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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 02/13/2008

Measuring the "Obama effect"

By Michael Dobbs

Voting in Alexandria, VA, Feb. 12, 2008.
."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."
--Barack Obama, This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Feb. 10, 2008.

Barack Obama is claiming that he has vastly expanded the Democratic electorate. The Illinois senator has pointed to his ability to attract "huge numbers" of independents and Republicans as one of his main advantages over Hillary Clinton, who appeals to more traditional Democratic voters.

It is true that participation in Democratic primaries has been significantly higher during the current election season than it was back in 2004. But it is leveling off now that the first round of voting is over. And Obama's claim to have "doubled turnout...in every single contest" is inaccurate.

The Facts

Turnout doubled, or almost doubled, in three of the first four contests on the Democratic 2008 election calendar. Participation in the suddenly relevant Nevada caucuses shot up more than tenfold since 2004. In the case of New Hampshire, however, turnout only increased by around 30 percent.

Turnout in Democratic Elections
State 2004 2008
Iowa 124,000 239,000
New Hampshire 221,309 288,503
Nevada 9,000 117,599
South Carolina 280,000 532,000

SOURCE: State voting data

Michael McDonald, a voting data expert at George Mason University, says it is difficult to measure the "Obama effect" on turnout. "We are definitely seeing higher turnout among younger people and African Americans, and those seem to be the groups of people who are voting for Obama. There is at least a correlation there."

On the other hand, McDonald says he is "not entirely sure" that Obama is driving the higher turnout trend. He points out that interest in the 2008 campaign would likely be high regardless of the candidates, given the importance of the issues and the absence of incumbents. Participation by young people appears to have fallen off between the initial round of voting in Iowa and New Hampshire and Super Tuesday.

Overall voter turnout has also declined from a high of 52 per cent in New Hampshire to 30 percent in South Carolina to 29 percent on Super Tuesday. McDonald said he was expecting turnout in the low 20s in Virginia in Tuesday's primary, caused partly by a dropoff in interest in the Republican race as John McCain consolidates his front-runner position.

To explore voter turnout issues further, visit McDonald's website at GMU here. For a detailed breakdown of primary results, visit the Green Papers site here.

The Pinocchio Test

Obama is exaggerating his impact on turnout. He can fairly take some of the credit for increased participation, particularly in the early caucus states and South Carolina, where his well-organized ground effort helped mobilize hundreds of thousands of new voters. But Professor McDonald says he has "yet to see any evidence" that the phenomenon will carry over into the general election, even if Obama is the Democratic nominee.

(About our rating scale.)

By Michael Dobbs  | February 13, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  2 Pinocchios, Barack Obama, Candidate Record, Candidate Watch  
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Next: Obama's 'backroom deal'?

Comments

The increased turnout for Dems is not necessarily beneficial to them. I wonder how many are voting simply for the most viable anti-Hillary candidate.

The loony left/Daily Kos types are voting against her because she's not liberal enough, most others vote against her because she's either too liberal or carries too much ethical baggage (e.g. Whitewater, Travelgate).

But in a general election, Obama's shallow resume won't look good. Zero executive experience, wishy-washiness over Iraq, tall budget tales on the stump about universal health care that neither citizens nor government has to fund. Identity politics won't carry him that far when Republicans and independents are voting too, especially with an experienced candidate running against him.

The Dems' advantages are of course 1) the Bush fatigue that the MSM news pages have been cheerleading for; 2) John McCain can't fire up the conservative base all that well; and 3) John McCain's age will be a question mark that may not outweigh his far superior experience.

Posted by: The Angry One | February 13, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Power corrupts, but it takes time.

The more 'experience' you have in power, the more corrupt you are.

I say people should be dragged kicking and screaming into the White House.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 13, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

It is apparent to me that there is a high level of interest in general to get rid of aristocratic presumptive nominees.

Posted by: Elsa Anders | February 13, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

one of the major themes of the Clinton campaign has been that the New York Senator is "battle-tested" and better prepared to take on McCain and the right wing attacks. But that has been turned on its head by the fact that a junior Senator from Illinois has ended up putting the Clinton campaign on the ropes. It's hard to argue that you can demolish John McCain when you can't decisively defeat an opponent who came from nowhere, with no national name recognition, in your own party's primary. That is just common sense.

Posted by: Eyong Ebot,Gainesville,GA | February 13, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

WHY IS THERE SO MUCH HATE AGAIST THIS MANS JOURNEY IM STARTING TO BELIEVE THAT IT IS GOING TO TURN OUT TO BE ABOUT RACE WITH OUR PARTY HE HAS A PROVIN TRACK RECORD IN ILLINOISE THERE WERE MANY WHO DIDNT AGREE WITH THE WAR AND MANY WHO STILL BELEIVE WE HAVE A CHANCE TO ALLOW DIPLOMACY TO HELP US EXIT OUT OF THIS UNFORSAKEN WAR NOT THE CRONIES OF RUSFIELD CHANNEY AND FATHER BUSH WHO ARE ALL PART OF THE SKULL AND CROSS BONE WHO ALL WERE APART OF THE NIXON CABINET AND WHO ALL HAVE STOLEN FROM AMERICA AND ITS SAD TO SAY BUT I WILL LEAVE THE REPUBLICAN PARTY DOESNT HELP MCCAIN PULL AWAY FROM THE OLD ADMINISTRATION AND SHOW SOME INDIVIDUAL DIRECTION FOR THIS COUNTRY WE ALL LOVE WE CANNOT STAY ON THIS SAME COURSE NO MATTER WHO IS COMMANDER AND CHIEF.GOD BLESS AMERICA.

I HOPE THIS GETS POSTED.

Posted by: AREPUBLICAN | February 13, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Just to look critically at a picture of Hillary Clinton the person, is enough for me to turn to anyone but her.

This woman is the very personification of corrupt politics.

Posted by: owlafaye | February 13, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I think the notion that being an experienced candidate implies corruption is ridiculous. The fact is that the Clinton's have survived a level of scrutiny not posed to many candidates, and have been vindicated with the exception of Bill's private indiscretions. The real implication is not necessarily that Clinton has a lot of baggage, but that it will be hard to hurt her credibility beyond what has already been done if she were to become the nominee. Obama on the other hand, being untested in terms of serious general election attacks, has a long way to fall once real attacks are launched. Clinton's cheif weakness in a national election will be a perception of liberalness which has, to some extent, been derailed as she has struggled to win the nomination of the party of the left. I think her success in working with Republicans as a senator will help her more in a general election than it has in winning over a party more angry than thoughtful.

Posted by: ANINDEPENDENT | February 13, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"Just to look critically at a picture of Hillary Clinton the person, is enough for me to turn to anyone but her.

This woman is the very personification of corrupt politics."

What are you referring to owlafaye?

Has there been some illegal activity that K. Starr missed?

Posted by: RepublicanTexan | February 13, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the "Fact Checkers" should check the ACTUAL quotes for facts not their own distorted quotations:

" And Obama's claim to have "doubled turnout...in every single contest" is inaccurate."

Isn't it nice how the "Fact Checkers" conveniently left out of the quote the key word "essentially"? Makes you wonder what the fact checkers' agenda is?

Posted by: Tim | February 13, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

This article is what I'm going to comment on.

The article is making an attempt to side with a particular candidate and discredit his comments. Well, since it's a mathematical argument, lets say his comment was an averaging, and were you do average the percentage increases it would be well over doubling. Therefore, this whole article is an attempt to slander someone based on a completely arbitrary point.

Next.

Posted by: David | February 13, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Very simple. Hillary had it. Hillary lost it. It was hers to lose. And she did.

Posted by: allforchange | February 13, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Give the man a break, he's on a run and there's no need to rain on this particular float in his parade! Four score and seven years, did someone's fathers bring forth on that continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal? In conventional terms, probably not -- as you with your slide rules and pocket protectors would be glad to document -- but truth is relative, and if we want to believe, we will!

Posted by: killjoy | February 13, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I think that the problem I have with this article is that the arbiters of this election process have changed. Even with the statistical information that is being used and has been used for quite a while - it is clear that the game has changed and the media are not plugged in. Not only that, they are losing the influence and control over the process. The real statistics are at ground level. Barack Obama is winning because of a fundamental change in the electorate. Until you are able to tap into that, which you really can't because of the nature of this election virus, you will continue to sound out of sync and not on pulse.

Thank you for listening.

Posted by: Li Williams | February 13, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Question: you only checked the doubling of turnout... does that mean the independents and republicans are voting in the dem primary for obama?

Kinda nit-picking here aren't we considering obama did have the "essentially" weasel word in that statement. I'm guessing slow campaign time these days?!

Posted by: Hmmm | February 13, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

First of all, why don't you compare the turnout between the Republican primaries/caucuses to the Democratic ones, like in Virginia, a "red" state, as I believe, where the voter turnout was 2 to 1 in favor of Democrats, or D.C., where the difference was more than I'm willing to calculate. Hey, "Angry", why don't you try to spin those numbers your way. Or should I say "no-spin" those numbers, as your reference to the "loony left" clearly demonstrates that you are nothing but an O'Reilly ditto head, and therefore unable to espouse viewpoints of your own, or to get your head around the issues on which you do speak. Go back and pray at the alter of Bill O'Reilly why don't ya...

Posted by: Dont Listen to "Angry" | February 13, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

This article is nonsense. First of all, where has obama tried to take the type of credit that is claimed in this article? I see no citation, and having listened to a lot of what he has said, I've never seen him say "I have single handedly doubled voter turnout", etc., which is what this article claims. I can tell you this though, I caucused because of Obama.

Second of all, if this guy thinks that turnout for Obama won't be through the roof in November he is kidding himself.

Posted by: Jeff | February 13, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

If Michael McDonald, voting data "expert", is a professor, then I truly fear for his students.

Posted by: Harrison | February 13, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I think that the statements made by Obama, taken for what they are--campaign rhetoric--do represent "the truth". Empirically, each state's numbers may not have doubled, but his characterization is close enough that it should not be construed as not true or an exaggeration.

If not for Obama this would be just another election cycle. This is the first time in 40 years (since RFK) I have seen people so engaged and enamored with a candidate. He has hit a chord with people whose hopes have been sequestered since 1980 when Ted Kennedy's campaign of passion and hope was snuffed out by the cold yet methodical Carter election apparatus--and look what we got. We've had 28 years of polarizing small minded politics driven by special interests on all sides. People are sick of it!

You would have to ignore the reality on the ground to characterize this as a Pinocchio statement.

Posted by: Layne | February 13, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

HILLARY!!!!!!!!

DONT LET IT GET AWAY FROM YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!


DO SOMETHING!!!!!!!

WE AMERICANS NEED YOU!!!!!!!!!!

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

Posted by: lynn parker | February 13, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Hey Fact Checker...Check This...Everyone stated at the benginning that Obama youth strategy would backfire like Howard Dean..well it didn't. So...if those young voters did not turn out, there would not be this amount of influx.

So...what REALLY are your "Fact" checking?

Posted by: Fact | February 13, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

This whole notion that Barack Obama has not been throughly vetted is absolutely stupid. It's not like the Clinton's haven't thrown everything they had at him. Renko, he's a Muslim, his middle name is Hussein, he's the black candidate, the established candidate, it's all a fairly tale, his kindergarten report, he's Cheney's cousin...blah blah blah! And guess what, it ain't working! So the new rhetoric is "we've been nice so far but wait til the Republican have a go at him"....LOL! Pathetic! The Clinton's tactics in regards to Obama's surge is transparently desperate. And the fact that Clinton supporters regurgitate these tired talking points while they themselves hurl insults at Obama would be laughable if they weren't so pathetic.

Posted by: Ayana | February 13, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

What I hear from both Left, Right and Middle; Dem, GOP and Indy: "Enough with the fat cat life time politicians. They don't represent me, and I am ready for a clean sweep of Wash DC to get some new blood and perspective in."

Looks like Trouble with a capital T for Clinton and McCain.

Posted by: Kevin | February 13, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

The total of 2004 turnout listed above is less than 54% of the turnout for 2008. It seems you had to stretch for your "facts".

Here's another fact your should look into and then print. Look at the percentage differences between Obama and Clinton in the states that each won on super tuesday. Let's see you print those facts.

Posted by: paulf | February 13, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

After 220 years and no Woman ever President, a 55% majority population, Democrats Instead want an unvetted Freshman 12% minority Senator?

The District Population is 65% Black, so they Voted for Obama? Understandable.

But in Va, Md, and D.C. "White Men voted for Obama in larger numbers", because most are Conservative Southern "Blue Dog" Democrats, Who Will Vote McCain in 2008 Election. "They got Rid of Hillary", because they know: "Since 1960 John Kennedy IS ONLY LIBERAL EVER ELECTED! Liberals '72 McGovern, '84 Mondale, '88 Dukakis, and '04 Kerry ALL LOST! Only Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were able to Defeat Republicans!

Teddy Kennedy-Kerry Boston Irish Liberal Left Hijacked Moderate Democrat Clinton Presidency? Thank You Teddy & Kerry! Welcome President John McCain!

Open Your Eyes! Why are the Pro-Republican Media & Pundits ONLY ATTACKING Mrs CLINTON, and Hyping on Obama? They Know Lefty Liberal Barak Hussain Loses against McCain, but not Hillary Rodman- She "Is Vetted" by 5 Year Investigations by Ken Starr & Republican Power Base - With NO RESULTS!

Their Obama Nomination Strategy allows "Swiftboating Barak Hussein", they know there is a lot to Dig Up to Slime and Win! The Republican Slime Machine has quietly started... even before his Nomination!
www.freedomsenemies.com/_more/obama.htm

It WAS "All About Experience and ability to Fight" To REPAIR 8-year Republican "taxbreaks for rich" Mal-Administration, rampant Federal Law violations, and 235 Documented War of Choice Lies, a bankrupt Economy....
So Now Republicans and Media will have President McCain IRAN War Commander in Chief

Posted by: A Scot | February 13, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I find nothing factual about the Fact Checker other than they seem to side with Sen. Clinton.

Firstly, i`m a Zimbabwean in Harare and may not know much about American politics but it is outright journalistic incompetence to bring forward an argument and not back it up by facts. Could you give us turnout in the rest of the states after the Nevadan caucus. Could you explain the record turnout in South Carolina, wasn`t Idaho a record, did not the tables turn in Kansas, in New Mexico as in Maryland, they ran out of ballots.

Didn`t Alabama and Arkansas witness firsts? And you guys claim that the field is levelling off now. Huh? Did you follow DC and Virginia - a Red State in which Senator Obama`s support proved well ahead of all the other contenders, Democratic or Republican, and uncommitted as well. Maybe this column should be called "Fact Deniers"

Posted by: Crown Prince pH | February 13, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

hillay has been told to be nice...he prefers her to be nice...because she could blow his cover of just being a politcian in disguise... he doesn't impress me as much as some of you have been impressed, maybe it's because, i, like hillary, have had some tough experiences, and see him as too counter productive to be a president.
maybe if i had all the money the kennedys have i would endorse him too because he'll be easy to fit into their lifestyle...
i think he can't take critisim and that is what hillary should do to set him off...

Posted by: joyce mid america | February 13, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe that the fact-checkers would waste space to contest Obama's "doubling" quote. What a waste of journalism. Comment on Hillary's power pants or McCain's "enthusiasm".

The fact is Obama has doubled the vote in most places, not all. Let go Luke.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 13, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Hillary is the canditate for me. The Whitewater thing was and is an unfounded slander. For us who remember, there was no evidence of wrong-doing by the Clintons. You who post such crap shame America.
The high turn-out of voters is because of her as well as Obama but also, the result of our disgust of our current administration.
If you want to cite criminal and corruption, turn your hatred toward the ones who are actually getting away with it. Boy George, and Cheesy Cheney.

Posted by: cynthia | February 13, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Given the context of a campaign, high stress little sleep, I'd say your numbers, rather than contradict, generally back-up Obama's statement.

Posted by: David Trotman | February 13, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

This transplanted Netherlander who is a legal citizen is very interested in this election.

I've noticed a serious case of Clinton backers from middle to old aged women. They have surprised me with the vicious arguments against Barack Obama. No kidding, these women appear to be female Karl Roves.

On the McCain side, I see a lot of middle to old aged men that don't seem to be truly happy with him. It sure beats me how he is going to get the Republican lead when nobody seems to really like him.

With Obama I see younger, but plenty of middle aged people of all races and genders backing him. The message is loud and clear "all of you stink, we want someone new." So the "experience" factor is actually negative. Clinton's and McCain's experience beating up on opponents while not really doing much is going to hurt them in my opinion.

This article is typical of the mainstream media that is so incestuous with the Clintons. It tries to subtly slam Obama, but the facts are so evident, it smells just like what it is: barnyard waste.

Posted by: Joop deBruin | February 13, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I ask one question. What change does Obama bring? On all of the issues, his answer is not much different then Hillary's answer. On his record, he made one decision differently and honestly at the time, it was the wrong decision considering the political climate and the state of our nation's security. So what change does he bring? He avoids talking about the issues at every turn and tries to separate his campaign by saying he doesn't want more washington politics. Isn't he a senator in washington? How is he going to bring change? He is so far in over his head he can't let go of this stupid slogan. Let's face it, his stance on the issues are pretty much democratic and he will have to answer to the democratic party the same as any democratic president will. I hear a lot of talk but haven't heard anything of substance from his campaign. He won't beat McCain as McCain is the most liberal republican put up in a very long time. The conservative republican base will stay home if McCain doesn't pick a decent VP to bring the party together. Out of these three candidates, he has the most experience and is very easily trusted. Heck Joe Lieberman backs him. Talk about winning the Independent vote. The republicans will rip Obama to shreds, not on anything more than the plain fact that he really can not define what this "change" is that he brings unless he himself identifies it as a race thing and that would be very sad. Hillary probably would have a fighting chance if she weren't a woman. She's still that girl in school doing all her homework the best but quietly lets other kids in the class get a chance to answer the teacher's questions when she goes over the homework. If she weren't so misguided by her campaign staff by running this whole thing like the heir apparent she could have done much better. Who knows. So Obama brings mysterious change, McCain brings rock solid safety and history and Clinton may never get a chance to bring anything. No one can take responsibility though for the voter turn out. I think the American people are fed up with the way things are today. I don't think any of these candidates can separate themselves with their own agendas in the first 100 days of a presidency until they get out their broom and clean up the current mess. The question is who can clean a house the most efficiently.

Posted by: lynnzzz | February 13, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

" I don't think any of these candidates can separate themselves with their own agendas in the first 100 days of a presidency until they get out their broom and clean up the current mess. The question is who can clean a house the most efficiently."

I would submit that McCain and Clinton have been tied to Washington so long, they thrive in the dirt. Obama is new enough to not revel in the filth of the government, and therefore is best to clean the White House and its cabinet!

Posted by: Joop deBruin | February 13, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Joop - Obama brings his own skeletons. Clinton has held one legitimate office on her own. McCain has proven he does not roll over. I think Obama needs to be trained as he'll most likely miss the corners as a child would. I think he means well but is unfortunately not prepared and will easily be managed once in office. And there are so many wanting to manage him already. Geeze they are lining up between all of his endorsements and contributors. He's an easy target.

Posted by: Confused Undecided | February 13, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Why can't Dems see the opportunity presented? We could have Hillary in office for potentially 8 years and Barack in office for the next 8 years potentially. Why can't we imbrace what each of these people can bring to the table. Hillary 2008 & 2012; Barack 2016 and 2020.... 16 years to accomplish the Dem changes that this country needs.
People on one hand say Hillary is old Washington but on the other say she really doesn't have experience.... which is it? Barack will be great given some time and opportunity. Come on Dems..... wise up and stop letting the hype determine our party.

Posted by: Mary- Lawrence KS | February 13, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

There are many things that Obama and Clinton have in common, and a few where they differ (in my opinion, mostly in the categories of diplomacy, rhetorical skill, and personal appeal). However, if we must stretch so far for differences that we paint Senator Clinton as an emotional (read manipulative) campaigner, let's just have a look at her voting record and look at Senator Obama's as well:

"Senator Clinton, who has served only one full term (6yrs.), and another year campaigning, has managed to author and pass into law, (20) twenty pieces of legislation in her first six years.

These bills can be found on the website of the Library of Congress (www.thomas.loc.gov), but to save you trouble, I'll post them here for you.

1. Establish the Kate Mullany National Historic Site.
2. Support the goals and ideals of Better Hearing and Speech Month.
3. Recognize the Ellis Island Medal of Hon
4. Name courthouse after Thurgood Marshall.
5. Name courthouse after James L. Watson.
6. Name post office after Jonn A. O'Shea.
7. Designate Aug. 7, 2003, as National Purple Heart Recognition Day.
8. Support the goals and ideals of National Purple Heart Recognition Day.
9. Honor the life and legacy of Alexander Hamilton on the bicentennial of his death.
10. Congratulate the Syracuse Univ. Orange Men's Lacrosse Team on winning the championship.
11. Congratulate the Le Moyne College Dolphins Men's Lacrosse Team on winning the championship.
12. Establish the 225th Anniversary of the American Revolution Commemorative Program.
13. Name post office after Sergeant Riayan A. Tejeda.
14. Honor Shirley Chisholm for her service to the nation and express condolences on her death.
15. Honor John J. Downing, Brian Fahey, and Harry Ford, firefighters who lost their lives on duty.
Only five of Clinton's bills are more substantive:

16. Extend period of unemployment assistance to victims of 9/11.
17. Pay for city projects in response to 9/11
18. Assist landmine victims in other countries.
19. Assist family caregivers in accessing affordable respite care.
20. Designate part of the National Forest System in Puerto Rico as protected in the wilderness preservation system.

There you have it-the facts straight from the Senate Record.

Now, I would post those of Obama's, but the list is too substantive, so I'll mainly categorize.

During the first (8) eight years of his elected service he sponsored over 820 bills. He introduced:

233 regarding healthcare reform,
125 on poverty and public assistance,
112 crime fighting bills,
97 economic bills,
60 human rights and anti-discrimination bills,
21 ethics reform bills,
15 gun control,
6 veterans affairs and many others.

His first year in the U.S. Senate, he authored 152 bills and co-sponsored another 427. These inculded:

**the Coburn-Obama Government Transparency Act of 2006 (became law),
**The Lugar-Obama Nuclear Non-proliferation and Conventional Weapons Threat Reduction Act, (became law),
**The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, passed the Senate,
**The 2007 Government Ethics Bill, (became law),
**The Protection Against Excessive Executive Compensation Bill, (In committee), and many more."

[stats quoted from comments section of http://embeds.blogs.foxnews.com/2008/02/04/obama-campaign-memo-re-february-5th/]

Posted by: AnaLu | February 13, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

It would also be interesting to look at the rate of independents voting in open Democratic contests this go around compared to other competitive races -- 2004 or 1992.

Just anecdotally the turnout in the caucus states has been huge. A four-fold increase in Idaho from 5,000 to 21,000 (and this in really nasty weather conditions on Feb. 5th) with something like 80% of the vote going to Obama's column. It doesn't take a statistician to see that he is having an impact on turnout.

Part of this is due to the competitive nature of the race -- but part is his ability to move independents, GOP cross-over voters, and new voters.

Posted by: JP2 | February 13, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

This is a reality check for most Democrats especially those whose support for Hilary is mainly based on experience. What really matters is the kind of policy a candidate is bringing to the table. What Obama lacks in experience can be replaced by a good supporting team. All he has to do is surround himself with a very good team of experienced folks; and that easily fixes that problem. So stop scaring people! It's not like he is going to make all the decision by himself, however, you and I know that what is needed is the kind of analytical and policy driven mind like that of Obama to lead the pack. So if Hilary continues preaching the experience message, part of which included being in favor of an unpopular war, she's going no where. As evident from the results so far it is clear that people are not buying that experience story anymore. They are willing to give change a chance. By the way, it is not wrong to not have a Clinton or Bush in toe oval office. Obama is great and he will don fine! He sending shivers to the Republicans.

Posted by: BuzzEd | February 13, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Yes, if Hillary had won 8 victories in a row as Obama did, what Obama said would have been accurate if said by her; but since that is not the case, Obama's factual assertion is quickly dismissed by the the pseudo-intellectual fact checker. Also, when Obama wins each contest, oh he did so because of Black votes, bue when he wins in Washington State, oh that is because of highly educated and high-earning professionals voting for him. When will you biased commentators stop making excuses for your favored but fast-losing Clintonian Clintons? Are you afraid that a win by Obama is a defeat of the two Clintons? Only time will tell

Posted by: Professor Ogbaa | February 13, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it premature for Professors McDonald and Pinocchio to draw any definitive conclusions, especially since his statements are based on voting up to Super Tuesday? It's obvious that Obama was basing his statistic on Iowa only, and that cannot be disputed. It seems that Pinocchio might have other, more salient issues and comments to investigate. Also, since when is one source considered enough basis for defining "the truth." If the Fact Checker is only going to rely on other "experts" he may as well refer everything to the Bible. Isn't that the single source people check for "truth?"

Posted by: TJK | February 13, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

The Obama effect, largely created by the media.

Delegate apportionment and media favoritism help Obama:
picture of popular majority obscured

Obama is an exciting and inspirational figure, in part because the media have done his heavy lifting and promoted him as the shepherd of all mankind-- with few questions put to him about his preparedness to herd his flock.

The picture media have painted of Hillary is far less flattering-- the overbearing-micromanaging-tired-old-house-mom-career vixen-in-post menapause-with-a-philandering-husband. Under this deluge of media ridicule, it's pretty hard for Hillary to trump a more handsome and charismatic figure like Obama. Although he is accomplished, Obama has a much shorter record of public service to put under the microscope.

We know less about how these two will govern because all we see is a rock star and an overly ambitious dominatrix trading sound bites through media proxies. It's like a twisted Survivor series with little at steak.

The clashing portrayals of the two and the DNC's delegate apportionment system, obscure the true picture of the electorate-- to the peril of the Democrats and the detriment of a viable and accomplished public servant who could do some good.

I won't try to fake neutrality here; I strongly support Hillary, and so do the majority of Democratic voters. If the primaries were winner-take-all, Hillary would be far ahead in delegates, and it would further reflect that she is ahead in the national popular vote. The popular vote is pretty important in giving legitimacy to the winner of any election, but the media fail to put Hillary's popularity in perspective because they simply don't like her.

In propping up Obama and tearing down Hillary, the media are dangerously close to fracturing the Democratic party as they did in 1972. Then too was an emerging grassroots candidate who promised an abrupt end to an ill-advised, costly and unpopular war. His chief rival, Hubert Humphrey, offered a more practical approach to ending the war, but he was virtually ignored by the press. The media chose McGovern, put him on pedestal, and promoted him as the populist candidate throughout the primaries.

McGovern went on to win the nomination while Humphrey had actually won the popular vote. In retaliation, many prominent Democrats, including party leaders, endorsed Richard Nixon for President.

McGovern was trounced like a narc at a biker rally in the general election, and only Watergate could propel a Democrat to the White House four years later.

The media could be setting Obama up for a huge fall, and his ground breaking candidacy could plague future minority candidates if he is also trounced like McGovern was.

If the primaries were winner take all, Hillary would lead 1,126 to 993 over Obama in delegates- even after the Potomac primaries, and she would still lead in the popular vote. Under the current delegate system, Hillary would also be ahead if only Floridians could seat their delegates.

But the media are not paying attention to any of this.

I hope the media know what their doing and that they've picked a winner. I'm a Democrat and will vote for the winner of the two in general election.

I just ask the media to please just be right about this one!

Posted by: Daniel | February 13, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

If you want to fact check something, how about fact checking the Clinton claim that she is entitled to delegates from Michigan and Florida?

Posted by: optimyst | February 13, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

An interesting note, even though it mathematically impossible for Huckabee to win, people still vote for him. So the key question will people vote for the individual who has momentum or will they vote for the individual whom they believe in.

So Is Barack Obama Inevitable?

http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=1736

.

Posted by: Jeff | February 13, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

WHY JOHN EDWARDS BELIEVERS SHOULD SUPPORT BARACK OBAMA:

Can We Still Build One America? Yes We Can
ï‚·
(Note: I was the former Director of Online Engagement for John Edwards for President. The following reflects only the personal views of the author, and in no way represents the views of John Edwards, his campaign, nor anyone else currently or formerly affiliated with his campaign.)
The first time I spoke to John Edwards about joining his campaign, I mentioned the Wellstone quote that's in my email signature, 'Politics isn't about big money or power games; it's about the improvement of people's lives.' His voice brightened considerably. "That, right there," he said, "is the point of this campaign." I believed him. I gave up everything and moved to Chapel Hill. And that remained the point of our campaign for One America through the very end.
Now I, like many Edwards people, face a choice we never wanted, but we cannot ignore. We must decide after John, which remaining candidate is the best bet to finish what we started -- making real improvements in the lives of the people who really need it?
After many conversations, comparisons, and soul searching, my personal answer, and my advice to other Edwards believers wrestling with the same question, is Barack Obama. Here's why:
The Issue
Throughout the campaign, John Edwards talked about ending poverty in America as the moral challenge of our generation. For me, this was always at the heart of our effort to build One America. And no issue better represents our fierce commitment to look out for one another, not because it's politically popular, but because it's just the right thing to do.
So which candidate would be most likely to fulfill the dream of ending poverty in our time? It can't be about simple agreement. Surely, both candidates would flip a switch to end poverty right now, if they could. No, it's about priority. Changes this big require leaders to put it all on the line and inspire a nation to stand up and join them. So the real question is: Who is more willing to put this cause front and center, and who is more able to get the job done?
I'm a web guy. So I went to the campaign websites to see what they had to say. Here's what I found:
The Commitment
Obama lists "poverty" on his main issues list, which is accessible from any page on his site. It links to a dedicated page that names the problem of 37 million Americans still trapped in poverty, and offers a 15 point anti-poverty agenda to solve it.
Obama's proposals run the gamut from familiar progressive pillars like indexing the minimum wage to inflation, all the way to innovative new projects like replicating the highly successful "Harlem Children's Zone" in 20 high risk neighborhoods across the country.
His agenda includes plans for creating entry level jobs, reducing recidivism, anti-poverty tax reforms, pre-natal care for at risk populations, urban community development funds and significant rural investment.
Hillary, unfortunately, does not list poverty (or any equivalent) amongst her major issues. Nor, as far as I can tell, does the word "poverty" appear on any of her policy pages. I don't doubt for a moment that Hillary genuinely cares about poor people. But how can you lead a nation to combat a problem you don't even mention?
Because there is no "poverty" issue page, an apples-to-apples comparison of their agenda is tough. Hillary's "Strengthening the Middle Class" page, presumably the closest thing, has nine proposals. But if you take out items that either affect poverty only incidentally (like "Returning to fiscal responsibility") or explicitly aren't about the poor, (like "Lowering taxes for middle class families") you're left with only five points. And that's counting three proposals, ("Hillary's Innovation Agenda," a "Strategic Energy Fund" and "Confronting growing problems in the housing market") which might very well help reduce poverty, but they don't mention how, or seem explicitly designed to even try.
I'm not a policy expert, and I'm not qualified to parse the details. But I do think there's a clear difference in priority here. And while the details of plans will invariably change, core commitments will not. Obama comes out ahead.
The Record
Another way to tell what a candidate will prioritize in the future is what they've chosen to prioritize in the past. As a voter I can't know either candidate personally or fact-check the mountains of he-said-she said on every side. So once again, I went to the websites to let the candidates speak for themselves.
Obama's poverty page references his work in the Illinois legislature expanding tax credits for the poor and fighting for affordable housing. Hillary's site makes no coherent case for her record on poverty, but does frequently reference her accomplishments on some important relevant issues, such as children's health care.
It's perhaps even more instructive to look back at the choices they made before they knew anyone was looking, and how they talk about those choices now.
Obama's "Meet Barack" page describes his first job as a Chicago community organizer as a choice to "improve living conditions in poor neighborhoods plagued with crime and high unemployment." It goes so far as to say Obama chose a career in politics specifically as a long term strategy to "truly improve the lives of people in that [poor] community and other communities." In the list of overall issues he works on now, the very first is: "the poverty exposed by Katrina". Not bad.
"Hillary's Story" also shows admirable commitment. It describes how she ran a legal aid clinic for the poor when she first arrived in Arkansas, and that Carter appointed her to the board of "the United States Legal Services Corporation, a federal nonprofit program that funds legal assistance for the poor."
The distinction here is somewhat subjective. To my mind, Obama's career choice was likely more deeply formative, more comprehensive as an anti-poverty strategy and more noteworthy in its lack of connection to routes towards traditional success. But honestly, they both deserve real credit, and the fact that both major contenders for the nomination began their careers in these ways makes me proud to be a Democrat. Onward.
The Movement
If the candidate's commitment and record tell us who is most willing, how can we evaluate who is most able? From where I sit, both Hillary and Obama appear to be both highly intelligent, competent people. But as John Edwards so often reminded us, no president can end poverty on their own. Transformational change of that magnitude requires an equally large movement of people fighting to make it happen. So who is building that movement?
Again, I'm a web guy. If you look at the numbers, they both have passionate grassroots support, but the difference is clear. Obama supporters have created 9x more local groups, 10x more national groups, and 15x more personal blogs. Obama's web traffic, donors, and online to offline volunteers smash all records. And I can tell you, there's no technology or trick to generate that kind of energy -- it just has to be real.
But this goes beyond the numbers, and yes, far beyond the web. After all, Barack Obama isn't John Edwards, and I can't know if he'll actually put ending poverty at the top of his agenda. But by inspiring millions of people to believe in their own power to create change, I do know his campaign is laying the groundwork for those of us who will.
The Future
We always thought of winning the presidency as merely the first step in a generational effort to build One America -- and so it remains. We must keep speaking out, organizing, and fighting at every opportunity -- in every town hall, statehouse, Congressional house and the Whitehouse until poverty is history and the dream of One America dream becomes reality.
And right now, I believe we have to pick our best hope for a president who will be a partner in that effort. If Hillary is nominated she will deserve our vigorous support. But because of his commitment, his record, and his unique ability to swell our ranks with people fired up and ready to begin the struggle of a lifetime, I believe Barack Obama is that best hope.
So, can we still build One America? Yes. Yes we can.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 13, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Obama's pastor disses Natalee Holloway
'White girl goes off and gives it up' in Aruba, preacher pal says

Posted: January 27, 2008
6:49 pm Eastern

© 2008 WorldNetDaily.com


Sen. Barack Obama's longtime friend and spiritual adviser trashed the memory of a missing and presumed dead American teenage girl, according to church publications reviewed by WND.

Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the controversial minister of Obama's church in Chicago, cited the case of Natalee Holloway's disappearance in Aruba in complaining about what he sees as the media's bias in covering white victims of crime over black victims.

"Black women are being raped daily in Darfur, Sudan, in the Congo and in Sub-Saharan Africa. That doesn't make news," Wright said in the August 2005 edition of Trumpet Magazine, a publication of his Trinity United Church of Christ.

But, "One 18-year-old white girl from Alabama gets drunk on a graduation trip to Aruba, goes off and 'gives it up' while in a foreign country, and that stays in the news for months!" he added. "Maybe I am missing something!"

In the same 2005 church publication, Wright suggested "white America" had the 9/11 attacks coming, while calling for business "divestment from Israel," which he refers to as a "racist" state along with America.

"In the 21st century, white America got a wake-up call after 9/11/01," he wrote on page 7. "White America and the Western world came to realize that people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just 'disappeared,' as the Great White West kept on its merry way of ignoring Black concerns."

Obama says he is "proud" of Wright and values their 20-year friendship.

Though Wright has nurtured Obama's political career as a close adviser and mentor, the Democrat presidential hopeful says they don't agree on everything. Wright married Obama and baptized his daughters.

In the November/December 2007 issue of Trumpet, Wright sang the praises of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has described whites as "blue-eyed devils" and Jews as "bloodsuckers."

"He brings a perspective that is helpful and honest," Wright said. "Minister Farrakhan will be remembered as one of the 20th and 21st century giants of the African-American religious experience."

Wright then held Farrakhan up as a pillar of "integrity."

"His integrity and honesty have secured him a place in history as one of the nation's most powerful critics," he continued. "His love for Africa and African-American people has made him an unforgettable force, a catalyst for change and a religious leader who is sincere about his faith and his purpose."

Farrakhan's photo is splashed across the cover of the church magazine, which gushes "the Minister truly epitomized greatness."

On Nov. 2, 2007, Wright presented Farrakhan with a "lifetime achievement" award during a Trumpet gala held at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The tribute included a three-and-a-half minute video lionizing "the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan."

"For his commitment to truth, education and leadership, we honor Minister Louis Farrakhan with the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award," the video announces.

Last week, Obama distanced himself from Farrakhan, but did not distance himself from Wright or disavow his praise for Farrakhan

Posted by: ermias.kifle | February 13, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

While I can't comment on Obama's effect on turn-out in states other than idaho, I can on his effects in Idaho. In Nez Perce county he did increase the number of Native Americans who participated and the number of young who participated. Obama gave these two groups "hope" which they never have had in recent years and this "hope" brought them to the caucus.

Posted by: Blue Idaho | February 13, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

You guys are jumping up too early to make an assumption who should be the better running mate for the general presidential election, just like what Obama did to promise VA governor to be his adminstration lists, which is truly immature. First of all, there is not clear clue who will be the Democratic nominee yet.

Obama won some states does not guarantee him that he will win rest of the states who has not voted yet. If you guys read carefully enough and know who voted whom in the last couple of weeks, you guys should realize that Hillary will have a great chance to win TX, OH, PA and some of rest states, and get even more super delegates, meaning that Hillary eventually wins the Democratic nominee and wins the presidency.

Election in this year is unusual and exciting, any prediction and assumption can be wrong unless you read hard data and voting records in this year.

Posted by: NoWorry | February 13, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

It should be quite obvious the Hillary Clinton the media's/liberal establishment candidate. Every chance they get they try to portray Barack as the "Black" only candidate, now it's his every statement is beign checked for accuracy.

Here is what I know, in recents victories Obama had more votes than all republicans combined.

Posted by: FreeAmerican | February 13, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

If I hear one more time that Omaba hs no experience, I will pull my hair out. All that "experience" just got us the worse president in history over the last 7.5 years. If that's experience then I will vote for the guy who has none. Obama is showing you people how brilliant he is. He is running a superior campaign, his opponent is the one on the ropes and out of money and she has all he "experience". You people just aren't getting it and it's a real shame. This is not your daddy's political election. We have said "enough" to the politics and the old, "experienced" candidates. Many of you who are over 45 just don't get it. The entire world has changed. Obama represents that change. He is smart enough to surround himself with experienced people and run this country. The fact is that he can't do worse than this current administration!

McCain is way over his prime. No one with a modicum of common sense would put a Bush III in the White House - not in a million years!

Posted by: Julescator | February 13, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

The increased Democratic turnout is due to the anti-Bush/Republican factor, Hillary Clinton's establishment brand name and the excitement created by Barack Obama. Barack Obama deserves his share of the credit, but to take all of it is arrogant just alike assuming he is the nominee.

Posted by: Rick Swan | February 13, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

People in here amaze me. One person now wants Barack to admonish his minister for talking about natale Holloway. This is the kind of stupid stuff we have come to expect from the mean-spirited Republicans.

I can tell you this - this Republicans have tried to ruin this country in 7.5 short years. Quite frankly I would vote for a trained monkey before I would put another incompetent Republican into our House!

Give me a break.

Hillary is a big girl - she has said so many times. Then let her get on with the campaign and try to beat Obama. But don't think for one minute that this is a stupid man who would be swift-boated by the Republicans - you had better think again. these boring, out of touch, 71 year olds don't have a clue as to what this country is about. They are still back in the 1980s. Even Reagan is laugning at them!

Posted by: Julescator | February 13, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Michael

Great job on the fact checking.

Julescator

After 9/11, the power of the Presidency changed. No one is going to hand it over to an inexperienced Senator from Illinois. He's done some good work in the Senate. However, it's not enough to let him make life and death decisions for the US. If he is the nominee, there will be a big block of voters called Democrats against Obama.

One more thing, he has brought more people into the caucus states. But, they represented less than 30% to 20% of Registered Democrats in those states. Again, kudos to Obama's caucus victories.

Posted by: EWard2 | February 13, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Obama has flip flopped on so many issues he's like the African American Bart Connor.

Says he doesn't take money from special issues? What was the $160,000+ from Exelon-the nations's largest producer of nuclear energy? A valentine? .

He says he sponsored a bill to protect privacy of victims of sexual abuse? Ooops! He didn't even vote for it! He merely voted 'present'. He goes out to Idaho and tells people: "Folks-I'm not gonna take away your guns"--but he's supported gun control for 20 years? Says his health plan covers all Americans--except all objective observers say 'no-it doesn't.

How about his great plan to help hurricaine ravaged New Orleans which he just unveiled to great fanfare--which he PLAGIARIZED almost word for word from her plan of 7 months ago? NOT COOL.

The media has given this guy a free ride--mostly because they're afraid to criticize him fairly for fear of being labeled racist. He is all rhetoric-- with no record of results or accomplishments Most concerning: he tells whatever group he's with EXACTLY they want to hear--too bad there's no way to reconcile all his promises OR money to pay for all his pipe dreams--but the media should be holding him a little accountable. This guys a puffball-

Posted by: spega | February 13, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't like pompous professors.. they can't ever admit their ignorance. The point is, Obama is fresh, Obama is exciting, Obama is articulate, Obama is smart (topped at Harvard Law), Obama is charismatic, Obama doesn't lie , Obama doesn't womanize, Obama doesn't feel it's "his turn". In short, Obama is everything Hillary is not. The people have seen it.

And the old warmonger McCain with begrudging conservative support, who is likely to bring back the draft, will melt under the Obama sunshine of wisdom and commitment. The American voter isn't half as stupid as pontificating pundits and platitudinous pollsters would have you believe.

Posted by: sooku | February 13, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

OMG I am SO amazed at all the closet racists on this board! All sorts of people just ASSUME that the black Barack can't lead.. can't stand up to special interests.. will be easily manipulated in office.. can't deliver what he preaches... is winning by smoke and mirrors. All you closet racists, please come out and go vote Republican. You are irrelevant.

Obama TOPPED HIS CLASS AT HARVARD LAW SCHOOL. He is NOT some D-average drunkard who got in by his dad's name. He is USED to leading. He was elected President of the Harvard Law Review.. do you even know how hard that is? Just because he looks like a N-word to you doesn't mean he's stupid or he's a Manchurian candidate. Listen to the man and judge his character! If your racist ass won't let you, please shut up and sit down.

Posted by: sooku | February 13, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Hillary, Please do something, we beg you, do domething to these impressive wins from your opponent Obama. Please, take action, and do something immediately.

Just get out the way Hillary.
Go Obama 08!!!

Posted by: Mandy | February 13, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

We can not keep spending money we don't have.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/02/13/2008.hopefuls/index.html
Obama criticized McCain's stance on the war and said, "We can't keep on spending money that we don't have on a war..."

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/02/13/politics/main3827422.shtml

(AP) Democrat Barack Obama said Wednesday that as president he would spend $210 billion to create jobs in construction and environmental industries, as he tried to win over economically struggling voters.

"This agenda is paid for," Obama said as the Republican National Committee promoted an "Obama Spend-O-Meter" online to track his proposals and portray him as a tax-and-spend liberal. Obama explained that the money for his spending proposals will come from ending the Iraq war...

Posted by: mavismatch | February 13, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Mandy,

Is this how Obama inspires you, with hate? What a role model.

Posted by: EWard@ | February 13, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

The Clinton campaign relies on old numbers from previous elections in their projections for Texas. But Americans love a winner, and Hispanics have TV-sets too. They know what has been going on in other states and will switch to the winning side.

Posted by: dunnhaupt | February 13, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Garbage In Garbage Out
= Garbage article.

Posted by: cbday | February 13, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

"The fact is that the Clinton's have survived a level of scrutiny not posed to many candidates, and have been vindicated with the exception of Bill's private indiscretions."

Unindicted does not mean "vindicated." Lying under oath, perjury, subornation of perjury, obstruction of justice and lying month after month after month to his family, associates and, most important, the country are not "private indiscretions".

"Obama doesn't feel it's "his turn"."

Apparently he does.

Posted by: SukieTawdry | February 13, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

How woud you test your "fact"?

Posted by: TL | February 13, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Hey sooku-
Hate to break it to you but read the article on Obama in Vanity Fair. He did NOT "top his class at Harvard Law". He had "good grades" but no where NEAR what it would normally take to be elected President of the Law Review--which he got ONLY after 19 (yes, sooku, 19) votes without a winner. He won--over more qualified candidates-- as the "compromise candidate". Can you say: "AFFIRMATIVE ACTION"? Hillary, on the other hand, was tops in her class at both Wellesley AND YALE & valedictorian.

Posted by: spega | February 13, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

It i-s do or die time but not for Mrs. Clinton ... For Obama.

Her campaign has gone negative in Wi, if Obama is really from "Chicago Politics" ... He will call her out time after time. He will drag her through the mud. He will remind the citizens of these United States how "cut throat" and "U-n-d-e-r Accomplished" she really is. He will proclaim for sea to shining sea what her candidacy truly represents: The P-u-p-p-e-t Presidency.

No one wants to say it but everybody knows the only thing that qualifies Mrs. Clinton to "Lead" on Day-1 ... is that her h-u-s-b-a-n-d is a former President and H-E will be calling the shots. Absolutely Nothing in her 6-year Senate run indicates that she is anything more than a "follower". Nothing in her 8-yrs as First Lady indicates that she is anything more than: A legend in "her" own mind. If she does become the nominee and President ... it will be a "Failed Presidency". Even if there is a Democratic Senate/House majority she will still need to bring in Republicans to get her agenda through. Democratic Legislators will not be able to vote straight party on policy. They will h-a-v-e to vote the issues the way it will affect the districts and peope they represent. What might benefit a southern state may not be beneficial to the folks in California. On issue after issue she will have to bring in Republicans and Independents to gain a majority. She is a N-O-T a uniter! She is polarizing. For all the talk about the "Glory Years" of the Clintons ... In his 2nd term there was Grid Lock in Washington. The people who suffered for that was us. It really doesn't matter whose to blame. There was enough to go around. Mrs. Clinton did n-o-t-h-i-n-g in that time to help mend the atmosphere. She was a Major Contributor to it. If that is the Record of EXPERIENCE she is so proud of ... This nation is better off without her.

Obama may be shallow to many here but HE IS a LEADER. Real Leaders know that He/She does not have to be the best at what they do. They just have to surround themselves with GOOD PEOPLE who are good at what they do and then INSPIRE THEM to achieve their goals. If the Methods and JUDGEMENT he has used in this campaign is any indication of what an Obama Presidency would look like ... He is obviously the B-e-s-t Choice for this N-a-t-i-o-n and the Democratic Party.

He, himself, is smart. He has surrounded himself with Good People who are, obviouly, Good at what they do. They obviously think "Outside of the Box". They have S-y-s-t-e-m-a-t-i-c-a-l-l-y challenged, met, competed, and by a slim margin ... Overcome a Political Dynasty. I would think the only people who are too blind to see this are just that: Blind Loyalist. Obama is t-h-e Force that Must N-o-w be dealt with and not dismissed. Even without the nomination (which I believe he will have), he will have turned the "Establishment" on it's ear and become a Power Broker.

For all the 35-Years of Experience Mrs. Clinton talks about it has not benefited her enough in this campaign. Her l-a-c-k of v-i-s-i-o-n and that of her team has put her in this "dog-fight" for the nomination. Her sense of "Entitlement" and "Condescention" to parts of the electorate has put her in this position. She certainly has time to turn it around but over half way through this process her candidacy (considering the lofty position She once held) in hind sight has to be considered Suspect ... If not a Failure.

Is this a Look into what Her Presidency would look like?

Just My Opinion ...

Posted by: Day24Day7 | February 13, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

To the Just my Opinion entry I think you are confusing responsibility of grid lock. It happens to be the Repubs promoting this. Your enemy isn't with Clinton its the other political party that will stop at nothing and use any type of vulgar, disgusting tactic to achieve their objective. Unless dems are willing to accept this fact they will once again chose a nominee that will lose in Nov. Me thinks thou doest protest too much. Who's side are you on anyhow? democracy or dictarship? The repubs will stop at nothing in the upcoming GE and you can bet Obama will not be able to stand up to that "Machine". Hillary IS our only chance. Better yet. Hillary/Obama. Perhaps we need to start by uniting our own party before we can expect to unite the country.

Posted by: PD | February 13, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Day24Day7

If Hillary is so polarizing, how did she win in CA, NY, NJ, FLA, AK, AR, NH, NV, TN and MA? She certainly didn't have favorable media coverage. However, I will give the Washington Post credit for being objective.

The argument that Bill will be making the decisions is bogus. Look at all the criticism of him during and after South Carolina. Every Clinton misstep is overblown. She has withstood the attacks and held her own. For all your talk about gridlock, the reality is President Clinton is the only two term Democratic President since Franklin Roosevelt. I call that leadership. Hillary has made it clear that she is the one running for President.

Posted by: EWard2 | February 14, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

the article is untrue: re. to Obama effect-
look at the obamas' margin of victory over HC, that is greater than combined republican votes- it is a fact

Posted by: ob1 | February 14, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

I like Obama overall, but the cult following he has generated (Obamanuts, Obamaniacs, Obamanoids) or that has been generated in his wake is very disturbing to me. Most with whom I have spoken don't have a clue as to Obama's positions on the issues. they just seem to be voting for him because he has charisma, a good speaking voice, solid media support, support by so-called celebrities (Why do people continue to pay attention to what movie stars say, anyway?). I would be more inclined to vote for him if he did not have such a cultish following. So my vote is up for grabs, Obama, Hillary, McCain -- they each have their good and bad points. I will remain uncommitted until Election Day.

Posted by: Obies? | February 14, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

" Bill's private indiscretion" , frnaky it was not a private, it occurred at work place( White House), Such event in my line of work, I would be unemployed looking for public assistance to sustain my lively hood. I would have lost licence for years as a professional. So think of it, it is the issue of character and morality ,at work place. I am a democrat ,did not buy into this argument of ( Private indsicretion), honestly-it turned me off..

Posted by: ob1 | February 14, 2008 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Obviously people are much more excited about this nominating season than in 2004. It remains to be seen if that translates into greater numbers in the general election.

Posted by: omarkhyam1951 | February 14, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

McDonald should take it from people, not just the numbers. I'll never had been interested in politics if it wasn't for Obama, there're many like me.

When you have a highly disappointing administration, people tend to stay away from politics, not swarming to it.

Do you think average American people don't know that a president can only serve two terms?

And you said we came out ONLY to "get rid" of current administration??? Give me a break, GW BUSH is a lame duck, this whole thing is the biggest fairytale ever!!!

Posted by: Whatever | February 14, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton is ALSO the two term Democratic president who lost the congress to GOP after his first term.

Yep i'm sure he was great for the Dem party and he got a lot of stuff done in his second term.... in his white house....with some chubby chicks

Posted by: Jing Li | February 14, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Identity politics--both parties are using effectively when they need votes. Voters be aware, this all about dirty politics.
Informed voters should vote on issues not on race/gender/ color index or ethnicity.

Posted by: ob1 | February 14, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

WOW . . . I'll just forward this for everyone to read . . . I got this from the Huffington Post and have no reason to doubt it's authenticity: McCain Adviser Won't Fight Obama Email Share February 13, 2008 6:48 PM ABC News' Teddy Davis Reports: A top adviser to John McCain said Wednesday that he will step down from the Arizona senator's presidential campaign if the presumed GOP nominee faces Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in the general election. "I would simply be uncomfortable being in a campaign that would be inevitably attacking Barack Obama," said McCain adviser Mark McKinnon in an interview with NPR's "All Things Considered." "I think it would be uncomfortable for me, and I think it would be bad for the McCain campaign." McKinnon, who was a Democrat before serving as President Bush's ad maker in 2000 and 2004, said that he plans to be behind McCain "100 percent" no matter who the Democratic nominee is. He explained, however, that if the Democrats nominate Obama, he will be supporting McCain "from the sidelines." While saying that he does not agree with Obama on every issue, McKinnon gushed about the Illinois Democrat. "I met Barack Obama, I read his book, I like him a great deal," said McKinnon. "I disagree with him on very fundamental issues. But I think, as I said, I think it would a great race for the country."

Posted by: Anonymous | February 14, 2008 12:42 AM | Report abuse

The cult like following of Barack Obama isn't new. Just like in Germany, Hitler was there to rile up the masses with powerful speeches. If you compair what Obama is saying to that of Hilter's speeches it's alarming. Just Like Jim Jones had the power over seemingly educated people they drank the kool aid.

We are so desperate for a change that the preaching marxist style speeches of Obama has excited many. For those who have college degrees, I'm confussed. Did you not learn about marxism? Look at his body language. Look how,like Pres.Bush, he has a swager and smerk about him. Ego and arrogance gets us no where.

Obama's cousin in Kenya lost his bid at becoming President. Now there is killings going on because he was the leader of the opposition party who didn't win. Barack when over to Kenya to support his cousin and it made the current government very upset but what he had said.

People of Africa and Indonesia believe that Barack (Barry) changed his faith from Islam (muslim) to Christian to run for the presidency and that once you are muslim you are always muslim. This goes to the Church Obama belongs to. The rev. (Obama's mentor) believe's Louis Farrikhan is a great man. I know that the educated know who Louis Farrikhan is and what a crazy person he is.

The media bias has been so onesided I've had to resort to the internet to get news that has any integrity. MSNBC and CNN will not post my comments because my comments are anti-Obama.

Beware of what you wish for you just may get it. What is it that you are getting? Obama you say is not like the other candidates. You are right. He is worse, because he is giving false hope of change when he is giving nothing but the same old stolen rhetoric from the 60's and dirty political tricks from his machine. We have a short memory so his rhetoric is working great. It's a good thing some of us haven't fallen for it. I don't need a preacher I need a President.

Again it looks like the Democratic Party is going to shoot itself again and pick the candidate who is going to loose. At least I can say that I didn't support Barack Obama. When something seems too good to be true it usually is.

Posted by: jennie3233 | February 14, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

(Obamanuts, Obamaniacs, Obamanoids):
Motivation/motivate: movement, stimulation, inducement, propelsion,and being arouse. One can say it is rhetoric, looking into Greek civilization one can find Rhetoric was considered a great virtue , kept in high esteem, that motivated masses to do great things. Rhetoric was part of learning curriculum, to them it was scared .
It is premature to expect Obama to lay down detailed policy matters; it is not needed at this time, that will put audience to sleep. It will come when he gets nominated, you hear more clarity. Such Phenomenon is common with Prophets, Philosophers, thinkers, and revolutionaries.

Posted by: ob1 | February 14, 2008 1:12 AM | Report abuse

Dick Cheney opposed release of Nelson Mandela from Jail; McCain opposed Kings' holiday, Bill and Hillary had some reservation too, In northern Ireland Protestants and Catholics fought for ages, Inquisation in Spain against Jews and Muslims, Jews were discriminated in Europe.
Pilgrims that came to the shores of the New world to escape persecution by the Roman Catholics; massacre of native Indians by Spaniards and new settlers.
Looking all this events- we wonder how could this has happened, we have grown in our consciousness and understanding of each other.
Morality, consciousness evolved with the passage of time 'it is indifference for the understanding-that matters. At the end we all grow...

Posted by: Anonymous | February 14, 2008 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Economy has it's own cycle ;just like price of gasoline and similar to any other commodities. Presidents gets too much credit for this.
Just chart it out: prices of Gold, copper, gas etc, in a period of 18 months. You will get a rough Idea. We are in global economy, sub-prime issue affecting entire world. The best any government can do to have sound monetary policies. In this case greed prevail over the common sense. We are paying for it.

Posted by: ob1 | February 14, 2008 1:54 AM | Report abuse


Yes, everybody is wishing that Obama is gonna change the sickness that affects our Government in both parties. The two Parties, R & D, have been supporting only the Rich also in many countries to get Richer and Hell with the Common American.

Ok, Obama we the people will give you a 4-year try, yes this is why we are voting for change which is you. But if you do not address the real problems that our great Government created for America and its people there should be no more D or R president in the future, since it will be a fact that all are one of the same!

Listed below are the real problems that was caused by our government and their greedy men that are affecting the American people, now provide a real fix or go back to Kenya and take all the lawyers in the Government with you!

The Government spends trillions of dollars of our tax money on give a ways to other countries and war/police actions so a few in this country and other countries get rich, or should I say richer! We see our children killed or coming home with missing body parts and the rich people who live in and out of the USA get richer from our tax dollars.

How about the USA Government aid being given first to fund needs in the USA, and what remains if any going to the United Nations. This would sure cut into the rich earnings and help the American people.

We Americans have to work longer hours and to older age and with less vacation/free time than the rest of the developed world so we can support the world---lets stop this bull and support our country's people first. We have now reduced SS payouts to our people and have cut interest rates on savings so low that are older Americans will not have a life of any value after they can no longer work. Plus our great government keeps rising the age for SS and we all know that once a person not in a government job get older than 50 they have little hope on getting a job or for many holding on to their middle level corporate jobs.

We also know that the stock market and housing markets left many Americans to loss their hopes for a future. Is it not funning that these down turns only affected the middle class Americans and the Rich became richer? Social Security is in a mess but not the Government employee plans which are in great shape So why not support SS the same way the Government supports their plans and have the Government pay back the money into SS from their plans since the Government took the money out of SS to support its give-a-ways to the Rich and other countries-----We see who the Government supports and cares nothing about!

Now we are supporting mass give-a-ways that we call foreign aid in the many 100's of billion dollars to countries that have 3 to 5 times are growth rate and who currencies have gain over 20 to 40% to the USA Dollar --why, because the pigs are making more money at the cost of the poor to middle class American. Also, our major Corporations and the Rich have major investment outside the USA, and they what us to pay to make those investments valued to its max by our Government give-a-ways to other countries of our tax dollars and unfair trading rules.

In addition products manufacture in Asia comes to our stores with such low prices, in many cases at lower than the prices sold in Asia and yet American made products sell from 2 to 5 times the USA price in Asia. What great free trade agreements our government supports with adoption of unfavorable/unfair trading rules to America. Has any one seen large or small price decreases on imported goods that were once produced in the USA--the answer is NO! But the junk that America is now getting is cheaper, as it would be also if made in America. Just the Rich making more money and America getting poorer with little or no future for our children.

Our Government and its partner's Corporations tell us they moved production overseas because of favorable trading rules and lower labor cost. We all know that Cost to manufacture and to market has always been made up of Labor, energy, raw materials, other materials, capital cost and transportation, and when totaled America had the advantage. Since In most industries that are manufacturing, labor=3 to 7%, energy=20 to 30%, materials= 40 to 60%, capital cost write-downs= 15 to 30% and transportation= 3 to 10%. America had the lowest energy cost by a factor of 300 to 500% before the great leader Bush and the rest of the D & R Government pigs started to support the Rich at the cost of the rest of America and raw material cost was 100 to 300% cheaper, and lower capital cost in America since no transportation of same to Asia, plus land cost are less in the USA and transportation to market far less costly since the USA is the world's largest consumer. Now let our country adopt the same trading rules for foreign goods into the USA and bring back the American advantage.

Keep our tax dollars in the USA and stop being the Police and Army of the World--just match the average number of soldiers and dollars sent by the other countries in the United Nations and NATO. After all the American people should have a life not just other countries. Stop spending on supporting the world--save that money and use it to support America.

The same way the USSR failed, we are on the same road. Now that Russia stop trying to be the hand-on controller of all its world countries it is on it way to recovery. The USA must stop being the police/army of the world otherwise it will go the same as Rome and the USSR.

Stop telling us that the USA knows more than all the 100s of countries in the United Nations on world affairs.

Tax the hell out of imports like the rest of the world and increase the tax rates on profits for sources of production outside the USA and rise the Federal and State income taxes to the 65% rate on income over $1,000,000. Also Increase the tax rate for all companies that do not provide medical insurance and a livable pension plan based on the real interest rates and cost of living in affect, (not the unreal rate that the Government reports).

Set the rates that doctors and hospitals can charge by medical service performed to real levels and limit the insurance cost and payouts for medical liability on litigation ---after all should not the real Liability be a crime. Control the cost of drugs, not that Americans can not import same--reduce the cost to Americans so the cost is the same all over the World--not that Americans have to pay more for the same drug!

We hope that Obama be the person that will address the real problems that faces the American people. Let are tax dollars reduce our cost of living and let our people have a life other than work and a real life for most if not all of the older Americans who worked. After all that is what Government employees get and the rich will still get richer just not mush greater than the cost of living increases. Also, What about using our tax dollars to pay for services in the USA that are tax $s are currently give-a-ways to other countries and to make the rich richer. After all that is what most developed countries do and it works, sorry to say it works since their rich do not get so richer in such a short time.

WE demand that our tax dollars be use to support Americans not the World. It is sad that Americans already work harder, longer and with less time off than the rest of the first world without any real benefits to the American people!

Posted by: John Miller | February 14, 2008 3:17 AM | Report abuse

Hello "WashingtonPost & Readers", - We certainly hope the Obama Effect continues, and the Votes for Him continue to increase. Clinton WILL pullout all stops to become President, which she thinks belongs to her. We Will back Her if she wins the Democratic Nomination. - But, beware,- she Is on the path and IS a hard fighter. Hopefully Hillary will not stoop so low as to accept behind the scenes, under-the-table offers (which we will follow), which would sacrifice the major Needs & Change that the American CITIZENRY so Hopes for. But, the Global Banking Empire is not easy to work with, or to defeat {remember JFK}. After all they do pretty much run the world, AND WILL DO ANYTHING to protect their world power hold, and their Monopolistic Banking Empire, which was sent over and established here in America with the unaccountable private corporation, the so-called Federal Reserve. - Note:- Only The CITIZENS and Their' Vote can Change anything Here in the U.S.A. - So People do Your' Job!! Remove the elected officials whom sold us out! Let us take America back, and work towards positive new change for - ALL THE PEOPLE, - not just for the $RICH or the Big Corporate International Handlers, whom would love nothing more than to Destroy Our CONSTITUTION, Which 'IS' THE ONLY THING STANDING IN THEIR WAY TO WORLD ECONOMIC CONTROL!! p.s.-end-war-&-end-poverty, and gooooodbye W!! -- "Peace", -- jward52

Posted by: Joe Ward | February 14, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

>>>>WARNING

AS for electability...whose winning now? Nuff said.

Posted by: Brian | February 14, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Obama should be ashamed of himself. First for his earmarks, secondly, for him stealing Clinton's economic plan.
Google "Obama and Cult" read the first ten topics on this, continue with links.

Posted by: r.mary | February 14, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Why does Mrs Clinton refuse to make her financial records public? It would appear she fears that exposure will make her less attractive compared to her opponent. PJ

Posted by: P Judice | February 14, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Why does Obama Remain silent on "His IRS Tax Returns" during year "Rezko bought land in $ 2,100,000 House Obama Bought on His & Michelle's $ 116,00 per year income?
And his Reported Taxable income during Years Paid By Rezko for "legal work"?

Posted by: Dogbert | February 14, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Why dont all candidates make their ear marks public. The only one is Obama..

Posted by: TennGurl | February 14, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Obama got over 168,000 more votes in Virgina than the TOTAL number of votes cast in the Virginia Republican primary. I would call that an example of the "Obama Effect."

Posted by: Kevin | February 14, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I think most of you are paid to sit at home, browse sites for this type copntent and paste in your missives and move on tot eh next blog, chat or venom fest. Cult? Wow what a nutcase...

Posted by: huh | February 14, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

We have become so accustom to slime balling our candidates that in the end most of the people who survive this vicious process and get elect to office are the real slime balls, then we complain that most of our elected officials are slime balls and need to be thrown out of office when we were the ones who were responsible for getting them elected in the first place... After reading through some of the comments on this message board it's obvious that the slime brigade is out in force today...May the best "Slime Baller" win

Posted by: streetsmart | February 14, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Obama's pastor disses Natalee Holloway
'White girl goes off and gives it up' in Aruba, preacher pal says

Posted: January 27, 2008
6:49 pm Eastern

© 2008 WorldNetDaily.com


Sen. Barack Obama's longtime friend and spiritual adviser trashed the memory of a missing and presumed dead American teenage girl, according to church publications reviewed by WND.

Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the controversial minister of Obama's church in Chicago, cited the case of Natalee Holloway's disappearance in Aruba in complaining about what he sees as the media's bias in covering white victims of crime over black victims.

"Black women are being raped daily in Darfur, Sudan, in the Congo and in Sub-Saharan Africa. That doesn't make news," Wright said in the August 2005 edition of Trumpet Magazine, a publication of his Trinity United Church of Christ.

But, "One 18-year-old white girl from Alabama gets drunk on a graduation trip to Aruba, goes off and 'gives it up' while in a foreign country, and that stays in the news for months!" he added. "Maybe I am missing something!"

In the same 2005 church publication, Wright suggested "white America" had the 9/11 attacks coming, while calling for business "divestment from Israel," which he refers to as a "racist" state along with America.

"In the 21st century, white America got a wake-up call after 9/11/01," he wrote on page 7. "White America and the Western world came to realize that people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just 'disappeared,' as the Great White West kept on its merry way of ignoring Black concerns."

Obama says he is "proud" of Wright and values their 20-year friendship.

Though Wright has nurtured Obama's political career as a close adviser and mentor, the Democrat presidential hopeful says they don't agree on everything. Wright married Obama and baptized his daughters.

In the November/December 2007 issue of Trumpet, Wright sang the praises of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has described whites as "blue-eyed devils" and Jews as "bloodsuckers."

"He brings a perspective that is helpful and honest," Wright said. "Minister Farrakhan will be remembered as one of the 20th and 21st century giants of the African-American religious experience."

Wright then held Farrakhan up as a pillar of "integrity."

"His integrity and honesty have secured him a place in history as one of the nation's most powerful critics," he continued. "His love for Africa and African-American people has made him an unforgettable force, a catalyst for change and a religious leader who is sincere about his faith and his purpose."

Farrakhan's photo is splashed across the cover of the church magazine, which gushes "the Minister truly epitomized greatness."

On Nov. 2, 2007, Wright presented Farrakhan with a "lifetime achievement" award during a Trumpet gala held at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The tribute included a three-and-a-half minute video lionizing "the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan."

"For his commitment to truth, education and leadership, we honor Minister Louis Farrakhan with the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award," the video announces.

Last week, Obama distanced himself from Farrakhan, but did not distance himself from Wright or disavow his praise for Farrakhan

Posted by: ermias.kifle | February 14, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Obama's pastor disses Natalee Holloway
'White girl goes off and gives it up' in Aruba, preacher pal says

'White girl goes off and gives it up' in Aruba, preacher pal says


'White girl goes off and gives it up' in Aruba, preacher pal says


Posted: January 27, 2008
6:49 pm Eastern

© 2008 WorldNetDaily.com


Sen. Barack Obama's longtime friend and spiritual adviser trashed the memory of a missing and presumed dead American teenage girl, according to church publications reviewed by WND.

Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the controversial minister of Obama's church in Chicago, cited the case of Natalee Holloway's disappearance in Aruba in complaining about what he sees as the media's bias in covering white victims of crime over black victims.

"Black women are being raped daily in Darfur, Sudan, in the Congo and in Sub-Saharan Africa. That doesn't make news," Wright said in the August 2005 edition of Trumpet Magazine, a publication of his Trinity United Church of Christ.

But, "One 18-year-old white girl from Alabama gets drunk on a graduation trip to Aruba, goes off and 'gives it up' while in a foreign country, and that stays in the news for months!" he added. "Maybe I am missing something!"

In the same 2005 church publication, Wright suggested "white America" had the 9/11 attacks coming, while calling for business "divestment from Israel," which he refers to as a "racist" state along with America.

"In the 21st century, white America got a wake-up call after 9/11/01," he wrote on page 7. "White America and the Western world came to realize that people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just 'disappeared,' as the Great White West kept on its merry way of ignoring Black concerns."

Obama says he is "proud" of Wright and values their 20-year friendship.

Though Wright has nurtured Obama's political career as a close adviser and mentor, the Democrat presidential hopeful says they don't agree on everything. Wright married Obama and baptized his daughters.

In the November/December 2007 issue of Trumpet, Wright sang the praises of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has described whites as "blue-eyed devils" and Jews as "bloodsuckers."

"He brings a perspective that is helpful and honest," Wright said. "Minister Farrakhan will be remembered as one of the 20th and 21st century giants of the African-American religious experience."

Wright then held Farrakhan up as a pillar of "integrity."

"His integrity and honesty have secured him a place in history as one of the nation's most powerful critics," he continued. "His love for Africa and African-American people has made him an unforgettable force, a catalyst for change and a religious leader who is sincere about his faith and his purpose."

Farrakhan's photo is splashed across the cover of the church magazine, which gushes "the Minister truly epitomized greatness."

On Nov. 2, 2007, Wright presented Farrakhan with a "lifetime achievement" award during a Trumpet gala held at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The tribute included a three-and-a-half minute video lionizing "the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan."

"For his commitment to truth, education and leadership, we honor Minister Louis Farrakhan with the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award," the video announces.

Last week, Obama distanced himself from Farrakhan, but did not distance himself from Wright or disavow his praise for Farrakhan

Posted by: ermias.kifle | February 14, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

God Bless the United Red/Blue/White States of America!!!

Go OBAMA 08...

Posted by: sudduthr | February 14, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

There are three important factors to consider. First many states moved their primaries/caucuses up to Super Tuesday, the most ever in history, so more states were relevant than in previous elections. Second, people are pretty sick and tired of the the direction of the country with the current administration and want to have their voices heard. Third on the Democratic side, it's a first to have a woman and an African-American as front runners.

However having said that, I don't know that I agree with the summary of this article. I live in a Super Tuesday state and worked voluntarily on the Obama campaign since last summer. I constantly heard the same thing over and over again from literally hundreds of people I met about how they were for the first time in their lives stepping out to participate in the political process (more than just voting every four years) because they were so inspired and excited about a candidate like Barack Obama, and that hadn't happened sinck JFK. Many said his message stirred something inside that had long been dormant about what this country stood for and who we could be. These weren't young people either (which was a whole different group in our city that I never participated with). These were people from mid-30s to 80s, 90-95% white. Many would also remark that what also caused them to support him was looking at his record, his position on the issues, his detailed plans (which are all outlined on his website), his honesty and ability to connect with people. They were motivated to spend many long hours, working on the campaign making phone calls, knocking on doors, participating in parades and having house parties at the grassroots level to inform people about him.

I'd have to say that my personal experience supports what Obama has said and that many of us ordinary people are really up and positive - believing in ourselves and our ability to come together. Interestingly, we've all made a lot of friends and connected with people we ordinarily wouldn't have just because of our common purpose of getting Obama elected. Some of my new friends were saying how this is a metaphor for how we can come together as ordinary citizens and find ways to solve some of the issues we're facing. WOW...

Posted by: JGM | February 14, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Haven't heard Obama claim that he has doubled the turn out.

He does say he has helped increase turn out but can't "take all the credit" because much of it has to do with the fact that Bush is not on the ballot.

The figures do support that.

Posted by: mnjam | February 14, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

to those of you who do not want to vote for mr obama you don't have to make up lies and blame him for what his pastor says or believes. why also blame him for the media attention that he enjoys. he has never taken credit for the high voter turnout, although we all know it is because the electorate is energized by him.don't vote for him if you choose not to. we will vote for him, you should support the candidate of your choice. i will not have a need to castigate your candidate, it looks very desperate and republican, not a good look.

Posted by: ninnafaye | February 14, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

This presentation is disingenious. Add up all states for demacretic primaries and see if is close to doubling or not. That is the real test.

Posted by: goriganti | February 14, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

You Obama supporters frighten me, and I'm a Democrat. Why is it that his supporters cannot even acknowledge that their man can make an error. I am sorry, but, the word "essentially" only implies to me that maybe turnout was a little less than doubled. It in no way suggests his camp isn't claiming that they are the cause of the turnout, which is part of the problem.

It's like a cult -- you've bought every word he says hook, line, and sinker. He's a politician, folks, and if you looked carefully at his campaign, you'd see this. He's been running for president for the past 10 years, and he's darned good at it. But it means they do things that most Americans would find calculating. And this isn't the clear Hillary-is-all-bad, Obama-is-all-good race that you've bought into. Both candidates had some pretty questionable campaign moments, and they both have strengths and weaknesses. That's why so many Democratic-leaning voters were undecided until the last minute.

Honestly, for folks who pride yourselves on voting for the positive, hopeful candidate, you are some of the most defensive, attacking voters I've ever seen!

Posted by: scientist | February 14, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

See . . . just more evidence of your buying into the cult. Despite a quote from Obama provided above, you're claiming he never made that statement. So who made it? Is it the big bad media ganging up on your candidate (something that's laughable given how he's been treated so lightly by the media to date)?

Ridiculous. . .

Posted by: scientist | February 14, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

ermias.kifle,
The last time I looked Rev. Jeremiah Wright was not running for any political office. Do you agree with every opinion of every friend that you have? Rev. Jeremiah Wright speaks for himself, he doesn't speak for Senator Obama. Obama also did more than just "distance" himself from anti-semitic statements, he denounced them.

"ADL Welcomes Obama's Statement Denouncing The Anti-Semitism Of ...
Anti-Defamation League (press release), NY - Jan 15, 2008
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed Barack Obama's statement strongly condemning the anti-Semitism of Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis ..."

(http://www.adl.org/PresRele/NatIsl_81/5208_81.htm)

All of this "guilty by association" mud will not stick because those are not the views of Senator Obama.

Posted by: Absolute 0-K | February 14, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Fact Checker; By your own admissions you state: Barack Obama claims that he has helped "double" voter turnout in the early primary states.

He HAS NOT said that HE doubled voter turnout.

Even the article admits "Turnout doubled, or almost doubled, in three of the first four contests on the Democratic 2008 election calendar. Participation in the suddenly relevant Nevada caucuses shot up more than tenfold since 2004."

Obama's campaign is well organized to turn out the vote. I think he can fairly take some credit for high voter turn out, if for no other reason than he has waged a very competitive campaign against Clinton. If she had the nomination all wrapped up by February 5th as some had predicted, I am sure that voter turnout in these primaries would be much lower than they are now. What would be the point unless there were some local elections/initiatives that people wanted to vote on.

This whole story is a non-issue. It must have been a slow news day or something.

Posted by: Absolute 0-K | February 14, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Fact Checker, from one of your own links, there is talk of depressed voter turnout due to lack of competition.

Analysis

Democratic voters are energized this election season, and are voting at higher rates than the 2000 election, where there was also a contested Democratic primary. The lack of competition in the Republican primary is depressing voter turnout among Republicans, who appear to be making a symbolic show of support for President Bush by casting their ballots.

http://elections.gmu.edu/Voter_Turnout_2004_Primaries.htm


I think it fairly follows that if there was no competition between Obama and Clinton, the voter turnout would be depressed. According to one of your own sources.

Posted by: Absolute 0-K | February 14, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Mr. McDonald needs to either get his facts straight- affirm his support of clinton or get another JOB. Because this article made HIS NOSE GROW.

Posted by: jetlone | February 14, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

First, the quote from Obama says "we have doubled turnout, essentially," and then goes on to compare Democratic and Republican turnout. Absent evidence to the contrary (such as the question he was responding to or proof that Fact Checker can read minds), this sounds as though he meant "we, the Democrats" not "we, the Obama campaign."

Second, your voting data expert apparently is "not entirely sure" WHAT is driving higher turnout. He mentions a number of possible factors, including higher turnout among demographic groups that have been disproportionately strong supporters of Obama. This doesn't exactly amount to evidence that Obama is wrong, much less that he's "shading the truth" (as you indicate by awarding one Pinocchio).

Third, you state "Overall voter turnout has also declined from a high of 52 per cent in New Hampshire to 30 percent in South Carolina to 29 percent on Super Tuesday." This fact says ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about the truth of Obama's statement about doubling turnout "from what we did four years ago." You're comparing turnout in different states within the SAME election cycle. Of course turnout is generally higher in a state that's used to caring deeply about its primary (New Hampshire, in which, incidentally, given its higher starting point, a 30% jump looks pretty impressive - in order to double the number of Democratic primary voters in N.H. from four years ago, there would have to be a turnout substantially higher than the 340,000 votes cast for the Democratic presidential candidate in the 2004 GENERAL election in NH). By contrast, in SC that 280,000 primary voters in 2004 represents less than 7% of the population - sorry, I don't have adult-only or registered-voter-only numbers, while in NH 221,000 was about 17% of total voters).

Fourth, you say "McDonald said he was expecting turnout in the low 20s in Virginia in Tuesday's primary, caused partly by a dropoff in interest in the Republican race as John McCain consolidates his front-runner position." OK, how can you question the truth of a statement that referred to events prior to Feb. 10 (the date of the Obama quote, "we have doubled turnout, essentially" - PAST TENSE) based on events (Feb. 12 primaries) that had not occurred when he spoke, and apparently had not occurred when you interviewed your "expert," since he only "expected" turnouts in the low 20s. So your assessment of whether someone is truthful or not is based on whether somebody else thinks that a past trend will continue in the future?

Finally, in explaining your decision to award one Pinocchio, you say "But Professor McDonald says he has 'yet to see any evidence' that the phenomenon will carry over into the general election, even if Obama is the Democratic nominee." So an absence of evidence that something is true counts as evidence that it is false? And absence of evidence that a statement about the past will be true about a future event that the speaker was not even talking about is evidence that he's not telling the truth?

Are you assessing Obama's truthfulness, or his ability to predict the future - or his ability to predict what your "expert" thinks the future will hold?


Posted by: checking the fact checker | February 14, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

This race is over. Obama will be the nominee, Hillary will not. Trouble is, she thinks the nomination is her due, that it's rightfully hers. She will not withdraw with grace and get in line behind the winner like any other candidate from either party. Why? Because in her mind, it all ends with her. There is no cause worth her sacrifice. Mark my words, she will cause tremendous damage to the party before this is over.

Posted by: gmundenat | February 14, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Fact-checking the fact-checker

Dodd skewed the numbers a little from the statistics on Prof. McDonald's website. Here is the website with the numbers:
http://elections.gmu.edu/Voter_Turnout_2008_Primaries.htm
Our only data point for early Jan is NH. Now NH had the 3rd highest turnout in 2004 election. http://elections.gmu.edu/Voter_Turnout_2004.htm
Dodd is comparing NH's primary turnout to the Feb 12th primary turnout in VI,DC,LA -- states whose 2004 turnout was ca 60% compared to NH's 70%. So we need to knock NH's number down a bit and bump VI,DC,LA's numbers up a bit to account for that. Bottom-line, yes turnout is falling off but not quite as much as the 52% NH to 26% VI numbers imply. But we don't know if turnout is falling off less than expected relative to the 2004 primaries (although that data is on McDonald's website for those so inclined).

1 pinocchio for Dodd

But as Dodd notes, Obama-fever is being confounded with election-fever. A better way to get at this is to compare "turnout relative to 2004" versus Obama's performance. Well, this is all academic...we'll know the winner on March 4th with the 4 big primaries.

Posted by: EEH | February 15, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Historically, African-Americans have shown that they do not vote for a presidential candidate simply because s/he is African-American. If that were true, Shirley Chisholm, Jesse Jackson, Alan Keyes, and Al Sharpton would have done as well as Barack Obama has done when they ran for office. However, that's not the case.

Barack Obama has managed to confuse political pundits who have not yet conceived what's actually happening in America because their education hasn't taught them how to analyze a "movement." They are skilled at analyzing a "political campaign." Therefore, we have a "movement" versus a "political campaign." In America there has only been four movements since our existence: (1) When America declared its Independence from England; (2) When Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., unified the country to fight for Civil Rights; (3) When John F. Kennedy ran for president; and now, (4) Barack Obama. During each of these "movements" we have heard stories about the greatest orators in American history. Let's take a look at Patrick Henry who declared the American liberation movement:

In 1765 Henry was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses in Williamsburg. The same year, the British Parliament infuriated the colonies by passing the Stamp Act, a form of direct taxation. Henry led the fight against the act in the House of Burgesses and presented seven resolutions condemning it. The resolutions asserted that only the colonial legislatures could levy taxes on the colonies. In support of his resolutions, Henry warned, "Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell, and George the Third ... may profit by their example." In answer to cries of treason from conservative members, Henry replied, "If this be treason, make the most of it." The resolutions started a chain reaction that deeply affected opinion in other colonies.

Next, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave the "I Have A Dream" speech during the Civil Rights movement:

"The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone."

. . .

"I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers."

Senator Barack Obama won the Alabama primary and I truly believe he is simply fulfilling the dream of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and will bring this entire Nation into the next chapter of American history: "The Promise Land."

President John F. Kennedy motivated this country with the following words that rang true for every American:

"It is not what your country can do for you, but what YOU can do for your country."

According to the great American Philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, it was said:

"The spiritual is stronger than any material force, thoughts rule the world."

Historically, the person leading the "movement" has always been the victor. Hillary Clinton is running a political campaign that lays out unguaranteed "issues" while Barack Obama offers "hope" and concludes that "there is nothing false about hope." These words resonate with an American people who have been subjected to eight years of lying, stealing, and murder. Americans have felt powerless against its electorate until Barack Obama came along and said "this movement" doesn't start from the top down, it "begins from the bottom up." His message explicitly states that the new government will work for the people, not Corporate America.

Finally, I do not find it sad that Hillary Clinton is losing this election. After all, she is trying to kill the message of "hope." During the Civil Rights movement Whites/Blacks collectively would not allow anyone to kill "the dream." Patrick Henry put his life on the line when he vehemently spoke out against the tyranny of the British Parliament. As Barack Obama said: "We know the battle ahead will be long. But always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change" . . . "We have been told that we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics. It will only grow louder and more dissonant. We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We been warned against offering the people of this Nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false . . . about hope." I want CHANGE what about you?

Posted by: Edward Nelson | February 15, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

The point:


The "Obama Effect" seems to draw parallels with the "Kerry Effect"

Can he carry the big states?

Posted by: jwsAmerica08 | February 15, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Let's harness the excitement we're seeing among Democrats for BOTH amazing candidates. Sign the petition to Howard Dean and the DNC at http://www.16yearplan.com

Posted by: steven4 | February 16, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

AMERICA WE NEED TO BE REALISTIC WE CANNOT LIVE ON SPEECHES ALONE PLUS COPIED!!

SENATOR HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON OFFERS SOLUTION!!

VERSUS

SENATOR BARRACK HUSSEIN OBAMA GIVES SPEECHES WITHOUT SUBSTANCE!

A SPEECH WHICH GO FOR A FEEL GOOD VIBES RATHER THAN SUBSTANCE.

AND AFRAID TO HAVE A DEBATE WITH SENATOR CLINTON IN WISCONSIN.
WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID FOR?

DEBATE IS ONE WAY OF GAUGING OR FINDING OUT WHAT KIND OF CANDIDATE YOU ARE ELECTING FOR PRESIDENT? UNLESS YOU ARE AFRAID THAT VOTERS WILL FIND OUT YOUR WEAK POINT.

AS OF NOW AMERICA IS LOOKING FOR A STRONG LEADER AND EXPERIENCE AND WHO CAN DELIVER NOT JUST PROMISES! WE CANNOT HAVE ANOTHER GEORGE W. BUSH PART 2. WE CANNOT AFFORD ANOTHER MISTAKE IN ELECTING A WRONG PRESIDENT AGAIN!

VOTERS ITS ALL IN YOUR HAND - DON'T BELIEVE IN ALL YOU READ AND HEAR, DON'T BELIEVE ON MEDIA MANIPULATION, SPIN DOCTORS, PUNDITS, POLLSTERS, UNION ENDORSERS, CELEBRITY ENDORSERS, POLITICIAN ENDORSERS.

VOTERS YOU DECIDE - DON'T ANYBODY DECIDE FOR YOU.

YOU ARE THE DECIDING FACTOR AND YOU KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR OUR COUNTRY. THERE'S A LOT AT STAKES HERE. AMERICA CANNOT AFFORD ANOTHER BLOW!

DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING WHAT THE MEDIA IS FEEDING YOU - THEY ARE VERY BIAS AND MANIPULATORS.

VOTERS MAKE A CONSCIOUS DECISION WHO YOU WANT TO VOTE THAT WILL BEST SERVE OUR COUNTRY FIRST AND FOREMOST.

VOTE WISELY AND PRUDENTLY.

God Bless America!!!!

Posted by: samrlim | February 18, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Hillary hopes you have forgotten. Have you????


Hillary Clinton has been telling America that she is the most qualified
candidate for president based on her "record," which she says includes
her eight years in the White House as First Lady - or "co-president" -
and her seven years in the Senate. Here is a reminder of what that
record includes:


1. As First Lady, Hillary assumed authority over healthcare reform, a
process that cost the taxpayers over $13 million. She told both Bill
Bradley and Pat Moynihan, key votes needed to pass her legislation, that
she would "demonize" anyone who opposed it. But it was opposed; she
couldn't even get it to a vote in a Congress controlled by her own
party. (And in the next election, her party lost control of both the
House and Senate.


2. Hillary assumed authority over selecting a female attorney general.
Her first two recommendations (Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood) were forced to
withdraw their names from consideration, and then she chose Janet Reno.
Janet Reno has since been described by Bill himself as "my worst mistake."


3. Hillary recommended Lani Guanier to head the Civil Rights Commission.
When Guanier's radical views became known, she had to withdraw her name.


4. Hillary recommended her former law partners, Web Hubbell, Vince
Foster, and William Kennedy for positions in the Justice Department,
White House staff, and the Treasury, respectively. Hubbell was later
imprisoned; Foster "committed suicide," and Kennedy was forced to resign.


5. Hillary also recommended a close friend of the Clintons, Craig
Livingstone, for the position of director of White House security. When
Livingstone was investigated for the improper access of up to 900 FBI
files of Clinton enemies (Filegate) and the widespread use of drugs by
the White House staff, both Hillary and her husband denied knowing him.
(FBI agent Dennis Sculimbrene confirmed in a Senate Judiciary Committee
in 1996 both the drug use and Hillary's involvement in hiring
Livingstone. After that, the FBI closed its White House Liaison Office,
after serving seven presidents for over 30 years.)


6. In order to open "slots" in the White House for her friends, the
Harry Thomasons (to whom millions of dollars in travel contracts could
be awarded), Hillary had the entire staff of the White House Travel
Office fired; they were reported to the FBI for "gross mismanagement"
and their reputations ruined. After a 30-month investigation, only one,
Billy Dale, was charged with a crime - mixing personal money with White
House funds when he cashed checks. The jury acquitted him in less than
two hours.


7. Another of Hillary's assumed duties was directing the "bimbo eruption
squad" and scandal defense; urging her husband not to settle the Paula
Jones lawsuit; refusing to release the Whitewater documents, which led
to the appointment of Ken Starr as Special Prosecutor after $80 million
of taxpayer money was spent. Starr's investigation led to Monica
Lewinsky, which led to Bill lying about and later admitting his affairs.


---- Then they had to settle with Paula Jones after all.


---- And Bill lost his law license for lying to the grand jury.


---- And Bill was impeached by the House.


---- And Hillary almost got herself indicted for perjury and obstruction
of justice (she avoided it mostly because she repeated, "I do not
recall," "I have no recollection," and "I don't know" 56 times under oath).


8. Hillary accepted the traditional First Lady's role of decorator of
the White House at Christmas, but in a unique Hillary way. In 1994, for
example, the First Lady's Tree in the Blue Room (the focal point each
year) was decorated with drug paraphernalia, sex toys, and pornographic
ornaments, all personally approved by Hillary as the invited artists'
depictions of the theme, "The Twelve Days of Christmas."


- Hillary wrote "It Takes a Village," demonstrating her Socialist viewpoint.


- Hillary decided to seek election to the Senate in a state she had
never lived in. Her husband pardoned FALN terrorists in order to get
Latino support and the New Square Hassidim to get Jewish support.
Hillary also had Bill pardon her brother's clients, for a small fee, to
get financial support.


- Then Hillary left the White House, but later had to return $200,000 in
White House furniture, china, and artwork she had stolen.


- In the campaign for the Senate, Hillary played the "woman card" by
portraying her opponent (Lazio) as a bully picking on her.


- Hillary's husband further protected her by asking the National
Archives to withhold from the public until 2012 many records of their
time in the White House, including much of Hillary's correspondence and
her calendars. (There are ongoing lawsuits to force the release of those
records.)


- As the junior Senator from New York, Hillary has passed no major
legislation. She has deferred to the senior Senator (Schumer) to tend to
the needs of New Yorkers, even on the hot issue of medical problems of
workers involved in the cleanup of Ground Zero after 9/11.


- Hillary's one notable vote, supporting the plan to invade Iraq, she
has since disavowed.


Quite a resume, isn't it? Sounds more like an organized crime family.


Make sure America remembers.


Hillary hopes you have forgotten. Have you????

Posted by: Cherrypicker | February 18, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

All this Obama thing is a good plan to keep the Republicans in the White House.

Obama has no slight chance in the general election.

He will make a mockery of himself and the Democratic Party in the general election.

Vote for Obama, this is exactly what corporate media and Republicans want.

Do you think they are willing to let go of the power and its enormous financial benefits easily?

Look in the past, when was the second time they have ever supported a left liberal candidate before?

Once Obama gets the nomination they start a swift boat campaign you haven't seen the like before.

They know, after all the corruption and incompetence that have brought to this country, they have a zero chance in the general election, unless to promote a candidate like Obama.

A candidate who thinks acting like JFK and revibrating the air in his throat like MLK or preparing for speeches for hours is enough to win elections.

Don't be fooled by the polls that Media publishes everyday, trying to convince you that Obama has a better chance in the general election against Mccain. Who has verified those polls?

A very tiny fracion of the Republican-leaning Independents and Republicans (compared to the whole electorate) vote for Obama in primaries exactly for the same reason that Media is giving him a free ride.

They know Clintons are very resilient people, they have defeated them twice already.

Don't be fooled by the slogans like "Obama will bring us together." How in a right mind someone might think an ultra liberal will bring parties together?

Any thing was achieved in this country in the past was for the efforts of the moderate of both parties who were willing to compromise.

Don't lose an election that Republican has already lost.

Posted by: READ THIS CAREFULLY | February 18, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Gah! The hubris of some Obama supporters! So his campaign is one of only four major "movements" in American history? And JFK running for president was one, on par with the American revolution? But the Vietnam anti-war movement (er, non-movement) doesn't rate on your scale? Temperance movement? Suffrage movement? Abolition movement? Nope, Obama is more significant.

It appears that Obama supporters are as infatuated with themselves as they are their candidate, as well as being sorely lacking in critical, dispassionate knowledge of American history.

Posted by: Can't stand it | February 19, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

It is like a American Idol contest, God help all of us if he gets in!

Posted by: Quervo | February 19, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Very Cool! Now show us the top ten republican lies.

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