• 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
US-Election 2008
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Webster Tarpley:Zbignew Brzienzki leading Obama campaign PT1<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
This is scary, we know how much Brzienzki loves Pakistan and hate India.
His Carter era messed-up whole world and we are still seeing results.
Obama whole campaign is run by Rockfeller , yale secret

I found this
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Obama Economic Controller
Is Skull And Bones Member
Austan 'The Ghoul' Goolsbee, Yale '91
By Webster Tarpley


WASHINGTON DC -- Barack Obama's top economics adviser is a member of the super-secret Skull & Bones society of Yale University, of which George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and John Kerry are also members, reliable sources confirmed tonight. <b>Goolsbee </b>is widely reported to have told Obama not to back a compulsory freeze on home mortgage foreclosures to help the struggling middle class in the current depression crisis, as demanded by former candidate John Edwards. Hillary Clinton has advocated a one-year voluntary freeze on foreclosures. <b>Obama has offered counselors to comfort mortgage victims as they are dispossessed, citing the 'moral hazard' of protecting the public interest from Wall Street sharks</b>.

By adding the infamous Skull & Bones secret society to his campaign roster, Obama, who bills himself as the candidate of change and hope, has attained a prefect trifecta of oligarchical and financier establishment backing for his attempt to seize the nomination of the Democratic Party for 2008. <b>Obama's main overall image adviser and foreign policy adviser is Zbigniew Brzezinski, the co-founder of David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission, and the mastermind of the disastrous Carter administration. Obama's wife Michelle is reputed to be closely linked to the Council on Foreign Relations</b>. Behind the utopian platitudes dished up by the Illinois senator, the face of the Wall Street money elite comes into clearer and clearer focus.

George Will, in an October 2007 Washington Post column saluted Goolsbee's "nuanced understanding" of traditional Democratic issues like globalization and income inequality; he "seems to be the sort of fellow -- amiable, empirical, and reasonable--you would want at the elbow of a Democratic president, if such there must be," wrote the arch-oligarchical apologist Will.

From Wikipedia: 'Austan D. Goolsbee is an economist and is currently the Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He is also a Research Fellow at the American Bar Foundation[1], Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a member of the Panel of Economic Advisors to the Congressional Budget Office. He has been Barack Obama's economic advisor since Obama's successful U.S. Senate campaign in Illinois. He is the lead economic advisor to the 2008 Obama presidential campaign.'
A lot of mainline Democrats are abandoning the Billary campaign. There is a move afoot to dump the DLC and its bye-products. They see the only option is to support Obama.
If you listen to above video link, you will see picture, why MSNBC are supporting Obama? why Kennedy and Kerry are behind Obama?
Media is making him as President, Rep machine is not yet out.
<b>Obama's Vague Promise Of Change</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->If Obama can translate all that into true leadership and effective policy that would be real change. If not, we’ll be asking the same question posed by Robert Redford’s character Bill McKay to end The Candidate: “What do we do now?”
<b>Rice Is Right For McCain's VP</b>
Here goes Black democrats vote. <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
She is black and woman, what a master stroke.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->We, perhaps white people especially, look to him for atonement and redemption. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-rajesh_g+Feb 15 2008, 07:08 AM-->QUOTE(rajesh_g @ Feb 15 2008, 07:08 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->We, perhaps white people especially, look to him for atonement and redemption.

I don't know if this is significant but the Black man sacrificing himself for the continuation of the white race was the overarching theme of the movie 'I am legend".
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->CNN) — Rep. John Lewis, the civil rights movement veteran and Democratic congressional leader who endorsed Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid last year, is switching his superdelegate vote to Barack Obama, according to a report Friday’s New York Times.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>Some black superdelegates reassess Clinton support</b>

Now this is black and white race, by nov this will solidfy.
Liberation, France
Immaculate Blackness
By Laurent Tran Van Lieu
Translated by Rami Assadi

February 13, 2008
France - Liberation - Original Article (French)
Barack Obama is going to win the next presidential election because he is not black.
Barack Obama isn’t black? No: and it is not because his mother is “as white as milk” in accordance with the “proper” description of the candidate. The reason that Barack Obama is not representative of black America is because his father is Kenyan.

This is true by the way. One does not say “black,” one says “African American.” And truly, black Americans are not “African” except through a long ago memory of their origin which passed from them by way of the original American sin of slavery.

Barack Obama does not embody this original sin. He is not the creditor of any centuries old guilty conscience. And he makes a point to not give any ethnic character to his candidacy so that the color of his skin does not slow the rallying toward him of not just the grand majority of African American voters (a black man is for the first time in a position to occupy the oval office!) but likewise large chunks of other prominent voting blocks. Beyond his intrinsic qualities, Barack Obama symbolizes a changing diversity, doing so without the for now dormant, but ever-present large American racial conflicts. [One gets] the good conscience without the guilt.

At a time when the president of our [French] Republic proposes to write the respect of [other people’s] diversity into the preamble of the [French] constitution, what significance does the case of Barack Obama have for us?
I was checking donor list/amount, Muslims are behind Hillary.
'I Have a Long Record of Working Together with Our Allies'

In an exclusive SPIEGEL interview, Republican presidential candidate John McCain, 71, discusses European-American relations, Germany's role in Afghanistan, how he would close Guantanamo and the conditions he would place on a global agreement on climate protection.

Presidential hopeful John McCain (on Super Tuesday in New York): "Every nation has the right to defend itself."

Presidential hopeful John McCain (on Super Tuesday in New York): "Every nation has the right to defend itself."

SPIEGEL: Senator McCain, Europe is reserving a lot of hope for the next president of the United States. Will you try to win back trust in America around the world?

McCain: I know most of the leaders in Europe and other parts of the world and I have a long record of my positions and my ability to work together with our allies. I think I will start out with a level of credibility.

SPIEGEL: America has lost a lot of friends because President George W. Bush angered, indeed outraged, them. He allowed human rights to be violated at Guantanamo Bay, and he dismissed the joint effort to combat global warming. Under a President McCain, could we expect a change of course?

McCain: Yes. I would announce that we are not ever going to torture anyone held in American custody. I would announce that we were closing Guantanamo Bay and moving those prisoners to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and I would announce a commitment to addressing climate change and my dedication to a global agreement -- but it has to include India and China.

SPIEGEL: So is America coming back to renegotiate the Kyoto Protocol?

McCain: I believe America is going to enter into negotiations to try to reach a global agreement. But, as I said, that agreement must include India and China, two of the emerging economies of the world. We would be foolish not to do so.

SPIEGEL: Will America attempt to go it alone less frequently in the future?

McCAIN: Well, we all hope that America will be multilateral again in the future. There were times when the United States acted unilaterally, but I think we would all prefer to work in concert with our friends and allies.

SPIEGEL: What role will the United Nations play? Bush always ignored the UN.

McCain: The United Nations always plays an important role. But right now we are having to deal with a Russia that is clearly intent on blocking action. That's why the UN must act in a league of democracies that share our values and our common principles.

SPIEGEL: Should Germany play a more important role around the world and obtain a permanent seat on the Security Council, for example?

McCain: Germany does play a very influential role around the world, and I value the relationship that we have shared for many, many generations. I believe Germany will continue to play a very influential and important role in the world.

SPIEGEL: What is your impression of German Chancellor Angela Merkel? Have you had the opportunity to have a longer conversation with her?

McCain: I have known her for many years and gone to the Munich Conference on Security every year. In fact, I had to miss that conference this weekend for the first time in many years because of the campaign. I have had excellent relations with her as I have had with other German leaders from both major parties.

SPIEGEL: Everyone is concerned about Afghanistan right now. Do you think that the Germans should be getting more deeply involved in Afghanistan?

McCain: We need more Germans in Afghanistan. There is a great deal at stake -- for all of Europe and the US -- including the export of the poppy crop products into Europe as well as the threat to stability in entire the region.

SPIEGEL: The United States is fighting against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. Do you expect greater support from the German military there?

McCain: I would like to see more German participation obviously, but those decisions are made by the German government and people.

SPIEGEL: Would you like to see Germany reduce trade with Iran?

McCain: I think we have to punish Iran to force them to abandon their current course.

<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Feb 14 2008, 07:37 PM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Feb 14 2008, 07:37 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Rice Is Right For McCain's VP</b>
Announcing Rice as his VP will surely have party conservatives, neo-cons and hawks out there with pitchforks. I doubt McCain will pick up anyone other than far right Christian fundamentalist as his VP candidate. 'Straight talk-express' has become a 'winer mobile' - did anyone notice how he's now voted for torture after being against it all his life?
<b>"Obama's (economic) plan. is the most shameless piece of potential plagiarism that I have ever seen. He basically took Clinton's words and Clinton's policies and called them his own. If I were a professor I'd give him an F and try to get him kicked out of school," said Kevin Hassett, Sen. John McCain's economic advisor and the Director of Economic Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute.</b>

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

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Start with <b>Pennsylvania</b>, which votes April 22. Quinnipiac today released a poll showing Clinton leading Obama there 52 to 36 percent. <b>Whites back Clinton 58 to 31; blacks back Obama 71 to 10. Since Pennsylvania's population is only 10 percent black, that accounts for Clinton's big lead.</b>

Then look at <b>Ohio</b>, which votes March 4. Here Quinnipiac shows Clinton ahead 55 to 34 percent. <b>Whites back Clinton 64 to 28; blacks back Obama 64 to 17. Ohio's population is 11 percent black</b>. Quinnipiac's Peter Brown (whom veterans of the campaign trail will remember as a first-rate reporter) explains why Clinton seems to be doing so well in Ohio (and, by implication, demographically similar Pennsylvania) after losing eight straight contests:

<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Ohio is as good a demographic fit for Sen. Clinton as she will find. It is blue-collar America, with a smaller percentage of both Democrats with college educations and African-Americans than in many other states where Sen. Obama has carried the day. If Clinton can't win the primary there, it is very difficult to see how she stops Obama.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Quinnipiac's result is similar to two other recent Ohio polls. Rasmussen has Clinton ahead 51 to 37 percent; SurveyUSA has her ahead 56 to 39 percent. The only Ohio poll taken in January, by the Columbus Dispatch, showed Clinton ahead of Obama 42 to 19 percent. Obama has apparently made gains since then. But so has Clinton.

In the other big state that votes March 4, Texas, it seems that there has been no public poll since last April(!). <b>Texas's population is 12 percent black and 32 percent Hispanic, so we can expect the Democratic primary electorate there to be about 20 percent black and perhaps 15 to 20 percent Hispanic.</b>

One primary Penn did not stress in his memo was <b>Wisconsin</b>. The Clinton campaign line has been that the post-Super Tuesday February contests are all dismal ground for their candidates. <b>But the Wisconsin polling data tell a different story</b>. Scott Rasmussen shows Obama leading Clinton by only 47 to 43 percent. This is similar to Strategic Vision's Wisconsin survey, which shows Obama ahead 45 to 41 percent. <b>Wisconsin's population is 6 percent black and 3 percent Hispanic.</b>

How can Clinton be doing so much better here than she did in Maryland and Virginia? One reason is that there are smaller percentages of black voters in these states. Another, probably more important, reason is that the white Democratic primary voters are different. In Maryland and Virginia, they tended to be quite upscale and on the young side, especially in the big suburban counties outside Washington, D.C. In Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, they're much more downscale. At a time when Clinton and Obama are essentially tied in national polls, it stands to reason that if Obama is ahead in states like Maryland and Virginia, Clinton will be ahead in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

<b>Texas </b>is another, interesting story. Texas doesn't have party registration, and, historically, huge numbers of white voters participated in the state's Democratic presidential primary—1.3 million in 1980, 1.8 million in 1988, 1.5 million in 1992. That number plunged downward to 786,000 in 2000 and 839,000 in 2004, even though the state's population grew from 14 million in 1980 to 22 million in 2004. <b>The obvious conclusion: An awful lot of white Texans began voting in the Republican primary again.</b> This year's Texas Democratic primary could turn out to be largely a battle of minorities, with blacks voting heavily for Obama and Latinos, as in most other states so far, heavily for Clinton. In this battle Obama will undoubtedly have an organizational advantage, both because his campaign— unlike hers— has done organizational work in the post-Super Tuesday states and because of the strength of pre-existing black turnout organizations. <b>As for white Democratic primary voters, upscale Texans still tend to be heavily Republican, though a little less so than 15 or 20 years ago—very much contrary to the pattern in Northern Virginia and Montgomery County, Md. White downscale voters in southern states have generally gone for Clinton, but not by overwhelming margins.</b> Of the four states we've looked at here, Texas appears the most problematic for Clinton, though she's on far stronger ground there than in the already concluded post-Super Tuesday contests.

US can learn diversity from India
10 Feb 2008, 0039 hrs IST,Chidanand Rajghatta,TNN

Be it Obama or Hillary, either way, a Democrat Prez this year will truly break the mold (TOI Photo)
For a man who was once dubbed "the best President the United States never had," Adlai Stevenson came up with one of the most deliciously ironic quotes about the highest office in the United States. "In America anyone can be President; that's one of the risks you take," he once said in mock self-deprecation. A twice Democratic nominee for the Presidency in the 1950s, Stevenson's intellectual vim and sparkling wit won him a legion of admirers, but not the ultimate prize in US politics.

At a public meeting during his campaign, Stevenson was once greeted with a cry from a man in the audience who said he would get the vote of every thinking man in America. "Thank you, but I need a majority," Stevenson responded dryly. Mocked by the media and his opponents for wearing a worn-out shoe with a hole in it during the campaign, he sardonically said, "Rather a hole in the shoe than a hole in head." In 1952, Richard Nixon called him as an "egghead," a sobriquet he carried with quiet pride and dignity as he paled into the political twilight as the US envoy to UN.

Decades later, the myth that "anyone can be the president of the United States" continues to be perpetuated ("That's the problem," the comic George Carlin quipped, adding to the make-believe). The truth is, there has been a pattern to the US Presidency going back 232 years. You have to be white, male, and wealthy to make it to the White House, going by the metronomic regularity with which the world's "greatest" democracy has elected 43 presidents of similar pedigree.

Stevenson, despite being arguably the brightest man to run for presidency till Al Gore went for it, would have also fitted the mold. Any other type of candidate, until now, would have been in the realm of fiction. Indeed, the writer Irving Wallace did fictionalize the scenario in his 1960s book The Man, in which Douglass Dilman, a young black politician, is accidentally pitched into the Presidency. But more of that, and how it has come to near-realisation, a little later.

In contrast to the political monoculture that has given the United States 43 white, male presidents in 232 years, it is in India, one of the world's younger democracies, that the truth of the statement anyone can go on to the highest office in the land is being realized all the time. Consider this: in only 60 years and with 14 Prime Ministers, India has already elected a staggering variety of chief executives - from a Kashmiri Pandit to a Punjabi Sikh, India has seen a UP Thakur and Jat, an Andhra Brahmin, a Punjabi Khatri, a Karnataka Gowda, and a half-Parsi, half-Brahmin pilot, among others at the helm.

It has even elected a widow, a widower, and a bachelor among its 14 PMs (the US in contrast, counts only one bachelor among 43 presidents). Counting both domicile and birthplace, India's 14 PMs span nine of India's now 28 states - Kashmir, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra (Rajiv Gandhi was born in Mumbai), Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Assam - including two who were born in what is now Pakistan's West Punjab (I K Gujral in Jhelum and Manmohan Singh in Gah).

What's more, this dharma of diversity is set to expand wider in the coming years with the prospect of a single Dalit woman from UP, a young modernist Indian who's half-Italian, and an ultranationalistic Gujarati bachelor among others lining up for the highest office in the land. Truly, it is in India that anyone can go on to be the Prime Minister.

In contrast, the American political system has seldom departed from the mold of electing male White Anglo Saxon Protestants (WASPs) to the aptly-named White House. John F Kennedy's election in 1960 was considered a minor exception (he was a Catholic), while Bill Clinton is nominally considered by some as the "first Black president" because of his empathy for African-Americans. But it was not until 1984 that a woman came anywhere near presidency (when Geraldine Ferraro was the Democratic vice-presidential nominee) and it was not until 2004 that a Jew (Joe Liebermann, Democrat-now-turned Republican-leaning Independent) was on the ticket.

Of course, Americans are fed plenty of arresting presidential trivia to suggest that a great variety have occupied the White House. The US has elected a range of presidents, from one who was completely polio-stricken (Franklin Roosevelt) to another who was a fashion model (Gerald Ford) and another who was an actor (Ronald Reagan). There have been large presidents (at 332 lbs, President Taft once got stuck in a bathtub) and small presidents (James Madison was a Shastri-esque 5' 4" and weighed only 100 lbs). There have been Presidents who were loquacious (none more than Bill Clinton) and Presidents who were taciturn (a woman once bet President Coolidge she could get more than two words out of him. "You lose," he responded.)

But in the end, they all responded to the same basic description - White Male.

Now, after 232 years, the United States - at least one political half of it - has come within sniffing distance of truly breaking the mold. Whether the Democrats nominate Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama as their candidate for the White House, history will be made, and even greater history (getting to the White House itself) attempted. If anything, fact will follow fiction, and it's not just by way of Irving Wallace's The Man, a book written in the 1960s when the idea of a black president was truly in the realm of the fantastic. In recent years, there have been a number of films and TV serials that has portrayed black presidents - Chris Rock in Head of State, Morgan Freeman in Deep Impact, Tommy Lister in The Fifth Element and a couple of actors in the TV series '24'. They have been fewer showing women in the presidential role - Meryl Streep is set to play a President in a forthcoming comedy with Robert DeNiro playing "First Man."

But if and when it happens in real life, the US would still be behind the curve with regard to India in at least one aspect - diversity in high office.

February 12, 2008

With Enemies Like McCain's, Who Needs Friends?</b>

By Gabor Steingart in Washington D.C.

It wasn't that long ago that Senator John McCain's candidacy seemed dead in the water. Now, though, the Republican senator from Arizona is getting support from all sides -- including from the Democrats.

Individuals hardly ever find success completely on their own. One needs the right friends and -- at least as important -- the right enemies. John McCain has both.

In the first category, McCain, the 71-year-old Senator from Arizona, can rely on Henry Kissinger. The former secretary of state and national security advisor under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford is something of a wise old godfather for the Republican party -- and he threw his weight behind McCain well before his poll numbers began climbing into respectability.

Arizona Senator John McCain is getting help from friends and foes alike.

Arizona Senator John McCain is getting help from friends and foes alike.
It was a time when hardly anyone was willing to even donate a single dollar to the McCain campaign. The phrase "No Surrender" was plastered on his campaign bus. It was supposed to refer to the fight against radical Islam, but it could just as easily have been the defiant credo guiding McCain, the Vietnam veteran-turned-politician.

Kissinger promotes his friend without pause. During an interview with Kissinger in his New York office on Monday, the éminence grise of US foreign policy had nothing but good things to say about McCain. Even off the record, Kissinger didn't shy away from praising the Arizona Senator -- the kind of tone one seldom hears within a political party. There is no one better for the job of president, Kissinger insisted.

America Votes 2008: The Primaries at a Glance
Appealing to America's Political Center

But Kissinger has more than just praise to offer. His voice remains an influential one in conservative America and when he hosts a fundraiser, the guests often open up their wallets before the main course is served. McCain's war chest was depleted last summer but is now overflowing.

Money, though, is only one side of the equation -- when it comes to getting votes, McCain's enemies may be at least as helpful, including those from his own party. When those on the right wing of the party question his conservative credentials and complain about his defiance of Republican positions on such issues as global warming, it makes him more appealing than ever to America's political center.

The list of issues where McCain's deviance from party orthodoxy may help him in a general election is long. Some Republicans accuse him of being faint-hearted because he wants to close down the prison at Guantanamo and rejects torture as an interrogation method. But it's a position which makes him all the more attractive to millions of voters. Other Republicans blast McCain for voting against the tax cuts pushed through by the Bush Administration. But his reasoning for doing so -- a desire to avoid skyrocketing American debt -- has been accepted by many.

The Dispassionate Conservative

In short, whether the Republicans like it or not, their candidate does not -- in contrast to the Republican candidates who have fallen by the wayside -- blindly follow the party line. He is a conservative, but not a Cold Warrior. He is old, but not old-fashioned. This is a candidate who thinks for himself.

But perhaps McCain's most valuable support comes from the left side of America's political spectrum -- from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The two candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination continue to battle it out in their neck-and-neck race. Indeed, the race has the potential for extending well into the summer -- a prospect that brings tears of joy to the eyes of the Republicans.

Neither of the two Democrats has had much luck attracting voters away from each other. Obama has failed to make inroads among Clinton supporters she has likewise found little success luring his followers to her cause. But however the contest ends, the wounds are likely to stick around for a while -- no matter how often Democrats insist they will heal immediately.

An Obama victory over Hillary and Bill would hit the Clintons' far-reaching network hard, and they might prove immune to an Obama charm offensive. In Hillaryland reside those who prefer the solid and the substantive. They want Realpolitik and are not interested in the polit-movement Obama has to offer. The Clinton camp wants to be governed, not inspired.

It is not out of the realm of possibility that a number of Clinton supporters -- those for whom experience is an important consideration -- transfer their support to McCain should Obama eventually win the nomination. At the very least, they will listen to McCain. His promises, after all -- experience, realism, readiness to govern from day one -- sound a lot like hers.

Friends and Foes -- Hand in Hand

Should Hillary come out on top, however, it is difficult to imagine that Barack's supporters will forgive her for torpedoing their dream. She would have to win over an entire army of disappointed Obamists. Indeed, his rise shows something of a dark side. As much as Obama preaches bipartisanship and unity, his followers have developed an intense dislike for Clinton. Their eyes glow when he speaks. But they narrow to tiny slits when she takes the microphone. The togetherness their idol calls for may include everybody, but it doesn't include her.

Sign up for Spiegel Online's daily newsletter and get the best of Der Spiegel's and Spiegel Online's international coverage in your In- Box everyday.

Obama's campaign has already motivated a number of young Americans to become involved in politics for the first time. But should he fail, many of them might slink back into the category of non-voters -- a group that is already huge in the US. Almost half of those registered to vote in the US don't cast their ballots in presidential elections.

The beneficiary of this Democratic spat is called John McCain. Eight weeks ago, one could have scoffed at his presidential campaign and pointed to his lack of broad support as a sure sign that he would fail. Now, those propelling his candidacy to success are everywhere to be found -- both his friends and his enemies, hand in hand.

A Nightmare Opponent for the Democrats

By Cordula Meyer in Phoenix, Arizona

It's been an unbelievable comeback. A year ago, you could have pretty much written the obituary for John McCain's 2008 campaign. And now, one day after Super Tuesday, he's firmly at the helm of the Republican ship. His battle, though, hasn't just been with Democrats. Some of his most vicious enemies are part of his own party.

A young supporter holds a sign for Arizona senator and Republican presidential candidate John McCain during a post-Super Tuesday rally in Phoenix.

A young supporter holds a sign for Arizona senator and Republican presidential candidate John McCain during a post-Super Tuesday rally in Phoenix.
John McCain's supporters are celebrating like crazy, and their rejoicing is drowning out the loudspeaker announcements. Calm only ensues when the candidate steps up to the microphone for the first time at about 10:30 p.m. local time. But, in the moment of his great victory, he looks reserved. "Tonight, my friends, we have won a number of important victories in the closest thing we have ever had to a national primary," he says, as if he still hasn't even convinced himself yet.

McCain won in the most important states in the Northeast -- New Jersey and New York -- but also in Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma and, most importantly, in California, which accounts for a fifth of all the delegate votes needed to secure the nomination. "Although I've never minded the role of the underdog ... tonight we must get used to the idea that we are the Republican Party front-runner for the nomination of president of the United States," McCain says, before pausing. He is wan, but he smiles and adds, "And I don't really mind it one bit."

In fact, John McCain's victory was surprisingly clear. His opponent Mitt Romney won a handful of the smaller states, including Massachusetts, where he used to be the governor. Mike Huckabee, the politically gifted Baptist preacher from Arkansas, performed surprisingly well and won in four Southern states, which makes Romney's successes look even feebler.

McCain's victory is an almost unbelievable comeback story. Last summer he was broke, and he couldn't even afford to pay for his campaign bus anymore. He quarreled with his colleagues, and the majority of those who stayed on had to keep on working without a paycheck. At that time, whenever he showed up somewhere, people would look at each other, shake their heads and talk about the tragedy of the headstrong old man, who just didn't know when to give up.

In the end, McCain took out a $3 million (€2 million) loan just to be able to keep his campaign going. Before doing so, though, he was forced to take out another life insurance policy because the bank apparently feared that the 71-year-old man would not survive the campaign.

Now, a good year later, it looks like McCain has locked up the nomination. But he's not celebrating.

Not yet.

He's a superstitious man. Perhaps he fears that victory might still slip through his fingers.

Enemies within His own Party

The Vietnam veteran still has some warm words for his opponents. And then he speaks mostly about "running for the great privilege of leading the party that has been my political home for a quarter-century."

He says even louder those things that should reassure those who fear that he is not really a Republican.

McCain stresses conservative principles. He stresses that he will keep the federal government small and federal spending even smaller. He stresses that the justices on the Supreme Court should apply the law rather than make it.

It is the gesture of a winner, who is extending a hand to the other side. As it is, though, McCain has no more bitter opponents than those on the right-wing of his own party. Right-wing commentators and hosts of the big radio talk shows have joined forces to create a veritable anti-McCain brigade.

For weeks now, right-wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh has agitated against McCain on his program. The closer the Vietnam hero gets to the nomination, the meaner the attacks become. McCain "has stabbed his party in the back so many times," Limbaugh rages. "I can't even say how often." The radio host says that he would prefer to have his party lose the election over having it be led by McCain. "If I believe the country will suffer with either Hillary, Obama or McCain, I would just as soon the Democrats take the hit ... rather than a Republican causing the debacle."

A Thumb in the Eyes of 'True' Conservatives

James Dobson, the head of an arch-conservative Christian group that espouses family values, warned recently on another radio talk show that: "I am convinced Sen. McCain is not a conservative and, in fact, has gone out of his way to stick his thumb in the eyes of those who are."

These right-wing radio programs are very popular. Each week, Limbaugh alone reaches over 13.5 million listeners.

But it's clear that the voters have not listened to the drums beating loudly against McCain. And, instead of transforming Mitt Romney into a kingmaker, it now appears that the influence of the right-wing opinion-makers is smaller than had previously been believed.

Romney tried to take advantage of the boost provided by talk radio, and he declared the election to be a battle for "the direction of the Republican Party." But now the voters have decided in favor of McCain's direction.

The voters evidently want to step back from the slavish obedience to party doctrine that continues to move to the right. Moreover, McCain fits the bill because he presents himself as a man with principals, good judgment and decisiveness.

'I Like the Straight Talk'

As Barack Obama's success also shows, Americans are looking for a leader and not for someone who, like Romney, adapts his beliefs to whichever way the wind blows. "I voted for honesty and integrity," says Mary Dobbins, a retiree from New Hampshire. "Everything else comes after that." That, in a nutshell, is the position of many McCain voters.

Sign up for Spiegel Online's daily newsletter and get the best of Der Spiegel's and Spiegel Online's international coverage in your In- Box everyday.

More than anything else, though, this vote was one about character. The voters' beliefs are often at odds with John McCain's, but they put a high value on his character.

"I like the straight talk," says Rick Page, who works in commercial real estate in Illinois. "He just lays it out like it is. Sometimes it doesn't sound great. It's not what you want to hear, but you know what he believes."

This explains what is actually a rather paradoxical situation. America's tanking economy has become one of the most important election issues, but it is not one of McCain's strong suits. Nevertheless, he is still winning because his character outshines everything everything else.

The same holds true when it comes to the war in Iraq. McCain is one of the war's unshakeable advocates, and he only has differences with President George W. Bush when it comes to the question of which strategies are the correct ones. Nevertheless, the former Navy pilot is also currently attacting the votes of Republicans opposed to the war.

On Thursday, McCain will attend a conference of conservatives in Washington in the hopes of dispelling doubts about the legitimacy of his candidacy. It certainly helps that all the surveys say that McCain is the Republican candidate with the best chances of defeating the Democrats in November.

Frank Fahrenkopf, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, sums up his prospects thusly: "I think he'll be very difficult to stop because of the electability issue. Knowing the party as I know the party, the party doesn't want to lose."

From The Times
February 13, 2008
Something must give — or will the fight be stopped?
Hillary Clinton

HIllary Clinton has the edge among the so-called super-delegates as a result of a frantic lobbying campaign by her husband
Tom Baldwin in Washington

The Democratic presidential contest is now between an unstoppable force and an immovable object.

Hillary Clinton is retrenching behind what her advisers call “a demographic brick wall” in Ohio and Texas – believing that Barack Obama’s recent momentum will be brought to an abrupt halt next month by the blue-collar and Latino voters who have largely backed her elsewhere.

Mr Obama still surges forward, putting his faith in the “fierce urgency of now” helping him to vault over the next big round of elections on March 4, when 444 delegates are at stake, in the same way that he has already defied the laws of political campaigning.

Something, or someone, has to give. And eyes are turning to the party leadership of 796 “super-delegates” to be a referee that stops this fight before it reaches the presidential nomination convention in August.
Related Links

* 'Battle-scarred' Hillary sacks campaign chief


* US elections blog

A senior adviser to Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, has suggested that she – along with other “party elders” – will step into the ring if they feel that Democratic hopes of winning back the White House or maintaining control over Congress are being threatened. Ms Pelosi insists that she remains neutral in the race and that her “focus is on reelecting a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives”.

However, her voice would carry great authority among many uncommitted super-delegates on Capitol Hill – and she is said by one of those close to her to be leaning towards Mr Obama. “The party Establishment is not going to turn its back on a candidate who is generating this tremendous excitement and bringing all these new voters into the political process,” an adviser said. Mr Obama’s team is busy pushing the same message, telling members of Congress in districts where he has already won that they would be foolish to alienate their core vote in an election year.

Mrs Clinton still has the edge among super-delegates, not least because Bill Clinton is calling in all the favours he has done them over the past 16 years. Both candidates know that the Democrats are desperate for a win and are putting increasing emphasis on their competing claims to be best-placed to succeed in November’s general election.

The Clinton campaign regards much of current “Obamentum” as media-fuelled hype and says that the picture will look very different after the elections in Ohio and Texas. Her aides profess not to worry that much about Mr Obama sweeping up the February states, with her spokesman, Howard Wolfson, saying that voters have been balancing each other out all the way through this year’s seesaw contest. “Much is made of the concept of momentum but in this primary season it has been precisely the opposite,” he said, “there is no evidence of a stampede one way or another”.

He gruffly dismisses suggestions that relying on future big-state votes make the Clinton campaign resemble that of Rudy Giuliani, the one-time

Republican front-runner, who skipped early contests to concentrate on Florida – only to see his presidential hopes wilt away. Mr Wolfson told The Times that unlike Mr Giuliani, Mrs Clinton had won California and New York. She had “a long track record” of emerging victorious from elections that had been properly contested, he said, without mentioning that her campaign had effectively ceded many smaller states to Mr Obama .

Ohio is regarded not only as big but also natural Clinton country. It is part of the rustbelt and Mrs Clinton is relying on the blue-collar, lower-income vote, who remember the good old days of her husband’s presidency and trust her on issues such as the economy or national security.

In Texas almost a third of the population is of Hispanic origin, a group that skewed heavily towards her in Nevada and California. Many Latinos also say that they owe loyalty to the Clinton name and want a president on the inside track who can deliver for them – rather than an ethnic minority outsider.

Mr Obama’s strategists acknowledge that Mrs Clinton “unquestionably starts out” with significant advantages but they insist that they will run her close or even win one of these states. His aides say that Latino voters have been more sympathetic to Mr Obama’s bid to become the first black president in states such as Arizona and New Mexico, where they are an established community and not competing with African-Americans for low-paid jobs or housing.

In Ohio he is expected to highlight the Clinton Administration’s record on free trade deals, such as Nafta, that are blamed for the loss of many manufacturing jobs.

Aides point out that not only are both states holding “open contests” – allowing the independents who have backed him before to vote – but that he also now has plenty of time, and pots of money, to campaign hard in both states.

“We have demonstrated repeatedly that once people get to know Barack we can come from way behind to either be competitive or win,” one aide said.

There is a more sinister demographic fact that is causing a collective shudder to pass down the Democratic leadership. Mr Obama is consistently trailing Mrs Clinton among white voters and, in the South, white men.

The Clintons would not dare play such a card, even if they wanted to, particularly after the racially charged ructions of South Carolina last month.

The advisers who sneer privately at the fragility of Mr Obama’s coalition of black people and white “latte liberals”, should remember that it was a similar group that elected Mr Clinton in 1992.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Democrats and the Politics of Identity
By Blake D. Dvorak

<b>A few days ago Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat, stated the obvious. His chosen candidate, Hillary Clinton, he said, was in good shape to win the state's April 22 primary because "[y]ou've got conservative whites here, and I think there are some whites who are probably not ready to vote for an African American candidate."</b> As swift as lightning, down came the curmudgeons of high sensitivity rebuking Mr. Rendell for injecting race into the campaign. <b>In repentance, the good governor spent the next several days explaining </b>what he really meant by using a different example: There are some men, he said, who won't vote for Hillary Clinton either.

In fact, there are a lot of men who haven't voted for Clinton, and there are a lot of whites who haven't voted for Obama. But there are also quite a few African-Americans who haven't voted for Hillary, just as there are a whole bunch of Hispanics who haven't voted for Obama. You get the point.

My colleague Jay Cost, as someone who not only knows what an ordinary least squares regression analysis is, but also knows how to perform one, <b>has calculated that each of the states Obama has won since Super Tuesday played heavily to at least one of Obama's demographic strengths: states with either large African-American populations or, somewhat counter-intuitively, "homogeneously" white populations; states with high median incomes for white voters; states with low Hispanic populations; and states with low union membership.</b>

Using this formula, Cost noted that it is possible to forecast the upcoming contests. So, for instance, Obama should do well in Oregon (homogeneously white) while Clinton should do well in Kentucky (low median white income). The model does not account for momentum, however, which Obama might have picked up by winning the last eight contests. But the larger point is that, given the demographic makeup of the remaining states, one can predict, with a reasonable degree of accuracy, just which candidate should do well in which state. In fact, on average, the remaining states favor Clinton slightly. Good news for her tear ducts.

But bad news for a Democratic Party that can no longer deny that it has a serious problem of identity politics. <b>As long as the Democratic Party was nominating white men who were quickly able knock out the rest of the field, the coalition of competing interest groups defined by race, class, gender, or geography was in little danger of fracturing.</b> But with Clinton and Obama - "one protected species ... running against a member of another," as Bloomberg's Margaret Carlson put it - the politics of identity has turned inward, like the Jacobins turning on the Girondins.

Quite a change of events for a party accustomed to using the politics of identity against the Right: Tax cuts for the rich; "nativist" immigration policies; disenfranchisement of minority voters; Trent Lott -- basically, John Edwards' whole platform. When employed across a broad spectrum like the Republican Party, the strategy works quite well in appeasing the various demographic factions. But when employed inside the party, those who once cried outrage at the slightest infraction now find themselves the ones charged with "insufficient sensitivity." And here all Gov. Rendell was doing was stating something the data empirically proves.

But for all their political expertise, the Clintons never saw it coming. What a shock it must have been for America's "First Black President" to suddenly find himself accused of intentionally demeaning a black candidate by comparing him to Jesse Jackson. Imagine the surprise in Hillaryland when the campaign's video ad showing a bunch of men picking on the woman was suddenly criticized for "playing the gender card." The thought must have sent waves of anxiety through headquarters: "How can we touch this guy if all the old tricks aren't working? Worse, the tricks are being turned against us." Those tears in New Hampshire certainly won't reap the same rewards in Ohio.

And there's more to come. <b>According to The Politico, white men make up 46% of the superdelegates </b>that could decide the nomination in Denver this summer. That's nearly half!

"<b>It's still the old guard, the white men.</b> They always want to control the outcome," an anonymous superdelegate told the newspaper. "But this time, they won't be able to do it." At the risk of making a sweeping generalization, much like our superdelegate friend here, those given the honor of superdelegate status are usually the most partisan, ideologically-driven folks in the party. They're like super-duper caucus-goers. And yet by virtue of their maleness and whiteness, Mr. Anonymous Superdelegate sees nothing but a threat to his particular interest group. Such are the absurd logical contortions one makes when all one knows is the politics of identity.

Republicans must be smiling while they watch foes like the Clintons subjected to the same tactics they once so freely exploited. The schadenfreude will be short-lived. This season of Democratic discontent will eventually end, the loose coalition of squabbling interests will regroup, and it will be back to identity politics as usual.

But if it hadn't before, there must now reside in the Democratic Party the fear that the Obama-Clinton contest has exposed fault lines of serious racial-gender-class fragmentation, any part of which could turn on another. Even Obama, who once had to endure questions of being "black enough," might one day stand accused of racial, class, or gender insensitivity, as the barrel of identity politics is ever in need of targets. Just ask the Clintons.
NBC exposes Obama's campaign funding ties to nuclear power

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 2 Guest(s)