Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Sweet: Bill in Chicago for Hill this week. Obama to wrap up Feb. 5 campaign in Chicago. Pledges to return Rezko cash. Ted Kennedy endorsing Obama. Obama to do Kansas maternal "roots" on Tuesday.

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jan82008a
German author Christoph von Marschall, based in Washington, just published "Barack Obama: The Black Kennedy" drawing comparisons between Obama and JFK, who on June 26, 1963 said "As a free man, I take pride in the words 'Ich bin ein Berliner." (photo by Lynn Sweet)

COLUMBIA, S.C.—Bill Clinton, criss-crossing the country as a mega-surrogate for his wife as the “Super Tuesday” Feb. 5 votes loom in Illinois and 22 other states, hits Chicago on Tuesday night and Wednesday to stump and raise money for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). Clinton was supposed to appear herself at a Tuesday fund-raiser, but Bill may fill in for her.

Meanwhile, ABC News, Susan Milligan of the Boston Globe LINK and other outlets are reporting that Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) will endorse Obama Monday at a rally in Washington D.C. on the campus of American University (near my house, I can walk to it!). This comes a day after landing JFK daughter Caroline's backing.

Obama was told by the host, “One more time, Senator, you need to divulge all there is to know about that (Rezko) relationship. Take that opportunity here.”

Obama replied, “ Well, George, this is a story that has been out there for a year, and has been thoroughly gnawed on by the press, both in Chicago and nationally. “

(actually, it is not one story but an ongoing series of stories by the Sun-Times and Tribune, exploring the depths of the ties between the two men.)

“Tony Rezko was a friend of mine, a supporter, who I've known for 20 years. He was a contributor not just myself but Democrats, as well as some Republicans, throughout Illinois. Everybody perceived him as a businessman and developer.”

(earlier in the week in network interviews, Obama made it seem like he hardly knew Rezko.)

“ He got into trouble that was completely unrelated to me. And nobody has suggested that I have been involved in any of those problems. I did make a mistake by purchasing a small strip of property from him, at a time where, at that point, he was under thecloud of a potential investigation.

(Obama obscures the larger point that the strip was adjacent to his house and bought at the same time in a deal that seemed connected and gave Obama a financial advantage.)

“And I've acknowledged that that was a mistake. But again, nobody has suggested any wrongdoing. And you know, I think, at this point, it's important for people to recognize that I have actually provided all the information that's out there about it.

(Actually, last week I asked an Obama spokesman information about Rezko’s fund-raising activities for Obama and could not get a straight answer.)

Stephanopoulos asked, “ One final question on that: Several newsorganizations, the Los Angeles Times, ABC News, have said that you actually collected far more money for your campaign from Rezko associates than you have actually returned -- maybe a multiple ofthree or four.

Are you committed to returning every dollar connected to Tony Rezko? Will you do that?

Obama replied, Absolutely. I mean, keep in mind, George, that, you know, what we've done is we've traced any funds that we know of that we think were connected to him. And if there any other funds that were connected to him that we're not aware of, then we will certainly return them. It's in our interest to do so.”

TRANSCRIPT…

SENATOR BARACK OBAMA ON ABC NEWS “THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS,” SUNDAY, JANUARY 27, 2008
Obama on Bill Clinton: “...I actually think that Bill Clinton did an important service for the Democratic Party.” He went on to say, “But there is no doubt that I think that in the '90s, we got caught up in a slash-and-burn politics that the American people are weary of.” He then added, “Now, that is not the Clintons' fault. It is all of our faults, in the sense that we've gotten into these bad habits and we can't seem to have disagreements without being disagreeable. So part of what I think we have to do is to set a new tone in politics. Not a naive one.”
Obama on whether he would return money he has raised that could be connected to Tony Rezko or his associates: “Absolutely,” He went on to say, “…if there any other funds that were connected to him that we're not aware of, then we will certainly return them. It's in our interest to do so.”
Obama on Ronald Reagan: “…at no point did I suggest that my agenda was Ronald Reagan's agenda. The point was that in political terms, we may be in one of those moments where we can get a seismic shift in how the country views itself and our future. And we have to take advantage of that.” He went on to say, “…I think Reagan trickle-down economics were a disaster.”
Our EXCLUSIVE headliner this Sunday: Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). In his first interview following his win in the crucial South Carolina Democratic primary, Sen. Obama joined George Stephanopoulos to discuss his chances in the Super Tuesday races, and his recent battles with both Sen. Hillary Clinton and President Clinton.
On our roundtable, Jacob Weisberg of Slate Magazine, ABC News consultant Donna Brazile, and ABC News’ Cokie Roberts and George Will joined Mr. Stephanopoulos to debate the week’s politics.
A rush transcript of the interview, which aired this morning, Sunday, January 27, 2008, on ABC News “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” is below.
All excerpts must be attributed to ABC News “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” Visit the “This Week” website to read more about the show at: http://abcnews.go.com/politics
Katherine O’Hearn is the executive producer of “This Week” and George Stephanopoulos is the anchor. The program airs Sundays on the ABC Television Network (check local listings).
-ABC-
ABC'S "THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS"
JANUARY 27, 2008
SPEAKERS: GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST
SEN. BARACK OBAMA, D-ILL.
[*]
STEPHANOPOULOS: This week, South Carolina smackdown.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: You were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board of Wal-
Mart.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, D-N.Y.: You were practicing law and
representing your contributor, Rezko, in his slum landlord business.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: Senator Obama, it is very difficult having a straight-
up debate with you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I can't tell who I'm running against.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: After a bare-knuckle fight with both Clintons...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I never
uttered a word of public complaint when Mr. Obama said Hillary was not
truthful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... Barack Obama wins big.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Tonight, the cynics who believe that what began in the
snows of Iowa was just an illusion were told a different story by the
good people of South Carolina.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Our exclusive headliner this morning, Barack
Obama.
Then, a winner-take-all free for all in Florida. That and the
rest of the week's politics on our roundtable, with George Will, Cokie
Roberts, Donna Brazile and Jake Weisberg of Slate magazine.
And as always, the Sunday funnies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRAIG FERGUSON, HOST, "THE LATE LATE SHOW": Down in Florida, the
preparations for the upcoming primary are going on. They've got one
week left to make sure the voting machines don't work. So, they're
very busy.
(LAUGHTER)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, everyone. Despite being double-
teamed by Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama left South Carolina
last night with a landslide win. He took 55 percent of the vote, more
than double Clinton's 27 percent. John Edwards was way back in his
home state at 18 percent.
African Americans made the difference. They were more than half
the electorate, and they broke more than 4 to 1 for Obama. Among
white voters, John Edwards actually edged out Hillary Clinton, but
Obama held his own, especially among younger voters, and got about a
quarter of the total.
Now the Democrats move on to Super Tuesday Feb. 5. Twenty-two
states in play, and our headliner is in one of those states this
morning. Barack Obama joins us from Macon, Georgia.
Congratulations, Senator Obama, on your victory. Does it feel
like vindication?
OBAMA: Well, you know, it was a wonderful win. And the people
of South Carolina, I think, were remarkable, not just in providing me
a terrific margin of victory. But one of the wonderful stories was
the turnout.
I mean, we actually had more Democrats vote in the Democratic
primary, or more individuals vote in the Democratic primary than in
the Republican primary. It was 200,000 more people voting this time
than last time. And I think that shows you the enormous enthusiasm
you're seeing, not only for change but also for the Democratic Party
right now.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And more voters, I think, voted for you last
night than voted in the entire Democratic Party in 2004. Before the
votes were finally counted yesterday, President Clinton was asked why
it was taking both Clintons to handle you in South Carolina. Here's
how he responded to our David Wright.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
B. CLINTON: Jesse Jackson won South Carolina twice in '84 and
'88. And he ran a good campaign, and Senator Obama's run a good
campaign here. He's run a good campaign everywhere.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: The implication there is pretty clear: You're
the Jesse Jackson of 2008.
OBAMA: Well, you know, Jesse Jackson ran historic races in 1984
and 1988, and there's no doubt that that set a precedent for African
Americans running for the highest office in the land. But, you know,
that was 20 years ago, George.
And I think that what we saw in this election was a shift in
South Carolina that I think speaks extraordinarily well, not just for
folks in the South, but all across the country. I think people want
change. I think they want to get beyond some of the racial politics
that, you know, has been so dominant in the past.
We're very encouraged as we go to the February 5th states.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you think President Clinton was engaging in
racial politics there?
OBAMA: Well, you know, I think that that's his frame of
reference was the Jesse Jackson races. That's when, you know, he was
active and involved and watching what was going to take place in South
Carolina. I think that a lot of South Carolinians looked at it
through a different lens.
And certainly our campaign was confident that if we talked about
the things that people are really trying to deal with on a day-to-day
basis. If we were talking about how to make sure everybody has health
care that they can afford, how people are going to be able to go to
college, making sure that people are able to stay in their homes in
the face of this subprime lending crisis and the larger credit crunch
that we're seeing.
As long as we were focused on those issues, we thought those
would transcend the sort of racial divisions that we've seen in the
past.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But several in the Clinton camp say that it was
your campaign that was playing the race card throughout this primary.
They point to Dick Harpootlian, one of your major supporters in South
Carolina, who said that the Clinton campaign was reminiscent of Lee
Atwater.
They point to the comments of one of your top advisers, Steve
Hildebrand, who said that the Clintons have always put people in a
box.

STEPHANOPOULOS: They look at everything through racial lines,
gender lines, geographic lines. They tend to segment people.
They say that it was your campaign playing the race card.
OBAMA: George, I'm not going to continue sort of the tit-for-
tat. I think that the results yesterday spoke for themselves, that
people wanted to move beyond some of these old arguments, and they
want to look forward to figure out how we pull the country together
and move forward, and that's what we're going to do during the
remainder of this campaign.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You made that point last night in your victory
speech as well. You pretty directly said you wanted to move beyond
the Clinton brand of politics, without saying the Clintons by name. I
want to show voters some of what you said last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We're up against decades of bitter partisanship that
caused politicians to demonize their opponents instead of coming
together to make college affordable or energy cleaner. It's the kind
of partisanship where you're not even allowed to say that a Republican
had an idea, even if it's one you never agreed with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: You also said that you're up against the idea
that it's acceptable to say anything or do anything. Is that what you
think the Clintons were doing in South Carolina? And you also used
the word demonize there. Were they trying to demonize you?
OBAMA: No, I don't think they were trying to demonize me, but I
do think that there is a certain brand of politics that we've become
accustomed to, and that the Republican Party had perfected and was
often directed against the Clintons, but that all of us had become
complicit in, where we basically think anything is fair game.
And you know, during the course of this campaign, I've said very
clearly, I want to run a positive campaign. But I think it's
important for all of us to try to talk about policies that are
actually going to make a difference in the lives of ordinary people.
And as I traveled around South Carolina, whether I was talking to
veterans who weren't getting their benefits or I was talking to
mothers who couldn't get health care for their kids, they are eager
and anxious to make sure their problems are solved.
And that is the kind of approach that we want to take, and I
think that's where the Democratic Party should go if we want to win in
November.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So much of the dialogue was about these comments
you made about Ronald Reagan back in Reno, Nevada. Let me just show
our viewers some of what you said back in Reno, so they can have some
context.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way
that, you know, Richard Nixon did not, and in a way that Bill Clinton
did not. He tapped into what people were already feeling, which is we
want clarity, we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of
dynamism and, you know, entrepreneurship that had been missing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: You go on to say that the Republican Party was
the party of ideas for 10 to 15 years, in the sense that they were
challenging the conventional wisdom.
Now, you didn't like the way the Clintons characterized what you
said there, but just to try to flesh this out, what ideas were you
talking about there? What ideas did the Republicans have that were
challenging the conventional wisdom?
OBAMA: Well, I think that -- keep in mind, Ronald Reagan came in
during the 1980s, at a time when I think Democrats still dominated
Congress, when the view was that we were going to solve our problems
oftentimes by expanding government programs. And he challenged many
of those ideas.
Now, keep in mind that back in the 1980s, I was working as a
community organizer on the streets of Chicago and seeing the
consequences of some of the bad ideas that Ronald Reagan had promoted.
But the broader point that I was making, George, and I don't
think this is something that is subject to dispute, is that Ronald
Reagan transformed American politics and set the agenda for a long
time. You know, when Bill Clinton said the era of small government is
over, he was echoing some of the shifts that had taken place. And
part of what had happened was that Ronald Reagan was able to get
Democrats to vote for the Republican ticket, oftentimes against their
own economic interests. And people -- Democrats were often puzzled by
that.
The point is that this is one of those moments when I think
Democrats have the opportunity to do the same thing that Ronald Reagan
did in 1980. I think there are a lot of disaffected Republicans.
They've seen the disastrous policies of George Bush, both domestically
and internationally, and the question is: Are we going to be able to
reach out to those independents and those disillusioned Republicans,
and form a working majority so that we can move our agenda forward?
So you know, at no point did I suggest that my agenda was Ronald
Reagan's agenda. The point was that in political terms, we may be in
one of those moments where we can get a seismic shift in how the
country views itself and our future. And we have to take advantage of
that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And you do not call them good ideas, but when
you say that the Republican Party is challenging the conventional
wisdom, isn't it fair for someone to conclude that you're
complimenting the Republican Party there?

OBAMA: No, because some of the conventional wisdom was right. I
mean, it was right to believe that we should be able to provide health
insurance to all Americans.
Now, what I do believe is that we can't be bogged down in dogma,
in thinking about how we're going to deliver health care. So I think
it's very important for us to be willing to take ideas from all
quarters, and to listen to Republicans and conservatives and others in
terms of how we might go about accomplishing what is a critical goal,
which is universal health care. The same is true with the notion of
upward mobility.
You know, I think Reagan trickle-down economics were a disaster,
but what I do think is important is for us to think about how can we
empower ordinary individuals, so that they can get the education and
the skills that they need in a market economy to succeed.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Take a look at this historically. How could
Bill Clinton have changed the trajectory of the country in the 1990s
in a way that he did not do? What would you have done differently?
OBAMA: Well, I actually think that Bill Clinton did an important
service for the Democratic Party, and you know, if you read some of
the things that I've written in my book, for example, I've been very
complimentary of Bill Clinton, because I think that he recognized that
we needed to take the old, traditional values of the Democratic Party
-- of equality, of opportunity, of community -- and update them for a
new era. And so, I think that Bill Clinton did important work back in
the 1990s.
The question is now, we're in 2008, and how do we move it forward
to the next phase? And I wouldn't be running for president if I
didn't think that I was best equipped to move us in a new direction.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You were also tough on him in places of your
book. I want to show our viewers some of it. You talked about the
1992 campaign, where you said that Clinton's gestures towards
disaffected Reagan Democrats could seem clumsy and transparent --
whatever happened to Sister Souljah? -- or frighteningly cold-hearted,
allowing the execution of a mentally retarded death row inmate to go
forward on the eve of an important primary. And then in 1996, you
told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, "the Clintons' campaign is
fascinating to a student of politics. It's disturbing to someone who
cares about certain issues."
And you seemed to be repeating some of this, these charges about
that brand of politics in your speech last night.
Do you think there is a pattern here?
OBAMA: Well, George, first of all, the excerpts that you read,
as I think you'll acknowledge, were sandwiched in an entire page of
complimenting Bill Clinton for the work that he did. But...
STEPHANOPOULOS: As you just repeated now.
OBAMA: Yes. But there is no doubt that I think that in the
'90s, we got caught up in a slash-and-burn politics that the American
people are weary of. And we still see it in Washington today. It is
very hard for us to have a common sense, non-ideological conversation
about how we're going to deal with our energy problems. It's very
difficult for us to figure out how are we going to make this economy
work for all people and not just some people.
Now, that is not the Clintons' fault. It is all of our faults,
in the sense that we've gotten into these bad habits and we can't seem
to have disagreements without being disagreeable.
So part of what I think we have to do is to set a new tone in
politics. Not a naive one. The insurance companies, the drug
companies, they're not going to give up their profits easily when it
comes to health care. The oil companies like writing the energy
bills, and they have a clear agenda. But it does mean that we have to
reduce the interests -- or the influence of special interests and
lobbyists. I think that we've got to take ethics reform seriously. I
think that we all have some responsibilities in terms of focusing on
how we're going to solve problems for the American people.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's talk about the economy. The immediate
economic crisis going forward right now, the housing crisis
specifically. Senator Clinton has called on a 90-day freeze on home
foreclosures, and freezing the rates for five years on adjustable rate
mortgages. Is that a good idea?
OBAMA: Well, what I've said is that we should put forward a $10
billion fund to focus on helping families that are in their homes that
have been induced into mortgages that they can't pay, but who are
willing to pay the current rates that they have. And I think that is
an approach that most observers recognize will prevent the kind of
moral hazards where speculators or lenders who made bad loans somehow
are bailed out.
But I think that the problem goes beyond just the immediate
crisis of home foreclosures.

OBAMA: What we have is a situation in which, over the last
decade, there has been -- the rewards of the economy have all gone to
the top 1 percent.
We've seen people who are wealthy, flush with cash, huge amounts
of capital, that have been feeding the real estate bubble, the dotcom
bubble. But what we haven't seen are ordinary people's incomes and
wages going up significantly.
In fact, they've flatlined at the same time that their costs have
skyrocketed.
So what I've talked about is, let's get tax relief, a middle-
class tax cut for ordinary working families. Let's make sure that
senior citizens who make $50,000 or less aren't paying income tax on
their Social Security.
Let's close corporate tax loopholes and tax savings to pay for
it.
Let's shift some of the rewards of the economy to middle and
working-class families. And if we do that, I think we're going to
have the kind of economic growth, from the bottom up, that's always
been the hallmark of the United States and the American dream
STEPHANOPOULOS: But just to be clear on these specific ideas,
you think that, by freezing home foreclosures for 90 days and freezing
adjustable-rate mortgages for five years, that could create moral
hazards; that's why you're not for it?
OBAMA: Well, I think it is important for us not to bail out
lenders who made, in some cases, poorly considered or speculative
loans. I think what is important is to make sure that people are
staying in their homes, particularly first-time home buyers, families
who are actually living in the house, as opposed to just flipping a
condominium.
And I think that we have to sort through how we can help those
individuals aggressively, at the same time that we're not bailing out
banks who made loans that they shouldn't have made.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Your home town paper, the Chicago Tribune,
endorsed John McCain today. It had some kind words for you as well,
but they went on to talk about your relationship with the real estate
developer, now indicted, Tony Rezko.
And they wrote this in their editorial. "Obama's assertion in
network TV interviews last week that nobody had any indications Rezko
was engaging in wrongdoing strained credulity. Tribune stories linked
Rezko to questionable fund-raising for Governor Rod Blagojevich in
2004, more than a year before the adjacent home and property purchases
by the Obamas and the Rezkos."
One more time, Senator, you need to divulge all there is to know
about that relationship.
Take that opportunity here.
OBAMA: Well, George, this is a story that has been out there for
a year, and has been thoroughly gnawed on by the press, both in
Chicago and nationally.
Tony Rezko was a friend of mine, a supporter, who I've known for
20 years. He was a contributor not just myself but Democrats, as well
as some Republicans, throughout Illinois. Everybody perceived him as
a businessman and developer.
He got into trouble that was completely unrelated to me. And
nobody has suggested that I have been involved in any of those
problems. I did make a mistake by purchasing a small strip of
property from him, at a time where, at that point, he was under the
cloud of a potential investigation.
And I've acknowledged that that was a mistake. But again, nobody
has suggested any wrongdoing. And you know, I think, at this point,
it's important for people to recognize that I have actually provided
all the information that's out there about it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: One final question on that: Several news
organizations, the Los Angeles Times, ABC News, have said that you
actually collected far more money for your campaign from Rezko
associates than you have actually returned -- maybe a multiple of
three or four.
Are you committed to returning every dollar connected to Tony
Rezko? Will you do that?
OBAMA: Absolutely. I mean, keep in mind, George, that, you
know, what we've done is we've traced any funds that we know of that
we think were connected to him.
And if there any other funds that were connected to him that
we're not aware of, then we will certainly return them. It's in our
interest to do so.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Caroline Kennedy endorses you in the New York
Times. This morning she says, "I have never had a president who
inspired me the way people tell me my father inspired them. And for
the first time, I believe that I have found that man."
Mark Halperin reports, on Time Magazine's Web site this morning
-- and our reporting seems to confirm it -- that Ted Kennedy is also
on the verge of endorsing you. Is that true?
OBAMA: Well, you know, I'll let Ted Kennedy speak for himself.
And nobody does it better. But obviously, any of the Democratic
candidates would love to have Ted Kennedy's support. And we have
certainly actively sought it.
And you know, I will let him make his announcement and his
decision when he decides it's appropriate.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We will be watching for that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Also, Florida is coming up on Tuesday, the
Florida primary. Of course, the Democratic National Committee has
said that the delegates will not count because Florida moved up its
primary.
But the other day, Senator Clinton said that she wants the
Florida and Michigan delegations seated at the convention. And she
asked her delegates to vote for it. Will you do the same?
OBAMA: Well, you know, what I'm going to do is, I'm going to
abide by the agreement that all the candidates, including Senator
Clinton, made when we were out campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire,
which was that we would not campaign, and we would abide by the
Democratic National Committee rules when it came to the seating of
Florida and Michigan delegates.
You know, obviously, both are extraordinarily important states
that are very important to the Democrats winning in November. But
what I'm going to do is, I'm going to stick to the pledge that I made.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, that means you will not ask the delegates to
vote for it. But bottom line, do you agree with the Clinton camp,
given the fact that we're seeing hundreds of thousands of Floridians
going to the polls already, voting by absentee -- there are likely to
be more on Tuesday -- that those votes are going to matter in some
important way?
OBAMA: Well, there are no delegates at stake, and all of us
agreed not to campaign there. So, you know, as I said before, when I
tell people I'm going to do something or not do something, I try to
stick to it. And that's what I'm going to do with respect to Florida.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The longer this campaign goes on and the nastier
it gets, the more pressure that's going to be on both you and Senator
Clinton to come together and show a united front in November. Are you
open to having Senator Clinton as your running mate, and vice versa
serving with her?
OBAMA: Oh, you know, I think it's premature, George, to talk
about running mates. I mean, we've got a lot of election left here.
So all of us, I think, are competing vigorously. Senator Edwards is
running a terrific campaign as well.
And what I want to do is try as much as possible to spend the
remaining weeks and potentially months of the campaign talking about
the issues that all Democrats should be concerned about, and I think
all Americans should be concerned about. You know, I already
mentioned making sure that we have tax relief for middle-income and
working Americans.
I think that the issue of college affordability is absolutely
critical, so I've proposed a $4,000 tuition tax credit for every
student every year in exchange for national service. We've got to
talk about energy and climate change, which I think is going to be
extraordinarily important not just for our economy and our
environment, but also for our national security.
And finally, I don't want the war in Iraq to be forgotten. I
think that I continue to meet every single day young men and young
women who have been injured in war, families who are being strained by
the fourth or fifth rotation. We're still spending $9 billion every
single month that we could be investing in broadband lines in rural
areas and rebuilding bridges and roads here in the United States of
America.
That has to be our focus. And in fact, there has been a
convergence on a lot of ideas among the Democrats. My suspicion is
that by the time we get a Democratic nominee, the party will be
unified and it will be energized.
We have doubled turnout, essentially, in every single contest
from what we did four years ago. And we are seeing huge numbers of
independents and Republicans flock into the Democratic primary. So
there are a lot more folks who want change than folks who are
satisfied with the status quo.
I think that bodes well for the November elections.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you believe the party will come together.
Senator Obama, thanks very much for your time this morning.
OBAMA: It was great to talk to you, George. Thank you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So long.
The roundtable is next, with George Will, Cokie Roberts, Donna
Brazile and Jacob Weisberg. And later, the Sunday funnies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW": Fred Thompson has
dropped out of the presidential race. Yeah. Don't worry about Fred.
He can always go back to his prestigious fake law firm. So that's
where he'll go.
(LAUGHTER)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(IN MEMORIAM)
(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(SUNDAY FUNNIES)
(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
STEPHANOPOULOS: That's our show for today. We hope you'll stay
with ABC News for tomorrow's live coverage of President Bush's final
State of the Union address. That begins at 9 Eastern.
And we'll be back Tuesday night, too, with the results from the
next big primary in Florida.
Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. We'll see you
next week.
END

6 Comments

Obama won S.C. it did not surprise me. I hate the racecard being used in any campaign etc.

Let's all not forget, it was Michelle Obama, Sen. Obama wife who started it all on a interview where she stated Black America will wake up, this was during the Iowa Caucuses.

Meanwhile, the Obama and Tony Rezco talk will not end, because this is too close for Obama because we don't know yet what will come out in the Federal Corruption Trial of Tony Rezco in February.

senator obama will be in kansas tuesday to accept the endorsement of Governor Kathleen Sebelius--- the day after Gov Sebelius gives the democratic response to the Presidents State of the Union

I PREDICT one after another high level endrosements of MEANING from today through February 5th

Looks like you are trying to "vet" Obama all by yourself, Lynn. You were very objective for about a week and now you are back to working seemingly as a surrogate for Hillary. It would be nice to see a positive column written about Obama (that didn't have a host of criticisms mixed in) or a critical column about Hillary from you. Honestly, I would just prefer you cover both with the same critical eye.

This probably won't make your blog (happens to about half my posts), but since I know you will read it, I just wanted to share my thoughts. I've always enjoyed your columns, but I've been a little disappointed with the tone of some of them over the past 6 months or so.

Ceaser, why do you mischaracterize what Michelle said? She said that black people shouldn't NOT vote for Barack because of his color, if it was because they thought he had no chance of winning or out of fear he'd be targeted. That's the OPPOSITE of playing the race card. She was saying they should vote for the person they thought would be the best President, regardless of color.

Lynn,

Thanks for writing about this and for keeping at this story. Those of us who voted for Sen. Obama deserve to be told the truth and he has a very duplicitous streak where Rezko is concerned.

I wish the national media cared enough about truth to cover this story like it should be covered.

I am completely satisfied with Obama explanation. Why digg into such non-news?

I think Clinton will win Feb 5. There is no way Obama can catch up with all 21 states. But here's something to see.

http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=59919

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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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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on January 27, 2008 9:26 AM.

Sweet column: S.C. win may cure Obama's fluke complex. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet: Blagojevich radioactive; every Dem state official to stump for Obama except tainted Illinois governor. UPDATE is the next entry in this blog.

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