In a 2007 YouTube debate during the Democratic Primary race, Senator Obama criticized the Bush administration's energy bill, saying "you can take a look at how Dick Cheney did his energy policy. He met with environmental groups once. He met with renewable energy folks once. And then he met with oil and gas companies 40 times. And that's how they put together our energy policy." The record shows that Senator Obama voted for that very bill in 2005. Is this change we can believe in, or politics as usual?
Here's one very specific example of what seems like a pattern of campaign trail pandering: On June 21, 2008, Senator Obama said, "just the other day, Senator McCain traveled to Iowa to express his sympathies for the victims of the recent flooding. I'm sure they appreciated the sentiment, but they probably would have appreciated it more if he hadn't voted against funding for levees and flood control programs, which he seems to consider pork." In fact, there was a proposed amendment to the 2007 Water Resources Planning and Modernization Act that prioritized work on those very levees: Senator McCain introduced the bipartisan amendment and voted for it with Democrat Russ Feingold, while Senator Obama voted against it!
Falsely accusing your opponent of something you've done yourself: is that change we can believe in, or politics as usual?
On March 18, 2008, Senator Obama gave a beautiful speech in response to reports that were circulating about his former pastor, Reverend Wright. Wright, it turns out, had made a number of statements that many people considered inflammatory, and some questioned whether Obama shared those views. I thought Obama's speech was excellent, and it summed up quite well the tensions many of us face with our friends and family. I thought - I hoped - the issue was settled.
Then, on April 28, Reverend Wright spoke to the National Press Club, and in response to a question about the March 18 speech, he said, "He had to distance himself, because he's a politician."
The next day, April 29, Senator Obama called a press conference to strongly denounce Wright, stating "if Reverend Wright thinks that that's political posturing, as he put it, then he doesn't know me very well. And based on his remarks yesterday, well, I may not know him as well as I thought either."
Senator Obama was willing to stand by his friend and mentor through thick and thin at great cost - until Reverend Wright suggested that he was just playing politics, and then, immediately, the relationship was over! Somehow this is intended to show us that Senator Obama is not playing politics as usual?