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Barack Obama wants to feed you; John McCain wants to take you for a ride

With the deadline for first-quarter campaign contributions looming (it's Monday), Barack Obama was first out of the gate today with an offbeat appeal, proposing a dinner date.

Now John McCain is offering a ride on the "Straight Talk Express'' (the longstanding moniker for his campaign bus).

The pitch from Obama notes that fundraising gatherings "hosted by Washington lobbyists and filled with representatives of special interests'' are nothing new.

But an "intimate'' get-together featuring the candidate and four regular-folk donors is, and that's what the Obama staff is set to arrange. Anyone who gives whatever amount can enter the lottery for the dinner, and four contributors will be selected sometime after midnight (EDT) on Monday.

McCain, meanwhile, is making a seat available on his bus when he embarks soon on a "Service to America" tour that will stop in many places he considers dear, including Mississippi, Virginia, Florida and his home state of Arizona.

"I look forward to visiting sites that have left an imprint on my life aboard my campaign bus, the Straight Talk Express,'' he wrote in his fundraising e-mail appeal. "My campaign has come up with an opportunity for a supporter to join me..." (i.e., by writing a check to him).

It's Hillary Clinton's turn. Ideas welcome.

-- Mark Silva

Mark Silva writes for the Swamp of the Chicago Tribune's Washington bureau.

Comments () | Archives (13)

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How about a breathtaking "corkscrew" helicopter landing?

Kepping in mind the Sun-Times giving the Trib team the prize for best Wrigley Field renaming video, I'm hoping an Obama supporter gets the seat on the bus, and a McCain supporters gets to have dinner with Obama.

And that they both blog about it afterwards.

Hillary can't offer a night in the LIncoln bedroom, at least not yet, but perhaps a 'get out of jail free' pardon for future use?

WARNING: Do not, repeat do not, get anywhere in the vicinity of a bus with the Clintons if you plan to say or do anything they don't like.

Better tag line: Obama wants to feed you; McCain wants to BLEED you! Kind of rhymes which makes it stick.

is all hope lost that hillary and obama will ever get tired of their garrulous, delirious and hilarious confabulation contest and yet try to take notice or even advantage of mccain and his post-heroic neo-congenial pro-retroactive sentimental impressibility while servicing america, proudly debating away with himself aboard his gay-and-giddy talk express? why not hop straight on his special bus with him, and all join patriotic efforts riding hither and thither, blessing and cursing countries and people, bravely ignoring ron paul and his hopelessly honest, painfully pragmatic message, and see how long they can hold their breath while all the children laugh at them?

We don't have a decent candidate! They would all, sell their mother for campaign contributions and votes!


It's time you faced the facts. Obama is an empty suit, devoid of experience or knowledge in dealing with foreign (or domestic, for that matter) issues. Talk is cheap, but his claim of bringing everyone together is belied by his ultra-liberal voting record in the senate. Not once has he reached across the aisle in an effort to work with, or compromise with, anyone. His rhetoric about breaking down the walls and working together rings hollow in the face of the facts.

This, of course, added to the fact that he has made his entire campaign about judgment, not experience, and has the temerity (stupidity?) to bring his children - not to mention his wife and himself - to a church led by an anti-American, racist and hate-filled preacher not once, but every Sunday for 20 years. This is judgment? Give me a break.

Hillary? Hilarious. A female version of the lying and vile-spiting snake her husband has become. The woman will do anything to get elected and is, in the worst sense of the term, a politician. Dodging bullets in Bosnia? Really? Experience to run the country? Why - because she slept with Bill (occasionally, apparently) and served as housewife-in-chief on world tours of charitable organizations and highly protected military bases?

It seems to me that liberals are more concerned about assuaging their decades and generations-old guilt about racism by not admitting that Obama would be nowhere, absolutely nowhere, if he wasn't black (and please, for heaven's sake, it's not "African American" - nobody is African American anymore than others are Polish-American, Russian-American, Italian-American, Armenian-American or anywhere else that people claim heritage from in their past).

Take any non-minority, one-term (and not yet even completed) senator, give them the gift of eloquence and a bright smile and put them up for election in the primary and see how far they get. Not very. Obama is where he is because of the color of his skin and anyone who says differently is a closet racist. Let's elect people for their qualifications, not their rhetoric and their heritage.

P.S. My friends tell me that conservatives are vastly more tolerant of liberals than vice-versa. That liberals tend to sway from the facts and base their comments on emotion and personal preference. I'll look forward to the replies here to see if that's true.

Since the outcome of an election is ultimately governed by electoral votes, perhaps, the DNC could consider removing superdelegates and measure the likelihood of each contender by his and her electoral votes, respectively. The deeper ethical issues at hand could then be remedied by removing both super and pleged delegates alike.

To Scott:

Wow! 'My friends' tell me that conservatives are vastly more tolerant? Are these 'friends' the morons at Fox News where you are getting your so-called information from? Maybe stop reading Sean Hannity's transcripts word for word and come with your own ideas.

No, you are not a racist. You are just an misinformed (how do you know so much about Rev Wright? I guarantee all you know is from the short YouTube clips that Hannity feeds to you.) idiot who should try watching something other than Faux News.


After all my comments the best you can come up with is suggesting that my source for information is Fox News? How typical of Democratic/Liberal supporters - let's not address the facts, let's suggest that the other people are misinformed or prejudiced.

How about addressing Obama's pathetic lack of experience or his judgment in keeping his children in the church of someone who (even occasionally, momentarily or rarely) spews anti-American venom.

How about addressing HIllary's claim of experience by marriage to Bill? Does Steve Jobs' wife have the qualifications to run Apple? Does Nancy Pelosi's husband have the qualifications to be Speaker of the House?

Try to stick to the facts here. I did, and all you did was try to obfuscate them and change the subject.

P.S. I don't watch Fox News, I _do_ read the NY Times and the LA Times and many other publications daily. Some are conservative and others liberal, giving me a broad perspective. Can you say that you do the same? I'll bet your rant about Fox is accompanied by a myopic view of the world through a decidedly liberalized media lens.

We are doing all we can to enlighten the left wing in America. We get hundreds of E-mails a day saying how has open the eyes of Obama supporters, by listen to Obama in his own words at . If we all work together we can save our great nation from the liberals. ALL ABOARD! The Stop Obama Express. A great site for Anti-Obama Fun, videos, pictures, quotes and more. Check it out at

Please... Obama wants to feed you, probably some cheap food that he can have a large quantity of for little money. McCain will give you a fish, but then he will teach you to fish. You can even own the fish market one day and hire others, who can also rise up.
Giving fish, restributing wealth... its called SOCIALISM. My parents lived through it.
I have never gotten a job from a poor person.

During this election year, let's be reminded of these words:

* You cannot help the poor, by destroying the rich.

* You cannot strengthen the weak, by weakening the strong.

* You cannot bring about prosperity, by discouraging thrift.

* You cannot lift the wage earner up, by pulling the wage payer down.

* You cannot further the brotherhood of ... Read Moreman, by inciting class hatred.

* You cannot build character and courage, by taking away men's initiative and independence.

* You cannot help men permanently, by doing for them what they could and should, do for themselves.

.... the author?

Abraham Lincoln


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
President Obama
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