Behind The Scenes: signing the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Prepare some tissues.



And here’s a link to a terrific video from January 20 2009, that I’ve never seen before. This was posted as a comment here yesterday (my apology for not remembering who deserves the credit. Please, let me know).


Obama’s Circle Of Friends

75 thoughts on “Beautiful

  1. Wow! Thank you for posting this wonderful video. Lifelong friends like Eric Whitaker show what a wonderful person he is. Love our President.

  2. Its great to know that as we cover our president in prayer he is also supported by a strong support system of friends and family.

  3. I think Marty Nesbitt is hot, hot, hot, although my President is the #1 hotty.

    Thanks to evonnc for posting the link yesterday. I had never seen the piece before.

  4. Marty Nesbit is indeed a true friend and I am delighted the president has friends like him.

    Thanks BWD for the video. When I think I’ve seen just about every video out there about President Obama, you just surprise us with these.

    Thank You.

  5. Hello Everyone
    So it is true…”you are known by the company you keep”. I think he has done a remarkable of staying grounded by surrounding himself with people who really love him and not his status.

    I think Michelle is the diamond in this mix. It is difficult to imagine where he would be if she were not exactly the right mate for hims and would be exactly the right First Lady for this country.

    I think they were each sent to us to deliver us from this peril. I do not think the repugs have the hand of God on their side and therefore cnnot succeed.

    The blind shall open their eyes, the deaf will open their ears and the heartless shall open their hearts to let him in. His REAL BASE has his back both now and forever.

  6. Thanks for the video, BWD. In the video I saw a young Obama with his grandfather at a beach. It’s amazing how much the president resembles his grandfather today!

  7. This is a new video for me as well. And what a powerful one it is. It’s amazing how many artifacts we will have of this historic journey. I thank my lucky stars every single day to be living in it.

  8. BWD, I always appreciate your work. Yet, since I am digitally challenged by the famous “divide” (I don’t live in the city where it is profitable to run lines), I have wanted to know what was in the video all day. Can anyone give me a little text that paints a picture? thanks

  9. One of the things I noticed when I looked at it, is just how much the President has done when it comes to thinking long-term. Note the two Senators who are there as principal sponsors – Lieberman and Collins, and think back at how many people excoriated the President for keeping Lieberman in the Democratic caucus and being willing to deal with Collins.

  10. Wow, this is unbelievable – did CBS actually air that and, if so, why is this the first time we see it ?

    The short clip of the 2004 convention just shows how much the presidency has aged him …

    You know you’re old if …

    Even the president of the United States … is 5 years younger than you are 🙂

    [ The picture on my home page is misleading – it was taken 8 years ago ]

  11. I know I personally found that decision (Lieberman) infuriating, and said as much at the time. The thought that there would no little accountability for Lieberman campaigning for the disaster ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin, and that it was apparent that it was the administration providing cover…let’s just say that I had a VERY intemperate response to that, lol! But indeed, POTUS providing that cover for Lieberman yielded some tangible benefis in the long run. Great point.

  12. revgerry if it’s the DADT video you are asking about it begins with an interview with Captain Jonathan Hopkins speaking about freedom and the “immense sense of relief” everyone attending the ceremony felt that they would now be judged on their competence. Hopkins goes on later to speak of the investigation that goes on while he is up for a promotion and mentions the “paradox” involved. There are snippets of the President’s speech throughout. Representative Murphy is interviewed and says the following: “…to see a President who is willing to do what is right, which makes our country great” There are shots of the crowd and their reactions including an emotional Barney Frank and right before the signing of the bill the President says ” we are not a nation that says Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, we are a nation that says out of many we are one” It concludes with an interview with Melody Barnes who uses the quote,” … the arc of history is long but it bends toward justice.”

  13. I have to tell you BWD how much I loved the video. You are such a beacon of light with all the negative media about the President. When I discovered you on the other website, it was so refreshing to read positive things about what the President was/is doing. I just have to express my appreciation for all that you do. Thanks so much!

  14. THANK YOU, kittypat, yes, that’s the one. The last is one of my very favorite MLK quotes, and I have to hold onto it very tightly sometimes when things look like thunderstorms in the offing.

  15. You’re welcome. It was my first time seeing it as well, just before I posted it. Thought it was a great and wanted to share.

  16. I love that quote too revgerry and it has become almost a mantra for me along with the Margaret Mead quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”

  17. Wonderful video, I hadn’t seen this one before (with Marty Nesbitt) either so it was another lovely facet of our exceptional POTUS. I’ll never forget Marty’s heart on display during the race speech, I was right there with him. That race speech should be viewed and listened to by every school child for generations. That speech alone would have been sufficient for me to know who this man Barack Obama is, if I hadn’t already learned that by all of his other words and actions.

    I have heard Mr. Nesbitt and other friends of POTUS speak before.. and there was a friend of his that wrote an article about him during the primaries.. and to a one, they talk of his intelligence, his goodness. No envy, just true love and friendship for someone that has earned those gifts.. this says as much about President Obama and Michelle as it does about their friends. Solid gold all, imo.

  18. gn, you were not alone in that frustration. Yet, as much as I felt Lieberman was a back stabber and definitely too much of a hawk for me, at the same time, I know that he, on social issues, is very much a Democratic progressive, and this showed that.

    I don’t think our President is the type to openly hold a grudge and he is able to look past the present to see what value a person has. People thought he was bringing too many Republicans into the administration by keeping Gates and bringing in LaHood. Yet Gates was instrumental to the repeal of DADT and LaHood has been an excellent Transportation Secretary and has been very openly supportive of the stimulus bill.

    If only we could all be able to look past the faults of a person to see the promise of the future in them.

  19. I really liked that video and I am so looking forward to his State of the Union speech. I can’t wait to hear his vision of the future of the US through his words.

  20. Japa21, your last sentence bears repeating, (I wish I could bold, but don’t know how):

    If only we could all be able to look past the faults of a person to see the promise of the future in them.

    You’ve said it so perfectly. This is exactly who our president is, this, imo is what seperates a great leader from all the rest.. the ability and the wherewithall to apply those sensible, thoughtful words into action. The longterm gain for America is what President Obama is all about.. and ultimately for the people of the world, as there is no doubt we are all tied to one another.

    We apply this ability when we love our children, our family and our friends, the more we practice it outside in the world.. the better off we will become as human beings, imo.

  21. There is just something different and special about this man. One of the videos I have watched over and again is his 2004 convention speech.

    I also loved some of what these talking heads had to say afer the speech. Illinois historian, Richard Norton Smith said people were already talking about him as first black president of United States.

    Not a fan of David Brooks, but he said the networks missed a piece of history that night by not airing the speech.

  22. I second that (and I’ll bold japa’s wonderful remarks for you) 🙂

    If only we could all be able to look past the faults of a person to see the promise of the future in them.

    I think that the bottom line is that I haven’t always agreed with this POTUS’ decisions and never will, but he has demonstrated a common sense which enables me to at least *understand* where he’s coming from even if not in agreement. And in more than a few cases, taking a longer view, he turns out to be correct, and me wrong anyway (I also disliked Clinton as SoS, I thought that Emanuel was waaaay too centrist for CoS, and don’t get me started on the mortgage relief programs {was wrong about the first two, I still hold my viewpoint about the last}).

    But this is really terrific leadership, without even a sliver of a doubt. A potential new age of reason in this country if swing voters would give it a chance rather than folding back into old patterns.

  23. I too had not see the video about his circle of friends. I did know he has a very tight circle of friends. This was great video. Thanks again BWD for bringing all this to our attention.

  24. Agree with you on those three, but I quickly realized (like within a month) how good a SoS Clinton was going to be. Never really got into Rahm as much, though definitely did not have the level of dislike as so many. The mortgage relief program was something that in principle I could buy into, but I don’t think it was ever handled correctly.

  25. Rahm and Clinton grew on me as well; I was just wrong, lol. I thought, and think, that Wall Street, while having lots of glitz and glam in the front office, had systematically dismantled their back office capabilities in search of more profit (moving those functions to offsites; not investing in talent, etc.). Thus I thought that they would never be able to even *process* the scale and volume of the applications which they would have needed to process for these programs to hit the ground running. I admit that I haven’t kept up enough with this program numbers-wise, but color me unsurprised that we’ve witnessed numerous scandals, such as the revelation that workers who did not have the skill sets to work on loan modifications and foreclosures were hired in a frenzy to deal with the volume of paperwork which overwhelmed the banks. I think that the WH thought that if they shored up the mortgage backed securities and then directed the banks to help people on a ground level, they’d be able to do so. Not sure if I agree with that assumption. But as always, I could turn out to be utterly wrong and time will tell!

  26. The admiration and loyalty people tend to feel for Obama is truly telling.

    I’ve been especially struck by watching Biden. You know he’s an old war horse politician – and humongous egos tend to come with that territory. Yet you never see even the slightest glimpse of envy from Biden to Obama. He beams with pride and loyalty whenever they’re together.

    It makes me think of the kind of respect Obama must have shown Biden in order to form that kind of bond. And also the goodness that is in Biden that responded so positively.

  27. So many times when history that I’ve lived is re-counted, I wonder where I was that I seemed to have missed what was happening.

    That’s why I’m so glued to the news and to sites like this right now. I want to savor every moment of actually living this history. Its happening right in front of our eyes every day…the things people will be writing and talking about for centuries!

  28. I would like to share this article that I seen on moody’s economy:

    “Did the GOP Just Re-Elect President Obama?”

    Republicans may have gotten their top policy goal in the tax cut deal they just cut with President Obama, but they also may have doomed their chances to get one of their own elected in 2012. Moody’s Analytics’ analysis has demonstrated that economic conditions are typically the primary driver of presidential election results. The tax cut deal announced Monday, particularly the payroll tax holiday, will provide a substantial boost to economic growth in 2011 and bring down the unemployment rate relative to the status quo of just a few days ago.

    Moody’s Analytics has yet to run its state by state election model for 2012, designed to forecast the winner of the Electoral College. The model looks at the change in state unemployment rates and national inflation in the runup to the election. However, if the tax cut deal boosts growth as expected, state unemployment rates will be declining heading into November 2012. And inflation, which is near record lows, should remain benign. As of now, all of this points to a victory for President Obama, should he run for re-election.

    In return, Republicans got the Bush personal income tax cuts for high-income households extended for another two years. It would be interesting to know what GOP leaders think about the tradeoff. And now the decision over extending the tax cuts will be a major policy issue going into the 2012 election.

  29. If you thought the video of Brooks and the NPR group’s response to Barack Obama in 2004 was impressive, you should hear Pat Buchanan gushing about him on MSNBC’s coverage that night.

  30. Thanks for posting these 2 videos, bwd. I loved both. I have heard Marty Nesbitt’s name many times, but this is the first time I have heard him talk about his friendship with President Obama. Nesbitt appears to be a pretty sharp guy in his own right, as one would expect. I appreciated his observances on the course of events. Obama—smartest dude at Scrabble, the smartest man in the room.
    And you are correct that tissues were needed for the DADT signing vid. That was a very moving, historic moment. You could just read the joy and relief on all those faces who have worked so hard for so long for this equality. Another bend toward justice indeed.

  31. I think President Obama helped Clinton, see things as a group effort and not a individual. He made her know she was needed and that the time for grudges was not what the country needed. I truly believe she learned something from and he learned something from her. The ability to get pass grudges and work together is what they both did and the country is better for it. They are a great team.Obama, Biden Clinton really embodies the democratic party.

  32. So well said, dotster. I guess that birds of a feather truly due flock together. I found Nesbitt impressive as well.

  33. Evidently, The GOP called their BIG OIL Firends and told them to run up the oil prices, thus taking the money that would have gone into the economy!

    What, have you not noticed oil prices going up sicne the tax cut deal? Coincidence?

  34. But, but, but, I read in the MSM a few days ago that that there was a plan to prevent the president from making ANY recess appointments. Thanks, jovie for revealing another media lie/failure!

  35. I know what you mean – I’m completely captivated by current events, and even those that raise my blood pressure. Can’t wait to see what happens in 2011!

  36. Great!! President Obama keeps doing his job, even when the media tries to change the narrative.

    One persistent guy. We are lucky to have him.

  37. How true. These people will stop at nothing, consistently looking ways to blame POTUS. So disgusting.

  38. Agree completely NL, I feel exactly the same way. I was never much of a newswatcher, but the Obama presidency is living history and I’m living in awe and wonderment at being alive to witness it in person, and to also have the incredible privilege of having the internet to allow us to see so much more of what is happening than any time before.

    I’ve been watching a series that’s been on TV recently, called simply “The Presidents” which starts with George Washington and goes through them all, one by one. Each episode covers 5 presidents. I just saw the one last night that included Teddy Roosevelt… and Taft. Fascinating story, I’ve never known any of the details before, but this series is entertaining, fast moving and informative. It was apparently made when G.W. Bush was still president, so I wonder if they will make a new episode to cover President Obama?

    It’s an interesting show, but throughout it all I keep thinking about the current president and the fact that we are living witnesses to history being made every day, and some day people will talk about this time as the long-ago past. Each presidency has some interesting moments but some stand out far more than others. We know this one is going to be remembered and studied in endless detail. I really do feel lucky to be alive to see it all unfold, and I’m highly tuned in to watching it constantly. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who feels this way! 🙂

  39. Just wanted to bring this group to everyone’s attention:

    They’re also setting up shop on twitter: @dems4palincc

    I’m not sure what to think about their stated goal. I tweeted to them: be careful what you wish for.

    After 8 years of shrub, and McCain/Palin getting 47% of the votes in ’08, my faith in the voters is a bit shaky.

  40. Just got this info too:

    Pres Obama also signed four bills into law today. The measures were flown to him in Hawaii for his signature:

    -H.R. 6398, which provides for permanent Federal deposit insurance coverage for Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts, the interest earned on which is used by States to support legal aid for low-income individuals;

    -H.R. 6517, the “Omnibus Trade Act of 2010,” which extends the Andean Trade Preference Act Trade Adjustment Assistance;

    -S. 3386, the “Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act,” which protects online consumers from unfair and deceptive sales tactics on the Internet by: (1) requiring companies that offer goods or services on other companies’ websites to meet certain requirements before charging consumers’ financial accounts; (2) prohibiting companies from transferring their customers’ billing information to companies that are offering goods or services on their websites; and (3) requiring companies that use “negative options” (i.e., require consumers to take an affirmative action to reject goods or services) to meet certain minimum requirements; and

    -S. 4058, “Helping Heroes Keep Their Homes Act of 2010,” which extends enhanced protections for service members relating to mortgages and mortgage foreclosures through December 31, 2012.

  41. I had not seen this video. It is good to know he has caring friends to support him when it all gets crazy. I have been thinking of adding a page of videos to my blog. Sometimes you don’t want to read, or comment, just watch.

  42. Well tbh, he looked different from that 2004 convention even before his presidency began. He was still grapes back then. Then during his Senate time and the 2008 elections he became wine and now he is fine wine, PILF, etc….*real talk*

  43. I appreciate hearing from others who feel this way too!

    I think the archive of BWD’s diaries is going to be a wonderful historical record. It might be worth spending the time to get them all recorded in one place.

  44. Andrew Sullivan has been on a virtual stake-out of the Palin complex out of cold blooded fear that if nominated Palin could actually win in 2012. It all depends on the economy.

    Argentina got Evita Peron. It’s not like it couldn’t happen in a country that rewards the national party for its efforts to obstruct democracy.

  45. BWD:

    One of the great taboos at DailyKluster was the fact that any suggestion of religious faith got shot down by the Angry Atheist Corps.

    Can we get a thread to talk about the ways in which religious/spiritual life inform our progressive politics. I think African Americans in particular show us a way to better reach out to the religious voters in the country. Certainly better than the slap down religious voters can expect from our atheist “friends” on the Purity Left.

    For my part, I was raised Unitarian, married a Catholic, am the god father of a Jew, a Muslim, a Lutheran and a Four Square Gospel Charismatic. Somehow, I find time to care about all of them and how democracy can serve them best.

    Don’t want to hijack the thread, just consider this a drop into the suggestion box.

  46. got best political blog of 2010 award. It is dedicated to tracking down all of Palin’s lies, hypocrisies and debunking the Palindrome myth. Always a good read.

  47. Tao Jones, I am not AA, but I am a spiritual progressive, and I am with you. I am a new Thought/Ancient Wisdom minister, and IMO all spiritual paths lead to the same God, everywhere Perfectly Present. Every religion I have ever studied teaches Love of God and Love of each other, and that does certainly inform my politics. I also study Gandhi. I’d love to talk more… Campus Chatter over at BPI is an open thread I check every day. If you or BWD start a thread on this topic, please let me know. Peace and Blessings.

  48. Hi Tao,

    In “real life”, all Democrats I know are open-minded. They interact with people of all faiths, and while they might not agree with each other on which faith is the “right” faith, they are open to learning of faiths other than their own. They embrace each other as they work for the betterment of humankind.

    Because of my life experiences, I’ve always, always thought Democrats were more compassionate, caring and inclusive than Republicans – generally speaking, of course.

    I was stunned the first time I saw FSM and other unkind words thrown towards people of faith at dkos. Stunned. The experience taught me that Democrats are not always open-minded and compassionate, and as silly as it may sound I was extraordinarily hurt by the demeaning words used by some. It was a hard lesson learned.

    I’m Protestant (by choice) and it’s nice to have this place where we’re not made fun of for belonging to a particular faith.

    Blessings and Peace to you!

  49. I respect atheists greatly; heck my brother is atheist (we’re African American). I personally consider myself religious, and if you view the comments to “I’m grateful” particularly the comments which appear underneath the individual pictures, people of faith feel more than welcome here. This is simply a terrific space, welcoming to all.

    Thanks for being here, tao jones!

  50. I’m so terrible with words at times. Thank you, GN, for this:

    “This is simply a terrific space, welcoming to all”.

    It is, as it should be within the Democratic Party. And, I’m grateful to BWD for providing such a space.

  51. Lol, you’re right. I must have just been so stunned by Buchanan not sounding like an racist wing nut I missed that.

  52. Wonderful, just wonderful.

    It is such a shame that so many people are failing to appreciate the President we are lucky to have during these troubling times. Years from now Obama will be a giant, alongside the likes of Lincoln, FDR & JFK.

  53. R evgerry: on my facebook page under religion I put “all rivers lead to the same ocean”. I really appreciate the open, adult and supportive community BWD has attracted here
    It is a shame that many people of faith are made to feel unwelcome among some who claim to represent all Democrats.

  54. there are five types of Democrats who might support Palin.

    1) The Ignorant and the WILLINGLY Ignorant
    2) The Racist
    3) The Apathetic
    4) The Bat Sh*t crazy(Far Left)
    5) and Republicans who pretend to be Democrats

  55. Though I do not belong to any institutionalized religion, I have a degree in Comparative Religions and learned to have deep respect for the beliefs, rituals, and most especially the mythology of all faiths. Religion, or at least the idea of the sacred, has probed more deeply into humankind’s psyche and brought forth more profound emotions than any other phenomenon in human history. To reduce it to “the belief in imaginary beings” bespeaks the same sort of shallowness and callowness that is exhibited in the most rightwing of religious zealots.

  56. Beautiful, Tao, I like it a lot.. Thanks for sharing. I have a brand-new baby blogspot on wordpress (here,where BWD is), “Open Hearted Musings” and it’s not even completely set up yet, but one of the pages will be centered on spiritual musings. Maybe others will come to muse there too, about how their faith and their understanding of the sacred informs how they see events in the public square. I only mention it because it’s tomorrow already and so I hope sincerely I am not highjacking BWD’s beautiful blog to “pimp” my new work.

    I have always been incredibly grateful for her work, and, along with BWD who comes and visits from time to time on most of them, have found myself part of this new community of “pragmatic” progressive blogs in part because of how she was treated on kos.

    My Democratic Party has always been open-hearted. I don’t think many posters over there are even Democrats any more – Anarchists, Greens, Libertarians, and no small number of paid Republican moles..,making trouble.

  57. Thanks so much, BWD. Maybe Tao, Sheila, or starshine would see it and come chat with me.

    Here is the home page “Open Hearted Musings”

    Here is the new spiritual musings page

    And, I am excited, I have been invited to be an Author over at BPI Campus’ new Evening Focus, which starts in January. Great group of smart progressives over there putting up great content – and providing a conversation room to gather and get to know each other.

    Bless you dear BWD for your courage and determination to so beautifully and lovingly document this amazing presidency. And allow us to participate and be part of the documentation.

  58. Hi, revgerry, just want you to know that I attempted to comment on your lovely site and both my usernames (the one I use here and the one I use on Blue Wave News) are taken, so if anyone posts under those names, they are not the person you invited over.

  59. Hi Sheila, I’ve been away all day, thanks for stopping by my new site! You are already logged in to wordpress when you go over here from here,so I think that’s why it’s “taken.” (It’s really you) Try to go ahead log in instead or registering, and comment, I think it’ll work. If not, we’ll get Norbrook or BWD to advise us of the ins and outs – I am new at actually starting a blog. I do have to monitor your first time comment as I recall.

    Happy New Year!!

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