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March 8, 2008


Obama gains in CA
by FLDem5
Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:32:17 PM PST
It was noted last month that Obama picked up another delegate in CA-53. At the time, I wondered what the final count would end up being. After reading this a little while ago, I decided to check up and see what the outcome was.

The results were Certified on Tuesday (how perfect was that) After seeing the results, I wish it would have gotten a little coverage – what fun this could have added to the Election Night festivities.

As they discussed the importance of every little delegate, the fact that there was some movement in California’s math seems would have added to their big “BREAKING NEWS!” fun. The original election night numbers were 163 for Senator Obama and 207 for Senator Clinton.

Certified Results after the jump:

FLDem5’s diary :: ::
What were the final numbers?

203 for Clinton to 167 for Obama

CNN has it wrong.

MSNBC has it wrong.

Real Clear Politics has it wrong.

-4 for Clinton, +4 for Obama. An eight delegate swing!

After this, I wonder how many of the other State delegate numbers they have wrong. Eight here or there could really add up!

Tags: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, California (all tags) :: Previous Tag Versions

Permalink | 37 comments

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Daily Kos Help

New York Times (24+ / 0-)
Recommended by:pontificator, kid oakland, MarkC, jeepdad, timmyc, Warren Terra, bobinson, Caesura, Elise, QuickSilver, serrano, la urracca, BetterTogether, BasharH, Akonitum, beltane, Mind That, cantelow, Helenann, MingPicket, Miz V, Aqualad08, verily, Hope Monger
also has it wrong.

Nice catch on this.

Help Russ Feingold help progressive candidates – support the Progressive Patriots Fund.

by scardanelli on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:34:33 PM PST

Double-bubble? (3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:Pd, la urracca, scardanelli
Do you know if the counting of the double-bubble LA County votes resulted in any of this swing?

by dougdilg on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:36:20 PM PST

No they didn’t (0 / 0)…

by sam2300 on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:46:34 PM PST

[ Parent ]

Yes – here: (14+ / 0-)
Recommended by:Adam B, bara, navajo, jhpdb, skipppppp, ChiGirl88, Elise, esquimaux, greenchiledem, scardanelli, discocarp, mainecabinfever, Mind That, Miz V…

Today the results of the February 5 primary become official. The final spread in the popular vote between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is 8.9%. Clinton garnered 51.8% to Obama’s 42.9%. The final delegates will be 203 for Clinton to 167 for Obama. This roughly averages out to the exact spread in the head-to-head popular vote (Hillary got 54.6% of the head-to-head vote and 54.8% of the delegates), so the convoluted delegate apportionment system worked in the case of California.

I’m also pleased to announce that 47,153 “double bubble” votes were counted in Los Angeles County. The expectation on the day of the election was that none of these ballots from decline to state voters would be counted, but the pressure put on by the Courage Campaign and other groups led to this result. And by the way, 51% of those votes went to Hillary Clinton and 42% to Barack Obama, so those who insisted upon viewing this through some partisan lens can respectfully shut the fuck up. This was about voter rights and remedying disenfranchisement; it always was, even though it had no material impact on the overall election.

by FLDem5 on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:46:36 PM PST

[ Parent ]

So (1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:greenchiledem
the double bubble votes were exactly in the same proportion as the overall statewide vote. Cool.

by skipppppp on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:25:26 PM PST

[ Parent ]

Great catch (13+ / 0-)
Recommended by:CaptUnderpants, bara, navajo, Elise, la urracca, scardanelli, BasharH, ratador, Johnny Rapture, beltane, Mind That, Myz Lilith, Miz V
It’s things like this that Obama’s team constantly catches (which is why their delegate spread tends to be wider and more correct).

Couple quick notes -

Your MSNBC link is CNN.

Also, Slate’s delegate calculator is a bad tool. Just use 58% for all the rest of the contests and you get a 117 delegate gain for someone, and it’s really 64. 83% error just on that one.

Calloused hand by calloused hand.

by PocketNines on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:36:30 PM PST

darn it – I had trouble with the links (9+ / 0-)
Recommended by:Pd, Warren Terra, navajo, la urracca, greenchiledem, scardanelli, Johnny Rapture, Myz Lilith, MKSinSA
I’m still new at creating Diaries.

Thanks for that.

by FLDem5 on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:41:43 PM PST

[ Parent ]

And that’s why we fought (34+ / 0-)
Recommended by:theknife, superfly, CaptUnderpants, Pd, bara, bobinson, navajo, jhpdb, casperr, ChiGirl88, FLDem5, Elise, DoGooderLawyer, esquimaux, henna218, Femlaw, la urracca, greenchiledem, scardanelli, BasharH, Johnny Rapture, Akonitum, beltane, Mind That, Myz Lilith, cybrestrike, there will be blood, not a cent, Helenann, Rorgg, MingPicket, Miz V, MKSinSA, dsharma23
everywhere we could in CA knowing that the early voting was a steep mountain to climb and we likely could not win the state.

Here in CD-9 we won Obama 4 of the 6 delegates for a 4-2 advantage.

We did that by winning the last 2 or 3 out of every 100 voters to get to 62.6%.

You read that right.

Had we left off and not won over the last 2 or 3 out of every 100 voters, CD-9 would have been a delegate tie.

That’s why Barack Obama is staying close in every state, because of boots on the ground persuading people and getting out the vote.

Note to Super Delegates: that’s the kind of energy you want on our side in November.

Get involved…VOLUNTEER…yes.we.can.

by kid oakland on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:40:47 PM PST

you are awesome! (8+ / 0-)
Recommended by:kid oakland, bobinson, navajo, casperr, Elise, greenchiledem, Akonitum, cybrestrike
and yes, that is what we want in November.

by FLDem5 on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:49:17 PM PST

[ Parent ]

That’s for damn sure (3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:navajo, FLDem5, greenchiledem
Are you listening Super Delegates?

by casperr on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:22:02 PM PST

[ Parent ]

Rock it Oaktown, kid oakland (n/t) (0 / 0)


by DoGooderLawyer on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:26:18 PM PST

[ Parent ]

Cool! (3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:Femlaw, scardanelli, Akonitum
I had forgot about the district-by-district results. Obama won decisively in the district I grew up in (with a congressional representative who still supports Clinton), the district where I went to college (Go Bears!), and the district I live in!

Thanks for putting this up FLDem5.

by Pd on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:43:55 PM PST

Go Bears! (0 / 0)

“I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent” –Gandhi

by dsharma23 on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:47:11 AM PST

[ Parent ]

Thanks for this diary. (3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:scardanelli, BasharH, Mind That
Just today, I was wondering about what happened with the double bubble ballots in CA.

I’m also still curious about what happened with all those NY precincts which registered 0 votes for Obama, which Bloomberg labeled ‘fraud’.

Are we going to net some delegates out of that mess too?

by pvlb on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:46:25 PM PST

I thought we’d pick up a bit by the end. (3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:kid oakland, Elise, scardanelli
Thanks for posting this.

One question – your link is to the District level vote totals, which doesn’t give delegate counts. Not sure if someone has matched those up with the delegate apportionments for each CD.

Donate to the Obamathon Netroots Fundraising Drive!

by Femlaw on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:49:10 PM PST

another bad link – I fixed it (2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:navajo
(I think!)

by FLDem5 on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:50:49 PM PST

[ Parent ]

Isn’t that more than the total Ohio haul? (0 / 0)
Bring out the damned confetti!

by maconblue on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:49:25 PM PST

She netted nine in Ohio, (7+ / 0-)
Recommended by:casperr, FLDem5, Elise, scardanelli, BasharH, Akonitum, Mind That
and when all is said and done with the TX Caucus, will net 10, perhaps, for the day. Take away this 8, and the comeback kid gains a net 2 delegates on Tuesday! Wow, that was worth all the hype!! She’s really on her way now!!

Naam!! Tunaweza!!

by bogbud on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:52:24 PM PST

[ Parent ]

Woops… (4+ / 0-)
Recommended by:casperr, Elise, Akonitum, Meursault
forgot the SD’s Obama picked up on Tuesday. Oh well, she still picked up momentum moving into Wyoming!

Naam!! Tunaweza!!

by bogbud on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:54:51 PM PST

[ Parent ]

Whatever happened in New York? (7+ / 0-)
Recommended by:kid oakland, superba, Elise, jeff in nyc, scardanelli, Akonitum, Mind That
All those districts reporting 0 votes for Obama? Where can I go to find out?

Naam!! Tunaweza!!

by bogbud on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:53:34 PM PST

you can start here: (3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:navajo, Elise, MKSinSA…

it looks like the Presidential Primary results haven’t been Certified yet.

by FLDem5 on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:58:33 PM PST

[ Parent ]

The official results came in (3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:navajo, FLDem5, Elise
and there were no changes to the delegate counts.

by casperr on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:23:22 PM PST

[ Parent ]

Nullified (3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:Pd, FLDem5, esquimaux
So, in other words, Obama just picked up more delegates in the correction of the California counting than Hillary’s entire margin of victory on Tuesday in the whole Ohio-Texas-Vermont-Rhode Island voting?


What a comeback, Hil!

Repeat: There is no realistic scenario in which she can win

by nocore on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:01:53 PM PST

Obama results center has it right (6+ / 0-)
Recommended by:Pd, Alden, navajo, Scarce, Akonitum, PalGirl2008

by theknife on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:14:09 PM PST

Thank you for this link. (2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:Alden, navajo
This is my favorite link of the day. I can’t believe I hadn’t found it before.

Calloused hand by calloused hand.

by PocketNines on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:19:36 PM PST

[ Parent ]

yes they do! (2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:Alden, navajo

by FLDem5 on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:22:52 PM PST

[ Parent ]

Yet again BHO sets an example of competence (3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:barath, FLDem5, esquimaux
…that the journalists would do well to emulate. Or even just to report.

by Alden on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:24:20 PM PST

[ Parent ]

if he runs the country (4+ / 0-)
Recommended by:theknife, Alden, esquimaux, MKSinSA
the way he has run this campaign, we are a very lucky nation.

by FLDem5 on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:30:54 PM PST

[ Parent ]

Will she sue CA for counting double bubbles? (0+ / 0-)
It’s just not fair — to her. She needed those delegates. How could California disenfranchise HRC 47,153 times? Shame on you, California!

by Alden on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:22:13 PM PST

Double bubble (1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:Alden
results ended up in the exact same proportion as the statewide vote 52-41 Clinton.

by skipppppp on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:28:26 PM PST

[ Parent ]

I talked about the blowout principle (2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:navajo, FLDem5
a couple days ago.

Pledged delegates gained during 11-contest blowout run: 123.
Pledged delegates gained the rest of the 33 contests (18-13-2): 31.

If anything should indicate how important getting up above 16.7% is, and how daunting it is for Clinton to bring it back without blowouts that she simply will not get, this breakdown is it.

Calloused hand by calloused hand.

by PocketNines on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:27:45 PM PST

This is why they play down delegates (0 / 0)
Because they don’t realize how hard it is to GET delegates…until they realize how hard it is to GET delegates, at which point they realize Hillary is screwed.

by NotablyZen on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 05:38:13 PM PST

[ Parent ]

I demand headlines tomorrow (0 / 0)
trumpeting Obama’s newly gained momentum!

by crankyinNYC on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 06:13:36 PM PST

I contacted the AP (3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:theknife, FLDem5, Akonitum
I wrote the post about the final vote tallies, and thought it uncontroversial because I didn’t know the AP was so wrong in their counting. I completely detail the numbers at this Calitics link.

They are completely out to lunch on this.

D-Day, the newest blog on the internet (at the moment of its launch)

by dday on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 09:16:35 PM PST

that is a great idea! (1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:MKSinSA
I’m going to email RCP, CNN and MSNBC

by FLDem5 on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 05:08:34 AM PST

Andrew Sullivan picks this up (0 / 0)
on March 7th. (Thanks again for this heads-up diary.)

Of course the New York Times, which has already endorsed Hillary Clinton, will be loathe to report this news or correct its totals… I’m not holding my breath.

by QuickSilver on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 09:18:59 AM PST

WOW, Hillary hasn’t gained much of anything (0 / 0)
at all from her March 4th wins. It all keeps sinking back into the quicksand.

Bush repealed Godwin’s Law with a Signing Statement.

by Mad Kossack on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 09:52:42 AM PST

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March 8, 2008


Obama regains ground in Texas caucuses
caucuses By JIM KUHNHENN and CALVIN WOODWARD, Associated Press Writers
Wed Mar 5, 1:47 PM ET

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama regained lost ground in the fierce competition for Democratic convention delegates on Wednesday based on results from the Texas caucuses, partially negating the impact of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s string of comeback primary victories.

Late returns showed Clinton emerged from Rhode Island, Vermont, Texas and Ohio with a gain of 12 delegates on her rival for the night, with another dozen yet to be awarded in The Associated Press’ count.

That left Obama with an overall lead of 101 delegates, 1,562-1,461 as the rivals look ahead to the final dozen contests on the calendar. It takes 2,025 to win the nomination.

The two presidential contenders made the rounds of the morning television news shows, agreeing on little — except that their historic struggle would continue at least until the Pennsylvania primary on April 22.

That left six weeks for public campaigning, and for private appeals to party leaders, known as superdelegates, who attend the convention but are not chosen in primaries or caucuses.

Clinton has the support of 241 superdelegates, and Obama 202. But more than 350 remain uncommitted, a large enough bloc to swing the nomination should they band together.

Clinton, in particular, projected confidence on the day after her candidacy-saving victories, suggesting she might want Obama as her vice presidential running mate.

“That may be where this is headed, but of course we have to decide who is on the top of ticket. I think the people of Ohio very clearly said that it should be me,” she said on CBS.

Obama brushed such talk aside. “We are just focused on winning this nomination,” he told reporters aboard his chartered campaign jet en route to Chicago from Texas.

He said he would prevail in the nominating battle despite facing a tenacious candidate who “just keeps on ticking.”

Democrats plunged into the next round of their campaign as Republican John McCain visited the White House to confirm his status as the party’s nominee-in-waiting. Lunch with President Bush — and an endorsement — headlined his day.

Bitter rivals in the 2000 presidential primaries, the two have forged an uneasy relationship during Bush’s administration and have clashed on issues such as campaign finance, tax cuts, global warming and defining torture.

There were 370 Democratic delegates at stake in Tuesday’s contests, and nearly complete returns showed Clinton outpaced Obama in Ohio, 74-65, in Rhode Island, 13-8, and in the Texas primary, 65-61.

Obama won in Vermont, 9-6, and was ahead in the Texas caucuses, 30-27. Ten of the dozen that remained to be awarded were in Texas; the other two in Ohio.

“We still have an insurmountable lead,” Obama said.

Clinton and Obama spent most of the past two weeks in Ohio and Texas in a bruising campaign, with the former first lady questioning his sincerity in opposing the North American Free Trade Agreement and darkly hinting he’s not ready to be commander in chief in a crisis.

Based on their current delegate counts, neither candidate can win enough delegates in the remaining primaries and caucuses to secure the nomination without the help of nearly 800 party officials and top elected officials who also have a voice in the selection. On Wednesday, Clinton and her campaign clearly aimed their case at those so-called “superdelegates” — a strategy that could take the nomination fight all the way to the party’s August national convention in Denver.

“New questions are being raised, new challenges are being put to my opponent,” she said. “Superdelegates are supposed to take all that information on board and they are supposed to be exercising the judgment that people would have exercised if this information and challenges had been available several months ago.”

She said voters are being drawn to her argument that she would be the better commander in chief, the best steward of the economy and that she can better confront McCain in the general election.

Obama countered that on a key national security issue — the war in Iraq — “she got it wrong” by supporting Bush’s call for authority to use military force.

As for superdelegates, Obama said he expected them to rally around him.

“I don’t think it will necessarily go to the convention floor,” he told reporters aboard his plane before taking off from San Antonio for Chicago.

He also said he will challenge Clinton on her foreign policy credentials.

“Was she negotiating treaties? Was she handling crises? The answer is no,” he said. “She made a series of arguments on why she should be a superior candidate. I think it’s important to examine that argument.”

The count does not include delegates from Florida and Michigan, who were penalized by the Democratic Party for moving up their primaries ahead of a schedule set by the Democratic National Committee. None of the Democratic candidates campaigned in either state. But Clinton, who won the popular vote in both state primaries, on Wednesday renewed her call for Florida and Michigan to be counted in the nomination race.

“It’s a mistake for the Democratic Party to punish these two states,” she said. “I don’t see how a Democratic nominee goes forward alienating two of the most important states.”

McCain surpassed the 1,191 delegates needed to win his party’s nomination against odds that seemed steep only a few months ago, and all but impossible last summer.

Facing a couple of well-financed marquee candidates in a crowded field, the Arizona senator opened his comeback in New Hampshire’s leadoff primary, rolled over Rudy Giuliani in Florida and finished off Mitt Romney after Super Tuesday on Feb. 5.

Mike Huckabee hung in until Tuesday night, gamely keeping up the fight weeks after dropping from long shot to afterthought.


Associated Press Writer Tom Raum in San Antonio contributed to this report.


March 8, 2008


Jackson: Trailblazer, not Obama’s mentor By CHRISTOPHER WILLS, Associated Press Writer
Fri Mar 7, 6:07 PM ET

CHICAGO – Early in Barack Obama’s political career in Illinois, Jesse Jackson helped slap him down. Even now, Jackson’s son is a more vocal Obama advocate than his internationally known father.

Obama and the elder Jackson have much in common: The two black men emerged from Chicago’s decayed South Side as champions of poor people. Both have a gift for rhetoric. Both have run to be the nation’s first black president.

There are long-standing friendships between some members of their families.

Yet the two are not close. Twenty years older, Jackson, the trailblazer, was never Obama’s mentor.

Jackson has always been more flamboyant and confrontational, Obama more willing to work behind the scenes, within the system.

Eight years ago, Obama, a little-known state senator, mounted an upstart challenge to four-term incumbent Bobby Rush for his U.S. House seat. Jackson endorsed Rush. President Clinton also joined the effort to stop the newcomer. He overrode his policy of staying out of Democratic primaries to back Rush, who trounced Obama more than 2-to-1.

“I already had a relationship with Bobby Rush,” Jackson said Friday in an interview with Associated Press television.

That’s not the only time Jackson was in Obama’s way. In 1995, he tried to arrange for his son to get the state Senate seat that Obama eventually won in his first political race.

Jesse Jackson Jr. told The Associated Press that his father wanted the incumbent to run for Congress so the younger Jackson could replace state Sen. Alice Palmer. She refused to go along because she was supporting Obama, who hadn’t announced his campaign to succeed her yet. Jackson’s son also rejected the plan and successfully ran for Congress instead.

The younger Jackson, 42, has become a close friend to Obama, 46. He’s a national co-chairman of Obama’s campaign.

Late last year, Jesse Jackson Jr. even fussed at his father for writing a column questioning the commitment of Obama and other Democratic candidates, except John Edwards, to the needs of black voters. The son wrote a response in The Chicago Sun-Times with the headline “You’re wrong on Obama, Dad.”

The dueling newspaper columns illustrate the dangers the elder Jackson represents for Obama.

Criticism from the civil rights leader could undercut Obama’s strong support among black voters. But too enthusiastic an embrace by Jackson might weaken Obama’s efforts to present himself as a new kind of black politician.

Their histories reflect the changing realities between the 1960s and the 1980s for a black man seeking to become a political leader.

Jackson, a minister, was already on Chicago’s South Side when Obama moved there in 1985. Jackson had a rare ability to rally people to action. He had used it to put together Operation PUSH in Chicago, then to transform himself from a Chicago civil rights protest leader to a national figure who traveled the country to confront private companies or public officials he felt oppressed minorities or poor people.

He also became a volunteer diplomat who traveled to Syria and Cuba where he won the release of U.S. prisoners. He was welcomed and thanked at Ronald Reagan’s White House.

When he first ran for president in 1984, Jackson failed to win the Democratic nomination but still waged the most successful campaign by a black candidate up to that time. He emerged as an important but controversial figure in Democratic politics.

He had called New York City “Hymietown.” He met with Mikhail Gorbachev and Pope John Paul II. He hosted “Saturday Night Live.”

After his second presidential campaign, he electrified the 1988 Democratic national convention with his appeal to “Keep hope alive!” But he never came close to being president.

Getting his political start in Chicago, Obama didn’t choose a public role at the head of civil rights marches but rather the quiet, behind-the-scenes position of community organizer, teaching poor people how to unite so they could step forward themselves.

While Jackson was thinking nationally and internationally, Obama was focused on Chicago’s far South Side. The area’s working class was disappearing in the wake of steel plant closings. Healthy neighborhoods had decayed into collections of empty storefronts that lacked the political clout to get their share of city services.

Obama’s focus was on getting potholes filled, parks cleaned up and students placed in summer jobs. Politically, he paid more attention to the city’s first black mayor, Harold Washington, than to Jackson.

When Obama expanded his horizon beyond Chicago, he went to law school, came back and later ran for the state Legislature.

This year as a first-term U.S. senator, Obama sought the presidency, moving before party leaders thought he was ready.

But Obama’s run was never the long shot that Jackson’s was. He not only rivaled Jackson’s soaring rhetoric; he also followed the Internet fundraising lessons of others, out-organized rival Hillary Rodham Clinton on the ground in caucus states and turned the system to his advantage. Now he’s closer than any black man in history to the presidency.

Today, Jackson supports Obama’s campaign but mostly from the sidelines.

“I’ve known him long enough to trust him and admire him and be his No. 1 fan,” Jackson said in an interview with The AP.

The Chicago headquarters of Jackson’s Operation PUSH was not far from where Obama lived in the mid-1980s. Obama would sometimes go to hear Jackson’s sermons but otherwise had little connection to him.

“I did not know him as a community organizer,” Jackson said. “It’s a big city.”

Obama’s 1992 marriage to Michelle Robinson brought the families much closer. A Chicago native, Robinson had gone to high school with Jackson’s oldest child, Santita. Santita sang at the Obamas’ wedding and became godmother to their daughter, Malia.

Michelle Obama had often visited Jackson’s home and gotten to know his other children. So when Obama began dating her, he met Jesse Jackson Jr., who also attended their wedding.

Nevertheless, the elder Jackson still creates the occasional complication for Obama.

In September, The State newspaper in South Carolina reported that Jackson had said Obama was “acting like he’s white” in his response to the arrest of six black juveniles in Jena, La. Jackson disputed the quote.

Obama’s campaign played down the incident and has had only good things to say about the relationship between the two men.

Satirizing the relationship, “Saturday Night Live” recently portrayed Obama as repeatedly dispatching Jackson and another controversial civil rights leader, Al Sharpton, on nonsense assignments to distant corners of the world so he wouldn’t be seen with them.

One friend and adviser to Obama, Valerie Jarrett, said, “I would describe it as a good relationship. It’s one of mutual respect. They speak on a regular basis and share many common goals and concerns.”

Jackson himself says Obama once told him that attending a Jackson debate during the 1984 presidential campaign made him believe a black man could someday win the White House.

“He was a student at Columbia, and he saw me debating (Walter) Mondale and (Gary) Hart. And he said, ‘this can be done,’ and 24 years later he is doing it, so he is part of the evolution of our struggle to make this a more perfect union, part of this struggle to heal the breaks, to close the gap and now I see new Americans with new attitudes using him and Hillary as conduits to express we can live all together,” Jackson said in the AP television interview.

Former Obama campaign aide Dan Shomon says Obama learned important lessons from Jackson, including the importance of showmanship. Obama concluded that he needed to be a better public speaker and get his message on TV if he wanted to be effective.

“Ten years ago, Obama was all substance and no flash,” Shomon said. “He learned from Reverend Jackson that you’ve got to have some flash with your substance or you’re not going to accomplish anything.”


Associated Press Writers Deanna Bellandi and Mark Carlson in Chicago and Michael J. Sniffen in Washington contributed to this report.


March 8, 2008


Watching Washington
By Ron Elving

Will Split Decision Shift Texas to Obama?

“Most of the country will go on thinking that Senator Clinton collected a delegate bonanza in Texas (and elsewhere) this week. So even if she didn’t, and even if she did not quite meet her own goal of winning both big states, she got her momentum back for the first time in a month. And at this point in the campaign, momentum is as important as message and money. ”

Hillary Clinton has called her primary victories this week “stunning,” but their contribution to her delegate total continues to dwindle.

Senator Clinton won the Ohio primary with a healthy margin and squeaked past 50 percent in the Texas primary. She went on TV as the shiny new star of the 2008 campaign, the belle of the ball once again. All the glitter seemed legit at the time. She had cleared a high bar set by no less an authority than Bill Clinton himself, who said she had to win both of the big states on March 4 or it was lights out.

But even as the confetti fell in Columbus there were flaws with the Comeback Kid scenario. The delegate dividends from the states she won were surprisingly poor. She picked up just four delegates net in the Texas primary, one fewer than her net gain of five in tiny Rhode Island. Even her big win in Ohio gave her just 74 delegates to Obama’s 65.

Subtract from this total the three delegates Barack Obama netted in tiny Vermont and Senator Clinton had gained just 15 delegates in the March 4 primaries. Given that she trailed by 152 pledged delegates as the day began, this shift did not seem nearly as impressive as the victory celebration and headlines implied.

And now it appears that even her net gain of 15 on the day may be cut nearly in half.

Because in Texas, one-third of the 193 delegates at stake this week were not awarded by the primary but by the caucuses held after the polls were closed. A record 4 million voters showed up for the primary, and a record 1.1 million also stayed for the caucuses at more than 8,000 sites around the Lone Star state. And in these caucuses, Obama won handily.

They call this hybrid the “Texas Two-Step,” and it’s had its fans and critics since invented in 1988. But this year it’s really going to cause some howling.

The Texas Democratic Party says Obama’s wider caucus margin will probably give him a 37-30 break in the delegates allocated from the caucuses. The primary had almost twice that many delegates at stake, but Clinton’s primary margin there was much narrower. So when the two steps are all done, the projection is for Obama to emerge with 98 delegates to Clinton’s 95.

So who won Texas?

The Clinton camp will point to the larger turnout in the primary to support their claim of victory. The Obama camp will say both events were valid and rules are rules.

But what’s the bottom line if more Texans go to the convention in Denver pledged to vote for Obama than for Clinton?

Is it possible that instead of winning two big states, Senator Clinton won one-and-a-half?

Truth is, the Clinton campaign had anticipated exactly this kind of split decision in Texas. That’s why efforts had been made to discredit the caucuses in advance. Her campaign complained that the caucuses were too small to be representative and too random in administration to be fair.

On caucus night, her campaign held a stormy conference call with reporters to say Obama forces were attempting to hijack the proceedings at specific sites. Similar complaints had been lodged against caucuses in other states in January and February, as the Obama campaign racked up consistent wins in delegate counts.

The Clinton campaign had much to fear in Texas. The state had once stood for her dominance in the presidential race, but after her 17-point drubbing in Wisconsin it began to symbolize her campaign’s decline. Up by 20 in opinion polls, Senator Clinton saw the lead disappear. She sent in her crack operative from California, Averell “Ace” Smith, to reprise the ground organizing that preserved her 9-point victory in that state on Super Tuesday.

On March 4, Ace Smith & Company delivered a record turnout among Hispanics, who cast nearly one-third of the total vote and favored Clinton by about 2-to-1. It was enough for just over 50 percent of the vote, but not enough to make the caucuses ratify the the primary.

So the argument over “who won Texas” begins. And it’s far more than just an academic debate.

One suspects the Clinton campaign would have carried on beyond this week even if she had lost the primary in Texas as well as the caucuses. Ohio was going to be all they really needed to claim a turnaround. (Note that she made her “going all the way” victory speech in Ohio before the results from Texas were clear).

More important, she and her retinue clearly believe they have finally found the key to the Obama riddle. After months of frustration, they loosed a flurry of blows and landed just enough of them to stall his momentum and grab some of their own.

Besides, most of the country will go on thinking that Senator Clinton collected a bonanza in Texas (and elsewhere) this week. So even if she didn’t, and even if she did not quite meet her own goal of winning both big states, she got her momentum back for the first time in a month.

And at this point in the campaign, momentum is as important as message and money.

4:38 PM ET | 03- 6-2008

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March 8, 2008


A New Hope
JANN S. WENNERPosted Mar 20, 2008 3:00 PM

The tides of history are rising higher and faster these days. Read them right and ride them, or be crushed. And then along comes Barack Obama, with the kinds of gifts that appear in politics but once every few generations. There is a sense of dignity, even majesty, about him, and underneath that ease lies a resolute discipline. It’s not just that he is eloquent — with that ability to speak both to you and to speak for you — it’s that he has a quality of thinking and intellectual and emotional honesty that is extraordinary.
I first learned of Barack Obama from a man who was at the highest level of George W. Bush’s political organization through two presidential campaigns. He described the first-term senator from Illinois as “a walking hope machine” and told me that he would not work for any Republican candidate in 2008 if Obama was nominated. He challenged me to read Obama’s autobiography, Dreams From My Father.

The book was a revelation. Here was a man whose honesty about himself and understanding of the human condition are both deep and compassionate. Born to a white mother and an African father, he was raised in multiracial Hawaii and for several years in Indonesia. He drifted through some druggy teenage years — no apologies! — before emerging as a star at Harvard Law School. He chose to work as a community organizer in the projects of Chicago rather than join the wealthy insider world of corporate law. And as a young adult, he searched, in the distant villages of Kenya, for the father and family he never knew.

As I read all this, so elegantly written, my mind kept rolling over: Might it be possible? Is there some fate by which we could have this man as president of the United States?

Throughout the primaries, and during a visit he paid to our offices, we have come to know Barack Obama, his toughness and his grace. He would not be intimidated, and he declined to back down, when Senator Clinton called him “frankly, naive” for his willingness to meet leaders of hostile nations. When one of her top campaign officials tried to smear him for his earlier drug use, he did not equivocate or backtrack. On the matter of experience and capability, he has run an impressive, nearly flawless campaign — one that whupped America’s most hard-boiled political infighters. Indeed, Obama was far more prepared to run a presidential campaign — from Day One — than Senator Clinton. And at no point did he go negative with personal attacks or character assassination; as much as they might have been justified, they didn’t even seem tempting to him.

Obama has emerged by displaying precisely the kind of character and judgment we need in a president: renouncing the politics of fear, speaking frankly on the most pressing issues facing the country and sticking to his principles. He recognizes that running for president is an opportunity to inspire an entire nation.

All this was made clearer by the contrast with Hillary Clinton, a capable and personable senator who has run the kind of campaign that reminds us of what makes us so discouraged about our politics. Her campaign certainly proved her experience didn’t count for much: She was a bad manager and a bad strategist who naturally and easily engaged in the politics of distraction, trivialization and personal attack. She never convinced us that her vote for the war in Iraq was anything other than a strategic political calculation that placed her presidential ambitions above the horrifying consequences of a war. Her calibrated course corrections over the past three years were painful. Like John Kerry — who also voted for the war while planning a presidential run — it helped cost her that goal.
Although Obama declined to attack her personally for her vote for the war in Iraq, he did call it, devastatingly enough, a clear demonstration of her so-called experience and “judgment.” He has also spoken forcefully about the need to break the grip of lobbyists — at a time when Clinton is the largest recipient of drug-company donations of anyone in Congress. Clinton could not address this issue at all, and neither will John McCain, who is equally a player in Washington’s lobbyist culture.

Obama also denounced the Republican campaign of fear. Early in the campaign, John Edwards took the lead, calling the War on Terror a campaign slogan, not a policy. Obama rejected the subtle imagery of false patriotism by not wearing a flag pin in his lapel, and he dismissed the broader notion that the Democratic Party had to find a way to buy into this entire load of fear-mongering War on Terror bullshit — to out-Republican the Republicans — and thus become, in his description of Hillary Clinton’s macho posturing on foreign policy, little more than “Bush-Cheney lite.”

The similarities between John Kennedy and Barack Obama come to mind easily: the youth, the magnetism, the natural grace, the eloquence, the wit, the intelligence, the hope of a new generation.

But it might be more to the point to view Obama as Lincolnesque in his own origins, his sobriety and what history now demands.

We have a deeply divided nation, driven apart by economic policies that have deliberately created the largest income disparities in our history, with stunning tax breaks for the wealthiest and subsidies for giant industries. The income of the average citizen is stagnant, and his quality of life continues to slowly erode from inflation.

We are embittered and hobbled by the unnecessary and failed war in Iraq. We have been worn down by long years of fear- and hate-filled political strategies, assaults on constitutional freedoms, and levels of greed and cynicism, that — once seen for what they are — no people of moral values or ethics can tolerate.

A new president must heal these divides, must at long last face the hypocrisy and inequity of unprecedented government handouts to oil giants, hedge-fund barons, agriculture combines and drug companies. At the same time, the new president must transform our lethal energy economy — replacing oil and coal and the ethanol fraud with green alternatives and strict rain-forest preservation and tough international standards — before the planet becomes inhospitable for most human life. Although Obama has been slow to address global warming, I feel confident that his intelligence and morality will lead him clearly on this issue.

We need to recover the spiritual and moral direction that should describe our country and ourselves. We see this in Obama, and we see the promise he represents to bring factions together, to achieve again the unity that drives great change and faces difficult, and inconvenient, truths and peril.

We need to send a message to ourselves and to the world that we truly do stand for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And in electing an African-American, we also profoundly renounce an ugliness and violence in our national character that have been further stoked by our president in these last eight years.

Like Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama challenges America to rise up, to do what so many of us long to do: to summon “the better angels of our nature.”


March 5, 2008


Re: MAD AS HELL/reply | Report to Admin Reply
By Joan Zatorski Today at 6:33 am EST
I couldn’t stand the tension watching the count and went to bed at nine p.m. in Arizona, only to awake at four a.m. and see that Hillary won Texas. I don’t usually speak/write like this, but it made me want to vomit (or is it the flu I’ve been fighting?!). The comments from Fredricksburg echoed my own thoughts, however: I believe in President Obama completely and am totally disgusted by the power-hungry Clinton diad. I am shocked that the primary scandal in New York has not been reported across the country: apparently THIRTY districts in New York with high black populations showed ZERO votes for Obama when the primary votes were counted!!!!! GET IT? NO VOTES FOR OBAMA IN THIRTY BLACK COMMUNITIES IN THE NEW YORK PRIMARY!!! NEW YORK = HILLARY CLINTON’S STATE!! As Bloomburg, the Mayor of New York City said, “That’s not what we call a recount, that’s what we call VOTER FRAUD!”
Based on this alone, at the least, New York should LOSE it’s right to have its delegates counted towards the nomination!
I have never had a candidate arouse such anger in me as Ms. Clinton nor one arouse such hope, admiration and respect as Mr. Obama! My emotions are at such a high point on both extremes.
Reading what my colleagues-in-arms have written helps put me back on an even keel, however, and I will certainly return here for further shots in the arm.
Yes, you are right: we shall not be moved, we shall get there together.
Yes, we can. Yes, we can. Yes. Yes. It has never sounded so beautiful.


March 3, 2008


Obama – Stevie Wonder at UCLA


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Comments & Responses

bnvmarcello (2 days ago) Show Hide -1 Marked as spam Reply Stevie for President….

jowens1138 (2 days ago) Show Hide 0 Marked as spam Reply Damn Michelle is fine!
4darin5 (3 days ago) Show Hide 0 Marked as spam Reply Stevie was in Los Angeles?!!! AND I MISSED HIM!!!! I am litterally pulling out my hair right now!
Comment(s) marked as spam Show
Comment(s) marked as spam Hide
maripare (3 days ago) Show Hide 0 Marked as spam Reply Obama parece sincero pero sus MANEJADORES NO LO SON
Search: Leading Obama Campaign PT1
NO es elegible en Noviembre 2008
Habla lindo, e hipnotiza con lengua florida como Fujimori, Chavez etc

Nos hace sentir BIEN y que TRAERA EL PARAISO A
LA TIERRA, hermanitos todos !
DE VERDAD se imaginan Uds: Un mulato y su mujer en
SABEN bien que grupos poderosos…….
gerphilkontext (4 days ago) Show Hide +1 Marked as spam Reply this is awesome new chapter of human history
love ryan
JahnC (5 days ago) Show Hide +2 Marked as spam Reply STEVIEEEE!!!!!
ALSO one of my favorite people in the entire world.
The most accomplished musician that ever lived.
The man is awesome, and we welcome his support of Sen Obama!
shahid0566 (1 week ago) Show Hide +3 Marked as spam Reply I love Stevie, but he needs a new stylist. Those braids got to go. He has to much forehead. I don’t blame him, he can’t see it,but those around him need to look out for my man more.
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About This Video Stevie Wonder appeared with Oprah, Caroline Ken… (more)
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Stevie Wonder appeared with Oprah, Caroline Kennedy, Michelle Obama and Marie Shriver just before the California Primary. (less)
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March 3, 2008

from the

The Sunday TimesMarch 2, 2008

Barnstorming Obama plans to pick Republicans for cabinet

As he jets across two key states whipping up the support that could finish off Hillary Clinton this week, the Democratic frontrunner is already mapping out a government of all the talents. Our writer joins him aboard Obama One

BY Sarah Baxter
AS Barack Obama enters the final stages of the fight for the Democratic presidential nomination, he is preparing to detach the core voters of John McCain, the likely Republican nominee, with the same ruthless determination with which he has peeled off Hillary Clinton’s supporters.

The scene is set for a tussle between the two candidates for the support of some of the sharpest and most independent minds in politics. Obama is hoping to appoint cross-party figures to his cabinet such as Chuck Hagel, the Republican senator for Nebraska and an opponent of the Iraq war, and Richard Lugar, leader of the Republicans on the Senate foreign relations committee.

Senior advisers confirmed that Hagel, a highly decorated Vietnam war veteran and one of McCain’s closest friends in the Senate, was considered an ideal candidate for defence secretary. Some regard the outspoken Republican as a possible vice-presidential nominee although that might be regarded as a “stretch”.

Asked about his choice of cabinet last week, Obama told The Sunday Times: “Chuck Hagel is a great friend of mine and I respect him very much,” although he was wary of appearing as though he was already choosing the White House curtains. But after winning 11 primary contests in a row after Super Tuesday, he is ready to elbow Clinton off the stage.
Little more than a year ago the Illiniois senator, 46, used to laugh that he was called Alabama or Yo! Mama, because so few people knew his name. If he can win one or both of the Texas or Ohio primaries on Tuesday, he is expected to wrap up the Democratic nomination – and begin the next phase of the battle for the presidency against McCain.

The Sunday Times was aboard Obama One, his private campaign jet, as he crisscrossed the two key primary states. It was an exhilarating ride with a candidate on the cusp of making history and robbing Clinton, who aimed to be America’s first woman president, of a distinction she thought was hers for the taking.

Obama is cutting a dash through Texas, addressing up to 20,000 people a day, and has overtaken Clinton by two points in the polls, according to Real-ClearPolitics. In blue-collar, recession-struck Ohio, he has narrowed the gap to within five points of his rival.

From snowbound Cleveland, where the ice was scraped off the wings of the jet before it could take off, to balmy Texas, where spring has arrived, the journey took Obama from one rally to the next where huge, multiracial crowds cheered wildly and stomped to cries of: “Yes, we can.”

On the plane Obama walked the aisle, chatting to journalists with a confidence that came from knowing his mighty opponent might be on her way out of the race in 48 hours and a slight edge of nervousness that the nomination is now his to lose.

Narrow wins for Clinton in both Texas and Ohio might encourage her to fight on, although Obama’s team believes she needs a lead of more than 5% to justify continuing her campaign.

Obama is taking nothing for granted in his quest to become America’s first black president. “Remember New Hampshire!” he said, recalling the primary upset that restored Clinton’s status as the frontrunner after her initial shock defeat in Iowa.

Earlier Obama had told the audience at a suburban high school rally in Dallas, Texas, that he intended to follow the example of his hero, President Abraham Lincoln, and appoint a cabinet of the talents, irrespective of party labels.

“I think America deserves the best person for every job and so we are going to be canvassing far and wide if I am fortunate enough to be elected,” he said.

Richard Reardon, 64, a security officer and veteran, said: “I’ll be honest. Maybe 20 years ago, I’d never have voted for a black man, but after the Bushes and the Clintons, give the man a chance.”

After overtaking Clinton in the national polls, as well as the popular vote and delegate count in the Democratic primary contest, Obama is now sizing up McCain with the same cool eye for signs of weakness.

They are evenly matched in the polls, an enviable position compared with the 20-point lead Clinton held over Obama for the best part of last year. He believes he will be able to make deep inroads into the conservative vote that put George W Bush into the White House twice but might not transfer its loyalty to his successor. McCain blurted out that he was a “conservative liberal Republican” last week, a slip of the tongue that confirmed the fears of die-hard Republicans that he is not one of them.

But the Arizona senator, 71, has an advantage over Obama, a foreign policy novice, on defence and national security. Republicans intend to draw a sharp contrast between McCain, who was imprisoned in the “Hanoi Hilton” by the North Vietnamese, and Obama, who was a schoolboy on the same continent in Indonesia at the time.

Obama got a taste of McCain’s withering scorn last week when he was ridiculed for appearing to suggest in a televised debate with Clinton that Al-Qaeda was not in Iraq. “I have news for you,” McCain chided him. The terrorist group was already there and was called “Al-Qaeda in Iraq”. Round one, by general consent, went to McCain.

Obama believes he will be able to neutralise McCain by drawing on the expertise of independent Republicans such as Hagel and Lugar, who is regarded by Obama as a potential secretary of state.

Larry Korb, a defence official under President Ronald Reagan who is backing Obama, said: “By putting a Republican in the Pentagon and the State Department you send a signal to Congress and the American people that issues of national security are above politics.”

Korb recalled that President John F Kennedy appointed Robert McNamara, a Republican, as defence secretary in 1961. “Hagel is not only a Republican but a military veteran who would reassure the troops that there was somebody in the Pentagon who understood their hopes, concerns and fears,” he said.

Obama intends to pour more troops and resources into defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan.

He told The Sunday Times he would expect European allies to contribute more to the fight. “You can’t have a situation where the United States and Britain are called on to do the dirty work and nobody else wants to engage in actual fire-fights with the Taliban.”

He praised Prince Harry’s “commendable” service – “I’m sure the British people are very proud of him” – and said America would have a “special, special relationship” with Britain should he win the White House. “That’s inviolable,” he said.

Europe, he added, would get something in return for an extra push in Afghanistan. “It’s important for us to send a signal that we’re going to be listening to them when it comes to policies they find objectionable, Iraq being top of the list.”

As the plane flew on to Beaumont, Texas, a southeastern town near the Louisiana border, Obama let rip about parents’ responsibility for their children, a theme that appeals to conservative voters as much as the predominantly black audience in the theatre.

He drew the noisiest whoops and cheers of the day when he admonished parents for their failings. “Turn off the TV set, put the video game away. Buy a little desk or put that child at the kitchen table. Watch them do their homework. If they don’t know how to do it, give them help. If you don’t know how to do it, call the teacher. Make them go to bed at a reasonable time. Keep them off the streets. Give them some breakfast. Come on! And since I’m on a roll, if you’re child misbehaves in school, don’t cuss out the teacher! Do something with your child!”

He then went on to attack childhood obesity. “We can’t keep feeding our children junk all day long, giving them no exercise. They’re overweight by the time they are four or five years old and then we’re surprised when they get sick … I know some of you that get cold Popeyes [chicken] out for breakfast! I know! That’s why you are all laughing! I caught you out!”

It is impossible to imagine either Clinton or McCain addressing a crowd in this manner without sounding bossy and patronising. Obama pulled it off with humour.

Cornel West, a professor of African American studies at Princeton University, believes Obama has found the language to address problems in the black community. “You have to respect black people enough to say that sometimes we make bad choices. You have to talk about personal responsibility as well as social conditions.”

Obama was equally at home the next day at a gathering of evangelical ministers in Brownsville, southern Texas, where he talked about his introduction to Christianity as an organiser in Chicago. He opened the meeting by referring to the prophet Jermiah, who told people “in a time of uncertainty and despair” that God had plans to “prosper” them and give them “hope”.

“The calling to apply the values of faith to our society is one that has been heard throughout the ages,” he said. “I think about the evangelicals I know who may not agree with me on every issue” – he was thinking of abortion – “but know that poverty has no place in a land of plenty.”

On the economy, the closely fought battle for Ohio has led Clinton and Obama to adopt populist, protectionist policies that have alarmed America’s main trading partners, including Britain. Even so, he takes time in his speeches to praise capitalism and entrepreneurship. Peter Wehner, a former White House adviser to George W Bush, believes Obama is a “completely orthodox liberal” whom McCain will be able to defeat on the issues. However, he could pivot to the right once he is the Democratic nominee. “He should take two or three issues, such as merit pay for teachers or school choice for low-income kids,” Wehner said.

If education is to be Obama’s signature issue, he might consider appointing Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, as his czar. The billionaire media magnate last week ruled out running for president as an independent and said he would offer his support to whichever candidate took the most nonpartisan approach to America’s problems. The subtext was clear: “Hire me.”

Bill may tell Hillary to quit on Tuesday

IT is the burning question of the moment: who will have the courage to tell Hillary Clinton it is time to quit? Friends of the couple say the chances are that it will be her husband, and that he will tell her if she loses Texas or Ohio on Tuesday. He has already made it clear she cannot soldier on without a double victory.

If, however, she wins narrowly in both states but lags significantly behind in the number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination, then who will tell Bill Clinton to tell Hillary the game is up?

It could be Vernon Jordan, the African-American power broker who is so loyal to the Clintons that he arranged a job for the former intern Monica Lewinsky when she was no longer welcome at the White House.

The Clintons believe they could still fight on if Hillary wins the popular vote in Texas but ends up with fewer delegates under the state’s peculiar system, which combines a primary election with caucuses. Hillary’s camp is threatening to sue the local Democratic party if this happens but it could leave her with the reputation of a petulant, sore loser.

Leon Panetta, Bill Clinton’s former White House chief of staff, said: “There comes a point where you can drag this thing on in a way that doesn’t really give you the votes you need and it leaves a bad taste in the mouth.”

He regards the Clintons as “pros” who will know if the race is over. “In the end the former president and Hillary are going to understand what needs to be done. They get it.”

Clinton has been outshone by a candidate who resembles her husband more than she does. At a rally in Beaumont, Texas, Samantha Bartley, 40, said she had expected to vote for Hillary. “Because we knew him, we thought we knew her. Bill inspired me when I was young. Now I’ve got my 18-year-old, my 20-year-old and my 21-year-old all voting for the first time. Barack Obama’s charisma reminds me of Bill and makes me feel young again.”

Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for Obama, said: “The Democratic Party wants to be united and is looking forward to running against John McCain. Spending millions of dollars against each other instead of the presumptive Republican nominee is not going to help the Democrats to win the presidency.”

There was a rush of sympathy for Margaret Thatcher when she was ousted by her colleagues, even though the country did not want her back. If Clinton loses the race, Panetta believes, “It will be a tragedy for her. It’s everything she wanted and was prepared to do.

“All of us expected that with the money, the organisation and the Clinton name, she would win.

“The other lesson with the Clintons is, they always come back and that will be true for her. She could be the next Senate majority leader.”


March 3, 2008


Confidence in the air for Obama
By Jeff Mason
Sun Mar 2, 10:20 AM ET

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) – After 11 straight wins in the race to become the Democratic White House nominee, Barack Obama has reason to feel good and it is showing in his demeanor on the campaign trail.

There is a subtle air of confidence about the Illinois senator, even as he is quick to remind voters that he is not yet his party’s nominee and that he lost to rival Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire in January despite expectations of a sizable victory.

“It’s a tight race,” Obama told reporters on Friday when asked how he felt about this week’s crucial primary elections. “The Clintons are formidable.”

Clinton must score significant victories on Tuesday, when primaries are held in delegate-rich Texas and Ohio, as well as Vermont and Rhode Island, to keep her presidential hopes alive.

Obama’s solid performance in last week’s televised debate and his interaction with crowds at rallies in Texas and Ohio illustrate a growing conviction that he is on a winning path.

At a rally the day after the debate, Obama, who usually plows into his regular speech directly upon taking the podium, basked quietly in the crowd’s cheers while “City of Blinding Lights,” the U2 song that signals his entrance to the stage, played on.

During the debate last Tuesday, Obama deflected smoothly the attacks on his health-care plan and ties to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. But his quick look at Clinton, a senator from New York and former first lady, when they were asked about Russia’s new president indicated to some that he preferred she take that foreign policy question first.

At other events Obama seemed to ignore Clinton altogether, directing more criticism at Republican front-runner John McCain in a preview to what he clearly hopes will be a general election fight ahead of November’s election.


“Senator Obama’s confidence has grown as his political successes have grown,” said Ed Dorn, a professor at the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs.

But Dorn said the candidate had not gone too far with his attitude. “I see no evidence that he’s making a leap toward arrogance,” he said.

The confidence is clear throughout Obama’s campaign staff. Campaign manager David Plouffe poured scorn on Clinton’s chances as he discussed the stakes for the Texas and Ohio primaries.

“The Clinton campaign needs to begin winning big states with big margins to have any hope,” he told reporters in a conference call on Friday. “They are going to fail on that measure and fail miserably.”

Strategist David Axelrod said the staff was pleased but focused.

“We’re happy with the way that things are going but we’re also aware that we have a great challenge ahead,” he said.

“We’ve won some primaries, some caucuses. We’ve not won the nomination and we have to battle for that nomination and we know there’s another fight behind that that’s going to be very, very challenging.”

Obama said recently he would be facing pressure to drop out if he had lost as many contests as Clinton has.

“Look, I’m the challenger. I’m the upstart. I’m the insurgent,” he said. “She’s the champ. She’s part of the Democratic network in Washington and, you know, if you’re the titleholder, then you don’t lose it on points. You’ve got to be knocked out.”

(Editing by Bill Trott)


March 2, 2008


Obama marches toward White House
By Askia Muhammad
Senior Correspondent
Updated Feb 19, 2008, 11:59 pm

Senator Barack Obama speaks to his supporters at his Super Tuesday Rally at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Photos: Kenneth Muhammad/
WASHINGTON ( – Sen. Barack Obama continued his run for the White House with victories in Maine, Louisiana, Nebraska, Washington, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The wins over the Feb. 9 weekend gave him a narrow lead in “pledged delegates” from caucuses and primaries over Sen. Hillary Clinton in the battle for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. However, Sen. Clinton held a small lead when “super delegates”—elected officials and party leaders—were counted., an independent poll-tracking website, reported Mrs. Clinton had 1,123 delegates, while Mr. Obama had 1,120 delegates. The Illinois Democrat was projected to win an additional 15 delegates to nine delegates for the former First Lady in Maine.

Things looked good for Mr. Obama with his victories and expectations high going into the Feb. 12 “Potomac Primary” covering Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

The wins came after Super Tuesday victories and talk from strategists that Mrs. Clinton was focusing on winning in March. Her aides argued Texas and Ohio could be big victories. Mrs. Clinton also replaced campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle with Maggie Williams in a surprise move. Her campaign denied the change was a “shake up,” but many saw it as an attempt to halt the Clinton campaign’s freefall.

When Democratic and Republican Party strategists envisioned the Feb. 5 “Super Tuesday” presidential primary in 24 states, they anticipated a virtual national primary in which only the most viable, best financed campaigns would survive.

It was also expected to be a coronation, not a contest for Sen. Clinton. Sen. Obama came on strong, winning Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota and Utah.

“It seems to me that the expectation of the Clinton camp and maybe a lot of other people was that after Super Tuesday, Sen. Clinton would be, clearly the nominee-to-be, and all other candidates, including Barack Obama, would be gone,” Roger Wilkins, Pulitzer Prize-winning former journalist and now a professor of American Culture and George Mason University told The Final Call.

“And instead, they are neck-and-neck. The idea of Clinton’s inevitability, the idea of her access to far more money and resources than he had, right now that’s all evaporated, and they are neck and neck,” Prof. Wilkins continued.

While the Democratic contest is far from being decided, many objective standards now favor Sen. Obama being a more formidable candidate in the November general election against Republican front runner Sen. John McCain.

“If (Sen.) Obama is the nominee, he has the potential to win, and win comfortably and bring additional Democrats in” to office on his coattails, Dr. David Bositis, senior research fellow at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies told The Final Call.

“For one thing the enthusiasm and the record turnouts that are occurring right now, he is responsible for. People are not turning out in record numbers to vote for (Sen.) Hillary Clinton,” he said. And, while the Clinton campaign would like to assert that her gender-based campaign has generated energy and excitement equal to the Obama campaign, “It’s just not true.”

“If he is the nominee, not only does he not have all of the negative connotations that Hillary brings, including all the scandals and everything else from when Bill Clinton was president, he will bring that enthusiasm and desire for change, and arguably that’s the Democrats biggest edge right now,” Dr. Bositis continued.

But despite Sen. Obama’s “millennial,” “post-racial” campaign, race and racism are still likely to be important—if unspoken—issues in the 2008 White House race. In addition, Republican dirty tricks must not be discounted, if Sen. Obama wins the Democratic nomination.

What the success of the Obama campaign across most gender, race, economic, and education boundaries has done, is to “create this huge possibility, that everybody’s been talking about, and that is an African American president,” Dr. Ronald Walters, professor of political science at the University of Maryland told The Final Call. “And once people start looking at that in the face, I think people are going to gravitate toward it for one reason or another.

“I’ve said that was not the case because of American racism, but I think at least he can get through the nomination process. Republicans will ‘Swift Boat’ you. They’ll dog you, whatever. It will get down to race in the general election, no question about that, they’re good at that,” Dr. Walters continued, referring to the “Swift Boat” dirty-tricks campaign against Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee.

“You don’t have to have any baggage. That’s what Kerry showed. (Sen.) Kerry was a national hero, and they said he wasn’t. They found some people to say he wasn’t. It’s not that you have baggage, these people are creative in creating sort of a counter-narrative, and causing people to doubt whatever you say you are.”

With the Democratic campaign continuing on, possibly to the August convention, Sen. McCain has an opportunity during the interim to overcome his own considerable intra-party liabilities. He is the presumptive nominee with Mitt Romney’s decision to drop out of the GOP contest. Gov. Mike Hukabee, of Arkansas, isn’t seen likely to catch him. But the war hero has problems: Not only is he considered an in-authentic conservative, but his sometimes volatile, abrasive, argumentative personal style has some Republicans anxious about his fitness for the White House.

FCN is a distributor (and not a publisher) of content supplied by third parties. Original content supplied by FCN and News is Copyright © 2008 FCN Publishing, Content supplied by third parties are the property of their respective owners.

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