Mike Huckabee


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By Belliah K Theise

Response to Shelby Steele Opinion : Marking Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, and  Tiger Woods as “bargainers” a huge mistake.

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/01112008/watch2.html

Here is what  conservative republicans have to say:

The irony inherent in Mr. Steele’s remarks is that he himself is arguably the best example of a “bargainer” one could find in American society.  He is a self-styled “black conservative.”  He uses his race to set himself apart from other conservative writers because his race makes him stand out.  I have read most of what he has written over the years.  It is nothing terribly unique or cutting edge.  In fact, if a white conservative writer offered the same analysis, he would likely never be published simply because Mr. Steele states little more than the obvious.  But Mr. Steele is America’s bargainer-in-chief and has consistently used his race as a means of acheiving success beyond his plebian talents.  Steele’s bargaining mask is the conservative agenda he pushes, an agenda that leads whites to pat him on the back and show him off as an example of what a “good negro” should be.

Mr. Steele’s analysis of Barack Obama is intellectually dishonest at its core because he remains trapped in his generation’s limited conception of how a black man in America is to be defined.  To Steele, there is no difference between Obama and Al Sharpton because, rather than attempt to nuance the ever-evolving nature of black manhood, he is content to deal in extreme caricatures thereof — the black liberal radical and the Uncle Tom.  His inability to grasp the reality that in 2008 a black American can rise to prominence based on his own merits is best illustrated by invoking the names of Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Oprah Winfrey.  The common thread between these objectively remarkable people is that they are the best at what they do — nothing more, nothing less.  Excellence does not have a color. It justifies its own success on its own merits.  Sadly, it appears that Mr. Steele would be more comfortable with Mr. Obama if he went out and robbed a bank at gunpoint with a group of gang bangers.

Barack Obama is, without question, the most intelligent of all the presidential candidates.  He not only graduated from Harvard Law School, but acheived the highest honor possible by being named Editor of the Harvard Law Review.  He was also a successful attorney and devoted community organizer, offering countless hours of personal service to advance his Christian commitment to be his brother’s keeper.  And, yes, he is also a gifted speaker and politician. If there is any psychological theory at play here, it is Mr. Steele’s rather distasteful inability to acknowledge the fact that another black man has far superceded his own accomplishments.  This psychological phenomenon is most commonly referred to as jealousy.

The Obama’s of the world threaten every assumption upon which Mr. Steele has based his career. This is why he is forced by a toxic combination of ego, self-loathing and ignorance to dismiss Barack Obama as a “bargainer” rather than what he really is — a bridge to the kind of desperately needed racial reconciliation that would render Mr. Steel’s particular brand of race-baiting tripe obsolete.

By a white conservative Christian Republican married to an amazing African woman.

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Conservative columnist George Will penned an op-ed disagreeing with Steele for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL:

Steele has brilliantly dissected the intellectual perversities that present blacks as dependent victims, reduced to trading on their moral blackmail of whites who are eager to be blackmailed in exchange for absolution. But Steele radically misreads Obama, missing his emancipation from those perversities. Obama seems to understand America’s race fatigue, the unbearable boredom occasioned by today’s stale politics generally and by the perfunctory theatrics of race especially.

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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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Bush says he wants McCain to win presidency

  • Story Highlights
  • President Bush pledges support to Sen. John McCain for president
  • McCain clinched GOP nomination with victories in Tuesday’s primaries
  • Republicans say Bush can help solidify GOP base behind McCain
  • Linking Bush, McCain helpful to Democrats, Democratic strategist says

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WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Bush endorsed Sen. John McCain for president on Wednesday, saying the presumptive Republican nominee has the “character, courage and perseverance” to lead the country.

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President Bush meets Sen. John McCain and his wife, Cindy, at the North Portico of the White House.

McCain thanked the president for his support and the work he has done in the Oval Office.

“I appreciate his endorsement, and I appreciate his service to our country,” said McCain, adding that he wanted Bush at his side as much as possible on the campaign trail.

“Whatever he wants me to do, I want him to win,” Bush said, who was challenged by McCain for the GOP nomination in 2000. But he said the 2008 run for the Oval Office was not his battle.

“It’s not about me. I’ve done my bit,” Bush said.

Addressing the calls for change in the presidential campaign, Bush said McCain would be steadfast to one of his administration’s policies.

“He’s not gonna change when it comes to taking on the enemy,” Bush said of the senator from Arizona. Video Watch Bush explain why McCain should be the next president »

Protecting the American people was the No. 1 job of a president and McCain understood that, Bush said.

“He’s gonna be a president who will bring determination to defeat an enemy,” Bush said.

McCain clinched the GOP presidential nomination with victories Tuesday in Ohio, Texas, Vermont and Rhode Island. Watch McCain say how he will prevail in the fall Video

McCain needed 1,191 delegates to secure the nomination and had 1,226 after Tuesday’s voting, according to CNN estimates.

McCain said with the nomination secured, he would begin exploring possible running mates.

He also said he called both Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and pledged “a respectful campaign” no matter who wins the Democratic nomination.

Before Wednesday’s event at the White House, both Republicans and their Democratic opponents expressed excitement about the possibilities of Bush endorsing McCain.

Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas said McCain can now focus on solidifying support among conservative Republicans, the majority of whom backed candidates other than the Arizona lawmaker in the primaries, according to exit polls.

“I think the endorsement of President Bush will certainly go a long ways toward that,” Hutchison said Wednesday. “John McCain is going to be very focused on our base and the people that he wants to have in full force behind him.” Video Watch Bush greet McCain at the White House »

Despite overall approval ratings hovering just above 30 percent, Bush receives far higher marks from conservatives, and the McCain campaign thinks the push from Bush will bring the party in line behind their presumptive nominee.

“He’ll have the [Republican National Committee] behind him. He’ll have a broad base of financial support. It’s a big step,” said Alex Castellanos, a GOP strategist and CNN contributor.

A senior administration official concurred Wednesday, saying Bush will raise “a lot of money” for McCain.

“He is extremely popular” with the GOP base, the official said. “And so can do a lot to drive the base in the election, which will help across the board.”

William Bennett, a CNN contributor who was in the administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush and Reagan, said Clinton and Obama will have to factor McCain into their strategies to secure the Democratic nomination, something that should help the Republican define whomever becomes his November foe.

“They have to factor that in as they debate each other every time they put out an ad and make a position,” Bennett said.

But Democratic strategist and CNN contributor Paul Begala said his party is happy to see McCain get the nomination — and happy to see anything the senator does that links him more closely with the Republican president.

“He’s embraced the Bush tax cuts that he voted against. He was against them being temporary; now he wants them being permanent. That’s like marrying a girl you didn’t want to date. He rushed to Bush’s Social Security plan, even disavowing his own Social Security plan on his own Web site. He has now become Bush’s third term,” Begala said.

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Begala called McCain’s victory speech Tuesday night “an eloquent but not very energetic defense of the status quo.” Video Watch McCain speak to supporters after clinching the nomination »

“Democrats heard that speech and loved it,” he said. “To quote our current president, bring it on.”

CNN

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From Paul Steinhauser
CNN

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) — With two days to go until the Iowa caucuses, a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll out Tuesday shows both the Democratic and Republican presidential nomination races tied at the top.
fastbreak.jpgHillary Clinton, left, and Barack Obama are in a statistical dead heat in Iowa, according to a new poll.
But with a quarter of all Democratic voters and nearly half of all Republican voters still making up their minds at this late stage, almost anything can happen Thursday night in the first contest for the White House.

Among Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York wins the most support, with 33 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers backing Clinton and 31 percent supporting Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois. But taking into account the survey’s sampling error of 4.5 percentage points in the Democratic race, the race is virtually tied.

Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina is in third place in the poll at 22 percent.

Clinton and Obama both gained 3 points since the last CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll in mid December, with Edwards dropping 4 points.  Watch CNN’s Bill Schneider analyze the new poll »

“The survey suggests that for the Democrats, a three-way race may have effectively become a two-way race,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

The poll indicates that Iowa Democrats believe Clinton has the best chance of winning in November and is the most experienced. Obama is seen as the most likable and the most honest.

“Edwards doesn’t stand out on any of the qualities, according to poll,” said CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider.

The remaining Democratic presidential candidates, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio are all in single digits. Former Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska is at less than 0.5 of 1 percent.

The battle for the GOP presidential nomination is also tied at the top. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has the backing of 31 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers, while 28 percent support former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Taking into account the survey’s sampling error of 5 percentage points in the GOP race, it’s a statistical dead heat between Romney and Huckabee.

Former Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee places third in the poll at 13 percent with Sen. John McCain of Arizona 3 points back. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is at 8 percent, as is Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.

Rep. Duncan Hunter of California is at less than 0.5 of 1 percent.

Romney gained 6 points since the last CNN poll in Iowa, taken in mid December, with Huckabee dropping 5 points in the same time. Huckabee has lost ground “mostly among higher income Republicans and GOP’s under 50 years old,” said Holland.

“Romney support has risen entirely among women, where it doubled over the last two weeks,” said Schneider.

Meanwhile, a new poll by the Des Moines Register, also out Tuesday morning, suggests the race now has two front-runners: Obama has the support of 32 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers, with Clinton at 25 percent and Edwards at 24 percent. The poll suggests that an influx of first time caucus-goers, independents, and young voters are contributing to Obama’s lead.

In the battle for the GOP nomination, Huckabee leads with the backing of 32 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers, with Romney at 26 percent, McCain at 13 percent and Thompson and Paul at 9 percent.

The newspaper’s poll surveyed 800 likely caucus participants between December 27 and 30 and had a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

The CNN poll found that when it comes to the issues, the economy, illegal immigration and terrorism continue to dominate the GOP debate, while Iraq remains the No. 1 issue for Democrats with the economy and health care not far behind.

“It’s worth emphasizing the amount of caution with which any Iowa poll results should be handled,” said Holland. Nearly half of likely Republican caucus-goers say they have not made their minds up; more than a quarter of Democratic caucus-goers say the same thing.

For the Democrats, the caucus winner will be determined by a complicated “post-viability” estimate of something called “delegate equivalents,” which is based on voter turnout in the past two general elections. Republican results will be tabulated by a straightforward ballot process.

“Most important, always bear in mind that polls can only do so much when analyzing caucuses which often draw only about 100,000 people out of a statewide population of just under 3 million,” added Holland.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. Poll was conducted by telephone on December 26-30. There were 482 likely Democratic caucus-goers and 373 likely GOP caucus goers interviewed for the survey.

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