HANANIA: Did Obama undermine his election chances? FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 9-9-08

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Did Obama undermine his presidential election chances?
By Ray Hanania  —
Did Barack Obama allow his personal feelings to get in the way of doing what is best for America? Obama could have put together the strongest possible presidential ticket, the so-called “Dream Ticket,” by naming Sen. Hillary Clinton as his running mate. Was Obama too confident with the rushing accolades from his party? He’s not used to it since he hasn’t been leading the party very long and may have been too endeared to them.

So Obama, maybe too confidently and too arrogantly, chose Sen. Joseph Biden, a lackluster, insider who in his entire career has done what as a leader, as his running mate.

In contrast, Sen. John McCain did exactly what the American people wanted in this election.

They want to give a woman a voice in deciding the future. McCain named Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska, one of the largest states in the union.

Not as well known as Clinton, Palin is in the same position that Obama was in when he was first thrust by the spin-doctors into the national limelight in 2004.

Obama gave an inspiring fresh speech to the convention that was filled with a lot of hope but little detail.

Palin gave a powerful speech not only filled with hope but a lot of tough talk about doing what is right.

What’s Obama’s response to the rising McCain-Palin team? To focus on trashing Palin, the only woman in the race.

Obama claims Palin is like all other politicians who say one thing and then flip-flopped to do something else, like on the issue of the “bridge” in Alaska.

Who cares about the bridge? The American people want a woman in the leadership team leading this country. And if Obama is going to make some stupid issue about the bridge being symbolic of Palin changing her mind when it suited her career, can Obama even talk?

That was the message from this past primary season.

McCain answered that message. Obama did not.

Women continue to play a major role in nurturing and leading this country in every possible field.

They are breaking the glass ceiling everyday. Men are finally conceding that when it comes to actually doing the work – and less of the fancy-schmancy talking – women are in the lead and men fall back.

Obama has to deal with a major executive blunder, a blunder that is pushing voters to wonder if he is capable of making other major decisions that directly impact their lives.

He didn’t have the courage he talked about to do the right thing in crafting the perfect partnership to lead this nation. Why? Because he was insecure as a leader with Clinton? She is so much smarter? Was it fear that she would outshine him or assert herself too much.

McCain isn’t showing that fear at all. He has given Palin the role as a real political partner, someone who clearly is out there expressing herself fearlessly and with a voice that is connecting to everyday people.

She’s tough. She reminds voters of the need to give women a voice in our government.

This country has a history of abusing and oppressing women far too long.

It’s time they be given the opportunity to lead.

As vice president, Palin won’t be holding the briefcase with the little red buttons that launch the nuclear weapons. That’s the job of the General who sits at McCain’s side.

But Palin will be given an opportunity to be involved in a political role that no other woman in this country has ever experienced. The vice president now only has power to direct public discourse and the direction of debate on all issues, but it also is the stepping stone to the next presidency.

These are all compelling reasons for American voters to support the McCain-Palin ticket and to question Obama’s judgment in selecting Biden, a selfish political opportunist whose blunders and incompetence have been overshadowed by his personal family tragedy.

Yes, we fell compassion for Biden’s family tragedies. But that’s not good enough to hide his lifelong difficulty with doing the right thing.

Biden was someone who tried numerous times to be the president and failed. Instead, he rose to leadership only on the backs of the American people who voted to replace Republican control of the Congress with Democratic control of the congress.

The message was “get us out of Iraq.” And what did Congress do under the Democratic leadership about Iraq?

They traded our demand to do the right thing, for the opportunity to build up their own capital. Withdrawing our troops from Iraq was too risky a move, even for Democrats emboldened with the public’s vote to do just that.

Although Biden is not Nancy Pelosi, the opportunistic Speaker of the House. He is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

He should have reminded Democrats about what the American people wanted. But instead, he sat back on his hands, hoping to make everyone feel “good” about him so he could run for president. He did. And lost. And now he’s back at the head of the line standing there with Barack Obama, the guy who was supposed to give us “change.”

Biden’s not change. Not change at all.

Right now, McCain has the opportunity that Obama lost to make a difference. There’s still time. But if you want to understand why the race is so close, this is one reason.


(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist, author and morning radio talkshow host in Chicago. Reach him at




This post has already been read 69 times!

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com