Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the most presidental of them all?

We have been hearing rumors about Senator Barack Obama running for president. It started two years ago, when he delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. Senator Obama went from being a novice senator in Illinois to one of the potentials for president in 2008. Since then, political scientists have been calling it; Obama will run in 2008.

Will he win the election? That is an entirely different story. But as far as the Democratic Party’s bid goes, rumor is he will easily get it. But not so fast Senator! Hillary Clinton is still eyeing the seat for 2008; perhaps that’s what her motivation to run for the New York Senate seat has been all along.

No one knows who will get the Democrats’ bid for president and certainly the race will be a heated one with a strong candidate from the Republicans (John McCain anyone?). The fight will be hotter than ever and this is only the beginning!

Obama reaches out in key 2008 states

By Mike Dorning
Washington Bureau
Published November 29, 2006

WASHINGTON -- As Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) nears a decision on a White House bid, he is taking steps to reach out to potential supporters in important states in the nominating process, including headlining a Dec. 10 rally in New Hampshire, home of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

Granite State Democrats asked Obama to be the star attraction at a party event to celebrate sweeping victories in the state in the November election.

The senator also recently has discussed a potential campaign with leading Democratic activists in Iowa, which holds the influential caucus that kicks off the presidential primary campaign in early 2008. Among those he has spoken with are the former Iowa campaign managers for 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry and 2000 Democratic nominee Al Gore, an Obama campaign adviser said.Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said an announcement of the senator's presidential intentions is "several weeks away."

The recent release of his second memoir, "The Audacity of Hope," and a publicity tour to promote the book have bolstered his already high visibility just as he is contemplating a presidential run. This fall he has been featured on the cover of Time magazine and made several television appearances, including on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Meet the Press" and "Late Show With David Letterman." This Friday he appears on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."His book is No. 1 on The New York Times' non-fiction best-seller list.

"That's pretty stunning, boggling really," said Jim Jordan, a former Kerry national campaign manager. "The fact that so many people are willing to plunk down 30 bucks to access his thoughts, ideas and political philosophy is pretty impressive.

"Among those urging Obama to run is his fellow Illinois senator, Democrat Dick Durbin, who on Monday started an online petition asking Obama to enter the presidential race. Such a petition can be a useful tool for gathering contact information for potential donors and campaign volunteers.

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairwoman Kathy Sullivan said she raised the idea of an appearance in the state during a call Obama made to her shortly after the November election congratulating her on the party's performance in the Granite State.

"A lot of people in the Democratic base are excited to see him. I even talked to a Republican who asked if he could get a ticket," Sullivan said.

William Shaheen, husband of former New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen and the state chairman or co-chairman for three prior winning presidential primary campaigns, said the event will provide an auspicious introduction for Obama.

"When you're invited to speak at an event like this, you get access to the activists, the shakers and the movers of this thing," Shaheen said. "He may acquire some converts. Depending on how well he does, he may start a movement.

"Obama already has made several appearances in Iowa. He was the keynote speaker in September at one of the premier events for Democratic activists in that state, an annual fish fry hosted by the state's long-serving Democratic senator, Tom Harkin.


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