The Other Message Obama Delivered in Richmond

Thursday night I watched as Democrats gathered in Richmond where former President Barack Obama had traveled to rally their troops for Virginia’s election day on November 7.

With less than three weeks to go, campaigns are going all out to energize voters and, though this isn’t my team, for historical purposes I found it interesting to watch what was going on in my hometown. Obama was doing his job with a crowd that was reminiscent of his original 2008 campaign.

What I wasn’t expecting was commentary during his remarks as he made references to the current political upheaval and divisiveness in the country or, as he noted, “so divided and so angry and so nasty.”

Obama, echoing concerns of many, warned, “What we can’t have is the same old politics of division that we have seen so many times before that dates back centuries. Some of the politics we see now, we thought we put that to bed. That has folks looking 50 years back. It’s the 21st century, not the 19th century.”

It was remarkable because earlier in the day former Republican President George W. Bush had struck a similar although more pointed tone in remarks made during a Bush Institute event in New York. Not mentioning Trump by name, he emphasized, “Bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed.”

Bush added, “Our young people need positive role models. Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone.”

Two days before that U.S. Senator John McCain, in remarks during his acceptance of the Liberty Medal, said in an apparent rebuke of the rise of alt-right and Nazi sentiments, “We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil.”

That was a reference to the tiki-torch carriers in Charlottesville who chanted “blood and soil” during their march to the University of Virginia rotunda. It is a key slogan of Nazi ideology, referring to a “racially defined national body (‘blood’) united with a settlement area (‘soil’).”

Obama’s appearance in Richmond was a campaign rally but he spoke in unison with Bush and McCain. Even though they represent opposing sides of the political aisle, and we can disagree with the policy issues of each, their concerns about what is in the best interest of our country spurred them all to speak out in defense of America.




  • Rob Blackstone

    I don’t believe for one second that Obama’s comments were made out of concern for what is in the best interest of our country.

    It was simply another partisan stump speech, that’s the only type of speech he ever makes.

    • Cam

      The emotions of women are easily manipulated. Obama’s been really good at it; exceptional, I’d say. White women sympathize with Obama in droves despite the fact that he’s a modern revolutionary with a particular hatred for white people.

  • FrankUnderwoodSr

    Are you sure that Bush, McCain, and Obama represent opposing sides of the political aisle? I used to think so, but it’s not that simple anymore.

    • Stephen Spiker

      On policy issues, certainly.

      On whether culture and identity should occupy so much of our political time and engagement, probably not.

  • Cam

    The Obama regime incited terrorism and violence against police officers, ultimately leading to the terrorist attacks in Dallas and Baton Rouge.

    Among his other heinous crimes against the American people.

  • H G

    Yeah, just what America needs…. Establishment do nothings marching in lock step.

    What they said is that they want the status quo to continue and they said it under the guise of “decorum”.

    Not gonna work, folks. These sort may have a point about decorum in the White house, but that point is lost given the agendas and policies they would replace Trump’s lack of decorum with.

    NO DEAL!

  • mark Jawsz

    I am so EFFING TIRED of the Bush-McCain-Bearing Drift WASPY milquetoast wing of the GOP blaming white people for bigotry as if we are the only bigots in this country. Based on FBI Stats, blacks, who are 13% of the population, commit over 24% of the hate crimes in the USA.

  • mark Jawsz

    Straight from the FBI:
    Of the 5,493 known offenders, 48.4 percent were white, and 24.3 percent were black or African-American. The race was unknown for 16.2 percent. Other races accounted for the remaining known offenders: 1.0 percent were Asian; 0.9 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native; 0.1 percent were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and 9.1 percent were of a group of multiple races.

  • mezurak

    Which ideals are those McCain? The ones where you politicians send our kids and now grandkids to spill their blood on someone else’s soil for no other reason than your warmongering ideals? This so called war should have been over years ago. What began as a Just Cause has aimlessly marched into a Blind Alley. What makes their soil so valuable and ours not? Why do you cheapen American blood?

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