Is Obama a (or the) Messiah?

Is Obama the Messiah? People are asking these days and it’s not so hard to understand why: the desperate throngs, … Continued

Is Obama the Messiah? People are asking these days and it’s not so hard to understand why: the desperate throngs, the tears, the great awakening of a slumbering demographic. All that larger symbolism.

The emotional landscape of many American voters is calamitous of late — frightened by our Babylonian war, unhappy with our President and depressed by the cleansing crush of the credit crunch — so it’s not surprising that the coming presidential election would take on a certain biblical coloring.

The Messiah question is a loud one coming from all corners. Even a blogger for Mother Jones, the hot heart of the far left, worries that the Obama-passion will be used for nefarious purposes by right-wingers, he himself writes “Barack Obama has a messiah complex and no one will convince me otherwise.”

The salty 62-year old Chris Matthews of MSNBC puts the phenomenon of Obama on the good book scale, telling the NY Observer that “I’ve been following politics since I was about 5. I’ve never seen anything like this. This is bigger than Kennedy. [Obama] comes along, and he seems to have the answers. This is the New Testament. This is surprising.”

Timothy Noah has been on his “Messiah Watch” for over a year now for online magazine Slate though he says he doesn’t suggest it is Obama that believes in himself as the second coming but rather “that a few excitable souls in the media bear the apparant conviction that Obama is the Redeemer.”

And of course, in case you doubt how deep into the zeitgeist this has gone, the blog “Is Barack Obama the Messiah?” is bursting with visual evidence.

I turned to my friend Joel Stein, who wrote a column for the LA Times last week on Obamaphilia — the notion that many, including Joel, have developed an unbecoming infatuation with the Senator from Illinois.

ME: So Joel, did it ever occur to you that it wasn’t a crush you were experiencing with Obama but a religious revelation?

Joel: I’m pretty sure my feelings for Obama is a crush, but maybe it’s a relgious revelation. I’ve never had one of those….

ME: Describe your feelings when you watch him.

Joel: When I see him, I actually don’t feel great. I feel like I do at a comedy club, only instead of “Make me laugh, asshole” it’s like, “Make me care.” And then he does make me care. Which shocks me even more, because my guard is up. Dude is good. Like Dave Attell good.

ME: Do you think a messiah would work well as a president?

Joel: The messiah would make an excellent president. I had a photo above my desk at Time of Reagan campaigning for President, and he’s standing on the bumpers of two parked cars with his arms out, just radiating. That’s half the job, making people feel saved. And Obama does that. If you make people feel like you can save them, half of them are already saved. You’ve seen There Will Be Blood. You know how it works.

ME: Being Jewish, Joel, how would that messiah as president shake out for you?

Joel: Being Jewish, I don’t feel good about feeling moved by any speakers. I’m programmed so I’m only comfortable if they’re boring the crap out of me. Preferably in an ancient, unattractive language. My Mom, who’s a huge Hillary supporter, keeps saying he’s a preacher, which she means negatively. And it makes me feel uncomfortable from a racial perspective when she says it. But she’s not entirely wrong. And I kind of like it. Maybe I’d like church.

ME: One last question — your mom compares him to a preacher and says it’s negative, and all these articles out there say coverage is too positive, and
you yourself worry about your girlish crush. So is it wrong to be so positive in politics?

Joel: It’s scary to be positive about a politician. You know you’re going to regret it because no President in my lifetime has ever even met the limited expectations I’ve had – and now I have huge expectations. It’s like joining a cult or the PTL Club. You’re going to have to explain your enthusiasm for the rest of your life when it all unravels. I’m sure someone was as passionate as I am about Obama about Richard Nixon.

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  • ally

    Um, do you folks do ANY moderating of these comments? (See the foregoing)

  • John Swallow

    A brief bio of a person I can support for president.* Degree in Int’l RelationsHe seems pretty strong on substance to me. Is it wrong that he is also inspiring?

  • James Heron

    I enjoyed reading the “WAKE-UP-AMERICA, Oprha-Obama (Dr Phil?) cult of tautology” comments below. It put my mind at ease that the “Obama-as-Messiah” discussion you are hosting here is especially appealling to nut-balls. I hope you feel a little embarrased, but thanks for providing the forum.

  • Charles Stearns

    I am 52 years old,a born again Christian and mostly a moderate Democrat. I’m pretty certain that Obama is not the Messiah. But I get pissed off when someone implies that that I have been taken in or I’m part of a cult. Obama gives me hope that things could be different. Can he do it all? Since he isn’t God, it seems doubtful. But for my part he doesn’t have to. Just start and do what you can. A few pebbles sometimes start an avalanche.

  • SANDY

    WAKE UP AMERICANS..TIME WILL TELL THAT YOU’VE BEEN HAD BY YET ANOTHER GREAT SPEAKER WITH EMPTY PROMISES! NO PLAN, NO EXPERIENCE…SEE HOW THAT PAYS YOUR BILLS. STOP BELIEVING YOUR GOING TO BE SAVED BY OBAMA…THE MEDIA WILL HAVE YOU BELIEVE IT (B/C THEY ARE UNFAIRLY SLANTED)AND SO WILL HIS SPEECHES. DON’T BE FOOLED…

  • Vunderlutz

    “A nation of the people, by the people and for the people…””We the people of the United States of America in order to form a more perfect union…””We hold these truths to be self-evident…that all me are created equal…””Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this contenent a new nation conceived in liberty…”We have nothing to fear but fear itself.””Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country…””I regret I have but one life to give for my country…”Ah…all those wordy leaders. What should we do about them?

  • Vunderlutz

    “A nation of the people, by the people and for the people…””We the people of the United States of America in order to form a more perfect union…””We hold these truths to be self-evident…that all me are created equal…””Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this contenent a new nation conceived in liberty…”We have nothing to fear but fear itself.””Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country…””I regret I have but one life to give for my country…”Ah…all those wordy leaders. What should we do about them?

  • Alex Kirk

    Some excellent Obama humor for those who like lowbrow satire:

  • Obamessiah

    He has the spark of faith, but I’m having difficulty figuring out whether Joel qualifies as a “Cynic and Doubter” or a “True Believer”.

  • Stephan Zimprich

    pretty interesting all this stuff is from my german perspective. I have to admit that this is the greatest show on earth – and it´ll go on for a couple of month. hope obama makes it, not because he is messias, but because hillary never succeded with any of her plans, rememeber her failed effort to introduce public health care, what even was considered in old europe (btw: it´s a good haha to quote old rumsfeld these days) as a political disaster. how did this guy from the nyt it? “it´s not about being vetted, it´s about being vetted and found clean.”and to all of you: no, he is not the messias. the messias will be a halfnaked poor guy with long hair nobody takes notice of until he´s dead. but reviving hope is worth a lot.

  • HP Moyer

    Now I understand why the national media is orgasmic about Obama. They believe his words are original. Everybody keep copies of their praise so we can publish them when he gets us into big trouble because of his inexperience and his background in Illinois.

  • Anne

    Is America so used to mediocrity and stupidity that when somebody comes along making some sense, we call him a Messiah? Woowww! How sad and scary!

  • Allo in OC

    I keep coming across these articles suggesting that many of Obama’s supporters think the fellow possesses the keys to the next universe. I don’t see that outlook reflected in the opinions of mature people I know who plan to vote for him. In my view, Barack is a fine politician who seems to have more than the usual amount of common sense, integrity, and good will. He’s talented, enthusiastic, and apparently able to inspire people. There’s nothing wrong with any of that. I don’t have any naive expectations about his ability to bring about profound, immediate change once he’s in office. (A lot depends on the congress we end up electing in November.) His candidacy just seems like a breath of fresh air after such a bad experience over the last seven years, and it’s reasonable to suppose that he would take us several steps in a better direction.

  • datdamwuf

    John Swallow wrote:”Senate Foreign Relations Committee,” as a qualification for Obama. Unfortunately Obama didn’t bother to hold any hearings or call any meetings of that committee….and he says he made a lot of trips to Europe but no one can find any records of it.This is one of the things that really bothers me about him. It seems to me with all the issues we have he could have had quite an impact on our diplomacy problems if he had bothered to use his position on that committee. This is one of the facts that makes the argument he is all talk, no substance rather compelling.The question, is he the messiah would be a lot more fun if you had added “or is he the Anti-Christ”. Don’t Christians believe that guy is going to be a great charmer?

  • Fred Hampster

    STOP IT ALREADY.OBAMA / BENNY HINN 2008

  • Tom

    The messiah stuff is pure nonsense. What is leadership? That is the issue Obama has brought into acute focus. Hillary would have us believe policy wonkery is the key (can I venture a guess and suggest that’s because she’s good at it). Carter was a wonk, so we know wonkery does not necessarily equate to results. What does? Historically, at least in time of peril, it has been the ineffable aspects of leadership: charisma and rhetoric. Maybe we are just not in enough peril in the minds of enough people for there to be widespread comfort with this type of leadership. Or, maybe we are just in a different sort of peril. Granted, the union is not being torn apart and this is not London during WWII, but possibly there is a bigger problem. Maybe we sense that the soul of this country is atrophying. Maybe this 16 year run of sheer incompetence and lunacy at the national level has awakened a recognition that authenticity is more important than pollsters can ever grasp. Maybe we have looked into the eyes and hearts of James Carville and Mary Matalin and decided this just isn’t where we want to go. Maybe the kid is on to something. That doesn’t make Obama a messiah. It’s just that he has an almost forgotten quality: leadership.I’m conservative, don’t agree with him on much (except Iraq) but I’ll probably vote for him. While Barack is clearly not a messiah and does not think of himself in those terms, it’s just a bit tempting to indulge the idea that maybe God has sent him to us. Surely, we need one. And then there is that thing about the US losing its national soul…

  • Ainsworth

    I support Obama, as he appears to be a symbol of much needed change for America today. However, I’d hardly call him a “Messiah”. That seems to be a bit sarcastic.However, what really happened here? Since when did full-grown adults run around spamming up blogs with unintelligible and borderline idiotic posts such as a number of which I’ve seen here? Some of you really ought to be ashamed of yourselves.If you want to post your opinion, that’s fine. But do it without making yourself look like a three-year-old. Typing in all caps doesn’t help either.

  • john black

    reading some of the comments here one can see the us is a sick place filled with halfwits and idiots.

  • Thomas

    Please moderate these comments, at the very least to check for duplicates. I expect the occasional graffiti and propaganda (free speech), but there should be a control where I don’t have to scroll past 6 of each one. It might just be the topic, because when you mention cults the crazies come out.No, he’s not the messiah and outside of the occasional wacko his appeal is not religious to the broad voter base. The whole argument is actually rather insulting to people who take the time to read into current events and think he is the person we need now. Wow, we must be under his spell… Yeah, so I am insulted by that. Here’s the rap. He is a normal qualified politician that has been boosted to deification by decades of gradual lowering of our expectations. Ever since Kennedy was shot (then Vietnam and Watergate), there has been a gradual decline in the faith we put in the presidency. Both sides of the aisle. McCain gets his support because he doesn’t look like anyone owns him (most of the time at least). Obama, same thing. It’s something people have been trying to do with every primary before but it didn’t look like anyone honest was CAPABLE of getting the presidency.

  • SteveC

    Two questions:1. Did Obama register for Selective Service in 1980 as required?2. On what date was Obama baptized? (His church does not require baptism, but do encourage it).

  • David NYC

    I think the 2008 Democratic ticket will be:Satan/Obama ’08Obama is no messiah, even jokingly.He is anti-christian. His false empty promises are unsubstantiated. Hollow and deceptive promises. He will not ‘redeem’ this country’s ailments. He is not the answer. And, it has nothing to do with his color of skin but rather the substance of his character or lack thereof.Obama reminds me of this guy I once saw at a Dental School interview. He has a suit on, like everyone else. But, his sleeves were too short and yet too broad at the shoulders. His hair was too cool. His voice was soft sounding. He talked like this, “Whoa. I am soooo X-School material. I think it is sooo awesome that I have this awesome privaledge to come to this intereview.” It was his turn, he walked in, came out in 7 minutes flat. He didn’t get in. And, everyone was sitting there wondering, “who let this guy in…. how’d he manage to even get an interview? ” How the heck is Obama even a contender with his little baby-resumé? Come back with the proper fitting attire, and when you have some years on your belt!

  • Matt B

    I am very excited Obama and every person who uses the word ‘cult’ to describe Obama’s supporters should be ashamed of themselves. Cult means people are not thinking for themselves. Before the primaries, I like many people who vote in the Democratic primaries, set out to find a talented, smart candidate who was not completely full of crap, who knew from the start that the war in Iraq was bound to be a disaster, and when put to the test will do the right thing. I would personally expect a bit more from a messiah than some basic good judgement and truthfulness.I believe Obama is the candidate I was seeking. By my criteria, the choice between Clinton and Obama is quite stark. Here is a great opinion piece about the difference:

  • Chip

    I hope that people who sincerely believe Obama to be the messiah will do the right thing and disavow themselves from politics. They’re clearly unqualified to vote. That’s not to say I dislike Obama. To the contrary I think he’s a very good candidate, but the so-called “Obamamania” is drenched in the kind of empty-headed wishful thinking for which the phrase “the blind leading the blind” was coined. He’s got a good shot at being our next president, and it would certainly be refreshing to see a black American reach the highest office in the land, but he’s merely mortal without much experience and will have to contend with a Congress that’s raised inertia to an art form. Hype and rousing oratory won’t do him any good when push comes to shove. But hey, if the next administration is only half as inept and evil as the current one it’ll still be cause for celebration.

  • Deemer

    Thanks a lot. It’s idiot media people like you that create the atmosphere in which catastrophic situations occur. When you artificially and inaccurately construct an image instead of doing the job for which you are paid, unbalanced and ignorant people respond to your suggestions and act in disastrous ways. Keep your self-generated adulation to yourself. You will still be invited to the wine and cheese parties.

  • jyhume

    Charles Stearns wrote:I’m an agnostic, and I couldn’t agree with you more. For me, the refreshing thing about Mr. Obama is that he approaches us not with political machinations but from an honest philosophical core. He is clearly a man not in love with power, but rather empowerment.What I see is not a messiah, nor someone claiming to have all the answers to every conceivable question bulleted in a 57-point plan. I see a man with the intelligence, thoughtfulness, and wherewithal to make the right decisions when the time comes.I’m certainly not following, bleary-eyed, some cult-of-personality. I just happen to like both what Mr. Obama has to say and his style of approaching new situations. It seems that a whole lot of other people feel the same way.

  • holland for obama blog

    I think Obama will be a highly esteemed US leader if he gets elected. He inspires the world with a message of hope, solidarity and unity, which is something much needed also in international relations. In Europe, post 9/11 created an atmosphere of negativity, distrust and deep divisions in the multicultural societies of western Europe. Political polarisation was the result, and racism is on the rise. It’s moving and inspiring to see Obama build bridges between different communities, and create hope and enthousiasm in people of all different walks of life, class, culture, gender and race. A true uniter. It’s not just a healing force for the US. It’s also very needed in the rest of the world.

  • Delonte

    I think that your question “Is Obama the Messiah?” ludacris!

  • Mikel

    Americans,You should all fear Usama, Obama, and Chelsea’s Momma.

  • Achernar

    ¿QUIEN ES REALMENTE BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA?El candidato presidencial demócrata, Barack Hussein Obama, nació en Honolulu, Hawaii, siendo su padre Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., un musulman de raza negra oriundo de Nyangoma-Kogel, en Kenya; su madre, Ann Dunham, una atea blanca de Wichita, Kansas.Los padres de Obama se conocieron en la Universidad de Hawaii. Tenía dos años Obama cuando sus padres se divorciaron, regresando su padre a Kenya; su madre contrajo nuevas nupcias con Lolo Soetoro, un musulman radical de Indonesia.Cuando Obama tenía 6 años su familia se transladó a Indonesia, ingresando Obama en una escuela musulmana en Yakarta. Obama también atendió allí una escuela católica, donde fue inscripto como de religión musulmana. Obama oculta cuidadosamente que él es musulman, apuntando que ‘que es cierto que fue musulman, pero que atendió una escuela católica’. Es de notar que, de acuerdo con la Ley islámica, el musulman que reniega de su fe y se convierte a otra religión es condenado a la pena de muerte.Los que controlan la campaña de Obama tratan de hacerlo aparecer como un moderado y no como el radical que realmente es. El cuadro que ellos pintan es que Obama ingresó en el Islam por su padre, y que su influencia fue temporal, ya que su padre regresó a Kenya inmediatamente después de su divorcio y jamás volvió a tener contacto ni influencia en la educación de Obama. ¿Cómo iba Obama Sr. a introducirlo en el Islam si su hijo sólo tenía 2 años cuando sus padres se divorciaron?Fue su padrastro, Lolo Soetoro, el segundo esposo de la madre de Obama, quien hizo al niño Obama musulman, inscribiéndolo en Yakarta en una escuela Wahabi, una de las sectas más radicales del Islam.Wahasbismo es el dogma más radical que siguen los terroristas musulmanes que están envueltos en el Jihad contra la civilización occidental.Por consideraciones políticas, y para poder aspirar a ocupar las más altas posiciones dentro del Gobierno de los Estados Undios, Obama se hizo cristiano, formando parte de la UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, para así tratar de encubrir su formación islámica, grave paso que, según ya expuse, conlleva la pena de muerte.Es importante recalcar que cuando Obama juró para ocupar su cargo como senador no lo hizo ante la Santa Biblia, sino ante el Korán.Tampoco recita Barack Hussein Obama el ‘Pledge of Alliance’ ni muestra ninguna reverencia por nuestra bandera. Mientras otros ponen su mano sobre el corazón, Obama da su espalda a la bandera en actitud irrespetuosa.Debemos mantenernos alerta ante el auge que está experimentado su candidatura. Los musulmanes han expresado su plan de destruir los Estados Unidos desde dentro, ¿qué mejor forma que empezar por el tope más alto, poniendo uno de los suyos en la Presidencia de los Estados Unidos?

  • Walden

    About half the comments here are by volunteer Clinton campaign workers and the other half are loonies who slipped out the door during cookies & Koolaid hour. PS, this stuff has nothing to do with either Faith or Politics, which are two different beasts!

  • Paul Moore

    As a politically pragmatic black man, I started this campaign opposing Hillary Clinton because she stood as the Republican Party’s best hope for unity. Of the white male Democrats whom I figured represented America’s best hope of kicking the Republicans out of the White House, I thought Biden and Edwards were the safest bets. While I believed HRC’s inroads with upstate New York Republicans over two Senate terms showed her to have sufficient political skills to overcome her national negatives, I didn’t think she could make similar inroads nationwide over the course of a single presidential campaign. All told, I didn’t really consider Obama to be a serious contender until he won Iowa, and as all the white guys fell by the wayside, I made ready to receive him as the Anti-Hillary (which may indeed equate to the messiah in some worldviews, but not mine). I still respected HRC, then, but still felt the risks of her candidacy were too high. In quick succession, however, HRC lost my respect and my vote when she tried to swift boat Obama with racist innuendo. From Andrew Cuomo, to Bob Kerrey, to Andrew Young, to Mr. Monica himself, Billary launched a coordinated campaign to ghettoize and marginalize Obama that left me personally offended, as well as aghast at the degree of political stupidity HRC displayed by launching coded racist attacks against Obama which were sure to offend significant portions of the Democrat’s core black constituency. So my support of Obama was solidified. Certainly, with recurrent victories, and astonishing displays of political theater, Obama has reinforced that support. He’s been beating HRC as much as 2-to-1 (in my local caucus in Colorado, the vote was 169 for Obama versus 58 for HRC), he staged the second biggest political rally in the history of Idaho (yes, IDAHO), behind only President Eisenhower. He indeed has the power to inspire, and if he has the audacity to demand that American citizens demand the best from ourselves as we seek to revitalize our political system, then he may yet pull off a veritable political miracle. But I became and remain an Obama supporter for very practical reasons, even as hope against hope that he can in fact deliver audacious results.

  • Anonymous

    I think some of these posters should at least run a spell check so that the ignorance of their comments won’t get lost in their grammatical mistakes.

  • Nice, Compelling Article

    Wow, do you get paid to write these “Brain Ticklers?” If so, where do I sign up?I have been thinking about doing a piece on “Is Hillary Clinton Really The Pilsbury Dough Woman?” Another I’ve been considering is “Is Bin Laden Hiding In The No Man’s Land In Hillary Clinton’s Man Pants?”I would have thought these two “Stories” below the bar of publication, but, thanks to the appearance of your Comic strip editorial, I have hope for even my most Trite and Insulting fare.Thank You, Whatsherface! Keep up the good old “Work.” Oh, and while your down there puckering, say “hi” to Bin Laden for us! Ta Ta.

  • omartraore

    I agree with Ally, this ‘discussion’ could use some moderation. Either that, or this is where the State Dept.’s Middle East diplomats unwind after a hard day of negotiatin’.

  • John Swallow

    I too agree with Charles Stearns who wrote:No one thinks he is the messiah. And no we are not members of a cult. To this commentTHE MEDIA WILL HAVE YOU BELIEVE IT (B/C THEY ARE UNFAIRLY SLANTED)AND SO WILL HIS SPEECHES. DON’T BE FOOLED…I just have to say huh? Have you ever really watched the adulation that Bush (who would you want to have a beer with?) received when he was running and St. McCain currently receives from the press? It is what I like to call a man crush. Our political discourse is just crazed and the myth of the liberal media bias needs to die. Thanks to the media for doing another hatchet job on a candidate with a D in his name. Now that Hillary is not the presumptive nominee they need to shift to a new target.

  • ogdeeds

    the worst wackos are members of the media….for being similary swayed by all the nutty frenzie that obama inspires…the voters I can understand. while I don’t get worked up into a frenzy by hillary, but rather by pragmatism, the media needs to get a grip. the media is left with zero credibility when it comes to providing smart, fair, intellectual analysis of the candidates.

  • ogdeeds

    the worst wackos are members of the media….for being similary swayed by all the nutty frenzie that obama inspires…the voters I can understand. while I don’t get worked up into a frenzy by hillary, but rather by pragmatism, the media needs to get a grip. the media is left with zero credibility when it comes to providing smart, fair, intellectual analysis of the candidates.

  • GOUSA

    If Hillary plagarized a speech as did Obama the other night in Wisconsin, it would make first page on every newspaper on the left or right and in the daily Kos blogs. Obama does it and the media response is, “Oh, harmless, harmless nothing to write about.” I hope that when obama finally does meet Clinton again she lets him know that Roosevelt, King, Lincoln, etc all gave great speeches AFTER they accomplished great things! Obama has done Zero.

  • Liz

    Really, is there any moderation whatsoever on this comment section?Hint: if you don’t want to read like a total kook, limit your use of capitalization. Of course, if you are a kook, then go wild with the capitalization and a bunch of conspiracy claims. Considering what we’ve had for national politicians for the last 40 years, the fact that Obama has huge appeal is not surprising. Didn’t drink any Kool-Aid, didn’t make up my mind who I’d vote for until Edwards bowed out and I’m 100% for Obama because he can win and Hillary cannot. Sorry if the truth hurts. I also don’t think we need to be in Iraq for the next hundred years, which is McCain’s pledge. Good luck with that since 70% of the American public is now against the war.

  • ThisBearsRepeating

    “Timothy Noah has been on his “Messiah Watch” for over a year now for online magazine Slate though he says he doesn’t suggest it is Obama that believes in himself as the second coming but rather “that a few excitable souls in the media bear the apparant conviction that Obama is the Redeemer.”So it is the media feeding this crap.As for that Nut Larry Sinclair, the Smoking Gun Headline is “Slanderous Kook: I’m a Slander Victim”

  • storytellers13

    DO YO THINK THIS IS SERIOUS & RESPONSIBLE TO BE ACTING THAT WAY, LIKE A PREACHER OR A MESSIAH??????????,

  • ichief

    Obama has never been a law professor, constitutional law or otherwise. He inflated his resume. He was actually a non-tenured lecturer.

  • HP Moyer

    To Anonymous: Honey, you have way too much time on your hands. If you learned to express yourself a little better, you might be able to get a job.

  • Gavin082

    People labeling Senator Obama a ‘Messiah’ is a symptom of our society’s recent obsession with framing all debates and discussions within religious/theological framework.Sen. Obama is a figure that has attracted many Ameicans by telling them that he will lead the country in a new direction, one more in keeping with the vision of his supporters. For that, some people call him a messiah. To people who see the world through a religious lense, this may very well APPEAR messianic. To those of us who don’t see the world through a theological lense, Sen. Obama is no more a messiah than George Washington, FDR, or John F. Kennedy. All of these men were charismatic leaders who offered us a path to a better country. None of them are any more or any less a messiah than Sen. Obama.To indulge in a bit of biblical allusion, the fact that liberals, progressives, centrists, etc. have wandered in the wilderness (Would the Australians say the Bush?) for the last 8 years only adds to the messianic perception. Regardless of the origins of this perception, I find it alarming. First, it’s dangerous to assign any sort of religious standing/authority to our elected officials. Second, if we elect a messiah, we’re bound to be disappointed when he proves to be all to human as a President. Most importantly, I find this messiah business frightening because messiahs have a history of ending up dead before their time.

  • J. P. Acosta

    This article seems to be part of the new Clinton-GOP attack machine to stop a candidate: Obama.It is not even worth consideration the question.It is so obvious Barack Obama is just a Senator that is now trying to get the nomination to run for the White House, exactly as the NY Senator is doing. No religious, messianic thing. Only a man. Like you and me.I am for Obama because he is better than Hillary for the job.If it is a matter that Hillary bring also Bill into the White House, then I still prefer the partner Barack brings: Michelle Obama.Senator Barack Obama 4 President. A sound choice!

  • Patti O’Riley

    It is interesting that Obama’s growing legions of followers increasingly see him as a messianic figure. With a smooth tongue and soothing aura, he is already loved by Europe and much of the rest of the world. His worldwide following is eager to install him as the next President of the United States of America — by far and away and the most powerful position on earth. The antichrist is to come as a world leader, loved the world over, a powerful orator with an irresistible aura. He will be seen as a savior and a messiah to his followers. How does a man with no record of accomplishment become the leading candidate for the Presidency of the United States – the most powerful position on earth? He has no discernable skills other than his ability to make powerful speeches in which he makes irresistible promises to his followers. How can a man born into the religion of evil convince a Christian nation he is now one of them? How does a man with a silver tongue become a worldwide phenomenon over night? Without a shred of accomplishment and by the shear force his words alone, his follows the world over are ready to install him as the leader of the world. Interesting.

  • Scott

    For me, the tears flow because of all the years of cynicism and anger that our parade of poor leadership has inspired in me.I am inspired by the possibility that we may get to have a statesman in office instead of another sophist.To allow my to hope for that, I have to allow that cynicism and disappointment to be broken open. The tears are pent up from years of frustration at not having ANY decent leadership in Washington.It’s not religious. I escaped fundamentalism years ago and have been innoculated against that dangerous myth.Obama makes me cry because he’s finally a human candidate in a town populated by halflings.

  • Windfall

    If Obama, far and away the most liberal member of the United States Senate, is elected president, you will see runaway entitlement spending coupled with higher taxes, institutionalized racial discrimination and more onerous and unnecessary regulations that stifle innovation, raise prices and erect impenetrable barriers to entry for job-creating entrepreneurs.You will see Asians and Caucasians discriminated against on an institutionalized basis in order to provide guaranteed outcomes to politically favored-minorities including criminal aliens.You will see runaway environmentalism that makes it impossible to build any sort of power plant or refinery or drill for oil anywhere and that, together with a tax on all energy, in furtherance of the global warming/carbon credits trading scam, will raise the price of everything as well as result in rationing of fuel and other resources.You will see government subsidies of biofuels that enrich the connected while raising both food and energy costs for everyone else.You will see a government takeover of the healthcare system that will result in lower survival rates for common illnesses, rationing of treatment options, less innovation and death-by-delay in treatment delivery as is already the case in Canada, Europe and Japan.You will see the appointment of activist judges that, as with prop 187, usurp all power and make it impossible for citizens to intervene to protect their interests even with direct ballot initiativesYou will see a decimated military coupled with a naïve view of the world that results in both immediate and permanent damage to our national security.In essence, it will be a return to Jimmy Carter and worse. Remember the stagnant economy with runaway inflation, gas lines and a 21 percent prime interest rate?You might call it “Back to the Future” except that this time, we will also have some 40 million (and counting) unskilled criminal aliens and their babies to support.

  • storytellers13

    That CV that is posted above , is not correct, is inflated.

  • sra

    This article was printed in a major, national newspaper. Are you serious? When did the Washington Post become the National Enquirer? You should be ashamed.

  • Siddiqi

    Wow! Is this what the Hillary campaign has fallen to? Can there simply be an inspiring candidate? It must be some kind of voodoo, right? How stupid. How can major news sources entertain such low-brow and xenophobic trash?

  • J. P. Acosta

    I just hope, for Hillary’s well being, that he quits the race when she still has a face to keep working as a senator. But if she is not carefull she may lose everything. She seems not really carefull now. We’ll see.

  • amie

    I’ve come to the thread late but-I’m afraid Barack Obama will be like some of the candy we found in our baskets on Easter morning when we were little kids:All Pretty on the Outside- Nothing but Air on the Inside..But as any kid knows- you have to squeeze it hard to find out and right now no one is willing to ask Obama the hard questions.

  • tom

    I see no evidence that Obama’s appeal is religious, rather than political. A lot of the opposition is religious right anti-Muslim cant, however.

  • Opium for the people

    In the words of another leftist leader, that would make Obama “opium for the people”. Given his veiled references to his youthful indiscretions with a variety of drugs, it makes sense on more than one level!My thinking is: If Obama is the Messiah, that would make Ted Kennedy and George Soros – Peter and Paul respectively. So, the question is this: Which one of the Clintons, Hillary or Bill is Judas Iscariot?

  • Joyce

    Yes, Obama is a dynamic speaker who can certainly hold a crowd’s attention and spark enthusiasm. But, Messiah? That’s insulting our intelligence and demonstrating your ignorance. Is it any wonder people are enthused? After enduring what seems like an eternity with this current president, who can’t utter a coherent sentence without being coached and rehearsed beforehand. Then along comes Barack Obama, who, compared to Bush, makes mere words sound like a symphony and, guess what folks, he can actually think and respond in complete PARAGRAPHS!! Of course, we Obama supporters are enthusiastic. What is most important is that he has the intellectual curiousity that is necessary to consider the facts before making decisions. He has the strength of conviction to stick with what he believes in, no matter how the political winds are blowing. Case in point: opposition to the Iraq invasion.

  • Hillary

    Christ came and darn Jews did not recognise him, how can they recognise the ability of Obama to see Americans through the burden they have bore all this years because of lobyist in washington, constituted majorly by jews desidents who continously grow fat without much hard work. The people of God when would respect the word of God! and stop manipulating people with the holy books. Shame on you all that has sought to liken obama to a cult movement. He represents the masses and the masses are nothing close to being a cult. What the masses want is fair play on how the economy of a nation is being run. I rebuke you in the name of christ that you dare liken Obama to African wizardary, I rebuke the evil you speak in the name of Jehovah God for your blasphemy. May your evil thoughts be cast down the abyss, you shall remain mute and powerless in the face change since you have openly registered your disgust for the wish of Americans. You racist Jews yet the world sympathise with your people for the evils of Hitler and you come openly to say racist things about Africans. You shall not succeed to create hate you evil Jews desiden. The lord is our sherperd and we shall not want. Devil you are beneath Americans and will always be. Amen

  • Priver

    Obama got my attention from his 2004 speech at the Democratic Convention.My first reaction was ‘wow.. think if this guy ran for president- imagine having a president who can actually speak to a nation in coherent sentences.’I’ve forgotten what that was like. Then I found out that HE wrote that speech- he didn’t have anyone write it for him. That said to me that he is intelligent. I’ve forgotten what that’s like, too- to have a politician who seemed to know something about the history and workings of this country.It made me want to know more. I started investigating his positions and reading his writings. It was that, his positions, and NOT the language he used, that won me over.And I know I’m not alone in wanting a president that makes me believe that our country is deserving of a bright future in spite of the present. Our democracy only works when people believe in it- and I’m going to go with a candidate that inspires all of us to be the best we can. Who wants to include and respect everyone-even those he doesn’t agree with. He’s forced all the other candidates to up their game instead of the slash and burn that has marked the last few contests.All the good orators of our history have become the best leaders, from Washington to Jefferson to Lincoln, to Martin Luther King Jr to JFK.

  • JR

    So let’s see, to figure out whether Obama is messianic, the writer turns to a Jew!? Seems like they kinda missed it last time around, didn’t they?It’s been my observation that a lot of Jews hate Obama, especially those who fawn over their phoenix Israel. They hate him with a white-hot hatred (pun re. racism intended) because they are scared to death that he will treat all parties in the Middle East fairly. And that, my friends, is something Israelis fear more than any neighboring Arab, occupied or exiled Palestinian, or divested Christian who speaks out against the festering injustice that is Israel.They hate Obama more than they hate their second-class black and brown servants, those impoverished (but conveniently circumcised into the faith) Africans and South Americans they have imported to do their menial work. Why? Because they’re too afraid of the people whose land they have stolen to let them work for even a pittance.Every Israeli knows, and fears, that the day is coming when justice will be rendered for the evil they have wrought. Sleep well, little bigots, while you may…

  • Krishna

    “Saturday night at a gala for the Wisconsin Democratic Party, Obama said to frequent applause, “Don’t tell me words don’t matter! ‘I have a dream.’ Just words. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ Just words. ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself.’ Just words, just speeches!”Poor Joe Biden! Last time he ran, his campaign was derailed bcause he used some such phrases from someone else’s campaign. But not Obama! He is the Messiah, He is the Chosen One, He is the Saviour, He is Martin Luther King and Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Founding Fathers all rolled into One – Out of many, One.Let’s add an Eleventh Commandment and a XXVIII Amendment to the Constitution. No one shall challenge the divinely ordained right of Rev. Obama to the Presidency of the United States. No Democrat, No Republican, No Independent, No one, period. The XXII Amendment shall be considered suspended as long as He chooses to remain in office.While we are at it, why not merge the two documents? Huckabee would like nothing better, and he would make a good Veep choice for The Obama, who talks and wals like a preacher but doesn’t have accredited credentials to show.Huckabama – it has a nice ring to it!

  • Philip Jones

    1. To the author Clair Hoffman:

  • Adrasteia

    I’m so sick of seeing this “cult of personality” thing about Obama. People worshipped George W. Bush so much they let him lead them into an immoral war. Talk about true believers!We are such a dumbed down nation that we become fearful of someone who can speak eloquently but go orgasmic over a guy who says “Too many good OB/GYNS can’t pratice their looove on women.”The world has gone upside down. That silver tongued messiah Thomas Jefferson must be spinning in his grave.

  • billyverona

    I am very sorry Wahington Post but I am done with your comments section. I’ll give a look in a few months and see if you have done something about moderating this in a responsible manner. There are some thoughtful, intelligent comments here but I shouldn’t have to wade through internet crazy world to find them.

  • Directed to Krishina

    Obama is a good man and will remain so, even when you evil people cook up things to tarnish his image, using phrases from other peoples speeches do not imply that he lacks knowledge. In politics nobody can lay claim to originality! All the people want is your ability to put words together to motivate. So he should not have made ref. to JFK or MLK’s special quotes. Racist! How many times has Hillary stolen words and line from Obama. Who complain. Leave Obama alone and cast your vote were you deem fit and leave a poor modest humble fellow like Obama alone! Vote for McCain instead and leave Obama alone. Leave Obama alone!

  • Coming Awakening

    The campaign has started. This article tells me more about our media than it does about Obama or Clinton. Why doesn’t the media talk about the current administration’s dictatorship? Why not? Because it is complicit. CNN, Fox, WaPO, and all others are bought and paid for literally.It’s all about ad money and companies that drive the media engine. Why would any media outlet want peace? Why would any media outlet want a President you can trust? Why would we want to end our gender and race based discussions related to this Presidential campaign? Why when the media makes more money when bad things happen. When people die in a War, they make money. When we get angry about a corrupt President like Bush, it drives traffic to the networks and the newspapers.Why would they want to give it up. All they care about is stirring up the pot which leads to some of the post I see before mine. These posts full of hate and discontent for our country and its so called leaders. We should not only elect a new President this year but we should also impeach the main stream media which is, in my eyes, the biggest part of the problem in our country. Shame on us for basing our opinion for someone running for President based on the faulty facts released by any of these outlets.

  • Johnycheng

    Americans have lost,they are like drowning persons groping for anything to hang on. This is the same situation as the Germens in the begining of the Hitler time,the Stalin age in Russia,the Mao’s time in China, people feel hopeless. The political savy and ambitious people will take advantage of the situation and destroy the countries by agitate and create false hopes.Obama is now like that person, he has no experience, doesn’t know how to govern,all he does is talk, talk, talk with no substance whatsoever, yet Americans tend to believe him out of desperation. It is so dangerous for the country,Americans has to wake up from this Obama dream, before it is too late.He is no Messiah, he is nothing but a two bits fast talk used car saleman trying to fool the naive Americans.

  • David 2007

    JOHN SWALLOW:* Degree in Political Science/Int’l Relations from Columbia in 1983He seems pretty strong on substance to me. Is it wrong that he is also inspiring?FEBRUARY 18, 2008 1:38 PM |Note- I have added info on Obama based on his Wikipedia bio. My addition is in the 2nd line.***************************Mr. Swallow, when comparing Obama’s credentials vs. those for Hillary Clinton, I guess your standards are kind of low as to whom you would support for one of the most important jobs in the United States.Obama’s work experience consists mainly of 4 years as an associate attorney, 8 years as an Illinois state senator, and 3 years as a U.S. Senator. It’s a good thing that Obama is such a great talker. Otherwise, with his record, or lack of it, he would be dismissed out of hand by most folks. Obama is like the preacher who shouts, “Believe and you will be saved.” And the people embrace the preacher because they want so much to be saved (whatever that means). For Obama, it’s easy to talk about HOPE and UNITY and CHANGE, but please provide details as to how this will be accomplished. Less platitudes and more specifics, please. I know that details are not as exciting as shouting HOPE and UNITY and CHANGE, but at some point people are going to demand some substance to your inspiring sounding claims (or at least I hope they do).

  • datdamwuf

    Tom wrote:”The messiah stuff is pure nonsense. What is leadership? That is the issue Obama has brought into acute focus. Hillary would have us believe policy wonkery is the key (can I venture a guess and suggest that’s because she’s good at it). Carter was a wonk, so we know wonkery does not necessarily equate to results.”WRONG, Carter used “just folks” outside the beltway crap same as Bush. He made a lot of “time for change” speeches, calling him a “wonk” shows how badly informed you are. Maybe we could say Carter was just like Obama, he ran on “change” too. At least get your facts straight if you are going to post. I’d rather have qualified than inspiring speechmakers or just folks any day. It’s why I do not to this day understand how anyone could have voted for Bush, especially pro-choice people I know voting for him. They didn’t research it and believed he was not a strong anti-abortion foe because he down played it except when he talked to the Christian Coalition, where he made promises…

  • Porky

    Barack Obama will steal your speech! MONDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2008Barack Obama will steal your speech! Watch and compare the two speeches. The first was given by Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick, in 2006. The second given just a few weeks ago, by Barack Obama.This isn’t the first time Obama has been accused of plagiarizing either, nor is it the first time he’s blatantly denied it. Barack Obama needs to check his Che Guevara loving campaign managers, and make sure they stop stealing other people’s speeches. Barack Obama is the Carlos Mencia of the 2008 Presidential Race! Do you want Carlos Mencia for your President?!?!

  • Stop distroting views ,washington post

    For the past few weeks, I have followed post on NYT, washingtonpost and the articles within. It is very much disheartening that such unbalanced reporting of current issues exist in America. NYT and washington post has completely misinformed the public on where the candidates stands concerning delegate wins and so forth and has continuously projected Hillary above her achievement. I am not in anyway suggesting that Obama is an embodiment of change or best for the white house, however, he should be fairly recognised for re-inventing electoral process in America. It takes a leader to fight all odds and still be on top of your game. Obama has done what most regular politicians could not do in years for only one year ( powerful campaign organisation, raised more money than any campaign; genuinely donated by Americans towards a good purpose, have all disadvantage against him for being a new entrant into politics, for being young which is mostly associated with inexperience and mostly because he is black).However, in the face of all these odds, he still appeals more to Americans. Does that, not inform our ignorance about the quality a man Obama is? Should people not pay more attention to his underlining message than ignorantly critize him? HRC skipped to vote not quite long ago on a boiling issue that concerns the privacy and promotion of individual rights and freedom and she is saying she is all about you. Why are the Clintons desperate? First unloaded a stench of lies against Obama which contributed to their first win, unloaded the Atlantic ocean through tears which perverted the choice people would have made instead they empathised with her and now she has put such disgusting ads again against Obama. True leaders should not appear desperate if you may agree, after all, the call to serve is not a do or die affair and to be fair, the Clintons have created enough memory for themselves in the whitehouse that they can live with in a life time (sticky bandit style of acquiring works of art and turning the white house into a red light district) .Since NYT and washingtonpost has lost its dignity and a sense of purpose of being free press it has become compelling to note that NYT , CNN and so forth has sought to racialise all Obama’s achievements ; counting the number of white voters against black voters in order to influence the thinking of American people who are mostly white to stand by their colour. The world sees this things and people say American can never change. But I am very much pleased with good American people who may vote for any candidate based on their open-mindedness on what is right to do and has reflected in the outcomes so far. Americans are not dump, NYT. Americans can not be easily influenced by your careful but calculating strategy to externalise Obama from getting white voters. Such path dependency analytical distortion is very unbecoming and should be discontinued.

  • R.W.

    PEOPLE: THE WHOLE CULT THING WAS PLANTED BY THE cLINTON CAMPAIGN BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO OTHER WAY TO COUNTER OBAMA’S CAMPAIGN!Paul Krugman was simply parroting what the clinton campaign planted. It’s been strongly hinted already that the clinton’s were gonna have to do SOMETHING to try to slow the Obama campaign rapidly increasing success and THIS IS IT. It was already hinted at by “regular folks” posters at places like The Democratic Underground -

  • Helena Montana

    Ah, the Obama as cult meme. The Clintonistas are getting desperate. I don’t particularly care for Obama, but I’ve decided to vote for him. Why? Because of the really nasty tone of the pro-Clinton people, as typified on this thread. Nastiness like this is why I left the Republican party and voted for Bill Clinton twice, and nastiness like this is why I’m now leaving the Clintons behind.

  • Kevin1231

    It is dangerous given that he is attracting lot of idiots (like Anonymous) as well.

  • Kevin1231

    The mere mention of Chris Mathews makes me wanna puke.

  • John

    This is so ironic given that we are in the 7th year of the Bush presidency – a man who pandered to the most radical elements of the religious right and who seems to have a bit of a Messiah complex himself. Follow that up with a major Republican presidential candidate who “majored in miracles.”

  • Carroll

    The Clintons don’t think words matter or even count. Unless they’re lies or getting even with someone.

  • John Swallow

    Dear David 2007:I don’t dispute that Hillary is very accomplished. and I will vote for in in the general election if she wins the nomination. This is not a thread about Obama vs Hillary but about the “cult” of Obama. I was making the point that I am using my head in addition to my heart with regard to my choice. Yes I prefer Obama over Hillary in the primaries. I have never been a fan of the center way of the DLC to which both Clintons belong. I think Obama is the most likely to extricate us from Iraq the quickest. For historical reasons which are quite unfair, Hillary has become a lighting rod. I think she will motivate the Republican base as much as the Democratic base. Although I think it would be fun to watch conservative heads explode if she won the whole thing I fear she would lose a lot of red and purple states. Finally, I like that Obama is creating a new generation of progressive voters who will be part of new coalition of Democratic voters in the future. I respect your choice. No disrespect to Hillary, I just prefer Obama.

  • E. O’Neal

    Are Americans so empty spiritually that they seek meaning from politicians? Upscale liberals, reporters and college students, perhaps, but I hope you can’t win the presidency with this bogus garbage. There’s a real world out there, and it’s dangerous.

  • Annette Keller

    Someone please do some functional MRI scans of Obamaniacs while they are watching videos of Obama delivering speeches. I bet you that you will find that the alternate circuits that people use when they are irrationally in love have switched in. These people with their nonsensical, baseless reasoning of why Obama is so great at this or that and their flushes of Obama crushes, are all engaging their primitive love circuits.They are on dopamine highs.

  • broadcast

    I think that the people feel refreshed, renewed have a sense of healing because our “gut” feelings tell us that this guy is the one to be the appointed nominee for the President of the U.S. And, rightfully so. He brings the democrats and the republicans, plus the people together. We don’t need aerobics, meditation… just go to one of his rallies and your life will be forever changed! In a good and positive way! His opponent can not acknowledge lies, failures, and sometimes truth. We need a president that does not speak in codes, who is “icy” and just during the primaries has done a 360 degree turnaround in her personality. Who is Hillary Clinton? Will the real Hillary Rodham Clinton, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE standup.Stop this Jekyll and Hide. Drama, QUEEN!OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT ’08

  • Change2008

    this Obama love-fest honeymoon is on its very last legs. The reality will soon dawn on you guys when all more stuff starts getting dugg by the Republicans. They are coming. Trust me.

  • mhr

    Obamamania is just one more piece of evidence that liberal Democrats are driven more by their emotions and their feelings than by their brains. Films of Obama conjure up those of sellers of snake oil of years ago and of preachers at revival meetings where women fainted and strong men felt weak at the knees. There is something deeply bizarre about all of this- skill at oratory and moving the masses emotionally was highly developed by a couple of European politicians in the 1930’s and nothing good came of that experience. It is understandable that Obama moves the uneducated but disturbing that many of his followers are members of the highly- educated elites of this country. What are US universities producing these days?

  • mhr

    Obamamania is just one more piece of evidence that liberal Democrats are driven more by their emotions and their feelings than by their brains. Films of Obama conjure up those of sellers of snake oil of years ago and of preachers at revival meetings where women fainted and strong men felt weak at the knees. There is something deeply bizarre about all of this- skill at oratory and moving the masses emotionally was highly developed by a couple of European politicians in the 1930’s and nothing good came of that experience. It is understandable that Obama moves the uneducated but disturbing that many of his followers are members of the highly- educated elites of this country. What are US universities producing these days?

  • hpmoyer

    Did anyone see Michelle Obama on CNN saying that this is the first time in her adult life that she’s been really proud of her country? This is one radical black woman. She can’t be proud of her country unless her husband is winning the Democratic nomination for president? Please. This woman has got to be in her 40’s….what a shame that someone like this will be sitting in the White House, thanks to obamamania, not by voters but by the PRESS!

  • Prem Pillai

    I guess Apathy has become such a given fact of US politics that anyone who can enthuse people is regarded as a cultist by some.It’s just as well that the people of America are not as jaded as some of their reporters.

  • Larry

    I feel like many probably felt when Nazis came to power in 1930’s Germany. Like then, we have entered a period of group think where flaws of the movement and rational critique are dismissed in favor of the belief that a single individual will make all of our problems go away.

  • Mike

    I think Obama needs to add to his message of “hope” and “change”. It should now be “hope”, “change”, “nice” and “good”. Two more trite cliches should put him over the top.

  • svreader

    Being smart isn’t just a matter of what’s between your ears, but what you do with it.Healthy Skepticism is a big part of being Smart.Things that “Sound too good to be true” usually aren’t true.We’ve gone through 7 years of “a uniter, not a divider” “a man of principle” “a Harvard man”What we’ve gotten is 7 years of disaster.He turned out to be an egotistical empty suit.Part of being smart is being skeptical and verifying that people’s plans make sense.I’d just like to urge voters to look at both web sites.If you study both of their policy plans, you’ll wind up voting for Hillary Clinton.Presidents make policy.

  • Veronica

    I think Obama is extremely strange. His campaign method is weird, and there’s no way in heck I could ever support someone like this for POTUS.

  • Mike

    Larry:I know what you mean. When I see these women fainting, it reminds me of “Triumph of the Will” and his band of mindless zealots reminds me of the Brown Shirts.I don’t think Obama would be a good President, but I think he would make a great fascist dictator.

  • John Swallow

    To hpmoyer:”Did anyone see Michelle Obama on CNN saying that this is the first time in her adult life that she’s been really proud of her country?”Have you ever heard of a gaffe? You don’t need to take them too literally. Pres. Bush makes them all time. He famously once said something to the effect of “The terrorist never stop thinking of ways to harm America, and neither do we.” You might be forgiven if you thought he never stops thinking of ways to harm America given the damage he and his administration have done. But the reality is that it was most likely a verbal gaffe. If you think every mistatement should be taken literally, you would probably think Pres Bush should be arrested, placed in Guantanamo as a terrorist, and detained for years without council while under extreme interogation techniques. I think you can agree that this is silly. I am guessing Michelle Obama was expressing how proud she was that our country seems to be getting past racial divides that have been so harmful and nothing more.

  • John Swallow

    Mel B. sorry you see it as a cheap shot but it is illustrative of the value of reading too much into a verbal gaffe. Yes, I, and 70 percent of America, thinks Mr. Bush is doing a poor job and that the country is on the wrong track.

  • Gail

    Obama is offering the Democratic Party the opportunity for an honest-to-God spiritual awakening. We in the Left have allowed spirituality, service, and principles to be co-opted by the assumption that they are invariably associated with intolerance. It’s time to openly acknowledge that they can be good stuff.

  • jhbyer

    Thank goodness, Joel is wrong in thinking every presidential campaign induced adoration. Nobody dared admit they even liked Nixon. His appeal was his doggedness, competence, intellectual depth, broad knowledge. Remember Dukakis? LBJ showing reporters his surgical scars? Give Barack his due. He’s peerless. But bury the messiah stuff. It’s superstition.

  • Monica

    This writer is retarded. Obama is whatever you make of him. He means different things to different people. i love him for his personality and what I think are his abilities to move this country forward. It has nothing to do with God. Geez.

  • John Swallow

    Mel B. I want to clarify my (tasteless?) joke. My point was that you can take a misstatement too far. The point was that even though I dislike President Bush and this adminstration you could take a gaffe too far and suggest that he is a terrorist (which I don’t think). You apparently read my comments too literally. My second point was to cut Michele Obama some slack for her comment about pride in America which was clearly misinterpreted and overread. My discouragement/disgust with the current administration and its policies regarding preemptive war, detention of suspected terrorists, and the use of what many consider to be torture may have influenced the joke coming out a tad harsh. BUt you seem to be a bit oversensitive.

  • Randy

    On the subject of BO (aka: Barack Obama)Barack is an extremely talented orator… very talented.However, inspirational rhetoric by itself is… meaningless from an intellectual point of view. I keep waiting for him to inject coherent theory of something that describes how he will “solve” this economic toilet bowl we are all swimming in.I believe BO has studied every major political and social speech ever delivered upon the electorate and he is good at it.You know, the best salesman are used car salesman… right?BO is a great inspirational entertainer, he has half the stuff it takes to be a great president… I still waiting to see the other half … and that glass is half empty.

  • thishowiseeit

    Voters are being taken by Obama’ simple rhetoric with a baritone voice just like voters were taken by the JFK’s fashinating inflection. I just hope ,

  • Bill Tetzeli

    This whole “Obama as messiah/personality cult” thing has really gotten under my skin. It got me looking at my support for Obama, and even made me start questioning that support. I even declined to do phone work in advance of the upcoming Wisconsin primary because I was wondering if doing that would make me a cultist. Then I realized that was the whole point of this tripe – to get the Obama supporters to doubt themselves. This is the essence of Rove-style politics – take your opponent’s strength and turn it into a weakness. The speeches only shine because the of the character and integrity of the man who makes them. Obama’s voice is strong because he found it a long time ago, not just after the New Hampshire primary this year.Keeping this in mind I’m going back to the phones tomorrow on Obama’s behalf. All it took was some critical thinking to see through the obvious attempt to villify him and his supporters in the press.

  • Ray

    An interesting question worthy of debate and analysis – but the essay is torpedoed early on by switching to pseudo-comedy schtick.

  • Kevin Morgan

    First off we have to ask ourselves- “Is Claire Hoffman the Miss-iah? People are asking these days and it’s not so hard to understand why: the desperate blog, the self inflated ego, the great slumbering dialogue. All that larger symbolism.” One thing is for certain. Claire Hoffman is not a democrat, doesn’t understand democrats, and has no business writing about democrats. We get pumped when someone actually thinks instead of sound byteing. We long for a candidate who sees greater purpose in what we stand for and what we are capable of. The dreamy look on observers faces is not a religious experience. It is a great hope that after 8 years of staring into the blank dead gaze of Bush, that we can still have a great leader . It is the hope that descending into Bushland didn’t necessarily mean we were doomed to be led by greedy corporate sociopaths hiding behind our God and our flag. Obama represents that hope. If you had been aware, you would have seen it too.

  • tonilynn

    I am a Democrat, as are my husband and adult children. None of us has ever voted for a Republican, but if Obama manages to sway enough kool-aid drinking voters into giving him the nomination, each of us will vote for McCain, just to put a stop to what appears to be madness.

  • heyharvey

    In a speech by obama, he said he would transform the u.s. and then he would transform the world.i could just cry. Harvey

  • heyharvey

    adolf hitler was viewed by the crowds in germany as a messianic figure. he hypnotised and roused the populace with his speeches. he said that their time had come and he was there to lead.

  • Mel B

    John Swallow:I wasn’t being sensitive. I’m no big Bush fan soI really don’t take criticism of him personally. I just notice the inabilty of Obama’s supporters to discuss the weather without telling us that Bush should be impeached.Obama’s supporters are too passionate both in their hate of Bush and love of Obama. They seem a little too reliant on emotion and reticent to address facts or logic.

  • heyharvey

    ‘In politics nothing is contemptible.’ Disrealii can add nothing more. auf wiedersehen,

  • heyharvey

    obama attended a madras in indonesia for several years. doesn’t anyone wonder what this could do to the psyche of a young person? shalom,

  • bill in beijing

    It was a mistake, and highly inappropriate, to get involved in partisan politics in this way, at a time when feelings are running very high. Do Patrick Leahy, Chris Gregoire, Jim Doyle, Claire McCaskill, Janet Napolitano, Ted Kennedy, Cornel West, et al, support Obama because they see him as a “Messiah”? Or maybe because they think he has the potential to be an outstanding president, and the best chance of retaking the White House for the Democrats?The ‘cult’ line is being used primarily by opponents of Obama’s as a way of diminishing his candidacy, and you seem to be giving it credence. Did you really expect a calm, reasoned discussion here? What were you thinking?

  • Strategist

    One damn good reason to vote for Obama is that he has scared the crap out of the ideological crooks who now control DC and run it against the interests of American people. Look at it, they have unleashed all their dogs in the media and guess what, the more they attack him with trivialities the more people like him. Read my lips: WE ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE.

  • Jarrod

    Poor article. When will (a majority) of Americans grow up and realise:THERE IS NO GOD. NO GREEK GODS. NO ROMAN GODS. NO HINDU GODS.THEY ARE MATAFORS AT BEST!You should be more concerned with the anti-intellectualism/ anti-rationalism that proliferates in your country- You are the least publicly educated developed nation- You are the least publicly health covered developed nation.GET OVER GOD!!! It blinds you to realise that we could be working towards HEAVEN ON EARTH (instead of Armageddon)THE REST OF THE WORLD HAS (except save Middle East countries)KILLED OF THE CULT OF THEISM.It’s easy to see through the thin facade of Scientology’s ‘Xenu’. Yet, when it comes to talking snakes, angels and imaculate conceptions a large proportion of Christians fail to see the logic.SPORT WILL OUTLIVE RELIGIONSCIENCE WILL OUTLIVE DOGMA

  • Mashuu

    What is this? No matter where you go on the Internet, people seemingly not only have trouble making cohesive sentences, but also have difficulty with correct spelling and punctuating. Nevermind the host of complaints that can be made about the ideas themselves.Sad, sad, sad.

  • Mike

    What is the mentality behind typing in all caps. Is it to let us know that you are really, really angry? Is it that you think that your posts are so great that you need to be certain that no one misses them?It’s one of the most annoying habits on the web. Why do you do it? (Not a rhetorical question, I am truly curious.)

  • Daisy

    My name is Helen. I am a single girl from the US and believe that the Internet is a quite good place to meet new friends. I would like to meet a man who is out of my race for a serious interracial relationship; so anyone who may be interested can check out my photos on the famous site blackcentury.com, under the name of Helenseeking. See you there

  • Daisy

    My name is Helen. I am a single girl from the US and believe that the Internet is a quite good place to meet new friends. I would like to meet a man who is out of my race for a serious interracial relationship; so anyone who may be interested can check out my photos on the famous site blackcentury.com, under the name of Helenseeking. See you there

  • Jessie

    My name is Helen. I am a single girl from the US and believe that the Internet is a quite good place to meet new friends. I would like to meet a man who is out of my race for a serious interracial relationship; so anyone who may be interested can check out my photos on the famous site blackcentury.com, under the name of Helenseeking. See you there

  • PAT

    OBAMA IS THE ATICHRIST. HE IS NOT WHAT HE APPEARS TO BE. GO TO THE REVERSE SPEECH WEB SITE FIND OUT WHO THIS MAN REALLY IS

  • John Swallow

    Mel B.Fair enough – If you will look up through the thread you will see that I responded to questions re the “cult” of Obama. I described my reasons for voting for Obama and my preference of him over Hillary (all without reference to Bush). I will say again that my vote is being influenced by both my heart and my mind. I find it somewhat offensive that anyone who likes this particular candidate is marginalized as a member of a cult and unable to make an informed decision, that they driven only by this cult like figure who speaks well and inspired devotion.As I said before, I don’t like this thread. Calling the “passion” around Obama a “cult” plays into the meme that opponents of Obama are using to try to slow his momentum. As another said up in the thread, “Did you really expect a calm, reasoned discussion here?” when you start with a loaded question.

  • Jarrod

    ATTN: MIKE RE: CAPSOoh, boo hoo. Someone is typing in caps lock. Yes – to answer your burning question, as people flick through it’ll stand out. It wasn’t excessive though. Just to highlight a few points. The evangelicals and preachers scream abhorent threats of eternal hellfire (to kids no less)and the sort. I think CAPS is justified in this case. SORRY MIKE. There are other things to gripe about. At least you’ve eaten today.:)arrod

  • Elizabeth

    Obama uses a teleprompter to deliver a preachers sermon, and people fall for it. But, as my momma used to say, when a man is trying to seduce you with his voice, you have to listen really hard to the words.I did. As Obama says, words matter. I voted Clinton.

  • Richard

    PAT:”OBAMA IS THE ATICHRIST. HE IS NOT WHAT HE APPEARS TO BE. GO TO THE REVERSE SPEECH WEB SITE FIND OUT WHO THIS MAN REALLY IS”And you are Pat Robertson, right?

  • Mike

    Jarrod:Thanks for another example of liberal “discussion”. “I hate evangelicals, which give me license to be annoying.”It must be so nice to be a liberal. All of your character flaws are not flaws. Instead they are the direct result of someone having different poltical or religous view. Reminds me f Forrest Gump when the hippie smacks his girlfriend and blames it on “that bastard, Johnson!”Think I’ll go key someone’s car. It’s OK though. Bill Maher said something I don’t like which gives me license to act like an idiot.

  • svreader

    The fact that people are so fired up about Obama when he’s using the same speech Bush did about being “a uniter not a divider” shows how short our national memory is and gulible we are as a people.

  • Reginald Avery Wilkins

    What a thread! Well, someone in another blog said that Obama’s appeal for us making Republican incomes while still voting Democrat is that he gives us religion without the hassle of going to church. Actually, she said he fills a rather large void for us clever atheists, which I think is pretty much the same thing. Personally, (do you really care?), his speeches bring me to tears rather readily and I can’t watch yeswecansong without misting up like a vaporizer. Why is this? Is my life empty? Nice house, big income, two lovely kids no health problems – no real sign of emptyness I can find. Well? I just think he has tapped the essence of our country just like the darned speech reads – the unlikely story of America is the unlikely story of Obama. And damn it, even those of us who’ve marched and chanted and sat in and complained still want to love this occasionally murderous country and that big eared man allows this to occur. I’ve seen the comments in various blogs: he makes angry liberals and even radicals love our country AGAIN. Is this important? Who knows. It has made me give way more money than I should have, knock on doors in the rain, and call strangers all across America. Would you do that for Hillary? For Bill? If so, you probably are getting paid or hoping to land a job. I think we have struck gold with this man whom we frankly don’t deserve after voting for an idiot twice. Messiah? Well, perhaps, in a moment of pity, He gave us one of his finer works to see if we can screw it up for the fourth time.Reginald Avery Wilkins, Ph.D.

  • Natalie

    “The question, is he the messiah would be a lot more fun if you had added “or is he the Anti-Christ”. Don’t Christians believe that guy is going to be a great charmer?” DatdamwufThat is really funny. I have never thought of that. The Anti-Christ is supposed to be a great charmer that everyone follows and likes. Deep down I don’t think he is the Anti-Christ and I already took my chances by voting for him even if he is, but it is funny that people are asking if he is the messiah. Though I think he is a great leader. Something tells me he is not Jesus. I’ll wait for the clouds to part and the thunder from heaven before I start asking if the messiah is back.

  • Hagiography

    Breaking news: Obama is a mere mortal not a saint. He still inspires a lot of people to vote, including the traditionally apathetic young demographic. As Athena noted, he does have a similar message to that of St. Reagan. He might even win back some former Reagan democrats and solidify a new generation of solid progressive voters.

  • Paganplace

    How very silly, if dangerous. I think the Right are just in a panic cause after far too many years of saying the candidates liberals can get behind are ‘unelectable cold fish’ …now we have someone that shoes energy and passion and really good leadership skills. Just because he speaks well doesn’t mean he’s any less reason-and-reality-based. It’s not as though the Democrats fall short in the ideas department, but they seem to have long been plagued by some difficulty carrying a message across, particularly with a corporate media that would much rather talk about haircuts and personality than the substance of the issues… Now they complain he doesn’t speak like John Kerry. The country needs these leadership skills most of all, …along *with* competence and the good stuff he brings to the table. Pardon if we get a bit excited about the guy, he’s been a long time coming. :) But ‘Messiah?’ What’s that, code for those Fundies who claim the Antichrist is going to be a black man?

  • steveballmer

    Obamabamamabamama is not messianic! An obvious fake! How do I know?Steve Ballmer

  • svreader

    Barak Obama is the “Paris Hilton” of Politics.Thanks to him and his supporters, there’s a good chance we’ll wind up with another “empty suit” and bypass the candidate with the vision and policy expertise we need as a country and a planet.George Bush ran as “A uniter, not a divider” “someone who can change the tone in washington” “someone who can reach across the isle” “A man of Character” “A Harvard Man”Obama’s running on the exact same platform and is just as full of hot air.Are we going to fall for the same old “con-job” again???

  • Hagiography

    SVREADERSo Obama is “Bush in sheep’s clothing” because he talks about working together? I think that is about as silly as Obama-mania being a cult.

  • Paganplace

    Oh, now they use Bush, the national embarrassment, as a reason to claim *Obama* has no substance? (Bush went to Yale, btw,)Don’t blame Obama if the media greets *discussion* of detail with a yawn and claims one is out of touch and boring. It’s not like it’s that hard to find his positions on things.

  • Johnny B. Goode

    john black: We prefer to call them the Senate and House of Representatives.

  • Johnny B. Goode

    Why is it that every time the political circus comes to town, we get stuck with the clown?Chris Dodd and Joe Biden are FAR more experienced and nuanced on government and foreign affairs than Hillary.Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul are more libertarian and progressive than Obama, and they are far more candid and radical (root cause) in their approach to fixing what ails us (IRS and Federal Reserve).John McCain was a true American hero half a century ago, but being a torture victim is no qualification for the presidency. Oh, uh, he just reversed his principled position on torture and agreed that it’s okay sometimes. His reputation as a straight shooter is a myth. He puts a nice face on warmongering. This guy will make King George look gun shy.”We have met the enemy and they is us.” PogoA far better educated electorate would demand far better qualified candidates. This election, like all our elections, is the result of (bad) Karma.

  • concerned citizen

    you people are sick

  • Johnny B. Goode

    David Headman:As an aside, Adolf Hitler. I once met a gentleman who watched one of the corporal’s speeches. He said he didn’t speak a word of German and yet he was spellbound. Now, THAT’S oration.

  • Johnny B. Goode

    MARK:Oh, great! Now all the gays and druggies will vote for Obama and he’s sure to win. You and your big mouth!

  • Malcolm

    Every candidate has warts, foibles, whatever you want to call them. They are all politicians we vote for to represent us – they are not some Platonic ideal of governance, the second coming, the messiah. McCain has em. Clinton has em. And yes Obama has em. In the end most people will vote for one of the above, warts and all. I seriously doubt that most Obama supporters are waiting for the rapture but their is nothing wrong with their passion. I bet Clinton and McCain would kill for more supporters to zealously throng their rallies, fill their campaign coffers, and mark their names on the ballot.

  • muhittin

    give him a chance, at least he looks “different”

  • Johnny B. Goode

    Muchisimas gracias por todos los commentos estupidos. Yo espero que la senora de usted, Senora Burra, esta bueno. Bienvenido a los Estados Unidos, peon. Cuidado! INS estan aqui.

  • Johnny B. Goode

    PATTI O’REILLY:

  • Anonymous

    wut the… is the nation not gonna vote for obama cuz he’s black? what the ____ is this nation coming to? besides lincoln and kennedy, what good did the whites do in this world? hitler? castro? shut up and give freedom and equality to america… for both blacks.. whites and other races.

  • Johnny B. Goode

    SCOTT:In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

  • Birdman

    Your favorite candidate (put name here) is the only one who could possibly lead the nation in this time of crisis. All other candidates are fatally flawed.Supporters of any candidate other than your chosen are clearly crazy, especially if they show “passion”, as there can be no logical reasons (other than brainwashing) that anyone could possibly come up with to support any one else.

  • muskrat

    It is sad that the country is dumbed down enough to buy into this fraud; so far he hasn’t said anything beyond “hope” and “change”. Of course the alternative is Hillary – God give us strength – this is what the Democratic Party offers us.

  • Johnny B. Goode

    After the revolution and reign of terror in France, the French discovered that they had cut off all their brains.After the American revolution, after chucking out the Brits, we discovered that we lost the art of understatement and droll humor. Now all we get is hyperbole and slapstick.

  • mnjam

    This thread is utter garbage. Shameful. Low.Did Obama claim to be a/the Messiah?Did Obama’s supporters characterize him as a/the Messiah?Who is using his word other than self-serving vapid journalists seeking to manufacture a story about nothing?This a really stupid piece, one any Christian or Jew should find offensive.

  • Rebekah

    A couple of months ago I heard one of the anchors on MSNBC describe Obamamaniacs in this way. He said, “If Obama told his audience to stand, they would stand, If he told his audience to sit, they would sit. If he pointed at one person and told him to move, he would move.” That’s a bit frightening to me. People kind of lose their own identities in situations like that, don’t they? I’m not convinced that if he is elected that he can get people to give the same kind of money to help support universal health care, or education or the Iraq veteran who is living under a bridge watching all this money pour into the Obama campaign and asking himself, ‘but what about me?’

  • Paganplace

    “It is sad that the country is dumbed down enough to buy into this fraud; so far he hasn’t said anything beyond “hope” and “change”.”Actually, the only dumbing down in this case is you parroting that soundbyte about a man who’s voiced and stood up for his principles plenty. But if a Democrat *speaks* these things, they get called a ‘liberal elite out of touch with the people.’ Don’t complain about the ‘dumbing down.’Smarten up.

  • Birdman

    Paganplace – thanks for making my point but without the sarcasm.

  • John Norman

    The same Jehovah who ordered the Jews to kill the Midianites along with their women and their children, but to keep the young girl children as rape victims and sex slaves is certainly powerful enough to get Huckabbe elected. Just wait and see for the miracle.

  • Pmbster

    “Johnny B. Goode:After the revolution and reign of terror in France, the French discovered that they had cut off all their brains.After the American revolution, after chucking out the Brits, we discovered that we lost the art of understatement and droll humor. Now all we get is hyperbole and slapstick.”I resemble that remark!

  • Dealexis(England)

    Why are some people talking as if Obama and Opera

  • NEVSIN

    Sorry guys,you hate them; but to be realistic, you are not any different from muslim jihadists. for atheists, the world turns into an unbeareble place. every single day, step by step.

  • Arthur Brightman

    Anybody whose appeal can be described as “religious” is dangerous as hell.We have the national media to thank for this phenomenon.

  • LANGX

    It would be funny if he was the Messiah. How many white people in this country would be Christians if Jesus true image was shown “Black Man” instead of being portrayed as white with blond hair and blue eyes. Can you imagine the racist white people “Social and Christian Conservatives” bending down to pray LOLThose are some seriously confused people. Reminds me of the skit on the Chappelle show when the KKK most celebrated author was a blind racist who hated black people. One problem. Since he was blind he didn’t know he was black .

  • Travis

    Who moderates these posts? I want to read it but the trolls and idiots make it impossible.

  • sandra

    THE JOKE IS THE POWER WILL NEVER BE TO THE PEOPLE. ALL OF THE OBAMA FANS WILL GO BACK TO STUDYING LAW SO THEY CAN GRADUATE AND MAKE LOTS OF MONEY AND THEN VOTE REPUBLICAN SO THEY CAN KEEP IT ALL WHEN THEY GET THIR FIRST LAW PRATICE.

  • sandra

    THE JOKE IS THE POWER WILL NEVER BE TO THE PEOPLE. ALL OF THE OBAMA FANS WILL GO BACK TO STUDYING LAW SO THEY CAN GRADUATE AND MAKE LOTS OF MONEY AND THEN VOTE REPUBLICAN SO THEY CAN KEEP IT ALL WHEN THEY GET THIR FIRST LAW PRATICE.

  • Benjamin Green

    It would be nice to view peoples various thoughts and feelings regarding this article without having to scroll through 8 miles of paranoid apocalyptic gibberish, fevered Clintospam and various other kinds of swill.

  • vic

    Lunar eclipse . . . yeah, that’s what it is. Is everybody ready? Okay, start howling. The question should be: Who’s best qualified to become caretaker of this asylum?

  • APPEALING TO CALM AND CIVILITY

    From the op-ed pieces, the blogs, and comments like these, there’s a lot of “religious” fervor and irrational argumentation used for and against Obama. We are being (as always) manipulated by a media that enjoys creating fights, even when there really isn’t one.In reality, Obama and Clinton are nearly identical in policy and position, and both have some limited experience. Obama has substantially more legislative experience, while Clinton has more experience with Washington and the white house. And either way, the democrats elect a very moderate candidate.Those of you writing in all caps, or using idiotic expressions like “messianic” (for or against), or throwing out absurd hyperbole suggesting one has “no experience” or the other is “just a washington insider” are cheapening a debate on a complicated and subtle subject. If you honestly believe these candidates are so radically different that you (as a supporter of one) have the higher ground with which to viciously attack supporters of the other, you clearly aren’t reading their positions on the issues.Clinton is no more specific than Obama, and Obama is no more an “agent of change” than she is. Don’t let the media and their spin characterize the debate for you … go out to their web sites and their official statements and READ their positions and policy proposals. Look at their voting records. You will find you are choosing between two middle-ground candidates with few real differences.For example: Both are equally vague about how they will handle withdrawal in Iraq, and both are equally specific about how their respective healthcare plans will work … plans, incidentally that differ only slightly. Both have exactly the same position on issues involving same-sex marriage and civil unions. Even their disagreements about what kind of diplomacy to engage in with “rogue” nations amount to semantic variations of the same basic policies.Both are spinning like mad, both are distorting facts and the records of their opponents, both are spending money like crazy, both want very much to be President. Both have cool-headed, rational supporters with good reasons for their support, and both have irrational mouth-foamers. It’s very easy and lazy to oversimplify and insult. Here’s a clue that you’ve lost perspective: If you believe that those who support the opposing candidate cannot possibly have any good justification for their position beyond having been conned by the spin or the media, you’ve lost perspective. That’s a silly false generalization.To those holding such a view: Can we ratchet down the rhetoric a bit and restore some civility to this conversation? Extreme comments indicate (to me) a weakness in one’s argument.To the media: Can you stop running ridiculous stories like this one and concentrate on teasing out the subtle policy differences so we can make informed, rational choices? It’s hard enough to needle out the differences between two candidates vying so hard for the center without the media creating false distinctions and riling up bloggers who somehow confuse caps-lock with a justified position.

  • Anonymous

    Personally I feel that Obama would do a great job as president, and I endorse him.But a Messiah complex? Please. Obama is just trying to turn us around before we hit catastrophe. Although not extremely similar, he might be this generations Theodore Roosevelt as president, what with all all his talk of changing the world, as Teddy Roosevelt did at the turn of the century.

  • Teddy

    Personally I feel that Obama would do a great job as president, and I endorse him.But a Messiah complex? Please. Obama is just trying to turn us around before we hit catastrophe. Although not extremely similar, he might be this generations Theodore Roosevelt as president, what with all all his talk of changing the world, as Teddy Roosevelt did at the turn of the century.

  • PGR

    Not only is it religious – it is ENTERTAINMENT modelled on the daytime talk show, evening news, and Hollywood tonight. Thanks Oprah!

  • Chris Smith

    I think all of this fervor over Obama…the crying, the fainting….is starting to become a little creepy.

  • charles

    This is such a stupid topic. There is this Obama=Jim Jones thing going around that conservative commentators have gotten sick with recently.

  • Pat

    Are we Americans looking for some kind of super-charismatic soul coming to magically solve our problems???America let’s vote a real president, it isn’t time for games…

  • lightsplash

    I see these comments and think a more appropriate question would be: How many people see Barack Obama as the Ant-Christ?

  • John

    Mr. Meacham, your “On Faith” project has really jumped the tracks with this article, which belongs under political commentary.

  • John

    Mr. Meacham and Ms. Quinn, your “On Faith” project has completely jumped the tracks with this article, which belongs under political commentary, not a discussion of God and theology.

  • Johnny B. Goode

    SANDRA:Nettiquete dictates that typing in capital letters is SHOUTING. You don’t need to shout, we can hear you.Advice to the Newbies: Learn the names of the retards and just skip them. There are some excellent contributors here. Mine for them like gold nuggets.

  • Not conservative

    With the exception of St Reagan for conservatives, most politicians don’t measure up to the hopes of the voters. I don’t see a cult, I see the political process. Right now, Obama is doing a good job of generating excitement among voters across a lot of demographics. Hillary has her rabid supporters as well.

  • beet red in embarrassment for you

    A friend of mine emailed me a link to this column. What a waste of words it is too. “Journalmaism” light indeed.

  • Mike

    John Swallow:”Calling the “passion” around Obama a “cult” plays into the meme that opponents of Obama are using to try to slow his momentum.”Yes, it’s all a conspiracy. This whole idea that Obama has a zealous cult following was just created by Karl Rove and the Clintons to “slow his momentum”. None of his critics have any genuine concerns, as all of the “genuine” folks are Obama supporters.This silly line of defense has been applied to every criticism of Obama. Whether it is the broken financing pledge, the watering down of a bill to suit a big political contributor or pointing out the cult-like way in which his supporters view him, the response has been the same: avoid addressing the criticism and claim it is all “unfair” criticism. What a bunch of bull. What you are seeing is the first inkling of the scrutiny that he will be receiving, however belatedly. It’s OK. We are allowed to ask questions about the guy who wants to be President. Walking around saying “change” isn’t good enough.

  • John Swallow

    Mike – Fine -Ask questions, come to your own decision. You are free to make whatever decision you want with regard to your vote. I just find it offensive that all people who have a preference for this particular candidate are placed in a cult. Should everyone who ever voted for Bush be categorized as a rabid evangelicals? Are all Hillary supporters simply analyzing her obvious qualification with cold cool logic which is irrefutable? I am not sure what McCain’s constituents are but I am sure they can be marginalized as well in whatever manner you want if he is not your cup of tea. Certainly too broad a brush. Everyone gets to their vote by some path of information gathering. I am sorry you find the passion some feel for this particular candidate unsettling. You are welcome to be unsettled. Change isn’t good enough for you. Great. I would be happy to find out why you support whoever it is you prefer. I am pretty happy with my decision. I got there without attending a rally or listening to his oration. Peace.

  • Jarrod

    Mike,It must be so nice to be a conservative. F*ck poor people. F*ck public education. F*ck public healthcare. Yay guns. America is better off if the uber-rich dominate internal and international policies. It sounds awesome. x

  • Athena

    If Obama-mania is a “cult”, then what do you call the worship of Saint Ronnie Reagan on the Republican side? I mean, the Republicans couldn’t even wait until he was dead before they started naming things after him. Debates were held at his holy shrine…er… library and the Republicans were all fighting each other to see how many times they could invoke Saint Ronnie. IMHO, Obama-mania is primarily among younger people, who are quite passionate about everything. It’s a generational thing. I see this clearly in talking to my parents, who are strongly for Hillary. (I wasn’t originally for Obama, but voted for him because my other choices were eliminated by the time that Maryland voted.) Ironically, Obama is using the same message as Saint Ronnie was – that Americans are down but not out, and we can do anything that we put our minds to. I think that seeing younger voters excited about the political process is a good thing. To the Millennial Generation, race doesn’t matter as much. They grew up idolizing Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Will Smith, etc., regardless of whether they were black or white.

  • Ohg Rea Tone

    James McBride asked his white mother, “What color is God?” She responded, “God is the color of water.” He asked, “What color am I?” She responded “You are a human being.”…..

  • Natalie

    “The question, is he the messiah would be a lot more fun if you had added “or is he the Anti-Christ”. Don’t Christians believe that guy is going to be a great charmer?” DatdamwufThat is really funny. I have never thought of that. The Anti-Christ is supposed to be a great charmer that everyone follows and likes. Deep down I don’t think he is the Anti-Christ and I already took my chances by voting for him even if he is, but it is funny that people are asking if he is the messiah. Though I think he is a great leader. Something tells me he is not Jesus. I’ll wait for the clouds to part and the thunder from heaven before I start asking if the messiah is back.

  • John Swallow

    Mike,Regardless of your preference for a candidate, I think it is a good thing that people are excited about this particular election, feel passion. Turn out is high, particularly for the Democratic primary. It seems to me that people are taking an interest and going out to vote. That is what the process is about. When people don’t turn out to vote people complain about apathy in the electorate. Plus, I think that for Democrats whether you support Hillary or Obama it is a sign that voters are going out not just voting against what they don’t like but voting for something they do. I think that is great. I prefer Mr. Obama but will be supporting Hillary if she gets the nomination. I like them both (just have a preference) and either is better than a continuation of Iraq 4 Ever!!, bomb bomb Iran, tax cut and deficit spend, the politicization of science, the justice department, and any other branch of government. Just sayin. Go vote. In the end it is the person who gets the most votes (most of the time).

  • amie

    AthenaAs I mentioned before- you have to squeeze the Easter candy hard before you know if it is filled with wonderful things or just hollow air.Hard questions should not worry you -unless you are afraid of the answers..

  • Youngj1

    With all due respect to Ms. Hoffman I think that to address the question she posits clearly I would need to know just who is wondering if Senator Obama is “the messiah” and what is the motivation ofr asking such a question.The many people I speak with regularly are not pondering this and I’m a bit off put by even the thought that this is some how a serious inquiry.So to help me understand what the question means please help me to become familiar with those who are asking it.But I must admit that it is more than a bit amusing that some in the ether continually remind us that Senator Obama’s middle name is Hussain and that his father was a Muslim while others out the in cyberworld are pondering the messianic implications of the Senator’s appearance on the scene.I can’t wait to see what comes next!

  • amie

    Athena-“Who’s being fluffy now?”Well.. reading your post- its Obama’s resume. Is that all there is? Surely you can shake something more substantive out. If not- get ready for the Republicans to poke a hole in it.

  • Athena

    Yeah, and Chris Matthews allowed a staffer of his to replace a picture of Obama with a picture of Osama Bin Laden. Come on. We expect immature stunts like that out of Fox Snooze, not a real network. Tweety needs to get over his man-crush on John McCain.

  • Angela

    I am mor einclined to believe that Obama is the Antichris before I believe he is the messiah. Prophecy indicates a false messiah and let me tell you, he fits the bill. From his geneology to his speaking skills. They say the antichirst will come to power from hardly any experience, be foriegn, will not deny God, but will neither be a follower, will promise “peace and change” to a world torn between war…will convice MANY that he is godly and MANY will follow, except those who have studied and who accept the truth about what he is. Prophecy also indicates the antichrist as the “fourth beast”… kinda ironic that we are in the middle of the 44th presidential election… hmmm, Obama the messiah? Far from it… but Obama the Antichrist??? Yeah.. he gets my VOTE for that role!

  • glen

    Obama the Messiah? Do not forget, the Bible states something to the effect of “and there will come one who is claimed to be the Savior; do not be fooled, for he is the bringer of Evil. The Antichrist.”

  • Glen B.

    Obama the Messiah? Do not forget, the Bible states something to the effect of “and there shall come one who is claimed to be the Savior; do not be fooled for he brings evil. this one is the Antichrist.”

  • IMPORTANT

    the antichrist comes BEFORE the messiah!! obviously Obama is either the antichrist or nothing at all. and the messiah is JESUS you idiots! it specifically says in the bible that he comes back. Also, he fits about all the prophecies for antichrist that have come about in this point in time, no prophecies contradict him, and only a couple im not sure what they mean, so its an as-yet-undecided. Plus he fits all of the qualities for antichrist- tall, verbal genius, persuasive, sneaky, brings false peace and hope (which will lead to evil and death), is a man, and the bible verse “the number of the beast will be the amount of his name”: hmmm- 666 = 18. barack hussein obama = 18. YEP! found a match. how many ppl can u think of that have exactly 18 letters in their name?? I cant think of anybody I know! its certainly an unlikely number.

  • Luis Contreras

    Deeds speak louder than words. Abraham Lincoln said, “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” Those words are forever true.Vote for who you trust; or don’t trust.This is America.Your vote is important.McCain who put his life on the line for your freedom and mine as other Americans have; or Obama who never has put his life on the line for nobody.Both are green and unexperience; except for McCain’s militarey.McCain is not George W. Bush. No more than Obama is Jimmy Carter.The true soldier does not like war anymore than you or I do.But he goes to war if his country needs him. Sorry I cannot say that for military dodgers.

  • Luis Contreras

    Obama is like Bush. Both are green and unexperience,have plenty of money, tell you what you want to here,etc. Obama even took 20 years to find out his preacher, does not want his patriotism questioned, claims to be black when he is 50% white because of his white mother, has daul double citizenship, has two aligences two loyalties, one for the USA and one for Kenya in SE Africa where his father is from. The president shall have power of the military, our nueclear bombs,where they are, how many,etc. Will Obama tell this information to Kenya? After all he also owes loyalty and alligence to that country of which he also retains citizenship.He even did politics in that country while campainging for president of the USA.That is the question.Get Real.