Q&A Friday #71: Is Obama A Moderate?

Question: “Here’s your chance to help me turn a vote our way. Recently, I learned that a non-political friend of mine has bought into Obama’s “non-partisan” image. (She was a McCain supporter in 2000 for the same reason, but later turned on him, with help from me). When I proceeded to tell her that Obama was the worst (most liberal) of the bunch, and that given her otherwise traditional, conservative leanings, she should vote for Clinton, or Gore, or Kerry (all of which she hates) long before she’d vote for Obama, she offered to listen. This was her exact reply:

“Give me some factual info to support this and I will gladly soak it in. I am not for sure on who I’m voting for, but Obama is my top choice right now…. Everyone else out there disgusts me!”

Since it’s really hard to argue with that last part given the divorce record of our front-runners, I thought I’d seek some help for some solid links and info detailing what an awful candidate Obama is.” — RWNReader2

Answer: If you want to see how liberal Obama is, just take a look at his ratings…

The American Conservative Union, which ranks candidates on how conservative they are, scored Obama at 8 out of 100 in 2005 and in 2006.

Coming at it from the other direction, National Journal ranks members of Congress on how liberal they are. Here’s what they had to say about Obama back in March,

“Of the four Democratic senators who are running for president, Barack Obama of Illinois had the most liberal score in 2006. He was followed by Sens. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, Joseph Biden of Delaware, and Clinton. In fact, Clinton was markedly more moderate in 2006 than Obama, who was the 10th-most-liberal senator.

…Obama: During his two years in the Senate, Obama has been among its more liberal members. In the 152 Senate votes that were used in NJ’s ratings in 2005 and 2006, he voted against the liberal position only 12 times.”

So, Obama can play the “moderate,” bipartisan, reformer card all he likes, but he’s extremely liberal.

That being said, there really isn’t a “moderate” candidate running for President on the Democratic side this time around. Bill Richardson had a rep as a moderate coming in, but honestly, he has drifted way off to the left in these primaries like all the other candidates.

So, if someone is looking for the Sam Nunn, Zell Miller, Scoop Jackson style candidate in the race, I hate to tell her, but not only are there no candidates like that in the race, those sort of Democrats are nearly extinct on the national level.

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