June 18, 2006


Obama's Profile Has Democrats Taking Notice: Popular Senator Is Mentioned as 2008 Contender (Charles Babington, June 18, 2006, Washington Post)

EAST ORANGE, N.J. -- Barack Obama was standing before a packed high school auditorium when he noticed a familiar face in the crowd -- none other than singer Dionne Warwick. He paused, flashed a mischievous smile, then let loose with a perfectly on-key performance of the opening line of her hit song "Walk On By."

The audience of 300 students and adults roared with approval.

Hidden here is a story that speaks volumes about how its own leadership has betrayed black America. Not only does East Orange have a public school named for Ms Warwick, a truly minor pop singer, but the elementary school that we attended was renamed a few years ago from Benjamin Franklin to Whitney Houston Academy, in "honor" of Ms Warwick's crack-addled cousin.

Maybe the Democrats could wait until Mr. Obama does something--anything--in Washington before they decide he should be president?

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 18, 2006 9:45 AM

If Barack Obama has eventual Presidential ambitions, wouldn't '08 be a great year to run to get some national experience, to build a national network of donors and campaign workers, and to potentially get a VP nod ?

Posted by: Noam Chomsky at June 18, 2006 11:17 AM

Maybe, but '06 would certainly be a good time to help pass just one significant piece of legislation.

Posted by: oj at June 18, 2006 11:25 AM

Does something?!? He got elected, didn't he? That's all that's required from the Left to be considered an achiever.

Posted by: obc at June 18, 2006 11:53 AM

Agreed about Obama being a lightweight, but not about Warwick.

Tho perhaps a minor popstar in the fame sweepstakes, in terms of quality, based on her collaboration with Burt Bacharach in the 60s, she's in the top rank. (Rhino Records has a great box set of Bacharach that came out in the late 90s when he as enjoying a revival based in part upoin his tour and collaboration with Elvis Costello.)

(Of course, that's no reason to go naming schools after the woman).

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at June 18, 2006 12:04 PM

Burt Bacharach is the soundtrack in Hell.

Posted by: oj at June 18, 2006 12:08 PM

...does something--anything--in Washington before they decide he should be president?

Why? Bush hadn't done anything before the Republicans decided he should be president.

Posted by: Brandon at June 18, 2006 1:18 PM

Obama was elected to Congress; Bush ran Texas. Which one did more in his respective office?

Out of curiousity what is the most significant piece of legislative that Obama has written (not sponsored, actually wrote)?

Posted by: Gideon at June 18, 2006 1:41 PM

except govern one of the five significant states--what an inanity.

Posted by: oj at June 18, 2006 1:42 PM

They waited 18 years for John Kerry to do something significant, and they're still waiting.

Posted by: AC at June 18, 2006 2:00 PM

And being a senator from another of the significant states is nothing? Who's being inane here?

Posted by: Brandon at June 18, 2006 2:08 PM

How's that track record for first term congressmen getting elected president in the modern era?

Posted by: oj at June 18, 2006 2:15 PM

It's poor, and I'm not backing him. But remember, all Bush was known for in 1999 was being the son of a former president and for trading Sammy Sosa.

Posted by: Brandon at June 18, 2006 2:16 PM

. . . and for being the first Governor of Texas to be re-elected in decades - including your Ma Richards.

Posted by: obc at June 18, 2006 3:28 PM

For defeating her in the first place and tuning a Blue state Red then governing/reforming it with singular success. He was on par with Reagan or FDR in terms of experience.

Posted by: oj at June 18, 2006 3:36 PM

The day after Gray Davis was elected governor, the pundits began booming him for the 2000 presidential sweepstakes. As long as Obama does nothing, he remains a viable candidate.

Posted by: ed at June 18, 2006 4:50 PM

Obama reminds me in what he has done of Edwards, a one term senator who accomplished absolutely nothing in his senatorial career but thought he was worthy of being elected as president. Good looking, maybe well-spoken, but their career is negligible in accomplishments.

Posted by: dick at June 18, 2006 6:02 PM

If the masses think you are doing a good job, and presidential material, why run the risk of failure by actually trying to do something and failing?

If there's no one out there who's going to expose your weaknesses (and do everything they can to make up weaknesses that don't exist for your opponents and point them out so you don't have to) why bother? That's one of the problems the incestuous relationship beteween the Dems and their organs in the press has created.

Until Campaign Finance Reform, you did run the risk of having an opponent who could get the word out, but even that risk for incumbentsw has been suppressed. Expect more Obamas and Edwards in the future.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 18, 2006 8:59 PM

IL is going to lose reps in the census, along w/NY and MA.

UA (most probably IMHO) will move out, Denny's stepping down, IL is not significant.

Unless they find a way to clean our coal.

We're about 46th in the country in job location, and have high taxes.

We're living on our past.

Posted by: Sandy P at June 18, 2006 9:19 PM

The first heavy-weight legislation inspired by John Forbes Kerry came to the floor last week. He did not do so well (6-93).

Obama will have the media at his feet. But the Democrats cannot run him on the ticket. He is the black John Edwards, as dick noted. And he cannot go anywhere in national politics without running counter to that expectation, no matter how much the media pumps him up.

His bigger problem is that he is the celebrity of the black caucus, even if he doesn't want to be. Can he keep Maxine Waters, Mel Watt, Charlie Rangel, John Conyers, Barbara Lee, Sheila Jacskon Lee, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Cynthia McKinney at arm's length? Probably not.

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 18, 2006 10:58 PM

Obama has two paths to Presdident. The first is as Hillary's running mate. She loses, he gets name recognition, and has a shot at becoming a decent Senator.

The other is to run for Governor of IL in 2010, and actually turn around what will be the basket case of the nation by then.

This scenario actually makes it better for Dems if they cross over and elect Topinka. They get another massive "Republican" tax increase, spending and corruption out the wazoo, and knight on a white horse to fix it all.

The best scenario for Conservatives is that Republicans do well enough in November to cause apoplexy for Dems. They panic, bring out Obama too soon, and let him crash and burn as he is still green enough to believe his own press.

I pray that he's actually dumb enough to try in 2008.

Posted by: Bruno at June 19, 2006 12:15 AM

What in the name of tarnation is a partisan politician doing speaking to high school students?

oj. The track record? If I'm not mistaken the last one got shot.

Posted by: erp at June 19, 2006 12:15 PM

At least John Edwards understood free enterprise sufficiently to abuse the tort law system for private advantage. I have a sort of grudging admiration for the man, and for the plaintiffs' bar generally; rather like admiring a successful pirate while still wanting him hunted down and strung up from the nearest convenient yard arm. Obama, on the other hand, has never been anything other than a tax-eater.

Posted by: Random Lawyer at June 19, 2006 4:00 PM