Obama doesn't have enough experience...but what constitutes "enough?"

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by D_Kaye Throttlebottom, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. D_Kaye Throttlebottom

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    June 24, 2008, 7:10 am
    Political Wisdom: Obama Really Is Experienced

    Alan Ehrenhalt
    , writing as a special guest columnist for Newsweek, argues that we shouldn’t dismiss or denigrate the most important piece of Sen. Barack Obama’s political resume, his considerable time in the Illinois state legislature. While not refuting that Sen. John McCain has more experience, Ehrenhalt writes: “But here’s something I bet you didn’t know: If Obama becomes president, he will have spent more time serving as a state legislator (eight years) than anyone who has occupied the White House since Abraham Lincoln

    And that counts for something: “During the years that Obama served in Springfield, 1997-2005, he was forced to wrestle with the minutiae of health-care policy, utility deregulation, transportation funding, school aid, and a host of other issues that are vitally important to America’s coming years, but that U.S. senators are usually able to dispose of with a quick once-over…. And perhaps most important, there is simply more personal contact across the aisle than there is in Congress. Legislatures have grown more partisan in the past decade, as all of American politics has. But in most state capitols, the wall of partisan separation is nowhere near as high as it is in Washington.”

    Sen. John McCain, in endorsing a resumption of offshore oil drilling, is making a “calculated gamble that high gas prices have trumped voters’ desire to protect the environment,” write Cathleen Decker and Michael Finnegan in the Los Angeles Times. McCain has sided with the GOP establishment “on a hugely symbolic issue that has long helped motivate the independent voters whose support he needs to claim the White House.”

    The move is unpopular in big parts of California, and with Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, with whom McCain is to appear on an environmental panel Tuesday, Decker and Finnegan write. But there’s a trade-off: “Political analysts, including Republicans, said McCain’s stance suggested a trade-off — winning votes in key Midwest states on the issue at the cost of losing them in California. ‘McCain is essentially conceding what would have been an uphill fight in California in order to strengthen his opportunities in states like Michigan and Ohio,’ said Dan Schnur, a Republican consultant who worked for McCain in 2000. He added: ‘Whether this plays in Santa Barbara is much less important than how it plays in Columbus, Ohio.’”

    Obama’s decision to forgo public financing was certainly an opportunistic one, writes The Washington Post’s E. J. Dionne. But “the question is whether it will mark the end of campaign finance reform or instead remind us that even good reforms need to be reformed, or else they wither and die,” Dionne writes. There are lessons to draw from Obama’s decision, for example “we do know that special-interest money will not go away. We also know that until Congress allowed the system to fall out of date, public financing worked. What’s needed is a new system, one that responds to new circumstances.” Reforming such a system means updating “outdated spending limits,” and sealing “legal loopholes for supposedly independent groups and parties.”

    So here’s a touchy topic that both sides of the aisle have flubbed: what the political effect of a terrorist attack would be between now and the election, writes ABC News’ Jake Tapper. The most recent person to insensitively address the issue was McCain aide Charlie Black, who said an attack in the U.S. would spur “a big advantage” politically for McCain. But Sen. Hillary Clinton essentially said the same thing in August 2007. The thing is, as crass as both their comments were, they’re pretty accurate. “Black’s comments were less carefully phrased than Clinton’s, clearly, but the general idea is the same: national security is an area where Republicans have an advantage, and a terrorist attack — God forbid — would make that issue more compelling in the minds of voters. Of course, how one discusses such issues is crucial.”
     
    #1 D_Kaye Throttlebottom, Jun 24, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2008
  2. Trinity

    Trinity New Member

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    Umm....No. Obama's time as an Illinois State Senator leaves much to be desired...

    When Obama documents his experience on issues such as Health Care, and Poverty, he is misleading. His only reference prior to 2005, is as State Senator in Springfield. It is an experience circumscribed by the legislative year of 2003-04-
    During his seventh and final year in the state Senate , Obama’s stats soared. He sponsored a whopping 26 bills passed into law — including many he now cites in his presidential campaign when attacked as inexperienced.
    Prior to 2002, Obama was a complete no-body among the country’s 5,000 state legislators. A water boy, at best. One day God decided to make him a a US Senator/President, and had the chief of the Illinois Democratic party, which had just won majority in the house for the first time in an eon, give Obama everyone else’s bills to pass under his soon to become famous 0-brand. Legislation which had been worked on for 20 years, by party stalwarts, handed over to Obama, just like that, for the poaching.

    Sounds far fetched? No less far fetched than the astonishing way Obama got his Illinois seat in the first place (on that, in my next post, although you all know about it)
    The evidence is trickling in. And mark my words, it will make headlines sooner than later.
    So here is what we have so far. According to Houston journalist Todd Spivak, who knew Obama back in 2000 when neither had money or recognition,
    Republicans controlled the Illinois General Assembly for six years of Obama’s seven-year tenure. Each session, Obama backed legislation that went nowhere; bill after bill died in committee. During those six years, Obama, too, would have had difficulty naming any legislative ­achievements. [Spivak]
    Precisely the difficulty Obama is having. Edward McClelland, a writer at Salon, claims to know Obama going back to his time in Springfield. He reports, in a Salon piece, what Obama’s peers though of him as a State legislator:
    Obama…did have a reputation as an ineffectual legislator. [McClelland]
    Some of his colleagues saw him as a self-righteous goo-goo who thought he was too cool for the chamber and who disdained the hard work of digging up votes. [McClelland]
    The reason for this failure? Arrogance. As a long term observer of legislation activity in Springfield observed
    “Barack is a very intelligent man. He hasn’t had a lot of success here [in the Illinois Senate], and it could be because he places himself above everybody. He likes people to know he went to Harvard. [McClelland]
    Likes people to know he went to Harvard? Arrogance. Little has changed since those humble years (viz second earliest poll)
    Then, in 2002, the ineffectual and arrogant Obama had a sudden change - and it had little to do with his failed Congressional bid.
    in 2002, dissatisfaction with President Bush and Republicans on the national and local levels led to a Democratic sweep of nearly every lever of Illinois state government. For the first time in 26 years, Illinois Democrats controlled the governor’s office as well as both legislative chambers. [Spivak]
    The white, race-baiting, hard-right Republican Illinois Senate Majority Leader James “Pate” Philip was replaced by Emil Jones Jr., a gravel-voiced, dark-skinned African-American known for chain-smoking cigarettes on the Senate floor. [Spivak]
    Remember that name, Emil Jones, Chief of Illinois Democrats - and an honest to earth Chicago politician. In a few months, maybe even weeks, it will make national headlines. It is also the name central to our story. He calles himself Obama’s godfather:
    Jones, 71, describes himself as Obama’s “godfather” and once said: “He [Obama] feels like a son to me.” [Times of London]
    Feels like his son? And you thought his daddy was a Kenyan bigamist, Indonesian bacon loving Muslim, and his uncle a demented hate-monger?
    Of all of Obama’s daddies, this one has treated him the best:
    Jones had served in the Illinois Legislature for three decades. He represented a district on the Chicago South Side not far from Obama’s. He became Obama’s ­kingmaker. [Spivak]
     
  3. Trinity

    Trinity New Member

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    Several months before Obama announced his U.S. Senate bid, Jones called his old friend Cliff Kelley, a former Chicago alderman who now hosts the city’s most popular black call-in radio ­program.-
    - [Kelley] recollected the private conversation as follows:
    “He said, ‘Cliff, I’m gonna make me a U.S. Senator.‘”[said Jones]
    “Oh, you are? Who might that be?” [said Kelley]
    “Barack Obama.” [said Jones] [Spivak]
    I’m gonna make me a U.S Senator… Barack Obama. That’s what Jones, the head of the Chicago Senate said in 2002. How was he gonna do this? Before I get to it, here is how the Times tells the story of Jones’ becoming Obama’s godfather, believe it at your own discretion
    Long before Barack Obama launched his campaign for the White House, when he was considering a run for the US Senate in 2003, he paid an intriguing visit to a former Chicago sewers inspector who had risen to become one of the most influential African-American politicians in Illinois.

    “You have the power to elect a US senator,” Obama told Emil Jones, Democratic leader of the Illinois state senate [aka sewer inspector]. Jones looked at the ambitious young man smiling before him and asked, teasingly: “Do you know anybody I could make a US senator?”
    According to Jones, Obama replied: “Me.” It was his first, audacious step in a spectacular rise from the murky political backwaters of Springfield, the Illinois capital. [Times of London]
    Now “according to Jones” is coming from the pen of New York based journalist writing for the Times of London-a daily no less respectable in the English speaking world, than the New Times or Washington Post. Still- knowing politicians, and especially one’s with sewer inspector in their resume… tangent, sorry - your discretion. Sounds too “Godfather” scripted to me.
    But what follows, is not some fantasy, as it involves more than just Jones and Obama, but unhappy participants who were sidelined by Jones in his attempt to make Obama a U.S. Senator. Participants who will no doubt talk more, given the chance by rare anti-Obama journalists (all in the future, mark my words).
    Jones and Obama tied the not in a few fateful meetings, and Jones basically passed all good legislation Obama’s way. That’ was how a mediocre, arrogant, and ineffectual state legislator, would rise to become the second black man in the US Senate. According to Spivak:
    Jones appointed Obama sponsor of virtually every high-profile piece of legislation, angering many rank-and-file state legislators who had more seniority than Obama and had spent years championing the bills. [Spivak]
    Not everyone was happy with this, especially those who owned some of the legislation Obama was getting
    I took all the beatings and insults and endured all the racist comments over the years from nasty Republican committee chairmen,” State Senator Rickey Hendon, the original sponsor of landmark racial profiling and videotaped confession legislation yanked away by Jones and given to Obama, complained to me at the time. “Barack didn’t have to endure any of it, yet, in the end, he got all the credit.
    … no one wants to carry the ball 99 yards all the way to the one-yard line, and then give it to the halfback who gets all the credit and the stats in the record book.
    That’s right Barry-0 fans, that “racial profiling and videotaped confession” Obama loves to brag about. Now you know, how it got on his resume. While not a very ethical practice, it
    It was a stunning achievement that started him on the path of national politics — and he couldn’t have done it without Jones
    [it] helped raise Obama’s profile by having him craft legislation addressing the day-to-day tragedies that dominated local news ­headlines.
    For instance. Obama sponsored a bill banning the use of the diet supplement ephedra, which killed a Northwestern University football player, and another one preventing the use of pepper spray or pyrotechnics in nightclubs in the wake of the deaths of 21 people during a stampede at a Chicago nightclub. Both stories had received national attention and extensive local coverage. [Spivak]
    Spivak insists this isn’t all fantasy on the part of a former Sewer inspector
    I [Spivak] spoke to Jones earlier this week and he confirmed his conversation with Kelley, adding that he gave Obama the legislation because he believed in Obama’s ability to negotiate with Democrats and Republicans on divisive issues.
    Yes, we have heard that one before somewhere- about Obama’s ability to negotiate with people. Yes - hear it all the time- but have yet to see it in action. I am sure he really needed to negociate a great deal, especially as his party had absolute control for the first time in 26 years.
    How many of Obama’s peers were aware of Jones’ ambitions with his young godson? That remains to be investigated, but observers noted
    “I just can’t emphasize enough how much this guy became respected, and how transformative it was. By 2004, he just had this aura about him.” [McClelland]
    Said one observer of Springfield politics, adding
    On the state Senate floor, Miller saw a more focused, more collegial Obama, who began to take his work — and his fellow legislators — seriously.[McClelland]
    Take note, in 2004, Obama began to take his work seriously. Um… isn’t 2004 that the year Barry-0 ran for US Senate… made his Wright-dictated speech, republished his Dreams From My Father, and first began blushing at talk of eventually becoming president?
    Let it sink in deeper, in his last year in the State legislature, in 2004, Obama began to take his work seriously.
    Did observers suspect it was all a set-up, Chicago Style con-politics? Just a wackjob with massive pay-off, and minimum effort. I can just see the Craiglist posting:
    Looking for fresh, African-American face, must know how to pose, preach, and seemingly “negociating” skills a plus. Ambitions a must. Leave Humility and scruples, at sewage lid.
    And in case you don’t get it, godfather has ways:
    At one point during Obama’s 2003 Senate campaign, Jones set out to woo two African-American politicians miffed by Obama’s presumption and ambition. One of them, Rickey “Hollywood” Hendon, a state senator, had scoffed that Obama was so ambitious he would run for “king of the world” if the position were vacant.
    When Jones secured the two men’s support, Obama asked his mentor how he had pulled it off. “I made them an offer,” Jones said in mock-mafioso style. “And you don’t want to know.”
    Having finally found a daddy that can deliver, Obama may have sincerely preferred not knowing how far Jones was willing to go for his godson. Currently Jones is filibustering all attempts to introduce anti-corruption legislation in Illinois while swimming in millions of Federal dollars coming straight out of Obama’s work on the Hill.
    I am sure, sooner than later the media are going to get their heads out of the sand, and begin doing some digging. Until then, consider this post further proof that Obama not only lacks the experience required of a presidential candidate, but has an oversupply of political DNA.
    Most of the legislation he lists on the experience portions of his website, predating his 2005 work in the US Senate, originates around 2003-4. In itself, this should have been noted a year ago, and transformed into a national issue. Learning as we are, that even the experience of this one year, was grossly contrived, is simply flabbergasting. Barack Obama, is about as honest, ethical, and forthcoming, as a slug. Everything you touch on him - exposes him as a sham and phony.
     
  4. Industrialsize

    Staff Member Moderator Gold Member

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  5. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    Yeah, well, JFK was a young and inexperienced senator but people still seem to recall his legacy with some fondness.
     
  6. Skull Mason

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    I still don't get the whole JFK legacy thing- didn't he get killed barely two years into his presidency with a lack of any major legislative changes? Two years is hardly enough time to scrutinize how good a job of running a country one can do. Hell, look at the current one, things have gone pretty far downhill since his first two years in office.
     
    #6 Skull Mason, Jun 24, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2008
  7. marleyisalegend

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    His legacy was more based on his personality and potential, he didn't even complete a full term, and some unrelated events that transpired in years where he would've been the president may have turned the tide.
     
  8. D_Portelay Porquesword

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    Let's hope that if Obama gets elected, he doesn't have the bad back that JFK had. ;-)
     
  9. JustAsking

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    JFK is revered for his ability to inspire and unite a nation of people. The space program is a good example of that. I am not sure that people revere JFK for specific policies as much as they do his ability to inspire.

    As for experience, it doesn't seem to be as much of an advantage as you might think. Consider the fact that GWB's cabinet, has run the show much more completely than any other president's cabinet has in the past. Consider that they have had literally decades of combined experience at the cabinet level working for almost every president since Nixon.

    One would think that that kind of experience would give them an advantage. But no, the net result is one of most disatrous administrations in history.
     
  10. marleyisalegend

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    Why would he have a bad back? He's a top. Oops, I mean his wife says he's a top. It's not like I'm bottoming for him as we speak.

    *ooch*

    *ouch*

    harder, HARDER! Oh YES Mister Future President! Oh yes! Come into my cabinet! Oh yea, sign the veto, sign the veto, oh God I'm about to legislate! I'm about to legislate!
     
  11. D_Portelay Porquesword

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    You know the stories. Kennedy used to sit in the bath tub and make love to Marylin Monroe (because of his bad back) while his actor friend Peter Lorey took pics that the FBI apparently confiscated from her home when she died.
     
  12. marleyisalegend

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    Whoever bought that video probably wanks to it everyday. Historian my ass.
     
  13. exwhyzee

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    Obviously, Americans don't care much about political track record nor do they care much about experience of those they elect as their presidents.

    At the end of 2012, I assure you half the country will be pissed off, and half will be satisfied, in the performance of whomever is elected.
     
  14. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    What any president needs is good advisers. What a good president needs is the wisdom to know when to do what they suggest and when to go his own way.
     
  15. invisibleman

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    Then, Bush...wasn't he supposed to have all this experience? And was elected twice. :eek: And look at the mess he made. :cool:

    Maybe America needs a thinking man like Obama.
     
  16. sargon20

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    I couldn't have said it better.

    A cabinet full of experience dating back to the 60's and look what we got. Experience has been rendered meaningless. But actually I think they got just what they wanted. Cheney seems pretty happy. He was the defacto president for the last 8 years. I think the experience they brought to us us how to lie, lie repeatedly and a real talent in making everyone believe the lie.
     
  17. No_Strings

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    Enough to make you shut the fuck up about it.
     
  18. faceking

    faceking Active Member

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    Eloquent, as always.
     
  19. B_jacknapier

    B_jacknapier New Member

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    All JFK really achieved, that I can think of, is getting us off the silver standard.
     
  20. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    JFK did settle the Cuban Missile Crisis without getting us all blown to bits. No matter his party or what I think of his other policies, I have to give him (and the Soviets) credit for that.
     
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