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Lame You Can Believe In

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Posted on Sep 11, 2008

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

    CHAPEL HILL, N.C.—It has been hard to remember lately that the country is in the midst of one of the most consequential presidential elections of our lifetimes.

    The campaign is a blur of flying pieces of junk, lipstick and gutter-style attacks. John McCain’s deceptions about Barack Obama’s views and Sarah Palin’s flip-flopping suggest an unedifying scuffle over a city council seat.

    The media bear a heavy responsibility because “balance” does not require giving equal time to truth and lies. So does McCain, who is running a disgraceful, dishonorable campaign of distraction and diversion.

    But Obama bears responsibility, too: His task is to remind Americans that the stakes in this election are far higher than the matter of who said what and when about Palin. He isn’t doing it.

    Yes, Democrats are a gloomy lot, inclined to see catastrophe around every corner and the other side as tougher, meaner and more manipulative. Imbibing this potion of false pride about Democratic virtue mixed with paranoia about the Republicans’ dark genius only leads to defeat followed by glorious disillusionment.

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    Nonetheless, it’s clear that Obama has lost control of this campaign. And he will not seize back the initiative with the sometimes halting, conversational and sadly reluctant sound bites he has been producing. The excitement Obama created at the beginning of the year has vanished, perhaps because his campaign (and, yes, many columnists) bought into the McCain campaign’s demonization of the big rallies. Absurdly, McCain is now contesting the terrain of change—and doing so at celebrity rallies of his own.

    This moment eerily resembles the situation in 1988 when George H.W. Bush used his convention to define the campaign and never again ceded the agenda to Democrat Michael Dukakis.

          Here’s the problem: Few voters know that Obama would cut the taxes of the vast majority of Americans by far more than McCain would. Few know Obama would guarantee everyone access to health care or that McCain’s health plan might endanger coverage many already have. Few know that Obama has a coherent program to create new jobs through public investment in roads, bridges, transit and green technologies.

        In short, few Americans know what (or whom) Obama is fighting for, because he isn’t really telling them. And few know that McCain’s economic plan is worse than President Bush’s. As Jonathan Cohn points out in The New Republic, McCain would add $8.5 trillion in new debt over the next 10 years. It’s McCain who should be on the defensive.

        It should not be hard for Obama to use crisp, punchy language to force the media and the voters to pay attention to the basic issue in this election: whether the country will slowly continue down a road to decline, or whether, to invoke a slogan from long ago, we can get the country moving again. 

    One test in the coming weeks will be whether Obama continues to contest North Carolina.

    In truth, he has paid too much attention to broadening the political map and not enough to nailing down the states he must win. But North Carolina is a state on the edge. Despite one outlying poll showing McCain with a big lead, most give him an advantage of only four to six points. If Obama does his job in framing a national message, this state should at least be competitive enough to force McCain to expend resources here.

    But Democratic politicians say that won’t happen unless Obama grabs the campaign back. “One of the criticisms is that he hasn’t cut through all the Republican rhetoric to reveal in a clear and simple way what his plan is, which I believe would resonate with the electorate,” says Jerry Meek, the Democratic state chairman for North Carolina. Voters, Meek says, “like a fighting spirit.”

    Rep. David Price, a Democrat who represents the Chapel Hill area, argues that Obama has “offered economic proposals with a lot of promise ... but there has not been the direct personal connection that there needs to be.” Obama “needs people to feel angry, he needs to get people to feel something is at stake.”

    McCain has shown he wants the presidency so badly that he’s willing to say anything, true or false, to win power. Obama can win by fighting for what he believes. What he can’t do is wait for the media to call McCain out—although they should—or expect voters to know he’ll fight for them when they are not yet sure that he’s willing to stand up for himself. 
   
    E.J. Dionne’s e-mail address is postchat(at)aol.com.
   
    © 2008, Washington Post Writers Group


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By Dani, September 12, 2008 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Few know Obama would guarantee everyone access to health care…”

Um, that isn’t necessarily a true statement. Everyone seems to THINK President Obama would guarantee it, but it’s not a fair assessment of his health care plan.

Here’s some insight, from another Truthdig article:
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20080831_curb_your_enthusiasm_for_obama/

But I do agree more attention really should be paid to issues, vs. lipstick and farm animals. grin

~Dani

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By yellowbird2525, September 12, 2008 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

there was a blurb on the news today: perhaps you heard: where our FDA & Gov is blaming China for problems in infants formulas; sounds good huh? I bet ya China was behind the lies & theives that have robbed Indians: $100m, gone: they “lost” it; treatys STILL never honored (betcha it was some nasty Chinese thing there huh); another tribe that were to “dumb” to take care of the royalties owed to them for OIL on their land: have YET to receive 1 penny: yep, betcha it those darn Chinese again! getting the picture folks? the TRUE picture & not the FALSE ones this Gov is trying so hard to deceive you with? Our country agressively poisons every single person & targets everyone: from babies, to children, to teens, to college students, to adults: to HARM & then say: well, exploiting folks is DEMOCRACY. No it isn’t folks: it is CRIMINAL & it is FRAUD. (prefer to call it deceptive business practices everyone); the poisons are there at the highest levels of the USA ok: google asparteme and Donald Rumsfeld folks: one of the most powerfully poison & toxic chemicals on earth: and FDA approved thank you very much. Forever Deceiving Americans into THINKING an agency is in place that is FOR the PEOPLE instead of GREED of individuals & Corp’s;

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By yellowbird2525, September 12, 2008 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

beerdoctor: sorry voting ain’t gonna help; there has been fraud voting for years here in USA; and the immigrants aren’t going to stop coming; & the “politicans” that you are going to VOTE for already have established with the Corps running the USA what the policy is going to be: they have given political patronage to the folks THEY (white house & Corps) STOLE the land from: and are STILL stealing it (see today’s story re Bolivia kicking out the US ambassador); and if someone like the leader of India doesn’t go along with the “world trade order” THEY want golly gee willikers! “suddenly” bombings & civil unrest; just like us INVADING Pakistan AGAINST their will; HEY Americans! Aren’t YOU glad YOU live in a “democracy”????? LOOK at Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia (tho they bribed the officials there as well as other countries) NO other country pays taxes & has NOTHING to show the people for it; NO other country has ever LIED & DECEIVED it’s people like the USA has; LOOK at the Indians: every single TRIBE has been robbed & stolen from by the US Gov; LOOK at the vets: since WW11 they have NEVER been given what they have been promised; don’t know about b/4 then; after the bombs: our Gov DENIED that radiation caused any medical problems; adamantly; know they are stripping them of pensions, benefits; medical benefits PROMISED to them & their families; LIES, DECEPTION, DECEIT & SLAVERY: THIS is our country; Aren’t YOU glad to live in a “free” country where there IS no freedom? in a land of law where the lawmakers are lawbreakers & nothing is ever done?

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By Sepharad, September 12, 2008 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tonto, I went to school in Chicago in the ‘60s, while living with a family on the Southside, my uncle was an underground federal narc there 10 years before that, and my brother-in-law is a Chicago native. So I’ve never been under any illusions that Axelrod and Obama came up any way but the sharp-elbows style, and absorbed long ago the notion that if Daly Sr. was corrupt, he nevertheless kept the city going and did deliver the election for JFK by voting the cemetaries. I worried about the Obama-as-Chicago-pol a lot when he was running against Hillary, (as it turned out, with good reason) and understood perfectly when, as the primary ran down to the wire, Rahm Emanuel said he was hiding under his desk (hoping to avoid being asked to endorse his long-time friend Hillary Clinton or his fellow Chicago pol Obama).

But after responding initially to your post, I decided I’ve been getting way too cynical for my own good so watched the CNN videolink you provided and truly was disgusted by the way he wrecked his two opponents, especially Alice Palmer, who has a great reputation.
Progressive Chicago columnist John Kass obviously does not think Obama is a progressive, and I don’t either.  And Lichen is right, O’s global warming and economic policies aren’t enough.

Still, what alternative do we have? Voting for Ron Paul or Nader or Kucinich or even writing in Hillary would be satisfying but all it would get us is John McCain and maybe Sarah Palin as President.

I suppose I’d be happier if Obama hadn’t claimed to be different, but he and Biden are so much better than the craziness and endless war and economic rapine the Republicans have delivered and will continue to deliver unless we throw them out, that I’m going to support O/B all the way every chance I get. Unless,of course, you, Tonto, and you, lichen, have a better idea that won’t hurt the people of this country any more than they already have been damaged, won’t wreck any more of their livlihoods, and won’t mangle the futures of their and our grandchildren any more than they have already been.

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By lichen, September 12, 2008 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

Obama’s plans are NOT enough to halt catastrophic global warming, NOT enough to close the income gap in this country, NOT enough to rebuild the infrastructure in this country, NOT enough to really stop the illegal occupation of Iraq or the ridiculous ‘war on terror’ which spawned it.  He needs to move to the left if he wants to energize a base for this election, otherwise he really isn’t worth fighting for.

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By Sepharad, September 12, 2008 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Purple Girl, You just did a Star turn; I hope some mediavolk see it. Also, Barack is getting spirited and on message again. Meeting with Bill Clinton didn’t hurt any.

Tonto, I don’t think Obama walks on water like many on the TD, but he’s the best deal the party is offering us and you don’t want McCain and Palin in charge of anything, do you? The MALDEF people here in Northern California, as well as some of my friends from the Nations, are not in love with Obama (some of them they preferred Hillary, as I did), but they really dislike McCain. Could be different in other areas—would be interested to know what your personal objections to O are based on.

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By Tonto, September 12, 2008 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Jamie, Purple Girl,
Obama’s luck the media spent so little effort exposing how he was elected to the Senate seat to begin with.  If people would take the time to find that out, it says a lot about him.  Obama is truly disgusting.
http://nicedeb.wordpress.com/2008/06/02/not-pretty-how-barack-obama-won-his-illinois-senate-seat/

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By KDelphi, September 12, 2008 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

Well, I guess we’ll just have to disagree on wheher Obama seems to give a dman about voters who Poor AND brown.

You sure are defensive about your name

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By thebeerdoctor, September 12, 2008 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

re: KDelphi

The Beer Doctor is the name I use, because I am a consultant and writer in the beer industry.
I choose to support Senator Obama as a personal protest against the corrupt and contented political machines in this state who have disenfranchised literally thousands upon thousands of poor and brown skin voters, and the main stream news and general society are quite willing to accept this civic thievery, by simply saying: get over it.
I refuse to do that. Which is also why I will go and vote.
As Dr. King once said, there are some things you should be permanently maladjusted to.
http://beerdoctor.wordpress.com

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By Simon, September 12, 2008 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment

If the media debate remains remains restricted to the Democrats labeled as “tax and spend” versus the Republicans as “tax cut and spend,” the Republicans may win the White House. Proving once again that there is no election the Democrats can’t figure out a way to lose. Regarding the comparison of the two candidates’ health plans, neither wishes to tackle the hardest issue. It’s not access to health insurance, though that’s a very thorny issue. It’s the fact that whether insured or uninsured, at present rates of hospital closures, and consequent to the epidemiological inevitabilities of an aging population, it won’t matter whether or not you have insurance. Either way, there won’t be hospital beds, doctors, or nurses, let alone funds to pay for your care. Show me the candidate willing to acknowledge and plan through this societal challenge.

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By dale Headley, September 12, 2008 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is the same complaint that the Democrats trot out every election cycle: the Republicans, lie, smear, lie some more, and smear some more; and the Democrats believe the American people are smart enough to see it.  They aren’t!  The McCain campaign will continue its swift boat tactics; Obama will continue to be a gentleman.  Most significantly, Obama will continue to be black.  And the Democrats will lose yet another election.

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By KDelphi, September 12, 2008 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

How in the world would i “listen to every comment made by Obama every day”?? MSNBC all day? I go to his website quite a bit. I think I have read it all. I have heard him change some of it. Why dont the have some debates so people can compare?

Alot of people just cant stand to hear about the same person al day long, every day, for , literally , years. I think that the media’s emphasis on Obama may have actually hurt him in the long run. You should hope that it will hurt Palin , in the long run , too.
I’m merely trying to suggest some reasons people may have for being apathetic about the election. I happen to disagree with alot of what he says he plans to do. I cant just “cheerlead” and pretend that I dont.

The polls show him ahead again, I think (I wont listen to them 24 hours a day)I dont see any reason for people who are completely “set” on Obama to listen to every word he ssays. Would you vote McCain or a Third Party if you disagreed with something he said? Most of the country is just not as interested in politics as seom of the people here. But, it is shown that they DO listen to debates. I think that might help Obama tremendously.

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By Tony Wicher, September 12, 2008 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

Re Gmonst

I really think the republicans have pushed to far against a strong candidate who comes out looking clean next to their filth.
——————————————————————————
You’re talking my language, Gmonst! It’s no more Mr. Nice Guy time. All we have to do is tell the truth, bluntly, with passion, without pulling any punches, as Obama has been doing more every day since the convention, and have faith in the people to tell the difference. You can’t fool the people all the time, and this has to be the time, after eight years of the worst, most corrupt administration in history.

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By Eric L. Prentis, September 12, 2008 at 10:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is about time that the Obama campaign is forcefully correcting, with righteous anger, the scurrilous Republican, Rove like attacks based on deceit and lies. I would suggest tit-for-tat adds against John McWorse to even the playing field, voters have to know that Barack Obama really wants to be president, this is very important. We love Barack Obama, but if he lets himself get swift boated or Willie Hortoned and loses this election because of it, we will never speak to him again.

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By KDelphi, September 12, 2008 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

I said I liked Dean—who doesnt! That isnt the point at all. I just think that running all over the Deep South, saying that Dem stronglholds “didnt matter”,—I’m just not so sure it is working as well as they had hoped. I would rather have Obama win than McCain—but it is no skin off my ass either way. If I’m going to get decent health care, buy a house that will hold its value—I’m not going to be able to do it in the US.

I dont think my remarks were derogatory about Dean or Obama at all! YOu cant even suggets what you think the canpaign might need to correct ? That’s ridiculous and is not helping at all.

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By KDelphi, September 12, 2008 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

Me thinks that the primary was too long; the general campaign is too short; the MSM has overplayed ALL the candidates (I am not sure anyone IS listening anymore!); the entire thing started too early; and, ther is way too much emphasis on the presidency in the uS anyway.

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By Tony Wicher, September 12, 2008 at 10:02 am Link to this comment

By KDelphi, September 12 at 8:38 am #

The 50 State campaign might have been a good idea—i think it got carried too far, with signs all over DNC’s site of “turning the Deep South blue”. I never really thought that was going to happen—but i havent been down there in a long time. I thought maybe Obama and Dean knew somethig i didnt.I dont anymore.

I really like Howard Dean. It’s difficult not to. But I’m not sure he was the best person for the job.
—————————————————————————-
KDelphi,

I for one both love Howard and think his strategy has been brilliant. We should be spending less time listening to MSM pundits and more time listening to the candidates and Howard Dean. You have to be careful. The MSM is toxic. If listen to it too much, it’s going to poison your mind!

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By Gmonst, September 12, 2008 at 9:57 am Link to this comment

Good Points Tony.  The Obama I have been watching has been fighting back.  He hasn’t seemed week at all.  His response to the lipstick on a pig b.s. was strong, unequivocal, and passionate.  He is hitting back, is anyone listening?  The McCain camp spins out lies on a daily basis in what is perhaps the dirtiest presidential campaign I can remember, and they always seem to get press, but it doesn’t seem to be catching on that HE IS LYING.  Its really the job of the media to call this b.s. for what it is.  I think it has reached some kind of b.s. tipping point in that they have spun so many lies that it can’t be completely ignored.  This strategy will come to bite the McCain campaign in the ass.  I do hope that McCain is asked to explain some of those ads during the debates.  He approved a lot of lies and distortions.  I would especially love to see him defend his ad attacking Obama for the program to teach kids how to avoid sexual predators.  I really think the republicans have pushed to far against a strong candidate who comes out looking clean next to their filth.

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By Hulk2008, September 12, 2008 at 9:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Has anyone noticed that McCain puts down “national health” while he himself and his whole family have benefitted from it since his grandfather joined the Navy?  Admiral “Gramps” and his progeny were covered by it - then his son Admiral “Dad” - then McCain himself as a child continuing as an adult member of the Navy and then as a member of Congress.
  What utter gall on his part to believe the rest of us schlubs are somehow unworthy of what the taxpayers have given his mob for years and years !!  Of course now he and heiress Cindy could afford whatever the beer millions could provide.

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By KDelphi, September 12, 2008 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

thebeerdr.—Being from Ohio, I have read that alcohol comsumption is WAY up in our state—hence your name?? LOL! I can actually see why! It’s the only “medication” alot of us can afford.!

I , too, feel that the early emphasis on “bipartisanship” was a mistake. I may be angry as hell, at Dems. But, anyone who thinks that both parties are equally reponsible for the mess we’re in , is just not paying attention.There are actually some Blue Dogs that I disagree with more than some “moderate ” GOP—but that certainly doesnt make me admire GOP Pres. of the past. Except, maybe, before i was alive!

I keep hearing “Reagan Democrats”—I think most Dems who voted reagan ( I was NOT one—I remembered Joan Baez’s “Gov. Romald Reagan—zap!)have long ago become dis-enchanted with him and see him for what he was—a conservative political hack and an unfeeling basterd!@

The 50 State campaign might have been a good idea—i think it got carried too far, with signs all over DNC’s site of “turning the Deep South blue”. I never really thought that was going to happen—but i havent been down there in a long time. I thought maybe Obama and Dean knew somethig i didnt.I dont anymore.

I really like Howard Dean. It’s difficult not to. But I’m not sure he was the best person for the job.

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By Jamie, September 12, 2008 at 9:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree wholeheartedly with Purple Girl - I listen to Obama speak and every time I do, he is talking policy, plans, actions and pointing out the differences between his and McCain’s (lack of) policies. He has been pointing out what is wrong under the Republican administration. But the media doesn’t follow. I spent part of the summer in the States (I’m an expat in France) and was nauseated every time I heard ANOTHER news commentator say “we really don’t know Obama”. They obviously aren’t listening! When the tv media only find Palin’s celebrity status to talk about it is a sad world. What happened to REAL JOURNALISM? Who out there is really analysing the extremely serious side of this election? Who is really digging into Palin’s and McCain’s flip-flopping, lying, and lack of any real, new policy? Who is really explaining to the American voters the true differences between what an Obama/Biden Presidency versus a McCain/Palin Presidency would look like and the real consequences? Yes, I see it in the New York Times, Time Magazine, on line, but people who read these publications are usually well-informed and mainly Democrats anyway. The tv media has to reach out and inform the mainstream voter, middle America, plain, hard-working Americans who garner most of their info from the tv, and those people will be so affected by their choice and need to understand how.

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By Tony Wicher, September 12, 2008 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

Haven’t you been paying attention? Obama IS swinging back hard. Bill Clinton has predicted he will win handily. What WE have to do is START SWINGING ALONG WITH OBAMA INSTEAD OF SITTING THERE WRINGING OUR HANDS LIKE THIS AND WHINING THAT HE ISN’T SWINGING HARD ENOUGH. We need to start paying attention to what Obama is actually saying and doing instead of the polls. Every day, each and every one of us should listen to every public statement Obama and Biden make before we write inane posts and columns like this one. It is people like E.J. Dionne that are falling for the Republican’s tactics and could end up losing the election for us. IT IS THEY WHO ARE AFRAID OF THE REPUBLICANS, NOT OBAMA. THIS COLUMN FALSELY PAINTS A PICTURE OF OBAMA AS WEAK WHEN IT IS REALLY ONLY THE WRITER’S OWN FEAR AND WEAKNESS THAT IS BEING EXPRESSED.

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By lodipete, September 12, 2008 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

The Democrats are going to lose the election unless they start swinging back hard. This business of Palin being exempt from tough questions needs to stop right now. She’s running for VicePresident of the US, not Mother Theresa’s old job. The Dems need to start reminding people of the millions of jobs lost between Jan.2001 & Jan.2007 when republicans ran the whole government. And those millions are just the tip of the iceberg. Every time a plant closes or an entire industry moves overseas,it takes collateral jobs out too; machine shops,print shops,paper companies,stationery suppliers,diners,taverns,etc.. And let’s face it, there are direct correllations between the rising unemployment rate,hospital bankruptcies,lack of housing & illegal immigration. Add in the foreclosure rates,bankruptcy rates, bank failures and the elimination of the middle class and ask yourself what it is that the republicans are so damned proud of. Do we really want Phil & Wendy Gramm as economic advisors to the next president considering their involvement in the Enron fiasco.Talk about whiners!How many regulatory agencies have been emasculated by the Bush crowd to enrich the crony capitalist crowd? Do we need to import more poison medicine, food & toys for republican profit? As to the “War On Terror” that the repubs like to brag about. George W.Bush had been president for 8 months when that happened. Where was the NSA & it’s director? Condi Rice should have been fired, not promoted to Secretary Of State. Start fighting back.McCain/Palin is all bluster and no substance.

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By Alan, September 12, 2008 at 8:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Spot on E.J.
The job is to pierce the rupert rhetoric,
challenge the lies, challenge the accommodating
“press” helpers, nail the policy truth on the
doors of every church in America!

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By wish i knew, September 12, 2008 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

I wish EJ would say what the problem really is. Obama is tasked with not only reaching the American people, but framing it in such a way as to be interesting enough to get through the gatekeepers also known as the MSM.

I agree with Purple Girl. From what I gather Obama HAS been speaking about issues in several different communities. It’s just not controversial and exciting like a moose-hunter threatening to go to war with Russia. The truth isn’t glamorous, and the media doesn’t want to report it. End of story.

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By felicity, September 12, 2008 at 7:56 am Link to this comment

The media have done a bang-up job of making Palin a celebrity, in other words, they’ve made her famous and that’s all it takes to be a celebrity - someone who’s famous for being famous. (Of course it helps tremendously that the Palin package is ideal media fodder.)

It’s odd, and frightening, that given the footage, ink, years in play, parsing, dissecting, analyzing, investigating, debating that takes place around candidates, that we end up voting for a George Bush. Apparently, knowing a lot about a politician has little or no affect on whether we end up voting for it.

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By thebeerdoctor, September 12, 2008 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

In the state of Ohio, a vote for Barack Obama, is for me, the only possible vote. It saddens me to see the candidate, whom I disagree with on many issues, but who is nevertheless, an honorable person, have to fend off all of this despicable nonsense by the so-called dueling mavericks of the McCain/Palin ticket, at what could be better described as the straight talking sewer.
But it would certainly behoove the Obama campaign to pay less attention to the nonsensical garbage of the Arizona/Alaska Axis, and more attention to the fact that the election is being stolen, as I am writing this.
I also think it is a mistake for the democrats to speak of bipartisanship. The Republican Party has become a political entity without any principles. Their only agenda is more greed and violence.
http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/AB/20080911/NEWS0108/309110032/

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By CarolO, September 12, 2008 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

I don’t understand why you say Obama doesn’t understand ordinary people.  He was not a Harvard lawyer but gave up a chance for that to work with ordinary people and those with little means.  He just got his college loans paid a couple of years ago as well as those of his wife. 

Ordinary people are what his entire campaign has been aimed at.  Do you think John and Cindy McCain are worried about “ordinary” people with their net worth of 100 million and their 7 houses?

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By Aegrus, September 12, 2008 at 7:08 am Link to this comment

Cyrena, simple answer is what I’ve been advocating. Define the debate! Find a core principal held by the majority of people and frame the debate in simple terms relating to that principal.

America’s facing an impending economic crisis. McCain has no ideas able to deal with such a challenge.

McCain will fail America. Vote for pride in perseverance! Vote Obama!

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By jhm, September 12, 2008 at 5:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One way that finally hearing Hon. Sen. McCain’s nonsense parroted by Gov. Palin in something like an interview, especially if she does “well” and presents herself without much in the way of obvious mistakes, is that Senator McCain’s rhetoric will more easily be discernible for the rubbish it really is when it’s divorced from the myth of his “experience, judgment and knowledge.”

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By Purple Girl, September 12, 2008 at 4:21 am Link to this comment

I just saw Obama in Flint on Monday… He spent no time discussing the syupid shit the media can’t get it’s Mind Off (political BS is like sex to the MSM).
He discussed aminly Economic policies- big surprise being in a State and City with the Worst Unemployment Rate.
I have no idea what the MSM is listening to, but it is Not this candidate. I still hear idiots on TV claim ‘Americans don’t know anything about Obama’- BULLSHIT!Parroting- “Gives a great speech but no substance, plans’ BULLSHIT!
You guys loop and obsess on the most Innane Topics and then cry You aren’t getting any straight answers. Apparently most of the Electorate are far more attentive then the media. I laugh and SPIT every time I hear the media claim Americans have Short Attention spans- please don’t judge US by your Programming decisions- It is more likely the Media is Who has not only ADD, but also Alzheimers.
If meida actually did it’s job it would be reviewing the course America has been on since the ‘50’s in regards to the M.E. It would have reviewed the Iran Hostage scandal, the numerous Plane highjackings in the ‘70’s AFTER 9/11! Admitted Carter was right when he told US to turn down our thermostats and put on a sweater. Would have showed the line of cars waiting to get gas from those days of ‘Odd/Even’.
You would have Reviewed how the Reagan Adminsitration undermined Carter prior to winning the Election in’80 with the Iran Contra Scandal. You would be explaining the Relatinship of The Bush’s and Cheney with the oil ‘Royals’.
You know what ‘Lipstick on a Pig ’ Means…It’s glamorizing and disguising Shit with Glitz. That is what todays media is ‘lipstick’ and the PIG. Your Hightech sound stages, your focus on sensational, but empty stories is nothing more than hiding the Crap you all wallow in.
THANK GOD FOR THE INTERNET!!Because the ones who claim to be professionals seem to be only able to dig deep into their own Pants!A bunch of Jerk Offs!
And as for your numerous BS Polls you quote every 5 seconds- when will you ask Americans If they even consider what the polls say, Let alone Believe them!
The News Hour had on Macs ‘pollster’ she was a perfect example of how Pollster Personal bias Skews, thus invalidates Results!She was more accurately a Pundit!
Gutless, mindless shit excuses referred to as ‘News’  are just as responsible for the High crimes committed against this country over the last 7 yrs…40 yrs!How much time did you all give Books like ‘Shock Doctrine’, how about the one which reveals the ties beween Bush/Cheney and the House of Saud (ya know that country where the majority of the 9/11 attackers called home). No instead I get at least a day or two about a fucking Old Adage and BS references to Sexism (not that Palin is Abusing the Term- JUST like Hillary manipulated it!)
So if you think Obama is the only one Brushing your “Lapel pins’ “Muslim” “Lipstick” “Rev Wright” BS off his shoulder and moving on - Your are as Delusional as your Coverage.Maybe some of you Journalist ‘Reporters’ could step back into the real world for a week or two.
We are out of Jobs, can’t afford gas or Food, We are in two wars and have Crazy men trying to start TWO More!We are fucked by the Corps regarding jobs (they control all aspects of the FREE MARKET= GM lays off- all industry supported by them lays off), We are Fucked by the corps (they own all our oil and the majority of our Food Production supply).Due to this desparage in income vs debt - we are in Hock up to our necks to Who…The Corps!Who has hung about $16,000 of debt around the neck of any child born today…The Corps! Who has gambled our Pensions and annuities away.. The Corps!
Please EJ, get a clue -WE HAVE!

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By Sepharad, September 12, 2008 at 2:12 am Link to this comment
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Cyrena, EJ is maybe a little more gloomy than he should be. The problem isn’t that overwhelming if Obama snaps back a bit. On another thread I expressed the hope that James Carville would grab Obama, make him drink a cup of hot coffee and tell him how to reach the workingclass whites he’s not getting, who are key to some of those swing states, how to talk to them without talking down. They AREN’T stupid, but out of patience with politicians who don’t care about them, don’t understand them, and understandably, are pretty anxious about their futures. I hope that Bill Clinton will also help out here: he was really good at connecting with people of all classes but had a soft spot for hard-working folk just trying to get through the next day or week. He also respected them, and you can’t fake that. I think Obama’s experience with plain people in Kansas wasn’t anything like the proud, touchy, laid off steelworkers, miners, longshoremen, autoworkers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia etc. In photos in these places he sometimes looks eager but mostly bemused. Or tired. Some of Obama’s supporters seem openly contemptuous of “stupid workers who vote against their own interests.” This may be the message his campaign is putting out without knowing it. My husband says many people are so harried by life under the Republicans that with Bush and Kerry, it came down to who they’d feel most comfortable having a beer with. Personally, the idea of having a beer with McCain sounds like it would be a jangling experience, and with Palin, enough to set your teeth on edge for a month.

That failure to connect even though the Democrats are so much better on issues relevant to workers than the Republicans is, I think, the biggest problem.

A temporary problem that Dionne seems to be mixing in and making it all look overwhelming and hopeless is simply the fact that during the primary Obama’s campaign was the flavor of the month and got all the media excitement and attention. Palin took all that away within a couple days of her appearance on the scene and still holds it. This has to be upsetting for Obama, as his opponent is surfing on that exciting, happening wave while he’s suddenly stranded dripping wet on a tiny island, being ignored. That wave is going to evaporate very soon and things will get on a more even keel, but he may be a little tired and shell-shocked watching dumb barbie-doll Palin get all the attention. It’s not that he’s jealous, just unused to being usurped, to not have press people being all attentive and worshipful. It’ll pass of its own accord but so is time passing, and he needs to slap himself in the face and wake up, and start hammering McCain/Palin on their pitiful platform by forcefullly presenting his own ideas and specific plans re peoples’ specific problems. He’s got it, they don’t, but he has to put it out there, get the old mojo going.

I don’t always agree with you, Cyrena, but I hate it when it seems as if you’re worried because you’re always so confident, and the Obama campaign needs to feel confidence from its supporters, especially when such gloomy thoughts are being put out their by pundits. You may recall I was an avid Hillary supporter, and I still think she’d be better than Obama, but he is lightyears better than McCain/Palin. America—and Israel, which I love as much as I love this country—can’t afford another four years of stupid Republican policy. They’re wrecking this country, they’re screwing up the Middle East and they’re killing the environment which might make everything else moot sooner rather than later. Obama understands so much intuitively that, with Biden’s foreign policy experience to draw on, he will be able to make a difference. He’s just gotta win the elections. God I miss Molly Ivins; she used to make me feel better even when “Shrub” was wreaking havoc far and wide.

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By McCain, September 12, 2008 at 2:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama does not need to defend himself. He needs to pummel McCain with a daily litany of ads which (truthfully) show McCain’s mind unable to function during detailed press conferences. He has to show McCain as pathetically weak on defense, fixing our worn-out equipment with Chinese cash.

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By writeon, September 12, 2008 at 12:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve thought for a long time that Obama should concentrate on meeting ‘ordinary’ Americans in the crucial swing states, the people he refered to a ‘bitter’. He should show he respects them and wants to hear what they have to say and what their problems are.

If it was me I’d enjoy going into the places where virtually nobody would think of voting for me and the challenge of trying to win them over to my side through argument, debate and dialogue, would energize me.

Only Obama isn’t a ‘strong’ candidate. He doesn’t relish the idea of getting down and dirty with ‘ordinary’ people. He’s a frikin’ Harvard lawyer! He hasn’t really ‘paid his dues’. The Democrats thought they were picking the ideal candidate and they were wrong. Obama is the ideal candidate for the rest of the world. Palin is the ideal candidate for America.

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By cyrena, September 11, 2008 at 11:03 pm Link to this comment

Well, I suppose EJ has a point. It would certainly SEEM that McCain has done enough to doom himself with the average voter, but that makes assumptions on the mentality of the average voter, which he may have wrong. Hell, I apparently have it wrong, because this seems like a no-brainer of a choice to me.

But, since it doesn’t appear that way throughout a much larger portion of the populace, I guess Obama is missing it as well. I know how he feels, but he’ll have to speak up for those who need to hear it more than once, or who, as EJ says, like to watch the brawls. (he calls it a fighting spirit…of Meeks does).

Still, it’s an impossibility to satisfy all of the people, all of the time. Here we get the complaint that he doesn’t seem to be standing up for himself, and I hear others complain that he spends too much time doing exactly that..defending himself.

What to do?

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