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Ear to the Ground

Obama’s Liberal Roots

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Posted on Mar 31, 2008
Obama and Kennedy
Flickr / shanda.w

Documents obtained by The Politico suggest that Barack Obama has moderated his positions on several issues since his early political life, a charge the candidate denies. He has also tried to distance himself from the label of most liberal senator. Perhaps the former community organizer doth protest too much?

One need only read Obama’s “Dreams From My Father” to get a sense of his progressive values. Still, a lot of his magic comes from his ability to wink at the left while cozying up to independents and Republicans. John Kerry tried that, though much less successfully.


The Politico:

During his first run for elected office, Barack Obama played a greater role than his aides now acknowledge in crafting liberal stands on gun control, the death penalty and abortion—positions that appear at odds with the more moderate image he has projected during his presidential campaign.

The evidence comes from an amended version of an Illinois voter group’s detailed questionnaire, filed under his name during his 1996 bid for a state Senate seat.

Late last year, in response to a Politico story about Obama’s answers to the original questionnaire, his aides said he “never saw or approved” the questionnaire.

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By cyrena, April 1, 2008 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment

Humm..

This may be another of those ‘issues’ that has unintended consequences.

In other words, for me at least, it confirms what I’ve admired about Barack Obama since originally studying his positions on most issues, in conjunction with the realities that Louise articulates, for those of us who may have forgotten them.

Times change, circumstances change, people change, (I’d like to interject that some of us call this ‘change’ GROWTH) and life changes, and on and on.

I’m very glad to have confirmation of Barack Obama’s ‘Liberal Roots’. This is what I appreciated about him FROM THE BEGINNING, and admittedly I’ve been a bit concerned when he’s seemed to waver from those.

I’ve ALSO accepted however, that he must appeal to the majority, and that among our majority are those who may not even COMPREHEND that his ‘liberal roots’ are actually to THEIR advantage as well. So, it requires, (for those who can’t take their ‘truth’ –straight up-) a bit of ‘sugar coating’.

Reminds me of when I was a kid, and just couldn’t get passed the whole suggestion of ‘swallowing’ any sort of pill. Like medication of any kind. Yeah, we tried, but I just couldn’t do it. So, the doc suggested to my mother that she put the stuff in my applesauce, try to make it more palatable. He may not have intended for her to TELL me that this was how we were gonna manage to get the stuff into me. But, she did. (or maybe it was my dad who did).

I appreciated that they weren’t ‘trying to fool me’ by not telling me it was in there, and quite honestly, I DID know when I was swallowing a bite that happened to contain the pill, but it was perfectly fine with me. I didn’t have any objection to the medicine itself, and of course I wanted the effects of whatever the medicine was supposed to do. I just didn’t like swallowing the stuff any other way.

What more can I say?

That’s politics. And now, I can swallow my meds without applesauce. Sometimes I don’t even need water.

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By Sue Cook, April 1, 2008 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

Look, ALL politicians are guilty of having memory lapses.  It’s call Selective Memory.

So, what’s the big deal when you hear one or more of the candidates going through this phase?

They all tell little white lies, it’s called embellishing, adding some spice to a more than likely boring speech to add luster and shine.

Harmless really. (in most cases.)

Obama simply had a “selective memory” moment when asked about this liberal questionaire that he certainly did see and contribute to.

They all do it,  SO WHAT?

I wish the media would find something else to report on that’s worthwhile.  This kind of reporting is getting real old fast.

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By Pacrat, April 1, 2008 at 10:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Of course Barack lies. He’s a politician after all, isn’t he? He is supposed to make promises that he will never keep; outline unrealizable policies; phoney up his record; and do stupid things he can’t handle - like bowling.

Why do politicians pretend when they are running for office that they are normal people? If they gain the office they seek that will be the last time they care for “normal” folks.

So - why should Barack be different? His groupies like to think he is, and that’s their privilege.

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 1, 2008 at 5:37 am Link to this comment

Documents obtained by The Politico suggest that Barack Obama has moderated his positions on several issues since his early political life, a charge the candidate denies….

QUOTE Barack Obama:

But to the degree that we brook no dissent within the Democratic Party, and demand fealty to the one, “true” progressive vision for the country, we risk the very thoughtfulness and openness to new ideas that are required to move this country forward…..

Beyond that, by applying such tests, we are hamstringing our ability to build a majority.  We won’t be able to transform the country with such a polarized electorate…..

Because the truth of the matter is this: Most of the issues this country faces are hard.  They require tough choices, and they require sacrifice…...

In that spirit, let me end by saying I don’t pretend to have all the answers to the challenges we face, and I look forward to periodic conversations with all of you in the months and years to come….....  I trust that you will continue to let me and other Democrats know when you believe we are screwing up…..

And I, in turn, will always try and show you the respect and candor one owes his friends and allies…....

From “Tone, Truth, and the Democratic Party” -  by Barack Obama, Fri Sep 30, 2005 http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/9/30/102745/165/500/153069

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By Louise, March 31, 2008 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment

On the list of Important Things to Know, I would rate this about a minus 2. But then I’m not a politician, or a person so full of myself that I believe I, and every other living breathing human being had my convictions and beliefs firmly locked in place decades ago.

In fact I would worry just a little about a candidate from anywhere who insists they knew it all from the get-go and know they knew it all and still do! Know it all, I mean!

Unfortunately aids and advisors and politico pundits cant function any other way. Which is why they are aides and advisers and politico pundits. Duh ...

I’m in my seventies, and I learn something new every day! What’s more I do not hold the same views on a lot of things I did when I was thirty, or sixty. [With one small exception. I decided republican leaders were crooked about the same time Rove was graduating from high school. And nothing there has happened to change my mind.]

The world changes. People change. Circumstances change. Problems change. Demands change!

My goodness! Everything changes, [well except for politico pundits, aides, advisers, and republican leaders] which demands all but fools focus on TODAY.

That after all is the biggest reason we have the biggest failure in government running the government today. Because those pathetic addled brains have never had an original idea. Have never adjusted their narrow views based on real time factors. They only know what they knew two or four decades ago.

I am sure their are plenty of fodder reapers out there looking for their shovels and salivating over this non-story, non-issue. I personally will take a candidate who is capable of living in today. Able to adjust positions and policy based on real time problems and needs!

I’ll take that man any day over a know-it-all.

After all, isn’t that what we have in the White House right now? Isn’t that what we have in John - hundred year war - McCain? And isn’t that what we have in Ms. Misspoke?

Besides, since when has the POLITICO demonstrated the wisdom to define liberal? They cant even define conservative!

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