August 21st, 2008
05:13 PM ET

Professor Obama and the August Curse

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/21/art.obama.virginia.jpg]
John King | Bio
CNN Chief National Correspondent

Do the Democrats have an August curse?

That's probably not the best way to put it, but in elections they have lost, Democrats often look back and view August as a wasted or just plain horrible month.

In 2004, for example, John Kerry led most national polls heading into August; his biggest lead was in the five-point range. But by early September, some surveys had President Bush up by as many as 10 points.

The Democratic collapse of 20 years ago is the stuff of legend. Michael Dukakis was up 17 points in some national polling after his July convention, but that lead started to fade in August and in the end Dukakis won just 10 states.

So will it happen again?

The numbers aren't as dramatic as 1988, but they do have many Democrats nervous.

In mid-July, the CNN poll of polls – an averaging of major national polling data – showed Obama with a six-point lead over Republican John McCain. Now, as we prepare for next week's Democratic convention, Obama has a tiny 1-point edge over McCain: 45% to 44%.

Too professorial, some Democrats say of their candidate. Too different, others worry.

Democratic pollster Peter Hart still believes Obama can and should win the race handily. But he says to do that, Obama needs a strong convention, stronger debate showings, and an adjustment in his communications approach.

"Democrats have all the advantages on the macro elements: the direction of the country, the mood toward the president, the sense of change," Hart says. "Voters are worried, though, about who is more experienced, who has got the right set of qualities, who is going to be safe, who is going to be able to deal as commander in chief."

Hart's advice?

"One thing Barack Obama has got to do is move from long paragraphs into simple sentences. 'Yes We Can' is a phrase. Now there needs to be meat on the bones and simple sentences that voters in voters in rural areas and suburban areas can understand and say – 'That is my man."'

Editor's Note:
Don't miss the full report tonight with John King as he anchors AC 360° tonight 10pm EST.

Filed under: Barack Obama • John King • Raw Politics • T1
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. lampe

    For all you people who hate The USA, so much. Please feel free to get on the first plane, train, boat or bus and leave. If you think you can find a better place to live, then by-all-means go. McCain, doesn't have to have a 10 point lead, all he has to have is a 1 point lead. Why? Because in a year where The Republicans have such a low rating, Obama, the superhero, should have the lead, and he doesn't. Why? Because his big ego, is finally catching up to his big mouth, and people are starting to see the real Obama.

    August 22, 2008 at 12:47 pm |
  2. Mark in FL

    To mark in canada; Thanks for living in Canada (land of the free health care, asylums to terrorists,etc) we have one less bigot in the US!

    All americans should get a clue, when canadian and european pinheads support an US candidate, that's NOT who we should elect.

    August 22, 2008 at 12:34 pm |
  3. suzette in dallas

    Ive been a behind Obama from day one, because I see and hear a man that is good.He wants to help the down and out and we need that in this cold world,but he would certainly need our help to clean up this mess were in.

    August 22, 2008 at 12:32 pm |
  4. Sue, PA

    The elephant in the room is that most Americans cannot bring themselves to vote for a black man for POTUS. The media and individuals can cloak that in whatever excuse you like (too inexperienced, elite, professorial, inarticulate, aloof, too thin, don't like his middle name, weak on foreign policy, we want Hillary, he's weak, vacationed in Hawaii, bought a house...) but it's as clear as a sunny day. That's a leap ahead that America does not have the social or psychological maturity or desire to make right now.

    Prejudice is so much easier to preserve, all you have to do is keep hammering at these trivial hot-button non-issues or outright falsehoods and the masses run in the direction of the status quo ignoring all it's horrors (mismanagement and abuse of office, lies from the nation's trusted offices, rule of fear, economic collapse, energy crisis, growing inequality and disparity between the rich and poor, international humiliation,...). Now changing these things and normalizing respect and equality that go beyond words and claims, that takes true courage and effort from the bottom up.

    August 22, 2008 at 12:31 pm |
  5. Mark

    The fact that people like Elizabeth have an actual vote to cast in this election makes me very sad. Surely she is representative of a large number of Americans who are so easily swayed by sound bytes and fear mongering rhetoric aimed at less-than-bright Americans who cannot think for themselves. (Of which, I fear, there are more than we can imagine).

    A close family member of mine was a classmate of McSame's (as he calls him) at Annapolis. Although Republican, he will not vote for McCain due to questions regarding his character. Not that we should all be judged on our behavior while in college, but his concerns over McCain's character are more of the leopard/spots variety. If this family member doesn't trust him to run the country, I certainly don't.

    August 22, 2008 at 12:25 pm |
  6. Ramon from Chicago

    Obama needs to move the center on the economy and get rid (once and for all) of scary Nancy Pelosi....then he can go ahead and pick Paris Hilton for VP and still win by 10 points....but again, it seemed just as easy in 2004. Obama has to show he is really different, not the old pro-union, socialist democrat.

    August 22, 2008 at 12:23 pm |
  7. Arthur

    And you Hillary supporters who say you would rather vote for McCain than Obama. Get over yourselves, you need to have your heads examined!

    August 22, 2008 at 12:02 pm |
  8. Julio

    I rather have a president that is successful in a country where one can actually own seven houses and not remember it, rather than one who tells me I should be satisfied with what I have and by the way thinks there are 57 states in the country he hopes to lead. What a JOKE Barrack is.

    August 22, 2008 at 12:01 pm |
  9. Arthur

    Why would anyone vote for McCain? Because he's "safe"?! I guess if you like things just the way they are now... Otherwise only a complete idiot would vote for him.

    August 22, 2008 at 12:00 pm |
  10. Phillip


    More 2 the point less professorial....this is a country that consumes sound bites....not thoughful musings, no matter how on target he is......

    August 22, 2008 at 11:59 am |
  11. R

    The comments above just reinforce my belief that what this country needs is a test, an official id (passport works fine), and a fee to be able to vote.

    There is enough ignorance in these comments to doom America.

    August 22, 2008 at 11:56 am |
  12. Ricardo

    The prefect Christian family ? Then why no gifts for the kids at Christian holidays; isn’t that a Muslim practise???

    Seriously!!! You really need to learn about religion not ever Christian does Christmas gifts. I dont. And not every person who doesnt do christmas is Muslim. There are more religions then christians, muslims or jews.

    August 22, 2008 at 11:55 am |
  13. Colorado Joe

    The VP title is not in Hillary's best interest. As a Hillary supporter, I don't want to see her as the VP because she can be much more influential and effective as a Senator!

    So let's give the whole "I'm going to vote for McCain instead of Obama" thing a rest. You aren't punishing anyone besides the hard working people of this country if you decide to vote for McCain out of bitterness of Hillary loosing.

    Obama's policies are completely aligned with Hillary's, and I'm sure Hillary would rather see Obama in office than McCain. So let's all respect Hillary's wishes, let her go back to the Senate where she can make a difference, and then look for her in 2012. It's in her best interest and in the best interest of the country.

    Barack has 100 times more experience than McCain when it comes to representing the little guy and understanding the importance of the Constitution.

    August 22, 2008 at 11:50 am |
  14. Dee

    Barack Obama will definitely win. I think the American people can relate to Obama even though the media is determined to instill the scare tactics of how "different and unamerican" these blue collar people think he is because he's not the next "white" president. I mean C'mon the man grew up with an all white family and he's still not white enough because his father was African? He is against this senseless war that we are in, for womens rights, in favor of the middle class because McCain sure as hell doesn't care about us, and whether we want to admit it or not, at least he actually got out there and helped people in poverty stricken areas that needed help. We need to focus in on that a little more because it is important, and stop tuning in on the rediculous negativity that the media feeds us. Let's reunite the Democratic Party people and win in November!!!!

    "Obama 08"

    August 22, 2008 at 11:50 am |
  15. ruggered

    I rather loose an election than a war ,quoted verbatim John Mchain.
    When is America going to wise up that you don't need war mongers
    to be at peace in the world .If America thinks a hard stance on international affairs is what is going to make them safe ,then you are riding on rocks.
    Eronuosly, many believe that the Repucblicans are more religious than others but they are Pharises of Jesus day

    August 22, 2008 at 11:49 am |
  16. Alissa

    McCain worked hard for his moeny in this capitalist society of ours. For Obama to take a punch at someone who is wealthy and has 8 or 9 houses is just nonsense. It's his business how many houses he has. Is Obama a communist or what????

    August 22, 2008 at 11:43 am |
  17. Sallie

    Please, no more curses. Everything here is logical or, at least, understandable, if recollected correctly. Time and the effort it takes to wage a campaign begins to wear off the slick veneer of any candidate. That happened with Kerry. It happened with Dukakis. Moreover, all the private pressures that no one knows about begin to surface and play their part. This was most evident in the Dukakis campaign. He had an alcoholic wife and the pressure began to be something she couldn't bear. He loved her more than his ambition. There were openings given to him he didn't take or didn't see perhaps because somewhere in his heart he knew he shouldn't run. I can remember one Ted Koppel/Nightline interview in particular where this happened. Clinton was lucky. Ross Perot's siphoning off Republican votes in an act of personal revenge and the Hollywood touch were the faster track shoes Clinton needed for the race.

    August has nothing to do with it per se. It's the month of pentimento.

    August 22, 2008 at 11:41 am |
  18. Marty

    The problem is that Obama is trying to run a gentlemens race and there just arent enough of those left in the U.S. to base a campaign off of. Take for example the monumentally ignorant comment from elizabeth who thinks his name is enough of a reason to not vote for him. Thats just one of millions of people who are looking for any reason to not vote for him because they don't want to say its because he's black. This country is a wreck, our economy is crumbling but our voters will take that over a black president... What a shameful time to be an american.

    August 22, 2008 at 11:36 am |
  19. donw

    "Obama needs to man up, look people in the eye when he speaks and tell us what he believes"

    Last time I heard that was when John Kerry ran – ths is the core problem of the democratic platform – they don't have a platform.

    August 22, 2008 at 11:35 am |
  20. Adame

    The only way that the Democratic party will end up in the White House is IF Obama PICKS HILLARY as a running mate if not he is DONE!

    August 22, 2008 at 11:30 am |
  21. TL

    The United States is a through-and-through racist country.

    Experience, credentials, and lack of sensetivity for the less intellectual are all empty criticisms that speak almost nothing to job performance.

    GWB brought some of the best experience you could imagine; two of his deputies had been in gov't for thirty years. Their names: Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.

    America needs a black president like fat kids need candy. This place was supposed to be a melting pot but generation after generation has failed their kids by keeping races in this country completely compartmentalized.

    Obama/Patrick '08

    August 22, 2008 at 10:52 am |
  22. Kris

    The great worry: Can we afford to allow a tired old man, the reckless, trigger happy, mentally unstable one, to have the keys to the White House? The one who answers every hard question with "But I was a POW!" as though he were the only one. To elect him is almost like a national death wish.

    The alternative: An intelligent, thoughtful, stable-minded, temperament, a deeply religious, family-man who has worked hard his whole life to help those less fortunate. A man who has weathered the more insidious torture of bigotry and prejudice to rise above it and to love all in spite of it.

    August 22, 2008 at 10:50 am |
  23. RO

    I don't understand why people make a big deal about experience. Obama is just as experienced as other presidents. Let's not forget that W was a governor before becoming president. No Washington experience. Clinton was governor of Arkansas. No Washington experience. Reagan was governor of California. No Washington experience. Carter was governor of Geogia. No Washington experience. At least Obama has been in Washington and has experience and numerous committees. If you don't want Obama for president, there has to be a better reason given than lack of experience.

    August 22, 2008 at 10:46 am |
  24. Phillip in Arkansas

    I am not so sure about "the curse" factor, but one thing I know is he will not get my vote. As a long time democrate this will be my first election to switch parties. Yes we need change, yes our country is going in the wrong direction, yes there is a oil crisis......Is he the one that can lead us in the right direction? Not in my view. With everything our country has on its plate this is not the time to elect a leader who's job resume' goes back only 15 years. Sorry Obama...maybe in 2016.

    August 22, 2008 at 10:45 am |
  25. Jan/Michigan

    Oprah, MSM, Hollywood, Huge donations from wealthy people, Kerry, Kennedy, CNN, MSNBC, Pelosi, Dean, the Black Caucus--and he STILL can 't get ahead in the polls! MCCain has only his credentials and is beating the STAR–this is what sometimes happens when you are selected, not elected. Will the DNC never learn?

    August 22, 2008 at 10:45 am |
  26. Daniel

    How can he win when we democrats cannot get behind him. He did not win our nomination fare and scare. It was given to him by Howard Dean and the DNC. I am voting for McCain this fall!

    August 22, 2008 at 10:44 am |
  27. Arthur

    Obama is too junior to run this country. Hillary would've been a lock against the GOP.

    Don't give me the "race" crap when I hear that Obama has the black vote 94-1. The Dems should be ahead by 20 points right now, instead they're holding on to 1?

    Come on guys, find someone we can vote for!!!

    August 22, 2008 at 10:43 am |
  28. Al Jackson


    What kind of comment is that? His name sounds too familiar with someone who attacked us? Yeah, and that someone's family was flown out of the U.S. on September 12th by the current President. What was that all about? Why is the U.S. still doing business with Saudi Arabia? 15 Saudis on those planes.

    Jane, the reason people question McCains intellect is because HIS CAMPAIGN uses Obama's schooling to call him elitist. If we all could, we would LOVE to say we have a Harvard, Yale, MIT degree. Give me a break! So Bush is elitist also because he graduated from Princeton. There is my free speech.

    August 22, 2008 at 10:40 am |
  29. janet, ohio

    Short sentences that voters in rural areas can understand? Yes because we're so stupid. Make sure you speak v-e-r-y-s-l-ow-l-y also. We probably still won't understand; we're too busy clinging to God and guns and being bitter

    August 22, 2008 at 10:37 am |
  30. JBB

    Yes We Can. . . and we will!

    John McCain cannot relate to middle America whether you are white or black. . . . he is so out of touch. He is in the public eye so he should know how many houses he has, a simple question with a simple answer.

    No, he is not in touch with the American people and once you come into public service such as running for president of the US, we Americans who are struggling with the economy have a right to know how many houses he has.

    Comparing Obama's one house to seven seems so minute. Anyone who owns a paid parking lot besides the houses is very much above the average working class american.

    We need real change from the rich taking care of the rich. Does McCain only know war stories and the real war stories are the Amercian people everyday life, economy, gas, high cost of living, and bearing the cost of the WAR.

    McCain sure is living the American Dream even if it is Cindy's money, he sure is benefiting from it.

    August 22, 2008 at 10:25 am |
  31. Bryan from Michigan

    It sickens me to watch the Dem's sit by and take one attack ad after another,? When are they going to learn to win these elections they need to go after the republicans and do it now! The right wing nuts have no integrity and their lying sleeze works. Please attack these scumbags and do it now! If I see any more of these McCain ads in Michigan i'm going to destroy my televeison. Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 22, 2008 at 10:24 am |
  32. Charlotte

    I have read many comments and what people do not realize is that a majority of voters don't watch the news that much, most don't blog and most will look at the color of his skin and the sound of his name. It is unfortunate, but none the less true. Most have heard of Rev. Wright and all that "GD America" will be in their heads. Most have heard of his grand stadium speeches. The upcoming debates will show how unprepared Obama is to lead. If he answers first, he sucks.. His supporters even feel McCain knew the question before hand on the Saturday night program. Was that because their guy, failed miserably? He hum haws and cannot answer quick and neat..

    August 22, 2008 at 10:21 am |
  33. Mary/Iowa

    If America elects McCain, after 8 years of misery from Bush, then they have no-one to blame except themselves, when we invade Iran.
    Do you really want your kids fighting in the Middle East. That is where McCain is leading us. I pray everyday for wisdom to come to the American people. McCain is a shallow shell of a man, who left his first wife for the beauty queen. And who really is the Manchurian Candidate. McCain was held for 5 years in a communist prison Camp.
    He scares me!

    August 22, 2008 at 10:15 am |
  34. Tim in California

    To answer Mark from Canada's question as to why Senator Experience isn't up buy 10 points. Pay attention. The media....in case you haven't noticed is a wholly owned subsidiary of the right wing loonies....has been through their brainless reporters is trying to knock off Obama much like they did with Kerry. The tactic is "death by a thousand cuts".
    How else can you explain the "re-election" of the village idiot in 2004...and the apparent popularity of his much older twin in 2008. Our Texas brother...Howard above noted that..."current Republican administration is not favored very well...". I would consider that to be an undertatement since the latest poll have Bush at less than 30% popularity. I think Attlia the Hun had higher ratings.
    One huge difference between Dem's and Repug's is that the Dem's place a value on intelligence...the Repug's consider it to be a liability...hence the advancement of a long procession of empty suits starting with Reagan. Look at the field this year: Guliani, Romney, Thompson, Paul, Tancredo....I can't remember who the rest of the dwarf's were...can anyone help me?

    August 22, 2008 at 10:12 am |
  35. Tim in California

    If there is an August curse.....it goes right to the doorstep of the media, especially television. Let's look back to 2004. The "swift boaters" ran free with character assassination of Kerry. The media knew and yet they broadcast the "story" as much as they could as though it was some true story. Instead of knocking these loonies down for what they were....the media continued on. Fast forward to August 2008. The McCain bunch...which as it turns out....has hired the Bush hatchetmen to assissinate Obama's character. The media knows these guys are sending out false stories and false ads and yet they stand there like the idots they are. The most obnoxious ones are getting ten times the "free" air on the "news" as fodder for discussion then what was paid for by the Bush...I mean McCain team. So now....what are you trying to say here John? What curse? If you people did your job....we'd have a true democracy.

    August 22, 2008 at 10:03 am |
  36. GIFTY

    Obama can't win 4sure.
    Take over Hillary, please but don't accept No. 2 slot

    August 22, 2008 at 9:56 am |
  37. pb

    So let's get this right ! You have to be a dummy to be President of the United States?? WHAT AN EXAMPLE TO SET FOR OUR CHILDREN!

    August 22, 2008 at 9:41 am |
  38. Jon

    I love it.

    Ok, look Mr. Obama, here's the deal....you're too smart for us. Can you please act dumber so the average can understand you? No wonder we elected George Bush.

    August 22, 2008 at 9:34 am |
  39. Matt

    Jane said something absolutely fantastic about 20 posts up:

    "And get off Elizabeth’s back. You people ever heard of free speech? You can’t tell someone how to feel about a name. I can tell you one thing, if someone had so much as mentioned that name to you on 9/12, you would have been up in arms. People who even resembled anyone from the Middle East were harrassed in this country during that time."

    My question is . . . who do think the post-9/11 harassers are? The type of people that can make the distinction between someone's outward appearance and their inner potential, or somebody who would rather put an unltraconservative back in the White House to keep Americans safe from everything except what really matters?

    The path to the future is through better education, health care, infrastrcuture, investment in energy R & D and closing the wealth gap. A bigger military and a black and white approach to everything from foreign affairs, free-market economics and "family values" are only going to the leave the US of A behind, which is what many people seem to want. Aren't things bad enough in North America (and extension, the world,) right now? Militarism will not solve the many complex and interwoven issues plaguing America; a bit of intelligence and a colloborative approach with the rest of the free world might.

    Just asking,

    August 22, 2008 at 9:30 am |
  40. z

    I dont understand why we are debating between Obama and McCain based on experience. McCain has been a Senator, and a POW. I has been shown that he was never top of his class in the milary and toward the end of this Imprisonment he was given special treatment because he was the son of an Admiral. Both of those facts led him to become famous, but time after time right after those events, McCain showed this nation he has poor judgement with words, changing this position and standing by a president in this war. Being a POW means I have to respect him for serving and for his sacrifice however it doesnt mean I have to forget his poor word choices and make him my president. I am tired of seeing the international press (and even our own) making fun of my president but he's stupid word choices, or because he acts nutty or because he doesnt know Geography (McCain: "the Irak-Pakistan Border"? Dude, that border is called IRAN!!!!! Wow!)

    Obama was never a POW, nor he has been on the Senate for 100 years, nope, he has experience as a Senator, as a fighter for the disadvantage and good word choices. I dont mind listening to a potential president who likes to think about his answers and who gives me hope through words. When Obama speaks people get filled with hope, when he has spoken outside of the US people got crazy about him because he even inspired THEM hope, when Obama speaks he shows he has Educational DEGREES and Teaching experience to teach us all how to live and conduct ourselves. A living exaple of family values and integrity. And he has done all that as a Senator. Imagine what he can do as President. that show me he will once again make the world admire the United State of America

    August 22, 2008 at 9:18 am |
  41. David

    Eloquence is not intelligence as,rightly pointed out by a former President of Nigeria, and so Obama should not be crucified for not being properly understood by Americans, rather he should be given the opportunity to make the US economy number one again in the world.

    Mc"cane" only has canes and thistles for you all, please make the right choice.

    August 22, 2008 at 9:18 am |
  42. celestine

    God bless America and the world in generall
    Go on Obama pls bring the change the world need where we will be
    our brothers keeper not kill one onother.

    August 22, 2008 at 9:11 am |
  43. Mel

    I do not support B. Obama for president. I do not believe that he is too educated or nuanced, but rather that he is an unprincipled opportunist. As the product of the Chicago political machine, it was amazing to see so many Americans buy into his rhetoric of political change. I could only attribute it to derangement about Bush's presidency that so many have herein displayed.

    Politically, he's put previous candidates to shame with his profoundly stupid comments. His unscripted statements have been the stuff of legends, and have put John Kerry's the-troops-are-terrorists-and-idiots comment to shame. The average white American is a bigoted, close-minded religious zealot who clings to armaments to protect them from others who aren't the same color? Wasn't Obama the "agent of change?" Change is fine, but change requires principle and vision. Neither of these two things does Obama possess, as illustrated at the recent Saddleback forum.

    Finally, I'm a minority and I noticed that Obama doesn't look like the presidents on the tailside of change either.

    August 22, 2008 at 9:08 am |
  44. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem is that many people in this country don't think or don't want to think too hard. We need to have an electorate that reads into the issues and understands them. Gore's book, The Assault on Reason, is very true. I would hope that everyone learns about the issues in play and understands where the candidates come from on the issues. I don't agree with all of their stands, but I know enough about the issues to understand them.

    August 22, 2008 at 9:08 am |
  45. Richard

    McCain is a naked opportunist pretending to be something he's not. He's sponsored offensive ad campaigns, pandered to anyone that will listen, was a serial adulterer (as reported by CNN) and can't even remembere how many homes he owns.

    August 22, 2008 at 9:06 am |
  46. celestine

    My God why do people forget so soon how the republican has brought the us economy to it kneels,how they have made so many mistakes and wrong decisions.look at the issue of Goegia that has been making waves and the republicans have been feasting on it.Goergia was warned not to go the conflict zone with military action and they did,the US is now (republican) given moscow altimatum to quit and it is given Macain an edge over the democrate.whY war always and they claim to be the only real christian,is this way the christian faih resolve issues? Hipocrates,is Us econony obout war war war.

    August 22, 2008 at 8:56 am |
  47. Graycrab

    I am still stuck trying to figure out just what makes McCain a war hero? Could it be the 4 or 5 planes he crashed? The fact that he was captured? Or the fact he survived?
    There were 619 POW in that war. Are they all war heros or just those that choose to live in the past? How many of the 619 crashed 4 or 5 planes?
    I also can't see where being a POW gives one the experience to say he knows war. He knows torture and though he was once against it he now says it is ok, even though he admits to giving up things he should not have to the enemy of the time.
    In his class of approx 800 he graduated 6th from the bottom.
    The guy is too old and too senile if he can't even remember how many houses he has – for the majority of us that answer of, "I will have my staff get back to you on that," is incomprehensible.
    I know I have one house and in these times of economic instability I am hanging on to it by tooth and nail.
    Imagine having to have 5 million in order to be considered rich. Unbelievable.

    August 22, 2008 at 8:46 am |
  48. Concerned citizen

    To the young lady that just discovered the H. in Senator Obama's name stands for Hussein, I can't beleive you missed all the scare tactics that have been used by the media regarding his name. None the less, it worked on you just the same. It's a shame and saddens me that a person's name is basis in your mind for disqualification. I guess the fact that he's concerned about the average American and our struggles, he's educated, and he wants Washington to be run differently, doesn't matter! The further we come, the further we get behind with that type of thinking.

    August 22, 2008 at 8:44 am |
  49. umeadi

    It is unfortunate the Americans are not as truthful and brave as the world will want to believe. Seeing an intelligent energitic young man and pandering with some one who should have retired from active public life.
    Any way as usual I hope God will save America from this debacle, when Obama would have resumed as the next president of this great country.


    August 22, 2008 at 8:39 am |
  50. Greg

    I am a well-educated person who can understand (and make) sustained, well-thought-out arguments. The problem is that I DO understand Obama and that's what scares me.

    August 22, 2008 at 8:39 am |
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