Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Updated June 22, 2004 at 11:20 pm, revised at 1:00 am on June 23. Connecting the dots: The Senate to Obama to the Tribune to Jack Ryan to Racy Bars to Edgar to Topinka to Flannery to staying on message to job tours (remember McKenna's jobs tour- does Barack owe Andy a royalty?)to Hillary to single payer to heart and soul [Beach Boys?] to Galesburg to the Sixth Circuit to Ashcroft to Iraq and coming full circle, back to Congress.

Excerpt from a Barack Obama [Democratic U. S. Senate Candidate] Press conference held at an Obama Fundraiser, the Chicago Chrildren's Musuem, Navy Pier at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, June 22, and excerpt from the talk given by Barack Obama at the Fundraiser. And yet another award from this blog to the Chicago Tribune.

Six questions were asked at the Press Conference: Five dealt with Jack Ryan's recently disclosed child custody records and one dealt with sustantive issues. I was one for two on asking about substantive issues; my colleagues were 0 for 4. Another great day for the media. Credit goes again to the Chicago Tribune for steering the media to the enlightening discussion of the meaning of an accusation that a senate candidate stepped into a "sex club," or "racy bar," how he dealt with disclosure of same, and yes, whether the Tribune's fair haired boy, Jim Edgar, would be a more formidable candidate than Jack Ryan.

Coincidentally enough, Jim Edgar and his marching partner, Judy Baar Topinka, two of the strongest critics of Jack Ryan in the last few days, seem to be the most frequently mentioned selections by the liberalstream media to replace Jack should he decide not to continue to run. Perhaps not a coincidence that neither Jim nor Judy could be expected to win a Senate primary election. Says something about what the liberalstream media really think about democracy. Now, there is a constitutional amendment they may favor: one that gives the liberalstream media the power to select U. S. Senators. Why bother with elections when editorial boards could do it so much more efficiently?
Jeff Berkowitz: Are sex clubs going to be an issue in the race between you and [Republican U. S. Senate Candidate] Jack Ryan?

Barack Obama: I have made it clear though-out this campaign that my focus is going to be on the issues that are going to actually help the families of Illinois. What I am hearing from voters is that they are concerned about health care; they are concerned about rising tuition [costs] for their kids; they are concerned about making sure they have job security; they are concerned about the situation in Iraq; these are the issues we are going to focus on; we focused on these issues in the primary. We are going to continue to focus on them in the general election.

Mike Flannery [2 CBS News}: Do you think these disclosures would disqualify Mr. [Jack] Ryan from being a candidate? Should they disqualify him?

Barack Obama: I am not going to make those judgments. The voters are going to make those judgments. All I can do is make sure that I am focusing on getting the message [out]that we can bring about some change to improve the lives of the voters in Illinois. We have been consistent in that. What worked in the primaries is going to work in the General [Election]. And, that is, staying on message about the issues that people really are concerned about. I just came from a jobs tour downstate, and as I mentioned up there [at the fundraiser], the stories are heartbreaking. People feel that the middle class is shrinking...
Barack Obama:...if I am on message and if Mr. Ryan is on his message, then I think the voters are going to have a stark choice in this election and we feel confident that we can be victorious...
Jeff Berkowitz: Barack, back to the issues-- Healthcare, you said you want to talk about healthcare...you have said before, I believe, that you favor universal health care. Your opponent has accused you, I believe, of saying you favor a single payer, Hillary Clinton type, health care style system.

Barack Obama: Right.

Berkowitz: Do you disagree with that?

Obama: Absolutely I disagree with that. I am on record as saying that I don't agree with single payer and this continually gets repeated and at the last news conference that Mr. Ryan was at down in Springfield when somebody asked how are you basing this notion that he [Obama] is in favor of single payer, Mr. Ryan responded I know what is in his heart and soul. Well, I don't pretend to know what is in his [Ryan's] heart and soul. All I can do is look at what he has stated publicly about his position on the issues and I ask that that the voters and the media evaluate my positions in the same fashion.

Excerpted comments by Barack Obama at the fundraiser held on June 22, 2004 at the Chicago Children's Museum.

Barack Obama: We have [here] one of my dearest friends who helped put this together, Cecile Kieth Brown...I should point out while I am on the topic that Cecile Kieth Brown's father is Damon Kieth. Some of you may know that he is a judge on the Sixth Circuit [Federal Court of Appeals] who has stood up to [Attorney General] John Ashcroft and this administration...and I want you to make sure that your father knows that folks in Chicago appreciate him.
Obama: You travel down to Alton that has lost jobs and schools are underfunded. You have got teachers that are being laid off.... and young people moving out because they see no hope in their community...as a parent, I can't imagine the feeling of desperation if you can't give a future to your child. And, you go up to Galesburg and you meet folks who not only have been laid off but who are confronting a federal bureaucracy that has set up transitional assistance programs that don't work so that people are involved in training programs for jobs that don't exist...when I talk to young men in places like Galesburg and Peoria who are about to be shipped over to Iraq...we have 535 members of Congress and only one of them has a child in the military and they are making decisions...