Friday, March 07, 2008

Is the Obama Bubble Bursting? New Pew Poll Shows Democrats Would Defect to McCain

I've been saying for some time now that many Democrats, while awed by Sen. Barack Obama's public speaking skills, charisma and inspirational talk of "change," see him as an empty suit who lacks the political skills, foreign policy experience and overall gravitas to be president. As a result, the fear is that many of the more centrist Dems will switch to GOP nominee Sen. John McCain come November. I've also been saying, and this points to a still-ugly truth facing 2008 America, that race will play a big role as well. A new Pew Research survey released Friday confirms these inherent challenges of Obama's campaign.

The poll reports that 14 percent of Democrats would vote for McCain instead of Obama, but that just 8 percent of Republicans would vote for the Illinois Democrat. These numbers don't support Obama's countless stump speeches that he's been pulling Republicans into his camp as the choice cross-over candidate. The survey indicates just the opposite is happening.

More troubling, however, is the 20 percent of white Democratic voters who said they would defect to McCain if Obama is the nominee. Even more alarming is that this figure is twice that of those who said they'd defect if Clinton wins the nomination. Again, Democrats who deny this reality are delusional. Sadly, America is still a very racist nation with lots of very ignorant people.

Additionally, there's concern that Obama could face a stiff battle in the Democratic bastion of California. A brand new poll commissioned by the National Campaign Fund shows that McCain can win that heretofore untouchable state. The poll states "When voters learn of Obama’s support of licenses to illegal aliens, they become far less likely to support him. They are also far less likely to support Obama when they learn of his support for more spending, to be funded by higher taxes."

To be sure, Obama is in trouble for the first time in his golden campaign. He has not bounced back well since his huge losses to Clinton Tuesday in Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island, appearing weakened and at a crossroads. He's now faced with the dilemma of staying the "above-the-fray" course and looking like a non-fighter against the more aggressive, calculating Clinton, or, getting down and dirty with her until April 22nd's Pennsylvania primary, and thus turning off myriad supporters--including the idealistic youth vote--who bought the old "politics of hope" Obama and not the "dirty-politics-as-usual" desperate one. Can he all of a sudden turn on a dime and become a street fighter and not turn off his base? I highly doubt it.

Case in point: look at what's happening to team-Obama. Friday morning his Foreign Policy Advisor Samantha Power "resigned" (read: was fired) after referring to Clinton, in an interview with the Scottish newspaper The Scotsman, as a "monster" who will stoop to anything to win. In my opinion, this is just the beginning. I suspect more heads will soon roll in the Obama camp as his campaign appears to flounder in the face of Clinton's resurgence.

On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute. Your generous contribution will go a long way towards helping us achieve this very important mission. Thank you.


Prius said...

You mentioned ignorant people, and that is a fact. Just this morning I was talking to a fellow worker about politics and she said she didn't like Hillary or Obama. I asked why, and she "just don't like them". I asked her who she DID like and said, "none of them". I asked again why? She had no reason. just the same, "I don't like them". I asked her if she voted and the answer was NO. I then said well you best not bitch about ANYTHING then, because if you don't vote you can't bitch. She lives paycheck to paycheck yet making good wages.

I heard last week from a worker here talking about politics that he didn't like the "black guy" and when I asked him if he knew his name, he said no just the black guy. I asked him if he voted and again, "No, I think they are all crooked and I don't know anything about them." The sad fact is these people know all about a football or baseball game but have no idea about a topic that will affect their lives.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, I've been saying that there are white voters who will not vote for Obama. They know that before too long the rule of white men in this country will end, but they are not going help it along in
2008. I really wish this wasn't true, but too many men have said they will not vote for him. Hillary might be in the same boat if they don't want to give up the power to a woman. Obama supporters are naive and really don't understand politics. They are going to learn a hard lesson.

35th 'n Shields said...

Count me in the camp that will defect to McCain if Hillary wins the nomination. As far as I'm concerned there's no real difference between them. A fascist is a fascist.

I grew up working in campaigns on the Southwest Side of Chicago. I know all about crooked politics and crooked politicians. I was first attracted to Obama's campaign because he promised a different style, a different method. If he has to change his style to win, I will be disappointed, but not in him. I will be disappointed in the American people. The people who respond to this crap that the Clinton's (Rove) throw out.

I will vote for McCain because it's become obvious we haven't learned our lesson. America seems hungry for four more years of Bush. I think we haven't hit bottom yet, but in four years when it's too late to save the planet, and too late to prevent China from foreclosing on the U.S. debt, and it's too late to stem the tide of hatred in the Middle East, and it's too late to save our privacy rights. Maybe in four more years people will wake up and realize Obama was right.

Back in the sixties, my Dad used to say "what this country needs is a good depression." He had lived through the depression, and I knew he didn't want to live through another one. I knew what he meant was that we needed something to focus our efforts on. Something to slap people around and make them realize that we were better than we were showing. He saw riots, and protests, and assassinations and knew we were a better people. Well, I'm starting to think we have farther to fall before we're ready to become great again.

Sidney Condorcet said...


Since you place so much faith in polls, I think you'd like this 50-state SurveyUSA poll that shows that Obama puts many more states in play than Clinton, while Clinton will be forced to defend more traditionally blue states that Obama does not have to forcefully defend.

As for the forced resignation of Samantha Power it just shows Obama's class. Clinton does not comport herself in such a classy way. Otherwise Howard Wolfson would resign due to his absurd, reprehensible remark that Obama's completely legitimate request for the release of the Clintons' post-White House tax returns was an imitation of "Ken Starr." Pathetic!

How do you feel about Hillary constantly saying these last few days that only she and McCain (our f(ckin opponent) has passed the "national security experience threshold". She's essentially saying to the American public: "If it comes down to Obama vs McCain, then vote for McCain." How do you feel comfortable with that kind of Democrat on Democrat violence? She has shown a willingness to put her own pursuit of power ahead of party and country.

How about her blatantly false attacks on Obama re: NAFTA? And how it was actually HER DAMN CAMPAIGN that contacted Canadian officials to give them a wink and nudge? Yet she attacked Obama for what she did. Classic Rovian tactic: Complain about something your opponent is supposedly doing, when you are indeed doing it yourself.

I didnt think I'd find myself saying this. But I will vote for McCain if Hillary becomes the nominee. While I align with her on most issues far more closely than I do with McCain, some people just cannot be trusted to wield power. She has built the entire foundation of her candidacy on "experience" particular on national security, but she'd be going against McCain, who has decades more experience than her on matters of foreign policy and military affairs. It will take him all of 30 seconds to puncture that "experience" bubble.

Sidney Condorcet said...

From the Washington Times:
"Mr. Clinton had gotten the nonpublicly traded stock from Accoona Corp. back in 2004 as a gift for giving a speech at a company event. He landed the windfall by selling the 200,000 shares to an undisclosed buyer in May 2006, commanding $3.50 a share at a time when the company was reporting millions of dollars of losses, according to interviews."

Hmm, I wonder what those tax returns will reveal? Notice that the Clinton campaign says that they will release the tax returns around April 15...not definitely on April 15. They will wait until April 21, 22, or 23 to ensure that whatever major revelation(s) comes to light, it will not affect the outcome of the Pennsylvania Primary....

Sidney Condorcet said...

From Matthew Yglesias:

(Nixon watch)
"Archivists at the Clinton Library blocking access "of hundreds of pages of White House papers on pardons that the former president approved, including clemency for fugitive commodities trader Marc Rich." The risk with this kind of thing is that, basically, Democratic partisans don't want to hear about it and don't care. We know perfectly well that the right-wing dragged all this stuff up as part of a crazy and pernicious scandal net and only talks about it to use their nefarious agenda. Thus maybe it won't hurt Clinton much in a primary. But in a general election? In a country where her husband never secured a majority? It'll be damaging."

Anonymous said...

I'm stunned that there are people out there so idiotic to vote for McCain if Hill gets the nod. Sure, I can't stand her either, but there's a world of difference between McSame and CLinton on a lot of issues, such as choice and other things.

You'd support some guy who is against just about everything Obama stands for. Jeezus, write in your next door neighbor, fer chrissake. That's what I'd do. The ass of this country can't take another reaming from a Republican. If you're gonna be stupid about it, stay home and do us all a favor.

The Ostroy Report said...

Regardless of what Hillary Clinton does or doesn't do that may or may not piss some people off, for Pete's sake that doesn't justify voting for McCain, does it? Why on this God's Earth would anyone who is liberal, against the war, pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, anti-guns vote for a staunch conservative like McCain simply because Hillary's allegedly playing dirty against Obama? Excuse me, but that is some of the most f****d in the head convoluted lunacy I've ever heard. And besides, you don't think that a McCain/Clinton or a McCain/Obama general election is not going to be wrought with extremely intense dirtywork by McCain and Co? You speak as if this crusty old Republican war-monger is going to run a Kumbaya campaign against either Democrat. Man, the level of foolishness and naivite of some on the left simply astounds me. Like I said yesterday, if Democrats could just get out of their own way maybe they'd win an election.

Anonymous said...

At one point I thought I might vote for McCain if Hillary was the Democrats choice, but I have since decided that I won't do that.
I am so SICK of voting for the lesser of two evils!
Two times in the past I did not vote for President because I was tired of voting for the lesser of two evils.
Last time, I held my nose and voted for Kerry because I wanted so badly to get rid of GWB.
But this time, if the choice is between Hillary or McCain I will either vote for Nader or not vote for the President at all. I do still vote, though only for Senators and state politicians when I don't vote for President.
Oh, and BTW, I'm a baby boomer woman who has stepped out of the women's roles electrician.

Anonymous said...

Hillary Clinton will not win the African-American vote if she is the nominee. She and her husband have done long lasting damage that white people have not grasped yet. I'm hearing my older relatives and their peers say this will be the first time they will refuse to pull the lever for a democratic presidential candidate. Many of these people saw their parents victimized and disenfranchised by the Jim Crow south. They are people who suffered to vote and understand the power of voting. The Clintons have changed the game and not for the better.

Anonymous said...

I think (and hope) the only reason that you want to try and do your bit to stop obama's momentum is that it will lead to a brokered convention between him and clinton and then Al Gore can be drafted. That is the only reason why I was hoping for a Clinton win in Texas and Ohio, so that she can stay in the race until the convention.
Gore/Biden 08

Sidney Condorcet said...


You ask how someone like me could possibly vote for McCain over Clinton, well here's an answer.

McCain, if elected, would singlehandedly make the Republican Party more reasonable. Sure, there will always be crazies, but McCain is not Bush, no matter how hard you try to equate the two. If he is confronted with a Democratic Congress, he will deal on immigration reform, global warming (hell, he's one of the few REpubs who actually believes it exists), he will revert to form on tax cuts for the wealthy, campaign finance, et al.

McCain's generally a reasonable politician. That's why his own base has such negative views of him, b/c he's often an iconoclast. Sure, some could say his independent streak is merely his media strategy, but he's head and shoulders above the rank-and-file of the Republican Party in that he does not demagogue every issue. He's not a revanchist, irredeemable shit. He's a decent, respectable politician (oxymoron though that may be).

McCain can help change the tenor with which the Republican Party makes its case. That is what's great about his candidacy. That's why I wanted to see Obama v. McCain, b/c it would be a reasonable debate of the issues of the day, not "kitchen sink", gutter trash, distraction politics that GW Bush and the Clintons continually practice.

Don't tell me about naivete, Andy. You're the one who doesn't notice this nation destroying itself...

It's not merely about winning the election, it's about winning the argument and changing the terms of the debate. If liberals are to ultimately prevail as to the issues of the day, we need to persuade people. Clinton will not persuade anyone. Her ability to win a general election is (like Bush's) more about depressing turnout in certain key areas...

Anonymous said...

5:20 says the clintons have done more to turn off african-american votes than we know,WHAT A JOKE,the clintons have not used race as a issue,the fairy tail comment was speaking how he has always been against the war,a person who's against the war doesn't back joe lieberman as a independent against the dem in conn. who was anti-war,it was OBAMA"S wife who decided to make the comment into a race issue,and notice how 5:20 is willing to use the african-american vote as a reason you have to vote OBAMA,that bird won't fly NO MORE

Anonymous said...

I'm not talking about the fairy tale comment. I'm talking about the comments of Shaheen, Cuomo, and Kerrey; Bill Clinton's decision to do Limbaugh's show; the darkening of Obama's image; the embracing of McCain along with the simultaneous denigrating of Obama.

I'm simply posting about what I am hearing within the African American community. Where did you get the illogical idea that I'm giving reasons that anyone has to vote for Obama?

Please read for comprehension, instead of giving in to hysteria.

Gayle Ruffin

Anonymous said...

latest nationwide poll says Obama leads McCain by 12 points. Hillary leads McCain by 6 points. Poll came out yesterday or the day before. The Obama "bubble" is not bursting. I think Hillary gained a total of about 10 delegates last tuesday. With the Texas caucus added in Obama beat Hillary in Texas by 3 delegates.

Anonymous said...

Actually, something that the corporate media is ot reporting is that Californua granted Obama eight additiona dlegates after their certification on Tuesday. This make Clinton's gain after her Ohio and vermont wins, and Texas loss one (1) delegate. SHE WILL NOT WIN!

Anonymous said...

Man, is this depressing. The only ones showing any sanity or intelligence at all are Ostroy and those who agree with him. It all sounds like high-school time when personality trumps everything. In fact, there's a theory among psychologists that those who never leave their little home towns, remain in high school mode all their lives.

First of all anyone who believes most of the polls or the comments in the news and TV are naive. They have not told the entire story, ever, about Hillary's campaign. She has said all along that Nafta helps some and hurts some and will have to be adjusted. Her aide in Canda clairifed that postiion, whereas, Obama said in effect, that he was lying about adjusting or touching Nafta.

The use of the word "monster" shows the irrational level of hatred those in OBama's camp have for the Clintons. It is also irrational for the people responding to Ostroy's comments to decide to vote against their own interests because Bill might have erred in some areas. Only idiots vote against their own interests. Obama cannot win. McCain will not be helpful at all to most of us Democrats who are suffering from the results of Bush's cruelty.

And, for the blacks. I am having trouble believing the extent of their racism. Everytime I see a black on a panel on TV I know at once he is for Obama. That huge numbers of whites are voting for Obama and that no blacks are voting for Hillary shows where the racism is in this country.

People are being thrown out of their homes; people are moving to the streets because they've lost their jobs; people are getting guns and shooting school girls; people are robbing gallons of gasoline from filling stations because they can't afford gas. Wake up. We are in a crisis. We need FDR but since he's not here we have to elect Hillary and her key advisor, Bill. Obama can't cut it and he can't survive the Republican attack machine. McCain is off the wall. We are not voting for prom king or queen. You don't have to like your choice for president or think he/she is attractive. That's not what will save us.

However, after reading these comments, I think that the "dumbing of America" is complete and we haven't got a chance. We're on our way to being a third world country.

Sidney Condorcet said...,0,51719.story

The last poster proves his own point as to the alleged "dumbing" down of America...He believes that "Obama can't cut it", yet somehow Colonel Hillary, with her "35 years of experience", can solve all our problems. As if she's been tested, as if she's ever faced a tough electoral foe in her lifetime, as if she's brokered peace accords, faced down tyranny, laid to waste terrorist training camps single-handedly.

The people who've bought this hollow public relations campaign have been duped. I want Obama to win, but I'm not willing to lie to get it done or allow myself to be duped. Obviously, he has little foreign policy experience. But these Clintonistas have all fallen off the turnip truck. They honestly believe that Hillary has passed that ethereal experience threshold. Sure, she's a smart policy wonk. Obama's no slouch on that score. He also vocally opposed the largest foreign policy misjudgment in our nation's history, while Clinton authorized it. All things being equal, I'll take the inspiring, hopeful guy who makes less serious misjudgments. Seems pretty rational to me. Clearly, the "dumbing of America" is indeed complete.

Anonymous said...

For starters, 3:04, all things are not equal. Hillary was respresenting the state of NY when the vote occurred and it was her responsibility to see to it that they and all Americans were safe against the threats of a tyrant who wanted to destroy them or so Congree was told. The CIA and the President of the US were telling Congress that Saddam had WMDs and American was in danger. The President also promised he would go to the UN and have the weapon inspectors reinstalled just to be sure. She, as did so many other Democrats, decided that it would be better to allow the President to do that and then, if he had to, declare war, than to take a chance on the lives of Americans. You know -- better "save than sorry." She had no way of knowing the President was lying, and even if she thought he might be, she could not risk being wrongl All Obama had to do was grab the Dean supporters to applaud his speech so he'd win his Illinois election. No one was endangered by his decision. Subsequently Obama I guess you could say, saw the wisdom of Hillary's decisions about the war; he voted with Hillary and the others. Which brings me to the second point. Was his anti-war speech just campaign rhetoric?

His representative told Canada that his promises about Nafta were campaign rhetoric and his foreign policy advisor told England that he couldn't possibly get the troops out by the time he was promising.

To support such a person would indeed by, if not dumb, unwise.

Anonymous said...

Count me in, as another yellow dog Democrat who will definitely defect to McCain if Hillary is the nominee. Is Hillary a "monster"? May not, but she is an opportunistic, conniving woman who thinks the people of America should vote for her because it is "my turn". No,it is not "her turn"--it is time for America to be put on the right path with entirely new leadership and Hillary is not new leadership. It is time for this nation to not have yet another in the series of Bush, Clinton, Clinton, Bush, Bush administrations. Other than Supreme Court nominations, I can think of no difference in having John McCain or Hillary Clinton. They are basically two sides of the same coin. I will only vote Democrat if Barack Obama is the nominee in November. If he isn't the nominee, I will either sit it out, or vote for McCain. BTW - I am white as Ohio snow.

Anonymous said...

I think the "Wilder effect" will apply in an all things equal race, but it's too early to make forecasts like this.
Survey USA took a 50-state electoral poll with lots of caveats, but it does suggest that either Clinton or Obama could beat McCain if the election were held today.
All signs suggest a change forthcoming in the White House:
Wrong direction/right direction lowest ever, record Dem turnout for primaries, Dems outnumbering GOPers 52% to 37%, a major recession.
I wouldn't bet the farm on this Ostoy report.

Anonymous said...

Hillary is for universal healthcare; McCain is not for any form of healh care; Hillary is for ending the war as soon as possible; McCain said it could last a hundred years; Hillary is for ending the tax break for the wealthiest in the country; McCain is for continiung to give the tax breaks to the rich; Hillary is for starting the encomy with a new "green" economy; McCain, who is not "good" at economics hasn't thought about the recession; Hillary is for amending Nafta so it helps those who need it and helps those it hurts; MCCain is for Nafta as it is; Hillary is for solving the immigration problem and for securing the border; McCain is for amnesty; and so it goes. Hillary is a Democrat; McCain is a Bushovian Republican and who knows what Obama is since he says one thing on the campaign trail and assures others he doesn't mean it.

And of course, you don't see the horror of McCain appointed supreme court justices. You probably believe in keeping women "barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen" I presume. Abortion rights is as much about the repression of women as it is the fetus.

And assuming you're not a Republican mole spreading the propaganda that Democrats will fote for McCain ir Obama is not the nominee because McCain would have a better chance of beating him, I hope Mr. White As Snow, when your hair is as white as snow you're not on the street living in a big refridgerator box, if you can find one, because McCain started the eradication of Social Security.

Barry Schwartz said...

How the childish defection-ranting of Obama and Clinton supporters will work out, I don't know, but these numbers are a measure of current childishness, not how the general election will come out.

That the behavior is childish is not simply my opinion, but also the opinion of Dr. Justin "Bush on the Couch" Frank, expressed on the March 7 Jeff Farias program on Nova M Radio. Dr. Frank also said Hillary Clinton was behaving just a little childishly, but nothing like some of the supporters of either side are doing.

(Barack Obama is doing just fine. He's IMO a bit immature for a 46-year-old, but he is at least behaving like a grown-up.)

We'll just have to wait and see if tantrum-throwing voters get a grip before the election.

Anonymous said...

I see that this blog got the memo. Barack Obama is an "empty suit." How original. A perfect example of attacking the strengths. (Like the decorated John Kerry was a coward.) I can tell you, my mama would be mighty proud if I had graduated from Harvard Magna Cum Laude, had been the first ever of my race to become Editor of the Harvard Law Review. To have served as a community organizer, state Senator, and then U.S. Senator before reaching age 45. The accomplishments of this man are not just adequate. They are breathtaking. Mrs. Clinton is also very accomplished. But she's also been repeatedly wrong when it mattered the most, not because she's stupid, but because she chose political expedience over principle.

Anonymous said...

In March of 2008, 14 % of Democrats would supposedly vote for McCain but only 8% of Republicans for Obama. Your thesis is then that Obama couldn't possibly close this gap in 8 months?! Everywhere Obama goes, his numbers go up. Hillary lead Ohio and Texas by 20 points before Obama got there.

As for 20% of Democratic white voters not voting for him, I suspect many of those are in Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona etc - states no Democratic candidate will win anyway.

Obama will bring so many new voters into the fold - have you not been seeing what's going on? Hillary will not bring anyone new on board and will motivate the Republican base to come out and vote even though they're not enthused about McCain.

The real poll question should ask how many Republican voters would not otherwise vote in this election unless Hillary is the Democratic nominee.

Anonymous said...

Polls! Polls! President Harry Truman once said that polls were sleeping pills to put the American people to sleep...Why in blazes would anyone vote for McCain (Grandpa Munster) because Obama wins the Democratic nomination.?..Do you really want 4 more years of Bush-lite? McCain is not the right candidate for the presidency...war hero? We have a lot of war heroes even more hero than McCain...what in hell did McCain do? Look at his corrupt record as Senator....the Keating Five, his flip flop on torture, and taxes to name a few...Obama is about change in Washington and this country can not stand 4 mores years of Bush-lite...American had better wake up before it is too late!!

Anonymous said...

Among my circle of democratic friends, race has nothing to do with disliking Obama. It has everything to do with him having little experience and an ego the size of the planet. He has fast-tracked himself for his own means. He does not have the best interest of the country in mind, only himself. He is an empty suit in that manner. Come November, voters are going to vote for experience over egotism and if Obama is the dem candidate, McCain will be the next president. Watch it happen...

Anonymous said...

I voted for Obama in the primary because he can draw a clear distinction between his policy (esp foreign) and McCain's. After the Somali tribal dress pic, the 3am commercial and the other true Rovian tactics, I'll vote for Nader or Cynthia McKinney if Clinton gets the nomination. I'm tired of this bullsh*t.

Anonymous said...

"Empty suit"? Let's compare your resume with Obama's:

Barack Hussein Obama

Born Honolulu, Hawaii to Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. (born in Nyangoma-Kogelo, Bondo District, Nyanza Province, Kenya, of Luo ethnicity) and Ann Dunham (born in Wichita, Kansas). Spent most of his early life in Honolulu, Hawaii. From 1966 to 1971 lived in Jakarta with his mother and Indonesian stepfather.

Met future wife, Michelle Robinson while employed as a summer associate at the Chicago law firm of Sidley & Austin.

Joined Trinity United Church of Christ (the largest congregation in the United Church of Christ.)

Married Michelle Robinson. Daughter Malia Ann born in 1998; daughter Natasha born 2001.

Occidental College, Los Angeles (two years)

Columbia University, New York City
BA, political science specializing in international relations (1983)

Harvard Law School
J.D. degree magna cum laude (1991)

President, Harvard Law Review (the first black president in its 104-year history)


1983 - 1988
Business International Corporation

New York Public Interest Research Group

Director, Developing Communities Project (Chicago)
Worked with low-income residents in Chicago's Roseland community and Altgeld Gardens public housing development.

Returned from Harvard to Chicago, where he directed a voter registration drive.

1993 - 1996
Miner, Barnhill & Galland
Associate Attorney representing community organizers, discrimination claims, and voting rights cases.

1993 - 2004
University of Chicago Law School
Lecturer of constitutional law.

1996 - 2004
Illinois State Senate from the 13th District
Chairman of Illinois Health and Human Services Committee (2003); Gained bipartisan support for legislation reforming ethics and health care laws; sponsored law enhancing tax credits for low-income workers, negotiated welfare reform, promoted increased subsidies for childcare. Led passage of legislation mandating videotaping of homicide interrogations and law to monitor racial profiling by requiring police to record the race of drivers they stop.

The day Congress approved joint resolution authorizing the Iraq War, addressed Chicago anti-Iraq War rally in Federal Plaza: "I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al Qaeda. I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars."

Resigned from the Illinois Senate following election to the U.S. Senate.

1/4/2005 - Present
U.S. Senator from Illinois
Assignments on the Senate Committees for Foreign Relations; Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; Veterans' Affairs. Member of the Congressional Black Caucus. The only African American currently serving in the Senate.

109th Congress
Cosponsored "Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act" introduced by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

Added three amendments to the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act", passed the Senate in May 2006, but failed to gain majority support in the U.S. House.

Supported the Secure Fence Act, authorizing construction of fencing and other security improvements along the U.S.–Mexico border. Signed into law in 10/2006.

Introduced "Lugar-Obama," which expands the Nunn-Lugar cooperative threat reduction concept to conventional weapons, including shoulder-fired missiles and anti-personnel mines.

Introduced "Coburn-Obama Transparency Act" provides for the Web site, managed by the U.S. OMB, which lists all organizations receiving Federal funds and provides breakdowns by the agency allocating the funds, the dollar amount given, and the purpose of the grant or contract; sponsored the "Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act."

As member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee made official trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Russia, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan. The latter trip focused on strategies to control conventional weapons, biological weapons, and weapons of mass destruction as a first defense against potential terrorist attacks.

Visited Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian territories. At a meeting with Palestinian students two weeks before Hamas won the legislative election, warned that the U.S. will never recognize winning Hamas candidates unless the group renounces its mission to eliminate Israel.

Traveled to South Africa, Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Chad.

110th Congress
Worked with Russ Feingold (D–WI) to eliminate gifts of travel on corporate jets by lobbyists to members of Congress and require disclosure of bundled campaign contributions under the "Honest Leadership and Open Government Act", signed into law in 9/2007.

Joined Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in sponsoring S. 453, to criminalize deceptive practices in federal elections, including fraudulent flyers and automated phone calls;

Sponsored energy initiatives with John McCain (R-AZ); a climate change bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two-thirds by 2050.

Introduced the "Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007" to cap troop levels in Iraq, begin phased redeployment, and remove all combat brigades from Iraq before April 2008.

Sponsored with Kit Bond (R-MO) an amendment to the 2008 Defense Authorization Act adding safeguards for personality disorder military discharges, and calling for review by the GAO following reports that the procedure had been used inappropriately to reduce government costs.

Sponsored the "Iran Sanctions Enabling Act" supporting divestment of state pension funds from Iran's oil and gas industry,

Joined Chuck Hagel (R-NE) to introduce legislation to reduce risks of nuclear terrorism. A provision from the Obama-Hagel bill was passed by Congress in December 2007 as an amendment to the State-Foreign Operations appropriations bill.

Sponsored Senate amendment to State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to provide one year of job protection for family members caring for soldiers with combat-related injuries. Vetoed by Bush after passing with bipartisan majorities.

Authored two bestselling books without ghost writers; subsequently won Grammy Awards in 2006 and 2008 for Best Spoken Word Albums.

"Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance," (1995)

"The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream," (2006)

Honorary Doctorates of Law
Knox College (2005), Univ. of Massachusetts Boston (2006), Northwestern University (2006), Xavier Univ. of Louisiana (2006), Southern New Hampshire Univ. (2007), and Howard Univ. (2007).

Anonymous said...

I just want to throw this out there.

I live in Texas, and recently voted and caucused for Clinton. The reason I did so was not due to racial bias, gender bias, or because I'm secretly Republican; it was simply because I believe Hillary Clinton has a (far) better healthcare plan.

I still greatly admire Obama though, and it pains me to know that Republicans are gleefully watching Democrats rip each other as being racist or ignorant for supporting the "wrong" candidate.

Maybe we deserve to lose this election.

Anonymous said...

Hillary is poison. Plain and simple. Liberals hate her DLC "centrist" Republicanism and many simply won't vote for her. She'll rally McCain voters. There's no better chance for a McCain victory than nominating Hillary. Obama is a wild card. I would much rather have seen Edwards/Obama, but hey.... I do think he stands a chance while Hillary stands none and Hillary will go far to destroy the Democratic party for a generation if she gets the nomination on back room superdelegate and Florida/Michigan deal making.

If by some queer chance Hillary won the election, she would be sworn in as already one of the most hated presidents.

Anonymous said...

Obama could have shown his leadership qualities in the Senate as a way prove he could lead the country. However, as a US Senator, he has been disappointing and supported the war for two years when he could have spoken out against it. He only began to actively do so when he decided to run for President. Hillary served an entire term as Senator and was resoundingly re-elected by her constitutents. What has Illinois gotten from Obama as Senator? Not much. He was too busy with book tours and then decided to run for President. He is al talk.

Anonymous said...

7:25 Hillary is hated by Republicans. She is not hated by Hispanics, white women, middle class white men, and blacks who would vote for her if Obama were not available. If she's so hated how do you explain that she now has the popular vote and when she loses to Obama is by a very small margin.

She is our best chance of winning the presidency. They are going after Obama on his Muslim background, on his connection with the slum lord; his lack of experience; his minister who in Obama's church denounces whites; and, anything else they can make up. The Republicans are masters at winning by inciting fear and smearing Democrats. Kerry the experienced legislature, politican and war hero caved and was stunned by the Republican machine.