A leader of the Democratic Party under Bill Clinton has switched his allegiance to Barack Obama and is encouraging fellow Democrats to “heal the rift in our party” and unite behind the Illinois senator.
Joe Andrew, who was Democratic National Committee chairman from 1999-2001, planned a news conference Thursday in his hometown of Indianapolis to urge other Hoosiers to support Obama in Tuesday’s primary, perhaps the most important contest left in the White House race. He also has written a lengthy letter explaining his decision that he plans to send to other superdelegates.
Bill Clinton appointed Andrew chairman of the DNC near the end of his presidency, and Andrew endorsed the former first lady last year on the day she declared her candidacy for the White House.
“He has shown such mettle under fire,” Andrew said in the interview. “The Jeremiah Wright controversy just reconfirmed for me, just as the gas tax controversy confirmed for me, that he is the right candidate for our party.”
Indiana 9th District Rep. Baron Hill, a previously uncommitted Democratic superdelegate, is endorsing presidential candidate Barack Obama today.
Hill released a statement this morning on his decision.
“Some have advised me to be cautious, to wait and see which way the electoral winds may blow,” he said. “I confess that I have listened to those voices and been tempted by their reasoning. But, the stakes are just too high.
“We cannot continue to pursue the same politics of personal destruction we have engaged in for a generation, some never-ending ‘groundhog day’ endlessly playing out the cultural wars of forty years ago,” Hill said.
“If we are going to develop real solutions for Hoosier families, for America’s families, we have to move past the partisan gridlock,” he added. “I believe both Senator Clinton and Senator Obama want to do that and I believe both are formidable candidates. But I also believe that only one of them truly can. I am proud of Senator Obama’s call for change in Washington — change I have been advocating since I first sought public office. I am truly hopeful that his campaign and election will help unify our nation and ultimately change our politics.”
Hill said Obama’s repudiation of the controversial remarks of his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., was a sign of leadership and strength of character.
Baron Hill is a Blue Dog Dem and the kind of politician the much-coveted “lunch bucket” Dems in Indiana admire. This is a huge score for Obama and a much needed boost for the campaign in a crucial state.
Now look for Baron Hill to be branded as a misogynistic, money-hungry, Kool-Aid drinking, race-baiting, unpatriotic, latte-sipping fucktard by Hillary supporters in 3, 2, 1…
MORE (6:30PM): Obama’s up in the super-del count 3-2 today over Hillary. It looks like the Wright brouhaha wasn’t having the desired effect the Hillshills was hoping it would.
As to Wright himself, well, I have my own thoughts. First and foremost, I guess I am no longer the delicate fainting flower that most other bloggers and media commenters are these days. I spent several years in the early days of this blog being all sorts of outraged about petty bullshit. I spent days calling Ted Rall an asshole (he still is, I think), days opining about what an asshole Michael Moore is, and so on. I got my panties all in a bunch about Ward Churchhill (also a dick), and stupid things Bill Maher may or may not have said, and so on.
And you know what? They may be assholes, or jerks, or whatever term you want to use, but they sure as hell didn’t run this economy into the ground. They aren’t responsible for turning a huge surplus into a several hundred billion dollar deficit. I have yet to read any memos from Barbra Streisand detailing how we should spy on American citizens.
And so it is with Jeremiah Wright. Is he a jerk? I don’t think there is any argument to be made that lately he hasn’t in fact been one big, giant, puckered asshole. His ego tour the past few days was all about him, but so what? I blame the media as much as I blame him. Is it an offensive notion that the government created aids? Absolutely, but I refuse to get all bent out of shape about it, because the government that tortures people and ran the Tuskegee experiment and wiretapped MLK for years opens itself up to crazy accusations like that.
Read it all. And if you happen to be in close proximity to Joe Scarborough or Larry Johnson, please rub their fucking noses in it.
If you’d like to enter to win a pair of tix, simply send me an email to “tips (-at-) rumproast.com” (or click on the “Tips” email link in the top right sidebar), write “Barcelona” in the subject and your full name in the body of the email before midnight tonight (4/29 ET). I’ll randomly select a winner and contact you via email if you’ve won.
This giveaway is courtesy of the fine folks at Boost Mobile.
In addition, tickets are still available at TicketWeb as well and you get a free six-month (23 issue) New York magazine subscription with purchase.
Peek below the fold for a few more Barcelona videos and one really cool claymation video from Thao Nguyen…
Now that Rumproast has become the go-to blog for dreadful pro-Hillary YouTube videos, I guess I’ve got to unleash this one on you. Scroll to about the 3:45 mark for the worst. ventriloquist. routine. ever.
If you made it through that, please accept my humblest apologies.
It’s official: Barack Obama has offered the vice presidency to an 82-year-old woman.
At a town hall meeting in Wilmington, North Carolina, Monday supporter Jean Weiss stood up to ask a question and began by telling the Illinois senator that he’s “captured her heart” with his foreign policy stands.
“When you said ‘yes I will sit down with all my enemies, we’re gonna sit around the table, we’re gonna work this thing out,’” Weiss said, “sir, that was not naiveté—that was wisdom.”
She then moved on to a question about water supply. “Before I answer the question,” Obama said, “I just want to know–will you be my running mate?”
The crowd erupted in applause, and Weiss ran up to the stage and gave him a hug.
“That’s my running mate there,” Obama said as she trotted back to her seat, her arms in the air. “She is 82 years old. She’s got some fire!”
Weiss wasn’t done, though, until she offered some advice on how to handle his rival Hillary Clinton.
“Don’t hit on Hillary,” she said. “Bring us all back. Let her do that stuff. Leave her alone, you don’t need to do that. You are higher than that. Bring us up higher than that.”
Sorry for the lack of blogging. I took a huge and tragic spill on a hill I had no business skateboarding down back when I was in college and, as a result, I occasionally throw my back out, so I’ve been laid out flat for the past two days. Here’s a quickee post for you to enjoy and then I’m going to crawl back on the couch.
Guitarist extraordinaire Gary Lucas hosted a “Beefheart Night” back on April 9th at the Knitting Factory here in NYC. Gary played with his fantastic all-instrumental Captain Beefheart cover band Fast ‘N’ Bulbous (their CD Pork Chop Blue Around the Rind is highly recommended) and several fans and friends of Don Van Vliet spoke in between the band’s two sets. David Lynch sent in a cool little video of himself reading “Pena,” too. The highlight was a surprise appearance by the legendary Robyn Hitchcock at the tail end of the evening, who performed three songs with Lucas accompanying him on the steel guitar. A few weeks ago I uploaded my video of them doing “Sure ‘Nuff ‘N’ Yes I Do” to YouTube and yesterday Lucas contacted me to let me know that both he and Hitchock really enjoyed seeing it, so I uploaded their version of “China Pig” today (unfortunately, I didn’t record their last song “Click Clack”). Enjoy.
I heard an interesting passing observation from John Harwood on MSNBC in which he more or less characterized Senator Obama’s campaign as a process “reform” campaign that may be losing a little steam as economic events overtake his theme of post partisan transcendence. I think there may be some truth in that. When Obama conceived of his campaign, political reform and ending the war in Iraq were the winning Democratic messages coming off of the 2006 election. (And it’s not to say that they are no longer issues at all; Iraq is certainly likely to take center stage again simply because it’s McCain’s white whale.) But some people are starting to get seriously worried about their own lives and when that happens they become skeptical that abstract assertions about “fixing Washington” is the way to fix their problems.
When Obama won Wisconsin, I assumed he had pulled together the Democratic coalition and that Texas and Ohio would prove that. But since that primary, events have overtaken his thematic campaign. Gas prices are rising dramatically. The stock market has been volatile. The housing market just gets worse. Working people are starting to get nervous (they are always much closer to financial ruin than the professional class.) His “change” campaign may seem a bit distant and abstract in the current circumstances. Unlike Perot, who ran as a reformer in a recessionary climate in 1992, Obama doesn’t have the decades of business experience to use as a proxy for successful economic stewardship, so he probably needs to be more explicit in his economic message now. (And while Perot got 20% of the vote, his reform message was never taken up—- it was his deficit message that penetrated. With the help of other rich powerful jackasses.)
This problem is correctable. Senator Obama probably needs to ramp up his personal energy, which has been flagging, (people need to believe the president is superhuman in times of stress) and start talking about bread and butter solutions with a touch of fiery populism. That’s where the mood is leading. It’s boring as hell to the media and the comfortable creative class types who are looking for something transcendent, but it’s what’s necessary at times like these.
And, as expected, Hillary’s ever-vigilant supporters immediately twisted Digby’s post into a flat-out endorsement of their candidate and a rejection of Obama, but she was having none of it:
What is wrong with people? I didn’t say one word about it being Hillary’s turn. Are you delusional?
I was trying to analyze why the coalition we all thought was coming together after Wisconsin hasn’t stuck. I’m going on the assumption that Obama’s the nominee and simply saying that I think he needs to change his message.
Jesus H. Christ. I can’t stand this willful inability to see anything in this primary except in terms of puerile cheerleading or slash and burn character assassination.
“Faith Healer” from Big Dipper’s Boo-Boo, quite possibly the best EP ever released
Thank god I thumbed through the latest Time Out New York this morning or I wouldn’t have known that two of my favorite indie pop bands of the 80’s, Big Dipper & Great Plains, are playing tonight at Southpaw in Park Slope. Boston’s Big Dipper released their first three exceptionally solid pop masterpieces in the late 80’s on the legendary (and long-gone) Homestead Records label and Merge Records was recently kind enough to re-release all of that out-of-print material and a slew of great bonus material on an insanely cheap 3-disc box set called Supercluster: The Big Dipper Anthology. Columbus, OH’s Great Plains were under-appreciated fractured pop masters, churning out smart n’ snarky clingers like “Letter to a Fanzine” (chorus: “Why do punk rock guys go out with new wave girls?”), “Dick Clark” and “Martin Luther King/Martin Luther Drinking”. Old 3C’s wonderful 2-CD retrospective Length of Growth 1981-89 is unfortunately out-of-print and fetches $99 or more online, but you can obtain a CD-R version of it from the label and apparently MP3 downloads are still available via eMusic and iTunes.
Today I woke up to Joe Scarborough, Andrea Mitchell, Willie Geist and Mike Barnicle, four of the whitest people you’ll ever encounter sharing a split-screen, blabbing on and on about Rev. Jeremiah Wright and how hard it is for American Caucasians to shoulder the burden of his very existence.
Insecure white people suck. If you need me I’m going to be out in my garden enjoying a beautiful Brooklyn day.