Tracksy Web Stats

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Friday, October 5, 2007

Hillary over 50%? Not Likely! Experts see a bit of a fluke! does the most in-depth analysis of political polls available to the general public online. It's detected a fluke in the ABC/Post poll that showed Hillary Clinton gaining 10 points to pass 50% - 52% to be exact. Turns out it's not so exact. Over the next month it will be clearer. Obama polled 30% when he won with 52% in Illinois!

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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Illinois Environmental Leaders Speak Out for Barack Obama

In this video, five prominent Illinois Environmentalists speak out in support of Barack Obama.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Obama Receives Support from Stonyfield Farms' Chief Executive Hirshberg

Gary Hirshberg, Chief Executive of Stonyfield Farm, recently announced his plans to support Senator Obama in his campaign for the presidency. Hirshberg runs his organic yogurt plant out of Londonderry, NH, an important stop for presidential hopefuls.

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From Barack Obama, Two Dangerous Words

Of all the Democratic candidates who came here to pay homage to the NEA -- the sole Republican was former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee-- Obama was the only one to deviate significantly from the union line.

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Friday, July 6, 2007

Join the Obama health policy discussion

Now we need to take the next step and get the discussion going about these stories, the issues that surround them, and refining solutions. Through this online collaboration, we can help give voice to all Americans and build a movement for change.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Obama’s Jakarta Trail

The U.S. presidential campaign is well underway, and Indonesia has a horse in the race. Illinois Senator Barack Obama, a Democrat, lived in Jakarta for about four years as a child. Trish Anderton visited his old neighborhood to explore how that might shape his outlook as a politician.

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Sunday, July 1, 2007

Obama Raises 32.5 Million!

The Obama campaign has released their 2Q fundraising numbers. Of the $32.5M raised, a stunning $31M is usable for the primary. Over 250,000 people have donated to the campaign, the highest number of people ever for this point of the race.

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Obama: "Faith got hijacked."

Obama said Saturday that the religious right had “hijacked” faith and divided the country by exploiting issues like abortion, same-sex marriage and school prayer.—“But somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together,” Mr. Obama said. “Faith started being used to drive us apart. Faith got hijacked.”

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Obama offers ethics reform plan

Democrat Barack Obama on Friday vowed to institute ethics reforms if elected president, including tough restrictions on lobbying by former political appointees.

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Obama makes his budget requests public

Democrat Barack Obama on Thursday revealed the 113 budget items he has requested in the Senate — known as "pet projects" or "pork" in the language of budget reform — and challenged his fellow presidential candidates to do the same.

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Saturday, June 2, 2007

Obama, A Consistent Uniter

One of the main themes of the Barack Obama's political campaign is that Obama has the special ability to find the areas of common interest, unite this county, and implement practical policy.

Below I have compiled a list of quotes from various news articles that illustrate the unique background that prepares Obama for this challenging task. These quotes from friends, collaborators, teachers, and journalists also show that Obama's message isn't an invention for a political campaign, but a natural progression of a lifetime filled with listening to others and finding areas of agreement.

Keep in mind: he compromises, but not on principle.
Hawaii (Age 0-6, 10-18);
• It was a good melting pot. There were people from all different races," said Eric Smith, a friend and classmate of Obama's in the 1970s. "Everyone seemed to meld together." (Washington Post 2/8 )
Indonesia (Age 6-10)
• "As a boy in Indonesia, Barack Obama crisscrossed the religious divide. At the local primary school, he prayed in thanks to a Catholic saint. In the neighborhood mosque, he bowed to Allah." (L.A. Times 3/15 )
• Instead of using his fists, Obama gained respect — and friends — by using his imposing stature to protect weaker children against the strong, Israella Dharmawan, 63, his first-grade teacher said. (L.A. Times 3/15 )
• Obama's Indonesian teachers all said he was a leader at a young age. Fermina Katarina Sinaga, Obama's third-grade teacher, didn't have to quiet her pupils before class because Obama did it for her."When the kids lined up before entering the class, he would step forward and lead the whole class," said Sinaga, 57. "He inspected the line, and he was acting like a teacher. I could see his sense of leadership back then." (L.A. Times 3/15 )
Occidental College in Los Angeles
• Dorm neighbor Ken Sulzer, now a lawyer in Century City, remembers Haines Hall's loud soundtrack of New Wave bands like the Flying Lizards. Hallway debates tackled the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and President Carter's subsequent revival of draft registration. Obama "did not impose his personality but certainly was well-respected among his peers and always had that great voice, even when he was 17, 18," Sulzer said. (L.A. Times 1/29 )
• Kenneth Sulzer, who lived in the same dormitory as Obama, remembered long discussions about politics, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and a possible reinstitution of the draft. Obama was "relatively quiet. But when he spoke, his opinion was respected," said Sulzer, now an attorney in Los Angeles. (Chicago Tribune 3/30 )
• John Boyer, a skin cancer surgeon in Honolulu, fondly recalled evenings driving around L.A. and sharing pizza near campus. Boyer described himself as conservative politically and opposed to some of Obama's positions, but added, "What I admired about him then and now is that he is a very principled person in how he formulated his views." (L.A. Times 1/29 )
Columbia University in New York
• Seeking a fresh start, he transferred to Columbia University in New York City. Classmates and teachers from those days remember him as studious and serious, someone who hit the library in his off hours instead of the bars.
"If I had to give one adjective to describe him, it is mature," said William Araiza, who took an international politics class with Obama. "He was our age, but seemed older because of his poise." (Chicago Tribune 3/30 )
Work as a community organizer on the southside of Chicago, as a civil rights lawyer, and as a lecturer on constitutional law at the University of Chicago;
• But Obama, the youthful outsider, brought a decidedly practical view of the Washington-Vrdolyak bouts to the Far South Side community he was organizing.
"They're not enemies, he used to tell us. They're both working for their constituents, and they have to do this," recalled Loretta Augustine Herron, a founding member of Obama's Developing Communities Project. "Whoever can help you reach your goal, that's who you work with. . . . There are no permanent friends, no permanent enemies." (Chicago Tribune 3/30)
• Obama's hallmark at DCP [Developing Communities Project] was meticulous planning. Before encounters with public officials, Obama would have members rehearse possible scenarios over and over to minimize surprises. DCP board meetings dragged on for hours. There was a meeting before the meeting to map out what was to be discussed. Then there was the meeting. Then there was the meeting after the meeting to critique how it all went. (Chicago Tribune 3/30)
• Johnnie Owens [who worked with Obama at the DCP] was fascinated by Obama's eclectic library. Volumes on black power were stuffed next to books on Karl Marx, the writings of conservative economist Milton Friedman, and a biography of Robert Moses, a ruthless developer who relied on organizer-like motivating tactics to build public works projects in New York. (Chicago Tribune 3/30 )
• "What I liked about Barack immediately is that he brought a certain level of sophistication and intelligence to community work," Owens says. "He had a reasonable, focused approach that I hadn't seen much of. A lot of organizers you meet these days are these self-anointed leaders with this strange, way-out approach and unrealistic, eccentric way of pursuing things from the very beginning. Not Barack. He's not about calling attention to himself. He's concerned with the work. It's as if it's his mission in life, his calling, to work for social justice. (Chicago Reader 12/8/95 )
• "Anyone who knows me knows that I'm one of the most cynical people you want to see, always looking for somebody's angle or personal interest," Owens added. "I've lived in Chicago all my life. I've known some of the most ruthless and biggest bullshitters out there, but I see nothing but integrity in this guy." (Chicago Reader 12/8/95 )
• Jean Rudd, executive director of the Woods Fund, is another person on guard against self-appointed, self-promoting community leaders. She admires not only Obama's intelligence but his honesty. "He is one of the most articulate people I have ever met, but he doesn't use his gift with language to promote himself. He uses it to clarify the difficult job before him and before all of us. He's not a promoter; from the very beginning, he always makes it clear what his difficulties are. His honesty is refreshing." (Chicago Reader 12/8/95 )
• Another strong supporter of Obama's work--as an organizer, as a lawyer, and now as a candidate--is Madeline Talbott, lead organizer of the feisty ACORN community organization, a group that's a thorn in the side of most elected officials. "I can't repeat what most ACORN members think and say about politicians. But Barack has proven himself among our members. He is committed to organizing, to building a democracy. Above all else, he is a good listener, and we accept and respect him as a kindred spirit, a fellow organizer." (Chicago Reader 12/8/95 )
His education at Harvard Law School, where he became the first black president of the Harvard Law Review;
• "A lot of people at the time were just talking past each other, very committed to their opinions, their point of view, and not particularly interested in what other people had to say," said Crystal Nix Hines, a classmate who is now a television writer. "Barack transcended that." (Boston Globe 1/28)
• "If anybody had walked by, they would have assumed he was a professor," said Thomas J. Perrelli, a classmate and former counsel to Attorney General Janet Reno. "He was leading the discussion but he wasn't trying to impose his own perspective on it. He was much more mediating." (Boston Globe 1/28)
• Obama was so evenhanded and solicitous in his interactions that fellow students would do impressions of his Socratic chin-stroking approach to everything, even seeking a consensus on popcorn preferences at the movies. "Do you want salt on your popcorn?" one classmate, Nancy L. McCullough, recalled, mimicking his sensitive bass voice. "Do you even want popcorn?" (Boston Globe 1/28)
• Even in his first year, students saw Obama as a peacemaker. When his class needed someone to present an end-of-the-year gift to one stuffy contracts professor, the students chose Obama, who delivered a brief, gracious tribute. "It was a moment of diffused tension and levity," said Kenneth W. Mack, a Harvard Law School professor who was in Obama's class. "He pulled it off."(Boston Globe 1/28)
• “He was committed to speaking a language that went across political bounds,” said Professor of Law Kenneth W. Mack, who was one of Obama’s Harvard classmates. “We need that common language of progressive politics.” (The Crimson 3/9)
• "Barack was a stabilizing influence in that he would absolutely support those efforts, but was also someone who could discuss and debate them with students or faculty who had different views," said Professor Charles J. Ogletree Jr., who became Harvard's seventh tenured black professor in 1993. (Boston Globe 1/28 )
• "You should not underestimate the significance of him being the first black president of the Harvard Law Review because that was and remains a very elite group," said Bell, now a law professor at New York University. "These were some tough folks. . . . It's almost as impressive that he was elected president of the Harvard Law Review as him being elected senator of Illinois. (Boston Globe 1/28 )
• "Even though he was clearly a liberal, he didn't appear to the conservatives in the review to be taking sides in the tribal warfare," said Bradford A. Berenson, a former Bush administration lawyer who was an editor at the review.
• "The politics of the Harvard Law Review were incredibly petty and incredibly vicious," Berenson said. "The editors of the review were constantly at each other's throats. And Barack tended to treat those disputes with a certain air of detachment and amusement. The feeling was almost, come on kids, can't we just behave here?" (Boston Globe 1/28)
• “Whatever his politics, we felt he would give us a fair shake,” said Bradford Berenson (NY Times 1/28)
• “I have worked in the Supreme Court and the White House and I never saw politics as bitter as at Harvard Law Review in the early ’90s,” Mr. Berenson said. “The law school was populated by a bunch of would-be Daniel Websters harnessed to extreme political ideologies.” They were so ardent that they would boo and hiss one another in class. (NY Times 1/28)
• Loeb University Professor Laurence H. Tribe ’62, who employed Obama as a research assistant when the senator was still a student, said that Obama had the potential to become one of the best presidents in United States history.
“We are dealing with someone who has a chance of being the greatest president since Franklin Roosevelt,” Tribe said.
He briefly paused, and then he added, “Well, maybe I could drop the Franklin Roosevelt part.” (The Crimson 3/9)
• Certainly, Barack and I [Carol Platt Liebau] were hardly best friends; he was a year ahead of me at Harvard Law School (and six years older) when we met the summer that I became a newly-minted editor of the Harvard Law Review. But we did work together for some time, and he reached out to advise me when I became the first female Managing Editor in the Review’s history. Barack is a deeply committed liberal, and I am a proud conservative. Even so, he possesses five qualities that are genuinely praiseworthy -- political ideology aside: He’s intelligent. He’s colorblind. He’s self-confident. He listens. He has a sense of humor. (Townhall 3/5 )
Seven years in the Illinois State Senate.
• "When you come in, especially as a freshman, and work on something like ethics reform, it's not necessarily a way to endear yourself to some of the veteran members of the Illinois General Assembly," said state Sen. Kirk W. Dillard, a Republican who became a friend. "And working on issues like racial profiling was contentious, but Barack had a way both intellectually and in demeanor that defused skeptics." (Washington Post 2/9 )
• "He wasn't a maverick," said Cynthia Canary, director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. "There were other legislators I would turn to if I just wanted to make a lot of noise. That wasn't his style." (Washington Post 2/9 )
• "He was very aggressive when he first came to the Senate," said Jones, now president of the state Senate. "We were in the minority, but he said, 'I'd like to work hard. Any tough assignments or things you'd like me to be involved in, don't hesitate to give it to me.' " (Washington Post 2/9 )
• What impressed me about him was his ability in working with people of the opposite party," said Mike Lawrence, director of the Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University. "He had definite ideas about what ought to be contained in a campaign finance reform measure, but he also was willing to recognize that he was probably not going to get everything he wanted." (Washington Post 2/9 )
• "Obviously, we didn't agree all the time, but he would always take suggestions when they were logical, and he was willing to listen to our point of view. And he offered his opinions in a lawyerly way," said Carl Hawkinson, the retired Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee. "When he spoke on the floor of the Senate, he spoke out of conviction. You knew that, whether you agreed with him or disagreed with him." (Washington Post 2/9)
• "He always wants to understand an issue and think it through," said Roberta Lynch, deputy director for Council 31 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. "You have to make your case no matter who you are." (Chicago Tribune 1/17)
• Todd Sieben is the state senator who serves an area where Ronald Reagan once lived and former House Speaker Dennis Hastert now rules. But even with those Republican roots, he's impressed with his former Senate colleague Barack Obama. "Is he capable of being president? Absolutely, no question about it," said Sieben inside his offices in Geneseo."He has the intelligence, he has the passion, he has the legislative and now congressional experience as a senator, to do the job." (America Votes 2008)
• For Illinois politicians, on both sides of the political aisle, an Obama candidacy means new possibilities for the state. And Republican Todd Sieben goes one step better. He can imagine a President Barack Obama who follows in the footsteps of other sons of Illinois: Ulysses S. Grant, Ronald Reagan, and Abraham Lincoln. "Those are three great presidents in history," said Sieben. "Is Barack Obama of that caliber, does he have the potential? I think he has that potential." (America Votes 2008)
• Kirk Dillard, a leading Republican senator from the Chicago suburbs, looked chagrined when I asked him about Obama. “I knew from the day he walked into this chamber that he was destined for great things,” he said. “In Republican circles, we’ve always feared that Barack would become a rock star of American politics.” Still, Dillard was gracious. “Obama is an extraordinary man,” he said. “His intellect, his charisma. He’s to the left of me on gun control, abortion. But he can really work with Republicans.” (New Yorker 5/31/04)
• Go west to DuPage County, one of the most Republican in the nation, and you'll find a GOP county chairman, state Sen. Kirk W. Dillard, who relishes the opportunity to accompany Obama whenever he comes to town. "My constituency is enamored of him," Dillard said. That Obama registered approval ratings in DuPage above 60% in this fall's campaign season is an obvious reason to get next to him (L.A. Times 12/24/06)
• "I brag that before anybody knew who he was, I knew he had the gifts that have made him into the rock star he is — charm, intellect, hard worker, ability to relate," Dillard said. "I saw it all within the first couple of months when he came to the Legislature." (L.A. Times 12/24/06)
• "The biggest difference between then and now is he's been well-publicized," said state Sen. Terry Link. "A lot more people know him, but he's the same guy. I've spent a lot of quiet nights with him. This is not an act by any means. When we were in the state Senate together, you would get guys, real right-wingers, they would consider Barack a guy they wanted to work with." (L.A. Times 12/24/06 )
• He was a little off-putting at first -- that whole Harvard thing," says Rich Miller, a veteran observer of Illinois politics. "But the bottom line is pretty much everybody I know had a high opinion of him, Republican or Democrat. In this state it's hard for anyone to get along, and even though he was very liberal, he was able to pass a hell of a lot of bills." (Rolling Stone 2/7)
Two years (and counting) in the U.S. Senate.
• His legislation is often proposed with Republican co-sponsorship, which brings me to another point: he is bipartisan in a good way. According to me, bad bipartisanship is the kind practiced by Joe Lieberman. Bad bipartisans are so eager to establish credentials for moderation and reasonableness that they go out of their way to criticize their (supposed) ideological allies and praise their (supposed) opponents. They also compromise on principle, and when their opponents don't reciprocate, they compromise some more, until over time their positions become indistinguishable from those on the other side. This isn't what Obama does. Obama tries to find people, both Democrats and Republicans, who actually care about a particular issue enough to try to get the policy right, and then he works with them. This does not involve compromising on principle. It does, however, involve preferring getting legislation passed to having a spectacular battle. (This is especially true when one is in the minority party, especially in this Senate: the chances that Obama's bills will actually become law increase dramatically when he has Republican co-sponsors.) (Obsidian Wings 10/24/06)
• Old-school realist Richard Lugar, the five-term Republican senator from Indiana, has embraced new-school realist and rising star Barack Obama, the junior Democratic senator from Illinois. The relationship is admiring. "I very much feel like the novice and pupil," Obama has said of Lugar. And it's warm. Lugar praises Obama's "strong voice and creativity" and calls him "my good friend." In short, the two agree on much and seem to genuinely like each other. Rather unusual in hyper-partisan Washington, these days. (Washington Monthly 9/06)
• By most accounts, Obama and Lugar's working relationship began with nukes. On the campaign trail in 2004, Obama spoke passionately about the dangers of loose nukes and the legacy of the Nunn-Lugar nonproliferation program, a framework created by a 1991 law to provide the former Soviet republics assistance in securing and deactivating nuclear weapons. Lugar took note, as "nonproliferation" is about as common a campaign sound-bite for aspiring senators as "exchange-rate policy" or "export-import bank oversight." (Washington Monthly 9/06)
• "I am amazed by his sheer stamina," says Sen. Dick Lugar, a Republican from Indiana who has become something of a mentor to Obama. (Rolling Stone 2/7)
• "My comment is not meant to be unkind to mainstream Democrats," says Lugar, "but it seems to me that Barack is studying issues that are very important for the country and for the world."(Rolling Stone 2/7)
• The typical politician pushes himself on people to get them to pay attention," says Frank Luntz, the Republican campaign strategist. "Obama is quieter. He doesn't push -- he has a laid-back feel that pulls you in. That is so rare." (Rolling Stone 2/7)

Monday, May 7, 2007

Obama Lays Out Plan for Energy Indepence

During a speech at the Detroit Economic Club, Barack Obama today
proposed a plan to change the cars we drive and the fuels we use in order to
reduce our dependence on foreign oil and fight the cause of global climate
change. By 2020, Obama’s plan will cut our oil consumption by 2.5 million
barrels of oil per day; take 50 million cars’ worth of pollution off the road; save
more than $50 billion at the gas pump; and help the auto industry save millions
of jobs and regain its competitive footing in the world.

Barack Obama’s plan focuses on three key components:
1. Fuel Economy Standards: Despite tremendous technological innovation
in the auto industry, Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards
for cars have been held hostage to ideological battles in Washington for 20
years. Barack Obama introduced a bold new plan, bringing together long-
time opponents to gradually increase fuel economy standards while
protecting the financial future of domestic automakers. Obama’s plan
would establish a target of four percent increase each year - unless the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proves the increase is
technologically unachievable, hurts safety, or is not cost-effective. If the
target is met for ten years, Obama’s plan will save 1.3 million barrels of oil
per day and 20 billion gallons of gasoline per year.

2. Help for Consumers: Under current law, tax credits are available for
consumers who buy hybrids—but only if they buy one of the first 60,000
ultra-efficient vehicles produced by a given manufacturer. Barack Obama
would lift the 60,000-per-manufacturer cap on buyer tax credits to allow
more Americans to buy ultra-efficient vehicles.

3. Help for Manufacturers: U.S. automakers are facing retiree health costs
that add $1,500 to the cost of every GM car. They are struggling to afford
investments in hybrid technology. Obama would encourage automakers
to make fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles by helping the companies shoulder
the health care costs of their retirees. Domestic automakers will get health
care assistance in exchange for investing 50 percent of the savings into
technology to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles. In addition, Obama
would provide automakers with generous tax incentives for retooling
assembly plants.

For the full speech:

Thursday, May 3, 2007

POLL: "Obama Ranks at Head of Field for First Time."

Obama at 32%, Clinton at 30%, & Edwards at 17%. (Rasmussen poll)

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For sure, Obama's South Side Irish

Presidential hopeful Barack Obama's ancestry has been traced back to a shoemaker in a small Irish village, it was reported Wednesday. Obama was born in Hawaii to a black man from Kenya and a white woman -- with Irish links -- from Kansas. "I've got pieces of everybody in me," he has been quoted as saying.

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Obama: Waive Copyright Rules on Debate Video

Also signing the letter: "Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist; Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia; former Federal Election Commission Chairman Brad Smith; Markos Moulitsas, founder of the political blog, and Civic Action executive director Eli Pariser."

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Obama Related Music

6 Obama Songs and Lyrics to two Songs Featuring Obama. Everything you need to Barack and Roll.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Obama's Economist

The Democrats, besides talking about a broader range of subjects, also have the freshest face among the top campaign advisers — Barack Obama’s lead economist, Austan Goolsbee, a 37-year-old star professor at the University of Chicago (who writes a monthly column for The New York Times). The two men met when Mr. Obama was teaching at the law school

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Obama files bill to help homeless veterans

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., introduced legislation on Tuesday to increase funding for housing and rental assistance programs for homeless veterans, including down-and-out service members returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Obama's Big Night

Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama raised at least $700,000 in his whirlwind swoop through Manhattan, giddy fund-raisers said yesterday. In one evening, after taping "Late Show With David Letterman" on Monday, Obama schmoozed fat cats on the upper West Side, zipped down to SoHo for more flesh-pressing and ended the night at a third...

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The Politico: Ben Smith's Blog - Say What?

From Lee Bandy's column on that Carolina poll:"Mo Elleitlee (sic) a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, dismissed the latest South Carolina poll numbers.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Obama On Joint Hillary Ticket: “Which Order Are We Talking About?”

Senator Obama was on "Late Show with David Letterman" last night to talk Iraq, family, his attempt to quit smoking cigarettes and the 2008 campaign. Although not as fiery as Letterman's showdowns with O'Reilly, it was still entertaining.

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Sunday, April 8, 2007

Obama "The Natural" Political Cartoon

Barack Obama, in low-key mode, gains admirers

Adam Nagourney writes in the IHT:

COLO, Iowa:
Senator Barack Obama is not big on what he calls red-meat applause lines when he campaigns in small communities like this one, just northeast of Des Moines. He does not tell many jokes. He talks in even, measured tones, and at times is so low-key that he lulls his audiences into long, if respectful, silences.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Obama beats Clinton in primary fundraising

Obama has raised more cash than Clinton for the Democratic primary in the first quarter .

ABC News has learned that the $23.5 million Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., raised for his presidential campaign for use in the primaries is more than that raised by the Democratic frontrunner, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.

Of the $26 million Clinton has raised in the first quarter of 2007 for her presidential campaign, approximately $20 million is to be used in the primaries and caucuses, sources told ABC News.

Clinton campaign officials cautioned that its campaign was still ascertaining how much of its $26 million raised is available for primary use.

Obama's Facebook Profile

Obama has just added some Personal Info to his Facebook profile. Here it is:

Personal Info

Favorite Music:
Favorite TV Shows:
Favorite Movies:
Favorite Books:
Favorite Quotes:
"The Arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends
towards justice." (MLK)

Obama wins Senate NCAA Pool

Obama's good judgment stretches to sports prognosticating. In his Monday Night Football opening, he predicted the Bears would go all the way—he was one bad Grossman game away from being right. Well now, according to the Boston Globe, Obama has won the Senate NCAA pool.

Asked in an interview which team he was rooting for in the NCAA men’s basketball championship – since Ohio State and Florida are both from swing states – Obama didn’t avoid the question.

”I have to admit I was for Florida because their win allowed me to win the Senate pool,” Obama said.

He wouldn’t say how much he won but he did say that 25 people each pitched in $5. But we don't know if he was the only winner.

Obama Raises 25 Million (23.5 Million for Primary)

This is truly remarkable. There is a strong chance that he surpassed the Clinton campaign's fundraising numbers for the primary. Here's the full letter Obama sent out to supporters:

Ten weeks ago, on an icy day in Springfield, we launched an audacious campaign to change our politics and lift our country.

Today, I have some exciting news to share about the phenomenal progress we've made. And I wanted you to hear it first.

I'm proud to tell you that, after the first quarter of the campaign, we've exceeded all of our hopes and expectations.

In less than three months, a staggering 100,000 Americans have contributed to our cause -- tens of thousands more than the number reported by any other campaign. That's on top of the hundreds of thousands who have attended rallies, started groups and shared their ideas and energy.

It's been a truly historic response -- a measure of just how hungry people are to turn the page on this era of small and destructive politics and repair our American community.

And because of that extraordinary base of support, we were able to raise an astonishing $25 million -- $23.5 million of which can be used to help us in the upcoming primary contests.

What makes this achievement even more noteworthy is that we did it without taking any money from PACs or federal lobbyists. Instead, we're counting on you; on folks across America who want to take their country back and steer us to a better course.

You've sent an unmistakable message to the political establishment in Washington about the power and seriousness of our challenge.

But for all the impressive numbers by which pundits will judge this campaign, we know that every step of our progress happens one person at a time.

One person sharing their story of why they decided to get involved in the political process, one volunteer deciding to have a conversation about the campaign with their neighbor, one donor owning a piece of this campaign for as little as $5.

I've been struck by how personal this campaign experience has been for so many of you.

You heard last week from Rashed, a veteran and father who made his first-ever donation to a political campaign because of his hopes for his daughter. This campaign is the story of hundreds of thousands of people like him -- people participating because they believe that politics can mean something again.

We've put together a small presentation about all we've accomplished together so far, and links to a few of the personal stories from people who donated to the campaign or hosted a community get-together this past weekend. You can see it here:

I want to thank you for all that you have done so far. This milestone for our campaign proves something I learned as a community organizer long ago: that together a whole lot of ordinary people can achieve something extraordinary.

And we're only just getting started.

Thank you,

Barack Obama

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Obama's Church

Obamapedia has some extensive coverage of the myth that Obama belongs to a black supremacist church. Marty Martin (see photo to the right) , a Lutheran pastor who is a "weekly contributer of sightings, a biweekly, electronic editorial published by the Marty Center at the University of Chicago Divinity School," continues discrediting this misrepresentation:

Note: This is not an endorsement of Senator Obama as a candidate.

Note: This is not a non-endorsement of Senator Obama as a candidate.

Note: I don't do endorsements.

Note: This is not even about Senator Obama.

It is about Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, where the Senator was converted and is a member. Some editorials and the more strident TV networks and radio talkmeisters tell its story wrong, no doubt intentionally. Friendship for the church and its staff, and a desire to help set the church-reporting record straight, impel some comment here.

My sources for this Sightings are, of course, personal experience of the place and the people of Trinity — plus a dissertation and a book: Chicago Theological Seminary Professor Julia Speller's Walkin' the Talk: Keepin' the Faith in Africentric Congregations. I read the manuscript with care to write the foreword, and was familiar with the subject of the chapter on Trinity, since Speller was my dissertation advisee when she wrote a full-length work on the suddenly lime-lighted church. Not that it has ever been a shrinking violet, thanks to the energies of the people and the personalities on the staff, including the soon-retiring Pastor Jeremiah Wright. But now it's on the spot.

Trinity is the largest congregation in the whole United Church of Christ, the ex-Congregational (think Jonathan Edwards) and Reformed (think Reinhold Niebuhr) mainline church body. Trinity's rubric is "Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian." So far as I can tell Trinity shapes a kind of ellipse around these two "centers," neither of which makes sense without the other. This you would never know from the slanders of its enemies or the incomprehension and naiveté of some reporters who lack background in the civil rights and African-American movements of several decades ago — a background out of which Trinity's stirrings first rose and on which it transformatively trades.

So Trinity is "Africentric," and deals internationally and ecumenically with the heritage of "black is beautiful." Despite what one sometimes hears, Wright and his parishioners — an 8,000-member mingling of everyone from the disadvantaged to the middle class, and not a few shakers and movers in Chicago — are "keepin' the faith." To those in range of Chicago TV I'd recommend a watching of Trinity's Sunday services, and challenge you to find anything "cultic" or "sectarian" about them. More important, for Trinity, being "unashamedly black" does not mean being "anti-white." My wife and I on occasion attend, and, like all other non-blacks, are enthusiastically welcomed.

Heretical? Hardly. Harriet and I sometimes come home reflecting and remarking that Wright sounds almost literalist about biblical texts when he preaches. The large-print texts are before the worshipers, and Wright, taking up the Gospel message line by line, applies it to personal, cultural, social, and political life. He turns much focus on the family. Of course, he can be abrasive. Why? Think of the concept of "unashamedly": tucked into it is the word "shame." Wright and his fellow leaders have diagnosed "shame," "being shamed," and "being ashamed" as debilitating legacies of slavery and segregation in society and church.

Trinity reorients. Wright and company have had tussles with more traditional members and, at times, some in the UCC. I've known "Jerry" Wright since his student days, have often agreed and disagreed with him, and have found him never to be a preacher of peace when there is no peace — but "walkin' the talk" for him is also a message of peace.

More on Obama Fundraising

John McIntyre writes for Real Clear Politics
Of the major announced presidential candidates, it seems to me four of them (Clinton, Romney, Edwards and Giuliani) did what they had to in regards to first quarter fundraising. While Senator Clinton received some early favorable spin on the blowout $36 million headline number, the $26 million actually raised is not that impressive when compared to Obama's rumored $20 million-plus and Edwards' very solid 14 million. Sen. Clinton's number looks even worse when you break down the primary vs. general election cash and the relatively low number of individual donations -- fewer than McCain and way fewer than Obama. In fact, when you get beyond the headline number bandied about, Hillary's number was just OK (for someone who has been considered the prohibitive favorite and inevitable nominee) nothing more. The real story on the Democratic side continues to be the Obama campaign, especially if its figure does come in at over $20 million with more than 80,000 donors.

Experience Question

Obamapedia has worked hard to answer questions of Obama's experience with the article titled: Does Obama have enough experience to be president?

Here's one response to the article:
My mom said the same thing[ that Obama doesn't have enough experience]. Then I had her read this, and she's a full on supporter
-That being said, as people continue to question Obama's qualifications, there is always room for improving the article. What do you think hasn't been covered? What could be added? Feel free to go ahead and improve it. Thanks.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Obamapedia Collaboration

Little Known Facts About Barack Obama
This page is perfect for collaboration. To improve it, all you have to do is add a fact.

1. In Indonesia, he was "introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy)." (Dreams from My Father)
2. Obama Music
3."I think the big difference between him then [when Obama was a community organizer] and now is how is dressed. Back then he was always in sweaters. Now, you never see him without a suit and a tie." Developing Community Project minister Rev. Michael Adams Link
4. "I've been known to have a serious Scrabble game" Obama Link
5. "He's a big basketball fan. He loves the Chicago White Sox. He follows the Chicago Bears." Zariff, Obama's barber at Hyde Park Hair Salon Link
6. "The Senator is especially fond our Tilapia, which is low in fat and perfect in grilling" waitress at Calypso Restaurant Link
7. Dreams from My Father, Obama's first book, won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album in 2006. Link
8. "Barack choose a wide selection of movies. Sometimes it was foreign films, sometimes it was action movies." Owner of Kimbark Video

... Please check it out and add what's not already there.

Tribunes Sources: Obama raises more than $20 Mil

The Chicago Tribune reports:
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), a relative newcomer to the national political scene, is expected to report that he has raised more than $20 million for his presidential bid during the same period, the first quarter of this year, according to three sources in and around his campaign.
After the general campaign donations are removed from Clinton's numbers, Obama may have outraised her for the primary.

Clinton officials acknowledged that Obama may come close to matching Clinton's fundraising prowess, although they repeatedly expressed happiness with their own effort...

But political professionals say it is possible that Obama may exceed Clinton's take for the primary season when contributions are sorted by use for the primary or the general election. That would be a blow to Clinton, who had hoped to muscle her Democratic opponents out of the race with an overwhelming war chest.

Clinton officials refused to say how much of the $26 million she raised could be used for her primary campaign, a figure that should be readily available.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Obamapedia Needs Your Help

Obamapedia seeks to consolidate arguments that support Barack Obama's 2008 presidential candidacy. And so far, we've brought together a good case to vote for Obama, but there are still many unanswered questions about Obama.

Remember: Obamapedia is a wiki. So, if you have time, read through a few Obamapedia articles, comment on them, and make a few improvements. Or even add your own article. Don't be afraid to mess around with someone else's work. If you screw up, there's a history of changes.

We each have our own reasons for supporting Obama. Let's put them down in one centralized resource that can be used to persuade those that still haven't decided on which candidate they're going to support.

Check out the full list of articles or How to Help Obamapedia

Any help is appreciated. (Even a digg)
digg story

Kos Overreacts to Obama Comments

If President Bush vetoes an Iraq war spending bill as promised, Congress quickly will provide the money without the withdrawal timeline the White House objects to because no lawmaker "wants to play chicken with our troops," Sen. Barack Obama said Sunday.

"My expectation is that we will continue to try to ratchet up the pressure on the president to change course," the Democratic presidential candidate said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I don't think that we will see a majority of the Senate vote to cut off funding at this stage."

Kos of Daily Kos, a popular liberal blog, responds:

What a ridiculous thing to say. Not only is it bad policy, not only is it bad politics, it's also a terrible negotiating approach.

Instead of threatening Bush with even more restrictions and daring him to veto funding for the troops out of pique, Barack just surrendered to him.

Let me repeat that -- Obama just surrendered to Bush.

That is a serious charge from Kos. Is Obama surrendering to Bush? What's going on here?
Blake Dvorak from Real Clear Politics lives up to his blog's name, and clears up the situation:

It's tempting to take all this at face value and accept Kos' disappointment with Obama as genuinely substantive -- as opposed to genuinely political. But Kos, like the rest of the left, can read the field as well as Obama and so must know that what Obama admitted is nothing less than honest truth. Rather, what's upsetting to the left about this is that Obama isn't being a good partisan, much as the right has admonished Sen. John McCain for base-angering moves like the whole "Gang of 14" business with judicial nominations.

Obama's admission might have hurt the Democrats' negotiating position, as Kos suggests, if Bush was at all concerned that the Democratic leadership would cut off funds. But as much as that is the hope of the Democrats' antiwar base, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have never so much as intimated that's what they might do -- and even if they tried, they wouldn't have the votes.

So Obama was merely acknowledging political reality. Judging from the outcry from the leftwing blogosphere, he might try to be a little more nuanced in the future. But for now, Obama doesn't have to seriously worry about losing his antiwar base.

04 Bush Chief Strategist: 'Kerry Was Right' About Iraq

He said his decision to step forward had not come easily. But, he said, his disappointment in Mr. Bush’s presidency is so great that he feels a sense of duty to go public given his role in helping Mr. Bush gain and keep power.

Mr. Dowd, a crucial part of a team that cast Senator John Kerry as a flip-flopper who could not be trusted with national security during wartime, said he had even written but never submitted an op-ed article titled “Kerry Was Right,” arguing that Mr. Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat and 2004 presidential candidate, was correct in calling last year for a withdrawal from Iraq...

Mr. Dowd does not seem prepared to put his views to work in 2008. The only candidate who appeals to him, he said, is Senator Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois, because of what Mr. Dowd called his message of unity. But, he said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if I wasn’t walking around in Africa or South America doing something that was like mission work.”

He added, “I do feel a calling of trying to re-establish a level of gentleness in the world."

NYT Via Digg

Clinton's Fundraising Numbers

The Clinton campaign has announced that they've raised $26 million for her presidential campaign in the first quarter of 07.

What to know:

1.. The Clinton campaign is trying to make it appear like they've raised $36 mil. This number includes 10 mil raised in her Senate reelection campaign.

2. A smaller final number will be disclosed on 4/15. The $26 mil includes cash restricted to the general election.

3. MSNBC's Chuck Todd expected: "The gut says her number, minus general election money and the transfer will be in the low 30s." Her number with general election money is lower than some expectations.

4. The Clinton campaign had 50, 000 donors. reports that Obama had 83, 531 donors, and that number may not be final.

The Obama campaign has yet to announce his numbers, but Clinton's numbers are good news for Obama supporters.

Friday, March 30, 2007

The '08 Democrat's Central Question

Who is more likely to build the political consensus to face the issues of today?

Is it Hillary? She's been detested for years by the right. Moreover, she is running as someone who has seen it all before, and can handle all the Republican attacks.

Is it Edwards? He ran with Kerry in 2004 and never has had a reputation for reaching out to conservatives. He wants to change America, but half of America is Republican, and he won't be able to do much without them.

Or is it Obama? He's running a campaign that calls for eliminating slash and burn politics, working across the aisle, and coming together as Americans to solve the difficult issues of today. During his years as a community organizer, his time as the president of the Havard Law Review, his eight years in the Illinois State Senate, and his two years (and counting) in the U.S. Senate, Obama has been praised by both Democrats and Republicans for listening to his opposition and developing practical solutions to tough problems.

Donate to Obama before 3/31 Deadline

March 31st is the quarterly reporting deadline for presidential candidates. Hillary Clinton is running as the unstoppable candidate. Someone who has taken all the right can give, and knows how to beat them. While Obama won't raise more than Hillary this quarter, if he is able to surpass expectations, then he can start to undermine the image of Hillary, the inevitable, and persuade voters that there is more than one possible candidate in the Democratic Primary. Donate now!
(Note: the donation with that link is credited to Obamapedia.)

MSNBC's Chuck Todd previews the Democrats fundraising announcements:
Clinton: Thanks to $11 million in leftover senate funds, there's no doubt who will be the cash Queen of the Quarter. The questions that remain with her money include: 1) How big will the gap be between Hillary and Obama. 2) How fat is her payroll? And for those Clintonistas complaining about the absurd expectations some of us have in regards money, you have just one person to blame: ex-DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe. His donor bullying combined with $1 million per Hillraiser bragging had many of us early on convinced Hillary would average $50 million a quarter. Maybe that's unfair, but Terry can be a salesman to both positive and negative results. The gut says her number, minus general election money and the transfer will be in the low 30s. Toss in those other two categories and she might get to $50 million for the quarter.

Obama: Something tells me we're in for a surprise. Maybe not in total raised (though $25-30M isn't out of the question). It's the total number of donors that will make folks stand up and take notice. If he has more total donors and is within $5 million of Hillary overall, then we may have to start referring to both of them as "co-frontrunners."

Edwards: In a vacuum, the Edwards camp seems to be quite pleased with their fundraising. Remember, in '03 Edwards won the first money quarter with nearly $7.5 million raised. It's likely he'll more than double that number and yet still finish behind Hillary and Obama. It will be possible to track some of the post-Elizabeth announcement money when the report is officially filed April 15.

The rest of the Dem field: The battle for fourth place will be interesting if the campaign that finishes fourth is closer to Edwards than fifth. Smart money is on Chris Dodd to finish fourth thanks to his golden insurance and banking gavel. But keep an eye on Bill Richardson's totals. That guy is a tireless campaigner and he may do better than we think. Frankly, it's possible all of the second tier Dems raise $5 million+, a truly remarkable feat, given that just two did it in 2003-04.

Obama in College

The Tribune coverage continues with a short article about Obama's time at Occidental and Columbia. Maurice Possley writes:
Kenneth Sulzer, who lived in the same dorm, remembered long discussions about politics, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and a possible reinstitution of the draft. Obama was "relatively quiet. But when he spoke, his opinion was respected," said Sulzer, now an attorney in Los Angeles. "He was on the thoughtful side, even at that age."

Obama hits Chicago during 'Council Wars'

Bob Secter and John McCormick from the Chicago Tribune have written a four page, detailed article about Obama's days as a community organizer following his graduation from Columbia University up until his enrollment at Havard Law School.

Much has been made of Obama's ability to bridge feuding conservatives and liberals in Illinois, and before that at the Harvard Law Review, where in 1990 he became its first black leader. As a presidential candidate, he bills himself as a uniter who can usher in a post-partisan era where Washington fights less and gets more done.

The path to his party's nomination, though, runs through Democratic primary voters still chafing from years of conservative Republican rule. And what Obama highlights as an eagerness to plow common ground with political opposites, some voters may view as a sign that he lacks firm principles or an ability to stake and hold his ground.

Obama firmly rejected that notion. "There are a set of principles that I care about. And there are people I'm fighting for in this campaign," he said in a recent interview. If any Republican, or Democrat for that matter, opposes those principles, Obama vowed to "go after them with everything that I've got."

The art of working with one's enemies comes straight out of Community Organizing 101, the on-the-job course in human relations and activism Obama took in the mid-1980s alongside low-income residents in the Roseland community and the Altgeld Gardens public housing development.
It's an interesting look into what shaped the Obama we know today.

I've had enough of this Obama black enough talk

Lois Hatton writes in the USA Today:
Some have suggested that his Harvard education, his white mother and his privileged background separate him from the experiences of mainstream African-Americans. The son of a Kenyan, Obama has a different heritage than most African-Americans whose ancestors came to the USA chained in the holds of slave ships. Obama's father came to America by choice and without the leg irons and chains of slavery.

This unique heritage, however, does not nullify Obama's blackness or isolate him from understanding the needs of other African-Americans. Black leaders have always been the most articulate, the most educated and the most elite members of their race.

Right on! Hopefully, this media theme is dead. It assumes black voters vote mainly on the basis of race. No, black people, like everyone type of people, are looking for a candidate that will be the best president. That being said, Obama won 90% of the black vote in the Illinois Senate Primary. He has demonstrated that he can prove to the black voters in Illinois that he is a qualified candidate. And I don't see anyone reason why that won't translate nationally. The polls of black voters favor him over Clinton a little bit now. In the future, they'll probably favor him a lot.

Illinois Political Insider Rich Miller wrote:
Ten months before the March 2004 U.S. Senate primary (about where we are now before the Iowa caucuses), Obama's own polls showed him winning just 34 percent of the black vote. About a month before the primary, African-American voters began ''breaking'' in large numbers to his candidacy. As they began focusing on the campaign, black voters saw he was viable, liked his message and a significant percentage finally realized he was African American. He ended up winning just about all their votes.

This same pattern has been repeated time and time again during the past 25 years here. Harold Washington didn't start off his campaign with the majority of black support against a white female with a huge war chest and the powers of patronage and incumbency, but he certainly ended that way. Like Byrne, Hillary Clinton is almost universally known and has a strong record of backing issues important to many Democratic African-American voters. Obama is far less known. It's perfectly natural that, right now, many black voters are siding with Clinton. But, if Obama's candidacy remains viable through early next year, I'd bet that the vast majority of African-American voters will end up with him.
The real question: is the media smart enough to realize Obama is black enough? For a while I doubted they could do it, but they may just be smart enough.

Glenn Thrush Reports False Non-Story about Obama

On March 15, Glenn Thrush wrote a article titled, "Like Clinton, Obama avoids a query." The piece began with an alarmist tone:
If gays and lesbians were looking for a champion to dispute Gen. Peter Pace's claim that homosexuality is immoral, they might have expected Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barack Obama to leap forward.

Not quite. While both Clinton and Obama are courting gays and lesbians, and would allow them to serve openly in the military, the Democratic front-runners have been curiously reticent about challenging the statements of the chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff.
Last night, Obama responded to the story on Wolf Blitzer:
"I'm not sure that the story got out there properly. I mean, what happened was I was leaving a firefighters' union meeting and trying to get in my car and did not respond to a reporter's query at that point. I wasn't responding to reporters period because I was trying to make a vote. Subsequently I made it very clear. I don't think that gays and lesbians are any more moral or immoral than heterosexuals and that I think it is very important for us to reexamine the don't ask, don't tell policy because it's costing us millions of dollars in replacing troops that by all accounts are actually doing a good job but are simply being kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation."
Glenn Thrush responds:
It was a hectic scene and perhaps he misremembered. We asked him versions of the "immorality" question three times as he was leaving the convention, twice during a long ride on an escalator, and once at the door of his car. He responded twice, then jumped in his car. Contrary to the assertion that he wasn't answering reporters' questions, Obama did also respond to a Brazilian reporter quizzing him on ethanol.

This exchange was later reported by Christi Parsons of the Chicago Tribune in an article titled, "Reporter challenges Obama's account of Q&A."

So was Obama telling the truth? Yes.

Luckily, Lynn Sweet of Sun Times reported the entire exchange.

Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama was running a little behind schedule. He had just delivered a speech to the International Association of Fire Fighters at the Hyatt Hotel on Capitol Hill...

As Obama was rushing to leave the hotel, a reporter for a Brazil broadcast outlet tossed Obama a question about a pending U.S.-Brazil biofuels agreement and whether he supports lower tariffs on ethanol. Support for ethanol is a major issue in Iowa -- the state with the first presidential vote next January, so Obama was cautious with the potential Iowa landmine. "We need to take a look at the agreement before I comment on that," he said.

Then a Newsday reporter, Glenn Thrush, said to Obama, "What do you think about Gen. [Peter] Pace's comments that homosexuality is immoral?"

The question was a follow-up to the statement the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff made to the Chicago Tribune editorial board, that homosexual acts were immoral.

"I think traditionally the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman has restricted his public comments to military matters,'' said Obama. ''That's probably a good tradition to follow. ''

Obama was asked again. "What do you think of the characterization of homosexuality as being immoral? Sen. Clinton was asked that this morning on 'Good Morning America.' Do you think homosexuality is immoral as Gen. Pace has asserted?''

At that, Obama reframed the question to refer to the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy and he said, "I think the question here is whether somebody is willing to sacrifice for their country, should they be able to? If they are doing all the things that are needed to be done." He ignored a third try.

The statement of Obama in question is "At that point, I wasn't responding to reporters."

1. The Brazilian reporter's question was before the homosexual immorality questions, so Obama could be referring to the point after the Brazilian reporter's question.

2. He didn't answer the Brazilian reporter's question anymore than he answered the homosexuality question. His answer to the Brazilian reporter's question was: "We need to take a look at the agreement before I comment on that," He gave a quick answer to the Brazilian and two quick answers to Glenn Thrush. This can't be considered a situation where Obama was "responding to reporters." In what Glenn Thrush described as "hectic scene," Obama was hurrying to his car, and none of his answers were longer than a couple sentences.

Another manufactured Obama story.