… in a political stunt worthy of the late Evel Knievel, the Clinton campaign decided to put on an ersatz victory party that, it hoped, would erase memories of Obama’s actual victory Saturday night in South Carolina’s Democratic primary. “Thank you, Florida Democrats!” Clinton shouted to the cheering throng. “I am thrilled to have this vote of confidence.”
It was a perfect reproduction of an actual victory speech, delivered at a perfectly ersatz celebration at a perfectly pretend location: a faux Italianate palace with lion sculptures, indoor fountains and a commanding view of Interstate 595. [complete article]
When Senator Barack Obama arrived here Tuesday afternoon on the gusty plains of Kansas, the political stage was set for a homecoming, a moment to highlight a branch of his family tree that receives far less attention in a presidential campaign that has been rooted in biography.
“We’re among friends here,” Mr. Obama told an audience of nearly 2,000 people assembled in the gymnasium of a community college. “We’re family.”
Three days after winning the South Carolina primary, forging a coalition of black and white voters, Mr. Obama selected this old oil town where his maternal grandfather was reared to open a weeklong tour of states holding primaries and caucuses Feb. 5. Mr. Obama conceded that he faces the urgent challenge of introducing himself to those who have paid only passing notice to the presidential race. [complete article]
Perhaps he was living an illusion all along.
Rudolph W. Giuliani’s campaign for the Republican nomination for president took impressive wing last year, as the former mayor wove the pain experienced by his city on Sept. 11, 2001, and his leadership that followed into national celebrity. Like a best-selling author, he basked in praise for his narrative and issued ominous and often-repeated warnings about the terrorist strike next time.
Voters seemed to embrace a man so comfortable wielding power, and his poll numbers edged higher to where he held a broad lead over his opponents last summer. Just three months ago, Anthony V. Carbonetti, Mr. Giuliani’s affable senior policy adviser, surveyed that field and told The New York Observer: “I don’t believe this can be taken from us. Now that I have that locked up, I can go do battle elsewhere.” [complete article]