The Meaning Of An Iowa Victory
Abraham Lincoln Had No Experience
Hillary's New Hampshire Firewall: She Plans On Losing Iowa
Iowa, South Carolina, And One Other
50 Days For Iowa
Helicopter + Walmart + Iowa
I Stand With Michelle: Iowa Must And Can Be Won
Iowa Debate: Obama Clear Winner
Iowa Humanizes The Candidate
BarackTV: Iowa To New Hampshire
An Iowa victory means Barack shows up on the front page of every newspaper in America. And the world. You know what that means? Barack did not have a bigger introduction to America and the world in 2004, for all its glamor.
To win Iowa is to introduce Barack. This is about introducing Barack.
The average voter is a different organism from the political junkie. It is hard for the political junkie to imagine there are people out there who don't know. Well, I got news. That's most people out there. For all his good looks, Barack remains largely unknown.
That changes with an Iowa victory. Barack hits the front page.
I am all for winning Iowa. And the wind is blowing in our direction.
Let's go change the world, like Barack likes to say. Let's go introduce Barack to the world.
I went to the after party at Lenox Lounge last night.
I was so glad to hear of the event when I first heard of it, which was early. But I stayed away. I wanted this to be a Harlem thing. In some ways Harlem is the heart of the city. I want Barack to score 70% or more in Harlem on February 5.
Then closer to the date I went online, and the event was predictably sold out. So I had a good excuse. Don't blame me for not showing up, the event was sold out.
A few hours before the event I had an email from Leah. Come to the after party even if you don't come to the event. So I went and I am so glad I did.
I have not felt this comfortable in a bar in a long time. This was an old bar with a lot of history to it. And I like Harlem. This is not your American Gangster Harlem. This is a healthy, happy, bustling Harlem. Harlem has character. There is a ton of history.
On November 7: In Harlem: For Obama
The party started later than advertized. People started streaming in. We had the entire back room to us. Met a lot of the Obama crowd. The early believers. The core people.
I learned Tamara had been on stage. That was so good to hear. And of course Bill Perkins.
Tamara told me Carlos was in Iowa. That guy. (Barack In Brooklyn)
Then Ben told me Jeff Kurzon is making the rounds of the city in Barack Obama's motorcade after the event. That guy. I am jealous.
After meeting Barack's sister Maya recently I emailed Kurzo up in New Hampshire. (Maya Soetoro-Ng) He checked out Maya's profile on MyBO. She has seven friends. I am one of them. "I am jealous," he emailed me.
Ben and I have talked several times now. He introduced me to Deanna as "Raj." I am not Raj, although Raj is pretty cool. That guy functions like a mafia boss. You never see him, but you feel his presence. He happens to be a very busy doctor.
"The complications of race relations," I said to Ben teasingly. I have always felt very comfortable around Ben. Ben looked away. Then he proceeded to buy beer. Then he said he needed to go talk to someone else.
It is okay, dude. Mistaking me for Raj is no offense. It is a compliment actually. (Give Me A Huge Rally In This City Before Summer Is Over)
I sat at a table, with Aisha and Erika and Carlos and Oscar. Then I stood up. Then I walked over to the front room. Then I walked out and went home. It was a few hours to take those four steps.
I learned Rudy is the New York state director. So far I had been calling him the guy who runs the downtown office.
January 4 to February 5
It will be a sprint. Right now I am charging my batteries.
We intend to carry this city for Barack on February 5. So help me god.
Four January Victories
I smell something. Barack just might give a slam dunk. He just might score four victories in January. I smell something. It is in the air.
Bill Clinton is no Trent Lott on race, but he never made any serious attempt to tackle chronic poverty in the inner cities. Enough of liking a white guy just because he is not racist. A white guy not being racist is not doing you a favor. That was your right all along.
These older guys Charlie Rangel and David Dinkins. Forget segregation, they are so old, they probably remember slavery. They are the ones with "experience" as measured in the number of years lived. They are oh so grateful Bill Clinton is a powerful white guy from the South who is not a racist. They can't believe their good fortune.
Lo and behold, Bill Clinton is not a racist.
In The News
Obama brings his message to Harlem The Chicago Tribune Obama invoked Rev. Martin Luther King's "fierce urgency of now" as he made his first visit as a presidential candidate to America's most famous black neighborhood, Harlem, venturing within sight of Bill Clinton's office ..... Most of the local African-American political leadership, led by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Charles Rangel, have lined up behind New York's favorite daughter, Sen. Hillary Clinton. ..... long lines of overwhelmingly black supporters waited outside for a $50-a-seat fundraiser at the Apollo Theater, a cultural institution. ..... "How does it feel to be part of history?" asked scholar Cornel West, bringing the crowd to its feet. ...... "You'd be real embarrassed if he won and we wasn't down," said comedian Chris Rock, introducing Obama. "I had that white lady. What was I thinking? What was I thinking?" ....... I'm tired of hearing about a Justice Department that doesn't understand justice ...... Obama used the visit to pay homage to Rev. Al Sharpton, one of the few prominent local leaders who has not yet chosen whom to back, though he said he will "very shortly." ..... The two dined on corn bread, coconut shrimp and fried chicken wings at Sylvia's, a famous soul food restaurant. ..... Sharpton said, 'Tonight he came to Harlem, and he came with a message that Harlem likes [and] wants someone to discuss at a presidential level, that is hate crimes."
Obama turns up heat in Harlem with fundraiser Newsday, NY an urgent and sometimes confrontational speech .... the crowd of 1,500 .... introduced by comedian Chris Rock and historian Cornel West. ..... entertainers like Brown and Holiday "represent a way of life that goes all the way back from the old spirituals on up to Barack Obama running for president. ..... the capital of black America ..... he was a candidate who wouldn't have to explain why he voted to authorize the war in Iraq. ...... The trip to the Apollo sends a signal to Clinton that Obama intends to compete with her on her home turf -- and not just in New York, but in Harlem .... Thursday, Obama seemed to be courting a Harlem endorsement of his own -- that of the Rev. Al Sharpton, who shared chicken and corn bread with Obama at Sylvia's Restaurant before his speech. .... During the meal, Sharpton said he had not yet endorsed anyone, "but a man that likes chicken and corn bread can't be that bad."
Obama, Bloomberg Hold Mystery Meeting cbs4denver.com, CO New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will have coffee Friday morning with Clinton's main opponent for the Democratic presidential nomination: Barack Obama ...... Bloomberg has vowed to keep out of the presidential race, but he can't seem to stay away from it. Obama and Bloomberg will meet on a coffee date, scheduled because of their mutual interest. ..... the Apollo Theater was a packed with a sold-out crowd paying $50 each to see him. ..... the meeting sent a warning to Hillary Clinton that Harlem could be up for grabs...... "I trust him," said Harlem resident Angela Dews. "Hilary is slick. Democrats are taking us for granted." ...... I'm not running because I think this is something owed to me
Obama: There's no room in America for 'Jena Six' cases, nooses WAND, IL He said that if he's elected president he could be counted on to enforce civil rights laws. Obama's reference to the Jena Six incident came at a fundraiser at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem. In the incident, six black teenagers were arrested for beating a white teen after white students allegedly hung nooses at their Jena, Louisiana high school. .... He told the largely black audience that he dreaded the thought of living through another administration that appeared to care little for the concerns of minority citizens.
Baby Killer Hillary Fools Black Clergy and Evangelicals Hillary Project, CA particularly South Carolina black pastors are thoroughly convinced that Hillary is their woman for the White House. ...... More than 60 ministers gathered with Clinton on a stage at a hotel and her campaign said 80 were in the room where the endorsements were announced
Poll Finds Black Voters Favor Clinton Kansas City infoZine, MO
Obama Takes His Campaign to Harlem
Obama Deplores 'Jena Six,' Nooses Seattle Post Intelligencer He said he was tired of seeing young black men "languishing" on city streets ..... "I don't want to wake up in four years and find out we still have more black men in prison than in college," he said to cheers. ...... Chris Rock, who cracked up the audience with the evening's only direct reference to Hillary Rodham Clinton ...... Cornel West, a longtime black history professor at universities including Harvard and Princeton, also appeared onstage to welcome Obama. He called Obama "an eloquent brother, a good brother, a decent brother," and appeared to address concerns voiced by some black leaders that Obama was a relative newcomer to the civil rights movement. ....... "Barack Obama comes at an incredibly powerful moment in the year 2007, and we don't expect him to be Marcus Garvey ... or Martin Luther King," West said of the two famed civil rights icons. ..... But Sharpton said the visit shouldn't be construed as an endorsement of Obama's candidacy.
Tempers still raw after fractious Republican debate Reuters
Nepal's major parties meet to break political deadlock
Success Depends on Others Failing people care very much about keeping up with the Joneses ..... even as much of the world gets ever richer, people today don't report being happier than people did 50 years ago ...... "The pain of having less is much stronger than the joy of having more."
The Death of French Culture 727 new novels ..... Once admired for the dominating excellence of its writers, artists and musicians, France today is a wilting power in the global cultural marketplace. ...... about 30% of all fiction sold in France is translated from English. ..... France's movie industry, the world's largest a century ago, has yet to recapture its New Wave eminence of the 1960s ..... France still churns out about 200 films a year, more than any other country in Europe. But most French films are amiable, low-budget trifles for the domestic market. American films account for nearly half the tickets sold in French cinemas. ..... the U.S. and Germany each have four of the world's 10 most widely exposed artists; France has none. ...... The top French artist on the list, Robert Combas, commanded $7,500 per work. ..... Though the French music industry sold $1.7 billion worth of recordings and downloads last year, few performers are famous outside the country. ....... once condemned Steven Spielberg's 1993 Jurassic Park as a "threat to French identity." ..... As Sarkozy recently observed: "In the United States and France, we think our ideas are destined to illuminate the world." ...... By law, 40% of shows on TV and music on radio must be French. ..... French, now merely the world's 12th most widely spoken language (Chinese is first, English second). ...... "Now you have to go to New York." ...... "If the Culture Ministry is nowhere to be found, cultural life is everywhere." ...... "In America, a writer wants to work hard and be successful" "French writers think they have to be intellectuals." ....... Sarkozy sent a chill through the French intelligentsia last summer by calling for the "democratization" of culture. ..... a strain in the national mind-set that distrusts commercial success ........ more young French aspire to government jobs than to careers in business ..... The country's angry, ambitious minorities are committing culture all over the place. France has become a multiethnic bazaar of art, music and writing from the banlieues and disparate corners of the nonwhite world. African, Asian and Latin American music get more retail space in France than perhaps any other country. Movies from Afghanistan, Argentina, Hungary and other distant lands fill the cinemas. ......... what keeps a nation great if not the infusion of new energy from the margins? ...... France is arguably the world leader in fashion ....... stop fretting about decline and start applauding the ferment on the fringes, France will reclaim its reputation as a cultural power, a land where every new season brings a harvest of genius.
Iran's Secret Weapon: The Pope Iran, which has had diplomatic relations with the Holy See for 53 years, may be trying to line up Benedict as an ace in the hole for staving off a potential attack ....... they know an intervention of the Vatican is the most open and amenable route to Western public opinion. ..... Last April's release of 15 British sailors held by Iran — a decision that Ahmadinejad called "an Easter gift" — came just a day after the Pope had sent a private letter asking for their liberation. ....... the current Pope was firmly behind John Paul II's opposition to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq ..... many in Rome cite parallels between the current push from American hardliners to confront Iran and the walkup to the war in Iraq ..... Catholicism and Shi'a Islam have a surprisingly similar structure and approach to their different faiths. "What you have in Iran is a strong academic tradition, with both philosophical and mystical aspects — in many ways like Catholicism" ..... Iranians have long studied other cultures and religions. "They know their Western stuff," he said. "Right now, they're isolated because of sanctions, but they really do want to interact with the world." And Rome is one place the interaction has already begun.
Can Iran and Hamas Sink Annapolis? "The Annapolis conference was already a failure," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told journalists after a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday. The U.S. could sponsor a hundred such meetings, he added, and the result would be the same. In Gaza, which is effectively ruled by the fundamentalist Hamas group, anti-Annapolis protesters filled the streets. ....... two groups to which it supplies political, diplomatic, financial and military support. In 1996, Hamas launched its first major wave of suicide bombings in Israel. At the same time, the Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hizballah escalated attacks on Israel. ........... Iran, Hamas and Hizballah have grown even stronger. Iran's strategic position became stronger with the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, the toppling of Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq, and its pursuit of a nuclear program that has the potential of being diverted into building an atomic weapon. .......... One way to defeat the spoilers this time is to ignore any violence they sponsor and persevere toward the goal of a comprehensive Arab-Israeli settlement. ........ neither Hamas nor hard-line Israeli parties need be given a veto over progress ...... as the White House launches a major Israeli-Palestinian peace effort that will span Bush's final year in office, it has to ask whether achieving a peace agreement is wishful thinking doomed to further failure in the absence of a broader accord with Iran.
Why Musharraf is Ending the Emergency TIME lifting of emergency rule on December 16 ..... Sharif's party, along with a consortium of some 31 other parties (though not Bhutto's) has decided "in principle" to boycott the elections unless Musharraf reinstates the Supreme Court.
Obama Finds His Moment TIME Barack Obama's Iowa headquarters near the State Capitol in downtown Des Moines has the unmistakable décor of an insurgent operation ...... the largely twentysomething crew at Obama Central ..... it appears that Obama is turning this into a race ...... a long line of Democratic insurgents — Gary Hart, Paul Tsongas, Bill Bradley and Howard Dean among them — whose promises of a new kind of politics had briefly enjoyed a vogue, only to be crushed into dust by a front-runner who was using the standard playbook. ..... We've raised more money from small donors than all the other Democratic candidates combined, and from a standing start, we are competing with the dominant political organization in American politics that was built over the course of two decades by a two-term ex-President. That's pretty good. ......... his almost cantankerous disdain for sound bites ...... begging Obama to come down off his mountaintop and take her on ...... "the taste is in my mouth." ..... "Triangulating and poll-driven positions ... just won't do." ....... "I am not convinced this campaign has any sense of how hard the Clintons fight when they feel their birthright is being challenged. I am not sure they are ready for this." ....... Obama has tried jujitsu, challenging Clinton on what she considers to be her greatest strength ..... that experience is not the same thing as judgment — for which Clinton has not yet found a rejoinder. ...... Clinton's formidable lead in New Hampshire has dropped by nearly half, to 14 points ...... she has visited only 39 counties to his 68 ..... The Clinton campaign "clearly thought [it was] on a glide path to the nomination, and that has been disrupted" ....... I don't think there's a candidate who can do poorly in Iowa and end up winning the nomination ....... A candidate who is engaged in the ritualized back-and-forth that characterizes close campaigns ......... Obama has always understood that the old rulebook cannot be completely thrown out in a nomination fight ....... organization trumps almost everything else. ..... 4 in 10 made their decisions in the last week before the caucuses. ....... the process reveals aspects of an individual's character and judgment.
Obama's moment Economist He can be languid and long-winded. During debates he often starts with a bang only to end with a whimper. He is too fond of vaporous abstractions. He sometimes looks more like the junior professor he once was than a political heavyweight, and his policies are sometimes half-baked ........ Two months ago it looked impossible. Today, with just a month to go until the Iowa caucuses, he is on a roll. ..... a Zogby poll this week showed her losing to all leading Republicans, but him winning. ...... the Clintons ... One campaign spokesman says that “our definition of success doesn't necessarily mean coming in first.” ....... Obama is recapturing the excitement that made his campaign such a spectacle of cheering crowds and kerchinging coffers. He is also reminding people why they have reservations about Mrs Clinton—not least her habit of wrapping a sense of entitlement in a feminist garment. ....... Obama is beginning to offer something that has eluded him so far—the sense that he just might win ...... Obama, who is by far the most popular Democrat among Republicans, is probably the best placed candidate to turn a good Democratic year into a landslide ..... He may have bested Mrs Clinton with his Treasury one-liner.
Clinton, Obama go into slam flunk mode
Bin Laden: Europeans should end US help Al-Qaida has dramatically stepped up its messages — a pace seen as a sign of its increasing technical sophistication and the relative security felt by its leadership. ..... Bin Laden's message was the 89th this year by Al-Qaida's media wing, Al-Sahab, an average of one every three days, double the rate in 2006
Public questions inspire combative Republican debate Los Angeles Times
Huckabee's Surge Stirs the Pot in Iowa
Bihar to get IIT, IIM soon
Sanjay Dutt likely to be freed today
Briton Charged With Insulting Islam in Sudan
Pall of Rioting Greets Sarkozy
Clinton: Obama 'betrays' Democratic values Baltimore Sun he questioned whether she was more interested in scoring political points than in explaining her plans. ..... a deepening contentiousness ..... Obama has maintained that Clinton has failed to show how she would force Americans to get insurance. ...... Obama's campaign labeled Clinton's comments "another desperate attack" ....... it was "fantasy" to believe the U.S. troop surge in Iraq is working since its goal was to lead to a fully functioning unity government in the war-torn country. Biden said there is " no political progress among the major factions" in trying to govern Iraq. ...... the campaign slogan—turn up the heat—that her campaign unveiled earlier this month.
Oprah's a Winner. Can She Make Obama One Too? Washington Post
Black voters focus on Clinton, Obama
Clinton says she has her own mega-celebrities
Bill Clinton embarrasses wife over Iraq war
Israel and Palestinians commit to 2008 peace treaty ABC News leaders of the United States, Israel and the Palestinians agreed on Tuesday to launch immediate talks to try to secure a peace deal by the end of 2008 that would create a Palestinian state. ...... 44-nation Middle East peace conference ..... 14 Arab states -- among them Syria and Saudi Arabia -- as well as major powers Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. ....... Bush hopes to achieve in his final 14 months in office what has eluded U.S. leaders for decades .... Olmert's public standing is low, partly due to last year's Lebanon war, and Abbas lost control of the Gaza Strip to Hamas Islamists in June. ...... the toughest "final status" issues of the conflict -- Jerusalem, borders, security and the fate of Palestinian refugees. ........ neither Olmert nor Abbas gave any sign of giving ground on their main differences when they addressed the conference. ..... a senior official of Hamas declared Annapolis a "waste of time." ....... 270,000 Jews who live in settlements scattered among the 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank .... wants to hold on to major settlement blocs. .... Bush has faced criticism for not doing more sooner, and it was unclear how hard he would push the parties to compromise.
Annapolis Conference Launches Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks
3rd Straight Night of Youth Riots In France Voice of America
French Riots in Paris Suburbs Spread; Cars, Library Torched
Bill Clinton Says He Opposed Iraq War From the Outset Washington Post apparently glossing over the more nuanced views of the war he has expressed over time ...... Iowa - a largely anti-war state ...... the Democratic nominating process has reached fever pitch ...... "I supported the president when he asked for authority to stand up against weapons of mass destruction in Iraq," Clinton said on May 18, 2003, during a commencement speech at Tougaloo College in Mississippi.
Clinton Promotes Wife's Bid, His Legacy The Associated Press Showing inconsistency on an issue that has dogged his wife, the former president also told Iowa Democrats that he "opposed (war in) Iraq from the beginning." ..... a battle of campaign surrogates — Clinton vs. Winfrey ..... Clinton himself said Winfrey ought to be for Obama because both hail from Chicago. He didn't mention that his wife is also from suburban Chicago. "I like Oprah Winfrey," he said. "We're friends." .......... Speaking for more than an hour, Clinton discussed his wife's agenda and experience in exhaustive terms, sprinkling the remarks with asides about his presidency and his activities on the world stage since he left office in January 2001. ........ He has not clearly opposed the war from the start. ..... "I supported the president when he asked for authority to stand up against weapons of mass destruction in Iraq," he said in May 2003, the same year he was quoted praising Bush's handling of the war. ......... He said his opinion should matter because "I know what it takes to be president" and "because of the life I've lived since I left office." ..... He seemed to suggest that the nation needs a return to 1990s sensibilities. ........ "The reason I want you to sign one of these cards is because I know her," he said. "I hope you make her the next president because she would be a great president and you would never, ever regret it."
Can Oprah's Blessing Boost Obama? The Associated Press
Obama got Winfrey, Clinton got Streisand Baltimore Sun
Abbas Addresses the Annapolis Conference
Obama got Winfrey, Clinton got Streisand
Clinton, Obama exchanges get nasty CNN Clinton's lead has dropped in recent polls from New Hampshire and Iowa ........ with her lead slipping, things have changed, and the New York senator has found herself in a full out verbal war with Sen. Barack Obama. ....... "In politics, you can afford to ignore your opponents until you start to feel them breathing down your neck" ....... Clinton last week saw a 23-point lead over Obama in September fall to 14 points ........ New Hampshire presidential primary poll. ..... as the race gets tighter, it's also getting nastier. ....... exchanging jabs over health care, fundraising and foreign relations experience -- and the punches are getting personal. ....... I don't think that [former Secretary of State] Madeleine Albright would think that Hillary Clinton was the face of foreign policy during the Clinton administration ........ Clinton's reluctance to release financial, fundraising and White House records in full. ....... "The latest personal attack from Hillary Clinton is a completely false attempt to misrepresent Barack Obama's full disclosure of his campaign finances" ........ Clinton also pointed fingers at Obama's health care plan, calling it "confusing," a day after the Illinois senator said his proposal would keep costs down more than any of his rivals' plans. ..... "She's not being straight with the American people because she refuses to tell us how much she would fine people if they couldn't afford insurance."
Obama challenges Clinton on health care