Saturday, May 24, 2008

Barack Obama: Take a few minutes to listen to him

How do you get to know someone? Lots of ways, of course. But, among other things, it's absolutely essential to listen--to listen to the person you're trying to get a feel for.

Barack Obama has written two powerful books, Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope. Dreams from My Father is an honest, eloquent, intimate memoir. After reading it, you may still not decide to vote for him; but you'll feel you know him. The Audacity of Hope presents his political views and aspirations, including his belief that we can find common ground and that, working together, we can solve challenging problems.

He's also given lots and lots and lots of speeches. And though I'm sure he gets help from speech writers, he's far less dependent on them than most politicians. Here are a couple of links that can help you start to get to know Barack Obama. I'll start with his victory speech after the primary in North Carolina. It is gracious and stirring. It is worth listening to the whole thing. The last two or three minutes are especially moving. But if you are one of those who thinks Obama sounds good but is short on specifics, LISTEN TO THE WHOLE THING--he gets very specific. And I think you'll find that he makes sense. (the whole thing)

If you're in a hurry, here are a few excerpts:

UPDATE: Here's another speech--again combining specifics and inspiration--Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention on August 28: (or try

Note also Pat Buchanan's comments on the speech:


MORE OBAMA SPEECHES (in written form):

Virtually everyone acknowledges that Barack Obama is an effective speaker. Some question whether words matter (the cases of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Abraham Lincoln suggest that they do), and others wonder whether Obama's speeches have substance. Take a look--you'll find that they do. They show his intelligence and his awareness of the issues. Looking at the speeches gives a good sense of how his mind works. Here are links to a few of the more important speeches he's given over the past few years:

Against Going to War with Iraq | October 02, 2002

Keynote Address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention | July 27, 2004

Statement of Senator Barack Obama on the Nuclear Option [actually refers to efforts to shut down debate in Congress] | April 13, 2005

Energy Independence and the Safety of Our Planet | April 03, 2006

Call to Renewal Keynote Address [on religion and public life] | June 28, 2006

Full Text of Senator Barack Obama's Announcement for President
Springfield, IL | February 10, 2007

Cutting Costs and Covering America: A 21st Century Health Care System
University of Iowa | May 29, 2007

A Politics of Conscience, Hartford, CT | June 23, 2007

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama: Iowa Jefferson-Jackson Dinner
Des Moines, IA | November 10, 2007

A Call to Serve, Mt. Vernon, IA | December 05, 2007

The Great Need of the Hour, Atlanta, GA | January 20, 2008

'A More Perfect Union', Philadelphia, PA | March 18, 2008

Primary Night, Raleigh, NC | May 06, 2008

[Father's Day message on family] Apostolic Church of God
Chicago, IL | June 15, 2008

A Serious Energy Policy for Our Future, Las Vegas, NV | June 24, 2008

The America We Love, Independence, MO | June 30, 2008

Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
Zanesville, OH | July 01, 2008

A World that Stands as One, Berlin, Germany | July 24, 2008

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama: The American Promise (Democratic Convention)
Denver, CO | August 28, 2008

John McCain

As I'll explain later, what I like least about politics is the tendency to antagonism, enmity, contention--pride, anger, even hatred--and the deception and self-deception that often result when winning (and especially damaging and defeating the opposition) become more important than working to make the nation and the world better.

So, even though I'd prefer that John McCain not be elected president, I'm not so interested in defeating him as in working to help positive things happen. I don't want to treat McCain unfairly; I don't want to think of him as "the enemy." One of my aims is to keep myself from entertaining unfair and antagonistic thoughts and feelings about him.

Nevertheless, I'm going to provide a link to a video that I think demonstrates something important: John McCain is NOT as capable and smart as some people claim he is. If he's had a lot of experience, that experience doesn't seem to have helped him be as informed and wise as he ought to be. Yes, the clips are selective; and no, I don't think they show him to be deliberately deceptive. With the scrutiny now given politicians, you can catch almost anyone stumbling over their words. What I think the video shows is that McCain doesn't meet the high standard of judgment and intelligence I look for in a president. Look at this video and see if you agree.

On another matter--McCain's economic policies--here are a couple of campaign ads that (though of course biased) make valid points:

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Obama in 30 seconds

To see these 30-second videos, go to These are the finalists among the hundreds that were submitted.

Margaret (my wife) and I took part in the process, voting when there were hundreds and voting again when it was down to these finalists.

My favorites include:

Obama 2012

They Said He was Unprepared...

It Could Happen To You

Playground Politics



What We Can Draw From Obama


Little Girl & One Nation United

Join Me

Check them out!