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Oh-eight (D): Obama's views on religion


On this same day that Bill Clinton is the lone candidate or candidate spouse to address the DLC convention, the Los Angeles Times examines Hillary Clinton's relationship with Indian-American businesses, some of which are seen by labor unions as threats to labor because of outsourcing. "'People do want to see from her some recognition that the outsourcing of these service jobs isn't a good thing for the U.S. economy,' said Thea M. Lee, policy director of the AFL-CIO. 'It's a little bit of an open question where Sen. Clinton's going to end up on outsourcing.'"

On Sunday, the LA Times had a piece that's going to make the Clinton folks upset. Arguing that the Bush Administration is one of the most secretive in history, the piece contends that if either Clinton or Giuliani is elected, their past suggests they'll follow suit. "Clinton was widely criticized for secrecy when she led her husband's effort to design a new healthcare system. A task force she headed ran afoul of federal law when it tried to hold closed meetings… Giuliani resisted outside efforts to evaluate municipal programs and review city records when he was mayor.  As he was leaving office in 2001, he had thousands of mayoral records hauled to a private warehouse — a move that gave rise to a city law barring such action."

On Sunday, the New York Times examined letters that she exchanged with a friend from 1965-1969. "Ms. Rodham's 30 dispatches are by turns angst-ridden and prosaic, glib and brooding, anguished and ebullient — a rare unfiltered look into the head and heart of a future first lady and senator and would-be president. Their private expressiveness stands in sharp contrast to the ever-disciplined political persona she presents to the public now."

On Saturday, NBC's Merten says Clinton was heckled by a lone critic at the College Democrats of America Convention in Columbia, SC. As she was going through the global warming section of her stump speech, a woman carrying a large sign approached the stage. The sign read on one side: "She doesn't care, all she wants is the power." And on the other: "Hillary Clinton is a cold, calculating, power hungry woman." The protestor was quickly booed and swarmed with Hillary campaign signs, before being forcibly removed from the ballroom while screaming "She's a liar, she's a liar!" Clinton remained relatively unphased and joked after the crowd calmed, saying, "That's one of the things I love about politics -- you never know what the day will bring."


The Washington Post profiles Edwards' chief campaign adviser: his wife. Whatever you think of Edwards as a first- or second-tier candidate, realize that he still gets first-tier type crowds in places outside of Iowa.

The Columbia State analyzes the "positive" Edwards' chances in his birth state of South Carolina. The paper writes, "Edwards was in his element" during a recent stop.

OBAMA: The New York Times continues its occasional bio series on Obama, and it writes about his years in the Illinois state legislature. "Obama did not bring revolution to Springfield in his eight years in the Senate, the longest chapter in his short public life. But he turned out to be practical and shrewd, a politician capable of playing hardball to win election (he squeezed every opponent out of his first race), a legislator with a sharp eye for an opportunity, a strategist willing to compromise to accomplish things." The Washington Post, in its analysis of a "new era" of black politicians makes a fascinating point in its lead to the piece: New Hampshire voters got a big dose of Obama's message via TV ads Deval Patrick ran on Boston TV during the '06 Mass. GOV race. "In winning election as the first African American governor in Massachusetts, Patrick showed the appeal that a candidate with his background and message has for white New England liberals -- a potentially good omen for Obama in the New Hampshire primary."

Obama conducted an email interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network's chief political reporter, David Brody. Despite it being an email interview, the answers to Brody's questions were interesting, particularly on key religious issues. This excerpt, in particular, could have legs: "Whatever we once were, we're no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of non-believers. We should acknowledge this and realize that when we're formulating policies from the state house to the Senate floor to the White House, we've got to work to translate our reasoning into values that are accessible to every one of our citizens, not just members of our own faith community."

Looking at his "300,000 Facebook friends and the purported crush of the hit Internet performer 'Obama Girl,'" the Chicago Tribune sees Obama as "'more visibly succeeding'" in courting young voters than his opponents.

Sometimes Obama can come across as someone who isn't exactly a man of the people. Check out this little tidbit from the Saturday New York Times of Obama speaking to a crowd in Iowa. "'Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?' the senator said. 'I mean, they're charging a lot of money for this stuff.'" Notes the Times' Zeleny: "The state of Iowa, for all of its vast food production, does not have a Whole Foods, a leading natural and organic foods market. The closest? Omaha, Minneapolis or Kansas City." No one challenged Obama on this point, he simply moved on.

RICHARDSON: He said he'd reveal his presidential cabinet before Election Day, and it would "look like America," the Manchester Union Leader said on Sunday.