Campaign Trail 2008 »

  • Victory for Obama

    November 5, 2008 @ 7:49 am | by Denis Staunton

    Before a vast crowd in Chicago’s Grant Park, Barack Obama delivered a powerful victory speech after winning a remarkable election victory. Here it is in two parts:


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  • Couric posts final Obama interview

    @ 1:27 am | by Denis Staunton

    CBS news anchor Katie Couric has just posted her final interview with Democratic candidate Senator Barack Obama on YouTube. It has some good moments. YouTube Preview Image

  • A poignant moment

    November 4, 2008 @ 3:10 am | by Denis Staunton

    A day before the election and a week after Barack Obama interrupted his campaign to visit her in Hawaii, the Democratic candidate’s grandmother has died at 86. Madelyn Dunham was a central figure in Obama’s life, raising him during important childhood and teenage years when his mother was absent in Indonesia. On the night he secured the Democratic nomination in June, Obama paid an emotional tribute to his grandmother and he spoke movingly about her at a North Carolina rally on Monday night:


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  • Rev Wright Returns

    November 3, 2008 @ 5:28 am | by Denis Staunton

    A few months ago, John McCain rebuked North Carolina Republicans for using controversial statements by Barack Obama’s former pastor Jeremiah Wright in an attack ad against the Democrat. Some conservatives believe McCain’s high-mindedness deprived his campaign of a useful weapon against Obama, who has renounced Wright after a relationship lasting 20 years.

    Now, Pennsylvania’s Republican Party has revived Wright as an election issue in this ad, which is airing in the state in the closing hours of the campaign:

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  • Godless in North Carolina

    October 31, 2008 @ 5:43 am | by Denis Staunton

    North Carolina’s Republican senator Elizabeth Dole has been sinking in the polls for weeks but she thinks she’s found a way to revive her flagging campaign – by suggesting that Democratic challenger Kay Hagan doesn’t believe in God. Dole’s TV ad linking Hagan to the atheist group Godless Americans has shot to the top of the charts as the nastiest of the 2008 cycle.


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    Hagan is taking legal action to take the Godless ad off the air and she has released her own response to Dole’s attack. It seems that not only is she not Godless, Hagan has taught Sunday school.


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  • Obama’s Big TV Show

    October 30, 2008 @ 6:43 am | by Denis Staunton

    Barack Obama’s 30-minute infomercial, broadcast in primetime on most of the major networks on Wednesday, was flawlessly produced, featuring the stories of middle class Americans and testimonials from prominent Democrats and Republicans. The tone was entirely positive, with no mention of John McCain, deftly weaving Obama’s personal narrative into the stories of contemporary American life and the struggles of hardworking voters. Here it is in four parts:


    Part 1


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    Part 2


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    Part 3


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    Part 4


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  • Even-handed Reporting in Florida

    October 28, 2008 @ 4:39 am | by Denis Staunton

    Florida TV interviewer Barbara West is being celebrated as a conservative martyr following an interview with Democratic running mate Joe Biden. The Obama campaign has threaten to boycott West’s TV station because of the tone of the interview, during which she quoted Karl Marx and asked Biden to explain exactly how Barack Obama is not a Marxist.

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    West told Bill O’Reilly that she had subjected John McCain to an equally tough interview, a puzzling claim when you hear the questions she asked him:

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  • Closing Arguments

    October 27, 2008 @ 3:16 am | by Denis Staunton

    Obama in Denver

    As the campaign enters its final week, the candidates are preparing to make their closing arguments. Barack Obama has bought 30 minutes of prime time on all the major networks on Wednesday and in Canton, Ohio on Monday, he unveils a new speech.

    “In his speech, Senator Obama will tell voters that after twenty-one months and three debates, Senator McCain still has not been able to tell the American people a single major thing he’d do differently from George Bush when it comes to the economy,” according to his campaign.

    “Obama will ask Americans to help him change this country, and say that in just one week, they can choose an economy that rewards work and creates new jobs and fuels prosperity from the bottom-up, they can choose to invest in health care for our families and education for our kids and renewable energy for our future, and they can choose hope over fear, unity over division and the promise of change over the power of the status quo.”

    John McCain and Sarah Palin will spend much of this week in Pennsylvania, a state where Obama enjoys a double-digit lead but which the Republican thinks he can flip. Winning Pennsylvania would allow McCain to survive the loss of states such as Colorado or Virginia, which President George Bush won in 2004, as long as the Republican holds Ohio and Florida.

    In Denver on Sunday, Obama drew a crowd of more than 100,000, according to police estimates, just a week after a similarly mammoth audience turned out to hear him in St Louis.

  • Rappers for Obama

    October 24, 2008 @ 8:53 am | by Denis Staunton

    What promises to be the coolest event of the campaign is happening in Cleveland, Ohio next Wednesday when Jay-Z performs at a rally for Barack Obama – introduced by LeBron James. Obama has become a fan of Jay-Z during the campaign and the rapper is one of dozens to record a song featuring lyrics about the Democratic candidate.

    It’s Ms No More Drama and Barack Obama of rhymers/Feel honoured.”

    Here it is, with Mary J Blige, You’re All Welcome:

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    Will.I.Am performed Yes We Can at the Democratic convention in Denver and the song has become an anthem for the campaign but I’ve always found it a little insipid. For me, the best Obama tribute is Black President by Nas, featuring (and subverting) 2pac’s lyric from Changes:

    And although it seems heaven sent
    We ain’t ready, to see a black President

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  • Candidates get Tearful over Birthdays and Death

    October 23, 2008 @ 3:05 am | by Denis Staunton

    As campaign events become more tightly scripted in the final days of the presidential race, there are fewer opportunities to view the candidates unplugged. Last week’s Al Smith dinner in New York gave John McCain and Barack Obama a chance to show off their sense of humour. On Wednesday night, CBS news anchor Katie Couric probed their sentimental side, asking each candidate when he last cried – and why:


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