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Obama fumbles at Faith Forum

 
 
Reply Sat 16 Aug, 2008 09:01 pm
Although I have a bias, seems most pundits agree...Obama lost this round.
I worried initially when McCain came across as nervous, whereas Obama was cool throughout, but McCain came into his own shortly after. Obama was too nuanced and his positions too tortured...

Here's thoughts from the Obama camp that I generally agree with:

from KOS of all places:

Quote:
Obama Campaign: Get off vacation mode and get back in the saddle.
by icebergslim
Sat Aug 16, 2008 at 07:31:50 PM PDT
Yes. I watched the Rick Warren Forum and a few thoughts.

Obama looked rested, glad for that. He needed a vacation to refuel his mind, body and soul. Glad. Now, let's get busy.

Two things happened tonight and everyone know that I am a Barack Obama supporter, but a realist, none the less.

McCain has learned how to manipulate answers and Obama need to burnish his answers, decisively.

icebergslim's diary :: ::
Barack Obama, tonight had a conversation with Pastor Rick Warren. You saw it and could feel it.

He was real, genuine and the audience followed along.

But he was not definitive, he was too nuanced.

Then we had John McCain who was definitive, gave a black or white answer, there were no greys. He was not nuanced.

This is the difference in approach of the two. And it is a huge difference.

This crowd is from Orange County in California, one of the few red districts, so McCain had the edge.

But it was the way McCain was allowed to give a stump speech while weaving all his military moments during the course. The crowd ate it up.

For me, that is a worry, but it can be defeated.

Barack gave thoughtful, sometimes disconnected answers. Yes, he had a conversation but he got to get back on point.

I state this because many of us in the blogsphere are minorities of this election. Meaning, we following every noun, verb, sentence of these candidates and then give our opinions.

The rest of America is not on this mode. In fact, most did not watch this tonight and are out and about. So, if John and Barack are like this during the debates, who do you think will win?

Sorry, don't trust the public. The public has been uninformed, dumb, stupid to put George W. Bush in office, not once but twice. Why should this be different?

This election is about the economy and Barack Obama must seal the deal, but not like he was tonight.

And yes, I can complain and criticize. And yes, he just got off vacation, but it is now called "snaps" and that means get back in the saddle of campaigning.

Am I a worry wort? Hell to the yeah, ain't you? After seeing these two speak and know the phoniness of John McCain, Barack need to get in that saddle quick, fast and in a hurry.

NO MORE OF TONIGHT.


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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 10,197 • Replies: 62

 
Ramafuchs
 
  -3  
Reply Sat 16 Aug, 2008 09:45 pm
@slkshock7,
I agree with your thought-prvoking article.
Let me add another one to expose my ignorance.

"TO: Barack H. Obama, Presumptive Nominee, Democratic Party.
FROM: Ernest Partridge, Philosopher at Large, Incorrigible Gadfly.

RE: The Campaign: How to Learn from the Past and Avoid Repeating It.


Congratulations on your long, hard-fought and well-executed (presumptive) victory in the pre-convention campaign!

You will need all that energy, endurance, and strategic intelligence if you are to prevail against John McCain and the Republican Party in November.

And even so, if you regard McCain and the GOP as the extent of your opposition, you will surely lose. For you are up against a hostile corporate media, the United States Department of Justice, and a rigged vote-counting system that is secret, privately owned, and in the pocket of the Republican Party.

Clearly, Al Gore and John Kerry were defeated, not by the voters, but by the corrupted voting machines and compilers and by a hostile media. You will be too, unless you acknowledge and deal with these adversaries directly and decisively. The Democratic Party apparatus, which has hitherto ignored these threats, will be of no use to you unless you counteract the Republican campaign to strike Democrats from the voting rolls, and unless you mobilize the Party against the media and the privatized voting system.

In short: on the merits of your qualifications and those of your opponent, and on the salience of the issues, you should be headed toward an easy victory in November. The public is fed-up with Bush and Cheney, as Bush is the now the most despised President in the history of public opinion polling. The media gloss on the Iraq War and Occupation has worn-off and two-thirds of the voters want us out, now! The vast majority of the population is being devastated by Bushenomics, sees no prospect for relief, and knows full well who is responsible for their plight.

Accordingly, the captive corporate media will steadfastly direct public attention away from the public discontent and the compelling issues and will instead direct that attention toward trivial distractions: lapel pins, retired ministers, “elitism,” and, surreptitiously, race, loyalty, and Islam. They did so in the past, with great success: Willie Horton in 1988, "inventing the internet," serial exaggerations, earth tones in 2000, swift boats, wind surfing, “the French look” in 2004.

Treat such distractions with the bemused contempt that they deserve. Brush them aside, and direct attention back to the issues. You have reason to believe that, at long last, the public is on to the GOP’s “weapons of mass distraction.”

Because your qualifications and the relevant issues will not suffice, due to the added obstacles of a hostile media and election fraud, you must disarm the media, alert the public to the threat to its franchise, and, above all, run up a victory margin so massive that it can not be denied.

http://www.crisispapers.org/essays8p/advice.htm
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Sat 16 Aug, 2008 09:49 pm
McCain definitely won this round; he gave clear answers without hedging - even about abortion and marriage.
Below viewing threshold (view)
ebrown p
 
  3  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 06:01 am
@slkshock7,
The phrase Slkshock7 uses "Obama was too nuanced" raises an interesting question. This is who Obama is; giving well thought out, nuanced answers that look at more than one side of the issue. The contrast between Obama's answers in this forum, and McCain's short, simple answers is part of a theme you will see throughout the campaign.

I don't know how to judge who "won" this forum... since the important battle here is the campaign. McCain certain wins "points" (in some system of scoring) for directness and Obama perhaps lost some for not having a clear answer right away on some ponits. McCain lost points with me for shallowness. How this will play with swing voters is anyone's guess (since I doubt there are any swing voters here).

But Obama is counting on Americans to look for something more than short bumpersticker answers designed to get applause. You will see this more in the debates, and even in the campaign ads.
mysteryman
 
  3  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 07:07 am
I thought they both did pretty good.
Obama did have a problem with some of his answers, he did seem to stammer at times while he tried to come up with an answer to a question, and that didnt help him.
McCain was more direct,but he didnt expand enough on some of his answers, IMHO.

I was impressed when McCain admitted that his biggest moral "failing" was the ending of his first marriage.
That took some guts to admit, in my view.

I especially liked the format. Both candidates were asked the same questions, and could not hear the answer the other candidate gave.
I thought it was very well done, and pretty even handed in that neither candidate was attacked, and both were given the time they needed to answer the question.
I for one would like to see more of this kind of combined appearances by the candidates.
In some ways, I think we learned more about them last night then we had in the last couple of months.
revel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 07:12 am
@ebrown p,
Good answer, ebrown.

Quote:
But Obama is counting on Americans to look for something more than short bumpersticker answers designed to get applause. You will see this more in the debates, and even in the campaign ads.


I hope American voters have moved beyond wanting "short bumperstickers" answers this time around but I guess we will have to wait and see.
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 07:35 am
I must have missed this question, but it sure seems like a mistake for Obama to not have answered it...

http://blogs.reuters.com/trail08/2008/08/16/obama-says-pointed-abortion-query-above-his-pay-grade/

Quote:
Asked at what point a baby gets “human rights,” Obama, who strongly supports abortion rights, said: “… whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity … is above my pay grade.”

He went on to reiterate his view that it was important to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.


I think he should have answered the question, but I confess I didnt see this exchange so I dont know everything that was said.




nimh
 
  2  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 08:01 am
@mysteryman,
Quote:
I especially liked the format. Both candidates were asked the same questions, and could not hear the answer the other candidate gave.
I thought it was very well done, and pretty even handed in that neither candidate was attacked, and both were given the time they needed to answer the question.

Hey, that's an interesting idea. I can totally see how that would lead to much more informative answers.

I like to see candidates debate each other too, but then I would like to see a real debate, no moderator (or a moderator who just launches a new question or topic every five minutes), and the candidates just debate each other.

What you have now is the worst of both worlds - you have the candidates listening to each other and responding to each other, but they're not actually allowed to take each other on directly, so you get the endless bickering without them being able to cut the other to the point and cut short the talking points.
0 Replies
 
slkshock7
 
  2  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 11:31 am
@ebrown p,
The problem Obama will have is that "answers that look at more than one side of the issue", whether well-thought out or not, will be interpreted by many as "indecision"....which is not a good trait for a president. I think this will plague Obama throughout the rest of the campaign and could cost him the election. People want answers not lawyer-speak.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 11:39 am
@slkshock7,
I agree; in that respect, I liked McCain's answers better - even when he was asked the tough q's.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 11:48 am
@slkshock7,
I don't think that being perceived as indecisive is going to be a problem for Obama who is a natural leader.

But, of course, we will see....
revel
 
  2  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 11:53 am
@mysteryman,
Isn't there some kind of debate in the scientific world on when life begins? What in the world is wrong with saying the answer is beyond his pay grade or in another words it not something he knows for sure. Better than just giving a decisive answer to get applause.

You would think people would have learned by now it takes more saying something like "wanted dead or alive" to make a president. We had a decisive president and look at the shape we're in. Bogged down in a useless war, energy prices going through the roof and the economy sucking and the housing and credit situation.
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  2  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 12:14 pm
@ebrown p,
Ebrown wrote:
I don't think that being perceived as indecisive is going to be a problem for Obama who is a natural leader.

But, of course, we will see....


Don't be too sure. Indecisiveness is/was the biggest knock on Carter and it may lend itself to the Right's desire to compare the two.
0 Replies
 
slkshock7
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 12:14 pm
@ebrown p,
I'll grant that Obama is a leader, but so is McCain, and if leadership is the measuring stick, then McCain, with his military credentials, long political career, and maverick reputation, has a distinct advantage. People will inevitably compare and contrast the two and if Obama continues to offer long drawn-out tortured explanations, while McCain gives succinct direct answers, I daresay Obama will be considered indecisive, or worse yet, dissembling.
Foxfyre
 
  3  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 12:19 pm
I watched a rerun on this on Fox News sometime between 12 midnight and 2 am this morning. I didn't get in on the very beginning but there were obviously some invited guests in the audience who were Obama supporters to ensure that he got applause for his answers and he did--both from that selected group and from the entire audience--clearly more evangelical than not--when he gave an answer they liked--everybody laughed at the occasional light hearted humor. There was no rancor, no 'gotcha questions', no boos, no condescending smug smiles and no grimaces from anybody. This was HUGELY refreshing. Rick Warren did a masterful job putting both candidates at ease and essentially delivering the questions to each in an impartial manner.

The Fox follow up commentary was complimentary to both Obama and McCain.

Those who have decided Obama is their man almost certainly thought Obama did best in the exercise. Ditto for those supporting McCain. Those without strong emotional ties to either and those still on the fence definitely have a much better idea about what each of the candidates is all about than they had before.

I came away feeling quite a bit better about McCain than before. My perception of Obama changed less but it is more positive than it was previously. We should have 20 more of these programs, handled in exactly the same way, between now and the election, and I think that would definitively sort out the man most likely to be the best man capable of handling the job.

0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  0  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 12:22 pm
@slkshock7,

Quote:
"....if Obama continues to offer long drawn-out tortured explanations, while McCain gives succinct direct answers, I daresay Obama will be considered indecisive, or worse yet, dissembling."


I promised myself that I would not get into the political threads, but I cannot resist, slkshock, after I read your remark. Years ago there was a saying, "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, wow them with bullshit!
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 12:25 pm
@ebrown p,
Quote:
The phrase Slkshock7 uses "Obama was too nuanced" raises an interesting question. This is who Obama is; giving well thought out, nuanced answers that look at more than one side of the issue. The contrast between Obama's answers in this forum, and McCain's short, simple answers is part of a theme you will see throughout the campaign.

[..] McCain certain wins "points" (in some system of scoring) for directness and Obama perhaps lost some for not having a clear answer right away on some ponits. McCain lost points with me for shallowness. How this will play with swing voters is anyone's guess (since I doubt there are any swing voters here).

Count me in as pessimistic. The track record for nuanced answer-givers vs those going for clear-cut, bumper sticker-length responses is pretty awful. And from Adlai Stevenson through to Carter and Gore, it's been the Democrats who suffered.
Foxfyre
 
  0  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 12:44 pm
@Phoenix32890,
I didn't pick up on as much of the 'bullshit' syndome with Obama in this exchange, but maybe I was enjoying an opportunity to see each candidate in an unscripted, informal setting geared to allow us to actually learn something about them and I just missed it.

I said that my personal impression of Obama is more positive and that is because he did impress me as being sincere on a couple of issues that he had refused to address previously. I can allow any candidate an occasional "I don't know" answer. My impression that he doesn't come across as intelligent and well informed when he is speaking extemporaneously has not changed in the least. The 'empty suit' syndrome was still there for me.

McCain's best laugh line was when he said he had not been elected "Miss Congeniality" in the Senate and was unlikely to be a good candidate for that. But basically, I sensed he meant it when he gave his 'blunt' answers to the questions. I think he has probably forgotten more stuff than Obama ever knew about how politics, government, the country, and the world works. And I do feel better about him and it feels good to feel better about him.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  3  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 12:47 pm
@nimh,
Fumbled, my ass. McCain pandered to the crowd, Obama didn't, so of course, our modern political discourse will say that McCain 'won.'

I'm also pretty sure that McCain lifted the story of the 'cross in the sand' from Solzhenitsyn.

Cycloptichorn
 

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