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Barack Obama reveals an inside debate story

The important Nevada caucuses are Saturday, so many of the presidential candidates are working the crowds wherever they can find them and putting in long days -- and evenings.

And so is The Times' Seema Mehta.

Last night, she reports, Barack Obama was speaking in a large common room at Rancho High School in Las Vegas. The place was so packed with hundreds of people that they ran out of chairs. Many had to stand. Obama was going through his standard stump speech when he slipped in a humorous little confession about his recent MSNBC debate performance against Hillary Clinton and John Edwards.

"I was laughing when we had the debate a couple days ago," Obama said. "You remember: People were asked, 'What's your biggest weakness?' So I thought, because I'm like an ordinary person, I thought that they meant what's your biggest weakness?

"So I said: 'Well, you know, I don't handle papers that well. My desk is a mess. I need somebody to help me file stuff all the time.' So the other two, they say, 'My biggest weakness is I'm just too passionate about helping poor people.' 'I am just too impatient to bring about change in America.'

"If I had gone last, I would have known what the game was. I could have said: 'Well, you know I like to help old ladies across the street. Sometimes they don't want to be helped. It's terrible.' Folks, they don't tell you what they mean."

That comes with experience, no doubt.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Comments () | Archives (11)

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That comes with being a phony like Clinton and Edwards are..

Indeed, he is inexperience as the debates progress on to the casting ballots, he is showing more of his inability to handle the hardest job in the country! But he is a great talker: thus, an empty can produces the largest noise! Hillary will be our Lady president!

Love it! I wish he'd use humor more to illustrate his points. There's something so completely genuine about Obama that's so lacking in Clinton and Edwards.

Smart move on Obama's part. At times it's good to deal the hands dealt to one. Hillary has been spending more time bringing Obama down than lifting the country up. Nevada latino's... smell the coffee! She will do anyhting even if involves distabilizing your communities all in the cause to win what she feels she deserves.

I can only hope Obama does not get so seasoned and experienced that he becomes like them, a spin mister, and we can no longer count on him to be truthful and upfront. The people want honesty now. We are moving towards a more holistic way of living: less greenhouse gases, cleaning up of water and enviornment, organic foods and household items -- and yes the cleaning up our politicians.

Obama says he does not understand the 'game' when he was asked a question and now reflects on a revealing answer.

He says that he is not an organized person when it comes to paperwork.

Then he goes on to say that much of the administration would be looked after by managers.

Excuse me, but isn't this man hoping to run for President ?

I figure we might do a lot better with someone who has a better grasp of the demands made on the top executive position.

That is one reason why I like Sen. Obama...he has a sense of humor.

We need to think of the big picture here, we need to look past the primaries and see who will win the general election. You win elections by winning over independents. While Hillary has modest support from democrats (modest in the sense that nationally she now only has an 8 to 12% advantage among democrats over Obama depending on the poll) she has absolutely no support from any republicans and support which could be classified as tepid at best from few independents. In head to head match ups against John McCain, Clinton is already behind in the polls and the real mud slinging hasn’t even begun.

Republicans are hoping for a Clinton victory people! Just listen to Karl Rove and to the pundits on right wing radio and Fox News run their mouths. They are literally salivating. And while the Republican Party looks to be in shambles there is one sure thing that can guarantee huge Republican turnout on Election Day, their hatred for HRC. All polls show nationally that almost 50% of the population has an unfavorable view of her. If only 50% of voters are even willing to consider voting for you there is no way you can win a general election.

Obama has a cross-over appeal not felt for generations, a cross-over appeal that can more effectively heal the divide in this great country, a cross-over appeal that will cause independents to vote for him in droves and guarantee a victory in November. He may even win over some Republicans. If he is the democratic nominee this year we will have a democrat as president. Pick Hillary and we will have at least four more years of the mess we've had for the past eight. Guaranteed.

It's really hard to believe as most probably do not even realize this stuff is reviewed and much truth is censored by failing to post. While some rediculous and pathetic stuff that are ignorant and emotional rants is. My more elaborate post fails to be posted cause too much truth would shock and destabize mass delusions and Bill and Hillary would not be happy. But Seyi did not have to read it to touch the latest major part of the patterns that HC got away with so far like in NH female sympathy, what the Dems have done with the black vote traditionally and powers that be who fail to allow freedom of hearts and minds @ large. Its not even safe to know what global risk we are all facing and the belief is that those incharge of securing our future know better and should be trusted and we the people can not be trusted. So to that I say go Barack Obama Movement. Just ask the real smart money where partisan polotics has no clout. 49 yr old wm in NY for Real Leadership, and Obama supporter, Ron

Jason is absolutely correct! If you want to insure another Republican victory next year, just elect HRC as the Dem. candidate, and it's as good as done. I for one who has voted Dem. all my life would have to cross over and vote R. for the first time in my life. That's me and many others like me. Think about it!! Read about it!!

Ok my origional submission did finally post to same Top of the Ticket series 'Rove candidly analyzes Clinton vs. Nobody in Michigan' 1-17-2008. The rather un-American ClearMind comment that precedes mine bust the dam of my overwhelming hope that self defeating partisan polotics can now finally yield to meet the real needs of challnges we all face and they're getting old at our demise. Obama had the perogative of leadership by speaking first. He demonstrated honesty instead of it would not be in the best interest of my canidency to actually answer the question. What can you really say about the others. I have had the perogative to watch most of the debates and have followed the trails of speak and speak of speak. Obama has been the only one at least to attempt to tell the electorate and public at large what they need to know for our collective good at home, our inescapable role and standing and responsibilies globally. He has demonstrated a reverant respect with regaurd to his nomination in the party for what at our peril and prospects already has been a very poor recklous joke at best. I applaude with overwhelming respect and yes reverance his drive, insight, oversight and pro-active demonstration already. Obama is not a let's see what this country can do for you endeavor but with the collective pouring out of hearts and minds what we can do as Americans that bears reflection of what this country has already done for all of us.What J Edward's for instance talks on corporate responsibility Obama and other insightful senators drafted a bill that Bush actually already signed greatly limiting thier lobbying already. HC talks bout her administration being transparent because you'll be able to go on line and see what taxpayer doolars are being spent on. Gee well you can do that already and why? Yes Obama the real architect for real positve and I stress positve change was in and on that one as well. Others are claiming thunder but my heart, mind and money is with the architect who understands the goals, the objects to promote and overcome. Obama is not idle in our self pity either he's consistantly engaging the will to move with everything we've got. We can better move foward by serving the glass half full than the totality of the whole whereby one half becomes the ipmpotance of the other. Like Tracy Chapman's sentiment after all the energy abound in 60', 70's culture we need new thought forms new language and move from the half empty part of the glass to add to the totality of the one good half which is key to all we need. And oh messy desk what desk I don't even know where my desk is!... Can you hear me now?
Thanks, Ron 49 yrs NY For Real Leadership sympathizer and Obama supporter.
***refer to post mentioned at top of mine for my non-paritsan view on back drop and leadership from JFK to well now. Certainly nothing I draw on from past convention....***


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
President Obama
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