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"Within reach," Obama says in Des Moines, after Oregon win, Kentucky thumping.

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WASHINGTON — Sen. Barack Obama staked a claim to the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday, sweeping Oregon but getting trounced by Sen. Hillary Clinton in Kentucky, exposing problems he might face in winning middle-class white votes in the fall campaign.

Obama traveled to Iowa, the swing state that handed him his first victory — crucial to establishing his viability — to mark at an outdoor rally in Des Moines the milestone of having won the majority of pledged delegates. He said he is “within reach” of the nomination, though he is short of the 2,026 delegates needed to clinch.


With party unity vital to Obama if he is to beat GOP presumptive nominee Sen. John McCain, Obama praised Clinton.

“We have had our disagreements during this campaign, but we all admire her courage and her commitment and her perseverance and no matter how this primary ends, Sen. Clinton has shattered myths and broken barriers and changed the America in which my daughters and yours will come of age.”

The Obama campaign emphasized his winning the majority of all the elected delegates Tuesday night as part of his drive for the support of the remaining superdelegates — public officials and elected officials — Obama needs to win.

With his wife, Michelle, and two daughters with him, Obama talked about his presidential journey.

“Change is coming to America, Iowa,” Obama said. “. . . That’s what I’ve seen here in Iowa. That’s what is happening in America — our journey may be long, our work will be great, but we know in our hearts we are ready for change, we are ready to come together, and in this election, we are ready to believe again.”

While the long primary campaign is winding down, Clinton campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson said Obama was declaring a premature victory, as Clinton pledged to keep on going through June 3, the last of the nominating contests.

By the time this historic Democratic primary contest is concluded, voters in all 50 states and the territories will have chosen either the first African American or first female to be a viable contender.

Clinton celebrated her big Kentucky landslide, 65 percent for her to 30 percent for Obama, in Louisville.

In Oregon, where Obama wound up his campaign with a massive rally of 75,000, he was beating Clinton 58 percent to 42 percent.

With votes still to be cast in Montana, South Dakota and Puerto Rico and the Democratic National Committee grappling with what to do with the disputed delegates from Michigan and Florida — punished because the states voted early, against party rules — Clinton said, “That’s why I am going to keep making our case until we have a nominee, whoever she may be.”

Obama needs only about 100 more delegates to secure the nomination based on the existing rules. Clinton’s only prayer is convincing the DNC rules and bylaws committee — meeting at the end of the month — to seat the Michigan and Florida delegates according to a formula that favors her. Even if she prevails, Obama is far enough ahead that he may win even without Florida.

Obama’s win in the Iowa caucus vote — in a nearly all-white state — was important because it demonstrated his broad appeal to whites and convinced skeptical blacks that the nation was ready to accept the biracial Obama. But race did become a factor in the more recent contests.

Kentucky exit polls showed seven in 10 whites voted for Clinton. Only one-third of Clinton backers said they would vote for Obama, with another 40 percent defecting to McCain and the rest saying they would stay home.

13 Comments

DEAR BITTER SWEET
I AM INCREDULOUS AT THE LACK OF INTESTINAL FORTITUDE OF THE MEDIA LIKE YOURSELF WHO POINT OUT NOT SENATOR OBAMA'S WEAKNESS BUT THAT OF THE "HARDWORKING, WHITE AMERICANS". WHAT YOU NEED TO PRINT IS NOT HIS WEAKNESS IS EXPOSED BUT THAT THE WEAKNESS OF OUR COUNTRY WHICH WAS AND IS RACISM. WE NEED TO BE TRUTHFUL THAT IT IS NOT ELITISM OR HIS DENIAL OF THE BENEFITS OF THE GAS HOLIDAY BUT HIS SKIN COLOR WHICH HAS THE UNEDUCATED, IGNORANT, "IE HARDWORKING" AMERICANS CONCERNED. IT IS THIS GROUP THAT WILL NOT VOTE FOR HIM AND IT IS THIS GROUP THAT HAS LATCHED ON TO THE SINKING SHIP WHICH IS HILLARY CLINTON. NOT BECAUSE THEY ENJOY HER POLICY BUT BECAUSE SHE IS WHITE. THE LACK OF ATTENTION OF THE REAL ISSUE IS A SLAP IN THE FACE OF INTELLIGENT PEOPLE WHO KNOW THIS IS NOT AN INABILITY TO CONNECT AS MUCH AS A REJECTION AND A REFUSAL TO OPEN THEIR IGNORANT MINDS. IT IS THE FAILURE OF THE MEDIA TO POINT OUT THIS OBVIOUS FACT THAT HAS GIVEN THE CLINTON CAMPAIGN A PASS. THIS LEFT THE DOOR OPEN FOR THE OVERTLY RACIST STATEMENT SHE MADE ABOUT SEN OBAMA NOT APPEALING TO "HARDWORKING WHITE AMERICANS" SHE SHOULD HAVE BEEN FORCED TO ISSUE AN APOLOGY AND HAVE BEEN LAMBASTED BUT INSTEAD THE MEDIA FOCUESED ON THIS NONISSUE AS TRUTH AND IGNORED THE RACIST UNDERTONE AND THE OVERALL IGNORANCE INVOLVED IN THIS ISSUE. SHAME ON HER AND SHAME ON YOU.

"Only one-third of Clinton backers said they would vote for Obama, with another 40 percent defecting to McCain and the rest saying they would stay home."

About this I would never vote for her and I told barak this my self when he was here last year.(Iowa) I will vote for him however I will not vote for her even if he was her vice pres. I will also not vote for her as the vice pres. So Its Barack Or I will Stay Home!!!!

Jenny

I just heard you on MSNBC talking about the difference between "Ore-gone" and Kentucky being the same as "the difference between latte and coffee". I almost choked on my coffee here in my white-working-class house in Ore-GUN. We are NOT higher income, higher education better-off. Some of us are wood-products workers losing our jobs to inferior products shipped here from China. The difference between us and Kentucky is.......... we're not in Appalachia!

Now that Senator Clinton has had her day and I think she hoped donations to bring down here debt it is time for her to take a long walk with Bill away from her million dollar a week advisors and start to mend fences for the future of our nation.
She needs to make some definitive statements to her base.
Racism, sexism, class-ism, even republicanism is a disease of fear. It has been at play in trying to move the electorate back to the idea that HRC was our most experienced and familiar candidate. Maybe you should fear what you don't know was a hammer that might sway voters back to the familiarity of another Clinton presidency. Clintons are familiar and well white.
A better organized, funded, energized, articulate and responsive campaign that pursued every state across America (even in KY and NV where these divides may be strongest) could not be denied. There are a lot of good people that are very disappointed and angry and willing to pull out there own isms that the reasons are pant suits and voice quality. In the end there is a nation of people that have reached a saturation point of frustration and are desperate to see someone different at the helm of our nation. They are not going swayed by guilt by association. Many of our pastors have beliefs we don't share. It's almost in the job definition of a cleric to attempt to make connections that are not entirely logical in their love for their parish. If you are of color and you look at our nation you can see it through the other side of the lens. Some things will look bigger and other things smaller. We, white people, allowed African American men to die from syphilis when we had treatment for them. We allowed them to infect others. People of the age of Rev Wright witnessed hate in its most blazing heat with lynching, church burning, separate fountains, bathrooms, and schools. Did we allow millions to die in Africa when treatment was available for HIV? Are you close enough with an African American to have ridden with them in a car and seen the behavior of some police officers? The statements of Rev Wright are sad and wrong but they have a context and Obama articulated this brilliantly in his books and in his speech in Philadelphia. This is not just beautiful rhetoric this is a man who has a sense of mission and not just ambition.
We need Sen. Clinton to quell this ferment and believe many will come to reconcile that they too were speaking out of fear. She need to "find her voice" of reconciliation. She needs to tell those that expressed color as the reason they could not vote for Obama that they are wrong and that she has and will vote for what is best for our nation and our world. She needs to tell her followers that sexism is not a reason to blame Obama. It does exist but would you rather be a white women or a black male? That Obama carries the flame forward for our nation and that she will need all of her base to energize with her in making this a historic moment in our nations history. If it is true that “hard working white Americans” are listening to her then it is her voice that needs to bring them behind Obama.
There will be few moments in our lives that define her or us better than now. Our future lies in building a unified party and nation.

Timothy Egan's blog post at the New York Times is worth a look. He argues that Obama's trouble with white voters is more a regional problem than a demographic one. Middle-income voters -- a group that's said to compose much of Clinton's base -- backed him in much greater numbers in Oregon than in Kentucky or West Virginia, which are likely to go Republican in November regardless of the Democratic candidate. Obama, Egan says, would do better to focus his efforts on swing states like Oregon or -- more important -- Pennsylvania, where most polls show him leading McCain despite having lost decisively to Clinton in the primary.

Obama is trying to be "within reach" in a ruthless end run around the Democratic presidential nomination process in an attempt to swipe the nomination from Sen. Clinton. If the ruthless Obama swipes the nomination, he will crash and burn in November and the Democratic Party will be a train wreck in November.

Obama's performance in Iowa was the demagoguery of a ruthless Chicago politician in an assault on the Democratic presidential nomination process.

Obama's Iowa rally and celebrating a "milestone" manifested his ruthless quest, driven by raw ambition, to swipe the presidential nomination from Sen. Clinton.

Obama's bogus "milestone" of getting a majority of the pledged delegates" was no "milestone" and has no significance or meaning and counts for nothing in the Democratic nomination process.

Obama cannot get the requisite number of pledged delegates for the nomination. The nomination is to be decided by the superdelegates with no regard to the "majority of the pledged delegates."

Superdelegates, with no integrity and no respect for counting every vote, have been siding with Obama daily in an orchestrated end-run conspiracy to swipe the nomination before FL and MI get resolved, and the remaining states vote their presidential preference.

Obama's "majority of pledged delegates" ploy is a ruthless end-run tactic around the Democratic nomination process. At the conclusion of the primary season when every vote is counted, the Democratic nomination process calls for superdelegates to have the integrity and courage to select the best qualified and strongest candidate to win the general election using their independent judgment with no regard to any "delegate math" or “majority of delegates.” Sen. Clinton is the best qualified and strongest candidate to win the general election; she is the Democratic presidential nominee.

Sen. Clinton must continue fighting for the future of America and all Americans. All rational Democrats need to support her campaign by making frequent contributions at HillaryClinton.com.


THE LADY LOST, I LIKE HER TENACITY BUT SHE MUST ACCEPT DEFEAT,
WHY DO YOU THINK THE NEW ORLEANS HORNETS AREN'T PLAYING ANY MORE
THEY LOST!
WHEN YOU LOSE, YOU MOVE ON, BUT SHE HAS YOU GUYS IN A FISHBOWL,
WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR JOB, DO YOU STAY AND WORK FREE, OF COURSE NOT,
YOU LEAVE, BUT IF YOUR NAME IS CLINTON, YOU TRY TO CIRCUMVENT
THE RULES, AND SAY I WANT ALL THE VOTES COUNTED, AND YOU KEEP
GETTING YOUR TAIL WHIPPED, AMERICA PLEASE EITHER VOTE FOR OBAMA
OR GET OFF THE POT, IF MCCAIN GETS IN THERE, WE ARE ALL IN TROUBLE!
HILLARY CLINTON CAN YOU HEAR THE WORDS THAT ARE COMING OUT OF MY
MOUTH, TELL YOUR SUPPORTERS TO VOTE FOR OBAMA!
GIVE THE MAN CREDIT HE RAN A SUPERB CAMPAIGN!
THAT'S THE PROBLEM YOU GUYS DON'T WANT TO GIVE HIM ANY CREDIT!
THIS ISN'T THE WIZARD OF OZ, THIS IS REAL LIFE, ONE PERSON WINS
AND ONE PERSON LOSES!

I can't believe that all of those Clinton backers, who say that they would not vote for Obama, are willing to endure four more years of a Republican administration after all of the hardships they have endured during last eight years under Bush, because of racism. Is that what they call, cutting off your nose to spite your face? Maybe it's so, because they voted Bush in for two terms and look whats happening now with prices going higer and higher everyday. Is racism more powerful than common sense?

IN MY OPINION BARACK OBAMA IS THE BEST QUALIFIED FOR THE JOB!
REASON BEING, IS THAT HE BEAT SENATOR CLINTON!
HE OUTRAISED HER IN MONEY!
HIS ORGANIZATION IS BETTER THAN HERS!
HE HAS REJUVENATED THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY!
THE KITCHEN SINK HAS BEEN THROWN AT HIM, FROM EVERY DIRECTION, AND
HE STILL STANDS TALL!
HE GIVES BETTER SPEECHES THAN MCCAIN AND CLINTON!
HE REPRESENTS SOMETHING NEW FOR AMERICA, I SAW THIS WITH HAROLD
WASHINGTON, THE FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN MAYOR OF CHICAGO!
FINALLY, HE HAS WON MORE STATES AND PRIMARIES THAN SENATOR CLINTON! HE DOESN'T HAVE TO LOAN MONEY TO HIS CAMPAIGN, HE'S
SUPER-ORGANIZED, AND HE HAS BEEN A GOD-SEND FOR AMERICA!
GOD BLESS THE OBAMA'S AND GOD BLESS AMERICA AND THE WORLD!
LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH AND GOODWILL TOWARD OUR FELLOW MEN
AND WOMEN!

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING FROM INFORMED DEMOCRATS TO DNC

To: DNC Members
From: Informed Democrats
Re: Understanding of Florida Primary Rule Violations
Date: Until Michigan and Florida are Seated

Dear Governor Dean & Esteemed DNC Members,

STATEMENT OF UNDERSTANDING: As an informed Democrat, I am seeking to understand when will, we, Democratic voters see true equity in the Democratic Presidential Primary race?

RULES OF UNDERSTANDING: According to the rules of the Florida Democratic Presidential Primary, agreed to by all Democratic Presidential Primary candidates, no Democratic candidate was to advertise in Florida prior to the Florida primary.

FACTS OF UNDERSTANDING: Senator Barack Obama purchased national cable advertising and advertised HEAVILY in the State of Florida prior to the January presidential primary.

REQUEST OF OUTCOME BASED ON UNDERSTANDING: When will Senator Barack Obama and his campaign receive written (and publicized) notification he is; therefore, disqualified from receiving ANY of the delegates he and his campaign are seeking when Florida is ultimately seated, based on he and his campaign’s failure to follow DNC rules?

EQUITY IN UNDERSTANDING: As a lifelong, Informed Democrat I know and understand you and the esteemed members of the DNC will do everything in your power to make an equitable decision in this matter, with liberty and justice for all.

THANK YOU FOR UNDERSTANDING INFORMED DEMOCRATS REQUEST: Thank you in advance for the time and attention you and the esteemed members of the DNC have and will give to this matter, because we know you and the members, hold that all men and women are related equal in DNC decision-making. Right?

THE ONLY UNDERSTANDABLE OUTCOME: Seat Michigan and Florida, as they are currently counted, and award the only Democratic candidate who can win in November the nomination-Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Why embarrass the Democratic Party any further by awarding the nomination to the media created Manchurian Candidate Obama and wait for the Republicans and the 529 to unload to the world Obama’s unelectable dirty laundry: Antoin Rezko, William Ayers, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Iraqi born Aiham Alsammarae, the former electricity minister convicted of corruption in Iraq and his deal with Obama and Rezko to build nuclear power plants in Iraq-a nation we are currently at war?

Democratically Yours,

YOU'RE GRASPING AT STRAWS!
YOU NEED TO READ A GOOD NOVEL!
GET ON THE OBAMA TRAIN OR DON'T CRY LATER, WHEN THE ECONOMY IS
MORE WORSE!
STOP TRYING TO REINVENT THE WHEEL!
THE MAN WON THE NOMINATION, GIVE HIM HIS DUE!
HILLARY CLINTON MAY HAVE INVENTED NEW MATHEMATICS!
I SAY IF OBAMA HASN'T WON, TEAR DOWN ALL THE SCOREBOARDS IN THE
COUNTRY, AND NEVER KEEP SCORE OF ANY EVENT EVER AGAIN!
I KNOW MCCAIN WOULD LOVE THAT!

Its the Democrats year. There turn, as they say. In 8 years the public will be turned-off by them and it'll be the GOP turn. But 2008 is the democrats time. Regardless, if its Barack or Hillary.

So having said that, "only Obama SUPPORTERS can keep Obama from the White House." Only they can get him beat.

Examples: The Jeremiah Wright's of the world. But also some biased out-of-control media people. Such as a Mary Mitchell. Who said, Obama was beaten in West Virginia by a bunch of high school graduates. Hmmm, high school graduates ! CODEWORD: dumb, white hicks ! Totally disrespectful and RACIST. Hey, the cities are Obama strongholds. And Urban America has a 50% drop-out rate from inner-city high schools. Yet I never heard Mitchell say, "Clinton was beaten by a bunch of drop-outs, did you?"

ATTENTION JOHN, YOU'RE ON THE WRONG BLOG, THIS IS LYNN SWEET'S
BLOG, IF YOU HAVE A BEEF WITH MARY MITCHELL, TELL HER ON HER BLOG
ABOUT HOW YOU FEEL, STOP NAME DROPPING, WE'VE COVERED THIS
ALREADY, OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT, NOT HIS FORMER PASTOR!
VOTE DEMOCRATIC OR THE ECONOMY WILL TAKE MORE OF A HIT!
THE GOP CAN'T WIN IN NOVEMBER, AND NEITHER CAN HILLARY!
BARACK OBAMA IS THE RIGHT MAN AT THE RIGHT TIME!
STOP FISHING WITH NO REEL!

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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 May 21, 2008 8:11 AM.

Obama Des Moines "within reach" speech. May 20, 2008 was the previous entry in this blog.

Obama beefs up press operation with big name Washington journalist Linda Douglass is the next entry in this blog.

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