Can Obama Do It?

I am so pleased to watch Barack and Hillary compete to win the hearts and minds of the democratic voter (and me). Barack said last night in his victory speech:

After four great contests in every corner of this country, we have the
most votes, the most delegates, and the most diverse coalition of
Americans we’ve seen in a long, long time.

That last part is one of the things I am watching closely. Can Barack cross over? Because if he does, he will be a very difficult candidate to beat this fall.

Caroline Kennedy says this in her endorsement of Barack in the Times this morning.

I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me
that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have
found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a
new generation of Americans.

Caroline is a few years older than me but we are of the same generation and I completely agree with her on that point. I agreed with Bill Clinton’s policies and liked him as a president, but he never inspired me. And the rest of the people who have run this country in my adulthood have simply annoyed me.

So I am hoping that Barack can win me over. More than that, I am hoping he can win over our country. Can he do it?

I think Florida and New York are going to be the big tests. We saw race rear its ugly head in South Carolina and I think Barack came out looking better than the Clintons in that catfight.

Florida is where we’ll see the religion issue come to the forefront. This piece by Richard Cohen in the Washington Post is an example of what’s coming. It links Obama to Farrakhan via his pastor, Jeremiah Wright. I am sure this is going to be an issue in Florida and New York. Jewish voters are not going to like the sound of Farrakhan name being used in the same sentence as Barack’s.

It bothers me a bit that our political system continues to use race and religion as wedges to drive people apart. But at the same time this is an opportunity for Barack to show us what he’s made of. Can he handle this issue correctly and win over the jewish people of Florida and New York?

Barack said last night:

And what we’ve seen in these last weeks is that we’re also up against
forces that are not the fault of any one campaign, but feed the habits
that prevent us from being who we want to be as a nation. It’s the
politics that uses religion as a wedge, and patriotism as a bludgeon. A
politics that tells us that we have to think, act, and even vote within
the confines of the categories that supposedly define us.

I think those forces will be at work from now until the election is over in November. And the only way Obama will win is if he can navigate these issues and in doing so put them to rest. If he does that, he will indeed be Presidential material. It will be interesting to watch. I am rooting for him.


Comments (Archived):

  1. durbin

    I am extremely upset with Hilary’s change in position on accepting delagates from the Michigan primary. 40% of Michigan voters took time out of their day to go to polling locations to selet ‘No One’ instead of the only other candidate of the ballot, Hilary. And now she is saying those delagates that she one completely by default, should be counted. It is a shameful act on her part. I still don’t understand why they even had the sham of a primary in the first place.

    1. durbin

      wow, wish these comments had spellcheck and an editor.

      1. obscurelyfamous

        Hi Neil,You can edit from the forum at the moment (if no one has replied to your comment). Editing from the blog is going to be available in the next update.We’ll look into a spellcheck, but honestly it adds considerable weight to the system. If you use the FIrefox browser, it has auto spellchecking.

      2. fredwilson

        I consider that a feature request and it’s been made. Thanks.

  2. S.t

    The more I follow the campaign, it becomes clear that no one on The Left is either qualified to be president, or capable of winning a national election.

    1. Bob

      How’s that search for the next Reagan coming along, S.t?

    2. fredwilson

      I think McCain is going to be the nominee of the Republican party. And it’sclear to me that he is qualified to be president. But I don’t think he canbeat Obama.Fred

      1. JDScott

        Looking at the national polls on Real Clear Politics Obama and McCain are running evenly (slight edge to Obama) in a head-to-head matchup. And, moving to a general election McCain would be more likely to gain in popularity. He’s had to play down his moderate attributes (positive in a general election) and talk-up his more conservative attributes (negative attributes) in an effort to win over conservative primary voters. This will switch in a general election, improving his popularity nationwide, winning over more independent voters and even some Democrats – especially those who value experience.Conversely, Obama is going to have a bit more trouble. His primary message has been about changing the political atmosphere (which will play well in a general election, although less so against McCain or even Romney than Clinton). However, he’s managed to avoid talking at length about tough issues because the Democrats are so aligned on key issues like Iraq (with Clinton offering something slightly different), the economy, and health care.His message of bipartisanship and positivity is going to be harder to maintain when he is forced to fight over significant differences in the big issues that affect this nation.

        1. fredwilson

          That’s a race I can live with. Mccain is not my man but he is seemingly a good manIt will be hard for mccain to deal with the age vs youth argument. He’ll be 80 at the end of a second termFred

      2. alexander

        McCain has no clue about economics. Additionally McCain wants to be in Iraq for 100 years. No thanks.

  3. Bruce Barber

    There’s something to be said for Caroline Kennedy’s comments about “a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them”.This relates to your earlier post, Fred, about the difference between “The visionary leader versus the consummate executive”.I’m finding myself, more and more, to be drawn to the notion of living in a country with a visonary leader.

    1. ifyoumakeit

      Bruce, I just posted a similar statement in a blog post (….I remember hearing an interview on Fresh Air (boy, did I just out myself as a Democrat, or what) where two guys from the LA Times were talking about Bush’s explicit policy of getting elected based upon the narrowest margin but then governing as if he had been elected in a landslide.I think it’s time for someone with audacious dreams who will seek out support from both sides of the aisle to achieve his vision.

      1. Bruce Barber

        Eric,Just read your blog post and LOVED the allusion to Lincoln.I was first attracted to this blog because I am drawn to entrepreneurs. They are dreamers, and, in some cases. narcissists. (See Fred’s earlier post.) They seek, in different measures, money, power, and to make the world a better place.This makes them not unlike politicians.I guess the big question for me is figuring out which politician is most interested in the last part.

  4. Charlie

    As much as I like Bill, too, “those forces” that bring out divisive tactics include the Clintons. That’s why I liked what the Tribune had to say:”We’re urging votes for a candidate whose political views we often disagree with. But this is a more complicated contest, and a more complex candidate, than the norm. This nation’s next president inherits a war — against terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere — that has found many ways to divide Americans. Capitol Hill is gridlocked and uncivil. Our discourse is hostage to blame.Obama can help this nation move forward. A Tribune profile last May labeled his eight years in Springfield as “a study in complexity, caution and calculation. In the minority party for all but his final two years in the Statehouse, he tempered a progressive agenda with a cold dash of realism, often forging consensus with conservative Republicans when other liberals wanted to crusade.””

  5. Andy Swan

    One can only imagine the outrage that would be boiling over had it been a Southern Republican sleeping through an MLK speech and then painting Obama as “the black candidate” and “just like Jesse Jackson”. We would be hearing charges of racism from the NY Times all the way through the blogosphere.But when it’s a Southern Democrat by the name of Bill Clinton doing it…..well….it’s just the “political system” and a “catfight”.

    1. S.t

      Andy Swan rules

      1. fredwilson

        I don’t really agree with andy’s politics but I agree that he rules

    2. Bob

      Yes, that’s why 80% of black voters in SC voted for Obama after the Clintons started attacking. The reason there hasn’t been charges of racism is that the Clintons have historically had a lot of affinity to black voters and the black community. The same can’t be said of your average Southern Republican and especially not of the Jesse Helms or Trent Lott type Southern Republicans. People are not fools and black voters have punished the Clintons for playing racial politics. But the Clintons have not been called racists because their track record shows that they aren’t. So please spare me the whole “media bias” talking point. Isn’t having Fox News spewing right wing propaganda 24×7 enough to make it “fair and balanced” already?

      1. S.t

        …as opposed to the broadcasters on MSDNC that moonlight as contributing writers on The Daily KOS?

  6. Christian

    It should be noted that Florida delegates don’t currently count, similar to Michigan, and that the campaigns have agreed not to campaign there. As a result, I wouldn’t look to Florida as an indicator.

    1. Erik Peterson

      Yeah, I’m kind of surprised that most people haven’t learned that the Florida race doesn’t count. Its mistaken emphasis worries me. It seems that Clinton is the default candidate, but that people really seem to like Obama once they get to see him. Without anyone campaigning in Florida, it is obvious that Clinton will win. Since the state doesn’t matter, I can just hope that nobody sees the win as important.

      1. fredwilson

        I think Florida is important even if it doesn’t matter in the delegate countI bet Obama will campaign therefred

    2. Andy Swan

      Right…’s HUGE on the GOP side but meaningless on the DNC side.

  7. nick davis

    Fred, the Democrats are not campaigning in Florida, due to Florida (along with Michigan) not honoring Democratic Party rules regarding primary dates. They don’t have any delegates, and Hillary is the only one of the top 3 candidates on the ballot. So I would expect her to win.

    1. fredwilson

      Well then I am mistaken about Florida.But NY is a big deal for sure.Thanks for correcting me. I always learn so much from the comments.Fred

  8. stone

    This is an interesting question. We live in an amazing country, one filled with some truly great people. As a business person I hope we can find a person each presidential cycle that has sacrificed more than me to be president. A person that understands that small business creates jobs. A person that understands the economy, but a person that also understands that poor people need help and that medical research saves lives.I don’t have a horse in this race but I do find myself intrigued by McCain’s bio — not because i’m a Repulican, because i am not, but because I do not find myself drawn to either Hilary or Obama. The criticism of Hilary that she plays it too safe is accurate. The fact that Obama has a very thin resume is also accurate. So, i’m left with Mitt Romney and McCain. Romney has pandered in such a shameful way that it’s hard to take him seriously, although I do know that he’ll be very pro business as i am.If Obama wins then I vote Republican this time, for one simple reason: running for President doesn’t (alone) qualify someone to President. Obama may be President someday but I can’t help him this time. His experience before 2004 qualifies him to be respected and listened to — nothing more because his background to date has been routine. There are literally hundreds or thousands of people in State houses across this country that have resumes that look like Obama’s — that’s an undeniable fact. I dare anyone to refute this!I’m in deep trouble if Hilary wins and runs against Romney.

    1. fredwilson

      I don’t argue with most of this but the part about hundreds or thousandswith resumes like Obama doesn’t seem right to me.He has stepped up and build a national candidacy, is taking on the bestpolitical team in his party, and is handling the pressure very wellThat to me puts him in a completely different placefred

      1. JDScott

        I can’t recall where I read/saw this thought but I’ll look for it. However, someone made an excellent point that the biggest reason Obama has made it this far is that many of the better candidates (experience / command of the issues) were scared away by the Clinton machine and money but they misread the situation and Clinton was as invincible as many thought.If he had been the in the race, it is likely that Mark Warner would be leading now. He is a smart, articulate moderate Democratic candidate with business and gubernatorial experience in a semi-southern state (Virginia). In many ways he’s a Democratic Mitt Romney – although Warner seems much more genuine.Obama seemingly got in the race to get a VP slot and run for president in 2016. However, dissatisfaction with and missteps by Clinton kept the money rolling in and enabled Obama to win Iowa and South Carolina.

        1. fredwilson

          That’s one way to look at it. I certainly think that’s how the clintons look at itWhich was a mistake in hindsightFred

        2. Ada

          I think that it takes someone like Obama to present a really interesting case against Hillary. Not because Hillary is not invincable, but because I think the American people are ready for a change from the white male norm which is our current history.

    2. alexander

      Obama has a much more compelling bio than McCain. Obama is the first African American to be Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Law Review, the most sought after position of all law students, compared to McCain was is a former POW who married an affluent woman to gain power.

      1. S.t

        I think CNBC’s Jim Cramer was Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Law Review, too. Of course, Obama has no experience in any position of responsibility, so…

        1. alexander

          McCain has never led a city, a state, a business, or anything else for that matter.You may be correct about Cramer, which simply means that they are both brilliant in terms of understanding the law.

    3. mike

      Bush has given us the gift of being so bad that anyone looks better and anyone seems smarter and better qualified. Obama has a similar amount of experience as JFK had and folks still talk about how he electrified the country.Obama was the ONLY one on either side back in 2002 to see the Iraq debacle for what it was/is. His stand at that time was not only wise but very brave; going against the overwhelming tide of the time.He may not have as many years experience but he has an enormous amount of stature as a speaker. His speech after winning in Iowa was by far the most polished and inspiring. Hilary and Edwards seemed to be rambling without a beginning , middle or and end.Hilary is the choice for Republicans – she’s the one they want to tangle with. I think she would be a smart chief executive but I’m tired of the Republican hate machine going full blast against the Clintons and thats what the next four years would be like if she won.

      1. alexander

        Obama did not vote against the war because he was not a member of the Senate at that time, however he is now, and he has voted to continue the war. Furthermore, his rhetoric is becoming more and more hawkish as he is talking about going into Pakistan. I suggest you read the following speech which occurred on the House Floor leading up to the Iraq War…

        1. Ada

          My Hallelujah was to the post before this…

          1. alexander

            What about Obama now supporting the Iraq War? It was easy for him to be critical of the Iraq War when he wasn’t a legislator, as were all Democrats, but when it comes time to vote, like all other Democrats, he votes in favor of continuing the war. What about Obama not taking the nuclear weapon off the table? What about Obama’s rhetoric of going into Pakistan next? This is same old politics with a slick marketing campaign.

      2. Ada


    4. LMcQue

      I think if you ran for president, I might vote for you. Why? Because I am looking for someone with fresh ideas and with the guts to try to make a change. We try to tell other countries how to be fair and diplomatic when our own country is divided and unfair. There is no way I will vote for an “old, experienced politician who’s been around for decades. There is no change there.” A country divided will eventually fall.

  9. Ed

    Fred – It’s interesting to me that you diminish the point that Richard Cohen attempts to make in his article by saying that it is an example of “our political system…[using] race and religion to drive people apart.” I completely disagree. Louis Farrakhan is a disgusting individual. While Barack Obama has not endorsed Farrakhan, his affiliation with Jeremiah Wright makes his views on Louis Farrakhan a fair question. Clinton has repeatedly accused Barack of voting “present” in tough situations. I think Cohen is very accurate in viewing this situation as yet another example of that.It also interests me that view this as solely a Jewish issue. Do you support Farrakhan? My feeling is that rampant, vicious anti-semites/historical revisionists are everybody’s problem, not just the Jews’. Why do you feel like it’s not a universal issue?Broad sweeping strokes are nice, but unless you’re an impressionist painter, you have to fill in the details at some point.

    1. fredwilson

      Ed ­ my family is jewish. I am rasing my kids as jews. So this is a personalissue for me. But I don’t see any example of anti-semitism in Obama. Infact, he seems to be among the most tolerant of people. So I see Cohen’spiece in that light. I recognize others may not see it that way and I thinkit will be a challenge for Obama in the coming weeksfred

  10. MikeInAZ

    Here’s what really sold me this morning. Obama was on ThisWeek (ABC) and George S. asked him about Hillary’s plan to fix the mortgage mess.Here’s what I heard:He stated he doesn’t want to help banks, hedge funds, and flippers.He does want to help the families living in their homes and making payments, which I don’t particularly agree with, but out of all the politicians, his plan isn’t trying to wave a magic wand to help everybody. Hillary wants to freeze rates for 5 years and have a moratorium on foreclosures.He even mentioned “moral hazard” in a way that shows he’s not just saying things to sound good, he actually understands it.

    1. fredwilson

      I’d like to hear him talk more about this stuff. I’d like to know howsophisticated his economic mind isfred

    2. alexander

      Why should I, as an innocent taxpayer, have to subsidize those who hazardously mortgaged homes and can no longer meet their financial obligations.Wasn’t government intervention the direct cause of the mortgage crisis in the first place, by artificially lowering interest rates by printing money and creating credit out of thin air, which caused malinvestment? How is it reasonably plausible that more government intervention would fix the problem? This is the same government that was handing out $2,000 checks to whomever after Katrina. This is the same government that is unable to account for $2.3 TRILLION in Pentagon Funds from early-2000 to 2001 and to this day is unable to account for 25% of all Pentagon transactions.Hillary wants to fix rates? Has she studied economics? Is this any different than fixing gas prices? It doesn’t work! This is the same Hillary who wants to give every baby $5,000. This is the same Hillary who wants to force every American to be insured. This is the same Hillary who wants to continue the bankrupt Social Security system.I think the BEST promise from a Federal politician, such as the President, is that they will do their best to obey the Constitution and that they would do everything in their power to promote and preserve liberty and freedom.

  11. Douglas Karr

    I thought this election was simply going to be a runaway election by Dems who simply would run against Bush’s unpopularity. Instead, I’ve been energized by the reaction of voters. Obama winning against the Clinton disinformation machine has been a beautiful sight to see. I still patently disagree with the notion that it’s the government’s responsibility to feed, clothe and keep American’s healthy – so I’m still not sure which direction my vote will go.On the Republican side, though, there is no leader who inspires – they’re all just trying to take the safe road to the House. The exception of course is Ron Paul – who has proven he has no concept of current economics and the global economy. Paul just continues to whine loud enough to collect a ton of money and a following from other Internet whiners.Though it’s a weak lot, Obama is standing out. I hope, as Gingrich has said, that the Clintons aren’t able to drag him into the mud with them. That’s the one way they may be able to get back into the White House. Yea, that’s right… I said “they”.

    1. alexander

      Ron Paul is the only candidate that understands economics. How is printing money and creating credit out of thin air sound economic policy? Paul’s economic platform includes the following:(1) Eliminate the IRS and Income Tax. After eliminating the revenues from the Income Tax, the Federal government would still receive as much income is it did in 2000;(2) Eliminate the Federal Reserve and link our currency to commodities (e.g. silver, gold, etc). This is probably not likely Dr. Paul would introduce a competing currency to the greenback. His view in a competing environment, the commodity linked currency would ultimately win out, hence, driving the green back out of business. Why would you want to be paid in dollars when you could be paid with gold? If our currency was fixed to the price of gold, oil prices would be the same as it was 100 years ago. Watch this video of Alan Greenspan explaining that we ought to consider hard money.…(3) Paul understands the immorality of inflation, which is the most digressive tax of them all.

      1. alexander

        My apologies for the poor grammar

      2. Douglas Karr

        Ron Paul wants or believes that the United States should live in a bubble, Alexander. Change so drastic to our economic foundations would crush our economy and make us the laughing stock of the world. His belief is that we should return to the colonial ages – that we should bring back the politics and rules that our forefathers believed in. Those beliefs didn’t have world travel, the Internet, phones, nor even electricity. Basing your actions on 200 year old economics is insane.I’m not saying that I don’t disagree with Ron Paul on the majority of things that he thinks are ‘broke’. It’s simply that I disagree in the drastic changes he would pursue. As well, he would be a no-nothing president since both parties would balk in the Congress and Senate at any change he would pursue.This country does need reformed – but it needs to do so slowly and methodically.

        1. alexander

          First, Dr. Paul would vehemently disagree with your “bubble” comment because he believes in trade and travel (i.e. traditional Liberalism). Basically he’s a non-interventionist NOT an isolationist as you are suggesting.Second, he would not make drastic changes as you have suggested, as a student of the Constitution, he is well aware that all change must go though Congress. There is one thing that he can change immediately, and that is, to bring home all of our troops from around the world. Are you aware that in 2001, the Pentagon announced that they are unable to account for $2.3 TRILLION just in the prior 12-months? And still to this day, they can’t account for 25% of all transactions.Lastly and in response to your comment that the policies of our Founding Fathers are no longer relevant, are you suggesting that eliminating the income tax is a colonial policy? The Founding Fathers fought for independence just for that reason- the English/Colonial policy of burdensome taxes. Are you suggesting that introducing a currency linked to a commodity is a colonial policy? I’m not a history scholar but it’s my understanding that most world powers have fallen due to inflation / devalued currency? America is becoming a “has been”, even more so now that the world has lost faith in the Dollar.

  12. David

    Fred-As the Democratic primary process heats up, we’re seeing a lot of politics-as-usual campaign tactics in the media and online.Barack Obama stands for a new kind of politics — without partisan bickering and smear tactics.Take a minute to read a little bit about Barack and learn why he is the only candidate who represents change we can believe in:…Barack was born in Hawaii on August 4th, 1961. Barack’s father, Barack Obama Sr., was born and raised in a small village in Kenya. His mother, Ann Dunham, grew up in small-town Kansas.After graduating from Columbia University in New York, he became a community organizer working with churches on the South Side of Chicago. After studying at Trinity United Church of Christ, he was baptized and remains a committed and active Christian.Trinity United Church of Christ is the largest congregation in the United Church of Christ. It is part of a liberal denomination that was the first to ordain an African American, a woman, and a gay man. Congregants have described it in the New York Times as a “warm and accepting community,” and while it is in a predominantly African American congregation, people of all backgrounds attend and are enthusiastically welcomed.Barack was sworn in as a U.S. Senator on his own personal Bible and continues to attend Trinity United regularly with his family.I know there’s been a lot of Washington smears going around, so I just wanted to send this message and share an honest portrait of Barack Obama.Below is some more information about Barack’s faith and his church. You can get the facts about Barack and his background by visiting the Obama for America website:…Thanks— Here’s what others have had to say:THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST: “‘Trinity UCC is rooted in and proud of its Afrocentric heritage,’ [Rev. John H. Thomas, the UCC’s general minister and president] said. ‘This is no different than the hundreds of UCC churches from the German Evangelical and Reformed stream that continue to own and celebrate their German heritage, insisting on annual sausage and sauerkraut dinners and singing Stille Nacht on Christmas Eve. Recognizing and celebrating our distinctive racial-ethnic heritages, cultures, languages and customs are what make us unique as a united and uniting denomination.’ While Trinity UCC is predominately African American, it does include and welcome non-Black members. The Rev. Jane Fisler-Hoffman, Illinois Conference Minister, who is white, has been a member of the congregation for years.”NEWSWEEK: “Dueling chain e-mails claim he’s a radical Muslim or a ‘racist’ Christian. Both can’t be right. We find both are false. If these two nasty e-mail messages are any indication, the 2008 presidential campaign is becoming a very dirty one. One claims that Obama is ‘certainly a racist’ by virtue of belonging to Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, which it says ‘will accept only black parishioners’ and espouses a commitment to Africa. Actually, a white theology professor says he’s been ‘welcomed enthusiastically’ at the church, as have other non-blacks. Another e-mail claims that Obama ‘is a Muslim,’ attended a ‘Wahabi’ school in Indonesia, took his Senate oath on the Koran, refuses to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and is part of an Islamic plot to take over the U.S. Each of these statements is false. These false appeals to bigotry and fear remind us of the infamous whispering campaign of eight years ago, when anonymous messages just before the South Carolina primary falsely accused Republican candidate John McCain of fathering an illegitimate child by a black woman.”PROMINENT JEWISH LEADERS: “As leaders of the Jewish community, none of whose organizations will endorse or oppose any candidate for President, we feel compelled to speak out against certain rhetoric and tactics in the current campaign that we find particularly abhorrent. Of particular concern, over the past several weeks, many in our community have received hateful emails that use falsehood and innuendo to mischaracterize Senator Barack Obama’s religious beliefs and who he is as a person. These tactics attempt to drive a wedge between our community and a presidential candidate based on despicable and false attacks and innuendo based on religion. We reject these efforts to manipulate members of our community into supporting or opposing candidates.”JEWISH U.S. SENATORS: “Over the past several weeks, many in the Jewish community have received hateful emails that use falsehood and innuendo about Senator Barack Obama’s religion and attack him personally. As Jewish United States Senators who have not endorsed a candidate for the Democratic nomination, we condemn these scurrilous attacks. We find it particularly abhorrent that these attacks are apparently being sent specifically to the Jewish Community. Jews, who have historically been the target of such attacks, should be the first to reject these tactics. We won’t dignify these falsehoods by repeating them in order to refute them. Instead, we will express our outrage at these tactics, which are being used to demonize a good and decent man and our friend and colleague. Attempting to manipulate voters into supporting or opposing one candidate or another based on despicable and fictitious attacks is disgraceful. These false and malicious attacks should not be part of our political discourse.”

    1. alexander

      What type of change will Obama bring?He could not guarantee that all troops would be out of Iraq by the end of his first term.He voted to continue to fund the Iraq war. He wants to expand the Federal government.He wants to increase taxes.He voted for the Patriot Act. His rhetoric is becoming more and more hawkish by the day as he hints at getting involved in Pakistan.

  13. Harold

    Go Obama! First candidate in my life I’ve actually felt proud to vote for.

    1. alexander

      What Obama policy in particular makes you proud?

      1. fredwilson

        I like the idea that no foreign government, no matter how terrible/evil they are, is on the ‘we don’t talk to you’ listI have found that talking to enemies is one of the most productive things you can doFred

        1. alexander

          Although I disagree with Obama on most issues, I’m in complete agreement with you the two of you on this one.BTW, did you hear McCain in the debates say, “when I see President Putin I see KGB written across his forehead”? Or in another debate where shrieked that he “…isn’t interested in trading with Al Qaeda because all they want are ‘birkas’ and he isn’t interested in traveling with them because they are only interested in one-way tickets.” Or how about his, “bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran….”.As a registered Republican, I do not believe this man is qualified for the job.

  14. hank williams

    I am black, so this obviously presents a different perspective. But I got a call from my mother yesterday. Life long democrat. Not very political. She said about Bill and Hillary, “I hate them. I will never vote for her.”My mother is not taken to extremes. My position, after bill described Barack as jesse jackson, is similar.Up until several weeks ago, when you pointed out the Andrew Sullivan article about barack, I was actually on the fence. After reading that I decided Barack was the candidate to choose. I had no idea how right that decision would turn out to be.Having met both Bill and Hillary, and having had warm feelings for both of them, I am now troubled by the sense that they are not who I thought they were. It is almost a dirty feeling.I am very distressed.

    1. Ada

      I had the opportunity to interact with Bill Clinton in different contexts back in the 96 election, and I can say that he is a master politician. In the first instance he was at a fundraiser and at the second he was at rally. At the fundraiser his focus was on the business men/women and at the rally his focus was on “the little people” At the time I was a university student and it was amazing to watch him “operate” At both events I was treated very differently when I met him.

  15. Bruce in London

    Florida is not really a fair test. All three major Democrat candidates promised not to campaign in that primary or in Michigan’s. Clinton kept that promise for Michigan, but is showing signs that she might not in Florida. In any case, she’s better known than Obama, so in a contest where neither of them shows up in the state, she’ll win easily.New York also isn’t a fair measure. It’s Clinton’s home state. She has “favorite daughter” status there. The real test will be whether Obama can stay close in states where both will campaign, in California and New York, while winning some of the middle-sized states by wider margins. I hope he does well, because I want to vote for a Democrat this year, but I’ll vote for any Republican before I’ll vote for four more exhausting and dishonest years of a Clinton White House.

    1. nabeel

      I just wanted to second the point on Florida, it is not a real test at all. There are no delegates at stake, and none of the campaigns have set foot there (although Clinton has begun spending in the state). Because of the ridiculousness of the primary process this year, Florida is nixed.The biggest prizes among the Democratic states are California (370 delegates), New York (232) and Illinois (153). Of course NY will go Clinton, and Illinois Obama — but there is more to it than that. All three states award Democratic delegates proportionally, with most delegates awarded according to the popular vote in individual congressional districts, so this is going to be a real test not of electoral math but of who can broadly appeal to the Democratic base across the country.

  16. Ike Raoul


    1. fredwilson

      The NY Post had a photoshopped photo of Obama in Bono’s glassed that said³Obono²It was very funny

  17. Don Jones

    From the Republican side, Barack is being perceived as the tougher one to beat. Hillary has so much baggage (Bill) and a record to go after, whereas Barack has strategically avoided having a record to hammer him on. Very smart guy.But if McCain wins the Repub nod, it will be experience vs. inexperience, since Barack hasn’t even finished a single term as Senator!

  18. Phin

    I agree that the strategists make a destructive choice when they highlight race in order to gain from racism. However, I disagree that it is Obama who must show what he is made of and navigate these issues. Instead, don’t you think it is the American voters who have the responsibility to step-up and put these issues to rest? If the race card lost its power in America (or even had it temporarily suspended), I think the positive impact on our country and on teh world would be more powerful than any policy currently being offered by any candidate on any issue. The Senator from Illinois has shown that he is Presidential material. Now the voters must decide if we can finally achieve this watershed moment. I hope we can.

  19. mark

    Obama and Clinton…politics as usual.Both want to expand the Federal government and both will continue our dangerous foreign policy.

  20. brooksjordan

    Fred,You’ll love this new music video for Obama, “Yes We Can,” if you haven’t seen it, which a friend of mine posted in Facebook.