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Obama: His populist pitch

Michelle Obama is campaigning with Teresa Heinz Kerry today in Pittsburgh. 

Author Alice Walker has an op-ed in the Guardian of London supporting Obama. "It is hard to relate what it feels like to see Mrs Clinton (I wish she felt self-assured enough to use her own name) referred to as 'a woman' while Barack Obama is always referred to as 'a black man'. One would think she is just any woman, but she is not. She carries all the history of white womanhood in the US in her person; it would be a miracle if we, and the world, did not react to this fact. How dishonest it is, to try to make her innocent of her racial inheritance."

"I can easily imagine Obama sitting down and talking to any leader -- or any person -- in the world, with no baggage of past servitude or race supremacy to mar their talks. I cannot see the same scenario with Clinton, who would drag into 21st-century US leadership the same image of white privilege and distance from others' lives that has so marred the country's contacts with the rest of the world."

Is Obama getting more comfortable with populist talk? The New York Times: "Obama's effort to master a plain-spoken and blunt language that extends back centuries in Pennsylvania is accompanied by no small stakes. Voters here, as in neighboring Ohio, where Mr. Obama lost the white and aging blue-collar vote, tend to elect politicians whose language rarely soars and whose policy prescriptions come studded with detail." 

The Tampa Tribune wonders if Obama as the nominee can play and win in Florida.

The Boston Globe: "[I]t is Obama, a first-term Illinois senator running against the conventions of Washington, who is increasingly benefiting from institutional support - bolstering his campaign during a rough month when he lost two key primaries and faced questions about his spiritual mentor."

Does the pro-life community now have some Obama words to fire up its troops? "Speaking about sex education at an event in Pennsylvania Saturday, Obama said, according to the Christian Broadcasting Network, that he will educate his young daughters but 'if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby. I don't want them punished with an STD at the age of 16.' Conservative talker Sean Hannity mentioned the quotes on his radio show Monday, and several conservative blogs have reacted harshly to the statement."

"Tommy Vietor, an Obama spokesman, sought to clarify the senator's comments in an e-mail to The Hill Monday afternoon. 'What Sen. Obama said and what he believes is clear -- children are "miracles," but we have a problem when so many children are having children,' Vietor said. 'As Sen. Obama said on Saturday -- and on many other occasions -- parents have a responsibility to teach their children about values and morals to help make sure they are not treating sex casually. And while he understands the passions on both sides of this difficult issue, Sen. Obama believes we can all agree that we should be taking steps to reduce the number of teen pregnancies and abortions in this country.'"

The Washington Times has a bankshot gotcha of sorts against Obama regarding Rev. Wright. "The church where Sen. Barack Obama has worshipped for two decades publicly declares that its ministry is founded on a 1960s book that espouses 'the destruction of the white enemy.' Trinity United Church of Christ's Web site says its teachings are based on the black liberation theology of James H. Cone and his 1969 book 'Black Theology and Black Power.'"

"'What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love,' Mr. Cone wrote in the book. Mr. Cone, a professor at the Union Theological Seminary in New York, added that 'black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy.'"

Now, read the actual mission statement, it's not clear that's the intended message.