Did Mr. Obama climb out of that hole yesterday? It seems to us that the whole sorry episode raises legitimate questions about his judgment. Given the long and close relationship between Mr. Obama and the Rev. Wright, voters will ask: How could Mr. Obama have been surprised by the Rev. Wright’s views? How could he not have seen this coming? Mr. Obama didn’t help matters much by initially seeming to dismiss the furor building over the Rev. Wright’s Washington performance, just as he did with the initial uproar last month. At a media availability at an airport Monday afternoon, he displayed none of the anger and sorrow that etched his face in North Carolina one day later.
* * *
While Obama bamboozles – The rights of Florida and Michigan voters were defended today by demonstrators in Washington, D.C. – protesting at the Democratic? National Committee:
For the greater part of his campaign Barack Obama derided the substantive fights for civil rights in the 1960s as somehow relegated to the distant past. Obama swore he and he alone could “transcend” these important battles. Obama belittled Hillary Clinton and all the “baggage” Hillary would bring as a result of her challenges in trying to better the lives of all Americans. With those challenges Hillary gained experience… and enemies.
Obama promised a future free of fighting. Obama promised a future free of debilitating political fights. Those promises are long forgotten. Welcome to the trivial fight club: The Obama Drama.
Obama, The Great Pretender, was upset because mean ol’ Wright exposed Obama’s lies and because Wright showed “disrespect” for Obama and his pretentious campaign. It wasn’t God Damn America that irked Obama. It was mean ol’ Wright not respecting the new Messiah.
Obama supporters and Big Media (we are being redundant) declare that Obama in yesterday’s whine-a-thon has once again displayed great wisdom and courage. Obama supporters/Big Media declare, once again in error, that Obama’s “divorce” from Wright washes Obama clean. What Obama supporters/Big Media miss is that divorces are bitter, long-lasting, injurious affairs:
“After 20 years of loving Barack like he was a member of his own family, for Jeremiah to see Barack saying over and over that he didn’t know about Jeremiah’s views during those years, that he wasn’t familiar with what Jeremiah had said, that he may have missed church on this day or that and didn’t hear what Jeremiah said, this is seen by Jeremiah as nonsense and betrayal,” said the source, who has deep roots in Wright’s Chicago community and is familiar with his thinking on the matter.
Divorces, like waffles, have 2 sides. We have heard from the Obama side of the waffle. The world awaits “Pastor” Wright’s response. Obama can expect from Wright the same lack of sympathy Wright displayed to the dead of the World Trade Center 5 days after September 11, 2001.
* * *
Barack Obama in his “race” speech tried to drag all Americans into a politically advantageous “debate on race”. Instead of Obama explaining his lack of judgment Obama tried to turn the conversation into a discussion on race. Republicans now see Obama dragging all Democrats, not into a high minded debate on race – but into an electoral debacle.
Republicans will employ Obama to destroy the Democratic Party. Republicans are already mailing literature and now expanding their television advertisments across the country to tie Democrats to Obama’s “bitter” statements and “Pastor” Wright.
The Republican advertisments are having an effect.
Democratic candidate Travis Childers has been tied to Obama:
Travis Childers is now starting to run FROM Obama:
The B.O. stink is spreading to yet other Democrats in other races.
* * *
Why are Republicans tying Democrats to Obama? Because, in Hollywood parlance, he is B.O. Poison. Not Box Office Poison, the term used to describe bad receipts at the Box Office by uncharismatic actors, but – Barack Obama Poison inflicted by a once popular politician at the ballot box.
Even before the latest developments in the Obama Drama, Republicans saw Obama as a wedge in the general election because Obama cannot win white working class voters. In short, Obama is ballot box poison even when he is NOT nominated:
In the Buckeye and Keystone states, she scored 64 and 63 percent, respectively, of the overall white vote and racked up even higher margins among blue-collar Caucasians. Why does this matter? Because for more than 40 years, the ability to capture working-stiff whites has been the sine qua non for Democratic success at the presidential level. Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton did relatively well at this and won; Mike Dukakis, Al Gore, and John Kerry did not. Indeed, the writers John Judis and Ruy Teixeira have calculated that, to win the White House, a Democrat needs to win 45 to 48 percent of lunch-pail-toting white voters in the heartland states.
That Obama is having big trouble with such voters would be bad enough by itself. But making matters worse is his abysmal recent performance among white Catholics: He claimed 34 percent of their vote in Ohio and 29 in Pennsylvania. In the past two elections, according to Brookings Institution scholar Bill Galston, among others, white Catholics have emerged as perhaps the most pivotal constituency in the electorate—one concentrated in midwestern states that Democrats must win and whose dramatic swing toward George W. Bush was arguably decisive in 2000 and 2004. (According to Galston, in fact, that shift alone accounted for Dubya’s victory over Kerry in Ohio and Florida.)
And Obama isn’t merely losing godly ground among white Catholics. Whereas in Maryland and Wisconsin he outpaced Clinton by as much as 30 points among regular churchgoers of all stripes, in Pennsylvania she whipped him by double-digits among the observant, while he did best among those who never attend religious services. At the same time, whereas Obama used to routinely thump Clinton among voters describing themselves as conservative, moderate, and somewhat liberal, in Pennsylvania the only ideological cohort he carried was the self-described “very liberal.” In a flash, a candidate who once was hailed as post-partisan, post-ideological, and post-racial was looking like a typical secular lefty, with a base comprising college students, African-Americans, and upscale “progressives.” No wonder, then, that Judis—but not just Judis—has started to wonder whether Obama might just be “the next McGovern.”
The reasons for Obama’s image transformation aren’t hard to pinpoint. In the minds of more than a few white voters the controversy surrounding his association with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright has helped turn Obama from a candidate who is black into a black candidate. His now-infamous bitter/cling comments went a long way toward cementing a picture of him that was already forming—as a down-the-nose-looking elitist at worst, as a detached academic at best. His association with Bill Ayers, the unrepentant Weatherman turned elder statesman of Hyde Park, has helped his enemies to cast him as a spiritual descendant of old-school sixties rabble-rouserism.
Hopes that African-Americans and college students will come out in such great numbers that they will offset the anti-Obama vote are foolishness. Pennsylvania confirmed our thesis of The Rise Of The Anti-Obama Voter.
Remember how, to his credit, John McCain strongly denounced the talk show host who repeatedly used Obama’s middle name at a speech? Well, McCain doesn’t have to denounce that in the future. Wright made it legitimate.
“Please run and tell my stuck-on-stupid friends that Arabic is a language; it’s not a religion,” Wright said at a speech to the NAACP on Sunday. “Barack HUSSEIN Obama. Barack HUSSEIN Obama. Barack HUSSEIN Obama.”
Gosh, that muddled point really helps in a country where 15 percent of voters already mistakenly believe Obama is a Muslim.
SHELBYVILLE, Ind. – Barack Obama can talk about his childhood years in Kansas and upbringing by his white Midwestern grandparents, but if voters at one small-town Indiana cafe are any indication, he has a long way to go to convince them he represents heartland America.
”Obama has great ideas but his background scares me,” said Chris Leighton, 60, a secretary having lunch at the Chaperral Cafe in Shelbyville, in southeast Indiana. “Everyone talks about him being a Muslim and having ties to terrorism, but how do people really find out?”
The incorrect belief that the Illinois senator is a Muslim was shared by half a dozen others in the restaurant — a sign that dirty campaign tactics and Internet innuendo has taken root among some voters in Indiana, the next state to vote.
Construction worker Ron Debaun, 61, said he hadn’t yet decided whether he would support Obama or Hillary Clinton in Indiana’s May 6 primary, noting they both “have good ideas.” But he’s leaning toward Clinton.
What doesn’t he like about Obama?
”His Muslim ties,” said Debaun.
Why does he think Obama is a Muslim?
“Let’s just say that he admits it himself,” he said.
Retired locksmith Leslie Hedman, 61, said he doesn’t like any of the three candidates — Clinton, Obama, or Republican John McCain – because none are committed Christians.
”Obama is a Muslim,” he said. Where did he hear that?
”He said he was but then he said he’s not,” said Hedman.
Ironically enough, many of the lunchtime crowd said they were also turned off by Obama’s ties to Rev. Jeremiah Wright – the former pastor of Obama’s Christian church in Chicago, Trinity United Church of Christ.
“I definitely don’t like Obama because of the mess with him and his pastor. I don’t think he’s been honest about it,” said Candace Demmin, 37, as she had lunch with her mom.
”How can you go to a church for 20 years and not heard your minister say something off-color? Either he’s heard it and is lying about it, or he’s lying about going to church as much as he does,” said Demmin. “In which case he’s not the Christian he says he is.”
GWEN IFILL: Rob Christensen, let’s go to North Carolina. Is it true that, in fact, that Senator Obama has been losing ground? And do you know — is there any way to know whether this Reverend Jeremiah Wright controversy has played a role?
ROB CHRISTENSEN, The Raleigh News and Observer: Well, the race is tightening a little bit, Gwen. Whether it’s because of the Wright factor, I don’t know.
But this is what I do know. If you go into the rural areas of North Carolina, and the small towns, and you talk to white Democratic voters, you hear them talking about Reverend Wright. They bring it up on their own. You don’t even have to mention it to them.
So just anecdotally we know that it’s hurting some. And, of course, today the state Republican Party ran an ad that Senator John McCain denounced which features — which ties Senator Obama in with Reverend Wright and with two Democratic candidates for governor, both of whom endorsed Obama.
Want to know how bad it would be Superdelegates?
GWEN IFILL: Matthew Tully, let’s move to Indiana now. When we are paying so much attention here to these comments involving Jeremiah Wright, do they resonate at all? Are people really talking about them in Indiana?
MATTHEW TULLY, The Indianapolis Star: Well, sure, they resonate. And more than anything, they’re a distraction.
This is a state that hasn’t seen a primary of note in 40 years. And people are really excited about it. So it’s been pretty positive campaign up until now.
And now you have Obama having to deal with this distraction, when really this was kind of feeding into his message of change and hope, because people are really just showing up at the events and they were excited.
And you couldn’t help but notice the contrast today. Senator Clinton was in our office for our editorial board meeting. And she was kind of playfully toying along with Senator Obama, saying, “Why won’t you debate me? Come on.” She looked into the camera of our Web cast and said, “If you’re watching, come debate me.”
And at the same time, he’s in North Carolina dealing with this very politically sensitive issue. So the contrast really has become clear in the past couple days in Clinton’s favor.
Barack Obama did not have the wit nor the judgment, he says, to see neither through “Pastor” Wright” nor slumlord Antoin “Tony” Rezko.
Pastor” Wright has known Barack Obama for 20 years. “Pastor” Wright clearly does not think much of Barack Obama.
“Pastor” Wright has “flipped” on Obama. Will the slumlord friend of 20 years – Antoin “Tony” Rezko flip too?
For now, only some… Only some of Obama’s chickens… Have Come Home… To Roost.
Barack Obama just lost another father figure. Prepare for more Obama Drama.
In a stammering, weak, press conference Obama tried to flim flam American voters into believing that he is an innocent duped by mean ol’ “Pastor” Wright.
Big Media again swooned and wept at Barack’s humility and pain. Big Media will try, once again, to force feed the notion that the Wright story is over, and Boy, wasn’t that Obama just great and oh so eloquent and pained. As if.
Big Media put all efforts into trying to figure out why mean ol’ “Pastor” Wright was saying mean things about their Precious. Big Media did not care a whit about investigating Obama and why Obama sat in the pew for 20 years.
Obama’s stammering, weak, comments on his 20 year long “Pastor” were tepid, at best. “Whatever relationship I had with Reverend Wright has changed as a consequence of this.” Obama mumbled.
Obama is STILL a member of the church that applauded and triumphed – 5 days after the World Trade Center attacks – when “Pastor” Wright yelled “God Damn America.” Recall where you were 5 days after the World Trade Center attacks. “Pastor” Wright’s “God Damn America” was indecent and ill-timed at the very least.
Obama’s weak performance gave credence to Wright’s assertion that Obama is bamboozling the public with politician talk. Today’s speech was inspired not by unity or principle but rather by this afternoon’s SurveyUSA poll out of North Carolina showing Hillary within 5 points in Obama must win state North Carolina (and the big Hillary endorsement by North Carolina Governor Mike Easley and Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton).
In essence, Obama’s comic excuse is – he didn’t know. This defense is as weak today as it was in the original German.
Obama is running on a single word – “Judgment”. Answer: 20 years – Rezko, Wright.
Obama’s months long defense of his judgment on Wright (as with slumlord friend Rezko) is he did not know and anyway let’s talk about race. Obama wants Americans to ignore his 20 year relationships with Chicago hustlers and instead the great Messiah Barack Obama will lead us all in a discussion of race. NO.
The current Obama meltdown has NOTHING to do with Wright or race. The Question at issue is Obama’s judgment. Obama took his daughters for their entire life to listen to “Pastor” Wright because the big Wright church with thousands of voting members helped him politically.
RACE has NOTHING to do with it. “Pastor” Wright in a sexually suggestive way “humped” the podium at the church. It wasn’t about race – he “humped” the podium. “Pastor” Wright used the “N” word, in front of all the children and members of the church. Even rappers have tried to leech the “N” word from their vocabulary. But Obama’s “Pastor” used that word and Obama said nothing.
RACE has NOTHING to do with it. “Pastor” Wright made all sorts of nasty vulgar attacks on Hillary and Bill Clinton. Silence for 20 years from Precious Obama.
RACE has NOTHING to do with it. Vulgarity and scatology were not unknown at “Pastor” Wright “sermons“. Silence for 20 years from Precious Obama.
Obama’s “I didn’t know” defense is not credible. “Pastor” Wright not only had controversial things to say on race but the vulgarity and tone of his language alone should have informed Obama to remove his daughters from such an influence. That is, if Obama truly disagreed with Wright.
Many African-Americans in North Carolina will be just as repulsed as normal Americans – because they ARE normal Americans. African-Americans in North Carolina will reject Obama and his Wright antics.
“We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns and the training of professional KILLERS. . . . We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God. . . . We conducted radiation experiments on our own people. . . . We care nothing about human life if the ends justify the means!” The crowd whoops and amens as Wright builds to his climax: “And. And. And! GAWD! Has GOT! To be SICK! OF THIS SHIT!”
Obama sat silently in the pews with his daughters as they learned colorful language.
Obama Is Wright. Obama believes what Wright believes. Obama can’t politically afford to be exposed for what he is. But, Obama Is Wright.
Here is Obama speaking in “African-American tonalities”, as “Pastor” Wright would misguidingly describe it:
This is as openly radical a background as any significant American political figure has ever emerged from, as much Malcolm X as Martin Luther King Jr. Wright is not an incidental figure in Obama’s life, or his politics. The senator “affirmed” his Christian faith in this church; he uses Wright as a “sounding board” to “make sure I’m not losing myself in the hype and hoopla.” Both the title of Obama’s second book, The Audacity of Hope, and the theme for his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 come from Wright’s sermons. “If you want to understand where Barack gets his feeling and rhetoric from,” says the Rev. Jim Wallis, a leader of the religious left, “just look at Jeremiah Wright.”
Barack Obama Is Wright.
It’s time for Obama to follow “Pastor” Wright’s lead and retire to a big house.
The Obama campaign is once again flim flamming and flailing. The Obama campaign is pushing the narrative that Obama’s “Pastor” Wright is acting on his own – that Obama has no control over the “Pastor” of 20 years, that they are innocent victims of the verbose “Pastor”. Big Media weeps.
For Senator Obama, the re-emergence of Rev. Wright has been devastating. The senator has been trying desperately to bolster his standing with skeptical and even hostile white working-class voters. When the story line of the campaign shifts almost entirely to the race-in-your-face antics of someone like Mr. Wright, Mr. Obama’s chances can only suffer.
Beyond that, the apparent helplessness of the Obama campaign in the face of the Wright onslaught contributes to the growing perception of the candidate as weak, as someone who is unwilling or unable to fight aggressively on his own behalf.
The vetting of weak Obama, that has just begun, should have occurred at least a year ago. Now Big Media is weeping and Obama is scrambling. The Obama campaign is still pretending they are innocents.
When the uproar over Wright started, Obama chief strategist David Axelrod asked his friends at Jasculca Terman — a public affairs firm — to advise Trinity on how to handle the crush of media coverage, and they did, pro bono.
While MSNBC was waiting to go live to the event, an anchor asked Mr. Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, why the campaign had allowed Mr. Wright to refocus attention upon himself. “He is doing his own thing,” Mr. Axelrod said wearily by telephone. “There’s not a thing we can do about it.”
Yesterday’s helpless Axelrod forgot his earlier salvage Wright intervention.
And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions – the good and the bad – of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.
I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother….
Grandma is about to be run over… again.
For 20 years Obama sat in “Pastor” Wright’s pews. “Pastor” Wright humped the podium, used the “N” word, damned America. Obama, with daughters in tow sat in the pews, for 20 years. Instead of explaining his lack of judgment, Obama gave a flowery speech on race.
For months, GOP operatives spoke with dread of the prospects of running against Barack Obama in the fall. But after weeks of controversies over his former pastor, his views of blue-collar voters and even the sincerity of his patriotism, Republicans now are ready to place a $500,000 bet that Obama will be a heavy burden on down-ballot Democrats.
That’s the approximate amount of advertising purchased so far by the National Republican Congressional Committee and GOP allies to link Democratic congressional hopefuls in Mississippi and Louisiana to their party’s potential presidential nominee.
Superdelegates Beware, disaster looms:
Whereas Obama once seemed an almost cultlike figure who transcended race and class, the narrative that has emerged from his campaign’s recent trials has given Republicans hope that the Illinois senator can be tagged as an elitist with the same effectiveness with which Michael Dukakis and John F. Kerry were so labeled.
The elitist story line has provided Republicans with press release fodder against freshman Democratic House members and statewide elected officials in roughly two dozen states.
Republican-leaning districts could be particularly fertile ground for Obama-focused attacks, GOP officials say. “I think he’s the weaker candidate, and I’ve thought that for over a year now,” NRCC Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.) said at a briefing on Monday. “He’s very inexperienced. He is by any definition liberal and to the left of Hillary Clinton, and he will give us plenty of ideological divisions to work with.”
Besides the two special congressional elections in Mississippi and Louisiana next month, Republicans believe they can also exploit Obama’s vulnerabilities in House battlegrounds where he has struggled to win over key demographic groups. Those areas include three culturally conservative seats in Pennsylvania, where Obama lost badly in last week’s primary, and three Cuban-American districts in Florida that Democrats are seriously contesting for the first time.
In the Deep South, Republicans think making an explicit connection to Obama will allow them to hold on to districts where Democrats have gained traction by recruiting culturally conservative candidates who have distanced themselves from the national party.
Superdelegates Beware. Disaster upon disaster looms:
Still, Obama’s weakness among blue-collar, working-class voters has not gone unnoticed by members of Congress who may have to share a ballot with him.
Many freshman Democrats who represent culturally conservative districts, including Reps. Christopher P. Carney (D-Pa.), Jason Altmire (D-Pa.), Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), have stayed on the sidelines so far in the primary season.
Carney and Altmire are facing highly competitive reelection bids themselves — and last week’s presidential primary results could give them new cause for concern. Obama lost every county in Carney’s northeastern Pennsylvania district by double-digit margins — including the district’s Scranton-area base, by nearly 50 points.
Obama also performed particularly poorly in Altmire’s district, losing two key exurban Pittsburgh counties within his district — Beaver and Lawrence — with 30 percent of the vote or less.
Four days before the primary, House GOP leader John A. Boehner appeared at a press conference with Altmire’s Republican opponent and called on the Democratic freshman to apologize for Obama’s remarks about small towns in Pennsylvania. “It’s time for Barack Obama to apologize to voters here in Pennsylvania and across the Midwest,” said Boehner. “And it’s time for his supporters in Congress to defend their constituents and denounce Obama’s patronizing rhetoric.”
Hillary Rodham Clinton has won the endorsement of North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley, a surprise boost to her candidacy in a state where Barack Obama is heavily favored to win the Democratic primary.
Easley was expected to announce the endorsement Tuesday morning in Raleigh, the state capital, one week before North Carolina’s primary on May 6, according to people close to the governor and to Clinton. [snip]
Besides being a respected figure among Democrats in the state, Easley is one of the all-important superdelegates likely to choose the party’s presidential nominee.
Governor Easley is a winner standing with a winner.
Superdelegates – go with a winner – Hillary Clinton.
Today has been a particularly bad day for weak, limp, noodle of a man Barack Obama
This weekend has been a particularly bad weekend for weak, limp, noodle of a man Barack Obama.
This past weekend and today Obama insulted and spit upon the DailyKooks in a Fox News interview. The DailyKooks are so Kool-ade drunk they did not even realize those were insults hurled their way. This past weekend, Obama’s judgment once again became an issue.
On Friday, Sunday, and today, Obama’s “Pastor” of 20 years displayed himself in speech after speech. “Pastor” Wright took swipes at President Kennedy and President Lyndon Baines Johnson. “Pastor” Wright presented some “right brain” vs. “left brain” arguments to show how black and white people are different. Right wing “bell curve” theorists rejoiced along with Nazi eugenics cheerleaders.
Should it become necessary in the months from now to identify the moment that doomed Obama’s presidential aspirations, attention is likely to focus on the hour between nine and ten this morning at the National Press Club. It was then that Wright, Obama’s longtime pastor, reignited a controversy about race from which Obama had only recently recovered – and added lighter fuel.
Speaking before an audience that included Marion Barry, Cornel West, Malik Zulu Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party and Nation of Islam official Jamil Muhammad, Wright praised Louis Farrakhan, defended the view that Zionism is racism, accused the United States of terrorism, repeated his view that the government created the AIDS virus to cause the genocide of racial minorities, stood by other past remarks (“God damn America”) and held himself out as a spokesman for the black church in America.
In front of 30 television cameras, Wright’s audience cheered him on as the minister mocked the media and, at one point, did a little victory dance on the podium. It seemed as if Wright, jokingly offering himself as Obama’s vice president, was actually trying to doom Obama; a member of the head table, American Urban Radio’s April Ryan, confirmed that Wright’s security was provided by bodyguards from Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam.
Obama must answer to American voters. Why did Obama sit for 20 years listening to “Pastor” Wright? Obama could answer that question as well as try to explain his “bitter” and “cling” remarks to American voters in a debate face-to-face with Hillary Clinton. But Obama won’t debate.
Update: Obama will Destroy Democrats. Republicans are already airing ads linking a Democratic congressional candidate to Obama.
A television ad from Southaven Mayor Greg Davis tells viewers that his Democratic rival, Travis Childers, a realtor and Prentiss County official, has accepted the endorsement of “liberal Barack Obama.” Then, with Childers’ face beside footage of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, it says, “When Obama’s pastor cursed America, blaming us for 9/11, Childers said nothing.” Then: “When Obama ridiculed rural folks for clinging to guns and religion, Childers said nothing.”
Superdelegates beware. In Part I of Barack Obama Destroys The Democratic Party we noted how Obama will hurt downballot Democrats running for office. We noted how Republicans are starting the direct attacks on Obama. We noted how Obama is ever so slightly beginning to be vetted – and it is ugly.
After an unsuccessful campaign for Congress in 2000, Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama faced serious financial pressure: numerous debts, limited cash and a law practice he had neglected for a year. Help arrived in early 2001 from a significant new legal client — a longtime political supporter.
Chicago entrepreneur Robert Blackwell Jr. paid Obama an $8,000-a-month retainer to give legal advice to his growing technology firm, Electronic Knowledge Interchange. It allowed Obama to supplement his $58,000 part-time state Senate salary for over a year with regular payments from Blackwell’s firm that eventually totaled $112,000.
A few months after receiving his final payment from EKI, Obama sent a request on state Senate letterhead urging Illinois officials to provide a $50,000 tourism promotion grant to another Blackwell company, Killerspin.
Killerspin specializes in table tennis, running tournaments nationwide and selling its own line of equipment and apparel and DVD recordings of the competitions. With support from Obama, other state officials and an Obama aide who went to work part time for Killerspin, the company eventually obtained $320,000 in state grants between 2002 and 2004 to subsidize its tournaments.
Obama’s staff said the senator advocated only for the first year’s grant — which ended up being $20,000, not $50,000. The day after Obama wrote his letter urging the awarding of the state funds, Obama’s U.S. Senate campaign received a $1,000 donation from Blackwell.
Barack Obama is not telling the truth about his relationship with Bill Ayers. There is more to this story than is already known, but Obama and his campaign are working hard to obfuscate and cover up the matter. Why? Because Barack Obama has had a close personal and business relationship with Bill Ayers that predates his run for the Illinois State Senate, and it is incumbent on the Senator from Illinois to come clean.
In fact, Barack worked for Bill Ayers for at least eight years and the press, so far, has not investigated this matter. [snip]
Can you explain that relationship for the voters and explain to Democrats why it won’t be a problem?
OBAMA: George, but this is an example of what I’m talking about. This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who’s a professor of English in Chicago who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis. [snip]
Nice try, Barack. He conveniently forgot to mention what was already on the blogs — that Ayers held the first fundraiser at his home to help launch Obama’s state senate campaign in 1995; and that the two men have sat on the board of a private foundation in Chicago, the Woods Fund, for years, giving grants to, among others, a radical Palestinian activist named Rashid Khalidi.
But William Ayers was not just some guy who “lives in Barack’s neighborhood.” He is a well-known and controversial Professor of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. And Obama wants you to believe that he knew nothing of Ayers views or politics even though Barack participated in public forums with him there? I don’t think so.
But that is not all. Barack also was essentially an employee of Bill Ayers for eight years.
Senator Barack Obama is starring in a growing number of campaign commercials, but the latest batch is being underwritten by Republicans.
In a sign that the racial, class and values issues simmering in the presidential campaign could spread into the larger political arena, Republican groups are turning recent bumps in Mr. Obama’s road — notably his comment that small-town Americans “cling” to guns and religion out of bitterness and a fiery speech by his former minister in which he condemned the United States — into attacks against Democrats down the ticket. [snip]
“There were times when Republicans reacted with just horror that he would lead the ticket,” said Stuart Rothenberg, a nonpartisan political analyst. “Now there is not the sense of him being invulnerable, the magic bullet. I think there has been a major change.” [snip]
The Republican House and Senate campaign organizations have seized on the remark on bitter voters in particular, encouraging their candidates to make the most of it. Advertisements have been placed on the Internet, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee assembled videos for targeted states that replay Mr. Obama’s comments as somber music builds. “Mary Landrieu. A Democratic superdelegate,” says the video, referring to the Louisiana senator, who is seeking re-election this year. “Will she cast her vote for Obama?”
Republicans will destroy the Democratic Party by linking it to Obama. Obama must be rejected if the Party is to be saved:
But they say the drawn-out campaign has altered Mr. Obama’s image. In recent days, Republicans have sought to make him a lightning rod in the hotly contested special House race in Louisiana and in a statewide race in North Carolina, whose presidential primary is May 6.
A state party advertisement in North Carolina has come under fire even from leading Republicans. It shows a grainy clip of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., Mr. Obama’s former pastor, cursing the United States, and it notes the endorsement of Mr. Obama by two Democratic candidates for North Carolina governor. “He’s just too extreme for North Carolina,” the commercial concludes of Mr. Obama. [snip]
In Louisiana, Freedom’s Watch’s six-figure ad purchase seeks to tie the Democratic contender, Don Cazayoux, to Mr. Obama’s “big-government scheme” for health care. Another commercial in that race, by the National Republican Congressional Committee, claims that Mr. Cazayoux shares Mr. Obama’s “radical health care agenda.” The House campaign group has also been pressing Democratic contenders to disavow Mr. Obama’s remark on rural Americans.
“He is being defined more and more as a conventional liberal politician,” said Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
The Republican strategy is clear – tie Obama to Democrats in districts which are conservative or moderate – in order to take over the national government:
The emerging advertising effort against Mr. Obama raises the possibility that, if he is elected, similar commercials could be broadcast in conservative districts around the country this fall, as Republicans try to undermine Democrats who have endorsed him. “Conventional wisdom has been that we want to run against Hillary,” said Representative Jack Kingston, Republican of Georgia, who said Mr. Obama had provided evidence to the contrary. “I don’t think he has connected with the average Joe. I do think he feels like people are bitter.”
The job now is to win Indiana and North Carolina. That simple.
Victory in those states was the aim before Ohio and Texas voted. Victory in that state was the aim before Pennsylvania voted. All else is a distraction. Indiana and North Carolina. That simple.
How do we win Indidana and North Carolina?
To win Indiana and North Carolina, understand what happened in Pennsylvania. Most analysts don’t understand how important the lessons out of Pennsylvania are and how the Pennsylvania results impact the strategy to winning the nomination. We do – think Nevada.
In the comments early yesterday evening an important memorandum was posted. The memo was written by Obama delegate Dan Wofford. Wofford describes the Obama humiliating loss in Pennsylvania. The reasons for Obama’s humiliating loss in Pennsylvania will lead to further humiliating losses. Why Wofford believes Obama lost is something we agree with:
If someone in SF asks you about those “strange rural people in PA”…don’t indulge their liberal, latte drinking bull shit…Just tell them if they want to understand rural and ethnic PA that they should get in the Prius’s and drive down to Bakersfield or any of the other mid state towns in California where there are people who actually lead ordinary lives and care about God and own guns…. [snip]
Bittergate hurt a lot — bc is slowed down and then with the poor debate performance stopped what was truly real closing momentum. [snip]
… we’ve just got to find a way to reach seniors…. [snip]
Working class PA folks, esp those over 45, don’t trust Obama…this is a problem and other than getting them to meet Obama retail style…don’t know how we solve it, unless we can get him to do a quick tour of duty in Iraq…
Losing the Catholic and Jewish vote
Note that Wofford admits what Obama supporters do not admit in public – Obama’s condescending “bitter” remarks hurt a great deal and Obama badly lost the Philadelphia debate.
The obvious – seniors, Catholics and Jewish voters will not vote for Obama.
The important – working class white voters do not trust Obama and there is no pratical solution to the problem: Working class PA folks, esp those over 45, don’t trust Obama…this is a problem and other than getting them to meet Obama retail style…don’t know how we solve it, unless we can get him to do a quick tour of duty in Iraq.
The lack of trust by the working class whites (along with Catholics and Jews) means that as these groups abandon Obama, the Obama campaign has become the McGovern Campaign, which lost 49 states in the 1972 general election. [More on this in Barack Obama Destroys the Democratic Party.]
Hillary now has the key to victory after victory. Pennsylvania showed that Hillary will get white working class voters – necessary to a win in the general election. Meanwhile Obama’s campaign shrinks to a losing coalition.
The losing Obama coalition can be summed up in one word: Arugula. The upcoming Newsweek magazine has a cover story regarding Obama’s problems reaching – necessary to win – working class white voters. The Newsweek cover will feature a big stalk of Arugula (the unfortunate vegetable, Arugula, is now the symbol of Obama elitism).
“For now, though, the arugula factor—shorthand for the impression that Obama is out of touch with common voters — is a real one as the Illinois senator struggles to show that he can win the kinds of white working-class voters both parties need to triumph in November. … As Evan Thomas, Richard Wolffe and Holly Bailey write, the McCain campaign is no longer frightened by the prospect of a general election against Obama.”
Obama’s “arugula moment” was silly, but the underlying concern about his candidacy is not. For the past 40 years, Democratic nominating contests have pitted “wine track” candidates (backed by young, well-off, college-educated elites) against “beer track” opponents (who cultivate a less-educated coalition of minorities and blue-collar workers). The 2008 contest is no exception. According to the latest Cook Political Report survey, Hillary Clinton polls 12 points higher among voters who haven’t graduated from college than those who have; Obama’s numbers are reversed. His problem: only 34 percent of likely Democratic primary voters have college degrees. “If you don’t develop a solid base among downscale Dems, it’s very hard to get the nomination,” says demographer Ruy Teixeira. Unless Obama gets off the wine track, he could end up the latest in a long line of brainy, reformist also-rans like Gary Hart, Paul Tsongas and Bill Bradley.
U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton received a rock star welcome from a gymnasium of supporters Friday night as she made her third swing through the region in four weeks.
Talking about issues like foreign currency manipulation and universal health insurance, the New York Democrat was interrupted several times by chants of adoration from supporters.
“I will remember this night in this gymnasium in East Chicago, Indiana,” Clinton told the crowd of more than 3,000 at East Chicago Central High. “And we will look back at this night and say, this is where it began.”
She was just three days removed from her ten-point victory in Pennsylvania’s primary over U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, her opponent for the democratic party’s nomination for the presidency.
Mr. Clinton also told the campaign to double the number of his daily appearances. ‘Look at this schedule — you’ve got me down for four events,’ he said the week before Pennsylvania’s primary, according to one operative. ‘Give me six, eight a day. Get me to the suburbs where I can make a difference.’ ”
Like Bill Clinton, let’s work for votes – for Hillary.
While putting away our Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales a parchment fell out with what might possibly be an unpublished story We thought we would share the contents with our readers on this Friday evening.
Once upon a time, in a diner, there was a waffle. The waffle was golden brown with its edges crisp and sharp. The waffle rested on a plate. The waffle luxuriated in its softness against the warm plate. The waffle appeared succulent. The waffle was enticing. The waffle looked tasty. But the waffle had a secret.
The waffle did everything necessary to keep its secret. When a diner would sit on a chair in front of it, knife and fork ready to taste the treat, the waffle would make its move. Rearing its grid center, the furtive waffle would position on its side and roll away.
Plate to plate rolled the sly waffle. Hungry diner after hungry diner frustrated their tastebuds because of the secretive, but quick rolling waffle. One moment the waffle would be here. The next moment the waffle would be there. The waffle fled everywhere.
The waffle became famous. Some diners thought the waffle was the most magnificent thing they had ever seen. Some came from miles away to stare at the amazing waffle. Diners came from miles around to admire the waffle. The waffle was a star.
One day a plucky blonde lady walked into the diner. The plucky blonde lady had a village to feed. Briskly moving to the plate with the much admired waffle, the plucky lady attempted to stick a fork in the recalcitrant waffle.
The waffle tried to get away. The waffle tried all its tricks. The waffle tried to roll, But the plucky lady was too quick. The plucky lady grabbed the waffle by its grids. The plucky lady stuck a fork in the unhappy waffle. There was no hope left for the formerly fleet waffle.
Quickly slicing and dicing the waffle, the plucky lady fed a piece of the doughy treat into her mouth. Other diners were amazed. The plucky lady grimaced. The plucky lady frowned. The plucky lady spit out the waffle bits. The plucky lady had discovered the waffle’s secret.
Update: Become a Freedom Fighter. Fight for Democracy. Florida and Michigan voters have less voting rights than the people of Iraq. Demonstrate this weekend: COUNT EVERY VOTE, MAKE EVERY VOTE COUNT.
Our own FDRJIM and NORMA DESMOND are fighting on the front lines – in Florida. Tallahasse, West Palm Beach, Hollywood, St Petersburg, Orlando, Miami, and Jacksonville – Saturday. D.C next Wednesday. Join the DEMonstrations. For information go HERE.
A few months ago the Obama campaign was talking about transcendence. Now it’s talking about math. “Yes we can” has become “No she can’t.”
This wasn’t the way things were supposed to play out.
Mr. Obama was supposed to be a transformational figure, with an almost magical ability to transcend partisan differences and unify the nation. Once voters got to know him — and once he had eliminated Hillary Clinton’s initial financial and organizational advantage — he was supposed to sweep easily to the nomination, then march on to a huge victory in November.
Well, now he has an overwhelming money advantage and the support of much of the Democratic establishment — yet he still can’t seem to win over large blocs of Democratic voters, especially among the white working class.
As a result, he keeps losing big states. And general election polls suggest that he might well lose to John McCain.
What’s gone wrong?
Big Media and Dean/Brazile/Pelosi tried to protect Obama but their Protect Obama fortress is on fire and the only liquid around is expensive gasoline.
According to many Obama supporters, it’s all Hillary’s fault. If she hadn’t launched all those vile, negative attacks on their hero — if she had just gone away — his aura would be intact, and his mission of unifying America still on track.
But how negative has the Clinton campaign been, really? Yes, it ran an ad that included Osama bin Laden in a montage of crisis images that also included the Great Depression and Hurricane Katrina. To listen to some pundits, you’d think that ad was practically the same as the famous G.O.P. ad accusing Max Cleland of being weak on national security.
It wasn’t. The attacks from the Clinton campaign have been badminton compared with the hardball Republicans will play this fall. If the relatively mild rough and tumble of the Democratic fight has been enough to knock Mr. Obama off his pedestal, what hope did he ever have of staying on it through the general election?
“It’s Hillary’s fault.” Blame the waffles. Blame the bowlers.
Let me offer an alternative suggestion: maybe his transformational campaign isn’t winning over working-class voters because transformation isn’t what they’re looking for.
From the beginning, I wondered what Mr. Obama’s soaring rhetoric, his talk of a new politics and declarations that “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for” (waiting for to do what, exactly?) would mean to families troubled by lagging wages, insecure jobs and fear of losing health coverage. The answer, from Ohio and Pennsylvania, seems pretty clear: not much. Mrs. Clinton has been able to stay in the race, against heavy odds, largely because her no-nonsense style, her obvious interest in the wonkish details of policy, resonate with many voters in a way that Mr. Obama’s eloquence does not.
“Bitter” Americans are not scoring Hopium these days. Americans want solutions – real life solutions not platitudes about some kind of change.
Yes, I know that there are lots of policy proposals on the Obama campaign’s Web site. But addressing the real concerns of working Americans isn’t the campaign’s central theme.
Tellingly, the Obama campaign has put far more energy into attacking Mrs. Clinton’s health care proposals than it has into promoting the idea of universal coverage.
Obama’s cheap attacks and 15 million transparent lies are now on display. The Protect Obama fortress is on fire.
During the closing days of the Pennsylvania primary fight, the Obama campaign ran a TV ad repeating the dishonest charge that the Clinton plan would force people to buy health insurance they can’t afford. It was as negative as any ad that Mrs. Clinton has run — but perhaps more important, it was fear-mongering aimed at people who don’t think they need insurance, rather than reassurance for families who are trying to get coverage or are afraid of losing it.
No wonder, then, that older Democrats continue to favor Mrs. Clinton.
Paraphrasing the Burt Bacharach song, What’s it all about, Barry?
The question Democrats, both inside and outside the Obama campaign, should be asking themselves is this: now that the magic has dissipated, what is the campaign about? More generally, what are the Democrats for in this election?
That should be an easy question to answer. Democrats can justly portray themselves as the party of economic security, the party that created Social Security and Medicare and defended those programs against Republican attacks — and the party that can bring assured health coverage to all Americans.
They can also portray themselves as the party of prosperity: the contrast between the Clinton economy and the Bush economy is the best free advertisement that Democrats have had since Herbert Hoover.
But the message that Democrats are ready to continue and build on a grand tradition doesn’t mesh well with claims to be bringing a “new politics” and rhetoric that places blame for our current state equally on both parties.
Superdelegates Beware – Defend the grand traditions of the Democratic Party.
Superdelegates Beware – Obama heralds the destruction of the Democratic Party.
Superdelegates – Hillary Clinton will win. Yes, she will.
Back in the days when Obama was pushing Hopium and hustling for change, the flim-flam routine included a riff on how he would “expand the map”. Part of the “expand the map” riff was that Obama would help elect down ballot Democrats running for Congress. No longer.
As we wrote in Barack Obama – Party Pooper Republicans are already mailing literature demanding Democratic House candidates “renounce or embrace” Obama’s bitter and clingy remarks.
Obama at the top of the ticket will force all Democrats to denounce Obama for Rezko, Wright, Bitterness. It will be wholesale slaughter at the ballot box in November in a year when Democrats expected to win.
We quoted Politico (which did not mention similar tactics by Republicans in a House race):
The piece underscores the extent of which Republicans, up and down the ticket, will seize on the comments should Obama get the nomination.
Disaster with Obama. Superdelegates Beware – Obama will destroy Democrats such as Brad Ellsworth in Indiana and Heath Schuler in North Carolina. Obama will destroy entire state Democratic delegations.
More evidence of the destruction Obama will wreak on the Democratic Party in November will appear starting next week. Democratic House candidates are now – in televised advertisments – under attack because of Barack Obama’s bitter words. Words have consequences Barack.
In hundreds of House elections as well as Senate and state and municipal elections Democratic candidates for elective office will soon be under attack, forced to denounce Obama’s bitter words. And Wright. And Ayres. And Rezko. And Auchi. And Dohrn. And Stroger.
More evidence of the destruction Obama will wreak on the Democratic Party in November will appear starting next week.
More evidence of the destruction Obama will wreak on the Democratic Party in November will appear starting next week as Obama’s “Pastor” speaks again.
The controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright — Sen. Barack Obama’s pastor — is speaking Monday at the National Press Club as part of a divinity conference of black church leaders. Wright’s decision to headline an event at the Press Club — open to all media — risks giving Obama’s critics more fodder, as if they don’t have enough already.
Meanwhile, PBS is touting an interview with Wright to be broadcast Friday on “Bill Moyers’ Journal.” Fresh material from Wright — no matter how well-intended — is not what Obama needs. [snip]
Wright looms as a serious problem for Obama in his fight to be the Democratic presidential nominee over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and, if he wins, as a general election candidate against Sen. John McCain. Look no further than an ad the North Carolina Republican Party released Wednesday featuring a clip from Wright’s “God Damn America” sermon and calling Obama an “extremist.”
Fox News has been all over Wright — helicopter shots of his Tinley Park mansion under construction — and host Bill O’Reilly has been pounding Obama over Wright regularly on his show. [snip]
When the uproar over Wright started, Obama chief strategist David Axelrod asked his friends at Jasculca Terman — a public affairs firm — to advise Trinity on how to handle the crush of media coverage, and they did, pro bono.
Big Media bamboozled the public with silly reports that Obama’s entanglements with “Pastor” Wright were of no interest. Big Media tried to sell Obama’s race speech as an answer to why Obama sat for 20 years listening to Wright. Pennsylvania voters proved Big Media wrong.
Barack Obama injected race into the nomination process in order to tarnish Hillary Clinton, a longtime advocate for civil rights for all. When Barack Obama was caught lying about his “Pastor”, Obama instead of addressing questions about his own judgment in listening to “Pastor” Wright for 20 years, distracted and diverted the attention of Big Media supporters and once again injected the topic of race. White working class voters were not fooled and are now Anti-Obama.
Hillary has turned the Big Media/Obama demands to drop out to connect viscerally with voters in Pennsylvania – voters long derided by Big Media princes because they entertain themselves by bowling
Obama’s campaign big shot David Axelrod helped “Pastor” Wright’s chuch acquire free publicity management. Republicans will foist Axelrod on Wright, Wright on Wrong Obama. And Axelrod continues to insult the intelligence of working class voters as Bill Clinton sides with working class voters.
“Today her opponent’s campaign strategist said, ‘Well we don’t really need these working class people to win, half the time they vote for Republicans anyways.’ And I will tell you something, America needs you to win and therefore Hillary wants your support….”
Apparent response to earlier remark to NPR from David Axelrod: “The white working class has gone to the Republican nominee for many elections, going back even to the Clinton years.”
Barack Obama has had months of primaries to allay the fears of swing voters that he is a weak elitist condescending loser.
John Judis, echoing our earlier reports dubs Obama – The Next McGovern. [Note the wonderful George McGovern is not the issue. What is at issue is that Obama will have less electoral success than George McGovern did. McGovern only won Massachusetts and D.C. Obama might not even get Massachusetts in which he leads McCain by a paltry 2 percent.]
Indeed, if you look at Obama’s vote in Pennsylvania, you begin to see the outlines of the old George McGovern coalition that haunted the Democrats during the ’70s and ’80s, led by college students and minorities. In Pennsylvania, Obama did best in college towns (60 to 40 percent in Penn State’s Centre County) and in heavily black areas like Philadelphia.
Its ideology is very liberal. Whereas in the first primaries and caucuses, Obama benefited from being seen as middle-of-the-road or even conservative, he is now receiving his strongest support from voters who see themselves as “very liberal.” In Pennsylvania, he defeated Clinton among “very liberal” voters by 55 to 45 percent, but lost “somewhat conservative” voters by 53 to 47 percent and moderates by 60 to 40 percent. In Wisconsin and Virginia, by contrast, he had done best against Clinton among voters who saw themselves as moderate or somewhat conservative.
Obama even seems to be acquiring the religious profile of the old McGovern coalition. In the early primaries and caucuses, Obama did very well among the observant. In Maryland, he defeated Clinton among those who attended religious services weekly by 61 to 31 percent. By contrast, in Pennsylvania, he lost to Clinton among these voters by 58 to 42 percent and did best among voters who never attend religious services, winning them by 56 to 44 percent. There is nothing wrong with winning over voters who are very liberal and who never attend religious services; but if they begin to become Obama’s most fervent base of support, he will have trouble (to say the least) in November.
The primaries, unfortunately, are not going to get any easier for Obama.
Obama supporters will face electoral defeat and disaster. They do not care. They will being their electoral defeat and disaster to Democrats nationwide.
Hillary Clinton was endorsed by Representative John Tanner. Tanner is a Blue-Dog Democrat. Tanner will not face electoral disaster. Tanner supports Hillary.
The Hillary campaign can repeat to Democrats nationwide the tag line from the movie The Terminator: “Come with me if you want to live.”