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Obamarama - Backlash beginning?

Thursday, Dec 21, 2006

* I just heard from a respected Chicago reporter who said he, too, is having difficulty getting responses from Barack Obama’s press staff.

That’s not a good idea for many, many reasons.

* Meanwhile, Lynn Sweet has an interesting blog post today, “The Obama backlash. It’s started.”

While Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is vacationing in Hawaii–might be the last quiet time for years, poised as he is for a 2008 White House run– a body of anti-Obama material is surfacing–centering around his record and his religious beliefs and yes, his middle name, Hussein. It’s a backlash–and a foreshadowing of what is to come.

* I excerpted some bits from Carol Marin’s piece below, but here’s another one.

Like most politicians, Obama was not averse to bringing home the bacon. According to published reports, Obama secured $100,000 in Illinois FIRST funds from then-Gov. George Ryan. The money went to the Museum of Science and Industry for an exhibit on the concept of time.

So, we got Barack and Rezko and Barack and Ryan. Since he didn’t speak up during the fall campaign, we got Barack and Blagojevich. And he just got Mayor Daley’s endorsement. Not to mention Alexi.

* Some people have claimed Obama is the anti-war candidate, but some anti-war people ain’t so sure.

Obama’s position on the Iraq war was pretty much summed up by his comment, cited at Alex Cockburn’s Counterpunch, as follows:

“On Iraq, on paper, there’s not as much difference, I think, between the Bush administration and a Kerry administration as there would have been a year ago. There’s not that much difference between my position and George Bush’s position at this stage. The difference, in my mind, is who’s in a position to execute.”

* And then there are the wingnut oddballs who somehow manage to retain their mainstream media credentials, yet write utterly ridiculous claptrap.

So, even if he identifies strongly as a Christian, and even if he despised the behavior of his father (as Obama said on Oprah); is a man who Muslims think is a Muslim, who feels some sort of psychological need to prove himself to his absent Muslim father, and who is now moving in the direction of his father’s heritage, a man we want as President when we are fighting the war of our lives against Islam? Where will his loyalties be?

Is that even the man we’d want to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency, if Hillary Clinton offers him the Vice Presidential candidacy on her ticket (which he certainly wouldn’t turn down)?

NO WAY, JOSE . . . Or, is that, HUSSEIN?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Reality - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 1:25 pm:

    We are a couple of days from Xmas. What is the big deal if a reporter cannot get a hold of Obama? He is on vacation?

    Also, the articles listed in the blog are not very negative. Ryan was the Governor and Obama received money for a project. Democrats receive pork projects under the Bush administration as well.

    Finally, the last article is pure garbage and just racist.

  2. - Justice - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 1:28 pm:

    We wish him well on his holiday. He’ll have plenty of time and opportunity to prove his mettle.

  3. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 1:29 pm:

    Not talking about today, “Reality.”

    Also, the last article is racist. No doubt about that. The author is a regular on cable TV “news” shows, which is why I pointed it out.

  4. - grand old partisan - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 1:32 pm:

    Rich, don’t forget about Barack and Stroger. Anyone know why he completely ignored the Governor’s race, but felt the need to headline a rally for Todd?

  5. - DOWNSTATE - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 1:38 pm:

    Sounds like the Obama wagon is getting a flat tire.

  6. - Garp - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 1:47 pm:

    Is Obama Muslim?

  7. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 1:48 pm:

    Rich -

    Nationally, I don’t think anyone is going to write a story about Obama not campaigning one way or the other in the Governor’s race.

    Nationally, I think they are going to have a tough time castigating Obama for getting $100,000 for a museum. I mean, this wasn’t $100,000 for the Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum, this is Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. And if 1/3 of Americans haven’t heard of Obama, they sure as hell don’t know the George Ryan story. Ditto Alexi.

    And, despite the corruption stories, Daley is a pretty popular guy these days. Didn’t he just win “Mayor of the Year” a couple of years ago? Sure, some hardcore conservatives rail against him, as do some hardcore liberals, but Daley hardly qualifies as “baggage”.

    With all of these stories, it’s important to remember that our perspective in Illinois is much different than the perspective of the nation. For every negative local connection you can name, nationally there’s a Bill Gates, Oprah, Warren Buffett connection that credentials Obama and more than trumps the negatives.

  8. - babs - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 1:54 pm:

    If this is the best crap that can be got on BHO - he’s won the White House already. It’s alot of nothing but anything with an Obama headline draws. And the “fake news” folks can keep pedaling their crap. If Obama continues his “we’ve had enough with divisions” - their voices will fall flat.
    Okay, I know this is all very optimistic but I still believe that we (all of us) are better than that.

  9. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 1:56 pm:

    Garp - Obama is and always has been a Christian, and in fact was introduced by his minister at the election night rally when he won the US Senate.

    I expect, however, that you already knew that, and are one of the many political operatives weaseling around the internet trying to raise questions about Obama’s faith and his loyalty to this country — a country he’s sworn to protect, where his wife works, where his young daughters go to school.

    But, let me ask you, what difference does it make what Obama’s faith is? Being a self-proclaimed born-again Christian hasn’t made George Bush any more likely to heed Christ’s calling to care for the poor, or do unto others has you would have done to you.

  10. - Bubs - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 1:56 pm:

    I more intrigued that we, as a nation (or perhaps just as a media nation) seem so obsessed by the 2008 Presidential race. It is interesting to think upon why that is so.

  11. - Garp - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 2:09 pm:

    No YDD, I really didn’t know what religion he was. I suspected he was Christian. So thanks for the information.

    I will probably be weaseling around some campaigns but they will be Chicago alderman-I ain’t in the Obama’s league.

  12. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 2:23 pm:

    It is time to stop finding fault with Obama on silly issues like these. There are plenty of real reasons to not support Obama. The more stupid stories like these surface, the more innoculated he becomes to his real shortcomings. What I see happening so far is a Media fest that paints Barak as a savior, then to “balance” the story, they highlight a nutcase so unhinged, he actually ends up making Barak look better to viewers.

    That is what you have here. In order to look tested, the media isn’t asking questions any tougher than second hand rumors easily squashed by thinking voters. It make Obama look like he doesn’t have real problems - just silly ones.

    Obama is a down-the-line leftist. He votes left, and always has. He uses language that softens his decisions, and smiles a lot. He is pro-abortion, pro-tax, pro-government, and not even a wee bit centrist when it comes right down to it. Plea all he wants about coming together, his voting record doesn’t show a man willing to compromise from his leftist positions.

    So there. Debate that. Stop the nonsense and start telling us about the real reason this lightweight freshman senator peddles the same 20th century crap John Kerry and Howard Dean does, yet expect to become president.

    Until he finishes serving ONE TERM in office, and starts voting like a centrist should, he is still little more than a untested flavor of the month. He should run to get the experience and exposure he needs for future runs. He should even try to be the VP nominee. But leave the Big Job for the Big Boys and Girls - OK?

  13. - Angie - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 2:24 pm:

    Someone asked if Obama was Muslim. If I am correct, I do believe that he goes to a United Church of Christ church, although I’m not sure which one, specifically, and UCC is very very very liberal.

    I attended a small, regional liberal arts college last year that had UCC affiliation, and it, too, was very very very liberal, although I transferred to a nationally recognized university due to not having taken a single test, quiz, or mid-term while in a full-time program over the one year I was there, and also, because no paper assigned was longer than 5 pages (that is high school or junior high length, in my opinion). But while I was there and looked at the political stuff you can find out about UCC, I read about their very controversial “bouncer” and “ejector seat” commercials that they were running, and which even the liberal mainstream media rejected to air. And finally, UCC was behind a campaign to divest from Israel and encourage talks with Hamas as part of a much-needed “dialogue” in the Middle East peace process.

    In short, it seems like a very radical church, if you ask me, although I must admit that although I am not an atheist or an agnostic, I don’t participate in any particular organized religion, per se.

    So no, he is not Muslim in practice. I do believe he is Christian, but you might want to look at UCC’s positions to get a good glimpse of what they’re about. I know they are for gay marriage, but I also know that the healthcare system that has multiple UCC members sitting on the board, Advocate Healthcare, was in hot water in Washington when Chuck Grassley (Iowa) was looking closely at about 10 hospital systems over their charity care, billing, and collections activities. Advocate is a system that has been called the biggest predatory collector in–I believe in all of Cook County, if I can recall the report I read on them accurately.

    Finally, as far as not getting back to reporters? That’s bad. He has time to show up for photo shoots to be on the cover of Men’s Vogue, which is pure fluff, but not to answer the serious reporters?

    Not good PR policy.

  14. - Maine South - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 2:33 pm:

    The Clinton-Obama ticket! A lot of ego there….

  15. - Fellow Dawg - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 2:34 pm:

    Vman-As far Right as the national legislatures have went, any old school Centrist would appear Leftist. Keep slingin’ that rhetoric around and you’ll get BHM elected for sure!

  16. - Anon2 - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 2:34 pm:

    Cuomo made a great speech and was intantly a star destined to be president. But, you cannot win if you do not run. Last time I looked Cuomo has not been predident or vice president or anything else very significant.

    Obama made a great speech and now he is a star. I say run Obama run. He may not be anything very significant in the future, but at least he would have made a run for it.

  17. - Angie again - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 2:45 pm:

    Here’s a WaPo article on UCC, if anyone is interested. Looks like there was pressure on them to NOT encourage divestment.

    In any event, what on Earth is a liberal church doing getting involved in the politics of the State of Israel? I thought they were for churches staying out of politics. Would love to hear Obama talk to reporters about this faith thing. How involved should churches be in a diverse nation where there are differing views even within Christianity? Will Americans be comfotable with this? Something to think about.

  18. - oechmd - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 3:05 pm:

    Don’t know if I will support Obama or not but I hate to see you giving space to “utterly ridiculous claptrap” about anyone. It lessens you when you do it. Thanks.

  19. - Cynic - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 3:52 pm:

    You know, in the business world, there’s such thing as a “quiet period” when companies really don’t talk to reporters much, because they’re about to reveal earnings, etc. I think the Obama camp might be in a bunkered down mentality because they’re intentionally going quiet for a bit. That, or the hassle of putting up with 150 reporters in New Hampshire, etc., simply wore them out and the holidays are approaching. That said, Obama’s press staff is way too small. That’ll be something that’ll change if he indeed does run for prez. And if he doesn’t, far fewer reporters will be calling.

    As far as Obama speaking to reporters about his religion, I never got the feeling he was shy about it. He talks about his religious experiences in both of his books. The title “Audacity of Hope” came from a sermon he heard at his church. And if you check out his Senate Web site, there’s a speech he gave talking all about his view of religion in politics…

  20. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 3:56 pm:

    Debbie Schlussel is a hate filled wingnut. Take that same hateful drivel and replace Obama with “Kennedy” and Islam with “Catholicism” and it’s apparent that we haven’t gotten very far in 47 years.

  21. - BIG R.PH. - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 4:09 pm:

    Here comes the Clinton Smear Campaign. Go back to 1992 and look at the parallels for Bill. You will see the challengers fall by the wayside one by one and leave non other than the annointed one to attain her rightful position.

  22. - Mongo - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 4:12 pm:

    I was appalled at the Debbie S site…I don’t troll sites like that and ohmygosh how amazingly backwards we still are. I say we because that drivel is still what some of us apparently think.

    I’ll “vote” walk with my fingertips and just not ever visit that site again.

  23. - Get over it...... - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 4:17 pm:

    Barack better get use to saying “Madame
    This Rezko thing will be his downfall, especially when the feds start connecting ALL the DOTS.
    To bad, Barack had enormous potential.
    The messiah had succumb to GREED.

  24. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 4:25 pm:

    We’ve come a long way in 47 years. We now consider it OK to slander someone as long as you can call them a hate filled wingnut at the same time. 47 years ago, folks were a lot more honest than today, and knew everyone had prejudices. Today we pretend a lot harder.

    Also the Kennedy/Catholicism history lesson is overblown. There were very very few people who wouldn’t vote for Kennedy because he was Catholic. Remember, he won the nomination by winning overwhelmingly protestant West Virginia. But we all like hearing how much nicer we are today than yesterday, right?

  25. - Recent history - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 4:30 pm:

    Another messiah that comes to mind was Ex Illinois U.S. Rep. Melvin Jay “Mel” Reynolds who fell from grace when he was indicted for having sex with a 16-year-old campaign volunteer. On August 22, 1995 he was convicted on 12 counts of sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography. He resigned his seat on October 1, 1995. Reynolds, who had a wife and a child at the time of the incident, was sentenced to five years in prison and expected to be released in 1998. However, in April 1997, he was convicted on 15 unrelated counts of bank fraud and lying to SEC investigators. These charges resulted in an additional sentence of 78 months in federal prison. Reynolds served only part of his first sentence. At that point, U.S. President Bill Clinton commuted the sentence. As a result, Reynolds was released from prison and served the remaining time in a half way house.
    The Democrats had highs hopes Mel too.

  26. - Lovie's Leather - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 4:33 pm:

    The latest poll I saw had Hillary 37, Obama 17. Most regular people still don’t know very much about the man. Right now I think the “Clinton magic” is too powerful for anyone to overcome. I don’t think Barack will stay around long. But he needs to stay around long enough to get a name, but leave early enough before he is damaged goods for 2012 or 2016. The Clinton-Obama ticket, also, would never happen. Hillary would be smart enough to pick a southerner or southwesterner. I think Phil Bredesen would get the VP nod to try to take Tennesee.

  27. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 4:34 pm:

    Obama is like Reynolds?
    Whew! That’s a stretch!
    How could Obama be like Reynolds?
    Mel Reynolds has more in common with Bill O’Reilly than Obama. O’Reilly and Reynolds were classmates in school. So, is O’Reilly like Reynolds? Wasn’t O’Reilly publically accused of harrassment too?

    C’Mon - see where this goes?

  28. - Lovie's Leather - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 4:37 pm:

    Oh, I thought of another… Bill Nelson as Hillary’s VP candidate. Maybe Bill Richardson??? I doubt him. But Hillary would/will definately pick a southerner.

  29. - Recent history - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 4:43 pm:

    Vanilla Man - I was simply stating that Mel Reynolds had enormous potential too and refreshing everyone’s memories on how he blew it.

  30. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 5:17 pm:

    ===Vanilla Man - I was simply stating that Mel Reynolds had enormous potential too and refreshing everyone’s memories on how he blew it.

    VM and I agree on very little, but I think he got exactly what you were saying.

    The thing about citing Raimondo in relation to Obama on the war is the guy is a class A isolationist who thinks Charles Lindbergh was right and has real interesting views on Kosovo and Israel. Oh, and he thinks the Israelis knew about 9-11. He’s not exactly the guy I’d go to get a good sense of how most against the war feel.

    And the speech he’s talking about calls for a withdrawal, just not at the speed he would like.

  31. - NoGiftsPlease - Thursday, Dec 21, 06 @ 7:30 pm:

    I don’t think we have a religious test for the presidency. I don’t care what religion Barack is. Americans are so gullible…religion religion religion used as a distraction while the rug is being pulled from under us. Take a look at New Orleans and think about the next $100 billion going to Iraq. We can’t even manage to get bulldozers down there to clear out the ruined houses …one year later. How repairing the damage from the natural weapon of mass destruction there? Give me Barack, he’s going to be a breath of fresh air and he’s going to win in ‘08. By that time we’ll REALLY be ready for him!

  32. - NW burbs - Friday, Dec 22, 06 @ 2:37 pm:

    The so-called backlash is happening for two reasons: what goes up must come down (the media loves whipping things up into a frenzy while they talk amongst themselves) … and there ain’t much else to talk about while the guy’s back visiting with family for Christmas.

    The Obama haters have already been saying all this for weeks. Partisans keep saying he either has no experience or his experience demonstrates a deep-seated long-term lib’rul streak — both of which are apparently dangerous to these people’s version of America. The Rezko thing is just a little sprinkling of red and green sugar for those folks (and while the seller and real estate agents remain quiet the speculation grows).

    Angie, Are you sure it’s not that you are very very very conservative? You even think the mainstream media is liberal — from my perspective, that simply means you’re conservative and anything to the left of Reagan is liberal in your opinion.

    CBS didn’t air the UCC ads for hollow reasons having mainly to do with their weak-in-the-knees fear of a conservative crybaby backlash.

    Very very very…

    oechmd, Rich provided a pull-quote and a link from Schlussel’s racist post as an example of how extreme some conservatives truly are.

    Sad thing is Schlussel has a lot of other bigots agreeing with her. (She apparently even had to delete some replies at her blog, just how bad were those posts???)

    As VanillaMan aptly points out, some of us haven’t come very far in the past half-century. I’m just waiting for the word “Papists” to come back into vogue.

  33. - Angie - Tuesday, Jan 2, 07 @ 12:51 pm:

    NW Burbs wrote: “Angie, Are you sure it’s not that you are very very very conservative? You even think the mainstream media is liberal — from my perspective, that simply means you’re conservative and anything to the left of Reagan is liberal in your opinion.”

    I’m pro-choice. That’s not very very very social conservative, but I’ll admit that I’m of the school that thinks government really needs to do for people what it can do best, and where it screws up, it should really leave us all alone already. We’ve now got the fascist smoking police and trans-fat police on the prowl. What next? If that’s “conservative,” then so be it.

    “CBS didn’t air the UCC ads for hollow reasons having mainly to do with their weak-in-the-knees fear of a conservative crybaby backlash.”

    You don’t think the fact that they encouraged peace talks with terrorists, initially, was part of the problem? Aside from gay marriage, which I could care less about (hey, if you wanna cross-dress and walk down the aisle, then whatever, just leave it to the states and don’t elevate this silliness to the federal level, because there are way more kids needing a father in the home than there are gay guys needing a husband in America, in my opinion), some of the UCC views are pretty absurd.

    Then again, if people are bugged by the Christian Right getting into everyone’s business, why do we now have to hear from the liberal Faithful Left? Leave the preaching to the preacher and let’s talk policy out there on the campaign trail. I believe in God, too, albeit not through a particular organized religion, and others are the same. Why do we need everyone playing political battles while using their churches as a proxy through which they fight them? People, leave the churches alone, and churches, leave the people alone. Just my opinion.

    But hey, I’m so glad that Senator Obama found God. Whoopie.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

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