May 202008

Barack Obama came close to declaring victory during his speech in Iowa tonight, but didn’t quite get around to it…

Obama says he is “within reach” of a win

Barack Obama
Barack Obama

DES MOINES, Iowa – Barack Obama declared himself “within reach” of the Democratic nomination Tuesday and celebrated in the state where his win in the opening contest of the presidential primary season helped reshape the race.

Speaking to some 6,000 supporters at an outdoor rally with the Iowa Statehouse as a backdrop, the Illinois senator pointed to a campaign where few gave him much of a chance of winning when he started the journey a year and a half ago. He is now the likely nominee.

“Tonight, in the fullness of spring, with the help of those who stood up from Portland to Louisville, we have returned to Iowa with a majority of delegates elected by the American people and you have put us within reach of the Democratic nomination for president of the United States of America,” he said.

Obama paid tribute to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who coasted to an overwhelming victory in the Kentucky primary Tuesday. But the tenor of his speech left little doubt that he has put the lengthy and hard fought contest against her behind him.

Oregon also voted Tuesday, but the outcome was unknown as Obama spoke.

“The road here has been long and that is partly because we’ve traveled it with one of the most formidable candidates to ever run for the office,” he said, speaking of the senator from New York and congratulating her on her Kentucky victory.[..]

“The same question that first led us to Iowa 15 months ago is the one that has brought us back here tonight,” Obama said. “The question of whether this country, at this moment, will keep doing what we’ve been doing for four more years or whether we will take that different path.

“It is more of the same versus change,” he said.

Obama warned of a tough campaign ahead against the Republicans and Arizona Sen. John McCain, their expected presidential nominee.

“They will play on our fears and out doubts and our divisions to distract us from what matters to you,” Obama said. “Well, they can take the low road if they want, but it will not lead this country to a better place. And it will not work in this election. It won’t work because you won’t let it.”

He sought unity within the Democratic Party, and with Clinton’s supporters, as he looked ahead to the fall.

“No matter how this primary ends, Senator Clinton has shattered myths and broken barriers and changed the America in which my daughters and your daughters will come of age, and for that we are grateful to her,” Obama said. “Some may see the millions and millions of votes cast for each of us as evidence our party is divided, but I see it as proof that we have never been more energized and united in our desire to take this country in a new direction.”

(Note to wingnuts: Look closely at the picture attached to the story above. You may click on it to make it bigger. Is that…? Could it be…? Oh, my gosh, it is! Senator Obama is wearing a flag pin on his lapel! You may rest easy tonight. All is well with the world once again.)

May 202008

My congratulations to Hillary Clinton on her win in Kentucky tonight. I searched the media for a story about the victory that did not include the obligatory “but.” This was about as close as I could come (from Chris Cillizza in The Washington Post)…

Clinton Beats Obama in Kentucky

Hillary, Bill and Chelsea Clinton
Hillary, Bill and Chelsea Clinton

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) claimed an easy and expected victory tonight in Kentucky’s Democratic presidential primary, while voters continued to cast ballots in Oregon where Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) was leading in the polls.

With 90 percent of Kentucky precincts reporting, Clinton was trouncing Obama, 65 percent to 30 percent.

Clinton’s Kentucky win is her second in as many weeks. She defeated Obama by 41 points last Tuesday in West Virginia, a victory largely overshadowed by former North Carolina senator John Edwards’s endorsement of Obama less than 24 hours later.

At a rally in Louisville this evening, Clinton called the vote in Kentucky “an overwhelming vote of confidence” and promised, as she did after her win in West Virginia, to continue on in the primary process.

“We’re winning the popular vote and I’m more determined than ever to see that every vote is cast and every ballot is counted,” Clinton said. Left unsaid is the fact that her math only works out if the primary results in Michigan and Florida — where none of the Democratic candidates actively campaigned — are counted. The Democratic National Committee has discounted those results because Michigan and Florida violated party rules in scheduling the primaries early in the primary season.

Clinton’s Kentucky win was built on the same coalition — lower middle class, rural, whites — that stood at the heart of past wins in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, according to exit polling.

While Clinton is expected to win by more than 2 to 1, according to the projections, she exceeded even those totals among some of these crucial voting blocs. Among non-college white voters, Clinton took 74 percent to just 20 percent for Obama; among white families earning under $50,000 a year, Clinton won 75 percent to 22 percent; and, among those living in rural areas and small cities, Clinton recived 75 percent to 19 percent for Obama.

“Everyone had been declaring it over and she keeps winning,” Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe said as several hundred supporters gathered at a hotel ballroom in Louisville chanted “Hillary, Hillary.”

Terry McAuliffe is definitely earning his salary.


Kennedy has brain tumor

 Posted by at 20:18  Politics
May 202008

Senator Kennedy Has Malignant Brain Tumor


Senator Edward M. Kennedy has a malignant tumor in his brain, his doctors said Tuesday.

Tests performed over the weekend at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston indicated that Mr. Kennedy, 76, has a type of cancer known as a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe, the upper left portion of his brain. Mr. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, suffered a seizure on Saturday in Cape Cod and was airlifted to the hospital for treatment.

The doctors said on Tuesday that the senator was “in overall good condition,” had been walking around the hospital, and had suffered no more seizures since Saturday.

“The usual course of treatment includes combinations of various forms of radiation and chemotherapy,” Dr. Lee Schwamm, the vice chairman of neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Dr. Larry Ronan, a primary care physician at the hospital, said in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon.

The National Cancer Institute says that malignant glioma is the most common form of brain cancer, accounting for about 9,000 cases diagnosed each year in the United States. The prognosis depends on the severity of the tumor, although the institute’s Web site says it is generally poor.

Mr. Kennedy was first elected to the Senate in 1962, when his older brother John F. Kennedy was president, and is serving his eighth term. He is been in the senate longer than any current senator except Robert C. Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia.[..]

“Ted Kennedy has spent his life caring for those in need,” said Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate. “Now it’s time for those who love Ted and his family to care for them and join in prayer to give them strength.”

Please forgive the lateness of this report. We spent the day in Fort Worth. The M-I-L (90 years old next month) is in the hospital with pneumonia.

I hate hospitals.