Barack Obama on Bringing the Country Together

Barack Obama was interviewed by The Washington Post and discussed how, in contrast to some of the other Democratic candidates, he can unite the country:

Drawing a sharp contrast with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, his main rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama said in an interview that he has the capacity she may lack to unify the country and move it out of what he called “ideological gridlock.”

“I think it is fair to say that I believe I can bring the country together more effectively than she can,” Obama said. “I will add, by the way, that is not entirely a problem of her making. Some of those battles in the ’90s that she went through were the result of some pretty unfair attacks on the Clintons. But that history exists, and so, yes, I believe I can bring the country together in a way she cannot do. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t be running.”

There have been a number of unfavorable responses to Obama’s view from the portions of the liberal blogosphere which strongly identify with the Democratic Party. Of course they are not the ones who would be expected to be receptive to this message. Look at the poll of your choice, either nationally or for the early primary and caucus states. I imagine there might be some exceptions in light of the variability of early polls, but those I’ve seen show the same trend. Clinton comes in a strong first place, and Edwards has a respectable amount of support, among those who consider themselves Democrats. However, us independents who have voted Democratic have a totally different ranking. Generally Obama, and sometimes Bill Richardson, comes in first. Among independents Clinton does not lead, and Edwards is generally not even a consideration.

Many in the liberal blogosphere see the repudiation of the Republicans in 2006 as a shift towards all the beliefs of traditional Democrats. Many have listened far too much to the claims that only the left and right matter and there are no other viewpoints. Note that I’m not talking about the increasingly irrelevant views of the DLC but of those people who really helped give the Democrats their recent victory.

Democrats won in 2006 because of receiving the votes of independents, as well as the “Starbucks Republicans” who oppose the war and oppose the social policies of the religious right. Obama has often made statements which demonstrate a better understanding of both sides of issues as opposed to sounding partisan. Unfortunately many have been more general than I would like but Obama has said he plans to lay out his views in more detail. It is far too early to make a decision, but at present I find Obama to be one of only two Democrats worth considering. Many independents also feel the same, and is something for Democrats to consider if their goal is to continue winning after Bush and Iraq are forgotten.

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2 Comments

  1. 1
    absent observer says:

    Obama’s the man. I hope he doesn’t expect to win over the 24-percenters, who still think Bush is doing a heck-of-a-job. Rush Limbaugh’s little army isn’t going to buy into a Democrat, so Obama should be prepared to ignore or humiliate them, not embrace them.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    No, there’s 24% (or possibly more) who will never go along with a Democrat. However there’s also another 24% or so who have voted Republican but who are becoming dissastified with Bush and the Republicans. Some of them can be won over.

    Even among the hard core, I’ve seen some who have written that they find Obama less objectionable than Clinton and Edwards so possibly the degree of hositility will be reduced.

    We know Rush Limbaugh will continue his act (and it is more an act than serious political commentary) as long as he makes money bashing Democrats. Hopefully less people will pay attention to him if Obama can heal some of the divisions.

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