2008 Race for the White House: January 2007 Archives


With only two years in the Senate, Barack Obama will seek to dilute the germane question of his experience level by running against Washington.

No place better to start than in the heartland of America.

Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama has apparently reconsidered his position against setting a "date certain" for U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq.

Barack Obama and John Edwards are working to pack the room with their supporters at the winter meeting of the Democratic National Convention where all the White House hopefuls will speak. Both campaigns e-mailed appeals on Tuesday morning asking to show up at the Washington Hilton hotel on Friday.

Hat tip to Bernard Schoenburg of the Springfield Journal Register who reported today that Barack Obama will make his 2008 presidential bid "official" at the Old State Capitol on the morning of Feb. 10 with the Prairie Capital Convention Center backup in case of bad weather. My Sun-Times colleague Scott Fornek earlier wrote a story suggesting the Old State Capitol would be a logical place for the launch.

That will unleash the Barack Obama as Abe Lincoln narrative. Lincoln delivered his "House divided" speech at that historic spot and the announcement is on Lincoln's birthday weekend. Obama is expected to vault over to Iowa, home to the first-in-the-nation 2008 caucus, after the announcement.

The upcoming winter meeting of the Democratic National Committee is the first beauty contest for the party's long list of White House contenders and a chance for someone other than Barack Obama or Hillary Rodham Clinton to catch a headline.

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- What was she thinking?

"You guys keep telling me, 'lighten up, be funny,'" said Hillary Rodham Clinton. "You know, I get a little funny, and now I am being psychoanalyzed!"

Of course she is.

What did one of the most scrutinized women in the United States expect when she ran for president?

DAVENPORT, IA.—Could it be, I think it is, presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton parked at a double entrendre.

DES MOINES -- At the first public event of her week-old presidential campaign, Hillary Rodham Clinton made gender a factor in the 2008 contest, noting the White House has too long been home to "white men."

CEDAR RAPIDS--Here is the rest of Hillary Rodham Clinton at a invitation-only house party here.

She deals with a lot of stuff here: her presidential gameplan; leadership; her being a polarizing figure; part of a political couple and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

click below for pool report

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA.--It's a cold, dark night. On a street with posh houses, Hillary Rodham Clinton is talking to people about her presidential campaign and takes questions. President Clinton has not been in sight, by the way. It was a small event, hence the pool report.

Bill Clinton never campaigned in Iowa in his first bid for president in 1992, conceeding the race to Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin. Hillary Clinton makes a personal reflection on how she never shared an Iowa experience with President Clinton.

click below for pool report

There’s been a lot of stories the past few days about early Hollywood money for 2008 Democratic frontrunners Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. On this one, Hollywood is going for a surprise ending. Call it the Spielberg primary.

WASHINGTON -- Radioactive for more than a decade, universal health insurance emerged Thursday as a 2008 Democratic presidential primary issue for chief rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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.

Robert Gibbs, the chief spokesman for Sen. Barack Obama, issued a rare memo on Wednesday, on the two-part 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 that bred extremists and that researchers for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton surfaced the information. It was an effort by a conservative outlet to take down two 2008 presidential contenders at once and make Obama seem like a character on "Sleeper Cell."

Neither was true. CNN sent a reporter to Jakarta to check out the school and showed in words, interviews and pictures that it was secular in nature. That there were female students also made the point that the school, in an upper class neighborhood, was no madrassa.

Gibbs' memo does not mention Clintons' 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, now under a microscope as he starts a White House campaign. Obama moved to Jakarta at age 6 and returned to Hawaii four years later.

It should not matter of course, if Obama or anyone was raised as a Muslim or any other faith. The threats posed by Islamic militant fundamentalists are something else.

Click below for the full Gibbs memo.

From Sen. HIllary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.)

Did you notice....

New 2008 Democratic presidential rivals Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois sitting a row apart in the House chamber.....

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson made his presidential race official on Monday, filing papers to create an exploratory committee.

He has a deep resume and experience in international diplomacy. Richardson is a two-term governor, UN ambassador, congressman for 15 years Energy secretary under President Clinton. He starts out behind Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards. But when people get to see him, he may put points on the board. He's funny and straightforward. Richardson will headquarter his presidential run in New Mexico. He is also bi-lingual, having lived in Mexico City as a youth. He announced in Spanish and English.

for Richardson announcement statement and staff list, click below....

Sen. Barack Obama's top Senate staff is very racially diverse, but only five of the 15 highest paid people are female.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) announced Saturday morning she is launching a 2008 White House exploratory committee. "I'm in. And I'm in to win."

Clinton immediately started to make the case for herself in a print and webcast statement with an aggresive tone. "I have never been afraid to stand up for what I believe in or to face down the Republican machine. After nearly $70 million spent against my campaigns in New York and two landslide wins, I can say I know how Washington Republicans think, how they operate, and how to beat them."

The two frontrunners in the 2008 Democratic race for the White House have now made it official. Clinton, 59 and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, 45, who opened his exploratory bid on Tuesday, begin at the top tier of a line of Democratic contenders. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is also starting an exploratory committee this weekend.

Obama e-mailed a reaction shortly after Clinton put in her White House bid. He said Clinton is a "good friend and a colleague whom I greatly respect. I welcome her and all the candidates, not as competitors but as allies in the work of getting our country back on track."

Obama has no other political events on his schedule before his official announcement on Feb. 10 in Springfield, Ill. either real world or virtual, via his web site while Clinton is filling in her web calendar.

Will this change?

Clinton, in a statement posted on her website said, " Starting Monday, January 22, at 7 p.m. EST for three nights in a row, I'll sit down to answer your questions about how we can work together for a better future. And you can participate live at my website." That's the day before, during and after the State of the Union speech President Bush delivers to Congress on Tuesday night.

Clinton. Obama. Richardson. The first major league viable female, African-American and Hispanic contenders for president.

Cliinton strategist Mark Penn, not mentioning Obama by name, took aim at him in a memo he wrote framing the argument on why Clinton is the strongest candidate.

"The last two Democratic presidential candidates started out with high favorable ratings and ended up on Election Day (and today) far more polarizing and disliked nationally," he wrote, referring to a CBS poll.

"Hillary is the one potential nominee who has been fully tested, with the Republicans spending nearly $70 million in the last decade to try to defeat her. She is not just strong, but the strongest Democrat in the field. Hillary is the only one able to match or beat the Republicans after years of their partisan attacks on her."

Clinton, born in Chicago and raised in Park Ridge, alluded to her north suburban roots in talking about herself. "I grew up in a middle-class family in the middle of America, where I learned that we could overcome every obstacle we face if we work together and stay true to our values."


She was brainy and popular but didn't have a high school boyfriend.

She was one of those conservative "Goldwater Girls" who didn't relate to Holden Caulfield when she first read Catcher In the Rye.

She took square dancing lessons at Eugene Field School in Park Ridge.

She went down to Grant Park to watch - not demonstrate - as kids her age were protesting during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

She changed her politics, became a lawyer and married a man who would be elected governor of Arkansas and who this week will be president. And she will be first lady.

Hillary Clinton, Maine South Class of '65 and formerly of 235 Wisner in Park Ridge, moves Wednesday from the governor's mansion in Little Rock to the White House.

During the (1992 presidential) campaign, she was portrayed as an unforgiving, hard-charging corporate lawyer. When she said during a Chicago campaign stop, "I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and given teas," the image stuck and she has been trying to undo it since.

Publicly, she was seen as cold and calculating. But her high school friends remember her differently. Eldest of 3 children

Early on Oct. 26, 1947, 28-year-old Dorothy Emma Howell Rodham arrived at Edgewater Hospital, 5700 N. Ashland, to deliver her first child.

Some 12 hours later, Dorothy and Hugh Ellsworth Rodham, 34, then a sales manager for the Barrett Textile Corp., welcomed Hillary Diane into the world.

They took her home, a few blocks away at 5722 N. Winthrop, but the Rodhams didn't stay in the apartment near Ardmore Beach for long.

The Rodhams moved to northwest suburban Park Ridge in 1951, to the two-story, seven-room Georgian they bought for about $ 21,500. This became home to Hillary and her brothers, Hugh and Tony....
(excerpts from 1993 Lynn Sweet profile of Hillary Rodham Clinton)

Sen. Barack Obama's Democratic White House bid is surging in New Hampshire. That's according to a new survey by Zogby International. The freshman senator is at 23 percent support among New Hampshire Democrats to 19 percent each for top rivals Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina. On the GOP side, Sen. John McCain of Arizona leads.

Here's the warning label: "The survey of Democrats shows this race is as fluid as the 2004 race for the Democratic nomination was at this point in that election cycle. Eight in 10 said it is likely they will change their minds before they actually cast their ballots in the primary election," the polling report concluded.

Read about the entire poll at http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1237

for an excerpt, click below.

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is pretty close to making his White House bid official. But it is not going to happen on Monday.

Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs told me Obama will not be making public his decision about a presidential run on Monday. Obama is in Chicago, where he has two events on his public schedule celebrating the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) appearence on "Face the Nation" on Sunday opposite Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) pits two potential 2008 White House nominees. The exchange may prove a preview of the 2008 general election and provoke another round of stories about the impending presidential race. Remember McCain and Obama had a big dustup last February over ethics legislation? It was Obama's first public thumping.

Obama continues to build a national campaign organization. Here's a recap of my scoops on the Obama White House run and the political professionals he is drawing into his orbit.

Curl up with the Sunday Sun-Times, brew some coffee and listen to the newsmakers on the Sunday talk shows.

On Sunday, watch for my story on how language is used to define the debate over sending more troops to Iraq. Surge? Escalation? Augmentation? Or just more.

Click below for the Sunday talk show listings.

For the past few days, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), poised to make a 2008 White House bid, has been keeping in the shadows. While chief 2008 rival Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) mini-media blitzed his Iraq react--he is against the escalation--Clinton has been strategically quiet.

Now her office announces a one-up: Clinton, with Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) (who just dropped his White House bid but could be in the vice-president sweepstakes) and Rep. John McHugh (R-N.Y.) are visiting Iraq and Afghanistan over the weekend, meeting with troops from Indiana and New York.

She'll find out for herself (click below for statement) how the Iraqi officials plan to stand up to violence. A centerpiece of President Bush's justification for sending more soldiers to Iraq is giving Iraqis one more chance to use assistance from U.S. military to help them help themselves.

Clinton's Tuesday presser to discuss her trip will be the must attend event of the day.

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Ct.) picked the venue of the Imus in the Morning show to announce his 2008 run for president.

click below for the somewhat zany but informative interview.

Here's a scoop. Soon after Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) makes a 2008 presidential run official, she will win the endorsement of the nation's largest political action committee.

Sen. Joseph Biden Jr. (D-Del.), as the new chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, launches today four weeks of hearings on how the Bush administration has handled the war in Iraq--as well as his plan to send more troops in, to be unveiled tonight. He wants to assess "realities on the ground."

On Thursday, Secretary of State Condi Rice testifies before the panel. Biden is a declared 2008 presidential candidate; he's said for more than a year he is running. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), also eyeing 2008, is on the panel.

Today will be full of debate over deploying more troops to Iraq. I expect a lot of statements in the run up to President Bush's speech tonight. Here's the reasoning from GOP White House candidate Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, for sending more troops to Iraq.

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Lynn Sweet

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

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the 2008 Race for the White House category from January 2007.

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