The next US President


JF-Expert Member
Nov 14, 2006
Washington diary: Long haul to '08

Matt Frei BBC News said:

The thermometer announced this afternoon that it was 94F (35C) - on 9 October. The air conditioning ploughs on in the Frei household. The basement is a freezer. The upstairs bedrooms still feel like a pizza oven and the mosquitoes, fat, complacent and cocky after a summer of feasting on our blood, are getting indigestion. Their happy hour continues. And so does our misery.


Sticky summer temperatures are persisting in Washington DC

The grass is yellow. The leaves are turning a turgid brown as opposed to a fluorescent red or yellow. I glance at the Washington Post that has landed on my doorstep, narrowly missing the geranium that still thinks it is August. Through the heat haze I make out headlines about fundraising quarter results posted by the candidates, upcoming debates, Fred Thompson's debut on the podium next to the other eight, or is it nine, Republican hopefuls? I no longer know for sure. My head is spinning. I feel faint. And it's only October 2007.

Yawns and wrinkles

We have another year and a month of this ordeal before we know who will inherit the White House from George W Bush. The most unpredictable and exciting election campaign in recent US history is beginning to feel like an extended, mosquito-infested Washington summer. And that's coming from a political junkie.
It's not just me. At recent campaign events I have noticed that the candidates, too, look and sound exhausted. The 45-year-old Barack Obama appears visibly aged by the relentless campaign, even as his critics claim that his biggest problem is youth. How unfair is that?


Campaigning is taking its toll on almost all the 2008 contenders
As Charlie Cook, the veteran political pollster and pundit put it: "Barack's obstacle is not that he's black but that he's green."

Even John Edwards has betrayed a few microscopic wrinkles around his doe eyes. Fred Thompson was filmed yawning like a hippo in Iowa. He looks completely knackered and he's only just started campaigning, and is keeping his stump speeches to a genteel minimum. The only candidates who look suspiciously unblemished by the experience of giving the same speech 10 times a day in three different time zones are Hillary Clinton who, I'm increasingly convinced, appears super-human, and Mitt Romney who, being a Mormon, has never had a drink of coffee in his life - let alone alcohol.

Money well spent?

The amounts of money the top candidates are raising continue to raise my hair. There was $20m for Barack Obama, and that was in the quiet months of summer. An even more impressive $27m for Hillary. And $18m for Mitt, even if he did have to lend his campaign $8.5m from his own well-stuffed coffers. The presidential election is well on course to cost more than $1bn. Counting state, senate and congressional elections, the whole 2008 cycle is expected to clock up more than $3bn.


Mitt Romney: No caffeine but plenty of dough to keep him going

Isn't that the GDP of some small but perfectly formed country? A large proportion of the money is spent on TV commercials. But aren't they becoming obsolete as a result of on-demand TV?
Amazingly, the ads still work. They are targeted with the precision of smart bombs to persuade undecided voters. Experts believe that they are money well spent. All this cash and all these bags under illustrious eyes are making me yearn for the poignant simplicity and the fruit-fly brevity of a British election campaign.

Rival dynasties

First of all, our elections are a bargain at some $80m all up for the three big parties' campaigns. And that's for electing 646 members of parliament, who then choose the prime minister
Rules stipulate that each candidate can spend just over £7,000 ($14,000) per constituency and up to seven pence (15 cents) per voter on top of that. That's 35 John Edwards hair-cuts or perhaps 10 Hillary suits from the basic spend.
Moreover election campaigns can't last longer than a month. TV advertising is free and the airtime is strictly controlled by the authorities, who give every party the same number of minutes.


UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown decided against a snap election

Election plans are like camping tents. They can be set up and dismantled in a day. Last Monday, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown was still partial to a snap election. By Thursday, when the Conservatives had narrowed his Labour Party's lead in the polls to a miserly 1%, he was no longer so partial. Gordon changed his mind in a flash. The election was never called. The very idea of a "snap" election is anathema to the US, a country that knows exactly when it will vote - on the first Tuesday of November every four years - and can garner enough money to allow the monster campaign to mushroom.

In America, every election has been more expensive than the last and yet the White House has passed from a Bush to a Clinton, back to a Bush and, many believe, may pass back to a Clinton.
It seems an awful lot of time and money to spend on what looks to outsiders like two rival dynasties fighting over the same address.
Soma hapa

Does Hillary Clinton going to be the first woman president of USA?
Obama!!-Hivi Dua Ni Mtanzania? Mbona ana kuja na thead Nzuri sana..??? za English...


Kwa hiyo Vibaya Ndio vya Africa?-vizuri vyote ni vya wengine?
Ina nikumbusha Siku moja nilikua nina Ongea na Baba Yangu mdogo!!
al-manusula uzuke Ugomvi!!
Au Labda alitaka Kunitisha tu? ......

Ghafla Nili Mwambia kwamba Obama atakua Raisi wa Marekani!!
wakati huo tulikua tuna angalia Tv.

Nini? aliniuliza huku akini angalia usoni..-Tofauti na siku zote hua hana mtindo wa kumu angalia mtu usoni lakini siku hiyo alini angalia..
Kama vile ana hasira!?!

Alinishinda kwa hoja ambazo kama ninge zi-clash!! Labda Ningeshindwa kuendelea Kuishi kwenye Chumba cha watoto wake wa kiume- kwenye nyumba yake!!

Nakula kwake..Nalala bure..nashinda naangalia Tv..Ana niletea sigara zaidi ya sita kila siku..Bure!!Natumwa Sokoni- tena wana niamini Kweli kweli!!

Haiwezekani!! Mu-Africa Kutawala Marekani!!
Nilivyo zinguliwa na mimi niliendelea kudanganya vitu ambavyo hata nashindwa kuvikumbuka-Ili mambo yaende vizuri...

Inawezekana Obama akawa Raisi ...
The Americans have tacitly agreed that US presidents should be WASPs, no chance for OBAMA,osama.
George Bush smooths path for Hillary
Sarah Baxter – Sunday Times October 7 said:

Bush administration officials are paving the way for a smooth transition to a possible Democratic presidency as Hillary Clinton consolidates her position as the overwhelming favourite to win her party’s nomination for the 2008 election.

Clinton has powered her way to the top of the Democratic pack, establishing a 33-point lead in one poll last week over Barack Obama, her nearest rival. She raised $7m more than Obama in the last quarter and attracted more individual contri-butors than the Illinois senator, proving her popularity with grassroots Democrats.

With Clinton looking the near-inevitable nominee, Bush officials intend to hold her to her promise to be tough on defence and national security. Robert Gates, the defence secretary, is hoping to establish a bipartisan consensus on defence that will last beyond next year’s election.

In the clearest sign of a shift in gear, Gates is to appoint John Hamre, a former official in President Bill Clinton’s administration, to chair the Defense Policy Board once led by Richard Perle, a leading neoconservative advocate of the invasion of Iraq. The board’s job will be to prepare for the transition to a new administration in 2008, according to a Pentagon spokesman.

Hamre, who was Bill Clinton’s deputy defence secretary in the 1990s, has been highly critical of the conduct of the war on terror. In The Washington Post last year he wrote: “The policies that led to Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, secret renditions and warrantless wiretaps have undermined America’s towering moral authority.”

In common with Gates, Hamre is sceptical about the value of the Iraq troop surge. He recently served on a bipartisan commission on Iraq chaired by James Jones, the former Nato commander. In evidence to Congress last month, Hamre said: “Absent political reconciliation, it’s hard to see how this [the war] ends well.”

However, Hamre, who heads the influential Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, also argued that America “will be hurt if we crawl out or run out of Iraq”. He believes the next president should maintain a vital but scaled-down presence in the country in order to oversee the training of Iraqi security forces and to “direct operations against known bad guys”.

Lawrence Korb, a defence expert at the Center for American Progress, a Democratic think tank, described Hamre’s imminent appointment as a “brilliant move” which would mark a dramatic break with Perle’s era. “Most people think the next president will be a Democrat and Gates, who has been around for a long time, believes it is his job to ensure that national security is not affected,” Korb said.

Clinton has been sidestepping calls to pull US troops out of Iraq if she wins, sticking to a broader promise to begin a phased withdrawal. In a recent television interview, the New York senator refused to state that all US combat troops would leave Iraq by the end of her first term in office. She voted in the Senate last month to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guards a terrorist organisation.

Perle believes that Clinton might be prepared to order military strikes against Iran if President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad takes Tehran’s nuclear programme to the brink. “If President Clinton is informed in March 2009 that we’ve got ironclad intelligence that if we don’t act within the next 30 days it’s going to be too late, I wouldn’t begin to predict what she would do,” Perle said. “Nobody wants to act before it is absolutely essential . . . but things can change very quickly.”

Perle is generous about the appointment of Hamre, arguing that the Defense Policy Board has a tradition of bipartisanship. “He’s an experienced professional and a very good choice,” Perle said, noting that George W Bush had kept on George Tenet, a Clinton appointee, as CIA chief after winning the 2000 election.

Bush believes Clinton will win the Democratic nomination and has privately advised her not to voice antiwar rhetoric on Iraq that she may come to regret, according to a new book, The Evangelical President, by Bill Sammon. “It’s different being a candidate and being the president,” Bush said. “No matter who the president is, no matter what party, when they sit here in the Oval Office and seriously consider the effect of a vacuum being created in the Middle East . . . they will then begin to understand the need to continue to support the young democracy.”

The Treasury, under Henry “Hank” Paulson, has also been appointing Democrat supporters to senior positions. Robert Novak, the conservative columnist, reported that Paulson last week named Eric Mindich, a leading Democratic fundraiser, for a key role as an adviser on financial markets. One Republican in the Bush administration wrote disapprovingly in an e-mail: “This leads some to wonder whether this Treasury has become the preplaced Hillary Clinton team.”

Clinton’s domination of the Democratic field may prompt her leading opponents to sharpen their rhetoric against her. So far the contest with Obama and John Edwards, the former senator from North Carolina, has been remarkably civil.

Edwards upped the ante against Clinton last week by attacking links between Mark Penn, her senior adviser and poll-ster, and Blackwater, the private security firm that was accused of recklessly killing 11 Iraqi civilians last month. “We don’t want to replace a group of corporate Republicans with a group of corporate Democrats,” he said.

Edwards and Obama have rarely criticised Clinton directly by name, but David Axelrod, Obama’s campaign manager, said his candidate would rather show a “common purpose to our politics rather than divisiveness and political point-scoring”.

It was too soon for Clinton’s coronation, Axelrod said: “How-ard Dean had plenty of momentum in the fall of 2003, when everyone was anointing him the Democratic nominee. I’m happy if the Clintons want to do victory laps in October; I’ll take ours in January and February” when the primary votes are counted.

Obama is still hoping to win the Iowa caucus, where Edwards is also performing well. Michelle Obama, his wife, who will be visiting Britain on a fundraising mission next week, let slip recently: “If Barack doesn’t win Iowa, it’s just a dream.”

Obama upset traditional voters last week by saying that he was against shows of patriotism, such as wearing a pin lapel of the American flag. “I decided I won’t wear that pin on my chest,” he said. “Instead I’m going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great.”

Peggy Noonan, President Rea-gan’s former speechwriter, said the Clintons had the Democratic party in a trance. She wrote in The Wall Street Journal: “The Bushes are wired into the Republican money-line system; the Clintons are wired into the Democratic money-line system. For two generations now they have had the same dynamics in play . . . Is this good for our democracy, this air of inevitability?”

Advantage aliyonayo Hillary ni Bill ambaye ndio machine ya kuweza kurudi tena White House kwa mara nyingine. Je anataka kuwa silent vice president? Hata hivyo sheria ya Marekani haimkatazi aliyekuwa rais kuwa Vice.................Wamarekani bwana huu mwaka moja na nusu kabla ya uchaguzi tutashuhudia mengi. Wachunguzi wa mambo wanasema Dubya yuko mfukoni mwao, is he?
Hillary Clinton, top Democrats how to keep Iraq war going
Bill Sammon – The Examiner via October 4 said:

President Bush is quietly providing back-channel advice to Hillary Rodham Clinton, urging her to modulate her rhetoric so she can effectively prosecute the war in Iraq if elected president. In an interview for the new book “The Evangelical President,” White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten said Bush has “been urging candidates: ‘Don’t get yourself too locked in where you stand right now. If you end up sitting where I sit, things could change dramatically.’ ”

Bolten said Bush wants enough continuity in his Iraq policy that “even a Democratic president would be in a position to sustain a legitimate presence there.” “Especially if it’s a Democrat,” the chief of staff told The Examiner in his West Wing office. “He wants to create the conditions where a Democrat not only will have the leeway, but the obligation to see it out.”

To that end, the president has been sending advice, mostly through aides, aimed at preventing an abrupt withdrawal from Iraq in the event of a Democratic victory in November 2008.

“It’s different being a candidate and being the president,” Bush said in an Oval Office interview. “No matter who the president is, no matter what party, when they sit here in the Oval Office and seriously consider the effect of a vacuum being created in the Middle East, particularly one trying to be created by al Qaeda, they will then begin to understand the need to continue to support the young democracy.”

To that end, Bush is institutionalizing controversial anti-terror programs so they can be used by the next president.

“Look, I’d like to make as many hard decisions as I can make, and do a lot of the heavy lifting prior to whoever my successor is,” Bush said. “And then that person is going to have to come and look at the same data I’ve been looking at, and come to their own conclusion.”

As an example, Bush cited his detainee program, which allows him to keep enemy combatants imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay while they await adjudication. Bush is unmoved by endless criticism of the program because he says his successor will need it.

“I specifically talked about it so that a candidate and/or president wouldn’t have to deal with the issue,” he said. “The next person has got the opportunity to analyze the utility of the program and make his or her decision about whether or not it is necessary to protect the homeland. I suspect they’ll find that it is necessary. But my only point to you is that it was important for me to lay it out there, so that the politics wouldn’t enter into whether or not the program ought to survive beyond my period.”

The Examiner asked Bush why Democratic candidates such as Clinton and Barack Obama, who routinely lambaste his handling of Iraq, should take his advice.

“First of all, I expect them to criticize me. That’s one way you get elected in the Democratic primary, is to criticize the president,” Bush replied. “I don’t expect them to necessarily take advice from me. I would expect their insiders to at least get a perspective about how we see things.”

He added: “We have an obligation to make sure that whoever is interested, they get our point of view, because you want somebody running for president to at least understand all perspectives, apart from the politics.”

Besides, Bush suggested that Clinton and Obama just might benefit from his advice.

“If I were a candidate running for president in a complex world that we’re in, I would be asking my national security team to touch base with the White House just to at least listen about plans, thoughts,” he said.

So far, Bush has been encouraged by the fact that Democratic candidates are preserving enough wiggle room in their anti-war rhetoric to enable them to keep at least some troops in Iraq.
“If you listen carefully, there are Democrats that say, ‘Well, there needs to be some kind of presence,’” Bush said.

A senior White House official said the administration did not put much stock in pledges by Democratic presidential candidates to swiftly end the Iraq war if elected. “Well, first of all, if you’re a presidential candidate,” the official said, “you’re able to [finesse] the public posturing that you may be required to do, or that you fall into doing.

“The other thing is, they are being advised by smart people,” the official said. “We’ve got colleagues here on the staff who have good communications with some of the thinkers on that side.
“And there is a recognition by most of them that there has to be a long-term presence by the United States if we hope to avoid America being brought back into the region in a very precarious way, at a point where all-out resources are required.”

One topic discussed by the White House and Democratic presidential campaigns is whether such a long-term presence should be inside Iraq, as Clinton prefers, or just outside, as Democratic candidate John Edwards has suggested. Asked by The Examiner whether the Democrats were reluctant to have private contacts with the administration, the White House official replied: “No, I think they sort of welcome conversation.”

Besides, he said, Democrats understand the negative consequences of moving too quickly to reverse Bush’s Iraq policy. The official noted that in the wake of Vietnam, anti-war Democrats “suffered for 20-some-odd years because they were identified as the party, when it came to national security, of being weak.”
“If I were a Democrat, I would not want to be in a place where I was forcing us to withdraw in ’08,” he said. “It’s an election year and any bad consequences would immediately be on their head.

“One of two things will happen if a Democrat gets elected president,” he said. “They will either have to withdraw U.S. troops in order to remain true to the rhetoric — in which case, any consequences in the aftermath fall on their heads. Or they have to break their word, in which case they encourage fratricide on the left of their party. Now that’s a thorny issue to work through.”

Vice President Dick Cheney was philosophical about the possibility of a Democratic president fundamentally reversing the policies that he and Bush have worked so hard to implement in Iraq.

“It’s the nature of the business, in a sense,” he shrugged during an interview in his West Wing office. “I mean, you get two terms. We were fortunate to get two terms. And I think we’ll increasingly see a lot of emphasis on deciding who the next occupant of the Oval Office is going to be.”

Dick Cheney? .............Who? What a vice president, we've got one back home, never had about him since the last election. Only wandering in butcheries and few trips here and there.

Iraq will continue to be a centre piece for the next election.
Ok Evey one- Try to fake me with English- a tough language that keep on Stressing me!! Can we tolk about this in Swahili?

I'm sorry 'cause You sound stupid all the time!!Why don't you Understand me!?Obama is a next president of USA..I know Americans Wont let me down on this- many of them will vote for OBAMA!!He got many Advertages that you are not even able to think about!!

Time will help OBAMA!!
Obama Tweaks Clintons on 'SNL'
Nov. 4, 2007, 2:59 AM EST

Barack Obama
The Associated Press said:

NEW YORK -- After spending most of Saturday criticizing Hillary and Bill Clinton, Barack Obama took the stage with two impersonators — Amy Poehler and Darrell Hammond — on "Saturday Night Live."

The opening sketch of Saturday's broadcast featured Poehler and Hammond, as the Clintons, hosting a Halloween party. Toward the end of the sketch a man walked in wearing an Obama mask — which he removed to reveal he was, indeed, Obama. "I have nothing to hide," Obama said. "I enjoy being myself. I'm not going to change who I am just because it's Halloween."

Campaigning in South Carolina earlier, Obama accused Hillary Clinton of giving voters "vague, calculated answers to suit the politics of the moment instead of clear, consistent principles about how you would lead America." And he subtly swiped at former President Bill Clinton by listing problems that "existed long before George Bush took office."

Obama wrapped up his brief late-night comedy stint with the show's signature line: "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night."

The first shot from Barrack Obama,.......................what will be Hillary answer?
Yes!! She Is comming out with a bom!!Obama Let see That Hillary!!and Bill Clinton..
Mon Nov 12, 9:25 PM ET

Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton's lead is shrinking among Democratic contenders for the White House after a series of miscues and stepped-up attacks by her rivals.

Her air of invincibility took a hit this week amid reports that her staffers had planted audience questions, combined with fresh criticism by Democrats who accused her of shifting with the political winds during a presidential debate two weeks ago.

Although the former first lady still leads the pack of Democratic contenders for the White House, polls released Monday suggested that her campaign was losing steam.

Clinton had for months commanded a 30-point advantage over her closest competitor, Illinois Senator Barack Obama, but Monday saw that lead slip to 19 percent, according to the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation.

The poll, surveying 467 Democrats or independent voters likely to pick a Democrat for the White House, showed 44 percent would choose Clinton while 25 percent would vote for Obama.

The figures were in stark contrast to the same poll a month earlier which showed Clinton garnering 51 percent of likely voters and holding a 30-point lead over Obama.

Two other polls in the key state of New Hampshire, which traditionally holds the first presidential primary contest, showed similar results.

The CNN poll was taken just days after Clinton was attacked by her fellow White House hopefuls in a debate on October 31 as the Democratic race hit new levels of intensity.

During that debate, Obama branded her one of "co-authors" of the Iraq war and former senator John Edwards, the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2004, accused her of political "doubletalk."

Edwards blasted Clinton's support for a Senate measure that labeled Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group, which critics said may be used as a justification for war.

And Obama, who has fended off accusations from the Clinton camp that he is too inexperienced to lead, said Clinton's vote in 2002 to authorize the administration's invasion of Iraq made her a "co-author" of the war.

With the party's first nominating contest in Iowa less than two months away, Clinton's staff was forced to acknowledge planting audience questions on the campaign trail, and promised not to do it again.

The incident arose last week during a question-and-answer session in Iowa, at which a college student reportedly told her campus newspaper that she had been approached by "a Clinton aide had asked her to pose a question to Mrs. Clinton about global warming," the New York Times said.

A spokesman for Clinton told the newspaper that a campaign aide had indeed planted the question but Clinton had not been aware of it, and said the campaign would not engage in such tactics again.

"It’s not something we do; it’s not an official campaign policy," Mo Elleithee was quoted as saying. "But it is now an official campaign policy that we will not do this moving forward."

"It was news to me," was Clinton's response. "Neither I nor my campaign approve of that, and it will certainly not be tolerated."

Meanwhile, Clinton's rivals kept up the steady stream of attacks, saying she was vague with voters on key issues, dodged hard questions and tailored her answers to different interest groups.

"I think that what Senator Clinton has been doing is running a textbook Washington campaign," Obama said on Sunday.

"What that says is that you don't answer directly tough questions, you don't present tough choices directly to the American people, for fear that your answers might not be popular, you might make yourself a target for the Republicans in the general election."
In feisty debate, Clinton fires back

Presidential hopeful accuses Democratic rivals of distorting her record


The Associated Press said:

updated 10:37 p.m. ET Nov. 15, 2007
LAS VEGAS - Under pressure in a feisty debate, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton accused her closest rivals Thursday night of slinging mud “right out of the Republican playbook” and leveled her sharpest criticism of the campaign at their records.
“What the American people are looking for right now is straight answers to tough questions, and that is not what we have seen from Senator Clinton on a host of issues,” said Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois in the opening moments of a debate seven weeks before the first contest of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. “There’s nothing personal about this,” said former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, who joined Obama in bluntly accusing Clinton of forever switching positions on Social Security, driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants and other issues.

“The American people know where I stand,” said Clinton, turning aside the suggestion that she was seeking to hide her positions. Long an advocate of universal health care, she said Obama’s current proposal leaves millions uncovered and that Edwards did not support health care for all when he first ran for president in 2004. The three-way confrontation at the beginning of a lengthy debate reduced the other Democratic presidential hopefuls on the debate stage to the uncomfortable role of spectator, yet it perfectly captured the race for the party’s nomination. Clinton leads in the nationwide polls, but recent surveys in Iowa show she is in a virtual dead heat with Obama and Edwards.

For Richardson, Sens. Joseph Biden of Delaware and Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, the opening moments were frustrating — and they repeatedly tried to break in. “Oh, no, don’t make me speak,” Biden said in mock horror when moderator Wolf Blitzer called on him roughly 15 minutes into the proceedings. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who has campaigned in Nevada more than any other presidential hopeful, took verbal shots at Clinton and her two closest pursuers in the polls. “Let’s stop the mudslinging,” he said.

Richards attacks top three

Yet Richardson, who has campaigned in Nevada more than any other presidential hopeful, took verbal shots at Clinton and her two closest pursuers in the polls. He said Edwards is engaging in class warfare, Obama was trying to start a generational war and Clinton, “with all due respect with her plan on Iraq doesn’t end the war. All I want to do is give peace a chance.” Richardson was in the minority when the candidates were asked whether human rights could ever trump national security.

He said it could; Clinton said it could not, and Dodd said “obviously national security.” Obama challenged the question, saying “the concepts are not contradictory.” Clinton, her standing as the front-runner at risk, seemed intent on redeeming what even she conceded was a sub-par performance at the previous debate, turning aside criticism from her rivals and answering questions with practiced ease. Asked whether she was guilty of playing the “gender card” in her drive to become the first female president, she said she had not.
“They’re not attacking me because I’m a woman. They’re attacking me because I’m ahead,” she said to loud applause from the audience. Obama was the first to challenge Clinton, saying it took two weeks to “get a clear answer” on whether she supports or opposes issuing driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants. “The same is true on Social Security,” he said.

Clinton fires back at Obama

For the first time in a debate since the campaign began, Clinton swiftly answered in kind. “When it came time to step up and decide whether or not he would support universal health care coverage he chose not to do that,” she said of Obama. She added his plan would leave 15 million people without coverage — the population of Iowa and three other early voting states in the nominating campaign.

Edwards was next to accuse Clinton of trying to have it both ways — with the war in Iraq, Social Security and defining the scope of President Bush’s power to use military force against Iran. “She says she will bring change to Washington while she continues to defend a system that does not work, that is broken, that is rigged, that is corrupt,” added the former North Carolina senator. “I’ve just been personally attacked again,” Clinton broke in. “I don’t mind taking hits on my record on issues, but when somebody starts throwing mud at least we can hope it’s accurate and not right out of the Republican playbook.”
The debate unfolded on a stage at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. The state holds caucuses on Jan. 19 — following Iowa on Jan. 3 and most likely the New Hampshire primary several days later. The focus on Clinton from the debate’s opening moments was hardly surprising. The New York senator herself has conceded she turned in a sub-par performance at the last debate, when she stumbled on a question about driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants. Her husband, the former president, leapt to her defense in the interim, saying of her rivals: “Those boys have been getting tough on her lately.”

The setting underscored Nevada’s newly prominent role in the nominating process. The state is far more racially diverse than either Iowa or New Hampshire, with a population that is about 22 percent Hispanic and 10 percent black.

Nevada brings new issues to spotlight

Democrats in Nevada hoped the focus on their state would prompt candidates to pay closer heed to Western issues like water, grazing and mining rights. But it was more than an hour into the two-hour debate before the issue of energy came up. Instead, Clinton drew the first question — and moments later the first barb from Obama. Despite her critics, she said, “I think the American people know where I’ve stood for 35 years,” adding she had been fighting for children, workers, families and universal health care.

More than an hour later, Dodd sought to turn the focus back onto Clinton, saying she had changed positions on trade by announcing her support for a deal with Peru at the same time she advocates a “time out” for such agreements. Moments earlier, Clinton gave a careful answer when asked whether she now viewed the North American Free Trade Agreement — a product of her husband’s administration — to be a mistake. “NAFTA is a mistake to the extent it did not deliver what we hoped it would,” she said.
And she fielded another question about NAFTA with a quip. Asked whether she now believes Ross Perot when he argued against NAFTA in a 1993 debate with her husband’s vice president, Al Gore, she said: “All I can remember from that is a bunch of charts,” a reference to Perot’s penchant for presenting information in made-for-television format.

The clintons have been enjoying a lot of support from minorities, what will happen when the dity gets dirtier? Others call her a nut cracker, is she?

Obama's Racial Identity Still An Issue

Democrat's Race, And Whether He's "Black Enough," Continue To Spark Conversation

CBS said:
Barack Obama has said that the big city cab drivers who once refused to pick him up had no doubt about his blackness back then, nor should anyone else now, CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds reports.

Campaigning, he addresses the race issue without hesitation, once even mimicking gangbangers - he criticized their work ethic: "Why I gotta do it? Why you didn't ask Pookie to do it?" he said.

He quotes Martin Luther King and occasionally slips into the cadence of a black preacher, but recent polls show Hillary Clinton is the choice of more black Democrats, and it's clear that Obama's racial identity gives pause to some. He is not the descendant of African slaves, but is the son of a white mother and a Kenyan father, so he alone gets questions about just who he is.

"My black activist friends from here to Boston say that you are not black, you are multiracial, and I want to know how you self-identify?" he was asked at a recent event.

Obama replies: "I self-identify as African American - that's how I'm treated and that's how I'm viewed. I'm proud of it."

"The issue of whether he is black enough is not the primary issue," said Michael Fauntroy, a professor of public policy at George Mason University. "The issue is whether he has enough experience." Besides, Obama may have other strengths. "He is seen as more palatable and more acceptable to larger numbers of white voters," Fauntroy said.

Of course, there are whites who will never vote for Obama because he is black. "I don't want to sound prejudiced or anything, but for one, I am not going to vote for a colored man to be our president," said one South Carolina voter.

When asked if this country would vote for a black man for the highest office in the land, Sen. Obama deflects the question, suggesting merely raising it is a disservice to the American electorate.

But the American electorate has never had anyone quite like Barack Obama to consider.

The majority of people are in denial on this issue.

Bill Clinton is the Hillary campaign's
secret weapon in Iowa

Bill Clinton spearheads Hillary's Iowa campaign

Toby Harnden in De Witt said:

Last Updated: 2:38am GMT 29/11/2007

He was introduced as appearing on behalf of his wife Hillary but there was no stopping Bill Clinton talking about his favourite subject: himself. In a stump performance of characteristic virtuosity, the 42nd president of the United States had a packed community hall in eastern Iowa hanging on his every word for nearly two hours as he made the case for Mrs Clinton to become the 44th.

Even his soaring rhetoric couldn't quite reconcile the central contradiction of his pitch. America should be in "the tomorrow business", he declared, before arguing in the next breath that the way to do this was to go "back to the future" by putting the Clintons in the White House once more. Hillary Clinton's campaign believes that the former president is their secret weapon and has brought him out in Iowa just over a month before its caucuses are held and as her national poll lead slips.

Barack Obama is about to deploy Oprah Winfrey, the massively popular talk show host, in Iowa but in terms of political star quality, Mrs Clinton's husband is without peer. Some polls have Mr Obama leading in Iowa, on track for an early win that could deal a death blow to Mrs Clinton's strategy, which is based on her being the inevitable candidate steamrollering her way to the Democratic nomination. An integral part of Mr Obama's appeal is that he represents a generational shift away from what his supporters call the "Bush-Clinton years" - the nearly two decades that a member of one or other family has been president.

If Mr Clinton is worried about this, he was not showing it on Tuesday evening. For him, it was just like the old days. He even referred to Americans "thinking about tomorrow", a line from the Fleetwood Mac number that became his 1992 campaign theme song. "I don't believe in dynasties," he insisted. "But I don't believe she should be eliminated because she has spent the last 32 years married to me."

He dutifully described the former First Lady as "the strongest, most well prepared, most reliable, steadiest, best problem solver" in the 2008 race, though it was notable that these were more prosaic qualities than those often - rightly - attributed to him. But he could not help returning again and again to the subject of William Jefferson Clinton. For those in the crowd of more than 400 in De Witt who had not been paying attention since he left office, Mr Clinton provided a comprehensive rundown of what he is up to.

"The work I do now in America involves helping 28 million people who get a pay cheque every two weeks but don't have a bank account get into the banking system so they can be part of mainstream America. "I'm helping to fight the epidemic of childhood obesity and diabetes among young people. I work in the Katrina area in New Orleans. I also sell the world's least expensive high-quality AIDS drug in 71 countries. "I work in healthcare in 25 countries. I have climate change projects in 40 cities on six continents. I've been to 90 countries since I left office.

"I raise money from the richest Americans for my foundation but my offices are in Harlem in New York City. I walk the streets among my neighbours and talk to them about their lives. He added: "It's a great honour to campaign for Hillary because she worked for me from 1974 through 2000. I've just been working for her since she ran for the Senate in 2000 so the way I figure it, I'm still about 19 years behind." He made clear he viewed his wife's candidacy as a chance to erase the legacy of President George W. Bush who had "tried to undo everything I did".

Fran Spain, 64, who runs a petrol station in De Witt, said the former president was "never happier" than on the campaign trail. "You'd have to go far and wide to beat Bill Clinton," she said. "He's just it. She does a nice job too but everybody knows Bill Clinton - he's the best."

Campaign trail continues .................
With IA primaries one month away,National Polls zinaonyesha Obama amegain the lead by 4 points dhidi ya Clinton, na 8 points mbele ya Edwards.

According to the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll released Tuesday, Sen. Barack Obama has surged to a 4 point lead over Hillary Clinton, and an 8 point lead over John Edwards.

In a survey of likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa, Obama draws support from 30 percent, compared with 26 percent for Clinton and 22 percent for former senator John Edwards. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson received 11 percent, The Washington Post reports.

Kwa wale ambao mnachoshwa na endless episodes za ZITTO v/s CCM mnaweza kulisoma hili Time magazine la wiki hiii

some interesting articles on OBAMA,00.html

Alafu hiyo link/page imekuwa moved...Articld hii hapa chini

Barack Obama's Iowa headquarters near the State Capitol in downtown Des Moines has the unmistakable décor of an insurgent operation: thinning, mildewed carpet; litter from sign-painting parties; recycling boxes full of canvassing tally sheets and empty Miller Lite cartons. But the deepening clutter hasn't covered up all the traces of what the building used to be: a hockey rink, which could hardly be a more fitting metaphor for a political contest that is suddenly getting a lot rougher. The old Dr Pepper scoreboard is still on the wall, but the largely twentysomething crew at Obama Central has another way of measuring the team's progress. Staffers ring a silver bellhop bell whenever an organizer signs up a new precinct captain who has agreed to stand up and argue the candidate's case before friends and neighbors at one of the 1,784 caucuses that will be held across Iowa on Jan. 3. Since Obama's speech at the Iowa Democratic Party's Nov. 10 Jefferson-Jackson dinner — his most acclaimed performance since the 2004 National Convention address that made him a celebrity — the bell has dinged more than 233 times.

As the contest for the Democratic nomination moves into the last weeks of exhibition season, it appears that Obama is turning this into a race. "This summer he seemed to still be finding himself," says John Norris, an Obama adviser who ran John Kerry's Iowa operation in 2004. "But he turned the corner and realized, 'This is going to work out if I make it work out.'"

For months — which can be several life-cycles on the campaign trail — it looked as if that turning point might not happen. Despite the record amounts of money he had raised, the organization he had built and the crowds he had drawn, the freshman Senator from Illinois with a message of conciliation and righteousness had seemed for most of the year to be unable — unwilling, actually — to put much of a dent in Hillary Clinton's trajectory of preordination and inevitability. He appeared destined for the same fate that had met a long line of Democratic insurgents — Gary Hart, Paul Tsongas, Bill Bradley and Howard Dean among them — whose promises of a new kind of politics had briefly enjoyed a vogue, only to be crushed into dust by a front-runner who was using the standard playbook.

Some of the candidate's supporters and advisers found his genteel approach to campaigning admirable — and maddening. "There was a panic, particularly in the campaign fund-raising machinery, this summer," recalls Bill Daley, a top Obama adviser and presidential-campaign veteran who tried to tamp down the worriers. "They said, 'He's gotta punch harder; he's gotta engage.'"

The campaign had not lived up to the promise of Obama's February announcement on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., a black man standing in front of the building where Lincoln had delivered his famous "House Divided" speech against slavery in 1858 and decrying "the failure of leadership, the smallness of our politics." Crowds turned out by the thousands to hear him almost everywhere he went, but they often left feeling oddly underwhelmed.

Like a concert audience that wants to hear only the greatest hits, they didn't know what to make of Obama's unfamiliar material as he honed his message and started spelling out his policies. The candidate was confused as well. "The expectations," he tells TIME, "are elevated to this odd level. Even when we do the spectacular, people discount it. If we have a crowd of 23,000 people in a red state in the spring, people sort of say, 'Ho hum.' We've raised more money from small donors than all the other Democratic candidates combined, and from a standing start, we are competing with the dominant political organization in American politics that was built over the course of two decades by a two-term ex-President. That's pretty good."

But it wasn't good enough. Nowhere had Obama, with his almost cantankerous disdain for sound bites, been so frustrated as in the unending series of candidate debates that have punctuated the campaign season. In the first outing, he stumbled over a question about how he would react to a terrorist attack, sounding more like a candidate to head the volunteer fire department as he focused on disaster preparedness. Clinton, seeing her opening, spoke as a Commander in Chief: "I think a President must move as swiftly as is prudent to retaliate."

On the rare occasions when Obama's campaign decided to engage the Clinton campaign, such as when it was caught leaking opposition research done against Hillary to the media, it was deftly outmaneuvered. Her spokespeople were quick to characterize any engagement as a violation of Obama's pledge to practice a new kind of politics. In a series of meetings in Des Moines over the course of two days in early October, Obama's dismayed fund-raisers made another run at him and his strategists, begging Obama to come down off his mountaintop and take her on. That's the old kind of politics, he told them. "That's not who I am."

Taking the Gloves Off
Not until Clinton turned in a couple of unsteady debate performances of her own in October, after having dominated the forums up to that point, did it seem as though someone had thrown a switch in Obama. Suddenly for Obama, as Lincoln wrote of his own presidential aspirations in 1860, "the taste is in my mouth." Voters began to see that he really wanted the job he was campaigning for. "There's a certain joy to it that I see in him now," says his strategist David Axelrod. "I just sensed from that point on that sort of incredible focus, energy, acuity, joy. He's into it."

Obama's Jefferson-Jackson dinner speech hit all the inspirational notes, with its pledge to bring Red America together with Blue America and its invocation of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "fierce urgency of now." But it was also an indictment, not only of the Bush brand of politics but of the Clinton one as well. "We have a chance to bring the country together in a new majority to finally tackle problems that George Bush made far worse but that had festered long before George Bush ever took office," he declared. "Triangulating and poll-driven positions ... just won't do."

That, however, can be a tricky argument to make in a Democratic primary, given the exalted status of Bill Clinton in the Democratic pantheon. Obama "has to be very careful about how he attacks her," says Donna Brazile, who was Al Gore's campaign manager in 2000 but is not backing any candidate in this race. "He talks about the Clinton years as a failure, when most Democrats know differently." And as a prominent Democratic strategist noted, "I am not convinced this campaign has any sense of how hard the Clintons fight when they feel their birthright is being challenged. I am not sure they are ready for this."

But then, it's a little late for Obama to start worrying about that now. Since he made the decision not just to run but to get pugnacious as well — and since he emerged in the polls as Hillary Clinton's most serious opponent — hardly a news cycle has passed without a punch being thrown by one camp or the other. "It's going to look like this every day between now and the caucuses," says Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson. In the latest rounds, Obama has tried jujitsu, challenging Clinton on what she considers to be her greatest strength, while exposing his own most glaring vulnerability: experience. When, during a swing through Iowa, Clinton pointedly asserted that she wouldn't need on-the-job training to deal with the economy, Obama shot back, "I am happy to compare my experiences with hers when it comes to the economy. My understanding was that she wasn't Treasury Secretary in the Clinton Administration."

Obama has also begun to sharpen one of his strongest arguments — that experience is not the same thing as judgment — for which Clinton has not yet found a rejoinder. One of the biggest applause lines in his stump speech has been the note that "Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld had two of the longest résumés in Washington, but that experience didn't translate into good judgment." After Clinton mocked Obama's assertion in mid-November that his years spent living in Indonesia as a child gave him strong experience in foreign relations, his campaign revised the line to question her judgment as well. "Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld have spent time in the White House and traveled to many countries as well," said Obama spokesman Bill Burton, "but along with Hillary Clinton, they led us into the worst foreign-policy disaster in a generation and are now giving George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran."

The New Ground Game
The polls, though notoriously unreliable in nominating contests, suggest that Obama is at last gaining some traction. Every survey out of Iowa shows the race a tight, three-way fight between Obama, Clinton and former Senator John Edwards, but growing numbers of voters there are rating the need for new direction and new ideas as more important than strength and experience. The question is whether Obama's newfound aggressiveness will undermine his image as the candidate of a new kind of politics. Meanwhile, Clinton's formidable lead in New Hampshire has dropped by nearly half, to 14 points in the latest CNN/WMUR survey, conducted by the University of New Hampshire. More telling is what is happening on the ground: in the past three weeks, Clinton has nearly doubled the size of her late-out-of-the-gate field operation in Iowa, adding about 100 new people, though she still has not caught up with the forces that Obama has had in place pretty much since June. She is also intensifying her travel schedule in Iowa (she has visited only 39 counties to his 68, by the Obama campaign's calculation) and her advertising (which has lagged his — she has spent $3.7 million to his $5.4 million).

Clinton's allies are revising and stepping up their game plans. Emily's List, the political network of pro-choice Democratic women, had planned to put its money into helping Clinton in the big states that vote on Feb. 5 but is now moving its resources into Iowa. The Clinton campaign "clearly thought [it was] on a glide path to the nomination, and that has been disrupted," crows Obama campaign manager David Plouffe. "They're going to bring in the cavalry."

But if Clinton has a lot staked on Iowa, her opponents all do as well. If one of them can't manage to at least nick her there, she will come out of that contest all but unstoppable for the nomination. Even Obama admits, "We have to do well. I don't think there's a candidate who can do poorly in Iowa and end up winning the nomination."

As Obama takes the fight to Clinton, there is no small danger that he could be tarnishing the very qualities that have made him so appealing and fresh. A candidate who is engaged in the ritualized back-and-forth that characterizes close campaigns has a harder time making the case that he rejects the old gambits of politics as usual. "They've junked the politics of hope," says Wolfson. "His whole brand was based on that." Obama insists his shift to the offensive doesn't conflict with his new-politics appeal: "I don't feel as if any of the differences that have been raised on my end have been gratuitous, and frankly, I don't feel that any of the differences that Senator Clinton has been pointing out have been gratuitous. It's perfectly legitimate for her to suggest that I don't have enough experience to be President. She's been in Washington for 15 years; it's not surprising that she would see that as important. I don't consider that out of bounds in any sort of way."

If Obama's offensive risks tainting his image as an above-the-fray candidate, he at least starts with a reservoir of high favorability numbers: in a recent Washington Post/ABC poll of likely Iowa voters, 31% found Obama to be the most honest and trustworthy Democratic candidate — about twice the number who said that of Clinton — and three-quarters gave him credit for being candid.

At the same time, Obama's attacks, and those of Edwards, have given Clinton a license to respond in ways that would otherwise be unseemly for a front runner. "It's time. I have absorbed a lot of attacks for several months now — my opponents have basically had a free rein," Clinton told CBS's Katie Couric in an interview. "After you've been attacked as often as I have from several of my opponents, you can't just absorb it — you have to respond." She has been particularly aggressive in going after Obama on health care, saying that his plan — the only one put forward by the top three contenders that does not contain a requirement that people buy coverage if their employers don't provide it — is timid.

Drawing from the Playbook
The truth is, for all his talk about inventing a new kind of politics, Obama has always understood that the old rulebook cannot be completely thrown out in a nomination fight — not if you want to win. It is true that he has told people things they don't want to hear: he has championed merit pay in front of teachers and fuel-efficiency standards before automakers. But Obama also sees political necessity to pander, proposing, for instance, that senior citizens who earn less than $50,000 be exempt from income taxes. That stance could explain how his support among older voters, who make up a disproportionate share of the Iowa electorate, has risen 8 points since July in a Washington Post/ABC poll.

And the avatar of post–baby boom politics must also deal with the fact that the first vote will occur under a byzantine process that requires politicians to perform well under the most retro conditions imaginable. The Iowa caucuses are neighborhood meetings at which voters spend hours arguing with and cajoling one another and organization trumps almost everything else. The actual number of caucusgoers is relatively small — 124,000 turned up four years ago. And they tend to make up their minds late; 2004 exit polls indicated 4 in 10 made their decisions in the last week before the caucuses. What's more, everyone's calculations can be thrown off by a sudden ice storm — or, this time, by the fact that the caucuses are coming on the heels of the holiday season, while colleges are on winter break, and on the same night that a Midwestern team could be playing in the Orange Bowl.

Whatever the drawbacks of this long and brutal campaign season, Obama believes the exercise is a good one for picking a President. "Ultimately, the process reveals aspects of an individual's character and judgment. If you think about past Presidents, probably those two things, along with vision, are the most important aspects of a presidency," he says. "Do you know where you want to take the country? Do you have the judgment to figure out what's important and what's not? Do you have the character to withstand trials and tribulations and to bounce back from setbacks?" In the coming weeks, voters will form their own answers to all those questions.

With reporting by Jay Newton-Small/Des Moines and James Carney and Michael Duffy/Washington,8599,1688931,00.html
Hata Huckbee nae ame-surge in IA according to De moines Register, nimemwona leo kwenye "this week" ya George Stefanopolous....jamaa yupo comfortable ile mbaya yaani.

Politics of hope(Obama &Huckbee) zina resonate in Americas living rooms!!!. Kuna mshkaji wake Obama (classmate wake harvard law) ni star wa CSI New York, anaitwa Hill Harper anakitabu kizuri sana naweza ku-recommend watu kusoma.
Hivi unadhani hii surge ya Obama inaweza kuwa inachangiwa na support ya Oprah(yaani Oprah factor) au ni myth???. America ipo desperate for new blood ktk uongozi maana wakina "kingunge" version ya america wanaua timu.
Nakumbuka wakati niko Uni niliandika paper moja kuhusu affirmative action na critique yangu kubwa ilikuwa ni kumjibu huyu Shelby Steele ...huyu jamaa tika ma BLACK CONSERVATIVES hana mfano na hata yule jaji wa supreme court CLARENCE THOMAS hamuingii

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