Atomic Obama


Wow, an actual convention speech delivered with verve and held together with more than focus-group Silly Putty. Barack Obama's only mistake was one of inexperience: He played too much to the hall and not enough to the camera. TV America saw more of the sides of his head than his eyeballs.

But this guy clearly has a vision and intelligence, which makes you wonder why he would want to be a Senator.


NEXT: Carter Country, Or, Why Kerry Will Lose, Part XXV

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  1. respectful of the intelligence of his audience

    Now that’s praise by faint damnation!

  2. If Obama Baracka actually gets elected senator of Illinois I wonder how well he will take his orders from Jesse Jackson?

  3. Indeed, why he would want to be a Senator, and why he would want to be a DEMOCRAT.

  4. Great, another guy who’s good at wearing suits and making speeches. We really need another bullshitter to help fill up the Senate chamber, there’s so few of them already.

  5. He is a stirring speaker, without a doubt. I was entranced, even as I plainly saw that he was pandering to his audience, and clearly in support of all kinds of social welfare.

    The strongest part of his resume seems to be his family story. “My family was poor/interracial, but America gave me a chance. Now I want to make sure all of you get a chance too.” He will no doubt win a seat in the senate this year, so the nation will be seeing a lot more of him in the next decade or so. It remains to be seen if that story will carry him through the long haul.

  6. Some great imagery. “A skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.”

  7. First Black Prez??

  8. No, Clinton was first back prez, he said so himself.

  9. Toni Morrison and others said it for him, monkey. He referred to them.

  10. i’d be wary of him. there’s certainly a massive amount of unwarranted hype around him now — but men like him are the type who could, with a great deal of luck, command an audience so rabid as to make him a threat to end what remains of peaceful republic here. the big stage will broaden his demotic message, his ethic is nearly as jacobin as the neofascists in power now, and his power as an telegenic orator is considerable.

  11. I thought the speech was excellent. He did throw a few bones to individualism and personal responsibility, though it may be just to water down a more collectivist viewpoint. I liked his line about federal agents poking around libraries..

    His personal story is very interesting. I think he could represent the rugged self-sufficiency of his parents, which sets him apart from the typical whiney liberal statist. I could be wrong..

  12. “Politics is the art of making your selfish desires seem like the national interest.”
    — Thomas Sowell

  13. “Politics is the art of making your selfish desires seem like the national interest.”
    — Thomas Sowell

  14. Why is he running for the Senate? Kerry should have picked Obama as his running mate. Once Obama enters the Senate his prospects for the White House will decline. Though, perhaps Obama will eventually get tapped as a VP candidate, maybe on a Hillary 2008 ticket.

    Obama is certainly left on many economic policies, but as Brooks and Shields pointed out he was expressing some ‘conservative’ leanings in his keynote.

    Overall, Obama is perfect for the Democratic party. The concern is will Obama want to be their official party face. With no Republican opponent in Illinois I expect to see Obama start campaigning for Kerry or other Senate Democratic candidates.

  15. His father abandoned his mother when he was only 2 years old, and he grew up like some white kid in Hawai’i and Indonesia. Some African American!

    The fascinating thing to me is that he was raised white, the son of an African, and he was not even raised in the USA, so where does he get off calling himself African American? The only African part is just that: African — not American.

    Read his speech to the convention. He very carefully avoids saying anything nasty about his deadbeat dad–nothing about black men knocking up women and letting them raise babies all by themselves, only a little bit about black kids whacking oreos for acting white. You would think his parents were happily married until the day they died, rather than the truth: his dad schtupped some white girl and dumped her.

    Reminds me of Halle Barry whose white mother was also schtupped and dumped, yet identifies (and dates) black. You would think they both would know better.

  16. Obama’s speech was the only one so far with any degree of conviction and sincerity. It was comprehensive, cohesive, and respectful of the intelligence of his audience.
    Mr. Obama could go far. I hope he can avoid the pitfalls of past charismatic and intelligent leaders (the main pitfall in common, a tendency towards uncontrolled lechery). And the subtle pitfall of losing himself in order to pander to the groups he is “representing”.
    For example, in a pre-speech interview, the interviewer stated that Mr. Obama called himself an African American, and then asked him if he felt this was accurate as his mother was white. Mr. Obama proceeded to explain that he was deeply connected to the African American culture and the various reasons why he identified himself as an African American. Meanwhile, according to Mr. Obama’s book and previous interviews, Mr. Obama did not meet his father (an east African who came to America to attend college) until he was 10 years old. Mr. Obama was raised by his white mother, and his white maternal grandparents. It seems to me that he should give at least passing mention to his connection to and appreciation of his upraising within a “white American” culture.

  17. Obama’s speech was great. He hit all the New Democrat notes that Kerry never will. But there was one ugly element: the “theytookourjarbs” rhetoric. Why? I understand it coming from Kerry or Edwards, but Obama seems above that shit.

  18. I thought it was a great speech. It moved me. It gave me hope.

    Some of the comments here about race perplex me. (“…so where does he get off calling himself African American?”)

    Have I missed something? Has racism recently been replaced with stereotypicism?

  19. I don’t know about the speech, but the comments here are long on imagery, short on substance. Will Americans ever want to discuss issues?

    “My family was poor/interracial, but America gave me a chance. Now I want to make sure all of you get a chance too.”

    “A skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.”

    Comments like “great speech,” comprehensive, cohesive, and respectful of the intelligence of his audience and “Mr. Obama could go far. I hope he can avoid the pitfalls of past charismatic and intelligent,” speak to the modern Democratic party’s apparent unwillingness to speak to social issues with any honesty.

    Spare me the imagery stuff and wake me if he ever speaks to any specific policy issues or proposals.

    p.s. Has anyone seen Harrold Ford at this convention?

  20. Yeah, and Obama’s competition, Republican Jack Ryan, just happened to have his divorce papers leaked. Now he has no one to run against. No, no conspiracy here. He just happened to be selected to speak at the convention. They don’t need him to win or anything.

    Harold Ford is who the deomocrats trot out for all of the CNN, MSNBC, CNBC… interviews and analysis during the convention. What has Harold Ford actually accomplished in Congress?

  21. a quote from the NY Times

    “Asked how he defined his own racial identity, Mr. Obama said he considered himself African-American.

    ‘The reason that I’ve always been comfortable with that description is not a denial of my mother’s side of the family,’ Mr. Obama said. ‘Rather, it’s just a belief that the term African-American is by definition a hybrid term. African-Americans are a hybrid people. We’re mingled with African culture and Native American culture and European culture.

    He added later: ‘If I was arrested for armed robbery and my mug shot was on the television screen, people wouldn’t be debating if I was African-American or not. I’d be a black man going to jail. Now if that’s true when bad things are happening, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be proud of being a black man when good things are happening, too.'”

    For those of you who have have said he led a “white life” it would never matter, because that is not how the world perceives him.

  22. I’m from Illinois and have heard Obama speak on a number of occasions and much his speach was taken verbatim of what he has already said.

    He’s a liberal and a civil libertarian. I know cynics won’t believe you can’t combine the two. But He’s a constitutional law professor and gets into that shit.

    So far, from what i”ve read by everybody who doesn’t know him is that he’s either a saint or the devil. He’s niether. He really is just a regular guy. But myths are made by what you read into him and nothing more.

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