lindahassler at sbcglobal.net
Tue Jan 31 08:15:32 PST 2006
Michael, I had trouble getting an article from the NYTimes on CIVIC
yesterday. When the article says "EMAIL THIS," I can send to others
just by putting in their URL. I did that using Mb-civic-islandlists.com
yesterday, but it was rejected. Is there someone at the helm to talk
with about this? I see you send articles all the time.
Here's an excerpt from The American Prospect on Obama:
Senator Dick Durbin, Obama’s Illinois partner and the second-ranking
Democrat in the Senate, has no doubt about the future of his state’s
most popular politician. “He’s an odds-on favorite to run for higher
office,” Durbin predicts. “If you are a personal investment banker, you
certainly want to invest in the Barack Obama IPO … It is a solid
investment in the American political scene.”
It’s ironic, all this talk, given that his party didn’t even want him
in the first place. Many party leaders backed Dan Hynes, the state
comptroller and Cook County political scion. There’s a lesson the party
needs to learn here about nurturing and developing such obvious talent
(do the Republicans ignore their Obamas?). In any case, his party can’t
get enough of him now. Obama has bolstered his status within his party
by raising huge amounts of cash for his colleagues’ campaigns. His
political action committee, Hopefund, raised an estimated $1.8 million
in 2005. That doesn’t count the millions he has raised for and donated
to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and to individual
candidates. In one night alone last fall, he raised $1 million for the
Arizona Democratic Party by drawing 1,400 people to a dinner. And with
one e-mail, Obama raised $800,000 for Senator Robert Byrd of West
Virginia, a powerhouse who first was elected to the Senate nearly three
years before Obama was born.
Most of his fund-raising trips are not on his public schedules. And
Obama’s staff, quick to tout his 39 town hall meetings in 31 Illinois
counties, claimed not to know how many fund-raising events he attended
around the country the past year. A fair assumption might be that Obama
is collecting chits and loyalties and building a national political
machine, a precursor to a presidential run. It’s something that
everyone around him talks about. The senator himself is more
understated. “I think it’s flattering,” he says of the conjecture. “It
indicates that I’m doing something right. But I try not to get too far
ahead of myself. And I find that I perform best when I’m focused on
being useful as opposed to becoming something.”
Undoubtedly, pressure and speculation will grow as 2008 approaches.
Even if Obama doesn’t run for president then -- and his advisers insist
he won’t -- another kind of pressure will present itself: to use his
unique talents and his bully pulpit to further a progressive agenda.
Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, the
first labor union to endorse Obama during his primary campaign, said
he’d like to see Obama lead on issues that are critical to working
people. “America needs champions right now. And he has that ability and
potential,” Stern said. “My New Year’s resolution for him is not wait
in line but seize the time.” If Obama indeed is destined to do great
things, the time may be right for him to step more forcefully into the
spotlight that beckons.
Jodi Enda writes about politics and government from Washington. Her
last piece for the Prospect was “Howard’s Beginning,” a profile of
Howard Dean, in the August 2005 issue.
© 2006 by The American Prospect, Inc.
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