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US-Election 2008
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->With the two rivals now battling state by state over margins of victory and allotment of delegates, surveys of voters leaving the Wisconsin polls showed Mr. Obama, of Illinois, making new inroads with those two groups as well as middle-age voters and continuing to win support from white men and younger voters — a performance that yielded grim tidings for Mrs. Clinton, of New York.
Republicans regestired as Democrats and voted for Obama. Check % people voted for Obama and Hillary. People voted for Hillary alone is more than GOP voters. More than 29% voters new regestered voters voted for Obama.

If you check two previous Presidental election, Kerry and Al Gore barely won these states by less then 1%.
Democrats will get really shock in Nov 2008, if they give ticket to Obama.

I am enjoying it. <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Obama had become cult, women are fainting during speeches, as they do during EJ sermons.
<b>Bamboozling the American electorate again</b>
<i>Bush-Cheney strategy involves G.O.P. crossover voting to take out Hillary, marketing newcomer Obama, an "independent" ticket, and maybe even martial law... </i>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->One Major Difference Between Clinton and Obama? Their Records On Cuba
By John Nichols, The Nation.

<i>If we look past their bland pronouncements on the campaign trail, it becomes clear that Clinton and Obama have widely divergent views on Cuba. </i>

It is often suggested that there is not much difference between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton when it comes to the stands they have taken as senators. And on the question of how the U.S. relates to Cuba -- an issue that has suddenly moved to the forefront with the news that Fidel Castro is stepping down as the leader of the Caribbean nation -- the candidates can sound similar.

When word came of Castro's move, Obama said the Cuban president's decision to hand power to his younger brother "should mark the end of a dark era in Cuba's history. ... Fidel Castro's stepping down is an essential first step, but it is sadly insufficient in bringing freedom to Cuba."

Clinton said, "The United States must pursue an active policy that does everything possible to advance the cause of freedom, democracy and opportunity in Cuba."

That's reasonably standard language for presidential candidates talking about Cuba.

But this is a case where the records behind the words really do tell different stories.

During their shared tenure in the Senate, and over the course of the current campaign, Obama and Clinton have taken different stands and sent distinct signals.

They have even voted differently on an issue that has provided a regular test of congressional sentiments regarding U.S. policy toward Cuba.

When the Senate has debated proposals to strip funding for TV Marti -- the always-troubled initiative to beam U.S. produced television programming into Cuba, which in turn jams the signal -- Obama has sided with those who argue that the $200-million propaganda campaign wastes money and good will.

Breaking with the powerful anti-Castro lobby in the Cuban-American community, the senator from Illinois voted twice to cut off TV Marti funding.

In contrast, Clinton voted to maintain TV Marti funding.

Last year, The Washington Post wrote that, "Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said the senator's opposition to TV Marti was primarily about cost. But within Florida's large Cuban exile population, one of the most powerful voting blocs in the state, Clinton's and Obama's stances ally them with distinct groups: the older hard-liners and a younger, more progressive group of second-generation Cuban Americans and more recent immigrants whose numbers are growing."

Miami-based pollster Sergio Bendixen, one of the ablest analysts of campaigning on issues related to Cuba, says, "(Clinton) is going with the status quo." In contrast, argues Bendixen, "(Obama) is with the position of change."

It is not just on the question of funding for TV Marti that Obama is distinguished from Clinton.

The senator from Illinois says he wants to ease U.S.- Cuba travel restrictions, while the senator from New York would maintain the harsher policies imposed by the Bush administration. Obama went so far as to outline his position in an August, 2007, opinion piece written for the Miami Herald, in which he argued that, "Cuban-American connections to family in Cuba are not only a basic right in humanitarian terms, but also our best tool for helping to foster the beginnings of grassroots democracy on the island." As a result, he said, "I will grant Cuban-Americans unrestricted rights to visit family and send remittances to the island."

In that same article, Obama also raised the possibility of opening bilateral talks with a post-Castro government.

Those are hardly radical positions, and Obama is no friend of Castro's. He's criticized the outgoing Cuban leader over human rights concerns and said today that, "Cuba's future should be determined by the Cuban people and not by an anti-democratic successor regime."

But the Illinois senator's relative moderation on travel and diplomatic fronts has drawn criticism from several of his opponents, including Clinton, who argued when Obama wrote his Miami Herald piece that, "Until it is clear what type of policies might come with a new government, we cannot talk about changes in the U.S. policies toward Cuba."

The criticism from Republican John McCain has been even more pointed. McCain, who has campaigned ....<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Clinton Camp's launched this website on the delegate issue:

Obama supporters can't list a single accomplishment!! <!--emo&:roll--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ROTFL.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ROTFL.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Chris Matthews Humiliates State Senator Kirk Watson On MSNBC
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Texas State Senator Kirk Watson (D-TX) learned a lesson in preparedness Tuesday night when he was humiliated on MSNBC. Watson was on to talk about his support of Senator Obama alongside Representative Stephanie Tubbs (D-OH), who backs Senator Clinton. Watson has endorsed Obama and writes glowingly of all the things Obama will do for the country, if elected.

But he was unable to answer Chris Matthews most basic demand: "Name some of his legislative accomplishments... name any..." A fantastically awkward mix of dead air, stuttering, laughter and repetition ensued, as Watson could not name a single one.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
The 2 debates scheduled in comming days would be most interesting. I predict Hillary running circles around Obama wagon on this.

Media bias at it again:
Networks Interrupt Clinton Speech For Obama
We may see landslide victory of McCain, which will break every previous records in US history. Mark my word if Obama gets ticket.

Greatest Coup in my life time, oh yes Democracy at work. <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Chris Mathew or Tim Russert or Andrea Mitchel or whole MSNBC are biased and they had broken even Fox record.
This one pro Clinton by Chris Mathew is just paying one due for his long list of insults on Hillary.

Obama Holds Off Clinton in Wisconsin
February 20, 2008 12:32 p.m.

Barack Obama held off Hillary Clinton's belated attempt to brake his momentum in Wisconsin's Democratic primary and Hawaii's caucuses, winning his 10th-straight presidential-nominating contest as the two get closer to the showdown Sen. Clinton has promised in Ohio and Texas two weeks away.

In Wisconsin's Republican primary and Washington state caucuses, Arizona Sen. John McCain prevailed as expected over his main remaining challenger, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. The senator drew closer to the 1,191 delegates that would make official his current status as the party's presumptive nominee, though a sizable number of social conservatives continued to register their unhappiness by voting for his rival.

In his victory speech last night, Sen. McCain left no doubt which Democrat he expects to run against -- Sen. Obama. Without naming the 46-year-old first-term senator from Illinois, the 71-year-old fourth-term Sen. McCain clearly had his younger rival in mind in drawing a blistering contrast between his own national-security experience and "an eloquent but empty call for change."
Barack Obama chalked up another democratic primary win over Hillary Clinton, while Wisconsin also had some good news for John McCain. Fox's Doug Luzader reports. (Feb. 20)

Further previewing a potential anti-Obama campaign -- while ignoring Sen. Clinton -- Sen. McCain asked whether the next president will have the experience to counter the world's threats, or "will we risk the confused leadership of an inexperienced candidate, who once suggested bombing our ally Pakistan and suggested sitting down without preconditions or clear purpose with enemies who support terrorists and are intent on destabilizing the world by acquiring nuclear weapons?"

Sen. Obama, already campaigning in Texas last night, used his Wisconsin valedictory speech not only to re-emphasize his message of political inclusiveness and an end to partisan gridlock, but to answer both his Democratic and potential Republican rivals.

Even as Sen. McCain was poised for his attack on Sen. Obama from the Republican side last night, in the Democratic arena Sen. Clinton had mounted a new offensive against Sen. Obama in Youngstown, Ohio, contending that only she is "ready on day one to be commander in chief."

But Sen. Obama told a cheering rally of thousands in Houston, "As your commander in chief my job will be to keep you safe...and I will not hesitate to strike against any who would do us harm."

He called Sen. McCain "a genuine American hero," then added, "but when he embraces George Bush's failed economic policies, when he says that he is willing to send our troops into another 100 years of war in Iraq, then he represents the politics of yesterday, and we want to be the party of tomorrow. And I'm looking forward to having that debate with John McCain."

Also yesterday, Sen. Obama easily won the Democratic caucuses in the state where he spent much of his youth, Hawaii. With 100% of precincts reporting, Sen. Obama took 76% of the votes compared with 24% for Sen. Clinton.

Despite Sen. Obama's hot streak since he roughly split with Sen. Clinton the results of the 22-state "Super Tuesday" contests early this month, the two remain close in convention delegates won in the 38 contests so far. Before yesterday, Sen. Obama had a 63-delegate lead according to an Associated Press tally -- with 1,281 delegates to Sen. Clinton's 1,218. Wisconsin had 74 delegates at stake, and Hawaii, 20.

Scramble for Commitments
[Click for more photos]
Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama spoke at their rallies Tuesday.

Neither senator is expected to be able to reach the 2,025 majority needed for nomination in the remaining contests to June, given Democratic Party rules that delegates be divided in line with each candidate's vote. That has spawned a separate scramble for commitments from 795 super-delegates, the party's top officers and states' elected officials who are free to vote for the candidate of their choice.

Sen. McCain was expected to get the bulk of Wisconsin Republicans' 40 delegates, which the state awards according to the winner of each congressional district. He had 908 going into the primary, or about three-quarters of the total needed, to 245 for Mr. Huckabee and 14 for libertarian Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, by the AP's count.

For the Democrats, Wisconsin became something of a warm-up for the March 4 contest in Ohio -- another economically distressed Midwestern state with a mix of blue-collar and rural voters receptive to candidates promising change. Both senators ratcheted up their populist economic rhetoric, pledging relief to middle-class voters struggling with mortgage and health-care costs and emphasizing the downsides of free trade for displaced workers.

Sen. Clinton initially seemed to cede the Badger State to Sen. Obama -- much as she had the eight other contests since Super Tuesday -- in her focus on Ohio and Texas, and their combined 334 Democratic delegates. But Sen. Obama's bigger-than-expected mid-February victories -- and thus, his fatter delegate hauls -- forced a change of strategy.

Late last week, the Clinton campaign decided to make a stand in Wisconsin, to at least hold down Sen. Obama's margin of victory, if not upset him. The state's Democratic electorate seemed potentially receptive, mostly white and female, with many older and blue-collar voters.

But exit polls of voters for the AP and television networks showed Sen. Obama doing well among most subgroups of voters, including some that have favored Sen. Clinton in previous state contests. The New York senator led as usual among women, and among the oldest and the poorest Democratic voters, but Sen. Obama was splitting the votes or narrowly leading among voters without college degrees, and moderate and conservative Democrats.

The exit polls suggested another big gender gap for Sen. Clinton, with Sen. Obama significantly winning among male voters, even as he improved on some of his past showings among women. As usual, he was the clear choice of liberals, the college-educated and independents. With Wisconsin's Democratic primary open to all voters, independents made up about a quarter of the turnout, according to exit polls, and Sen. Obama was their choice by nearly 30 percentage points over Sen. Clinton. Among Democratic voters, the two were about even.

Economic angst was the backdrop for voters' decision-making; as in earlier states, Democrats were most discouraged. They split only over whether the economy was in bad shape, or poor, according to exit polls. More Republican primary voters were sanguine about the economy, yet a majority agreed it is in bad or poor shape.

Wisconsin Democrats' responses on international trade illustrated why both Sens. Obama and Clinton emphasized heightened skepticism of free trade, with Sen. Obama in particular emphasizing that he would review the North American Free Trade Agreement that Sen. Clinton's husband, President Bill Clinton, concluded with Canada and Mexico in 1993. Seven in 10 Democrats said foreign trade costs jobs in Wisconsin, while fewer than two in 10 said it creates more jobs; one in 10 said trade has no impact on jobs.

As in other states, turnout was higher in the Democrats' primary than in the Republicans' contest, reflecting Democrats' greater enthusiasm for recapturing the White House this year and Republicans' demoralization as President Bush and the Iraq war remain widely unpopular. But in these later contests, Republican turnout may be depressed further by a sense that the race is over.
While the Republicans are coming closer to choosing their nominee, the Democratic race is becoming increasingly negative as the delegate count remains close. (Feb. 19)

Yet Mr. Huckabee heads to Texas today, fighting on for conservatives' votes, to the chagrin of some party leaders who want Sen. McCain freed to focus on uniting the party and turning to the general-election campaign against a Democrat. In Wisconsin, Mr. Huckabee emphasized that he -- not Sen. McCain -- supports constitutional amendments against abortion and same-sex marriage, and a so-called "fair tax" national sales tax to replace the federal income-tax code.

Both Ohio and Texas are must-win states for Sen. Clinton, Democratic strategists agree, given her declaration that those are her firewall to stop the Obama offensive.

Ace Smith, Sen. Clinton's Texas state director, told reporters in a conference call, "We're comfortable we're going to have a ground operation we haven't seen in the state in a long time."

With early voting beginning yesterday in Texas, and continuing through Feb. 29, both campaigns were mobilized to get voters to cast ballots without waiting for March 4. A CNN poll out Monday gave Sen. Clinton a narrow 50% to 48% lead against Sen. Obama -- a statistical tie. A separate USASurvey poll gave Clinton a slighter larger 50% to 45% edge.

Clinton Fund Raising

The Clinton aides, seeking to dismiss recent reports of financial woes, boasted that the campaign had raised about $15 million online in February's first 15 days -- a $1 million-a-day pace that roughly matched Sen. Obama's unprecedented January haul.

They also sought to allay concerns among supporters about Sen. Obama's momentum coming into the Lone Star and Buckeye states. "Texas is one of those great independent-thinking states," said Mr. Smith, the Clinton state director. Robby Mook, Clinton's Ohio state director, agreed. "I don't think Ohio voters are concerned about the horse race," he said. "We have two weeks, two debates, there's a lot of time for voters here to really get to know Sen. Clinton." The debates are tomorrow in Austin, and next Tuesday in Cleveland.

Write to Jackie Calmes at jackie.calmes@wsj.com
Check how Repbulicans are playing caucaus
In WA, Obama win was big
but yesterday, even after momentum , poll result

<b>Hillary Clinton</b> Democrat 243,306 <b>46.90 % </b>
John Edwards Democrat 9,082 1.75 %
<b>Barack Obama</b> Democrat 259,323 <b>49.99 %</b>
Bill Richardson Democrat 1,493 0.29 %
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Obama Wouldn't Be First Black President
By Aysha Hussain

You've seen the headlines: "Are Americans Ready for a Black President?" "Is Obama Black Enough?" "Obama: America's First Black President?"

Ever since the nation first met Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in 2004, his race has been called into question more times than Michael Jackson's. Obama is clearly a black man, but is this really a breakthrough? Some blacks say Obama isn't "black enough," which seems ironic because for many blacks, former President Bill Clinton was "black enough." In 2001, Clinton was honored as the nation's "first black president" at the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Annual Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C.

Were there other "black" presidents? Some historians have reason to believe  people don't really understand the genealogy of past U.S. Presidents. Research shows at least five U.S. presidents had black ancestors and Thomas Jefferson, the nation's third president, was considered the first black president, according to historian Leroy Vaughn, author of Black People and Their Place in World History.

Vaughn's research shows Jefferson was not the only former black U.S. president. Who were the others? Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge. But why was this unknown? How were they elected president? All five of these presidents never acknowledged their black ancestry.

<b>Jefferson</b>, who served two terms between 1801 and 1809, was described as the "son of a half-breed Indian squaw and a Virginia mulatto father," as stated in Vaughn's findings. Jefferson also was said to have destroyed all documentation attached to his mother, even going to extremes to seize letters written by his mother to other people.

President <b>Andrew Jackson, </b>the nation's seventh president, was in office between 1829 and 1837. Vaughn cites an article written in The Virginia Magazine of History that Jackson was the son of an Irish woman who married a black man. The magazine also stated that Jackson's oldest brother had been sold as a slave.

<b>Lincoln,</b> the nation's 16th president, served between 1861 and 1865. Lincoln was said to have been the illegitimate son of an African man, according to Leroy's findings. Lincoln had very dark skin and coarse hair and his mother allegedly came from an Ethiopian tribe. His heritage fueled so much controversy that Lincoln was nicknamed "Abraham Africanus the First" by his opponents.

President <b>Warren Harding,</b> the 29th president, in office between 1921 and 1923, apparently never denied his ancestry. According to Vaughn, William Chancellor, a professor of economics and politics at Wooster College in Ohio, wrote a book on the Harding family genealogy. Evidently, Harding had black ancestors between both sets of parents. Chancellor also said that Harding attended Iberia College, a school founded to educate fugitive slaves.

<b>Coolidge,</b> the nation's 30th president, served between 1923 and 1929 and supposedly was proud of his heritage. He claimed his mother was dark because of mixed Indian ancestry. Coolidge's mother's maiden name was "Moor" and in Europe the name "Moor" was given to all blacks just as "Negro" was used in America. It later was concluded that Coolidge was part black.

The only difference between Obama and these former presidents is that none of their family histories were fully acknowledged by others. Even though Obama is half-white, he strongly resembles his Kenyan father. And not only is Obama open about his ancestry, most people acknowledge him as a black man, which is why people will identify Obama, if elected, as the first black president of the United States.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Most watched youtube clip <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->

fainting - Karl ROve
The black nationalist image has been carefully jettisoned over to his wife.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Obama’s White Male Voters: Do They Hear Something Blacks Don’t?

The corporate media and most Blacks with access to a mass public never seem to seriously examine the meaning of the most dramatic, history-shaking statistic in Barack Obama's march to the White House: he's picking up strong majorities of white men. That's unheard of in the annals of electoral activity in the United States. <b>White men have always been the most reactionary, racially-bonded voting group, the deepest well of anti-Black hostility in the country. So, what makes them flock to Obama's banner? The answer is simple: Obama has based his entire strategy on sending messages to white males, assuring them he will take race and sex privilege off the table of American discourse. </b>They got the message, and vote accordingly. The other side of this color blind coin is Black Americans, who don't seem to hear the conversation that's going on all around them.

Tuesday's Democratic primaries saw Barack Obama racking up over 60 percent of the white male vote in Wisconsin, riding an unprecedented historical demographic anomaly that will likely send him to the White House - barring a third consecutive general election theft by the Republicans. It appears Hillary Clinton's goose is cooked.

Once whites demonstrated their willingness to vote for a "certain type" of Black man, in Iowa back in January, it was a foregone conclusion that African Americans would line up in overwhelming numbers behind the Illinois Senator. Before then, all that had held back the tides of Black mass commitment to Obama's candidacy were lingering doubts that whites would support any "type" of Black person's elevation to the nation's highest office. When that dam broke, the African American celebration began. After 400 years in slave hell and Jim Crow purgatory, we've finally got a chance! Or so the crowd believes.

<b>Obama wasn't taking any chances. His strategy from the very beginning has been to flip the historical script by appealing directly to the most backward demographic in electoral politics: white males. This "white male strategy" - smelling eerily of a previous Republican "southern strategy" -  required constant assurances to white men that Obama's run would signal the end of race as a point of political contention in the United States. </b>No longer would whites, especially males, be compelled to answer for their privileged status. A 40-plus year annoyance was nearly over, since Blacks had "already come 90 percent of the way" to equality. Obama told them so.

Reagan-loving whites - especially the white men who have always led the "backlash" against real and perceived African American gains - found themselves wooed by a Black man who understood their sense of revulsion at "the excesses of the Sixties and Seventies." Wow! That's the kind of change we've been waiting for, exclaimed increasing numbers of white males. A new day beckoned, free at last of psychological harassment from the likes of Reverends Jesse and Al.

Obama is a world-class wooer. His white male wooing is made much easier by the fact that those who consider themselves his "sisters" and "brothers" demand nothing whatsoever from him. Just come home when you get ready, brother. Obama is free to concentrate his attentions on the hard-to-get demographics, especially white men with their peculiar notions of "change." No need for Obama to promise the hood a damn thing, except that he'll cut a dashing figure in the Oval Office and make the homefolks proud that he's there, symbolically representing them.

<b>Republicans and GOP-leaning "independents" (meaning, deep-dyed whites) are crossing over in herds to vote for Obama. They've gotten the message: happy days are here again, when the darkies smiled and were careful not to hurt our feelings by telling the truth. </b>That's the kind of "change" we've always "hoped" for, by golly!

<b>The white liberal/left, ineffectual and geographically scattered, are drawn irresistibly to the Black man who regales them with sweet nothings - literally, nothing in the way of the concrete policies for peace and social justice they claim to champion. His presence in their midst is enough.</b> Besides, Obama is someone who is "capable of forging a progressive majority," they say.

That's a strange concept, since Obama doesn't act like a progressive, or claim to be one. But he has no problem with folks gathering around him. He's a real party guy.

The no-nonsense white men that rule society and cling to ownership of the world were harder nuts to crack; you've got to sign a prenuptial to get skin-tight with them. No problem. Before Obama even began to strut on the national runway, he'd won the approval of the Wall Street and military/industrial (and nuclear power) branches of the Money Family. Run-of-the-mill citizens will be barred from state court relief, so as not to jam up big corporations with their silly lawsuits. Energy companies can count on their usual subsidies. <b>The "sanctity of contracts"</b> will not be violated to save homeowners from foreclosure, no matter how deep the credit crisis becomes. The voracious military will be fed an additional 92,000 soldiers and Marines, regardless of what happens in Iraq, to be available for more wars. Most importantly - and this is the really smooth part of Obama's game - the ever-increasing military budget will make moot all of Barack's and Hillary's (near identical) promises about health care, affordable housing, the whole public agenda that has been dangled in front of those fans and groupies in the cheap seats.

Once he gets in office, many of the swooners will find out that he's already married to the Power Mob.

But that's OK. Obama knows his most enthusiastic supporters - the ones that claim him as their own as a matter of blood - will stick by him without complaint. Hell, their "leaders" show every sign of allowing him to wine and dine and make promises to everybody else BUT them, at least until he is comfortably in office - maybe for the entirety of his first term. For the time being, though, Black folks aren't even hearing what he's saying to the white men or anybody else - they're just enjoying the music: "It's been a long, a long time coming, but I know, a change gonna come."

Oh no it ain't.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Barack Obama changing the face of America
Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The year was 1960 and I was travelling by train from Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana - part of a tour under a journalist fellowship sponsored by the United States government. The coaches were segregated. As I looked at the passengers in the "coloured" (black) coach they looked like caged birds.

The train stopped at Baton Rouge where the railway station was divided in two sections - one for "whites" and the other for "coloured". When we reached New Orleans, there was another division along colour lines at the railway station. The scenes dramatised race relations in the southern parts of the USA since the abolition of slavery in 1865. It was my first visit to America, "land of the free and the home of the brave" - supposedly. The Black Americans (now called African Americans) were putting up an epic struggle against the colour bar and for equality and justice. This was the struggle in which Marcus Garvey, now one of Jamaica's national heroes, participated while living in the USA.

Over the next 20 years I visited the US south twice again on leader fellowships awarded by the US government. Those visits took me to many southern states, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Texas. In those 20 years a great deal of progress had been made by blacks.

Led by the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, they fought the doctrine of separate but equal education and won. They fought race segregation in public education facilities and won. These two historic victories and the power of education were the driving force for the progress of Black Americans. They grasped the opportunities and importance of education which also helped them to understand better the nature of politics. They began registering to vote and the system produced legislators as well as statesmen and stateswomen like Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, distinguished educators and many world-class sportsmen. The fight against race discrimination in many areas was prolonged and often bloody. Martin Luther King Jnr, hero of the black movement, led the fight with massive marches in Alabama and Washington DC. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus and became a heroine. Angela Davis and Stokely Carmichael were revolutionaries in the Black Power Movement. And there were a lot of other heroes, including white Americans, some of whom died in the struggle. In the last 20 years I have visited the south on my own and have seen further progress of Black Americans in almost every field of human endeavour. Yet there is still more work to be done to improve the lives of more black people.

One of the Black Americans who has risen to unprecedented heights through education is Barack Obama who is running neck-and-neck with Senator Hillary Clinton, wife of former President Bill Clinton in the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party. The contest is of historic proportion.
Obama is seeking to become the first black president of the USA while Clinton wants to become the first woman president. Obama is the son of a black economist from Kenya and a white American mother, a teacher from Kansas.

Obama, like his wife Michelle, is a Harvard University Law School graduate. He is the senator for Illinois, and four years ago he delivered the main speech at the Democratic Party's Convention which stunned the world for its eloquence. In the election campaign he has created a black and white coalition on the premise of change. His campaign message: "Change, Yes, We Can" has resonated among Democrats of all classes. At some of his campaign meetings, whites outnumber blacks. He has drawn a road map that has changed the face of America, perhaps forever, even if he does not make it to the White House.

Obama appeals to upscale voters, African Americans, young people (both black and white), and liberals. His victories in such bastions of race discrimination and hatred as South Carolina and Alabama, where a large number of white people voted for him, were described as a phenomenon and a miracle by Americans. The finance for his campaign is provided by 600,000 grass-roots people from around the country, while Clinton's campaign funds dwindled and she had to put US$5 million of her own money into the campaign. The growth of Obama's finance means that he has been able to offer a promotional campaign superior to Clinton's.

Clinton appeals mostly to middle-class white women, older voters, Hispanics and lower-income people. Obama's strong point is that he brings hope and inspiration to people. Many of the family of the late President John F Kennedy endorse him because he is the most inspiring leader since JFK.
Clinton claims she has more experience being a senator for many years. Each has pledged to bring home the troops from Iraq within a few months after becoming president. To Obama's powerful message of change, Clinton countered by saying that she has the experience to effect change. She says there is little difference between them in economic terms, health care and the war in Iraq. Clinton says the difference is in speech vs solution and hope vs action. The campaign became unpleasant at times. Bill Clinton played the race card once, but he was pilloried by sections of the American media and had to apologise. Some of Obama's supporters referred to her husband's dalliance with Monica Lewinsky in the White House while he was president which led Hillary to declare that nothing like that would happen again if she became president.

The contest looks as if it might continue on the floor of the Democratic Party's convention where delegates selected by millions of popular voters at primaries and caucuses and 800 super delegates, including party leaders, congressional representatives and special interest people, will battle it out on the conference floor to determine who the presidential nominee will be. If there is a close contest the super delegates could well determine the nominee which would be an undemocratic process in a Democratic Party. All delegates to the convention should come from the primaries and caucuses. But the small number of super delegates will not be the determining factor. Up to yesterday the race was wide open.
Die Tageszeitung, Germany
“Obama-Land” Gets Larger
February 21, 2008
Germany – Die Tageszeitung- Original Article (German)
The results from Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary present us with a clear guidepost. Barack Obama can start on the final stretch of his journey to the White House. His decisive victory in this northern state, 57% to 41%, is not just one more win, one of a convincing series of victories since Super Tuesday. The results from Tuesday also show that the candidate for president is gaining ground among the groups of voters who were seen as core supporters of his rival Hillary Clinton: women , union members, low income earners, and middle-age white voters.

The blue collar state Wisconsin, which has few African-Americans or other minorities, was a litmus test for Obama – and for the former First Lady Hillary Clinton. She now has to be worried about her chances in Ohio and Texas – her “bulwark states” – when they vote on March 4. After the loss in Wisconsin, Clinton must score landslide victories in both states in order to gain the number of delegates required for the Democratic nomination. But in view of Obama’s momentum it appears more and more unlikely that the Senator from New York can beat him.

There are several reasons for this. Evidently Clinton’s newfound populism was not convincing enough for the voters. People in Ohio are reeling from the economic slowdown and Texas has the large immigrant communities, so Senator Clinton is aggressively making her case to unions and low income voters. But Obama has recently been gaining ground precisely with these groups. He also has just put forward tax incentive plans and investment programs targeted to middle class Americans. While both senators’ plans are virtually identical, Obama’s approach connects well with his message of a new beginning in Washington. Clinton, on the other hand, seems to be struggling to find the right message.

Even the complicated Texan voting procedure in two weeks seems to work in favor of Obama. Not only do voters have to show up at an evening caucus, but they have to also cast a vote in the primary. Obama has demonstrated over and over that he succeeds best where a level of voter commitment is required – as in the caucus states. Texas also offers numerous delegates in places where in the previous primaries showed a high level of voter participation, namely college and university towns – traditionally “Obama-Land”. Both candidates now have fourteen days to regroup, but it now appears that Hillary Clinton will not be in a position to end her series of losses.
Misconceptions about presidential candidate Obama

Bara Hasibuan, Jakarta

The exhilaration over Barack Obama's recent surge to claim the front-runner status in the Democratic Party nomination process is not just felt in the United States but also here in Indonesia.

Never before has there ever been a candidate in the history of the U.S. presidential elections with such strong historical ties to this country.

Many here are hopeful that an Obama presidency would usher in a new era in the U.S.-Indonesia bilateral relations. But would it?

First of all the notion that just because a candidate lived in a foreign country for a few years during childhood might somehow mean she or he would focus extra attention to that particular country if elected president is somewhat fanciful. Foreign policy is not driven by romanticism but by priorities and strategic interests.

It is not clear at this point how strategic Indonesia is for Obama -- or for any other candidate for that matter -- as the country has never been brought up throughout the campaign, whether in debates or stump speeches.

In the most comprehensive foreign policy speech Obama made last year in Chicago, Indonesia was hardly mentioned. Obama's foreign policy plan, as laid out on his campaign website, only calls for "new partnerships in Asia", without specifically identifying which countries in Asia with which he would seek new partnerships.

The only serious reference Obama has ever made to Indonesia has been in the context of his childhood living in a country with a Muslim majority which would make him the best candidate in dealing with one of the most pressing challenges the next President would face: repairing the U.S. image in the Muslim world.

But as he was once unduly attacked by a smear campaign charging that he had attended a Madrasah while living in Indonesia, Obama has been forced not to overtly stress his historical ties to the country.

And if we look at Obama's record in the U.S. Senate, it is equally hard to assess how he views Indonesia. Obama does in fact sit on the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs but he has never shown notable interest on Indonesian issues.

Yes true on Capitol Hill when it comes to priorities related to Asia, Indonesia is of less importance compared to China, Afghanistan, Japan, India and North Korea.

But there are a handful of senators and congressmen known to take up Indonesian issues from time to time, whether in a critical or a supportive way.

Just to name a few: Senators Patrick Leahy, Kit Bond, Russ Feingold and Congressmen Robert Wexler and Eni Faleomavaega.

It is not clear why Obama has never used his assignment on the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs to take up Indonesian issues.

One would think with such strong historical ties Obama would position himself as an ally of Indonesia.

It is conceivable that early on in his Senate career he had made a strategic decision not to get associated with Indonesia as he was already thinking ahead of a possible presidential bid. Or perhaps for Obama Indonesia simply has a less strategic value compared to other foreign policy priorities.

Indeed, whoever ends up in the White House in January 2009 foreign policy priorities for the U.S. will not change dramatically.

The new president will still have to deal with the mess in Iraq, how to get the Israelis and the Palestinians to agree to a workable peaceful solution, uncertainty about Iran's nuclear programs, the rise of Russia as an economic and military power and energy security.

For Asia the priorities will still be dominated by the rise of China, the North Korea nuclear programs, the uncertainty in Pakistan, the mess in Afghanistan and India's economic rise.

And whoever is elected President, he or she will continue to maintain strong ties with U.S. traditional allies in Asia Pacific: Japan, South Korea and Australia.

Another factor that needs to be put into the equation is Congress -- a body that has a lot of influence in shaping U.S. foreign policy through the power of the purse.

The Democrats are expected to continue to control Congress after the 2008 elections. That means issues like human rights, the role of the military and labor that have often times been contentious in the U.S.-Indonesia bilateral relations may not go away.

True one of the main attractions to Obama is that as President he would have the ability to mobilize support from Congress, including from those who are across the aisle.

But it remains unclear whether Obama would have the ability or the power to sway members of his own party on issues that are traditionally close to their hearts.

And we also need to bear in mind that despite all the talk about bipartisanship and reaching across the aisle Obama is ideologically liberal.

He in fact was voted the most liberal senator in 2007 by the publication, National Journal. This may make it instinctively hard for him to disregard issues like human rights and labor.

Nevertheless, the prospect of an Obama presidency is thrilling. There is no doubt of all the candidates who remain in the race, he is the best one to restore the U.S. global image.

His assets are obvious: The face and the background. And these assets would be the most powerful weapons to meet one of the biggest challenges for the next administration: How to win the hearts and minds of those who have been alienated by the Bush Administration.

The writer was an American Political Science Association (APSA) congressional fellow 2002-2003.
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Timing is everything

US elections 2008: Barack Obama won a huge victory in Wisconsin, but the elements of a media backlash are still lining up against him
Dan Kennedy
February 20, 2008 3:45 AM |
It was bound to happen.

For weeks, Barack Obama had sailed with the media's wind at his back. Political journalists have despised the Clintons since the 1990s. So when Obama rose to challenge the notion that Hillary Clinton was inevitable, much of the press treated him like - well, I'll let MSNBC's Chris Matthews say it: "I felt this thrill going up my leg."

Now, suddenly, Obama is on the defensive. He recently parried criticism that he's a man of words, not action, by channelling Martin Luther King Jr, Thomas Jefferson and Franklin Roosevelt. As it turned out, Obama was borrowing a riff used by Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick when Patrick faced the same rap two years ago. The Clintons pounced - and the media followed suit.

A few observations. Obama and Patrick share a political consultant, David Axelrod. Patrick has endorsed Obama. Patrick also said he didn't mind Obama borrowing his language. It seems absurd to accuse Obama of anything so serious as plagiarism, especially since, as Noam Scheiber of the New Republic writes, "you can't listen to a Clinton speech without hearing multiple riffs she's filched from other candidates" - including a few from Obama himself. But that hasn't stopped the Clinton forces from using the p-word.

The thing is, the Clintons' tactic is pretty much guaranteed to work, at least up to a point. At the most crucial moment of the Democratic contest, Clinton has tapped into a central reality about the media - that they desperately need to think of themselves as fair, whether they actually are fair or not. With Obama cruising to a double-digit victory in Wisconsin, and with Clinton delivering what struck me as a graceless and tone-deaf concession speech, maybe the moment will pass quickly. But the elements of a media backlash against Obama are there.

You could trace this theme back several generations, but for our purposes the 2000 presidential campaign will do. As has been documented by the likes of Bob Somerby and Eric Alterman, the press loathed Al Gore and thought George Bush was kind of a cool guy.

Because of that, the media went on a virtual wilding against Gore, accusing him of claiming to have "invented the internet" (something he never said), of having falsely boasted that he and Tipper were the models for the maudlin novel and movie Love Story (he was accurately recounting an inaccurate newspaper story), and on and on.

It's no exaggeration to say that the media, as much as the US supreme court, handed the presidency to Bush. And guilt set in. In 2004, for example, even though John Kerry was never a press favourite, the ludicrous claims of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth pretty much stayed in the conservative-talk-show ghetto except for the occasional mainstream debunking. Members of the so-called liberal media often like to prove their virility by beating up on liberal politicians. But there was a determination not to do to Kerry what had been done to Gore.

Hillary Clinton may now benefit from that same instinct. It's not merely that reporters have been unfair to her - it's that they know they've been unfair, and they're looking for a chance to make up for it. MSNBC, to name just one outlet, has been apologising on a regular basis for its hosts' over-the-top anti-Clinton outbursts. If anyone is due for some good press, it's Clinton.

This is not to say that Obama doesn't deserve some criticism. As Boston Phoenix media columnist Adam Reilly notes, Obama should already have been on notice that the rhetorical similarities between him and his fellow Axelrod client could raise doubts about his authenticity. "The real question, I think, is where Axelrod's thoughts and convictions end and Obama's and Patrick's begin," Reilly says. Axelrod has worked for John Edwards, too, and Dana Milbank of the Washington Post has found similar parallels between Obama's and Edwards' rhetoric.

But let's not look too closely for logic. If Clinton had accused Obama of plagiarism two months ago, she would have been ignored. He's getting it in the chops now because it's time - he's ahead, his press has been too positive and a lot of pundits want to balance all the nasty things they've said about the Clintons. It's Obama's turn, and there's not much he can do but hang on and hope for the best.
Plagiarism forsooth!

US elections 2008: Nothing becomes Obama like Clinton's attacks. So once more unto the breach - we come to analyse Obama, not to praise him
Ian Williams
About Webfeeds
February 19, 2008 8:00 PM |

It is symptomatic of the Clinton campaign's drearily academic approach that, while demanding a full critical apparatus for their opponent's speech, they have not noticed that Obama lifted his slogan "Yes We Can!" from Bob the Builder, ("Can we build it? Yes....") One is almost surprised they have not accused him of pandering to the hard-hat union vote.

I am somewhat agnostic about Obama. While I am certain that Hillary Clinton will do the right thing, in every sense, by the moneyed interests that have been backing her, he has not yet had the opportunity to do so on the same scale. Neither she nor Obama have the courage to adopt the single-payer system that is the only sensible solution to American health care's lack of structure, and both of them have burnt a pinch of incense on the altar of neo-liberal economic doctrine.

But the latest attack from the Clinton camp for alleged plagiarism - like the previous attempt to play the race card against him - should have footnoted it as a cover of "Karl Rove and the Swift Boaters: Greatest Hits, volume one". It is difficult not to suspect that the alleged linking of Obama to "terrorism" because an alleged Weatherman sent $200 to the campaign is also a leak from the Clinton campaign.

When Joe Biden stole Neil Kinnock's speech back in 1987, he was hounded out of the race, not so much for plagiarism as for absolute inappropriateness. Kinnock's speech celebrated what the 1945 Labour government in Britain had done for his family, generations of whom had toiled at the literal Welsh coal faces, while Biden's ancestors were trying to get their lips around silver spoons. Around that time, I was a writer on Kinnock's election team, and he took scrupulous care rewriting our contributions - so the bit Biden filched was all his.

The question to ask is, who writes Hilary's speeches? Does she really compose them herself, or, like most American politicians of her ilk, are they the distillation of focus group opinions being replayed back to ensure that no potential donor's feathers are ruffled?

The cult of originality derives from the ferocious Darwinian struggle for tenure in academic America. Like most pre-modern authors, Shakespeare's work is a pastiche of quotations, liftings and unacknowledged citations that, if he were writing now, would have him up for copyright violations. But in Obama's case, apart from Bob Builder, whose intellectual property has been appropriated? He paraphrased a paragraph from Deval Patrick, the governor of Massachussets - who is a friend and supporter, and who has not complained about it.

Indeed, if the Clinton team had academic insight to match their shallow academic spite, they would have noticed what their opponent said in New Hampshire last December:

"But you know in the end, don't vote your fears. I'm stealing this line from my buddy [Massachusetts Governor] Deval Patrick who stole a whole bunch of lines from me when he ran for the governorship, but it's the right one, don't vote your fears, vote your aspirations. Vote what you believe."

The Clinton tactics highlight the self-destructive absurdity of the primary system, in which a party's potential candidates spend almost two years providing ammunition for the other side in the general election. In the absence of clear macro-policy differences, they go for quibbles and personalities. But the primaries also highlight the self-destructive egotism of Hillary Clinton and her husband. Their speedy disavowal of their longtime friend Lani Guinier when faced with a proto-swiftboating by the Wall St Journal editorialists shows that they lacked attachment to their friends and their principles if they thought it detracted from dynastic power.

Swiftboating may indeed work in a Republican primary, where the wackos have disproportionate influence, and even in a general election, but it will backfire in a Democratic primary. And as for an accusation of plagiarism, maybe voters in the general election should be required to spell it, or even define it, before registering?

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The latest three-day average finds Clinton favored by 45% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters and Obama by 44%. Gallup interviews from Feb. 19, the first day following Obama's strong win in Tuesday's Wisconsin primary, do not show an increase in Obama's support that some might have expected as a result.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
This is what I was expecting, after Wisconsin election, Obama rating is going down. People don't like plagirism or fooled.
Wisconsin was Rep coup. But I think Obama machine latest attack on McCain will make Rep to change strategy.
This is from Texas
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I have also made another donation but believe it is as important to get on the phone (or in person) to talk with friends, relatives, and co-workers as to why they should vote for Hillary.  <b>Republicans are voting in the Democratic primary </b>so it is as important to talk with them as well as fellow Dems.  Invite folks to view the debate with you.  While at the Clinton rally in Tyler, I overheard a woman tell her companion; "My husband attended an Obama rally and loved it. He said he found himself swaying with the crowd and felt terrific when he left but he could not recall what Obama actually said." <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>Make sure you watch this</b>

This is scaring lot of people, check above my youtube link and understand what OReily and Rove is talking.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I am a fifty year old disabled single mother of seven, grandmother of five.  I live on my 624.00 disability check.  I have never given money to any Presidential candidate in my life.  Today I gave five dollars to Hillary Clinton. I believe in Hillary, I believe she wants what is best for this country.  I believe she is what is best for this country.  I am only sorry I could not give her more.  I say my prayers each night, that Hillary will become our President.  I pray this for the good of our country.  I pray that those who have been deceived by the other candidate, soften their hearts to the message Hillary has for our country and its people.  Each one of us matters, Hillary believes it, lives it, and has fought for us for years.  There is something to be said for experience, and I for one want the person who knows exactly what they are doing running our country.  Hillary--2008!!!!! <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Traditional democrats are behind her, only Rep. are creating fun.
To Hillary Clinton from Sophie B. Hawkins

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