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Barack Obama

The Leonard Lopate Show

Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress

Monday, September 06, 2010

Historian William Jelani Cobb looks at the 2008 election of Barack Obama—who won the Democratic nomination even though old-line civil rights leaders—Jesse Jackson, John Lewis, Andrew Young—all openly supported Hillary Clinton. In The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress, Cobb examines America's changing political and social landscape, and a new generation of voters with priorities not shaped by the legacy of Jim Crow.

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The Empire

Perkins Challenger Latches Onto Obama, Moves Away from Bloomberg

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Perkins, an early Obama supporter, not a big fan of charter schools. (Perkins' campaign web site)

Basil Smikle, the Democratic challenger to State Senator Bill Perkins, was on the defensive for a good chunk of their debate last night on NY1.

Smikle's challenge to Perkins is fueled in no small part because of the issue of charter schools: Smikle supports them; Perkins, for the most part, opposes them (although he did vote to raise the cap on them after changes to the law governing them were made).

Supporters for Smikle and Perkins line up pretty cleanly based on the education issue: charter school supporters are behind Smikle; public school advocates support Perkins.

Anyway, during the debate, Smikle - a political consultant running as a candidate for the first time - was on the defensive about who supports him.

“It’s insane to think the [New York] Post would urge me to run for political office. To put my life on the line, to open myself up," Smikle said at one point. The New York Post has waged a fairly intense campaign in favor of charter schools, and has given plenty of critical coverage to Perkins.

Smikle also sought to distance himself from Mayor Bloomberg, whom he worked for last year, and is an outspoken charter school supporter.

"I am not close to the mayor. I worked with him for one year. I’m actually a lot closer to the Clintons than I am to the mayor. I worked with them a lot longer," said Smikle.

Needless to say, the Clintons are much more popular in the Harlem and Morning Side Heights parts of the district. (The district also includes the Upper West Side - where I'd love to see polling numbers for Bloomberg and the Clintons.)

Later in the debate, Perkins took a swipe at Smikle for taking money from "hedge fund" managers who, as stories in The Times and elsewhere pointed out, often bankroll charter school efforts.

Smikle had an interesting response: associate those donors with Obama, a popular figure throughout the district.

"Now, in terms of those who have donated who are in the financial industry, what’s interesting about those individuals is that the majority of them actually donated to Obama very early on in his campaign because they supported his position on education and on school choice," said Smikle. Those donors to Obama, says Smikle, are giving to his campaign, not Perkins.

Obama is a supporter of charter schools, and is, some say, helping realigning the Democratic Party on this issue.

But Smikle's attempt to latch onto Obama's coattails is interesting for other reasons too. Smikle worked for Hillary Clinton who, famously, ran against Obama in the 2008 presidential primary. Also, the first elected official in New York CIty to endorse Obama was a State Senator by the name of...Bill Perkins.

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The Empire

Bloomberg: No 2012 Talk with Obama

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Over golf, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he and Obama spoke about politics. Sort of. Bloomberg told reporters today:

We did not talk about 2012 or anybody that would run. And certainly not about me. I have twelve hundred and eighteen days left to go in this job and I plan to serve them all out.

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The Empire

Cuomo and Obama's Group

Monday, August 16, 2010

Andrew Cuomo

Azi Paybarah / WNYC

Andrew Cuomo campaigning in Harlem during 2006 campaign.

Obama's campaign spin-off, Organizing for America, is out with an email to supporters rallying support for Andrew Cuomo's gubernatorial campaign.

Haberman notes this makes Cuomo "part of the national party's movement."

Cuomo is, oddly, declining to comment on the email.

The only thing I'll add is that the email doesn't mention the word Democrat.  Instead, the email characterizes the opponents they're trying to topple as "lobbyists and special interest" and "lawmakers" who "can't break free from the status quo."

The OFA description underscores Cuomo anti-Albany message. "I think we have to have less focus on the party labels and more focus on the people,"Cuomo told reporters last Friday.

So, for this one, the OFA is following Cuomo's script.

UPDATE: After seeing reports about their lack of comment, Cuomo's campaign sent over a statement.

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Transportation Nation

Breaking Ground on the Post-Interstate Interstate

Saturday, August 07, 2010

(Matt Dellinger, Transportation Nation) The highway megaproject, an animal still thriving in China and other developing countries, has become something of an endangered species here in America. This has a little bit to do with actual endangered species—and more specifically the environmental laws we put in place to protect them. It also has a lot to do with money, which is kinda tight these days: The Highway Trust Fund is famously broke, and the transportation reauthorization bill is stalled because there’s no consensus on how to make up for anemic gas tax revenues.

But despite all of this—and despite the fact that, technically, the interstate construction program ended in the mid-1990s—the biggest new interstate of the post-interstate era is still struggling its way into existence up and down the middle of the country.

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Transportation Nation

LaHood: Light Rail Will Boost Motor City

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was in Detroit on Monday, just a couple days after President Barack Obama visited a car factory, drove a Volt, and otherwise touted the revival of the auto industry.

LaHood was there talking about another mode of transportation, entirely. "You build a bus line, a transit line, a light rail line, people will come, they will use it, and it will become an economic engine," LaHood said at a press conference announcing the U.S. DOT is backing an environmental review for the proposed Woodward Avenue light rail line, the linchpin of a plan to revive downtown Detroit.

The light rail, LaHood said, "will give people a new choice or maybe a  first chance to get from one place to another, from home to school, to work, to the store, to see family and friends, or a doctor. They will help make Detroit a model for livable communities. A place where transit brings housing in close proximity to jobs and businesses. A place where sidewalks and bike paths are usable, inviting, and safe."

"Woodward Avenue was the first street paved with concrete any place in the world. What an extraordinary piece of history. Its traffic was among the first to be managed by public stop lights which a Detroit police officer invented in 191," LaHood said. "And while the community is rightfully proud of its history as the birthplace of the freeway and automobile, Woodward Avenue was also once upon a time the backbone of a streetcar network and transit system replicated in cities across the United States."

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WQXR News

Obama Visits NJ to Promote Small Biz Agenda

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The president stopping in Edison, New Jersey to promote his small business agenda.

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WNYC News

Small Business the Focus of Obama's Trip to Edison, NJ

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

President Barack Obama will visit New Jersey on Wednesday to talk about small businesses and the economy before traveling to New York City where he will attend two private, Democratic fundraisers before returning to Washington.

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The Empire

Already!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

dho

Azi Paybarah / WNYC

Tucked inside Conservative activist David Horowitz's latest missive to reporters about the dangers of the Obama administration:

"Remember, Barack Obama is up for reelection in 2010. That means we cannot afford to focus entirely on November 2010."

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress

Monday, July 19, 2010

Historian William Jelani Cobb looks at the 2008 election of Barack Obama—who won the Democratic nomination even though old-line civil rights leaders—Jesse Jackson, John Lewis, Andrew Young—all openly supported Hillary Clinton. In The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress, Cobb examines America's changing political and social landscape, and a new generation of voters with priorities not shaped by the legacy of Jim Crow.

Comments [6]

Transportation Nation

Former President Clinton Gushes about BRT, Sustainable Transit

Thursday, July 01, 2010

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation). His former Vice President, Al Gore, is known for going on about the environment, but I'm straining to remember when I ever heard Gore go on about transit. I can't ever remember hearing the current President, Barack Obama, (even as a candidate) talk about mass transit in the way you can see former President Bill Clinton speak here.

Perhaps it shouldn't be surprising. Clinton's ClimateWorks foundation has made international low-carbon transit a priority. But still, he says "bus rapid transit."

The video was screened at at gala Wednesday night for the mass-transit touting  Institute for Transportation Development Policy.

Please correct me if I'm wrong: Anyone seen anything comparable from Barack Obama, Vice President Biden, former Vice President Al Gore, or anyone from the U.S. Senate?

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Transportation Nation

LaHood: States Should Spend Faster

Friday, June 18, 2010

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation)  President Barack Obama travels to Columbus , Ohio today to cut the ribbon on the 10,000th Recovery Act highway project.   The move, clearly timed to emit some good news in the cloud of BP spill-related bad news, was heralded Thursday in a conference call by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Vice President Biden's Chief Economist, Jared Bernstein.

LaHood said the news could be even better.  "The problem is getting the governors to enter into contracts through their Departments of Transportation to get these contracts awarded so people can be hired."

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The Takeaway

Dissecting the War Metaphors and Messaging in President's Speech

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

With the help of Kathleen Hall Jamieson, professor of communications and director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, we take a look at President Obama's Oval Office speech from last night. Jamieson analyzes the president's rhetoric, looking at whether it was effective in communicating his control over the Gulf oil crisis and setting up the changes in the country's energy policy.

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The Takeaway

President Obama to Deliver Oval Office Address

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tonight, President Barack Obama will deliver his first prime time address from the Oval Office. Like the State of the Union address, it's an important part of the modern president's conversation with the American people, and often marks a significant statement of policy. 

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Talk to Me

David Remnick On Obama

Thursday, May 27, 2010

David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker magazine, engaged in a candid and casual conversation about his new book, "The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama," at Barnes & Noble, Union Square on April 28. After a brief history of why he chose to write a book on Obama, a figure who has been extensively covered, Remnick answered questions from the audience.

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Transportation Nation

Aren't You the Airport Guys? TSA in the Subway

Friday, April 30, 2010

(New York - Collin Campbell, Transportation Nation) -- It's a strange sight, the bright blue uniforms of the agents who run the long lines and security machinery at airports, down in the crush of the New York City subway.  But here they are, the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration.  For now -- there are two teams working with the NYPD to check the bags of transit passengers.  This summer, the city and the federal government will discuss adding more.

"We're currently working with Amtrak and freight rail as well," said John P. Sammon, Assistant Administrator with the TSA's office of Transportation Sector Network Management.  "So no, there are not limits on which modes of transportation the TSA can work on securing." 

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Transportation Nation

Building the Case For Transit as a Civil Right

Monday, April 26, 2010

(Collin Campbell, Transportation Nation, April 26) We're following the changes in how public transit projects are planned and funded under the Obama Administration's DOT, which has made it quite clear that it wants to see new lines and routes serve wide groups of riders, especially those traditionally underserved. Nathanael Johnson of KALW News has been following BART's efforts in San Francisco to reconnect with the community, after its plans failed to meet new criteria and lost $70 million.

Guillermo Mayer is the lawyer who fought BART and found himself backed by a new White House. He won, and is now looking at ways the new Transportation Reauthorization in Congress can be used to fund this kind of civil rights argument for transit. "This breathes life back into Title VI Civil Rights enforcement," Mayer said. "We didn’t win much under Bush."

Today on The Takeaway, Mayer said "at this time we're pretty much seeing transit service in the Bay Area get decimated. The buses are running with much longer headways. They're much more expensive to ride now. Transit drivers are being laid off." And so why should agencies be building expensive new ways for well-off riders to get to the airport?

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WNYC News

Monserrate Defends "Sí, Se Puede," DNC Says No You Can't

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

logos

The Democratic National Committee wants former Queens state senator, Hiram Monserrate, to stop using Barack Obama's 2008 campaign logo. The DNC has asked Monserrate to cease using campaign material with a circular, striped image with the slogan 'Yes we ...

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Time Capsule Follow-Up – What will Obama actually change by 2012?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Obama and European leaders after Copenhagen Summit. Credit: The White House on Flickr.

Obama and European leaders after Copenhagen Summit. Credit: The White House on flickr.

The day after the November 2008 Presidential Election, we ...

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WNYC News

Today in History: JFK Delivers Inauguration Speech

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

(photo courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration)

(photo courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration)

Today in 1961 John F. Kennedy Jr. was inaugurated the 35th president. Below you can hear his full speech:

This also marks the one ...

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