Archive for March, 2008

Texas Democratic County Convention Results – 4:00 P.M. – Obama Wins

March 31, 2008

Here are the results of the Texas Democratic county / senate district conventions results as of 4:00 P.M. EDT (3:00 P.M. local time), with 200/284 conventions reporting (70.42%) and 7,154/7,666 delegates awarded (93.32%) (note, apparently my earlier count was off by 17, so I added 17 more to make 7,666 delegates.  The previous percentages were correct though). Obama has now mathematically clenched the victory at the conventions, leading with around 800 delegates, with only 500 more up for grabs (so the best he can do now is 58.51% and the worst is 51.83% – so my prediction of 60% was off:

  1. Obama 3,973 55.54%
  2. Clinton 3,181 44.46%

Again, I have called it for Obama – and it’s now mathematically a guaranteed win for him.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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More Police Agencies Are Cracking Down on Illegal Immigration

March 30, 2008

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agencey (ICE) has been offering training programs to police departments that allow them to enforce federal immigration laws since 1996, but up until 2002, only 1 department took them up on that offer.  Now ICE is training 42 departments with 92 in the queue.

  • In Houston, inmates’ immigration status is verrified.
  • Attorney General Anne Milgram (D-NJ) has requested that all police ask arrested suspects their immigration status.
  • Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) signed an executive order that requires all state agents to enforce immigration laws.
  • Maricopa County, Arizona (includes Phoenix) Sheriff Joe Arpaio (“America’s Toughest Sherrif”) (Republican) said, “When my deputies come across illegals, they arrest them — even on traffic violations.  People ask me why I am taking this on?  The last I heard, crossing the border is an illegal activity.  I took an oath of office to enforce the law, so I am enforcing the law.”

But some people oppose this enforcement, such as Susan Shah, a spokesman of the Vera Institute of Justice in New York, who claims, “People are very, very fearful of interaction with law enforcement.  Even people with legal status, whose families may have mixed immigration status, now have a fear of opening the door” (MSNBC).  I don’t see why LEGAL citizens should have any fear at all – if they’re legal, what’s the problem?  Like I said in a previous post, if you aren’t breaking the law, why are you afraid?

And then you have some people claiming that victims of crimes and domestic violence won’t come forward.  Well, if they come forward, then you take down their story, arrest the criminals, and then deport any illegal immigrants – that way, if the victims are miles away, and they won’t be victims any more anyway.

And if people prey on illegal immigrants because of their status, and they figure that the immigrants won’t report them because they don’t want to be deported, then charge the criminals with a hate crime, under the U.S. Federal code.

I do have to say that while I am all for police departments arresting illegals, they shouldn’t be pulling people over just because of skin color, because that’s racism.  If they run the plate of a car and find out that it’s an illegal immigrant, that’s fine, but they do need probable cause.

Fortunately, here in Michigan, we don’t have a huge illegal immigrant problem (although it still is a problem even if we have 1), but I hope people like Sheriff Joe Arpaio keep up the great work in stopping this crime wave that is out of control!

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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John Kerry: Clinton Should “Be Fighting Against McCain” and “Not be Destructive”

March 30, 2008

Here is an excerpt from ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, which featured Governor Ed Rendell (D-PA-Clinton) and Senator John Kerry (D-MA-Clinton).  The pair discussed health care and the “Clinton Should Quit” Controversy:

Rendell: Well, how come we say who won the popular vote without Florida and Michigan in the race?

Stephanopoulos: Senator Kerry, why not take that challenge?

Kerry: Well, first of all, let me say, George, if you’re going to be campaigning in Pennsylvania, it’s good to have Ed Rendell with you. And I’m glad to be here with him, and I thank him for everything he did for me there. Better to have him with you than against you.

Secondly, let me just say that Hillary Clinton has every right in the world to continue to fight, but the important thing is to be fighting against John McCain and not to be destructive in this campaign, either campaigns.  It is very important for both people to keep the eye on the real target — John McCain and the Republican disaster of the last seven and a half years.  And if the campaign goes on through these next weeks, really focus on that, at a high level.

I don’t think Democrats ought to be clamoring and worried about what’s going on.  I think that this will resolve itself.  Thirdly, I think that the superdelegates ought to decide early.  I would even say earlier than July.  As a former nominee, I will tell you, this time right now is critical to us.  We began four years behind George Bush, and I think every day does give John McCain an ability to organize nationally.  So the sooner we resolve it, the better, but it has to be resolved, obviously, by letting voters have their say.

Now, in the next days, there are 550 delegates still at stake.  There are 10 states that are going to vote.  What is important to remember is that the bar keeps shifting here.  You know, after Iowa, the Clinton campaign said, well, what’s really important are delegates.  After Barack began winning the delegates, they say what’s really important are the primaries.

After he began winning the primaries, they said what’s really important is the popular vote.  Now he’s winning the popular vote, the primaries, the total numbers of caucuses of primaries and the total number of delegates.

So, at some point, there is a moment of judgment.  I don’t think it’s up to our campaign or any individual to tell Hillary Clinton or their campaign when that is.  But there will be, I think, a consensus about it, and I think it’s going to occur over these next weeks.

Stephanopoulos: But just this point of — Governor Rendell is saying Michigan and Florida have to vote again.  Otherwise, you are going to see a floor fight at the convention in the credentials committee.

Kerry: I don’t agree with that.  I mean, that’s a posture today, but I just don’t think that’s going to happen.  The reality is, that has to be resolved by the states and by the national committee.  And you know, the Obama campaign has been very clear about that.

You know, delegates will be seated, George.  There will be a way to work that out.  The real question is, you know, who is going to reach the magic number of delegates that says, you are the nominee.

I believe that number is going to be reached well before the convention.  I think it will be clear what happens well before the convention.  And I would urge fellow superdelegates, they have a responsibility to the Democratic Party and to the country for the larger issues that are at stake.

This is about our leadership in the free world.  It is about an economy that is crumbling around people in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.  And we need to be positioned to win.  The superdelegates should make their decision well before the first of July… … and then we march on to Denver….

Stephanopoulos: Senator Kerry, the Obama campaign has been pushing this issue.  The campaign manager said that Senator Clinton’s not seen as trustworthy by the American people.  Senator Obama himself has said that Senator Clinton has not been truthful in this campaign.  Should they drop this?

Kerry: Well, George, I think, you know, sometimes in campaigns, one thing leads to another.  You know, I wish that what Ed Rendell had just said were in fact being put into practice.  But I recall seeing last week Senator Clinton went to, of all papers, the Pittsburgh Tribune and Richard Mellon Scaife’s paper, and came out and raised the issue of Reverend Wright.

I mean, she did that quite spontaneously.  So, our hope would be, and I think this is what the Obama campaign is pressing for, is look, let’s stick to the real differences.

To me, the most important thing, and the most important thing to Pennsylvanians, it’s very interesting.  I mean, Ed Rendell would agree that, you know, Bobby Casey and what is called Casey country and the long representation of the Casey family of working folks in Pennsylvania. It’s not insignificant that Bob Casey, who didn’t have to do anything, decided to get involved and came out for Barack Obama the other day, because he really believes that he has a better chance of leading the country to the place we need to go.

The reason — what I think is important for people to focus on here is what really is going to make a difference to the governing of our country.  I think Barack Obama brings to the table — and you see it now in the Wall Street Journal poll numbers, where 60 percent of Americans believe Barack Obama has a better chance of uniting the country.  I think Hillary Clinton’s number was less than 40.  Her negatives are now higher than her positives.  It is very difficult to win the presidency when that’s true.

And I think what Democrats need to focus on now is who can galvanize a grassroots movement that holds Washington accountable, a Washington that only in the last days, when the pain reaches Bear Stearns, suddenly says, oh, we’ve got to do something about mortgages or we’ve got to do something about the average person.

That’s the fundamental issue of this campaign, and I think Barack Obama is gaining this support in red states across the country, with red-state governors, because he has the ability to build this grassroots movement and hold Washington accountable….

Rendell: I think that this duo, regardless, is a history-making duo.  They are both tremendous candidates.  They both would make great executives, and I’d love to see that happen.

Stephanopoulos: OK, Rendell has signed on with Cuomo.  Has Kerry?

Kerry: George, let me just pick up on something Ed just said, if I can.  Speaking as somebody who has worked for 24 years, and my colleague Ted Kennedy who’s backing Barack Obama has worked for 40 years to get health care, let me just tell you that Hillary Clinton’s plan in the United States Senate is a non-starter, because it starts with a mandate that is unachievable in the Senate in what we need to do.

Barack Obama starts with children and works up to a system where at the back end, you may have a mandate, you will get to universal coverage.  But he does it in a way that’s going to give Republicans the opportunity to be able to play at the table.

Secondly, the issue here — there are differences on the issues that are important.  The judgment issue with respect to how you make America safer.  Barack Obama gave, I thought, an extraordinarily important speech the other day.   In all this hurlyburly, it doesn’t always get noticed, but he talked about the security gap, and how really the Republicans have pursued a policy that, while they talk about being strong, has made America weaker.  That we are more exposed, that Al Qaida is stronger, Hezbollah is stronger, Hamas is stronger, Iran is stronger.  That is a failed foreign policy.  It is John McCain’s foreign policy.

And the fact is that Barack Obama had the right judgment about Iraq from the beginning.  He has the right judgment now about how you deal with Iran.  He had the right judgment about Pakistan and Afghanistan over a year ago. And very importantly, Hillary Clinton and others criticized him — let me just finish.  Hillary Clinton and others criticized him for saying that you can’t attack somebody in Pakistan if you have actionable intelligence.   A couple of weeks ago, we knocked out the number three Al Qaida operative, and everybody cheered, and we did exactly what Barack Obama said we ought to do, and they criticized him.

Stephanopoulos: Yes or no, would he be making the right judgmentif he asked Senator Clinton to run with him, should they run as oneticket?

Kerry: Well, that’s entirely — whatever judgment he makes will be the right judgment.  That’s the privilege of the nominee, and it’s certainly one of the options available to him, and it would be terrific in a lot of people’s minds.  But you have to leave the nominee that option.

So it’s apparent that this race isn’t going to end anytime soon.  I personally don’t think it will end up until a floor fight on the convention (FUN!), but who knows.

Kerry’s comment of

let me just say that Hillary Clinton has every right in the world to continue to fight, but the important thing is to be fighting against John McCain and not to be destructive in this campaign, either campaigns. It is very important for both people to keep the eye on the real target — John McCain and the Republican disaster of the last seven and a half years. And if the campaign goes on through these next weeks, really focus on that, at a high level.

seemed more like an indictment of Clinton and her campaign than a friendly warning to both Clinton and Obama.

His comment of “I don’t think Democrats ought to be clamoring and worried about what’s going on.  I think that this will resolve itself.” is just naïve in my opinion.  I mean, Obama and Clinton are tearing each other apart so much that McCain isn’t going to have to do any opposition research.

I really don’t see how the Democrats are going around with all this “Everything’s fine and dandy!” talk – they’re tearing the party apart!  Well, keep going on with this naïve attitude up until November, and then good old McCain will have a big surprise for you.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Ed Rendell: “Clinton’s Going to Eat into the Popular Vote”

March 30, 2008

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell (D-PA-Clinton) appeared on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos (along with Senator John Kerry [D-MA-Obama]), and discussed health care and the “Clinton Should Quit” Controversy:

Stephanopoulos: And Governor Rendell, let me begin with you.  Senator Clinton’s answer to Pat Leahy was basically “fat chance.”  In the Washington Post this morning, she vowed to stay in the race to the convention, and she said, “Even if that takes a floor fight at the credentials committee to seat the delegations of Florida and Michigan,” she said, “that’s what credentials committees are for.”  Is that the Clinton path to victory, a floor fight at the convention?

Rendell: Well, hopefully not.  Hopefully, the Obama forces will allow all 10 states that remain on the calendar vote, and allow Florida and Michigan to vote.  It’s a disgrace that the Obama forces say, well, he’s won the popular vote so he should be the nominee.  There are 10 states left.  I think Senator Clinton’s going to eat into
the popular vote.  And I think if Michigan and Florida actually voted again, Senator Clinton would come out on top of the popular vote.  So I think the key is to let the party — it’s too late for the states, but let the party run the primaries in Michigan and Florida.

With Florida, George — if Florida and Michigan voted, based on just the results from the Florida beauty contest, it’s fairly safe to assume that Senator Clinton would win the popular vote, and that would undercut the whole theme of the Obama campaign, is superdelegates, you have to vote for our guy because he’s got the most delegates and he’s won the popular vote. Well, how come we say who won the popular vote without Florida and Michigan in the race? 

Stephanopoulos: The Obama campaign has said this [the sniper incident] isn’t an isolated incident. This is a part of a pattern of Senator Clinton fudging the truth, inflating her resume.  She also claimed to create the S-CHIP children’s health insurance program.  The Obama campaign says that’s not true.  She said she played a key role in passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act.  The Obama campaign says there’s no evidence of
that. How do you respond to this charge of a pattern of untruthful statements?

Rendell: Well, that’s a perfect example of what Senator Kerry very correctly said shouldn’t be happening. We shouldn’t be bringing up all of the Reverend Wright stuff.  We should let that die.  The Kerry – excuse me, the Obama campaign… … shouldn’t be bringing up this stuff.  If we’re in fact interested in bringing everybody together, if we’re interested in running against Senator McCain, if we’re interested in letting our ideas, like Senator Clinton and Senator Obama’s plans to deal with the subprime mortgage issue, if we’re interested in having voters focus on that, we should stay away from stuff like this.

Look, I can barely remember what I did last Monday, number one.  Number two, I haven’t run into one Pennsylvanian who’s come up to me and said, Governor, I’m troubled because Senator Clinton got that stuff in Bosnia wrong.  It’s just not an issue for people who are struggling with real things that affect their daily lives and their families, George.

And I agree with Senator Kerry.  We can carry out the rest of this campaign drawing differences with Senator McCain and talking about the policies that we want to enact.  You know, interestingly, I’ve been going around to a lot of county dinners and breakfasts that we have before the primary.  And there’s not one person, whether they’re for Obama or Clinton, who’s worried about us coming together.

They’re interested in seeing the Pennsylvania primary mean something.  The people of Pennsylvania want to vote.  But the people of Pennsylvania also want their brethren in Florida and Michigan to be able to cast votes.  John Kerry knows that Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio, those are the four key states as you go into the November election.

And we can’t afford to disenfranchise voters in two states…. 

Well, I can’t speak for Senator Clinton, but I would love that [the Democratic runner up becomes the VP candidate].  I would love either way to see these two great people – and I disagree with John respectfully — I agree Senator Obama can unify the country, but so can Senator Clinton.  And I think the important thing to understand is who’s got the best solutions for the problems, not just unification.  That’s great, but unification is not going to bring us health care.

Senator Clinton’s health care plan is far more workable, far more achievable, and it will not only give universal health care, but it will drive down costs, which are essential.

So I think there are a number of issues that voters have to consider. … I think that this duo, regardless, is a history-making duo.  They are both tremendous candidates.  They both would make great executives, and I’d love to see that happen….

One thing real quickly.  Talking about Iraq.  Senator Kerry mentioned Bob Casey’s endorsement.  But there was another bolt out of heaven.  John Murtha, the number one Democrat in taking on bringing our troops home, endorsed Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama and said Hillary Clinton’s the best bet to get our troops home and get them home quickly.

The Pennsylvania election could be very interesting, because Clinton has to do quite well, not just to keep her in the race, but to build enough momentum to perform decently through the rest of the primaries and withstand a defeat that is essentially inevitable in North Carolina.  From that point, it’ll be up to the Superdelegates, which Clinton has been beating Obama out 250 to 215 (the latest count I’ve seen).

Pennsylvania, for the most part, is a Clinton state, with Ed Rendell and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter supporting Clinton.  Senator Bob Casey has endorsed Obama, but his effects will be less substantial than the others’.

So, it’s obvious that Governor Rendell thinks that since Clinton can come out on top of the popular vote, that perhaps the Superdelegates should be supporting her.  This back and forth of “Stay in” and “Get out” and all this infighting is going  to cost the Democrats the November election.

I’ll try to get up a post of Senator Kerry’s side of the issue.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Bill Richardson: Clinton “Has Every Right to Stay in the Race”

March 30, 2008

Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM-Obama) has joined the growing number of people involved in the “Clinton Should Quit” Controversy (which I’ve made a category for, so that I don’t have to keep linking to each separate post) said the following when he appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation earlier today: “I think the race should continue.  She has every right to stay in the race.  She’s run a very good campaign.  There’s 10 primaries to go.  They end June 3rd [Montana and South Dakota].  But I think it’s important that, at the end of the June 3rd date, we look at who has the most delegates, who has the most popular vote, who has the most states.  And I personally believe that Senator Obama is reaching a stage where his lead is insurmountable.”

So he’s pretty much taken the position that Obama has – she can stay in up until the beginning of June, when it will be obvious that Barack SHOULD be the winner, unless the Superdelegates mess things up (one can only hope for such a joyous event – Democrats messing things up?  NEVER!).

Like I keep saying, this will destroy the Democratic party for at least another election if they keep this up, and it will certainly give John McCain an all but guaranteed win come November.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Clinton Says She Will “Finish What We Started,” at the Convention If She Has To

March 30, 2008

Hillary Clinton told the Washington Post, while on a stop in New Albany, Indiana, yesterday, that she would stay in until the convention if she has to.  Here’s a transcript of the interview:

I know there are some people who want to shut this down and I think they are wrong. I have no intention of stopping until we finish what we started and until we see what happens in the next 10 contests and until we resolve Florida and Michigan. And if we don’t resolve it, we’ll resolve it at the convention — that’s what credentials committees are for.

We cannot go forward until Florida and Michigan are taken care of, otherwise the eventual nominee will not have the legitimacy that I think will haunt us. I can imagine the ads the Republican Party and John McCain will run if we don’t figure out how we can count the votes in Michigan and Florida.

I am committed to competing everywhere that there is an election.

Senator Obama also issued a statement on the issue available here: https://inkslwc.wordpress.com/2008/03/29/obama-clinton-can-run-as-long-as-she-wants-up-until-june/.

Clinton also brought up  (and I’m not sure if this was in the same interview) the subject of the Michigan revote, saying that Obama “block[ed] a proposed Michigan revote. Party officials earlier this month cited problems with conducting another primary there, but Obama aides had previously detailed their concerns in a memo, which she called a ‘smoke screen.’” (Wasington Post).

Right Michigan has also cited the Obama campaign as the source of the problems for the re-vote plans: http://www.rightmichigan.com/story/2008/3/18/13950/1825 and http://www.rightmichigan.com/story/2008/3/27/115843/548

Clinton said on the subject, “His campaign rejected the plan that was put forward.  For the life of me, what Barack was afraid of in Michigan I will never understand.”

Bill Burton, Obama’s spokesman said in an e-mail, “Senator Obama is actually interested in and working towards a solution, unlike Clinton, who is trying to change the rules she agreed to and is more interested in potshots than solving this problem.”

Finally, Clinton was asked how she could win, and she responded by bringing up the Superdelegates, saying that they “have a role and very important responsibility.  We have to nominate someone who can go toe to toe with John McCain on national security and beat him on the economy.  This will all be for naught if we don’t win in November.”

So, Clinton’s in until convention (since I KNOW that it won’t be decided before then), and she said it.  Great for us (or rather McCain), bad for them (or rather Obama)!

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Texas Democratic County Convention Results – 1:00 A.M. – Obama Wins

March 30, 2008

Here are the results of the Texas  Democratic county / senate district conventions results as of 1:00 A.M. EDT (12:00 A.M. local time), with 133/284 conventions reporting (46.83%) and 5,543/7,649 delegates awarded (72.31%).  Obama has continued to retain the lead that he’s had for the last few hours:

  1. Obama 3,106 56.03%
  2. Clinton 2,437 43.97%

Again, I have called it for Obama.

A huge thanks to Burt Orange Report for the numbers.  They’ve all headed to bed since it’s midnight in Texas, so I’m done reporting for the night.  I’ll probably post a final total tomorrow once all the results are in.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Texas Democratic County Convention Results – 12:30 A.M. – Obama Wins

March 30, 2008

Here are the results of the Texas  Democratic county / senate district conventions results as of 12:30 A.M. EDT (11:30 P.M. local time), with 131/284 conventions reporting (46.13%) and 5,315/7,649 delegates awarded (69.49%).  Obama has continued to retain the lead that he’s had for the last few hours:

  1. Obama 2,989 56.24%
  2. Clinton 2,326 43.76%

Again, I have called it for Obama. 

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Texas Democratic Convention Results – 11:30 P.M. – Obama Wins

March 29, 2008

Here are the results of the Texas  Democratic county / senate district conventions results as of 11:30 P.M. EDT (10:30 P.M. local time), with 122/284 conventions reporting (42.96%) and 4,905/7,649 delegates awarded (64.13%).  Obama has continued to retain the lead that he’s had for the last few hours.  Like I said, Clinton has come back slightly, especially after El Paso came in (Senate District 19 7-0 for her and SD 29 157-18).  We’re still waiting on Bexar (Clinton in the primary-56%), Collin (Obama-56%), Harris (Obama-56%), and Tararnt (Obama-54%) counties in terms of big delegate areas:

  1. Obama 2,789 56.86%
  2. Clinton 2,116 43.14%

Again, I have called it for Obama. 

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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Obama: “Clinton Can Run as Long as She Wants” Up Until June

March 29, 2008

Today, while in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Obama responded to Senator Patrick Leahy’s (D-VT-Obama) recent comments that Hillary Clinton should drop out of the race:

I hadn’t talked to Pat[rick Leahy] about it.  My attitude is that Senator Clinton can run as long as she wants. Her name is on the ballot and she is a fierce and formidable competitor.  She should be able to compete and her supporters should be able to support her for as long as they are willing or able.

When we’ve completed all the contests that are remaining, some time in early June, that at that point there are no more contests and I think it is important to pivot as quickly as possible, for the super delegates or others to make a decision as quickly as possible so that we can settle on a nominee and give that nominee some time before the convention to select a vice president or presidential nominee to start thinking about how the convention should be conducted.

We will have had contests in all 50 states plus several territories. We will have tallied up the pledge delegate vote. We will have tallied up the popular vote, we will have tallied up how many states that were won by who. And then at that point I think people should have more than enough information to make a decision.

I think that the notion that the party has been divided by this contest is somewhat overstated. There’s no doubt that among some of my supporters or some of her supporters there’s probably been some irritation created, but I also think that in every contest you’ve seen in every state huge jumps in Democratic registration, including independents and Republicans who are changing registration to vote in the Democratic primaries. Those are people who are now invested in what happens. I think that bodes very well for us in November. I think the party is going to come together.

You can’t tell me that some of my supporters are going to say, ‘well, we’d rather have the guy who may want to stay in Iraq for a hundred years because we are mad that Senator Clinton ran a negative ad against Senator Obama. I think the converse is true as well. I think Senator Clinton’s supporters will ultimately look at a comparison and say we think an Obama administration will be very different from a McCain administration.

I’m not as well known as Senator Clinton is in this state, which is reflected in the polls, and she’s got a popular Democratic governor who gave her a good head start, and provided her with some institutional support.

We may not be able to win, but I think we’ve got a good chance and we’re going to work as hard as we can.

On a lighter side, while playing basketball with Senator Bob Casey (D-PA-Obama) at a local high school, Obama said, “You were boxing out, which is what we need.”  He’ll need some good defense both on and off the court if he wants to win the nomination without killing the party.  He’s going to need that defense, because as I have pointed out earlier, this race is getting pretty nasty, and we still have until the convention in August for it to only get nastier.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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