Sunday Political Outlook

Over on CBS's "Face the Nation", South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn was asked if he belies the Rev. Wright controversy is being used by white people as a reason not to vote for Obama. Well, we all mask our intentions sometimes. I don't think it's just white people," he said. I think there are some black people, I've heard them in my conversations. I notice who were around Reverend Wright at the National Press Club. All of those -- none of those that I saw were white people. And so I do believe that these kinds of issues are sometimes used to mask people's other intentions. And so I wouldn't limit it to just white people. I think people look for cover in these kinds of issues."


Democratic officials in Guam say they will examine more than 500 spoiled ballots at caucus locations across the island, raising the possibility that a recount may be conducted in the near future. For now, Obama appeared to be the winner of the Guam Democratic caucuses held Saturday by seven votes (that's right seven votes). The four delegates up for grabs, for now, will split even among the dueling Democrats. LINK

Back on the mainland, at Churchill Downs, where a tragedy on the track probably left some political observers fighting the temptation to make crude jokes about the irony that Clinton picked to win, place and show a horse that had to be euthanized after breaking both front ankles.

Eight Belles, the only filly in the race and Clinton's choice because she was a female, finished second in the Kentucky Derby before collapsing on the track. Big Brown, the winner, was picked by Obama to show. Goodness. LINK

As both Democrats continue to trade barbs over a summer suspension of the gas tax (Clinton and McCain support the idea, Obama is opposed), New York Times reporter David Leonhardt sees a "thematic difference" on economic principals between the candidates.

From Leonhardt in Saturday's paper, "Mrs. Clinton tends to favor narrowly focused programs, like the gas-tax holiday, that speak to specific voter concerns. ... Mr. Obama, on the other hand, leans toward broader programs meant to help nearly all middle- and low-income families."

Also from Saturday's NY Times, a fascinating Robin Toner article on "the race that haunts Democrats of a certain generation."

There are some important lessons Democrats should have learned from Michael Dukakis' 40-state loss 20 years ago when Republicans waged a subliminal campaign focused on symbols. Even as the Democrats work to settle on a nominee, conservatives have attacked Obama and his wife, Michelle, charging, in so many words, that they are not sufficiently patriotic. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., endured the next generation of the GOP strategy in 2004. Have the Democrats truly learned from '88?

On Saturday, Democrat Don Cazayoux won a closely contested special election in Louisiana's 6th Congressional District. The seat had been held by Republicans for more than 30 years. The National Republican Congressional Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign committee spent millions competing for the spot. Conservative groups ran a number of ads linking Cazayoux to Sens. Obama and Clinton.

Republicans held onto the 1st Congressional District with a victory by State Sen. Steve Scalise. That seat had previously been held by now-Gov. Bobby Jindal.

In a solid piece of video posted yesterday on his MySpace page, Tom Hanks announced his endorsement of Sen. Obama.


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