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New York Goes For Obama

By Jonathan Weisman
The 23-member New York Democratic House delegation -- among them some of the most stalwart backers of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton -- collectively endorsed Sen. Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee for president today, pledging to return to their districts this weekend to sway Clinton voters to switch their allegiances.

But many of them made clear Obama would have to work to win over Jewish, women and Latino voters in New York State and beyond, the majority of whom had sided with the senator from New York.

"There is concern," said Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), speaking specifically of Jewish voters who could be key in a few swing states, such as Florida, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

The event, organized by House Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel, the dean of the delegation, was meant to show unity ahead of Clinton's formal announcement Saturday that she will suspend her campaign and work for Obama's election.

The delegation represented the kaleidoscope of Democratic factions that made up the Obama and Clinton coalitions: African American lawmakers who stuck with Clinton against enormous pressure from their Obama-supporting constituents, Jewish lawmakers with constituents wary of Obama's professed support for Israel and his promise to meet with Iranian leaders, Latinos, especially Puerto Ricans, who backed Clinton overhwhelmingly, and powerful women such as Nita Lowey, a senior member of the appropriations committee, who have ruefully watched the best chance to elect the first woman president slip away.

But the fractures were still evident. They didn't so much endorse Obama as endorse Clinton's decision to suspend.

"We are so pleased to see that on this Saturday, in Washington, D.C., she intends to not only reach out for unity but to reach out and support directly Senator Obama," Rangel said, adding the delegation was "showing our unequivocal support for what she is doing."

Rep. Carolyn Maloney allowed that "there are some [women] who say they won't support" Obama, but she said once the differences between Obama and presumptive Republican nominee John McCain are laid out clearly, especially on abortion rights and Supreme Court nominees, women will get on board.

"I say to them we have an historic opportunity. You can either stand on the sidelines and be angry that your candidate didn't win or you can jump in with two feet," Maloney said.

Engel said Obama made a strong first step to win over Jewish voters with his speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Wednesday. He struck the right chords with his pledge to back an undivided Jerusalem and to ensure any solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict does not have a "Made In America" stamp on it. But, he added, "He needs to keep doing that."

The New Yorkers did back down on the aggressive effort to push Clinton for the vice presidency. Members acknowledged the public efforts of Clinton supporters like Robert Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television, and former White House lawyer Lanny Davis to force her onto the ticket probably have not been helpful.

"I think she'd make a fantastic partner in government," Rangel said, "but I shouldn't have even said that."

Others were looking for a different role for their vanquished leader. "I think she'd make a magnificent addition to the Supreme Court," Maloney offered.

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 5, 2008; 3:55 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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Posted by: Nancy Barness | June 23, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Before anyone believes Rep. Eliot Engel has any right to voice concerns about Obama's ability to represent Democrats, they should check Engel's activities.

For one thing Engel is scheduled to make a speech at Reverend Hagee's "pro-Jew" armageddon conference, but he's also been traveling with Condoleezza Rice on trips to help secure Bush's Colombian trade deal, roundly opposed by Democrats.

He also challenged Nancy Pelosi on the last war funding bill, making sure she gave Bush power to attack Iran without Congressional approval after tricking voters to think he regretted his Iraq war vote in 2006.

I live in Engel's district and work in an inner city school also in his district and I see a guy working harder for right-wing Israeli lobbyists then the strongly anti-Bush 17th NY.

For links on this, see http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_gustav_w_080526_cleaning_our_congres.htm

"There is concern" indeed.

Posted by: Gus Wynn | June 6, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I notice that none of the commentaries focus any attention on the major press, and the "men" who own them, as being responsible for the recent outcome in the Democratic Party. I've, frankly, learned more from reading comments from individuals than from reading or listening to the major media. And, if anyone thinks that they are not part of the power-broker, good-ole-boy network, just check the ownership of the major media.

Posted by: WomensRadio | June 6, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Rangel is clearly a tone deaf a-hole. Why give her a shove on the way out the door? It's counterproductive, and stupid.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

mccain was the only one of republican candidates, who wouldn't try to use race as a weapon against obama. The citizen of this country will have the luck to see in one of the most delicate election in it's history a respectful fight. Everything has a lot of different faces. This country will show in this election his most beautiful one.

Posted by: maz hess | June 6, 2008 4:58 AM | Report abuse

mccain was the only one of republican candidates, who wouldn't try to use race as a weapon against obama. The citizen of this country will have the luck to see in one of the most delicate election in it's history a respectful fight. Everything has a lot of different faces. This country will show in this election his most beautiful one.

Posted by: maz hess | June 6, 2008 4:53 AM | Report abuse

100 year WAR BOMB BOMB BOMB IRAN
McCain refuses to support GI BILL

BUSH WEBB SAY GIVE MONEY TO BLACKROCK and screw the troops education

Posted by: 76 year old war monger | June 5, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I remember the photo of Obama looking arrogant, saying to HRC "Yes, Hillary, you are well liked" in such a condesending way.
The "this is the first time I have been proud of America" wife of Obama dislikes HRC. Why in the world would HRC want to work for him if he (God help us) were elected?

Obama is not presidential material for our country. His step grandmother was quoted in the Houston Chronicle today as saying that "he may build schools, hospitals, etc. in Kenya". What a lark. He has a large number of relatives in that country, including brothers and a sister. Obama is a liar, has friends in low places (wright, rezko, nation of islam, etc.) plus Hamas likes him a lot (by the way, didn't Hamas today take credit for the deaths of Israli citizens). Fidel likes him. Obama is a radical in the worst way and will destroy this country. He knows how to work a crowd and knows what to say (even if he does not mean it) in order to get votes. As you can tell, I believe he would be the very worse president we have ever had.

Posted by: Clyde Nugget | June 5, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Obama started out 20 behind the DEMS

He is already ahead of GRUMPY

WATCH THE CHART

as CRAMER WOULD SAY BUY BUY BUY

BUYA OBAMA

Posted by: MAD CHARTER | June 5, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

250.000 jews in ny will vote for mccain i am very involved in the jewish politics

Posted by: kopl | June 5, 2008 6:31 PM

I am a New Yorker and considering that there are 1.5 million Jewish people in NYC alone that is not a big percentage--and if you are talking NY state, obviously even smaller.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad the NY Congressmen came together to support Obama, who is the Dem nominee for president. I am a woman and what I really don't understand is this overwhelming anger against Barack Obama, who is a fellow Democrat with much the same policies as Hillary Clinton. To say that because she did not win the Dem nomination, you blame Obama and will not vote for Obama in the GE is just plain silly, not to mention childish. There has always been a winner and a loser in these contests. How is this any different, other than the race and gender issue, which neither one of these two can change. To vote for John McCain is to essentially guarantee that you will get a 3rd term of George Bush policies, which most of you say is bad for this country, bad for the economy, bad for getting out of Iraq, bad for the supreme court nominations and bad for women's rights as a whole.

Posted by: gail | June 5, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

New York Post

Hillary Rodham Clinton is ending her quest for the presidency precisely as she began it: with a false sense of entitlement, complete self-absorption and delusional lies.

Now everyone agrees that she has lost the nomination. Barack Obama will be the nominee.

Yet she refuses to acknowledge this simple, clear truth so that the vital process of converting her supporters into supporters of the actual nominee can begin.

In her fantasy world where she is still in control, everything is upside down.

It's as if Obama should be waiting by the phone in hopes she might offer him a spot on the ticket.

When Obama called Clinton Tuesday night to (magnanimously) congratulate her on winning the South Dakota primary, her campaign twice let the calls go to voice mail.

It is true that Clinton eventually commanded a considerable force in this primary.

But she still lost. And she lost profoundly, by every metric imaginable.

This is one of those defining moments.

For Barack Obama, for the Democratic Party and, possibly, for the country.

Obama has run a campaign against the moral shortcuts and twisted truths that have been so viciously perfected by the Clintons and left American politics in ruin.

Obama should make it clear now that he has no intention whatsoever of picking Clinton as his running mate.

Picking her, especially in light of her current antics, would make a lie of Obama's campaign. And failing to rule her out now keeps the lights going on her corrosive carnival stage.

In 1992, Bill Clinton's campaign had a sign on the wall reminding them that the campaign was all about the economy.

The Obama campaign should put up a sign of their own: "It's the Clintons, stupid!"

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Nasty mean pissed off demacrats UNITE

and happy high and careless ones

don't LET GRUMPY WIN

Posted by: OBAMA CLINTON08 | June 5, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Obama Clinton have secret meeting to brings us all together.

Posted by: OBAMA CLINTON | June 5, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

McCain wasn't alone in Congress when bills were passed Also when Obama got to the Sen. he went right along with Bush when he voted that is

Posted by: Maggie | June 5, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

We really don't need patronizing Obama supporters telling us about the Supreme Court after so many of them told us they would not support Clinton if she were the nominee. It's time for the Obama supporters to rein in the arrogant George Bush like "we are right and you are hateful " wing of your movement. Until you try to understand why nearly 18 million people prefer Clinton to Obama [no, it's not all feminism, racism and stupidity!] you will not know how to be uniters and will continue to drive people, who would of course vote for Obama vs. McCain based on the issues, away, far away, from you.

Posted by: Lynn | June 5, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Obama will either win big or lose big. Hillary is a safer candidate to win against McCain. I have grave concerns about Obama's electability. My research from the L.A. Times, as well as Indonesian papers is that numerous Muslim people in Djakarta were quoted as seeing Obama worshiping in moaques and a teacher stated he learned "mengaji," the recitaation of the Quran in Aribic.

As noted by one person whose family lived in Karachi Barack Obama's traveling to Karachi in 1981, while under the control of Muslim fundamentalist and reputed madman, General Mohammed Zia, who had led a coup against democratically elected Ali Bhutto and hanged Bhuto to terrorize ,, has to give any voter pause. The only people who traveled to Karachi were either businessmen or radicals, particularly radical Islamic scholars.

Obama's campaign claims he has always been a Christian. If so why was he baptised by Jeremiah Wright in 1992? Why did Obama not take a Christian name upon his Baptism in 1992? Is Paul Watson of the L.A. Times a liar? Watson whote in an investigative article on March 16, 2007 (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/bal-te.obama16mar16,1,7181735,full.story?coll=la-headlines-nation )documented several sources that unequovicatically stated Obama was a practicing Muslim when he lived in Djakarta.

The question is not whether Obama was once a Muslim, the question is that he has denied "ever" being a Muslim. If Watson's article proves correct- and you can be sure Jewish 527 groups will bring the issue to light - I like others will vote for McCain because it will expose Obama for lacking any personal integrity. As one person has said to me, "it is not that he did it [practice Islam], it is that he his it."

Posted by: Kev25 | June 5, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

I admire Hillary.

She lost the nomination and her disastrous performance during a speech on June 3rd, is due to BAD, REALLY BAD ADVICE from those around her.

Definitely, she was very much influenced by the advice of that cantankerous Democrat Geraldine Ferraro when she did not congratulate Obama on winning the nomination. Although she was removed as Hillary advisor, she still gives advice to Hillary informally

She failed the nomination due to BAD ADVICE from her Senior Advisors. Terrt McAuliffe is a PR disaster.

Her advisors made her looked bad in the eyes of the public.

I blame her advisers 70% and 30% Hillary is to be blamed for not being her own counsel of her own thoughts.

Bill Clinton should NOT be seen during the Obama campaign. He is WALKING DISASTER.

Where should she go?

NOT Vice President.

She will redeem her integrity and her legacy as a Senator. She will be the most powerful senator in years to come. The Senate is her natural home and she is the most effective in the Senate.

A Democratice Presidency and Congress will be best served with Hillary in the Senate.

Ted Kennedy has proven that.

One last point. Hillary should stay as faraway as possible from Geraldine Ferraro, whose advice to Hillary was a poison chalice.

Posted by: Frank | June 5, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad the NY Congressmen came together to support Obama, who is the Dem nominee for president. I am a woman and what I really don't understand is this overwhelming anger against Barack Obama, who is a fellow Democrat with much the same policies as Hillary Clinton. To say that because she did not win the Dem nomination, you blame Obama and will not vote for Obama in the GE is just plain silly, not to mention childish. There has always been a winner and a loser in these contests. How is this any different, other than the race and gender issue, which neither one of these two can change. To vote for John McCain is to essentially guarantee that you will get a 3rd term of George Bush policies, which most of you say is bad for this country, bad for the economy, bad for getting out of Iraq, bad for the supreme court nominations and bad for women's rights as a whole.

Posted by: gail | June 5, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

obama will not (thankfully) ask Hillary to be his V>P> She is too strong a peron for him and will not sit in the background while he makes a damm fool of himself and ruins this country in the name of ISLAM.

HILLARY SHOULD, AFTER THE CONVENTION, FOLLOW JOE BIDEN 'S THEORY THAT HE CAN DO MORE FOR AMERICA AND THE PEOPLE HE SERVES BY REMAINING IN THE SENATE. THAT IS WHAT HILLARY SHOULD DO. STAY AWAY FROM THE DIRTY POLITCS THE NEXT 4 YEARS WILL BRING WITH EITHER OBAMA OR MC CAIN AND THEN STEP IN AND GIVE THEM ALL HELL, INCLUDING JEB BUSH WHO WILL, TRY TO BRING THE BUSH GANG BACK!

Posted by: LYNN PARKER | June 5, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

I think that Barack Obama should consider Hillary Clinton not as VP, but as Secretary of Defense or Attorney General in his new cabinet. I also feel he should consider former President Bill Clinton as Secretary of State. Both could get in front of him and help him run a very powerful campaign now, and they need not be mentioned as cabinet choices until after the election, when they may well face wave-through confirmation hearings, if the trend towards Democratic majorities in both House and Senate continue. Yes, it would make many howl - but it would tap the best qualities of both Clintons, it would give Bill the chance to legitimately rehabilitate his image in history if he could broker a real Middle East peace deal, and it would put Hillary in a position to exercise the authority and leadership potential that she has. She could put the military's house in order, she's not afraid of Generals and Admirals and powerful defense contractors. If anyone could achieve peace in the Middle East (and maybe no one can), it would be a man as well liked and respected in that part of the world as Bill Clinton.Let someone else be VP - tap Hillary for AG or Sec/Def. Bill Clinton for Sec/State.And I'm a McCain fan, just FYI...

Posted by: mattocksb | June 5, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

250.000 jews in ny will vote for mccain i am very involved in the jewish politics

Posted by: kopl | June 5, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

NOW I would like to wait and see, over the next couple of weeks, NEW POLLS!!!!!!

We have a definate DEM and REP nominee

1 0n 1, what will the Polls say....

Then, a REAL debate on the ISSUES McCain VS. Obama

Posted by: Oregon4Obama | June 5, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Hillary will have much time to worry about her political position. Since she decided to stand by her man, she will have a full time job keeping up with him.

Posted by: Carole | June 5, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

America does not belong to the Clintons.
I was surprised to see that they were not tired of being in "control" of party and USA. It should not be so.

Chris. UK

Posted by: Chris | June 5, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Yea, Mccain is your man, He will save the unborn so he can kill them 18 years later.

-------------------------
The members of NY Congressional delegation are doing their jobs in supporting the party, but I cannot support Obama. He lost my trust with his 'likeable enough' comment, he's been the beneficiary of a misogynist press and I do not believe he will address my concerns. I am sure that family/work issues will remain at the bottom of the list of priorities. Obama has taken the conservative University of Chicago market-driven approach to many issues such as health care, and I believe he will lead the country in the wrong direction. McCain may be worse, but that will not propel me to vote for Obama. At base, I just don't like him. Ungracious, disdainful of women, untrustworthy.

Posted by: disgruntled NYer | June 5, 2008 5:17 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Heard on the news three days ago that, over the past 15 years, while "Rev." Wright has been spewing his hate-filled, racist, anti-American, anti-white speeches, and Obama has been "not-hearing" any of that, their "church", which recently gave a Lifetime Achievement award to Louis Farrakhan, has quietly been the recipient of $15,000,000 of our tax dollars! They are probably still getting it!
How'd they arrange to get that much of our tax money, who set that up, do you think? Separation of church and state? Has that been repealed? Do you think anybody should ask Obama if he had anything to do with getting that "church" this money? If he didn't, who did? Shouldn't we know?

Posted by: lightnin | June 5, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

As a former NYer I am glad they are finally getting with the program. John McCain is NOT the best thing for the country right now. Hillary is out, so we should focus on what is relevant...the fight to the white house! Look at the news today Bush & friends made up the link between Saddam Hussein and terrorism. Any person reasonably aware of world affairs could see that.

Saddam Hussein had no relationship w/OBL, think about it. OBL was a random, obscenely wealthy black sheep nutcase while Hussein had real responsibilities. We all know that he had human rights violations to answer for, but so do many other dictator monsters in the world. Bush went in their under false pretenses, ignored the pre-existing civil unrest, dismanteled the police infrastructure, handed Saddam over to his enemies for a "fair trial", and now he and McCain tell us that we are making progress and will not surrender. Didn't this war end on paper about 5 years ago? I'm positive that the lives of the average Iraqi is far worse than it was under Hussein.

Posted by: The time has come! | June 5, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Lovely to see that so many Jewish voters will be thinking about the best interests of Israel when voting for the POTUS.

My sense is we have bigger, more important issues to be concerned about here at home. (Yes, it's your home, too).

Don't be a bunch of Chamooles, my jewish friends....vote Obama. Deigeh nisht! He's amazing!

Posted by: FrankB | June 5, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Any group of Democrats which has "concern" about supporting Obama, had better take a good look at their own poor judgement for supporting Clinton in the first place. It is they who should be proving why Obama should support them, not the other way around.

Posted by: robby10001 | June 5, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Never understood why "likeable enough" was so offensive. And, I'm an older white woman. When I saw that, I just felt at that time and place, Hillary was a household name and Obama was unknown. I think he was being modest without getting heavy. Certainly, Hillary was poised to come in and take the nomination at that juncture so she was absolutely likeable enough.

Posted by: Shannon | June 5, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I understand the frustration of Senator Clinton's supporters. Regardless, to them, I say:

John Paul Stevens (age 88)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (age 75)
Antonin Scalia (age 72)
Anthony Kennedy (age 71)
Stephen Breyer (age 69)
David Souter (age 68)
Clarence Thomas (age 59)
Samuel Alito (age 58)
John Roberts (age 53)

And I have a question for them:

Who do you want appointing Justice Stevens' replacement on the US Supreme Court...Senator Obama or Senator McCain?

Be angry for a day, a week, a month or for many months...but come November, do not put at risk women's rights for a generation.

Posted by: bannerscwt | June 5, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Bob Johnson made his billions by depicting black women as tools and prostitutes on BET. He should use his billions to personally pay off Hillary's campaign debt and he should apologize to all women for the sexism and misogyny he's promoted and profited from.

Posted by: rr | June 5, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

The members of NY Congressional delegation are doing their jobs in supporting the party, but I cannot support Obama. He lost my trust with his 'likeable enough' comment, he's been the beneficiary of a misogynist press and I do not believe he will address my concerns. I am sure that family/work issues will remain at the bottom of the list of priorities. Obama has taken the conservative University of Chicago market-driven approach to many issues such as health care, and I believe he will lead the country in the wrong direction. McCain may be worse, but that will not propel me to vote for Obama. At base, I just don't like him. Ungracious, disdainful of women, untrustworthy.

Posted by: disgruntled NYer | June 5, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

As a New Yorker, i am proud of the NY house delegation's decision to acknowledge Barack Obama's nomination and to applaud it. They will lead the way for the rest of the superdelegates to speak up and bring about s united Democratic Pary. This is how elections are won. Congratulation, New York!

Posted by: Serena | June 5, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Good! It's time to focus on the real contest, McCain and the Republicans who have practically destroyed this country. They lied, they cheated, they stole, they slandered, they stonewalled and they slimed. They have no place in government.

Posted by: thebob.bob | June 5, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

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