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Obama Swift-Boats Himself

In the late spring of 2004, things looked bright for the Democrats. Media spin was making Americans doubt the war in Iraq, ignore the war in Afghanistan, wrongly believe the economy was in trouble, and the Democrats had settled on Senator John Kerry for their presidential nominee, a decorated veteran who fought in Vietnam. Polls showed Kerry in good position and the Democrats were sure that they were about to regain the White House.

Then it all fell apart. The economy's strength became impossible to deny, the successes in the Middle East wars reminded many Americans that the cause was worth its price, but even so the Kerry campaign felt it had a good chance. Then Kerry's boastful war record finally came under serious scrutiny. While some Republicans tried to discredit everything Kerry did in uniform, and some Democrats tried to blame everything on a Conservative conspiracy, the facts revealed by other Swift-Boat veterans from the Vietnam conflict raised reasonable doubts about the veracity of Kerry's hero claims, forced him to backtrack from a false claim to have fought in Cambodia in 1968, and reminded America of Kerry's shameful hypocrisy as a war protestor, not because of his stance against the war, but such things as throwing "his" medals over a wall then somehow displaying the same medals in his office years later, or attending unsanctioned and illegal negotiations with the North Vietnamese government while still commissioned as a U.S. Navy officer. What did Kerry in, though, was not his position or actions in themselves, so much as it was his refusal to admit false claims or apologize for insults to the U.S. military and the nation. Democrats refused to accept the fact that Kerry had damaged his own campaign through his actions and behavior, and denounced the collapse of Kerry's credibility as 'swift-boating', a term which has clearly different meanings to different audiences. The objective verdict for the Kerry campaign would have to say that the man shot himself down, in part because his character in fact was much different from the image he sold to voters.

Back to 2008 and Barack Obama. Enjoying a commanding lead over rival Senator Clinton for the Democratic nomination race, he wanted to close her campaign out in Pennsylvania. Most political race followers know what happened then: Playing the class envy card that has become the hallmark of the modern Democrats, Obama discussed why believed Pennsylvanians were unhappy with the present condition, saying that they "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations".

That, folks, is a very, very stupid thing for any candidate to say. But in Obama's case it's much worse, because Senator Obama has run on a claim that he rises above the cheap rhetoric, that he stands for the ideals held by all Americans, that he wants to focus on what unifies and advances America. That statement, no matter how he tries to backtrack or rephrase it, effectively proved that Obama is by no means the man he claims to be, that his prime claim to credibility has been proven a lie in front of the whole nation. Obama's "clarification" during this week has been received for what it is, a self-serving and dishonest attempt to duck what he really said, and denial about the damage he did to his own reputation and credentials.

With that said, no one should believe this seriously damages the Obama run to the Democratic party nomination; Obama's numbers are still too much for Clinton to catch. And Obama's base is going to stick with him all the way through the fall. This blunder won't cause lifelong Democrats to back off their man. Where it hurts is where it happened in places like those he was discussing - Pennsylvania and states just like it, where folks may be Democrat or Republican or whatever, but they hold hard and strong to certain values and rights, and a politician who does not support gun rights and freedom of expression and religion, a politician who does not respect the laws protecting our borders, while at the same time understanding that new citizens are welcome and valued, well, that politician is just not going to get support there. It's not just what he said in about Pennsylvania a week ago, but the whole message that is starting to come out about Obama, his hate-filled pastor of two decades, his class warfare rhetoric when he panders to areas with high unemployment, and Obama's shocking inability to understand the values of small-town America. His behavior of the past month, coupled with lame excuses in place of squarely admitting his wrongs and asking for forgiveness, has demonstrated a callous character in Obama that will, in the general election, cost him three or four states that he would have won if he had spoken more as the man he claimed to be. And that kind of self-inflicted injury could easily prove the fatal cost to the fall election. But just like Senator Kerry before him, we can be sure that Senator Obama will simply pretend that he was a victim of conspiracy, never admitting that his own worst enemy looked back at him every time he saw a mirror.

Update (Kevin): Minor edits applied. Obama's quote was made at a private fundraiser in San Francisco on April 6.


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Comments (21)

Swiftboating = Tell the tru... (Below threshold)

Swiftboating = Tell the truth about a democrat. Only the educated elite can't admit that. Just where is that signed SF180 with no limits attached?

Another line Obama uses is ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Another line Obama uses is that Republicans use "fear" to divide the nation. What hypocrisy given Al Gore's climate fear mongering and the fear over warrantless wire taps. Liberals also fear that oil companies are making too much profit and that the world doesn't like us anymore. How is Obama supposed to win the Whitehorse with such transparent hypocrisy?

Good lord, the apocalypse i... (Below threshold)

Good lord, the apocalypse is now: I actually agree with one of DJ's posts!

As with Clinton in 1992 & 1... (Below threshold)

As with Clinton in 1992 & 1996, with Gore in 2000, and Kerry in 2004, the MSM keeps going into the tank for the Dems. They ignore the hypocrisy of the candidates and the facts about their backgrounds; and attempt to launch defenses for the candidates and attack the 'VRWC'.

His attempts to restate "wh... (Below threshold)

His attempts to restate "what everyone knows is true" in better words doesn't really help much.

Take the Charlie Rose/Obama You Tube thing from 2004 where he says pretty much the same thing.

What this *is* is "What's wrong with Kansas?" Only he doesn't realize that Pennsylvania isn't Kansas or that there is nothing *wrong* with either!

People don't like to be psycho-analyzed. It's rude.

I'm old enough to remember ... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

I'm old enough to remember the last time Barack Obama was "done for" and this latest flap pales in comparison.


Sadly I find myself agreein... (Below threshold)

Sadly I find myself agreeing with Adrian, and know we will have to wait to see if such musings by DJ are prophetic or wishful thinking.

White people are bitter and... (Below threshold)
con dog:

White people are bitter and frustrated. Better-qualified white students, employees, etc. face intense racial discrimination. Obama and his liberal comrades call it "Affirmative Action".
Millions of white Americans see "people who aren't like them" illegals and inner-city parasites sucking up on free benefits.
Millions of tax paying white Americans can no longer use the public school system because "people who aren't like them" have made the schools awash with violence, drugs, and gangster rap.

Barack has a bad habit of t... (Below threshold)

Barack has a bad habit of taking a mental nap when he has a lead. I know his intentions were to paint a realistic picture of the plight of midwestern industry, but take a cue from John McCain who lost the Michigan primary...the truth can hurt and so can losing a political campaign.


Synova is right. P... (Below threshold)

Synova is right. People dont like to be psycho-analyzed. Least of all by a rich condescending elitist politician.

This should to cost Him 7 % points in Pennsylvania and drive another nail into His general election coffin.

Believe it or not, this one... (Below threshold)

Believe it or not, this one is different. This one sticks.

The only thing saving Obama will be the utter lack of airplay.

The context of the original statements sets of the comment all the more. Can you say playing to the crowd?


epador, the polling in Penn... (Below threshold)

epador, the polling in Pennsylvania shows Obama stalling even before this last gaffe.

The convention is going to be hilarious as a contest of mutual disgust as the Democratic delegates vote for the lesser of two slimes.

Obama has became one of the... (Below threshold)
Texas democrat:

Obama has became one of the most polarizing candidates in memory. Hillary Clinton is still the best candidate and most important, the best chance that the Democrat Party has in winning in November. The next ten contests are crucial for her and the Democrat party, as are the votes of the Super Delegates. The Delegates must start voting and endorsing Clinton so we can win in November. If they do not, and Obama is the nominee, it ends the chance at the Presidency as well as many current and future Democrat seats in the Senate and House.

Obama still has nine days t... (Below threshold)

Obama still has nine days to recover his footing in Pennsylvania, which is more than enough time for at least two more foolish events from the Clinton campaign. Obama will still be the nominee.

Like I've said elsewhere.</... (Below threshold)

Like I've said elsewhere.

Only Hillary could make Obama look good. They both make McCain Look fantastic. Eeeshh.

This was a terrible error. ... (Below threshold)

This was a terrible error. Obama's toughest sell in every primary has been the working class white Democratic voter. Hillary clobbers him regularly in this demographic; it's what has kept her in the race.

Now, Obama's people and supporters assume all Democrats will fall in line to support the nominee after the convention (despite a number of polls showing substantial numbers of both candidates' supporters say they won't). But the "Reagan Democrats" didn't fall back in line to support Carter in 1980, or Mondale, or Dukakis. That Clinton fellow won many back in the '90s (and many of those he didn't went to Perot rather than Bush or Dole), and Gore seemed to keep most of them in 2000.

In 2004, Kerry did pretty well with them, but lost enough in two groups, Catholics and Hispanics, to ruin his chances. Obama is making a big assumption, but of course he expects the Party to unify. The question is what do super delegates think about his prospects?

I disagree with the assertion that Hillary "can't catch" Obama. She can't in pledged delegates, true; but until someone has 2024 committed votes, he or she can be caught. Obama can't reach that number with pledged delegates alone, either.

IF, as Obama supporters are so fond of claiming, "it is over," then WHY is he spending huge amounts to win Pennsylvania and Indiana now, instead of saving the money. If it is "over," who cares how PA and IN vote?

He's there because he knows darned well it is NOT "over" yet.

Look closely and he's not r... (Below threshold)

Look closely and he's not really backing away from the guns and bibles comments. Sure in public he's trying to clarify it away, but on his own website and amongst his supporters he's owning it. He's playing a two faced game. One face backs away from his arrogant comments and from his radical liberal history - the other, speaks to his own with almost fanatical language.

It's too late to stop him from getting the nomination, but in the general, we can use - not these comments per se - but his two-facedness when dealing with them to eviscerate him.


"But just like Senator Kerr... (Below threshold)

"But just like Senator Kerry before him, we can be sure that Senator Obama will simply pretend that he was a victim of conspiracy, never admitting that his own worst enemy looked back at him every time he saw a mirror."



jp2,In the first 1... (Below threshold)


In the first 15s your video starts to prove the quote correct. It finishes proving the point at ~0:45-0:50s where he says about his words, "they were subject to be twisted".

FOXNews: Rural Penns... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

FOXNews: Rural Pennsylvanians Respond to Barack Obama


Oh the mind numbed Obama su... (Below threshold)

Oh the mind numbed Obama supporters on this thread is funny. Obama actually believes in Marists ideology whether purposeful or not. No guns, no religion and take the money away from the corporations. That is it in a nut shell. ww






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