Is Barack Obama dull?

Written By: - Date published: 9:40 am, January 22nd, 2008 - 31 comments
Categories: articles, International - Tags: ,


Armando Iannucci from The Observer wonders whether he’s the only person to find Barack Obama dull:

Like Will Smith, who in the new film I Am Legend wakes up to find himself the last man alive in a world of zombies, am I now the only person left on the planet who finds Barack Obama a little bit dull? Every time I listen to him, I start off thinking I’m about to wet my pants, but a minute-and-a-half later find my mind wandering, asking itself things like: ‘What does “the challenge of hope” mean?’

Yet I turn and look around and everyone is shouting and screaming. Obama chants: ‘Something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it’ and there’s a collective swoon from grown pundits and hardened reporters, all of them tearing off their shirts and pleading for Obama to sign their chests with indelible marker pen. Will Smith woke up to a world of zombies: in my personal nightmare, everyone around me has an overactive thyroid.

So why does Obama, billed by everyone as a cross between Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln, but without the terrible looks of either, just leave me puzzled?

Read on…

31 comments on “Is Barack Obama dull?”

  1. An appropriate disclosure statement by the Standard should read:

    “The Standard is proudly supported by the Labour Party, which subsidises the hosting of this blog. Some Standard authors are active Labour Party members. Some Standard authors are also paid employees of the EPMU. Some Standard authors are employed by Parliamentary Services and work in the Beehive.”

    Unfortunately, the Standard is too dishonest to make that statement. Despite campaigning for everybody else’s political affiliations to be outed, and championing the cause of the Electoral Finance Act, which by the Standard’s own claims, increases transparency and accountability in politics, the Standard has done everything it can to conceal its political ties.

  2. Robinsod 2

    Still running the pigfucker argument, Prick?

    I’m still waiting for that proof. Liar.

  3. Outofbed 3

    An appropriate comment would be about Barack Obama
    If you don’t like it here why post?

    I also think Obama has a personality deficient And frankly has he any chance of being president ? I think not

  4. Outofbed:

    The Standard went silent for 48 hours in the hope that the story would go away. It hasn’t. Instead the Standard is trying to bury the story about its political affiliations.

    The Standard could easily clean up this whole mess by making a clear statement of its material political affiliations. Until then, it has no credibility as a blog.

  5. Daveo 5

    Hmmm, it seems kind of strange that Tane and Lynn Prentice have been going around Kiwiblog, Kiwiblogblog, Newzblog and Public Address discussing the issue if they’re trying to ‘bury’ it. It’s a non-story IP and you’re just showing your illiteracy by thinking it is.

  6. Daveo,

    They have done everything except explain the truth. And they haven’t put up a single post here about it.

    It’s very simple. Are any of the Standard’s authors members of a political party? If so, which political parties? Are any of the Standard’s authors employed by a trade union affiliated to a political party? If so, which trade unions? Are any of the Standard’s authors employed by Parliamentary or Ministerial services?

    Further, apart from the subsidy by the Labour Party for the Standard’s hosting, what other support, if any, does the Standard receive from the Labour Party, an affiliate union of the Labour Party, or Parliamentary or Ministerial services?

  7. Kimble 7

    “it seems kind of strange that Tane and Lynn Prentice have been going around Kiwiblog, Kiwiblogblog, Newzblog and Public Address discussing the issue if they’re trying to ‘bury’ it.”

    What would you say if The NZ Herald was accused of being run by the ACT Party and all they did was to write ‘letters to the editors’ of other newspapers?

  8. Furthermore, Kimble, what if the NZ Herald’s response to the accusation that is run by the Act Party, in those letters to the editor, was: “We don’t use Persil Automatic Washing Powder.”?

    Because in none of the comments on any of the blogs where the Standard has been spinning, have they addressed the single relevant issue of their political affiliations. In fact they have spun, lied, and mislead.

  9. Outofbed 9

    Insolent Prick

    We just can’t take you seriously

  10. wake up Impotent. or go back to sleep. as long as you change the record.

    i’m with Armando, Obama would be saccharine if he wasn’t so bland.

  11. IP – speaking from the right of centre (but not claiming to speak ON BEHALF of the right!), could you please hurry up and issue a denial to Robinsod’s rather bizarre accusation regading your sexual preferences. Having just swpent three weeks in a country where pork isn’t available, followed by several days in a muslim country, I have some rather delicious looking pork chops in my fridge awaiting eating tonight, but with these “accusations” hanging over you, I can’t bring myself to eat them!! You know how it is…..a bloke can’t be too careful!!! So, for the sake of my tastebuds……….

  12. Outofbed 13

    Inventory2 you should be fine They make sausages out of the head

  13. Matthew Pilott 14

    IP, I’m going to mention this once.

    You say that you will take what The Standard authors say at face value.

    As they’ve said that they are in no way beholden to their workplaces and that the content of their posts is not edited/screened/vetten/seen or whatever with or by their employers, your problem is entirely of your own, lying self. They have said that they aren’t paid to blog, and that what they write is thoroughly independent of said workplaces.

    Given this, your ‘appropriate’ disclosure statement is about as appropriate as having sexual relations with a pig would be.

    If you would take their word, then you would have accepted this explanation. Therefore you are lying. Which is about par for the course.

  14. Outofbed 15

    Which RWNJ said this on the day Brash resigned ?

    You pinko shits have been predicting Don Brash’s demise ever since he became leader. Fact is he has survived every one of the personal attacks and dirty tactics that the Labour Party has thrown at him; from personal shit-throwing about his private life, to allegations of misdeeds, to the most preposterous&the bald claim that he is not fit to be Prime Minister because Pete Hodgson says so.

    Every time you have tried to demonise Don Brash, he has bounced back higher in the polls. He doubled National’s vote at the last election. He leads National at a time when the Nats are continuing to thump Labour in the polls, by even wider margins every week.

    Look out for Orewa III. Brash’s next speech will make you toast. As much as Labour wants to collude with nut-jobs like Nicky Hager&who blamed Brash for Rod Donald’s death just last year&Brash will be our next Prime Minister.

  15. Sam Dixon 16

    I liked I am Legend.

    I also like Obama.

    Maybe I have a thing for black men?

  16. Outofbed 17

    who hasn’t ?

  17. Matthew,

    Whether somebody is beholden to their workplace, or owes allegiance to their employer, is a matter of judgement. Take conflict, and perceived conflict of interest cases. The Standard has run the argument that the Exclusive Brethren is a sinister sect that engages in secret politics. By your argument, if the Exclusive Brethren said: “No, we’re not a sect. We are just a bunch of concerned individuals. Our religious leadership of the Brethren has no relationship to our political activity,” then you would be the first to howl them down.
    Being members of a political party, being employed by a political party, being employed by an affiliate of a political party, being employed by Ministerial or Parliamentary Services, ARE relevant and material information. The Standard has repeatedly made an issue of David Farrar’s links to the National Party. Kiwiblogblog right now claims that DPF’s polling company works exclusively for the National Party.

    I’m not going to respond to the pig-fucking claim, because apart from not wanting to encourage such gross defamation, even if it were true, it has nothing to do with my political interests. It says much about the hypocrisy of the Standard criticising Kiwiblog’s commenters for their pack mentality, when the Standard is now happily offering itself as a forum for defamation. Given the Standard’s now established links with the Labour Party, and highly probable connections with the EPMU, I wouldn’t think that’s the smartest move it could make.

  18. Outofbed 19

    Insolent Prick

    We just can’t take you seriously

  19. Matthew Pilott 20

    IP, you said that you would take their word, so are you going to retract that comment now, or continue lying?

  20. Matthew,

    I’ve said repeatedly that if the Standard issue a disclosure statement, stating that none of their authors are employed by the Labour Party, an affiliated union of the Labour Party, Parliamentary Services, or Ministerial Services, I will take them at their word.

    But the Standard hasn’t done so. They have spun and lied their way, and hoped the issue will go away. It isn’t working.

  21. Matthew Pilott 22

    So why not take them at their word that their content is in no way endorsed, vetted or in any other way interfered with by whomever their employers may be? That’s what has been said, and any further attempt to press the issue is just lying on your behalf, as is your modus operandi.

  22. ak 23

    Incontinent Pig: winner of the inaugural Golden Key Champion award for supreme examplars of impotent boardom. (Farrarcreche stud, teaser services only)

  23. DS 24


    The thing about Obama is that he has been extremely successful at mobilising the support of people who don’t usually vote (in contrast with Hillary Clinton, whose support tends to come from life-long Democrats). His charisma and speaking ability are genuine; his major problem is that he is a bit of a “blank slate” candidate, in whom people will see what they want to see.

  24. Michele Cabiling 25

    Inventory2 wrote:

    “Having just swpent three weeks in a country where pork isn’t available, followed by several days in a muslim country, I have some rather delicious looking pork chops in my fridge awaiting eating tonight …”

    Below are fatwas pronounced by the Ayahtollah Khomeini regarding the all too frequent propensity of Muslim men to engage in unnatural sexual congress with livestock:

    “A man can have sex with animals such as sheep, cows, camels and so on. However he should kill the animal after he has his orgasm. He should not sell the meat to the people in his own village, however selling the meat to the next door village should be fine.”

    Maybe this is why beef exports aren’t a booming business for Islamic countries …

    “If one commits the act of sodomy with a cow, a ewe, or a camel, their urine and their excrement become impure, and even their milk may no longer be consumed. The animal must then be killed and as quickly as possible and burned.”

    You may wish to consider temporary vegetarianism next time you visit an Islamic country.

  25. Michele Cabiling 26

    Regarding Obama, anyone who campaigns on a mandate for “change” without actually providing specifics of what “change” they are looking to implement is simply demagoguing, and should be treated accordingly by voters.

    Shrillary and Edwards are doing the same thing.

  26. Tane 27

    Michele, nah, while the Dems are never going to do anything revolutionary Edwards seems to be a bit more willing to specify what he stands for than Hillary and Obama, and he’s actually challenging them on it. There are quite a few vids of him up on youtube if you want to know more.

  27. Phil 28

    There was a good write up, maybe a week ago, in the DomPost. It was about how John Edwards was essentially shooting himself in the foot, by turning his back on the interest groups funding the Clinton and Obama campaigns.

    He’s toast, and it seems everybody but him knows it.

  28. ak 29

    Michele: “…anyone who campaigns on a mandate for “change” without actually providing specifics of what “change” they are looking to implement is simply demagoguing…”

    Agreed Michele – John Key to a T.

  29. Phil 30

    Actually ak, more like Jenny Shipley in 1999, campaigning with “its time for a change” after 9 years of National Government.


  30. Michele Cabiling 31

    We seem to be no more aware of a need to be on guard against demagoguery today, in the 21st century, than when people looked up with open-mouthed adulation at Adolf Hitler in the 1930s and at numerous other demagogues, large and small, around the world during the 20th Century.

    Many people plug into the mantra of “change” that rings out from political aspirants during an election year. Few do what politicians hope that we will never do — stop and think.

    It’s doubtful whether anyone in the world is 100 percent satisfied with everything that’s going on.

    Everybody is for change. They differ on the specifics. Uniting people behind the mindless mantra of “change” means asking for a blank check in exchange for rhetoric. That deal has been made many times in many places — and millions of people have lived to regret it.

    It’s not too much to ask politicians to talk specifics, instead of trying to sweep us along with empty rhetoric. Optimists might even hope for some logical consistency and hard facts.

    Barack Obama says that he wants to “heal America and repair the world.” One wonders what he will do for an encore and whether he will rest on the seventh day.

    That so many people are ready to be swayed by such empty rhetoric is a huge danger, for it means that the fate of America is at risk from any skilled demagogue who comes along.

    Barack Obama says that he wants to “heal” the country while at the same time promoting the idea that all sorts of people are victims for whom he will fight.

    Being divisive while proclaiming unity is something you can do only in the world of rhetoric.

    Senator Obama has no monopoly on demagoguery, however. Former Senator John Edwards has been playing this game longer, even if not as effectively in the political arena.

    John Edwards built his own fortune in the courtroom, depicting babies with birth defects as victims of the doctors who delivered them. The cost of such demagoguery has gone far beyond the tens of millions of dollars that Edwards pocketed for himself from gullible juries.

    Such lawsuits based on junk science have driven up the cost of medical care, not only directly but even more so indirectly, by leading to an increase in Caesarean births and other costly “defensive medicine” to protect doctors rather than patients.

    The world of John Edwards, like the world of Barack Obama, is a world of victims, whose saviour he claims to be.

    What is scary is how little interest the public and the media have in the actual track record of political saviors and the cry of generic “change.”

    America is not czarist Russia or Iran under the shah, so that people might think that any change was bound to be for the better. Yet even in those despotic countries the changes — to communism and to rule by ayatollahs — made them far worse.

    The time is long overdue for voters to demand specifics instead of rhetoric that turns their emotions on and their minds off.

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