August 27th, 2008
08:06 PM ET

Behind the convention cheers – Obama's discipline

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/27/art.triplet.obama.hrc.bill2.jpg]
Carl Bernstein
AC360° Contributor

Barack Obama is getting the convention he wants, under extraordinarily difficult circumstances. The convention he is building reflects him and his priorities: it’s thoughtful, not just red-meat; and he’s in surprising control of the message, given the forces he’s dealing with. Indeed, the convention-building and the message may be far more sophisticated and effective than we instant commentators were prepared to discern. Witness the opening night grousing on-air about the convention’s supposed thematic absence, and aversion to instant butchery of the opposition.

Task Number One for Obama:
Defining himself as a person, not just a politician: telling his story and that of Michelle Obama and their family. An American story, meant to definitively undermine the oppo-narrative of the Clinton campaign, and now the Republican oppo-narrative – that he is some kind of vaguely alien, exotic candidate. (For some undecided voters, that also means uncomfortably black). Michelle Obama – as well as the team that produced her bio-pic – delivered with perfect pitch on Night One.

This was the real opening business of the convention, the essential themes to get right. As well as to establish an umbilical connection between Obama and the greatest of Democratic traditions and immutable principles… a generational passing of the torch that Caroline and Ted Kennedy declared unmistakably – and emotionally – had now moved past the Clintons.

It would be hard to underestimate how personally difficult the defection of the Kennedys has been for Hillary and Bill Clinton: consider how, as an adolescent, Bill idolized JFK, emulated him as a politician; that JFK Jr. was among the first contributors to Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign; and that Caroline’s mother, Jacqueline Kennedy, formed a close friendship with Hillary (in private, they shared a wicked sense of humor), and told friends that, of all her successors as First Lady, she was most fond of Hillary Clinton. Caroline and Ted Kennedy’s endorsement of Obama on January 28 was a critical blow to Hillary’s campaign).

Task Number Two:
Defining Obama’s Politics: Anyone who has talked to Obama knows he genuinely believes in ending the cultural wars that have poisoned the politics of past generation; and, whether you agree with his solutions or not, he has given great thought to the condition and state of America—its problems, its strengths, and how to initiate a tectonic (and generational) change in political direction. What he has not done, say even many of his allies, is get very specific during the campaign about programs, numbers, legislation. (See Task 4.)

Mark Warner’s keynote speech was on a plane not usually in evidence at conventions: subtle, powerful, inspirational, cerebral, practical – and as convincing a case as can be made for the underpinnings of Obama’s politics and a post-Bush, post-Clinton, post-partisan agenda. He made the connection between the man and his politics. Substantively, there were reminders of how thoughtful, humane, and forward-looking Bill Clinton’s politics looked some 15 years ago.

Task Number Three, a Houdiniesque Proposition:
Easing the Clintons off center stage (inevitably, still kicking) and into the kind of major supporting roles in the Obama campaign that capture all the unique Clintonian star power, and even compels Hillary and Bill Clinton to help Barack Obama win the presidency.

This Houdiniesque proposition recognizes that the Clintons, campaigning for Obama in the right places, and pushing the right political and media buttons, can deliver as no other Democrats in America. And that it is in their interests to do so, thus rescuing Bill Clinton’s damaged legacy from a brutal primary season’s beating (and his own self-destructive instincts); and even further enhancing Hillary’s stature as a leader in the party and the nation — without further threatening Obama.

Hillary’s speech last night was the crucial first step: a huge stride toward uniting her genuine movement of women and blue-collar workers with Obama’s formidable new Democratic movement that almost couldn’t close the deal by the end of the primary-caucus season. If she and Obama can fuse those two movements in Denver without a divisive struggle on the convention floor (as seems likely), Obama is a lot closer to being able to win the presidency than he was a week ago. And already, Hillary has delivered for him, big-time – despite some carping that she didn’t go far enough.

Now, look for both Clintons to begin campaigning in critical battleground states as early next week. And for Bill Clinton to deliver a powerful speech on Obama’s behalf tonight, throwing the hall into predictably pandemonious excess (as did Hillary), leaving no doubt among Democrats of all persuasions that John McCain and Bush-Republican policies are a totally unacceptable alternative to Barack Obama.

A footnote to the ongoing Clintonian psychodrama that, as usual and quite reasonably, has mesmerized the media and continues to hang over the political landscape in Denver and beyond:

First, the essential dynamic: that the Clintons do not like Obama, hate how he systematically went about burying their attempt at a Clintonian restoration to the presidency; and they have never found it easy to be gracious in defeat. The final, gratuitously vicious wound (in their view) was Obama’s decision not to make Hillary his vice presidential nominee.

Fact: Once the “Atlantic Monthly Memos” were published — with Mark Penn’s overt strategy of smearing Barack Obama as coming from an “unAmerican” background — there was virtually no chance Hillary would have been acceptable to Obama or his wife. The only possibility, say his aides: if it were indelibly clear that he could not win the presidency without putting her on the ticket.

Obama and his small cadre of top aides were convinced there is a far better way, without the oxygen-consuming formula of Hillary-as-Veep now on display at the convention: Put the Clintons to work for the Obama-Biden ticket, getting them to fly the Democratic flag against John McCain, and — based on Obama’s real respect for them both and their singular accomplishments – giving them outsized roles in national life during an Obama administration.

Meanwhile, the Clintons — as if to underscore the personal (as differentiated from simply political) chasm between Obama and themselves — let it be known that Mark Penn had a hand in drafting both their convention speeches.

Task Number Four:
Delivering — beyond the Obama aura and the oratory — with specifics: His speech on the last night of the convention. It is instructive to watch Obama’s remarkable speech to the 2004 Democratic convention: he must do it one better in 2008, laying out a vision for the country under his leadership that is specific enough (his top aides seem to agree) to put an end to the Clinton-McCain refrain that he’s all about oratory.

He — and others, including Joe Biden tonight — will be addressing the supposed commander-in-chief gap and the “3 a.m.” assertions that he’s not ready to lead. Look for a passel of generals to be on-stage with Obama in the stadium tomorrow night.


Obama beat the toughest Democratic machine of modern times, and a candidate considered by the media, the pollsters and most of the political class to be the Democrats’ inevitable nominee. He did it by staying on message; out-organizing the Clinton campaign in state after state; harnessing the power of a new generation of voters; and utilizing a set of tools (particularly the Internet) that his opponents vastly underestimated.

The most consistent aspect of the Obama campaign from the beginning has been its discipline, and the nominee’s control of his own message and apparat. Thus far, the Denver convention seems to be on that same track.

soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. RJ

    joseph gregory, to your comment about BO being as you say "arrogant people in power are dangerous" I guess John and Cindy both who never had to work in their life. Someone who stole drugs and served no jail time. Someone who has servants to help run their 7,8 or 11 homes is safe because they are the common family?

    Well someone owes me a few more houses and some servants!

    August 28, 2008 at 12:07 am |
  2. kurt

    I guess you guys at the republican war room are banging your little fingers on your keyboards to respond here like crazy right now in an effort to make it seem like we, the REAL viewing public, can't see just what your doing...

    Be advised that we can see right through it.

    I guess the sour grapes you eating right now are making you a little bitter.

    Your games don't work anymore, your just starting to look foolish.

    Watch it, your fear is showing.

    and by the way... your puma "plants" are really funny to watch. I got a real kick out of them. Hilarious.

    The change Obama/Biden '08 offers, has my vote.

    August 28, 2008 at 12:05 am |
  3. Marvin

    Sadly, it takes a long article to try and explain to us that Senator Obama and his campaign/convention is about him and the "change" we all want to see and hear. Not the change from oil, war, the poor economy and the republicans to a different, more promising future based on specific plans and action but the reluctant change from the popular and powerful Clintons to him. Senator Clinton lost and Senator McCain and the republicans will win this election because of it; the Kennedys never liked the Clintons and their endorsement of Senator Obama proved it (now that's a wicked sense of humor). I'm impressed with Senator Obama and think he talks a good game but there's just too much at stake with the war on terrorism to entrust someone who has virtually no foreign policy experience and now is not a good time to elect someone with training wheels. People forget about 9/11 too quickly. Book your next family vacation to Pakistan, Iran, Iraq or Afghanistan and see for yourself what awaits your children's future; I don't like it anymore than you do but that's the reality of it. It's not Hollywood or a video game but this convention would qualify as both if you asked me.

    August 28, 2008 at 12:05 am |
  4. Deborah

    If McCain is such a great leader, Is his experience better than George W. Bush who is the president. McCain had a chance to run but backed out for the Bush machine. Mr. McCain has waffled on various position such as the 100 year war.. I am concerned that he will say anything to be president. So I don't know about his honesty. I don't know about these polls, but most Americans I meet at work, on the street and play want Obama.

    August 28, 2008 at 12:04 am |
  5. realistic

    JC-Los Angeles : "Obama, preaching unity and change, failed to unify his OWN party prior to the convention; that’s egregious and unacceptable."

    Thats because ignorant and stubborn people like you cannot think beyond your blinded support for clintons. Americans are sick of clintons.

    Clintons are the biggest liars and hypocrates, and we all witnessed that.. On the front talk about unity and backstab later. Such pathetic losers..

    August 28, 2008 at 12:02 am |
  6. Stephen

    Being a staunch Republican, it has become clear Carl, that this country is headed in the wrong direction under 8 years of the boy from Texas. It is also clear that the media has decided to statistically skew polls in an attempt to maintain interest in the campaign. Walk down the street Carl, there is hope in their eyes. Blab away until Nov. 4th, but Obama will win by a landslide mandate for change. If there are truly 50 million Americans stuck in ignorance in this country and elect McCain, Canada will have the a historic percentage of application for citizenship. Why would you stick around? This is the big one folks, this is your once in a lifetime chance to truly elect a man who will have a memorial built ala Lincoln 100 years from now. If you can not see through your own prejudices, then you are pitied.

    August 28, 2008 at 12:00 am |
  7. lance

    i am a diehard hillary supporter, aside from bill, and i have made my first donation to the obama camp. thanks to hillary

    August 28, 2008 at 12:00 am |
  8. Reggie From California

    I'm hearing some Hilary supporters say there voting for McCain anyway?? That just meant you never stood for what Hilary stood for. The GOP cant fight a clean fight but you see Obama he keeps doing him. I'm sick and tired of the BULLSH!T that you lame ass fake democrats say your not voting for OBAMA cause he is no fit for the position. I guess a slumping economy, 10 billion dollar a month war, borrowing money from the Chinese is what you want from a president. It's very clear to me that its experience VS change and experience has taught us all its time for a change. I'm looking forward to Obama becoming president cause LORD knows we cant take another 4 years of this economic crisis

    August 27, 2008 at 11:59 pm |
  9. Bill

    I've always respected your political and journalistic sensibilities, and this tome does nothing to diminish that respect. I agree that Obama needs to do those things that you set out so clearly. So why, even after he does all these things, am I not the least bit excited about the campaign or the election? I truly thought that the Joe Biden choice was a masterstroke, but I'm still having trouble getting the fire started. Am I alone in my dismay? Am I the only one who tonight thought " Damn, Clinton could run again RIGHT NOW and beat everybody in the race?" Where's the passion, outrage and clarity of purpose that he invoked? I'm at a loss.

    August 27, 2008 at 11:58 pm |
  10. cindy

    I want to know the background of my president; who is he, where did he live, what were his mom and dad like, did he fish, did he hunt, play football... I want his character more than anything.

    To the poster who wrote below:

    "Obama, preaching unity and change, failed to unify his OWN party prior to the convention; that’s egregious and unacceptable."

    You have got to be kidding? You say that Obama failed to "unify his OWN party" Don't you mean Hillary failed to unify? Didn't Hillary hold out till the end with her crew of whiners? Didn't she refuse to take down the barriers of the primary?

    Come on, get real. Obama has had to treat her and Bill Clinton with warm baby blankets and tender loving care. She/They have hurt the Democratic party and put it in terrible risk.

    Obama has to clean up her and Bill Clinton's mess. But you know, Obama is up to the challenge and READY TO BE OUR COMMANDER IN CHIEF.

    August 27, 2008 at 11:56 pm |
  11. Joseph Drury Jr.

    Great article.

    I have to admit that the Clinton's surprised me during this convention. I am not, and have never been, a fan of the Clintons. I thought Bill did alot of wrong to this country. And I think Hillary ran a bad campaign and was on the wrong side of many of the issues. It is because of the Clintons that I have never voted for a Democrat for the President of the United States. Instead, I have voted for 3rd party candidates that uphold the values of the Democratic Party. I voted for Nader in 2000 and was proud of it. I still am.

    But Barack Obama has restored my faith in the party in the country. I am equally proud to be voting for him in November.

    The Democratic Party does not need former Hillary supporters that think John Mccain is right for this country. Good riddance.

    August 27, 2008 at 11:56 pm |
  12. Kate

    I think it is pathetic the way the Clinton's have sold out for the sake of political gain. Both Bill and Hillary have made it clear that they do not believe Obama has the skillset to be an effective President and they reiterated that opinion throughout Hillary's campaign and yet they are now endorsing him? Did he somehow become qualified over the last few months? Of course not. Obama still lacks the experience and understanding needed to be President and the Clinton's know it but Bill and Hillary are willing to ignore the damage an Obama presidency will wreak on this country because they are so focused on attempting to salvage their position in the party. I suppose I can understand that to a degree but the Democratics have clearly written them off – they were more than willing to humiliate them with their public support of Obama during the campaign so the Clinton's attempts at walking the party line are simply pathetic and will only serve to undermine their credibility with the American people. Obama hasn't given them the time of day and everyone knows it – how can they just ignore it? It's too desperate and very sad.

    August 27, 2008 at 11:46 pm |
  13. Misty

    The Obama Campaign is a FRESH start for Politics! Out with the Old, In with the new!

    Obama/Biden 08

    August 27, 2008 at 11:44 pm |
  14. Shen and Pete

    We were crying, laughing, cheering clapping all night long. For a moment we were proud to be American.....and we are Canadian, so we can only imagine what you, as Americans, felt. If Obama and the Democrats can convince us through the TV in another country, November 2008 should be your year. I am an American Politics Junkie and CNN has been on my TV for days (just ask my 16 yr old son) and I have been following this election since the first Primary in January. I am so impressed by BOTH your top two candidates, Clinton and Obama. Do you even realize how lucky you are to have this enthusiasm? We love our country but if you really love politics Canada does not do it quite the way the USA does and we should. Hillary and Bill showed class above class with their speeches. Perhaps there was a rift but they have risen above it with grace and style. I happen to be an Obama fan from the start so this nomination was amazing and I will always remember the glance you allowed me into what will certainly be a shining historical moment for African Americans, for woman and for the USA. I can't wait to see what is to come.

    August 27, 2008 at 11:44 pm |
  15. Don Mitchell

    Mr. Bernstein let me commend you on a thoughtful, insightful piece and I agree with you completely. Jim Carville thinks Obama is way off-base hear.....that he needs to be serving up big platters of red-meat and going on the attack big-time!!! I disagree...yes, he's going to have to counter many nasty, slimy under-handed attacks by the GOP (after all, that truly evil Karl Rove is hovering in the shadows pulling strings...of Steve Schmidt in particular...) but in terms of his own message and controlling that message he's doing an exemplary job. Maybe we need to wrap our heads around the fact that a new era in American politics has dawned and Senator Obama is responsible for that. I'm a Canadian, Mr. Bernstein, but never in my 48 years have I ever been so consumed with an American election and its outcome. Never...because it's never been more important. The last eight horrendous years have reduced a powerful, incredibly well-respected nation (world wide) into a despised, I dare say loathed country because of Dubya and his nefarious cabal and I truly believe, in my heart-of-hearts that Obama and Biden can restore that credibility, that respect back to the White House, back to Washington and back to the country as a whole.
    McCain would make it worse...and it can't afford to be any worse than it already is.......it just can't. Thanks for your insight, Mr. Bernstein.
    Don in Toronto, ON. Canada.

    August 27, 2008 at 11:43 pm |
  16. Terry

    It was obvious the Hillary thought she was entitled to the nomination of the DNC but she didn't win it – for a variety of reasons. That's the way campaigns go. But she gave a brilliant speech, as did Bill, and whether or not there is a love/hate relationship between Clintons/Kennedys/Obamas – it doesn't matter. Obama is the nominee and I think the convention has been an effective start to his campaign. I'm ready for a more thought-driven president – one with a vision – instead of a knee-jerk, spasmatic war monger who wants the status quo and has no vision of our children's tomorrow in this country.

    August 27, 2008 at 11:43 pm |
  17. SLS

    DNC is trying too hard to make a sell on Obama. He is not ready I see and hear green when it comes to Obama. Too bad blacks are in such a hurry to elect a Black President they sold out their country for an inexperience candidiate over a great candidate. Bush and Obama have a lot in common they ran on similar platforms change and they could work across party lines...both had little to no experience...and both have major ego issues..look what that combination got America..Amercia does not learn from their mistakes...take the guy they like over a candidate who could actually do the job...

    August 27, 2008 at 11:43 pm |
  18. Armon

    I'm hoping and praying that those of you who are 'Hillary supporters' and now saying you're going to vote for McCain don't really call yourselves democrats. How could you possibly say you supported Hillary Clinton and her policies then turn around and say you support John McCain, who believes in the exact opposite?! She herself has asked if her supporters have been supporting her or what she stands for. If you actually support what she believes in you would also be linning up to support the Democratic nominee. To say you want to support another term or HORRIBLE leadership is SO HYPOCRITIC and Hillary herself does not agree with you!

    August 27, 2008 at 11:43 pm |
  19. Tim

    America is learning what Obama Supportors have known all along, that Obama is the Best Candidate!!!

    Obama has the Morals, Honesty, and Judgement to do what is Right For America!!

    August 27, 2008 at 11:43 pm |
  20. Marvin Brown

    Great speech by everyone... I watched at home and believed I got a good sense of how it must have felt to be there... I was very emotional......
    I am proud to be an AMERICAN... GO OBAMA....YES WE CAN!!!

    August 27, 2008 at 11:42 pm |
  21. Rita

    The number 8 in the Bible represents New Beginnings and in the year of 08 we are seeing a new beginning. God is doing a new thing in the earth and it does not matter what you think and how you try to spin it. Barak Obama will be the next President of the Free World. But the real truth is all of you Hillary & Bill lovers were never going to vote for Barack and you never will. So, take your angry votes and whining on over to the dark side.

    August 27, 2008 at 11:41 pm |
  22. forevertruetome

    As a woman who is in a bi-racial marriage (happily), I was quite torn in who to vote for in the primaries.
    Hillary's speech last night did conjure up feelings of 'what if.'
    The bottom line is this... Joe Biden is right. It does cost me $60 to fill up my Saturn. Just this month we learned the electric bill, the gas bill, the phone bill and the day care bills are ALL going up next month.
    I appreciate all that Obama may lack, but I just don't see how this country can continue on it's current path.
    President Clinton was dead-on when he said in 2001 we finally got to see the Republican Party's ideas come to fruition.
    The last 8 years have done much to harm our economy and our place in the world.
    My sons are Americans living on Earth. They will one day be Americans who are contributing citizens to our world.
    The time is now, we need to change direction.
    The Democrats are what we need right now.

    August 27, 2008 at 11:37 pm |
  23. boomshine

    there is a difference between arrogance and confidence...

    August 27, 2008 at 11:36 pm |
  24. Kevin

    This is the story of the 'Emporers New Clothes' re-told. Never in the history of American politics has someone so unworthy been given so much adoration as Obama. I wish people would stop reading the Holywood script and research the real Obama story of backstabbing in Illinois to underhand tactics in the primary to recent major opportunist flip flops. The Dems are not fit to govern the way they have behaved this year.

    August 27, 2008 at 11:35 pm |
  25. Pat_North Carolina

    Thank you Carl,
    Finally an intelligent assessment. I went from loving CNN to hating their obsession with the Clintons. I wanted to scream, "this is not about the Clintons!'" Tuesday they actually went to commercial at the beginning of the keynote speech! Your perception and perspective is refreshing. I love how the whole convention has been all-inclusive building to what should be an awesome crescendo. Most of the reporters are missing the essence of "change" and the historic symbolism. "We the people", are about to embark on a great journey to reclaim our inheritance.

    August 27, 2008 at 11:34 pm |
  26. mckenzie

    Kudos to the Clintons for showing character and integrity in doing what's best for America. Barack Obama has once again proven to me that he can work miracles! He is the ultimate uniter. He was able to create a high-impact, positive convention that was supposed to be a disaster by all predictions. He ran the best organized campaign in history. He has already improved America's favorablility ratings internationally. An amazing American and proud to have him represent us. Obama '08/'12.

    August 27, 2008 at 11:30 pm |
  27. carrieinSterling, Va

    John Kerry and Joe Biden could learn a thing or two from the Clintons about class and loyalty. Their attacks on John McCain made me sick. Too think the John McCain stood up for John Kerry when he was swiftboated-and now he is swiftboating McCain. That is dishonorable-and I don't ever want to hear that blow-hard Biden refer to McCain as his "friend" he is a partisan hack who doesn't deserve to be in McCain's company. Discusting-and a big turn off to independents!

    August 27, 2008 at 11:29 pm |
  28. Barbara in NC

    I've seen so many blogs – I'm finally going to say it

    Shut your mouth and open your ears. Prejudice has no place in this world. Not now. Not in the future.

    STOP THE HATE. Vote one way or the other. Just STOP THE HATE.

    August 27, 2008 at 11:26 pm |
  29. Fairfax Patriot

    I have been 100% for McCain, and watched the Clinton speeches the last two nights to pick them apart.

    I am astounded – what incredible messages, If 50% of what they are saying about Obama is true, he is the clear choice for America at this time (I'm not rich and I'm about to lose my home), but I want to hear what Obama has to say tomorrow night – Republican bashing or aggressive solutions...???

    August 27, 2008 at 11:26 pm |
  30. Chris in Marietta, GA

    I voted for Bush twice (I'm sorry). I will vote for Obama in 2008. I believe that we do need to fundamentally change the direction and tone in our country. Second, I think Obama with a strong democratic congress will make many of the necessary changes (i.e., universal healthcare, etc.) to strengthen our country for years to come.

    As for McCain it's pretty simple. There are three reasons not to vote for McCain:

    1. He's too damn old (come on, he's older than Reagan)
    2. He was wrong about Iraq, and continues to be a follower (not a leader)
    3. He doesn't understand the economy, hell he doesn't even get the internet and the important role technology plays in our world today.

    Last, I'm tired of seeing the GOP 'talk' about a big tent only to parade a bunch of white men over 50 as "our" representatives. It's time to send Bush-Cheney-McCain packing (bye, bye)!

    August 27, 2008 at 11:22 pm |
  31. Jason

    When are we going to hear the democrats remind America of Hurricanr Katrina and how Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction?

    August 27, 2008 at 11:21 pm |
  32. John

    I love how George Bush is blamed for all the problems in America when the House and Senate have been controlled by the Democrats. Democrats are one thing, Radicals are something different. Obama is a radical with radical affiliations, no core values, and no true opinions. Pelosi and Reed are the best the Democrats have to offer in the House and Senate.

    Higher taxes, more government control and more spending have never been a solution to economic problems and never will.

    I now kind of wish Hillary would have beat Obama because this guy is scary. More of the same will be far better than a democracy turned to socialism destroying all the fundamental principles this country was founded on.

    August 27, 2008 at 11:21 pm |
  33. Albert Rodriguez

    Joe Biden... knocked it out of the park!! He spoke the language of the American people and appealed to the average Joe not the political pundits. It was simple language. It is what average American's understand contrary to what the pundits say. Biden knows this and the pundits are over analyzing!

    August 27, 2008 at 11:21 pm |
  34. Tl.Los angeles

    It is very great convention. I am not registred democrat. But I loved all what was said at the convention. Bill Clinton , John Kerry,, etc...It was amazing.
    I will vote for Barak Obama and Joe Biden. They are the people I wanted to see them at the white house. Good job demcorats

    August 27, 2008 at 11:15 pm |
  35. Ron

    "Bill and Hillary Clinton have saved Obama" – how can a speech save someone? How would they have even been allowed to speak unless they support Obama? These conventions are like watching a sports event where everyone already knows the outcome. A bunch of cheering over nothing, a bunch of free network TV time. And now tomorrow night we get to see the prince riding his horse thru Mile High to the ooohs and aaahs of 75,000 kool-aid drinkers, a large percentage of whom are voting for Obama just to feel politically correct. People act like this guy is a savior yet his rhetoric has no substance.

    August 27, 2008 at 11:12 pm |
  36. chris

    We're doing a great job uniting. The Democratic party is getting stronger and stronger and I think the Republicans are starting to really panic again. All of us... Hillary, Bill, and all supporters together will make sure Obama becomes the next President of the United States!

    Obama-Biden 08!

    August 27, 2008 at 11:11 pm |
  37. sf94127

    Obama has been running for President for almost 2 years; it may be greater then 2 years.

    He has wasted time because he ran this "change" campaign strategy to make HRC look obsolete. It worked enough to barely win.

    Looks like Obama wants to still run on platitudes and talk about how he is personally being smeared.

    Obama is running on empty.

    August 27, 2008 at 11:09 pm |
  38. Jefferson

    It is refreshing to read a thoughtful, considered piece of journalism. This election has revealed all of the worst aspects of our media–especially the constant absorption with petty, frivolous pseudo-scandals and the constant searching for "gotcha" moments. That is not journalism, it's sensationalism. In such an important election, people deserve better. Both candidates have put forward plenty of details about their policies and their plans. It's the media's job to analyze and ask questions, and help tell the public what we need to know.

    August 27, 2008 at 11:08 pm |
  39. Mark

    I'm not a democrat, but Obama should have chosen Hillary. She had great support throughout the country and would have been a excellent VP candidate. The past 2 years of a democrat controlled Congress have really sucked... higher gas prices, pathetic illegal immigration policies, slumping economy, and many other problems. Think twice about voting a democratic ticket come November!

    August 27, 2008 at 11:06 pm |
  40. steve in k.c.

    J.C. in L.A. makes a good point...the Clintons look like the leaders.

    For everyone who thinks Obama is "in charge" of all this, needs to splash some water on their faces. Every move he makes is a "chump" move. Picking Biden was a chicken move. Going to Afganastan and play basketball with black soldiers was pointless. And giving a speech in Berlin about German history against Soviet oppression was downright bizarre. Incidently, 2 weeks after his slap in the face to the Old Soviet Union, Russia displays their military might in Georgia. Obama has the foresight of a teenager. The kind of mentallity which dares to test things. His arrogance of being able to handle things, makes him cavelier...and therefore dangerous. Cause and effect is not just some experiment done in a test tube. It is real, and has dire reprecussions.

    August 27, 2008 at 11:01 pm |
  41. Natalie

    I don't know how people are still divided between Hillary camp and Obama camp. Let's focus now, which direction our country is going? Those independent voters who were Hillary supporters, and now are going to vote for McCain just because he's a better man than Obama, how do they define him as a better man? It doesn't matter who will be the president, Obama, Hillary, McCain, Edwards, or others, the next American president should be someone who can lead us to better future than where we are now...

    August 27, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  42. veronica


    From what planet do you think the rest of the "thinking world" comes from.
    You say what it is that you want to see and by any other definition that's how faith operates.
    That I can respect.
    But, Sen. Obama has NOT persuaded me and the masses that he has anything but his own "self interests" in mind. (Hmmm.. reminds me of Bill Clinton). I watched the Saddleback FOrum with great interest and Sen. Obama's display left me FULLY convinced that he does not have "the goods."

    I think that Sen. Obama has more interest in being the first African American president then he does in being my president.

    No thanks.
    Unimpressed in Hawai‘i

    August 27, 2008 at 10:52 pm |
  43. Ross

    What people seem to be forgetting is that the president, in most cases, holds very little actual decision making power, it largely belongs to the houses. So if you are complaining about any number of a series of things that you believe are wrong, take a look at the senate and house of representatives. They are the individuals who pass the majority of legislation, regardless of whose signature is on it. In particular for a party supposed to be protecting the rights of the people, the warantless wire tapping went through with nary a scratch, including the vote from Obama. George may have signed it, but it passed both houses first.

    August 27, 2008 at 10:52 pm |
  44. asdfasd

    Angela (6th commentator from the top), you and many other ignorant Americans would do well to actually listen to what a candidate says, or read the full text of the statement, not just the soundbites. Obviously guns and religions aren't all people such as you cling to. In this day an age of lack of intellectual curiosity, soundbites can be added to that list.

    August 27, 2008 at 10:51 pm |
  45. ed

    hillary said and done what was expected of her and that makes me proud. what dosen't is the delegation that supported her caved in to the politically correct way of doing things in washinton and not supporting her at the nomination count, it is ovious to me that that was a socialistic monmination and not a democracy in action. just some more of politisions being politisions. don't get me wrong history was made today and that was a great thing, but i don't place my vote on history, race, gender or party, i base it on who as an american i think will do the best job, and with the 2 remaining candidates, although hillary and bill done there best to convince me, my vote has to go to mccain. Hillary in 2012.

    August 27, 2008 at 10:51 pm |
  46. lampe

    Carl; Please do us a big favor, and stop writing trash about The Clintons. You reporters,or newspeople, or whatever the hell you are, are only doing this to keep the tension in the party. you make it so The Clintons are damned if they don't help Obama, and damned if they do. It is now Obama's turn to be a man and stand on his own two feet. It will be Obama and only Obama, who wins or loses The White House. It's his job, to make people want to vote for him. Not Sen. or Pres. Clinton, not anyone else. People are not voting for Michelle, or the kids, or the dog they might get. God do us all a favor and write stories, only about Obama and McCain.

    August 27, 2008 at 10:48 pm |
  47. aa

    Mccain -> McSame -> McInsane –> McShame

    August 27, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  48. Liv

    I think that Clintons are so much generous to Obama, that he should be thanking them for long time. His campaign insulted Mr. President Clinton too much, they insulted Hillary so many times, and both gave him their support. If he will not show any respect and gratitude, he is not what he is trying to sell.
    Clinton is wonderful, magical person. I cannot use different word to describe him. Hillary was so radiant, and smart, and wonderful. They raised this absolutely amazing Chelsea....

    Obamas have a lot to learn. They are coming with many issues on their backs already, be it class, be it politeness and respect to female candidate, respect to people, be it the real readiness to lead and make fast and right decisions. They need to learn to genuinely love other people of all races and classes. All this hype was rather hurting them than helping in my eyes. They have these 2 adorable girls, they do care for them, they need to protect them more = not to expose them too much to public....

    Clinton has such a charisma, such a elegance in his behavior, how he greets people, women, men. He has the highest class. So is Hillary. And Chelsea is such a sweetheart, angel.

    On the end, if Obama elected, I only hope he will make it well, he will be fair to all, he will care for all, no discriminations, I hope he will be able to raise this country back to better, and protect us all.... quite difficult task....

    August 27, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  49. Mark

    I too am stunned and amazed at how well the convention is going! There are still a few Hillary stragglers out there that will not accept what the Clinton's themselves have...Barak Obama is the nominee and we need to elect him...period! But they must know in their heart that they are denying the truth...and denying that they also can take the initiative to learn more of what it is they say they don't know about Obama. Be honest with yourself...and listen to Hillary, we all respect her just as much as you who supported her in the primary...now let's move on united!

    This is the time, now, to win back what is ours with someone new. Someone who inspires you with hope, not someone who will try to control your thoughts with fear like the current crew in power.

    And now, the Republicans have put forth an old man who can't even check his own email and are expecting him to make the bold changes necessary for our survival? Paaaallllleeeeeessssseeeee!!! He'll be babblin' like Reagan did at the end of his illustrious 2nd term...senile with the wife running the place! Geeze!

    Sorry, got to call it as I see it...and electing someone who requires a nap every day is not my idea of the best chance for change!


    August 27, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  50. jerrry

    All those women that are angry at Obama because Hillary did not win. Will it make any sense to vote for Bushccain after eight years of struggle?. If an african american can win the nomination a women can also be nominated. Please ladies wait your turn and vote for change.

    August 27, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
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