Monday, June 9, 2008

Here comes Obama

I had my suspicions over the last 4 weeks about what, exactly, the Obama campaign was up to while they allowed Hillary Clinton to go out in her blaze of glory. In case you were hiding under a rock, the Obama campaign gave Sen. Clinton a free ride in the last several primaries once the May 6 contests allowed the superdelegate drip-drip to become a steadier flow to Obama's side.

The news reported Obama giving speeches in November's "battleground" states and making appearances in Washington... but occasionally, the candidate was reported to be "at home in Chicago." At first, I was frustrated by his lack of presence in West Virginia, Kentucky, Puerto Rico. My favorite cable news talking heads, especially Mr. "Regular Guy" Chris Matthews, were equally puzzled. In the last few weeks, I heard Mr. Matthews wonder aloud, "Why doesn't he just go out and talk to these people?" Meaning, of course, the 'regular' people who were turning out in droves for Sen. Clinton.

The answer? Apparently, Obama had bigger fish to fry. The same way he took a vacation over Easter for a little rest and then came back with a strong series of policy proposals and the now famous Philadelphia Race Speech, Obama has made use of his campaign 'downtime' in an incredibly smart way. He lost the end-of-primary battle to prepare for the General Election policy war.

Today's economy speech and the promise of more program specifics in the very near future show that Obama is like that kid in high school who read Shakespeare over Christmas break because he knew it would come in handy later in the year. John McCain has been spending the last several weeks trying to convince his party to unite behind him (oh, and if you could please write a check, that would be great, too...) So, he's stuck pulling an all-nighter the night before his term paper is due -- desperately trying to understand the economy so he can say something meaningful about it. And here strolls in Mr. Obama from Illinois with a clear plan of where to take this country's economy. Very smooth.

Could it be that all along Obama has been paying attention to those of us who make the country run? (I mean, the ones who really make it run -- people who fight fires and teach children and fix your car so you can get back on the road... nurses and factory workers and secretaries... oh, yes, and moms, too.) We're paying attention to the economy like we never have before. I can't get out of the gas station without paying less than $50. I can't get out of the grocery line without paying less than $200. Is the economy my #1 issue? You bet.

Prices and Jobs are the pivot-points of the American family. Our home money situation is the single factor that tells us if we're moving up or down. Chuck Todd on MSNBC asks which candidate the American public trusts more on the economy... I feel like I'll choose the candidate who can tell me the last time they bought their own gallon of milk. Oh, and by the way... which cost more, your last gallon of gas or that trip to the dairy case?

I want the next President to be that kid who did his homework over vacation, when no one else was paying attention. And I bet Barack Obama realizes that the surest way to win over the trust and faith and votes of the American People is to speak to us with specifics. Sound policy will win over supporters of any other candidate on the ballot.

I look forward to hearing more from this candidate.

*More politics articles and discussion can be found on Illini Family Politics



  1. Okay - please list the specifics that Obama has provided - let's get something firm on the table, beyond the touchy feely sound bites. It's easy to throw stones, but I have yet to hear how he intends to resolve anything beyond beyond raising MY taxes.

  2. From the Fayetteville Observer:

    “Instead of spending $12 billion a month to rebuild Iraq, I think it’s time we invested in our roads and schools and bridges and started to rebuild America,” Obama said. “Instead of handing out giveaways to corporations that don’t need them and didn’t ask for them, it’s time we started giving a hand-up to families who are trying to pay their medical bills and send their children to college. We can’t afford four more years of skewed priorities that give us nothing but record debt — we need change that works for the American people.”

    Obama supported Bush’s recent round of tax rebates for most taxpayers but said it was not enough. He plans an additional $50 billion in rebates, as well as tax cuts that would lower the tax burden $1,000 for 95percent of all workers .

    He also plans a $10 billion fund to help people in foreclosure trouble, reduce health insurance premiums by $2,500 for families and offer $4,000 of college tuition yearly if students provide community or national service after graduation.

  3. The thing that I like about Obama vs. McCain at this point is also the re-instatement of Pay-Go. I felt the same way in the early 90's -- that deficit spending had gotten out of control and it was time for some fiscal responsibility.

    I don't understand how one can expect for the economic situation to get better without work. Do you honestly expect re-structuring of the economy and righting of the budget deficit and trade imbalance to occur without any taxation?

  4. where to start.. taxing companies is only going to raise the prices you pay. They'll just pass that tax on to you.

    People already can't afford the tax burden and you can be assured any tax cuts Obama will give you will be more than made up for by higher prices due to those taxes on corporations.

    Gas isn't going to come down in price because there is a supply shortage but no one is talking about drilling for more oil, building new refineries ... nothing is going to help short term... this is a long term problem.

    Why, why on earth do you feel ANYONE should get bailed out for making a bad financial decision? Taxpayer money should never be used to bail out anyone or any company. Those people signed the paperwork, it was their duty to know what the contract they were signing said. Same goes for lending institutions... they should have known better than to give loans to those who couldn't afford them. You make a mistake, you pay the price. Don't expect a handout from everyone else for your screwups. I have no sympathy for those being forclosed on.. they knew the risks , they knew what they could afford and they did it anyway. Now they've learned a lesson.

    What you don't see Obama or McCain saying is how they will cut govt. spending... we're looking at a 3.1 TRILLION dollar budget... that's completely insane for a govt that is technically only supposed to be supplying defense of the country.

    Spending is out of control, all these entitlement programs are insane. In 20 to 25 years, the entire national budget will be tied up in Medicare and Social Security... unless something changes. Obama is going to spend us right into bankruptcy.. if we aren't already there.

    Say what you will but at least Ron Paul is a fiscal conservative and he would actually push for spending cuts and limit government. If you call that kooky then people have a seriously messed up idea of a Republic and free society.

  5. The Yes We Can movement is so much more than just Obama's candidacy. In addition to the new young voters, it's also about reengaging citizens who gave up on politics many years ago. Many, many of those people have stepped back into political discourse with this movement. We’re fed up with the mess the Bush Administration has created and we’re ready to make the kind of changes our country so desperately needs.

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  7. going all the way back to bob (not this bob), i guess bob must be making more than $250K a year. oh well, it's time to ante up for the war protecting your freedom to do so.

    i feel your pain.


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