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November 11, 2007 08:55 PM UTC

The Fierce Urgency of Now!

  • by: ColObama


Nearly one in three people at last night’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner was an Obama supporter. The campaign brought 3,000 supporters to a dinner that had 9,000 attendees. They also made sure to have a representative from each of Iowa’s 99 counties in attendance.  When asked if all of the Obama supporters attending the event were from Iowa, Obama’s Iowa Press Secretary Tommy Vietor said, “All of them. Except for my dad.”

Saying he was running “because of the fierce urgency of now,” a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr….in a room filled with 9,000 Democrats that had spent the better part of the night slamming the Republican Party, [Obama] told the audience that he was running to reach across the aisle to those Independents and Republicans disaffected by the past seven years.

…Obama’s speech was buoyed by his large crowd of supporters. They chanted, yelled and stood up and cheered as he evoked the civil rights movement to talk about how he could only stand on this stage because those who had come before him were not afraid to take the difficult positions that he is supposedly espousing now.  But rather than drawing energy from the crowd to give the pep-rally style, exuberant speeches he is known for on the stump, Obama’s tone was somber, his demeanor serious. He ended on an appeal to Iowans and fellow Democrats.  “That’s why I am asking you stop settling for what the cynics say we have to accept,” Obama said. “In this election, in this moment, let us reach for what we know is possible — a world repaired, an America that knows it can believe again.” 

What the outcome of the Iowa JJ Dinner? As David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register writes:

The leading Democratic presidential candidates showed up for the Iowa Democratic Party’s big Jefferson Jackson Dinner Saturday night.

Five of them gave really good speeches.

Barack Obama’s was excellent.

It was one of the best of his campaign.  The passion he showed should help him close the gap on Hillary Clinton by tipping some undecided caucus-goers his way. His oratory was moving and he successfully contrasted himself with the others – especially Clinton – without being snide or nasty about it.

Obama was particularly impressive Saturday night.  Should he win the Iowa caucuses, Saturday’s dinner will be remembered as one of the turning points in his campaign in here, a point where he laid down the marker and began closing on Clinton, the national frontrunner…

While the Democratic candidates all had a good night, Obama clearly had the best. 

One thing was certain from last night’s event, the 3,000 Obama supporters in attendance were certainly fired up!


21 thoughts on “The Fierce Urgency of Now!

  1. The dreamer is so out of touch with reality. My wife and I agreed that Obama is not ready to be a senate committee chair, much less a vp or president.

    He’s such an appeaser that the Putins of the world would eat him alive.

    That is real scary.

    1. you and your wife agree, but I doubt any Democrat was going to get your votes anyhow. From reading your posts and diaries I have gotten the impression that if any person registers as a Democrat you have nothing good to say about them.

      Let me point out that Barack is attracting a lot of support from Independents and Republicans.

      It was sort of like finding a Christmas tree in a cornfield. In late July and early August, Iowa Republican voters were asked to name their choice for president in a University of Iowa poll. Mitt Romney, who leads most Iowa surveys, got 22 percent of the total. Rudy Giuliani came in second with 10 percent. But third place went to a Democrat, Barack Obama, who got nearly 7 percent — more than Mike Huckabee, John McCain and Sam Brownback combined.

      In fact, some Republicans are even going to Iowa to campaign for Obama.

            1. The Clinton Presidency:  A Historic Era of Progress and Prosperity 

              Longest economic expansion in American history
              The President’s strategy of fiscal discipline, open foreign markets and investments in the American people helped create the conditions for a record 115 months of economic expansion. Our economy has grown at an average of 4 percent per year since 1993.

              More than 22 million new jobs
              More than 22 million jobs were created in less than eight years — the most ever under a single administration, and more than were created in the previous twelve years.

              Highest homeownership in American history
              A strong economy and fiscal discipline kept interest rates low, making it possible for more families to buy homes. The homeownership rate increased from 64.2 percent in 1992 to 67. 7 percent, the highest rate ever.

              Lowest unemployment in 30 years
              Unemployment dropped from more than 7 percent in 1993 to just 4.0 percent in November 2000. Unemployment for African Americans and Hispanics fell to the lowest rates on record, and the rate for women is the lowest in more than 40 years.

              Raised education standards, increased school choice, and doubled education and training investment
              Since 1992, reading and math scores have increased for 4th, 8th, and 12th graders, math SAT scores are at a 30-year high, the number of charter schools has grown from 1 to more than 2,000, forty-nine states have put in place standards in core subjects and federal investment in education and training has doubled.

              Largest expansion of college opportunity since the GI Bill
              President Clinton and Vice President Gore have nearly doubled financial aid for students by increasing Pell Grants to the largest award ever, expanding Federal Work-Study to allow 1 million students to work their way through college, and by creating new tax credits and scholarships such as Lifetime Learning tax credits and the HOPE scholarship. At the same time, taxpayers have saved $18 billion due to the decline in student loan defaults, increased collections and savings from the direct student loan program.

              Connected 95 percent of schools to the Internet
              President Clinton and Vice President Gore’s new commitment to education technology, including the E-Rate and a 3,000 percent increase in educational technology funding, increased the percentage of schools connected to the Internet from 35 percent in 1994 to 95 percent in 1999.

              Lowest crime rate in 26 years
              Because of President Clinton’s comprehensive anti-crime strategy of tough penalties, more police, and smart prevention, as well as common sense gun safety laws, the overall crime rate declined for 8 consecutive years, the longest continuous drop on record, and is at the lowest level since 1973.

              100,000 more police for our streets
              As part of the 1994 Crime Bill, President Clinton enacted a new initiative to fund 100,000 community police officers. To date more than 11,000 law enforcement agencies have received COPS funding.

              Enacted most sweeping gun safety legislation in a generation
              Since the President signed the Brady bill in 1993, more than 600,000 felons, fugitives, and other prohibited persons have been stopped from buying guns. Gun crime has declined 40 percent since 1992.

              Family and Medical Leave Act for 20 million Americans
              To help parents succeed at work and at home, President Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act in 1993. Over 20 million Americans have taken unpaid leave to care for a newborn child or sick family member.

              Smallest welfare rolls in 32 years
              The President pledged to end welfare as we know it and signed landmark bipartisan welfare reform legislation in 1996. Since then, caseloads have been cut in half, to the lowest level since 1968, and millions of parents have joined the workforce. People on welfare today are five times more likely to be working than in 1992.

              Higher incomes at all levels
              After falling by nearly $2,000 between 1988 and 1992, the median family’s income rose by $6,338, after adjusting for inflation, since 1993. African American family income increased even more, rising by nearly $7,000 since 1993. After years of stagnant income growth among average and lower income families, all income brackets experienced double-digit growth since 1993. The bottom 20 percent saw the largest income growth at 16.3 percent.

              Lowest poverty rate in 20 years
              Since Congress passed President Clinton’s Economic Plan in 1993, the poverty rate declined from 15.1 percent to 11.8 percent last year – the largest six-year drop in poverty in nearly 30 years. There are now 7 million fewer people in poverty than in 1993. The child poverty rate declined more than 25 percent, the poverty rates for single mothers, African Americans and the elderly have dropped to their lowest levels on record, and Hispanic poverty dropped to its lowest level since 1979.

              Lowest teen birth rate in 60 years
              In his 1995 State of the Union Address, President Clinton challenged Americans to join together in a national campaign against teen pregnancy. The birth rate for teens aged 15-19 declined every year of the Clinton Presidency, from 60.7 per 1,000 teens in 1992 to a record low of 49.6 in 1999.

              Lowest infant mortality rate in American history
              The Clinton Administration expanded efforts to provide mothers and newborn children with health care. Today, a record high 82 percent of all mothers receive prenatal care. The infant mortality rate has dropped from 8.5 deaths per 1,000 in 1992 to 7.2 deaths per 1,000 in 1998, the lowest rate ever recorded.

              Deactivated more than 1,700 nuclear warheads from the former Soviet Union
              Efforts of the Clinton-Gore Administration led to the dismantling of more than 1,700 nuclear warheads, 300 launchers and 425 land and submarine based missiles from the former Soviet Union.

              Protected millions of acres of American land
              President Clinton has protected more land in the lower 48 states than any other president. He has protected 5 new national parks, designated 11 new national monuments and expanded two others and proposed protections for 60 million acres of roadless areas in America’s national forests.

              Paid off $360 billion of the national debt
              Between 1998-2000, the national debt was reduced by $363 billion – the largest three-year debt pay-down in American history. We are now on track to pay off the entire debt by 2009.

              Converted the largest budget deficit in American history to the largest surplus
              Thanks in large part to the 1993 Deficit Reduction Act, the 1997 Balanced Budget Act, and President Clinton’s call to save the surplus for debt reduction, Social Security, and Medicare solvency, America has put its fiscal house in order. The deficit was $290 billion in 1993 and expected to grow to $455 billion by this year. Instead, we have a projected surplus of $237 billion.

              Lowest government spending in three decades
              Under President Clinton federal government spending as a share of the economy has decreased from 22.2 percent in 1992 to a projected 18.5 percent in 2000, the lowest since 1966.

              Lowest federal income tax burden in 35 years
              President Clinton enacted targeted tax cuts such as the Earned Income Tax Credit expansion, $500 child tax credit, and the HOPE Scholarship and Lifetime Learning Tax Credits. Federal income taxes as a percentage of income for the typical American family have dropped to their lowest level in 35 years.

              More families own stock than ever before
              The number of families owning stock in the United States increased by 40 percent since 1992.

              Most diverse cabinet in American history
              The President has appointed more African Americans, women and Hispanics to the Cabinet than any other President in history. He appointed the first female Attorney General, the first female Secretary of State and the first Asian American cabinet secretary ever.

              Or: Look here..

              1. how come then I make TWICE now what I made when Slick Willie and the Beast were in office?
                My wife has almost doubled her income too.
                I drive way nicer vehicles, have a new 37′ 5th wheel, have brand new Harleys instead of old ones, and my house is worth almost three times what I paid for it in 94.

                Clinton isn’t god. Much of what you say he did was dropped in his lap. He just took over the helm and inherited prosperity.
                He did some good, don’t get me wrong. But he isn’t the godlike leader you portray.

      1. but since you asked here are a few:

        he is new to lobbyist reform and admitted just doing it to run for predient

        since being in the senate his votes match clinton on Iraq yet he continues to act like he votes against it

        Iran he voted for calling Iran a terrorist group yet he attacks hillary for it

        politics of hope, now that he’s losing its ok to attack hiilary

        releasing his records from his state senate office while attacking hillary for the clinton liberary

        just about everything out of Obamas mouth was typical washington double talk.

        1. I posted the transcript so people could quote him instead of making things up.  Please don’t create things to suite your own agenda–it makes you look like someone in the Bush whitehouse.

          you said “he is new to lobbyist reform and admitted just doing it to run for predient”

          Obama said “When I was in the state legislature, I passed the first campaign ethics reform legislation in 25 years.” 

          you said “Iran he voted for calling Iran a terrorist group yet he attacks hillary for it”

          Quoting Russert quoting the Post.  “Mr. Obama contends that one distinction lies in Ms. Clinton’s acceptance of language in the September 26, ’07” “resolution that ‘it is'” “‘critical national interest of the United States’ to stop Iran from creating a Hezbollah-like force in Iraq.  Mr. Obama claims that such language is ‘saber-rattling’ that could be used by the Bush administration to justify an attack on Iran.”

          Then Obama says ” primary difference between myself and Senator Clinton is that she believes that our force structure inside Iraq should, in part, depend on how we can prevent Iran from having influence inside of Iraq.  And I think that is a mistake, particularly at a time when we know this administration has been itching to escalate the tensions between Iran and the United States.”

          I’m sorry if you can not see the subtlety between viewing Iraq, oh I’m sorry I mean Iran (I feel like history is repeating itself), as potential threat and giving Bush a blank check he can cash using the blood of our soldiers sailors, airmen and marines.

          You said “politics of hope, now that he’s losing its ok to attack hiilary”

          Give me a break, this isn’t even worth a response.  I think his critisisms have been gentle at worst.  Can he not point out any policy differences?

          You said “releasing his records from his state senate office while attacking hillary for the clinton liberary”

          “SEN. OBAMA:  Tim, we did not keep those records.  I…

          MR. RUSSERT:  Are they gone?

          SEN. OBAMA:  Well, let’s be clear.  In the state senate, every single piece of information, every document related to state government was kept by the state of Illinois and has been disclosed and is available and has been gone through with a fine-toothed comb by news outlets in Illinois.  The, the stuff that I did not keep has to do with, for example, my schedule.  I didn’t have a schedule.  I was a state senator.  I wasn’t intending to have the Barack Obama State Senate Library. “

          Apparantly you are not familar with the informal nature and small staffs of state legislators.

          Try to use facts next time

          1. You can quote your favorite Obama lines like a preteen to rock star if you like but the facts remain that Obama admited that he took tons of lobbist money in his state senate campaign and his campaign for us sentate.  He only stopped taking the money in his campaign for president.  He also talked a lot of strong anti-war Iraq stuff until he had to actually vote on it then his record has become much more moderate, and he voted for the same resolution in March that he attacks Hillary for on Iran, and his desperate last minute attacks on Hillary are everything he claimed to be against at the begining of the race.

            1. First, let me ask you, since you accused me earlier of this, are you on paid staff for Clinton?

              And to your argument:

              1) “Obama admited that he took tons of lobbist money in his state senate campaign and his campaign for us sentate”

              The “tons” comment makes for good comedy. And your right, since campaigning for President he hasn’t taken any Lobbyist or PAC money because

              I recognize there is a certain presumptuousness – a certain audacity – to this announcement. I know I haven’t spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I’ve been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change.

              . He’s walking the talk. While on the other hand, Clinton has become entrenched in DC, accepting more money from the Defense and Health Industry than any single person in all of Washington!

              2) “He also talked a lot of strong anti-war Iraq stuff until he had to actually vote on it then his record has become much more moderate”

              Once elected to the US Senate he did vote for funding, under the same premise as all Democrats voted for funding, to protect the troops. However, since campaigning on the promise to bring troops home he has voted against the billions of funding for the war. And wasn’t it Clinton who waited to see how Obama voted on war funding before she voted?

              3) “and he voted for the same resolution in March that he attacks Hillary for on Iran”

              The two resolutions were very different, actually in length as well as language. They were nothing alike.  Clinton essentially voted for giving Bush/Cheney another clean slate for bombing another country.

              4) “and his desperate last minute attacks on Hillary are everything he claimed to be against at the begining of the race.”


              the politics of hope doesn’t mean hoping that people aren’t going to point out differences between you and, and other candidates when it comes to positions.  We have been consistent in not engaging in broadsides, not distorting people’s records.  Look, we’re running for the presidency of the United States of America, not student council president.  That means that the American people have a right to know what exactly we intend to do as president.  And if I believe that one of my opponents is potentially going to take the party or the country in a direction that does not meet our challenges, does not take advantage of the opportunities that are available, I’m going to point it out.

              The “boys” are turning up the heat on Hillary and it’s working! What a slogan.

              And one last thing, is Bill going to come to the rescue of Hillary everytime she’s in trouble? Or is she going to run the White House… I mean campaign for herself?

            2. Oh well if you can’t attack the message credibly, attack the messenger.

              As to the bit of substance in your post.

              “He also talked a lot of strong anti-war Iraq stuff until he had to actually vote on it then his record has become much more moderate,”

              The time to be decisive about Iraq was in 2002, when he was.  Now we have to eat the crap sandwich that Hilary and Bush served us.  There is no good outcome anymore.  That is why Hilary and Obama have similar views about Iraq in the present. 

              The concern with Iran is Hilary and Bush are about to serve us another crap sandwich that could make Iraq look like grenada.

      1. I hate myself sometimes for watching it:-) But I pick up my mother in law from the nursing home every Sunday morning, and almost always find myself in the kitchen fixing brreakfast for her and kids who have stayed over Saturday night….so I turn it on and it turns me off. The definition of a junkie:-)

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