Friday, February 29, 2008

Obama on PayGo

obama favors a pay as you go system (not used by the bush administration) of budgeting in government. if you want to cut taxes for something, you have to cut spending somewhere else, or put another way, if you're losing revenue then you have to find money someplace else.
"you can't keep running up the credit card, under the name of our children borrowing from the bank of china."
he'll roll back bush tax cuts for the wealthy. it will go back to the way it was under the bill clinton administration, he said.
"they were rich then and they will still be rich after i am president. rest assured."
"i am a progressive," he said. progressives need to be more fiscally conservative that the conservatives. there are a lot of needs so we can't waste. "I want to examine and eliminate some spending."

Obama On Abortion

moments ago, obama spoke to the hispanic community in brownsville, texas on immigration, abortion and other topics.
on the topic of abortion:

"i don't think there are many americans if any are pro abortion."

he said he recognizes abortion is a moral issue. "in the past, in our public discussions that has been lost."

"the main difference I have with some of my fellow christians is who makes that moral judgement?"

women should be making the decision as opposed to the government, he said. these are very difficult and painful decisions.

"i respect people who disagree," he said.

"where we can agree is to reduce abortion." we can do this by preventing teens from getting pregnant, encouraging adoption, instilling a "moral perspective," and the sacredness of the relationship between men and women.


taking the issue up as a "moral" issue as opposed to a religious issues is refreshing. why not a middle ground to actually work on solving the problem? a religious solution isn't the only answer. right now, pro and anti abortion sides are becoming more entrenched in their own views, meanwhile the problem escalates.

Clinton Tries Bush Tactic in New Ad

clinton has resorted to tapping into fears of terrorism to scare up votes. as i recall, that's a tactic that bush tried. many people fell for it. but not this time.
the ad:

The ad, launched Friday in Texas ahead of that state's crucial March 4 primary,
shows children asleep in their beds in the middle of the night while a narrator references a potential national security crisis and asks, "It's 3 a.m. and your children are safely asleep. Who do you want answering the phone?"
obama's response:

“I will never see the threat of terrorism as a way to scare up votes, because it’s a threat that should rally this country around our common enemies,” Mr. Obama said. “That is the judgment we need at 3 a.m.”

from cnn clinton response:

The Clinton campaign meanwhile vigorously defended the ad, and brushed aside notions it is reminiscent of the famous Lyndon Johnson "Daisy" ad, which portrayed a young girl counting down to a nuclear attack.
"This is a positive ad," Clinton adviser Mark Penn said. "Very soft images, not at all like that ad. Soft images. And it poses a question to people that they have to answer themselves: Who do they want to pick up the phone?"
"That ad basically envisions the apocalypse, and that is not what this ad does," Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson said. "This ad basically says, 'You know what? We are electing a president and it matters who is handling a phone call in
a crisis at 3 a.m. as president.' That is a legitimate matter for a presidential
campaign."

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Texas Primer The Run Down

from new republic:

Welcome to Texas: home of the most ludicrous, convoluted, and downright screwy Democratic primary system in America. Actually, it's not even a primary; it's a primary-caucus hybrid, the electoral equivalent of the turducken. In advance of the big March 4 primary, we've put together a primer to help explain the intricacies of the process.

Delegate Count
228 delegates (126 through primary; 67 through caucus; 35 unpledged superdelegates)
In-state fundraising through February 28
Hillary Clinton $4.9 million
Barack Obama $3.6 million
Demographics of Democratic primary voters
Hispanic: 37.1%
Black: 22%
White: 38.1%
Female: 51.9%
29 and under: 11%
65 and over: 26.1%
Union Members: 476,000
Latest PollsRasmussen (2/27) Obama 48; Clinton 44
InsiderAdvantage (2/27): Obama 43; Clinton 47
SurveyUSA (2/25): Obama 49; Clinton 45
CNN (2/24): Obama 50; Clinton 46

Russia's Forced Elections

as contentious and sometimes caustic that our presidential election process is in the U.S., at least we're not being forced to vote for a president. in russia, employers are making their workers vote for president vladimir putin's chosen successor, dmitri medvedev. what's the point of elections? anyway, this is a reason why we should be voting our heads off.

Banishing Obama's Middle Name

no one is banishing obama's middle name, hussein. we are banishing the intention behind the use of his middle name. one needs only to look at a few "conservative" blogs to get the idea. but it would be an opportunity for obama to open people's minds a bit if he did take some rally time to explain as this story suggests, even though there is plenty of information out there. still, i hope he takes a moment at a rally.
here's a story on the origins of hussein, which was obama's grandfather's name.

Obama Rhode Island Rally March 1


Stand for Change Rally with Barack Obama

Rhode Island College
Recreation Center
600 Mount Pleasant Ave.
Providence, RI 02908

Saturday, March 1
Doors open: 12:00 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required, but an RSVP is strongly recommended. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis.

For security reasons no bags are allowed. Please limit personal belongings. No signs or banners are permitted.
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Obama Texas Rally Today


this event is usually streamed at cnn.com
Stand for Change Rally with Barack Obama

Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
16765 Lookout Road
Selma, TX 78154

Friday, February 29
Doors open: 6:00 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public; however space is limited and an RSVP is required. Space is available on a first come, first served basis.

For security reasons no bags are allowed. Please limit personal belongings. No signs or banners are permitted.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

I Went to the Dark Side to Learn

i've been creeping around on "conservative" blogs kind of for fun. been getting a kick out of the hypocrisy and i truly want to understand them but i just don't get it.
here is the message i got when i signed up at this conservative news site to get a "barack obama exposed" 37-page missive (i was going to include some excerpts below but i've deleted them):
Dear Reader,
Thank you for signing up to receive HUMAN EVENTS' new special report, Barack Obama: Exposed! If you are looking forward to getting the ugly facts about the Left's new favorite poster boy, you've got to check out my bestseller Godless (which you can get absolutely FREE just for trying HUMAN EVENTS).
Though liberalism rejects the idea of God and reviles people of faith, this liberal hostility to traditional religion stems from the fact that liberalism is itself a religion -- a godless one.
In Godless, I reveal (with the help of the liberals who dominate our courts, government bureaucracies, schools, and media) that liberalism is now the established religion of our country. I throw open the doors of the Church of Liberalism and show you...

it goes on and on but it is an ad for ann coulter's book, who i'm learning is quite the piece of work. mind you, i'm new to this political stuff. why do these conservative peeps spew so much hate? is that godful? and why would they say liberals are godless? can't they see how extreme they are?

the writers for "barack obama exposed" (there are several, including "mr. spencer is director of jihad watch and author of the politically incorrect guide to islam" and bill o'reilly, the fox guy) are overtly racist. spencer's article is titled: "the next muslim president?" o'reilly writes about ... nevermind. nearly every page has some racist overtone. if this is conservativism then i understand clearly why john mccain is staying away from them. there's nothing exposed except the foolishness of the writers. basically, these people are nuts.
i'm going to delete that document and resist wandering off into the darkness.

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How Much Does Experience Matter?

obama has experience. just not a lot of washington experience.
but how much does experience matter anway? after all, roosevelt was called inexperienced. frankly, i'm not voting for obama based on nafta or healthcare. i'm not sure i agree with him completely on nafta and healthcare will be tough to make happen.
what obama has is the ability to lead, not to be underestimated (as it has been during this campaign).
i agree with his philosophy that change can only happen from the bottom up. if we want to cut back on oil consumption, it has to be the average american who stops to think before they purchase a gas guzzler or who decides to ride a bike more often. sure, government can play a role, demand automakers to increase fuel efficiency, for example. but change happens at the grassroots level and obama has proven masterful at grassroots organization.
he's also offering something that no president in recent history has offered: access. we will have access to an obama administration.
we'll be better informed of what's going on and what we can do.
his campaign has also been positive, not for the cynical, for sure. it has confounded the people who think politics can never be anything other than sleazy.
i also believe him. no, i don't think he's going to make all my dreams come true but he's going to try and do things differently and see if he can get better results.

here's a story on this topic:

There's something egglike about the concept of experience as a qualification for the highest office. At first blush, the idea appears to be something you can get your hands around. Presidential experience means a familiarity with the levers and dials of government, knowing how to cajole the Congress, understanding when to rely on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and when to call on the National Security Council — that sort of thing. But bear down even slightly, and the notion of experience is liable to crack and run all over. If knowing the system is so useful, then second-term presidencies should be more successful than first-term. Instead, many Presidents lose effectiveness as they go along. Lyndon Johnson, for example: his experience as a master legislator no doubt helped as he steered his historic civil rights and welfare agenda to passage. By the end of two years as President, however, "he was out of gas," recalls Johnson aide Harry McPherson. The longer Johnson was in the Oval Office, the more feckless his presidency became.

Was it Franklin Roosevelt's experience as governor of New York that gave him the power to inspire in some of the nation's darkest hours? Or was that gift a distillate of his dauntless battle with polio? To a keen student of human nature, all of life offers lessons in how to lead, inspire and endure. Lincoln's ability to apply useful lessons from his motley experiences was among his most striking traits. When Ulysses Grant explained his grand strategy to defeat Lee by attacking on multiple fronts, Lincoln immediately thought of a lesson in joint operations learned years earlier on the farm. "Those not skinning can hold a leg," he said approvingly. For other temperaments, no amount of schooling, no matter how specific, will do. Richard Nixon served as a Congressman, Senator and Vice President; he watched from the front row as Eisenhower assembled one of the best-organized administrations in history. When Nixon's turn came, though, his core character — insecure, insincere, conspiratorial — led him to create a White House doomed by its own dysfunction. time

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Inside Obama's Chicago Headquarters

cool video


Obama’s message
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Fundraising: Cinton $35 Million Obama $50 million

welp. it looks like clinton raised $35 mil in february.
obama camp, $50 mil. the campaign reached it's goal of 1 million donors by march 4 a couple of days ago.
there has been lots of early voting in texas

from cnn: big voter turnout in ohio (italics are mine)

By the numbers, Republicans have a serious case of what you might call turnout trouble. (or they're voting for obama)

Excluding caucuses, some 22 million Democratic votes have been cast in the primaries held to date. For Republicans, the number is 14.1 million.

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Obama Responds to Bush on Economy

bush says we're not in a recession, that it's just slow out here. recession, slowdown, whatever you call it, it's bad for normal people. heck, bush didn't even hear the news about the possible $4 a gallon gas for spring. he's more concerned about his spying bill.

obama:"We are not standing on the brink of recession because of forces beyond our control," Obama told a town hall forum in Austin. "This was not an inevitable part of the business cycle. It was a failure of leadership in Washington — a Washington where George Bush hands out billions of tax cuts to the wealthiest few for eight long years, and John McCain promises to make those same tax cuts permanent, embracing the central principle of the Bush economic program."


here's what else obama had to say:

AUSTIN, Texas - Democratic candidate Barack Obama said Thursday the economy is "on the brink of a recession" and blamed economic policies espoused by President Bush and Republican presidential contender John McCain.

Obama mocked a more optimistic economic picture painted by Bush at a White House news conference just moments earlier: "People are struggling in the midst of an economy that George Bush says is not a recession but is experienced differently by folks on the ground."

For the second day in a row, Obama focused on the likely GOP nominee McCain and all but ignored Hillary Rodham Clinton's continuing campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, although key Democratic primaries come up next Tuesday in Texas and Ohio. read rest msnbc

Obama in San Marcus Texas Video


everything on voting in texas

Obama on Ellen Again Today


ellen, by the way, is supporting clinton but that's okay.

Lack of "Experience" Claim Won't Beat Obama

john mccain getting a vision will.
i didn't say that. this article by mort kondracke at realclearpolitics, which by the way is a terrific site that has the latest delegate counts and a collection of serious articles of the day, says that's what mccain is lacking.
i'll agree with that.
and it's a better option for trying to beat obama, certainly better than the underhanded tactics as of late. but obama has more than just a vision. he's got the leadership style to carry it out.

there's a lot of good stuff in this story. it highlights what mccain needs while at the same time highlights obama's strengths. there are some jabs at obama:

McCain hopes to show that Obama represents nothing but "an eloquent but empty call for change" and a return to liberal big government. He has every right to do so. Obama is short on accomplishments, especially of the bipartisan variety.
but it's all of what's to come. read on:

While some polls show that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is running even with Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in general election matchups, the Republican has to be considered the underdog -- and will need a compelling positive vision for America to catch up.

McCain needs to advance a reformist-conservative alternative to Obama's "Yes, We Can" appeal -- perhaps updating his 2000 Theodore Roosevelt image -- and focus on the economy and health care as well as national security.

McCain said this week that if the Iraq War goes badly between now and November, "I lose," but it's not necessarily true that if Iraq goes well, he wins.

He ought to. On what used to be the most important issue in America, McCain was one of a bare handful of politicians, including Republicans, who believed America had to win the war and could.

If, this fall, the evidence shows he was correct, his Democratic opponent -- presumably Obama, but Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), too -- ought to be discredited as a potential commander in chief for advocating withdrawal and losing the war, as they do even now.

Sadly, though, politics doesn't work that way. History is strewn with leaders cast aside after a war because their countrymen wanted to "move on." The list includes Winston Churchill and George H.W. Bush -- and this war is not likely to be as decisively won as theirs were.

The country already has "moved on," making the economy Issue One, followed by health care, energy, education and immigration.

McCain is going to have to play both offense and defense on the economy -- proving that he does not represent, as Obama charges, "George Bush's third term," and that Obama's tax increases will be disastrous for the economy and that his own economic vision will produce growth, opportunity and higher incomes for workers.

Right now, Americans don't believe in Republican economics, and McCain is especially vulnerable because he has flip-flopped on Bush's tax cuts, once declaring them gifts to the rich and now saying he wants to extend them.

McCain is going to have to teach economics to a doubting country -- and, first, he is going to have to learn some himself. He also might want to select a running mate who is an expert on the subject, say former Rep. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) or even his detested former rival, Mitt Romney.
rest at rcp

Obama’s speeches
Obama's legislative accomplishments
Obama’s mathematical delegate lead
what are presidential qualities?
Roosevelt was called inexperienced

Historians for Obama

Republicans to Stop Using Obama's Middle Name

after certain radio talk show hosts and others have tried to insinuate that obama's middle name, hussein, means that he a)likes terrorists b)is related to terrorists, the republican national chairman mike duncan says something sane: "We believe this election needs to be about the critical issues confronting our nation.”

whether republicans are denouncing it for the right reason is another story.
it was a tennessee senator who said that using obama's middle name in press releases had "become a distraction." i'd argue it's more than a distraction. it's sort of despicable and shows a lack of world knowledge.



(CNN) – Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan formally denounced Thursday the Tennessee Republican Party's use of Barack Obama's full name in a recent press release questioning the Illinois senator's commitment to Israel.

“The RNC rejects these kinds of campaign tactics," RNC Chairman Mike Duncan said in a statement. "We believe this election needs to be about the critical issues confronting our nation.”

The statement in question, which was released Monday, said the state party is joining a "growing chorus of Americans concerned about the future of the nation of Israel…if Sen. Barack Hussein Obama is elected president of the United States.” It also included a photograph of Obama from a 2006 trip to Kenya in which he is dressed in traditional attire worn by area Muslims.

The press release was sparked by recent praise for the Illinois senator from Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan, who has made several derogatory remarks about Judaism and has indicated his support for Obama. At Tuesday night's MSNBC debate, Obama said he denounced those comments and did not seek Farrakhan's support.

On Wednesday night the party removed both the photo and the reference of Hussein from the statement after Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander called to express his belief that using them had become a distraction, Tennessee GOP Communications Director Bill Hobbs told CNN. read more
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NY Mayor Bloomberg is Right

both the democrats and the republicans can have good ideas and no, we don't believe that all the problems are easily solved. and no, we don't think the candidates are trying to pull a fast one. these are all complex problems and not every detail can be addressed while campaigning.

though bloomberg's arguing for an independent party president, he seems to be saying that for the next president, it will all come down to leadership style. who can recognize a good idea when they see it? who is the one who's most likely to be more courageous in presenting a new idea? who's more likely to even think of a new idea? who is more open to work and play well with others?

read on:

WATCHING the 2008 presidential campaign, you sometimes get the feeling that the candidates — smart, all of them — must know better. They must know we can’t fix our economy and create jobs by isolating America from global trade. They must know that we can’t fix our immigration problems with border security alone. They must know that we can’t fix our schools without holding teachers, principals and parents accountable for results. They must know that fighting global warming is not a costless challenge. And they must know that we can’t keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals unless we crack down on the black market for them.

The vast majority of Americans know that all of this is true, but — politics being what it is — the candidates seem afraid to level with them.

Over the past year, I have been working to raise issues that are important to New Yorkers and all Americans — and to speak plainly about common sense solutions. Some of these solutions have traditionally been seen as Republican, while others have been seen as Democratic. As a businessman, I never believed that either party had all the answers and, as mayor, I have seen just how true that is.

In every city I have visited — from Baltimore to New Orleans to Seattle — the message of an independent approach has resonated strongly, and so has the need for a new urban agenda. More than 65 percent of Americans now live in urban areas — our nation’s economic engines. But you would never know that listening to the presidential candidates. At a time when our national economy is sputtering, to say the least, what are we doing to fuel job growth in our cities, and to revive cities that have never fully recovered from the manufacturing losses of recent decades?

More of the same won’t do, on the economy or any other issue. We need innovative ideas, bold action and courageous leadership. That’s not just empty rhetoric, and the idea that we have the ability to solve our toughest problems isn’t some pie-in-the-sky dream. In New York, working with leaders from both parties and mayors and governors from across the country, we’ve demonstrated that an independent approach really can produce progress on the most critical issues, including the economy, education, the environment, energy, infrastructure and crime.

I believe that an independent approach to these issues is essential to governing our nation — and that an independent can win the presidency. I listened carefully to those who encouraged me to run, but I am not — and will not be — a candidate for president. I have watched this campaign unfold, and I am hopeful that the current campaigns can rise to the challenge by offering truly independent leadership. The most productive role that I can serve is to push them forward, by using the means at my disposal to promote a real and honest debate.

In the weeks and months ahead, I will continue to work to steer the national conversation away from partisanship and toward unity; away from ideology and toward common sense; away from sound bites and toward substance. And while I have always said I am not running for president, the race is too important to sit on the sidelines, and so I have changed my mind in one area. If a candidate takes an independent, nonpartisan approach — and embraces practical solutions that challenge party orthodoxy — I’ll join others in helping that candidate win the White House.

The changes needed in this country are straightforward enough, but there are always partisan reasons to take an easy way out. There are always special interests that will fight against any challenge to the status quo. And there are always those who will worry more about their next election than the health of our country. nyt

Bush Rejects Obama's Idea of Talking to Adversaries

the morning during pres. bush's press conference, a reporter asked him about the $4 a gallon gas price that some analysts are predicting.

bush: "that's interesting. i hadn't heard that," he said.

bush's short term answer to gas prices: more drilling in this country, including wildlife refuges.

he rejected obama's idea of talking to adversaries, though he tried to avoid talking about the election. funny, the u.s. cozies up to leaders we don't like when they have something that we want.

bush is trying to get immunity for the phone companies so they won't get sued when his administration taps people's phone calls.

now on to the good stuff.
obama's promises


obama picks up another superdelegate: democratic superdelegate and state Rep. Senfronia Thompson, of Houston, switched from clinton.

obama picks up another newspaper endorsement:

THE Blade has a long-established principle of seldom endorsing a candidate in any primary election. It's easy to see, however, that this isn't a typical year. For the first time in history, the outcome of the Ohio primary may well determine the Democratic nominee for president of the United States.

We are not yet ready to say who we will endorse in November. But we wholeheartedly agree with something our editorial board heard on Sunday: 'We have to have a government that works for ordinary people. We've got to be able to bring the country together so we have a working majority for change. We have to break down some of the ideologically driven polarization that prevents us from taking practical steps to make the country more competitive and to get opportunity to people.'

We urge Ohio Democrats to vote on Tuesday for the man who spoke those words, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois. It has become clear during the year-long primary campaign that he eclipses Sen. Hillary Clinton as the strong­est possible candidate to run in the general election against the presumptive Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain.

Moreover, we believe that Mr. Obama's inspiring life story, keen intellect, strong but quiet confidence, ready grasp of public policy issues, and his fresh and optimistic world view are what America needs after eight years of an administration that repeatedly has shown open contempt for the American people and for the Constitution.

Mr. Obama offers a breath of fresh air and new hope at a depressing time in the life of this nation. His selection would send an unmistakable signal to the world that America really may be living up to its promise of a just and truly pluralistic society.

The offspring of a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas, young Obama grew up partly in Hawaii, partly in Indonesia. Were he to become president, we have no doubt that he would be seen — more than any previous occupant of the White House — as someone who is comfortably at home in the wider world. Yet his is the quintessential American story, that of the self-made man.

Those who object that he is too young overlook that he would, at 47, be a year older than Bill Clinton was when he was elected, and four years older than John F. Kennedy. Those who say that he is inexperienced in international affairs overlook that he sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The last two Democratic presidents, Mr. Clinton and Jimmy Carter, didn't have a day's service in Congress, much less foreign policy, before they took office, and it certainly hurt them.

Additionally, Mr. Obama, a younger and more physically vigorous man, will be in a far better position to push Americans into solving one of the biggest problems we face: that of an unhealthy, morbidly obese generation of young people, a health crisis that is costing the nation billions. We applaud the fact that, urged by his talented wife, Michelle, he has quit smoking. That alone should be an inspiration to millions. more

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Threats of McCain and the Republicans


they're out there now, plotting and scheming in dark holes, howling in the night. mwahahahaha!

everyone is saying best beware, obama is going to get his, the republicans are going to peel the bark off him (as one lame radio host suggested), uncover his dark side, gnaw him to the bone. that republicans right this very second have all got their thinking caps on and they're coming up with 100 wicked ways to stew barack obama.

but you know what.

i think obama has the wits to come out on top and unscathed.
he has plenty supporters who believe in him, numbers of which are snowballing. yeah, republican types would call me naive. whatever. it does me no good to sit here and ponder all the evil and ignorance that's out there (even though i do. it's rather fascinating).
another thing, we're smarter now. we know a "swift boat" attack.

so i say launch your dark attacks. it will get you nowhere. we're all sick of it. really, we are. the pettiness, the sick and twisted diversions.

that's why we're supporting obama.
just for fun, now, here's a guy who clearly doesn't get it. but he's thought long and hard about how to defeat obama, even checking in with karl rove:

How, then, can McCain tackle Obama? He can attack Obama's "change" message.

Master political strategist Karl Rove spoke to the American Jewish University this week.
He stated that the key to attacking opponents isn't to attack their strengths -- it's to attack weaknesses they perceive as strengths. In 2004, Democratic nominee John Kerry staked his campaign on his perceived strength: his military experience. But, as Rove explained, that wasn't his strength -- he was vulnerable on foreign policy, a candidate with a record of attacking the military. By pointing out Kerry's weakness on the military, the Bush campaign was able to completely undercut Kerry.

Obama perceives his greatest strength to be his "change" message. He never shuts up about "change." His website touts his candidacy as "Change We Can Believe In." "We will change this country, and change the world," he states. His speeches are studded with the word "change." In his January 26 speech after the South Carolina primary, he used the word "change" 12 times. In his February 9 speech to Virginia's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, he used it eight times. In his February 12 speech following the Potomac primaries, he used it 11 times. In his Wisconsin primary victory speech on February 19, he used it 33 times.

For the love of God, somebody buy this man a thesaurus.

While Obama believes he can win the presidency simply by uttering the word "change" like a magical incantation, his "change" message has a soft underbelly. His focus on change means he despises this country the way it is. His wife, Michelle, is crystal clear on this.

"Our souls are broken in this nation," she said this month at UCLA. "That is why I am here, because Barack Obama is the only person in this race who understands that. That before we can work on the problems, we have to fix our souls." She went further in a February 18 speech in Wisconsin: "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change."

Despite all of its problems, America is not a deeply flawed place. It is the greatest nation in the history of mankind. It allows Barack Obama to run for president; it allows his wife to attend Princeton University and Harvard Law School. The Obamas' constant emphasis on change carries the disturbing undertone that the country is a disaster requiring radical reform. This isn't a message of optimism -- it's a message of profound pessimism.

McCain can defeat Obama simply by pointing out the obvious connotations of Obama's "change" message. He can powerfully cite the fact that he was tortured for the best country on the face of the earth -- he's always been proud of his country.

And, McCain should say, his country deserves the pride of its citizens. Sure, some policies need change -- some policies always need change. But the soul of the country is intact. It doesn't need a soul-fixer. It needs a leader.

and for more fun, here's karl rove himself speculating and stuff

and here's fun with blogs.

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Obama's Grassroots in Ohio


from time magazine:Every successful politician needs a home base, a place to go where the crowds are always friendly and the pizza is always free. For Hillary Clinton, that place of comfort in Ohio is Kamm's Corners, a neighborhood on Cleveland's west side dominated by white firefighters, cops and factory workers. One of Clinton's strongest supporters here, Pat Dorr, has driven a Buick with an "I love Hillary" bumper sticker since the mid-1990s.

Dorr became active in the Clinton campaign last week, after a national campaign staffer asked her to make phone calls. "When I first came in, there was nobody here," says Dorr, 78, who has helped so many campaigns over the years that she's lost count. "This whole week, this office was basically empty."

Home base for Barack Obama lies on the opposite side of town, in the Lee-Harvard neighborhood, home to mostly working-class African-American families. One of Obama's first volunteers here was Antoinette McCall, a substitute high school teacher who has never worked a campaign before in her life. McCall became active 11 months ago, donating what little money she could to Obama's campaign. She used Obama's website to recruit volunteers and run a phone bank from her living room. She convinced friends who own beauty salons to organize their customers, and created a database of hundreds of Obama supporters.

"It's like we had this whole movement built up before the campaign staff even got here," says McCall, 36. In a few months, McCall, a political novice, has built an organization rivaling that of some state senators who form the backbone of Clinton's establishment support. "By the time they finally opened the office," she says, "this place was packed."

As the Democratic candidates for President prepare for their debate at Cleveland State University Tuesday night, grassroots Obama supporters like McCall are the key to his having a chance on March 4 of continuing his stunning streak of 11 straight primary or caucus victories — and all but locking up the Democratic nomination. While the blue-collar Buckeye State has been viewed as part of Clinton's firewall strategy for stopping Obama's momentum, the truth is that even though she is still leading in polls, her campaign is playing catch-up when it comes to the all-important job of grassroots organizing. "I'm 52, I've been around for a while, and [Obama's] is the most spontaneous, energetic political operation that I've ever seen," said Keith Wilkowski, a lawyer and former Democratic Party chair in Toledo.

That level of energy was apparent at a Monday rally of several thousand people in Cincinnati. Obama opened his remarks by telling the crowd that early voting is already under way in Ohio and urged them to go vote immediately after the rally ended. He even told them the location where they could go cast their ballots. It was candidate-as-precinct-captain, and it showed both the intensity of the fight for votes going on daily as well as the benefits of having a candidate who used to be a community organizer and has run a voter registration drive.

Obama's successful recruitment of outsiders was born of necessity — Clinton enjoys endorsements from Ohio's popular governor and many Democratic officeholders. If she retains her (albeit shrinking) lead in the polls, it will mean that a traditional, top-down campaign rooted in the party establishment still can win in the clutch. But if Obama scores an upset, it could prove that a new breed of grassroots campaign — viral, internet-based, built from the ground up by neophytes like Antoinette McCall — is finally ready for prime time.

"Clinton doesn't have as many volunteers as Obama right now," says Steve Fought, a longtime grassroots organizer for the Ohio Democratic Party who works as an aide to Congresswoman Marcy Kaptor of Toledo. "But she has deep party support, and I suppose they'll get their machine cranked up." more

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New T-shirt at Obama Store

it costs $20.08. purchases support the campaign. if they run out of shirts or stuff that you want, you can get downloads of obama artwork here.

Obama’s speeches
superdelegate switcheroonie
what are presidential qualities?

Roosevelt was called inexperienced
Historians for Obama

What is a Conservative Republican?

i really would like to know.
it seems that they are people who just spew hate.
the "conservative" talk show host bill cunningham is now mad at john mccain for throwing him under the bus.
yesterday, radio talk guy used obama's middle name several times while introducing mccain at a mccain rally in ohio. radio host guy said that the media should “peel the bark off Barack Hussein Obama.” the intention was clear. no one uses mccain's middle name.
ignorant radio guy was appealing to the small-minded people who think that because obama's middle name is hussein that somehow he must be related to sadaam, or that he must be a terrorist or that he likes terrorists.
mccain apologized like a man with values. i respect that.
but what's with "conservatives?"
i thought that conservatives were religious people. I though they had values. i thought that was what they prided themselves on but they seem to hate more than anything. the tactic that cunninham used is obviously wrong and frankly, stupid by any measure.
what do they stand for? why do folks such as rush limbaugh and this cunningham guy get so much of these conservatives' attention?

Obama’s speeches

what are presidential qualities?
Roosevelt was called inexperienced
Historians for Obama

Superdelegate Lewis Switches to Obama



By BOB KEMPER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 02/27/08
WASHINGTON — Hoping to put an end to a month of confusion and dismay, Rep. John Lewis on Wednesday said he's switching his support from Sen. Hillary Clinton to Sen. Barack Obama in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Lewis cited the overwhelming preference for Obama in his district as a reason for his change of heart, but he also talked about Obama's campaign as transformational for the nation.

"Something's happening in America, something some of us did not see coming," Lewis said. "Barack Obama has tapped into something that is extraordinary.

Lewis, an Atlanta Democrat and an elder of the civil rights movement, at first sparked outrage from Georgia's African American community by backing Clinton, a friend, over Obama, the nation's first viable

African American candidate.

Then confusion struck about a week ago when Lewis told the New York Times that, as a super delegate to the Democratic National Convention, he would feel compelled to vote for Obama as the nominee because his district – and the state's African American population overall – so overwhelmingly for Obama in the state primary.

Lewis's office later charged that the story was inaccurate but did not clarify who Lewis was actually backing. read the rest.


also, from the washington post:

Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) told The Trail moments ago that he will be endorsing Barack Obama for president this afternoon, becoming the 10th senator to officially endorse the Illinois senator's bid for the Democratic nomination.

"I decided I wanted to determine who out there can inspire people to move in a new direction," Dorgan said, deciding that Obama was that candidate.

one more thing, obama's campaign surpassed its goal today of signing up 1 million donors.

Obama’s speeches
what are presidential qualities?
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Clinton's Superdelegate Lead Shrinks



hillary clinton's lead in superdelegates pledged to her has shrunk:

Mrs. Clinton is trailing in pledged delegates won thus far. She has won fewer states than Mr. Obama, and fewer total votes cast in those states. Though she leads among superdelegates, five weeks ago she had pledges from 71 percent of all superdelegates announced for either her or Mr. Obama, but that share has slipped to 57 percent.
as you probably already know, superdelegates could decide the winner if neither candidate gets enough pledged delegates (that's you and me voting). but it seems that the superdelegates, who can vote for whomever they want, will do the right thing and go with the will of the people.
according to this delegate tracker: obama now has 182 and clinton has 241. the 296 that are left are either staying mum or haven't decided.
obama adds two more superdelegates today: john lewis and marianne stevens

in delegates, obama has 1,188 and clinton 1,033
superdelegates explained.
Obama’s speeches

what are presidential qualities?
Roosevelt was called inexperienced



Historians for Obama

Obama Fires Back at McCain at Rally

mccain said that obama didn't realize that al-qaeda was in iraq.
here's what mccain said:

"I have some news," McCain told voters at a rally here Wednesday morning. "Al-Qaeda is in Iraq. Al-Qaeda is called al-Qaeda in Iraq. My friends, if we left, they wouldn't be establishing a base...they would be taking a country. I will not allow that to happen my friends. I will not surrender. I will not surrender to al-Qaeda."

here's what obama said at his rally this morning:
"like i didn't know what was going on," obama said.
"i have some news for john mccain-- that there was no such thing as al qaeda in iraq until george bush and john mccain decided to invade iraq."
the crowd roared.
"i've been paying attention, john mccain."

you gotta do better than that, mccain, to get past obama.

watch the video


Roosevelt was called inexperienced
what are presidential qualities?
Historians for Obama

Republicans: Surgeon's Scalpel Will Defeat Obama

we need to know the opposing side's strategy in the general election. right? this story by tony blankley says that hillary clinton has shown what won't work in defeating obama.

He cheerfully and in a cool, understated tone will slice and dice overly broad charges, such as Hillary's "inexperience" taunt or her ill-considered "words vs. action" charge.

he concludes mccain won't win with sweeping allegations, such as "he's too liberal."
If Obama can be defeated, it will not be with a meat cleaver but with a surgeon's scalpel. This is difficult in a national campaign in which the public, almost of necessity, must be communicated with by slogans. But Obama is the master responding to blustery charges with wry, dry irony.

here's what the writer says:

The Republicans must systematically make a hundred tightly argued, irrefutable critiques of very specific examples of Obama's policy being wrong for at least 60 percent of America.

America may be going through one of our episodic style shifts. In 1932, FDR's conversational style trumped Hoover's old oratory. In 1960, JFK's coolness and wit caught the emerging post-World War II sophistication of our culture. Twenty years later America, tired of sophisticated cynicism, was ready to return to Reagan's old-fashioned sentiments and values.

Obama is tapping into a curious alchemy of youthful idealism tempered by Internet edginess. Republicans must communicate their values and policies through that prism, or they will not communicate at all.
Obama newspaper endorsements

Blueprint for change
Obama’s speeches

what are presidential qualities?
Roosevelt was called inexperienced

Historians for Obama

McCain Has Edge in LA Times Poll

john mccain has an 6 point edge over hillary clinton and a 2 point edge over barack obama in an la times/bloomberg poll. apparently, plenty of people are still afraid and believe that only a war advocate can solve the problem in iraq.
more people could get more fearful if the bush administration makes a worse mess of things by the time the general election rolls around.

WASHINGTON -- As he emerges from a sometimes- bitter primary campaign, presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain poses a stiff challenge to either of his potential Democratic opponents in the general election, a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has found.

The findings underscore the difficulties ahead for Democrats as they hope to retake the White House during a time of war, with voters giving McCain far higher marks when it comes to experience, fighting terrorism and dealing with the situation in Iraq.

Both Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton have made ending America's involvement in the war a centerpiece of their campaigns. And even though a clear majority of those polled said the war was not worth waging, about half of registered voters said McCain -- a Vietnam vet who has supported the Bush administration's military strategy -- was better able to deal with Iraq.

In head-to-head contests, the poll found, McCain leads Clinton by 6 percentage points (46% to 40%) and Obama by 2 points (44% to 42%). Neither lead is commanding given that the survey, conducted Feb. 21-25, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The Arizona senator is viewed favorably by 61% of all registered voters, including a plurality of Democrats.

The survey showed that McCain's potential advantages extend even to domestic issues, where he is considered to be most vulnerable. Even though McCain has joked about his lack of expertise on economic issues, voters picked him over Obama, 42% to 34%, as being best able to handle the economy. However, Clinton led McCain on that issue, 43% to 34%. more.

how it stands in ohio
Obama’s speeches

what are presidential qualities?
Roosevelt was called inexperienced
Historians for Obama

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Obama Cucumber Cool in Debate

this is telling, an ohio newspaper poll says obama won the debate:



Who do you think won the
debate?
Clinton 52 (15.71%)
Obama 279 (84.29%)

nothing rattles him.
good hashing out of the issues.

key point: obama pointed out that clinton keeps saying she will "fight" for healthcare.
obama: you can't just fight. change happens when you mobilize and inspire the american people to demand healthcare.

on financing: obama's contributions average is $109

clinton said that "denouncing" wasn't as strong as "rejecting" the support of louis farrakhan, who announced his support for obama. he is know for his anti semitic views.

funny moment when obama concedes the point: "i would reject and denounce."

ends on a conciliatory note, this time with obama saying he's pleased to be running with her.
clinton returns the decent tone.

civil debate overall.

msnbc poll

Who won the debate? * 73606 responses
Hillary Clinton won.22%
Barack Obama won.65%
Neither won.13%
Did the debate help you decide who to vote for? * 71654 responses
Yes, my mind's made up.51%
No, I still can't decide.4.4%
It made me lean toward Hillary Clinton.11%
It made me lean toward Barack Obama.30%
It made me want to look elsewhere.2.9%
Will Ralph Nader's entrance into the presidential race hurt the Democrats? * 71798 responses
Yes, once again Nader could siphon off just enough votes to hurt the Democrats.20%
No, Nader doesn't have the sway he once had.80%

transcript

the soldier story fact check

Texans are Voting Early

according to burntorangereport, a texas blog, 419,904 democrats have already voted through monday (yesterday), which is 347,216 more voters who voted by this time in 2004. wow.

some of the day's news:
2 polls say Obama is surging ahead of Clinton in Democratic raceBoston Globe
Clinton accuses ObamaHindustan Times
Obama's foreign affairs work focused on human rights, poverty ...
Union Spends Heavily for Obama in PrimariesNew York Times
Clinton Campaign Starts 5-Point Attack on ObamaNew York Times
Obama takes leads over Hillary among white menNDTV.com - New Delhi,
Clinton Compares Obama to BushWashington Post
Senate careers branch differently for Clinton, ObamaLos Angeles Times
Unfair to ObamaJamaica Gleaner
Sweet: The story behind the Obama photo on Drudgereport.com
Poll: Obama Rises in Voter Popularity
Obama and VouchersBy New York Sun Editorial

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What Student Journalists Learned Covering Obama


university of washington professor david domke and his students have been covering the election as part of class. what have they learned? that the obama camp, in contrast to the clinton camp, went out of its way.
this is another thing that makes the obama campaign what it is: access.

i think access will also be a key part of the obama presidential administration.

Because the Obama campaign treated us like pros — they called us back within minutes, set up interviews, got us press passes, went out of their way to make the campaign accessible. The Clinton campaign, in contrast, didn’t return a single phone call, didn’t provide press access, and did virtually nothing to encourage our coverage. It was either arrogance or disorganization on the Clinton campaign’s part.

McCain Shuts Down Radio Host

a cincinnati, ohio radio host, bill cunningham, (i have no idea who he is cause i don't like to listen to radio poison) used obama's middle name while introducing mccain at a mccain rally in ohio. radio host guy said that the media should “peel the bark off Barack Hussein Obama.”

of course, the small-minded talk show host was trying the small-minded tactic (one the clinton camp apparently used yesterday) of appealing to the small-minded people who think that because obama's middle name is hussein that somehow he must be related to sadaam, or that he must be a terrorist or that he likes terrorists.

really, we need to put on our global hats here and learn a little about the world.

anyway, senator john mccain essentially said the guy was an idiot for saying those things. thank you.

obama gets his middle name from his grandfather. his father was from kenya. obama is a christian and even if he wasn't, it doesn't make him a terrorist. now let's get out our maps.

nyt: He called Mr. Obama a “man of integrity” and said he was someone he had come to know “pretty well and I admire.”
here's an excerpt:
CINCINNATI, Ohio—A conservative radio talk show host who helped introduce Senator John McCain before a rally here used Senator Barack Obama’s middle name, Hussein, three times, while disparaging him, prompting Mr. McCain to apologize and repudiate the comments afterward.
Bill Cunningham, who hosts “The Big Show” with Bill Cunningham, a local program here that is also syndicated nationally, was part of a line of people lauding Mr. McCain and revving up the crowd before his appearance here before several hundred people at a theater here.
He lambasted the national media, drawing cheers from the audience, for being soft in their coverage of Mr. Obama compared to the Republican candidates, declaring they should “peel the bark off Barack Hussein Obama.”
He went on to rail, “at one point, the media will quit taking sides in this thing and start covering Barack Hussein Obama.”
After Mr. Cunningham spoke, Congressman Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, took the stage and introduced Mr. McCain, who spoke for about a half hour. Neither commented about Mr. Cunningham’s remarks.
Mr. Portman said: “Willie, you’re out of control again. So, what else is new? But we love him. But I’ve got to tell you, Bill Cunningham lending his voice to this campaign is extremely important. He did it in 2000, he did it in 2004, it was crucial to victory then and it’s even more important this year with his bigger radio audience. So bill cunningham thank you for lending your
voice.”

what are presidential qualities?

Sen. Christopher Dodd Endorses Obama

By ANDREW MIGA
Associated Press Writer

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Sen. Christopher Dodd endorsed one-time presidential rival Barack Obama on Tuesday and said it is time for Democrats to join forces to defeat the Republicans in the fall campaign.

"I don't want a campaign that is divisive here, and there's a danger in that," Dodd said, although he denied he was nudging Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to end her candidacy.

Dodd said Obama was "ready to be president and I am ready to support him in this campaign."

The two men appeared together at a news conference. Dodd is the first of the Democratic campaign dropouts to endorse another candidate.

He said Obama "has been poked and prodded, analyzed and criticized, called too green, too trusting and for all of that has already won" more than half the states and millions of votes.

"It's now the hour to come together. ... This is the moment for Democrats and independents and others to come together, to get behind this candidacy," he said.

Dodd said he spoke with Clinton on Monday evening to tell her of his decision.

Dodd said he wasn't worried that the candidates would go too far in their pursuit of victory, but that their aides and supporters might.

"We've witnessed a little bit of that" in recent days, he said. more.

from nyt

here's an intersting story today on clinton's bakery binge sapping up her finances.
clinton's bakery expenses: nearly $6,000. obama's bakery expenses: about $1,800. perhaps obama staffers had a taste for something else?
oh my, her staffers stayed at the bellagio in las vegas. how much is that a night? $1,000 or something insane. so much for fiscal responsibility.

Poll Obama vs. McCain
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Obama's Speeches: It's the Message



there has been so much analysis of obama's ability to "speechify." but contrary to critics and the clinton campaign's dismissal of obama's speechifying as hollow rhetoric, it's more than just words and it's more than the delivery of those words.

it's the message, sillies.

the message is simple, really. it says that he understands that we are working harder but still struggling. it says we will be a part of an obama administration. it says he will listen to us. it says he will be reasonable and be open to good ideas. it says he will be respectful of other cultures. it says it's possible for things to get better, that things can change. it says that he has a vision. it says that he cares and that we can trust him to work hard.

that's all. you just have to listen.

obama's speeches

analysis in washington post.

analysis in wall street journal.

CNN words matter
what are presidential qualities?
Roosevelt was called inexperienced

Historians for Obama

Ohio and Texas Rallies

update: feb. 27 columbus rally live at wbns-10tv
big debate tonight--live streamed msnbc.com
three rallies in the next two days:RSVPs are at barackobama.com
Join Barack Obama at a Keeping America's Promise Rally in Columbus on Wednesday, February 27th.

Keeping America's Promise Rally with Barack Obama
The Ohio State University
St. John Arena (Building 076)
410 Woody Hayes Dr.
Columbus, OH 43210

Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Doors Open: 8:30 a.m.
Program begins: 10:00 a.m.

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required, but an RSVP is encouraged. Space is available on a first come, first-served basis.

For security reasons, do not bring backpacks or bags and limit personal items. No signs or banners are permitted.

Public Parking: Parking will be available at the Schottenstein Center Scarlet 3-5 and Grey 3-7 Lots and the Buckeye Lots. Free shuttles to the event will operate from these lots beginning at 8:00 a.m.


Join Barack Obama at a Stand for Change Rally in San Marcos on Wednesday, February
"Stand for Change" Rally with Barack Obama
Texas State University
Sewell Park
700-1 Aquarena Springs Drive.
San Marcos, TX 78666

Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Gates Open: 7:00 p.m.
Program Begins: 9:15 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public; however, space is limited and an RSVP is required.

For security reasons, do not bring bags. Please limit personal items. No signs or banners are permitted.

Public Parking: Parking will be available at the Bobcat Stadium lot (on Aquarena Springs Drive) and at the Bobcat Village commuter lot (on Mills Street). Shuttle service will begin at 7 p.m. and run through the end of the event.


Barack Obama in Fort Worth on Thursday, February 28
Join Barack Obama at a Stand for Change Rally in Fort Worth on Thursday, February 28th.
Here are the details:
"Stand for Change" Rally with Barack Obama
Fort Worth Convention Center
1201 Houston Street
Fort Worth, TX 76102


Thursday, February 28, 2008
Gates Open: 6:00 p.m.
Program Begins: 8:00 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required, but an RSVP is strongly encouraged. Admission is first-come, first-served. To RSVP
For security reasons, do not bring bags. Please limit personal items. No signs or banners are permitted.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Clinton Campaign Desperate


there is nothing wrong with this photo but there is something seriously wrong with someone (especially someone who wants to be the next president but can't think of any other way to win but to appeal to the ignorant) who circulated the photo with the intention of spreading the rumor that obama is muslim and sympathetic to terrorists, someone who wanted people to become fearful. i have to add here that muslims are not terrorists. only terrorists are terrorists.

i try to keep this blog positive but i really think we've had enough of fear mongering. that's why we're supporting obama.

for those who don't already know, obama's father is from kenya and this outfit was presented to him by an elder when he visited in 2006. it's a great photo and a kind gesture.
he also received a hero's welcome. obama took an AIDS test while he was there to encourage kenyans to do the same. 2 million people have died of AIDS there.
want to know more? pick up his memoir "dreams from my father."
let's get beyond silly season.

in response to clinton's silly season attacks:

Obama adviser Maj. Gen. J. Scott Gration, USAF (ret) accompanied obama to kenya. here's his response to Clinton's attacks on Obama:

"Americans are looking for a Commander-in-Chief who will make the right judgments on Day One. It's ironic that Hillary Clinton compared Barack Obama to George Bush when she voted to authorize the war in Iraq, supports the Bush policy of not talking to leaders we don't like, and gave George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran and Pakistan. On these key questions, Barack Obama not only made a different judgment - he made the right judgment. That is why more and more Americans believe that he is the best choice to defend our security as Commander-in-Chief, and to restore our standing in the world."
obama's speeches
obama's behind the scenes work in kenya
video of obama's visit in kenya



what are presidential qualities?
Roosevelt was called inexperienced
Historians for Obama

Cincinnati Mayor Superdelegate Endorses Obama

about 13,000 turn out in cincinnati; one mayor and superdelegate endorses obama and one former cleveland mayor superdelegate switches to obama

Howard Wilkinson reports:

Cincinnati's only Democratic "super-delegate," Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory, ended months of courting by both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, by endorsing the Illinois senator just before he came on stage for a rally at the Fifth Third Center.

"I have decided to give my endorsement to Barack Obama,'' Mallory said, calling Obama out on to the stage where nearly 13,000 supporters created a deafening roar.

Mallory and Obama hugged on stage as the crowd stamped, hollered, and cheered, with flashbulbs popping all over. Read Mallory's statement here
Obama, as he began his speech, said he had "some business to take care of."

"Each and every one of you can go down to the Hamilton County Board of Elections - that's 824 Broadway - and vote right now,'' Obama said.

The campaign had buses parked outside Fifth-Third Arena to take people to the board of elections to take advantage of Ohio's early voting system. (The Board is open until 8 p.m. each night this week.)more


Michael R. White was the 55th mayor of Cleveland, serving three terms from 1990 to 2002. From: The Plain Dealer.

I grew up in an era of hope-not only for Black Americans but for all Americans. It occurred to me at a young age that Dr. King was speaking not just to the plight of Black Americans but to the plight of all socially dispossessed Americans regardless of race or gender. He connected the poor in Harlem to the poor in Appalachia in speech after speech and in city after city which I believe made him a great threat to those who prosper by creating division in America.

Then without warning, I watched helplessly from my parents' living room as bullets killed John Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, felling the very leaders who called us to be agents and voices of change. With their deaths, my hope for a better America was dashed upon the rocks of despair.

Carl Stokes rekindled my hope and made me want to use the system to make a better way for those without a voice. My hope, rekindled by Mayor Stokes, lead me on my journey to City Hall-a journey that took me to Ohio State, to Cleveland City Council, to the Ohio Senate and finally to the Mayor's office. In my almost twenty-eight years of active politics, I sadly watched the political process slowly become a process, not of creating hope, but of sowing as much division as possible in order to garner status, power and control. This division robs us all of the change and progress we need as a country.

Six months ago, I supported Senator Hillary Clinton. My wife JoAnn and I are friends of the Clintons. President Clinton was only the second elected official, after the assassinations of the 1960s, to give me hope again. Not withstanding his personal transgressions, President Clinton loves America and tried to do as much for the same Americans that the Kennedys and Dr. King were concerned about. But, after watching the primary election process by the day and sometimes by the hour, I decided that I cannot cast my vote for Senator Clinton.

On March 4th, I'm voting for Barack Obama because I want real change in our America, and he's made me hopeful that he has the intestinal fortitude to make the change which our country so sorely needs.

As an African-American, I am proud to see Barack Obama make such an extraordinary effort to become the President of the United States. But being Black is not enough for me to vote against my friend. I am voting for Barack because he has rekindled my hope again through his experience, vision and leadership for change in a political system that has gone so awry.

Our America is in great peril and great change is needed. Whether it's the economy, our current stance in the world, a lack of health care for our citizens, the education of our children, the creation of hopelessness in our inner cities, or re-knitting the fabric of the American family, we face unparalleled challenges. If we are to be a better America that once again offers its children hope, we cannot continue down the same path of public discourse and execution. We must have a President who has the courage to challenge the status-quo and stir our inner imagination of what could be. It's that inner imagination of what can be that has made us a great nation.

Yes, Senator Obama gives me great hope, but hope is not enough when you're voting for a presidential candidate. I believe Barack Obama has the experience, ability, courage and vision to translate his call for change into a new direction for America just as other great Presidents have in the past. He is no less qualified or able than any other candidate, and the fact that he's poised to become the Democratic nominee for President is testimony to the good judgment and need for change desired by so many Americans.

On March 4th I'm casting my ballot for Barack Obama to be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. I believe in my heart and soul that Senator Obama can and will bring us together as a nation, rekindling our hope and calling upon us all to be a part of the change we wish to see.

I'm sure that next Tuesday John, Bobby and Martin will be looking down upon us in Ohio and wondering if hope is still alive. Make them proud...Yes we can!