Barack Obama has a change of heart...

…or does he? Where’s Miss Cleo when you need her? Maybe we’ll have to wait for John Edward to tell us one day.

On Sunday’s Meet the Press, Tim Russert interviewed the eloquent and articulate State Senator from Illinois, and keynote speaker at this year’s Democratic convention in Boston. Mr. Russert, as he is prone to do, dug up something the Senator had said before, this time in 1996, regarding the Democratic convention in Chicago. Here’s what the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Mr. Obama telling its correspondent:

So, Russert noted, “150 donors gave $40 million dollars to this [Boston] convention. That’s worse than Chicago, using your standards,” and he asked, “Are you offended by that? And what message does that send the average voter?”

Obama replied, “I, it, it, you know, I, I think that politics, uh, and money, uh, are a problem in this, in this country, uh, for both parties. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. Uh, one of the things I’m proud about though is that when you look at John Kerry’s record, uh, what you know is here’s a person who is consistently voting on behalf of what he thinks is best for America and this country. Uh, I don’t think a convention changes that. Uh, I do think that the more we as Democrats encourage participation from people who, at this point, feel locked out of the process, the stronger we are. One of the strengths of our party has always been, uh, the fact that, uh, we are closer to the Average Joe, the guy who is trying to make a living, the guy who is trying to send his kids to college and pay his bills. And it, we are actively reaching those folks, and talking about the policies that we have, uh, to make this a stronger country, to make us more respected abroad. And I’m absolutely confident that we’ll do well in November.”


Okay, is there a psychic in the house? Or someone who speaks Politickese? What was Obama’s answer? Is he offended? And what message does it send?

He didn’t answer if he was offended, but he certainly said it was a problem, your attempt to make his answer sound more evasive by writing out every single glottal stop non-withstanding. He basically seemed to agree with his previous quotation without coming out and re-stating it, but then tried to further soften the blow by pointing to other factors that he thought made the Democratic party stand out from the Republican party. Not exactly forthright, but he certainly did address the question.

It was an evasive non-answer to an ambush. Russert asked a “gotcha” question implicitly applying a statement by Obama about a political reality within the context of 1996 (popular Dem incumbent Pres with little incentive to change policy platforms or do anything except generate funding for the party) to the vastly different context of the 2004 convention.

But it’s pretty easy to interpret “Politickese” if you recognize the interviewer’s dialect as well as his target’s:

Russert: [Paraphrased] “You were concerned about the little guy being shut out of the process 8 years ago. It looks like you’ve joined the rest of your party as an elitist bastard. True?”

Obama: [Paraphrased] “Jane, you ignorant slut… I don’t think me and the other bastards are neccessarily elitist. We’re better for everyone including Joe Sixpack, and we’re gonna win in November.”
What did you expect Obama to say, Lib? “Well, Tim, I guess we should turn down any donations larger than Joe Sixpack’s twelve bucks. After all, we don’t really need to win this election…”

So he thinks big money is a problem for both parties, but that while the Democrats have problems with big money they and their presumptive nominee act more in accordance with the average person without pots of money.

What exactly is the problem with this answer, other than it, like most answers given by politicians on talk shows, doesn’t really answer the question as asked? What exactly are you pitting here? Political double-talk? Why single out Obama for that? The corrosive effects of big money on government? Has Obama fed excessively at that particular trough? That his feelings on the subject may have changed over the course of eight years? Would you prefer politicians whose opinions are calcified?

Weak-ass rant.

xenophon41, where can I sign up for your closed-captioning service? :smiley:

Early Out: Select “CC: Politico/American” on your screen. (Only available in limited markets.)

Given that he still basically seems to agree with his previous views, where is the change of heart?

Here’s a Libectomied, cleaned up version.

What Apos said.

I was impressed by his performance on Meet The Press and look forward to watching how/what he does and says on Tuesday night.

I concur with most of the other posters. I do not recall the plethora of “uh’s”. The original OP made it sound like he was bumbling. Both my husband and I watched this interview and were impressed with his speaking ability. Although he was a little evasive, I felt his answer was pretty good. In sum, he said “look, it is a problem, everyone is doing it. However, I still think, no matter how much money is thrown around, the Democrats are still more in touch with the working class”.

He did not flip-flop, he simply has been forced to play the high stakes games that all national politicians must. If they did not have big fundraisers (since we will not pass compaign finance reform) then the political party who is willing to raise and spend more money will have an advantage.

I admire his comment from 1996 and I do not think a man, or woman, who must play the political “game” to achieve higher office is always corrupted by the negative sides of that game. As for this man, I do not know him, so only time will tell. But, since he has been chosen as one of the main speakers for the convention, there is a good chance we may see much more of him in the future.

Any time you want to make any politician look stupid, you catch them in an unscripted speech and put in all the um’s, uh’s, and stops.

“Fourscore and, um, seven, ah, years ago…”

Now where have I seen that before…

I think yours is an Equipoisoned version. :wink: And Russert’s questions remain unanswered. Is he offended? What message does it send?

False memory, I reckon. It was direct transcription from DVR.

You mean guys like Mark Pasquale?

Just curious, what living Democrat do you feel deserves a pitting and for what?

Are you suggesting that, because I think this particular pitting of this particualr Democrat is ridiculous and stupid, that I don’t think any Democrat should be pitted ever?

Because that would prove to me that you’re nutty as a fruitbat.

And I don’t need any further proof of that.

So, um, what living Democrat do you feel deserves a pitting and for what?

Misdirection. Just a guess (I’m sure Otto can speak for himself), but I believe the answer is, “Not this Democrat, and not for what you’ve pitted him for.” Like Otto said, “Weak-ass rant.”

Misdirection? :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: It was the original question I asked him. Oh, lordy, you leftists. I thought you were adademes. :smiley:

Y’know, just this weekend I cleaned up my bookmarks and documents folder, deleting Rumsfeld’s wonderful performance on Face the Nation. Something along the lines of:

Some answers to ambush questions really deserve Pit threads. Others don’t.


This was a standard december tactic, and it grew increasingly tiresome. You started this thread, pitting Obama. Others chimed in with their opinion that the pitting was unwarranted. Rather than defend your original proposition, you try to change the subject, and get all huffy when no one will take the bait. “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” Your challenge, “What living Democrat do believe deserves a pitting…” was manifestly not your original question. It was a lame attempt to redirect the thread. Pathetic.