by Al Rodgers, Sat May 03, 2008 at 02:16:25 PM EDT
Where I use satire to diagram racism:
What must Obama do next?
Harold Ford Jr. -- not so long ago the rising black politician within Democratic ranks -- now heads an arm of the party that seeks to keep its focus on "middle" America and crafting centrist messages: the Democratic Leadership Council. Often vilified by liberal activists, the DLC sees itself as quintessentially practical.
From that perspective, and in the wake of Hillary Clinton's win in the Pennsylvania primary, Ford just set a political bar for the black politician that surpassed him in prominence.
"You have to win Indiana," Ford told Barack Obama (via an interview on MSNBC). And, Ford added, Obama has to "steamroll" Clinton in the other state with a primary two Tuesdays from now, North Carolina.
The Obama camp will not publicly embrace that equation. But for him to truly regain the momentum he captured during his February surge, most party pros will see Ford's formulation as spot-on.
Remember when that photo of Obama in muslim attire, surfaced?
And how Drudge claimed it came from Clinton, and everyone was enraged
that she could pull anything so heinous?
But how it later turned out that the Muslim shot had been pasted up on
Free Republic , followed by comments like "Send it to Drudge!"?
The Clintons have (had) a great reputation as champions of black causes.
In fact, Bill moved his office to Harlem, and set up a foundation, to help
blacks in America and worldwide His HIV/AIDS initiative channled
millions of dollars into Africa. The organization is also devoted to creating
growth in economically distressed and emerging communities.
I have to run off to work now, so will cut to the chase.
The timing of the blog gossip claiming that "Clinton deliberately made Obama looked blacker", in her web ad is no coincidence either.
Obama claimed that his campaign would transcend race, and that his strength as president would be to unite the races. If the race card is being used to his advantage now, will it stop when and if Obama becomes president?
UPDATE: I just saw a CNN exit poll showing that most Mississippi
voters think the Clinton's are running a highly negative campaign. I've been unable find a link on-line for details, including exact wording.
It is a shame that CNN didn't ask voters who were polled specifically what made them think that way. And it is hard not to suspect that voters were treated to the kind of heavy slime job being conducted against Clinton that we have seen in the blogs for months.
This is the weekly campaign blogger post for Joe Biden.
Between its current fundraising push and the FEC matching funds, the Biden campaign finally has the resources to put up some solid ads. If you live in Iowa, you've probably already seen these:
The campaign blogger posts for Joe have tended to focus on four things: my personal reasons for supporting Joe, new policy initiatives, Iowa momentum (such as rising polls (now at 8%) or his myriad of endorsements), or his winning debate performances. I want to add something to that mix today: national and New Hampshire momentum. More specifically, great newspaper coverage.
About a week ago, Jerome wrote, "Newspapers are dead, and their endorsements don't mean squat." I disagree. Newspapers are certainly in decline, but there are plenty of folks in the hospital, even in the ICU, who aren't dead yet. Yesterday, Todd pointed out that the Des Moines Register's endorsement does seem to have made an impact, but there's more to it than that. People may not vote the way their local daily tells them to, but many want to vote for a candidate who is viable, and they do allow the paper to tell them which candidates fit that description. You'll never hear a voter say, "I support Joe Biden because the Storm Lake Times endorsed him!" but you might hear someone say, "Gee, a newspaper endorsement and the state House Majority Leader? I guess his campaign is stronger than I thought - maybe I should give him a second look." And while it is true that circulation isn't what it used to be, there are still more newspaper readers than there are bloggers or cable news watchers. Per Wikipedia, DailyKos has an average of 519,000 daily visitors, while 2.3 million souls suffer through Bill O'Reilly each night. The three networks beat out the newspapers, but the fact is that USA Today still has 2.3 million readers each day - and that's just in print, I don't know what the online numbers are. Newspapers continue to have more of an impact than blogs or cable news, and their coverage does shape the story.
Until that day, I'll remain excited about positive newspaper coverage, which Joe Biden has been receiving a lot of lately. The Des Moines Register may have endorsed Hillary, but you can tell it was close:
Even in our last major round of deliberations, we kept coming back to the question, Why not Joe Biden?
Many of the arguments we have made on behalf of the tested leadership of Sens. Hillary Clinton and John McCain apply to Biden as well. He knows how to get legislation passed. He, too, has deep foreign-policy expertise. We're inspired by his fierce defense of civil liberties. His work on legislation to combat domestic violence has no doubt prevented injuries and saved lives. He might, indeed, make a good president.
In my state of New Hampshire, I wait with bated breath for the Concord Monitor's endorsement, as they wrote a glowing article about Joe after he met with their editorial board:
Bush and most of Biden's competitors for the presidential nomination in his party share the tendency, he said, to view each problem abroad in "splendid isolation." Biden called this view "incredibly naïve" while speaking Monday to editors and reporters at the Concord Monitor. He said that the world has changed since the 1990s and that America's credibility abroad has suffered under an administration that has failed to consider other countries' viewpoints.
Several times, the Bush administration could have better protected America's interests by working harder to reach a consensus with its allies, he said. If the president had brokered an agreement with Turkey to allow troop passage before invading Iraq, Biden said, the domestic insurgency that followed Baghdad's fall could have been stymied. If the president had established a policy toward Russia with Europe when President Vladimir Putin began to move toward authoritarianism, his rise could have been curtailed. And if Bush would endorse Biden's plan to support local governance in Iraq, the country could stabilize.
"We don't try to connect the dots," he said. "There has been a tendency to think you can deal, in isolation, with single countries."
Update 10:32 PM: That's a great Concord Monitor article, but this is the one I actually meant to quote. Oops.
Biden, who will soon begin his 35th year as a U.S. senator, is a pragmatist. He is quick to separate the ideal from the achievable. In this season of promises, that's refreshing. His approach to health care, the top domestic issue, is by some standards, modest. It calls for insuring every child - children are cheap to insure than adults - and subsidizing the catastrophic care whose costs terrify the uninsured and underinsured. To move toward universal coverage, Biden would allow anyone to join the federal employee health plan on a sliding scale based on income.
Biden's health plan is hardly perfect. But he's right when he says it could avert the kind of massive pressure from insurers and other vested interests that could otherwise kill meaningful reform. Biden's right about a lot of things. He has only an outside shot of becoming president. But his opinions on the issues are worth hearing. End Update.
And while the Union Leader endorsed McCain, they still ran a good article about Biden this week on their front page:
Though he's clearly not interested in the top State Department job, he twists the notion that he's qualified for it into a positive for his presidential campaign.
"Are you prepared to vote for anyone for President at this point in time in our history who's not capable of being secretary of state? Would you consider appointing any of my opponents as secretary of state? Just think about it." ...
He is currently ranked as one of the least wealthy United States senators. But, Biden said, there's a "liberating aspect" to his non-millionaire status: "I don't owe anyone anything."...
[Biden] draws enthusiastic crowds to his events and last week began his first sustained TV ad campaign. He was approved for $857,000 in matching funds this week by the Federal Election Commission, helping to ease the financial pressure on his cash-strapped campaign.
Operatives for rival candidates say privately they've detected substantial pockets of support for Biden in some rural areas and in the ethnic, heavily Catholic industrial towns along the Mississippi River in eastern Iowa. Complicated caucus rules mean those pockets could produce enough delegates for Biden to have an impact.
With polls showing Bill Richardson's support appearing to fade and Chris Dodd still struggling to catch on, Biden's advisers are hoping for a strong fourth-place finish and say they can even envision coming in third. Their outside hope is for Biden somehow to overtake Edwards, who draws much of his support from the same blue-collar and rural voters Biden is trying to woo.
For a man who has chaired two Senate committees, who has endured horrific personal tragedy, who thwarted Robert Bork's Supreme Court nomination and has appeared on about 10,000 Sunday talk shows - who has paid his dues - Biden doesn't seem trapped by the grim specter of his poll standing. He seems to be having ... fun. The kind of face-to-face interaction that the trail offers - a chore for many candidates - is what seems to make him feel alive. (In this sense Biden is much like Bill Clinton, and nothing like Hillary.) After his remarks at the Benchwarmer, he schmoozes every voter as though that person alone will decide the caucus outcome. He spends close to five minutes explaining to one man why he dropped out of the 1988 presidential race, what Bork had to do with it, and how the decision may have saved his life (because Biden later discovered he was suffering from brain aneurysms)...
Earlier in the evening, Biden had offered his crowd an assurance: "I have the same passion and enthusiasm I had for this the day I walked on the Senate floor 35 years ago." As he stands amid a dwindling circle of voters, clearly prepared to chat until nobody's left, in the pursuit of a goal that barely seems attainable, you get the feeling he must really mean it.
Hillry Clinton is wooing the same outsourcers that workers fear. Bill Clinton passed NAFTA, and was seen by Wallstreet insiders as favoring free trade agreements. I ask the obvious question. Why do voters think that Hillary Clinton would be any different then her husband Bill Clinton when it comes to free trade agreements. Everone knows that wallstreet is definning what her economic policies will be. Is there any doubt that under a Hillary presidency that there will be more companies leaving the US and more outsourcing of american jobs.
"Clinton is successfully wooing wealthy Indian Americans, many of them business leaders with close ties to their native country and an interest in protecting outsourcing laws and expanding access to worker visas. Her campaign has held three fundraisers in the Indian American community recently, one of which raised close to $3 million, its sponsor told an Indian news organization."
If you have any doubts to what I am saying, read this LA Times article: