I am mystified at why any reasonable, rational person could like Obama. He has no track record of doing anything at all. In his short stint in Senate, which only came about because Alan Keyes was his last-minute opponent, he's completely neglected his duties as a senator. He's flown around the world, on the taxpayers' dime, promoting his various books. After that, he's been campaigning across the country and skipping key votes. He's missed more votes than any candidate of either party in recent history. Behind this record of absenteeism in his only relevant job, is purely empty rhetoric. "We need someone who will unite the country." Good point, but what credentials does he have to do so, besides his generic rhetoric? Based upon the votes he has actually attended, he's one of the top 5 most liberal senators. How is an extremist a uniter? How will he bring together both sides when all factual indications show he disagrees with one side 97?f the time?
The facts must be separated from the rhetoric. He's only passed one bill in his whole time in office, and it was a relatively unimportant one about aid to Africa. He says he's bipartisan and a "change" from the way things are done in Washington, but his record points to book promotions, negative campaigning and empty rhetoric. He has no experience period, let alone executive experience.
What do Obama supporters see in him, rhetoric aside?
he says he doesnt' take money from lobbyists PAC'S and corporations but
According to www.washintonpost.com, there are numerous loopholes in his anti-lobbyist policy.
He still accepts money from state lobbyists.
He hasn’t made any attempt to distinguish between lobbyists for big corporations and lobbyists for small non-profits. They treat a lobbyist for Halliburton in the same way as a lobbyist for child poverty or cancer research.
He accepts money from former lobbyists and future lobbyists.
He has no problem about taking money from people representing other "special interests," e.g. trial lawyers and the hedge fund industry.
His top career sponsors include Goldman Sachs, Exelon (the world's leading nuclear plant operator), the Soros Fund Management, J.P Morgan Chase & Co., leading corporate law and lobbying firms (Kirkland & Ellis and Skadden, Arps, Sidley Austin LLP and others), top Chicago investment interests (including Henry Crown & Co and Aerial Capital Management).
“The Los Angeles Times also reported that Obama received more than two-thirds (68 percent) of his first quarter 2007 fundraising total "from donations of $1000 or more." Obama has "played up populist themes of [campaign finance] reform," trumpeting his "large number of small donations" and claiming (in the Senator's words) to be "launch[ing]a fundraising drive that isn't about dollars.". But his astonishing first-quarter campaign finance haul of $25.7 million included $17.5 million from "big donors" ($1000 and up”
Follow the money. Obama's presidential campaign has received nearly $5 million dollars from securities and investment firms and $866,000 from commercial banks through October of 2007. Obama's top contributor so far is Goldman Sachs (provider of $369,078 to Obama), identified by Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) investigators as "a major proponent of privatizing Social Security as well as legislation that would essentially deregulate the investment banking/securities industry." Eight of Obama's top twenty election investors are securities and investment firms: Goldman Sachs, Lehman Bros. (number 2 at $229,090), J.P. Morgan Chase and Co. (# 4 at $216,759), Citadel Investment Group (#7 at 4166,608), UBS AG ($146,150), UBS-America ($106,680), Morgan Stanley ($104,421), and Credit Suisse Group ($92,300). The last two firms are also known to be leading privatization advocates (Center for Responsive Politics 2007a).
Meanwhile, Obama's presidential run has been "assisted" by more than $2 million from the health care sector and nearly $400,000 from the insurance industry through October of 2007 (Center for Responsive Politics 2007b). Obama received $708,000 from medical and insurance interests between 2001 and 2006 (Center for Responsive Politics 2007c). His wife Michelle, a fellow Harvard Law graduate, was until a recently a Vice President for Community and External Affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals, a position that paid her $273, 618 in 2006 (Sweet 2007).
And Obama's sixth largest contributor is Exelon, the proud Chicago-based owner and operator of more nuclear power plants than any entity on earth (Center for Responsive Politics 2007a).
As for his "lobbyist ban," last August the Los Angeles Times reported that Obama "raised more than $1 million in the first three months of his presidential campaign from law firms and companies that have major lobbying operations in the nation's capital." Campaign finance expert Stephen Weissman observed that this raised troubling questions about the practical relevance of Obama's much-ballyhooed pledge to turn down donations from "federal lobbyists."
"Obama's rise to national prominence and presidential viability, Helman discovered, depended significantly on PAC and lobbyist money."
As Los Angeles Times reporter Dan Morain explained, "some of the most influential [lobbyist] players, lawyers and consultants among them, skirt disclosure requirements by merely advising clients and associates who do actual lobbying, and avoiding regular contact with policymakers. Obama's ban does not cover such individuals."
Thus, to give one example, Obama received $33,000 in the first quarter of 2007 from the Atlanta-based law firm Alston & Bird, which maintains a large lobbying division in Washington. Obama's $33,000 came bundled from a number of "consultants" employed by the firm.
Also deleted from Obama's "ban" are state lobbyists. Obama took $2000 from two Springfield, Illinois lobbyists for Exelon, which spent $500,000 to influence policy in Washington in 2006 and gave $160,000 directly to Obama (Morain 2007).
An especially big dent in the armor of Obama's effort to sell himself as the noble repudiator of lobbyist, PAC, and special interest money generally was inflicted in early August of 2007. That's when the Boston Globe published a widely circulated article titled "PACs and Lobbyists Aided Obama's Rise: Data Contrast With His Theme." Globe reporter Scott Helman reviewed campaign finance records to find that a "more complicated truth" lurked "behind Obama's campaign rhetoric." Obama's rise to national prominence and presidential viability, Helman discovered, depended significantly on PAC and lobbyist money, including large sums from "defense contractors, law firms and the securities and insurance industries" to his own powerful PAC "Hopefund." Of special interest was Helman's determination that Obama was retaining close and lucrative funding relationships with leading Washington-based lobbyists and lobbying firms while technically avoiding direct contributions from those key campaign finance players
Answered By: Griz - 2/25/2008