Sunday, January 23, 2005

Obama Factor: Weekend Newswatch...Obama's Recent Headlines

A very busy week for the freshman Senator from Illinois and the Obama Factor has observed it all...

He promised to pump up the disability pay benefits for Illinois veterans...after meeting with disabled vets he believed he could then promise that he could up Illinois' standing with the Federal Government. (Illinois currently ranks 50 of 52 in getting disability payment from Federal coffers...)

He attempted to be the Eddie Haskell of the Condaleeza Rice hearings...

"I guess the comment that I'd like to make is that in the activist proactive strategies that you pursue, it seems to me that this administration often asks that we simply go along and have faith that you're making the right decisions.

But I think that from the perspective of my constituents in Illinois, at least, a number of people did vote for George Bush and do trust him. But my job as a senator is to make sure that we're basing these decisions on facts and that I probe and not simply take it on faith that good decisions are being made."

By comparison to many on the panel Obama came off as hesitant to attack Rice. Probably a wise decision given the probability that he will named the VP running mate to Hillary Clinton in 2008. He also just went ahead and voted to recommend her nomination to the Senate for a vote. He has not however broken the KKK's Robert Byrd's "spiking" of Condi's nomination on the floor.

Today in a Memphis newspaper, former Congressman J.C. Watts weighed in on what African American lawmakers have the potential to really impact the legislative process. Watts named two democrats - Congressman Harold Ford of Tennessee and Illinois' Obama.


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