Iowa... Where Presidents Begin

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click on each candidate to see today's news stories (caricatures by Linda Eddy)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Rev. Jeremiah Wright news coverage:

HUH??? -"I don't think he had any intention to hurt Barack"

Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Church said he has been speaking to both men as the events of the past 24 hours unfolded.

He counseled Obama Tuesday morning, and while CBS 2 talked to him Tuesday evening, Rev. Wright called his cell phone.

"I don't think he had any intention to hurt Barack. He loves Barack," Pfleger said. "I think the pain and the moment took over."

CounterPunch: Obama holds press conference

Obama says he's outraged by former pastor's comments

Barack Obama says he was outraged by the comments of his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and saddened by the spectacle of his appearance on Monday.

Wright said Monday that criticism surrounding his fiery sermons is an attack on the black church.

Obama told reporters Tuesday that Wright's comments do not accurately portray the perspective of the black church.

Obama said, "I am outraged by the comments that were made and saddened by the spectacle that we saw yesterday."

Obama denounces Wright

"The person that I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago," he said. "His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate, and I believe that they do not portray accurately the perspective of the black church."

"They certainly don’t portray accurately my values and beliefs," he said.

"If Reverend Wright thinks that’s political posturing, as he put it, then he doesn’t know me very well and based on his remarks yesterday, I may not know him as well as I thought either."

"I gave him the benefit of the doubt in my speech in Philadelphia, explaining that he has done enormous good in the church," he said. "But when he states and then amplifies such ridiculous propositions as the U.S. government somehow being involved in AIDS; when he suggests that Minister Farrakhan somehow represents one of the greatest voices of the 20th and 21st century; when he equates the U.S. wartime efforts with terrorism – then there are no excuses. They offend me. They rightly offend all Americans. And they should be denounced, and that’s what I’m doing very clearly and unequivocally here today."

"It is antithetical to my campaign. It is antithetical to what I’m about. It is not what I think America stands for," he said.

Andrew Sullivan: Obama divorces Wright

No one will ever be able to say that Obama threw his father-figure and pastor under the bus. We all know that the reverse happened...

Roger Simon: The wrongs inflicted by Wright

It will still be difficult for Obama to lose the nomination, but if he does, he can blame Wright. And this is not just because Obama currently is trying to woo white voters who now may be even more suspicious of him...

Gingrich: Wright may be deliberately hurting Obama

Saying that Wright "went out of his way to weaken Obama" during Monday's address at the National Press Club, Gingrich told Barbara Walters "I think Reverend Wright has a greater interest in his self-importance."

Gingrich described Obama former pastor as "hard-line anti-American", and said "if Rev. Wright continues to talk that the burden that Sen. Obama carries becomes bigger and bigger. "

Eugene Robinson: Where Wright goes wrong

... The problem is that Wright insists on being seen as something he's not: an archetypal representative of the African American church. In fact, he represents one twig of one branch of a very large tree...

... I'm through with Wright not because he responded -- in similar circumstances, I certainly couldn't have kept silent -- but because his response was so egocentric. We get it, Rev. Wright: You're ready for your close-up.

... his basic point -- that any attack on him is an attack on the African American church and its traditions -- is just wrong. In making that argument, he buys into the fraudulent idea of a monolithic, monocultural black America -- one with his philosophy and theology at its center.

Obama adds to distance from pastor and opinions

If it was not clear before Monday, Senator Barack Obama said, it should be clear now: His presidential campaign has no control over what the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., his former pastor, says or what he does.

“He does not speak for me,” Mr. Obama said. “He does not speak for the campaign. He may make statements in the future that don’t reflect my values or concerns.”

“I think certainly what the last three days indicate is that we’re not coordinating with him, right?” Mr. Obama said.

see also: Obama on Rev. Wright: 'He does not speak for me'

Wright's voice could spell doom for Obama

Should it become necessary in the months from now to identify the moment that doomed Obama's presidential aspirations, attention is likely to focus on the hour between nine and ten Monday morning at the National Press Club. It was then that Wright, Obama's longtime pastor, reignited a controversy about race from which Obama had only recently recovered - and added lighter fuel.

Wright puts Obama on defensive

... as Obama struggles to close out his party's nomination, his message of hope and reconciliation on race and politics has a competing framework, that of the far less conciliatory rhetoric of Wright.

Wright, for example, did not back down, for instance, from assertions that the United States government was responsible for introducing AIDS into the black community.

"Is he (Wright) working for the Hillary campaign?" asked conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, who blogged from the Press Club event. "Is he angry at Barack Obama? Because he has got to know this is killing his spiritual protigi's campaign."

Wright strides back onstage

The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. appeared at the National Press Club on Monday, delivering a defiant address in which he defended and amplified some politically and racially charged remarks from past sermons...

Not speaking for Obama, pastor speaks for himself, at length

Mr. Wright, Senator Barack Obama’s former pastor, was cocky, defiant, declamatory, inflammatory and mischievous, but most of all, he was all over the place, performing a television triathlon of interview, lecture and live news conference that pushed Mr. Obama aside and placed himself front and center in the presidential election campaign...

Wright at Nat'l Press Club:
'An attack on the black church', not him

Rev. Wright said of the controversy:

"It is not an attack on Jeremiah Wright. It is an attack on the black church," he said, to applause, which he noted was "from -- not the working press."

Wright was also at some pains to say that while he admires James Cone's Black Liberation Theology, he identifies his own ministry with another stream: "the prophetic tradition of the black church."

Wright to Obama: 'I'm coming after you'

“I said to Barack Obama last year, ‘If you get elected, November the 5th I'm coming after you, because you'll be representing a government whose policies grind under people,’ Wright said.






John McCain... today's headlines with excerpts

McCain seen more likely to beat Obama in fall

Sen. John McCain would have an easier time beating Sen. Barack Obama than Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in this fall's presidential race, according to an analysis conducted by Karl Rove, President Bush's former political strategist...

McCain strengthening his political marriage

“His grandstanding turned out to be right on a lot of things,” said Representative Jack Kingston, Republican of Georgia. “More troops in Iraq, earmarks, cutting out some of the spending.”

Many Republicans have now concluded that it is only Mr. McCain’s willingness to challenge recent Republican orthodoxy that has left him in a position to credibly contend for the White House, given public dissatisfaction with Republican leadership.

McCain offers market-based health plan

McCain dismissed his rivals' proposals for universal health care as riddled with "inefficiency, irrationality and uncontrolled costs." He said the 47 million uninsured Americans will get coverage only when they are freed from the shackles of the current employer-dominated system.

McCain's prescription would seek to lure workers away from their company health plans with a $5,000 family tax credit and a promise that, left to their own devices, they would be able to find cheaper insurance that is more tailored to their health-care needs and not tied to a particular job.

Under McCain's plan, $3.6 trillion worth of tax breaks over a decade that would have gone to businesses for coverage of their employees would be redirected to individuals, regardless of whether they are covered by a company plan.




Hillary Clinton... today's headlines with excerpts

Hillary Clinton to appear for first time ever on FOX News' Bill O'Reilly Show tonight

Hillary Clinton vs. Bill O'Reilly - it's finally going to happen.

First reported exclusively by the Drudge Report, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., will appear in a pre-taped interview on Wednesday's edition of "The O'Reilly Factor" on FOX News. The much anticipated interview will take place via satellite with Clinton in South Bend, Indiana, on Wednesday.

Clinton adviser indicates Hillary will play nice with O'Reilly

says Hillary spokesperson Howard Wolfson: "...Hillary obviously doesn't agree with Bill O'Reilly on many issues, but he has a large audience of politically engaged people."

Gov. Easley says Hillary makes Rocky look 'like a pansy', stirs debate

The “pansy” debate stems from comments made by Gov. Mike Easley of North Carolina as he was endorsing Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. He ended by saying that Mrs. Clinton “makes Rocky Balboa look like a pansy.” (As you may recall, Mrs. Clinton compared herself to the “Italian Stallion” while campaigning in Pennsylvania.)

Some were offended by a perceived anti-gay slur. Others heard a synonym for “wimp.”

GOP give Hillary the silent treatment

Clinton, it seems, has been erased from the picture, Soviet-style. Republicans mostly act like she doesn’t exist—an unusual turn of events considering her run of big-state victories and the fact that not so long ago Republican campaign plans were predicated on the idea of Clinton as the Democratic nominee.

In evoking good of 90's, Hillary risks memories of the bad

Hillary Clinton is reminding economically hard-hit voters how much better they had it in the 1990s, but bringing up the past also risks taking them back to the scandals and partisan divides associated with former President Bill Clinton -- memories Sen. Barack Obama has tried to exploit...




Rich Lowry: Hillary, the new Scoop Jackson?

Was just talking to a shrewd friend. His take on the turn of events in the campaign and how it has affected Hillary Clinton (quoting roughly): "Hillary has shown a Nixonian resilience and she's morphing into Scoop Jackson. She's entering the culture war as a general. All of this has made her a far more formidable general election candidate. She's fighting the left and she's capturing the center. She's denounced She's become the Lieberman of the Democratic party. The left hates her and treats her like Lieberman. Today, Obama is distancing himself from Wright and Hillary is getting in touch with O'Reilly. The culture war has come to the Democratic party."





Barack Obama... today's headlines with excerpts

Majority of House and Senate privately back Obama

Capitol Hill insiders say the battle for congressional superdelegates is over, and one Senate supporter of Barack Obama is hinting strongly that he has prevailed over Hillary Rodham Clinton.

While more than 80 Democrats in the House and Senate have yet to state their preferences in the race for the Democratic nomination, sources said Tuesday that most of them have already made up their minds and have told the campaigns where they stand.

Obama's record has Republicans dusting off 'liberal' attacks

Republicans plan to paint Obama as a liberal who is out of step with mainstream Americans on abortion, crime and health care, the same label used against failed Democratic candidates George McGovern and John Kerry.

``For someone who's been in office as little as Barack Obama, the guy has a record that defines the word liberal,'' said Chris LaCivita, a Republican media adviser to the Swift Boat veterans who assailed Kerry's Vietnam War record during the Massachusetts senator's 2004 presidential bid.

Obama says Clinton, McCain pandering on gas tax vacation

Clinton and certain Republican presidential nominee John McCain are calling for a holiday on collecting the federal gas tax "to get them through an election," Obama said at a campaign rally before more than 2,000 cheering backers a week before crucial primaries in Indiana and North Carolina. "The easiest thing in the world for a politician to do is tell you exactly what you want to hear."

Obama's lead in North Carolina shrinks to 5 pts

the 10-point lead that Barack Obama has had for two months is halved, to now 5 points, Obama 49%, Clinton 44%, according to SurveyUSA's 7th tracking poll

Where's Oprah?

You can't help thinking she'd be helpful to Obama right now. Not only is Oprah exceedingly popular among working-class white women--a killer demographic for Obama--she's also the second-most famous person in the world who can claim Jeremiah Wright as her "ex-pastor." (Or is Oprah more famous than Obama? Not sure.) How much of a coup would it be for Obama if she outed herself as a one-time Trinity congregant who's completely mystified by Wright's publicity tour? An Obama appearance on her show would be even better...

Obama says he'll cut down on going negative

``I told this to my team, you know, we are starting to sound like other folks, we are starting to run the same negative stuff,'' Obama told a crowd of about 5,000 in Wilmington, North Carolina. ``It shows that none of us are immune from this kind of politics. But the problem is that it doesn't help you.''




Ralph Nader... today's headlines with excerpts




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