Talk:Barack Obama/Archive 18

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State legislature

Better? --HailFire (talk) 13:34, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Discuss, please. --HailFire (talk) 16:51, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Malia's birth year revisited

Malia Ann Obama's birth year in the infobox was recently changed from 1998 to 1999. I realized that our sources for 1998 weren't as solid as they might be. (They're a community blog from Obama's campaign website, which has her celebrating her 9th birthday on July 4, 2007 and a Chicago Sun-Times article which gives her age as 8 on January 20, 2007.) On the other hand, the 1999 birth year is widely found on the web, including on this page from Gannett News Service, which explicitly says that she was born in 1999. How do we resolve this contradiction? —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 05:51, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

On a Factiva search I have found 4 newspaper articles giving 1999 as the birth date.
  • SOUTH CAROLINA DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY THE CANDIDATES Augusta Chronicle, 25 January 2008, 381 words, (English)
  • NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY ; It's Obamarama in New Hampshire, Boston Herald, 6 January 2008, 634 words, MARGERY EAGAN
  • Building Blocs St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 9 December 2007, 1831 words, By Kevin McDermott
  • Obama history The State Journal-Register, 10 February 2007

--Slp1 (talk) 01:58, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Senate Campaign, weight issues

The following excerpts from this section seem to have WP:WEIGHT issues. From the first paragraph:

Decisions by Republican incumbent Peter Fitzgerald and his Democratic predecessor Carol Moseley Braun not to contest the race launched wide-open Democratic and Republican primary contests involving fifteen candidates.[1] In early opinion polls leading up to the Democratic primary, Obama trailed multimillionaire businessman Blair Hull and Illinois Comptroller Daniel Hynes.[2] However, Hull's popularity declined following reports of his ex-wife's allegations of domestic abuse.[3]

And from the second paragraph:

Obama's opponent in the general election was expected to be Republican primary winner Jack Ryan. However, Ryan withdrew from the race in June 2004, following disclosure of divorce records containing politically embarrassing charges by his ex-wife, actress Jeri Ryan.[4] In August 2004, with less than three months to go before election day, Alan Keyes accepted the Illinois Republican Party's nomination to replace Ryan.[5]

The first paragraph goes into detail about politicians who didn't even take part in the contest, and then details about another politician's alleged domestic abuse - details unrelated to Obama's life. The second paragraph needs to mention that Alan Keyes was a late entry to the race, but I don't understand why it needs to go into specifics about Jack Ryan's divorce - again, details unrelated to Obama's life. -- Scjessey (talk) 18:46, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Scjessey, I'm not sure you're applying WP:UNDUE properly here. This is more an issue with the summary style guideline and what information from the main article should be summarized here. In the case of Hull's and Ryan's divorce issues, they appear to be eligible for inclusion in this article because they partially explain how a little known state senator was able to become one of the US senators for IL. That's not to say that Obama would not have won if Hull or Ryan didn't have their divorce issues, but a contributing factor to his victory was their implosion.--Bobblehead (rants) 20:11, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps it is wise to consider the essay at WP:ROC, where it says "any details not immediately relevant to the primary topic should be moved into other articles." If you read those excerpts above, we can see that the details they present have very little (if anything) to do with Obama. At best they are indirectly relevant, which surely means they offer a level of detail only suited to their sub-article. With the current wording, you could say that Obama's success can partially be attributed to divorce and domestic abuse. Obviously that is an extreme interpretation, but can you see the slippery slope we are on here? Better to excise such tangential information from here and give them a fuller treatment in the sub-article, thus removing any chance of misinterpretation. -- Scjessey (talk) 20:39, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm kind of on the fence on this one. The details of Ryan's messy divorce causing him to drop out of the race may be too far afield to include here (though they are certainly relevant in the linked "see also" article on the US Senate election), and the same might go for the domestic abuse allegations against Hull. That's a fairly limited trim, however, and the rest of the details there seem relevant enough to keep. As for citing WP:ROC, I personally don't like to cite essays as justification for edits, though sometimes I use them for personal guidance when editing (WP:BEANS is one of my favorites). In this case, though, there is a style editing guideline at WP:TOPIC which reminds us all to stay on topic. --DachannienTalkContrib 20:56, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Doubtless you will note I have not actually performed any edits related to this discussion (or the Legislature discussion earlier) thus far. I wanted to get a general sense of how other editors viewed the sections before making any sort of attempt. This has become such a volatile editing zone that I no longer think WP:BOLD is viable. I would prefer to only make edits after a thorough discussion leads to a broad consensus. As a Pennsylvania resident (although sadly not a voter), I am now going to settle down and watch coverage of the primary on MSNBC before taking another look at this tomorrow. -- Scjessey (talk) 21:59, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Proposed change to "Early life and career"

This is a proposed correction to the "Early life and career" section of the article. The name of the law firm where Obama worked for a decade is incorrect. It is Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland, and it is a small, 12-attorney firm that represents slumlords. Also, the article says that Obama only worked there for three years. The fact is that Obama worked there for ten years. The current single sentence reads like this:

As an associate attorney with Miner, Barnhill & Galland from 1993 to 1996, he represented community organizers, discrimination claims, and voting rights cases.[6]

Leaving out the name "Davis" confounds most search attempts and divorces Obama from the firm's founder and godfather, Allison Davis, a notorious slumlords' attorney in Chicago. I propose replacing that sentence with these two sentences and a link:

As an associate attorney with Miner Barnhill & Galland (fka Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland, founded by attorney Allison Davis) from 1993 to 2003, he represented community organizers, discrimination claims, and voting rights cases.[7] While at the firm, Obama also worked on taxpayer-supported building rehabilitation loans for Rezmar Corp.[8] owned by Daniel Mahru and the now-indicted Democratic Party fundraiser Tony Rezko, who has raised a total of over $250,000 for Obama's various political campaigns.[9]

For more details on this topic, see Tony Rezko.

Please add your comments below. Kossack4Truth (talk) 13:51, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

This source[1] gives the firm's name as "Davis Miner Barnhill" (Davis, no commas, no Galland). As you say, Davis was important and I don't see any need to note subsequent name changes inline. Maybe a footnote. Andyvphil (talk) 04:09, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Comments

Interesting. What happened to the "slumlords" bit? Andyvphil (talk) 14:27, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
(excuse me for refactoring this after and edit conflict -- Scjessey (talk) 14:30, 30 March 2008 (UTC))

The name of the law firm certainly needs to be corrected. I think the rest of it is okay as long as you omit the words "now-indicted" (per WP:RECENT), the phrase "who has raised a total of over $250,000 for Obama's various political campaigns" (per WP:WEIGHT and WP:RECENT), and the unnecessary extra Rezko link. Also, the first Sun-Times citation is inaccurately attributed to the Associated Press. I've changed the heading of this section because this is actually a proposed change masquerading as a correction. -- Scjessey (talk) 14:30, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
Rezko isn't just "now-indicted." His federal felony trial started on March 14. The news has been eclipsed by this Wright controversy. Rezko has been under indictment since October 2006, more than 17 months, therefore defeating your WP:RECENT objection. WP:WEIGHT isn't violated because prior to this brief mention, the Rezko/Obama relationship isn't even mentioned. Obama has now admitted that there were periods when he was on the phone with Rezko every day. Like the Wright controversy, this one has been banished to satillite articles that no one will ever read. Kossack4Truth (talk) 14:51, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
I withdraw my comment about the name of the law firm. It appears that the law firm is called "Miner, Barnhill and Galland" (see their website) so it would be completely wrong to make it something else just to alter search engine results. The issues surrounding Rezko are for the Tony Rezko article. Whether or not he is currently indicted is not important to this article because it is not a biographical detail and it violates WP:RECENT because the fact is transient. -- Scjessey (talk) 15:05, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
The law firm is currently named Miner Barnhill & Galland because the notorious slumlords' attorney who founded it, Allison Davis, has recently retired. During the 10 years Obama worked there, it was called Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland. If you'd like to alter the proposed pair of new sentences to read "Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland (now renamed Miner Barnhill & Galland due to retirement of its senior partner, Allison Davis)," I would certainly agree. Efforts to divorce Obama from both Allison Davis and Tony Rezko in this article are not in the best interests of the Wikipedia project. Kossack4Truth (talk) 15:16, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
Actually, it should say "Miner, Barnhill and Galland (fka Davis, Miner, Barnhill and Galland)" to follow the usual convention. -- Scjessey (talk) 15:29, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
I have now made that change and added the name of the firm's founder, Allison Davis. See above. Obama's close association with an indicted fundraiser, who is currently on trial for federal felonies associated with political fundraising, is very important to this article, Scjessey. Leaving it out would be just another example of efforts to make a hagiography where a biography belongs. Kossack4Truth (talk) 15:31, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
No. That is simply not acceptable since it is adding details about other people to a biography. This would be better:

As an associate attorney with Miner, Barnhill and Galland (fka Davis, Miner, Barnhill and Galland) from 1993 to 2003, he represented community organizers, discrimination claims, and voting rights cases.[10] While at the firm, Obama also worked on taxpayer-supported building rehabilitation loans for Rezmar Corp.[11] owned by Daniel Mahru and Democratic Party fundraiser Tony Rezko.[12]

And that's it. That's all you would need to satisfy a neutral point of view. The links contained within the paragraph offer plenty of extra detail if the reader is sufficiently interested. -- Scjessey (talk) 16:05, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
conceivably the addition of something like "tainted democratic party fundraiser" would be a clearer presentation. that is, IF we add anything about Rezko at all. It think there is a big undue weight problem here. It doesn't matter how busy rezko's life is, or even how often he was on the phone with Obama five years ago. Those things do not confer "due weight." What would, if it existed, would be consistent RS analysis of the topic, consistent and continued to the point where it was an issue in Obama's 40-something year LIFE. Which again, does not exist. What does is exist is campaign reporting from 07 and 08, based on the events of 06 and after. So again you have two or three years of on-again-off-again reporting, all within the context of Obama's rising political fortunes. Its on the campaign page, where it belongs. (I added it there just like I added the Wright text here lol) 72.0.180.2 (talk) 21:42, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
Both Hillary Clinton and John McCain have lengthy sections, with section headers, devoted to their controversies and scandals. Negative words appear. Here, we find none of that. It's sanitized and shrink-wrapped. Anything controversial or negative has been banished to a satellite article. The pattern just keeps repeating itself. Kossack4Truth (talk) 00:43, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm sure we are all very sorry that Obama has not yet had a Special Prosecutor appointed to investigate his actions as first spouse, or gotten involved in a Savings and Loan bribery scandal, but that lack of long-term controversy does not magically give more weight to Rev. Wright (an issue some argue is fundamentally mediated by the freedom of religion clause) or Tony Rezko (who is innocent until proven guilty in some jurisdictions). We mention Wright which I think is fine but may well fall to the recentism axe in the long run- regardless your notion that we need to balance length or negativity, would make sense if that balance existed in reality- but it don't. That "lack of balance" is a big part of how a black dude won 95% white Iowa, so I think its fine to "call attention" to it in our formatting (by not having a big controversy section), and its fine for us to ignore your theory that we should make this page uglier just because Obama has a higher moral record than some other politicians. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.0.180.2 (talk) 01:08, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Could you point those out? Grsz 11 00:49, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

I'd support the version Scjessey proposes, with the change of "Democratic Party fundraiser Tony Rezko" to "controversial Illinois businessman and political fundraiser Tony Rezko". "Democratic Party fundraiser" is inaccurate, since Rezko also raised money for Republicans (incl. George W. Bush). The phrase "controversial Illinois businessman" is in the article now under "Personal life". If we move it up to "Early life and career" we might not need to identify Rezko further in the "Personal life" section. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 01:45, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Hmmm. Question on the weighting of his work. Obama only put in a few hours working on Rezmar cases while at DMB&G and it's getting the same amount of weight as nine years of working on civil rights and discrimination cases. --Bobblehead (rants) 02:03, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
None of his other clients have been indicted for political fundraising abuses. Kossack4Truth (talk) 02:22, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Which is why it is okay to include that he worked on the loans, etc, but he also worked on cases that forced the state of Illinois to implement a federal law that was designed to make it easier for people to register to vote, a whistleblowers wrongful termination suit that netted the woman $5 million, and another lawsuit that forced the city of Chicago to redraw its wards (among others). --Bobblehead (rants) 03:15, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
A term such as "indicted" would be more appropriate than "controversial" when talking about Tony Rezko. Britney Spears is controversial. Tony Rezko is indicted. Innocent until proven guilty and all that, but close observers say he's going to prison. One of his co-conspirators is going to testify against him, and the feds also have wiretap evidence. The prosecutor is Patrick Fitzgerald, the same one who obtained a conviction against Scooter Libby. Here [2] are 4,556 Google news links between Obama and Rezko. Here [3] are 3,831 Google news links between Obama and the trial of Rezko. If Rezko were merely controversial, he wouldn't be on trial. Kossack4Truth (talk) 01:59, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
That's a reasonable point, but we should be careful that the wording doesn't suggest that Rezko was indicted when Obama worked for his company, or for any dealings that Obama had anything to do with. WP:BLP says, "Beware of claims that rely on guilt by association." To be accurate and in keeping with BLP, we'd probably have to say "Illinois businessman and political fundraiser Tony Rezko, who was later indicted for activities unrelated to Obama." But I worry that that's too wordy, and places undue weight on an association that isn't all that important to Obama's biography. It's important in the campaign, yes, but is his association with Rezko really so important in the man's life that it merits nearly as much verbiage as his mother gets? —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 02:35, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
"... but we should be careful that the wording doesn't suggest that Rezko was indicted when Obama worked for his company ..." Yes, of course. That's why I believe we should use "now-indicted" to indicate that he wasn't yet indicted at that time.
or "tainted" (like i suggested before, I really think it works) 72.0.180.2 (talk) 03:44, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
"It's important in the campaign, yes, but is his association with Rezko really so important in the man's life that it merits nearly as much verbiage as his mother gets?" Yes, of course. Information about Obama's mother can be used in Early life and career of Barack Obama. Right now, there are two controversies surrounding Obama. Despite the fact that a four-sentence paragraph has been agreed upon for the Jeremiah Wright (reluctantly since half a loaf is better than none), that section still sits at just two sentences. And there is still zero mention of Tony Rezko in the article mainspace. So we have two major controversies, which merit thousands of articles in the world's news sources, and they get a total of two sentences between them in this article. Kossack4Truth (talk) 03:13, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Er... Rezko is mentioned in the "Personal life" section, and the four-sentence version of the Wright matter has been introduced to the article. Do you need to refresh the page? —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 03:31, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
also rezko only has one sentence even on the campaign WP, so that means it has like... a phrases worth?... of notability here, if any. 72.0.180.2 (talk) 03:41, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
The failure of the campaign article to give it the attention it deserves is not binding here. The Rezko scandal, and Obama's other links to the profoundly corrupt Daley political machine in Chicago, are major news. It doesn't just affect the campaign. I said earlier that these scandals could easily end up costing Obama the White House, and that it doesn't get any more notable than that in a biography. Read this. [4] It's a blog, but it's written by reliable investigative journalists from the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times.
Obama has been taking dirty money from Rezko for many years. He knew that Rezko was under investigation for crimes related to political fundraising.
If Rezko were on trial for crimes completely unrelated to politics, you would have a point. But he was under investigation, and is now on trial, for crimes related to political fundraising. The feds have him on tape, in numerous conversations. One of his co-conspirators has already been convicted, and is testifying against Rezko hoping to get a reduced sentence. Rezko's scam was approaching contractors who hope to get work with the government of the state of Illinois. He would tell them, "If you make a nice, fat campaign contribution to this particular politician, you're a lot more likely to get the contract. But if you don't make the contribution, there's no way in hell you'll get the contract." That is a felony, just as it should be and Rezko is virtually certain to go to prison for it.
After he is convicted, he will be under pressure (just like the co-conspirator who is now testifying against him) to give up some bigger fish in return for a reduced sentence. He will probably give up Governor Rod Blagojevich, who is in this sewage up to his neck. But he may also give up Obama, and testify against him. Suppressing any mention of this is an obvious whitewash. Also, there has been abundant criticism of Obama from notable sources but there is zero criticism in this article. It looks like it was written by his campaign staff. Kossack4Truth (talk) 11:44, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
I would like to add that attempting to divorce these political scandals from Obama's biography, by banishing them to satellite articles that have been proven to be read by virtually nobody, and claiming that "it's about the campaign, not about Obama," is more than a bit disingenuous. Obama's life has been devoted to politics. If he'd never run for office, he might merit a stub as a community activist. Serving in political office is his career. It is what makes him notable. Therefore notable scandals and controversies in his campaign deserve prominent and detailed discussion right here, in this biography. Kossack4Truth (talk) 12:15, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, you've already said that. I'm afraid that is just how Wikipedia (or indeed any encyclopedia). Otherwise we'd have one giant long page that started with the Big Bang and ended with:
"13:19, 31 March 2008 (UTC) : Wikipedia user Simon Jessey comments on the Barack Obama talk page about how awesome blue links are."
And I think even "tainted" might be problematic, because it may expose Wikipedia to accusations of a defamatory nature. Better to let the blue link handle it anyway. -- Scjessey (talk) 13:19, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Rezko isn't "controversial". He's on trial for extorting political contributions. And he's delivered over $250k in political contributions to Obama. Including almost $40k that was crucial to the start of Obama's Senate run. Not to mention the part he played in the purchase of Obama's house. But he couldn't have expected or asked for or got anything back for his money, right? Just investing in good government, right? Anyway, he's notorious now, and the fact that Obama has connections to a notorious figure wouldn't get so little attention in any non-promotional bio. Andyvphil (talk) 14:32, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Rezko may yet be exonerated (although this seems unlikely), so even if it where logical to put the extra detail in about him (which it isn't) we cannot assume he is going to be convicted or we would be in violation of WP:CRYSTAL. Besides, he contributed to both parties. Oh, and the house thing is already covered in the "Personal life" section. -- Scjessey (talk) 14:40, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
"The house purchase and subsequent acquisition of an adjoining strip of land drew media scrutiny in November 2006 because of financial links with controversial Illinois businessman Tony Rezko.[144]" is the only menton of Rezko in the article. What did you think we were talking about? Obama invited Rezko to walk through his proposed purchase, which couldn't go forward unless the lot next door was sold too, and then Rezko, a pro in the development business, plunked down the full asking price of the lot while Obama got a price reduction. And now Obame has a really big side yard (he pays for the landscaping) until some indefinate future time when the purchaser decides that getting some return on his capital is worth depriving the Senator of his view of the trees. All an arms-length transaction, of course. The fact that Rezko gave to both parties is surely proof positive that his only concern is policy, not favors. Uhhh.... Wait a second. Did that last make sense? You seem to think it does. I dunno. Andyvphil (talk) 23:39, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Here's an interesting tidbit. Obama admits that he brought the lot, which had been on the market for months, to the attention of Rezko when he asked Rezko for advice about buying the property. But the seller's broker remembers it differently. "Asked who approached her about the house, Schwan told Salon, 'I honestly don't remember. Tony Rezko lived across the street, so he'd been interested in the lot.'" [5]. Obama moved in across the street from Rezko????? I mean, I assume it's not literally true, but how far from it? I think we have the intersection for Obama - anybody got Rezko's address? (nb: 72etc. This is OR. It's ok. We can't cite it, but we can use it to decide how hard we look for the significance of a quote we find in a RS.) Andyvphil (talk) 16:18, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO TELL YOU THAT PERSONAL ADDRESSES ARE ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF A BLP VIOLATION ON TALK OR ANYWHERE ELSE. quit with the talk page spam andy like you have been told five times already at least. 72.0.180.2 (talk) 06:18, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Elitist / Racist Remarks

Why no mention of Obama's remarks? [13]

It's not surprising then they get bitter. They cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

These remarks are very telling when put in the context of the twenty-year Rev. Wright relationship. 72.196.233.224 (talk) 10:01, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree. And it's turning into quite an issue for him. According to a poll I saw today, Hillary was up 20 points in Pennsylvania, and 25% of people in Penn. said they would never vote for Obama. People have been calling Obama arrogant for a while now, and this doesn't help his case. This will haunt Obama in the general election too, no doubt. thezirk (talk) 10:45, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Yeah! And where's the mention of his Muslim upbringing? --Ubiq (talk) 11:15, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Sarcasm does not serve you well, Ubiq. Kossack4Truth (talk) 13:16, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Oh, really? Your opinion means so much to me. Well I guess in that case I'll never use it again. Thanks for the heads up. --Ubiq4Truth (talk) 14:09, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Oh come on guys, do we need to have a snark fight for every thing? This section brings up a reasonable question, answer it or not, but stop being jerks. Arkon (talk) 17:40, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

We don't need to mention it because we do not need to mention every single misstep/remark made by any candidate. If we were to do that, we'd be no better than any blog which has been dissecting this for days. Currently, the remarks have made no marked impact beyond being talked about by the Media. Until they do, it doesn't need to be brought up. In addition, the polling data cited above is just plain wrong. Unrelated, but I had to mention... ;) Lyellin (talk) 17:46, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
There was one poll that gave Clinton a 20-point lead in PA, but it certainly stuck out there on the end of a very long limb. Nationally, Obama has actually improved since this all blew up. -- Scjessey (talk) 17:52, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Yep. Quinnipac has it unchanged (6pt difference), SUSA has a 14 pt different, moving towards Obama, Rasmussan a 9pt, moving towards Clinton, and Susquehanna a 3pt moving towards Obama. Lyellin (talk)

As far as I'm concerned, this issue is closed. Clinton had a 20-point lead before Wright, which deteriorated to a 6-point lead. Now with these "elitist" comments, nothing has happened! Grsz11 18:00, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

I have sure not seen any polls lately with a 20-point spread. The SurveyUSA thing is the only one I've seen over 10. The latest Public Policy Polling survey of North Carolina does have Obama 20 points ahead there, though. Paisan30 (talk) 18:04, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Yep. And here's an article describing this lack of change/shift. --Ubiq (talk) 18:10, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

There seems to be a weird standard being applied here. The effect of the comments (if there is one) can be noted in the article, but the comments themselves are obviously quite notable and have been covered in a large amount RS's. Arkon (talk) 22:27, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

If this quote belongs, doesn't it belong in the presidential campaign article for Obama and not the general biography article? Remember (talk) 22:41, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

That is correct. This is related to the campaign and should be discussed at that article's talk. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 23:03, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
That is irresponsible. If it wasn't for the presidential campaign, he would just be a freshman senator from Illinois, that almost nobody outside of Illinois has ever heard of. The presidential campaign is what makes him more notable than an ordinary freshman senator. Therefore any event that is worth reporting in the campaign article should be seriously considered for this one, and any event that has a substantial impact on the campaign should be reported here, including the "bitter" remark and its fallout that everyone except Wikipedia has noticed. At the debate a couple of nights ago, for the first 45 minutes both moderators were ripping into Obama for that remark, for Jeremiah Wright, for Tony Rezko and for Obama's close association with Weather Underground veteran William Ayers, whose association with Obama we haven't even started to discuss. Kossack4Truth (talk) 11:34, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
That is wrong, Kossack. It was his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, while still only a State senator, that catapulted Obama into the political stratosphere. People around the world took note, and his election to the US Senate was big news internationally, long before his Presidential campaign came to fruition. -- Scjessey (talk) 12:42, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
It is not surprising that the same cast of characters who said that Wright was a non-issue say that Obama's own words don't matter.
Guess what? Words matter.
The saddest part is that the partisans who are busy trying to shield Obama's words, associations and left-wing ideology from the light of day actually think they are helping the Democratic party. Nothing could be further from the truth. Certain members of the media and very agressive editors of this article are busy leading the lemmings to a 49+ state landslide loss that will make McGovern look strong.
Newsflash: if you don't vet your own candidate, the other guy will do it for you---and that's the last thing any party wants.
But, here's the editorial questions. Is the opinion of a selected group of pro-Obama editors the definitive standard by which Wikipedia now decides what is reportable in an Obama article? Is a cherry-picked poll the gauge by which you measure the newsworthiness of an issue on Wikipedia? Do words ever matter?
In the end, if the Wikipedia editorial consensus is that selected "words don't matter" when Obama and his preacher say them, then I suppose that is a valuable testament to the viewpoint of Wikipedia. If "words don't matter" when a particular candidate generalizes about the religion and motivations of others, then that will stand as an indicator---a forty foot tall flashing animated neon indicator---to warn others of the bias pervading this resource. That in and of itself is a service to the Internet. 72.196.233.224 (talk) 10:21, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Disappointing. I said I saw a poll on TV. I didn't recall it's name, but clearly none of you bothered to make any effort to google the poll and find out if it actually exists. So in about 5 seconds, I found it at "http://www.americanresearchgroup.com". Now I don't know how credible it is, but it exists. thezirk (talk) 11:37, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Here are the actual poll specifics, and they describe a sample size of only 600 likely voters in Pennsylvania. A poll like this is probably good news for the Obama campaign because it lowers expectations, although it doesn't seem to agree with other metrics. -- Scjessey (talk) 11:49, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
CNN has 5%. So the single-digit polls largely outweigh the single 20-point poll. Grsz11 12:01, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
What does your interpretation of a handpicked poll have to do with it?
Are you actually trying to maintain that this candidate's words are measured by what certain pro-Obama Wikipedia editors glean from their favorite polls? If that is your position---and by all accounts it seems to be your position---then this article is exposed as a sham. If this is not your position, then please explain why the words which came of out Obama's own mouth are not important when juxtaposed with his pastor's hate-speech and his wife's pride for the "first-time" in America.
This man is running for the President of the United States of America and he has almost no public record (as compared to say John McCain or Ted Kennedy). Therefore every public speech which reveals more about the man and his worldview is very important. 72.196.233.224 (talk) 10:11, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, I agree with you. But certain editors are going to say that Obama's words don't show arrogance or a negative opinions of guns and religion, and that it belongs in the campaign article. I think it should be mentioned in both. Even if only briefly in this article, as it's gotten a lot of coverage, and Hillary has even based an entire ad on the comments. thezirk (talk) 12:53, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I think it's still too soon to determine whether this "elitist" flap merits inclusion in this article or not (it's appropriately covered in the campaign article). Time will tell whether this is remembered and becomes a lasting part of Obama's image, like Hillary's line about "baking cookies" (which is mentioned in her article), or if it's merely a footnote, like Bush asking "Is our children learning?" or talking about gynecologists practicing their love with women. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 17:37, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
(That last one was a classic, however. Do we have a subarticle for Bush's malapropisms ? If not, we should.) I agree with Josiah's point, however - it certainly belongs in the campaign article, and may or may not belong here - I'm guessing it will last, in which case it will belong here, but it is too soon to know. Tvoz |talk 02:30, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Wikiquote has two pages with select Bushisms, one at George W. Bush (in a section curiously called "grammatical errors" — a lot of them are syntactical or vocabulary errors rather than grammatical errors — but I digress) and another at Bushisms, which is apparently supposed to be merged into the former. Here on Wikipedia there's Bushism, which you'd think might have a few examples, but apparently they weren't properly cited and got deleted. But we're way off topic now. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 08:53, 19 April 2008 (UTC)


Despite the fact that other editors agree with me and despite the fact that Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopolis agree with me regarding this issue, I have been threatened for making "disruptive edits". This is just one more example of the tactics that certain editors use to maintain their control of the POV of articles. But, if they somehow manage to prevent me from editing or commenting, this will only prove the bias of this reference and this article. 72.196.233.224 (talk) 10:30, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Especially now considering Hillary won the important Pennsylvania primary by 10 points, an unexpectedly large victory, regaining momentum, and because this controversy and the Wright issues obviously outweighed Obama massively outspending Hillary, and because the issue was even covered in the debate, I'd say the remarks and the surrounding controversy deserve to be mentioned in this article. thezirk (talk) 06:18, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

You mean unexpectedly large as in she was up by 20 points, and was expected to win. I saw exit polls that said Hillary won non-college graduates ("bitter" people) by the same exact margin in Pennsylvania as she did a month ago in Ohio. Grsztalk 06:23, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
PA and OH. Also, I'm not sure losing by 10% in a single state in a single election is worthy of mention in a biography covering a 45+ year life. Campaign article is a different thing than this. Grsztalk 06:30, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

New addition proposed

I think it's appropriate, to measure the character of this man, that we include the fact that many people believe he gave Hillary the finger during a speech the other day. Here is a clip from YouTube we can use a source. It's important people know the truth behind this man. Grsz11 13:58, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

LOL. That's pretty funny, Grsz. I was once threatened with being fired because I always use my middle finger to push my glasses back up my nose, although I don't even realize I'm doing it. I notice Obama isn't wearing a flag pin either. Shame on him! Seriously though, I would be vigorously opposed to the inclusion of this "incident" in the article, and indeed in any article, because it is obviously a nonsense claim made by a few desperate Clinton supporters. -- Scjessey (talk) 15:06, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm assuming that Grsz is joking here, but we've had people trying to insert things just as absurd. So, just in case anyone thinks this is a serious proposal: video shot from another angle shows that Obama was scratching his face with two fingers, not one. See analysis by Media Matters and photo here. And if you don't trust Media Matters because they're a liberal group, watch the raw video here — the finger-scratch is at about 20:56. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 16:19, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Isn't there an obscene gesture in some countries involving two fingers?  ;) Anyway, thanks for the levity, Grsz :) --DachannienTalkContrib 16:31, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Obviously it wasn't meant that way. Why is anyone bringing it up and trying to analyze or defend it? Is it so important to you to make sure that everybody knows Obama was really just scratching his face? Waste of talk page space. thezirk (talk) 06:08, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Elitist / Racist Remarks

Why no mention of Obama's remarks? [14]

It's not surprising then they get bitter. They cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

These remarks are very telling when put in the context of the twenty-year Rev. Wright relationship. 72.196.233.224 (talk) 10:01, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree. And it's turning into quite an issue for him. According to a poll I saw today, Hillary was up 20 points in Pennsylvania, and 25% of people in Penn. said they would never vote for Obama. People have been calling Obama arrogant for a while now, and this doesn't help his case. This will haunt Obama in the general election too, no doubt. thezirk (talk) 10:45, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Yeah! And where's the mention of his Muslim upbringing? --Ubiq (talk) 11:15, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Sarcasm does not serve you well, Ubiq. Kossack4Truth (talk) 13:16, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Oh, really? Your opinion means so much to me. Well I guess in that case I'll never use it again. Thanks for the heads up. --Ubiq4Truth (talk) 14:09, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Oh come on guys, do we need to have a snark fight for every thing? This section brings up a reasonable question, answer it or not, but stop being jerks. Arkon (talk) 17:40, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

We don't need to mention it because we do not need to mention every single misstep/remark made by any candidate. If we were to do that, we'd be no better than any blog which has been dissecting this for days. Currently, the remarks have made no marked impact beyond being talked about by the Media. Until they do, it doesn't need to be brought up. In addition, the polling data cited above is just plain wrong. Unrelated, but I had to mention... ;) Lyellin (talk) 17:46, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
There was one poll that gave Clinton a 20-point lead in PA, but it certainly stuck out there on the end of a very long limb. Nationally, Obama has actually improved since this all blew up. -- Scjessey (talk) 17:52, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Yep. Quinnipac has it unchanged (6pt difference), SUSA has a 14 pt different, moving towards Obama, Rasmussan a 9pt, moving towards Clinton, and Susquehanna a 3pt moving towards Obama. Lyellin (talk)

As far as I'm concerned, this issue is closed. Clinton had a 20-point lead before Wright, which deteriorated to a 6-point lead. Now with these "elitist" comments, nothing has happened! Grsz11 18:00, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

I have sure not seen any polls lately with a 20-point spread. The SurveyUSA thing is the only one I've seen over 10. The latest Public Policy Polling survey of North Carolina does have Obama 20 points ahead there, though. Paisan30 (talk) 18:04, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Yep. And here's an article describing this lack of change/shift. --Ubiq (talk) 18:10, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

There seems to be a weird standard being applied here. The effect of the comments (if there is one) can be noted in the article, but the comments themselves are obviously quite notable and have been covered in a large amount RS's. Arkon (talk) 22:27, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

If this quote belongs, doesn't it belong in the presidential campaign article for Obama and not the general biography article? Remember (talk) 22:41, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

That is correct. This is related to the campaign and should be discussed at that article's talk. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 23:03, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
That is irresponsible. If it wasn't for the presidential campaign, he would just be a freshman senator from Illinois, that almost nobody outside of Illinois has ever heard of. The presidential campaign is what makes him more notable than an ordinary freshman senator. Therefore any event that is worth reporting in the campaign article should be seriously considered for this one, and any event that has a substantial impact on the campaign should be reported here, including the "bitter" remark and its fallout that everyone except Wikipedia has noticed. At the debate a couple of nights ago, for the first 45 minutes both moderators were ripping into Obama for that remark, for Jeremiah Wright, for Tony Rezko and for Obama's close association with Weather Underground veteran William Ayers, whose association with Obama we haven't even started to discuss. Kossack4Truth (talk) 11:34, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
That is wrong, Kossack. It was his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, while still only a State senator, that catapulted Obama into the political stratosphere. People around the world took note, and his election to the US Senate was big news internationally, long before his Presidential campaign came to fruition. -- Scjessey (talk) 12:42, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
It is not surprising that the same cast of characters who said that Wright was a non-issue say that Obama's own words don't matter.
Guess what? Words matter.
The saddest part is that the partisans who are busy trying to shield Obama's words, associations and left-wing ideology from the light of day actually think they are helping the Democratic party. Nothing could be further from the truth. Certain members of the media and very agressive editors of this article are busy leading the lemmings to a 49+ state landslide loss that will make McGovern look strong.
Newsflash: if you don't vet your own candidate, the other guy will do it for you---and that's the last thing any party wants.
But, here's the editorial questions. Is the opinion of a selected group of pro-Obama editors the definitive standard by which Wikipedia now decides what is reportable in an Obama article? Is a cherry-picked poll the gauge by which you measure the newsworthiness of an issue on Wikipedia? Do words ever matter?
In the end, if the Wikipedia editorial consensus is that selected "words don't matter" when Obama and his preacher say them, then I suppose that is a valuable testament to the viewpoint of Wikipedia. If "words don't matter" when a particular candidate generalizes about the religion and motivations of others, then that will stand as an indicator---a forty foot tall flashing animated neon indicator---to warn others of the bias pervading this resource. That in and of itself is a service to the Internet. 72.196.233.224 (talk) 10:21, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Disappointing. I said I saw a poll on TV. I didn't recall it's name, but clearly none of you bothered to make any effort to google the poll and find out if it actually exists. So in about 5 seconds, I found it at "http://www.americanresearchgroup.com". Now I don't know how credible it is, but it exists. thezirk (talk) 11:37, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Here are the actual poll specifics, and they describe a sample size of only 600 likely voters in Pennsylvania. A poll like this is probably good news for the Obama campaign because it lowers expectations, although it doesn't seem to agree with other metrics. -- Scjessey (talk) 11:49, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
CNN has 5%. So the single-digit polls largely outweigh the single 20-point poll. Grsz11 12:01, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
What does your interpretation of a handpicked poll have to do with it?
Are you actually trying to maintain that this candidate's words are measured by what certain pro-Obama Wikipedia editors glean from their favorite polls? If that is your position---and by all accounts it seems to be your position---then this article is exposed as a sham. If this is not your position, then please explain why the words which came of out Obama's own mouth are not important when juxtaposed with his pastor's hate-speech and his wife's pride for the "first-time" in America.
This man is running for the President of the United States of America and he has almost no public record (as compared to say John McCain or Ted Kennedy). Therefore every public speech which reveals more about the man and his worldview is very important. 72.196.233.224 (talk) 10:11, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, I agree with you. But certain editors are going to say that Obama's words don't show arrogance or a negative opinions of guns and religion, and that it belongs in the campaign article. I think it should be mentioned in both. Even if only briefly in this article, as it's gotten a lot of coverage, and Hillary has even based an entire ad on the comments. thezirk (talk) 12:53, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I think it's still too soon to determine whether this "elitist" flap merits inclusion in this article or not (it's appropriately covered in the campaign article). Time will tell whether this is remembered and becomes a lasting part of Obama's image, like Hillary's line about "baking cookies" (which is mentioned in her article), or if it's merely a footnote, like Bush asking "Is our children learning?" or talking about gynecologists practicing their love with women. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 17:37, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
(That last one was a classic, however. Do we have a subarticle for Bush's malapropisms ? If not, we should.) I agree with Josiah's point, however - it certainly belongs in the campaign article, and may or may not belong here - I'm guessing it will last, in which case it will belong here, but it is too soon to know. Tvoz |talk 02:30, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Wikiquote has two pages with select Bushisms, one at George W. Bush (in a section curiously called "grammatical errors" — a lot of them are syntactical or vocabulary errors rather than grammatical errors — but I digress) and another at Bushisms, which is apparently supposed to be merged into the former. Here on Wikipedia there's Bushism, which you'd think might have a few examples, but apparently they weren't properly cited and got deleted. But we're way off topic now. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 08:53, 19 April 2008 (UTC)


Despite the fact that other editors agree with me and despite the fact that Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopolis agree with me regarding this issue, I have been threatened for making "disruptive edits". This is just one more example of the tactics that certain editors use to maintain their control of the POV of articles. But, if they somehow manage to prevent me from editing or commenting, this will only prove the bias of this reference and this article. 72.196.233.224 (talk) 10:30, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Especially now considering Hillary won the important Pennsylvania primary by 10 points, an unexpectedly large victory, regaining momentum, and because this controversy and the Wright issues obviously outweighed Obama massively outspending Hillary, and because the issue was even covered in the debate, I'd say the remarks and the surrounding controversy deserve to be mentioned in this article. thezirk (talk) 06:18, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

You mean unexpectedly large as in she was up by 20 points, and was expected to win. I saw exit polls that said Hillary won non-college graduates ("bitter" people) by the same exact margin in Pennsylvania as she did a month ago in Ohio. Grsztalk 06:23, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
PA and OH. Also, I'm not sure losing by 10% in a single state in a single election is worthy of mention in a biography covering a 45+ year life. Campaign article is a different thing than this. Grsztalk 06:30, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

New addition proposed

I think it's appropriate, to measure the character of this man, that we include the fact that many people believe he gave Hillary the finger during a speech the other day. Here is a clip from YouTube we can use a source. It's important people know the truth behind this man. Grsz11 13:58, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

LOL. That's pretty funny, Grsz. I was once threatened with being fired because I always use my middle finger to push my glasses back up my nose, although I don't even realize I'm doing it. I notice Obama isn't wearing a flag pin either. Shame on him! Seriously though, I would be vigorously opposed to the inclusion of this "incident" in the article, and indeed in any article, because it is obviously a nonsense claim made by a few desperate Clinton supporters. -- Scjessey (talk) 15:06, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm assuming that Grsz is joking here, but we've had people trying to insert things just as absurd. So, just in case anyone thinks this is a serious proposal: video shot from another angle shows that Obama was scratching his face with two fingers, not one. See analysis by Media Matters and photo here. And if you don't trust Media Matters because they're a liberal group, watch the raw video here — the finger-scratch is at about 20:56. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 16:19, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Isn't there an obscene gesture in some countries involving two fingers?  ;) Anyway, thanks for the levity, Grsz :) --DachannienTalkContrib 16:31, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Obviously it wasn't meant that way. Why is anyone bringing it up and trying to analyze or defend it? Is it so important to you to make sure that everybody knows Obama was really just scratching his face? Waste of talk page space. thezirk (talk) 06:08, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Election results

Obama ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004 and won. This article provides the election results.

Obama ran for the U.S. House in 2000 and lost. The election results are repeatedly deleted from this article.[6][7]

Does anything else need to be said?Ferrylodge (talk) 02:16, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

First, I have no issue posting the results, but wonder if those specific results add anything to the article. The fact that he ran in the primary and lost is mentioned, so why is there a need to mention the vote totals. Why not mention just the percent vote, like the 2004 race? I agree it seems selective to only mention the 2004 race, but the vote totals aren't mentioned for 2004, only percent, so any mention should be consistent. I think there is an argument to be made for including the 2004 percentages, given the notoriety of the race and extension coverage of Obama's win by a large margin. Then again, if results from one race are going to be mentioned, perhaps this article needs an "Electoral History" section, like Amy Klobuchar, that includes every race for public office. Just a few suggestions.Dcmacnut (talk) 03:41, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
I just added "receiving just 30% of the primary vote." at the end of the section on the 2000 race. Mentioning results makes more sense as part of the opening sentence, rather than as an add on. Rush received 61%, but I don't know if that number is necessary, since the sentence says Obama lost. If we mention Rush's percentage or results, than we'd need to mention the other two candidates who also ran (there were 4 total). The link to the FEC page on the election should be sufficient for anyone wanting more detail.Dcmacnut (talk) 03:47, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Then I guess we'd better edit the following two sentences in this article:
"He received over 52% of the vote in the March 2004 primary, emerging 29% ahead of his nearest Democratic rival."
"Obama received 70% of the vote to Keyes's 27%, the largest electoral victory in Illinois history."Ferrylodge (talk) 03:54, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Giving details about the failed Congressional run, other than the fact that it was unsuccessful, seems to be undue weight. -- Scjessey (talk) 16:14, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
No, in this case it is providing useful and relevent information. WP:WEIGHT does not apply. Arkon (talk) 16:18, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm unaware of any other politicians whose Wikipedia articles only describe their successful races and not their unsuccessful ones. This should be blindingly simple.Ferrylodge (talk) 16:19, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
It is neither useful (what can it be used for?) or relevant (he lost, years ago, so how is it relevant?) actually, so WP:WEIGHT absolutely applies. Apparently, this is another POV push. -- Scjessey (talk) 16:21, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
If these details really are important, incorporate all of them into an election record table section (like most other articles). -- Scjessey (talk) 16:22, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm not aware that the election results for state legislature are available online. What are available online are election results for federal congressional races. Saying how much a person won or lost by, in a race for federal office, is about the most notable thing that could possibly be included in this article. Please beware of WP:recentism. Also, please try to show a modicum of neutrality here. If you're going to delete percentages for Obama's congressional race, then also please delete percentages for his US Senate race.Ferrylodge (talk) 16:27, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
I disagree that the congressional race is notable, especially since he was a relatively unknown politician running against a popular 4-termer. In contrast, the Senate campaign is highly notable due to the landslide victory (although all the silly details about Jack Ryan's divorce are definitely not). This is not a neutrality discussion here, but a discussion about excessive detail. -- Scjessey (talk) 16:39, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
If this were an article about something more general, then you might have a point about notability. But this article is about Barack Obama, and the topic under discussion here isn't whether he ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on Election Day in 2000. He ran for Congress, which would be a significant event in anybody's political career. It's pretty obvious that properly sourced material on his failed House run should be included, and I am completely mystified as to why you've arrived at the position you hold. --DachannienTalkContrib 16:49, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
I am also mystified. My side of this conversation includes both notability and neutrality issues; the US House election results are notable and neutral. Obama lost a race for the United States House of Representatives in a landslide, and that obviously should be mentioned here in this article. It's plainly wrong to only mention landslides that a politician won and not those that the politician lost. Maybe we should accompany the 2000 election results with a statement that Obama was a relatively unknown politician running against a popular 4-termer, but to just whitewash the election results seems extremely non-neutral, especially considering some of the minutae that's already included in this article (e.g. Obama's summer job at a law firm, the University of Hawaii campus where his parents met, the resemblance of some of his relatives to Bernie Mac, the etymology of his first name, et cetera).Ferrylodge (talk) 17:02, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

How about:

In July 1995, Obama announced plans to run for the Illinois Senate from Chicago's 13th District, representing areas of Chicago's South Side, including Hyde Park-Kenwood and South Shore.<ref name=Jackson20070403>Jackson, David; Ray Long (April 4 2007). "Showing His Bare Knuckles". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help)</ref> Following the surprise return of incumbent Alice Palmer to the contest in late 1995, Obama's campaign raised legal challenges to the nominations of Palmer and three other Democratic candidates, each of whose names were removed from the primary ballot due to petition irregularities.<ref name=Jackson20070403 /> In 2000, he made an unsuccessful Democratic primary run for the U.S. House of Representatives seat held by four-term incumbent candidate Bobby Rush, receiving 30% of the vote to Rush's 61%.<ref>Scott, Janny (September 9 2007). "A Streetwise Veteran Schooled Young Obama". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help)</ref> Rush and another rival candidate had charged that Obama was not sufficiently rooted in Chicago's black neighborhoods to represent constituents' concerns.<ref>McClelland, Edward (February 12 2007). "How Obama Learned to Be a Natural". Salon. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help) See also: Wolffe, Richard; Daren Briscoe (July 16 2007). "Across the Divide". Newsweek (MSNBC). Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help) Helman, Scott (October 12 2007). "Early Defeat Launched a Rapid Political Climb". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help)</ref>

--HailFire (talk) 17:54, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Looks fine to me. I'd put a paragraph break after the word "irregularities".Ferrylodge (talk) 18:14, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
The jump to the 2000 election is too abrupt. Perhaps include the 1995 results and a brief synopsis of Obama's IL senate career between 1995 and 2000 to ease the transition a bit. --Bobblehead (rants) 18:21, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your replies, Ferrylodge and Bobblehead. Any additional text from Andy's longer version that either of you feel merits inclusion/development in this summary section? --HailFire (talk) 22:52, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't see any other information in Andy's version that is necessary. It might be appropriate for the main article, but the detail is unnecessary for a summary section. --Bobblehead (rants) 00:20, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Bobblehead that the other stuff from Andy’s version is not necessary. However, there may be some more good stuff in the NY Times article by Janny Scott, to provide the transition that Bobblehead requested. For example: “he was frustrated at the Statehouse. He had distinguished himself as an ethics reformer there, but it was difficult for Democrats to get much done in a period of virtual Republican lockdown.” So he ran for Congress.
Also, the notion that Obama was not suffieciently rooted in Chicago’s black neighborhoods seems to have been class-based rather than race-based. Janny Scott quotes Eric Adelstein, a media consultant in Chicago who worked on the Rush campaign: “It was much more a function of class, not race….Nobody said he’s ‘not black enough.’ They said he’s a professor, a Harvard elite who lives in Hyde Park.”
And lastly, there’s this nugget reported by Janny Scott: “President Clinton’s endorsement of Mr. Rush, an early supporter of Mr. Clinton, dealt a final blow. According to Mr. Adelstein, Mr. Clinton — after a personal request from Mr. Rush — overrode his own policy of not endorsing candidates in primaries.”
I wouldn't delay making the edit you suggested, Hailfire, but you may want to subsequently tweak it to use some of this additional info.Ferrylodge (talk) 00:42, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Him losing a political race it noteworthy, it shows the evolution of his carrer in office. No other politicians article would not show a race they lost at, this is obvious bias. QuirkyAndSuch (talk) 09:43, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
It is certainly noteworthy enough to mention it, but there is no need to go into the specific details because the event is pretty minor when taken into context with the body of his entire political career. Readers who are interested in the specifics will be able to find them detailed in the linked sub-article and the accompanying references. -- Scjessey (talk) 13:12, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Stupid edit war

I've blocked Scjessey and Andy for 12 hours for edit warring about the sentence "But it was not all civil rights work—he also appeared in court to defend a developer against charges it was failing to provide heat to tenants and another time to contest a demand that a healthcare corporation pay for baby-sitting (his client paid up)." As far as I can tell in all the reversions back and forth there was no attempt to discuss this or reach a compromise. That's not the way we do things here. If the pattern of edit warring and tendentious editing continues, I won't hesitate to block anyone (on either side of the dispute) for longer periods. It's quite simple: if you're reverted, especially if you're reverted more than once, discuss the edit on the talk page. That goes for everybody. OK? —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 00:06, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Not so silly. Scjessey was reverting considerably more than the sentence you mention.[8] And while you accused both of us of violating 3RR, Scjessey did (00:27, 21 April 200811:40, 21 April 200816:03, 21 April 200816:10, 21 April 2008 and I did not (01:01, 21 April 200813:36, 21 April 200816:08, 21 April 2008). And which of my edits are "tendentious editing"? Andyvphil (talk) 14:41, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I broke the rules, and I apologize. Josiah was perfectly correct to issue a 3RR block for my actions, and I see it as a reminder not to let the behavior of a tendentious editor with more experience get to me. To partially defend myself, I will say that I have tried to discuss the disputed content repeatedly over the last week or so, most recently in here, but I have been unable to get any response other than reversions. I have decided to let others fight this fight for the time being, and I will busy myself with other aspects of the article. -- Scjessey (talk) 14:50, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Er, Andy. At least one of those "examples" of mine is not a revert at all, and another is one of your edits. Besides, you take part in what I call "long game" edit warring whereby you add your biased text (or revert back to it) over and over again, taking care to spread it out so as not to get into 3RR trouble, and avoiding any discussion or consensus-building. And in answer to your question, almost all of your edits are tendentious. -- Scjessey (talk) 14:57, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I've corrected the diff that pointed to the wrong edit. The other three are all reverts, as is the corrected diff. Four in all. If you think that one wasn't you had best learn why you are wrong. And the question was not directed at you. Andyvphil (talk) 15:21, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
The first of my edits you list is a removal of content per WP:WEIGHT, and not a reversion. Even if it were a reversion, it would be treated as a "consecutive" reversion - the same thing that enabled you to wriggle out of your last 3RR issues. -- Scjessey (talk) 15:26, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
A "removal of content per WP:WEIGHT" is a revert. See "What is a revert?" in WP:3RR. And it is not consecutive with any of the other diffs I list. It is consecutive with a preceding revert which I did not separately list since the two reverts together constituted only one of your 4 reverts. Andyvphil (talk) 13:25, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
Oh whatever! Do you want me to give you a barnstar for your contribs-haunting prowess? Get over yourself and start making useful contributions. -- Scjessey (talk) 13:37, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, Andy.. good to see you learned something from your short block.[9] Or not... Adding the exact same text that you were just blocked for edit warring over is a blockable offense. The general theory is that if a person is blocked for edit warring over something, they will learn to actually use the talk page instead of trying to force their preferred text onto (or keep unpreferred text off) an article. Both of you need to realize that three reverts is not a right and that you can (and will) get blocked for fewer than three reverts. This is particularly true if you are just recently got off a block and make the exact same edit without getting consensus on the talk page first. --Bobblehead (rants) 15:50, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm less interested in the letter of the 3RR than its spirit. As Scjessey pointed out on my talk page, WP:3RR says, "Editors may still be blocked even if they have made three or fewer reverts in a 24 hour period, if their behavior is clearly disruptive." The back-and-forth over this material was clearly an edit war, and not the first on this page between these individuals. Scjessey did attempt some discussion on the matter of the tax returns, but I didn't see any prior discussion from anyone about the tenant and babysitter disputes now being discussed below. Previous attempts to get the parties to engage in discussion on other subjects had not been successful, so I decided to use administrative measures. If anyone disagrees with this decision, please feel free to start a discussion at WP:AN/I or, if you think the matter serious enough, open an admin user conduct RfC. I'm a member of Wikipedia administrators open to recall, and my understanding of what that means is here. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 15:49, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Get interested in the letter. You're engaged in this content dispute too, in case you haven't noticed. The question is at what level do the reverts become "clearly disruptive", and as a engaged reverter you are ill-positioned to go beyond clear policy when the result is to impose your own wishes. The clear policy in this case is 3RR. You wrote on my page, "...however you count the reversions...", as if there was some question as to how I counted the reversions. There is not. I did not exceed 3RR. Scjessey has exceeded 3RR on multiple occasions. Grsz11 exceeded 4RR just yesterday. Your biases are showing. Restrain yourself. Andyvphil (talk) 14:56, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
And I have blocked both Scjessey and Grsz when their edits violated the spirit of 3RR. There's edit warring on all sides here, and I seem to be the only administrator paying attention. I will continue to use my administrative judgment to make sure that the debate is carried out in a manner compatible with Wikipedia policies and guidelines. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 17:23, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
I didn't know about your block of Grsz since I had decided not to report his 3RR violation and you had not mentioned his block here, that I saw. But neither he nor Scjessey merely violated "the spirit of 3RR". They violated 3RR by performing four or more reverts in a 24 hour period. I did not. The fine impartiality of punishing alike those who break the rules and those who obey the rules is lost on me. Again, the list of editors of this page who edit war includes you. Deciding when editing that does not violate explicit policy is disruptive is something I again strongly suggest you leave to the uninvolved. There's a noticeboard where you can request such help. Andyvphil (talk) 13:15, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Blah, blah, blah ad infinitum. The purpose of WP:3RR is to prevent edit warring, and we were both edit warring. If you engaged in proper discussions and consensus building before making tendentious edits, the edit warring probably never would have happened. Rather than obsessing about the minutiae of the three-revert rule, try talking to people and reaching a compromise. -- Scjessey (talk) 13:45, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
(edit conflict) A post like that is not necessary. I'm sure Josiah's trying to do what he can to ensure this doesn't get out of hand. That he's involved is probably a good thing. An uninvolved admin might not see the patterns of behavior necessary to make an accurate judgment on what is or isn't disruptive. I could see how trying to add negative, irrelevant information to a BLP (and especially one with the traffic this one gets) in absence of due discussion or defiance of consensus, not just a few times, but on a consistent basis, would be deemed disruptive. Add to that a demonstratively combative behavior on talk pages, and yeah I guess I could understand why he might block you even if you didn't technically have 4 reverts. There have been cases where editors have been blocked because they simply wore out other editors in the community, even though they may have broken few or no rules. I'm not saying you're in danger of this, but adopting a more positive, less cynical attitude would certainly not hurt how others view and treat you as an editor. --Ubiq (talk) 14:02, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Scare quotes

In the Presidential Campaign section, the word "terrorism" is shown in quotes that are intended to be a direct quote of Wright on the matter, but that look like scare quotes because only a single word is between them.

ABC News found and excerpted racially and politically charged clips from sermons by Rev. Wright, including his assertion that the United States brought on the 9/11 attacks with its own "terrorism" and his assertion that "[t]he government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color."

I would contend that this should be avoided when possible. My original solution was to simply remove 'with its own "terrorism" ', although I noted in the edit summary that this wasn't the best solution. I actually wanted to say, 'because of its foreign policy', which isn't a direct quote and which might also be going too far from the cited source. In any case, I think we need to avoid having one or two words quoted out of context like that, and I'd like to see any solutions that other editors here have. --DachannienTalkContrib 13:53, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

State Legislature weight issues

Andy's current text:

In 1995 Alice Palmer, Illinois State Senator for Chicago's 13th District, ran for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives seat then held by Mel Reynolds, who had been indicted for sexual abuse of an underage campaign worker. With a degree of formality that is disputed, she anointed Obama as her chosen successor to represent the areas of Chicago's South Side, including Hyde Park-Kenwood and South Shore, that constituted the 13th District. After she was defeated by Jesse Jackson, Jr. in a special election held November 2005 she filed to retain the Democratic nomination for her Senate seat. Obama challenged her petitions, and that of the other three candidates, and disqualified enough signatures so that he was unopposed in the March 1996 primary election. In the heavily Democratic 13th District the general election was a formality.[15][16]

Surely this is a gross violation of WP:WEIGHT, given that it is mostly about Alice J. Palmer and her time in the Illinois State Senate. What was wrong with the previous version? And what has the Mel Reynolds sex abuse case got to do with Obama? -- Scjessey (talk) 15:59, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Nothing, as far as I can tell. As for the larger question, I'd think this material would be useful context for Illinois Senate career of Barack Obama, but excessive detail here. The same goes for the detail about Obama's unsuccessful House race against Bobby Rush — I don't see how the death of Bobby Rush's son is important enough to merit inclusion here. All this should go in Illinois Senate career of Barack Obama. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 16:30, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it's a WP:WEIGHT problem, since it's presenting (mostly) facts rather than viewpoints. Still, as Josiah said, it does go into depth that is far beyond the scope of this article, including the detail concerning Mel Reynolds and the detailed info on what neighborhoods constitute the 13th district. There are also potential POV issues regarding the "anointing" of Obama and the "formality" of the general election, both of which are loaded terms not appropriate in this context. On a side note, was "2005" meant to be "1995"? --DachannienTalkContrib 16:39, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

The current text is

In July 1995, Obama announced plans to run for the Illinois Senate from Chicago's 13th District, representing areas of Chicago's South Side, including Hyde Park-Kenwood and South Shore.[16] Following the surprise return of incumbent Alice Palmer to the contest in late 1995, Obama's campaign raised legal challenges to the nominations of Palmer and three other Democratic candidates, each of whose names were removed from the primary ballot due to petition irregularities.[16] In 2000, he made an unsuccessful Democratic primary run for the U.S. House of Representatives seat held by four-term incumbent candidate Bobby Rush, receiving 30% of the vote to Rush's 61%.[17] Rush and another rival candidate had charged that Obama was not sufficiently rooted in Chicago's black neighborhoods to represent constituents' concerns.[18]


I am attempting, as a first step, to replace this with:

In 1995 Alice Palmer, Illinois State Senator for Chicago's 13th District, ran for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives seat then held by Mel Reynolds, who had been indicted for sexual abuse of an underage campaign worker. With a degree of formality that is disputed, she anointed Obama as her chosen successor to represent the areas of Chicago's South Side, including Hyde Park-Kenwood and South Shore, that constituted the 13th District. After she was defeated by Jesse Jackson, Jr. in a special election held November 1995 she filed to retain the Democratic nomination for her Senate seat. Obama challenged her petitions, and that of the other three candidates, and disqualified enough signatures so that he was unopposed in the March 1996 primary election. In the heavily Democratic 13th District the general election was a formality.[19][16]
In 2000, Obama made a Democratic primary run for the U.S. House of Representatives seat held by four-term incumbent candidate Bobby Rush. Rush had been badly defeated in the February 1999 Chicago Mayoral election by Richard M. Daley and was thought to be vulnerable. Rush charged that Obama was not sufficiently rooted in Chicago's black neighborhoods to represent constituents' concerns, and also benefitted from an outpouring of sympathy when his son was shot to death shortly before the election. Obama, who started with just a 10% name recognition, got only 31% of the votes, losing by a more than 2-to-1 margin despite winning among white voters.[20][21]


First, Palmer's return was not a "surprise". She was the incumbent and had evinced no desire to retire from politics if she didn't win, so it could have been a surprise only if her loss had been a surprise. But she was facing both the Jesse Jackson and Emil Jones political machines and could be expected to and did finish third, and once the election was decided and filing for renomination was no longer a premature admission of loss she could be expected to and did so file. The idea that the seat was "vacant" and that her deciding to run for her own seat was a "suprise" is pro-Obama Kool-Aid designed to minimize the degree to which he is perceived to have stabbed her in the back.

Second, the idea that devoting more than two sentences apiece to Obama's first two runs for office is, in the biography of a politician, undue weight is absurd. The real problem is that the two paragraphs I've expanded to are as yet inadequate. No mention, e.g., of his wife's desire after the defeat that he retire and take up a foundation job instead.

Third, the idea that no details are important enough to mention -- he ran, he won, it was a long time ago, who cares -- is a view so idiotic that I would have thought only Scjessey was capable of expressing without embarassment. We should mention Rush's son getting shot for the same reason we mention Ryan's sex scandal: Obama's life was affected by these events. Andyvphil (talk) 14:19, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Well first I'd like to thank you for the personal attack, Andy. I'd expect nothing less from you. Secondly, I must reiterate my comment above - in a biography of Barack Obama, why do you insist on trying to shoehorn details about other people into the text? First you want to tell us a bedtime story about Alice Palmer, then you want to regale us with details about her predecessor. What possible connection to Obama is the Mel Reynolds sex abuse stuff? Your justification for this is that the current text isn't long enough. So your solution is to add tangential (or completely unrelated) content as filler material? Maybe you should go back and read some of Wikipedia's policies and guidelines. -- Scjessey (talk) 14:41, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
I've tightened-up the first paragraph, partly to address Andy's concerns about Palmer's "surprise return", but also to note that the 13th District is tilted heavily towards the Democrats, allowing the reader to imply that Obama's eventual election was a formality. Obviously the link to the sub-article provides all of Andy's other gory details if the reader desires them. -- Scjessey (talk) 19:50, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

It might be appropriate to mention briefly that Palmer had planned to run for Congress but was defeated in the special election primary, and only then decided to petition for her old State Senate seat. However, the detail of the Mel Reynolds sex scandal is well outside the purview of this article — it would be like going into the details of the Lewinsky scandal in the main George W. Bush article. Similarly, I don't think we need to mention Rush's son here any more than the death of John Edwards' son is mentioned in Lauch Faircloth. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 04:06, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

You don't know when Palmer decided to file. Presumably she intended to file all along if she lost, and she probably knew she was going to lose well before the special election. The point is that Obama had very little chance running against her but got into office by a neat bit of political assassination. Et tu, Obama. And I'd be ok with "...by Mel Reynolds, who had been indicted in a sex scandal..." but that's not the kind of change to the text that I'm seeing.[10] My proposals are already "brief". Mentioning names and specifics is what enables the reader of different histories to tie them together, and is also the opportunity for helpful blue links. Andyvphil (talk) 14:33, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
The FAR indicated that the article had too many blue links, not too few. And the names and specifics which tie different histories together can and should be found in the daughter article. This article is about the big picture, and Mel Reynolds really isn't a significant part of that big picture.
As for Dachannien's revert, you should take it as an indication that there is no consensus supporting the changes you want to make, and refrain from adding them again until after a consensus has been reached. See WP:BRD. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 16:54, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
What WP:BRD calls "bold edits" are designed to attract attention (see the popup over the top lines of the flowchart). Yes, BRD (which is essay, not policy) suggests you get your reverter to make a compromise edit but it is silent on what to do if compromise is unreasonably witheld. There is no requirement in policy that you wait to repeat the process of trying to attract attention "until after a consensus has been reached" on the talk page, never mind that "Local consensus" (which "can change) "is currently opposed to making any changes whatsoever" and will obduately refuse NPOV forever. The speed limit is 3RR, and provided you obey it there is nothing disruptive about periodically repeating "bold edits" in an attempt to draw attention to an issue. Andyvphil (talk) 14:05, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
You are mistaken (or as you would say, "wrong again"). There are no Wikipedia policies, guidelines or essays that say it is okay to be a disruptive editor, which is what you are. You constantly ignore consensus, you constantly ignore compromise, you constantly ignore requests for meaningful discussions, you constantly use rude or insensitive language in edit summaries and you comment in a combative, bombastic manner. With very few exceptions, your edits to Barack Obama (and related articles) seek to add a negative point-of-view. You justifying this blatant "POV-pushing" by frankly ludicrous claims that you are trying to redress some balance and introduce a neutral POV. You employ various tactics to achieve this, including:
  • Going into exhaustive detail on what you perceive to be negative events in Obama's life.
  • Performing multiple reversions against many different editors, and against overwhelming consensus, but spread out enough to avoid (for the most part) 3RR issues
  • Only making edits that enhance your negative POV, or decrease what you perceive to be positive POV - a clear sign that you are "agenda editing" rather than simply editing.
Furthermore, I think that we are extremely lucky to have a calm, thoughtful, thorough and neutral editor with administrator privileges on hand. Other articles are not so lucky. To cast negative aspersions on Josiah simply because he (rightfully) doesn't always agree with your point of view, or your interpretation of Wikipedia policies and guidelines, is unfair and unreasonable. -- Scjessey (talk) 16:15, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Correction: local consensus is currently opposed to the changes you want to make, and is obdurately refusing your interpretation of NPOV. Duration of a dispute does not relieve anyone of the need for discussion. And the repetition of edits for which there is no consensus — even if you believe that your version is supported by policy — is disruptive.—Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 16:19, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Again, you are simply in error to assert that agreement to an edit must be obtained on the talk page before it can be repeated without being considered disruptive. 3RR represents the community consensus on what constitutes disruptive editing, and while it allows for exceptions any exception should be aconsidered a difficult case requiring fine judgement. As policy notes, "All editors and all sources have biases". That includes admins. In particular, you. As an involved party in the content dispute you have a conflict of interest. Leave the fine judgements to uninvolved parties.
BTW, the reverts are themselves edits for which there is no consensus. WP:BRD:

* There is no such thing as a consensus version: Your own major edit, by definition, differs significantly from the existing version, meaning the existing version is no longer a consensus version. If you successfully complete this cycle, then you will have a new consensus version. If you fail, you will have a different kind of consensus version.
* Do not accept "Policy" , "consensus", or "procedure" as valid reasons for a revert: These sometimes get worn in on consensus-based wikis. You are disagreeing, that is okay....

Andyvphil (talk) 09:46, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
It's obvious a lot of people disagree with these changes. It's written like it belongs in an exposé. Not good form for an encyclopedia. I've seen you put it back in on a daily basis, only to get reverted each time. If nobody's been receptive to it by now, I can't imagine they're going to be the next 10 times you try to put it back into the article. --Ubiq (talk) 17:06, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

State Legislature section changes

The current version of the section, after being butchered by Andy, is as follows:

In July 1995, Obama announced plans to run for the Illinois Senate from Chicago's heavily-Democratic 13th District, representing areas of Chicago's South Side, including Hyde Park-Kenwood and South Shore.[16] Before the Democratic primary Obama's campaign raised legal challenges to the nominating petitions of incumbent Alice Palmer and three other candidates and succeeded in having all of his opponents stricken from the ballot.[16]

In 2000, Obama made a Democratic primary run for the U.S. House of Representatives seat held by four-term incumbent candidate Bobby Rush. Rush had been badly defeated in the February 1999 Chicago Mayoral election by Richard M. Daley and was thought to be vulnerable. Rush charged that Obama was not sufficiently rooted in Chicago's black neighborhoods to represent constituents' concerns, and also benefitted from an outpouring of sympathy when his son was shot to death shortly before the election. Obama, who started with just a 10% name recognition, got 31% of the votes, losing by a more than 2-to-1 margin despite winning among white voters.[22][21]

Obama was reelected to the Illinois Senate in 1998 and 2002.[23] In January 2003, Obama became chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee when Democrats, after a decade in the minority, regained a majority.[24] The new majority leader, Emil Jones, named him as the sponsor of important legislation that had been developed by others as a way of boosting Obama's intended run for the U.S. Senate.[25][26] Obama resigned from the Illinois Senate in November 2004 following his election to that body.[27]

As a state legislator, Obama gained bipartisan support for legislation reforming ethics and health care laws.[28] He sponsored a law enhancing tax credits for low-income workers, negotiated welfare reform, and promoted increased subsidies for childcare.[29] Obama also led the passage of legislation mandating videotaping of homicide interrogations, and a law to monitor racial profiling by requiring police to record the race of drivers they stopped.[29] During his 2004 general election campaign for U.S. Senate, he won the endorsement of the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police, whose president credited Obama for his active engagement with police organizations in enacting death penalty reforms.[30] He was criticized by rival pro-choice candidates in the Democratic primary and by his Republican pro-life opponent in the general election for a series of "present" or "no" votes on late-term abortion and parental notification issues.[31]

So in a section entitled "State Legislature" we only mention Obama's activity in the State Legislature in the very last of four paragraphs. This is clearly a ridiculous situation that needs to be immediately redressed. May I suggest a revert back to this slightly earlier version of the article, followed by some meaningful discussion of how to proceed? -- Scjessey (talk) 16:16, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, except for his last year, Obama didn't do much in the IL Senate, but yes, much of what Andy added should be shifted into the sub-article (which most of it has been for days). I'd almost be tempted to eliminate the 2000 run from this article in general, because of how unimportant it really is. If it stays it's entry in this article could be reduced to a sentence at most "In 2000, Obama made a Democratic primary run for the U.S. House of Representatives seat held by four-term incumbent candidate Bobby Rush, but ended up receiving only 30% of the vote and losing to Rush, who received 61%, in the primary election.<ref>{{ cite web | publisher=Federal Election Commission | url=http://www.fec.gov/pubrec/fe2000/ilh.htm | title=2000 U.S. House of Representatives Results | accessdate=2008-04-24}}</ref>" --Bobblehead (rants) 17:05, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
In addition to the problems of unnecessary detail, the section's chronology is confusing. It jumps from 1995 to 2000, detours to February 1999, then back to 1998 and forward to 2000, 2003 and 2004. The more election detail that's added, the less sense the structure makes. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 17:13, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

New attempt

Taking into account the comments from Bobblehead and Josiah Rowe, here's my effort at a radical rewrite:

In July 1995, Obama announced plans to run for the Illinois Senate from Chicago's 13th District, representing areas of Chicago's South Side, including Hyde Park-Kenwood and South Shore.[16] Obama's campaign raised legal challenges to the nominating petitions of incumbent Alice Palmer and the three other candidates, successfully removing their names from the ballot and allowing him to run unopposed in the primary, virtually handing him victory in the heavily-Democratic district.[16] Once elected, Obama gained bipartisan support for legislation reforming ethics and health care laws.[32] He sponsored a law increasing tax credits for low-income workers, negotiated welfare reform, and promoted increased subsidies for childcare.[29] Obama also led the passage of legislation mandating videotaping of homicide interrogations, and a law to monitor racial profiling by requiring police to record the race of drivers they stopped.[29]

Obama was reelected to the Illinois Senate in 1998, and again in 2002 after losing a Democratic primary run for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000 to four-term incumbent Bobby Rush.[33][34] In January 2003, Obama became chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee when Democrats, after a decade in the minority, regained a majority.[35] During his 2004 general election campaign for U.S. Senate, he won the endorsement of the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police, whose president credited Obama for his active engagement with police organizations in enacting death penalty reforms.[36] He was criticized by rival pro-choice candidates in the Democratic primary and by his Republican pro-life opponent in the general election for a series of "present" or "no" votes on late-term abortion and parental notification issues.[37] Obama resigned from the Illinois Senate in November 2004 following his election to the US Senate.[38]

  1. ^ Davey, Monica (March 7 2004). "Closely Watched Illinois Senate Race Attracts 7 Candidates in Millionaire Range". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-13.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ Mendell, David (March 17 2004). "Obama Routs Democratic Foes; Ryan Tops Crowded GOP Field". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-04-13.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ Hayes, Christopher (March 17 2004). "Check Bounce" (alternate link). TNR Online. Retrieved 2008-04-13.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ "Ryan Drops Out of Senate Race in Illinois". CNN. June 25 2004. Retrieved 2008-04-13.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. ^ Lannan, Maura Kelly (August 9, 2004). "Alan Keyes Enters U.S. Senate Race in Illinois Against Rising Democratic Star". Associated Press (Union-Tribune (San Diego)). Retrieved 2008-04-13.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ "Law Graduate Obama Got His Start in Civil Rights Practice". Associated Press (International Herald Tribune). February 19 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-04.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. ^ "Law Graduate Obama Got His Start in Civil Rights Practice". Associated Press (International Herald Tribune). February 19 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-04.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ "Obama and his Rezko ties". Associated Press (Chicago Sun-Times). April 23 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-30.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. ^ Chris Fusco; David McKinney, Tim Novak, and Abdon M. Pallasch (March 16 2008). "Obama explains Rezko relationship to Sun-Times". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2008-03-16.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  10. ^ "Law Graduate Obama Got His Start in Civil Rights Practice". Associated Press (International Herald Tribune). February 19 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-04.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  11. ^ "Obama and his Rezko ties". Associated Press (Chicago Sun-Times). April 23 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-30.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  12. ^ Chris Fusco; David McKinney, Tim Novak, and Abdon M. Pallasch (March 16 2008). "Obama explains Rezko relationship to Sun-Times". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2008-03-16.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  13. ^ http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89588766&ft=1&f=1001
  14. ^ http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89588766&ft=1&f=1001
  15. ^ David Jackson; Ray Long (April 4 2007). "Showing his bare knuckles". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-04-21.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h Jackson, David; Ray Long (April 3 2007). "Obama Knows His Way Around a Ballot". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  17. ^ Scott, Janny (September 9 2007). "A Streetwise Veteran Schooled Young Obama". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  18. ^ McClelland, Edward (February 12 2007). "How Obama Learned to Be a Natural". Salon. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help) See also: Wolffe, Richard; Daren Briscoe (July 16 2007). "Across the Divide". Newsweek (MSNBC). Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help) Helman, Scott (October 12 2007). "Early Defeat Launched a Rapid Political Climb". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  19. ^ David Jackson; Ray Long (April 4 2007). "Showing his bare knuckles". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-04-21.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  20. ^ Federal Election Commission, 2000 U.S. House of Representatives Results. See also: "Obama's Loss May Have Aided White House Bid".  and Scott, Janny (September 9 2007). "A Streetwise Veteran Schooled Young Obama". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  21. ^ a b McClelland, Edward (February 12 2007). "How Obama Learned to Be a Natural". Salon. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help) See also: Wolffe, Richard; Daren Briscoe (July 16 2007). "Across the Divide". Newsweek (MSNBC). Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help) Helman, Scott (October 12 2007). "Early Defeat Launched a Rapid Political Climb". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help) and "Obama learned from failed Congress run". 
  22. ^ Federal Election Commission, 2000 U.S. House of Representatives Results. See also: "Obama's Loss May Have Aided White House Bid".  and Scott, Janny (September 9 2007). "A Streetwise Veteran Schooled Young Obama". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  23. ^ "13th District: Barack Obama". Illinois State Senate Democrats. August 24 2000. Archived from the original (archive) on 2000-04-12. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help) "13th District: Barack Obama". Illinois State Senate Democrats. October 9 2004. Archived from the original (archive) on 2004-08-02. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  24. ^ Calmes, Jackie (February 23 2007). "Statehouse Yields Clues to Obama". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  25. ^ http://www.houstonpress.com/2008-02-28/news/barack-obama-screamed-at-me/print
  26. ^ "Political 'Godfather' Boosted Obama's Early Career". CNN. March 31 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  27. ^ Coffee, Melanie (November 6 2004). "Attorney Chosen to Fill Obama's State Senate Seat". Associated Press (HPKCC). Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  28. ^ Slevin, Peter (February 9 2007). "Obama Forged Political Mettle in Illinois Capitol". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help) Helman, Scott (September 23 2007). "In Illinois, Obama Dealt with Lobbyists". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help) See also: "Obama Record May Be Gold Mine for Critics". Associated Press (CBS News). January 17 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help) "In-Depth Look at Obama's Political Career" (video). CLTV (Chicago Tribune). February 9, 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  29. ^ a b c d Scott, Janny (July 30 2007). "In Illinois, Obama Proved Pragmatic and Shrewd". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help) See also: Pearson, Rick; Ray Long (May 3 2007). "Careful Steps, Looking Ahead". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  30. ^ Youngman, Sam; Aaron Blake (March 14 2007). "Obama's Crime Votes Are Fodder for Rivals". The Hill. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help) See also: "US Presidential Candidate Obama Cites Work on State Death Penalty Reforms". Associated Press (International Herald Tribune). November 12 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  31. ^ Zorn, Eric (March 9 2004). "Disparagement of Obama Votes Doesn't Hold Up". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 2007-12-20. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help) "Keyes Assails Obama's Abortion Views". Associated Press (MSNBC). August 9 2004. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help) See also: Youngman, Sam (February 15 2007). "Abortion Foes Target Obama Because of His Vote Record on Illinois Legislation". The Hill. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  32. ^ Slevin, Peter (February 9 2007). "Obama Forged Political Mettle in Illinois Capitol". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help) Helman, Scott (September 23 2007). "In Illinois, Obama Dealt with Lobbyists". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help) See also: "Obama Record May Be Gold Mine for Critics". Associated Press (CBS News). January 17 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help) "In-Depth Look at Obama's Political Career" (video). CLTV (Chicago Tribune). February 9, 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  33. ^ "Federal Elections 2000: U.S. House Results - Illinois". Federal Election Commission. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  34. ^ "13th District: Barack Obama". Illinois State Senate Democrats. August 24 2000. Archived from the original (archive) on 2000-04-12. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help) "13th District: Barack Obama". Illinois State Senate Democrats. October 9 2004. Archived from the original (archive) on 2004-08-02. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  35. ^ Calmes, Jackie (February 23 2007). "Statehouse Yields Clues to Obama". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  36. ^ Youngman, Sam; Aaron Blake (March 14 2007). "Obama's Crime Votes Are Fodder for Rivals". The Hill. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help) See also: "US Presidential Candidate Obama Cites Work on State Death Penalty Reforms". Associated Press (International Herald Tribune). November 12 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  37. ^ Zorn, Eric (March 9 2004). "Disparagement of Obama Votes Doesn't Hold Up". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 2007-12-20. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help) "Keyes Assails Obama's Abortion Views". Associated Press (MSNBC). August 9 2004. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help) See also: Youngman, Sam (February 15 2007). "Abortion Foes Target Obama Because of His Vote Record on Illinois Legislation". The Hill. Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  38. ^ Coffee, Melanie (November 6 2004). "Attorney Chosen to Fill Obama's State Senate Seat". Associated Press (HPKCC). Retrieved 2008-04-20.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

I'm pretty sure this fixes the chronology problem, and it also cuts out the details of the failed Congressional run (which is detailed in the sub-article). Thoughts? -- Scjessey (talk) 18:23, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Two minor questions: wasn't there a question about the reliability of the Houston Press story (note 28)? And why not move the resignation sentence to the end of the paragraph, since he resigned after the 2004 election in which he got the police endorsement and was criticized for his abortion-related votes? —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 19:03, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
Agreed on both counts. Changed. -- Scjessey (talk) 19:29, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
You may think I'm picking nits here (and maybe I am), but I'd recommend "increasing tax credits" instead of "enhancing", since "enhancing" implies that they were made not just bigger but also better. Also, the first of the two paragraphs seems to combine unrelated topics (getting elected versus what he did in office) and should probably be split into separate paragraphs, even though those paragraphs are so short. --DachannienTalkContrib 19:12, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
Agreed on "increasing", but I disagree with splitting the first paragraph up. This is just a summary, remember, and I think we can afford to mix the campaign for the position with the position itself. Open to further discussion though! -- Scjessey (talk) 19:29, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
If we're going with chronological order, the remainder of the first paragraph from the sentence beginning with "As a state legislator..." should be after the Emil Jones sentence in the second paragraph. --Bobblehead (rants) 19:46, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
That doesn't make any sense to me, because the Emil Jones event was later on. In fact, I'm going to just cut that sentence out and leave it to the sub-article, which means we don't have to mess with the order. -- Scjessey (talk) 19:54, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
I just realized what the problem was - there's nothing to transition the flow of the first paragraph between Obama running for office (and the ballot petition stuff) and what he did while in office. I think if there's some mention of him actually winning the race (even though it's kind of obvious) it would fill in the gap. Maybe end that one sentence with this: "...successfully removing their names from the ballot and allowing him to win unopposed." --DachannienTalkContrib 20:09, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
I've added "and allowing him to run unopposed", since there wasn't really any contest to "win" as such. -- Scjessey (talk) 21:17, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
I've also changed "As a State legislator" to "Once elected", which I feel eases the transition further. Are we getting there? -- Scjessey (talk) 21:26, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Is "...allowing him to run unopposed" misleading? He was unopposed in the Democratic primary, but there was token opposition from the Republicans (and, I believe, the Harold Washington Party) in the general election. It may well be the case that in that particular district winning the Democratic primary is tantamount to winning the seat, but tantamount isn't identical. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 05:47, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm also a bit unsure about cutting the 2000 House run back quite so much. I'd think that the name of the incumbent he was running against should at least be mentioned. Perhaps "...after losing a Democratic primary run for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000 to incumbent Bobby Rush." Even that seems a bit anemic to me, to be honest. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 05:52, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I've reworded things to give a clearer account of his election, and I've changed it to mention Bobby Rush. I don't see any reason why additional details are necessary when they are adequately covered in the sub-article. -- Scjessey (talk) 11:52, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

How about starting over with:

Obama was elected to his first (two-year) term in the Illinois Senate in 1996 from the 13th District, which then spanned Chicago South Side neighborhoods from Hyde Park-Kenwood south to South Shore and west to Chicago Lawn. In 1998, he was reelected to a second (four-year) term in the Illinois Senate. In 2000, Obama finished second, ahead of fellow state Sen. Donne Trotter, in a three-way 1st Congressional District Democratic primary election, losing to four-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush. Obama was reelected in 2002 to his third (four-year) term in the Illinois Senate from a 13th District redrawn to span Chicago lakefront neighborhoods from the Gold Coast south to South Chicago. In January 2003, Obama, after having been minority spokesman for four years, became chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee when Democrats, after a decade in the minority, regained a majority in the Illinois Senate. He resigned from the Illinois Senate in November 2004 following his election to the U.S. Senate.

Obama gained bipartisan support for legislation reforming ethics and health care laws. He sponsored a law increasing tax credits for low-income workers, negotiated welfare reforms, and promoted increased subsidies for childcare. Obama also led the passage of legislation mandating videotaping of homicide interrogations, and a law to monitor racial profiling by requiring police to record the race of drivers they stopped.

and in expanding the section, following WP:BLP policy by:

  1. not using poorly sourced contentious material
  2. remembering that biographies of living persons (BLPs) must be written conservatively
  3. remembering that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a tabloid; it is not our job to be sensationalist, or to be the primary vehicle for the spread of titillating claims about people's lives
  4. remembering that an important rule of thumb when writing biographical material about living persons is "do no harm"

Newross (talk) 04:29, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

That sounds good, but I don't think it will get past the tiny (but extremely noisy) group of POV-pushing Obama haters. The evolving version above is an attempt to try to reach a compromise. In fact, since none of Andy's crowd has voiced a problem with "new attempt", I'd say it was ready for deployment. -- Scjessey (talk) 16:30, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

The FOP issue

In another section of this talk page, Andy draws attention to the FOP endorsement in the State legislature section. I agree that this endorsement seems misplaced, since it seems to be related to the Senate campaign. If anything, I think it violates WP:WEIGHT and is probably best "relegated" to the sub article. -- Scjessey (talk) 16:16, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Wright compromise at last?

It seems that we may, finally have reached a compromise over the wording in the paragraph concerning Jeremiah Wright. Let me summarize the three positions:

"Pro-Obama" text
In March 2008, a controversy broke out concerning racially- and politically-charged statements made by Obama's long-time pastor Jeremiah Wright.[1][2] On March 18th, Obama delivered a speech in response to the controversy titled "A More Perfect Union" at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and while condemning the ill-received remarks Wright had made, he also sought to give them historical context by describing some of the events that have formed Wright's views on race.[3]
"Anti-Obama" text
Also in March, a controversy broke out concerning Obama's 23-year relationship with his former pastor and religious mentor, Jeremiah Wright.[4][5] Videos surfaced of some of Wright's sermons (in which he claimed, for example, that the government invented the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color,[6] and attributed the 9/11 attacks to American faults ranging from taking the country from the Indian tribes by terror, bombing Grenada, Panama, Libya, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, and supporting state terrorism against the Palestinians and South Africa).[7][8] Following negative media coverage and a drop in the polls,[9] Obama responded by condemning some of Wright's remarks and cutting Wright's connections to his Presidential campaign. He also delivered a speech devoted to the subject, which he sought to put it in the context of racial and other political divides in America.[10][11] Although the speech was generally well-received,[11][12] critics continued to question the implications of Obama's long and close relationship with Wright.[13][14][15]
Compromise text
In March 2008, a controversy broke out concerning Obama's longterm relationship with his former pastor and religious mentor, Jeremiah Wright.[16][17] ABC News found several racially and politically charged sermons by Rev. Wright, a former member of the US Marines and Navy, including his suggestion that the U.S. bore some responsibility for the September 11 attacks due to past policies, and his questioning of the government's role in the spread of AIDS.[18] Some of Wright's statements were widely interpreted as anti-American, though one report found precedents in an essay by Fredrick Douglass.[19] Following negative media coverage and during a temporary drop in the polls,[20] Obama responded by condemning Wright's remarks, cutting his relationship to his campaign, and delivering a speech entitled "A More Perfect Union" at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[21] In the speech, Obama rejected Wright's offensive comments, but refused to disown the man himself.[11] Although the speech, which attempted to explain and contextualize the comments, was generally well-received,[11][22] some continued to press the question of Obama's long-standing relationship with Wright.[23][14]

Have we now reached a satisfactory compromise that means we can put this issue to bed (unless it flares up again with new revelations, etc.) and move on to other things? -- Scjessey (talk) 15:11, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I may have spoken too soon (see above) -- Scjessey (talk) 16:19, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
also even though the redirect works fine- frederick douglass is the proper spelling... if we end up keeping... 72.0.180.2 (talk) 20:51, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
I think it should be mentioned that Obama went to this guy's church for 20 years.thezirk (talk) 03:22, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, thank you. Grsz11 03:35, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
The "compromise" is an improvement, but is in one respect completely unacceptable. Wright didn't engage in "questioning of the government's role in the spread of AIDS". Yes, the anonymous FOXNews writer (not Goldblatt despite the template, which needs to be fixed -- Goldblatt merely "contributed") wrote "The Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., in his taped sermons, also questioned America’s role in the spread of the AIDS virus and suggested that the United States bore some responsibility for the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks." but supplies the quote he's referring to: “The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government lied.” Wright isn't "questioning" anything. He makes an assertion. Twice. And it's about the invention, not the spread. Hard to understand how FOX got it so wrong, but we don't have to repeat it. The source for the Douglass reference, e.g., says: "...he has a weakness for theories that match his sense of outrage but not the facts, as when he repeated the popular conspiracy theory that “the government lied about inventing the H.I.V. virus as a means of genocide against people of color.”"[11] ((...and the msnbc.com reference says "Wright can be heard arguing"(sic; another RS falsehood)"that HIV-AIDS was a U.S. government plot to wipe out 'people of color'".[12]))
Speaking of the Douglass reference, it is based on this, by Kelefa Sanneh:

Frederick Douglass, in an appendix to his “Narrative,” earnestly assures readers that he is not an atheist, then redoubles his attack on the theology of slaveholding America: “Between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference—so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked.” (Or, rendered into cable-news crawl: “CONTROVERSIAL MEMOIRIST ATTACKS RELIGION. DOUGLASS: AMERICAN VALUES ‘WICKED.’ ”)

...which is a pretty weak reed with which to support "one report found precedents(sic) in an essay by Fredrick Douglass". It's only in Sanneh's mind that Douglass' comment about the Christianity of the white churches of the South (given what he - unlike Sanneh apparently - knew about the evangelical roots of abolitionism I cannot credit the notion that Douglass was speaking about all of America when he says "this land") has some meaningful parallel with Wright's ravings. "DOUGLASS: AMERICAN VALUES ‘WICKED.’" is false in a way in which "WRIGHT: 9/11 AMERICA'S FAULT" isn't.
And the business about Wright's military service, presumably inserted to offset the suggestion that Wright's remarks were "anti-American", really looks odd. It's questionable logic (there are other reasons to join the military than patriotism -- FancyCat's original RS says "But disenchanted by what he felt was an inadequate Christian response to the civil rights movement, he abruptly ended his pastoral pursuits and joined the U.S. Navy",[13] which is not like marching down to the recruiting office after 9/11), and the charge it answers is equally non-specific (most blame-America-firsters claim a patriotic loyalty to some vision of America). Note that there's nothing in the "anti-Obama" text about "anti-Americanism". One nice thing about a quote is it lets the reader supply the characterizations, so we don't have to argue about them.
But I've left both Douglass and the Navy in. Bad writing, but off my main point, which is that this recitation of this first storm over Wright be told in such a way as to not obscure why Wright is a problem for Obama. Andyvphil (talk) 12:57, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for rejoining the conversation in a civil and productive manner, Andy. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 17:49, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
I have added the quote from the New York Times and a section header. It would be nice to have at least one quote in this article from someone who isn't singing hallelujah about Obama in four-part harmony. I hope the New York Times is sufficiently notable and reliable. Kossack4Truth (talk) 12:20, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
This sort of sarcasm and uncooperative attitude is not helpful, Kossack. Most of the editors here are trying to reach a compromise wording for the paragraph (and there does seem to be a real consensus that Wright deserves only one paragraph, and no section heading). Ignoring the discussion and jumping in with sarcastic remarks is disruptive. Try harder to remain civil. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 17:49, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Well that's just awesome. You two have all but completely ignored the discussion and put your totally non-neutral wording back into the article without even paying lip service to consensus-building or anything difficult like that. Kossack's pathetic excuse was that the article sounded too positive, so he added all this negative stuff, in direct violation of Wikipedia policies, just to make it sound more negative. Everyone is trying really hard to make this work except you two, and I am now considering lending my support to mediation because anyone in their right mind will see your edits for what they truly are - a coordinated smear campaign designed to introduce negative bias to influence the democratic process. I'm so incensed by this that I'm going to turn my computer off for a few hours and find some inanimate object to destroy or something. -- Scjessey (talk) 13:19, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
I think its time for you to take a few steps back. Arkon (talk) 16:19, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Scjessey, I understand your frustration, but Arkon is right — reacting emotionally isn't going to help us get anywhere. As it happens, I think that Andy actually is trying to work with other editors here. Kossack's addition was less cooperative and less respectful of the consensus-building process, but it's not helpful to lump Andy and Kossack together. Let's all try to remain cool, OK? —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 17:49, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't feel that the part about him being in the US Marines and Navy should be in there. Why is it there? It has nothing to do with anything, it's just there. I felt the compromise was good, just that one thing should be changed since it doesn't serve a purpose.QuirkyAndSuch (talk) 10:20, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

No, it probably shouldn't be. Looks just like a way of trying to justify his remarks. But this article isn't about Jeremiah Wright. thezirk (talk) 10:58, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
The mention of Wright's military service is placed in the context of Obama's "A More Perfect Union" speech — and indeed, Obama did mention Wright's service as a Marine in that speech. Previous edits had included a mention of Wright's military service earlier in the paragraph, where it was less appropriate. You're right that the article isn't about Jeremiah Wright, and that details of his life aren't relevant — except insofar as they became issues in Obama's campaign and life. Since Obama, in explaining his decision not to disown Jeremiah Wright, pointed to his service to the poor and his country, I think that it's appropriate that we do the same. It's not a justification of Wright's remarks, it's important context for Obama's decision not to denounce the man. (The remarks, of course, have been denounced, a point which critics seem to want to ignore.) —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 21:03, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Lawyer days

"But it was not all civil rights work—he also appeared in court to defend a developer against charges it was failing to provide heat to tenants and another time to contest a demand that a healthcare corporation pay for baby-sitting (his client paid up)." is what andyvphil wanted to add to the early life and career section. In its current form, it just makes him look like a civil right activist. Clearly it wasn't all positive, though. I think this edit deserves consideration, so as to balance out that section. thezirk (talk) 05:16, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

The source for that sentence, this article from the LA Times, says, "Obama spent about 70% of his time on voting rights, civil rights and employment, generally as a junior associate. The rest of his time was spent on matters related to real estate transactions, filing incorporation papers and defending clients against minor lawsuits." The question I'd ask is whether the current wording is an accurate portrayal of Obama's work as a lawyer. I think it probably is, and that the details of the babysitting case and the landlord/tenant dispute are too trivial for the main article. They're appropriate for Early life and career of Barack Obama, but I don't really think they're noteworthy enough to merit inclusion here. To me it's not about balancing "positive" and "negative" cases, it's about including significant cases and leaving less significant cases for the daughter article. I'm open to arguments about why a babysitter suing for payment is as important as the implementation of the Motor Voter act. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 05:38, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
The sentence that andyvphil wanted to add, as you quoted it, is written in poor encyclopedic style. Aside from that, I agree with Josiah on the relative case notability. --DachannienTalkContrib 07:15, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
The lede currently reads "A graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, Obama worked as a community organizer, university lecturer, and civil rights lawyer before serving in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004." As the source notes this representation ("civil rights lawyer") of this part of Obama's history "is fundamental to his autobiography, displayed on his campaign website and woven into his appeals for votes." The whole point of the LA Times article is that this is misleading, that his work for Davis, Miner was "not all civil rights" and other do-goodism, and that sometimes his representation was against the interests of the poor and powerless. The alleged wider significance of the cases is beside the point. The subject is the parameters of Obama's claim that he was a "civil rights lawyer". And NPOV requires that we not merely echo Obama's spin. Andyvphil (talk) 15:08, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
We are talking about detailing minor cases that come up in the normal course of any defense attorney's workload, and they are simply not notable enough for this BLP. Just cut out "civil rights" from that sentence of the introduction and leave all this pointless detail out of the article, thus restoring your perceived neutrality. I'd be cool with that, because I think that Obama was a "lawyer chiefly concerned with civil rights cases" as opposed to a "civil rights lawyer" (which I agree is misleading). -- Scjessey (talk) 15:20, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I approve of Grsz's removal of "civil rights" from the lede. I think that should satisfy the POV concerns. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 16:32, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Scjessey's solution here, as well as the assertion that "civil rights lawyer" carries special meaning beyond that of a lawyer who sometimes worked on civil rights cases. --DachannienTalkContrib 16:43, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Thezirk added this sentence again. I repeat my opinion that these cases aren't important enough for this summary style article, although they're appropriate for Early life and career of Barack Obama. Also, since the lede no longer says "civil rights lawyer", there's no assertion to "balance" with negative-seeming court cases. If there were "negative" cases as important as the Motor Voter or making sure that the ward boundaries were in keeping with the Civil Rights Act, I'd support their inclusion — but these two cases (a babysitter suing for wages and a tenant/landlord dispute) just aren't significant enough. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 07:08, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

As I've already pointed out, the cases are important to place Obama's own claim that he was a "civil rights lawyer" in context. Someone encountering that claim and turning to this article to see if it is true ought to find an NPOV treatment of his career at Davis, Minor. Which we have RS stating was more than the work he did on the Motor Voter, Civil Rights and whistleblower termination cases, which is all you want to mention. None of those particular cases were of national importance, so far as I am aware, nor was his work of particular significance. That's not why we mention them. We mention them to describe this period in Obama's life. Which turns out to involve defending slumlords and benefit denials when it was the other side representing the poor against his firm's clients. Mentioning only his politically correct cases misrepresents this period in his life, and doing so in a way consistent with "his campaign website and... his appeals for votes" stinks of POV pushing. nb:WP:NPOV is not satisfied by mentioning neither of two points of view. "NPOV requires... the fair, analytical description of all relevant sides of a debate, including the mutual perspectives and the published evidence." Andyvphil (talk) 14:10, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
It would be fair to briefly include mentions of a variety of notable cases Obama worked on, so that readers can get an idea of the full scope of cases he worked on during his career as a lawyer. There are two problems with your specific edit, though: one, it's not clear that the cases you're mentioning truly are notable. In fact, the source actually categorizes the cases you mentioned as "routine legal matters" and "minor lawsuits". And two, the tone of the sentence at the top of this article is inappropriate. "But it was not all civil rights work" makes an unnecessary conclusion, especially since the context of the article doesn't maintain that Obama was a civil rights attorney; and "his client paid up" sounds particularly unprofessional in tone. --DachannienTalkContrib 14:52, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
Working as an associate lawyer, Obama would probably have been given his cases. Obama did what regular lawyers do (work for anyone who will pay), but some of those cases were notable because they involved civil rights. I don't think that is sufficient justification to call him a "civil rights lawyer" (as I have said previously), but neither do I think it is sufficient justification to add the cases that Andy has clearly selected to cast Obama's lawyering in a negative light. Blatant POV push, to my mind. -- Scjessey (talk) 15:40, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
It appears that Andy has, once again, ignored the ongoing discussion and gone and done his own thing again. His tortured "But... also" construct is back again. And like I said before, a blatant POV push. -- Scjessey (talk) 15:57, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
Again, none of the work is mentioned because what Obama did was particularly notable. I've quoted Obama on what he did. I've followed the RS in providing a more nuanced description. NPOV is not the absence of POV. Reread the policy if you haven't grasped this yet. Andyvphil (talk) 16:11, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
As Dachannien points out, there are two problems with this addition: first, the way that the "But it was not all civil rights work" sentence seems to draw an editorial conclusion, and second, the focus on non-notable cases. Mentioning these specific cases here would be like talking about what style of hats Harry S. Truman sold in Independence, Missouri in Harry S. Truman, or listing episodes of General Electric Theater in Ronald Reagan. Personally, I don't think that the characterization "civil rights lawyer" necessarily implies that he worked solely or exclusively on civil rights cases, just that that was the focus of his work. But this version of the text indicates the sort of work he did, including an account of about how much was "civil rights"-related and how much was the sort of standard lawyering that pays the bills.
The Motor Voter Act and the ward redistricting are notable because they represent local implementation of federal civil rights laws. (I'm less sure about the hospital whistleblower case, which is more of local interest.) The pre-Andy text already indicates that not all the work Obama did was civil rights-related: NPOV does not demand that we cherry-pick the least flattering (or most flattering) aspects of an individual's career and highlight them, regardless of importance. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 16:50, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
Exactly why are cases that "represent local implementation of federal civil rights laws" more notable than his defense of slumlords to Obama's biography when none of the work he did on the former was significant? Obama's own characterization of this work is reported by multiple reliable sources and I can see no reason to omit it. Then NPOV requires that other characterizations of his work, as found in RS, be reported. "But it was not all civil rights work" is what a RS says, and seems uncontroversial to me. Are you contending that defending his client against the charge of not providing heat in winter was civil rights work? Andyvphil (talk) 13:30, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
No, I'm claiming that it's already covered by the sentence "He also spent time on real estate transactions, filing incorporation papers and defending clients against minor lawsuits." Giving details of those minor lawsuits is unnecessary detail in a summary style article. I'd say that implementation of civil rights laws is more notable because it has national implications, in a way that a landlord/tenant dispute doesn't. Should we also include the time he defended a nonprofit which owns low-rent housing against a slip-and-fall claim? That's just as trivial.
Honestly, I'd rather have the specific civil rights cases removed from this article than have the trivial details of Obama's other lawyer work cluttering it up. (My preference, however, is to include at least the ACORN case and the ward boundaries.) —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 16:13, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I think andy's addition is a fair balance to the obviously positive description of his lawyer work in the sentence before it. And I don't think it's right for us to determine if that's a minor lawsuit. It would be important to a lot of people, especially the tenants he was defending his client against.thezirk (talk) 21:19, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
No. Andy's "fair balance" addition is just a POV push, and I've restored the original text. You have to ask yourself if a minor piece of lawyering is significant in the context of Obama's entire life to Wikipedia's readership. Moreover, this information is presented in full in the sub-article, and there is no way we can go into so much detail following the summary style of the main article. Better to cut it all out than burden it with irrelevant, insignificant details. -- Scjessey (talk) 21:26, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I think he meant the addition was "fair and balanced", which we all know to signify undisputed neutrality. --Ubiq (talk) 21:44, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure if you're trying to mock me with vague comparisons to Fox News, but I don't have anything to gain from editing this article with POV. Scjessey and Grsz are the self-pronounced liberal democrats. What I meant was, if we're going to have vague pro-Obama lawyer information that nobody cares about, we need to be including the equally, if not moreso significant, not-so-pro-Obama lawyer information that casts him in a different light.thezirk (talk) 11:18, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't care what Scjessey and Grsz identify as politically. If they contribute to the encyclopedia and understand what it takes to maintain the integrity of a BLP, their contributions and input as editors are wanted. You're just kind of spouting opinion statements as if they're truth that everybody sees and agrees with. I certainly don't see the lawyer information as "pro-Obama" information that "nobody cares about". Obviously you care enough about it to raise issue with it on his wikipedia article. As far as your suggestion that "we need to be including the equally, if not moreso significant, not-so-pro-Obama lawyer information that casts him in a different light," our job is not to cast him in contrasting lights or to cast him in a light at all. Our job is to summarize his life, and that doesn't include going into insignificant detail about minor events/periods. Again, this is an encyclopedia, not a tabloid or a magazine or a blog or a Newsweek article. This is not a platform for Obama supporters or detractors to paint a picture about Obama for potential voters to read. Biographies are for people who are interested in knowing about someone's life, so in consideration of this, we are to follow the standards set in the BLP guidelines. --Ubiq (talk) 15:00, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

A glance at Britannica's treatment of this period of Obama's life may be illuminating. They've got one sentence, "He also worked as an attorney on civil rights issues." Clearly their editors think that Obama's work on civil rights cases is noteworthy, but his other lawyering isn't. Can anyone find a reliable source which includes this sort of detail in a summary of Obama's life? Because I can't. Again, I'd think it more appropriate to remove the details of the civil rights cases than to add details of less important but "negative"-seeming cases. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 01:54, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

The fact that the Britannica author is oblivious to the fact that he is repeating Obama's POV does not entitle us to do the same. Wikipedia has higher standards for NPOV. The author of LA Times article that we are using as a source for this section thought that the cases we are arguing over were noteworthy precisely because they contrast with Obama's own (and the Britannica's) account. And I agree with the RS, not you. And NPOV policy, again, requires that we report the POV on this issue as found in the RS, not just echo Obama's spin, which is what the version you prefer does. You may well prefer deleting all POV in preference to allowing non-pro-Obama POV to see the light of day, but that is counter to policy and is not an option you will be given. Andyvphil (talk) 09:21, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Apparently you have absolutely no problem with the information that presents a pro-Obama POV, until someone wants to counter that with a different, equally significant POV about the same subject, and then suddenly all that information should be suppressed. While I don't have as much time to edit this article as I'd like, or to do research, I have to commend Andy on the effort he continues to put into bringing this article back up to FA and NPOV status. thezirk (talk) 11:18, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Moving non-essential information to a daughter article is not the same as suppressing it. This article is a summary, and as such should summarize rather than give details. It's true that I've been reacting to brushfires rather than evaluating each sentence in the article on the whole. That's because my time is limited and I do have real-life concerns to deal with. But when I see someone adding non-vital information in a misguided effort at NPOV, I'm going to respond in accordance with Wikipedia guidelines and policy.
In this case, there are two questions: is the article neutral in its point of view, and does it give appropriate weight to events in the subject's life? In response to the first question, my initial opinion was that it was neutral, but if there is a consensus or a convincing argument otherwise I'm willing to go with that. If there is a consensus that the section is non-neutral, we have to decide how to resolve the imbalance, in which case the second question must be considered.
To take an absurd example: it would be possible to find reliable sources discussing Obama's face scratching. It would be possible for the article to become imbalanced by quoting such sources either suggesting that he was "giving Hillary the finger" or not. However, the proper resolution of such an imbalance on such a trivial matter would not be to go into the details I mentioned at #New addition proposed, but to delete the mention of this episode entirely. Now, obviously the details of Obama's work as a lawyer are more important than that. But in terms of interpretation of NPOV, the matter is the same. Not every perceived imbalance should be addressed by adding more material. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 17:27, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Obama's campaign bio says "...he returned to Chicago to practice as a civil rights lawyer and teach constitutional law."[14] That's the Obama POV. This article says "Obama worked on cases where the firm represented community organizers, pursued discrimination claims, and on voting rights cases" and supports that assertion with examples. That's also the Obama POV, basically copied from where it was stenographed by the AP.[15] But I found another source for this period. The LA Times says it was "not all civil rights" and mentions several cases which call into question the intended implication of Obama's assertion that he was "a civil rights lawyer" and the assertion in the AP article that the former Davis, Miner is "a real do-good firm". Sometimes "nonprofits" and "good government" suits and other enterprises are just a really good way for everyone involved to do really well financially, and sometimes they chisel the people they're supposed to help in order to keep the insiders on the gravy train. The LA Times article[16] supplies evidence that Obama's practice wasn't the pure Knight-in-shining-White-Armor business Obama would have you believe. That POV needs to be in the article as well. I don't see anything particularly disreputable in being a hired gun for a nonprofit that may have intended to do good while doing well, but fell somehow into not keeping the heat in good repair all the time. But we need to report accurately that period of Obama's life in this article, not thinking that exiling inconvenient truths to a sub article is good enough. It's not. Andyvphil (talk) 10:31, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
It's clear that the fears Josiah expressed above have come to fruition. If we have to load the article with unnecessary details about insignificant cases, then it is better to simply cut all the specifics in favor of a straightforward summary. It is sad that we have to lose relevant information because you insist on pushing irrelevant information, but there it is. -- Scjessey (talk) 16:03, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Andy is correct when he says, "But we need to report accurately that period of Obama's life in this article." I think that's what the following text does:

Obama worked on cases where the firm represented community organizers, pursued discrimination claims, and on voting rights cases. He also spent time on real estate transactions, filing incorporation papers and defending clients against minor lawsuits. Mostly he drew up briefs, contracts, and other legal documents as a junior associate on legal teams.

Now, I still feel that there's no contradiction between describing someone as a "civil rights lawyer" and noting that he or she also worked on non-civil rights cases — but since the characterization "civil rights lawyer" is disputed, I think it's fine for us to simply and briefly describe the kind of work he did. And I agree that it's better to remove all the specific case details than to include utterly trivial matters like the babysitting case. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 05:03, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Senate voting record needs rethink

A major source (ADA) has been "blacklisted", and the voting information is no longer available. Since it constitutes a large chunk of the paragraph, and acts as a complement to the National Journal numbers, I think we are going to have to do a bit of heavy-lifting to fix it. Any ideas? -- Scjessey (talk) 19:23, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm not quite sure what you're referring to, as far as the blacklisting of a source, or the paragraph. Can you point/link me to something? --Ubiq (talk) 19:26, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I think this is the result of something that came up on the Hillary Clinton FAC. ADA is linked there and the link checker tool identified it as being "blacklisted". I was doing some cleanup and didn't want to worry about it at that point, so left a note on the FAC page and commented that it was "blacklisted", but I hadn't looked into it that far. Upon further investigation, it seems ADA changed to a php format, and as a result going to their "index.htm" page resulted in the blacklisting. Change the link to index.php and you're in. --Bobblehead (rants) 19:55, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
If you go to that website, you find that all the pages now point to a different, external website (looks like a freebie webhost or something). It might be "blacklisted" because of other sites hosted by the same service. Either way, I have been unable to dig up the cited information. -- Scjessey (talk) 20:06, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
I've already fixed it.[17] The only thing that isn't "fixed" is that the sourced used to support "In the sixty votes used by the ADA to measure a legislator's political liberalism during Obama's career in the Senate he has voted for the non-"liberal" result only once." doesn't actually support that claim. It's a link to the ADA's home page. However, if you go through their 2005, 2006, and 2007 reports you can use the combination of those reports to surmise that Obama has only voted against ADA once. --Bobblehead (rants) 20:26, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
"Conclude" or "establish", not "surmise". Andyvphil (talk) 11:47, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

With this edit, I advanced the split between between the section's two leading paragraphs and removed the ADA text that merely reasserted the National Journal's "liberal" characterization. --HailFire (talk) 10:11, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

...which I've restored. I dug up the ADA results specifically in response to accusations on this page that the NJ results were the result of ideological hostility to Obama. The ADA cannot be accused of hostility to liberalism. Their results don't "reassert" the National Journal 's. They can be interpreted as reaching the same conclusion, but the organizations have differing biases and used a different selection of votes. Rather than being redundant, they reinforce each other. Andyvphil (talk) 11:21, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

HailFire's contribution

The following text was added offered here and immediately proposed for discussion here:

The Senate historian lists Obama as the fifth African American Senator in U.S. history, and the third to have been popularly elected.<ref>"Breaking New Ground: African American Senators". U.S. Senate Historical Office. Retrieved 2008-04-27. </ref> He is the only Senate member of the Congressional Black Caucus.<ref>"Member Info". Congressional Black Caucus. Retrieved 2008-04-27.  See also: Zeleny, Jeff (June 26 2005). "When It Comes to Race, Obama Makes His Point—With Subtlety". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-04-27.  Check date values in: |date= (help)</ref> CQ Weekly, a nonpartisan publication, characterized him as a "loyal Democrat" based on Senate votes cast in 2005 through 2007.<ref>Nather, David (January 14 2008). "The Space Between Clinton and Obama". CQ Weekly. Retrieved 2008-04-27.  Check date values in: |date= (help) See also: Curry, Tom (February 21 2008). "What Obama's Senate Votes Reveal". MSNBC. Retrieved 2008-04-27.  Check date values in: |date= (help)</ref> The National Journal, in its 27th annual vote ratings, identified Obama as "the most liberal senator" in 2007, although he participated in only two-thirds of the rated votes.<ref>"Obama: Most Liberal Senator In 2007". National Journal. January 31 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-27.  Check date values in: |date= (help)</ref> Asked about the Journal's characterization of his voting record, Obama expressed doubts about the survey's methodology and blamed "old politics" categorization of political positions as "conservative" or "liberal" for creating predispositions that prevent problem-solving.<ref>"Obama Interview" (transcript). WJLA-TV (Politico). February 12 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-27.  Check date values in: |date= (help) See also: "Politico's Harris and VandeHei Misrepresented Harris' Own Interview with Obama". Media Matters for America. March 19 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-27.  Check date values in: |date= (help)</ref>

Unfortunately, it was modified by Andyvphil to this version before any discussion could take place. I have reposted the text here to help determine if there is support from the community for this version as the Barack Obama#Senate Career section's 2nd paragraph. Let's hear comments from other active editors, please. Thanks. --HailFire (talk) 13:05, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

What did you "add"? As far as I can see, your "addition" was actually a subtraction, since all of the above text was already present, plus the material on the ADA ratings of Obama, which I added back into your version since they were, as I noted above, NOT redundant of the NJ ratings. Then I rewote the NJ bit to better specify the basis for their description of Obama. Andyvphil (talk) 14:07, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Update ref for Obama outside references

new book out see Obama, Yes We can, Hope out March 08 [18] —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.162.178.52 (talk) 04:12, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Wright on Bill Moyers Journal

Recommended to anyone contributing to discussions about how details concerning Jeremiah Wright, Trinity United Church of Christ, or Black theology may merit (or not merit) inclusion in this article about Barack Obama:

#REDIRECT Template:FFDC "Rev. Jeremiah Wright" (interview, video and text). Bill Moyers Journal (PBS). April 25 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-28.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

--HailFire (talk) 16:07, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

WWE

Should the fact he and his presidential candidate rivals were on Monday Night Raw as part of their campaign? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 58.172.41.225 (talk) 10:51, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Not that notable for this article. Maybe for the Democratic Party (United States) presidential primaries, 2008 article, but even that is pushing it. --Bobblehead (rants) 15:14, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
You'd have to mention candidate appearances on The View, Ellen, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, The Today Show, and a whole bunch of others if you were going to include this "joke" appearance. Not notable in any article, to be frank. -- Scjessey (talk) 15:30, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Wrong again. Appearing on a wrestling show is a new and notable low in candidate dignity, a step beyond talk shows. Certainly belongs in the campaign article. But unless it become iconic (like Bill's sax playing) not here, yet. Andyvphil (talk) 14:16, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree it probably shouldn't be mentioned, but it's more notable than those other appearances in that they all appeared on the same night, and presidential candidates really don't go on WWE. thezirk (talk) 11:01, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
I can't be surprised that you two are pushing for inclusion of this. I love Andy's logic: If it is a "new and notable low in candidate dignity", it "certainly belongs in the campaign article". Nevermind if it's actually true. It takes all of 10 seconds to figure out that they didn't actually go on WWE, but were merely parodied by what I'm assuming to be wrestlers. --Ubiq (talk) 15:10, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
If it really has to be mentioned anywhere, it should probably belong on the WWE Raw page. It is indeed a new arena (so to speak) that the candidates have reached out to. The novelty alone is rather significant. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 200.50.72.156 (talk) 22:59, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Actually McCain, Obama and Clinton all appeared on the show through video messages specifically addressing the fans- just look the video up if you want proof- it was on various news shows and all over the media in general.

Ah, OK. I was eventually able to find the videos you're talking about. I was referring to this, where they guy playing Barack has the goofiest fake ears I've ever seen. --Ubiq (talk) 06:10, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
It's pretty obvious that it deserves zero mention, honestly, on of the three candidates' articles or campaign articles. Wizardman 03:14, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. --Ubiq (talk) 06:10, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

sneaking things against consensus

I am watching this article. Some things have been settled but then a few days or weeks later, the bias version sneaks up. I can see about 10 examples. I will do one at a time.

I don't need to argue for the point. It's already mentioned in the talk page or talk page archive.

Sneaking things in #1: As a state senator, Obama's OPPONENT received the police union endorsement. The rank and file hated Obama because he did things they thought was anti-police. Only after the opponent lost did they change the endorsement. Just saying that he got the endorsement is POV since it glosses over the fact.

After this is resolved, we can move to point #2 of about 10. Watchingobama (talk) 18:50, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Do you have a source that Obama didn't have the police endorsement that contradicts the source given, that says he did? Grsztalk 18:55, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Also, I'm not sure what you mean by "sneaking things against consensus." Grsztalk 18:57, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

I am a card carrying union member which is why the way the wikipedia article reads irks me. Just google it and near the top is...The union endorsement was not particularly surprising, since the FOP endorsed another Democrat, Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes...http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/specials/elections/chi-0408130201aug13,1,7640082.story .

Even other internet encyclopedias (according to google) make the Hynes distinction. Sneaking things against concensus, you ask? Just look at the history. This article was correct then the bias version showed up a little while after the discussion had ended. This is one of many facts that are mentioned elsewhere on the internet as an example of wikipedia bias. This is wikipedia. Wikipedia should be for truth. Having a union support Hynes is not anti-Obama but is the truth. Watchingobama (talk) 19:11, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

There never was any consensus for this, and nothing was snuck in. Tvoz |talk 03:25, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Why the FOP endorsement is in the State Legislature section rather than Senate Campaign is pretty inexplicable. But "consensus" says that the FOP's president "credit[ing] Obama" (after Hynes was defeated) "for his active engagement with police organizations in enacting death penalty reforms" is as significant to Obama's biography as the loss to Rush that RS tell us nearly caused him to quit politics to take up a foundation job. "Consensus" is so clever. If it didn't tell us things like this, who would guess? Andyvphil (talk) 09:46, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

I must say that I'm not entirely sure what to do about the FOP endorsement myself. It was included in the article before I became an active editor. I assume it is there because of the information about death penalty reform, but if that is the only reason it probably violates WP:WEIGHT. -- Scjessey (talk) 15:36, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

It seems to me that the details of the FOP endorsement (initially endorsing Hynes in the primary, then endorsing Obama in the general) belong in United States Senate election in Illinois, 2004. I think the bit of information that's relevant to a summary of Obama's Illinois senate career is that he worked on death penalty reforms, in a way that gained the respect of police organizations (as indicated by the [International Herald Tribune] article). I would support removing mention of the endorsement, and instead saying something like "Police representatives credited Obama for his active engagement with police organizations in enacting death penalty reforms." That would properly include the praise offered by Laimutis Nargelenas (Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police) and Ted Street (FOP), but avoid the matter of who was endorsed at what time. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 21:30, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

I would agree with that, Josiah. Tvoz |talk 22:57, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Why am I not surprised that there is difficulty on the part of some editors in distingushing pro-Obama POV from fact? Oh. Long experience? There's that. Well, one interpretation of the historical record is that Obama had "gained the respect of police organizations". That's the pro-Obama POV. The other is that the FOP is a committed Democrat organization and when Obama was the last Democrat standing they held their noses and endorsed him, and therefor had to find something positive to say about someone they were really unenthusiastic about. If that view is found in the RS (and Watchingobama seems convinced it is true, so it ought to have been reported) NPOV requires it be mentioned as well. Andyvphil (talk) 23:36, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
We've got two reliable sources indicating that he gained the respect of police organizations. We can discuss alternate wording if you provide a reliable source indicating otherwise. The fact that Obama wasn't the union's first choice doesn't mean that he didn't gain their respect — just that they preferred someone else, for whatever reason (possibly policy, possibly personality, possibly patronage). We can't base our editorial decisions on what might be possible — only on what's recorded in reliable sources. Watchingobama's apparent conviction is not a reliable source. Neither is your inability to distinguish what reliable sources say from "pro-Obama POV". —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 03:20, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

New developments with Wright

Should we include in this article that Obama seems to be distancing himself from Wright following Wright's appearance at the national press club? Obviously it's a bit too soon to do it as Obama just had the press conference (Recentism and all that), but I figured I'd get the discussion going before we end up with a full scale edit war again. --Bobblehead (rants) 19:48, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Yeah it seems to be taking an odd, even more sour turn. I think it's best to wait until any further developments. If it gets even uglier, we'd obviously have to change the summary paragraph to reflect any significant changes in the matter. --Ubiq (talk) 20:43, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree that we need to wait and see what happens before trying to summarize it here. We're in the middle of the storm right now, and can't tell what the damage will be yet. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 20:45, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I definitely think something will probably be needed eventually. We could add something like this to the existing Wright paragraph:
Following a trio of public appearances by Jeremiah Wright in which he reiterated some of his controversial comments,[24][25][26] Obama sought to distance himself further from his former pastor. He said he was "outraged" at what he described as "a bunch of rants that aren't grounded in truth," adding, "And what I think particularly angered me was his suggestion somehow that my previous denunciation of his remarks was somehow political posturing."[27]
That might be a bit too much, but I think you can see where I'm going with it. I haven't actually seen anything since Obama's press conference, so obviously it will need further work if there have been more developments. -- Scjessey (talk) 20:56, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Good, but it is too much. In particular, the phrase ",Obama sought to distance himself further from his former pastor" repeats previous content and is not neutral enough. "Sought to distance" is too politic, as in the "political posturing" that Obama is denouncing. I think Wright's and Obama's falling out is actually good for Obama in the long run. Yet the measure of his success at this time is irrelevant. Suggest removing the phrase, perhaps writing "Following...,Obama said he was...". Modocc (talk) 23:12, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I think it's probably a bit premature to be proposing material for this right now. --Ubiq (talk) 23:27, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree, but I think the idea was to head off the inevitable flood of additions/reversions regarding the press conference by getting a discussion going here. -- Scjessey (talk) 01:09, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Yup. Just call it a pre-emptive strike on my part.. --Bobblehead (rants) 01:15, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

In fairness to Wright, he also defended Obama at the NAACP dinner in Detroit "He also defended Obama and lashed out at the news media for running excerpts of his heated sermons, media pundits and those who have tried to connect him to Islam because of his full name — Barack Hussein Obama."[28] -- —Preceding unsigned comment added by It is me i think (talkcontribs) sorry I forgot to sign It is me i think (talk) 01:32, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Malia was born in 1998

Malia was born on July 4, 1998:

  • Sneed, Michael (July 7, 1998). Sneed. Chicago Sun-Times, p. 4:

    Congrats to State Sen. Barack Obama and wife, Michelle, on the birth of their first child, Malia.

  • Obama, Barack (2006). The Audacity of Hope New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0307237699, p. 339:

    Then Malia was born, a Fourth of July baby, so calm and so beautiful, with big, hypnotic eyes that seemed to read the world the moment they opened.

  • Kimball, Nick (July 4, 2007). Happy July 4th!, Nick Kimball's Blog, barackobama.com

    Michelle introduced Barack, with their daughter Malia sitting next to her. It's Malia's birthday today!
    "Malia Obama is now a young lady of nine. Isn't she gorgeous?"

Natasha (Sasha) was born in 2001:

  • Kupcinet, Irv (June 24, 2001). Kup's column. Chicago Sun-Times, p. 16:

    Congrats to Sen. Barack Obama and wife Michelle on the birth of daughter Natasha Marion.

Newross (talk) 02:17, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for looking into it. I went ahead and changed it to 1998. --Ubiq (talk) 02:29, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Weird. I wonder why so many references say she was born in 1999 then? I wouldn't have expected that to be the sort of thing that was difficult to find out the truth of. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 08:35, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
See? I told you so. That's what happens when a source gets the facts wrong and then all the other sources regurgitate the error instead of checking themselves. I actually emailed the Obama campaign to get a clarification, but after 2 weeks I still haven't heard anything. -- Scjessey (talk) 13:30, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Head of State

it should be noted that his favorite film is Head of State. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.150.36.77 (talkcontribs) 21:00, April 30, 2008

Why? —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 21:04, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
I suppose it could be worse. -- Scjessey (talk) 21:09, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
I was asking "why should it be noted?" rather than "why is it his favorite film?" I haven't seen Head of State, and have no opinion on it (although Chris Rock is generally hilarious). —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 06:27, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

improving readability

  1. ^ Brian Ross (March 13 2008). "Obama's Pastor: God Damn America, U.S. to Blame for 9/11". ABC News. Retrieved 2008-03-17.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ Andrew Sullivan. For The Record The Atlantic: The Daily Dish, March 16 2008. Retrieved on 2008-03-18
  3. ^ Barack Obama (March 18 2008). "Remarks by Barack Obama: 'A More Perfect Union'". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2008-03-18.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ Brian Ross (March 13 2008). "Obama's Pastor: God Damn America, U.S. to Blame for 9/11". ABC News. Retrieved 2008-03-17.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. ^ Andrew Sullivan. For The Record The Atlantic: The Daily Dish, March 16 2008. Retrieved on 2008-03-18
  6. ^ Lapidos, Juliet (March 19, 2008). "The AIDS Conspiracy Handbook". Slate.com. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  7. ^ Jeff Goldblatt (March 14 2008). "Obama’s Pastor’s Sermon: ‘God Damn America’". FOXNews. Retrieved 2008-04-04.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2008/03/21/the-full-story-behind-rev-jeremiah-wrights-911-sermon/
  9. ^ Reid, Tim (March 21, 2008). "Polls show Barack Obama damaged by link to Reverend Jeremiah Wright". Times Newspapers, Ltd. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  10. ^ Barack Obama (March 18 2008). "Remarks by Barack Obama: 'A More Perfect Union'". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2008-03-18.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  11. ^ a b c d Nedra Pickler, Matt Apuzzo (March 18, 2008). "Obama confronts racial division". The Associated Press. Retrieved 2008-04-06.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  12. ^ "Mr. Obama’s Profile in Courage". The New York Times. 2008-03-19. Retrieved 2008-03-19. 
  13. ^ "Obama's minister's remarks won't fade". The Associated Press. March 21, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-26.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. ^ a b "Obama's racial problems transcend Wright". The Politico. March 18 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-18.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  15. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/24/opinion/24kristol.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
  16. ^ Brian Ross (March 13 2008). "Obama's Pastor: God Damn America, U.S. to Blame for 9/11". ABC News. Retrieved 2008-03-17.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  17. ^ Andrew Sullivan. For The Record The Atlantic: The Daily Dish, March 16 2008. Retrieved on 2008-03-18
  18. ^ Jeff Goldblatt (March 14 2008). "Obama’s Pastor’s Sermon: ‘God Damn America’". FOXNews. Retrieved 2008-04-04.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  19. ^ "Project Trinity". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  20. ^ Reid, Tim (March 21, 2008). "Polls show Barack Obama damaged by link to Reverend Jeremiah Wright". Times Newspapers, Ltd. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  21. ^ Barack Obama (March 18 2008). "Remarks by Barack Obama: 'A More Perfect Union'". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2008-03-18.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  22. ^ "Mr. Obama’s Profile in Courage". The New York Times. 2008-03-19. Retrieved 2008-03-19. 
  23. ^ "Obama's minister's remarks won't fade". The Associated Press. March 21, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-26.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  24. ^ "Bill Moyers' Journal". PBS. 2008-04-25. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  25. ^ Nichols, Darren A.; David Josar (April 27, 2008). "Wright delivers fiery, humorous speech at NAACP dinner". Detroit News. Retrieved 2008-04-29.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  26. ^ "Transcript of Wright's remarks, as provided by CQ Transcriptions". New York Times. April 28, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-28.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  27. ^ "Obama denounces former pastor". The Associated Press (MSNBC.com). April 29, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-29.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  28. ^ http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/04/27/wright-discusses-public-crucifixion-at-sunday-services/