OK, So That Was Boring

There were no fireworks, no major gaffs, and no great revelations. We Obama supporters are still Obama supporters, the McCain supporters are still McCain supporters, and according to my daughter, Sarah Palin is still a “moose killer.” It is interesting to me how the two sides can watch the same debate and each come out thinking that their candidate slam dunked it. Yes, both side are delusional – myself included.

Here are my few observances from last night’s debate. Yawn Bush is boring First, if John McCain says “my friends” one more time, I am going to go postal. I counted nineteen times last night alone! It is a stupid phrase and sorry, most of us are not your friends.

Second, Obama needs to use people’s names more. When asked questions by the audience he only referred back to that person by name a few times. Bad form.

And speaking of bad form, thirdly, John McCain needs to shake Obama’s hand! He dissed Obama again last night after the debate when they were in the audience. Cindy McCain ended up shaking Obama’s hand, but John McCain turned away. Rude – just as he was rude by walking around trying to distract people while Obama was talking.

Fourth, Barack knows his ears are big. When the “wet behind the ears” comment was made, he should have gone for it and joked about how much water could be behind there! It would have been funny and maybe put everyone at ease a little more.

Fifth and finally, poor Tom Browkaw was powerless. Heck, they even stood in front of the poor man’s teleprompter at the end of the show. For goodness sakes guys, show the guy some love. Or at least a little respect.

So, what are your thoughts? What were your impressions? Did you rip a bumper sticker off your car last night? Or did you stick a new one on? Me? I stuck a new one on . . . . my wife’s car.

Up For Debate

Tonight is another big night. Probably not as big as last Thursday, but it should still be interesting. I am referring of course to the Obama – McCain debate from Nashville this evening. The community forum style is supposed to be McCain’s strong point, but I really have to wonder about that. If he show the same sort of smugness and aloofness that he exhibited during the first debate then he could have real problems.

Barack Obama and John BidenIt seems to me that McCain, and certainly Sarah Palin, tend to respond to questions with pre-packaged stump speeches. They do this instead of actually answering the questions. If John McCain does this tonight with people who are going to ask pointed and hard-hitting questions, then he is going to have real problems. He must be sincere, answer the questions, and not be belligerent or his campaign will sink farther down than it already his.

For his part, Barack Obama needs to open up a bit, be less academic, and come across as not only smart but someone who cares about all people. He needs to strongly make his case that the middle class has been footing the bill for big business for far too long, and that it is the sons and daughters of that same middle class that are being sent off to fight and die in foreign lands. Fight and die primarily for the failed policies of the Bush administration and for oil that goes to profit the big business that are robbing us blind. If he can make that case in a sincere and straightforward manner, then he could wrap up the race tonight.

Here is hoping that the latter is what happens. We need change and change of the right sort. We need to put the concerns of the middle and lower classes back in the White House, and Barack Obama is the candidate to do that.

Review – The Faith of Barack Obama

The Democratic National Convention started today in Denver, Colorado, and it is no doubt that the nominee of the party for President will be Senator Barack Obama. With that nomination, and even before, come the questions of who is this man, what does he believe in, and where does he stand? As our nation has struggled through the recent hardships of 9-1-1, the Iraq war, and turmoils in our local communities, we are increasingly looking beyond the superficial appearances of our politicians to their core beliefs and values. We are, as a nation, more and more interested in what drives out leaders and makes them tick.

The Faith Of Barack Obama by Stephen Mansfield seeks to help the reader find some of those answers. The book does not make a judgement call on who Americans should elect as their next president. Instead the author, by explaining Obama’s upbringing and influences, strives to show what it is that forms Obama’s beliefs and how that drives his thought process. The book also pulls no punches. On complicated issues such as abortion and the various laws legislating around the issue, Mansfield clearly points out where Obama has logical struggles and at times has mis-stepped his ideals. But again, the strength of this work is that it offers up the facts on those issues and lets the reader form their own opinion.

The Faith Of Barack ObamaIn addition to detailing the influences that have gone into the Barack Obama’s faith, Mansfield also gives attention to three of the other main characters in this election – Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and George W. Bush. Not only does this help to give a foot in the door for exploring those dynamic individuals, but it also helps to compare and contrast the cast of players. It is made clear that there are more than years of difference in this election, there are also differences of education, social influence, and how their faith was obtained. Revelation versus inheritance versus personal exploration are depicted as paths that help to form the destination.

This book is timely not only in terms of the election and the conventions, but also in terms of where we are currently in US politics. We are seeing, across the board, Republican or Democrat, a renewed interest in values and what goes into a person to form those values. Those values, that faith, is important to the American people and to the world. How our President puts his personal values into action in the world is important to determining how we interact with the world and where this country will be in years to come. Well written, timely, and well researched, this should be considered a must read for anyone on either side of the election interested in learning more about the candidates.

Intro to Faith Of Obama

A new book by Stephen Mansfield has just been published entitled The Faith Of Barack Obama. I guess the title pretty much says it all, and I don’t need to tell you what it is about. My review copy should be arriving in a few days, and I will post a full review at that time. Oh, and by the way, the introduction is by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

The Faith Of Barack ObamaA work like this is extremely important right now, and not just because of the upcoming election itself. It is important because it is time for the liberals to take back some of the religious momentum from the conservatives and really start talking about religion, faith, and matters of the spirit. For too long the Democrats and other liberal parties have not even raised a voice as the Republicans and religious conservatives controlled the religious discussion and made it appear as if they were the only ones in the pews. Barack Obama has made his faith and values a center point of his campaign and is forcing, in a good way I believe, the liberal left to confront the Republicans in what they feel is their strong hold. I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of The Faith Of Barack Obama so I can get a better idea of where Senator Obama stands in this all important struggle.

Until then, the publisher was kind enough to send me the first 48 pages in pdf format and allow me to post them here. Please take a look, give it a read, and let me know what you think. And, as I said, as soon as I get the book I will be posting a full review.