Barack Obama calms turbulent Iowans.

Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.
Sept. 12 2007 12:29 PM

Obama Calms Turbulent Iowans!

The Obama Messiah Watch, Part 8.

Consumer alert: The Weekly Standard has stolen the rubric "Obama Messiah Watch" from this column and is issuing its own counterfeit nominations. Read them at your peril.

Barack Obama. Click image to expand.
Barack Obama speaks at a Baptist church

Is Barack Obama the Everlasting Father? To answer this question, Slate has periodically gathered gratuitously adoring biographical details from newspaper, television, and magazine profiles of the U.S. senator from Illinois, best-selling author, Harvard Law Review president, Men's Vogue cover model, Grammy winner, possible telepathic communicator with space aliens from distant galaxies, improvement on all civil rights gains since 1957, and declared presidential candidate.

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Today's entry is a double-header. We begin with this observation from a Sept. 7 Salon dispatch from the campaign trail by my friend and former Chatterbox comrade Walter Shapiro:

Paul Tewes, Obama's Iowa coordinator, marveled, "It is something I've never seen before in politics. After people hear him speak, they say that they feel at peace." That phrase—"feel at peace"—has also never been used before by a veteran campaign staffer since I covered my first Iowa caucus in 1980.

Does Tewes' unusual choice of words demonstrate that Obama is the Prince of Peace? Just asking.

We next move on to Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., as quoted by Janny Scott in the Sept. 9 New York Times:

Mr. Rush has an explanation for Mr. Obama's emergence after the dark days of 2000 as a political star four years later. He vanquished a field of multimillionaires, some more experienced and better known, and benefited from fortuitous domestic scandals that sidelined two opponents and left him facing a Republican [Alan Keyes, who was] widely seen as unable to win.

"I would characterize the Senate race as being a race where Obama was, let's say, blessed and highly favored," Mr. Rush said, chuckling. "That's not routine.

There's something else going on."

What was he suggesting?

"I think that Obama, his election to the Senate, was divinely ordered," Mr. Rush said, all other explanations failing. "I'm a preacher and a pastor; I know that that was God's plan. Obama has certain qualities that—I think he is being used for some purpose. I really believe that."

Keyes himself, it's only fair to note, stated during the campaign that "Christ would not vote for Barack Obama, because Barack Obama has voted to behave in a way that it is inconceivable for Christ to have behaved." This represents, however, a minority view among Christian theologians and political reporters.

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