Barack tells the origin story of the famous phrase.
This is amazing — what an incredible communicator
I feel like the neighborhood curmudgeon; I didn’t vote for Barack Obama this morning.
I’ve come to expect certain things from our political process, like negative advertising, and the siren’s call for “change” every four years. But something significant was missing from Obama’s campaign and its absence caused me to vote for the other guy (and gal).
The missing ingredient was a visceral connection between Obama and me – I never got comfortable with him. Don’t misunderstand, I get it, I just couldn’t quite get him.
I know the image, so meticulously crafted and maintained, but I never connected with it, because I never got to know the “real” person behind it. I couldn’t vote for the image – been there, done that.
Memo to the Obama 2012 campaign: Personalize the candidate; it’s more important than a well designed web site full of white papers, speech transcripts and videos.
As good as the image is (and that “voice”!), it didn’t placate my concern for Obama’s stark lack of professional experience, there’s simply no depth or breadth to it. I know, my concern for experience is old school and old news; McCain’s choice of Palin muted it, right? Hardly.
Experience coupled with its spoil – wisdom, determine much of life’s success and failure, not staff, mentors and supporters.
Life in the fishbowl will be very different than life on the campaign trail, US Senate or IL statehouse. Where will he go when there’s no one else in the room? What will guide his judgment? I couldn’t answer these questions.
At the end of the day, or actually the beginning of today, the devil I knew won over the devil I didn’t (or more correctly, never got to know). Not an easy choice. Best to all in making your choices.
This in no way is meant to detract from the historical significance of today and its implications for tomorrow. Here’s hoping for a brighter and more enlightened future, our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.
So Roman- You “got to know” John McCain and Sarah Palin?
So in which of her interviews did you get to know Palin? (oh wait she didnt have any)
Gollum and Moosebait…that’s what I got to know of them. Anger and ignorance. Great combo…
I wouldn’t sweat it, Roman. I can’t connect with him either. On the other hand, eight years of trying to stay centered while Bush Co splintered the Constitution couldn’t be ignored. If the Republicans are dealt a blow right now, they will become the next party of reform. That’s politics.
Also, I couldn’t ignore that my black neighbors were holding their heads higher. Unlike the urban northern cities, the racial antipathy here isn’t as strong where I live. We go to work together, attend church together, party together, but there has always been a hesitation in the conversation, a stiltedness, a lingering fear, and for the first time in my lifetime, I see it evaporating. Maybe it will come back and maybe it won’t, but it can’t be a bad thing. If that is all the change this campaign produced, it is enough to get me to vote for him. I’ve lived a life right up close and personal with the race thing, and every bit of it that goes away is one less demon living in my world.
Yesterday, two black men put a spray of bullets through the front door of my mother’s next door neighbor wounding a mother holding a baby. Was it about race? No. It was about drugs and prostitution. Poor is poor and it doesn’t know color, just need and anger.
We have to work on the anger.
Nothing Obama says does or tries will mean anything if we can’t put our own shoulders to the wheel. That is the real meaning of bottom-up. And when it comes to wheel pushing, I don’t ask who the guy pushing with me voted for and we can argue about it all day as long as we keep pushing in the same direction.
Anyway, polls and pundits aside, we won’t know who won for a day or maybe two. Meanwhile, I say we toast the vote. It is a marvelous day.
Argh. Cheap, punctuation-induced snark welling up — must — resist — Snar –
McCain/Palin: Here’s hoping for a brighter and more enlightened future, our children and grandchildren deserve nothing. Less.
I just can’t get over the Chicken Entree vs Plate of Shit with broken glass. Even if I never connect with Chicken, or know the Chicken, or feel the Chicken, my only other choice is the plate of shit. There’s just nothing there with McCain/Palin.
Oh well, hopefully it’s moot.
Ahh, the gun thing again. How about the guy who blew away a trick or treater on Halloween? Why do citizens of so many other nations not seem to have love affairs with guns? Guns haven’t protected us from a near fascist regime in Washington yet… And I’m a guy who grew up in a house full of the things and was trained to respect and safely handle guns at age six and shoot only a few years later.
Roman: “Here’s hoping for a brighter and more enlightened future”.
You’re expecting enlightenment from a ticket with Palin on it? What kind of enlightenment, exactly?
Roman, I think the point is that you were expecting an image, negative/protaxcut/thesurgeisworking McCain/Palin. What you got was WYSIWYG from Obama, and that didn’t meet your preconceived expectations. What this election gave you was the chance to know yourself. Obama asks us to change, you just can’t.
Ok OK, let’s all take a breath. We all knew that someone was going to vote McCain/Palin, we just weren’t sure who it was going to be. It was Roman.
And Roman, if it helps, you weren’t alone in not getting “comfortable” with Obama, and not quite “getting him”. Scott Adams of Dilbert fame wrote about exactly that here: http://www.dilbert.com/blog/entry/vague_feelings_of_discomfort/
Here’s what Scott says:
“When I ask about this vague feeling of discomfort, the answer has something to do with how [Obama’s] views got formed, his past associations, how quickly he rose to prominence, and how charismatic (slick) he is.
“The risk, as I understand it, is that once in office Obama would start sporting a turban and begin each speech with WAHLALALALALALAL!!!! He would appoint Supreme Court justices who favor a redistribution of wealth to unborn gay babies, and he’d legalize crack. It would all be part of his master plan to destroy America. I might have the details wrong, but it goes something like that.”
I have to wonder if “not getting comfortable” is code for barely buried and not quite recognized racism. But Roman, guess who’s coming to dinner?
Peace. Enjoy the celebration, it’s long over due. And yes, the black men and women I met today smiled brighter – the ceiling is finally broken! A world of need and opportunity awaits!
God I hope this is for real. I’ll be very upset if he’s just another pol with a silver tongue.
Now I know who Obama reminds me of.
And I think it also explains some people’s unease with him.
Obama reminds me of Neal Stephenson when he speaks.
You see, Obama is actually an introvert.
I don’t mean to say that he’s shy or that he does not know how to communicate, only to say that his inner world is far greater than his outer/social world.
Even at his most charismatic he seems a bit aloof. Even when he riles up a crowd he never seems truly excited himself.
This self-control seems scary to some, I guess. Almost inhuman. But the truth of it is that to Obama riling up a crowd is just something that needs to be done to win an election. Nothing more.
He has a great mind and has probably taught himself how to speak well and sweep crowds. But in the end it always seems a little like an act – because it is.
An act he’s mastered. An act he needs to get to the White House – where I believe he should be.
I’d like to see a leader who is not easily fazed. One who’s inner intellectual world is as rich (or perhaps richer) than the world of hobnobbing politicians around him. A true introvert in the best Stephenson geek tradition.
Armand Asante, NOW you think you “think” you know “who Obama reminds” you of?
Good grief, Belizaire, you’re not the Armand I take you for. Your inside/outside gambit may for all you know have more to do with Calivins than with jack Freudianism. But guess what, my fine artist, we may all find out together (or maybe in the all-together) something like midway through the first perilous term. O happy day.
You know who he reminds me of? Barry the Lazy from Oxy, the guy who got sat on to do his homework and earn his grades and who therefore and quite inevitably continued to Head East, Young Man, to NYC where he could hide from undergraduate edu-ca-tors and just get by on suave & PC.
So if you’re going to allude to the importance of That Man’s growing up, between this happy night and the bracing morning when he swears the exact oath that so many public servants have sworn, many of us, scads of times, then YES, let’s please pray that he does his homework…
Hugo, I hope for your sake and ours that Obama is the best president of the past 100 years. It would serve you right.
There you go again, Excellency…
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