Background. On 27 July 2004, Resources for Life identified Barack Obama as a candidate to watch and began supporting his career because of his work as a community organizer and his message of cooperation and diplomacy. It was this day, 27 July 2004, when Barack Obama delivered his historic speech to millions of people viewing the Democratic National Convention. On 16 December 2004, the Resources for Life Newsletter featured a lengthy analysis (article #7) that explained why Obama won the Senate race in Illinois while other Democrats lost campaigns nation-wide. Obama established himself early on as a charismatic and unifying voice. During the four years from the fall of 2004 to the fall of 2008, Barack Obama gained nation-wide support and recognition. On 4 November 2008, Barack Obama was elected president of the United States by an significant popular majority.
Proponent of Peace and Diplomacy. Barack Obama is well known as a promotor of dialog and cooperation. For this reason, it’s not surprising, that the song Roll Tide was selected by the GOP/RNC to be played at the conclusion of John McCain’s concession speech (see transcript excerpts below). The song Roll Tide comes from an anti-war movie Crimson Tide with Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington. The movie proclaims that “The true enemy is war itself.” [More] In the movie, a senior military leader competes for leadership against a young African American anti-war idealist. In the end, the African American wins and the older military captain admits his error and defeat. The music playing when the captain admits error and defeat, is the same music chosen for John McCain’s exit from stage after his concession speech. This is symbolic since the outcome of the presidential race was a mandate by the people for a more peaceful and diplomatic America. [More]
Transparent Interactive Accessible Distributed Democratic Government. Barack Obama has assembled a team of experts in various disciplines. In addition to their input, the Change.gov website is soliciting citizen feedback and ideas. In this way, the new government will be very efficient and powerful – looking for wisdom from all Americans. When we face problems and challenges, the public will be consulted. Meetings and documents presented are online. Like a supercomputer with numerous processors, the new government will be tapping into the collective power, knowledge, and wisdom of all competent citizens who choose to get meaningfully involved. Below is a video Your Seat at the Table that presents this concept of distributed democracy.
Endorsements and Praise from Republicans and Opposition. As would be expected, Barack Obama received many complements and endorsements. The endorsements and comments below are from conservative Republicans. Quotes are listed in chronological order from the most recent at the top.
- “It’s a strong and capable team [Obama’s cabinet], and I find it very reassuring.” – Karen Hughes, Former Counselor to President Bush, Larry King Show, 1 December 2008, rebroadcast on the Stephen Colbert Report, 3 December 2008
- “I’m excited about the team he’s put together.” – Andy Card, Former White House Chief of Staff, 1 December 2008, recorded statement rebroadcast on the Stephen Colbert Report, 3 December 2008
- “I think it will be a strong team. I would just say as an individual, I look forward to working with each one of them.” – Senator Dick Lugar of Indiana, 30 November 2008, recorded statement rebroadcast on the Stephen Colbert Report, 3 December 2008
- “Several decades from now, if not sooner, people will look back on this transition and say it was the most effective ever. It will set the standard for all other transitions.” – Torie Clarke, Former Advisor to Senator John McCain, ABC This Week, 30 November 2008, rebroadcast on the Stephen Colbert Report, 3 December 2008
- “I want to applaud President Elect Obama for these [cabinet] picks. These are good people.” Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Sunday Fox News with Chris Wallace, 30 November 2008, rebroadcast on the Stephen Colbert Report, 3 December 2008
- “He’s minding his real business; which is a transition that’s occurring fast.” – George Will, 30 November 2008, recorded statement rebroadcast on the Stephen Colbert Report, 3 December 2008
- “I like Barack Obama. I think he is a brilliant guy, and ran the best campaign I’ve ever seen anyone run, and I’ve made that quite clear.” – Bill O’Reilly, interview with Jon Stewart, 13 November 2008
- “Americans elected Barack Obama and it’s time to put the election behind us and the country in front of us. Barack Obama wasn’t my choice, but come January 20, he will be my president. I will pray for him and his family. I want him to be successful in leading our country. I will not seek to see all of his faults and none of his qualities. Some of President Bush’s harsh critics went beyond loyal opposition and engaged in angry, vile and mean-spirited hate. Those of us who found that kind of attitude and behavior despicable can hardly engage in similar conduct toward a President Obama. We can show our true patriotism conducting ourselves in the way that we wanted people to have treated President Bush. In my lifetime, I saw the revolting and repulsive indignities of racism manifested in people of color being subjected to separate schools, waiting rooms, seating areas in theaters and water fountains. It’s an embarrassing part of our nation’s history that we can never ignore. The evil, selfish — yes, sinful — treatment of other Americans because of color cannot be erased. But we can all celebrate that on this Election Day, a man was elected to live in the White House who 50 years ago would have at best been able to serve coffee there. It means that when mothers put their children to bed, they will be able to tell them that there are no limits to their opportunities in America and young black children will be able to know that their pathway to the top is not necessarily limited to sports or entertainment, but might be through education, hard work and public service. Surely, even the most partisan Republican can appreciate that. If Barack Obama pushes tax increases, indifference to the sanctity of life or same sex marriages, I’ll strongly and loudly disagree. But I will still show him the respect that he has earned having been elected president of the United States. Yes, my president. That’s my view.” – Mike Huckabee, open letter, 10 November 2008
- “A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Senator Barack Obama to congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love. In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so, by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who once wrongly believed they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving. … These are difficult times for our country, and I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face. I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and ernest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger better country than the one we inherited.” – John McCain, Concession Speech, 4 November 2008
- “… Sheer organizational skills and charisma. He has had an amazing organization down to the street level. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s stunning. It’s impressive, and he has done something I have never seen in any candidate. George Bush in ’04 had a massive 72 hour effort, but it pales in comparison to the detail of Barack Obama’s ground game.” – Mike Huckabee, CBS Early Show, 31 October 2008
- “He displayed a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity, a depth of knowledge, and an approach to looking at problems … showing an intellectual vigor. He has a definitive way of doing business that would serve us well. [He] has given us a more inclusive broader reach into the needs and aspirations of our people. He’s crossing lines – ethnic lines, racial lines, generational lines. He’s thinking about all villages have values, all towns have values, not just small towns have values. … Because of his ability to inspire. Because of the inclusive nature of his campaign. Because he is reaching out all across America. Because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities, we have to take that into account. As well as his substance. He has both style and substance. He has met the standard of being a successful president. Being an exceptional president. I think he is a transformational figure. He is a new generation coming onto the world stage.” – General Colin Powell, 19 October 2008, Meet the Press.
- “What does he … seek to accomplish after he is done turning back the waters and healing the planet.” – Sarah Palin, 4 September 2008, video clip on the Jon Stewart Show, acknowledging (somewhat sarcastically) that Barack Obama will help heal the planet.
Initial Opposition. Barack Obama was initially opposed by a handful of very vocal and well funded sectarian, separatist, partisan, extremists. Those who opposed him described him as a community organizer, a socialist, a Marxist, a Communist, and compared him to Hitler. On 10 November 2008, Republican Representative Paul Broun of Georgia said of Obama’s leadership, “That’s exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it’s exactly what the Soviet Union did… he’s showing me signs of being Marxist… You have to remember that Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany.” (Source: Rebroadcast of Fox news on The Daily Show, 20081113th). Others went so far as proclaiming that Barack Obama is the Antichrist. (Source: Time Magazine, 8 August 2008) These accusations came amidst claims from Obama followers that he was “The One” (a claim popularized by Oprah) — suggesting that he was a messianic figure. The use of the term “The One” in reference to a Messiah is found in The Matrix. Conservative talk show hosts, Fox News, and other media outlets began broadcasting the negative allegations about Obama. This incited their conservative followers to be filled with hatred and fear of Obama, and some McCain supporters (seen at McCain Palin rallies) threatened to shoot Obama. Perhaps out of fear that they might be sued for defamation, or be accused of conspiring to kill the president, those making the false accusations stopped. There was also increasing pressure to stop falsely portraying Obama as evil in light of his words and deeds that demonstrate quite the opposite.
Bush to Obama Morphed Photos. One clever person has done a very clever job of morphing photos of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. The middle photo has a very eery resemblance to both. Presumably these photos are to convey the artist’s opinion that Obama is just a metamorphosized version of Bush.