"Bitter" used in robocalls already

Well, with all this hoopla about Obama's comments, it was bound to come to this.

Not only have both Clintons and Obama and Casey and others spoken out on this. Not only have the Clintons handed out "I'm not bitter" stickers at their rallies.

No, that wasn't enough.  Now there are robocalls -- from the Obama camaign.

As The Page and ABC News reports tonight:

"A robo-call on behalf of the Obama campaign from Mayor John Brenner of York, Pa., says that, "Barack Obama understands us. He's got it right, we are frustrated -- frustrated with polices that enable businesses to leave our community, pensions to be stripped, health care benefits to be taken away and homes foreclosed.  Unlike his opponents, who have been part of the Washington establishment that are out of touch with us, Barack Obama will change Washington.  It is policies that hurt us. He will take on the special interests and fight for us."

What a great candidate! Yes, folks are bitter and frustrated. 81% think the country is on the wrong track. And yes, we're damn resilient, too, but let's not shove our warranted anger into the closet.  Obama is willing to be honest about how people have gotten shafted in this country and his campaign has shown incredible strength in taking this issue on -- making robocalls on what Clinton thought would be her issue.  Meanwhile, Clinton's complaining about Obama, not speaking to people's real needs, and not promoting herself as a candidate to lead this nation.

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Obama responds on being "bitter"

Barack Obama has responded to what Clinton and McCain have said about Obama characterizing some rural Americans as bitter. I think he does a great job, speaking to the very real frustration people feel as the US has lost manufacturing job and the middle class has shrunk.  And the crowd in Illinois love it.  Someone hears how they feel and speaks to the reality of early 21st century America.

Plus Obama brings in a number of policy critiques -- on the home mortgage crisis, bankruptcy bills, etc.

I don't know how to embed video - but here is the link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sc9PepjyD ow

When I heard Obama's remarks, I thought you very well could be politically troublesome. Now I'm not so sure how they will play out. He's explained them by sharpening them into a clear critique both of policy and of candidates.

Your thoughts?

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Superdelegates about to use their judgment

Well, the presidential candidates have asked superdelegates to use their judgment in who they support.

It looks like a whole bunch are about to do just that:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB12069205 4573175525.html?mod=hps_us_whats_news
"Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is expected to endorse Sen. Obama Monday, according to a Democrat familiar with her plans. Meanwhile, North Carolina's seven Democratic House members are poised to endorse Sen. Obama as a group -- just one has so far -- before that state's May 6 primary, several Democrats say."
(thanks to talkingpointsmemo)

Your thoughts?

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Obama a law school professor?

The other day, there was a diary claiming that Obama had made a big misstatement because he called himself a professor based on having taught at the University of Chicago law school, one of the top law schools in the country.

I and others argued that this was not a problem because he was attributing to himself the rank of full Professor, but was using the term more generically.

Now the University of Chicago has weighed in.  As you see, they think he is perfectly entitled to be called a professor.

Please feel free to forward this to whoever you think should see this.

http://www.law.uchicago.edu/media/index. html
"The Law School has received many media requests about Barack Obama, especially about his status as "Senior Lecturer."

From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School. He was a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996. He was a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004, during which time he taught three courses per year. Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track. The title of Senior Lecturer is distinct from the title of Lecturer, which signifies adjunct status. Like Obama, each of the Law School's Senior Lecturers have high-demand careers in politics or public service, which prevent full-time teaching. Several times during his 12 years as a professor in the Law School, Obama was invited to join the faculty in a full-time tenure-track position, but he declined."

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Hillary's Bosnia pilot speaks

The pilot was interviewed and he says that basically nothing Hillary said was true.

There were no evasive maneuvers.
No one said to sit on bullet-proof vests.
There were no snipers.
Other high level officials came in before Hillary.
No one worried about their safety on the tarmac.
There was a normal arrival ceremony.

Watch it for yourself http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4uph2_ col2_news

Folks, you just have to admit that she messed up.  As I tell my kids, it's usually not such a big deal if you just come clean.

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A sign of our divide: responses to the Tuzla story

How divided are Clinton and Obama supporters?  We have been talking about that a lot on this site, with some urging us to remember that we all share the goal of taking the White House for Democrats.  I am with that camp and have committed myself to avoiding personal characterizations and to seeking rational discussion of the campaign, candidates and issues.

But I want to enter one item into evidence about our divide.  I know some will have other examples they may wish to offer.  And, while I am an Obama supporter who will offer this example that, in my view, does not look good for many supporters of Clinton, I acknowledge that there are surely other examples that would leave the same impression about Obama supporters.

In any case, here is the evidence of schism:
  Yesterday there were numerous diaries and comments about the fact that while Hillary Clinton said that after she landed in Bosnia she had to run from the plane  to a car and there was no welcoming ceremony, video from the time showed her walking to an arrival ceremony on the airport.
   When numerous Clinton supporters read this, their response varied from calling it a smear, pointing to problems with Obama, or just calling people who posted it names of all sorts.
   Today the Clinton campaign acknowledged that Clinton got it wrong, saying she "misspoke."

  To me, this speaks volumes about our inability as a community to come together to talk in a reasonable way.  There was clear documentary evidence that Clinton's story was not true, but people who supported her who posted on it could not bring themselves to admit she was wrong.  

 As far as I'm concerned, every candidate makes mistakes sometimes. They are human beings.  I certainly don't consider this disqualifying for Clinton.  But I would hope that we could  discuss errors in a more reasonable manner.  Admit when your candidate seems to have made a mistake, and don't attack so vociferously when you think the opposing candidate made a mistake.  

 Again, I readily admit that these sorts of things happen on all sides.  But what does this tell you about our divisions?  And can you pledge to avoid name-calling and take the time to examine evidence, no matter where it leads you?

  Thank you for listening.

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Hillary was "totally pro-NAFTA"

When Hillary Clinton was in Ohio, some claimed that she hadn't supported NAFTA when it was proposed.

Well, not only does her WH schedule show that she spoke at an event for NAFTA to a very select group, but news reports indicate that she was quite supportive of NAFTA there.  

As ABC News reports - http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/ 2008/03/clintons-1993-n.html

"Two attendees of that closed-door briefing, neither of whom are affiliated with any campaign, describe that event for ABC News. It was a room full of women involved in international trade. David Gergen served as a sort of master of ceremonies as various women members of the Cabinet talked up NAFTA, which had yet to pass Congress.

"It wasn't a drop-by it was organized around her participation," said one attendee. "Her remarks were totally pro-NAFTA and what a good thing it would be for the economy. There was no equivocation for her support for NAFTA at the time. Folks were pleased that she came by. If this is a still a question about what Hillary's position when she was First Lady, she was totally supportive if NAFTA.

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What did Wright mean by "The Audacity of Hope"

There's been all sorts of speculation about the damage that Obama might suffer from his association with his pastor.  Posters here claim that Obama is undermined because he took the name of his book from a Wright sermon.

Therefore, it is well worth reading that sermon - Then perhaps you can comment on what it says about Wright as a spiritual advisor.

I give it to you below:

The full text of Jeremiah Wright's "Audacity To Hope" sermon in 1990 (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/th e_daily_dish/2008/03/for-the-record.html )

   Several years ago while I was in Richmond, the Lord allowed me to be in that city during the week of the annual convocation at Virginia Union University School of Theology. There I heard the preaching and teaching of Reverend Frederick G. Sampson of Detroit, Michigan. In one of his lectures, Dr. Sampson spoke of a painting I remembered studying in humanities courses back in the late '50s. In Dr. Sampson's powerful description of the picture, he spoke of it being a study in contradictions, because the title and the details on the canvas seem to be in direct opposition.
 on praying. God does hear and answer prayer.

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Chicago Tribune praises Obama for Rezko honesty

A lot of folks have proclaimed that the Rezko connection was going to hurt Obama.  But the reporters who know the most about it now say that they're satisfied with his explanations.

"The most remarkable facet of Obama's 92-minute discussion was that, at the outset, he pledged to answer every question the three dozen Tribune journalists crammed into the room would put to him. And he did."

"We fully expect the Clinton campaign, given its current desperation, to do whatever it must in order to keep the Rezko tin can tied to Obama's bumper.

When we endorsed Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination Jan. 27, we said we had formed our opinions of him during 12 years of scrutiny. We concluded that the professional judgment and personal decency with which he has managed himself and his ambition distinguish him.

Nothing Obama said in our editorial board room Friday diminishes that verdict."
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opini on/chi-0316edit1mar16,0,4441703,print.st ory

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