Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Sweet column: Clinton's 'shock and awe' blitz. Obama's hideout.


Before the serious stuff -- an analysis of Hillary Rodham Clinton's impressive ''shock and awe'' White House launch and Barack Obama's aggressive pushback to religious smear attacks -- this revelation:

I discovered the secret location of Obama's 2008 presidential exploratory campaign office in Washington.

When Obama jumped into the 2008 contest a week ago, I asked a routine question. Just where in Washington is the exploratory campaign based, since the legal papers used the address of his Washington lawyer. Obama's team declined to say.

The only clue Obama's team yielded was the name of a street in downtown Washington. That's kind of like looking for an office with the only tip it's on LaSalle Street in Chicago's Loop.

But I guessed where it might be. Years in the business, you know.

I followed my hunch and just showed up. Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton materialized after I arrived, and we had a very pleasant chat.

When I e-mailed Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson, it took all of three minutes for him to reply with the answer. Clinton is starting her White House quest in the K Street offices in Washington housing her Friends of Hillary Committee and HILLPAC political action committee. On this match, point goes to Clinton for transparency.

When the two rivals take it, as expected, to the next level, Obama's campaign will be headquartered in Chicago, and Clinton will plant her flag in the Washington area.

Clinton shock and awe
Based on body language when I watch Obama and Clinton in the Senate, it looks like a developing chill between the two. The genial backslapping Obama avoids getting into her zone, and she stays in her space.
To borrow a military phrase, Clinton rolled out a ''shock and awe'' offensive when she said Saturday, ''I'm in. And I'm in to win.'' Clinton's blitz pushed Obama off the front pages for a few days. It was specifically designed to roll out all at once and win Clinton maximum coverage. The elaborate Web site, the three nights of innovative webcasts, targeted waves of e-mails, flurry of national television interviews, press releases, pollster and polling memos -- all flooded the political zone as intended. Clinton created a new narrative.

The Clinton campaign was working up to the launch for weeks. The timing was not connected to Obama's announcement. Clinton's team realized that if she did not announce before the State of the Union, all she would be asked in interviews is if she was going to run. (Same would be true for Obama.) The Clinton camp assumed for weeks Obama was going to run, and her move was not conditioned on his. In any case, Clinton's launch was too elaborate to be thrown together in a few days.

Obama fights back
Obama is not going to be ''swiftboated'' by the right.
Robert Gibbs, the chief spokesman for Obama, issued a rare memo on Wednesday, to push back on the smear campaign started by Insight Magazine and picked up by Fox and other outlets: that Obama was educated at a radical Islamic school in Indonesia and that nameless researchers for Clinton dug up the dirt. Neither is true.

''People appreciate that we are fighting back,'' Tommy Vietor, an Obama Senate spokesman, said.

It was an effort by conservative outlets to take down two 2008 presidential contenders at once and make Obama seem like a character on ''Sleeper Cell.''

Gibbs caught a break in that CNN had a definitive report from Jakarta that showed Obama's school to be secular in nature.

Gibbs' memo does not mention Clinton's name. What's interesting is that he is explicit for the first time I recall in saying that Obama ''has never been a Muslim.'' That clears up a small point in the Obama biography. He's now under a microscope as he starts a White House campaign.

Obama moved to Jakarta at age 6, returning to Hawaii four years later.

It should not matter, of course, if Obama or anyone was raised as a Muslim or any other faith.

Obama's Senate aide who handles faith-based policy, Joshua Dubois, organized a letter signed by 12 religious leaders of different faiths deploring ''this despicable tactic. . . . We have had enough of the slash-and-burn politics calculated to divide us as Children of God.''

(For the full Gibbs memo and the letter from religious leaders, visit my blog:

© Copyright 2007 Sun-Times News Group | User Agreement and Privacy Policy


It doesn't matter wether Obama is a radical muslim or not.

Its much worse than that. He's a flaming liberal with little interest in anyone but Obama.

Yeah. He says all the right things and says them well. I realize its been a long time since we have heard an articulate politician, but are we going to let a man with good speaking skills assume control of our country based on that alone?

I , for one am glad that Obama endorsed Daley for mayor - much to the chagrin of Chicago's so-called unions and labor leaders. These are the same unions that stuffed his pockets and pasted his senate campaign signs all over God's creation. So much for the "pro-labor" Obama.

He has begun demonstrating his only allegiance and that is to himself.
I'll enjoy watching him continue to do so, while all of the Obamaniacs sit there & whine and cry about the deception.

The devil is very clever and he has duped many of you fools.

Rev. Flores- Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Before you go around calling people devils, you better check the devils YOU ARE SUPPORTING!!!! For example, Dick Cheney's role model is Iago from the Shekespeare Play Othello, the character who sets Othello up to be destroyed and believes in lying as a principle and that might makes right instead of right makes might. If you are
a man of the cloth, how could you support this Cheney-Bush monstrosity which through its deviltry is causing "end-times" for the US Constiitution and the the principle of sovereign nation states.
It's time for Republicans to come clean and do what George H.W. Bush did to Richard Nixon- walk into his office and tell him that if he did not do the honorable thing and resign- that the Republicans were prepared to support the voting up of articles of impeachment against him.
Given what is now documented on the role of Dick "Iago" Cheney's role in the present, the only the Republican Party can save itself, is to have someone do the same thing as George H.W.Bush did to Richard Nixon. Are you volunteering someone for that job, Rev. Flores?
Only asking. Gerald Pechenuk Larouche PAC Chicago Co-ordinator

I'm a flaming liberal and Senator Obama's voting record (yes, I have looked at it, rather than just accept the talking point that he has no record) strikes me as reasonable, pragmatic and very centrist. Which means I don't agree with him much of the time. This part is conjecture: he seems like someone who will explain his stance in a reasonable manner, rather the the far right's my-way-or-the-highway approach to governance.

There is a saying in politics: "Deny something your opponent never accused you of, and accuse your opponent of something he/she can't deny". Expect the push back on the Madrassa to continue big time and to get big sympathy points for Obama and great added coverage for his life story.

Is it a requirement that you have to be a crazy larouche or a left wing wacko to post here, doesnt say much about the board here!

Dear Gerald Pechenuk,
My name is Rey (a "y", not a "v")Flores.
Get some glasses pal. And a brain while you are at it.

I have a question for Juan Alvarado and Rev. Flores and anyone else who DARES TO ANSWER--- I would guess that all of the neo-con supporters will NOT TOUCH THIS WITH A ten-foot pole. Since you all were so eager to impeach Bill Clinton and Henry Hyde and others prattled on and on about the "rule of law," WILL YOU SUPPORT THE IMPEACHMENT of Dick Cheney if he violated the law? A real simple question, which I would hope that you have the intellecual and moral integrity to at least answer. We'll see what you are made of.

Meanwhile, you may have to add Senator Durbin to your list of "crazies," as on Thursday at the meeting of the Senate Democratic Leadership with reporters, Durbin was quoted as saying, " TO HAVE VICE-PRESIDENT CHENEY SUGGEST THAT WE HAVE HAD A SERIES OF ENORMOUS SUCCESSES IN IRAQ IS DELUSIONAL." If that quote is accurate, and maybe Lynn Sweet can verify for accuracy, it would seem that once again Lyndon LaRouche has been way ahead of the curve, since he identified Cheney's lead role in the permanant war policies of this administration a long time ago! Gerald Pechenuk LaRouche PAC Chicago Co-ordinator

"It's time for Republicans to come clean and do what George H.W. Bush did to Richard Nixon- walk into his office and tell him that if he did not do the honorable thing and resign- that the Republicans were prepared to support the voting up of articles of impeachment against him."

I relish the idea of liberal whacko's trying to impeach a President for defending the country. What pukes. The milita's are organizing for the coming uprising. We will carve the liberal cancer from the body politic and destroy it as you would an embryo.

Have a good but short life.

I will expound as to why the present and future attacks on Obama can NOT be the results of a "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy"

By definition, anything vast must be great in size or number. Herein, the Right Wing is assumed to be vast in size and as to number, the mass of one. Additionall, the Vast Right Wing will be considered a thinking influenced organ with an orientation right of the thinking influence and facing downstream.

Notwithstanding a perfect and discernible convergence of movements from either of the cardinal biddings, right or left, it is here there resides the potential for an unintended loss of power as any ability of the Vast Right Wing to plan or conspire as a unit to accomplish a purpose is limited by its antithetical sister, the Vast Left Wing.

To sustain the coherent whole so as to allow one mass to conspire against another, the vastness in size and the mass of the Right Wing must likewise be assigned to the Left Wing. That is, unless we assay the components of either to be inferior to the other which for the purpose herein will not be.

The remaining constituent in the prescription of ingredients for conspiracy is the timing of the thinking influence. Absent a thinking influence common to both the Vast Right Wing and the Vast Left Wing, the Vast Right Wing would be required to conspire in vacuity. This is not possible.

Conspiracy requires communion with that to be conspired against and such is limited laterally through and with consent of the thinking influence, deliberate or not.

Therefore, I conclude.

Standing alone, the Vast Right Wing is incapable of conspiracy. Such would be the unarticulated Wandering Albatross circling on its Vast Right Wing accelerating to the glory of impact.

Gerald Pechenuk Larouche PAC Chicago Co-ordinator;

Get off your high horse and calm down. First, the gentlemen you were posting about is REY not REV. as you believe. Second, nowhere in REY's post did he say anything about his personal beliefs. Therefore how you berate him for holding up Dick Cheney and other republican's is beyond me. The simple point of REY's post was that Barack is looking out for #1.
So, PAC Coordinator guy, as you like to say "you better check yourself before you wreck yourself." -That is the best printable qoute you will ever find on this board. Unbelievable.
Are you a PAC Co-ordinator, coordinator, or Co-coordinator? I want to get you'r title right Mr. big shot man.

Lyndon LaRouche is a jail bird, your a wacko for following him you simpleton, you might as well have been at Jonestown, want some Lyndon LaRouche cool aid?

Sorry about the mistake of calling Rey a Rev- I did not see the letter clearly.. BUT THE QUSETION I POSED NEVER GOT ANSWERED, so I repeat it...... IF IT IS FOUND CHENEY VIOLATED THE LAW, will you support his impeachment? You can answer yes, or you can answer no, and you can say why or why not you answered that particular way, BUT DO ANSWER THE QUESTION.

P.S.- Check out the printed version of today's Chicago Sun-Times (Friday, Jan. 26, 2007) An article entitled, "SEE DICK SNAP," subhead, "EVEN HIS SUPPORTERS ARE WONDERING ABOUT CHENEY'S INCREASINGLY PUGNACIOUS BEHAVIOR." Read through that article and check out the testimony at the Libby Trial and then answer the question, "If Cheney violated the law, do you or do you not, support his impeachment?" And have fun while you are thinking about it. Gerald Pechenuk LaRouche PAC Chicago Co-ordinator

Gerald Pechenuk Larouche PAC Chicago Co-ordinator

Hmmmmm You put that entire title or what ever it is at the end of every one of your rantings as if it's supposed to impress everyone. Well excuse my ignorance but I for one (and I'm sure I am not alone on this) have no idea or even care what that makes you. For all I know it means you are the Chicago co-ordinator of recruitment for the Klan, or it could be just something you made up to make yourself look and feel important. In anycase I find your rantings(and yes that's what they are) as entertaining and humorous as one of Cliff Claven's dissertations of historical facts. Incase you're not aware of who Cliff Claven was...he was the mailman character in the sit-com Cheers that was always spouting off inaccurate historical facts and mispronouncing things, much like you referring to Rey Flores as Rev, Flores. That blunder alone reminds me of something my father once said of an individual he worked with...."until he opened his mouth I only thought he was an idiot."

Thanks Mark.
The irrelevancy of the 'LaRouchees' has always been evident.
Maybe Obama is a Larouchee & that is why Pac-Man is so upset.

I am very proud to be associated with Lyndon LaRouche.... BUT YOU GUYS STILL HAVE NOT ANSWERED THE QUESTION........ So, I will ask it again, till you have the courage to answer it (or at least admit you don't choose to answer it because it will have implications that you don't like!! For example, if you say YOU DO NOT SUPPORT THE IMPEACHMENT OF CHENEY even though he broke the law..... then that will make you something of a capital H-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e! And if you do, then let us make sure it happens, before DEAD-EYE Dick starts a war with Iran that he has been gunning for for quite some time.
So, either answer the question or be convicted of hypocrisy by your own silence!!!!!

On the question of Obama being a LaRouchee, some one should ask him who he voted for in the 1986 elections, when Fairchild and Hart won the Democratic Primaries for Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State, respectively, which even Neil Steinberg in his recent column still seems to be having flashbacks about!!! So, if Obama moved to Chicago in 1985, it might be interesting to see if he voted for Hart and Fairchild in 1986 as just voting for the names Sangmeister and Pucinski without knowing anything about Sangmeister and Pucinski!

And who knows maybe Obama supports the ideas of LaRouche, for example... the idea of universal testing for AIDS that LaRouche championed in 1986, so that we could get a handle on the oncoming potential deadly pandemic is something Obama has clearly come out for.
So, while REY FLORES may claim "the irrelevancy of the 'LaRouchees," I think he and others are going to be in for some big surprises VERY SOON!!!!!!

So, have fun.... proud to be LaRouche PAC Chicago Co-ordinator.... Gerald Pechenuk

Lyndon LaRouchite is an honor to be associated with, ? What the , the preception is Larouchees are all crazy and all you do is re-enforce that point every time you run your yap Gerald, your so crazy you think your normal. Give us a break and talk to your counselor and go find some other cult to support beside the Lorouchites. Gerald you have as much significance as the Hardecrisnas at the airport. Remember Gerald we are not laughing with you.

To: Julio Alverado
re: January 25, 2007 Countdown Show with Keith Olberman, MSNBC, Segment Titled, "Should Cheney Go?" The show began, "Piece by piece testimony at the Scooter Libby trial is dismantling the already tattered reputation of the nation's Vice-President, portraying him as consumed, with retaliating against a serious credible critic of his attempts to sell the war....."

So, once again I'll try to get an answer from you (and the others who are still in denial!)- If CHENEY BROKE THE LAW, WILL YOU SUPPORT HIS IMPEACHMENT? Why, are you so nervous in answering that question? Signed the Co-ordinator- I won't mention for who, if that makes you nervous, too!!

"Pugnacious behavior"? It's about time someone with stones spoke-up in answer to the continual bashing going on.
Durbin calls someone "delusional"? Gee, that will lead to worthwhile dialogue.

First, yes to repercussions if someone "broke the law". I have no problem with that so long as everyone follows the laws and is dealt with accordingly.
Second, I can't treat Olberman seriously. He has a one-theme show; bash Bush and all those who support him.
And, for the record, I'm not a co-ordinator or, for that matter, a co-anything. But, I would like to be co-herent.

Leave a comment

Get the Sweet widget

More widgets


Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Stay in touch

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on January 25, 2007 6:54 AM.

Obama continues pushback on smear. Letter of support from religious leaders. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet column: Universal health care emerges in Obama, Clinton, 2008 race. Plus, the Sharpton primary. Obama on African-American support. is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.