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Sen. Obama launches White House bid
AP on Yahoo ^ | 2/10/07 | Nedra Pickler - ap

Posted on 02/10/2007 10:51:03 AM PST by NormsRevenge

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record) announced his bid for president Saturday, a black man evoking Abraham Lincoln's ability to unite a nation and a Democrat portraying himself as a fresh face capable of leading a new generation.

"Let us transform this nation," he told thousands shivering in the cold at the campaign's kickoff.

Obama, 45, is the youngest candidate in the Democrats' 2008 primary field dominated by front-runner Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and filled with more experienced lawmakers. In an address from the state capital where he began his elective career 10 years ago, the first-term U.S. senator sought to distinguish himself as a staunch opponent of the Iraq war and a White House hopeful whose lack of political experience is an asset.

"I know I haven't spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I've been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change," Obama said to some of the loudest applause of his 20-minute speech.

Obama is looking to cap his remarkable, rapid rise to prominence with the biggest political prize of all — the presidency. His elective career began just 10 years ago in the Illinois Legislature. He lost a bid for a U.S. House seat, then won the Senate seat in 2004, a relatively smooth election made easier by GOP stumbles.

In his speech, Obama did not mention his roots as the son of a man from Kenya and a woman from Kansas, his childhood in Hawaii and Indonesia or the history he would make if elected. That compelling biography has turned him into a political celebrity.

Instead, he focused on his life in Illinois over the past two decades, beginning with a job as a community organizer with a $13,000-a-year salary that strengthened his Christian faith. He said the struggles he saw people face inspired him to get a law degree and run for the Legislature, where he served eight years.

He tied his announcement to the legacy of Lincoln, announcing from the building where the future 16th president served in the state Legislature.

"We can build a more hopeful America. And that is why, in the shadow of the Old State Capitol, where Lincoln once called on a house divided to stand together, where common hopes and common dreams still live, I stand before you today to announce my candidacy for President of the United States of America," Obama said. His voice rose to a shout as he spoke over the cheers from thousands who braved temperatures in the teens.

"I know it's a little chilly, but I'm fired up," Obama said as he took the podium with his wife Michelle and daughters Malia, 8, and Sasha, 5, with U2's "City of Blinding Lights" blaring on the speakers.

Local authorities estimated the crowd at between 15,000 and 17,000.

Obama gained national recognition with the publication of two best-selling books, "Dreams From My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope," and by delivering the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 — the same year he was elected to the Senate. His optimistic message and personal story immediately sparked talk of his White House potential.

"He's young and he's fresh," said 22-year-old Rachel Holtz, a graduate student from DeKalb, Ill., who plans to work in education.

Brenda and Michael Calkington of Muncie, Ind., said they have never been involved in a political campaign, but both were laid off from jobs with a lighting company and plan to volunteer for Obama.

"He makes you feel like it is possible to change things," Brenda Calkington said.

She seemed to be reading from Obama's playbook.

He spoke of reshaping the economy for the digital age, investing in education, protecting employee benefits, insuring those who do not have health care, ending poverty, weaning America from foreign oil and fighting terrorism while rebuilding global alliances. But he said the first priority must be to end the war in Iraq.

"American lives can resolve the political disagreement that lies at the heart of someone else's civil war," he said. He noted that he was against the invasion from the start.

Obama talked how previous generations have brought change — fighting off colonizers, slavery and the Great Depression, welcoming immigrants, building railroads and landing a man on the moon.

"Each and every time, a new generation has risen up and done what's needed to be done," he said. "Today we are called once more — and it is time for our generation to answer that call."

The Old State Capitol was where Lincoln launched his unsuccessful 1858 U.S. Senate campaign against Stephen Douglas with his famous "House Divided" speech. During his presidential campaign in 1860, Lincoln used rooms in the second floor as his political headquarters, and his body lay in state there in 1865.

Obama said it is because of Lincoln that Americans of every race face the challenges of the 21st century together.

"The life of a tall, gangly, self-made Springfield lawyer tells us that a different future is possible," Obama said. "He tells us that there is power in words. He tells us that there is power in conviction. That beneath all the differences of race and region, faith and station, we are one people. He tells us that there is power in hope."

Obama planned to travel throughout Iowa on Saturday and Sunday before a homecoming rally Sunday night in Chicago.


Associated Press writers Deanna Bellandi and John O'Connor contributed to this report.

TOPICS: Government; Politics/Elections; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: emptyplatitudes; emptysuit; launches; obama; suicidedoorears; whitehouse
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U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. waves to spectators as he arrives to announce his candidacy for president of the United States at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Saturday, Feb. 10, 2007. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

1 posted on 02/10/2007 10:51:04 AM PST by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

I can FEEL the Love already, but I feel someone's hand in my pocketbook.

2 posted on 02/10/2007 10:54:15 AM PST by politicalwit (Freedom doesn't mean a Free Pass.)
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To: NormsRevenge
Well golly gee whiz. I am just all atwitter over Obama making it official. I'm sure you all feel the same too.

After all, if we don't get the vapors and swoon over this mope we must be knuckle dragging, neo-Nazi, cross burning KKK racists.

(No offense meant Sen Byrd)

3 posted on 02/10/2007 10:57:41 AM PST by Condor51 (Where's Attila The Hun when you need him? [Go sit down Rudy])
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To: Condor51

Bet he and the hag make a team for the office.

4 posted on 02/10/2007 11:00:33 AM PST by Vaduz (and just think how clean the cities would become again.)
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To: NormsRevenge
The Liberal that compares himself to a Republican! Proof that this worthless jackass is absolutely void of anything substantiative!
5 posted on 02/10/2007 11:05:40 AM PST by Bommer (Global Warming: The only warming phenomena that occurs in the Summer and ends in the Winter!)
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To: NormsRevenge

What is the over and under for how many times each candidate announces they are running?

6 posted on 02/10/2007 11:05:57 AM PST by Phlap (REDNECK@LIBARTS.EDU)
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To: NormsRevenge

Muslim Trojan Horse.

7 posted on 02/10/2007 11:10:25 AM PST by 353FMG (I never met a liberal I didn't dislike.)
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To: politicalwit
I was hoping he would publicly admit to being a muslim first.
8 posted on 02/10/2007 11:23:15 AM PST by Dixie Yooper (Ephesians 6:11)
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To: Bommer

If Lincoln was alive today, some folks here would likely accuse him of being a RINO too.

9 posted on 02/10/2007 11:26:42 AM PST by medscribe
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To: Vaduz
***Bet he and the hag make a team for the office.****

Good bet. And that would mean that the Silky Pony has to pick a minority, like el mexicano Gov. Richardson.

It'll be a regular love fest of 'diversity' -- OR -- a dog fight over which team has the more authentic 'person of color' (gag) on their ticket.

10 posted on 02/10/2007 11:35:55 AM PST by Condor51 (Where's Attila The Hun when you need him? [Go sit down Rudy])
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To: NormsRevenge

When people make allusions to Bill Clinton possibly being the antichrist, I knew he wasn't smart enough. He did strike me as an example for a younger person to emulate who might be more nefarious.

IMHO, Obama comes closer to matching the description of such a person evolving from the sea of politics.

Considering the affinity socialists and masons in general are displaying towards Islam as an acceptable world religion, I suspect their are far worse plans associated with Obama's promotion within the liberal establishment.

11 posted on 02/10/2007 11:36:46 AM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable; Stress is optional through faith in Christ.)
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To: NormsRevenge

A speech filled with empty platitudes gets the country excited. The speech was one cliche after another. How sad that he evoked the memory of Abraham Lincoln, a brilliant thinker, when he didn't espouse one original thought.

12 posted on 02/10/2007 11:43:37 AM PST by keepitreal
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To: NormsRevenge

Nedra got one important fact wrong. When Lincoln served in the state legislature, the capitol was in Vandalia, Illinois. So, I don't think the building in Springfield is the one in which Lincoln served in the state legislature. Opps.

13 posted on 02/10/2007 11:46:24 AM PST by slyfoxvirden
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To: NormsRevenge
My favorite part of the speech was the line, not verbatim, that we live in a country where lobbyists have access to the lawmakers, while citizens only get to write letters. He was implying that somehow he would be different. Here is an interesting piece about some of his donors (same old lobbyists, special interests. Mr. Obama is another inside the beltway elitist posing as a populist.
14 posted on 02/10/2007 11:50:42 AM PST by keepitreal
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To: NormsRevenge

Young & fresh translates into an unknown quantity without political experience.

Apart from the scary Muslim Trojan horse possibility, the scary thing is that he'll be a naive doormat for radical leftist groups pushing their agendas.

15 posted on 02/10/2007 11:52:17 AM PST by generalhammond (Can you lie with a straight face - auditions held now for the Rat president of the USA)
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To: politicalwit

A man who belongs to a church that espouses everything black. A man who's father is Islamic, A man who has forgotten his mother was white and now identifis only with the black part of himself. He is going to bring us together.??

I dont think so.

16 posted on 02/10/2007 12:19:36 PM PST by sgtbono2002 (I will forgive Jane Fonda, when the Jews forgive Hitler.)
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To: keepitreal
It makes you wonder about the IQ, and the emotional stability of these people. It's become a religion for many guilt-laden white liberals, and a kind of therapy for others. Whatever it is, it is not healthy to hero worship someone with such tenuous credentials....

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

17 posted on 02/10/2007 12:42:39 PM PST by AdvisorB
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To: NormsRevenge
He just wants to improve America, there was a CAIR commercial that said the same thing!
18 posted on 02/10/2007 12:54:10 PM PST by HuntsvilleTxVeteran ("Remember the Alamo, Goliad and WACO, It is Time for a new San Jacinto")
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To: 353FMG
A great Republican choice for the Democratic Nominee or VEEP pick.

It's not that he isn't electable because he's nominally black. Some won't vote for him because of that, including some blacks that would feel him growing up in a 'white' world is tantamount to cultural 'dissonance'.

It's not just that he's a liberal's liberal that will not get thoughtful 'libertarian' or middle right centrist votes. Yes, there ARE some of those out there.

It's not just his muslim ties (although that's a big consideration). Can anyone say: Manchurian Candidate? More to the point, in 6 months, will anybody NOT be saying it?

It's not just that he's the posterboy for the Dems declaring defeat in war, something that has kept them principally out of the White House for most of a generation, especially during times of international risk.

It's the combination of of it all. He's unelectable. As such, I LOVE the Dem love fest with him. The current Dem tag line is that 'we might blow '08 yet'. Oh really? I wonder just the opposite, how the heck do you plan to win with this cast of players?

While the dems are foaming about which candidate best represents the Soros crowd at the expense of the general election, the Republicans have just the opposite concern: which candidate, even though they might fare better in the gen election, approaches passing muster by the right? The result will be a dem meltdown at some point over the concept of electability. That might take both Hussein AND Hillary out. Let the MSM highlight all the dems in the next few months: overexposure of their Soros bona fides is the perfect formula for: we might just blow it yet.

Given the friction between him and Hillary, his unelectability, and the fact that Clinton, Inc., is much better at politics than just Hillary, I doubt seriously he makes the ticket. Cooler heads will prevail and if she gets the nods, it's much more likely that Richardson will be her VEEP pick: all the wonderful minority symbolism without the baggage.
19 posted on 02/10/2007 1:30:27 PM PST by ziravan (winning the lotto one vote at a time.)
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To: ziravan

"Can anyone say: Manchurian Candidate?"

Can anyone say Al-Qaedian Candidate?

20 posted on 02/10/2007 2:52:37 PM PST by 353FMG (I never met a liberal I didn't dislike.)
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