Saturday, March 31, 2007

Obama will be our next president!

Chris Rock submits his reasons why Obama will go. . .all. . .the. . .way:

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Jesse Jackson gives support to Obama's 2008 run

By Deanna Bellandi for the Associated Press:

CHICAGO — Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said Thursday he's backing Democrat Barack Obama in his presidential bid, giving his support to a new generation of black politicians.

"He has my vote," the Rev. Jackson told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

Jackson sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988, winning 13 primaries and caucuses in 1988. His son, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois, has already endorsed Obama.

Jackson represents a different era of black politician, battle-tested by the civil rights struggles of the 1960s with Martin Luther King Jr.

Obama, 45, is biracial — his white mother was from Kansas, his father Kenyan — and educated at Ivy League universities.

In his best-selling memoir, "Dreams From My Father," Obama said he couldn't even get in the door at national civil rights groups when he was younger. He wrote letters to them after graduating from Columbia University but said none responded.

In a statement responding to Jackson's support, Obama said, "This campaign has been about giving hope since Day One and I am proud to have the support of my friend Jesse Jackson. It is because people like Jesse ran that I have this opportunity to run for president today."

Jackson could help Obama to secure the support of black voters, a critical bloc in the Democratic primaries.

Jackson has a long history with one of Obama's chief rivals, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband former President Clinton. He counseled the two when the president's affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky became public.

But Jackson said his history with the Clintons doesn't complicate his decision to back his home state senator, calling Obama Illinois' "favorite son."

"It's not awkward at all," he said, adding, "I don't owe a debt to any of them."

Jackson said he will support the winner of the Democratic nomination, whether it's Obama or not, and he is talking to other candidates because of his agenda that includes the war on poverty and voter protection.

Although Jackson failed in his bids for the White House in 1984 and 1988, he said that helped make it easier for not only blacks, but women and other minorities to run for president and function at the highest levels of government.

"We broke down barriers," Jackson said.

Jackson said Obama has not asked him to campaign for him and he is not in Obama's inner circle of advisers and fundraisers.

"I just have an appreciation of him," Jackson said.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Obama Apple spoof video

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Obamarama Hits Iowa

Originally posted by Kiss Fan on his blog Truespeak:

This weekend Barack Obama made five campaign stops in Eastern Iowa - Dubuque, Clinton, Davenport, Muscatine, and Burlington. Although I currently live in Illinois, I grew up in Muscatine. My family still lives there and as luck would have it, Sen. Obama's stop was practically in my in'laws' back yard. It only seemed logical that I would go.


Things started on Monday when it was announced that Sen Obama would be visiting Eastern Iowa. My sister e-mailed me about the event, so I looked it up in the local paper. The event would take place in the gymnasium where my wife went to junior high and they were expecting over 200 people to attend. They were a little off.

According to the online information, the doors were supposed to open at 10:00. To be sure I got a good seat, I wanted to get there early. Well, daylight savings time screwed me up and I didn't get there until 9:20. However, the doors were already open and as it turned out I got a pretty good seat anyway. At this point, there were approximately 200 chairs set up on the gymnasium floor. By 10:45, the bleachers were entirely full as were all of the chairs on the floor and they had begun bringing in more chairs. By 11:00 when the local Democrats were opening the event, the staff had brought in somewhere between 50 and 100 extra chairs and there were at least 100 people standing along the walls. In the end, I would estimate that there were at least 1,500 people in attendance. According to the local papers, this had been happening at the other events, as well. The Telegraph Herald in Dubuque estimated 2,700 people while the Quad City Times claimed 3,700 in Davenport. (No official numbers on the Clinton appearance, but a local discussion forum claims that there were people who had to stand outside and watch through the windows.)

Finally, after an introduction from the local officials, the good Senator entered the room to a standing ovation.

He spoke of progressive issues like energy independence, wage inequality, education reform and funding, and, of course, ending the war in Iraq. This last topic received the most vigorous applause. He spoke for twenty to thirty minutes then took quesstions. He said he was going to take three, he ended up taking five. The topics included what his plans were if he didn't get the nomination, his plans for Iraq and Afghanistan, government waste, "Don't ask - Don't tell," and a question concerning the wording of a report that one of his oversight committees approved. He didn't have all the answers (more on this later) but he was open and attentive and never appeared defensive or evasive.

At the end of the event he announced that he would stay right where he was and shake hands, sign autographs, and take pictures for as long as he could. Luckily, I was the last person to get anything signed. He signed my copy of Dreams from My Father just before one of his aides took the Sharpie away from him and said that they needed to hurry up.


Living in Illinois, I've been to an Obama campaign event before. I've heard the term "Rock Star" applied to him on many occasions and I have to say - it fits. When he enters the room, the electricity is palpable. He is completely at ease in front of an audience. He doesn't give speeches at these events, he simply talks to everyone in the room. No notes. No teleprompters. No lectern. Just talk. He jokes, he laughs, he's self-deprecating, he's humble. However, he's confident and honest. I never feel like I'm being fed a bullshit answer. For example - I mentioned earlier that he didn't have all of the answers to the questions the audience asked. In particular, the one question about the wording of a particular report. His answer? "I don't know." He honestly said "I don't know." Where most politicians would give a bullshit answer that danced around the question without ever answering it, Obama said "I don't know." He then told the woman who asked the question to give her name and contact information to his aides and he would find out the information for her as soon as he got back to Washington and had a chance to look over the report in question. I don't know about anyone else, but I find that type of honesty refreshing.

In 2004, the Republicans enjoyed saying that America would rather have a beer with George W. Bush than with John Kerry. I guess that's supposed to mean something. I don't want to have a drink with my president. I just want him to be honest and trustworthy. (To say that the current administration has fallen short on the honesty front would be the understatement of the century.) As far as I'm concerned, the Republicans can have their President Blutarsky. I'm looking for an Atticus Finch, myself. In my honest opinion, Obama is it. He's the real deal. He's honest, intelligent, and respectable. God knows these qualities are severely lacking in our current leadership. I know that there are some people here who aren't sold on Obama. To those of you I say give him a chance. His policies are sound, his attitude is positive, his character is unimpeachable and his honesty is refreshing. If you can make it to a campaign stop, do it.

I hope this is helpful to anyone who may be on the fence about Obama. To close, I've got a few more pictures I'd like to share.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Obama Raises Cash In Clinton Country

From NY1 24 Hour News Channel:

Democratic Presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama stumped for dollars Friday in Manhattan.

The Illinois Senator held a fundraiser right in the backyard of his rival, Senator Hillary Clinton.

Obama's event was one of the hottest tickets in town. Tickets at $100 each sold out so fast the event was moved to the Grand Hyatt Hotel from a smaller venue.

"It underscores the essence of this campaign and that is this: this campaign is not about me,” said Obama. “It's about you."

And while Obama did not mention Senator Hillary Clinton, his wife took a shot not just at her campaign slogan but the perception of Clinton as a poll-driven, manufactured politician.

"I know that Barack is in this not just to win,” said Michelle Obama. “This race is not about winning because winning is not enough nowadays. Winning without dignity, without honor, winning without authenticity and truth, is not winning."

Obama had a glitzier $1,000-minimum "meet and greet" before the so-called "Late night with Obama" fete. And he's courting not just dollars but endorsements on Clinton's turf and many at the fundraiser say Clinton doesn't have the state locked down in support.

"I don't think anyone should take New Yorkers for granted,” said State Senator Bill Perkins. “I don't think Hillary is taking anything for granted and I think Obama's competitive here."

But one local politician was far less diplomatic.

"I can go so far as to say being from Bronx County, Clinton is certainly taking the African- American vote for granted,” said City Councilwoman Helen Foster. “I am always suspect of elected officials -- especially white elected officials -- that we see in black churches Sunday mornings when it's election time. We are more than just a Sunday-morning base."

Obama hopes to raise at least $1 million from Friday's events, but Clintons hopes to raise $15 million by the end of the month.

It will have to be seen if Obama can translate his hype into cold, hard cash.
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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Obama at Brown Chapel

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Obama's World

By Ryan Glim for the Politico:

The sensation that is Barack Obama knows no borders.

Global interest in the 2008 U.S. presidential race, and particularly in the junior senator from Illinois, has triggered intense media coverage overseas. And one thing is clear: Obama plays well way beyond Peoria — in Tokyo, London, Frankfurt and Nairobi.

In late February, Asahi TV, one of Japan's top networks, broadcast a special on the Democratic presidential hopeful that sent its ratings soaring, said Washington bureau chief Tadayoshi Ii.

Japanese audiences are more familiar, of course, with another top-tier Democratic contender, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., who always draws top ratings to his network's broadcasts, Ii said.

"Historically, they've known Hillary Clinton a long time," he said, speaking through associate producer Desdemona Keeler, who translated.

Now, Obama has become the first and only candidate to equal Clinton's star power in Tokyo, Ii said, adding: "Other candidates, not so much."

Correspondents covering the presidential race for other countries say foreign interest in the 2008 race is significantly higher at this point than it has been in past presidential campaigns.

Marco Bardazzi, a Washington-based correspondent for the ANSA Italian News Agency, which serves audiences in Latin America in addition to Italy, has covered two U.S. presidential campaigns during his time in Washington.

"Hillary and Barack are the big stars as far as the coverage is concerned. For us to have Italian journalists traveling to Springfield, Illinois, two years before the election is, by Italian standards, crazy," Bardazzi said.

But Italians also have special interest in former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Bardazzi said, "since he is an Italian-American and a very well known figure in Italy." Giuliani, who has said he's running for the GOP nomination but has yet to formally announce, has family roots that go back to Tuscany and the Caserta area, near Naples.

Though the German public is more subdued, interest in Obama is intense there, too, said Dietmar Ostermann, the Washington correspondent for Frankfurter Rundschau, a German daily newspaper.

Ostermann traveled to Chicago to look into Obama's background, interviewing residents of Altgeld Gardens, a community that Obama helped organize. His editors are clamoring for more, Ostermann said, but he's trying to keep it in perspective.

"Everything's early this year. I personally try to get not too much carried away because I know we'll do all these stories again in four months or so," he said.

On March 1, Ostermann wrote a piece on Sen. John McCain's announcement that he would announce for president, which the Arizona Republican made last week on "The Late Show With David Letterman." That was Ostermann's first story about a Republican candidate, he said.

The British press has shown similar interest in Obama, said Rupert Cornwell, Washington bureau chief for the London Independent, also a daily. Cornwell traveled to Springfield for Obama's announcement with about two dozen other members of the foreign press.

"The fact is, because of this country's importance and all its recent screw-ups, the politics of the succession of George W. Bush are watched like a hawk," he said. "I get the sense British readers are more interested in American politics than British politics."

One exception to Globamamania is Latin America. Marcelo Raimon, a reporter for ANSA who writes for a broad Latin American audience, said that Clinton is still the most famous candidate there but that the spat between her and Obama over Hollywood donors attracted much attention in the region.

The political figure who has gotten the Obama treatment recently, though, has been House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Raimon. Latin America is "fascinated" by Pelosi, largely because "South America is very matriarchal," he said.

Italians have similar interest in Pelosi, owing in part to her Italian roots, which the Italian media traced to Genoa. "She's not only the first woman speaker, but the first Italian speaker," Bardazzi pointed out.

Perhaps surprisingly, the continent showing the least interest in Obama is Africa, with the exception of the country his father came from, said Katy Gabel, an assistant editor with, which collects news from Africa and distributes it to readers in the U.S. "We've been seeing a lot of articles about Obama coming out of Kenya," she said.

As always, the closer you get to the ground, the more complicated the picture becomes. To Americans, Obama's paternal roots are generically African. But media correspondents — and audiences — in Africa are more aware of regional and tribal differences.

Writing in Uganda's Monitor on Feb. 22, columnist Omar Kalinge Nnyago wrote about Obama and his father, who belonged to the Dholuo tribe.

" … I can see my Dholuo friends … walking the streets of Nairobi with a gait, with that look on the face that says: 'When you refused to let us rule Kenya, we went to rule America,' " he wrote, referring to an Obama victory.

But that doesn't mean everyone in Obama's ancestral home would be happy. Wrote Nnyago: "I see one or two prominent Kenyan tribes not particularly excited to have a Dholuo at the White House."
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Sunday, March 04, 2007


Here are a couple of videos showing the inspiration Barack Obama is bringing to a beleaguered nation.

This first video is of Obama drawing over 20,000 people in Austin, TX. That's right, a sea of blue in an ocean of red.

Here is Obama's appearance in Cleveland, OH.

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Obama in Selma

Two videos from Barack Obama this morning in Selma, AL

Videos from the web site Oliver
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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Obama promises support for unions

By Deanna Bellandi for the Associated Press:

CHICAGO - U.S. Sen. Barack Obama pledged Saturday that the Senate would pass a bill making it easier for workers to start unions against companies' wishes, but acknowledged it won't be easy to get it past the Bush White House.

"We may have to wait for the next president to sign it, but we will pass it," the Democratic presidential candidate told a cheering crowd of more than 1,000 people at a Chicago labor rally. "We will get this thing done."

It may not be that easy. The Senate's Republican leader has said he will block the measure and the White House says President Bush will veto it if it gets to his desk.

The Employee Free Choice Act passed the House on Thursday.

Obama headlined the rally that included national and local labor leaders, along with fellow Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky. The event was sponsored by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31, which has 100,000 active and retired members in Illinois.

It was Obama's second major public appearance in his hometown in as many days, although the state's junior senator did not take questions from reporters at either event.

On Friday, Obama gave a foreign policy address here to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, where he emphasized his commitment to the security of Israel and castigated the Bush administration for failings in its Iraq andIran policy.

From Chicago, Obama was headed to Selma, Ala., to commemorate on Sunday the 42nd anniversary of the civil rights march that helped end segregation in the South.

People at the Chicago labor rally said they were pleased Obama made time in his schedule to attend their event, which was also held to show support for union organizing at a local health care system.

Correctional worker Leonardo Corbett said Obama's presence will help union organizing efforts.

Corbett said it's a real plus "to have somebody with this amount of national popularity come and support us."
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Obama laughs off 'politics of destruction'

By Alex Massie for

The battle for the hearts, minds and votes of America's black voters begins in earnest this morning in Selma, Alabama, where Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will remember and salute the civil rights movement, giving simultaneous speeches at two churches no more than 300 yards apart.

But the campaign for the Democratic nomination for president is already becoming unseemly as each of the leading candidates accuses the other of playing dirty.

The Clinton campaign demanded that Obama disavow Hollywood billionaire David Geffen, who is raising money for the senator, after he complained that although "everybody in politics lies", the Clintons "do it with such ease, it's troubling".

This, Clinton complained, was "the politics of personal destruction", prompting Obama to note that the Clintons had no problem with Geffen when he raised money for them.

Obama laughed off the suggestion that he return Geffen's money, thus demonstrating for the first time that he was prepared to play hard ball with the Clintons.

Last week rumours swept through Washington suggesting that James Carville, a former strategist for Bill Clinton, was deliberately talking up the prospect of an Al Gore candidacy to deflect attention away from Obama and quieten the buzz surrounding the Illinois senator.

African-American voters are a vital and reliable Democratic constituency whose support Clinton had counted on as part of a smooth accession to the party's presidential nomination.

Obama's declaration that he would seek the presidency himself, after serving just two years in the Senate, changed that calculation.

Actor George Clooney told Newsweek magazine that Obama had the ability to offer a vision for America that was reminiscent of the Kennedys. Obama, Clooney said, is "as good as Bobby late in his career and Jack from early on".

Obama has attracted extraordinary crowds - unprecedented in recent American political history - wherever he has travelled since announcing his candidacy: in Austin, Texas, last month more than 20,000 spectators came to see him speak. If Clinton is a celebrity, Obama is a rock star.

As recently as January, a Washington Post poll found that Clinton had the support of 60% of black Democratic voters compared with just 20% for Obama. The Illinois senator's star power and impact on the race have been startling, however, and a new poll this week gave Obama an 11-point lead among black voters as his share of their vote has increased to 44%, while Clinton's has been almost halved to 33%.

This is a troubling development for a Clinton campaign that had planned on steamrolling all her rivals by suggesting that opposition to the Clinton machine was futile since her triumph was "inevitable".

Obama's rise utterly contradicts that proposition, ensuring that the contest for the party's nomination will be long, bitter and expensive.

Clinton's hopes of emulating George W Bush's 2000 campaign, which also relied on the "inevitability" strategy, have not survived the winter.

Although Clinton still leads among all Democratic voters, her lead has been halved from 24% to 12% in just a few weeks. Momentum is on Obama's side.

Although he has been on the national stage for a matter of just a few months, 70% of black voters already have a favourable impression of Obama.

The suggestion, happily spread by Clinton surrogates and supporters, that Obama "is not black enough" has failed to catch fire despite the best efforts of black activists such as Al Sharpton. That theory rested on the fact that since Obama's mother is white and his father was from Kenya, the senator's background is scarcely typical of the American black experience.

And last night it emerged Obama's ancestors - albeit many generations distant - may have owned slaves. An amateur genealogical researcher traced Obama's great-great-great-great-grandfather and discovered he owned two slaves in Kentucky, according to reports.

Undeterred, Obama will be the keynote speaker this morning at the Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma, where civil rights activists gathered in 1965 for a protest march to the Alabama state capital, Montgomery. The march became an iconic symbol of the civil rights struggle after the 600 marchers were attacked with clubs and tear gas by the police.

At the same time as Obama speaks, Clinton will address worshippers at the First Baptist Church, just a few hundred yards away.

Although the Clinton campaign denies trying to "bigfoot" Obama, the seriousness with which they are taking him is demonstrated by the fact that Bill Clinton will also be present.

The former president made a last-minute change to his schedule to travel to Alabama, where he is to be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the National Voting Rights Museum.

Bill Clinton remains enormously popular with African-American voters and may prove to be his wife's most effective spokesman among the black community.

An Obama spokesman played down the significance of the Clinton campaign's attempt to steal Obama's thunder. "It's an important event," he said. "The more folks who commemorate and pay attention to it, the better."

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Editorial cartoons featuring Barack Obama

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Obama Now Leading Among Black Voters


When it comes to presidential candidates, all of a sudden Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is Black folks' favorite.

According to The Washington Post, Hillary Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) lead is shrinking, and Obama has pulled ahead among African-American voters. The shift in support comes just one month after most early polls showed Black voters backing Clinton – findings that African-American leaders disputed.

In a News poll last month, our users overwhelming chose Barack as their early presidential choice.

Although Clinton is ahead of Obama overall, her lead has been cut in half of late.

Analysts say some of Clinton’s luster is tarnishing for refusing to apologize for her vote in 2002 that gave President Bush the OK to go to war with Iraq. Obama opposed the war from the beginning.

John Zogby, an independent pollster whose latest data show that Obama leading Clinton among Black Democratic voters 36 percent to 27 percent said both Clinton and Obama face questions about electability in the general election, but there is firmer opposition to her candidacy in the electorate than there is against Obama's.

"Her third problem is that she has the misfortune of running against Jack and Bobby in one year," says Zogby, referring to President Kennedy and his brother Bobby, in a loose comparison to Obama and the third top contender in the Democratic race, former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina. "They are not to be taken lightly at all. As we see, Barack in particular right now is cutting into a very solid Clinton constituency."

The Black vote is crucial in the primaries. One-fourth of primary voters nationwide are African American.
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