Tales from the Trail

Religion issue hurting Obama with Indiana cafe patrons

April 30, 2008

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. – Barack Obama can talk about his childhood years in Kansas and upbringing by his white Midwestern grandparents, but if voters at one small-town Indiana cafe are any indication, he has a long way to go to convince them he represents heartland America.

“Obama has great ideas but his background scares me,” said Chris Leighton, 60, a secretary having lunch at the Chaperral Cafe in Shelbyville, in southeast Indiana. “Everyone talks about him being a Muslim and having ties to terrorism, but how do people really find out?” img_1530_1.JPG

The incorrect belief that the Illinois senator is a Muslim was shared by half a dozen others in the restaurant — a sign that dirty campaign tactics and Internet innuendo has taken root among some voters in Indiana, the next state to vote.

Construction worker Ron Debaun, 61, said he hadn’t yet decided whether he would support Obama or Hillary Clinton in Indiana’s May 6 primary, noting they both “have good ideas.” But he’s leaning toward Clinton.

What doesn’t he like about Obama?

“His Muslim ties,” said Debaun.

Why does he think Obama is a Muslim?

“Let’s just say that he admits it himself,” he said.

Retired locksmith Leslie Hedman, 61, said he doesn’t like any of the three candidates — Clinton, Obama, or Republican John McCain – because none are committed Christians.

“Obama is a Muslim,” he said. Where did he hear that?

“He said he was but then he said he’s not,” said Hedman.

Ironically enough, many of the lunchtime crowd said they were also turned off by Obama’s ties to Rev. Jeremiah Wright – the former pastor of Obama’s Christian church in Chicago, Trinity United Church of Christ.

“I definitely don’t like Obama because of the mess with him and his pastor. I don’t think he’s been honest about it,” said Candace Demmin, 37, as she had lunch with her mom.

“How can you go to a church for 20 years and not heard your minister say something off-color? Either he’s heard it and is lying about it, or he’s lying about going to church as much as he does,” said Demmin. “In which case he’s not the Christian he says he is.”

Obama strongly denounced his former pastor on Tuesday and called his racially charged comments “appalling.”

And if Obama’s Muslim ties and Christian pastor aren’t bad enough, his atheism is the last straw.

“A person who doesn’t believe in anything? I don’t want anything to do with him,” said cafe owner and Clinton supporter Shirley Bailey, 70. “He says he won’t take an oath on the Bible, he won’t salute the American flag. That doesn’t sit well with me.”

Obama was sworn in at the U.S. Senate with his hand on a Bible. He stopped wearing an American flag lapel pin — standard issue for U.S. politicians — saying that a pin on the chest matters less than what’s in the heart.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

Photo credit: Reuters/Andrea Hopkins (Shirley Bailey, owner of the Chaperral Cafe in Shelbyville, Indiana, said she can’t support Barack Obama in Indiana’s May 6 primary because of his religious views. Many of her customers agreed.)

Comments
126 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

RoboTech said: “Over half of the posters here show exactly why it was so easy to believe that Obama was being an Arrogant Elitist when he “mis spoke” in SF for Bittergate….
Read these posts! aImagine they were about blacks/hispanics/etc instead of just people in the Heartland. I don’t see any difference, But I’m sure the rest of you will try to rationalize your prejudices.
You are talking about real people here! Calling them idiots and such. Who made all of YOU idiot police?”

Well, look. Between thinking that someone could be Muslim, Christian, and atheist at the same time, and thinking that there is something wrong with being Muslim, atheist, or anything but (white, conservative) Christian, these people demonstrated an appalling level of ignorance, religious bigotry, and just plain dumb thinking. And although these individuals represent extreme cases, the fact of the matter is that average Americans are amazingly uninformed about politics, science, and a whole host of other matters. Being angry about this state of affairs is completely appropriate and has nothing to do with being “elitist.” It’s a matter of being appalled at how irresponsible many Americans are, making important decisions like who the next President is without making any effort whatsoever to make an informed decision. It’s totally inexcusable to be that misinformed and bigoted.

Posted by Jeff | Report as abusive
 

I’m starting to wonder about the reading comprehension of those accusing the folks in the article of holding conflicting and/or exclusionary views of Obama being Muslim, an Athiest, and having a crazy pastor. None of the people quoted mentioned all three and the charge of atheism comes from the reporter’s interpretation of one person’s questioning of whether or not Obama “believes in anything,” since he (according to what she’s heard) eschews oaths and saluting the flag. As ill-informed as some of those quoted appear to be, the responses by some commenters here conflate what was said and exaggerate any ignorance.

That said, it doesn’t add it up that all is due to ignorance. It’s quite possible that on the Muslim charge, they simply do not believe that he’s telling the truth about his past — he is afterall a politician. Also, the woman that reasoned that Obama wasn’t forthcoming regarding Rev. Wright displayed neither ignorance nor stupidity. The older woman concerned about the oath and flag salutation is obviously misinformed but I wonder if informing her would ease her mind — the full explanation of Obama deciding to not wear a flag pin combined with further knowledge like Obama’s associations with 1960s radicals would probably be just as worrisome to her as the initial but false worry that he won’t swear on the bible or salute the flag.

The ignorance displayed by some voters is indeed worrisome and I have no doubt that there are a few patrons in this article where bigotry is more important to their feelings regarding Obama than fact. However, what is also disturbing is the willingness some Obama partisans display at the chance to paint their fellow Americans that harbor any doubts about Obama as racist, ignorant, hicks,

Posted by read closely | Report as abusive
 

Barack Obama showed loyalty to a pastor and friend when it was politically expedient for him to “throw him under the bus.” He demonstrated forbearance until he had no choice when it got out of hand. I wonder if those of you who question Obama’s judgement have agreed with everything you’ve heard your pastor say over the past 20 years? If not, did you leave the church and join another? Did you then agree with everything your new pastor said?

Posted by Bill Marjenhoff | Report as abusive
 

Watching all of this from Canada, I can’t help but marvel at how screwed up small town America is. Driven by fear of the unknown and ignorance.

Here is a man who will bring your country back to the world stage as a respected member of the community of nations…. and 15% of you actually believe he is a muslim. Half of you are scared of him because he is different. Almost all of you are scared terrorists are lurking behind every corner.

I will pray for you tonight and that one day God chooses to help you to get past your fears and prejudices (like the rest of the western world has).

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive
 

Seems to be a lot of believers in email scams. They are free to message me about great deal from estate attorney in Nigeria, we’ll split the take.

All we hear is how obama should have known how radical this man was.. that he was his ‘spiritual advisor’.. check out what an actual pastor has to say about spiritual advisors: http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/pol itics/blog/2008/04/another_pastors_persp ective_on.html

And too.. when we think about it.. if this oh so dangerous angry black man was so well known to be so.. why in the world did Bill and Hillary invite him to the Whitehouse to publicly forgive his affair with a young intern? Why for that matter are pastors like Hagee allowed to go on and on about nuking Iran to bring on the rapture? Why would Mccain go to a university that preaches Katrina was brought about by God’s hate for gays? Why does McCain get to say sorry I didn’t vote for civil rights years ago, but no prob now right? and there is not the first question on the timing. Why does Hillary get a free ride on out right lies over sniper fire.. with no problem. Why do associations in their past, whether lobbyists or criminals have no bearing but we have to put Obama through everything short of a colon scope? Where are their flag pins by the way?

This has gotten past ridiculas.. am sure Karl Rove is laffing his butt off.. his hate and fear strategy lives on.. perpetuated by the very same folks it was played upon to begin with. Would be funny if not so damned sad.
Are some simply digging for reasons so they don’t have to face some latent racism? I hope not. I had hoped this was about beating John McCain and supporting both candidates in doing so. Maybe not. Maybe Obama’s race is more important to some than more war. God I hope not. Could it be that we are so collectively stupid to fall again for cheap political games? Surely not. Are any prejudices we have have more dear to us than four more years of failed bush policy? Maybe this political race is revealing more about us than the politicians.. Hopefully we will look inside and research more than we apparently google.

Good luck all.. we are going to need it if we get McCain because of horsehit bullshit.

Posted by MsSwin | Report as abusive
 

If you are indignant at rev. wright, here is some real Anti-America slander recited in the religious Right church to which many ardent GOP proponents are subscribed.
http://www.rightwingwatch.org/2007/09/wh y_should_god_bless_america.html

In contrast, Obama will be the president for all Americans, more! he will be the first American president for the world. Obama embodies everything that is good in America. He will bring out the best in us. Our unity will help us mature politically and advance materially. Many more will abandon GOP to flag & cross waving extremists who’ll continue to wait for a bleached messiah. With Obama at helm and a common purpose we become more productive, thus richer, elevating ourselves and advance the world in our wake.

Posted by Jake | Report as abusive
 

How can voters do “research” when they don’t even want to “search”. Loooooord have mercy! Citizens please dont turn church affiliation into a substitute for critical thinking and analysis. Jeremiah Wright and Sen. Barack Obama are |absolute values|.

The theme of this week’s drama is “Guilty by Association” I wonder who the other candidates are trying to hide under they’re cloak….I’m sure we could find a bigot somewhere in the Republican party or from Arkansas.

Posted by Trevor from Brooklyn NY | Report as abusive
 

THE DANGER OF COLLECTIVE WISHFUL THINKING: I believe many have a desire for that Knight in Shinning Armor to come forward and solve all of our political ills. Many Americans believe they have found that person in Barack Obama. Obama, who professes to be a “different” kind of politician who represents “change” and “unity,” has been very effective in playing to this “collective wishful thinking.” Obama, however, knows that he is not that Knight. He knows that he has been a conventional and ruthless politician from the start. He knows that he obtained his first elective office by stabbing his friend and mentor, Alice Palmer, in the back. He knows that despite his assertions, he has obtained over $62,000,000 from special interest groups during this campaign by a method developed by George Bush and Karl Rove. He knows that despite his glowing rhetoric about unity, he chose to belong to a racist black liberation theology church for 20 years, and considered its racist and anti-American pastor as his “mentor and spiritual adviser.” He knows that it is he who has played the race card over and over, in order to destroy the legacy of Bill Clinton, and blunt his effectiveness as an advocate for Hillary Clinton. And, he knows that this most recent “denunciation” of Wright only occurred because Wright told the truth; that Obama is a “politician” and will say whatever he needs to say to get elected. Yes, he knows all of these things, and so do millions of Americans throughout this country. Yet, millions of his supporters have allowed their “wishful thinking” to cloud their ability to digest any information not consistent with their image of Obama; this image that has been so carefully constructed by Obama, himself. This will account for the intellectual agility which will be required of them to change from an apologist for Rev. Wright one day, to a supporter of Obama’s denunciation of Wright, the next day. In the 1930’s, another people believed that they had found their “Knight” who would save them from the effects of a humiliating defeat in World War I. They, too, believed that their leader was almost infallible. They, too, hung on every word he said, and refused to believe any warnings from “outsiders” about the true nature of their leader’s beliefs and actions. And even after a devastating defeat in World War II, millions of them still would not – could not believe that their leader was anything other than what he himself said he was, because to believe this would somehow not only invalidate their leader, but it would invalidate themselves. Were these people unsophisticated, stupid people? Absolutely, not. They inhabited one of the most advanced countries of its time. No, their deficiency lied in their inability to process information inconsistent with their beliefs. Their weakness was placing their “wishes” over their objectivity. All along the way, there were signs that their leader was not who he professed to be. However, their belief that they had found their “Knight” resisted any and all such signs, and enable a charismatic and hateful man to lead their country into hell. Objectivity has been defined as “the ability to perceive or describe something without being influenced by personal emotions or prejudices.” Objectivity will help assure that in this nomination process, each candidate is viewed as they really are; not as they have told us they are, or how we wish they were.

Posted by Fred Jones | Report as abusive
 

Wow, what a mediocre and narcissistic piece of journalistic poop this is. Who wrote this anyway?

The “journalist” travels to the second most racist town in Indiana, finds a cafe frequented by older working-class patrons, talks to everyone until he gathers half a dozen misinformed opinions and–BAM–now the reader knows that anyone who doesn’t plan to vote for Obama is an illiterate hillbilly/nazi.

I really like Obama but this “better and smarter than you” attitude displayed by his supporters really disgusts me. Are these the same “smart” people who voted for Kerry because he was the most electable, or do we have a new generation of smarties now?

Ok, Obama sophisticates, you’re certainly all very good at math so look at these statistics. Less than 9% of Indiana is African American, yet current polls show the Obama Clinton race is a dead heat. Get out your calculator and you’ll see that at least 45% of the non-African American population must be on Obama’s side. That’s despite the fact our senator and former governor, Evan Bayh, is Clinton’s campaign chair.

And by the way, it’s unfortunate Evan Bayh doesn’t have Obama’s game or Hillary’s husband because unlike either of them, he is a PROVEN leader with a record as an EXCELLENT governor and is actually CAPABLE of reaching across party lines.

Yet without ever having been to Indiana you can pigeon hole the whole state as ignorant hicks. Pat yourselves on the back–it’s not easy to be that hypocritical.

I probably won’t vote for Obama but it’s not for reasons of race or religion. He just seems to idealistic (no time as a governor and little in Washington) to be an effective president and I didn’t feel like all of his ideas on his website are fully thought out. I’d consider voting for him in 4/8 years.

Posted by John Henderson | Report as abusive
 

One of the great shames of this country is the ignorance that is extent in the population. While we send people through high school, they get diplomas without an education. We end up with too many very very poorly informed people hanging out at the coffee shop expounding and airing their ignorance to the press.
It is even worse that they appear to have no way or inclination to educate themselves though newspapers or the internet. What a mess. These are the very people who are persuaded that fighting a war in Iraq is the thing to do to “protect” democracy by blowing apart a poor nation with uneducated citizens as ignorant as they are themselves. Yeech…the nit wits in the Indiana coffee shop are a national embarrassment.

 

In response to Jim Kr., these are not people, as you put it, airing their ignorance to the press. This is a reporter hounding people on their lunch looking for three-word quotes to make a partisan political statement–shameless spin journalism.

Answer this question to yourself and be honest: How hard would it be to interview a number of African Americans and pick and choose a few words here and there to make it look like every black person in America was voting for Obama purely on the color of his skin? In my opinion it would be really easy.

The biggest disgrace in this article is the writer who obviously doesn’t mind setting aside the principles of ethical journalism for an easy payday.

Posted by John Henderson | Report as abusive
 

I was going to ask….how can a man who has belonged to a Church for 20 years and referred to his Pastor as his Spiritual Advisor (although now he claims he was not…he was only his Pastor) claim that he did not know what his Pastor was all about?

I was going to ask…but Fred Jones (above) said it all.

 

MY FELLOW “BITTER”, STUPID, WORKING CLASS PEOPLE :-)

If you think like Barack Obama, that WORKING CLASS PEOPLE are just a bunch of “BITTER”!, STUPID, PEASANTS, Cash COWS!, and CANNON FODDER. :-(

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think Barack Obama with little or no experience would be better than Hillary Clinton with 35 years experience.

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that Obama with no experience can fix an economy on the verge of collapse better than Hillary Clinton. Whose ;-) husband (Bill Clinton) led the greatest economic expansion, and prosperity in American history.

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that Obama with no experience fighting for universal health care can get it for you better than Hillary Clinton. Who anticipated this current health care crisis back in 1993, and fought a pitched battle against overwhelming odds to get universal health care for all the American people.

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that Obama with no experience can manage, and get us out of two wars better than Hillary Clinton. Whose ;-) husband (Bill Clinton) went to war only when he was convinced that he absolutely had to. Then completed the mission in record time against a nuclear power. AND DID NOT LOSE THE LIFE OF A SINGLE AMERICAN SOLDIER. NOT ONE!

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that Obama with no experience saving the environment is better than Hillary Clinton. Whose ;-) husband (Bill Clinton) left office with the greatest amount of environmental cleanup, and protections in American history.

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that Obama with little or no education experience is better than Hillary Clinton. Whose ;-) husband (Bill Clinton) made higher education affordable for every American. And created higher job demand and starting salary’s than they had ever been before or since.

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that Obama with no experience will be better than Hillary Clinton who spent 8 years at the right hand of President Bill Clinton. Who is already on record as one of the greatest Presidents in American history.

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that you can change the way Washington works with pretty speeches from Obama, rather than with the experience, and political expertise of two master politicians ON YOUR SIDE like Hillary and Bill Clinton..

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think all those Republicans voting for Obama in the Democratic primaries, and caucuses are doing so because they think he is a stronger Democratic candidate than Hillary Clinton. :-)

Best regards

jacksmith… Working Class :-)

p.s. You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you don’t know that the huge amounts of money funding the Obama campaign to try and defeat Hillary Clinton is coming in from the insurance, and medical industry, that has been ripping you off, and killing you and your children. And denying you, and your loved ones the life saving medical care you needed. All just so they can make more huge immoral profits for them-selves off of your suffering…

You see, back in 1993 Hillary Clinton had the audacity, and nerve to try and get quality, affordable universal health care for everyone to prevent the suffering and needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of you each year. :-)

Approx. 100,000 of you die each year from medical accidents from a rush to profit by the insurance, and medical industry. Another 120,000 of you die each year from treatable illness that people in other developed countries don’t die from. And I could go on, and on…

OBAMA AIDE: “WORKING-CLASS VOTERS NOT KEY FOR DEMOCRATS” :o

DEBATE! DEBATE!! DEBATE!!!…

Posted by jacksmith | Report as abusive
 

DEBATE! DEBATE!! DEBATE!!!

It’s time for everyone to face the truth. Barack Obama has no real chance of winning the national election in November at this time. His crushing defeat in Pennsylvania makes that fact crystal clear. His best, and only real chance of winning in November is on a ticket with Hillary Clinton as her VP.

Hillary Clinton seemed almost somber at her Pennsylvania victory speech. As if part of her was hoping Obama could have proved he had some chance of winning against the republican attack machine, and their unlimited money, and resources.

But it is absolutely essential that the democrats take back the Whitehouse in November. America, and the American people are in a very desperate condition now. And the whole World has been doing all that they can to help keep us propped up.

Hillary Clinton say’s that the heat, and decisions in the Whitehouse are much tougher than the ones on the campaign trail. But I think Mr. Obama faces a test of whether he has what it takes to be a commander and chief by facing the difficult facts, and the truth before him. And by doing what is best for the American people by dropping out of the race, and offering his whole hearted assistance to Hillary Clinton to help her take back the Whitehouse for the American people, and the World.

Mr. Obama is a great speaker. And I am confident he can explain to the American people the need, and wisdom of such a personal sacrifice for them. It should be clear to everyone by now that Hillary Clinton is fighting her heart out for the American people. She has known for a long time that Mr. Obama can not win this November. You have to remember that the Clinton’s have won the Whitehouse twice before. They know what it takes.

If Mr. Obama fails his test of commander and chief we can only hope that Hillary Clinton can continue her heroic fight for the American people. And that she prevails. She will need all the continual support and help we can give her. She may fight like a superhuman. But she is only human.

Sen. Hillary Clinton: “You know, more people have now voted for me than have voted for my opponent. In fact, I now have more votes than anybody has ever had in a primary contest for a nomination. And it’s also clear that we’ve got nine more important contests to go.”

Sincerely

Jacksmith… Working Class :-)

Posted by jacksmith | Report as abusive
 

Look at voters in any of the sates like Indiana, Florida and possibly Pennsylvania, they tend to pretty average Americans. Each of the states have their own thing. The People from Indiana still put the word “GOD” on some of their plates. The Floridians still are arguing about if Darwin should be taught in schools. Pennsylvania *SHOULD* know better but their typical school graduates are pretty far down in national averages, which shows they do not spend money well on their educational institutions. Each of the states above should know better than to be cheap on education. So when it comes to getting anything close of an informed opinion from these people you are dealing with less than average people. Other states like Mass or Connecticut (and a few more in the NE) spend a lot more per pupil and those states tend to have no issues with people like O’Bama.

On the other side you have Hillary Clinton and she tends to do well in states that have educated citizens.

Both candidates bring something to the political table. Both are different yet are not (IMO) lightweights. Although O’Bama is not quite as sharp as Hillary, IMO. Both candidates are reasonable people to run for President. Neither of them has as much political savvy as they say they do. I am worried about several issues on both sides and I will follow the champaign to see if any of them stumble really bad. O’Bama has stumbled with how he handled the minister and that is why he may loose the nomination. I hope not but if he does the black people cannot say its the “whitey” that lost him the nomination it is easily blamable on the minister. No one else.
I am really surprised that the black leadership hasn’t told the minister to go away.
I can only guess the reason is that religion is playing too strong a role in politics and *IF* that is the case the black people have a LOT to learn about politics.

Posted by Ed Gould | Report as abusive
 

I think his backgorund isn’t such that important. It’s his vision and quality that our country need now. Even he’s a Muslim, we should not judge the presidential candidate by his/her religion, race, etc. If we keep doing that, we will lose many great chances and advantages of being lead by great quality leader. Remember, E Pluribus Unum.

Posted by david | Report as abusive
 

A man may say in his relaxed moment a coarse and questionable thing that he would never have said in public–and that very thing may lodge in someone’s memory and stay there unforgotten. Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher, said, “Choose rather to fling a chance stone than to speak a chance word.” Once the hurting word or the soiling word is spoken nothing will bring it back; and it pursues a course of damage wherever it goes.

Posted by Jin Bell | Report as abusive
 

It is so wonderful to hear the comments these people have made regarding Obama..I do lots of blogs and there are many Obama supporters..It is hard to understand how anyone can support a man that went to the same church for 20 years and NEVER heard his pastor preaching anything negative..Yet when it is convenient for him politically he FINALLY denounces him..Too little, too late…We have no idea as to his real beliefs..This is scary..His past associations with Rezco, Ayers and others is also scary…We do not know this man at all..He will not even provide his original birth certificate…All other Presidents have. Why not Obama??He is good at whing when things get rough and very good at pulling the race card..We need far more than those qualifications in a President. His temper seems awfully short fused also…At least we know who we are voting for with Hillary Clinton…She is the one that will help the economy and bring our Soldiers home. HRC is our only hope. A vote for Obama is a vote for McCain….

Posted by kaye c. | Report as abusive
 

It is very sad to see how many people are misinformed. So many believe only what the media say. They do not take the time to research information to seek truth. Obama has never,never ever claimed to be Muslim.

Obama was a member of the church for 20 years but that does not mean he sat in the church every Sunday, week after week hearing these messages. The last 8 years he traveled to Washington back and forth. I personally have sat at John Hagee’s church in San Antonio and have heard remarks very contraversial. Yet because he delivered a great message about Christ it kept us there.

Obama was the co-chairman of the campaign funding commitee to restrict lobbyiest money. He also claimed present only in many votes because as with many other bills that come throught have attachments that are not discussed and cost billions of dollars. There is no line item veto and therefore you can either vote for, against or present. So do the research on the votes of why he voted present. Many bills have hidden attachments.

As far as the unexperienced is concerned, Everyone thought George Bush was experineced and what happened there? Just because Hilary was in the white house when her husband was president does not make her experienced to be president. Just look at her record in New York.

New York currently has one of the largest deficits in the nation. It also has one of the largest unemployment rates in the country. These were two main items she proposed to taking care of if elected as senator. What happened there? Her husband Billy, also brought NAFTA. Where are all our jobs at. Although she opposes nafta now, why has she voted on some tax breaks for these corporations that take their companies overseas or into mexico.

Hilary’s weak voting record and not fully researching before voting displace her weak decision making skills.

McCain and his Keating five controversey with taking lobbying money along with his buddy Phill Gramm, who was chairman of the banking commitee dosn’t show very much promise. McCain has Gramm as his economic advisor, but examine what Phill Gramm did to bring on the forclosure and sub-prime crisis. McCain has been in the senate for 20years and what difference and experience has he made for our country? Nothing!!!!!!!!!

It time for change and a new method of conducting government. I know I would like my children to have an opportunity of a good life and not a life of debt that our country has aquired. Over 400 million dollars a day is spend in the Iraqy war. Lets move forward

Go Obama,

Posted by Laura Tyler | Report as abusive
 

I am “biracial”, like Obama, and a woman. At the beginning of the election I did not support Clinton or Obama, but the white male, Kucinich, who I believed would bring about great change for our country and who was also very experienced.

I wanted to support Hillary because I liked many things about her when Bill was in office. The Clinton years were good and back then I hoped she would one day be president. But it appears she is heavily entrenched in the political machine. Some of her decisions as senator and her corporate ties make it hard to tell where her true allegiance lies, and this makes her hard to trust. I also have been saddened by the “low road” she has been willing to take in the primary competition.

I don’t know a lot about Obama, but I like him so far because he comes across as having a lot of integrity. He seems to care about the people in this country, those who need help. And he has mostly taken the “high road”. Even in that last debate, when the moderator went after Hillary for misspeaking about the Bosnia sniper fire, Obama defended her and basically said “so what” she didn’t remember right. Get over it.

I believe that some white Americans are afraid of him. Since I am part of the black community and the white community, I can understand both sides. There are angry people in both communities, especially older Americans. As younger generation, we respect them, even though we don’t hold those beliefs. We understand the history and why they feel the way they do. It is possible to love both sides, even with those flaws, and even though we don’t agree with them. I think it is a shame that any one would think Obama holds the same beliefs and Rev. Wright, just because he went to that church or may have received mentoring or spiritual advice from him. Or to assume that political things were even discussed in sermons over the past 20 years. Wrights crazy ideas may not have even surfaced until one of his parishioners was running for president. Who knows? Why assume the worst? Because Obama seems to be the guy who can care about old and bitter people from black community all the way to those in Shelbyville quoted in this article. And everyone in between. We need a man like that. Especially now.

Posted by Dee | Report as abusive
 

Ah….Karl Rove’s America. White, ignorant, bigoted, and damn proud of it. These people would make Gomer Pyle look like a Rhodes Scholar.

Posted by OregonDan | Report as abusive
 

It’s hard to imagine how the morons quoted in that article (and their fellow stupids in this thread) manage to survive in this world of busy intersections, sharp objects, and cleaning products that look plausibly like artificial sweeteners. Yes, I know, we’re supposed to pretend that you cretins represent heartland values, but your genuine frontier gibberish is just racist, paranoid, blinkered nonsense stuck in your tiny little minds like a bug up your ass. Actually, there’s a thought. Maybe you have a primitive midbrain lodged in your hindquarters like the dinosaurs, controlling how you breathe, keeping your hands off hot stoves, and telling you how to vote in presidential elections.

In any event, just like anyone can make a baby so can anyone vote. Slack-jawed yokels and mouth-breathing yahoos can both reproduce and elect idiots like George Bush President of the United States. In this cycle the stupid vote is focused on the vital issue of whether Barack Obama is a radical black Muslim atheist terrorist Marxist, or maybe just a black guy. In either event they won’t vote for him, but if he’s a radical black Muslim atheist terrorist Marxist, then:

You got to draw a hard line
When the gun smoke settles we’ll sing a victory tune
We’ll all meet back at the local saloon
We’ll raise up our glasses against evil forces
Singing whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

Later there will be puking and wife-beating.

Posted by I need to take a shower after reading this | Report as abusive
 

1. Barack Obama was raised by his WHITE grandparents and his WHITE mother.

2. As a child, people called him Barry

3. He is a Christian.

4. He will win the nomination. Mark my words.

Posted by kdon | Report as abusive
 

To the person way up above – Shelbyville may be a small town, but that does not make all of us hicks. And there are many of us from Shelbyville who do read a political article, or even two. Yes, that means we know how to read, so already we must be “brighter” than you think. I am an avid Obama supporter, and I grew up in this “hick town.” I do not share any of the misconceptions that the interviewed people do. Please take this as a lesson that you cannot judge any group by the actions of a few of its members.

Posted by Shelbyvillian | Report as abusive
 

VOTE FOR OBAMA
THERE IS NO CHOICE.

If you want to save this country, if you are a patriot, if you can’t stand the same-old spin, BS, political lies, bankrupting this country by invading other countries without reason,poor education and health standards that this country has assumed for the last 30 years, you better vote for Obama.

IWe need to love our country again.
We need other countries to respect and admire us again. Right now, we are becoming the world’s biggest joke and the world’s largest money machine— Bush-Clinton- Bush- Clinton

Take courage. Be strong – have the guts to become a new founding father and founding mother of this country now. Fight to get American’s soul and America’s survival back. You and all your friends must vote for Obama if you wish to save America’s great potencial.

I am a retired, white,business oriented gal. The truth, not political spin, will set us all free… women, men and children.

Clinton-Bsu- Clinton
‘s biggest joke.

Posted by michelle tallent | Report as abusive
 

Senator Obama’s father was a muslim, he was raised a muslim. At some point in his life he shifted his faith to “Christian,” which isn’t Christian at all, it’s a liberation mentality rooted in Marxism. And if you think he’s lying, well he is. They all are. That’s what politician’s do. It’s impossible to be a Christian politician, whether Republican or Democrat, Obama or McCain, Clinton or Bush. It doesn’t matter. To be a successful politician you must at some point compromise your faith and go against what the Bible says. (Ex. Lying, deception, selfishness, bitterness, greed, etc.)Faith cannot be legislated, it is only by an experience with truth.

Posted by The Herald | Report as abusive
 

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