Don't get me wrong. I like Barack Obama. If the primary were held today, he'd probably get my vote. But the honeymoon is over in Obamaland and it can't be written off with canned responses about how unreliable early poll numbers are.
If you look around the liberal blogs today, there's a lot of frustration with the Senate bill to grant immunity to telecoms who have helped the Bush administration illegally spy on Americans. High profile bloggers like Glenn Greenwald, Markos Moulitsas, Atrios, Jane Hamsher, and Big Tent Democrat at MyDD have been urging their readers to put pressure on the Senate to block the bill by contacting...Chris Dodd.
If anyone from the Obama campign is paying attention, this should serve as a wake-up call. A representative cross section of the liberal blogosphere no longer thinks Barack Obama is willing to stand up to the Bush Administration. These bloggers have already been disappointed enough over the last few months they didn't even bother asking Obama to oppose the bill this time around, instead throwing their support behind a candidate who's trailing Dennis Kucinich and Undecided in the polls. Writing about an Iraq appropriations bill last month, Markos Moulitsas perfectly summed up frustration with Obama (and Clinton) :
So where are the two "front runner" candidates on Iraq? Have they conquered their fear and actually said something of substance regarding the pre-emptive capitulation bill?
. . .
Last supplemental, Hillary and Barack hid in the shadows, refusing to talk about the issue. They voted at the last second possible. They may have voted the right way, but did ZERO to move their caucus, the party, and the national electorate on the debate.
For a bunch claiming they deserve to lead our party and our nation, they've done everything possible to avoid any leadership.
The Obama campaign has been playing it safe for months now, so it should be no surprise that the base no longer expects him to, in the words of his campaign, "challenge the status quo and get results". It's not too late for Obama to turn things around. I still think Obama would make a fantastic president, but if he wants his grassroots-fueled campaign to regain some momentum, he needs to start by recognizing that people no longer see him as the go-to guy to buck the Washington establishment and be a champion for change.
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