May 22nd, 2008
11:04 AM ET

For Obama, the challenge is just beginning

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/22/art.obama5.jpg]

Barclay Palmer
360° Senior Producer

Obama's the big cheese now. But Swiss cheese comes to mind. He seems to have effectively won the delegate race. But barely. So is that a victory?

It's a beginning, at least.

Obama has inspired tens of thousands of new voters to register. But there are gaps in his support, so far. Working class voters in Appalachia and the Rust Belt. Women. And, as Tom Foreman reports tonight, among Christian Democrats. Also, Candy Crowley reports, among Jewish voters.

Today, Obama visits a synagogue in Florida as part of his campaign not just to win the Democratic nomination, but the majority of all American voters.

Think it will work? Or will John McCain win those voters?

Filed under: Barack Obama • Barclay Palmer • John McCain • Raw Politics
soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. Margaret in Ca.

    The challenge is just beginning. We may be shocked and in despair at what may yet come. I am a 56 year old white, female, Christian Republican. I cannot even express how repulsed and shaken I am by some of what I see and hear from both conservative Republicans and conservative Christians. The emotionally driven slander, biased information, hostile use of quotes taken out of context, etc. is a disgrace to both groups. If an individual is truly a follower of Christ, their political position should never undermine or cancel out their Christian character, but this is what I see. I will vote for and campaign for Obama. I believe in hope. Hope deferred makes the heart sick.

    May 25, 2008 at 7:02 pm |
  2. ginger


    you have to be kidding. I'm glad you admitted to being young because this explains your comments.

    Well, I'm a 47 year old black woman who had never heard of Sen. Obama. Yet I did my research and learned based on my concerns for this country Sen. Obama came in at #1, Ron Paul #2, and Sen. Clintion at #5. Go to KCAL news and perform the test pick your canidate. I visisted Sen. Obama's website and learned so much more. I learned about his years as a community organizer, his time in the Senate and I beleive if people took the opportunity to learn the FACTS they would realize America has the opportunity to change this nation with Sen. Obama as President.

    So he get's my vote based on his abilities.

    Vote for McCain if you want.

    May 25, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  3. beth

    This is the beginning to the end. He has a huge ego and will be childish in his behavior. He has been so spoiled and will effect rational thinking. He does not compartmentalize and his decsion making will not be clear. He will act as thogh he is the CHOSEN ONE until someone tells him he is just a typical white man...aarggg

    May 25, 2008 at 12:45 am |
  4. Mira Auntie

    Pat M – Maybe there isn't anything to find out, has that ever crossed your mind. Do you think that it is out of the relm of possibility that there are no skeletons in his closet? But then as a man and a politician there should be in your mind! How does that sound, really? Maybe he is a MAN that has chosen to live his life correctly! Oh my goodness shameful. Have we gotten to a point where we are so caught up in gossip and looking for a scandal that we have lost sight that there are still good decent honorable people in this world? Go figure

    May 24, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  5. Victor in Saanich, B.C.

    Maddem – an idiot. Too bad he/ she teaches kids in college!!
    Mcbush – I like that term as it speaks to four more years of failed policy, both nationally and internationally.
    Clinton – The Clintons gave us retail degradation [ unless you are part of the Walton clan!! Walmart drove manufacturing from the US!! The deal with China was the starting point for corporate America to outsource a load of jobs to lower paying countries. I am sure China has honourary citizenships ready for the Clintons for what they accomplished for the Chinese treasury!!
    As to spoken idiocy regarding possible assassination attempts on Obama. a simple question. Would that mean 'open season' on the Clintons and Huckabee??!!
    Obama is a possible last chance at turning your country around and avoiding a catastophic malaise that will finish your role as any sort of international leadership!! Unless you want to be China's lawn jockey or bellhop!!

    May 24, 2008 at 4:11 am |
  6. CAT Florida

    I happen to have been in India when the Iowa results came in.I was completely overwhelmed because I thought finally we get it , finally we realize that all this black and white garbage has got to stop because most importantly we are American and while we are bickering the rest of the world is passing us by. In the past weeks my joy has turn to dismay, with my orignal choice Hillary trying to steal an election and tearing the party apart and injecting race into the process. Yes Obama does have work to do, but he can do it. He withstood Hill and Bill.

    May 24, 2008 at 12:19 am |
  7. JS

    Obama for President. We want change. Hillary has experience, but the people do not want that type of leadership anymore.

    May 23, 2008 at 11:18 pm |
  8. Redphilly

    All that may be true but the other two candidates are beginning to have to much ugly baggage they are rendering themselves unelectable! McCain is old, sickly, has alienated the Jewish people, some whom agree with Hagee, Evangelicals, Muslims?!, and gays by saying he does not condone their practices. Hillary is showing desparation that you could translate as poor leadership skills. I don't want her to lead me into the lion's den.

    May 23, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  9. Jacklyn

    Of course he will have a challenge but he will prevail. If this was a white man the wording would be phrased so differently. This is why the American people should be discussing race factors EVERYDAY because we are still living in Jim Crow days where minorities are not welcome in government as long as there are white people. BE FOR REAL!!!!!

    May 23, 2008 at 10:20 pm |
  10. Michelle in CA

    Anyone running to be the first black president in the history of the United States knows what they will be facing. Obama has proven he anticipates most scenerios and has made plans well-ahead of when they are needed. He is an amazing organizer with a terrific team of talented people who CAN think "outside the box". Plus, he is a compelling speaker with a sound mind, body and soul. I think he has a very good chance of beating McCain in this presidential race. Need we forget he battling both the GOP and the Billary machine this year and won.

    Obama 2008

    May 23, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  11. Lucy, Illinois

    NOBODY has the experience to be President. It is not like you can go to college and train for it. I am a college professor with 4 college degrees. Not one class I took during these 4 degrees ever prepared me for what I was to face in the classroom. It is new and different everyday. But I have good judgment to make the right decisions and the ability to think on my feet. These are two characteristics that Obama bring to the table. What makes Obama a leader is his ability to talk to the people. He has first rate speaking skills.

    May 23, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  12. danny asuo

    I agree with Verna hundred percent for Obama's inconsistency "he says one thing and if that don't seem to go over so well changes to something else." Obama has been talking from both sides of his mouth since he entered this race, he has been reading the public for favourable information to pounce on, he himself does not have any message. If he succeeds in fooling Americans to vote for him, the crown will dangle on his head and presents himself in borrowed robes if it comes to the point of making important or tough decision.

    May 23, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  13. Pat M

    Maddem for Pres and Annie Kate for VP if you truly want an America with real positive Change!

    I too would like to know what I'm getting before I complete the transaction. And that will never be an option with Obama. Obama voters are supporting him on what? HOPE? It must be as he hasn't defined or enlightened Americans on any other issues as to what he is offering for Change. Hope is the Tree of Life but only if you water and nuture its roots and sinews. To vote on Hope void of any substance, reason, capability, or plan can only be likened to buying a lottery ticket and believing you are the only one that can win!

    People need to get over their infatuation with Barack Obama before it's too late and we all have to suffer another four years of the same devastation under a new name only, McCain! I guarantee you, if Obama is the Nominee, McCain is your next President. I'll put my year's wages on that one and buy a bicycle!

    May 23, 2008 at 7:21 am |
  14. Frank Savarese

    when does the madness end. barack obama attends a church for 20 years and becomes so close to the pastor that he calls him family. But he wants to say he never knew or heard the pastor spew his racist hate sermons. i say that is what it is A LIE!!!!!
    then you have john Mccain dogging pastor hagee for his endorsement and says that john hagee and his wife dianna are the finest people he knows and then says he never entered hagees church nor was pastor hagee his spiritual guide. how does john McCain evaluate people? it sounds like he evaluates people by what they can do for him. both of these men need to reevaluate thier decerning abilities. but i would prefer they do it on thier own time and dime not while they destroy our country any further.
    BRING ON HILLERY!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 23, 2008 at 2:38 am |
  15. Kristi from Hawaii

    This is for John Wohlmut who said "So he doesn’t have experience – there are plenty of people with lots of experience to advise him and besides that may not be a bad thing.".

    John, to you I say, George Bush didn't have much experience either, so he picked Dick Cheney, a very experienced guy who screwed the country.

    And to Tane who says that "Abe Lincoln and Roosevelt didn't have much experience", I simply must point out that this is not the 1800's or 1930's, 1940's....things have changed.
    If Obama gets the nomination, Democrats have made their bed and now they must lie in it, let's hope at least there is enough sense to get a great VP. And believe me, 4 years from now when Mr. Loves to hear himself talk Obama is floundering, I won't be happy, I will be sad at how this party screwed its self!

    May 23, 2008 at 2:11 am |
  16. Corinne , Canada

    Tane ,
    It is experience , you may call it life experience , that give you the skills for leadership and judgement and please do stop comparing Obama to previous Presidents or Leaders because he doesn't measure up.

    May 23, 2008 at 2:00 am |
  17. Corinne , Canada

    John Wohlmut ,
    How dare you compare Obama to Winston Churchill.
    Here is a man that served in the army and saw combat in India , the Sudan and the Second Boer war .
    Subsequently served as a member of Parliament starting in1900 and not until 40 years later did he become Prime Minister / Minister of Defense .
    I would say that he had a pretty hefty resume and earned the respect of his people.
    Obama supporters have their heads in the clouds.
    Obama is a man of many words and will tell you anything you want to hear.
    His statements regarding the Middle East / Iran show you how ill informed and immature he is. Flip flopping the next day made it worse.
    America you deserve better than that , vote with your head.

    May 23, 2008 at 1:35 am |
  18. rere

    i am a young black woman and from alot of other young and old, women and men taht are black say that we know how people like obama and michelle are. they're black people who try to act like they're more them other and think about themselves. we will not vote for obama because he is inexperience and we have never heard about him. the only reason he has most of the black votes is because most black people are stupid and vote for people cause they are black and if they show some ghetto mentality that what they like. most of them have never heard of obama also until now. just think about it, if a war starts what will he do? do he have any military skills? that's why we voted for hillary and if she doesn't win the nominee we will have to vote for someone that we feel our lives will be and better hands.

    May 23, 2008 at 12:48 am |
  19. Blaine

    Maddem and Chips,
    Unless you both are acquainted w/every black person in the U.S. and excluding unreliable online polls and a classroom sampling where more than a few black students say Yes for Obama, how do you conclude that most (meaning the majority) black people are voting for Obama and those that are voting for him only vote because of his skin color? Does this mean black people do not have the intelligence to make informed decisions and differentiate between who they believe is qualified or unqualified to represent them? Or do you mean On that white people are absolutely justified in believing that any of the white candidates is qualified and could not conceive of voting for Obama? In the beginning, I had respect for Hillary Clinton but she and Bill Clinton created this nationwide dissent between black and white voters through their campaign smear tactics that the media has only intensified. I am a black, educated, professional female and unless you have telekinetic abilities, your generalization of the voting right and judgment of an entire race is absurd.

    May 23, 2008 at 12:41 am |
  20. warickap

    It seems to me that the dems who support Hillary Clinton to the point that they would prefer to vote for mccain over obama are casting a racist ballot. The ONLY common ground between Clinton and McCain is the fact that they are both white. He is opposing nearly everything that comes out of her mouth. If you want the war to end during the primary (while hillary is still active) voting for McCain will surely not make that happen. If you are wanting jobs for the "hard working" Americans, McCain is countering that efffort as well. McCain says that foreclosures are the fault of the home owners and the banks that lend them the money, and not a federal problem. And gas prices, McCain could care less. He openly states that the economy is not his strong suit. When gas prices go up, so does the orice of everything that has to be transported. We recently saw stamp prices rise, and gas rises daily.
    We know that America is in BIG trouble when 90% of the population is unable to obtain it. Going to college and getting a good job is good, but pointless if you can not afford the gas to get to work!

    You Clinton supporters claim to be hard working Americans who require the economy to thrive for your own survival, yet many of you want to vote for McCain instead of OBAMA? Hard working or not, NO ONE wants to see the country that they live in fall into a deep recession.


    By the way, OBAMA and Joe Biden!!

    May 22, 2008 at 11:51 pm |
  21. maddem

    The question with Obama is: Is the water bad?

    May 22, 2008 at 11:49 pm |
  22. ginger

    Monique & Anita,

    Well spoken to both you!

    Say it loud I'm for Barack I'm proud.

    Now everybody chant with me:

    No More Drama Vote Obama!!!!

    May 22, 2008 at 11:47 pm |
  23. Rock

    It's a shame that in this day in time we are still making race an issue. Race should not be the reason that we vote, but that is what is pushing rual area whites to vote for Hillary and inner city blacks to vote for Obama. We have a log way to go. It's amazing that every imigrant group that has came to the United States has been allowed to assimiate in to the culture, but Blacks. Where is all the hate comming from? Learn to deal with the real problems! Focus! These are the exact distractions Republicans are looking for us to focus on.

    May 22, 2008 at 11:47 pm |
  24. kentucky

    obama trying to win over clinton and/or mccain supporters in fla. that's funny considering they voted for hillary. they're probably still pissed too!

    May 22, 2008 at 11:46 pm |
  25. Kingsley

    I think Obama will win over Mccain. This boils down to judgement. Look at how Macain handled this Hagee's issue. We all should know that pastors are not politicians who say politically correct things. Pastors speaks from the bible convictions words as well as the truth. Was it not God's will that the Jews lived 40 days and 40 nights in the desert and punished some. That doesn't mean that God don't love them. That is why parents who don't punish their kids end up having bad kids. Macain will not be a stable president and we can't afford that at this time. I think the jews who knows the bible can support Hagee on that. Macain should be bold and not go with the wind otherwise the wind will blow him away. At least obama supported his pastor till it got out of hand. Macain could have denounce Hagee's statement but still kept his endorsement since he said he doesn't go to his church. All this have revealed how unstable he is.

    May 22, 2008 at 11:45 pm |
  26. Lance Douglas

    So, McCain can reject an endorsement, and any belief of those endorsing him, but Obama must be a terrorist because Hesbala endorsed Obama?

    With McCain's logic, we should all vote for Obama because the "worst" is trying to derail Obama, thus he must be their biggest threat.

    FYI, I'm a devote conservative, and want Obama to lose because he is the most likely to win against McCain, but lets have a factual competition – not a Liberal one of fear mongering for votes.

    May 22, 2008 at 11:40 pm |
  27. Coral

    These blogs make me sick to my stomach. It is just amazing to see that people are so caught up in their tiny little issues which are totally irrelevant to the real issues going on in the world around us. That is why Americans are so universally disliked. One sure downside of globalization for the USA is the ease with which our hypocrisy and self-absorption have been exposed on the world stage. No longer can we claim to be the greatest nation on earth, or world leaders, or the model nation. We are just a bunch of frauds driven by fear of the unknown and an obstinate refusal to come out of the dark ages when America ruled the world.

    Maddem claims to be a college professor who teaches black students. Well, I'm sure blessed that none of my children would ever have to come under her hypocritical tutelage. Reading between her lyings I can tell she is pretending to be what she is not........just like Hillary, in fact. What a bunch of racist hypocrites we have in this country!! Starting with the Clintons, more specifically Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    May 22, 2008 at 11:39 pm |
  28. Tane

    So Brian, his work on nuclear proliferation, his groundbreaking ethics reform, his success with VA hospital reform, his co-sponsorship of the GI Bill that passed today, his unanimous passage of death penalty reform in IL, his success in increasing health care in IL... is just style without substance? Barack has plenty of solutions, you just haven't been paying any attention to his town hall meetings and haven't looked at his hundreds of pages of policy proposals.

    It's obvious you're a Republican, so I suppose you must at least support Barack's co-sponsorship of the bill to ensure that McCain even had the right to run as President (this came into question because McCain was born in Panama in case you weren't paying attention then either).

    May 22, 2008 at 11:34 pm |


    May 22, 2008 at 11:28 pm |
  30. Anita

    I am totally aware of the shortcomings of Obama, but considering the alternatives, he is far above and beyong the other two choices. McCain can't seem to decide if he wants what he wanted, or if he wants what he wants now; Hillary is so devisive, doesn't know how to tell the truth, changes her mind on what she says and does one day and then something better comes along and she decides that is the way she will go. Her idea that being so indebt that it shows her committment to her cause only demonstrates that she can't even manage her finances, let alone those of the country! I sincerely hope that Obama will NOT help her out of her financial crisis (her taking money from a child –how low will she stoop?), and I also hope that he will NOT consider her for his VP. Hillary is not change, brings much baggage to the table (quite a lot of which the public is not yet aware of), and would be most detrimental to Obama. I get a little disenchanted with all of the polls of today and whether Hillary can beat McCain, or whether Obama can beat McCain–let's get a nominee and then see who can beat who. If people get the chance to meet, hear, and talk with Obama they will understand the person he is and will vote for him. By the way, some of the less-educated, white workers of Appalachia will not vote for Obama no matter what because he is still 50% black–if racism is more important to them than their own welfare and that of the U.S., then so be it. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink!

    May 22, 2008 at 11:20 pm |
  31. Brian from Los Angeles, California

    This guy is all style with little to no substance. I can't recall one solution to any of our problems coming out of his mouth. I've hear a lot of complaining about Washington and a lot of complaining about problems, but I want a problem solver. This guy is all style with no substance and some very questionable friends and allies. I really think Americans have to think twice before they decide to give the keys to the car to this guy. All I know of him is that he is the most liberal senator in Washington that will tax the hell out of us all.

    My pocketbook is the last place I was from my government. If Washington is the problem why don't we change the Congress to a Republican congress and why don't we reduce government and taxes and elect McCain. Now, that is change I can believe in!!!!

    May 22, 2008 at 11:17 pm |
  32. LaVon K Hummel

    Look he will beat McCain, that the least of his proplems. The clintons are the real problem. They are ruining our chance to win the white house. What are they trying to do ? I want to get this party to unit. I really loved the Clinton's now I see there just willing to do almost anything to win . To the teacher who blog states he won't vote for Barack and he listed the reason why. He is a sad excuse for a teacher, no wonder our kids ACT scores suck.



    May 22, 2008 at 11:02 pm |
  33. lester lambert

    please.... for god's sake....someone explain to this poor, dumb
    canadian, you have two candidates with equal amount's of the
    popular vote...but you see only one of them, who is destroying
    the democratic party!!

    May 22, 2008 at 10:49 pm |
  34. Monique

    It amazes me how everyone has decided that since Obama is the leading candidate that they will vote for McCain. I'm an African American and I'm paying almost $4 a gal in gas ( this should be everyones concern moving forward) and because Obama is an African American you will not vote for him, than shame on you. There isn't any other reason that they will not vote for him other than race. I know the first thing you're going to say is, we are always playing the race card, well let this African American woman tell you this: If I decided to vote Republican because Hillary hasn't been forthright than shame on me for allowing my feelings to get involved. We are suffering with the Republicans in office and it doesn't matter who wins on the democratic side I'm a democrat and that is who I'm supporting. When Barack spoke at the national convention in 04' everyone was talking about "this up and coming democrat that spoke so eloquently", who may become the first African American president, what has happened to those people who talked with such conviction regarding Barack. I get it WE NEED TO STAY IN OUR PLACES AND BEING A LEADER OF ALL AMERICANS ISN'T BEING IN THE RIGHT PLACE. I thought we were getting somewhere with race but I guess I was wrong. This is a sad day in American History.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:38 pm |
  35. Tane

    As for the most irritating argument about Obama's lack of experience...

    One of our greatest Presidents, Abraham Lincoln had almost an identical record (8 yrs as Ill legislator and 2 years in Congress), furthermore Teddy Roosevelt only had 2 years of experience before becoming Vice Pres., Woodrow Wilson only had 2 years as Governor before being elected, Reagan had 8 years... It's about leadership skill and judgment, not experience.

    Barack has shown great judgment with regard to the war, targeted operations in Pakistan, diplomacy vs. saber rattling, the GI Bill, nuclear proliferation, Veteran's health care, women's rights, civil justice... and significantly better judgment than Hillary or McCain with regard to his campaign management as evidenced by his amazing fundraising strength, his delegate wins, his strategists, etc. It has been Hillary and McCain who have had to get rid of top staff members, not Barack.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  36. verna

    how can any of us know for sure what BO stands for ?? he says one thing and if that don't seem to go over so well, he changes it to something else. We are not voting for the president of the senior class ..this is the president of the U.S. ...The hardest and most powerful job in the world. We need someone strong, someone tuff, and someone smart enough to do the job .....and to me that would be HC

    May 22, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
  37. Tane

    Over 60% of the Jewish voters polled already support Barack, why would it even be a question that McCain would win that group? Yo humor the question though, particularly on a day when the Hagee denouncement is all over the news, I think Obama's efforts will work and he will shore up more support with Jewish Democrats. I thought that his address today at the town hall meeting in Florida was fabulous. He has remained consistently in support of Israel. His discussion of his personal connection to Judaism through his faith and the poignant collaboration of Jews and blacks during the civil rights movement was very moving.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
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