Archive for February 10th, 2008


February 10, 2008


Obama brings campaign to fervent N.O. crowd
Posted by David Hammer, staff writer February 07, 2008 9:59PM
Categories: Elections/Politics
With hope and change as his battle cry, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama came to a city in need of both Thursday, two days ahead of Louisiana’s suddenly significant Democratic presidential primary.

The Illinois senator, fresh off a strong Super Tuesday showing that left him in a dead heat with U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York for the party’s nomination, started his speech at Tulane University by highlighting signs of New Orleans’ resiliency: the Endymion parade’s return to Mid-City, the streetcar back on its traditional Uptown route, even the Super Bowl success of New Orleans native Eli Manning.

The only major presidential candidate scheduled to appear in Louisiana before Saturday, Obama also told a crowd of about 3,500 supporters that it will take change in Washington for New Orleans to recover. He pledged that if elected, he would restructure FEMA and make sure there is enough money to protect the area from future storms.

“I promise you that when I’m in the White House I will commit myself every day to keeping up Washington’s end of this trust. … And I will make it clear to members of my administration that their responsibilities don’t end in places like the 9th Ward — they begin there,” he said.

Obama spent more than half the day in New Orleans, touring an elementary school operating out of trailers in the 9th Ward and enjoying gumbo for lunch. He then headed to another Saturday primary state — Nebraska — as former President Bill Clinton prepared to make a swing across Louisiana today to campaign for his wife.

With the two senators in a tight battle for delegates, at stake in Saturday’s primary are 37 of the state’s 67 Democratic delegates to the party’s convention this fall. The Democrats apportion those delegates based on the popular vote in each of the state’s seven congressional districts. The rest are named by party officials or by the Democratic State Central Committee, the party’s governing body.

Obama and Clinton continue to raise money at a furious pace. Just since Tuesday, Obama has raised $7.2 million and Clinton has pulled in $6.4 million. Clinton, who loaned her campaign $5 million in the run-up to Super Tuesday, brushed aside the notion she has money problems. She pointed to the roughly even split of delegates still being allocated from Tuesday’s results as evidence her campaign has the financial muscle to compete.

“We’re going to be fine,” said Clinton. “By the end of the week, we’ll be back on track,” she told a television network.

Clinton is concentrating more on March 4 contests in Ohio and Texas, where polling shows her with a significant lead. She also is looking ahead to the Pennsylvania primary on April 22.

Crowd arrives early

On Thursday, the energy was palpable as a crowd of mostly college students lined up outside Fogelman Arena before dawn to await Obama’s arrival. With a line stretched across campus and down Willow Street, hundreds were unable to get in, so Obama stopped briefly to speak to a crowd of about 500 gathered outside.

Under the din of “Yes we can” chants and cries of “I love you, Barack,” Obama made his case as the leading agent of change, not by contrasting himself with Clinton, but by focusing on the Bush administration’s failures after Hurricane Katrina. The speech’s first big cheers erupted when Obama made reference to Bush’s flyover to view Katrina’s destruction, calling it a “metaphor for his entire presidency.”

The senator said that as much as he would like his positions and oratory to inspire people, many of his supporters are driven simply by knowing that “George W. Bush’s name won’t be on the ballot.”

Obama got another loud response when he took shots at Bush’s appointment of Michael Brown, who had no emergency management experience, as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Obama promised that his FEMA director would report directly to the president, as was the case before Bush took office and placed the position under the Office of Homeland Security.

“No more Brownie, no more heads of the Arabian Horse Association in charge of FEMA,” he said.

The Republican National Committee, which speaks for the White House on political issues, took umbrage with Obama’s comments and raised the experience issue, something Clinton emphasized as the campaign got tough.

“Instead of launching political attacks, Barack Obama needs to explain how his own short Senate career qualifies him to take over the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast,” said Republican spokeswoman Katie Wright.

But some local Republicans found themselves more impressed with Obama’s message than concerned about his experience. George Kobitz of Covington, toting an “Obamacan” sign — a contraction of “Obama Republican” — lumped Clinton in with Bush as part of the old guard that has to go.

“I’ve been a Republican all my life, and this Bush thing didn’t go over very well. If it was just Clinton, I would stay a Republican and vote for (Arizona Sen. John) McCain, but Obama’s about change,” said Kobitz, who drove to Tulane before sunrise to catch the speech. “The Bush-Clinton era is over. We’re sick of it.”

Some of Obama’s recovery proposals Thursday touched on issues already being addressed.

The candidate promised that he would make sure the Army Corps of Engineers has the money to finish raising levees in New Orleans to withstand a 100-year storm by the scheduled date of 2011. Construction is already under way, however, and corps officials say it is on schedule to be finished by 2011 with the exception of relocating three pumping stations to Lake Pontchartrain.

The crowd also roared when he said, “We should set a goal to approve every application for Road Home assistance within two months.” The state has already said it would pay 95 percent of eligible homeowners by the end of June. Norman Francis, chairman of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, said Obama’s statement was “nebulous.”

Francis, president of Xavier University, said he hasn’t decided whom he will vote for Saturday. But he led Obama’s tour of the city Thursday and was wowed by his speech.

“The speech was tremendous for New Orleans,” he said. “He covered all the bases. The enthusiasm for him was unbelievable. There is a clear inspirational side of his delivery, and his message totally energizes young people.”

Clinton’s campaign, meanwhile, attacked Obama for being one of 23 senators to vote against legislation in July 2006 to allow Louisiana to collect a share of revenue from new oil drilling off its shores, something that state leaders considered critical to the recovery. At the time, Obama said he opposed the bill because it would “lull the American people into thinking that we can drill our way out of our energy problems.”

“By voting against this vital bill, Senator Obama chose to score political points about ‘energy independence,’ instead of moving forward with legislation to provide a steady source of funding for recovery efforts in a post-Katrina/Rita Louisiana,” said a statement from the Louisiana Clinton campaign.

But Obama was among 79 senators who voted in December for final passage of legislation, as part of a larger bill, that directed oil drilling revenue to Louisiana and other Gulf states. Obama spokeswoman Shannon Gilson said Obama supported oil royalties for Louisiana, but opposed the initial bill because he thought it would be combined with a House package that would have allowed unfettered expansion of drilling off most of the U.S. coast.

Visit with Vallas

Obama also focused on post-Katrina education needs in New Orleans, touring George Washington Carver Elementary School in the Upper 9th Ward. Walking through the cluster of temporary trailers behind a public school bus depot, he learned about the Recovery School District’s challenges from an old friend, Superintendent Paul Vallas, who once ran the schools in Obama’s hometown of Chicago.

“Superintendent Vallas tells me that, ironically, even though these are transitional buildings, in many ways they’re superior to the buildings that existed before the storm,” Obama remarked as he paused in a makeshift gym — essentially a double-wide trailer with a large open floor space.

He spent more than 30 minutes there, asking teachers and administrators about their needs and taking questions from wide-eyed students.

Before heading to Omaha, Neb., Obama stopped at Dooky Chase’s restaurant in Treme for a lunch of chicken, sausage and shrimp gumbo with the restaurant’s 85-year-old owner, Leah Chase.

“You’re too frail, baby. I have to fatten you up,” Chase said to the lean Obama.

Chase, who is struggling to get her iconic restaurant back to full strength after Katrina, said she likes Obama, even though she’s always been close with President Bush. In explaining her change in allegiance, she summed up the message Obama hopes voters take to heart.

“Things move along, things change,” she said.

Staff writers John Pope and Ed Anderson, and The Associated Press, contributed to this report. David Hammer can be reached at or (504)¤826-3322.

Print This Page | Send To A Friend | Permalink (Learn More)
Share: Reddit | Digg | | Google | Yahoo | What is this?
COMMENTS (6)Post a commentPosted by mrchampagne on 02/08/08 at 2:54PM
I was at the rally and Obama is the real thing. I have only seen great presidents in historical documentaries and its about time I get one in my lifetime. Its about time our children can look up to the President of the United States and see someone they can be proud of. Its about time America’s reputation is restored around the globe so once again we can call ourselves the greatest nation on Earth.

If you’re worried about experience, remember that Dwight D. Eisenhower had zero years in elected office before he was elected president in 1952. Remember that John F. Kennedy, like Obama, was a junior senator in his first term when he was elected president in 1960. Remember that Richard Nixon spent decades in politics before he disgraced the presidency. Remember that George W. Bush served seven years as governor of Texas before he became the shame of a nation.



February 10, 2008


Five reasons Hillary should be worried

By: Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen
Feb 6, 2008 02:31 PM EST

Former first lady holds a slight overall edge in delegates but the map, money and momentum favor Obama.

Hillary Clinton survived a Super Tuesday scare. But there are five big reasons the former first lady should be spooked by the current trajectory of the campaign.

Longtime Clinton friends say she recognizes the peril in careening between near-death primary night experiences and small-bore victories.

Although the friends did not have details, they believe she may go ahead with the campaign shake-up she had been planning just before her surprise victory in New Hampshire.

Her team is girding for trench warfare, telling reporters that the nomination will not be decided until at least the Pennsylvania primary on April 22, if then.

Clinton aides told reporters on a conference call today that the Democratic Party’s complex delegate allocation rules mean that neither candidate is likely to take a sizable lead in the foreseeable future.

While Clinton’s campaign gloated about having the most total delegates for the cycle so far, her staff nevertheless recognizes that Super Tuesday was no triumph. Here’s why:

A trade dispute with sugar on top
Democrats struggle with ’08 target list
Super Tuesday over, superdelegates enlisted
1. She lost the delegate derby. Pure and simple, this is a war to win delegates, one that might not be decided until this summer’s Democratic convention.

And when the smoke cleared this morning, it appeared that Barack Obama had ended up with slightly more delegates in the 22 states.

Obama’s campaign says the senator finished ahead by 14 delegates.

With results still coming in, Clinton’s campaign says the candidates finished within five or six delegates of each other. Either way, Super Tuesday was essentially a draw.

Clinton may still hold the edge overall, but Obama is closing in rapidly.

2. She essentially tied Obama in the popular vote. Each won just over 7.3 million votes, a level of parity that was unthinkable as recently as a few weeks ago.

At the time, national polls showed Clinton with a commanding lead — in some cases, by 10 points or more. That dominance is now gone.

One reason is that polls and primary results reveal that the more voters get to know Obama, the more they seem to like him.

This is especially troubling for Clinton since the schedule slows dramatically now and a full month will pass before the next big-state showdown.

All of this allows candidates ample time to introduce themselves to voters in each state — which plays to Obama’s core strengths.

3. She lost more states. Obama carried 14 states, six more than Clinton, and showed appeal in every geographical region.

His win in bellwether Missouri was impressive by nearly every measure, marked by victories among men and women, secular and churchgoing voters, and urban and suburban voters.

4. She lost the January cash war. Money chases momentum, so Obama crushing’s 2-to-1 fundraising victory last month is revealing.

He raised more than $31 million; Clinton raised less than $14 million. The implication is hard to ignore: Democratic activists and donors are flocking to Obama at a pace that could have a profound effect on the race going forward.

5. The calendar is her enemy. Now that more than half the states have weighed in, there is a fairly predictable formula for determining who is most likely to win the upcoming contests.

In caucus states, Obama’s organizational strength shines: He has won seven of eight. Up next are three more caucus states, Washington, Nebraska and Maine.

Obama also runs tremendously well in states with large African-American populations, another promising sign since next Tuesday’s three primaries are in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia — all of which have significant percentages of black voters.

Then comes another caucus state, Hawaii, where Obama is viewed as a native son.

The bottom line is that it figures to be another month before Clinton hits a stretch of states — places like Ohio and Pennsylvania — where she will be strongly favored to win.

So it couldn’t be any clearer as to why the supposedly inevitable candidacy is anything but — even when she’s supposedly winning.

Join The Conversation (read all 1197 comments)

TeamPolitico: Feb. 6, 2008 – 2:27 PM EST
Five reasons Hillary should be worried

1. She is the most hated woman in America.

2. She has more skeletons in her closet than Bella Lugosi.

3. Bill Clinton is her some time roommate.

4. She is pro-illegal alien which means that 75% of all Americans hate her position.

5. She will say anything to gain more power and most of America knows it.

This is the first presidential election in US history where a leading candidate’s (Hillary) platform is self-pity.

Reply Quote Report Abuse
Location: NA

Party: Independent Reply #: 2

Date: Feb. 6, 2008 – 2:32 PM EST

blocker: Feb. 6, 2008 – 2:34 PM EST
It’s funny and ironic that the news give an edge to Obama in states where the voters are more educated! I just think it’s an obvious and sad situation for the Clintons!

No one intelligent could vote for Hillary. Well.. OK… unless they are on her payroll or will benefit from cattle futures

Reply Quote Report Abuse
Location: US

Party: Republican Reply #: 5

Date: Feb. 6, 2008 – 2:36 PM EST


It is presumed that she is: ***1. A liar ***2. A cheater ***3. A manipulator ***4. A Marxist ***5. A killer.
Whether the weather be cold, or whether the weather be hot, we’ll be together whatever the weather whether we like it or not!
Reply Quote Report Abuse
Location: NA

Party: Independent Reply #: 6

Date: Feb. 6, 2008 – 2:36 PM EST updated


I would vote for anyone other than Mrs. Bill Clinton She keeps harping on the lie that she has “experience” what a joke.
Reply Quote Report Abuse
Location: US

Party: Republican Reply #: 8

Date: Feb. 6, 2008 – 2:41 PM EST


Gotta love that RUST BELT racism! Sheets Byrd is from WV. The KKK and Arian Nation have a new home. Thank God it left the South. Thank you, Shrillary, for demonstrating that “red state” doesn’t mean “red neck.”
Bada Bing! Democraps nominating Hillary would be the moral equivalent of the GOP choosing Tony Soprano.
Reply Quote Report Abuse
Location: Mission Viejo, , CA

Party: Independent Reply #: 9

Date: Feb. 6, 2008 – 2:42 PM EST


This is a very good article. Yuu are hearing pundits and other people in the media that Hillary is most likely going to win, especially with the super delgates. Those super delegates can change their mind anytime, and if they see Obama has a slight edge they will back him. He is more likely to beat McCain than Hillary because he is attracking independents and few republicans. Replublicans have animosity towards Hillary and will rally against her, even some democrats. Especially because McCain isn’t that conservative. They are giving Hillary a lot of credit because she won the big states, even though this is a delegate race. If Obama is in the general election, he will still win those states because democrats will back him. He won more red states, and if you look at the numbers more democrats came out than republicans in those states. The media is saying in the general election that those will go to replicans and it doesn’t matter. Last the primaries and caucuses coming up like in Louisiana, Washington, Maine, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland are probably going to Obama. He will get more delegates there. Hawaii also, which has a small amount of delegates. Ohio and Pennsylvania could be close. It’s too far too predict, they both have time to organize. I can only see Hillary winning Texas because of the Latino vote there, but it will still be very close, and they could ending up spliting delgates.
Reply Quote Report Abuse
Location: Rockville, United States

Party: Conservative Reply #: 10

Date: Feb. 6, 2008 – 2:42 PM EST


please let this be true. hopefully maryland will give barack a big victory next week. I’ll be voting for Huck, and if it’s Huck-Obama then we’ll have two great candidates.
Reply Quote Report Abuse
Location: Seattle, USA

Party: Republican Reply #: 11

Date: Feb. 6, 2008 – 2:43 PM EST


And number 6….SHE IS A SOCIALIST!!
Reply Quote Report Abuse
Location: Mission Viejo, , CA

Party: Independent Reply #: 12

Date: Feb. 6, 2008 – 2:46 PM EST


Hillary can’t beat the republicans. They hate her and will go out of there way to vote against her. Don’t fool yourself. A vote for her is the same as giving McCain the nomination. Hillary is only winning because she is a woman and her name.

Reply Quote Report Abuse
Location: NA

Party: Republican Reply #: 13

Date: Feb. 6, 2008 – 2:46 PM EST


Go Obama! To put my depression about the Republican race at ease. At least there is some drama on the Democrat side, and Hillary might lose.
Reply Quote Report Abuse
Location: US

Party: Republican Reply #: 14

Date: Feb. 6, 2008 – 2:47 PM EST


RealVoter: Feb. 6, 2008 – 2:36 PM EST
Hillary has one major advantage over Obama: she knows how to defeat Republicans.

You are kidding, right? The GOP doesn’t even have to dig for dirt where she is concerned. Her Arkansas trash is littered all over the political landscape as if a tornado had just hit.

I don’t want McLame, but if YOU DO, just keep on working for Shrillary.

Reply Quote Report Abuse
Location: Boiling Springs, SC

Party: NA Reply #: 15

Date: Feb. 6, 2008 – 2:47 PM EST update

Obama needs to keep speaking to the point that the Clinton’s are the past and he is the future. His vison is contagious, I’m a Republican and I’m strongly considering voting for him if he gets the nomination. Do the Clinton’s believe that the eight years w/ Bill in charge are as good as it can get? I hope not… but it sounded as if Hillary thinks refering back to his time in the office is her example of what it will be like w/ her in charge. If we’ve already reached our potential we’re in a sorry state of affairs…

Reply Quote Report Abuse
Location: Dallas, TX

Party: NA Reply #: 18

Date: Feb. 6, 2008 – 2:49 PM EST


It seems that everyone wants to be the underdog, these days.

This morning on a conference call with reporters, Clinton strategist Mark Penn repeated several times that the Obama campaign is now the “establishment” campaign – citing superior January fundraising, high-profile endorsements, and even Sunday’s Super Bowl ad.…


Reply Quote Report Abuse
Location: US

Party: Republican Reply #: 19

Date: Feb. 6, 2008 – 2:50 PM EST


Miguelito: Feb. 6, 2008 – 2:46 PM EST
Hillary is only winning because she is a woman and her name.

Dude, she isn’t winning. Go get a cup of coffee and drink up. It is official… Barry has taken the delegate lead.

Reply Quote Report Abuse
Location: NA

Party: Independent Reply #: 20

Date: Feb. 6, 2008 – 2:50 PM EST


Why is anybody voting for Hillary? I’m hold no allegiance to political parties, and my voting order of the five remaining cadndidates would be as follows:

1. Obama

2. McCain

3. Romney

4. Huckabee


February 10, 2008


Deadline USA
Richard Adams

* Obama wins Louisiana and the USVI!
* Obama wins Washington state!
* Obama wins Nebraska!

Obama wins Louisiana and the USVI!
Women and black voters back Barack over Hillary
February 9, 2008 10:21 PM

Four wins from four primaries on the night for Barack Obama, but it sounds like the Louisiana primary was only a little closer than his other three wins over Hillary Clinton this evening.

Obama’s victory in the Democratic primary was powered by women voters, whom he won by 54% according to exit polls, and by black voters, by 80% compared with Clinton’s 18%. Clinton won the white vote – by 70% to Obama’s 26% – but not by a wide enough margin to overcome Obama’s advantages lesewhere.

With 98% of the votes counted, Obama had 57%, followed by Clinton with 36%, a healthy 20 percentage point margin. (A rough calculation suggests around 33 delegates for Obama, compared with 23 for Clinton, and so a margin of perhaps 10 delegates for Obama on the night.)

Elsewhere, Obama also racked up a huge win in the US Virgin Islands, taking nearly 90% of the votes and so winning all three of the pledged delegates available. (You know it’s a tight race when everyone reports the Virgin Islands results.)

%d bloggers like this: