.
August 15th, 2008
12:29 PM ET

Progressives in the Obama Moment

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/15/art.obama.change.jpg]
Robert L. Borosage & Katrina vanden Heuvel
The Nation

 
Electric. When Barack Obama receives the Democratic presidential nomination before 75,000 people in Denver's Mile High Stadium on the forty-fifth anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, new possibilities will be born. A historic candidacy, a new generation in motion, a nation yearning for change. Even the cynics running the McCain campaign might be touched, if they weren't so busy savaging Obama as a vain celebrity not up to the task of leading a nation.

No one should be blinded by the lights. It will take hard work to turn the nomination into victory in a campaign that has already turned ugly. Moreover, even if victorious, Obama will inherit the calamitous conditions wrought by conservative failures–a sinking economy, unsustainable occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, accelerating climate change, Gilded Age inequality, a broken healthcare system and much more.

Obama will also be limited by the constricted consensus of an establishment not yet able to contemplate the changes needed to set this country right again. To be successful, his presidency will have to be bolder and more radical than now imagined.

A historic candidate, the forbidding conditions and the constricted consensus make it vital that progressives think clearly and act independently in forging a strategy over the next months. The following is a contribution to a rich and ongoing discussion. We invite others to join it at thenation.com in the weeks to come.

A Sea-Change Election

The Obama nomination sets the stage for a sea-change election, one that could not only elect a Democratic President and increased reform majorities in both houses of Congress but also mark a clear turn from the conservative ideas that have dominated our politics for three
decades.

In recent weeks, the media–primed by a Republican strategy contrasting
Obama's purported doublespeak with McCain's alleged Straight Talk–have
focused on Obama's compromises and backsliding. Much of the alleged
retrenchment has been exaggerated. Some of it–like his fold on the FISA
wiretap bill, mixed signals on trade, the compromise on offshore
drilling–has been clear and deplorable. Many on the left were dismayed
as the Obama campaign trotted out advisers from a Democratic bench that
had championed the toxic Rubinomics brew of corporate trade and
financial deregulation.

These concerns should not distract us from the central reality: this
election features a stark ideological contrast. Although marketed as a
trustworthy maverick, McCain accurately describes himself as a "foot
soldier in the Reagan revolution" and attests that "on the transcendent
issues, the most important issues of our day, I've been totally in
agreement and support of President Bush." He is committed to the full
Bush catastrophe: continued war in Iraq, more tax cuts for the
wealthiest, more corporate trade deals, more deregulation, more
hostility toward labor, more conservative social policies and
reactionary judges. Indeed, he's Bush on steroids. McCain seeks not only
to privatize Social Security but also to unravel employer-based
healthcare, leaving people to negotiate alone with insurance companies
liberated from regulation. His bellicose posturing on Iran and Iraq is
as disastrous as his pledge of impossibly deep cuts in domestic
programs. He embraces the corporate economic and trade agenda that has
so devastated the American middle class. If he is defeated, it will mark
the end of the Reagan era.

Obama clearly offers a change of course. His victory in itself will
require overcoming the racial fears that have so long divided this
country. He carries a reform agenda–largely driven by
progressives–into the election: an end to the occupation of Iraq, using
the money squandered there to rebuild America; affordable healthcare for
all, paid for by raising taxes on the wealthy; a concerted drive for
energy independence, generating jobs while investing in renewable energy
and conservation. He is committed to empowering labor, to holding
corporations and banks more accountable and to challenging our trade
policies. A social liberal, his judicial appointees will keep the right
from consolidating its hold on the federal judiciary. Obama may not be a
"movement" progressive in the way that Reagan was a "movement"
conservative, and he may have disappointed activists with his recent
compromises, but make no mistake: his election will open a new era of
reform, the scope of which will depend–as Obama often says–on
independent progressive mobilization to keep the pressure on and
overcome entrenched interests.

As this is written, an election Obama should win handily is locked in a
virtual tie. Both the Obama and McCain campaigns treat the race as a
referendum on Obama, with the former focused on getting Americans
comfortable with trusting a young African-American with an unusual name,
and the Rove minions in the McCain campaign intent on stoking the fears
that enabled them to assemble a white majority party in the past.

Obama's campaign will not succeed without the independent efforts of
progressive activists. One central task is winning support among wary
white blue-collar workers, the core target of the Rovian poison. This
will require persuasion as well as mobilization; the work of the
AFL-CIO, Change to Win, Working America, religious groups and others
with a base in these communities in swing states will be of critical
importance.

Progressives generally–and independent media and the blogosphere
specifically–can contribute by reminding voters there's a clear choice
in this election, with McCain representing the same old, same old. While
exposing McCain's doubletalk, his Bush-redux agenda and the money and
interests behind the scurrilous right-wing independent expenditure
campaigns, progressives can also help build support for reform. The new
Health Care for America Now coalition, for example, has the resources to
expose McCain's healthcare folly, thereby building a mandate for
universal coverage. The antiwar movement should be challenging McCain's
saber-rattling on Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, helping to strengthen US
support for a change in course. With gas prices at the center of
American concerns, the environmental alliance around jobs and energy can
consolidate support for a concerted drive toward energy independence,
while challenging absurd claims that we can drill our way out of the
crisis.

Read the full story...

soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Ralph Illinois

    John McCain is from the past and still lives in the past, he can't get over Viet-Nam and seems to be fond of War.

    Barack Obama has a vision and he's young enough to be a part of the future. He will be fighting an uphill fight with the mess left for him. He wants us to pay the bills now and I agree with him. To spend all our wealth on military adventures will eventually cause us to go the way of the Soviet Union.

    We must come together and stand up with him. When we do, I think the rest of the free world will stand up too.

    August 17, 2008 at 1:06 am |
  2. keith

    Unfortunately I must file my comment on racism again, as painful as it may be for me to express it. In watching Barack Obama and John McCain field questions presented by a prominent California minister recently, it was interesting to see how people in the audience reacted to their answers to the same questions including the media.

    Even though Barack Obama has obviously more substance and intelligence in his delivery, still John McCain get's all the praise.

    John McCain played the crafty politician he is and skated around issues such as judge appointments (which he voted for yet retracted 4 of the appointments), poor vs rich income (his idea of where the income level begins for being rich is $5 million), and the issue of evil in the world (to defeat evil as if it were a military strategy). His answers were short and poignant because he has a narrow-minded view of the world, yet he is protected and praised for being short and testy with his answers. If Barack Obama were to react the same way, he would be called arrogant and insensitive to the desires of Americans (which is code in itself). Of course, I didn't hear anything like that about John McCain.
    And by-the-way, Roland Martin is the only one who saw through John McCain's answers which lacked of substance yet high on testosterone, and David Bergman commented on the same fighting words of John McCain.

    Can you imagine Barack Obama talking like John McCain or George W. Bush ! He would be ostracized !!!

    Here is my point which I painfully submit ... a man of color, and especially a black man in America, will always be held accountable to a different standard than his white apponent and furthermore, a black man in particular will always have to rise to a "superman" status compared to his white counter-part in order to get a fair shake and respectability amongst the majority here in America ... unfortunately.

    This will be my first time voting, and probably my last.

    August 17, 2008 at 12:48 am |
  3. benjamin

    there is not much to say , only that we have less 90 days to find out if Americans will perpetually in fear or whether they will liberate themselves from unfouneded fear of a black president. After the release of Mandella from prison many white in south African feared black reprisals, but it never happened. Mandella only instituted a reconcilation team to heal racial hurts. it would take white Americans's courage to change the country from terminal political-military.-economic demise, and that courage should be demontrated through the eletion of Obama. White America can end the racial stalemate in the country through a huge racial gesture to colored people.

    August 16, 2008 at 9:08 pm |
  4. ELIZABETH

    I believe Roland Martin is the most biased commentator on CNN. He just called us listeners stupid because of Obama, enough from this type of remarks, and bios - stop it CNN

    August 16, 2008 at 7:59 pm |
  5. Matthew

    I pray that Dr. Kings dream is not taken for granted or some political use. The dream is synonymous to almost stating the intensity to it being a reality. It was almost a sigh to him challenging black people to go deeper than silence into action. Black people have fought for recognition, respect, and independence. The government has never taken its part on its own to do it justifiably, acknowledging the urgency of now. Will the thousands of whites who support his ideology also support those who the dream is a dream and may continue for another century. Or will Americans, on their own be willing to change the policies and actions posed upon the masses ( strugglers) of negros who are willing to be citizens and partake in the reconstruction of a new era. Not posed by westernized chrisitanity, but the true faith of what God is for not doctrine.

    August 16, 2008 at 7:40 pm |
  6. gary lorenz

    the media never misses an opportunity to investigate a political candidate and publish its findings wether totally correct or not.why has no one investigated how obama was able to afford college coming from his" humble" background and then attend harvard law.he supposedly passed up an opportunity for a very lucaritive career practicing law in new york to help "poor " people in chicago.this makes no sense to me.how could he afford a house valued at 1.5 million dollars while helping the poor. what if during the time he spent in muslim countries he was chosen and financed by muslim powers to return to the u.s. under his present disguise.(tyson chicken in shelbyville,tn. has given up labor day as a holiday in favor of a muslim holiday) i believe that if obama is elected your federal taxes are goin to skyrocket,you had better learn to speak arabic and the america you now know will diappear before he leaves office

    August 16, 2008 at 7:34 pm |
  7. Gladys

    In a way, I think Cindy McCain takes attention away from McCain. She doesn't draw attention to him.

    Furthermore, He needs to shed light on all relevant information regarding how he cheated on his ex-wife in order to get with Cindy McCain when she was 25.

    I mean, eventually someone is going to turn the lights on – the McCain campaign needs to address the situation before someone else does it for them.

    His ex-wife was in a really bad car accident, came out deformed, and John McCain was around town chasing skirts, and Cindy happened to be one of them.

    Yes, I know this puts him on the same page as John Edwards, but they still need to address in their own way. Everything that glitters – including John Edwards (he looks so good even I would forgive him!!) is not gold. Amen and Amen.

    August 16, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  8. Gladys

    What gets me is when he has his wife standing up there when he's speaking sometimes.

    I think she looks pathetic, and she needs to sit down somewhere. He can stand on his own two feet. He doesn't need her. She is in the way.

    August 16, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  9. Gladys

    John McCain is cute. He sort of reminds me of a soldier. I guess it's his posture and hair cut, and everything.

    August 16, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  10. Tyrone

    SHAMEFUL PICK

    McCain wants to raise taxes on capital gains, dividends, inheritance, and many other places. Why doesn’t McCain and Bush and the government just stop all of the wasteful spending and we would have all kinds of money. Someone needs to hold the government accountable the all of the spending. If we ran our business like this we would be out of business in a month. I know this is to much to ask from people in Washington. They rather spend money that benefits them personally than care about there country or there constituents. I hope some day the people will wake up and throw the bums out before it is too late. In front of us now are two candidates.One has a proven record of failure and horrible judgement ( John McCain). That has lead to the death of Americans . The other has shown better judgement and the need for change. ( Obama ) Because of todays issue McCain as President would make it worse. The Russia and Georgia conflict under a McCain as President. Will surely bring involvement of America and a draft! McCain and Bush policy is to attack first talk second and then lie about it! The country needs change and Obama is that change! McCain is too old and out of touch with America and the world. To put McCain in office at his age and with his horrible judgement . Would be shameful and disrespectful to all the American troops that have lost there lifes in IRAQ for NOTHING

    August 16, 2008 at 12:50 pm |
  11. LAVON K HUMMEL

    Tammy. B. LA. Why do you and so many other McCain suporters get your pantys in a bunch every time Sen Obama, recieves the praise that he rightfully deserves? Grow up, How can you think for a second, that Ol, Johnny Mccain could unit this county. Isn't having other nations looking to our county , rather than looking away . Isn't that what we want and need.. You call Obama the weaker canidate . Really .He is Smater , better informed. well versed, he has world wide appeal, he knows the names of other countys,, and who is fighting who. Oh yeh tammy , he is the weaker one, Obama can draw crowds in the hundred of thousands. Mccain can only draw flys, and a few vulture circling above.

    August 16, 2008 at 12:48 pm |
  12. Tyrone

    MCCAIN BLAMES OBAMA ...AND HE IS A TURE IDIOT

    Obama this, Obama that... Naturally, it is very laudable that the United States may have chosen to look beyond the issue of race and opted for a person purely on the merit of his character. But what will they find?
    The usual hot air that Washington politicians seem to have made their own. Mr Obama is different. .
    Whatever happened to leadership and honesty as presidential traits? I happen to believe that the only leader in the West to have these two admirable qualities in droves is the leader of the free world: Senator Obama and Senator Clinton...Not McCain and Bush!
    Yes, we’ve all heard the Bushisms and laughed at them but do you really think somebody supposedly that thick can make it to the top of the most sophisticated political system the world has ever seen?
    No, and that is because Mr Bush is far stupid than most of his predecessors. He may not have been a Rhodes Scholar, but he has the ability to reach stupid level never done before.
    Take the Iraq war for example. OK, so he got us into Iraq in the first place. But for Pete’s sake, he’s the leader of the world’s only superpower. He needs to take decisions, even if sometimes they have nasty stupid consequences – and needlessly cause death of Americans.
    Something had to be done about Iraq and our government was all for attacking it too. So let’s not blame G.W. for the war. Lets blame everybody!
    And when things did go wrong in Iraq, and there were calls to pull out, Mr Bush just followed his own counsel and doubled his bet with the Surge. Americans are still dying BUT less . So he is smart!
    And he was right because Iraq is in a relatively better shape today than it ever was and Al Qa'eda is a shadow of its former self in that country. So the intelligent saids........oh wait ....they where the same that said W.O.M.D !

    August 16, 2008 at 12:46 pm |
  13. Tyrone

    MCCAIN FORGETS

    Right now, vile smear-peddler Jerome Corsi is back with a new book of lies - this time about Barack Obama. In 2004, Corsi helped launch the Swift Boat smear campaign with a book of distortions and lies he wrote about John Kerry. We'll need the combined efforts of every member of the Action Wire to push back against this year's vicious Republican attack book.
    Corsi and his right-wing backers are counting on you not to fighting back. Spreading these lies about Barack is their best chance to elect John McCain and continue George Bush's failed policies for another four years. This is all McCain has going for him. McCain must lie and attack Obama .Corsi Was Dropped From Unfit for Command Promotions Because of His Anti-Muslim, Anti-Catholic Comments. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote in an editorial, "Consider the book "Unfit for Command," put out by a collection of partisans who have now made it acceptable for veterans to attack each other's war records. The current National Review carries a piece decrying the bookstores that fail to carry "John O'Neill's book." This is curious in that the volume has a second author, but Jerome Corsi has dropped from the marketing because he has been revealed as the author of religiously bigoted remarks published on a Web site. Corsi not only considers Muslims to be pederasts, but he took the trouble to slam Catholic priests and refers to the pope as senile and a walking idiot. Rather than wonder whether a book written by such a man can be trusted, the marketing tactic has shifted to pretend Corsi doesn't exist. But this is Republican 101..Mccain should be shame of this mess. He forgets how now President Bush Attacked him with LIES!

    August 16, 2008 at 12:29 pm |
  14. kay

    Mccain, look at yourself in the mirror. Listen to yourself on tape. Read your policy starements now and 4 yrs. ago--you ought to be ashamed of yourself!!!!!!

    August 16, 2008 at 10:58 am |
  15. Gina - Missouri

    Some of you seem not to have read the other article in this section: "Commentary: Russian crisis a McCain opportunity, Obama risk"

    It seems Leslie Sanchez would be right up your alley! The other side of this article's coin. I think McCain's ads have Karl Rove's blueprint all over them. This article just points it out.

    Hillary lost, some people need to get over that fact...Barack Obama has been what he is over Georgia/Russia – the presumptive nominee of his party, not POTUS as John McCain's response seemed to presume. This does not make Obama weak, just diplomatic...

    August 16, 2008 at 10:18 am |
  16. aware

    Progressive is just another word for far left-wing Liberal ideology!

    I went back and read Hitler's Berlin speeches and was shocked by the similarities to Obama's rhetoric!

    There is a clear choice in this election, and this former Democrat will not vote for the socialist/fascist guy. 🙁

    August 16, 2008 at 2:32 am |
  17. J.V.hodgson

    Many issues are being bent by the media to make it confrontational and therfore "interesting"?
    The recent Geogia crisis has demonstrated who would be the better President.Why?
    1) Obama spoke only on Facts and as these became clear and available his position and words hardened, but cosistently said negotiation and a political solution were the correct way to go.
    2) McCain although advocating politics only did so in the war like way that drives him e.g. ban russia fromG8 and the WTO i.e the political version of a preemptive strike! The result would have been the start of of a 21st century cold war.
    So look what actually happened, MCcain backed off his rhetoric. Sarkozy and then Condi goes to Tblisi, and a peace deal is in the making. Saaksavilli ( supported by Mc Cains words) is still pouting, and he started the war QED McCain is with him.
    It is clear therefore Mr McCain does not negotiate with anyone only threatens by whatever means available.
    That is how Bush abd Cheney et al got America in the current mess it is in both Internationally and domestically.
    Like it or not change is essential and Mccain will not bring that about.
    QED argue about who has the best chance bringing about change. That is a real "interesting" issue.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    August 16, 2008 at 1:28 am |
  18. connie

    I am a 65 year old woman and i was just reading the blogs none of you know how congress works. dem just got control this last 7 or 8 months. .You have to have 2[3 in order to pass a bill they didn't have enough this time . But gods willing we will this year coming. All you Obama haters he will have enough to get what he wants passed..His family was not rich he knows what it like to have to work hard for a living. That along will help be a good president for middle class and poor people. His first job was helping people find jobs in a poor district.. When he could have work for a big law firm. I have no doubt that he will work his heart out for this country and get us back on the right again .HE will make jobs that have benfits and pays enough that a man or woman can support their family so they can live comfortible

    August 16, 2008 at 1:18 am |
  19. Patricia in Texas

    Thank you, Anderson Cooper, you are one of the few commentators on CNN that seems to be UNbiased toward the Right. I am so tired of hearing Liberal Press when it is quite the opposite. I am so tired of the voters who are willing to give up hope to support four more years of the status quo no matter how miserable it has been. They are hung up on color and hair color. They fall for the fear mongering of the McCain crowd just as they did for Bush. They listen to lies and spout them as fact. I am tired of "good ole boys" who barely got through university because Daddy pushed them through with money and donations running this country. They are the PAST. They want one thing and one thing only and that is to continue to make themselves and their cronies richer, while the rest of us barely exist. They don't care about anyone but themselves. They will say anything to get reelected true or false. And they will work on the FEARS of the average citizen. I am not surprised that they have pulled out the "Swift Boat" crowd.

    Obama is a chance for the future. Why is it that anything that comes out of a Republican's mouth is believed like gospel? And some people won't even believe what is being refuted repeatedly by reliable sources! This article is right on the money. Instead of believing the republican bull sh.... , try checking out the so many sites on the web that tell you what is the truth and what is a lie... with support of the FACTS. If you can't figure it out for yourselves.... try snoop.com for example!

    By the way, who are these people they are polling? I have never been polled and I don't know anyone else who has. I'm in Houston, Texas, seems like we might be a place they might want to poll!

    Most Texans I talk to are so sick of the Bush fiasco that they can hardly stand it be they Republicans or Right wing Christians! Obama is NOT a muslim! He was raised by his WHITE mother and his WHITE grandmother. He is not the product of Ghetto life. He is well educated, and earned his own degrees. No one pushed him through University on a silver chair, he worked and studied for his degrees! He may not be a President you would want to hang out at the local bar with, but he will run this country with intelligence, not by the seat of his pants! He will bring people into the administration who want the best for the Middle Class, not the High Class at any cost! Take a chance, people. Anything is better than what we have!

    August 16, 2008 at 1:06 am |
  20. Lamont austin

    Sharon ohio i weould rsther have the traits that you listed for Obama

    1. Rather than Mcclames attributes: messed around on his wife more than once then left his wife for a 25yr old girl.

    2.Killed several of his own men aboard a aircraft carrier when he accidentally deployed a bomb while still landed on the carrier.

    3. was shot down and captured.

    4.doesnt know how to use a computer.

    5.Has cancer, who knows how long he'll live.

    6. totally adopted Bush's game plan for america.

    You people have to be real prejudice to rather have our country be destroyed by the same ole politics that got us here today, failed one...
    get some brains america stop being so racist theres no more room for it.

    ARIZONA RON FROM TUCSON

    August 15, 2008 at 11:56 pm |
  21. Pat

    Sharon, you and all the others that fell for the Bush and Cheney brain washing on "the necessary war in the name of Democracy and Peace," " the annilation of Hussein the Monster," the new age politics of the Fuhr Dictatorship in Ameria, are more than welcome to vote for their Clone McSame. But don't expect Health Care, low Taxes and Gas Prices, a better economic future, no chld left behind or Peace as they can't afford aid to Americans as Iraq comes first.

    August 15, 2008 at 11:40 pm |
  22. Lamont austin

    Are you people really reading the same thing i am? and still against Obama? You must be as ignorant as you use to say blacks were to vote for Mcclame.

    "Indeed, he’s Bush on steroids. McCain seeks not only
    to privatize Social Security but also to unravel employer-based
    healthcare, leaving people to negotiate alone with insurance companies"

    "I’ve been totally in
    agreement and support of President Bush. He is committed to the full
    Bush catastrophe: continued war in Iraq, more tax cuts for the
    wealthiest, more corporate trade deals, more deregulation, more
    hostility toward labor, more conservative social policies and
    reactionary judges."

    I have one question for white America, Are you so blind not to notice that he's half white i applaud both racial sides of Obama, you havent even taken in to concideration that he was raised in a white family, I feel sorry for the white side of Obama's family they must feel betrayed by white people in america..

    ARIZONA RON FROM TUCSON

    August 15, 2008 at 11:25 pm |
  23. Lamont austin

    Tammy from berwick: And you think Mcclame is the solution? Im starting to think caucasians are afraid of a blackman as president, dont worry we wont do to you what youve done to us over the years we have alot more good in ous not to let that type of suffering, torture and degredation happen to anyone else ever again versus you as a people allowing it to still happen. You hate that a blackman might just know whats better for us as americans rather than what you think is better as a majority, You dont want equality in america you just want to feel like your the dominant race in america sounds kind of natzi-ish to me
    which is far from american. Many times in my life Ive heard people say go back to africa, well if you prejudice people dont like what i see as inevitable (a black president) go back to where you came from
    its time that america exist for what it stands for "PEACE AND LIBERTY FOR EVERYONE" not just white people...

    ARIZONA RON FROM TUCSON

    August 15, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  24. mary

    Maritza – also a great response on this blog!!!

    Although CNN hardly ever balances their coverage – with a pundit count of always 3 Barack Supporter to 1 Hillary Clinton Supporter or 1 John McCain Supporter, it is nice to know that at least on their blog, they are willing to post the counterbalancing intelligent views of many individuals – such as Maritza and Tammy – who see Barack Obama for the inexperienced and often narcissistic & egotitsical person he is. Barack has not proven any ability to lead anything or anybody other than his self promoting books tours and facebook/internet driven campaign run by his staff. The more time people have had to analyze Barack Obama – the person – versus Barack Obama – the hype – the more people see him for the lack of leadership abilities he possesses. And I believe many people's reluction to choose Barack is not racially motivated, but intelligence motivated.

    August 15, 2008 at 10:49 pm |
  25. James Dylan

    People should calm down. Let this "cynic" put this in perspective. The only thing historic about Obama is the fact he is black. He has done nothing worthy of that word on a national scale. His policies have all been seen before, think tone of Vietnam, Jimmy Carter and his windfall profits tax and increased diplomacy. All of which proved to be failures. Not to mention links to Hamas for both. People say he gives good speeches, I say he knows how to pull on peoples heart strings; a puppet master politician. He's compared to JFK with his talk, but JFK was a war hero. He chose to serve and risk his life for this country. Obama? Well, there are many questions out there. I highly doubt JFK would have sat and listened to Rev. Wright for twenty years.
    People say calling Obama a celebrity a negative attack, but it is extremely relevant. He is " the black Presidential candidate" and nothing more.

    August 15, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  26. mary

    Tammy Berwick – Awesome response!!!

    You are right on the money with your observation and critique.

    August 15, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  27. Lamont austin

    Paris, of course you would rather have a president no one likes, you must've been real unpopular growing up to be such a hater, So thats what it comes down to people hating Obama because he's popular and because he wants to change the u.s. from cowboys and mavericks to good american people who are proud to be american.
    Im making a prediction Obama picks Hillary as v.p. and Mcclame loses big. Whoever is mad that Obama might become president be mad at yourselves and be mad at the republican party for not producing someone as good as Obama to run for president, deal with people that have hope now instead of people who tread with anger and no hope.
    You people that dont like Obama hate that I a blackman has performed better at my job I also have encountered more positive people (white people) that are willing to understand what it means to be black in america and I truly have hope for the future more now than ever and thats just because a blackman might be president. I feel how white people must have felt when there race dominated running our country,Yeah Im starting to feel proud of the racial devide we call America...

    ARZONA RON FROM TUCSON

    August 15, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  28. Michael

    As a 51-year-old former member of the conservative movement I appreciate this opportunity to submit a few thoughts.

    To those that may perceive the authors, of this opinion piece, as operatives of the Democratic Party, I can honestly state that I received no compensation for supporting Newt Gingrich’s contract with America.

    Gingrich’s plans most significant accomplishment was a balanced budget, that led to years of economic prosperity, which could not have been accomplished with out the Bill Clinton tax increases (contradicting the Reaganomics re-implemented by the current administration).

    Historically, deregulation of the utility companies and Wall Street, along with the privatization of public health care at the State level has adversely affected the average person and only benefited the top wage earners.

    In my opinion the conservative message is now bankrupt and has been diminished to fear pandering.

    I agree with this article, as it optimizes my support Sen. Obama and his populist approach.

    Liberalism is not the redistribution of wealth; it is the redistribution of opportunity.

    Regards,
    Michael, Ohio

    August 15, 2008 at 9:49 pm |
  29. Annie Kate

    The situation the US finds itself in right now isn't just because of Bush and the GOP – the democratic Congress has done their fair share too and deserve their share of the blame. No matter who gets elected to the White House it won't matter if Congress continues to engage in partisanship politics and sit on their hands and do nothing. Until we replace the Congress as well the US isn't going to see any kind of fundamental change.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    August 15, 2008 at 9:38 pm |
  30. Sam

    People who call Obama weak are simply not thinking. As a black man, do you really think that with all the odds against him , he would be where he is right now if he wern't smart? Obama is a fighter . Fight is what he had to do all his life. People find all kinds of reasons not to like Obama. He is too thin, does not like junk food, comes from an exotic state etc. I strongly believe that the only thing that most of them focus on is skin color. Americans should stop being so impressed by tough talk and learn the value of compromising, listening , thinking, being SMART. If McCain is going up in the polls thanks to his silly ads, americans do not deserve much respect.

    August 15, 2008 at 9:25 pm |
  31. kim-chicago

    Relax Mike,
    You are not the only one whose blogs the moderator deletes. Trust me, I am a strong supporter of Barack Obama and I think we could use a little more McCain/Bush bashing...and quess what? my comments are deleted too.

    August 15, 2008 at 8:29 pm |
  32. Ryan Field

    I'd like to point out that this is exactly the sort of post that hurts Barack Obama more than helps him. I'm a Democrat voting for McCain, and my vote is based on past experience and record. And just when I start to think about possible voting for Barack Obama, I read something stupid like this.

    Guys in the press...if you want to help get Barack elected start being objective, like they taught you in jouralism 101. Because when you start drooling you're only turning the swing voters off.

    August 15, 2008 at 7:49 pm |
  33. Jacie - San Leandro, Ca

    I agre 100% on the views of the writers – I can't wait for the debates to begin so Senator Obama can prove once again that he has a plan to take back the white house. Senator McCain is just a clone of President Bush – the only difference is that he's (OLDER).

    Is America really ready for change or are they just caught up in the media hype? I guess we will find out who really for Senator Obama when November comes. I wish people could stop being blinded by McCain's straight talk because its full of BS.....

    Obama for President

    August 15, 2008 at 7:31 pm |
  34. Paul

    McCain can not talk about anything but fear and never really answer a question about anything. All he ever says is my friends over and over again. I think he says this instead of Ah,Ah, Ah. I think Obama can and will be a better leader with an open mind. No Obama will not solve all our problems but niether would McCain. We need to hear more about each candidate daily the more information the better.
    Paul
    Texas

    August 15, 2008 at 7:16 pm |
  35. BOB

    If Obama was asked two questions,Who is and what was Frank D. Charles to you? He would never get to the White House.

    August 15, 2008 at 6:40 pm |
  36. Jan from Wood Dale IL

    You've made a strong reference that Obama had served as a community organizer, but failed to put his time as an organizer in perspective.

    Obama graduated Columbia University in 1983. He first began working in NYC at Business Inernation Corp. as an editor in its international financial information division. After that, Obama worked at New York Public Interest Research Group which has the slogan "Building Student Power". It was only after that, that Obama moved to Chicago to become a community organizer.

    Considering Obama entered Harvard Law School in 1988, he worked at three different jobs within those five years. During his very short time as a community organizer, Obama held a lot of community meetings, but failed to get much accomplished for the community.

    After Obama graduated from Harvard, he did not return to being a community organizer. He led a voters registration drive and began work as an associate attorney. Obama also began as a lecturer at the University of Chicago law school.

    Obama made choices that only helped himself, not the community he left behind.

    August 15, 2008 at 6:31 pm |
  37. Kent Fitzsimmons,Kewanee, IL

    Watching Anderson today on Oprah in the poor towns of this country I can only ask one question...........Why do these people in Virginia,WV, Kentucky, continue to vote Republican? They are so poor but continue to vote for candidates that do not care about them and their troubles.
    Barack Obama is the only choice this election. McCain continues to back the policies of the GOP past. These policies have failed all of us.......all of us.................

    August 15, 2008 at 6:29 pm |
  38. Aiken Blue

    Obama is certainly electric. Granted that this article is very biased toward Obama, it still makes a lot of sense. Obama is making history. Vote for Obama! Visit WHYOBAMA08.ORG!!

    August 15, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  39. John

    To read some posts here, I feel like many seem do not know what they want: McCain is repub and war-goer..., while BO has no experience and is not a leader...!
    Yes for all, but that is what we have now. We have to choose between these two candidates, unless you have another mysterious and mighty candidate hidding somewhere...

    August 15, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  40. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    You might want to point some of those fingers back at the Democratic Party in Congress who supported Bush in his efforts. Additionally, Congress has had the opportunity to change things since regaining control and have come up with the big goose egg. I imagine an Obama presidency will be just as or even more inept. Finally, the American people are speaking loud and clear in the polls, and it's not because they are ignorant of the facts. If anything, as more of the weaknesses of Obama come forward, McCain builds in voter's minds. The Dems had the opportunity to win the White House with Sen. Clinton. They chose a weaker candidate who can't win big right now in a year when he should be tearing up the polls. Oh well. Maybe one day you'll learn. Then again, maybe not. Oh and to AC360 staff, you can publish this propaganda crap from the Obama camp and call it fair reporting, but your viewers aren't that stupid. Thank God someone has a functioning brain.

    August 15, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  41. Maritza

    The two of you must be on Obama's payroll, it's absolutly insane and disconnected to reality if anyone in their right mind believes Obama can make a difference in the White House or for our country, I'm not concerned in any way about the color of his skin , it's the thinness of his skin that a huge problem, incompentance is being generous when it comes to describing his background, With the lowest approval rating of congress lower than the President's , Nancy Mussalini Pelosi Should be thrown out! No wonder she favors Obama so openly, they match on their ability to do nothing of any significance for the American people , How has Obama united these two parties ,?Hehasn't united anyone except the naive voters that don't do their homework on him, his followers will be very disappointed when the reality of how unsafe it is to believe anything that comes out of his mouth. bet you won't post this.....

    Maritza

    August 15, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  42. Paris

    Robert L. Borosage & Katrina vanden Heuvel
    I found your essay on Obama pointless and some what ridicules.

    I wonder why you feel you need to kiss up to this guy so much?

    CNN the Obama HQ.

    2008 the year CNN sold its integrity to politics.

    We need a leader and Obama is not one.

    August 15, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  43. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    OK, moderator, you deleted my first blog, which blasted this article. It's clear that all you want is liberal fawning and agreement. The Censorship News Network strikes again. This article is a hatchet job on McCain and could have been written by an Obama staffer.

    JC, fair? I'd hardly call an article that uses terms like 'Rovian poison' and 'McCain doublespeak' fair.

    The worst part of this is urging the anti-war movement to go after the war in afghanistan. Have you forgotten we WERE attacked by Al Queda, who were harbored by the Taliban regime. You can argue whether we needed to invade IRAQ, but Afhghanistan is clear. We were attacked, and 3000 innocent Americans killed. Even your precious savior Obama recognizes the eneed to stay there.

    August 15, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  44. Kristen- Philadelphia, PA

    I have been an Obama supporter since the beginning. While I am excited to hear what he has to say in this acceptance speech lately I have been looking at him beyond just the great speeches. Actions speak so much louder than words and Obama just does not seem to be stepping up as a leader in my view.

    A leader does what they think is best not what will make everyone happy. Obama seems to be trying to please everyone. While it’s good in theory it’s just not practical. For him to be successful in November speeches to thousands of people will not cut it. He needs to show a more aggressive, down to business side of him.

    Great speeches are not going to change things in Washington. I am no supporter of Hillary Clinton but at least with all her fight and spunk you knew how hard she would work to get things done. Obama needs to show some of that and if he does not have it in him then maybe he does not need to be the nominee.

    August 15, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  45. JC- Los Angeles

    Very well written and fair; one of the few pieces I have read that pretty much sum of each candidate for better or worse.

    You mention the issue of race by stating an Obama victory "will require overcoming the racial fears that have so long divided this country."

    The maninstream media asked if America was ready for a black President; after hearing the separatist views of Rev. Wright and Jesse Jackson, it might be fair to suggest that it's the black community rather than the general public that is most concerned with race.

    Your comment "an election Obama should win handily is locked in a virtual tie" speaks volumes about the American people; after being let down by every leader, politician and executive, the genral public seems most concerned about not being duped one more time.

    Do we believe the slickster in the suit and possibly pay the ultimate price or do we believe the cantakerous grand-father figure who waxes poetic about a patriotic life lived?

    August 15, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  46. Gary Chandler in Canada

    As to the polls that favour McCain, why call it the 'Christian' vote.
    Poll some real Christians whether they believe men should throw their wives in Bikini contests(aka Miss Buffalo Chip)? Ask them if 'in sickness and health' goes out the window when you find a richer woman? Did Christ shout 'I know how to win wars!"?
    (While McCain is NOT the Antichrist, he actually fills the prophesies closer than Obama, return for the dead, and he would fit the bill for end times, wars and rumors of war.
    Isn't there some conflict of interest that Mccain's campaign people were lobbyists for the Georgian President?
    After the primaries, I posted in Political Ticker 'Close Race' that Bush will have to 'manufacture' a war to help McCain in the campaign; then, surprise, surprise, American backed Georgia kills Russian peace keepers and civilians.
    Just because I predicted it, doesn"t make it true, but ASK McCain, until he answers about the blue berets his 'friend' killed to start the conflict.

    August 15, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  47. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    If anyone believes that Karl Rove, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and the rest of the cronies responsible for this mess we are in are deepy embedded in the McCain campaign. McCain voted for the war and if you think for one minute they won't use dirt and lies in their campaign against Obama, think long and hard. Obama represents the truth about this whole administration and McCain and they need McCain in office to make them look like they were right when they should all be on trial for war crimes.

    August 15, 2008 at 1:25 pm |
  48. Sharon Ohio

    They sold Obama to the American People as a Idol.

    High tech marketing Skills, PR and a Quarter of a Billion Dollars to Promote him.

    Job History – Failed

    Showing up for work, work actually done accomplishing any thing for the country or the people of this country, Is way substandard.

    Leadership History – None

    Qualifications for the position: Orator and Public speaker, Ideas, Jr. Senator. Hiring a High powered marketing and PR Staff.

    ______________

    If you take away the Hollywood Hoopla and Showmanship, the marketing and PR.

    You have a man with ideas, who can give a speech. For the possibility of your next President.

    August 15, 2008 at 1:23 pm |
  49. Cindy

    What is this...kiss up to Obama day!? He is just like any other politician. He has no new changes to make. All of his so called plans have been tried before by other Dem presidents and they all failed. So what new thing is he going to do?

    And do people honestly think that he will be able to persuade all of congress to go along with his ideas? NEVER will happen! He will get as much done as the Dem held congress has done since it took over! What is that you ask....nothing what so ever!

    Cindy...Ga.

    August 15, 2008 at 1:13 pm |
  50. Neil

    This is great, what a breath of fresh air. The people over here in Europe love Obama, and would love to see him as the President of the United States. Not only does America need change, the world needs change and thats Obama.

    August 15, 2008 at 1:03 pm |
1 2