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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.”

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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.

AP INVESTIGATION: Palin pipeline terms curbed bids
By JUSTIN PRITCHARD and GARANCE BURKE, Associated Press Writers Justin Pritchard And Garance Burke, Associated Press Writers

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Gov. Sarah Palin’s signature accomplishment — a contract to build a 1,715-mile pipeline to bring natural gas from Alaska to the Lower 48 — emerged from a flawed bidding process that narrowed the field to a company with ties to her administration, an Associated Press investigation shows.

Beginning at the Republican National Convention in August, the McCain-Palin ticket has touted the pipeline as an example of how it would help America achieve energy independence.

“We’re building a nearly $40 billion natural gas pipeline, which is North America’s largest and most expensive infrastructure project ever, to flow those sources of energy into hungry markets,” Palin said during the Oct. 2 vice presidential debate.

Despite Palin’s boast of a smart and fair bidding process, the AP found that her team crafted terms that favored only a few independent pipeline companies and ultimately benefited the winner, TransCanada Corp.

And contrary to the ballyhoo, there’s no guarantee the pipeline will ever be built; at a minimum, any project is years away, as TransCanada must first overcome major financial and regulatory hurdles.

In interviews and a review of records, the AP found:

_Instead of creating a process that would attract many potential builders, Palin slanted the terms away from an important group — the global energy giants that own the rights to the gas.

_Despite promises and legal guidance not to talk directly with potential bidders, Palin had meetings or phone calls with nearly every major candidate, including TransCanada.

_The leader of Palin’s pipeline team had been a partner at a lobbying firm where she worked on behalf of a TransCanada subsidiary. Also, that woman’s former business partner at the lobbying firm was TransCanada’s lead private lobbyist on the pipeline deal, interacting with legislators in the weeks before the vote to grant TransCanada the contract. Plus, a former TransCanada executive served as an outside consultant to Palin’s pipeline team.

_Under a different set of rules four years earlier, TransCanada had offered to build the pipeline without a state subsidy; under Palin, the company could receive a maximum $500 million.

“Governor Palin held firmly to her fundamental belief that Alaska could best serve Alaskans and the nation’s interests by pursuing a competitive approach to building a natural gas pipeline,” said McCain-Palin spokesman Taylor Griffin. “There was an open and transparent process that subjected the decision to extensive public scrutiny and due diligence.”

___

ONLY ONE VIABLE BIDDER

There were never more than a few players that could execute such a complex undertaking — at least a million tons of steel stretching across some of Earth’s most hostile and remote terrain.

TransCanada estimates it will cost $26 billion; Palin’s consultants estimate nearly $40 billion.

The pipeline would run from Alaska’s North Slope to Alberta in Canada; secondary supply lines would take the gas to various points in the United States and Canada. The pipeline would carry 4.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas daily, about 8 percent of the present U.S. market.

Building such a pipeline had been a dream for decades. The rising cost and demand for energy injected new urgency into the proposal.

So too did the depletion of Alaska’s long-reliable reserves of oil, which are trapped in the same Arctic Circle reservoirs as clean-burning natural gas. Not only does that oil provide jobs, it pays for an annual dividend check to nearly every Alaska resident. This year’s payment was $2,069, 25 percent higher than 2007 — plus a $1,200 bonus rebate to help offset higher energy costs.

Palin was elected as governor two years ago in part because of her populist appeal. Promising “New Energy for Alaska,” she vowed to take on Exxon Mobil Corp., ConocoPhillips and BP, the multinational energy companies that long dominated the state’s biggest industry.

Oil interests were particularly unpopular at that moment: Federal agents had recently raided the offices of six lawmakers in a Justice Department investigation into whether an Alaska oil services company paid bribes in exchange for promoting a new taxing formula that would ultimately further the multinationals’ pipeline plans.

Palin ousted fellow Republican Gov. Frank Murkowski, who pushed a pipeline deal he negotiated in secret with the “Big Three” energy companies. That deal went nowhere.

With Alaskans eager for progress and sour on Big Oil, Palin tackled the pipeline issue with gusto, meeting with representatives from all sides and assembling her own team of experts to draw up terms.

Palin invited bidders to submit applications and offered the multimillion-dollar subsidy. Members of Palin’s team say that without the incentive, it might not have received any bids for the risky undertaking.

___

TIES THAT BIND

Palin’s team was led by Marty Rutherford, a widely respected energy specialist who entered the upper levels of state government nearly 20 years ago. Rutherford solidified her status when, in 2005, she joined an exodus of Department of Natural Resources staff who felt Murkowski was selling out to the oil giants.

What the Palin administration didn’t tell legislators — and neglected to mention in its announcement of Rutherford’s appointment — was that in 2003, Rutherford left public service and worked for 10 months at the Anchorage-based Jade North lobbying firm. There she did $40,200 worth of work for Foothills Pipe Lines Alaska, Inc., a subsidiary of TransCanada.

Foothills Pipe Lines Alaska Inc. paid Rutherford for expertise on topics including state legislation and funding related to gas commercialization, according to her 2003 lobbyist registration statement.

Palin has said she wasn’t bothered by that past work because it had occurred several years before. But Rutherford wouldn’t have passed her new boss’ own standards: Under ethics reforms the governor pushed through, Rutherford would have had to wait a year to jump from government service to a lobbying firm.

Rutherford also has downplayed her work for Foothills.

“I did a couple of projects for them, small projects,” she told a state Senate committee examining the TransCanada bid earlier this year. While a partner, Rutherford said, she “realized that my heart was not in the private sector, it was in the public sector, and I sold out for the same amount of money I bought in for.”

At one point, Palin’s pipeline team debated Rutherford’s role, but concluded there was no problem.

“We were looking at it in terms of is this an actual conflict or is there the appearance of impropriety of Marty’s participation,” said Pat Galvin, the commissioner of the Revenue Department and another top team member. “It was determined that there was none, and so we moved forward.”

Patricia Bielawski, Rutherford’s former partner at Jade North, spent last summer in Juneau, the state capital, serving as TransCanada’s lead private lobbyist on the pipeline deal. While the Legislature debated — and ultimately approved — the TransCanada deal, Bielawski met with lawmakers and sat in on the public proceedings, several legislators said.

Bielawski told AP earlier this month that Rutherford’s employment at her firm was irrelevant. She said Rutherford never directly lobbied the Legislature for Foothills, and that Rutherford broke no rules based on 2003 state ethics guidelines.

“There’s no statutory or regulatory prohibition that extends to things that many years ago,” Bielawski said. “So there’s no issue.”

But others say it’s a legitimate question.

“I’m not saying someone’s getting paid off for a sweetheart contract, but it’s very hard to ignore that this is your former partner and your former client standing there before you,” said Republican Sen. Lyda Green, a Palin critic who in August was among the handful of lawmakers who voted against awarding TransCanada the license. “Every time it was mentioned to the governor or to the commission, it was like, ‘How could you question such a wonderful person?'”

Tony Palmer, the TransCanada vice president who leads the company’s Alaska gas pipeline effort, rejects the suggestion that his company benefited.

“We have gained clearly no advantage from anything that Ms. Rutherford did for Foothills some five years ago on a very much unrelated topic,” he said.

Rutherford did not respond to interview requests made directly to her and through the governor’s office. But Griffin, the spokesman for the McCain-Palin campaign, said Rutherford “had no decision-making role or authority,” and contended that such matters were handled by others on the Palin pipeline team.

TransCanada also had a connection to the team hired by the Palin administration to analyze the bid. Patrick Anderson, a former TransCanada executive, served as an outside consultant and ultimately helped the state conclude that TransCanada’s technical solution for shipping gas through freezing temperatures would work.

___

NARROW SET OF RULES

In January 2007, Palin spoke the first of at least two times to Vice President Dick Cheney, the Bush administration’s point person on energy issues, according to calendars obtained by the AP through a public records request. Cheney’s staff pressed the Palin administration to draw in the energy companies, said current and former state officials involved in those discussions.

As the governor’s approach unfolded in the spring of 2007, there were signs it was skewed in a different direction.

Palin said she saw problems if the firms that own the gas also owned the pipeline. They could manipulate the market or charge prohibitive fees to smaller exploration firms, discouraging competition.

Several important requirements in the legislation were unpalatable to the big oil companies. In the talks under Murkowski, the firms asked that the rates for the gas production tax and royalties be fixed for 45 years; Palin refused to consider setting rates for that long.

Under the Palin process, the pipeline firms had an advantage because they simply pass along taxes paid by oil and gas producers.

Oil company officials warned lawmakers they wouldn’t participate under those terms. Still, in a near unanimous vote, the Legislature passed the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act in May 2007, generally as written by Palin’s pipeline team.

Once the state issued its request for proposals on July 2, 2007, the level of communication between the government and potential bidders was supposed to decrease drastically, so that no one would be accused of gaining unfair advantage. State lawyers advised public officials to keep their distance, and bidders were told to submit questions on a Web site where answers could be seen by all.

Several of the state’s gas line team members interviewed by AP said they had no contact with possible bidders. But Palin had conversations with executives at most of the major potential bidders during that period, according to her calendars.

While the calendars don’t detail what was discussed, the documents indicate that the pipeline was the subject of the discussions, or that the conversations occurred immediately after a briefing with Palin’s pipeline team.

When she was in Michigan for a National Governors Association summit in late July 2007, Palin and her team met executives from Williams Co., a pipeline builder that ended up not bidding.

“The purpose of the meeting was to more fully understand the details of the project, which we were still evaluating at the time,” company spokeswoman Julie Gentz said in a statement.

TransCanada’s Palmer described communication with state officials as nonexistent.

According to the governor’s official schedule, however, Palin called TransCanada President and CEO Hal Kvisle on Aug. 8, 2007. Asked about that call, Palmer said it was to clarify the bidding process.

Griffin said that in keeping with legal guidance, Palin never spoke in any of the meetings about the competitive bidding process.

By the Nov. 30 submission deadline, there were five applications. But the state disqualified four for failing to satisfy the bill’s requirements.

That left TransCanada.

The Canadian giant had been pursuing an Alaska pipeline since at least 2004, when the company negotiated a deal with Rutherford that the state ended up shelving. While the details remain confidential, six people familiar with the terms told the AP that TransCanada was willing to do the work then without the large state subsidy.

In testimony this July before the state Senate, Rutherford herself confirmed such a willingness, but described the 2004 deal as presenting a different set of trade-offs. A state lawyer warned her not to say more, lest she violate a confidentiality agreement.

Others who reviewed the deal think much of the $500 million will be wasted money.

“Most definitely TransCanada got a sweetheart deal this time,” said Republican Sen. Bert Stedman, who voted against the TransCanada license. “Where else could you get a $500 million reimbursement when you don’t even have the financing to build the pipeline?”

___

Associated Press writer Brett J. Blackledge contributed to this report.

McCain volunteer admits to hoax
Saturday, October 25, 2008
By Michael A. Fuoco, Jerome L. Sherman and Sadie Gurman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Almost from the start, Pittsburgh police were skeptical about a young woman’s claim that she had been mugged and a “B” carved into her cheek by an attacker who was provoked by the sight of a John McCain bumper sticker on her car.

Yesterday, their doubts were confirmed when 20-year-old Ashley Todd, a McCain volunteer from College Station, Texas, admitted that she made the whole thing up.

There was no black man with a knife, no robbery, no physical assault.

And the backwards “B” on her cheek? She’s not sure, she told police, but assumes she did that herself. As for the black eyes, police assume they likewise were self-inflicted.

Her story quickly became political fodder on the Internet and spread around the world, fueled by the presidential campaign and Ms. Todd’s political connections as a field representative for the College Republican National Committee and McCain volunteer.

But in less than a day, the international story of a McCain volunteer being attacked, traumatized and disfigured for her political beliefs deflated into a sad tale of a troubled woman with a history of mental problems.

Police were sensitive to that fact yesterday, saying that while Ms. Todd would face at least a charge of filing a false report with police, she would not be released until she had a mental health evaluation.

“We don’t feel she should be able to walk out onto the street,” said Pittsburgh Assistant Police Chief Maurita Bryant. “We wouldn’t want any further harm to come to her.”

Ms. Todd was in the Allegheny County Jail last night on $50,000 bond after her video arraignment before District Judge John N. Bova. Judge Bova requested that she undergo an evaluation by the jail’s behavior clinic. She’ll return to court on Thursday.

The day after the purported attack, both Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin called Ms. Todd, offering words of comfort. Yesterday, McCain-Palin campaign spokesman Peter Feldman issued a statement: “This is a sad situation. We hope she gets the help she needs.”

Ms. Todd told police a black man with a knife approached her at a banking machine at Citizens Bank at Liberty Avenue and Pearl Street in Bloomfield shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday. She said after she gave him $60, the robber spotted the McCain stickers on her car, became enraged, knocked her to the ground and punched and kicked her.

She quoted him as saying “You are going to be a Barack supporter,” as he sat on her chest, pinning both of her hands down, and scratched the letter “B” on her right cheek.

First among the problems with her story was the fact that the “B” scratched on her face was backwards — as it might be if she had done it herself using a mirror.

“The backwards ‘B’ was the obvious thing to us when we first saw her. Something just didn’t seem right,” Assistant Chief Bryant said. “And, first of all, with our local robbers, they take the money [and flee]. They’re in and out. They’re not stopping to do artwork.”

Additionally, said Lt. Kevin Kraus, investigators were struck “that it was a superficial, pristine ‘B,’ which seemed highly inconsistent with the story she reported that it was a violent attack, basically in which she was fighting for her life.”

Nevertheless, Assistant Chief Bryant said, Ms. Todd reported herself as a victim, so police began an investigation. Then they found more and more inconsistencies.

Ms. Todd underwent five hours of questioning at police headquarters on the North Side Thursday night and submitted to a polygraph. Her story kept changing — the attack happened before she got to the bank machine; she was hit from behind and rendered unconscious; she didn’t know she had been cut or robbed until she went to the apartment of a friend, Dan Garcia; the attacker had sexually fondled her.

Yesterday, she told detectives she was driving alone in her car when she looked in the rearview mirror and saw the letter on her cheek. She didn’t remember how it got there but assumed she had done it because she had incidents of memory loss in the past. The letter made her think of “Barack,” Assistant Chief Bryant said, so she concocted the story before going to Mr. Garcia’s house.

Once she had told the story to police, “she told lie after lie and the situation compounded to where we are right now,” said Lt. Kraus. He added that Ms. Todd showed no remorse for her actions but was angry with the media, saying they blew the story out of proportion.

Assistant Chief Bryant said the false report created “a huge waste of time, with many man-hours and people coming in on overtime just to get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible.”

“It created intensive national and international attention,” Lt. Kraus said. “We’ve had detectives working around the clock since she made the bogus allegation. The cost to the city of Pittsburgh has been many, many dollars and resources.”

Ms. Todd’s job as a field representative for the College Republican National Committee brought her to Pittsburgh about two weeks ago to recruit college students. She had worked for the committee since August. Yesterday, the organization fired her.

Ashley Barbera, the organization’s communications director, said workers initially were concerned for Ms. Todd’s safety.

“We are as upset as anyone to learn of her deceit. Ashley must take full responsibility for her actions,” she said.

In March, Ms. Todd was asked to leave a grass-roots group of Ron Paul supporters in Brazos County, Texas, group leader Dustan Costine said. He said Ms. Todd posed as a supporter of former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and called the local Republican committee seeking information about its campaign strategies.

“She would call the opposing campaign and pretend she was on their campaign to get information,” Mr. Costine said last night. “We had to remove her because of the tactics she displayed. After that we had nothing to do with her.”

About a month earlier, he said, Ms. Todd sent an e-mail to the Ron Paul group saying her tires were slashed and that campaign paraphernalia had been stolen from her car because she supported Mr. Paul.

“She’s the type of person who wants to be recognized,” Mr. Costine said.

Mr. Garcia, 32, a first-year student at the University of Pittsburgh law school who also is from Texas, met Ms. Todd in May at a gathering of young Republicans in their hometown of College Station. On Wednesday night, she came back to his house, bruised and battered, and told him of the attack. He contacted police.

Mr. Garcia said his immediate response was to tend to the wound on her cheek. A police officer arrived, and Ms. Todd became belligerent when the officer asked where the mugging happened.

“I don’t know!” she told him, using an expletive, Mr. Garcia said. “I’m not from here.”

Mr. Garcia, Ms. Todd and the officer then drove through Bloomfield until they arrived at the Citizens Bank on Liberty Avenue. She told the officer it was the right spot. Assistant Chief Bryant said yesterday police aren’t even sure Ms. Todd was in that area Wednesday night.

The officer asked Ms. Todd if she needed medical attention. She declined. Instead, Mr. Garcia said, they went to eat at Ritter’s Diner on Baum Boulevard. He then persuaded her to go to nearby UPMC Shadyside, where he waited for her until 2 a.m.

“I don’t know why she would do this,” Mr. Garcia said yesterday, after learning that she had fabricated the story. “I would think that she needs help.

“I had red flags going up, but I didn’t think it was prudent of me to ask the truth. I wanted to make sure she was OK.”

Now Mr. Garcia says he is furious that Ms. Todd deceived him. He has cut off all contact with her, he said.

Mr. Garcia took the widely published picture of Ms. Todd with her injuries. He said he took several photographs with a digital camera to document what had happened. He said he only gave copies of the photos to police and Ms. Todd’s employer, the College Republicans. One photo appeared on The Drudge Report on Thursday, setting off a storm of media attention.

Ms. Todd was a student at Blinn College in Texas. She decided to take a year off to work in politics. Mr. Garcia said she told him she was estranged from her mother.

On her MySpace profile, where her screen name is “Italian Pajamas,” Ms. Todd gives her occupation as “Being a badass.” Next to her picture, she references the title of a song by the group Panic at the Disco: “Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her cloths (sic) off,” but adds to it “but its (sic) better if you do.”

Among the books she lists as favorites: “The Scarlet Letter.”

Ashley Todd - McCain Volunteer

Ashley Todd - McCain Volunteer

Palin Drops $32,800 on Hair and Makeup Over Two Weeks
October 24, 2008 5:48 PM

ABC News’ Jennifer Parker reports: Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s traveling makeup artist was the highest paid individual in John McCain’s campaign over the first two weeks of October.

Amy Strozzi was paid $22,800 for her work as Palin’s makeup artist for the first half of October, according to documents filed Thursday by the McCain campaign with the Federal Election Commission.

Palin’s traveling hair stylist Angela Lew, the fourth highest paid individual during that time, was paid $10,000 over two weeks in October for what the campaign called “communications consulting.” 

The second and third highest paid individuals in the first two weeks of October were Randy Scheunemann, McCain’s chief foreign policy adviser at $12,500, and Nicolle Wallace, McCain’s senior communications staffer at $12,000.

Strozzi and Lew have traveled full-time with the campaign since early September. They do hair and makeup for Palin for all her events and media interviews.

Palin has come under scrutiny this week when it was disclosed the Republican National Committee spent $150,000 on her wardrobe and makeup at high-end department stores like Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Asked about the purchases in an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Palin said the family shops frugally.

“That is not who we are,” Palin argued. “That whole thing is just, bad!” she said. “Oh, if people only knew how frugal we are.”

Palin argued the clothes were not worth $150,000 and were bought for the Republican National Convention. She said the pricey clothes she has worn on the campaign trail this fall will be given back to the RNC, sent to charity, or auctioned off.

Abortion clinic bombers not terrorists, Palin says
WASHINGTON (AFP) — Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who has accused Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama of “palling around with terrorists,” has refused to call people who bomb abortion clinics by the same name.

When asked Thursday night by NBC television presenter Brian Williams whether an abortion clinic bomber was a terrorist, Palin heaved a sigh and, at first, circumvented the question.

“There’s no question that Bill Ayers by his own admittance was one who sought to destroy our US Capitol and our Pentagon. That is a domestic terrorist,” Palin said, referring to a 1960s leftist who founded a radical violent gang dubbed the “Weathermen” — and who years later supported Obama’s first run for public office in the state of Illinois.

“Now, others who would want to engage in harming innocent Americans or facilities that it would be unacceptable to… I don’t know if you’re gonna use the word ‘terrorist’ there,” the ardently pro-life running mate of John McCain said.

Early this month, after the New York Times ran an article highlighting the ties between Obama and Ayers, Palin told a campaign rally in Colorado that Obama “sees America it seems as being so imperfect that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.”

Attacks on doctors who practice abortion and on family planning clinics in the United States in the 1980s and 1990s left several people dead and scores wounded.

Eric Rudolph, the extreme right winger who planted a bomb at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, which killed one person, was sentenced three years ago to two life terms in jail for an abortion clinic bombing in Alabama in which a policeman was killed.

Major Endorsements For Barack Obama

Endorser Date Excerpt
The Philadelphia Daily News Oct. 24 “History … includes things that are less prosaic, more poetic: We could be on the verge of picking a president who symbolizes what our country stands for. Opportunity. Equality. Leadership. And big ideas. In the process, we as a country may be becoming the change we want to see. That’s why we endorse Barack Obama.”(More)
The New York Times Oct. 23 “As tough as the times are, the selection of a new president is easy. After nearly two years of a grueling and ugly campaign, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois has proved that he is the right choice to be the 44th president of the United States. Mr. Obama has met challenge after challenge, growing as a leader and putting real flesh on his early promises of hope and change. He has shown a cool head and sound judgment. We believe he has the will and the ability to forge the broad political consensus that is essential to finding solutions to this nations problems.” (More)
The Aspen (Colo.) Daily News Oct. 23 “As many have noted, the mere act of electing Obama will begin to undo the unjust reputation bestowed on the United States in recent years. It would signal to the world that our country is ready for open-minded global debate, that it will act only after careful deliberation, and that the American dream is alive, well and moving into the White House.” (More)
The News Journal of Wilmington, Del. Oct. 22 “[Obama] has the intelligence, diligence and political skills to meet these unprecedented challenges. In addition, his selection of Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate bolsters his standing. Delawareans know Sen. Biden well. They know of his vast experience in foreign affairs and his willingness to buck party pressures and think through issues on his own.” (More)
The (Portland) Oregonian Oct. 20 “Crucially, Barack Obama can recall the United States to its own highest principles and priorities. He can change course after an administration that has often cut constitutional and legal corners, and frequently stumbled into policy and philosophical embarrassment.” (More)
Philadelphia Inquirer Oct. 19 “With his eloquent oratory, Obama has already taken big steps to bridge America’s racial divide. In his gentle but resolute demeanor, people also see a man who can restore their faith in a national government that’s been trapped in a tar pit of partisan sniping.” (More)
The (Raleigh, N.C.) News & Observer Oct. 19 “There is a crisis of spirit, and Barack Obama knows it. He has spoken to it with a call for change. His vision is not obscure, and not out of reach. And there is meaning in his words, from his pledge to realize universal health care to his promise to get the United States out of the mire of Iraq honorably, to his plan to restore economic stability and opportunity. His would be a government of thought before deed and of strength given by the people, not just exercised from above.” (More)
The Asbury Park Press of Neptune (N.J.) Oct. 19 “Obama has the intellect needed to comprehend the complexities of the times and the ability to articulate his positions clearly and eloquently. He can inspire, and we believe he will be able to bring out the best in the American people at a time when our best will be needed.” (More)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Oct. 19 “The 44th president of the United States will take office in an uncertain and dangerous time for this country. The challenges we face both overseas and here at home are complex and unfamiliar, and the road ahead is likely to be very different from the road we have traveled to get here.” (More)
The Austin (Texas) American-Statesman Oct. 19 “Each of the two major presidential candidates fill the air with different words that all say “change,” but only Sen. Barack Obama defines change clearly and positively. It is a time of peril, both at home and abroad, and the nation needs the focused, energetic leadership Obama has projected and delivered since he announced his presidential candidacy in early 2007.” (More)
The Bryan-College Station (Texas) Eagle Oct. 19 “Every 20 or 30 years or so, a leader comes along who understands that change is necessary if the country is to survive and thrive. Teddy Roosevelt at the turn of the 20th century and his cousin Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan — these leaders have inspired us to rise to our better nature, to reach out to be the country we can be and, more important, must be. Barack Obama is such a leader.” (More)
The Buffalo (N.Y.) News Oct. 19 “Barack Obama is not afraid. Concerned. Alert. Maybe even a little alarmed. But the Democratic candidate for president of the United States is not afraid and, of perhaps even more importance, he does not seek to be elected by making us afraid. If Americans want a future where our leaders respond to challenges with judgment and principle, rather than panic and rashness, they will elect Barack Obama president. We recommend they do so.” (More)
The Concord (N.H.) Monitor Oct. 19 “The choice could not be clearer. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois should be this nation’s next president. As the first African American to hold the highest office in the land, Obama would make history and instantly remake America’s image abroad. But that is not why he deserves to win. Obama has the temperament, judgment, ideas and vision to be president. Despite his decades of experience and heroic history, John McCain is not the right candidate for this moment.” (More)
The Houston Chronicle Oct. 19 “Obama appears to possess the tools to confront our myriad and daunting problems. He’s thoughtful and analytical. He has met his opponents’ attacks with calm and reasoned responses. Viewers of the debates saw a poised, well-prepared, plausible president with well-articulated positions on the bread-and-butter issues that poll after poll indicate are the true concerns of voters. While Arizona Sen. John McCain and his running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin have struck an increasingly personal and negative tone in their speeches, Obama has continued to talk about issues of substance.” (More)
The Las Vegas Sun Oct. 19 “As Americans consider who should be the next president, it is clear that we are at a crossroads. Americans are looking for someone who not only has a steady hand and is a consensus builder, but who also is a strong leader and who has faith in the greatness of what our nation has to offer even in these most trying of times. We believe that man is Barack Obama.” (More)
The Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader Oct. 19 “Even if this country were not in dire need of a new direction, Sen. Barack Obama would make a better president than Sen. John McCain. McCain’s one advantage, experience, is of little use without judgment and temperament. On both counts, Obama has shown himself to be better qualified.” (More)
The New Haven (Conn.) Register Oct. 19 “McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running mate is confirmation of that fear. The governor of Alaska is utterly unqualified to be next in line as president of the United States. Her selection was a purely political choice, without regard to the national interest.” (More)
The Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel Oct. 19 “In contrast to Mr. McCain, Democrat Barack Obama has exceeded our expectations during this campaign. He has demonstrated sound judgment and grace under pressure. Because we are now more confident in his ability to steer America through the rough waters ahead, the Orlando Sentinel is endorsing Barack Obama for president.” (More)
The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post Oct. 19 “John McCain likes to say that he has been tested. In this campaign, he has been. And he has come up short. He has sounded like a bitter, jealous old man who considers himself entitled to the presidency. Washington can break optimism the way dry farmland can break plows, but Barack Obama still sounds like the candidate who talked about change when he began his campaign. He was right then. He’s right now. That’s why he’s the right choice for America.” (More)
The Record-Journal of Meriden (Conn.) Oct. 19 “Examples of the disparity between Obama’s calm, secure and well-reasoned approach to answering questions while treating his opponent in a non-condescending, respectful manner and McCain’s eye-twitching, angst-driven, superficial ‘my friends’ — pandering rhetoric and delivery style have been painfully obvious during all three debates.” (More)
The Register-Guard of Eugene, Ore. Oct. 19 “Comparisons of the policy positions of Obama and his opponent, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, reveal the Democrat’s positions to be generally superior. Obama’s tax plan is plainly better for nearly all Americans he would finance tax cuts for the middle class by allowing tax cuts for those with the highest incomes to expire, while McCain would leave the Bush administration’s tax policies in effect.” (More)
The Salt Lake Tribune Oct. 19 “By necessity, the country’s next commander in chief must also be its mender in chief, capable of inspiring his angry and divided constituents to join together in a recovery project to restore the peace, prosperity and self-confidence we once knew. We fear that a lesser effort may be insufficient to reverse America’s slide toward economic, political and societal chaos. The times require dramatic and comprehensive change.” (More)
The Statesman-Journal of Salem, Ore. Oct. 19 “Obama already has changed the political landscape. His message of hope — belief in our nation — is even more important than his call for change. His ability to inspire people is badly needed in a time of great economic uncertainty and global discord.” (More)
The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer Oct. 18 “Trust is essential to the presidency. Americans want to believe that the chief executive understands their lives, will protect their interests and will not compromise their safety. They want a president who represents what America can be, not what it has been.” (More)
The Detroit Free Press Oct. 18 “Despite his relatively short time in public office, Obama, 47, has over the course of the general election campaign steadily articulated a progressive, pragmatic vision for this country, keyed to opportunities for the middle class, and demonstrated time and again that his approach to things is grounded in deliberation and reflection.” (More)
The Herald-Dispatch of Huntington, W.Va. Oct. 18 “Obama has been offering concrete programs and ideas. Most of McCain’s efforts lately have focused on offering reasons why Obama is not a good choice. In other words, Obama has been looking forward while McCain has gone negative. Yes, Obama is untested when compared with McCain. But given the choice between John McCain or Barack Obama, the question is who would be best for America. Most of the editorial board members felt the best choice is Barack Obama.” (More)
The Miami Herald Oct. 18 “In other elections, voters have complained of having to make a choice between two bad candidates. That is not the case this time. The nation is fortunate to have good candidates and a clear choice. Sen. Obama represents the best chance for America to make a clean break with the culture wars and failed policies of the past, and begin to restore the hope and promise of America as the world’s greatest democracy.” (More)
Chicago Tribune Oct. 17 “The change that Obama talks about so much is not simply a change in this policy or that one. It is not fundamentally about lobbyists or Washington insiders. Obama envisions a change in the way we deal with one another in politics and government. His opponents may say this is empty, abstract rhetoric. In fact, it is hard to imagine how we are going to deal with the grave domestic and foreign crises we face without an end to the savagery and a return to civility in politics.” (More)
The Washington Post Oct. 17 “The choice is made easy in part by Mr. McCain’s disappointing campaign, above all his irresponsible selection of a running mate who is not ready to be president. It is made easy in larger part, though, because of our admiration for Mr. Obama and the impressive qualities he has shown during this long race. Yes, we have reservations and concerns, almost inevitably, given Mr. Obama’s relatively brief experience in national politics. But we also have enormous hopes.” (More)
The Boston Globe Oct. 13 “An early Obama campaign slogan declared, ”We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” His critics deemed such rhetoric too ethereal. Now it seems prescient, as the nation confronts a financial crisis of historic proportions, as well as all the other policy failures and debt-fueled excesses of the last eight years. The United States has to dig itself out. Barack Obama is the one to lead the way.” (More)
The Muskegon (Mich.) Chronicle Oct. 12 “Obama and [running mate Sen. Joe] Biden have both exhibited coolness, competence and confidence at every turn, reassuring the citizens of our great country that the promised change to come will be for the better. Their measured answers and well-thought-out responses to the difficult issues confronting the United States strike us as conveying the right tone and proper course for the four years ahead.” (More)