I've said it before and I'll say it again: Obama desperately needs a new communications director. Either this current person in charge of this duty is seriously incompetent or Obama is simply a horrible communicator. Judging from his past performances I do not think it is the later.
I've been an open Obama supporter for a while and I will continue to support Obama all the way until he loses the primaries. It is starting to seem like, much to my chagrin, this is a virtual inevitability. The most recent events that have brought me to this conclusion are, you guessed it: his performance at the latest CNN debate and also his performances in recent interviews. In both situations it seemed like he honestly just didn't know what to say, even when he should have. Many times I could even think of better answers than what he came up with. Obviously part of the responsibility for this problem is coming from whoever in the hell is telling him what to say, what issues to bring up, how to say them, ect.
Obama has often been called charismatic but lately it has been harder and harder to notice. I'm sure running for president is extremely stressful and exhausting and I sure as hell wouldn't want to be in the spotlight like that with so much at stake riding on my shoulders. That being said, it is beginning to look like he doesn't have what it takes to run for President, even though I believe out of all the choices he would be the best for this country.
I really hope I'm wrong about Obama and that really its all the fault of his communications director. Either way, this person needs to be replaced and he needs to start behaving differently and communicating differently. This needs to happen very, very soon; or this race is over before it even got started. Edwards is really beginning to look like he doesn't have a prayer.
I agree with the other bloggers who have said that the debate questions and questioners seemed to be biased and agenda driven. Most of those questions were more about playing "gotcha," at the expense of Democrats, and giving the media soundbytes they can use against Democrats. Almost none of the questions were good ones. Good questions should be about helping people discern real/important policy differences between the candidates. The audience also seemed heavily stacked in Hilary's favor; I don't think this was just Obama having bad luck of the draw and suspect it was a concentrated effort on the part of CNN or Hillary's campaign.
In closing I'd like to refer you guys to to a recent comment I made in response to a recent posting by Matt about Obama's new public statement supporting net neutrality, opening wireless spectrum, and many other things media conglomerates tend to dislike:
Call me a conspiracy thoerist if you want, but I predicted this BEFORE it happened in that previous post. I don't think CNN, who is owned by Time-Warner (large owner of broadband ISP providers), was none too happy about Obama's recent statements that Matt mentioned here:
I think they wanted payback...(or maybe just to ruin his slim chance of winning the nomination). The debate seemed totally biased against Democrats but of them all Wolf and the CNN gang seemed to be trying to make Hilary looked the least bad (don't forget about the alleged audience stacking).
UPDATE: okay... after a little bit of painless research, here is what I've come up with about Obama's communications director.
Robert Gibbs: "Gibbs, a longtime communications operative [...], has been with Obama since shortly after his 2004 primary victory. Prior to that Gibbs served as a spokesman for Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) presidential bid. [...] He will be the campaign's communications director." - this was from his quick bio from the Washington Post.
Who in their right mind would hire John Kerry's communications director? The guy who, ya know, told Kerry it was a good idea for him not to fight back against the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth[iness]." Aside from that brilliant consulting, Kerry was generally a very poor communicator throughout his entire campaign. In fact he was such a bad campaigner it led me to the conclusion that there was even a slight possibility that he lost on purpose! He acted like such a douchebag it made me (I am an open lifelong Democrat and have been a staunch Iraq War critique since before it started), almost embarrassed to admit I had for him. I would have rather claimed Dean at that point in time.
John Kerry = the anti-charisma. The fact Edwards was his running mate and he failed to even deliver his home states didn't give me much confidence in his abilities either.
My orignal motive I attributed to why Kerry would intentionally lose an election is that it was because Kerry and Bush were Skull and Bones brothers and had secretly worked out an agreement that Bush would win again. Now looking at this buy Robert Gibbs that gives me a second possible motive for this conspiracy theory: that perhaps Robert Gibbs is secretly in cahoots with the Clintons and didn't want an incumbent Democrat to worry about in 08 and that now he is working to sabatauge the Obama campaign from within.
I know this is kinda far fetched and I normally don't go for conspiracy theories (I'm not a 911 truther or anything like that) but I just can't think of any other explanation for why everyone this guy Gibbs touches turns to crap. Even if this theory is correct it still doesn't explain why Obama, or even Kerry for that matter would have hired this moron.
Somebody please get rid of this guy and lets make it permanent and not let him anywhere near any other Democratic campaigns, especially Presidential ones.
p.s. here was a post written many months ago by Jerome over at MyDD about how bad this guy is, I must have missed it then but Jerome sure was proven right:
p.s.p.s. rewatching this debate now.... wow Blitzer and that woman who was walking around were both incredibly hostile toward all over our Democratic candidates.