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Old 01-28-2008, 01:23 PM   #241
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Here's Toni Morrison's letter

Dear Senator Obama,

This letter represents a first for me--a public endorsement of a Presidential candidate. I feel driven to let you know why I am writing it. One reason is it may help gather other supporters; another is that this is one of those singular moments that nations ignore at their peril. I will not rehearse the multiple crises facing us, but of one thing I am certain: this opportunity for a national evolution (even revolution) will not come again soon, and I am convinced you are the person to capture it.

May I describe to you my thoughts?

I have admired Senator Clinton for years. Her knowledge always seemed to me exhaustive; her negotiation of politics expert. However I am more compelled by the quality of mind (as far as I can measure it) of a candidate. I cared little for her gender as a source of my admiration, and the little I did care was based on the fact that no liberal woman has ever ruled in America. Only conservative or "new-centrist" ones are allowed into that realm. Nor do I care very much for your race[s]. I would not support you if that was all you had to offer or because it might make me "proud."

In thinking carefully about the strengths of the candidates, I stunned myself when I came to the following conclusion: that in addition to keen intelligence, integrity and a rare authenticity, you exhibit something that has nothing to do with age, experience, race or gender and something I don't see in other candidates. That something is a creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom. It is too bad if we associate it only with gray hair and old age. Or if we call searing vision naivete. Or if we believe cunning is insight. Or if we settle for finessing cures tailored for each ravaged tree in the forest while ignoring the poisonous landscape that feeds and surrounds it. Wisdom is a gift; you can't train for it, inherit it, learn it in a class, or earn it in the workplace--that access can foster the acquisition of knowledge, but not wisdom.

When, I wondered, was the last time this country was guided by such a leader? Someone whose moral center was un-embargoed? Someone with courage instead of mere ambition? Someone who truly thinks of his country's citizens as "we," not "they"? Someone who understands what it will take to help America realize the virtues it fancies about itself, what it desperately needs to become in the world?

Our future is ripe, outrageously rich in its possibilities. Yet unleashing the glory of that future will require a difficult labor, and some may be so frightened of its birth they will refuse to abandon their nostalgia for the womb.

There have been a few prescient leaders in our past, but you are the man for this time.

Good luck to you and to us.

Toni Morrison
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Old 01-28-2008, 02:03 PM   #242
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Quote:
Originally posted by 2861U2
I'm watching Kennedy right now.

I just don't get it. I just don't get how all he has to do is mention the word "change" or "hope" or "inspiration" over and over and the crowd erupts. I hope this is not how we choose the next president.
Better than having a canidate that just has to mention "the war on Christmas" or "the Constitution should be more like the Bible" to get the crowd to erupt. Divide, divide, divide that's the way Reps like it.
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Old 01-28-2008, 02:56 PM   #243
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Quote:
Originally posted by 2861U2
I'm watching Kennedy right now.

I just don't get it. I just don't get how all he has to do is mention the word "change" or "hope" or "inspiration" over and over and the crowd erupts. I hope this is not how we choose the next president.
the 2000 election was taken on empty slogan campaigning also.

Bush's stump speech was:

"I will restore honor and dignity to the Whitehouse.

that was his main thrust

and he repeated it over and over
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Old 01-28-2008, 03:31 PM   #244
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Originally posted by U2democrat
Yes! Until recently most people in the Democratic party were Clinton worshippers. People adore(d) him. Things are changing now.
I was talking about Hillary.
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Old 01-28-2008, 03:34 PM   #245
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Originally posted by 2861U2
I just don't get it. I just don't get how all he has to do is mention the word "change" or "hope" or "inspiration" over and over and the crowd erupts. I hope this is not how we choose the next president.
Just as I hope use of the words "God," "tradition," and "Christian values" isn't what chooses our next president.

It works both ways.
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Old 01-28-2008, 03:47 PM   #246
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time.com

Politics Up to the Minute by Mark Halperin|Monday, January 28, 2008

HALPERIN’S TAKE: Six Reasons Why the Kennedy Endorsement is a Big Deal

While endorsements don’t usually matter much, Edward Kennedy’s does because:

1. He has a huge following with Hispanics, a big deal in California and other Super Tuesday states, and one of Obama’s weaknesses.

2. The symbolic Kennedy family thing — the ultimate message of change, viability, Democratic legitimacy, and youthful excitement.

3. The national press will be obsessed with the story for days and days to come, with no downside for Obama; the local press coverage when Kennedy travels for Obama will be ginormous.

4. It sends a message to other senators and superdelegates that it is OK to be for Obama — they don’t have to be afraid of the Clintons.

5. He has a huge following among working-class, traditional Democrats, one of Obama’s weaknesses.

6. He has a huge following among union households, another of Obama’s weaknesses.
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Old 01-28-2008, 11:54 PM   #247
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I love how Obama and the Kennedys overshadowed Bush's SOTU tonight.
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Old 01-29-2008, 12:04 AM   #248
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Quote:
Originally posted by phillyfan26


Just as I hope use of the words "God," "tradition," and "Christian values" isn't what chooses our next president.

It works both ways.
Actually god, tradition and christian values mean something (unlike change, hope, inspiration and all that feelgood ambiguous nonpartisan waffle).

Something bad those traditional values may be but they are something nontheless.
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Old 01-29-2008, 12:06 AM   #249
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Originally posted by U2democrat
I love how Obama and the Kennedys overshadowed Bush's SOTU tonight.


Bush's what? is that guy still president?
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Old 01-29-2008, 12:17 AM   #250
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I know, it surprised me too that that guy is still around you know, doing presidenting stuff...
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Old 01-29-2008, 01:48 AM   #251
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you folks can get upset with me if you want

but Obama has a "Rezko" problem


I can already see the GOP ads

"corrupt Chicago politics

is not the change we need"


Quote:
Longtime patron may be a problem for Obama

Alleged slumlord and indicted businessman Antoin 'Tony' Rezko has long supported the Democratic presidential hopeful, who has returned related donations.

By Dan Morain and Tom Hamburger
Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

January 23, 2008

CHICAGO — Hillary Rodham Clinton dropped the name of Barack Obama's Chicago patron into the South Carolina debate Monday night, putting front and center a tangled relationship that has the potential to undermine Obama's image as a candidate whose ethical standards are distinctly higher than those of his main opponent.

Antoin "Tony" Rezko, an entrepreneur who made a fortune in pizza parlors, Chinese restaurants and real estate, goes on trial next month on federal charges of extortion, influence peddling and conspiracy. There is no suggestion that Obama is involved in any of the alleged criminal activity. But the upcoming trial -- and details of Obama's relationship with its central figure -- could cast a shadow over his carefully cultivated image at a critical time.

In recent weeks, including during the debate, Obama sought to minimize the nature of that relationship. Among other things, he has returned $85,000 in Rezko-related campaign contributions in what a staffer calls "an abundance of caution."

A review by the Los Angeles Times shows that Rezko, a businessman long active in Chicago politics, played a deeper role in Obama's political and financial biography than the candidate has acknowledged.

For example, Rezko, his employees and business associates -- such as his consultants, lawyers and their families -- have provided Obama more than $200,000 in donations since 1995, helping fuel his rapid ascent in Illinois and U.S. politics. Although Rezko is not Obama's largest bundler, he was there at the start and at critical moments along the way, helping support the candidate when few others were.

In addition to being a campaign benefactor, Rezko also surfaced when Obama and his wife purchased their house on Chicago's South Side in 2005. On the day the Obamas bought their house, Rezko's wife, Rita, bought an adjacent lot from the same sellers, part of which Obama later bought back.

Rita Rezko's purchase, at the $625,000 asking price, came just as the Obamas successfully bid in a slow market to buy the house for $300,000 below the asking price, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Obamas secured their brick Georgian Revival-style home on June 15, 2005, for $1,650,000. Later, the Chicago Tribune reported, Rezko paid $14,000 to build a fence, required by city ordinance, along the new property line.

Obama says there was nothing improper in these transactions. The housing deal came after it was known that Rezko was under scrutiny by federal authorities.

Obama has said that, in retrospect, the property deal was a "mistake" because of the appearance it created.

Today, Obama campaigns for president as a new kind of politician, less beholden to special interests than his opponents. He and his staff regularly contrast his policy of refusing to accept donations from lobbyists with Clinton's practices. His relationship with Rezko may undermine the power of that claim.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton waves away such concerns, and in response contrasts Rezko against jailed Clinton fundraiser Norman Hsu.

"This has nothing on the nearly $1 million that Hillary Clinton has had to give back as a result of the Norman Hsu scandal," he said.

"I would put Sen. Obama's record of fighting for lobbying and ethics reform up against anyone in this race," Burton said.

But a government watchdog group that once lauded Obama for leadership on ethics says the Illinois senator should have known better.

"Everybody in this town knew that Tony Rezko was headed for trouble," said Jay Stewart of the Better Government Assn. in Chicago. "When he got indicted, there wasn't a single insider who was surprised. It was viewed as a long time coming. . . . Why would you be having anything to do with Tony Rezko, particularly if you're planning to run for president?"

Obama's connection to the businessman dates to his return to Chicago after graduating from Harvard Law School.

Obama worked then for the Chicago firm of Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland. At the time, Rezko was developing and investing in low-income housing. In that role, he became one of the firm's clients, a point that Clinton made during the South Carolina debate.

During the debate, Obama acknowledged doing as much as five hours of work for a church group that was joining with Rezko to develop low-income housing. Clinton accused Obama of helping Rezko and his "slum landlord business."

Judson Miner, head of the firm, said in an interview that Obama billed about five hours of time working on a Rezko- related matter.

In the mid-1990s, Miner said, Rezko was viewed as an innovative developer intent on improving housing conditions, often working for church groups on Chicago's South Side.

"He became more interested in greener pastures," Miner said. "He got indicted. He became a bum. But in the 1990s, it was a very different picture."

The "slumlord" reference is backed up in part by a 2007 Chicago Sun-Times investigation that found that Rezko's low- income housing empire was collapsing, leaving many black families living in squalid conditions, sometimes without heat.

When Obama first sought public office in 1995, Rezko provided $2,000 in donations. Five years later, when Obama unsuccessfully challenged Democrat Bobby L. Rush for his U.S. House seat, Rezko and his associates contributed a much-needed infusion of cash in the final weeks of the campaign.

In 2003, when Obama launched his bid for the U.S. Senate, Rezko hosted a fundraiser at his home. The event, attended by more than 130 donors, featured an open sushi bar.

The Times arrived at the total of more than $200,000 by reviewing donations dating back to 1995, primarily looking at people who had business relationships with Rezko. Aides to Obama said they thought the total for Rezko-linked donations was lower, but were uncertain of the exact amount.

The criminal case against Rezko appears to center in part on his efforts to provide contributions to Illinois Democratic Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich in exchange for appointments to state boards and commissions. The federal investigation, dubbed Operation Board Game, produced allegations that Rezko and others sought to squeeze kickbacks from firms doing business before state boards. One oversees public schoolteacher pension investments. Another authorizes permits for hospitals.

Just a few years ago, Rezko was hobnobbing with the emir of Qatar, squiring him to Springfield and Chicago. He sold to a British billionaire -- but still helps manage -- what would be the largest undeveloped swath of land left in downtown Chicago, 62 acres along the Chicago River. He even became partners in a planned power plant in Iraq.

Obama has said repeatedly that he did nothing in exchange for Rezko's early and consistent support.

But in 1998, then-state Sen. Obama wrote to state and city officials urging them to provide funding for New Kenwood LLC, a company formed by Rezko and Allison Davis. Obama wrote the letters, first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, on Illinois Senate stationery, saying: "This project will provide much needed housing for 4th Ward citizens."

Some who were part of Rezko's world remain Obama backers.

Kelly King Dibble was a Rezko company executive, and became Blagojevich's director of the Illinois Housing Development Authority until her resignation a year ago. She co-hosted a fundraiser in November at Chicago's South Shore Country Club for Obama.

Dibble -- who said her friendship with the candidate's wife, Michelle, goes back years -- said that whatever Rezko may have done, he was always decent to her: "I don't know him to be a crook. I know him to be a nice man." Nor does she believe he was, as Clinton said, a "slumlord," though she noted that it is hard to maintain low-income housing.

"It is sad that it has sunk to this level," she said.
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Old 01-29-2008, 05:19 AM   #252
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
you folks can get upset with me if you want

but Obama has a "Rezko" problem


I can already see the GOP ads

"corrupt Chicago politics

is not the change we need"


Might as well bring it out now

You are correct, the Republicans will surely bring this up if he gets the nomination. So Obama might as well do the damage control now.

Good thing they've got nothing on Hillary, huh
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Old 01-29-2008, 05:27 AM   #253
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Quote:
Originally posted by 2861U2
I'm watching Kennedy right now.

I just don't get it. I just don't get how all he has to do is mention the word "change" or "hope" or "inspiration" over and over and the crowd erupts. I hope this is not how we choose the next president.

From Kennedy and Obama's supporters I get the impression that they believe Obama will supposedly make everyone happy and united and there won't be any more division in this country, and they present it like that's a good thing. It isn't. America is supposed to be divided and have debates. They talk like everyone is going to fall in love with Obama and become Democrats and march in lockstep behind him.
Oh, come on. You're so glued to the Republican party. . .what else could we expect you to think? I think I asked you this before: Which of the three leading Democratic candidates do you think would make the best president? I don't recall you ever answering that question and I'll bet you haven't even thought about it. You want Hillary to get the nomination because you're certain the Republicans can defeat her but that's not the same thing. Do you have enough impartiality to even contemplate a Democratic president or are you so blinded by your manic partisanship that you're incapable of doing so?

And just so you know: I can put my money where my mouth is. It's no secret that I think McCain would make the best Republican president.

And that, my friend, is what this whole idea of "change "and "hope" is all about: The idea that we don't have to demonize the opposition, that we can actually listen respectfully to those with whom we disagree and even see things from their point of view. Those kinds of lessons aren't being taught by Limbaugh and his ilk.

You cynicism astounds me. It really does.
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Old 01-29-2008, 11:21 PM   #254
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It's been over 250 posts now, so I thought I'd make some comments of my own.

First off, I still think that my initial thoughts that Obama's support was primarily "image-based" in nature are correct. I would also state that the GOP primaries are also currently based on image.

I still think Hillary is smart, but I also know that her image isn't all that great currently. I also know that her husband isn't helping all that much either.

So, in short, I'm skeptical that Obama can deliver on the change that he's promising. After all, lest we forget, there was another presidential candidate who was surrounded by promise and optimism, and that was Bill Clinton.

In the end, all I can say is I'm glad that Michigan's primary amounted to nothing, because it meant that I, effectively, never had to choose. I will just vote for whatever Democrat will win, in the end, and leave the rest to fate.
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Old 01-29-2008, 11:38 PM   #255
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He is four days older than Edge and eight days older than me. Maybe we need a new generation in the White House.
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