Obama without a teleprompter
He hasn't got a clue!
The Big Man Takes on The Little People -- or so it seems from Newsweek Japan
(The small yellow caption beside McCain and Palin's photo roughly translates as: "Mysterious/Unknown Republican Party Woman -- Palin"
(Via Promethean Antagonist)
Barack Obama was run over as he took to middle of the road
Barack Obama is beginning to resemble the man who turns up to a fancy-dress party in a suit while criticising everyone for what they are wearing: lipstick, fish wrappers or, maybe, the mantle of change. At the end of the Democratic convention in Denver two weeks ago his campaign thought that they were dressed for every occasion. Chastened by the summer's sneers surrounding his celebrity status, they decided it was time to dim his dazzle a little by donning more sober and serious apparel.
Mr Obama chose Joe Biden as his running-mate rather than more exciting alternatives because he expected the Republicans to attack him over a lack of weight and experience. In place of all those glitzy mass rallies, there would be lots of worthy speeches on policy. The Democrats did not see Sarah Palin coming, have been caught badly off-balance and are still struggling to regain their stride. Mr Obama, who had taken it for granted that change is a word that should belong to him, appears bewildered by a turn of events that has left his campaign in danger of being outflanked on home turf.
For all his talk of the "Audacity of Hope", the only really audacious decision he has made was to launch a bid to become America's first black president. Since then his campaign - despite tactical brilliance in the Democratic primaries - has usually been strategically cautious. This tendency has been underlined in recent weeks as Mr Obama tracked back to the centre on policy issues, softened the sharper edges of his own exotic appeal and generally pursued a risk-averse front-running campaign.
In a year when polls indicate that four fifths of voters are yearning for a new direction this has left an enormous hole that Mrs Palin is filling in a way that no vice-presidential candidate has done before. The author and columnist Camille Paglia says that the Alaska Governor represents a "new style of muscular American feminism" with hints of Madonna's "dominatrix persona of high-glam Marlene Dietrich" and Annie "Get Your Gun" Oakley, a brash ambassador from the country's pioneer past. Mr Obama is now locked in the tightest of fights with the Republican self-styled "team of mavericks". By most objective criteria he is still favourite to win and there is little sign that his supporters' enthusiasm has significantly diminished or that this should be anything other than a Democratic year.
The largely synthetic row over whether he called Mrs Palin a pig or Mr McCain an old fish suggests that Mr Obama is not the type you would pick for a scrap. He is more at home pointing the audience towards a slightly emphemeral vision of the future or crafting the reflective paragraphs befitting a former constitutional law professor.
Sometimes he seems no more effective at attacking opponents than he was at pretending to be a man of the people by going to a bowling alley - where his first balls ended up in the gutter. At the very least, the lipstick-on-a-pig comments ensure that another day goes past when Mrs Palin dominates the stage and Mr Obama's efforts to switch the focus of voters to the "real choice" facing them prove to be in vain.
At worst, they may encourage the flight of more white women voters from the columns of undecided into the McCain-Palin ranks - a reason why Democrats were muttering again yesterday that Mr Obama should himself have picked a white woman as his running-mate: Hillary Clinton.
Obama getting rattled
Barack Obama condemned rival John McCain for accusing him of a sexist jab at vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin, the latest in a string of increasingly negative attacks. On a campaign stop Wednesday morning, the Illinois senator condemned the McCain campaign: "They seize on innocent remarks, try to throw then out of context," he told the mostly female supporters gathered in a high-school library. "I love this country too much to let them take over another election with lies and phony outrage and Swift Boat politics. Enough is enough."
His reference was to an outside group in the 2004 campaign, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which derailed John Kerry's run for the White House with controversial claims about the Democratic candidate's Vietnam record.
Sen. Obama has appeared at times flustered on the campaign trail this week as he tries to reclaim his message of change and defend himself against heated Republican attacks, all while trying to maintain his image as a new kind of candidate who takes the high road.
Supporters have hailed Sen. Obama for his cool approach in the face of often unfair criticism, but his critics point to sarcasm and a smugness that may not play well among undecided voters. During a town-hall style event in Farmington Hills, Mich., on Monday, Sen. Obama told the audience that Alaska Gov. Palin had had a compelling biography. "Mother, governor, moose shooter. That's cool," he said to laughter and applause.
During a town-hall style meeting in Lebanon, Va., Tuesday evening, Sen. Obama said-speaking about the economic policies of Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin-"You can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig." The comment was interpreted by some to have been a reference to Gov. Palin's quip to the Republican convention last week casting hockey moms as pit bulls with lipstick. But the Obama campaign said the comment had nothing to do with Gov. Palin and noted that Sen. McCain used the expression to refer to Sen. Hillary Clinton's health-care plan in 2007.
The McCain campaign and the Republicans jumped on the lipstick comment, convening its newly formed "Palin Truth Squad" to hold a conference call with reporters. Former Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift, the leader of the squad, insisted that "Sen. Obama owes Gov. Palin an apology."
During the prolonged battle for the Democratic nomination against Sen. Clinton, Sen. Obama largely ignored negative attacks. But over the past week he has shown a new urgency on the campaign trail to defend himself and turn the conversation back to Sen. McCain and the Bush Administration's "failed economic policies."
This approach was on full display Wednesday morning after the McCain campaign launched a new ad called "Lipstick" that directly accuses Sen. Obama of sexism. "They'd much rather have the story [be] about phony and foolish diversions than about the future," Sen. Obama said prior to delivering remarks about improving access to college education. "These are serious times and they call for a serious debate about where we need to take the nation."
But some pundits and voters say Sen. Obama will need to get tougher and adopt a more offensive stance if he is to withstand Republican scrutiny. On Wednesday the Obama campaign launched "Alaska Mythbusters," a group led by former Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles and Ketchikan Mayor Bob Weinstein designed to "set the record straight on Gov. Palin's Alaska record."
Going on the offensive could be tricky since Sen. Obama has tried to paint himself as a candidate who will bring a new type of more civil politics to Washington. "His talk of new politics is as empty as his campaign trail promises, and his record of bucking his party and reaching across the aisle simply doesn't exist," says McCain-Palin spokesman Brian Rogers.
During the question and answer session at the Norfolk event, a voter told Sen. Obama he was "scared" that the same tactics that led to Sen. Kerry's 2004 defeat could throw his candidacy off track. He asked Sen. Obama what he would do differently. The Democratic nominee responded by emphasizing issues like the faltering economy, education, health care the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"This whole thing about lipstick. Nobody actually believes that these folks are offended," he said of the Republicans. "Everybody knows it's cynical. Everybody knows it's insincere. This is a game we play. It's a game. It's a sport and maybe if it wasn't such a serious time, that would be okay." Sen. Obama also took aim at the news media for running with the "made up controversy" over the lipstick comment. "It would be funny, but the news media decided would be the lead story yesterday," he said.
Obama aides say they are not adjusting their strategy based on slipping poll numbers and Republican attacks. But there are signs that they are regrouping. On Thursday, Sen. Obama will have a private lunch with President Clinton, the first session between the two Democrats since the primary. Clinton aides say the former president will talk to Sen. Obama about a range of issues including offering campaign advice if asked. Mr. Clinton is the last Democrat since Franklin Roosevelt to serve two consecutive terms as president and the only Democrat in recent years to capture the white working-class voters needed to take control of the White House.
The Obama media think that "there's no such thing as right and wrong"
So a lie is as good as truth to them. So why check the truth of what you report? It's only those silly rednecks who think that truth is important. We smart Leftists know better, apparently. Stalin thought so too
A CNN reporter this week didn't seem to know or care that a fake photo showing a bikini-clad, rifle-toting Sarah Palin had been widely debunked days earlier as a fraud, the latest in series of incidents involving apparent misstatements or inaccurate reporting by the news network. "(John) McCain has been really good about painting (Barack) Obama as this lightweight . They don't want that to come back on Sarah Palin, and people say, yes, she looks good in a bikini clutching an AK-47, but is she equipped to run the country?" CNN's Lola Ogunnaike said in response to a question on the network's "Reliable Sources" show, which aired Sunday.
Ogunnaike's remarks, which came in response to a question by host Howard Kurtz about whether Palin's status as a political celebrity might undercut Republican efforts to portray the vice presidential nominee as a serious, reform-minded governor, were posted on CNN's Web site and have since been reported and discussed on numerous other independent sites.
CNN correspondents and analysts have also recently misrepresented Palin's stance on incorporating creationism into Alaska's school curriculum and falsely reported that she cut funds for people with special needs in the state budget. Regarding the doctored "bikini" photo, neither Kurtz, a "Washington Post" columnist, nor anyone else on the "Sources" discussion panel ever corrected Ogunnaike by pointing out that the picture was a fake.
The infamous fake bikini shot first appeared during the early days of the Republican convention. But it was widely debunked within 24 hours, with bloggers and others quickly exposing the fraud by finding the original shot, reportedly taken in 2004 in Athens, Ga., by an amateur photographer of his then-girlfriend. FOXNews.com was among the news outlets to report the fake.
During the show, Ogunnaike went on to compliment Us Weekly's coverage of Palin, which has been widely attacked as unfair by critics and reportedly thousands of Us Weekly readers. "I have to say," Ogunnaike said, "I read the `Us Weekly' story, and they were actually pretty good. They actually did some pretty good journalism there. . And this is a bigger story here. . They can't afford to ignore this story because this story drives magazine sales. And that's the bottom line, that's what they care about. So if you throw Palin on the cover and you have the words `Baby Scandal,' they know that's going to sell magazines."
Ogunnaike's remarks are among several apparent misstatements made recently by CNN reporters. On Monday night, senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said Palin wants "to have creationism taught in public schools." But numerous stories -- including CNN's own reporting from last week - have noted that Palin has made no effort to try and include creationism in the state school curriculum. "I don't think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class," Palin has said. "It doesn't have to be part of the curriculum."
The morning after Toobin's remarks on creationism, CNN correspondent Jessica Yellin reported that Palin vetoed funds not only for so-called "earmarks," but "even for people with disabilities." This was an apparent reference to a charge discussed during a Sept. 4 interview, in which CNN's Soledad O'Brien pressed a McCain spokeswoman on another accusation brought by Palin critics. O'Brien twice referred to the charge that while governor, Palin cut the state's special needs budget by 62 percent. "Those advocates have said, as a woman who is now a mother of a special-needs child, she's not fighting - she's cut the budget by 62 percent since she came into office, and doesn't that show a contradiction?" O'Brien asked McCain spokeswoman Nicolle Wallace, according to transcript available on CNN's Web site.
But Factcheck.org, a non-partisan group affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania, is among those that have reported that Palin "did not cut funding for special needs education in Alaska by 62 percent." In fact, the group said in a posting published on Newsweek's Web site, "She didn't cut it at all. She tripled per-pupil funding over just three years."
"Community organizer" is more sinister than it seems
In her game-changing convention speech, Sarah Palin took a swipe at Obama for having been nothing more in his life than a ‘community organiser’. This prompted the Obama campaign to issue a pained defence of community organisation as a way of promoting social change ‘from the bottom up’. The impression is that community organising is a worthy if woolly and ultimately ineffectual grassroots activity. This is to miss something of the greatest importance: that in the world of Barack Obama, community organisers are a key strategy in a different game altogether; and the name of that game is revolutionary Marxism.
The seditious role of the community organiser was developed by an extreme left intellectual called Saul Alinsky. He was a radical Chicago activist who, by the time he died in 1972, had had a profound influence on the highest levels of the Democratic party. Alinsky was a ‘transformational Marxist’ in the mould of Antonio Gramsci, who promoted the strategy of a ‘long march through the institutions’ by capturing the culture and turning it inside out as the most effective means of overturning western society. In similar vein, Alinsky condemned the New Left for alienating the general public by its demonstrations and outlandish appearance. The revolution had to be carried out through stealth and deception. Its proponents had to cultivate an image of centrism and pragmatism. A master of infiltration, Alinsky wooed Chicago mobsters and Wall Street financiers alike. And successive Democratic politicians fell under his spell.
His creed was set out in his book ‘Rules for Radicals’ – a book he dedicated to Lucifer, whom he called the ‘first radical’. It was Alinsky for whom ‘change’ was his mantra. And by ‘change’, he meant a Marxist revolution achieved by slow, incremental, Machiavellian means which turned society inside out. This had to be done through systematic deception, winning the trust of the naively idealistic middle class by using the language of morality to conceal an agenda designed to destroy it. And the way to do this, he said, was through ‘people’s organisations’. Community organisers would mobilise direct action by the oppressed masses against their capitalist oppressors. In FrontPageMagazine.Com John Perazzo writes:
These People’s Organizations were to be composed largely of discontented individuals who believed that society was replete with injustices that prevented them from being able to live satisfying lives. Such organizations, Alinsky advised, should not be imported from the outside into a community, but rather should be staffed by locals who, with some guidance from trained radical organizers, could set their own agendas.
The installment of local leaders as the top-level officers of People’s Organizations helped give the organizations credibility and authenticity in the eyes of the community. This tactic closely paralleled the longtime Communist Party strategy of creating front organizations that ostensibly were led by non-communist fellow-travelers, but which were in fact controlled by Party members behind the scenes...
Alinsky viewed as supremely important the role of the organizer, or master manipulator, whose guidance was responsible for setting the agendas of the People’s Organization... Alinsky laid out a set of basic principles to guide the actions and decisions of radical organizers and the People’s Organizations they established. The organizer, he said, ‘must first rub raw the resentments of the people; fan the latent hostilities to the point of overt expression. He must search out controversy and issues, rather than avoid them, for unless there is controversy people are not concerned enough to act.’ The organizer’s function, he added, was ‘to agitate to the point of conflict’ and ‘to maneuver and bait the establishment so that it will publicly attack him as a “dangerous enemy.” ‘ ‘The word ‘enemy,’ said Alinsky, ‘is sufficient to put the organizer on the side of the people’; i.e., to convince members of the community that he is so eager to advocate on their behalf, that he has willingly opened himself up to condemnation and derision.
Obama’s connection with Alinsky, whom he never met but whom he reportedly idolised, was through two bodies promoting the Alinsky model of community organisation, ACORN and the Gamaliel Foundation. John Perazzo again:
Obama was trained by the Alinsky-founded Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) in Chicago and worked for an affiliate of the Gamaliel Foundation, whose modus operandi for the creation of ‘a more just and democratic society’ is rooted firmly in the Alinsky method. As The Nation magazine puts it, ‘Obama worked in the organizing tradition of Saul Alinsky, who made Chicago the birthplace of modern community organizing...’ In fact, for several years Obama himself taught workshops on the Alinsky method.
But Obama brought a special slant to Alinsky’s radicalism.Far from being – as he has been painted – a ‘post-racial’ politician, Obama’s politics are all about promoting the cause of black people and achieving ‘reparations’ from white society (a perspective through which his whole welfare redistribution agenda is framed). Accordingly, he saw his three-year role as a community organiser in Chicago as mobilising black people for action against their white oppressors. Finding himself hampered in creating an activist network among black churches, he decided to join such a church to give himself more credibility. That’s why he joined the infamous black-power Trinity Church of Christ – a move, it seems, that had less to do with any spiritual quest than as a radical tactic for mobilising the black proletariat.
According to Stanley Kurtz in National Review (subscription required), as a trainer for Gamaliel and ACORN Obama used his influence to secure a major increase in funding for both groups. Kurtz writes of Gamaliel, one of the least known yet most influential national umbrella groups for church-based community organizers:
Gamaliel specializes in ideological stealth, and Obama, a master student of Gamaliel strategy, shows disturbing signs of being a sub rosa radical himself. Obama's legislative tactics, as well as his persistent professions of non-ideological pragmatism, appear to be inspired by his radical mentors' most sophisticated tactics. Not only has Obama studied, taught, and apparently absorbed stealth techniques from radical groups like Gamaliel and ACORN, but in his position as a board member of Chicago’s supposedly nonpartisan Woods Fund, he quietly funneled money to his radical allies -- at the very moment he most needed their support to boost his political career.
Kurtz also quotes Rutgers political scientist Heidi Swarts who, in her book Organizing Urban America: Secular and Faith-based Progressive Movements, lays out the strategy of stealth:
Swarts calls groups like ACORN and (especially) Gamaliel ‘invisible actors,’ hidden from public view because they often prefer to downplay their efforts, because they work locally, and because scholars and journalists pay greater attention to movements with national profiles (like the Sierra Club or the Christian Coalition). Congregation-based community organizations like Gamaliel, by contrast, are often invisible even at the local level. A newspaper might report on a demonstration led by a local minister or priest, for example, without noticing that the clergyman in question is part of the Gamaliel network. ‘Though often hidden from view,’ says Swarts, ‘leaders have intentionally and strategically organized these movements that appear to well up and erupt from below.’
Although Gamaliel and ACORN have significantly different tactics and styles, Swarts notes that their political goals and ideologies are broadly similar. Both groups press the state for economic redistribution. The tactics of Gamaliel and ACORN have been shaped in a ‘post-Alinsky’ era of welfare reform and conservative resurgence, posing a severe challenge to those who wish to expand the welfare state. The answer these activists have hit upon, says Swarts, is to work incrementally in urban areas, while deliberately downplaying the far-Left ideology that stands behind their carefully targeted campaigns.
To avoid seeming like radicals or ‘hippies left over from the sixties,’ Gamaliel organizers are careful to wear conventional clothing and conduct themselves with dignity, even formality. Since liberal social movements tend to come off as naïve and idealistic, Gamaliel organizers make a point of presenting their ideas as practical, pragmatic, and down-to-earth. When no one else is listening, Gamaliel organizers may rail at ‘racism,’ ‘sexism,’ and ‘oppressive corporate systems,’ but when speaking to their blue-collar followers, they describe their plans as ‘common sense solutions for working families.’
If anyone should doubt Obama’s debt to Saul Alinsky, they might ponder this encomium from no less an authority than Alinsky’s own son. In a letter to the Boston Globe, L. David Alinsky wrote of his father’s influence at the Democratic Convention:
All the elements were present: the individual stories told by real people of their situation and hardships, the packed-to-the rafters crowd, the crowd’s chanting of key phrases and names, the action on the spot of texting and phoning to show instant support and commitment to jump into the political battle, the rallying selections of music, the setting of the agenda by the power people.
Barack Obama's training in Chicago by the great community organizers is showing its effectiveness. It is an amazingly powerful format, and the method of my late father always works to get the message out and get the supporters on board. When executed meticulously and thoughtfully, it is a powerful strategy for initiating change and making it really happen. Obama learned his lesson well.
Obama’s questionable links to various radicals are now well-known: the black power racists Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Fr. Michael Pfleger, the former Weather Underground terrorism supporters Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorn.
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