Campaign Insider

Friday, June 05, 2009

Richard Wolffe, a political analyst for MSNBC who covered the campaign for Newsweek and author of Renegade: The Making of a President draws on exclusive interviews with the president and campaign coverage to define Barack Obama.


Richard Wolffe

Comments [34]

jay from Harlem

Thanks to the two renegade politicians who have seemingly destroyed party politics. Going forward, I fail to see what would be the point of supporting "a party" if the elected official of that party feels no commitment to the party "ideals" (and I use that term advisedly). This is not to say that these same officials cannot, nee should not vote their conscious on specific issues--that their constituents expect them to do, but to selfishly abandon the party midstream is unconscionable. I note that none of the republicans felt that same need and the democrats should take heed.

Jun. 11 2009 11:38 AM
J.C. from Minneapolis

For those of you complaining about Obama shying away from gay/lesbian marriage, serving in the military, etc., give him a break. On the national level, marriage is not a winning issue. Repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell might be possible.

But, part of politics is learning to prioritize because in order to get things through Congress, you need to focus on just a few things at once. And right now gay marriage/military service is not as importatnt as UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE or THE ECONOMY.

Seriously, I am not having health care and stimulating the economy get sacrificed because of some purists on gay issues. The Republicans will have a field day talking about gay marriage because it's an excellent stalling tactic and diversion from talking about universal health care.

The left needs to learn to get pratical here. The fight over gays in the military & gay marriage can wait until after the 2010 elections because there's more important stuff to do right now. Don't turn the perfect into the enemy of the good.

Jun. 09 2009 12:57 PM
Peter from Sunset Park

Hey JP,

I railed against Clinton just yesterday on these boards about Don't Ask Don't tell, you just have to look at he BLS' previous episode. As I said yesterday, I voted for him twice and he betratyed me and many others on many important issues, and of course, he shined on many issues as well.

Have a good weekend sweety.

Jun. 05 2009 01:38 PM
JP from Garden State


I take back the Fox News thing. That was not nice of me to say.

Have a nice weekend.

Jun. 05 2009 12:33 PM
JP from Garden State

OK Peter,

In response of your snarky response, you say bill Clinton made tough choices. Was it not under him that “don’t ask don’t tell” was created? Was that a good tough decision made by Bill for gays and lesbians? You talk as if you expected Obama to come in and wave his hand and everything will be ok and since its not, he’s failed completely. The real world does not work that way. He’s only been there for 5 months. Even if god was president, the Israeli and Palestinian conflict would still be going on and the Middle East would still be screwed up …. As for actual policy, stem cell research. For 8 years science stood still. That in its self is worth a vote for Obama if you have love one dying of cancer.

But who else was there to vote for? McCain? You want to talk about Bush 2, there you go. I still think you would be happier watching Fox News…

Jun. 05 2009 12:30 PM
Peter from Sunset Park

Obama must be doing worse then I thought if even WNYC listeners have to resort to being snarky.

Have a nice weekend sweeties.

Jun. 05 2009 12:06 PM
the truth from bkny


Jun. 05 2009 12:01 PM
Peter from Sunset Park

Obama must be doing worse then I thought if even WNYC listeners have to resort to personal attacks because they can't point to White House policy. Very interesting indeed.

Jun. 05 2009 11:53 AM
Peter from Sunset Park


You make a lot of assumptions. I am a registered Democrat and vote democrat about 80% of the time. As far as Fox News go, well, another assumption by JP. Perhaps JP you could comment on the content of what I said, instead, you resort to snarky actions and making assumptions. When you are ready to talk issues, Peter from Sunset Park is here.

Jun. 05 2009 11:51 AM
JP from Garden State

Peter from Sunset Park and Robert from NYC,

And I thought the Democrats were sore losers… Why are you guys even listening to this station? You should be watching Fox News, both of you would love it there. All they do is bash Obama all day long and proliferate rumors about him. And being “fair and balanced” as they are, they only interview conservatives. I think both of you would be right at home there… Oh and before you make assumptions, I’m not a “snarky” democrat or a cranky republican. I’m far worse then all of that. I’m a pain in the ass independent...

Jun. 05 2009 11:48 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

calling names like liar and dilusional is rude. I will say so every time.

Have a nice weekend sweeties.

Jun. 05 2009 11:45 AM
hjs from 11211

no one was being rude to u

Jun. 05 2009 11:35 AM
the truth from bkny

Am I a liberal? Am I snarky? hmmm Have a wonderful weekend Pete.

Jun. 05 2009 11:34 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

hjs, truth, I actually don't blame you for your rude behavior, WNYC encourages snarky and rude behavior among liberals. it is just such a shame that you don't have more self respsect and faith in the President. Surely President Obama should have something in his record that is stronger then having to resort to character attacks? Guess not.

Jun. 05 2009 11:26 AM
hjs from 11211

saying "lying to yourself!" is not the same as calling you a liar. i didn't care if u lie to yourself, no one does.

Jun. 05 2009 11:21 AM
kai from NJ-NYC

That's why we should have 2 presidents at once: It is easier to play good cop, bad cop with the world's bad apples.

Jun. 05 2009 11:20 AM
the truth from bkny

Ahh the always overly sensitive Peter, my comments are not personal sweetie.

Jun. 05 2009 11:18 AM
the truth from bkny

Peter how about dilusional? If you don't see the flurry of action from the white house, whether or not you agree with the activity itself, than you are dilusional and not YOU in particular, anyone.

In fact, it has been said that the President has TOO many projects going.

Jun. 05 2009 11:17 AM
Peter from Sunset Park


calling someone a liar is rude. I will say so every time. People on the left and liberals should be able to have conversations about issues without resorting to character attacks.

Jun. 05 2009 11:13 AM
hjs from 11211

"lying to yourself!" is not the same as calling you a liar. don't make it about YOU talk about the issues!

Jun. 05 2009 11:09 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

"The fact is that Obama should have been declaring and making the tough policy decisions on Middle East peace during Bush's intervening lame duck days, so that he could have had it done by the end of the year, even with a couple trips to Camp David."

I expressed something very similar on the BLS boards yesterday.

Jun. 05 2009 11:05 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

"Lying" is such a silly word to use. Not only is it rude, but it suggests that you really don't have a better argument then character attacks. If you really support President Obama, you will do better then simply calling others liars.

Jun. 05 2009 11:03 AM
kai from NJ-NYC

What conflict solving actions do you propose Peter?

Certainly Obama's 5 months or so have been enough for him to coerce the right-wing Netanyahu government to end both "natural" and expanded settlements in the West Bank. And those 5 months should have easily been enough time for him to convince both Fatah and Hamas to drop their desire for Palestinian right of return. I mean, those types tough decisions are made by Obama and any old American president, and of course, those chosen actions are always readily and happily carried out by all stakeholders.

The fact is that Obama should have been declaring and making the tough policy decisions on Middle East peace during Bush's intervening lame duck days, so that he could have had it done by the end of the year, even with a couple trips to Camp David.

Jun. 05 2009 10:59 AM
the truth from bkny

If you say you don't see any action, you are just lying to yourself!

Jun. 05 2009 10:54 AM
the truth from bkny

"Lacking in Action" - Nice 6 month review -jeez people

Jun. 05 2009 10:53 AM
the truth from bkny

The speech was same as the rest BRILLIANT!

Jun. 05 2009 10:47 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

"Like him or not, Obama could succeed by the sheer force of is rhetoric and strategy."

Rhetoric doesn't solve conflicts. Making tough decisions does. Bill Clinton made the tough decisions and also happened to be good with words. President Obama has the words down, but to this point, he is sorely lacking in action.

Jun. 05 2009 10:33 AM
Thomas N. from NYC

Tell your guest to stop drinking his own cool-aid, and he's hurting WNYC fundraising effort.

Jun. 05 2009 10:25 AM
Horace Jones from Bklyn

Hillary's lowest blow during one of the debates: Saying that Obama was easy on child predators.

Jun. 05 2009 10:22 AM

Is Brian really unaware that Richard Wolffe is today a lobbyist, not a journalist or an "analyst?

He works for Bruce Bartlett's firm, Public Strategies. That is his day job. Don't listeners deserve to know?

Jun. 05 2009 10:22 AM
Steven Mark from Manhattan UES

The speech was very cagey. Like any great President, Obama was speaking over the heads of Hamas, Netanyahu and Ahmedinejad to the masses to put as much pressure on them as possible. Like him or not, Obama could succeed by the sheer force of is rhetoric and strategy.

Jun. 05 2009 10:18 AM
Peter from Sunset Park


All excellent points. I have never watched him on TV, but will have to see for myself :)

You are correct that Obama is continuing some Bush policies. Take Israel and the Palestinians. The only different between Obama and Bush is that Obama uses the term Palestine. But so far, Obama is Bush number 2 when it comes to Israel.

Jun. 05 2009 09:28 AM
Robert from NYC

Peter (1) all you will get from Mr Wolff is adoration of Obama. He was critical of the Bush administration and where Mr. Obama continues some of the Bush policies, he defends the new administration using the usual media spin and avoidance. He seems to me to be an Obama adorer. I've not ever heard him criticize Mr. Obama on MSNBC and becomes defensive for the administration if a criticism, even a minor one, is made of it. I am an Obama supported but am critical of a number of his policies, e.g., single payer healthcare, gay and lesbian issues, some of the previous administration people kept in this administration, inter alia.

Jun. 05 2009 09:19 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Please ask Mr. Wolffe his perspective on President (then Senator) Obama sitting through two decades of racist sermons and perspectives at his former church. Why does Mr. Wolffe think that it took the President about 20 years to speak out against the racism that his family was subjected to in church?

Please also ask Mr. Wolffe about President Obama’s refusal to support gay and lesbian human and civil rights even after promising to do so during campaigning.

Jun. 05 2009 08:40 AM

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