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Sweet column: Obama, "black enough, I guarantee you."

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WASHINGTON -- At two forums on Tuesday -- sponsored by AFSCME and the progressive Campaign for America's Future -- Democratic White House rivals drew distinctions between their anti-Iraq war positions.

In a slap at Senate rivals, who just voted on a war funding bill, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said, "Too often we're looking at funding resolutions. Too often we're looking at timetables. What I would urge the Congress to do is press ahead with a major initiative to deauthorize the war."

Also at the forums:

• Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) avoided answering whether former vice presidential chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby should be pardoned. Former President Bill Clinton was criticized for last-minute pardons he gave.

• At the union gathering, Clinton distanced herself from a signature accomplishment of President Clinton's first term, the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement. "I think that like anything, NAFTA had some positive, but unfortunately, it had a lot of down side, and we know that."

• Sen. Barack Obama, essentially asked if he was a centrist or more in the tradition of liberal Hubert Humphrey, said, "I love Hubert Humphrey, but he didn't win the presidency, so I'm not going to be like that.''

• Civil rights leader Roger Wilkins -- whose wife is an Obama staffer --said while introducing Obama at the progressive event, "This man is black enough, I guarantee you."

3 Comments

Ms. Sweet,

I do not know how to contact you in person, so I will attempt to do so here.

An organization called "Iowans for Tax Relief" is joining with the Iowa Christian Alliance to host a forum for Republican presidential candidates on June 30. All of the first and second tier Republican candidates were invited to attend, with one notable exception.

Today it came to light that Representative Ron Paul, a Republican congressman from Texas, was not invited to attend. This seemed very odd, considering the fact that Dr. Paul has received the "Taxpayer's Friend Award" from the National Taxpayers Union, holds very strong positions on the constitutionality of the IRS, and has never voted to raise taxes during his ten terms in Congress. One would think that this kind of candidate would be ideal at a forum sponsored by the so-called Iowans for Tax Relief.

When a columnist from LewRockwell.com contacted Mr. Ed Failor, Jr., the organization's executive vice president and the man in charge of the event, to ask why Dr. Paul had been excluded, Mr. Failor simply said that Ron Paul was not invited and would not be allowed to participate because he was not a "credible" candidate.

Again, this didn't make sense. What made Mr. Failor decide that Dr. Paul is not a "credible" candidate, even as he invited such also-rans as Tommy Thompson and Duncan Hunter"? This merited a little more investigation.

Some deeper digging has revealed the truth. It turns out that Mr. Failor has clear and selfish motives for excluding Dr. Paul from the forum. Mr Failor, you see, is a Senior Campaign Advisor for none other than John McCain. Perhaps he knows that Dr. Paul's clear-cut record on issues of taxation, accompanied by his persuasive oratory, would trump his own candidate's views on the issue. Mr Failor obviously views Dr. Paul as a threat to his own candidate's success, and so has opted to underhandedly exclude him from the forum.

I believe that the people of Iowa, and particularly the members of Iowans for Tax Relief, need to be made aware that the executive vice president of this organization is clearly not acting in the best interests of the organization's members. If he truly cared about tax relief, and if he truly had the members' best interests at heart, he would allow them to hear from the candidate who has the strongest record, out of all the Republican hopefuls, of being on the taxpayers' side . It is clear, however, that Mr. Failor is more concerned about his political cronyism and supporting John McCain's presidential bid than he is with working for true tax relief for the Iowan taxpayers he claims to support.

Please expose Mr. Failor's machiavellian scheming for what it is -- an underhanded attempt, at the expense of the members of his own
organization, to marginalize a candidate who presents a clear threat to his own boss's presidential bid. This tactic of muscling out candidates who's views are as valid as the next candidate's is a real threat to democracy. If nothing is done, we will all have to sit back and watch as our choices are made for us.

Thank you in advance for publicizing this important matter.

Curious why Hillary felt the need to waffle on NAFTA, but Barack's comment...?

"I love Hubert Humphrey, but he didn't win the presidency, so I'm not going to be like that.''

and people want to saddle Hillary with "no core value other than doing whatever it takes to win presidency" label? "Bonehead" statement, man -- even if that's how you feel.

Where are your handlers these days? Oh, maybe they had their hands full trying keep Roger Wilkins from all but implying you're some sort of black nationalist "on the low" or something.

You're smarter than that. At least, I think so....

Whats black enough? Is there a criteria? Is the guy have to be a robot who has to act and believe a certain way inorder to be "black enough." And here I thought America was founded and prided itself on individualism.

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Lynn Sweet

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

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 20, 2007 6:29 AM.

Sweet blog scoop: Clinton list of hosts grows for Monday Chicago fund-raiser. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet scoop: Obama, Clinton hold dueling fund-raisers in Chicago on Monday. is the next entry in this blog.

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