While Illinois Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama has been given a nice, spiffy “middle of the road Democrat” image by a sycophantic news media, his voting record does not measure up to his rhetoric, according to a recent report by reporter Bill Sammon.
Americans for Democratic Reform, a liberal advocacy group that ranks all members of Congress, gave Obama a 95-percent rating in its most recent survey. “His record is liberal, and his rhetoric is moderate,” explained Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.
The 95-percent liberal rating puts Obama strongly into the camp of the Democratic Party’s extreme left wing, not the DLC/blue dog Democrat camp most perceive him as being. Of course, considering Obama ran virtually unopposed for his Illinois Senate seat after his only serious competitor, Republican Jack Ryan, was besmirched by a divorce-related scandal and ultimately dropped out at the 11th hour, the path to Washington has so far been paved with gold for Obama.
But the road to the White House will be less smooth, and if Sen. Obama is serious about winning it, such examination of his rhetoric vs. his record is a natural part of the path for any politician, and one he’ll have to get used to.
Such double-speak – praising Reagan in one breath while cursing him in the next, in an attempt to appeal to both sides, for example – may work when you have no serious opponent running against you. But with political hardball veterans like Sen. Hillary Rodham and former Sen. John Edwards, both fiesty lawyers as well as politicians, facing off against him for the Dem nod, Obama will need to quickly develop a thick skin.
Like the saying goes, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all of the time. Not even if, like Sen. Rodham’s husband, your name is Slick Willie. If he’s unable to adjust to that, he could always pursue a career in Raleigh real estate.