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"less hope, more fear"

That's the message being delivered by Obama as he stumps across the country for his fellow Dems:

With the 2008 Democratic primary race all but won, Barack Obama appeared at a massive outdoor rally here and delivered a message that was unique by the cutthroat standards of American political campaigns.

"We're not going to worry about what other folks are doing," Obama told a crowd of 75,000 at the waterfront event in May 2008. "We're going to try to focus on what we think we can do for America."

Obama returned to Portland on Wednesday night and delivered a different sort of speech. His message of national unity and reconciliation had been replaced by a stark warning against cynical Republican tactics, vague threats to America's political system and the urgent need to keep the GOP marginalized.

There was less hope, more fear.


Whereas his 2008 speech said that Americans needed to "start trusting each other again, start working together again," he said at the Oregon Convention Center rally this week that even if Republicans cooperate more with the White House, they would be forced to "sit in the back seat."

Two years ago, he said Americans are "tired of a politics that's all about tearing each other down." On Wednesday, he painted a grim picture of life under Republican leadership: The chronically ill, the unemployed, the student who can't afford college tuition -- all would be cut "loose to fend for themselves."

The shift in tone reflects the realities of Obama's political predicament. With Democrats facing the likelihood of major losses in the midterm election, Obama wants to fire up his base and make sure voters go to the polls. Instead of letting the campaign become a referendum on his first term at a time when the unemployment rate is nearly 10%, Obama is instead framing the election as a clear choice.

David Axelrod, a senior White House advisor who helps craft Obama's speeches, said the aim was to lay out the stakes in the Nov. 2 election.

"Everything looks different through the gauzy recollections of the past," said Axelrod when asked how Obama's message has changed in the last two years. "We offered a fairly strong critique of the Republican policies of 2008.... Every election is a choice. People need to understand what the contrast is."

Mr. Axelrod, people understand fully that there's a choice... they understand the contrast...

And it's why your side is going to get killed in November.

It's real hope and change to believe in sir.


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Comments (12)

'.....would be cut "loose t... (Below threshold)

'.....would be cut "loose to fend for themselves." '

Well, my first question would be, "cut loose from what?" I'd wanna hear it from his own mouth. What does he mean? Cut loose to pick a healthcare provider on your own? Cut loose to start a business on your own? He'd have to clarify this for me.

Obama is the continential d... (Below threshold)

Obama is the continential divide in America & his recent speeches sure do show this. I guess it's the 'Chicago style' politics, but America doesn't like a president getting ugly.

Just read a book that I recommend cause it's so real & is about each of us. TIME magazine is now talking about possible civil war in America & England/France are having mass civil unrest. It's a thriller.

Didn't the Democrats deride... (Below threshold)

Didn't the Democrats deride the Republicans for 'campaigning on fear' in the no-to-distant past?

What's changed?

November 2nd, Hope and Change we can believe in!

"Every election is a cho... (Below threshold)

"Every election is a choice. People need to understand what the contrast is."

2006: "Republicans are evil warmongers! Vote for us and we'll stop the war!" Democrats narrowly control House and Senate - then start screwing around with the economy.

Hilarity ensues.

2008: "Hope and Change! We'll fix the economy! We'll change the country!" Barack Obama elected - proceeds to take unemployment from 5.5% to 9.9%, runs up $3 tril in deficit spending in 2 years, passes wildly unpopular health care reform, tossed billions to unions.

Hilarity ensues.

2010: We're not laughing.

The problem is, Barry, that... (Below threshold)
jim m:

The problem is, Barry, that even IF the choice were you or going back to the GOP policies of GWB,

"Less hope, more fear"... (Below threshold)

"Less hope, more fear"

Yes, yoda has no clothes and is adorning muslim garb.

David Assholerod-W... (Below threshold)

David Assholerod-

We offered a fairly strong critique of the Republican policies of 2008.... Every election is a choice. People need to understand what the contrast is."

Its easy David, marxism vs capitalism. Enjoy november.

Sorry somehow my post got t... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Sorry somehow my post got truncated...

My point was that if the choice were to go back to the policies of GWB with less than 6% unemployment and a comparatively tiny deficit, that voters would jump at the chance given that obama is promising 17%+ REAL unemployment and looming hyperinflation

Krauthammer has a good take... (Below threshold)
After November 2n... (Below threshold)

After November 2nd, I hope we'll have less fear.

Do I belong here?... (Below threshold)

Do I belong here?

Do I belong here?</p... (Below threshold)

Do I belong here?

Only you can answer that, Pat.






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