McCain Will Not Take Away My Right To Choose

The words of John McCain, Feb. 18, 2007, Spartanburg, S.C.

"I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned," the Arizona senator told about 800 people in South Carolina, one of the early voting states.

McCain also vowed that if elected, he would appoint judges who "strictly interpret the Constitution of the United States and do not legislate from the bench."

John McCain will not make that decision for me.

I support Barack Obama.

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Wisconsin: Obama 48, McCain 42

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Wisconsin is Back!

Survey USA released a Wisconsin poll today and found Obama leading McCain 48% to 42%. Wisconsin was one of the closest states in 2004, just barely going blue - Kerry won by just 11,000 votes out of almost 3 million cast - so it's good to see Obama leading, even if it is closer than I'd like.

Looking at the crosstabs, this is one of SUSA's most balanced samples in this round of polling - 36% Democrats, 30% Republicans, 29% independents. 2004 Wisconsin exit polls were 35% Democrats, 38% Republicans, and 27% independents. I have no trouble believing the partisan breakdown in this sample; the damage to the Republican brand could easily account for the drop in their party ID.

Obama only gets 78% of Democrats to McCain's 89% of Republicans, but he leads because he wins independents big, 53%-36%. McCain's appeal to independent voters is the stuff of legend in the traditional media, so it's nice to see Obama beating him handily with independents here.

SUSA also polled various VP choices, and again found that Huckabee helps McCain the most and Edwards helps Obama the most. Obama/Edwards beats McCain/Pawlenty by 15 points. Again, I have to think this is mostly name recognition - I doubt anyone outside Minnesota knows who Pawlenty is, while Huckabee and Edwards got a good deal of publicity because of their primary campaigns

Link

http://www.surveyusa.com/index.php/2008/ 05/30/vice-presidential-pairings-wiscons in/

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August 28th 2008: Obama Acceptance Speech

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August 28th will be the final day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention. The keynote speaker will be the Democratic nominee for president. Unless Hillary Clinton soon acquires the ability to perform miracles, that nominee giving the acceptance speech is going to be Barack Obama.

Senator Obama will give his acceptance speech on August 28, the forty-fifth anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech.

And he will give a historic speech. He will be the first black man in this country's entire history to give such a speech

Assuming he wins in November. Obama will be inaugurated less than three weeks before Abraham Lincoln's two-hundredth birthday.

The symbolism of the first major party African-American presidential nominee accepting his party's endorsement on the day when King, four-and-a-half decades earlier, had called on the nation to fulfill its long-deferred ideals, and of the first African-American president being inaugurated less than a month before the nation celebrates the bicentennial of the "Great Emancipator" should be enough to bring tears to the eyes of even hardened political cynics.

But the deep historical significance of what is currently happening goes even farther.

In so many ways, Barack Obama is a realization of King's dream.

Link: DNC Convention

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Mark Warner For V.P

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Looking Good Obama:
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Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner blabbed to insider Robert Novak that he's on the list for Obama's VEEP. He has gotten lots of attention lately. But for me, he was always the best choice for Obama. He is simply the most impressive candidate out there today.

Bio.

Credentials:

Governor of Virginia (2002 - 2006)

Chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party (1993 - 1995)

Co-founder of Nextel

Current Job: Running for Senate in 2008. He also serves on the boards of National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and the CNA Corporation

Security Experience: He served on the national security taskforce and co-chair the transportation taskforce of the Bipartisan Policy Council (2007).

Background: Mark Warner hails from Indianapolis, Indiana -- and, like many congress officials, was the first person in his family to graduate college. He graduated from the George Washington University and Harvard School of Law. He got his start working for Senator Chris Dodd in the early 80s, while making his first fortune investing in technology.

Warner's Agenda: A New Energy Policy, Health care, The War, Being Competitive (Jobs/Education) and Improving Infrastructure. Mark Warner holds similar policy views as Obama -- and he's long been touted as someone who can bridge the Bipartisan gap, which is critical for making the "change" Obama professes really happen.

Star Achievements: As governor, he inherited $6 billion in economic shortfalls and ended with a surplus by revising the tax code, creating jobs and making "business-like reforms." He used the money to invest in K-12 education and cleaning up the Chesapeke Bay. So Warner could help Obama achieve all his lofty goals by finding a realistic way to make it happen... of course, the taxpayers may not be too happy with some of the inevitable hikes on consumer goods.

He was named one of Governing Magazine's "Public Officials of the Year" (2004), TIME Magazine's "America's 5 Best Governors" (2005), and was mentioned in Newsweek's "Who's Next" article (2006.)During his tenure, Governing Magazine called Virginia the "best governed state" and Forbes Magazine called Virginia the "best state for business." Education Week said Virginia was "the best state for children" on the basis of economic opportunity. The widespread acclaim can't be denied and the importance of bringing a business sense into governing can't be overstated. Mark Warner brings that "real world experience" to the table, which some analysts say is critical to the Obama campaign.

Possible Snafus: The Republicans have been gearing up to issue the beating of a lifetime on Mark Warner for a while. They've already launched a "Don't Mark Warner" website with an extensive laundry list of grievances. They allege that he flip-flopped on illegal immigration, that he's the "godfather of payday loans," that he flip-flopped on abortion, raised taxes across the board (everything BUT income), that he has no real political ideology to call his own, that he allowed state officials in his administration use taxpayer dollars to fund a Zimbabwean safari, that he broke all of his platform promises and that he's not really a fiscal conservative, as he professes. In other words, not much!

Warner as VP could all but insure 16 years of Dem WH rule.

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Iowa: Obama 47% McCain 38%

Survey USA has polled Iowa and found that Obama leads McCain 47% to 38%. Looking at the crosstabs, this looks somewhat better than the Ohio poll last week did, since this has Obama winning independents 48% to 33%.

However, this poll also has a big percentage of Democrats in the sample - the numbers are 45% Democrats, 28% Republicans, and 24% independents. The CNN Iowa exit poll for 2004 put the voting numbers at 34% Democrats, 36% Republicans, and 30% independents.

So either we've seen a big shift in party ID in Iowa (not impossible, the entire country is having buyer's remorse over the Republicans, and Iowa more so than most states, it seems), or the poll is suspect. Take your pick.

They also polled various VP combinations, as they've been doing in other states. Since Edwards has consistently polled as the strongest pick for Obama, and Huckabee and Romney have consistently polled as the strongest picks for McCain, I think this is probably mostly just name recognition at this point. However, it's worth noting that Obama/Edwards beats McCain/Pawlenty by a ludicrous 26 percentage points. The best combination for McCain (McCain/Huckabee) beats the worst combination for Obama (Obama/Rendell) by only 8. Make of that what you will.

Link- http://www.surveyusa.com/index.php/2008/ 05/27/vp-head-to-head-in-iowa/

Update-

Here's what Barack Obama plans to say at 3:30 pt ET in North Las Vegas, NV:
"I just had the privilege of visiting with Felicitas Rosel and Francisco Cano at their home here in Las Vegas.

Today, John McCain is having a different kind of meeting. He's holding a fundraiser with George Bush behind closed doors in Arizona. No cameras. No reporters. And we all know why. Senator McCain doesn't want to be seen, hat-in-hand, with the President whose failed policies he promises to continue for another four years."

Tune into your LIVE news feeds to see him.

Link- http://thepage.time.com/ Transcript http://thepage.time.com/obamas-full-remarks-in-north-las-vegas-tuesday/

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Neocon 'Father' Francis Fukiyama Endorses Barack Obama

This news either falls under the category of "politics makes strange bedfellows,""the Obama coalition is a mighty, broad coalition that will destroy McCain in November," or "I must have dosed my cornflakes this morning with angeldust and what I just read MUST be the product of my hallucinating mind."
http://au.news.yahoo.com/080527/21/170xi .html

Likely the real answer is a combination of the above statements.  Francis Fukuyama, the author of The End of History and one of the architects of post-Cold War neoconservatism that brought us the Project for the New American Century and the saber-rattling that produced the Iraq War, has come out and voiced support for Barack Obama to become President.

Australian journalist Eleanor Hall interviewed Fukuyama about the American presidential campaign when the Johns Hopkins professor visited Sydney.

ELEANOR HALL: So which president do you think would be the best placed to handle these challenges? Would it be president McCain, president Obama or a president Clinton?

FRANCIS FUKUYAMA: Well, it is a little bit difficult. In my own thinking since I have to vote in this next election, I personally actually don't want to see a Republican re-elected because I have a general view of the way democratic processes should work and if your party is responsible for a big policy failure, you shouldn't be rewarded by being re-elected.

I think of all the Republicans, McCain in many ways is the most attractive but he is still is too, you know, he comes from the school that places too much reliance on hard military power as a means of spreading American influence.

To be fair to Fukuyama, he has -- over the past couple of years as public opposition to the war has grown to an overwhelming consensus -- become a critic of how the Iraq War was waged.  Fukuyama's opposition to a reliance solely on "hard military power" goes hand in hand with his call to oppose torture and close Guantanamo Bay (which he repeats elsewhere in this interview).  In that context, criticizing McCain for continuing what Fukuyama calls a failed policy is not a surprise.  Now, though, one of the architects of neoconservative philosophy has publicly refused to support the candidate whose foreign policy relies upon a neoconservative perspective.  With McCain disqualified, Fukuyama turns to the two candidates who have not yet conceded in the Democratic nomination battle.

I think in many ways, Hillary Clinton represents both the good and the bad things of the 1990s and there is something in the style of the Clintons that never really appealed to me and so I think of all the three, Obama probably has the greatest promise of delivering a different kind of politics.

ELEANOR HALL: That is a big shift for you, isn't it? To go from a registered Republican voter to an Obama supporter.

FRANCIS FUKUYAMA: Yeah, but I think a number of people are doing that this year because I think the world is different at this juncture and we need a different foreign policy and there is this larger question about in American politics, I do think that we are at the end of a long generational cycle that began with Reagan's election back in 1980 and I think unless you have a degree of competition and alternation in power, certain ideas and habits are going to get too entrenched.

Fukuyama goes on to give his view of what American foreign policy under Obama might look like, and is somewhat optimistic about it.  This is truly remarkable.  After all, Obama owes his success in large part to being a firm opponent since 2002 of what he called "dumb wars" and specifically the war in Iraq.  Then again, Fukuyama may appreciate that Obama has loudly denounced the use of torture, and that Obama -- more than either Clinton or McCain -- supports making diplomatic talks a priority over sabre-rattling.  Placed in the perspective of Fukuyama's comments over the past couple of years, his support for Obama makes more sense.

But this endorsement shows how much has shifted in American politics over the past four years.  One of the fathers of neoconservative foreign policy now backs the candidate who fiercely denounces what neoconservativism has wrought, and whose foreign policy team is dominated by those who opposed the Iraq War at the start.  Yet that is where we stand just five months before the American people decide who will succeed George W. Bush as the person who shapes American foreign policy.

If John McCain has lost Francis Fukuyama, who's next?  Richard Perle?  Richard Cheney?  

Change is coming.  And not a moment too soon.

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Shocker: HRC asked for V.P, Obama politely refused

According to Al Giordano of the The Field:

''The Field can now confirm, based on multiple sources, something that both campaigns publicly deny: that Senator Clinton has directly told Senator Obama that she wants to be his vice presidential nominee, and that Senator Obama politely but straightforwardly and irrevocably said "no." Obama is going to pick his own running mate based on his own criteria and vetting process.''

Time magazine's Karen Tumulty reports:

''What will Clinton's terms of surrender turn out to be? Her husband, for one, seems to have a pretty clear idea what he thinks she should get as a consolation prize. In Bill Clinton's view, she has earned nothing short of an offer to be Obama's running mate, according to some who are close to the former President. Bill "is pushing real hard for this to happen," says a friend.''

''And that is all that anybody needs to know to understand the childish and wounded behavior of Senator Clinton yesterday, grandstanding hypocritically to senior citizens in Florida, telling them they should consider themselves under sniper fire in Bosnia, er, Zimbabwe, aggrandizing herself as some kind of civil rights leader (MLK? or LBJ? She didn't say this time) and attempting to corner 30 members of the DNC's Rules & Bylaws Committee that will meet on May 31 to resolve the disputes over whether, and, if so, how, delegates from Michigan and Florida might be seated at the convention in August.''

More at

http://ruralvotes.com/thefield/

I think giving the course of these events. HRC campaign leaked the ''What Does Hillary Want?'' story. To keep the notion of this wholoe farcial process going.

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Virginia: Obama 49% McCain 42%

Great news for Obama (up 7). Webb on the ticket all the sudden means that Virginia is solidly Obama. That is a big big deal. .

http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollRepo rt.aspx?g=9901f8fc-034e-4a1d-ab36-f6e5c9 18614e

Case In POINT:  VIRGINIA - 13 EV's

Obama: 49% (35%)
McCain: 42% (55%)

Obama/Edwards:   53%
McCain/Huckabee: 41%

The Map has Changed, Electability has been redefined, and there is no Gender Gap in Virginia.

Men
Obama: 48%
McCain: 44%

Women
Obama: 51%
McCain: 40%

Independents:
Obama: 45%
McCain: 41%

Democrats:
Obama: 79%
McCain: 10%

Republicans:
Obama : 17%
McCain : 81%

Obama is Pulling more Republicans than McCain is pulling Democrats.  

Pennsylvania is Equally Fine

As is Colorado... Obama's Map is Bigger, Better and Badder than ever.

Virginia Blue!

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McCain Makes a Big GAFFE [Video]

It's fairly common knowledge that the position of President in Iran holds very little actual power. Back when moderate reformer Mohammad Khatami held the presidency, we were regularly reminded that he was pretty much of a figurehead with no real power. Now that the confrontational and controversial Ahmadinejad holds the office, we don't hear so much about how the president is not really the top dog. Obviously he makes a convenient boogie man for the right. Why spoil the scariness value. So it's no mystery why the neocon McCain would play this political game. But surely he's not so clueless as to be unaware that the real power in Iran is held by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the cabal of clerics known as the Council of Guardians.

After all, McCain is the security expert! Hillary Clinton has assured us that he has passed the Commander in Chief "threshhold"! Could McCain really be that clueless about the leadership of the country he claims is the biggest threat we face? Watch the video below the fold and decide for yourself:

Watch his eye movements and facial expressions. It's comedy.

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Warren Buffett Endorses Barack Obama

Warren Buffett, the "Oracle of Omaha" (or "Sage of Omaha", take your pick), has endorsed Barack Obama for President.

''In Frankfurt, Germany, today, billionaire Warren Buffett announced his support for Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States.  He said that he offered support to both Senator Clinton and Senator Obama, but because it appeared that Obama would win the Democratic nomination, he is endorsing Senator Obama''.

"I will be very happy if he is elected President.  He is my choice." He said.

Although many of the super-rich choose to align themselves with Republicans, Buffett, head of Berkshire Hathaway, has been a supporter of Democrats.  He was one of Sen. John Kerry's economic advisors during his 2004 presidential run.

Buffett thinks the dollar will continue to weaken:

"I think that the US has followed and is following policies which will cause the US dollar to weaken over a long period of time," he said.

After voicing support for Obama, Buffett nonetheless noted the US economy had managed to do "awfully well" despite a depression, two world wars and many financial crises.

"They say in the stock market ... buy stock in a business that's so good that an idiot can run it because sooner or later one will," he added.

"Well, the United States is a little like that. We can take a little mis-management from time to time," Buffett said.

For those of you who don't know, and I doubt many people do, Warren Buffett has politics in his blood.  His father, Howard Buffett, was a four-term Republican congressman from Nebraska, serving from 1943-1949 and 1951-1953.  Howard Buffett, speaking presciently on the House floor, once said:

''Even if it were desirable, America is not strong enough to police the world by military force. If that attempt is made, the blessings of liberty will be replaced by coercion and tyranny at home. Our Christian ideals cannot be exported to other lands by dollars and guns''.

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5iEoh 4tPLHPMMok875VIJDcq3FOKg

Update: Obama leads HRC by 16 points in the latest Gallup poll.
First time she has gone below 40%.

Update: Hillary Clinton's former campaign manager and confidante, Patti Solis Doyle is in 'talks' to join the Obama campaign.

Link: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/050 8/10450.html

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Diaries

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