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Barack Obama raise $453,000 in Portola Valley

Original post made by mary dumont, Atherton: West of Alameda, on Feb 27, 2007

Re this story: "Barack Obama raises $453,000 in Portola Valley" Web Link

O.K., I'll make a kick-off 2008 presidential election post, because it bugged me that Barack Obama raised $453,000 locally. What does anyone know about this man? All the comments were things like he was "lovely". The fact that he has nothing to say about how to run the government is brushed off as "it's early days." So, why are people throwing money at him? Admittedly, he has a lovely smile, but can he get anything done. I have heard this claptrap about "authenticty" and "doing things differently" about one thousand times (didn't George Bush say pretty much the same thing?). Why don't we elect someone who can be held accountable, starting now, based on performance, and not someone who says nothing more than they are different.

Comments (7)

Posted by Pete
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Feb 27, 2007 at 2:00 pm

Mary, I disagree with you regarding Barack Obama.

I find him refreshing because it is, in fact, way too early for specifics. Presidential campaigns should not be about specifics. One thing that tires me no end is a politician talking specifics because he or she feels compelled to give the voters what they supposedly want. Maybe such voters are making unreasonable demands that have not been thought through.

This voter wants someone at the top who is unashamed to think and talk in generalities, particularly when he or she is not in office and doesn't yet have a good idea of what specific ideas are viable.

Big ideas are very important. Let me repeat that: Big ideas are very important. It's how I evaluate a politician, especially when he or she is runnning for president. Little ideas and the little accomplishments that go with them should not be coming from someone whose job it is to think big.

This kind of thinking is precisely why presidents like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton don't rank high in my list of contemporary leaders. JFK had it. No one else since has, with the possible exception of Ronald Reagan, though I disagreed with his political philosophy in every possible way.

Obama seems to have it, too. Until someone better comes along, and I don't see anyone out there, my vote is for Obama.

Posted by mary dumont
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Feb 28, 2007 at 10:47 am

Pete, I appreciate the dialogue. I think what bothers me about Obama is that no one really cares if there is substance there. Politics this early may be about generalities, but it is also, big time, about money, and I don't undersand giving money to someone who people really know nothing about other than he is a fresh face with momentum. It seems simply irresponsible.

Posted by Diana
a resident of another community
on Feb 28, 2007 at 11:29 am


Way too early for specifics? John Edwards has said he wants to raise taxes to pay for universal health care. Those are specifics. They deal with a monumentally important issue in this society. He has my support.

I agree that big ideas are very important. But big ideas alone don't cut it. A candidate with big ideas alone can toss about meaningless phrases -- compassionate conservative comes to mind -- and sound as if he/she has some vision that can guide the country forward in a desirable direction. Voters must demand more than big ideas or they get someone who's "all hat, no cattle." (That, appropriately, is a phrase popular among Texans.)

We may find that Obama has a lot to recommend him, but I want to hear the cattle lowing before I give him my support -- and my money.

Posted by mary dumont
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Mar 1, 2007 at 8:47 am

I agree with Diana. At this stage it is also about foreclosing other candidates, so by choosing a candidate who has nothing but charm to offer, we are inevitably cutting out others. Before we narrow the field, we should know who we are dealing with, and do they have skills that will allow them to do the job. It reminds me of buying a house because it has a beautiful facade, but not bothering to look inside. buy it, and find out it has no plumbing.

Posted by Pete
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 1, 2007 at 9:42 am

OK. After comparing the stances of Obama and Edwards, I agree that Edwards appears more credible and that Obama looks wishy washy and suspect. How easily I succumbed to his happy talk. What was I thinking, or rather, why wasn't I thinking?

Thanks, Diana and Mary.

Posted by mary dumont
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Mar 2, 2007 at 7:37 am

Thanks Pete. It is incredibly satisfying to think that I could pursuade even one person, with help of others, of course. BTW: Did you note that Vilasack dropped out because of cost of campaign. Giving money to any candidate is both an endorsement of that candidate and a veto of other candidates we don't even know anything about.

Posted by theopaul
a resident of another community
on Mar 25, 2007 at 9:54 am

Mary, I could not agree with you more. He is vague for a reason. He tells one group what they want to hear, and can easily change his message to suit another. He's all pomp and has little pulp. The perfect example of what it means to be a politician. He is very slippery!!!

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