…To Lead Us Out Of The Matrix Of Our Own Bullshit

REUTERS: Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama opened narrow leads on Hillary Clinton in California and Missouri one day before crucial “Super Tuesday” nominating contests in 24 states, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Monday. Obama and Clinton were deadlocked in New Jersey, and Obama enjoyed a double-digit advantage over Clinton in Georgia in two other Democratic contests on the biggest single day of voting ever in a U.S. presidential nominating campaign. “The momentum is with Obama,” said pollster John Zogby. “If this trend continues it could be a very big night for him.” MORE

CBS NEWS/NY TIMES POLL: (CBS) With only one full day remaining before voters in more than 20 states head to the polls on Super Tuesday, the races for the Democratic and Republican nominations could not be more different, a new CBS News/New York Times poll finds. The poll found that Clinton and Obama both have the support of 41 percent of Democratic primary voters – a drastic change from early January, when Clinton led Obama by 15 percentage points. While Clinton’s overall support has remained steady, Obama has made significant gains among men, particularly white men, and African Americans. White male voters are split nearly evenly between the two Democrats, and Obama holds an 12 percentage point advantage among men overall. Obama has also seen his support among women rise by 11 percentage points, and he now trails Clinton by only 7 percentage points among that group. He trails Clinton narrowly among Democrats but leads her among independent voters by 13 percentage points. Clinton’s edge on the question of electability has also evaporated as voters have seen Obama win by comfortable margins in Iowa and South Carolina while placing a close second to Clinton in New Hampshire and Nevada.


Senator Barack Obama speaks to the masses in Wilmington yesterday.  [PHOTO BY VIC SUEDE for PHAWKER.COM]

WASHINGTON POST: WILMINGTON, DELAWARE — An estimated 20,000 turned out for the rally at a downtown square in Wilmington, according to the fire department, with thousands who couldn’t fit inside the square squeezing up against the perimeter fence and spreading onto the steps of surrounding buildings. It was the largest Wilmington rally city officials could remember….It was just the latest enormous rally for Obama. The past week has seen him draw audiences of 18,000 in Denver, 20,000 in St. Louis, and more than 13,000 in Boise, Idaho. The size of the crowds has astonished those attending and persuaded some of them that Obama was on the way to winning their states, even if polls showed him closing the gap but still trailing. MORE

ABC NEWS: Rarely have celebrities and musicians banded together to create new music in the heat of a presidential campaign. The Black Eyed Peas‘ frontman, songwriter and producer known as will.i.am, along with director and filmmaker Jesse Dylan, son of another socially active musician, Bob Dylan, released a new song Friday that attempts to do just that. The music video includes excerpts from the Obama speech and appearances from a range of celebrities including: Scarlett Johansson, John Legend, Herbie Hancock, Kate Walsh, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Adam Rodriquez, Kelly Hu, Adam Rodriquez, Amber Valetta and Nick Cannon. MORE

rfk.jpgETHEL KENNEDY: He’s a magnetic force, drawing the nation together for the common good and galvanizing us all to help shape our country’s future. Barack is so like Bobby, who struggled for the rights of the poor in the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia, traveled to California to stand in solidarity with Cesar Chavez and farm workers and fought to end another war that cost so many lives…

LOS ANGLES TIMES: In a dramatic moment at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion, California First Lady Maria Shriver just strode out onto a stage that had already seen its share of celebrities — Oprah Winfrey and Stevie Wonder among them — and announced that she was joining the Kennedy half of the family backing Barack Obama. “If Barack Obama was a state he’d be California,” Shriver said, drawing roars from the crowd. “I mean, think about it: diverse, open, smart, independent, oppose tradition, innovative, inspiring, dreamer, leader.” Shriver reportedly was waiting backstage wavering over whether she should make her support public, and then finally strode out on stage. Her husband, Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, earlier this week announced his endorsement for Sen. John McCain. The Kennedy family has split over the two top Democratic contenders, with Ted Kennedy joined by Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg — daughter of his brother John F. Kennedy — and his son, U.S. Rep.mariashriver.jpg Patrick Kennedy, all going with Obama. Ethel Kennedy, widow of Robert F. Kennedy, also went with the Illinois senator. But Hillary Rodham Clinton picked up the support of three of Robert and Ethel’s children — Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Kerry Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. MORE

FRANK RICH: BEFORE John F. Kennedy was a president, a legend, a myth and a poltergeist stalking America’s 2008 campaign, he was an upstart contender seen as a risky bet for the Democratic nomination in 1960. Kennedy was judged “an ambitious but superficial playboy” by his liberal peers, according to his biographer Robert Dallek. “He never said a word of importance in the Senate, and he never did a thing,” in the authoritative estimation of the Senate’s master, Lyndon Johnson. Adlai Stevenson didn’t much like Kennedy, and neither did Harry Truman, who instead supported Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri. How did the fairy-tale prince from Camelot vanquish a field of heavyweights led by the longtime liberal warrior Hubert Humphrey? It wasn’t ideas. It certainly wasn’t experience. It wasn’t even the charisma that Kennedy would show off in that fall’s televised duels with Richard Nixon. Looking back almost 30 years later, Mr. Goodwin summed saintJFK.gifit up this way: “He had to touch the secret fears and ambivalent longings of the American heart, divine and speak to the desires of a swiftly changing nation — his message grounded on his own intuition of some vague and spreading desire for national renewal.” In other words, Kennedy needed two things. He needed poetry, and he needed a country with some desire, however vague, for change. MORE

MAUREEN DOWD: Then, according to witnesses from the Obama camp, Hillary got very agitated and was “flapping her arms.” All her simmering grievances spilled out during the 10-minute talk…At some point, an Obama intimate recalled, he “gently put his hand on her arm to chill her out.” The tall senator often leans down to put a friendly hand on the shoulder of his fellow senators — male and female — on the Senate floor, and they seem charmed by the gesture. But Senator Clinton and her circle were not. They had been surprised and troubled by what they saw as his attempt to grab her arm and hold her in place while they talked, an unpleasant flashback to Rick Lazio getting in her space. As Queen Bee of the Clinton hive, Hillary has created a regal force field that can be breached only with permission, so something that wasn’t even a jostle was perceived as a joust. The encounter seemed to have steeled them both. Hillary, to knock back the upstart who had unexpectedly gotten in her way, and Obama, who came away feeling that, for all of Hillary’s outer strength, she was afraid of him in some ways, and for all of her supposed poise, she had a more spiky temperament than he had realized. MORE

CNN: In somewhat of a shocking “endorsement,” conservative commentator Ann Coulter said Thursday she is prepared to vote for Clinton oversurrender_faggots.jpg McCain in a general election matchup. In a television interview on Fox News, Coulter took aim at the GOP front-runner and suggested he was little more than a Republican in name only. “If you are looking at substance rather than if there is an R or a D after his name, manifestly, if he’s our candidate, then Hillary is going to be our girl, because she’s more conservative than he is,” Coulter said. “I think she would be stronger on the war on terrorism.” McCain, who has come under criticism from pundits like Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, was endorsed Friday by former presidential candidate Steve Forbes in Missouri, where McCain was attending campaign rallies in Chesterfield and Villa Park. MORE


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