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Obama Declared Winner.--

Fox is declaring Obama the winner in Iowa.

UPDATE (9:50pm): With nearly 90% of the Democratic votes in, Obama is leading by 7% (at 37%). Edwards and Clinton are tied at 30%.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Obama Declared Winner.--
  2. Huckabee Declared Projected Iowa Winner.--
Hillary Clinton Cannot Be Stopped!!! (mail):
Hillary Clinton is inevitable and invincible. On to New Hampshire!
1.3.2008 10:02pm
therut:
Just watching the Demos on c-span at one of their cauciiii and they passed a resolution for a Constiutional Amendment to declare Corporations non persons except as passed by statue for thing done for the COMMON GOOD. NO kidding. Good Grief. HAHAHAHA. Where do these people want to live the USSR. Obama so what..... I really do not care which Demo wins except Edwards or Kuchi . They both have a few nuts loose.
1.3.2008 10:29pm
GV:
Jim, who are you supporting? I suppose you're likely the only conspirator who might be supporting Obama.
1.3.2008 10:29pm
Chris Bell (mail) (www):
I consider all the candidates according to their positions, but Obama is the only candidate that manages to move me emotionally.

Congrats to Barack.
1.3.2008 10:33pm
LM (mail):
Chris Bell said,

I consider all the candidates according to their positions, but Obama is the only candidate that manages to move me emotionally.

I couldn't have said it better.
1.3.2008 10:51pm
rlb:
Oh, I dunno-- I get a little emotional when I think about another Clinton presidency...
1.3.2008 10:55pm
dearieme:
Is revulsion an emotion?
1.3.2008 11:08pm
dearieme:
Will Hellary blame a vast left-wing conspiracy?
1.3.2008 11:12pm
LM (mail):
I could hardly be more indifferent to Hillary, but if she's nominated I'll vote for her as a gift to my right wing friends. It will give them all something to live for.
1.3.2008 11:23pm
James Lindgren (mail):
I might vote for Obama in the primary, but I wouldn't say that I'm supporting him (I have in the past, though).

Right now I like Obama as a person more than anyone except possibly Thompson. A Giuliani/Thompson ticket might be attractive to me.

I haven't made up my mind yet. A lot depends on how the War is going and how serious the various Democrats are about doing what I think amounts to surrendering at the first opportunity.

Jim Lindgren
1.3.2008 11:36pm
Oren:
<blockquote>I could hardly be more indifferent to Hillary, but if she's nominated I'll vote for her as a gift to my right wing friends. It will give them all something to live for.</blockquote>

Yeah, the way I see, Clinton/Obama is win/win - so long as we don't get Edwards as veep.
1.3.2008 11:40pm
ChrisIowa (mail):
I'm guessing now, Prof. Lindgren probably knows, since they're both from Chicago, but this is probably the first time Obama has won a contested election.
1.4.2008 12:17am
Thales (mail) (www):
"I haven't made up my mind yet. A lot depends on how the War is going and how serious the various Democrats are about doing what I think amounts to surrendering at the first opportunity."

That's a fair point--I've seen no credible suggestion that Obama would simply pull out all troops without regard for the consequences, despite his prescient opposition to the initial invasion. I would expect him to display the same good judgment about when and how to end the war as he did about opposing it. Frankly I could see Clinton sending in more troops. It would be nice to see someone develop Biden's partition idea further--it may not ultimately be viable, but it's one of the few well considered, adult suggestions that goes beyond the tagline of surge versus withdraw.
1.4.2008 12:23am
ChrisIowa (mail):

It would be nice to see someone develop Biden's partition idea further--it may not ultimately be viable, but it's one of the few well considered, adult suggestions that goes beyond the tagline of surge versus withdraw.


The problem with Biden's proposal is that Iraq is too mixed and intertwined to determine any boundaries. It also imposes a government from the top. A better approach would be to use the local citizens councils and form a Federal type government incorporating the tribes and councils that already exist.
1.4.2008 12:35am
egn (mail):
That's fantastic. I am convinced that Obama is the only halfway decent human being in the entire race, aside from maybe Paul.
1.4.2008 12:37am
Thoughtful (mail):
That's fantastic. I am convinced that Obama is the only halfway decent human being in the entire race, aside from maybe Paul.
---
A good point. Here's a thought, though...If there were no such thing as politics, Paul would be, as he was, a doctor. Obama, though he has a law degree, sounds like he'd be best suited (much like Bill C.) as a preacher.

That is to say, Obama would make people feel better. Paul would actually work to make them better.
1.4.2008 1:17am
Hoosier:
I'm /stunned/ that a number of VCers are thinking about voting for Obama.

The presidency is not an entry-level job. Obama has absolutely no significant preparation. No long years (or even months) of relevant experience: he was fund-raising for others much of his second year in the Senate, and has been running for president since November, 2006. As a federal legislator, he has no meaningful record of legislative accomplishments. None.

He is very popular with faculty at my university. One expects this. College faculties are populated by smart dumb guys, to use William Buckley's phrase. And yet--Obama would never be considered qualified for the presidency of our institution. With one year of experience, he's ready for THE Presidency? And we know enough about him in office to judge this?

How can anyone seriously make that claim?


The man is a hugley talented politician. I'll grant you that. But he should have waited. He has no business running for president. I was unpleasantly surprised to find so much support on the right for a one-term governor from Massachusetts. But this is just irresponsible.
1.4.2008 1:17am
Hillary Clinton Cannot Be Stopped!!! (mail):
The man is a hugley talented politician. I'll grant you that. But he should have waited. He has no business running for president. I was unpleasantly surprised to find so much support on the right for a one-term governor from Massachusetts. But this is just irresponsible.

Hillary, is that you?
1.4.2008 1:42am
Morat20 (mail):
The presidency is not an entry-level job. Obama has absolutely no significant preparation. No long years (or even months) of relevant experience:

I think the case could be made that there IS no real relevant experience for the Presidency, except being President.

Political experience of any sort is probably useful, though.
1.4.2008 1:52am
hope is fluff (mail):
I dated Barack, but I married Hillary.
1.4.2008 2:03am
Cornellian (mail):
The presidency is not an entry-level job. Obama has absolutely no significant preparation.

As opposed to what? George Bush's few years of ribbon cutting ceremonies as governor of Texas? Bill Clinton's similarly modest experience? George H.W. Bush is about the only recent president who had a really good resume for the job.
1.4.2008 2:13am
BillClintonCannotBeStopped_justaskMonica:
I am shocked that people would vote for someone with as little experience as Obama. Next thing you know, they will pick as a President someone whose national legislative experience consists of being governor of a rinky-dink state like Arkansas, or whose Daddy got him all of his political jobs.
1.4.2008 2:15am
Point of Fact (mail):

I dated Barack, but I married Hillary.



I dated Hillary all throughout 2007, but I dumped her in Iowa in 2008.
1.4.2008 2:17am
James Lindgren (mail):
Obama was in the state senate. In 2000 he ran an unsuccessful primary campaign to unseat former Black Panther Bobby Rush from the US Congress and got trounced. Obama was in enough of a hurry that he ignored sage advice not to run.

Here is a recent AP story.

In 2004 his Republican opponent for the US Senate withdrew in a sex scandal, so Obama easily beat the last-minute replacement.
1.4.2008 2:22am
Thoughtful (mail):
"In 2004 his Republican opponent for the US Senate withdrew in a sex scandal, so Obama easily beat the last-minute replacement."

So obviously Obama is hoping the Republican nominee is going to be Guiliani...
1.4.2008 2:32am
Mr. Liberal:
Tonight, I am a very happy supporter of Barack Obama. The country definitely wants change.

On the Republican side, I find Mike Huckabee to be the least offensive.

So, overall, a very good result.
1.4.2008 3:39am
Perseus (mail):
I feel like we're in ancient Athens. Utterly irresponsible votes by the capricious demos for Obama and Huckabee.
1.4.2008 5:41am
Arkady:

I feel like we're in ancient Athens. Utterly irresponsible votes by the capricious demos for Obama and Huckabee.


Maybe so, but neither appears to be a Cleon. And I have to agree with Mr. Liberal: I kind of like Mike Huckabee. Certainly his religious views are not mine, but I find him refreshing. I particularly like this line:

"People would rather elect a president who reminds them of the guy they work with, not that guy who laid them off."

Gee, I wonder who that last guy could be?

I would have voted for Obama.
1.4.2008 6:07am
Hoosier:
Cornellian: I've heard your response many, many times. Please take another look at my post, and then at yours. I can't see how your point constitutes any sort of response to mine.

Or perhaps I should say that it is the 'Meadow Party response,' calling to mind 'Bloom County' in 1984. "We've had lousy pesidents in the recent past, so now it's time for a dead cat and a penguin." But Berk Breathed had one advantage: He was kidding. Obama supporters seem to be serious.

Morat--Do you really belive that there is NO relevant experience? Or, rather, that nothing can fully prepare one for the job? These are very different statements. I'm a Hoosier, so in a bipartisan fashion that reflects just a whiff of state pride, I'll note that both of our senators have quite a bit of relevant experience. Compare Obama to Bayh; Romney to Lugar. It's just silly to suggest that one cannot say which of each pair is better prepared for the White House.

Again: Obama has no business being our president.
1.4.2008 7:46am
Duffy Pratt (mail):
Hoosier:

Point out for me Lincoln, Kennedy, or Teddy Roosevelt's amazing qualifications before taking office.

And, if a person spends much more than a term in the Senate, its basically a death sentence for getting elected President.
1.4.2008 7:50am
Bretzky (mail):
Hoosier:


Morat--Do you really belive that there is NO relevant experience? Or, rather, that nothing can fully prepare one for the job?

Not to butt-in, but yes, I do agree that there is nothing that can come close to preparing someone to fill the office of President of the United States, at least, not the modern presidency. There are only two things that come close to coming close, and they are commanding troops under fire and running a very large corporation or non-profit.

While it's very unlikely that I would vote for Obama in a general election, I would feel comfortable with him as president because I think he has shown that he's not someone who gets rattled. The one trait that a president must have is an ability to keep his wits about him. I think Obama has shown that he would do that. The decisions that those wits would likely lead him to I'm not so sure about, but he would be able to make them.
1.4.2008 8:30am
amateur historian (mail):
Concerning Duffy Pratt's request: "Point out for me Lincoln, Kennedy, or Teddy Roosevelt's amazing qualifications before taking office."

Lincoln:
As a lawyer, frequently appeared before the Illinois Supreme Court.
Four successive terms in the Illinois House of Representatives.
Leader of the Illinois Whig party.
One term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
One of the founders of the Republican Party.

Teddy Roosevelt:
Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Navy.
Governor of New York
Vice President

JFK:
The most overrated president in the 20th century, because of his martyr's death.
1.4.2008 8:56am
John McCall (mail):
Obama, Edwards, and Clinton are all fairly inexperienced, but no other Democratic candidates are feasible at this point. I think a Democratic primary voter would have to be fairly damned risk-averse to vote for, say, Rudy Giuliani on the grounds that he's more of a sure thing.

Really, none of the leading candidates are paragons of long and dedicated service.
1.4.2008 9:25am
John McCall (mail):
Er, rather, a Democratic voter would etc. Obviously a Democratic primary voter would have to be fairly damned out of his mind to vote for Rudy Giuliani.
1.4.2008 9:26am
ChrisIowa (mail):

I'll note that both of our senators have quite a bit of relevant experience. Compare Obama to Bayh; Romney to Lugar. It's just silly to suggest that one cannot say which of each pair is better prepared for the White House.


The executive experience of any Governor far exceeds the value of any Senator no matter how long he has been in the Senate. The talents needed to be a good Senator are just not relevant to the job of POTUS. Therefore the only person mention above that has any relevant experience is Romney, unless the others did something before they were elected to the Senate.
1.4.2008 9:31am
John M. Perkins (mail):
What would be an originalist's view of corporations?
1.4.2008 9:54am
liberty (mail) (www):

I feel like we're in ancient Athens. Utterly irresponsible votes by the capricious demos for Obama and Huckabee.


I feel like Iowa might as well be Germany or France. Voting for Socialists on the left and Christian Democrats on the right. Not a classical liberal, free marketer or limited government Republican in the bunch. All the leading candidates Statists.

I guess it would have been worse if Edwards had won on the Democratic side (or Hillary) but Obama is just better spoken - not less Statist. Its the victory of the Populist.

Thankfully, I think its meaningless on the Republican side. I don't expect Huckabee to place better than 3rd in NH, and hopefully worse than that.
1.4.2008 10:00am
dearieme:
"George H.W. Bush is about the only recent president who had a really good resume for the job." And he did a magnificent job in putting together, and holding together, the coalition for the first Gulf War. So y'all sacked him, treating yourselves to the two-duds-in-a-row of Slick Willie and W. Your Democrat choice is now one of three woefully inexperienced candidates, and your Republican choice is probably quite irrelevant. Amongst the Trivial Trio, a process of elimination highlights the attractions of BO.
1.4.2008 10:40am
Robert G (mail):
First, in response to Liberty: Edwards is much more liberal than Obama. Look at his health care plan (which mandates people to get health care); moreover, he has a national college tuition support program, which Obama doesn't have.

Second, in response to Hoosier: I like all of Hoosier's points, but I actually think that it makes sense that faculty wouldn't want Obama as university president but do want him as US president. There's a seniority system in place at universities, according to which a president has to have been a faculty member for a while before anyone is comfortable with him, and this because they have to be convinced that he "knows their issues." In other words, there are many fewer constituencies in a university, so it's more important that a university president knows their issues inside and out. There are so many constituencies for either the Republican or Democratic parties that this is impossible.

Moreover, one commenter pointed out that Obama didn't get rattled on the campaign trail. If this is true, this is itself an important quality for a president--compare how many times Hillary changed her campaign strategy to how Bill would often determine his policies either by the last guy who talked to him or by what was written about him in the op-ed pages (or so I've heard about Bill; admittedly, I get this narrative from Rich Lowry's Legacy, so take it for what it's worth).

But I take your point that being a governor, general, or the manager of a big corporation are all better preparations for the presidency than being a senator.
1.4.2008 10:43am
Robert G (mail):
I also second dearieme's point that Bush, Sr. was a pretty damn impressive president, at least re: his foreign policy.
1.4.2008 10:44am
Hoosier:
Duffy--
(A) The fact that Lincoln was inexperienced and yet highly successful does not serve to undermine the case that I'm making. Despite Americans having been amazingly lucky to have the greatest president in history at the time when we needed our greatest president, I still think that some experience is in order. As an analogy: Sometimes a person with no medical training saves a person's life. But I'm still gonna take my kids to a licensed pediatrician; (B) Looking back on TR and JFK only reinforces my beliefs. I agree with Khrushchev on only one thing: Kennedy was unready. And TR was insane.

Bretzky--I have no evidence that Obama keeps his cool under fire. Unless one views "under fire" as meaning only something that might harm his career. This is like Nixon in, "Six Crises," including the campaign finance issue and the "Checkers Speech" denoument as a national "crisis". What did that prove? That he was ambitious enough to keep his career alive? Hardly the same as keeping one's wits during, say, the Berlin Blockade.
1.4.2008 10:45am
liberty (mail) (www):

First, in response to Liberty: Edwards is much more liberal than Obama. Look at his health care plan (which mandates people to get health care); moreover, he has a national college tuition support program, which Obama doesn't have.


Hillary's plan mandates coverage - I don't know about Edwards'. Obama's mandates coverage for all children.

Obama often sounds more populaist and less socialist, but every once in a while he lets slip some very socialist rhetoric and calls to action. I am not sure that we know his positions clearly just yet. He is also extremely inexperienced, what he would do in such a powerful position is quite unknown for that reason too.
1.4.2008 11:17am
liberty (mail) (www):
Wait, maybe I have that backwards- Edwards' is the one that mandates for all children. But Barack's is still a serious national health care plan with subsidies, mandates on employers and all kinds of federal mangling and intervening.

Not libertarian stuff by any definition.
1.4.2008 11:21am
bittern (mail):
Obama is certainly one cool customer, but I think one of his biggest strengths is his ability to quickly recognize the hopes and dreams of whoever he's dealing with. Americans have a tendency to pick a president that is opposite in some regard to the prior president, and that would fit the pattern.

liberty, you were right - Obama wants to mandate health insurance for children. Edwards and Clinton are further onto the universal coverage. Obama specifically didn't want to tell adults what to do for themselves, but you're right that none of the Democrats is highly inspired by libertarian theories. Constitutionalist, well, that might be more likely.

ChrisIowa, Obama beat out a raft of candidates in his 2004 Illinois Senate primary, including state Comptroller and Chicago political scion Dan Hynes and $28 million Blair Hull. Maybe it looked like a walk, but they don't giving Senate seats away in Illinois.
1.4.2008 12:01pm
Daniel S (mail):
One qualification/skill that I think that people consistently underestimate in Obama is his background as a seriously skilled community level organizer. I think that what we are going to see is that Obama is seriously gifted at creating coalitions of people to achieve some purpose. Think of it this way, Edwards, Clinton, and most of the Republican field will *fight* their opposition. Obama will pick some people in the opposition, put them on a committee, but then define the rules of the committee, effectively bringing them into the process while, based on what I've seen, setting the ground rules. At a community level, you don't *fight* the power, you massage it.

I think that many on the left would like someone to really go for the republicans jugular, but I think that Obama could have the skill to spank the opposition and have them turn around and say "Thank you, may I have another?".

Note also that such coalition building is far from irrelevant as a president. Indeed, it could be far more effective than having someone that knows which direction you need to drive from Kabul to get to Islamabad.
1.4.2008 12:33pm
Thales (mail) (www):
"Wait, maybe I have that backwards- Edwards' is the one that mandates for all children. But Barack's is still a serious national health care plan with subsidies, mandates on employers and all kinds of federal mangling and intervening.

Not libertarian stuff by any definition."

This is true--but as a former hard core libertarian with some strong liberal/moderate tendencies, I'd like to address this concern with a comparison to the status quo:

We do not have a free market in health care in this country. Instead we have a mix of some of the worst elements of statism and the market, and a woefully undercovered populace. To my mind, some important questions a serious conversation about health care must answer are:

1) Why is health care mostly tied to employment? This has many disadvantages that discourage fluidity in labor markets, seems to have resulted from a quirk of the tax code, and makes coverage wildly uneven and expensive.

2) Why are health and other insurance companies exempt from antitrust laws, and how is that a free market result (unless you adopt an ideological Austrian economics approach to the free market)? It's no accident that we have a very concentrated market in health coverage with few good options on the consumer end.

3) Why do we expend so many resources prolonging life in the last year and days for the terminally ill? Hospice and other palliative care offers more dignity for these people and frees up resources for those who have a chance to recover and be healthy.

4) Why do we treat conditions on an emergency basis rather than encouraging health? Many, many diseases are rooted in poor lifestyle choices and lack of good dietary options (thi s also dovetails with bad, non-free market agricultural policies which encourage us to create a surplus of corn and make bad meat and processed foods out of it).

To my mind, I don't think a true laizzez-faire system will address any of these (let alone ever be politically viable). Why not exchange the lousy partial-government run system we have for a partial-government system that works better and demonstrably improves health at lower total cost? The people of Canada, the UK and France are not raving lunatics, and we might have something to learn from their systems even if we don't carbon copy them.
1.4.2008 12:59pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
One qualification/skill that I think that people consistently underestimate in Obama is his background as a seriously skilled community level organizer. I think that what we are going to see is that Obama is seriously gifted at creating coalitions of people to achieve some purpose.


Not really, Obama doesn't exactly have a track record in the Senate of reaching across the aisle unlike say a Joseph Lieberman or a John McCain. In terms of votes he's about as far to the left as Ron Paul or Tom Tancredo are to the right except that he's been treated with kid gloves by the MSM since day one to give the illusion that he's somehow some great "moderate" or "bridge builder."
1.4.2008 1:22pm
PLR:
In terms of votes he's about as far to the left as Ron Paul or Tom Tancredo are to the right except that he's been treated with kid gloves by the MSM since day one to give the illusion that he's somehow some great "moderate" or "bridge builder."

To the extent I have seen that notion mentioned, it's been as a result of comments by GOP legislators. Within the Democratic party, he's a center realist, and not all that close to the leftish Kucinich and Edwards (at least the version of Edwards that has been on the campaign trail).

I like him, though the online voter guides when I fill them out keep telling me that Chris Dodd is my man on the issues. Maybe so, but I could barely pick Dodd out of a lineup.

Obama first and Hillary third. It's a good Friday in the widwest.
1.4.2008 1:51pm
Orielbean (mail):
The leader I want is a critical thinker and an efficient manager. I haven't found one of those yet on either side. Paul is Perot with less Texas and more texas. Obama captured JFK's oratory ability and leaves me with no understanding of his substance. Clinton has big money backers and no soul, exactly like Romney. Edwards is trotting out the usual liberal anti-corporate tropes, just as Guliani wields the firey sword of 9/11 to rally the base. Huckabee finally gives the religious right a voice, and it sounds hokey, homey, and a little nutty as expected. McCain was a contender in 2000 and was our best candidate at the time, but all his subsequent backpedaling has damaged my opinion of his leadership character. He still strikes me as the most honest in a mulligan stew of dishonest opportunists.

Who will make the case for the candidate that will be an efficient manager of his cabinet? We can see the pitfalls that come from turning a blind eye to your "team" and letting the lieutenant order the captain around, and I would argue that was the largest systemic failure of Bush2's presidency.
1.4.2008 2:17pm
LM (mail):

I feel like Iowa might as well be Germany or France. Voting for Socialists on the left and Christian Democrats on the right.

From your mouth to God's ears.
1.4.2008 2:28pm
bittern (mail):

Obama doesn't exactly have a track record in the Senate of reaching across the aisle unlike say a Joseph Lieberman or a John McCain.

Thorley, re Daniel S, coalition building is about working across the aisle. Lieberman is more like crossing the aisle, sitting down over there and spitting at your old side.

Nice turnout, Iowans.
1.4.2008 2:31pm
Syd Henderson (mail):
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):


Not really, Obama doesn't exactly have a track record in the Senate of reaching across the aisle unlike say a Joseph Lieberman or a John McCain.


The one piece of legislation I most associate with Obama is the bill on reporting earmarks to legislation. His co-sponsor on that bill was Tom Coburn (who I give more credit for the bill). I would call that an example of reaching way across the aisle.
1.4.2008 2:45pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
The one piece of legislation I most associate with Obama is the bill on reporting earmarks to legislation. His co-sponsor on that bill was Tom Coburn (who I give more credit for the bill). I would call that an example of reaching way across the aisle.


Not really, Obama was one of about 47 co-sponsors to a feel-good measure that passed both Houses by unanimous acclimation because it doesn't actually do anything to cut earmarks. But when it came to actually voting on something substantive like trying to cut back on earmarks, Obama voted with the pork-barrellers as he's always done.

Which pretty much sums up Obama -- great on symbolism, lacking in substance.
1.4.2008 3:23pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
To the extent I have seen that notion mentioned, it's been as a result of comments by GOP legislators. Within the Democratic party, he's a center realist, and not all that close to the leftish Kucinich and Edwards (at least the version of Edwards that has been on the campaign trail).


Oh please, Obama gave an infamous speech during his Senate campaign saying that Iraq was all a plot cooked up by Karl Rove to distract the country from "corporate scandals" and the "poverty rate." If he actually believed the crap he was saying, he's one Michael Moore film away from being a 9/11 Truther. If he just said it to get elected, then it says more about what kind of a person he really is than all of the smarmy substance-free speeches he's delivered since he entered the race. Either way -- not someone who should be president.
1.4.2008 3:37pm
ScottS (mail):
Executive experience is relevant, to be sure; I wish Bill Richardson had been taken more seriously as someone with executive and diplomatic credentials.

That being said, the experience of Cheney wasn't helpful. He was very effective at getting what he wanted from the bureaucracy; the problem was his judgment -- what he wanted was based on ideological preconceptions, paranoia, and an hubristric view of American power. Power corrupts. Experience with power is a two-edged sword. The worst case scenario for Obama is a Clinton-esque management fiasco early in his term, something I would expect conservatives to wish for given the probable Democratic margins in the Congress.

You can't question Obama's intelligence. He has shown no signs of being a closed-minded ideologue. If you don't like his policies, fine, but it seems to me that the "leadership class" (Clintonistas and GOP types both) attempting to impose a threshold of experience that disqualifies Obama is more about their fear of his success than a real look at what the US needs in a President at this moment.

There is no candidate in the field that will recapture America's soft power in global affairs the way Obama will. Period. Our hard power has been depleted and needs time to revive, and the only way to make that time is with soft-power diplomacy. On that basis I think we could consider a vote for any Republican to be irresponsible.

The world is not our oyster, not anymore. Get used to it. Humanity will be better for it. 100 years from now, the US will be seen as having been the driving force for the general welfare of humanity -- if the current group of neo-fascists disrespectful and disreputable conservatives will shut up and get out of the way. I really don't mind people disagreeing with Obama on policy or even questioning his experience, but calling a vote for him "irresponsible" is nonsensical and exactly the sort of partisan blather his leadership might be able to mend.
1.4.2008 3:40pm
Daniel S (mail):
See Charles Peters in today's Washington Post for examples. He pushed through a law in Illinois requiring videotaping of interrogations. This was done over strenuous opposition and eventually he won over his Republican colleagues and the bill passed 35-0.

He can work the opposition, he doesn't have to work them over.
1.4.2008 4:52pm
Hoosier:
Daniel S--Although I'm a proud Hoosier of nearly two decades standing, I spent the first 23 years of my life in Chicago. I can assure anyone who is interested in this matter of the following: Any similarities between the Illinois GOP and the national GOP are purely coincidental.

Note that Jim Thompson and Jim Edgar led the Illinois Republicans for a quarter century. Chicago is so overwhelmingly Democratic, as are some areas down "south of 80," that when I left 60% of registered voters in the state were Democrats. And the GOP has not exactly been growing in the Land of Lincoln since then. The result--which I actually found pleasant--was that the Illinois GOP has to be quite moderate in order to compete in elections.

In Springfield, Obama would never have had to reach across the aisle to ideological conservatives. So, again, not much preparation.
1.4.2008 5:23pm
Hoosier:
Upon further reflection, I realize that the references to Thompson and Edgar may not mean much to VCers. So, to put a fine point on it: Both are pro-choice. Adding in Ryan, the state GOP nominated, and then elected, abortion-rights supporters as governor for 28 conseccutive years.
1.4.2008 5:32pm
Hoosier:
ScottS--

"That being said, the experience of Cheney wasn't helpful." Which is a good point if the question were whether experience is a guarantee of good government in the future. But it bolsters Obama's brief only if your point is that experience is actually a BAD thing for apresident to have.

On the other hand, having read the rest of your post, I suspect that you might believe this.

But really, Scott, your post was so intemperate that I don't feel any need to respond in detail. I'll leave it at his: It's actually funny to see someone appealing to Obama's ability to "mend" a nation riven by "partisan blather," when that person also speaks of our "neo-fascist" administration.

You yourself must admit that this is silly. Musn't you?
1.4.2008 5:43pm
ScottS (mail):
Hoosier:

1. Obviously I believe that experience is relevant -- to a point ("a double edged sword" and "power corrupts"). The Cheney example doesn't require one to believe that experience is a bad thing; it was employed to argue that experience is not as important as judgment.


2. You aren't too good with intentional irony and tongue in cheek hyperbole. That being said, I should have made it more clear that there are reasonable people with differing values whom I respect (like Mr. Volokh) who I think Obama will be able to work with. There are also dangerous ideologues who need to be permanently routed into political oblivion, people who are simply too authoritarian / selfish / imperialistic to be leaders of a civilized and decent nation. Mr. Bush should have been one of the former (and advertised himself as such) but seems to have been swayed to our great detriment by the latter.

4. Describing someone's vote as "irresponsible" is intemperate. (i.e. you started it, so don't play the civility card now, come on.)

5. This is totally amusing to me, too, although I suspect for different reasons.
1.4.2008 6:12pm
PLR:
Oh please, Obama gave an infamous speech during his Senate campaign saying that Iraq was all a plot cooked up by Karl Rove to distract the country from "corporate scandals" and the "poverty rate." If he actually believed the crap he was saying, he's one Michael Moore film away from being a 9/11 Truther. If he just said it to get elected, then it says more about what kind of a person he really is than all of the smarmy substance-free speeches he's delivered since he entered the race. Either way -- not someone who should be president.

Once a politician has a track record in office and is forced to take positions, that tells me a whole lot more than what he or she said to get elected in the first place when nothing is at stake.

If his speeches have been substance-free, I presume you find nothing objectionable in them beyond their amibiguity. The field of ambiguously speaking candidates is quite large, good luck in your selection.
1.4.2008 6:43pm
Hoosier:
ScottS--Well, ONE of us is not "too good with intentional irony and tongue in cheek hyperbole. " That's my attempt to reach across the aisle.

But I'm still unclear on what you mean to say. My position is clear. Here's my syllogism:

"It is irresponsible to vote for a presidential candidate who lacks experience;
Obama lacks experience;
ERGO: It is irresponsible to vote for Obama."

Now, the logic of this is impecable: Aristotle himself told me so at dinner. (A implies C; B is A; therefore B implies C.) So is it the major or minor premise that you are contesting?

And if you think "irresponsible" is "intemperate," you might want to check your frame of reference. This isn't a Quaker meeting. Or perhaps you once again meant to be "ironic." Maybe I've watched 'Seinfeld' for too long, and my irony detector needs recalibration to detect trace levels.
1.4.2008 9:02pm
ScottS (mail):
Hoosier:

I disagree with both A and B; they are both contestable assertions, and thus your conclusion C doesn't work for me. My first post was attacking your premise A on the basis that experience isn't always what it is cracked up to be. I am not going to take the time to review Obama's experience (B) here, but I take citizenship seriously and find his experience to be sufficient. Obama has been a success throughout his adult life. If you want to see more, by all means don't vote for him and encourage others to do likewise.

But please don't tell other people that have thoughtfully judged the field, including this question of "experience," that they are being irresponsible in their civic duty.

If you didn't understand this from my first post, I think I know why. When people are attacked, they defend. I amused myself with a snarky reply, expecting that you and/or others would either get it and be amused, and maybe even think about new points being made, or not get it and become argumentative. Unsurprisingly, the latter happened. It all really does underscore Obama's theme.

Irony and snarky blog posts are fun, and civility boring, but if I really wanted you to reconsider your position I would not have written up my first post the way I did. What I was more interested in was counter-attacking what I found to be an insulting and weak post of yours and having fun in the process. Just because I did it consciously doesn't make it any less hypocritical. To be honest, I spend hours every day being civil about politics and in my time off I enjoy getting down in the mud once in a while, but I think I'm going to refrain from such self-indulgence in the future, at least to extent that I can summon the will to do so. Sometimes, if you aren't outraged, then you aren't paying attention. Obama's experience is just not something I think is reasonable to be outraged about.

Here's the thesis: calling people irresponsible is in and of itself irresponsible, and most political active people do this all the time without thinking about it. Let's presume that we are both responsible citizens. The dialog might be less lively, but if the war on terror (and other challenges) are half as serious as advertised, we are going to have to bridge the gap somehow, and that starts with a bit of self-restraint. So I'll vent to my friends and save some civility for my adversaries, especially those that have some respect to offer as well. (Homophobes can &^% off, really. Their hatred has hurt me too much for me to turn the other cheek.)

Mutual respect is a two way street. Some angry liberals dislike Obama because they think he's blind to the disrespect sent from right to left over the years. He isn't. He is just mature enough not to let it rattle him. This I think is a better qualification to be President than 4 or 8 more years as Senator or Governor.
1.4.2008 11:27pm
Hoosier:
"I disagree with both A and B; they are both contestable assertions, and thus your conclusion C doesn't work for me."

Well, most minor premises are (theoretically) subject to empirical debate, though frankly in this case I can't see how. ("Socrates is a man," to use the most famous syllogism, is at least somewhat less obvious than "All men are mortal." I guess.)

But if you don't accept my major premise, then I'm really not interested in carrying this any further.
1.5.2008 4:38pm