Archive for Saturday, November 8, 2008

Simons: Obama a strong campaigner but an untested leader

November 8, 2008

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Within the next few months, many books will be out with authors suggesting they have the inside story on the just-completed presidential race.

They will focus on stories of conspiracy, deliberate deceit, the role of the media in Obama's victory, the role of the media in trashing GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the disorganized John McCain campaign, how Barack Obama was able to raise so much money, whether all of the contributions were ever reported, and hundreds of other tidbits of information about the campaigns and those who designed and executed them.

The fact is, Obama and his handlers ran an exceedingly well-organized campaign. They started years ago and had a good idea of what it would take to win, how much money would be needed and the best way to get Obama the early, positive and broad-based exposure needed to excite voters.

Obama strategists used the race issue to their candidate's advantage and emphasized the necessity of energizing young, perhaps first-time voters, to become enthusiastic, vocal supporters of Obama.

Political textbooks are likely to use the Obama campaign as a guide on how to structure and carry out a campaign.

At the same time, Obama's opponent, John McCain, faced a tough uphill battle that made Obama's quest a bit easier.

McCain sought to continue the GOP occupancy of the Oval Office in spite of President Bush's high negative ratings, as well as Vice President Dick Cheney's low approval ratings.

Obama strategists hammered home the belief McCain would merely be four more years of the Bush presidency.

McCain is a true American hero, but his campaign did not measure up to Obama's in almost every category. It wasn't as well planned, and it enjoyed only a fraction of the money Obama raised. McCain was not able to get on the good side of major media outlets, and he didn't have the thousands of paid workers placed strategically around the country. And he was not as gifted and effective a speaker as Obama.

McCain faced a political "perfect storm." He had to overcome the consequences of the timing of Hurricane Ike, the collapse of the housing market and historic drops in the stock market. Add to this the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Even though Democrats controlled Congress for the past two years, all domestic problems were claimed to be the fault of Bush and the GOP. Never mind that the Iraq war is showing major signs of success or that Obama was rated as the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate. Never mind that senior Democrats, such as Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, were tied into much of the financial crisis that surfaced late in the campaign.

It is remarkable that McCain was able to get the vote he did considering the odds he faced and his disorganized and poor campaign strategy.

Obama and his top aides didn't miss a beat and were able to deflect, to a large degree, any issues raised during the campaign that might have been extremely damaging if not handled in a superb manner: his 20-year relationship with his Chicago minister, along with other highly questionable associations, and the statement of his wife early in the campaign that for the first time was she able to say she was proud to be an American.

Various observers have said the public knows less about Obama - what he actually stands for, how he intends to govern - than any president in recent history. They say the public has put Obama in the White House but will not find out how he intends to govern or his policies until he assumes office. He did a smooth job in telling about his candidacy but said little about how he intended to carry out his game plan.

He is looked to as the most liberal member of the Senate. Will he continue this political-economic philosophy to please his far-left, liberal allies, or will he quickly move more to the center? How can he please both extremes of his own party?

A great deal is being said and written about the Obama effect or Obama coattails at the national level, but Kansas Democrats apparently didn't see much of this vote-getting power from Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

Kansas voters gave Pat Roberts another six years in the Senate, and Lynn Jenkins defeated incumbent Nancy Boyda for the 2nd District seat in the U.S. House. At the state level, Democrats gained one seat in the Kansas House, and Republicans gained one seat in the Kansas Senate. And the state gave McCain a resounding win over Obama.

With the Obama win, there's a good chance Sebelius will be leaving for some spot in the new president's administration. Such a move would seem to weaken the Kansas Democratic structure because Sebelius has been a tough and effective fighter who plays hard ball. Whether Lt. Gov. Mark Parkinson would be able to maintain or sustain Sebelius' power is questionable.

Democrats are quick to say it is wrong to suggest Obama "bought" the election, but Jim Slattery, the Democratic candidate who failed to unseat Pat Roberts, has a different take on the power of money. The former 2nd District congressman said he "blamed his loss mainly on being outspent by Roberts. The bottom line is when you have such a tremendous money advantage, you can't overcome that. That was the major difference."

Obama had millions more dollars to spend than did McCain, and there's no question that he used these dollars in a wise and effective manner.

Give credit to Obama and his handlers - those who designed the campaign, perhaps as far back as before the 2004 Democratic National Convention, where Obama, then a relatively obscure Illinois state senator, gave a major address - for devising a superior plan.

The smooth-talking, intelligent and effective community organizer was able to sweep aside a number of Democratic primary challengers for his party's nomination, including Hillary Clinton and the powerful Clinton wing of the party. And, in the process, he didn't take any prisoners.

In the course of his campaign he made many pledges and promises about what he could and would accomplish after he took office. For example, he said if he were elected, he would make the U.S. oil independent within 10 years. The chance of his being able to deliver on this is almost nil. And yet, the public bought it. The same can be said about vast increases in numerous federal programs, a redistribution of wealth in America and cutting taxes for 95 percent of Americans. Again, there's almost no chance of pulling this off without major tax increases for far more Americans, not just those making more than $250,000 a year. He also was going to have troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan by a certain date. Does he counter the advice and wisdom of his top military officers?

If he doesn't deliver on all of his promises and pledges, whom does he offend and anger?

Given the fact that relatively few Americans really know what to expect with an Obama presidency, perhaps the best way to describe the feelings of at least 46 percent of American voters, maybe more, is the title of a popular World War II song titled "Coming In On a Wing and a Prayer." The song refers to crews of U.S. bomber planes, shot up badly as they made their runs against German targets, limping back to English bases with dead or injured crew members, lost engines, and wings and fuselages shot full of holes.

Millions of Americans hope Obama can be successful, but they have serious reservations and approach the new administration on "a wing and a prayer."

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After long, emotional, tough national, state and local campaigns, there is bound to be joy and sadness spread fairly equally around the country. One situation, however, which should concern, disappoint and anger all Americans is the possibility Minnesota voters may put Al Franken, a crude, dirty, sexist, vulgar, so-called comedian into the U.S. Senate. This is a disgrace. Hopefully a recount currently under way of all state votes will return Sen. Norm Coleman to the Senate and allow Franken to return to his putrid ways.

Comments

Ward 6 years, 6 months ago

Using the race issue????? Obama's ideas and maturity won this election.LJW new leadership needed.NOW.When I give these editorials a read I often ask:Is Dolph from the same Lawrence that I am living in?

dontcallmedan 6 years, 6 months ago

Crude, vulgar, sexist comedians are just fine when they make money for the World Company as programming "products" to be sold to cable customers?

igby 6 years, 6 months ago

Basically, we have err greatly in dealing with Terrorism. We have put politics before peace and showed the terrorist how weak the West really is and just how a war fought this way can never be won. We can be defeated and broken financially. We will not be able to help any country in trouble with military force,ever.

geekin_topekan 6 years, 6 months ago

Whatever Dolph."Obama's opponent, John McCain, faced a tough uphill battle that made Obama's quest a bit easier."?????You have got to be kidding.McCain went down like a former intern because he had nothing that the majority of Americans wanted.Plain and simple.The fact that leaders from around the world are coming forward with their words of support speaks volumes for what Obama stands for.It would appear that the only racial issue lays with DS Jr.Please,leave the political and rightwinged analysis to the professionals Dolph.This amateur attempt is painful to read and I am embarrased for you and your paranoid party.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 6 months ago

The republican party has displayed some excellent leadership qualities over the past 30 some years:http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/articleid/9559The repub latest escapade into Syria is just another violation of international law just like Iraq. The USA government does not have unlimited authority around the world.The repub party is largest law breaker in our nations history:Isn't it odd each time our nations financial institutions crumble there are Bush family near by and a McCain still in office?Who has history with financial institutions going south such as the savings and loan scandal? Republicans!http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htmMcCain: The Most Reprehensible of the Keating Five. The story of "the Keating Five" has become a scandal rivaling Teapot Dome and Watergate ...http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/1989-11-29/news/mccain-the-most-reprehensible-of-the-keating-five/1CRIME: Who hosted the Iran Contra secret illegal sale of weapons? Republicans!http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nsa/publications/irancontra/irancon.htmlhttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/reagan/peopleevents/pande08.htmlCRIME: Who brought the nation Iran Contra number 2? Republicans!http://www.democracynow.org/2008/3/5/iran_contra_20_how_the_bushCRIME: Which party illegally spied on the democrats to win an election? Republicans! Watergate!http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/watergate/index.htmlCRIME: Which party held secret energy meetings and refused our elected officials its' content and who attended? GW Bush and the republicans!CRIME: Which party lied to congress and the world,went against military advice and created the worst strategic blunder in the history of the USA aka Iraq War? Republican Party!Which party has held secret oil deals with Saudi Arabia?Republicans!http://www.democracynow.org/2004/4/20/did_bush_cut_secret_oil_dealCRIME: Secret Oil deals for Iraq Oil- Republicans!http://www.pubrecord.org/nationworld/262.html?task=viewCRIME AGAINST DEMOCRACY : PNAC's policy document, "Rebuilding America's Defences," openly advocates for total global military domination. Many PNAC members hold highest-level positions in the George W. Bush administration. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Project_for_the_New_American_Century

notajayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

"What about Ted Stevens? He is a convicted felon who is close to being retained in office. Does this really bother you less than the prospect of having Al Franken in office?"Sadly, I think most of us have become accustomed to having politicians who are dishonest. But I just can't tolerate a comedian who just isn't funny!!!!! (Hey, we have to draw the line somewhere!)

Wendy magillicutty 6 years, 6 months ago

another fine example of the liberal media! wait...I mean passive/aggressive blame shifting right-wingnut projection of fear. I think I will look into the latest DirectTV promotion; however, I dont know why anyone expects a balanced view from a monopoly. The press, or more specifically, the US population at large, really doesnt give two sts about palin but the liberal* media (cough cough) is just now releasing information that they've had all along. I would imagine they deemed it to be unimportant in the quest to understand the real palin (as opposed to understanding this Obama person). This information reveals her to be an even more horrible choice (umm, does that fall under leadership skills-picking a running mate, the future VP of the USA??). Lastly, I hope the McCain family AND the Obama family are in their pajamas for the rest of November relaxing. They both have paid a heavy price. The 24 hour news teams will have no choice but to report on puppywatch and palingate. We could...I dont know....turn off the TV, computer and cell phones to go outside and play. Or read some enlightenment literature, boy that'd be somethin'; just about the most productive thing the US genpop could do. As it is without, it is within.

TacoBob 6 years, 6 months ago

Franken is vile - those who think otherwise have not heard/seen him speak. Of all the people to place in the Senate. Shame on the Dems for not putting up a better candidate. Say what you will about his opponent, but no one in Congress, either side, comes close to this man's nasty ways. How anyone could defend his demeaning of women, rape victims, the disabled, and on and on, and say he is fit to represent the public is beyond the pale. And what office has he held, what experience, etc. We thought Jessie was bad..... Continuing to run towards Gomorrah and lowering the bar.

Bucker00 6 years, 6 months ago

Tom, he had the wind left over from the hot air being blown up our butts by the media at his back, that much I agree. Even Wapo is admitting as much about themselves.

grimpeur 6 years, 6 months ago

Good god...apologist much? Why doesn't anybody take the LJW seriously? Oh, yeah, now I remember.

John Hamm 6 years, 6 months ago

"Do you all well to learn politics or I'll lay your soul to waste."

Scott Drummond 6 years, 6 months ago

Landslides matter. Small minded, conservative newspaper owner's opinions....not so much.

Sean Livingstone 6 years, 6 months ago

Of course I agree with the statement "Obama is a strong campaigner but an untested leader". But again, why elect another who is a weak campaigner and a tested poor leader? By not following the right order and got his plane shot down due to his stupidity, it surprises me any right minded person can call that good leadership. Of course, he suffered a lot for this country, but suffering has nothing to do with leadership. Of the two evils we have, why not elect the lesser evil? We don't really have a choice here.

inklines 6 years, 6 months ago

It seems as though we have forgotten that it was a young, charismatic, religiously controversial, democrat with little political experience that got us involved in an unpopular "conflict" in Vietnam. It was his democratic successor that escalated it and nearly bankrupt the country funding for it.

Ann Hamil 6 years, 6 months ago

Dolph..."Even though Democrats controlled Congress for the past two years, all domestic problems were claimed to be the fault of Bush and the GOP". UMMMMMM.... For the last two years the dems did control the house and senate, but the senate was held by a slim margin that needed "independent" Lieberman to pass anything and the assistance of 9 (yes 9) republicans to overcome a Bush veto (which he threatened continually) and to break a fillabuster which the Republicans used frequently (but the so-called "liberal" media never reported on their "obstructionism". (Remember repub calls to "just give us an up or down vote or we'll use the nuclear option"?) In contrast the Repubs controlled the house, senate and PRESIDENCY from 2001-2006, and were able to implement many foreign and domestic policies that have proven disastrous. Dolph quote again...."Never mind that senior Democrats, such as Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, were tied into much of the financial crisis that surfaced late in the campaign."UMMMM who wrote the banking legislation of 1999 that deregulated the banks and made them into giant casinos, making bad loans and then doubling and tripling down on their bets because they were just going to sell those loans up the chain to a company that would "insure" them for 2, 3, or even 4 times their worth (simplistic, but essentially accurate view of credit default swaps)? Why I believe the legislation was called The 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Bill. As in Republican senator Phil Gramm, financial advisor to the McCain campaign, until he called us a bunch of "whiners" who had a recession in our minds. Bliley was republican. Leach was also a repub (full disclosure he endorsed Obama). Yes Clinton signed the thing, but what else was a lame duck gonna do? It was written by REPUBLICANS and their K-street lobbyist buddies who were just getting warmed up on bellying up to the trough.

jmadison 6 years, 6 months ago

How dare anyone question our Dear Leader Elect.

notajayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

weedspay (Anonymous) says: "Kansas is turning blue:just check the numbers and enjoy it."Um, I won't say anything about your math skills, but you may want to see an optometrist about that color-blindness thing. Have you seen the electoral map this year? Obama won in Douglas and Wyandotte counties (big shock) and also eked out a few extra votes in Crawford. Other than that, it's as red as it gets - he didn't even win around Topeka or Wichita.*****temperance (Anonymous) says: "A strong majority in America agree that Iraq was a "dumb war.""However, if you recall, a majority also thought it was a good idea at the time. This is why we need good leaders, because you can't run a war like that - going in because people want to, then just packing up and leaving when they grow tired of it.***I didn't read Dolph's whole story - I rarely do - but, as a conservative Republican, I'm getting pretty tired of the sentiment. I am a little concerned because, as I recently said on another thread, Obama seemed more moderate in the primaries and more left during the general election, and I don't know who's going to take the oath of office - but that's the case with most politicians, isn't it? Regardless, Barack Obama is the president-elect, my president-elect, my country's* president-elect, and while I'm not exactly going to take an oath not to criticize him, it would be pretty darned silly (and petty) not to support him.

pittstate 6 years, 6 months ago

The mark of effective leaders is their ability to attract capable people as their advisers or counselors, and listening to them The president-elect seems to have done well on both of these counts up to this point. I am optimistic that he has the ability to continue to attract quality advisers and act on good advice.

Sean Livingstone 6 years, 6 months ago

Dolph:"Even though Democrats controlled Congress for the past two years, all domestic problems were claimed to be the fault of Bush and the GOP".Well, all the blames are on the Democrats.... right. How many years did the Republicans control everything? If the Democrats are that effective, you will see 62-38 Senate, and a wipe out of Republicans from the House of Rep. I'm so annoyed by the Republicans who refuse to accept any own fault and wrongdoing. Bush went in to Iraq by mistake, and refuses to apologize, but instead change the story to Iraqi freedom.In short, the Dems got punished too, so instead of 62-38, they now have 57-40. The Republicans share most of the faults.

beatrice 6 years, 6 months ago

To all those complaining that Obama bought the election, I ask you a simple question -- how much did McCain pay for your vote? Surely, if all people who voted for Obama did so because their votes were purchased, then certainly McCain purchased his votes as well, but not having as much scratch he couldn't buy as many. Is that correct? Did McCain buy your vote, or did you vote based on some other criteria? Guess what, me too, and my vote was for Obama and it had nothing to do with advertisments. Anybody predicting a failed presidency and miserable times ahead for our country must truly hate America. Read notajayhawk's final sentences above. That is how to respond to a new president when you voted for the other guy. Well stated notajay.

Bucker00 6 years, 6 months ago

I am not hoping for Obama to be unsuccessful. Many on this thread seem to be pounding the bi-partisan drum when they've been anything but for a long time now. Seems more than just a bit disengenuine. More like, "now that I've gotten my way, let's play nice". Good luck with that.I'm witholding judgement of his performance until he takes office, myself. But some of the things he pledged stand out in my mind.

Vroo 6 years, 6 months ago

Glad to hear that President Obama will be able to count on your support, rather than sniping at him continually for the next four years. And, I agree with you that it would be a disgrace if Al Franken doesn't pull out the win when the final recount is done. I've had enough of Norm Coleman's partisanship too.

LTownBaby 6 years, 6 months ago

http://www.bpmdeejays.com/upload/hs_sal_in_Harlem_100108.mp3This is the reason Obama won! Many people don't want to admit it, but race is still a factor, one way or another.

gdsacco 6 years, 6 months ago

Oh no! He didn't magically heal our relationship with Iran!And so begins the Iran-war mongering, as the chickenhawk that took the most oil money in 2008 prepares to go to war for oil...""Obama must know that the change that he talks about is not simply a superficial changing of colors or tactics," Larijani said in comments carried by the semi-official Mehr News Agency."What is expected is a change in strategy, not the repetition of objections to Iran's nuclear program which will be taking a step in the wrong direction."In his first post-election news conference Friday afternoon, Obama reiterated that he believes a nuclear-armed Iran would be "unacceptable." He also said he would help mount an international effort to prevent it from happening.Larijani said U.S. behavior toward Iran "will not change so simply," but that Obama's election showed internal conditions in the United States have shifted."

smarty_pants 6 years, 6 months ago

Hey Dolph--there's a seccessionist group in Alaska. Maybe they would like a Urinal World up there!

JohnBrown 6 years, 6 months ago

I understand Dolph's angst: "Obama is a strong campaigner but an untested leader". After all, George W was too, and look what that got us.The problem is, Dolph, that W proved that 'anyone' can be CiC, so your angst should be somewhat relieved by that fact.I do think knowing more about Palin is a good thing. By doing so, we are just now - after the election- are beginning to realize what Republicans mean by "putting country first".If you look at a red/blue county map of the US we can see that the red areas are all rural (i.e. the 'country', see maps at http://politicalmaps.org/maps-of-the-2008-us-presidential-election/ ).Here is what we know:On the republican side:1. the US is in a mess because of 8 years of Neoconism,2. McCain's leadership, as exemplified by his running of the campaign, is questionable,3. McCain's judgment, as exemplified by a) his choice of an inexperienced VP pick, and b) his decision to "suspend" his campaign to go do what's right for America in the congress, is not 'risk averse' at best and downright poor at worst.4. McCain's presidential appointments can be summarized by his choice of people he put around him in his campaign (Rove "the divider", Phil Gramm (the whiner", and a bunch of DC lobbyests (the grabbers)).5. McCain's economic advisors told him "the fundamentals of the economy were strong". What's worse is: he believed them,6. McCain never talked about the issues in any thoughtful way (e.g. "Joe the plumber, socialist opponent, "win in iraq", and "I know how to get Bin laden").Here is what we know about O'Bama:1. he can speak in complete sentences.2. his administrative capabilities can be surmised by his well run campaign,3. his thoughtfulness can be assessed by his speech in Philadelphia on race, and by the many republican endorsements,4. his presidential appointments can be surmised by his choice of campaign staff and working groups (e.g. Warren Buffet. etc.).5. He's also a grownup. We see this by his sticking to the issues and not demonizing the personalities he ran against, and by the consistency of his campaign, no gimmicks.It's nice to know there will be a grownup in the White House soon.

camper 6 years, 6 months ago

This is the comment both candidates made during the final debate. It seems completely different than from what the writer describes in the above article:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5Krv_7F_wY

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 6 months ago

You know, the Constitution has an amendment that states "Congress shall make no law relating to religion or the practice thereof". (Don't attack me if I did not get this quoted exactly correct). It has always made me wonder why this amdendment did not work both ways. For centuries the Catholic Church had ruled as a government entity, and could have you burned at the stake if you disagreed with them. Why was there not a converse edict that a religious consortium could not take over the government or any element thereof?? The radical religious right has tried to hijack the Republican party and the Republicans have willingly accepted these attempts under the fradulant guise of "conservatism" . Now they are boo-hoo-ing and bleeding about how they have lost their "conservative" ways. Geez, I wonder why?? Jerry Falwell is dead and Pat Robertson has not been heard from for a while, maybe he is out honing his skills at praying off hurricanes. But the coup of the radical religious right is a main contributor to the demise of the Republicans, most people are wary of a lot of the stuff that passes for religion these days and with good reason.

dontcallmedan 6 years, 6 months ago

Wendymagillicutty-be careful Direct TV is Rupert FOX Murdock, Dishnet is a major Bush contributor. The free airwaves are digital now. With a good antenna and a digital tuner you can receive 30 to 40 channels here in Lawrence, and pay no shameless dogs any money at all.

Sparko 6 years, 6 months ago

Lincoln was equally "untested." Leaders are born, not endorsed into existence by pundits. Kansas remains deep red--like Appalachia(!)--and this is the quality of scholarship? The world isn't Fox news demonization and belittlement. It requires inspiration and effort. I am so insulted by what Kansas has become. After fighting the for civil rights, it is now squarely in political ambit of rural Missouri. Congratulations.

LiberalDude 6 years, 6 months ago

"Never mind that the Iraq war is showing major signs of success"There is no way that the Iraq War will ever be a success. Over 600,000 Iraqi civilians lost their lives. Over 4,000 U.S. soldiers lost their lives. We have spent 569 Billion dollars and counting which has destroyed the U.S. economy. We took our focus off Afghanistan which is where the people who attacked us on Sept. 11th are still living. There will be a Civil War in Iraq once we leave, whether it is tomorrow or in 20 years.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 6 months ago

McCain displayed what leadership abilities? Picked a VP that was under investigation by her own party. What leadership qualities has Bush displayed to date?

Scott Drummond 6 years, 6 months ago

":Al Franken, a crude, dirty, sexist, vulgar, so-called comedian into the U.S. Senate. This is a disgrace. Hopefully a recount currently under way of all state votes will return Sen. Norm Coleman to the Senate and allow Franken to return to his putrid ways."Isn't he also a best selling author? I seem to recall a book about a big fat liar. Seeings how old Dolphie's in the wordsmith business, doesn't that make him less successful than Franken?

ilikestuff 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm in agreement with many of the authors perceptions. The Democrats and Obama maintained an excellent campaign, literally running circles around McCain. Still, how can those whom voted for him explain his commitment to myriad new federal programs, none of which are minuscule while rationalizing his commitment to only raise taxes on those making more than $250k? It doesn't take a genius to understand he's promised more than can be delivered. Also, early indications suggest that campaign promises striving for bipartisanship may likely be mere campaign promises, the like of which don't see the light of day once elected. Despite no indications of bipartisanship in his brief voting record he might truly be recognized as different in the course of national and world events. I fear he is merely a politician who will do what most politicians do which is seek re-election and more power for themselves and their party, constituents be damned. Yesterday, I watched a discussion on CNN regarding whether or not an Obama administration would be more moderate than his past, left leanings and 20 year associations with the Rev. Wright would indicate. The consensus on the program was why would he neglect what's got him thus far and if evidence of potential advisors is an indication then, no, his administration is not likely to be a moderate one.Someone above implied the military ought to yield to Obama's wisdom on matters of war. While true the military serves at the request of the civilian leadership, any President worth his weight yields to the expertise of professional soldiers when war is a consideration. History be damned, one of LBJ's problems relative to his decision to escalate the Vietnam War was the certainty he knew better than the military how best to wage his war. Once the civilian leadership decides on a military objectives, best to step out of the way and let the military take care of the terrible business in which they are expert.Many have casually dismissed Senator Biden's "flourish" relative to Obama's guaranteed test with comparisons to the Cuban Missile Crisis of Pres. Kennedy's term. They would do well to remember how fluid that situation was and utter nuclear annihilation of the USA was at stake. That wasn't an academic test but a deadly real one. The President no longer gets a free pass, hasn't for at least 40 years. There is no reason Obama should get one. He will be required to earn our trust and respect, something many past Presidents have not fared well in.

camper 6 years, 6 months ago

"The smooth-talking, intelligent and effective community organizer was able to sweep aside a number of Democratic primary challengers for his party's nomination"I can't tell if this is a compliment to Obama or not. This is another tactic the fear mongerers use: take an obvious strength, and SPIN it into a weakness. I see it as an ability to express and convey ideas effectively. I have to disagree with you on this one too.

weedspay 6 years, 6 months ago

Kansas is turning blue...just check the numbers and enjoy it.As far as race being used as an advantage, are you serious? "I'm Black...Vote For Me!". Being black and running for president of our country is NOT an advantage.Your disdain for Pres. Elect Obama is apparent and sad.

temperance 6 years, 6 months ago

"Within the next few months, many books will be out with authors suggesting they have the inside story on the just-completed presidential race."" . . . many books will be out with authors." How does a book come out with an author? I expect better writing from an editor."Does he counter the advice and wisdom of his top military officers?" The last time I checked, we have civilian control over the military. We're not a junta. The better question is: "Will his top military commanders counter Obama's advice and wisdom?" After all, Obama said in 2002 "I don't oppose all wars. . . . What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war." A strong majority in America agree that Iraq was a "dumb war."Dolph seems extra bitter this morning, making his column a delight to read. [Nelson Muntz voice] Ha! Ha!

BigPrune 6 years, 6 months ago

The United States has run its course in trying to prevent the eventual and complete meltdown of its economy. I have read that the only and last course our economy to take is hyperinflation. It will hit overnight. Prices will go through the roof so fast that they won't be able to print money fast enough. Start growing crops because there will be starvation. This is the result of all the economic cycles since the great depression. It can also lead to a dictatorship takeover of governments. Of course, after reading this it seems nutty but there might a grain of truth in all of it. Hopefully this won't happen but there is a REAL possibility of it happening. Then what? Obama already has his blind followers, and he has made mention of certain things he wants to do - like having a civilian security force equal in equipment and strength to the US military - I saw the speech. 2012 people. Will the Maya be right? We are in unchartered waters. Say an extra prayer the above doesn't happen, just in case. Having the most unexperienced candidate at the helm eases my anxiety, how about yours? - this includes more unexperienced than Sarah Palin.

KRITIKOS 6 years, 6 months ago

It is truly a shame when all one can do is personally attack a writer rather than offer facts to refute that persons statements .This tells me those with nothing but abusive ad homens have no facts.It also shows there is some buyers remorse out there.

jhawker24 6 years, 6 months ago

All I have to say is im glad all of those who voted for Obama are excited about losing their hard earned money, what they work day after day for, to the rediculous "distribution of wealth". That money will now just go to those who dont even bother to get a job, but would rather just stand in line and collect welfare checks. You cant strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

overthemoon 6 years, 6 months ago

Untested?Try growing up as a non privileged white man in this country and see if you aren't 'tested' at every single step. Obama has been tested and has passed with flying colors every day of his life.The result is a strength of character and clear vision that will never come from the privileged classes who squander their entitlement on achieving selfish gains.Now, it is us who will be tested. Can we make the sacrifices and take the effort to continue the ground up rebuilding of our nation? Or will we sit back and nitpick every single move our new president and his staff make, expecting them to magically undo the extreme damage of the last eight years?Time to get on the bus.

igby 6 years, 6 months ago

700 million plus what the Clinton's spent rebutting him would be enough money to make even Osama Bin Laden a front runner for a win for the presidency. So far, we have heard a lot of shallow talk that sounded good to a lot of people who think the Dems can talk the Terrorist into a peaceful surrender and live in peace with the Western world. I find this a foolish gamble of reason and hear is why.Now, if I were a thinking terrorist why on earth would I quit and kiss the West's A$$ and accept failure when they have been so far winning with the help of the very liberal-Dem's and their European political helpers who so launched a world wide attack on George Bush, and his decision to invade Iraq. This world wide consortium of hate spreaders for George Bush, now want to wave a flag of peace and surrender now that they have won the White house and majority of both House and Senate. The terrorist have brought the world financial markets to it's knees by helping to obstruct America's plan for Iraq; the Liberal Dems used Bush's failure in Iraq to regain their power. Why would any terrorist think about quitting now when they are on the very verge of doing what they started out to do in the first place. Bring the Western world too it knees.

Scott Tichenor 6 years, 6 months ago

After eight years of a country exhausted from the failed policies of the Bush/Cheney administration--not to mention unemployed and bankrupt, the entire country on the verge of financial ruin and the Constitution in tatters--it must be quite rewarding for the paper's owner to have a black Democrat to start trashing before he's even taken office. Classy. I can only imagine what we have to look forward to with this kind of editorial writing.And that Al Franken, yea, he's certainly no Ted Stevens. Send him packing. Ted will get to keep his job, though eventually it'll like be making license plates in some federal prison.This read-between-the-lines disdain for Obama and anything that isn't Christian conservative right-wing and out of touch with most of the nation is clear for all to see. Your message was delivered successfully as intended. Job well done.

KEITHMILES05 6 years, 6 months ago

John McCain has proven alot. He is an angry man who has very few friends in DC, hot temper, moral failure, shown the public he has no concept of governing as he suspended his campaign and ran to DC to "help" solve the economic crisis (which he admitted he knew very little of economics) only to return a defeated man, and finally........let the public know he can play very dirty politics along with horrible calls of judgement with his selection of Palin and all the other things which transpired.Yes, this man really would inspire America. NOT!

RogueThrill 6 years, 6 months ago

ATT DSL and Dish cable is looking pretty good. You might consider moving your previous monopoly to a safer climate.

Mark Stone 6 years, 6 months ago

This editorial's regurgitation of the same conservative talking points appears even more foolish and ineffective now after the election and the over-whelming victory for President-elect Barack Obama than they did during the campaign. Better than any counter argument I could come up with, the continued restatement of the smears and right-wing dilutions by conservatives goes further to illustrate their divisive and threadbare political philosophy that was so soundly defeated in the general election.That many conservatives are having a hard time abandoning this discredited mode of thinking shows more about their lack of new ideas and is a more comprehensive explanation for the Republican's historic defeat than the other issues noted in the editorial.

Thats_messed_up 6 years, 6 months ago

When Obama was a druggie in high school did he commit any violent crimes when high or were they just controlled substance violations. Isn't it neat the way the Leader of our military can admit to the American people he used drugs for years when anyone else couldn't even be a second lieutenant in our military with this drug use history? Only in America. : (

Warren6032 6 years, 6 months ago

Dolph also endorsed Geo W. Bush 4 yrs ago. So who cares what the rich boy has to say?

dontcallmedan 6 years, 6 months ago

And apparently, the possibility that Alaskan voters may put a convicted seven-time felon back into the U, S, Senate is not, to this editorial writer, "a situation which should concern, disappoint and anger all Americans"?

camper 6 years, 6 months ago

"In the course of his campaign he made many pledges and promises about what he could and would accomplish after he took office. For example, he said if he were elected, he would make the U.S. oil independent within 10 years."I have to disagree with this statement. I saw the debate and the question asked to paraphrase "By what percentage do you think you will decrease America's dependence on foreign oil within the next four-years". Both candidates responses were smart and realistic, both indicating that 4-years was far to short-term to see results. Obama cited 10-years was more realistic. Even then he did not state the US would be 100% independent. Your statement is flawed, incorrect, and flat-out wrong.

zzgoeb 6 years, 6 months ago

The bottom line is a good leader can put together a good team and a good campaign. If McCain was a good leader, he too would have put together a good campaign. As for Obama as untested, what about the lame duck? He was known for executing retarded people in Texas, and his ability to give people nicknames...On Wednesday it felt to me as if I had awoken from and 8 year-long nightmare. Obama's speech Tuesday and press conference Friday were an indication of his desire to unite us and lead us forward, not to announce his mandate and political capital, unlike the lame duck. I would hope ALL patriotic Americans will back their president and encourage their representatives to put aside their petty, childish, political ideology to put country first, including you Mr. Simons!

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 6 months ago

Truth is, we don't know how our new champion will do. Time to stop being negative and be hopeful about the future.

Ann Hamil 6 years, 6 months ago

TMU,So are you suggesting that GW has not been qualified to be CiC for the last 8? Or that he snorted, but did not inhale?

Bucker00 6 years, 6 months ago

After 8 years of "I'll never accept that man for my president!" , name calling, demonizing anyone with an R in front of their name- including those who voted for them- manufactured documents endlessly referred to months after they were debunked, conspiracy theories for everything from 9/11 to "black box ballots" (I'm surprized they didn't accuse him of drowning kittens in his bathtub, late at night while giggling in maniacal glee), attacking the presidents wife and daughter (your side did both of those), attacking Sarah Palin, her daughter and her boyfriend, her 5 month old DS baby, her husband, her son, and making up numerous lies about her, you're ready to just make up and be friends because Obama asked us to? Good lord, are you people in for one long slog. If I were a liberal, I'd take a good hard look at the 92 election and the gloating from the left that followed. Then the 94 midterm election. I'm just sayin'.Defending old Okie Doke is gonna be a lot harder than getting him there was.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 6 months ago

Bush Has Gone AWOLThe following is a transcript of the Democratic Radio Address delivered by Lieutenant General William E. Odom, U.S. Army (Ret.) on Saturday April 28, 2007:"In principle, I do not favor Congressional involvement in the execution of U.S. foreign and military policy. I have seen its perverse effects in many cases. The conflict in Iraq is different. Over the past couple of years, the President has let it proceed on automatic pilot, making no corrections in the face of accumulating evidence that his strategy is failing and cannot be rescued."Thus, he lets the United States fly further and further into trouble, squandering its influence, money, and blood, facilitating the gains of our enemies. The Congress is the only mechanism we have to fill this vacuum in command judgment."To put this in a simple army metaphor, the Commander-in-Chief seems to have gone AWOL, that is 'absent without leave.' He neither acts nor talks as though he is in charge. Rather, he engages in tit-for-tat games.http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/04/28/820======================================================================Since 2005 he had argued that US interests would be best served by an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, having called the Iraq war the worst strategic blunder in the history of U.S. foreign policy. He had also been critical of the NSA's warrantless wiretapping of international calls, having said "it wouldn't have happened on my watch". Odom was also openly critical of the Neocon influence in the decision to go to war, having said "It's pretty hard to imagine us going into Iraq without the strong lobbying efforts from AIPAC and the neocons, who think they know what's good for Israel more than Israel knows."General Odom is a member of the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame.

mmiller 6 years, 6 months ago

As a registered Democrat, I refused to buy into Obama's campaign of "change." I fear for the future of our great country. Think about this, folks: The next president of the United States has radical ties, radical views and policies, is not very patriotic, is not fond of America's armed forces and has no experience in a high-level government position. It's a recipe for disaster. It also my opinion that this man and his wife don't have a true appreciation for America and all that it stands for. Remeber Michelle stating how she wasn't proud of her country? The masses has been fooled and have made a grave mistake by electing, in my opinion, a radical into the White House. This Democrat asks all of you to please say a prayer for our great country the next four years. We're gonna need it.

Stephen Roberts 6 years, 6 months ago

Beatrice- could you please explain how the EDITORIAL says "Anybody predicting a failed presidency and miserable times ahead for our country must truly hate America." I guess I do not see it.To me the article demonstrates a point. The Obama camp ran a perfect campaign. They were able to deflect, distract or ignore any issue that is harmful to him, he raised and spent more money than the McCain campaign, (I personally blame McCain for this he should have gone back on his word about public funding but that is John McCain keeping his promise), and the media publishing harmful reports about the McCain/Pailin but not him, and not being Bush.

gdsacco 6 years, 6 months ago

"gdsacco, that seems to be just another example of right wing fear mongering. at least, sour grapes that mcsame and the bimbo blew the election."Awww, is someone waining on your pawade?Like I would support McCain the First amendment shredder.Thankfully, I live in Kansas, where my vote is worthless.

Bucker00 6 years, 6 months ago

Also; overplayedhistory; I'm still not entirely convinced it was republicans in the big inner cities giving out those sub-prime scam loans to minorities in order to buy their votes that has caused this crash in the housing market. Given that they're run by democrats, and all that.

chocolateplease 6 years, 6 months ago

This was a terrible editorial, and I am disappointed.1. It was bitter.2. It was petty.3. It attributed the McCain loss to forces mostly beyond his control, instead of the true failures of his message and his campaign.4. It conspicuously left out any single mention of Sarah Palin.5. It suggested that the election was "bought", suggesting unfair influence, when in fact, the average campaign contribution was well under $100. The case stated was misleading at best.6. It ended on an unrelated, dizzying turn to the sour note Al Franken.

weedspay 6 years, 6 months ago

notajayhawk (Anonymous) says: weedspay (Anonymous) says:"Kansas is turning blue:just check the numbers and enjoy it."Um, I won't say anything about your math skills, but you may want to see an optometrist about that color-blindness thing. Have you seen the electoral map this year? Obama won in Douglas and Wyandotte counties (big shock) and also eked out a few extra votes in Crawford. Other than that, it's as red as it gets - he didn't even win around Topeka or Wichita.**********You probably shouldn't say anything about my math skills or my vision. Take a look at the past three presidential elections and then you tell me which way Kansas is moving. Still red? Yes? Decreasing margins every election...you betcha!

1wetwilly 6 years, 6 months ago

It's a rant by a (old) brat with inherited-money, inherited-friends, inherited-businesses, inherited-jobs, inherited-social class, inherited-everything. In other words, without the "inherited" there is nothing, no substance, no character, no fabricated unearned achievements...just like McCain, just like Bush...as opposed to a self-made man like Obama.

blahblahblah 6 years, 6 months ago

I thought John McCain was dignified, respectful, and classy in his concession speech. I was extremely impressed by how genuine and heartfelt he came across, especially in urging his supporters to get behind Obama.It is unfortunate that those who supported McCain cannot show the same class and dignity. Yes, Mr. Simmons, you are an idiot without an iota of class.

james bush 6 years, 6 months ago

I agree.............especially about Franken.

AjiDeGallina 6 years, 6 months ago

I do not see the fuss about this editorial.I mean, come on, it is a Simons editorial, not like it is from anyone smart or respected.

Barack_OShewmon 6 years, 6 months ago

You are right Tom "I am the chosen one". Now please leave the U.S.A. as they will happily accept you in republistan(also known as The World Company).This message was approved by Barack OShewmon!

Barack_OShewmon 6 years, 6 months ago

Look Tom, Sorry about the last comment. During the campaign I made a promise to be a uniter and will keep my promise. I'd like to offer you a position in my cabinet as the Commander in Chief of the Sanitation Department. I am aware you are a professional when it comes to sewage, so to you I offer this position. This offer was approved by Barack OShewmon

camper 6 years, 6 months ago

"Millions of Americans hope Obama can be successful, but they have serious reservations and approach the new administration on "a wing and a prayer."Millions? Shouldn't all Americans want Obama to be successful now that he is our elected President? Or are there some of us that would rather see our Country sink further just so ideals (and perhaps bias) can be further bolstered?

BBFantastic 6 years, 6 months ago

Suck it up, haters. I can at least say that I'm not going around bashing McCain. I just think Obama's the better choice. Live with it. That's that.

Jean Robart 6 years, 6 months ago

Anybody remember who the LJW endorsed in this election?

notajayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

weedspay (Anonymous) says:"You probably shouldn't say anything about my math skills or my vision. Take a look at the past three presidential elections and then you tell me which way Kansas is moving. Still red? Yes? Decreasing margins every election:you betcha!"McCain won Kansas 57-41%, a much wider margin than (about 1-1/2 times) the margin by which Obama won the general election. Obama got about 65,000 more votes than Kerry did, there were precisely three - yes, three - counties in Kansas that went to Obama. The state legislature is still overwhelmingly Republican, both U.S. senators are Republican (with Roberts winning rather handily).Which part exactly did you see turning blue, again?

notajayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Sorry, that was TWO-and-a-half times, not 1-1/2.

camper 6 years, 6 months ago

The editor says,"For example, he said if he were elected, he would make the U.S. oil independent within 10 years."If you want to see absolute proof that this is a false and exaggerated statement the editor makes, just watch as each candidate answered in the last debate. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5Krv_7F_wYI am really surprised by this. In fact I'm strongly considering changing to a dish network. Does anybody know what other internet options there are other than Sunflower? I'm willing to go to a phone-line if necessary.

camper 6 years, 6 months ago

Buckeroo, You bet I'm angry when anyone misrepresents facts. Especially when newspaper editors do it. I don't care which side it comes from......left or right. When I see it, I call it nonsense and do my best to point it out.

lmb 6 years, 6 months ago

Junior, you are a fool. After puddling around the office trying to pretend that you are smarter than a preschooler, do you go home and cry into your TV dinner? Because you should. At least then we could feel sorry for you instead of wishing you were aborted.

jonas_opines 6 years, 6 months ago

That would require something of substance to reply to, wouldn't it? You've been pretty dry on substance since at least Tuesday, and relatively meager for a few months prior, at least on this subject.

jonas_opines 6 years, 6 months ago

Marion Lynn (Marion Lynn) says: "Barack Hussein Obama is a modern-day Harold Hill."Does that make you Marian the Librarian? Is this just denial because you're falling in love? Do tell.

Phil Minkin 6 years, 6 months ago

I think Al Franken is funny, but that's a subjective opinion. I do know that he hasn't tried to inititate sex with a senate page, had an encounter in an airport men's room, left his wife who was in a hospital with cancer, a convicted felon or left his wife for a multi-millionaire. Not being funny doesn't seem so bad.

Scott Tichenor 6 years, 6 months ago

This one pushed me over the edge. I'm unsubscribing from the print version. I don't need to be bombarded in my own home with this kind of silly crap--editorials posing as scare tactics. Same old Republican song.

Michael Stanclift 6 years, 6 months ago

Hey Dolph... the elections over, the American people have spoken... or did you not get the memo?

camper 6 years, 6 months ago

Overplayed history. Someone described it to me as a poker game where one guy keeps winning. Eventually people start dropping out. Then the game ends (which would be the recession or depression). Then a new game begins after everyone has enough to join in again (after some time).

texburgh 6 years, 6 months ago

An unusually high degree of crap, spin, BS, and whining from Mr. Simons. Poor McCain had Hurricane Ike and an economic crisis to deal with...So did Obama. Poor McCain had the big bad media to deal with...So did Obama. Poor McCain had the president's approval rating to deal with. And yet McCain boasted of backing that president 90% of the time. Oh, and the Democrats had miniscule majorities for the last two years. They could accomplish nothing without significantly more Senate members - you know that Dolph. This is why I dropped the LJW - media bias to an unparalleled degree (short of Fox news). But this is such an unmitigated pile of stinking feces that I think it may be time to go to the Dish network. I need to pull all my money away from the Simons clan.

Bucker00 6 years, 6 months ago

Call it what you want. You people have bought what you've got coming. Now that we're being honest about how we're going to be watching with a critical eye, you want to stamp your feet and demand we play nice. Like I said, good luck with that. And I might add, the angry one here is you, "it is dripping from the few words you wrote".

camper 6 years, 6 months ago

For crying out loud. McCain made the same promise, but in shorter time "7, 8, 10 years".

Sean Livingstone 6 years, 6 months ago

JohnBrown (Anonymous) says:"are beginning to realize what Republicans mean by "putting country first"."Sarah Palin has spoken about "Country First" several times over. To her, Western part of Penn is patriotic and real America. Western Virginia or the more rural part of America is the real America.I don't know if you can coincidentally tie that to racism. Most rural population has a much higher percentages of whites and not as diverse. So in the metro and urban areas, the population tends to be more diverse.Sarah Palin spoke about the "real" America several times on her campaign trail. But Obama spoke about gun loving "rural folks" only once, and it was Hillary that took this out and bombarded him. Obama slowly learned that if he wants to be a President, he cannot relies on his "black" roots, and has to be more tolerant and forgiving about the past.Obama being our president will heal the wound, and blacks will become more like him, and be more open to whites, and more willing to accept that academic success is not a "white" thing, it's a universal thing.Sarah Palin's lost also highlights the need for GOP to realize that everywhere in America is real America, even if they don't agree to her point of view.

Sean Livingstone 6 years, 6 months ago

Marion Lynn,By stressing the middle name "Hussein" many times over, you're trying to imply Obama is a Muslim. You can say it once, but never more than that. So, I take it that you cannot vote for Obama because you think he's a Muslim. That's not very proper. It coincides with the ABC report on El Dorado, KS, why people there won't vote for him. How do you feel if someone can never vote for someone with a last name Lynn?

walkdog262 6 years, 6 months ago

  1. The Obama victory is thrilling to me in many ways, but one major aspect that pleases me is the fact he will raise Dolph Simons' taxes.2. Knocking Al Franken as sexist is the man whose news organization used to produce and publish the "Women of KU" swimsuit calendar which was partially photographed in The News Center and, when employees put the calendars up in their cubicles in protest, general manager Ralph Gage ordered them removed because groups touring the building were complaining.

Scott Tichenor 6 years, 6 months ago

LJW owners, longing for eight more years of "W". How about some real journalism and truth instead?From CNN: Poll: Bush disapproval ratings reach new recordhttp://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/11/10/bush-disapproval-ratings-reach-new-record/

Lindsey Buscher 6 years, 6 months ago

Tom Shewmon says: "Why does the looney left seem to (still) be fixated on Sarah Palin?"I did a quick cntrl+F on "Palin" and found that it took four mentions of Palin by the looney right to goad any liberal into a discussion of that vacuous imbecile that is the new champion of the retardlican party. The liberals were all embarrassed for you guys when she got picked and we are all ready to let her go, except you guys can't...got a serious case of cognitive dissonance.

Rex Russell 6 years, 6 months ago

Hopefully the next article will be: Simions a long time newspaper owner but a poor, editorialist.

gconfo 6 years, 6 months ago

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