Barack Obama: Teacher not Preacher

One of our TV presenters has just suggested that there was a fair bit of evangelical fervour about Barack Obama’s victory speech. What really impressed me was that he didn’t rev up the crowd. He chose not to join their attempts to turn the slogan “Yes We Can” into a mindless chant. He challenged them with ideas not theatre. His performance was controlled and rational. He is the teacher not the preacher.

For world reaction please see President-Elect Barack Obama: The blogosphere reacts

Kevin Rennie


33 Responses

  1. I agree with you on the chant. The Yes we can parts of the speech were far more effective. Still, it was important for the crowd and I’m glad they got a bit of chanting in. Yes we did. Amazing.

    Excellent job at Voices without Votes KR.

  2. I am just enjoying the moment. To my way of thinking there was nothing more ‘churchie’ about President Elect Obama’s than that of Republican McCain’s.

    Hubby recons that the blacks will be uncontrollable due regard that our forthcoming 1st grandie (due in about 4 weeks) will be 1/4 Torres Strait Islander. Amazing things do happen. Hugs to all.

  3. Thanks Lyn! It’s the power of the team.

  4. Let’s hope that the President elect, and others, eventually realise that this proves beyond doubt that the majority of Anglo-Saxons are not racist at all…

    …without a majority of white folks casting their vote Obama’s way, the first black President elect would not be there today…

    …let’s hope this is the first step in their healing process…(be nice for the Americans to set a good example for a change)…

    …who knows, Australia could be next!

    For those who are unaware of the racial makeup of the USA:

    From CIA – The World Fact Book

    white 79.96%, black 12.85%, Asian 4.43%, Amerindian and Alaska native 0.97%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.18%, two or more races 1.61% (July 2007 estimate)
    note: a separate listing for Hispanic is not included because the US Census Bureau considers Hispanic to mean a person of Latin American descent (including persons of Cuban, Mexican, or Puerto Rican origin) living in the US who may be of any race or ethnic group (white, black, Asian, etc.); about 15.1% of the total US population is Hispanic

  5. Just watched the ABC wash up with Bob Carr and Robert Manne in Australia and foreign commentators Christopher Hitchens and Michael Duffy.

    What is it with wingnuts really, I’m guessing Duffy is right wing?

    You see according to Duffy Obama and the Dems didn’t really win and it was a great victory for the Republicans and conservative politics. How does he figure this?

    Well according to him the Dems were expecting 370 EVs and only got around a lousy 330, and the Dems were apparently expecting a clean sweep of the Senate but the only got a big majority there.

    Bad luck Obama, terrible loss and better luck next time.

  6. I’m having a problem with this “black” thing…is not Obama half anglo saxon???

    Not interested in book covers!

  7. Adrian.

    Duffy is right wing – he hosts counterpoint on ABC national:

    At any rate, his figures are wrong. Obama has 349 and is still ahead in North Carolina which, if he gets, will take him to 364 – still short of 370 I grant but a big FU to the repubs at any rate.

  8. 6. scaper… | November 5, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    Yep, doesn’t seem to stop the garbage written, though!

  9. The old problem of seeing what you believe.

  10. Was I dreaming or did I really hear Obama say something about the end of militarism in his victory speech ?

    Unfortunately I didn’t record it.

    It’s not in any of the transcripts. Was it an ad lib that’s now best forgotten ?

  11. I am pretty happy with the (expected) Obama win. McCain conceded with class that, if shown during during the run-up, might have actually made the night close. Obama’s victory speech was pretty good but, I thought, should have allowed [b]more[/b] religious/crowd-chanting fervor.

    After all, his election owes alot to the [i]volunteers[/i] that helped put him there. If you ask me, he owed them the opportunity to chant, scream, & applaud. Then again, I was actually moved by his speeches which is unusual for me (I’m a political cynic, like most of us here).

  12. Are we old cynics born again?

  13. Kevin@13

    Yes Kevin, today that is how I feel.

    Mangrove Jack, I think what you may have heard was Obama saying that what makes America great is not “its’ military might or great wealth but its’ blah, blah, blah…”. Nice to hear such acknowledgement, I hope he follows through & moves his country away from the law of the jungle.

  14. HD (14)

    I heard that bit “not from the might of our arms” quite clearly.

    I’m starting to think there was no reference to militarism, just my hearing (and wishful thinking) playing tricks (I’d been reading Chalmers Johnson!)

    The funny thing is, my wife, who was listening in another room, thought she heard it as well.

  15. 13. Kevin Rennie “Are we old cynics born again?”

    “He’s not the messiah, he’s just a naughty boy.”

    I always try to remain cynical until there is unequivocal evidence that I should not be. Best not to expect too much from any politician, though Obama does seem to be quite good at tapping into the positive side of human nature.

    Best we all try to resist this.

  16. Tom

    Which part should we resist? Cynicism, the positive side, optimism?

    I am pessimistic about aspects like global warming but while there’s “hope”…

  17. And I see that people are already wanting to impeach him… even if it just the fringe looneys.

  18. Kevin – I make a rule of being cynical about politicians, particularly the optimistic ones.

    It is difficult to remain in the cynical frame of mind at the moment. But some of us will always struggle on.

    I would add that I think it is a little early to impeach him. The cads ought to allow him to first take office.

  19. LOL Tom, I agree.

  20. Some interesting bits are coming out from the media that followed the pack of the two election campaigns. This bit from the Obama camp humanises him quite well:

    The debates unnerved both candidates. When he was preparing for them during the Democratic primaries, Obama was recorded saying, “I don’t consider this to be a good format for me, which makes me more cautious. I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself, ‘You know, this is a stupid question, but let me … answer it.’ So when Brian Williams is asking me about what’s a personal thing that you’ve done [that’s green], and I say, you know, ‘Well, I planted a bunch of trees.’ And he says, ‘I’m talking about personal.’ What I’m thinking in my head is, ‘Well, the truth is, Brian, we can’t solve global warming because I fucking changed light bulbs in my house. It’s because of something collective’.

    …and this from a McCain aide on finding out Palin had spent a lot more on clothes than has been published.

    Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast.”

    Looking forward to a lot more from this area.

  21. Adrian

    I doubt that McCain would have said that. Surely he would have said “from sea to shining sea, my friends” not “from coast to coast”.

  22. I heard that Palin is going to take some time off to go moose shootin’

    Odd, the way in which she hasn’t been let near a microphone since the election defeat…

    chortle shortle chortle….

  23. Sorry for the “f’ word, just realised it was in the direct quote from Obama.

    It was McCain’s aide joni.

  24. Joni was McCain’s aide? No wonder he lost..!!!


  25. 21. adrianofnowra | November 6, 2008 at 11:15 am

    If that’s the way Obama thinks – that’s a good start for me – a spade is a bloody spade! Shovels are used for other things…

    As usual I’d like to see some action before making a judgement but listening to some of his speeches I’m hoping that he may have more than the rhetoric of social justice about him…

    … a bit like Jack & Bob Kennedy, a formidable reform team and to some extent responsibel for the human rights changes (especially Bobby) that brought all this about…and one of the reasons I’ve always suspected they were both assassinated…

    …if this is the case no wonder Wall St dropped its bundle last night…what is needed is a mighty big shake up (read reform) of the US banking system …Obama may be the one to tighten the regulations up…

    …world leaders seem to be expecting changes…if Obama can rope in Putin’s expansionism, we may have a chance at seeking some reforms in that basket case – the Middle East…

    …who’d want to take the reins today?

  26. adrian – yeah – I see that now, but still, when you are an ‘merican you need to quote America the Beautiful as much a possible.

    And did everyone see that the Gay Marriage proposals (to ban it) all got up.


  27. TB

    …world leaders seem to be expecting changes…if Obama can rope in Putin’s expansionism,

    Hang on TB that expansionism is in direct response to the US expansionism and antagonism on it’s doorstep, which was a total reneging of America’s promise on withdrawal and contraction on the wall coming down and Russia making moves towards democracy. Russia was growing economically and becoming a big player in the energy market, something the US couldn’t stomach.

    I know Sparta will blame it all on Russia and have them as the aggressors first, but in this case that’s not the case.


    And did everyone see that the Gay Marriage proposals (to ban it) all got up.

    Starting to cause a big stink.

  28. re “big stink” – it wasn’t me!

    but at least civilisation has been saved.

  29. Adrian, I agree, “roping in” was poor choice of words maybe “initiate a dialogue” may be more appropriate.

    Having said that, Putin, was always going to be a problem. Funny how the “communista” like making a lot of money “a la” capitalism but are a bit light on when it comes to controls…very much like another bunch of capitalists we know of…

  30. Joni, I only caught a snippet but isn’t this just (duh, just) California. Still 2 states of the USA which recognize gay marriage. Perhaps California was worried about becoming a gay-magnet :-))))

    I believe that it may open a big can of worms regarding couples who married in California in good faith.

  31. Joni, I think that vote was only very narrowly passed.

    Brace yourself for it to be overturned again..

    As they say in that good ole Aussie, the name of which eludes me,-


  32. Has anyone seen this yet.

    It didn’t take long did it…great meeting and now to change into scaper clothes and back to work.

    I’ll elaborate later.

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