Friday, February 29, 2008

Why Barack Obama Will Be the Next President

The following comes from WatchBlog: Democrats & Liberals. It neatly summarizes a big reason why Obama has won over the hearts and minds of the Democratic party.

After hearing so much about her “throwing the kitchen sink” at Obama, I was amazed to see Senator Clinton wilt not from Obama’s attacks but from his cool, calm, and complimentary rhetoric. At the Democratic Debate last night, he answered all her charges in an even, confident voice and where possible he complimented Clinton.

Clinton started where she had previously left off dressing down Obama on his "shameful" ad about her healthcare plan. She went after him hammer and tong. To every charge, Obama responded in a clear, measured tone. And each time Clinton atacked Obama's response, and then Obama retorted. They kept at it for several cycles until moderator Brian Williams stopped it and declared that they had taken up 16 minutes on healthcare. Clinton did not let go; she claimed that the subject was important.

After this first exchange Clinton attacked again and again, but with less vehemence. With his cool and reasonable responses, Obama had calmed her down. When Obama denounced Farrakhan but failed to reject Farrakhan's support, Clinton made a big to-do about the difference between "denounce" and "reject." So Obama smoothly replied that he "denounces" AND "rejects" Farrakhan's support.

Much discussion had taken place before the debate about photos of Obama dressed in Somali garb in Africa. So this came up and Clinton claimed she was against this sort of thing and that she would fire anybody in her campaign who distributed such photos. Obama immediately said he takes her at her word. No more was said about this. You could see Clinton relax somewhat at this point.

At another point, Obama took the opportunity to praise Senator Clinton: Senator Clinton has campaigned magnificently. She is an outstanding public servant and I'm very proud to have campaigned with her.

Slowly you could see how Obama softened Clinton up. At the end she finished graciously.
I have read several assessments of the debate. Some dwell on the conflict, others dwell on moderator Russert's nastiness, still others on who won. I came away marveling how Obama turned an angry attacker into a more relaxed person.

Cool Obama. We need such coolnes in the White House.

I've wathced many of the debates and I agree whole-heartedly with this assessment. I started this cycle as a Hillary supporter and now, I have been won over by Obama's demeanor, ability to remain calm, grasp of the issues, and ability to communicate. Many (myself included) thought that Hillary Clinton would run away with the Democratic nomination. But Barack Obama has run a phenomenal race and is winning. And I don't see anyway that Hillary Clinton can make a comeback. At this point, I find myself hoping that Obama wins in both Texas and Ohio next week - - and I will be voting for him in the Texas Democratic primary.


Ceroill said...

Ok, this isn't exactly germane to the post here, but I had to share this item. It seems that CSU East Bay has fired a recently hired math teacher essentially because she's a Quaker. Or rather because of what her Quaker principles lead her to do. Here's the link:
Quaker Teacher Fired

csm said...

That is a very interesting link, Bob. Thanks for sharing. The Quaker is being persecuted for no good reason by idiots demanding fealty to specific words. This is what happens when people stop thinking and instead act in lock-step. She should be re-hired and her amended path should be accepted. I don't care why exactly she was altering that oath, her alterations were not unreasonable. After all, I want school teachers tp be non-violent.

Ceroill said...

csm, several years back I read a small book, the name of which I cannot recall. It was presented as a parable, and in the afterward the author explained he had been inspired for it when his small daughter came home from school one day and proudly announced they had learned the 'Pledge Alliegance'. He asked her if she knew what pledge meant, and she said no. Did she understand what alliegance meant? No to that as well. He suddenly began to wonder about a society where we inculcate our small children to recite oaths they don't understand. This led him to thoughts about how relatively easy it would be to completely convert a culture, if you begin with the children.

csm said...

If you ever remember the title of that book, let me know, I'd like to track it down and read it.

Anyway, regarding The Pledge of Allegiance, it is true that most kids have no idea what they are saying. I think we'd be better of with a shorter pledge that actually meant something. How about:

I pledge allegiance to the consitution of the United States of America.

Simple and sweet and all that would be necessary. Couple that with early training as to what the Constitution acutally says and we'd be getting somewhere!

Ceroill said...

I agree. I remember having to say the durn thing when I was a kid and even then I thought it was silly. Pledging alliegance to a piece of cloth? Ridiculous! Luckily my best friend of the day was a Jehova's Witness, and he was able to avoid giving the oath because of his religion, so I copied him and from then on stood silently while the other drones in my class parroted the oath.

And I wish I could recall the name of the book. I'd love to have a copy myself.


I question why a teacher would have to assent to any oath in the first place. That being said, the line between reasonable and unreasonable in oath taking could be a diffuse one. csm, I am pretty sure you would consider the oath by the gentleman who started the problem, the Jesus lover, to be unreasonable and the Quaker's as being fairly reasonable, but where do you draw the line; I would hope it would have nothing to do with agreeing with the subject.

csm said...

Oh, I agree that requiring an oath for a teacher is absurd. But if you are going to require one, you should be amenable to tweaking it for each person's "belief" system so long as it does not materially alter the basic intent of the oath. At least that is my opinion on this...

Ceroill said...

Agreed, again. But then, I'm the one who brought it up in the first place. At least here.


Materially altering the basic intent of the oath is a subjective matter. Where do you draw the line? Oaths in a lot of ways have lost their cache probably because people like Bush the Fuckwad have taken the oath and then flushed it down the toilet.

csm said...

And, of course, there can be a wide range of thoughts on what the initial "intent" of the oath was. That's why oaths are a bit crazy. For a teacher, I think all that would be required would be something like this:

I resolve to teach the children in my care to the best of my ability without inuring them with my beliefs and biases; I further resolve to avoid causing harm to the children under my care.

This "oath" basically states what a good teacher should do anyway... I wish Bev were around to comment on this since she is a teacher. Bev, are you out there lurking?