Obama for President; Note from Nate Tamarin, Illinois Political Director

I received this email from Nate Tamarin, Illinois Political Director for the Obama for President campaign. Only five days left until the Iowa caucus. If you can’t make it to Iowa, this is certainly the next best thing to sending Barack Obama to the White House. John Presta.

Dear John,

The first contest of the primary season is only six days (now five days) away — and between now and then, you can reach out and make a difference.

Join us at the Volunteer Headquarters over the next week as we contact as many voters as possible about Barack and our movement for change.

We’ve updated our hours and are open every day, so come by and connect with voters across the country.

Sign up now to join us (click on the link below to get the Chicago Volunteer form):


Here are the details:

Phonebank at the National Volunteer Headquarters
300 West Adams
10th Floor
Chicago, IL 60606

Updated Hours:
Dec 29 — 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Dec 30 — Noon – 9 p.m.
Dec 31 — 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Jan 1 — Noon – 9 p.m.
Jan 2 — 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Jan 3 — 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

RSVP now:
Sign up now to join us (click on the link below to get the Chicago Volunteer form):


Making calls to potential supporters is a crucial part of building our grassroots movement and a great way to have an impact in these final few days before the primaries and caucuses begin.

Whether you’re a first-time volunteer or a seasoned veteran, we’ll make sure that you have all the support you need.

RSVP now and join us at the Volunteer Headquarters:

Sign up now to join us (click on the link below to get the Chicago Volunteer form):

Hope to see you soon,Nate

Nate Tamarin
Illinois State Director
Obama for America

Paid for by Obama for America

"The Secret" – The Real Mike Jordan: Obama Superstar

The Barack Obama secret is out. I mean “The Secret” of why he has been so successful. Barack Obama has become an overnight success, although it took many years.

Mike Jordan (pictured above and to the right). The Super Volunteer. A true superstar. Oh, not the Bulls guy, Number 23. The other superstar, the one on the winning Obama campaign team, Mike Jordan.

But at the beginning there was only Mike Jordan. And a handful of others. All great stories. I’ll be blogging about them during the course of the campaign. And certainly they will be included in the book I am writing about our bookstore experiences (which includes the Obama campaigns).

But today’s story is about Mike Jordan. But Mike would disagree. He would say today’s story should be about Barack Obama. Mike is one of the most hardworking, talented, generous and unselfish people on the planet. That is what really makes him a superstar.

The thing is, the Mike Jordan types that are involved in the Obama Presidential campaign have multiplied in seven fold and seventy-seven fold and so on over these last few years.

It is about passion. Passion for Barack Obama. But more than that. Passion for a great movement. Passion for real change. Passion for a “chance to believe again.”

Yes, read all about Mike Jordan (the AP story below), a man I am proud to call my friend. He never stopped believing. And never will.

Senator Obama loved to introduce Mike Jordan to small gatherings of volunteers. Obama would display that wonderful sense of humor of his, by starting out saying, “And of course Mike Jordan is here today.” And of course the crowd would scan the room to look for Number 23, only to find this fine, humble man, the other Mike Jordan. To Obama, Mike Jordan is as valuable to his team, as Number 23 was to the Chicago Bulls. I do not exaggerate.

And then just multiply the number. But then again multiplying is not enough. Increase the number exponentially. Then you get a little closer to “The Secret.” John Presta.

Obama Friend Sells Candidate



Mike Jordan sells Barack Obama door to door.

or the insurance agent from Richton Park, Ill., the role is a natural — he knows sales and he knows Obama. And, as any salesman will say, the most effective pitches are made by those who truly believe in their product.

Jordan says he believes deeply that if everyone in Iowa knew Obama as he knows him, they’d realize what a great president he would make. Unable to arrange that, Jordan has settled for trying to convert a single Iowa city.

So nearly every weekend, he makes the four-hour drive from the Chicago suburbs to Cedar Rapids and spends hours going door to door, telling people about the man he has known for 10 years. He hopes they’ll listen a little more closely to an old friend of Obama, rather than a random campaign volunteer.

“I’m a terrible golfer, don’t have a summer home, don’t have a boat, don’t fish. This is pretty much my passion,” said Jordan, 50, trim with cropped red hair.

Jordan has a list of likely Democratic voters to visit, but he doesn’t hesitate to improvise as he walks the streets of Cedar Rapids. He talks to a random cable-installer or telephone repairman. He visits homes displaying Obama signs to thank them for their support and homes with signs for New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to see if can change their minds.

If no one is home, he leaves a brochure. If someone answers the door, he launches into a rapid-fire speech about Obama’s sterling qualities.

A natural salesman, Jordan adjusts his patter for each person he meets.

One woman praises Obama’s intelligence, so Jordan mentions that Obama was president of the Harvard Law Review. A young woman, perhaps a stay-at-home mother, comes to the door, and Jordan brings up Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement. A Dennis Kucinich supporter hears all about Obama’s opposition to the Iraq war.

But one thing remains constant in all his conversations about Obama. “The man he is today is very much the same guy I knew 10 years ago,” Jordan says repeatedly.

Jordan met Obama, then a state senator, when they helped a legislative candidate from Chicago’s south suburbs. He liked the way Obama listened to others and tried to understand their point of view. He liked that Obama was focused on results instead of publicity.

Jordan says they became friends when Obama launched a long-shot run for Congress in 2000, and Jordan campaigned door to door for him during the months before the primary early that year. Jordan often accompanied Obama to events in Chicago’s south suburbs, and they got to know one another on the long car rides. Obama lost that race, but Jordan was back helping on his successful 2004 campaign for U.S. Senate.

Jordan also was among those with Obama the day he launched his presidential campaign. Minutes before going in front of thousands of people and a national television audience to declare his candidacy, Obama took time to hug and thank his friend.

“He has a core kindness to him,” Jordan said.

The people he meets in Cedar Rapids don’t mind his pitch. Rather, they seem to welcome hearing from a person instead of an automated phone call.

“It gives me a sense that there are still people who care enough to wake people up,” said Timothy Georgulis, a young man eating a sandwich in his car before heading to work. “How many of them do you see?”

Wayne Sexton, a Republican-leaning voter, said he was especially impressed that Jordan was tramping through the snow to spread the message personally.

“That means something,” Sexton said.

Obama’s campaign would not let any of its Cedar Rapids staff be interviewed about Jordan and his role in Iowa. A spokesman said they were too busy.

But campaign volunteer Dale Todd said Jordan doesn’t boast about his friendship with Obama or make a fuss about the long drive from Chicago every weekend. Todd said he’d always assumed Jordan was just another Cedar Rapids resident.

“Nobody really knows about this unique connection he has with the candidate,” Todd said. “Because of his style, he’s going to be able to connect better with the people we want to get out to the caucus. He listens.”

Jordan says he doesn’t get many detailed questions about issues. People are more interested in Obama’s personality and whether his private persona matches the public one. Jordan also gets few questions about Obama’s name or his exotic background — Kenyan father, American mother, raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.

If a voter has bad information about Obama, such as the falsehood that he was sworn into the Senate using the Quran instead of a Bible, Jordan can set them straight from an insider’s perspective. He was at the ceremony and knows the rumor is false.

Jordan’s wife, Patty, is picking up some of the slack at his insurance agency while he devotes weekends to Obama. He also says a habit of sleeping just four or five hours a night helps him get everything done.

And if the rest of his life has to be put on hold for a few more weeks, well, that’s a sacrifice he’s happy to make.

“People need to know about Barack Obama and what a good president he would make,” Jordan said.

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Obama Continues to Gain Mo-men-tum or How Clinton Lost Her Invincibility

In the early part of 2007, it appeared that Hillary Clinton had all her ducks in a row and was preparing for inauguration day, January 20, 2009, where the swearing-in as President of the United States would be a mere formality. The Presidency was the Clintons (both of the Clintons actually) for the asking.

And slowly, gradually something began to go wrong with the campaign. Many ingredients went into the unraveling of the Clintons quest to regain the White House. One part Barack Obama. One part flawed strategy. One part poor execution. One part too much Bill. One part not enough Bill (not enough Goldilocks where “just the right amount of Bill”).

Time Magazine reports on how How Clinton Lost Her Invincibility. The campaign had lost its “peripheral vision,” something that the Clintons had plenty of in 1992. They carefully planned that campaign. When a crisis was thrust on them, such as the Jennifer Flowers affair, the Clintons were clearly prepared to deal with it. And they did so in an adept manner. They were good.

And then “Along Came Obama” (I love to paraphrase books titles). As I stated in a previously published blog posting, “They Never Saw it Coming.” As they should have. Oh sure, the Clintons thought Obama would get some support. But never in their wildest dreams did they ever dream that Obama would start a movement. Black support was a given, so they thought. What they didn’t count on was Obama getting support from women voters too. A constituency that the Clintons thought they owned. Not so.

I never once believed that Clinton would just waltz her way to inauguration day: not as long as Barack Obama was in the race. I had a ring side seat from Obama’s previous campaigns in 2000 and in 2004 and I frankly never saw a phenomenon quite like it. Whether he was talking to a voter one on one, and speaking to a throng of thousands, he connected. This man knows how to connect. Bill Clinton connects with the voters. Barack Obama connects with the voters. The problem for the Clintons is that Hillary simply does not connect with the voters. Like the Timothy Hutton character, Conrad, in the 1980’s film Ordinary People, when talking to Judd Hirsch about his mother (played by Mary Tyler Moore) he said, “We don’t connect.”

Like Hillary Clinton with the voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and on and on and on, “She doesn’t connect.” John Presta.

Sunday, Dec. 23, 2007
How Clinton Lost Her Invincibility
By Jay Newton-Small/Grundy Center

When Hillary Clinton launched her campaign nearly a year ago, the media buzz deemed it near impossible for the likes of Barack Obama and John Edwards to overcome her daunting campaign machine. The endorsements, the money, and the cream-of-the-crop strategists combined with the former First Lady’s incumbent image to make her the clear-cut choice of the Democratic Party establishment.

But the onset of the Iowa caucuses finds Clinton aides racing to lower expectations, bracing for a possible loss there and contemplating a dwindling lead in the polls in New Hampshire and South Carolina. So, what has stripped the mighty Clinton campaign juggernaut of its image of invincibility?

Today’s Observations – December 23, 2007 or Blagojevich, tear down this wall

As a lifelong Democrat, I am loyal to my party to a fault. I can overlook many things. When Mayor Richard Daley says he didn’t know about his son Patrick’s contract, I believe him.

Daley’s accomplishments have become legendary.

He took Community Policing to a new level. CAPS as it is know in Chicago, is simply the best program of its kind anywhere in the country. The beat meeting is the centerpiece of this program and the beat meeting is what makes it effective.

He has beautified the city with plants and great looking medians and inspired some great works such as Millennium Park.

Daley has upgraded the Chicago Public School System, making it one of the best “big city” school system in the nation. We are only as strong as our weakest links, which makes Chicago Public Schools quite good. Arne Duncan has done and is continuing to do a great job. It could certainly be better were it not for the inaction and ineptness of our current Governor Rod Blagojevich (D), the schools in Chicago and throughout the State of Illinois would have improved by leaps and bounds. I draw the line of loyalty to the Democratic Party with Rod Blagojevich.

Blagojevich is an obstacle. Blagojevich is a stumbling block. He has built a wall between himself, the state legislative bodies and the people of the good state of Illinois. Blagojevich has made a fool of a man I greatly admire, State Senate President Emil Jones. He has muddied the name of this great man and I’m afraid that Jones doesn’t even seem to be aware of it. Jones needs to again be his own man and stop being a puppet for Blagojevich. It is obvious to everyone else how he is being used, but apparently not to Jones.

As President Reagan might have say, “Blagojevich, tear down this wall.”

It is time for what is popularly known as “HB 750.” (Check out the A+ Plus Illinois website whose main purpose is to pass HB 750). An actual House Bill that has now become part of the language meaning “fairness in funding education.” When State Senator James Meeks threatened to run for governor and possibly derail Blagojevich’s bid for a second-term, he made a deal with Meeks promising more money for education. Blagojevich broke his word. In reality, the problem would have been that Topinka would have been a big improvement. All she had to do was commit to “HB 750” and many of us would have been on board. I respect the fact she didn’t make an empty promise.

While it is wishful thinking on my part, I truly wish that Blagojevich would resign. The job is too big for him. He cannot handle it. Lt. Governor Pat Quinn would be a huge improvement. John Presta.

PS: We will be writing more about “HB 750,” making it a focus of the Reading on Walden Political Discussion Group in 2008. Our plan is to initiate a grassroots effort to promote HB 750. Hope you’ll join us.

Book Title Suggestion from a Bookstore Owner: They Never Saw it Coming

In 2000, an endorsement by Bill Clinton of Barack Obama’s opponent, Congressman Bobby Rush, was the final death knell of that campaign. Clinton and Rush blitzed the black radio stations with his ringing endorsement of his friend, Bobby Rush. The Congressman had stood by Bill Clinton’s side after the impeachment in the House. And Clinton did not forget. Frankly, Obama would have done the same for Rush if the roles were reversed. Those of us involved in that campaign, however, knew that the most popular Democrat in the State of Illinois (In 2000, that is), was a heavy duty endorsement and worth its weight in gold.

Unfortunately for the Clintons as of late, Bill seems to have lost his touch: but that is only temporarily.

Do not take it for granted, I would warn Obama supporters. Bill Clitnon can rise up again at anytime. Never let up. The Clintons will not roll over and play dead. They have been to the White House and have tasted it. They know what they are missing. (Read Eugene Robinson’s piece on Real Clear Politics). His opponents can only guess at what they are missing. The Clintons know. And they want it again.

Obama needs to keep doing what he is doing. He is still hitting all the right notes. Keep on singing, Senator Obama. Keep on singing.

I have reprinted this great piece in its entirety. John Presta.

Return to the Article

December 20, 2007

Why Did Clinton Overlook Obama?

By Jay Cost

Most neutral observers would agree that Hillary Clinton’s response to Barack Obama’s rise has been bungled. Over the past few weeks, we have seen her campaign attempt again and again to attack him, only to make itself look foolish. I think the worst moment came last weekend when President Clinton was dispatched to the Charlie Rose Show to trash the junior senator from Illinois. That task was simply beneath a former president. And who did not notice the irony of Clinton arguing for experience over freshness? If any Democrat has parroted Republican talking points this cycle – it was Bill Clinton mimicking Bush-Quayle ’92.

This plan was clearly put together on a spit and a prayer. It seems to me that if the Clinton campaign had anticipated that Obama would pose this kind of threat – it would have developed a better strategy for dealing with him. Its ineptitude over the last few weeks betrays its lack of preparedness. I am sure that Team Clinton has a number of contingency plans in its filing drawer, but the rise of Obama is clearly not one of them.

Why was the Clinton campaign unprepared for this?

Unfortunately, we cannot answer this question directly. The only people who know are the higher-ups of the Clinton organization – and they are not going to admit that they were unprepared, let alone explain why. But I have a plausible theory worth sharing.

The way to approach the question is first to ask why we should have expected an Obama surge. It stands to reason that the Clinton campaign failed to account for at least one of the factors that make up our answer. These are the three reasons that I argued for over the summer and fall:

(1) Obama raised $70 million in nine months from half a million people. This demonstrates two points:

(a) He caters to a real demand in the Democratic electorate – intense enough to open wallets.

(b) His money can facilitate a more sophisticated campaign strategy. Obama can do more than win Iowa and hope that he magically catches fire. Instead, he can win Iowa and fight Clinton dollar-for-dollar, state-for-state.

(2) Obama is the most authentic change candidate among the top three Democrats. Hillary Clinton is not this candidate. Her principal qualification for the job is her role as her husband’s advisor – so she was always going to run on the record of the 1990s. John Edwards has positioned himself as a change candidate, but he does not convey the authenticity that Obama does.

(3) Obama is organized in Iowa. He recognized that organization was critically important for an Iowa victory – and that an Iowa victory was necessary for his broader strategy. And so, he is organized and ready for the January 3 caucus.

Through the summer and the fall, journalists underestimated the importance of these because they used the opinion polls to create a horse race out of whole cloth. In reality – the opinions expressed to pollsters were not stable enough to support the idea that there was an actual race going on.

Voter opinions were based on little information and even less interest in the campaign. Obama’s activities were never going to register with these uninformed and uninterested voters in the summer; they were always meant to yield dividends in the winter. So, Obama was seen to be a weaker candidate than he really was. Accordingly, Clinton was seen to be stronger than she really was. She was always the frontrunner (she still is), but the overuse of opinion polls made her appear “unstoppable” and “inevitable” to the press.

Like the press, the Clinton campaign clearly underestimated Obama – it over-looked the money, the message, or the organizing. Perhaps the Clinton campaign did this for the same reason as the press. Perhaps it relied so heavily on the opinion polls that it could not see that Obama was preparing to launch a viable campaign later on.

I think this explanation has some credibility to it. I’m thinking in particular of Mark Penn, Clinton’s chief strategist and pollster. His comments over the course of the campaign have struck me as utilizing the same erroneous assumptions that informed the press’ summer horse race narrative. Consider this snippet from the Ben Smith’s blog. The date of this entry is October 18. 2007:

“Republicans are not prepared for the loss of a substantial group of Republican women voters … even in the South,” he said. “I think you’re going to see as much as 24% of Republican women defect and make a major difference nationwide in terms of, I think, the emotional element of potentially having the first woman nominee. And that that actually will be a major unexpected factor here that will throw the Republicans for a loop.”

This is a ridiculously overconfident assertion.

First, research has shown that partisanship is a stable and powerful feature of a person’s psychology. It has also shown that voters who are conflicted between their partisanship and their evaluations of the candidates often resolve the conflict by simply abstaining, rather than voting for the other party. The idea that one in four Republican women will defy these regularities is possible, but far from likely.

Second, I just cannot see how this figure can be quantified some twelve-and-a-half months prior to the election. That’s just insane to me. Everything we know about the levels of voter information, voter attention, the effect of the media dialogue on transitory political opinions, the influence of question wording and ordering – leads me to suspect that Penn is committing some serious inferential fallacy. It is not that he is necessarily wrong. It is that his assertion is dramatically underdetermined. The numbers are not giving him the hard answers he thinks they are.

This is the kind of comment I expect from non-expert journalists who look at the polls and read the numbers in a naïve way. “Republican women say that they would consider voting for Clinton; ergo, they would consider voting for Clinton.” Not quite. The fact of the matter is that you can’t come to this conclusion so easily. Underlying all of those seemingly straightforward numbers is a complex, intricate aggregation of individual voter psychologies. This makes inferential analysis extremely difficult.

I would contrast Penn’s silly assertion with the considered work of political scientists who specialize in political psychology. The best work in this subfield is the most difficult stuff I have ever read. The theories are complicated, the methods are complex, and the conclusions are always narrow and tentative because voter psychology is incredibly difficult to delineate. It is not made any easier by the fact that our best point of contact with voters is the opinion survey – which, when you think about it, is quite distant from their interior mental states.

You can find the same flippancy in Penn’s strategy memos – which have come out periodically over the course of the campaign. All of them follow the same basic script as this one from July: Clinton’s poll position is insurmountable; there is no need to have an election because a sample of the voting population has reported statistically significant results that Clinton will win.

In January he argued, “If Hillary leads in Ohio at this point in the race — the key state that gave the last election to the Republicans — then this confirms that Hillary can win and is today winning. She is the strongest Democrat in what was the most difficult state.” Look at his words carefully: polling results some twenty-two months before the election “confirm” that Hillary can win and “is” winning. In February he said basically the same thing in response to the latest polling data, “As other candidates are getting more and more attention, Hillary is getting more and more support…This poll confirms that Hillary not only can win but actually is today winning.”

In August, he wrote that voters had “come to see the race differently,” and accordingly “concluded” that Clinton “has what it takes to be President and what it takes to take on the Republicans.” It is untenable to argue that voter perceptions were changing in August, or that voters had concluded anything before Labor Day.

In October, he said that Clinton’s support among women is “deep” – and that “94% of young women” will be more likely to turn out to vote for the first female nominee. Much like his comment about Republican women – there is no way to quantify how “young women” will respond to Clinton some thirteen months before Election Day. Nor, for that matter, can depth of support be easily interpreted from simple yes-or-no questions asked months before the first votes are cast.

In November, he wrote that the “leadership card” is the reason “why people are voting for Hillary Clinton.” His consistent use of the present tense to describe the act of voting represents the same fallacy that polling respondents are no different than voters.

Now, there is a lot of spin going on with these memos. In particular, Penn has an incentive to play to the prior beliefs of the audience – i.e. journalists who cannot distinguish between a February poll and a December poll. However, spin alone cannot explain Penn’s voluminous study of the polls. I counted upwards of 6,000 words offered in analysis of polling data since the start of the campaign – no campaign’s senior adviser spends so much effort dissecting the polls simply for the purpose of spinning the press. That would be a misallocation of resources.

Spin alone also does not explain why Penn would consistently take the tone he has adopted. If he agreed that the polls could turn on a dime, he would never argue that they would not. Anybody with a lick of sense knows not to tell a falsifiable lie if it can be avoided. Generally, the fact that the Clinton campaign facilitated the idea of inevitability is an indication that it believed that it was inevitable. You don’t go pushing that storyline if you believe it is not necessarily true. Otherwise, you set expectations far too high – and you run the risk of getting burned when things do not go your way.

This is actually Clinton’s biggest problem right now. When the voting starts, expectations matter. Most of the electorate’s information on the campaign will come from the media – whose emphasis is on the horse race. Who’s up and who’s down. If Clinton loses several of the first contests, she will receive more negative coverage than, say, Giuliani because her campaign once convinced the press that she couldn’t lose.

So, I think that the Mark Penn and the Clinton campaign might have made the same basic mistake the press made. They over-interpreted the polls. They wrongly assumed that the opinions expressed in them were more informed, sophisticated, and stable than they actually were. I think that this, in turn, caused them to overlook Obama’s real strengths.

The big question: what will this cost them? Possibly nothing. I think this race remains fundamentally unchanged. Winning Iowa is a necessary condition for Obama. It is a sufficient condition for Clinton. Clinton could win Iowa – and her numbers that have slipped in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and nationwide will rebound. The race will be over. In that case, her campaign will probably be in better shape for having learned a good lesson at no cost. But it might cost them something. There is such a small margin that separates Clinton, Obama, and Edwards in Iowa that her campaign’s maladroit response to Obama could cost her victory. In that case – the race continues to New Hampshire, South Carolina, and then Super Tuesday. And she could lose the nomination.

© 2000-2007 RealClearPolitics.com All Rights Reserved

Page Printed from: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/12/why_did_clinton_overlook_obama.html at December 20, 2007 – 05:35:18 PM PST

Do Not Underestimate Barack Obama

John Fout of TheStreet.com, their Political Correspondent, wrote a column recently titled, “Top Five Reasons Obama Fails to Inspire.” I wrote about it point by point (see below), but what struck me the most is how Obama is being underestimated once again. (He was grossly underestimated in the 2004 Democratic primary for United States Senate). Bobby Rush clearly underestimated him in 2000 for Congress, although Obama lost that election, in many areas Obama received 90% of the vote, especially in the areas he campaigned heavily. (And Bobby Rush quickly took that particular area out of his Congressional District during the the 2000 remap process). Had Obama not done well in those areas, I don’t believe he would have run for United States Senate.

We already knew he was strong with the black vote, but we didn’t know how he rated with white progressives. And he is particularly strong among women, a group that Hillary assumes she will dominate.

Seems that saying that Obama is taking the black vote for granted or will not get the majority of the black vote is pure nonsense. In 2004, a candidate by the name of Blair Hull, a wealthy businessman, but a political novice with zero political instincts actually thought he could get a a big chunk of the black vote: by buying them. He would plant yard signs along the Dan Ryan Expressway. Months before the election. He would visit black ministers and donate to them. The ministers gladly took the money, but in the final analysis supported Obama. I recall talking to someone back then who said, “What a nice man that Hull guy is and he gave our group a thousand dollars. I’m going to vote for that nice man.” He would pay store owners of black-owned businesses and pay them to put his sign in their window. Unfortunately, he never gave them a time limit on how long to keep the signs in the window. They would quickly (sometimes within days) take the signs down and replace them with “Obama for Senate” signs.

Shows that Obama is a formidable campaigner. Rebuts John Fout of TheStreet.com, on his statement:

2. Obama Has Not Won a Tough Contest. Of course he has.

Another example in 2004, 8th Ward Committeeman John Stroger (and Chicago political powerhouse), ordered his precinct captains to support Dan Hynes for Senate in 2004. Stroger’s precinct captains revolted against Stroger. He had to back off with his ultimatum to support Hynes or risk losing control in his own ward. He had little choice.

Obama does not take the black vote for granted and he will get the great majority of the black vote. He will do very, very well in South Carolina.

Blacks will not vote for anyone else but Obama. Not Hillary, Not Edwards. Not nobody but Obama. You can take that to the bank. John Presta.

Rebuttal to John Fout of TheStreet.com about our friend Obama

John Fout of TheStreet.com, their Political Correspondent, wrote a column today titled, “Top Five Reasons Obama Fails to Inspire.”

This is titled “Five Reasons John Fout’s Column Fails to Inspire Anyone to Turn Against Obama.”

1. The Politics of Hope.
Hope is not owned by Republicans (or Democrats for that matter). He says that Republicans will eat Obama alive. Well, Obama will be doing the eating.

2. Obama Has Not Won a Tough Contest.
Obama won the most unbelievably tough contest in 2004 against an established organizational politician, an opponent who poured tens of millions of his own money in the campaign, a revered President of the Chicago Board of Education who turned the Chicago Public School System around and three other candidates (including a plant to take away black votes from Obama). In the final analysis, Obama got more than 50% of the vote in a crowded field. It was widely predicted he would finish sixth in this field, but ended up winning a tough contest. I know. I was there from the very beginning of the campaign.

3. Failure to Lead on the Iraq War.
Gave a blistering speech against even getting into the war for all the reasons that are generally accepted today. And this was in the fall of 2002 before the Iraq War even started. He led on the Iraq War.

4. Conservative Talking Points.
Fout claims that Obama has embraced several conservative talking points on two big topics: health care and Social Security. He is for Universal Health Care and is for securing Social Security into the future by raising taxes on the wealthy to help pay for it. Hmmm. Conservatives are coming around to the progressive way of thinking, according to Fout. Even Wal Mart and many large corporations are seeing the light on Universal Health Care.

5. Obama Takes Black Voters for Granted.
Yeah, that’s what they said in the 2004 United States Senate race. And Obama ended up getting 95% of the black vote. Despite having a black plant in the race and despite a wealthy candidate who was white, who campaigned heavily in the black community. Blacks will not vote for anyone else but Obama. You can take that to the bank.

John Presta

Obama fires back at Bill Clinton: Obama has the right kind of experience

Obama no pushover, rebuts former President Clinton. Read all about it.

Democratic contender counter-punches ex-president on experience issue. Obama correctly points out he has the “right kind of experience” to be President, similar to remarks Bill Clinton made in 1992.

Clinton asks the question. “When is the last time we elected a president based on one year of service in the Senate before he started running?” the ex-president asked, in an interview with PBS talk show host Charlie Rose which aired Friday night. Abraham Lincoln for starters, comes to mind.

Greatness isn’t achieved by resumes. It is about about judgment, temperament, coolness under fire, the right experience, empathy for people. And yes, experience. The types of experiences that Obama has. “The right kind of experience.” Experience Obama. The Obama experience. John Presta.

Dec. 15, 2007

By Tom Curry
National affairs writer

WATERLOO, Iowa – Former president Bill Clinton leveled a new attack on Sen. Barack Obama on Friday, arguing that he lacked the experience needed to be president, a criticism that drew a tart response from Obama on Saturday as he campaigned in Waterloo, Iowa.

In response Obama told a press conference Saturday that Clinton himself had said in 1992 when he ran for president that a candidate can “have the right kind of experience or the wrong kind of experience.”

Obama cites ‘over a decade’ of experience
“And I’ve been involved in government for over a decade,” replied Obama.

The Illinois senator said he had “the experience that the country needs right now, of bringing people together, pushing against the special interests, of speaking to the American people about what needs to be done to move the country forward.”

When asked about Sen. Clinton’s reference to possible “surprises” coming out about her rivals for the nomination, Obama said, referring to the senator and the ex-president, “The argument they’re making is that they’ve been around a long time. So whatever negative information is out there, people already know about. The assumption, then, is that lurking in other candidates’ pasts that haven’t been around for 20 years there might be something.”

But Obama said “I’ve probably been more reported on than any political figure in the country over the last year … I hardly think that I’ve been under-exposed during the course of this race.”

He added, “I understand there’s a history of politics being all about slash and burn…. I recall what the Clintons themselves called the ‘politics of personal destruction’ — which they decried. My suspicion is that that’s just not where the country is at right now. They are not interested in politics as a blood sport; they’re interested in governance and solving problems” such as job creation and product safety.

Clinton Unraveling Continues: Obama Gains

The Hillary Clinton campaign unraveling continues and gains mo-men-tum. In the wrong direction. But it goes deeper than a rogue adviser. Hillary Clinton is not likable and comes across as cold and calculating. Obama comes across likable and warm.

Her refusal to acknowledge a mistake on the Iraq War vote subliminally comes back to haunt her.

Read what the AP reported today about the latest campaign fiasco.

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A top campaign adviser to Hillary Rodham Clinton resigned, a day after suggesting Democrats should be wary of nominating Barack Obama because his teenage drug use could make it hard for him to win the presidency.

The article continues to explain the gains Obama is making.

New polling shows Clinton and Obama basically tied in New Hampshire. A CNN-WMUR-TV poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire shows Clinton at 31 percent support, Obama at 30. The same poll had Obama trailing by 20 points in September.

Author Larry W. Green to Appear at the Beverly Branch Library on December 13th at 7:00 pm

Author, artist and photographer, Larry W. Green, will be discussing and signing his new book, Water Tanks of Chicago: A Vanishing Urban Legacy, at the Beverly Branch Library located at 2121 W. 95th Street, Chicago, on Thursday evening, December 13th at 7:00 pm. The event is co-sponsored by Reading on Walden Bookstore your online community bookseller. The publisher is Wicker Park Press.

This is a book about Chicago’s water tanks. They are popularly known as water towers, but they are actually water tanks, and you will find them dotted throughout the municipal landscape. They are a fascinating part of Chicago history and one of the city’s unique architectural symbols. They are a monument to the position the city occupies on the architectural map. You can see them overlooking, with silent observation, everyday life in the metropolis.

“I have a real passion for these structures. One of my fantasies is to have one, live in one, maybe, and make a studio,” Larry Green told the Oak Leaves newspaper. Larry Green, 54, a Terre Haute, Ind. native came to Chicago to study at the School of the Art Institute in 1971. That passion lead him to create this book.

“Because I was an outsider, you see things differently than if you lived here all your life,” said Green, who has lived in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood for the past 12 years. “People have bought my paintings as something to remind them of Chicago. And the tanks remind them of Chicago.”

This event is brought to you by Reading on Walden Bookstore and the Beverly Branch Library.

Reading on Walden Bookstore has been your community bookstore since 1991. For information about this event or to reserve a copy of Water Tanks of Chicago, contact Reading on Walden Bookstore at 773-233-7633 or by e-mail at readingonwalden@att.net.