Obama, with sniffles, reassures Democrats about White House win

August 18, 2008

obama2.jpgALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico – Democrats are getting nervous — and Barack Obama seems to sense it.

The Illinois senator, fresh from a trip to Hawaii where he picked up a cold, has been rallying supporters in the past two days, urging them not to be anxious about Republican attacks that have helped lift Arizona Sen. John McCain in the polls.

“Everywhere I go people have told me, ‘Oh, I’m getting nervous. The Republicans — they’re so mean … What are we going to do?'” Obama told a town hall meeting with some 1,800 people on Monday.

Obama said Republicans didn’t know how to govern but did know how to run a negative campaign.

“It’s not going to work this time,” he said. Echoing a similar line he used at a fundraiser on Sunday, he assured the crowd he intended to win.

Meanwhile, the Illinois senator is fighting a cold, which he traced back to the time he spent last week with his young daughters while they were on vacation in Hawaii.

“The only thing about daughters is that when you hang out with them a lot and they get a cold, somehow they end up passing it off to you,” he said to laughter at an earlier event on Monday.

“Not just daughters!” a participant shouted out.

“That’s true for sons, too?” Obama joked back. “All right, I just want to be clear.”

It’s not a great time for the Illinois senator to be sick. He is expected to announce a vice presidential running mate in the coming days and will need to be in top form for the party’s convention in Denver next week, when he officially becomes the Democrats’ White House nominee.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage. 

Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Young (Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama removes his jacket as he arrives for a town hall event in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Aug. 18, 2008)


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I didn’t realize until last night that McCain can lie with such a straight face….. The Democrats went after Hillary for her Bosnia story, but are giving McCain a free pass on his WAR stories….. Let’s not forget what the Republicans did to John Kerry. If the Democrats don’t go after McCain, don’t expect the media to.

Rick Warren…..
“How was it like in the CONE OF SILENCE ”
John McCain….
“I tried to put my head against the wall to see if I could hear any of the answers” Laugh Laugh

It’s not the deed … it’s the cover up…. Why is the McCain camp all riled up ? He cheated.
Why wasn’t his answer ” You know Rick… I have to be honest.. I got here late and didn’t make it to the CONE OF SILENCE when I needed to be, but I didn’t hear anything.

Posted by Ron | Report as abusive

That’s all you have got? Sniffles? True Patriot never get the sniffles… Really slow news day in Anti-Obama camp.

Posted by kate c | Report as abusive

I’m a Hillary supporter that’s going to vote for Obama. The negative campaign that McCain is running is working for him. Obama has got to hit McCain just as hard or he’s not going to beat Mcain in November. Mr Goody Two Shoes is good for children’s stories not in Adult Politics. If Obama doesn’t show that he is strong, which he hasn’t done yet, HE WILL LOSE!!!!

Posted by Neil Rosenthal | Report as abusive

Obama is taking too long to announce a running mate. That decision would be a win or lose for the candidates.
Both parties are taking too long. McCain at 72, must pick a good candidate, that could be President if he should not complete the term. Obama needs to pick a candidate that has proven experience outside the US. This is a critical election and people are tired of playing the waiting game.

Posted by Mim | Report as abusive

Obama is not losing support because “the Republicans are so mean,” he is losing support because he is alienating his left base in his attempts to placate the middle and draw the middle-right. The more he does this, the less inspiring he becomes… and the more like ‘just another politician’ he seems. Obama was inspiring because of that clear sense of vision and purpose, which he is losing with every placating speech. Now, he isn’t inspiring anyone, from either the left or the right. Perhaps he is assuming that his base has no-one else to vote for. That is not true… they could just not bother to vote.

Posted by Chad | Report as abusive

Holy smokes Jeff, I also like Obama also but you need to at least fake some kind of objectivity here.
“He needs to be in top form”? You sound like a cheerleader.

Posted by Bob | Report as abusive

I hope Obama drinks a lot of orange juice and he will be just fine. This is his time and I hope he feels AOK

Posted by Joyce Becker | Report as abusive

Go Barack

Posted by Gene & Kathey .Aza | Report as abusive

Listen, whatever it is you think about Obama, the reality is that John McCain is not smart enough to be our president. McCain is not capable of navigating the increasingly complicated international environment that exists now and will exist into the future. McCain’s strong-arm, knee-jerk, black-white thinking will get us into another war. Republicans do not know how to pick their battles. Everything is a threat. Vote for Obama if you care about bringing economic stability back to the working-class and restoring America’s moral authority abroad.

Posted by Hilary Smith | Report as abusive

Anxieties about Obama have little to do with ‘Republican attacks’ as you suggest. It has more to do with the central premise of Obama’s world view, i.e. that virtually all conflicts can be solved by ‘more talk’. His signature foreign-policy approach, i.e. to immediately engage in talks with (e.g.) Iran, North Korea, Syria – looks increasingly more naïve, as Russia continues to humiliate ‘jaw jaw’ in Georgia, with newly placed short range missiles and Musharraf’s abrupt resignation, raising the specter of Pakistan’s ‘loose nukes. Guess what? The world has suddenly changed and Americans are becoming more focused on who will best answer that 3 am telephone call.

Posted by Lenny | Report as abusive

Barack Obama, with no experience running anything, will not win in West Virginia, Kentucky, or Tennessee. We are freedom loving people and very patriotic. Obama is nothing more than a community rable rowser elected to the U.S. Senate by the same region that supports the likes of Jesse Jackson and his fellow freeloaders. He detests capitalism. He and his wife do not like America, despite his efforts to fool the public. Obama is a socialist/Marxist and is a threat to our country and our American way of life. He says he is a Christian and then votes for the most cruel kind of abortion (baby killing) that exists. Obama will say ANYTHING to get elected. It is disgusting to a veteran such as myself, that millions of Americans voted for this disgusting young wuss. He wouldn’t fight for his country. He is a coward and despite his degrees he is an airhead.

Posted by George Douglas | Report as abusive

More proof that the Clintons are starting to rattle the Obama nation. Bubba and Hillary are getting under Barack’s skin by hijacking his convention, so what’s he do? Blame the Republicans! It’s what psychologists call classic displacement behavior. Get in a fight with the boss and come home and kick the dog. Really. The Republicans haven’t even started in in him yet and already he’s acting real jumpy. I really do feel sorry for Barack, I really do. After Bubba gives him a wedgie, Hillary kicks him in the begonias and Chelsea steals his lunch money, what else can happen? He turns around and gets swift-boated by the Republicans. Ouch! Caught between Bubba and “the Bullet”.

Posted by Leon A Davis | Report as abusive

“Democrats are getting nervous — and Barack Obama seems to sense it.”

The Democrats have good reason to be terrified. Americans have seen enough of the staged events/photo-ops and have already heard all of Obama’s glittering generalties. Obama’s embarrassingly disastrious public performance at the Saddleback forum just further undescored his “empty-suitness”. He’s ridden his celebrity as far as he can and is failing now that it’s crunch time. Who can blame the Democrats for their panic at having too late realized the y have picked yet another sure loser?

Posted by Karen Schell | Report as abusive

Not much change in the support of either candidate over the last month.

Posted by Mr.Unite Us | Report as abusive

The real reason why democrats are getting nervous is because the longer the campaign drags on it becomes apparent that Obama has no substance or credibility. The more Americans are educated about the differences between these two candidates the closer the race becomes. The only hope for Obama now is to capitalize upon a dumbed down American public. The non-partisan news media (LOL) is really frustrated because other informative organizations are getting the word out and educating the public despite their best efforts.

Posted by Ron Moody | Report as abusive

Easy does it, people. There’s still a lot of space to fill between now and election day. These campaigns really have not even begun. I wouldn’t draw too much of a conclusion from anything that either camp is saying at the moment.

The real test is in how they hold up through the final legs of the race, and whether they’ve closed the deal with enough independents and center of the spectrum voters as they do their final sprint. Right now, you get to hear from the loudmouths at the fringes, and they made up their minds long before now. They’re simply looking for proof of their pre-drawn conclusions. It means nothing. The loud folks at the edges do not make the election, they make noise about the election, and they keep making noise after the election. No matter the coverage, loud folks find fault with the coverage when it’s not as slanderous as they are, and defend the honor of the message when it suits their own agendas. Personally, I’d love to see some good old fashioned Lincoln-Douglas type debates, to really change it up this time around. We deserve better than what we’re getting, but its up to the candidates to do better in speaking their message to the rest of us.

My own politics on this? Too far to the left, to far to the right, that’s how we make progress. I think we’ve gone too far to the right, and I’d like to see things swing back the other way for awhile. We’ve seen the damage that can be done by an inexperienced president who doesn’t know his own limitations and lacks the ability to think clearly about issues and side effects. Our election cycles have become noisy, nasty, and negative, and seem to avoid addressing the actual issues on which this decision should be made. Now the choice is between someone who seems to be able to think quite well but lacks the deep background in military and economic decision making that reassures our fearful and restless selves, vs four more years of what got us into this mess in the first place from a so-called ‘straight talking’ candidate who has demonstrated the willingness to say and do anything to get elected.

My inclination is to lean away from any candidate who thinks running a nasty campaign of innuendo and deception is a positive choice for a better future. So I’m paying close attention, not to what the press says, but to what the candidates say and do.

Here’s an idea: Write to both candidates, and tell them you expect better from them both. Who knows? Maybe if they hear it enough times, they’ll stop listening to the loud mouths and start listening to their consciences.

Posted by Dr. K | Report as abusive

Someone said Obama might be losing liberal support due to his pandering to the middle and conservatives.

Well … let’s look at the cold hard facts. Obama is who he is .. an intelligent thinker and speaker of the truth who over the course of his career has attracted the left who can identify with him.

But the fact remains, the intelligent thinking people who lean to the left are somewhat in short supply in this country. That’s a fact. Intelligent thinkers do not have enough voting power to elect another intelligent thinker.

Here’s another fact. Intelligent thinkers who lean to the left would never, ever, ever vote for McCain. They would stay home before they would vote.

So, giving you the benefit of the doubt… if you were an intelligent thinker who would you temporarily alienate first? The voting masses of centrist and conservative alignment or the fractional sect of the left.

It’s a wise move so just be patient. No change can occur, no deep thoughts can be revealed, no action can be taken … if you are not in power.


Posted by Obama Rocks | Report as abusive

I am so sick to death of John Mccain,He may be a great senetor.However he cheated in the forum the other night, the only reason we all know he came in late was to hear what barak had to say because he was to quick to answer, If he cheats at the forum What else will he cheat about. Im also sick about his foreign polcy’s. What about Americans in the u.s.And all he can say is drill drill drill like that’s easy Gas isn’t going to come down that quick. He think’s American’s are retarted, because we don’t have a degree, All you need is common sense.It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. How about him not definning rich, How does he think drilling is going to get payed, What about i don’t want to tax no one that is just what BUSH said. He know’s he has to attack middle class to pay for the drilling and foreign policey’s he has. If John get’s in to the White house,that will be the biggest mistake in the world.He is only for the war,and how rich his billfold can get while the middle class slowly die out.

Posted by Donna Steelmon | Report as abusive

Yes we should not worry, but Obama you are really making us nervous and please make us recover. Your promises alone will not help. Senator Kerry was attacked and lost, and all you can say is do’nt be nervous! For the first time in this campaign I will not donate may be this will be a wake up call. This is not a primary period when you can have a second chance.

Posted by Jeter | Report as abusive