Monday, June 16, 2008

Blue Dogs Keep Their Distance From Obama -- so far

Barack Obama 's Democratic colleagues in the Senate seem ready to turn to the fall campaign and rally behind him as the party's soon-to-be presidential nominee. But in the House, some members of the Blue Dog Coalition of conservative Democrats say they'll keep their distance from Obama, at least until after the party formally nominates the Illinois senator at the Democratic National Convention in late August. Of the roughly 30 House members who have yet to declare a preference in the presidential primaries, which ended June 3, 16 are Blue Dogs.

"Frankly, none of the presidential candidates for either party is doing real well in my district. It's not a good idea to get close to any of them," said Charlie Melancon of Louisiana. "No, I won't be endorsing anyone," agreed fellow Blue Dog Charlie Wilson of Ohio. Nancy Boyda of Kansas represents a district that is part of Obama's family story - his mother was born into a military family at Fort Leavenworth and has ties in the area around the University of Kansas. But Boyda probably won't be escorting Obama around campus in the foreseeable future, and she says she may even skip the convention. "I'm going to stay focused on doing my job. The good people of Kansas are fine with that,'' Boyda said.

Obama made an unannounced visit to the House floor last month to appeal to uncommitted Democrats and supporters of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, and he held a private meeting with uncommitted Blue Dogs. Blue Dogs have a long history of holding liberal party leaders at arm's length. In the 2006 election, many of them distanced themselves from Nancy Pelosi of California, now the Speaker of the House.

Melissa Bean of Illinois, a self-described "Obama Mama" and a member of both the Blue Dogs and the New Democrat Coalition, said she expected as many as several dozen House members, including Blue Dogs, to remain uncommitted. "Probably a lot of them, in the Blue Dogs and in the regular part of the caucus, will just kind of stay where they are. Some will come to the convention, some won't. They are independent minded," Bean said.

Several Obama supporters said they expect his backers on Capitol Hill to swing into action to try to soften up resistance among uncommitted lawmakers and Clinton supporters. "Women supporters of Sen. Obama will approach women supporters of Sen. Clinton. There will be a gradual effort to reach out,'' said one of Obama's House backers. But such efforts could have mixed results. For example, Don Cazayoux of Louisiana, who recently won a special election, said he would endorse no one. He said he would later support Obama, but for now the newcomer is focused on showing voters that he is an independent-minded Democrat. "I'm going to represent my district and talk about my own candidacy. I'm not going to be talking about the candidate for president,'' Cazayoux said. "That's because I will agree with him on some issues and I will disagree with him on others."

For their part, Clinton supporters said they would be open to talking with Obama about his coming general election campaign, but many said they were either not ready to switch sides or were uncertain whether the Obama campaign would be inclined to offer them roles. For example, Ellen O. Tauscher of California, chairwoman of the New Democrat Coalition, said she doubted she would be asked to put her Silicon Valley contacts to use for the top of the ticket. "That role will probably fall to either Zoe Lofgren or Anna Eshoo," Tauscher said, referring to two longtime Obama supporters from California. "We'll see what happens."

Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland said he believed Obama would move to close ranks with Clinton and her supporters in coming days. "I have zero doubt that Sen. Clinton and Barack Obama are going to get together," Hoyer said. "They both want to turn the page."

In a joint statement, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid , D-Nev., Pelosi and other party leaders set a Friday deadline for uncommitted superdelegates to endorse a candidate, saying the time has come for Democrats to "stand united and begin our march toward reversing the eight years of failed Bush/McCain policies that have weakened our country."

Eight previously uncommitted Senate superdelegates swung to Obama in a group Wednesday. "Our focus now is on victory in November and on giving Barack Obama every ounce of our support, every bit of our energy, and our total commitment to do everything in our power to win the presidency," said a joint statement signed by Sens. Barbara Boxer of California, Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, Thomas R. Carper of Delaware, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey, Ken Salazar of Colorado and Ron Wyden of Oregon.


Black racism shows in recent poll

In an election year in which race is front and center, American blacks have grown more negative toward Hillary Clinton, with her favorable image sinking from 84% to 58% over the last year, while blacks' favorable opinions of Barack Obama have soared from 68% to 86%. Blacks have also become more negative toward John McCain....

Clinton can perhaps take some comfort in the fact that the presumptive Republican nominee, McCain, has also seen his image become more negative in the eyes of black Americans over the last year. In June 2007, McCain's image among blacks was 26% favorable and 33% unfavorable, with 41% saying they either didn't have an opinion or had never heard of McCain. Now, as he has become better known, blacks' opinions of McCain have moved decidedly into the negative column: 58% are now unfavorable, while 27% are favorable.

I think this is a reflection of black racism. There is no reason for McCain's negatives to soar, beyond the fact that his opponent is black. The emotional immaturity reflected in this poll is striking. It is not just that they are going with a tribal affinity, it is that they have developed negative attitudes toward anyone who opposes their guy.

For me, I oppose Obama because he is wrong on the war, taxes and energy. I think his negatives might have gone up too because of his "friends" he apparently did not "know" well for two decades.


Obama: The Stealth Candidate?

For the Obamas, I don't want to have to listen to how bad we are being shoved down our throats by Mrs. "Affirmative Action Attitude" Obama herself for four years with her anti-American, ugly attitude. She is the poster child for why affirmative action is a failure, why it is a curse to the person saddled with the knowledge that somehow they were let into the best universities in our nation because of the "color of their skin", not the quality of their work. What a burden to bear? And with Michelle Obama, it shows. She can hardly make ends meet on that 4 million dollars they made last year. Boo hoo! And her 370,000 dollar salary is provided at tax payer expense through a grant awarded through her husband's influence as a US Senator.

Note to Senator Obama: Geraldine Ferraro is right. If you were a white man, three-years in office senator with very questionable associations with home-grown terrorists and a Syrian immigrant with questionable business practices, you wouldn't be anywhere close to where you are in getting the Democrat nomination.

And about us "clinging to our guns and clinging to our religion", yes, you'll have to pry our guns and Bibles from our cold, dead hands. And how about those Bill of Rights?

But I have a question. It is my understanding that campaign contributions over the internet are more difficult to trace. Yes? No? I wonder how much Islamist money is being funnelled into Obama's campaign. Like it or not, Obama was born a Muslim and reared as a Muslim up through the age of 10. And from what we have heard of the rantings of Jeremiah Wright, Jr., there wasn't much Christian love going on in that church of 8,000 members. America needed to know that black Americans hold the rest of us in such disdain. Thanks, Jeremiah.

Tonight I heard for the first time that a leader of Hamas has even printed messages in the newsletter/bulletin put out by the church Obama attends/has attended for 20 years. So, is that church an Islamist front? What are the ties to the Nation of Islam? What agreements have been made between Louis Farrakan, Jeremiah Wright, and the leader of Libya for the "buying of the US presidency"?

I think Michelle Obama has every reason to be angry. She is the product of teachings of hatred against white Americans, against our nation that has given her every opportunity, and she is the product of affirmative action. She knows or at least has to wonder how she got into Harvard and Princeton. But Obama - still no lapel pin - is a stealth candidate, make no mistake.

Give me a candidate such as Michael Steele or Ward Connerly but not a "feel good" candidate who stoops to the lowest form of insult when he slanders those of us in middle America, those fighting for this nation, those dieing so others may be free, when he says we "cling to our guns" and "to our religion" like acts of desparation when we are frustrated when we are betrayed by the nation we love. We DO NOT WANT government to solve our problems. We want government out of the way.

Nope, Obama's arrogance and elitism is beginning to show and if Obama does get the Democrat nomination, his campaign may have to put Michelle in the closet if he hopes to win...


My change is better than your change

Change is coming, that much Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama agree on as they plunge into a five-month campaign for the White House. The primaries behind them, the presidential rivals were wasting no time drawing the battle line for a fall fight that will make history with the election of either the oldest first-term president in McCain or the first black leader in Obama. In speeches marking the start of the general election, both maneuvered for the advantage with voters sour on the status quo.

McCain, a four-term Arizona senator seeking to succeed a fellow Republican, uttered the word "change" more than 30 times as he tried to distance himself from President Bush and blister his Democratic rival. Obama uttered the phrase 19 times in a speech that claimed the Democratic presidential nomination. "The wrong change looks not to the future but to the past for solutions that have failed us before and will surely fail us again," McCain, 71, said in suburban New Orleans. "I have a few years on my opponent, so I am surprised that a young man has bought into so many failed ideas."

In St. Paul, Minn., Obama, 46 and a first-term Illinois senator, ceded no ground on the reformer mantle and cast McCain as a continuation of the unpopular Bush's eight-year tenure. "My differences with him are not personal; they are with the policies he has proposed in this campaign. Because while John McCain can legitimately tout moments of independence from his party in the past, such independence has not been the hallmark of his presidential campaign," Obama said.

The campaign is the first in half a century in which neither a sitting president nor a vice president is running for the highest office, and the first since 1960 in which a senator will assume the White House. A fragile economy and an ongoing Iraq war, as well as matters of age and race serve as a backdrop. Both McCain and Obama were full of praise for defeated Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton as the two sought to make a play for her loyalist backers - women and working-class voters.

Clinton, the New York senator and former first lady, stopped short of dropping out of the race even though Obama had reached the requisite delegate count for the Democratic Party's nomination. Instead of conceding, Clinton said she would spend the next few days determining "how to move forward with the best interests of our country and our party guiding my way."

Behind the scenes, she maneuvered for the vice presidential spot on Obama's fall ticket, expressing a willingness in a conference call with her state's congressional delegation. "I am open to it" if it would help the party's prospects in November, Clinton replied, according to participants who spoke on condition of anonymity because the call was private. Obama's aides were noncommittal.

In the meantime, the party was swinging behind him. "We have come to the end of an exciting primary and caucus process - the voters have spoken," four top party leaders said in a joint statement issued early Wednesday. "Democrats must now turn our full attention to the general election," they continued. "To that end, we are urging all remaining uncommitted super delegates to make their decisions known by Friday of this week so that our party can stand united and begin our march toward reversing the eight years of failed Bush/McCain policies that have weakened our country."

The statement was issued by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, head of the Democratic Governors Association, and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. Officials said Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland was ready to endorse Obama on Wednesday. On Wednesday, both Obama and Clinton were addressing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group.

On the final night of the primary season, Clinton won South Dakota while Obama took Montana - and a slew of party superdelegates who declared their support to help him clinch the party nod. He did it, according to The Associated Press tally, based on primary elections, state Democratic caucuses and support from superdelegates. It took 2,118 delegates to clinch the nomination at the convention in Denver this summer, and Obama had 2,144 by the AP count.

In contrast to the 17-month Democratic primary, Republicans gave McCain the status of likely GOP nominee in March. Since then, McCain has laid the groundwork for the general election campaign by portraying Obama as lacking the experience and judgment needed to be commander in chief. McCain spoke first and he accused his younger rival of voting "to deny funds to the soldiers who have done a brilliant and brave job" in Iraq. It was a reference to 2007 legislation to pay for the Iraq war, a measure Obama opposed, citing the lack of a timetable for withdrawing troops. The Republican was taking his message - that he has a record of reform while his opponent simply has rhetoric - directly to the voters in morning appearances on network news programs from Louisiana, where he will campaign later Wednesday.

Obama addressed thousands of cheering backers in the same Minnesota arena where Republicans will hold their nominating convention in early September. He promised an aboveboard debate and seemed to suggest that the GOP simply engages in divisive politics. Said Obama: "What you don't deserve is another election that's governed by fear, and innuendo, and division. What you won't hear from this campaign or this party is the kind of politics that uses religion as a wedge and patriotism as a bludgeon - that sees our opponents not as competitors to challenge, but enemies to demonize."



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