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Obamarama - More local stuff *** Updated x1 ***

Thursday, Jan 18, 2007

[Bumped up for discussion purposes.]

* So, where will Obama’s Springfield kick-off be held? As Scott Fornek reports, it may be too cold to have it outside.

“What if it’s five below?” asked one Democratic strategist. “What will it look like if everyone is huddled together like they are at a Green Bay Packers game? Will that look good? . . . You want visuals of people who are happy.”

The Sangamon Auditorium is booked that evening for an Illinois Symphony Orchestra concert and the convention center has no historical significance [corrected sentence]. The Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is off limits to politics. The Old State Capitol is too small. Lincoln’s home was “never discussed.” Did they think this through all the way? Stay tuned for an update later.

* The Tribune has an interesting story about people coming out of the woodwork in droves to help Obama’s campaign, although the headline “Splinter groups line up behind Obama” is a bit strange. Here are some of the relevant local aspects:

In southern Illinois, one gun-rights advocate is recommending Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) to his hunting friends and talking about forming a group with the working title “Sportsmen for Obama.”

“I don’t agree with everything he says about guns, but he gets the sportsman’s point of view on it,” said state Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Norris City), who served with Obama in the state legislature. “He would never do anything to hurt hunters, because he has bothered to get to know us and listen to us.” […]

Friends from the Illinois legislature are offering to work as a truth-squad against attacks on his Statehouse record. In the Quad Cities in western Illinois, local Democrats want to help Obama launch his foray into nearby Iowa, which holds the nation’s first caucuses. A Chicago minister volunteered to take time off from his church to work for the campaign full time. […]

State Sen. John Cullerton (D-Chicago) has offered to put together a team of lawmakers to tout and defend Obama’s record in the General Assembly, where he served in the state Senate for eight years.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) is offering to introduce Obama around the House, where many members haven’t had a chance to get to know him.

North Shore Democrats say they are getting calls from volunteers who want to make bus trips to promote Obama in Iowa. In the Quad Cities, local Democrats are offering to set up a base of operation for the Iowa caucuses.

* Bernie Schoenburg quotes a couple of Democratic state legislators gushing over the presidential hopeful.

He’s still the same guy,” Fritchey said.

Fritchey said it’s the right time in political history for Obama, that people want “a new type of candidate and a new type of dialogue.”

While it was obvious Obama was a “quality guy,” Fritchey said, he doesn’t think anyone could have predicted that his fame would have grown so quickly.

“Was it clear he was an intelligent, thoughtful legislator? Absolutely,” Fritchey said. “Did you know that he was going to be bigger than the Beatles? No.”

* The AP does an opposition research piece on Obama’s days at the Illinois Statehouse: “Obama record in state legislature offers possible ammunition for critics

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama may have a lot of explaining to do.

He voted against requiring medical care for aborted fetuses who survive. He supported allowing retired police officers to carry concealed weapons, but opposed allowing people to use banned handguns to defend against intruders in their homes. And the list of sensitive topics goes on. […]

One vote that especially riled abortion opponents involved restrictions on a type of abortion where the fetus sometimes survives, occasionally for hours. The restrictions, which never became law, included requiring the presence of a second doctor to care for the fetus.

“Everyone’s going to use this and pound him over the head with it,” said Daniel McConchie, vice president and chief of staff for Americans United for Life.

* The AP also has a list of some of the more hot-button bills he voted on and sponsored. Here are a few:

Voted against making permanent the repeal of the state’s 5 percent sales tax on gasoline. (2000) […]

Voted against restrictions on public funding of abortion. (2000) […]

Voted against letting people argue self-defense in court if charged with violating local weapons bans by using a gun in their home. (2004) […]

Unsuccessfully sponsored measure to expunge some criminal records and create an employment grant program for ex-criminals. (2002) […]

Voted against making gang members eligible for the death penalty if they kill someone to help their gang. (200

* The Sun-Times’ Mary Mitchell looks at the race angle and makes this interesting observation.

If Obama is indeed counting on the black vote — like all Democrats count on the black vote — that could only become a problem if Sharpton jumps into the race.

“I’m waiting to see if someone raises the issues I want to see raised,” Sharpton told reporters in November when he announced he had formed an exploratory committee.

With Sharpton in the race, we can expect to hear some of the “but is he black enough?” rhetoric that tainted Obama’s unsuccessful run against U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush in 1999.

* ABC’s The Note (which can be excruciatingly juvenile) has what it calls the “Best David Axelrod quote (of the news cycle)

“There is such a compulsion on the part of the political community and political media community to create a steel cage match between Clinton and Obama you can almost see the fight posters.”

* And this isn’t local at all, but is still scurrilous: Limbaugh called “Barack Hussein Obama” a “half-minority”

What a twit.

*** UPDATE *** Chuck Goudie reports that Obama has upped his security detail.

On Monday, even before he posted the website video announcing that he was forming a presidential exploration committee, Senator Obama had increased the level of security around him. As he toured Martin Luther King Day events in Chicago, Obama seemed better insulated than he had a few weeks ago.

To those closest to Obama, that security is paramount.

“There have always been crazy people in the world. There always will be crazy people in the world. But he’s made the decision that he’s not going to let the threat of that stand in the day way of what he wants to do. That’s a courageous position for him to take. It’s a tough decision to make,” said Valerie Jarrett, Obama adviser.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

41 Comments
  1. - Leroy - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 9:07 am:

    Sweet…I see Sharpton is taking a play from the Meeks playbook…threaten to run and siphon off much needed votes….then sit back and wait to be bought off (with the taxpayers money, of course)


  2. - fedup dem - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 9:17 am:

    Hey Limbaugh, I heard there’s a casting call next week for a remake of “Moby Dick.” You’d be perfect in the title role! (”There he blows!”)


  3. Pingback ArchPundit » Blog Archive » But leave the orange hats at home - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 10:01 am:

    […] From the Trib (via Rich): North Shore Democrats say they are getting calls from volunteers who want to make bus trips to promote Obama in Iowa. In the Quad Cities, local Democrats are offering to set up a base of operation for the Iowa caucuses.   [link] […]


  4. - cermak_rd - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 10:02 am:

    I don’t think Obama is going to get or counting on getting any support from the pro-life movement anyway, so do his votes on that matter?


  5. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 10:05 am:

    My favorite nickname for Limbaugh; “Oxymoron.”


  6. - zatoichi - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 10:22 am:

    Abraham Lincoln Hotel appears to have space for meetings. Rotunda at Capital useable?

    The list of things he voted on: were they one subject votes or the classic one of 15 unrelated items attached as riders to road funding or some other big package? Just askin’.

    The race thing is right up there with the “Hussein” idiotcy. Then again I am half Polish so I can’t follow the topic.


  7. - Squideshi - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 10:28 am:

    David Cobb had this to say about Barack Obamab in today’s Time-Standard:

    “War spending is an outrage. And despite the overwhelming opposition to the war in Iraq, Democratic Party leaders like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are calling for increased military spending.”


  8. - Greg - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 11:10 am:

    The AP story is about three years too late. And it’s not just what he voted on, it’s some of the things he proposed…and there are the explanations… Some of those have been a little vexing…

    One interesting aspect is that his voting record in Illinois would be considered news. We (myself and Mike Van Winkle) asked some questions when he ran for Senate before Keyes (aka Nut Job) was recruited. Only a few pols picked up on it. It went ignored by the MSM. Now, three years later an examination of his state voting record is “news.” Had they covered it then — of course no 73% in that case — Obama could dismiss these storylines as old news.

    The same goes with Rich’s suggestion a couple of weeks ago that his calls weren’t getting returned (please correct me if I’m incorrect) re: the Rezko real estate deal. Address with Rich immediately then it’s been thouroughly covered and therefore old news. Don’t address it and it becomes fodder for other campaigns and eventually does lead to greater scrutiny.


  9. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 11:17 am:

    If you want Obama to win, treat everyone with respect, even those you don’t believe deserve it.

    Limbaugh is opposed to race-based government programs and candidacies. Many voters are.
    But if you want to bring them on board for this candidacy, you don’t start off by insulting them when they bring this issue up. Obama’s uniqueness lets Rush tweak those who do support race-based programs. Those who attack Limbaugh on his comments about Barak being “half-minority” come off as close minded partisans. Doing this overlooks Obama’s strengths as a candidate.

    Some voters will see Obama as “half-white”, other as “half-black”, but so what? He appeals to all groups. Since he continues to talk about “building bridges” over gaps, why should his supporters attack those who point out the racial gap bridged by Obama’s very existance?

    Those unwilling to discuss Obama’s bi-racial makeup are overlooking one of his greatest strengths. Those unwilling to discuss Obama’s Muslim roots are also overlooking an opportunity to present one of Barak’s “bridges”.

    It seems as if every time I bring up these reasons, reasons I VOTED FOR HIM TWICE, I get attacked by some wingnut labeling me as racist, or a hater or something. Obama is a “big vessel”, let all his supporters pour in their hopes and dreams - not just the ones liberals keep demanding fealty to. He will not win the Presidency by being a liberal.

    His bi-racial birth and his religious path are two of his greatest strengths. When an opponent questions either, use it. To squeal every time a Limbaugh questions Obama on these topics shuts down opportunities to gain new voters, and put his supporters in a negative light.

    You people are a big turn-off for us.

    Quit squealing and name calling. If we need to have a dialog regarding race in America, few are better positioned to have that dialog than Senator Obama. Voters are smarter than you give us credit for. Stop insulting us.


  10. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 11:19 am:

    So, Limbaugh, the uber-Republican, was just pointing out Obama’s strengths?

    Hardly.

    He acted like a twit.


  11. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 11:28 am:

    Everyone knows he is a twit. What he sees as a negative for Obama - isn’t.

    He just doesn’t get it.


  12. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 11:29 am:

    Also, calling him a “twit” was fact-based, not name calling.


  13. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 11:30 am:

    I see your point now, but he’s still a twit.


  14. - Skeeter - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 11:36 am:

    For what its worth (and of course this is very early) Zogby now has Sen. Obama leading in NH, Obama 23, Clinton 19, Edwards, 19, nobody else in significant numbers (per politicalwire.com).


  15. - vole - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 11:52 am:

    Perhaps it would be wise of you to read an excerpt from a column by Sebastion Mallaby written a couple days ago in the Washington Post:

    “A mistaken focus on energy security can undermine good policy on climate. If you just want to cut imports, switching cars to corn-based ethanol sounds great: The United States will get its fuel from the Midwest rather than the Middle East, a politically irresistible promise. But corn-based ethanol is only marginally better than gasoline in terms of greenhouse emissions. Federal subsidies for this technology would be better spent elsewhere — for example on next-generation cellulosic ethanol.

    The same is still more clearly true for oil shale and coal-to-oil technology. Both sources of fuel are abundant in the United States; both promise “energy security”; and both are disastrous from a climate perspective. Oil derived from coal puts about 75 percent more greenhouse gases into the air than plain oil, according to Richard Newell of Resources for the Future.

    So it will be interesting to watch the administration’s energy policy. Does it want to address climate change or merely the chimera of energy security? Is it ready to support the tripartisan cap-and-trade bill introduced last week by Sens. John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Barack Obama? But while you are watching the administration, keep a wary eye out for Democratic inversions, too. In a mistake he needs to disown fast, Obama recently co-sponsored a bill to subsidize coal-to-oil conversion.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com
    /wp-dyn/content/article
    /2007/01/14/AR2007011400888.html

    This illustrates an important point about Obama. When he finally does get into the weeds of policy making, some of his high sounding and inspirational rhetoric meets the real world — his constituent ties to coal and corn (Illinois has an abundance of both) will conflict with sound policy judgements on climate and energy. I am glad that at least some in the press, like Mallaby, are watching closely and calling him on it.


  16. - Cassandra - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 12:17 pm:

    That’s pretty close, since Obama has been in the news much more than the other two lately.

    Time for Hillary to take ownership of getting out of Iraq, something neither Obama nor Edwards appears to be planning to do.


  17. - vole - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 12:33 pm:

    Rich:
    Please explain why you have denied posting my comments regarding Obama, energy, global warming, coal and corn.


  18. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 12:35 pm:

    I haven’t seen those comments posted, so I haven’t stopped them.


  19. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 12:37 pm:

    It was blocked by my spam program. Not sure why.


  20. - vole - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 12:44 pm:

    I am sorry. Please excuse my frustration. I’ll edit out the URL reference and try again:

    Perhaps it would be wise of you to read an excerpt from a column by Sebastion Mallaby written a couple days ago in the Washington Post:

    “A mistaken focus on energy security can undermine good policy on climate. If you just want to cut imports, switching cars to corn-based ethanol sounds great: The United States will get its fuel from the Midwest rather than the Middle East, a politically irresistible promise. But corn-based ethanol is only marginally better than gasoline in terms of greenhouse emissions. Federal subsidies for this technology would be better spent elsewhere — for example on next-generation cellulosic ethanol.

    The same is still more clearly true for oil shale and coal-to-oil technology. Both sources of fuel are abundant in the United States; both promise “energy security”; and both are disastrous from a climate perspective. Oil derived from coal puts about 75 percent more greenhouse gases into the air than plain oil, according to Richard Newell of Resources for the Future.

    So it will be interesting to watch the administration’s energy policy. Does it want to address climate change or merely the chimera of energy security? Is it ready to support the tripartisan cap-and-trade bill introduced last week by Sens. John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Barack Obama? But while you are watching the administration, keep a wary eye out for Democratic inversions, too. In a mistake he needs to disown fast, Obama recently co-sponsored a bill to subsidize coal-to-oil conversion.”

    This illustrates an important point about Obama. When he finally does get into the weeds of policy making, some of his high sounding and inspirational rhetoric meets the real world — his constituent ties to coal and corn (Illinois has an abundance of both) will conflict with sound policy judgements on climate and energy. I am glad that at least some in the press, like Mallaby, are watching closely and calling him on it.


  21. - Sniglet - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 1:31 pm:

    Rich, you are being an “activist” journalist. Your liberal leanings are bleeding through. At least half the people think Obama’s liberal social agenda would be damaging.

    You are the twit (and you need a shave).


  22. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 1:40 pm:

    LOL. A Dittohead is heard from.

    Where the heck did I deny that Obama’s liberal positions would be a problem? For goodness sake, I cherry-picked his most controversial votes out of that AP article.

    Is it because I insulted the sainted Rush that you attempt to twist words? Methinks it is.

    And I’ll never shave. Never. Especially not now. lol

    Rush behaved with definite twitness. It’s a fact. Get over your schoolgirl crush.


  23. - WARDOG - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 2:15 pm:

    Barack should not run for president at this time, he is simply not ready for that kind of a program. If he has a true desire to be president, go for the vice president spot and learn the ropes a little better with say John Edwards or any one except Hillary. Barack is just not ready!!!


  24. - Skeeter - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 2:23 pm:

    - Sniglet - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 1:31 pm:

    “Rich, you are being an “activist” journalist. Your liberal leanings are bleeding through. At least half the people think Obama’s liberal social agenda would be damaging.

    You are the twit (and you need a shave).”

    Too funny.
    I always thought Miller was a Republican.


  25. - NW burbs - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 2:37 pm:

    Mary Mitchell should talk to Fran Eaton who is apparently learning a bit about race relations herself.

    And Limbaugh is a twit.

    (Besides, sniglet, this is Rich’s blog — a place for opinions, not objectivity. And if anything, this blog and the comments it attracts do ooze opinions of all sorts.)


  26. - Sniglet - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 2:52 pm:

    Have you anti-Limbaugh twits actually listened to El Rushbo?

    He offers LOGIC based arguments with lots of over the top entertainment. His comments on “Puff” Dashcle, or “Femi-nazis illustrate his points, but never-the-less his message is spot on.

    I’ll buy a Turbo 4 for you if you shave!


  27. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 3:00 pm:

    Calling someone a “half-minority” doesn’t illustrate his point, Sniglet, just his twitness. Now, let’s move along, please.


  28. - yinn - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 3:38 pm:

    sniglet, I HAVE listened to him. And caught him when he’s made things up. And his twititude knows no bounds.


  29. - Belle - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 3:55 pm:

    And so the Obama Drama continues. This weeks episode finds Obama supporters debating the twit-tiness of a radio host who dared to state a fact about their messiah - ObamaMan. We find ObamaMan and his wife ObamaMama in Springfield trying to find room in the inn…….How far away is the election? Rush is an a$$. It’ll be Obama & Hillary cancelling each other out and Edwards taking the race.


  30. - Anon - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 4:23 pm:

    Rich you a right wing hack. Your support of Obama over Dennis Kucinich for President.

    Just kidding.


  31. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 4:50 pm:

    I’ve never been a big fan of old Jonathan Edwards. I don’t believe anyone can talk to the dead.

    OH you mean THAT John Edwards.
    He ran with Kerry. I don’t believe anyone should talk to the politically dead either.


  32. - One_Mcmad - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 5:39 pm:

    Whose paying for Senator Obama’s extra security detail?


  33. - Pat Hickey - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 5:48 pm:

    Whose paying for Senator Obama’s extra security detail?

    Rush Limbaugh. That old pillpopper cracks me up . . . and, he blames God for his talent. what a Ruuuuush Bag!


  34. - Sahims2 - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 5:55 pm:

    I, for one, will take Rush over the rest of the media pundits out there that will stop at nothing to manufacture news to grab ratings and advertising dollars over the truth day in and day out. And he is right about Obama-rama being half-minority, whether you agree with it or not, like it or not. No twit, just truth.


  35. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 5:58 pm:

    ====OH you mean THAT John Edwards.

    Are you stealing my material?


  36. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 6:03 pm:

    Larry, he was talking about JOHN Edwards, not Elizabeth Edwards. Isn’t Elizabeth your turf? lol


  37. - Squideshi - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 8:08 pm:

    I’ve listened to Rush more than once, and I have been disgusted each and every time. In my opinion, his program nearly classifies as hate radio.


  38. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Jan 18, 07 @ 9:22 pm:

    Hey Greg, hate to spoil your conspiracy theory but AP (and just about everyone else) moved almost the exact same thing on Obama for the U.S. Senate race but nobody cared because Keyes was so waaaaaaayyyyyyyy over the top on the other side of the political spectrum.


  39. - ANON - Friday, Jan 19, 07 @ 12:51 am:

    Just when you thought Obama was different, he’s heading to Hollywood to fundraise with the “heart and soul of America (Kerry quote).” Can you say sellout?


  40. - WWDMD - Friday, Jan 19, 07 @ 4:48 am:

    Obama “black e’nuff?” One word, Yes.


  41. - ArchPundit - Friday, Jan 19, 07 @ 1:00 pm:

    LOL–I made the Johnathan Edwards crack a week or two ago as well.

    What can I say–obsessive spouses don’t like me.


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