Archive for the ‘2008 Presidential Candidates’ Category
Racists plotted to kill Obama, ATF says
By Carrie Johnson
10/27/2008 04:59:18 PM PDT
WASHINGTON — Investigators disrupted an improbable plan to assassinate Sen. Barack Obama and kill 102 other African-Americans in a spree fueled by white supremacist ideology, officials at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said Monday.
Federal prosecutors in Jackson, Tenn., unsealed a criminal complaint charging two men with conspiracy, possession of an unregistered sawed-off shotgun and making threats against a presidential candidate. Daniel Cowart, 20, and Paul Schlesselman, 18, remain in federal custody.
The men met online nearly a month ago through a mutual friend who was not identified in court papers. Their chats intensified and their scheme took shape, according to a sworn statement by ATF agent Brian A. Weeks.
Using a .308-caliber rifle and a high-powered weapon they planned to steal from a gun store, the men plotted to “drive their vehicle as fast as they could toward Obama shooting at him from the windows,” the affidavit said. “Both individuals stated they would dress in all white tuxedos and wear top hats during the assassination attempt.”
Cowart traveled from Tennessee to Arkansas to pick up Schlesselman at his residence Oct. 20. From there, they planned to rob a gun shop, target a predominately African-American school and ultimately attack Obama, who is leading in most national polls in his bid for the White House.
The far-fetched plot soon fell apart, however. The day after they met in person, the men attempted to rob a home in Bells, Tenn., only to be deterred when they spotted a dog and two vehicles on the premises, Weeks wrote.
On Oct. 22, while driving around randomly, they shot a window out of the Church of Christ of Beech Grove in Brownsville, Tenn., then returned to Cowart’s grandfather’s house, according to court papers. The same day, they purchased chalk and drew swastikas and other “racially motivated words and symbols” on the hood of their car, court papers said. The Crockett County sheriff took the men into custody that night.
Authorities recovered a short-barreled shotgun, two handguns, a rifle and ammunition, they reported.
“It is critical that the alleged plot was interrupted,” said James Cavanaugh, special agent in charge of the ATF’s Nashville office.
Richard Harlow, special agent in charge of the Memphis field office of the U.S. Secret Service, said the agency “takes all threats against presidential candidates seriously.”
Joe Byrd, an attorney for Cowart, did not return calls. A spokeswoman for the federal public defender’s office in Jackson, which is representing Schlesselman, declined to comment.
Both men are scheduled to appear again in court Thursday for a detention hearing, said Lawrence J. Laurenzi, acting U.S. attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.
Skinheads held over Obama death plot
By Deborah Charles
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two white supremacist skinheads were arrested in Tennessee over plans to go on a killing spree and eventually shoot Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, court documents showed on Monday.
Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman were charged in a criminal complaint with making threats against a presidential candidate, illegal possession of a sawed-off shotgun and conspiracy to rob a gun dealer.
The plot did not appear to be very advanced or sophisticated, the court documents showed.
“We’re unsure of their ability or if they have the wherewithal to carry out any of their threats,” said a source close to the investigation.
Obama would be the first black president in U.S. history if he defeats Republican John McCain in the November 4 election. Concerns about Obama’s safety led the Secret Service to provide round-the-clock protection from early in his campaign.
The suspects met over the Internet about a month ago, said an affidavit filed by Brian Weaks, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“The individuals began discussing going on a ‘killing spree’ that included killing 88 people and beheading 14 African Americans,” Weaks said in the affidavit.
The men stole guns from family members and also had a sawed-off shotgun. They planned to target a predominately black school, going state to state while robbing individuals and continuing to kill people, Weaks said in the affidavit.
“They further stated that their final act of violence would be to attempt to kill/assassinate presidential candidate Barack Obama,” he said.
The men planned to wear white tuxedos and top hats during the assassination attempt, which would have involved driving as fast as they could toward Obama and shooting him from the windows of the car.
They planned their first house robbery for October 22 but ended up leaving without breaking in. Instead they bought ski masks, food and rope to use in their robbery attempts.
They were arrested later that day and officials unsealed the court docket on Monday.
They wrote racially motivated words and symbols on the exterior of Cowart’s vehicle, including a Swastika and the numbers “14” and “88” on the hood of the car.
ATF special agent in charge James Cavanaugh said “H” is the eighth letter of the alphabet and 88 stood for “Heil Hitler.”
“The U.S. Secret Service takes all threats against presidential candidates seriously and is actively investigating the allegations,” said Richard Harlow, special agent in charge of the Secret Service-Memphis Field Office. “The Secret Service does not comment on this type of investigation.”
Posted in 2008 Presidential Candidates, Alaska, Anchorage, Barack Obama, Barack Obama vs John McCain, Obama 08, Palin, Politics, Sarah Palin, tagged Alaska Largest Newspaper, Anchorage Daily News on October 27, 2008| 1 Comment »
Alaska’s largest newspaper endorses Obama
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Anchorage Daily News, Alaska’s largest newspaper, endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama Sunday after declaring Gov. Sarah Palin “too risky” to be one step away from the Oval Office.
“Like picking (Republican presidential candidate John) McCain for president, putting her one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time,” The Daily News said.
The newspaper said Obama “brings far more promise to the office. In a time of grave economic crisis, he displays thoughtful analysis, enlists wise counsel and operates with a cool, steady hand.”
The Daily News said since the economic crisis has emerged, McCain has “stumbled and fumbled badly” in dealing with it.
“Of the two candidates, Sen. Obama better understands the mortgage meltdown’s root causes and has the judgment and intelligence to shape a solution, as well as the leadership to rally the country behind it,” the paper said.
The Daily News said Palin has shown the country why she is a success as governor. But the paper said few would argue that Palin is truly ready to step into the job of being president despite her passion, charisma and strong work ethic.
“Gov. Palin’s nomination clearly alters the landscape for Alaskans as we survey this race for the presidency — but it does not overwhelm all other judgment. The election, after all is said and done, is not about Sarah Palin, and our sober view is that her running mate, Sen. John McCain, is the wrong choice for president at this critical time for our nation,” the paper said.
Posted in 2008 Presidential Candidates, Barack Obama, Barack Obama vs John McCain, Breaking News, Elections 2008, International, Obama Biden 2008, Politics, World Wants Obama on October 22, 2008| Leave a Comment »
The world picks Obama for president – 4 to 1
October 22, 2008
Americans may still be undecided, but the rest of the world has made up its mind about who should be elected president of the United States.
A Gallup poll of 70 countries conducted from May through September has found widespread international support for Democratic candidate Barack Obama.
Around the world, respondents favoured Mr. Obama 4 to 1 over Republican John McCain.
In Canada, 67 per cent chose Mr. Obama and 22 per cent Mr. McCain. And 75 per cent of Canadian respondents said the presidential election would make a difference for their own country.
The Democratic nominee also enjoyed levels of support higher than 60 per cent in Australia, Germany, England and Japan, where the U.S. election was viewed as having a global impact.
Around the world, only Georgia, Cambodia, Laos and the Philippines backed the Republican candidate.
Europeans were the most likely to state a preference in the election and to believe the winner would have an impact on their own countries.
Mr. Obama also received an overseas endorsement yesterday from the Conservative mayor of London, Boris Johnson.
“He visibly incarnates change and hope, at a time when America desperately needs both,” Mr. Johnson wrote in the Daily Telegraph.
Within the United States, change seemed to be the theme of this week’s polls.
A Pew Research Center poll released yesterday found that the Democrat is enjoying his widest margin yet over Mr. McCain among registered voters, at 52 per cent to 38 per cent.
The Rasmussen Report, however, released a daily tracking poll that had Mr. Obama ahead by just four points, leading Mr. McCain 50 per cent to 46 per cent, and Gallup had Mr. Obama ahead 52 per cent to 41 per cent.
But attention is increasingly settling on key battleground states, where the two candidates are competing for the electoral votes they need to win the White House on Nov. 4.
Polls yesterday showed the Democrats leading in all of the battleground states won by John Kerry in 2004 and several won by Republican President George W. Bush.
A CNN poll yesterday had Mr. Obama leading in Colorado by a margin of 51 to 47 per cent. In Florida, he was ahead 49 to 45, within the poll’s margin of error. The same poll found Mr. McCain leading in Indiana 51 per cent to 46 per cent, and in Georgia 53 per cent to 45 per cent.
It was reported this week that the McCain campaign had effectively given up on Colorado, Iowa and New Mexico, states the party had once believed would lead them to victory.
But Jill Hazelbaker, Mr. McCain’s national communications director, released a statement yesterday denying the report.
“We see the race tightening both internally and in public polling,” she said. “We are within striking distance in the key battleground states we need to win.”
Who would you personally rather see elected president of the United States?
Note: Totals may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
TONIA COWAN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL // SOURCE: GALLUP
Posted in 2008 Presidential Candidates, Barack Obama, Barack Obama Arab, Barack Obama Muslim, Barack Obama vs John McCain, Hate, John McCain, Negativity, Politics, Sarah Palin, Smear Campaigns on October 20, 2008| Leave a Comment »
At McCain rallies, people in the crowds have shouted “kill him”, “terrorist”, “traitor”, “treason”, “arab”, “Muslim” and other hateful and malicious slurs against Barack Obama. McCain – Palin continue, to this day, to falsely accuse Obama of being allied with terrorists.
Posted in 2008 Presidential Candidates, Barack Obama, Breaking News, Colin Powell, Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama for president, Obama 08, Obama Biden 2008, Politics, tagged Democrat, Economic Crisis, Gov Sarah Palin, Republican on October 19, 2008| 2 Comments »
Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama for President
By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON – Colin Powell, a Republican who was President Bush’s first secretary of state, endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president Sunday and criticized the tone of Republican John McCain’s campaign.
Powell said both Obama and Republican John McCain are qualified to be commander in chief. But he said Obama is better suited to handle the nation’s economic problems as well as help improve its standing in the world.
“It isn’t easy for me to disappoint Sen. McCain in the way that I have this morning, and I regret that,” Powell, interviewed on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said of his longtime friend, the Arizona senator.
“But I firmly believe that at this point in America’s history, we need a president that will not just continue, even with a new face and with the changes and with some maverick aspects, who will not just continue basically the policies that we have been following in recent years,” Powell said.
“I think we need a transformational figure. I think we need a president who is a generational change and that’s why I’m supporting Barack Obama, not out of any lack of respect or admiration for Sen. John McCain.”
Powell’s endorsement has been much anticipated because he is a Republican with impressive foreign policy credentials, a subject on which Obama is weak. At the same time, he is a black man and Obama would be the nation’s first black president.
Powell said he was cognizant of the racial aspect of his endorsement, but said that was not the dominant factor in his decision. If it was, he said, he would have made the endorsement months ago.
Powell also expressed disappointment in the negative tone of McCain’s campaign, his choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as a running mate and McCain’s and Palin’s decision to focus in the closing weeks of the contest on Obama’s ties to 1960s-era radical William Ayers.
He said McCain’s choice of Palin raised questions about judgment.
“I don’t believe she’s ready to be president of the United States,” Powell said.
Powell, as secretary of state, helped make the case before the United Nations for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, launched in March 2003. A retired general, he also was the nation’s top military commander, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during the first Gulf war under President George H.W. Bush.
McCain disagreed with Powell’s decision and said he has been endorsed by four other former secretaries of state, all veterans of Republican administrations: Henry Kissinger, James A. Baker III, Lawrence Eagleburger and Alexander Haig.
“Well, I’ve always admired and respected Gen. Powell. We’re longtime friends. This doesn’t come as a surprise,” McCain said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Asked whether Powell’s endorsement would undercut his campaign’s assertion that Obama is not ready to lead, McCain said: “Well, again, we have a very, we have a respectful disagreement, and I think the American people will pay close attention to our message for the future and keeping America secure.”
Powell said he does not plan to campaign for Obama.
It’s official: Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama
Retired Army Gen. Colin L. Powell, an adviser to the last three Republican presidents, said today that he is crossing party lines to support the Democratic candidate for the White House.
“I think he is a transformational figure … and for that reason, I’ll be voting for Barack Obama,” Powell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“We need a president who will not just continue … basically the policies that we have been following in recent years,” said Powell, who once briefly considered his own run for the 1996 Republican presidential nomination. “We need a president who is a generational change.”
Powell, 71, who was President Bush’s first secretary of State and served Bush’s father as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Ronald Reagan as national security advisor, said he believed that Obama had the style and substance to be successful in the role at a time when America must be better represented and involved on the world stage. He cited a need to speak to world figures “who we have not been willing to talk to before.”
“This is a time for outreach,” Powell said.
He cited the Illinois senator’s “ability to inspire” and the “inclusive nature of his campaign.” He said that Obama in recent weeks has “displayed a steadiness” and “showed intellectual vigor” in addressing issues as diverse as the economy and the selection of Sen. Joe Biden, one of the Senate’s leading experts on foreign affairs, his running mate.
But despite his long friendship with and admiration for the Republican nominee, John McCain, Powell said he was concerned about the Arizona senator’s approach to those same two issues. “I found that he was a little unsure as to deal with the economic problems that we were having, and almost every day there was a different approach to the problem,” he said.
As for McCain’s selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, Powell said that “now that we have had a chance to watch her for some seven weeks, I don’t believe she’s ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president. And so that raised some question in my mind as to the judgment that Sen. McCain made.”
The election of Obama as president, Powell said, would “electrify the country and electrify the world.”
— Richard B. Schmitt
In an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Powell backed Obama over fellow Republican John McCain, calling the Democratic nominee a “transformational figure” who could be an “exceptional president.”
Powell said he plans to vote for Obama in the November 4 election but does not intend to campaign for the Illinois senator as Obama and McCain enter the final weeks of their battle for the White House.
Powell, who served in the military and government for 40 years, said he is not looking for a job in an Obama administration. However, he said, “I’ve always said if a president asks you to do something, you have to consider it.”
McCain, appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” said Powell’s support of Obama did not come as a surprise and said four other secretaries of state had endorsed him.
In picking Obama over McCain, Powell said either “man would be a good president.”
Powell praised Obama’s “depth of knowledge” and “steadiness,” while he was critical of what he described as McCain’s uncertainty over how to deal with economic crisis.
Powell also voiced concern about McCain’s selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate.
“She is a very distinguished woman and she is to be admired,” Powell said. “But … I don’t believe she is ready to be president of the United States.”