I Was Wrong About Barack Obama

When Barack Obama clinched the Democratic nomination on June 3rd, the bruising primary battle was so rough that I felt I had no candidate to support.

Right and left, those who had been by my side fighting for America's undisputed progressive heroine were declaring themselves "PUMAs" and proudly swearing their allegiance to Republican John McCain. I was invited to join them, and it actually crossed my mind a few times.

How could this happen? Simple. The fight in favor of one candidate had become so intense that it had transformed her primary opponent into someone who's defeat became the only goal. Somewhere along the line, the person I supported became the cause, with the beliefs behind it all taking a back seat. This had never happened with me before.

That's not to say that I wasn't correct to be skeptical during the primaries, because recent history has taught us that it is so hard to find a Democratic candidate who can actually win the White House.

For instance, let's remember what happened in the run-up to the Pennsylvania primary: the Wright catastrophe, the shockingly unwise "bitter" comments, the 37 score in bowling, the disastrous final debate with Hillary. Rough stuff. Clinton ultimately won that crucial swing state by a strong margin, despite being massively outspent. It seemed like once again, against tremendous odds, it was a Clinton that had figured out how to win over swing state voters.

"Obama could definitely lose to McCain" I fretted. "He can have all the money in the world and continue delivering incredible speeches at massive rallies, but what will it matter if he can't connect?"

The polls at the time concurred. Even Hillary herself agreed, saying on a blogger conference call in May that while she definitely "would win", Barack only "could win". With so much on the line for our country and the world, it seemed absolutely imperative that we nominated a sure winner in November. And quite simply, I had grave fears that Obama wasn't up to the task.

But I was wrong.

Those difficult thoughts following Obama's triumph only lasted a few days, ending when Hillary gave full and unequivocal support to her former rival in her concession speech on June 7th. Many thought it was the speech of her life, and it was hard for me to disagree...because it worked. At that point, John McCain was no longer an option, and I resolved to listen with an open mind as Barack Obama made his case.

And as those bruises healed, my vote could be earned.

It didn't happen right away. I was openly critical of some of his campaign's decisions. His vote for the FISA legislation was a particular disappointment. I was also initially very skeptical of his choice for running mate in light of poll numbers showing a divided party around the time of the conventions.

Indeed, there were plenty of times when things did look a bit iffy during those summer months, and those long-held fears about Obama's electability remained.

The speech in Denver was incredible, but it was only in the wake of the Republican convention and the selection of Sarah Palin that something much more important took place. I began to see the teleprompter less and less. Full suits were ditched in favor of rolled-up sleeves. Economic plans were presented in a detailed, down-to-earth manner in town halls where the candidate took lots of questions. And he was funny. Really funny.

In other words (and this is a high compliment) he had finally found his inner Clinton on the campaign trail. There are reasons why Democrats have only won 3 of the last 10 elections, and there's one good reason why two of them were by a Clinton. It's the same reason Hillary won New Hampshire and staged the amazing March-May comeback.

It was that connection with voters. Kerry didn't have it. Nor did Gore. And don't get me started on Dukakis. Until late in the game, I feared the same about Obama.

But I was wrong.

By the time the economic crisis hit, Barack was ready to seal the deal. Right when it has mattered most, it became clear to me that the early hype was right after all. The substance and skill required to win as a Democrat was there all along...it just needed to show itself.

And so, what seemed to me like naive dream in early 2007 is about to become a once-in-a-generation realignment that will rock the United States in just a week's time. He just might be that transformational political figure after all, and it all starts with transforming the electoral map on November 4th.

Sometimes, amazing things do happen.

Sometimes...I am wrong.

In February, on the first day of early voting in the Texas Democratic primary, I proudly cast my vote for Hillary Clinton.

Last week, on the first day of early voting for the general election in Texas, I just as proudly cast my vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden:

True, it's quite possible that he would have ultimately received my vote for simply being a Democrat on the ballot next to the far worse option. But he earned my vote, and my confidence, by growing into a stellar candidate who demonstrated beyond any doubt that he has the steady hand and deeply thoughtful mind required to be a great president in troubled times like these.

May the Democratic wave that accompanies him wash away the sour landscape of the failed conservative era for good, and clear the way for better days ahead.

May the hope finally become the reality.




Originally posted at http://allprogressives.com

Tags: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, PUMA (all tags)

Comments

70 Comments

Hell, you're batting higher average then I!

Sometimes...I am wrong.

I'm wrong more times then I can count!

Welcome to the Obama team, it's a good year to be a democrat?

Too bad the few remaining PUMA's are missing it.

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-28 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Hell, you're batting higher average then I!

Thanks!

But to be clear, I was never a PUMA. I was just bruised and drifting for a bit, and letting Obama earn my vote. By the time of the convention I was 100% on board.

They did try to tempt me with their poison fruit, however.

by Scan 2008-10-28 08:45AM | 0 recs
thanks for listening

that's what people remember about Obama -- he's a great listener.

And Does it Show! Maybe Iowa wants hope, and PA and WV want brass tacks? Well, he's learning how to talk differently to different folks (even about arugula!)

by RisingTide 2008-10-28 09:20AM | 0 recs
Welcome home, Scan!

Even though I was never a PUMA McTroll to start with, I'll be brutally honest: I wasn't too impressed with Barack to start with. During the summer months, I always had the fear in the back of my head that Obama wasn't ready to take on McCain. And when "Palinpalooza" was in full swing in early September, I was getting ready to grab a passport and flee the country. But when Obama rolled up his sleeves, talked about the financial fears we all have, and said "ENOUGH!" to "Lipstick-gate" and all the other faux-scandals McCain was pushing, I knew something was about to change. And when the bottom fell out of the financial crisis, I knew we had a winner when Obama was a sea of calm and reason in the midst of McCrazy's wild and erratic convulsions of confusion.

I'm glad to see you back here, and I hope we'll all work our hardest to make victory happen in the next week! :-)

by atdleft 2008-10-28 09:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Welcome home, Scan!

Thanks! Good to see you too.

by Scan 2008-10-28 02:53PM | 0 recs
Not sure it's the right parable

...But all I can think of is that when the prodigal son returns, there is double rejoicing and slaying of fatted calves.

If Obama has won you're vote then Scan, then Obama should be high and dry.

Kudos on you for still listening, and letting him convince you.

And welcome back

by brit 2008-10-28 03:15PM | 0 recs
Re: I Was Wrong About Barack Obama

Loved your diary.

I am SO looking forward to next Tuesday!  I wonder if GWB needs any moving supplies.  I'd be happy to send him empty boxes or whatever he needs for a speedy move back to Crawford.

by GFORD 2008-10-28 08:42AM | 0 recs
The 37 in bowling?

Really, you thought THAT was a major concern?

I can understand Rev. Wright, and even to some degree concern about the "bitter" comments, but sheesh . . .

Anyway glad you came around.

by Davidsfr 2008-10-28 08:43AM | 0 recs
Re: The 37 in bowling?

Well, that was supposed to be a bit funny.

The point was, he tried to "connect" but failed miserably in that instance.

by Scan 2008-10-28 08:46AM | 0 recs
humor fail

(it's now that i'm laughing ;-) ) thanks for explainin'

by RisingTide 2008-10-28 09:22AM | 0 recs
Help SCAN

How do you embed pictures in a diary?

by the mollusk 2008-10-28 10:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Help SCAN

easy:

<img src="URL OF IMAGE">

by Scan 2008-10-28 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: The 37 in bowling?

It was funny. I'm often wrong but I always appreciate a joke!

by french imp 2008-10-28 10:23AM | 0 recs
Re: The 37 in bowling?

Yeah, but Scan really loved the long range 3 point bucket!

SWISH!!!!

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-28 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re: The 37 in bowling?
That was a fantastic shot, wasn't it?
I think that impressed the troops more than anything!
by skohayes 2008-10-28 12:38PM | 0 recs
Great diary! For the record, though...

That 37 was not over 10 frames :-)

by Bob Sackamento 2008-10-28 08:46AM | 0 recs
Yeah

Didn't he let a little kid bowl one of his throws?

by Dracomicron 2008-10-28 08:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Yeah

Really.

Even I can bowl better then that...

And, that's not saying much!

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-28 08:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Yeah

For the record:

(1) It was 47+, not 37 as he had a strike on his last frame.

(2) He only bowled 7 frames.

(3) Yes, a kid bowled one for him.

by thezzyzx 2008-10-28 09:56AM | 0 recs
Well said

I was evenly split between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in early January, and it wasn't until I saw him give the Empathy Deficit speech to Ebeneezer Baptist that I realized that this was the guy who could get through to all people, even those who disagree with him, like no Democrat has done for decades.

To imagine that Obama was not made an even better candidate in his opposition to Hillary Clinton is a tremendous disrespect to both of them.  As heated as the primary was, the two of them represented the two star players on the same team; Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippin were both all-time greats and quite formidable on their own, but as members of the Chicago Bulls they were nigh unstoppable.

Welcome to the new Chicago Bulls.  Of Democracy.

by Dracomicron 2008-10-28 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Well said

mojo for making a basketball reference on NBA opening day.

by LakersFan 2008-10-28 03:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Well said

Mojo for the lakers taking down their first victim.

by kbal 2008-10-29 05:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Well said

I liked that speech too, he spoke truth.  

by anna shane 2008-10-28 03:38PM | 0 recs
Always admired you over when I lurked at ...

... Taylor Marsh.

Highly rec'd.

by spacemanspiff 2008-10-28 08:59AM | 0 recs
Admired you over? WTF? I gotta go to sleep. n.t.

by spacemanspiff 2008-10-28 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Admired you over? WTF?

HAHA, happens to us all.

Thanks!

by Scan 2008-10-28 09:03AM | 0 recs
Re: I Was Wrong About Barack Obama

I can relate to what you're saying.  Like you, I never identified as a "PUMA," but I did feel that Barack Obama had to earn my vote.  I've been very pleased with the way he's run his campaign and the positions he's taken along the way and am now more enthusiastic about supporting him than I was previously.  I'm looking forward to at least 8 years, and hopefully 16+ years of a Democratic administration and, hopefully, solid Democratic control of Congress as well.

by markjay 2008-10-28 09:28AM | 0 recs
Re: I Was Wrong About Barack Obama

Nice diary, Scan.  Sometimes being wrong feels fantastic.  I was completely wrong about the effects of the extended primary.  

At the time, I had honestly believed that Hillary's choice to stay in the race as long as she did (and attacking the way her campaign did)would be a detriment to Obama's chances in the GE.

Now, there's no doubt in my mind that Obama is a far better candidate than he would have been had Hillary conceded sooner.  Thanks to her, a great many of McCain's attacks are limp and laughable.

by fogiv 2008-10-28 09:58AM | 0 recs
Re: I Was Wrong About Barack Obama

You may have been wrong, but you were also right because Obama has become a much stronger candidate since (and because of) the primaries. He learned through the process, and adapted to situations as they unfolded, modifying his message, and learning to appeal to the entire American electorate.

All in all, the campaign has been an excellent training ground for becoming President. And by performing well and running a postive campaign, Obama has been able to seal the deal and prove that he is truly Presidential.

Sure is nice when this democracy thing works the way it was designed.

by LakersFan 2008-10-28 10:05AM | 0 recs
Re: I Was Wrong About Barack Obama

Yes, you're right. In fact during the primary campaing I was wrong; I thought that, by not giving up when it became obvious she would not make it, Clinton was damaging the democratic party's chances in November, and I was rather angry about it. But in fact, she helped make Obama much stronger. Of course a large part of the merit goes to Obama: he learned very fast, he's very good at turning adveristy into something positive. But all along, Clinton was serving the democratic party well, as she still does now.

by french imp 2008-10-28 10:32AM | 0 recs
I was wrong too

I felt the same way as you did, I was an Obama supporter from the get go.  I was upset that Senator Clinton didnt cede when it was apparent to me it was over.   I thought the party was wasting time and money instead of coalesing around a candidate like the repubs do.    But in reality it was the best thing for Obama.    The Wright episode was over by Pennsylvania, they both registered millions of new democrats.   Senator Clinton has campaigned her heart out for Obama and other democrats.   As a two time proud Clinton voter in 92 and 96 its great to see the party moving together toward victory again, to end another Bush mess.

by realistdem 2008-10-28 11:00AM | 0 recs
Re: I Was Wrong About Barack Obama
Not only was it good for Obama, it was good for the Democratic party. They were able to organize and get volunteers, and start mailing lists, in states that have never had a primary that "counted" before.
Remember how excited people were that their votes were actually going to mean something?
And look at the organization that has turned states like Colorado, New Mexico and North Carolina into swing states or blue states?
by skohayes 2008-10-28 12:44PM | 0 recs
Re: I Was Wrong About Barack Obama

Scan--well done. Great diary. Its awesome to hear about your open-minded approach to your primary loss and how you let Obama win you over. I am glad he did. Thanks for the diary.

by wasder 2008-10-28 10:24AM | 0 recs
I had a conversation with a friend

last night who was a big anti-Hillary guy during the primary. Worse than me he swore he wouldn't vote for her if she somehow won.

Anyway we're talking politics as usual and says to me "remember that crap I talked about not voting for Hillary. Well I'd forgotten just how much republican's piss me off and now I remember."

Basically it comes down to this what ever democrat we run is so much better than the GOP alternative that one would be a fool to nor get behind them.

Thanks to John McCain for reminding so many Democrats what the GOP stands for.

Welcome to the Obama train.

by Skex 2008-10-28 10:27AM | 0 recs
Re: I had a conversation with a friend

Thanks to John McCain for reminding so many Democrats what the GOP stands for.

That would be: Every man for himself. Every woman too - just ask Bailin' Palin.

by Sumo Vita 2008-10-28 10:37AM | 0 recs
Stole my Thunder

But I couldn't have said it any better. You have made the point very nicely and I would be proud to say Here, Here!

I was very resistant to Obama having been a Hill supporter or so long. But he has shown without a shadow of a doubt that the right person for the times will reveal themselves when needed. I have confidence he is the right person for this country at this moment in time.

Thanks for a great diary!!!

by JerryColorado23 2008-10-28 10:33AM | 0 recs
Please Remember

If it comes to pass as we're hoping it will, if we really want a continuing Democratic leadership in Congress and the White House for the next decade or so - then this election is just a skirmish in the larger battle brewing.

Rush, BillO, Hannity, Coulter et al. are even now planning multi-pronged attacks on our soon-to-be shiny new administration that would make Whitewater and Ken Starr pale in comparison. Their hateful screeds are long prepared, their minions salivating for action - and revenge.

We must stand firm against this onslaught. We will have to trust our guy's political instincts. We cannot get testy if every last one of our pet issues aren't addressed. Our support must be strong, visible, and vocal. We must stand together, or we will fail together.

To the barricades!

by Sumo Vita 2008-10-28 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Remember

Agreed.

by Scan 2008-10-28 10:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Remember

Hell yes. Hold that line boys, here they come. Choose your shots.

by pneuma 2008-10-28 12:38PM | 0 recs
This in particular

bears repeating:

We cannot get testy if every last one of our pet issues aren't addressed.

If he wins, I'm sure he will appoint Republicans to his cabinet.  I'm sure he will compromise on some things I want.  I'm sure I will find myself angry that my particular agenda isn't moving at my desired rate of speed, whether it's gays in the military or finally achieving universal health care.

But I'm trusting he wouldn't make the mistake Bush made: governing for only the 51% that elected him.  I want him to govern for Repubs and Dems alike.

Here's hoping.

by Koan 2008-10-28 02:18PM | 0 recs
Re: This in particular

Yes, exactly. The Gingrich revolution of '94 wouldn't have occurred without the support, tacit or otherwise, of some disgruntled democrats. We cannot allow that to happen again.

by Sumo Vita 2008-10-28 04:07PM | 0 recs
Re: I Was Wrong About Barack Obama
I had a conversation with a coworker today.  He lives on IL's North Shore; I live downtown.  He, a staunch former Hillary supporter, voted today for Obama, (yup, we're in IL too).  
I really appreciated your diary.  Thanks for sharing.
by ChitownDenny 2008-10-28 11:37AM | 0 recs
Re: I Was Wrong About Barack Obama

Is this the mea culpa diary?  Well, gosh, mea culpa.  I could write a long diary of my own but I'll settle for a long comment.

I always said that Obama had a bigger upside but also a bigger downside.  I was doubtful about realizing the upside, but guess what, here it is.  Hillary Clinton could have won this election, sure, but I don't believe she had the potential to win a mandate of the size that Obama is poised to achieve (knock on wood).  I was right about one thing - the Republicans would have no problem whipping up Obama-hate just like they'd whip up Hillary-hate - but I failed to foresee a more important point: for whatever reason, Hillary-hate was perceived as mainstream and acceptable in a way that Obama-hate simply isn't.  Maybe this is a function of the media liking him better but whatever, it's to our advantage.

There were two big turning points in this campaign: the choice of Sarah Palin, and McCain's erratic response to the economic crisis.  To some extent, these were fortuitous from Obama's perspective since both were outside his control.  But the important point is that they were not unforced errors.  If McCain felt he could make a safe VP pick and win, he wouldn't have gone with Palin.  It was because Obama had a great convention and seized all the momentum that McCain felt he needed a game-changer.  Similarly, McCain's "suspension" of his campaign was a gimmick that he pulled because his back was up against the wall thanks to Obama.  These mistakes by McCain don't happen if Obama doesn't run a strong campaign.

Two things I'll say about Obama, things that others saw while I remained a skeptic.  First is that I always felt his primary campaign was sort of gimmicky.  When he won Iowa, I was impressed like everyone, but I seriously questioned whether his model was capable of repitition.  Sure, if you get six months to set up shop in a small state, you can shake every hand and ensure massive turnout, but no way could he pull that off in every state, or on Super Tuesday where it's impossible to focus your resources in the same way.  Even after he met this challenge during the balance of the primaries, I had my doubts that he could translate the success into a GE model, because you need a broad base of support and not just a super-enthusiastic one.  Well, he met that challenge too.  My hat is off.

I credit Obama's generally excellent campaign not just to the smart people who ran it, but also to the guy at the top who quite clearly had a vision and an understanding of the nuts and bolts of a successful campaign.  If you look at McCain, you see a guy who doesn't have a clue as far as what states to focus on or what groups to target or any of that, and he basically lets the handlers tell him where to go next and what to say.  The result is that when you don't have strong views of your own, you basically have these disparate factions within the campaign yanking you in several directions at once.  Hillary suffered from a similar problem; as great a campaigner as she was, she didn't take sufficient charge of the management of her campaign and it showed.  And can I mention that the overall lack of leakiness from the Obama campaign is an incredibly new and exciting thing to see from Democrats?

The second thing about Obama is what gets me truly excited and optimistic, because this relates more to governance than campaigning.  It's become clear to me that Obama really does have an understanding, based on his background and studies, of how change actually happens in the real world.  The best historical example of someone who "got it" in this way was Dr. Martin Luther King.  If you read up on him, he wasn't just a guy making eloquent speeches and engaging in random acts of protest.  When he had a cause, sometimes he'd organize a protest march, or maybe it would be a boycott or a sit-in or whatever, but in all cases it was a calculated act designed to apply pressure at exactly the weak point where it was needed.  He wasn't just out there in the street, waving a sign so he could feel good about himself for having gone on record against something.  This is why 99% of protests have no measurable impact on the real world but MLK was someone who got stuff done.

You can tell Obama gets this, from the way he talks about why movements failed in the past, from the way he stays cool and keeps his options open when things don't just happen overnight.  It's obvious to everyone that we face serious challenges in this country and that just because Obama ran a good campaign, we have no guarantees about how the next four or eight years will go.  But it's clear that he has the potential, at a minimum, to make a big difference in the future of this country.  I see the assets he brings to the table in a way I simply didn't before.  Who would have imagined it, I guess I've come to Obama.

by Steve M 2008-10-28 12:43PM | 0 recs
Re: I Was Wrong About Barack Obama

This comment would make a great diary for the C4O site.

by LakersFan 2008-10-28 03:42PM | 0 recs
Re: I Was Wrong About Barack Obama

Argh!  I was hoping to get out of writing a whole diary! :)

by Steve M 2008-10-28 04:00PM | 0 recs
Re: I Was Wrong About Barack Obama

Slap a title on it and it is a diary. Your work's already done.

by LakersFan 2008-10-28 04:10PM | 0 recs
The big thing about Obama...

is we finally have a Democrat that has people believing "He can handle it", something the party has lacked since FDR, I think.    Which probably contributed to the erratic messaging of the Clinton and McCain campaigns.

by Tumult 2008-10-29 03:36AM | 0 recs
Re: I Was Wrong About Barack Obama

I'm often wrong. I thought Hillary would do anything to keep Barack Obama from becoming president. I was bitter and upset over the primaries and thought they'd stab him in the back. Like I said, I'm often wrong.

Once the primaries were over I realized she was the best thing that could have happened to Obama. She tested him hard and made him prove himself as a candidate. And when he made it through the primary against the formidable Hillary, he was battle-scarred and ready to face anything the wingnuts could offer.

I was wrong about Hillary, but this is one time I think we've all got it right. We're all ready for a positive change.

by Spiffarino 2008-10-28 01:00PM | 0 recs
and Rev. Wright got to be BOORING!

... I'm amused!

by RisingTide 2008-10-29 06:23AM | 0 recs
Re: and Rev. Wright got to be BOORING!
Dang right!
by Spiffarino 2008-10-29 12:27PM | 0 recs
Last spring,

Jack climbed a beanstalk and slew the giant, against all odds.  And even after the giant lay dead, some villagers said, "Yes, but he's so small.  Does he really have what it takes?"  It seems to me that Obama has all along had something better going on for him than rolled up sleeves and a good bowling game.  

by Dumbo 2008-10-28 01:57PM | 0 recs
Re: I Was Wrong About Barack Obama

I started out fine with Barack, but greatly preferred Hillary, on the competence issue, her clarity, her solutions, her huge group of advisors that relied heavily on experienced often retired professionals and experts. She saw it as a job and she saw the campaign as a very long job interview.  Had the super's gone that way, she would have been a shoo in.  She was way ahead of him in the polls, and she was gaining momentum.  I always knew she'd support him fully were he the candidate and work to get him elected, she has never let me down and her stellar performance campaigning for him is no surprise. She started referring to him as an adult candidate, ya know, as opposed to you know who?   Which pretty much sums up the difference, and in a few seconds. She's a great campaigner.

I was angry that Barack was dismissive of her accomplishments and really upset that he didn't stand up for her when she was called names, by some in his own campaign, and at times by him too.  It was wrong.  It's clear from the piece in the Atlantic Monthly on her so-called dysfunctional campaign that she was protective of him and in fact nothing she's said can be used against him as a personal attack, cause she made no personal attacks. Can you imagine if she'd won - we'd be seeing Barack in pug ads calling her plenty of names, and maligning her character.  He made some damaging statements about her.

And I wasn't pleased with the super's since she could win and he might win, but wasn't the shoo in she was proving to be.   I thought our party owed it to us to nominate a clear winner.

But, now that he's our candidate I'm behind him, and was immediately.  Women had a good reason to be upset with the party leadership, and to some extent I'm still not glad about Barack, in that he's left the perception that Hillary lowered the 'tone' of the campaign, and guys like Frank Rich can't let it go and keep bringing up charges of racism against her, which were never more than 'finding' evidence, and very slight evidence, to back up a prejudice against her.  I don't like it that he hasn't done more to help retire her debt. I don't even understand how it helps him to not help her, makes no sense to me.

But, she is is surrogate, official, and effective and he's paling around with her and Bill and Michelle isn't making cracks about her family life anymore, and these are good signs for me, the insults have at least stopped.  

I feel like I donated my 401K to his campaign, I think he might have won without the financial meltdown, but now he's a sure thing, and I'm very glad about that.

I expect him to be a decent and perhaps great president. I think the symbolism of his presidency will do more to show the world that this country is more complex than previously thought. I think he'll get cooperation from other nations, and that we'll have nearly as much chance to correct the Bush mess with him as we would have with Hillary.  So, all's well that ends well, and having a woman or a mixed-race man is great, I'm fine with it.  

Someone asked me once what it would take for me to forgive and forget the way Barack ran against Hillary and I had a short answer. Win, if he wins all is forgiven.  

by anna shane 2008-10-28 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: I Was Wrong About Barack Obama
Hi Anna;
One of the things I admire about this site is that a diversity of opinoin can exist, especially when the opinion results in the same end.  
I'm happy to see your participation.
by ChitownDenny 2008-10-28 03:15PM | 0 recs
Re: I Was Wrong About Barack Obama

yes, that's free speech.  It's been evolving. I think now that his win is practically assured it's easier for me to say what I don't like, what I want him to change.  Most Hillary backers we're on record that we'd vote for him if he won the nomination.  And she's won over quite a few more.  

I think he's run an excellent campaign since the nomination and his campaign was hardly awful compared with most others, just think what Teddy did to Carter. I may have been more sensitive because she was the first viable female candidate, the sexism was very hard to bear, but most of it came from the media and it wasn't denounced by Dean until late in the game, so i can hardly hold Barack responsible.  He wanted to win, and a big part of his blogger base was motivated by the rivalry between him and Hillary, and ready to be outraged and spew hate, and he had very good reasons to want to win, so not speaking out against it at that time was probably smart.  

It is amazing the rest of the world, and after our people elected George Bush again, we weren't exactly seen as responsible world citizens.  

LIke I said, he makes it all better by winning and he can make it great by being a great president.  

by anna shane 2008-10-28 03:31PM | 0 recs
Re: I Was Wrong About Barack Obama

Thanks Anna. Your last sentence is the most telling - you'll support him if he can win. And he'll win if you support him.

As for diversity of opinion, I'm all for that. I do think that opinions have to be underpinned by facts however. But out of deference to that most important thing, winning, and your vital support, I won't go into that at the moment.

by brit 2008-10-28 03:23PM | 0 recs
Re: I Was Wrong About Barack Obama

no, I said all is forgiven if he wins, he had my support by being our Democratic candidate, and by his positions, ending the Iraq war being the most important one.  Since the primary ended he's been clearer and he's really grown as a candidate, or he's showing it more.  Maybe for the first time I'll be proud of my country if we elect Barack, and right  now it seems like a done deal.  Needless to say, I can sleep better at night.  We're almost done with Bush and the Bush policies, what a big relief.  Cheers, anna

by anna shane 2008-10-28 03:35PM | 0 recs
Re: I Was Wrong About Barack Obama

Exactly. I didn't mean to disagree. Whatever we fought about during the primaries - sexism and racism - was always from the point of view of thinking these things were bad. That's why the accusations hurt both ways. But when you see the republicans you realise this was a family argument  about shared values (if not shared interpretation of them). McCain has done us that huge favor. We learned who we were by contrast.

Good on you Anna. On the basic values, we are all on the same side.

by brit 2008-10-28 03:53PM | 0 recs
Re: I Was Wrong About Barack Obama

I never thought of that, that calling Hillary racist hurt both of them, since we think both are bad.  I was only thinking of Hillary, not that calling Barack out on it was hurting him.  That's how it was back then, glad that's over.  

by anna shane 2008-10-28 05:02PM | 0 recs
Let's just be glad that we all KNOW those

are bad things (sexism and racism).

For my part, and I do hope you'll join me, I've been trying to make a commitment to call people out while giving them the benefit of the doubt.

That is to say: someone can say something hurtful, and not mean it. Everyone gets one bye -- if they say it again, they're scum.

But to better come together as a party and as a nation, we need to explain our pain, listen to each other, and be willing to apologize for all the unmeant slights.

by RisingTide 2008-10-29 06:31AM | 0 recs
things are clearer

now, it's obvious that women were far more sensitive to slights and insensitivity than anyone had expected, and that African Americans were more sensitive to slights and insensitivity than a lot of white people realized.  It was enlightening.  I didn't realize how embarrassed I could feel when Hillary was mocked and treated with distain, I'll never watch msnbc again, it was painful, and I felt the attacks on her like we were the same woman.  Of course I have my long history of coping with sexism, I'm in my sixties and have always worked, so it's been in my face from the beginning.  And of course African Americans have their own history which is everywhere outside tight communities and families, not just in work places or walking in public like for most women.  It all sucks.  I hated it that we were arguing with each other, and we're the good guys.  I'm sooo glad that part is over.  

by anna shane 2008-10-29 01:15PM | 0 recs
Re: things are clearer

You couldn't have put that better

by brit 2008-10-29 04:50PM | 0 recs
god, you've got heart

I'm frankly glad, now, that Hillary got down in the mud with Barack. It was actually not a bad campaign, the whole way round. Down to brass tacks, not mudslinging, is the way I see it.

I have hopes that we have a new Lincoln, in Barack Obama.

by RisingTide 2008-10-29 06:27AM | 0 recs
Re: god, you've got heart

she didn't.  When it's over there will be write ups, and you'll see.  Being accused of being in the mud isn't the same as actually being there.  

by anna shane 2008-10-29 01:16PM | 0 recs
Great Diary

After the bruising of 2000 and 2004, I too was very thrilled with the prospect of a Dem candidate who was poised to restore competitiveness and real victory to Ohio, Florida, Arkansas (an auto +5 Dem bonus right from the beginning, yay!), Missouri, and West Virginia and locking down Pennsylvania once and for all.  Being a big math/strategy freak, the idea of sacrificing all of that for what seemed to be only marginal advantages in Iowa, Colorado, and Virginia bothered me much.

I am thrilled to see that not only have the advantages in CO, IA, VA materialized in a best case scenario (seems we are winning), but the mood of the country has become so anti-GOP that even those states where Obama is less strong than Hillary (Ohio, Florida, etc.) look poised to go blue.  

I would have to be a sociopath to wish John McCain on the country just to "prove" I was right about something in the primary.  And I think I wasn't off in my assessments either; Hillary was stronger in OH/PA/FL while Obama was stronger in VA and the west.  Fortunately, everything is so strong for us right now (hope it sustains!) we may just sweep it all.  

by BPK80 2008-10-28 03:56PM | 0 recs
Re: I Was Wrong About Barack Obama

I'm with you.

Obama has made me a believer!

Let's make history next week!!

by devoted1 2008-10-28 04:18PM | 0 recs
Thanks for this

I've been an Obama guy from day one, so it's nice to see our Hillary-supporting friends join the fight. GOTV baby!

By the way, what happened to Alegre? Is she waiting until Nov. 5th, in the case that Obama loses, to say "I told you so"?

by existenz 2008-10-28 04:39PM | 0 recs
Re: I Was Wrong About Barack Obama

TR'd for the swipe at a fellow blogger.

by Iceblinkjm 2008-10-28 05:32PM | 0 recs
Re: I Was Not Wrong About Barack Obama

Here the amazing thing. Imagine we can have public discussions about our opinions, and even disagree on some points, but all work towards the same goal. We are coming in from the field and bringing our wounded and hurt with us as promised. Some will need some healing time. Some will be very badly scarred. But we are claiming all of them as ours. Because they are. This is not just a new coat of paint. The hatemongers are losing this battle very badly. We haven't won the war yet, but we will.  

by Jeter 2008-10-28 09:49PM | 0 recs
I was an Edwards dupe, m'self.

But I WILL say this, not to be TOO conceited...

On the night that Obama gave the keynote in 2004, I called my friend April and told her, "I just heard the first black American President give a great speech."

I just didn't know he'd be President in 2008.

When Edwards dropped out, I was on board with Obama. I'd been wistful about him ever since he declared, actually, but was always an Edwards supporter, and loath to switch teams in midstream. Also, I loved his message. When "le scandale" broke, I was furious and heartbroken. But by then I was all about the O-Man, so Edwards was old news, anyway.

Anyway, thanks for the post.

by Maryscott OConnor 2008-10-29 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: I was an Edwards dupe, m'self.

There's an even more amazing story, a reporter was visiting a friend who was working the legislative beat in Illinois. and said to him:

"I want you to meet someone. He's going to be the first black President."

That was in the first year Obama was in the state senate.

Folks with the eyes to see, saw it early.

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-29 01:22PM | 0 recs

Diaries

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