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April 29, 2008


The New York Times calls out John McCain in an editorial:

"It is an injustice, a legacy of the racist threads of this nation’s history, but prominent African-Americans are regularly called upon to explain or repudiate what other black Americans have to say, while white public figures are rarely, if ever, handed that burden.

"Senator John McCain has continued to embrace a prominent white supporter, Pastor John Hagee, whose bigotry matches that of Mr. Wright. Mr. McCain has not tried hard enough to stop a race-baiting commercial — complete with video of Mr. Wright — that is being run against Mr. Obama in North Carolina.

"If Mr. Obama is the Democratic presidential nominee, we fear that there will be many more such commercials. And Mr. Obama will have to repudiate Mr. Wright’s outbursts many more times.

"This country needs a healthy and open discussion of race. Mr. Obama’s repudiation of Mr. Wright is part of that. His opponents also have a responsibility — to repudiate the race-baiting and make sure it stops."

Yeah, tell it.


I don't think this controversy will hurt Sen. Obama that much; I think that people who won't vote for him in the general election because of his pastor probably wouldn't have voted for him anyway. The thing that I think might hurt him with his base is when he doesn't oppose, or actually supports, the promotion of General Petraeus to head up CENTCOM. The MoveOn folks who have demonized GEN Petraeus might have a hard time swallowing that one.

I think everything really hinges on Indiana. If Obama wins Indiana, then he'll probably be okay. If he loses that Primary to Mrs. Clinton, I think everything becomes to unravel. The latest polls I've seen in WV show her winning big, and in Kentucky, she leads by a whopping 63-27 margin, and Oregon is tight but if the nation starts to trend away from Obama, she could win there too, and in South Dakota and Montana, plus Puerto Rico. At that point, the Super Delegates will have to take a look at electability and the fact that Obama has lost 7 of the 9 biggest States in the country and failed to close the deal twice on Mrs. Clinton.

Well, the morning fish wrap says NC is tightening, too, down to 5 points.
So Adam, I think everything hinges on BOTH IN and NC.

Here's one thing the future voters and supers need to consider: What's really changed in the Obama campaign since his big wins in February? Nothing ... except the Wright controversy and the incessant attempts to make mountains out of other "character" molehills.

His positions are the same. His commitment to bridging the partisan divide is the same. So if people can get beyond the manufactured controversies of the past two months, Obama will win next week, he'll win the nomination, and he'll win in the fall.

Bubblehead, as for Gen Petraeus, no worries. I'm nominally a MoveOn member (as in, I get their emails like most progressives) and I think the "Betray Us" thing was a silly blunder. No one is going to leave Obama over Petraeus' promotion or Obama's stand one way or another on it.

We all want the war in Iraq to end. We also know it's going to take a while. In the post-Bush Cheney era, I know I'd much rather have an internationalist than an imperialist as CoC, no matter who's in charge militarily.

To Julie in Boise and all
I agree that the 'betrays" thing was a cheap shot, but MoveON, the Dems, and all that 80%+ that want out of Iraq and not a war with Iran (which is on Bush's radar big time see Washington Post last Sunday)need to quit obsessing about Rev. Wright. We need to get on with addressing the issues. These are deliberate
distractions that are designed to steal the nomination from Barack. As Whoopie Goldberg as stated today and previously that the Rev. Wright, flag pins, and Muslim are the new "n" words. They cannot use that so they use these.
Below are thoughts on the media and a letter I just sent off to Times News...

Talk radio and cable news have turned the presidential election into a side show and their cash cow. Those rubbing their hands in glee with talk of “riots in Denver” if Obama doesn’t win once called for McCain’s head on a platter. Rush Limbaugh attacks Huckabee, McCain, and Obama for the same reason…money. He and his like are laughing all the way to the bank. These clowns make us think the country is more divided than it is.
When I recently called to complain, a local radio station manager told me that talk radio was not “the news” and they (Rush, Dobbs, Hanity, O’Reilly, etc.) were just “trying to make me think.” They made me think all right. They made me think that I have nothing in common with conservatives and that this nation is deeply divided. They made me think that I should be more afraid of Rush listeners than terrorists, but a funny thing happened while wearing my Obama button.
I have been very visible in my support for Senator Obama. I have had numerous conversations with all varieties of people. Some of the discussions have been mildly heated. With some I have agreed to disagree. Some of my Independent and Republican friends are for Senator Obama. I have never encountered anyone filled with the hate that Rush pushes. Most of the time we all have similar hopes; better jobs, affordable insurance, and a better economy.
A psychologist once told me that we think that the world is more violent than it is because of constant input of news and information. Turn off the noise and do your own research. From the bowling alley to church, I don’t see this divided angry country. I see a nation that needs better leadership and change.

Right on, Dixie. Among my very favorite quotes from Obama is this one, more now than ever:

... we will remember that there is something happening in America; that we are not as divided as our politics suggests ...

I think that's really true. It is in the media's best financial interests to make this fight as fractious as possible. But people HAVE to be getting sick of it.

I so wish the Magic Valley had Ed Schultz as a counterweight to the Rush-O'Reilly-Hannity noise machine. A former Republican from Fargo, Schultz refuses to pander to his audience, and he's really good about both criticizing and offering praise when it's warranted. He's o the air here in SW Idaho from 4 to 7 on 630 AM. I don't know if that signal reaches Twin Falls, but you can always catch him live online from noon to 3 ... http://www.bigeddieradio.com/listen/index.asp

The media focus is a double edged sword. Its been great that Democrats get to dominate the airwaves for a while but the press is bored trying to find controversy instead of focusing on the issues. Hence the preoccupation with Wright who seems to be deliberately taking advantage of the media opportunity.

Hunter has a biting piece up on what the media chooses to focus upon.

Things I have learned during this campaign season:

In a race that includes a former First Lady of the United States and a multimillionaire Republican senator rumored to share up to eight residences with his wife, the black guy from Chicago is unforgivably elitist.

Racism in America is caused primarily by black Chicago preachers.

The guy who keeps getting confused over the relationship between Iraq, Iran, and al Qaeda is the foreign policy expert.

Julie, I'm discouting the NC Survey USA poll at this point because:

1) SUSA's not a super polling outlet in terms of accuracy.
2) It's an Outlier among current polls which have Obama in double digits.

Obama is expected to win NC on the strength of the Black Vote. If he doesn't (very slim chance), it's a deadly blow to his campaign.

I'd need to see a second poll tightening the race. What's happen is that Obama has come under the big guns of Republicans and the Clintons. In effect, he's been double-teamed. And what this has done is led to public discussion of information that suggests some of his rhetoric isn't backed by reality. Worse yet, I think Obama will be a millstone about the neck of Democrats if nominated, if not in 2008 than in 2010 (if he's elected.)

While, I still don't like her personally or politically, I've got to admit that I'm amazed at how Hillary has redefined herself towards the center and is probably the strongest candidate against McCain as she'll throw a lot of states into play that don't look like they will be if Obama is the nominee, particularly Florida and Arkansas. She also does better in key swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. Where Obama does better, it doesn't really balance out from an EV perspective (Iowa and Wisconsin.)

What I see is two candidates who are continually willing, if not eager, out of necessity, to "redefine" themselves in contrast to Senator Obama. The McCain and Clinton strategies of shape-shifting will not prevail, and exemplify one of the most insidious aspects of status quo politics, which is the attempt to satisfy the constituency that happens to be writing out the checks after a particular speech or appearance with no regard to previous statements, positions or even recorded votes in the Senate, or for how those actions will effect the remainder of their supporters.

I'm shocked, shocked, that Adam provides dire predictions for the Democrats with Obama as the nominee. The polling that I have seen shows a generic Dem (meaning either Obama or Clinton unless you live in Hypothetical Land) beating McCain by a healthy margin. Among Dem voters, Obama still holds the lead.

As for a disconnect between rhetoric and reality, I'd say McCain holds the trophy in that category. Let's see, we're in good economic times, we should bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran, and keep troops in Iraq for a century. That "reality" definitely bites.

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