Current Affairs

Hillary sacks campaign manager, Obama wins Grammy

Tony Grew February 11, 2008
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As the battle for the Democratic nomination continues to be the most closely-fought in decades, Senator Hillary Clinton has reordered her core team.

Her rival Senator Barack Obama won yesterday’s Maine caucus by a wide margin, his fourth victory over the weekend.

The Former First Lady had been hoping to secure the state. Last week she had to lend her campaign $5m (£2.56m) of her own money after it suffered “cash flow problems.”

Senator Clinton has replaced Patti Solis Doyle, who lead campaign since the start, with aide Maggie Williams.

She reportedly met with former candidate John Edwards, who has yet to come out in support of either remaining candidate.

The removal of her original campaign manager is intended to send a signal to donors and supporters that she is responding to Senator Obama’s increasing momentum in the race.

At last night’s Grammy awards Senator Obama won the spoken word award for his reading of his best-selling book The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream.

All eyes are now on the so-called Beltway Primary, when Washington DC and surrounding states vote for a Democratic candidate for President.

Speaking to supporters in Virginia yesterday, Senator Obama damned his opponent with faint praise:

“She’s a smart person, she’s a capable person, she would be a vast improvement over the incumbent.

“What is also true is, I think it’s very hard for Senator Clinton to break out of the politics of the last 15 years.

“Keep in mind, we had Bill Clinton as President when, in 94, we lost the House, we lost the Senate, we lost Governorships, we lost state houses. And so, regardless of what policies they wanted to promote, they didn’t have a working majority to bring change about.”

Senator Clinton still retains a tiny lead over Senator Obama in the number of delegates pledged to her and the support of John Edwards could be key ahead of the remaining primaries and caucuses.

She is trying to portray herself as the experienced candidate who can take on the likely Republican nominee John McCain.

Speaking to a rally in Virginia yesterday she said:

“Who can go the distance? I want you to think about this.

“If Senator McCain is the nominee for the Republicans, as it appears he will be, you know that they will do everything in their power to make this election about national security, about homeland security, and that is exactly what will happen. I look forward to making it clear that I have big differences with my friend Senator McCain.”

Senator Obama beat two former US President’s at last night’s Grammy awards, both Democrats.

Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter were nominated for best spoken word album alongside Maya Angelou and Alan Alda.

The title, The Audacity Of Hope: Thoughts On Reclaiming The American Dream,refers to Senator Obama’s keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic convention:

“In the end, that’s what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?

“I’m not talking about blind optimism here, the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don’t talk about it, or the health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it.

“No, I’m talking about something more substantial.

“It’s the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker’s son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.

“Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope.”

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