By showing officers that he shared many of their concerns, even going so far as to help pass other legislation they wanted, he was able to quiet the fears of many.
Obama proved persuasive enough that the bill passed both houses of the legislature, the Senate by an incredible 35 to 0. Then he talked Blagojevich into signing the bill, making Illinois the first state to require such videotaping.
Obama didn’t stop there. He played a major role in passing many other bills, including the state’s first earned-income tax credit to help the working poor and the first ethics and campaign finance law in 25 years (a law a Post story said made Illinois ‘one of the best in the nation on campaign finance disclosure’). Obama’s commitment to ethics continued in the U.S. Senate, where he co-authored the new lobbying reform law that, among its hard-to-sell provisions, requires lawmakers to disclose the names of lobbyists who ‘bundle’ contributions for them.
Taken together, these accomplishments demonstrate that Obama has what Dillard, the Republican state senator, calls a ‘unique’ ability ‘to deal with extremely complex issues, to reach across the aisle and to deal with diverse people.’ In other words, Obama’s campaign claim that he can persuade us to rise above what divides us is not just rhetoric.
— and Why He’ll Beat McCain, Too – Politics on The Huffington Post: “And here’s zany family game #2: try to imagine Obama getting in front of the TV cameras on a night that gutted his entire campaign, pasting a transparently phony smile on his face, and crowing ‘it’s on to the White House!’ as Michelle and the kids fought off tears on the podium behind him…
I recall President Bush visiting Indiana several times in the last eight or nine years for ‘his man Mitch,’ aka Gov. Mitch Daniels who has done his part to run this state into the ground just like his mentor did the country. But until last month no Democrat with presidential aspirations really bothered to pay us any attention. Not in my living memory.
I personally found a grain of truth in Obama’s much-maligned ‘bitterness’ remarks, but not for the reasons he mentioned. Middle Americans are bitter at being ignored until itâ€™s politically convenient to pay attention. These days, I feel mighty bitter when I hear liberal commentators exclaim that Indiana doesnâ€™t matter, whether because of the delegate counts or the stateâ€™s perceived conservatism or because itâ€™s only a primary. Maybe Indiana voters donâ€™t care about national Democratic politics because national Democratic politicians donâ€™t seem to care much about Indiana.
This primary season, Democrats ought to take note of what kind of response they get when they actively campaign in the states they usually abandon. Here in Indiana, I don’t know a soul who will pass up the chance to vote today, and none I know are voting Republican. You might be surprised at what happens when Democrats and the media spend some time in our state, rather than reduce us to uniformly conservative, marginal stereotypes because itâ€™s easier than respecting local culture and diversity of opinion.
Barack Obama is receiving the support of another high-profile superdelegate in Indiana, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Joe Andrew, who is switching from Hillary Clinton’s camp.
Andrew, who was appointed DNC chief by Bill Clinton, had endorsed Hillary Clinton when she announced her bid last year. But in a letter to fellow superdelegates, Andrew says it’s time for the party to unite behind Obama so he can take on presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, the Associated Press reports.
‘A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote to continue this process, and a vote to continue this process is a vote that assists John McCain,’ wrote Andrew, who plans a news conference today in Indianapolis to urge Indiana voters to support Obama on Tuesday. ‘While I was hopeful that a long, contested primary season would invigorate our party, the polls show that the tone and temperature of the race is now hurting us,’ Andrew wrote. ‘John McCain, without doing much of anything, is now competitive against both of our remaining candidates. We are doing his work for him and distracting Americans from the issues that really affect all of our lives.’
In an interview with the AP, Andrew said he was impressed by Obama’s handling of two issues this week, opposing a summer gas tax holiday backed by Clinton and McCain, and repudiating his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.
Andrew’s defection narrows Clinton’s lead among superdelegates to just 20.