Barack Obama is an Interesting Candidate

The Candidate

Barack at the Beach--People Magazine Spread



" The self-portrait is appealing. It presents a man of relative youth yet maturity, a wise observer of the human condition, a figure who possesses perseverance and writing skills that have flashes of grandeur. Obama also demonstrates a wry snese of humor His life has given him many reasons to be wry, ...


"In the field of Democratic hopefuls, Mr. Obama stands apart from Mrs. Clinton largely because of his early and unwavering oppostitionj to the Iraq waqr, a position he took while still a member of the Illinois Legislature. Yet, as a senator, he did not deliver a major speech on the subject until he had been in office for 11 months. Now, he bleieves the United Stgates should beginrefucing troop strength in three to five months, a position shared by several Democrats.

"According to a ranking by National Journal, Mr. Obama's voting record is more liberal than 82.5 percent of the Senate, compared with 79.8 percent for Mrs. Clinton. The American Conservative Union gave him a rank of 8. By comparison, Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, received a ranking of 83."


"...Enter Barack Obama. To understand the hysteria about a Democrat senator who has not yet served two years and is mainly known for a single speech at the 2004 convention, you have to appreciate just how desparate the Democrats are for a panacea for all their ills. In the many glossy cover articles about Obamamania, the only real suspense is whether a Jack or Bobby Kennedy analogy will be made in the second paragraph or the fifth. Men's Vogue (cover by Annie Leibowitz) went so far as to say that the Illinois senator 'alone has the potential to one day be mentioned in the same breath' as Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King. Why not throw in Mark Twain and Sammy Davis, Jr.?

"That is a lot to put on the shoulders of anyone, even someone as impressive as Mr. Obama...

"What makes the liberal establisment's crush on Mr. Obama disconcerting is that it too often sees him as a love child of a pollster's focus group: a one-man Benneton ad who can be all things to all people. He's black and he's white. He's both of immigrant stock (Kenya) and the American heartland (Kansas, yet). He speaks openly about his faith without disowning evolution. He has both gravitas and unpretentious humor. He was editor of the Harvard Law Review and also won a Grammy (for the audio-book of his touching memoir, 'Dreams From My Father'. He exudes perfection but has owned up to youthful indiscretions with drugs. He is post-boomer and post-civil-rights movement. He is Bill Clinton without the baggage, a fail safe 21st-century bridge from a 'A Place Called Hope' to the 'Audacity of Hope.'

"'s important to remember that on one true test for his party, Iraq, he was consistent from the start. On the long trail to a hotly competitive senatorial primary in Illisnoi, he repeatedly questined the rationale for the war before it began, finally to protest it at a large rally in Chicago on the eve of the invasion. He judged Sadaam to pose no immediate threat to America and argued for containment over a war he would soon label 'dumb' and 'political-driven.' He hasn't changed. In his new bood, he gives a specific date (the end of this year) for beginning 'a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops' and doesn't seem to care who calls it 'cut and run.'.....

"The Democrats may well win on Election Day this year. But one of their best hopes for long-term viability in the post-Bush era is that Barack Obama steps up and changes the party before the party of terminal timidity and equivocation changes him."

Barack Obama--Democratic Rock Star

A review of Barack Obama's second book is linked below. It's an understatement to say that this Democratic Party rock star has an unusual and interesting background. Some say he's a likely VP candidate in the next presidential election. Others have criticized him for adapting too quickly to the money and influence culture in Washington (Ken Silverstein in the current issue of Harper's). A review of Obama's second book "The Audacity of Hope" by Michiko Katutani is linked below.

Senator Barack Obama

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Robin profile image

Robin 10 years ago from San Francisco

I first saw and heard of Barack Obama at the DNC in the last election. His speech was one of the best speeches that I have ever seen. It gave me chills. Thanks for the review; I think I'll go buy his book.

Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 10 years ago from Burlingame, CA

Definitely a powerful speaker.

jimmythejock profile image

jimmythejock 10 years ago from Scotland

sorry Ralph i`ve never heard of him....JIMMY

Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 10 years ago Author

Yes, Paul, and he also has nice teeth!

Well, Jimmy, we'll have to invite you over for a visit!

Iðunn 10 years ago

worth watching... think it's possible he's more of a DINO though. I too heard his speech from the DNC and he came off a like an economic Republican.

Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 10 years ago Author

I agree. That's pretty much what the Ken Silverstein article in Harper's said. Politics is a dirty business.

Iðunn 10 years ago

Obama did the semi-feeling out hints to run in 2008 I saw in the news today. I'd link the article but I'm sure you've seen it.

Robin profile image

Robin 10 years ago from San Francisco

hmmm, interesting. I'm having a hard time remembering him talking a lot about economics in his speech; I more remember his discussions on social issues and they really resonated with me. At this time he didn't come across as a "dirty politician" at all. He seemed sincere, but maybe I'm just naive. I would like to see the speech again. I did see the article that he isn't ruling-out a 2008 bid. It will be interesting to see his play after Nov. 7th.

Iðunn 10 years ago

good additions, glad I checked back

Truewater2 10 years ago

I would venture to suggest it is possible to discern the true Mr. Obama by taking a look at his voting record.

The voting public needs to go beyond the "window dressing" of politicians and start examining the records of the folks elected to serve -- emphasis on serve -- and evaluating their past performances.

The internet makes it possible to go beyond the media's selling of politicians as if they are advertised products.

At this juncture, I keep thinking of the old saying: "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."

Peace, Lokaine

Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 10 years ago Author

Good point. Do you approve of his voting record? The media do a very poor job of keeping us informed of how our representatives are voting and what they are doing. I think Obama had the foresight to oppose our invasion of Iraq. But I don't know much else about his voting record. I've been very unhappy about one of my Senator's votes--Debbie Stabenow voted yes on the draconian bankruptcy bill, yes on the flag burning amendment and yes on the prisoner interrogation/trial/ignore the Geneva convention bill. I've stopped contributing to her campaign and will hold my nose while voting for her. All I can say is that she's not as bad as her GOP opponent.

The Lokaine Narra profile image

The Lokaine Narra 10 years ago

Sorry it has taken me a couple of days to get back to you. I did a search on Mr. Obama, Voting Record, and I received numerous links. I clicked on a couple which detailed his voting record. There were a number of voting choices he made I didn't agree with.

However, I would also suggest taking a look at the specific bill and its riders also, which may provide additional insight as to why a representative may have voted one way or another.

It is no secret this administration is pro-business. In my humble opinion, though, I think it is time the elected officials become "pro-the people they are elected to represent."


Larry Thomas 9 years ago

I would like to get more information about your campain. I live in St. Louis, MO, which is sometimes considered a swing state. I am a great supporter of yours and would like to be a part of your group. I have been in politicics from the early 80's & would like to help. I am currently running for a seat on the aldermatic seat in North St. Louis County. Please contanct me by email at

Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Hi, Larry. Thanks for the comment. However, this page is not part of Barack Obama's campaign. He's not aware of it.

Alais J. Lendii 9 years ago

I read his speaches, I see him on tv, Obama just more than the best.

Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

On a long car trip recently my wife and I listened to a tape of Obama reading his book. I was quite impressed by what he had to say. I expect he may well be president some day, if not in 2008, then in the future.

BT 6 years ago

Its interesting how hubs made so long ago still are somewhat relevant today, as we can still learn from what people comment/write. Obama may have been a great speaker....but now, Mr. Deeds do the numbers add up? Is he really doing what he said he would be doing? Is he doing them in a way that you approve of?

Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Thanks for your comment. I have mixed feelings about Obama's record to date. However, bottom line, I think he's been doing his best to serve the interests of the country and its citizens as he sees them. If the Republican Party had been willing to meet him half way more could have been accomplished.

jo miller profile image

jo miller 5 years ago from Tennessee

I came across this hub while linking and found it and the comments a very interesting read four years later.

In 2005 I was teaching adult students in Warsaw Poland, and they would often ask us questions about USA politics. When they asked who we thought would run for President in 2008 I told them to write down the name Barack Obama. None of them, of course, had heard of him at that time and my fellow teacher thought my idea was far reaching. I was hoping even then he would run and have supported him since.

Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

Thanks for your comment. I've been a supporter also, but I'm not happy about his approach to negotiations with the GOP. They're playing hardball and he's been playing softball. Too quick to compromise and too quick to turn over his hole card. He's allowed the the Tea Party to take advantage of him.

Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago Author

It was a mistake to put Medicare and Social Security cuts on the table. He should have stone walled on that except for proposing to remove the SS earnings cap. He should have been saying he was supporting every feasible way of reducing health care cost increases rather than transferring the cost increases to future medicare eligibles as proposed by Congressman Ryan.

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