Hillary Clinton AARP – Barack Obama AWOL

Update: from the comments (is this what Obama calls “new politics” – dissing the biggest voting bloc in Iowa?): Below are excerpts from the Des Moines Register story back in August when Obama said he would not attend the AARP forum:

The decision to not attend the AARP event, aimed at issues important to people 50 and older, could nag at the Illinois senator, some Democrat activists and political observers said. AARP is a national association formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons.

“I understand what he’s trying to do, and I guess I’ll cut him some slack,” said undecided Iowa City Democrat Anne Tanner, who is 68. “But the audience skews older in Iowa, and I don’t think a lot of them are going to understand.”

The AARP forum is expected to focus on issues such as health care and retirement security, top concerns for Iowa’s 50-and-older crowd.

That group also has carried disproportionate clout in recent caucuses, according to Iowa Democratic Party statistics.

In 2004, 64 percent of the people who participated in the Democratic presidential caucuses were 50 or older. In 2000, the figure was 63 percent.

Iowa State University political science professor Dianne Bystrom said she would have thought Obama would have made an exception for the AARP forum.

“He may not think that’s his political base,” said Bystrom, whose expertise includes debate strategy. “But it’s the older voters that go to the caucuses, and I think he’s really passing up an opportunity to speak to those voters.”
——————————

Just a reminder: tomorrow is the AARP Democratic Candidate Forum in Davenport, Iowa. The forum will be at 7:00 p.m. The moderator will be Judy Woodruff. We will have full coverage all day tomorrow and of course will be on the job during the forum. Hillary Clinton will attend the forum.

Another reminder: Hillary was the only Democratic candidate that attended the September 8, 2007 AARP convention attended by over 25,000 AARP members.

About 63% of Iowa caucus voters are seniors.

With so many senior voters in Iowa the question that must be asked is Why Is Barack Obama Not Attending The AARP Forum? Is the Obama campaign so braindead that they will blow off all these voters? Is Obama not attending because of previous unflattering things he has said about older voters?

John Edwards will attend the AARP forum even though he says he dislikes lobbyists. Well John Edwards dislikes the lobbyists he dislikes. Other lobbyists he likes. Which Edwards will we see tomorrow night? By the way John, AARP does a lot of lobbying (they topped Fortune’s 1998 Lobbyist rankings).

Quad-City Times reports:

It’s been 20 years since there was a presidential debate in Davenport, and this one may be the first to be nationally televised.

“This is extraordinarily good national awareness for the Quad-Cities,” said Joe Taylor, president of the Quad-Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau.

As of Tuesday, 286 public television stations were picking up the forum, including nine of the top 10 television markets in the country.

Five presidential candidates — U.S. Sens. Joe Biden of Delaware, Hillary Clinton of New York, Chris Dodd of Connecticut, former U.S. Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson — are taking part. Only U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois has said he won’t attend.

Two candidates who have been included in other debates, former U.S. Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska and U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, were invited to the forum but didn’t respond, according to AARP. However, they fail to meet the criteria set for participation, which includes having a campaign office in the state. Neither has an office in Iowa. [snip]

Divided We Fail is a coalition of AARP, business and labor unions.

On Tuesday afternoon, Fuller and a handful of others were readying Davenport’s 2,400-seat theater for a sold-out audience. [snip]

Later, lights would be tested. And, in the event that Obama “shows up at the door,” as Fuller put it, they’ll be ready. “We brought an extra podium, and we have extra lights,” he said.

What is Obama doing tomorrow that is more important than this nationally televised forum?

Guess, tomorrow is another Hillary day.

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51 thoughts on “Hillary Clinton AARP – Barack Obama AWOL

  1. Obama not showing up on a stage with Hillary is like the Washington Generals not showing up to play the Globetrotters.

  2. Obama said he has no use for Boomers. He said, he represents change with the GenXs and Y generation and is looking forward to representing them.. Uh, huh! I would say that is one reason why he doesn’t want to attend the AARP debate and another reason, his consultants said if he makes another major gaffe (with Hillary), fold up your tent and buy a one way ticket to Chicago.

    I’ll post a link referencing his statements in a NYT Article mentioning Boomers…in the next post..

    Mrs. S.

  3. Ewww…I just got all tingley at the prospect of a take down at tomorrow night’s forum.. All done of course with artful subtlety….and Obama feels Boomers are irrelevant. Is he aiming to be president of just “some” people? Does he really think he’ll get away with that?

    What disjointed thinking…

    Mrs. S.

  4. just so shocking that obama is not attendting. just as well then. let hillary tak more of the 50’s plus vote. GO HILLARY GO!!!!

  5. And with Gravel and Kucinich not there more time will be available for a substantive debate. It really is shocking if Obama does not change his mind and appear.

  6. Hi folks,

    This is hilarious. Elizabeth Edwards is accusing Hillary of ‘copying’ her husband’s plan. This is great news for Clinton campaign, it will likely make press talk about her healthcare plan and EE’s controversial remarks for another day or two. With enemy like Elizabeth, who needs friend? LOL.

    In her phone call, Ms. Edwards noted an eerie sameness between the health care proposal laid out by Hillary Clinton this week, and the one her husband trotted out this winter.

    She doesn’t use the word “plagiarize.” Nor does she speak of copyright infringement. But she does say “mimic.”

    And she suggests Clinton might “cave” when it comes to negotiating the details of universal health care.

    “I guess you could slip a piece of paper between what Ms. Clinton and what John proposed in February, but that’s about it. It’s remarkably similar,” Ms. Edwards began.

    Elizabeth Edwards accused Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton of copying the health care plan outlined more than seven months ago by her husband, John.

    The New York senator has failed to lead on an issue in which she has extensive experience, Edwards said.

    “Does Mrs. Clinton’s plan seem very familiar to you?” Edwards said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Mrs. Clinton has _ seven and a half months after John unveiled his health care plan _ unveiled a health care plan that is in every material respect just like John’s.”

    Edwards calls Clinton’s plan “John Edwards’ health care plan as delivered by Hillary Clinton.”

  7. Hey y’all, I wonder if lobbying and lobbyists will be discussed. I am getting kind of tired of that topic. mollyj

  8. Well, he can’t even join AARP as a full member, given that he’s under 50. So, what credibility can he bring or offer, not much! That’s why he stays away I guess, and maybe also he’s intimidated by the ‘older’ crowd who are impressed more with substance and nuance, not charming bits for the camera.

    But what a mistake, the over 50 vote is going to be huge, and getting more important (go boomers!). I loved it when Hillary was at the AARP convention and said basically I’m one of you, I’m turning 60.

    This Obama ‘campaign’ is pretty obviously not being taken seriously, by Obama! Is it then just a practice run until 2016? Let’s hope he grows up some more after Hillary’s two terms!

  9. Psymac, you have the most reasonable answer we have heard yet as to why Obama is not attending this nationally televised AARP forum. Frankly, we think this is exponential political malpractice but maybe you are right that Obama, who is 46 and has been courting the “youth” vote unsuccessfully – maybe Obama just does not want to be with all those old folks.

    Below are excerpts from the Des Moines Register story back in August when Obama said he would not attend the AARP forum:

    http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070824/NEWS09/708240378/-1/archive

    The decision to not attend the AARP event, aimed at issues important to people 50 and older, could nag at the Illinois senator, some Democrat activists and political observers said. AARP is a national association formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons.

    “I understand what he’s trying to do, and I guess I’ll cut him some slack,” said undecided Iowa City Democrat Anne Tanner, who is 68. “But the audience skews older in Iowa, and I don’t think a lot of them are going to understand.”

    The AARP forum is expected to focus on issues such as health care and retirement security, top concerns for Iowa’s 50-and-older crowd.

    That group also has carried disproportionate clout in recent caucuses, according to Iowa Democratic Party statistics.

    In 2004, 64 percent of the people who participated in the Democratic presidential caucuses were 50 or older. In 2000, the figure was 63 percent.

    Iowa State University political science professor Dianne Bystrom said she would have thought Obama would have made an exception for the AARP forum.

    “He may not think that’s his political base,” said Bystrom, whose expertise includes debate strategy. “But it’s the older voters that go to the caucuses, and I think he’s really passing up an opportunity to speak to those voters.”

  10. I’m not suprised Kucinich does not have an office in Iowa, it has been obvious from the get-go that his campaign only exists to raise his national profile. I guess you can say this about all the 3rd tier candidates, who comprise everyone but Hillary, but Kucinich is especially loathsoame because of all the naderite “the democrats and republicans are the same” nonsense he has speweed over the last several debates. Maybe that impresses that tall red-head college student he keeps around to keep him informed about what the young people are thinking, but it is extremly counterproductive for the people at large, and only works to raise the profile of his pathetic and self-indulgent campaign.

    I wonder if Obama’s no-show at this debate will get any media coverage? And what reason is Obama giving for blowing off one of the biggest contincuencies in the country? Raising money, like the old-time chicago poltical hack he is? Or is he just scared because of all his previous debate failures?

    I think he is scared because of his willingness to be a “Regean-esque” candidate and keep all options for social security on the table. Everyone at that forum knows that a “reagan-esque” all options on the table plan for social security is just code language for privatization and the ultimate destruction of social security. A Brave “new” world!

  11. I look at it as an opportunity. An opportunity for keeping the voting public informed, one of the 3 candidates could care less about Boomer needs. The Boomers fought in Vietnam as kids, they were involved in the Civil Rights movement, they fought for Women’s Rights and Child Care. Kent State (before my time)….What about V-War Veterans? Obama doesn’t care about them either.
    Al invented the Internets… 🙂 Heck, Boomers reshaped the country to what it was pre-Bush.

    What has GenX done?…I-Pod, I-Phone… what are their long term intentions? Strengthen the economy? Stop the War? What?

    Mrs. S.

  12. Edwards, Edwards, Edwards, huge screw up in NH, AP is reporting the details…

    John Edwards’ presidential campaign is asking for a criminal investigation after an aide’s internal e-mail messages were copied and mailed to some people he disparaged.

    Matt Spence, Edwards’ deputy New Hampshire political director, apologized and resigned after being confronted with the e-mails, campaign spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield said Wednesday.

    The e-mails disparaged some Edwards backers and people associated with other campaigns, notably calling some Barack Obama supporters “three losers and a lobbyist.” Bedingfield declined to release the e-mails; the contents were provided to The Associated Press by non-Edwards sources on condition they not be identified.

    In one e-mail, Spence used a vulgar term to refer to a woman in state government who was being courted by the campaign but decided to back Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton instead. He also disparaged a group of state activists as lax and referred to Obama supporters as “losers.”

  13. AARP: Statement on Obama Campaign Debate Schedule Announcement
    8/19/2007
    http://www.iowapolitics.com/index.iml?Article=102954

    DES MOINES, IA – AARP State Director Bruce Koeppl made the following statement about Senator Barack Obama’s campaign announcement not to participate in the Sept. 20 Democratic Presidential forum in Davenport.

    “We are very disappointed to learn that Senator Barack Obama’s campaign has made a decision to skip the Sept. 20 nationally televised AARP/Divided We Fail forum on the issues of financial security and health care from the Adler Theater in Davenport, Iowa.

    “In the past three weeks, Senators Obama, Christopher Dodd and Hillary Clinton, along with more than 100 Republican and Democrat members of Congress signed the Divided We Fail pledge, taking a strong step to provide action and answers on the issues of health care and financial security for future generations.

    “With the focus of this prime-time, national PBS broadcast on these issues, we are pleased that Senators Edwards and Clinton and Gov. Bill Richardson are committed to participating in this important public discussion of these major concerns of the American people.

    “We urge Sen. Obama and Sen. Dodd to recognize how critical a full discussion of these issues is for America’s future and reconsider their decisions not to participate in the Davenport forum.

    “More than 65 percent of Iowa’s caucus goers are age 45 and over. Health care and financial security for future generations are extremely important, top-of-mind issues they want to hear all the candidates address. We hope the candidates will find a way to be on the stage in Davenport before 2,400 voters and an audience of millions more at home.”

    AARP is non-partisan and neither endorses candidates for public office nor makes political contributions.

  14. Thanks for posting the links on O’s ‘senior moment’. I was just abut his age when I realized something: my parents were always going to be smarter than I was — they had a 25 year head start on me, they never stop learning and I was never going to catch up with them. I think O’s learning that lesson right now from Hillary.

    There isn’t any need for boomers to ‘step aside’. Today young people have the tools to compete head-to-head with their elders and if they outperform, they get to be CEO. One cause of the first dotcom bust was people getting promoted just because they were young — I saw some massive screw-ups by ‘cool’ kids. Today, the kids have to prove they can run the show. Fact is, Hillary kicked Obama’s ass in the ‘cool’ Youtube debate, she’s kicking his ass on health care, she’s kicking his ass on foreign policy. And she’s making history. A Woman President – that’s strictly a 21st century thing.

  15. Sociologists tend to say that the baby boom lasted from 1946 until 1964. Obama was born in 1961, so that puts him at the end of the boom. Obama is a boomer.

  16. Y’all boomers are suppose to play an important role in connecting the past, present and future. There’s a big difference in being a 60 year old boomer and a 40 somethin’ boomer, too. The importance of the 50-60 year old boomer’s is that many of their dads fought in WWII. They remember where they were the day JFK was shot. Obama was not born yet. The younger boomers don’t have the full appreciation for Vietnam, Camelot, Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, etc. Obama would’ve been seven years old when Martin L King, Jr was shot. The older boomers are busy becomin’ their parents’ keepers or eulogizers. The younger boomers-in their 4o’s are still growin’ up. Older boomers are becoming the elder’s…younger boomers, like I say, are not growed yet. There is a wisdom that hopefully does come from age and experience, depending on what your experiences are. That is one of the things that our girl demonstrates so well–that in addition to her book learning and committee work and grassroots work and work as a senator and first lady, she’s got wisdom and judgment. –mollyj

  17. Hsu to be indicted today. Not good news, folks. Damn!

    Things are going to get a lot worse for Norman Hsu before they get better. From The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.):

    Federal officials are expected to bring a criminal case against Norman Hsu today, charging the Democratic super-donor with operating a $60 million pyramid scheme and violating campaign-finance laws.

    The case, to be announced this afternoon by the U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York, encompasses complaints by investors who gave tens of millions of dollars to Mr. Hsu, who said he was putting the money into a lucrative apparel operation. It also is expected to charge Mr. Hsu with crimes relating to his legendary fund-raising.

  18. Actually, mollyrichards, the two groups you describe are two seperate generations: Baby Boomers (born 1942-1953) and Generation Jones (born 1954-1965). The old traditional definition of Boomers (1946-1964) has become increasingly discredited as more and more experts adopt the idea of an earlier start date for Boomers, and embrace the concept of GenJones as a distinct generation. In fact, it’d be fair to say that a concensus is emerging, based on recent books and articles, that this Boomer/Joneser model is correct. Google “Generation Jones” and you’ll see how big this concept has already gotten. Hillary is a Boomer, Obama a Joneser. I’m surprised that more people aren’t focusing more on this fundamental generational difference between the two Dem frontrunners; it seems like a quite fertile story…

  19. DCDemocrat, I always have to laugh when Obama’s clan wants to “turn the page” on boomers. They don’t see to understand he is one.

  20. LeftCoastSearcher, Staff has written a very interesting article on this very topic which for now is in abeyance while we cover daily Obama blunders and daily Hillary triumphs.

    We have all been trying to figure out what Obama’s winning scenario is and this led via a complicated path to this generational divide strata you describe.

    Many of us tend to see Hillary supporters as wiser and more … experienced; Obama supporters tend to be less wise and more infatuated with Obama as a person. It might well be a generational divide.

    It’s a topic fraught with complications and meaning. Maybe we should take our generational article out of the icebox – at least as a think piece.

    You are right that this is a fertile story and we too have been surprised that this has been discussed so little.

  21. Well, I just read that Dodd is going after Hillary. WTF? He’s not going to win the nomination. He’s just making it easier for the Republicans to win.

  22. Well…..i will be attending a Club44 event/rally , with Hillary attending, here in the san francisco area on sep 30th….for only $20.

    I got my hillaryis44 buttons and will be giving a few out……

  23. MP, we’ll be writing on that Club 44 event soon. Keep us posted.

    Yesterday, Hillary called out Dick Cheney and sort of referred to him as Darth Vader. Also yesterday, Tom Vilsack went after Giuliani. It’s as if the general election is on the menu, not the nomination battle.

    “There’s a lot that the rest of the country is going to get to know about Mayor Giuliani that the folks in New York City know,” Vilsack said.

    “I can’t even get into the number of marriages and the fact that his children – the relationship he has with his children – and what kind of circumstances New York was in before Sept. 11,” Vilsack said during an interview on NY1 last night.

    “There are lot of issues involving Mayor Giuliani . . . He’s got a very interesting past.”

  24. Why would Vilasck be so blatant? I mean, I agree with him, but now Chris Dodd is using talking about impeachment and how Hillary fouled up health care.

  25. MJ, as it gets closer to D-day, things will get a lot hotter.

    Dodd got some wind in his sails with the firefighters endorsement so he is making as much noise as he can before he folds his campaign. And maybe Dodd sees the collapse of the Obama campaign and the long dead Edwards campaign as an opportunity.

    As to Giuliani and Vilsack, think of it as a shot across the bow. This time Democrats are not going to be swiftboated or play by Marquis of Queensbury rules. This time we will fight back (recall the fight scene from Butch Cassidy). We won’t follow the Max Cleland or John Kerry campaigns and wilt under attack. Fight back – against the Ripublicans and the Naderites (who seem to be in a tizzy today due to the Senate vote against the Move-on ad. Interestingly the Naderites are silent on Elizabeth Edwards attacking Move-on too.)

  26. The DD website has an journal entry about Obama not voting on one of the MoveOn amendments today. One of the posters is also saying that he cancelled a South Carolina event late last night claiming he needed to be in the Senate for a vote on “Iraq.” He went to DC but skipped out on voting on the amendment that was nothing but Republican politics. I haven’t been following all this closely but avoiding the chance to vote against a Republican political move, evidently lying to organizers of a South Carolina event and then avoiding the AARP convention make me wonder why he’s even seeking high political office. Does he think that just avoiding controversial votes and debates he doesn’t like will greatly improve his chances? I don’t get it..these actions don’t even have common sense.

  27. AmericanGal good catch, he seems to have been playing this game of avoidance a long time now, someone should call him out on it.

    Molly you are so right that offense is sometimes the best defense, it could be risky though, but at the same time, when was the last time you saw a Democrat willing to stand up and fight for something rather than taking the ‘high road’ ‘rising above’ ‘not stooping to their level’ etc…?

    I think this is the time in history to actually go tough and dirty if needed, one of the things many people have criticized the Clintons for is that they will do anything to win.

    Well…..at this point in time I’ll gladly take it!!!!

    We need to win this fight for our children and their future!

  28. AmericanGal, Thanks for pointing out this typical Obama tactic of avoiding “controversial” votes. As this site has written about several times, Obama avoided votes that for some reason he thought were “controversial” by voting “present” several times while a state legislator in Illinois.

    Telling people you are going to vote, and then not voting, is just the new form of Obama’s tried and true political tactic of lying to people when you think they are not paying attention.

  29. Taylor Marsh has a story on Obama skipping the Cornyn vote.
    I say FINALLY someone tells it like it is:

    “Can we finally dispense with the utter nonsense that Barack Obama would have stood up against the Iraq war if he had been in the Senate at the time of the 2002 vote? I’ve been saying this for over a year. Mr. Obama gets credit for his speech before the war when he wasn’t in the Senate. But there is no evidence whatsoever that he would have voted against the force resolution. His calculation to vote for Boxer’s amendment today, then skip out on the Cornyn vote speaks volumes. Will anyone call him out on it?”
    taylormarsh.com/

  30. I would like to see that column.

    I was actually wonderin’ the other day if there is a speech on record from that time frame in which he even “spoke out” against the war? I don’t know. But if you’re not in Congress at the time, well, then, you can hardly say what you would’ve done, because people forget what was happenin’ at the time, and being reported. mollyj

  31. Obama took anohter hit by his beloved bigbloggers. Even unhinged Chris Bower has the following to say about Clintons.

    You know, I have to admit, that outside of the residual forces disaster, Hillary Clinton is rapidly moving up in my rankings of Democratic candidates for President. Say whatever else you want about the Clintons, but they don’t take bullshit Republican attacks lying down or cowering in a corner. And if there is one thing I can’t stand right now it is Democrats who won’t stand up for themselves, who stab their allies in the back in order to appeal to D.C. elites and Republicans, and then ask us to keep fighting for them. At least Clinton fights back, and hard, whenever attacks are directed her way. That is a big plus in my book

  32. Matt Stoller,

    Obama Betrays Us, Of Course

    In Dante’s Inferno, the Opportunists were “the people who refused to take sides on the whole good vs. evil thing, but just looked after themselves. As a result, they’re doomed to forever run after a banner while being stung by wasps and hornets… These people aren’t technically in hell. They’re not evil enough to be in hell, so they’re in the vestibule of hell.”
    Obama didn’t take a vote on the Moveon condemnation, but an hour earlier he voted for the Boxer amendment.

    What a sad spectacle of a politician.

  33. The worst vote avoiding Obama has done so far was his incomprehensible vote on womens right, he could like everyone else have vote for womens right, but instead opted for ‘present’, that just left me cold!

    Anyways, I’ve been looking for a long time now for an online streaming of the debate, that won’t happen cause I found this on Iowar Public television
    iptv.org/campaign08/

    The full debate will be available online the day following each forum. Check back for video of the Democratic forum Friday, September 21, and of the Republican forum on Friday, October 26.

  34. I got an e-mail from amazon.com about a new book about Hillary. Sounds interesting. Here’s a blurb:

    For nearly three decades, political observers have sought to understand the complex relationship between Hillary Clinton’s faith and her politics. Now, in this first spiritual biography of the former first lady, acclaimed historian Paul Kengor sets out to answer the elusive question: What does Hillary Clinton believe?

    Based on exhaustive research, God and Hillary Clinton tells the surprising story of Hillary’s spiritual evolution, detailing how her lifelong religious beliefs have intertwined with her personal history to make her the politician that she is today.

  35. Thanks, Admin and LeftCoastSearcher for fleshing out my idea pointing to Obama indifference to Boomers. Obama’s NO-SHOW tonight is proof positive he discriminates against Boomers. We are not his people! (fine with me)

    I always knew this had to be a huge weakness in his presidential quest and no one would listen to me as to the importance of a presidential candidate catering to a specific demographic completely ignoring the Triad of Boomers, the Elderly, the Vietnam Vets, Womens and Childrens Rights etc.

    Particular Thanks to LCR for labeling the trio of Boomers into specific categories as we all relate to the demographic unique to ourselves..

    Much Thanks and Appreciation to ALL,

    Mrs. S.

    note to Hillary…Nail his *ASS* to the Barn door tonight! (as you are the best at telling him to go to Hell, and have him looking forward to the Trip!!)

  36. mj, I just read what Dodd said, and I agree with admin on this. It was a shot across the bow. Remember Rudy’s ridiculous attacks on Hillary with all that MoveOn crap last week? The Vilsack comments are undoubtedly a message to Rudy that two can play this game.

    Dodd’s missing that. His statement that this risks opening a can of worms because of Bill’s impeachment doesn’t make sense because Hillary’s personal life has always been an issue the GOP has tried to exploit anyway. Now she’s saying if they try it again, Rudy’s marital history is fair game, too.

    I don’t think Vilsack would’ve said what he said if Rudy hadn’t gone after Hillary with such venom last week. They’re definitely related.

  37. I agree Paula, they must be related, the Clinton camp(vilsack seems to be apart of it now) doesn’t do a thing without it being thoroughly thought out. It would be kind of odd to just send out Tom in this way being so forthright outspoken(laughing at rudy as the interviewer noted) and there not being an consensus behind it.

    Heres a nice interview with Magic Johnson:
    tinyurl.com/2bs5gx

    Excerpt:

    Sentinel: How much soul searching went into your decision to support Senator Hillary Clinton?
    Magic Johnson: “It really wasn’t any (soul searching). It was an easy decision. When you think about 30 years and what she’s already done as a Senator and even before that. We need someone who has great foreign relationships and there’s only one candidate that has that—and that’s her. When you think about education, healthcare for our children, our families, it was really an easy decision. I was telling her to run a long time ago. I was hoping she was going to run now. This wasn’t a sudden decision. I wanted her to run and I’m glad she’s running and I think she’s going to do the country very very well.
    Sentinel: What do you say to those African Americans who are critical of you supporting Senator Clinton instead of Senator Obama?
    Magic Johnson: “It’s not about Black or White, it’s about the best candidate and for me he doesn’t have the experience. He doesn’t have the relationship. The worst thing we can do is get somebody in there who’s Black and then they don’t do a good job then what does that do for us? I don’t think he’s ready to be the president of the United States that’s just plain and simple. I love him, I wrote him a check and I told him I talked to him on the phone and I like him. I think he’s very articulate, smart, but he doesn’t have the experience. I don’t wanna get him in there and it’s all over his head and he will be way over his head right now.”
    Sentinel: Tell me about that telephone conversation you had with Senator Obama. Did you say here’s a $2300 check, but I can’t support you.
    Magic Johnson: Well, I’ll just say you have to be honest. I like him and really think that sometimes—it’s just not your turn. You’re not ready. He’s not ready. It’s almost like I picture him as a rookie coming into the NBA. He’s not ready. So he’s not the one. She IS the one. There’s only one person who can turn this whole thing around. The relationships she has already and the experience it will take him 8 years to gain that and then it’s too late. This is not about Black or White. It’s about who’s the best candidate.
    Sentinel: As far as Hillary Clinton’s campaign, what will your role be in supporting her and if elected, is there an appointment waiting for you?
    Magic Johnson: No. I don’t want a job. I got enough jobs. All I want to do is to make sure minorities get their due.I will continue to work in the inner cities. I want the Senator to make sure that minorities and our communities get what we’re supposed to get—better schools, job opportunities for people who live in urban America, better healthcare. So, I’m here to get the best candidate elected and I’ll be working side by side with her. I’ll be traveling around with her. After that, I’m here to make sure the Democrats are in power that’s what it’s all about.
    Sentinel: Can you tell us what other African Americans are on your team—Team Clinton.
    Magic Johnson: We have a bunch of them Attorney Willie Gary, Bob Johnson, Berry Gordy, Clarence Avant, and Quincy Jones. We’ll be here a long time if you want me to go through the whole list. A number of pastor and also community leaders like Sweet Alice. Celebrities are one thing, but you really need grassroots people and those are the people who get other people to go out and vote.

  38. That Magic quote is great, and realistically his support and Sweet Alice’s, etc. is more important than Oprah’s because they actually work in the nner cities with potential voters. Oprah doesn’t do anything other than hang out with other celebrities. 10 community leaders are worth 10,000 celebrities in terms of GOTV. Good move, Hillary!

  39. Magic Johnson is not only a basketball Icon and an AIDS health care example but he also is a big investor in inner cities. Magic Johnson owns a big chain of movie theaters which are located in the inner city. Magic Johnson theaters are visited by many African-Americans daily and by all ethic groups/races as well.

    Magic Johnson theaters are respected in the community and he has a great deal of respect from the community.

    That interview is very good. The NBA analogy is one many understand.

  40. Magic Johnson is a wonderful endorsement for Hillary.. (Head and shoulders over Oprah…)

    Just ckd tv listings for the debate schedule. The debate is on @ 8pm on wgbh in the NE, our local educational channel.

    Godd Luck tonight, Senator Clinton,

    Mrs. S.

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