Eisenhower, Kennedy, Cuba, Bush, Clinton, Somalia, Bush, Obama, Iran

Dwight Eisenhower did not like it that Kennedy got elected, defeating his Vice President, the Darth Vader Richard Nixon. So before he left office, he left Kennedy a gift. We call it the Cuban Missile Crisis: the world came to the brink of an outright nuclear war. It started with the Bay Of Pigs fiasco, Ike's brainchild.

Bush Senior did not like it that Bill Clinton, a small state Governor ("Where is it on the map?" he once said on the campaign trail) upended him. "I hated it!" he admitted during his speech at the Clinton presidential library inauguration. Bush Senior left Bill Clinton a gift, immortalized in the movie Black Hawk Down. Bin Laden claims that Mogadishu incident is what launched his career of his harm plans against the US.

Now you have a seething W. He expected a video game war in Iraq. You go in, you take the bad guy out, and the locals welcome you with joys of liberation. Lincoln had a civil war, W had a Iraq War. That is how he expected it to play out. But it is not playing out that way. He lost the Congress. He is about to lose the White House big time. A Democratic victory in White House is so certain, most people are more focused on February 5, 2008 than on November 7, 2008. And W is seething deep inside.

So he is busy plotting a Cuba, a Somalia for Obama. Bush-Cheney are at it. They are gearing to give him a huge mess in Iran. The mess will be so big, the Cuban missile crisis, Black Hawk Down, and even Iraq are going to look like picnics.

Barack Obama is going to be elected president on February 5, 2008, not on November 7, 2008. Similarly he does not have the luxury to wait until January 2009 to start acting presidential. He has to start now. If he waits until January 2009, all his political capital, all his energy is going to end up going to Iraq and Iran. He will not be able to do much on health care, for example.

He has to make a frontal attack on the Bush-Cheney-Hillary plans on Iran. Hillary has been ignoring Obama and going straight for Bush. Now is Obama's turn to return fire. Ignore Hillary, go straight for Bush.

I am no isolationist. I am anything but. But there is a right way to intervene and there is a wrong way to intervene.

An America that fails the democracy activists of Burma, that fails the forces of democracy in Pakistan is not an America that can do right in Iraq and Iran.

Why Hillary's Iran Vote Is Dangerous

Attacks From Hillary

Hillary's daily use of the phrase "strength and experience" is a daily attack on Obama.

Hillary timed her release of her third quarter figures so as to steal away a news cycle from a major Obama speech on Iraq in Iowa. That was an attack.

When you get hit, you have to hit back. No, you don't have to engage in the politics of personal destruction, the politics of the lowest common denominator. But you do have to show the voters you saw you got hit, and you hit back.

For example, you counter the "strength and experience" phrase with the judgment and leadership phrase. That is not negative. But that shows you are alert. You can take a punch, you can give a punch.

Obama Must Engage Hillary On Iran: Exchange Part II

The Exchange

The last time Barack engaged Hillary in a direct exchange, his numbers went up. To engage Hillary is not to deviate from the politics of hope and a new kind of politics. It is Barack's job to inform voters of the genuine and stark differences that do exist between Hillary and him.

Hillary has gone ahead and made the same mistake on Iran now that she made on Iraq in 2002.

Coke Gatorade, Not Coke Pepsi

This recent spat on the Iran vote is a godsend. Obama 2008 must snatch it with vigor. The words judgment and leadership must be used repeatedly. The debate has to be vigorous.

Like Faulkner said, the past is not over, it is not even past. Hillary's Iraq vote in 2002 was not a deviation. That is who she is today.

Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan

Because America is a state with a standing army, it keeps wanting to fight another state with a standing army. The Al Qaeda is not a state, it does not have a standing army. And it has been growing its presence in Pakistan whose military dictator is a US ally.

America's intense focus on Iran will be to say because it can not fight the Al Qaeda so it is going to fight an entity it thinks it can fight: Iran. This is dangerous thinking.

Progressive Way To Spread Democracy

My recurring theme is that being anti war is not enough. We progressives have to show we know a better way to spread democracy.

Spread Democracy

DL21C, Drinking Liberally, DFNYC

These past few days I have gone to two DL21C events, a joint Drinking Liberally and Obama NYC event, and I am hoping to go to the DFNYC anti war rally on Saturday co-organized by a whole bunch of unions. It is inspiring to see some of the leading young progressives in the city in action. It feels good to personally know many of them.

I met the Washington state Governor a few days back. "Governor, I have been to your state. It is beautiful." On Sunday, I get to meet a Senator from Louisiana, Bobby Jindal country. DL21C brings along the big wigs into town.

A lot of Indians are like, Bobby Jindal is not even Hindu, he is not even a Democrat. I don't feel that way. The Hindu thing is absolutely ridiculous. I am a Buddhist myself: I grew up Hindu, the rest of my family is still strongly Hindu. As for the Dem thing, all that means is we have policy differences. I take heritage pride in Bobby's electoral victory. The dude could some day run for president.

I love India.

They named a mountain after Schwarzenegger in his native Austria. The guy himself is a mountain. But it might also be a pride issue.

America is a different country from all the other countries.

In The News

Clinton E-mail Hits Obama on Iran New York Times Her campaign is publicly turning its guns on Barack Obama. ...... some of the strongest language it has used in public against Mr. Obama
Iran sanctions rattle 2008 White House hopefuls AFP Democrats John Edwards and Barack Obama accuse front-runner Hillary Clinton of easing the path to war with Iran, and say she is repeating mistakes which led to the US invasion of Iraq. Republicans meanwhile warn of the threat of a nuclear armed Iran to avoid talking about the US entanglement in Iraq, and to pose as tough commander-in-chief material to please hawkish conservative supporters. ..... "If you give this president an inch, he will take a mile -- and launch a war." ....... Chris Dodd responded to Thursday's announcement on Iran sanctions by saying it "smacks, frankly, of a dangerous step toward armed confrontation with Iran" ........ In a recent Republican presidential debate, Senator John McCain raised eyebrows when he said a strike against Iran, which denies developing nuclear weapons, is "maybe, closer to reality than we are discussing tonight."
More Obama vs. Clinton on Iran MSNBC Having seen what this Administration -- with its expansive view of its executive power -- has done in the past with congressional resolutions, it is naïve to support the Kyl-Lieberman amendment without simultaneously seeking explicit assurances that the president will never cite the amendment as a legal basis for deploying US troops to counter Iranian influence whether in Iraq or Iran. ........... The Kyl-Lieberman amendment contains language that sets forth an entirely new rationale for keeping US troops in Iraq and, if need be, for attacking Iranian forces. The problematic language in the resolution says that it is a "critical national interest of the United States" to counter Iran's influence among the Shia population of Iraq. Without a doubt, President Bush can cite that language as authorizing him to maintain and use US troops in Iraq for the purpose of containing Iran, cirtailing [sic] Iran's influence in Iraq, and, if need be, to expand our troops' activities beyond Iraq's borders to pursue and attack Iranian forces. ........ Cheney in particular has been giving bellicose speeches and threatening Iran. Barack Obama thinks that, at this sensitive moment, Congress should be extremely careful. It should not do or say anything that might be used either to justify a US attack on Iran or to authorize prolonging the US military presence in Iraq. Hillary Clinton voted for an amendment that does just that. ......... Makes President Bush's case that the United States should structure "its military presence in Iraq" to counter the "capability of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to pose a threat to the security of the region" ........ describe a new mission for American troops in Iraq, and they articulate a new rationale for our continued presence in Iraq ......... Was co-sponsored by two of the most hawkish members of the Senate on Iran: John Kyl (R-AZ) and Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT) ...... Trying to Have it Both Ways: After Senator Clinton drew criticism for her vote in support of Kyl-Lieberman on September 26, she decided to support a bill that Senator Webb introduced in March that said that the President had to obtain congressional authorization before going to war in Iran. Webb told Howard Fineman that Clinton was in such a hurry to support his bill, "I found out after she announced it," he said, laughing.'" But Kyl-Lieberman had already passed the Senate; Webb's bill has not. Signing on with Webb does not undo her vote for Kyl-Lieberman.
Don't call me Osama, says Barack Obama Telegraph.co.uk Obama and his team suspect Mr Romney is attempting to subliminally associate him with the terrorist. ...... In July Mr Romney was photographed smiling with a supporter holding a sign saying "No to Obama, No to Osama and Chelsea's Moma" ....... he had a grandmother in a "little African village with no water or electricity" ....... In New Hampshire, the first major primary, only 17 per cent of voters have decided who they will back, and observers note that the state has served up surprises before.
For Obama, Friends Like These Mean Playing Defense Washington Post
Hillary Clinton Makes Time to Celebrate 60th Birthday in New York FOX News
CBS Poll: Majority Of Dems Back Clinton
CBS News
Clinton's gender poses challenge in Iowa Christian Science Monitor
Does Facebook Fear Google?
Red Herring
WWW spooked by Google algorithm tweak
The Age
Google Scares The Search Crowd Forbes
Google Earth used in rocket strikes on Israel

INTERVIEW WITH PM GIRIJA PRASAD KOIRALA Kantipur No. The Home Minister won't be changed. Special House session will break deadlock: Home Minister the Maoists have threatened to quit the parliament and start peaceful agitation if the other parties do not agree on their demands.
CA elections by mid-April next year : Peace Minister
One shot dead in Sarlahi
NC leader extends olive branch to Terai agitators “However, the Nepali Congress would never accept the fully proportional electoral system,” he reiterated.
OHCHR lauds reservations in police OHCHR has expressed disappointment at the latest government decision to appoint 28 people to the post of secretaries where only three persons were included from the marginalized groups -- indigenous nationalities, Madhesis, Dalits and backward areas. ........ In March 2007, the OHCHR wrote to the APF asking for a breakdown of its personnel belonging to marginalized groups, following violent incidents that starkly highlighted the lack of inclusiveness in police forces, the statement said. "During riots in Nepalgunj in December 2006, the NP was accused of acting partially," said the OHCHR further adding, "The issue resurfaced again in the January and February 2007 Madhesi Andolan in Terai districts." The recent violence in some western tarai districts again underscores the need for such inclusive hiring measures, it added.

Winds Ease in Battle Against Wildfires ABC News
Rudy Giuliani Catches Flack for Rooting For the Red Sox FOX News
Paulson sees India as key to Doha trade deal Reuters if it were willing to open up non-agricultural sectors of its economy. ...... Paulson lauded India's flexible currency exchange rate regime, adding that China and India are "two very different nations." ........ economy relies on internal consumption (and) services. There's a significant need in infrastructure, there's room for more reform in the capital markets area ...... both India and China needed to increase the pace of their reform in order to counter rising protectionist sentiments around the world.
Bill affecting children of illegal immigrants fails Senate test vote Chicago Tribune
Obama Learned From Failed Congress Run
The Associated Press a failed congressional effort during which his opponent portrayed him as an "educated fool," more at home on a college campus than a city street. ....... down-to-earth style ..... remembers a candidate who sometimes turned voters off by emphasizing his big ideas and prestigious degrees instead of listening. ...... his campaign never caught fire. ..... Obama was seen as "the white man in blackface." ....... he took a hard look at himself after that campaign and became a much better campaigner, more at ease on the campaign trail ....... black voters were divided, with 40 percent for Obama and 38 percent for Hillary ...... Clinton has a 4-to-1 edge among all people earning $25,000 or less and a 3-to-1 advantage among people with a high school diploma or less. ...... visited Emerson's Barber Shop in tiny Marion, S.C., and spent about 45 minutes talking to customers ...... found Obama relaxed and personable despite his "Harvard preppie image."
Starting Gate: Double Trouble For Clinton? CBS News "Obviously we've had challenges as everybody in the world knows," she said. "But I never doubted that it was a marriage worth investing in even in the midst of those challenges, and I'm really happy that I made that decision." ....... something the founders never anticipated. Not only two presidents, but two presidents married to each other ....... A new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has Clinton with a 48 percent to 17 percent lead nationally over Obama. Giuliani leads the GOP field with 32 percent with Thompson (15 percent), McCain (13 percent), Romney (11 percent) and Huckabee (7 percent) trailing.
Clinton: Despite challenges, my marriage was worth investing in USA Today Her proudest non-work "moment" is her daughter Chelsea and her favorite TV show is ABC's Grey's Anatomy ....... my deep abiding friendship with my husband. It's been enormously supportive to me through most of my life. ...... He's always bringing me back things from his trips. He brought me a giant wooden giraffe from Africa. Oh, he bought me this watch." It's a Chanel watch with a band made of white cubes. “I had dental surgery, and he said it reminded him of teeth.”
Clinton Talks of Bill's Romantic Gifts The Associated Press While sticking it out might not be for everyone, Mrs. Clinton said women should support each other in the choices they make in their marriages.
China, Russia: No to Myanmar Sanctions The Associated Press The meeting of China, India and Russia is part of the revival of a loose 1950s alliance against U.S. dominance of global affairs. ..... India wants to promote its bid for a permanent veto-wielding seat on the Security Council. The joint statement said China and Russia "support India's aspirations to play a greater role in the United Nations." ....... To counter the bad impression, state media have been filled with stories suggesting that the monks taking part in the recent protests were a tiny minority and not properly religious, and reporting virtually daily on junta members visiting monasteries to make donations.
China promises to support mediation on Myanmar China Daily Gambari's China visit is part of a six-nation Asian consultation tour to find a peaceful solution to the Myanmar situation, which include Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, China and Japan.
China promises to support UN in Burma Bangkok Post
Microsoft beats Google to Facebook stake
Reuters.uk $240 million for a 1.6 percent stake in the Web phenomenon. ...... valued Facebook at $15 billion -- on par with the market capitalizations of retailer Gap ..... and hotel chain Marriott International ...... three-year-old company would be able to transform itself into a hub for all sorts of Web activity. ....... if Facebook becomes sort of the users' operating system on the Internet ...... 250,000 new users a day, 60 percent of whom come from outside the United States ....... Microsoft's belief that the site could eventually reach 300 million users, who can be targeted for advertising. It has nearly 50 million today. ........ the $40 billion market for online advertising, which the company expects to double in size within three years. ..... Microsoft was a better strategic fit for Facebook, since it knew how to work with software developers and build computing environments -- such as its Windows operating system. ........ Microsoft developed the network that is the biggest, most vibrant one out there ...... tens of thousands of developers writing Facebook applications ....... funds will go toward doubling the company's staff over the next year and other growth initiatives. ....... Eric Schmidt, Google's CEO, told reporters that its pact with MySpace is performing better than originally expected.
Google Takes No Prisoners InformationWeek between July 2006 and July 2007 Google's Gmail service saw its share of unique visitors in the United States grow by 79% -- compared with 6% and 2% growth posted by Yahoo Mail and Windows Live Hotmail ...... between September 2006 and September 2007, the number of unique Gmail visitors in the U.S. grew by 93%. Yahoo and Windows Live Hotmail, which can boast over four times and two times more unique visitors last month than Gmail, respectively, grew only 7% and 0%.
Cisco Investing In WiMax To Bring Broadband To Developing Areas InformationWeek
Telecom Body Folds WiMax into Next-Gen 3G
EBay: The Place for Microfinance MicroPlace.com, a Web site that lets small investors provide low-interest "micro" loans, of $50 or more, to would-be small business owners. Her hope is to create sustainable economic growth in the world's most impoverished communities—and do her part to expand the reach of the microfinance industry to more than 1 billion people worldwide, from about 100 million people currently. ......... eBay acquired the company in June, 2006, for a small, undisclosed, sum when it was little more than Turner and her business plan. ...... PayPal, eBay's online payment service, will process the loans free of charge. "There are a billion people in the world who are self-employed, hard-working, and poor, and we are hoping to scale the industry to at least a billion," Turner says. ......... Unitus Equity Fund, an $8.5 million microfinance venture investor that finances projects in Asia and Latin America. ...... Kiva, a microlending site run by former TiVo executive Matt Flannery and former PayPal executive Premal Shah. ........ fosters self-reliance and, eventually, sustainable economic growth in a way that charity does not. ......... The minimum investment for someone to get started on MicroPlace is $100 ..... Interest rates vary between 1% and 4% ....... microlending experts say recipients of microloans have a solid track record on repayment. ...... she met a four-foot-tall woman with arresting eyes who changed her life after receiving a $50 loan. The woman used the money to buy a hand loom and weave fabrics that were then sold in a major market. "In the first year, she made enough profit to repay her loan, with interest, build a house, and pay for her kids to go to school," says Turner. "She brought me through her village as proud as can be." ........... Prosper has already raised more than $7.5 million in venture capital, and has distributed tens of millions in loans at an average of about $5,000 per loan. Kiva has distributed more than $13 million in loans, at an average size of about $500, to entrepreneurs in places such as Cambodia (BusinessWeek.com, 8/15/06), Samoa, and the Gaza Strip. ........ Demand to invest at Kiva has been so strong, in fact, that after a September appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the site temporarily ran out of people to help. On average, it takes one day for businesses to get funded, and new entreprenuers are listed every day.
Blogs: The Next Takeover Target? a rapidly evolving Web 2.0 world. ....... niche audience ...... blogs are growing at breakneck speed. As of September, 2007, blog tracker Technorati indexed more than 106 million blogs, 12 million more than in the previous month. ....... Boing Boing .. monthly traffic of about 7.5 million page views ....... the total audience of the print version of Wired, a technology magazine, was 1.9 million ....... The Houston Chronicle recruited 50 reader-bloggers whose commentary appears on its site. The Washington Post provides a blog roll to its site which includes a directory of links to blogs that specialize in technology, health, and entertainment, among other things. ........ Newsvine, which attracts about 1 million people, allows visitors to read and comment on news stories from mainstream media outlets. MSNBC Interactive News, with 27.3 million Web visitors as of August, 2007, hopes the acquisition will attract an audience of highly engaged news readers.
Mayawati goes after UP's Big Three Rediff 'My phones have been tapped. My friends have been raided. If Sonia could not do anything to me, who is Mayawati?' demanded Amar Singh. ..... Mayawati is decisive, vindictive and ruthless.
Microsoft Gets Some Face Time Forbes
Microsoft pays $240m to clinch stake in Facebook Independent
Merrill Lynch Reports Loss on $8.4 Billion Writedown (Update7)
Merrill In Peril? Forbes

In fire's path, lessons learned Christian Science Monitor "They saw the fire coming and plotted it out and moved people out just in time." ..... "FEMA is doing everything right this time around," he says, pointing out its evacuation plans, and the early deployment of out-of-state firefighters, military, National Guard, and firefighting technology. ........ the people here have food, water, and even entertainment ....... The miscues and delays that characterized the aftermath of Katrina – exacerbated by confusing or nonexistent communication between mayor, governor, and federal officials – are not happening in this disaster ....... if they had loaded firefighters and engines into US military planes on large scale, they would have been available way earlier." ....... Property damage in San Diego County alone is expected to total at least $1 billion ..... As of press time 16 wildfires have destroyed some 1,500 homes and burned nearly 600 square miles in the seven-county region. One person has been confirmed dead. ..... "This is a very sad and hard time for me, but this is pretty well organized," says Michelle Christian, who fled her home in Ramona on Saturday night, taking her 18-month-old son and her dog to the stadium. ........ clowns and face painters who roamed the stadium grounds, helping to make kids laugh
Facebook’s Minority Report New York Times For Facebook, this would be a great deal. .... But for Google or Microsoft, it is somewhere between irrelevant and insane. ...... Google probably overpaid for Doubleclick by as much as $1 billion. But that got Microsoft to overpay for Aquantive by perhaps $4 billion. ...... it would be in keeping with Google’s style to bluff on the price of the Facebook deal up in order to cost Microsoft more
In Pakistan, Bhutto's return stirring threats and allegations Christian Science Monitor the government has restricted her ability to leave the country ...... after the PPP emerged as the largest single party in the 1988 elections — despite the best efforts of Inter-Services Intelligence to thwart Bhutto's party — the assumption of power entailed a compromise with the military-bureaucratic establishment whereby Ghulam Ishaq Khan retained his presidential post as Zia's automatic successor and Sahibzada Yaqub Khan remained the foreign minister. ....... A similar arrangement is evidently being contemplated for 2008, with the army effectively retaining control not only of the presidency, but also of security and foreign affairs. So much for democracy. ....... "closet supporters of militants and Al Qaeda . . . determined to stop the restoration of democracy because they see it as a threat to the structure of militancy they have put into place." ......... militants operating out of that country are also making the situation in Afghanistan worse. ....... the plots that we have seen in the U.K., their roots come out of these tribal areas. It is the planning and the training ground for radical jihadists in their worldwide threat to the United States. ........ Around 90,000 Pakistani troops are deployed in the lawless tribal zones where they have been waging battle against Al-Qaeda and Taliban-linked extremists.
Rice: Mideast two-state solution in jeopardy USA Today Iran's recent efforts to support Palestinian Hamas militants ...... one woman who rushed toward Rice as she entered the room and waved her hands — painted red to look like blood — in front of the secretary's face. She shouted that Rice was a "war criminal" and should be taken to the Hague ....... Rice was stoic and proceeded with business as the protester was immediately spirited from the room. ...... an emergency State Department review found serious problems with the way private security guards operate in Iraq ....... Last month, the House passed, by a 397-16 vote, legislation aimed at blocking foreign investment in Iran, in particular its lucrative energy sector. The bill, sponsored by Lantos, would specifically bar the president from waiving U.S. sanctions. ..... the policies of Iran constitute perhaps the single greatest challenge for American security interest in the Middle East and possibly around the world, because the combination of Iranian terrorism, Iranian repression at home and the pursuit of nuclear weapons technology. .. is a very dangerous mix
Kerrey decides against Senate run MSNBC
What's behind Asia's moon race?
Christian Science Monitor the lingering security concerns all three countries have about one another ...... India is nervous about China's intentions, especialy in the wake of Beijing's test of an antisatellite missile last January. China worries that Japan's missile defense cooperation with the US might threaten its interests, and resents Washington's determination to remain the world's dominant space power. Japan is rattled by North Korea's ballistic-missile capability. ......... largely driven by "technonationalism; they generate pride domestically and they demonstrate prowess internationally." ....... The moon is thought to be rich in Helium-3, for example, which could one day be used for nuclear fusion to create energy. ........ "redouble efforts" toward a treaty guaranteeing the peaceful use of space. US CBO estimates $2.4 trillion long-term war costs Reuters The U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could cost taxpayers a total of $2.4 trillion by 2017 when counting the huge interest costs because combat is being financed with borrowed money ....... interest costs alone from 2001-2017 could total more than $700 billion. ....... In Iraq alone, the United States is spending about $11 billion a month, with costs escalating. ...... 170,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and another 26,000 in Afghanistan. ..... "To put it all on our credit cards with no accountability, with no plan to pay for it, I think is the height of irresponsibility" ..... of the $2.4 trillion long-term price tag for the war, about $1.9 trillion of that would be spent on Iraq.
US First Lady In Breast Cancer Campaign In Middle East Voice of America
Czechs say want no Russian soldiers at radar site

Tupac Shakur Center Vandalized In Georgia; Plus Barack Obama ... MTV.com on Saturday morning vandals defaced the building and placed a noose around the neck of a Shakur statue in the center's garden. In a subsequent attack on the statue, it was plastered with "handbills of garbled rants that include references to 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, as well as vague threats against various record companies and rappers." ......... Britney Spears reportedly hit another paparazzo with her car on Monday, according to TMZ. The site says the singer accidentally ran into a photographer with her Mercedes-Benz as she was leaving a shopping complex in Beverly Hills, California. Spears is said to have apologized repeatedly for the incident, which the pap insisted was his fault anyway, and a photo on TMZ's site shows the singer apparently on the verge of tears ....... McClurkin is a former homosexual who detailed his "bout" with homosexuality in his book "Eternal Victim/ Eternal Victor." Obama reportedly replied with a statement in which he said gays and lesbians are "our brothers and sisters," and that he strongly disagrees with McClurkin's views.
Republican candidate mixes up Obama with Osama Guardian Unlimited Mr Romney refused to discuss the error, which was made at a campaign speech in South Carolina.
Experts say Obama must up ante Boston Herald Obama must now launch an aggressive charge to catch a surging Hillary Clinton, who is up 20 points in New Hampshire ...... “As soon as the World Series is over, it’s got to be pedal to the metal” ....... “The issue that works best for Obama is the Iraq war,” said Fritz Wenzel, communications director for Zogby International. “He is strongly positioned with primary voters on that point, and he needs to drive it home.” In Iowa, where Obama is only 5 points behind Clinton, his campaign is taking shots at Clinton’s voting record on the war.
Deval Patrick headlines Boston rally for Barack Obama Patrick and Obama share a Chicago connection — Patrick grew up there — and both were also student leaders at Harvard Law School. ....... Patrick has ties to the Clintons, having served in the 1990s as head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division under former President Bill Clinton. ...... "You know me and conventional wisdom. Conventional wisdom said I couldn’t be sitting here," Patrick said. ....... the race for president "transcends friendships and party." ...... "I believe we need unifying, visionary leadership. I believe we need a president who would level with the American people. I believe we need Barack Obama" ...... The endorsement could also be a boon for Obama by supplying him with a force of campaign workers who can travel easily across the border to help his efforts against Clinton in the New Hampshire primary.