Obama’s weak first debate

If the joint appearance at the same forum by Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) at Saddleback Church near Los Angeles and broadcast on CNN, was any clue as to what the rest of the campaign will be like, then all the “Obamaniacs” of the world can stop chilling the champagne and get ready for the third term of the Bush-Cheney administration–on steroids.

Sen. McCain was clearly pumped up with Viagra, or caffeine or some other performance enhancer, while by contrast Sen. Obama must have taken his Quaaludes or some sleep inducing barbiturate, because his performance, in my view, was weak.

First, when asked about three people on whom he would rely as President, he mentioned his wife Michelle (okay…) and his grandmother (read White lady) living in Hawaii, with whom he and his family had recently visited.

I don’t know about women in the Obama family, but if my wife Alverda or my now deceased grandmother Ollie Lee Canteberry knew I was going to be on television for any reason (not to mention at a church to discuss my possibly being elected President of the United States) they would have certainly told me to be sure I SAT UP STRAIGHT!

Throughout his entire hour with the church’s Senior Pastor Rick Warren, Sen. Obama sat there leaning over like he was actor Ron O’Neal in the movie “Super Fly” trying to look cool and hep.

My grandmother was a Mississippi schoolteacher. She always insisted that when she stood in front of a classroom, her clothes were neat, clean and pressed, her hair was properly combed and dressed, her stocking seams were straight, and that her slip never showed beneath the hem of her dress. She wanted her pupils to concentrate on the lessons she was trying to teach them, and not miss out because they spent the entire day unable to take their minds off of her slovenly appearance.

Maybe someone will tell Sen. Obama to sit up straight before the next debate.

As far as substance is concerned: is Sen. Obama so afraid of appearing to be just a Black candidate, appealing only for Black voter support, that he could not say anything good about a single Black person, or anything else about the Black American condition?

While he rightly condemned Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as being unfit for elevation to the highest court–not a “strong enough jurist or legal thinker” when he was nominated is how he said it–that (as far as I can recollect) was the only Black person (except his wife) he mentioned during his entire part of the conversation.

Of course Sen. Obama did admit that his initial opposition to Bill Clinton’s welfare reform, which supposedly “ended welfare as we know it,” was the one opinion that he has grown out of during the last 10 years. So, the welfare “safety net” may be gone forever, but the welfare mentality of dependence, and something-for-nothing-thinking, and rejection of education and intelligence as “acting White,” still remains among Black folks stuck at the bottom. But at least they’re not on welfare anymore.

And as for the question about evil and what to do about it, Sen. McCain wasted no time in singling out “Islamic extremism.” That’s Mr. McCain’s mantra. No surprise there. But meanwhile, Sen. Obama was vague, theoretical (“nuanced” is how one of the CNN analysts described him, kindly), and otherwise just plain wishy-washy.

I guess the 2001 near unanimous declaration by the World Conference Against Racism that the European Slave Trade (mis-named Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade…the Atlantic Ocean did not engage in slave trading, but I digress) that the European Slave Trade was a “Crime Against Humanity,” ranking it right up there with the World War II Holocaust, I guess that was not evil enough for Sen. Obama to mention and condemn. Nor, I guess was the American genocide of the Native Americans evil in the good Senator’s opinion…evil acts, never to be repeated.

But there was one good thing about the Saturday night church forum for Sen. Obama. It was held on a Saturday night, and you know what that means for most Americans, plus, the Olympic Games were on TV and there were pre-season football games going on everywhere, which all mean not as many people were watching his weak performance as there might have been otherwise.

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