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’08 Watch: Obama Is In

by Pamela Leavey

Barack Obama took the first step today in preparation to run for president in ’08, by filing papers creating a presidential exploratory committee.

Obama, a 45-year-old with little more than two years into his Senate term, is the most inexperienced candidate considering a run for the Democratic nomination. He quickly rose to national prominence, beginning with his keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and his election to the Senate that year, but still is an unknown quantity to many voters.

On his website, Obama claimed in a video and text post, “I certainly didn’t expect to find myself in this position a year ago. I’ve been struck by how hungry we all are for a different kind of politics. So I’ve spent some time thinking about how I could best advance the cause of change and progress that we so desperately need.”

AP noted that “Obama tried to turn his biggest weakness β€” his lack of experience in national politics β€” into an asset by criticizing the work of those who have been in power.”

I’m not on the Obama bandwagon, for many reasons including the fact that I believe that weakness, is one that will play out in the primaries as other more experienced candidates begin to debate the issues. After the years of ineptitude of the Bush administration will need a president who has experience on all fronts, most notably foreign policy. Obama is not that candidate and when I look at the field of potentials, there’s only one potential candidate in my book that has what it takes — John Kerry.

The media has hyped the Obama factor to the extreme and frankly it’s all incredibly overblown at this juncture. Good luck to Obama, the experience will, if nothing else give him a little more under his belt if he should decide to give it a whirl again in ’12 or ’16, but for now, he’s simply too green.

39 Responses to “’08 Watch: Obama Is In”

  1. They are gonna eat him alive! Like I said, the high school kid is dreaming of going to the NFL before he even graduates!

  2. Listen, the cat’s good and all, but he ain’t gonna be our nation’s next president…no way shape or form. Now Gore/Obama 2008–that’s a different story…

  3. I don’t think they’ll “eat him alive”. He’s a tough cookie, he just doesn’t act it. He also doesn’t have a lot of experience, which is good because they have nothing to “fling” at him either.

    However, I do have to agree with Minor. Gore/Obama is my dream ticket.

  4. ZV

    No candidate will be immune to the flinging, including Obama.

  5. I must admit there is much excitement with all of the Dem candidates beginning to make announcements. I want all of the important issues to get noticed.

    Deep down, I want a Kerry run. Though the media, polls, etc seem to ignore him, I do feel he still has all of the qualities that are important to running this country. I would like a Kerry/Obama ticket myself.

    However with all the celebrity “hoopla” over Obama, I’m not sure how, where or when Kerry and others can position themselves. I hope the Kerry campaign can find a creative way to get him in the spotlight so that the public interest can turn back to him. He deserves to be seen and heard in a massive way – especially since MOST OF ALL that he has been stating has been accurate.

    He has to break through this media frenzy and not fall too far behind. I know he’s come back before, but impressions are being made now.

  6. Ditto, DAS! Kerry is the man — NOW — while Obama will do a nice follow-up, perhaps, after Kerry’s two term-administration brings this country back from the brink of disaster. No hard feelings, Obama. Just — NOT YET! You haven’t got the experience, and debates with Kerry will show that better than anything.

  7. I don’t get it. I’ve always tagged Barack Obama for a compassionate, and very smart man. But statements like this have me wondering

    “But challenging as they are, it’s not the magnitude of our problems that concerns me the most. It’s the smallness of our politics… But today, our leaders in Washington seem incapable of working together in a practical, common sense way. Politics has become so bitter and partisan, so gummed up by money and influence, that we can’t tackle the big problems that demand solutions.”

    Um, Barack I’m a little more concerned about getting food on the table and making sure that people in Iraq (some of whom are related to my students I teach) don’t die. If politicians want to be small-minded, that’s OK, just as long as they deliver.

    Partisanship is hardly one the biggest problems facing our country now. Income inequality, the war in Iraq, lack of access to health care, out two-tiered education system, nuclear proliferation, are BIG issues. Partisanship in politics does not rise to these other issues in terms of crises facing the USA

  8. Nick,

    I see your point but maybe that was his way of touching independents and/or moderate Republicans. He probably feels very secure with the Dems but because many outside of the party paint him as more liberal, he is using unity as his major theme. (Just as he did in the DNC speech in ’04).

    It does seem a bit off topic with the critical issues going on. With Dems having much more power than in ’04 seems going directly to issues instead of the partisan conflicts should be most important. Maybe he is trying to protect himself from the arrows that will surely come at him. By being the “nice guy” he hopes to overcome lack of experience and appear different from the partisan types. I think Edwards did that when he ran in ’04.

  9. Everyone knows Obama will not be the next president. But this is all good publicity as it keeps the Dems in the spotlight. And even occasionally an important issue is mentioned. He’s a symbol of a more dignified turn in American politics so I think his exposure right now is good. He seems to be successfully getting the light away from the horror to some extent, and that’s the hardest step. For people to stop staring at the scene of the accident and get going. I’ll support any effort from anyone in this direction.

    The presidency will be taken over by the right person for the time. Nothing to be afraid of.

  10. People need to realize just difficult the problems that need fixing, and they don’t.

    Democrats still waiting for the charisma thing to avoid doing the work of organizing and securing the vote

    Gee, when Kerry had the hope thing, he was criticized for not doing enough bashing or protecting the vote, like it was all up to him.

  11. John Kerry would be perfect – if he ran with Al Gore. Mrs. Kerry is impressive but she would be wise to temper her remarks (to everyone).

  12. Why the fuss over Kerry? He botched what should have been an easily election and continually puts his foot in his mouth. If you are looking for an experienced foreign policy mind, take Richardson or Biden. Kerry can’t touch either one of them.

  13. John Kerry? Really? Hasn’t he already proven his political ineptitude by losing to a monkey? His “experience” in the Senate seems to have endowed him with a monotonous voice and a tin ear. You think Obama will be better off spending more time in the Senate? History says otherwise. Look to the future, Democrats, not the past.

  14. john Says:
    January 16th, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    “He botched what should have been an easily election and continually puts his foot in his mouth.”

    By all means, please tell me what “an easily election” is!!!!!! Think about this, how many sitting presidents have lost an election during a war? Do the research and base your comments on informed knowledge. Taking talking points and helping to spread the misinformation will get you nowhere but further into the rut. Put the shovel down and stop digging!

  15. Brian W Says:
    January 16th, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    Why, how Daily Kos of you to say so. Also, see my previous comment.

  16. What’s wrong with Momma T? :confused:

  17. Senator Barack Obama is taking the first steps to run for President in 2008. I like Senator Obama alot; however, his lack of foreign policy and shallow resume is not want I want in our next president. After spending the past 6 years with a president who has had to learn as he goes, the country cannot afford to elect someone with no experience. I look at the mess our country is in, and I say we need an experienced leader who has been around a while and who has a proven track record. That person is with out a doubt Senator John Kerry.

  18. I sincerely feel that Barack Obama would make an excellent president for the following reasons:
    1. Although relatively inexperienced, Mr,
    Obama displays so many characteristics
    which the current resident of the White
    House lacks. Among them are being an
    articulate speaker, welcoming different
    points of view, being fully literate, and
    having common sense.

    2. His youth is a real asset!! We need
    someone whose youthful exuberance who
    can lift the worn out US spirit, which
    basically has continued to existed since
    Watergate and our defeat in Vietnam.

    3. Check out his educational credentials. He
    was a top achiever in college and excelled
    in his duties as an Illinois State Senator

    4. Mr. Obama displays an amazing integrity.
    In his first book he freely admitted that
    he had experimented with marjuana and
    other drugs during his peer influenced
    teenage years. His candor is amazing! We
    desperately need a candidate that shoots
    from the hip by telling the truth!

    5. He is obviously a quick learner. I feel
    his lack of experience can be used as an
    assest. I fully realize that George Bush
    lacked experience when first elected but
    unlike Obama he also lacked a brain!

    6. In listening to him speak, it is obvious
    that he always seems at ease no matter
    what group he is facing. He has an
    excellent relationship with the press.
    Most importantly, this man has an obvious
    charisma that this country has not seen
    since the brief presidency of JFK.

    7. And, in conclusion, I would advise all
    who doubt his ability to lead this country
    to read his best selling book, “The
    Audacity of Hope.” Once you finish it, I
    am sure any skepticism will vanish!

  19. I predicted that Bill Clinton would be President long before he announced that he was running. Today, I predict that Obama will win the Democratic nomination. It’s about charisma people and no one else comes close to Obama when it comes to charisma. Please, please, please give up on Kerry. We’ll have another Republican President if Kerry wins the Democratic nomination.

  20. Regardless of who we may prefer, there is no denying that Obama puts an interesting twist on this ’08 scene. Every Dem considering a run has to take him seriously. Sure wish I could be a fly on the wall of the Dem strategists working on various campaigns.

    It’s one thing to be new on the scene – but new and charismatic is something Americans have not seen in a while. We are up for an exciting ride and hope the best person prevails. I’m still hoping for Kerry’s day.

  21. We will have to see what happens. Sen. Kerry’s leadership is what our Country needs. I sure hope Sen Kerry runs. But the influencial power brokers- with the MSM (and some bloggers?) are always looking for the easy way or excuses for not taking the road less traveled. That is why Sen. Kerry’s courage to speak truth to power and to work out solutions to our Country’s challenges is so remarkable. I am sure Sen Kerry will welcome Sen Obama, after all he selected Sen Obama to give the keynote speech at his democratic pres convention.

  22. Jean,

    I am sure he will too. πŸ™‚

  23. Can’t seem to let this go! I have some friends and family who understand my strong support for Kerry (& who did vote for him) saying things like – maybe it’s time for a change, Kerry deserved to win & did his best but too many factors (media, swifties, lies of war not fully revealed, etc) worked against him. They say Kerry is an American hero but maybe its time to move on. While I know we have a long way to go for ’08, I did have a bittersweet day with Obama’s announcement.

    Obama does have qualities that should make Americans and the Democratic party proud. At the same time, I feel Kerry has many outstanding qualities that never get to see the light of day. OK, that’s life, but for some reason, I just can’t get over it. I was just reading a really good post by a commenter named oncall over at johnkerry.com that sums up my feelings today. The post is under the recent article about the budget. Oncall mentions that the media just seems to have some deep-seated prejudice against Kerry that can’t shake. They seem to continue to distort and misrepresent his message. They don’t analyze his view on issues in an intellectual manner and lean more toward favoring swiftboaters and slanderous representations. He does not deserve this and never has. How can someone with his record be portrayed this way? And why did our party allow this to happen without forcefully having his back? Yeah, yeah, I know many will say he did not counter it sooner, etc, etc, but why after the country now knows that the lies have been revealed and that Kerry stood on the right side for so long – he gets zero, ZERO credit for his effort?

    I guess I may have to eventually – let it go?

  24. […] ure wish I could be a fly on the wall of the Dem strategists working on … Read More:unknown

    View blog r […]

  25. DAS

    Keep the faith. I think we are all frustrated with the media but I don’t agree with Oncall 100%. The media beats up on plenty of politicians besides JK, more Dems than Republicans of late, but not solely JK. And, there’s plenty of post here based on news pieces about JK that speak otherwise of what Oncall is saying. Right now Obama is the hot story. This too shall pass.

  26. Sunil,

    I have lived in this country for a long, long time now. Even grew up for a time in the South. Race relations have come a long way, but they still have a long way to go. I do not believe Obama can win the presidency in this country. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think so. Obama is a smart man. He needs to work on his political credentials. Unfortunately, the bar is set higher for a black man and a white woman then it is for a white man – it just is. Perhaps a term as a governor of Illinois, Obama will get his seasoning that way.

    As for John, your sorry ass comment is as lame as everyone else’s – botched election – give me a break. And how many seats did the Dems take in ’04 to win majorities in Congress? Oh yeah – NONE. Thanks John, your comment was insightful as ever (did you catch the sarcasm).

  27. Sunil writes: “I predicted that Bill Clinton would be President long before he announced that he was running. Today, I predict that Obama will win the Democratic nomination.”

    Well, then that settles it, doesn’t it?

    “It’s about charisma people and no one else comes close to Obama when it comes to charisma.”

    Er, I think you’re confusing charisma with desperation. The man can turn a phrase, without doubt, but he’s an empty suit at this point. He’s 100% pop psychology euphemisms and 0% substance.

    “Please, please, please give up on Kerry. We’ll have another Republican President if Kerry wins the Democratic nomination.”

    Only if Kerry becomes a Republican.

  28. Blue Washington,

    You are a voice of reason in a crowd of Misguidance. The Democratic Party has been feeled with insecurity, confusion ,and identity issues for the last 27 years. The Reagan revolution did a number on the Democratic Praty In my humble opinion. Obama maybe a great speaker and loaded with charisma (maybe more than Bill Clinton but he is still black at the end of the day. I am black man who face racism on a regular basis. Than is a country where Black man is barely recognized when he walks into a work office in the morning. A black man is considered abnormality when he is smart and articulate (ala Colin Powell, Barack Obama). Thats why I laugh when I hear Obama being considered a first tier alongside Hillary Clinton (another hype candidate). This is why I would not be shocked at all if JK recaptures the Democratic nomination. In reality his chances are better than the current flavor of the month. JMHO

  29. Congrats! This was linked on WaPo.

  30. DAS San Diego

    I fully understand your frustrations regarding the media. What I have learned is that the media doesn’t leave anyone alone who is a threat to the corporate owners of the media. The MSM will promote anyone who has the interests of those owners at heart. Quite simply, John Kerry makes bad t-v for the MSM pundits because he doesn’t lie, he doesn’t spin, and he doesn’t suck up, in plain language. We, who support JK and his values and concerns for our country, need to be his media. Each time you read a negative article, hear a comment with negativity and lies, get right on it with an e-mail, a letter, a phone call to rebutt the comment by giving the facts. Then trust that truth will prevail.

    Mark Barrett of thepremise.com (http://thepremise.com/archives/11/20/2006/717) had this to say on 11-20-06:

    “Not surprisingly, there have been a lot of people trying to take John Kerry down and drive him from the roster of prospective presidential candidates over the past couple of weeks. I haven’t commented on that much because its normal. It was inevitable in 2003 when Mr. Kerry decided to campaign for president and its inevitable now.”

    “John Kerry is the only politician considering a run in 2008 who scares everyone from Hillary Clinton to John Mc Cain, because he’s actually qualified to be president. He knows it, they know it, and the voters know it.”

    “Everyone else wants to have a personality contest, but if John Kerry runs, they can’t. They’ll have to campaign on the merits, and they can’t beat John Kerry on the merits.” Well said, don’t you think? Pass that info on to your family and friends, and others.

    Keep the faith, DAS, and fight onward.

  31. Whoops I meant linked on the NYTimes.
    Went to my old haunt Liberal Oasis, saw Liberal Values linked.
    Went to the New York Times, saw the Dem Daily linked.
    Progress for Progressives!

  32. Dotti Janiak,

    Thanks for the motivating words – from you and other Dem Daily friends.

  33. Pam,

    The media may beat up on other Democrats, but I think what oncall is saying that no other Democrat gets more beaten up than Kerry continues to be. An example is the “botched” joke.

    When Biden made his remarks about the Dunkin Donuts line and Hilary made hears about the plantation and Gandhi remark/joke, they apologized, but the media let them off the hook and the GOP didn’t smear them as bad as Kerry.

    But the problem is that perception is what shapes a voter’s opinion about the candidate, and they haven’t heard anything positive about Kerry and the media has been giving fluff pieces on Obama, Edwards, Clinton. Though the Obama smears have started. This is why I hope Kerry has some good PR, and why we are the media now.

  34. Indie

    kerry is more of a threat to the right wing than the others, that’s part of the issue. However, I think many of us are sensitive to what we read about JK and perhaps not as aware of what is said about others. And yes, we are the media now — that’s why the Dem Daily is here.

  35. KJ

    I was looking for a WaPo link and then thought I bet she means the NYT! Good for Ron getting a link on Liberal Oasis. Hope you are well stranger – we miss you ’round here.

  36. Pamela,

    It was a bit surreal. I was surfing around and then, in the space of about five minutes, I “ran into” both your blog and Ron’s blog via other avenues. Sort of a, “Hey, I know them!” moment! Cool.

    All is well. Spent the holidays with my sisters and brand new baby grand-niece. Driving to Kansas City tomorrow with writer friends, despite the ice everywhere. JKB is gainfully employed. House is clean. Thrilled to be back home. No complaints!

    Holding out hope for Senator Kerry’s announcement. Keep on keeping on!!!

  37. KJ

    It’s damn cold here too. We’ve had black ice on the roads in the mornings. Glad to hear JKB is gainfully employed and all is well. No news here, same old – same old. And waiting patiently for JK’s announcement. πŸ™‚

  38. I hope he runs. I can’t imagine who else could begin to fill his shoes. Percival on his quest for the grail, this time asking the right questions, this time healing the land. πŸ˜‰

  39. KJ

    Me too… me too.