media, obama

Barack Obama Could Take ONE Leaf from JFK — Cultivate Some Media Friends

Barack Obama would do well to cultivate an amicable relationship with a few in the media whose insight he values. If I am to believe what I hear, he is somewhat aloof from the press. I don’t blame him because there may be few folk whose opinions would be of value to him, But there is a happy medium and as the campaign goes on a conspicuous affinity for some in the media might serve well.

Team Obama Is Courting Everybody But the Press says Howard Kurtz

But then he turns and writes Even Conservative Media Chorus Sings Obama’s Praises

from which I quote:

Barack Obama, now the media’s odds-on favorite to win the White House, is drawing effusive praise from the chattering classes.

“You’d have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by this. . . . This is a huge moment,” one commentator wrote.

An unreconstructed liberal? An African American hungering for a racial breakthrough? No, it was David Brooks, the conservative New York Times columnist, and he’s got plenty of company on the right

I still think my original point makes sense. If only to learn their names for WH press conferences.


On more personal media front, without wanting to shout from rooftops, this blog is keeping pace with many media and many reputable liberal blogs, sometimes even anticipating things by as much as 24 hours, most recently yesterday’s Gallup poll discrepancy story. While our pertinence may be reflected in an increase in traffic, Google has not seen fit to up page rank to a previous high of 5. But it would be fun even if nobody came.


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A Letter from Barack — A Grass Roots Campaign

Barack’s letter (below) makes it very clear that his is an unusual campaign. No lobbyist money and masses of small contributors. I have contributed to the Obama Campaign and I recommend others join this effort to move beyond gridlock and restore something of our best side to the rest of the world.

Stephen —

I have some news for you today.

In the hours before Iowans went to their local caucuses four weeks ago, the 500,000th person donated to our campaign.

It took us nearly a year to grow that unprecedented base of individual donors. We rejected donations from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs and relied on ordinary people to take ownership of this campaign — and the result was more donors than any presidential primary campaign has had in history.

Here’s the news today: so far in January alone, more than 224,000 people have given to this campaign.

If we can reach 250,000 donors for January by midnight tonight, it will show the undeniable strength and incredible momentum of our grassroots movement.

You were part of the nearly 500,000 people who gave to our campaign in 2007 and got us this far. If you give today, another supporter like you will match your donation. Make your first donation of 2008 now:

These 224,000 people are giving whatever they can afford — more than ninety percent of our donors this year have given $100 or less.

But what’s even more inspiring is that they are also making phone calls, knocking on doors, planning local events, and even serving as Precinct Captains in the 22 states that will vote on Tuesday.

These are not just donors — they are organizers doing the kind of local, grassroots organizing that is the foundation of real change. Together we are seizing this moment to upend the tired politics of the past and usher in a new era of active citizenship in our party and in our democracy.

From our historic victory in Iowa in the first days of 2008 through our resounding win in South Carolina last Saturday, January has been the most critical time of the campaign so far.

Hitting this goal of 250,000 donors will close out this historic month. And the fresh momentum and energy will carry us through the 22 state contests on February 5th and beyond.

This is an incredible moment, and I hope you will take time now to help reach this goal.

Thank you for being part of this,



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Should Biblical Studies End? A Nuanced Argument Surfaces

“The sole purpose of biblical studies, … would be to help people move toward a postscriptural society. It may be paternalistic to ‘help people,’ but no more so than when translators hide the truth or when scholars don’t aggressively disclose the truth for fear of upsetting believers.” From Dr. Hector Avalos’ Book, The End of Biblical Studies.

To access the argument, click here.

In essence, this moves toward a new hermeneutic, not to entirely eliminate Biblical studies, but to take a direction that honestly acknowledges how people behave in the face of things they cannot explain and how human nature spins out processes of celebritization and messianic thinking. Quite apart from how institutions are formed around the veneration of persons.

biblical studies

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Oprah and Obama Transcend Race — And Transcending Is The 2008 Message

There is a somewhat irrelevant discussion going on about whether Oprah Winfrey has real influence over the Black community when it comes to voting for Obama. I suspect her only influence has been to show that the nation’s mega celebrity supports Barack. The whole thing transcends race. We can segment things in polls and it can influence strategy. But when all is said and done, 2008 is the year of transcendence and I would guess that if Oprah has any influence it might well be in making all of her Hillary-supporters think twice about the legitimacy of the Obama candidacy.

Click here for more discussion.

Oprah Winfrey Speaks for Barack Obama in Iowa


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Obama Preps for Tonight’s California Democratic Debate — Tougher Stance

This account by Alec MacGillis in the Washington Post is like following Barack Obama through his intense schedule yesterday — Wednesday. Obama faces Hillary Clinton this evening in the California Debate. According to MacGillis, Obama has been rehearsing some serious chops to use to bring down the Clinton’s shaky juggernaut.

MacGillis quotes Obama:

“We can be a Party that tries to beat the other side by practicing the same do-anything, say-anything, divisive politics that has stood in the way of progress; or we can be a Party that puts an end to it,” he said. He continued: “We’ve reached Americans of all political stripes who are more interested in turning the page than turning up the heat on our opponents. That’s how Democrats will win in November and build a majority in Congress. Not by nominating a candidate who will unite the other party against us, but by choosing one who can unite this country around a movement for change.”

According to MacGillis, the Clinton Campaign called Obama’s Denver speech an angry screed.

Judge for Yourself:

Obama in Denver Yesterday

california debate

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Obama Must Steadily Win Over Hispanic Voters — Gallup Findings

The writing is on the wall. The difference for Obama and for the Democratic Presidential Primaries may lie with the Hispanic vote. The Gallup Poll tells us that “Clinton is beating Obama by almost 30 points among Hispanic Democrats”. Check out the Gallup findings below. The verdict: An infusion of endorsements and emphasis is needed almost immediately to cut into a current disadvantage.

The Full Gallup Findings

Obama’s strong support was evident in his overwhelming victory in South Carolina, where exit polls showed him receiving up to 80% of the black vote. The vote of black Democrats promises to be significant in many states — and congressional districts within states — in next Tuesday’s crucial Super Tuesday primaries.

At the same time, Clinton has strong support from Hispanic Democrats across the country. In the Jan. 23-29 aggregate, Clinton has almost a 30-point margin over Obama among Hispanics. The Hispanic vote — as is the case for the black vote — will be crucially important in some states voting on Tuesday and in some districts within states with high percentages of Hispanic voters.

It should be noted, of course, that the candidates’ relative positioning this year has been subject to substantial change over time. In the broad analysis, daily Gallup tracking shows that Obama is catching up with Clinton after his victory in South Carolina last Saturday and after high-profile endorsements of members of the Kennedy family. It is possible, therefore, that Obama’s support among blacks could climb even higher between now and next Tuesday, and that Clinton’s support among Hispanics could weaken. Gallup will publish an updated analysis before voting begins on Super Tuesday.

All is not lost, but a Richardson endorsement today and other similar support actions would help.

gallup poll

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There Is A Discrepancy Between Gallup and Other Polls

UPDATED February 3, 2008. The discrepancy between Gallup and Real Clear Politics persists as Super Tuesday draws ever closer. According to Gallup, which interviews 1000 daily for its tracking poll, Obama and Clinton are in a dead heat. Real Clear Politics still gives the edge to Hillary Clinton. If Super Tuesday delivers an Obama tie or victory, Gallup will have proved the more reliable source of national polling information.

Click here for the latest Gallup Tracking Poll Democratic Data

The entire Gallup page is detailed and I am not going to quote from it. If you want the ull picture please click the link above,

The statistical dead heat comes a day before Super Tuesday and suggests trending toward Barack Obama but also the growth of satisfaction with either Barack or Hillary.


Latest Super Tuesday Democratic Predictions Continually Updated

Super Tuesday Democratic Polls: A Super Tuesday Prediction

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