Obama, Emil Jones and Earmarks

Barack Obama frequently cites his impressive record as an Illinois state legislator as an indicator of his experience in running for President.

Turns out, according to former Chicago reporter Todd Spivak, all of his legislative accomplishments were in his final 7th year and were handed to him by his mentor, Ill. State Senate President Emil Jones.

The Illinois legislature was dominated by Republicans for 26 years. These included Obam's first 6 years in the state Senate. Not surprisingly, says Spivak, he had no legislative achievements during these years.

Jones was instrumental in changing the legislative makeup, and after he did, he became Senate President. Here's the rest of the story: [More...]

Jones had served in the Illinois Legislature for three decades. He represented a district on the Chicago South Side not far from Obama's. He became Obama's ­kingmaker. Several months before Obama announced his U.S. Senate bid, Jones called his old friend Cliff Kelley, a former Chicago alderman who now hosts the city's most popular black call-in radio ­program. I called Kelley last week and he recollected the private conversation as follows:

"He said, 'Cliff, I'm gonna make me a U.S. Senator.'"

"Oh, you are? Who might that be?"

"Barack Obama."

Jones appointed Obama sponsor of virtually every high-profile piece of legislation, angering many rank-and-file state legislators who had more seniority than Obama and had spent years championing the bills.

"I took all the beatings and insults and endured all the racist comments over the years from nasty Republican committee chairmen," State Senator Rickey Hendon, the original sponsor of landmark racial profiling and videotaped confession legislation yanked away by Jones and given to Obama, complained to me at the time. "Barack didn't have to endure any of it, yet, in the end, he got all the credit.

"I don't consider it bill jacking," Hendon told me. "But no one wants to carry the ball 99 yards all the way to the one-yard line, and then give it to the halfback who gets all the credit and the stats in the record book."

During his seventh and final year in the state Senate, Obama's stats soared. He sponsored a whopping 26 bills passed into law — including many he now cites in his presidential campaign when attacked as inexperienced.

It was a stunning achievement that started him on the path of national politics — and he couldn't have done it without Jones. Before Obama ran for U.S. Senate in 2004, he was virtually unknown even in his own state. Polls showed fewer than 20 percent of Illinois voters had ever heard of Barack Obama.

Jones further helped raise Obama's profile by having him craft legislation addressing the day-to-day tragedies that dominated local news ­headlines. For instance. Obama sponsored a bill banning the use of the diet supplement ephedra, which killed a Northwestern University football player, and another one preventing the use of pepper spray or pyrotechnics in nightclubs in the wake of the deaths of 21 people during a stampede at a Chicago nightclub. Both stories had received national attention and extensive local coverage.

I spoke to Jones earlier this week and he confirmed his conversation with Kelley, adding that he gave Obama the legislation because he believed in Obama's ability to negotiate with Democrats and Republicans on divisive issues.

So how has Obama repaid Jones? Last June, to prove his commitment to government transparency, Obama released a comprehensive list of his earmark requests for fiscal year 2008. It comprised more than $300 million in pet projects for Illinois, including tens of millions for Jones's Senate district.

Shortly after Jones became Senate president, I remember asking his view on pork-barrel spending. I'll never forget what he said:"Some call it pork; I call it steak."

Did Obama work hard? Of course he did. But did he get credit for legislation his fellow Senators had worked years on because Emil Jones designated him the heavy-hitter for the final stretch?

If so, and if Spivak's account is correct, it was the same politics as usual that Obama now so eschews that catapulted him to prominence. And the earmarks as payback is worth a second look. And not just those to Jones' district, but also to Chicago State University, a long-time Jones' favorite.

From the New York Times:

In addition to the University of Illinois, Mr. Obama secured several million dollars for a project at Chicago State University. Emil Jones Jr., the president of the Illinois State Senate and an early and powerful political benefactor of Mr. Obama’s, has been a dogged champion of Chicago State, and one of Senator Obama’s closest friends. A Chicago businessman, James Reynolds, sits on its board.

But Bill Burton, a spokesman for Mr. Obama, said these requests had all been considered worthwhile by the senator’s staff, and that Mr. Obama never discussed any of them with Mr. Crown, Mr. Jones or Mr. Reynolds.

They may have all been worthwhile, but would they have been included in Obama's legislation if they didn't help his friends and mentors?

< Obama's Third "Toxic Mentor"? | Electability Again >
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    See, none of this upsets me at all (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 09:45:29 PM EST
    but I'm not one of those reflexive "good government" types that Obama seems to attract.

    I expect and accept a certain amount of logrolling and unfairness in politics. Obama's fainthearted friends just can't stand it. Of course, they'll defend him no matter what, so this will be ignored. It deserves to be ignored, but not for the reason it will be.

    I agree. This really doesn't upset me. (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by lilburro on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:27:23 PM EST
    Although I knew about the State Senate 7th year thing already.  Obviously it belies his campaign image, but I didn't believe his campaign image.  Soo...my questions are:  what can we expect from Obama in the White House?  His campaign has basically said "now don't take us too literally."  So what will his presidency be like?  What will Obama ver. 7.0 look like?  

    Hillary needs to come up with a series of very substantive questions for Obama in April.  Attacks of this nature will not get her far.


    I doubt if we will find out (5.00 / 5) (#30)
    by Boston Boomer on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:56:18 PM EST
    what Obama will be like in the White House.  He will never be President.  I just hope the Democrats don't hand him the nomination, because some of us peons out here might not survive another four years of Republican rule.

    I agree... (none / 0) (#76)
    by tsteels2 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 08:24:23 AM EST
    I thought Senator Obama was a long shot anyway.  Frankly I'm surprised he is doing so well.  In the end though, I think the superdelegates are going to pick Senator "Been There, Done That" Clinton over Senator "Give the New/Not So New Guy" Obama a chance.

    Either way, I'm still a Green Party guy who is trying to run Cynthia McKinney out the party!  :)


    Ooops! (none / 0) (#78)
    by tsteels2 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 08:25:40 AM EST
    My previous comment should read:

    In the end though, I think the superdelegates are going to pick Senator "Been There, Done That" Clinton over Senator "Give the New/Not So New Guy a Chance" Obama.


    I do have a problem (5.00 / 9) (#35)
    by standingup on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 11:06:26 PM EST
    if there are too many pieces of legislation that Obama touts as his great accomplishments which we find out are like the following:

    Surprisingly, one such reluctant Obama supporter is state Rep. Monique Davis, D-Chicago. A 17-year veteran legislator, Davis sponsored a pair of significant bills -- one designed to track incidents of racial profiling, and another that mandates the taping of police interrogations in murder cases -- that were central to Obama's campaign platform.

    Though she worked closely with Obama to pass the bills into law, and says she toiled to keep the bills alive before he became their Senate sponsor, Davis claims her efforts were largely ignored.

    "I was snubbed," says Davis, who endorsed Hynes in the primary though she belongs to the same church as Obama on Chicago's South Side. "I felt he was shutting me out of history."

    This is from the original article Spivak wrote March 25, 2004 when he was still reporting for the Illinois Times.

    Aren't these two of the bills that we hear Obama use repeatedly as an example of some of his best legislative accomplishments while he was in the IL State Senate?  I am not saying that he did not do anything to get these passed but I would like to know more about how much was his own effort and how much was the equivalent of an assist from Jones to give him a boost.  


    THe (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by tek on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 08:31:02 AM EST
    snubbed part rings true for me.  I am one of the great Obama's constituents.  Anytime I wrote him about any issue or question I got a very arrogant answer months after the contact.  He always evaded the issue and one got a feeling that he found it highly annoying to have to deal with the plebians--even though I'm sure his staff handled all of it.  

    I know all of my Democratic friends had the same experience so I was shocked that most of them jumped on his bandwagon when Gore did not run.


    the playing of politics doesn't bother me (5.00 / 11) (#17)
    by TheRefugee on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:35:40 PM EST
    the hypocrisy of claiming that "I'm a new, better kind of politician" is what bothers me.

    Exactly (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:38:06 PM EST
    Digging pretty deep for fools gold (none / 0) (#27)
    by AdrianLesher on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:51:31 PM EST
    Wonkette took down the self-promoting (for the author) aspect of this article nicely here.

    A more flattering view of this part of Obama's history, linked to by Wonkette, is here.

    Even politicians who want to change things have to have a path to power. For any reformist president to succeed, that president will need practical political skills.

    Obama critics wish they could pin Obama between a rock and a hard place. They would like to be able to aasert that either he's too nice to stand up to the Republicans, or he's too mean to be real about the type of politician he wants to be. Heads we win, tails we use.

    Everytime Obama slips loose of their clever traps, the Clintonites express outrage.


    lol (5.00 / 7) (#32)
    by TheRefugee on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:58:28 PM EST
    I'm sure you haven't been one of the Obama supporters finding fault with every single thing the Clinton's have ever done.  

    Obama needs a path to power so misrepresenting his abilities and achievements is ok, even though he is a "new type of politician" who doesn't play the lobbyist game (he does or else why would he be accepting hundreds of thousands in donations from Wall Street (just like Clinton)).  You have a double standard, for Obama his Path to Power is legitimate, while Clinton's is Scorched Earth.

    Hillary isn't trying to pretend she isn't a politician.  Obama is pretending to be an everyman who just happens to have "fallen" into politics.  If that isn't hypocritical then I guess I'm going to have to ask Webster to redefine the term.


    Thanks for nothing (5.00 / 5) (#80)
    by ChrisO on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 08:30:56 AM EST
    Can I have back the time I just wasted following your links? The Wonkette piece consists of the author repeating elements of Spivak's article, followed by a snarky comment that adds absolutely no substance. The I went to the Vanity Fair article, wading through the glowing ass kissing we have come to expect from the media. It offers some support for the notion that Obama was instrumental in passing the death penalty bill, but that's all (although I have read different opinions from an Illinois anti-death penalty activist.)Seven pages of ass kissing, and a couple of paragraphs on the death penaly bill. Thanks.

    I was amused, however, by this from Vanity Fair: "It has become all but impossible to mention Obama without invoking the name of his fellow Illinoisan Abraham Lincoln" Gee, could that be because his starry-eyed supporters continually compare him to Lincoln? That constant copmparison is particularly annoying to me. He's a Senator in the middle of an undistinguished first term, and he's already Abraham Lincoln with the moral courage of Martin Luther King. Any wonder why so many Dems are sick of this guy?


    The only (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by tek on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 08:45:07 AM EST
    thing I find disturbing about this is that it lumps Hillary in with Obama and I don't believe she's cut from the same cloth.  We know that Hillary has true liberal values and is competent to restore the country to a democratic condition.  As far as taking on the corporations, people can raise some valid issues with Bill's administration regarding his relationship with corporations, (he didn't insist that the oil drillers pay their dues to the public) but he was the first president in modern times to rein in the corporate wealthy.

    I think the disconnect with Hillary is among people too young to remember Bill's campaigns.  I can still remember watching both of them in interviews. I had given up on the government because we'd suffered through two terms of Reagan and one of Bush I and it looked at the time like the Democrats just couldn't come up with a winning candidate.  Then I started to see the Clintons on tv.  I was blown away.  I happened to be studying the Gilded Age in graduate school at the time and I thought, these people really get it.  They know what needs to be done.  

    I really thought Hillary could have been the candidate, but the time wasn't right for a woman.  She was no ordinary First Lady.  All of us watching her in the 90s knew she was presidential material.  I think she's more capable even than Bill because she isn't plagued with carnal addictions that it seems the majority of male politicians can't keep under control.

    As far as the Far Left's grievance with Bill being "DLC" or too moderate, it's a shame they don't realize that's what made him electable.  The Democrats had been running people who were just too far left of the American mainstream to either get elected or keep office--look what happened to Jimmy Carter.  Right now, we are at a time when we desperately need a president who is center because the very serious problems in this country affect Americans of every political persuasion.  The Right and the Far Left bucked against Bill Clinton during the campaign, but after he took office he was hugely popular.  At the end of his administration he had poll number up in the 70s and he'd been impeached!  

    I agree with Richardson and all the "progressive" bloggers that Democrats should get behind one candidate:  Go Hillary!


    KISS, not the band (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by TheRefugee on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 09:51:44 AM EST
    is Obama's campaign.  Keep it simple stupid.  Obama's draw is that he doesn't have the baggage that a longtime DC player has.  Because of that it is easy for people who don't really understand politics to think that Obama, being new and spouting change, can actually walk into the WH and demand change....and get it.  

    It isn't an age thing it is a question of what you look for in a candidate.  Hillary supporters are looking at a broader picture, drawing off of years of public record to make a fair assessment of Hillary's quality and qualification.  

    Obama supporters are taking the narrow view...new and different, excellent motivator and speaker...he has to be good.  When ever anything bad comes up concerning Obama they don't go digging for the truth, they attack.  They don't know Obama's past anymore than we do because there isn't that much public record...what is there is finally starting to come to light and we're finding that the telegenic Obama might just be telegenic and no more.

    You are dead on about the fact that Hillary supporters are comfortable with Hillary because of her and Bill being known.  What I think the Obama supporters continually overlook is that there is no perfect candidate.  That every candidate has made mistakes, has baggage.  That they are willing to ignore or overlook Obama's baggage is a mistake, either now or in the GE.  


    Hillary's Corporate Ties (none / 0) (#107)
    by AdrianLesher on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 09:55:11 AM EST
    I find it amazing that Clintonites are oblivious to Clinton's close corporate ties, baldly exemplified by the campaign being run by Burson Marsteller head Mark Penn.

    The constant refrain of the Clinton people is either that Obama is too far left or too far right. Both can't be right, and the evidence of Obama's life points to him being a person steeped in values of tolerance and progressive values.

    Compared to Republicans, Clinton does have more liberal values. However, it is no accident that she is so popular among more conservative democrats like Ferraro and Bayh. She hasn't fully cut her ties from her Goldwater years.


    is this supposed to be funny? (none / 0) (#109)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 09:58:11 AM EST
    So (none / 0) (#77)
    by tek on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 08:25:04 AM EST
    then why do the Obama people hurl accusations against Hillary of political machinations if the Obama people think anything he does to get ahead is okay?  One of the disturbing aspects of the whole Obama phenomenon.

    Because Senator Obama moved them... (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by tsteels2 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 08:31:18 AM EST
    He has galvanized a part of the electorate that hasn't really been active in politics.  And they WILL NOT leave him out to dry.  They will defend him  BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY (figuratively speaking).  That's why I really feel that he needs to call Senator Clinton, talk things out, he take the VP, and move forward.  I'll stop supporting the Green Party to vote for the Clinton/Obama ticket.  One thing that being a VP will do for Obama is allow the Clinton Machine to defend him while he's being vetted some more.  And that guy's still young-ish.  Can't the campaigns see this?

    Chris Civilla had a good point (5.00 / 3) (#96)
    by ChrisO on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 09:30:31 AM EST
    when he said "Two years ago he was a state senator, and now he's too good to be Vice President?"  He also pointed out, in response to the characterizations of Obama as "not a politician", "this is a guy who has run for election every two years for the last 12 years."

    heh (5.00 / 2) (#116)
    by echinopsia on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:53:27 AM EST
    "this is a guy who has run for election every two years for the last 12 years."

    Makes you wonder how he'd ever manage to settle down to VP long enough to do the job.

    "Two years and out" is not a sign of a steady worker.


    I (none / 0) (#87)
    by tek on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 08:47:49 AM EST
    like your idea!

    The best and logical way for resolution... (none / 0) (#93)
    by tsteels2 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 09:06:29 AM EST
    IMHO!  Senator Obama has nothing to lose and everything to gain by being the VP.  I used to be on the Obama Train for President.  But his newness and the associated "associations" are too much for a less experienced candidate to weather.  He's trying to fight it out but it's not going to work to his advantage this election cycle regardless of his lead in pledged delegates and popular vote.

    He still makes history by being the first black VP candidate.  And if Senator Clinton wins the presidency, he gets "double historic" billing.

    The only caveat is the Ol' Bill stays away if Obama is VP.  :)


    I dont believe he will (none / 0) (#108)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 09:56:35 AM EST
    ever accept VP.
    he will say it would be a betrayal of his supporters.
    but that will be an excuse.

    The question soon may be, will he have (none / 0) (#119)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:02:04 PM EST
    too much baggage for the VP slot?

    Seems that is why many don't want Clinton on the ticket as VP, she'd bring too much baggage to Obama's campaign . . .

    I almost wonder if he would do better in the future if he wasn't VP (I originally supported the idea). If he stays in the Senate and continues to gain experience, along with getting re-elected, he may be good to go in the future without having an association with the "Clinton Machine". He would be able to run on his own platform, experience and identity.


    I think (none / 0) (#123)
    by cmugirl on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 02:48:36 PM EST
    Obama wouldn't want HRC as the VP because she would outshine him and challenge him.

    But I'm sure Obama doesn't.... (none / 0) (#112)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:11:20 AM EST
    ...the one thing that strikes me as totally authentic about him is his ego.

    Count me... (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by Marco21 on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 09:55:23 PM EST
    as one of the 80% odd percent of Illinois residents who had never heard of Barack Obama before his run against Ryan/Keyes.

    An unremarkable record until the 7th year. My, my my...

    Thanks for drawing our attention to stories (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Joelarama on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:09:22 PM EST
    that we won't see elsewhere on the top left blogs, Jeralyn.

    Talk Left is shaping up to be the McClatchy of the Democratic primary.

    Or, rather, it was still Knight-Ridder (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Joelarama on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:10:48 PM EST
    during the run-up to the war.

    Actually, (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by sander60tx on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:35:53 PM EST
    I first found a link to that article in a comment on Dailykos.  Of course, it was largely ignored there, but I found it very interesting reading!

    One of the things that bothers me about Obama is that he claims to be above "politics as usual" and it is clear to me that he is not.  It appears that if it wasn't for "politics as usual" he might not be where he is now.  Ironic, isn't it?

    Hillary, of course, has not claimed to be above "politics as usual."  That doesn't bother me, though there are other things about her campaign (mainly that it has not been well run) that do bother me.  

    I think that Obama needs to stop claiming to be other than what he is. Though many of his supporters may never take off their rose colored glasses, the rest of us who are less than sold, can see this and it makes him seem quite hypocritical.


    Linked in a comment and ignored (4.66 / 3) (#47)
    by Joelarama on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 11:27:21 PM EST
    at Daily Kos.  Typical.  We're in for trouble this November if we blindly choose a candidate, without any thought beyond imagery.

    It's all "ditto" in the netroots.  


    Hillary's campaign should (none / 0) (#53)
    by thereyougo on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:00:07 AM EST
    not be judged as poorly managed. What happened is that there were competing strategies and it gave us the current  situation we find outselves in.

    sorry (none / 0) (#110)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:00:21 AM EST
    Hillarys campaign has been spectacularly badly managed.

    McCain's was worse and he's the nominee. (none / 0) (#117)
    by thereyougo on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:25:51 AM EST
    I really appreciate this also. (none / 0) (#83)
    by tsteels2 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 08:32:59 AM EST
    Obama is just a story (5.00 / 4) (#36)
    by Stellaaa on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 11:07:43 PM EST
    I read the Spivak article and I guess no one cares for the reality of Obama.  People prefer the Obama story, as written by Axelrod.   All his real experiences are sort of like a shadow theater, whereas his personality is the story.  

    Put two and two together, his supporters and his campaign, do not want the truth, they want the story.  The story makes everyone feel good.  They don't want Hillary, the MSM or us pointing out any of the distortions.  

    In Axelrod's own words:  

    Axelrod says that the way to cut through all the noise is to see campaigns as an author might, to understand that you need not just ideas but also a credible and authentic character, a distinct politics rooted in personality.


    This, Axelrod says, is what Karl Rove understood about George W. Bush. "One of the reasons Bush has succeeded in two elections," Axelrod says, "is that in his own rough-hewn way he has conveyed a sense of this is who I am, warts and all." For Obama, because of Senator Hillary Clinton's far-greater experience and establishment backing, this is a particularly essential project. "If we run a conventional campaign and look like a conventional candidacy, we lose," Axelrod says.

    Obama's Narrator

    This last sentence, you can put it up in lights in Madison Square and Obama supporters will accuse you of distorting the truth.  They almost did not and still don't have this story working on the Democrats for the nomination, now they are trying to tell us, this story is so great, it will work for the General Election.  Russian Roulette with the presidency.  

    Obama and the Economy (5.00 / 4) (#41)
    by Stellaaa on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 11:16:14 PM EST
    From a fairly radical perspective that I happen to share.

    Obama Bubble

    Despite Barack Obama's claim that his campaign represents a mass "movement" of "average folks," the initial core of his support was largely comprised of rich denizens of Wall Street. Why would the super wealthy want a percieved "black populist" to become the nation's chief executive officer? The "Obama bubble" was nurtured by Wall Street in order to have a friend in the White House when the captains of capital are made to face the legal consequences for deliberately creating current and past economic "bubbles." Wall Street desperately needs a president who will "sweep all the corruption and losses, would-be indictments, perp walks and prosecutions under the rug and get on with an unprecedented taxpayer bailout of Wall Street." Who better to sell this "agenda to the millions of duped mortgage holders and foreclosed homeowners in minority communities across America than our first, beloved, black president of hope and change?"

    With Reid and Pelosi (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:10:00 AM EST
    the marshmallows, I predict no new regulatory laws at all and privatized social security.

    In fairness (none / 0) (#52)
    by badger on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 11:59:13 PM EST
    Wall Street (eg Goldman Sachs) and big business (eg Sumner Redstone) are major conteibutors to both candidates. If you look at their top 20 contributors, there's a lot of overlap - Obama has a few more big law firms, including his wife's employer (which has provided a few GOP appointees too).

    I think the best you can say is "no difference", but that certainly runs counter to the themese of "transformational" and "no lobbyists" that Obama's running on. He doesn't need lobbyist money - he gets it straight from the lobbyist's employers (same as Clinton).


    Richardson is on MSNBC ... (5.00 / 3) (#73)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 06:43:02 AM EST
    he's co-hosting, and once again said Obama is "the right man" for time.

    One can be too sensitive about these things, but it did seem like he was trying to make a point.

    And right now Tweety is on a tear, calling the Clintons "a sitcom."

    Tweety calling someone else a sitcom. (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 08:44:46 AM EST
    talk about pot meet kettle.

    Geez, why can't people say "person" (none / 0) (#124)
    by splashy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 08:22:36 PM EST
    And people for human kind, instead of man?

    It's downright annoying, and really separatist.


    Another Example (5.00 / 3) (#74)
    by BarnBabe on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 07:48:20 AM EST
    All these 'little' stories do add up to a bigger story and that is Barrack is not a leader. He is someone who let's other people set up the agenda. In fact, who is behind him wanting to be President so fast? I don't think it was his idea. Does anyone know? As for Tweety. He has it wrong about a sitcom. They are more reality TV. The Clintons are Survivors and Obama is the Apprentice. You're fired.

    the people reportedly behind him are (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by athyrio on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 08:01:20 AM EST
    John Kerry, Terry Kennedy, and Tom Dashle...and if South Dakota goes to Hillary that will mean all of their states will back Hillary and not Obama....which means they cant deliver their own states much less the United States...

    Love/Hate Relationship (none / 0) (#88)
    by BarnBabe on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 08:49:10 AM EST
    So it is revenge, get even, control, etc. I know Ted and John went to bat in California for him, and lost their own state of Mass, but are THEY the only ones or is that surmising because of their Calif push?

    Yes apparently they are all his advisors and (none / 0) (#94)
    by athyrio on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 09:17:25 AM EST
    I have read they actually approached him about running for president in the first place...they are the "puppet masters"...Scary huh? LOL.....

    In my opinion, the Obama candidacy is (none / 0) (#95)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 09:29:44 AM EST
    the product of distilling the elements of Republican success into a formula.
    Although his politics are not similar to Bush's, the way he campaigns is. His claim to be a bipartisan uniter is a carbon copy of Bush's 2000 appeal. His plan to rely on delegating to experts, ditto.
    Take it further if you like, but I think the key requirement for a Bush-type campaign is the LACK of a real record or public presence. An image is crafted at the state level, then fed to the public as evidence of something amazing, and with hardly any warts, too! Wow!

    It's a recipe for disaster in governance though.
    Bush was not such a horrible President because of his political philosophy---he doesn't have one!
    His problem is that he trusted advisers without knowing enough to make judgments on his own.
    Yes, Obama is smart, but no, he doesn't have the experience and knowledge base to handle the judgments he will have to make as President.


    have you noticed (none / 0) (#102)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 09:45:23 AM EST
    then pundits are not considering Obama "inevitable" anymore.
    every time I saw that 45 48 number dumped out over the weekend someone was around to say it doesnt mean that much.

    if you had to pick three (none / 0) (#104)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 09:49:12 AM EST
    ineffectual democrats to be his cheerleaders could you come up with three better ones?

    And add Richardson (none / 0) (#121)
    by BarnBabe on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:59:51 PM EST
    You are so right. All guys who could not win the Presidency with the exception of Tom. And he was a horrible Senate leader and got beaten also.
    This is so scary to think a backdoor government is in the works. Oh, that is right, 2000. Been there, done that.

    An (none / 0) (#89)
    by tek on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 08:51:08 AM EST
    archetype, not a hero.

    Excellent post Jeralyn (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by Andy08 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 08:56:22 AM EST
    Thanks for bring this up. It is an important piece in Mr. Obama's political rise puzzle.
    Yes, it is politics but he closed the deal with many of his voters on the premise of precisely "not being the typical politician".
    Now his supporters say; ah well it's not important all politicans do that. But that was not his point.
    That was not what he claimed. And so the question is:  how do his supporter s think he will enact all the changes he claims given his background, given who he really is as politician? As I said before these two things don't jibe.

    Obama uses the same tactics in the US Senate (5.00 / 3) (#106)
    by OxyCon on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 09:53:22 AM EST
    Obama has publicly taken credit for legislation in the Senate that he had little or nothing to do with, just as he did in the Illinois legislature.
    This does say alot about the man.
    Someone should look at all of his work in college, because it is a sure bet that he plagiarized most of his school work. I'm sure the Repubs are all over this.
    Here is an excerpt from a WaPo article which hits both Obama and Hillary:

    After weeks of arduous negotiations, on April 6, 2006, a bipartisan group of senators burst out of the "President's Room," just off the Senate chamber, with a deal on new immigration policy.

    As the half-dozen senators -- including John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) -- headed to announce their plan, they met Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who made a request common when Capitol Hill news conferences are in the offing: "Hey, guys, can I come along?" And when Obama went before the microphones, he was generous with his list of senators to congratulate -- a list that included himself.

    "I want to cite Lindsey Graham, Sam Brownback, Mel Martinez, Ken Salazar, myself, Dick Durbin, Joe Lieberman . . . who've actually had to wake up early to try to hammer this stuff out," he said.

    To Senate staff members, who had been arriving for 7 a.m. negotiating sessions for weeks, it was a galling moment. Those morning sessions had attracted just three to four senators a side, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) recalled, each deeply involved in the issue. Obama was not one of them.


    Spivak never mentioned Obama's (3.00 / 1) (#39)
    by sef on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 11:10:57 PM EST
    Spivak never mentions Obama's contributions to get the Ryan Commission Report's recommendations in to law.  He built bipartisan support for a bill that most thought was dead. Even after Ill. had exonerated 13 people (compared to the 12 it executed) there was no stomach for the Ryan Comm.'s recommentations.

    I find it ghastly that a blog calling itself the "Politics of Crime" fails to mention arguably the most important pieces of criminal reform legislation in recent American history.

    I have praised his work on that bill (5.00 / 4) (#44)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 11:21:06 PM EST
    and in opposing the anti-gang bill. For my full report on his criminal justice record, go here. I've also noted that Hillary was an early (2002) supporter of the Innocence Protection Act -- the good one, before the Senate gutted and then passed the final one.

    That's the "story" (5.00 / 5) (#46)
    by tree on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 11:26:54 PM EST
    but the reality was that when the sponsorship of the videotaping bill was tossed to Obama, there was already a consensus of opinion that there needed to be videotaping of interrogations as well as confessions. The Tribune had already run a hard hitting series on "Cops and Confessions", the Cook County States Attorney had already mandated the videotaping of confessions, both Chicago papers had strongly endorsed the legislation, and after the Corethian Bell scandal the CC States Attorney had already instituted a trial period of videotaping interrogations as well, and supported the legislation.  Contemporary descriptions of the events leading up to the bill's passage by non-political sources do not mention Obama as a significant factor.



    Can you give us some links to info on this? (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by jawbone on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 11:35:00 PM EST
    It hasn't been easy finding information about Obama, something I expected the MCM would do and also the left blogosphere. It seemed to me the reality-based community would be very eager to know more than just the PR and autobio stuff.

    But, amazingly, that has not been the case.

    Scary. And disappointing.


    Vanity Fair (none / 0) (#2)
    by angst on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 09:49:58 PM EST
    covers this in their otherwise puff piece

    Politics as usual? (none / 0) (#3)
    by dianem on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 09:55:20 PM EST
    How many times did Clinton get to push through bills that other people wrote and lobbied for for a decade? This isn't "politics as usual". It's Rove style politics, in which a king is declared and everybody drops everything to make sure that the people get on board before the coronation.

    Hillary doesn't campaign (5.00 / 11) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:22:43 PM EST
    on a platform of eschewing politics as usual. She campaigns on her experience and ability to work with Washington. He's the one who says he'll change it.

    I don't believe or even understand his campaign of hope, change and optimism. Stories like these leave me wondering if Obama does, or if it's all just a sales job.


    unfortunately it is a sales job (5.00 / 6) (#28)
    by TheRefugee on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:53:31 PM EST
    I equate Obama's campaign with Bush's in 04.  "I'm the guy you'd like to have a beer with."  

    If Obama had finished a full term in the Senate, if he had a couple of landmark bills up for approval, I'd be willing to at least listen to him.

    It is all about packaging and Obama's PR has been merciless in painting Hillary as everything she is not while convincing people that Obama is more than he really is.


    Marketing 101 (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:20:59 AM EST
    I can do it in my sleep complete with nice shiny packaging.

    When I think of change on day one (none / 0) (#31)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:58:06 PM EST
    all I can think of is Spitzer who promised change in Albany on day one.  It's very trite. Jimmy Carter used it, they all use it to some extent.

    yeah but the fact that it works doesn't (none / 0) (#42)
    by TheRefugee on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 11:17:15 PM EST
    mean it should.  I'm less interested in day one success than I am long term success.  I think that Hillary has the connections and friends within the GOP establishment to move us in the right direction.

    The only fear I have is the GOP attack apparatus.  If Scaife or Murdoch or other conservative back door operatives perform the same type of con job on the American people and media, as they did against Bill Clinton then neither one is going to be given an inch in DC.  Everybody says Clinton will drag down the down ticket players but it was Bill Clinton, talking about hope and change, that energized the takeover of 94.  Conservatives fear change so I don't think Obama professing hope and change is necessarily a boon to down ticket candidates.


    It sounds like Obama sought out (5.00 / 9) (#34)
    by Boston Boomer on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 11:05:28 PM EST
    people like Jones and Axelrod and put his career in their hands.  He appears to be very pliable.  Apparently Rezko approached Obama while he was still at Harvard, so Obama didn't even need to seek him out.  

    It's really scary how similar Obama is to the Bush of 2000--no experience, little travel abroad or knowledge of foreign affairs, wants to be a hands off manager and delegate the serious stuff.


    I really don't think he does. (none / 0) (#25)
    by lilburro on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:48:18 PM EST
    Which is why I think we need a new critique against him.  Pointing out how he's just a politican will always be true, but how will we ever get him to confront that?  Confront it and have him get on with doing the things we need him to do if he is Pres.

    Anyone who studies charisma knows that it cannot truly sustain itself.  Eventually it fizzles out as the charismatic message is maintained by more and more people who are less and less special.  Everyday we see some new goofball jump on the Obama train.  Right now he's running on a ridiculously good first impression.  He needs to focus on something else besides himself.

    Hopefully, in the upcoming weeks the economy will be of political note.  More than being the Media Darling That Will Unite Us All, I think Obama will have to be able to prove he is the Guy Who Will Save the Economy.


    Can he? (5.00 / 8) (#29)
    by dianem on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:55:39 PM EST
    The more I get to "know" Obama, the more shallow and inconsequential he seems to be. I have a habit of trying to read a variety of sites an an attempt to get different perspectives. I've been looking for a blog that has a serious take on Obama - one that tells me just what he is going to do to unite America and which hopes he is going to fulfill. I have yet to find a single site in which anybody says more than "read his platform - you'll see".  I have, and I don't. I have seen no evidence that Obama has the ability to even understand our economic challenges, much less fix them.

    We're all going to feel (5.00 / 7) (#38)
    by lilburro on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 11:09:50 PM EST
    pretty crappy about ourselves if the economy does really poorly.  He needs to switch gears to this subject.  
    For instance, his website's page on the economy is pathetic.  

    "I believe that America's free market has been the engine of America's great progress. It's created a prosperity that is the envy of the world. It's led to a standard of living unmatched in history. And it has provided great rewards to the innovators and risk-takers who have made America a beacon for science, and technology, and discovery...We are all in this together. From CEOs to shareholders, from financiers to factory workers, we all have a stake in each other's success because the more Americans prosper, the more America prospers."

    Um...Ok.  Actually, we're not all in this together.  CEOs, credit card companies, insurance companies, telecom companies, among others, don't give a crap and are living their own fun, prosperous lives.  And they need to be targeted as a whole.  Not just their lobbyists.  

    And apparently according to his site there are only two 'problems.'  I know he has more up his sleeve than this.  But he has to start showing it.


    I call him Senator Moonbeam (5.00 / 6) (#51)
    by thereyougo on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 11:52:31 PM EST
    because he seems to aim his beam at his supporters and they are become Obots and wonder why the rest of us don't either.

    Except that I see the same old same old that I saw in the uniter not a divider, remember him? His name is GWBush. The US is not only divided it is sinking under the policies of his toxic leadership. No way do I want this again.

    Credit to Obama for his extraordinary speaking ability, but sifting through it, its just ordinary political jargon. The electorate forgets  and in the next cycle we hear it again.

    I just don't even believe in his nickle and dime donations from the little people that nets him millions at his calling. Are people so naive? Maybe. I just have grave doubts.

    He isn't a bad guy, but buyer's remorse at this point is preferable than after the fact.

    Obama is having a rough March. Week after week we hear one thing after another that adds to the veneer of the 'change' candidate.


    Heh. Senator Moonbeam... (none / 0) (#60)
    by oldpro on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:27:20 AM EST
    not unlike Mike Royko's sarcastic labeling of California's Gov. Jerry Brown in the 70s...now 'Mayor Moonbeam' of Oakland...

    Actually, Jerry Brown is the elected (none / 0) (#61)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:32:52 AM EST
    AG of CA at present.

    How many offices has held? (none / 0) (#63)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:52:30 AM EST
    seems like he always has a different pre-fix (Cal native here :) )

    Senior moment! Yup... (none / 0) (#64)
    by oldpro on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:53:41 AM EST
    elected last year?


    Wonder if he's thinking of another presidential run...sometime...


    Heh (none / 0) (#66)
    by BrandingIron on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 02:14:03 AM EST
    right before he gave up the Mayorship to our city I saw him running around Lake Merritt.  Maybe, maybe!

    uh oh... (none / 0) (#68)
    by oldpro on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 02:29:46 AM EST
    Or....maybe governor again!?

    I've heard another (none / 0) (#69)
    by otherlisa on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 02:38:13 AM EST
    gubernatorial run. Works for me.

    Won't happen unless CA repeals term limits (none / 0) (#122)
    by allimom99 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 02:45:14 PM EST
    Too bad - he's doing quite well as AG, though, mostly because Arnold mostly stays out of his hair (what there is left of it).

    Nothing - I mean nothing... (none / 0) (#5)
    by white n az on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:01:46 PM EST
    tops the assessment given by Charlie Keating when asked if he expected that his campaign donations, lending the use of his airplanes, various properties around the world for vacations had bought influence on a number of Senators (*cough* *McCain* *cough*)...

    "I certainly hope so" said Keating

    Quid pro quo - Nah...Taking care of your friends...What a shock

    This doesn't bother me nearly as much as the notions that Obama never once did anything about the fact that his friend Rezko was taking government money (which Obama wrote letters in support of his applications) and in Obama's neighborhood and his friend Rezko let run down, without heat/water and miserable failures.

    LOL! (none / 0) (#90)
    by tek on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 08:52:32 AM EST
    (The "I certainly hope so part).

    So many questions? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Oliver Willis on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:11:58 PM EST
    Just a bunch of questions? Without any answers? But when you ask a question? It doesn't seem as accusatory?

    Like Fox News?

    other papers have raised the questions (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:18:59 PM EST
    I write about what I read in the news. A few have asked about the earmarks to Emil Jones' favored Chicago State, as well as to General Dynamics (controlled by the Crown family, bigtime Obama financial contributors.)

    I don't have the answers and I don't know Chicago politics. But since the Republicans will be raising these issues if Obama is the nominee, they should be aired now. I hope they are discredited. If he's the nominee, I'll want him to win against McCain.


    Your headline (none / 0) (#15)
    by Oliver Willis on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:30:58 PM EST
    is an accusation framed as a question.

    I think the "I have to attack him on this because the Republicans will" among the lamer excuses being used by the pro-Clinton blogs nowadays, and it has gotten worse as time goes by.


    I get your point now (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:36:19 PM EST
    And just changed the headline. I thought the question mark made it clear the matter had been raised but wasn't fully answered. Since you think that made it worse, I changed it.

    Jeralyn you (none / 0) (#33)
    by stopcomplainingandact on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 11:05:26 PM EST
    are clearly a Pro-Clinton supporter.  You are well educated, informed and have a strong opionion on this.  Can you please explain why someone should support Clinton?  

    And I do feel this blog is fun, as an Obama supporter it's great to talk to people who do not share my views.  But at what point does the blog threads lose credibility by mirroring the headlines on www.hillaryclinton.com.

    I'm sure you know your targeted audience but you seem like someone who has dedicated their life to defending the rights of other people.  Why would you be part of a propeganda campaign against Obama?


    it would be too long for a comment (5.00 / 6) (#40)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 11:15:42 PM EST
    but let me just correct you on two points. I choose topics by what's in the news, not on anyone's website. I'm not part of any propaganda campaign, I'm expressing my preference and I explain why in every post I write. I also continually write that if Obama is the nominee, he'd be better than a Republican and he'll have my support and my vote. But he's not the nominee yet and while I can, I will advocate for my preferred candidate. I used to favor Edwards or Hillary, now I favor Hillary.

    Oliver? Is that you? (none / 0) (#23)
    by jerry on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:43:21 PM EST
    I did some googling to see who Todd Spivak is/was and he has won two Clarion awards for his local reporting. (One is here).  He's got a blog with pictures of his two sons (cute kids), but not a whole lot more is known about him.

    I thought the story was interesting if only from a local reporter's stories of Chicago journalism from the newspaper that brought forward Sy Hersh and David Axelrod.

    The letters to the editor concerning the story was also interesting and can be found here, with some people in agreement with Todd Spivak, and some people more in agreement with Oliver....

    Some other people that I've been interested in regarding Barack is Juan Williams, Clarence Page, and John McWhorter.  I heard Williams on NPR, Page on the Diane Rehm show, and read McWhorter's column at the NYSun.  Both Williams opinion seemed slightly negative, along the lines of BTD's -- he's just a regular politician and he joined his Church for political reasons.  Page's opinion was more neutral and in many ways echoed Geraldine Ferraro's opinion.  McWhorter's opinion was interesting too.  McWhorter is usually seen as a conservative and he's solidly in Obama's camp.

    Oliver, if you're reading this, I don't want to make you "the black guy that I know", but since I don't work with you (and so don't have to worry about the company's "diversity probe" if I accidentally offend), and you are a blogger, I am genuinely curious how you view Williams and McWhorter.  In many ways, having read you for a few years, I think you would agree with a lot of what Williams and McWhorter have to say.  Not to sound ignorant, but they often seem to have similar thoughts regarding the African American experience today as can be found in the "Bill Cosby camp".  McWhorter's columns can be found here.  I have to say after hearing Williams and Page comment about Wright, that I was somewhat surprised to hear McWhorter defend Wright and Obama.  John McWhorter is an interesting guy.  He is the Berkeley linguist consulted on Oakland Ebonics and he seemed to take a very neutral and nuanced approach there.  He's also argued against affirmative action.  It pisses me off that I just can't easily categorize him.


    this is off topic, so can you and Oliver (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:45:12 PM EST
    please take it to email?

    Certainly, sorry about that. (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by jerry on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:48:26 PM EST
    Oliver, my email has recently changed -- I suspect since you changed your site again to unregistered you may not have a valid one, so if you wanted at sometime to just do a post about these guys, that would be very cool.  Otherwise, see you over at your site....

    Not to mention Excelon (none / 0) (#14)
    by NJDem on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:29:18 PM EST
    No one seemed to care about that NYT story.  But yeah, the environment isn't a big issue for us Dems...

    I should add that I fault the NYT for not mentioning that he voted for the Cheney Energy Bill.  He's never had to explain that vote.  Why?

    Globe covered it too, but the MSM yawned... (none / 0) (#43)
    by BostonIndependent on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 11:19:33 PM EST
    Came out right before our primary here. I was surprised that the MSM and national press didn't do much with it. But the next few weeks convinced me -- the media intellectuals are totally "in-the-tank" for Obama!

    Oh my good lord. (none / 0) (#16)
    by BrandingIron on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:34:09 PM EST
    I've been quoting Spivak's article for weeks now and it JUST gets picked up now?

    I read it when it first came out (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:39:26 PM EST
    but didn't draw the connections until I saw the TimesonLine article today, then Spivaks' article came back to me so I re-read it. I really didn't know who Emil Jones was until I started researching him today on Lexis.

    I read it last week and was (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Joan in VA on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 11:07:52 PM EST
    hoping you would, too. I am at a loss as to why this doesn't seem to  bother the commenters here. I find it very troubling factually and also illuminates the hypocrisy of the one who says he's a new kind of politician. This kind of politics is as old as dirt.

    Really? (5.00 / 3) (#65)
    by BrandingIron on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 02:03:52 AM EST
    Fair enough.

    Friendly advice for the future:  Look into the Chicago media.  There's a treasure trove of Obama stuff just waiting.  The Chicago Reader,  The Chicago Reporter...small press media like that.  You'll find all sorts of interesting things about Chicago's own.  ;)


    Second article changed my mind (none / 0) (#45)
    by foolinator on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 11:25:31 PM EST
    So this writer is funny - did anyone read the second article?  After I read the article mentioned at the end of this one from the Houston Press was a great Obama article.


    After reading this I like Obama a lot more.

    Thanks for Highlighting The Article (none / 0) (#49)
    by cdalygo on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 11:42:17 PM EST
    I saw this a weeks ago and have found it useful for talking to people about Obama's lack of experience. He wants credit for all this amazing legislation without ever acknowledging that others played in a greater role in bringing it about. The lack of experience is scary enough, but throw in the seeming underhandedness and it becomes particularly bothersome.

    That's what has irked me the most about the MSM and left-blogs' reaction to his campaign. All of this is out there for anyone to find but nobody says anything.

    It may have been cute to leave it up to a little kid to finally announce the emperor has no clothes. But we cannot afford to lose this election. Or worse, win it with someone whom we know really NOTHING about.

    The Washington Post has an article (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 09:36:07 AM EST
    this morning that might be of interest: Both Obama and Clinton Embellish their roles

    Here's a snip:

    Immigration is a case in point for Obama, but not the only one. In 2007, after the first comprehensive immigration bill had died, the senators were back at it, and again, Obama was notably absent, staffers and senators said. At one meeting, three key negotiators recalled, he entered late and raised a number of questions about the bill's employment verification system. Kennedy and Specter both rebuked him, saying that the issue had already been resolved and that he was coming late to the discussion. Kennedy dressed him down, according to witnesses, and Obama left shortly thereafter.

    "Senator Obama came in late, brought up issues that had been hashed and rehashed," Specter recalled. "He didn't stay long."

    Just this week, as the financial markets were roiling in the wake of the Bear Stearns collapse, Obama made another claim that was greeted with disbelief in some corners of Capitol Hill. On March 13, Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, unveiled legislative proposals to allow the Federal Housing Administration to guarantee new loans from banks willing to help homeowners in or approaching foreclosure. Obama and Clinton were in Washington for a day-long round of budget voting, but neither appeared at the housing news conference.

    Yet Obama on Monday appeared to seek top billing on Dodd's proposal.

    "At this moment, we must come together and act to address the housing crisis that set this downturn in motion and continues to eat away at the public's confidence in the market," Obama said. "We should pass the legislation I put forward with my colleague Chris Dodd to create meaningful incentives for lenders to buy or refinance existing mortgages so that Americans facing foreclosure can keep their homes."

    Dodd did say that Obama supported the bill, as does Clinton. But he could not offer pride of authorship to the candidate he wants to see in the White House next year.

    It's not an aberration, it's a pattern - and it makes me wonder about his years at Harvard, and about his "community organizing."

    To be fair, the article also takes issue with some of Clinton's claims, but I didn't read them as being anywhere near at this level.

    It's time we had a president who knew how to work and work hard - Obama's interest in hard work seems only to extend to things that benefit him on a personal basis, and I just am not interested in that kind of president.


    For Obama (none / 0) (#113)
    by OxyCon on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:16:19 AM EST
    It's not about hard work and ideas, it's about blind ambition...ethics be damned.

    *I posted a different excerpt from the same article below, along with similar comments about Obama's college records. It's nice to know that there are others thinking along the same lines.


    The last thing we need is another president (none / 0) (#120)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:16:43 PM EST
    that doesn't understand hard work. . .

    OT, but it's Krugman? (none / 0) (#50)
    by jerry on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 11:51:47 PM EST
    Krugman's column tonight regards the silence of both candidates in light of our financial meltdown.  I would hope all three candidates will be quizzed on this in the coming weeks.

    I would agree with that (none / 0) (#55)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:41:48 AM EST
    But Krugman is still trotting out the Edwards line of attack.

    And I think his complaints about de-regulation are rooted more in dogma than analysis.

    Has he ever crunched the numbers and advocated for deregulation of anything?


    I know she has a new proposal up on her (none / 0) (#58)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:04:53 AM EST
    site which came out towards the end of the week and there was also a business week article on Thursday (?) that I think may have talked about it also.

    And earlier in the week (Mon?) she released a statement (posted at her site) as did Obama. Both gave speeches this week (more than likely at their sites). Not sure if they covered what he was concerned about, but just thought I'd toss it out there :)


    Hey who is Peter Paul (none / 0) (#56)
    by stopcomplainingandact on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 12:56:11 AM EST
    and is there any credability to these charges that the Clintons and DNC where involved in illegal campaign financing?  Really not trying to attack anyone just curious if this is just BS or not.

    Debunked (none / 0) (#59)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:06:14 AM EST
    He's your basic criminal. Literally.

    North Carolina (none / 0) (#62)
    by stopcomplainingandact on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:51:23 AM EST
    Even as an Obama supporter I conceed that if Hillary can pull of Pennsylvania, Indian and North Carolina there is no way you can have Obama be the Presidential nominee regardless of any other statistics.  I thought NC was impossible but after seeing recent polling with the lead now down to 1% this is a possibility.

    not sure Hillary will get NC (none / 0) (#67)
    by DandyTIger on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 02:15:29 AM EST
    Since Obama's numbers seem to be going back up in some polls. But there's a lot of time, and the wins of PA and WV will have an effect (bounce) again. I think she'll get IN which should be a big embarrassment for Obama. Even without NC, I think it will be rough going for an Obama nomination. But you make a good point, if Hillary does get NC, then I think it will be more clear the tables turned and she has the momentum and dare I say it, the will of the people.

    I have this bad feeling though that even if she wins those and when you include MI and FL she has the popular vote, I think the SD's and powers that be will still select Obama. If that's the case, where do we go from there. I just don't see how you unite after that.

    I think if Hillary is selected with all of those factors making her the clear choice of dems, and the will of the people, I think you will lose a lot of Obama followers. Ha, I guess we already know that includes Michelle. But I've always thought from reading the O-blogs that even with a more clear win by Hillary, they wouldn't back her then either. Maybe I'm just cynical on that point.

    So given that danger, I think the candidates, the DNC leadership, and all those lovely SD's will need to get off their butts and work to fix that when it's all said and done. Earn some of those zillions we give them.


    As much as it pains me to say (none / 0) (#70)
    by stopcomplainingandact on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 02:53:59 AM EST
    and regardless of there being absolutely no chance of happening.  The best solution would be for Clinton to get the nomination and to have Obama be the VP.  This would set up the Demorcatric party for the next 16 years assuming with both the house and senate being controlled by Democrats they could push through their agendas.  If Obama could be perceived as being the most active VP in history it could set him up for 2016.  I know this won't happen but a guy can dream cant he.

    ...I AGREE! (none / 0) (#71)
    by rkcdvd on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 05:33:46 AM EST
    except, i'm sooooooo happy that all u can do is imagine! Too little, too late! May the best presidential canidate win! Whoever that may be...ouch, i wonder who it is?!?
    mcbillary or mcbush?!?
    hasta manana,

    p.s. see u in 2020 with chelsea clinton!

    2020! (none / 0) (#72)
    by lilburro on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 06:13:18 AM EST
    Why I was planning on writing her in if Clinton doesn't get the nom.

    Hey (none / 0) (#91)
    by tek on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 08:55:33 AM EST
    now there's an idea!

    thanks for adding your 2 cents (none / 0) (#84)
    by TheRefugee on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 08:41:14 AM EST
    I'll be sure to add it to the windfall Bush has promised me...all 600 bucks.

    It is too little, too late the now Obama (none / 0) (#100)
    by stopcomplainingandact on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 09:43:40 AM EST
    is ahead in every statistical category and can't be caught unless a miracle happens.  Guess we will just haft to be happy about Obama being President.  

    Oh, you mean the way (none / 0) (#118)
    by Fabian on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:44:24 AM EST
    that we just have to be happy that Bush is president?

    Sorry.  If Obama wins, I may just leave my "No more lies - IMPEACH" sign up on my car.  I have no love in my heart for anybody who tells me lies.


    Make me (none / 0) (#79)
    by tek on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 08:26:37 AM EST
    a U. S. Senator.  I guess that's what the DNC is doing, making them a president.  We can see how Jones benefited, I keep wondering what benefit the Dem insiders who put Obama up to running are looking for?

    Would someone please tell me that he is not ahead of Hillary in all the national polls?

    Sorry but (none / 0) (#99)
    by stopcomplainingandact on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 09:40:20 AM EST
    he is ahead on National Polls!

    Not all of them (none / 0) (#101)
    by tree on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 09:45:03 AM EST
    and btw (none / 0) (#103)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 09:46:18 AM EST
    national polls mean squat

    That would make (none / 0) (#115)
    by tree on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 10:38:49 AM EST
    a great SNL skit.

    Noam Schreiber in the New Republic (none / 0) (#125)
    by AdrianLesher on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:17:51 PM EST
    finds Obama remarkably clean for someone who came up in Chicago politics.

    A newspaper editor I interviewed for this piece a few weeks ago had similar thoughts. Here's how he told me he thinks about Obama coverage:

    "There is an assumption on most people's part that Barack Obama came up through Chicago politics on a [ground] level, which means he's associated with all kinds of unsavory characters, he had to make compromises. On the other hand, you could say he's a fairly eloquent square. He was working at the fringes of the black political establishment, and the more traditional [Chicago] establishment, and was not taken seriously by either. That he skyrocketed to a degree, he didn't get his feet stuck in the mud. In that case, since the glitter and temptations would have come to him in the last 18 months, you'd look to people surrounding him and raising money [since then]."

    This editor conceded that, after several months of digging by his and other outlets, it was looking more like Obama "was the product of a virgin birth."