Saturday, February 16, 2008

SEIU Endorses Obama

Click here for a Mother Jones Article on the SEIU endorsement.

This is a VERY important Union endorsement of Obama by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), one of the most progressive and politically active unions in this country. Spread the word...

The Dynamic Michelle Obama

Click here for a 2/15/08 CBS News article on Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama is BY FAR the most intellectually and politically impressive "wife of a politician' that I've ever seen. She is as intelligent, savvy, profound, and dedicated as her husband. Talk about a truly 'Dynamic Duo'!--The Obamas are are a completely unique and original couple and what they are achieving together is nothing short of phenomenal...The national black community--men and women alike--should be taking notes on their relationship and learning what true unity and cooperation between individuals is really all about. Just to see these two people together in public is an inspiration...I think it's called LOVE...


Michelle Obama On Love, Family & Politics
Katie Couric Interviews Barack Obama's Wife About Their Romance And Kids — And Egos On The Campaign Trail

Feb. 15, 2008

Michelle Obama Exclusive

In an exclusive interview, Katie Couric speaks with Michelle Obama about life on the campaign trail and how her children are dealing with the reality that their father might be elected president. | Share/Embed

(CBS) CBS News anchor Katie Couric interviewed the woman who knows Barack Obama best - from policy to personality. Michelle Obama gets personal about her husband, their kids - and herself. What follows is the complete transcript of the interview. Segments of it ran on the CBS Evening News and the Early Show.

Katie Couric: It's been about a year since your husband decided to go for it and run for President. How would you describe the last year?

Michelle Obama: You know, it's been a whirlwind. When you think about what he's been able to put together in less than a year, I mean, we went from the beginning of this thing where there was an inevitable candidate. As far as the polls and the pundits were concerned, this race was over. And then you sort of start building an organization and raising money and meeting people and having conversations.

And it's just the momentum has continued to grow over the course of this year. And what has been just completely heart warming is to see that people are really hungry for something different. And I'm not trying … to be too political about that. I mean, truly people … want something different for themselves and for their lives.

And people are … feeling the pressure of the ever-increasing gap. They're worried about their kids and they're worried about their health and the challenges … are similar. It transcends race and political party. I mean, people are serious about moving this country in a different direction. And that makes me feel good to know that, you know, I'm not alone in my frustration. It's been a good year.

Couric: I was gonna ask you … do you sense a frustration in people? Because you look at the approval ratings for the president and they're quite low. But the approval rating for Congress [is] even lower.

Obama: Yeah. Yeah, no, people are frustrated. I mean, I think they have a sense that there's something broken in our politics. And it's taken a little while because I think Americans are patient. And they give people a chance. And folks don't like fundamental change.

I mean, they wanna believe that the system as it's structured ... is basically doing what it's supposed to do. But when you've gone through years and years and years of just things getting progressively worse for everyday working people. I think people are at the point where they're frustrated. And they don't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

They don't believe that if we don't make some significant change that things will be fundamentally different for the next generation. And I think that's what people are concerned about. I think, like any parent, you can suck it up for yourself. You can, you know, you can tough it through any bad situation. But I think folks are starting to think about the next generation to follow. And if we don't make those changes ... what's this country gonna look like for our children?

Couric: What do your girls think about this? Your daughter, Malia, is nine. Sasha is six.

Obama: Right.

Couric: Are they a bit overwhelmed by this whole thing?

Obama: They're not because … this isn't their life. You know, we've done the best that we can to keep them on course. So they're in the same school with the same teachers, with the same friends. And fortunately they go to school where people, you know, they've known us for a while.

People are excited, but they don't treat the girls any differently. So … I get home last night. And what do we talk about? They don't know what's going on in the Potomac. They don't about … the returns in Maryland or Virginia.

Couric: They're not looking ahead to Wisconsin?

Obama: No, they're not looking ahead to … they're talking about Valentine's Day. And Sasha finished her cards. She had two left and she finished them. And they have to take them tomorrow. And one's got a field trip. And they're gonna have pizza for lunch.

And, you know, that those are the highlights. You know, now if we talk to them about it, which I've done with Malia, giving her a sense of how this thing goes, what's the timing, and how long will it take before we know what's new. You know, you'll get a sense within her of the anxiety of a shift, like, if Dad wins, then will we move?

So they have some real practical considerations about what does this mean? Do I go to a new school? Will I make new friends? I mean, it's all the things that you would think a nine year old would be concerned with if she was gonna move.

Couric: On the other hand, do they say, "Gee, Mommy, all these people are cheering for Daddy. This is so weird?" I mean … they must have some sense because you can't completely isolate them.

Obama: Yeah, no, well, when we're out there, they don't really react to it, you know? Malia said this was the night of one of the last caucuses. It was Super Tuesday. And we were … here in Illinois. We had a victory party. And we always ask do they wanna come on stage. And Malia said, "Now, you know, Daddy, that's not my thing."

Couric: I know, he said that actually when he spoke … which is very funny.

Obama: So they had friends there. We had family and friends. And they did not wanna go out there and wave. I mean, it was nice. They've done it before. But … it's interesting because they don't react to it. They don't think, "Wow, Daddy, isn't this interesting?" The little one is much more interested in the limelight. And she likes to wave.

Couric: She's the one who was smiling.

Obama: Oh, yeah.

Couric: When you were photographed on Capitol Hill and actually high-fived Dick Cheney.

Obama: Gave Dick Cheney a high five. So, like, there goes Sasha.

Couric: Let me ask you about when you first met your husband. Before you were married the two of you worked at a law firm together in Chicago. And I read when you he first asked you out, he said, "No, thank you," not wanting to mix business with pleasure.

Obama: Right.

Couric: But then he invited you somewhere. And your view of him changed dramatically. What was that? And what happened?

Obama: Well, we were friends from the start, because I was his advisor. And my job was to welcome him to the firm. I took him out to lunch. And immediately I liked him because he didn't take himself too seriously but he was very bright, had a very interesting background, just a good guy to talk to. You know, you could laugh easily with him. So I was, like, this is a friend.

But then he asked me out on a date. And I thought, "Well, my advisee. Hmm, I don't think that looks right." But he invited me to go to one of the churches because he had been a community organizer and worked on the far South Side with a group of churches. And he took me to a training that he was doing. And there were mostly single parent mothers, mostly African Americans on the South Side.

And he did a training talking about concept like the world as it is and the world as it should be and how the job of ordinary people in organizing, this is to try to narrow … the gap between those two ideas. And to see him transform himself from the guy who was a summer associate in a law firm with a suit and then to come into this church basement with folks who were like me, who grew up like me, who were challenged and struggling in ways that I never would, and to be able to take off that suit and tie and become a whole 'nother person and connect with people in the same way he had connected with folks in that firm, you don't see someone who can make that transition and do it comfortably and feel comfortable in his own skin and to touch people's hearts in the way that he did, because people connected with his message. And I knew then and there there's something different about this guy. Because you see people who can live well in corporate America. They can wear that uniform well. They can't make the transition and vice versa. Barack lived comfortably in those two worlds.

And it was impressive. And his message was moving. I mean, it touched me.

It made me think differently about what am I doing with my life. And how am I adding to the notion of getting us to the world as it should be? Am I doing it in my law firm? You know? So he made me think in ways that I hadn't before.

Couric: And you were smitten after that.

Obama: I thought … I could hang out with this guy. I was impressed. I really was.

Couric: You’ve seen the crowds, the way they embrace your husband. Some commentators have used the word "messianic." Do you ever worry that the whole thing, the whole movement is a little over the top for some voters?

Obama: Barack and I talk about this all the time. We talked about it before the decision to run, because … when you’re really trying to make serious change, you don’t want people to get caught up in emotion because change isn’t emotion. Because change isn't emotion. Its real work and organization and strategy - that’s just the truth of it. I mean, you pull people in with inspiration, but then you have to roll up your sleeves and you’ve got to make sacrifices and you have got to have structure.

And you've gotta, you know, you have to have support and you have to have interests to move things forward. So we do think about that all the time.

I mean, that's one of the reasons why we try to laugh at ourselves to sort of keep all this excitement to a reasonable level. That's why I teased Barack about putting up the socks and, you know, making sure he's putting up the butter. It's not that, you know, I'm trying to …

Couric: Emasculate him?

Obama: Exactly. The point is that Barack, like any leader, is human. And, you know, our challenges in this country isn't finding the next person who's gonna deliver us from our own evil. Because our challenges are us. The challenges that this country faces is how are we as individuals in this society gonna change? What are we gonna do differently?

Couric: I was just gonna say, sorry to interrupt. I think as the criticism against him mounts, it sort of, you know, lofty oratory is great. Inspiring words are that, inspiring. But real problems require real solutions more than just rhetoric. I'm sure you've heard that.

Obama: Right, right.

Couric: Both Sen. Clinton and now John McCain are kind of upping the ante in terms of attacking him … for his inspirational message, basically insinuating there's no there there.

Obama: Yeah, well, you know, that's what you do. If you can't do the inspiration, then … they attack the guy that can do both because essentially Barack isn't all flash and fire and brimstone. He's developed very comprehensive approaches to the problems that this nation is gonna face.

1 | 2 | 3

© MMVIII, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

NYTimes on Avoiding Convention Rift

Democrats Look for Way to Avoid Convention Rift

Published: February 16, 2008

Former Vice President Al Gore and a number of other senior Democrats plan to remain neutral for now in the presidential race in part to keep open the option to broker a peaceful resolution to what they fear could be a bitterly divided convention, party officials and aides said Friday.

Democratic Party officials said that in the past week Mr. Gore and other leading Democrats had held private talks as worry mounted that the close race between Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton could be decided by a group of 795 party insiders known as superdelegates.

The signs that party elders are weighing whether and how to intervene reflects the extraordinary nature of the contest now and the concern among some Democrats that they not risk an internal battle that could harm the party in the general election.

But they also provided an early glimpse at the complex set of tradeoffs facing party leaders, from their desire to make their own influence felt to their worries about offending the candidates and particular constituencies — not to mention the long, sometimes troubled relationship between Mr. Gore and the Clintons.

The issues party leaders are grappling with, they said, include how to avoid the perception of a back-room deal that thwarts the will of millions of voters who have cast ballots in primaries and caucuses. That perception could cripple the eventual Democratic nominee’s chances of winning the presidency in November, they said.

A number of senior Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and three candidates who have dropped out of the 2008 race, former Senator John Edwards and Senators Christopher J. Dodd and Joseph R. Biden Jr., have spoken with Mr. Gore in recent days. None have endorsed a candidate, although Ms. Pelosi made comments on Friday that were widely seen as supportive of Mr. Obama when it came to the process the party should use to make its choice of candidate.

“It would be a problem for the party if the verdict would be something different than the public has decided,” Ms. Pelosi said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Ms. Pelosi said she intended to remain neutral, though some of her closest friends and allies in the House are publicly supporting Mr. Obama.

She said the nomination should not be decided by delegates from Florida and Michigan allocated on the basis of voting in primaries there last month, as the Clinton campaign has proposed. Mrs. Clinton got more votes in both places, although neither candidate actively campaigned there and Mr. Obama was not even on the ballot in Michigan. The party had penalized those states for holding their primaries earlier than the party wanted by stripping them of their delegates to the convention.

“We can’t ignore the rules which everyone else played by,” Ms. Pelosi said.

Few figures are being more closely watched by Democratic insiders than Mr. Gore, the Nobel Peace Prize winner who associates say has been lobbied hard for an endorsement by allies of Mrs. Clinton and of Mr. Obama.

Although it is not clear what role their past may play in his decision, Mr. Gore and the Clintons have a complicated, sometimes intense history, and Mr. Obama’s strength in the presidential race could make it even more complicated.

Some of Mr. Gore’s allies have complained bitterly that Mr. Clinton concentrated more on Mrs. Clinton’s Senate run in 2000 than on getting Mr. Gore elected president. For his part, Mr. Clinton was surprised and hurt that Mr. Gore did not enlist him on the campaign trail in the final weeks of the presidential campaign.

Although Mr. Gore has expressed concerns to some associates about the damage a brokered convention could cause, several associates said he was hopeful that one candidate would soon break through, sparing the party such an outcome. He told a close friend recently that his decision not to endorse “feels like the right thing” and that he remained optimistic the race “is going to tip at some point,” the friend said.

Another close ally of Mr. Gore’s, however, said: “He recognizes the need for a few party elders to stay on the sidelines to ensure, if needed, that the process is fair and honest. It could very likely take a group of senior party people, including Gore, to settle this, but the only way they can settle it is if they stay on the sidelines now.”

Kalee Kreider, communications director for Mr. Gore, said that he “has no present plans to endorse a candidate,” though she added, “He has not ruled out that possibility prior to the convention.” Ms. Kreider declined to discuss Mr. Gore’s private conversations with party leaders.

Carl Hulse and Jeff Zeleny contributed reporting.

Obama Campaign Message

Friend --

As you've probably heard, there could be a wildcard in the race for the Democratic nomination.

We firmly believe that the candidate who has won the most pledged delegates -- the result of having more voters in more places supporting your campaign -- will be the Democratic nominee.

But to be safe, we are working to attract the support of "superdelegates" -- party officials and Democratic officeholders from across the country -- who also have a vote at the Democratic National Convention.

You may already know some superdelegates -- they include senators, governors, and even former presidents and vice presidents. But many others are ordinary people who hold positions in the state and local party operations.

These nearly 800 superdelegates will vote alongside the more than 3,000 pledged delegates who are chosen in the various state primaries and caucuses. The candidate that gets a majority of all delegates (superdelegates and pledged delegates combined) will be the Democratic nominee for president.

Right now, Barack is ahead in the contest for pledged delegates. We've won 23 contests out of the 35 that have been held so far -- including the last 8 in a row. And with our decisive victories in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC on Tuesday, we now lead by more than 135 pledged delegates in the race for the Democratic nomination.

While we intend to continue winning states and expanding our lead among the pledged delegates, and believe that will likely ensure that Barack is the Democratic nominee, we're also doing the work of reaching out to superdelegates and making sure as many as possible support Barack Obama.

Here's where you can play a key role.

Our work so far has taught us one important lesson: that your personal story about why you support Barack Obama is often the most powerful persuasion tool for someone who's undecided. That's true whether that undecided voter is your neighbor or a superdelegate.

The story of where you're from, what brought you into the political process, the issues that matter to you, and why you became part of this movement has the potential to inspire someone who could cast a deciding vote in this contest.

Our staff will compile stories from supporters like you and make them a key part of the conversation with superdelegates as Barack asks for their support.

Share your story to help persuade superdelegates now:

I've received a lot of email from folks asking how best to help with the superdelegate effort, and this is it.

Your note, combined with those of other Obama supporters, will tell the story of an extraordinary movement of ordinary people -- a story with a common thread of hope that becomes all the more powerful when it brings together the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our supporters.

Together we're building something historic, and your story can help make someone else a part of it.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you,


David Plouffe
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

Friday, February 15, 2008

Cornel West and His Support of Obama

Dr. Cornel West pushes for Obama, ‘new world order’
by Rhonda Gillespie
Chicago Defender

To hear him talk about the 'skinny guy with the funny name' who is the first African American poised to take the helm of the nation as the 44th U.S. president, you'd never know that Dr. Cornel West, initially, was skeptical of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

The Princeton University dynamo with the unmistakable persona, replete with a funky afro and distinguished black-rimmed glasses, had been invited to Chicago by Rev. Michael Pfleger to bring the gospel message Sunday at his St. Sabina mass. But West ended up doing so much more. From the St. Sabina pulpit,West told of a nation entombed in an era that he said is marked by a loss of sensitivity to the plight of the most vulnerable citizens.

“We have been living for 40 years in a political, moral and spiritual ice age,” he told the congregation that included a number of candidates vying to take or retain office in the Super Tuesday elections. But a melt down, a phenomenon West, 54, said he didn't think he'd witness in his lifetime, is on the horizon. The professor of Religion called for a new world order, one that would begin with the election of Obama.

He continued his ardent push for Obama, talking to a crowd of volunteers and supporters at a downtown Obama campaign office Monday. West greeted the crowd by thanking them for “wisely choosing the right side of history.” He went on to tell the diverse gathering, “Because we're here not just to make history, we want to change history. We want not just to change history, we want to change it in a certain kind of way.

And Barack Obama is the leader…And what we will see is a change that involves what Sly Stone calls 'everyday people.'” But West wasn't always a staunch Obama supporter. “Initially I was very suspicious of my brother…because it looked as if, early on, he was such a darling of the mainstream media. And anybody who is a darling of the mainstream media warrants deep suspicion from me,” the acclaimed author and noted academe said.

But after having a conversation with Obama that West said delved into, among other things, the Senator's regard for the plight of Black people in the U.S. and the trailblazing strides made by Negro forefathers, West was sold. Now, like so many who have cleaved to the freshman senator's message of hope, West is one of Obama's most outspoken, prolific supporters. “I had a chance to look more closely at his record,” West said of his double-take of Obama.

He was struck by Obama's work for ex-offenders, the legislation he championed. “That was just my ignorance. I had to learn about the brother,” the Democracy Matters author said of his initial Obama assessment. As West pointed out to the Blacks, whites, Asians, women, men, young adults and baby boomers in the campaign office, Monday, Obama's support cuts across many social, ethnic and gender divides. In the Iowa Caucuses, a convincing number of white Americans propelled the mixedraced Harvard graduate to victory.

While women gave Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) a win in New Hampshire, the close race (39 percent Clinton; 37 percent Obama) showed that Obama was not a long shot. Nevada's primary, which was a win for Clinton in voting percentage, further substantiated that Obama was the first viable Black candidate for the presidency. Obama walked away from Nevada with 13 of 25 available delegates there. Then came the Jan. 26 South Carolina landslide defeat, furthering the Obama campaign's bite.

There, Obama won with 55 percent of the vote to Clinton's 27 percent. The Illinois senator garnered 52 percent of the non-Black vote in South Carolina, according to election data. And following the 21-state election day Tuesday, Obama remains in a tight heat, trailing marginally in the delegate count. Having experienced the tragedies of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, enduring the war in Iraq, and having to rebuild and restore major metropolises in the wake of the ravaging Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, West said the nation is looking for change.

“People see the country is in deep decline. People are hungry and thirsty for a hope and a uniter. And lo and behold the candidate who emerges is a Black man,” West said, rousing the crowd. Obama's message, called one of hope and unity, is credited by some with breathing life back into the Democratic Party. A registered Independent, West's support and vote for Obama is telling. He cautioned against being pro- Obama for race sake. “There are some people actually supporting the brother for the wrong reasons. But I'll take em,” West said, only half joking.

To support OBama simply because he is Black, “well that's not a good reason,”West said. “I'll take the vote and educate later.” It is not clear whether his support of Democrats begins and ends with Obama, but it is unquestionable that West is all aboard what has become Obama's vessel of hope.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Peggy Noonan on Obama

Click here for Peggy Noonan's Wall St. Journal article "Can Mrs. Clinton Lose?"

While this piece is supportive of Obama I MUST issue an important and necessary caveat here: PEGGY NOONAN IS A NOTORIOUS REPUBLICAN PARTY OPERATIVE AND RIGHT WING HACK WHO WAS RONALD REAGAN'S MAJOR SPEECHWRITER AND CONSULTANT. So her "motives" are highly suspect to say the least. But read and ponder her analysis. She manages to make a number of insightful and useful points anyeway (despite her obvious personal disdain for Hillary and racial condescension toward Barack)...

Should Obama Attend the State of the Black Union Forum?

Here's a link from Mingle City on whether Barack Obama should attend Tavis Smiley's State of the Black Union forum on February 23. Also includes a letter from Obama.

Here is my response to this discussion:

I've often said and seen demonstrated publicly MANY times in my life that African American citizens in general are by far the most aware, sophisticated, and politically savvy voting bloc in this entire country. I'm not only PROUD to say it but it makes me feel truly HONORED to be a part of this electorate for precisely those reasons. Our historical consistency in supporting and voting for, and on behalf of, the most progressive candidates and issues available in mainstream American politics is from any objective perspective simply astonishing and often quite inspiring. As a people we very rarely EVER vote against our own self interest and are very careful not to discriminate against any single ethnic/"racial" group in the United States when making our choices (unlike the great majority of whites, for instance, we have consistently voted not only for progressive and liberal white candidates, but Black, Latino, and Asian American progressives and liberals as well).

THE EXTENSIVE EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE OF THIS FACT IS IRREFUTABLE FOR ANYONE WHO SERIOUSLY STUDIES HISTORICAL VOTING PATTERNS IN THIS COUNTRY (as I have and do). Of the 19 presidential elections since 1932 the black vote has given 70-90% of their support to the following candidates: Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Adlai Stevenson, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and John Kerry. This is NOT to say of course that all or even most of these individual (all white) politicians fulfilled most of our dreams, expectations, demands, and desires (they obviously didn't) or even that they always did the most progressive, liberal, responsible, or accountable thing once in office--on those fairly rare occasions when our favorite candidate got into office. Of the 13 presidential candidates listed here that we supported and voted for from the past 75 years only 6 were actually elected President). But it is to say (and I think this distinction is VERY important) that black people HAVE ALWAYS VOTED AGAINST THE MOST REACTIONARY AND RIGHTWING CANDIDATES AS WELL AS IDEOLOGICAL POSITIONS in American politics.

Unlike far too many whites, Latinos, and Asians for example one never caught us voting in any substantial numbers for the horrific likes of Herbert Hoover or Thomas Dewey or Dwight D. Eisenhower or Richard Nixon or Gerald Ford or Ronald Reagan or George Bushwhacker the First or Bob Dole or George Bushwhacker the Second. NO, NOT US! And again I'M VERY PROUD OF THAT because let's be real here: MILLIONS OF "OTHER AMERICANS' DID--something I have always seen as the CENTRAL TRAGIC FLAW of U.S. "mainstream" politics in general--which is this: The great majority of voters in this country CONSISTENTLY vote against their own self interest!

EXHIBIT A: For contemporary evidence of all this we don't have to look back any further historically than 2004 when THE WORSE PRESIDENT IN AMERICAN HISTORY RECEIVED 62 MILLION VOTES from (mostly) poor, working, and middleclass Whites, Latinos, and Asian Americans who actually went out and voted for an incompetent, arrogant, oppressive, and duplicitous moron who DESPISED THEM. Since 90% of African Americans voted for Kerry it sure as hell wasn't our fault. Amazingly however 45% of all Latinos and Asian Americans who voted in 2004 VOTED FOR THE BUSHWHACKER. WHY? WHO THE HELL KNOWS, except that it's crystal clear to me that MOST American voters for a myriad of reasons (among them ignorance, fear, hatred, self-loathing, and cynicism) don't have a CLUE who to vote for (that is, if their actual political objective is to IMPROVE THEIR OWN LIVES).

So it is in this social and political context that I state my absolute Joy in reading the accounts in the link above of hundreds of African American citizens publicly voicing their overwhelming disagreements with, and principled opposition to, Tavis Smiley's inane and asinine attempts to deter the black electorate from voting for Barack Obama in this Democratic Party nomination process. What is most striking to me about their eloquent and sharply analytical replies to Smiley's transparent attempts to oppose Obama's campaign in such an immature and destructive manner is that these voters have a very firm grasp and understanding of the real issues facing not only them/us in this election BUT THE ENTIRE COUNTRY. Notice how in nearly every single post the major concerns of these African Americans are rooted in a dignified and informed DEMAND FOR DEMOCRACY AND JUSTICE. Not only do black citizens fervently believe in these concepts but they recognize that any solutions to our collective problems as a nation MUST FOREGROUND AND FIERCELY ADVOCATE A FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE IN HOW WE CONDUCT OUR POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC AFFAIRS. Their choice of Obama over Clinton has very little to nothing to do with what various boneheads still insist on calling "race." Instead their profound political maturity and VISION allows them to see and prosletyze for something far more real real, important, and concrete than that: OUR FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY AS CITIZENS. Granted we are ALL very far from fulfilling even a small fraction of our genuine promise and potential in these areas of our civic and political lives but our saving grace is that we are FULLY CONSCIOUS OF THE TRUE STAKES ARE AND OUR CRUCIAL, EVEN PIVOTAL ROLE IN FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMING THIS COUNTRY. As we used to sing back in '60s "We know the one thing we did right was the day we decided to fight--keep your eyes on the prize, Hold on." That bedrock consciousness is what makes us a Great People and allows us to understand in a profound and uncanny way what the "Obama movement" REALLY MEANS. Unlike far too many of our "intellectuals", "academics", "politicians", and "authority figures" the black masses really do GET IT. They know because of their extremely rich, complex, and perilous history that one can't rationally or realistically look for "messiahs" in one's leadership who can "deliver" and "save" them. Contrary to popular misinformed belief most black people know far better than that. The proof is in our mass dedication, courage, and discipline during the Civil War, Reconstruction, the devastating Post-Reconstruction era, through the Great Depression and two world Wars into the modern Civil Rights and Black Power eras and on through the present day.

What these citizens get is that they know WE are the people who must change society and they correctly see Obama as a potential CONDUIT for that change. But they also fully realize that ultimately ONLY THE MASSES OF PEOPLE CAN CHANGE ANYTHING. So they intelligently view this election and Obama's campaign as an OPPORTUNITY for them and the rest of us to create an opening where truly democratic attitudes, values, ideas, and POSSIBILITIES can assert themselves. After all the quality of our general leadership (especially on a national level) has often been quite high. In this respect I'm talking particularly about such major political and historical figures as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, W.E.B. DuBois, Paul Robeson, Mary Bethune, Malcolm X, Ella Baker, and Martin Luther King, Jr. etc. who ALL provided us with many opportunities and "openings" to involve ourselves in mass democratic efforts that required not so much "strong leaders" as "strong people." As in our simultaneously glorious and deeply disturbing past every historical period issues similar demands and challenges that must be addressed, taken seriously, and acted upon. What our people clearly recognize is that this time is no different in that respect and that Barack Obama represents (as did Douglass, as did Baker, as did Malcolm as did DuBois as did Martin and others) a mass democratic opportunity to confront and deal with the massive crises before us. In this crucial context Obama is merely another instrument we must use to make our true mass democratic demands, desires, and agenda(s) known.

Despite the dull myopia of those self-ordained "leaders" like Tavis Smiley who are and remain stuck/mired in abstract and limited "categories of understanding" the great majority of our African American citizens who are involved in the political process (located both "inside" and "outside" the system) are moving forward in pursuit of a progressive and critical agenda that focuses on far more than just a ghettoized portion of the national and global debate. Barack Obama is and remains an integral part of that larger quest. That is what our support of his candidacy actually signifies and ultimately MEANS. Let the real struggle for Democracy in this country begin...

Bull***t Response from Tavis


Dear Friend:

Sorry for the impersonal nature of this form letter. The sheer volume of my email right about now leaves this as my only option, given my attempt to respond to every letter I receive.

Most of the mail concerning my recent commentaries on the Tom Joyner Morning Show seem to center around the false notion of my demonizing the Obama campaign should he decide not to appear with us at the State of the Black Union in New Orleans, Saturday, February 23, 2008, live on C-SPAN.

I'm encouraging Mr. Obama to attend, just as I'm encouraging all the other candidates to appear for a conversation we conduct at the same time every year. To not do so would be, I think, a missed opportunity.

Thanks for your email expressing your point of view.

All best,

Tavis Smiley

Kimberly McFarland
Executive Assistant to Tavis Smiley

(323) 290-4690 Ext. 231
(323) 290-3940 Fax

Tavis Smiley on PBS & The Tavis Smiley Show from PRI
Check your local listings for broadcast times or

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The So-called "Racial Divide," Which Is Racism

February 13, 2008

There is no such thing as what The New York Times and of course many others refer to as a "racial divide." This incredibly reductive and vapid use of language is inherently absurd and misleading. It is also MEANINGLESS. What separates and divides various people in the United States is not merely the "color of our skins" (and by the way hasn't anyone noticed the utterly banal fact that every single so-called 'ethnic group' in the nation has what are considered to be "different skin tones"-- which we all choose to designate as 'white', 'red', 'yellow', 'brown', and 'black', etc.?). In and of itself alone however there is NOTHING intrinsically or inherently significant about the "color" of anyone's skin--anymore than the size of one 's earlobes, fingers, or toes are intrinsically significant in and of themselves. NO. The rhetorical framing of this so-called (false) "issue" of color that far too many whites and even many blacks, browns, yellows, and reds alike think or are taught to think is so important on their own fundamentally OBSCURES AND DISTORTS what the ACTUAL problem is between different ethnic/"racial"/cultural groups in the United States. And that problem (unlike the completely false issue of color) IS HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT AND IS NOT ONLY REAL BUT ALSO RESPONSIBLE FOR VERY DEEP AND ONGOING DIVISIONS BETWEEN VARIOUS PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY).

That problem is RACISM. As the suffix of the word (i.e. 'ism') clearly indicates, racism is a philosophy that defines the form and content of how SOCIAL and thus political, economic, and cultural relations between 'different people' should be defined and acted upon. Just as in the words capitalism, socialism, existentialism, sexism, anti-semitism, etc. etc., the word 'racism' has a very clear meaning that is given empirical weight , meaning, and identity within the very real historical context of the institutional and philosophical STRUCTURES that actually regulate and control how we live and thus determine the meaning of our lives IN SOCIETY. Thus it is not possible to speak coherently or rationally about what is very clumsily and rather stupidly referred to as "race" (which is a delusional concept) in this country without properly identifying and confronting the REALITY OF RACISM. That is, one's "color" only becomes or is considered to be important (or conversely unimportant) when one is being consciously or unconsciously subjected to the concrete oppressive and/or exploitive imposition of another's definition of them as somehow "superior" or "inferior" because of something as completely arbitrary or incidental as the color of one's skin. In other words racism is the philosophy that allows one to justify, advocate, rationalize, excuse, and defend one's oppressive and exploitive treatment of another on the absurd and inherently IRRATIONAL and clinically insane basis of the color of someone's skin. Thus any discussion of HOW AND WHY people are 'divided' in this context cannot possibly be attributed to the mere fact that one human being is different in some physically external way than another human being. Rather the REASONS why people are divided by something erroneously referred to as "race" doesn't at all address or even acknowledge the stark reality that various people are being defined by and exposed to oppressive and exploitive behavior by others (both 'individually' and 'socially') that come under the rubric of RACISM. The specific manifestation of this reality in the American context is represented by, and defined as, the doctrine of white supremacy

This means, among many other things, that one cannot hope to "transcend" racism anymore than one can "transcend" their height or the size of their ankles. Racism is an integral and irreducible part of the very political, cultural, social, and economic DNA of this nation and one cannot possibly "rise above" or "beyond" it in any rational or realistic way. One must instead (if one cares at all about seriously trying to deal with its inhumanity) STRUGGLE with and COMBAT it. This means that some people will understand and work to eliminate or curtail it and (many) others won't. Some people will recognize and seek to address and advocate the resolution of the concomitant and inherently linked issues of "justice", "equality", "fairness", "self determination",and "freedom" etc. and (many) others won't. Some will strive to oppose and organize against its insidious and destructive influence and its viral contagion in American life and culture and (many) others won't.

As far as Barack Obama is concerned his seeking "unity" among the (so-called) "races" has absolutely nothing to do with trying to use the also delusional notion of "colorblindness" to bring people together in the United States. Neither he nor anyone else could ever possibly do that and Obama is not foolish enough to try. What Obama is proposing (as Dr. King for instance tried to propose--before, that is, he was murdered by a RACIST) is that the very real spectre and power of racism be openly acknowledged and opposed in both our daily lives and in our institutional structures and infrastructures through COLLECTIVE awareness, agitation, and organization. Meanwhile, because of racism's inextricable and divisive force Obama (like the rest of us) is forced to both address and/or ignore it. As always no matter what one decides to do or not do about it there are ALWAYS unavoidably severe consequences attending either one’s action or inaction with respect to it precisely BECAUSE racism is such a deadly, ever present, and pervasive force.


Seeking Unity, Obama Feels Pull of Racial Divide

Published: February 12, 2008

WASHINGTON — It was November 2006 when Senator Barack Obama first gathered friends and advisers at a Washington law firm to brainstorm about what it would take for him to win the presidency.

Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times

Senator Barack Obama on Monday at a rally at the University of Maryland in College Park. His campaign has worked to strike a balance in its message as it tries to avoid being defined by race.

Those who attended the meeting said the mix of excitement and trepidation at times felt asphyxiating, as the group weighed the challenges of such a long shot. Would Mr. Obama be able to raise enough money? What kind of toll would a campaign take on him and his family? What kind of organization could he build?

Halfway into the session, Broderick Johnson, a Washington lawyer and informal adviser to Mr. Obama, spoke up. “What about race?” he asked.

Mr. Obama’s dismissal was swift and unequivocal.

He had been able to navigate racial politics in Illinois, Mr. Obama told the group, and was confident he could do so across the nation. “I believe America is ready,” one aide recalled him saying.

The race issue got all of five minutes at that meeting, setting what Mr. Obama and his advisers hoped would be the tone of a campaign they were determined not to define by the color of his skin.

As he heads into a fresh round of contests Tuesday, the Potomac primaries, in a tight rivalry with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and with an impressive record of victories across the nation in which he drew significant white votes and overwhelming black support, he claims to have accomplished that goal. Some South Carolina supporters summed up his broad appeal and message about transcending differences in a chant: “Race Doesn’t Matter.”

Glimpses inside the Obama campaign show, though, that while the senator had hoped his colorblind style of politics would lift the country above historic racial tensions, from Day 1 his bid for the presidency has been pulled into the thick of them. While his speeches focus on unifying voters, his campaign has learned the hard way that courting a divided electorate requires reaching out group by group.

Instead of following a plotted course, Mr. Obama’s campaign has zigged and zagged, reacting to outside forces and internal differences between the predominantly white team of top advisers and the mostly black tier of aides.

The dynamic began the first day of Mr. Obama’s presidential bid, when white advisers encouraged him to withdraw an invitation to his pastor, whose Afro-centric sermons have been construed as antiwhite, to deliver the invocation at the official campaign kickoff. Then, when his candidacy was met by a wave of African-American suspicion, the senator’s black aides pulled in prominent black scholars, business leaders and elected officials as advisers.

Aides to Mr. Obama, who asked not to be identified because the campaign would not authorize them to speak to the press, said he stayed away from a civil rights demonstration and did not publicize visits to black churches when he was struggling to win over white voters in Iowa. Then, a month after Representative John Lewis of Georgia endorsed Mrs. Clinton, setting off concerns about black voters’ ambivalence toward Mr. Obama, the campaign deployed his wife, Michelle, whose upbringing on the South Side of Chicago was more familiar to many blacks than Mr. Obama’s biracial background.

The campaign’s strategy in the first contests left Mr. Obama vulnerable with Latinos, which hurt him in California and could do the same in the Texas primary on March 4.

Faulted by Latino leaders as not being visible enough in their communities and not understanding what issues resonated with immigrants, the campaign has been trying hard to catch up, scheduling more face-to-face meetings with voters, snaring endorsements from Latino politicians and fine-tuning his message.

Mr. Obama has resisted any effort to suggest that the presidential primaries were breaking along racial lines.

“There are not a lot of African-Americans in Nebraska the last time I checked, or in Utah or in Idaho, areas where I probably won some of my biggest margins,” he said Sunday in an NPR interview.

“There’s no doubt that I’m getting more African-American votes,” he said, “but that doesn’t mean that the race is dividing along racial lines. You know, in places like Washington State we won across the board, from men, from women, from African-Americans, from whites and from Asians.”

A Rhetorical Tightrope

David Axelrod, the chief strategist of the Obama campaign, said in an interview that although he and Mr. Obama did not map out a detailed strategy for dealing with race when plotting a presidential run, they were well aware it would weigh on his campaign.

Jeff Zeleny and Kitty Bennett contributed reporting.

Article on Obama Cutting into Clinton's Base

February 13, 2008

Analysis: Obama Cuts Into Clinton Base

By NEDRA PICKLER – 2 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton has set up Texas and Ohio as her firewall, but the results from Democratic presidential rival Barack Obama's most recent victories give her plenty of reason to worry whether it will hold up.

Obama won sweeping victories in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia on Tuesday, cutting into her lead among her most reliable base voters and adding to a glut of bad news for Clinton. Combine the shake-up of her senior campaign staff, the candidate's $5 million loan to keep her campaign afloat, her eight straight losses in the past week and there's not much that makes Clinton look like a winning candidate. That's counting the prospect of more losses next week in Obama's native Hawaii and in Wisconsin, next door to the Illinois senator's adopted state.

Clinton should not be counted out, however. She's overcome expectations twice already in this primary with wins in New Hampshire and Nevada that revived her when she looked like she might be on the way out. If she's able to win delegate-rich Texas and Ohio, she will be back.

But her strategy is reminiscent of another New Yorker who once was a front-runner for the 2008 presidential nomination. Republican Rudy Giuliani also argued he could survive a month of losses and then come back in Florida, but by the time that vote came all the momentum had shifted away from him.

Clinton has been confident about her chances in Texas and Ohio next month because they fit her pattern of victory — they are primary states where she has the support of leading elected officials. Many of the voters in those states are from her base — older or lower income or white or Hispanic or, of course, women.

But exit surveys conducted for The Associated Press and the television networks during Obama's overwhelming victories Tuesday showed she can't rely on those groups any more.

Clinton's campaign can't explain Obama's win as a black thing, since most of the voters in the two states are white. The two split the white vote in Virginia evenly, while Clinton won with that group in Maryland by 10 percentage points. Before Tuesday, Clinton had clearly defeated Obama among whites in all but three states with Democratic primaries, and had a 14 percentage point advantage with white voters in those prior contests combined.

She can't object to the process being a caucus instead of a more representative primary. All three contests were primaries, and he won all three by more than 20 percentage points.

Obama won all income groups in both states and all age categories in Virginia, while Clinton ran even with him among those 60 and older in Maryland. While the Obama campaign boasted that they won the Latino vote in Virginia, the number of Hispanics participating in the poll was too low to draw any broad conclusions.

Clinton still wins women, the core of her support, but Obama cut into her lead. In Virginia, Clinton won among white females by just 9 percentage points. Her margin was twice that in Maryland, but still below the even bigger advantage she is accustomed to from that group.

Nedra Pickler covers the Democratic presidential campaign for The Associated Press.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Tavis Smiley Is a Fool

Tavis's bullshit attitude and disgraceful attempt to upstage Obama is


Because the State of the Black Union is the largest independent black political event of the year (broadcast NATIONALLY ON C-SPAN) Clinton is going to be the only politician there since Tavis childishly rejected Michelle Obama (who's TEN TIMES the political sophisticate, orator, and organizer-- activist than Tavis WILL EVER BE). Meanwhile Hillary is floundering in all the polls and has lost 8 straight primaries to Obama and is on the verge of losing her 9th straight in Wisconsin on February 19th, has fired both her campaign manager and her deputy, is suffering from various staff defections nationwide, and is seeing her once 20-point lead in the crucial upcoming March 4 primary in Texas EVAPORATE before her very eyes and is SHELLSHOCKED from the ongoing massive BEATDOWNS Obama is inflicting on her in one state after another, is strapped for campaign funds--so much so that she and Bill have put $5 million out of their OWN POCKET into the campaign, and is watching her once vaunted and feared political machine eaten alive by the consistently brilliant strategic and tactical onslaught of the Obama forces...and in the midst of all this--Tavis "I'm just a jealous PBS talk show host" Smiley throws this TIMEBOMB into the mix that is GUARANTEED to do FOUR THINGS ONLY: 1) Destroy whatever personal and political credibility he has left with his once longtime friend and colleaage Barack Obama 2) Create nothing but unnecessary and chaotic bitterness, confusion, and DIVISION between pro-Obama and anti-Obama voters in not only the black community nationwide, but among white, Latino, and Asian American voters as well, and 3) Hurt Obama politically because he's absent from the conference as I said earlier as a result of Tavis's REFUSAL to accept Barack's very reasonable and gracious offer of having his wife Michelle act as his political and personal surrogate at the conference, and 4) HELP HILLARY CLINTON in the upcoming big primaries in Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania which are pretty much going to be the decisive factors in WHO BECOMES THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE this year.

These reactionary, boneheaded, and incredibly STUPID "playa hatin'" ANTICS on Tavis's part is nothing but an expression of super petty ENVY AND JEALOUSY on Smiley's part because his old friend Barack is running for President (and winning!) and Tavis is still just a lowly PBS talk show host and NOT (in his infantile mind) THE GRAND POOBAH OF THE BLACKS (sounds like a bad lodge name doesn't it?). This is nothing but a POLITICAL DISASTER that comes at the exact wrong time for ALL the wrong reasons, under the wrong circumstances, and sponsored by the wrong man to help tarnish and sabotage one of the finest political moments in modern (African) American history. I have nothing but the greatest contempt and loathing for Tavis after this. I really wish I could put Tavis in the hospital for a long time for pulling this ludicrous farce. I really do...


Impact of Clinton Firing Latina Campaign Manager

I just received this bombshell of an email message from writer and activist Amiri Baraka about the current implosion taking place within the Clinton camp over Hillary's firing of her Latina campaign manager just a few days ago and her replacement by a black woman (Maggie Williams). What did I tell you last month about the major role of the national Latino political leadership in the Clinton campaign? I KNEW I was right about their impact all along and this article CONFIRMS it. Check this out folks:

[From the New York Times Caucus Blogs]

February 12, 2008

Latino Lawmakers Upset Over Clinton Camp Shake-Up

By Patrick Healy

The anger in the Hispanic community over the ousting of Patti Solis Doyle as Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign manager continues to unfold, with two Hispanic legislators from Mrs. Clinton’s home state sending an open letter to her expressing their concerns. (They’re not the only ones voicing concerns.)

Given that Mrs. Clinton (not to mention Ms. Solis Doyle) spent months building a base out of Hispanic voters, does the move over the weekend — as Mrs. Clinton faced more losses — carry risks? Ms. Solis Doyle, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, was replaced by Maggie Williams, an African-American and a longtime, longtime Clinton adviser from their White House days. Ms. Solis Doyle has said that she will remain on the campaign as a “senior adviser.”

Text of the Latino lawmakers’ letter:

Dear Senator Clinton:

It is hard to understand how the Hispanic community that has been there to keep your campaign alive could remain in your corner when the first Hispanic woman to serve as your presidential campaign manager has resigned from her post.

Patti Solis Doyle served in the highest ranking capacity that any Hispanic-American woman ever served on a presidential campaign. She has worked hard to appeal to Hispanic-American voters, and has been tremendously successful for you. She has served your 2008 presidential campaign loyally. She has broken down barriers that have not welcomed Hispanic women to be placed in political key decision making positions, and has made Hispanics in New York and across America proud of her political leadership role in your campaign.

Although we are inclined to believe that Patti Solis Doyle did resign, we would like you to realize that it will be very troubling to many if somehow we later find that she left her post under pressure because of the recent primary losses your campaign suffered. If so, we will have many questions about why a Hispanic woman who has helped to build Latino support for you throughout the nation would have been the one to take the blame and resign from her post instead of others involved with your campaign, including former President Clinton, who have caused serious problems and embarrassing situations for your campaign.

For now, we remain distressed that Patti Solis Doyle, a great Hispanic American woman is no longer serving in her leadership post in your 2008 presidential campaign.


Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz
Assemblyman Jose Peralta
32nd Senate District
39th Assembly District
The Bronx and Queens

Casual Racism by Sr. Producer at CNN

So you wanna know how truly vicious, destructive, ignorant, reactionary, murderous, and CASUAL racism is in this country? Check out this heinous racist propaganda by some media CRETIN named "Chez" a now former whitemale SENIOR PRODUCER AT CNN...(click on the link below entitled "Deus Ex Machina" for biographical details written by this moron)...As you might imagine this asshole was FIRED for what "Chez" considers to be a mere "joke" (yeah A JOKE--like all those other HILARIOUS events in American history that people like "Chez" have so generously contributed to American life and culture like slavery, Jim Crow segregation, lynching, rape, assassination, economic exploitation, denial of human rights, etc., etc. adinfinitum, ad NAUSEA (and that's all the Latin I know)...The great writer and activist Ishmael Reed sent this to me today to share with all yall...

By the way: Do you wanna "laugh" some more? I want to share with you my currently "favorite" GALLOWS HUMOR "joke" with ya. The "joke" is by CHRIS ROCK. Ready? Here goes: "I hired a group of white writers to work with me on my TV show. They told me that they all looked forward to having the "black experience",,,SO I FIRED THEM!"....FUNNY, HUH?...



From: ishmael reed
Date: February 13, 2008 12:21:01 PM PST
Subject: Re: With a Surge in Momentum, Obama Makes His Case - New York Times


This is the kind of mf that cable awards power. they fired him, but not before this. his boss, dan abrams,
a mark furhman and imus fan is the kind of guy goebbels would have hired.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Is Barack Obama Gonna Have to Choke a Bitch?

DISTRIBUTION: Metropolitan Northeast
RUN TIME: 30 Seconds


(Spot opens with patriotic music and fade-in to giant, billowing American flag -- which then efx flashes with "record scratch sfx" to graffiti image of American flag on brick wall in random "ghetto-esque" environment. Hillary Clinton jumps out in front of backdrop dressed in Baby Phat rhinestone-studded baseball cap tilted sideways with matching hot-pants, large gold rings, diamond-stud earrings, counterfeit Gucci sunglasses and Sean John hoodie over t-shirt emblazoned with image of machine-gun-weilding Tony Montana.)

Waaaazzzzaaaaap!!! (Throwing gang signs)

Mizzus Clinton in the hizzay!!!

I'm comin' at you today to let y'all know that my campaign is off the chain. Word! See that? I'm a poet and didn't know it!


You know, a lot of people been sayin' lately that I'm not down with the regular people -- and that's why Barack Obama's beating me like Ike beat Tina.

We all know what happened last week in Iowa, and now it looks like he's got a double-digit lead over me going into tomorrow's New Hampshire primary.

But I gotta drop some knowledge on you -- I call bullshit on that.

I know I come off like a cold beeyatch sometimes, but that just ain't who I really am, know what I'm sayin'? So it's time for my fellow average Americans to meet the real Hil-C. That punk Barack ain't got shit on me when it comes to knowing how to inspire all y'all in the minority community, plus, you know, everybody else.

So from now on, I'm keepin' it real.

True dat!

You see, I got mad skillz. Barack? He's just frontin'. When it comes time to deal with haters around the world, I can Git-r-done!!! Oh wait, that's the ad I'm cutting to run in Edwards country -- sorry. Seriously though, Barack's just layin' down a rap. I'm the the one who can get the job done. See, there it is again -- I'm even a better rapper than him. You've gotta love that! Right? RIGHT?

How can I prove that I'm not just some silly white chick who'll say anything to get elected? Well, how about this promise: On my first day in office, I'm designating a new holiday -- National Crunk Day! And did I mention that I'm gonna appoint Wu-Tang Clan as my entire cabinet and my running-mate's gonna be Dolemite?!


Besides -- who's really in-touch with the brotherman? An Uncle Tom bitch like Barack Obama, or a woman who's married to Bill Clinton. Hell y'all, Bill's got more black inside him than Barack -- at least he's been inside more black women.

How many illegitimate children does Barack have?

Uh-huh, I thought so. Black my, uh, white ass.

So remember to vote for me this primary season -- not Barack Obama.

And put some "real niggaz" back in the White House.

(Track: I'm Hillary Clinton, and I approved this message yo!)


Posted by Chez at 12:55 PM

Calitri said...
Way to drop some fucking knowledge on us Hill-hill. Yeah Dog! I knew your were a semi-sweet honey of a righteous bitch. Damn, you slayed (sleighed?) that fucker. Don't hurt 'em Hill, don't hurt 'em. Nothing wack about how you clowned him. Putting it down for a brotha (or sista).

Now get that fine white ass back to the kitchen. Those collard greens won't fix themselves.

Word! Snap! Word snap!


3:01 PM
Suzy said...
i think i just came.

3:05 PM
Anonymous said...
Good copy but no way it would fit in a :30 spot.

12:25 PM
Chez said...
Jesus, I wonder why I don't mind getting the hell out of TV news.

12:35 PM
Post a Comment

Newer Post Older Post Home
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)

New York City, NY, United States
The basics: Fell into TV news 16 years ago and been stuck there ever since (proving that the business really is a bottomless pit). During my somewhat illustrious and certainly notorious career, I've been a producer and manager at the local and network levels in Miami, Los Angeles and New York. I have two Emmys to my name as well as a Golden Mic Award, none of which mitigates the fact that I'm an insufferable wise-ass who doesn't mind being an occasional nuisance to authority figures. I live in New York City with my wife -- a beautiful, brilliant and extraordinarily patient woman named Jayne. I wake up every morning baffled as to why America hasn't thrown George Bush and Dick Cheney in prison, Hollywood hasn't stopped trying to convince me that Sarah Jessica Parker is attractive, gullible soccer moms haven't realized that they share absolutely no kinship with Oprah, and Fox canceled Firefly. I'm a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, 23/6 and By all means, feel free to pester me

Mother Jones on Obama's Base

February 13, 2007

FYI, from Mother Jones...

Obama Steals Clinton's Base

Hillary Clinton should be worried, not because Barack Obama won the Potomac Primaries, but because of how he won them.

by David Corn and Jonathan Stein

February 12 , 2008

"It is so wonderful to be here." So declared Hillary Clinton in El Paso, Texas, on Tuesday evening, as vote results being tallied in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia showed she was being clobbered by Barack Obama. But worse for Clinton was that she was losing another clump of post-Super Tuesday primaries by large margins (51 points in D.C., 29 points in Virginia, 23 points in Maryland) because her base voters were abandoning her. The message of the night: Clinton should be scared. And perhaps John McCain should be, too.
Obama won the Potomac Primaries by eating into Clinton's core. In the Super Tuesday states, Obama won 43 percent of women. He took 55 percent in Maryland and 60 percent in Virginia. In the Super Tuesday states, Obama was supported by only 35 percent of voters over 65 years of age. In Maryland and Virginia, a touch more than 50 percent voted for him.
Within all the Democratic constituencies Clinton relies upon, Obama not only made gains, but won. He won among voters making less than $50,000 a year. He beat her among those with no college degrees. He won Latinos. He won Catholics. He won white men by a substantial margin. And Obama triumphed in every part of that state: urban, suburban and rural. Of the subdivided demographic groups, only white women stood with Clinton tonight. The rest of her base—at least in these states—collapsed.
So far, the Democratic primary contest has not been a race of momentum; wins have been followed by losses, and vice versa. Tuesday marked the first time any candidate has placed first three election nights in a row. Obama won Washington, Louisiana, and Nebraska on Saturday, Maine on Sunday, and then the Potomac contests. This is the first Democratic streak of the year. And it comes as Obama has opened up a fundraising advantage over Clinton and the Clinton camp has been hit with organizational confusion . After demoting her campaign manager on Sunday, Clinton said good-bye to her deputy campaign manager just as the Potomac voting was finishing up. The end result is what the Obama campaign says is a 124-delegate lead in pledged delegates.
Prior to the Potomac contests, there was talk that Clinton could be competitive in Virginia and she devoted several precious campaign days to working the state. She didn't come close. Obama pocketed almost two-thirds of the Democratic electorate in Virginia. More important, he collected over 610,000 votes. That was about 160,000 more than all of the votes for the three Republican candidates in the state. Democrats have been eying Virginia as a pick-up state for several years. Obama's performance there suggests he could mount a serious challenge to John McCain, who also won in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. And if a Democrat can hold on to all the states where John Kerry placed first in 2004 and win over Virginia, that candidate would need to flip only one other state to bag a majority of the electoral college votes. Possibilities? Colorado, New Mexico, Iowa, and Nevada. (Of course, winning Ohio plus all the Kerry states would also work.)
During a victory celebration in Wisconsin—which holds a primary next Tuesday, as does Hawaii, where Obama grew up—Obama spoke like a front-runner looking ahead to the general election. He barely referred to Clinton. Instead, he zeroed in on McCain, the likely Republican nominee. McCain's "priorities don’t address the real problems of the American people," Obama declared, "because they are bound to the failed policies of the past. George Bush won’t be on the ballot this November, but his war and his tax cuts for the wealthy will. When I am the nominee, I will offer a clear choice." Moments later, McCain fired back, playing the POW card: "Hope, my friends, is a powerful thing. I can attest to that better than many, for I have seen men's hopes tested in hard and cruel ways that few will ever experience.... To encourage a country with only rhetoric rather than sound and proven ideas that trust in the strength and courage of free people is not a promise of hope. It is a plat!
itude." For Obama, McCain represents the politics of the past. For McCain, Obama offers the politics of the trite. And for a moment, Clinton was out of the picture.

David Corn is Mother Jones' D.C. bureau chief, Jonathan Stein is a reporter in the bureau.

@2008 The Foundation for National Progress

Obama and McCain

February 13, 2008

The Note: Barack's Big Roll

Obama Looks to Pull Ahead, While McCain Can't Quite Nail It Down

Feb. 11, 2008

Everything you need to know about the presidential race this Monday in four simple sentences:

Plenty of Democrats want Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to be president (and, about a month after we thought it would happen, she has a new campaign manager to help find more people like that).

Plenty of Democrats (just possibly quite a few more) want Sen. Barack Obama to be president. (And in the precious visual department: Monday brings the unveiling of "a new figure of Sen. Barack Obama seated in a replica of the Oval Office with Bill and Hillary Clinton standing by" at Madame Tussauds wax museum in Washington, per the AP's daybook.)

'The Note' Rewinds the Week's Best Moments

Plenty of Republicans (including President Bush) want Sen. John McCain to be president.

Plenty of Republicans still DON'T want McCain to be president (and are showing about as much interest as the Democrats in a tidy end to the nominating process).

Victory in Maine on Sunday made it a clean sweep of a weekend for Obama, D-Ill. -- five-for-five, counting the Virgin Islands though not counting the Grammy, where his competition actually was Bill Clinton (and where he picked up as many delegates as Sen. Clinton did in Florida and Michigan combined).

So THIS is what momentum looks like: Now the candidate with the deeper pockets and the palpable edge in enthusiasm is on the brink of obtaining what could be delegate edge of significance -- making for dark days at Camp Clinton.

The campaign will try to turn the lights back on with a new chief at the helm, and while Patti Solis Doyle leaves on good terms, the timing tells the story. "The switch occurred at a time when Mrs. Clinton has found her campaign in a slump, coming off a split victory in a multistate round of nominating contests on Feb. 5 and losing badly in a string of state caucuses that relied on a high level of on-the-ground organizational skills at which the Obama campaign excelled," Katharine Q. Seelye writes in The New York Times.

"At the same time, she suffered a setback over money, and though in recent days the campaign has boasted of a $10 million month and many new donors, it never built the online donor base that Ms. Doyle had promised," Seelye writes. "Nor did it adapt to Mr. Obama's message of inspiration as his campaign grew in strength, prolonging the battle long past the point when Mrs. Clinton was expected by her strategists to have clinched the nomination."

Ask John Kerry how changing campaign managers works out in terms of perceptions and expectations about a candidacy. (But THEN ask John Kerry how it worked out in terms of actually winning the nomination.)
"The statement offered no real explanation for the shakeup, but none was needed," per the New York Daily News. "Clinton's campaign has sunk into a post-Super Tuesday funk, with little to crow about except a spike in fund-raising."

The move is "the first step in what could be a broader shakeup in her campaign, after Sen. Barack Obama won four weekend contests, turning up the pressure on the one-time Democratic front-runner," Amy Chozick and Monica Langley write in The Wall Street Journal.

"Some Clinton aides said that, as part of the changes, Mark Penn, Mrs. Clinton's chief strategist and pollster, could play a diminished role. But both Mr. Penn and Ms. Williams denied that."

The decision to install Maggie Williams over Patti Solis Doyle "gave credence to what some supporters have said for many weeks -- that the campaign had spent too much money yielding too few results and that fresh management and advice are needed for what could be a long battle against Obama," Anne Kornblut and Dan Balz write in The Washington Post.

So maybe the parting wasn't entirely friendly . . . "Doyle did not tell Clinton how rapidly the campaign was burning through money, according to one campaign official, who said Clinton learned about her financial constraints only after the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 8," Kornbut and Balz report.

A Clinton campaign source is more frank with the Chicago Tribune's Mark Silva: ""We were lying about money," the source said. "The cash on hand was nothing." Silva writes: "In turn, Clinton didn't tell Solis Doyle that she was lending her own money to keep the campaign afloat. Solis Doyle found out third-hand. And when she asked Clinton about it, the senator told her she couldn't understand how the campaign had gotten to such a point."

In a statement about Doyle's departure, Clinton said she was "enormously grateful for her friendship and her outstanding work" and said she "has done an extraordinary job in getting us to this point -- within reach of the nomination."

ABC's Jake Tapper: "Of course, by now Clinton had expected to have secured the nomination."

"A sudden switching of quarterbacks in the middle of the playoffs is not what any campaign needs; there's no question that Patti Solis Doyle's resignation will produce a spate of negative stories that no campaign likes to handle," writes The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder.

Says one adviser: "In part, this was Patti's choice." (In part, indeed.)

To strain the sports metaphors . . . Clinton is changing coaches as her team starts a tough road trip: The truth is there is probably nothing Williams can do to avoid seeing Clinton go a four-week stretch without a single win -- something that could severely test the continued prospects of a momentum-free campaign.

All that stands between now and March 4 is Tuesday's Potomac Primary -- Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia -- plus Wisconsin (Clinton's best shot at a win this month) and Obama's native Hawaii.

That's a recipe for a slow Clinton bleed (10 consecutive losses?) coming into Ohio and Texas, while Obama can continue to depend on quick infusions of cash. It's enough to make any campaign feel woozy.

Dallas News on Clinton/Obama in Texas

Clinton-Obama primary battle a Texas toss-up

12:00 AM CST on Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The March 4 Texas primaries will determine the course of the Democratic race for president and perhaps identify the eventual nominee.

With its 228 delegates, Texas is the biggest prize left in the presidential sweepstakes.

If Illinois Sen. Barack Obama wins the Lone Star State, the race for the nomination is probably over.

But Hillary Rodham Clinton could piece together a Texas victory with wins in Ohio and Pennsylvania to re-establish herself as the front-runner.

So who gets Texas?

I can't call it. But here are some factors that could yield clues.


Going into the presidential race, the conventional wisdom was that Mrs. Clinton had the best team and organization in the field.

But it's now clear that Mr. Obama has the superior ground game. His grass-roots effort is second to none. He melds a large staff of workers with an even larger group of volunteers.

Mr. Obama cleans up in caucuses and should do well in competing for the 42 at-large delegates chosen at the precinct conventions after the polls close.

Because Texas is not a caucus state and Mrs. Clinton has won the big states of California and New Jersey, Mr. Obama has to prove he can use his organization to win a diverse primary state like Texas.

Advantage: Obama


Not much of a contest here. Mr. Obama has mastered Internet fundraising and has the money needed to saturate the state's expensive media markets.

Mrs. Clinton had to loan herself $5 million recently, though her campaign reports that her fundraising has picked up since Super Tuesday.

Advantage: Obama


Mrs. Clinton has varied and established support in Texas, particularly in the critical Rio Grande Valley.

Mr. Obama has his share of endorsements. But the relationships developed by Mrs. Clinton helped her in California and should do the same in Texas.

Few Texas Democrats have political machinery intact, so surrogates are not as important as they could be. Politicos in the Rio Grande Valley and Houston are the exception.

Advantage: Clinton


The state's electoral makeup could trump all other considerations.

In 2004, almost half of Democratic primary voters were Hispanic. Nationally, Hispanic voters have leaned heavily toward Mrs. Clinton.

Want to know if the Hispanic vote is important in Democratic primary elections in Texas? Ask Victor Morales, who as a schoolteacher from Crandall beat former U.S. Rep. John Bryant, D-Dallas, in the 1996 Senate primary. In 2006, little-known Maria Luisa Alvarado won the nomination for lieutenant governor on the strength of the Latino vote.

Mr. Obama is expected to do well with young voters, blacks and men. Women are still favoring Mrs. Clinton.

Turnout could be important. An Obama tide could erase conventional wisdom.

Advantage: Clinton


Mr. Obama has created and cornered the market for "change" in our national politics. Republicans and Democrats are now debating which candidate is best suited to air out the political scene in Washington.

There's no question Mr. Obama's stirring speeches about unity and hope have touched chords in voters across the country.

Mrs. Clinton, however, has argued with some success that her experience makes her the best candidate.

But to a lot of people, being a former first lady doesn't exactly translate to being a change agent. Mr. Obama's celebrity appeal sometimes overwhelms Mrs. Clinton's experience argument.

Advantage: Obama

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Name Recognition Argument in the Democratic Party Election

A comment from Regina:

I just heard a Hispanic woman on CNN say that the Clinton's would be making a mistake if they think all Hispanics are automatically going to vote for Hillary...conversely, she said Obama would be making a mistake if he thinks the Hispanic vote is out of his reach.

She said Obama just needs to campaign in heavily Hispanic dominated areas (especially in the upcoming primaries of Ohio and Texas) and he could get big votes from Hispanics...she said the only advantage Hilary has over Obama is "name recognition."

She believes the more people hear directly from Obama the more they will support his vision for the country. She also said it would be helpful for Obama to mention Ceasar Chavez and Dolores Huerta amongst others, when he talks about civil rights and the progressive movement. He said too often he only mentions Martin Luther King and the Kennedys.

There was another analyst on the program who added that it is insulting for people to talk about the Hispanic or Black vote as if it's a monolithic vote. She also said people are forgetting that some Hispanics may also vote for a Republican candidate - so by no means is their vote a slam dunk!

P.S. The Hispanic woman also said she wanted to ensure that folks understand that the Hispanic vote is NOT a vote against Blacks but rather a vote (in the instance) based on name recognition - at least up until this point. She said she know this to be true because historically Hispanics supported many African American candidates including: Harold Washington, Tom Bradley, Wilder etc..etc...

My response:

Well sister as you know I don't buy the "name recognition" argument at all. In fact that argument is not only ridiculous but INSULTING (to both blacks and Latinos). You mean to seriously tell me that the Latinos in this country "don't know" who Obama is? That makes NO SENSE whatsoever. Just think about an assertion that IDIOTIC for a moment. People are currently holding mock U.S. elections ALL OVER THE WORLD in favor of Obama (Europe, Asia, Africa, even Latin America) and are "voting" for Obama in the millions--yet Latinos who live in California and New York and Nevada and Texas and Arizona and New Mexico (to name only six major states where there are very large Latino populations) don't really know who he is and what he stands for. Give me a break!! You KNOW that ain't true. You would have to live on MARS to not know damn near everything there is to know about Barack Obama at this very late date.

THE MAN HAS BEEN RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT FOR OVER A YEAR NOW. He is one of the MOST FAMOUS and RECOGNIZABLE PEOPLE ON PLANET EARTH at this point (many nations have even taken well known polls on who Obama is and what his campaign is about). So for ANYONE--but especially Latino Americans or whites to absurdly claim that he lacks "name recognition" is not only a huge, blatant LIE but an insult to the intelligence of anyone who listens to such nonsense. I'm astonished that so many pundits and analysts in the media keep saying this in public WITH A STRAIGHT FACE. Nah. THAT AIN'T IT. Talk about rank DISHONESTY. The Latinos who now make up 14% of this country's population (to 13% for African Americans) know all too well WHO OBAMA IS AND WHAT HE REPRESENTS. They just aren't voting for him in most states thus far. Latinos have voted against Obama in HUGE numbers in California, New York, and Nevada, and have SPLIT their vote between Hillary and Obama in Arizona and Illinois. Obama has yet to gain anywhere near a majority of Latino votes in any state yet (the upcoming election in Texas on March 4 may change that--but I doubt it).

NO. Let's all be honest: The fact that Hillary's campaign manager up to this point has been a Latina (Solis) WHO IS NOW BEING REPLACED BY A BLACK WOMAN (Maggie Williams--who has worked with Hillary for over 25 years!) tells you EVERYTHING you need to know about what's actually going on and why. The simple, OBVIOUS truth is that Clinton and her now former Latina campaign manager took a calculated risk that they would heavily focus on organizing the Latino vote to specifically defeat Obama AND THIS CALCULATION BACKFIRED. You see: The Clintons had taken it for granted that the majority of blacks would ultimately vote for them as they had in the past with Bill or at the VERY LEAST there would be a 50/50 split between African Americans for and against Obama but of course that didn't happen (especially after Bill and others in the Clinton campaign started trying to very clumsily "race bait" Obama--A STRATEGY THAT ALSO BACKFIRED).

Clinton and Solis had already decided that they could make up any defections from their campaign by black voters with a massive Latino vote. What they hadn't counted on however is that not only did blacks start voting for Obama nationwide by margins of 80-90% but that a larger percentage of WHITE MALE VOTERS (and a substantial minority of white female voters) ALSO started voting for Obama in numbers the Clintons had not anticipated. If they would only ADMIT the truth and own up to the fact that THEY WERE WRONG IN THEIR ASSUMPTIONS the Clinton machine could have possibly repaired this problem months ago. But because of their arrogance and HUBRIS on the issue of who would and who wouldn't vote for them and thus TAKING BOTH THE AFRICAN AMERICAN AND WHITE VOTE FOR GRANTED, their strategists like Solis seriously MISCALCULATED the numbers and thought erroneously that the huge Latino bloc vote would simply makie up the difference and be enough to beat Obama. The Clintons had NO IDEA the election would be anywhere near this close and wound up incorrectly assuming that they had MORE CONTROL over their former major electoral base (e.g. African Americans, and white middle and uppermiddle class voters--both males and to a lesser degree females) than they actually have.

This infantile refusal/inability to ADMIT SERIOUS MISTAKES and then make the necessary honest adjustments in terms of both strategy and tactics in their campaign has cost Hillary dearly. She now recognizes that it's gonna take MORE THAN THE NATIONAL LATINO VOTING BLOC to ensure her election and that is WHY she chose Maggie Williams to take over as campaign manager. Clearly this is a much- too-little, much-too-late move on Hillary's part that could have been avoided in the first place if she had focused on a JOINT Latino & African American strategy that would have respectfully and honestly spoken to the needs and desires of BOTH ethnic/racial groups simultaneously MONTHS AGO. Instead, by engaging in a STUPID attempt to racebait Obama through using Bill as public attack dog all she wound up doing was pissing off and alienating black voters, and giving EVERYONE the impression (not just blacks ) that Latino voters were MORE IMPORTANT to her ultimate success than blacks.

She may not have "meant" for this to happen but by thinking that she could get more white voters to vote for her by trying to improperly peg and piegonhole Obama as a limited "black candidate" only, Hillary FUCKED UP BIGTIME. Of all the candidates in the world to attack and demean in this matter even a child would know that going after a man with as resolutely a multiracial and multicultural campaign as Barack Obama in this racist and boneheaded manner would be a major mistake and would backfire. But this is what arrogance and again HUBRIS does to people like the Clintons who make far too many (false) assumptions about people in general because THEY DON'T RESPECT THEM ENOUGH TO DEAL WITH THEM SERIOUSLY AND HONESTLY.

This kind of bad judgment and carelessness in the way the Clinton campaign relates even to its own base speaks volumes about WHY their campaign is in such chaotic disarray and is falling apart at the seams. All the media and in-house campaign bullshit about why the Latinos are voting for her in these outrageously lopsided numbers vs. Obama is just one more part of the consequences of that ongoing disintegration and the LYING that goes along with it. This is what happens when people lose or give away their INTEGRITY the way Hillary has.

LA Times on Clinton/Obama Who's Stronger in General Election,1,2679246.story

Clinton, Obama spar over who's stronger in the general election

He says he's a force for change. She counters that she's been toughened by political hardball.

By Johanna Neuman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
February 11, 2008

Far from the snows of Maine and its Sunday caucuses, the two Democratic presidential rivals looked toward Tuesday's Potomac primaries in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, where 242 delegates are at stake, warring over who would make the stronger opponent against Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee.

At a rally in Alexandria, Va., Illinois Sen. Barack Obama called Clinton a "vast improvement" on the incumbent, but added that it was difficult for Clinton "to break out of the politics of the past 15 years." He pledged to form a "working majority" with independents and Republicans both to win the White House and break the partisan divide that has left Washington in gridlock.

A woman from Hawaii whose husband was voting for Clinton asked Obama to defend his candidacy. He said, "The day I'm inaugurated, the country looks at itself differently. . . . Your husband sees somebody different as president. . . . He looks at 44 [the 44th U.S. president] and thinks, that guy's got a funny name like me." The prospect of the nation's first African American president, he said, "also changes perceptions overseas."

New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, campaigning in Manassas, Va., said that if elected, she, like Harry Truman, could handle the pressures that the next occupant of the Oval Office will inherit from President Bush.

"I had a historian tell me the other day that it's probably not been since Harry Truman that we had a president who inherits two wars, an economy in trouble, millions of people losing their healthcare, millions of families on the brink of losing their homes," she said.

Calling the presidency "the hardest job in the world," Clinton said she is best suited to confront McCain because of her experience in foreign policy. "Republicans will do everything in their power to make this election about national security and homeland security," she said.

Clinton did not acknowledge or comment on Saturday's primary and caucus losses, but she borrowed a line from her husband's presidency, saying that if elected she would get up every morning in the White House and go to work for the public.

The two candidates continued their disagreement Sunday night on CBS's "60 Minutes" over who would make the more formidable general election candidate.

According to excerpts released by the network, Clinton told the network's Katie Couric that she's the best candidate for president because she has already endured the kinds of negative ads Republicans are sure to throw at a Democratic nominee, while Obama has not.

"Sen. Obama has never had, I don't think, a single negative ad ever run against him," Clinton said. "Until you've been through this experience, you have no idea what it is like, and he hasn't been. He's never had to face this. I am much better prepared and ready to . . . withstand whatever comes my way," said Clinton.

Obama said in a separate interview that running for the Democratic nomination against the "Clinton machine" has hardened him for the battle ahead.

"Going up against the Clinton machine is no cakewalk," he told interviewer Steve Kroft. Noting that Clinton disparages him for a supposed inability to withstand "the withering scrutiny," Obama said of the Clintons, "They're pretty serious about winning, too. They can play rough, and there's nothing wrong with that."

Former President Clinton, meanwhile, spent the day campaigning for his spouse among African American voters in Washington, D.C. and suburban Maryland. At the evangelical Temple of Praise congregation in Washington, he said that the contest between his wife, who would be the nation's first woman president, and Obama, who would be the nation's first African American president, was divinely inspired.

"All my life I have wanted to vote for a woman for president," Clinton told 800 parishioners at the Temple of Praise. "All my life I have wanted to vote for an African American for president. . . . I wonder why God gave us this dilemma."

Obama's Eight Straight Victories!

February 13, 2008

Obama has now won 8 straight primaries (!) by HUGE margins (by a total of 30-50 percentage points on average). He has also won 24 out of the 34 primary races thus far-- or an incredible 70% of ALL the primary elections thus far! Tonight Clinton was absolutely CRUSHED by Obama in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. In Virginia, a southern state with a substantial majority of white voters, Obama won by an astonishing 25 percentage points. He also won the majority of white female votes--normally a Clinton stronghold. To say that Obama is "on a roll" or "has momentum" is a vast understatement at this point. Obama is now the clear favorite in this race--so much so that now Hillary MUST win in Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania over the next three weeks since it's also clear that Obama will probably also win in Wisconsin whose primary comes up on February 19. Things are looking better than they ever have for Obama and if he can maintain his current streak by winning at least ONE of the major primaries in Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania before March 20 it will be extremely difficult for Hillary to win the nomination. Keep your fingers and other extremities crossed folks. We are pulling into the crucial stretch of this campaign much faster than anyone had a right to expect. Stay tuned...

February 13, 2008


With a Surge in Momentum, Obama Makes His Case


WASHINGTON — The lopsided nature of Senator Barack Obama’s parade of victories on Tuesday gives him an opening to make the case that Democratic voters have broken in his favor and that the party should coalesce around his candidacy.

Mr. Obama’s triumphs capped a week in which he went undefeated in states across the country, in many cases by big margins, over Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

And his strength on Tuesday sliced across nearly every major demographic line, with one element standing out: in Virginia and Maryland, according to surveys of voters leaving the polls, he beat Mrs. Clinton among women.

The sheer consistency of Mr. Obama’s victories over the last few days certainly suggests that many Democratic voters have gotten past whatever reservations they might have had about his electability or his qualifications to be president.

Mr. Obama, in his victory speech in Madison, Wis., acted almost as the primaries were behind him, offering a case against the probable Republican nominee, Senator John McCain of Arizona, as he spoke disparagingly of “Bush-McCain Republicans.” It amounted to a preview of what an Obama-McCain race might be like, and it reduced Mrs. Clinton, at least for one night, to the role of bystander.

“John McCain is an American hero,” Mr. Obama said before a huge, cheering crowd. “We honor his service to our nation. But his priorities don’t address the real problems of the American people, because they are bound to the failed policies of the past.”

Mr. McCain picked up the challenge. While not mentioning Mr. Obama by name, he offered an unmistakable put-down of the theme that has become so closely identified with Mr. Obama.

“To encourage a country with only rhetoric rather than sound and proven ideas that trust in the strength and courage of free people is not a promise of hope,” he said. “It is a platitude.”

To make sure no one had missed the message, Mr. McCain appropriated Mr. Obama’s signature line with a sly farewell to his own audience in Alexandria, Va. “My friends,” he said. “I promise you, I am fired up and ready to go.”

Even before his latest victories, Mr. Obama, of Illinois, had whittled away at the advantages amassed last year by Mrs. Clinton.

He now enjoys a big financial advantage. Her big lead in national polls is gone. By most counts, Mr. Obama can now claim more delegates pledged to him. He has won far more states than Mrs. Clinton, although she won some of the big prizes, like California and New Jersey.

For weeks, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama had approached this race the same way: as state-by-state trench warfare, in the belief that the nomination would go to whoever got the most delegates.

But the latest results suggest that the race might be tilting back to a more normal form, where the goal is achieving a series of splashing victories and thus momentum. That has provided Mr. Obama with the opportunity, which he plans to seize in a more full-throated way starting on Wednesday, to argue that voters across a wide cross-section of the country have embraced his candidacy, and that the time has come for the group that could hold the balance of power, those 796 unpledged superdelegates — party leaders and elected officials who have an automatic seat at the national convention — to follow suit.

“We are in a momentum phase of the process now,” said Tad Devine, a Democratic consultant.

Mrs. Clinton’s advisers dispute that, noting that his victories have come in relatively small states and that she has invested most of her attention in two big contests coming up on March 4: Ohio and Texas. Her aides have long argued that by the end of the voting, the difference between the two candidates in delegate count would be minimal, leaving the final decision to superdelegates, who in their view would favor Mrs. Clinton.

But if party leaders begin to think this is no longer simply a mathematical race to the 2,025-delegate line, that could have big consequences for Mrs. Clinton.

For one thing, if this is an election where a candidate wins by virtue of being seen as winning — a definition of momentum — that would mean that voters in coming states would be influenced by the outcome of earlier races. And Mr. Obama might then be in a position to encroach on Mrs. Clinton’s firewall of Texas and Ohio.

Perhaps most problematically, the delegate selection process — in which delegates are allocated to the candidates in proportion to how many votes they win — could now begin to work against Mrs. Clinton. Both candidates get a share of the delegates, even if one wins by a margin of 20 points. That is a reason Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama had stayed so close on delegate numbers, and why it becomes harder for her to reclaim a lead.

But whatever challenges Mrs. Clinton faces, she has repeatedly proved to be a resourceful candidate with a sharp campaign organization and a passionate base of supporters. Should she win in Ohio and Texas, she could halt Mr. Obama’s claim to momentum and keep the race for pledged delegates from breaking against her. And there has been a history in this campaign of Mr. Obama winning, only to have Mrs. Clinton return and win.

“You can’t make a judgment until Ohio and Texas,” said Jonathan Prince, who was a senior adviser to John Edwards of North Carolina, who quit the race two weeks ago. “In this campaign, every time he has surged ahead, voters take a pause. If momentum keeps slamming into a wall, than you do have to come down to the numbers.”

Still, in the end, those two things are not unrelated. The next contest is Tuesday in Wisconsin, where some polls suggest that Mrs. Clinton is trailing, meaning it may be two weeks after that before she has a potential to put herself in a favorable light again.

At a time when Mr. Obama will be announcing that his train is leaving the station — and pointing to the relatively clear field that Mr. McCain has on the Republican side in urging Democrats to unite behind him — that could prove to be an awfully long two weeks for the Clinton campaign.

Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company