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Forget Iowa. How About That Antarctica Vote?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Published: March 16, 2008

LONDON — They call themselves residents of the “51st State,” which is a broad territory that covers all continents, counts around six million Americans and displays a passionate interest in the Democratic match-up between Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Democrats Abroad, a branch of the Democratic Party with members in over 100 countries, is in the middle of the same race for delegates and heated debates over who should be the party’s nominee as Democrats in the United States. The only difference is that their politicking may take place in a pub in Ireland or a Starbucks in Thailand.

And with 11 delegate votes that will be under its control at the party’s convention, Democrats Abroad is more than a debating society. It is an increasingly vibrant wing of the Democratic Party, particularly as more Americans fan out across the globe yet seek to maintain their voice in the politics back home.

“Years ago, we were just a small group of people in London and Paris,” said William D. Barnard, chairman of Democrats Abroad U.K. “When we held a primary, it meant that everyone met in a pub or a bar and cast a vote. Now, it’s incredible. With the historic nature of the campaigns and the closeness of it, we’ve changed the way we operate.”...(Click here for remainder of article)


Pelosi: Don't Expect Dem Dream Ticket

House Speaker Says Clinton and Obama Won't Run Together

March 16, 2008

No matter who is at the top, Barack Obama, D-Ill., or Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., for many Democrats this is the dream ticket.

Not going to happen, according to the highest elected Democrat in the country, who continues to maintain that only one will emerge on the ticket. On ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "We will ahve a dream ticket. And it will contain one of them."

Her view angers the Clinton camp, which has tried to win delegates by fostering the prospect of a joint ticket. ABC News political consultant Mark Halperin, also of Time magazine, said, "Nancy Peolosi probably thinks what a lot of Democrats think — that Barack Obama will be the Democratic nominee, and she doesn't think there is any chance Obama will pick Clinton.

"That's why she doesn't think there will be a joint ticket."

It is virtually impossible for Clinton to overcome Obama's lead in elected delegates. Just this weekend, Obama netted a gain of 10 delegates in Iowa, primarily from supporters of John Edwards....(Click here for remainder of article)


Obama prepares for full assault on Clinton

I, for one, say it's about time!

Contender to take aim at Clinton's ethics

By John McCormick, TRIBUNE CORRESPONDENT Tribune news services contributed to this report
6:57 PM CDT, March 16, 2008

PLAINFIELD, Ind. - Sen. Barack Obama is trying to air his dirty laundry -- even some items that might appear just a little wrinkled -- as he prepares a full assault on Sen. Hillary Clinton over ethics and transparency.

On Saturday he invoked Robert F. Kennedy as he continued to try to distance himself from controversial statements made by his former Chicago pastor that are circulating on the Internet.

With a gap between campaign contests, Obama is trying to unload controversies. On Friday he held extended conversations with the Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times about his longtime relationship with indicted developer and fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko.

The Illinois Democrat is also expected to make public his tax returns for several years before 2006, documents he previously has provided to the Tribune and other news organizations.

Clinton, who appeared Saturday in two St. Patrick's Day parades in Pennsylvania, has said she will release her post- White House tax returns in mid-April, perhaps just ahead of the April 22 Pennsylvania primary....(Click here for remainder of article)


Obama accuses Clinton of withholding vital data

Rival calls strategy attack on character

By Jason George and John McCormick | Tribune correspondents
March 17, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama's campaign on Sunday boosted its efforts to paint Sen. Hillary Clinton as a secretive politician who has failed to disclose vital information, a charge that prompted her camp to complain of negative campaigning.

David Axelrod, Obama's top strategist, told reporters the New York senator is a "veteran of non-disclosure." He suggested she is not yet fully vetted, a charged the former first lady often makes about Obama.

"The nominee will come under close scrutiny from the Republican Party," Axelrod said. "We need to know them before and not after this nominating fight is over."

The Clinton campaign, meanwhile, suggested that the Illinois Democrat's new, more aggressive strategy amounts to attacking Clinton's character and ethics.

"This is a tried and true technique of the Obama campaign, which has repeatedly shifted negative when they find the momentum working against them," said Mark Penn, Clinton's top strategist.

Penn and Howard Wolfson, her communications director, repeatedly cited a story in Sunday's Tribune as evidence, although it made no mention of plans to attack Clinton's character....(Click here for remainder of article)


Newark's mayor Booker among politicians boosted by Obama's rise

By GEOFF MULVIHILL | Associated Press Writer
March 16, 2008

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. - This Ivy League-educated, African-American politician who talks a lot about hope and is seen as a rising Democratic Party star has spent time in the last few months on the campaign trail in places like South Carolina and Ohio.

Barack Obama?

No, Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

He's an occasional Obama campaign surrogate and a man at the center of an emerging generation of black leaders who political insiders expect to have clout for decades, whether Obama, a U.S. senator from Illinois who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, wins the White House or not.

"To me, it's just a natural evolution of the country," the 38-year-old Booker said in a telephone interview. "My father grew up in a very segregated world. I grew up in a very integrated world."

Largely because of the successes of the civil rights movement, Booker and the rest of the cohort of black politicians grew up in diverse communities and were able to attend elite private colleges and universities rather than the historically black colleges that produced previous generations of black political leaders....(Click here for remainder of article)


Obama Targets Clinton Supporters Along Philadelphia 'Main Line'

By Heidi Przybyla

March 17 (Bloomberg) -- Barack Obama probably hasn't given much thought to Philadelphia's railroad system. It could be his map to holding back Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania, the next big prize in the Democratic presidential race.

Built in the 1880s, the "Main Line'' railroad to the west of Philadelphia relocated the city's political and business elite, creating some of the nation's most affluent suburbs. Today, towns like Ardmore and Haverford remain upscale enclaves. They are also trending Democratic.

These politically progressive suburbs distinguish Pennsylvania from Ohio and could give Obama a chance to do better than the drubbing he took in the Buckeye state's contest March 4. Upper-income Democrats are among the Illinois senator's strongest supporters, so if he doesn't do well on the Main Line and adjoining Bucks County in the April 22 primary, New York Senator Clinton is likely to replicate her Ohio triumph.

"The Philadelphia suburbs will be a real battleground," said Terry Madonna, director of the Center for Politics at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster....(Click here for remainder of article).


Blunt Sermons Rooted in Black Tradition

March 17, 2008; Page A6

CHICAGO -- Yesterday morning, 6,000 people streamed into Trinity United Church of Christ here for Palm Sunday services, where blunt, funny and often fiery sermons have made the church popular among African Americans and plunged it and Sen. Barack Obama into controversy in recent days.

The Rev. Otis Moss III, the church's new pastor, preached a sermon he called "Why the Black Church Won't Shut Up," describing how Jesus led the poor to Jerusalem, likening their plight to blacks in the Jim Crow South and slaves shipped from Africa.

"I'm sorry we're a noisy bunch," Mr. Moss told the crowd, many of whom stood and applauded. "But if I shut up, you won't know my story." Some in the pews shouted: "Say it like it is!"...(Click here for remainder of article).


Paterson prepares for unexpected role as governor of New York

The Associated Press
Published: March 17, 2008

ALBANY, New York: Lt. Gov. David Paterson, who is legally blind, will be sworn in Monday as New York state's 55th governor.

Just a week after the world learned of Gov. Eliot Spitzer's involvement in a prostitution ring, Paterson will become the state's first black governor and America's first legally blind chief executive to serve more than a few days.

It's not exactly take two of Spitzer's promised "Day One," but for many New Yorkers it will be a welcome fresh start after a week of having details of Spitzer's sordid activities seep gradually into the open.

Spitzer in his 2006 campaign had promised New York that everything would change from his first day in office. That ended last week when he announced he would resign after he was accused of spending tens of thousands of dollars on prostitutes — including a tryst with a 22-year-old call girl in Washington the night before Valentine's Day.

On Sunday, Paterson was catching up on budget details and preparing — and memorizing — his inauguration speech....(Click here for remainder of article).



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