Archive for the ‘Barak Obama’ Category

Obama has unwittingly enhanced his image as the African American candidate

March 24, 2008

By Robert D. Novak
The Washington Post 
Monday, March 24, 2008; Page A13

Barack Obama‘s speech last week, hastily prepared to extinguish the firestorm over the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, won critical praise for style and substance but failed politically. By elevating the question of race in America, the front-running Democratic presidential candidate has deepened the dilemma created by his campaign’s success against the party establishment’s anointed choice, Hillary Clinton.

In rejecting the racist views of his longtime spiritual mentor but not disowning him, Obama has unwittingly enhanced his image as the African American candidate — as opposed to being just a remarkable candidate who happens to be black. That poses a dilemma for unelected superdelegates, who as professional politicians will settle the contest because neither Obama nor Clinton can win enough elected delegates to be nominated.

Superdelegates, though they were inclined toward Clinton as recently as three months ago, now flinch at the idea of rejecting Obama. They fear antagonizing African Americans, who have become the hard-core Democratic base. But what if national polls continue their post-Wright trend and show Obama trailing both Clinton and Republican John McCain in popular support? The Obama strategists’ hope of reversing that trend depends on whether his eloquent race speech, which he continued to reprise on the campaign trail all week, can overcome videos exposing his pastor’s demagoguery.

Thanks to proportional representation, which was enacted as part of radical Democratic reform a generation ago, no candidate can replicate George McGovern‘s nomination victory in 1972 by capturing winner-take-all primaries. It is not possible for Clinton to score large enough victories in the remaining nine primaries (starting with Pennsylvania on April 22) to move ahead of Obama in delegates or the accumulated popular vote. Those goals became unreachable with the apparent Clinton failure to force a revote in Michigan and Florida.

That means Clinton must convince superdelegates that Obama is not electable — validating this judgment by a neutral Democratic leader: “It was a great speech, but it cannot overcome the powerful [Wright] video.” Since Obama’s race declaration, he has fallen behind McCain nationally in various polls and trails by as much as eight percentage points in Rasmussen tracking.

In head-to-head tests with Clinton, he is two points behind in Rasmussen tracking and has slipped in other surveys, though he is still leading. Polls in Pennsylvania taken before Obama’s speech Tuesday showed that Clinton’s narrow lead had expanded to double digits, and private surveys since then indicate the margin is growing.

To combat that, the Obama high command privately contacted superdelegates Friday to report that his Pennsylvania and Indiana polling numbers have “come back” (without specifying by how much). Obama agents are also trying to minimize the distinctiveness of his embrace with Wright by distributing photos and letters showing Bill Clinton‘s contacts with the Chicago preacher in 1998, when the president was wooing friendly clergymen in his campaign against impeachment.

The problem for Obama is that furor over Wright has reached beyond voters normally interested in political controversies. Over the past week, I have been asked repeatedly by non-political people about Obama’s connection with Wright’s tirades. In the process, Obama’s political persona has been altered — transformed from Harvard Law Review to South Side activist, as described by one friendly Chicago politician.

The Clinton campaign has shied away from official comment about Wright. But in off-the-record talks with superdelegates, Clinton’s agents claim that the connection casts doubt on Obama’s electability. Furthermore, one Democratic operative who is inclined toward Obama warns that the issue will be raised in much harsher terms by Republicans during the general election campaign. In last week’s Clinton conference call with the media, senior adviser Harold Ickes questioned “whether Senator Obama is going to be able to stand up to the Republican attack machine.”

The consensus among knowledgeable Democrats is that Obama will win over enough superdelegates to clinch the nomination before the national convention in August, partly because of fear about the consequences if he does not. But one longtime associate said this of the Clintons in private conversation last week: “They will do anything — anything — to get nominated.” That reminder deepens the Democratic dilemma.


McCain is Our Sort Of Guy

March 23, 2008

Let’s review the choices: we have a man who sat in a pew and worshiped with a pastor who is anti-American and anti-White.  This lasted for twenty years.

The Senator cannot divide himself from this man because he is a member of the Black Community.

We have a woman who has adored power so much she couldn’t wait to get her hands on the health care system when her husband became president.  But she was clueless about reaching out, building coalitions and making teams — so the effort crashed and burned in a big way.

And then we have John McCain.  He chose to be a fighter pilot — a dangerous and formidable line of work.  That profession got him into a prisoner of war camp — and into a life of torture.  He not only entered the life of the POW — he was a the role model for how good men might conduct themselves.

The communists said, after they found out that his dad was an Admiral, “You can go.”  McCain chose to stay with his countrymen.
McCain the fighter pilot with his shipmates.  Where are the photos of Obama and Hillary with their shipmates? 

John McCain served admirably in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.  His detractors say he reached way across the aisle too much to the likes of Ted Kennedy.

That is why we like this man.

Obama continues to hug a pastor with too little redeaming good — and we write this on Easter.  He is the “Pastor Disaster.”  But Mr. Obama refuses to get a divorce. Even when he really needs one.  We favor loyalty, usually.  We put a high regard on those that honor their shipmates.  But not when the pastor is a disaster — not when he is a racist and preaches hate.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., left, shown here with his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

And Hillary, is, well, Hillary.  A Little Rock attorney of merit that linked herself forever to Bill.  There seems to be a certain lack of character there, depending upon what your definition of “is” “is.”

Her “boy” James Carville called Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico “Judas,” today, Easter Sunday.

Mr. Richardson replied, “I’m not going to get in the gutter like that.”

“And you know, that’s typical of many of the people around Senator Clinton. They think they have a sense of entitlement to the presidency,” said the one time Ambassodor to the U.N. 

US. Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain is ... 

“I faced in Vietnam, at times, very real threats to life and limb,” McCain said. “But while my sense of honor was tested in prison, it was not questioned.”
John McCain as he came home from Hanoi.

US Republican candidate John McCain visits the Western Wall ...
US Republican candidate John McCain visits the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
(AFP/Menahem Kahana)

Pressure grows on Democrats to unite behind a candidate

March 23, 2008
by Michael Mathes

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Democrats came under mounting pressure Sunday to close ranks behind a single candidate, as Hillary Clinton faces dwindling mathematical possibilities of defeating Barack Obama for her party’s nod for the White House.

The increasingly bitter presidential campaign faces weeks of harsh confrontation ahead of next month’s crucial primary clash in Pennsylvania, one of 10 remaining contests to decide who will face off against Republican John McCain in November.

New York Senator Clinton is in an uphill battle to shrink the gap between her and Obama, the Illinois senator who holds a lead in the number of nominating delegates, the percentage of the nationwide popular vote and the number of contests won in the 2008 campaign.

Some analysts were saying Clinton’s chances of pulling out a victory were receding by the day, with respected US newspaper Politico stressing Obama would have to be “hit by a political meteor” for Clinton to win the nomination.

Clinton’s own campaign reportedly has acknowledged that there is virtually no way she can finish ahead of Obama in pledged delegates.

“She will be close to him but certainly not equal to him in pledged delegates,” a Clinton advisor told Politico.

Estimates show Obama leading the former first lady in pledged delegates 1,628 to 1,493, and ahead in the primary popular vote by some 750,000 people.

A Democratic presidential contender would need 2,025 delegates to secure the nomination, but with just about 500 more delegates still up for grabs it will be virtually impossible for either to win the contest outright.

That leaves the Democratic contest in the hands of 796 superdelegates, assigned by the Democratic National Committee, who can vote the way they wish at the convention.

Independent website puts the superdelegate count at 250 for Clinton and 214 for Obama as of Sunday.

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who threw his support behind Obama on Friday….

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A Brilliant Fraud: Obama and The Reverend, No Deal

March 23, 2008

 By Charles Krauthammer

 Charles Krauthammer

The Washington Post

Friday, March 21, 2008; Page A17

The beauty of a speech is that you don’t just give the answers, you provide your own questions. “Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes.” So said Barack Obama, in his Philadelphia speech about his pastor, friend, mentor and spiritual adviser of 20 years, Jeremiah Wright.

An interesting, if belated, admission. But the more important question is: which“controversial” remarks?

Wright’s assertion from the pulpit that the U.S. government invented HIV “as a means of genocide against people of color”? Wright’s claim that America was morally responsible for Sept. 11 — “chickens coming home to roost” — because of, among other crimes, Hiroshima and Nagasaki? (Obama says he missed church that day. Had he never heard about it?) .
What about the charge that the U.S. government (of Franklin Roosevelt, mind you) knew about Pearl Harbor, but lied about it? Or that the government gives drugs to black people, presumably to enslave and imprison them?

Obama condemns such statements as wrong and divisive, then frames the next question: “There will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough. Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church?”

But that is not the question. The question is why didn’t he leave that church? Why didn’t he leave — why doesn’t he leave even today — a pastor who thundered not once but three times from the pulpit (on a DVD the church proudly sells) “God damn America”? Obama’s 5,000-word speech, fawned over as a great meditation on race, is little more than an elegantly crafted, brilliantly sophistic justification of that scandalous dereliction.

His defense rests on two central propositions: (a) moral equivalence and (b) white guilt.

(a) Moral equivalence. Sure, says Obama, there’s Wright, but at the other “end of the spectrum” there’s Geraldine Ferraro, opponents of affirmative action and his own white grandmother, “who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.” But did she shout them in a crowded theater to incite, enrage and poison others?

“I can no more disown [Wright] than I can my white grandmother.” What exactly was Grandma’s offense? Jesse Jackson himself once admitted to the fear he feels from the footsteps of black men on the street. And Harry Truman was known to use epithets for blacks and Jews in private, yet is revered for desegregating the armed forces and recognizing the first Jewish state since Jesus’s time. He never spread racial hatred. Nor did Grandma.

Yet Obama compares her to Wright. Does he not see the moral difference between the occasional private expression of the prejudices of one’s time and the use of a public stage to spread racial lies and race hatred?

(b) White guilt. Obama’s purpose in the speech was to put Wright’s outrages in context. By context, Obama means history. And by history, he means the history of white racism. Obama says, “We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country,” and then he proceeds to do precisely that. What lies at the end of his recital of the long train of white racial assaults from slavery to employment discrimination? Jeremiah Wright, of course.

This contextual analysis of Wright’s venom, this extenuation of black hate speech as a product of white racism, is not new. It’s the Jesse Jackson politics of racial grievance, expressed in Ivy League diction and Harvard Law nuance. That’s why the speech made so many liberal commentators swoon: It bathed them in racial guilt while flattering their intellectual pretensions. An unbeatable combination.

But Obama was supposed to be new. He flatters himself as a man of the future transcending the anger of the past as represented by his beloved pastor. Obama then waxes rhapsodic about the hope brought by the new consciousness of the young people in his campaign. Then answer this, Senator: If Wright is a man of the past, why would you expose your children to his vitriolic divisiveness?
This is a man who curses America and who proclaimed moral satisfaction in the deaths of 3,000 innocents at a time when their bodies were still being sought at Ground Zero. It is not just the older congregants who stand and cheer and roar in wild approval of Wright’s rants, but young people as well. Why did you give $22,500 just two years ago to a church run by a man of the past who infects the younger generation with precisely the racial attitudes and animus you say you have come unto us to transcend?

Democrats’ Bickering Boosts McCain

March 23, 2008

By Donald Lambro
The Washington Times
March 23, 2008

The increasingly nasty campaign between Democratic Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton is hurting them among independent and swing voters in key battleground states, and in the process is making Sen. John McCain the more appealing candidate, according to election pollsters.
Despite an unpopular war in Iraq and an economy tilting toward recession, issues on which Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton have been hammering the Republicans for more than a year, the conservative Republican senator who supports the war and says he still has a lot to learn about economics has edged ahead in national matchup polls and in pivotal states such as Pennsylvania and Florida.
“It’s been a bad couple of weeks for the Democrats, with Obama and Hillary continuing to snipe at each other, beginning the process of a thousand cuts,” said independent election pollster John Zogby.
“For Obama, it’s his problems with the white vote, which we saw in Ohio, and problems with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright story, and that’s reflected in the national polls, when a month ago, Obama was leading McCain by 6 or 7 points and this month is down by six. That’s a big swing,” Mr. Zogby told The Washington Times on Friday.
“At the same time, Clinton was down by five or six points last month, and by my polls, she’s still down about the same,” he said.
“Both Democrats are experiencing a problem, at least for the moment, among independents, moderates and swing voters. It’s pretty safe to say they can’t win in November unless they get those groups back,” the pollster said.
Other pollsters and campaign strategists have confirmed Mr. Zogby’s view that the Democrats were running into trouble as a result of their fight over the nomination and the debate over racial issues.
“There isn’t much time to heal. If you have a party made up of a disparate coalition of race, ethnicity and gender, that is very precarious and can be a hard thing to repair,” Republican pollster Bill McInturff told the Wall Street Journal earlier this month.

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It’s Not Compassion — It’s Wright-Wing Racism

March 22, 2008

By Michael Reagan
March 20, 2008
Most of the media and their fellow liberals were positively giddy over Barack Obama’s speech Tuesday, all but comparing it to the Sermon on the Mount.

I won’t deny it was a masterful piece of oratory — the man can be spellbinding — but when you stop to consider what Sen. Obama was really doing up there on the podium, invoking the specter of slavery and Jim Crow and the era of “whites only,” it becomes clear that it was a con job designed to make the voters as giddy as he knew his worshippers in the submissive media would be.

The speech was meant to be an explanation and expiation of his guilt for his years of remaining mute in the face of the outrageous anti-Americanism spewed by his pastor and bosom buddy, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

Until Tuesday, Barack Obama (you can’t use his middle name, which has now become the “H-word,” allegedly a code word for anti-Muslim rhetoric) had steadfastly denied he ever heard his friend and pastor make his hateful remarks. In the speech, however, he just kind of mentioned that… well, yes … he guesses he was aware of the Reverend Wright’s offensive rhetoric after all. Mea Minima Culpa.

He then launched into a defense of his friendship with the man he credited for bringing him to Christianity, and helping to form his social and political philosophy and set him on the path to a life of public service. Admirably, while denouncing Wright’s extremism, he refused to denounce the man himself.

Nobody expected him to declare Wright anathema and cast him into the outer darkness where there is weeping and wailing and the gnashing of teeth — one simply doesn’t do to that sort of thing to a longtime friend, benefactor and mentor even if he has been shown to have slipped the rails time after time.

What was not expected was Barack H. Obama’s use of a litany of America’s past racist offenses to justify not only Wright’s blatant hatred of white America but his suggestion that it was a sentiment shared by most African Americans. And that is simply not true.

Nor was it true, as Obama charged, that the Reagan coalition was created out of white resentment for affirmative action or forced busing.

He charged that “anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan coalition. Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime… talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.”

Poppycock! These are not only outright falsehoods, but echoes of what Obama learned at the feet of Jeremiah Wright and now preaches as his own beliefs. He learned his lessons well.

When he suggested that my father’s coalition was based on anger over affirmative action and welfare he was peddling a blatant falsehood as egregious in its falsity as Wright’s charge that whites created AIDS to wipe out the black population.

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First a Tense Talk With Clinton, Then Richardson Backs Obama

March 22, 2008

By Adam Nagourney and Jeff Zeleny 
The New York Times
March 22, 2008

PORTLAND, Ore. — “I talked to Senator Clinton last night,” Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico said on Friday, describing the tense telephone call in which he informed Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton that, despite two months of personal entreaties by her and her husband, he would be endorsing Senator Barack Obama for president.

“Let me tell you: we’ve had better conversations,” Mr. Richardson said.

The decision by Mr. Richardson, who ended his own presidential campaign on Jan. 10, to support Mr. Obama was a belt of bad news for Mrs. Clinton. It was a stinging rejection of her candidacy by a man who had served in two senior positions in President Bill Clinton’s administration, and who is one of the nation’s most prominent elected Hispanics. Mr. Richardson came back from vacation to announce his endorsement at a moment when Mrs. Clinton’s hopes of winning the Democratic nomination seem to be dimming.

But potentially more troublesome for Mrs. Clinton was what Mr. Richardson said in announcing his decision. He criticized the tenor of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. He praised Mr. Obama for the speech he gave in response to the furor over racially incendiary remarks delivered by Mr. Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.

And he came close to doing what Mrs. Clinton’s advisers have increasingly feared some big-name Democrat would do as the battle for the nomination drags on: Urge Mrs. Clinton to step aside in the interest of party unity.

“I’m not going to advise any other candidate when to get in and out of the race,” Mr. Richardson said after appearing in Portland with Mr. Obama. “Senator Clinton has a right to stay in the race, but eventually we don’t want to go into the Democratic convention bloodied. This was another reason for my getting in and endorsing, the need to perhaps send a message that we need unity.”

In many ways, the decision by Mr. Richardson, a longtime political ally of the Clintons, was as much a tale about his relationship with them as it was about the course of Mr. Obama’s campaign.

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Obama Draws Backing from Ex-Rival Richardson

March 21, 2008
By Jonathan Allen, CQ Staff 

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama picked up the support of New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who began the year as a rival for the Democratic presidential nomination. Richardson, in a statement posted Friday on the Web site of his defunct presidential campaign and e-mailed to supporters, also called for New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to end her own campaign for the nomination for the good of the Democratic Party.

Democratic Presidential candidates Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) ...
Democratic Presidential candidates Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) greets New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (L) as they take the stage for the Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum in Des Moines, Iowa, December 1, 2007.(Keith Bedford/Reuters)

Richardson served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and as Energy secretary during the presidency of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton‘s husband.

Richardson, in his statement, offered brief praise for the Clintons and their political contributions. But he said the long and contentious battle over the nomination needs to end so the party can focus on the general election contest against Arizona Sen. John McCain, who early this month secured enough delegates to clinch the Republican nomination.

“It is time, however, for Democrats to stop fighting amongst ourselves and to prepare for the tough fight we will face against John McCain in the fall,” Richardson said.

Richardson’s position as governor makes him the most prominent Hispanic official in the nation, and his past roles as a Cabinet official and a long-serving U.S. House member before that make him arguably the most accomplished Hispanic politician in the nation’s history.

The endorsement from Richardson could give a lift to Obama’s effort to improve his showings among Hispanic voters. Clinton has longstanding ties to this constituency dating to her time as first lady, and Obama — in his bid to become the nation’s first African-American president — may be hindered by longstanding frictions among some blacks and Hispanics over economic issues, ethnic tensions and political representation.

Richardson described Obama as the candidate who can unify the country, citing the speech the senator made Tuesday concerning racial reconciliation in America as he sought to distance himself from inflammatory remarks on race relations made in the past by the pastor at his Chicago church.

Senator Obama has started a discussion in this country long overdue and rejects the politics of pitting race against race,” Richardson said. “He understands clearly that only by bringing people together, only by bridging our differences can we all succeed together as Americans.”

Though Obama made only three glancing references to Americans of Hispanic origin in his speech, Richardson said he was moved.

“As a Hispanic, I was particularly touched by his words. I have been troubled by the demonization of immigrants — specifically Hispanics — by too many in this country. Hate crimes against Hispanics are rising as a direct result and now, in tough economic times, people look for scapegoats and I fear that people will continue to exploit our racial differences — and place blame on others not like them,” Richardson said.

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Racism concerns no stranger to pulpit

March 21, 2008

By Jennifer Harper
The WashingtonTimes
March 21, 2008

The tone and ferocity of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.’s comments about American racism which came to national attention last week may not be typical in many mainstream black churches. The content — concerns that racism persists — still surfaces at many pulpits, however.
Jeremiah Wright greeting President Bill Clinton during a 1998 prayer breakfast at the White House, to which Clinton had hand chosen Wright to attend.

Jeremiah Wright greeting President Bill Clinton during a 1998 prayer breakfast at the White House, to which Clinton had hand chosen Wright to attend.

“Inflammatory rhetoric is certainly a minor approach to congregations within black Christian circles. That rhetoric needs to be criticized. But the larger agenda Reverend Wright is pointing to, the deep frustration over racism, is a common theme preached at black churches across the country,” said Anthony B. Pinn, a professor of religious studies at Rice University.
“The topic is viable. The rhetoric is not,” Mr. Pinn added.
“No one can rationally attribute to an estimated 56,000 black American churches the comments of a black pastor in a black church which is a member of a white liberal denomination — the United Church of Christ,” said the Rev. Eugene F. Rivers III of the Azusa Christian Community in Dorchester, Mass.
“Everyone gets the point that those quotes were indefensible and over the top. Everybody gets that,” he said.
Supporters say that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is misunderstood.
Rev. Jeremiah Wright
Mr. Wright, who recently retired from the 8,000-member Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, has been family pastor and spiritual guide to Sen. Barack Obama for years. .
Mr. Wright’s sermons have included stark references to racism. In a highly publicized speech Tuesday, Mr. Obama affirmed his friendship with his pastor but repudiated his extreme opinions.

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Iraq war drag on economy: Obama

March 20, 2008
By Matthew Bigg

CHARLESTON, West Virginia (Reuters) – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said the $500 billion cost of the Iraq war is a drag on the U.S. economy and attempted to lay some of the blame for it on Republican rival John McCain.

“How much longer are we going to ask our families and our communities to bear the cost of this war?” the Illinois senator asked in a speech.

As Obama tried to translate public opposition to the war into support for his candidacy, a Gallup poll said his Democratic opponent, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, has moved into a significant lead over Obama among Democratic voters.

The March 14-18 national survey of 1,209 Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters gave Clinton a 49 percent national edge to his 42 percent.

The poll was a snapshot of current popular feeling, but Clinton trails Obama in the state-by-state contest that began in January to select the Democratic nominee to face McCain in the November election.

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