Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 24, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

TOO AWESOME....Candy Crowley on CNN: Barack Obama was, indeed, awesome in his Berlin speech tonight, but watch out! Americans might decide he was a little too awesome.

Yeesh. They just can't help themselves, can they?

Kevin Drum 2:11 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (48)

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Comments

I didn't think it was too awesome. The speech was structured around a repeated theme (even more than usual), but had to be delivered slowly for ESoL speakers.

Bad combination.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on July 24, 2008 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

I thought the speech tanked.

I had read the leaked transcript earlier and thought it was a decent speech, but actually listening to him live on CSPAN, his delivery sounded incredibly flat and uninspiring. One word to describe his speech: underwhelming. And the crowd's reactions were reciprocally weak.

Also, his mannerisms and facial expressions came off as scolding and lecturing. He had the same temperment in the speech as he would lecturing his daughters. It's a bit off-putting.

Go dig up JFK's speech in Berlin if you want to see an awesome speech. And it was shorter and more to the point too.

Posted by: Jon on July 24, 2008 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Well, MSNBC said it was a speech McCain could easily have given, which Andrea Mitchell agreed with then said it was presumptious of a candidate to make it, lol.

He's going to get it coming and going: it wasn't good enough, it was "eh", McCain could have done that....it was a bad momment.

Ambinder has a note: "This is our momment." The same phrase he used when he won the nomination, he envisions a commerical from that asking if he means Americans or Europeans?

LOL.

Posted by: Rhoda on July 24, 2008 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

No Democrat should mention this speech without pointing out that American flags were being waved throughout the crowd.

Yes, U.S. flags, waved

Posted by: riffle on July 24, 2008 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

My friends, I'm voting for Obama.

Posted by: John McCain on July 24, 2008 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

And I thought the Berlin airlift is when that band who sang "Take My Breath Away" went on tour.

Posted by: norbizness on July 24, 2008 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Matt Taibbi: " As for the press corps, they really weren't that bad. I don't think I was ignored any more than most other small-time reporters, most of whom were pretty nice people who just had lousy jobs. But the cool kids, the people working for the big papers and TV stations who really loved hobnobbing with all the pols on the plane — they were a pretty disgusting group in some ways. I think the one image that will stick with me is Candy Crowley (CNN) jamming fistfuls of complimentary chocolate chip cookies into her mouth in a bus in Houston (the Kerry campaign had given us all free cookies wrapped in American-flag-patterned bandanas) and talking about Kucinich. She's got this huge waterfall of crumbs coming out of her mouth and she's talking about how ugly Kucinich is. That to me summed up the whole campaign press crew, right there..."

Posted by: Ty Lookwel on July 24, 2008 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

CNN's entire reason for existing is based around the assumption that Americans naturally gravitate towards mediocrity and can't handle anything more awesome.

Posted by: Ned on July 24, 2008 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

My friends, I ripped off dozens of famous historical references in my speech, from Reagan's wall to JFK's Berliner, to give it more "street cred." This makes me dozen times the statesman of either Reagan or JFK.

Posted by: Barack Obama on July 24, 2008 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

>"dozens of famous historical references "

Hmmm.... what else would say to a city that was the focal point of so much recent history?

"Hey, nice weather we're having today?"

Oh wait... that's from McCain's speech.

Posted by: Jello on July 24, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Obama: I am totally different than George W. Bush.

Posted by: James E. Powell on July 24, 2008 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

I'm also neauseated when media-types like Miss Candy try to wax snarky-wise by asking the "penetrating" question: "With Bush and Republicans so low in the polls (and the economy so bad, etc), why are Obama and McCain running neck and neck?"

What they should ask is: "WHY a less well known, relatively inexperience BLACK MAN with an arab name (and muslim father) consisting running ahead of a mature, supposedly more experienced, well-connected, rich WHITE ex POW."

Posted by: on July 24, 2008 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmm.... what else would say to a city that was the focal point of so much recent history?

Um, something unique? Something that people will remember the speech by 15-30 years from now as we remember Kennedy and Reagan's speeches in Berlin. Is that too much to ask for a presidential candidate who wants to be viewed on the same level as our greatest presidents? The speech he made today had not a single line that struck to my heart with a sense of urgency. It was an easily forgettable affair. Barack Obama today showed himself to be a poseur, much like George W. Bush.

Posted by: Jon on July 24, 2008 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone who thought that wasn't inspiring is living in some kind of alternate reality. (Could McCain attract that crowd? deliver that speech? Please.) It was also an extremely smart speech - very little the right wing can complain about. Check out National Review at how they're desperately nitpicking. Obama speaks 21st century like no other politician. There will be all kinds of stuck-pig noises from Republicans, but those visuals are going to be hard to overcome.

Posted by: Winston on July 24, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Um, something unique? Something that people will remember the speech by 15-30 years from now as we remember Kennedy and Reagan's speeches in Berlin.

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was described in the contemporary press as "ludicrous" and "dishwatery." Instantaneous assessments of any speech are suspect.

Posted by: DJ on July 24, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

It was an easily forgettable affair. Barack Obama today showed himself to be a poseur, much like George W. Bush.

It might be useful to note that JFK and Reagan were actually presidents when they gave their respective speeches. You've got a bit more freedom to "wax urgent" when you're holding the keys to the White House.

Posted by: JM on July 24, 2008 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

I see the haters are out in full force. Typical.

Posted by: Keith on July 24, 2008 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

To paraphrase a line, the news business is show business for ugly people. Obama is better at it than they are, and they're jealous.

Plus he's actually good-looking.

More seriously, most of all, he's smarter than they are and he knows what he's talking about. That annoys them too.

Posted by: larry birnbaum on July 24, 2008 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Candy Crowley claimed that the speech was the same as his stateside campaign speech, nothing new.

This seems weird to me. Regardless of the fact that he was in Berlin, he was reminding Americans that our problems extend beyond our borders and we can't solve them without the help of the rest of the world.

Maybe that was the whole point of his trip: our problems are global and can't be solved by partisan or nationalistic rhetoric. The carbon we release here causes oceans to rise around the world (that is his stick). Freedom from fear: his big carrot.

Freedom from fear! That is new. Bush's abstract 'freedom' is something misunderstood by Iraqis. But freedom from fear is something very real.

Posted by: tomj on July 24, 2008 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Candy Crowley: Obama gave a great speech. That's good news for republicans.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on July 24, 2008 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

I've been struck speechless by the constant yapping by TV talking heads about all the risks inherent in Barack Obama running around the world this week. The risks, my god, the risks.

Now that he's given this speech--which Joe Scarbrough of MSNBC predicted would make him appear to running for "president of Europe"--maybe we can get back to talking about the campaign and, you know, the issues.

My god, did I just type those words?

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on July 24, 2008 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Candy Crowley: Obama gave a great speech. That's good news for republicans.

Exactly - good speech or so-so speech - that's the point. It has to be good for Republicans! And Crowley is as predictable as any of them in saying that.

Loved the woman who said a +15 point poll gap Obama had was good for McCain, though. I emailed her and said too bad it wasn't 30 points - it could be twice as good for McCain.

Posted by: Miss Otis on July 24, 2008 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

It might be useful to note that JFK and Reagan were actually presidents when they gave their respective speeches. You've got a bit more freedom to "wax urgent" when you're holding the keys to the White House.

No one forced him to give a premature speech in Germany as a pre-president.

Posted by: Jon on July 24, 2008 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Candy Crowley is the worst thing on television outside of Fox News. I think she spends her life at the Starbucks, chatting it up with her colleagues and absorbing the hi-cal narratives du jour - until they roll her out in front of the camera. Sorry to be so nasty, but that's my level of disgust with this slob.

Posted by: bob5540 on July 24, 2008 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Jon, who are you and why are you here? Go away. You and Crowley and all the -- 'we need to find something wrong with this guy even though he's acing every possible test' -- are truly pathetic. Aren't there things that are upsetting to get upset about? Geez. Haters is right.

Posted by: yldoow on July 24, 2008 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

She is known hereabouts as Creepy Crowley, Queen of the Sycophants.

But some of the comments posted here are equally creepy.

Strange times we are in.

Posted by: E.R. Beardsley on July 24, 2008 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

My friends, I ripped off dozens of famous historical references in my speech, from Reagan's wall to JFK's Berliner, to give it more "street cred." This makes me dozen times the statesman of either Reagan or JFK.

You forgot the cool nod to FDR's Four Freedoms.

What counts is, he seemed a dozen times the statesman of either Bush or McCain. Then again, a packing crate would seem twice the statesman they are.

Posted by: Gregory on July 24, 2008 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Two words: Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran.

ROTGDFLMMFAO.

Nuff said.

Posted by: Thin White Guy on July 24, 2008 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Did Creepy Crowley have confectioners sugar around her mouth from the last donut?

Posted by: Hedley on July 24, 2008 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

It seems unfair to judge a person by their appearance, especially since so many of the TV newspeople that are so good-looking seem to have little between their ears but a mouthful of capped teeth. However, the combination of ugly face and ugly mind that is Ms. Crowley gives me a visceral reaction...to the point that I simply look away whenever she appears.

I didn't see the speech, but I read it. I thought it was quite effective, if a bit long. But in fact it was Cow Crowley's reaction that made me go and look for the speech online...if she was as worried as she looked, I assumed that it was going to be good, and it was. TS, trolls.

Posted by: jrosen on July 24, 2008 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the difference, Jon. A President, going to a foreign country for a major speech, hasn't been making speeches twice or three times a day for the last year. A President and his staff can work on said speech for a month to the exclusion of all else. They can go for deathless.
Of course, if it had been deathless, you could save your puling indignation for his next speech--probably the next day--that wasn't deathless--and proclaim him a fraud.
There's fraud here--but it ain't Obama.

Posted by: pbg on July 24, 2008 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

However, the combination of ugly face and ugly mind that is Ms. Crowley gives me a visceral reaction...to the point that I simply look away whenever she appears.

For me it's the ugly voice and mediocre mind that do it.

Posted by: shortstop on July 24, 2008 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

They loved Hitler and JFK, too.

Posted by: Luther on July 24, 2008 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

They loved Hitler and JFK, too.
Posted by: Luther on July 24, 2008 at 6:29 PM

"they" mostly weren't alive for either Hitler or JFK, you jackass.

Posted by: haha on July 24, 2008 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

@ Ty Lookwel on July 24, 2008 at 2:26 PM

All you need to understand about why CNN's Candy Crowley would be going off on the looks of Dennis Kucinich:

http://www.walkblackforest.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/Dennis_Elizabeth-jpg.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e5/CandyCrowley.jpg/524px-CandyCrowley.jpg

Posted by: smartalek on July 24, 2008 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

The speech he made today had not a single line that struck to my heart with a sense of urgency. It was an easily forgettable affair. Barack Obama today showed himself to be a poseur, much like George W. Bush.
Posted by: Jon

You think that's forgettable, mccain already forgot that he himself spoke in Columbia and Canada.

In fact, I bet you most Americans forgot, too, because mccain has become so fucking irrelevant.

Posted by: Gonads on July 24, 2008 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

How long untill Mcsame gives a speech in gemany.

Posted by: john john on July 24, 2008 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

And one note,This race is not even close and most of you know this.The big Media have to try to make it look like it is close there is 1 billion dollars out there for them to have.If people knew this race isn't close they could lose that 1 billion dollars that the pols will speng on DUMB ads.

Posted by: john john on July 24, 2008 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

It's very, very cruel, but Candy Crowley is referred to in our household as "John Candy Crowley"...she's useless.

Posted by: Kathy on July 24, 2008 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

Can anyone name a non-incumbent's campaign speech that was memorable for its content, rather than its place (like Kennedy speaking about religion before ministers)? Sounds to me like this is another version of "what is the matter with Obama, he's failed to heal the racial divide by getting whites to vote for him in the same percentage that blacks do" bar raising.

Posted by: John Dillinger on July 24, 2008 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

I watched the speech. It wasn't as enthralling as some of his other speeches, partially due to having to use slower pacing to allow translation time, as someone mentioned above.

Still, his theme of unity is one that I resonate to. And he talked about real problems like global warming and terrorism, although I don't agree that going into Afghanistan with much greater infantry/air power is the way to deal with that problem. He also said, as he always does, that the problems we face will not be easily solved. And he noted, rightfully so, that we face problems which require cooperation from other nations, that are worldwide problems and require worldwide solutions. Compare this with most campaign speeches we've heard in the past from most other candidates; e.g., feel-good bromides about how great the U.S. is, and how the candidate will raise us up yet further.

I don't require that all speeches be memorable. Just in the real world, thank you, and not talking down to us. Obama delivers that in spades (pun unintentional).

Posted by: Wolfdaughter on July 25, 2008 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

BTW, to be fair - I saw Ms. Crowley's description at the beginning of the 3:00 PM "Reliable Sources", and she didn't add the sideshow act. And RWers probably gave her hell for that.

Not excusing here - just stating what I saw.

Posted by: Miss Otis on July 25, 2008 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

(I Want) Candy Crowley has had her head up the collective Republican ass since she started covering Bush in '99. Maybe they give out better cookies.

Posted by: sullijan on July 25, 2008 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

That Candy Crowley sure is one FAT bitch.

Posted by: No Fat Chix on July 25, 2008 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

mhr wrote: "... the common-sense types who want to know what a politician has done and not what he says."

John McCain says he is your "friend". What he has done for decades is to be a career white-collar crook and bought-and-paid-for tool of corporate lobbyists, who rips off the American people and violates the public trust at every turn to enrich his corrupt cronies and financial backers.

By his own definition mhr is not a "common-sense type" since he doesn't "want to know" the truth about John McCain. He just wants to slavishly regurgitate scripted smears against Obama and whine about "liberals" much as 1930s brownshirts whined about "jews".

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