Sunday, June 29

At Least We Can Laugh About It

Friday, June 27

Three Women Who Could Join GOP Ticket

McCain's camp has been tight-lipped about who they are looking at for vice president. There is no doubt that this is a decision that could make or break his chances to win. Not surprisingly, three women are among the possible candidates that pundits are suggesting in an article from Politico:

Alaska Governor Sarah Paulin

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin may be nationally unknown, but in her state she is nothing short of a political phenomenon.

Palin, 44, would add youth to the GOP ticket. As governor she has shown a willingness to veto some of the state’s large capital projects, no small plus for fiscal conservatives. But it’s her personal biography, which excites social conservatives, and reformist background that might most appeal to McCain.

She’s stridently anti-abortion, and recently brought to term her fifth child — who she knew would have Down syndrome. A hunter, fisher and family woman with a rapid professional rise, Palin is a natural for Republican framing.

In 2003, as ethics commissioner on the state's Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, she risked her rising political star by resigning her position in protest of ethical misconduct within the state’s Republican leadership as well as then-Gov. Frank Murkowski’s acceptance of that impropriety. Though this briefly made her an outcast within the party, within a year several state Republican heavyweights were reprimanded for the conduct she’d decried.

Her reputation with the party thus redeemed, Palin defeated Murkowski in the 2006 Republican primary on the way to being elected governor.

As governor, she’s continued challenging the state’s powers that be, even winning tax increases on oil companies’ profits. Her approval rating has soared as high as 90 percent, making her one of America’s most popular governors.

Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina has an up-by-her-own-bootstraps success story, having worked her way from a start as a young secretary straight through the glass ceiling to become Hewlett-Packard’s chief executive from 1999 to 2005. She presently serves as the chair of the organization tasked by the Republican National Committee with preparing the party’s crucial get-out-the-vote operation. It’s no symbolic post, but a crucial position for a party facing an uphill presidential contest.

Fiorina is also already close to McCain. The two of them recently sat down at his Arlington headquarters with frustrated Clinton supporters and urged them to shift their political allegiance to him. On the campaign trail and on shows like CBS News “Face the Nation,” she’s served as a ubiquitous advocate of the candidate. Privately, she has also become one of McCain’s most trusted economic advisers.

Grover Norquist, a fiscal conservative leader and longtime party organizer, touts Fiorina’s economic and executive bonafides but labeled her a “dark horse” vice presidential prospect. One Republican state party chairman said, “everybody would be very pleasantly surprised with her” before adding that “the danger is that she hasn’t been vetted” — a concern echoed by several GOP insiders.

These insiders also expressed concern that adding her to the ticket would do little to galvanize social conservatives, some of whom still view McCain with suspicion and antipathy. They also brought up her lack of foreign policy experience, and expressed concern that her reputation as “the most powerful woman in business” — as she was once called by Forbes magazine — could prove a dubious distinction at a time when economic anxiety is reaching levels unseen since the late 1970s.

Kay Bailey Hutchison

Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, the longest-tenured female Republican senator, who until recently headed the Senate Republican Conference, now serves as chairwoman of the Republican Policy Committee, two top Beltway party posts.

In Texas, where she has been comfortably reelected, one Republican strategist notes that she’s “proven she can get scores of Hispanics in a huge state surrogate.”“She’s underused as a surrogate to the party,” the strategist added.

But despite her popularity in the state and in the party and her years of experience, insiders are skeptical she’ll be selected. Like Alaska, Texas is already a solidly Republican state in presidential races. And adding Hutchison — who supports embryonic stem cell research and is relatively moderate on abortion (she is against outlawing the procedure, though she also opposes federal funding for it) — to the ticket would also alienate some social conservatives.

And then there’s the energy problem. Hutchison has long been a defender of Big Oil, which may make political sense locally but could prove a liability in a national race at a time when oil companies are enjoying record profits even as Americans pay record amounts at the pump.

But before McCain can entertain the prospect of these three heavy hitting women, he needs to address the real question: Can a woman help him get to the White House?


Freedom Friday

What is your definition of citizenship? What's your child's understanding of what constitutes a good citizen? Leah Davies, M.Ed. in her article "20 Ideas for Teaching Citizenship to Children" gives this great synopsis of what citizenship means:

Citizenship means being a member of and supporting one's community and country. A United States citizen has certain freedoms which are declared in the U.S. Bill of Rights. In addition to these privileges, a citizen has an obligation to be informed, law abiding, and uphold basic democratic principles such as tolerance and civic responsibility. Voting, conserving natural resources, and taking care of oneself are all part of citizenship. In addition, citizens often participate in local community projects dedicated to the common good.
In her article, Ms. Davies encourages parents to talk with their children and ask them what they think are the responsibilities of a good citizen. Then have them think about times when they or someone they know exhibited good citizenship.

For example:
  • I was friendly to a new child from a different country.

  • I helped clean up the park.

  • My mom and I passed out voter pamphlets.

  • I collected used toys and clothes for needy children.

  • I walked away from a fight.

  • I said "no" when a friend asked me to steal money from another child.

  • I wear my bike helmet and follow other bike safety rules.

  • I wait for the signal to cross the street and I stay in the cross walk.
According to Ms. Davies:

Helping students explore citizenship and connecting it to their lives are the keys to true understanding. When children are exposed to storytelling, drama, and other activities in which they are actively involved, their retention is increased. If they learn that people from other countries are not necessarily free to voice dissenting opinions, practice their religion, or even have as many children as they would like, the students will begin to appreciate their freedoms.
As parents, if we aren't intentional about instilling these concepts in our children, they may grow up not understanding the sacrifices of their forefathers and why it's important to stay involved in their communities and in the democratic process.

This summer, Freedom Friday is focusing on ways we can build citizenship in our children. Here are earlier posts from this series:

Tuesday, June 24

Are You Anonymous?

I love when a post sparks great debate. It's one of the main reasons I started this blog: I wanted people to think about why and what they believe instead of just regurgitating facts or the talking points of others.

So it really pains me to write this post because I really and truly don't want to do anything to stifle the flow of debate. However, I've become increasingly annoyed with readers who are leaving anonymous comments. I understand that not everyone who reads has their own blog usernames, but I'm going to request that if you leave an anonymous post that you at least sign your name at the bottom.

I have a strong hunch that some of the comments are being left by people who do have blogs and therefore don't need to leave anonymous comments. If I'm describing you, please stand by your comment. And we don't care if you're a guy; this blog has a lot of readers who are men so don't let the name of this blog keep you from participating. We want P4M to be a site where anyone can learn and challenge each other.

I really hate having to add this guideline but it's hard to have a respectful discussion with nameless comments. Please continue to add your challenging and well-thought out comments, just add your name.

Bill Clinton Offers to Support Obama

Former President Clinton said through a spokesman Tuesday that he is committed to helping Barack Obama become president, his first comments in support of his wife's former rival since their primary ended three weeks ago.
"President Clinton is obviously committed to doing whatever he can and is asked to do to ensure Senator Obama is the next president of the United States," Matt McKenna, Clinton Spokesman, said.

Obama Inspires Fashion Collection

Yes, you read that right. Donatella Versace dedicated her Spring-Summer 2009 collection to Obama, creating a style she said was designed for "a relaxed man who doesn't need to flex muscles to show he has power."

She also had some fashion advice for the presumptive Democrative nominee, "I would get rid of the tie and jazz up the shirt," she said.

Hmmm, not sure how that look would fly with voters but it would definitely add a whole new level of political fodder.

Dobson Says Obama Distorting Bible

News agencies are reporting that on today's broadcast of Focus on the Family's radio show, James Dobson accuses Sen. Obama of distorting the Bible and pushing a “fruitcake interpretation” of the Constitution.

FoxNews reported that The Associated Press received an advanced copy of the show's transcipt with these excerpts:

Dobson took aim at examples Obama cited in asking which Biblical passages should guide public policy - chapters like Leviticus, which Obama said suggests slavery is OK and eating shellfish is an abomination, or Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, “a passage that is so radical that it’s doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application.”

“Folks haven’t been reading their Bibles,” Obama said.

Dobson accused Obama of wrongly equating Old Testament texts and dietary codes that no longer apply to Jesus’ teachings in the New Testament.

“I think he’s deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview, his own confused theology,” Dobson said.

“… He is dragging biblical understanding through the gutter.”

Dobson reserved some of his harshest criticism for Obama’s argument that the religiously motivated must frame debates over issues like abortion not just in their own religion’s terms but in arguments accessible to all people.

He said Obama, who supports abortion rights, is trying to govern by the “lowest common denominator of morality,” labeling it “a fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution.”

“Am I required in a democracy to conform my efforts in the political arena to his bloody notion of what is right with regard to the lives of tiny babies?” Dobson said. “What he’s trying to say here is unless everybody agrees, we have no right to fight for what we believe.”

Check the Focus on the Family website for a listing of the radio stations in your area that will carry today's show.

Obama Opts Out of Public Campaign Financing

Last week, Sen. Obama announced that he would not take $85 million in public financing--as well as the strict spending limits that would accompany those funds. He is the first candidate to reject public funding since the system's creation after Watergate.

I have to admit that I was a little surprised by that announcement since he had just declared the opposite a few weeks earlier. Sen. McCain jumped on the news saying that Obama had broken his promise to fund his race publicly.

So what could possibly change Obama's mind about how to finance his campaign?

Obama argued that he opted out of public funding because "the public financing of presidential elections as it exists today is broken, and we face opponents who've become masters at gaming this broken system."

Obama has used Internet to raise nearly $266 million from 1.5 million-plus donors and there seems to be no stopping him.

While those numbers are impressive, the negative for Obama may be a public perception of hypocrisy.

"The true test of a candidate for president is whether he will stand on principle and keep his word to the American people," said Jill Hazelbaker, McCain's communications director. "Barack Obama has failed that test, and his reversal of his promise to participate in the public finance system undermines his call for a new type of politics."

The real question is, "Does the public care?" Weigh in with your opinion on the sidebar poll.

For more on this topic, you can read:

Can Obama's Money Buy Him Love, CNN

Obama in Danger of Damaging His Brand, ABC News

Sunday, June 22

At Least We Can Laugh About It

Friday, June 20

Freedom Friday

In case you missed last week's Freedom Friday post, let me remind you that through the summer this feature will focus on ways we can build citizenship in our children.

For this week's post, I was inspired by last night's 'Jay Walking' feature on The Late Show with Jay Leno.

If you're not familiar with 'Jay Walking,' Leno goes out on the street and asks random people questions about current events, facts about the US, etc. The humor is that most of the times no one knows the correct answers.

On last night's show, he asked random people on the street the name of our National Anthem and then asked them to sing it. Of course, one in ten could answer The Star Spangled Banner and even fewer could sing the words. As with most of his 'Jay Walking' segments, the people he interviews are usually under age 25. Sad.

So something you may want to do this summer is start teaching your kids The Star Spangled Banner. Of course, the song will mean more to them if you give them the history behind the song. And if you happen to find yourself in Washington, D.C. you might consider a stop at The National Museum of American History to see their Star-Spangled Banner gallery.

Other patriotic songs that are fun for kids to learn are: America, Yankee Doodle, This Land is Your Land, When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again, My Country Tis of Thee, God Bless America.

A Life's Lesson

For you Tim Russert fans out there, I thought you'd enjoy this column by Peggy Noonan (one of my favorite writers) in The Wall Street Journal.

When somebody dies, we tell his story and try to define and isolate what was special about it—what it was he brought to the party, how he enhanced life by showing up. In this way we educate ourselves about what really matters. Or, often, re-educate ourselves, for "man needs more to be reminded than instructed."

I understand why some think that the media coverage surrounding Tim Russert's death was excessive—truly, it was unprecedented—but it doesn't seem to me a persuasive indictment, if only because what was said was so valuable.

The beautiful thing about the coverage was that it offered extremely important information to those age 15 or 25 or 30 who may not have been told how to operate in the world beyond "Go succeed." I'm not sure we tell the young as much as we ought, as clearly as we ought, what it is the world admires, and what it is they want to emulate.

In a way, the world is a great liar. It shows you it worships and admires money, but at the end of the day it doesn't. It says it adores fame and celebrity, but it doesn't, not really. The world admires, and wants to hold on to, and not lose, goodness. It admires virtue. At the end it gives its greatest tributes to generosity, honesty, courage, mercy, talents well used, talents that, brought into the world, make it better. That's what it really admires.

That's what we talk about in eulogies, because that's what's important. We don't
say, "The thing about Joe was he was rich." We say, if we can, "The thing about
Joe was he took care of people."

I encourage you to visit the WSJ to read the rest of the column.

Wednesday, June 18

Michelle Obama on 'The View'

I didn't get a chance to watch Michelle Obama on The View this morning but I just watched some of it on YouTube and I'm pleased to say she answered the "bump" question in the first two minutes with this quote:

"It has become my signature bump, but I'm not that hip. I got it from the young staff."
I have to admit I feel a little vindicated :)

Then they discussed The New York Times article that I just wrote about in the prior post. Good stuff.

Michelle Obama Looking to Carve New Image

Michelle Obama is a political figure that is polarizing; You either love her or hate her. That's why I found this article in The New York Times really interesting. It gives you a look at her upbringing, education and her attempts at addressing racial resentment.

On Her Upbringing

Michelle Robinson grew up in the black half of a divided Chicago. She and her brother, Craig, lived with their parents on the second floor of a bungalow. “Two bedrooms, if you want to be generous,” she says.

Her father, Frasier Robinson, was a pump operator for Chicago’s water department and a precinct captain in the Democratic machine. Her mother, Marian, brought workbooks home to keep her children ahead of their classes. The working-class neighborhood was filled with uncles and grandparents, block associations and oak trees. “We knew the gang-bangers — my brother played basketball in the park,” Mrs. Obama says. “Home never feels dangerous.”

On Her Education

In 1981, she left for Princeton, an overwhelmingly white institution that cherished its genteel traditions. She was one of 94 black freshmen in a class of over 1,100. Catherine Donnelly, a white student from New Orleans, was a roommate. Her mother spent months pleading with Princeton officials to give her daughter a white roommate instead. “Mom just blew a gasket when I described Michelle,” Ms. Donnelly recalled. “It was my secret shame.”

Mrs. Obama shrugs now. Some classmates resented blacks; some resented affirmative action. “Diversity can’t be taken care of with 10 kids,” she says. “There is an isolation that comes with that.”

Racial Resentment
In her senior thesis, she asked: Does immersion in an elite white institution draw blacks away from their community? She surveyed black Princeton alumni, finding their ties weakened after graduation.

“The path I have chosen to follow by attending Princeton,” Mrs. Obama wrote in the introduction, “will likely lead to my further integration and/or assimilation into a white cultural and social structure that will only allow me to remain on the periphery of society, never becoming a full participant.”

It's a really interesting look at this complicated woman. I encourage you to read the entire article.

Monday, June 16

New Media Breaking New Ground

I recently saw a 20/20 segment on Chris Hughes, the 24-year-old founder of Facebook, who left Silicon Valley to join Barack Obama's new media team for his campaign. This article from ABCNews takes a behind the scenes look at how Hughes is using social networking sites and new media to bring the common voter more closely into the political process.
Four years ago, Hughes was a Harvard sophomore, helping his two roommates develop what would become Facebook Inc., the popular social networking Web site.

But when he learned Obama was running for president a year and a half ago, Hughes left Silicon Valley and put his Facebook career on hold to focus on what he calls online grassroots organizing" for the campaign.

Facebook and MySpace is used to connect friends or like-minded people together in a social networking setting. He's extending that concept to Obama's website "where people can learn about Obama, create campaign events, and share thoughts about the campaign with each other and the campaign."

But unlike Facebook, Hughes said Obama's Web site is "less about building up a community of people" and "more about investing those people who already support us with the tools for them to reach out in real life and real communities to their friends, their family, their neighbors to bring them into the campaign."

A "Day of National House Parties" on June 28 is one idea that Hughes is working on that will bring all facets of Obama's internet strategy together.

"The idea here is that we're finally done with the primary, and it's time to bring together people who might have been Clinton supporters, independents or disaffected Republicans, and the best way to get them into the campaign is to have Obama supporters reach out to them directly and have them at their house."

The campaign is mailing over 1,000 hosts, who have signed up online, a 10-minute DVD about Obama to show to their guests, and it has posted online instructions for a group discussion about politics and a plan to come back together for a voter registration event.

"All of these different Internet tools lock in," Hughes said. "We use our big list of e-mail supporters to ask them to create the events in the first place; we use our blog structure to get people to promote the events; and then we use the groups in and the listserves to engage as many curious people as possible."

Raising money is another way that Obama has harnassed the power of the internet. Obama has raised over $265 million, almost half from people donating $200 or less, with many of those contributions coming over the internet.

The article goes on to compare how the McCain and Clinton campaigns are using the internet and why their efforts have fallen short of Obama's efforts. Good read if you are interested social media and technology.

Sunday, June 15

Obama Father's Day Speech

Whatever you think of Barack Obama's politics, you gotta admit he sure can deliver powerful speeches. Today was another example as Sen. Obama delivered a Father's Day speech to the congregation at Apostolic Church of God in Chicago. Here are a few excerpts:

Of all the rocks upon which we build our lives, we are reminded today that family is the most important. And we are called to recognize and honor how critical every father is to that foundation. They are teachers and coaches. They are mentors and role models. They are examples of success and the men who constantly push us toward it.

But if we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that what too many fathers also are is missing – missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.

You can view and/or read the entire speech here.

Friday, June 13

Tim Russert Dies Suddenly

Tim Russert, the veteran journalist best known as the moderator of NBC News' "Meet the Press," collapsed and died of a heart attack Friday while at work in Washington. He was 58 years old.

Read more at Yahoo News,

Freedom Friday

I'm sorry that Freedom Friday has taken an unscheduled break for the last several weeks. With the end of school and other activities, life has been really crazy and Friday seems to sneak up on me every week. But with the kids home, I thought it would be fun to take Freedom Friday in a different direction for the summer.

When we were kids, teaching citizenship to students was very much a part of our school day. But with the increased pressure on our schools to perform, our kids are learning less and less about becoming good citizens, making their own decisions and taking responsibility for their own lives and their communities.

So every Friday this summer I'm going to give you ideas you can do with your kids to help them learn more about this country we live in and what they can do to become responsible and valuable citizens.

This Friday we're going to start with an easy one: the Pledge of Allegiance. My children say the pledge every morning at school, but I've learned recently that not every school requires that. Therefore, there are a growing number of children who haven't learned the Pledge of Allegiance.

If your children don't know the pledge, take some time this summer to teach it to them. But instead of memorizing just words, also share with them the history of the pledge and why it is important to our nation.

Paul Leaves Presidential Race

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul said Thursday night he is ending his campaign but will keep spreading his message by working to help elect libertarian-leaning Republicans to public office around the country.

“The campaign is going to shift gears. It’s going to accelerate. It’s going to get much bigger,” Paul told The Associated Press in an interview before a rally where he was making the announcement. “To me, it’s a technical change.”

The announcement is a formality. The 72-year-old congressman won few delegates during the Republican primaries, but he raised large amounts of money online and developed a huge grass-roots following.

Jesse Benton, Paul’s campaign spokesman, said Paul is beginning a “Campaign for Liberty.”
The presidential campaign still has about $4.7 million in the bank, which can now be used for the new effort, Benton said, describing it as a “permanent campaign.”

“We’re going to work with the grass roots,” Benton said. “People are really eager to continue and grow these efforts.”


Sunday, June 8

Clinton Suspends Her Bid for the White House; Throws Support Behind Obama

In a 30-minute speech Saturday in front of a packed house of loyal supporters, Sen. Hillary Clinton threw her support behind Sen. Obama, an annoucement which received both cheers and some boos.

In her last rally as a presidential candidate, Mrs. Clinton expressed deep gratitude to the voters. who had cast ballots for her. She suspended her campaign, rather than officially ending it. That’s a technicality that will allow her to raise money to retire her debt and to control the delegates she won. It is not an indication that she has any intention of resuming it. (NY Times)

Mrs. Clinton went on to put into proper historical context what her campaign means to women.

"Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it," the former candidate continued. "And the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time."

It will be up to the historians to ponder why Clinton waited until the very last day of her campaign to give full voice to the epochal nature of her candidacy. Through the Democratic primary race of 2008, she had played down the significance of being the first woman within reach of the presidency. It's tempting to wonder whether things would have turned out differently if she had embraced the theme earlier -- but there can be little doubt that her last speech of the campaign was also her best. (The Washington Post)

You can read Clinton's speech in its entirety here.

Friday, June 6

The "Bump" Heard Around the World

I was amused when I read the above headline in all its various forms today and saw the picture of the infamous "bump." But this article in The Washington Post got me thinking:

As Barack Obama walked onstage in St. Paul, Minn., to claim the Democratic nomination Tuesday night, he and wife Michelle hugged and then, gazing into each other's eyes with knowing smiles, gently knocked knuckles.
Dap, fist pound, whatever you want to call it-- it's definitely something we're not used to seeing on the national political stage.
Really? Maybe we haven't seen a fist bump but we saw Al & Tipper locked in a steamy kiss, Clinton jamming on Arsenio and every politician from here to there playing the part of comedian on shows like The Colbert Report, The Daily Report, and Saturday Night Live. We've seen intern dresses and chest bumping so I find it hard to believe that a little fist bumping is earth shattering. It begs the question 'why'?

"It thrilled a lot of black folks," said author and commentator Ta-Nehisi Coates, who blogs at Why? Because it's the kind of gesture that, while commonplace in the African American community, was generally stifled by earlier
generations of blacks working their way up into the corporate or political worlds for fears "about looking too black," he said. But Obama "is past that. . . . He wears his cultural blackness all over the place." (Remember his aping of Jay- Z's "dirt off your shoulder" move in a recent speech?) "It's liberating to be able to run for president as a black man. . . . Barack is like Black Folks 2.0."

I must not be up on my "Black Folks 2.0" because I thought the fist bump was a teenager thing, right up there with jeans that fall off their hips. But since I really don't know, I'll give the credit for the fist bump to the African American community.

It's the last two sentences that I found confusing. Isn't Obama half black and half white? Didn't his parents divorce when he was young and he was raised by his white mother until he was 10? Then he was raised by his white maternal grandmother or in Obama's own words, "a typical white person." It makes me wonder if Obama really identifies with the black community as much as they think he does.

Just thinking out loud today.

Secret Meeting

There are reports this morning that Sen. Clinton and Democratic nominee Barack Obama met privately Thursday night at an unannounced location in Washington D.C. Some reports say the meeting took place at the D.C. home of California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Clinton supporter.

“Senator Clinton and Senator Obama met tonight and had a productive discussion about the important work that needs to be done to succeed in November,” their campaigns said in a joint statement released late in the evening.

Thursday, June 5

Obama Bans PAC Money

In his first order of business as his party's presumed presidential nominee, Barack Obama is instructing the Democratic National Committee to adopt his policy against accepting donations from federal lobbyists or political action committees.

The change will make the party and the candidate have a consistent position. Obama often says banning the donations is one way to help keep him free of the influence of Washington insiders.


Michelle Obama on 'The View'

Michelle Obama will be a guest host on 'The View' on June 18. The popular ABC daytime talk show had invited her to be a guest this month, but she sent back word that she would like to be a host like Cindy McCain did in April.

"Equal time - that's hard to argue with," said Bill Geddie, the show's executive producer.

via AOL

What is Vetting

This morning on the news, the pundits used the word vetting when describing the process of choosing a vice president candidate. I wasn't sure what they met so I turned to Wikipedia.

General Definition:
Vetting is a process of examination and evaluation. Specifically, vetting often refers to performing a background check on someone before offering them employment.

As related to politics:
A party's presidential nominee must choose a vice-presidential candidate to accompany him or her on the ticket. Prospective vice-presidential candidates must undergo thorough evaluation by a team of advisers acting on behalf of the nominee.[1] In later stages of the vetting process, the team will examine such items as a prospective vice-presidential candidate's finances, personal conduct, and previous coverage in the media.[1]

No. 2

With one piece in place now for the democrats, attention has now turned to the vice president slot. Obama indicated he would at least consider Clinton for the No. 2 slot.

"Senator Clinton would be on anybody's short list, obviously," he told CBS News, adding they agree on most all the issues.

The morning pundits were critical of Clinton's handlers pushing her forward as a potential running mate, and even of Clinton herself say that pushing yourself onto the nominee is definitely not the way to get the nod. In her speech Tuesday night, she continue to cite the facts and figures that were meant to show just how formidable of a ticket they would be if they joined forces.

Obama's campaign announced the vetting of potential running mates was to be managed by a three-person team of one-time first daughter Caroline Kennedy, former Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder and Washington insider Jim Johnson.

He also stressed that he won't allow the media or anyone else to hurry to process and that he will announce a running mate when he's comfortable with the decision.

We DO Have a Nominee

The Clintons are not quitters. They are scrappy. They are persistent. Strategic. And they know that on a dime the political landscape can change given a proper scandal. That's why I think it has been so hard for Hillary to concede the race. To do so means she has to admit defeat. She has to quit.

That's why I think the announcement that Hillary plans to drop out of the Democratic presidential race this weekend and throw her support behind Barack Obama has been so long in coming. Apparently, top Democratic Senators strongly urged her to drop out after her opponent clinched the nomination with an avalanche of superdelegates Tuesday.

Even with the handwriting so clearly on the wall, I'm sure she still had hope. After all, the Clintons are not quitters.

Wednesday, June 4

We Have A Nominee (I Think)

from The Washington Post:

With a split decision in the final two primaries and a flurry of superdelegate endorsements, Sen. Barack Obama sealed the Democratic presidential nomination last night after a grueling and history-making campaign against Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton that will make him the first African American to head a major-party ticket.

"Tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another -- a journey that will bring a new and better day to America," he said, as the emotion of the moment showed on his face. "Because of you, tonight I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States of America."

from USA Today :

Hillary Rodham Clinton, once the Democratic presidential front-runner, ended a hard-fought primary season Tuesday unable to claim victory but unwilling to concede defeat.

"I've never seen in my lifetime somebody more ready to be president and more capable," said Aronchick, who worked on Democrat John Kerry's 2004 campaign. "It's astonishing that we have come to this place where one of our best and brightest" will not be the party's standard-bearer.

from The New York Times:

Senator Barack Obama claimed the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday night, prevailing through an epic battle with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in a primary campaign that inspired millions of voters from every corner of America to demand change in Washington.

A last-minute rush of Democratic superdelegates, as well as split results from the final primaries in Montana and South Dakota, pushed Mr. Obama over the threshold of 2,118 delegates needed to be nominated at the party’s convention in Denver in August. The victory for Mr. Obama, the son of a black Kenyan father and white Kansan mother, broke racial barriers and represented a remarkable rise for a man who just four years ago served in the Illinois State Senate.

Mrs. Clinton paid tribute to Mr. Obama, but she did not leave the race. “This has been a long campaign and I will be making no decisions tonight," Mrs. Clinton told supporters in New York. She said she would be speaking with party officials about her next move.

In a combative speech, she again presented her case that she was the stronger candidate and argued that she had won the popular vote, a notion disputed by the Obama campaign.“I want the 18 million Americans who voted for me to be respected,” she said in New York to loud cheers.

And my favorite article, She's Still Here by Maureen Dowd in The New York Times:

He thought a little thing like winning would stop her?

Oh, Bambi.

Whoever said that after denial comes acceptance hadn’t met the Clintons.

If Hillary could not have an acceptance speech, she wasn’t going to have acceptance.

“It’s never going to end,” sighed one Democrat who has been advising Hillary. “We’re just moving to a new phase.”

Barry has been trying to shake off Hillary and pivot for quite a long time now, but she has managed to keep her teeth in his ankle and raise serious doubts about his potency. Getting dragged across the finish line Tuesday night by Democrats who had had enough of the rapacious Clintons, who had decided, if it came to it, that they would rather lose with Obama than win with Hillary, the Illinois senator tried to celebrate at the St. Paul arena where Republicans will anoint John McCain in September.

But even as Obama was trying to savor, Hillary was refusing to sever. Ignoring the attempts of Obama and his surrogates to graciously say how “extraordinary” she was as they showed her the exit, she and a self-pitying Bill continued to pull focus. Outside Baruch College, where she was to speak, her fierce feminist supporters screamed “Denver! Denver! Denver!”

Tuesday, June 3

The Beginning of the End?

Voters in Montana and South Dakota head to the polls today to end what has to be the longest primary season ever. The consensus on the morning shows by the "experts" was that Sen. Clinton will enjoy the limelight one last time tonight and then will make a graceful exit in the next day or so.

I think we've all learned that you never count Hillary out. She just may surprise us, but the pressure from party leaders is definitely mounting as they press her to end the race so they can unify the party and move forward.

We may actually have a winner by the end of tonight.

Sunday, June 1

Compromise Prompts Anger from Clinton Campaign

No one should be surprised that Clinton isn't going to leave this race quietly or quickly. After yesterday's decision by the DNC Rules Committee to allow delegates from MI and FL to be seated in full but with only a half vote, Clinton supporters were not overjoyed with the results.

The anger mainly stems from the outcome of the MI delegates. The percentage by which the delegates were awarded was a number recommended by the Michigan Democratic Party and not the percentage that was reflective of the election. Opponents say that this decision strips Clinton of four delegate votes and gives them to Obama.

However, I'm not sure it really even matters since four votes isn't enough to significantly change the number of delegates each candidate has, but it has become a source of contention for Clinton supporters. Clinton is reserving the right to take the matter to the credentials committee that will meet right before the convention.

But don't look for Clinton to concede victory to Obama this week, even if he reaches the number of delegates he needs to win the nomination, as is expected after the primaries in Montana and South Dakota on Tuesday. Clinton is still hanging her hat on the votes of super delegates and her belief that she is the more electable candidate against John McCain in the fall. This little matter of counting delegate votes in Michigan just gives her one more reason to keep plugging along.

How do you see it?

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