Since his much-hyped initial Senate campaign two years ago, Barack Obama (D.-Ill.) has been portrayed by the liberal media as a political populist who has the potential to unite polarized Republicans and Democrats in a national election.
In his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Obama played up this image himself. “The pundits like to slice and dice our country into Red States and Blue States—Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats,” he said. “But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an ‘awesome God’ in the Blue States, and we don’t like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States, and yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.”
Citing rhetoric like this, commentators have suggested that Obama is “purple” because he combines “red” conservative values with a “blue” liberal political base. In fact, a close examination of Obama’s public statements reveals not a closet conservative, but a typical politician highly adept at speaking out of both sides of his mouth.
|RED-STATE HYPE||BLUE-STATE PUNCH LINE|
|"And I should say that, personally, I do believe that marriage is between a man and a woman." — Floor statement on the Federal Marriage Amendment (which he opposed), June 5, 2006||"Since 1996, I have been the sponsor or a chief co-sponsor of measures to expand civil liberties for the LGBT community, including hate-crimes legislation, adoption rights and the extension of basic civil rights to protect LGBT persons from discrimination in housing, public accommodations, employment and credit… For the record I opposed DOMA [the Defense of Marriage Act] in 1996. It should be repealed and I will vote for its repeal on the Senate floor. I will also oppose any proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban gays and lesbians from marrying. This is an effort to demonize people for political advantage, and should be resisted.” – Letter to the Windy City Times, Feb. 11, 2004|
|“The people I meet – in small towns and big cities, in diners and office parks – they don’t expect government to solve all their problems. They know they have to work hard to get ahead, and they want to. Go into the collar counties around Chicago, and people will tell you they don’t want their tax money wasted, by a welfare agency or by the Pentagon.” –– Democratic National Convention Keynote Address, July 27, 2004||"I made sure our new welfare system didn’t punish people by kicking them off the rolls." — Hyde Park Citizen, Sept. 30, 1999|
“There is not a Black America and a White America and a Latino America and an Asian America – there’s a
|“I am personally interested in pushing a strong minority perspective. I’m fairly opinionated about this.” – The New York Times, Feb. 6, 1990|
|“At a time when ordinary families are feeling hit from all sides, the impulse to keep their taxes as low as possible is honorable and right.” – The Audacity of Hope, pg. 191||“I consider the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to be both fiscally irresponsible and morally troubling.” — The New York Times, Feb. 6, 1990|
|“Whenever I could, I would try to share my perspectives I was hearing from portions of the electorate: the legitimate role of faith in politics, say, or the deep cultural meaning of guns in rural parts of the state.” – The Audacity of Hope, pg. 114||“National legislation will prevent other states’ flawed concealed-weapons law from threatening the safety of Illinois residents.”
– Chicago Tribune, Feb. 20, 2004