Barack Obama, The Communicator, July 22-28, 2007

July 22, 2007

The REAL Obama Girl

Michelle Obama is the authentic Obama Girl. And on Friday, this Obama Girl was at home pinch-hitting for her husband, Sen. Barack Obama, as she cut the ribbon for a new volunteer office at 300 W. Adams, posed for fans armed with cell phones, and revved up the crowd with her passionate stump speech.

Wearing a white top with ruffled sleeves, fitted black pants (that affirmed that Michelle still works out despite her grueling campaign schedule) and her trademark pearls, this Obama Girl couldn't be more unlike model Amber Lee, the woman who's using the Obama campaign to make a name for herself.

More than 2.5 million people have viewed "I've Got A Crush On Obama," a video featuring the scantily clad rump-shaker on YouTube. That fact alone is enough to push the video-sharing Web site into the same cesspool that spawned the raunchy videos that became the bedrock of BET and MTV. more...

The Social Event of OBAMA'S Season

Invitations have gone out for what promises to be a must-attend event for much of California's Democratic elite, particularly those in the entertainment industry: a Sept. 8 fundraiser for Barack Obama at Oprah Winfrey's Santa Barbara-area home.

In the best tradition of Hollywood, the e-mail touting the afternoon gathering doesn't mince words, promoting it as no less than "the most exciting Barack Obama event of the year anywhere." And the invite urges haste in responding, saying: "Please get back to us soon before it sells out." more..

Mitt Romney is NOT Ready for Prime Time

You have to ask yourselve: when will they ever learn? has the pictures above of Mitt Romney — a supposedly slick political candidate — getting himself into the most fundamental kind of political pickle: he allowed himself to be standing next to and be photographed with a supporter with a sign saying “NO TO OBAMA OSAMA AND CHELSEA’S MOMA” with a big smile on his puss. Even WORSE: in one of the photos he’s holding it.

Is Mitt ready for Prime Time??????

And what has ensued? Exactly what you’d expect.

There’s a firestorm suggesting he’s suggesting a link between or Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Osama bin Laden. Others demand he disavow the poster. Just read memeorandum or this link to Technorati and you’ll see how this has become a big issue. more...

Obama Taking on Rural Challenges

Barack Obama wants to hear about the challenges facing rural communities.

The Democratic presidential candidate plans a rural policy summit in Iowa in mid-August that will focus on rural economic development, quality of life and agriculture and renewable energy policy.

"People in the rural economies suffer from many of the things people do all across the country," he said in a telephone interview Sunday with The Associated Press.

He noted common problems with health care access, failing school systems and lack of livable wages. But the Illinois senator said there are unique issues that must be addressed as well. more...

Obama Speaks to National Council of La Raza

...Clinton initially voted to give President Bush the power to go to war in Iraq, although she has since become an opponent of the war. She made no mention of the conflict Sunday. But Obama drove home his point that lack of money for social programs important to Hispanics was partly due to the war.

"We are spending $275 million per day on the war," he told a crowded hall at the Miami Beach Convention Center. "It is time for us to start bringing our troops home." He also told the crowd that Hispanics are over-represented in the military and are at risk. His comments drew one the loudest ovations of the day.

Krista Cardona, 26, a university recruiting officer from Bloomington, Ill., cited Obama's opposition to the war as a principal reason she supports him. "He just speaks to my generation," she said. "First because he will pull out of Iraq if he is elected." Manuel Gutierrez, 41, of Miami-Dade, saw it differently. He arrived "a Hillary supporter" and left on the same side. more...
read more HERE....

Wall Street Leaning Democratic

Oh, Pahleaze....

Givhan routinely writes about the fashion lives of famous men and women, so I cut her a lot of slack; this is her beat after all. In an attempt to provide full coverage, I've asked presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) where he buys his suits (Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's) and I asked him after a Sun-Times editorial board meeting last December if it he could confirm a tip I got that he took manicures from an upscale salon on Michigan Ave. in Chicago. After shooting me a look of irritated disgust, he said he did not.

But I've got something to add to the discussion: I see Clinton fairly often and she does not dress in an unfeminine way. Sure she wears pants suits all the time in the Senate -- most of the Senate women prefer pants suits to dresses and skirts (and most of the Democratic Senate women, I've noticed, wear pants more than GOP female senators). more...

Oprah and Michelle

The question of God’s role in American politics has not exactly been on the back burner these past few years. And so it is worth noting that God has finally made her presence felt and directly intervened in the current campaign. She has actually endorsed one candidate and is even throwing a fundraiser for him on September 8.

By God, I mean, of course, Oprah Winfrey. Who else? It is extremely hard to think of a figure who attracts more instant awe, reverence and eyeballs than the billionaire entertainment mogul. She manages somehow to transcend blue and red America, with her combination of endless compassion and sensible self-help. She is white America’s favourite black woman, and black America’s favourite mainstream star. more...

July 23, 2007

Clinton Ahead in Polling

...To close the gap with Clinton, Obama will need to convince more voters that he is the best candidate to offer the country a new direction after the partisan wars of the past decades. He must also neutralize Clinton's advantage among those who emphasize strength and experience, or draw significant numbers of new voters to the primaries. The nomination battle could also be decided on the question of who Democrats believe has the best chance of recapturing the White House after eight years of Republican rule.

Clinton is a polarizing figure, which has raised questions about whether she could win a general election. But Democrats appear to dismiss that argument. Asked which Democratic candidate has the best chance of winning the general election in November 2008, 54 percent said Clinton, more than twice the percentage saying Obama (22 percent). Nine percent think former senator John Edwards (N.C.) would be most likely to win. Among Democratic-leaning independents, 44 percent said Clinton, 25 percent Obama and 11 percent Edwards. more...

Experience Trumps for Clinton; 'New Direction' Keeps Obama Going

A steady hand outscores a fresh face in uncertain times, much to the benefit of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic race for president. But demand for a new direction is strong, nonetheless — a lurking threat to her front-running candidacy.

Clinton and Barack Obama are tied for support among Democrats who chiefly seek "a new direction and new ideas" in the nation's leadership. By contrast, she trounces him by more than 30 points among those looking more for strength and experience, maintaining the overall advantage she's held all year in ABC News/Washington Post polls. more...
Full PDF File

Obama's Neighborhood

Barack Obama could have lived anywhere. He was born in Hawaii, had family in Kenya, worked in New York and went to school in California and Massachusetts.

But he settled here, in a prominent neighborhood on Chicago's South Side that has a history of influential residents. In many ways, the Democratic presidential candidate is the epitome of the place he calls home: a mix of black and white residents who are wealthy, well-educated and liberal-leaning.

Ringed by communities where people are poorer and more likely to have a high school diploma and not a college degree, the neighborhood where the Obamas live is an urban island of intellectual and financial prosperity, although it too has residents living below the poverty line.

Just off the south shore of Lake Michigan, the Hyde Park-Kenwood area is a showcase of high-rises, condominiums, vintage homes and stately mansions. It has generic national chain stores and unique local businesses like the barber shop where Obama gets his hair cut, the pizza place his family calls for takeout and the island-inspired restaurant where Michelle Obama fancies the grilled tilapia. more...

Rasmussen Poll: Clinton 38, Obama 25, Edwards 14

Pompous Ass, Clear and Simple

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is refusing to apologize for posing with a sign lumping together Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and September eleventh mastermind Osama bin Laden.

Romney posed with a woman holding a sign that said -- quote "No to Osama, Obama and Chelsea's Moma" -- while campaigning last week in South Carolina. At a town hall meeting yesterday in Exeter (New Hampshire), Romney refused an audience member's request that he apologize.

Jerid Kurtz, a New Hampshire-based contributor to Buckeye State Blog, said it was inappropriate to compare the Democratic senators to bin Laden. Kurtz is a former Democratic campaign operative.

Romney told Kurtz to lighten up and added he is not responsible for messages on other people's signs. He said also that he has taken a lot of photos with people holding signs and doesn't have time to read them all.
Link, Photo

Democrats Lead by 100M

...Among presidential candidates, Sen. Obama is the online star, raising $17 million, or 29%, of his donations this year over the Web. His campaign has a list of 258,000 donors, about half of whom are eligible to give him more money if they choose. But since many of those his campaign counts as donors were just buyers of campaign paraphernalia, it is difficult to assess the depth of either their commitment or their pockets. The campaign wouldn't say how many people on its list of donors gave money, and how many just purchased something.

Combined, the three leading Democratic presidential candidates -- Mr. Obama, Mrs. Clinton and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards -- have raised more than $28 million online through June 30. more...

Do Debates Have Impact?
Obama Wins Planned Parenthood Straw Poll

Small Donors Playing "Bigger Roles" in Campaigns

From her computer in Anchorage, Sharon Pipino hits the "send" button once a month, and delivers another $25 to Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

"I just can't help myself," Pipino said with a chuckle. A massage therapist who had never made a campaign donation until this year, she added: "If I have some left over at the end of the month, I send him more." She has made at least four donations totaling $164.21.

With the 2008 presidential campaign generating intense interest, candidates are finding that small donations are anything but chump change. They are raising unprecedented amounts in small sums, employing the Internet and traditional direct-mail and telemarketing techniques, and holding low-budget fundraising rallies.

In a campaign expected to cost the two major-party nominees a combined $1 billion, a few bucks from Anchorage don't mean much on their own. But candidates hope to leverage those donations into more money and something at least as valuable: volunteer campaign workers.

"You want people to give their time," Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said. "We need people to do phone banks and canvassing.... These are the people who are going to provide the foundation of a very strong national organization." more...

Obama, Commander in Chief Video

Obama's Rural Policy Plan

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama says he wants to reach out to all voters, including those struggling to keep up with the challenges facing rural America.

Obama plans to host a rural policy forum on Friday in Dallas County, Iowa, where he said he will gain insights directly from rural voters. He will also host a rural policy summit in Iowa in mid-August, which will focus on rural economic development, quality of life in rural communities, agriculture and renewable energy.

``People in the rural economies suffer from many of the things people do all across the country,'' he said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

He noted common problems with health care access, failing school systems and lack of livable wages. But the Illinois senator said there are unique issues that must be addressed as well.

He mentioned spotty rural broadband and wireless coverage, underfunded community colleges and a need to make the most of the growing alternative energy industry.

``We've got to provide, I think, some seed money to help boost not just the production, but also the distribution of alternative fuels,'' he said. ``We've got to train people to have the skills'' that are needed in those new industries.

Some candidates, including former Sen. John Edwards, already have released plans for rural development, and others will likely do so in coming months.

While Obama gave no specific date for rolling out his rural policy plan, he said he has put together a team of experts to assist in the effort. more...

Obama Big Lead in Contributions from Hawaii
Debate Prep What to Look For

Obama Fundraises in Massachusettes

At a dark-shingled mansion, one of many tucked along Washing Pond Road on this island’s north shore, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) met a couple hundred of the nation’s wealthiest Democrats at a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser on Friday to explain why he should be president even though he’ll raise their taxes.

Many residents with summer homes here have made fortunes from private equity deals and hedge funds. (A local neighborhood association recently made national headlines by raising $25 million to combat beach erosion.)

The host of Obama’s fundraiser, Louis Susman, sits on the executive advisory board of Edgewater Funds, a private equity firm based in Chicago, according to the firm’s website.

But tax raises on private equity firms and hedge funds did not come up during Obama’s visit, even though the candidate has proposed them.

“We need to close the loophole that allows managers at some large hedge funds and private equity funds to unfairly cut their tax bills more than in half by treating regular service income as capital gains,” Obama said recently. more...

YouTube, The Way of the Future?
Dems Face Blunt Questions on Iraq, Draft
Debate Postview

The differences between Sen. Hillary Clinton and her chef rivals were drawn out in sharp relief tonight, perhaps more so than in any previous debate.

Clinton acknowledged -- and demanded that her rivals acknowledge -- that withdrawing from Iraq would be a lot harder than the party's soundbites would suggest.

And she refused an invitation to cater to the left wing of her party by saying she'd meet with out-of-step world leaders in the first year of her presidency.

"Well, I will not promise to meet with the leaders of these countries during my first year," she said. "I will promise a very vigorous diplomatic effort because I think it is not that you promise a meeting at that high a level before you know what the intentions are."

Barack Obama answered without hesitation -- he'd meet "without preconditions" with the leaders of Syria, North Korea, Iraq, Cuba and Venezuela.

"And I think that it is a disgrace that we have not spoken to them," he said. "We've been talking about Iraq -- one of the first things that I would do in terms of moving a diplomatic effort in the region forward is to send a signal that we need to talk to Iran and Syria because
they're going to have responsibilities if Iraq collapses."

...And there are two of them in the Democatic race: Obama and Clinton. To borrow a Harry Potter analogy, "change agent" is the snitch and Obama and Clinton are competing seekers. (That Hillary Clinton is seen as a change agent is remarkable at this point, attributable to her status as a Democrat, the earliness of the race, or the hard work of her campaign. It raises the question: change from what? The old order? Or just President Bush?)

The third-to-last question, in fact, was just that, from a guy named Cris Nolan. Wouldn't Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton represent continuity, not change? "I think it is a problem that Bush was elected in 2000," Clinton began. She asked to be judged on her own merits. Obama: "I think every question we've heard you see cynicism about the capacity to change this country. The question for the American people is: who has the track record of bringing about change?" more...

Obama Wins CNN Focus Group
Clinton, Obama court colleagues

July 24, 2007

Join Us

Video kills the old-media stars
Obama Chills Hill
YouTube debate 'brings politics to people'

US Democratic presidential hopefuls have taken part in the first campaign debate hosted by a video-sharing website, in what has been hailed as a milestone in bringing politics to the people.

Broadcaster CNN teamed up with the YouTube website to host a debate with a difference, with ordinary Americans using their home videos to ask the questions of eight Democrats vying to be their party's preferred candidate.

The first question was really more of a challenge to all of the presidential wannabes: "I'm wondering, since this is such a revolutionary debate, that if you as politicians can do something revolutionary and that is to actually answer the questions that are posed to you tonight versus beating around the... Bush." more...

Obama is the Democrats' common sense 'liberal'
Obama Speaks in Hampton, NH

Will the 'buzz' turn into VOTES?"

In 1996, Bob Dole promoted his Web site at many public events. Four years later, John McCain pioneered fund raising over the Internet. In 2004, Howard Dean attracted thousands of online volunteers to his cause.

None of them came close to winning the presidency. And that history should serve as a warning to Barack Obama, who's currently busting all records for online donations. The Internet has enormous potential for reshaping the political process. But it's still just a tool, not a magic lamp.

The basic rules remain the same. Whether a voter scratches an "X" on a piece of paper or touches a computer screen, politics has one purpose: winning. Mark SooHoo, an adviser to McCain, is on target when he says: "Politics at its core is about social networking. What we're doing is putting a new spin on things, but really at the end of the day, the goal hasn't changed." more...
Campaigns & Elections, L.A. Times, Huffington Post

After Debate Video
Wide Divide Between Democrats and Republicans

Clinton, Obama clash over diplomacy

The rival camps of Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama clashed Tuesday over the meaning of Obama's claim in a Democratic presidential debate that he'd be willing to meet with leaders of rogue nations such as Cuba, North Korea and Iran.
Clinton supporters characterized it as a gaffe that underscored the freshman senator's lack of foreign-policy savvy while Obama's team claimed his response displayed judgment and a repudiation of President Bush's diplomacy.

"I would think that without having done the diplomatic spadework, it would not really prove anything," former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said in a conference call with reporters set up by the Clinton campaign.

Obama's team summoned Anthony Lake, who was national security adviser in President Clinton's first term and now serves as a foreign policy adviser to Obama.

"A great nation and its president should never fear negotiating with anyone and Senator Obama rightly said he would be willing to do so — just as Richard Nixon did with China and Ronald Reagan with the Soviet Union," Lake said. more...
Quad Cities, Chicago Sun-Times, They are fightin'

Audio of Clinton and Obama on Iowa Radio Station
Did Obama Win?
Full CNN/YouTube Transcript and Complete Video
Obama launches radio ads in S. Carolina
Missouri Auditor Endorses Obama

July 25, 2007

Why Obama Got It Right

Give Obama a Break on Talking to Dictators

You would think that White House contender Barack Obama had proposed giving Fidel Castro the Presidential Medal of Freedom. That is, if you listen to the Illinois senator’s Democratic rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, try to exploit his casually positive response Monday to a simplistic debate question about whether he would meet with the Cuban dictator and other bad guys in the first year of his presidency.

Among Cuban voters in pivotal Florida, it might not be politically savvy to show any openness to a Castro meeting. Clinton went much further yesterday, calling it “irresponsible and naïve,” clearly hoping to boost her ongoing message that Obama lacks the proper training for the Oval Office.

But to voters who are growing weary of the Bush administration’s unrelenting belligerence on the international stage, Obama’s willingness to at least talk to others probably sounds more promising than Clinton’s apparent preference for maintaining a war footing against potential enemies.

Democrats Now Trusted More than GOP on Ten Out of Ten Key Issues

When it comes to National Security, Democrats are now trusted more by 42% of likely voters, Republicans by 40%. This means that Democrats now enjoy at least a nominal edge on all ten issues regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports to gauge voters' trust of the two major parties.

In late June Democrats had the edge on nine of ten issues. At that time, the GOP had a single point advantage of the National Security issue.

Republicans had enjoyed an historic advantage on National Security for several decades but are burdened by the unpopular War in Iraq. Last year's Dubai Ports debacle also hurt perceptions of the GOP on national security. more...

Barack Obama's People Problem

Lauren Smith, 22, drove an hour from her home in Manchester, N.H., and then waited 90 minutes in torrential rain to see Senator Barack Obama speak at an ice cream social in this small town of Sunapee.

She was excited to ask the freshman senator from Illinois about whether he would, if elected President, fund drugs for AIDS victims abroad, especially in Africa. But Smith was disappointed when, after an hour and 13 minutes, Obama left before she could pose her question to him.

The Sunapee event, on July 19, was meant to be one of a more intimate series of gatherings that the Obama campaign has been trying to pull off in recent weeks. But the lure of Obama drew more than 500 people, many of whom drove for more than three hours from neighboring Massachusetts to this hamlet of 3,000. The candidate has proven he can draw rock-star-like crowds across the country. But he is having trouble limiting audiences so that he can focus on what is known as "retail" campaigning, in which candidates meet voters in calmer settings and spend more time answering their questions. more...

Obama Fundraising August 12th in Chatham

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama will make an appearance in town next month to attend a $500 per person fundraiser.

The Illinois senator will fly into town for the Aug. 12 brunch at the home of Helene and Grant Wilson, overlooking Stage Harbor, and then leave again for another event in New Hampshire that evening. Obama is not expected to make any public appearances in Chatham.

The event is being sponsored by the Wilsons, Kathy and Michael Schell and Gail and David Oppenheim. David Oppenheim, owner of the Wayside Inn, said the couples thought it would be an “interesting and educational adventure” to invite Obama to town for a summer fundraiser.

Up to 250 people are expected to attend, Oppenheim said. As of Monday, about 200 people had responded to invitations. more..

Obama in Elko County, Nevada for Rural Listening Tour

Barack Obama is going to boldly go where few Democratic presidential hopefuls have gone before... Elko County.

The Illinois senator is launching a rural America listening tour, which will bring him through Elko early next month. It's a town typically skipped by Democratic candidates.

Obama says he's out for every vote and he hopes to hear from people living in small communities about how to strike a balance on issues such as gun control, economic development and the environment.

Obama will make a campaign stop in Elko on August third or fourth. more...

Obama Leads Donations Race
Obama Hits the Country
The Foreign Leaders Kerfuffle: Why Obama's Obama's Gaffe Shouldn't Matter

Obama Models Campaign on Regan Revolt

Awash in money and publicity but behind in the polls, Barack Obama, advisers say, is planning a classic insurgent's campaign to wrest the Democratic nomination from Hillary Rodham Clinton -- one that relies on a surge of momentum from early-state victories and faces a make-or-break test in the South Carolina primary.

Obama is touting a new and unconventional brand of grass-roots politics, but his strategy borrows from precedents set by a previous generation of Democrats such as Jimmy Carter and Gary Hart. His advisers also invoke as inspiration a surprising Republican: Ronald Reagan. more..

Obama campaign seeks closure of group using his name
Bloomberg Joins Obama in Merit Teacher's Pay
Here Comes this Racial Stuff, and This

Totally Misrepresentative and Outrageous

The July 20 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, previewing a discussion of comments Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) made July 17 in support of age-appropriate sex education, aired video footage of a woman applying a condom to a cucumber as co-host Sean Hannity asked, "Later, what is it that Barack Obama was thinking when he said he supported sex ed for kindergartners?" But the Obama campaign has made clear what he meant. Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki reportedly told David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network: "Barack Obama supports sensible, community-driven education for children because, among other things, he believes it could help protect them from pedophiles. A child's knowledge of the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching is crucial to keeping them safe from predators." more....

New Hampshire Congressman Hodes Endorses Obama

Congressman Steve Rothman Endorses Obama

The claws came out in the Hillary Clinton camp in the wake of a CNN youtube presidential debate among the Democratic candidates two nights ago.

Clinton called rival Sen. Barack Obama’s willingness to sit down with government leaders who are enemies of the United States "irresponsible and naive."

But U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman disagrees. In fact, the New Jersey Congressman said when he watched that debate he finally decided he was going to support Obama for president, and today he fired off a press release enthusiastically endorsing Obama ‘08.

"Barack’s appearance in the last debate confirmed for me what I’ve believed all along," said Rothman. "It’s new thinking versus old thinking. This notion of Hillary Clinton’s that we should continue down this path of not talking to our enemies is a policy that has proven to be disastrous to our country. These are not the views of someone who professes to be an agent of change."

Just, "HOT DAMN"
Democrats Fighting for South Carolina
Coffee, Pie and a Side of Politics

July 26, 2007

Funds Raised for Obama, Did Not Reach Campaign Text and Audio

For Obama, Just How Critical Is a Win in N.H.?

...So what should we make of freshman New Hampshire Rep. Paul Hodes's endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama?

Well, it's clear the Obama campaign believes it is a significant development. They put out a press release yesterday afternoon touting a "MAJOR" campaign endorsement. Then, today, the Obama camp set up a conference call with national reporters to allow the candidate to tout the endorsement and the installation of Hodes as a national campaign co-chairman.

There's no question that Hodes's decision to back Obama provides a nice boost for his chances in New Hampshire. Hodes rode a wave of anti-Republican and anti-war sentiment to victory in 2006 over Rep. Charlie Bass (R), and he represents the geographic majority of the Granite State -- a district that stretches all the way from Nashua in the south to Berlin in the state's North Country.

Obama sought to draw a parallel between the presidential race and Hodes's '06 congressional victory, pointing out that Hodes "overcame a lot of the predictions that he couldn't beat an incumbent several years ago," but won anyway because he offered "a fresh new voice and spoke the truth." more...

The debate is not just about life experience

Mitt Romney Attacks Clinton, Obama

Republican Mitt Romney today jumped into the fracas between Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

Weighing in today during the first of a series of “Ask Mitt Anything” forums in Iowa, Mr. Romney declared Mrs. Clinton’s answer to be the right one. Diverging from his usual stump speech, he spent the first 10 minutes of his remarks attacking the Democratic presidential hopefuls and singling out Mr. Obama for excoriation.

Mr. Romney told his audience of about a hundred people that Mr. Obama “told us his agenda for the people he’d be visiting his first year: Ahmadinejad, Chavez; he’d be going to Syria, meeting with the president of Syria,” referring to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, and Hugo Chavez, the leader of Venezuela.

“It’s absolutely extraordinary that somebody can be so out of touch with the nature of our world,” Mr. Romney said. “It’s a bit like Chamberlain. It’s more Chamberlain than it is Churchill. We need to have leadership that understands the importance of a strong America and understands the willinginess to stand with our friends and to be able to say no to those who are evil around us.” more, with audio...

Local company makes stickers, signs for Obama '08 campaign

Obama and the Cabs?

May God strike me dead for citing an Ann Coulter column — but I'm actually citing it (really, truly) for an insightful point she's made, not for her normal, racist, faux-provocativeness (though, there's plenty of that in there, too).

I didn't get into it at the time, but there was one comment from Barack Obama at the YouTube debate that really struck me as false (and pretty phony). It was when he said he was "black enough" because cabs in New York City wouldn't stop for him. Now, I'm not black, but I am a New Yorker, and this just strikes me as somewhere between an exaggeration and a lie.

There was a time in New York when this was true. And it roughly correlated with the time when there were 2,000 murders a year, under David Dinkins. Post-Giuliani, however, this isn't much of a problem. As Ms. Coulter notes, not only did the general decline in crime help, but regular taxi sting operations by the police show an extremely high rate of compliance as regards picking up black passengers.

This, again, is one of the many ironies of the supposed hatred in the black community for Mr. Giuliani. Those 2,000 people getting killed every year, by and large, were not white people. Policies that Mr. Giuliani pushes, like school vouchers, are not aimed at benefiting white people. (Mr. Giuliani has, in fact, criticized white suburbanites for being selfish in opposing vouchers.)

A Giuliani-Obama race would be an interesting debate between symbolic concern for minorities versus policies that have actually helped minorities in a tangible way. (To go back to education, Mr. Obama's concern for minority children apparently is less than his concern for placating the teachers unions, as his educational positions would do nothing to break up the union-dominated status quo that does so much to destroy the lives of black and Latino students.)

I'm sure Mr. Obama would win the black vote in a landslide — bigger than usual for a Democrat, that is — in such an election. But that doesn't mean he should.

SF gays supporting Obama, records show

Can Oprah Deliver Her Fans to Obama?

Oprah's endorsement of Obama isn't only important for the sheer power attached to her name. With an overwhelmingly female audience -- comprised especially of lower- to middle-class women -- she's the cultural leader of Hillary Clinton's base. So far much of that demographic has seemed inclined to support Hillary; Oprah could help swing it the other way. Plus, she has tremendous appeal in the black community, which -- though it's still early -- has only half-heartedly flocked to Obama's camp. When, for example, it came time in 2005 for politicians and celebrities to deliver eulogies at Rosa Parks's memorial service in Washington, DC, you can guess whose speech stole the show.

It's that cross-cultural appeal, and facility in any situation, that Obama will benefit from by having the country's top leading lady on his side. Her gregarious nature, street sass ("Hey, girl!"), and TV ministry of empathy have allowed her to walk the narrow line between the races, and to put together a biracial coalition of the sort Obama wouldn't mind electorally emulating.

As such, she might be able to do for Obama what Elizabeth Edwards has been trying to do for her husband: provide a more accessible avenue for the candidate's message, in a "non-political" forum (think: the Living section of newspapers), which candidates often crave. more..

Dems look to rural areas for caucus-night edge

July 27, 2006

The Fight Won't Die

...Instead, the issue continued to spiral, thanks in large part to Obama's decision to keep it going. Yesterday morning, during a conference call in which he received the endorsement of Rep. Paul W. Hodes (D-N.H.), Obama pressed the argument that his approach to dealing with hostile governments represents real change.

"Nobody expects that you would suddenly just sit down with them for coffee without having done the appropriate groundwork," he said. "But the question was: Would you meet them without preconditions? And part of the Bush doctrine has been to say no." more..

Obama "The Uniter"

In a slap at his chief rival, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Thursday the most important asset the next president can offer is the ability to unite the country.

The Illinois senator did not mention Hillary Rodham Clinton, but sought to make the case the U.S. cannot afford a divisive commander in chief after George W. Bush's two terms.

"The reason that this president has failed to lead this country is because he hasn't been able to unite our country. He's polarized us when he should have pulled us together," Obama said in a speech at the College Democrats of America convention at the University of South Carolina. "That's why the experience we need in the next president is the ability to bring this country together.

"It's not enough to just change parties," Obama said.

Despite being viewed unfavorably by nearly half the public, Clinton is ahead of Obama in national and most state polls in the Democratic primary race. more...

Obama "WOWS THEM", College Democrats of America

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama brought college students to their feet Thursday at USC, reinforcing for many of them why he has captured their attention in the 2008 Democratic presidential race.

Speaking to several hundred college Democrats gathered for a weekend of organizational politics, Obama painted the students a picture of an American journey to a better life, then invited them to come along.

“I need you,” Obama told the College Democrats of America, who are holding their national convention in the Palmetto State for the first time. “This is our moment to make a difference.”

In his speech, which lasted about 45 minutes, Obama encouraged students that they could help solve the problems they face in the world today — problems such as global warming, the war in Iraq and the need for better education — because those before them had helped solve such intractable problems as slavery, Jim Crow segregation and the Vietnam War.

“Now, in this election, it’s our turn. It’s your generation’s turn to write a new page,” he said.

Obama drew his strongest reaction when he mentioned the need for health care for college students and a means to pay for college tuition. more...

Defining Moment?

A dozen or so young staffers were gathered around a bank of television sets at Barack Obama's vast campaign headquarters here on Michigan Avenue. They were cheering on Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) as he took their candidate's side in the great Obama- Hillary Clinton debate over how presidents should negotiate with unfriendly dictators.

The mood was upbeat not only because the Obama loyalists judged Smith the winner in his Wednesday clash with Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) on MSNBC's "Hardball," but also because Obama had pulled the front-runner into a direct confrontation over foreign policy.

Obama's own confidence was clear yesterday morning during a conference call announcing that he had won the endorsement of Rep. Paul Hodes, a freshman Democrat from New Hampshire.

Politicians often underscore their own virtues by discovering the same traits in others, and Obama is no exception. He praised Hodes, an upset winner in the 2006 elections, as "a fresh new voice" who "spoke the truth" and "believed he could be an agent of change." Hodes, right on message, explained his support for Obama as an effort to "complete my mission" in politics, which is -- you guessed it -- "to make some change." more...
First Read, L.A. Times, Boston Globe

Obama taps Rothman for role in campaign
Obama Wins Over Thompson, Giuliani
New polls: Obama strongest in general election, Romney leading GOP in Iowa

Edwards, Scolds Clinton & Obama

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards claimed the clean-campaigning high ground Friday before an Urban League assembly, as he tweaked his two leading opponents for their weeklong spat over foreign policy.

"We've had two good people, Democratic candidates for president, who've spent their time attacking each other, instead of attacking the problems that this country faces," he said at the annual convention of the National Urban League here. "We need to be staying focused on the things that all of us want to do together for America."more...

Clinton "Bush-Lite" Audio
Giuliani, Obama target younger voters at Dallas fundraisers

Edison Mayor Backs Obama

Edison Mayor Jun H. Choi, the Mayor of New Jersey's fifth largest town and a leader in the state's Korean American community, has endorsed Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination for President.

"I’ve been leaning Obama for quite some time now," said Choi. "I wanted to see if there was real momentum in the campaign, and there is."

This is Obama’s second New Jersey endorsement this week: Rep. Steven Rothman announced two days ago that he would support the Senator from Illinois.

Choi likened Obama’s candidacy to his own upstart bid in 2005.

"I ran because the establishment was not working for Edison, and I was the only outsider to ever win," said Choi, who made his announcement at a Young Lawyers for Obama fundraiser in Newark on Thursday.

"What I see in Obama is the ability to shake things up and get things back to the grassroots." more...

Readers Weigh In On Clinton, Obama

Is the mainstream media clueless when it comes to Barack Obama?

Pundits declared Hillary Clinton and John edwards the winners of Monday's YouTube debate, leaving Obama in the cold. So The Fix's Chris Cillizza asked the question: Is the media in America "just missing the boat" on the Obama craze?

What followed could have been a stream of angry rantings about the media, or a polarized argument between supporters of Clinton and Obama, who have been clashing publicly with each other this week. Instead, the question provoked a substantive discussion among more than 100 people about the contrasts between Obama and Clinton, and the ways in which the media portrays those differences. more...

Obama Wins "Mock Election"
Obama faces doubts among S.C. blacks
Obama's Stance on Castro Sensible
Clinton vs. Obama is Good for the voter
Attacks could tarnish Obama's 'hope' theme
Clinton-Obama Dispute: Why Wall Street Should Take Note

Picking the First Fight

...Why would Clinton, who’s been comfortably ahead in every recent poll, risk the potential boomerang effect of such an attack just as Obama’s popularity balloon was gradually deflating on its own? Her advisers privately suggest that the maneuver was less about hurting Obama and more about the Clinton camp’s current focus on the male voters resisting her candidacy — which also would explain her recent high-profile spat with the Pentagon over Iraq War policy. The idea is that, while Clinton builds on a strong lead among women, she is looking for ways to impress men by demonstrating toughness on high-stakes issues.

The Obama team insists the Clinton attack backfired, offering him a chance to counterattack without taking on criticism for the politics-as-usual negativity he’s vowed to avoid. And they relished the chance to ding Clinton once again for her war vote. more..

Democrats Speak at the Urban League Convention
It continues....

My presidency would unleash a 'transformation'

He would surely make history. But would Sen. Barack Obama's election as America's first black president transform the nation? Obama says yes.

"The day I'm inaugurated, the country looks at itself differently. And don't underestimate that power. Don't underestimate that transformation," Obama told the crowd Friday at the National Urban League convention in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Democrat from Illinois was answering a question about the racial polarization in America. Obama said "race is still an enormous factor in our society. But economics can overcome a lot of racial division."

The Democratic presidential hopeful also said that action, rather than high-minded discussions, is the way to end racial inequality.

Obama said "if we're doing the right thing and making sure that our young people are going to school, that they're getting good jobs, that they're starting businesses, that they're living in thriving neighborhoods and communities, that will do more to lessen racial tension, division and conflict than any set of roundtables and blue ribbon commissions are going to do." more...

Foreign Policy Stokes Clinton-Obama Rivalry (Audio)
Obama Down on the Farm
Obama Says Lobbyists and Special Interest Groups Are Blocking Key Rural Reforms

July 28, 2007

SS Nabs Obama Intern
They Still Fightin'
Obama Calls for Shift in Diplomacy
Obama Rises in New Era of Black Politicians
Obama Gains Over Thompson and Giuliani
Now Vilsack in THIS!!!!
State of the States

The Last Word: Much ado about nothing, or is it? It is not. You can argue the finer "points" until the cows come home. The bottomline out of all of this is, "will you speak with countries we are not friends with." For the public, this is very important. Why? Look at the glowing example that resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC. President Bush in the past seven years have put this country in the stone age. Yes, that far back. His mantra and policy of, "I'm the Decider", and "You are with us or against us", has harmed our worldwide image. Now when we need help, at the most crucial time with the Iraq situation, there are no phone numbers to dial and no countries to visit, for help. If that is not a "cold shoulder", then I don't know what it is.

The MSM got this wrong. And they are seeing it now. It does not matter if you are for Barack or Hillary. The question that the public heard was "will you talk to countries that are not our friends." And the resounding polling from the country is WE WANT YOU TO TALK, we want you to "communicate". And if any of these candidates want to continue swimming in the waters of "George W. Bush", then they should drown. The sooner, the better.

Shoutouts: obama and rural issues, by psericks; obama/hillary smackdown; geekesque is on it!!; sue them ALL; hillary the change candidate?; bored now is right, not once but twice; obama's rural strategy; missed micheal moore on hardball, here; angrydemocrat's diary on the clinton/obama fight; my partner, "in crime", lovingj; dlc snubbed; IMPEACH GONZALES; turneresq does it again; The Public Wants Us The Hell Out; send them to JAIL; clammyc spot on; is bloomberg in?; what????? south carolina in play?; bill o'reilly's website investigated?; can we read bogus??; hrc to stay in iraq, through 2017?; bush subpoenas michael moore; bush reaches rare heights; a must read; fred thompson, ain't all THAT; richardson will meet dictators, ANYTIME; back by POPULAR DEMAND, dinner with Barack; new obama downloads; missed last week's roundup, here; and donate to Senator Obama's Campaign. (Don't forget August 4th is Obama's 46th Birthday. We are going to donate 46 dollars to the Obama Campaign for Barack's Birthday. Make sure you donate by August 4th!!!)

it's been a hell of a week, but focus on obama and not the drama....


Jeezus, twas a length tome thou hast written

Frustratingly, the first thing that hit me was the MSM's tunnel vision (AGAIN) on fashion and, you know, trivial personal details, when discussing a female political figure (Michelle Obama).

Wearing a white top with ruffled sleeves, fitted black pants (that affirmed that Michelle still works out despite her grueling campaign schedule) and her trademark pearls, this Obama Girl couldn't be more unlike model Amber Lee, the woman who's using the Obama campaign to make a name for herself.

What's the deal? It seems like half the time the media jumps all over fashion ("Oh my god, CLEAVAGE!"), it's just so they have something to talk about the next day ("Why is the media obsessed with fashion and not substance with woman politicians?")

What I would give for some MSM coverage of the Farm bill.

This is the second place I've seen this post.

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One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.