Obama's Smiley Face

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THE PLANK JANUARY 7, 2008

Obama's Smiley Face

Lebanon, New
Hampshire

 

Yesterday Obama tweaked his stump speech to address Hillary’s charge that he was selling “false hope.” Today he added a riff to
rebut Edwards’s argument that Obama isn’t angry enough.

 

Speaking to an overflow crowd at the Opera House here, Obama
said:

 

I know there are some of my worthy opponents who will say, "Well, Obama’s right about change but we need the anger and hotter rhetoric and
not negotiating . . . you can’t compromise with these folks. We can just beat
them."

 

Listen, I understand the source of anger. The insurance companies, the
drug companies, they do not want to relinquish their power. Oil companies,
they’re happy with the status quo. Folks in Washington, the insiders, they
don’t want the outsiders, of course they’re going to resist change.

 

But when I
talk about reaching out to people, it’s based on this understanding: that if
you know who you are, if you know what you believe, if you know what you care
about, if you know who you’re fighting for, those are principles that cannot be
compromised. And you can afford to reach out across the aisle. . . .

 

And some
folks won’t listen and some folks won’t want to cooperate . . . but here’s the
thing. If you start off with an agreeable attitude, then you might be able to
pick off some folks, you might be able to recruit the independents into the
fold. . . . That’s how you get a working majority for change. . . . That’s the
politics of addition, not the politics of division.

 

And if you’ve got a working
majority, if the American people are behind you, then you can fear no man. You
can walk into a room with a sunny disposition, you can smile and say “Yes sir,”
“No sir,” “Yes maam,” and “No maam,” and if they don’t agree with you, you’ve
got the votes, and you will beat them. And you can do it with a smile on your
face. . . . We are happy warriors for change.

 

I know a lot of people have already compared Obama to Eugene McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy. But maybe Hubert Humphrey is more apt. More on Obama later. Right now I need to get to a Romney event. . . . 

 

--Jason Zengerle 

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