Thursday, February 28, 2008

More DoubleSpeak

A day after admonishing Sen Obama, Clinton fails to immediately "reject" the words of a key Dallas Supporter who says "Obama's problem is he happens to be black." It took several approaches to inspire her camp to reject such rhetoric, but still the fact remains that we never heard it out of her own mouth.

Here's the AP story:

Clinton Pressed on Supporters Words
Wednesday, February 27, 2008 9:10 PM EST
The Associated Press

JANESVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A day after lecturing her presidential rival for not rejecting a controversial minister's support, Hillary Rodham Clinton declined Wednesday to reject one of her Texas backers who commented on Barack Obama's race.

During a series of satellite television interviews, Clinton was questioned by Dallas station KTVT about comments by Adelfa Callejo, a local activist who supports Clinton candidacy. The interviewer quoted Callejo as saying "Obama's problem is he happens to be black" and asked Clinton to respond.

"Well obviously I want all of us judged on our merits," Clinton said. "I believe strongly that the fact we have an African American and a woman running for the Democratic nomination is historical and I'm very, very proud of that."

"I want people though to look beyond, look beyond race and gender, look at our records, look at what we stand for, look at what we've done and I think that's what most voters are looking for," she said.

The interviewer asked Clinton whether she rejected or denounced Callejo's comment.

"People have every reason to express their opinions, I just don't agree with that," she said, adding "You know, this is a free country. People get to express their opinions."

During a nationally televised debate Tuesday in Cleveland, Clinton criticized Obama for refusing to reject an endorsement from National of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, who has made numerous anti-Semitic comments. Obama said he had been clear in his denunciations of Farrakhan's comments. Clinton suggested that was not enough.

Asked in the interview about her debate comments, Clinton said: "I don't see any comparison at all with what you're referring to and I don't know the facts of what you're telling me over the TV. So I'm just going to repeat that I want people to judge us on the merits."

Later, aide Doug Hattaway said Clinton was taken aback by the question.

"She had never heard of this before," Hattaway said. "If it was actually said, of course she denounces and rejects that kind of politics in any way, shape or form."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Clinton DoubleSpeak?

Senator Clinton now says she thinks Senator Obama's idea to begin talks in the Middle East without preconditions is not the thing to do.

Oh yeah?

Ohio Debate ’08 Analysis

This was a very important debate. Key arguments and myths were brought to light. Candidate nick-picking was addressed. The debate was more than an opportunity to discover which candidate was better qualified to run America. This exchange approached a discussion about the serious undertones at play, which is race and gender.

All in all, Senator Clinton lost me.

To begin, it is significant that Senator Clinton moved into discussion that she had not been invited to comment on. It was a personal question about Senator Obama’s endorsement from Louis Farrakhan. The question was a chance for those who have been accusing Obama of being a separatist or radical to hear what he had to say about it, and Clinton wanted to draw blood. The hypocrisy of the entire argument about Obama’s religion and affiliations is that no other candidate who has declared to defend the United States and her sovereignty has needed to defend their religious beliefs. Obama’s repeated declarations as a Christian is sufficient and should have ended this argument long ago.

Farrakhan is not a Christian. Obama has also repeatedly stated that he neither shares nor endorses Farrakhan’s views, and this is not newsworthy either. However, the real feat is the ability of a leader who can bring people to the discussion table. In the Christian model, the table is open for discussion to anyone who will sit, but the endorsement only comes to things that are right. It was never significant that Farrakhan endorsed Obama. The character question is, “Who does Obama endorse?”

Thus far, Obama has continued to declare to fight for the average American, all-inclusive. This is the message that has propelled him to his super stardom status. People who fight that message are the ones who seem separatist and exclusive.

She seemed to echo the misperception that blacks do not want to be fully integrated into the US, and cannot seem to understand that remembering history is vastly different from having to continue to live new ostracisms and discriminations. Obama seems to understand that the constitution protects Americans, and all Americans have a place at the table, including those with varied ideologies. It was a divisive moment in the debate when she played the faith card. Obama ended up openly stating that he does not hate the Jewish community, and that he rejects Farrakhan’s statements. Maybe he does need a pillow to sit through her shenanigans.

As far as the first painful 16 minutes of the debate, the viewers had to endure an argument that no one knows anything about. Knowing our preferred candidate supports a universal health care plan is good, but no one has any details. The back and forth bickering was ridiculous and did nothing to help anyone. It was a waste of airtime and reminiscent of popular reality show tactics. And just when we smelled relief, Senator Clinton stopped the show because it was just too important an issue for her. The take-away message was that this is her only strength and she needed to dominate the debate with her one foothold.

What is debatable is how Clinton can be ready on day one as president when she is not ready for post-Super Tuesday. She has resorted to low blow politics and comic relief that doesn’t work. Before this debate I was feeling some compassion for her as the desperation eased into the overall picture, but now she’s simply losing respect. She seems to have forgotten that she is in the history books as a First Lady.

Clips of her patronizing Senator Obama for delivering his messages of hope were shown. I watched and wondered what she would have said about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. if she were campaigning in the 1960’s. I also watched her clips on the “Shame on you Obama” press conference. Well Hillary, I am disappointed. I’m just simply and completely disappointed.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Si Se Puede!

We went to the rally at Reunion arena to see Barack. Emmitt Smith gave a decent speech after former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk fired up the crowd before Obama took the stage.

My son continues to talk about being a part of history. I knew that it would be a new experience for him to hear the roar of thousands of voices in the stadium. He was in the midst of the ferver, the fever, the long Disney World-like lines, and the hours of waiting once inside. And then it happened. He saw his daddy dance.

I don't dance in public. He knew about my first date. I was the guy who went on his first dance and the girl laughed and left me on the dance floor. I know how funny I look when I dance. Even the guy standing next to me said, "I think your son is laughing at you dancing." Was that a nice way of telling me to sit my butt down?

We were pretty close to the stage and just a few rows from the floor. The platform with television cameras from all over the world were eye-level with our row. Al Roker walked right by us. He didn't stop to say hi, but when I danced, the camera's all seemed to turn my way. And guess what? I could care less. I was dancing for history. I was dancing for my son's future. I was dancing for the tears that tried to run out of my eyes when the National Anthem was sung. I was dancing for the demographic makeup of the crowd. I was dancing for what Barack has done.

I was dancing for me, and I didn't care what it looked like. All the way home on the train back to our house 50 miles away my son couldn't stop laughing as he repeatedly said, "Dad, I cannot believe you did that." My reply?
"Yes I did. And I wasn't the only one acting a fool."
He said, "Yeah dad, but when you danced, what kind of fool was that?"
Well, I don't really know. However, it is a great feeling not to care. Isn't it great to believe that we can be who we really are and have it not be such a big deal?

By the way, the guy next to me changed seats.

The speech that changed America - Barack in NH

Derrick on Obama - inspirational

Barack in Dallas