Reaction to Obama in New Hampshire and Abroad


cross-posted to Jack & Jill Politics

I would love to be in New Hampshire, on the ground, to get a feel for the environment, and trust me, if I still lived in Boston, I'd do it. Instead, I'm trying my best to tap various networks for some testimony from up North. This isn't in any way scientific, but the vibe looks very good for Obama. Consider the following

The reaction of these two New Hampshire women after seeing Obama speak:



I have a tolerate-hate relationship with Facebook, but when I posted a request for New Hampshire stories, I got this from a black man volunteering for the campaign:

There were old white ladies stumping all over town. Some very wealthy, comfortable people who traveled from across the country to volunteer and campaign for this man. His grassroots organizing in rural and urban areas in incredible! I spoke to Republicans yesterday who would stay on the phone asking questions about him, expressing support or simply are intrigued by him. He has an event at Exeter High school today to draw undecided (it is overbooked at the moment with concerns from that Fire Chief on fire evacuation plans!!!)anyways, I can go on and on here. U need to see to it for yourself and it is amazing to watch this as a BLACK man! Because our own internal racism kicks in and we still say
but will he win in a general election?? It is similar to the racist critique of the Clintons that he is not prepared. But it is there for black people we are not willing to believe that a black man CAN make it! And the we are only willing to legitimize him because white people want him, so now we are willing to vote for him. There is something going on with Obama which goes beyond politics it is touching our core conscious/unconscious issues as americans, and that is why he will win in November.

Another volunteer in NH responding to me via Facebook:

We are making it happen. People are feeling it. I stood on the porch
yesterday with a man who told me he feels a positivity about this election that he can't remember seeing before. Record turnout tomorrow.
History.

Then there's this perspective from the New York Times in its piece, Obama outshining Bill Clinton:

DURHAM, N.H. — Is this what it would have been like had Elvis been reduced to playing Reno?



Former President Bill Clinton
has been drawing sleepy and sometimes smallish crowds at big venues in the state that revived his presidential campaign in 1992. He entered to polite applause and rows of empty seats at the University of New Hampshire
on Friday. Several people filed out midspeech, and the room was largely quiet as he spoke, with few interruptions for laughter or applause. He talked about his administration, his foundation work and some about his wife.

We've written at JJP and readers have been more forceful in their comments, talking about the awkward, possibly jealous feeling older black leaders feel in response to Obama's rise, but I never thought I'd see the day when Bill Clinton failed to light up a room. Obviously, I don't know the Clintons' innermost feelings and motivations, but I can imagine that Bill saw Hillary's campaign having only the upside benefit of extending his legacy and brand. I wonder if he ever imagined the downside risk of accelerating its end?

I'm not saying Bill Clinton would not be relevant under an Obama presidency, I'm just saying it's hilarious to me, the idea that Obama has sucked so much air out of the environment, that there are empty chairs left at a Bill Clinton speech. Damn. Oh, and according to Jose Vargas at the Washington Post, it happened at Dartmouth too with kids walking out after 30 minutes.

Another observation on Republicans open to the idea of a President Obama. Check this comment from a reader of the NY Sun, a conservative paper:

Thank you for your editorial today (Jan 7) on Obama. As a Reagan Republican, I have marveled at and admired Obama's rise to prominence in the early Democrat primaries. Although his policy views no doubt differ significantly from Reagan's, I could actually see myself voting for the man in November, a thought that would make my skin crawl were Clinton or Edwards the nominee. Other close acquaintances, all conservatives, have suggested the same inclination.


Finally, well beyond New Hampshire, here are some anecdotes about the world's reaction to Obama's Iowa victory:

From a friend abroad who recently emailed everyone he knew asking them to donate to Obama:

I have never directly asked my friends for money (well not for politics anyway). But over the last week, as evidenced by the countless Egyptians who shook my hand while pointing to my Obama '08 button and the result in Iowa, I saw that people everywhere are starting to sense that Senator Obama is going to help our country turn a corner and start projecting a new image in the world.


From a paper in South Africa: Hope returns: Obama’s victory and global politics

Damn, I love Americans. Just when you’ve written them off as hopeless, as a nation in decline, they turn around and do something extraordinary, which tells you why the United States of America is
still the greatest nation on earth.

and finally, Iranian bloggers discuss Obama's Iowa victory.

That's all for now. We'll see what happens by the end of the day.