Barack Has To Show Off His Policy Wonk Side


Hillary: Impressive Third Quarter

2008 is not 2004. Hillary is no Howard Dean. There is not a John Kerry lurking in the background, not Dodd, not Biden.

Hillary's third quarter fundraising figure is of serious concern.

I think Barack and Hillary are pretty much stuck with each other. One of them is going to be president, another is going to be vice president. Like JFK did not have a choice, he had to pick LBJ for the sake of party unity.

Hillary For Senate Majority Leader

Barack leads Iowa right now. If Hillary were to take the lead in Iowa, that would be trouble.

If Barack wins Iowa, Hillary will be a close second, that's for sure.

Hillary is not a Bill Clinton sibling like Jeb Bush is. She is not the mother or daughter of Bill Clinton. She got better grades than Bill Clinton at Yale. The nepotism and dynasty thing does not stick as much as we might like it to.

She has many things going for her. She has herself, her smarts, her work ethic, she has been by Bill Clinton's side throughout his wonderful political career, and that is saying something. Hiring Dick Morris when Bill Clinton faltered and lost as first term Governor of Arkansas was Hillary's idea. In some ways she has played the elder sister throughout.

She got the substance. And she is clearly progressive.

A lot of people are ready to overlook the Iraq thing. It was Bush' war, not Hillary's war, many people think. It was Bush who misused the authorization. I don't buy into that argument, but many others seem to. The reason I don't buy is she still has not learned from the mistake.

"All elections are about the future." That is one of the Clinton's Laws Of Politics written in his book My Life.

The White House is the most powerful political office that was ever designed. That sure is the ultimate glass ceiling. For women, and for nonwhites.

If the women of America and the women of the world feel about Hillary the way I feel about Barack, they must feel it pretty strong. For me Barack can do no wrong.

I can sense it that a lot of women are coming out for Hillary because she looks viable, she looks like she can win. She is not just going to make a statement and then go ahead and lose. That is the feeling. Curiously that also is the feeling Barack generates among his faithful.

The only person missing in this race is Condi Rice. And maybe Newt. Newt would have made it a little colorful. He would have muddied the waters a little more on the other side. Too bad he stayed away.

Barack beat Hillary the first two quarters. Hillary has now beat him the third quarter. Barack will beat her again this final quarter. I think that right there is the picture you will see emerge next year once people start voting. Barack will win, but Hillary will be right on the heels. She will do good.

I Stand With Michelle: Iowa Must And Can Be Won
February To September: Little Change

Eliminating Nuclear Weapons

That is the unfinished task from the Cold War that George H. W. Bush did not tackle, Bill Clinton did not, and George W. took in the other direction.

When Barack comes out taking a stand like this one, the difference between him and Hillary becomes so very obvious. That Hillary's is a nostalgia candidacy becomes obvious.

State of the World annual address. What an idea.

Barack is like Google. He keeps surprising you with new stuff to offer on a near daily basis. Keep them coming.

Obama's Masterstroke: Eliminating Income Tax For 22 Million Seniors

Barack Has To Show Off His Policy Wonk Side

Here's my idea. Pick the top 10 issues. On each, get six progressives, and four conservatives so as to cover the entire spectrum. Make hour long videos in which Barack is seen listening half the time, the other half he is asking probing questions, exploring the landscape, staking out a few positions. And put that out on Google Video.

This will be a new thing. No campaign has done this yet.

How To Tackle Hillary

Barack Vs Hillary

There is so much that goes in Obama's favor.

Barack: Strength And Judgment
Obama's Card: Iraq
Strength? What Strength? Experience? What Experience

One, Iraq. He has to turn that into a major judgment issue. He should use the word judgment like Hillary uses "strength and experience."

Mandating Health Insurance: The Poor Have Too Much Money

Two, health care. Obama has to emphasize everyone and Truman's cousin has had good ideas. The question is, who can bring people together and actually deliver? That person is Barack, not Hillary. And Barack has to make a point to talk about his mother when he talks health care.

Barack's Mother Makes An Appearance
Barack Has To Talk Much About His Mother

Three, ethics reform, campaign finance reform. Hillary does not even want to do it. Edwards is right. Hillary is tainted by money.

Four, race and gender. Obama must acknowledge that gender is an issue. He should cite examples of Indira Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto, strong, smart women who went to the pinnacle of power in their countries but did not do much for gender. You can have a woman head of state and feel you have made symbolic progress on gender. Or you can actually work to make substantive progress on gender. I think Obama should casually mention in some small town newspaper interview that he can imagine his cabinet being about 40% female. Hillary is not too comfortable explicitly talking gender on the campaign trail. I think she will be thrown off balance if Obama starts talking gender. On race, Obama has to talk about his heritage now and then.

Elephant In The Room: Gender
The Grassroots Power Woman

Five, foreign policy. He is the only one doing the innovating.

Six, the economy. I loved his talk on taxes recently. Way to go.

Obama's Masterstroke: Eliminating Income Tax For 22 Million Seniors
The Economy, Stupid

Hillary Has Been Beating Up On Him

The talk of "strength and experience" has been a relentless attack. When you get hit, you hit back. Barack has to talk as relentlessly of judgment.

So far Barack has done the John Kerry thing. He has not hit back. He has to hit back.

Hillary: A Formidable Opponent

I don't expect her campaign to suddenly implode. Even if we win Iowa, she will likely be a close second. It could very well be a protracted campaign that goes all the way to the Super Tuesday in March.

Underestimating Hillary will be a mistake.

In The News

House Passes Bill on Pullout Washington Post The House, with overwhelming, bipartisan support, voted yesterday to give the Bush administration two months to present to Congress its planning for the withdrawal of combat forces ........ 377 to 46 ..... Democratic leaders stared down the antiwar left ...... 196 Democrats and 181 Republicans. .......proposed paying for any further war funding with a temporary surtax that would add 2 to 15 percent to existing income tax bills. ...... Those who oppose a tax and the draft also should oppose the President's war.
Blackwater Chief Defends Employees Before House Panel New York Times portrayed Blackwater security guards as often out of control and indifferent to civilian casualties ..... though 30 Blackwater employees had lost their lives in Iraq, no one they were guarding had been killed or seriously injured ...... helped Blackwater move an employee out of Iraq less than 36 hours after the employee, while drunk, killed a bodyguard for one of Iraq’s two vice presidents ........ Throughout the questioning, Mr. Prince appeared to be calm and collected. ........ Blackwater — we have to question in this hearing whether it created a shadow military of mercenary forces that are not accountable to the United States government or to anyone else. ......... Blackwater’s use of force in Iraq was “frequent and extensive, resulting in significant casualties and property damage.” ........ the State Department, which has paid Blackwater more than $832 million .... DynCorp International and Triple Canopy ..... 195 instances of gunfire .... In 163 of those cases, Blackwater gunmen fired first.
Monarchy battle at Nepal's parliament Times of India
Clinton Steals Obama’s Fund-Raising Thunder New York Times stripping him at least temporarily of a crucial political advantage. ..... the Clinton campaign reported attracting at least 7,000 more new donors than Mr. Obama ..... Obama has raised more money than Mrs. Clinton over all for the 2008 primaries, $75 million to $63 million, and he cumulatively has 140,000 more new donors ...... releasing the figures just hours before Mr. Obama delivered a foreign policy address ........ McAuliffe said. “It gives us a tremendous boost.” ...... The former president has held major and so-called low-dollar fund-raisers since last winter, and appeared at about 20 fund-raising events in the past three months ........ I’m happy if the Clintons want to do victory laps in October; I’ll take ours in January and February ...... The Clinton campaign revealed its fund-raising success in a way that sought maximum strategic impact. ..... the Clinton campaign kept quiet because it did not want to share the news cycle with him ..... The advisers attributed the fund-raising results to a new focus on low-dollar events, which people can attend by donating $25 ....... Clinton also raised $8 million online, a record amount for her campaign.
Sexual harassment claims declining in US Chicago Tribune
Iranian University Invites Bush to Speak
Voice of America
Obama marks '02 war speech
Chicago Tribune The top strategist for Sen. Barack Obama has just 14 seconds of video ..... "The American people weren't just failed by a president .. "They were failed by much of Washington." ..... Obama later told CNN that Clinton "has been effective in trying to blur the distinctions" on their Iraq records. That drew a quick response from her campaign. ...... promised more direct communication with Americans and greater bipartisan conversation on foreign policy. .... Anthony Lake, President Bill Clinton's former national security adviser and an Obama adviser. ...... Republicans, meanwhile, suggested that Obama's nuclear proposal is naive. ....... Obama also defended his previous statements about being willing to meet—without precondition—in the first year of his presidency with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea. ...... Kennedy had a direct line to Khrushchev. Nixon met with Mao. ..... Reagan was negotiating arms agreements with Gorbachev ..... the 2002 speech, an event that was hardly covered by the media at the time. The Tribune reported about the roughly 1,000-person rally at Federal Plaza on its front page, but there was no mention of Obama. ....... He spoke just more than 700 words that day .... bold and reasoned.
Obama urges eliminating nuclear weapons MLive.com
Obama Steps Up the Attack
Washington Post campaign manager David Plouffe and chief strategist David Axelrod ...... a critique that moves beyond policy toward her character. .... no law can force a Congress to stand up to the President. No law can make Senators read the intelligence that showed the President was overstating the case for war. ........ We don't need another President who thinks big but doesn't feel the need to tell the American people what they think. ...... We don't need another President who shuts the door on the American people when they make policy ..... refusing to answer questions in a debate last week on several issues and using a closed task force to reform health care in the 1990's ..... "There are folks who will shift positions and policies on all kinds of things depending on which way the wind is blowing.
Obama: Clinton "blurs" distinctions Baltimore Sun “I think that Sen. Clinton has been effective in trying to blur the distinctions,” Obama says..... “And it's our job to make these distinctions clear to the American people ....... Some advisers have been telling Obama for weeks that he needs to go after Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner, more aggressively. ..... predicting a sharper effort in the near future to “point out differences.”
Obama 'Brand' Could Halt Attacks on Clinton ABC News
Dodd’s best wishes for Obama MSNBC her first date ..... he took me to a small neighborhood church on the south side of Chicago," she continued, describing his "inspirational" talk to the neighborhood audience. "And that was the day when I realized the man I was going to marry, Barack Obama, was a very different, truly extraordinary, human being." ....... Wherever she campaigns, Michelle Obama writes, people have asked her whether Barack Obama is ready to be president. ....... "The real question…Is America ready for Barack Obama?" ....... "He spent years putting shoe leather on the ground as a community organizer in some of the poorest neighborhoods in Chicago.''
Michelle Obama: The candidate is 'extraordinary' Baltimore Sun
2008: Shift From Money Race to PolicyNew York Times policy and retail politics ..... the United States should greatly reduce its stockpiles to lower the threat of nuclear terrorism
Kennedy Aide Back in Iowa for Obama New York Times, United States
Ted Sorensen to join Obama in Iowa Baltimore Sun
Obama's Kennedy Vibe The Nation
Obama: Early opposition to war shows better judgment CNN
Obama calls for nuclear free world Chicago Sun-Times, United States a nuclear free world, more consulates, and declassification of secret intel documents in a “new era of openess.” ..... using Sorenson as a “voucher” who can connect Obama to the hopeful era of Kennedy’s Camelot. 1. Push for a world with no nuclear weapons.
2. Seek first a reduction of stockpiles of fissile material for weapons
3. Open more consulates around the world and grow the foreign service.
4. Double foreign assistance to $50 billion.
5. Conduct fireside webcasts on foreign policy.
6. Push for a National Declassification Center. This is an embrace of a proposal by former Sen. Patrick Moniyhan (D-N.Y.) to put out in the public domain national security information that does not disclose sources and methods.
7. Create a fixed term for the Director of National Intelligence, just like the chairman of the Federal Reserve.
8. Deliver an annual State of the World address.
9. Create a formal, bipartisan congressional Consultive Group to discuss national security issues. Buck stops with Obama. This is a consensus building proposal.

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