Archive for the ‘Iowa’ Category

Late Friday: McCain claims he has momentum as Obama expands ads

October 31, 2008

Democrat Barack Obama confidently broadened his advertising Friday into two once reliably Republican states and rival John McCain‘s home state of Arizona even as he chastized the Republican candidate for what he called “say-anything, do-anything politics.” The GOP candidate, nevertheless, insisted to audiences in hotly contested Ohio that momentum has swung his way in the final days of the presidential campaign.

Obama’s campaign, capitalizing on his vast financial resources and a favorable political climate, announced that it was going back up with advertising in Georgia and North Dakota, two GOP states that it had teased with ads earlier in the general election campaign but then abandoned.

By MIKE GLOVER and JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writers
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In Iowa, where his campaign took off with a caucus win Jan. 3, Obama told supporters to expect McCain’s campaign to end in a crescendo of attacks on him. “More of the slash and burn, say-anything, do-anything politics that’s calculated to divide and distract; to tear us apart instead of bringing us together,” Obama told 25,000 in Des Moines.

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. ... 
Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. shakes hands with supporters at the end of a campaign stop in Steubenville, Ohio., Friday, Oct. 31, 2008.(AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

The Illinois senator said he admired a presidential candidate who said in 2000, “I will not take the low road to the highest office in this land.”

“Those words were spoken eight years ago by my opponent, John McCain,” Obama said. “But the high road didn’t lead him to the White House then, so this time, he decided to take a different route.”

McCain was spending a second straight day touring economically ailing Ohio, a swing state with 20 electoral votes that McCain aides acknowledge is central to a victory on Tuesday. McCain was behind Obama in polls in the state.

In Ohio’s hard-pressed southeast, McCain whipped up a crowd of several thousand at the county courthouse in Steubenville, telling them, “You’re going to be the battleground state again. You’re going to be the one who decides. I need Ohio and I need you.”

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081031/ap_on_el_pr/campaign_r
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Clintons Move to Tamp Down Criticism From Blacks

January 12, 2008
January 12, 2008
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WASHINGTON — The Clinton campaign moved Friday to try to quell a potentially damaging reaction to recent comments by Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton that have drawn criticism from African-Americans just as the presidential primary campaign reached Southern states with significant numbers of black voters.In a call on Friday to Al Sharpton’s nationally syndicated talk radio show, Mr. Clinton said that his “fairy tale” comment on Monday about Senator Barack Obama’s position on the Iraq war was being misconstrued, and that he was talking only about the war, not about Mr. Obama’s overarching message or his drive to be the first black president.

Al Sharpton, captured by Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

“There’s nothing fairy tale about his campaign,” Mr. Clinton said. “It’s real, strong, and he might win.”

Mr. Clinton’s fairy tale line and a comment by Mrs. Clinton that some interpreted as giving President Lyndon B. Johnson more credit than the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for civil rights laws have disturbed African-Americans….

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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/12/us/politics/12clinton.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1200160994-jLA3Qhs0vs1tAjImKwLT/Q

Related:
Sharpton, Jackson dilemma

Bill Clinton by
Perry Baker, AP
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Clintons In Hot Water With Blacks

By WAYNE WASHINGTON – wwashington@thestate.com

Sharp criticism of Barack Obama and other comments about Martin Luther King Jr. — all from people associated with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign — have generated resentment among some black S.C. voters.

The furor comes just two weeks before those voters will have a significant say in who wins the Jan. 26 primary here.

The Clinton-Obama battle has the potential to become a wrenching divide for black voters. Historically those voters have been strong backers of Bill and Hillary Clinton. But many black voters now are drawn to the prospect of a black man winning the presidency.

Those on both sides say watching the battle unfold in the Palmetto State, where black voters could cast half of the votes in the Democratic primary, won’t be pretty.

“To some of us, it is painful,” said state Sen. Darrell Jackson, a Clinton supporter.

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., had pledged to remain neutral as Democrats competed for votes in the state’s primary.

But the state’s only African-American congressman was quoted in The New York Times Friday saying he is reconsidering that stance in light of comments from Clinton.

She raised eyebrows in New Hampshire when she credited President Lyndon Baines Johnson, not the assassinated John F. Kennedy or King, for passing civil rights legislation.

“It is one thing to run a campaign and be respectful of everyone’s motives and actions, and it is something else to denigrate those,” Clyburn told the Times. “That bothered me a great deal.”

Efforts to reach Clyburn, leading a congressional delegation examining Asian port security, were not successful Friday.

Clyburn’s office issued a statement Friday night that lacked the fire of his Times interview.

“I encourage the candidates to be sensitive about the words they use,” Clyburn said in the statement. “This is an historic race for America to have such strong, diverse candidates vying for the Democratic nomination.”

Clinton expanded on her comments during a Jan. 8 interview on NBC’s “Today” show.

“Sen. Obama used President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to criticize me,” she said. “Basically compared himself to two of our greatest heroes. He basically said that President Kennedy and Dr. King had made great speeches and that speeches were important. Well, no one denies that. But if all there is (is) a speech, then it doesn’t change anything.”

GROWING SPLIT

A generational divide has opened among black S.C. political leaders that matches a key difference between Clinton and Obama.

Older, more experienced black elected officials, including Jackson and state Sen. Robert Ford, D-Charleston, back Clinton. Younger politicians — including Steve Benjamin and Rick Wade, who both made high-profile runs for statewide office, and state Reps. Bakari Sellers and Todd Rutherford — support Obama.

Rutherford bristles at the notion, offered up by some of Clinton’s supporters, that it is foolish to back a relatively young black man for an office that no black ever has held.

“If they are going to call themselves black leaders, and people are running by them to vote for Obama and they are standing there and pointing in the other direction, then maybe they need to be replaced,” Rutherford said.

Obama has gotten under the skin of the Clintons by painting Hillary Clinton as a calculating politician whose election would take the country back to the bitterly partisan years of the 1990s.

The Clinton team mostly ignored Obama’s digs in the early months of the campaign. But, as Obama moved closer to what became a resounding victory in the Iowa caucuses, Clinton and her supporters began to attack Obama.

A prominent Clinton supporter in New Hampshire said Democrats should think twice about nominating Obama because Republicans would revive his past drug use in this fall’s general election campaign.

Clinton quickly disassociated herself from the comments. But they were widely seen as a clumsy attempt by her campaign to remind voters about Obama’s previous drug use.

After Obama won in Iowa and Hillary Clinton’s path to the nomination seemed threatened, Bill Clinton came to his wife’s defense. He argued Obama’s rise had come without an appropriate level of scrutiny from members of the news media.

“This thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen,” the former president said.

Bill Clinton kept up the criticism, telling New Hampshire voters not to make the same decision Iowans had in supporting Obama.

“The voters there said, ‘We want something different. We want something that looks good and sounds good. We don’t care about achievement.’”

Obama supporters were outraged by the criticism.

“We expect a lot of Barack Obama,” Benjamin said. “We expect as much from Hillary Clinton. And we probably expect more from Bill Clinton.”

Jackson said it is fair to draw sharp comparisons between Clinton, who was first lady for eight years before becoming a U.S. senator, and Obama, who served in the Illinois state legislature before winning his Senate seat.

He said the Clintons, particularly the former president, have earned the right to be critical of Obama without having to worry about being seen as racists.

“We’re not talking about David Duke saying these things,” Jackson said. “Here’s a guy who was affectionately called the first black president.”

Despite broad popularity among blacks, the Clintons are employing a risky strategy in sharply criticizing Obama, said Marcus Cox, director of the African-American Studies Department at The Citadel.

African-Americans liked what they knew of Obama in the early months of the campaign, Cox said. But they wondered if white voters would support him. Now, after Iowa, some of those doubts are gone, and many black voters have come to see Obama as their best chance to have one of their own capture the White House.

Anyone who tries to get in the way of that, particularly anyone who is not black, will spark some anger, Cox said.

“The racial dynamic is always going to be there,” Cox said. “If you have a white female candidate attacking a black candidate, it might look racial. I think that would hurt (Hillary Clinton).”

Sellers, the 23-year-old legislator who won his seat in the General Assembly by defeating one of its oldest members, said he is angry about Hillary Clinton’s remarks regarding King’s contribution to civil rights legislation.

“I think those comments were insensitive,” Sellers said. “I think they showed a lack of concern about the struggles of African-Americans. I thought those comments were inappropriate.

“But,” Sellers added, “I still love Bill.”

Obama, Huckabee sweep to Iowa victories

January 4, 2008
By DAVID ESPO and MIKE GLOVER, Associated Press Writers 23 minutes ago

DES MOINES, Iowa – Sen. Barack Obama swept to victory in the Iowa caucuses Thursday night, pushing Hillary Rodham Clinton to third place and taking a major stride in a historic bid to become the nation’s first black president. Mike Huckabee rode a wave of support from evangelical Christians to win the opening round among Republicans in the 2008 campaign for the White House.

Obama, 46 and a first-term senator from Illinois, told a raucous victory rally his triumph showed that in “big cities and small towns, you came together to say, ‘We are one nation, we are one people and our time for change has come.'”

Nearly complete returns showed the first-term lawmaker gaining 37 percent support from Iowa Democrats. Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina appeared headed for second place, relegating Clinton, the former first lady, to a close third.

Huckabee celebrated his own victory over Mitt Romney and a crowded Republican field. “A new day is needed in American politics, just like a new day is needed in American government,” the former Arkansas governor told cheering supporters. “It starts here, but it doesn’t end here. It goes all the way through the other states and ends at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080104/ap_
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Iowa and 2008: Maybe a Time to Vote Your Conscience, Go With Character

January 3, 2008

By Jonathan Turley
For USA Today

With Iowans going today to their caucuses, the beginning of a new year and the presidential primary season dangerously collide for voters. Distraught voters can now couple their prior unrealized weight-loss resolutions with their unrealized political resolutions like finding a new party or moving to Canada. Yet, every four years, we end up fatter and madder by the year’s end. It is not the fact that, in a nation of more than 300 million people, our massive pool of potential presidents never seems to work to our advantage in producing high-quality candidates. It is not even the fact that our elections seem like contests of blow-dried, poll-driven robots. Rather, it is the overt insincerity of American politics. Candidates routinely reinvent themselves for the primary and then reinvent themselves again for the general election — often discarding prior positions like last year’s resolutions.

This election, the nation is debating fundamental moral and constitutional questions that demand something other than the usual transient or opportunistic views of politicians. A candidate’s views on taxation may change with time, even a short passage of time. However, changing one’s view on the use of torture or abortion or gay rights reflects a fundamental flaw in both character and conscience.

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Related:
Bill Clinton Stumps for Hillary; No Mention of “Character”

Culture: Romney Takes Swipe at Clintons

Hillary’s Potential Fatal Flaw In Iowa

January 3, 2008

 By Robert D. Novak
The Washingon Post

Thursday, January 3, 2008; Page A19

Sen. Hillary Clinton faces tonight’s Iowa caucuses not as the inevitable Democratic presidential nominee but seriously challenged by Sen. Barack Obama, thanks in no small part to committing a strategic error: premature triangulation. The problem is reflected in what happened to a proposal for a simplified, though far-reaching, health-care plan.

 Health care is a particularly sensitive issue for Clinton. Her failed 1993-94 plan is blamed inside Democratic ranks for the Republican takeover in the ’94 elections and for freezing the entire health-care issue for a decade. While her current call for mandatory health-care coverage might seem radical, it is criticized on the left as embracing “shared responsibility” with private health insurance firms (similar to plans by Republican Govs. Mitt Romney in Massachusetts and Arnold Schwarzenegger in California). That looks like triangulation.

Read more:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/02/AR2008010202487.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

US Education: Future is Bright

December 19, 2007

By Kamala Sarup

In the US, the educational system is highly organized, respected and therefore, more influenced by educated people in small communities. This means that school districts have lots of influence on what is taught in US secondary schools. In all parts of the US, but particularly in states like Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, and Iowa, most of these adults believe, more or less, in the literal interpretation of the Bible, just as most of their forefathers did. They teach it in the churches and Sunday Schools. They see the public secondary school teaching of the Biblical beliefs in children.U.S. 8th graders score average or above average in math and science on international tests.

Math and science teachings in U.S. colleges is good. Having taken hundreds of courses in a variety of colleges ranging from community colleges to ivy league grad schools, I can count on “good” teachers. The teaching becomes progressively better, I think, as one moves into more senior courses.  Because of increasing math and science achievement in high schools and colleges, US competitiveness in the globalized economy may be expected to progress.

“I don’t countenance more administrative burdens on high school teachers, which detract from teaching, but I think that the standardization of curricula is beneficial to US High school teaching. Theretofore, teachers taught what they wanted, when they wanted, If they wanted. The standardized tests bring focus to the math and science curricula and promote higher teaching ability in high school teaching and administration and comparisons of teaching quality can be made. This system is called competition and accountability. I like that because it has improved the quality of High School education,” says an educator Pieniaszek.

He further argued, “Because what US makes up in quality; that is, given a large population, it pushes 50% of the High School students into college and a few exceptional students become high achievers.”

Even on the other hand, the schooling in the underdeveloped countries becomes better, as it is in many of them, the students in those countries will become better scientists, engineers, programmers, and mathematicians. The teaching in most underdeveloped countries is also not bad. I think that if the US present increases fund in the quality of US education continues, then US living standards will increases.

“As I said, your mother must regard your education as a high priority to give you good education and an Internet access Kamala. Although it is an additional expense for her, it is an extremely worthwhile educational tool. You can learn about every subject through the school. However, I find that books are necessary to supplement the Internet at present because they cover each subject more thoroughly. However, some day, books will be obsoleted as the Internet becomes more thorough and as students around the world have computers and Internet access,” he stated.

Children are easily educated by their parents and neighbors as in the past in the US. Pieniaszek said “that’s a hereditary survival skill, i.e, think and do like the people around you and your chances are better of staying and procreating education. If the parents are educated, usually likewise their kids especially if the educators come from the same community and share the same beliefs. Then there are the schools who teach the maths and science, humanities while the kids are young. It is an impressive system. However, in the US, the schools have money and they are organized. They have determined that the kids are believing in an education taught in the high schools and college schools. It’s a good opportunities to the parents and the leaders.

How can educators and scientists in a democracy wage employment to protect their liberal methods. I say, we fight back in the classroom, in the courtroom and across the Internet (e.g., this forum) with time. Fortunately by my values, the environmental influences seem to be spreading generally around the world, in part caused by more education of worldwide communications, both visual and aural that shows more of the similarities than differences in behavior,” he added.

Journalist and Story Writer Kamala Sarup is specialising in in-depth reporting and writing on Peace, Anti War, Women, Terrorism, Democracy, and Development. Some of her publications are: Empowerment in South Asia, Nepal (Booklet). Prevention of trafficking in women through media,(Book) Efforts to Prevent Trafficking in for Media Activism (Media research). Two Stories collections. 


http://www.mediaforfreedom.com/