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Jul-25-2012 15:21printcomments

Obama in Portland: 2012 and 2008

Local media was as usual obsessed with traffic jams...

U.S. President Barack Obama waves to a crowd upon arrival at the Portland Air National Guard base, July 24
Barack Obama waves upon arrival at the Portland Air National Guard base, July 24, during a visit to Portland, Ore. (Oregon Military Department photo by Army Sgt. Cory Grogan)

(PORTLAND, OR) - Obama’s 5 hour campaign in Portland yesterday was an illuminating contrast with his primary campaign visit in 2008. Then the some 80,000 Portlanders who came out for his waterfront rally demonstrated a popular movement of the 99% committed to repudiating the neocon Bush administrations (as well as right wing Dems represented by Hillary Clinton) and the hope for a new regime along New Deal ideological lines. It was the first of his “monster rallies” that punctuated his victory in the primaries and the November election.

By yesterday, all those hopes had degenerated into a ATM fundraiser for a few hundred of the 1% ($500- $30,000 range) and a photo op for a few surprised customers at a diner. An earlier feeler for a “grass roots” event was canceled so the president could make an appeal for a monster military budget before a VFW convention and cheer his troops fighting abroad.

Coverage by local media was as usual obsessed with traffic jams caused by his movements around town and marginalizing the modest protests that gathered at his fundraisers. Not only have his enthusiasts evidently withdrawn from electoral activism but so have his critics.

Obama’s issues are another contrast with ‘08. At his fund raiser, his media advisors evidently suggested he hit three liberal talking points, so he took credit for Obamacare and two identity politics issues: support for gay marriage and Planned Parenthood. But rather than citing his actual record, his supporters are reduced to reviving the old“lesser evil” argument, blaming “Congress” where his party had a large majority in both houses for potentially the most productive half of his term, and raising the specter of a Romney regime.

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Portland Tribune photo by L.E. Baskow

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Michael Munk tries to glean important but overlooked items from the world media on the issues of the day and posts them on an irregular schedule. Although items can overlap, he also maintains separate lists for activists in Portland, Oregon and the Northwest, and special lists for: Labor, Latin America, Israel, Torture Taxis, Korea, and the Czech Republic.

Michael is a highly praised writer from an important generation whose book, the Portland Red Guide, has received high praise.

"City Commissioner Nick Fish gave me a copy. Sat down on my sofa and couldn't put it down until I finished. Fascinating!"
-- Tom Potter, Mayor of Portland 2005-2009

"Whoop! Whoop! I'm impressed by how many names from Portland's past have not made it into our official histories and public memorials. Some were good friends of mine. Local history is too often overlooked. Good work, Mike."
-- Bud Clark, Saloon keeper, Goose Hollow Inn, and Mayor of Portland, 1985–1992

Visit the new photo gallery on Michael's website:




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