2008 Race for the White House: December 2006 Archives

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, on a mini-book tour for the relaunch of her book, "It takes a Village," was interviewed on NBC's "Today Show" on Monday morning by host Meredith Vieira. Vieira pressed the New York Democrat, getting ready to make a 2008 White House run, her thoughts on her biggest rival at this time, Sen. Barack Obama, the Illinois Democrat. Meanwhile, a Des Moines Register poll shows that former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) is very much a factor, leading the Iowa Democratic caucus field at 36 percent to 16 for Clinton and 13 for Obama.

" Well, he's terrific. You know, he's a friend and a colleague, and I have a very high regard for him," Clinton said about Obama. Obama had similiar words of praise for her in the current Newsweek cover story about their brewing presidential candidacies. "Obviously, I'm looking at it," said Clinton.

click below for Clinton interview excerpts.
and Des Moines Register poll story.

The latest CNN 2008 White House poll gives Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) twice the support of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). But the close third place of a non-candidate--former Vice President Al Gore-- shows that Obama as alternative to Clinton theory could be blown away if Gore got in the race.

At present Gore's biggest campaign is to win an Oscar for "An inconvenient truth." But he opened the door to a 2008 run a tiny bit in a recent interview. Obama's game plan can handle Clinton in the race; Gore is something else.

As the nation gets to know Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) better--as he prepares for a 2008 presidential run--there has been chatter about his little used middle name, Hussein. It's a paternal family name.

At a press conference in Manchester, Obama comments on the attention his middle name has been given lately. He did not address whether focus on the middle name had to do with racial or religious bigotry.

Said Obama. “It would be one thing if my name was John Hussein Smith, then this might be a real problem. When you are already starting with Barack Obama, you know, let me put it this way. If my name is going to be an issue, than I don’t think my middle name is relevant.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H.--Obama packed the hall and then some here. I'm guessing about 600 people at a this booksigning event for his bestselling "Audacity of Hope."

Wrapping up his talk before signing autographs, Obama, mulling a 2008 presidential run, told the audience in this first primary in the nation state that he is is "looking forward to being part of that process with you.''

Obama gave a version of his stump speech. The essential elements.

1. Told the story again of how he stole the title of his book from a sermon by his pastor, the Rev. Jeriamiah Wright.
(Update: told the story twice on Sunday.)

2. How a guy with funny name won the Illinois primary.

3. How with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) in the summer of 2004 they went to Cairo, Ill.--a town at the southern tip of the state with a long reputation for racial intolerance and Klan like activities--and how he, a black, and Durbin, a son of a Lithuanian immigrant were greeted warmly.

4. A quote that is often part of his stump speech, from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:
"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice."

Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, a Democrat running for president lacks the pizzazz of his major rivals; at least thats how it seems to me and the reporter who politely asked him if he was bland.

"There are different types of charisma," Vilsack counseled, not all of the flashy Barack Obama variety. "There is a quiet charisma," he said, "that people look at and say, `this guy is genuine, he is authentic, he is real."

I could walk down Michigan Ave. with Vilsack and I doubt anyone would recognize him. There would be a stampede if I took the same stroll with the two big names mulling a presidential run--Dem senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

I asked Vilsack about Obama at a breakfast for reporters on Tuesday morning hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. He said he doesn't get excited about potential rivals.

"I don't fear anybody, if that's your question."

Lynn Sweet

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

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