Archive for February 2008

Crosscut – Knute Berger – The rock star of hope

February 14, 2008


What’s amazing about Barack Obama’s message is that he can make something so wholesome seem so sexy.

By Knute Berger

A testament to just how good Barack Obama is is how good he makes the other politicians on stage with him look. It’s like he casts a glow that turns a conventional political tableaux — some stuffy old pols in folding chairs — into a scene washed in the light of a Caravaggio.

I just got back from hearing Obama speak at Seattle’s KeyArena. He was joined on stage by three local politicians who are not exactly paragons of charisma: U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, D-Tacoma, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, and Gov. Chris Gregoire. Yet such was the atmosphere created by Obama’s fans, and such was Obama’s rhetoric, that he made all three seems like the best-lit back-up band a guy ever had. Obama, of course, was the real rock star.

Read On … 

NYT – Top black leader drops Clinton to back Obama

February 14, 2008

Last updated February 14, 2008 8:46 p.m. PT

Ex-first lady sharpens attack on rival

By JEFF ZELENY AND PATRICK HEALY
THE NEW YORK TIMES

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — Rep. John Lewis, an elder statesman from the civil rights era and one of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s prominent black supporters, said on Thursday night that he planned to cast his vote as a superdelegate for Sen. Barack Obama in hopes of preventing a fight at the Democratic convention.

“In recent days, there is a sense of movement and a sense of spirit,” said Lewis, a Georgia Democrat who endorsed Clinton last fall. “Something is happening in America and people are prepared and ready to make that great leap.”

Read On … 

We bruise our daughters when we bash Hillary Clinton — Connie Schultz

February 14, 2008

We bruise our daughters when we bash Hillary Clinton — Connie Schultz

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Connie Schultz

Plain Dealer Columnist

When I was 11 years old, my girl friends and I used to talk long into the night about how one of us was bound to become president of the United States.

We had no reason to believe that, except that we were young girls watching and learning from the chaos swirling around us. It was 1968, and the change blowing across the country was kicking up quite a breeze in our own small Ohio town.

Read on … 

HuffPost – Clinton’s New Campaign Manager is Black (But Shhh! Don’t Tell Anyone)

February 14, 2008

by Keli Goff

Huffington Post

Talk about irony. As I was sitting in a studio with award-winning Latina journalist Maria Hinojosa preparing to appear on CNN for a discussion regarding black and Latino voters, it was announced on-air that Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle, who had made history as the first Latina to helm a major presidential campaign, was stepping down. Taking her place would be Maggie Williams, Clinton’s former White House Chief of Staff. Maggie Williams happens to be black, only you may not know that because most major news outlets didn’t mention it.

Read On …

TPM – Poll: Hillary Holds Big Leads In Ohio And Pennsylvania

February 14, 2008
The new Quinnipiac poll shows that Hillary is hanging onto big leads in Ohio and Pennsylvania, two of the three firewall states that are now key to her hopes of stopping Obama’s momentum and turning the race around.

Among likely Dem primary voters in Ohio, Hillary leads Obama 55%-34%. And in Pennsylvania she leads 52%-36%.

Tellingly, Hillary leads among women by more than 20 points in both states. Quinnipiac frames the challenge for Obama ahead this way: “With Sen. Obama closing the gap, the winner in Pennsylvania probably will depend on whether blacks, young people and college graduates in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh can turn out in sufficient strength to overcome Sen. Clinton’s strong lead among blue collar voters and women.”

Key point: These polls were taken from Feb. 6th-12th — before Obama’s resounding wins in the Potomac Primary. So whatever momentum he gained then is not reflected in these numbers.

ColorsNW – Critical Thoughts–Are you an Obamaphiliac??

February 13, 2008

by Gyasi Ross
ColorsNW Contributing Blogger

I’ve made no qualms about the candidate that I support in the current primaries, and hopefully in the 2008 General Election as well. I voted for Obama–and I will do it again. I think Obama is a breath of fresh air, and shows an intellectual curiosity, an integrity and compassionate viewpoint that is rare in D.C.

Still, let’s not get it confused–our standards are necessarily lowered because we are, after all, talking about D.C. Looking for intellectual curiosity, integrity and compassion in Washington is like looking for virginal women (or men!) on VH1’s “Rock of Love.” Not gonna happen–so when somebody, like Obama (or John Edwards, or Dennis Kucinich) comes in with some modicum of benevolence and/or genuineness…well…we tend to get a bit besides ourselves.

This condition, in Obama’s situation, has been characterized as “Obamaphilia“, by Joel Stein of the L.A. Times, as if it was a sickness, a palsy. And it just might be. I mean, seriously…A music video by one of the Black Eyed Peas??? Couldn’t we get somebody with some musical curiosity or integrity to replicate those traits that we say that we admire about Obama…anybody else??? Britney?? Hammer??? Vanilla Ice????

But I digress.

Still, I have to believe that many of the people that are jumping on Obama bandwagon are jumping on because, well…so many other are people jumping on the bandwagon. It’s the cool thing to do–like carrying around little puppies under your armpit a couple of years ago, or adopting babies from foreign countries and giving them exotic names and carrying them around like they’re puppies under your armpit…

My point?? Well, the thing is, these puppies oftentimes grow up to be big rabid dogs that foam from the mouth and attack little kids. What I’m saying is, that’s cool that you’re voting for Obama–obviously, as someone connected with his campaign, that’s a position that I can agree with. Still, if you’re voting for Obama or Hillary or Ron Paul simply because it’s the en vogue thing to do, well you’re not really helping the process. Learn a little about the candidates–maybe even more than what the campaign itself says, and I think that you’ll appreciate the process more. I also think that when you learn more about the candidates, you’ll come to the conclusion that Obama is the right candidate.

But he’s not the right candidate because he has a music video. Maybe if it was by Prince or Earth Wind and Fire, though.

Gyasi

gyasi.ross@gmail.com

ColorsNW – Dispatch from the precinct caucuses – Tacoma

February 11, 2008

From Carolyn Wright, Tacoma –

We the People—Precinct Caucusing, Family Style

Like many others this Saturday afternoon in Tacoma, we came caravanning into the Clover Park Technical College, family style. Although ‘we’ was intended to be the other members of a book club that I am a part of; those plans were thwarted upon discovering that every book club member belonged to a different voting precinct. So ‘we’ ended up being my mother, father and grandmother. To come with my family members was good for me because I was quite bleary-eyed from partying like a rock star the evening before and early into the morning. I’d accepted the invite from an old friend and ex-Seattleite, visiting and performing at the Nectar Lounge in Freemont. Might I add that while out on Friday night at this neighborhood bar, I overheard several conversations among the 21 and over set, discussing politics and caucusing the next day which I found outstanding and refreshingly unusual.

When my family rolled up to our designated precinct location a little after 12:30 p.m., there were lines of people waiting to get into the lobby. Calvin Goings (D-running for Pierce County executive) supporters were working the outside lines handing out fliers. One volunteer tried to give one to my mother and she asked quite pointedly, “Does he support Barack Obama—because if he doesn’t support Obama, I don’t support him!” The elderly volunteer searched for a response as he persisted with giving her a flier anyway. Meanwhile I was busy taking pictures and recording this event for the ColorsNW blog posting.

Once we got into the building, the neighborly vibe continued. Even though the location was filled to capacity (1,500+), everyone was under their best behavior giving up chairs to the elderly and those with children in tow. The crowd was mixed with women and men, those who looked like they will be voting for the first time in November and those who looked like they had been voting for some time. As far as the racial demographics go, the crowd appeared to be mostly white, although there was a very generous smattering of blacks, a few Latinos and some Asians.

What we had at Clover Park Technical College was definitely orderly chaos. Attending caucus was like attending a reunion or outdoor BBQ in the summer. There was a palpable excitement felt upon reuniting with old friends and family, as many were doing in the lobby as we waited for the main vestibule to be opened for caucusing. I noted the vibe and made a mental note of the mood. It was obvious to me that we were all starving for the opportunity to fellowship with our neighbors like this. Furthermore it is amazing that politics—a taboo subject, usually not to be mentioned in polite company, is providing the backdrop this year for bringing so many of us together.

The distinction is that this year, overwhelmingly we have the hope and expectation that common folk can make a difference. In fact the caucus leader excitedly announced that between Friday night and Saturday morning many websites had crashed and phone hotlines had become tied up under the weight of voters trying to find out their caucus information. He stated as he began leading us through our caucusing activities that, “this is grassroots citizen democracy at its best!” Even saying the pledge-of-allegiance, which I haven’t done for years, took on a particular significance in such an environment.

The actual conversation among those in my legislative precinct was tame and not too brisk. For some reason I was expecting more of an explosive encounter than the cautious starts and stops of dialogue that we partook in. Some at the table, including myself got pretty vocal after an elderly couple mentioned how they wanted to vote for the “proven quantity” which they felt was Clinton.

Those leading the proceedings for my precinct, another family group consisting of: mom, dad and grown son, were initially the only undecided representatives at the table which I thought to be an interesting twist of fate. God bless them anyway because the majority of the precinct participants, irregardless of age, were at our first caucus and just barely familiar with the proceedings for the event.

Just after 2 p.m., rather anticlimactically, caucus was over. At my table, Obama finished with four delegates, the same as Clinton—thanks to her apathetic voters. In the end, those precinct leaders, I believe feeling some pressure, chose to caucus for Clinton because they said they wanted to support the underdog!

I volunteered to be a delegate for the Legislative District Caucus—and nobody objected. I hope I encounter a similar power-to-the-people vibe in early April for the next round of caucusing.

Carolyn J. Wright

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