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Election 2008 Barack Obama Announces Candidacy 2007

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#1 MuseZack

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 01:14 PM

The text of his announcement speech can be found here:

http://www.barackoba...ack_obam_11.php

Some excerpts:


All of us know what those challenges are today - a war with no end, a dependence on oil that threatens our future, schools where too many children aren't learning, and families struggling paycheck to paycheck despite working as hard as they can. We know the challenges. We've heard them. We've talked about them for years.

What's stopped us from meeting these challenges is not the absence of sound policies and sensible plans. What's stopped us is the failure of leadership, the smallness of our politics - the ease with which we're distracted by the petty and trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our preference for scoring cheap political points instead of rolling up our sleeves and building a working consensus to tackle big problems.

For the last six years we've been told that our mounting debts don't matter, we've been told that the anxiety Americans feel about rising health care costs and stagnant wages are an illusion, we've been told that climate change is a hoax, and that tough talk and an ill-conceived war can replace diplomacy, and strategy, and foresight. And when all else fails, when Katrina happens, or the death toll in Iraq mounts, we've been told that our crises are somebody else's fault. We're distracted from our real failures, and told to blame the other party, or gay people, or immigrants.

...

Let's be the generation that ends poverty in America. Every single person willing to work should be able to get job training that leads to a job, and earn a living wage that can pay the bills, and afford child care so their kids have a safe place to go when they work. Let's do this.

Let's be the generation that finally tackles our health care crisis. We can control costs by focusing on prevention, by providing better treatment to the chronically ill, and using technology to cut the bureaucracy. Let's be the generation that says right here, right now, that we will have universal health care in America by the end of the next president's first term.

...

Most of all, let's be the generation that never forgets what happened on that September day and confront the terrorists with everything we've got. Politics doesn't have to divide us on this anymore - we can work together to keep our country safe. I've worked with Republican Senator Dick Lugar to pass a law that will secure and destroy some of the world's deadliest, unguarded weapons. We can work together to track terrorists down with a stronger military, we can tighten the net around their finances, and we can improve our intelligence capabilities. But let us also understand that ultimate victory against our enemies will come only by rebuilding our alliances and exporting those ideals that bring hope and opportunity to millions around the globe.

But all of this cannot come to pass until we bring an end to this war in Iraq. Most of you know I opposed this war from the start. I thought it was a tragic mistake. Today we grieve for the families who have lost loved ones, the hearts that have been broken, and the young lives that could have been. America, it's time to start bringing our troops home. It's time to admit that no amount of American lives can resolve the political disagreement that lies at the heart of someone else's civil war. That's why I have a plan that will bring our combat troops home by March of 2008. Letting the Iraqis know that we will not be there forever is our last, best hope to pressure the Sunni and Shia to come to the table and find peace.

Finally, there is one other thing that is not too late to get right about this war - and that is the homecoming of the men and women - our veterans - who have sacrificed the most. Let us honor their valor by providing the care they need and rebuilding the military they love. Let us be the generation that begins this work.


I've been following Obama's career since my sister in Illinois worked on his primary campaign in the 2004 Senate race.  I've been wary of the hype surrounding him, but the more I've seen him and read about him, the more I've come to think he might be the real deal.  The leader who can charismatically articulate core progressive principles that the Democrats have been waiting for since Bobby Kennedy was killed.   For now at least, he's my guy for the primary season.  Any Obama-related reactions, positive or negative, from anyone else so far?
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#2 DWF

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 01:44 PM

Wow! that's some speech. :cool:
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#3 Bobby

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 01:56 PM

I like what he has to say but how much of it would ever actually come to fruition?  He can be Mr. Smith Goes to Washington with bushy tailed optimism but what's the likelyhood what he says would get done?  I like him and Hillary both but I'd like to see who they have for running mates too.  I think his inexperiece will work against him and the fact that he's black.  There are a lot of racists still out there that will be galvanized if they really think he stands a chance of winning.  I voted for Harold Ford Jr. and would vote for Obama if he got the nomination.

Edited by Life for Rent, 11 February 2007 - 02:50 PM.


#4 Spectacles

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 02:39 PM

So far, I think he's extraordinary. In addition to being brilliant and articulate (and clean!  :rolleyes: ), he strikes me as the "real deal" too.

I watched Hillary and Edwards and Obama all speaking before the DNC winter meeting. Hillary was like a groomed poodle, very polished. Edwards said all the right things, but blinked incessantly and came across like a skillful trial lawyer. Both of them worked the crowd well and hit their marks on their rehearsed applause lines.

Then Obama spoke. He just spoke to the crowd. He didn't preen, pose, grin, gesticulate wildly, direct the crowd to cheer here or jeer there. He just spoke to them. He talked about the need to conduct politics differently, the need to fight not one another but our own cynicism. He seemed earnest and humble and driven by something greater than personal ambition.

The camera panned the crowd and every single person was still and attentive. When they did applaud, it wasn't as kids at a pep rally responding to well-rehearsed cheers, but as adults who were moved to applaud from within. His dignity was reflected in the crowd. It was truly remarkable.

I think he can do much to repair our image abroad and heal our divisions at home. It's still way too early to know for sure, but so far, so good.
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#5 MuseZack

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 03:14 PM

^^^

It's been interesting to me that a lot of the Democratic activist base grumbles about Obama, in particular the inclusiveness of his language.  After the nasty political climate of the last decade and a half, they seem to want a candidate that really sticks it to the other guy rhetorically.  "Fighting back" seems to be the primary virtue in their world.  But I don't think they get that while it's always good to stand up for yourself (and look how quickly and effectivelly the Obama campaign hit back against the disgusting "Obama's a crypto-muslim who went to a radical madrassah" right wing smear), you don't win elections by being a snarling attack dog.  The bulk of the American electorate wants a candidate who projects confidence and optimism and makes them feel good about themselves and their country and its possibilities.  You let your surrogates and subordinates stick the stiletto between the other guy's ribs.  ;)
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#6 Kimmer

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 03:35 PM

First ... my humorous response:

Quote

Letting the Iraqis know that we will not be there forever is our last, best hope ...
The man scores big points from me since he's obviously a B5 fan.  :D

Serious concerns:
His speech is nice. His points are valid. He is a charismatic speaker. BUT ... as with all these politicians (on all sides of the fence) ... I still don't know HOW he plans on accomplishing things.

How do we end poverty? Put people to work?

How do we end our dependence on oil?

How do we fund and control universal health care?

How do we get the spiraling cost of medicine (which is totally obscene) under control?

Where does he stand on taxes and who and how much, etc?

How does he plan on bringing our combat troops home by March of 2008?

How does he plan on dealing with an enemy who has sworn to wipe us all off the face of the planet?


Obama said: Every single person willing to work should be able to get job

I ask: What about those who aren't willing to work and want the rest of us to take care of them? These people are a HUGE drain on local monies -- often taken care of based on federal laws that mandate the local governments take care of the problem, but the feds fail to provide the funding to cover this.


My other major concern is his LACK of any experience.

I'm willing to consider this guy, but I want to KNOW thing, not just HEAR things.

#7 MuseZack

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 03:51 PM

^^^

I truly don't get the lack of experience thing vis a vis Obama.  Before he was a senator, he spent 7 years in the Illinois state senate where he was widely praised as an effective legislator and a rising star by both parties.  And before that, he was a community organizer in the south side of Chicago.  He's spent literally his entire adult life in public service (or law school).  Just because he hasn't been nationally prominent for very long doesn't mean he lacks experience.
"Some day, after we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity,
We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire."
--Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

#8 Kimmer

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 04:10 PM

For me ... lack of experience ... translates to lack of experience in Washington. I had the same concern over several candidates in the past many years. I'm willing to ignore that if I could get answers to my other concerns. I'm still waiting for ANY candidate to answer those types of questions.

#9 Tricia

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 04:19 PM

View PostLife for Rent, on Feb 11 2007, 12:56 PM, said:

I like what he has to say but how much of it would ever actually come to fruition?  He can be Mr. Smith Goes to Washington with bushy tailed optimism but what's the likelyhood what he says would get done?  I like him and Hillary both but I'd like to see who they have for running mates too.  I think his inexperiece will work against him and the fact that he's black.  There are a lot of racists still out there that will be galvanized if they really think he stands a chance of winning.  I voted for Harold Ford Jr. and would vote for Obama if he got the nomination.


A lot of what politicians say on the campaign trail must always be taken with a grain of salt as you never know if they are saying is just what you want to hear or if their intentions are very real and just not achievable.

The inexperience at least on the national level may not hurt him....

As to the race issue....well, he is black.  But he is also bi-racial being the product of a Kenyan exchange student and a white mother.  In fact I am surprised (or maybe not) that his being biracial is not mentioned more in his press.  After all, his existence shows the true nature of the 'melting pot' that is America

But it can work against him too. As some folks will decree him to be not black enough.

(if you think that is silly, then consider the comments of that very nature that have been hurled at Oprah Winfrey)

Personally I am willing to listen and hear what he has to say.  

I don't consider anyone's gender, race or religion to be a factor to me.  Just tell me something that makes me feel confident that maybe this is someone who speaks to my concerns for our lives and country.  In other words, a candidate's words and actions will do more to sway my vote than what they look like.

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#10 Godeskian

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 04:33 PM

View PostPickles, on Feb 11 2007, 09:10 PM, said:

For me ... lack of experience ... translates to lack of experience in Washington.

Couldn't that be an advantage though, as well as a disadvantage? Just as he might not have much experience in Washington, he also hasn't had much of a chance yet to wallow in the muck that inhabits much of politics in Washington.

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#11 Kimmer

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 05:07 PM

View PostGodeskian, on Feb 11 2007, 01:33 PM, said:

View PostPickles, on Feb 11 2007, 09:10 PM, said:

For me ... lack of experience ... translates to lack of experience in Washington.

Couldn't that be an advantage though, as well as a disadvantage? Just as he might not have much experience in Washington, he also hasn't had much of a chance yet to wallow in the muck that inhabits much of politics in Washington.
True and it would be refreshing in many respects to have an unmucked ;) candidate.

Apparently Obama has always had high political aspirations:

(From wiki - so please correct if this is wrong)
1996: elected to the Illinois state senate
2000: unsuccessful run for the U.S. House of Representatives.
2002: won reelection to the Illinois state senate - running unopposed.
2004: ran for, and won, an open seat in the U.S. Senate.
2007: announces candidacy for the 2008 presidential election.

Setting all that aside ... as I said earlier (and this will be lost because of the issue of of experience):

View PostPickles, on Feb 11 2007, 01:10 PM, said:

I'm willing to ignore that if I could get answers to my other concerns. I'm still waiting for ANY candidate to answer those types of questions.


#12 Cardie

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 05:16 PM

The speech hits about every issue that's important to me and reflects my views.  I think he would be an extremely effective president as far as domestic policy goes.  What I do worry about is his international experience.  I'd want to see who's briefing him on foreign policy as the campaign season heats up.  As far as the race issue, he could either be hurt in that racist whites won't vote for a man of African heritage and African Americans descended from slaves and Civil Rights era struggles don't think he understands their history, or he could be embraced as a sort of Tiger Woods who transcends race for both sides.

He's speaking in my town on Friday, and I'm going to try to get in to hear him in person.

Pickles said:

I ask: What about those who aren't willing to work and want the rest of us to take care of them? These people are a HUGE drain on local monies -- often taken care of based on federal laws that mandate the local governments take care of the problem, but the feds fail to provide the funding to cover this
.

I was pleased that he mentioned universal health coverage and good day care.  Now whether we can afford both of those is a big if, but a large percentage of the "don't want to work" population can't afford to work.  If their incomes rise above a certain basic level, they lose Medicaid, may not get helath care through their low-paying service jobs, and need child care while they are on the job (something they don't have to pay for if they are home not working and being supported by us).  Of course to get all these ducks in a row in the right order and paid for--not to mention there actually being jobs for these people--is a huge task, but Obama at least is aware of all the pieces that are necessary.  As for any folks left over should all this be accomplished, then you have to kick them off public support if they truly won't work.

I think charisma really works in the general election and that Obama's biggest hurdles are the primaries.

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#13 Neptunian

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 05:35 PM

I just watched the announcement on his site and wow... they should clone this guy. He is definitely more of a leader than a politician and I think the biggest advantage of that is that he will have an easier time getting people to become more involved in politics instead of being put off by it. Few politicians have the practical experience in improving things, other than on paper, and few of them could sell that many people on such an expensive plan, but this guy just pulls it off effortlessly. As far as presidential candidates go, I don't think they get any better than this.  

Amazing, amazing guy. Any country would be lucky to have him.

#14 Spectacles

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 06:05 PM

By the way, Obama and his wife are going to be on 60 Minutes tonight:

http://www.cbsnews.c...in2456335.shtml

And here's a link to his website:

http://www.barackobama.com/
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#15 Themis

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 07:26 PM

I'm impressed by him; I'm impressed by what he has to say.

But anybody running can tell us what they'd like to do.  HOW do they plan to do it??  Are there any real proposals?  And if there are real proposals, how do they plan to get them through congress?   Those are the things usually left out of political speeches by every candidate.  

Lack of Washington experience doesn't bother me - we might be better off.  Lack of foreign experience doesn't bother me too much - a fresh eye is needed.  Who are his likely advisors with experience??  

The whole shebang isn't until November '08.  Lots of time to listen to everyone.
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#16 Kosh

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 03:57 PM

One of the better speakers to run in some time. I hope he takes full advantage of that talent. It could make the difference. It's not always what you say, but how you say it.
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#17 Zwolf

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 05:17 PM

I worry about his lack of experience and would rather he be a VP first, for the "training," but I'd still take a chance and vote for him against pretty much anybody the Republicans are fielding so far... espeically since McCain has been un-impressing me lately.  

Obama's also a wee bit religious for my taste, but I've resigned myself to the fact that we won't have an athiest president in my lifetime.  *sigh*

Other than that, I think it would be great to have a "communicator" as president again.  The dude makes some excellent speeches.

I still say he's the voice-twin for The Rock, from the WWE.  You close your eyes, you almost can't tell them apart... and that's a good thing, 'cuz The Rock is a so-so wrestler, but he's maybe the best promo guy who was ever in the business... :)

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#18 Spectacles

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 06:03 PM

Quote

Themis: Who are his likely advisors with experience??

Yeah, I really wish we could have a sense of who a presidential candidate might select to serve on his/her cabinet. But that doesn't happen.  

In many ways, the whole campaign thing is dance around being too specific about how one might implement programs. Notice that most candidates will leave themselves some wiggle room. And, really, I guess they have to. There are just too many variables to predict, too many compromises that have to be made. So we're largely left with general, sketchy, "this is what is important to me and I intend to work on it" stuff. Edwards, however, has a pretty detailed healthcare plan that he's rolling out.

Also, the devil's in the details. Opponents from both parties jump on them, rip 'em out of context, distort them. So the best-laid plans can become traps for the candidates.
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#19 Caretaker

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 06:52 PM

Any of my concerns are also due to his lack of national experience.  Don't get me wrong, the guy is great and has plenty of experience overall.  But I'd really love to see an Edwards/Obama ticket, and then have Obama run in four or eight years after Edwards finishes.
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#20 Captain Jack

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 09:36 PM

I can't believe how naiive you all are.  This guy will say anything to be President, they all will.  Don't be so eager to jump on the Obama parade wagon, you might not like what he's all about after all.
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