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    Barack Obama: from white lines to White House?

    by Leon on 4th January, 2007 at 4:26 pm    

    In a sign of things to come the US media is already ramping up it’s Obama reporting. With Barack Obama a likely candidate for President in the 2008 elections (assuming he can beat Hilary Clinton in the primaries) the heat is now on.

    Never letting facts get in the way of a good story (or journalistic integrity for that matter) one blog has picked apart the latest offering. Looks like the ever likeable Obama has his work cut out for him…

    The mainstream media finally got around to reading Barack Obama’s 11-year-old autobiography which includes an admission of drug use as a teen-ager, so Fox News Wednesday (January 3, 2007) took the opportunity to go overboard and suggest Obama was a drug addict. Updated with video.

    While portraying Obama in the most negative light possible, Fox News downplayed comparisons between Obama’s candor over his youthful mistakes and allegations of cocaine use by George Bush.

    The smearing of Obama started on “Fox and Friends First” with co-hosts Kiran Chetry, Steve Doocy, and Andrew Napolitano discussing the Washington Post article about the impact of the drug use admissions in Obama’s book, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. Just to make sure no one missed the point, Fox News displayed a banner that read, “Obama Cocaine Confession.”

    Chetry got off message, however, by noting that Obama admitted to cocaine use “as did our current president, who admited to cocaine use, correct?” After Doocy and Napolitano interrupted, Chetry backpedaled, saying, “Who was it that said they witnessed him doing cocaine?” Still not getting any support from her co-hosts, Chetry gave up and the trio went on to paint Obama in as negative a light as possible. [Via News Hound]

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    40 Comments below   |  

    1. El Cid — on 4th January, 2007 at 5:02 pm  

      Politics is a dirty business and this was always going to happen. Let’s hope that by being forthright in his autobiography and thereby inviting the flak early, he will be able to neuter the subject and endear himself to the public (not that I know enough about him to be a fan, yet).
      I don’t think the world is ready for take-me-as-I-am politics — Kismet take note (it’s too late for me)- so I expect some backtracking spin in the next few months — you know, “I thought it was nasal hair depilatory powder” or “I only did it once, during granma’s wake, when I was really weak”. Something like that.
      I’m sure you can come up with a few better ones.

    2. Chairwoman — on 4th January, 2007 at 5:13 pm  

      Call me an aging cynic, why don’t you, but I’ll be very surprised if the Democrats don’t come up with an over six feet tall, white, Christian, male candidate come election time.

      Perhaps Obama for VP, he’s young enough to have a go at the Presidency later.

      I don’t think past drug takings cut any ice with electorates these days.

    3. Anas — on 4th January, 2007 at 5:45 pm  

      I think he’s going to have a harder time with the fact that his middle name is Hussein than the drug revelations myself.

    4. bananabrain — on 4th January, 2007 at 5:51 pm  

      don’t forget the hair, chairwoman auntie. you can’t become president without “executive hair”. no baldies thank you very much.



    5. El Cid — on 4th January, 2007 at 5:58 pm  

      are you a bald banana? *runs fingers through flowing mane*

    6. Ravi Naik — on 4th January, 2007 at 6:09 pm  

      I think he’s going to have a harder time with the fact that his middle name is Hussein than the drug revelations myself.

      What about this? :)

    7. Ravi Naik — on 4th January, 2007 at 6:16 pm  

      I think Obama’s main problem is his age. However, I am pretty sure he will get nominated for the VP position. Apart from Al Gore, I don’t see who else can energise the base.

    8. Leon — on 4th January, 2007 at 6:25 pm  

      @ Ravi post 7, yeah I can see that too. He’s in his mid 40’s even with a two term Clinton presidency he’ll only be mid 50s at his next shot (which would dispel the age problem).

      And for those who think a VP (ala Gore) wont win an election remember Bushes father was VP to Reagan…

    9. Zak — on 4th January, 2007 at 9:01 pm  

      Conventional logic says Hilary wins the dems nomination and loses the elections. Still never under estimate a Clinton

    10. Nyrone — on 5th January, 2007 at 2:26 am  

      Fucking America! It’s ok to topple nations and keep several firearms in your house, but do some drugs and it’s some kind of worldwide scandal!

    11. Danniel Rosse — on 5th January, 2007 at 3:31 am  

      It would appear to some Republic men and women that the main Democratic candidates, a woman and an African-American, are not electable due to race or gender. On the contrary, Hilary Clinton is not electable simply because as first wife, she was too involved. A woman with such control is considered frightening. Barack Obama, as the first African-American, would presumably receive sympathy votes. This, however, is difficult to assume will occur due to Hilary Clinton, the first woman. So with two under-dogs as our lead candidates, who is it that we should vote for?

      -Danniel Maive Rosse

    12. Amir — on 5th January, 2007 at 3:47 am  

      Personally, I think that the Republicans should field a half-black, half-Hispanic woman with leprosy and no legs. She must also sport a speech impediment along with a half-Japanese, half-Bolivian girlfriend.

      Watch Obama squirm.

    13. Amir — on 5th January, 2007 at 4:14 am  

      Or, alternatively, if the Republican base didn’t want to nominate a half-black-half-Hispanic-woman-with-leprosy-and-no-legs, they could always opt for the next best thing:

      Mitt Romney

    14. Amir — on 5th January, 2007 at 4:30 am  

      I’d definitely vote for Mitt.

    15. anti-knee-jerk — on 5th January, 2007 at 7:47 am  

      Can anyone give a good reason why Obama (a black man) ought to become President? It seems like a bad idea. What USA needs is a proper conservative man in that position.

    16. Chairwoman — on 5th January, 2007 at 9:03 am  

      How tall is Mitt? What kind of name is Mitt anyway? It sounds like one given to a kitten by a six-year-old.

    17. Taj — on 5th January, 2007 at 9:08 am  

      anti-knee-jerk, you seem to be implying that Obama is unsuitable purely because he is black. If this is not the case, then please clarify.

    18. Kismet Hardy — on 5th January, 2007 at 10:18 am  

      What a tragedy. A rock ‘n roll life of drugs and still a boring bastard

    19. Kismet Hardy — on 5th January, 2007 at 10:19 am  

      How soon before the obama bin laden quips start?

    20. Bert Preast — on 5th January, 2007 at 11:17 am  

      Kismet - read Ravi’s link at #6.

    21. Kismet Hardy — on 5th January, 2007 at 11:20 am  

      So predictable yet so amusing, unlike obama who’s just predictable

    22. William — on 5th January, 2007 at 11:38 am  

      In a way in might be a good thing if the US had a black president. However I believe the following. It is doubtful he would do much for black people. If he did a lot he would be accused that he didn’t do much. If he did some halfway measures he would be accused that he did bugger all. He would probably fall in line with the establishment. If he didn’t many would rant that he has. If he compromised with the establishment many would accuse him of toeing the line completely. I doubt if he would withdraw troops from Iraq as to do that would be just too problematic politically and militarily. He could even end up being disliked by loads of people. Why? because this is the human race and politics. Just call me cynic!!

      Would it be better symbollicaly for race relations to have a black president?….it’s worth it to see.

    23. William — on 5th January, 2007 at 12:01 pm  

      As for the drug taking etc people should just be as honest as possible relating that it was a past event and that everybody has some small skeletons and refute any accusations to the contrary.

      Maybe in the long run it could be a good excercise in differentiation if he has a name like Obama and a middle one Hussain. After multiple exposures to the two terms some peoples psyches would be able to work it out and then they can say ‘Oh of course Obama is not Osama!!!!’ and then say ‘Oh of course this is not Saddam Hussain therefore there must be more than one person in the world with this name well he hasn’t got a moustache has he!!!’

    24. Kismet Hardy — on 5th January, 2007 at 12:30 pm  

      There ain’t no barack in the stars & stripes

    25. Kismet Hardy — on 5th January, 2007 at 12:38 pm  

      Oh the headlines:

      He starts arguing with a British Airways air hostess: BA BA-RUKUS
      He loses dismaslly: BARACK OH BUMMER
      Calls for traditional ways: BARACK TO BASICS
      Caught canoodling with a prostiture: BARACK WHORE
      Gets humiliated by Jack Straw over policies in middle east: STRAW THAT BARACK THE CAMEL’S BACK
      Decides to hip up his image and do a duet with beanie man: SIM SIMAH, WHO GOT THE KEYS TO OBAMA


    26. Marshal Will Kane — on 5th January, 2007 at 1:23 pm  

      It’s sure nice to see Liberals so open-minded over the use of illegal drugs. Problem is, I don’t seem to remember the same leniency over addiction of legal substances when the issue was Rush Limbaugh. This inequality has a name-hipocrisy.

    27. Don — on 5th January, 2007 at 1:35 pm  

      Quite right, Marshal. Had Limbaugh not been a hypocrite then he’d have been much more sympathetically treated.

      Others might make a distinction between someone freely admitting to abusing drugs twenty five years ago and someone caught out currently abusing drugs.

    28. Kismet Hardy — on 5th January, 2007 at 2:12 pm  

      “Rush Limbaugh”

      Sorry, if you took ecstasy you’d be pissing yourself

    29. Electro — on 5th January, 2007 at 5:21 pm  

      Obama epitomises everything upper middle-class white liberals expect in a “good” black person.

      What are Oabam’s strong points? What is he noted for? What ground-breaking initiatives has he spearheaded that would justify his run at the preisdency?

      In short, nothing!

      The man is drab, dour, mediocre and largely talentless.

      He is, however, *black*, and these days that’s good enough.

    30. Anas — on 5th January, 2007 at 5:32 pm  

      Obama’s a bam.

    31. Ravi Naik — on 5th January, 2007 at 7:14 pm  

      Obama epitomises everything upper middle-class white liberals expect in a “good” black person.

      How should he behave as a black person, you know, to keep it real?

      His speeches are quite inspiring IMHO, and remind me of Bill Clinton, who by the way, was criticised for being unexperienced before being elected President.

    32. douglas clark — on 6th January, 2007 at 4:49 pm  

      Seems to me this is the way American politics works. Someone like Barak, who seems to come onto the stage with a clean sheet, is subjected to intense and overwhelming scrutiny. It would not be beyond Fox News to find a classmate who says he farted when he was twelve and make a lead item out of it.

      But the next stages are the test of fire. If he can keep his head, I think he has got the opportunity to play the ‘clean break from the past’ card, somewhat like JFK did. (I was going to say new generation, but it’s a bit of a cliché). Incidentally, his book “The Audacity of Hope” is sitting at number one in the NYT best sellers list.

      Declaration of interest. I put £20 on him to be the next president. Although it’s a long shot, it is still possible.

    33. El Cid — on 6th January, 2007 at 5:01 pm  

      4-1 according to Paddy Power
      Here are a few more:

    34. El Cid — on 6th January, 2007 at 5:03 pm  

      Condi at 20-1 is the only value from what I can see. But she’s 20-1 for good reasons

    35. douglas clark — on 6th January, 2007 at 6:02 pm  


      I got Barak at 20-1. But it was a while ago. I am astonished the odds have shorted that much. My bank manager is becoming a Democrat.

    36. El Cid — on 6th January, 2007 at 11:37 pm  

      You got him at 20? Wow! Hope he comes through if only for that reason!

    37. Martin Phillips — on 7th January, 2007 at 9:14 pm  

      I can’t frankly be bothered to read Barak Obama’s autobiography, I am not particularly interested. He is being touted as a candidate by a wide assortment of people, but most avidly by right wingers who want to derail Hillary’s bid for the Presidency, by shoving a wedge between the two in hope that the black americans will withhold their vote from Hillary and doom her chances. It’s a possibility.

      I’m not particularly a Hillary supporter either, but once you get over the hurdle of understanding that only the extreme right wingers can speak their mind in the US with impunity (and still win) I understand that Hillary has to hedge on many subjects (Israel unfortunately being one of them) and that Barak has to hedge on the issue of same gender marriage (even though they both realize fully that they are touting irrational nonsense.

      That said, does Barak deserve to win? Does he deserve to put his name in the hat even? I would say “no”. If the business of politics is to “do your time”, have a body of “good works” (depending on your point of view of course) and at least a few years of national awareness under your belt, he is definitely NOT a candidate. I don’t really care which Democrat ultimately wins the nomination - any one of them would be infinitely better than John McCain, Rudy Guliani, Mitt Romney et. al. but I would suggest that Barak take a back seat and await a possible Vice President nomination - and he should understand that even that would be a decision based on many things, but none of them his actual qualifications or experience. If he doesn’t and he eventually wins, then all well and good, but he has NO MORE in the way of qualification to run than any member of the house or senate, but for the fact that he is an attractive, minority male with a solid keynote speech from a few years back.

      RIP Mark Warner and Even Bayh - they both should have run. I fear that the democratic primaries will now be between a bunch of long in the tooth no hopers such as my own Senator, Christopher Dood and Joe Biden of Delaware and the luminaries who will end up smacking eachother around in a nasty face off.

    38. Martin Phillips — on 7th January, 2007 at 9:17 pm  

      oh, and by the way, it really just emphasizes how sleazy the Fox (so called) News Channel is. They did everything they could to play down Bush’s coke addiction, his womanizing, his desertion, his bankruptcy, but now they are the ones seeking to out Barak’s admitted drug use. Pathetic and obviously neither Fair nor Balanced. Murdoch’s Fox (so called) News Channel ONLY ever does the devil’s work.

    39. Martin Phillips — on 7th January, 2007 at 9:20 pm  

      …..and to the point of same gender marriage - I assume that Barak is understanding of the importance of the advancement of equality and civil rights, but he has surely been steadfast in his lack of support for gays and lesbians. If he was that brave, that progressive, he would have the courage of his convictions and stop his shabby hedging. It’s not just the “audacity of hope”, it’s about the audacity of conviction, of doing what’s right and of putting your head above the parapet on the difficult, pesky issues.

    40. douglas clark — on 7th January, 2007 at 10:44 pm  


      I think with politicians, those with a track record are criticised for the minutae of it. Those without a track record are criticised for being inexperienced. It was my contention when I stuck my bet on that the American people may well wish to move onto a new generation of politicians, and make a clean break with the past. Lets face it, there is not really an awful lot to choose between the two sides on domestic politics when compared to the likely run off in France, where there are genuine alternatives. What I do not like about Anglo Saxon politics is it has become more to do with image than substance. I do not think the average Republican is the red necked monster portrayed by the Democrats nor the average Democrat the Liberal wimp that Republicans play tit for tat about.

      This is a high stakes game for these people, and they are not going to give hostages to Fox News or anyone else.

      So the question is simple, do Americans want more of the same, or do they want a sea change? For once, I know where my money is.


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