Tuesday, March 25, 2008



It's a foregone conclusion that Hillary is going to win-- and win big-- in Pennsylvania. It's not so much that Governor Rendell is using his power of persuasion to convince voters there to join him in backing his candidate, as much as it is... other factors. My old friend Steve was born and raised in rural Pennsylvania and then started a rock band and moved to New York. Several years ago he moved back to the New Hope area and bought a house. I've been trying to convince him and his partner, Stan, to do a fundraiser at their big sprawling farm for Patrick Murphy. They want to and a few weeks ago Stan figured he should re-register to vote in Pennsylvania like Steve had if, for no other reason, so he could vote for Rep. Murphy. Yesterday Steve sent me this note:
Stan has been trying to switch his registration to vote in Pennsylvania for a couple weeks while we are out here in CA. The PA online voter registration site has been down and they just put up a message today, the last day to register, saying that it won't be fixed before the deadline and that you should now mail in a registration form. hmmmm.

Doesn't quite measure up to the 100% pro-Hillary precincts in Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant but... Rendell's no piker and it's a start. And even as Clinton starts parroting Fox News talking points about Rev, Wright, Obama isn't giving up in Pennsylvania, not by a long shot, and the SEIU is doing some innovative get out the vote work on his behalf there.

Obama is hoping for a boost in North Carolina a couple of weeks after Pennsylvania. He and Hillary are doing an ANC-TV debate on April 16 in Philadelphia and he's agreed to do a CBS-TV debate in North Carolina on April 19. According to an AP report today, Hillary may not want to do a North Carolina debate.
Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, once so eager to debate she ran two ads questioning why her rival wouldn't, has yet to say whether she'll debate Sen. Barack Obama in North Carolina next month.

Both presidential candidates plan to participate in an ABC News debate on April 16 in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania holds it primary days later, on April 22. Obama also has agreed to a debate April 19 hosted by CBS in North Carolina. North Carolina holds its primary May 6.

Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said Monday that the campaign has not made a decision about the CBS debate and is still working through the details.

Meanwhile, Obama's North Carolina campaign got a huge boost when the grassroots progressive in the U.S. Senate primary, Jim Neal, endorsed him. Neal, like Obama, has tremendous appeal to reform-minded Democrats and independents who are not part of the traditional power structure. He's running against an Insider party hack being shoved down the throats of North Carolina voters by Clinton-backer Chuck Schumer.

Here's the text of Jim Neal's endorsement of Obama:
Today I am endorsing Senator Barack Obama for President. In my campaign for U.S. Senate, I have been traveling to towns and cities across North Carolina for the past 6 months, listening to people in churches and schools, in their homes and at cafes.

What these folks all have in common is that they want a political system that involves regular citizens, brings us together and works for the common good. They know America is a great country, and they know our political system is broken. They feel in their hearts we cannot turn to people who are part of the broken system to fix it.

They want a leader who can bring our country together and move us forward.

I have seen Barack Obama show the sincerity and optimism we need to bring us together and make every American proud to be an American.

Barack Obama has inspired a new generation and reinvigorated our democracy.

Barack Obama has reached across lines of race, gender, age and party affiliation-- all the categories that have divided our country for too long. He has spoken forthrightly in a candid and humane manner. He has demonstrated the willingness to confront issues, rather than repeating conventional wisdom and poll-tested messages.

I believe Senator Obama is best able to create the new politics that people desire, a new politics that is as great and as inclusive as our state and our nation. That is why I am adding my voice to those supporting Barack Obama for President.

I’ve met with and talked with people-- on the road and on my own campaign-- who are passionately committed to Hillary Clinton.

It is important that we as Democrats stop fighting amongst ourselves and prepare for the fight against John McCain, and I happen to believe the best way to do that is to come together and support a ticket that has Barack Obama as President and Hillary Clinton as vice president.

Some may say this unity ticket won’t happen. But this year especially we have seen how important it is for us to work for what we want, not just settle for what we think we can get.

Sounds like a smart guy, don't you think? Jim is up against a well-funded Democratic Insider in his primary and then will have to face one of the lobbyists' favorite Republican stooges, Elizabeth Dole. Maybe today would be a good day to tell Jim Neal you agree with him by making a donation, even a small donation, to his campaign. He's been endorsed by Blue America and you can donate at the ActBlue page. Obama looks like he is far ahead of Hillary in North Carolina. One poll shows a 21% lead for Obama after he successfully weathered the right-wing Jeremiah Wright smear/virtual assassination attempt.

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At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think that Obama has successfully weathered the Wright smear/assassination attempt. My parents have lots of friends who would like to vote Democratic but are too scared of Obama's connection to Wright and Louis Farrakhan to do so. His speech on race was great but it didn't do much to convince any of these people. They were already suspecting his commitment to Israel, which was stoked by the right wing in Israel. This latest flap with Wright did not help. He needs to do more to calm their fears.

At 2:57 PM, Blogger Sini said...

With Hillary set to use race as a bludgeon against Obama for the next six weeks in Pennsylvania and Indiana, there's no reason to expect a constructive resolution to this contest anymore.

At 3:17 PM, Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

Anon 2:24:
How exactly is Obama connected to Farrakhan? Don't let Hillary people scare you or your family away.

At 10:57 PM, Anonymous Bil said...

Right on jimmy the saint...

That's a "mister innuendo" Anonymousie at 2:24...

"MY parents have a lot of friends who would like to vote Republican but are too scared of something they recently saw on the news...

"Republicans suck Dead Donkey Dick...
sometimes one gets up and walks away..."

"Republicans eat shit sandwiches,
they don't like bread..."

This latest flap about Republicans does not help. They need to do more to calm the fears of Dead Donkey Relatives and Bread.


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