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Clinton touts African-American backing on Watts campaign stop

By GENE C. JOHNSON JR., Staff Writer
White House hopeful unveils agenda she says will benefit ˜young men of color' in particular.

WATTS "” Touting her experience as first lady and the U.S. Senate, a number of black elected officials, community activists and business leaders threw their support behind the presidential campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton during a packed gathering at King Drew Magnet School in Watts on Sept. 14.

"Thirty years of experience. She is the most qualified candidate in this race, that's why I have endorsed her," said former basketball great and L.A. business titan Earvin "Magic" Johnson. "She cares, she's smart and the one thing that you can count on is that there will be changes in the White House. There will be changes in America once she comes aboard."

Clinton, who has stirred debate in recent days with a plan to provide healthcare for all Americans, also received backing from L.A. City Councilwoman Jan Perry, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as well as activist "Sweet Alice Harris," and newly elected Rep. Laura Richardson, D-Long Beach.

Harris, who sat on the dais, wore a T-shirt dating back at least a decade, showing her previous support for Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton.

"Really, our country is in a state of the have and the have-nots," Richardson said. "In our community, here, we have the opportunity to work with someone we know "” not someone we met yesterday."

It what organizers called a "conversation" with Clinton, the candidate fielded questions from the audience "” with many lining the auditorium walls "” on such topics as health care, education, crime, faith-based initiatives and finding new energy sources.

"Think about it: Right here in South L.A. we could put people to work putting solar panels on folks' houses and schools, on the churches and on the businesses," she said. "We could use all kinds of alternative energy.

"Where there are vacant lots, we could put windmills up," she added. "Then all of a sudden everybody in the area is getting cheap energy."

On the war in Iraq, Clinton said she would be a president who will "listen to the military, but who will also seek out political, economical, cultural, diplomatic and other kinds of ideas so that we can make the world safe for us and for our friends and allies."

Attendees at the event included the Rev. William Epps of Second Baptist Church, L.A. City Council members Wendy Gruel, Janice Hahn and Jack Weiss, Los Angeles school board member Richard Vladovic, and Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Los Angeles. On Tuesday, the Clinton campaign announced the endorsement of Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally, D-Compton, a former lieutenant governor considered by many to be the dean of black California politics.

In her remarks, Clinton also took jabs at President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind education policy, saying: "We need to have a different approach. We cannot see our children as little walking tests. At the end of the day, what matters to me is how we treat our children and what kind of futures we give them."

"We don't have a child to waste," said Clinton, who said she supports more funding for Head Start programs and a universal pre-kindergarten program for every 4-year-old. "We need to get in and help [children] at a very early stage," she said.

She went on to attack the current healthcare system, saying that at least 47 million American are without healthcare.

"Part of the reason why I'm running for president is to make sure that nobody feels invisible anymore. I'm tired of Americans feeling invisible. If you don't have health care and you don't know where to go "” and your hospital closes, you sure feel invisible, don't you?"

Of particular interest to the South L.A. community, Clinton said she would like to create a "youth opportunity agenda for children of color "” particularly young men of color" such as more "second chance" programs and a charter school similar to the one started in the Bronx where students were paired with a successful African-American role model.

"I've outlined this full agenda for young men of color because I'm tired of them being seen as a problem," she said.

Friday's event also included a performance by the school's cheerleading squad and their choir.

"On a championship team we need experience. We need a veteran," Villaraigosa said. "We need someone who has been through a championship game, played on a championship level, someone with the strength and experience to lead this great nation."

"This is not the first time that the senator is in our community. This is not the first time she's come and supported people of all colors," added Johnson. "She has been about young people. She has been about poor people "”middle class people her whole life. She is the only candidate that can work with everybody in Congress, in the Senate and around the world."

© MBM

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quote:
Originally posted by I_am_Mahogany:

Hillary is enjoying all this support from the black community because of her husband, but what exactly has SHE ever done for Black America in her role as First Lady or Senator? Why are Magic Johnson and other Black celebrities so sure that Hillary Clinton is going to do anything for US?


thanks bang Confused

Furthermore, as I've asked before, what has BILL ever done for black people?
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
quote:
Originally posted by I_am_Mahogany:

Hillary is enjoying all this support from the black community because of her husband, but what exactly has SHE ever done for Black America in her role as First Lady or Senator? Why are Magic Johnson and other Black celebrities so sure that Hillary Clinton is going to do anything for US?


thanks bang Confused

Furthermore, as I've asked before, what has BILL ever done for black people?

Outside being the first US President to actually set foot on the African continent?...Very little, if any.
Touting her experience as first lady and the U.S. Senate, a number of black elected officials, community activists and business leaders threw their support behind the presidential campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton during a packed gathering at King Drew Magnet School in Watts on Sept. 14.---article

This is support for personal gain.

This is not to berate these individuals, because 'personal gain' politics is what politics is all about.

Clearly, this is what these politicians are about in this event.

This personal gain, however, represses African America.


I can only hope that only hope these people will vote for Senator Obama.


PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
quote:
Originally posted by I_am_Mahogany:

Hillary is enjoying all this support from the black community because of her husband, but what exactly has SHE ever done for Black America in her role as First Lady or Senator? Why are Magic Johnson and other Black celebrities so sure that Hillary Clinton is going to do anything for US?


thanks bang Confused

Furthermore, as I've asked before, what has BILL ever done for black people?


Nothing, I suspect. I never understood that "First Black President" thing. Although he seemed to be more in touch with people, I don't recall anything that he did specifically for the betterment of Black America.
Interesting:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0907/5871.html

Black women could swing S.C. Dem primary

By: Aaron Gould Sheinin - TheState.com
Sep 17, 2007 07:27 PM EST



Huffmon said the results show "early on, African-Americans threw their support to Hillary Clinton, primarily based on the Clinton legacy" established by the former president.
Photo: AP

The key to winning South Carolina's Democratic presidential primary will be winning over undecided black women, a new poll suggests.

A Winthrop/ETV poll of black South Carolinians, released Thursday, shows U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois narrowly leading Hillary Clinton of New York among all black people surveyed who say they will vote.

However, more than a third of black women said they were undecided about whom to vote for in the state's Jan. 29 Democratic presidential primary.

Only one other Democratic candidate "” Seneca native John Edwards "” broke 1 percent in the poll of black South Carolinians. The former U.S. senator from North Carolina had the support of 3 percent of those surveyed.

Polls of all S.C. Democrats, regardless of race, show Clinton leading by an average of nearly 12 percentage points over Obama, with Edwards in third.

Republicans drew almost no support from the almost 700 S.C. black people surveyed.

Despite South Carolina's history of voting Republican in presidential elections "” no Democrat has won the state since Jimmy Carter in 1976 "” the state's Democratic primary is important.

It is the first Southern primary and the first in a state with a major black population, a key Democratic constituency. About half of all votes cast in the S.C. Democratic primary are expected to come from black people.

Winthrop University political scientist Scott Huffmon designed the poll with Adolphus Belk Jr, Winthrop's co-director of African-American studies. Huffmon said the results show "early on, African-Americans threw their support to Hillary Clinton, primarily based on the Clinton legacy" established by the senator's husband, former President Bill Clinton.

But, Huffmon said, as black South Carolinians have come to know Obama, his support has increased significantly.

The Clinton-Obama contest pits the strong positive feelings many black South Carolinians have toward former President Clinton against the excitement surrounding Obama, whose father was African.

"The real tipping point in the Democratic primary may be undecided African-American female voters," Huffmon said. "If Obama and Clinton run neck and neck in every other category, black females could easily be the tipping point."

Among all black people surveyed, Obama has the support of 35.4 percent; Clinton, 30.7 percent; and Edwards, 3 percent. However, 28.7 percent of those surveyed were undecided, a huge potential voting bloc the Democratic candidates can be expected to target.

Among men, Obama dominates. He has the support of 42.4 percent of black men to Clinton's 30.5 percent. Only about a fifth of black men are undecided.

Black women are clearly more conflicted.

Clinton has the support of 30.9 percent of black women and Obama, 30.6 percent. However, the largest group of black women "” 33.8 percent "” is undecided.

Obama spokesman Kevin Griffis downplayed the results of polls four months before the S.C. primary.

"Honestly, we're not paying that much attention to them and we're really focused right now on building what we continue to think is an unprecedented grassroots movement that is going to engage people in a way that South Carolinians haven't been engaged before," he said.

Clinton spokesman Zac Wright said the poll reflects Clinton's emphasis on building a winning S.C. network.

"Hillary's grass-roots support continues to push the campaign forward, but the only poll that matters is the one on Jan. 29," Wright said. "In our state and across the country, people are calling for change and for a candidate with the experience to make that change a reality; that's why Hillary's momentum continues to grow."

Larvine Parker, 83, of James Island, supports Clinton. Parker said former President Bill Clinton has a lot to do with her choice.

Of Obama, Parker said, "I don't know enough about that guy. But I know Senator Hillary Clinton. She's a real good woman. And her husband was a darn good president."

Nancy Rivers, 34, of Bamberg County, supports Edwards.

"Barack Obama, I respect him, just like the other candidates. But for me, with John Edwards having run (for vice president in 2004) with John Kerry, I feel like he has more experience in terms of the campaign and his personal convictions," said Rivers, a student at Denmark Technical College.

Rivers said she rejects the stereotype she should support Obama because she is black or Clinton because she's a woman. "There has to be more to it than that," she said.


State Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, D-Orangeburg, said the stereotype Rivers mentions is pervasive in many black communities, and helps explain the large percentage of undecided black females.

"There are a lot of black women who are torn between Obama and Clinton," said Cobb-Hunter, who has not endorsed any candidate.

There is an automatic assumption, she said, that black women will support Clinton because of their shared gender or Obama because of their shared race.

"This seems to be a kind of generational thing," Cobb-Hunter said, "and I don't mean age as much as mindset. ... People who tend to look forward, Barack seems to be winning. For people who are kind of stuck on how things used to be ... it's not so much Hillary as it is Bill Clinton that seems to have the edge."

Some unpublished data from the poll backs up Cobb-Hunter's impression, Huffmon said. If those surveyed said they would vote for Clinton, they were asked to explain why.

"The top answer was Bill Clinton," Huffmon said.

Those results were not included in the poll results released Thursday, but Huffmon said the results were clear.

"A lot of support she's getting in the African-American community is because of her husband."

Black In South Carolina

Black South Carolinians are Democrats.

But they're far from liberal.

African-Americans in South Carolina have nuanced, sometimes seemingly conflicting opinions that reflect, at times, the state's conservatism, the Winthrop/ETV poll found.

For example, according to the poll:

"¢ Two-thirds say they are Democrats, and four in five plan to vote in the state's January Democratic presidential primary. But almost six in 10 describe their political beliefs as conservative or moderate.

"¢ Despite that conservatism, more than half say government "definitely" should ensure every American has a "decent standard of living," a liberal belief at odds with free-market capitalism.

"¢ Almost three-quarters say gay sex is strongly or somewhat unacceptable. Yet nearly half have gay relatives or friends.

"¢ More than half say having a child outside marriage is strongly or somewhat acceptable. Four in 10 disagree.

Adolphus Belk Jr., co-director of Winthrop's African-American Studies department and co-author of the new poll released last week, isn't surprised by the poll's findings.

"There has long been a strand of conservative political thought that's run through the African-American community," Belk said.

"Even though African-Americans in South Carolina and the nation generally are Democrat[s]," said Belk, they remain social conservatives "” "more conservative than the general population."

The poll is the first in recent memory focused exclusively on black South Carolinians.

Winthrop University political scientist Scott Huffmon, who co-wrote the poll with Belk, said the poll is important because of the role blacks have played in Southern politics.

Huffmon said a staple of his class on Southern politics is V.O. Key's 1949 text, "Southern Politics in State and Nation." At the top of Page 5, Huffmon said, is a quote that says, "In its grand outline, the politics of the South revolves around the position of the Negro."

While the language is outdated, the sentiment is not, Huffmon said. Until the 1980s, Southern politics was dominated by race. But that has changed some, said Huffmon, who is white.

While there still are racial tensions, "racial-driven politics in the South is falling by the wayside, compared to even 25 years ago," Huffmon said.

That's what makes the opinions and attitudes of contemporary black South Carolina fascinating, he said.

Belk, who is black, said the poll shows black South Carolinians share concerns with the rest of Americans.

"They're worried about economic security," Belk said. "They're deeply concerned about educational opportunities for their children and their children's life chances."

Aaron Gould Sheinin is a staff writer for The State. Politico.com and The State are sharing content for the 2008 presidential campaign.
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
Furthermore, as I've asked before, what has BILL ever done for black people?


Bill was and is the only U.S. president who wasn't afraid to say "Black people" or "African Americans" in public! He was and is the only one who said that there are specific issues that affect African American that should be brought out and talked about. He is the only one who would be seen with us for more than a photo op. Roll Eyes

As Huey has said, he was the only one who ever stepped foot on African soil and while he could've/should've/didn't apologize on behalf of the U.S. for slavery here, he gave the closest thing ever to it over there.

Several of his policies that he wanted to push forward that would have benefitted Black people especially were blocked by a Republican Congress ... much like the Democrats are now being stonewalled over shutting down the death, destruction and corporate-profiteering that is the Iraq invasion. That is a governmental checks-and-balance that cannot be overcome by any one branch of the government ... And I really have a hard time understanding why people want to blame either one branch or the other for being ineffective, when their hands are legally or congressionally tied! 19 That's like blaming a captive who is not tied up for not escaping through a dead bolt-locked door! sck

I agree that in many instances he (like any/every other status quo politician ... Hillary, Obama, Edwards, etc. included) he missed/sidestepped opportunities to do more to actually make a difference ... but, he also put people on notice about injustices, inequalities, racisms and prejudices that are hurled directly at our community. He made public (if not legislative) overtures to reach out to us, which is/was/always has been in stark contrast to the indifference we've been shown both before and since. Roll Eyes

Lemme ask you ... do you think if Katrina had happened on BILL's watch, those black people would have been dying in the streets for 4 days before any federal help was sent in?? 19
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:

Lemme ask you ... do you think if Katrina had happened on BILL's watch, those black people would have been dying in the streets for 4 days before any federal help was sent in?? 19


Absolutely not. But so what? That's an issue of competence. Nothing more.

Nevertheless, we do know that Bill gutted AFDC - hurting many black folks - in particular single moms and kids - in this country. We do know that he was poor (at best) on civil rights issues generally. He talked a good game (as you note) but never backed it up with policies and programs.

Moreover, he is responsible for all manner of free trade, NAFTA type programs that were responsible for millions of jobs leaving this country - which we know had/has an extraordinary impact on the entire middle and working classes - including black folks of course.

Beyond this, what has HILLARY ever done for black people?

As an aside:

quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:

And I really have a hard time understanding why people want to blame either one branch or the other for being ineffective, when their hands are legally or congressionally tied! 19 That's like blaming a captive who is not tied up for not escaping through a dead bolt-locked door! sck


This is an unfair reading. If Congress was passing legislation and the president was consistently vetoing it then that would be one thing. That's not happening. Congress, currently, just doesn't have the balls to go against the overwhelmingly powerful 'military industrial complex' lobby to enact the will of the people in changing course in Iraq. If they did, then Bush would almost have no choice but to go with them or else face an unending barrage of subpoenas and special prosecutors - heck impeachment for things. You suggest that the three branches somehow cancel each other out and prevent anything from ever getting done. That can be the case, but I don't think it is here.
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:

Lemme ask you ... do you think if Katrina had happened on BILL's watch, those black people would have been dying in the streets for 4 days before any federal help was sent in?? 19


Absolutely not. But so what? That's an issue of competence. Nothing more.

Nevertheless, we do know that Bill gutted AFDC - hurting many black folks - in particular single moms and kids - in this country. We do know that he was poor (at best) on civil rights issues generally. He talked a good game (as you note) but never backed it up with policies and programs.

Moreover, he is responsible for all manner of free trade, NAFTA type programs that were responsible for millions of jobs leaving this country - which we know had/has an extraordinary impact on the entire middle and working classes - including black folks of course.


Don't forget how he launched tomahawk missiles to destroy the Al-Shifa Pharmaceutical Co. factory in Khartoum, Sudan. That helped Black folks too! sck
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
Absolutely not. But so what? That's an issue of competence. Nothing more.


Competence and caring. If Katrina had of hit Martha's Vineyard, Bush's competence level (or at least those behind him) would have risen as high as the waves that destroyed it in the first place!

quote:
Beyond this, what has HILLARY ever done for black people?


Again, I wasn't speaking to Bill's policies ... I simply pointed out his propensity for bringing African American issues out into the forefront! Smile Never before done, nor since. His being "unafraid" of Black people or our issues pissed a lot of (white) people off ... but, it also was appreciated by us and a lot of other (white) people start to recognize some things.

And as far as HILLARY goes ... I've never once claimed to support her for any of her policies regarding Black people!! I'm not one saying that she should have across-the-board Black support either! She is not my candidate of choice! Smile So, I cannot answer the "why Hillary" question for you! Sorry! Smile

quote:
You suggest that the three branches somehow cancel each other out and prevent anything from ever getting done. That can be the case, but I don't think it is here.


With all due respect, I see nothing unfair about this reading at all!!

The two breaches absolutely cancel each other out from ever getting things done ... the Judicial branch usually comes in late to these fights, if at all, and isn't much of a player in policy (except when it put Bush in the White House in the first place).

The reason Congress doesn't try to bumrush their policies past GeeDubya is because they don't have the votes to do it. Period. And there's no use putting it out there just to have it swatted back down into their faces ... because the (unknowledgable) American citizenry will just look at it as another failure, and judge them (harshly) by that!

Before any vote is taken on any important legislation, there is a slew of workers and interns calling lobbying to see which way dissenting Senators are going to vote. There is trading and bartering like crazy ... I'll vote for this, if you vote for that ... or I can't vote for that because I promised so-and-so that I'd stick with him since he voted for that other thing for me! That's the way our government works.

Congress can't make the Pentagon do anything. They can't make the President do anything. They can't pass a bill without approval from some other department or source. And there isn't enough of them, nor enough who will cross over from the other side of the aisle to make a vote go through. They know this already. an example of when this did happen, though, was with the Patriot Act. The Repubs had all the votes they needed to pass that through, and a president ready to sign it. The Dems said, "No, that is an attack on civil liberties." The Repubs said, "we don't need your votes to pass it .. and it's going through, whether you like it or not!" And it did just that.

So, instead of slamming a bill into what they know is going to be a brick wall, and then come out looking like a loser for doing so, they try to come up with something first which has the possibility of gathering enough votes from the other side to make it through ... through compromise. An example of which is the first "get out of Iraq" bill that did get through the Senate only to be vetoed by Bush! I've yet to see any congratulatory statements come out for the Dems for that. sck It was a victory. But, through no fault of their own, it obviously wasn't enough.
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:

Congress can't make the Pentagon do anything.


Congress is the only body that can declare war. Congress is the only body that can appropriate funds. Congress could end the war IF they had the political resolve to do so. The Pentagon merely executes the wishes of the president and Congress.

quote:
They can't make the President do anything.


They can impeach the president. They can defund his war. They can unleash a swarm of subpoenas and special prosecutors upon him. They can reject all of his cabinet, judicial, and white house appointments. They can override his vetos.

There is quite a lot that Congress can do.

quote:
They can't pass a bill without approval from some other department or source.


Confused

quote:
The Repubs had all the votes they needed to pass that through, and a president ready to sign it.

As you know, the make-up of the Congress as well as the political sense of the people are entirely different now.
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
Congress is the only body that can declare war. Congress is the only body that can appropriate funds. Congress could end the war IF they had the political resolve to do so. The Pentagon merely executes the wishes of the president and Congress.


Okay, but war was not declared in this instance. The Dem majority cannot cut off funds without at least 10 Repubs agreeing to vote to do so and then an additional 6+ Repub votes to override the veto that Bush would most definitely assign to it. There are not that many Repubs that are agreeing to vote in that way.

"Congress" is one thing .. Democrats and Republicans (individually) and their votes are another. About half of "Congress" is unwilling to do any of these things to force an exit from Iraq. About half of Congress still supports the president. A "half" a Congress is pretty much the same as no Congress at all. sck

quote:
They can impeach the president. They can defund his war. They can unleash a swarm of subpoenas and special prosecutors upon him. They can reject all of his cabinet, judicial, and white house appointments. They can override his vetos.


Again .. no impeachment process or rejection of his appointments, nor an override of his vetoes can go forward without a majority of Congressional members voting for it. Having a 51-49 "majority" is not enough of one, according to the 'checks and balances' provision of the Constitution, to get hardly anything passed.

Now, because the Dems are heading the Congressional committees now, they can do the subpoena and special prosecutor thing!! But, Bush also has the legal determination of who of his cabinet can/should/will testify and who can/should/will not! sck


quote:
quote:
They can't pass a bill without approval from some other department or source.


Confused


If the Congress wants to reduce troop levels, and the Pentagon says it does not and the President says he agrees with the Pentagon, no bill to reduce troop levels stands a snowball's chance in hell.

If the Congress wants to expel somebody on ethics charges, but the Ethics Committee will not investigate or bring charges, the Congress cannot do anything to that person ... as proper procedure has not been followed.

quote:
As you know, the make-up of the Congress as well as the political sense of the people are entirely different now.


Indeed. But the rules are still the same. Roll Eyes

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