Re: Cocky

1

But is he too cocky? Too much swagger?
The term of art is "elitist."


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 2:45 PM
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I did not watch (surprising, I know), but was Stephanopolous as partisan as is being claimed on some sites?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 2:47 PM
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You know what it reminds me of? Those basketball players, always hogging the ball and going for the highlight move. Boy, things used to be better back when it was about passing and teamwork, like that Larry Bird fellow used to do.

You know who else it reminds me of? That Barry Bonds, just out for himself and the records, never thinking about how to help the team win.

You know who else it reminds me of? That Tiger Woods: so aloof, so clinical about the way he wins. Golfers used to be fun: remember Fuzzy Zoeller?

You know who else he reminds me of? That Venus Williams, being so arrogant just because she's good. Ever heard of humility, Venus?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 2:47 PM
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But is he too cocky? Too much swagger?

Just go ahead and say "Uppity."


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 2:51 PM
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remember Fuzzy Zoeller?

Mmmm, fried chicken and watermelon.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 2:53 PM
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I don't think STephanolpous was "partisan". He was just anti-Democrat. Not pro-Republican. He just wants to talk about stupid and pointless stuff and make politicans feel uncomfortable.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 2:53 PM
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3 does it so much better than 4.


Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 2:54 PM
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Up the ladder. And could he ever talk.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 2:55 PM
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A candidate for U.S. President just did the go-on-brush-your-shoulders-off gesture. Let's not miss the forest for the trees, here: This is an historic moment.

It's pretty clear that he's cool and he knows how to work the crowd like a cool guy, but I think that it's a little early to say that swagger* is the guy's main weakness. His weakness will be determined by circumstances, and it sort of depends on an intersection of factors: how many seats the GOP loses in 08, how much worse the situation is when Obama takes over the reigns. The GOP might not be able to frustrate his legislative agenda but they love to pass off interminable economic crises to Democratic admins and then blame them on the Dems. My bet is that Obama's main weakness will be not being able or willing to go back on campaign rhetoric and smash these guys when they call it the Obama depression/Obama retreat.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 2:55 PM
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But is he too cocky? Too much swagger?

My Republican co-worker who caucused for Obama (getting, he said, funny looks from a variety of Democrats who know him as a long-time Republican) and is planning on voting for him, has said that one of the things he likes about Obama is his swagger.

As he said, "you should look happy if you're winning. If you're doing well and you just look petulant and grumpy than there's something wrong with you."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 2:55 PM
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ogged is not alone.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 2:56 PM
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No, no, no, silly ogged.

Obama's doing something brilliant here. Look, this is going to be his general election character. We were all duped into thinking that he was going to run a "unity" campaign. Such fools we were.

Obama is going to run the most aggressive us vs. them campaign you've ever seen. Only, the "them" isn't going to be the Republicans, or even the lobbyists or corporations or the "special interests," which are a bunch of pretty lame "thems" anyway, since no one identifies with that kind of talk.

No, "them" is going to be the Washington politicians, aided and abetted by the political press, both of whom flat out "don't get it". And the evidence of the fact that they "don't get it" is ample. Exhibit A: last night's debate. Focusing on the trivial nonsense, instead of the huge issues that people are concerned about -- the economy, gas prices, the war, the economy, the mortgage crisis, and the economy.

"Us" is not going to be Democrats, or Independents, or whatever. It's going to be, basically, everyone else who's not an alien from the planet Washington. Obama's going to try to convince people that he's more trustworthy than his Washington opponents...and even more trustworthy than the political press. It's not that hard of an argument to make, really; public trust of both of those institutions is in the crapper.

It's very effective. And it makes him much more impervious to the kinds of swift boat attacks that usually trip up Democrats. In fact, those attacks will only strengthen his "they just don't get it" argument that he makes above. He can mock them all he wants. They're Washington aliens, and they're not to be trusted. Obama, though, is one of us.

You people would all understand this if you read my blog.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 2:58 PM
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First of all, count chickens much? Second, fuck these imagined "character flaws." Obama does not have one single heroic flaw which will bring about his downfall like some Shakespeare character. Obama, like every other human being before him and every human being to come after him, has many, many character flaws, because he is, like every human being before him and every human being to come after him, a human being.

We shouldn't attempt to judge presidential candidates by "character," because we can't possibly know their characters, because all of these people are total strangers to us. For fuck's sake, people are still arguing over the inner workings of George Bush's mind after seven and a half years. The only way to judge them is by their records and by the records of the company they keep. It's a lot more fun to try to guess at what goes on in the inner depths of these people's souls, but we're no good at it, and it's unnecessary anyway.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:02 PM
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We were all duped into thinking that he was going to run a "unity" campaign.

Not me!

He's the Democrat's Reagan. Populist faux-nonpartisanship wielded by a self-assured and charismatic politician to support a down-the-line ideological agenda.

And it's awesome.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:03 PM
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3

Conclusion: black people are arrongant?


Posted by: Melvin | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:03 PM
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Oh, and Joe D is right, and the video clip is pretty great. Obama's pretty good at punching back.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:05 PM
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ST: Reagan totally pulled the same "they don't understand you, but I do" trick, too. There you go again...


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:06 PM
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Conclusion: black people are arrongant?

Just the successful ones. Mediocrities and noble failures can be inspiring -- almost magical.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:07 PM
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Thanks, eb, I think that first piece you link is exactly right.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:08 PM
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"arrongant" s/b "arrogant"


Posted by: Melvin | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:08 PM
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"they don't understand you, but I do"

I am imagining this sung by Lurlene Lumpkin.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:08 PM
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My Republican co-worker who caucused for Obama (getting, he said, funny looks from a variety of Democrats who know him as a long-time Republican) and is planning on voting for him, has said that one of the things he likes about Obama is his swagger.

People like to be on the winning side. The more Obama projects that he is a "winner", the more people will flock to his banner, ignoring the policy questions.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:09 PM
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Stephanopolous is proud of his work.

It no longer astonishes me, though it still pisses me off, but some of the crappiest people in the media are supremely confident that they're doing things exactly right, and that their critics are pitchfork-waving luddite peasant know-nothings who just don't understand professionalism. Zombie neutrality and infotainment fluffin are their professional standard, and if you don't like it you just don't understand.

They get paid more than Brad DeLong, so they must be smarter than him. We can't let people motivated by The Politics of Resentment cast doubt on our high journamalistic standards.



Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:10 PM
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I like the people in the background going "uum-hhu" and "yeah" loudly whenever they agree with something he says.


Posted by: Melvin | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:10 PM
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I am imagining this sung by Lurlene Lumpkin.

Me too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:10 PM
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24, you should listen to the Steve Harvey Morning Show on your local "urban" radio station.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:12 PM
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hey, Joe Drymala's blog is awesome.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:12 PM
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19: b-but your post didn't ask if he was too "elitist", it asked if he was too "arrogant", or had too much "swagger".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:12 PM
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Urf, "cocky", not "arrogant". Sorry ogged! Racist!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:13 PM
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hey, Joe Drymala's blog is awesome.

Hey, yeah! RSS that shit!


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:14 PM
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To be clear (and I'm not sure y'all aren't kidding), I don't think his "arrogance" will hurt him in the campaign, but I do think, contra stras, that people have central character flaws, and I think that's his, and if he gets to a second term, it will come out. That's all.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:14 PM
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Blogspot, Joe? Too cool for wordpress or typepad?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:16 PM
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and if he gets to a second term,

Na Ga Ha Pen. The economic shitstorm coming will make people beg to return to the relatively calm and heady economic days of the Carter Presidency (if not Hoover).


Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:16 PM
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31: I just don't think there's any way to fairly judge that based on a campaign, and I think it should give us pause if we are eager to assert that the central character flaw of a charismatic black politician is the same central character flaw regularly ascribed to any successful black person.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:17 PM
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So this is sort of the 11th grade English class school of political analysis? "Identify the protagonist's Tragic Flaw in one adjective."


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:17 PM
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31: So your argument really is that Obama is a Shakespeare character? Damn, you're a hard guy to caricature.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:18 PM
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My co-blogger launched it; I was just along for the ride. Then he decided to never blog again. Hey, it could be worse; at least I'm not blogging under the pseud "mals" or something, waiting around for "Ani" to come back and post once in a while.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:18 PM
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Thanks, eb, I think that first piece you link is exactly right.

Really? Yes, of course the Republicans will try to tag any Democratic candidate as an elitist - that doesn't change the fact they will exploit existing biases in doing so. They attacked Kerry for being a rich patrician, they were ready to depict Clinton as a power-hungry woman and they're going to try to label Obama as an uppity negro.

Whether it helps to point this out is a separate question.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:19 PM
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You know who is a Shakespearean character, though, seriously? Bill Clinton.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:19 PM
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As far as the links in 11 go, while Kevin Drum, Whitest Blogger Alive, might think that "elitist" has no racial overtones, "cocky" and "arrogant" certainly do.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:20 PM
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The economic shitstorm coming will make people beg to return to the relatively calm and heady economic days of the Carter Presidency (if not Hoover).

Shitstorm is coming, yes. But depending on the level of trust established in the first 100 days of the new Obama administration, a case can be made not be "change horses" cf. GWB.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:21 PM
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Dude(s), I don't care if they have racial overtones. I'm not launching an attack on Obama; I love the guy. But a black person can still be arrogant.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:21 PM
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42: and they so often are, I hear.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:22 PM
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But a black person can still be arrogant.

And ogged can tell that he's arrogant by his suspicious blackness.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:22 PM
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You should hear this great bit that Chris Rock does, ogged, about "black people" and...oh, just watch it for yourself.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:23 PM
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my favorite comment on the debate last night was:
"another debate like that & I'm joining the Weather Underground".


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:23 PM
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Seriously, ogged, what do you find arrogant or cocky about that clip? The fact that he uses humor to poke fun at a political opponent? The fact that he goes on the offensive? The fact that he seems comfortable instead of defensive and prickly? None of these are symptoms of arrogance.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:24 PM
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One reason why I don't love Obama is that I find him arrogant. No doubt it all comes down to my sexist dislike and distrust of arrogant men.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:26 PM
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Anyhow, I'm not actually calling you racist. I just think it's worth pointing out that if our social biases lead us in any direction, it's going to be towards thinking that black men specifically are "cocky" and "arrogant" to the point of fault. When you're talking about a presidential candidate -- somebody who is kind of by definition one of the most arrogant people on Earth -- the fact that these traits should be regarded as exceptional may say more about our biases than the candidate qua candidate, and it's further worth remembering that if Obama is elected he's going to have a lot of people deciding, for not necessarily conscious reasons, that he is an uppity negro, so if we can find our way to thinking that maybe we have come to this conclusion -- and let grander, more important conclusions feed off of it -- for questionable reasons, maybe he could use the help of us knocking it off.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:27 PM
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Arrogance isn't an action, stras, it's a manner. He's got (a bit of) it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:27 PM
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But a black person can still be arrogant.

Or uppity, even. People need to get a grip. Of course he's arrogant; they're all fucking arrogant. Fuck, we're all fucking arrogant. It just hurts him more. (The unsubtle robot made this point a month ago.)

Also: Joe D!


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:28 PM
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49 to ogged. Mary Catherine is [ simultaneously sexist, racist and pointless joke deleted ] lovely.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:28 PM
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Describe what you find in his manner that seems arrogant, then.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:28 PM
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What up, Timbo.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:29 PM
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53: well look at him up on stage telling all those people what he thinks like they care.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:29 PM
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Cocky is also used to describe McCain. But then again he has fathered a black child, so I guess it's ok.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:29 PM
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Compared to Bush, this year's candidates are humble and modest.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:29 PM
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Mary Catherine, you don't have to follow up your opinions by immediately assuming that everyone will heap scorn upon your opinions.


Posted by: Auto-banned | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:30 PM
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Describe what you find in his manner that seems arrogant, then.

The way he swivels his head. What the fuck? You write the personality-detection code, smartypants.

By the way, I think "arrogant" and "uppity" describe pretty different things.

Sifu, that just strikes me as PC bullshit, and is exactly the same argument that people make when they try to say that HRC Rodham Clintonness only seems like a harridan because of our own latent sexism.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:32 PM
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They all have big egos. But Obama's not the least bit afraid of the electorate. He doesn't assume they'll hate him if they know what he's really like & really stands for. This is unusual in a Democratic politician & it is noticeable, but for ogged to decide that it is Obama's Tragic Flaw is just his usual repeating-conventional-wisdom-at-us-in-a-superior-tone thing.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:32 PM
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Sifu makes the obvious point. How could someone run for president without being extremely arrogant? The only way would be if he were somehow lifted to the office unwillingly by being famous in some other walk of life, which in our country would mean the military. But even getting to the very top of some other walk of life is usually only accomplished by very arrogant people.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:34 PM
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Katherine, I hope they double Guantanamo.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:34 PM
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exactly the same argument that people make when they try to say that HRC Rodham Clintonness only seems like a harridan because of our own latent sexism

Dude, "harridan" is a term we're only going to be tossing around at all because of our latest sexism. "I didn't call Clinton a cold castrating bitch because I'm somehow sexist! I just objectively find her to be a cold castrating bitch!"


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:35 PM
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Katherine, I hope they double Guantanamo.

Pouting so soon?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:36 PM
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okay, maybe "superior tone" is a bit off; change to "repeat conventional wisdom & explain how we're all too blinded by liberal orthodoxy or political correctness to realize how right it is".


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:37 PM
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Stras, truly you have no sense of humor.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:37 PM
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Stephanopolous is proud of his work.

Stephanopolous could take maybe three five-year-olds.

After having codpiece as President for 7 1/2 years criticizing Obama for being arrogant or cocky should be against the rules.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:38 PM
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Katherine, I hope they double Guantanamo and turn it into a pony ranch!


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:38 PM
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Obama's not the least bit afraid of the electorate

I like this. Seriously, he has a lot less at stake than most, from a ego point of view. Obviously one doesn't get into politics with a thin skin, because just less than half of the electorate doesn't like you, but should he lose, it will be blamed on America's racism, not that he was a flawed candidate. This gives him a certain amount of freedom. Certainly he has hurdes, but the bigotry of low expectations may be working in his favor.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:39 PM
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59.last: well, I believe you when you say that, but at a point it's a little bit like saying "but maybe the stereotypes are all true!" which, sure, maybe, but then why are you a fan of a black guy anyhow since they historically have lower IQ scores and you want a smart person running the country.

I do think, in general, that the historical pattern in this country would be for a black man to be all aw-shucks and grateful for being given an opportunity to do, like, anything with any status attached, and insofar as he doesn't seem to have a lick of that attitude I'm all the more proud of him for it. Will it negatively affect his governing style that he damn well thinks he is good at his job? I guess that's possible, but his history in Illinois -- one of befriending other politicians and finding consensus -- argues pretty strongly that it wouldn't, so you're then left with comparing his record to your own instinctive sense of what he's like as a person, and saying the second is more accurate because you just can sense people, and see above.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:39 PM
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But Obama's not the least bit afraid of the electorate. He doesn't assume they'll hate him if they know what he's really like & really stands for.

This is the sense that I get from the way he's dealt with most of the attacks on him.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:39 PM
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Seriously, do y'all not find Obama arrogant? (This isn't a question about "relative to other politician" or "for a black man," or about whether you like him or not, or a prelude to some gotcha. It's just a question about how he comes across.)


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:40 PM
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Stras, truly you have no sense of humor.

You're just mad because I've nailed your life cycle.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:40 PM
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What is this stereotype of the "arrogant black man," anyway? If you're just substituting "arrogant" for "uppity," I think you've got it wrong.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:41 PM
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Seriously, do y'all not find Obama arrogant?

At times, yes. Usually when he's talking about how wonderful it is that Americans can come together to vote for him, or how remarkable it is that history has allowed his campaign to take place. But I'm not sure how you get arrogance from the clip linked here.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:42 PM
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72: I can see why you'd say so, but given that he is a black man I'm strongly inclined to second-guess that, and having done so: no.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:42 PM
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Seriously, do y'all not find Obama arrogant?

Yes, but I don't see how you can exclude "relative to other politicians," or even just "relative to HRC or McCain." I don't know what it's supposed to tell us if they all come across as arrogant.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:42 PM
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72:

Michael Dukakis: Afraid of electorate
Bill Clinton: Arrogant
Bill Bradley: Neither
Al Gore: Afraid of electorate
John Kerry; Afraid of electorate
John Edwards: Neither
Hillary Clinton: Afraid of electorate
Barack Obama: Arrogant

happy? this is how they came across to me. one data point.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:43 PM
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When a politician is humble, how often is it really just pander? Whether it's confidence or arrogance, if his manner is a character flaw, what exactly is the consequence?


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:43 PM
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Seriously, do y'all not find Obama arrogant?

I'm sure he's real-life arrogant (per Sifu's 49), but to me he's come across as one of the least-arrogant candidates in the Democratic field. As in, the guy I was rooting for (Edwards) and the guys I actually respected (Kucinich and Gravel) came across as a lot more arrogant.

But again, per my initial comment, I don't think this means anything as far as the actual content of these people's characters. They're all performers, and strangers to boot, and I've found Obama to be an especially good performer.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:45 PM
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For someone with Obama's accomplishments not to be proud would be a failing, ogged. Humility is not a virtue.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:46 PM
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78: They can't be both?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:46 PM
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our latest sexism

This season we're wearing our sexism way, way high on the thigh. Pleated sexism is right out.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:46 PM
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ogged's been watching The Wire too much. Tragic flaws, black people, magic, &c.

I don't find Obama particularly arrogant but I'm probably a poor judge of that.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:47 PM
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If you're just substituting "arrogant" for "uppity," I think you've got it wrong.

I think (a) people are just joking around about "arrogant"="uppity," but (b) I think, particularly for people above a certain age and with a certain background, images of a preening black man have inchoate negative associations. Which, I think, means that if he comes off as arrogant--which he does, sometimes--it hurts him peculiarly. Fortunately, he has a nice sense of self-deprecation, too.


Posted by: SomeCallMetim | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:47 PM
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74: really? See 3, dude. They are just completely synonymous.

Black people who are widely beloved are the ones who are willing to get all "aw shucks" about their fame and prosperity. There is no surer way to evoke a hostile reaction for a black celebrity than saying "look, I got here because I'm smart and I worked hard and I deserve it." Can you imagine if MacEnroe was black? He'd have been maced off the court.

I mean, look at the Juan Williams-promulgated stereotype of Martin Luther King, as this pan-racial teddy bear of a gentle man who din't want to hurt nobody.

Arrogance is an aggresive trait, and surely you don't think that black men don't get stereotyped as aggresive.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:48 PM
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For someone with Obama's accomplishments not to be proud would be a failing, ogged. Humility is not a virtue.

In Ancient Persia, it was considered polite for passing Nubians to conceal their pride by wearing the Blackburka.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:48 PM
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Also:

George H.W. Bush: Both arrogant and afraid of electorate.
Bob Dole: Afraid of electorate.
John McCain: Arrogant.
George W. Bush: Arrogant.
Mitt Romney: Afraid of electorate.
Rudy Giuliani: Both.

Only Republicans can be both, because only Republicans can have permanent institutional power whether they get elected or not.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:48 PM
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Seriously, do y'all not find Obama arrogant?

I don't, I think he comes across as relaxed and confident, which may seem arrogant to his opponents because they just can't seem to get under his skin. The thing is, when Obama is having a serious discussion about important issues, I don't think he comes across as arrogant at all. I think he comes across as earnest and respectful of his opponents' positions. It is only when he is reponding to the ridiculous white noise that he takes the more easy-going, laugh-it-off posture, which I think is the most effective way for him to respond to the nonsense.


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:49 PM
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Humility is not a virtue.

Arrogance in defense of liberty is no vice. Arrogation of the powers of Congress to the presidency is no virtue.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:50 PM
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Also, ogged, Rove got there first.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:51 PM
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Only Republicans can be both

This is terribly naive.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:51 PM
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In a serious response to ogged's question, I do not at all see him as arrogant. I think the right will try very hard to paint him as arrogant because they try to paint every Democrat as elitist and every leftist as a scold and anyone who is not shamed by either as arrogant. I think if you interpret Obama's confidence as arrogance then you're already a mark on the Republican scorecard.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:52 PM
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I think if you interpret Obama's confidence as arrogance then you're already a mark on the Republican scorecard.

Yes, but remember, ogged reads Kaus, so he gets a handicap in the "Republican marks" department.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:53 PM
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I think that Karl Rove & say, John Kerry, shared a lot of assumptions about the U.S. electorate, but they made Kerry afraid & Rove gleeful that they would buy the the crap he was selling. I'd call the Clintons both afraid of the electorate, & arrogant about how they know what Dem. politicians need to do & everyone who wants to try a diffferent approach is just a naive fool.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:54 PM
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HRC isn't coming across as arrogant right now. But now that I think about it, she was both when she thought she was going to win.

92 is correct. Currently Clintons are the only exception, though.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:54 PM
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also, Obama's not condescending, in that he's much more likely than Clinton to talk to voters like we're intelligent adults w/ consciences. Maybe he comes off as thinking better of himself than Hillary (Bill is in another league from both of them), but he also comes off as thinking much, much, much better of us.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:57 PM
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Seriously, do y'all not find Obama arrogant?

Only half-arrogant. Probably from his father's side.

Seriously, I have never in my life thought of the word "arrogant" in racial terms. As mentioned above, everybody here comes off pretty arrogant, and it's Greater Honkyburg up in here.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:59 PM
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Seriously, do y'all not find Obama arrogant?

Not really, but I've apparently got an extremely high tolerance for what other people call arrogance, so long as the person accused of arrogance is actually damn exceptional.

He probably does think he's pretty great. But you know what? I agree wholeheartedly. That's not necessarily arrogance, that could just be accurate self-assessment on Obama's part.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 3:59 PM
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HRC tomorrow: "Ahem, ladies is pimps too. Go on, brush your shoulders off."
(crowd is perplexed)


Posted by: Auto-banned | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:05 PM
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John McCain is older than Dick freakin' Cheney.


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:06 PM
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You know, thinking about it, I really don't find the guy arrogant, even in a "the CW thinks you should" way. He comes off as highly intelligent and, when responding to attacks, rightly a little bit ticked off. I mean how the fuck else are you going to respond to dishonest bullshit like that? By acknowledging its essential truth?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:07 PM
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As mentioned above, everybody here comes off pretty arrogant, and it's Greater Honkyburg up in here.

-burg, my ass. Honkytown! Right next to Funkytown. (Quien es mas blanco: having a stand mixer or having to look up the proper spelling of "funky"?)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:08 PM
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What is this stereotype of the "arrogant black man," anyway?

You don't read much sports writing, do you? It's no accident Tweety's examples in 3 are mostly of athletes... this shit's been going on forever. Go back and look at baseball writing from the '50s and '60s.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:09 PM
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Thanks for that clip, Blogger Ogged, it only increases my Obama-love. I disagree that there's a character flaw on display. He's confident, he's in good humor, he's a bit sarcastic, but he's not overreaching or talking down or being snide. If he's arrogant, it's a pretty good kind of arrogance. More important, I've been reading/hearing that he's a good manager who knows how to delegate authority, which I think argues against "high-handed" as I understand the term. If he can run an administration as successfully as he's run his campaign, he'll be a kick-ass president for eight years.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:10 PM
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having to look up the proper spelling of "funky"

What possible misspelling could you have for that?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:11 PM
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106: "Anthony Kiedis"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:12 PM
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esp. sports writing in Boston.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:12 PM
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102: I hope it cherry Kool Aid. That was my favorite.

Go back and look at baseball writing from the '50s and '60s.

Baseball has so much to answer for. For gawd's sake, it's April, and they're already giving it time.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:13 PM
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fükay


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:13 PM
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There was supposed to be an "n" there.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:14 PM
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Fünke


Posted by: Tobias | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:14 PM
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Fünke


Posted by: Tobias | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:14 PM
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111: nĂ¼kay?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:14 PM
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phunqui?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:15 PM
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Some of us hail from Whiteyville, a depressed former industrial suburb of Honkyburg.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:15 PM
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What possible misspelling could you have for that?

I might have wondered if there was a "c" somewhere in there. But, hey, maybe I'm just making a joke.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:15 PM
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Actually, it's kinda funny; a lot of the criticism of the media people voice here wouldn't have sounded out of place on rec.sport.baseball 15 years ago. You could pretty much rewrite some posts about Rickey Henderson's speech after breaking the all-time stolen base record into posts about Obama's "bitter" comment just by doing a search-and-replace.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:16 PM
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The people of New Honk summer in the Honktons.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:16 PM
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116: Yeah, but I'm talking about the "good" ones.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:17 PM
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maybe I'm just making a joke.

Occam's razor cleaves the thread.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:18 PM
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118: emphasis on the "kinda".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:18 PM
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Come on, Obama's big weakness is that he's a black guy with a weird name, a history of connections to a black-power church, and no professional experience strong enough to counteract all that stuff in the minds of white voters. His mild swagger is part of his charm and is one of the strengths that have propelled him past those weaknesses, at least so far.

This race is turning into a major problem for the party. I hope it doesn't become a disaster.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:19 PM
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Actually, it's kinda funny; a lot of the criticism of the media people voice here wouldn't have sounded out of place on rec.sport.baseball 15 years ago.

I would pay twenty American dollars (now worth $20.21 Canadian!) to see Ken Tremendous review a Tim Russert-moderated debate. ("John McCain is white, short, and a mediocre candidate, so he's scrappy!")


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:19 PM
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I'll tell you what I don't like about Obama: rap isn't music. It's just yelling!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:20 PM
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Rickey Henderson's speech

If Obama starts referring to himself in the third person, he'll definitely have a problem.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:20 PM
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I don't follow baseball, so don't give this question much weight: isn't Henderson crazy?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:22 PM
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125 is awesome.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:22 PM
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125: I don't like the way he's always wearing his pants down below his butt when I see him at the mall.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:22 PM
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I don't know if "WE GO PLAY HOOP" is the kind of message that instills confidence in a leader.


Posted by: OPINIONATED SWIFT OLD PEOPLE FOR TRUTH | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:23 PM
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If Obama wants to be taken seriously, he should stop sounding like Dave Chappelle's impersonation of a white person, and start sounding like Tiger Woods's impersonation of a white person.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:24 PM
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Obviously Obama's tragic flaw will be his magnanimity and/or compassion.

A good TF has to be ironic; the source of corruption and failure must be in the character's greatest virtue. Obama particular arrogance lies in his ambition to represent the good he sees in others. But like Jimmy Carter, the people will not live up to his good opinion of them. interpret Obama's idealism as judgementalism, and turn on him.

And he will deserve it. The "DC Elite" as predicted by Drymala above is too vague;Obama, I think, is incapable of naming Hatch or Cornyn or Bernanke as the "bad guy. Every leader has to provide not only love but hate, real specific hateful enemies. We have seen in this campaign the need of Obama supporters to find and hate an enemy;it is a real need, and Obama won't do it. So when the frustration hits, his supporters will turn on each other, and then on Obama.

PS:Read a great piece on "arrogance" in Dogville, e.g,. why it would be arrogant for the Kidman character to forgive and not destroy. Can't find it now. Philosophy's Other, I thought.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:25 PM
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(Quien es mas blanco: having a stand mixer or having to look up the proper spelling of "funky"?)

OT

La segunda pregunta: Que es mas macho
lightbulb o schoolbus?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:26 PM
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I don't know if "WE GO PLAY HOOP" is the kind of message that instills confidence in a leader.

Well we like him.


Posted by: Tut, Gramps, Choom Gang, and Ray | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:26 PM
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If OPINIONATED SWIFT OLD PEOPLE FOR TRUTH somehow got stuck in the Recent Comments field, it would take weeks before I could load the front page without laughing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:30 PM
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129: I don't know where he got such a fancy car, either. Probably sells drugs.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:31 PM
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I don't like him because I have to lock up my bicycle when he's around.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:33 PM
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136: What about property values? All our money is in this house!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:33 PM
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If he becomes president, will the American taxpayer have to bear the cost of pimping his ride? And what about all that, what do you call it, bling?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:33 PM
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132: bob mcanus

"yeeesss, let the hate grow strong in him!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:34 PM
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132 is great. Now that shit would truly be tragic.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:34 PM
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I certainly wouldn't want to have to cross the street every time the President came along.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:35 PM
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I think Sifu should become a comedy writer. There's a solid Saturday Night Live sketch taking form here.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:36 PM
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I don't like the way he ruined basketball, which used to be a perfectly good team game.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:41 PM
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Or football, with all the dancing in the endzone and arrested Bengals and illegitimate kids.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:45 PM
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Wasn't there a SNL sketch about a black president? Maybe I'm remembering something else (and not that Eddie Murphy movie, The Distinguished Gentlemen, or maybe that's it).


Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:45 PM
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I don't like that the ATM offers to perform transactions in both English and Spanish, because of him.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:45 PM
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Obama has actually said one reason he didn't start in HS was that his game was too black. Dr J was his idol.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYCEnVmNkpE


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:46 PM
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144 see 3, a divisor of 144.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:47 PM
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transactions in both English and Spanish

By 2012, they will have to offer it in Muslim, too.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:47 PM
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Did you actually watch the debate? He had to swagger here ("If you feelin like a pimp nigga, go and brush your shoulders off") because he was totally off his game last night. This isn't the ineluctable revelation of a man's true nature. This is damage control from someone who spent 90 minutes on defense last night.
And it is awesome.*

*You gotta get that dirt off your shoulder!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:48 PM
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Honestly Obama seems fine, I just wish he hadn't married a white woman.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:49 PM
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152: Yeah, a black man would have been a much better choice: higher disposable income, no chance of dependent offspring, and greater mutual understanding of what it feels like to be a black man in contemporary American society.


Posted by: Scizor Cyster | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:52 PM
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Just watched the video. Reaction: holy shit--he really is black after all, isn't he? I took a lot of comfort from all the people who said he wasn't "black enough". This is going to be a real problem in the general.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 5:01 PM
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I'd like Obama real swell-like, if I could figure why he always refer to New York City as "Hymietown."


Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 5:06 PM
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155: Racist.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 5:08 PM
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That's actually "Jamie Town" -- it's his dog whistle to fans of The Two Ronnies.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 5:12 PM
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Not gonna watch it;I've seen what happens to people who watch Obama speak.

132 was partly kidding, an ironic prediction for whatever the Obama fans are calling themselves this week. We haven't a clue as to WTF this guy will be like in the White House.

I give you, as an example, the anti-war railroad lawyer from Illinois.

I have a slim hope that when the economic shit-hurricane lands on Obama's head, he becomes the Abe Lincoln of the class/race war. Not a war he chooses, more in sorrow than in anger, but what must be, and he gets all-fucking-Biblical on their plutocratic racist asses.

And like Lincoln & FDR, fucking Constitution be damned. I'll be beside him, tho I expect many of his flower children Latte-sipping supporters won't like him anymore.

Even this dog dares dream.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 5:13 PM
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135: I think I have found a new handle!


Posted by: OPINIONATED SWIFT OLD PEOPLE FOR TRUTH | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 5:14 PM
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Haven't read the thread yet but in case nobody's linked to it, this Tom Shales column perfectly sums up the debate.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 5:19 PM
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C'mon Becks, how can you believe the Washington Post? It must be a highly devious attempt by that Village organ to take down the Dems.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 5:23 PM
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144, etc. But you've got to admit that they can be pretty cute when they're little kids. Like those Jackson Family singers: I can't get enough of those wholesome tykes, with their singing and dancing...


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 5:26 PM
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The Washington Post also reported that the Bishop of Rome was in the vicinity. I didn't see him.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 5:26 PM
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156: I wouldn't be that harsh on Mr. Obama.


Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 5:27 PM
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What do you have against flowers and lattes, Bob?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 5:27 PM
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I don't think it's right for the President to be better endowed than your average small-town voter.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 6:00 PM
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the President to be better endowed

By god, he is cocky!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 6:14 PM
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We don't know that for sure. His mother was white, after all.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 6:15 PM
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Some Fox news anchors leeringly informed me that BHO's shoe size is 13.5.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 6:16 PM
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Of the many things to look forward to in the Obama administration, I fondly anticipate how he's going to KILL at the White House correspondents dinner.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 6:17 PM
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That's one tradition I could gladly bid farewell to.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 6:29 PM
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Something very, very important happened last night.

A media organ disgraced itself, and got called on it publicly. Tom Shales and many others were outraged, and said so. The candidate himself directly took on the media - contradictcing decades of conventional wisdom that you don't argue with the guy who buys his ink by the barrel. The importance of this first step can't be overstated.

Obama was blisteringly effective without it being possible to label him "shrill."

Al Gore couldn't solve the media, so he was a nerd until the media decided he was no longer a threat. John Kerry couldn't solve the media, so he was an effete snob. The media is trying out different narratives on Obama - and they may indeed settle on the Rove/Tim/ogged "arrogant." But Obama has got Bill Clinton's gift, the key to which is that you have to look America in the eye when you talk to it, and pick the right moment to call bullshit.

The fact that Stephanopolous was made to defend his disgraceful performance shows that the forces of political decency have put him on the defensive. How could Stephanopolous predicted this? When has it happened before?

Media people hate being criticized, and will do anything to avoiid it. The Right Wing figured this out decades ago.

This is just wonderful. Really fantastic.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 6:46 PM
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The Right Wing figured this out decades ago.

Is this an admission of left wing media bias, or acknowledgment that the fourth estate are a bunch of cowardly lazy hacks?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 6:57 PM
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But is he too cocky? Too much swagger? I do think that's his weakness, and his character flaw.

I realize stras and others made this point, but let us please note that cockiness and swagger, in this context, are merely affect, and they say nothing whatsoever about Obama's actual character. George W. Bush, let us recall, chose to affect humility in his first campaign.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 7:00 PM
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Is this an admission of left wing media bias, or acknowledgment that the fourth estate are a bunch of cowardly lazy hacks?

This is an explanation of right-wing media bias and, yes, an accusation that the fourth estate is a bunch of cowardly lazy hacks.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 7:02 PM
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I'm down with 172.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 7:05 PM
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the fourth estate is a bunch of cowardly lazy hacks

Comity!

As for the bias, the media's centrist tendencies will look like bias from the far end of either platform. But I also think that the constant hammering from the "right" has affected reporting, as it was intended.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 7:10 PM
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I like whatever quality it is of his that Ogged's calling arrogant. People should be more confident like that.

It's like a primer on how to be attractive. It'll be hilarious if he ends up having a bunch of hotties in his closet. (Not that I think he does.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 7:21 PM
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George W. Bush, let us recall, chose to affect humility in his first campaign.

I distinctly recall George W. Bush affecting a cocky swagger for at least one of those town hall debates. It was all part of his "Texas good ol' boy" "Washington outsider" routine. It made me truly loathe and despise him. I remember being outraged by the media's craven complicity in the construction of the "Washington outsider" narrative (what the bloody hell?! his father a former President, and we're supposed to take this seriously for even one f'ing minute?).

I wouldn't say "swagger" in relation to Obama. What I see as his arrogance is more subtle (and not dumbassed) than anything coming from Bush.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 7:23 PM
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Because confirming stereotypes is funny?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 7:24 PM
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People should be more confident like that.

I disagree. I think there's too much confidence being thrown about as it is, and I object, on principle, to anything that further contributes to the characterization of this our era as an age of immodesty.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 7:56 PM
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Canadians are phobic about confidence and bears, though the latter still have not been exterminated.

B, maybe you can get an intern job in the Obama administration.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 8:13 PM
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B, maybe you can get an intern job in the Obama administration.

Be sure to wear your beret when applying.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 8:18 PM
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Berets are seldom a good look. They are not for me.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 8:20 PM
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MC, I have thought about this. (!) I venture at this point only the thought that we're in danger of being labelled dinosaurs: swagger (I do think Obama occasionally indulges in it, in display of what may or may not be underlying arrogance, but speculation is pointless) is preferred.

Many if not most of us understand why it's preferred. I'm not sure there's a point, with respect to Obama's campaign, in raising any objections on principle.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 8:23 PM
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Berets are not meant for people with hair.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 8:27 PM
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That's why the US Army forbids long hair. It doesn't go with the beret.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 8:51 PM
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Long hair with beret

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.geocities.com/socialist_action/che.gif&imgrefurl=http://www.geocities.com/socialist_action/&h=1207&w=1065&sz=16&hl=en&start=1&um=1&tbnid=fXecs3xgO3Gn1M:&tbnh=150&tbnw=132&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dche%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D1B3RNFA_enUS265US266%26sa%3DN


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 8:56 PM
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The dogfaces won't go for that.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 8:58 PM
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I used to be a Pirates fan, but since the Obama campaign, I'm outraged by Roberto Clemente.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 9:15 PM
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To answer Blogger Ogged's question, I do not find Obama arrogant, and feel surprised even at the question. I also do not find his (Blogger Ogged's, I mean) use of "y'all" convincing, though I'd like to encourage him to keep trying.

And to further peter's admirable effort to initiate a real data-collection process, let me add my own data point:
George W. Bush: Arrogant, unaware of electorate.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 10:18 PM
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Did nobody here, in almost 200 comments, get the Jay-Z connection? And we pretend to be hip and superior? We have no ground to be accusing others of arrogance, people.

Also, 89 and 93 were correct.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:00 PM
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Did nobody here, in almost 200 comments, get the Jay-Z connection?

C'mon, you think it's possible to miss? I love how fast he can create a meme these days.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:14 PM
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The Z runs express on the J, but only in the rush hour direction during commute hours.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:17 PM
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192, meet 151.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:21 PM
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||
Finished Wire Season 3. Loved it, but have to agree with shivbunny's new take on it: "there's your heartbreak for this episode."
|>


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-18-08 12:00 AM
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In season 4, they raised the budget to accommodate two heartbreaks per episode.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-18-08 12:36 AM
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do y'all not find Obama arrogant?

No more so than any other American, not really.

Also, Oggers, didn't we have the conversation about "y'all" a couple of weeks ago? And the conclusion was "I think not".


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 04-18-08 12:48 AM
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You know who is a Shakespearean character, though, seriously? Bill Clinton.

Iago.

Is Obama arrogant? Look, his core message (and the core message of Clinton and McCain too, so nothing personal) has to be: "I, me, myself am better qualified than any other living soul to be the most powerful person on the planet for the next 4-8 years." How can he not be arrogant? Makes no sense. It's also irrelevant to whether he actually is so qualified.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-18-08 3:01 AM
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Just wanted to add my USD 0.02 worth that politicalfootball gets it exactly right in 172.

With Reagan, they used to call it "teflon", i.e. nothing sticks to him. Obama's got Kevlar: nothing penetrates.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-18-08 5:26 AM
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George W. Bush, let us recall, chose to affect humility in his first campaign.

Yeah, but it was pretty easy to spot his actual arrogance.

While I've previously argued for stras' "you can't tell what these people are really like, it's all media-filtered" position, I'm not sure I actually believe it 100%. My negative reaction to GWB was visceral, before I had any sense of how awful a president he would be. I don't read arrogance in Obama - maybe a touch of swagger, but an easy kind of swagger, more Henry Fonda (?) than John Wayne - and I wouldn't pretend to a real sense of "what he's really like."

What I see more than anything else is someone who is very comfortable in his skin. And I do think that sense, coming across on TV, is something that's been missing in every national Dem not named Bill Clinton since... Bobby Kennedy? Not sure. Carter was, in a way, comfortable in his skin, but that didn't save him once Americans decided they were sick of his skin.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-18-08 5:54 AM
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Also, yes to 172. The Post-Gazette has a big article about it in this morning's paper. I'm not sure how it's flagged in the dead tree edition (I think it's the Entertainment section, alas, but it's front-paged on the website), but there's no namby-pamby "balance" to it:

Wednesday's debate wasn't Sen. Barack Obama's best performance, but the big losers in Philadelphia the other night were ABC News, Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos.

The debate outraged many media types, pundits and regular Joe and Jane voters who yesterday decried and just plain bashed the moderators, Mr. Gibson and Mr. Stephanopoulos, and the questions they posed to the Democratic presidential candidates.

It goes on to quote Shales, Will Bunch, and a lot of P-G readers who wrote in to online fora. It also includes a couple of defending quotes from Brooks and others, but way down and not with much weight.

This is where the left blogosphere needs to step up and make this THE story of the next few cycles. It would preempt any efforts by Rs to claim that the media love Obama and, if wisely combined with the "Donuts for McCain, Barack Osama for Obama" story, could define how press coverage of this election is perceived.

People who don't work from your houses: tell everyone you see about how awful the debate was, and about the donuts thing.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-18-08 6:01 AM
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202: Yes, my wife was watching the local news here in Pittsburgh last night ( I was too busy ogling Hermione's awesome armpit cavities and doing other important stuff), and said that they were bashing the debate ... and it was the local ABC affiliate.

And this McClatchy* article (via TPM) on the woman who they had ask the "flag" question is a worthwhile read, ABCNews "found" her after she was quoted in an NYTImes article.

*Potential alternatives to the NYTImes & WaPost - a national McClatchy paper (or would have been even better when it was Knight-Ridder, but the fate of K-R is a symptom of the broader malaise which has yielded our current media.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-18-08 7:03 AM
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JRoth mentions Will Bunch; I highly recommend his well-researched, surprising post on the flag-pin question lady from today, and his outraged letter to Gibson and Stephanopoulos from Wednesday night:

Charlie...could you be any more out of touch with your viewers? Most people aren't millionaires like you, and if Pennsylvanians are losing sleep over economic matters, it is not over whether the capital gains tax will go back up again. I was a little shocked when you pressed and pressed on that back-burner issue and left almost no time for high gas prices, but then I learned tonight that you did the same thing in the last debate, that you fretted over that middle-class family that made $200,000 a year. Charlie, the nicest way that I can put this is that you need to get out more.
But I'm not ready to make nice. What I just watched was an outrage. As a journalist, you appeared to confirm all of the worst qualities that cause people to hold our profession in such low esteem, especially your obsession with cornering the candidates with lame "trick" questions and your complete lack of interest or concern about substance -- or about the American people, or the state of our nation.
Quickly, a word to any and all of my fellow journalists who happen to read this open letter: This. Must. Stop. Tonight, if possible. [...]
Although, to be blunt, I would also urge the major candidates in 2012 to agree only to debates that are organized by the League of Women Voters, with citizen moderators and questioners. Because we have proven without a doubt in 2008 that working journalists don't deserve to be the debate "deciders."

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-18-08 7:24 AM
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203: This McClatchy article ...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-18-08 7:25 AM
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It'll be hilarious if he ends up having a bunch of hotties in his closet.

Yeah, that always kills.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-18-08 7:43 AM
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a national McClatchy paper

A great idea.

Better: a notional national paper, in that there would be a website (The McClatchy) with its own, strong identity, focused exclusively on national stories. The various McClatchy outlets would use it as a wire source (but conspicuously sourcing it the The McClatchy, so as to reinforce the brand). Local stories that become national in import get pulled up to the national website, playing up McClatchy's national reach.

I don't know if it needs a paper edition to work; it probably does in order to be taken seriously in Washington. Maybe, rather than trying to pull off actual national distribution, they produce editions in NY, DC, LA, maybe a few more (I see from their distribution map that, other than Miami and Charlotte, none of their papers are in major markets [no offense, Megan]). Seems like the paper edition shouldn't try to include everything that's on the web - just the big stories. Maybe it's a tab, or smaller-format broadsheet, to help distinguish it.

Maybe it's a sort of newsweekly, with each edition compiling the cumulative results of a week's worth of investigative journalism. That would make each edition a sort of news item on its own - "What's The McClatchy going to have this week?"

What I'm trying to get at is that there's a hole in the market, but it shouldn't be filled with a familiar format. The old formats are dying, but people still want to hold paper in their hands. A new business model is a good way to model a new format.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-18-08 7:57 AM
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The McClatchy

At the moment, not really cutting it. I'm not sure why it seems inadequate, but it does to me. But I love the tagline: Truth to Power.

As they say, it ain't bragging if it's true....


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-18-08 8:06 AM
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208: Visual design is way outside my area of competence, but as best as I can reckon, the only newspaper that has figured out web-page design is the NYT. I find it very easy to navigate their site, and difficult to work through anybody else's. I don't know why this is.

As a guess, I'll tell you that maybe the McClatchy site is too horizontal - too much off the right side of my (low-res) computer screen.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-18-08 8:24 AM
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208: But I love the tagline: Truth to Power.

However, I'm a little more ambivalent on several fronts on the current headline of: "Texas says no age was too young for sect's girls to marry".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-18-08 12:20 PM
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My bet is that Obama's main weakness will be not being able or willing to go back on campaign rhetoric and smash these guys when they call it the Obama depression/Obama retreat.

Obama is projecting an image of even-handed reasonableness so that he can become sufficiently popular to become the most powerful person on the planet. That is his immediate agenda, no?


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 04-18-08 6:07 PM
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