Tuesday, October 28, 2008

18 HOURS A DAY WITH OBAMA & STILL NOT KNOWING HIM

Peter Nicholas, LA Times - One of the striking ironies is that a man who draws tens of thousands of people to his rallies, whose charisma is likened to that of John F. Kennedy, can be sort of a bore.

Discipline is essential for candidates who want to drive home a consistent message, or avoid the self-sabotage that comes with a careless answer. A steely perseverance helps explain why Obama at this point stands a better than even chance of becoming the 44th president. But when you're exposed to the guy 18 hours a day, it's a bit maddening. You want him to loosen up.

I've watched Obama demonstrate a soccer kick to his daughter in Chicago; devour a cheesesteak in Philly; navigate a roller rink in Indiana; drive a bumper car; and catapult 125 feet in the air on an amusement-park ride called "Big Ben." He's done it all with dogged professionalism, but with little show of spontaneity. After all this time with him, I still can't say with certainty who he is. . .

There was [a] moment not long ago when I tried to wrest from Obama some display of personality.
Amy Chozick, a Wall Street Journal reporter, was wearing a new engagement ring. I told Obama's staff members they should send him back to take a look. A few minutes before takeoff my seatmate, Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times, nudged me: "He's coming back." I looked up and there he was, hovering over Chozick, clucking about her "rock."

He turned to our row. Just for fun and to see what he might say, I held out the $200 wedding ring I'd purchased four years ago at a chain jewelry store in a Sacramento mall.

What do you think of this ring, Senator? I asked. He looked at it for a few beats. No reaction. He was back in robo-candidate mode.

Zeleny then asked him about a recent debate. Obama chided him for asking the question, then eased back to his seat at the front of the plane without answering. I later asked Douglass if Obama understood I was joking. She assured me he did.

First Clinton, then John McCain made the argument that Obama is someone we don't really know. Obama's supporters counter that we have his record in the U.S. and Illinois senates, two memoirs that reveal his inner thinking and a vast trove of public speaking. Ironically, those of us who were sent out to take his measure in person can't offer much help in answering who he is, or if he is ready. The barriers set in place between us and him were just too great.

11 Comments:

At October 28, 2008 4:02 PM, Anonymous brad wilson said...

How pathetic. There are issues and policies to be concerned with, and we still have journalists playing junior psychologist. Who cares if he's boring or not? I want competent and reasonable.

Sheesh!

 
At October 28, 2008 5:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree. I'm fed up with the celebrity factor ruling the discourse in politics. Abraham Lincoln may not have met with the modern journo's approval either, and who the f**k with a functioning intellect cares?

 
At October 28, 2008 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who can blame him ? Campaign Journalist tend to be a ravenous lot.

Around such people , one is well advised to bear in mind , that all branches of the human tree are rooted in cannibalism, and while most of us have no rational fear of being a menu item - we should nevertheless, maintain a healthy regard for the teeth of "ink stained wretches" .

 
At October 28, 2008 11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those of us concerned about the possibility that the package might be a whole lot of wrapping with little else inside, the article just might have a note of resonance.

 
At October 28, 2008 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a question for your functioning intellect, why is it that for every dollar Wall Street contributes to McCain they pony up three for Obama?

 
At October 29, 2008 6:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sam:
We want to believe in Dear Leader. Why do you want to make us question our belief?

 
At October 29, 2008 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:04, if you're a McCain supporter, I can't do much to jump-start your intellect I'm afraid.

 
At October 29, 2008 11:00 AM, Blogger PlanB247 said...

this article is nothing more than further spreading the right-wing meme that "we don't know him" which is code for "he's a one-man sleeper cell". please don't submit us to another 4-8 years of echoing right-wing witch hunts, Sam. I for one, can do without it.

I look at it more that we support Obama to election day and then we start working on him to implement a real, progressive agenda. whereas, with McCain, there is no chance for such a thing. this stuff just feeds into the whole horse-race, personality contest mentality and is as bad as anything in the MSM. how about some facts and policy instead, Sam? (and don't even tell me we don't know Obama's policies, because they're all over his website and his public appearances)

 
At October 29, 2008 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a load of bull.

We got the same story fed to us in 1992, and Clintons policies made things worse for labor and working class people with declining union membership, declining wages, declining real quality of life, etc. etc.

Vote Nader.

 
At October 29, 2008 12:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How will an economic policy directed by Rubin and Altman be different from that of Paulson or Gramm?

Does anyone out there truly believe a foreign policy advised by Brzezinski translates into peace and stability in places such as 'Eurasia'?

Maybe some answers can be derived from his over 236 NV US Senate votes?

It mystifies me how so many have found favorable resolution to such a quandary.
As for me, ready solace remains elusive and that is why I'll be voting third party.
cheers

 
At October 29, 2008 3:27 PM, Anonymous Go Nader said...

If prorev readers were paying attention to anyone other than huffingtonpost or commondreams (some irony there), they might find all they need to know about Mr. Obama.
"Recently, Barack Obama has found his own convenient rationales for endorsing broad presidential powers in the area of surveillance. When he signed on to the surveillance bill Congress passed this summer, Sen. Obama broke an explicit campaign promise to filibuster any legislation that would grant immunity to FISA-flouting telecom companies. By voting for the bill, Obama helped legalize large swaths of a dragnet surveillance program he'd long claimed to oppose. Perhaps some were comforted by Obama's "firm pledge that as president, I will carefully monitor the program." But our constitutional structure envisions stronger checks than the supposed benevolence of our leaders." (from Gene Healy: New president won't tame executive power
By GENE HEALY
Cato Institute vice president)
http://www.ocregister.com/articles/president-obama-bush-2193971-presidency-administration

 

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