May 1st, 2008
09:23 AM ET

Just who is Barack Obama anyway?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/POLITICS/04/29/obama.wright/art.obama.tues.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Barack Obama on Tuesday denounced comments made by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright."]
Ed Rollins
GOP Strategist and Former Huckabee National Campaign Chairman

Who is Barack Obama? What does he really believe?

These are the unanswered questions about a man who could be the 44th president.

That is why there is such a curiosity about him and why the public and media is looking closely at his wife, and his minister and, before this is over, every other element of his life.

Here is what we do know. He is extremely articulate and extremely ambitious. You can throw bright into the mix, too. But what he really is, is inexperienced. No one in recent times has jumped to the front of the Presidential express quicker or with a thinner resume.

He served a few years in the part-time Illinois state Senate and worked part-time as a junior associate lawyer drafting wills and real estate documents.

Prior to law school, he worked as a community organizer in Chicago, whatever that means. He ran voter registration drives and through knowledge he learned from that experience, he got elected in 1996 to a State Senate seat.

Conveniently, Obama ran virtually unopposed after he legally challenged the qualifying petitions of the incumbent and his other three primary opponents and got them thrown off the ballot. Winning the Democrat primary meant victory because Republicans offered only token opposition in the most overwhelming Democrat district in the state.

Before he had served out his term, Obama ran for Congress and got crushed by incumbent Bobby Rush in a primary. He also chose not to vote on many controversial measures in the legislature.

When a vacant U.S. Senate seat opened up 2004, he was off to the races. And when a series of soap opera events hit his primary and general election opponents, he faced a token opponent, perennial right-wing kook presidential candidate Allan Keyes, who lived in Maryland and had been destroyed when he ran for the Senate in that state. Add lucky to the other qualities listed above.

Because of his speaking skills, Sen. John Kerry picked Obama (still a state senator) to keynote the 2004 convention. He was sworn in as newly elected senator in January 2005, and in February 2007, after just two years in the Senate, he announces for President.

All we know about his Senate career was that Obama was the most liberal voting member of the Senate in those first two years, according to the National Journal, and was anti-war, anti-gun and pro-immigration.

That is why influences in his life, the thoughts and beliefs of his wife, and the rantings of his pastor and mentor all matter: because it might help us know more about the man from Illinois, Indonesia, Hawaii, California and New York.

Obama has run up until now a brilliant campaign and excited millions of voters by talking about change. Now the rest of us want to know, "Who is this guy?"

And, to steal a line from Walter Mondale that he used in the '84 campaign against Gary Hart: Where's the beef?

Filed under: Barack Obama • Ed Rollins • Raw Politics • Rev. Jeremiah Wright
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. Peyman

    Certainly Obama is someone who has proven to be more resilient and strong in the face of great adversary. Lets remember he does not have the luxury of his spouse's presidency. He also does not rely on his spouse's achievements. He has done it all by himself, and is winning more and more people.

    Today one of Clinton's supporters switched, which is not surprising, given Hillary's negativity, false claims and absurd smear campaign. When one of your friends leaves and joins your opponent, you know there is something SERIOUSLY WRONG with you. And she is losing more and more from her camp.

    May 1, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  2. Debbie, NJ

    Who knows Hillary. THe baby boomer generation?. Younger voters know nothing about her and if you research you can find some stuff that makes Wright, Rezno and Ayers look lame. She was a republican until she married BIll. And her stances on the middle class, the war, NAFTA and other things only changed when she started running for Presidency. I don't know about real experience but she has been around a while. So if she's been around so long and she has so much experience how come she hasn't tackled some of these issues before now. She was in a position to do so. Wake up folks. She's conning you again. Trying to buy your vote like she's doing with a couple of dollars saved for gas that will put workers out of job. COme on America. Its the issues that matter. Hillary will be, do, and say antything it takes to get a vote. Hasn't she proved that already. You don't trust her. So why vote for her.

    May 1, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  3. Illinois

    Obama is NOT an unknown commodity. All you have to do is exercise good common sense and judgment and you will see a man who deliberately associates himself with racists and crooks and religious extremists. Add to that the fact that he engages in unethical behavior in attempts to prevent his opponents from running against him (look up what he did to his opponents in IL) as well as inject the race card into a presidential election and accuse innocent people of being racists in order for him to be able to avoid admitting his own racist ideologies. Add to that his ability, and other people's stupidity, to arouse others to hateful sentiment against his opponent....though he gets all of his surrogates to do this for him so that people can say Obama's hands are "clean". Add to this the fact that he continually encourages and accepts a bunch of "old washington" insiders to support him, when his campaign is supposed to be about changing old washington.....how does this happen when the people you have supporting you are all a part of old washington??? Add to this the fact that he not only supported his crazy minister and his weird ideologies, but Obama also clearly believed in at least some of them otherwise he would never have subjected his children to this nonsense for so many years.

    No, Obama is not an unknown person. He is exactly the same kind of politcian that we already know exists. He just comes in a different color and has been kept relatively insulated (until recently) from negative press by a group of very dedicated and unscrupulous left wing supporters who are seeking to force their own agenda upon the american people. The republicans are not people we need to fear most; it's Obama that we need to keep mindful of at this point. Any republican would be better than this guy.

    May 1, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  4. Barron Meinster

    Senator Obama is a brilliant man who will possibly be the next leader
    of the free world, who has to endure the very hypocrisy of some people his own homeland because of something as superficial as his skin tone.

    May 1, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  5. Jane, Detroit, MI

    Ed, I'm sorry, I guess you two have not met each other yet. Let me introduce you to the next president of the United States. Barack Obama.

    May 1, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  6. Jay, Denver CO

    I only listen to Hillary and she tells me he is a muslim that will destroy our country and all of us good democrats should vote for John McCain.

    May 1, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  7. Dee from Canada

    You right, unexperienced and unknown. Who knows what else is hiding in the wings with this man. You forgot arrogant with a big ego and me complex. I get the feeling he is talking down to people or that he is laughing at people and putting something over on them. He boasts winning all those states before, I wonder what would happen if they held Primaries in those states now that they have learned more about him. And he won so many caucuses where only few people voted? What's up with those? CNN never explains exactly how they work or how many people actually vote at them.

    May 1, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  8. Brian Johnson

    Thank You someone is finally using their brain here. There is alot that is unanswered about Obama. We know every ounce of dirt there is to know about senator Clinton but if anyone looks at anything questionable about Obama everyone cryin foul and the media is trying to bring him down. I like knowing who I am voting for. I want to know the good and the bad of the candidate and then choose. I don't want the fairy tale story everyone is trying to paint. Does Obama really think that american's are so stupid to believe in 20 years of knowing Mr Wright he has never heard anything about his rants? Being a politician you would scrutinize everyone they are associated with to avoid political backlash. I also would like to point out how his wife is tired of hearing about it. The other thing is I don't understand how the statements made this weekend were the majic that finally made him disown Mr. Wright. He simply repeated what he has already said in several speeches long before this campaign even started. He didn't seem all that bothered by these statements a month ago.Difference now is people are starting to pay attention finally. I see exactly what his pastor said. He will say whatever he has to as a politician. He said while Mr wrights statements were offensive he could not denounce him. Here it is a month later and he is bothered enough by them to do exactly what he said he wouldn't do. I see alot that just isn't adding up with him and everytime something slips out it is pawned off as negativity and pooooooor Barack Obama. This guy has some skeletons in the closet and before the rest come out they are trying to throw Hillary out the race. Open your eyes america!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 1, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  9. Billr

    You know, I was willing to "cut him some slack" when this Wright thing first came up, but now I'm not sure!

    Was Rev. Wright's performance earlier this week typical to his presentations from the pulpit? If so, I am concerned!

    I initially thought some of the G-D America stuff may have been one-time, or needed to be placed in the proper context. But, after hearing stuff earlier this week, it seems to be more common for him!

    May 1, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  10. Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA

    I do not agree that Barack Obama is not qualified to become President.

    Based on what we know about Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton, I will take my chances with a "lesser known" Barack Obama over a candidate we already know is rife with scandal and corruption.

    May 1, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  11. bernard

    Well who is Ed Rollins?

    Oh, I know ..... just another nervous Republican.... who is probably a white guy!......... Politicians will be Politicians....

    May 1, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  12. sherrie50

    Since everyone is mesmerized by "change and hope"., why did it not work in Ilinois.

    May 1, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  13. Sandy ,Lehigh Valley, PA

    What "bais" closed- minded and useless comments from Ed Rollins, GOP strategist.

    I pulled up his comments assuming (since it was a CNN website) I would get intelligent and knowledgable information to assist me (a undecided voter) who to choose Sen. Clinton or Obama.

    What I just read.....I could have read on "FOX".

    May 1, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  14. lori s

    It is quite evident many Republicans are switching party affiliation, during the Primary, in an effort to get Clinton the nomination. They know Obama is likely to beat McCain in the general election. Clever, but it's too late. Forget the 1:2 ticket Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama...When Obama gets the party's nomination, he should clearly ask John Edwards to be his #2 man. This will help pull the blue-collar workers' vote.

    May 1, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  15. Kent, Illinois

    Rollins is from the GOP. Enough said. You are afraid and jealous all at the same time of Barack Obama. Spin.Spin..........and more Spin. We see all of this for what it is. Nothing...................absolutely nothing.

    May 1, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  16. Rob

    to answer bluntly – an exceptional man not beat down by the usual type of politics – intelligent – steady – not afraid to admit when he is wrong – did I say integrity? – a devoted family man – 1/2 white – raised in a white household – willing to work with anyone if it's for the betterment of everyone – presents a unique opportunity to actually bring change to business as usual in Washington..... etc. etc. etc.

    May 1, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  17. Paris

    Oh, please…..He is more than that
    1-He wasn’t honest about his knowledge of Wright’s way of thinking
    2-In his book he said Wright was his mentor, on Monday he said he wasn’t!!! So which one was the truth?
    2-GD America didn’t outraged him, once it was directly toward him it was outrageous!! I for one take my country very personal.
    3-He associates with people that Hate America, and have taken part in terrorist activities against US
    4-His cousin is a jihadist in Kenya, and Obama campaigned for him
    5-He said he is a different politician, but the first chance he got he distorted John McCain’s words
    6-He changed his pledge to accept public funding
    7-He like to meet with Iranian government, the government that has American blood on their hands
    8-He refused to stand-up for Israeli, when he was asked on a debate

    May 1, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  18. Amy, Philly, PA

    This is very cute. If you want to learn who he is you could try reading his two books. Since he's written in detail about his life and views, that might make him seem less mysterious to you. You might even learn what a community organizer is, since he spends about 150 pages on it in Dreams from my Father. But since you're a GOP strategist, my guess is you don't really care.

    May 1, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  19. Y

    Something tells me that if Obama were white with the name Barry Henry O'Brian you would not be asking this question. Why is it that African-Americans have always been asked to prove who they are as if they were not born here. This kind of unfairness is not going to look good in American History books ten years from now. The future of politics is changing and Obama is leading the way. You're going to see many more young people involved in politics, showing great success and competence. The baby boomers need to relax and go with the flow.

    May 1, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  20. Ulysse

    So? Where do you want to go with this entry? You think people sending a pitbull (Hillary) to the White House? Don't you think there as been too much dogs in the White House for the last two decades (Bill Clinton – the dirty dog, George W. Bush, the war dog)?

    May 1, 2008 at 1:23 pm |
  21. Phil

    What does it matter how thin his resume is? Have we not established that a sound (thick, yes I mean thick) resume does not mean success? Just look at the last 8 years and tell me a stellar resume will bring this country back to glory, I think not. Bush had a thick resume and we should have all realized that, and certainly in his case, this is not the criterion to elect our presidents by alone.

    What we need is inspiration and someone we believe can bring about change for good. Not just for us Americans but as a force for change in a global environment. Think back to Gandhi, he was a meager lawyer who took on the British, he had not a "thick" resume, but he had the foresight to lead and give the people the courage to bring about change and democracy.

    Then, as is now, the establishment blew him off as some upstart troublemaker with little experience. It just goes to show, anyone can pad their resume, but can they lead when it's time to do so and bring about a social revolution that we so desperately need in this country. You ask "Just who is Barack Obama"; I say he is the hope for this country, for a new generation, the likes we have seen little of before.

    May 1, 2008 at 1:12 pm |
  22. Maritza

    There is no resume... I'm not impressed at all by his articulation , when he speaks if you listen closely he lacks real substance, this is why he has nightmares about facing Hillary in any debates, on the world stage with issues such as national security, diplomacy, he falls off , challenge him on domestic matters the same, if your not qualified to do the job with hands on years of experience and knowledge you should not run for the single most important job representing our country, it would leave us Americans with far more serious problems than we have now. His arrogance is a problem as well, with all of the questions regarding his Rev back -stabbing pal and all of the other affiliations , how can any intelligent person cast their vote for him? do we want the security of our nation in the hands of this man, he was endorsed (BY )Hamas , what do you really think this means?


    May 1, 2008 at 1:08 pm |
  23. Debbie

    I'M SORRY! IF you don't know who Barack is by now – you are just stupid! You are asking that question, just to see if this junk stick. EVERYONE KNOWS WHO OBAMA IS – that is WHY ALL THE SUPERDELEGATES ARE GOING HIS WAY.
    ASK THE SUPERDELEGATES WHO HE IS – they know – they are voting for him.

    May 1, 2008 at 1:04 pm |
  24. Jen

    He is a man who is willing to take on America for the betterment of all Americans. He is a man who is ready to take on the world to correct the errors of the past 20 years. He is someone who offers us a choice of someone who could for the first time in my lifetime; begin a process of making sure equality for all citizens has a fighting chance. He is somebody who opened my eyes to this process and how we have never succeeded because a large number of us discern important issues based on opinions as oppose to facts. I also learned whatever the media decides for the day is most important for us to hear is all/only what we will hear, so I must read, read, read, read, read. Because of him, I learned that as much as we say we are strong and powerful, we are actually terrified of everyone and everything including our own citizens. For too many of us, the decision will not be about who has the country's best interest at heart, but who did the best job placing fear in us. The irony is that it takes us letting go of our fears for us to achieve. I am a 47-year-old VOTER. My gender and race is irrelevant. I boldly go where no man has gone before...OBAMA 08

    May 1, 2008 at 1:04 pm |
  25. Doug Pierson Tohatchi, NM

    Why do you run articles that are really no more than political hack writings from a political adversary. Come on please. This isn't journalism.

    May 1, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  26. Pat M Canada

    One Question: What the Hey took you all so long to ask these hard questions? It's not like Americans and the World were not focused on the same and begging to know the truth!

    Don't you feel, even slightly, that these questions are a bit late and should have emerged at least six months ago?

    But, thanks for FINALLY focusing on the missing information related to Obama's background that has been on a need to know basis since the Presidential Campaign began. If you interpret a bit of ire in my comments your preception and sensibility is correct. And I have no intentions of apologizing.

    Let's just hope a Nation's tardy curiosity hasn't already succeeded in putting the most inexperienced, incapable, virtually unknown Candidate in American history in the White House!

    May 1, 2008 at 12:58 pm |
  27. j. hannon

    It is so sad to see how narrowminded and fickle the american public can be. They are being led by the obsession in the media over the sensationalism of the Rev. Wright story. Meanwhile Hillary Clinton is getting a real pass on not having some of her dishonest and outrageous claims scrutinized, such as, oblitersting Iran, changing how OPEC does business, paying for hger gas tax holiday with a so far non-existent windfall profit tax, past support of NAFTA and the war ,her supposed ignorance about Penn's and Bill's income for support of a Columbia free trade agreement, BOSNIA.....this list goes on and on and on...but no one is paying any attention.. It seems to me that people should care more about someone who insults their intelligence on a daily basis..

    May 1, 2008 at 12:42 pm |
  28. Bill - Tennessee

    Mr. Rollins,
    As a Democrat I usually don't agree with you very often, but your questions about Sen Obama are very legitimate. Unfortunately the people that should have been asking these questions from the beginning, the media, were lured into Sen Obama charm and didn't bother to find out who this guy really is. We shouldn't wait until Jan 21, 2009, when there is the possibilty that he might be President Obama, to find out what really makes this guy tick. It is one thing to say we need change, it is another thing to know exactly how he plans to formulate this change.

    May 1, 2008 at 12:31 pm |
  29. Rob -BC Canada

    Why are you asking the question? To show that you will move on at CNN from tabloid journalism, thats laughable,but we can only hope.Keep wagging the dog.C for Clinton News Network

    May 1, 2008 at 12:27 pm |
  30. Beverly

    Ed, since you are obviously a republican, are you going to so a similiar blog on Hillary and her changing faces? I guess you were disappointed in your search for further dirt to swiftboat him with. Flimsy or not Barack will wipe the floor with your war hero, who is a Dole moment away from a loss.

    May 1, 2008 at 12:02 pm |
  31. Glen

    The purpose of this comment is to provide a sensible perspective on the latest Democratic issues being discussed in the news. My message is very short and direct. Why is the media questioning a person who goes to a public church, to better unit his family and community. Would you rather he be like his opponent who can not even meet the needs of her own spouse. If she can not even connect with the closest person to her, how can she connect to the nation, let alone the world. By the way I do not support either one. I am a republican who has concerns when things are taken out of context.

    Signed a concerned CA resident

    May 1, 2008 at 12:01 pm |
  32. Chad Poorman

    Thanks Ed, always mastering your trade as a GOP strategist... planting well crafted seeds of fear in minds throughout our country. A country that is desperately choking for a CONSCIOUS leader.

    May 1, 2008 at 11:57 am |
  33. Shane Barnes

    If "experience" is the sole criteria by which Barack Obama's candidacy must be judged, I fear for the future of our nation. As former governor of Texas, George W. Bush had "experience" and look what that's gotten us!

    May 1, 2008 at 11:48 am |
  34. Ernest Svenson

    Just who is Obama? Is that a rhetorical question or a real question? Well, Ed Rollins, political strategist (read: "inside the beltway box thinker") pretends it's a real question for him.

    I have this weird suggestion: read this book called Dreams of My Father. In it Obama explains a lot about himself; he even answers Ed's concern about being a "community organizer in Chicago, whatever that means." Hmmm, sounds suspicious. I wondered what it meant too.


    At first Obama didn't know what it meant either; he was told to go into impoverished communities and engage some pastors to help raise awareness about loss of manufacturing jobs. And at the first visit, guess what happened? The pastors didn't welcome him. He was an outsider and they didn't trust people who came in with fancy titles like 'community organizer.' So what happened next?

    I'm not going to tell you. Ask Ed Rollins and see if he knows. Or, here's that crazy idea again: read Obama's book.

    May 1, 2008 at 11:45 am |
  35. Dennis

    It is really hard to believe that Hillary Clinton can continue to build herself up by trying to find anything she can to tear Barrack Obama down. America we will get the president not that is best but that we deserve! If our leader is most notable for the way she criticizes and trashes others, as opposed the one who is the best fund raiser, holds the most popular vote, and inspires not leans into negativism then we are indeed headed for a great dark period in AMerican leadership. Will America not see through it all? May God Bless America!

    May 1, 2008 at 11:45 am |
  36. Alexa Taylor

    Check out who is on Obama's campaign staffers.

    May 1, 2008 at 11:42 am |
  37. PSmith

    I was watching the news last night and someone said this about him...

    "Barak Obama is a performer. A pretty good performer. Probably the best performer out there. Ask him about issues and he has no answers. "

    I think this person was right about him.

    His advisers are running the show. This is the reason why he never reacts to issues right away. He has to wait and write his perfectly edited eloquent speech before tackling issues. This is also the reason why he sucks in debases because his advisers are not next to him...

    Oh well!!! It's just a thought......

    May 1, 2008 at 11:41 am |
  38. Cindy Georgia

    Let's come together and show support

    There are less than eight months until the election, an election that will decide the next President of the United States. The person elected will be the president of all Americans, not just the Democrats or the Republicans. To show our solidarity as Americans, let's all get together and show each other our support for the candidate of our choice. It's time that we all came together, Democrats and Republicans alike.

    If you support the policies and character of Obama, please drive with your headlights on during the day. If you support Hillary or McCain, please drive with your headlights off at night.

    May 1, 2008 at 11:39 am |
  39. Hans Sandberg

    Who he is? I guess, you need to be a GOP Strategist and Former Huckabee National Campaign Chairman to be that clueless. What is it about Barack Obama that makes so many people trust him, from the little guy who is leaning republican to democratic superdelegates, former fed chairmen (Volker) and labor secretaries (Reich) and foreign policy experts (Brzezinski). What is it that they all see, but Ed Rollins cant see? And what would an Ed Rollins have seen and thought about another young and inexperienced representative from Illinois, Abe Lincoln? Inexperienced? We don't know who he is? No record? Connections to suspicious black rebels (John brown)... I guess you see what you want to see, and ignore the rest.

    May 1, 2008 at 11:19 am |
  40. TESAP



    May 1, 2008 at 11:07 am |
  41. Vel Champion

    Hillary calmly held her hands in her lap last night with the Oreilly interview until he asked if she felt sorry for Obama about the Wright rant at the Press meeting. She rung her hands. Guilty for having one of her own people arrange Wright's visit, and afraid that someone may come forward to say they were behind his crazy rant. Just one more dirty ploy

    May 1, 2008 at 10:55 am |
  42. Vel Champion

    I am a "white, 57 year old grandmother who believes in the message Obama is speaking. I believe we stand on a threshhold that has the potential to lead this nation down a new path. A path where all people, all color and all religions could learn to live together as a united nation. A united nation with a goal. A goal to leave behind our differences, our past, our fears and our hate. A goal that could bring us together, to work together to forge a future of peace that can build bridges, not bombs. The powers are rallying their "controllers" to derail this goal and hinder the progress of this future. Hate, bigotry, racial divide and differences in religious belief earn big money for the manipulating game of power and politics. They will not reliquish it quietly or with grace. They rely on conditioned responses to overcome the threat. They utilize fear to interrupt the message that speaks to one nation united. Do we dare listen and believe? I for one, who was raised with the cold war threat of "tuck and cover beneath the desk", am tired of being afraid. Obama has no ties to special interests or lobbiest monies. Jesus dared to walk among sinners to spread his message of faith. It is easy to walk among believers and blend in. I want to believe Obama may just be comfortable enough with his message,that he can stand among the narrow minded and dare to speak with a different voice. He carries a great message for everyone. I do not feel he can damage this country if given the chance to move our country into a direction of change. He is refreshing. Our Congress is in peril. We do not need the same rhetoric and corruption to continue. It is time for change. I have faith that Obama is a voice of hope in a hopeless world. The Clintons need to step aside and leave the past behind so that the nation can move forward with a man who looks to build a brighter future for us all.

    May 1, 2008 at 10:50 am |
  43. Michael, NC

    As much as I hate to see such a direct cut-throat attack on my favorite blog site, it is undeniably true. I couldn't agree more.
    He is inexperienced, he did get elected to senate with what could hardly be considered competition, and he has opposed many bills that would seem patriotic and productive to me, and supported immigration and amnesty of many illegals. Not what I want to see.
    Also, as discussed on the live blog last night, his wife's thesis from Princeton-which is easily accessible on Google or other search engines- shows just how she feels about our country and the racial divide that she seems to feel strongly about, and her unwillingness to bridge that gap for herself. Please, read it...it's not encouraging to say the least. It is not a good sign when the university has pulled it off their shelves until the election process is over. Finally, she has recently been quoted as saying "For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country," What does this say about not only her, but her family as a whole?
    All of the candidates have had their lows, Hillary with her taxes and her "Bosnia sniper fire" in which she barely escaped with her life and McCain saying he wouldn't mind staying in Iraq for 100 years if thats what it takes...not good ideas by either party. It is coming down to-in my opinion-a choice of the lesser of three evils.
    Just my opinion, would love to hear yours.

    May 1, 2008 at 10:45 am |
  44. Vera California

    And the point of your report? How well did we know Bush and Bush and for the matter Bill Clinton and Monica, oh yeah his wife was/is Hillary..when did something like that happen in the White House. You know the Clinton's are lairs..and folks still voting for them. And by the way, why is it that being articulate is a pre-requisite for being an African-American? Shhhhh don't do that it's insulting..think why wouldn't he be...When you speak a bout Bush do u say "he's not artiulate? This ability doesn't tell one who a man is.....

    May 1, 2008 at 10:44 am |
  45. Jan from Wood Dale IL

    Obama has never served one complete term of political office without reaching for the next higher rung of the ladder. During his first term as an IL State Senator, Obama made an unsuccessful bid for U.S. House of Representatives. During his second term as IL State Senator, Obama ran for his U.S. Senate seat. During his first term as a U.S. Senator, he's making his bid for President.

    My favorite description of Obama comes from David Mendell's biography, "His easygoing public temperament and ingenious lack of specificity that perhaps have most abetted his career in politics."

    May 1, 2008 at 10:32 am |
  46. kay

    He sold a bill of goods to the media and they ran with it .They didn't ask who are you and who do you have ties to?The media has done such a deservice to the American people.

    May 1, 2008 at 10:30 am |
  47. Mark

    John, WHo really knows who he is. The skeletons just keep falling out of his closet. I am extremely disapporinted in the Democratic Party. Obama is going to be so weak come November that it will not look pretty. Quite frankly the Democrats need to stop blaming Clinton. Sooner or later the Republicans were going to go after him that the timeing woul deven be worse. Clinton has actually done the Democratic Party a favor by exposing it now and givnig the delegates a chance to change their minds.

    May 1, 2008 at 10:25 am |
  48. Kate

    Instead of the public (mostly Obama supporters) telling Rev. Wright
    to shut up and go away, they should be saying come on keep
    talking. Tell us all you know about Obama. Tell us who you know
    him to be, how he got where he is today, who helped him get
    where he is today (besides you and your influence in the
    black community). The American people have the right to know
    everything about him if he and his wife want to be in the White
    House. If he is as wonderful as his supporters think he is , then
    they should have nothing to be afraid of and welcome this kind
    of insight to the man and his wife. However, if they are afraid of
    what will come out about him and what they will find out, then I
    can understand why they want Rev Wright silenced and to go

    May 1, 2008 at 10:23 am |
  49. Sam Johnson

    It seems stange to list all of the things you listed about Obama and then ask "who is this guy?" I mean, you just explained more than is covered in the standard news publications. You listed more about Obama's past than I actually know about George W Bush's past. Why the "who is this guy" question. He may not have been around for 20 years in the midst of controversy in the White House, but I feel like I know him as well as I know any other political figure.

    What are we looking for here, uncovered skeletons in the closet??

    May 1, 2008 at 10:11 am |
  50. helen

    CNN is very mean to Mrs Clinton
    Obama get all the free pass

    May 1, 2008 at 9:40 am |
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