Which do you want, JFK or LBJ?

BARACK OBAMA and Hillary Clinton decided last week to put their spat over MLK, JFK and LBJ behind them. That’s nice for them, but the rest of us shouldn’t drop the subject so quickly.
Intentionally or not, the statement that started all the trouble points to the main difference between the two front-runners.
    And that difference has nothing to do with race.
    Now you’re thinking, “Only a Clueless White Guy could say that had nothing to do with race,” and you’d have a point. When it comes to judging whether a statement or an issue is about race, there is a profound and tragic cognitive divide between black and white in this country.
But hear me out. It started when the senator from New York said the following, with reference to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.:
    “Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It took a president to get it done.”
    The white woman running against a black man for the Democratic Party nomination could only get herself into trouble mentioning Dr. King in anything other than laudatory terms, particularly as she headed for a state where half of the voters likely to decide her fate are black.
    You have to suppose she knew that. And yet, she dug her hole even deeper by saying:
    “Senator Obama used President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to criticize me. Basically compared himself to two of our greatest heroes. He basically said that President Kennedy and Dr. King had made great speeches and that speeches were important. Well, no one denies that. But if all there is (is) a speech, then it doesn’t change anything.”
    She wasn’t insulting black Americans — intentionally — any more than she was trying to dis Irish Catholics.
    To bring what I’m saying into focus, set aside Dr. King for the moment — we’ll honor him tomorrow. The very real contrast between the two Democratic front-runners shows in the other comparison she offered.
    She was saying that, given a choice between John F. Kennedy and his successor, she was more like the latter. This was stark honesty — who on Earth would cast herself that way who didn’t believe it was true? — and it was instructive.
    Lyndon Baines Johnson was the Master of the Senate when he sought the Democratic nomination in 1960. If he wanted the Senate to do something, it generally happened, however many heads had to be cracked.
    LBJ was not made for the television era that was dawning. With features like a hound dog (and one of the most enduring images of him remains the one in which he is holding an actual hound dog up by its ears), and a lugubrious Texas drawl, he preferred to git ’er done behind the scenes, and no one did it better.
    Sen. Johnson lost the nomination to that inexperienced young pup Jack Kennedy, but brought himself to accept the No. 2 spot. After an assassin put him into the Oval Office, he managed to win election overwhelmingly in 1964, when the Republicans gave him the gift of Barry Goldwater. But Vietnam brought him down hard. He gave up even trying to get his party’s nomination in 1968.
    But he was a masterful lawmaker. And he did indeed push the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act into law, knowing as he did so that he was sacrificing his party’s hold on the South.
    He brought into being a stunning array of social programs — Medicare, federal aid to education, urban renewal, and the War on Poverty.
    So, on the one hand, not a popular guy — wouldn’t want to be him. On the other hand, President Kennedy never approached his level of achievement during his tragically short tenure.
    You might say that if Sen. Obama is to be compared to President Kennedy — and he is, his call to public service enchanting young voters, and drawing the endorsement of JFK’s closest adviser, Ted Sorensen — Sen. Clinton flatters herself in a different way by invoking President Johnson.
    They are different kinds of smart, offering a choice between the kid you’d want on your debating team and the one you’d want helping you do your homework.
    Sen. Obama offers himself as a refreshing antidote to the vicious partisanship of the Bush and Clinton dynasties. That sounds wonderful. But Sen. Clinton has, somewhat less dramatically, formed practical coalitions with Republican colleagues to address issues of mutual concern — such as with Lindsey Graham on military health care.
    Sen. Clinton, whose effort to follow up the Great Society with a comprehensive health care solution fell flat in the last decade, has yet to live up to the Johnson standard of achievement. For that matter, Sen. Obama has yet to bring Camelot back into being.
    As The Washington Post’s David Broder pointed out, in their debate in Las Vegas last week, the pair offered very different concepts of the proper role of the president. Sen. Obama said it wasn’t about seeing that “the paperwork is being shuffled effectively,” but rather about setting goals, uniting people to pursue them, building public support — in other words, about inspiration.
    Sen. Clinton talked about managing the bureaucracy and demanding accountability.
    Sen. Obama offers a leader, while Sen. Clinton offers a manager. It would be nice to have both. But six days from now, South Carolinians will have to choose one or the other.

39 thoughts on “Which do you want, JFK or LBJ?

  1. Gordon Hirsch

    Only Hillary knows what her motive was, so all speculation aside, the deciding question remains: Can she be trusted?
    The Clinton management style is built on decades of lies, manipulation, and deceit. It boggles the mind that she is even a candidate, much less a front-runner.

  2. bud

    Gordon, you completely miss the point. The Clinton years were the best in American history. We were more prosperous, respected by everyone throughout the world and in every measurable category of achievement we were moving the ball forward. Then came the Bush years. 9-11, 2 recessions, hatred from everyone else in the world, $3 gasoline, increasing unemployment. And on and on. The Clintons brought out the best in America. And if the naysayers and partisans would get out of the way we could return to the wonder years of the 90s. That won’t happen with the likes of McCain, Huckabee or Romney. I like Barack Obama, but he’s no Hillary Clinton. So you can take all this nonsense about Clinton’s lies and put it where the sun don’t shine. The real lies are the ones told by the radical, reactionary right wing in this country, a group focused only on the enrichment of 1/200 of the American population. Hillary Clinton is a great American. To besmurch her the way Gordon and others who are blinded by the fear-mongers on the right is the biggest lie of all.

  3. Randy Ewart

    To “besmurch” her means one is “blind”? How Cheney-esque of you Bud.
    I am a democrat and think they both, especially Bill, lie through their teeth. He lied bout Lewinsky, he tried to get us to believe Obama was the “establishment” candidate in Nevada, shortly after the culinary union endorsed Obama he pushes to change the rules the state democrats passed MONTHS ago because it is suddenly “unfair”, and he cries about the media’s treatment of his wife.
    She takes on the “change” mantra after losing and sees the image of her and her establishment cronies on stage in Iowa. Suddenly she’s going to change the way government is run? Maybe she and Bill will change the fundraising company they keep or maybe they’ll change by dropping the multitude of lobbyists they befriend.
    If Hillary wins, I’m voting for McCain (as if voting in the general election matters in this state). I find the idea of Bill Clinton, Hillary’s sugar daddy, treating us like idiots for another 4 years dispiriting.

  4. Gordon Hirsch

    bud … I knew you’d still be up. How does lying miss the point, bud? … If the clinton years were so wonderful, it’s beause Regan made them that way, leaving the kids from Arkansas to reap the benefits. In fact, if Reagan was the Teflon President, the Clintons are the Crisco Kids, because seem to slip away from the cooking surface without leaving a piece of themselves to get burned.

  5. Don Edmunds

    Now it’s the Democrats turn this Saturday, and let’s be honest with ourselves.
    Barack Hussein Obama is great with speeches and speaks with great platitudes, but rhetoric and empty promises of hope will not bring about change. Obama has a great political career in front of him, but he is not ready to be President.
    Hillary Clinton has worked to bring change for 35 years. She is the best chance our party has at winning next November because she has taken on the Republican attack machine and she has won, time and time again.
    The election this Saturday comes down to voting with your heart or voting with your head, your common sense asking – who would be ready to take this country in a different direction and hit the ground running from day one? The answer, of course, is Hillary Clinton.
    We face a number of problems, and there will be no room for on-the-job training.
    Next Saturday, we can move our country one step further to making history by breaking the highest glass ceiling with a candidate who has devoted her life to making change (and a husband who is considered by many to be one of our greatest leaders to boot!).
    On Saturday, we need to vote for Hillary Clinton if we want change.

  6. Gordon Hirsch

    Sorry, bud. From the Rose law firm, to the White House, to Iowa, and now back to South Carolina again, the only “change” I see in the Clintons is that they have gotten better at obfuscating the truth. And they were world-class pros in that arena before. As for your continued referrals to my inclusion in the “right” or “fear mongering,” you need to know that right now Obama would have my vote, had he even a bit more experience. And, in fact, he would be my choice if forced to decide today between his leadership style and the “experienced” management style of Hillary.
    I, for one, am tired of being managed by political selfists.

  7. Curt Burnette

    I thought your comments were, as far as they went, were dead on right. What I found especially interesting was what you did not say — how you limited the scope of your comparisons between LBJ and JFK. What you did not mention was the Bay of Pigs fiasco, which many believe Kennedy got us into because of his relative inexperience —
    especially in contrast to his predecessor, Eisenhower. What you did not also mention was the Cuban Missile Crisis, the closest we have ever come to nuclear annihilation –again, under Kennedy’s watch. Were you to extend the scope of your analysis, would you be coming out in favor of Clinton? LBJ gave us Medicare, Medicaid, the Voting Rights Act, and the Civil Rights Act. LBJ, through legislation, transformed America. JFK did invigorate NASA, but what has NASA done lately? What is the lasting legacy of JFK, “Camelot” and the Job Corps?
    Further, Kennedy’s mystique was partly preserved by a willing press. In an age when Bill Clinton was castigated over the Lewinsky scandal, how would a JFK type presidency look today if all his affairs in office were publicized?
    In a commparison between JFK and LBJ, LBJ wins hands down. Given the analogy you make, I would be very surprised if you do not come out in favor of Senator Clinton next week.

  8. Ralph Hightower

    Last year was the fiftieth anniversary of Sputnik, an event that scared the United States into action. JFK inspired the nation to land men on the moon and return them home safely during a speech at Rice University, September 12, 1964.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZjTfywT8b8 (Part 1 of 4)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5HSNd7R4oc (Part 2 of 4)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXP-Uu8j4QA (Part 3 of 4)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZr9-o2LIYE (Part 4 of 4)
    President Bush’s Vision for U.S. Space Exploration, January 14, 2004, was not as inspiring as President Kennedy’s speech on “The Nation’s Space Effort”. But we must set our sights beyond Low Earth Orbit. However, the five year gap between the retirement of the Space Shuttle and the new Crew Exploration Vehicle is not acceptable to me.
    The United States needs a visionary leader who can lead and inspire us.
    I choose a JFK.

  9. D. Bardin

    One thing that went unreported in this whole fiasco is Hillary Clinton was a big Goldwater fan.

  10. Gordon Hirsch

    Not only did she get her start in politics as a “Goldwater Girl,” (at a time when he was defending the John Birch Society and talking openly of nuking Vietnam) Goldwater later became an admirer of Hillary. For example, in 1994, Goldwater told the Washington Post:
    On Hillary Clinton, who was an ardent Goldwater supporter in 1964: “If he’d let his wife run business, I think he’d be better off. … I just like the way she acts. I’ve never met her, but I sent her a bag of chili, and she invited me to come to the White House some night and said she’d cook chili for me.

  11. alison weil

    people longing for Bill Clinton to be president again need to think twice —
    Bill Clinton presided over a terrific economy not the least of which was because of the advent of the internet and that impact on the US ecomony
    That’s not going to happen again –
    Also: if will never be before 9/11 again — the world is different.
    You can say this is a generational divide, you can say it is a racial divide – I submit it is an intellectual divide
    Team Clinton thinks they can twist and change the argument to suit them wherever they are an who ever the audience is – and sad to say there is some evidence that is working
    I am over 50 and a woman and I support Barack Obama. Partially because I want my children to grow in a less divisive world where truth matters. Where ideas matter. Where we can travel abroad and be proud to be American again. Where we have a president who has sound judgement and gets it right the first time.
    Where we know our country can do better than having presidents from only two families for decades.
    That’s my dream

  12. Mike Cakora

    bud –
    Bill Clinton took office in 1993 as the economy was climbing out of the 1991 recession. By the time of the elections in 2000, the economy was heading toward the 2001 recession that was brought about in large measure by the crash of the Dot Com Boom.
    Here’s a good article about recessions.
    The Clinton years were indeed halcyon days. NAFTA became law as did Welfare Reform. Removing the regime of Saddam Hussein became official US policy. Hundreds of people wrongly convicted of crimes had their good names restored, often for quite reasonable prices. We as a nation learned more about sex and constitutional law than we’d ever expected.
    Voting for Monica Lewinsky’s ex-boyfriend’s husband is a wonderful idea.

  13. Mike Cakora

    Great observation on the tone of the Dem’s contest by Mickey Kaus:

    It’s going to get ugly in the South. By the time Hillary is through with Obama, voters will think his middle name is “Hussein”!

  14. Gordon Hirsch

    Count on it, Mike. You also can count on Bill to do her dirty work, while continuing to steal outright from Obama’s themes, which obviously have worked with voters. How else how could Obama have closed a 20-point deficit in the polls? The Clintons watched their advantage evaporate, and they’ll take whatever suits them to get it back.
    Watch Bill’s tactics more than Hillary’s, as he continues to compare the candidates in observer-like fashion, as if he were an unbiased expert commentating on the stock market.
    The race to Super Tuesday will be a Clinton tag-team spectacular, with all the grace and integrity of a night at Wrestle-Mania.

  15. weldon VII

    Comparing Obama and Clinton to JFK and LBJ is way kinder than those modern competitors have earned, Brad.
    What is it, Clinton must be a manager because she certainly isn’t inspirational, and Obama must be a leader, because he certainly hasn’t managed to do much in Washington?
    Declining to endorse anyone among the Democrats would be a wise move. Otherwise, picking between Obama’s foreign-policy naivete and Clinton politics is like choosing a form of execution.

  16. Scott

    On the money, Gordon and Curt!
    I don’t think many voters “want” any of the candidates or even many people in the recent past. We romanticize our past leaders out of a sense of trying to reconcile what we did in voting for them. As a student of history, the last person I feel who really stood up for his values was Truman.
    I think we have to settle for the “least objectionable alernative” who is running. (LeastObjectionable.com) Bright, thinking and able people don’t run; only those who can’t hold a real job and need votes to show someoen cres for them.

  17. Karen McLeod

    If we don’t get a real leader in office, there will be little to manage. This nation has too long been in a “what’s in it for me” mode. Clinton is doing a fine job of pandering to that mode. Obama is calling us out of it. Also Obama has illustrated by the work he did in Chicago that he is very willing to work with the people, instead of just throwing baubles to them. The question is, can this country see past the mardi gras queen? Can we look to a statesman, and follow his lead? And Allison, I’m right with you.

  18. Randall

    Obama and Clinton could care less about us. They WIN just by playing the game. Private jets, fanstic hotel suites, adoration from the masses…look how they eat when “on the run”…and think about what u had for Sat evening meal. Kobe burgers anyone?
    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her camp ate a little higher off the hog than her rival Barack Obama during their week of campaigning in Las Vegas.
    Both campaign camps called N9NE Steakhouse at the Palms minutes apart Friday for a food delivery.
    Chef Barry Dakake and Jenna Morton, wife of N9NE co-owner Michael Morton, delivered around $200 worth of food, including two Kobe burgers, two organic chicken sandwiches and one order of Dover sole, to Obama in a conference room at the Las Vegas Signature Terminal.
    The Clintons’ tab came to $1,530 and included entrees of nine steaks, three chicken, three salmon and three Maine scallops, two lobster pappardelle, salads, sashimi, rock shrimp, and various side dishes.
    The Clintons, who spent the week in a Bellagio villa, also had a big order delivered from N9NE on Monday.

  19. Sam D

    Wow, the Rovian Kool-Aid works! Everyone (almost) is saying Clinton is the one that gets things done and Obama just talks purty. That’s backwards, folks. Clinton has not gotten one single substantive bill passed into law during her vast experience, NOT ONE.
    Whereas Obama has passed and has seen become law the Lugar-Obama act to decrease nuclear proliferation and to help the United States and our allies detect and stop the smuggling of weapons of mass destruction throughout the world.
    Obama and Feingold took on both parties and proposed ethics legislation that was described as the “gold standard” for reform. It was because of their leadership that ending subsidized corporate jet travel, mandating disclosure of lobbyists’ bundling of contributions, and enacting strong new restrictions of lobbyist-sponsored trips became part of the final ethics bill that was signed into law. The Washington Post wrote in an editorial, “The final package is the strongest ethics legislation to emerge from Congress yet.”
    And how about Google for Government: “Americans have the right to know how their tax dollars are spent, but that information has been hidden from public view for too long. That’s why Barack Obama and Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) passed a law to create a Google-like search engine to allow regular people to approximately track federal grants, contracts, earmarks, and loans online.” The Chicago Sun-Times wrote, “It would enable the public to see where federal money goes and how it is spent. It’s a brilliant idea.”
    Take a look!
    One of the worst — and most ignored trouble spots in the world is the Congo. Obama and Leahy successfully passed an amendment to provide $13 million in assistance to the DRC for military reform and election assistance. The bill also provided the the US policy is to oppose and fight against the rape and killings of women that is a particular horror there. Obama has recently sent a letter to Sec. Rice demanding a report of their efforts there.
    In Illinois, Obama was recognize for his work: he received the Outstanding Legislator Award, Campaign for Better Health Care and Illinois Primary Health Care Association, 1998; Best Freshman Legislator Award, Independent Voters of Illinois, 1997; Monarch Award for Outstanding Public Service, 1994; “40 Under 40” Award, Crain’s Chicago Business, 1993.
    He passed legislation requiring videotapes of all police interrogations (Chicago just paid $20 million settlement to 4 men incarcerated on false confessions tortured out of the in the 80s) with the cooperation of the police.
    He got an expansion of health care coverage to 150,000 people.
    In 1998, Obama joined forces with former U.S. Sen. Paul Simon (D-IL) to pass the toughest campaign finance law in Illinois history. The legislation banned the personal use of campaign money by Illinois legislators and banned most gifts from lobbyists. Before the law was passed, one organization ranked Illinois worst among 50 states for its campaign finance regulations.
    The list in Illinois goes on and on.
    Please tell me ONE law Hillary Clinton MADE happen.

  20. Al

    Hillary Clinton spoke today at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem. This program in honor of MLK was concluded with the pastor, Calvin Butts endorsing HRC. In her part of the speech that was televised, Clinton recounts that she was influenced in 1962 when her youth minister took a group to Chicago to hear MLK speak. What is interesting is that she did not say HOW SHE WAS INFLUENCED. Now, I’m sure that those black folks thought that she probably joined in some summer trips south to take part in marches and demonstrations. Yes, Hillary was so impressed by King’s speech that she joined the 1964 campaign to elect Barry Goldwater as President! Goldwater who ran against LBJ (the same LBJ that she fervently spoke about a week ago) was a staunch opponent of the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Goldwater was a Republican ultra-conservative (at the time, this would translate into anti-black, anti-civil rights) who was aligned with Strom Thurmond, Herman Talmadge, and other southern legislators to oppose civil rights.
    Hillary not only passionately supported Goldwater in 1964, but remained an ultra conservative Republican until sometime after 1968 AFTER MLK’s death when she switched parties to support George McGovern, the 1972 Democratic candidate who ran on an Anti-War platform. Her conversion had nothing to do with King, but to the Anti-War Movement. Hillary also gave a blistering attack on Senator Edward Brooke, the first Black Senator in Congress since Reconstruction while a college student.
    Now, George Wallace, governor of Alabama apologized for his Segregationist stance prior to his death. Hillary has NOT publicly acknowledged her opposition to desegregation nor apologized.
    Black folks are being portrayed as stupid –why would a group of people be so blind to support a candidate who not only opposed their leaders, King, LBJ, etc. and passage of laws that changed their lives for the better? This reminds one of the slaves who fought on the side of the Confederacy, those that refused to leave the plantation when the war was over and stayed and worked for free. Blacks need to take the time to read, and stop being caught up in so much emotionalism.
    If you don’t want to vote for Obama, then at least select a candidate that has your interest at heart. Besides Edwards, there are the Republicans that have better records for civil rights. In fact, at the time that Hillary was campaigning for Goldwater, there were moderate Republicans, George Romney (Mitt’s father) and Nelson Rockefeller who were advocates for civil rights.
    Wake UP People!

  21. Gussie

    There are so many reasons I prefer Obama over Hillary, and I too am an over-50 female. But to me, it boils down to electability. Somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of voters, in poll after poll, say they’d never vote for her, and that means that making Hillary the nominee is tantamount to putting another Republican in the White House. Obama, in contrast, appeals to Democrats, Republicans and independents. Where I live, in Iowa, folks can change their party affiliation at a caucus. We had Republicans changing over to Democrats in order to caucus for Obama. I’d never seen that happen before in such large numbers. Folks I know are so tired of the bickering and the dirty tricks that have become the norm between the parties; Obama transcends that, focusing on solving problems. The icing on the cake is that the symbolism of electing as President a black man named Barack Hussein Obama might just give the next generation of would-be Islamic terrorists pause as they gaze at their TVs looking at this newest American leader who, by golly, looks like their uncle or brother. And then there’s Obama’s ability to inspire us. I have not been this motivated by a politician since I was a teenager, and it’s a great, patriotic feeling. Imagine that sweeping the country, and what we could do as a result. Obama ’08!

  22. Heather

    Please SHARE THIS VIDEO with your friends, parents, grandparents, and/or SENIOR neighbors/associates.
    “Fulfilling a Generation’s Promise”—-
    Real Leadership for
    Often labeled “the greatest generation,” our senior citizens have seen a lot in their time. Many of them marched for equality beside Martin Luther King Jr., fought for justice with Bobby Kennedy, or answered a timeless call to service under President John F. Kennedy.
    But now, many of them need help. They’re concerned about Social Security or dealing with the maze of coverage for Medicare Part D. They’re paying too much for prescription drugs and coping with rising costs on everything. More than anything, they’re worried about the country they’re leaving behind to their children and grandchildren.

  23. Jaclie

    to focus some light on criticisms that do make a difference to Democratic voters: what Obama has done when he’s faced tough choices in office. Too often, the answer has been that’s he’s given in to pressure from the Bush administration or corporate lobbyists. wish one of his opponents would repeat these votes one after another in a speech:Obama voted for President Bush’s energy bill, sending more than $13 billion in subsidies and tax breaks to oil, coal, and nuclear companies. Obama voted with Republicans to allow credit card companies to raise interest rates over 30 percent, increasing hardship for families on the brink. Obama voted for one of President Bush’s top priorities – expanding Nafta to South America – even as President Bush obstructed all the top Democratic priorities. Obama voted with Bush to make it harder for ordinary people to hold big corporations accountable when they do things like sell toxic toys, poisonous pet food, or just plain rip you off. Obama was the Senate’s biggest Democratic advocate of subsidies for liquid coal, even though liquid coal produces twice the global warming pollution of the crude oil it’s meant to replace (Obama “backed off” this position after being pummeled by environmentalists for several months, but still voted for increased subsidies, albeit with conditions).Most of all, I think the thing progressives need to be most worried about is how Obama tells progressives to “trim their sails” – or cut back on their ambitions, for the sake of political harmony. If Obama were to win, I can just imagine hearing that phrase over and over again as Obama tried to recycle another Democratic campaign that attempted to paint himself as a mushy centrist, rather than a proud progressive. You can find out more about the ad – and how to get in on the air – at Democratic Courage

  24. Sam

    Sun-Times Exclusive: Obama surfaces in Rekzo’s federal corruption case
    Obama is the “political candidate” referred to in document which outlines case against Rezko
    For the first time, Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama has surfaced in the federal corrupton case against his longtime campaign fund-raiser, Tony Rezko, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned. Contributions to his 2004 U.S. Senate campaign came from schemes Rezko is accused of orchestrating. The allegations against Rezko that involve Obama are contained in 78-page document filed last month in which prosecutors outline their corruption and fraud case against Rezko. Trial Feb. 25. Obama’s name to come up in court is a political headache he doesn’t need.
    Obama is the “political candidate” referred to in a section of the document that accuses Rezko of orchestrating a scheme in which a firm hired to handle state teacher pension investments first had to pay $250,000 in “sham” finder’s fees. From that money, $10,000 was donated to Obama’s successful run for the Senate in the name of a Rezko business associate, according to the court filing and the source. Rezko, part of Obama’s senatorial finance committee, also is accused of directing “at least one other individual” to donate money to Obama and then reimbursing that individual — in possible violation of federal election law. Obama — got the contributions in 2004 — has moved to distance himself from Rezko since his longtime friend and supporter was indicted in October 2006. After news that Obama had engaged in a real estate transaction with Rezko’s wife at a time Tony Rezko was known to be under investigation, the senator called the episode a mistake.” Obama donated more than $44,000 in Rezko-linked contributions to charity last year, including the $10,000 donation mentioned in the court filing. That money was donated to Obama by Joseph Aramanda, a Glenview businessman and Rezko associate who, sources have said, is the “Individual D” prosecutors say received the $250,000 in finder’s fees demanded by Rezko. Individual D did nothing. In 13 years in politics, Obama has gotten at least $168,000 in campaign donations from Rezko, his family and business associates. The Sun-Times reported

  25. Blacks against obamas

    I’m glad to see some media is raising questions about obamas plans, experience etc… We have not heard much from his campaign other than lets change things, but he never tells you what those changes are?? Obama tells you nothing other than we can change things. I believe that Hillary Clinton has the power and backing to get change done immediately and she will because the stakes are higher for woman in politics than men, even black men. Look at the difference in media coverage. Yes, obama can give inspirational speech, but that’s not going to help with foreign policy or our economy. Obama mandates that ONLY children will be covered under his health care plan, but what he doesn’t tell you is how a parent would be forced to pay for it, by cutting their food bill or gas bill? Black Americans need to really think this through and not get caught up in a media drive to elect a black man based on color of his skin only, but a Person who has a plan of action, which we have not seen from obama and is why he lost NH/MI/NV. Experienced voters have been asking for substance since the Oprah show turned his campaign attention to a race on race, which was a big mistake for us. I’m a black woman with young children and I have firmly decided to support Clinton; she has proven that she can get things done. I cannot in good conscience support obama just because he is black, it’s my children’s welfare and future, which as a mother is more important than an inspirational speech. These are the reasons our country faces allot of the troubles it has today. Obama may be a great president in few years. With the current state of affairs in other countries, I fear he isn’t ready and I personally DO NOT want to wait 4/8 yrs for him to leave the position like we have been doing with bush/chaney.
    As a black woman I was torn between the two and again decided on Clinton. I honestly believe that she is the better fit for our great country right now. Maybe obama in a few years. I hope and pray that ALL voters will look past color and gender and see what’s really important. Ignore the media, who should be ashamed by putting every black news anchor on TV exploiting race. We do not want obama pushed down out throats. They should be reporting facts so educated voters can make a wise decision. Thank you

  26. Francis

    Bill Clinton has truly shown an unorthodox demeanor—-definitely NOT in line of a former President. Several TOP Democrats (Kennedy, Clyburn, etc.) have asked Bill Clinton to adjust his “exaggerated rhetoric” towards Senator Obama. They’re LIES—-of which taints the Party. A former President (admired by many), having to be disciplined, raises questions of the type of future administration this country may face. For example, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton DID NOT agree with decisions on Iraq war. However, for CONVENIENCE, Bill tried to tell the nation that he and wife agreed. He would have succeeded if it weren’t for today’s “technology”. Is this a CLEAR indication of bad judgements and dishonesty, causing PAUSE to this nation going forward? Because of the recent revelations of the Clintons—-America is looking at a former President disintegrate before our eyes in an UNNECESSARY manner. The question is—-WHY? If in the White House again, will the script change?
    Another question—-WHO IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT? Is Hillary that WEAK? While Hillary is certainly a strong candidate for president, she remains fundamentally a tragic figure in American politics. The victim of one of the most relentlessly vicious and sexist smear campaigns unleashed in recent memory, Clinton retreated into her own interior fortress.
    Another question—Do, WE, Americans want to rehash?:
    1. Norman HSU
    2. Peter Paul
    3. Jim Guy Tucker
    4. James McDougal
    5. Susan McDougal
    6. Roger Clinton
    7. Whitewater
    8. Vince Foster
    9. Rose Law Firm(took work while Bill was Gov)
    10.Iowa Governors $400,000 debt repayment
    13.I didn’t have sex with that women
    14.Health Care(oh yea..now it wasn;t her fault)
    15.Biggest lobby contributions
    16.Travel gate
    17.Web Hubble
    18.She was against/for/didn’t know (the war)
    19.Middle class is someone making 97,000 dollars a year. (Reality Check)
    20. She calls full medical universal health coverage(MANDATORY even if it’s not affordable)
    21.Can’t give a straight answer
    22.Attacks when she’s down. (Divisive)
    23.Howard Wolfson works for her(ENOUGH SAID)
    ****The “establishment” will not forget during the General Election.
    America had better be prepared for discerption in the White House—as we CLEARLY assess THIS during the Clinton’s Campaign trail NOW.
    ANIMOSITY will hinder, prevent, postpone developments in government AS THE HIGHEST EXECUTIVE OFFICER and CHIEF OF STATE in this country.
    RESPECT is needed in this country as well as around the WORLD.

  27. alison weil

    so the smears have reached The State — must be close to the primary
    These are the people who go state to state and spread hooey
    So for the record:
    There needs to be campaign finance reform – this is a fact. Senator Clinton was scheduled to return $850,000 that was bundled to her through Norman Hsu. Hse was indicted this month for defrauding investors of $60 million. So while Obama’s campaign was naive accepting $10.0 thought other names but was channeled through Reszo – this is hardly the same as close to a million dollars through a known bundler.
    Second: the Clinton campaign injected race into this presidental campaign. While Sen Clintons incoherent initial remarks against MLK were likely innocent just not well said – they saw and seized the opening. Since IOWA it isn been race – race – race.
    Numerous Clinton surrogates have said outrageous things and then apologized (Bob Kerrey, Bill Shaheen, Andrew Cuomo, Bob Johnson and more); some have not apologized (Andrew Young) but the damage has been done.
    So if you are truly “black against obama” I feel really sorry for you
    You can be for Hillary — without being against anyone
    And isn’t that the very problem with the Clinton’s in general — it is alwats all about them and it is always a fight
    I would suggest to any white or african american to read and listen to the words Barack Obama said in yesterdays MLK tribute in Atlanta — he spoke the truth
    There will never be true progress or unity in this country until both the Bush and Clinton families are off the stage

  28. Lee Muller

    History lesson, bud.
    Clinton gave us 3 recessions and a huge stock market crash. The recovery from his ast tax increase on the middle income wage earners and his 2000 Recession was accomplished by the small tax cuts of 2001.
    Clinton refused to pursue Islamic terrorists, emboldened them, allowed them to infiltrate America, and attack us several times, the last attack coming in Sept 11, 2001.
    He started the war in Iraq in 1999 with his bombing campaign. President Bush has continued this war, but seriously, under the Congressional authorization given to Clinton. Hillary and 98% of the Democrats asked to vote for the war again, and did so in 2002.

  29. Gussie

    First, I’m not sure why we should bother with the views of ‘Democratic Courage’ when it appears to be basically an environmental scolding machine and Nancy Pelosi is listed as one of its ‘heroes.’ Look, being from Illinois and having used Iowa as a springboard for launching his Presidential bid, Obama will probably not be anybody’s “dream” environmental candidate, at least at first. But Obama is, if nothing else, pragmatic and non-ideological. He is also very, very receptive to input from all quarters and has a demonstrated willingness to tell folks stuff they don’t necessarily want to hear. Lat year he went to Detroit and told the automakers it was time to build more fuel-efficient cars, and guess what–he broke the Congressional logjam that had prevented the nation from advancing fuel efficiency standards for 20 years! He understands the country’s hunger for a leader who can exhort people to make meaningful sacrifices in order to secure a better world. The best thing about Obama is that he believes so strongly in everyday citizens who are engaged in community improvement. He spent 3 years in the “trenches” as a community organizer, and it has shaped his thinking ever since. His campaign motto is Respect, Empower, Include. This is a guy we can work with! Moreover, to counter the “Yes, Obama can give an inspirational speech, but that’s not going to help with foreign policy or our economy” argument, I believe that his election could signal to would-be terrorists abroad that America might not be so awful after all, which could give us the breathing room we need to help mend our relationships abroad. Check out http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200712/obama But I digress from the electability point. Clinton vs. McCain? Clinton loses. Obama vs. McCain? Obama wins. Just remember that a lot of the anti-Obama stuff in these blogs is Republican-backed. They know they can beat Clinton. They are way more afraid of an Obama candidacy.

  30. Michele

    To think that electing another Clinton will mean a return to the gay 1990s seems a bit delusional. Not only are these completely different times, but Hillary, though extremely competent, is not Bill.

  31. Michele

    I’m sure all of the Democratic candidates would do a great job as president. Compared to the current administration, the next president will look like Washington, Lincoln and Roosevelt all rolled into one. However, if Hillary is the Democratic nominee, I will support an opposing candidate. I don’t like the Clintons’ tactics – winning at all costs, even if it means making the Democratic Party look bad. Their ambition takes precedence over everything, and I am not drinking that Kool-Aid again.

  32. Michele

    Hey, Sam –
    I noticed that you didn’t include the part of the Sun-Times article that states that Senator Obama is not accused of any wrongdoing.

  33. Bill Lawrence

    I am somewhat sceptical of Hillary’s 35 years of “working for us”. What does that exactly mean? You mean, as a corporate lawyer at Rose Law firm in Little Rock? There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but I really don’t see how it amounted to serving the American people. Serving on corporate boards? Again, nothing wrong with that, but please, that was for “us”? Helping her husband weather scandals and crises? For us! And as a Senator, how has she really made a difference during the Bush years? By voting for the Iraq war? Yay for us!!
    I’m so disappointed at the nostalgia Democrats feel for the Clinton years. It is based on a most superficial reading of history. Does no one remember what that second term was like? Yeah, I somewhat like Obama, but I’d vote for Biden or Dodd if I wanted a Democrat with “experience”.
    We don’t need to go “back to the future.” No matter how smart or tough she may be, she is too divisive to be able to unite our nation. Even a likable Bill Clinton managed to have the voters turn on him in 1994, when the Republicans took over congress and the senate. Once the 9/11 bounce faded and people tired of Iraq, the voters turned on Bush in 2006. Hell, 50% of the public under no circumstances will vote for Hillary, before she has been nominated. Barring another 9/11 after she is elected, I really don’t see how she could get a mandate to accomplish anything on her “first day on the job”.
    Hillary’s comment about LBJ signing a bill was just plain stupid. He was the duck at the head of the formation who looks back, sees the group isn’t following and proceeds to get back in front. The politicians fell in line in response to real leadership on the issue from Rev. King and others who made it happen. The real battle was fought in the Senate with largely Republican votes to overcome the filibuster fought by Robert Byrd and Al Gore Sr. among others. That all assumes that passing a bill in Congress actually solves anything, which is even more stupid. It was the changing of the hearts and minds that mattered. That took leadership and sacrifice, not a signing pen.
    The issue has been repeatedly brought into the press by the Clinton machine. Obama tries to take the high road and he is doing a very good job of it for the most part.
    The question has now been presented to the Democratic electorate of whether they really want to go with the black guy instead of the establishment candidate. The answer will be a predictable no.
    That will be too bad. I have been hoping for an Obama-McCain campaign because I think it would be very good for the country. It would be a battle of two fine humans that are optimistic on the future of the country and not a battle of the mud slingers.

  34. Minute

    Does it not bother anyone that so many of the Clintons’ closest advisors and supporters are now campaigning for Barack Obama? Not just a few, but several. Is that just the nature of the game, or does that say something about the Clintons’ that no one’s naming? Spooky.

  35. Michele

    Given that Hillary has voted for several of the current administration’s failed undertakings, how does managing what hasn’t worked help us? Will she put forth new ideas or just manage the same tired ones? Is her vision at all limited by the scars she bears or by her “35 years” of experience?

  36. abrimage

    In my 46 years on earth, I have never voted Republican. However, if Hillary wins the democratic nomination I will.
    Here’s Why … Because of the unjust treatment I had to endure from Hillary supporters, while at the Nevada caucus for Barack Obama.
    I was inundated with loud taunts, threats and obscenities from Hillary supporters that left me with a sorry impression of the Clintons.
    As a registered Democrat, I made pledge to support all Democrats, therefore, for me to be unjustly treated by fellow Democrats was incomprehensible.
    The way the Clintons are handling matters with fellow Democrats is only going to fester and create serious repercussions, that will last way beyond the Presidential election in November.
    Why will I vote Republican?
    Because I expect from them to be negative towards me. I did not expect it from fellow Democrats.

  37. F hiliary& muslim

    So I see that the republican comments are lacking on here, so why not add some?
    It is sad to see so many un-American people. It literally breaks my heart. You all think that the cum receptical and the muslim are saints or some BS of the matter. I guess if you are looking for communism then they are.
    What ever happened to freedom of speech? If I truly had freedom of speech I could discriminate against gays, or for that matter, anyone I chose. You may call me racist, whatever you want, I don’t really care. Give me Condoleezza Rice, or Colin Powell, and I will prove with my vote that I am not. Don’t get me wrong, I hate all of the pres. cand. republican or democrat. They ALL suck. Just thought I’d put in my two cents

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