Ron Rosenbaum, Writer

January 4, 2008

Obama: I Told You So (and Why) On November 19

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 6:35 am

Just so no one will forget that I was perhaps the first (and most definitive) prognosticator to predict an Obama victory, I am going to reprint unedited my entire November 19 blog post here which flat-out, no-hedging, declared he would win–and why.

That would be close to seven weeks ago, all at at time when the big shot smart guys among D.C insiders, tv talking heads (and the polls) were all saying Hillary was inevitable:

Maybe I’m out of touch, but I don’t think Obama made a gaffe of any sort when he forcefully responded to the anti-immigration, anti-terrorism woman in a clip that’s being widely shown the past 24 hours.

To me it was perhaps his finest spontaneous campaign moment and one of the reasons I think he’s going to win.

If you haven’t seen the clip the woman was badgering Obama about “getting rid of the illegal immigrants” and terrorists, language which–whatever your stance on immigration–is offensive. (And by the way aren’t you getting a little tired of these Iowans who–because of the ridiculously unbalanced primary timing situation–are getting so arrogant about their supposed folksy wisdom? No, sorry, Iowa people, you’re not smarter than the rest of us, you’re just sooner; it’s the mere accident of geography not any particular civic discernment you’ve shown that is the only reason you’re getting all the attention now. Stop putting on airs of being rural savants).

Anyway it’s not surprising the immigrants/terrorists question drew a heated response from Obama, a response of the sort the Conventional Wisdom of the media has lately coalesced into saying he’s incapable of. Too nice, not a fighter.

But here’s what he said to the immigrant/terrorist questioner: “don’t think that I care any less than Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney about making sure that my daughters don’t get blown up.”

Wow! That remark packed heat, intensity and a kind of gut level understanding of the issue (plus fierce family values!) that complements his more visible studied and soft- spoken side.

I think the media’s gotten it all wrong about Obama and that he’s been slowly building a bond of trust with voters, cumulatively begun to connect with them on some deep level. I think he’s earning their respect for his solidity and dignity, and with that one remark demonstrated he’s no distant Dukakis-like figure. I say this as someone who’s endorsed Hillary but has begun to waver.

I think that one remark, straight from the heart is going to win him the primary and maybe the nomination.



  1. Kudos, Ron, I could not be more thrilled. As for the Clintons: that’s whay you get for dissing Ed Brooke and sending Jim Guy Tucker, via Whitewater, to jail.

    Comment by charlie finch — January 4, 2008 @ 9:57 am | Reply

  2. Perhaps your assessment that the questioner’s language was offensive supports your ‘maybe I’m out of touch’ comment.

    McCain, Kennedy, Bush, et al were certainly out of touch during last summer’s immigration legislation battle.

    Well I’m quite happy to be “out of touch” with people who angrily demand that a certain group of people be “gotten rid of”. That’s different, more hostile, more potentially exterminationist than “deported”, say. As I said “whatever your position”, pro amnesty, pro strict enforcement, such careless reference to fellow human beings as vermin is offensive

    Comment by zeke — January 4, 2008 @ 2:03 pm | Reply

  3. The key word is ‘illegal’, not ‘immigrant’. Do you honestly think she meant extermination? Yes, there are a wretched few neo-Nazis left among us, but get real. Such an idea could be promoted in 1930’s Germany (or the Muslim world of any decade), but there’s not the remotest chance it can happen here. Why be so hypersensitive? Why imply a moral equivalency between regular Americans and Nazis? Why make yourself sound like an uberlib college professor?

    I don’t think you have to be an uberlib prof. to take offense at a phrase like “get rid of” which can easily mean something far more sinister. Yes, the key word is “illegal”, but in our system one arrests people who commit illegal acts, one doesn’t “get rid of them” which is hate-filled language that is not necessarily a nazi reference, but as I sought to suggest, demeans human beings to the level of the vermin an exterminator “gets rid of”, thus “exterminationist”. I’m sure you have a principled stance on the matter, it doesn’t seem like you need to defend those who use ugly phrases like “get rid of”.

    Comment by zeke — January 4, 2008 @ 3:11 pm | Reply

  4. Did anyone see Huckabee with Matthews and Olbermann on MSNBC last night? This guy has the American Hitler things down cold: the stormtroopers (evangelicals) and the volk (Leno, bass guitar, rock references, et. al.). Obama’s speech was right out of the church: already one of the most impassioned speeches in our history, It steamrolled Edwards’ lame reference “to a torch is passed…” and Hillary’s putting legally blind African-American New York Lieutenant Governor David Paterson behind her in camera range. Which authenticity wil America buy? The polyglot inspiration of Barack or the Wizard of the Ozarks with the face of Nixon? There are still plenty (though less) of Americans who will not vote for a black man and plenty of “nuts” perish the thought who would not let it happen. May the God of Abraham protect Barack and expose Huck as a Duke or Dauphin

    Comment by charlie finch — January 4, 2008 @ 4:17 pm | Reply

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