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Why is GOP sneering at Obama's work as community organizer?
Chicago Sun Times ^ | September 6, 2008 | unsigned editorial

Posted on 09/06/2008 8:45:26 AM PDT by bluegirl

As a community organizer in Chicago, Barack Obama didn't accomplish much.

He'd be the first to tell you that.

He got a job bank opened and brought public attention to an asbestos problem at a housing project.

He had his failures, too.

But Obama's record of accomplishment wasn't what Republicans were criticizing last week when they sneered at his time working for the city's poor from 1985 to 1988.

They lambasted the job itself.

"He worked as a community organizer," former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said in an ugly speech Wednesday night to much sneering in the convention arena.

"What?" Giuliani asked, his shark smile wide, his voice dripping scorn.

Which made us wonder what the Republicans were talking about.

Republicans insist that people should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. Communities should take care of their own and not depend on big government to do the job. And the folks who do make it should give back.

We agree wholeheartedly.

But on what is the job of community organizer premised, if not those very principles?

Community organizers come into poor neighborhoods and try to get people knocked down by life back up on their feet.

They tell them where to find jobs, where to send their kids for day care, where to get drug counseling.

They show residents how they can organize to protest poor housing conditions, low pay and other inner-city woes.

When the job is done right, a community organizer helps the most powerless among us gain some small sense of power over their lives.

The job is tough.

Most community organizers work for peanuts, and they burn out fast.

The folks they want to help often don't trust them. And some people are beyond help, no matter how hard they try.

Maybe that's why the trails left behind by community organizers are so often littered with good intentions and failed plans.

Some community organizations that start out lean and mean become bloated with bureaucracy. Other groups seem to exist only to perpetuate themselves.

Too often, the nonprofits that foot the bill for many community organizations act as if their responsibility ends at writing the checks, instead of following up and assessing the effectiveness of their investments.

Like virtually any well-intentioned human endeavor, community organizing has its virtues and drawbacks.

Obama could have skipped community organizing and headed straight to an Ivy League law school -- and straight to a big-money law firm partnership and a summer home in the Hamptons.

Instead, he spent a few years of his life working with the poorest and most powerless people on the South Side of Chicago, doing his damndest to help them help themselves.

This is a bad thing?

This is something to be sneered at?

Obama embarked on his brief career as a community organizer as an idealist. He dreamed of the power for good that could be wielded if some of Chicago's black churches banded together. But he learned the reality that many ministers were loath to share their power.

He left the job, his old thinking tempered by failure, now a pragmatist who saw what it really takes to get things done.

American politics is no place for starry-eyed idealism.

But hard-earned pragmatism is more than welcome.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: acorn; chicago; communityorganizer; guliani; obama; obamabiden; obamarecord; palin
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Why is GOP sneering at Obama's work as community organizer?

1) As a community organizer in Chicago, Barack Obama didn't accomplish much.
Do any community organizers ever accomplish much?

2) ... the trails left behind by community organizers are so often littered with good intentions and failed plans.

3) Some community organizations that start out lean and mean become bloated with bureaucracy.

4) Other groups seem to exist only to perpetuate themselves.

5) Too often, the nonprofits that foot the bill for many community organizations act as if their responsibility ends at writing the checks, instead of following up and assessing the effectiveness of their investments.

How can they provide answers to their own question and still be so clueless. Once again it is not the actual results that matter, but the intentions.

1 posted on 09/06/2008 8:45:27 AM PDT by bluegirl
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To: bluegirl

Well I suppose we are sneering because it is the “Messiah” himself that holds this “job” out as proof he has experience enough to be the president of this country.


2 posted on 09/06/2008 8:48:15 AM PDT by 101voodoo
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To: bluegirl
the trails left behind by community organizers are so often littered with good intentions and failed plans.

No kidding -- the whole thing is a scam!

3 posted on 09/06/2008 8:48:43 AM PDT by BenLurkin (Obama was a community DIS-organizer)
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To: bluegirl
Why is GOP sneering at Obama's work as community organizer?

Because the sanctimonious, hate-filled Dems and media (but I repeat myself) sneer at Gov. Palin's executive experience as a small-town mayor.

How does it taste, liberals?

4 posted on 09/06/2008 8:48:55 AM PDT by impeachedrapist (On Free Republic PBD [political bipolar disorder] rules!)
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To: bluegirl
IMHO a “community organizer” in Chicago is a thug to the Daily political machine to keep the dimocRATS on the reservation.
5 posted on 09/06/2008 8:49:08 AM PDT by Parley Baer
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To: bluegirl

As one wag asked, what are we supposed to do... see the slums of Chicago's South side, marvel at how well organized they are, and exclaim, "Wow! Barack Obama did that?!?!?"


6 posted on 09/06/2008 8:49:18 AM PDT by Nick Danger (www.swiftvets.com)
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To: bluegirl

I also wonder why we don’t see people who have benefitted from Obama’s community organizing lined up to tell us of his wonderful accomplishments.

Or any accomplishments, for that matter.


7 posted on 09/06/2008 8:49:19 AM PDT by wpa_mikeb
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To: bluegirl

> Why is GOP sneering at Obama’s work as community organizer?

Because “community organizer” is a euphemism for using grant money to advance the Marxist cause.

Here’s a question for the questioner.

How did a “community organizer” and part-time “guest lecturer” at a state university compile a multi-million dollar portfolio, complete with a million-dollar mansion in one of the nation’s most upscale neighborhoods?


8 posted on 09/06/2008 8:49:46 AM PDT by Westbrook (Having more children does not divide your love, it multiplies it.)
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To: bluegirl

Obama wasn’t exactly a ball of fire as a community organizer.


9 posted on 09/06/2008 8:50:05 AM PDT by Williams
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To: bluegirl

Dummies don’t even know it was in reply to his sneering at her being the mayor of “Wasilly”.


10 posted on 09/06/2008 8:50:14 AM PDT by cpanter (Babies, guns and Jesus. Hot Damn! - Rush on the Palin pick.)
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To: bluegirl
Why is GOP sneering at Obama's work as community organizer?

Only because it has been touted as experience relative to his alleged readines to be seated in the Oval Office.

11 posted on 09/06/2008 8:50:18 AM PDT by pby
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To: bluegirl
The Palin evisceration of Obama's "community organizing" is absolutely devastating to Obama. If he can't say he was a community organizer without the audience snickering, then he's got nothing else for his narrative.

Therefore, the ever solicitous MSM seeks here to help him out where he needs it most.

12 posted on 09/06/2008 8:50:34 AM PDT by Plutarch
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To: 101voodoo
Business, churches and local government are how a community is organized. Obama considered these institutions to be his opponents.

In reality, Obama was there to destroy the community.

Obama's job was to disorganize the community.

13 posted on 09/06/2008 8:50:35 AM PDT by BenLurkin (Obama was a community DIS-organizer)
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To: bluegirl

There’s nothing wrong with being a community organizer, but it doesn’t qualify someone to be President.


14 posted on 09/06/2008 8:50:45 AM PDT by Clintonfatigued (If Islam conquers the world, the Earth will be at peace because the human race will be killed off.)
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To: pby

Exactly.


15 posted on 09/06/2008 8:50:59 AM PDT by BenLurkin (Obama was a community DIS-organizer)
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To: bluegirl

Communities should take care of their own and not depend on big government to do the job. .......So we get ACORN to put the “correct people” in government to have big government do it anyways.


16 posted on 09/06/2008 8:51:12 AM PDT by Safetgiver (Lord, I'll give to the poor when they stop wanting to be poor.)
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To: bluegirl

We’re sneering because it is nothing special. Half the people on this site have been “community organizers”, coaching Little league or doing fundraisers or volunteering at school or churches. Big deal.

Obama was a “community organizer,” Sarah was a very active PTA member. Pretty much the same thing.


17 posted on 09/06/2008 8:52:00 AM PDT by cookcounty ("A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not why the ship is built." ---Governor Sarah Palin)
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To: bluegirl

In law we call what the dems did “opening the door” to this line of questioning. The dems were going wild attacking Palin’s qualifications. That resulted in a counterattack on Obama’s qualifications, or lack thereof.


18 posted on 09/06/2008 8:52:24 AM PDT by Williams
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To: bluegirl
Obama could have skipped community organizing and headed straight to an Ivy League law school -- and straight to a big-money law firm partnership and a summer home in the Hamptons.

Instead, he spent a few years of his life working with the poorest and most powerless people on the South Side of Chicago, doing his damndest to help them help themselves.

It's called "...getting street creds" Mr. Editor. Nothing more than a stepping stone to future self aggrandizement.

19 posted on 09/06/2008 8:52:34 AM PDT by Roccus (People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient.... then repent.)
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To: All

These so-called “community organizers” are nothing more than scam artists; pulling in every government grant to fill their own pockets. They, in return, give pitiful seminars to the democrat voting sheep about we need more government programs and “free” money.


20 posted on 09/06/2008 8:52:58 AM PDT by Justeggsactly
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To: bluegirl

In Zerobama’s case, “community organizer” is a euphemism for communist activist, working for the communist front organization, ACORN.


21 posted on 09/06/2008 8:53:07 AM PDT by savedbygrace (SECURE THE BORDERS FIRST (I'M YELLING ON PURPOSE))
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To: bluegirl

If someone paid by an outside source came into my home and tried to “organize me” I would hate it. I’d feel patronized and controlled by a force that surely had its own interests at heart. He was PAID by an OUTSIDE SOURCE to go in and “help people.”


22 posted on 09/06/2008 8:53:22 AM PDT by Yaelle
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To: Parley Baer

Not a thug. Don’t exaggerate. A door-knocking minion most of the time and maybe a bagman once in a blue moon. Thugs have to inspire fear and you know darn well that ain’t Barry O. They have alpha dudes for that sort of thing.


23 posted on 09/06/2008 8:54:15 AM PDT by SBprone
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To: bluegirl
The premise behind the question is BS.

The actual SNEER was from the OBAMA camp about Palin being a small town mayor. She responded to this SNEER with good humor backed by a good point!

THE PRESS SHOULD SHOVE THIS REVISIONIST HISTORY UP THEIR *$**#& ASS! I AM SO BEYOND SICK OF THIS *#*&#!

24 posted on 09/06/2008 8:54:40 AM PDT by AndyTheBear (Disastrous social experimentation is the opiate of elitist snobs.)
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To: Safetgiver

The republicans are NOT dISSING COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS,THE RATS started it when they demeaned Palins mayor job.They are stating that b.o.has less on job training than she.


25 posted on 09/06/2008 8:54:45 AM PDT by stickandpucknut (Go Dallas Stars)
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To: bluegirl
The one thing not mentioned in this article is that Obama worked for ACORN as a community organizer. Just this week, ACORN itself confirmed what Michelle Malkin had written, that Obama worked for them.

What is the importance of the ACORN angle? ACORN is the most corrupt, most convicted, "public service" organization in the history of the United States. Just Google ACORN together with "vote fraud" and you'll see the story.

This Chicago reporter is deliberately tap-dancing around this critical issue.

Congressman Billybob

Tenth in the ten-part series, "The Owner's Manual (Part 10) -- The Remaining Amendments"

Latest article, "The Straight-Shooting Governor"

26 posted on 09/06/2008 8:55:16 AM PDT by Congressman Billybob (www.theacru.org)
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To: bluegirl
Obama could have skipped community organizing and headed straight to an Ivy League law school -- and straight to a big-money law firm partnership and a summer home in the Hamptons. Instead, he spent a few years of his life working with the poorest and most powerless people on the South Side of Chicago, doing his damndest to help them help themselves.

This is a bad thing?

Nope.

It is a very smart thing to do if it is your intention to build a political power base in a particular district.

It is just as smart as attending the local, hate-mongering, race-baiting church for twenty years in order to build and maintain a political power base in that particular district.

27 posted on 09/06/2008 8:55:32 AM PDT by Polybius
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To: bluegirl

“Community organizers,” especially in places like Chicago, are grifters who shake down the government for “grants” and funnel the money back to the political players who keep the hood at the correct agitation setting.


28 posted on 09/06/2008 8:55:33 AM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: bluegirl
The folks they want to help often don't trust them.
And for good reason, because they are snakes, either working for class action lawyers trying to shake down landlords or the city, or for left-wing activists trying to use the poor as pawns to advance a radical political agenda that has nothing to do with helping anyone other than the real powers behind them.
29 posted on 09/06/2008 8:56:10 AM PDT by counterpunch (Country First)
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To: bluegirl
BECAUSE HIS “COMMUNITY” has a higher MURDER RATE than ALL of Iraq put together!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Name one piece of REAL WORK this POS marxist skater has ever accomplished... come on... just ONE! Nothing but a ZERO!

LLS

30 posted on 09/06/2008 8:56:15 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (He)
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To: bluegirl

Heaven forfend, sneering? SNEERING???

What is this world coming to. Poor Barry!


31 posted on 09/06/2008 8:56:15 AM PDT by TenthAmendmentChampion (Lord please bless our nation with John McCain as president and Sarah Palin as Vice President! Amen.)
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To: bluegirl

I’m sure most community organizers are great people, do great things and they make a difference.

But it doesn’t make them qualified to be POTUS.


32 posted on 09/06/2008 8:56:34 AM PDT by dfwgator (After Saturday, the Miami Hurricanes will be downgraded to a tropical depression)
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To: bluegirl
...because he and his wife "community organize" Public Allies a radical Marxist, young person anarchy group. It is supposed to be voluntary. Remember how Michelle said Obama would make everyone work? Click Here
33 posted on 09/06/2008 8:57:12 AM PDT by madison10 (McCain/Pallin 2008)
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To: bluegirl
...and we "understand" why, Its a "unsigned editorial" from Chicago....St. Valentine's Day Massacre...death threats / kneecappings...etc. etc.....
34 posted on 09/06/2008 8:58:54 AM PDT by skinkinthegrass (If you aren't "advancing" your arguments,your losing "the battle of Ideas"...libs,hates the facts 8^)
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To: bluegirl
A “job bank” is nothing more than a consolidation of printed advertisements for employment. If people haven't figured out how to use Hotjobs or Careerbuilders by now they weren't going to make it anyway, with or without a job bank.
35 posted on 09/06/2008 8:59:06 AM PDT by tobyhill (fraud -noun;(1)deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, (2) Obama)
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To: bluegirl

They were attacking Palin as unqualified due to her tenure as a mayor while they had previously propped up Obama’s experience as a “community organizer.” What is it they expect?


36 posted on 09/06/2008 8:59:13 AM PDT by Republican Wildcat
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To: bluegirl
I seem to recall obams saying in his big speech, that he would cut out all wasteful programs that DON'T work......seems a community organizer shouldn't make the cut...
37 posted on 09/06/2008 8:59:13 AM PDT by tioga (Big Mac and the Cuda - 2008)
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To: bluegirl
He got a job bank opened and brought public attention to an asbestos problem at a housing project.

Let me ask a simple question. Does anyone think this is enough experience to be president? LOL

38 posted on 09/06/2008 9:00:01 AM PDT by beckysueb (Drill here! Drill now!)
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To: tobyhill

Those are good, but SimplyHired.com is a real job bank. It consolidates the listings of multiple job sites, and crawls company career postings too. Try it!


39 posted on 09/06/2008 9:01:05 AM PDT by TenthAmendmentChampion (Lord please bless our nation with John McCain as president and Sarah Palin as Vice President! Amen.)
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To: 101voodoo

Bingo...The article misses that obvious point. The messiah holds out his time as a community orgainizer as part of his resume, when being a failure is being a failure, no matter the job. He was also a failure as Chairman of Board of Annenberg Challenge, which blew 110 million $ without acheiving anything for the poor Chicago kids he was supposed to help.

Being a failure in two positions you held is relevent to what a failure he would be as POTUS. I am all for community orgainizers, but if you fail at it, so what?


40 posted on 09/06/2008 9:01:18 AM PDT by milwguy (........)
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To: bluegirl
Maybe that's why the trails left behind by community organizers are so often littered with good intentions and failed plans.
Maybe that's why the trails left behind by community organizers LIBERALISM are so often ALWAYS littered with good intentions and failed plans.
41 posted on 09/06/2008 9:01:56 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: bluegirl
When the job is done right, a community organizer helps the most powerless among us gain some small sense of power over their lives.

Registering Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse to vote has enabled Toon Town to have a voice in local and national politics.

42 posted on 09/06/2008 9:02:02 AM PDT by DeFault User
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To: bluegirl

In answer to your question do community organizers ever do much the answer is sure. One woman (age 70+) at a prior church decided that she needed to respond to the needs of the hungry. She set up a breakfast program 3 days a week and fed over 200 meals a day. In addition she set up a facility for the homeless to be able to wash their clothes and bathe. She recruited her own volunteers and obtained her own food to feed the people. The Methodist Church let her use their gym and kitchen at no cost. She took NO government aid of any kind. She felt if you took their money you also gave them control. She ran this program for over 17 years until she became to old and sick to continue.

Another group built an organization which helps the unemployed. Chrysalis here in Los Angeles retrains the chronically unemployed to be able to hold a job and provides them the other skills they need. While they take government funding they started as a grassroots effort to solve this problem. How successful. Well they define success as someone who completes their program having a job for 3 years afterwords. They have over a 90% success rate and 90% of all funds go to services.

These aren’t community organizers like Barack because they accomplish something for the people they serve rather than burnishing the resume of the organizer for a political run at higher office.


43 posted on 09/06/2008 9:02:11 AM PDT by airedale ( XZ)
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To: stickandpucknut
Well,let me diss community organizers then.

I mean those who are paid shills that suddenly arrive in the community promoting the "cause du jour".In Addyston ,Ohio they did their best to shutdown the manufacturing plant that has been the major source of tax revenue and jobs.By invoking overblown claims of pollution and cancer threats and other scare tactics these out-of-town young activist women caused loss of jobs and funds.

Then they went back to their wealthy eastside homes.

44 posted on 09/06/2008 9:03:11 AM PDT by hoosierham (Waddaya mean Freedom isn't free ?;will you take a creditcard?)
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To: Westbrook

Right on, check this out http://www.theusmat.com/


45 posted on 09/06/2008 9:03:13 AM PDT by mosesdapoet (Time to recall those. poisonous CFLs and the polticians who mandated them)
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To: bluegirl

I think if you review what Gov. Palin meant, was Obama relied on his community organizing as his experience. If you note, and she also stated that she started her political career as a community organizer in the PTA. However, she went on to become a mayor and put her ideas and what she learned as an organizer into practice as a councilperson, mayor and now governor. Obama has not been where his the decision and not one of 100. Voting present does not make a leader.


46 posted on 09/06/2008 9:03:47 AM PDT by thefoundingfathers
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To: bluegirl

Community organizers, especially those on Chicago’s South Side, are usually taxpayer funded people who register people to vote Democrat, and help them to the polls to vote. They are generally run by the most left-wing groups around. Take ACORN for example, as a Marxist organization that is under indictment in several states for voter registration fraud. By chance, B. Hussein worked for ACORN.


47 posted on 09/06/2008 9:04:48 AM PDT by LA Conservative (What would you do to place more conservatives on the SCOTUS?)
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To: wpa_mikeb

“I also wonder why we don’t see people who have benefitted from Obama’s community organizing lined up to tell us of his wonderful accomplishments.

Or any accomplishments, for that matter.”

More than one person has noticed that very few from Illinois are coming out to sing Obama’s praises and one media type said nobody in Chicago is talking.

Compare that with Alaska’s response to the media attacking Sarah Palin, immediately asking the media to bring it on so that they could set the record straight and support her.

If that’s not telling, I don’t know what is.


48 posted on 09/06/2008 9:04:53 AM PDT by JavaJumpy (Shame on you CNN. You should be mortified at your so-called journalistic skills.)
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To: bluegirl

Republicans are “sneering” at Obama’s “community organizing” also because he WAS NO GOOD AT IT BY HIS OWN ADMISSION. Sarah Palin was a SUCCESSFUL Mayor. That is positive experience. Why put a job that you fired yourself from for incompetence on your resume??


49 posted on 09/06/2008 9:04:55 AM PDT by LetsRok
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To: bluegirl

Its sneered at for the very reasons the article lists. The job, as admirable as it may be carries no real responsibility. If one fails, they only need to shrug it off and try again, when a president fails the whole country suffers a “malaise” to quote a most famous failure.

Of course the article fails to mention that the reason Republicans even bring it up. Obama sneered at a governor and mayor and made the claim that Palin was “inexperienced” when her accomplishments tower over his like the sears tower over a KFC.


50 posted on 09/06/2008 9:05:19 AM PDT by American_Centurion (No, I don't trust the government to automatically do the right thing.)
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