John McCain


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OBAMA SPEECH IN FULL: A MORE PERFECT UNION
Tuesday, March 18th, 2008/ 10:17:53 ET
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania“We the people, in order to form a more perfect union.”

Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America’s improbable experiment in democracy. Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787.

The document they produced was eventually signed but ultimately unfinished. It was stained by this nation’s original sin of slavery, a question that divided the colonies and brought the convention to a stalemate until the founders chose to allow the slave trade to continue for at least twenty more years, and to leave any final resolution to future generations.

 Of course, the answer to the slavery question was already embedded within our Constitution – a Constitution that had at is very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the law; a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time.

And yet words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States. What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part – through protests and struggle, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience and always at great risk – to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time.

This was one of the tasks we set forth at the beginning of this campaign – to continue the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just, more equal, more free, more caring and more prosperous America. I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together – unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction – towards a better future for of children and our grandchildren.

This belief comes from my unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people. But it also comes from my own American story.

I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. I was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton’s Army during World War II and a white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas. I’ve gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the world’s poorest nations. I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slaveowners – an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters. I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.

It’s a story that hasn’t made me the most conventional candidate. But it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts – that out of many, we are truly one.

Throughout the first year of this campaign, against all predictions to the contrary, we saw how hungry the American people were for this message of unity. Despite the temptation to view my candidacy through a purely racial lens, we won commanding victories in states with some of the whitest populations in the country. In South Carolina, where the Confederate Flag still flies, we built a powerful coalition of African Americans and white Americans.

This is not to say that race has not been an issue in the campaign. At various stages in the campaign, some commentators have deemed me either “too black” or “not black enough.” We saw racial tensions bubble to the surface during the week before the South Carolina primary. The press has scoured every exit poll for the latest evidence of racial polarization, not just in terms of white and black, but black and brown as well.

And yet, it has only been in the last couple of weeks that the discussion of race in this campaign has taken a particularly divisive turn.

On one end of the spectrum, we’ve heard the implication that my candidacy is somehow an exercise in affirmative action; that it’s based solely on the desire of wide-eyed liberals to purchase racial reconciliation on the cheap. On the other end, we’ve heard my former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, use incendiary language to express views that have the potential not only to widen the racial divide, but views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation; that rightly offend white and black alike.

I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely – just as I’m sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.

But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. They weren’t simply a religious leader’s effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.

As such, Reverend Wright’s comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems – two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all.

Given my background, my politics, and my professed values and ideals, there will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough. Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church? And I confess that if all that I knew of Reverend Wright were the snippets of those sermons that have run in an endless loop on the television and You Tube, or if Trinity United Church of Christ conformed to the caricatures being peddled by some commentators, there is no doubt that I would react in much the same way

But the truth is, that isn’t all that I know of the man. The man I met more than twenty years ago is a man who helped introduce me to my Christian faith, a man who spoke to me about our obligations to love one another; to care for the sick and lift up the poor. He is a man who served his country as a U.S. Marine; who has studied and lectured at some of the finest universities and seminaries in the country, and who for over thirty years led a church that serves the community by doing God’s work here on Earth – by housing the homeless, ministering to the needy, providing day care services and scholarships and prison ministries, and reaching out to those suffering from HIV/AIDS.

In my first book, Dreams From My Father, I described the experience of my first service at Trinity:

“People began to shout, to rise from their seats and clap and cry out, a forceful wind carrying the reverend’s voice up into the rafters….And in that single note – hope! – I heard something else; at the foot of that cross, inside the thousands of churches across the city, I imagined the stories of ordinary black people merging with the stories of David and Goliath, Moses and Pharaoh, the Christians in the lion’s den, Ezekiel’s field of dry bones. Those stories – of survival, and freedom, and hope – became our story, my story; the blood that had spilled was our blood, the tears our tears; until this black church, on this bright day, seemed once more a vessel carrying the story of a people into future generations and into a larger world. Our trials and triumphs became at once unique and universal, black and more than black; in chronicling our journey, the stories and songs gave us a means to reclaim memories that we didn’t need to feel shame about…memories that all people might study and cherish – and with which we could start to rebuild.”

That has been my experience at Trinity. Like other predominantly black churches across the country, Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety – the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang-banger. Like other black churches, Trinity’s services are full of raucous laughter and sometimes bawdy humor. They are full of dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting that may seem jarring to the untrained ear. The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America.

And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions – the good and the bad – of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.

Some will see this as an attempt to justify or excuse comments that are simply inexcusable. I can assure you it is not. I suppose the politically safe thing would be to move on from this episode and just hope that it fades into the woodwork. We can dismiss Reverend Wright as a crank or a demagogue, just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro, in the aftermath of her recent statements, as harboring some deep-seated racial bias.

But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. We would be making the same mistake that Reverend Wright made in his offending sermons about America – to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality.

The fact is that the comments that have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country that we’ve never really worked through – a part of our union that we have yet to perfect. And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American.

Understanding this reality requires a reminder of how we arrived at this point. As William Faulkner once wrote, “The past isn’t dead and buried. In fact, it isn’t even past.” We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country. But we do need to remind ourselves that so many of the disparities that exist in the African-American community today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.

Segregated schools were, and are, inferior schools; we still haven’t fixed them, fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, and the inferior education they provided, then and now, helps explain the pervasive achievement gap between today’s black and white students.

Legalized discrimination – where blacks were prevented, often through violence, from owning property, or loans were not granted to African-American business owners, or black homeowners could not access FHA mortgages, or blacks were excluded from unions, or the police force, or fire departments – meant that black families could not amass any meaningful wealth to bequeath to future generations. That history helps explain the wealth and income gap between black and white, and the concentrated pockets of poverty that persists in so many of today’s urban and rural communities.

A lack of economic opportunity among black men, and the shame and frustration that came from not being able to provide for one’s family, contributed to the erosion of black families – a problem that welfare policies for many years may have worsened. And the lack of basic services in so many urban black neighborhoods – parks for kids to play in, police walking the beat, regular garbage pick-up and building code enforcement – all helped create a cycle of violence, blight and neglect that continue to haunt us.

This is the reality in which Reverend Wright and other African-Americans of his generation grew up. They came of age in the late fifties and early sixties, a time when segregation was still the law of the land and opportunity was systematically constricted. What’s remarkable is not how many failed in the face of discrimination, but rather how many men and women overcame the odds; how many were able to make a way out of no way for those like me who would come after them.

But for all those who scratched and clawed their way to get a piece of the American Dream, there were many who didn’t make it – those who were ultimately defeated, in one way or another, by discrimination. That legacy of defeat was passed on to future generations – those young men and increasingly young women who we see standing on street corners or languishing in our prisons, without hope or prospects for the future. Even for those blacks who did make it, questions of race, and racism, continue to define their worldview in fundamental ways. For the men and women of Reverend Wright’s generation, the memories of humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away; nor has the anger and the bitterness of those years. That anger may not get expressed in public, in front of white co-workers or white friends. But it does find voice in the barbershop or around the kitchen table. At times, that anger is exploited by politicians, to gin up votes along racial lines, or to make up for a politician’s own failings.

And occasionally it finds voice in the church on Sunday morning, in the pulpit and in the pews. The fact that so many people are surprised to hear that anger in some of Reverend Wright’s sermons simply reminds us of the old truism that the most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning. That anger is not always productive; indeed, all too often it distracts attention from solving real problems; it keeps us from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition, and prevents the African-American community from forging the alliances it needs to bring about real change. But the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.

In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don’t feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience – as far as they’re concerned, no one’s handed them anything, they’ve built it from scratch. They’ve worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they’re told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.

Like the anger within the black community, these resentments aren’t always expressed in polite company. But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation. Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan Coalition. Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends. Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.

Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze – a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many. And yet, to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns – this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding.

This is where we are right now. It’s a racial stalemate we’ve been stuck in for years. Contrary to the claims of some of my critics, black and white, I have never been so naïve as to believe that we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle, or with a single candidacy – particularly a candidacy as imperfect as my own.

But I have asserted a firm conviction – a conviction rooted in my faith in God and my faith in the American people – that working together we can move beyond some of our old racial wounds, and that in fact we have no choice is we are to continue on the path of a more perfect union.

For the African-American community, that path means embracing the burdens of our past without becoming victims of our past. It means continuing to insist on a full measure of justice in every aspect of American life. But it also means binding our particular grievances – for better health care, and better schools, and better jobs – to the larger aspirations of all Americans — the white woman struggling to break the glass ceiling, the white man whose been laid off, the immigrant trying to feed his family. And it means taking full responsibility for own lives – by demanding more from our fathers, and spending more time with our children, and reading to them, and teaching them that while they may face challenges and discrimination in their own lives, they must never succumb to despair or cynicism; they must always believe that they can write their own destiny.

Ironically, this quintessentially American – and yes, conservative – notion of self-help found frequent expression in Reverend Wright’s sermons. But what my former pastor too often failed to understand is that embarking on a program of self-help also requires a belief that society can change.

The profound mistake of Reverend Wright’s sermons is not that he spoke about racism in our society. It’s that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made; as if this country – a country that has made it possible for one of his own members to run for the highest office in the land and build a coalition of white and black; Latino and Asian, rich and poor, young and old — is still irrevocably bound to a tragic past. But what we know — what we have seen – is that America can change. That is true genius of this nation. What we have already achieved gives us hope – the audacity to hope – for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination – and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past – are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds – by investing in our schools and our communities; by enforcing our civil rights laws and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system; by providing this generation with ladders of opportunity that were unavailable for previous generations. It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper.

In the end, then, what is called for is nothing more, and nothing less, than what all the world’s great religions demand – that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Let us be our brother’s keeper, Scripture tells us. Let us be our sister’s keeper. Let us find that common stake we all have in one another, and let our politics reflect that spirit as well.

For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle – as we did in the OJ trial – or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina – or as fodder for the nightly news. We can play Reverend Wright’s sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she’s playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.

We can do that.

But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we’ll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.

That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, “Not this time.” This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children. This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can’t learn; that those kids who don’t look like us are somebody else’s problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st century economy. Not this time.

This time we want to talk about how the lines in the Emergency Room are filled with whites and blacks and Hispanics who do not have health care; who don’t have the power on their own to overcome the special interests in Washington, but who can take them on if we do it together.

This time we want to talk about the shuttered mills that once provided a decent life for men and women of every race, and the homes for sale that once belonged to Americans from every religion, every region, every walk of life. This time we want to talk about the fact that the real problem is not that someone who doesn’t look like you might take your job; it’s that the corporation you work for will ship it overseas for nothing more than a profit.

This time we want to talk about the men and women of every color and creed who serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud flag. We want to talk about how to bring them home from a war that never should’ve been authorized and never should’ve been waged, and we want to talk about how we’ll show our patriotism by caring for them, and their families, and giving them the benefits they have earned.

I would not be running for President if I didn’t believe with all my heart that this is what the vast majority of Americans want for this country. This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected. And today, whenever I find myself feeling doubtful or cynical about this possibility, what gives me the most hope is the next generation – the young people whose attitudes and beliefs and openness to change have already made history in this election.

There is one story in particularly that I’d like to leave you with today – a story I told when I had the great honor of speaking on Dr. King’s birthday at his home church, Ebenezer Baptist, in Atlanta.

There is a young, twenty-three year old white woman named Ashley Baia who organized for our campaign in Florence, South Carolina. She had been working to organize a mostly African-American community since the beginning of this campaign, and one day she was at a roundtable discussion where everyone went around telling their story and why they were there.

And Ashley said that when she was nine years old, her mother got cancer. And because she had to miss days of work, she was let go and lost her health care. They had to file for bankruptcy, and that’s when Ashley decided that she had to do something to help her mom.

She knew that food was one of their most expensive costs, and so Ashley convinced her mother that what she really liked and really wanted to eat more than anything else was mustard and relish sandwiches. Because that was the cheapest way to eat.

She did this for a year until her mom got better, and she told everyone at the roundtable that the reason she joined our campaign was so that she could help the millions of other children in the country who want and need to help their parents too.

Now Ashley might have made a different choice. Perhaps somebody told her along the way that the source of her mother’s problems were blacks who were on welfare and too lazy to work, or Hispanics who were coming into the country illegally. But she didn’t. She sought out allies in her fight against injustice.

Anyway, Ashley finishes her story and then goes around the room and asks everyone else why they’re supporting the campaign. They all have different stories and reasons. Many bring up a specific issue. And finally they come to this elderly black man who’s been sitting there quietly the entire time. And Ashley asks him why he’s there. And he does not bring up a specific issue. He does not say health care or the economy. He does not say education or the war. He does not say that he was there because of Barack Obama. He simply says to everyone in the room, “I am here because of Ashley.”

“I’m here because of Ashley.” By itself, that single moment of recognition between that young white girl and that old black man is not enough. It is not enough to give health care to the sick, or jobs to the jobless, or education to our children.

But it is where we start. It is where our union grows stronger. And as so many generations have come to realize over the course of the two-hundred and twenty one years since a band of patriots signed that document in Philadelphia, that is where the perfection begins.

Barack Obama is a Democratic Senator from Illinois and a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

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b6_edited.jpegNegative Campaign ,Malicious Rumors, Gossip and Hatred on Aspiring presidential candidates are set backs and can bring a Destruction in Voting for a Great President. 

By Belliah K Theise

On March 9 2008, I posted our opinion on what negative campaigns can do to the communities. DIVISIONS and ANGER, I saw this coming. This is unhealth to the country. By all means, stop attacking each other in one party. You are confusing your supporters. Click the links and see for yourselves the effect of Negative campaigns.

WASHINGTON – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Friday denounced inflammatory remarks from his pastor, who has railed against the United States and accused its leaders of bringing on the Sept. 11 attacks by spreading terrorism.

As video of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright has widely aired on television and the Internet, Obama responded by posting a blog about his relationship with Wright and his church, Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, on the Huffington Post.

Obama wrote that he’s looked to Wright for spiritual advice, not political guidance, and he’s been pained and angered to learn of some of his pastor’s comments for which he had not been present. A campaign spokesman said later that Wright was no longer on Obama’s African American Religious Leadership Committee, without elaborating.

“I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies,” Obama said. “I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it’s on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Reverend Wright that are at issue.”

In a sermon on the Sunday after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Wright suggested the United States brought on the attacks.

“We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye,” Wright said. “We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”

In a 2003 sermon, he said blacks should condemn the United States.

“The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.”

He also gave a sermon in December comparing Obama to Jesus, promoting his candidacy and playing down Clinton.

Questions about Obama’s religious beliefs have dogged him throughout his candidacy. He’s had to fight against false Internet rumors suggesting he’s really a Muslim intent on destroying the United States, and now his pastor’s words uttered nearly seven years ago have become an issue.

Obama wrote on the Huffington Post that he never heard Wright say any of the statements that are “so contrary to my own life and beliefs,” but they have raised legitimate questions about the nature of his relationship with the pastor and the church.

He explained that he joined Wright’s church nearly 20 years ago. He said he knew Wright as a former Marine and respected biblical scholar who lectured at seminaries across the country.

“Reverend Wright preached the gospel of Jesus, a gospel on which I base my life,” he wrote. “… And the sermons I heard him preach always related to our obligation to love God and one another, to work on behalf of the poor, and to seek justice at every turn.”

He said Wright’s controversial statements first came to his attention at the beginning of his presidential campaign last year, and he condemned them. Because of his ties to the 6,000-member congregation church — he and his wife were married there and their daughters baptized — Obama decided not to leave the church.

Obama also has credited Wright with delivering a sermon that he adopted as the title of his book, “The Audacity of Hope.”

“With Reverend Wright’s retirement and the ascension of my new pastor, Rev. Otis Moss, III, Michelle and I look forward to continuing a relationship with a church that has done so much good,” he wrote.

Also Friday, the United Church of Christ issued a 1,400-word statement defending Wright and his “flagship” congregation. John H. Thomas, United Church of Christ’s president, lauded Wright’s church for its community service and work to nurture youth. Other church leaders praised Wright for speaking out against homophobia and sexism in the black community.

“It’s time for all of us to say no to these attacks and to declare that we will not allow anyone to undermine or destroy the ministries of any of our congregations in order to serve their own narrow political or ideological ends,” Thomas said in the statement.

___

Something to think about.

 Here is something positive for you talented guys:

Nationwide Contest: Obama in 30 Seconds

MoveOn.org is sponsoring a contest to create the best political ad for Barack Obama. MoveOn.org did a similar contest in 2004 called “Bush in 30 Seconds”. The winning ad is below.This time around the ads should be positive and convey why Barack Obama should be the next President. The winner will have his or her ad aired nationally and get $20,000 for new film equipment.They even have a message board for collaborators.From MoveOn.org:

Your mission, should you choose to accept it: make a 30-second TV ad that tells the nation why Barack Obama should be our next President.

Today, we’re launching an ad contest called “Obama in 30 Seconds.” Anyone can make an ad about Obama between now and April 1. The public will vote on the best ads, and a panel of top artists, film professionals, and netroots heroes will pick a winner from among the finalists. (Judges include Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Naomi Wolf, Oliver Stone, John Legend, Donna Edwards, and Markos Moulitsas. The full list is below.)

Visit ObamaIn30Seconds.org for more details.

Thanks a trillion

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Obama Wins in Mississippi

Jeff Zelevansky/European Pressphoto Agency

Senator Barack Obama during a campaign stop at a factory in Fairless Hills, Pa., on Tuesday.

Published: March 12, 2008
Senator Barack Obama won Mississippi’s Democratic presidential primary on Tuesday, building his delegate lead over Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in the final contest before the nominating fight heads to Pennsylvania for a six-week showdown.

 Back Story With The Times’s Jeff Zeleny (mp3)

The Crash On Obama Continues …

Mr. Obama’s victory was built on a wave of support among blacks, who made up half of those who turned out to vote, according to exit polls conducted by television networks and The Associated Press. The polls found that roughly 90 percent of black voters supported Mr. Obama, but only a third of white voters did.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting across Mississippi, Mr. Obama led Mrs. Clinton 60 percent to 37 percent.

“It’s just another win in our column, and we are getting more delegates,” Mr. Obama, of Illinois, said in declaring victory in an interview on CNN from Chicago, where he arrived Tuesday evening after spending the day in Mississippi and Pennsylvania. “I am grateful to the people of Mississippi for the wonderful support. What we’ve tried to do is steadily make sure that in each state we are making the case about the need for change in this country.”

Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, won the primary for his party, taking him closer to the number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination, according to a count by The New York Times.

After a frenzied string of primaries and caucuses for more than two months, Mississippi was alone in holding its contest Tuesday, where 33 delegates were at stake. It was the last primary before a six-week interlude. The Pennsylvania primary on April 22 opens the final stage of the Democratic nominating fight, with eight states, Puerto Rico and Guam left to weigh in.

Mississippi offered Mr. Obama an opportunity to regain his footing after losing the popular vote to Mrs. Clinton last week in three contests, Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island. Mr. Obama had been expected to win resoundingly in Mississippi, a state where 36 percent of the population is black, the highest percentage in the nation. He has enjoyed strong support among black voters and won all the other contests in the Deep South by large margins.

While Mrs. Clinton, of New York, campaigned in Mississippi last week and former President Bill Clinton dropped in over the weekend, the Clinton campaign has mostly been looking ahead to Pennsylvania, with its 158 delegates at stake.

Mrs. Clinton was campaigning in Pennsylvania on Tuesday when Mr. Obama began the day with a final appeal for support in the Mississippi Delta. After having a scrambled-egg breakfast at Buck’s Restaurant in Greenville, he shook hands with those who had gathered outside the strip mall and urged people to vote.

“We need some jobs!” someone from the crowd called to Mr. Obama.

“I promise when I’m president of the United States, I’ll come back to the Delta,” Mr. Obama said. “You all keep me in your prayers, now.”

It is unclear how much difference the late campaigning had. The early surveys of voters, conducted by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International, showed that 6 of 10 Democratic primary voters made up their minds more than a month ago.

In the final days of the primary race, Mrs. Clinton raised the idea that Democrats struggling to decide between the candidates could have it both ways, implying that Mr. Obama would make a suitable running mate.

Mr. Obama rejected that idea on Monday as he campaigned in Mississippi, telling voters, “With all due respect, I’ve won twice as many states as Senator Clinton.”

Still, according to preliminary exit polls, not all voters seemed eager to rule out the notion.

As voters left the polls on Tuesday, 6 in 10 Obama supporters said that he should select Mrs. Clinton for vice president if he won the nominating fight. And 4 in 10 Clinton voters said she should choose Mr. Obama if he she won.

As in many other states, an overwhelming share of voters said they were looking for change and were worried about the economy. Mr. Obama won the support of voters who listed those as their chief concerns, according to the surveys of voters.

Mississippi Democrats were twice as likely to say Mr. Obama inspired them about their future as opposed to Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Obama was more than twice as likely to be seen as honest.

Anita Nichols, who came to see Mr. Obama on the eve of the primary at Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, said she was delighted that voters in her state had an opportunity to be heard in the Democratic presidential contest. Ms. Nichols said she hoped a convincing Mississippi victory would nudge him along in the protracted fight.

“I’m praying that he wins; I really am,” Ms. Nichols said in an interview, an Obama button fastened to her lapel. “This country is ready for change, but it’s not just him. The president can only do so much. He’s got to surround himself with qualified people, and the citizens have to work, too.”

NewYork Times

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Hillary ClintonAs the race for the White House continues in the United States, we at the Zambian Chronicle are throwing our weight behind the former US First Lady, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton from New York.  

Our endorsement for Mrs. Clinton comes after careful consideration as Super Tuesday approaches.  

While we realize that the race may not be over after Super Tuesday, we acknowledge the fact that she is best suited to be Commander in Chief and leader of the free world compared to any other candidate from either party. 

This US election is unique in all aspects as the front runners are. Senator Hillary R Clinton (NY) would be the first woman President if elected, Senator Barack Obama (IL) would be the first Black President if elected, and Senator John McCain (AZ) would be the oldest President if elected while former Governor Mitt Romney (MA) would be the first Mormon if elected. 

We believe Mrs. Clinton will eventually get her party’s nomination for the following reasons. She currently leads her rival in national polls by an average of 9% on aggregate from all available data. 

As of this publication she has 261 delegates while Senator Barack Obama from the land of Lincoln, (Illinois) holds 190. To secure the nomination, a candidate will need 2,025 and here is how we see Mrs. Clinton reaching that magic number. 

Forty (40) % of those delegates will come from what are called Super delegates who are senior party leaders from all states and that number comes to 810 or close thereby.  

These have the prerogative to choose any candidate and thus have the propensity to go for the establishment candidate as opposed to the populist one. Mrs. Clinton is more of an establishment candidate than her rival is. 

Despite the fact that delegates from Florida (she carried it by 50% of the vote) and Michigan (she carried it by 55% of the vote) are currently not included in the above count attributed to her. 

She won both those states in land slide victories and as such the super delegates would feel more obligated to reward her for that during the convention.

Clinton country includes New Mexico which has the highest proportion of Latinos in the United States — something that could bode well for Hillary Clinton.

In New York, Hillary Clinton’s home state, almost half of voters identify themselves as Democrats she has 232 delegates at stake but playing on home turf makes it easier for her.

Since becoming a state, Alaska has never held a presidential primary, choosing rather to hold caucuses. Name recognition will be Mrs. Clinton’s asset there. 

American Samoa which participates in the Democratic and Republican nomination processes but does not participate in the general election holds the Alaskan dichotomy which may help her as well, so we expect her to win there.

Arkansas is likely to go her way since she was the former first lady for the same state when her husband was governor before becoming President of the United States.

California has a reputation for being heavily Democratic, mainly due to large metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles (mayor campaigning for Hillary) and San Francisco.  

With 370 delegates, California offers the largest boast despite the derivatives from the Kennedy family establishment and endorsements. Its delegates account for 22% of all delegates up for grabs on Super Tuesday.

Colorado is believed to be the rising political star and with strength from the Latino community Mrs. Clinton’s competitive increases because she fares well among such demographics.

Delaware is considered one of the best bellwether states in presidential politics and usually votes for the establishment. Idaho holds its Democratic caucuses looks favorable to Mrs. Clinton. Hispanics are a growing political voting bloc there.

A large number of Latinos now work in meatpacking factory towns in Kansas, and Hispanics accounted for nearly half of Kansas’ population growth in the 1990s, these are Mrs. Clinton’s to take.

Montana was one of the most Democratic states in the Rocky Mountain West, electing only Democratic senators from 1952 to 1988 and is likely to go for Mrs. Clinton.

New Jersey as a state has now voted Democratic in four straight presidential elections and is neighbors with her home state thus likely to be Clinton country while New Mexico has the highest proportion of Latinos in the United States, we know what to expect there.

North Dakota has two Democratic senators and a Democratic member of the House and the local establishment goes traditional. Oklahoma, Utah and West Virginia’s coal-mining heritage are heavily unionized and likely to go for Mrs. Clinton.

Obama country will consist of Alabama which is likely to lean his way. African-Americans made up 47 percent of Georgia’s 2004 Democratic primary electorate and going by recent history from South Carolina, this too will be Obama country.  

Georgia has more African-Americans than any other state except Texas and New York, and could soon surpass them. Georgia and her governor who has endorsed the Senator are Obama’s to take.  

Senator Obama’s home state of Illinois has increasingly become a Democratic stronghold in presidential politics and with 153 delegates in play, he would easily win it.  

Massachusetts is a major Obama stronghold going by endorsements from both Senators John F Kerry and Ted Kennedy who come from there.

Minnesota, long seen as a bastion of liberalism, has become much more of a battleground recently but is likely to be Obama country.  

In Missouri, African-Americans made up 23 percent of the state’s 2004 Democratic primary electorate and almost four in 10 voters in the 2004 Democratic primary came from a household where someone belonged to a union – thus likely to be Obama country as former Edward’s supporters shift camp.

Over half of Tennessee’s 2004 Democratic primary electorate was African American and the Obama camp has made several inroads there, therefore we can easily say might go his way.

Other states include those hard to call states like Arizona. Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, is home to over 60 percent of Arizona’s registered voters. The Governor there has endorsed Senator Obama.

Connecticut was one of Bill Clinton’s few defeats during the 1992 primary, where he was narrowly beaten by Jerry Brown, 37 percent to 36 percent.

And then we have other delegate rich states coming in March such as Texas, Maryland and Pennsylvania; these currently favor Mrs. Clinton. After Super Tuesday, she would have acquired even more delegates giving her the required momentum.

So, while others may say this race for the Democratic Party nominee as too close to call, our calculus leads us to Senator Hillary R Clinton (NY) as the eventual nominee and subsequently the next President of the United State of America.

We wish Senator Barack Obama (IL) well in the race and we are very impressed with his campaign – his having run a terrific campaign has made our race proud.

Our natural inclination would have led us to endorse him (Senator Barack Obama) based on even racial affiliations even but over here at the Chronicle we revel more in logic and intellectual honesty than all else.

classy-daddy-3.gifAs for the Republicans, we believe Senator John McCain will be their party nominee but, he literary has no chance against the Democrats who might end up feathering their “Dream Team” of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as the running mate.

To win the presidency, all Mrs. Clinton needs to do is carry all the states that voted Democratic in 2,004 and add Ohio with one swing state like New Mexico and the rest will be history …

That is this week’s memo from us at the Zambian Chronicle … thanks a trillion.

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle

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