Is Obama afraid of hard questions? Is he afraid of the public?

@Taskr36 (13925)
United States
July 19, 2008 11:44am CST
I don't think many people will deny that Obama is better at giving prepared speeches than McCain, but why is he afraid to field real questions from real people? McCain holds town hall meetings every week where regular people get to ask questions in a no holds barred forum. He takes a lot of heat at these meetings and they've led to more that one poor statement, but to me, it shows he's willing to stand with the average man. Obama on the other hand takes part in campaign events that are "invitation only". When McCain suggested they do town hall meetings together he scoffed and wanted nothing to do with that. Even when Obama spoke to the NAACP, and National Council of La Raza he would not take a single question. Those are groups that are actually quite friendly to him and yet he made his speech and left. McCain on the other hand took questions after making speeches to both groups. The NAACP is heavily anti-republican so he was clearly in a much more hostile environment than Obama yet he did not shy away from questions. Everyone talks about how great a speaker Obama is, but do we really want a president who's afraid to take questions without having a list of prepared answers handed to him first? A man who won't even take questions from people in an organization heavily in favor of him and dead set against his opponents?
4 people like this
7 responses
@rodney850 (2145)
• United States
19 Jul 08
Taskr, This is just more evidence to the fact that Obama is inexperienced and when the teleprompter is taken away he loses his eloquence! He knows that while McCain may make a few mistakes in a town hall atmosphere, he(Obama)would look like an illiterate idiot!
2 people like this
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
19 Jul 08
I wouldn't say illiterate. I'm sure if they had a teleprompter with the answers written on it he'd do just fine. The thing about town halls is that you just don't know what's coming, and Obama can't handle that type of uncertainty which is why I think he's not ready for a job as the president of the United States.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
19 Jul 08
Talk about being in a hostile environment! I think I deserve some credit for having the "guts" to respond here, don't I...lol? I won't pretend to be able to answer for Obama or anyone else and frankly I wish he would take McCain up on his invitation because, I certainly may be wrong, but I have a feeling McCain will be reminded of the "Be careful what you wish for" saying. Judging by the gaffes McCain has had at these forums I'm quite surprised he hasn't change his mind about doing them. Heck, no one would notice, he changes his mind about everything else and nobody notices. I'm not sure about the "invitation only" events now but Obama was at several events that were open to the public in Pa. before our primary. I still remember in 2004 the D1ck Cheney came to Bloomsburg a town a few miles from me and Republicans only were allowed to attend and at the time he was supposed to be the SITTING Vice President of the United States. Anyway, you ask, "do we really want a president who's afraid to take questions without having a list of prepared answers handed to him first?" I guess my answer has to be, considering the alternative is a man who makes jokes about slowly killing people and about a rape victim, a man who would call a child "ugly" and a man who doesn't remember his own vote on insurance coverage for birth control and was so noticeably stunned upon being asked about it - YES! I'm sure we'll see both of the candidates in town-hall type debates as the campaign goes on. I must say my one regret is that we won't have Tim Russert to hold both their feet to the fire as election day nears. Annie
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
19 Jul 08
Hey I give you a + rating every time you have the guts to enter hostile environment. You know I never hesitate to step up to similar challenges. Obama has done some large events that were open to ticket holders, but those were more like concerts than anything that would involve question and answer activities. I'm not really going to address the D!ck Cheney comment because he's not running for president right now. As for the rape joke that's been talked about all over the internet. I've seen McCain deny that it was ever said and haven't really seen it mentioned anywhere except antiMcCain blogs. Even if it was said, the joke wasn't making fun of a real rape victim. It was the type of crude joke you'd expect at a drunken frat party. I'm still not going to repeat it here though. I really don't think Obama will ever have the guts to do town hall debates. The only debate I'd expect him to do is a well organized one where he already knows most of the questions and answers.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
19 Jul 08
Actually after researching throughly, I did find out where the supposed joke was originally reported. The original claim that he made this joke was in October 1986. A spokeswoman from NOW claimed he made the joke in March of 1986. Kind of odd that she waited 7 months to make that claim. It was then, in 1986 that he said he didn't remember ever saying anything like that. So there you go, one person, with a political agenda against republicans, made the claim 7 months after it supposedly happened, and she's got no proof to back up her claim. McCain denied it back then, when he was much younger and would be assumed to remember an event that happened 7 months ago. Despite that, people who hate McCain will embrace it as ironclad fact the same way Obama's detractors will embrace claims of him being a Muslim as fact. Nobody really does their research anymore. But that's why it's good to be a librarian.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
20 Jul 08
I'd assumed there was no question that he'd told this joke since I heard on several TV reports that when asked about it recently a spokesperson for the McCain campaign said it shows that he's "authentic". However, I'll admit if this was reported inaccurately it wouldn't be the first time and it sure won't be the last, right? If it is indeed a false accusation I apologize. However, the Chelsea "joke" doesn't seem to be disputed at all and I really fine that indefensible. Annie
• United States
21 Jul 08
I'll tell you exactly what's going on. Ever since Barack Obama officially became the Democratic nominee for the President of the United States, everyone has been trying to tell him what to do. John McCain immediately suggested a weekly series of town-hall debates televised nationally between the conclusion of the conventions and the election. Then billionaire BET founder Bob Johnson and prominent Clinton backer Rep. Charles Rangel suggested that Barack Obama should put Hillary Clinton on the ticket. Well Barack Obama is going to do things on his own terms. John McCain or anyone else isn't going to set Barack's agenda. After the Democratic convention, in Denver Colorado, Barack will agree to debate John McCain in a mutually agreed setting and not only on John McCain's terms. I have no doubt that Barack Obama will win any debate with John McCain regardless of the format. You guys baiting for this debate will get it soon enough and you won't like what you see and hear. Barack is ready for all challenges. His support is solid. There is a reason why "little people" like myself donated 52 million dollars to Barack Obama's campaign in June. They know it's time for change. And "Swift Boat" tactics such as calling him a "facist" won't work this time. As a matter of fact, I just started my 3rd $1000 fundraising campaign for Barack Obama. Feel free to donate as little as $10. Here's the link. http://my.barackobama.com/page/outreach/view/main/lloydanthony Lloyd
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
21 Jul 08
Of course he'll do things on his own terms. As it is, his own terms involve invitation only meetings. His speeches to groups like the NAACP involve a "no questions answered" term. My discussion here isn't so much about how he's avoided debating McCain, but rather the way he's avoided speaking to, and answering, the American public. It's easy to deliver a prepared speech. Answering questions that aren't scripted is a whole other story. To me his avoidance of the American public shows a fear of what questions may come. Has he even held an event that wasn't specifically for his followers? If he's ready for all challenges then why hasn't he faced the challenge of speaking with regular people in an open forum? I consider "Swift Boat" tactics to be flat out lies designed to smear a candidate. People who call him a fascist aren't so much lying as they are giving their opinions, extreme though they may be. Good luck with your fundraising. I have yet to find a candidate, including McCain, who I care for and believe in enough to give my hard earned money to.
@gewcew23 (8011)
• United States
19 Jul 08
Taskr the answer to your first question is answered by itself, an easy question is easy it answer, and a hard question is hard to answer. Let us paralel the 1948 election to the 2008 election, Harry S Truman vs Thomas Dewey. America was tried of the FDR Democrats, Republicans were sweeping through the country. Republican had a hugh victory in 46 and took back the Congress. Trumans approval rating was at 36%. All signs said Republican Thomas Dewey should easily win, but he did not. Why, because Dewey would not take a hard position on anything, or answer any hard questions. One reporter sumed it up like this, Dewey would rather talk about the birds in the air and the fish in the water than about the Communist and governments role in one's life. Truman took his case for President to the people, on his train campaign. He would stop at every town along the railroad track and explain his position to the masses. Obama is turning into Dewey, and McCain is turning into Truman. Even though McCain is not very good at his verbal skills, his less than lofty speaches can connect with the average man. Obama likes these grand stage, 70000+ cowards, where he can preach to the choir. Maybe Obama is not that great of a communicator as everyone wants to say about him. The man is the human gaffe machine when he does not have a prepared speach. The ans and ums get old for such a great communicator.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
23 Jul 08
I think this thread just proves that he's largely attracting followers like himself. His minions really can't provide much of a defense since they themselves can't think of any way to show that he isn't afraid of the American people. Lloyd and Annie are the only Obama supporters with the guts to argue the point and frankly, they were the only ones I expected to be brave enough to try. Most of his supporters seem to be little more than cheerleaders who don't even know what their candidate stands for.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jul 08
I think the reason Obama refuses to do the town hall meetings with McCain is because he is afraid he couldn't remember which lies he has already told and would look like a total fool. My hat goes off to McCain for being willing to face any question. Even if he doesn't know the answer, he doesn't back down and run away like Obama does. I hope if Obama gets elected, they have a good group to write all his speeches for the entire term because he definitely won't be able to do it himself. He is a joke in my opinion and needs to try again when he has grown up.
• United States
20 Jul 08
Not only is Obama afraid to give a straight answer (his supporters don't seem to notice tho), he also seems to be afraid to pledge allegiance to our flag. I don't want a president who cannot pledge his allegiance to this country. Period. I feel compelled to state that McCain is no better. He doesn't know his bum from a hole in the ground, and has fought for years to keep our Viet Nam MIA-POWs from being brought home. We are so screwed this time around.
@underdogtoo (9599)
• Philippines
20 Jul 08
Obama is the better talker than McCain but where he is smooth, he is also lacking in content and substance.