News reports out yesterday indicate that Barack Obama has been in meetings with his VP search committee, and that Virginia governor Tim Kaine is on the shortlist to be Barack Obama's runningmate. Kaine has an impressive resume, he was a city councilman in Richmond, Virginia, and later Mayor of Richmond, Lt. Governor of Virginia, and now is the Governor. He's a progressive reformer who for years had a law practice representing minorities discriminated by housing laws. Kaine was born in Minnesota, a key state. He grew up in Missourri, a key swing state, and Virginia is also a key swing state. He helps in all those states.
Email from Obama's website today:
[bold]At the Democratic National Convention next month, we're going to kick off the general election with an event that opens up the political process the same way we've opened it up throughout this campaign.
Barack has made it clear that this is your convention, not his.
On Thursday, August 28th, he's scheduled to formally accept the Democratic nomination in a speech at the convention hall in front of the assembled delegates.
Instead, Barack will leave the convention hall and join more than 75,000 people for a huge, free, open-air event where he will deliver his acceptance speech to the American people.
It's going to be an amazing event, and Barack would like you to join him. Free tickets will become available as the date approaches, but we've reserved a special place for a few of the people who brought us this far and who continue to drive this campaign. [/bold]
It has been reported that Obama's vp short list has twenty names on it, and one version of the list being circulated is (in no particular order):
1. Sen. Hillary Clinton
2. Former Sen. John Edwards
3. Gov. Bill Richardson
4. Gov. Kathleen Sibelius
5. Sen. Joe Biden
6. Sen. Chris Dodd
7. Gov. Ted Strickland
8. General Wesley Clarke
9. Former Sen. Sam Nunn
10. Gov. Ed Rendell
11. Sen. Chuck Hagel
12. General James Jones (Marines)
13. Sen. Evan Bayh
14. Sen. Jim Webb
15. Gen. Tony McPeak (Air Force)
16. Former Secretary of Navy Richard Danzig
On August 28th, when Barack Obama accepts the Democratic nomination for President, it will be forty five years *to the day* from that summer afternoon back in 1963 when civil rights riots were going on and the March on Washington took place. Forty five years from the day that Martin Luther King gave his "I have a Dream" speech.
The Obama campaign should not miss the symbolic opportunity here. What I suggest is that the day before, on March 27th, that Obama lead another march. Start on an indian reservation outside Denver somewhere and have people from all over America come there and march with Obama, down the highways and through neighborhoods, and straight into downtown Denver. As the roll call of states is going on nominating Obama, the scene is juxtaposed with Obama leading hundreds of thousands of people of all colors straight into Denver and right up to the arena.
From the Daily Guardian in UK:
[b]News Corporation chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch has used his newly acquired technology conference D6 to throw his weight behind "rock star" Barack Obama's presidential campaign, as well as giving his views on the Wall Street Journal.
Murdoch made critical comments about the number of journalists involved in editing at the Wall Street Journal, which became part of the News Corp empire when he bought parent company Dow Jones in December, saying that every story seemed to be edited by "8.3 people".
There are stories of formal or informal talks going on between Obama and Clinton camps. Hillary's camp supposedly wants to discuss exit strategy. But at this point the only exit strategy she would seem to find acceptable is a guarantee of the vice presidency.
Even if Obama may not particularly want Hillary as his runningmate, he may have no choice. Hillary could well tell Obama that unless he offers her the vp spot up front, she will take her campaign all the way to the convention, and if he gets the presidential nomination, she will have her name placed in nomination for vice president whether he likes it or not. Hillary has more than enough delegates, and probably enough of her super delegate friends, to prevent anyone else but her from getting the vp nomination.
Staten Island congressman Vito Fossella is under heavy pressure to resign because he has admitted to having a long term mistress and that they had a three year old love child. Is this worse than Eliot Spitzer hiring prostitutes? Is the private life of any public official really more important than the job they do? I think Fossella has been a lousy congressman, but is his having a second family any of our business? If Spitzer was a good governor, did it matter if on his own time he was paying for sex?
Are we requiring public officials to be morally perfect now? It is not like Fossella is the only person in his district who has kept a mistress or had a child with a woman who was not his wife. Or gotten a dui.
Sean Bell, an innocent man walking out of a nightclub was shot fifty times by cops. Not one or twice, but fifty shots. In front of numerous eyewitnesses. The cops were all found not guilty today.
Sean Bell was a black man. If he was white, you know it is much more likely those cops would be in jail now. Of course when was the last time you ever heard of a white man being shot fifty times on the street.
I have served on jury duty three times and can tell you firsthand that justice isn't color blind. Defendants charged with the same crimes get acquitted more often when they are white than if they are black. Fact. This is the big reason I am against the death penalty. Many jurors simply do not avoid making pre-judgements based on the race of the defendants.
New York State is deeply in debt and constantly trying to avoid a fiscal crisis. Which means the state budget needs to be monitored very closely, and even the smallest items state money is spent on need to be questioned. Here is one that made the news last week and should outrage people if they think about it:
Lawmakers in albany have included $1.4 million to fund the Lt. Governor's office and staff for the next year. The problem is that as of last month, there is no Lt. Governor *or* staff. When David Paterson became Governor, he took his staff with him. Under state law there will be no Lt. Governor at all until 2010. So why are the lawmakers budgeting $1.2 million for salaries of a non-existent staff and $104,000 travel budget for an office that is vacant?!
Air America's Randi Rhodes, an Obama supporter, called Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro and "whores" Air America has now suspended indefinitely. Here's the statement:
STATEMENT OF AIR AMERICA RADIO, FROM CHAIRMAN CHARLIE KIREKER:
NEW YORK — Air America has suspended on-air host Randi Rhodes for making inappropriate statements about prominent figures, including Sen. Hillary Clinton, at a recent public appearance on behalf of Air America in San Francisco which was sponsored by an Air America affiliate station.
Barack Obama's speech on race relations yesterday, remarks that everyone should read. Barack speaks the truth, the way a President should:
"We the people, in order to form a more perfect union."
Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America's improbable experiment in democracy. Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787.
The Daily News has annointed Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz as the front runner in the 2009 Mayor's race, based on a poll just released:
The poll had:
Is Marty's base in Brooklyn so strong that he wins a seven or eight person race, as this suggests? Is Marty the Democrats best hope for regaining City Hall, particularly if (as is rumored) he ends up getting Bloomberg's endorsement?
National Journal is out with their annual ranking of Senators from most conservative to most liberal. The number one most liberal senator, the most left of the left, has been announced as Illinois Senator Barack Obama.
Hillary ranks sixteenth. Now one might question the timing of the release of these rankings. Days before the big Super Tuesday primaries, and the conservative leaning National Journal releases their rankings showing Obama to the left of Teddy Kennedy, Kerry, Feingold and all the rest. If Obama gets the nomination, the GOP will put this in all their ads, "Barack the Liberal of Liberals" You'd almost think Hillary Clinton's campaign is behind this, as it could hurt Barack in some of the heartland states voting next week. How is Barack going to present himself as a moderate when he's been ranked the number one most liberal? But they do these rankings every year at this time.
Hillary Clinton today won the Nevada caucuses by a decisive margin, and it is a telling story. The majority of caucus goers in Nevada were women and they backed her by a seventeen point margin. The message some might take out of this, and the New Hampshire primary, is that Hillary is the first female candidate with a realistic chance to be president, and women voters are not going to let her lose. Hard negative attacks don't work against Hillary because she's a woman competing against all these guys, and other women see such attacks as sexist.
The other interesting point about today's contest is that Hillary won a decisive majority of the hispanic vote. Maybe Obama would have won had Bill Richardson still been in the race. But if some significant percentage of hispanic voters will not vote for a black candidate, and lets face it we know all too well especially here in New York City that sparks always fly in political races where politicos try to get blacks and hispanics on the same boat, what does that say about Obama's chances in the southwest and west?
excerpted from today's New York Times blog:
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, even as he distanced himself from presidential campaign efforts on his behalf, seemed to confirm their existence this morning at a City Hall news conference. Asked about whether aides were reaching out to potential advisers for a 2008 presidential run, as reported in The New York Post, Mr. Bloomberg said of the story, “I have absolutely no idea where it came from.”