Time Magazine’s “Raising Obama” A Great (Must) Read

How Barack Obama’s mother made him who he is will make for a great read for Democrats who support him, and Republicans who need to know more about the next President of the United States.  Time Magazine presents a well-written piece.  Anyone who knows the story of Obama as a child, or cares about the impact that his mom had on his life, will find reading this time well spent.  A portion is here below.

“When I think about my mother,” Obama told me recently, “I think that there was a certain combination of being very grounded in who she was, what she believed in. But also a certain recklessness. I think she was always searching for something. She wasn’t comfortable seeing her life confined to a certain box.”

Obama’s mother was a dreamer. She made risky bets that paid off only some of the time, choices that her children had to live with. She fell in love—twice—with fellow students from distant countries she knew nothing about. Both marriages failed, and she leaned on her parents and friends to help raise her two children.

“She cried a lot,” says her daughter Maya Soetoro-Ng, “if she saw animals being treated cruelly or children in the news or a sad movie—or if she felt like she wasn’t being understood in a conversation.” And yet she was fearless, says Soetoro-Ng. “She was very capable. She went out on the back of a motorcycle and did rigorous fieldwork. Her research was responsible and penetrating. She saw the heart of a problem, and she knew whom to hold accountable.”

Today Obama is partly a product of what his mother was not. Whereas she swept her children off to unfamiliar lands and even lived apart from her son when he was a teenager, Obama has tried to ground his children in the Midwest. “We’ve created stability for our kids in a way that my mom didn’t do for us,” he says. “My choosing to put down roots in Chicago and marry a woman who is very rooted in one place probably indicates a desire for stability that maybe I was missing.”

Ironically, the person who mattered most in Obama’s life is the one we know the least about—maybe because being partly African in America is still seen as being simply black and color is still a preoccupation above almost all else. There is not enough room in the conversation for the rest of a man’s story.

But Obama is his mother’s son. In his wide-open rhetoric about what can be instead of what was, you see a hint of his mother’s credulity. When Obama gets donations from people who have never believed in politics before, they’re responding to his ability—passed down from his mother—to make a powerful argument (that happens to be very liberal) without using a trace of ideology. On a good day, when he figures out how to move a crowd of thousands of people very different from himself, it has something to do with having had a parent who gazed at different cultures the way other people study gems.

It turns out that Obama’s nascent career peddling hope is a family business. He inherited it. And while it is true that he has not been profoundly tested, he was raised by someone who was.

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List Of Democratic Superdelegates Around The Nation, And If They Support Barack Obama Or Hillary Clinton

As the Democratic race for the party nominaiton continues, here is the latest information on how the superdelegates have aligned themselves between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

I find it amusing that Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl can’t make a decision…….

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(Angry) White Males Are Key Voters

I still recall the conversation with a friend many years ago about how some white men felt that they were being marginalized and reduced in importance by society.  The idea of ‘angry white males’ casting a ballot to in some way make a broader statement about the pre-conceived condition of their lives had been a topic in the news and election at that time.  We both thought that a crazy notion, since as my friend said white men have the power and the means to attain an education and secure good jobs.  They do in fact sit at the head of the table in our society, and yet they moan about their lives.

I find it amusing that the plight of these white men are still topics that find column length pieces in our major newspapers.  Gail Collins penned a great read, and I post a few paragraphs.  She does not use the word ‘angry’ as she describes white males, but the tone of many political conversations with men, and among men, proves that anger is indeed a part of the feelings that many of these males share.

The question at hand is: What do white men want?

Maybe not change — sorry, Barack. Pennsylvania is a state where change has not been a friend to your average white male, particularly the aging working-class ones who are the candidates’ prime target. Change left the state full of empty factories that towns keep desperately trying to make into condos or art museums.

Although there is nobody happier than a white guy when his daughter turns out to be a star in the Little League, change has taken away most of white men’s favorite preserves, including sports. They long ago came to grips with the fact that they weren’t going to be seeing many reflections of themselves on the basketball court anymore. (They have not, in my observation, become nearly as resigned to female sports announcers.) And it’s hard to fashion an entire identity out of fantasy football and hockey.

I once tried to make a list of specifically guy things that no woman was ever going to want to trespass upon. All I came up with were “The Three Stooges” and lawn care. This is not adequate material around which to construct a presidential campaign.

As I said, the white guys did not ask for the honor of being the target demographic. They know it’s a minefield. As Paul Vitello reported Friday in The Times, they couch every negative comment about Barack with a preface pointing out that this isn’t about race. And I cannot tell you how many Obama men I have run into who begin every discussion by noting that Hillary is an excellent senator.

I still wonder if the white males have been maintaining their even-handedness through some kind of secret pact. Maybe the guys in Wisconsin agreed to vote for Obama if their brothers in Ohio would go for Clinton, and so on. They probably transmitted the signals with those drums they bought during the manhood epidemic in the ’90s. But now all eyes are on Pennsylvania, and they can’t keep their heads down any longer.

Maybe Hillary’s blunder about being under sniper fire in Bosnia was just an attempt to make contact with a group that feels somewhat under siege.

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