Hearing About vs. Listening

Gary Reese of Insider Advantage writes that America was “unsympathetic” to Obama’s speech. Too bad IA failed to poll people who actually listened to the entire speech. From today’s Florida Insider:

Barack Obama’s speech about race on Tuesday impressed many who witnessed it or read it. But most of America did neither, and many of them  — white and black — were less persuaded of the speech’s capacity to heal racial wounds, or to put the issue of race behind Obama as he continues his quest for the White House. That’s according to a new poll by InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion.

First, we screened poll respondents to find those who were aware that Obama’s pastor was in the news. A startling 82% knew about Obama’s speech, and about the controversy surrounding the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Of those who knew about the controversy and the speech, we asked, “Taking all this into account, are you more or less likely to support Obama for president?”

Less likely (52%)
More likely (19%)
About the same (27%)
No opinion (2%)

Full poll results and analysis here. Being Good Friday, I will now take a moment to visit the Scripture According to Pete Townsend with a re-listen to that beautiful song, Pure and Easy. Anyone wishing to also hear but has yet to do so, leave your email address here and I’ll gift you a copy from iTunes.


  1. Doug Deal says:


    Because of course only people who listened to the “entire speech” will be voting. The effectiveness of a speech is not dependent upon its scholarly review (which still demonstrates that he lied about his knowledge of Wright’s statements) but upon it’s perception by the target audience. He tried to convince voters as whole that he has good judgment and is deserving of being President, he failed.

    Some people just haven’t yet caught on to the fact that his luster is fading and people are no longer giving him a pass just because he has good timbre to his voice. But, I am sure there are people were still listening to “Ice-Ice Baby” and “Can’t Touch This” well into ’93 and thinking it was hip and fresh.

  2. ProfG says:

    I listened to the whole speech, live.

    I came away with a great feeling about how good a speaker he is, and an awful feeling about (a) his lack of truly addressing the issue of Pastor Racist and (b) just how scary his solutions to issues really are (once we find out what they are).

    “Yes He Can.”

  3. David says:

    Obama is finished, done, toast. America will not tolerate a man who’s minister spews hate and venom like Farrakan (?). He may well win the nomination but MCain will eat him alive. Can you imagine the commercials that will be made in the fall? Let’s begin the countdown on his 15 minutes od fame.

  4. rugby fan says:


    Can you imagine the commercials of McCain saying let’s stay in Iraq for 100 years?

    What do you think will change more votes, a century in a war, or, a pastor’s fiery rhetoric?

  5. Doug Deal says:


    Probably the preacher, as McCain’s statement is one expressing resolve through hyperbole which is usually looked upon favorably, while the preacher is basically the embodiement of wrong with racial politics.

    Mr. Wright’s beliefs are bankrupt and destructive. Racial problems will end only when tolerence for dividing us all up into artifical groups based on the melanin content of a thin layer of tissue is exhausted.

  6. David says:

    The preacher has sunk him. And one other thing of no political consequence, but can you imagine having a airheaded nitwit like Michelle Obama as first lady?? Jeez-maneez, did you read her dissertation? She makes my fantasize about having Theresa Heinz Kerry as first lady! Another blithering idiot but not as bad a Obama’s squeeze!

  7. PegM says:

    Although a conservative, I was once enamoured of the classy stature of Obama. That was washed away bit by bit as more of who and what he is became apparent. Without sounding too paranoid, the Manchurian Candidate came to mind.

    There is no way on this good planet earth, that someone who spent 20 intimate years with his minister in private and in church, that didn’t know what Wright’s beliefs were.

    I think Obama just gave McCain an easy ride to the presidency.

  8. bowersville says:

    I don’t know about giving McCain an easy ride to the presidency. I don’t care that McCain said 100 years. We’ve been in Germany and Japan for 60+ years without a liberal outcry for withdrawal.

    I’m not concerned with Reverend Wrights’ bigoted remarks towards white folks. I’m not concerned that Obama sat there for 16-20 years and listened to this bigoted garbage from Wright. I don’t care that Obama said his grand mother was typical of white folks.

    I am concerned that Obama sat there and listened to Wrights’ anti American crap. “G-d damn America.”

  9. rugby fan says:

    Partisanship is clouding all reason if you honestly think John McCain, the candidate himself, saying let’s stay in Iraq for one hundred years, the war that Americans are somewhat less than enamored with, is less damaging than a fiery speech from a preacher, who has counterparts in McCain’s camp with similarly despicable statements.

  10. David says:

    Rugby, I simply think that the preacher’s statements are more easily used in a political setting. And by Obama’s stubborness in not only not disavowing him but rightously standing up for him will fatally damage him in the fall. The dems will forgive but not the general electorate. The “hundred years” comment by McCain will surely be used and will be effective to be sure, but it’s just tough to fight the emotional feeling we’ll get in our gut when we repeatedly see Wright saying “God damn” America. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  11. David says:

    Just out of curiousity because I don’t know, has Hilary said anything to repudiate Wright’s comments?

  12. bowersville says:

    McCain never said a hundred years of conflict, or a hundred years of war. Partainship does cloud issues, even yours.

    As to the affect of Wright, watch Pa.

  13. bowersville says:

    “Conflict, war, it all seems rather semantic…” unless you as an individual soldier is in it. I do not know of a single war the Americans have been enamored with. Not even this one.

    But, I tell you what we do despise and that is defeat.

    If Americans perceive, Obama’s plan for immediate withdrawal as defeat in the general election, Obama looses.

    But let me say this, I don’t believe that Obama believes in defeat…and if elected we will not loose the war in Iraq, despite the lefts’ protests, just like Pelosi and Reid, Obama will continue.

  14. bowersville says:

    Sorry, we posted at the same time. Elected officials don’t mean squat.

    I really do not care what Wright says. This election is about issues, like it or not.

  15. David says:

    I’m not having to “fit” the hate-filled preacher into anything, Rugby. His words are damning enough to disgust most voters without any help from me!

  16. rugby fan says:


    True but, looking at the polls, people want out, like now.

    Keep your partisanship up, you will surely taste electoral successes in 2008, much like you did in 2006.

    Don’t forget, unrest over the war is one of the key reasons Republicans lost control of congress and yet the same tired cant and bullshit is touted from the GOP as if it will somehow make a difference. Face it, your ideas were rejected plain and simple.

  17. rugby fan says:


    His words are awful yes, but you ignore facts about its impact or chose to fool yourself into thinking that somehow this will be the undermining of Obama.

    That is fitting this speech into your partisan hopes.

    I know you won’t believe me but here is proof.

    If Wright’s speech is damning, don’t you think Hagee’s statements that my faith is a “false cult” or that Katrina was a punishment for a gay pride parade or that the Jews brought the Holocaust upon themselves will be equally damning? No of course not because you don’t want it to be. John McCain said he was “proud” to have Hagee’s endorsement too. Some company.

    If you can’t acknowledge that then you have no objective or rational view on this subject.

    Have fun trying to regain congress or retaining the White House, don’t consider it a possibility however.

  18. juliobarrios says:

    The speech was a calculated decision to stop the Reverend Wright situation. It was political move by Obama. Therefore it was entirely appropriate to poll everybody. Whether somebody listened to the speech or not is irrelevant. At this point there are probably plenty of people who never listened to the speech, who have now convinced themselves they heard it. When it comes to winning votes, perception is everything.

    The problem is Spacey is trying to assign the speech more meaning and depth than it deserves. It’s a bandage to stop the bleeding; pure and simple.

  19. rugby fan says:


    One thing I don’t understand is how Wright’s statements are mortal wounds for Obama but everything Hagee has said doesn’t mean anything for McCain?

    Honestly, how can you claim Obama is down for the count and McCain isn’t? I mean, I know why you are saying that, but objectively, how can you say that?

  20. rugby fan says:

    Or another McCain pastor:

    If I were call for the sterilization or the elimination of an entire segment of society, I’d be labeled a racists or a murderer, or at very best a Nazi. That every single year, millions of our tax dollars are funding a national organization built upon that very goal — their target: African Americans. That’s right, the death toll: nearly fifteen hundred African Americans a day. The shocking truth of black genocide. Right now our own government is allowing organizations like Planned Parenthood to legally take the innocent lives of precious baby girls and baby boys and even footing the bill for it all with our tax dollars, turning every single one of us into accessories to murder

    I guess you could say we could excuse Hagee because McCain didn’t seek out his endorsement–oh wait no we can’t.

    “It’s true that McCain’s campaign sought my endorsement”

    –Rev. John Hagee.

    Have fun sitting on the outside looking in for eight years!

  21. Doug Deal says:


    So you are claiming that Wright and Hagee are the same thing? You have clearly made up your mind, and there is little reason to reply, as it will fall on deaf ears.

    The relationship between and actual PASTOR, that is to say someone you see every Sunday, every church function, the man who baptizes you and your children, the man who you can confide when you have family, personal or spiritual issues, is EXACTLY the same as someone who is on a list of endorsees.

    If you would take off your blue tinted glasses and look at the world objectively for the first time, you would see that the involvement is on a total different scale.

    Besides, nothing of what Hagee says compares even remotely to accusing white people of genocide by introducing aids to blacks, so even if they did both have 20 YEARS of intimate influence over both candidates, there is still a difference.

    Obama is just experiencing the chickens coming home to roost for trying to play both sides of the race game.

  22. rugby fan says:

    I am saying that either both are damaging or they are not. Saying that one statement does and one statement doesn’t is picking whichever is most convenient for your side.

    And I guess we will have to accept Rev. Parsley’s words as damaging, McCain has called him “a spiritual adviser”.

    So unless McCain is lying we would have to assume that he plays a significant role in the Senator’s life.

    McCain and his campaign actively sought out the company of these individuals but I guess that does not count for anything.

    All of that being said, there is polling that shows Obama has not been hurt by the Wright-gate. So it is either a non issue, or the people saying it will kill his candidacy are wrong. Or the third option “it will, it will, I just know it will”.

  23. rugby fan says:


    Tell me which parts you disagree with me.

    At the end of the day, it comes down to both candidates having pastors on their side who have made vile statements (agreed?). One has a more intimate relationship with one pastor than the other does (agreed?). The Republicans say that the intimacy of the Democrat’s relationship will be the reason the Democrat’s candidacy is dead (agreed?). These same Republicans claim that the Republican candidate won’t be hurt by equally disgusting statements because the Republican is not as close to the person making the statement, which is arguable in one instance (agreed?).

    You see now why I say that you are not looking at this objectively?

    I think that Wright’s statement could and probably will be used against Obama in the General and cause him some damage (I would hope that attacks focus on what the candidates themselves say or propose). If this is the case, then McCain’s supporters will hurt him too. That is all that I am saying, nothing more, nothing less.

  24. Doug Deal says:


    All of that being said, there is polling that shows Obama has not been hurt by the Wright-gate.

    If you believe this, then why do you debate this issue so vociferously? The Rugby doth protest too much, methinks.

  25. rugby fan says:

    I think it is because we are eight minutes shy of 6PM and I have not had a beer.

    And I thought the children might appreciate this tete-a-tete.

  26. Doug Deal says:


    I am actually a converted Catholic myself (1 year ago this easter), but I am not insecure enough to worry about it.

    To be honest, pretty much anyone professing the baptist faith is an anti-Catholic. If I got upset every time someone told me Catholics worship Mary or worship idols or whatever, I would have very little time to be anything other than upset.

  27. juliobarrios says:

    I didn’t know McCain was proud to have Hagee’s endorsement, and if true he shouldn’t be. But it’s nowhere near an appropriate analogy.

    Obama sat in the pews, allegedly on a regular basis, and lapped up the garbage that this wack job spewed out. His children were baptized by the man.

    Obviously if you run for President, from either party, you are going to get your share of nuts supporting and endorsing you. Sometimes you may mistakenly temporarily associate yourself with a creep, later to apologize. This is far different then getting spiritual and life guidance, on a regular basis, from a nut for many years.

  28. joe says:

    About two years ago, our (Methodist) pastor took a group on a weekend retreat. His replacement spent the first ten minutes talking about how the U.S was failing entitlement programs. I told my wife that if there was one more political statement, I was leaving, and I would make a ruckus. She said that she would join me, but the poltics had ended, and the sermon became religious.

    I did mention it to my pastor the following week, and we have not had that minister as a replacement again.

    Obama listened for twenty years. He is a believer.

  29. boyreporter says:

    Maybe instead of calling it “entitlement programs” you should consider their aim and ask, “WWJD?” But heck, that’s too compassionate, isn’t it?

  30. boyreporter says:

    “Jesus wouldn’t require Caesar to give a monthly stiped for people to spend on Crack.”

    Yep, that’s what they use it for, all right. Hey, Jace, in that fantasy world you live in…are there rides?

  31. David says:

    Boy, how much more of the money that WE earn should be taken from us to give to the people who don’t pay their own way? The highest brackets already confiscate over 50%. Do you think we should be able to keep the fruits of our own labor?

  32. Jace Walden says:


    They use it to buy crack, gold rims, methamphetamines, and mud tires. My bad for not including everything the first time.

    I rode your mom last night.

  33. boyreporter says:

    Keep digging, boys. I bet you both (David and Jace) went to Sunrise Service this morning, too. So much hate, so little time.

    Jace: My mom said the guy you were with before was fat and ugly.

  34. boyreporter says:

    Nice try, Jace, but my mom told me you couldn’t get it up. You know what they say about men (?) who talk about it…

    Your mom, by the way, says you CAN get it up.

  35. Jace Walden says:


    After having went so many hours straight with your mom last night, I would indeed be hard-pressed to “get it up” right now. She wore me out.

    Oh, one thing about your mom I figured you’d be interested in: The carpet does not match the drapes.

  36. boyreporter says:

    Jace, what kind of name is that? A euphemism for sperm?

    ” one thing about your mom I figured you’d be interested in: The carpet does not match the drapes.”

    Jace, your mom’s does (but you knew that, didn’t you?), so at least there’s one honest person in your family.

    ” I don’t have a new comforter on my bed right now.”

    I bet your comforter has Batman on it, or maybe a Pokemon motif. No, it’s gotta be Hello Kitty.

    “she’s so fat I had to throw flour on her to find a wet spot.”

    That’s so old. Hey, since you’re running out of material anyway, don’t you have some door-to-door insurance collections to make? I’m impressed that you are entrepreneurial enough to have a second job, as selling used cars has to be tough.

  37. Jace Walden says:


    My name is kind of wierd. I think my mom wanted me to be an extra on “Saved By the Bell”.

    The only “second job” I have is pimping your mother out to the highest bidder on a nightly basis. Believe me, I’m lucky to pull $10 a night from her.

    Which is still more than you make on a nightly basis turning tricks for crack downtown.

  38. Jace Walden says:

    If I could compare your mother to anything, it would be an old, worn out catcher’s mitt that’s caught one too many balls. It’s practically falling apart.

  39. boyreporter says:

    You would know about catching too many balls. You know why guys like you go into the National Guard? You get to shower together. And your mother works the towel room.

  40. Jace Walden says:


    You know why guys like you don’t go in the national guard? Because you have to pass an HIV test. Kind of hard to do when you spent your teenage years giving head for meth. Then again, you’re probably still in your teenage years…how do you find time to argue with me on here? One of your Johns let you use his laptop between services?

  41. Jace Walden says:


    I have no idea who he/she/it is? Never met the man/woman/thing in my life. Not that I care. This is just one of the best exchanges in the history of the site.

    I think it’s getting to the point where both of us would be happy to drop the conversation, but neither of us wants to come off as the guy who “lost” the argument…

  42. Bill Simon says:

    (sorry to break-up the quite interesting exchange between Boy and Jace, but, duty calls…)

    David said this:Boy, how much more of the money that WE earn should be taken from us to give to the people who don’t pay their own way? The highest brackets already confiscate over 50%. Do you think we should be able to keep the fruits of our own labor?

    Let me ask you a question, David: Are you one of those pro-life folks who think every pregnancy must be brought to full term to produce a kid?

  43. Icarus says:

    I have the video of Rugby and both your mothers.

    (There, now that Rugby and I have both chimed in, you may have a candidate for best Peach Pundit exchange ever.)

  44. boyreporter says:

    There once was a boy named Jace
    Who loved to wear panties and lace

    He’d strut around in cammo and boots
    Just to make folks believe he was with the suits

    But at night he’d go to a special place:
    His mother’s bedroom to sit on her face.

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