Big bad Barack flinches

June 25, 2008 | Filed Under 00Publius Contributor, Democrats/Leftists, Elections, Media Bias, News, Society/Culture | 1 Comment

-By Michael M. Bates

Democrat Senator Joe Biden described Barack Obama last year: “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

Biden received justifiable grief for his artless observation.

Nevertheless, the view that Obama is a smart, eloquent communicator enjoys widespread currency.

There’s no denying the man gives good teleprompter. If you turn down the volume on the TV it looks like he’s watching a tennis match, but with the sound up he does a yeoman’s job of reciting what’s been written for him.

The unscripted moments are problematic. Like in the debate when he condescendingly conceded, “You’re likeable enough, Hillary,” in a way that made him appear haughty. Or when he asserted last month that 10,000 people had died in Kansas tornadoes. The actual number was 12.

In Oregon a few weeks ago, the Illinois senator said:

“Over the last 15 months, we’ve traveled to every corner of the United States. I’ve now been in 57 states? I think one left to go. One left to go. Alaska and Hawaii, I was not allowed to go to even though I really wanted to visit, but my staff would not justify it.”

Aside from his obvious problem with what he calls “numeracy,” I have to wonder about a would-be president who is only allowed to do what his staff justifies. Change we can believe in indeed.

Last month in a Virginia town hall gathering, Obama’s oratory soared. It’s now on YouTube for all to scrutinize:

“What they’ll say is, ‘Well it costs too much money,’ but you know what? It would cost about… It, it would cost about the same as what we would spend… It – over the course of ten years it would cost what it would cost us… (Giggle) All right. Okay. We’re going to… It would cost us about the same as it would cost for about – hold on one second. I can’t hear myself. But I’m glad you’re fired up, though. I’m glad.”(Giggle)

To his fanatical followers, Obama is a giant of messianic proportions, a savior who will bring us hope and change and all that other good stuff, a man who is so bright, so articulate, so clean…

Yet, as we see, Barry can bumble badly. So perhaps surprise isn’t an apt reaction to learning Obama has turned down John McCain’s request for ten joint town hall meetings.

The concept of presidential candidates confronting one another face-to-face on a stage without media interrogators isn’t new. Barry Goldwater and President Kennedy entertained the notion for the 1964 election. Sadly, Kennedy didn’t live long enough to follow through.

When McCain’s campaign suggested the proposal a few months ago, Obama termed it a “great idea.” “Should I be the nominee, if I have the opportunity to debate substantive issues before the voters with John McCain, that’s something I’m going to welcome.”

Apparently, he ditched the suggestion right after welcoming it. When McCain formally requested ten town hall sessions, the Obama response was to agree to only one. Barack – or his staff, since they seem to do the heavy lifting – thought a good date would be July 4, when, hopefully, few folks will notice. Then again, it would give Obama a chance to sport that American flag lapel pin that he refused to wear last October.

The Democrat also offered to participate in a structured August debate on foreign policy and the (yawn) three standard, regimented, perfunctory, let me read to you my last press release debates we’ve come to expect.

Obama has specialized in speaking at college campuses and other staged venues filled with brain-dead zombies. Robotically reading his script invariably is met with lusty cheers and fainting spells. In recent days, we’ve seen big bad Barack get downright pugnacious, saying things like, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” Gee, I didn’t think he even liked guns. This is a new and bellicose Barry we’ve not seen before.

Yet he’s afraid to face a little, gray-haired Arizona senator? A little, gray-haired senator not known for his eloquence or clever repartee. John McCain is no more riveting a speaker than Jerry Ford. He can, however, occasionally string together a sentence or two without notes or a teleprompter or his staff’s justification.

The Democratic candidate voices his willingness to meet face-to-face, and with no preconditions, with the world’s most despicable dictators. When it comes to confronting McCain, however, Barack folds like the Cubs in September.

The reason is, for all the vague babble about change and hope, Barack Obama’s lack of depth, inability to think on his feet, and inexperience will be all too evident. Not that it’ll matter to the Obamamaniacs.

(This Mike Bates column appeared in the June 19, 2008 Reporter Newspapers)
Michael M. Bates has written a weekly column of opinion – or nonsense, depending on your viewpoint – since 1985 for the (southwest suburban Chicago) Reporter Newspapers. Additionally, his articles have appeared in the Congressional Record, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Mensa Journal. He has been a guest on Milt Rosenberg’s program on WGN Radio Chicago, the Bruce Elliott show on Baltimore’s WBAL, the Jim Sumpter show on the USA Radio Network and the New Media Journal’s Blog Radio. As a lad, Mike distributed Goldwater campaign literature and since then has steadily moved further to the Right. He is the author of “Right Angles and Other Obstinate Truths.” In 2007, he won an Illinois Press Association award for Original Column.

His presence on the web can be viewed at And he can be reached at

Leave a Comment

If you would like to make a comment, please register to do so. I hate to do that but there are so many spam-bots out there that deleting spam comments would be a full time job if I were to just open it up for anyone without asking them to jump through a few hoops first.

You must be registered and logged in to post a comment. Anyone can register. No registrant's information is kept, used, or sold. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Social Networking

Help the Soldiers!

American Genius

Our Founding Ideas

"Governments are instituted among men,deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776

Enter your Email

Powered by FeedBlitz

Subscribe in a reader

Recently Written

  • A Growing Number of Teen Girls in West Volunteering for Islamist Terror Group ISIS
  • Populist Hillary To Award Clinton Foundation Honors to Leo DiCaprio at Gala
  • Still a Slavish Flack: Carney Blames TV Networks for Fewer Obama Speeches
  • Chicago’s Emanuel May Find His Millions Won’t Save His Re-Election
  • [VIDEO] Hotonomics: Big Gov’t Vs Small Govt Knockout
  • Illinois Worst Again With Highest Home Foreclosure Rate in Nation
  • Illinois Website Beats Attempt to Silence its News Coverage
  • Ted Cruz Does Right–Walks Out on Mid Eastern Scumbags Claiming to be Christians
  • Cities That Have Used Military Equipment for Riot Control Might Owe Feds Millions
  • Many Want to Forget 9/11–But We Must NEVER Forget!

  • What THEY Say:
    Foreign News In English

    Click HERE for information
    on my fedora collection.
    Antique Stetsons, hat history...

    Contact Us

    Email Publius' Forum


  • September 2014
  • August 2014
  • July 2014
  • June 2014
  • May 2014
  • April 2014
  • March 2014
  • February 2014
  • January 2014
  • December 2013
  • November 2013
  • October 2013
  • September 2013
  • August 2013
  • July 2013
  • June 2013
  • May 2013
  • April 2013
  • March 2013
  • February 2013
  • January 2013
  • December 2012
  • November 2012
  • October 2012
  • September 2012
  • August 2012
  • July 2012
  • June 2012
  • May 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • December 2011
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • August 2011
  • July 2011
  • June 2011
  • May 2011
  • April 2011
  • March 2011
  • February 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • November 2010
  • October 2010
  • September 2010
  • August 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010
  • March 2010
  • February 2010
  • January 2010
  • December 2009
  • November 2009
  • October 2009
  • September 2009
  • August 2009
  • July 2009
  • June 2009
  • May 2009
  • April 2009
  • March 2009
  • February 2009
  • January 2009
  • December 2008
  • November 2008
  • October 2008
  • September 2008
  • August 2008
  • July 2008
  • June 2008
  • May 2008
  • April 2008
  • March 2008
  • February 2008
  • January 2008
  • December 2007
  • November 2007
  • October 2007
  • September 2007
  • August 2007
  • July 2007
  • June 2007
  • May 2007
  • April 2007
  • March 2007
  • February 2007
  • January 2007
  • December 2006
  • January 2006
  • December 2005
  • November 2005
  • October 2005
  • September 2005
  • August 2005
  • July 2005
  • June 2005
  • May 2005
  • April 2005
  • March 2005
  • February 2005
  • January 2005

  • Add to Technorati Favorites

    Clicky Web Analytics