Diatribes of Jay

This is a blog of essays on public policy. It shuns ideology and applies facts, logic and math to economic, social and political problems. It has a subject-matter index, a list of recent posts, and permalinks at the ends of posts. Comments are moderated and may take time to appear. Note: Profile updated 4/7/12

18 February 2008

An Obama Reading List

[For a post-general-election update to this list, click here.]

Everyone knows this is the most important presidential election since 1960. Are you willing to do a little homework to be sure you’ve made the right choice?

Hillary and the media say Obama is all hope and no substance. The tens of millions of people (including me) who voted for him don’t believe that for a nanosecond. Would you like to decide for yourself?

What follows is a reading list of materials by and about Obama. Except for Obama’s books, the suggested readings are short and easy to digest.

Everything in the second column was written by Obama or (in the first case) summarized by his campaign staff. If you read the material linked there, even excluding Obama’s books, you’ll know enough about him to make a rational decision, free from “spin.”

The readings in the third column are commentary, mostly my own. They also include posts from other blogs and the mainstream media. They are optional, but they provide perspective and counteract the consistent misinformation provided by the Clinton campaign and much of the mainstream media.

You should be able to read most of the listed materials in an hour or two. Are you willing to devote that much effort to making the most important electoral choice of your life?

Scroll down for the list. There are still some tricks to HTML on this site; maybe the nice folks at Google will help me again.

IssueObama’s Own WordsCommentary
Mortgage and Credit Crisis Obama’s Proposals
Clinton’s proposals (my analysis)
Health Care
Obama’s Comprehensive Plan My analysis
Fighting Terrorism Obama’s Comprehensive Plan My analysis
Al Qaeda threat
Diplomacy and Foreign Policy Obama’s Comprehensive Plan (Scroll down for full text)
War in Iraq
Obama’s speech on the war
(five months before our invasion!)
Clinton’s record on war
Vision for the Future
2004 Keynote Speech on Unity
Audacity of Hope
My analysis
Emphathy and Understanding
Dreams from My Father
(esp. "Chicago," pages 133-295)
My analysis

Following is another table with links to commentary on various aspects of Obama’s character and comparisons to the Clintons and past presidents. I have to rely on commentary for these points because Obama doesn’t talk about himself much. That’s one of the many things that make me think he’ll be a good leader.
Comparison with Clinton
Comparison with JFK
War and foreign policy analysis
Table of Presidents
My analysis
Myths about experience
Self-Restraint My analysis (comparison with Bill)
Integrity Comparison with the Clintons
Obama/Clinton Comparisons
Major issues & life experience
Comprehensive issue overview
Likely impact on policy
Demonstrated leadership
Political philosophy
Faith and evangelicals

Following is a third table with links to selected material published from the original date of this post (2/18/08) to date.
SubjectObama’s Own wordsCommentary
CharacterN.A.Obama’s Sense of Perspective
ComparisonsN.A.Comparing McCain and Obama

Strategic Vision
Foreign PolicyNational Security Speech in Richmond

Interview (First) with Bill O’Reilly (Video)

RaceObama’s Speech on RaceMy Reaction
VictoryObama’s Victory Speech

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