Barack In Brooklyn
Video: New York City For Barack Obama 3
DL21C Annual Summer Bash: Barack Won The Straw Poll
I took the train to the venue. I walked back home after the event. I did sit-ups before I headed that way. Bruno told me I looked all fired up. If you did sit-ups, you would also look all fired up.
This was going to be my second time seeing Obama in person.
I was dressed in all black. Does that make me black enough? (Barack: Black Enough For Me)
There was a very long line outside the Marriott. I kept walking, and walking, and walking. Finally when I reached the end of the line, I said, I kept telling myself, if you keep walking, you will get there.
Annerenda I last met at the Union Square voter registration that Jeff had organized. When I saw her walk to the end of the line, I pulled her to come stand with me. She cut line, you could say.
Carlos walked by. Andrew walked by. I tried to pull Andrew. He showed me his big volunteer badge. Andrew is one of the top three or so people on Brooklyn For Barack, the organization. He was like an official. A volunteer. He was not trying to get in line.
After the event was over I learned from Carrington that not everybody was able to get in. Apparently the event got oversold. Obama greeted them outside. That was nice of him. Carrington is one of the top three people on Queens For Obama. I guess he gets to see my video of the event. My video is like the Bourne movies. Half the time the camera is shaking.
Carlos is easily one of the most visibly dynamic members of the five families, my name for the top 20 or so people who seem to be taking the lead in the four boroughs. He is Cuban. The recent debate on Cuba reminds me of him when I am following it. (Hillary On Cuba And Bush On Tax Cuts)
Jordan is Marlon Brando. He has this gravitas about him. He also has the Christopher Columbus air about him. Jordan Thomas. He is the one who launched Brooklyn For Barack. He is the one who introduced Barack at the first event that I got to see him in person. (I Touched Obama: Babel, Barack)
"Man, I have always wanted to shake your hand. Here, let me shake your hand," I teased him after the event was over and most people were gone. These guys put in a whole bunch of work into the Obama effort. It is like a part time job. Only you don't get paid.
When I walked out of the building, there were the key people waiting outside. Kirstine was one. I met her Sunday the yard sale Daniel and Allison did in Kensington. We both were there at the earliest Obama meetings in the city. She works at a place in Long Island that has six Nobel Prize winners.
"We are all waiting for Jordan. Where is Jordan?"
Oops. I was just talking to him. He is up there in the lobby. She walked back into the building to go up to the lobby.
I am a free agent. I am not a member of the five families. I have to stay unstructured. (NYC, Obama, Structure, Me)
I do put in the hours too. But those are unstructured hours. I put a lot of hours just to maintain this blog, my primary contribution to Obama 2008.
Before checking in, I saw Jeff. I gave him a cheery greeting. Then I was sent to the far end of the check in table, because I had not printed my ticket. Saving trees, one ticket at a time. But my name was on the list. You show your ID and you are in.
And I walk in and there is Jeff again. He is the gatekeeper.
"What's going on, man? I keep seeing you."
He promptly closed both his eyes. I can't see you, so that must mean you can't see me.
Molly whizzed by. Molly does not want to be videoblogged. Since all my editing happens while filming, I made sure I did not get her on camera. Once I got pretty close, like two feet to her right.
The guy who introduced Obama today was a Jamaican American who had made a $25 contribution. He worked as a gatekeeper somewhere, one of the gatekeepers at the venue told me. "Now he is a hero, he is in the newspapers."
My favorite part of the speech was the story he told at the end. I was too busy filming for posterity to really, truly experience the speech for myself. The first time I got to shake his hand, there were at least two people between us, and the paparazzi were swarming all around. Paparazzi with TV cameras.
Then I went to the other end, the end he had already worked. Astonishingly he came back to that end and shook some more hands. I managed to touch his hand. Our eyes met once. I gave him a huge, fired up smile. He smiled back and looked to the floor.
The bodyguards were really impressive, the "secret people." Obama is into his speech, the crowd is into his speech. But these "secret people" are totally tuned out. They are doing their job. They are scanning the horizon. They looked so thorough.
Alexis and Jonta were there. Those are two top people in Queens.
One guy from Long Island approached me. "Hey, I remember seeing you at the very fist Obama event in the city," he said to me.
"Man, that looks so good on me for you to say that. Will you please say that again for the camera?" I said.
It was time to break down the railings around the stage towards the end. Beatina tricked me into holding two of them at once. That immobilizes you. You can only handle one at a time. You put the railing onto the cart one at a time.
The guy who introduced Barack got interviewed by a whole bunch of TV people. One TV reporter also got me.
"Why do you like Barack Obama?"
"Oh, he is Third World, and I am Third World, that's why."
New York City For Barack Obama 1
New York City For Barack Obama 2
In The News
Obama on Daily Show: "Judgment" is everything Chicago Tribune, United States "everybody knows a lot of 50-, 60- and 70-year-olds that don't have good judgment, because they keep on making the same mistakes over and over again." ...... his wife's usual stump speech -- which, to be fair, focuses very heavily on stories of her own family and her personal attempts to maintain a health family life.
In Brooklyn, Cheers for Obama New York Times, United States Obama came into the heart of Hillary country Wednesday night for a fundraiser organized by the group Brooklyn for Barack. ...... wide-ranging 40-minute speech ..... the audience, which packed the reserved room at New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn, as well as another room where the rally was simulcast. ...... “What a speaker,” said Barbara Barran,59. “This is like John Kennedy, and for those of us of that vintage, he’s that inspirational.” .... “He was a breath of fresh air” said Charles Barron, a New York City councilman, who represents parts of East New York. “But I wish he would bring it to the neighborhoods, not just the Marriott.”
Brooklyn Celebrity Sighting
GENERATION NOBAMA: Wildly Overbooked Campaign Event Leaves Barack ...
Barack Obama: Obama Welcomes Support of Key Elected Officials ... All American Patriots (press release), Sweden
Lining Up in Brooklyn For Obama Brooklyn Daily Eagle, NY
Obama appears on US comedy show ITN, UK
Absent Wife The Talk Of Sen. Obama's NYC Stop WCBS-TV New York, NY On Wednesday Sen. Barack Obama once again invaded Sen. Hillary Clinton's turf. The Illinois senator is campaigning in New York City as the political world buzzes over comments made by his wife. Appearing at a West Side union hall, Obama's first words concerned his wife. ......... "She has been making that speech constantly about the decision we made to make sure that our family was strong," Barack Obama said, "because if our family wasn't that strong then we couldn't be a strong leader in the White House." ......... "In America a lot of wives have been kind of, uh, reserved since the 90s and it's nice to see someone else who's dynamic come out there and be bold and outspoken on the campaign trail" ...... Barack Obama was scheduled to hold another event Wednesday night at the Marriott in Brooklyn.
Obama campaigns on Hillary's turf Newsday, NY
Obama gets Stewart treatment tonight Boston Globe, United States
Lining Up in Brooklyn For Obama Brooklyn Daily Eagle, NY
Obama Stumps On Clinton's Home Turf
Obama steps on Hillary's turf
Barack Obama in Brooklyn Wednesday 1010 Wins, NY Barack Obama brings his presidential campaign to Brooklyn Wednesday. It's the second time in four weeks that the junior senator from Illinois is in Brooklyn. He will hold a fundraiser at the Brooklyn Marriott on Wedneday evening. The unofficial kick-off took place on July 24 at the home of Brooklyn Heights doyenne Nina Collins, where people paid $1,000 to meet Obama. Obama lived in Brooklyn, briefly, in the 1980s. ..... organized by Brooklyn for Barack .... Through June 30, Clinton raised $424,000 in the borough to Obama's $231,000.
Will Obama's Stance on Cuba Hurt Him? TIME Conventional political wisdom in the bellwether state of Florida has always focused on Cuban-Americans .... Cross them, says the presidential candidate handbook, and say adios to the Sunshine State's 27 electoral votes. ...... Obama knows a new conventional wisdom may well be taking shape in the state — one that could actually make his declarations this week an asset ...... "It's almost as if you have to decide ahead of time when a relative is going to die ...... by playing that safe card in Florida, Clinton may have allowed herself to be "outmaneuvered by Obama on this one ...... more than 55% of Cuban-Americans in Miami favor unrestricted travel to Cuba. ...... Unlike their elders, the younger generation believes that the 45-year-old economic embargo against Cuba has utterly failed to dislodge its communist leader. ........ The exiles have traditionally voted Republican ever since they abandoned President John F. Kennedy because of his botched direction of the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961. ...... the rules in Florida are really ready to be broken.
Obama Denies Wife Took Swipe At Clinton Guardian Unlimited, UK
Obama is outflanking rivals on the left and right Daily Star - Lebanon, Lebanon
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Iraq PM bristles as tensions grow with US Reuters Canada
Iraq Prime Minister Rebuffs US Criticism
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No military solution for Iraq: Obama NDTV.com
Clinton's success so far can't be debated Newsday Clinton's brain trust spent the days before her April 26 debate debut prepping her on policy, role playing her rivals during practice sessions, and fretting. ...... Some members of Clinton's team didn't think she could match the loquacious Sen. Barack Obama at the lectern. Others, such as Clinton's longtime adviser Mandy Grunwald, didn't know how she would hold up as the main target in an eight-candidate melee. Adding to the anxiety were polls showing Obama within 5 percentage points nationally. ..... No candidate has benefited as much from primary debates since Ronald Reagan in 1980 .... She was very reluctant to engage in these debates ..... She has had more gravitas than other people on the stage and she seems completely unrattled ..... Clinton's most famous debate moment in 2000 was a flinch - after Rick Lazio made his ill-advised trip to her podium. ..... Preparation has been a key. Clinton often stages elaborate multiplayer practices in Washington or on the road, with a rotating cast of aides, friends and consultants. No one actor has adopted the role of Obama, but Democratic Leadership Council president Bruce Reed does a dead-on Edwards. ...... Clinton's debate consigliere is Robert Barnett, a former high school debate champ-turned-corporate lawyer who has served as a Democratic verbal coach for 30 years. ...... On the stump, critics say she's stiff, cold, wonky and schoolmarmish. Yet in the presence of her opponents, those same attributes come across as dignity, composure, intelligence and maturity. ........ Obama's camp marks that exchange as the start of his comeback. .... At Sunday's Iowa debate, many in the audience thought she seemed testy, an impression supported by pollster Frank Luntz, who said Obama won among his focus groups. ...."Obama is finally learning to master the 50-second answer," said Luntz. "That's bad for her because when he's good, he's better than she is."
If president, Obama will lift Cuba sanctions Xinhua, China The Miami-Dade Democratic Party is in favor of lifting the restrictions last week. Obama will speak at a fund-raiser for the chapter Saturday at the Miami-Dade Auditorium, the same Little Havana site where Ronald Reagan won over many in the Cuban community more than 20 years ago. Joe Garcia, the group's chairman, praised Obama's proposal. "It shows courage, and it shows commitment to move beyond the status-quo politics of rhetoric, which is all the Cuban-American community has received from any party for the last half century," said Garcia, a former head of the Cuban-American Foundation. None of the other top presidential candidates have sought to ease the restrictions.
It's all about priorities for Michelle Obama Los Angeles Times, CA So Michelle Obama -- still in maternity clothes -- strapped her newborn daughter, Sasha, in the stroller and headed out to meet Michael E. Riordan, president and chief executive of the University of Chicago Medical Center. .... Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama, 43, is not your mother's political spouse....... reaches out to and embodies a new generation of American women -- those much-studied multitaskers who hope to change the workplace but, in the process, inspire headlines like "Damned or Doomed," "Opt Out or Pushed Out," "One Sick Child Away From Being Fired." ...... 'I'm a professional, and here's my infant.' " ...... she never leaves home without two BlackBerrys, one for the job and one for the campaign. ....... as a mother, wife, professional, campaign wife, whatever it is that's on my plate, I'm drowning. And nobody's talking about these issues. In my adult lifetime, I felt duped ...... "People told me, 'You can do it all. Just stay the course, get your education and you can raise a child, stay thin, be in shape, love your man, look good and raise healthy children.' That was a lie." ....... needs universal healthcare, access to child care and better schools ..... she, herself, is looking "for someone -- not just a woman -- but someone who understands my struggles." ...... she had heard someone say what she has silently believed for many years: "We can't do it all." ....... for African American women .. who often "have to be the mother and father and the breadwinner. There's so much pressure. ...... women belong to his chief rival, and the two split the African American vote pretty much down the middle. ......... Obama has a lock on Democrats with an idealistic strain ..... pragmatic voters who worry about tangibles like paying the bills right now are solidly in Clinton's camp. ........ vice president for community and external affairs, a position heavy on strategy and persuasion ....... Obama set off a cybersquall of second guessing when she announced that she would work only 20% of the time and she would play her continued employment by ear as the campaign heats up. ....... "Damn it all, Michelle Obama has quit her $215,000 dream job and demoted herself to queen," ranted an article in Salon.com, whose author described herself as "in a feminist fury." ........ political spouse is probably one of America's toughest unpaid jobs ...... Obama's mother still lives in the small brick apartment where her children grew up -- a one-bedroom unit whose living room was trisected by fake wood paneling into bedrooms for Michelle and her brother, Craig Robinson, and a separate space for homework. ....... Obama followed Robinson to Princeton -- a place that "made me far more aware of my 'blackness' than ever before," she wrote in her undergraduate thesis ......... "No matter how liberal and open-minded some of my white professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus." ...... the university in the early 1980s as the kind of place where white students passed by black classmates without a shred of recognition. ...... "They didn't mean to be rude," she said. "Because they didn't even think they might know a black person, they'd just walk by. All of those things reminded you every single second that you're black, you're black, you're black." ...... Just as the issue of race was inescapable at Princeton, it is an integral part of campaign 2008. .... Race "resonates all through the comments about education," she said in an interview. "It resonates throughout the comments about my upbringing, my childhood, my access to college. It is there. Because it is me." ........ The Obamas live in a $1.65-million brick mansion with big white columns, multiple chimneys and Secret Service agents parked at the curb in Chicago's storied Hyde Park neighborhood. ..... she limits political travel to two days a week and doesn't stay overnight unless the girls come along. She tries to return home in time to kiss them good night, but it's a struggle. ....... "He's a wonderful man, he's a gifted man," she said at an April event, "but in the end, he's just a man." Lately, however, she sounds much more reverent. He is, she said at a Harlem event, "the answer" for America. ...... "Take care of my daughters, to make sure they're OK being in the White House." ..... I don't worry about a career. That will always be there. What I am worried about are my girls
Clinton Takes the Bait on Cuba Yahoo! News
Obama expresses sentiments of majority of Americans on Cuba ... International Herald Tribune, France
Bush 'Amused' By 'North American Union' Fears CNSNews.com, VA
Obama Sees a ‘Complete Failure’ in Iraq
Labor unrealistic on Iraq, says Howard
Ouch! Obama’s Mrs. rips Hillary: Barack cooks up strategy as wife ... Boston Herald The wife of Barack Obama told an audience in Atlantic, Iowa: “If you can’t run your own house, you can’t run the White House.” ....... “Let me tell you, if I beat the Clintons, folks aren’t going to ask whether I’m tough enough,” he said. ..... One reason the former first lady has a huge national lead with Democratic voters is her backing from the political machine built by her philandering husband, former President Clinton.
Obama again stirs up decades-old debate on Cuba CNN What to do about Fidel Castro is a question that dates back five decades and 10 U.S. presidencies. ...... Obama wrote that he would grant Cuban-Americans "unrestricted rights to visit family and send remittances to the island." .... Gov. Mitt Romney was quick to pounce, saying in a statement "unilateral concessions to a dictatorial regime are counterproductive" and that Obama's position proves the Illinois senator "does not have the strength to confront America's enemies or defend our values." ..... Current restrictions allow Cuban-Americans to send family members $300 a quarter and limit visits to up to 14 days once every three years. ..... Sen. Chris Dodd would do more; he favors allowing all Americans unrestricted travel to Cuba. ..... Cuban-Americans account for less than 1 percent of the U.S. population. But they are heavily concentrated in the key presidential battleground of Florida, where they constitute 8 percent of the state's electorate. ....... Cuban-Americans are the most reliably Republican of the nation's Latino voters, leading some strategists to wonder why Obama would be interested in inflaming the passions of the Cuba debate. ...... President Clinton's decision to return Elian Gonzalez to Castro's Cuba provoked outrage among Cuban-Americans, and, according to a Florida International University Study, Republican candidates received more than 80 percent of the Cuban-American vote in Florida in the 2000 presidential and the 2002 gubernatorial elections