Wednesday, November 01, 2006

What's with the Grin?

by Nick
Add this to the too-clean-to-be-true record, the apparent media savvy (carefully 'showing interest' on Oprah!), a couple of grey hairs, but not too many, together with the healthy dose of core Christian belief. Is there like a school they go to get like this?


Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

What's your point? I'd vote for Obama in a heartbeat. And Obama smoked some serious dope in his day, and has admitted to it.

11/01/2006 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

I think the skepticism is justified. I was excited about Obama at first but that's faded somewhat. I don't want to let the perfect be the enemy of the good here - not with the group that's in power now - but he hasn't really done anything to shake up the Democratic caucus, much less the Senate as a whole. Things are pretty much exactly the same now as when he got there.

But, at least he sold a few books while some truly terrible legislation got passed with barely a word from him.

11/01/2006 03:10:00 PM  
Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

I disagree, and here's some of the reasons why:

But I find the tone of Nick's original note perplexing. You could compare Obama to a lot of people, but I would have never thought of Tony Blair (I think Bill Clinton and Blair have a lot in common). And are we to look for candidates who don't have nice smiles? It struck me as the kind of snarkiness frequently lobbed by citizens of small countries at the major powers.

And Brian, I assume you vote Democrat, if you vote at all, so who's your candidate, if you've chosen one yet?

11/01/2006 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

I don't really see anything in the Slate article that changes my mind. There's really nothing there that amounts to anything more than the typical, shallow political profile, focusing almost entirely on the horserace aspect of politics. There's no substance. At all.

I mean, he "simply declines to play a cautious and calculating game" ... by admitting that he did drugs and that his wife wishes he weren't in politics? Wow ... such refreshing honesty! George Bush would never be able to do the things he does if his rivals only were more open about their drug use!

Look, maybe he will make a good President someday (Obama, not Bush), but is it really too much to ask for him to use his political celebrity for something more important than stuff like that? Where was he when the torture bill was being passed?

As for your other question, it'd be Al Gore. No question. Doesn't look like he'll run, though, which makes me very sad.

11/01/2006 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

Barack Obama reminds me of John Edwards, though I have no idea what the folks in Illinois think. John Edwards, in my opinion, had no interest in representing the people of North Carolina when he was elected to the Senate--for him it was simply a springboard to higher office. He ran for the Democratic nomination for president, lost and ran for vice president, lost and now runs some kind of public interest group. What I did get from him as my senator? Pretty much nothing.

P.S. And I voted for him every time. And I used to work with the guy whose case pretty much bankrolled Edwards' retirement from trial law.

11/01/2006 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

Damn this comment interface throws off proofreading my ability....

11/01/2006 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

That's probably a pretty good comparison. Although I find that I instinctively like Obama more than I did Edwards.

On the other hand, that certainly could change by the time '07-'08 rolls around. And Edwards is the only politician I can think of that actually seems to care about poverty as an issue. I certainly respect him more now than I did back in '03-'04.

11/01/2006 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

But I find the tone of Nick's original note perplexing.

Sorry. Did that mostly to provoke debate. Looks like I succeeded. Yay!

But I do have something of a point, and that's mainly this thing:

I'd vote for Obama in a heartbeat.

I may live in Sweden, but I do try to keep up to date on the general movements of American politics. I have never heard of this guy until last week. Apparently, not many people had until a few weeks ago. Now everyone's going 'he's the guy.' What has he done to deserve this loyalty? That Slate article of yours doesn't say what he stands for. Do you know? I've read his ideological views, but not his practical solutions.

I'm sorry, Democrats speak of the 'rubes' knee jerk bend towards Bush, but, seriously - a good looking, sympathetic black guy? Knee jerk Democratic reaction.

No, Blair and Obama don't share all that many similarities (except that grin, come on, that's big). But I connect them because I see him, sooner or later, going down like Blair, as soon as he's forced to take a definite stand. Right now he's just a blank screen people project their hopes on, and Republicans can't attack.

I'm not against him. Not really sure how I could be. I'm just sceptical to the reaction towards him.

But I didn't know about that drug history. Hadn't seen that in any of the articles I'd read about him so far, strangely enough. Maybe it's so in the open that no one talks about it.

11/01/2006 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Apparently, not many people had until a few weeks ago. Now everyone's going 'he's the guy.'

I dunno. He gave a speech at the Democratic convention in '04 that was very well received. He's been talked up as a possible Dem contender in '08 ever since then.

It was a great speech, but it's clear that he could give great speeches about how refreshing cold water is on a hot day if he wanted to. He's an incredibly good speaker.

Personally, I was on board with him at the very beginning - I gave money to his Senate primary campaign, back when the Dem establishment was still backing a self-financing millionaire. I've just been waiting for those speeches to become leadership, and it hasn't happened yet.

Maybe someday.

11/01/2006 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

Compare Obama to Bill Clinton, who made a very poorly-received speech at the 1988 Democratic Convention (nominating Dukakis? introducing Dukakis? I forget)--it just went on way too long--and then recovered from it by somehow getting on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and showing everyone what a charming and intelligent guy he was.

11/01/2006 07:07:00 PM  

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