July 29, 2007

Obama's teacher leaves Hefty legacy

Hawaii's Star Bulletin pays a beautiful tribute to Mabel Hefty, Obama's 5th grade teacher, made famous by his reference to her as his favorite teacher on the YouTube debate. It quotes Ms. Hefty speaking of Obama before she passed away in 1995: Obama's name had come up as her mother was dying of cancer, before he went into politics, Whorff said. "I know he's going to be somebody,'" Hefty told her daughter. "You probably will hear about him. If you do, look him up."

There's a very nice bit about his father's visit to Obama's class to make a presentation on Kenya. Several of her former students who gained prominence in Hawaii or just followed her footsteps are also featured.

starbulletin.com | News | /2007/07/29/ Read more!

Obama: Keep America safe by maintaining ideals

Obama is bolstered by former Iowa House Democratic Leader Dick Myers of Iowa City, an Army veteran, for standing in favor of negotiations with adversarial nations without preconditions. Here's a local write-up of Obama's Des Moines, Iowa presentation:

Iowa Caucus: Iowa Caucus %u2013 History, Candidate Profiles, Campaign Events and Caucus News
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Obama says he could go "toe to toe" in talks with renegade nations - International Herald Tribune

"I was called irresponsible and naive because I believe that there is nobody we can't talk to," said Obama, drawing loud cheers. "We've got nothing to fear as long as we know who we are and what we stand for and our values."
Obama stands his ground in Des Moines, Iowa.

Obama says he could go "toe to toe" in talks with renegade nations - International Herald Tribune Read more!

Rasmussen Reports Polls Agree with Obama

Forty-two percent (42%) of Americans say that the next President should meet with the heads of nations such as Iran, Syria, and North Korea without setting any preconditions. However, many do not know that Obama agrees with them. Some think Hillary supports their position, some think both do.

Rasmussen Reports%u2122: The most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a mid-term election. Read more!

July 18, 2007

DC Mayor Fenty backs Obama - and will manage DC campaign!

Talk about a ringing endorsement - Mayor Adrian Fenty of DC will put his time and energy into winning DC for Obama as his DC campaign chairman.

Fenty backs Obama - Washington Business Journal: Read more!

Obama's poverty solutions contrast with Edwards'

Presents clear differences between Edwards and Obama in perceptions and solutions, as well as in their backgrounds, and contrasts the outcomes of both plans, favoring Obama's. Obama Says He, Too, Is a Poverty Fighter - washingtonpost.com Read more!

Native American Times - Congressman Carson endorses Senator Obama

Cherokee Nation former Congressman Brad Carson has broken his practice of waiting until the final election, and endorses Senator Obama for the Democratic primaries.

Native American Times - America's Largest Independent, Native American News Source Read more!

Obama unveils urban agenda. Speech excerpts.

This great blogger Sweet comes through once again! Here's a preview of Obama's Urban Agenda [excerpts], a truly great speech and real plan.

Lynn Sweet: Sweet blog special: Obama unveils urban agenda. Speech excerpts. Read more!

July 15, 2007

Tell All Media: Obama has as much experience as Ronald Reagan and Teddy Roosevelt!

The untrue argument, stated as fact by media everywhere, that Obama is too inexperienced must finally be put to rest. This article shows five presidents elected with less than Obama's 12 years of public service (among them Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Teddy Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, and Woodrow Wilson) and one more with 12 years just like him, in the past century. Electing Obama is voting for more experience than our current President Bush had when he took office - a grand total of six years public service! If people like how "novice" Teddy Roosevelt handled our nation in a time of world war, they should look at the ever-calm, intelligent, world-travelled and diplomatic Senator Obama.

Matthew Yglesias Read more!

July 14, 2007

Obama supports inclusion in debates, better format for discussion

Once again differentiating himself from the other Democratic frontrunners Clinton and Edwards, Obama responded to questions about an apparent collaboration between the two to exclude less popular candidates from debates. Obama supports including all candidates, and a better format to encourage fuller discussion than snippet answers in 60-second increments.

globegazette.com - Latest News Story Read more!

July 11, 2007

Hillary Inevitable? What Barack has in his favor.

This is a great post on MyDD. You'll find great videos as well as excellent reasons why Barack Obama is as likely to come out ahead in the primaries as Hillary Clinton. MyDD :: Hillary Inevitable? What Barack has in his favor.
All the videos are also posted on YouTube by lovingj, if you'd like to check them all out. I especially recommend the one with Obama paying tribute to Al Gore and speaking on global warming, but others are great as well. http://www.youtube.com/user/lovingj1

Hillary Inevitable? What Barack has in his favor.

Let me begin by saying this is not an attack the opposing candidate diary because the MyDD community gets more than its fair share of this type (i.e. Tod Bennett did an interesting diary on this topic called On Obama "Worshippers" Kool-Aid and Haircuts). I do not believe Hillary Clinton is inherently evil nor do I believe that John Edwards lacks genuine authenticity when it comes to his commitment to poverty. However, I think the blogosphere is premature to conclude that Hillary's nomination is inevitable based on this current early polling.

Hillary Clinton has been carrying a consistent 10 point lead over Barack Obama in the national polls. This trend, without a doubt, has cemented in most people's mind a certain amount of inevitability to Hillary Clinton's candidacy. But before anyone else in the Democratic party suggests short-circuiting the 2008 presidential nomination process and just handing the crown to Hillary Rodham Clinton, consider this: the Democratic party has rarely nominated its front runner in non-incumbent years. John Kennedy was not the frontrunner in 1960, it was former Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson . . . or Texas Senator Lyndon Johnson . . . or Missouri Senator Stuart Symington . . . or Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey . . . which is why Kennedy had to campaign and win in all seven primaries that year to prove himself to the party elders.

In 1968, underdog Robert Kennedy would have surely wrested the nomination from the front runner, Vice President Humphrey, had he not been assassinated. And that's because the real frontrunner, incumbent President Lyndon Johnson, had been chased from the field by yet another underdog, Senator Gene McCarthy of Minnesota. In 1972, Senator Edmund Muskie and not the eventual nominee, Senator George McGovern, was the frontrunner. He fell to the peace candidate's grassroots brigade. McGovern also, for the first time, successfully used the Iowa caucuses to his advantage and developed important momentum, just as "Jimmy who?" Carter would do in 1976.

Only in 1984 did the frontrunner, Walter Mondale, win the nomination, after almost losing to the candidate of "new ideas," Senator Gary Hart. But four years later, in 1988, Michael Dukakis was certainly not the frontrunner when he won his party's nomination.

Senator Clinton knows from personal experience that her husband was not the frontrunner in 1992--New York Governor Mario Cuomo was. The next non-incumbent year, 2000, actually saw the frontrunner, Vice President Al Gore win the nomination. But this was, in many ways, the third nomination of Clinton, not the first for Gore. And we all remember in 2004 when Howard Dean emerged as the leader of the pack over a talented field that included Senators John Kerry, John Edwards, and Joe Lieberman. Unbelievably, for all the hype Howard Dean recieved that year as frontrunner he still did not go on to win the nomination.

Times are good for Senator Clinton as far as polling is concern, however, she trails Senator Obama in every other measure of candidate interest. Obama dominates all the candidates in the field in terms of fundraising, crowd size, and overall excitement. Furthermore, he is proposing policies and changes in government that the American electorate has long been yearning for . . . a return to good government. Universal healthcare, global warming and even our current Iraq quagmire will not truly be solved until we first address the issue of the "smallness of our politics".

Obama is the only candidate to offer true ethics reform at the presidential level. Obama is the only candidate to propose a real agenda to reconcile the differences between religion and the democratic party. Obama is the only candidate with the judgment to oppose the war from day one. Therefore, I am confident that as Obama continues emphasizing these differences through his speeches and debates that this sense of inevitability will be as premature as Adlai Stevenson's expected win over John F. Kennedy was . . . just plain wrong.
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Obama wins hearts and minds in Alabama

These are better than your average campaign coverage story. You get a view from the perspective of people who arrived already supporting Obama, but you also get to hear the folks who didn't have their minds made up, until they saw and heard him. Obama 'electrifies' crowd with his message, mingling- al.com

The donations were rolling in, but you didn't have to be a high roller: $25 got you a spot at a fancy hotel to see Charles Barkley introduce and endorse Obama, or $1000 got you a speech at the Heritage Club. Personally I'd have preferred seeing Obama with Barkley! It seems from the story that this candidate is just more comfortable connecting with people and audiences than I've ever seen him in debates. http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2007/07/obamas_alabama_stops_pull_more.html

Obama 'electrifies' crowd with his message, mingling

Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Times Staff Writer patricia.mccarter@htimes.com

Nation is 'hungry for change,' senator says

For a hairdresser and a retired teacher, $7 sausage quesadillas afforded as intimate an experience with Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama as most of the supporters who paid $1,000 for beef tenderloin and roasted vegetables.

Shirley Jordan, who has been fixing Anita Garner's hair for 20 years, sat with her friend on the patio at Humphrey's restaurant, just a few feet from the alley where Obama would walk to his fundraiser luncheon at the Heritage Club. They arrived 90 minutes before the Illinois senator, their cameras ready.

Shortly before Obama walked past, Garner wrote a sign and taped it to an empty chair at their wrought-iron table: "Reserved for our future President Obama."

"I like what he has to say," Garner said, her hands shaking with nervousness as she wrote out the sign, "but I'm still in the thinking phase."

The presidential contender saw the sign, grinned and took a seat.

"Oh, I've got to sit here," he said.

Obama posed for pictures with those eating lunch on the patio, and he shook their hands and gave a fourth-grader a fist knock. He commented on what a pleasant place it looked to have a nice lunch.

His ease and charisma won over Garner and Jordan.

"I don't need to think about it anymore," Garner said. "I'd vote for him. He was fantastic."

Two men with signs near the Heritage Club door gave Obama less of a thumbs-up.

"Anybody but Hillary, Even You," their placards read.

Richard French, a Madison retiree who characterized himself as an advocate of American values, said he considered Obama the lesser of two evils, "but even if my father, God rest his soul, ran on the Democratic ticket, I wouldn't vote for him."

Still, Obama mostly encountered people who seemed to want see him in the White House, including about 100 who paid up to $2,300 to visit with him at a reception or $1,000 for a buffet line and 30-minute speech.

The media weren't allowed in, but those exiting the fundraiser gave rave reviews.

"He talked about how the country needs rejuvenation, a breath of fresh air," said John Richardson, 40, who works in marketing. "He made my eardrums tingle. He was electrifying, and I'm generally a skeptic."

Chanda Crutcher, 33, said she'd never witnessed the American dream up close before, but now she believes that she has.

"He appeals to everybody," Crutcher said, referring to Obama's genealogy of a black African father and a white American mother.

"But he wasn't in there as an African-American candidate. He was an American candidate, at its finest."

As he left the luncheon, Obama told reporters what he talked about: the war in Iraq (he wants American troops out now); global warming (droughts and hurricanes are creating a more dangerous world, and more energy-efficient light bulbs and vehicles should be used); and family economics (people should be able to afford health and college education for their children).

"People around the country are hungry for change," Obama said.

Jordan Walker-Pearlman, who directed the movie "Constellation" that was filmed in Huntsville, said since he met Obama three years ago in Chicago, he wanted to introduce the senator to this city, "and with a little arm-twisting on my part, he picked Huntsville as his first fundraising event in Alabama."

Obama then went on to a $25-a-head fundraiser in Birmingham.

"I've done presidential events for him in Los Angeles and New York, but I really wanted him to come to Huntsville," said Walker-Pearlman, 40. "I've never seen him so pleased to meet people as he was here. I think he was anticipating an enthusiastic crowd, but not necessarily one as diverse and warm and sophisticated.

"He had a great time, from meeting people on the patio at Humphrey's to the hosts at the reception. He wants to be competitive in the South, and I believe he will be."

Walker-Pearlman said Obama talked about how entrepreneuralism is the answer to what ails America, from health care to pollution to education.

"And he is very strong on defense," the movie director said. "But he believes that diplomacy should be a big part of defending our country."

Retired accountant Reita Woolf waited on Humphrey's patio for the senator to leave the luncheon. She had with her Obama's books, "The Audacity of Hope" and "Dreams From My Father."

Woolf said she's gotten to know the presidential candidate from his books, and she likes him.

A lot.

"Right now, he's at the top of my list," she said. "I like his sincerity, his empathy, his common sense."

As Obama headed back down the alley toward his black SUV, he stopped and took questions from reporters and greeted supporters who didn't pay the big bucks to see him.

He also signed Woolf's books, books that she hopes one day can say were once in the hands of the president.

"I'd like to see some common sense in the White House," she said. "What I like best is his idea for us all to be one community, not a country of this group and that group.

"Doesn't that sound wonderful?"

Obama's Alabama stops pull more than $100,000
Posted by CHARLES J. DEAN and KENT FAULK July 10, 2007 6:34 AM

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama brought his presidential campaign to Birmingham and Huntsville Monday, raking in more than $100,000 to add to a war chest that already has topped $50 million.

And the Democratic candidate's swing through Alabama convinced some uncertain voters to come off the fence and support him.

Obama began his day in Alabama with a $1,000-a-plate luncheon at the Heritage Club in downtown Huntsville attended by 70 donors. The Huntsville event was closed to the public but a small crowd gathered outside the event caught Obama's attention. It included two men holding signs that read: "Anybody but Hillary Even You," a reference to Obama's main rival for the Democratic Party nomination for the White House, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

As Obama shook hands with the small crowd, he pointed at the two men, chuckled and said, "That's kind of a backhanded compliment."

Madison County Commissioner Bob Harrison said he went into the Huntsville fundraiser not sure if he supported Obama. He left impressed.

"Today, I saw a side of him and a level of confidence and assuredness in his ability to be able to lead," Harrison said.

At the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Birmingham, an energized Obama told a large, diverse and enthusiastic crowd that America under President Bush has seen a government that "can't do, won't do and won't even try."

"Americans are hungry for change. They are desperate for something new," Obama told about 2,000 cheering fans, most of whom had paid $25 each to listen to him. "We have had so much dysfunction, so much nonsense ... in Washington D.C., that people have just said enough."

The crowd, a mixture of white and black, young and old, affluent and not, repeatedly cheered as Obama criticized Bush.

"We've got a health care system that is broken, that is bankrupting families all across America," Obama said. "We've got an education system that, despite the slogan, is leaving millions of children behind. We've got the absence of an energy policy which means you're paying $3-and-something-a-gallon at the gas tank and sending all that money to some of the most hostile nations on Earth.

"And, we've got this war that never should have been waged. A war that has cost us half-a-trillion dollars so far and a war that has cost us, more importantly, thousands of precious American lives."

A crowd that was already buzzing waiting for Obama's arrival, got grew more revved when NBA Hall of Famer and Leeds native, Charles Barkley, took the stage to urge them to support Obama.

"The one thing you will hear is that this man is a uniter. You've got too many dividers," Barkley said. "Politics are broken. We need somebody who can fix it. Please listen to what Barack's got to say today, please."

At one point, someone in the crowded shouted at Barkley urging him to run for governor, something he has said for years he wants to do.

"Let me tell you something," Barkley told the shouter. "You don't have to worry about that. You've got my word on that."

One vote Obama won over in Birmingham was Christi Haynes of Birmingham, a mother of three who came to Monday's fundraiser not quite convinced Obama was the real thing.

"I was undecided coming in," Haynes said, who added that she will not support Clinton. "I don't trust her," Haynes said.

"I'm going to vote for him. I like it that he comes out and says it straight. That's why I came here, to see if he's real. And he is," Haynes said.

After his downtown speech, Obama headed to another fundraiser, this one at the Mountain Brook home of HealthSouth President and CEO Jay Grinney. Those attending paid $1,000 to $2,300 a person to meet the White House hopeful who by most polls is chasing Clinton for the Democratic Party nomination for president.

Alabama voters will go to the polls Feb. 5 to cast ballots in the Democratic and Republican party primaries.

E-mail: cdean@bhamnews.com
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