What Would Jesus Do?


Obama 2008 is in trouble. Hillary is pulling ahead. She is leading in all the early states right now. And this is no fluke. If she wins the first four states, the rest will not even have to wait until February 5. This election will be over in January.

Her victory is not inevitable. Four months are a long time in politics. But Obama 2008 is going to have to change gears.

Iraq

Obama is not using Iraq like he should. That is his number one strength going into the primary season. But he has been giving Hillary a pass on this one. Hillary did not only vote for the war in 2002, she was also one of the most enthusiastic Senator to do so. And now we learn she did not even read the National Intelligence Estimate report she was supposed to that would have told her what she said she did not know at the time.

Obama is not a pacifist. He was simply opposed to taking the eyes off Bin Laden. Iraq has been a wrong war on the wrong battlefield. George W and Hillary did what Bin Laden wanted them to do. Bin Laden is on record telling his subordinates it was urgent the US got busy in Iraq and took its eyes off Afghanistan.

Hillary's image of Ms. Security has to be busted, because it does not hold water.

Hitting Back

Obama does not have to go negative. Hillary is not going negative either. But she has been hammering Obama relentlessly. And Obama has not been responding. When you don't hit back, you lose. Hillary's campaign has been attacking Obama's youth, dynamism, freshness, innovation, integrity, and newness on a daily basis for months now. Where is the hitting back? Remember what happened to John Kerry when he did not hit back at the Swift Boat Veterans in 2004: he swiftly was shown the door, facts be damned.

I am all for a new kind of politics, I am all for the politics of hope. But getting hit and taking it lying down is simply bad politics, and the numbers show that to be true. Obama started climbing up in the early states when he engaged Hillary in a duel for a week. Then he let it lapse, and Hillary gained again. You got to engage in an ongoing duel. You got to show some strength.

Race, Gender

If Hillary can compete with Obama for black voters, Obama can compete with Hillary for the women voters. It is about identifying the key issues.

Health Care

This is a big one. Hillary leads among the low income and the elderly Democrats, and there is no logic behind that. With Obama you get universal health in four years, with Hillary eight years. Those two groups need some Obama 2008 help to get enlightened on this fundamental issue.

Substance

It is not like Obama lacks substance. But his opponents, starting with the Hillary campaign, have made it look like all Obama is is a pretty face. Obama has to put out his policy wonk side a little.

How about videoblogging the sessions he holds with his brain trusts so as to show the world he is really into the nitty gritty details on all the issues?

Ethics Reform

Hillary is such a status quo person when it comes to lobbyists and all that.

Between Iraq, health care and ethics reform, the differences between the two are so stark, Obama should have had the nomination sewed up by now, but he is not, because he is doing the John Kerry thing. He is not responding to the attacks. He is not hitting back. He is not engaging his opponent.

Shaking Off The Fear

There is this line in Obama's autobiography. He learned early on as an up and coming black young man that as long he did not make sudden physical moves, and talked polite, the white world was fine with him. Sometimes I wonder if he has not learned that lesson a little too well. He needs to shake that off. He needs to make sudden moves if he might feel so moved. And being too polite is not good.

Obama has to visibly show some strength. If he can't take on Hillary, he can't take on Bin Laden. That is what this is about. That is what the American people are looking for.

Engaging Hillary in political combat moves you up in the polls. It is as simple as that.

In The News

Powerful earthquake hits Indonesia Los Angeles Times
Magnitude 8.2 Quake Hits Indonesia's Sumatra Island (Update7) Bloomberg
Tsunami warnings issued after quake hits Sumatra Reuters Canada
Kremlin Upheaval
Forbes
Putin Names New Prime Minister New York Times the beginning of a carefully orchestrated transition of power ahead of presidential elections in March 2008 .... “It’s a typical Putin move,” Ms. Barysch said. “He wants an administrator to run the government and not a rival center of power. Will Viktor Zubkov now be president? He still has to be elected and has zero name recognition.”
ABC Poll: Giuliani's Lead Drops to Single Digit ABC News
Obama to Deliver Iraq Speech New York Times Obama is traveling to Clinton, Iowa – yes, you read that correctly – to deliver a speech calling for U.S. combat brigades to immediately begin pulling out of Iraq one or two at a time, with a complete withdrawal by the end of next year. .... Obama is aiming to distinguish himself on one of the defining issues of the 2008 presidential campaign. ..... Introducing the senator today is Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter ...... “I opposed this war from the beginning,” Mr. Obama is expected to say. “I opposed the war in 2002. I opposed it in 2003. I opposed it in 2004. I opposed it in 2005. I opposed it in 2006.” ..... His advisers are seeking to present his judgment on Iraq as a defining distinction with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Obama Outlines His Troop Pullout Plan
The Associated Press "Let me be clear: There is no military solution in Iraq and there never was," Obama said ........ Obama was trying to further sharpen that distinction ..... Petraeus recommended that a 2,000-member Marine unit come home this month and not be replaced. That would be followed in mid-December by the departure of an Army brigade of 3,500 to 4,000 soldiers. An additional four combat brigades would be withdrawn by July 2008. .... Obama said the U.S. and the Iraqi government should discuss how to go about withdrawing troops. ...... By arguing that only combat brigades should be withdrawn — there are 20 in Iraq, including five President Bush sent January — Obama appeared to suggest that other U.S. troops could remain. ...... "The president would have us believe there are two choices: keep all of our troops in Iraq or abandon these Iraqis," Obama said. "I reject this choice." ..... Instead, he argued for creating an international working group of countries in the region and in Asia and Europe that would work to stabilize Iraq.
Obama's new war plan takes aim at Clinton AFP
Obama says he would withdraw from Iraq by end-2008 Reuters
Clinton Sees Fear Realized in Trouble With Donor New York Times Some sort of fund-raising scandal that would echo the Clinton-era controversies of the 1990s and make her appear greedy or ethically challenged. ........ Norman Hsu, a one-time fugitive and one of her top fund-raisers, whose actions raise serious questions about how well the campaign vetted its donors. ...... a convicted criminal who brought in tens of thousands of dollars from potentially tainted sources. ...... any attention cast on past fund-raising controversies could threaten her image with voters. ...... “People have often said about the Clintons, they don’t care who they hang out with as long as the people can be helpful to them,” said one of Mrs. Clinton’s major fund-raisers. “The larger point in all of this is that the Clintons are the ultimate pragmatists in who they hang out with; if you can be useful to them, they will find a way to make it work.” ..... Mrs. Clinton is not so much furious about the scandal, as she is worried about containing the political damage. ..... 260 donors whom Mr. Hsu recruited ..... Clinton and her advisers are concerned that rival campaigns or the news media will dig into the background of each donor ..... The campaign will try to get most of the donors to give the money back right after the refunds ...... the Clinton campaign was deeply worried that the controversy could grow. ...... “Bundlers. The feeling is there are a few more that will have Hsu problems.” ..... an Obama spokesman, Bill Burton, said yesterday: “Ultimately we assume that voters will choose based on the record and the vision that candidates have in reforming the role of money in politics.”
Clinton, Giuliani Ahead in Florida Poll The Associated Press
Clinton picks up fourth labor endorsement Boston Globe
Clinton Gets Letter Carriers Endorsement Guardian Unlimited
NH poll Clinton, Romney dominating; Edwards and Obama tied for ... Boston Globe
For what it's worth: Obama wins Cincinnati Enquirer Obama won with 102 votes - about 35 percent - over New York Sen. Hillary Clinton (69 votes) and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards (64 votes). ..... "It's tremendous," said state Sen. Eric Kearney, an Obama supporter who has hosted a fundraiser for the Illinois senator in Cincinnati. "It's exciting."
Clinton Blasts Obama For Slamming Edwards Jab The Onion (satire)
Obama, Linking In Ahead of the Curve Washington Post Today, Sen. Barack Obama became the first candidate to have a group on LinkedIn, the popular social networking site for working professionals. In a way, LinkedIn is the anti-MySpace. ..... The users' average household income is $139,000 ..... about 75 percent are ages 29 and over. ..... Early today Obama posted this question: "How can the next president better help small business and entrepreneurs thrive?" As of 11 a.m. EST, he's received 330 answers. .... it's the small businesses in this country that make the economy work, not the huge corporations ..... "The campaign takes pride in being on the cutting edge of technology."
Quake triggers tsunami in Indonesia; India issues alerts Hindu
Japan's Prime Minister Resigns
BusinessWeek








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