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Sweet blog extra: Obama says media is "obsessed with the Clintons."

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WASHINGTON--White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) told NBC's David Gregory on Wednesday morning the "media is obsessed with the Clintons."

The interview came at the top of the "Today Show."

It was taped Tuesday night at a Washington restaurant--the District Chophouse--before Obama dined with four low-dollar donors, part of the army of more than 250,000 Obama contributors. They were picked by the campaign for the prime face-time usually reserved for big donors or bundlers (people who use their networks to raise money for a candidate and get "credit" for the checks) and flown to Washington and put up courtesy of the campaign.

During the Gregory interview, Obama--whose presidential candidacy was made possible because of massive media coverage--sat flanked by the low-dollar donors.

Said Obama, "You know, I know that the media is obsessed with the Clintons because they've been such a significant part of the political landscape for a long time. But I'm not running simply against the Clintons. I'm running against a politics here in Washington that has been continually obsessed with who's up, who's down, whose polls are where, who's in power and who's not."

The "Today Show" interview...


Gregory: " But on the campaign trail, the Iraq debate is as much about the past as it is the future.
Obama criticized Senator Clinton's vote to authorize the war."

Obama: "There are no do-overs on an issue as important as war."

(That was a non-too subtle reference to language used by chief rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) who said she is not going to apologize for her vote to authorize the war because there are no "do-overs" in life.)

Gregory: "So Hillary Clinton and your other opponents who voted to authorize this war, were they guilty of bad judgment that cannot be done over?"

Obama: "I absolutely think that they made the wrong call. And I think that that is not so much a concern for the voters right now, what they've done in the past. I do think that it speaks to where they can go in the future."

Gregory: " Senator Obama speaks a lot about the future, which is a not-so-subtle message to voters that it is time to turn the page on the Clinton years."

Obama: "You know, I know that the media is obsessed with the Clintons because they've been such a significant part of the political landscape for a long time. But I'm not running simply against the Clintons. I'm running against a politics here in Washington that has been continually obsessed with who's up, who's down, whose polls are where, who's in power and who's not."

Gregory: "But whether it's taking on the Clintons or the president, is Obama swinging hard enough? Do you need to be more of a street fighter in this campaign?"

Obama: " I'm happy to take on the Republican Party and this president and this administration on a whole host of their failures, from Iraq to Katrina to some of the ethical lapses that we've seen here in Washington. But what I am absolutely certain about is that running against George Bush is not leading the country forward."

31 Comments

WOW!!

This is our guy. He's the most qualified to be our next commander-in-chief.

Hillary?? No!!

First Hillary authorized the war, now she wants to de-authorize it, in between this monumental lack of judgment by Hillary, thousands of America soldiers have been sacrificed and billions of dollars wasted.

Hillary lacked the requisite judgment to be our commander-in-chief.
I strongly believe that the issue of experience is one of the important issues that must be addressed in the presidential race. Hillary Clinton does not have the experience to lead the United States at a critical time like this. She lacks the experience to make sound judgment that is required of our commander-in-chief. She failed the test with her vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq.

Obama’s experience on the other hand gave him the foresight for sound judgment. This is the experience that we require from our commander-in-chief; the experience that helps a leader in making the right judgment, like standing up against the Iraqi invasion in 2002, and outlining most of the possible consequences and unfortunately came true.

Obama is the most experienced of the Democratic bunch. He has the experience that leads to sound judgment. I bet Obama would have been able to persuade Congress in 2002 to stop George Bush from invading Iraq had he been in the Senate then.

Hillary is like George Bush, who was a two-term Governor of huge Texas but lack the foresight and wisdom of the possible impact of send our troops to invade Iraq. George Bush became president because of his father and Hillary now wants to be president because of Bill.

Hillary has 15 years in Washington, but just like George Bush, lacked the foresight to make the right judgment when it mattered most. Her and George Bush’s type of experience is actually bad for America; it has cost us thousands in lives and billions of dollars.

Who needs scores of years in Washington or Texas experience that could not make the right judgments in the White House for another 8 years? I don’t, how about you?


"But I believed then, and I still believe, that being a leader means that you'd better do what's right and leave the politics aside, because there are no do-overs on an issue as important as war," Obama said.

"The single most important judgment that a president or member of Congress can make is the decision to send our troops into harms way," he said. "There are no good options in Iraq. There are bad options and worse options. That's why you make good decisions on the front end." (Chicago Tribune - July 10, 2007.)

Ditto what F. Igwealor says.

As Obama said himself, "I know I haven't been in Washington long, but I've been in Washington long enough to know that the ways of Washington have got to change."

I don't want to turn back the clock to the 90's. I want to look to a brighter future for our country without the partisan tit-for-tat that has characterized this entire last generation. That's why we need to elect Barack Obama.

Barrack Obama is in a dead heat with Hillary Clinton in his own home state of Illinois and trails Hillary Clinton by double digits in every recent national poll. And her lead is growing not shrinking. She outperformed him in all three televised debates. Obama has received the most positive coverage of any political candidate in recent memory but he cannot overcome the stature gap against Senator Clinton – she has the strength and experience to lead our country and to wage the fight against the GOP in the presidential election.

N. Krefman is referring to the American Research Group, Inc. poll. This poll company has been proven as bogus. It is linked to the Clinton campaign also. Every pundit has said Senator Edwards is in the lead in Iowa, but this polling company. Every pundit has said that Obama is in the lead in South Caroline, but his polling company.

With respect to *national* polls, Clinton does lead by double digit margins according to RCP, which is an aggregate of major recent polls. However, as alluded to, she does not have a lock on all of the early states, but nonetheless is formidable.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/us/democratic_presidential_nomination-191.html

Experience is only valid and useful if it leads to "good judgement" And if it does not, then it becomes very useless and cancerous!!!!!!!!! If you claim to be experienced, show me all the good judgements you have made. Hillary's so called experience of living and sleeping in the while house for eight years will not bail her out. Action and reaction are equal and opposite, so her vote for the war in Iraq to be on the tough side, will definitely come back to eat her up. She took the action without reading the national intelligence estimate,now she is trying to escape from the consequence? Nature does not permit that kind of game in life, she will pay for the vote by losing the nomination just like many families are paying with the lives of their sons and daughters.
Obama has the vision and never panders to the crowd to please them. Thank God for his life.

Glad to see Obama call out the MSM and their obsession over the Clintons, amongst other things. The MSM, including Lynn Sweet, do a disservice to this country. Internet sources, both liberal and conservative, do a much better job at actually informing the people. The MSM is made up of a bunch of frustrated wannabe tabloid reporters if you ask me. Just look at this blog!

Obama is the right guy at the right time. Hillary talks about "taking back America," but she means for the Clintons. Edwards is a fraud, a guy with one term in the Senate that included voting for Iraq, Patriot Act, and everything else Bush put his way (but of course, he's now against all those issues...). All the while, Obama has known the right decision from the beginning, even when it was overwhelmingly unpopular. He's the only candidate with the backbone, conscious, and moral fiber we need in our next president.

N.krefman, i usually don't comment, but i couldn't let this slide by. If you were to pay a pollster to conduct a poll in Illinois and he/she comes back with the ansewr that Obama and Hilary are in a dead heat and you don't take your money back you're are truly du.....

Where's Your Proff Of That Mr Kendall All You Presented Are Your Words Why Should We Believe An Obviously Clinton Hater,All The Polls I've Viewed Has Hilliary Ahead In Each And Every Poll Not Only The American Research Poll But All Polls And Besides Obama Get's Most If Not All Of His Fundraiser Money From The Muslim Community I Suggest You Do A Little More Research On Mr Obama,Once You & People Like You Close Your Eye's To This And Elect A Muslim Like Obama,He Will Bring Osama Bin Laden To The White House Along With Mullah Omar Or Whatever His Name Is And The Rest Of His Radical Cronies From Iraq And Aftganistan.Why Not Turn Our Country Over To The Muslim Nation If We Listen To People Like You.

Obama is absolutely right. The media spends so much of it's time thinking, talking, gushing, and cheerleading the clintton that they forget to stop and look at some very questionable things regarding their lack of ethics, troubling associations and certain things that are in conflict with what is being promised and exhorted on the trail.
The media is so into the clintons that they have been giving them a free pass thru all of Hillary's campaign so far.
As Kendall points out, many of the polling co. are tied with Clintons and so,we cannot even get accurate polling yet the media, even knowing this, still declares her inevitable.
I would not put it past the clinton's obsession with being like Rove that they will tinker with the voting machines to get their way.
This is one of the most corrupt couples and I am ashamed they are democrats.
Finally, yesterday, I heard that Lou Dobbs shone some light on some Hillary's activities and I applaud him for having the guts to stand up to the clintons and look square at them. Too bad the rest of the media doesn't have that kind of spine.

Obama is doing so poorly in the polls because the plurality of Americans know, especially after Bush's tenure, that the Presidency is not an entry-level job.

Platitude-laden rhetoric is fine for preachers and pulpits. However, we live in serious times and American's recognize that we need a serious leader.

I challenge chs (above) to prove that the American Research Group, Inc. poll - which shows Clinton in striking distance of Obama in his home state of Il - is, as he/she says "bogus" and "linked to the Clinton campaign."

We're finding this kind of malarky from Obama cheerleaders all over the web. When there's news that they don't like, they attack it with a phony negative.

The facts are just as N. Krefman described (above). The news is virtually all good for Clinton, and Obama remains stuck where he has been from the start.

Kendall is wrong. Mason/Dixon's most recent poll also has Sen. Clinton in the lead in Iowa. And Winthrop University's most recent poll also has Sen. Clinton ahead in South Carolina. And what of the myriad non-American Research Group polls that have Sen. Clinton ahead in Nevada, New Jersey, California, New Hampshire, Michigan and Florida? The pundits keep repeating that Edwards is in the lead in Iowa, but the pundits are also wrong.

JB, I'm not wrong,

The Mason-Dixon poll is here:

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/06/19/230049.aspx

Dem Caucus: Clinton (D) 22%, Edwards (D) 21%, Obama (D) 18%

That is a tie, not a lead.

Frantz, you should be careful with your words. People might actually start to believe that the Clintons are the ones who gave those lies to Fox News Channel about Senator Obama.

The truth is coming out about that situation. Fox News hates the Clintons! They probably already gave the information to Senator Obama's campaign.

I will cop to being an Obama supporter but one with a modicum of prudence (remember Dean?). Anyyway, I just have to say that we can all prognosticate all we want, but we just don't know what will happen come the actual voting, let alone the fall. Obama and Haillary partisans both need to chill out a bit. There are a lot of us paying attention right now. But there are even more who aren't. It's not qauite that Obama has such low name recognition that Hillary is so far ahead. But that's part of the reason. And who knows what an of the campaigns' strategies will be.

Obama is whining about the media? Obama is a creation of the media. Without the fawning media coverage there would have been no Obama campaign. The guy was a state senator not too long ago and has been in the senate for two years. He has little understanding of national issues. He thinks he should be president because he is "new". He should stop complaining about the media because what the media created the media can destroy.

While the U.S. government and media keep focusing on defense policies and the war in Iraq, 1.2 billion people in the world continue surviving on less than $1 dollar a day. I would like to see both Senators Clinton and Obama, be supportive of more international affairs that affect our place in this world. We should not forget the commitment made towards the U.N. Millennium Goals (a pact of ending extreme world hunger by the year 2025) in 2000. While the U.S. government and media keep focusing on defense policies and the war in Iraq, 1.2 billion people in the world continue surviving on less than $1 dollar a day. According to The Borgen Project, an annual $19 billion dollars is needed to eliminate half of the extreme poverty affecting the world by the year 2015. To my sense, it is almost unacceptable to have spent so far more than $340 billion in Iraq only, when we have more than war immunities to change the world and eliminate poverty.

Seems to me that while he's a hot story and well known by now to anyone who follows politics these days, Obama just doesnt have the name recognition that Billary does. YET.

I don't understand, Obama is "running against a politics here in Washington that has been continually obsessed with who's up, who's down, whose polls are where, who's in power and who's not," but he's not running against George Bush? I'm supposed to be impressed? Here's a candidate who has been elevated beyond reason by the media complaining that the media is obsessed with the Clintons. Well, that's the audacity of something alright. I really don't care what Obama's personal opinion about the Iraq war was years ago, just tell us what you are going to do today. So it's too little too late? We're still mired in a war are we not? I intitially thought I'd favor Obama, probably because he's was being spoon fed by the media as the next Lincoln, but he sounds more like John Kerry than Abe Lincoln.

What is Obama's message? So far I have heard the same platitudes I heard from Bush in 2000 i.e. "vote for me because I am not from Washington", "I'll bring all different parties together", in addition to his "new politics" vacuousness. I don't think "vote for me because I am new and holier than thou
This is a crucial time in American history. We actually need someone who knows his way around national security and the armed force. Hillary is that person and she has proven over and over again that she is better prepared for these perilous times. This is not the time for somebody who (again) will be run around by his advisers. This is not Obama's time. He still has to do his homework, as much as I would like to see a black person like myself become President.
By the way Mike Gravel was against the war too, does he also have to become President?

It's a shame that so many Obama supporters are so misinformed about the Iraq vote. It is also a shame that it is the only issue that Barack Obama has - As David Brooks writes in No Apology Needed "If they went back and read what Senator Clinton was saying before the war, they'd be surprised, as I was, by her approach. And they'd learn something, as I did, about what kind of president she would make.

The Iraq war debate began in earnest in September 2002. At that point Clinton was saying in public what Colin Powell was saying in private: emphasizing the need to work through the U.N. and build a broad coalition to enforce inspections.

She delivered her Senate resolution speech on Oct. 10. It was Clintonian in character. On the one hand, she rejected the Bush policy of pre-emptive war. On the other hand, she also rejected the view that the international community ''should only resort to force if and when the United Nations Security Council approves it.'' Drawing on the lessons of Bosnia, she said sometimes the world had to act, even if the big powers couldn't agree.

She sought a third way: more U.N. resolutions, more inspections, more diplomacy, with the threat of force reserved as a last resort. She was triangulating, but the Senate resolution offered her a binary choice. She voted yes in order to give Powell bipartisan leverage at the U.N.

This is how she's always explained that vote, and I confess that until now, I've regarded her explanation as a transparent political dodge. Didn't everyone know this was a war resolution? But now, having investigated her public comments, I think diplomatic leverage really was on her mind. I also know, from a third person, that she was spending a lot of time with Powell and wanted to help.

On Nov. 8, 2002, the Security Council passed a unanimous resolution threatening Saddam with ''serious consequences'' if he didn't disarm.. .
Clinton's biggest breach with the liberal wing actually opened up later, in the fall of 2003. Most liberals went into full opposition, wanting to see Bush disgraced. Clinton -- while an early critic of the troop levels, the postwar plans and all the rest -- tried to stay constructive. She wanted to see America and Iraq succeed, even if Bush was not disgraced.

When you look back at Clinton's thinking, you don't see a classic war supporter. You see a person who was trying to seek balance between opposing arguments. You also see a person who deferred to the office of the presidency. You see a person who, as president, would be fox to Bush's hedgehog: who would see problems in their complexities rather than in their essentials; who would elevate procedural concerns over philosophical ones; who would postpone decision points for as long as possible; and who would make distinctions few heed.

Today, the liberal wing of the Democratic Party believes that the world, and Hillary Clinton in particular, owes it an apology. If she apologizes, she'll forfeit her integrity. She will be apologizing for being herself.

Posters extolling Obama's "sound" judgement. Yeah, right. It's "whole pile of judgement", to borrow from Seinfeld's George Costanza. And I'm confident the fallout from it will headline many more blogs to come.

But let's start with his allegiance to State Senator Emil Jones, his "political mentor". In fact, this Jones told black Democrats earlier this year that we don't owe anyone (meaning the Clintons) anything. In his words, Obama is "our son", and we should support him.

O.k., but what do we later learn? Of Obama's earmarks, why here are three aggregating to $11 million for one Chicago city college, Chicago State -- the same institution that bears the name of Jones and his wife on one of its buildings. Interesting.

What have we also learned over the course of the last several months about city colleges? Reportedly Jones' stepson's technology company SyncSolutions has received at least $45 million in no-bid contracts from Chicago city colleges. Interesting.

What?! Of Obama's $11 million in Chicago State earmarks a paltry $1 million targets AIDS programs? Would that he would have targeted more towards this very noble cause, but sadly no. Interesting.

Well, what of the other $10 million in earmarks? My! Their description is so patently laden with technological gobbledy gook that I almost suspect we're not supposed to understand them.
But in sum, our senator has targeted that $10 million for techology-related initiatives -- initiatives that sound quite bogus at that. Very, very interesting.

Yeah. I mean, do we really need to spend $5 million for "a solar cell powergenerating system that can be mounted on a backpack... [that will include]... computing systems, and intelligent processing and communications systems"? Or how about spending $5 million on "unmanned aerial systems by replacing conventional power supply systems with fuel cell technology packages specifically made for mobile robotics systems" -- whatever that is? (Refer to the Tribune's Swamp posting on June 21st if you wish to wade through the morass of descriptions in greater detail and verify.)

Cute, Senator. And insulting at the same time. Gee, I wonder who's lined up for those millions in obviously bogus technology contracts? If I were smarter, I might suspect those earmarks are secretly geered toward making a certain technology company's bottom line that much fatter, especially when some lawmakers downstate highlight Sen. Jones propensity towards nondisclosure of SyncSolution contracts with their public displeasure.

And only $1 million for AIDS research and outreach.

The "fresh", "transcendant", "ethical" presidential candidate who would claim to end cynicism and duplicity in politics increasingly radiates nothing but.


Biggdawg, where are Hillary Clinton's earmarks. You make a good, passionate supporter of Clinton. Good work

I dream of the day when all of us stop citing these "national" polls conducted six months before the first caucus votes are cast. Lets get two things straight, the nation does not decide who the party nominees are regardless of how many states move their primaries up, it comes down to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, if you don't come in first or second place here you can hang it up.

Iowa is Edwards as of now, New Hampshire is Clinton as of now and South Carolina is Obama as of now. The second thing I want to get straight is that these polls are conducted a full 6 months before the first votes are cast, we do remember around this time Howard Dean was far ahead in the polls by October it was Joseph Lieberman and you know who ultimately got the nomination. So please take all of these "national" polls for the of grain salt that they are.

That is what I call chutzpah. Obama is the darling of the media.
The Clintons are a historic couple-of course the media has to cover them-they are sui generis.
With his paper thin resume Obama would not be running for president if it were not for the media-he is their creation.

Barack Obama can only defeat Hillary Clinton by proving he has substance and is not just another celebrity politician. The Clintons will be ruthless in this campaign, and try to demolish Barack Obama unless he can show what he really has to offer as president and commander in chief.

I agree with MikeB. Obama is a creation of the media. From the moment he was trotted out at the Democratic concvention while only a senatorial candidate to the followups of the national media, there is nothing distinct about the man. He is an acceptable black man for the liberal whites. They reject congressman Harold Ford and others because they are too moderate. I am no fan of Hillary, but I am purely objective in my analysis of the Obama phenomenon. I just wish the man had been running for president from the moment he became a U. S. Senator. Then perhaps the voters of Illinois might have actually gotten some representation at the hog trough that is Washington.

Does Hillary have anything her own?????????

Religious faith from her parents!

Exprience from her husband!

The Iraq war vote from George W. Bush!

Over the past 30 years, Democrats have built up a mythology about the type of experience it takes to make a good president: military service, executive experience, legislative experience.

Funny thing it's been a long time since the nation actually elected a Democratic president, and the one it did was some guy who'd been a governor from a small-time Southern state.

Nor, for that matter, have the Democratic presidents with experience been "winners" -- LBJ and Carter should be cautionary examples.

On the other hand, Ike and Reagan were very solid, arguably excellent Presidents, in part because they understood that their role was to fill the "bully pulpit" and move the nation when necessary. (Granted, in Ike's case this meant not doing much of anything at all).

In general, anyone who says they are ready for the presidency on Day 1 is a charlatan. But that's why we have the executive branch underneath the chief 'executive.'


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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 July 11, 2007 10:08 AM.

Sweet column: Dems see potential in Denny Hastert district. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet blog scoop: Illinois GOP to hold presidential straw poll. Will challenge Iowa for influence. UPDATED WITH RESULTS. is the next entry in this blog.

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