Barack Obama is "thinking about it"

Barack Obama is admiting his toe is in the water:

"Given the responses that I've been getting over the last several months, I have thought about the possibility" although not with the seriousness or depth required, he said. "My main focus right now is in the '06. ... After November 7, I'll sit down, I'll sit down and consider, and if at some point I change my mind, I will make a public announcement and everybody will be able to go at me."He said this morning on MTP. An interesting development alongside Warner dropping out of the race, and the void that created for someone fresh that's considered  viable. He's got a good reception in Iowa, and would be a top tier candidate if he decided to enter the race. He does the good move to put it aside for now:"My main focus right now is in the '06. ... After November 7, I'll sit down, I'll sit down and consider, and if at some point I change my mind, I will make a public announcement and everybody will be able to go at me."The next Iowa and New Hampshire polls will be interesting with Obama included.

I'm neutral in the '08 race at this time, and am still putting together a piece on the whole Warner experience, to focus on the technology and internet strategy, but am helping out with the transition of the Forward Together PAC in the near-term, so will put that off in the mean time.

I have no inside info as to if HRC or Gore will jump in the race, but if I had to bet, I would say they both will run.

Tags: Barack Obama (all tags)

Comments

51 Comments

Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

I want Obama to run.

by NJIndependent 2006-10-22 11:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

He just started a book tour.  Of course he's going to make statements that get the talking heads buzzing about him.  He's way too fresh and untried to be president at this time though.

by MyDD Fan 2006-10-22 11:35AM | 0 recs
It's the book tour.

I'm sure his publisher begged and pleaded with him to make some statement of interest, however vague, to get this sucker moving off the shelves.  Worked for Colin Powell.  Sounds cynical, but I do like the guy; would just like to see him do something significant in the Senate first, and if we can take 6 seats somehow, he'll get his chance.

by lonemorriscodem 2006-10-22 12:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

Obama HURTS Clinton the most in that his supporters would DEFINITELY cut into her support.

An Senator from Illinois. Hillary is a Senator who is originally from Illinois.

Obama is an African American. Hillary's strongest and most loyal support is from African Americans.

Obama appeals to the same liberal voter as Hillary Clinton. You know, the ones more interested in style over substance.

I don't mean this to sound snarky. I'm actually serious here.

I think an Obama candidacy would spell doom for Hillary Clinton - whose ceiling seems to be ONLY 30%. If Obama should cut into that, even by 5% to 10%, then Hillary will look downright ordinary.

It'll provide an opportunity for someone like Edwards or Gore to come up the middle.

GREAT NEWS!

by JackBourassa 2006-10-22 01:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

Lets stop talking about Hillary and Obama,neither one is either qualified or electable. We have one Democrat who is qualified and electable(he won the 2000 election) and he comes from the Volunteer State.He will run in 2008 and he will be our candidate and he can beat John McCain. Hillary sure cannot beat McCain,no one seriously can dispute this political fact.

by Litvak36 2006-10-22 01:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

If dubya could beat John McCain in 2000, anyone can do the same in 2008.

by Michael Bersin 2006-10-22 01:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

I'll take Gore/Obama.

by HellofaSandwich 2006-10-22 11:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

Well, Obama would bring a very interesting set of accomplishments to the race. And I'm not just talking about things he's done, but all those fights he's fought that he didn't necessarily win, but with which really took a leading stand.

I pray you're right about Gore running. Imagine a President who you know can handle the job.

by BingoL 2006-10-22 11:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

Barack.

I'm with the camp (incl. Ezra Klein) that worries he's never been really tested, due to the circumstances of his Senate run. (Yes, he primaried against Hynes, but he'd be up against the dirtiest of Republican attacks in a national.) Also, there's the matter of his seemingly deliberately uncontroversial Senate record to date.

We need a street fighter. Unfortunately, Big Dog has run out his clock ...

by Dan Hartung 2006-10-22 11:38AM | 0 recs
I got a mailing from him yesterday

  It was a solicitation for Hopefund, which I guess is a PAC to elect Democrats (the mailing doesn't really make it clear exactly what type of entity it is).

  Don't know how I got on his mailing list. I am now on my local Central Committee, so maybe that's the source (and oh boy, here comes the avalanche).

  The letter is quite good -- obviously aiming for the base.

  Obama both delights me and frustrates me. I don't THINK he's been liebermanized -- yet. He has shown a few unsettling signs along those lines. But I remain openminded about him.

   

by Master Jack 2006-10-22 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

Does the Democratic party need another trimmer running on a bio and a smile running in '08?

by Davis X Machina 2006-10-22 11:46AM | 0 recs
Obama is "thinking about it"

I could live with Edwards/Obama....

by global yokel 2006-10-22 11:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama is "thinking about it"

That's what I'm thinking.  Unfortunately, neither had the experience I'd like to see, but I think Edwards as Pres and Obama as VP would be well-balanced geographically and unapologetically progressive.

by lorax 2006-10-22 01:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

How about someone who has actually done, you know, anything?

by jwb 2006-10-22 12:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

I'm 90% sure (just a gut feeling) that HRC will run, but I don't think Gore will. He didn't in '04, and he's said that he's "out of politics" and working on the global warming issue through other avenues now.

Just my 2 cents.

by forecaster15 2006-10-22 12:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

This isn't news.  Obama set-up an exploratory committee several weeks ago.  Of course he is thinking about it.

by Disputo 2006-10-22 12:18PM | 0 recs
"thinking about it"

My dream scenario would be for Obama to participate in the Democratic primary, and end up being chosen as VP to either Gore or Edwards.

Although as much as I like the current version of Gore, his selection of that jerk Lieberman to be his running mate calls his judgement into question.

by global yokel 2006-10-22 12:39PM | 0 recs
Remember the context

At the time, Lieberman wasn't seen as such a pro-war asshole, because there wasn't a war.  Gore's biggest liability, in the eyes of some (wrongly, we now see) was his connection to the Clinton scandals, and Lieberman was seen as the running mate who could best neutralize that negative characteristic.

by lorax 2006-10-22 01:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

Like many others, the main criticism I have of Obama is the lack of accomplishments in the Senate. Granted he's not been there all that long yet, it's more the sense that when given the chance to step up to lead a charge that he's stepped out of the way in a statesman-like manner.

So, yes, his obvious gifts and young age make him a desirable VP choice.

Another route: I'd love to see part of that "thinking about it" to be leading the charge against Republican rule with potentially controversial stands in the Senate.

More Feingold, less Biden. Instead of just displaying charisma and leadership qualities, take the true risks of leading.

by SLJ 2006-10-22 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

I don't know yet if I even like Obama as a senator.  I am leading to "no".

I think it's rather VERY presumptuous of people supporting him and himself for even contemplating this when he has been in the senate for ten minutes.  We don't know him yet.  Period.

by jgarcia 2006-10-22 12:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

Oh, great gatekeeper to the presidential primaries, please let us know when Obama is finally "this tall" and ready to take the ride.

This is a free country.  Obama can run for president if he wants, just as could Bill Richardson or Rudy Giuliani or Tom Hanks even if they felt like it.  If people want him to run, that's their right.  If they vote him in, that's their right.  We have no business telling people that they're not ready to even try.  Let him try and lose, if that's what'll happen.

by Ryan Anderson 2006-10-22 01:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

Argh, I should've read that before I posted it.  Came on a bit strong, dontcha think?  Ignore the tone, I must be crabby today.

by Ryan Anderson 2006-10-22 01:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

We don't know him yet.  Period.

You should really consider speaking for yourself.  Some of us have been watching Obama for the last ten years.

by Disputo 2006-10-22 01:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

yeah, so have I, and he went around badmouthing the filibuster effort on Alito.  Unfuckingforgivable.  Period.

If he's the nominee, I might vote green.

by jgarcia 2006-10-22 01:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

Wow, Obama says that progressives need to be less reliant on procedural moves and need to focus more strongly on effectively communicating their message so that maybe the next judge might be a Democratic nominee... and that disqualifies* him from being president.  That's a really, really lame litmus test, IMHO.  Lord knows it would be terrific to have a president who was too afraid to tell his own supporters when he disagreed with them.

C'mon, are we gonna have to hold our noses every time we vote for an actual human being for office?  

by Ryan Anderson 2006-10-22 01:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

This is the kind of hatred I was talking about down thread, and the kind of insane response it generates.  

First jgarcia claims that no one knows Obama well enough to assess whether he is qualified to be Pres, then in the very next post he claims that he knows Obama well enough to know that he isn't.

How do you even begin to have a rational discussion with such mendacity?  This is the kind of stuff I expect from LGF, not here.

by Disputo 2006-10-22 02:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

I am just trying to give the Obama-worshippers who also hate on hillary (tho she's more liberal than he is), a taste of their own medicine.  I have read more comments than carter has liver pills here saying they'll vote green or not vote if she's the nominee.

I want to see how he does in some more issues in the Senate.  But, though he needs more seasoning to tell how he's gonna be, AS IT STANDS NOW, I consider the Alito situation unforgivable, esp. since HRC was among the first to want to filibuster AND we are now one justice (John Paul Stevens) from going back to making gay sex illegal again.  

Yeah, to me, that's definitely a problem, sorry.

by jgarcia 2006-10-22 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

To everyone who complain that "Obama hasn't done anything--tell me, just who out of the Democrats has done something over the last 6 years?  May I remind you all that we're in the minority.  There is very little that can actually be done right now.  

And like Obama said on Meet the Press today, nobody's ready to be President until they actually become President.  It has a steep learning curve. Just look at Clinton--I think we can all agree that he was very capable (Yale Law School, and absolutely brilliant) but even he had a rough patch the first 2 years that he worked past.  By saying that you want Obama to already have presidential experience is asking for something that you won't get from anybody.  What we do need to be asking though is "Who has the potential?  Who will be able to get in the Oval Office and make his/her way up that steep curve and take us to the place where we know America should be?"  Barack Obama is that person--he has an extraordinary mind (Editor of Harvard Law? A superb writer? Law professor? Celebrated leader in the Illinois Senate?) that will be more than able to handle the task before him, and he will take us towards a politics that is more about policy and people, because people will follow him.

A lot of you guys here grew up in the 60s.  Do you guys remember what it was like to be inspired by Bobby Kennedy or Martin Luther King?  Bobby had just 4 years in the Senate, along with a couple as Attorney General.  Yet he still would have made one of our best presidents because he had an amazing mind and people were willing to follow him to the ends of the earth. Well I'm growing up today, (I'm 21)and I can say that Barack Obama is my generation's Bobby Kennedy.  Talking to the other politically aware people at my school, no one gets as excited as when they think about Obama as President.  We've been growing up in cynical times.  If we aren't going to lose my generation to callousness and despair, we need Barack.  Yeah, we could go for another senator who plays hardball liberal politics.  But sometimes, other things are more important. At the end of the day, we are all Americans.  Barack Obama will remind us all of that.

by conantd 2006-10-22 12:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

I didn't grow up in the 60's and I don't remember what it's like to be inspired by the Kennedys or whoever.  In fact, I have my doubts that the Kennedys were actually inspiring.  And I don't find Obama inspiring.  I find his shtick to be forced.

The last time we elected a Senator president was actually John Kennedy in 1960.  Chalk that up to inspiration or whatever you want, but a Senator's chances just aren't that great.  People can understand the similarity between the work of a governor and the work of the president, but the work done by Senators and the record they produce is much more ambiguous.

So, when it comes to 2008, I'm completely behind Bill Richardson of New Mexico.  He's running for his second term right now, but he has a lot of great experience.  He was Secretary of Energy for Clinton; he is still, even under Bush, one of our chief contacts and negotiators with North Korea, and he's a governor of a border state.  He has the background.  So, he has the authority and experience to work on our three greatest challenges right now, namely energy costs, foreign policy, and immigration.  

That is what I would call "having done something" in the past 6 years.  Stack that up against Obama's record and tell me who comes out ahead.

by Reece 2006-10-22 01:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

I also like Richardson.

by jgarcia 2006-10-22 04:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

I still have to ask:  What has Barak Obama ever done for anyone?  He's been a Senator for two years after running essentially unopposed in a Blue state.  I wouldn't pin my hopes on him, and I probably wouldn't vote for him in a primary.

by Reece 2006-10-22 12:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama is "thinking about it"

I'm all for Obama.  From what I have seen, he would make both the best candidate and the best president of the bunch.  I admit that I'm probably closer to him idealogically than many who post here, so that's obviously a factor.  And I agree with semi-critics (like Klein and Brooks, who have plenty good things to say about him) that his policy suggestions aren't very creative, but policy comes and goes.  More than half originates from aides and advisors anyway, and president's hardly ever get more than a handful of their big projects through Congress anyway.  What's important is the play of his mind, and the unique balance he gives to a life experience both international and American, both rural and urban, both black and white, both liberal and traditional.  Both Harvard and inner city.  This guy reminds me a lot of Robert Kennedy: a strong fighter for the progressive cause who isn't afraid to stand up to liberal orthodoxy and challenge it when it's wrong.

As for those who say he's too inexperienced, what about Lincoln (only two years in Congress)?  What about Wilson (only two years as governor)?  What about FDR (only four years as governor)?  Not only were these guys good presidents - they were great presidents.  So great at excercising the power of their offices that each of them permamently transformed the presidency in a way that puts them in a league all of their own (with a the exception of the originals - Washington and Jefferson).  It's not about experience, it's about vision and character.  And Obama has plenty of both.

If we were to judge any of these great presidents on the basis of the ridiculous litmus tests the blogosphere is pulling on Obama, they would all fail miserably.  Lincoln exceeded his constitutional authorities, Wilson was a bigot, FDR interned Japanese-Americans. But despite their obvious shortcomings, they all left their nation better than they found it, and if that's not the definition of "progress" (and hence "progressive") then I don't know what is.

by Ryan Anderson 2006-10-22 01:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama is "thinking about it"

FDR had 4 years as governor and 4 years as assistant secretary of the navy--during WWI.  That may not be much, but it is something--executive experience counts.  Lincoln had 4 years in Congress, and, as Shakespeare wrote, some have greatness thrust upon them.

But setting all that aside, do you really believe that Barak Obama is the equivalent of and FDR or a Lincoln?  

I don't see it.  Suggesting it makes me rather uneasy, in fact.  

Obama is a guy who happened to be at the right place at the right time.  He served in the Illinois state senate for a couple years, lost an election for the U.S. House.  Then he ran for the US Senate, and won a primary against a guy who was accused of beating his wife.  In the general election, the Republican eventually had to withdraw when it was revealed that he forced his wife to go to swingers clubs with him.  That left Obama without an opponent until Alan Keyes stepped in.

Under those conditions, even I could have won that election.

by Reece 2006-10-22 01:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama is "thinking about it"

"FDR had 4 years as governor and 4 years as assistant secretary of the navy--during WWI.  That may not be much, but it is something--executive experience counts."

I really doubt that FDR's experience as assistant secretary of the navy was a neccesary qualifier to his constructing and executing an economic relief program unprecedented in human history.  FDR was a great president because of his internal character, not because of his (underwhelming) experience in government.  If executive experience made a president great, Herbert Hoover would have cleaned FDR's clock.

And of course, executive experience counts -except when it doesn't.  As is the case with Lincoln.

"Lincoln had 4 years in Congress, and, as Shakespeare wrote, some have greatness thrust upon them."

No, Lincoln had two years in Congress, 1847-1849.  I don't buy the concept that his great challenges made him great.  If that was the case, why hasn't Bush risen to greatness?  He's got more "executive experience" than Lincoln did.

Hell, by that logic, would Bush have been a great president if he were in Lincoln's shoes?  Are can we just admit the obvious: that some men are great and some are not, regardless of the challenges before them?

"But setting all that aside, do you really believe that Barak Obama is the equivalent of and FDR or a Lincoln?"

Of course not.  Not yet.  In 1930, FDR was hardly the equal of Lincoln or Wilson.  He hadn't yet the oppurtunity to rise to that level.  Obama certaintly has a strength of character and a clarity of mind that position him towards greatness.  My point is only that experience alone can't qualify or disqualify a president from achieving  such stature.

"Obama is a guy who happened to be at the right place at the right time. "

So what?  Greatness and luck aren't mutually exclusive.  

"Under those conditions, even I could have won that election."

So what does that have to do with anything?  Lincoln only won election because the dominant Democratic party couldn't choose between two different candidates.  Even so, he failed to muster up even 40% of the national vote.  He got very, very lucky.  What do that have to do with greatness?

by Ryan Anderson 2006-10-22 02:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama is "thinking about it"

He served in the Illinois state senate for a couple years

If you define "couple" as "seven", then you are correct.

The distortions of Obama's record in this thread are getting ridiculous, and only serve to underscore the shallowness of the arguments of his opponents.  You know, kinda like Republicans.

by Disputo 2006-10-22 02:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama is "thinking about it"

If you define "couple" as "seven",

Ironically, this is exactly the reason that Ryan had to drop out against Obama...

by NJIndependent 2006-10-22 05:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

Barack Obama is no more qualified to be President than the current incompetent who will surely go down as our worst President.He has a compelling personal story but lots of people have compelling personal stories. That does not mean they are qualified to be President of the United States.

by Litvak36 2006-10-22 01:15PM | 0 recs
President or VP Obama Not Going To Happen!

Obama and Clinton have the same donor pool. They can't both run. Gore is not running at all. Edwards is a complete lightweight, he's all talk and no substance. Richardson and Bayh don't have what it takes. Bayh is closer ideologically to Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

That only leaves one: Clinton.

It's the truth and you know it.

by bsavage 2006-10-22 01:22PM | 0 recs
Edwards

People said the same goddamn thing about John Kennedy as you're saying about Edwards back when Lyndon Johnson was the "frontrunner" for 1960.

by lorax 2006-10-22 01:54PM | 0 recs
But...

Kennedy was elected to congress in 1946, and was elected to the senate in 1952. By the time he became president, he had spent 14 years in elective office, which is more than twice as much as time as Edwards. I personally don't care, though, as I still feel Edwards would be a good candidate.

by JRyan 2006-10-22 02:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards

I will never support or even vote for Edwards for President.  The thought of a lowlife ambulance chasing lawyer who enriched himself by suing doctors being our President makes my skin crawl.

by NJIndependent 2006-10-22 05:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards

Way to recite the GOP talking points.

by lightyearsfromhome 2006-10-22 05:52PM | 0 recs
by lightyearsfromhome 2006-10-22 05:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards

Yeah, let's see what you'd do if your little girl's intestines were sucked out from her rectum from a negligently designed faulty swimming pool drainage system.

You should be over at redstate.com or freerepublic where they'd appreciate your unfair vitriolic attacks.  

by jgarcia 2006-10-22 09:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

A constitutional law professor is no more qualified to be POTUS than a serially failed businessman?

My question is why does the thought of Obama as Pres bring out such hatred among presumed progressives?

by Disputo 2006-10-22 01:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

My suggestion: Obama doesn't need to come groveling to them for support.  His "cult of personality" gives him the independence to stand up to his own base when he feels that they're wrong.  I  think that makes some of us a tad bit jealous, we want his mouthpiece for ourselves and our own agenda.  

I suggest that it wouldn't be too bad of us to be a bit less dogmatic and a bit more open minded.  When someone disagrees with us, maybe we could give them a listen and consider what they have to say.  Maybe we could at least agree to disagree.  Instead, too often we have to exact some kind of punishment on any sheep that strays from the herd.  The assumption, I guess, is that the best president is one who adheres faithfully to whatever his supporters tell him to do and doesn't worry them by carving out his own path.  Personally, I want a president who's man enough to look me in the eye and tell me that he thinks I'm wrong.  Because if he can't say that to me -his supporter- how do I know he'll say it to the generals, or the conservatives, or the foreign leaders?

by Ryan Anderson 2006-10-22 01:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

I'm not sure there's a lot of evidence that experience really matters in campaigns.  I would argue that, so long as a candidate can communicate their message and speak authoritatively on the pressing issues of the day then their resume is of secondary importance.  Is there any question that Obama can do that?  There are an awful lot of politicians who are just dumb, but this guy is legitimately brilliant.  More importantly, though, he is an exceptional communicator.  He can get his point across and do it plainly -- unlike so many of our past candidates (John Kerry, I'm looking at you).

Great fundraising skills, charismatic, handsome, brilliant, centrist appeal, energizes the base, and committed to a better future for all Americans... what's not to like?  I'd consider Obama to be the strongest Democratic candidate by a wide margin.  If we're serious about taking back the White House, this is the guy to do it.

by LPMandrake 2006-10-22 01:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

We should be able to agree here that any of the likely Dem contenders for Pres would make a better Pres than any of the likely GOP contenders.

The only useful discussion here should be who is better situated to defeat the eventual GOP nominee, and LPM makes a good argument that Obama is the person to do it.

by Disputo 2006-10-22 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

"If we're serious about taking back the White House, this is the guy to do it."

Can he really attack McCain? Fuck no!
He'll get tossed out of the election and we'll lose the only surefire winnier in 2012 IF Clinton loses.

by bsavage 2006-10-22 02:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

I agree. Obama simply doesn't have the fight in him. His head is somehow, someway stuck in the 1980's, where bipartisianship was possible. He hasn't made the transition to the modern poltiical reality.

The problem is that the general public might not figure this out until after the primaries, and that would be lethal.

by lightyearsfromhome 2006-10-22 06:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Barak Obama is "thinking about it"

Jerome, why do you think Gore will run?

I think he'd be able to take it in a landslide if he did (my GOP-all-their-lives grandparents have said they'd vote for him after seeing the movie -- and he's certainly learned how NOT to run a campaign) but all indications are that he isn't interested. Do you know something?

by lightyearsfromhome 2006-10-22 06:04PM | 0 recs

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