Barack Obama/campaign

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This page is for discussion of Obama's campaign for presidency in 2008 (the election, the race).

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Related Pages

  • Obama's birth certificate was being demanded by Republicans trying to build a case that Obama is not legally qualified to be president
  • The Muslim smear is false but nonetheless widely believed


The only serious objections to Obama as president apply far more intensely to his major opponent, John McCain; see McCain vs. Obama for details.

Early Career

Some opponents see ominous signs in Obama's early career; here is one interpretation:

tacitus2 posted in Contrary Brin on 2008-09-13:

1996, Obama's first campaign, for IL State Senate. Of a field of five Dem primary candidates, only Obama ends up on the ballot. Why? his operatives went over the filing papers for the other four systematically, challenging signatures for technical reasons.

All four ended up having insufficient signatures that passed muster. This is legal. And is how things are done in Chicago. Many of those sigs were bogus. But a tad hypocritical for a man running to "empower the disenfranchised". And his subsequent writing that the people of his district must have liked what they saw is a crock. In a massively Dem district he ran against token opposition. At that point anyone able to maintain sphincter control in public is a lock. Effort to win the General Election-nil.

He did run for House of Rep along the way. Lost.

Once you are in the IL State Senate from a safe district, you would have a hard time not being re-elected. Effort to win Gen Elections-modest.

US Senate in 2006. His Dem primary opponent is Blair Hull. Hull's campaign collapses when allegations that he beat his wife are disclosed. True, btw. Involvement of several campaigns in said disclosure is asserted.

US Senate General Election 2006. Republican Jack Ryan was married to the delicious Geri Ryan. Local news outlets want access to divorce and custody hearings. Murky back and forth on this, ultimately nasty stuff is unsealed alleging Ryan's encouraging Geri to perform in sex clubs. Again, newspapers at the time (who may indeed have wished Obama ill) suggest Obama operatives involved in this effort. Ryan campaign collapses, replaced by the witless carpetbagger Allen Keyes. Effort to win Gen Election-nil.

There are also a number of objections which are far less substantial and yet seem to keep coming up in casual conversation, where they are less likely to be scrutinized.

The Race Card

Claim: Obama "played the race card" in a speech where he described himself as "different" because of the color of his skin.

The speech in question was a thoughtful response to repeated covert attacks by his opponents, and was not a plea for special treatment or sympathy due to oppression.

The Race Counter-Card

Claim: The democrats only picked Obama because nobody could say "no" to a black man. (This was alleged by Rush Limbaugh.)

This is nonsense; Obama got a thorough reaming in the liberal blogosphere for supporting FISA, and has also received liberal criticism for his pandering to religion.


Claim: Obama is "arrogant".

This claim came, in one case, from a disgruntled Hillary Clinton supporter. I don't see how it can possibly be justified, especially for someone who agreed with Hillary's platform; both Hillary and McCain are far more arrogant and presumptuous than Obama. The only explanation I can think of is a subtle, probably unconscious, racism: Obama speaks firmly and authoritatively, while the claimant prefers a submissive, soft-spoken, "safe" black man (like Colin Powell) and feels threatened by Obama's failure to conform to that role. However, the claim came via a third party, so I have no idea if racism is a reasonable accusation. --Woozle 13:25, 30 August 2008 (EDT)


Claim: Obama is an empty suit, an insubstantial figure with no clear agenda. (This claim has been popular in the right blogosphere; see Jon Ham's Right Angles blog early in 2008 for some examples.)

This claim is also absurd; compare his official web site with McCain's: which one has the most in-depth and up-to-date discussion of the issues?




  • Obama 2.0: ostensibly a site which "digs a little deeper" into Obama, it smells suspiciously like an astroturf operation; the whois registration is stealthed, for one thing