#15 Hopeful, but …

On January 28, 2008

Hello Everyone,

Carolina – and Caroline – were very sweet. Teddy is even sweeter. And so is Toni Morrison.

Some of you may remember two things I’ve been saying about Barack from the very beginning. First, I’ve said I haven’t been truly excited about any presidential candidate for 40 years – not since 1968 and Bobby Kennedy. So, I can personally relate to Caroline’s word’s, “I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president …”

And I have also said – usually to raised eyebrows – that I believe that Barack embodies some qualities of JFK and RFK, as well as Ronald Reagan. Intellect, courage, style, eloquence, passion and optimism.

Even with all this good news, we must remember there is still a long way to go in this contest.

Votes and delegates remain the only things that matter (see attached New York Times article).

Barack’s lead is increasing both in votes received and delegates won. In fact, in terms of delegates, he hasn’t lost a state yet.

  Obama Clinton
IA 91 70
NH 105 111
NV 52 59
SC 295 141
Total 543 381

Importantly, Super Tuesday will probably not prove decisive because there aren’t enough delegates in play and Democrats award them proportionately in each state. Remember, fewer than 2,100 delegates will be awarded that day. So, even if Barack won 60% of all of those delegates, he’d only have about 1,300 in total – well short of the 2,025 needed to lock up the nomination. Obviously, Hillary needs even more Feb. 5 delegates to lock it up.

I also can’t resist pointing out how far off the polls were again in South Carolina. They said Barack would get 10% of the white vote, when he actually got 24%. Most notably, the victory margin predicted for Barack was between 8 and 16% – but his actual margin approached 30%. The pollsters’ shaky reputations remain just that.

So, I’m trying to stay cool and keep focused on delegates, votes and the long run. This could last until June – or even August. And, it will be very expensive.

Following the blockbuster Kennedy and Morrison endorsements, I have to close with a grassroots endorsement that speaks volumes about Barack’s roots and authenticity.

When Penny and I returned from Iowa, I got the attached email from a friend of mine named Joseph Strickland. In 2001, Joe founded a community services organization that works with low-income youth in Woodlawn, on Chicago’s South Side where Barack had also been a community organizer. Like Caroline Kennedy, Joe wrote about how he realized seven years ago that “…this man was someone who was special.”

…I met Barack at a state Democratic convention several years ago [when Barack was an Illinois State Senator] and I was sharing with him that I just started MAGIC and we asked dozens of elected officials for a small donation and that the Friends of Barack Obama were the only group that responded… he began to talk about his organizing work and asked me some questions … As we were talking I was conscious of the people who were waiting rather impatiently for him to notice them and I said to him “it was nice meeting you, but I do not want to take up too much of your time.” He went on to tell me how important grassroots organizations are and he remained locked in to our conversation for another ten minutes. So, on that day, I knew this man was someone who was special…

Joe’s full email is attached, which he has given me permission to share with you.

Onward and upward to Super Tuesday – and beyond.

Please pass it on.


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adobe pdf file Attachment: Email


adobe pdf file Attachment: Chart


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