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Sweet: UPDATE Maria Shriver endorses Obama.Stevie Wonder just shows up at UCLA rally for Obama with Oprah Winfrey, Caroline Kennedy and Michelle Obama. Clinton Penn's Obama memo.UPDATE "yes we can" VIDEO


LOS ANGELES--I'm at the Pauley Pavillion, the home of the UCLA Bruins, waiting for an Obama rally to begin Sunday afternoon wtih Oprah Winfrey, Caroline Kennedy and Michelle Obama. Meanwhile another spouse, Bill Clinton, stumped here this morning for Clinton. Some news. Obama is going to run some ads during today's Super Bowl (click below for more.) UPDATE Maria Shriver just endorsed Obama. "If Barack Obama was a state, he would be California," she said.

Stevie Wonder just showed up at the rally. He came on stage with Michelle Obama and sang a two word riff making music of the name Barack Obama. Wonder was the only man who spoke at this event. OLD Maria Shriver is around, but's it not clear if she just came to see cousin Caroline.

Played at the beginning:: A video titled with Obama's slogan "Yes We Can" (which he did not invent, but he debuted this weekend, with a selection of artists in it, including Common and John Legend.

Celebs are seated in one section on the risers. Spotted so far:

Michael York
Alfie Woodard
Hill Harper
Traci Ellis Ross, the daughter of Diana Ross.
Lisa Ling
Kelly Hu
Jurnee Smollett
Deidre Hall.
Victoria Hopper, the wife of Dennis Hopper, who chairs Women for Obama. I saw her working out of the Obama Wilshire Ave. office on Friday.

Local dignitaries are now being introduced.

New version of old slogan being rolled out right now...
"Fired Up! Ready to Vote!"

Bill Clinton spoke at a string of black churches in the area this morning.
"My case is for her," Clinton said. "I'n not against anybody. ...I get why this is a hard election."

There's a push here to get Independents to vote...who are officially called not Independents by "Declined to State" party preference voters.

From the Obama campaign...


CHICAGO – The Obama for America campaign today announced that it will run an ad during the Super Bowl in the majority of states holding nominating contests on February 5th, 9th, 10th and 12th.

Obama’s ad will run during the Super Bowl in markets in the following states:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Washington.

Here’s a link to the ad:

Below is the script of the ad:

“I’m Barack Obama and I approve this message. We want an end to this war and we want diplomacy and peace. Not only can we save the environment, we can create jobs and opportunity. We’re tired of fear; we’re tired of division. We want something new. We want to turn the page. The world as it is is not the world as it has to be.”

To: Interested Parties

From: Mark Penn, Chief Strategist

Date: Sunday, February 03, 2008

Re: New Information

Just yesterday I noted that people had very limited information on Sen. Barack Obama as we go into millions of people voting on the two candidates.

And then in the last two days we see three stories that illustrate the point very clearly about what Sen. Obama says about his views and record and what journalists find when they dig into the facts:

1) The New York Times on its front page explains how Sen. Barack Obama told voters he stood up to the nuclear power industry and how he passed a bill to require reports of any radioactive leaks after hearing from his constituents. But The Times discovers, after a lengthy examination, that the bill was watered down after meeting with Exelon, the company whose plants created the issue and whose key executives are big contributors and bundlers to his campaign. Answering written questions for the NY Times, the campaign, in the words of the paper, never "directly" explains why Sen. Obama would tell voters he passed a bill that in fact was not passed and did not become law.

2) The Chicago Tribune features a similar story on a different topic. While Sen. Obama on the stump tells people about the plight of Maytag workers who lost their jobs, ("Obama's fundraising collides with his rhetoric") the Tribune documents that the union covering those workers believes they got no help from the Senator, who was again taking significant contributions and bundling from one of the company's directors and biggest investors.

3) And yesterday there was an AP story where Senator Obama told the voters of Idaho: ''And then there are people who say, 'Well, he doesn't believe in the Second Amendment,' even though I come from a state -- we've got a lot of hunters in downstate Illinois. And I have no intention of taking away folks' guns.'' But he didn't disclose to those voters, as the AP said that "he does support gun control and has a record of voting for it in the Illinois Senate. He backed limiting handgun purchases to one a month, but he made no attempts to ban them." When he originally ran for the state legislature 12 years ago, he filled out a questionnaire saying he ''supported banning the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns.'' He gave the voters of Idaho no indication whatsoever of either his record in the State Senate or his prior views on the questionnaire.


I saw the ad, and personally I don't think it will sway Patriot fans. Patriot fans are patriots!

I'm dismayed by the Kennedy/ Shriver endorsements. It reminds me of all the things I haven't liked about the family for decades.

Was there ever a family who had lower expectations for their women? What has been their treatment of women historically, from Old Joe down to the youngest?

I know what your thinking....Monica. Bill has been surrounded by powerful women his whole life!

I'm a strong-willed republican woman, but Hillary is getting a raw deal. If a republican doesn't win, then I'd much rather see her in the W.H. Slogans can only take you so far.

Go Stevie Wonder!

You know maybe it's just time for all the candidates to just hush up about one another and let us vote? (That won't happen, I know. But wouldn't it be nice?) I don't see a lot of logic in the claims anyone's making right now. It's just a lot of heat and very little true light.
1. As far as Exelon goes, he either could not do anything about it, or perhaps he actually forgot the status of the bill? At any rate, the bigger issue would seem to be mothballing the nukes we've got--as they are a NET LOSS of energy. Perhaps focusing on reinvigorating solar energy panel installation tax credits? And perhaps after this primary celebrity stuff settles down a bit, the mainstream media will actually discuss our lack of a real energy policy? (Ahem).
2. I am not really certain what one Senator could have done for the Maytag workers, once NAFTA was out of the bag--and as far as the bundlers go, there's no direct line of sight between the bundlers' contributions and anybody's actions, are there? No smoking gun--just conjecture, it would seem.
3. As far as the gun control issue--handguns are not the gun of choice for hunting, unless I'm mistaken. (Did Dirty Harry ever take out Bugs Bunny with that magnum?)

Upon reflection--maybe the mainstream media is the one that needs to be quiet about the candidates before the vote. They certainly did not bring up a lot of things that might have kept Kucinich or Edwards in the race. I would not be surprised to see a strong 'protest' vote--but I would hope it's not interpreted as a protest against the two candidates still standing. I would see it as a protest against the mainstream media's coverage of the campaign. Ridiculing Kucinich (whose fight for his political life in Clevaland raises barely a media blip) and ignoring Edwards' potential surge after New Hampshire will be something that follows the corporate media for a long, long time. As it should. The slowness of reporting on the things a seemingly smarmy Penn highlights is the bigger problem. When a news item falls too late to matter, does it still qualify as news or is it just a form of informational wallpaper?

Jan from Amherst, MA

I was thinking the same thing. The boys club here in Illinois is thriving and well also. Senator Obama is part of that click. He and our other illustrious leaders will only support a woman whom they can control. Every female official or female candidate will tell you to watch your back. And the Kennedy cousins and Oprah fell right into that trap.

I hear Senator Obama and his supporters say "Change We Can Believe In" and "Yes We Can". What change are they really talking about and yes we can do what? Change for the sake of change (which anyone can do). Or change with a purpose and make sure it is a good change. The devil is in the details and until Senator Obama can cross all of the "I's and dot the "T's" I cannot vote for him.

Great Post Nancy when are people going to wake up. I am not even a registered Democrat and I am voting for Clinton.

Obama talks and talks.

I'm not going to cut off my nose to spite my face. I like that Hilary and Barack responded and adopted a lot of John's platform--particularly his ethos. Edwards made the other leading candidates stop fearing putting the 'details' in the message. And we've lost a bit of that since Edwards bowed out. I'll vote Barack, just as I'll vote for Hilary in the Fall. I just wish the media would stop framing this as a big-time wrestling battle of the 'good democrats' versus the 'bad ones'. Once either Hilary or Obama enter the fray I expect them to do the right thing--walk away from coal and nukes and ethanol (dirty and net losses of energy) and embrace solar and wind. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one...?

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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 February 3, 2008 2:52 PM.

Sweet column: Clinton, Obama California targets. Independents banned from GOP primary can vote in Dem contest, giving Obama an edge. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet column: Maria Shriver, Caroline Kennedy, Oprah Winfrey helping Obama target female, GOP and Independent voters. Stevie Wonder drops by. is the next entry in this blog.

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