Amazing, but I expected the reaction of Anon 6:30. It should be pointed out that Barack is not water skiing, brunching, etc. he is conducting official business. As a member of the Foreign Relations committee his trip is on behalf of the United States and could benefit the entire country. How many of us on our vacations take AIDS tests, meet with foreign leaders, etc. People who hate Obama will find fault with this trip, and people who support Obama will praise the trip, I just trust that the journalists who are paid to be OBJECTIVE will give the proper perspective to everything.
Who cares! Except the democrat party and liberals who see him as the messiah of the democrate party. I traced my roots back to essex england, I still have family there. Heck, we all have family somewhere. If Obama was white and from a rural area, this would not have been a blip on the radar screen. He is fortunate to be black, have a strange name, come from a city which has the second or thrid largest black voting block in the counrty, and a party who is starving for some talent. Saying that, I give respect to Obama, because he is very intellegent, a very good speaker, and he knows how to work the crowd. He is talented, witty, and has an ability to command a crowd. He is knowledgable on certain issues that is associated to his parties platform. Regardless, this is his third time going to Africa, it is not some joyous first time arrival. But then the party and the media and the hollywood liberals would broadcast him going to Sears. Having said all of this, I wouldn’t have expected any less!!!!
I’m gonna let Daxx’s comment stay here for now, even though it’s against my better judgment. But I want to warn people that if I think you’re being an ignorant bigot or a nasty racist then you’re banned, and there will be no appeals.
Really, Daxx, he’s “fortunate” to be black and have a strange name? As I recall, those were almost universally considered liabilities when he first ran.
Ahem! The Messiah doesn’t take “trips”; he embarks upon “journies.” Pay your proper respects, oh peasants.
Someone please tell me how we “benefit” from his little weeks-long presidential campaign commercial at our expense. Aids in Africa? We have it here! He should be taking a “journey” to Black America (he needn’t go far; Chicago has a huge Aids problem in the African American community), where Aids is rampant, too. That might do some good here, but he’s after doing “good” for his own public profile, not for his people. He’s after national publicity.
I’m still trying to figure out how he was in single digits in polls in the Dem primary for that Senate race, then suddenly becomes a “rock star” after Blair Hull is exposed as an alleged wife-beater and the R’s put up Alan Keyes (???) against him in a misguided belief that his opponent must be Black.
So, what’s made him a “rock star”? Please, someone — anyone — tell me: what has he actually DONE?
LOL, Snidely. I guess some people get him and some don’t. But remember, he also beat Dan Hynes in that primary as well as Gery Chico (Mr. big money connections) and Maria Pappas (the only female in the race and a popular Chicagoan). After the primary, he had a huge lead over Jack! well before Ryan crumbled.
Rich, I’m not sure why you are surprised. While Obama should not be above criticism, no Senator Black or white should be, its obvious to me that racism is influencing many of those who mock this trip. Look no further than Roeser or Steinberg, even though Steinberg issued a mea culpa his initial reaction was motivated by race. In response to Steinberg Obama should hype his next trip to Kansas and lets see how many organizations assign reporters to cover it and lets see how the people in those rural communities react when he visits. I bet it would be different and it won’t be his fault.
Obama is being treated like a rock star in Kenya and throughout Africa, no different than a Polish Pope going to Poland or a German Pope going to Germany. When Tiger Woods visit Asian countries he gets similar reactions. Reactions to this trip tell me a lot more about those who are reacting than they do Obama.
Obama is the FIRST American politician I have come across who GETS other countries. It is amazingly refreshing to see someone who can actually interact with people human to human rather than American to foreigner. We (and I mean ALL Americans) are incredibly fortunate to have him represent us after all the yahoos who have been trampling on one and all abroad in the name of American “democracy”. A lot of it may be visuals and fluff but, in winning the hearts and minds of people abroad, it COUNTS!
- There's Ole Uncle Joe - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 7:50 am:
I’m a fan of Obama for many reasons but I just had to laugh when I read in a Chicago paper he delivered a speech in Kenya concerning government hiring or nepotism and government graft. He certainly has a lot of nerve lecturing folks over there when his own democrat party is setting new standards for that type of conduct in Chicago, Cook County and the State of Illinois. Just who is in charge in this state, in every instance lately it has been democrats. I don’t see how he can be so blind to what is going on here. I’m a 30 year voting democrat, never voted for a republican, but I am dismayed at what I see happening by democrats in this state. Obama should be giving the same lecture in Chicago and throughout Illinois. He has a real opportunity to bring about much needed change here too.
Instead of being proud that an Illinois favorite son has become a major player on the national and international scene,a contender for the White House,and a spokesperson for millions of Americans who have felt disenfranchised in the past,our blogging corps just can’t help themselves. They just have to make derogatory comments about Barack, his parents divorce, his race, where he was born and who is paying for his trip while he continues to make strides in foriegn policy that perhaps no other gov’t official could or would make.
He will be a major player on the national and Illinois scene for years to come and he has a very bright future ahead.
You better get used to it…and remember we live in the “UNITED States of America.”
I hope the trip is a success, although I’m not sure how that is measured. At least part of it smells a little like a boondoggle. The breathless coverage by our local TV news is over the top and groan inducing. However, after watching three stories last night (2 on plane crashes and 1 on a bus crash) that were as sad as it gets, I say bring back the Obama good news!
So Called Austin Mayor cuts right through the bovine refuse in a wonderful post over on ILLINOIZE. Obama the working Senator is ignored by the media in favor of Barack the Messiah. I’ll take a hard-working public servant over a media spawned diva any day. It was Obama the worker in Illinois Legislator that got voters behind him; it’s Barack the Image that the PR dweebs are slathering our toast with every morning.
Obama appears to be sincere, has an unusual amount of common sense, speaks to people in an honest, forthright fashion, and appears to be trying to represent all people equally. Now…lets just hope that the lure of a higher purpose doesn’t taint him. Lets hope that mo money, mo money, mo money doesn’t put blinders on him, and lets hope that he can maintain his goal of serving all the people to the best of his ability. I see nothing wrong with the trip and wish him well in his endeavor to improve relations with any country. After all we’ve done plenty to screw up relations with just about everybody else. I’m pretty much a centrist, but I think he has promise if he can hang on to his ideals. That my friends will be his great challenge in the US of A. Money and power corrupt and there is plenty of that in politics. We need someone with vision and hope, regardless of party. We need a clean politician. Can I say those two words in the same sentence and make sense? Given time, he may help us all and trips like this can have small but positive results. Something good coming out of Illinois for a change. Now if only Durbin would go some where…..and stay there!!
His trip to Africa is no different then the hundreds of trips other members of Congress take all over the world. Some are worthwhile for relations, others a news bite, others free golf while traveling, while others are surely “lobby” efforts to gain influence/money from some group. These trips seem to have a wide range of value, they are part of the biz of being in Congress. Based on the news stories, Obama’s trip seems to be worthwhile. Does not seem to be any better/worse then going to Iraq, tsunami damage, or another location. He’s getting PR cause he is a hot story at whatever he does right now. If the trip helps relations in Africa it is well worth it.
- Ravenswood Right Winger - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 8:37 am:
I consider Saint Obama’s trip a failure so long as David Salopek rots in a Sudanese jail.
I think he is trying to break out of the boring US Senate and entertain himself and potential national voters. JFK, who had similar presidential ambitions while in the Senate, famously said you can’t get anything done there. And this Senate is more boring, feckless and corrupt than many have been.
And Obama certainly hasn’t done much. What happened to ethics reform. Where is he on the war. Where is he on immigration reform. Pretty much not there. The occasional carefully worded press statement and that’s it. Like Hillary, everything is scripted towards a presidential run although I will say that Hillary has actually done some substantive committee work.
Not so Obama.
Even though I think junketing senators are
tacky, I would point out that if the US has to spend trillions of my and everybody’s money to fix the world, Iraq could use a lot less and Africa a lot more, even considering the rampant corruption. It’s open checkbook in Iraq and our foreign aid has become incredibly lopsided. Especially since the Iraqis have oil and can pay for themselves while many parts of Africa do not have such resources.
Yet will we see Obama using his bully pulpit to get us out of spending trillions in Iraq. Somehow, I doubt it. His opposition to the war has been politically expedient and very muted even as he highlights the devastation of Africa though his travels.
Seriously, good trip. This is what a U.S. Senator should be doing. That the media fawns over him is not unexpected. And to the extent that the attention helps shed light on some important issues and makes our nation appear less insular, it’s all good.
Time Magazine has a short blip this week on an expected small re-org at the Pentagon to create a command organization focused on Africa, an area currently handled a little by several military commands.
That Africa is going to be a hot topic for the early 21st Century is not news. We in IL will have to learn to live with our Senator’s special ties to the continent and expect that there will be more trips with more press coverage.
Most people I’ve heard criticize the current trip indicate, via their comments, that they have a misunderstanding of what a Senator does vis a vis other elected officials.
Senators and Congressmen are our representatives in the foreign affairs discussions. It’s the elected officials who brag about having never left the good ol’ USA that are an embarrassment.
Obama is a media star. He had a wonderful choreographed media dance in front of adoring crowds captured by cameras to replay when he runs for offices in the future. He prayerfully sits while an AIDS test is conducted before millions. He is feted and honored.
But this is wartime. What is our Illinois senator doing? What is his position regarding NSA now that we know it was an important part of capturing the London terrorists? What is his opinion regarding the search over the German RR terrorists? What is his comments regarding Hezbollah’s attacks on Israel? Or Hamas’? What about a nuclear Iran?
He is in Africa. Did he go to Darfur? Did he speak to muslim leaders as an ex-Muslim regarding the War on Terrorism? Did he investigate the safety of David Salopek in Sudan?
Nah, that would have ruined the camera shot. That would have required real work. That would have demonstrated before the press that he really doesn’t walk on water. Everyone would see that he is all hat - no cattle.
Dick Durbin or Jesse Jackson or John Kerry could have went to africa, and it still would have went unnoticed. Whether or not he wants it, the left wing is pushing him to the forefront. He will have no choice but to be on the national ticket comes 2008. My earlier comments were not to be racial, but it is a factor that I feel that is being played upon by those who control the strings to this puppet show. I acknowledge his abilities. But this show or presentation or promotion of his daily activities is a little much. As I have heard it said before, “hate the game, not the player.”
However, this game is like playing chess, and his people or the ones who directs, have been thinking through each move. I expect the momentum of this “advertising” to only get worse as 2008 gets closer.
If you think Cook County is bad “concerning government hiring or nepotism and government graft” and the “democrat party is setting new standards for that type of conduct in Chicago, Cook County and the State of Illinois” and finally you are “dismayed at what I see happening by democrats in this state”, please for your own health, keep to local politics. We don’t need anyone suffering from a dismayed heart attack after learning what a certain political party is doing on the national level.
Daxx, be honest. When the Governor (Ryan went to Cuba…) or even Mayor Daley (recent trip to Israel) heads to a foreign country the Chicago media and several other markets’ media tag along. Obama is no different.
Sen. Obama must scare the bejeezus outta conservatives. The vitriol and snark which pours forth on not just this blog but also over at Illinois Review (much harsher extremism over there) is disgusting.
I’m not saying libs don’t do it too when talking about Bush or others. But c’mon. Bush’s policies are clearly failing on so many levels.
Obama’s a Senator. His only “setbacks” are coming at the hands of Republican pork-lovers who are blocking his common sense, bipartisan legislation.
Maybe the daily coverage of the trip in the media has been a bit much, but I’m glad Obama made the trip. When was the last time you saw crowds in a foreign nation waving an American flag instead of burning it?
It’s a circus for sure. What is the point of this trip? I get a rally of African nations and an AIDS test. Now, that’s tongue in cheek, but 2 film crews and a bunch of journalists seem to have an alternative agenda.
State Representative 11th District
- Goodbye Napoleon - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 11:18 am:
I agree with NW Burbs. Conservatives are scared of Obama and they are afraid that someone from the left may actually have answers to problems and the rhetoric to bring Americans together. I think the media coverage of the trip was appropriate. It is a fascinating story, that’s why they covered it - that’s why we watched it.
Does he get more attention then his record might merit? Probably, but he’s personable and likeable and we live in a TV society so it is what it is.
To show support for an African democracy that continues to build strong institutions even in the face of a health catastrophe, he should have stopped in Botswana. And he would have felt right at home, too. Just change “Gaborone” to “Cook County” and rearrange a few letters in each person’s name (except for “Daisy Loo” â€“ that works on all continents), and tell me this Mmegi wa Dikgang story (couple of months old now) could not just have been printed by the Sun-Times . . . http://www.mmegi.bw/2006/February/Thursday16/6073044671239.html
Obama All fluff and no stuff. I am continually amazed at the coverage this guy gets. Please, somebody name a few pieces of legislation Obama has gotten passed, either in the US Senate or State Senate that made a difference for the working folks. Name a few pieces of legislation he co-sponsered in the US Senate that didn/t get passed that would have made a difference.
He only remembers meeting his father once. (He has made three trips to Kenya — that is three times as many trips as Obama’s dad made to see his son after the age of two.)
Obama’s “father” contributed very little to his success. How about a salute to the hard-working woman who raised him and his maternal grandparents who sacraficed for him. Maybe they weren’t tribal leaders, but there personal devotion would seem far more admirable…
Somehow I can’t see the media fawning over Blagojevich if he returned to Serbia to visit his father’s hometown. Or how about if Arnold Schwarzenegger returned to Austria to visit his homeland?
But Schwarzeneger grew up in Austria. Blagojevich speaks Serbo-Croatian and grew up in an ethnic Chicago neighborhood.
Obama grew up in Hawaii and was raised by his mother and her parents from Kansas. There is no shame in that.
Why the need to connect with the legacy of a man who abandoned the family?
I appreciate seeing others commenting on this subject, whether they’re complimentary or critical of Obama’s visit. I am getting “media burnout” from the persistent reporting and coverage of the visit. It didn’t take long for me to get the impression it’s a lot of hype for any future political gains he may pursue. Again, that’s only my impression.
He would make such a great car salesman. The media loves this extreme liberal guy because he fits the medias agenda. This is why we see so much of him. He does not have the ability to bring America together…
VanillaMan: Why do you always mention the fact that Obama was an “ex-Muslim?” It is obvious you are doing this for bigoted reasons, especially because he is not an “ex-Muslim,” his dad, who he meant once, was a Muslim. Its that kind of Karl Rove creating hatred and fear talk that is absurd.
Forty years ago was the last time a United States Senate made such a positive impression in Africa. That Senator, the late Robert Kennedy, made an historic trip to Africa that sent the LBJ White House into near political seizures because RFK generated such positive press.
Senator Lite Weight went on a trip, got his name in the paper for looking out the window of a prison cell, taking an AIDS test. Oh Ha Big Deal. What has he done for the people of Illinois? Not much that I can see.
He is handsome and articulate. He gave a rousing speech at the Dem convention 2 years ago. He can ride that propularity only so far and then he has to get to work.
If he were running for president today, I won’t vote for him. He is all air and no substance.
it’s all about being in the right place at the right time and Obama seems to have the knack.and he’s got the empathy and charisma. But I agree with the overexposure thing. Even rock stars get old when their songs are overplayed
I think it’s wonderful that Obama is seen internationally as a hero. I felt very proud watching the footage of his visit to Kenya. I hope he continues to capitalize on that status and perhaps some of our other national leaders can hop on his coattails.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m quite sick of being hated by the rest of the world. The 2008 election is going to center heavily on sound foreign policy. Obama did the right thing by positioning himself in the center of those issues.
My only complaint about the trip is with the timing. I’d really like to see Obama out campaigning for IL Democratic candidates rather than traveling internationally at this time.
Obama is seen as a progressive, but that label is questionable, given some of his positions (against equal marriage, pro death penalty). Nevertheless, I would take him over any of the current Democrats or Republicans who are currently considering a run. Obama is well liked because something in him inspires people, and he avoids the kind of political hate speech that folks like Tom Delay, et al. have built careers on.