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Peggy’s Tacit Endorsement of John McCain

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 8:36 pm - October 31, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics

Reading Peggy Noonan’s column before bed last night, I had at first thought she offered a kind of neutral piece, highlighting the strengths of each of the two major party presidential candidates.  She had kind words for Barack Obama.  She had kind words for John McCain.

It was a unique piece of opinion journalism.  The tone was quintessentially Peggy, a wise female voice, looking at things from a distance without passion or rancor.  Such articles remind me why I once compared her to the Greek goddess Athena.  She did not attempt to demonize, but to understand.

As I finished the essay and pondered the passages I had underlined and the comments I had scribbled in the margins (of my print-out), it seemed that without saying so directly, she favored the Republican nominee.

The first clue was when she recounted a conversation with two former U.S. Senators:

The talk turned to presidents they had known, and why they had wanted the job [the presidency]. This one wanted it as the last item on his résumé, that one wanted it out of an inflated sense of personal destiny. Is that why Mr. McCain wants it? “No,” said one, reflectively. He wants to help the country.” The other added, with almost an air of wonder, “He wants to make America stronger, he really does.

She then questioned those “who have historically been sympathetic to the Republican Party or conservatism, and who support Barack Obama,” countering:

But conservatives must honor prudence, and ask if the circumstances accompanying an Obama victory will encourage the helpful moderation and nonpartisan spirit these supporters attempt, in their endorsements, to demonstrate.

Borrowing an expression from Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, she described an Obama victory with increased Democratic control of Congress as a “runaway train:”

A runaway train with no one to put on the brakes, to claim a mandate for slowing, no one to cry “Crossing ahead”? Democrats in Congress will move for innovation when much of the country hopes only for stability.


Obama’s “Victory” Speech Leaked

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:13 pm - October 31, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,Obama Watch

Just learned that a blogger somehow managed to obtain a draft version of Obama’s speech declaring victory in the presidential contest Tuesday night.  Apparently, the Democrat is convinced he’s going to win.  You can find the complete text here.  But, I provide a few excerpts below:

Isn’t it great to have defeated George W. Bush and his failed policies?”

. . . .

We have a lot of hope and change to talk about, but before I get started, let me first thank some people. Thank you, Tony Rezko. I couldn’t have made it here without the $168,000 you raised for me early on. You were there before my other big donors.

Thank you to the banking industry. Especially you, Fannie Mae. In just four years in the Senate, you’ve already given me more money than you give most Congressmen in 20 years.

I’d like to thank some individual citizens now. Pro Doodad. Good Will. John Galt of 1957 Ayn Rand Lane. You are the backbone of my publicly financed campaign!

People like you, who donated without having your identities verified by the credit card companies, have together raised over $160 million in unreported small donations.

I wonder what he’s going to say should the results differ from expectations.

Legitimate Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage

Yesterday, I linked a video showing one pretty crazy proponent of Proposition 8.  Opponents of the initiative would be wise to focus on anti-gay marriage zealots like this guy in order to defeat the initiative.

Yet, this focus won’t help us understand many people who have legitimate concerns about gay marriage.  Nor convince them to change their minds.  As one reader commented yesterday:

Let gay couple have all the same rights (which they do, therefore it is not discriminatory) but don’t call it “marriage.” Don’t call it marriage because it is not the same thing. On one hand it is same sex and on the other it is opposite sex. . . .  [T]here are fundamental differences between men and women. The fundamental difference between gay couples and heterosexual couples is the gender make up of the couple.

(I have addressed this issue before, notably here and here.)

For as long as humans have recorded their history, we have defined marriage, to paraphrase Rick Warren, as a contract between a man and a woman.  Yet, despite that history, even Jonathan Rauch, perhaps the most thoughtful advocate of gay marriage, dismisses those who raise the gender difference argument as “reducing marriage in its very essence, to–forgive my bluntness–main-boinks women.”

Jonathan’s words notwithstanding, for millennia, gender difference has been the essence of marriage.  And that is why so many people are troubled by calling our unions marriage.  It’s too bad that all too many advocates of gay marriage assume all opponents are as narrow as the nut in that video.  Such hateful opponents allow them all to easily to dismiss legitimate opposition to this rather significant social change.

While we should ignore (save to mock) such silly spokesmen, we need to acknowledge the legitimate concerns of those opposed to same-sex marriage.  After all, those favoring same-sex marriage are the ones proposing to change the longstanding definition of marriage; they should have ready responses to those defending the status quo.

But, too many advocates of gay marriage want to pass the buck and let judges decide the issue for us when the burden should on those pushing the change.  We need show why such a change is good for society.

Of course, we all want our opponents to be like the nut in that video.  While he may be a spokesman for the “Yes on 8” movement, he does not speak for all opponents of gay marriage.  We need recognize the sincere opposition of many less narrow opponents, responding to their arguments with respect for their opinions and understanding of their ideas.

Electoral Surprises? October Surprise?

I’d always thought this year we’d see some surprises come next Tuesday, perhaps McCain stronger in a state where he has been ruled out, a challenger not even on the national political radar defeating an incumbent in a House or Senate race.

Back in 1990, no one expected Christine Todd Whitman to come within a whisker of unseating incumbent New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley.  Her low-budget campaign tying the popular Democrat to the unpopular tax-hiking Governor Jim Florio paid off.  “Two weeks before the election, Mr. Bradley had held a wide lead in the polls. . . .   His final margin of victory was 55,180 votes out of 1.9 million cast.“  Three years later, Mrs. Whitman would unseat Florio.

We’ve heard of the woes of Pennsylvania Democrat John Murtha so his defeat, while welcome, wouldn’t be that much of a surprise.

I have a sense we’re in for some surprises, likely Republicans doing better that we fear, just wish I could identify them so come next Wednesday people would praise me for me foresight.  🙂

Do y’all have any idea what surprises might be in store for us?

And now, we’re getting to electoral crunch time when the Democrats invariably release their October surprise designed to blunt any Republican advantage in the campaign’s final days.  As polls show a tighter race, with undecideds possibly poised to break for McCain, this “surprise” could stop any stop any last minute surge to the Republican.

Let’s hope that should there be such a surprise, the McCain camp and its allies are ready to counter it.

To Democratic Ticket:
Raising Taxes=Patriotism, Opposing High Taxes=Selfish

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 1:26 pm - October 31, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics

Remember, back in September, when Joe Biden said that increasing taxes on the most productive members of our society was patriotic?

Well, now his running mate has done him one better, calling those who oppose higher taxes selfish.

Seems the Democrats believe the only way we can serve our country is by being forced to give an ever increasing share of our income to the government.  And the only way we can serve others is by having the government do it for us.

How many people oppose higher taxes so they can better decide the charities to support with their disposable income?  Given the greater alacrity of Republicans to donate to charities than Democrats, it doesn’t seem we’re entirely selfish in wanting to prevent the government from taking our money.

With the Democrats’ rhetoric on taxes, it becomes increasingly clear that they see government as the solution to all our problems.  The more we hear them speak, the clearer it becomes how little confidence they have in the American people and the private institutions we have established not just to provide essential products and services, but also to help the less fortunate and otherwise improve our society.

Like Carter in ’76, Obama Makes Lots of Promises
Unlike Him, Begins Breaking Them Before Election

During the 1976 campaign, Jimmy Carter became renowned for all the promises he made.  Likely aware of this when he conceded defeat four years later he began by acknowledging the one promise he did keep, that he wouldn’t lie to the American people.

Well, it seems yet another Democratic candidate for president has made a similar raft of promises.  Jack Tapper lists those he made just yesterday in Sarasota, Florida (via Instapundit).

Carter didn’t keep most of his promises.

In 1976, however, as the untested Georgian made his pitch to the American people, voters had no way of knowing that.  Carter appeared on the scenes as a contrast to Richard Nixon, the memory of whose duplicity was still fresh in Americans’ minds.  The Democrat who had never worked in Washington, appeared honest and trustworthy.  People thought they could take him at his word.

In contrast to Carter, even accepting the Democratic nomination for President, Obama had already begun breaking his promises.  If he can’t keep a promise he made about the way he was going to campaign, how can we trust him to keep the promises he has made about how he’s going to run the country?

How Many Obama Supporters Will Switch to McCain?

Since the mortgage meltdown last month, I’d always thought a good number of those who then switched to Obama as the candidate of the party out of power would take a second look at the Democrat and return to the Republican fold.  With increasing evidence of Obama’s redistributionist ethic, they have greater reason to fear the economic policies he would enact if elected.

Other voters who had long opted for Obama as a change after eight years of a Republican president, or because they were impressed by his presence or due to economic anxieties, might, in the end, have concerns about his readiness to lead.  At the last minute, they could switch to McCain as a Democratic friend of mine switched to Bush just a few days before the 2004 general election.

With Joe the Plumber’s help, John McCain has finally found his footing on economic issues.  That has helped him better articulate an economic message while rattling Obama supporters.  Indeed, it caused one former Obama speechwriter, Wendy Button, to switched to John McCain.

While Button had been having doubts about the Democrats since the summer, it was the party’s treatment of Joe the Plumber which finally turned her:

The final straw came the other week when Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher (a.k.a Joe the Plumber) asked a question about higher taxes for small businesses. Instead of celebrating his aspirations, they were mocked. He wasn’t “a real plumber,” and “They’re fighting for Joe the Hedge-Fund manager,” and the patronizing, “I’ve got nothing but love for Joe the Plumber.”

. . . .

The party I believed in wouldn’t look down on working people under any circumstance. And Joe the Plumber is right. This is the absolutely worst time to raise taxes on anyone: the rich, the middle class, the poor, small businesses and corporations.

Will Joe the Plumber’s message–and the treatment he suffered from the Democrats–resonate with other Obama supporters?  Will, in the campaign’s final days, will other less prominent supporters follow Button’s lead and switch to John McCain?

I would expect that there will be some, but wonder if it will be enough to make a difference. John McCain can only help himself–and our nation–by hitting the economic message as he has these past few days, talking about our party’s respect for the common working man and woman, how we celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship, how we resent excessive regulation and out-of-control spending.

The Republican message still resonates with the American people. We just need a good messenger.


A reader alerted me to a blog post quoting another Obama aide wary about her one-time candidate.  Because I can’t confirm her identity, I include an excerpt from her post below the “jump.” (more…)

Why Won’t Obama “Redistribute” His Own Wealth…
To His Needy Family?

First we found out that Barack’s half-brother is living in squalor in Kenya.

Now we learn that Barack’s aunt and uncle are living in deplorable conditions in Boston.

Shouldn’t Barack practice what he preaches.. and redistribute some of he and Michelle’s wealth to his needy family?   Or is Michelle still paying off those damn student loans she whines about all the time?

[RELATED: ConfederateYankee proposes we should all “Adopt an Obama”]

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

UPDATE (from Dan): A reader of Hugh Hewitt’s blog asks a great question: “So let me get this straight. Millionaire Obama doesn’t use his wealth to help his poor illegal alien Aunt get out of public housing, but if I complain about Obama wanting to raise my taxes to ‘spread the wealth around’ I’m the selfish one?

Will Libertarian Ideas Decide Fate of Prop. 8?

While Dick Morris expects undecideds to break for McCain, I’ve been trying to figure out how they’ll break on Proposition 8.   I wonder if some who indicate they’re undecided have already made up their mind, but refuse to tell pollsters because they fear they won’t give the response, they expect, the pollster wants to hear.

That could mean “Yes” is a stronger position than the polls indicate.

Or, could those undecided voters do what I (and other Californians) do when they’re uncertain about ballot propositions, vote “No.”  Or, given the number of issues on this year’s ballot in the Golden State, will they not even get that far and not vote in that race?

In the end, Californians being who we are, I think it’ll boil down to a libertarian argument.  If undecideds see the initiative as preventing gay people from exercising their freedom, then they’ll vote against it.  If the see state recognition of gay marriage as forcing us to accept gay marriage, they’ll vote in favor.

Both sides played in this “libertarian” notion.  The first “Yes” ad using San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s words to say we’d get gay marriage “whether we liked it or not.”  The third “No” ad showed respect for opponents of gay marriage with this line, “Because regardless of how you feel about marriage, it’s wrong to treat people differently under the law.”

The “No” side would be in a better position had it built on that notion, showing a respect for those who believe marriage is between one man and one woman, but, at the same time, don’t want to prevent same-sex couples from seeking state recognition of their unions.

That’s why I believe the “No” side would have been better served had it used freedom or liberty in its slogan, instead of equality.

Proponent of Propostion 8 Imitates the Left . . .

. . . compares opponents to Nazis.

I’ve seen some loopy things in this campaign, but this one really takes the cake. This proponent of Proposition 8 seems to compare himself to a German theologian who stood up to Hitler.

Not sure I follow his logic here, but then again, I don’t much get the left when they compare Bush to Hitler and Republicans to Nazis. If Bush were Hitler, wouldn’t they then be in concentration camps for criticizing him? If Republicans were Nazis, wouldn’t they be proposing laws preventing minority groups from participating in civil society while preparing them for isolation, deportation and execution?

Similarly, this guy doesn’t seem to face censure for standing up to whomever he’s standing up to.

If this toon is the face of Prop 8, well then the initiative should be easily defeated.

Barney Frank’s Partisan Prejudice

As I pondered Barney Frank’s accusation that John McCain was appealing to anti-gay prejudice when he brought up the Masachusetts Democrat’s recent proposals to raise taxes and slash defense spending, I was struck at how quick he was to smear Republicans.

Instead of taking issue with McCain’s arguments, perhaps defending the merits of his proposed tax increases or showing how a drastic cut in national defense wouldn’t impact national security, he immediately jumped to the conclusion that a Republican would only bring him up to play into anti-gay sentiments.

Does he believe his statements are not worthy of criticism?  Is he incapable of recognizing that conservatives might object to his ideas?  Why does he assume that a Republican who criticizes him does so because of prejudice?

I mean, he equates McCain’s criticism of him with “past Republican efforts to raise voter concerns about the prospect of congressmen Charles Rangel and John Conyers, who are black, becoming committee chairs.“  Um, Barney, both men come from the extreme left of your party, with the latter having “a mock impeachment inquiry over the Iraq war” (before he chaired the House Judiciary Committee) with a host of left-wing conspiracy theorists.

It seems Barney harbors similar conspiracy theories about Republicans, given the assumptions he makes about us.  Call it his partisan prejudice.  It’s a sad day for America when a politician so prominent and so smart harbors such prejudices about the opposing party.  He ignores our ideas and assumes our animus.

Obama’s Pretense

Perhaps the one thing which caused me to change my once favorable opinion of Barack Obama was when I realized his notion of a “new kind of politics” was just a slogan, pretense masking an undistinguished record.  The more familiar I became with Obama’s ideas, the more apparent it became that he was pretty much a standard issue liberal.  See a social problem, look for a government solution.

He had no record of reaching across the partisan divide to forge a consensus on controversial issues, had never bucked his party leadership on such matters.  Heck, he hadn’t even stood up to bigots and extremists in his own life.

Two pieces I read in the past twenty-four hours confirm this image of Obama, offering the same kind of politics his party has offered for more than three-quarters of a century.  Jonah Goldberg contends the Democratic nominee “symbolizes a return to an older vision of the United States that was seen as the ‘wave of the future’ eight decades ago.”

In a more detailed piece, Roger Kimball finds “most depressing . . . is the extent to which [the whole Obama juggernaut] represents a return of bad ideas that have already been tried time and again, have failed and made people poorer and less stalwart, and yet seem poised to make a sorry comeback once again.“  In listing the taxes Obama plans to raise, Kimball holds that “Obama plans to resuscitate the welfare policies of the Great Society, but by stealth.”

Obama’s promise is all pretense.  It’s not a new kind of politics, but the same old liberalism.  The only difference is that when FDR tried these ideas back in the 1930s, he didn’t know they would exacerbate the Great Depression.  Now, we have a record of their failure, but that’s not deterring Obama from wanting to try them again.

Obama Voted Present on Reverend Wright’s Bigotry

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 1:28 pm - October 30, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,Obama Watch

In the course of this campaign, my opinion of Barack Obama has eroded.  Once impressed with the charismatic Senator, the more I learned about him, the less confident I became of his abilities to unite this nation and lead our government.

My confidence in the Democratic presidential hopeful began to slip when I read his then-celebrated (now all but forgotten) speech on race.  He was then tryingt to contain the political damage caused by the revelation of his pastor’s hateful sermons.  As I put it at the time, he dodged the real issue, failing to “explain why he never challenged his pastor for his crazy comments.”

Of course those comments were more than crazy.  They were mean-spirited and evidenced a prejudice against white people and the nation which protected his right to utter such bile.

Now, I don’t share the mindset the Stonewall Democrats; I don’t believe a parishioner necessarily agrees with his preacher on every subject.  I don’t think Obama has the same angry animosity against white people as does the Reverend Wright or holds to the same lunatic conpiracy theories.

But, Barack Obama has styled himself a new kind of politician, one who can unite the nation.  Wouldn’t such a man, a leader who promotes change, have the guts to stand up to a man with whom he was close and challenge his bigotry and question his narrow world view?

That Obama chose to remain silent says a lot about the man.  He chose not to make waves.  He voted present on Reverend Wright’s bigotry.

For twenty years, when he sat in that church, Barack Obama had the chance to make a tough decision by challenging a man he admired. He had an opportunity to do the right thing, to take a stand against bigotry.  He took a pass on that one.  Is that the kind of guy we want as president?  One who dodges decision-making?  A man who sits silently by when a friend, a trusted advisor, spews malice toward many.

Do Palin-hating conservatives understand the grassroots?

The Jewish Athena (Jennifer Rubin) just penned, er, pixeled (?) a most excellent post on Sarah Palin, looking at the divisions within conservative circles over the Republican Vice Presidential nominee.  Rubin divides us into “Players”and “Kibitzers,” with the players (political activists) loving the Alaska Governor while the kibitzers (intellectuals) revile her.

It’s an interesting breakdown which makes sense even if it isn’t perfect.  I mean, I see myself as more a kibitzer than a player and I’m pretty enthusiastic about the Alaska Governor.  The distinction makes a lot more sense when Rubin fleshes it out, so make sure to read the whole thing.

What really struck me about the post was Rubin’s critique of the “kibitzers,” those

. . . who don’t hold office or run campaigns or much bother with real voters. They write books, tell us what is wrong with conservatism, and scold the poor slobs who run campaigns. They lack any visceral sense of actual conservative voters. Their bent is decidedly academic and their approach to politics is sterile.

That pretty much nails it. They don’t understand the imperative to inspire voters. When they see Reagan, they see primarily his intellectual bent. They miss the importance of Hollywood to his success, his understanding of appealing to an audience. And they forget the years he spent traveling the country working for General Electric, meeting with, talking to, listening to the company’s employees.

Reagan knew he had to reach out to these people. Having spent sixteen years in politics in a state where personal contact matters more than uplifting rhetoric, Sarah Palin has learned the same thing. Now, as I’ve said before, she just needs to complete her conservative education.

And then she might sway some of her conservative skeptics, with another Athena likely becoming the first to admit her error in underestimating Palin’s promise.

GayPatriot LA Election Watching Party

Given the success of our outing to see An American Carol earlier this month, some of those who attended expressed interest in a GayPatriot election night watching party here in the City of Angels.

Please e-mail me if you’d like to join us and have a place in mind for the shindig.

Is it just my imagination . . . .

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 10:00 am - October 30, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,Obama Watch

. . . or does Obama spokesman Bill Burton spend more time bashing FoxNews than defending his candidate?

While he says his guy is out there talking about the issues, he only seems to offer one specific policy Obama supports, his “tax cut” for 95% of Americans (when as many as 44% currently pay no income tax).

(Via HotAir.)

Is Breaking Promises the Change We Need?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 1:12 am - October 30, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,Obama Watch

I did not watch the Obama infomercial last night.  The mere thought of it raised my hackles.  The Democrat paid for it with broken promises and possibly even broken laws.

As I worked on my piece on his opportunism yesterday, I became increasingly aware how duplicitous this man has been and how the media has covered for him. They have barely touched the story of his broken promise and all but failed to consider his fund-raising irregularities.

When he promised to accept public financing and challenged Republicans to do the same, Obama may have truly meant to keep his word.  But, given how quickly he changed his mind and how flimsy his rationale, it appears that word’s not worth very much.

Can we trust a man who readily reneges on a promise he repeated on multiple occasions?

Now, I don’t know if Obama broke any laws in raising his record-setting haul, but the evidence we’ve accumulated so far clearly indicates an investigation is in order.  His campaign confirmed that it “is allowing donors to use largely untraceable prepaid credit cards that could potentially be used to evade limits on how much an individual is legally allowed to give or to mask a contributor’s identity.

Ed Morrissey believes the only reason the campaign “deliberately turned off the systems that would have guarded against the kind of fraudulent donations that have accrued millions to their coffers” was “to facilitate fraud.”  (Emphasis in original.)

We don’t know if donors took advantage of the lax online security to donate more than the legal limit.  We don’t know if foreigners, barred by law from contributing to presidential campaigns, supported the Democrat’s campaign.  Heck, the Obama campaign may not even know, but they did do a number of things which made such crimes possible.  And difficult to trace.


Crybaby Barney Frank Plays the Gay Card

Let’s see Barney Frank refuses to take any responsibility for the mortgage mess.  He accuses Republicans of racism when they fault government programs for causing the crisis.

Now, he’s getting all bent out of shape because John McCain, on the campaign trail, is making an issue of the Massachusetts Democrat’s proposals to raise taxes, increase domestic spending and gut the defense budget.  Ol’ Barney says it’s because he’s gay, calling McCain’s attack on his actual statements, “an appeal to prejudice.”

Sorry, Barney it’s not because you’re gay, it’s because you’re a liberal who’s been clearer than any of your colleagues on what would happen should the Democrats win the White House and increase their congressional majorities next week.

I thought that Barney was really smart. Yet, he doesn’t seem to understand where Republicans have been coming from since his first election to Congress in 1980.  All he can do is accuse us of the most nefarious of motives.  Doesn’t sound like a very smart man to me, sounds like a very narrow and intolerant one.

As Allahpundit puts it, Barney “never met a bad-faith accusation he didn’t like.

Grow up, Barney, quit your belly-aching, admit your mistakes, resign from the chairmanship of the House Financial Services Committee and become a role model of responsiblity for gay people.  Because right now you’re an embarrassment to all of us.

Lukewarm Opposition to Proposition 8

In a comment to my post on the absence of a serious debate on marriage in the campaign against Proposition 8, a reader asked, “to hear your reasons why you support same sex marriage or don’t, and your reasons why you support Prop. 8 or don’t.

While I have some concerns with the campaign against the initiative and have some sympathy for the arguments of some of its proponents, I plan on voting “No” on 8 next Tuesday.

I want to see the state Supreme Court decision mandating gay marriage overturned. At the same time, I don’t want the traditional definition of marriage enshrined in the state Constitution. But, the only way to overturn that decision is to amend the constitution.  We can’t achieve one without the other.

Hence, my lukewarm opposition.  The constitution will remain free of the offending clause.  A bad decision will stand.

Simply put, I don’t believe it’s the province of the judiciary to decide the qualifications for marriage in a particular state.  That responsibility belongs to the legislature and, here, in the Golden State given our liberal initiative policies, to the people.

In 2000, the people voted overwhelmingly to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman (Proposition 22).  Fewer than five years later, the California legislature voted to recognize gay marriage.  Instead of defying the people they served, our legislators should have referred the matter back to them, asking citizens to repeal 22.

Had the citizens done so, then the legislature could have taken up the issue.

In some ways, I see Proposition 8 as our chance to weigh in on 22.   I vote “No” on 8, as I would have voted “Yes” to repeal 22.

So, if we do defeat 8, then the people will indeed have voted for gay marriage.  It would not have just been the court mandating social change.


Obama the Opportunist

Since the Logo Candidates’ Forum last August, when I first watched Barack Obama for an extended period of time in this campaign, I was impressed by his presence, but concerned by the vagueness of his responses.  He preferred platitudes to substantive replies.

As the campaign kicked into gear in the following months, I kind of warmed to the Illinois Senator.  He seemed an uplifting contrast to the more wonkish Hillary Clinton.  His victory speech in Iowa was inspiring.  At the time, I believed he was truly committed to bipartisan reform, that he had the capacity to bring people together. He seemed a principled leader.

But, when he emerged as the Democratic frontrunner after his victory in the Wisconsin primary, his appeal began to fade.  He continued to avoid substantive issues and became testy when pressed with tough questions about his relationship to Tony Rezko.

And then came Reverend Wright.  His initial speech impressed many on the left, but concerned me.  He didn’t address a fundamental question:  how come this man who claimed to be a uniter never up to his own spiritual adviser’s hateful rhetoric?

He claimed he could “no more disown” that bigotted man than he could disown the black community.  Six weeks later, he did just that.

A new Obama emerged, the opportunist.

This would not be the last time he flip-flopped for political advantage.  As soon as he secured enough delegates to win the Democratic nomination, he pivoted so much on policy that columnist Gerard Baker opined “the only change coming from the Illinois senator has been in what he seems to stand for.”