By Jennie Palluzzi
10/24/07 — He began his speech with baseball—but his message was
“Im a Sox fan, too, a White Sox fan,” presidential candidate and
Illinois Sen. Barack Obama told people gathered on the Boston Common
in the heart of Red Sox nation last night. He paused. “You don’t want
somebody who pretends to be a Red Sox fan as president of the United
States,” he continued, a subtle dig perhaps at Democratic presidential
frontrunner Hillary Clinton, who was criticized after a September
debate for saying she’d have to alternate support between teams if the
Yankees and Cubs went to the World Series.
Still, as has been his way, Obama took care not to mention the New
York senator by name as he accepted the endorsement for the Democratic
presidential nomination from Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.
Instead, during a 45 minute speech before several thousand onlookers,
he poked fun at the political in-crowd, suggesting that brandishing
Washington credentials did little to assure a wise or successful
presidency. What’s really needed said Obama, himself a first-term
senator, is change.
“We don’t need someone who knows how to play the game better; we need
someone to put an end to the game playing,” he said.
Obama also challenged stereotypes that he is perhaps too
inexperienced, too naive for the job of president. “I stand guilty as
charged,” he said. “I am a hopeful man. I am an optimist about
American…maybe I am just hopeful because I haven’t been in Washington
“I have to remind folks that Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld had two
of the longest resumes in Washington, so longevity doesn’t guarantee
Obama did not spare the president either as he touched on many of the
main issues being debated in this year’s campaign, including
healthcare, education, energy, and poverty. People, he said, are “sick
and tired of George W. Bush,” reminding the crowd of the specter of
Katrina. People, he said that people “abhor the sight of fellow
citizens standing on roof tops after a storm, without water, without
food, because an administration is either too indifferent or too
incompetent to execute a rescue.” Obama has touched on Hurricane
Katrina in the past, and has visited New Orleans and said that the
United States cannot fail New Orleans again.
Obama reminded the crowd that ever since Richard Nixon, presidents
have promoted energy independence.
“Do you know what’s happened since 1973?” he asked.
“Nothing!” yelled an audience member.
“No, something’s happened,” Obama said, “Oil imports have gone up,
gas prices have gone up, profits of Exxon-Mobil have gone up. Now, it
doesn’t help when you put my cousin Dick Cheney in charge of energy
policy in the White House.”
Obama’s rally marked his sixth visit to Massachusetts since January.
Clinton has visited Massachusetts seven times, but has not held a
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