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 Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington?

Aller en bas 
Rang: Administrateur

Nombre de messages : 8092
Localisation : Washington D.C.
Date d'inscription : 28/05/2005

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? Empty
MessageWill Mr. Obama Go To Washington?

Washington Report
Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington?
Illinois state legislator seeks to become only black U.S. senator
By Tamara E. Holmes

In the upcoming months, all eyes will be on the presidential competition. However, the stakes are high in the race for the former U.S. Senate seat of presidential candidate Carol Moseley Braun, as Democratic state Sen. Barack Obama attempts to become the nation's only black U.S. senator. If elected, he would be the first-ever black male Democratic senator and the first black male senator since Republican Edward Brooke of Massachusetts was elected in 1966.

Obama, who represents Illinois' 13th District on Chicago's South Side, faces eight opponents in a hotly contested Democratic primary next month. According to local news polls, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas and State Comptroller Dan Hynes are the front-runners by slight margins. Other candidates include: millionaire investment broker Blair Hull; lawyer and former school board president Gery Chico; radio talk show host Nancy Skinner; and healthcare executive Joyce Washington (who is also African American).

Since announcing his candidacy in January 2003, Obama has raised $2 million, surprising many political analysts who expected him to have trouble raising funds. The first African American president of the Harvard Law Review, Obama has a strong record when it comes to supporting minority-owned businesses, which is why some black business leaders are working overtime to send the 41-year-old senator to Washington.

John Rogers, chairman and CEO of Chicago-based Ariel Capital Management (No. 1 on the BE ASSET MANAGERS list with $10.3 billion in assets under management), has contributed $9,000 to Obama's campaign. Lou Holland, managing partner and chief investment officer of Chicago-based Holland Capital Management (No. 11 on the BE ASSET MANAGERS list with $1.3 billion in assets under management), has contributed $12,000. Obama has the backing of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, the state's second-largest teacher's union; the Illinois Council of Service Employees International Union; the Rev. Jesse Jackson; and former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley.

Obama's chances of winning will also depend in part on his success in mobilizing Illinois' black working class, says Melissa V. Harris-Lacewell, assistant professor of political science at the University of Chicago. "He's got to find a way to make [the primary] important to people who wouldn't normally turn out [to vote]."

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Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? :: Commentaires

Barack Obama, America's latest political star
Message Mar 12 Déc - 21:53 par mihou
Favorite Son
Barack Obama, America's latest political star, is expected to become the next black U.S. senator. Could his victory put him on the path to the White House?
By Kenneth Meeks

He gave the speech of his life. With grace and confidence, a relatively unknown Illinois state senator stood before a sea of cheering delegates at Boston's FleetCenter, home to this year's Democratic National Convention. In an electrifying keynote address, the poised politician spoke of his lineage; uniting a nation across racial, ideological, and economic lines; and, most importantly, the promise of the American dream.

"If there's a child on the South Side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child," he told delegates as they exploded into applause and cheers during his speech. "If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandmother. If there's an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It's that fundamental belief–I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper–that makes this country work. It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. ... There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America."

After his address of unity and hope–one that energized a party and set the tone for the presidential race to come–the nation witnessed the birth of a new political star: Barack Obama. They not only saw a man who is almost assured of ascending to the U.S. Senate representing the state of Illinois, but a politician pundits say has the timber to one day become America's first African American president.

So who is this candidate many speculate is in contention for the White House? To answer that question, BLACK ENTERPRISE went on the road with Obama–to three cities on a campaign tour through southern Illinois–a month before he stepped onto the national stage. We discovered his platform, his political passion, his background, and the aspirations of "a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him."

On a warm and rainy June morning in Springfield, the state capital, the 42-year-old three-term senator who represents Chicago's South Side addresses a packed room of mostly white, blue-collar workers at the AFL-CIO building. In the back of the room, a unionist holds up a sign that reads: "The Land of Lincoln Loves Senator Obama."

Today, Obama listens to Ada Owens, a Decatur woman who worked at the Bridgestone/Firestone manufacturing plant for 27 years before it closed in 2001. The plant, which employed as many as 1,200 people, shut down as a result of the recall of Firestone tires that dominated headlines several years ago. Now, Decatur is on the verge of becoming a ghost town.

"I was able to get a negotiated package but too young for Social Security, so that meant I had to go out and look for another job," Owens says in a shaky voice worn by three years of economic despair and hardship. "For younger workers who didn't have a retirement option, it's been horrible. A lot of older folks have died of heart attacks because of the stress. We hear that the economy is looking up and that there are jobs out there, but they are not decent jobs where you can support your families. And they're not here in Decatur. That's what we lost."
Owens' story underscores a larger problem facing Illinois and the heart of Obama's campaign. As Owens recounts her story, the politician nods his head, his face etched with concern and compassion. When she finishes, Obama calmly takes the microphone and collects his thoughts before addressing the issue head-on. He conducts an informal poll of the 100 or so in the room, finding that half have either lost jobs or knows such a casualty. Despite President George W. Bush's pledge to create millions of new jobs this year, Obama says many pay a fraction of those originally lost. "What I'm hearing everywhere I go is a middle class that is feeling squeezed because their jobs are moving overseas, and they are economically insecure," he says. "We lost 150,000 manufacturing jobs and we have not been benefiting from the economic growth that has been taking place. Collectively, what we're experiencing is erosion of the economic status. We have some people–a small slither of the economy–who have done better than they've ever done before; a middle class that is shrinking; and a greater and greater difficulty on the part of the working class … to get into the middle class. That is the story that we have to reverse."

Throughout the room, heads nod in agreement. Obama seems to connect with a constituency that ranges from black churchgoers like Owens to white unionists threatened by the outsourcing of jobs to China, India, and Mexico. An older white man in the fourth row eyes Obama cautiously as the politician outlines his four-part program called "REAL U.S.A. Corporations Plan." His platform is designed to counteract the despair that corporate outsourcing breeds by, among other things, getting the federal government to advocate more effectively on behalf of workers and communities in the World Trade Organization and making sure that tax codes give incentives to companies that keep jobs in America. When he finishes, the room erupts with applause.

"I could be wrong about him," says Owens. "We won't know until he gets into office, but I think he says what he means. And if he doesn't, then he will have me to answer to. He will be held accountable."

The next stop is East Alton, a city on the Mississippi River with a population just shy of 7,000. It's roughly an hour and a half drive to East Alton, where Obama faces the machinist union, and it's a great opportunity to get to know the man behind the campaign. Next month, he could possibly replace Republican Peter G. Fitzgerald, who is not seeking reelection. And an Obama victory would move the Senate Democrats–at present outnumbered 51 to 48–one seat closer to a majority. This year also marks the first time Democrats have the possibility of gaining control of the Senate, with strong Democratic hopefuls in Southern states like South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana.

As it stands, Illinois doesn't look good for Republican challenger Alan Keyes, who entered the race in August. He was hastily chosen by the GOP after a tabloid scandal knocked the former Republican candidate, Jack Ryan, out of the race. Ryan, 44, is a Wilmette native and a Goldman Sachs investment banker who dropped out of the race in late June when unsealed portions of his 1999 divorce case revealed claims from his former wife, actress Jeri Ryan, that Ryan took her to sex clubs and tried to talk her into having public sex with him. The story came at a time when the challenger was trailing Obama in the polls by 20 points. Obama's only comment was that Ryan's divorce documents were "not a campaign issue."

In 1988 and 1992, Keyes unsuccessfully sought a Senate seat in Maryland, earning 38% and 29% of the vote, respectively. However, according to published reports, his credibility suffered when the media learned in 1992 that he had paid himself a salary of $8,500 a month from his campaign funds. He later sought the Republican presidential nomination, earning 4% of the vote in the Illinois presidential primary election in 1996 and 9% in 2000. Four years ago, the native New Yorker criticized Sen. Hillary Clinton for moving to another state for political reasons. In August, Keyes moved from Darnestown, Maryland, to Calumet City, Illinois, to set up temporary residence for his campaign. Keyes told CNN that he justified his move as "responding to the people of Illinois who have asked me to come and help them with a crisis situation."

Although Obama refuses to respond to negative pols, Donna Brazile, political consultant and Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign manager, says at some point Bush and the Republican machine will descend on Illinois to try to derail him. "Therefore, he will need the active support of John Kerry and the rest of the Democratic Party. There is no question that the era of electing black power candidates is over. Now you're electing individuals who have expanded their power base and are looking at larger goals. I think Barack's positioning in the race will suit him well to become a leading voice of African American issues, as well as American causes that African Americans should be a part of. He has his pulse on the real issues facing voters this fall. Nobody thought he would come out of that primary alive, given that he had two [rivals] who had a great deal of gravitas, but he came out more than OK." He came out strong and well positioned.

Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.) remembers talking about Obama's long-shot candidacy a year ago with Democrats in Washington, D.C. They all expected Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes, the leading candidate, to win the primary in March. Instead, Obama beat out all six Democratic hopefuls by an incredible 53% of the vote. "Frankly, a lot of people in Washington were dismissive of Barack's candidacy; a lot of people in D.C. believed that if you can't win a House seat, how are you going to win a Senate seat?" (In 2000, Obama lost by a 60% to 31% margin when he challenged incumbent Rep. Bobby Rush, a former Black Panther, for a seat in the House of Representatives.)

If Obama wins, it will be a milestone for African Americans. To date, there have been two African American senators since Reconstruction–Edward William Brooke, who represented Massachusetts when he was elected in 1966, and Carol Moseley Braun, another Illinois politician who held office for one term after she was elected in 1992. Rep. Denise Majette is also looking for a seat after winning the Democratic nomination in Georgia. Says Davis: "I think that Denise has a difficult race. Georgia is a state that has never elected a black to the position of U.S. Senator. Illinois has, and there are certain historical advantages in the state of Illinois that I think certainly favor Barack's candidacy."

Obama ran a smart campaign in the primaries. He brought together white liberals and African Americans, gaining endorsements from Carbondale City Council member Sheila Simon, daughter of the late Sen. Paul Simon, the most respected liberal Democrat in downstate Illinois, and former Sen. Max Cleland from Georgia, a popular veteran who lost both legs and an arm in the Vietnam War and who introduced Kerry at the Democratic National Convention. Obama also gained votes from heavily Republican and predominantly white areas in the southwestern and northern portions of the state–places like DuPage County, where a black candidate was never expected to get backing.

If Obama wins and becomes the only African American in the U.S. Senate, Braun warns that he will have demands placed on him by both Illinois voters and a "national constituency."
"He won't be able to get away with just representing his state, which most senators can do," explains Braun, who didn't endorse any candidate during the primary. "[Other senators] can represent their state and that's really the only expectation that anybody has of them. [Obama is] going to have to learn to balance the needs of his state against the larger national constituency right off the bat, and without necessarily having the resources or staff to do the job. But I'm sure he's up to it."

But not every African American believes this notion of a national constituency. Maintains Vernon E. Jordan Jr., senior managing director at Lazard L.L.C. and a member of BE's Top 50 African Americans on Wall Street: "His constituency is the people of Illinois. They elected him and it is them he will be responsible to. [He's not being elected to be] the representative of all black people. He's being elected to be the Democratic senator to represent the people of Illinois. That is his only mandate."

East Alton is a small community a stone's throw away from St. Louis, where many young Altonians moved for jobs. The rain has all but stopped, and a small crowd of 150 people are already in their seats when Obama walks into the room shaking hands with his right hand as he places his left hand on the other person's shoulder, elbow, or forearm. He always looks people directly in the eye. He is masterful at connecting with people reagardless of age, gender, or race.

At the Machinist Hall, Obama reiterated his pro-labor campaign speech, his stance on the Free Trade Agreement, China, and the ills of the Bush administration. When he finishes, the room erupts with applause, and he easily melts into the crowd, listening to ideas and answering people's questions. An hour or so after he arrived, Obama and his entourage are back on the road, this time headed south to Carbondale to attend a $50-a-plate fundraiser in his honor. From Carbondale, his motorcade will drive four hours north to Peoria and is scheduled to arrive around 2 a.m. Campaigning is a grueling process, but he's up to the challenge.
Re: Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington?
Message Mar 12 Déc - 21:53 par mihou
But Obama doesn't only need votes; he needs money. And he has managed to raise loads of it. Of the first million that his campaign raised, half came directly from BE 100S and small minority-owned companies. He received initial donations from Chicago-based contributors like John W. Rogers Jr., CEO of Ariel Capital Management L.L.C. (No. 1 on the BE ASSET MANAGERS list with $16.1 billion in assets under management) and his wife, who gave more than $21,000. Employees of Loop Capital Markets L.L.C. (No. 3 on the BE INVESTMENT BANKS list with $113 billion in total managed issues) put up in excess of $24,000. And Louis A. Holland, managing partner of Holland Capital Management L.P. (No. 10 on the BE ASSET MANAGERS list with $1.9 billion in assets under management) personally contributed close to $10,000. Obama's support extends beyond the boundaries of the Windy City to investment bankers in New York City such as Vernon Jordan, who along with his wife, sponsored Obama's first big Washington fundraiser last fall at a time when his underdog campaign didn't look good and long before anybody knew him. "Several friends of mine said to me, 'I'm coming because of you,' and they came, they saw, and they heard him. They took in what he had to say and I think they too felt his commitment and his passion and were moved by his eloquence enough that they wrote checks," Jordan explains. "So I am just very impressed by him as a man, as a lawyer, as an individual, and as someone who chose not to go to a law firm but to be a community organizer and to do something about community problems. I felt when I first met him and listened to him that I was listening to myself 40 years ago and so I am very excited about his candidacy, very excited about the possibility that he will serve in the United States Senate."

Rogers, who has known Obama and his wife, Michelle, for well over 10 years, says that as a state senator, Obama has been extremely effective in helping the black business community by providing strategic advice. "Whenever any of us had issues of concern or things that needed to be addressed, Barack has been very responsive. He basically gives people insight into how the government works. Having a peer–someone our own age–in government who can sit down and tell entrepreneurs how the state process works, how you work within it, and what buttons to push shows us the way. He's shedding light on how the process really works."

Obama has always been a strong advocate for small and minority-owned businesses. "[They] are crucial to the American economy," he asserts. "An overwhelming number of jobs in our society have been created by small and minority-owned businesses. I'm proud to see more African Americans generate the capital and the technical knowledge needed to start their own companies. They are taking ownership [of their destiny], and not just working for somebody else, [because owning your own business] is the recipe for long-term wealth and stability for any community.

"But more needs to be done," he continues. "I see my role as helping to open doors that have previously been closed for small businesses across the country–black, white, Hispanic, or Asian. The more we can do to encourage assistance through the SBA and other organizations; the more we can promote exports in other countries. And the more we can incorporate technology into small and minority-owned businesses, the more successful we will be as a country."

Obama says this initial core of financial contributors helped him establish credibility early on, and that allowed him to raise additional money. As of the end of the second quarter filings with the Federal Election Commission, Obama raised an astonishing $9.8 million with $3.3 million in cash toward his election bid, outpacing most of this year's senatorial candidates.

And he has proven to be a shrewd money manager. During the primary, he held on to his money until the last few weeks and then he hit the airways with an impressive (and effective) television blitz. With seven candidates in the race, there was a bloc of undecided voters, and when people started to make up their minds in the last couple of weeks, Obama had a barrage of spots.
Page 4, cont'd

Born in Hawaii, Obama is the son of an African exchange student from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. He rarely saw his father, who left the family when Obama was 2 to attend Harvard and then later returned to his native Kenya, where he worked as a government economist. (At age 21, Obama learned that his father had died in a car accident.)

When Obama was 6, his mother married an Indonesian oil manager, and the family moved to Jakarta, Indonesia. As a teenager, Obama returned to Hawaii to live with his grandparents and attended one of the island's top prep schools. He was a lone black child raised by his white mother and grandparents. But he gained the ability to connect with people from various national, cultural, and racial backgrounds. "I grew up with whites and blacks and Asians within my own family and surrounding communities. It's an enormous advantage in an America that is changing everyday in that it requires us to work together across racial, cultural, and ethnic lines," Obama says. "But I was affected by the problems that I think a lot of young African American teens have; they feel that they need to rebel against society as a way of proving their blackness. And often, this results in self-destructive behavior. I've written about the fact that when I was in high school, I experimented with drugs and I played a lot of sports, but didn't take my studies particularly seriously. But I was fortunate to have a foundation and values from my family that helped me to overcome some of those destructive attitudes."

Although he always considered himself a good student in high school, Obama says he didn't get serious about his scholarship until his third year in college, when he transferred to Columbia University in New York. Filled with political idealism, he became a community organizer in Harlem after graduation. But he couldn't afford to stay in New York City on his salary. When he decided to leave Harlem, he wrote to organizations across the country looking for work and received only a single reply from a church-based group in Chicago that was trying to help residents of poor South Side neighborhoods cope with a wave of plant closings–an experience that would begin to shape Obama's political career.

Three years later, he left the church organization to attend Harvard Law School, and in 1990, he became the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review. Armed with a law degree that matched the likes of Fortune 500 leaders, Obama could have designed a high-powered legal or corporate career. He turned down an opportunity to clerk with a chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C., circuit and jobs working for prestigious Wall Street law firms. Instead, he returned to Chicago to practice civil rights law, representing victims of housing and employment discrimination and working on voting rights legislation for small public interest firms. He later started teaching at the University of Chicago Law School but did not pursue a tenure-track post. He decided to go into politics.

When Obama announced his intention to run for U.S. Senate, he had already built a solid track record on issues affecting working-class families. He expanded a program to provide healthcare to Illinois children. He wrote and passed a law that gives $100 million in tax breaks to working-class families. He wrote and passed landmark legislation to end racial profiling among state law enforcement agencies. The bill also required a videotaped confessions in murder cases. And while Obama doesn't have statistics that chart the results of his bill since being signed into law, the ACLU applauded his effort to make law enforcement agencies in Illinois keep track of all traffic stops and the race of the individual. Obama was also one of the few candidates to publicly oppose the war in Iraq.

Win or lose in next month's election, Obama represents a new form of leadership. For more than three decades, black political leadership has largely been tied to civil rights activism, with two distinguishable traits: a willingness to agitate with firebrand conviction and the ability to mobilize large groups of blacks behind a common cause. Today's black politicians, however, talk less about equal access and more about education and economic opportunities, viewing themselves as coalition builders and economic developers seeking to appeal to broad constituencies and abandoning rhetoric that would tag them as liberals. It's a group that includes former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk, who ran an unsuccessful Senate campaign in 2002, and Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr. of Tennessee, who is expected to make a run for the Senate in 2006.

It's Rogers of Ariel Capital Management who sums up Obama best: "If you're a leader and you care about people, you're going to reach out beyond your local community and help people nationally. I think Barack will be an extraordinary national leader. Dr. King was able to fill an enormous void with his extraordinary gifts. There is an enormous void in this country and Rev. Jackson can't fill it all. We need other strong dynamic leaders who can be a voice for the voiceless. I think it's our responsibility that all of us who are privileged and given the opportunity to, reach back and help bring others up. And Barack does it extraordinarily well."

As Obama's campaign motorcade meanders through country roads and small towns, we come to a stop on the campus of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. It's early evening, and the sun starts to disappear behind the trees. Inside the SIU Student Center, an estimated crowd of 600 conservative Illinois residents are waiting for Obama's entrance. For Obama, inside are more people to reach and more voters to sway. And it's one step closer to Washington.
–Additional reporting by Joyce Jones & Stephanie Young
Message Mar 12 Déc - 21:56 par mihou
Posted by:

Posted On:
12/12/2006 9:20:00 PM Barack Obama
His education is from the best Law School in the USA, "Harvard". So education wise hes the best. Knowledge is the key, and knowledge he has. You elect a MAN that has knowledge"BOOK" knowledge. Not, daddy got money knowledgegeorge. If a average student can be PresidentBush. Most surely The "HIGHEST HONOR" student, being number of his graduating class can most certainly run this country. BARACK OBAMA
Posted by:

Posted On:
12/12/2006 8:54:50 PM
I think that he is ready to become president. Even though he has not had a political background that spans over decadesthat doesnt mean that he wouldnt make a good president. George Bush is from a blood line of Politicial bigwigs that includes a former president and a current governor and he still is incompetent. We need a leader in this country, not a dictator. Obama has already proven himself in that department.
Obama Encouraged to Enter 2008 Race
Message Mar 12 Déc - 21:59 par mihou
Obama Encouraged to Enter 2008 Race
MANCHESTER, N.H. - Sen. Barack Obama says he may have to overcome questions about his inexperience, stereotypes about his race and even a middle name that reminds Americans of Iraq's former dictator. Despite all that, the Illinois Democrat received plenty of encouragement to enter the presidential race during an initial trip to this pivotal campaign state.

Barack Hussein Obama drew the kind of political frenzy that is commonplace in New Hampshire in the final month before the nation's first presidential primary.

In this case, it happened more than a year in advance for a man who hasn't even decided whether he's running.

Obama said he is still "running things through the traps" as he considers whether to join a field of Democrats that's expected to include front-runner Sen. Hillary Clinton and several other more experienced political hands.

He said his family is a major concern because he has two young daughters. Also, he doesn't want to run just because the timing is right politically - he wants to feel he has something important to offer.

"This is an office you can't run for just on the basis of ambition," Obama said. His advisers said he would consider his choice over the holidays, after his annual Christmas trip to his native Hawaii to visit his grandmother.

He got encouragement everywhere he went in New Hampshire. He drew 1,500 Democrats to a state Democratic Party fundraiser and several hundred more at a book signing in Portsmouth. Organizers of both events had to turn away many others.

State party officials said 150 members of the media signed up to cover Obama's speech, representing news organizations as far off as Australia and Japan. A large media contingent crowded into a Portsmouth coffee shop with the senator and knocked into tables as he tried to shake hands with the customers.
History teacher and Democrat Mark Bingham of Alton met Obama and said that despite his inexperience, he could rank among presidents named Lincoln and Kennedy. "It's good to see politics going in another direction," Bingham told the senator.

Gov. John Lynch joked that the Rolling Stones were originally the headliners at the state party fundraiser where the $25 tickets quickly sold out. "But we canceled them when we realized Senator Obama would sell more tickets," Lynch said.

As he took the stage, supporters handed Obama a petition signed by 12,000 people across the country encouraging him to run, said Todd Webster, who started the Web site.

Obama recognized there has been "a little fuss" over his possible candidacy, but said he thinks the excitement reflects voters' desire for a new, positive direction in politics that is not about him as an individual.

"I am suspicious of hype," Obama told reporters. "The fact that my 15 minutes of fame has extended a little longer than 15 minutes is somewhat surprising to me and completely baffling to my wife."

Obama's newness could be one of his biggest liabilities - he's served just two years in the Senate after seven years in the Illinois Legislature. But Obama tried to turn his inexperience into an asset compared with other candidates who have been governing for much longer, although he didn't mention any rivals by name.

He said he thought Americans would look past his name and his black skin and judge him on his merits once they got to know more about him.

Clinton, D-N.Y., has not yet begun campaigning in New Hampshire. But she brought one of the state's prominent Democrats - Terry Shumaker, who worked on both her husband's presidential campaigns - to her Washington home Sunday night for dinner. She also made several calls to other state activists this week to sound out her presidential prospects.

Several other potential candidates have been making trips to New Hampshire for the last year and a half. Among the most frequent visitors is Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, who filled a small room at a Manchester conference center Friday night but wasn't near the draw as Obama on his first trip. Anticipating the inevitable comparison to their visits on the same weekend, Bayh's aides joked that 1,000 more people were in an overflow room.
Bayh said he wasn't intimidated by the Obama mania as he talked to voters one-on-one. "I'm doing the things that matter in New Hampshire," Bayh said.

Because of their pivotal role, New Hampshire voters are accustomed to individual attention from presidential candidates. Obama tried to accommodate them despite the large turnout, staying for over an hour after his speech ended to sign a book for every person who wanted one.

He also chartered an $11,000 flight to Chicago late Sunday night so he could greet attendees after his speech without having to worry about catching a plane.


Associated Press Writer Beth Fouhy contributed to this story from New York.
Washington diary: The next president?
Message Mer 13 Déc - 11:31 par mihou
Washington diary: The next president?
By Matt Frei
BBC News, Washington

One could be excused for thinking that a 45-year-old African-American with barely two years' experience in the US Senate and a name that evokes America's two most hated enemies wouldn't have an ice cream's chance in hell of winning the presidency.

But Barack Hussein Obama has proven once again that in American politics, truth is a lot stranger than fiction.

I went to the see the senator's maiden voyage to New Hampshire over the weekend, my overnight bag packed with caveats and my pen dipped in Beltway cynicism.

I came away thinking that Hillary Clinton has a huge problem on her hands.

Since New Hampshire is one of the first high-profile pit stops on the rocky road to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the voters of the Granite State regard politics with the same degree of zeal, snobbery and discernment as wine buffs at a Pinot Noir tasting or poodle owners at the Crufts dog show.

They are quick to rumple their nose and curl their lip when dished up something that doesn't meet their expectations.

Money well spent

So it was nothing short of astonishing that 1,600 of them had paid $25 each on a beautiful Sunday morning to see Barack Obama at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester.

Isn't $25 how much you normally pay people to listen to a senator speak in public?

As far as I could gather from the rapturous applause and the post-mortem interviews, the harsh cognoscenti of the Granite State left the event feeling it was money well spent.

As John Distaso, the political editor of the New Hampshire Union Leader and the druid of primary politics, told me: "I have never seen anything like this... at such an early stage in the campaign."

Early is an understatement. It's more than a year before the primaries and almost two years until the presidential election.

As the governor of the state put it in his opening address: "We had booked the Rolling Stones until we realised that Barack Obama would sell more tickets!"

The junior senator from Illinois, as the cable news networks like to refer to him, lopes on stage with an elasticity that almost verges on a dance.

He deals with the hype graciously. "I am genuinely baffled," he told the adoring crowd, sounding genuine, "and so is my wife!"

There are lots of deferential references to his wife Michelle, who he met at Harvard Law School. It reminds me of the endearing way in which George used to talk about Laura.

Barack Obama also has a good line to fend off any questions about his weird name.

"When I first started to work in public life... people would ask: 'Hey brother, what's with your name? You called Alabama or Yo' Mama?'"

As for the unfortunate middle name, Hussein means "blessed" in Arabic and as the senator puts it: "The American people don't care about middle names."

Appealing picture

Assuming that the senator will become a candidate and stick around for a year or more, I am sure that his name will become campaign ad fodder.

But as we discovered in the mid-term elections, too much mud-slinging backfires and America is not cruising for a bruising but yearning for a healer.

And this is where the meat and potatoes of Senator Obama's speech comes in.

Ever since he wowed the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston, he has been speaking about the need to overcome the bickering between Blue and Red, Democrat and Republican.

He paints a picture of America that is more complex, nuanced and appealing than the caricature that most partisan politicians and journalists like to present.

He knows all about complex. He is after all the son of a Kenyan economist who was "as black as pitch" and a woman from Kansas who is as "white as snow".

He was brought up in Hawaii and Indonesia and he became the editor of the prestigious Harvard Law Review.

He is religious without being born again. As he likes to point out the title of his best-selling book The Audacity of Hope - number two on Amazon - is plagiarised from a sermon given by his favourite Chicago preacher.

He looks slim and healthy and yet he enjoys the occasional cigarette.

Beyond race?

In short he defies the pigeonhole.

It also struck me that on Sunday his was virtually the only black face.

The fact that someone like me can attract a crowd like this shows that this country yearns for something new and different
Barack Obama
I know that New Hampshire is a predominantly white state, but Mr Obama's campaign has moved on from the raw passion of the civil rights movement.

He mentions Martin Luther King without reminding you of Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton.

Like Colin Powell, the senator from Illinois makes you forget he is any colour.

He is also clever enough not to sound condescending or to tie himself into the kind of mental pretzels that strangled John Kerry.

His inexperience in the Senate may turn out to be an asset and he has the same talent that JFK apparently had of appearing glamorous and humble at the same time.

As for the hype: "It flatters me," he told the crowd, "but it also alarms me... because it says more about America than it does about me.

"The fact that someone like me can attract a crowd like this shows that this country yearns for something new and different!"

His voice is neither shrill nor pompous.

Problem for Hillary

Yes, Hillary has the machine, the money, the pollsters and the brand recognition - but she also has the baggage.

She is the undeclared front-runner and according to history that is a dangerous position in the Democratic Party.

After all, her own husband finished third in the New Hampshire primaries before going all the way to the Oval Office.

The Senate has turned Hillary into a skilful deal-maker who rarely slips up.

But is that enough to fire up the imagination of an electorate yearning for a compelling story?

When pressed about an apparent admission in print that he had smoked marijuana, Barack Obama replied: "Yes, and I inhaled. That was the point."

Watch out, Hillary! And, I might add, watch out John McCain, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani!

Hillary's supporters are constantly coming up with reasons she can overcome her limitations. Barack's supporters wonder whether he has any.

Key questions

So, can he win? Can he raise the cash?

Can he survive the rough and tumble of the campaign and the tough questions?

Will the colour of his skin not count against him? Can be convincing about security in the middle of an ongoing war?

Can he survive the fickle adulation of the media?

If the answer to all the above is yes, Barack Hussein Obama will be the 44th president of the United States... as strange as that may sound.

Send us your comments in reaction to Matt Frei's Washington diary using the link below:

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/12/13 11:49:30 GMT

BARACK OBAMA:Washington diary: Your comments
Message Mer 13 Déc - 11:36 par mihou
Washington diary: Your comments

Send us your comments in reaction to Matt Frei's Washington diary.

Published: Tuesday, 12 December, 2006, 22:06 GMT 22:06 UK
A Biracial Candidate Walks His Own Fine Line
Message Mer 6 Fév - 22:03 par mihou
December 29, 2007
The Long Run

A Biracial Candidate Walks His Own Fine Line


The 2006 Democratic primary campaign for the presidency of the Cook County Board of Commissioners was vintage Chicago politics.
The incumbent was an aging party loyalist, mayoral confederate and
institution in black Chicago. His opponent was younger and white, a
reform-minded independent Democrat who had helped Barack Obama in his Senate race two years earlier.
Both sides wanted the support of Mr. Obama, a vote magnet in
Chicago. The challenger, Forrest Claypool, 48, had the backing of the
major newspapers and a couple of liberal members of Congress. The
incumbent, John Stroger, 76, had the party organization, many of the
city’s blacks and Mr. Obama’s political benefactor, the State Senate
president, Emil Jones.
So Mr. Obama remained neutral. He was blasted in blogs and
newspapers for hedging rather than risk alienating people he needed,
though others said he had made the only shrewd choice.
“Those relationships are complex,” said Mr. Claypool, who lost the
primary race to Mr. Stroger (who never served because of illness) and
is now working on Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign. “No politician
takes important relationships for granted.”
Much of Mr. Obama’s success as a politician has come from walking a
fine line — as an independent Democrat and a progressive in a state
dominated by the party organization and the political machine, and as a
biracial American whose political ambitions require that he appeal to
whites while still satisfying the hopes and expectations of blacks.
Like others of his generation, he is a member of a new class of
black politicians. Too young to have experienced segregation, he has
thrived in white institutions. His style is more conciliatory than
confrontational, more technocrat than preacher. Compared with many
older politicians, he tends to speak about race indirectly or
implicitly, when he speaks about it at all.
After Hurricane Katrina,
he did not attribute the lumbering federal response to the race of most
of the storm’s victims. “The incompetence was color-blind,” he said,
adding that the real stumbling block was indifference to the problems
of the poor. After six black teenagers were charged with attempted
murder in the beating of a white schoolmate in the “Jena Six” case in
Louisiana, he said the criminal justice system needed fixing to ensure
equal justice “regardless of race, wealth or circumstances.”
And when Mr. Obama announced his candidacy in February, he chose the
steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., a place imbued
with the spirit of Abraham Lincoln.
He spoke of his work in “Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods” and of ending
poverty; race came up only glancingly, as in, “Beneath all the
differences of race and region, faith and station, we are one people.”
But the postracial style has its pitfalls.
‘Acting Like He’s White’
Earlier this fall, the Rev. Jesse Jackson,
an Obama supporter who ran for president twice, was quoted by a
reporter as saying Mr. Obama “needs to stop acting like he’s white”
(words that Mr. Jackson has variously said that he would never say and
that were taken out of context).
He added, “If I were a candidate, I’d be all over Jena.”
More recently, Mr. Jackson accused the Democratic candidates except for John Edwards
of having “virtually ignored” the plight of blacks. (His son,
Representative Jesse Jackson Jr., a national co-chairman of the Obama
campaign, fired back in an op-ed column in The Chicago Sun-Times under
the headline, “You’re wrong on Obama, Dad.”)
“A black candidate doesn’t want to look like he’s only a black candidate,” the Rev. Al Sharpton,
the civil rights activist, who ran for president in 2004, said in an
interview about Mr. Obama. “If he overidentifies with Sharpton, he
looks like he’s only a black candidate. A white candidate reaches out
to a Sharpton and looks like they have the ability to reach out. It
looks like they’re presidential. That’s the dichotomy.”
In a telephone interview, Mr. Obama denied that he had spoken less
about race issues than other candidates. But he said he focused when
possible on “the universal issues that all Americans care about.” His
aim, he said, is “to build broader coalitions that can actually deliver
health care for all people or jobs that pay a living wage or all the
issues that face not only black Americans but Americans generally.”
He suggested that his critics were comparing him not with Mr. Edwards or Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
but with Mr. Jackson and Mr. Sharpton. “That comparison is one that
isn’t appropriate,” he said. “Because neither Reverend Jackson nor
Reverend Sharpton is running for president of the United States. They
are serving an important role as activists and catalysts but they’re
not trying to build a coalition to actually govern.”
Mr. Obama’s legislative record does not diverge sharply from that of
other black legislators, some who have studied it say. For example, the
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People,
which grades members of Congress on their support for its agenda, gave
Mr. Obama a 100 percent score. The difference between him and some
others lies more in life experience, approach to politics and style.
And while Mr. Obama’s advisers say he is entirely comfortable with
his identity — as he has said, proud to be an African-American but not
limited by that — he carries a peculiar burden as a presidential
candidate: whether or not he calibrates his words, blacks as well as
whites are likely to parse them for anything they might signal about
racial issues.
“There is a special expectation and opportunity that we have to talk about the ways race works in America,” said Gov. Deval Patrick, a friend of Mr. Obama and the first black to lead Massachusetts.
But, Mr. Patrick said, “sometimes I think advocates want one note
from us. I think our experience in our lives and in our politics has
been that there’s much more than the one note — and sometimes a
Re: Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington?
Message Mer 6 Fév - 22:03 par mihou
There was a time when black politicians had little in common with
white politicians. They had been educated in segregated schools and
historically black colleges; many had entered politics through the
civil rights movement, social activism or the black church. Their
districts and constituents were overwhelmingly African-American. They
were “race men” who had built their careers advocating for blacks.
Winning a Mixed District
They tended to be more liberal and militant than the Democratic Party as a whole, said Michael C. Dawson, a University of Chicago
political scientist. They opposed rising military budgets and military
intervention abroad, favored economic redistribution and were willing
to consider such things as demands for reparation for slavery.
Hanes Walton Jr., a University of Michigan
political scientist, said, “Once you got African-American elected
officials in the 1960s and 1970s, there was huge demand from the black
community about getting things done. Some of these elected officials
came on with fairly rough edges because they were making consistent and
hard demands. In many ways, that couldn’t be escaped. These elected
officials knew that they were elected from the black community.”
Mr. Obama, by contrast, grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia, far from
any center of black life. He graduated from a private prep school in
Honolulu, Columbia College and Harvard Law School. Though he has
belonged to the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago since 1987,
he was not raised in the traditions of the black church, which
Ange-Marie Hancock, a Yale political scientist, says “nurtured
generations of black politicians” and “that almost exclusive emphasis
on race — and race in a black/white framework.”
Mr. Obama was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996 — not from an
overwhelmingly black district like those that elected early black
legislators but from a racially and economically mixed neighborhood,
Hyde Park, home of the University of Chicago. In a state where
Irish-American dynasties dominate Democratic Party politics, he sprang
up as an outsider — a former community organizer without party or
machine support.
Mr. Obama never fit any easily recognizable model of a black
politician during his seven years in Springfield. He was a progressive
Democrat who worked with Republicans; a black man whose weekly
poker-game partners were white; an independent Democrat whose mentor,
Mr. Jones, was one of the most powerful black politicians in the state
and supported by the Chicago machine.
In his 2006 book, “The Audacity of Hope,” Mr. Obama recalls sitting
with a white, liberal Democrat in the Senate and listening to a black,
inner-city legislator, whom he identified only as John Doe,
speechifying on how the elimination of a particular program was blatant
racism. The white colleague turned to Mr. Obama and said, “You know
what the problem is with John? Whenever I hear him, he makes me feel
more white.”
Mr. Obama finds a lesson in that moment: White guilt has exhausted
itself. Even fair-minded whites resist suggestions of racial
victimization. Proposals that benefit minorities alone cannot be a
basis for the broad coalitions needed to transform the country, he
concluded. Only “universal appeals” for approaches that help all
Americans, he wrote in his book, “schools that teach, jobs that pay,
health care for everyone who needs it” can do that, “even if such
strategies disproportionately help all Americans.”
Mr. Obama has never had difficulty appealing to whites. In his
ill-fated 1999 campaign against Representative Bobby L. Rush, a
four-term Democratic congressman and former Black Panther, Mr. Obama
won the white vote but lost the black vote in a district that was
overwhelmingly black. Abner J. Mikva, a former Illinois congressman and
longtime supporter, said, “It took him a while to realize that it’s a
vote that has to be courted.”
Hermene Hartman, the publisher of N’Digo, a weekly newspaper in
Chicago, recalls advising Mr. Obama to talk less about his experience
as the first African-American editor of the Harvard Law Review. “What I
was saying early on was, ‘Harvard Review will play at the University of
Chicago, it won’t play on 55th and King Drive,’” Ms. Hartman said.
Mr. Mikva says Mr. Obama learned to campaign in different ways
without changing the substance of what he was saying. He learned to use
rhythms, analogies, “quotes that resonate better.” Others say he simply
worked hard at becoming better known, consolidating his support among
black elected officials, black ministers, labor organizations and
community groups, skating nimbly among factions.
Straddling Interests
Mr. Obama’s relationship with Mr. Jackson extends back at least to
the early 1990s. Mr. Jackson’s daughter, Santita, was a friend of Mr.
Obama’s wife, Michelle, and was a bridesmaid at their wedding. The
Congressional district of Representative Jackson included Mr. Obama’s
State Senate district; they have worked together on issues, endorsed
some of the same reform-minded candidates against the party slate and
sought each other’s advice.
At the same time, Mr. Obama has remained close to his longtime
mentor, Mr. Jones — an old antagonist of Representative Jackson, who
defeated him for Congress in 1995. Alan Gitelson, a political scientist
at Loyola University in Chicago, said, “The skill of Obama is that he’s
been able to straddle the two major factions among blacks in Illinois.”
Mr. Obama has also cultivated a working relationship with Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Mr. Daley, who backed an opponent of Mr. Obama in the 2004 Senate
primary, this year endorsed Mr. Obama for president — around the time
that Mr. Obama endorsed Mr. Daley for re-election, annoying some
supporters and passing over two black candidates considered unlikely to
“I can tell you, having worked for both of them, they are both
pragmatists who want to get things done,” said David Axelrod, Mr.
Obama’s chief strategist and a longtime consultant to Mr. Daley.
By the time Mr. Obama began running for the United States Senate,
he “didn’t have to run as a black candidate,” said Don Rose, a longtime
political consultant in Chicago. Illinois had already elected one black
senator, Carol Moseley Braun,
and Mr. Obama had nailed down overwhelming black support. According to
Mr. Axelrod, he ended up with 92 percent of the black vote in a
competitive field.
Yet race was a subtext of a television advertisement widely believed
to have helped Mr. Obama win, Mr. Rose believes. The advertisement
featured Sheila Simon, the daughter of former Senator Paul Simon, a
Democrat who was a revered figure in Illinois politics, lionized by
white progressives and admired by some conservatives. Mr. Simon, who
had worked with Mr. Obama on ethics reform, had intended to endorse him
but had died unexpectedly after heart surgery in 2003.
So Mr. Axelrod had asked Ms. Simon to make an advertisement about
the similarities between her father and Mr. Obama. He said the
commercial might help explain Mr. Obama’s unexpected success in white,
working class neighborhoods on Chicago’s Northwest Side, which had been
hostile to black candidates in the past. Mr. Rose believes that the
advertisement’s subtext, intentionally or not, was gender and race: “It
is saying, ‘People, I’m a white woman, and I’m not afraid of him.’”
Dining With Sharpton
In Washington, Mr. Obama made it clear almost immediately that his
career would not be defined by his race. One of the first acts of the
new Congress was to certify the results of the Electoral College. Some
members of the Congressional Black Caucus
moved to contest the certification of the Ohio votes. Mr. Obama did not
join them. In a hastily arranged maiden speech, he said he was
convinced that President Bush had won but he also urged Congress to
address the need for voting reform.
In his office, he hung paintings of Lincoln, Gandhi and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., all of whom he calls his heroes.
In recent weeks, Mr. Obama has turned some of his attention to
courting black voters. Nine months into his campaign, he held his first
fund-raiser in Harlem, at the Apollo Theater, where he said, among other things, he was in the race because he was “tired of reading about Jena.” Then he went on tour with Oprah Winfrey, whom he had gotten to know when she interviewed him after his speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004.
Mr. Sharpton, who has yet to endorse anyone, says Mr. Obama began
his campaign as “the alternative to guys like me.” But in recent
months, Mr. Sharpton said, “he’s been calling us.”
Mr. Obama also arranged to dine with Mr. Sharpton, in the presence of a herd of reporters, before his appearance at the Apollo.
“A portion of black voters want Obama to give them some raw meat,” said Julian Bond,
chairman of the board of the N.A.A.C.P. “Because they want so badly to
have their concerns addressed and highlighted, and they expect it of
him because he’s black.”
Message Mer 6 Fév - 22:21 par mihou
Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? 16barak190David McNew/Getty Images


Full Name: Barack Hussein Obama Jr.
Party: Democratic
Political Office: U.S. Senator from Illinois, elected 2004; member, Illinois State Senate 1997-2004
Business/Professional Experience: Attorney, law firm of Miner Barnhill & Galland (Chicago, IL), 1993-2004
Date of Birth: August 4, 1961
Place of Birth: Honolulu, Hawaii
Home: Chicago, Ill.
Education: B.A. Columbia University 1983; J.D. Harvard Law, 1991
Spouse: married Michelle Robinson, 1992
Children: daughter Malia, born 1999; daughter Natasha, born 2001
Religion: United Church of Christ
Home: Chicago, Ill.
Campaign Web Site:


By Barack Obama: The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream [2006]; Dreams from my Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance [1995]
About: Hopes and Dreams: The Story of Barack Obama, by Steve Dougherty [2007]

The Caucus: Posts on Barack ObamaInformation From Barack Obama on YouTube | MySpace

Highlights From the Archives

If Elected...
Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? 02obama_75

Closing Income Gap Tops Obama’s Agenda for Economic Change


Barack Obama said Friday that the top priority of the next president
should be to create a more lasting and equitable prosperity than
achieved by either President Bush or even Bill Clinton.February 2, 2008U.S.Series

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? Kennedy75

Kennedy Chooses Obama, Spurning Plea by Clintons


Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s endorsement pits members of the nation’s most prominent Democratic families against each other. January 28, 2008U.S.News

If Elected ...
Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? 01obama.75

Obama Envisions New Iran Approach


an interview, Senator Barack Obama said that forging a new relationship
with Iran would be part of his effort to stabilize Iraq.November 2, 2007U.S.Series

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? 28obama.75

Obama Promises a Forceful Stand Against Clinton


Barack Obama said he would start confronting Senator Hillary Rodham
Clinton more forcefully, in response to concerns about his lack of
assertiveness.October 28, 2007U.S.News

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? 01hoops-75

One Place Where Obama Goes Elbow to Elbow


Senator Barack Obama is a wily player of pickup basketball, a game with unspoken rules and lots of elbows.June 1, 2007U.S.News

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? 30obama-75

A Candidate, His Minister and the Search for Faith


Barack Obama’s campaign has put a strain on the close relationship he forged over 20 years with his pastor.April 30, 2007U.S.News

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? 75-obama

2 Years After Big Speech, a Lower Key for Obama


The senator is not presenting himself, stylistically at least, the way he did when he gripped Democrats in 2004.April 8, 2007U.S.News

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? 17hawaii.751

Charisma and a Search for Self in Obama’s Hawaii Childhood


The presidential candidate’s racial consciousness and political curiosity appear to have begun far from Illinois.March 17, 2007U.S.News

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? 28obama.751

In Law School, Obama Found Political Voice


Barack Obama arrived at Harvard as an unknown; by the time he left, he had become a political sensation.January 28, 2007U.S.News

National Desk
As Quickly as Overnight, a Democratic Star Is Born


In his quest for the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate, Barack Obama was, by many measures, supposed to lose. March 18, 2004U.S.News


Newest First
| Oldest FirstPage: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | Next >>

Support Divided, Democrats Trade Victories


Neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Rodham Clinton could secure an edge to the Democratic nomination.February 6, 2008

Area Voters Savor Rare Feeling: A Suspenseful Primary


Breaking free of their traditional political obscurity, voters from around the New York region turned out to vote.February 6, 2008

Support Divided, Top Democrats Trade Victories


Neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Rodham Clinton could secure an edge to the Democratic nomination.February 6, 2008

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? Clinton75
Re: Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington?
Message Mer 6 Fév - 22:22 par mihou
Northeast Delivers 2 Big Prizes for Clinton


Hillary Rodham Clinton scored twin victories in the Democratic
primaries in her home state of New York and in New Jersey. In
Connecticut, Senator Barack Obama won by a small margin.February 6, 2008

Two Parties, Two Distinct Paths to the Nomination


The Democrats are facing a long nomination battle; Republicans are closer to rallying around a nominee.February 6, 2008

A Sizzle Among the Young (at Least Some)


Obama is the Pied Piper of the race, walking off with more young voters
than any other recent presidential candidate.February 6, 2008

Obama and Clinton Settle In for the Long Run


Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama began fortifying for a drawn-out and expensive campaign.February 6, 2008

Darkness and Light


Barack Obama wants to be president, he’ll have to slay the dragon. And
his dragon is the Clinton attack machine.February 6, 2008

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? 06dems1.75

Rival Democrats Clutch Their State Prizes, and Look to Collect a Few More


contests ended with one definitive conclusion for Hillary Rodham
Clinton and Barack Obama: The show will go on.February 6, 2008

Obama Takes Connecticut, Helped by Lamont Voters


was the young, the rich and voters who called Iraq the top issue who
helped provide the margin of victory for Senator Barack Obama in
Connecticut.February 6, 2008

Divided They Run

candidate — and any party — who presumes to unite this country, must
first unite their own. That is how democracy is supposed to work.February 6, 2008

Winds of Change


fight for the nomination, one of the best political dramas in decades,
has always resembled a contest between realists and dreamers.February 5, 2008

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? 05mccain_75

McCain Shops for Votes With Stop at Grand Central


John McCain of Arizona stopped by Vanderbilt Hall (inside the terminal,
near the 42nd Street taxi line) for a hastily scheduled campaign
appearance.February 5, 2008

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? 05daschle.75

Daschle Uses Senate Ties to Blaze Path for Obama


Daschle, a former Senate Democratic leader, is working for Barack Obama
and trying to steer the party away from another Clinton presidency.February 5, 2008

Candidates Blitz States as Big Day Looms


Candidates made their final pushes with rallies and commercials in states from coast to coast.February 5, 2008

As 24 States Vote, a Grab for Delegates, and an Edge


total of 3,156 delegates will be allocated under arcane rules on what
could be the most significant day yet in the 2008 campaign.February 5, 2008

Connecticut Sees Surge of Voters for Primary


this state renowned for its independent voters, about 17,000 people
changed their registration to join a party over the past three months.February 5, 2008

Obama Receives Cheers in the Meadowlands


a relatively low turnout, enthusiasm among supporters for Barack Obama
was bolstered by a surprise appearance by Robert De Niro at a campaign
event in New Jersey.February 5, 2008

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? Obama75

Facing Far Bigger Crowds, Obama Strikes a New Note


cerebral, soft-spoken speeches that sustained Barack Obama for months
have given way to words of motivation meant to energize his crowds.February 5, 2008

Will the Capital of Change Choose Change or Experience?


would be hard to imagine Barack Obama’s change-oriented campaign
succeeding if he couldn’t capture the imagination of America’s capital
of change.February 5, 2008

McC, Hil, Bam, et al.: Everyone Needs a Nom de Tab


When it comes to politicians, there is no question that the shorthand is a product of necessity.February 5, 2008

Mrs. Clinton Has Support in Stronghold of Obama


of Yale’s undergraduates expressed a preference for Senator Hillary
Rodham Clinton as a leader who speaks to their heads, not their hearts.February 5, 2008

Barack Obama’s Feb. 5 Speech

following is a transcript of Senator Barack Obama’s speech to
supporters after the Feb. 5 nominating contests, as provided by Federal
News Service.February 5, 2008

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? 05hispanics-1.75

Issues Start Rush to Vote by Hispanics


Latinos are gearing up for the primaries, with an eye toward creating a decisive voting bloc in November.February 5, 2008

In His Own Words

At the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J.:.February 5, 2008

Clinton, Obama, Insurance


difference between the health care plans of Hillary Clinton and Barack
Obama could well be the difference between achieving universal health
coverage and falling far short.February 4, 2008

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? 04obamaaide-75

Inspired by Obama, Filmmaker Takes on Politics


a storefront nestled between a Popeye’s and a nightclub in
Bedford-Stuyvesant, Jordan Thomas, a political novice, has created
Brooklyn for Barack, a critical force to Senator Obama’s New York State
campaign.February 4, 2008

Is Obama a Mac and Clinton a PC?


The Mac may be the cooler computer, but aren’t there more PC users in the world?February 4, 2008

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? 04family-75

In Democratic Families, Politics Makes for Estranged Bedfellows


dynasties and ordinary people alike have found their houses divided
between support for Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.February 4, 2008

McCain Looks Confident; Tighter Democratic Race


McCain was striving to end the Republican race on Tuesday, while polls
showed Hillary Rodham Clinton’s lead over Barack Obama was narrowing.February 4, 2008

Match Any Word

Match All Words

Match Exact Phrase

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | Next >>
Re: Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington?
Message Mer 6 Fév - 22:25 par mihou

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? Obamatimeline190126Interactive Graphic

Milestones: Barack Obama

An interactive timeline of Barack Obama’s life and career.

The Long Run

The Lives and Careers of the 2008 Presidential Contenders

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? 29obama-75

A Biracial Candidate Walks His Own Fine Line


Barack Obama’s postracial style is the reason for much of his political success, but it also has its pitfalls.

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Message Mer 6 Fév - 22:25 par mihou
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Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? 28obama_graphic_190Interactive Graphic

Obama's Law Review Colleagues: Where Are They Now?

Barack Obama arrived at Harvard Law School as an unknown; by the time he left, he had become a political sensation.

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Books of The Times

Obama’s Foursquare Politics, With a Dab of Dijon


Barack Obama, the Democratic Party's new rock star, is a rare politician who can actually write, as his new memoir shows.


Remarks of Senator Obama: The War We Need to Win

Aug. 1, 2007

Brown Chapel AME Church, Selma, Alabama

March 4, 2007

Formal Announcement for President

Feb 10, 2007

Democratic National Convention

July 27, 2004

Articles From Other Publications

Above the Fray

GQ, September 2007

Renewing American Leadership

By Barack Obama, Foreign Affairs, July/August 2007

Across the Divide

Newsweek, July 16, 2007

Re: Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington?
Message Mer 6 Fév - 22:26 par mihou
The Not-So-Simple Story of Barack Obama's Youth

Chicago Tribune, March 25, 2007


The Nation, March 5, 2007

Destiny's Child

Rolling Stone, Feb 22, 2007

The Chicago Cipher

New York, Dec 25, 2006

Obama on Obama

Chicago Tribune, Dec 15, 2006

The Phenomenon

The New York Review of Books, Nov 30, 2006

Barack Obama Inc.

Harper's Magazine, Nov 2006

The Legend of Barack Obama

Washingtonian, Nov 2006

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First Black Elected to Head Harvard's Law Review

Published: February 6, 1990

LEAD: The Harvard Law Review, generally
considered the most prestigious in the country, elected the first black
president in its 104-year history today. The job is considered the
highest student position at Harvard Law School. The Harvard Law
Review, generally considered the most prestigious in the country,
elected the first black president in its 104-year history today. The
job is considered the highest student position at Harvard Law School. The
new president of the Review is Barack Obama, a 28-year-old graduate of
Columbia University who spent four years heading a community
development program for poor blacks on Chicago's South Side before
enrolling in law school. His late father, Barack Obama, was a finance
minister in Kenya and his mother, Ann Dunham, is an American
anthropologist now doing fieldwork in Indonesia. Mr. Obama was born in
Hawaii. ''The fact that I've been elected shows a lot of progress,'' Mr. Obama said today in an interview. ''It's encouraging. ''But
it's important that stories like mine aren't used to say that
everything is O.K. for blacks. You have to remember that for every one
of me, there are hundreds or thousands of black students with at least
equal talent who don't get a chance,'' he said, alluding to poverty or
growing up in a drug environment.

What a Law Review Does Law
reviews, which are edited by students, play a double role at law
schools, providing a chance for students to improve their legal
research and writing, and at the same time offering judges and scholars
a forum for new legal arguments. The Harvard Law Review is generally
considered the most widely cited of the student law reviews. On
his goals in his new post, Mr. Obama said: ''I personally am interested
in pushing a strong minority perspective. I'm fairly opinionated about
this. But as president of the law review, I have a limited role as only
first among equals.'' Therefore, Mr. Obama said, he would
concentrate on making the review a ''forum for debate,'' bringing in
new writers and pushing for livelier, more accessible writing.

A President's Future The
president of the law review usually goes on to serve as a clerk for a
judge on the Federal Court of Appeals for a year, and then as a clerk
for an associate justice of the Supreme Court. Mr. Obama said he
planned to spend two or three years in private law practice and then
return to Chicago to re-enter community work, either in politics or in
local organizing. Professors and students at the law school
reacted cautiously to Mr. Obama's selection. ''For better or for worse,
people will view it as historically significant,'' said Prof. Randall
Kennedy, who teaches contracts and race relations law. ''But I hope it
won't overwhelm this individual student's achievement.''

Change in Selection System Mr.
Obama was elected after a meeting of the review's 80 editors that
convened Sunday and lasted until early this morning, a participant
said. Until the 1970's the editors were picked on the basis of
grades, and the president of the Law Review was the student with the
highest academic rank. Among these were Elliot L. Richardson, the
former Attorney General, and Irwin Griswold, a dean of the Harvard Law
School and Solicitor General under Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and
Richard M. Nixon. That system came under attack in the 1970's
and was replaced by a program in which about half the editors are
chosen for their grades and the other half are chosen by fellow
students after a special writing competition. The new system, disputed
when it began, was meant to help insure that minority students became
editors of The Law Review. Harvard, like a number of other top
law schools, no longer ranks its law students for any purpose including
a guide to recruiters.

Blacks at Harvard: New High Black
enrollment at Harvard Law School, after a dip in the mid-1980's, has
reached a record high this year, said Joyce Curll, the director of
admissions. Of the 1,620 students in the three-year school, 12.5
percent this year are blacks, she said, and 14 percent of the
first-year class are black. Nationwide enrollment by blacks in
undergraduate colleges has dropped in recent years. Mr. Obama
succeeds Peter Yu, a first-generation Chinese-American, as president of
The Law Review. After graduation, Mr. Yu plans to serve as a clerk for
Chief Judge Patricia Wald on the of the United States Court of Appeals
for the Federal Circuit. Mr. Yu said Mr. Obama's election ''was a choice on the merits, but others may read something into it.'' The
first female editor of The Harvard Law Review was Susan Estrich, in
1977, who recently resigned as a professor at Harvard Law School to
take a similar post at the University of Southern California. Ms.
Estrich was campaign manager for Gov. Michael S. Dukakis of
Massachusetts in his campaign for the Presidency in 1988. Correction: February 7, 1990, Wednesday, Late Edition - Final Because
of an editing error, an article yesterday about the election of Barack
Obama as president of the Harvard Law Review misidentified the United
States court on which Patricia M. Wald is Chief Judge. It is the Court
of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, not for the Federal
April 30, 2007

A Candidate, His Minister and the Search for Faith


CHICAGO — Members of
Trinity United Church of Christ squeezed into a downtown hotel ballroom
in early March to celebrate the long service of their pastor, the Rev.
Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. One congregant stood out amid the flowers and
finery: Senator Barack Obama, there to honor the man who led him from skeptic to self-described Christian.
Twenty years ago at Trinity, Mr. Obama, then a community organizer
in poor Chicago neighborhoods, found the African-American community he
had sought all his life, along with professional credibility as a
community organizer and an education in how to inspire followers. He
had sampled various faiths but adopted none until he met Mr. Wright, a
dynamic pastor who preached Afrocentric theology, dabbled in radical
politics and delivered music-and-profanity-spiked sermons.
Few of those at Mr. Wright’s tribute in March knew of the pressures
that Mr. Obama’s presidential run was placing on the relationship
between the pastor and his star congregant. Mr. Wright’s assertions of
widespread white racism and his scorching remarks about American
government have drawn criticism, and prompted the senator to cancel his
delivery of the invocation when he formally announced his candidacy in
Mr. Obama, a Democratic presidential candidate who says he was only
shielding his pastor from the spotlight, said he respected Mr. Wright’s
work for the poor and his fight against injustice. But “we don’t agree
on everything,” Mr. Obama said. “I’ve never had a thorough conversation
with him about all aspects of politics.”
It is hard to imagine, though, how Mr. Obama can truly distance
himself from Mr. Wright. The Christianity that Mr. Obama adopted at
Trinity has infused not only his life, but also his campaign. He began
his presidential announcement with the phrase “Giving all praise and
honor to God,” a salutation common in the black church. He titled his
second book, “The Audacity of Hope,” after one of Mr. Wright’s sermons,
and often talks about biblical underdogs, the mutual interests of
religious and secular America, and the centrality of faith in public
The day after the party for Mr. Wright, Mr. Obama stood in an A.M.E.
church pulpit in Selma, Ala., and cast his candidacy in nothing short
of biblical terms, implicitly comparing himself to Joshua, known for
his relative inexperience, steadfast faith and completion of Moses’
mission of delivering his people to the Promised Land.
“Be strong and have courage, for I am with you wherever you go,” Mr. Obama said in paraphrasing God’s message to Joshua.
It is difficult to tell whether Mr. Obama’s religious and political
beliefs are fused or simply run parallel. The junior senator from
Illinois often talks of faith as a moral force essential for solving
America’s vexing problems. Like Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and John Edwards,
his fellow Democratic candidates, he expresses both a political and a
religious obligation to help the downtrodden. Like conservative
Christians, he speaks of AIDS as a moral crisis. And like his pastor, Mr. Obama opposes the Iraq war.
His embrace of faith was a sharp change for a man whose family
offered him something of a crash course in comparative religion but no
belief to call his own. “He comes from a very secular, skeptical
family,” said Jim Wallis, a Christian antipoverty activist and longtime
friend of Mr. Obama. “His faith is really a personal and an adult
choice. His is a conversion story.”
The grandparents who helped raise Mr. Obama were nonpracticing
Baptists and Methodists. His mother was an anthropologist who collected
religious texts the way others picked up tribal masks, teaching her
children the inspirational power of the common narratives and heroes.
His mother’s tutelage took place mostly in Indonesia, in the
household of Mr. Obama’s stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, a nominal Muslim who
hung prayer beads over his bed but enjoyed bacon, which Islam forbids.
“My whole family was Muslim, and most of the people I knew were
Muslim,” said Maya Soetoro-Ng, Mr. Obama’s younger half sister. But Mr.
Obama attended a Catholic school and then a Muslim public school where
the religious education was cursory. When he was 10, he returned to his
birthplace of Hawaii to live with his grandparents and attended a
preparatory school with a Christian affiliation but little religious
Years later, Mr. Obama met his father’s family, a mix of Muslim and
Christian Kenyans. Sarah Hussein Obama, who is his stepgrandmother but
whom Mr. Obama calls his grandmother, still rises at 5 a.m. to pray
before tending to her crops and the three orphans she has taken in.
“I am a strong believer of the Islamic faith,” Ms. Obama, 85, said in a recent interview in Kenya.
From Skepticism to Belief
This polyglot background made Mr. Obama tolerant of others’ faiths
yet reluctant to join one, said Mr. Wright, the pastor. In an interview
in March in his office, filled with mementos from his 35 years at
Trinity, Mr. Wright recalled his first encounters with Mr. Obama in the
late 1980s, when the future senator was organizing Chicago
neighborhoods. Though minister after minister told Mr. Obama he would
be more credible if he joined a church, he was not a believer.
“I remained a reluctant skeptic, doubtful of my own motives, wary of
expedient conversion, having too many quarrels with God to accept a
salvation too easily won,” he wrote in his first book, “Dreams From My
Re: Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington?
Message Mer 6 Fév - 23:20 par mihou
Still, Mr. Obama was entranced by Mr. Wright, whose sermons fused
analysis of the Bible with outrage at what he saw as the racism of
everything from daily life in Chicago to American foreign policy. Mr.
Obama had never met a minister who made pilgrimages to Africa, welcomed
women leaders and gay members and crooned Teddy Pendergrass rhythm and
blues from the pulpit. Mr. Wright was making Trinity a social force,
initiating day care, drug counseling, legal aid and tutoring. He was
also interested in the world beyond his own; in 1984, he traveled to
Cuba to teach Christians about the value of nonviolent protest and to
Libya to visit Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, along with the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Mr. Wright said his visits implied no endorsement of their views.
Followers were also drawn simply by Mr. Wright’s appeal. Trinity has
8,500 members today, making it the largest American congregation in the
United Church of Christ, a mostly white denomination known for the
independence of its congregations and its willingness to experiment
with traditional Protestant theology.
Mr. Wright preached black liberation theology, which interprets the
Bible as the story of the struggles of black people, who by virtue of
their oppression are better able to understand Scripture than those who
have suffered less. That message can sound different to white
audiences, said Dwight Hopkins, a professor at University of Chicago
Divinity School and a Trinity member. “Some white people hear it as
racism in reverse,” Dr. Hopkins said, while blacks hear, “Yes, we are
somebody, we’re also made in God’s image.”
Audacity and Hope
It was a 1988 sermon called “The Audacity to Hope” that turned Mr.
Obama, in his late 20s, from spiritual outsider to enthusiastic
churchgoer. Mr. Wright in the sermon jumped from 19th-century art to
his own youthful brushes with crime and Islam to illustrate faith’s
power to inspire underdogs. Mr. Obama was seeing the same thing in
public housing projects where poor residents sustained themselves
through sheer belief.
In “Dreams From My Father,” Mr. Obama described his teary-eyed
reaction to the minister’s words. “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,” Mr. Obama
wrote. “Those stories — of survival, and freedom, and hope — became our
story, my story.”
Mr. Obama was baptized that year, and joining Trinity helped him
“embrace the African-American community in a way that was whole and
profound,” said Ms. Soetoro, his half sister.
It also helped give him spiritual bona fides and a new assurance.
Services at Trinity were a weekly master class in how to move an
audience. When Mr. Obama arrived at Harvard Law School later that year,
where he fortified himself with recordings of Mr. Wright’s sermons, he
was delivering stirring speeches as a student leader in the classic
oratorical style of the black church.
But he developed a tone very different from his pastor’s. In
contrast with Mr. Wright — the kind of speaker who could make a grocery
list sound like a jeremiad — Mr. Obama speaks with cool intellect and
on-the-one-hand reasoning. He tends to emphasize the reasonableness of
all people; Mr. Wright rallies his parishioners against oppressors.
While Mr. Obama stated his opposition to the Iraq war in
conventional terms, Mr. Wright issued a “War on Iraq I.Q. Test,” with
questions like, “Which country do you think poses the greatest threat
to global peace: Iraq or the U.S.?”
In the 16 years since Mr. Obama returned to Chicago from Harvard,
Mr. Wright has presided over his wedding ceremony, baptized his two
daughters and dedicated his house, while Mr. Obama has often spoken at
Trinity’s panels and debates. Though the Obamas drop in on other
congregations, they treat Trinity as their spiritual home, attending
services frequently. The church’s Afrocentric focus makes Mr. Obama a
figure of particular authenticity there, because he has the African
connections so many members have searched for.
To the many members who, like the Obamas, are the first generation
in their families to achieve financial success, the church warns
against “middleclassness,” its term for selfish individualism, and
urges them to channel their gains back into the community.
Mr. Obama has written that when he became a Christian, he “felt
God’s spirit beckoning” and “submitted myself to His will and dedicated
myself to discovering His truth.” While he has said he shares core
Christian beliefs in God and in Jesus as his resurrected son, he
sometimes mentions doubts. In his second book, he admitted uncertainty
about the afterlife, and “what existed before the Big Bang.” Generally,
Mr. Obama emphasizes the communal aspects of religion over the
supernatural ones.
Bridging Religious Divides
He has said that he relies on Mr. Wright to ensure “that I am
speaking as truthfully about what I believe as possible.” He tends to
turn to his minister at moments of frustration, Mr. Wright said, such
as when Mr. Obama felt a Congressional Black Caucus meeting was heavier on entertainment than substance.
As a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama is reaching out to both
liberal skeptics and committed Christians. In many speeches or
discussions, he never mentions religion. When Mr. Obama, a former
constitutional law professor, does speak of faith, he tends to add a
footnote about keeping church and state separate.
But he also talks of building a consensus among secular liberal and
conservative Christian voters. Mr. Wallis, the antipoverty advocate who
calls himself a “progressive evangelical,” first met Mr. Obama 10 years
ago when both participated in traveling seminars on American civic
life. On bus rides, Mr. Wallis and Mr. Obama would huddle, away from
company like George Stephanopoulos and Ralph Reed, to plot building a coalition of progressive and religious voters.
“The problems of poverty and racism, the uninsured and the
unemployed, are not simply technical problems in search of the perfect
10 point plan,” Mr. Obama says in one of his standard campaign lines.
“They are rooted in both societal indifference and individual
callousness — in the imperfections of man.”
He often makes reference to the civil rights movement, when liberals used Christian rhetoric to win change.
Mr. Obama reassures liberal audiences about the role of religion in
public life, and he tells conservative Christians that he understands
why abortion
horrifies them and why they may prefer to curb H.I.V. through
abstinence instead of condoms. AIDS has spread in part because “the
relationship between men and women, between sexuality and spirituality,
has broken down, and needs to be repaired,” he said to thunderous
applause in December at the megachurch in California led by the Rev.
Rick Warren, a best-selling author.
At the same time, Mr. Obama’s ties to Trinity have become more
complicated than those simply of proud congregation and favorite son.
Since Mr. Obama announced his candidacy, the church has received
threatening phone calls. On blogs and cable news shows, conservative
critics have called it separatist and antiwhite.
Congregants respond by saying critics are misreading the church’s
tenets, that it is a warm and accepting community and is not hostile to
whites. But Mr. Wright’s political statements may be more controversial
than his theological ones. He has said that Zionism has an element of
“white racism.” (For its part, the Anti-Defamation League says it has no evidence of any anti-Semitism by Mr. Wright.)
On the Sunday after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Mr. Wright said
the attacks were a consequence of violent American policies. Four years
later he wrote that the attacks had proved that “people of color had
not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just ‘disappeared’ as the
Great White West went on its merry way of ignoring Black concerns.”
Provocative Assertions
Such statements involve “a certain deeply embedded
anti-Americanism,” said Michael Cromartie, vice president of the Ethics
and Public Policy Center, a conservative group that studies religious
issues and public policy. “A lot of people are going to say to Mr.
Obama, are these your views?”
Mr. Obama says they are not.
“The violence of 9/11 was inexcusable and without justification,” he
said in a recent interview. He was not at Trinity the day Mr. Wright
delivered his remarks shortly after the attacks, Mr. Obama said, but
“it sounds like he was trying to be provocative.”
“Reverend Wright is a child of the 60s, and he often expresses
himself in that language of concern with institutional racism and the
struggles the African-American community has gone through,” Mr. Obama
said. “He analyzes public events in the context of race. I tend to look
at them through the context of social justice and inequality.”
Despite the canceled invocation, Mr. Wright prayed with the Obama
family just before his presidential announcement. Asked later about the
incident, the Obama campaign said in a statement, “Senator Obama is
proud of his pastor and his church.”
In March, Mr. Wright said in an interview that his family and some
close associates were angry about the canceled address, for which they
blamed Obama campaign advisers but that the situation was “not
irreparable,” adding, “Several things need to happen to fix it.”
Asked if he and Mr. Wright had patched up their differences, Mr.
Obama said: “Those are conversations between me and my pastor.”
Mr. Wright, who has long prided himself on criticizing the
establishment, said he knew that he may not play well in Mr. Obama’s
audition for the ultimate establishment job.
“If Barack gets past the primary, he might have to publicly
distance himself from me,” Mr. Wright said with a shrug. “I said it to
Barack personally, and he said yeah, that might have to happen.”

Reuben Kyama contributed reporting from Nyangoma-Kogelo, Kenya.

Charisma and a Search for Self in Obama’s Hawaii Childhood

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? 17hawaii.xlarge1Associated Press

Barack Obama, third from left at rear, in 1972 with his fifth-grade
class in a photograph from Na Opio, the yearbook of the Punahou School.

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Published: March 17, 2007

HONOLULU, March 12 — To his high school classmates, Barack Obama
was a pleasant if undistinguished student, the guy who seemed happiest
on the basketball court, the first to dive into the pumpkin carving at
Halloween, the one whose oratorical prowess was largely limited to
out-debating classmates over the relative qualities of point guards. Skip to next paragraph

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? 17hawaii.1902Cory Lum for The New York Times

Kelli Furushima was a classmate of Barack Obama at the Punahou School.
She displayed her yearbook from 1979, in which “Barry Obama” expressed
regret that Ms. Furushima and he had not dated.

But Mr. Obama’s family here in Hawaii
saw a more complex young man, a person whose racial confusion and
feelings of alienation were matched with equal parts ambition,
disquietude and lofty notions about where his internal struggles might
lead.“There was always a joke between my mom and Barack that he
would be the first black president,” his sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, said
in an interview over tea. “So there were intimations of all this early
on. He has always been restless. There was always somewhere else he
needed to go.”It was his early search for a cultural identity on
this plumeria-scented island populated with people of diverse origins,
but relatively few blacks, that presaged his current political persona,
his sister suggested. “He couldn’t sit back and wait for the
answers to come to him,” said Ms. Soetoro-Ng, the child of Mr. Obama’s
mother from another marriage, who remains close to him. “He had to
pursue those answers actively. People from very far-away places collide
here, and cultures collide, and there is a blending and negotiation
that is constant.”She continued, “I think Hawaii gave him a
sense that a lot of different voices and textures can sort of live
together, however imperfectly, and he would walk in many worlds and
feel a level of comfort.”The political narrative of Mr. Obama
was written about 4,500 miles and a cultural universe away from here,
largely in Illinois. But the seeds of his racial consciousness, its
attendant alienation and political curiosity appear to have been
planted in Hawaii. There was, by the description of his
classmates, coaches and teachers, their Barry, the one who still looks
remarkably like the picture in his yearbook, smiling under his Afro, or
posing somewhat stiffly with other children under a sign “Mixed Races
of America.” That Barry had a confident gait, a cheerful smile and a B average.“He
had the same exact mannerisms then as he does now,” said Eric Kusunoki,
Mr. Obama’s homeroom teacher at the Punahou School. “When he walked up
to give that speech at the Democratic convention, we recognized him
right away by the way he walked. He was well liked by everybody, a very
charismatic guy.”And there was the other Barry, the child of a
white American mother, Ann Dunham, who died in 1995, and a Kenyan
father, also named Barack, who left when Mr. Obama was young and who is
also dead. That Barry, described in Mr. Obama’s book, “Dreams From My
Father,” was the one whose young classmate once asked him if his
“father ate people,” who endured whispered racial epithets, whose sense
of being a misfit haunted him into high school, where at times, he
says, he hid behind a haze of marijuana smoke and unhappiness.“He struggled here with the idea that people were pushing an identity
on him, what it meant to be a black man,” said Ms. Soetoro-Ng, whose
own father was Indonesian.“He was trying to balance that with a
desire he already had then to name himself,” she said. “There were not
a lot of people here who were engaged in that process. Their identities
were more solidly assumed. Having a community that embraced you without
question was something that most people had. But he had lived in
Indonesia, had a father who was absent but whose presence loomed large
and a mother who had lived in 13 places.” As a result, she
said, Mr. Obama, while “not a brooding young man — he played sports and
formed close friendships and wasn’t overly serious” — often “wrapped
himself in his own solitude.” While Mr. Obama has several half
siblings from his father’s other marriages, Ms. Soetoro-Ng, 39, is the
only one he spent significant time with as a child. He spoke at her
wedding, and he sees her each Christmas when he comes to Hawaii. As
a child, living at times with his mother and at other times with his
maternal grandparents, Mr. Obama straddled the worlds of a cloistered
private school and a comforting if knotty existence among family
members, accompanied by a cast of marginalized older men and poets
attached to his grandfather and largely unknown to his largely
privileged classmates. Mr. Obama, whose parents met at the University of Hawaii, was born here on Aug. 4, 1961.In
1967, he moved with his mother to live with her second husband in
Indonesia. When he was 10, the family returned to Oahu, where he lived
until graduating from high school.
One Place Where Obama Goes Elbow to Elbow
Message Mer 6 Fév - 23:28 par mihou
June 1, 2007

One Place Where Obama Goes Elbow to Elbow


Last Christmas, Senator Barack Obama
flew to Hawaii to contemplate a presidential bid in the peace of his
childhood home. But there, on a humid playground near Waikiki Beach, he
found himself being roughed up by some of his best friends. It was the
third and final game of the group’s annual three-on-three basketball
showdown, and with the score nearly tied, things were getting dirty.
“Every time he tried to score, I fouled him,” Martin Nesbitt
recalled. “I grabbed him, I’d hit his arm, I’d hold him.” Michael
Ramos, another participant, explained, “No blood, no foul.”
Mr. Obama, like everyone else on the court, was laughing. And with a
head fake, a bit of contact and a jumper that seemed out of his range,
Mr. Obama sank the shot that won the game.
From John F. Kennedy’s sailing to Bill Clinton’s golf mulligans to John Kerry’s
windsurfing, sports has been used, correctly or incorrectly, as a
personality decoder for presidents and presidential aspirants. So,
armchair psychologists and fans of athletic metaphors, take note:
Barack Obama is a wily player of pickup basketball, the version of the
game with unspoken rules, no referee and lots of elbows. He has been
playing since adolescence, on cracked-asphalt playgrounds and at
exclusive health clubs, developing a quick offensive style, a
left-handed jump shot and relationships that have extended into the
political arena.
If one were somehow to play a highlight reel of Mr. Obama’s on-court
exploits, it would start in Hawaii, with a pudgy junior high school
student in short shorts and high socks who had a Julius Erving poster
plastered on his bedroom wall.
It might include the time he and several Harvard Law School
classmates played inmates at a Massachusetts prison; the students were
terrified to win or lose, because the convicts lining the court had bet
on both outcomes. (“I got two packs on you!” they called out.)
Cut to the future Mrs. Obama asking her brother to
take her new boyfriend out on the court, to make sure he was not the
type to hog the ball or call constant fouls. The reel might then show
Mr. Obama, an Illinois Democrat, playing with former NBA stars in a
tournament fund-raiser for his Senate campaign, and at the family
gatherings that always seem to end with everyone out by the hoop next
to the garage.
Basketball has little to do with Mr. Obama’s presidential bid — in
fact, he has trouble finding time to shoot baskets anymore — but until
recently, it was one of the few constants in his life.
At first, it was a tutorial in race, a way for a kid with a white
mother, a Kenyan father and a peripatetic childhood to establish the
African-American identity that he longed for. In “Dreams From My
Father,” Mr. Obama described basketball as a comfort to a boy whose
father was mostly absent, and who was one of only a few black youths at
his school. “At least on the basketball court I could find a community
of sorts,” he wrote.


More Video »

Craig Robinson, Mr. Obama’s brother-in-law, said: “He didn’t know
who he was until he found basketball. It was the first time he really
met black people.”
Now, Mr. Obama’s friends say, basketball has been his escape from
the sport of politics, but also a purer version of it, with no decorous
speeches, no careful consensus — just unrestrained competition.
“He can be himself, it’s a safe haven, he can let his competitive
juices flow and tease his buddies,” Mr. Nesbitt said. “It’s just a
relaxing respite from the every-moment and every-word scrutinization
that he gets.”
Before Rickey Green, a former NBA all-star, played with Mr. Obama in
a 2004 Senate campaign fund-raiser, “I didn’t think he could play at
all, to be honest with you,” Mr. Green said. But “he’s above average,”
for a pickup player, Mr. Green said. “He’s got a nice little left-hand
shot and some knowledge of the game.”
Mr. Robinson, now the coach of Brown University’s
men’s team, said the 6-foot-2 senator is too skinny to be an imposing
presence, but he is fast, with good wind even when he was a smoker. Mr.
Obama is left-handed, and his signature move is to fake right and veer
left, surprising players used to guarding right-handed competitors.
On the court, Mr. Obama is confident, even a bit boastful.
“If he would hit a couple buckets, he would let you know about it,”
said Alexi Giannoulias, who played in the late 1990s with Mr. Obama at
the East Bank Club, a luxurious spot in downtown Chicago.
He is gentleman enough to call fouls on himself: Steven Donziger, a
law school classmate, has heard Mr. Obama mutter, “my bad,” tossing the
other team the ball.
But “he knew how to get in the mix when he needed to,” Mr.
Giannoulias said. “There are always elbows, there’s always a little bit
of jersey tucking and tugging,” he said, continuing, “Sometimes you
gotta do what you gotta do to win.”
The men — and it is generally men — who play with Mr. Obama are not,
they will have you know, the paunchy, lumbering type. “Most of the guys
who played in our little circle are former players in college or pros,”
said Mr. Robinson, who is still Princeton’s fourth-leading scorer of
all time. “They’re real high level.”
Mr. Obama cannot match their technical prowess, say those who played
regularly with him. But he is fiercely competitive, and makes up for
his deficits with collaboration and strategy. “He’s very good at
finding a way to win when he’s playing with people who are supposedly
stronger,” Mr. Nesbitt said.
At country clubs across the land, politicians network and raise
money over rounds of golf, a sport Mr. Obama also plays. But Chicago is
a basketball town, and over the years, Mr. Obama’s gymmates have become
loyal allies and generous backers.
Mr. Nesbitt, an owner and executive at an airport parking company
and chairman of the Chicago Housing Authority’s board of commissioners,
helped Mr. Obama get to know Penny Pritzker, who is now his national
finance chairwoman.
Arne Duncan, a top Chicago public school official, is helping with Mr. Obama’s education platform.
Mr. Giannoulias met Mr. Obama on the court, and thanks in part to
his backing, is now the Illinois state treasurer. Other regular
gymmates include the president of the Cook County Board of
Commissioners, the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health
and several investment bankers who were early and energetic
Though some of these men could afford to build courts at their own
homes, they pride themselves on the democratic nature of basketball, on
showing up at South Side parks and playing with whoever is around. At
the University of Chicago court where he and Mr. Obama used to play, “You might have someone from the street and a potential Nobel Prize winner on the same team,” Mr. Duncan said. “It’s a great equalizer.”
It is a theme that runs throughout Mr. Obama’s basketball career: a
desire to be perceived as a regular guy despite great advantage and
success. As a teenager, he slipped away from his tony school to
university courts populated by “gym rats and has-beens” who taught him
“that respect came from what you did and not who your daddy was,” Mr.
Obama wrote.
Later, the Harvard game against the prison inmates, said Hill
Harper, who organized it, was intended to show them that “we support
you, we’re not removed from everything going on.”
But the easy friendships Mr. Obama once struck up on the court are a
thing of the past. Lately, the rule in the family is “No more new
friends,” Mr. Robinson said. “You don’t know what people’s real agendas
Now, for exercise, Mr. Obama pounds treadmills at hotel gyms. He
played a bit last year, with American troops on military bases in
Kuwait and Djibouti, and again at Christmas. His staff members laugh
when asked if the senator has had any playing time since coming to
Washington or hitting the campaign trail. (“I dream of playing
basketball,” Mr. Obama said in a television interview on Tuesday.)
Before the first Democratic debate in South Carolina, Mr. Robinson
reserved a court and a slot on Mr. Obama’s schedule, hoping the
candidate could blow off some steam before the big night. It did not
The solution, Mr. Obama’s friends say, is for him to win the presidency, so they can all play together at the White House.
“I always tease him about that,” Mr. Nesbitt said. “If you win, you gotta have a hoop.”
In Law School, Obama Found Political Voice
Message Mer 6 Fév - 23:42 par mihou
January 28, 2007

In Law School, Obama Found Political Voice


Editors' Note Appended

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 23 — The peers who elected Barack Obama as the first black president of the Harvard
Law Review say he was a natural leader, an impressive student, a nice
guy. But in the 1990 Revue — the graduating editors’ gleeful parody of
their elite publication — they said quite a bit more.
“I was born in Oslo, Norway, the son of a Volvo factory worker and
part-time ice fisherman,” a mock self-tribute begins. “My mother was a
backup singer for Abba. They were good folks.” In Chicago, “I
discovered I was black, and I have remained so ever since.”
After his election, the Faux-bama says, he united warring students
into “a happy, cohesive folk,” while “empowering all the folks out
there in America who didn’t know about me by giving a series of
articulate and startlingly mature interviews to all the folks in the
In his two memoirs and the biographical video on his Web site,
Senator Obama’s legal education is barely a blip, one of the least
known chapters of his life. But for the Illinois Democrat who is all
but certainly running for the presidency, Harvard was the place where
he first became a political sensation.
He arrived there as an unknown, Afro-wearing community organizer who
had spent years searching for his identity; by the time he left, he had
his first national news media exposure, a book contract and a shot of
confidence from running the most powerful legal journal in the country.
As the ribbing in the Revue suggests, Mr.
Obama was realizing the power of his own biography. He proved deft at
navigating an institution scorched with ideological battles, many of
which revolved around race. He developed a leadership style based more
on furthering consensus than on imposing his own ideas. Surrounded by
students who enjoyed the sound of their own voices, Mr. Obama cast
himself as an eager listener, sometimes giving warring classmates the
impression that he agreed with all of them at once.
Friends say he did not want anyone to assume they knew his mind —
and because of that, even those close to him did not always know
exactly where he stood. It is a tendency that could prove perilous on
the campaign trail, as voters, rivals and the news media try to fix the
positions of a senator with only two years in office.
“He then and now is very hard to pin down,” said Kenneth Mack, a
classmate and now a professor at the law school, referring to the
senator’s on-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand style.
Charles J. Ogletree Jr., another Harvard law professor and a mentor
of Mr. Obama, said, “He can enter your space and organize your thoughts
without necessarily revealing his own concerns and conflicts.”
Many of his former professors and classmates say they are cheering
on Mr. Obama, 45, in his candidacy. But the skills he displayed in law
school may not serve him as well in American presidential politics,
which sometimes rewards other qualities — like delivering sound bites
instead of deliberateness or fidelity to a base of supporters instead
of compromise.
The law review is “fairly disconnected from the breadth and the
rough and tumble of real politics,” said Bruce Spiva, a former review
editor who now practices civil rights law in Washington. “It’s an
election among a closed group. It’s more like electing a pope.”
Mr. Obama declined to comment about his time at Harvard. He arrived
at the law school in 1988 with a well-inked passport — he had grown up
in Hawaii and Indonesia, son of a black Kenyan father and a white
American mother — and years of community organizing experience in
Chicago, making him, at 27, an elder statesman among the students who
had tested and term-papered their way straight there.
Mr. Obama spent much of his time alone, curtailing his dating life
after his first summer, when he met his future wife, a Harvard Law
graduate named Michelle Robinson who was working in Chicago. He often
played pickup basketball, replacing his deliberative off-court style
with sharp elbows and aggressive grabs for the ball.
Along with 40-odd classmates, he won a precious spot on the law
review at the end of his first year through grades and a writing
competition. But the next year, when other students implored him to run
for the presidency, he demurred; he wanted to return to community work
in Chicago, he said, and the credential would be no help. Late in the
process, he finally agreed, saying he might be uniquely able to heal
the review’s partisan divisions.
The election was an all-day affair with the ego-crushing drama of a
reality TV show. Inside Pound Hall, the editors picked apart the
intellectual and social skills of the 19 contenders, eliminating them
in batches. At the last moment, the conservative faction, its initial
candidates defeated, threw its support to Mr. Obama. “Whatever his
politics, we felt he would give us a fair shake,” said Bradford
Berenson, a former associate White House counsel in the Bush
The two finalists were invited back into the room. But before the
winner could be announced, Mr. Mack, a black student who had rejoined
the editors after being eliminated, lunged toward Mr. Obama, so moved
by the barrier that had just fallen that he embraced him tightly, tears
streaming down both men’s cheeks.
Newspapers and magazines swarmed around the first black student to
win the most coveted spot at the most vaunted club at one of America’s
most prestigious institutions. In interviews, Mr. Obama was modest and
careful. (In a rare slip, he told The Associated Press: “I’m not
interested in the suburbs. The suburbs bore me.”) He signed a contract
to write a memoir. A prankster posted a cast list for a movie version
of his life, starring Blair Underwood. When Mr. Underwood visited the
school, he questioned Mr. Obama for material for “L.A. Law.”
“People were always asking me, do young black attorneys really exist
like that?” Mr. Underwood said in a recent interview. “I would refer to
Winning the job was simpler than doing it. The president had to
reject articles by some of the school’s famous professors and persuade
a divided group of editors to stop arguing and start editing.
“I have worked in the Supreme Court and the White House and I never
saw politics as bitter as at Harvard Law Review in the early ’90s,” Mr.
Berenson said. “The law school was populated by a bunch of would-be
Daniel Websters harnessed to extreme political ideologies.” They were
so ardent that they would boo and hiss one another in class.
Even trickier, Mr. Obama was the most prominent minority student on
a campus shaken by racial politics. A group agitating for greater
faculty diversity occupied the dean’s office and sued the school for
discrimination; Derrick Bell, a black law professor, resigned over the
The law review struggled to decide whether affirmative action should
factor into the selection of editors, and how much voice to give to
critical race theorists, who argued that the legal system was
inherently biased against minorities. That drew the ridicule of
conservative students.
And it left the new president with a difficult choice. If he failed
to use his office to criticize Harvard, Mr. Obama would anger black and
liberal students; by speaking out, he would risk dragging himself and
the review into the center of shrill debates.
People had a way of hearing what they wanted in Mr. Obama’s words.
Earlier, after a long, tortured discussion about whether it was better
to be called “black” or “African-American,” Mr. Obama dismissed the
question, saying semantics did not matter as much as real-life issues,
recalled Cassandra Butts, still a close friend. According to Mr.
Ogletree, students on each side of the debate thought he was endorsing
their side. “Everyone was nodding, Oh, he agrees with me,” he said.
As the president of the review, Mr. Obama once again walked a
delicate line. He served on the board of the Black Law Students
Association, often speaking passionately about the tempest of the week,
but in a way that white classmates say made them feel reassured rather
than defensive. He distanced himself from bombast; he did a mischievous
impersonation of the Rev. Jesse Jackson
when he came to speak on campus, recalled Franklin Amanat, now a
federal prosecutor in Brooklyn. Mr. Obama’s boldest moment came at a
rally for faculty diversity, where he compared Professor Bell to Rosa Parks.
But mainly, Mr. Obama stayed away from the extremes of campus
debate, often choosing safe topics for his speeches. At the black law
students’ annual conference, he exhorted students to remember the
obligations that came with their privileged education. His speeches,
delivered in the oratorical manner of a Baptist minister, were more
memorable for style than substance, Mr. Mack said.
“It’s the inspiration of the speech rather than the specific content,” he said.
Just as he does now that he is a senator, Mr. Obama spoke then about
his own biography — initially, Mr. Ogletree said, to correct anyone who
assumed he had acquired his position with ease. His message, Mr.
Ogletree said, was, “Don’t look at my success and assume that I have
had a silver spoon in my mouth and gold coins in my hand.”
During the constant arguments about race and merit, everyone could
point to Mr. Obama and find justification for their views. He had
acknowledged benefiting from affirmative action in the past, so those
who supported it saw him as the happy product of their beliefs.
But those who opposed it saw his presidency as the triumph of
meritocracy. He was a black man who had helped one of Harvard’s most
celebrated professors, Laurence H. Tribe, with an article on law and physics, and would graduate magna cum laude.
Another of Mr. Obama’s techniques relied on his seemingly limitless
appetite for hearing the opinions of others, no matter how redundant or
extreme. That could lead to endless debates — a mouse infestation at
the review office provoked a long exchange about rodent rights — as
well as some uncertainty about what Mr. Obama himself thought about the
issue at hand.
In dozens of interviews, his friends said they could not remember
his specific views from that era, beyond a general emphasis on
diversity and social and economic justice.
Instead, they wonder how the style of leadership they observed on
campus could translate to another kind of historic presidency.
“The things that make law school politics fractious are different
from the things that make American politics fractious,” said Ron Klain,
who preceded Mr. Obama at the law review and later served as Vice
President Al Gore’s chief of staff. Mr. Klain has watched the senator’s rise.
“The interesting caveat,” he said, “is that is a style of leadership
more effective running a law review than running a country.”

Editors' Note: January 30, 2007
A front-page article on Sunday reported on Barack Obama’s years at Harvard Law School. It included a quotation from Ron Klain, former chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore,
who said that Mr. Obama’s inclusive leadership style as president of
the Harvard Law Review would not be as effective in running a country.
The Times later learned that Mr. Klain is an informal adviser to Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., Democrat of Delaware,
who is expected to announce on Wednesday that he is running for
president. Mr. Klain’s affiliation with the Biden campaign should have
been disclosed in the article.
Also, a picture caption with the continuation of the article
misstated the timing of the photograph, taken in the apartment of one
of Mr. Obama’s friends. It was taken during the 1990 midterm elections,
not during the 1990 election for the Harvard Law Review.
March 18, 2004

As Quickly as Overnight, a Democratic Star Is Born


In his quest for the Democratic nomination
for the United States Senate, Barack Obama was, by many measures,
supposed to lose. One opponent was a multimillionaire pouring his own
cash into the race. Another was a loyal statewide official who was
expected to bring the party's ward troops out in force on election day.
But Mr. Obama, a state senator from Chicago, awoke Wednesday to
a deluge of national attention, a result of his overwhelming victory
the night before by margins unforeseen by any polls or guesses. John
Kerry called. So did Senator Tom Daschle and Terry McAuliffe, the
Democratic national chairman. And the phone kept ringing. Overnight,
Mr. Obama, a former civil rights lawyer, has become a treasured
commodity in the Democratic Party nationally, in part because Democrats
see the Illinois seat as one they may easily snatch back from
Republicans in November, and in part because Mr. Obama would be the
only black member of the Senate. ''I think it's fair to say
that the conventional wisdom was we could not win,'' Mr. Obama told a
ballroom packed with his supporters late Tuesday night. ''We didn't
have enough money. We didn't have enough organization. There was no way
that a skinny guy from the South Side with a funny name like Barack
Obama could ever win a statewide race. ''Sixteen months later
we are here, and Democrats from all across Illinois -- suburbs, city,
downstate, upstate, black, white, Hispanic, Asian -- have declared:
Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!'' If Mr. Obama had drawn
little notice outside of his home state, that began changing within
hours of the polls' closing. ''This is like being shot from a cannon,
in terms of the demands on your time,'' said David Axelrod, a political
consultant for the Obama campaign. Party leaders began
speculating where Mr. Obama, a Harvard-educated, polished orator, might
fit into a national political scene if he defeated Jack Ryan, the
Republican nominee for the seat that a fellow Republican, Peter G.
Fitzgerald, had decided to give up. And political experts mulled
history: there have been only two black members of the Senate since
Reconstruction, including one from Illinois, Carol Moseley Braun. ''I
think Barack Obama is one of the most interesting and capable
individuals that is running this time, if not in any election,''
Senator Jon Corzine of New Jersey, chairman of the Democratic
Senatorial Campaign Committee, said Wednesday. ''Frankly, he will be
one of the easier candidates to raise resources for.'' But if
Mr. Obama, 42, was feeling the heat of rising national expectations, he
did not show it as he flew around the state Wednesday afternoon to
thank voters in places like Springfield, Quincy and Marion. He said he
saw matters of race as less important to his primary victory than the
issues he had talked about: a mostly liberal collection of ideas about
health care, education and the economy, all sharply critical of the
Bush administration. ''This election probably signals the
maturing of not just black voters but Illinois voters across the
board,'' Mr. Obama said in a telephone interview in between his
downstate stops. People showed, he said, that they ''are more
interested in the message than the color of the messenger.'' ''I
have an unusual name and an exotic background, but my values are
essentially American values,'' Mr. Obama said. ''I'm rooted in the
African-American community, but I'm not limited by it. I think this
election shows that.'' Mr. Obama (pronounced oh-BAH-mah), whose
father was Kenyan and whose mother was a white American, worked hard
during the primary campaign to pursue the constituencies of Harold
Washington, Chicago's first black mayor, and of Paul Simon, a white
senator from downstate known for his independent views. So he had been
expected to do well among black voters and liberal whites. The
results showed that he had succeeded at that, but also that he had won
unexpected support from centrist white Chicagoans and white
suburbanites in the counties that surround Chicago. In a field
of seven, Mr. Obama received more than 52 percent of the vote statewide
while his closest competitor, State Comptroller Dan Hynes, whose family
has long held power within Chicago's Democratic Party, had less than 24
percent. Mr. Obama even won in Mr. Hynes's predominantly white home
ward on Chicago's North Side. As recently as three weeks ago,
polls showed both Mr. Obama and Mr. Hynes trailing Blair Hull, who
spent $29 million of his own money on the race. But Mr. Hull's campaign
suddenly imploded over his former wife's accusations that he had
behaved violently toward her. In the end, Mr. Hull received
just 10 percent of the vote. But many analysts had presumed that his
onetime supporters would vote for Mr. Hynes, who like Mr. Hull is
white. They turned instead to Mr. Obama. Mr. Obama grew up in
Hawaii, raised mainly by his mother and his grandparents. He graduated
from Columbia and Harvard Law, and was the first African-American
president of The Harvard Law Review. As a young adult, he moved
to Chicago, where he worked as a community organizer in struggling
neighborhoods, then as a civil rights lawyer in cases involving voting
rights and employment discrimination. He and his wife, Michelle, have
two young girls and live in Hyde Park, a South Side neighborhood. He
lectures at the University of Chicago Law School. In the State
Senate, Mr. Obama has pressed to overhaul the Illinois death penalty
system, to add more health care services for the poor, to expand early
childhood education programs, to improve the state's system of juvenile
justice and to create a state earned-income tax credit. In
2000, Mr. Obama ran for the United States House, facing a Democratic
incumbent, Representative Bobby L. Rush. Mr. Rush won the primary, and
in this year's race supported Mr. Hull -- a sign, some here thought,
that there would be a rift among black leadership in Chicago. On
Wednesday, all of Mr. Obama's opponents of the day before met with him
for breakfast. So did the Democratic leaders statewide. Even Mr. Rush
was there, Mr. Obama said. From here on, the State Senate's president,
Emil Jones Jr., maintained after the meeting, ''this will be one
unified force.''
Barack Obama’s Feb. 5 2008 Speech
Message Mer 6 Fév - 23:48 par mihou
February 5, 2008

Barack Obama’s Feb. 5 Speech

following is a transcript of Senator Barack Obama’s speech to
supporters after the Feb. 5 nominating contests, as provided by Federal
News Service.
BARACK OBAMA: Thank you. (Cheers, applause.) Thank you. Thank

(Chants of "Obama! Obama!")

Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you.

Well, first of all, let me just say I could not have a better
senior senator than our great senator from the state of Illinois, Dick
Durbin. (Cheers, applause.)

I have too many friends to mention each one of them individually.
But it is good to be back home. (Cheers, applause.) It is good to be
home. It is good to be home. It is good to have Michelle home.
(Cheers, applause.) The girls are with us tonight, but we asked them,
"Do you want to come on stage?" And Malia, our nine-year-old, said,
"Daddy, you know that's not my thing." (Laughter.) So they're
upstairs doing what they do. (Laughter.)

Before I begin, I just want to send my condolences to the victims
of the storms that hit Tennessee and Arkansas today. They are in our
thoughts and in our prayers, and we hope that our federal government
will respond quickly and rapidly to make sure that they get all the
help that they need. (Applause.)

The polls are just closing in California. (Cheers, applause.)
And the votes are still being counted in cities and towns across
America. But there is one thing --

AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you, Barack.

MR. OBAMA: You know I love you back. (Laughter, cheers,
applause.) But there is one thing on this February night that we do
not need the final results to know. Our time has come. (Cheers,
applause.) Our time has come. Our movement is real. (Cheers,
applause.) And change is coming to America. (Cheers, applause.)

Only a few hundred miles from here, almost one year ago to the
day, as Dick said, we stood on the steps of the old state capitol to
reaffirm a truth that was spoken there so many generations ago, that a
house divided cannot stand -- (cheers) -- that we are more than a
collection of red states and blue states. We are and always will be
the United States of America. (Cheers, applause.)

(Chants of "USA! USA! USA!")

What began as a whisper in Springfield soon carried across the
cornfields of Iowa, where farmers and factory workers, students and
seniors stood up in numbers we have never seen before. They stood up
to say that maybe this year we don't have to settle for politics where
scoring points is more important than solving problems. (Cheers,
applause.) Maybe this year we can finally start doing something about
health care we can't afford. (Cheers.) Maybe this year we can start
doing something about mortgages we can't pay. Maybe this year, this
time can be different. (Cheers, applause.)

Their voices echoed from the hills of New Hampshire to the
deserts of Nevada, where teachers and cooks and kitchen workers stood
up to say that maybe Washington doesn't have to be run by lobbyists
anymore. (Cheers, applause.) Maybe the voices of the American people
can finally be heard again. (Cheers, applause.)

They reached the coast of South Carolina, when people said that
maybe we don't have to be divided by race and region and gender --
(cheers, applause) -- that the crumbling schools are stealing the
future of black children and white children -- (cheers, applause) --
that we can come together and build an America that gives every child
everywhere the opportunity to live out their dreams. This time can be
different. (Cheers, applause.)

And today, on this Tuesday in February, in states north and
south, east and west, what began as a whisper in Springfield has
swelled to a chorus of millions calling for change. (Cheers,
applause.) It's a chorus that cannot be ignored, a chorus that cannot
be deterred. This time can be different because this campaign for the
presidency of the United States of America is different. (Cheers,

(Chants of "Yes, We Can! Yes, We Can!")

It's different not because of me. It's different because of you
-- (cheers, applause) -- because you are tired of being disappointed
and you're tired of being let down. (Cheers, applause.) You're tired
of hearing promises made and plans proposed in the heat of a campaign,
only to have nothing change when everyone goes back to Washington.
(Cheers, applause.)

Nothing changes because lobbyists just write another check or
politicians start worrying about how to win the next election instead
of why they should -- (cheers, applause) -- or because they focus on
who's up and who's down instead of who matters.

And while Washington is consumed with the same drama and
divisions and distractions, another family puts up a "For sale" sign
in their front yard, another factory shuts its doors, another soldier
waves goodbye as he leaves on another tour of duty in a war that
should have never been authorized and should have never been waged --
(cheers, applause) -- that goes on and on and on. (Cheers, applause.)

But in this election, at this moment, you are standing up all
across this country to say, "Not this time" -- (cheers) -- "not this

(Crowd says in unison, "Not this year.")

The stakes are too high and the challenges too great to play the
same Washington game with the same Washington players and somehow
expect a different result. This time must be different. This time we
have to turn the page. This time we have to write a new chapter in
American history. (Cheers, applause.) This time we have to seize the
moment. (Cheers, applause.)

Now, this isn't about me and it's not about Senator Clinton. As
I've said before, she was a friend before this campaign. She'll be a
friend after it's over. (Cheers.) I respect her. I respect her as a
colleague. I congratulate her on her victories tonight. She's been
running an outstanding race.

But this fall, this fall we owe the American people a real
choice. (Cheers, applause.) We have to choose between change and
more of the same. We have to choose between looking backwards and
looking forward. (Cheers, applause.) We have to choose between our
future and our past.

It's a choice between going into this election with Republicans
and independents already united against us or going against their
nominee with a campaign that has united Americans of all parties, from
all backgrounds, from all races, from all religions, around a common
purpose. (Cheers, applause.)

It's a choice between having a debate with the other party about
who has the most experience in Washington or having one about who's
most likely to change Washington -- (cheers, applause) -- because
that's a debate that we can win. (Cheers, applause.)

It's a choice between a candidate who's taken more money from
Washington lobbyists than either Republican in this race and a
campaign that has not taken a dime of their money because we have been
funded by you. You have funded this campaign. (Cheers, applause.)

(Chants of "Yes, We Can! Yes, We Can!")

And if I am your nominee, my opponent will not be able to say
that I voted for the war in Iraq, because I didn't -- (cheers) -- or
that I gave George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran, because I
haven't -- (cheers, applause) -- or that I support the Bush-Cheney
doctrine of not talking to leaders we don't like, because I profoundly
disagree with that approach. (Cheers, applause.) And he will not be
able to say that I wavered on something as fundamental as whether or
not it's okay for America to use torture, because it's never okay.
That is the choice in this election. (Cheers, applause.)

The Republicans running for president have already tied
themselves to the past. They speak of a 100-year war in Iraq. They
talk about billions more in tax breaks for the wealthiest few, who
don't need them and didn't even ask for them, tax breaks that mortgage
our children's future on a mountain of debt at a time when there are
families who can't pay their medical bills and students who can't pay
their tuition. (Cheers, applause.)

Those Republicans are running on the politics of yesterday. And
that is why our party must be the party of tomorrow. (Cheers,
applause.) And that is the party that I intend to lead as president
of the United States of America. (Cheers, applause.)

I'll be the president who ends the tax breaks to companies that
ship our jobs overseas -- (cheers) -- and start putting them in the
pockets of hard-working Americans who deserve them, and struggling
homeowners who deserve them and seniors who should retire with dignity
and respect, and deserve them. (Cheers, applause.)

I'll be the president who finally brings Democrats and
Republicans together to make health care affordable and available for
every single American. (Cheers, applause.)

We will put a college education within the reach of anyone who
wants to go. (Cheers, applause.) And instead of just talking about
how great our teachers are, we will reward them for their greatness
with more pay and better support. (Cheers, applause.)

And we will harness the ingenuity of farmers and scientists and
entrepreneurs to free this nation from the tyranny of oil once and for
all. (Cheers, applause.) And we will invest in solar and wind and
biodiesel, clean energy, green energy that can fuel economic
development for generations to come. That's what we're going to do
when I'm president of the United States. (Cheers, applause.)

When I'm president, we will put an end to the politics of fear --
(cheers, applause) -- a politics that uses 9/11 as a way to scare up
votes. We're going to start seeing 9/11 as a challenge that should
unite America and the world against the common threats of the 21st
century, terrorism and nuclear weapons, climate change and poverty,
genocide and disease. (Cheers, applause.)

We can do this. (Cheers, applause.) We can do this.

(Crowd says in unison, "Yes, we can.")

But it will not be easy. It will require struggle and it will
require sacrifice. There will be setbacks, and we will make mistakes.
And that is why we need all the help we can get. (Cheers, applause.)

So tonight I want to speak directly to all those Americans who
have yet to join this movement but still hunger for change. They know
it in their gut. They know we can do better than we're doing. They
know that we can take our politics to a higher level. But they're
afraid. They've been taught to be cynical. They're doubtful that it
can be done.

But I'm here to say tonight to all of you who still harbor those
doubts, we need you. (Cheers, applause.) We need you to stand with
us. (Cheers, applause.) We need you to work with us. (Cheers,
applause.) We need you to help us prove that together, ordinary
people can still do extraordinary things in the United States of
America. (Cheers, applause.)

I am blessed to be standing in the city where my own
extraordinary journey of service began. (Cheers, applause.) You
know, just a few miles from here, down on the south side, in the
shadow of a shuttered steel plant, it was there that I learned what it
takes to make change happen. I was a young organizer then -- in fact,
there are some folks here who I organized with -- a young organizer
intent on fighting joblessness and poverty on the south side.

And I still remember one of the very first meetings I put
together. We had worked on it for days. We had made phone calls. We
had knocked on doors. We had put out fliers. But on that night,
nobody showed up. (Laughter.) Our volunteers who had worked so hard
felt so defeated, they wanted to quit. And to be honest, so did I.
But at that moment, I happened to look outside and I saw some
young boys tossing stones at a boarded-up apartment building across
the street. They were like the boys in so many cities across the
country, little boys, but without prospects, without guidance, without
hope for the future. And I turned to the volunteers and I asked them,
"Before you quit, before you give up, I want you to answer one
question: What will happen to those boys if we don't stand up for
them?" (Cheers, applause.)

And those volunteers, they looked out that window and they saw
those boys and they decided that night to keep going, to keep
organizing, keep fighting for better schools, fighting for better
jobs, fighting for better health care. And I did too. And slowly but
surely, in the weeks and months to come, the community began to

You see, the challenges we face will not be solved with one
meeting in one night. It will not be resolved on even a Super Duper
Tuesday. Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if
we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for.
(Cheers, applause.) We are the change that we seek. We are the hope
of those boys who have so little, who've been told that they cannot
have what they dream, that they cannot be what they imagine. Yes,
they can. (Cheers, applause.)

We are the hope of the father who goes to work before dawn and
lies awake with doubt that tells him he cannot give his children the
same opportunities that someone gave him. Yes, he can.

(Crowd says in unison, "Yes, he can.")

We are the hope of the woman who hears that her city will not be
rebuilt, that she cannot somehow claim the life that was swept away in
a terrible storm. Yes, she can.

(Crowd says in unison, "Yes, she can.")

We are the hope of the future, the answer to the cynics who tell
us our house must stand divided, that we cannot come together, that we
cannot remake this world as it should be.

We know that we have seen something happen over the last several
weeks, over the past several months. We know that what began as a
whisper has now swelled to a chorus that cannot be ignored -- (cheers,
applause) -- that will not be deterred, that will ring out across this
land as a hymn that will heal this nation -- (cheers, applause) --
repair this world, make this time different than all the rest. Yes,
we can.

Let's go to work. Yes, we can. Yes, we can. Yes, we can.

(Chants of "Yes, We Can! Yes, We Can!")

Thank you, Chicago. Let's go get to work. I love you. (Cheers,
Clinton ou Obama? Les médias perdus dans les comptes

Par Guillemette Faure (Rue89) 17H28 07/02/2008
Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? 20080207FaureUsaCompteDelegues
Dans un commentaire publié sur Rue89, Anthropia nous demande
pourquoi le titre de notre article de nuit électorale ne signale pas
qu’Hillary Clinton a une légère avance sur son adversaire. Voilà qui ne
ferait pas plaisir à Barack Obama…
Le candidat démocrate vient en effet d’envoyer à la presse un
communiqué, tableau excel en pièce jointe, indiquant que dans la course
aux délégués qui voteront à la Convention du parti, il est en tête sur
son adversaire, avec 908 délégués contre 884. Sans surprise, Hillary
Clinton n’arrive pas à la même conclusion.
1. Qui a gagné?

En termes de suffrages
exprimés, les deux candidats sont extrêmement proches. Hillary Clinton
est à 50,2% (7347971) et Obama à 49,8% (7294851).
Mais le choix du nominé ne se fera pas en fonction du nombre de voix
mais du nombre de délégués. Pour gagner la nomination du parti
démocrate, il faut le soutien de 2025 d'entre eux (côté républicain, il
en faut 1191).
Combien en ont-ils? C’est là que ça devient amusant. Chaque média
obtient des résultats différents. Obama pense gagner avec 908 délégués
contre 884. NBC estime qu’il a obtenu une majorité des délégués du
supermardi mais qu’en faisant les comptes depuis le début, Hillary a
environ 70 délégués d’avance sur lui.

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? 20080207FaureUsaCompteDeleguesTab
2. Comment se fait-il que ces résultats soient différents?

Chaque média fait sa cuisine. Le processus des caucus (Iowa, Nevada)
fait que les délégués ne seront assurément déterminés que dans quelques
semaines. Obama les inclut (pas fou, il les a gagnés), d’autres, comme
le New York Times, ne veulent pas le faire,
tant qu’ils ne sont pas officiellement confirmés. Certains médias font
leurs comptes en y intégrant leurs estimations de "superdélégués" (voir
point 5), d’autres non.
3. Comment attribue-t-on les délégués?
Côté républicain, les choses sont assez simples. A chaque victoire
de primaire, le gagnant emporte tous les délégués de l’Etat, c’est le
système du "winner takes all" (certains introduisent une certaine part
de proportionelle avec des "winner takes all" organisés par
circonscription). D’où la stratégie (ratée) de Rudolph Giuliani de ne
pas faire campagne dans les six premiers Etats et de se concentrer sur
ceux où il pensait pouvoir arriver en tête.
Côté démocrate, c’est plus plus compliqué. Les délégués sont grosso
modo attribués proportionnellement au nombre de votes recueillis par
les candidats Etat par Etat (à partir d'un certain pourcentage des
voix). D’autres sont distribués en fonction du vote populaire district
par district, avec des règles qui peuvent varier. Pour compliquer le
tout, les circonscriptions ne pèsent pas toutes le même poids en terme
d'habitants (pour, comme dans le système national des grands électeurs,
avantager les régions les moins peuplées). C’est ce qui fait qu’Hillary
Clinton a pu gagner le Nevada avec cinq points d’avance sur son
adversaire, alors qu’Obama y a obtenu un délégué de plus.

4. Doit-on prendre en compte les délégués de Floride et du Michigan, côté démocrate?

La Floride et le Michigan "punis" par le parti pour avoir organisé
leurs primaires trop tôt, ne doivent pas être représentés par des
délégués. Les candidats s’étaient initialement engagés, par solidarité
avec le parti, à ne pas y faire campagne. Mais Hillary Clinton, qui a
obtenu le plus de voix dans ce scrutin pour du beurre, réclame
maintenant que les délégués de Floride soient intégrés dans les comptes
(elle a même organisé une fête de victoire en Floride pour augmenter la
pression psychologique sur le parti).
5. Qui sont les superdélégués?
Autre source de différend entre les décomptes: les "superdélégués".
Depuis 1980, pour se protéger des coups de foudre des militants pour
des candidats qui ne lui plairaient pas, l’establishment du parti
désigne environ 800 "superdélégués", certains élus localement,
d’autres, membres du parti: élus du Congrès, gouverneurs ou membres du
Democratic National Committee. Parmi eux, les anciens présidents Bill
Clinton et Jimmy Carter ainsi que leurs anciens vice-présidents.
Certains sont tenus par les résultats des urnes (les "pledged") tandis
que les "unpledged" choisissent pour qui ils votent (pour Bill Clinton,
on a des doutes). Quelques uns ont déjà annoncé qui ils soutiennent.
Mais il arrive que des super délégués s'engagent pour un candidat et
changent d'avis avant la Convention.
Si la course restait aussi serrée, les superdélégués pourraient
départager les deux candidats, raison pour laquelle ils sont ardemment
convoités. Hillary Clinton, qui a le soutien de l’establishment, est,
dans le décompte des médias qui incluent les superdélégués, en avance
sur Obama.
Le poids de ces derniers fait grincer, côté Obama. Pour le maire de Newark Cory Booker, que nous avons rencontré dans le New Jersey,
"ce serait malheureux que le processus soit subverti par des
superdélégués qui pourraient ne pas respecter la voix du peuple". Quand
on l’a rencontré, David Axelrod, directeur de campagne d’Obama,
affichait un optimisme limite langue de bois: "Les superdélégués vont
voter pour celui qui inspirera le plus les Américains. On sait que ce
candidat, c’est Barack Obama".
Barack Obama's 2004 Speech
Message Ven 8 Fév - 1:32 par mihou
Barack Obama's 2004 Speech

The Keynote Speech Before The Democratic National Convention That Made Him A Star

Comments Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? Icon_comment0

(CBS) Barack
Obama, a candidate for U.S. Senate in Illinois, delivered the keynote
address at the Democratic National Convention on July 27, 2004:

On behalf of the great state of Illinois, crossroads of a nation,
land of Lincoln, let me express my deep gratitude for the privilege of
addressing this convention. Tonight is a particular honor for me
because, let's face it, my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely.

My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village
in Kenya. He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin- roof
shack. His father, my grandfather, was a cook, a domestic servant to
the British.
But my grandfather had larger dreams for his son. Through hard
work and perseverance my father got a scholarship to study in a magical
place, America, that's shown as a beacon of freedom and opportunity to
so many who had come before him.

While studying here my father met my mother. She was born in a town on the other side of the world, in Kansas.

Her father worked on oil rigs and farms through most of the
Depression. The day after Pearl Harbor, my grandfather signed up for
duty, joined Patton's army, marched across Europe. Back home my
grandmother raised a baby and went to work on a bomber assembly line.
After the war, they studied on the GI Bill, bought a house through FHA
and later moved west, all the way to Hawaii, in search of opportunity.

And they too had big dreams for their daughter, a common dream born of two continents.

My parents shared not only an improbable love; they shared an
abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me
an African name, Barack, or "blessed," believing that in a tolerant
America, your name is no barrier to success.

They imagined me going to the best schools in the land, even though
they weren't rich, because in a generous America you don't have to be
rich to achieve your potential.

They're both passed away now. And yet I know that, on this night, they look down on me with great pride.

And I stand here today grateful for the diversity of my heritage,
aware that my parents' dreams live on in my two precious daughters.

I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American
story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that
in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.

Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation not
because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military,
or the size of our economy; our pride is based on a very simple
premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable
rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of

That is the true genius of America, a faith in simple dreams, an
insistence on small miracles; that we can tuck in our children at night
and know that they are fed and clothed and safe from harm; that we can
say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock
on the door; that we can have an idea and start our own business
without paying a bribe; that we can participate in the political
process without fear of retribution; and that our votes will be counted
-- or at least, most of the time.

This year, in this election, we are called to reaffirm our values
and our commitments, to hold them against a hard reality and see how we
are measuring up, to the legacy of our forbearers and the promise of
future generations.

And fellow Americans, Democrats, Republicans, independents, I say
to you, tonight, we have more work to do...... more work to do, for the
workers I met in Galesburg, Illinois, who are losing their union jobs
at the Maytag plant that's moving to Mexico, and now they're having to
compete with their own children for jobs that pay 7 bucks an hour; more
to do for the father I met who was losing his job and choking back the
tears wondering how he would pay $4,500 a month for the drugs his son
needs without the health benefits that he counted on; more to do for
the young woman in East St. Louis, and thousands more like her who have
the grades, have the drive, have the will, but don't have the money to
go to college.

Now, don't get me wrong, the people I meet in small towns and big
cities and diners and office parks, they don't expect government to
solve all of their problems. They know they have to work hard to get a
head. And they want to.

Go into the collar counties around Chicago, and people will tell
you: They don't want their tax money wasted by a welfare agency or by
the Pentagon.
Go into any inner-city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can't teach kids to learn.

They know that parents have to teach, that children can't achieve
unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and
eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting
white. They know those things.

People don't expect -- people don't expect government to solve all
their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a
slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in
America has a decent shot at life and that the doors of opportunity
remain open to all.

They know we can do better. And they want that choice.

In this election, we offer that choice. Our party has chosen a man
to lead us who embodies the best this country has to offer. And that
man is John Kerry.

John Kerry understands the ideals of community, faith and service
because they've defined his life. From his heroic service to Vietnam to
his years as prosecutor and lieutenant governor, through two decades in
the United States Senate, he has devoted himself to this country. Again
and again, we've seen him make tough choices when easier ones were
available. His values and his record affirm what is best in us.

John Kerry believes in an America where hard work is rewarded. So
instead of offering tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas, he
offers them to companies creating jobs here at home.

John Kerry believes in an America where all Americans can afford
the same health coverage our politicians in Washington have for

John Kerry believes in energy independence, so we aren't held
hostage to the profits of oil companies or the sabotage of foreign oil

John Kerry believes in the constitutional freedoms that have made
our country the envy of the world, and he will never sacrifice our
basic liberties nor use faith as a wedge to divide us.

And John Kerry believes that in a dangerous world, war must be an option sometimes, but it should never be the first option.

You know, a while back, I met a young man named Seamus in a VFW
hall in East Moline, Illinois. He was a good-looking kid, 6'2", 6'3",
clear eyed, with an easy smile. He told me he'd joined the Marines and
was heading to Iraq the following week.

And as I listened to him explain why he had enlisted -- the
absolute faith he had in our country and its leaders, his devotion to
duty and service -- I thought, this young man was all that any of us
might ever hope for in a child. But then I asked myself: Are we serving
Seamus as well as he's serving us?

I thought of the 900 men and women, sons and daughters, husbands
and wives, friends and neighbors who won't be returning to their own
hometowns. I thought of the families I had met who were struggling to
get by without a loved one's full income or whose loved ones had
returned with a limb missing or nerves shattered, but still lacked
long-term health benefits because they were Reservists.

When we send our young men and women into harm's way, we have a
solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why
they are going, to care for their families while they're gone, to tend
to the soldiers upon their return and to never, ever go to war without
enough troops to win the war, secure the peace and earn the respect of
the world.

Now, let me be clear. Let me be clear. We have real enemies in the
world. These enemies must be found. They must be pursued. And they must
be defeated.

John Kerry knows this. And just as Lieutenant Kerry did not
hesitate to risk his life to protect the men who served with him in
Vietnam, President Kerry will not hesitate one moment to use our
military might to keep America safe and secure.

John Kerry believes in America. And he knows that it's not enough
for just some of us to prosper. For alongside our famous individualism,
there's another ingredient in the American saga, a belief that we are
all connected as one people.

If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child.

If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for their
prescription and having to choose between medicine and the rent, that
makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandparent.

If there's an Arab-American family being rounded up without benefit
of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.

It is that fundamental belief -- it is that fundamental belief -- I
am my brother's keeper, I am my sisters' keeper -- that makes this
country work.

It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still
come together as a single American family: "E pluribus unum," out of
many, one.
Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide
us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics
of anything goes.

Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America; there's the United States of America.

There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America.

The pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and
blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But
I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue
states, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in
the red states.
We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we've got some gay friends in the red states.

There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.

We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

In the end, that's what this election is about. Do we participate
in a politics of cynicism, or do we participate in a politics of hope?

John Kerry calls on us to hope. John Edwards calls on us to hope.
I'm not talking about blind optimism here, the almost willful ignorance
that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don't think about it,
or health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it.

That's not what I'm talking. I'm talking about something more
substantial. It's the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing
freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores;
the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong
Delta; the hope of a millworker's son who dares to defy the odds; the
hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a
place for him, too.
Hope in the face of difficulty, hope in the face of uncertainty,
the audacity of hope: In the end, that is God's greatest gift to us,
the bedrock of this nation, a belief in things not seen, a belief that
there are better days ahead.

I believe that we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity.

I believe we can provide jobs for the jobless, homes to the
homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from
violence and despair.

I believe that we have a righteous wind at our backs, and that as
we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices
and meet the challenges that face us.

America, tonight, if you feel the same energy that I do, if you
feel the same urgency that I do, if you feel the same passion that I
do, if you feel the same hopefulness that I do, if we do what we must
do, then I have no doubt that all across the country, from Florida to
Oregon, from Washington to Maine, the people will rise up in November,
and John Kerry will be sworn in as president. And John Edwards will be
sworn in as vice president. And this country will reclaim its promise.
And out of this long political darkness a brighter day will come.

Thank you very much, everybody.

God bless you.

Thank you.
Obama Defeats Clinton in 3-State Sweep
Message Sam 9 Fév - 23:10 par mihou
February 9, 2008

Obama Defeats Clinton in 3-State Sweep

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? 10obama.xlarge10


Senator Barack Obama won powerful victories over Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
in Washington, Louisiana and Nebraska, giving him a Saturday sweep
going into a month when the Democratic nominating contests were
expected to favor him.
The successes come just as Mr. Obama is enjoying a strong advantage
over Mrs. Clinton in raising money. Still, the results were expected to
do little to settle the muddle in the delegate race that resulted after
the wave of contests last Tuesday in which the two candidates split up
states from coast to coast.
In Republican contests on Saturday, Mike Huckabee won in Kansas, an embarrassing setback for Senator John McCain
as he tries to rally the party around him as the nominee. The two were
locked in races in Louisiana and Washington that were too close to
call. CNN projected that Mr. Huckabee would win in Louisiana.
While Mr. Obama had been expected to win the contests on Saturday,
the margin of victories were surprising, particularly in Washington, a
predominately white state where he captured 57 percent of the vote in
caucus voting compared to Mrs. Clinton’s 31 percent. And in Nebraska,
which also held caucuses, he received an impressive 68 percent of the
vote to Mrs. Clinton’s 32 percent.
“Today, voters from the West Coast, the Gulf Coast and the heart of
America are joining the chorus of Americans who are choosing change
over more of the same failed politics in Washington. They see in Barack
Obama the best chance to beat John McCain in the fall, unite our
country, take on the special interests, and confront the challenges
facing working families,” said Obama campaign manager David Plouffe.
In the Lousiana primary, Mr. Obama received 57 percent of the vote to Mrs. Clinton’s 36 percent.
The results on the Republican side provided their own surprise,
particularly since Mr. Huckabee’s victories came as Mr. McCain seemed
headed to the nomination.
Mr. Huckabee declared that the voters had spoken: “They spoke with
one voice: they said I am the authentic conservative in this race.”
The McCain campaign played down Mr. Huckabee’s victories, saying they were expected.
“John McCain is the presumptive nominee in this race and our path
forward is unchanged by today’s results,” a spokeswoman, Jill
Hazelbaker, said. “Our focus remains the same: uniting the Republican Party to defeat Democrats in 2008.
Even before any results were in, Mr. Huckabee told reporters
Saturday that despite the daunting number of delegates Mr. McCain has
amassed, he was not pulling out of the race. Mr. Huckabee, a pastor
before he became governor of Arkansas, said: “I didn’t major in math. I
majored in miracles, and I still believe in them, too.”
In Washington, the Democratic Party
reported record-breaking numbers of people attending caucuses, with
early totals suggesting turnout would be nearly be nearly double what
it was in 2004 — itself a record year — when 100,000 Democrats caucused.
While Mr. Obama’s victories were impressive, the Democratic Party
awards delegates proportionally, so Mrs. Clinton stands to walk away
from the contests with a sizable number, and both campaigns have dug in
for a long and fierce delegate fight.
With the fight for the nomination extending beyond the 22 contests
on Feb. 5, voters in a fresh batch of states have suddenly found
themselves in the thick of the most competitive primary in a
generation, after years of casting votes well after the nominee was
effectively chosen.
The nominating fight now turns to Virginia, Maryland and the
District of Columbia, which hold their primaries on Tuesday. Mr. Obama
is considered well-positioned in those states.
The Republican contest seems more settled, with Mr. McCain holding a
nearly insurmountable lead in delegates over Mr. Huckabee. Still,
before the Kansas results came in Saturday, Mr. Huckabee addressed the
Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington and then told
reporters he had no intention of dropping out until one of the
Republican candidates amassed the 1,191 delegates needed to be the
Mr. McCain has 695 delegates so far, Mr. Huckabee, 159, and former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, 5.
Mr. McCain is far enough ahead in the delegate race that his
advisers have said it would be all but impossible for anyone else to
win the nomination. His other chief contender, Mitt Romney, bowed to those odds when he suspended his campaign on Thursday.
After the caucus vote in Kansas, Mr. Huckabee told reporters that
Republican leaders “ought to be begging me to stay in” the race. “It’s
an awfully weak party that can’t handle competition,” he was quoted as
saying by The Associated Press. “Competition breeds excellence.”
He compared himself to Ronald Reagan challenging Gerald R. Ford for the Republican nomination in 1976. “He was the pariah of the party,” he said. “Now people love Ronald Reagan.”
On the Democratic side, after being in Washington on Friday, Mrs.
Clinton and Mr. Obama switched coasts on Saturday, campaigning in Maine
, which holds its caucuses on Sunday. Both then headed to Virginia
where they were due to address about 4,000 Democratic officials and
activists Saturday night at the state party’s annual Jefferson-Jackson
day fund-raiser.
The dinner stands as a major barometer of support among the state’s
most dedicated Democrats with the two candidates virtually deadlocked
in their quest for national convention delegates three days before
Mid-Atlantic neighbors Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia
hold their primaries.
Then comes a brief intermission, followed by a string of election nights, some crowded, some not.
The date of March 4 looms large, with 370 delegates in primaries in Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island and Vermont.
In Louisiana meanwhile, exit polls showed about one in five voters
said gender was an important factor in their vote in the historic
Democratic contest to nominate either the first black or first woman
for president, The Associated Press reported. About as many said the
same thing about race. Of those whites who said race was an issue in
their vote, almost 9 in 10 of them voted for Mrs. Clinton, while blacks
who said it was important voted 9 in 10 for Mr. Obama. The racial gap
in Louisiana was more extreme than in many other states this year: 9 in
10 blacks voted for Mr. Obama, while 7 in 10 whites voted for Mrs.
Unlike previous Democratic contests, there was apparently no
significant gender gap, with men and women voting in similar ways, even
across races. Mrs. Clinton won the votes of most white men, a group she
has lost to Obama in some states but has tended to win in the South.
Those women who said gender was important to their vote went 6 in 10
for Mrs. Clinton, while women who said gender wasn’t important went 6
in 10 for Mr. Obama.
Voters over 50 years old were much more likely than those under 50
to say they were looking for a candidate with experience, and those
looking for experience voted overwhelmingly for Mrs. Clinton. While
older whites favored change and experience about evenly, more than half
of younger whites favored a candidate who would bring about needed
change. But even though Mr. Obama tends to be associated with change in
this campaign, most younger whites voted for Mrs. Clinton instead of
Obama. Blacks of all ages favored change, and they voted overwhelmingly
for Mr. Obama. Most younger voters were black, while most older voters
were white.
Given three choices, nearly half of Democratic voters said the
economy was the most important issue facing the country. About three in
10 said the war in Iraq and the rest said health care. Nine in 10
Democrats rated the national economy not good or poor. Mr. Obama had a
slight edge among those Democrats concerned about the economy and Iraq,
while Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama tied among voters concerned about
health care.
One the Republican side, one in three Republican voters said the
economy was the top issue. Each of the other three choices presented to
them — the war in Iraq, illegal immigration
and terrorism — was picked by one in five voters. Half of Republicans
viewed the economy positively, the A.P. reported. Mr. Huckabee had an
advantage among Republicans most concerned about the economy and
terrorism, while Mr. McCain had an advantage among voters concerned
about the war in Iraq. The two were about even among voters concerned
about immigration.
In the Republican race, almost half of the voters were born-again,
evangelical Christians, and most of them voted for Mr. Huckabee. The
former Baptist minister also won two-thirds of those voters who said
they were looking for a candidate who shares their values.
Mr. Huckabee won half the votes of Republicans favoring a candidate
who says what he believes, usually a quality associated with Mr.
McCain, who won only a third of those voters. Mr. McCain, who has
nicknamed his campaign bus after his “straight talk” theme, won
overwhelmingly among those Republicans who favored a candidate with
-The exit polls came from partial samples of 709 Democratic primary
voters and 368 Republican primary voters conducted by Edison Media
Research and Mitofsky International in 30 precincts across Louisiana on
Saturday. Margin of sampling error plus or minus 6 percentage points
for the Democratic primary and 8 points for the Republican.
On the campaign trail in Lewiston, Me., on Saturday, Mrs. Clinton
continued to emphasize that her health care package made her a better
contrast, and thus a better opponent, to Mr. McCain.
On the day before the Maine Democratic caucuses, Mrs. Clinton
disparaged Mr. Obama as being soft on the issue of health care, an
issue she has made a centerpiece of her campaign.
“I am the only candidate left in this race on either side who is
committed to universal health care,” she said. “It is a core value, it
is a human right. It is not a privilege.”
Mrs. Clinton spoke highly of John Edwards, who dropped out of the race before the Super Tuesday primaries.
“I want to compliment Senator Edwards, who is a fighter,” Mrs.
Clinton said. “There is a lot that John and I have in common. And I
intend to ask John Edwards to be a part of anything I do.”
A campaign spokeswoman said that Mrs. Clinton was not necessarily
naming Edwards as a running mate in the event of her nomination.
Maine appeared to be one of the post-Super Tuesday states where Mrs.
Clinton was very competitive with Mr. Obama, although there have been
no polls. A victory could help Mrs. Clinton blunt the edge of what many
analysts suggest will be Mr. Obama’s expected victories in some of the
other eight states voting before Ohio and Texas in March.
“If she wants to win before March, Maine is her best shot,” said Mark Brewer, a political scientist at the University of Maine in Orono.
At stake in Maine are 34 delegates, 10 of whom will be unpledged
superdelegates. They are allocated proportionately, and with the
national delegate count neck and neck, each one matters.
Analysts say that Mrs. Clinton could run well against Mr. Obama here
because many of Maine’s voters fit the demographic profile of voters
she has won elsewhere: older, blue-collar and heavily female, in a
state that is economically stressed. It has a large population of
people without college degrees and who make less than $50,000 a year.
Almost all voters here are white.
“The demographics don’t favor Obama,” said Amy Fried, also a
political scientist at the University of Maine. “But there are other
factors at work, like a populist, independent streak, that could work
for Obama.”
Mr. Obama is expected to do well with the state’s more affluent
voters in the southern part of the state and its many college students.
In addition, he has won most of the states that have held caucuses,
which require a strong organization and a more devoted following.
After flying in from Chicago, Mr. Obama went to Nicky’s, a popular
retro diner, for his first event, here in the northern half of the
state. He held a round table discussion in which he talked about the
economy, health-care costs and college tuition issues with four
middle-class voters, at least three of whom make less than $44,000.
Afterward, he drew 10,000 people to a thunderous rally here at the
Bangor Auditorium, where 7,000 people were packed to the rafters and
about 3,000 others constituted an overflow crowd outside, according to
official estimates.
He took some shots at Mr. McCain and Mrs. Clinton but fired up the crowd when he talked about hope. When John F. Kennedy looked up at the moon, Mr. Obama said, “he didn’t say, ‘Ah, it’s too far.’ He said, ‘Let’s go!’”
“This is our moment, Bangor” he declared. “This is our time.”
The caucuses in Maine take place on Sunday, with sites open at varying intervals throughout the day. The last closes at 8 P.M.
Officials are expecting a high turnout here, just as in other
states. In 2004, 17,000 Democrats turned out. About 4,000 absentee
ballots had been cast by Wednesday’s deadline.

Kate Zernike
reported from New York and Katharine Q. Seelye from Bangor, Me. Paul
Vitello, Steven Lee Myers and David D. Kirkpatrick contributed
reporting from Washington and Joel Elliott from Lewiston, Me. Mr. Obama Go To Washington? 10obama.xlarge10
Barack Obama peut-il encore perdre ?
Message Mer 27 Fév - 11:05 par mihou
Barack Obama peut-il encore perdre ? Entretien avec François Durpaire

Si Obama avait perdu onze élections de suite, plus personne
n’accorderait du crédit à sa candidature. C’est précisément ce qui
vient d’arriver à Hillary Clinton, et la presse semble ne pas se
résoudre à ce que sa défaite soit inéluctable. La question ne
serait-elle pas alors : Barack Obama peut-il encore perdre ?
L’historien François Durpaire, biographe du candidat démocrate, apporte
des éléments de réponse pour grioo.
Par Paul Yange

Re: Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington?
Message Mer 27 Fév - 11:05 par mihou
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Vous êtes l’auteur de L’Amérique de Barack Obama, aux
éditions Démopolis. Qu’est ce qui vous a poussé à vous intéresser à
Barack Obama avant qu’il ne devienne le chouchou des médias français ?

L’intérêt de Barack Obama au delà de ses chances dans la campagne c’est
qu’il interroge l’évolution des identités aux Etats-Unis. Il est métis
africain, et pas afro-américain, même si au sens strict du terme il est
bien africain et américain. Il est le représentant de cette migration
africaine aux Etats-Unis qui très massive depuis une trentaine
d’années. Il faut rappeler que sur sept Noirs américains aujourd’hui,
un est soit caribéen, soit africain.

Il est représentatif de cela et surtout a un message qui tranche avec
le discours des leaders afro-américains de la génération précédente,
comme Al Sharpton ou Jesse Jackson
car il se veut fédérateur de l’ensemble de l’Amérique, qu’elle soit
noire, blanche, hispanique etc. La référence, c’est son grand discours
de la convention démocrate de 2004 où il dit il n’y a pas "une Amérique
noire, une Amérique blanche, il n’y a que les Etats-Unis d’Amérique".

Au départ, Barack Obama a peiné à convaincre à l’intérieur de la
communauté noire. Beaucoup de leaders afro-américains se sont dits
qu’on ne pouvait pas lui faire confiance pour défendre la communauté.
Au sujet de l’Affirmative action, il a dit par exemple que ses enfants
ne mériteraient pas forcément de bénéficier de ces dispositifs. Sur
beaucoup de sujets, il a une position qui tranche avec les positions
officielles des leaders de la communauté.

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? Quote_left L'ascension fulgurante d'Obama ne relève pas du miracle Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? Quote_right
François Durpaire

Est-ce les leaders afro-américains ne se retrouvent pas dans une
situation un peu inconfortable ? Ceux qui ont apporté leur soutien à
Hillary Clinton ne sont-ils pas un peu en difficulté ?

Les Afro-américains eux-mêmes ont fait leur choix sans écouter leurs
leaders. Ils ont voté Obama en Georgie (90%), dans le district de
Columbia (90%), en Caroline du Sud (80%). C’est un vote très massif.
Des gens comme Jesse Jackson qui était candidat en 1988 et qui avait
fortement critiqué Obama en demandant s’il était vraiment représentatif des afro-américains sont revenus sur leurs positions et soutiennent désormais Obama.

Dans un Etat comme la Georgie, le maire d’Atlanta qui est
afro-américain, a soutenu Clinton. Le leader des droits civiques et
initiateur de la marche de Selma John Lewis a soutenu Hillary Clinton,
mais 80% des Afro-américains en Georgie ont voté Obama parce qu’il a
une stratégie très fine. Le tournant a été la Caroline du Sud. Il avait
gagné un Etat Blanc - l’Iowa - avec la voix des Blancs et la question
était de savoir comment il allait réussir à avoir le vote noir sans
s’aliéner la voix des Blancs. Il a réussi à aditionner la voix des
Noirs et des Blancs en adaptant son discours à chaque communauté.

Comment a-t-il procédé ? Il y a tout d’abord le rôle de Michelle Obama
qui est afro-américaine. C’est une femme extrêmement brillante qui a
fait de nombreux discours dans le Sud. On parle beaucoup du rôle de
Bill Clinton dans la campagne. Tandis qu’à cette période, Bill Clinton
a eu un rôle négatif dans la campagne de Hillary Clinton, en tentant de
"racialiser" le candidat Obama, Michelle Obama a eu un rôle qu’il
convient de ne pas minorer.
Re: Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington?
Message Mer 27 Fév - 11:06 par mihou
Obama a aussi eu
l’intelligence de ne pas trop en faire. A la question de savoir si il
était "assez noir" il a tourné cela à la dérision en disant "compared
to who" (comparé à qui), à Flavor Flav ?, (un rappeur afro-américain).
Cela a fait rire, et c’est une réponse qui a été appréciée dans la
communauté afro-américaine.

Un autre moment important a été le 7 mars 2007. Alors qu’il venait de
se déclarer candidat aux élections présidentielles, il a participé à
l’anniversaire de la marche de Selma, qui a abouti à la loi du "Voting
Rights Act" qui a aboli les lois des Etats du Sud qui limitaient le
droit de vote pour les Afro-américains. Hillary Clinton est venue et a
fait un discours classique. Barack Obama a enchaîné et on l’attendait
un peu au tournant, pour savoir comment il allait s’adresser aux

Il a commencé en disant "Ne me dites pas que je ne suis pas chez moi à
Selma, Alabama", et a donc répondu en quelque sorte frontalement aux
accusations du type "c’est un métis, il est né et a grandi à Hawaii, a
fait ses études à Harvard, qu’est ce qu’il connaît des
afro-américains...Son père est kenyan. Il ne porte pas l’histoire de
l’esclavage etc."

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? Quote_left Il convient de ne pas minorer le rôle de Michelle Obama Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? Quote_right
François Durpaire

A ce moment là, il n'a pas dit :"Je fais partie de l’histoire des droits civiques",
mais a inversé la proposition : c’est l’histoire des droits civiques
qui faisait partie de son histoire, dans le sens où sans John Lewis,
sans Malcolm X, sans Martin Luther King,
il ne serait pas là , aux portes de la Maison-blanche. Cette manière
très subtile de rendre hommage aux leaders de la communauté a été très
appréciée. Il aurait pu utiliser les arguments d’autorité en rappelant
qu’il avait été avocat contre les discriminations, que sa femme était
une "vraie" afro-américaine etc. Mais à ceux qui lui reprochaient de ne
pas être porteur de l’histoire de l’esclavage, il a préféré expliquer
ce qu’avait été la colonisation en montrant en quoi elle était aussi
une histoire de domination, dont sa famille paternelle avait souffert.

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Hillary Clinton et Barack Obama à Capitol Hill en septembre 2006

B Lacombe
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y a à peine trois ou quatre ans, Barack Obama n’était pas connu du
grand public, même aux Etats-Unis. Qu’est ce qui explique qu’en un laps
de temps aussi court il ait pu se présenter aux présidentielles avec
des chances de succès ?

Il y a une anecdote qui résume ce que vous venez de dire...Il y a
quatre ans, il fait une visite à la Maison-Blanche avec une délégation
de l’Etat de l’Illinois, et le président George Bush tombe sur le badge
qu’Obama devait porter quelques heures plus tard sur son costume. Il a
alors un mouvement de recul. La femme qui organisait la visite dut lui
préciser que ce n’était pas "Oussama", mais bien "Obama". George Bush
ne connaissait pas du tout le nom d’Obama et a pensé qu’Oussama venait
visiter la Maison-blanche (rires)...

Le facteur chance a joué, même si la chance se provoque. Par exemple,
s’il a eu la chance que John Kerry l’invite à faire ce fameux discours
à la convention démocrate de 2004, c’est bien parce qu’il avait réussi
à se faire remarquer par lui du fait de son charisme. Et en 17 minutes
de discours, celui qui n’était qu’un sénateur local a réussi à se faire
connaître de l’Amérique.

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? Quote_left Si
Obama a été invité à faire ce fameux discours de la convention
démocrate 2004, c'est parcequ'il avait réussi à se faire remarquer par
son charisme
Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? Quote_right
François Durpaire

Obama connaît très bien la société américaine, comme si le fait de
n’avoir pas vécu aux Etatas-Unis jusqu’à l’âge de 10 ans lui avait
donné une acuité supplémentaire dans la connaissance des leviers qu’il
fallait actionner pour réussir dans ce pays. Quand il entre en
politique en 1995, il publie son autobiographie. Il a déjà tout compris
de ce qu’on appelle aujourd'hui le "story telling". Celui qui raconte
la meilleure histoire
saura mieux convaincre l’électeur. Et l’histoire qu’il raconte est de
celle que les Américains plébiscitent. Celle de la rédemption d’un
adolescent tourmenté entre son identité noire et blanche, sombrant dans
le doute et la drogue, et parvenant par les efforts et par
l’introspection à s’en sortir.

Il a réussi à faire de tous ces handicaps, ce qui aurait pu servir à un
futur adversaire dans une campagne électorale, des arguments de vente
pour des Américains eux-mêmes travaillés par cette quête de l’unité. Il
utilise des slogans qui marqueront des Américains lassés par la
bipolarité politique : "Il n’y a pas d’Etats rouges (conservateurs) ou
d’Etats Bleus (progressistes), il n’y a qu’une seule nation, qu’un seul
peuple". L’unité est bien le contenu qu’il donne à son idée de
Re: Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington?
Message Mer 27 Fév - 11:06 par mihou
Et puis il y a aussi des raisons politiques rationnelles, qui font que
l’ascension fulgurante d’Obama ne tient pas du miracle : une bonne
histoire (on vient de le voir), un gros talent oratoire, une idée-force
(l’unité), mais également une capacité à lever des fonds,
via le net (ce qui pourrait faire la différence avec Clinton). Enfin,
Obama a su se constituer un réseau. En 2004, quand il est élu au sénat,
il est élu si facilement et rapidement qu’il a eu le temps d’aller sur
le terrain pour prêter main forte aux candidats démocrates.

Il s'est ainsi créé un réseau d’obligés qui lui doivent leur victoire
et qui le soutiennent aujourd’hui. Obama n’est donc pas sorti de nulle part.
En outre, les accusations sur son charisme, qui s’apparenterait à un
culte de la personnalité, n’ont jamais été faites à Bill Clinton, qui
était également très éloquent. Entre deux programmes démocrates assez
proches, la différence n’est elle pas entre celui ou celle qui saura le
plus inspiré les Américains, et donc aura le plus de chance de
convaincre face au candidat républicain.

Au début de la campagne, il transcendait les couleurs, puis à un
moment il a été de nouveau présenté comme le candidat des Noirs.
C’était une stratégie délibérée de ses adversaires ?

Habituellement les leaders afro-américains démocrates comme Jesse
Jackson et Al Sharpton sont des gens qui défendent les droits civiques
et ont de la peine à parler à l’extérieur de leur communauté. Dans le
camp adverse, chez les républicains, des gens comme Condie Rice ou Colin Powell
sont des gens qui parlent aux Américains, mais ne parlent plus à leur
communauté. Et lui a cette capacité de parler à la fois à sa communauté
et à l’ensemble de l’Amérique.

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? Quote_left Il est juste de dire qu'Obama débarrasse certains Blancs de leur culpabilité Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? Quote_right
François Durpaire

Le camp Clinton a voulu casser cette dynamique et a tenté juste avant
les primaires en Caroline du Sud de le "racialiser", de le
communautariser. Ils l’ont fait passer pour "le candidat noir". Ils ont
joué sur le rapport avec Martin Luther King en disant que sans Lyndon
Johnson Martin Luther King n’aurait abouti à rien, puis Bill Clinton a comparé Barack Obama à Jesse Jackson en disant qu’en gagnant en Caroline du Sud,
il faisait aussi bien que Jesse Jackson en 1988, ce qui était quand
même très dur car ça le ramenait à une identité noire, en disant qu’il
était uniquement le candidat noir à qui on lâchait les Etats du Sud,
mais qui ne gagnerait ni dans le Midwest, ni dans le Nord. La suite a
donné tort aux Clinton.

Obama a su sortir de ce piège en continuant à s’adresser à l’ensemble
des Américains. La Georgie, la Louisiane, la Caroline du Sud ont été
importants, le Mississipi le sera. Alors est-il le symbole d’une
Amérique en voie de post-racialisation ?

On peut voir des éléments qui vont dans ce sens. Il est pour une
Amérique où, selon son expression, "un Blanc peut être élu par des
Noirs, et un Noir par des Blancs". Dans son discours en Caroline du
Sud, on a entendu le public scander "Race does not matter" (la race ne
compte plus). Cependant, d’autres éléments indiquent que si le vote a
cessé d’être raciste, il n’en demeure pas moins "racial".
Re: Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington?
Message Mer 27 Fév - 11:07 par mihou

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Barack Obama et Jesse Jackson

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S’il avait été noir plutôt que métis est ce que ça aurait fait une différence ?

Justement, toute la question est là : est-il vu comme un métis ou comme
Noir ? Si les Noirs votent pour lui dans le Sud c’est bien parce qu’ils
entrevoient la possibilité d’avoir pour la première fois de l’histoire
un Noir président. Et si les Blancs votent pour lui, c’est parce qu’ils
le voient comme un candidat "noir" qui tranche avec les discours
traditionnels des leaders afro-américains des générations précédentes.
Il est juste de dire qu’Obama débarrasse certains Blancs de leur
culpabilité. Il ne faut pas oublier qu’on est dans un pays protestant
où on vit avec cette histoire très pesante de la ségrégation raciale,
de l’esclavage, et c’est important aux Etats-Unis. L’élection de Obama
serait pour de nombreux Blancs une manière de tourner la page.

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? Quote_leftSi Obama gagne un des trois Etats promis à Hillary Clinton, il pourra l'emporter avant l'étéWill Mr. Obama Go To Washington? Quote_right
François Durpaire

Un éditorialiste répondait à la phrase "Obama is the Great Black Hope"
(Obama porte l’espoir des Noirs) en disant "He is a Great White Hope"
(il porte l’espoir des Blancs.) Barack Obama président, c’est une façon
pour les Blancs américains de dire aux Noirs américains : "Vous voyez
on l’a fait, en dépit de ce que vous imaginiez". Car quand on demande
depuis des années aux américains si l’Amérique est prête pour un
président noir, 70 % des Blancs disent oui, mais seulement 47% des
Noirs y croient. Les Noirs ne pensaient pas que c’était possible. Et en
quelque sorte, il a fallu attendre la victoire dans l’Iowa, pour que
les Noirs se mettent à y croire.

Comment voyez-vous la suite de la campagne. Le rapport de force
semble s’être inversé en faveur de Barack Obama. Peut-il vraiment
remporter les primaires ?

"Semble s’être inversé" n’est pas le terme. Le rapport de force s’est
véritablement inversé au soir des trois victoires dans le Potomac
(Virginie, District de Columbia et Maryland). La presse américaine l’a
reconnu : Nous avons le "Front Runner", celui qui fait la course en

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Barack Obama

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Si Obama avait perdu onze élections de suite, plus personne
n’accorderait du crédit à sa candidature. C’est précisément ce qui
vient d’arriver à Hillary Clinton, et la presse semble ne pas se
résoudre à ce que sa défaite soit inéluctable.

Barack Obama a rempli la part de son contrat. Le "super Tuesday"
a été un match nul, le mois de février a été en sa faveur. Il est en
tête en nombre de délégués. Par ailleurs les super délégués ne vont pas
continuer à soutenir Hillary Clinton si le vote populaire est en faveur
de Barack Obama. L’avance en délégués pourrait donc être supérieure à
ce qu’elle apparaît aujourd’hui.

Est-ce que Hillary Clinton va être capable de remplir la part de son
contrat, c'est-à-dire gagner l’Ohio, le Texas, la Pennsylvanie. Si elle
arrive à l’emporter avec un écart suffisant, la lutte risque de durer
jusqu’à cet été, et cela risque d’être très dangereux pour le parti
démocrate. Si les super délégués jouent un rôle, ce sera une menace
pour le système démocratique : pourquoi avoir dépensé des millions de
dollars et fait se déplacer les Américains pour que cela se décide sur
tapis vert entre les cadres du parti.

Ce serait une défaite pour la démocratie, et cela pourrait sonner le
glas des espoirs démocrates face à McCain qui est un candidat très
sérieux. Cela menacerait le parti démocrate dans ses fondements, voire
le pays car les Super délégués pourraient-ils prendre cette
responsabilité d’écarter un candidat qui a fait campagne sur l’unité
entre Noirs et Blancs ?

Will Mr. Obama Go To Washington? Transparent
L’autre possibilité c’est que Obama crée la surprise dans l’un des
trois Etats promis à Hillary Clinton. S’il gagne soit l’Ohio, le Texas
ou plus tard la Pennsylvanie, il peut plier l’affaire avant l’été. Il y
a aussi un enjeu financier, car Hillary Clinton ne pourra pas continuer
longtemps à demander de l’argent en étant derrière Obama. Si elle
perdait un de ces Etats et se maintenait dans la course, ce serait très
mal perçu dans le parti démocrate. Obama arrive à générer un million de
dollars par jour, car à son réseau de petits contributeurs. Ces
derniers pourraient attendre le score historique de un million avant la
prochaine confrontation, le 4 mars. Les attaques d’Hillary Clinton,
portant sur des détails (la question des tracts), souligne l’absence de stratégie électorale. Il lui faut d’urgence trouver un moyen d’inverser la tendance.

Chercheur associé au Centre de Recherche d'histoire Nord-Américaine
(Paris 1), président de l'Institut des Diasporas Noires Francophones
(, François durpaire est l'auteur de L'Amérique de Barack Obama, avec Olivier Richomme, aux éditions démopolis.,barack_obama_peut-il_encore_perdre_interview_avec_francois_durpaire,13056.html#
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