Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Sweet blog special: Obama in Richmond, Va. overstates Kansas tornado deaths. Southern twang emerges. Uses jet company that buys carbon offsets.

| 1 Comment

RICHMOND, Va. — White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), in the midst of a rousing stemwinder Tuesday night, vastly over-stated the number of people — 10,000, not 11 — who died in the tornado that hit Kansas last week.

Obama flew in a chartered plane from Washington to the state capital for two fundraisers—at a private home and a low dollar event at the Planet Zero Gallery here.

Obama spokesman Dan PfeifFer, anticipating questions about jetting around on polluting private planes while attacking Detroit for not producing alternative fuel vehicles, offered up the charter aircraft company the campaign uses now pays for “carbon offsets” on all the campaign flights, as explained at

Chief rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) announced on April 20 that her campaign is going "Carbon neutral." (see Clinton release at the end of this report.)

*Obama injected a new element in his stump speech—the tornados last Friday that devastated sections of Kansas and the town of Greensburg. His point was that the National Guard in Kansas did not have the equipment to properly respond because it was in Iraq.

At least 11 people died. Here’s what Obama said:
“And just in case you missed it, this week, this week there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people dead. An entire town destroyed. I talked to somebody in the governors office, Gov. (Kathleen) Sebelius who I was going to be traveling with in New Orleans had to fly back. Found out that the National Guard in Kansas only had 40 percent of its equipment and they are having to slow down the recovery process in Kansas because all the equipments been left behind in Baghdad. That is a metaphor for what’s happening Think about what we could do with the 275 million dollars a day that we are spending in Iraq right here in Richmond.”

*Speaking of Kansas…
Obama campaigned for Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine last year and Kaine returned the favor by giving Obama an early presidential endorsement shortly after he announced in February. Wearing white shirts, ties and no jackets, each heaped praise on the other Monday at Planet Zero. Clearly they have bonded. Turns out both men have Harvard Law School degrees, were civil rights lawyers and have mothers from Kansas—the very same town.

Here’s Kaine on his “brother.”

“I was really liking this guy. When I found out his mother grew up in the same town as my mom, El Dorado, Kansas, I knew we knew we were separated at birth and I had to support him.’’

Even with Kaine, Obama does not have a lock on Virginia. Democrat rival former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) has a string of Virgninia local officials backing him. (See Edwards release at the end of this report.)

*The Obama twang. Chief rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who grew up in a Chicago suburb, was schooled in the east, lived in Arkansas, Washington and New York, gets scorched when she talks southern.

Obama, raised in Hawaii, Indonesia, schooled in California and the east and living in Chicago now seems to have the same afflication.

Y’all listen up here:
Said Obama, “And what can say about Tim Kaine. The first time I came to Richmond, the first time I ever set foot in Richmond was to make (sure) y’all voted for Tim Kaine.’’

And again.
“ I will do anyting that I need to do for Tim Kaine…I just don’t understand why y’all don’t let him run twice!’’

And again.
“ I went to Detroit yesterday and I told the Big Three automakers I got an American car but y’all got to make some cars that have higher fuel efficiency standards. If we had 40 mile per gallon cars on the road we would have to import zero oil from the Middle East, zero. Think of about what that would do for our foreign policy.”

And again.
Said Obama, “I can’t do it on my own. I can’t do it. There are gonna be some times when I get tired. There are goin’ to be times when I get weary. There are goin’ be times when I make mistakes.”

*Obama is reviving a stump line that’s been on the shelf for a few weeks.
“It is time to turn the page America.”
And this variation, “Most of all, it is time to turn the page on our foreign policy.’’

*Obama’s campaign sends a member of its New Media crew to tape segments of events for Barack TV, the campaign’s own almost-daily show.

On the camera risers Monday night taping was Obama new media staffer Kate Albright-Hanna, a former CNN producer. She is not related to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

from the Clinton campaign..
Clinton Campaign Goes Carbon Neutral For Earth Day

Effort to curb global warming will offset emissions from offices, travel

The Clinton Campaign today announced that it will mark Earth Day by becoming carbon neutral, offsetting carbon emissions produced by the campaign and doing its part in the fight against global climate change.

“In order to address the climate crisis, we all must act – and that includes our campaign,” Clinton said. “As a nation, it is past time that we met this challenge head-on by increasing energy efficiency and investments in clean and renewable energy. If we do nothing, the planet will continue to warm over the next century, with widespread and potentially devastating effects.”

In February in a landmark study, the United Nations panel on Climate Change reported that there is overwhelming evidence that human activities are the main driver behind global warming.

In addition to purchasing carbon offsets, the campaign will take a series of conservation measures, buying 100% recycled paper products; recycling paper, glass, cans and cardboard; installing motion-controlled lights to reduce energy when offices are not in use; and locating its headquarters next to a subway station to encourage staff to use public transportation.

Clinton has proposed creating a $50 billion Strategic Energy Fund to support clean and renewable energy technologies that will reduce America's oil dependence and greenhouse gas emissions while promoting new jobs and a cleaner environment. She supports legislation to establish a flexible, market-based system to combat global warming, and additional investments in biofuels, wind, clean coal and other clean energy technologies that hold promise for mitigating climate change.

By partnering with Native Energy to support renewable energy projects and purchase carbon offsets, the Clinton campaign will balance out the carbon emissions produced by its offices and travel, making it carbon neutral. For more information on carbon offsets and Native Energy’s programs, visit

From the Edwards campaign...


Chapel Hill, North Carolina - Senator John Edwards continues to gain support from people across the country, and today the John Edwards for President campaign announced that more than 40 Virginia Democratic leaders endorsed Edwards for president. These prominent leaders include state House Democratic Leader Ward Armstrong, numerous state legislators, a former President of the NAACP's Virginia State Caucus and a number of Virginia Democratic Party officials. These leaders join Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Dick Cranwell, who endorsed Edwards in February, in supporting Edwards for President.

"John Edwards will restore our standing in the world and lift up all Americans and Virginians," said Armstrong. "As we work to take back the Virginia state House, I am proud to have Senator Edwards as a partner in bringing hope and prosperity to all Americans."

"When I endorsed John in February, I said that it was because Democrats need to put our best candidate forward in 2008, and that John Edwards was the fastest horse in the race," said Cranwell. "I am proud to see that so many strong Virginia Democrats agree."

State Senator Janet Howell endorsed Edwards saying, "He has specific plans to end the war, provide universal health care, fight global warming and strengthen the middle class. Edwards is exactly the kind of leader we need."

The Virginia Democrats endorsing Edwards for president are:

Members of the Virginia General Assembly
Democratic Leader of the Virginia House of Delegates Ward Armstrong
Delegate Bill Barlow
Delegate Chuck Caputo
Delegate Bud Phillips
Delegate Jim Shuler
Delegate Vivian Watts

Senator John Edwards
Senator Edd Houck
Senator Janet Howell
Senator Phil Puckett
Senator Roscoe Reynolds

Former Delegates and Candidates
2006 11th Congressional District Democratic Candidate Andrew Hurst
Former Delegate Marian Van Landingham
Former Delegate Barnie Day
Virginia House of Delegates Candidate Eric Ferguson

Local Elected Officials
Arlington County Treasurer Frank O'Leary
Arlington County Board Member Chris Zimmerman
Arlington County School Board Chair Libby Garvey
Arlington County School Board Member Ed Fendley
Arlington County School Board Member Frank Wilson
Mayor of Charlottesville David Brown
Hampton City Treasurer Molly Joseph Ward
Smyth County Clerk of the Court Jimmy L. Warren
Washington County Treasurer Frank W. Parker
Former Arlington County School Board Chair & Current Arlington County Board Candidate Mary Hynes

Community & Party Leaders
Former Virginia State Conference of the NAACP President Emmitt Carlton

5th Congressional District Democratic Committee Chair, DPVA Steering Committee Member & Albermarle County Democratic Committee Chair Fred Hudson
8th Congressional District Democratic Committee Chair & DPVA Steering Committee Member Margo E. Horner
Accomack County Democratic Chair Frank Moore
Arlington County Democratic Chair Peter Rousselot
Bath County Democratic Chair Joe Wood
Carroll County Democratic Chair Jonathan McGrady
City of Buena Vista Democratic Chair Wilford Ramsey
Fairfax City Democratic Committee Chair Dan Drummond
Fairfax County - Lee Magisterial District Democratic Chair Hugh Robertson
Fairfax County - Mount Vernon Magisterial District Democratic Chair Scott Surovell
Fairfax County - Providence Magisterial District Democratic Chair Linda Byrne
Fairfax County - Sully Magisterial District Democratic Chair Mary Lee Cerillo
Floyd County Democratic Chair Kimberly Chiapetto
Franklin County Democratic Chair Joe Stanley
Matthews County Democratic Chair Jen Little
Lancaster County Democratic Chair Donna Thompson

Former Chair, Falls Church Democratic Committee Edna Frady
Immediate Past Chair, Charlottesville Democratic Committee Lloyd Snook


1 Comment

Jesus Christ, he made a simple mistake.

I can see the headlines now:

"Obama Farts and Did Not Say Excuse Me"

You people need to get a life.

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 May 8, 2007 11:13 PM.

Official State Dinner Guest lists. Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip dine at White House. Menu. Laura Bush briefing. was the previous entry in this blog.

Obamaville: Obama back to Iowa: on ABC's "This Week" Sunday. is the next entry in this blog.

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