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Campaignapalooza

Monday, July 07, 2008

Richard Wolffe, senior White House correspondent for Newsweek, talks about the latest political news. Shake up in the McCain campaign? Faith-based initiatives? VP speculation? We got it!

Guests:

Richard Wolffe

The Morning Brief

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Comments [87]

Tom C from Seattle, WA

First, spot on to those noting that Obama's move to the center isn't really a move to the "center" at all. It's a move to the far, fringe, whacko right.

If you look at opinion polls, his current moves are far different from what "average" Americans typically want (out of Iraq *NOW*, some form of gun control, within reason, don't expand the death penalty, etc.)

To those saying "Obama is doing this because he wants to win," or the equivalent "this is why Democrats always lose elections" -- you're wrong. Simply put.

First of all, by abandoning and splintering his base Obama may well lose this election. And if he does -- lose an election that should have been a shoo-in for Democrats -- then let's all remember that HE is the one who lost it, not those of us sticking up for what we believe in.

Second, I question the premise that winning is more important than anything else, even principles. Folks, Obama (who I still intend, with vast reluctance, to vote for, but to whom I will donate NO more money) just simply flat out LIED about FISA, and he's getting a free pass for it because (a) he's a rock star/messiah who can do no wrong, and (b) Democrats want, so badly, to win. The problem with (b) is that winning at the cost of **what you were winning for** (in other words, at the cost of your principles) is no win at all.

Jul. 09 2008 12:37 AM
James from New York

i am ;)

Jul. 07 2008 04:51 PM
rp from manhattan

Obama has always, always been centrist in his views. His rock star style led all many to see in him what they wanted to see, including all those very young and new voters who consider themselves liberal but really don't have a clue what that means. Above all, and worst of all in my opinion, he is painfully not progressive, let alone populist, in his economic views. But it's always been out there to see, especially in his books.

Jul. 07 2008 04:46 PM
Earl from New York

James,
You are twisting Lakoff's remarks as if he said there is NO merit in the views of certain groups. He never said that. He simply said there is no such thing as an IDEOLOGY of moderation. That is not an insult to moderates, as you seem to take it. And you are hardly moderate about this. You call his remarks mindless ranting, you cite his extreme partisanship, you accuse him of seeing no merit in any views that do not mirror his own. You, my friend, must be an extreme moderate.

Jul. 07 2008 03:18 PM
James from New York

And George Lakoff's really annoying mindless ranting "that there's no such thing as 'moderateness' as an ideology" (in the latest 'commercial' for Bryan's show) is a distortion of what it means to be of a centrist or moderate political persuasion. There are scores of issues on which those of us who ARE moderates can see some merit in the views of those BOTH on the left or right of the issue in question - and so support positions which are to some extent an amalgam of left-right analyses. Only someone so trapped in their own extreme partisanship such as Mr. Lakoff seems to be can see NO merit whatsoever in the views of their politcal opposites, or indeed in the views of anyone who's views do not completely mirror their own. EDITOR TO THE RESCUE PLEASE :)

Jul. 07 2008 01:40 PM
hjs from 11211

BORED, This ain't my first time at the rodeo.

Jul. 07 2008 12:52 PM
Janice from NYC

Maybe the logical way to win an election is to pander, but didn't Obama promise change? Didn't he run his primary campaign on a platform of NOT politics as usual? I don't take issue with his move to the center strategy, I take issue with his lying to win. Where's the change in that?

Jul. 07 2008 12:04 PM
Shafina from brooklyn

My child will be entering second grade. The surveys at our school were given out in March. The topics covered on the survey were general. Parental satisfaction with schools does not necessarily mean that parents are satisfied with the way subjects are taught and evaluated.

Jul. 07 2008 11:56 AM
mc from OH

" I am a blank screen on which people of radically different political stripes can project their views."

Barack Obama.

Jul. 07 2008 11:44 AM
another James from Brooklyn

right on Ayanna [76]. I'm only commenting to lend my support to the reasonable people posting on this board and to dilute the concentration of apparent republican astroturf comment board spammers. Maybe some of you people are actual former Kucinich or Hillary supporters delighted by an opportunity to hector us with your "I told you so's," but my stronger suspicion is that you're mostly variations on the lady who called in to condemn Obama's lack of principles, who then admitted being a former Romney supporter. Jeez, lady, aren't you smart enough to just lie about that? Can't you go off script for even just a second without completely blowing it?

Jul. 07 2008 11:36 AM
stevie from Brooklyn

I find it really disheartening reading a lot of these comments. I have to agree with Tony's comment (and feel Susan's response to Tony as typical). While I am in line with most of the views and ideas of the progressive left, it is completely unrealistic to expect ANY democrat to be elected by catering solely to one extreme or another. As was pointed out in Brian's as-always great discussion, none of this should be a huge revelation. It's all there in his book and I'm distressed that so amny are so "shocked."

What is the most appalling about this how much the media is controlling the debate. I can't believe "terrorist fist bump" has become part of the dialogue.

Jul. 07 2008 11:30 AM
Ayanna from Brooklyn, NY

FISA is the only issue on which Obama can legitimately be taken to task for changing his position. I happen to disagree with him on his new FISA position, but I am getting very annoyed with the attempts by the right, aided and abetted by the far left, to paint Obama as a "flip-flopper." It's just a bunch of garbage. He has remained reasonable and thoughtful through the storm. MOST of his positions have not changed, people were just too lazy to pay attention. In fact, the way Obama is handling this poo-storm is increasing my respect and support for the man.

Jul. 07 2008 11:20 AM
AleftyinBensonhusrt

Maybe we can just have a joint presidency of McCain and Obama. By the time we are done they will be one and the same anyway. Obama does have audacity; but its not about hope. It is the audacity be such a blatant con man. How sad: this is what we wound up with for choices. I am sitting this one out.

Jul. 07 2008 11:17 AM
Florence Friedman from Manhattan

It's amazing that long as the primary was, I was shocked to hear Obama's position on giving tax-payer money to faith-based organizations. There is no way that the government can monitor proselytizing. It makes me wonder what kind of Supreme Court Justices he would appoint. The separation of church and state is the underpinning of our way of life and is the most critic issue for me. The wind has been taken out of my sail for Obama's candidacy.

Jul. 07 2008 11:11 AM
hjs from 11211

and he has airplane troubles also....

Jul. 07 2008 11:03 AM
Herman from queens

Your guest was CLEARLY biased. We should be careful not to call him a flip flopper???? This is an unbaised journalist????? His rhetoric is BUILT on anti Iraq!
Now he's moderate and centrist? Wow, talk about a sucker born every minute. And you know what happens when the suckers come home to roost...

Jul. 07 2008 10:58 AM
freddie from bklyn

By the time this is done, Obama will be a Raving Moslem who is pro Iraq war, pro corporate america and in lockstep with his whicheverwaythewindblows trash in the congress and senate.
you know what you have on your hands?
a handsome black sellout.
good luck!

Jul. 07 2008 10:57 AM
Pablo Alto from Riverdale but work in Manhattan...

Winning an election and governing a nation are two different things. Barak Obama is going to have a very tough time in this race due in large part to the fact that "race" is going to be a very serious issue for much of the country no matter what the polls say.

The problems faced by this country are so vast and complex--due in large part to the actions of the current administration--that there are no simple answers. I am pretty upset about his support of FISA, but need a better understanding of the entire bill before passing judgment.

Keep an open mind! Research each of the issues; think about what is important to you and your family; decide who will best serve your interests; Repeat that process on an ongoing basis until November.

Jul. 07 2008 10:56 AM
Dwayne D. from Brooklyn

He's screwed either way here. A no vote supports the base, but not the independents, or potential Obamicans. A yes vote comes across as a flip-flop to his detractors and yucky to the base. The base has to realise that the primaries are over and the message has to appeal to more than the young and radical/idealist left. In short, give him a break already.

As I understand it, while the Telcos are immune from civil suits the bill has NO criminal immunity. It's a nice loophole that can get a lot of these people in trouble. Defending civil liberties doesn't need to take place in civil courts. The left needs to come across as less lawsuit-happy and more hard on crimes against freedom.

Jul. 07 2008 10:52 AM
AWM from UWS

Maldo #57,

April 16:

"[I]f they come to me and want to adjust tactics," said Obama, referring to U.S. commanders in Iraq, "then I will certainly take their recommendations into consideration."

Jul. 07 2008 10:51 AM
jawbone from Parsippany, NJ

Re: Dems voting for the FISA bill abomination--This was an opportunity for Obama to actually lead his own Senate supporters to a more rational and Constitutional bill.

I think he wants the power Bush has accrued to the Unitary Executive. Authoritanianism is not limited to the right--it also can exist on the left or in the center. It's still authoritarianism.

This Constitutional lawyer does not seem terribly determined to support the Constitution. To me, at least.

Jul. 07 2008 10:49 AM
BORED

@hjs i finally kinda understand what you clinton supporters were getting at.

Jul. 07 2008 10:49 AM
Eric from B'klyn

Withdrawal from Iraq and FISA - While I understand, the run to the electoral middleground, I think Obama must work to articulate the nuance on Iraq and FISA. He wouldn't be where he is if he hadn't been critical of the war. It has been demonstrated that the FISA court has denied 3 or 4 requests out of over 8,000. a rubber stamp? And are McCain's positions given the scrutiny they merit. Has he ever mentioned diplomacy in the region as a primary venue for the US with Iran, Syria, Pakistan once?

Jul. 07 2008 10:48 AM
Jean Michel from Rockland County, NY

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. If come November we are swearing in President McCain, I am moving my family out of the US for his term. I can't take another 4 years of this sh*t.

Jul. 07 2008 10:48 AM
BORED

Will you LIBERAL CRY BABIES stop calling yourselves Progressives. Being Anti bush doesn't make you a progressive. If at anypoint you thought Obama was a progressive then you need to take a look at yourself because it means you are not a progressive.

Jul. 07 2008 10:48 AM
Aaron from Brooklyn

Wolfe just made the incredible statement that he "tries to keep his information fact-based"! Says it all. Brian spend a week on the media itself, we deserve it.

Jul. 07 2008 10:47 AM
hjs from 11211

hey long term BO supporters; GROW UP!
this is the big leagues now.
whats the big picture?

Jul. 07 2008 10:47 AM
Anne from NYC

Brian is right, the problem is that Obama positioned himself as different from politics as usual and now he sounds like he is no different from the others, saying whatever he thinks it takes to get elected.

Mr. Wolffe sounds to me like a member of the Obama camp, making excuses for his actions, not like an objective journalist. This is a disservice to the public, which went for Obama (and McCain, who has made a similar shift) in the first place because they were hungering for sincerity. We would at least like to hear objectivity from reporters, if we can't hear sincerity from our candidates.

Jul. 07 2008 10:46 AM
jawbone from Parsippany, NJ

Here are Obama's actual words on the DP:

While the evidence tells me that the death penalty does little to deter crime, I believe there are some crimes--mass murder, the rape and murder of a child--so heinous that the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage by meting out the ultimate punishment. On the other hand, the way capital cases were tried in Illinois at the time was so rife with error, questionable police tactics, racial bias, and shoddy lawyering, that 13 death row inmates had been exonerated
Source: The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama, p. 58 Oct 1, 2006

What does Obama really mean? I'm sure several WORMs* will be forthcoming.

*WORM--What Obama Really Meant (hat tip to Correntewire.com)

Jul. 07 2008 10:46 AM
Cynthia from Brooklyn, NY

Won't the bill pass with or without Obama's support? Aren't the majority of the Democrats going to vote for it?

Jul. 07 2008 10:44 AM
Maldo from Manhattan

Obama is saying he's tweaking his Iraq pullout plan because facts on the ground have changed. But why didn't he realize that back when he said he'd definitely pull out in 16 months? That's what this controversy is about: why didn't he acknowledge that things might change back then? Answer: because he was pandering to his base without regard to the facts.

Jul. 07 2008 10:44 AM
jawbone from Parsippany, NJ

I finally found the Obama quote about child rape and the death penalty. It is pretty weak tea upon which to claim that he said all along that the death penalty could and should be extended to crimes not involving the murder of another person, as the series he lists seems to say DP (death penalty) should be for mass murder AND also the rape and murder of a child. The second seems to mean a rape of a child which results in the death of the child.

(This does raise the issue of whether a man or woman raped and then murdered are just chopped liver to him, so that the perpetrator is not liable for the DP?)

But his MCM fluffers and supporters are saying that series he lists has three separate items. I do so miss the use of the comma prior to the third item in a series--I've always contended it can be confusing to have that "and" there without a clear indication of whether it is intended to mean the phrase including the "and" is one thing or two.

But here we have a very clear situation where he seems to be saying there are two heinous crimes, one is mass murder and the second in rape and murder of a child. Not just rape of a child, but rape leading to murder. Thus, it would seem he thinks it more heinous to rape a child before murdering the child--more heinous than just murdering the child. (Quote to follow)

Jul. 07 2008 10:44 AM
Aaron from Brooklyn

The conventional wisdom that the Democrats must move to the center to become electable is a crock. The 50% of voters who choose not to are overwhelmingly liberal and would likely vote for a genuinely left wing candidate. Until Democrats stand up to the mendaciousness of the media who frame everything in fantastical terms usually originating on the far right they will continue to struggle to win emphatically.

PS Brian please stop having useless journalists on as experts, they are a huge part of the problem. The most informed and honest people are the ones being paid the least to have an interest, ie C list bloggers, retired journalists, the occasional academic and unpaid activists. The journalists and political operatives you give valuable time to are disingenuous, dangerous people.

Jul. 07 2008 10:44 AM
David from Manhattan

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm really impressed with this guy. The largest group? Wow. He should mention that a few more times.

Jul. 07 2008 10:43 AM
RCTNYC from Manhattan

Republican callers are criticizing Obama; that should tell you alot.

Obama was always a centrist on the death penalty and gun control. He has cast a "political" vote on FISA, but his position on Iraq has not altered. He said that the war was a bad one and that he'd get us out in 16 months. He says that now, too, but qualified by saying that he will consider advice from the military in setting the timetable. The "mission" is the same; would you prefer a candidate who told you, "I'll set an inflexible policy and follow it come heck or high water." (Who does that sound like?)

Finally, he is taking contributions because John McCain is taking contributions. Obama is both principled and practical; he is consistent, but he's no dope. My positions are to the left of Obama's, but I think he's smart, shrewd and an effective politician.

It's not heaven, guys, so there are no angels.

Jul. 07 2008 10:43 AM
erick from Rochester, NY

I find it ironic that a former Romney supporter is critisizing Obama for flip flopping! Romney was notorious for bending towards whichever direction the political winds were blowing in order to pander to the radical right...

Jul. 07 2008 10:42 AM
Steve from NYC

BORED, I was about to write the same thing.

The commentary and calls about Obama are really sad on here. Democrats can't see a winner when he's right in front of their faces.

Jul. 07 2008 10:41 AM
hjs from 11211

mccain has flipped also...
most of all re: agents of intolerance

BL: are u for bob barr.
caller: whisphers. yes...:(

Jul. 07 2008 10:41 AM
gabby from new york

Mitt Romney? Really? And you are criticizing Obama for not having principles?

Jul. 07 2008 10:41 AM
Betty Ann from UES

George Carlin: "Elections in the USA are an illusion of choice."

We need to blame the media for setting up these false prophets. We had other choices but they were not picked by the media for us to vote for.

Jul. 07 2008 10:41 AM
abarefootboy from Spokane,Washington

From George Lakoff's editorial this weekend in the Huffington Post.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/george-lakoff/the-mind-and-the-obama-ma_b_111105.html

Don't adopt rightwing positions for the sake of political expediency (that will backfire) or to demonstrate responsibility (that too will backfire). The best way to be expedient is to be authentic, stick to your core values, show and discuss responsibility, and thus garner trust. That is how to lead our nation, and to do so responsibly and toward fulfillment of its ideals.

Jul. 07 2008 10:41 AM
James from New York

New politics? Changing positions for different electorates - 'Difference between tone & substance' Campaign finance reform when we raise less money than you do but not when we raise more money, etc. - read: it's different when I do it than when YOU do it.

Jul. 07 2008 10:40 AM
Robert Matlock from Staten Island

FISA

The main problem with this new FISA bill is that it allows only general oversight of overall surveilance strategies, but no ovesight of individual surveiled Americans or the justification for their surveilance. Mountains of abuse can fly under the radar of this vague surveilance net.

Jul. 07 2008 10:40 AM
Turbo from Brooklyn, NY

This caller is nuts. Impeach Obama? She voted for Romney. Enough said.

Jul. 07 2008 10:38 AM
Waldo from Manhattan

Brian - Please ask Wolfe if Obama has ever made a PUBLIC statement about his stand on abortion.

Jul. 07 2008 10:38 AM
Robert from NYC

BRAVA! (but boo on the Romney vote)

Jul. 07 2008 10:38 AM
BORED

Brian where do find these callers. Is Rush on Vacation.

Jul. 07 2008 10:37 AM
Tony from Brooklyn

Susan(25) to answer your question succinctly: As many ideals as you can give up and still perceive that he's a better candidate than McCain. I think he's got a long way to go before that's the case.

Jul. 07 2008 10:37 AM
BORED

Why do you people continue to put your faith in the Democrats. You people act like Obama is by himself on this. He is what the Democrats are. Get your head out of the sand.

Jul. 07 2008 10:37 AM
hjs from 11211

there use to be a time when fisa was an issue but things are so bad we have bigger fish to fry now. mccain will always be to the right of obama.
if u cann't vote for BO for for BOB BARR!

he's also anti war

Jul. 07 2008 10:36 AM
Susan

James (31)--Are you actually equating support for single-payer health care, getting the troops out of Iraq, supporting civl liberties against FISA, support for campaign finance reform, support for gun control, opposition to the death penalty, and opposition to faith-based initiatives that abrogate the separation between church and state?

Jul. 07 2008 10:36 AM
SJM from Bronx

How can you be surprised that the post-partisan candidate of the left wing, the post-racial identity politician, the darling of both Andrew Sulivan and Frank Rich would eventually have some trouble?
Barak Obama has been very successful at being all things to all men.
“The flip-flop narrative” is a lot more comfortable for both his duped supporters at Move On and his infatuated enablers in the media.

Jul. 07 2008 10:35 AM
Betty Ann from UES

What do you think about the recent surge on Obama's website forming a group against his FISA's stance?

Jul. 07 2008 10:34 AM
Waldo from Manhattan

Obama's not moving to the center, he's moving to the right -- the way he's going his presidency is going to be the third Bush term.

Jul. 07 2008 10:34 AM
John from Huntington,NY

I don't care what Obama says, as long as he gets elected.

I am hoping that Obama is going for a landslide election, bringing along a bunch of new democratic senators & congressmen/women.

The only way to make real changes is to totally crush the republicans at all levels of government. I'm not interested in hearing a 'pure' message if that means the republicans maintain control over the white house.

And anyone who says they are not going to vote for him unless he takes a hard-left line on every issue is either a republican in disguise or an idiot.

Grow up and vote D

Jul. 07 2008 10:33 AM
Sally Forth from Soho

I seriously blame the media for painting this picture of Obama as a leftist. Everyone one of us so-called "progressives" knows and understand this mans is not for:

single-payer health insurance
or
gay marriage
or
immediate withdrawal from Iraq
or
stopping George Bush from attacking Iran.
or
dissent of any Israeli policies

We "lefties" are NOT delusional; we just don't EVER have a real choice. Our candidates like Dennis Kucinich get buried by the media.

Jul. 07 2008 10:32 AM
James from New York

And this is one of the reasons why extremists (either far left or far right) are forever frustrated by centrists & constantly complain & whine that there's not a dime's worth of difference between moderates - center right or center left - because from their warped perspective THEY ARE RIGHT - there IS less difference between those of us who are moderates - whether slightly left or right than there are between us & extreme left or right 'base' activists. Democratic self-governance is ALL ABOUT COMPROMISE & CONSENSUS. The alternatives to compromise & moderate reformism is Pinochet or the Gulag.

Jul. 07 2008 10:30 AM
Jason from Ny,NY

In "Audacity of Hope," doesn't Obama express support for the death penalty when the criminal is convicted of child rape AND murder?

I think the distinction matters a great deal.

Jul. 07 2008 10:29 AM
Janice from NYC

Why is it that when Obama changes positions, he's a logical, critical thinker but when Senator Clinton changes positions she's a flip-flopper? The Obama camp has been completely taken in by his empty rhetoric and his lies about being a non-politician, and now they are making excuses for his bad judgment and very political behavior. It is sad, and all too reminiscent of all the blind Bush followers. This emperor isn't wearing any clothes, either. Now that he's the choice, let's hold Obama accountable and make him keep his promises.

Jul. 07 2008 10:28 AM
Robert from NYC

well, when Kusinich left I left, no pun intended but this is what you get. And yes you who said the US electorate seeks immediate gratification, you got it right, no pun intended.

Jul. 07 2008 10:28 AM
Steve (the other one) from Manhattan

Please realize: FISA is not expiring. The "Protect America Act" which some believe will expire had already expired in February. Congress is trying to amend a law "Protect America Act" that is not a law. There is no emergency - besides, do you think the Bush administration has stopped spying or doing anything else because some law expired? THERE IS NO DANGER.

Jul. 07 2008 10:27 AM
Andrew from Queens

Should we really be so surprised that Barrack is moving to the center now that he's secured the democratic nomination? This is a time honored practice in American politics, and represents the practical aspect of our democracy rather than the ideological. I am relieved to see Obama tacking towards a more moderate position in regard to the war in Iraq, trade, and FISA. Haven't we had enough of scary ideologues who place their personal beliefs above the good of the polity?

Jul. 07 2008 10:27 AM
Susan

Tony (18)--precisely how many ideals should one give up to elect an unknown senator who has never done anything and thus has no record to run on. He's the one who said "words count" (what else could he say with no actual accomplishments). Exactly what are we supposed to judge him on?

Jul. 07 2008 10:27 AM
jim from nj


1. How many COMBAT BRIGAGDES has Obama recognized there being currently: Number of brigagdes to start with.

2. If then, worse case it's 1 Brigagde per month, what would be the absoulute longest time for withdrawl Obama is talking about, and why won't Wolfe ask him that.

Jul. 07 2008 10:26 AM
michael winslow from INWOOD

Obama is flip flopping like a fish out of water!

He spoke out at length about how he was not going to support FISA then he comes out for it.

This guy is nothing more than the typical politician just like BUSH.

Jul. 07 2008 10:24 AM
Niles from Manhattan

Obama will be our next President. The country will be better for it.

How come McCain doesn't receive this kind of scrutiny? And why is Brian so anti-Obama? Still bitter because Hillary lost? So many bitter people for so many reasons. Lighten up! Obama's a politician, and a human, not a god. But he's an impressive intellectual and the type of leader we haven't had in years.

Jul. 07 2008 10:23 AM
David from Manhattan

These facebook posters will be just as successful in their attempts to move Obama as they have been in their efforts to solve the crisis in Darfur.

Jul. 07 2008 10:22 AM
James from New York

Obama is moving to the center because he wants to WIN - i.e. he recognizes that ACTUALLY being elected President of the US will empower him, however modestly, to move the country further in the direction that he believes to be better. Oh my God....is he pulling a 'Clinton' on us? Embracing centrism, moderation & compromise (ewwwwwwww) to take power to thereby advance those elements of the 'progressive' agenda with sufficient public support to be enacted.
Those of us who supported the Clintons have long understood that this is what adults do in politics, in business, in relationships in LIFE - they compromise with other adults to attain whatever is attainable at any particular time. The 'children' of the world have insufficient 'experience' to understand that this works better for all concerned - certainly better than the Balkan 'my way or the highway' approach advocated by extremists everywhere - otherwise known as 'the base' of each Party. GROW up deeewds. This is how it's gonna be - ya don't like it? - go sulk & leave politics to the adults.

Jul. 07 2008 10:22 AM
Lenore from Upper West Side, NYC

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this yet but what about his appalling disagreement with the Supreme Court on prohibiting capital punishment for child rape. Wow, he couldn't at least agree with THAT?

We did already know that he is not a really progressive politician, I think.

Jul. 07 2008 10:22 AM
Tony from Brooklyn

The reason that the democrats don't win in national elections is because they're a bunch of idealists. Wouldn't it be great if you could win the requisite electoral votes without making an appeal to america's vile underbelly. This isn't 6th grade civics class. This is 21st century politics. There's Swift Boating and race baiting and Clintonian egos to deal with.
There are MILLIONS of people in this country who believe Iraq bombed the WTC. Millions who believe that Obama is a secret Al Qaeda agent. MILLIONS who want to banish Darwin from text books. Their votes count as much as yours(possibly more than yours if you lived in Ohio or Florida recently).
In an ideal world all of you idealistic progressives can live in the America of an intelligent electorate and moral government. While we're waiting for President Kucinic it might serve us well to be politically pragmatic and WIN.

Jul. 07 2008 10:21 AM
Jenn from NYC

Why is Richard Wolffe worried about new blood -new reporters- covering the obama campaign? I think it is healthy for the public to get a fresh take on what is going on, instead of the reporters who have already drank the Obama Kool-Aid. Free Press - Hurrah - we need a breath of fresh air around this candidate.

Jul. 07 2008 10:21 AM
BL Producer from WNYC Studios

[[Moderator Writes: A few comments have been removed or edited. Please remember the WNYC posting policy (not to mention your good manners). Keep comments civil, productive, and relevant to the discussion on the air. Thanks!]]

Jul. 07 2008 10:21 AM
BORED

Peter how do you know that AIDS isnt a white plot against Black people. Anyway We both know Obama has never said this. But how do you know it isn't

Jul. 07 2008 10:19 AM
abarefootboy from Spokane,Washington

It's not a Facebook group ..it's MyObama.com

Jul. 07 2008 10:19 AM
Maldo from Manhattan

The most shocking recent revelation about Obama was not just that he supports the death penalty but that HE SUPPORTS THE DEATH PENALTY FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOT EVEN KILLED ANYBODY. That is downright reactionary, he knows better, and I strongly suspect he's pandering to the women's vote there. If so, that is pathetic.

Jul. 07 2008 10:19 AM
Marcus

The key word wasn't so much "intend" but using "out" instead of "home". Bringing the troops "out" can just mean putting them in Turkey, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia or anywhere else in the region.

Jul. 07 2008 10:16 AM
Susan

P.S. I forgot his appaling support for faith-based initiatives, against the separation of church and state, which also allows employment discrimination.

Jul. 07 2008 10:15 AM
Peter from Park Slope

Obama is attending the Karl Rove school of politics - do and say anything to get elected...

Jerusalem will never be divided...unless of course the two parties agree to it.

Troops out now...but let me talk to my generals and I may change the timetable.

NAFTA must go...(shh) just kidding.

AIDS is a white plot against African Americans...AIDS is not a white plot!

I will never use nuclear weapons...unless of course I have too.

I will meet with any world leader at any time...my people will meet with said leaders.

Yay to campaign financing...boo to campaign financing!

I will be the president of all Americans...but won't be photographed with Muslims.

I have never been a Muslim...well, my father was a Muslim, so I guess I was briefly a Muslim.

Okay, let the name calling on the WNYC boards begin!

Jul. 07 2008 10:15 AM
Susan

As a Kucinich supporter who reluctantly expected to vote for Obama, I am now definitively off the bus. He now says he is pro death penalty, pro FISA (anti civil libeties), anti public finance of campaigns, anti handgun control, anti single payer universal health care, and now reneging on getting out of Iraq in 16 months. Words count? Which words?

Jul. 07 2008 10:13 AM
AWM from UWS

Obama on FISA:

"The ability to monitor and track individuals who want to attack the United States is a vital counter-terrorism tool, and I'm persuaded that it is necessary to keep the American people safe -- particularly since certain electronic surveillance orders will begin to expire later this summer. Given the choice between voting for an improved yet imperfect bill, and losing important surveillance tools, I've chosen to support the current compromise. I do so with the firm intention -- once I'm sworn in as president -- to have my Attorney General conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and to make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future."

Jul. 07 2008 10:13 AM
IRAK BEHAMA from GENEVA SWITZERLAND

[[This comment edited for violating the WNYC posting policy. Please keep comments civil and avoid name calling. Also, there really is no need to write everything in CAPS.]]

BY THE TIME THIS IS ALL DONE HE WILL LOOK LIKE
BILL AND HILLARY ALL CENTRIST-ED OUT AND
VERY AMERICAN. YOU THOUGHT HE WAS A HIPPY? JUST WATCH AS HE SELLS HIS SOUL AND BECOMES ANOTHER POLITICIAN, HERE COMES JIMMY CARTER II.

Jul. 07 2008 10:12 AM
Julie Leininger Pycior from Obama's unrealistic triangulations

As a keen analyst put it, "Isn't the perception that Obama is abandoning his own core beliefs - or, worse, that he has none - a much greater political danger than a failure to move to the so-called 'Center' by suddenly adopting Bush/Cheney Terrorism policies? ...What's most amazing about the unexamined premise that Democrats must 'move to the Center' (i.e., adopt GOP views) is that this is the same advice Democrats have been following over and over and which keeps leading to their abject failure..."
http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/06/30/9990/

Jul. 07 2008 10:12 AM
michael winslow from INWOOD

Obama is nothing more than a snake oil salesman.

nothing more nothing less

Iraq - no pull out no end
FISA - supporting Bush's ban on civil rights

Jul. 07 2008 10:09 AM
AWM from UWS

I'm having a hard time understanding the way this campaign is being viewed and covered. Many of the problems this country faces today are the result of the need for instant gratification and the inability to see beyond the next news cycle.

Obama has a somewhat strong relationship with his base, the left. Unfortunately, many on the left believe that he must cater to them uniformly rather than implement a winning strategy. McCain has a weak relationship with his base, the right. Being the unknown quantity that he is to many Americans, Obama's best move is to stay away from extremes, to exhibit nuance & flexibility over dogma. Not only does he have to appeal to the center & independents, he has to convince a significant number of republicans that apathy towards McCain won’t ultimately lead to the disintegration of their values.
Detractors and complainers harp on his “change” message but seem to forget that his platform was also built on inclusion, inclusion of different types of people and different types of ideas.

Jul. 07 2008 10:02 AM
mc from OH

Anyone who thinks this is a significant shift to the right on the part of Obama has not been paying close attention. His economic policies were always to the right of Edwards and Clinton, particularly on health care reform and if you look closely at his votes on access to state courts for class action suits and the reform of the 1872 mining act you will see votes that line up to the right as well. He was always a careful Democratically partisan centrist.

Jul. 07 2008 09:48 AM
Manuel Macarrulla from Brooklyn, New York

In the ongoing reports and debates about so-called gun rights and the recent U. S. Supreme Court decision regarding it, why haven't I ever heard it pointed out that someone such as Timmothy McVeigh, the infamous Oklahoma City bomber, presents a case in which a citizen took the right to bear arms and used it, with disastrous results, against an entity, the U. S. Government, from which he felt he needed to defend himself, with disastrous, quite regrettable results. I cannot imagine but that this instance douses gun rights advocates' arguments with irrefutable doubt.

Jul. 07 2008 08:56 AM
Marc Naimark from Paris

Obama's move to the center? Let's say, "Obama's move to the right". I voted for Obama in the Democratic primary, but I'm losing my enthusiasm fast as he follows the failed Democratic congressional mode of appeasement of the screamers on the right. His FISA BS is the killer for me, and that was enough to dry up my wallet for him. Now he supports INCREASED "faith based initiatives"? For me, Obama is doing his best to make the November race one between very bad and somewhat less bad, rather than the choice between very bad and very good that I was so hoping for.

Jul. 07 2008 05:58 AM

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