The Pollitikat


John Edwards

"Wow" Happy Presidents Day

At his final rally in the general election Barack Obama looked out at the crowd of 75 thousand gathered in Virginia late November third and simply said “WOW”. That’s my wrap up of the past year. After wondering in the wilderness of the Bush Administration I can finally see the light. I feel like the past eight years were lived in a fog of fear, greed, and hatred. John Kerry described the previous administration; I believe the word he used was “thugs”. It gave a reading of the temperature in Washington, DC–brutally cold and ruthless. With Bush winning a second term I dug in for the next four years the one bright spot-Bush would definitely be out after this term. John Edwards was the first to announce and I remembered liking him when he ran for vice-President and wishing he were at the top of the ticket. John Edwards was saying all the right things focusing on poverty, healthcare, and speaking to the working class. I supported his candidacy and when Obama announced I openly blogged on Edwards site for a partnership with Obama, not caring in what order the ticket fell, I did believe America might have to be eased into a black presidency, maybe with a vice-president first. I worried about defeating the Clinton machinery, but by late fall 2007, I was solidly an Obama supporter.

Things heated up when the voting began, I rushed home from work January 3rd to catch the results and listen to analysis. I was hoping for an Obama win but did not underestimate his major competitors Edwards and Clinton. I watched as the numbers began to come in—oh my goodness, the inevitable candidate came in third and the freshman Senator from Illinois pulled a major upset. With that win came a tectonic shift in the political landscape.

Iowa was significant because it changed minds. I was a firm believer before, but Iowa made me move into action, I started getting involved in the Obama campaign, donating time and money and I didn’t looked back—I had never volunteered or gave money to any presidential campaign, this time I was “FIRED UP”!

The Democratic Convention was the best convention ever; it felt grand but mostly American. The convention offered everything by way of political theatre—there was the so called tension between Obama/Clinton camps and after seeing Michelle and the girls on opening night I don’t know how the media continued pushing that story. Hillary’s speech on Tuesday followed by the drama of the nomination of Barack Obama on Wednesday officially brought the primaries to a close and showed the real tapestry of America as delegates danced, cried and cheered—it was reality TV.

Paired against the war hero John McCain, Obama presented a tough but consistent campaign for change. By not choosing a woman to be his running mate Obama left the door open for John McCain, as I blogged during the primary if Obama didn’t chose a woman John McCain would in an attempt to split the female vote. Barreling through the door of opportunity John John McCain played the female card, choosing an unknown Governor from Alaska. When John John McCain chose a woman I realized he was going to be engaged strategically and wouldn’t just give up. The media immediately began the marketing of the Republican VP, this could have been a brilliant move on McCain’s part but it backfired because John John McCain and his running mate represented all that we needed to turn away from: war, Vietnam, racism, sexism, hatred, fear, lies, ignorance, Bush. Just as it had stunned the Clintons during the primaries, the Obama organization made political minced meat out of the John McCain campaign.

Obama and his surrogates fanned out across the country; there was Michelle, Joe and Jill Biden. He also had Bill and Hillary Clinton, political icons. There was real drama all the way through. During the primaries Obama rolled out his endorsements or policies at key moments to emphasize the influence or deflect from an unfavorable story and he continued the trend in the general. His logos were artistic and as simple as the message. The name Barack Obama and the Obama “O”, the words “hope” and “change” are synonymous with our now Presidents campaign. Then there was the man himself. He was dashing, well spoken, knowledgeable, tough, likeable, strategic, decisive, and uncorrupted, an elite political athlete. The message was simple, and stayed that way his voice striking just the right tone. I was down in the Dominican Republic early last year, wearing my Barack Obama gear declaring myself part of “Team Barack” with “Obama 08” on the back, a woman came up to me, she was from Italy and noticed my shirt. She barely knew English and I knew zero Italian but somehow we had a conversation about Obama and the American election. “I want him to win” she said clutching her chest. “We hope” I responded and she said “yes, we hope” and we hugged. Showing his political superiority during the final months of the general Obama dominated in organization, headlines, fundraising, debates, and finally the Electoral College. This was the most interesting and fun election ever, looking back all I can say is “WOW”!!

I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to Washington DC for the Inauguration ceremony; I had never done that before. I was sharing this moment with my daughter a first time voter. She said she never thought she would see and African American president in her lifetime and she is only twenty. We arrived in Washington in the early morning hours on Sunday but you could feel the excitement. When we woke up later that morning and stepped out of our hotel for breakfast we were swept up by the river of people marching to the concert being held at the Lincoln Memorial, forgetting breakfast we joined the throngs and headed towards the memorial. The crowds were amazing, I saw people with walkers and wheelchairs, and I even saw someone on crutches. There were children of all ages none of them complaining, all of them anxious for the same thing “Obama”.

I walked around DC for the next couple of days dwarfed not just by the large stone buildings but the rich history. I thought of those who came before, Harriet who ran, Sojourner who preached, Rosa who sat, and Maryann who sang. On the morning of inauguration the scene was crazy, streams of people filed down every street for the mall or parade route. We cheered and chanted, danced and ranted all in the spirit of celebrating this dynamic moment. Yes it was cold but after a while you just got numb and anticipation was the temperature, There was people as far as the eye could see as diverse in age as we were in color and I’m quite sure background. It was a beautiful mosaic that formed one big picture called America. We–the people had done this. We had all gathered together as Americans, this was our moment and we were coloring in our pages of history. As a Jamaican national living in this country for thirty years for the first time I was proud to live in America. The inauguration was grand and steeped in traditions and protocol; it was majestic and yet still felt very festive and cozy even with the millions of people. All I could say was “wow”.

Standing on the mall watching Obama getting sworn in as the 44th president my mind passed over the fact that not far from where I was standing Washington crossed the Delaware in the war for independence and landed on the U.S. Constitution. I gained a new respect for those who had written the document, the foresight and wisdom they exhibited in drafting something so fluid that would allow someone like the Obama family who would have been slaves in their days to be able to ascend to the White House. Like Obama, they too had put themselves on the line facing the greatest challenges of their day. I thought of the debater Madison with his federalist paper, Jackson through trying times, Lincoln struggling with the state of the union, and Wilson declaring war. Roosevelt faced with Depression, Kennedy and Johnson walking the tightrope of the Civil Rights Movement. They were fearless visionaries and it was their day as well.
Now we are celebrating Black History and Presidents Day—it seems fitting that these two holidays coincide sharing the same month because “Black History” is “American” history, not myths but real men and women who advocated democracy and fought for freedom. We celebrate not only those who created the documents that govern us today but also those who fought to ensure the documents lived up to their potential. People like Homer Plessey, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Dubois, Howard Thurman, Malik Shabazz, Huey Newton, and Martin King Jr. We celebrate those who moved barriers and those who crashed through. They would have been on the mall on January 20, 2009.
I feel an urgency that must have permeated the society during the days of those great Americans and although we are celebrating progress I remember the mission to create a more perfect union. As exemplified in Washington DC in the past couple of weeks the debate lives on and there is a real struggle for the consciousness of America. Obama has already articulated that his election is not the change we seek, we need a change in the mindset, we need to build on the shoulders of those who came before and not be ignorant about what they were fighting for. In case you forgot here it is:

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America” –Preamble, US Constitution,

My daughter said to me the other day “This Presidents Day means so much more to me now” words I never thought I would hear from her but she was also speaking for me. I finally had full appreciation for the men we were supposed to honor on Presidents Day. This Presidents Day represents the realization of the declaration that “all men are created equal”. It is an American holiday to pay homage to those who stood up when it wasn’t easy in order to move the country forward ideologically, it’s the Preamble and we have just taken a giant leap, moving ever so closer to a more perfect union. I can barely think of words to describe the moment, all I can say is “WOW”.

Farewell John ** The Power of Endorsement

For those who say John should not endorse anyone and stay on the sidelines is contradicting what we represent as a Democracy. Should the unions have stayed on the sidelines instead of showing support for John, should Martin Luther King III have stayed on the sidelines, should we have stayed on the sidelines. We should understand the bigger picture, John has stepped down. I know this campaign was very important to John and his family. I wanted him to win and said from day one I would like to see him and Obama on the same ticket, that would have been an unstoppable ticket.

If we cannot have that then why not support the person who best represents the kind of change we need in this country. For John to stay on the sidelines he makes himself irrelevant. Great leadership is not about staying on the sidelines, it is taking a stand, believing it and fighting for its reality. I would like to see John in the Cabinet, or as the president of the Senate, or ambassodor. I think that would more likely happen in an Obama presidency.
There are great opportunities for John to influence the world and help to bring about the change he spoke about during his campaign. He is a passionate and compelling speaker and I believe in the changes that he wants to make in America. There have been many great leaders in this country who were not presidents. John can drive the debate without any restrictions now, I think that makes him very powerful, but why would we ask John to be something we know that he is not, vengeful and selfish. Why should we ask him to deliberately take himself out the democratic process.

John loves this country and the values that are dear to us, I urge him to listen and support the candidate he feels would be best for this country, his opinion is valued. This election is not about JRE, it is about this country. It is about the position we are in right now and who can lead us out of it. It is about doing something drastic when it comes to combatting the social and economic issues that face us. It is about making changes that will be in the best interest of the American people and ease tensions around the world.

Democrats must become cohesive or the Republicans will win again. The previous two presidential elections should have been won by Democrats and yet they lost. I supported to last two Democratic candidates, by default. I am an Independant. I liked JRE in 2004 and naturally supported him this time around, but the more than I wanted JRE to win, I know I did not want a Republican. What they Republicans are saying frightens me, and our goal should be to keep them from remaining in the white house.

Thank you John, Elizabeth and family for your service to this country and for your commitment, strength and love.


Anyone who thinks I am a plant for Obama is obviously a Republican. What is being expressed here is a clear example of why the Democratic Party cannot get ahead and if we are not careful we will end up with John McCain or Mitt Romney. I understand this is a low moment when someone like John cannot penetrate and get his message out. It speaks to the corporate control of the media, that is who you should be angry at. Not the other candidates, that is why we need campaign reform. I supported John Edwards 150% and if you read my writings you would see there are critiques about Obama, you should see what I post on his site. Now with the Rezko controversy I want to know what he was doing for Rezko, but no candidate is perfect.
I know there are some out there who would rather see a Hillary presidency than an Obama one, but I am not one of them. I want to see someone who is going to have major impact here and around the world. Four more years of the Clintons are going to keep things stagnant and four years of the republicans are going to keep us at war, the economy deteriating, and social issues will not get any attention. I don’t want to see that happen. I would love to see John get in it and win, but John understands the reality of the situation thats why he stepped out so graciously.
I want to support someone who can win and the only reason I can think of why Barack wouldn’t win is because he is half black. Is racism going to stop us from electing someone who has the potential to be a great president. I think that if Barack is in there the people will have more control of their president and government. The Clintons seem to have a sense of entitlement, like the white house belongs to them, well it belongs to the people. If we cant have JRE, Barack is the other candidate that can move this country forward. We need to support him and give him the congress he needs. We need to stay involved in our government, the constitution includes us and we must be fully engaged in order to preserve democracy.

“I search for great human beings; I always found only the apes of their ideals”–Nietzsche Be different, THINK!! check me out at
by zarathustra (the POLLITIKAT)

2008 Presidential Candidates

Senator Hillary Clinton, New York. Serving as First Lady to Bill Clinton, Hillary is an author, world traveler, and Lawyer. Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton has been carving out her space in history. From what I know about her past she has always been the rebel, outspoken one. Who do you know shows up at their husbands press conference because he couldn’t make it, takes on his rival and does it with competence. Hillary did. Hillary is currently the front runner to capture the democratic nomination for president. With over $36 million in her cache and a lifetime of experience under her belt, Hillary is the first woman to be taken seriously as a candidate for president. I will go on record early saying I question Hillary’s chances of gaining the nomination. She was one of my first favorites. I liked the way she was in the face of the republicans, and her sensibility on the issues. Since being elected to the senate, I do think that Hillary has become extremely politicized, and seems to be thinking too hard and delivering rehearsed lines, rather than just speaking from the heart and in plain talk. Hillary does have a great understanding of the needs of our children and the challenges facing today’s youth. Her book “It Takes A Village,” is a well written analysis of the social problems that afflict our society in regards to the raising of (and securing a future for) our children. She also took a great deal of flack when she proposed her plan for health care. I credit her with legitimizing the issue of health care and highlighting the flaws within in the system. Her campaign is taking on a desperate tone as she carefully gages her answers. I find her on the fence about many important issues and her refusal to denounce the war in Iraq, and her vote for the war is a problem for me. I say to Hillary return to your roots, if you do you will be unstoppable. Website rating: ☺☺☺☺
Senator Barack Obama, Illinois. Barack Obama, definitely has the WOW factor. When you listen to him you can’t help but feel inspired. He definitely has the ability to provoke thought, and his message speaks to the hearts of the American people. He was extremely successful in Chicago politics and served eight years in the state senate. He is also an author and former community organizer. He is a shooting star that is high on HOPE. Sounds familiar. Former President Bill Clinton won two elections on the hope and dreams of the electorate. Barack sounds like an idealist struggling with the reality of institutional politics, but for the first time in American history there is a black man running for president that actually has a chance at winning. Recent record fundraising amounts totaling $25 million ensures Barack the time and ability to get his message out. Barack the youngest of the democratic candidates at 46years, has tapped into the Internet and shown how those supporters can help in propelling a campaign. A little tip learned from the Howard Dean run in 2004. I strongly favor Obama as a Vice Presidential candidate, but if he can convince me he is ready to be president, I am ready to change my mind. I would like to hear more substance from Barack, specific answers to question facing our country and the globe. His opposition to the Iraq war does reflect a person that thinks deep, so I am listening. Website rating: ☺☺☺

John Edwards, former Senator from North Carolina. John Edwards touched the American public during his last campaign for President. Many including myself wished he was at the top of the ticket. His common sense and straight forward approach during campaigning makes him extremely appealing. He seems to have good answers for subjects like poverty, and education, but lately I have been wondering is he the right person for the middle east issues? John latest comments showing support for the Israeli’s over the Palestinians, his proposed solution to health care, and his declaration that he will raise taxes leaves me cautious in throwing 100 percent of my support to him. I respect him for coming forward to say he believes the war is wrong and regrets his votes to support it. I feel like I am hearing the truth when John speaks. He seems like he is speaking from the heart and has given serious thought to the matter. He is right now the only democratic candidate that has given specifics on what they would do if elected. I like that he is giving real answers even if I may not agree with some of them. His recent announcement of the return of his wife’s cancer has got the media buzzing about him again. Raising $14 million for his campaign in the first quarter shows that America is listening to him. Despite the popularity of Clinton and Obama for the democrats I continue to think Edwards will win the major primaries, because he is very mainstream. merge as the candidate for the Democrats. I believe he is the true front runner in the party and is likely to win the democratic nomination. Website rating: ☺☺☺

Representative Dennis Kucinich, Ohio. If there is a rebel in the democratic camp it has to be Dennis Kucinich. Former Mayor of Cleveland, Kucinich voted against the giving powers to the president to invade Iraq as well as the Patriot Act. A favorite of the anti-war groups, Dennis is poised to steal this election. If the war in Iraq continues to be a major issue leading up to the war Kucinich will become a more relevant candidate. Right now Dennis is having a problem finding his niche and is trailing in all polls often not even on the board. Why is he having difficulty getting his message out. A vegan, activist for peace, and staunch environmentalist, Dennis should be getting more attention, but remains shadowed by the campaigns of Edwards, Obama, and Clinton. I like Kucinich stance on many of the issues, and proves to be a very forward thinker. I highly recommend viewing his 2008 campaign home page, very informational. Dennis Kucinich 2008 Website I think if he can get people to listen to him he can have a bigger impact, but the media virtually ignores his candidacy. Website rating ☺☺☺☺

Senator Joseph Biden, Delaware. Joe Biden has been around a long time, and Syracuse Law School graduate. I am not sure why Biden wants to be president. I get the feeling he is just running because. His campaign is not taken seriously and I cannot think of a reason why it should be. Biden rose to notoriety during the Iran-Contra hearings. While he may have been relevant then I find him out of date. Biden whole heartedly supported the war in Iraq and continues to advocate for breaking the country up into three separate territories. Famous for plagiarizing Neil Kinnock, Joe can’t seem to avoid blunder. His recent statements about Barack Obama once again finds the himself on the defense. What I think is most disturbing about Biden is his support for the war, I think for who has served 34 years in the senate, 30 of them on the Foreign Relations Committee, he of all people should have been more knowledgeable about terrorism and the viability of Saddam Hussein as a threat to our national security. Joe does have the ability to come off as an average guy, someone that could be your neighbor or friend and he does have the possibility of appealing to those who are nostalgic for Al Gore. Website rating: ☺☺

Christopher Dodd, former Senator from Connecticut. Who is Christopher Dodd? Another Reagan era Democrat, Christopher served in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. A Lawyer, A Peace Corp volunteer and National Guard Chris has always found a way to serve the public. A long time champion for early child care and education for American youths, as well as research for the advancement of treatment for mental health issues, Chris proves that he is indeed compassionate. Author of the “Help America Vote Act” Dodd is an loud advocate for equal opportunity for all American voters. I don’t think that America takes Dodd serious as a candidate and his funding reports reflect a lack on enthusiasm for his candidacy. I think that Dodd and Biden seem dated in this election and appear to be running just to capture the political trophy. I truly believe their time has passed and America is looking for someone new and fresh. Website rating: ☺☺



Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachussettes. Long before Romney raised $25 million for his presidential campaign, I thought he was the Republican candidate to beat. While all the media is going goo goo ga ga over Gulliani and McCain, Mitt Romney is delivering his message in a clear and effective manner. I personally think it is absurd to think that anyone but Mitt could get the nomination from the republican party, and I would be extremely surprised if anyone. I don’t think I know everything, but based on what I know of the Republican party Mitt fits like a glove. Especially since the current administration has turned out to be so hypocritical and an utter disaster, I can’t understand why anyone thinks the republicans would take a chance on Guiliani or McCain. Romney speaks the Republican language and his campaign war chest shows they are listening to the once married Morman. Noted for his successes on the Olympic Committee and his accomplishments as Governor of Massachussettes, Romney earned his MBA from Harvard. A former venture capitalist Romney has the business skills to manage the US’s massive budget. Does he have a wider appeal? Website rating: ☺☺☺
Rudolph Gulliani, former Mayor of New York. Name any scandal and Rudolph Guiliani has been a part of it, and has turned out to be the Teflon candidate. Serving as Attorney General and then Mayor of New York City, the former Chief of the Narcotics Units and New York University Law graduate Rudolph Guiliani has left nothing under the table. Of all the candidates I think that we might know more about Rudy than anyone cares to know. A scandalous divorce and corruption has followed Guiliani. Before September 11, 2004, Rudy, though liked by the republican establishment, was considered one of the worst and most disliked mayors. His approval ratings were in the thirties and he was referred to as dead politically. His rise in popularity 9/11 Rudy would not have a chance as a candidate, it does not seem to matter to some republicans that he did not have much to do with 9/11 since his term ended three months after the attack, and current mayor Bloomberg is greatly responsible for bringing the city back. Guiliani is known for his shrewed campaign tactics as practiced during his mayoral campaigns and is a skilled fundraiser as proven with his $16 million dollar campaign bank. I have only one word to sum up Guiliani, “JERK”. He is extremely arrogant and shows an extreme lack of respect for the American people. I don’t like Guiliani and consider him to be “George W. Bush part Duo”. Guiliani supporters are hardliners and corporations. Much like Bush, Guiliani is a divider and rules with an iron fist. I do not see him bringing peace to world but more war or prosperity to the majority of Americans. Website rating: ☺ ☺

Senator John McCain, Arizona. John McCain has turned out to be the dud of a candidate. Naval Academy Graduate and Vietnam Veteran, John has been described as the straight talk candidate, recent comments however call into question the credibility of McCain and his loyalty to the American people. Supporter of the Iraq war and “torture” many feel that John has sold himself to the Bush Administration. Once thought of as the renegade John now seems even closer to Bush and his agenda. I feel he has abandoned the Republican ideals. As a former prisoner of war I am as I am sure many are disappointed in John McCain for supporting the Bush policy for treatment of “detainees”. He knows first hand how ugly war is, yet he stood by and allowed George Bush to send innocent Americans to war. John McCain continues to support the war and the Bush policy in the middle east. I personally never liked John McCain but could understand America’s fascination with him. His straight talk express gained him much attention during the last campaign but not the nomination. It will be interesting to see if McCain can pull himself up from the bottom. Website rating: ☺☺☺

Senator Sam Brownback, Kansas. Kansas lawyer and former radio broadcaster Sam Brownback took over presidential candidate Bob Dole’s seat in the Senate in 1996. A graduate from Kansas University Law School Brownback has a strong media and agriculture background. He was the secretary of agriculture in Kansas and served the first George Bush as a White House Fellow. Sam is the “marriage” candidate and promotes strong Republican values. He calls for cleaning up America’s culture with strong feelings about television and entertainment. He is a supporter of the war defining the situation as “hopeful”. He is does not believe in gun control and often reminds me of the voyeurism that is often associated with the republican party. I can see Brownback appealing to a segment of the republican party but may split votes with Romney. Brownback is convincing but not original. It will be interesting to see how Brownback fairs in the next coming months. With all the attention on Guiliani, McCain, and now Romney, the Republican party seems to be saying Romney over Brownback. Website rating: ☺☺☺☺
Tommy Thompson, former Governor of Wisconsin. Born in Elroy, Wisconsin, Tommy Thompson enjoyed a successful career as Governor for that state between 1987 and 2001. A successful lawyer Tommy has decided to return to public service in a bid for the Republican nomination for president. He served the Bush administration as the Secretary for Health and Human Services. I have no idea why Thomspon is running but I am sure we will find out in the months ahead. He has yet to establish himself as a viable candidate and gives very little information on his web site. I would like to hear more from Brownback about his position on issues such a woman’s right to chose, his solution to the war on Iraq, and how he would handle the big divide in America. Website rating: ☺

Representative Duncan Hunter, California. A fiesty outspoken Reagan Republican Duncan has made his presence in congress known. Serving in the House of Representatives for , Hunter is the conservatives Republican. He is wildly popular in his district and has been running virtually unopposed since his first election 27 years ago. A vietnam veteran and former store front attorney Hunter has made securing our borders one of his main focus since enter congress, often bumbing heads with the current administration over border security issue. Hunter may have also been instrumental in bringing down former California Governor Gray Davis. Don’t be confused however, Hunter is a conservative Republican advocating for the traditional republican issues, such as overturning Roe v. Wade, the outlaw of embrionic stemcell research, and favors a constitutional amendment stating marriage is between a man an woman. While I may not like much of what Hunter has to say, his position on border control is something I can agree with. Website rating: ☺

Website ratings are based on quality of candidate campaign website. Usability, information provided on site, and attractiveness all contribute to overall score. Range of score is one to four smiley face ☺, with four smiley faces being the highest score.

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