My home is not a place, it is people.
As long as it's not Hillary.
Published on December 10, 2006 By Cordelia In Politics

There has been talk recently that Barack Obama may run for president in 2008. Upon hearing this I felt my heart swell with joy. The idea that Obama could be our president in 2008 made me take an interest in politics that I, quite frankly, have never taken before. I avoid politics at all costs, partly because I dislike conflict and partly because I dislike thinking. In fact, this article represents my first foray into the cutthroat world of political blogging on JU. (Commence with the flaming.)


My mother LOVED John Kennedy. LOVED him. She was devastated when he died. Barack Obama could be my John Kennedy. But it occurred to me, as I planned my marriage to the idea of his presidency, that I have no freaking clue what he stands for.


What I initially like about him is that everything I have ever heard from him – whatever filtered through the walls I put up to defend myself against political thought, that is – has been reasonable. Reasonable. I feel as though I haven’t heard anything that I considered reasonable or logical from a politician in a while.


Well, feeling is one thing, but what are the facts? I did some looking.


I’m going to put aside the history and biography. If you don’t know it you can look it up. The first hit on my Google search was, perforce, Wikipedia.


Obama recently stated: "I inhaled—that was the point." Obama added: "It was reflective of the struggles and confusion of a teenage boy; teenage boys are frequently confused."


You see? Now, do you see? Reason to love him right there. A couple more quotes:


We need to internalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent.

We need to steer clear of this poverty of ambition, where people want to drive fancy cars and wear nice clothes and live in nice apartments but don't want to work hard to accomplish these things. Everyone should try to realize their full potential.


Yes! Here seems to be a man who believes in working hard. This is a trait that plenty of politicians claim to hold dear, but what I like about Obama is that his idea of hard work includes a sense of personal responsibility that I find both refreshing and important.


Two more:


The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.


But it's also depended on our sense of mutual regard for each other, our sense that we have a stake in each other's success.


I like this. He speaks of uniting, not dividing. I feel like I’ve been hearing a lot of one side against the other type of talk, and it does my heart good to feel like there is someone who wants to unite us all under the umbrella of brotherhood and unity and peace and love and plus his name sounds cool when you say it. It’s got a nice rhythm. Barack Obama. Barack Obama.


Ahhh…at last. A politician I can get behind. Now all that remains is to figure out where he stands on the issues. While searching I found this cool website that you political types are probably already aware of: It broke down Obama’s stand on many of the hot issues, and I added a column so I could tally up how I agree with him and stand with him on every single point.

VoteMatch Question & Answer
(Click on question for explanation and background)

Based on these stances:
(Click on topic for excerpt & citation)

Where do I stand on the Issues?

Strongly Favors topic 1:
Abortion is a woman's right
(10 points on Social scale)

Extend presumption of good faith to abortion protesters: Favors topic 1
Pass the Stem Cell Research Bill: Favors topic 1
Protect a woman's right to choose: Strongly Favors topic 1
Supports Roe v. Wade: Strongly Favors topic 1
YES on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives: Favors topic 1


Oppose means you believe: The fetus is a human being who has rights independent of its mother's rights. You are "pro-life." While abortion under certain circumstances might be tolerated, the basic rights belong to the fetus, not the mother. Oppose means you believe more practical limitations are appropriate to make abortions rarer.

Strongly Favors topic 2:
Require companies to hire more women & minorities
(0 points on Economic scale)

Supports affirmative action in colleges and government: Strongly Favors topic 2
America's race and class problems are intertwined: Favors topic 2

Strongly Oppose means you believe: Affirmative Action is better described as Reverse Discrimination. Quotas based on race and gender are wrong, whichever race or gender they favor. Under-represented groups should fend for themselves without government intervention. Some practical reforms are needed, and all quotas should be phased out.


Strongly Favors topic 3:
Sexual orientation protected by civil rights laws
(10 points on Social scale)

Opposes gay marriage; supports civil union & gay equality: Favors topic 3
Marriage not a human right; non-discrimination is: Favors topic 3
Include sexual orientation in anti-discrimination laws: Favors topic 3
NO on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage: Strongly Favors topic 3

Strongly Support means you believe: Neither governments nor corporations have any right to decide about sexual preferences. Give same-sex partners the same status as heterosexual partners, and give same-sex marriages the same status as traditional marriage. Strongly Support means you believe in the principle of gay equality.


No opinion on topic 4:
Teach family values in public schools
(5 points on Social scale)

Listening to evangelicals bridges major political fault line: Favors topic 4
NO on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration: Opposes topic 4

Oppose means you believe: Prayer in schools is inappropriate because it fails to recognize American pluralism and religious diversity. Oppose means you believe there should be practical restrictions on public religious expression to be fair to minority religions.


Strongly Favors topic 5:
More federal funding for health coverage
(0 points on Economic scale)

Crises happen in our lives and healthcare is necessary: Strongly Favors topic 5
Believes health care is a right, not a privilege for the few: Favors topic 5
Will expand health coverage & allow meds to be re-imported: Favors topic 5
Ensure access to basic care: Favors topic 5
YES on increasing Medicaid rebate for producing generics: Favors topic 5
YES on negotiating bulk purchases for Medicare prescription drug: Strongly Favors topic 5
YES on expanding enrollment period for Medicare Part D: Favors topic 5


Oppose means you believe: While more thorough health coverage is a noble idea, further health coverage should be promoted through non-government means. Oppose means you believe in practical progress towards healthcare availability via the free market.

Opposes topic 6:
Privatize Social Security
(2 points on Economic scale)


$2000 tax credit for Working Families Savings Accounts: Opposes topic 6

Uncertain. Requires more study on my part before making a decision.

No opinion on topic 7:
Parents choose schools via vouchers
(5 points on Social scale)

Supports charter schools and private investment in schools: Favors topic 7
YES on $5B for grants to local educational agencies: Opposes topic 7

Oppose means you believe: Continue experimenting with charter schools, and with public school choice, but only as a limited experiment, and no vouchers. We should create pressure to improve our public schools, not abandon them. Bush's "No Child Left Behind" act is an unfunded mandate.  Oppose means you believe more practical improvements could be made by focusing on public school improvement.


Strongly Opposes topic 8:
Death Penalty
(10 points on Social scale)

Battles legislatively against the death penalty: Strongly Opposes topic 8

Support means you believe: The death penalty and other strict forms of law enforcement will reduce the crime rate by removing criminals from the streets and by deterring others from criminal acts. Capital punishment laws should be enforced, although perhaps adjusted to ensure a fair process and to avoid mistakes. Support means you believe in practical benefits like deterrence, or removal from society.


Strongly Opposes topic 9:
Mandatory Three Strikes sentencing laws
(10 points on Social scale)

Supports alternative sentencing and rehabilitation: Strongly Opposes topic 9

Strongly Oppose means you believe: Judicial discretion should not be diminished by formulaic sentencing like 'Three Strikes.' Let judges and juries decide what penalties to apply in each case. I believe in practical reforms like sentencing guidelines, but not mandatory ones.


Strongly Opposes topic 10:
Absolute right to gun ownership
(0 points on Social scale)

Keep guns out of inner cities--but also problem of morality: Strongly Opposes topic 10
Ban semi-automatics, and more possession restrictions: Strongly Opposes topic 10
NO on prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers: Strongly Opposes topic 10


Support: It's not the instrument, it's the morality. Gun ownership should not be restricted - most gun owners use them safely and responsibly. To reduce gun-related crimes, address the moral problems of society and other issues.

Strongly Opposes topic 11:
Decrease overall taxation of the wealthy
(0 points on Economic scale)

Bush tax cuts help corporations but not middle class: Strongly Opposes topic 11
Tax cuts for the rich do not create jobs: Opposes topic 11
NO on extending the tax cuts on capital gains and dividends: Strongly Opposes topic 11
YES on $47B for military by repealing capital gains tax cut: Opposes topic 11
NO on permanently repealing the `death tax`: Strongly Opposes topic 11

Support means you believe: A Flat Tax would simplify the entire tax system. It would get rid of loopholes that drive tax-avoiding behaviors. And it would remove most deductions and the special interests that come with them. In the meantime, tax cuts benefit the economy in both good economic times and bad economic times. Support means you believe in the practical benefits of a simplified flat tax system.


Strongly Favors topic 12:
Illegal immigrants earn citizenship
(10 points on Economic scale)

Extend welfare and Medicaid to immigrants: Favors topic 12
YES on allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security: Strongly Favors topic 12
YES on giving Guest Workers a path to citizenship: Strongly Favors topic 12
YES on establishing a Guest Worker program: Favors topic 12

Oppose means you believe: Maintain legal immigration while enforcing against illegal immigration. Tighten our borders - decrease substantially or stop all immigration so we can address domestic problems. Oppose means you believe in practical limitations like increased border security.


Opposes topic 13:
Support & expand free trade
(2 points on Economic scale)

Fair trade should have tangible benefits for US: Strongly Opposes topic 13
Tax incentives to create jobs at home instead of offshore: Opposes topic 13
NO on implementing CAFTA for Central America free-trade: Strongly Opposes topic 13
YES on free trade agreement with Oman: Strongly Favors topic 13

Support means you believe: Free trade is in our national interest because it provides economic growth and jobs. We should only restrict free trade when it poses a security risk. Including environmental and labor safeguards are acceptable if they can be successfully negotiated into trade agreements, but should not be used as a pretext to stop trade agreements. Support means you believe in practical improvements to increase international trade over time.


Favors topic 14:
The Patriot Act harms civil liberties
(2 points on Social scale)

NO on extending the PATRIOT Act's wiretap provision: Strongly Favors topic 14
YES on reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act: Opposes topic 14

Support means you believe: Homeland security needs should be balanced with respect for civil rights, and the Patriot Act goes too far. The sunset clause (automatic phaseout) should apply to all aspects so that the Patriot Act automatically disappears when the War on Terror is ended. Some provisions should be repealed immediately, because they grant too much power to the federal government and restrict our Constitutional rights too much.


Favors topic 15:
More spending on armed forces
(2 points on Economic scale)

Give our soldiers the best equipment and training available: Favors topic 15

Support means you believe: We should consider carefully before making more cuts - for example, base closings have hurt local economies, and reducing military personnel has put pressure on employment. Support means you believe that we need more spending to keep up with our practical national security requirements.


Strongly Favors topic 16:
Stricter limits on political campaign funds
(0 points on Economic scale)

YES on establishing the Senate Office of Public Integrity: Favors topic 16
NO on allowing some lobbyist gifts to Congress: Strongly Favors topic 16

Oppose means you believe: Politicians will always find loopholes in any campaign finance reform, so the best approach is just to monitor campaigns for lawbreaking and leave the rest to the press. Better reporting of donations would be useful. Oppose means you believe some practical reforms are needed, but that the basic system of privately financing political campaigns is acceptable. (This was a really tough one to answer).


Opposes topic 17:
Replace US troops with UN in Iraq
(7 points on Economic scale)

US policy should promote democracy and human rights: Favors topic 17
NO on redeploying troops out of Iraq by July 2007: Strongly Opposes topic 17

Support means you believe: The UN has an important role in US military action abroad but should not have veto power. Foreign aid should be targeted at maintaining US interests overseas, and in supporting countries which are critical to our economy or strategic interests. Aid could also be targeted toward fulfilling US international commitments and to support foreign leaders who are favorable to the US. Support means you believe in practical benefits of UN involvement and foreign aid.


Strongly Favors topic 18:
Replace coal & oil with alternatives
(0 points on Economic scale)

Sponsored legislations that improve energy efficiency: Favors topic 18
20% renewable energy by 2020: Strongly Favors topic 18
Invest in alternative energy sources: Favors topic 18
Increase CAFE to 40 mpg: Strongly Favors topic 18
Renewable Fuels Standard: require ethanol in fuel supply: Strongly Favors topic 18
YES on reducing oil usage by 40% by 2025 (instead of 5%): Strongly Favors topic 18
YES on disallowing an oil leasing program in Alaska's AMWR: Strongly Favors topic 18
YES on banning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Favors topic 18


Strongly Support means you believe: Overuse of fossil fuels causes serious problems that we should deal with immediately by raising carbon taxes, raising CAFE standards, federally funding research into alternative and sustainable energy resources, and push to implement the Kyoto Protocol. Strongly Support means you believe in the principle that the earth has limited resources.

No opinion on topic 19:
Drug use is immoral: enforce laws against it
(5 points on Social scale)

(No votes on which to base response)

Oppose means you believe: We should have regulated decriminalization. Medical marijuana might be legalized, for example, as might clean hypodermic needles. Our drug policy should be reformed, with less criminal penalties and more drug abuse clinics. Oppose means you believe the practical benefits of reduced restrictions outweigh the costs of incarceration. Also the principle of personal decision-making applies to recreational drug use.


Favors topic 20:
Allow churches to provide welfare services
(2 points on Social scale)

Black churches minister to social needs out of necessity: Favors topic 20

Support means you believe: Support Charitable Choice: remove restrictions on religious organizations' activities, so that churches can bid on government block grants for performing welfare services. Continue other experiments with faith-based organizations. Support means you believe in practical reasons that religious institutions are better equipped than government to help with charitable causes.



SHITE! I agree with Obama on only 6 of the 20 topics listed. Not only that, but I appear to be a conservative of some kind. Imagine that.


So what do people who don’t like Obama say?


Reality he is about elevating himself, he has done nothing in the black community he represented in the Illinois Senate. He locked his lips on the behind of the Senate President and everything he did was to elevate himself, every member grant was based on his own political ambitions. He served one of the poorest communities and never went there. Example of his hypocrisy he had a campaign office in the community that hired street people he was so embarrassed to be associate with them, he closed the office immediately and maintained a downtown white staffed office. He is interested only in himself. He is a fake, who is not black by any stretch of the imagination.
- Henritta Thomas 


Hmm. I frankly couldn’t care less that he is black (or African American if anyone prefers, since his father actually is from Kenya) but if in truth he is not representing the community that elected him that that would be a problem.


Ok, so I disagree with him on most of the issues and I found this one person who holds a (possibly well-founded) feeling of personal rancor toward Obama. (Yes there are others and I’m sure you can do your own Google search). Still, still I like him. Why? Because I want to believe in him. I want to have hope that there will be one person in America who will stand up with a sense of honor and dignity and have the skill and intelligence to be The President of the United States. You know; that person I think many of us have been waiting for. The one that will give us hope that the human race is not doomed to devolve back to the cave, but who will help us reach our fullest potential as a nation. Someone who will unite rather than divide us. Someone we can look up to and in all seriousness say, “I’d like to be more like him”. A hero.


It would be going too far to say he’s style over substance. He’s proven enough to deserve more than that. The more his views on the issues come out, he may lose some fans, but he isn’t likely to make many waves any time soon. The truth is he is ranked 99th out of 100 senators in official seniority. So, although there is no telling what feats he may, and most likely will, accomplish for the party, the people of Illinois and America in the future, for now, anyone hoping he will change politics in time for 2006 or even 2008, might want to focus more on Plan B. 


He may or may not run in 2008. I can’t say that I would be able to vote for him with a good conscious considering how differently we stand on some important issues. But if he does run, and he does win against whomever I may vote for, I think I might be a happy loser. And that, my friends, is saying something.

Comments (Page 1)
2 Pages1 2 
on Dec 10, 2006
It's going to be a Hilary and Obama on the same ticket. It's already been decided by the news pundits. It ought to be interesting to see how things shake out in 2008. I do think the Dem's need some new blood out there. And it will also be interesting to see who ends up as the Republican nominee. What if it's Condi vs. Obama? That would be interesting. Hilary vs. Rudy Guiliani?
on Dec 10, 2006

Hilary and Obama on the same ticket

I'm going to have to move out of the country then. Yes, I'd heard about this possible match-up, because it would give Hillary the strength she needs to possibly win. Fact of the matter is, Hillary simply does NOT have the charisma that Obama has. She needs him if she wants to win. Can't speak to the other match ups. This is why I don't like politics. Simply can't seem to participate in any meaningful way due to my avoidance of the topic.

Thanks for stopping my, Loca!

on Dec 11, 2006

Hey Cordelia, thanks for a very informative article.  It's been interesting to see Barack Hussein Obama's rise as the media flavor of the week.  We'll see if he can finagle that into a White House bid or not.

From what I read here, it seems he is for the rights of every protected class, but no one else... which makes him a pretty good democrat.  Actually, from reading this chart, I can't see one position he holds that sets him apart from any other democrat.  It will be interesting to see what the other democrat candidates can come up with during the primaries.

As for his race, I think the country is ready for a Black president, but wouldn't it be a shame if the first Black president was elected solely for that reason.


One absolute truth with him though, with his father from Kenya and his mother from Kansas City... refering to him as "African American" would be just being politically correct. ;~D
on Dec 11, 2006

I can't see one position he holds that sets him apart from any other democrat

Well, I think he has charisma and the ability to sound reasonable. I think those things alone actually do set him apart from some of the other Dems. Would that make him a good POTUS? Not those things alone, no.

As for his race, I think the country is ready for a Black president, but wouldn't it be a shame if the first Black president was elected solely for that reason.

I have been accused by Brad of being a woman, and I'm not sure how to take that. His point is that women are too easily swayed by charm and good-looks. Yes, it would be a shame if Obama were elected only because of his heritage, but I doubt that will happen. More likely if he is elected it will be because he rolled a 20 Charisma. (Yes, I am a nerd).

It's poor logic for me to refer to him as "just a face" or "just charismatic" at this point. Just because a Democrat believes something other than I doesn't mean they aren't intelligent, educated or have the courage of their convictions. The important thing for me is to look at where he stands on the issues, and he and I don't stand together. I won't vote for him, but it doesn't mean I don't like him (or what I want him to be). If that makes sense.

Thanks for stopping by, Ted!

on Dec 11, 2006

My Mother was the same about JFK.  He was also the last democrat she ever voted for (for president).

Barak is an eloquent politician.  However, as you point out, most of his positions are at odds with mine, and I dont see him changing them (I would actually hope he does not as that makes him more honest), so I dont see voting for him.  On the democrat side, I like Bill Richardson.  ON the Republican, Rudy.

on Dec 11, 2006
The Obama sensation is a prime example of the media affecting politics. The guy has no experience that would in any way qualify him as a serious Presidential candidate. The media loves the guy and has promoted him from obscurity to suddenly being a "serious" potential candidate.

Having a "charming personality" is hardly a qualification to be President of the most powerful nation on the planet.
on Dec 11, 2006

I would actually hope he does not as that makes him more honest

We're in agreement on that, doc!

Having a "charming personality" is hardly a qualification to be President of the most powerful nation on the planet

True dat. In fact, it doesn't even qualify him to get my vote, as I've stated. It is refreshing though (IMO).

Thanks for the comments!

on Dec 11, 2006

More likely if he is elected it will be because he rolled a 20 Charisma. (Yes, I am a nerd).

And I understood the reference, so... ;~D

One absolute truth with him though, with his father from Kenya and his mother from Kansas City... refering to him as "African American" would be just being politically correct. ;~D

I guess I spoke to soon, at least in the "absolute" part.  Today I heard someone say that he's not a real "African-American" because he's half White.


on Dec 11, 2006

I guess I spoke to soon, at least in the "absolute" part. Today I heard someone say that he's not a real "African-American" because he's half White.

Sheesh! It seems to me that he is more representative of the moniker than most! But I don't want to start a war on names here...what's in a name, anyway?

on Dec 11, 2006
Although I agree that Obama scores high for charisma and personality, and I like him, I wish that he would spend some more time in politics before jumping all gung-ho into a presidential campaign. Same thing with Hillary. I'm from New York, the state which Mrs. Clinton has so graciously chosen to be her home for who knows how long, and now, after scarcely a full term as senator, it looks like she might run for president. What's up with that! Coming and leaving so quickly? I think these junior senators should cool it for a bit, especially Obama. They can do quite a bit of good in the Senate- the presidency should not always be the ultimate goal.
on Dec 12, 2006
Although I agree that Obama scores high for charisma and personality, and I like him, I wish that he would spend some more time in politics before jumping all gung-ho into a presidential campaign.

I've been kind of thinking that too, especially in light of the somewhat unusual nature of his senate campaign. Basically, his opponent withdrew partway through the campaign due to a scandal, and was replaced with an incredibly unsuitable candidate. For all practical purposes, Obama was unopposed when the ballots were actually cast.
on Dec 13, 2006
Based just on topics 10 & 12, I couldn't/wouldn't vote for the guy. As mentioned, " BO" is the new kid on the block, the darling of
media talking heads with zilch qualifications, just another pretty face in front of the cameras.
A Hillary/Obama ticket in '08?, I'd rather leave the country as well or take over a strategic piece of ground till the black helicopters come for me
on Dec 13, 2006

Basically, his opponent withdrew partway through the campaign due to a scandal,

Actually, just his divorce records being unsealed killed Ryan.  That should not have happened, but then, he should not have been asking Jeri to do that crap either!

on Dec 13, 2006

I think these junior senators should cool it for a bit, especially Obama. They can do quite a bit of good in the Senate- the presidency should not always be the ultimate goal.

And I have to wonder how well they are serving their constituency by getting in and immediately taking on another campaign.

till the black helicopters come for me
hopefully it won't come to that.

Thanks for the comments, all!


on Dec 13, 2006
Man, things are easy for me here. There's no way I could vote for someone, in good conscience, who is Pro-Choice at any level. It's one of my core values and if it is crossed, it's one less vote...period. Sexual orientation protected? I guess next folks who do it doggie style will want equal rights and be recognized as a legal minority. What you do in your bedroom is your business, leave me and my tax dollars out of it please. Death penalty? I'm all for it baby, but not because it is a deterrant. Couldn't care less. I'm for it because it is justice. There are some crimes so heinous that when committed, you not only surrender your right to live among free people, but you surrender your right to live at all. Mandatory 3 strikes? Tough call. If it's a career criminal, throw the keys away. Drugs involved? Throw the keys away. A father stealing food to feed his hungry kids? Give him a job. Gun ownership? Let someone try and take mine away from me... Flat tax? Go for it. Illegal immigrants are just that, illegal. I understand wanting a better life and respect that. But come here and at least try and learn the freaking native language! If you want to be here, then adopt the USA, don't come here and still fly Mexico's flag. I could comment on all these, but I've probably offended just about everyone. I make most ultra-Conservatives look liberal with a few exceptions.

Now if only I could get control of the world...

P.S. If Hillary gets elected, I will forfeit my US citizenship immediately...
2 Pages1 2