Barack Obama: U.S. presidential election, 2008/Controversy
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Also see Controversy (Part 2).
- See regarding Obama "Won't pull anti-gay bigot from campaign event."
Obama, the American flag lapel pin and patriotism
"My attitude is that I’m less concerned about what you’re wearing on your lapel than what’s in your heart", Obama told Cedar Rapids, Iowa's KCRG-TV station. "You show your patriotism by how you treat your fellow Americans, especially those who served," Obama said.
"The truth is that right after 9/11, I had a pin," Obama said. "Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we're talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security. I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest; instead I'm gonna try to tell the American people what I believe what will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism," the Associated Press reported.
Related external articles
- AllahPundit, "Messiah: I’m too
far behind in the pollsprincipled to wear an American flag pin HotAir Blog, October 4, 2007.
- Commentary: "Obama stuck in no-pin zone. He should put Stars and Stripes back on his lapel," Chicago Sun-Times, October 5, 2007.
- Opinion: "Obama waives the flag," New York Daily News, October 5, 2007.
- Michael Saul and Michael McAuliffe, "Flag off lapel may spell sticky situation for Barack Obama," New York Daily News, October 5, 2007.
- Paul Street, "Obama’s Insults: Just How Stupid and Reactionary Does Barack Obama Think We Are?" ZMag.org, October 3, 2007.
Arugula in Iowa
During his October 4, 2007, campaign stop in Iowa, Obama "revisited the topic of arugula," John McCormick wrote in the Baltimore Sun's The Swamp Blog. Obama's "first mention of the leafy green came during the summer as part of his first high-profile visit to an Iowa farm. Then, he posed the following question:
- "'Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?' he asked. 'I mean, they're charging a lot of money for this stuff.'
"That comment came despite the fact that Iowa does not have any Whole Foods stores, nor do most of its farmers typically grow any arugula," McCormick wrote.
Selective editing of past statements on opposing the war in Iraq
Obama has sought to distinguish his candidacy from that of his Democratic opponents by taking the pre-invasion of Iraq position that when Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and others voted for the resolution authorizing the Iraq war, Obama, "then a state senator, publicly opposed the war." 
However, in a May 2, 2007 posting at MoJoBlog, Jonathan Stein reported on Obama's "Selective Memory" on his anti-war stance. Stein received an email from an "old friend" who contacted Stein regarding a fundraising letter he had received from Obama in which was enclosed a quote from Obama's October 2002 speech. The friend "noticed two occasions of ellipses used in one of the paragraphs about Saddam Hussein."
Stein quoted the fundraising letter, as follows:
- "Now let me be clear: I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butcher his own people to secure his own power.... The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him. But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors... and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls into the dustbin of history."
Although not in possession of the original, Stein cites what he found at Wikisource on Obama's Iraq speech:
- "The first ellipse: 'He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He's a bad guy.'"
- "The second: 'that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength'."
Next, Stein comments on the first ellipse: "Why the omission indeed? I'd bet the first the omission is all about one phrase: 'developed chemical and biological weapons.' Now, that could be referring to Iraq's production of WMDs in the late 80's and early 90's or the alleged production in recent years that turned out to be false, but either way it looks like Obama bought the administration's line about Iraq possessing WMD but wanted to avoid war anyway. Does America want a leader that is okay with rogue states possessing weapons of mass destruction? Obama obviously thinks it doesn't."
Peter Suderman at the National Review Online's the corner commented that, if the information is accurate, "Obama seems to be hoping that people don't notice that he opposed the war in Iraq despite believing that Saddam Hussein had developed chemical and biological weapons."
Perhaps the point is moot, since in July 2004 Obama said "I'm not privy to Senate intelligence reports.... What would I have done? I don't know. What I know is that from my vantage point the case was not made." 
On fuel efficiency
"In addition to using a thirsty charter jet and SUV motorcade to ferry him to speeches ripping Detroit automakers for causing global warming by not building more fuel efficient vehicles, it turns out Barack Obama also chooses horsepower over fuel efficiency in his family car," Henry Payne wrote May 11, 2007. Mark Phelan reported in the Detroit Free Press that Obama "drives a 340-HP V-8 Hemi Chrysler 300C - the most powerful engine option for that vehicle, and one of the most powerful family sedans on the market. The 'C' gets a combined city/highway 21 mpg."
Related external articles
- John Ruskin, "Obama Preaches Fuel Efficiency From the Back Seat of an SUV," 'Illinois Review, August 6, 2006.
- Jim Mateja, "Obama finds easy target in auto firms," Chicago Tribune, May 10, 2007.
- Nicole Gelinas, "Obama's 'Health Care for Hybrids," Townhall.com, May 10, 2007.
- Paul Mirengoff, "What Obama's Slump Tells Us," Power Line Blog, May 10, 2007.
- Keith Naughton, "Barack's Sister Souljah Moment? The Democratic candidate's tough rhetoric backfired in Detroit. Plus, griping about gas prices," Newsweek (MSNBC), May 11, 2007.
- Mark Phelan, "Obama talks hybrids, but his ride has a Hemi," Detroit Free Press, May 11, 2007.
- Henry Payne, "What does Obama drive?" The Detroit News, May 11, 2007.
- "Chicago Tribune columnist fueled right-wing bloggers on false accusation against Obama," Media Matters for America, May 11, 2007.
- Matthew Sheffield, "Another Obama Error. Will Media Report It?" NewsBusters, May 11, 2007.
- "Obama's Auto History," Wall Street Journal, May 12, 2007.
- John Hinderaker, "Obama Vindicated! ... Or Not," Power Line Blog, May 12, 2007.
- Lynn Davidson, "Obama Condemns Big and Fast Gas Guzzlers, But Drives Hemi V8 Sedan," NewsBusters, May 12, 2007.
On federal coal subsidies and the environment and global warming
"In 2004, as a state legislator running for the U.S. Senate, Barack Obama came to this small town 300 miles from Chicago to pledge support for southern Illinois' struggling coal country," Alec MacGillis and Steven Mufson wrote June 24, 2007, in the Washington Post.
"Three years later, with Obama now a candidate for president, his embrace of southern Illinois and its dominant industry is showing signs of strain. Obama finds himself caught between his advocacy of huge federal subsidies for liquefied coal for transportation fuel, a technology that the Illinois coal industry views as a salvation, and environmental groups that reject it as a boondoggle that would set back efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the fight against global warming," MacGillis and Mufson wrote.
"After co-sponsoring legislation earlier this year for billions of dollars in subsidies for liquefied coal, Obama more recently began qualifying his support in ways that have left both environmentalists and coal industry officials unsure where he stands," MacGillis and Mufson wrote. "More broadly, Obama's contortions on coal point to the limits of the role he likes to assume, that of a unifier who can appeal across traditional lines and employ a "new kind of politics" to solve problems. In reaching out to the coal industry, some observers say, he may have been trying to show that he is a different sort of Democrat, but the gesture had the look of old-style politicking and put him in a corner, where he wound up alienating some on both sides of the issue."
Michelle Obama and WalMart
- Philip Sherwell, "Obama called hypocrite for wife's Wal-Mart link," The Telegraph (UK), May 12, 2007.
- Christi Parsons, "Obama: Wal-Mart, globalization not all bad," The Swamp Blog/Chicago Tribune, May 15, 2007.
- truthteller2007, "Michelle Obama, WAL-MART, Daley, Big Box Ordinance Veto," MyDD, July 4, 2007.
- Mike McIntire and Christopher Drew, "In '05 Investing, Obama Took Same Path as Donors," New York Times, March 7, 2007.
- Chris Cillizza, "Does Obama Have a Problem?" The Fix Blog/Washington Post, March 7, 2007.
- "Obama pays parking tickets 17 years late," Boston Globe, March 8, 2007.
- Mark Silva, "Obama's meter, fines, runneth over," The Swamp Blog/Chicago Tribune, March 8, 2007.
- "Ethics Questions Unfold Around Sen. Obama. Senator Says He Was Unaware Of How Stocks In Trust Were Used," CBS News (CBS2Chicago.com), March 8, 2007.
- "How did Obama's trust work?" Chicago Sun-Times, March 8, 2007.
- David Jackson and Ray Long, "Showing his bare knuckles. In first campaign, Obama revealed hard-edged, uncompromising side in eliminating party rivals," Chicago Tribune, April 4, 2007.
- Beth Fouhy, "Elizabeth Edwards Assails Obama, Clinton," Associated Press (The Guardian (UK)), August 14, 2007.
- Sara Karp, "Legendary pastor mentors thousands, including U.S. Senator Barack Obama," Religion News Service (UCC.org), March-April 2005.
- Ian Welsh, "Religion, Democrats and Obama," The Agonist, June 28, 2006.
- Michelle Goldberg, "What's the Matter With Barack Obama?" The Huffington Post, June 30, 2006.
- "Obama’s and Oprah’s Church Partners With Homosexual Mega-Church. What do Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Howard Dean all have in common?" Americans for Truth, October 29, 2006.
- Lynn Sweet, "Obama 'has never been a Muslim.' Obama's Gibbs' memo on madrassa smear," Chicago Sun-Times, January 24, 2007.
- Steve Gilbert, "Obama's Church - Afrocentric, Racist And Bush-Hating," Sweetness & Light Blog, January 25, 2007.
- Mary Mitchell, "Obama slights his own pastor, another error in wooing blacks," Chicago Sun-Times, March 8, 2007.
- Paul Watson, "As a child, Obama crossed a cultural divide in Indonesia," Los Angeles Times, March 15, 2007.
On ethnicity and Islam
- "Obama To Make White House Run Official. Illinois Senator Will Tie Formal Announcement Of Candidacy To Lincoln's Legacy," Associated Press (CBS News), February 10, 2007.
- Jennifer Hunter, "Obama campaign dares to make most of parallels," Chicago Sun-Times, February 9, 2007.
- Wynton C. Hall, "Will Race Be Factor in Clinton vs. Obama?" The Politico, February 9, 2007.
- "Colbert questions Obama's 'blackness'," The Raw Story, February 9, 2007.
- Thomas M. DeFrank, "Obama: Race not key," New York Daily News (Kansas City Star), February 10, 2007.
- Peter Wallsten, "Would Obama be 'the black president'? Some African American activists doubt that he'd stand firmly behind their causes. 'He would be the multicultural president,' one says," Los Angeles Times, February 10, 2007.
- Brent Staples, Opinion: "Decoding the Debate Over the Blackness of Barack Obama," New York Times, February 11, 2007.
- Ed Strong, "Barack Obama Isn't Black - He's Bland," The Best That's Left, February 12, 2007.
- SilentPatriot, "Daily Show: Barack Obama and Race," Crooks and Liars, February 14, 2007.
- Clarence Page, "Obama's 'colorblind' doublebind," Salt Lake Tribune, February 18, 2007.
- Jim Davenport, "Obama Says U.S. Ready for a Black Leader. White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama says American voters are ready to elect black president," Associated Press (CBS News), February 18, 2007.
- Margaret Carlson, Opinion: "Barack Obama full of surprises," Bloomberg News (Seattle Post-Intelligencer), February 18, 2007.
- Nedar Pickler, "Report: Obama ancestors owned slaves," Associated Press (Chicago Sun-Times), March 3, 2007.
- Richard Cohen, "Commentary: Obama story may not have all the facts," West Central Tribune Online, April 2, 2007.
- Perry Bacon Jr., "Obama Reaches Out With Tough Love. Candidate Says Criticism of Black America Reflects Its Private Concerns," Washington Post, May 3, 2007.
- Daniel Pipes, "Obama and Islam," FrontPageMag.com, December 24, 2007.
Completion of 6-year Senate term
"When Obama was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004, he said he would finish his first six-year term and not run for President or seek the vice presidency," Mai Martinez reported February 9, 2007, for CBS2Chicago. "But Obama then spent months tiptoeing around the question of whether or not he would run, but just last month, he announced he was creating an exploratory presidential committee."
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Art Golab and Abdon M. Pallasch, "'I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest'," Associated Press (Chicago Sun-Times), October 5, 2007.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Jeff Zeleny, "The Politician and the Absent American Flag Pin," New York Times, October 5, 2007.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 John McCormick, "Obama talks arugula - again - in Iowa," The Swamp Blog/Baltimore Sun, October 5, 2007.
- ↑ John McCormick, "Obama finds 'beer voters' hard to tap," Chicago Tribune, September 23, 2007.
- "Obama, Sharpton and the Legacy of King," Skeptical Brotha, January 17, 2007.
- Mary Mitchell, "17,000 people -- only a few blacks," Chicago Sun-Times, February 11, 2007.
- Lynn Sweet, "Did Obama take too much credit? L.A. Times questions his role in asbestos removal at Altgeld," Chicago Sun-Times, February 20, 2007.
- Jennifer Hunter, "Rash decisions may cast doubt on judgment," Chicago Sun-Times, March 9, 2007.
- David Jackson and Ray Long, "Obama knows his way around a ballot. Some say his ability to play political hardball goes back to his first campaign," Chicago Tribune, April 3, 2007.
- Janny Scott, "In Illinois, Obama Proved Pragmatic and Shrewd," New York Times, July 30, 2007.
- "Sex Ed for Kindergarteners 'Right Thing to Do,' Says Obama," Political Radar Blog/ABC News, July 18, 2007.
- "'Tired' Obama makes tornado gaffe," BBC News, May 9, 2007.
- "US DJ criticised over Obama song," BBC News, May 10, 2007.
- John Aravosis, "Obama's senior staff defends racist attack on Indian-Americans, while Obama says his senior staff had nothing to do with it," AMERICAblog, June 18, 2007.
- Pachacutec, "Tick Tock... Tick Tock..," Firedoglake Blog, June 18, 2007.