Monday, 5 March 2007

OBAMA VS. CLINTON: THE MOTHER OF ALL BATTLES? ('Take 2')

"REVISITING THE PAST"

Selma, Alabama, March 05 2007 - American Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama took to separate church pulpits in Selma on Sunday using a civil rights commemoration to battle for support among the country's crucial black electorate. The two rivals for the 2008 nomination spoke at churches located less than a block apart in Selma, where a seminal march 42 years ago helped turn the tide against racial segregation.

Obama, who hopes to become the nation's first black president, won a standing ovation as he paid homage to the "giants" who led the civil rights movement and called for a younger generation to carry on the cause. The son of a Kenyan father and a white American mother, Obama sought to answer sceptics who doubt that he understands the experience of African-Americans. Obama said the civil rights struggle had had a direct impact on his life, saying it created the circumstances to allow his parents to meet and flout racist conventions.

"Not only is my career the result of the work of the men and women who we honour here today, my very existence might not have been possible had it not been for some of the folks here today," he said at a service at Brown A.M.E. church attended by major figures from the civil rights era. "So don't tell me I don't have a claim on Selma, Alabama. I'm here because somebody marched. I'm here because you all sacrificed for me. I stand on the shoulders of giants," said Obama, as an overflow crowd listened outside.

Clinton earned a similarly enthusiastic reception at the First Baptist Church nearby, where she delivered one of the more rousing speeches of her career. Recalling the courage of those who marched in Selma in 1965 for voting rights, Clinton said that America still faced injustice and that "we have a march to finish". "How can we rest while poverty and inequality continue to rise? How can we sleep while 46 million of our fellow Americans do not have health insurance?" she said. "How can we shrug our shoulders and say this is not about me when too many of our children are ill-prepared in school for college and unable to afford it if they wish to attend?"

With the battle for African-American support heating up, a new poll showed Clinton's lead over Obama among Democratic voters slipping and Obama surging ahead of the former first lady among blacks for the first time. The ABC/Washington Post poll released on Friday showed that Clinton's once-commanding lead had narrowed to 36 percent support against 24 percent for Obama. And the poll had Obama now leading among African-Americans, 44 percent to 33 percent. Obama, who hopes to become the nation's first black president, poses a serious challenge to Clinton's front-runner status and Alabama is one of several states with large black populations that could shape the Democrats' nomination race.

Clinton chose to travel to Alabama after Obama's plans were announced, US media reported, apparently unwilling to cede ground to the Illinois senator at an event full of symbolism. To aid her cause, Clinton enlisted the last-minute help of her husband, former president Bill Clinton, who was so popular among African-Americans during his tenure at the White House that he was dubbed affectionately as the "first black president". Initially, Hillary Clinton intended to accept an award on behalf of her husband but later the ex-president changed his plans and announced he would travel to Selma to be inducted into the Voting Rights Hall of Fame. The move fed speculation in US media that the New York senator felt threatened by Obama's candidacy and was anxiously turning to her husband for political assistance.

Sunday is the anniversary of "Bloody Sunday", when state troops and police in 1965 brutally beat hundreds of demonstrators marching for voting rights for disenfranchised blacks. Nationally broadcast television footage of mounted troops attacking the peaceful demonstrators with clubs and tear gas at Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge helped rally support for the civil rights cause. Later that year, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act to ensure blacks were no longer prevented from voting.

MEANWHILE...


The maternal ancestors of Barack Obama, the Democrat who hopes to become America’s first black president, once owned slaves, genealogists have revealed. As the son of a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya, the background of Obama, who went to a school in Indonesia, was already considered exotic. According to the genealogists, George Washington Overall, Obama’s great-great-great-great grandfather, owned two slaves, a 15-year-old girl and 25-year-old man, who were listed in the 1850 Kentucky census. Another maternal ancestor owned two older slaves.

In his autobiography, Dreams from My Father, Obama referred to family rumours that his relatives had links to both sides during the civil war, but he did not know he had slaveholding ancestors. Bill Burton, a spokesman for the Illinois senator, said it showed his relatives were “representative of America”. “It is a true measure of progress that the descendant of a slave owner would come to marry a student from Kenya and produce a son who would grow up to be a candidate for president of the United States,” Burton said.

Obama’s relationship with the black community got off to a rocky start when he launched his campaign for president amid grumbling that he was not “black enough”. Debra Dickerson, a writer, commented recently that, “Blacks’, in our political and social reality, mean those descended from West African slaves,” and said Obama had acquired the “benefits of black progress” without having borne any of the burden. But, as Obama has pointed out, “If you look African-American in this society, you’re treated as an African-American.”

(Sources: Independent Online, Times Online & Parkdale Pictures)

SEE 'Take 1' HERE

"REVISITING THE PAST"

Selma, Alabama, March 05 2007 - American Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama took to separate church pulpits in Selma on Sunday using a civil rights commemoration to battle for support among the country's crucial black electorate. The two rivals for the 2008 nomination spoke at churches located less than a block apart in Selma, where a seminal march 42 years ago helped turn the tide against racial segregation.

Obama, who hopes to become the nation's first black president, won a standing ovation as he paid homage to the "giants" who led the civil rights movement and called for a younger generation to carry on the cause. The son of a Kenyan father and a white American mother, Obama sought to answer sceptics who doubt that he understands the experience of African-Americans. Obama said the civil rights struggle had had a direct impact on his life, saying it created the circumstances to allow his parents to meet and flout racist conventions.

"Not only is my career the result of the work of the men and women who we honour here today, my very existence might not have been possible had it not been for some of the folks here today," he said at a service at Brown A.M.E. church attended by major figures from the civil rights era. "So don't tell me I don't have a claim on Selma, Alabama. I'm here because somebody marched. I'm here because you all sacrificed for me. I stand on the shoulders of giants," said Obama, as an overflow crowd listened outside.

Clinton earned a similarly enthusiastic reception at the First Baptist Church nearby, where she delivered one of the more rousing speeches of her career. Recalling the courage of those who marched in Selma in 1965 for voting rights, Clinton said that America still faced injustice and that "we have a march to finish". "How can we rest while poverty and inequality continue to rise? How can we sleep while 46 million of our fellow Americans do not have health insurance?" she said. "How can we shrug our shoulders and say this is not about me when too many of our children are ill-prepared in school for college and unable to afford it if they wish to attend?"

With the battle for African-American support heating up, a new poll showed Clinton's lead over Obama among Democratic voters slipping and Obama surging ahead of the former first lady among blacks for the first time. The ABC/Washington Post poll released on Friday showed that Clinton's once-commanding lead had narrowed to 36 percent support against 24 percent for Obama. And the poll had Obama now leading among African-Americans, 44 percent to 33 percent. Obama, who hopes to become the nation's first black president, poses a serious challenge to Clinton's front-runner status and Alabama is one of several states with large black populations that could shape the Democrats' nomination race.

Clinton chose to travel to Alabama after Obama's plans were announced, US media reported, apparently unwilling to cede ground to the Illinois senator at an event full of symbolism. To aid her cause, Clinton enlisted the last-minute help of her husband, former president Bill Clinton, who was so popular among African-Americans during his tenure at the White House that he was dubbed affectionately as the "first black president". Initially, Hillary Clinton intended to accept an award on behalf of her husband but later the ex-president changed his plans and announced he would travel to Selma to be inducted into the Voting Rights Hall of Fame. The move fed speculation in US media that the New York senator felt threatened by Obama's candidacy and was anxiously turning to her husband for political assistance.

Sunday is the anniversary of "Bloody Sunday", when state troops and police in 1965 brutally beat hundreds of demonstrators marching for voting rights for disenfranchised blacks. Nationally broadcast television footage of mounted troops attacking the peaceful demonstrators with clubs and tear gas at Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge helped rally support for the civil rights cause. Later that year, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act to ensure blacks were no longer prevented from voting.

MEANWHILE...


The maternal ancestors of Barack Obama, the Democrat who hopes to become America’s first black president, once owned slaves, genealogists have revealed. As the son of a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya, the background of Obama, who went to a school in Indonesia, was already considered exotic. According to the genealogists, George Washington Overall, Obama’s great-great-great-great grandfather, owned two slaves, a 15-year-old girl and 25-year-old man, who were listed in the 1850 Kentucky census. Another maternal ancestor owned two older slaves.

In his autobiography, Dreams from My Father, Obama referred to family rumours that his relatives had links to both sides during the civil war, but he did not know he had slaveholding ancestors. Bill Burton, a spokesman for the Illinois senator, said it showed his relatives were “representative of America”. “It is a true measure of progress that the descendant of a slave owner would come to marry a student from Kenya and produce a son who would grow up to be a candidate for president of the United States,” Burton said.

Obama’s relationship with the black community got off to a rocky start when he launched his campaign for president amid grumbling that he was not “black enough”. Debra Dickerson, a writer, commented recently that, “Blacks’, in our political and social reality, mean those descended from West African slaves,” and said Obama had acquired the “benefits of black progress” without having borne any of the burden. But, as Obama has pointed out, “If you look African-American in this society, you’re treated as an African-American.”

(Sources: Independent Online, Times Online & Parkdale Pictures)

SEE 'Take 1' HERE

9 comments:

Nick said...

Well, looks like things are heating up that side huh?
What's your pick? I'm tempted to place a bet against you, but since you guys are so "unbeattable" I'm not sure I should take the risk!

Koluki said...

Oh Nick, Nick, Nick…
My credentials on “unbeatability” only apply to bragging… and even that, only applies to Camden…
I’m not picking anyone, or placing any bet. It’s way too soon for that.
If anything, I’m starting to think that if things keep going the way they are, none of these two will win… especially if against Giulliani!

Cleo, .... said...

At this point, I agree with Koluki is too early to decide who the next president of the United States will be! the contest between Obama and Hillary will end as soon as the democrats decide who will contend the presidential election on their behalf!

But, I am curious on what the pools say about who the white male democrats pick as their favorite. Do you have any idea?

Koluki said...

No Cleo, I haven't seen yet any polls on that question. But I have another wild guess: white male democrats will pick Obama...
Just think about the guy (can't remember his name but he is a big shot in Hollywood) who recently caused the first 'rumble in the jungle' between these two campaigns by putting all his money on Obama and calling the Clintons something like "shameless liars" when previously he was a close friend and backer of the Clintons (in fact I should have made that 'Take 2' of this "series")...
In any case, I don't think any of these two have any real chance against Guilliani... unless they were a team...

Cleo said...

Koluki,

Guilliani is a very strong candidate but, Hillary can still be successful, she is best poised to appeal to the younger desingaged voters from both sexes, with female voters and the most significant minorities (black and latinos)she can easily get the majority of the voters.

The comments from the guy in Hollywood, in my view have a short term impact, they are just playing politics. He probably is a democrat and at the end of the day will support his party and the nominee the party chooses even if turns out to be Hillary. The entire fight will end before the presidential elections and one will have to endorse the other, if either one becomes the nominee of the democratic party, and they will surely work together afterwards!

After the nomination if either one wins they should select as their running mate for vice-president, either senator Mccain (the republican if Guilliani wins the republican nomination and does not select him as running mate) or perhaps Liberman.

But, if Obama and Hillary run together (as president and vice-president) I could be wrong but their chances of winning would probably be smaller.

Koluki said...

Cleo,

I wouldn't dare to dispute your views, that would be silly of me because you are there on the ground and I'm just following things through the media.
But, if you'll allow me, I think that that's precisely the point of "playing politics", as you put it: it's not just about party fidelity but, above all, about putting the money where your mouth is... and money, as you know probably better than I, is almost all that counts in US elections. The guy I'm talking about is not just "some guy", but someone with huge influence in Hollywood (by the way, another democrats' "special reserve") and his withdrawal of his support to the Clintons in favour of Obama sends a "loud" signal to whoelse has the money to support Hillary's campaign... that's all I'm saying in the guise of a guess. As for the rest, I'm basing my "predictions" on what I see the polls are saying and that is: Obama is gainning Hillary's ground and surmounting the highest hurdles he was supposed to face, i.e. powerful white male democrats and black community voters... You will know better, my I have the feeling that the latinos don't present much of a challenge to him.
In any case, I wish both Hillary and Obama the best and hope the Democratic Party will be wise enough to make the choice that will bring them victory. That's what counts in the end.
And... I'll be following suit with 'take 3' as soon as it shows up. Keep watching this space...

Cleo said...

It is indeed too early to predict with relative certainty who will win the nomination or the election. But, you are totally correct unfortunately one of the best indicators is the direction in which money flows.

I will wait for Take 3.

Just curious why aren't any series on republican candidates?

Koluki said...

Because, my dear Cleo, as I explained in 'Take I' (although in Portuguese), this "battle" Obama vs. Clinton, among other very interesting things from a number of different analytical perspectives, presents the unique feature of putting face to face a woman and a minority candidate with, for the first time in American political history, real chances of getting to the White House...

Cleo said...

Thanks, for the clarification.