More Electable the Hillary
September 14, 2006 12:45 PM   Subscribe

Barrack Obama is being urged by former political opponent Dan Hynes to run for president in '08 in a most eloquent open letter.
posted by sourbrew (110 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
I hope that I don't get piled on for a one link article. I found the entire letter to be very powerful, in particular the allusions to Lincoln. This is probably because it touched the deep dark secret part of my heart where Democrats are interested in being Democrats again.
posted by sourbrew at 12:47 PM on September 14, 2006


and the title should be "More Electable than Hillary"... sigh
posted by sourbrew at 12:47 PM on September 14, 2006


I don't think Barack is presidential material yet. His speech at the Sojournors Conference was excellent, but with two years in federal office, it seems like he has the same chances at John Edwards (who, imho, is doing a better job as an anti-poverty activist now than he ever did as a senator).
posted by parmanparman at 12:53 PM on September 14, 2006


I always spell Sojourner wrong! doh
posted by parmanparman at 12:54 PM on September 14, 2006


I don't mind a one link post--that is my specialty--but a one guy movement seems not likely to unseat the spot Hillary now occupies, though there are many months prior to nomination time. How long has Hillary served? A long shot for sometime down the road, if he gets elected to the senate: Lamont. He his party a sense of cohesion and purpose; he is young; he is attractive; he is a good speaker. And he is very wealthy.
posted by Postroad at 1:03 PM on September 14, 2006


Wow. I mean, did you read the letter? Good stuff.

There are those who will say that my support of you is self serving. And while that is a rather cynical view, it is also accurate. I think your election as President is best for our country and my children, and to the extent that this is self serving so be it.

Rock on, Mr Hynes.
posted by grabbingsand at 1:05 PM on September 14, 2006


I think that Hillary is unelectable. It is only certain aspects of the upper echelon of the democratic national convention that seem to think that she is electable. Her policies as of late seem to read like they come off of polls and not any actual personal opinion on her part. That makes her as lifeless and unelectable as Kerry was. I like Obama because he has principals, and seems to be more than willing to stick to them. Something that is quite rare indeed these days.
posted by sourbrew at 1:08 PM on September 14, 2006


This letter writer really frames the potential candidacy of Obama in a precise and prophetic light. The allusions and similarities to Lincoln (both of experience and geography) are not just a nice touch - they could be the themes of an Obama campaign. A man perfectly realized for his time.

I buy it. I'm on board. I'm all bout it. I can get jiggy wit dat. It's all good. No diggity. No doubt. Bag it up. Etc.
posted by billysumday at 1:14 PM on September 14, 2006


Obama probably has as much political experience as JFK did at a similar stage in his career, FWIW. I say, why not?

The only thing that's going to stop Hillary from getting the nod (and another subsequent general election disaster for the Democrats), is to have as many real candidates (and not fake ones like Gephardt and Joe Biden) in the primary pool as possible.

I do think Obama is the real deal, I just hope the country can suffer another moron or two by the time he's ready to be president. I don't think he'll be moved to run for a while.
posted by Hypnic jerk at 1:18 PM on September 14, 2006


Hypnic,

If you read the letter it talks about JFK, he actually has more, and is older.
posted by sourbrew at 1:20 PM on September 14, 2006


I agree that Hillary is unelectable. She does seem lifeless, plus I feel the voters in the heartland will find her too abrasive. She lacks the likeability that made the majority love Bill. It would be great to see Obama, or any other Politian, stick to his/her principals and not be swayed by the spin doctors that end up running the campaigns and using the candidate as their puppet.
posted by Big Mike at 1:21 PM on September 14, 2006


I dislike politics a great deal, so I'm not inclined to cheer along. Suddenly every psa, headline, and accompanying photograph is annoying me with the religious...I mean politica...meme patterns.
posted by unpoppy at 1:22 PM on September 14, 2006


Sadly, I don't think America is capable of electing a woman or an African-American to the presidency anytime soon.
posted by gnutron at 1:23 PM on September 14, 2006


Am I the only one who got a little choked up reading that letter? Wow.

Barrack seems both intelligent and genuine...and I can't think of many peolpe serving in congress or the white house in my lifetime who I can say that about. Certainly not Clinton or Bush.

You know what...I think he could win in 2008. I really do.

I was in Minnesota when Jesse Ventura won the governorship and I was here in California when Arnold won out here. I think nowadays that the general voting population is much more open to taking a person for who they are rather than their years of experience.

I wish he would run. It would mean that for the first time in my 35 year life I'd be able to support a serious presidential candidate that I actually give a damn about. Not just the lesser of two evils.
posted by django_z at 1:23 PM on September 14, 2006


django_z, I certainly got a little misty eyed. I almost worded that into the post, but opted to instead mention that it touched my heart. The optimism in that letter is incredible. I want my country back.
posted by sourbrew at 1:24 PM on September 14, 2006


I don't think Barack is presidential material yet.
posted by parmanparman at 12:53 PM


VS, say the present gent in the office?

The bar has been lowered, don't ya know.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:28 PM on September 14, 2006


He actually probably should run now. Lack of experience is actually an advantage in this day and age... it means there's less they can use against you. (see Kerry, John)
posted by fungible at 1:29 PM on September 14, 2006


Hillary is unelectable, too much baggage from the first Clinton admin. The Monica thing left her with two bad choices (stick with Bill or leave), both of which were bound to cause a permanent problem with either one set of voters or another. Meanwhile insufficient numbers of Americans are gonna vote for a woman pres anyway.

The next go-round is the Dems to lose unless they find a way to really screw up. Running Hillary would be one such way. Mr Obama... not sure but maybe only a season or two too early.
posted by scheptech at 1:29 PM on September 14, 2006


I think Hillary might suprise us. I imagine that I may eat these words come 2008, but suppose for a moment that the Democrats take back the Senate, suddenly Hillary is poised to be the majority leader, the first female majority leader, meanwhile taking all the flak as the supposed Democratic frontrunner. She is allowed to transfer the fortune she's raised to the DNC, so it could become the war chest of the Obama campaign. Just a theory, though a common one.
posted by cal71 at 1:35 PM on September 14, 2006


Sadly, I don't think America is capable of electing a woman or an African-American to the presidency anytime soon.

I think it's likely that a female candidate could get elected at this point, but I think it will be at least another generation before an African-American could have a reasonable expectation of success in the general election.
posted by briank at 1:35 PM on September 14, 2006


briank,

Look at the implosion of Allens campaign in Virginia because of his macaca statement. Prior to this year I felt the same way, but now I'm not so sure.
posted by sourbrew at 1:37 PM on September 14, 2006


Tell ya what, then -- Barack with Hil as running mate. He gets to use all the campaign money, she gets to preside over Senate.
posted by pax digita at 1:40 PM on September 14, 2006


Obama rocks, without question, and Obama as President would be an eloquent response to the excuse for an adult holding office now.

My question is this: who would be his V.P. - Hillary?

America needs real leadership, and Obama has that inate charisma that Hillary never could.
posted by tzelig at 1:41 PM on September 14, 2006


His lack of political experience entices me because, IMHO, he hasn't had the time to "play politics" like so many old timers do. His honesty and ambition could possibly rejuvenate this tired old country.
posted by batty at 1:42 PM on September 14, 2006


I have been hearing Barrack for President for years now. I'm from the East Coast and this has always mystified me (why would kids in Massachusetts even know about this guy?).

I don't think America would have as much trouble electing a minority as electing a woman.
posted by shownomercy at 1:42 PM on September 14, 2006


Obama has a remarkable ability to convince you that his positions are motivated purely by principles, not tactical considerations. This skill is so subtle and impressive, it resembles Luke Skywalker's mastery of the Force.

Obama's a very charismatic guy, but I don't know if charisma is enough for me. Feingold is the go-to guy for demonstrating principle, and he has the extensive voting record to back it up.
posted by Galvatron at 1:42 PM on September 14, 2006


Before reading that letter, I was convinced 2008 was too soon, but after reading it I'm certain that there will be no better time.

I consider myself really fortunate that I'll get to see Obama speak on Nov. 2.
posted by drezdn at 1:44 PM on September 14, 2006


The people who wouldn't vote for a candidate solely because (s)he's an African-American are not the kind of people who would vote for a Democrat anyway. That's just silly thinking. Obama has the potential to win in two years. It's not as if the 80% of Illinoisans (or whatever percentage of people voted for him in 2004) were all African-Americans. In fact, I think it could work to his advantage - many people would be inspired to cast their vote, and to help his campaign, if not solely because of his race, then as a reproach to those who might make the issue of his heritage into something negative. In a way, it's the one thing that the opposition can't attack without looking petty, foolish, and bigoted.
posted by billysumday at 1:46 PM on September 14, 2006


Am I the only one asking, Barack who? What has he accomplished as senator? What has he done exactly? Has he taken the initiative on any issue? Has he displayed any unique vision?

The comparisons to Kennedy aren't inspiring either. Kennedy got us into Vietnam and was responsible for the Bay of Pigs fiasco. And he wasn't president long enough to be judged on anything other than his post assasination myth.

The way Obama is being aggrandized is a little bizarre. Prophetic? Invoking Lincoln? That's all meaningless. Obama bears as much relationship to Lincoln as Bush does. They are very different people from very different times.

There is nothing to criticize him for because there doesn't seem to be anything there.

I’ve seen you develop alliances, issue by issue, with senators with whom you disagree.

You'll recall that Bush did the same thing, more often, and with more people in Texas.

Can he unify the Democratic party? Maybe, I'm not sure. Can he win in the South? No. Can he win outside of cities? Who knows. He hasn't really been tested. His victory in the Senate was over a very obviously corrupt, very obviously non-Republican Republican.

At least Hillary has been put through the wringer and emerged victorious.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:47 PM on September 14, 2006


What about an Obama/Gore ticket? It'd be kind of like the Bush/Cheney ticket, with a young, populist guy at the top and a seasoned Washington veteran to balance things out on the VP spot. Only, y'know, not evil.

I'd quit my job to work for that campaign.
posted by EarBucket at 1:49 PM on September 14, 2006


Pastabagel,

You think Hillary can win in the South? Living here I would have to say that's pretty damn unlikely. There are few people that are as constantly vilified in southern media than Hillary.
posted by sourbrew at 1:53 PM on September 14, 2006


I am excited by the idea of Barrack running, something I haven't been excited about since Clinton ran. He's the only person (other than Feingold) that gets talked about as a possible presidental candidate that I hear and go "yeah!"

And I'm not the only one. Anyone I talk to of the left leaning persuation will talk about the potential candidates and Obama is alway thrown out there by someone. ANd the response is always "I'd vote for him, but he's too young to run yet." Not saying they wouldn't vote for him, but that they don't expect him to run.

I think he'd win and I think just him running would send the neocons into a panic.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 1:53 PM on September 14, 2006


Her policies as of late seem to read like they come off of polls and not any actual personal opinion on her part.

Bill had to successful terms doing just that.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:56 PM on September 14, 2006


two, rather
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:57 PM on September 14, 2006


A Hillary win would just make me roll my eyes and shake my head some more, and I think it would be a very difficult sell. I don't know anyone that actually likes her, she's just, you know, not Bush. And you know where that got us all last time around.

I would be ridiculously thrilled to see Obama go for it. It'd be really impressive, and I think you'd see a groundswell of support for a young, brilliant, charismatic black man going for the presidency, from great swaths of people who never bother to vote. Sure, there'd be all sorts of racist bastards voting for Anyone But Him, and whatever, but I really don't think it would be enough to tip the balance.

If there's anyone that can help steer America out of its current self-absorbed downward spiral, I think it would be him. But I also really don't know if the grand old creaky apparatus of the DNC would ever actually let it happen, at least not before sucking the life and soul out of him, or whatever it is they do to candidates.
posted by blacklite at 1:58 PM on September 14, 2006


Metafilter: "Knock Knock."

Pastabagel: "Who's there?"

Metafilter: "Barack Obama"

Pastabagel: "Barack Obama WHO?"

Metafilter: "Barack Obama Yo Mama."

This guy has been doing notably great stuff for years. Unfortunately they have been turbulent years starring global and political catastrophes that leave many more deserving players waiting in the wings. Google the dood.
posted by hermitosis at 1:59 PM on September 14, 2006


And I'm not the only one. Anyone I talk to of the left leaning persuation will talk about the potential candidates and Obama is alway thrown out there by someone

Great, but wouldn't you and these other left-leaning people probably vote for whoever the democratic candidate is? The question is not will you vote for him, but will someone who voted for Bush in 2004 vote for him?

sourbrew, can hillary win the south? I bet she can win LA, and maybe florida. As I said before, a lot of republicans hate her but they aren't voting democrat anyway, so who cares? Imagine Bill campaigning with her.

Frankly, I think someone like John Breaux has a better chance of winning than these other staples of the democratic party. He's sort of moderate, but can win in the south, and a lot of republicans like him. He's a little vanilla, but who doesn't like vanilla?
posted by Pastabagel at 1:59 PM on September 14, 2006


Am I the only one asking, Barack who?

Lookin' for a Leader.
Check out the discussion just past halfway:
"Who's Obama?"
posted by chococat at 2:00 PM on September 14, 2006


The letter sucks. He starts off convincing Obama he's old enough to run, and then convincing him that he's experienced enough to run. Apart from sounding patronizing, I found it, and the comparisons to Lincoln kind of obnoxious.

Obama's decision to run shouldn't be concerned with what people think of either of those issues. The letter just kind of frames these issues as relevant or important when they shouldn't be. I don't think it's wise to highlight Obama's shortcomings in a letter convincing him to run.

But the paragraph you mentioned grabbingsand, it was good, but it also happened to be best one in the letter.
posted by banished at 2:01 PM on September 14, 2006


My perception of Senator Obama is that he's pretty and gives a nice convention keynote. But I cannot think of a single substantive thing he's done that would convince me he has the capacity to be President of the United States.

But I'm happy to be persuaded otherwise. Could his supporters post links with evidence that the Senator has what it takes to be the most powerful executive on the planet. I'm looking for deeds, not words.

I'm serious. I've got an open mind. What's he got?

Oh, and spare me the comparisons with President Bush. That's a given. My dog would do the job better than he, but she's not running in 2008 and neither will the President.
posted by mojohand at 2:03 PM on September 14, 2006


Didn't Obama admit to smoking crack at one time? I think America would be fine with his race. Hell he is the American dream. Family comes from a poor african country and now their son is in the Senate? The story is something anyone would fall in love with. Espeacially when matched with his speaking prowess.

They would have a problem with the crack thing though. Granted it is impressive that he admitted it, but do you really think he could get past the "Are you smoking CRACK?" jokes?
posted by aburd at 2:03 PM on September 14, 2006


I enjoy your use of the "Dan" tag. People searching for posts about people and or things named Dan will be delighted!
posted by jonson at 2:05 PM on September 14, 2006


(why would kids in Massachusetts even know about this guy?)

Why "kids"? They don't vote. Everybody I know in Massachusetts (where I live) knows about Obama and likes him a lot.
posted by languagehat at 2:08 PM on September 14, 2006


I'm serious. I've got an open mind. What's he got?

I guess take a look at his voting record
posted by cal71 at 2:10 PM on September 14, 2006


I think he'd win and I think just him running would send the neocons into a panic.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 4:53 PM EST on September 14 [+] [!]


You are assuming his opponent is a neocon. Remember, the Republicans can run an anti-Bush candidate in 08. If he smoked crack and didn't buy his way out of political purghatory by playing the convenient "born-again" card, he's pretty much unelectable. I doubt he gets the nomination.

The democrats might want to consider rallying behind Bill Richardson.
posted by Pastabagel at 2:12 PM on September 14, 2006


I understand why people say "Hillary is unelectable", and it does seem, in many ways, a common-sense conclusion. But I think if you look closely, she might actually be in pretty good shape. Her poll numbers are polarized, yes: they're evenly divided between favorable and unfavorable. But the polls will be polarized for whichever candidate is eventually nominated; it's simply the nature of our current political climate. And remember, Hillary has the Clinton political machine working for her. These are people who know how to raise (lots and lots of) money, and who know how to campaign. The past two Democratic presidential failures were more failures of campaigns than they were failures of candidates, I think. And if you're looking for a candidate who can stand up against meanspirited Republican attacks (I'm looking at you, John Kerry), Hillary has got to be your woman. She's hardened against the harshest of media spotlights, and she has no secrets, no surprises. I wouldn't describe her as a Teflon candidate; she's more of a six-foot-thick-iron-armor candidate.

I dunno, I can definitely see some pluses.

aburd writes "Didn't Obama admit to smoking crack at one time?"

Well, someone is definitely smoking crack....

Pastabagel writes "The democrats might want to consider rallying behind Bill Richardson."

Richardson's my candidate. I like the guy.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:18 PM on September 14, 2006


I can't find anything other than comments on forums like this one that supports the notion he smoked crack. It actually sounds a lot like the sort of racist smeer campaign that would undoubtedly be run against him. Please link me to anything refuting this though.
posted by sourbrew at 2:22 PM on September 14, 2006


Wasn't Hillary just signalling she might not toss her hat in the ring for 08? Just a week or two ago?

Obama's got the same age and experience as JFK, essentially did.

But his race makes him bullet bait in the worst way. I'd vote for him though.
posted by Fupped Duck at 2:23 PM on September 14, 2006


Uhhhh Gore-Obama?

Both, in my opinion, intelligent and genuine. I doubt that the electorate will consider Obama to have enough experience, no matter how low - millimetres it might seem - GWB has lowered the bar.
posted by Flashman at 2:25 PM on September 14, 2006


He'd be an unelectable presidential candidate for one reason:

"Whut? Y'all want me to vote for Osama?"

Which is sad, because he's shown himself to be an orator, leader and visionary, qualities that have been sorely lacking in the US for something like six years.
posted by solid-one-love at 2:26 PM on September 14, 2006


One of my favorite Obama moments.

This man will be president. Though I've not met him myself, everything I've read and heard from people who have encountered him. Apparently, to be in the same room with him is to feel as though you're breathing the same air as a future legend.
posted by Iridic at 2:26 PM on September 14, 2006 [3 favorites]


I guess take a look at his voting record

Okay, let's look at his voting record.

Obama supports illegal surveillance and random interrogations of citizens.

Obama supports a bureaucrat who has a history of enabling depotism and torture around the world.

Obama supports the promotion of incompetent federal employees who allowed 9/11 on their watch.

Obama funnels tax dollars to further a religious agenda of sexual abstinence which is statistically useless in preventing pregancies and STDs.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:27 PM on September 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


I dunno, his trip to Kenya seemed like a pretty shrewed diplomatic move. And he's got both midwestern and hawaiin street cred.
Sadly, tho, I can imagine the tawdry right-wing bumperstickers now:
"The difference between OBAMA and OSAMA is BS! Vote Rumsfeld"
posted by DenOfSizer at 2:28 PM on September 14, 2006


Which is to say that Obama's voting record helps make him the ultimate post-Bush GOP candidate, in terms of furthering several critical foreign and domestic aspects of the overall neoconservative agenda.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:29 PM on September 14, 2006


Okay, let's look at his voting record.

Obama supports illegal surveillance and random interrogations of citizens.

Obama supports a bureaucrat who has a history of enabling depotism and torture around the world.

Obama supports the promotion of incompetent federal employees who allowed 9/11 on their watch.

Obama funnels tax dollars to further a religious agenda of sexual abstinence which is statistically


Cool. That means he'll win in Texas.
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 2:31 PM on September 14, 2006


blazecock pileon

first link

Senate Passage Vote: 7/29/2005: Passed: Unanimous Consent.

second link

Senate Confirmation Vote: 04/21/2005: Confirmed: 98 - 2: Record Vote Number: 107.

third link

Senate Confirmation Vote: 01/26/2005: Passed: 85 - 13. Record Vote Number: 2.

Fourth Link

this one you just get the highlights, it was rejected by the gop he voted for it



- Increases funding and access to family planning services

- Funds legislation that requires equitable prescription coverage for contraceptives under health plans

- Funds legislation that would create and expand teen pregnancy prevention programs and education programs concerning emergency contraceptives


you will notice all of the "questionable votes" occured in 2005, when you could still be reliably painted as a terrorist lap dog by the gop. No one in congress had any balls till about April of this year.
posted by sourbrew at 2:32 PM on September 14, 2006


I am not sure how funding contraceptive coverage in health care is part of the gop agenda, nor am i sure how voting as almost every other senator some how makes him worse than they are.
posted by sourbrew at 2:33 PM on September 14, 2006


Blazecock Pileon, I think you misrepresented his vote on the Unintended Pregnancies Amendment, abstinence education is, unfortunately, a part of it, but to pass it at all, that seems to be a necessary evil.

As for the other votes you mention, I totally agree and find them quite disheartening. I think I, like most people, like the idea of Obama more than the reality.
posted by cal71 at 2:35 PM on September 14, 2006


>> Obama's got the same age and experience as JFK, essentially did.

Yeesh. You should know that I find that comparison...disturbing.
posted by mojohand at 2:36 PM on September 14, 2006


I think it says something about Obama that my parents, lifelong-Republicans-beyond-all-common-sense, have expressed an interest in voting for him should he run. I fell out of my chair when they said it. Why? Because I once made my mother cry when I told her that I had voted for Clinton's second term. That is how strongly they cling to their beliefs.

As for the race issue? This is also the set of parents who referred to my Korean-American room mate as "oriental" and who used to lock the doors when they saw African-Americans on a city street. Oh yes. If these two would vote for Obama, I am convinced that quite a few Republicans would.
posted by jeanmari at 2:37 PM on September 14, 2006


Her poll numbers are polarized.. the polls will be polarized for whichever candidate is eventually nominated

If by polarized you mean split 50/50 I'd say not necessarily, and the last thing anyone needs is another "Great Polarizer" to succeed the current one.
posted by scheptech at 2:37 PM on September 14, 2006


I enjoy your use of the "Dan" tag. People searching for posts about people and or things named Dan will be delighted!

Too true, and currently as it is the only Dan tag, they will have no other choice than to read this thread ;-)

/point taken

I'm gonna leave the tag though.
posted by sourbrew at 2:42 PM on September 14, 2006


I enjoy your use of the "Dan" tag. People searching for posts about people and or things named Dan will be delighted!

doh that quote was from jonson... sorry
posted by sourbrew at 2:43 PM on September 14, 2006


nor am i sure how voting as almost every other senator some how makes him worse than they are.

Perhaps he's part of the problem, then, if he can't be bothered to vote his conscience.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:44 PM on September 14, 2006


I really like Obama, but I don't think 2008 is his year. The problem is that, if he loses, he has to go into the wilderness for four years. Currently, Edwards seems to have pulled it off, and I think he's looking more and more like a good shot for the nomination against Hillary. But it's hard to pull off.

And these "Draft X" things are nothing new. Here's Draft Condi. A fan out there gets in touch with a candidate who might have even the slightest twitch about a run, and they put up things like this to get some feedback. Not that the letter isn't eloquent, but no more so than the usual tripe you get for any other candidate, along with prophecy and "please hope us" rhetoric.

Anyways, Russ Feingold is one of the few people who deserves to be POTUS for his principle and his willingness to stand up to Bush monarchists. But his Judaism and his divorces will hurt if he does decide to run. Good choices against Hillary are Edwards, Bayh, and as mentioned, Richardson--sweeping AZ, NM, NV, CO would bode well for elections after 2008.

Entirely IMHO, of course.
posted by bardic at 2:46 PM on September 14, 2006


America may be ready for a female president if this were peacetime. I just don't see it happening with Osama still out there. Sure, we'll hear a lot about how women are just as capable of being president as men, but when it comes down to the voting booths, I think a large part of this country (possibly more than we're comfortable admitting) just wouldn't trust something as big as the GWOT to a woman regardless of her qualifications or who is running against her.

Now is not the time to test America's egalitarianism. Running Hillary would be a strategic blunder I think.
posted by SBMike at 2:48 PM on September 14, 2006


Great, but wouldn't you and these other left-leaning people probably vote for whoever the democratic candidate is? The question is not will you vote for him, but will someone who voted for Bush in 2004 vote for him?

Ding ding ding! We have a winner!

I like Obama, and would certainly vote for him in 2008, although I think having four more years of seasoning wouldn't hurt. And I think those on the Feingold train need to step right off. He's way too outside the mainstream to be electable. Sticking to principles is an admirable quality, but it's the substance of those principles that impacts a vote.

By the way, I think the U.S. could easily elect a black president -- probably easier than a female president. And I'm not just talking Democrats -- I think most Republicans would pull the switch for Colin Powell.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:50 PM on September 14, 2006


(And SBMike reminds me, what genius in the RNC will come up with the Obama <3 Osama meme?)
posted by bardic at 2:51 PM on September 14, 2006


Any Dem running for POTUS would love to have the vote of someone who voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004. But there's another type of voter--the Republican who's so disgusted with the "conservative" principles of Bush (biggest government ever, biggest debt ever, biggest threat of government intrusion into your private life ever, largest number of illegal immigrants ever, a president who wants to offer them complete amenesty) that they simply stay at home or vote a potential third-party ticket (Gingrich? Buchanan?).

Bush's tight victories in 2000 and 2004 (his so-called "mandates") came because Rove put together a pretty amazing GOTV effort, especially among Evangelicals. I'd be willing to bet that there's a good chance many of these people will not allow the RNC to fool them again. So no, these people would never vote Obama or, god forbid, Hillary, but having them stay home or vote third-party in protest is a partial victory.
posted by bardic at 2:57 PM on September 14, 2006


He favors gay rights, supported gun rights vs. the fed confiscating firearms in N.O., voted for boosting appropriations for the V.A. and opposed bankruptcy reform. I can’t say I’m entirely on board with his other gun control positions, but he’s on board with government transparency and the HOPE Act is a great bill. I like his line about there being patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and patriots who supported the war in Iraq.
I don’t like that he brings faith into politics (he expressed opposition to removing ‘under God’ from the pledge of allegiance) but his concessions favor unity and stability in society.
I’d vote for him. I’ll grant that Jack Ryan was a complete asshole (and so say many folks at Northwestern) and nearly anyone not suffering from paranoid delusions could have beaten Keyes, but I’d rather see a guy like this at the helm than Hillary.
But I dunno, he’s really likable, he's got balls, several key failures have lead to his success, many rich and powerful people are chuming up to him - perhaps he’s the anti-christ.

“Didn't Obama admit to smoking crack at one time?”
Yeah, I heard his wife is having a black baby.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:58 PM on September 14, 2006


I think a black man is more electable than a woman, because he is a man. Racism is an issue, but in terms of selling a black man as a leader, the strategies are the same as for any man. But the gender difference is crucial - all the PR strategie to create a sense of authority and firmness are optimised for men - and actually, just about every culture in the world is oriented towards male power. Many women in politics just come off as shrill, and that's why - PR people don't know how to create feminine power. Thatcher knew how -- a woman looking for power could do worse than to copy her style, though for the sake of humanity please don't keep the policies that went with it. Thatcher was power with a handbag.

I actually don't have any rational reasons to believe this, but something inside me just feels like Obama would have a better chance than Clinton. Perhaps because he is more charismatic, and certainly does not have the problem of the spousal shadow. I'm sure that I've been somewhat propagandised into thinking of Obama as a likely candidate (since it's been bantered about since his first big speech), but it's also that the American Democrats have already tried the safe candidate approach, and failed. Why no go all out, and get a candidate who is inspiring, even if he isn't as "electable" as those other....defeated... candidates.
posted by jb at 3:02 PM on September 14, 2006


By the way, I think the U.S. could easily elect a black president -- probably easier than a female president. And I'm not just talking Democrats -- I think most Republicans would pull the switch for Colin Powell.

I would tend to agree. I would say that the degree of racism towards african-americans in the baby boomer generation essentially ends at the "don't bring home a black guy" attitude towards their children. I don't think any of the conservative boomers I know would have a problem voting for an african american.
posted by fusinski at 3:10 PM on September 14, 2006


The only thing that's going to stop Hillary from getting the nod (and another subsequent general election disaster for the Democrats), is to have as many real candidates (and not fake ones like Gephardt and Joe Biden) in the primary pool as possible.

This is absolutely true. It's why DLC will will never let it happen. I'm convinced they'd rather stick to the script and lose than deviate and take a chance at really winning.
posted by scody at 3:17 PM on September 14, 2006


At this point there are a totoal of two people I would vote for, Feingold and Obama. Almost anyone else the Ds throw up that I know of earns a big meh and my first presidential election pass.

It would be intersting to see Obama go up against McCain (the likely R nominee), the two of them have a... "history".
posted by edgeways at 3:37 PM on September 14, 2006


: The way Obama is being aggrandized is a little bizarre.

Maybe... Or not. He seems to attract a lot of idealistic enthusiasm without being extremist. This is not a bad quality in a leader.

Here's Obama's OnTheIssues.com page and WaPo Senate votes page. He votes mostly with party, but not always.
posted by zennie at 3:41 PM on September 14, 2006


where did this obama smoked crack thing come from? my god, has the whisper campaign started already?
posted by lord_wolf at 4:02 PM on September 14, 2006


Obama talked about his teen experiences with drugs in his memoir from 1995, Dreams From My Father.
posted by zennie at 4:16 PM on September 14, 2006


I'm not singling this guy out because I think almost all politicians would have done this. But I am disapointed by it.
posted by markulus at 4:22 PM on September 14, 2006


This....
posted by markulus at 4:23 PM on September 14, 2006


Bayh could not be more boring. I just saw him at a fairly small meet-and-greet. Obama is a thousand times more charismatic and exciting.

Obama's dilema will be if any of the bigfoot types (Hillary, Bayh, Richardson) ask him to be veep on their ticket. Take it and possibly go down on a losing ticket in '08? Or wait for '12?
posted by Mid at 4:43 PM on September 14, 2006


where did this obama smoked crack thing come from?

I haven't read his autobiography (yet), but I understand that he discusses some drug use from his teens. I have no idea if that included crack; somehow that does have the whiff of smear about it. At any rate the chump in office now has flogged his 'born-again bad boy' image to the cheers of half the nation, so I don't see why it would have to be a problem for Obama.
I would really love a Gore/Obama ticket. Or Obama/Gore. Any way they choose to slice it.
posted by maryh at 4:45 PM on September 14, 2006


where did this obama smoked crack thing come from?

I guess the rumor mill (that now includes myself) has allowed it to jump from "blow" to crack. And that does sound like a racially based switch to me.
posted by aburd at 4:56 PM on September 14, 2006


zennie writes "Obama talked about his teen experiences with drugs in his memoir from 1995, Dreams From My Father."

Whoa, he's completely blunt about doing drugs. Doesn't he know this is the USA, where we expect our politicians to lie about these things?
posted by mullingitover at 5:00 PM on September 14, 2006


Well, maybe if he smoked crack and didn't inhale?
posted by Eekacat at 5:55 PM on September 14, 2006


Hillary Clinton as Democratic Candidate guarantees another four years minimum of thugtacular Republican presidency. You Americans are skilled beyond belief at fucking yourselves over in ever-more schadenfreude-inspiring ways, so this is actually the result I'd put money on.

Still, Obama? I would love to see that, even if he didn't win. But I actually think that he probably would.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:09 PM on September 14, 2006


Doesn't he know this is the USA, where we expect our politicians to lie about these things?

Schwarzenegger.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:10 PM on September 14, 2006


People love Obama because he allows us to hope again. It's corny and it's emotional and, no, it's not a voting record, but in a lot of cases it's really that simple. People need hope.
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:45 PM on September 14, 2006 [2 favorites]


I believe that the first black and first female presidents will be republicans. Republicans would vote for a conservative bible-thumping tough talking black republican than voting for a godless liberal. They will then pick up an enormous part of the black vote, who traditionally vote for democrats. There would even be some whities on the left who would vote for a black republican just so they could have a black president. The same applies to women and how female democrats would likely vote for a female republican.

I think that Feingold getting the nomination would not be the republican landslide that conventional wisdom says it would be. Many folks on the right have never bothered to sit around and actually listen to and contemplate ideas from the left. Feingold debates would force them to do so. Feingold ads would force them to do so. Feingold may be able to convince poor white people to stop voting against their own economic interests. Democrats keep nominating conservative candidates who get even more conservative once they are nominated. Why not try to actually throw the real deal out there? When is the last time someone actually left of center was the democratic nominee? I think that this whole notion of someone truly to the left being unelectable is an untested myth.
posted by flarbuse at 8:13 PM on September 14, 2006


The way Obama is being aggrandized is a little bizarre.

Not really. Even with a voting record that betrays a rotten, corrupt conscience, it's like Machiavelli once said: people want to be ruled by assholes. Guilty liberals are no different.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:28 PM on September 14, 2006


It's not as if the 80% of Illinoisans (or whatever percentage of people voted for him in 2004) were all African-Americans.

His opponent was Alan Keyes. Keyes also had the disadavantage of being 1) not from Illinois, and 2) completely insane. He did liken Catholics to Nazis, and said "If my daughter were a lesbian, I'd look at her and say, 'That is a relationship that is based on selfish hedonism.' I would also tell my daughter that it's a sin and she needs to pray to the Lord God to help her deal with that sin." (Maya Keyes)

Final tally 70% Obama/ 24% Keyes. Keyes still hasn't conceded.
posted by swell at 8:44 PM on September 14, 2006


this is a move by hilary to get him to put his head above the parapet.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:10 AM on September 15, 2006


He should run. Either he's the real deal -- or he can at least convince enought people that he is -- and he will be elected. Or he's not. But if he sits around in the Senate then he will just go on becoming more and more compromised, more sleasy looking.

Either way, I'm voting for Jed Bartlett.
posted by jb at 5:20 AM on September 15, 2006


Or is that Jeb? I'm never sure - but he's our TV president, and deserves our TV respect. I can pretend to vote in TV American elections.
posted by jb at 5:22 AM on September 15, 2006


I understand why people say "Hillary is unelectable", and it does seem, in many ways, a common-sense conclusion. But I think if you look closely, she might actually be in pretty good shape.

Are you mental?

Really.

Hillary has about as much chance making it to the moon as she does ever making it to the White House for anything other than a friendly visit.

Here, I'll make it easy for everyone who's speculating:
posted by Deathalicious at 5:26 AM on September 15, 2006


The question the electorate should be trying to solve in 2008 is not whether Hilliary or Obama, or any other Dem is electable, but whether anyone running then would make a stellar President. Because it is going to take someone of the humanistic stature of a Washington, a Lincoln, or an FDR to pull the American Presidency out of the deep, deep doodoo that W. has dragged it into.

I can't imagine anyone taking the job in 2008, trying to put the State Department back together, putting the U.S. military on some kind of reasonable footing, trying to revamp world opinion about America, and being successful in those Herculean labors without having both considerable personal charm/charisma and terriffic political muscle. Hilliary has neither the charisma nor the political muscle to pull this off, and despite her seat on the Armed Services committee (and three of its sub-committees), her resonance with the military approaches zero.

I dunno about Obama as Prez either. Principles are all well and good in a President, but W. has his principles, too, which only goes to show that stupid principles can be disastrous at the Presidential level. I'd rather a pragmatist as President, this next go around.
posted by paulsc at 5:38 AM on September 15, 2006


I'd vote for Obama over any Dem currently running. Of course, I voted for Edwards, too, since I look at the Democrat presidential candidates over the last half-century and see that every non-charismatic one has lost. Obama and Edwards are young, but they have charisma. And I'm more willing to bet the presidency on one of them, young and inexperienced as they are, than on yet another wonky stiff with no charisma (Hillary, Gore, etc.)
posted by callmejay at 5:40 AM on September 15, 2006


I think Govenors are more electable because they can claim to have executive experience, but also because they have no Congress track record to taint them. Everyone in Congress makes so many compromises.
posted by jb at 6:33 AM on September 15, 2006


People who have not Obama may not realize just how powerful his charisma is. This is hard to overestimate in terms of electability. The guy is just likeable -- not slick, not gladhanding -- just a decent person who really seems like he cares and really struggles with the issues.

And people who blow off his '04 election victory in Illinois because of Keyes are overlooking that (a) the real action was in the Dem primary, where Obama beat several better-funded and more established candidates; and (b) until Jack Ryan blew up, Obama was running well ahead of him in the polls, despite the fact that Ryan was also young, handsome, smart, etc. This is a guy who through sheer force of his personality and character got through to people all over Illinois (including many rural Regan-Democrat types) in races against very strong competition. Unfortunately, the Illinois Republican collapse during the summer of 2004 has overshadowed just how much butt Obama was kicking before the Republicans did themselves in.
posted by Mid at 6:46 AM on September 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


Even Democrats hate Hillary. If she runs, the Republicans can put up Hitler, a mental retard, or a piece of shit and get at least 40%.

The system works!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:55 AM on September 15, 2006


Gore/Winfrey.
posted by jon_kill at 7:28 AM on September 15, 2006


Gore/Winfrey.

I wouldn't be so sure she's a Dem, jon_kill.
posted by callmejay at 7:50 AM on September 15, 2006


I love these political prognostication-type threads, truly, but I do want to say to all those "America would never elect...." or "America would only elect...." kinds of comments: who the hell can predict what kind of candidate Americans will vote for?

I was absolutely stunned (as were many much more qualified and experienced politics-watchers) that Schwarzeneggar managed to pull off what he did here in CA, that the whole recall effort worked in the first place. I've been stunned over and over at elections for the past six years. Republicans certainly were stunned in 1992 when some hillbilly from Arkansas beat an incumbent presidential candidate with, until shortly before the election, some of the highest approval ratings in history.

I don't think the fact that no senator has won in 30 years means too much (that's only seven elections), either. Americans are a very emotional people*, and every national election, it seems to me, depends more on the emotional state we're in at the time of the election, than on any actual objective criteria, like a candidate's ideas or qualifications.

Karl Rove understands this perfectly well, which is why this administration keeps on beating the fear drum (terrorists! gays! abortionists! flag-burners!!), to great effect. I think those who've commented that Obama's ability to inspire hope in the electorate are right that it could be a key element in any successful presidential campaign in 08.

A lot can happen between now and then, but I'm betting a majority of us will be thirsty for someone who will be (or at least makes us feel as if they are) genuine, forthright, and inspires hope that everything will be OK.

(*-I think Americans' irrationality--I mean that literally, the dominance of feeling over thinking--explains many of our current social trends, by the way.)
posted by LooseFilter at 8:25 AM on September 15, 2006


What about an Obama/Gore ticket? It'd be kind of like the Bush/Cheney ticket, with a young, populist guy at the top and a seasoned Washington veteran to balance things out on the VP spot. Only, y'know, not evil.

Also, Gore being on the ticket would have the advantage of making the campaign a referendum on the Bush Administration.

I'd quit my job to work for that campaign.

Same.

Also, more on-topic, I'm heavily in favor of Obama running now rather than accumulating Senate votes that can be used to Swiftboat him later on down the line.
posted by spiderwire at 8:34 AM on September 15, 2006


the Republicans can put up Hitler, a mental retard, or a piece of shit and get at least 40%.

Hey, Bush can't run again, Duh!
posted by prodigalsun at 9:40 AM on September 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


Hilary is pro-censorship. I'd vote for the retard or the piece of shit myself.
posted by Foosnark at 10:32 AM on September 15, 2006


Retard/Piece of Shit 2008
posted by elwoodwiles at 11:14 AM on September 15, 2006


I like that Piece of Shit! Seems like the kinda guy you could sit down and have a beer with.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:04 PM on September 15, 2006


Retard/Piece of Shit 2008

Has Bush/Cheney ammended that constitution doohickey of yours to let them run again?
posted by Reggie Knoble at 6:44 PM on September 15, 2006




Couldn't be bothered to font match.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:38 PM on September 15, 2006


Giant Douche / Turd Sandwich?
posted by Hypnic jerk at 5:47 AM on September 16, 2006


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