I don't know if most Republicans will support him, unless they have no choice. And of course McCain has so many Republican voters absolutely stir-crazed angry at him, it is difficult for me to believe that he could possibly get through the Republican primaries. No other Republican candidates has their level of media name recognition and exposure. We need someone who has both the ability to charm and be substantive. So who do we have?

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29 Comments:

Blogger The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

Great cartoons. It's ironic that his middle name is Hussein. They are surely fielding a buch of wizbangs with the Hildabeast heading the back and Obama nipping at her heals. Not one of them have credentials that really amount to anything except trouble!

Sunday, January 21, 2007 8:32:00 AM  
Blogger Mike's America said...

I think there were a few of those cartoons you missed :(

This Obama HUSSEIN, father was a Muslim, schooled in a madrassa (all info courtesy of Clinton operatives) is an empty suit. All style, no substance.

But he makes the perfect stalking horse for Shrillary. After she dispatches this formidible foe, she can be magnanimous and put him on the ticket with her.

Sunday, January 21, 2007 9:24:00 AM  
Blogger MDConservative said...

Wow, you tracked down a lot of good cartoons. This will prove to be interesting.

Sunday, January 21, 2007 9:58:00 AM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Extremely well said!! Unfortunately you are right in all that you say. Even before the media blitz I knew that Obama would be a much bigger threat than Hillary. He is a big lib but he tries to pretend he's not.

A friend of mine has a sister who is a wishy washy independent. She saw Obama on Oprah and loved him. She said she would vote for Obama but wouldn't vote for Hillary. On the Republican side the only Republican she would vote for is Giuliani. I think that is a huge barometer for probably what your average swing voter thinks. We are in big trouble if Obama knocks Hillary out of the running.

Also, our Republican choices suck because as you point out we have no rockstar w/conservative credentials. I love Giuliani but there are so many people that will be divided on him that I think we are in deep trouble. There are no great options in 2008 as far as I'm concerned.

Sunday, January 21, 2007 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Gayle said...

I'm a bit more optimistic, Wordsmith, but I was optimistic before the last election, so what does that tell you?

I'll throw my cent-and-a-half's worth in here anyway: I don't think Obama will enjoy rock star status for long. I'm hoping this is a sort of "15 minutes of fame" thing. Remember I said "hoping". I'm also hoping and praying that neither Hillary or Obama become the front runner for the Democratic party; both are disasters! Having said that, I can't think of any Democrat who is well-known right now who's not a disaster. Can you?

Sunday, January 21, 2007 2:29:00 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

Ooops, forgot! I loved all the cartoons but the "Hillary Street Blues" cracked me up!

Sunday, January 21, 2007 2:30:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I think there were a few of those cartoons you missed :(

I fixed the link, Mike. Unless you meant, I didn't include all the Obama cartoons that are floating around out there.

Monday, January 22, 2007 12:42:00 AM  
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Mike said:

"This Obama HUSSEIN, father was a Muslim, schooled in a madrassa (all info courtesy of Clinton operatives) is an empty suit."

Actually, this is part of some smear campaign already underway. His father was a non-practicing Muslim, he was not schooled in a madrassa and this information was not uncovered by the Clinton camp.

Let's not do anything to spread false rumors, friends.

This is one progressive who is looking at the field of Republicans and think they don't have much of a chance UNLESS the Dems do something bone-headed like nominate Hillary or John Kerry (not likely).

Obama is a serious threat to the Republicans, and someone that many Americans seem anxious to learn more about.

Our first black president? Quite possible.

As to Obama's lack of experience (which is a legitimate concern), I might point out that Bush only had six years as a governor before being elected president. I think his lack of time being part of "the System" is going to work in his favor and feed the Obama-mania.

We'll see how it goes...

Monday, January 22, 2007 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Dan, I agree with you that conservatives should drop it with the Muslim smear.

Our first black president? Quite possible.

Actually, he could be our first transracial. He isn't just black. He's more like a Tiger Woods. And I think that works in his favor.

As to Obama's lack of experience (which is a legitimate concern), I might point out that Bush only had six years as a governor before being elected president.

True, but I think governorship is more conducive to preparing one for leading a nation than senatorship.

I think his lack of time being part of "the System" is going to work in his favor and feed the Obama-mania.

I can see that possibility, as many people seem frustrated with the aging baby boomers and how politics is being played (or the perception of it) among them.

Monday, January 22, 2007 10:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Simply Kimberly said...

We got nobody that meets the rockstar level. It is sad, but true.

I am at the point where I am less concerned about a GOP win in 2008 than I am in actually voting for someone I believe in. And nobody on the right instills that in me. I want to believe! I really do. But I have to have something to work with.

Monday, January 22, 2007 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Kimberly,

For me, the protection of America is paramount. I know I should not be a one-issue voter; but without protecting America, all the other things won't matter.

I know there is a lot of hostility against McCain. I share in many of those sentiments. But on the one issue that's most important to me, foreign policy and national security and the war on global Islamic terror, he's been stalwart.

I think this was an interesting read, on why McCain's more conservative than we give him credit for.

The reason why I cite McCain and Giuliani, is because as I said in my post, they have immediate name-recognition. They have the star-power to draw people from both sides of the aisle. But it will be up to conservatives, whether or not they themselves will be willing to come to the center.

We have choices in life and have to decide between the candidates we have; not the one(s) we wished we had.

Monday, January 22, 2007 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

McCain's Moment

I will never forget Hugh's words: "John McCain...a great American...a lousy Senator...and an awful Republican."

Monday, January 22, 2007 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

For what it's worth, I think McCain is the one electable Republican at this point except for the fact that he's probably not nominate-able.

That is, I think the US at large may well vote for him as president, but I don't think he'll make it through the primaries.

For what it's worth...

Monday, January 22, 2007 11:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Simply kimberly said...

We have choices in life and have to decide between the candidates we have; not the one(s) we wished we had.

---------

wordsmith,

I keep struggling with this. I know that I don't want the Dims to gain the White House in 2008. I really don't.

I completely agree that the war on terrorism is very important and we must have a leader that will fight it and stick to their guns when necessary. It is true that both McCain and Guliani would very much fit the bill in that regard.

I am just having a tough time reconciling the rest of it when it comes to both of them. If I had to right now, gun to my head, pick one of them it would be Guliani. I respect him so much more than McCain. But hopefully another candidate will emerge that will give me what I need to be able to vote with confidence.

I want Newt to run. He is the one that is closest to my ideal. He is not without his flaws, but I would not feel sick casting my vote for him.

Monday, January 22, 2007 1:10:00 PM  
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Like him or not, Newt's not electable. Or at least it seems so to me.

I think the Republicans are in a tight spot with no clear-cut stand-out candidates.

I think the Republicans' best shot is if the Dems decide upon Hillary. Otherwise, I'd say it looks bleak for you.

But that's just one fella's opinion.

Monday, January 22, 2007 1:35:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Kimberly, I understand your concerns.

What I fear, is that Republicans won't be able to get over themselves, and will do exactly what Carter did when he chose not to support a "bad guy" who was absolutely loyal to the U.S., allowing an even worse guy to take over Iran.

I am angry at McCain for the "Gang of 13", among other things. But whether it's Giuliani or McCain, we must realize that party purists ruin movements. Giuliani and McCain are better at representing me than a John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John Kerry, or a big-goverment liberal in the form of Barack Obama, nice guy that he may be.

I'm also disturbed by the mob/herd mentality, where McCain becomes every conservative's favorite Republican punching dummy. Deserved bashing, yes. But we really have to take a step back, as the election draws closer, and think rationally and think ahead to what the repurcussions are for how we choose.

Monday, January 22, 2007 2:14:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Incidentally, I heard today that George Soros has gotten behind Obama.

Monday, January 22, 2007 2:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Simply Kimberly said...

Giuliani and McCain are better at representing me than a John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John Kerry, or a big-goverment liberal in the form of Barack Obama, nice guy that he may be.

On that you are correct. I guess that will be my mantra as we approach November 2008. Even McCain who I want to never see in the White House, would be better than any of the Dims.

Dammit! You make much sense. If so, please let Guliani be the guy if it comes down to the choice between the two for the GOP.

Monday, January 22, 2007 2:51:00 PM  
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

You have any source, wordsmith, for the accusation of Obama being a "big gov't liberal"?

Here's a quote from Obama on the topic:

Let’s have enough government to get the job done. If, if we’re looking at problems, if the market solution works, let’s go with the market solution. If a solution requires government intervention, let’s do that. But let’s look at what are the practical outcomes.

That is the kind of talk that I believe most US citizens will identify with and find to be the sort of leadership they want.

Very practical, very appealing.

(By the way, I'm not endorsing Obama at this point. I'm just cautiously optimistic.)

Monday, January 22, 2007 3:17:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Dammit! You make much sense. If so, please let Guliani be the guy if it comes down to the choice between the two for the GOP.

As Amy Proctor once put it, "Elections are for voting for your party, primaries are for teaching lessons."

I like Giuliani as well. He and Bush were strong for the country right after 9/11.

You have any source, wordsmith, for the accusation of Obama being a "big gov't liberal"?

Dan, I don't hold hostilities toward Obama, the way I do the rest of the Democratic leadership. But I heard him described by Michael Medved as a big-government Democrat because of he has a very liberal voting record. Click on one of the cartoons, because I embedded an easter egg link to his voting record in there.

Monday, January 22, 2007 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

I've looked over (briefly) his voting record. I don't see anything that qualifies him as "big gov't" - or at least any more than Bush and most of the Republicans currently in office.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 3:29:00 AM  
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

"I don't hold hostilities toward Obama, the way I do the rest of the Democratic leadership."

On this, we agree...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 6:18:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I've looked over (briefly) his voting record. I don't see anything that qualifies him as "big gov't" - or at least any more than Bush and most of the Republicans currently in office.

The Republicans have been bad at reducing the size of government. Much of Bush's problems have not been an increase in government programs, but in the pre-existing programs.

I do believe that Obama is all for having a big-government nanny-state take care of us.

His voting record indicates to me that he is anything but a centrist. He is absolutely a liberal democrat, who expects to solve societal problems through more government involvement; not less.

I don't remember, but it might have been on Meet the Press where he sidestepped the question, and said he's for "smarter government". But I really don't see him reducing the size of government; and as much as I know Republicans would like to, I don't think they can make it happen either.

There are many departments that I think are bureaucratic messes that need to go. They are just a waste.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 1:17:00 PM  
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Help me out, WS. What specifically has he voted for that makes you think he's big gov't?

For what it's worth, I think his message of Smart Gov't is one that has great appeal across the US and one that the Republicans will have to address if they want to stop him. I don't think just calling him a "big gov't liberal" will do the job for those opposed to Obama.

I'm not criticizing you, by the way. You seem quite open-minded and gracious in most of your comments. My repeated questioning of the point is just my offering you an opportunity to convince me of your point.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 6:56:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Dan,

I suppose it's simply my knee-jerk response to the fact that he votes a majority of the time for liberal policies; and I associate many liberal causes with a desire for a nanny-government. On issues of national healthcare...welfare programs, raising taxes, and such, these are mostly associated with liberal democrats. In 2005, Obama voted with his party 97% of the time, according to Congressional Quarterly. He was all for an amendment brought forth by Hillary to prevent unintended pregnancy in 2005; what the amendment advocated for, is the increase of funding for "family planning centers" (read: Planned Parenthood...why aren't they called "Planned NonParenthood"?). I associate such funding with big-government. Am I wrong? I suppose what may seem necessary government intervention to some, might come across as a waste of money to others. Certainly, Republicans have killed the notion that they are doing anything to reduce the size of government. You almost make me rethink my labeling Obama a big-government democrat (and I know Obama hates being pidgeon-holed with labels..."smart government" is a nice catch-phrase, but what does that mean? Is there substance or is it just melodious fluff to the ear?). Certainly if you want to lable President Bush a big-government Republican, I won't hold it against you.

Republicans talk of cutting big-government. But never do it. Are Democrats offended that they are stigmatized with love of big government? Why? Why not just accept it when they support so many entitlement programs?

I suspect that the size of government will always expand, as it has under every administration, under both parties.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

"Are Democrats offended that they are stigmatized with love of big government? Why? Why not just accept it when they support so many entitlement programs?"

Why? I think because, as you fairly note, both sides increase the size of gov't. The only administration to slow that growth here lately has been the Clinton administration, with both Bush and Reagan's administrations expanding gov't greatly.

I think it's because it's a strawman argument to call Dems "Big Gov't" then criticize them for it, when the Republicans are growing the gov't more.

Why? Just out of basic fairness, it seems to me.

Now, the Libertarians can rightly and fairly talk of the two big parties as Big Gov't parties. Probably even the Greens could fairly do so, although, that's less clear.

I think the notion of smart gov't means something to most people. We don't want no gov't - that'd be anarchy and we like having some rules and programs in place. And we don't want a totalitarian gov't.

I suspect most of us want gov't intervention when a problem is going to increase in size and cost without some sort of intervention and when no one else is stepping up.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 5:50:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Dan, you've convinced me to update my post. Congratulations!

The only administration to slow that growth here lately has been the Clinton administration, with both Bush and Reagan's administrations expanding gov't greatly.

The problem I have with this, is at what cost? Clinton made big cuts in military spending. Given that the cold war is over, maybe it seemed to make sense; I certainly was asleep at the time, and did not see the future enemies that were metasticizing against us. With hindsight vision, cutting back on intelligence and defense was a mistake. The amount we are still allocating to military defense as a percentage of GDP is very low; I believe it's less than 4%, correct me if I'm wrong.

So I think Clinton did more harm than good in scaling back our military. We could certainly use those 700,000 military personnel today (even though you believe we are embroiled in a useless war). We always lament the programs government funds that we think are a waste of money. For me, military spending is a good and necessary investment.

I think it's because it's a strawman argument to call Dems "Big Gov't" then criticize them for it, when the Republicans are growing the gov't more.

I wrote a post a while back regarding the expansion of existing federal programs. This is in part, what I wrote:

It seems to suggest that President Bush's biggest problem in the federal budget isn't expansion of government, but growth in pre-existing programs. The difficulty isn't that he's been Lyndon Johnson, spending like a drunken sailor. It's that he hasn't fought harder to cut existing, wasteful government programs that have been around for years.

This has been a pattern throughout President Bush's presidency, where he will submit a budget in an attempt to control spending, and Congress will spend more and more and more.

I see entitlement programs as a huge problem in the spending. The prescription drug plan was probably a huge mistake (it would have happened anyway, as Democrats would have imposed it as a part of medicare); but other than that and military/national security spending, where else has President Bush been responsible for actually expanding upon new government programs? He may not be a fiscal conservative (and an argument can be made that neither was President Reagan), but neither is he a record spending Lyndon B. Johnson.


I linked to a USA Today article.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 9:48:00 AM  
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

"you've convinced me to update my post. Congratulations!"

You're a fair man, WS. Now, for the record, I'm not saying Obama IS a small gov't type, just that I've not seen anything to back the "big gov't liberal" label. In fact, some of his words and votes that I've seen have bucked the traditional notion of liberal. But I could be wrong (and, as you know, I wouldn't necessarily think it a bad thing if he were liberal and the big gov't would all depend - just as you like the notion of a bigger gov't insofar as the military is concerned, there are places where I think gov't can make a positive difference...)

On your size of military comments, it causes me to wonder: How large does the military have to be for some folk to feel like we're spending enough? You realize that we already spend more on our military than the next 25 nations combined, right?

I'd hope you could understand how I can feel tepid towards those who want to keep it that large or increase it even and who would still call themselves small gov't advocates.

I'd suppose you'd call that Smart Gov't - spending whatever it takes to keep us secure?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

On your size of military comments, it causes me to wonder: How large does the military have to be for some folk to feel like we're spending enough? You realize that we already spend more on our military than the next 25 nations combined, right?

I don't know about the next 25; but I do know we spend more than all the other nations. I also know that every time I see the bumpersticker "books not bombs", I think about all the wasteful spending; how we keep throwing money at education, as if money is the answer; how we spend just about as more on education already, than we do on national defense.

Because of the cuts to our military in the previous decade, I think we need to build our military back up. I agree with the President, that we must increase the size of our all-volunteer military for the next few years.

I don't mean we need to build more nukes; but funding the "Star Wars" program and finding solutions (both military and otherwise) to combating modern 21st century global terrorism is what I support. Our intelligence is sorely lacking. I believe the number of FBI agents with language skills in Arabic and farsi are no better than they were 5 years ago.



I'd hope you could understand how I can feel tepid towards those who want to keep it that large or increase it even and who would still call themselves small gov't advocates.

I understand, because I know where you stand on issues of war. But I believe that a strong military is necessary for any society who would call itself free. And the primary purpose of government is to provide for the national security. So size of government in this area doesn't bother me (other than inefficiency and the creation of more needless bureacracy).

I'd suppose you'd call that Smart Gov't - spending whatever it takes to keep us secure?

If Obama showed a desire to support a strong and robust military; and also a serious understanding of the war on global Islamic terrorism, it would ease my mind, and I could live with a Democrat in office, even if I disagree on all other policies.

Thursday, January 25, 2007 9:13:00 AM  

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