News Hugs

August 12, 2008

Cool Campaign Art

Filed under: election — Tags: , , , — newshugs @ 2:26 am

Since Barack Obama inspires coolness, artists are coming out with posters, stickers and buttons, street murals and other artistic works to support Obama.

February 13, 2008

Yes We Can Lyrics

Filed under: election — Tags: , , , — newshugs @ 5:44 am

You have to admit, these are some beautiful words:  

It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation.
Yes we can.
It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom.
Yes we can. Yes we can.
It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores
and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.
Yes we can. Yes we can.
It was the call of workers who organized;
women who reached for the ballots;
a President who chose the moon as our new frontier;
and a King who took us to the mountain-top and pointed the way to the Promised Land.
Yes we can to justice and equality.
(yes we can, yes we can, yes we can, yes we can…)

read the rest

February 12, 2008

Obama Wins Grammy for Hope

Filed under: books, election — Tags: , , — newshugs @ 6:01 am

audacity.jpgThat’s right, he won for the audio recording of The Audacity of Hope, which, by the way, is an insightful book into the world of politics. Hope is a good thing.

February 6, 2008

The Onion’s Super Tuesday Coverage

Filed under: election — Tags: , , — newshugs @ 11:35 pm

You gotta love the Onion. Its satirical coverage is worthy given all this mumbo jumbo about delegates and superdelegates and math that no one seems to be able to compute. Just when does a superdelegate exert his or her super powers?
Is this a superdelegate?
cowboy-08.jpg

February 2, 2008

Choosing Between two Candidates

Filed under: election — Tags: , , , — newshugs @ 5:46 pm

undecided.jpgwww.selectacandidate.org

Not sold on a candidate yet? Well make up your mind with Select a Candidate. Just answer a few questions about your stand on issues and it matches your answers to the candidates who are most aligned with your beliefs.

It also gives you a better understanding of where your candidate stands on various issues.

You can put the Select the Candidate widget, by American Public Media, on your own site.

January 29, 2008

Obama Moves Journalists

Filed under: election — Tags: , , , — newshugs @ 4:28 am

iowan-obama-snowman.jpg“If you‘re actually in a room with Barack Obama and you don’t cry when he gives one of those speeches, you’re not an American. It’s unbelievable.”

Team Obama Is Courting Everybody But the Presschange-we-can.jpg

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, January 28, 2008; C01

GREENVILLE, S.C. — When reporters filed onto Barack Obama‘s press plane after his acrimonious debate with Hillary Rodham Clinton last week, one thing was noticeably missing amid the wine and snacks on the Boeing 737.

There was no high-level campaign spinner to argue that Obama had gotten the better of the exchanges or that the verbal fisticuffs were part of some precisely calculated strategy. On the press bus the next day, mid-level aides dealt with travel logistics but made no attempt to shape the coverage.

In an age of all-out political warfare, the Obama campaign is a bit of an odd duck: It is not obsessed with winning each news cycle. The Illinois senator remains a remote figure to those covering him, and his team, while competent and professional, makes only spotty attempts to drive its preferred story lines in the press.

“There is no charm offensive from the candidate toward the press corps,” says Newsweek correspondent Richard Wolffe. “The contact is limited. . . . They see the national media more as a logistical problem than a channel for getting stuff out.”

As Obama’s blowout victory in Saturday’s South Carolina primary shows, an aloof attitude toward the media may not be a liability for a candidate with his oratorical gifts. Even the pundits’ attempts to minimize his win by focusing on Obama’s capturing a quarter of the white vote — no small achievement in a three-way contest — came after a week in which journalists talked about race far more than he did. But the contrast in his press strategy is striking, not just with Clinton’s campaign — which aggressively lobbies journalists around the clock — but also with the Bush White House and the Clinton White House before that. And that, Obama aides say, is by design.

The Clinton camp, says David Axelrod, Obama’s chief strategist, “is hyperbolic about it. What we don’t do is spend six hours a day trying to persuade you guys that red is green or up is down. . . . Their own spin was ‘We are the biggest, baddest street gang on the block.’

“We can’t be pacifists and cede the battlefield,” Axelrod says, but “what’s powering this campaign is a rejection of tactical politics.”

“That’s the best spin I’ve heard all day,” replies Clinton communications chief Howard Wolfson, inviting Axelrod to “send over some leather jackets.” “My sense is the Obama campaign spends eight hours a day spinning.” Clinton, for her part, abandoned her inaccessible approach after losing Iowa, scheduling far more time each day for interviews and press conferences. “She felt it was the best way to talk to the American people,” Wolfson says.

The no-spin zone is part of the Obama campaign’s identity, with the candidate stealing a phrase from John McCain in telling crowds he wants “a politics that’s not based on PR and spin but is based on straight talk.”

To be sure, the Obama camp stepped up efforts last week to challenge what it calls distortions of his record by Bill Clinton, perhaps the biggest media magnet ever to assume the role of presidential campaign surrogate. And some Obama strategists have been known to complain loudly when they think a story is unfair. But ever since Obama was embarrassed by a staff memo that assailed Hillary Clinton as the senator from “Punjab” (over her contributions from Indian Americans), he has ordered his team to steer clear of pejorative attacks not based on public actions.

All traveling campaigns have a bubble-like quality, but Obama seems unusually insulated. One moment of absurdity came Tuesday, when reporters on the press bus were asked to dial into a conference call in which Obama announced a congressman’s endorsement — even though the candidate was nearby and just as easily could have delivered the news in person to the bus captives. Obama answered a few questions, but reporters are generally placed on mute after they speak so there can be no follow-up. (Clinton held a news conference the same morning.)

That afternoon, as the candidate was working his way through a raucous crowd at Linder University in Greenwood, New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny shouted a question about whether Obama was allowing Bill Clinton to get inside his head.

“Don’t try a cheap stunt like that. You’re better than that,” Obama told him with a smile. He finally suggested that “the other side must be rattled if they’re continually saying false things about us,” before walking away. What creates such awkwardness are long days when reporters have only seconds to bellow a question.

When Obama decided to do a round of interviews on the next day’s morning shows, not only did the campaign fail to notify the traveling correspondents the evening before, but a press aide insisted when asked about the rumor that he knew of no such plans.

Obama often goes days without taking questions from national reporters, and when he does, the sessions can be slapdash affairs. In Nevada, for instance, correspondents were reduced to shouting queries at him during a photo op in the kitchen of the Mirage Hotel. (Yesterday, perhaps in a better mood, he did chat with journalists on his plane, now that his campaign has discontinued use of a second jet to save money.)

Some reporters say Obama seems disdainful toward journalists, having submitted to precisely one off-the-record chat over beer several months ago in Iowa. To them, the absence of a senior official traveling with the press is a sign of benign neglect.

The primary reason, say those who have observed Obama most closely, is that he’s never had to court the press, even in Illinois. Obama rocketed to national prominence with his 2004 Democratic convention speech, had an easy Senate election, and has gotten largely upbeat coverage from the moment he got into the presidential contest. His tactics have sometimes been criticized but not, by and large, his character.

The result: He has never had to learn press relations as a survival skill, not when he can just trot out Oprah Winfrey and ride the resulting wave.

Still, covering Obama has its compensations, largely because the man puts on a heck of a show. He draws big, noisy, mostly younger crowds that foster the impression he is leading not a campaign but a movement.

In fact, some journalists say they have to guard against getting swept away by the excitement. NBC‘s Lee Cowan was candid about fighting such temptations, saying on the network’s Web site: “I think from the reporter’s point of view, it’s almost hard to remain objective, because it’s infectious energy.” Politico Editor in Chief John Harris said on CNN that when he was a Washington Post editor a couple of years ago, “you would send a reporter out with Obama, and it was like they needed to go through detox when they came back — ‘Oh, he’s so impressive, he’s so charismatic,’ and we’re kind of like, ‘Down, boy.’ “

MSNBC‘s Chris Matthews told Jay Leno: “If you’re actually in a room with Barack Obama and you don’t cry when he gives one of those speeches, you’re not an American. It’s unbelievable.”

One media narrative that seems to be taking root is of Obama as the candidate of lofty rhetoric and Clinton as the maven of pedestrian policy talk. At a rally at Furman University here Tuesday, Obama brought the audience to several peaks, raising his voice over the applause while describing how his days as a community organizer “taught me that ordinary people can do extraordinary things” and how “the dream that so many generations fought for feels like it is slipping away.” read the rest

photos at BarackObamadotcom

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