Monday, March 31, 2008

Just who is Sen. Barack Obama?

A few weeks back Sen. Barack Obama was telling us Rev. Jeremiah Wright's racist and anti-American screeds were just "snippets" of the sort one often hears in "the black church." Of course, he himself had never heard them or anything about them.

But he did allow that from what he was just then learning about the remarks of his close friend and pastor of 20 or so years, Obama found Wright's remarks a lot like those of his still living white grandmother.

Obama let us know he didn't approve of what Wright or his grandmother said. But he wouldn't turn his back on either of them.

But he didn't want us dwelling upon any of that: it was time to move on to a national conversation o race.

Then last Friday he did a 180 and said if he'd ever heard any of Wright's screeds over the years he would have left his church then and there.

Now today at Politico under Kenneth Vogel's byline we read more about changes in Obama's positions. First some excerpts with my comments following below the star line.

Vogel begins:

During his first run for elected office, Barack Obama played a greater role than his aides now acknowledge in crafting liberal stands on gun control, the death penalty and abortion — positions that appear at odds with the more moderate image he has projected during his presidential campaign.

The evidence comes from an amended version of an Illinois voter group’s detailed questionnaire, filed under his name during his 1996 bid for a state Senate seat.

Late last year, in response to a Politico story about Obama’s answers to the original questionnaire, his aides said he “never saw or approved” the questionnaire.

They asserted the responses were filled out by a campaign aide who “unintentionally mischaracterize[d] his position.”

But a Politico examination determined that Obama was actually interviewed about the issues on the questionnaire by the liberal Chicago nonprofit group that issued it. And it found that Obama — the day after sitting for the interview — filed an amended version of the questionnaire, which appears to contain Obama’s own handwritten notes added to one answer.

The two questionnaires, provided to Politico with assistance from political sources opposed to Obama’s presidential campaign, were later supplied directly by the group, Independent Voters of Illinois — Independent Precinct Organization. Obama and his then-campaign manager, who Obama’s campaign asserts filled out the questionnaires, were familiar with the group, its members and its positions, since both were active in it before Obama's 1996 state Senate run.

Through an aide, Obama, who won the group’s endorsement as well as the statehouse seat, did not dispute that the handwriting was his. But he contended it doesn’t prove he completed, approved — or even read — the latter questionnaire.

“Sen. Obama didn’t fill out these state Senate questionnaires — a staffer did — and there are several answers that didn't reflect his views then or now,” Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for Obama’s campaign, said in an e-mailed statement. “He may have jotted some notes on the front page of the questionnaire at the meeting, but that doesn't change the fact that some answers didn't reflect his views. His 11 years in public office do.”

But the questionnaires provide fodder to question Obama’s ideological consistency and electability. Those questions are central to efforts by Obama’s presidential rival Hillary Clinton to woo the superdelegates whose votes represent her best chance to wrest the Democratic nomination from Obama. ....

The entire Politico article is here


There's a great deal more to the Politico article. All of it's interesting for what it tells us about Obama and also for "the look" it provides into how political interests groups work.

I feel I know who Sen. Hillary Clinton is, but I keep asking myself: Just who is Sen. Barack Obama


Anonymous said...

Who is Barak Obama: Just another typical politicion. A dangerous one at that.

Anonymous said...

Check out for some great coverage of the "Big O" and a lot of other political issues. is a fine website...MM

justice58 said...

"Who is Barak Obama: Just another typical politicion. A dangerous one at that.
How so?

Well now, you have to watch any politician offering hope & change in order to better ourselves! You have to watch politicians who challenges us to believe in ourselves & rise above hate so we can work together for the good of this country! That's a bit much!
(Eye Roll)

mac said...

Ralph Phelan said on the "Obama's speech was no Houston" thread:

"It's pretty routine for folks to go into politics seeking wealth and power, and they system knows how to keep them in check. It's the folks who go into politics seeking an identity who scare the crap out of me."

That was well-stated.

Most of us are a little more observant than Senator Obama, apparently: we've been treated to the picture of Obama trying to squirrel his way out of the post-birth abortion issue, among other things.

Unlike Ralph, who was really on to something, I believe Obama does actually have an identity, even if Obama himself hasn't recognized it yet: weasel.

Anonymous said...

How so? For starters, the wisdom of invading Iraq in the first place can be debated for hours but to simply pull out now, as Obama has said over and over he would do, would be devastating, not only for that country, but for ours as well. The financial consequences of funding his "change" scares the hell out of me. His willingness to bomb our allies (Pakistan) and sit down for tea with our sworn enemies is a bit worrisome. His resume is somewhat weak when it comes to that Commander In Chief responsibility. His association with Revrend Wright and how he handled it has raised a judgement issue. As the election process continues, what else are we going to learn?

Anonymous said...


"Well now, you have to watch any politician offering hope & change in order to better ourselves!"

I am already better, thank you.

I don't think a politician with a Black Liberation theology is the answer America is looking for.


Anonymous said...

Once it becomes clear just how leftist-oriented Mr. Obama is, the only votes he can count on are the "typical Black persons" (it's OK to say that, Mr. Obama said so), the reality-challenged, starry-eyed college crowd, and assorted "progressive" loons. Mr. Obama can't win with those demographics---maybe 35% of the total. There's a passel of what we used to call "Reagan Democrats" who will vote McCain or not at all. Mr. Obama needs the independents and the left-leaning RINOs, but with his record, he won't be able to convince them to waste their votes. As he seems more and more likely to get the Democrat nomination, I'm planning to buy plenty of popcorn so I can enjoy this election. Watch the wheels come off!
Tarheel Hawkeye

justice58 said...

"I am already better, thank you".
Ha ha! There's always room for improvement!

Geez Tarheel---don't get yourself all in a twist. Barack is going to make a great president!

He's what we've been waiting for! And he's fine too!

Anonymous said...

Justice 58, with all respect, your ability to predict the future (based on your certainty that the Duke Three would go to prison)remains a losing proposition.

justice58 said...

anon 6:47,

You're entitled to your opinion! And it's typical of you but I'm ok with it!

On the other hand we're talking Barack Obama! A man the Clintons didn't take serious. They planned to win it all on Super Tuesday & they had no plan B---Oops!

Barack is fighting against 2 Campaigns & is still leading in more states won, more delegates, & more popular votes. He has out raised Hillary in a blistering amount of money and he has inspired people to get off of their couch and participate in democracy! Political scientists will be studying his Campaign for years to come. It's Outstanding!

Now, I don't think it's hard to see that Barack Obama (fine self) will be our next President, isn't it?! ;)

Anonymous said...

I started out liking the myth of Obama, now, I keep thinking of the WIZARD OF OZ every time some new information about him surfaces.

Anonymous said...

John -

Do we see a pattern here? First he said that he wasn't in the Church when the "Reverend" Wright spouted off, then he said, well I heard some things. Then he claimed he heard his white grandmother express fears about black males (although, is that true or did he make it up). I'm surprised his black grandmother was not even more frightened. Then he told workers in Ohio that he was against NAFTA, although he sent an emissary to Canada telling them to ignore campaign rhetoric. Now he seems to be saying that his handwriting is not his handwriting.

As they used say about Bill Clinton, are you going to believe him or your lying eyes?

Jack in Silver Spring

justice58 said...

The Nafta debacle was of the Clinton Camp NOT Barack Obama!

Now be honest--it is NOT unbelievable that some white women fear a few black men passing them by on a street! Hello!

Barack has admitted he never heard the sermons of Rev Wright that were being shown on TV 24/7 for about a week! But he did know that Rev Wright had controversial views about America's Foreign Policy!

Where is the lie? There is no there--there!

mac said...

Now let's be honest: one poster claimed that Grystal Gayle Mangum was raped and beaten, and that the accused students were guilty.
Liestoppers ran the poster off; she never made it on DIW.

Discredited. End of story.

mac said...

One thing that people of all races need to understand: no one can be forced to like someone, or to trust them.

I used to like Obama, until I knew something about him. What I know, I don't like. Nothing anyone can do will make me like him: call me a racist, hold your breath til you turn blue...I don't care.

He's a phony, and the more that's known, the less people will like him. He has as much chance of being president as a pet rock.

justice58 said...


Liestoppers didn't chase me off! I left because my e-mail address was posted on the board for 3 hours! After that, I received harassing e-mails because of my support of Crystal! Never wanted to post at DIW!

It's small minded & spiteful to post a person's personal e-mail address just because their point of view differs from yours!

I can support whomever I want! I support Crystal! Call me a racist, hold your breath til you turn blue...I don't care. :)

Anonymous said...

Obama's Pastor A Product Of Privilege, Not Poverty
By: Morton A. Klein

The world now knows that for nearly 20 years, Senator Barack Obama has attended Chicago’s Trinity United Church and that his pastor was Rev. Jeremiah Wright. In his March 18 speech on race, Obama criticized some of Wright’s statements but also essentially excused and rationalized his sermons on the basis that many African-Americans growing up in past decades experienced prejudice, discrimination, lack of economic opportunity, etc.

“This,” said Obama, “is the reality in which Reverend Wright and other African Americans of his generation grew up.”

Half right. African-Americans suffered, many even horrifically, in the past. But Wright was not one of them.

How do I know?

It happens that, as a Philadelphian, I attended Central High School – the same school Jeremiah Wright attended from 1955 to 1959. He could have gone to an integrated neighborhood school, but he chose to go to virtually all-white Central, the second oldest public high school in the country, which attracts the most serious academic students in the city.

The school then was about 80% Jewish (95% white). I attended Central a few years after Wright, so I did not know him personally. But I knew of him and I know where he used to live – in a tree-lined neighborhood of large stone houses in Germantown, a lovely neighborhood to this day. Moreover, Wright’s father was a prominent pastor and his mother a teacher and later vice-principal of the Philadelphia High School for Girls, also a distinguished academic high school.

In short, Wright had a comfortable upper-middle class upbringing. It was hardly the scene of poverty and indignity suggested by Obama to explain what he calls Wright’s anger and what I describe as his hatred.

In recent days, we have seen clips of several of Wright’s sermons showing him declaring “God Damn America,” blaming America for intentionally creating the drug problem, for creating the AIDS virus, for supporting Israeli “state terrorism against Palestinians,” for being responsible for causing 9/11, etc.

We also know that last year Wright’s church presented a lifetime achievement award to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. In fact, Wright accompanied Farrakhan in the 1980’s on a visit to Libya, which was then illegal under U.S. law.

Imagine for a moment if a white candidate for high office attended for 20 years a church led by a white supremacist pastor who railed regularly against blacks and accused them of bringing down civilization. Imagine if he honored neo-Nazi David Duke with a major award. Imagine if, when these facts emerged, the candidate said he disagreed with and criticized the pastor’s statements, while also saying he was largely unaware of them.

Imagine that he also tried to rationalize these views by referring to the anger felt by impoverished whites even though the pastor himself actually grew up in comfortable circumstances. Imagine also that his pastor retired amid the praises of his congregants and successor, but that the candidate refused to quit the church while continuing to praise the pastor for his good works helping poor whites. His criticism of the pastor would hardly suffice.

This is the situation Obama now faces. I make no judgment on why he joined and stayed with Wright and his church, though I am deeply concerned that he did so. By quitting the church, Obama would be doing the right thing while reassuring the American public in the process that he will not tolerate hate, divisiveness and anti-Americanism.

Morton A. Klein is national president of the Zionist Organization of America.

mac said...

I'm sorry that your email was posted; that is bad form, and just plain wrong.

I won't call you racist because you support a lying, drug addicted, mentally ill prostitute: some people like and support people like Jeremiah Wright! It doesn't mean they're racist, but it does call into question their judgement, fairness, credibility and integrity.

justice58 said...

anon 10:56,

You bring me to tears!

"Half right. African-Americans suffered, many even horrifically, in the past. But Wright was not one of them.

How do I know?

It happens that, as a Philadelphian, I attended Central High School – the same school Jeremiah Wright attended from 1955 to 1959. He could have gone to an integrated neighborhood school, but he chose to go to virtually all-white Central, the second oldest public high school in the country, which attracts the most serious academic students in the city.

Okay--Exactly how did he avoid suffering! That does not mean Rev Wright didn't feel the pains of discrimination & prejudice!

Lets talk about Little Ruby Bridges-- a 6 year old in 1960 sent to an intergated school. She had objects thrown at her, she had teachers who refused to teach while she was enrolled in the school,except one brave teacher--Barbara Henry! Imagine the fear this six year old felt but she never cried, even when a woman threaten to poison her, even when a black doll was put in a wooden coffin. Ruby acted like an adult!

Lets talk about the Little Rock Nine:

Imagine having the National Guard blocking young kids from entering a classroom! They were spit upon, called names, white residents began to riot because the Little Rock Nine were in the school! God help us! Blacks including Rev Wright have suffered unimaginable atrocities! The anger is real! It will not be dismissed!

mac said...

No one doubts the discrimination, the pain, the suffering.

It doesn't mean that reverse discrimination - like falsely accusing the government of creating AIDS, and falsely accusing three innocent young men of rape - is somehow justified.

Most of the racism I see these days is not from whites.

In fact, I was assaulted - had a bottle thrown at my head in my front yard - by a young man who called me, among other things:
"white m'f'er"
"n'gger" (huh?)
and other racist epithets.

I see the crap going on in my neighborhood, and most of it is self-inflicted. Most of the losers, white and black, call names, blame the other and do absolutely nothing to help themselves. All racists are losers.

And that includes the Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright.

Notice the neighborhood he's moving into? Ah, yes: tell the poor folk what they want to hear, fooling them about what you're gonna do for them, and they'll open up their purses and bank accounts! The klan used those very same techniques...

Every day is April Fools Day for people like him.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mac: A wise man once said "never rassle a hog. You get all muddy and the hog enjoys it." And before somebody gets their knickers in a knot, this is simile and metaphor.

justice58 said...

How typical! (Eye Roll)

Anonymous said...

John -

This is more of a reply to justice58 than anything else. With regard to the NAFTA fiasco, I suggest you try the following link:
With regard to Obama's white grandmother, all we have is his statement. The white grandmother is not around to confirm it. (Also, I was not joking when I said the black grandmother had more to fear from other blacks than the white grandmother - in the US more than half the homicides are black on black, 92% of black homicides are committed by other blacks; only 15% of white homicides are black on whites - so what did his black grandmother say when confronted with some mean looking dudes?)
With regard to the "Reverend" Wright and Trinity Church, I frankly find it not only difficult, but impossible to believe that in the twenty years the Obama was in the church he never once heard the "Reverend" say something truly offensive. That reminds of the famous Clinton line in 1992 when it was revealed he had used marijuana. His excuse - I smoked but never inhaled. As they use to say in my native Brooklyn - if you believe that there's a bridge I would like to sell you.
Finally with respect to Crystal Magnum - you say that you support her. The only support I could see is urging her to go to a mental hospital for therapy. She is one sick person who nearly had three innocent people incarcerated for a very long time. Thanks to people like John, KC Johnson, Liestoppers and Michael Gaynor, that never came to pass.

Jack in Silver Spring

justice58 said...


No one can force you to believe Barack or not! But do keep in mind, Barack has admitted that he did hear Rev Wright say controversial things---just not the ones that you're accusing him of! He is not going to disown Rev Wright. It ain't gonna happen!

If you don't want to vote for him---then don't! That's what is so good about democracy! But I must point out the facts so that you won't believe a lie when the truth is out there for everyone!

It was the Clinton Campaign that contacted NAFTA about a wink wink situation and then blamed it on the Barack Obama Campaign! It was first reported that it was the Obama Campaign but the truth finally came out days later and the Clintons finally zipped it! Just desperation on their part! Rather pitiful!

Anonymous said...

To Justice58 at 9:30 PM. I am going to take issue with you about your claim that that " ... the truth finally came out days later and the Clintons finally zipped it!" I suggest you peruse the following sites:

Aside from the AFP site, all the sites have Obama telling the Canadians (in one form or another) not to pay attention to his campaign rhetoric. Indeed, in the last of the four sites (thehill) he just about admitted as much.

Finally, Michael Gaynor has uncovered another Obama fib. See the following site:

Two thoughts here. First, a pattern is beginning to emerge for Obama. Initially there is denial, then there is (partial) admission. He keeps making the same mistake over and over again. That does not auger well for him and for us should he become President. A colleague of mine has a sign in her office saying: Always make new mistakes. Obama should have that sign in his campaign headquarters.
Second thought: Obama has been extraordinarily vague about what his policies as President will be. Given the pattern we are seeing, will we now know and trust that what he might tell us are really his true intentions?

Jack in Silver Spring