President Obamanator?: The freshman senator from Illinois (and Democratic golden boy) has had one exciting week in the press. And on Sunday, he announced on Meet the Press that he will mull running for president after the upcoming midterm elections.
But while Obama is basking in this media glow, some bloggers are grumbling about his inexperience, such as “JFK Democrat” Taylor Marsh, who pines for a seasoned candidate. “Frankly, after George W. Bush’s reign, I want someone of deep experience in the presidency. A mature foreign policy thinker and gifted diplomatic leader. … Obama outpaces Bush by a mile in intelligence, thought, curiosity and every other meter. However, he would still be a man learning on the job, having to rely enormously on his advisers,” she writes.
At Key Words, Illinois-based libertarian Daniel Macintyre finds Obama less polarizing than that junior senator from New York with presidential ambitions. “Obama just doesn’t inspire the intense hatred in conservatives that Hillary does - and that means less conservative voter turnout.”
Steve Clemons of the New America Foundation reads the tea leaves at Washington Note and sees some other fate for Barack: VP. “But behind the energetic spontaneity exists a cautious calculator. He knows that he is vastly out-gunned by Hillary Clinton as things stand. … Obama, despite the feverish speculation, is RUNNING FOR VICE PRESIDENT.” At Better Living, liberal Mark Danielsalso estimates that Obama could join the bottom of the presidential ticket. “Given the recent higher administrative profiles given to our Vice Presidents–think particularly of George H.W. Bush and Al Gore, it’s easier for Vice Presidents to jump directly into the Oval Office,” he writes.
At Is That Legal?, guest blogger TFW is giddy at the prospect of Barack’s entrance to the race. “For two years, everybody has been telling him he can do it. He may believe them; they may be right. He may feel the weight of history, pushing him just as hard as Oprah. It will be fun.”
Jonah Goldberg at National Review’s TheCorner thinks Obama should throw himself into the ‘08 race, but for slightly different reasons. “Obama should run now, in part because Senators get stale very quickly and politicians should always seize their moments. … But also because I don’t think Obama can afford to wait for another ‘minority’ to get the nomination and win. If Hillary runs and wins. Obama’s prospects plummet. If Hillary runs and loses Obama’s prospects plummet. The Democratic Party won’t throw up two identity politics candidates in a row. If Condoleeza runs as VP and wins, the novelty over Obama evaporates as well.” Mark Noonan at Blogs for Bush also brings race into the discussion. “[T]he looney left (I know these people) simply cannot refuse to nominate the first serious black contender for the Presidency of the United States. … They’d be guilt-ridden for the rest of their lives if they voted for anyone else,” he writes.
Elsewhere at The Corner, Myrna Blyth does not consider Obama the cat’s pajamas. “Personally, I think Barak Obama is the David Caruso of this political season. Caruso, you may remember, was the star of NYPD Blue and so hot, hot, hot that he left the show after just one season to become a Big Movie Star. Only trouble, after making several crummy movies, he is back on CSI: Miami, twelve years later, playing virtually the same role he played then.”
Read more about Obama’s potential presidential bid.
Candor, retracted: The State Department’s Alberto Fernandez, who during a Sunday appearance on Al-Jazeera said American policy in Iraq was marred by “arrogance” and “stupidity,” has eaten his words in a department-issued statement. “I realized that I seriously misspoke. … This represents neither my views, or those of the State Department. I apologize,” it reads.
Tom Baker at liberal blog Bring It On! is unconvinced of the retraction’s sincerity. “Looks like all those ‘advanced interrogation’ methods are paying off,” he writes.
At Talking Points Memo, reader DK is sympathetic: “Poor guy. He mistook recent Administration softening of its denials that there is a problem with Iraq as a sign of an American glasnost. What equivalent of Siberia will he be sent to on his next diplomatic posting?” Williams College associate prof of political science Marc Lynch applauds Fernandez for his bluntness at Abu Aardvark. “His humility treats those audiences with respect, rather than trying to force talking points crafted in Washington down the throats of skeptical listeners who live in the region and know better.”
Others think the bureaucrat should face harsh measures. The dentist and conservative at FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog suggests that Condoleezza Rice “bring Fernandez in for a WOODSHED TALK.” Michelle Malkin skewers Fernandez: “If this is ‘the face of the United States in the Middle East,’ we need to withdraw all State Department bureaucrats from the region, find out what else Fernandez and his Arabic-speaking colleagues have been telling the Arab media, and boot them off the airwaves.”
Read more about Alberto Fernandez’s lapsus linguae.
Happy birthday, iPod: Apple’s shiny cash cow turns five today. Millions have been sold since the original 5-gigabit portable music player hit stores, and it has arguably helped Apple convince many to switch to its computers. Newsweek Editor Steven Levy has dubbed the device “the perfect thing.”
Andrew Roth at The Club for Growth, a Republican advocacy group, sees the iPod as much more than a mere music player. “To the world, it’s a grand monument that honors creative destruction. It has challenged business models, facilitated the birth and expansion of more innovation while destroying antiquated ones like CDs and cassettes. All the while, we’re better off because of it.”
Tired of fawning press over the device, Charlie White at Gizmodo gives 10 things he hates about the iPod, including, “My kid wants a new one every six months.”
Examine the iPod in all its iterations on the “family tree” on tech blog Engadget.
Read more about how bloggers are marking iPod’s birthday.