Skip to comments.Obama pledges new generation of leadership
Posted on 02/10/2007 10:34:32 AM PST by NormsRevenge
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (Reuters) - Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record), citing the legacy of Abraham Lincoln, pledged on Saturday to bridge the partisan gridlock in Washington, end the war in Iraq and transform American politics as the first black U.S. president.
Launching his 2008 White House campaign outside the building in where Lincoln began his fight against slavery with a famous 1858 speech that declared "a house divided against itself cannot stand," Obama said it was time to "turn the page" to a new politics.
"Let us begin this hard work together. Let us transform this nation," Obama, 45, told a cheering crowd of supporters in Springfield, Illinois, who braved sub-freezing temperatures outside the old state capital building.
"By ourselves, this change will not happen. Divided, we are bound to fail," he said.
Obama, a rising party star and the only black U.S. senator, said the United States had overcome many difficult challenges, from gaining its independence to the Civil War to the Great Depression.
"Each and every time, a new generation has risen up and done what's needed to be done. Today we are called once more -- and it is time for our generation to answer that call," he said.
Obama's candidacy has intrigued Democrats looking for a fresh face and sparked waves of publicity and grass-roots buzz about the first black presidential candidate seen as having a chance to capture the White House.
He has vaulted quickly into the top tier of a crowded field of Democratic presidential contenders along with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and 2004 vice presidential nominee John Edwards.
A LACK OF EXPERIENCE?
But the freshman senator from Illinois has faced questions and doubts about his relative lack of experience, his policy views on a wide range of issues and on whether the United States is ready to elect a black man to the White House.
Obama acknowledged the questions about his experience.
"I recognize there is a certain presumptuousness -- a certain audacity -- to this announcement. I know I haven't spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I've been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change," he said.
He said a fresh perspective could break through Washington gridlock on issues like energy, health care and the Iraq war.
"What's stopped us from meeting these challenges is not the absence of sound policies and sensible plans. What's stopped us is the failure of leadership, the smallness of our politics -- the ease with which we're distracted by the petty and trivial," he said.
He said the last six years under Republican leadership in Washington had led to mounting debts, rising health care costs, economic anxiety and a botched foreign policy and war in Iraq.
"The time for that kind of politics is over. It is through. It's time to turn the page," he said.
Obama, an early opponent of the war, has called for a phased withdrawal of troops starting in May. He opposes President George W. Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq.
"America, it's time to start bringing our troops home," he said. "Letting the Iraqis know that we will not be there forever is our last, best hope to pressure the Sunni and Shia to come to the table and find peace."
Obama's political rise has been astonishingly fast. He gave the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic convention before he was even elected to the U.S. Senate, and he has authored two best-selling books and appeared on numerous magazine covers.
The son of a white mother from Kansas and a black father from Kenya, he was the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review and served eight years in the Illinois Legislature in Springfield before going to Washington.
Obama will follow up his announcement with a three-day campaign swing to the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire and his hometown of Chicago.
Presidential hopeful US Senator Barack Obama greets supporters as he arrives for a rally at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. Obama launched "an improbable quest" to become America's first black president, brazenly claiming the mantle of Abraham Lincoln, the US icon who ended slavery.(AFP/Mandel Ngan)
Oh, please, he's just SO qualified to be president. The media love him, and, uh, well, that's enough, isn't it?
What he promises and what he would eventually deliver, are not one and the same. He would give us more liberalism, and leave us all with less freedom and liberty.
Muslim Trojan horse.
Used trojan muslim horse.
These people don't need an intervention, they need an "Obama-vention".
"Hi! I have no qualifications for the job of POTUS. I just happen to belong to the ethnicity of the political moment. Politics is a game, so vote for me!"
Just another tax-raising, gun-grabbing, tree-hugging, UN butt-kissing, poverty-pimping, baby-killing, collectivist democrat. Still the same to me.
If I were a Muslim, I'd be secretly pressing for 'this' Hussein to be elected President.
I just finished reading " The Brethren" by John Grisham.
One of the twists of the story is how a very wealthy man with equally wealthy contacts catapulted an Arizona Representative to the presidency. He was an unknown except in Arizona, the Barak story is eerily similiar.
Yes, the Arizona Representative won.
Same old lies.
"We're in showbusiness. If you look good and speak well, people will swallow anything"
From the movie "Ed Wood".
(Before Hillary's "agents" clandestinely release key info on Senator Obama's background from her "files".)
Gee whiz, nimblenuts - that is exactly what they don't want to do.
If we cut & run, the radicals will turn Iraq into a blood bath, and millions of innocents will die - just like when we ran with our tails between our legs from Viet-Nam.
Where's the barf alert?
Obamas pledge ,,, No pork in the White House .
I have this horrible sinking feeling that he will be elected president.
The words of Thomas Jefferson come to mind..
tree of liberty , blood , patriots .. comes to mind
The guy is such an empty suit it is a wonder he can stand. when do the cries from the media "no gravitas" begin?
It just makes me so angry that the media falls all over the left. They can do no wrong. The whole truth is never told about them.
"I have this horrible sinking feeling that he will be elected president."
People should take this man seriously. Even if he is an empty suit, he has media appeal. He says the right things at the right times. JFK did not have a lot of experience either. But he had the look and the charisma to sway enough people into voting for him.
U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) holds 14-month-old Barack Stroud as his mother Tina (R) watches alongside Obama's wife Michelle (C) during a town hall-style meeting at Kennedy High School with the residents of Cedar Rapids, Iowa February 10, 2007. Obama formally announced his campaign for U.S. presidency in the 2008 election during a campaign rally in front of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois on Saturday. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES)
U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) takes part in a town hall-style meeting at Kennedy High School with the residents of Cedar Rapids, Iowa February 10, 2007. Obama formally announced his campaign for U.S. presidency in the 2008 election during a campaign rally in front of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois on Saturday. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES)
This man is marvelous and a genius.....
You Sir, are NO Lincoln!
Let us count the ways.
I missed the historic announcement of Barak (Barry) Hussein Obama today. Was he quoting this passage uttered by his hero Abe Lincoln during the first of the Lincoln-Douglas debates on August 21, 1858 at Ottawa, Illinois:
"When Southern people tell us they are no more responsible for the origin of slavery than we, I acknowledge the fact. When it is said that the institution exists, and that it is very difficult to get rid of it, in any satisfactory way, I can understand and appreciate the saying. I surely will not blame them for not doing what I should not know how to do myself. If all earthly power were given me, I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia,-to their own native land. But a moment's reflection would convince me, that whatever of high hope, (as I think there is) there may be in this, in the long run, its sudden execution is impossible. If they were all landed there in a day, they would all perish in the next ten days; and there are not surplus shipping and surplus money enough in the world to carry them there in many times ten days. What then? Free them all, and keep them among us as underlings? Is it quite certain that this betters their condition? I think I would not hold one in slavery at any rate; yet the point is not clear enough to me to denounce people upon. What next? Free them, and make them politically and socially our equals? My own feelings will not admit of this; and if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not. Whether this feeling accords with justice and sound judgment, is not the sole question, if, indeed, it is any part of it. A universal feeling, whether well or ill-founded, cannot be safely disregarded. We cannot, then, make them equals. It does seem to me that systems of gradual emancipation might be adopted; but for their tardiness in this, I will not undertake to judge our brethren of the South.
"When they remind us of their constitutional rights, I acknowledge them, not grudgingly, but fully and fairly; and I would give them any legislation for the reclaiming of their fugitives, which should not, in its stringency, be more likely to carry a free man into slavery, than our ordinary criminal laws are to hang an innocent one.
"But all this, to my judgment, furnishes no more excuse for permitting slavery to go into our own free territory, than it would for reviving the African slave-trade by law. The law which forbids the bringing of slaves from Africa, and that which has so long forbid the taking of them to Nebraska, can hardly be distinguished on any moral principle; and the repeal of the former could find quite as plausible excuses as that of the latter."
I have reason to know that Judge Douglas knows that I said this. I think he has the answer here to one of the questions he put to me. I do not mean to allow him to catechise me unless he pays back for it in kind. I will not answer questions one after another, unless he reciprocates; but as he has made this inquiry, and I have answered it before, he has got it without my getting anything in return. He has got my answer on the Fugitive Slave law.
Now, gentlemen, I don't want to read at any greater length, but this is the true complexion of all I have ever said in regard to the institution of slavery and the black race. This is the whole of it, and anything that argues me into his idea of perfect social and political equality with the negro, is but a specious and fantastic arrangement of words, by which a man can prove a horse-chestnut to be a chestnut horse. [Laughter.] I will say here, while upon this subject, that I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so. I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and the black races. There is a physical difference between the two, which, in my judgment, will probably forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality, and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position. I have never said anything to the contrary, but I hold that, notwithstanding all this, there is no reason in the world why the negro is not entitled to all the natural rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. [Loud cheers.] I hold that he is as much entitled to these as the white man. I agree with Judge Douglas he is not my equal in many respects-certainly not in color, perhaps not in moral or intellectual endowment. But in the right to eat the bread, without the leave of anybody else, which his own hand earns, he is my equal and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal of every living man. [Great applause.]"
President Lincoln? Obama's bags are packed for his trip to Fantasy Island.
Frankly, all of the announced candidates, R or D, give me a sinking feeling. And yes, Obama could win given the current, "anyone but a white guy" mentality that seems to be growing in this country. Women will vote for this guy in large numbers, as they did for Clinton.