From tommorrow’s NYTimes:

A President Like My Father
By CAROLINE KENNEDY
Published: January 27, 2008

OVER the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama.

My reasons are patriotic, political and personal, and the three are intertwined. All my life, people have told me that my father changed their lives, that they got involved in public service or politics because he asked them to. And the generation he inspired has passed that spirit on to its children. I meet young people who were born long after John F. Kennedy was president, yet who ask me how to live out his ideals.

Sometimes it takes a while to recognize that someone has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things. In those rare moments, when such a person comes along, we need to put aside our plans and reach for what we know is possible.

We have that kind of opportunity with Senator Obama. It isn’t that the other candidates are not experienced or knowledgeable. But this year, that may not be enough. We need a change in the leadership of this country — just as we did in 1960.

Most of us would prefer to base our voting decision on policy differences. However, the candidates’ goals are similar. They have all laid out detailed plans on everything from strengthening our middle class to investing in early childhood education. So qualities of leadership, character and judgment play a larger role than usual.

Senator Obama has demonstrated these qualities throughout his more than two decades of public service, not just in the United States Senate but in Illinois, where he helped turn around struggling communities, taught constitutional law and was an elected state official for eight years. And Senator Obama is showing the same qualities today. He has built a movement that is changing the face of politics in this country, and he has demonstrated a special gift for inspiring young people — known for a willingness to volunteer, but an aversion to politics — to become engaged in the political process.

I have spent the past five years working in the New York City public schools and have three teenage children of my own. There is a generation coming of age that is hopeful, hard-working, innovative and imaginative. But too many of them are also hopeless, defeated and disengaged. As parents, we have a responsibility to help our children to believe in themselves and in their power to shape their future. Senator Obama is inspiring my children, my parents’ grandchildren, with that sense of possibility.

Senator Obama is running a dignified and honest campaign. He has spoken eloquently about the role of faith in his life, and opened a window into his character in two compelling books. And when it comes to judgment, Barack Obama made the right call on the most important issue of our time by opposing the war in Iraq from the beginning.

I want a president who understands that his responsibility is to articulate a vision and encourage others to achieve it; who holds himself, and those around him, to the highest ethical standards; who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal; and who can lift our spirits, and make us believe again that our country needs every one of us to get involved.

I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.

Final Margin

26 Jan 2008

It’s what Sonny Liston looked like after one round with Muhammad Ali. Obama beat Clinton 55 to 26%, more than doubling her share of the vote.

The Clintons were characteristically bad losers.


Clinton campaign strategists denied any intentional effort to stir the racial debate. But they said they believe the fallout has had the effect of branding Obama as “the black candidate,” a tag that could hurt him outside the South.


How dare anyone ever accuse the Clintons of playing the race card?


Barack Obama wins South Carolina.

With 96% of the precincts:

Obama – 55% 281,413
Clinton -27% 134,781
Edwards- 18% 90, 500

In 2004, the ENTIRE Democratic turnout in the primaries was 290,000.

Look at Obama’s total.

The breakdown of the numbers.

Obama Clinton Edwards
Black Males 82 15 3
Black Females 79 19 2
White Males 27 29 43
White Females 22 44 34

Blacks 80 18 2
Whites 24 38 38

Age
18-24 66 25 9
25-29 70 21 10
30-39 62 23 15
40-49 61 25 14
50-64 51 26 22
65 and over 32 40 27

Rest of exit poll is HERE

Shallow point – I like Michelle’s Suit. ..LOL

I found this picture at the NYTimes.com…I just thought..I love this image.

His name is Roy Powell. He’s 19, and this is his first vote.

Wow.

Wow.
Wow.
Straight up. I am feeling so good right now. Talk about a repudiation. The Clintons got their asses handed to them. It’s Obama 55, Clinton 27, Edwards 18
One of our correspondents was responsible for turnout at a precinct in the county the Wall Street Journal wrote about earlier this week. She reported 689 votes for Obama, about 120 for Clinton and 25 for Edwards.
This was one of those areas where the Clintons had bought off some black preacher promising to deliver votes. Brotha man got paid, but the people didn’t follow.
Some notes
  • Obama won a plurality and majority of all voting ages except those 65 or older
  • Obama got the church-goers
  • Obama just owned the black vote, and across all ages. Blacks over 60 went to him 75%
  • Obama got 61% of the vote for those making less than $15K
  • Very interesting: Edwards pull more republicans (42) to Obama’s 37 and Clinton’s 20 but Obama got more indies
  • Clinton won on the top quality being “experience” (83 percent)
  • Oh and white votes: Clinton and Edwards 38, Obama 24
Oh, and Bill Clinton just doesn’t know when to shut his face. Seriously. Here is what this fool said
Another reporter asked what it said about Obama that it “took two people to beat him.” Clinton again passed. “That’s’ just bait, too. Jesse Jackson won South Carolina twice, in ’84 and ’88. And he ran a good campaign. Senator Obama’s run a good campaign here, he’s run a good campaign everywhere.”

The reference to Jackson seemed a way to downplay today’s result in a state where a majority of voters are African American. Clinton was also asked today about charges of race baiting, and defended himself by citing testimony from John Lewis and Andrew Young, who marched with Martin Luther King. “I don’t have to defend myself on civil rights,” he said.

Someone tell Bill Clinton that NOT ALL BLACK PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES LOOK ALIKE.

Also, John Lewis and Andrew Young don’t speak for ANYONE anymore.

Ass. Kicking.

Yesterday, a five year old in Queens was handcuffed and dragged to a psych ward by police after acting out in class.


He’s 5 years old. He was scared to death,” Dennis Rivera’s mother, Jasmina Vasquez, told the Daily News. “You cannot imagine what it’s done to him.”

Dennis – who suffers from speech problems, asthma and attention deficit disorder – never went back to class at Public School 81 in Queens after the traumatic incident.


His mom and a school source said Dennis threw a tantrum inside the Ridgewood school at 11 a.m. on Jan. 17.


This problem escapes national attention because Americans are conditioned to rationalize people of color as being meant for prison from birth, and therefore there’s little outrage over treating a five year old child like a criminal if he or she is black or Latino. Bob Herbert wrote several columns about this trend in public education last year, after a 16-year old in the Bronx was handcuffed and treated like a common criminal for…cursing. When her teacher and another school official tried to interfere, they were all arrested.


The angry officer, according to Mr. Soguero, barged past him and into the classroom. “I followed him,” said Mr. Soguero, “and he’s pushing desks aside, walking through students to get at her, disrupting everything. She’s sitting in a chair. He grabs her arm, her left arm with his right hand, and he’s reaching back to grab his cuffs. At that point I walked around him and physically stood in between the two of them.”

This sort of thing, the police wildly overreacting to behavior by schoolkids that is not criminal, happens much more often than most New Yorkers realize. Officer Gonzalez behaved as if he were rounding up the James gang. He arrested the girl. He arrested Mr. Soguero. And he arrested a school aide who had tried to come to the principal’s defense.

Mr. Soguero was handcuffed in full view of everyone — students, teachers, staff — and marched out of the school. Later the police paraded him in front of news photographers in a humiliating “perp walk.”


Bob Herbert mentioned the incident was listed in a study done by the NYCLU that finds the criminalizing of high school kids for trivial incidents is far more common than it should be. While the study focuses on high school, the incident with Dennis Rivera shows that the problem extends beyond high schools.

The children most likely to attend a school where they can be treated like a criminal in a prison rather than a student in a school tend to be poorer and not white.

Part of this is that the school system has given up on these kids, and these schools often end up not being schools but overcrowded warehouses for human beings the city doesn’t want to deal with. The appearance of order in the city’s schools takes precedent over educating its students. These institutions offer tremendous dropout rates; the NYCLU study states that the vast majority schools with metal detectors, 70% of them have dropout rates of more than 60%.

They don’t want to teach these kids. They just want to stick them somewhere they can control (police?) them until they turn 18 or drop out, whichever comes first.

cross-posted to goodCRIMETHINK

I have been sitting on this post for two weeks. Much has already been said, but seeing Darryl Fears’s article in the Washington Post has forced me to finally hit the publish button. The article begins:

For nearly two decades, Yvette Wider, an African American, adored Bill Clinton, once described by a famous black novelist as the nation’s first black president.

But now, after Clinton’s “fairy tale” remark about Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in New Hampshire and a statement in South Carolina that Obama had put a political “hit job” on him, Wider said she feels she hardly knows the former president. “I was surprised to hear him make a comment like that, because I thought he understood our people better,” said Wider, who said she will vote for Obama in Saturday’s South Carolina primary. “It made me think he’s been playing us all this time.”

Wider’s sentiments are echoing across black America — on blogs, Web chats and talk radio, where Clinton is being attacked as never before.

Finally.

You see, I used to love Bill Clinton as well. I’ve met him on two occasions, once at my high school, the other at the White House when was enrolled in the Washington Association of Black Journalists teen training program. Clinton evoked all sorts of wonderful feelings in me. I assumed he was a great a president as most Democrats seemed to publicly think he was. But I was in high school during his first term and distracted by college during his second. I missed a lot, and over the past few years and especially months and most especially, weeks, I’ve come to a different view.

I now start with a basic assumption that he was a good, but not great president. I used to long for the days of Clinton. No more. That longing could only exist when contrasted with President Brush-Clearer. But the low standards of subsequent administrations are no excuse to lionize the past and make it something it was not.

Here’s my timeline of The Clintons (yes, they are a “they” and deserve to be capitalized):

Pre-Obama Conventional Wisdom – 1992 through 2006: Bill Clinton The Savior

  • Plays sax on Arsenio Hall
  • Isn’t physically uncomfortable around black folks
  • Looks good in black church and can handle the pulpit. Claps on the beat.
  • Referred to affectionately as “the first black president”
  • Appoints prominent black folks to positions of power
  • Expands Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Presides over booming economy
  • Moves to Harlem. Which is about the whitest thing you can do in New York, but the rest of America doesn’t know that.
  • Gets all statesmanly with global aids initiative and tsunami recovery goodness

Transition Period – January 2007 through January 2008: Cashing in on the Race Card

  • Civil Rights OGs back Hillary
  • Hillary Clinton has majority of black support in polls
  • Meme spreads of Obama’s lack of black cred
  • Sharpton says “not a lot of black folks grew up in Hawaii”
  • Jesse Jackson says “Obama is acting white” with regard to Jena
  • Andrew Young says “Hillary Clinton is as black as Obama”
  • Shelby Steele publishes book, “Why Barack Obama Can’t Win”
  • Obama wins Iowa Caucus, spilling hope-filled egg all over Steele
  • Baratunde aka Jack Turner begins his next book, “Why Shelby Steele Can’t Write”

January 2008: The Ugly Comes Out

  • The Madrassa Emails
  • The MLK History Lesson
  • The Drug Dealer Comments
  • The Shucking and Jiving of BET’s Bob Johnson
  • and dozens of other offenses including blaming all of this on Obama. (see: Clinton Attacks Obama Wiki )

Post Obama Relationship

  • Black folks realize they can have a real first black president. Why settle for a wack substitute
  • All folks, not just black, start to publicly dig into the past and challenge the assumptions of Bill’s blackness and his greatness

Here’s what they find.

  • The mass incarceration of black men, due largely to a failed “War on Drugs” which is as farcical as our current “War on Terror.” In 1995 Bill Clinton had a chance to bring crack and cocaine drug sentencing into line. He did not. A generation of black men got their education in the prison industrial complex.
  • There was the deregulation of the banking industry under Treasury Secretary Rubin which created the incentives and lack of oversight that allows the current subprime crisis. Rubin came in from Wall Street and returned a hero.
  • There was the expansion of media consolidation, one of the most insidious attacks on our democracy. Media ownership. Communications licensing. All sold off to the most moneyed of interests.
  • There was the missed opportunity to set us on a path of a sane energy policy that would anticipate the coming supply crunch rather than wallow in the temporary glut of low prices. No energy efficiency. No investment in renewables. Just the digging of a deeper hole
  • (Update: I left this out but twas on my list. A commenter reminded me). There was “welfare reform” which forced mothers into the workplace with nowhere near adequate health or child care options
  • There was the sitting by and watching millions of people get butchered in Rwanda
  • There was the set of trade deals that lowered our standards and helped gut America’s ability to provide for itself, setting the stage for our current vulnerable position

I’m glad the ugly has come out. I’m glad Bill Clinton’s face is glowing so brightly and so red; the better to see this campaign by. I’m glad Bill Clinton is getting down and dirty and using his considerable political capital to smear a great presidential candidate. I’m glad The Clintons are calling in favors from their black beholden elected officials and power brokers. Because every time they do, we get to dig up another little nugget which has us questioning the entire premise of “The Clinton Administration.”

And I’m glad Hillary keeps moving closer and closer to Bill, closer to that co-presidency. Keep running on “experience.” Just don’t get mad when we help remind people what that experience really was, and why many of us never want to see it return.

Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama, in the South Carolina Debate:

I was fighting against those ideas when you were practicing law and representing your contributor, Rezko, in his slum landlord business in inner city Chicago.

Apparently Obama isn’t the only one with ties to “slum landlord business” owner Tony Rezko. He’s the one in the middle, in case you can’t tell who the slimy one is.

TPM has the video of Hillary trying to explain herself on NBC.


This wouldn’t even be an issue if Clinton hadn’t attempted to smear Obama with a tie to Rezko that countless media investigations have shown involved no legal wrongdoing on Obama’s part. She chose to play dirty. Obama hasn’t brought up Norman Hsu, or Whitewater, or any number of guilt by association and assumption attacks he could have hypothetically leveled at the Clintons.

The Rezko thing is only one in a long list of if not outright dishonest, at least misleading attacks the Clintons have leveled at Obama, from fliers telling voters he would raise their taxes, questioning his commitment to choice through the non-issue of the present votes, the uncorroborated allegations of voter intimidation by a union most of whose members voted for the Clintons, the claim that Bob Johnson apologized before he actually did, and their distortion of his comments about Reagan. Included in this very abridged list of lies and distortions is the accusation that the Obama campaign played the race card against the Clintons, rather than the other way around.

I’m leaving out most of the attacks by Clinton surrogates with that contain obvious racial subtexts. This is only the primary, and the Clintons have already been caught in at least six major lies or distortions by the press. How many before it starts to matter?

Is it too late for Obama to bring back that ad talking about how the Clintons will say or do anything to win?

They called up yesterday after having discovered the Clinton Attacks Obama wiki we set up and wanted to talk about it. I think the taping went well. Check your local listings :) 

The show is run out of WNYC in New York and airs tonight, probably between 6pm and 9pm depending on your location.

The audio is available now. Pretty short segment, but I think I got my message across. Thanks to PRI for having us. We got a nice traffic kick out of it.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, 1994-1996, “The Assassination of The Black Male Image”.


To maintain power and control, the plantation masters said that black men were savage and hyper sexual. To strengthen racial control, late nineteenth and early twentieth century scientists and academics concocted pseudo-theories that said black men were criminal and mentally defective. To justify lynching and political domination, the politicians and business leaders of the era said that black men were rapists and brutes. To roll back civil rights and slash social programs, Reagan-Rush Limbaugh-Pat Buchanan-type conservatives say black men are derelict and lazy.



Various incidents, 2007-2008:

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, 2008:


But here’s the rub. Johnson was forced to apologize to Obama for his real, imagined, or likely manufactured slight. Yet as of this writing there’s no sign of any like apology from the Obama camp for distorting and then blowing up Clinton’s King compliment. His much touted agreement with Hillary to tone down the race attacks is not the same as an apology. Don’t bet that that “truce” will last.

Nope, not a critical word.

This will be cross-posted over at BlogHer.com, and I would like to thank BlogHer.com for the invitation to post there.

I was wondering about what subject to write about, and I got my inspiration from reading some of the so-called Progressive blogs.

What upset me was the dismissiveness towards the South Carolina Primary.

A prevailing attitude comprised of, if Barack Obama wins South Carolina:
1. He only won because he’s Black
2. It doesn’t REALLY count as a win because of the sizeable Black population in South Carolina.

I’d like to concentrate on those two points.

1. He only won because he’s Black

This is condescending to the nth degree. For this to be the case, then that would mean that Obama would have been leading in South Carolina from the moment he announced in February 2007. And, the truth of the matter is, the race in South Carolina, according to the polls, only has had Obama in the lead beginning THIS MONTH- January 2008.

In November 2007, Hillary Clinton had a ten-point advantage; December 2007, Clinton and Obama were tied. So, from February 2007 until December 2007, Barack Obama was trailing Hillary Clinton in South Carolina. So, what happened in December 2007? Did everyone Black in South Carolina JUST discover that Obama was Black and said , ‘ I’ze gots to vote for the Black guy!’

Or, could it be, as with Iowa, and New Hampshire, and Nevada, Senator Obama began from Ground Zero – little national name recognition and no organization. And, as with those other states, he began to build an organization in South Carolina, from the ground up, and through visiting and through campaign events, he began to become better known and present himself as a viable candidate for President.

You mean, Obama, gasp, actually campaigned for the Black vote in South Carolina?

Indeed, he did.

He said, from the beginning, that he would campaign for Black votes as he would any other group. And, he has done that.

What has he been up against?

Well, a Black Establishment in South Carolina full of Uncle Ruckus’. Uncle Ruckus, for those who don’t know, is the self-hating,loathesome Sambo on The Boondocks. He’s the type of Negro to which Harriet Tubman was referring when she said: ” I freed thousands, and would have freed thousands more – if they only knew they were slaves.”
Prime example of this is State Senator Robert Ford, who, back in February 2007, said the following about Obama’s run for the Presidency:


Ford says he likes Obama, but thinks his candidacy would hurt Democrats. Ford says every Democrat on the ticket would lose with Obama as the presidential candidate because he is black.

“Then everybody else on the ballot is doomed. Every Democratic candidate running on that ticket would lose because he’s black and he’s at the top of the ticket. We’d lose the House, the Senate and the governors and everything. I’m a gambling man. I love Obama. But I’m not going to kill myself.”

Lawd, Lawd, Lawd….The Black Man will DOOM US!

Sigh.

He still hadn’t changed his mind after Iowa, in case you’re wondering.

Obama was facing a very skeptical Black electorate, who just didn’t believe that a Black man could actually be elected President. After all, this is America, and a recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll asked if the country is ready for a Black president, 72 percent of Whites answered yes; only 61 percent of Blacks answered yes.

So, Obama faced a skeptical electorate; he was an unknown quantity, running against the most formidable Democratic Machine in a quarter century. All they knew about him was that he was a Senator from Illinois. And, what they did hear of him – Kenyan father, White mother, grew up outside of mainland USA – none of that translates well South of the Mason Dixon. Obama had work to do, and he did it. He did the grassroots organizing that helped him in the other first four states; he did the grunt work that a candidate starting with nothing does, and it helped him build himself in South Carolina. In this endeavor, Michelle Obama was Senator Obama’s best campaign weapon, and she did a great job for him.

The tide began to turn Obama’s way in South Carolina with the Oprah/Obama tour. Blacks were still hesitant. They were still on the fence. They were still skeptical that this was remotely possible. The coverage of the Iowa leg of the Oprah/Obama tour was very important. For Blacks to be able to SEE the response to Obama in that context. He could make 1,000 campaign commercials, and it wouldn’t have matched that Iowa leg of the tour. When they arrived in South Carolina, to a stadium with a healthy percentage African-American audience, wondering, ‘ Could it be?’ That was the question. While the demographics of Oprah’s audience skew White, Oprah Winfrey is RESPECTED by Black women. Respected for all that she went through and still found a way, out of no way, as a visibly Black woman with Black features, to be quantified as an unmitigated American Success Story. And, along the way, Oprah never forgot that ‘ To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Expected’, as her philanthropic efforts show.

Oprah basically told that audience that NOW is the time, and that this was the moment to believe. That don’t listen to those who would tell you that Obama had to ‘ wait his turn’. That they KNEW what that meant; that, never in the history of THIS country, had ‘ Black’ and ‘ the right time’, ever been used together in a sentence.

Black South Carolina decided to believe; decided to ‘ go for it’ on the night of January 3rd – when, in the middle of 90+% White Iowa, Barack Obama was declared the winner of the Iowa Caucus.

Some have derided Black South Carolinians for waiting for others to decide before making their own choice. I choose to believe that it IS a political sophistication and maturation on their part. After all, we’ve been through the symbolic runs for The Presidency: Shirley Chisholm in 1972, Jesse Jackson in 1984 & 1988. If this was about supporting ‘ The Black Candidate’, when why didn’t Al Sharpton and Carol Moseley Braun do better? Because, Black folk had ‘ been there and done that’, and if they were going to invest in it, they wanted a candidate with a serious chance. They knew that any Black candidate couldn’t be elected without White support, and they needed to see if Obama would actually get support in states where the Black electorate is negligible. Iowa and New Hampshire answered that question.

So, it took from February 2007 until January 2008, for Barack Obama to become a clear choice in South Carolina. It took that time for Black South Carolinians to accept that Barack Obama WAS a serious candidate, and all that means. That, they had to accept this ‘New’ type of Black leadership as not only valid, but viable. To become comfortable with the pretext that Barack Obama COULD NOT be ‘ The Black Candidate Running for President’ a majority of the time, but that he had to be ‘The Candidate Running for President Who Happens To Be Black’, and make peace with that.

February 2007 – January 2008: That doesn’t scream obvious; that doesn’t scream overnight sensation; that screams that the Black South Carolinian Population was deliberate about their decision making in terms of the Democratic Primary and should be respected as such. If those voters were such sheep, then wouldn’t they be following in lockstep with the Black Establishment in South Carolina that, for the most part, has declared themselves for Hillary Clinton?

Which brings me to the second point – An Obama victory in South Carolina doesn’t REALLY count as a win because of the sizeable Black population in South Carolina.

So, let me get this straight – Hillary Clinton wins White women in New Hampshire, and it’s this great victory, but if Barack Obama wins South Carolina, after ten months of campaigning, because of sizeable Black support, it doesn’t REALLY count?

What is this – are we back to being Three-Fifths once again?

The Black vote doesn’t count as much as the White vote?

I’m going to say this as obviously as I can:

YOU DO NOT WANT TO GO DOWN THIS ROAD.

You simply don’t.

There is this underlying condescension that has been creeping into the “Progressive” blogs that, ‘ oh, well , THEY – meaning Blacks- have nowhere else to go. So, the Clintons and their proxies, who are actually race-baiting, but we’ll say that they aren’t, and tell those Blacks who are informing us as to what they see that it’s in their IMAGINATION – well, they’ll shut up, go SIT IN THEIR PLACE and turn up in November like they’re SUPPOSED TO. ‘

That’s not a bet you want to take.

Black folk don’t have to vote for McCain or any GOPer. They can just STAY HOME in several critical states, and the GOP wins. Thinking that you can scare folk with the GOP Bogeyman after you’ve been disrespecting Black folk, is both offensive and disrespectful.

James Brown said it:
We’d rather die on our feet
Than be livin’ on our knees

I am part of the Hip-Hop generation, and those of us who are Post Civil-Rights have learned our lessons well. We learned to hear the Dogwhistle of Racial Politics; our parents taught us that for SURVIVAL, but what they afforded us that they didn’t have, was the option of getting off of our knees.

One of our South Carolina voices is blogging much if his experience on his own blog at Anderkoo, having traveled down to SC to volunteer. I found this worth sharing, as it echoes what our own dnA has been writing about.

I was waiting for the moment when the Clinton campaign would re-spin the racial dynamic of this contest, and it finally came today. I have to give them credit: they have mastered the art of sour grapes. First, they — not the Obama campaign — raised the issue of race (it is almost never to a black candidate’s advantage to go that route). After letting it stink for a good weak, attempting to inject codewords like “young man” and “frustrated” into the national psyche, today Mr. Clinton knocks over the chess board: “They are getting votes, to be sure, because of their race or gender, and that’s why people tell me that Hillary doesn’t have a chance to win here.”

All these bursts of anger are about as authentic as Hillary’s tears: genuine, to be sure, but also coldly calculated. Deploying the political equivalent of method acting, our alleged first black President now suggests that black folks will vote for someone with a dark complexion on that criterion alone, and is thereby doing his best to marginalize a group of voters who are finally, finally having their day in the national electoral sun. What’s more, it’s a one-two punch, one designed to scare white voters by labeling Obama as the black candidate. It’s a shameful moment for the Clintons and for the Democratic Party.

Read the complete post here.

Obama’s angry moment in the last debate was remarkable precisely because he so rarely gets angry. The Clintons though, want you to think he’s about to buss a cap in that ass:

At a press conference this morning in Washington, Hillary Clinton was asked about last night’s contentious debate, and she returned to a theme of her campaign in recent days — that Obama is “frustrated.”

“I think what we saw last night is that he’s very frustrated,” Hillary said. “The events of the last ten or so days, particularly the outcomes in New Hampshire and Nevada, have apparently convinced him to adopt a different strategy.” She then added that Obama came to the debate “looking for a fight.”

The campaign has been using this theme quite a lot in the last few days, calling Obama “frustrated.” Having the candidate herself use the terms clearly shows that they think it’s a good line to follow.

What I wish Obama would say but won’t:

“Yeah I’m frustrated. But at least I’m not going to cry.”

I need to start a whole new blog for those.

In any case, the Clintons have refined their approach to using racial subtext in attacking Obama. The first volley of racialized attacks were meant to tag Obama as the “black candidate”. “Frustrated” is a more ambiguous term than “angry” but that’s what they mean. And that’s how they want you to think about Obama, as “frustrated” and “black”. Just like Al Sharpton!

In any case, ABC News heard the dog whistle, and responded accordingly.

ABC News’ Sunlen Miller Reports: It should have been an easy question for Sen. Barack Obama: “Are you allowing President Clinton to get in your head?”

Yet, it took Obama three tries to answer the question, in what turned into a testy exchange with the New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny following a campaign event in Greenwood, South Carolina.

[...]

“I am trying to make sure that his statements by him are answered. Don’t you think that’s important?” Obama shot back, while walking away.

When Zeleny yelled a follow up question suggesting the Illinois senator had not answered the question, Obama fired back angrily, “Don’t try cheap stunts like that.”

He didn’t just sound angry, he “fired” or “shot” back. BAKKA! BAKKA!

Of course, the description of this encounter was pure hype, as Obama doesn’t sound angry at all, and doesn’t even stop what he’s doing to reply. He’s even smiling! TPM posted the video:

Watch out for Obama. He might smile and give a sternly worded reply!

This is a big deal.

A very short note from one of our correspondents on the ground in South Carolina. This one is an Obama volunteer and writes about the effect of Hillary hammering Obama on his “present” votes in the Illinois legislature:

it’s becoming clear why clinton was hitting obama so hard on those 100 out of 4000 “present” votes — tonight’s HRC phone bank push is targeting pro-choice women in SC claiming that he voted “present” on abortion issues in IL.

For the record, Obama fully supports a woman’s right to choose. He has a 100 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America. As our wiki points out, this attack (#30) was used in New Hampshire, possibly to great affect.

The founder of NH NARAL was manipulated into signing an anti-Obama mailing by the Clinton campaign and is upset with the campaign for abusing her, as reported in this Washington Post article:

Katie Wheeler, a former state senator, said the Clinton campaign had not given her background information about Obama’s record on abortion rights when it asked her to sign the letter calling him weak on the issue, and said that, as a result, she did not understand the context of the votes that the letter was attacking him over.

“It should never have gotten to the point where anyone thought Obama was not pro-choice. I don’t think the Clinton campaign should have done that. It was divisive and unnecessary…I think it was a mistake and I’ve spoken to the national [Clinton campaign] and told them it caused problems in New Hampshire, and am hoping they won’t do it again.”

Well, Katie. You got got. They are doing it again despite knowledge of the full truth.

This is the type of nonsense that makes me wanna go oops upside a Clinton head a few times. This is the type of nonsense that divides a party unneccessarily. Of all the things to attack a Democrat on, why oh why would you choose his pro-choice bona fides?

I am so done with the Clintons.

My peoples! This is so exciting. Here is the first of what I hope will be many dispatches from our network of folks on the ground in South Carolina.

First up, a short dispatch from Greenville

I’m in Greenville, SC. I am scheduled to do some door canvasing on Saturday with fellow supporters from the Obama office here in Greenville. I have a co-worker headed to the Obama rally at Furman University today. I will definitely follow up with any interesting events. President Clinton will also be in the area today. Still, the only campaigns that are vocal in the area are Obama and Edwards. I have heard little from any Clinton supporters or sympathizers.

Next one comes courtesy of an Obama campaign volunteer offering some concerns about the campaign’s approach, potentially record breaking get out the vote (GOTV) efforts and a look ahead to Super Tuesday.

so my basic concern with the campaign message — this was true for NH as well — is that it’s been assuming that voters are already on Obama’s side, when he’s still got a lot of convincing to do. In NH he kept hitting the “do what Iowa did” message which was a guaranteed turnoff, and he was giving stump speeches to fire up the base rather than expanding that base. Well, Hillary is the one with the base, not O. So he’s got to re-tune his message.

As for what’s going on on the ground, some blog just publicized our election law hotline and we’ve been hammered — about 65% legit calls, and 35% who just want to yak. But there’s a lot of confusion about polling locations, a lot of stuff having to do with the counties consolidating precincts so that many of them are voting at the same location as another precinct. This is apparently new so even inside we’re struggling to keep up, esp. with some apparently last-minute changes. We’re trying to doorknock without perfect info on where thees folks should vote.

The big thing is that right before we arrived they made the decision to expand the GOTV universe to include all identified supporters PLUS every known African-American in the state. This quadrupled our outreach effort. Strategically this seems a bit shaky to me — see first para about assuming that everyone is already on your side — but in the big picture of electoral politics, I bet it’s been decades that anything like this has ever been attempted to bring out a disenfranchised community. In fact, it may be flat-out historic. Hugely inspiring.

The Nevada results seem to have no effect on morale here. I’m sure if they had been reversed we’d be revved up on a totally different plane, so I can’t say the results made no difference, but for whatever reason Iowa and NH are still embedded in our psyches, so as far as we’re concerned, we’re tied.

I’m already looking ahead to Super Tuesday and I’m worried but excited… we need a huge, huge win here to carry us through. Let’s say we do — what will it take to win CA, GA, MA, hells, even a big chunk of NY? What are folks doing in the ST states to make this for real?

Remember you’re getting this from JJP!

Sorry to get this up so late. I’m sure yall would have liked a thread to share your thoughts on last night’s debate, but some of us are still holdin down the day job, ok? :)

Let’s get to it. I didn’t actually see most of the debate. I read the entire transcript and saw a few exchanges on YouTube and read many second hand reports. What impressed me from the transcript was Mr. John Edwards who seemed to evoke the most powerful spirit of Dr. King in reminding everyone of the Poor People’s Campaign.

He could also afford to sidestep the Obama-Clinton battle much of the time but seemed eager to jump in as well (with his comments on taking money from lobbyists or defending his trial lawyer fundraising, for example).

I liked Clinton when she stuck to advocating her policies. The Green Collar jobs. A freeze on home interest rates. She was sounding mad progressive. I did not like the intentional misrepresentation of Obama on Reagan. We need to get past all that. Similarly with the “present” votes in Illinois. But she knows there is no room for nuance in these forums, and she’s trying to spread as much dirt on Obama as possible. Felt like a bit of scorched earth campaigning going on.

Part of me had to rethink my entire anti-Clinton perspective. When O hit her hard with that “sometimes I’m not sure which Clinton I’m running against,” I thought on the one hand, “hell yeah, go get em.” But the other side was like, “oooh, it would be nice to have two Clintons attacking and distorting McCain or Romney’s positions.” It was a dark thought, based in the cynicism in which we’ve been soaked as a society.

Obama appeals to something more positive in me, but damn the dark side looks good sometimes. As for Mr. O, I’m so glad he jumped in and started swinging, because folks are right, if he can’t take the heat from Clintons, much as I despise what they’re doing as divisive, he can’t take it from the Right who will call him everything but his name and then some.

I absolutely hate the tactics the Clintons are using (thus, the wiki), because if she gets the nomination, I doubt she can win the general (and she’d almost certainly hurt down ticket Dems in red states). If Obama gets the nomination despite the Clinton tactics, then we know we have a winner.
As for the debate questions. I think too many tried to instigate more race-based personality battles than were necessary, but at least there were no dumbass questions about clothing. Here are the questions I would have asked. I tried to get something for everybody and, of course, all for the American people.

  1. What do you consider to be the primary cause of the subprime housing implosion? (this is designed to test their ability to diagnose a problem even before proposing solutions. Will they lay the blame at shady mortgage agents, uneducated buyers, the deregulation of banking and housing, securitization of mortgage debt? etc)
  2. Despite calling ourselves “the land of the free,” the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any nation in the world, with over 2 million people in prison, over half for drug-related offenses. The state of South Carolina was ranked next to last in its ability to reintegrate former prisoners into society. Whether through overzealous sentencing guidelines or a failed War on Drugs, something is clearly wrong with the U.S. prison system. As president, what would you do to fix it?
  3. Most oil industry analysts agree that the world has reached its peak production of oil and as a consequence will face a dramatic increase in prices as demand outstrips supply. Considering how critical low-priced fossil fuels are to our system of industrial agriculture, transportation and suburban living — especially here in the Southeast — describe your plans to ensure or alter the so-called “American way of life.”
  4. In August, over 1,800 National Guardsmen from South Carolina were deployed to Afghanistan, the largest single unit deployment from the S.C. National Guard since World War II. These soldiers, for the most part, left full-time jobs to serve their country as part of the year-long commitment. In the aftermath of this deployment, families — many of whom include kids — have been left without their primary breadwinners. How would you ease the economic strain the war has had, and will continue to have, on these and other military families, particularly at a time when there are real worries of a recession?
  5. This question is directed at Senator Clinton. You have repeatedly claimed that you have 35 years of experience while referring to Barack Obama as a part-time state legislator who began his White House bid after just one year in the U.S. Senate. However, in terms of holding elected office Senator Obama has 11 years, you have eight and Senator Edwards has six. In fact, Dennis Kucinich leads the three of you with 12 years in elected office including two as mayor of Cleveland. Isn’t experience in which you are accountable to voters more important?
  6. This question is directed at Senator Obama. You have based your campaign on an inspiring vision of a united America and your victory on a strategy of winning over Democrats, Independents and even Republicans. But as we have seen often, America doesn’t always remain united. Bill Clinton faced withering attacks from the right after the 1994 election gave control of Congress to the Republicans. What do you do if you’re elected, and your coalition falls into old partisan habits?
  7. This question is directed at Senator Edwards. Since your 2004 campaign, you have become a strong voice against poverty and what you consider to be disproportionate corporate influence in our democracy. Many refer to your campaign as populist and admire your passion. However, your Senate record seems not to reflect this message. You voted for the Iraq War, No Child Left Behind, the Patriot Act, permanent normal trade relations with China and a bankruptcy bill which makes it more difficult for people to clear debt. You have since claimed that you regret all of these votes. Why should voters believe you won’t make the same regrettable mistakes as president.


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Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell

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