Barack Obama Needs to Start Leap-Frogging Or It’s Not Going to Happen

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obama blue.jpg
A friend sent me this interesting Los Angeles Times article on Barack Obama’s ability to bridge right and left when he ascended to the editorship of the Harvard Law Review.
But then I went to Obama’s pre-campaign site and then looked at Hillary’s pre-campaign site. These are technically “exploratory committee” websites.
Hillary’s is stunning in its complexity and seamlessness. She clearly has hired top talent to dominate much of the web-based political game.
Obama has a choice it seems to me. He could play the “anti-slick” card and try to do what McCain did in 2000 with a bus and a straight-talk-express-style, low frills campaign, or he needs to out-slick Hillary.
Obama, even when he’s sincere and connecting with folks, has a slickness in his DNA that is going to make a grunge-style campaign look out of place.
He’s probably got to take the slick route — and that means he better start spending money now to colonize a lot of the web space, political donors and activists, and just get with it.
Just a couple of clicks through his website leaves me concerned.

— Steve Clemons

Comments

61 comments on “Barack Obama Needs to Start Leap-Frogging Or It’s Not Going to Happen

  1. Eric Gray says:

    You know it’s all about Wesley Clark in 08′ so we can end all these conversations.

    Reply

  2. Pissed Off American says:

    “Stop wasting our time with Kucinich videos. You’ve had plenty of chances to say your piece.”
    Posted by ohiomeister
    If its a waste of time, why are you watching them? Just stupid?
    And, if you aren’t watching them, why are you calling them a waste of time? Just obnoxious?

    Reply

  3. .... says:

    You are not our meister.

    Reply

  4. ohiomeister says:

    Stop wasting our time with Kucinich videos. You’ve had plenty of chances to say your piece.

    Reply

  5. ET says:

    Peace Rally Washington D.C. 01/27/07 video here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZIu4CXq9Bk

    Reply

  6. Robert Morrow says:

    Although I am not an oracle and I am often wrong, let me state this: Hillary is not going to be the Demo nominee. The primary voters are going to toss her out the window just like they did Howard Dean and for the exact same reason.
    But that question: “Can Hillary be elected?” is the wrong one. How about “Is Hillary worthy of being elected” is the more to-the-point one. The Clintons are nominally Democrats and they are neither liberal nor conservative, nor this nor that, what they are at the heart, the center, is Clinton pond scum, and for that reason I urge my American friends to vote for John Edwards, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson or anyone BUT Hillary.
    My number one issue with them is Hillary’s use of a secret police, criminal intimidation tactics, and Hillary’s misogynistic behavior towards women. These issues may not be getting much play in the Demo primary, but I assure you every single SWING WOMAN VOTER in every single state is going to know a LOT more about Hillary than she does now is that dog gets out of the kennel, running wild in a general election.

    Reply

  7. owenz says:

    I know moderate insider Washington types like Steve are in love with Hillary’s campaign based on her staff, money, and overall operation. The only problem is that it’s still Hillary at the top. Her message on Iraq is still a disaster – logically incoherant and politically tone-deaf. Her attempts to seem “human” feel awkward and erratic. Rightwing America still loves to hate her and liberal America is ambivalent at best. While her image has been somewhat rehabilitated in DC, huge chunks of the country still recoil at her. Yet Washington insiders seem to think she can overcome these negatives by being herself. I don’t see it.
    Ok, so Obama website is less sophisticated than Hillary’s. So what? I have no particular affection for Obama, but when people say the election is “Hillary’s to lose,” I think they’re on to something. Lose it, she will. Just by being herself.

    Reply

  8. pauline says:

    I offer this from Wayne Madsen since Steve didn’t offer any comments. btw, Dennis Kucinich was one of the speakers to the crowd, while Obama was a no-show.
    January 28, 2007 — SPECIAL ANTI-WAR RALLY EDITION — Corporate media and DC law enforcement collude once again in shaving anti-war march numbers. On a postcard perfect weather day in Washington, in excess of 150,000 people gathered on the Washington Mall, west of the US Capitol, to hear members of Congress and Hollywood celebrities call for the Bush administration to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq. However, as with past anti-war demonstrations in Washington, the corporate media, largely influenced by New York- and Los Angeles-based special interests, downplayed the number of demonstrators.
    Associated Press reporters Calvin Woodward and Larry Margasak wrote an article that described “tens of thousands” of demonstrators. Editors around the world penned headlines for the same article that read “thousands” demonstrated in Washington. The three words — “tens of thousands” were echoed in newspapers from Melbourne, Australia to Vancouver, Canada. Broadcasters, including the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), and Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), used “tens of thousands” in their news reports.
    This editor noted that although the National Park Service once again used snow fences to block off access to grassy areas on the Washington Mall, thus forcing many demonstrators off on side streets and thus skewing an accurate count (the Washington Mall can hold one million people), the numbers of demonstrators were in excess of 150,000 and possibly over 200,000. “Tens of thousands” is therefore a misleading description of the actual numbers.
    In the press area, this editor noted a conversation between two mainstream media reporters who, even before many demonstrators had arrived at the Mall, were already using “tens of thousands” to describe the numbers. It was clear from the conversation that the major media had been issued a number of pre-conceived editorial points: use “tens of thousands,” ignore rally organizer numbers — one speaker predicted 400,000 marchers, and point to the marchers as largely consisting of “fringe groups.”
    After having covered two past massive anti-war demonstrations in Washington, this editor can state unequivocally that the demographics of the crowd had altered from past marches. The participants were largely white, middle and upper class, and from a cross section of professions. Men and woman, young, middle-aged, and seniors, African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic, and white Southerners and Midwesterners, they hailed from affluent suburbs of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Cleveland, among other cities, and rural areas. Many came in buses from small towns in Iowa, Michigan, Kentucky, Connecticut, South Carolina, and New Jersey. In fact, the crowd more resembled those which are found at annual Independence Day celebrations on the Mall than those seen at past anti-war demonstrations.
    The few “fringe groups” present, such as Revolutionary Communists, were minutiae compared to the major unions, church groups, and veterans organizations that participated.
    On January 18, 2003, the editor wrote the following about an anti-war march in Washington: “A large banner hanging on the side of the East Building of the National Gallery of Art could not have been more appropriate for the January 18 anti-war protest on the Mall in Washington, DC. Promoting an art display inside the museum, the banner read: ‘Deceptions and Illusions.’ It could have easily applied to the deception foisted on the public by the Washington Metropolitan Police Department and the corporate news media.
    The Park Police cleverly fenced off a large portion of the Mall closest to the Washington Monument, forcing large numbers of protestors on to Jefferson and Madison Drives. If one were to count the numbers solely on the grassy area of the Mall it would appear that 30,000 or, as the news media is now reporting, ‘tens of thousands,’ were present. However, if the count were to include those forced on to the periphery of the Mall, the number was well over 100,000.
    The New York Times has become the chief perpetrator of low balling anti-Bush protestor numbers. A photo caption on its web site stated, ‘thousands of protestors’ took part in the January 18 protest. A similar anti-war protest held in Washington last October 26 was estimated at between 100,000 and 200,000. It was the largest anti-war protest since the Vietnam War, but the Times reported the number of protestors as being in the ‘thousands.’
    However, an April 15, 2002, pro-Israel rally at the US Capitol, was reported by the Times to be 100,000. In reality, the numbers were merely in the low thousands. The ‘Old Grey Lady’ later admitted it had erroneously reported the inflated number due to a ‘coordination’ problem with one of its desks. Five days later, a pro-Palestinian rally was held on the White House Ellipse. Organizers claim the crowd was 100,000 but Washington police chief Charles Ramsey put the numbers at between 35,000 and 50,000. Once again, the Times reported the numbers to be in the ‘tens of thousands.”
    This is not just shoddy journalism but willful disinformation being perpetrated by corporate newspapers that want to curry favor with the White House, Congress, and the Pentagon. In fact, the January 18 protest was larger than those held in October and April last year. That would obviously put the January 18 numbers well over 100,000. But the failure to accurately report the numbers is not entirely the fault of the news media. In the past, the media was permitted to use their news and traffic helicopters to more accurately gauge crowd numbers. But in the wake of September 11, the only helicopters now permitted over Washington are those belonging to the police. They count the numbers, divide and subtract, and then feed the phony figures to a sycophantic media.”
    It is clear that the White House spin doctors and their facilitators — “New York money people” as Gen. Wesley Clark accurately describes them — long ago decided that “tens of thousands” and “thousands” would be used to describe anti-war and anti-Bush rallies in Washington. The media continues to stick to those numbers even when confronted with facts.

    Reply

  9. jf says:

    If Andy Warhol were alive today and editing graphic content for political blogs, his work might pale in comparison with yours. Your eye for headshots is quasi-Delphic. In any event, your choices defy rote interpretation while implying a subtext at odds with your analysis. However, they’re growing on me! You might consider compiling a coffee table book at some point with notes hinting at your thought process.
    For anyone who’s interested, the less modernistic original photo of Obama is here:
    http://barackobama.smugmug.com/popular/1/6725609#6725609-M-LB

    Reply

  10. PissedOff American says:

    Rabbi Levi Brackman
    Barack and Hillary: Can Israel rely on either?
    We simply cannot afford to allow a person with incoherent, weak and inconsistent views on national security and foreign policy to become the Democrats’ presidential nominee.
    This week three prominent Jews from Hollywood, Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg, decided to host a fundraiser for Illinois Senator and presidential hopeful Barack Obama. According to some reports George Soros is backing him as well. This is not a coincidence: all three of these Hollywood heavyweights were ardent supporters of Hillary Clinton. This spawns the following question: which of these two Democratic Presidential frontrunners will be more effective in the struggle against terrorism and Iranian nuclear ambitions and which will be a more reliable supporter of Israeli security?
    There is little doubt that since entering the Senate Hillary Clinton has been a staunch supporter of Israel and for that she deserves credit and appreciation from Jews. Some have put a question mark regarding her motives. However whichever way one wants to put it, it is extremely difficult to find in Hilary Clinton’s published remarks anything but complete and total support for Israel’s continued safety and security.
    The difficulty some have with Hilary is her husband former President Bill. Yasser Arafat was a regular guest at Bill Clinton’s White House and he used extreme pressure to get Israel to make concessions that were clearly not in her long term interests. During his second term in office Bill Clinton seemed to care more about creating his legacy than about the risks his ideas posed to Israeli security. Indeed it is Bill Clinton that must take some of the blame for the second intifada and the suicide bombings and killing of innocents that followed.
    continues at….
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3357502,00.html

    Reply

  11. Pissed Off American says:

    “As to my point, I’ve made it a couple of times.”
    Posted by MP
    Whooooosh.
    Only in your own mind, MP.

    Reply

  12. MP says:

    Okay, I’ll call him Kucinich from now on.
    As to my point, I’ve made it a couple of times.

    Reply

  13. Pissed Off American says:

    BTW,calling Kucinich “DK” does not exactly aid the efforts of some of us to see that Kucinich gets “name recognition”. But you know that already, don’t you, MP?

    Reply

  14. Pissed Off American says:

    “I would be for Kucinich too. But politics doesn’t exist in position papers (only). I takes place on the field. In contact with other people. Many of whom don’t agree with “you” on a lot of things and hold other positions. We can pretend that this isn’t so, but then this is just pretend.”
    Posted by MP
    Actually, the majority just made their opinions known through the November elections. And Congress seems to be swinging over as well. And their opinions seem to closely mirror Kucinich’s long held positions.
    So whats your point, MP? Or are you going to just continue this ad hoc bullshit indefinitely?

    Reply

  15. Pissed Off American says:

    Again, the question in my mind is…can he get it done (on health care)? Otherwise, as far as I can see, DK holds admirable positions. But positions is positions. My question is, can he get it done?
    Posted by MP
    Not without our help, he can’t. Whats that make you?

    Reply

  16. MP says:

    Carroll writes: “Let’s pretend we never heard of, or saw any pictures of, or listened to their voices or had anything to go by on any of the present candidates except a written statement of their positions right now…in that case most people would vote for Kucinich.”
    I would be for Kucinich too. But politics doesn’t exist in position papers (only). I takes place on the field. In contact with other people. Many of whom don’t agree with “you” on a lot of things and hold other positions. We can pretend that this isn’t so, but then this is just pretend.

    Reply

  17. Pissed Off American says:

    BTW, I see that Conyers has finally partially explained why he took his efforts at impeachment “off the table”. His explanation is reasonable, although I do not entirely agree with it. Personally, I believe that Congress has a moral and legal obligation to pursue impeachment, as well as criminal indictments, against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, Ashcroft, Gonzales, and many more. But perhaps if people like Conyers or Waxman pursue investigations, we will yet see criminal indictments, even if Bush’s term has already ran out.
    I suppose MP figures Conyers’ efforts at impeachment, and his “hearings” about voter fraud, weren’t worthy of media attention either, because they sure as hell didn’t recieve much.
    In MP’s world, you are only relevant if you make the news, if you “play the game”. That makes Brittany Spears and Michael Jackson far more important than Dennis Kucinich, doesn’t it?
    http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_rob_kall_070127_interview_with_john_.htm

    Reply

  18. MP says:

    POA writes: “On another thread on healthcare he advocates the exact position held by a Kucinich introduced legislation, while asking here what Kucinich has done.”
    Again, the question in my mind is…can he get it done (on health care)? Otherwise, as far as I can see, DK holds admirable positions. But positions is positions. My question is, can he get it done?

    Reply

  19. Carroll says:

    Let’s pretend we never heard of, or saw any pictures of, or listened to their voices or had anything to go by on any of the present candidates except a written statement of their positions right now…in that case most people would vote for Kucinich.

    Reply

  20. MP says:

    ET writes: “Then look again because you are not seeing.”
    Okay, I will.

    Reply

  21. Pissed Off American says:

    MPs argument here is despicable. There is no other word for it. He impugns integrity and honesty with smokescreans and intellectual improvisation. On another thread on healthcare he advocates the exact position held by a Kucinich introduced legislation, while asking here what Kucinich has done. He admits to a total blockade of Democratic initiative by a Republican majority, while decrying Kucinich’s inability to surmount the blockade. Disjointed and illogical, he presses on with an obviously contrived and unconvicted indictment of Kucinich’s effectiveness in an effort to mask Kucinich’s integrity.
    Obviously such intellectual masturbation telegraphs a need to hide the honest reasons behind his rationale for trivializing Kucinich’s character, honesty, and patriotic efforts. Come on MP, you can be honest with me, its not as if I don’t know already…..
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Hasbara

    Reply

  22. ET says:

    Based on what I have seen his impact is negligible.
    ~~~~~~~~
    Then look again because you are not seeing.
    You say he talks a good game. Well you aren’t. You talk about “playing the game to get things done.” How convenient such framing of the killing! There’s nothing good about that at all.
    I don’t want killing to get done.
    I want the killing stopped.
    The camps, too, were thought practical as I recall.
    The “game” to which you refer is a game of lying treasonous murder. American lives are on the line today — but don’t bother to click a mouse to delve for accurate answers to the questions you pose. The media you cite decides for you what the significant questions are? Sorry, that tactic failed, with body bags, crippled men and amputee mothers as proof.
    No deal. No more. No way.
    You denigrate as insignificant the pieces of evidence placed before you, without looking at them. You reduce a credible candidate to insignificance. Because your media told you to? Despicable.
    And, de facto, since when has such media cornered the market on deciding what a holocaust is? Are the facts themselves anti-Semitic? Is your media the sole decider and the definer of what comprises crimes against humanity? Has your media bothered to look at Kucinich’s Lancet study video, cited here — as you demand insatiably more, (or different?), evidence without looking at what is proffered? Do the 650,000 innocent civilians now dead on our dime — and thoroughly *documented therein* as killed by American liars — clang your bell?
    No,I don’t think your problem with Kucinich is that he doesn’t get anything done. Not at all. His integrity keeps LIFE on the table. And how much more will such integrity possibly DO for LIFE as everyday Americans find their viewpoints resonating within the heart, head, soul, guts and consistent actions of Dennis Kucinich.
    You use your words and voice to nominate a person of integrity for insignificance. Shame on you, MP.
    Despise not the day of small beginnings.

    Reply

  23. MP says:

    POA wrote: “ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!! Yeah right, MP. Tell us, just who the hell on the Democratic or progressive side made ANY inroads against the Republican majority? Your argument here is asinine, utterly and completely. The fact that the majority of Congress is now coming over to his views on the Iraq war means nothing to you?”
    They’re also coming over to Dean’s views–so what? They’re also coming around to my views–again, so what?
    POA wrote: “Screw morality. Screw integrity. Screw being right. Screw being vindicated and proven to be astute and honest.”
    No, sorry, that isn’t what I said and it isn’t what I mean. It’s just that “morality” isn’t enough. It’s easy to be moral all by your lonesome. You have to be able to make it happen–with others.
    So far, I don’t see DK as particularly effective. That was my original question–what has he done?–and it remains my question.
    As far as poor Dennis battling a “hostile environment,” you could say the same thing of ALL the Democrats in Congress.

    Reply

  24. Pissed Off American says:

    “The question is…has he swayed anyone else? Has he actually moved the Congress in that direction? What is his impact?”
    “Based on what I’ve seen, his impact is negligible.”
    ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!! Yeah right, MP. Tell us, just who the hell on the Democratic or progressive side made ANY inroads against the Republican majority? Your argument here is asinine, utterly and completely.
    The fact that the majority of Congress is now coming over to his views on the Iraq war means nothing to you?
    Nope, in MP’s world being right means NOTHING. Its all how you play the game, and if you don’t lie and accept payoffs to achieve the media spotlight, than your efforts aren’t worthy of note. What’s Kucinich’s problem in MP’s world? “The fact that he can’t generate publicity and can’t play the game well enough to get anything done, speaks volumes against him.”
    Screw morality. Screw integrity. Screw being right. Screw being vindicated and proven to be astute and honest. It all means nothing. In MP’s world, you gotta play the game. Lie. Accept bribes. Speak without conviction. Those are the attributes that MP votes for.
    Whats a matter, MP? You don’t like anyone that is not bought and paid for by Israel?

    Reply

  25. Pissed Off American says:

    Actually, despite MP’s protestations, Kucinich has attempted quite a bit, even considering the hostile environment he faced of an unyielding Republican majority. Certainly, he and Conyers attempted far more in regards to opposing Bush, than any of these so called “candidates” such as Clinton, Obama, or Edwards did. Heres yet another attempt Kucinich made to stop the insanity…
    Calling upon the President to appeal to all sides in the current crisis in the Middle East for an immediate cessation of violence and to commit United States diplomats to multi-party… (Introduced in House)
    HCON 450 IH
    109th CONGRESS
    2d Session
    H. CON. RES. 450
    Calling upon the President to appeal to all sides in the current crisis in the Middle East for an immediate cessation of violence and to commit United States diplomats to multi-party negotiations with no preconditions.
    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
    July 19, 2006
    Mr. KUCINICH (for himself, Mr. RANGEL, Mr. ABERCROMBIE, Ms. SLAUGHTER, Ms. KAPTUR, Mr. CONYERS, Mr. CLEAVER, Ms. LEE, Ms. WOOLSEY, Mr. GRIJALVA, Mr. FILNER, Mr. STARK, Mr. MCDERMOTT, Mr. HINCHEY, Mr. HONDA, Mr. DAVIS of Illinois, Ms. WATERS, Mr. MORAN of Virginia, Mr. RUSH, Ms. BALDWIN, Ms. KILPATRICK of Michigan, Ms. MCCOLLUM of Minnesota, Ms. SOLIS, and Mr. MEEKS of New York) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on International Relations
    ——————————————————————————–
    CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
    Calling upon the President to appeal to all sides in the current crisis in the Middle East for an immediate cessation of violence and to commit United States diplomats to multi-party negotiations with no preconditions.
    Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress–
    (1) calls upon the President to–
    (A) appeal to all sides in the current crisis in the Middle East for an immediate cessation of violence;
    (B) commit United States diplomats to multi-party negotiations with no preconditions; and
    (C) send a high-level diplomatic mission to the region to facilitate such multi-party negotiations;
    (2) urges such multi-party negotiations to begin as soon as possible, including delegations from the governments of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Lebanon, Iran, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt; and
    (3) supports an international peacekeeping mission to southern Lebanon to prevent cross-border skirmishes during such multi-party negotiations.

    Reply

  26. MP says:

    ET writes: “And exactly what part of speaking the truth and voting against the war can’t you wrap your mind around as important?”
    That’s not my argument.
    Speaking out against the war is good.
    The question is…has he swayed anyone else? Has he actually moved the Congress in that direction? What is his impact?
    Based on what I’ve seen, his impact is negligible.
    Dean also opposed the war from the beginning…but he has actually been successful in moving folks.
    My little brother can create a podcast. I’m happy DK is doing it and speaking out against the war…I just don’t see it as a big accomplishment. Sorry.

    Reply

  27. ET says:

    KUCINICH BLASTS BUSH’S STATE OF THE UNION
    podcast:
    http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/20060131_kucinich_sotu/

    Reply

  28. Pissed Off American says:

    “And exactly what part of speaking the truth and voting against the war can’t you wrap your mind around as important?”
    Posted by ET
    Well, Kucinich has repeatedly bucked the tide and voted against legislation aimed at throwing more money at Israel. The fact that AIPAC doesn’t own Kucinich may have more than a little to do with MP’s stance.
    Ironic, isn’t it, that some guy would state that Kucinich has done nothing to warrant media attention when in fact he has consistently done EXCACTLY what is now garnering all the media attention for Hagel and Hillary, namely, opposed the war. Here Kucinich has opposed this war FROM ITS BEGINNING, and MP states that doesn’t warrant media attention. Perhaps MP ought to pick up a paper, or watch the news, and then tell us that opposing the war doesn’t warrant media attention.
    Nope. I would say, judging from MP’s past arguments and positions, that the only thing that would ingratiate Kucinich to him would be if Kucinich gets on the same dole that anyone would need to be to get MP’s nod. When AIPAC buys him, MP will support him.

    Reply

  29. ET says:

    And exactly what part of speaking the truth and voting against the war can’t you wrap your mind around as important?

    Reply

  30. MP says:

    No, but I think in DK’s case, he just hasn’t DONE anything that merits a lot of ink. Let him get something done. Let him make a credible attempt at the WH–with all the crap and show that goes along with it now–and he’ll get ink.
    That’s all I’m saying.
    BTW, speaking of Pelosi and DK…it wasn’t hard to see DK going through the ritual sucking up to Bush and his way to and from the podium. This stuff used to be seen as part and parcel of getting things done in Washington. Now it’s seen as selling out.

    Reply

  31. ET says:

    Media attention? Oh, he means like Mission Accomplished.

    Reply

  32. Pissed Off American says:

    “BTW, I’d hardly call it a media black-out on Kucinich. Anyone can find any number of articles on him just by Googlinig him. Lack of media attention means he hasn’t done anything worth writing about.”
    Bullshit. Are you really implying an unbiased media? Thats total crap, Mp, and you know it.

    Reply

  33. MP says:

    POA writes: “He has consistently been right about the direction that Bush’s policies would take us, and he has consistently opposed the policies of this administration that time has proven NEEDED to be opposed. He has never backed down, despite an almost total media blackout of both he and Conyer’s consistent opposition to Bush’s policies. He is one of the ONLY representatives that has placed the moral obligation to his constituents above political expediency.”
    In short, he talks a good game. The fact that he can’t generate publicity and can’t play the game well enough to get anything done, speaks volumes against him.
    BTW, I’d hardly call it a media black-out on Kucinich. Anyone can find any number of articles on him just by Googlinig him. Lack of media attention means he hasn’t done anything worth writing about.
    Let him do something. Let him become a credible candidate. He’ll get all the ink he needs. Dean certainly did it, and he was far more obscure than DK.

    Reply

  34. eCAHNomics says:

    You’re wrong Steve–your brains been polluted by too much time in the Beltway Bubble. Rich says it better than I can:
    After six years of “Ask President Bush,” “Mission Accomplished” and stage sets plastered with “Plan for Victory,” Americans hunger for a presidency with some authenticity. Patently synthetic play-acting and carefully manicured sound bites like Mrs. Clinton’s look out of touch. (Mr. Obama’s bare-bones Webcast and Web site shrewdly play Google to Mrs. Clinton’s AOL.) Besides, the belief that an image can be tightly controlled in the viral media era is pure fantasy. Just ask the former Virginia senator, Mr. Allen, whose past prowess as a disciplined, image-conscious politician proved worthless once the Webb campaign posted on YouTube a grainy but authentic video capturing him in an embarrassing off-script public moment.
    Besides, it’s the war, stupid, and Hillary’s a disaster on the war.

    Reply

  35. Pissed Off American says:

    STEVE……….
    Look, I realize that you have a whole hell of a lot more on your plate than just this blog. And I realize that this blog is yours to run as you see fit, inserting your postings, your comments, and your reactions as you see fit. I respect that.
    But…….
    When I see you bantering about your dogs, or commenting on the reasoning behind picking a certain photograph of Hillary, the absence of your answers to serious queries about your postingsand opinions begins to impugn both your motives and your credibility. You often seem to want to parade ideas, opinions, and candidates in front of us without seriously addressing the concerns and questions some of us may have about those ideas or candidates. On many key issues here, that repeatedly arise as a result of your own input, you completely disengage from, such as the issue of what many of us see as a dangerous and unhealthy insertion of Israeli interests within the formulation of American foreign policy, and the Israeli’s undo influence upon our politicians through lobbies such as AIPAC.
    And, when offered questions such as I offered above about Obama’s accomplishments and qualifications, all we see is silence from you. As you know, this is a bone I pick reqularly with you, as my queries about your reasoning behind giving Reid such glowing testimonials have gone unanswered for some time now, pushed aside by the timeworn Clemons’ caveat, “more later”.
    Look, I like this blog, and I respect you. I see the reasoning behind avoiding some issues, for I suspect you walk a bit of a tight-rope, and you could easily get some important doors slammed in your face. I suspect AIPAC has its hands on more than one of those doors.
    But there are times I really feel this blog could use a more conscientious defense of your positions and opinions on your part. I really am curious as to why yyou feel Obama deserves our attention more than Kucinich does. I really am curious as to why you refuse to wiegh in on Hillary’s total inaction in opposing Bush these last six years. And I believe I am not alone here in my curiousity.

    Reply

  36. Pissed Off American says:

    “Speaking of accomplishments…what has Kucinich done?”
    Posted by MP
    He has consistently been right about the direction that Bush’s policies would take us, and he has consistently opposed the policies of this administration that time has proven NEEDED to be opposed. He has never backed down, despite an almost total media blackout of both he and Conyer’s consistent opposition to Bush’s policies. He is one of the ONLY representatives that has placed the moral obligation to his constituents above political expediency. I know that such conviction means very little to you, MP, considering your ever fluctuating portrayal of your own convictions, but to some of us such unyielding conviction and moral fortitude are seen as an attribute.

    Reply

  37. ... says:

    For starters, he speaks truth to power:
    “In October of 2002, I was called upon to make a decision as to whether or not to approve or authorize the war against Iraq. I did a lot of research. I took a lot of time. I spoke to many people. I read many reports. And based on that, I was able to determine that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, with Al-Qaida’s role in 9/11, that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction, and that Iraq had no intention nor a capability of attacking the United States.”
    Dennis Kucinich

    Reply

  38. Frank says:

    Steve lets have more Wes Clark commentary. You are in a communications rut with “finial Hillary”, and with Obama, the latest shooting star in the heavens. If Tim Russert can interview a mediocrity like governor Huckabee who thinks Bush is a brilliant president, then surely there are zeros and ones space in your blog for comments on one of the best candidates extant for getting us out of this disaster in the ME.

    Reply

  39. MP says:

    Speaking of accomplishments…what has Kucinich done?

    Reply

  40. Henry T says:

    Barack, Hillary, Jeb, McCain, it does not matter. Unfortunately it took segregationist Governor Wallace to reveal the truth that “there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between” Republicans and Democrats. The Democrats willingly went along with the War in Iraq, suspension of Habeas Corpus, detaining protesters, banning books like “America Deceived’ from Amazon, stealing private lands (Kelo decision), warrant-less wiretapping and refusing to investigate 9/11 properly. They are both guilty of treason. Look at the bright side, when we have to vote the Democrats out, we’ll have no choice but to vote for a Third Party (or Dr. Ron Paul 2008).
    Support indy media.
    Last link (before Google Books bends to gov’t Will and drops the title):
    http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?&isbn=0-595-38523-0

    Reply

  41. Kate says:

    Frankly, I think the Sunday, January 28, New York Times op-ed by Frank Rich is much more on point than Steve’s fretting over whether Obama or Clinton has the better web site. Isn’t it time we choose a real leader, instead of a follower? Someone with the courage of convictions based on reality-based facts, not wishful thinking and beliefs informed by consultants, focus groups and, gasp, a political base that thinks the universe is only 6,000 years old. Someone who is concerned about supporting the Constitution, the social contract and the law? Someone truly qualified to be President of the United States, not a contestant on American Idol?
    Is there any such leader out there? You’re looking. You’re looking. You’re getting warmer … .

    Reply

  42. ET says:

    American soldiers and innocent civilians are dead because of the lack of moral courage to demand answers to tough questions of those in power — and of those who aspire to greater power.
    For my part, as one citizen, I will not allow any candidate to lie to me, nor to dishonor the memories of those who have died, by pretending that *they* had — or will have — nothing to do with those deaths.
    Who among the candidates stands today and speaks truth? And who, on the other hand, cozies up to the status quo ante –glossing over the liars in power who lied us into war — while chatting us breezily up about universal health care?
    Those candidates who do not stand *for* our American soldiers and the innocent civilians in harm’s way, and *against* those in power who lied us into war, are fakes. They feign concern and invite us to “chat on their blogs,” providing distractions for dupes. They care for no one.
    I am in no mood to be fed wandering generalities by political mannequins. Those puppets are assembled by murderers who pleasure the mendacious. They must go. And we must show them the door. The truth exists in minute particulars and today.
    American deaths to date: 3075
    Americans wounded: 23,114
    Now, American candidate, shut up and talk.

    Reply

  43. Gloria says:

    I continue to plow through “The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time” by Antonia Juhasz. Only, it’s really not just Bush, it’s what the US has been doing for the last 50 years. Every time I read another chapter, the madder I get. This book has made me realize that absolutely NONE of the current crop of candidates, nor the current Congress, will change the U.S.’s goals. I have become so cynical that I am no longer willing to expend any time actually believing in any these people. The country is on a real downward slide and both of these parties are enablers to our decline. I live here, but that doesn’t mean I have to buy into what this country is pretending to be any longer.

    Reply

  44. Michael Froomkin says:

    Obama is enjoying an emergent internet surge in online social spaces like MySpace. It appears to be genuinely spontaneous.
    There may be a third way….and web pages may be less important than they were?

    Reply

  45. Robert Morrow says:

    I’ve got an idea. Let’s pick a candidate who is least likely to break your kneecaps to become president. Obama, a total class act, seems like he would be that one. As for me, I support RON PAUL for president.
    Hillary’s candidacy is in deep, deep trouble. She thought the primary was going to be a cakewalk and now it is going to be at least a 3 way dog fight probably all the way to the convention. The 2008 Demo convention could be the best one they have had in 50 years.
    Because of the early front-loading of the calendar, the Demos could easily have a situation with a huge chunk of delegates split among 3 or 4 candidates in the first 3 weeks of primary season, with contested primaries all the way to the bitter end.
    I see ZERO percent chance of Hillary wrapping this thing up early. There is a more than little possibility that convention deal making in Denver will decide who the 2008 nominee and VP are.

    Reply

  46. steve clemons says:

    I am being facetious, officially, but I want to say that p. lukusiak has it nearly right. I did ask a question of Gore at a really cool film screening of his film — and had something to do with the Japanese purchase of the rights to his book. But still waiting for Gore to get serious about running.
    You guys are great — and I do care about the quality and credentials of presidential candidates….but let’s really get serious here, all of the candidates — ALL of them — leave a lot to be desired. Gore included.
    More later,
    Steve

    Reply

  47. Pissed Off American says:

    And heres Hillary, invoking the spectre of 9/11 as her rationale for endorsing the invasion of Iraq. Same shit, different shitter. Are we to believe that this shrewd and intelligent woman actually believed Iraq was somehow tied to 9/11? Anyone else tired of these pieces of shit lying to us?
    http://www.theconservativevoice.com/ap/article.html?mi=D8MTV5180&apc=9008

    Reply

  48. Marky says:

    FWIW, I find Obama to be much more compelling when I see him on TV than when I read any of his remarks.
    On TV he looks steely and strong, a natural leader, but I find the text of his remarks bland and unexceptional, in general.

    Reply

  49. p.lukasiak says:

    POA….
    I’m sure that the moment Al Gore agrees to show up at a panel discussion sponsored by the New America Foundation that Steve will consider him a viable candidate.

    Reply

  50. Pissed Off American says:

    GORE???? But he doesn’t have the Clemons’ “Done Nuthin’ These Last Six Years Seal of Approval”! He has actually spoken up about Bush’s insane discarding of science. Ergo, he can’t possibly be presidential material.

    Reply

  51. Chris says:

    Hardly anyone goes more than two clicks into a candidate’s site.

    Reply

  52. p.lukasiak says:

    Two points….
    1) Hillary has been thinking about running for president in 2008 for at least six years — Obama started thinking about it for maybe the last six months, tops.
    2) I personally don’t think Obama is serious about running for President in 2008. He’s either positioning himself as the “inevitable” VP candidate in 2008, or positioning himself for a run in 2012 or 2016. (he’s certainly young enough to wait — and he’s got competition for the Democratic Party’s black “go-to guy” in Harold Ford, so he’s making sure he keeps the spotlight on himself, and not Ford.)

    Reply

  53. ET says:

    Pix of Presidential Candidate Kucinich after speaking at today’s protest against the war:
    http://apnews.myway.com/image/20070127/IRAQ_PROTEST.sff_DCKW104_20070127135607.html?date=20070127&docid=D8MTSA4O0

    Reply

  54. Pissed Off American says:

    Tell us Steve, what accomplishments Obama has achieved that qualify him as a presidential or vice-presidential candidate?
    (I mean, not that it really matters, considering that a coke snorting AWOL alchoholic whose main claim to fame was failing in business managed to become King.)
    But seriously, you bandy these people in front of us as if you expect us to be impressed merely because you tell us we should be impressed.
    So tell us, WHAT has Obama done that should impress us?

    Reply

  55. Joel Rutstein says:

    Maybe Obama plans to wait for his official February announcement to make a sensational splash signaling his intention to compete at the highest level. If not and he continues to run as he has been, he might only be trying to be Hillary’s running mate. This would become especially apparent if he (and his surrogates) refrained from getting nasty about Hillary.
    And, may I add, as have the previous commenters, Go Kucinich!

    Reply

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