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New poll shows Barack Obama tanking in Pennsylvania

The first fresh poll results from Pennsylvania are in since Barack Obama's "bitter" comments about people in small towns exploded as a news story, and the findings could hardly be worse for the Democratic presidential contender.

Intriguingly, the man in charge of the survey said interviews with voters indicate Obama's tumble in the state has more to do with what the candidate himself has said were ill-chosen words than anything else.

The new poll by American Research Group -- conducted Friday, Saturday and Sunday -- gave Clinton 57% and Obama 37% (based on interviews with 600 Democrats, the survey has an error margin of plus-or-minus 4 percentage points). The 20-point margin is all the more dramatic because, just the week before, an ARG poll found the pair in a flat-out tie in Pennsylvania, each with 45%.

The previous findings had put the race closer than any others. And perhaps the new one exaggerates the bounce Clinton has gotten from the storm over Obama's remarks at a San Francisco fund-raiser. Other pollsters are in the field in Pennsylvania, and we eagerly await their results (an L.A. Times/Bloomberg poll of Democrats in the Keystone State -- as well as in North Carolina and Indiana -- will be ready mid-week).

Regardless, the New Hamphire-based ARG poll, may have identified a tactical worry for the Obama camp above and beyond the current controversy. Dick Bennett, head of the poll, told us today that even before the furor erupted, it appeared many Pennsylvania Democrats began to turn against Obama because they are simply sick and tired of seeing and hearing his ads.

Much as campaign consultants would be loath to agree, Bennett opined that a candidate "can spend too much money" on an ad campaign, and the saturation of Obama spots ...

in Pennsylvania appear to be a classic example of "overkill" that ultimately does harm.

Bennett also reported that some of the Pennsylvanians who his company contacted went on to complain about the substance of the ubiquitous Obama ads. They are "about him, not voters or what their concerns are," Bennett said. And Obama's comment on attitudes in small towns served to reinforce that feeling.

-- Don Frederick

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Comments made in private in S.F. have finally caught up with Senator Obama. "A man of the people" - educated at the best prep school abroad and in Hawaii, a Harvard graduate whose chaitable contributions have been at only 1% until he started running.

If a person looks elitist, acts elitist and sound elitist - calling him a man of the people will not make him so.

He is turning out just not to be electable!

Do the American people want continuing DIVISIVE politics as per Hillary, or do we want a UNIFYING President? I doubt if the Middle East will take Hillary seriously--she is a woman. Not to mention, Obama will listen and negotiate rather than requiring a political stance suitable to the U.S., then negotiate as per Hillary's statements early on.

Are the underlying reasons some people do not want to vote for Obama is that he's black?; and of course, no one dare say that is the reason.

America will get what we deserve no matter who wins the White House--another round of serious division and lack of respect from the rest of the world--or a unifying figure who will truly reach out to other nations for the good of all.

It is time Americans consider what's good for the whole rather than what each of us wants. If our focus is right to begin with, we will eventually work ourselves out of this mess.

I would think that Obama's supporters would appreciate his campign tanking now instead of latter.

The man is unelectable, if you think he's had a rough time in the primaries just wait until he's named the candidate.

The stops will come off and his name will end up being mud. I can assure you every gaff he's made so far will be magnified by a factor of ten.

You get so sick and tired about hearing about the Reverend Wright, Tony Rezko, Odinga in Kenya, drug use, the elitist speach he just made, plus any other screw ups between now and November you'll want to puke.

Basically, Obama spoke the truth. Hillary's attempts to twist the meaning of Obama's words is both desperate is pathetic.

As an indpendent, who only switched to the independent stautus after the 2000 debacle, the more and more I hear from Senator Obama, the less I like. If you really listen closely to Sen. Obama, you come away with the feeling that he's a slick politician, who is very good about "how" he chooses his words, and is very careful about saying "nothing...but he does that in a very likeable way. One thing that has bothered me during this election process, is that Senator Obama keeps stating he was the only one who spoke up against the war (from the beginning). He might be good at giving speeches, but, I don't have the confidence that he would have voted DIFFERENTLY then the other 90+ Senators who voted to go to war. There were 100+ times in the Illinois senate that he voted present, instead of taking a position. I have MORE confidence now, more than ever, that he would have voted "PRESENT" when it was time to go to war with Iraq. There are many more reasons now not to vote for Senator Obama then there were just 2 months ago...

Bill and Hillary are outright hipocrates.
They are the ones who made $100+ million over the last 7 years.
They are the one took money from the lobbyist,and now trying to potray Obama an elite!
And now we find Hillary a Duck Hunter?
Shame on you Hillary.

SAVE US AL GORE from all Hillary and McWar's crap.

Whats the difference between a gaff and the truth? In this case nothing. We in "small town America" do not need to look too far to see that we have have been had by the Republicans because they won us over with two issues - neither of which put food on the table. I for one can take the truth. Small town life isn't really that good on minimum wage.

Obama is a racist, a frend of terrists.
WE american don't need him!

Any democrat in Michigan or Florida who is switching to vote for Hillary because Obama didn't support a revote needs to blame themselves. Did you send a letter to your staes democratic party urging them to change the primary date? No, you didn't. And Michigan, for the love of God, Hillary didn't take her name off the ballot, which the rules asked her to do, and you think she'll be a good president? She'll do absolutely anything to be president. And shouldn't all these "Christians" out there ask why Hillary just won't forgive Barack this "misspoke" when she did the same thing a week ago? Turn the other cheek? Ha, This country is full of lemmings, go vote for another "Bush" and watch this country slowly crumble away.

Your cherry-picked poll would have more credibility if you had shown a consistent impartial slant to your column. You've been in the tank for Hillary in the Democratic Party fight for some time, so I have been taking your columns, including this one, with a grain of salt. Other polls have not indicated what this one has. If this ends up being way off, will you eat your words? I promise to write back and apologize if Hillary beat Barack by 20 points next week.


There are so many posts on here I doubt anyone will notice mine but I just have to say this. Everyone keeps saying Obama messed up by saying people were "bitter". My question is this, when things come out about Obama why does everyone go crazy like this? For Clinton and McCain to act like people aren't bitter is crazy! We are in an unpopular war, a recession and not only manufacturing jobs but others have been outsourced to other countries... Just like the Rev Wright story, there are things that people just don't say because they are not popular. Obama said something that was unpopular to say but it is true. He wasn't talking down to PA voters. he actually understands why people are bitter and why people sometimes vote the way they do... In the meanwhile Hillary and McCain continue to lie and flip-flop all over the place! I just heard them on MSNBC saying maybe Obama is an elitest loike others who graduate fromn Harvard or Yale. Since when is it bad to go to Harvard or Yale? George W. Bush went to both!

There is really nothing much Obama can say now. The damage is done. And you Obama supporters are the ones who are trying to twist the words to save your rock star's damaged reputation. Some might have bought it last time with the Rev Wright story cause of his well pollished speeches. But this time, the words came out of his own mouth. He is an arrogant elistist who is out of touch and does not respect working class Americans.

i believe this country is stil the best country in the word ,but its ashamed that the color of a persons skin makes them not quaified.that senators can call a black candidate a boy and there is not a red flag,that another official can say he's only getting the attention because he's black,well i remember in the beginning of the campaign the media questioned whether he was black enough now its he's too black.people THINK,if the clintons were concerned about the dem party they would not have started these assaults against one of there own.if barack is not voted in then this country will move ,but in all different directions....OBAMA...08...2012......BEYOND!!

Sen. Obama and his supporters have been sanctimonious in being "right" on Iraq from the start, and totally indignant towards Americans who feel otherwise, including a large percentage of the men and women in uniform.

First, we were supposed to forgive Sen. Obama for sitting through 20 years of hate speech in Rev. Wright's church.

Now, we're supposed to overlook his statements from last week when he opened up at a closed fundraiser in San Francisco. As one example, Obama equated religious faith with intolerance towards immigrants. Don't believe me? Go back and re-read the transcript.

Again, it's difficult to forgive a candidate and its supporters, who have been so unforgiving themselves.

I'd just like to thank the Huffiington Post for giving us John ("Bomb bomb Iran") McCain. Great. Really good work.

They say the country is not ready for a black president.

Actually, the country is not ready for an intelligent and highly educated person to be president, regardless of his or her race.

mid america needs to give up the guns and the bibles and everybody go to work for the government. sounds a bit weird to me. these folks are the backbone of our nation. these are of the greatest people in our country. he doesn't know these folks and can not relate to them, therefore he attacks them. they are not the poor folks, which he is better aquainted with, looking for goverment handouts. these are bologna and cheese-maxwell house coffee drinkers who love America. obama,not this time around boy. one for the hillary

A week ago when Obama was closing in on the polls, you Obamabots were like "Oh, look at the polls, Obama is on top the world, yeah!!"

Now the polls shows Obama's tanking. You Obamabots are now saying "who would believe in polls? they mean nothing."

You Obamabots are just incredible. Either way, you would twist and turn to make things go your way. You guys just can't handle the truth that your rock star is no longer rocking and he turns out to be as fake as that lip syncing Ashlee Simpson.

Please Americans THINK for a second!! The rest of the world is watching- and mark my words we've seen you botch up one election. One can only hope you'll learn from your mistakes....

Sometimes an outside perspective can shed some light on things that don't seem so clear from the inside.....
Your media is vial, inaccurate,misleading & should not be trusted....

Filter through the brainwash and you'll see who is worthy of your time- and trustworthy enough to promote change......

Don't get all self righteous you are 'bitter' and tired - you do cling to your guns and your religion....

it's not an insult is TRUTH- finally someone had the balls to say it!


Carolyn Barnes wrote: I doubt if the Middle East will take Hillary seriously--she is a woman.

The sexism in this campaign has been revolting. You should be ashamed of yourself. World leaders, including those of the Middle East, didn't have a problem taking Golda Mier or Margaret Thatcher seriously. Carolyn, I hope if you have female children, you didn't raise to believe that they shouldn't be taken seriously.

Domingo Tavella,

We are ready for a black president. We just don't want Obama who is both an arrogan and cocky elitist who does not respect working class Americans.

Perhaps Bill Clinton's prediction on Charlie Rose a few months ago will come true. Back when the media had fairly covered Hillary Clinton's excellent performance in the Senate, she was far and away the frontrunner. She had told her husband that she thought she would have an easy time in the primary, but difficulty in the general election. But her husband told her it would be just the opposite: difficulty in the primary followed by an easier time in the general election. Perhaps he knew how the press would work. Despite abysmal coverage for her, she has still run neck and neck with the darling of the press (at least until now). But if she wins the primary, the liberal press will either have to lay off, or accept a McCain presidency. Hillary Clinton is the middle ground between Obama and McCain, and should have been easily the most electable candidate all along. Maybe now that Obama is turning out to be human, too, she will have her chance.

Domingo: I think that this election has shown that America is definitely ready for a black president; but not one who is inexperienced, regularly dishonest, elitist, arrogant, and probably racist. No, he is not the type of person who should be president, or even senator, for that matter.

This is what Obama should be saying ' Hello Hillary, what planet are you living on? These people are not bitter, they're MAD AS HELL.' Our jobs are outsourced, we have no health benefits, a gallon of gas and a gallon of milk will both cost $4 before July, my CEO is making (pick a number) million a year with a golden -- make that platinum -- parachute in case he fraks things up, our bridges are falling down, our airplanes are falling apart, there are 20 houses for sale in my neighborhood and their prices are dropping like bricks (but my property taxes are still going up), our schools are a mess, college costs $25,000 a year and I can't get a loan . . . I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

oh yea, and by the way, if being president of the U.S. required people who spoke only supremely intelligent words all the time, can someone explain W. to me?

ARG has a very low score in prognostication. I would not bet my house on their poll.

Hillary has lied so many times. Anyone who believes she will make a difference will be out on his/her fannie.

I am sure she will win because Americans are f..g idiots who like it roughly up the rear-end. All you fools are going to get it without lube once that old cow gets in.

How come Obama supporters are unable to understand "elitist"? I has nothing to do with how much money you made.
Here is the definition from
One who despises people or things regarded as inferior, especially because of social or intellectual pretension: snob.

It is a pretty good description of Obama.

"23% of likely Democratic primary voters say that excessive exposure to Obama’s advertising is causing them to support Clinton."

I’ve seen this sort of thing in my own district back in 2006.

It’s a new phenomenon that campaigns will have to deal with .. Overexposure !!
Too much money as a problem ?? Who’d a thunk it ?

Who would have thought that having somebody constantly interrupting your life would cause them to dislike you ?
I wonder what Obama’s mother-in-law is like ?

Give me a break. The voters are suppose to resent Obama for saying harsh reality with a poor choice of words and instead accept what McCain says: the economic problem we're facing is just psychological on the people's part? Hillary? Well I don't want to stoop too low, but is this better:the unadulterated fib that she landed in Bosnia under sniper fire, etc? Or that she is against Trade and for the blue collar workers, when her campaign strategist-in-chief and her own husband is making money on the trade issue? Please!!

As much as you all like to believe and use as an excuse, RACE is NOT an issue here. Its the same as saying take pity on Hillary because she's a woman. Voters will vote based upon qualifacations and who they feel will do the best job. Also, childhood history has nothing to do with this election either, stop making Obama's questionably 'hard' upbringing a staple-point. It's rediculous, and people shouldn't elect him over something that happens to thousands every year, it's common-place. People need to wake up and look at the big picture here. Obama has the least experience of all candidates, and during this recession we need a president with experience in foreign policy, trade, and how the system works. Not some guy with a 'vision' of what he wants to happen. Everyone has a 'vision' so what. He hasn't even done anything to work towards this so called 'vision' . Freshmen Senators for President is an Epic Fail, that's all there is to it. 'If' our country was stabilized and prosperous, then maybe Obama would be a good candidate to see what he has to offer our country. As it stands now, we need experience to pull us out of the predicament, Hillary offers that. As for McCain, he's a joke. Another puppet president for the GOP.

Lets see - this honest remark is really good for B. Obama...

HRC is overplaying his terrible mistake. Just like everyone overplayed that Kerry was a flip-flopper. (That one stuck to the bitter-end) Sometimes you can just tell when a turning point occurs. I think Obama stills wins the nomination, but this really goes to the heart of his hope/change/post-racial, post - partisan appeal.

I hate to say it, but if one has their eyes open, this gaffe is really going hurt BO. Not w/ hardcore Dems or Repubs - they won't be swayed either way, but w/ Reagan Dems& independents - it is goodnight irene.

If you don't think so, you probably aren't independent minded enough to think straight.

Hillary and her camp are good politicians
Obama and his people will be GREAT at public service.
People, do you want another politician
or is it about time we had a Statesman?

Let's trade the love of power (HILARY)
for the power of love (OBAMA)

This man will not be elected!! The Republicans are going to make Senator Clinton look as easy as pie compared to what they will do. If this man had not been elected by the media so early and if we had known earlier what we know now.....things would be entirely different! The media has not done their job!!

I hope PA voters don't try to destroy the only hope we have in the 2008 election of bringing America back to greatness.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but look at the SUSA poll hot off the presses. Not sure about the ARG poll, but the SUSA has been one of the most accurate during the primaries.

In their most recent past poll, Indiana was a dead heat; now HRC leads by 16.

Coincidence, I think not.

Clearly Clinton was a better speaker at the Compassion Forum. Obama had the lamest response to his judgmental and insulting comment about small town folks. I can't believe people still support him when he's finally showing his true colors - that he can't be trusted. Remember he did this at a private fund raising event behind closed doors - he didn't think any of this would leak out - duh! Wake up, people. I was trying to listen to the whole thing with an open mind, but Obama took forever to answer simple questions. It was very hard to follow. He didn't even make up his mind yet about abortion. What kind of president would that make? He should have an opinion already and stick to it. Such a fake!

New polls show Obama tanking.

New Gallup poll will show that soon too.

Jeramiah Wright + this fiasco over the weekend is devastating.

A few posters up there is "thankgodi'mnotamerican" who is the type of anti-American who would support Obama.
First, you seem to think we should care that the rest of the world is watching--we don't. Furthermore, the rest of the world doesn't think like you.
Second, we're glad you're not an American.
About Obama,
Here is a man who's mother had a pattern of anti-establishment to such a degree that she left the country and she married two Muslim men, one black and one asian. She obviously had little regard for white men and apparently indoctrinated Obama with that attitude.
Then she allows her son to be named a Muslim name by her short-term Muslim husband and doesn't even allow him to have a Euro middle name. She then allows (or wanted) her son to attend a Muslim school in Indonesia.
Then she leaves her son (and daughter) and has her white mother take care of them in Seattle.
So much for her being the kind of mother most Americans have.
Then Obama, during all the years in politics, doesn't dislike his Muslim name enough to simply change it, or even change his middle name.
Then he attends an anti-American, anti-white church for 20 years.
Then he hires the head of that church onto his campaign.
Then he states that white Amererica needs to "understand" why blacks have animosity--not the other way around.
Then he states that his grandmother is a "typical white person" for crossing the street is she saw black men coming--just as Jesse Jackson once admitted.
Then his wife states that she has never been proud of America until recently--even though she makes $300,000 a year and went to Harvard.
Then she states that America in 2008 is "mean."
Then Obama states that small-town Americans need to get over their bitterness. I didn' hear him once say that blacks need to get over their bitterness.
Finally, how would President Obama stand up to Muslims who want to impose their religion on American government, a la Europe during the past 10 years?
You'd have to be flippen crazy to vote for this anti-American!

This more appropriately should be called Obama's "Dean Momemt", since like Howard Dean, the press has chosen swamp the candidate with a mis-characterized non-event. Hillary can then be compared to John Kerry who lost. We would have been much better off with Howard Dean the last 4 years. There is nothing wrong with Obama's comment, and it is wide and truthful, but it has been mis-characterized in the press as being against small towns. Obama was just pointing out that the GOP has successful used divisive hot-button issues to convince Americans to vote against their own economic interests by voting for Republican-Corporate-Free Trade-Outsourcing agenda. The town's factory closed down and moved to China, but at least gay people can't marry here...

Just think how other Country Leaders would respect a President that CRYS, Consistently digs up Bullsh*t about opposition, Lies, Couldn`t control "Draft Dodging" husband that wanted sex, (his dog was out) and hill went DOWNHILL allowing Monica to do her job for her! She couldn`t handle Medicare, Taking White House belongings as hers. Flip Flop on issues to tell people what they want to hear, This W***n will hold up chances for "WOMEN" that could and can run this Country, what a shame!! Yep shes a lawyer, Lawyers are eductated how to beat the system, thats why most are "Great Crooks!!" Hill doesn`t need to go "DownHILL!" as she is already down, Hope she chases Bill so Monica would be outa that job, Then Monica could be president ! "Great Reality show".

I hope more PA voters like Tony Shea above do help Obama to win PA. I'm in the midwest - Nebraska - and a great many of us (repubs and dems) - are all hoping PA gets everyone out to vote for Barack - that would be so great - it takes a lot of hard work good luck - you are doing an amazing job.

The reasons that people are religious or support gun ownership are complex and many. To imply, even indirectly, that those reasons boil down to frustration with one's economic lot is not politically astute. It plays into the hands of the GOP, who can spin it as "elitist," which is exactly what McCain called the remark, right on schedule. I don't think Obama meant to be condescending, but his remark WILL come off to some people as "If only you poor rednecks had more jobs, you wouldn't need silly things like God and guns."

I support Obama, but ill-chosen words like this are exactly why conservatives are able to portray liberals as chardonnay-sipping intellectuals who are out-of-touch with what matters to working Americans.

In swing states, the message liberals need to stay on is this: "You are hardworking, good people. You're the backbone of this nation. And you deserve a heck of a lot better than the raw deal you've been getting from the GOP and the corporate cronies that get rich on your backs."

Period. No editorializing or armchair sociology about anything else.

If Clinton is the nominee I'm voting for McCain. And in 40 years of voting I've never voted for a Republican.

Video: Obama (2004) connects guns, religion, economics, and bitter

As you can see Obama made similar comments on a national television broadcast back in 2004.

The false spin is that he only says this behind close doors in San Francisco.

That myth is that needs to be dispelled.

When you watch this video or read his response to a question in San Francisco in it’s entirety,

You can tell Obama is very much in touch, and not the least bit condescending.

Very important that viewers judge Obama on complete answers, and not jut a line ta

Here is what he said Francisco.

OBAMA: So, it depends on where you are, but I think it's fair to say that the places where we are going to have to do the most work are the places where people feel most cynical about government. The people are mis-appre...I think they're misunderstanding why the demographics in our, in this contest have broken out as they are. Because everybody just ascribes it to 'white working-class don't wanna work -- don't wanna vote for the black guy.' That's...there were intimations of that in an article in the Sunday New York Times today - kind of implies that it's sort of a race thing.

Here's how it is: in a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, people have been beaten down so long, and they feel so betrayed by government, and when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about government, then a part of them just doesn't buy it. And when it's delivered by -- it's true that when it's delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama (laugher), then that adds another layer of skepticism (laughter).

But -- so the questions you're most likely to get about me, 'Well, what is this guy going to do for me? What's the concrete thing?' What they wanna hear is -- so, we'll give you talking points about what we're proposing -- close tax loopholes, roll back, you know, the tax cuts for the top 1 percent. Obama's gonna give tax breaks to middle-class folks and we're gonna provide health care for every American. So we'll go down a series of talking points.

But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there's not evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Um, now these are in some communities, you know. I think what you'll find is, is that people of every background -- there are gonna be a mix of people, you can go in the toughest neighborhoods, you know working-class lunch-pail folks, you'll find Obama enthusiasts. And you can go into places where you think I'd be very strong and people will just be skeptical. The important thing is that you show up and you're doing what you're doing.

Obama has had success with small town and rural voters from Lousiana, To Idaho, to Maine and other states where people have heard directly from him and not just a sentence fragment taken out of context.
Question was it elitist and demeaning of Clinton not to campaign in states
She deemed unworthy of her time

If LAT is pro-Hillary - why didn't they publish the Washington Post exposing Obama's LIE about his father's connection to the Kennedy family??

Obama LIED about his own father! - in order to obtain the Kennedy endorsement!

Of course - we'll never see Obama's lying videos aired 24/7 on Obamedia.

I believe when people hit hard times, we turn to God more than when things are going well. I mean, really turn to God. How many of us pray daily? How many of us sit down and read the Bible on a daily basis? I think in this fast-paced world, praying and reading the Bible becomes secondary. When things get really tough for us, at least with me, I find myself sitting down and reading the New Testament of Jesus teachings. I also find myself praying throughout the day. It brings me great comfort and reassurance. I am sure this is what Senator Obama was talking about. Think back on your own lives and how your reacted in times of great stress or disappointment. There are those who would prefer to go to a bar and drink their problems away, or at least to blunt them for a little while. People react differently. Senator Obama spoke the truth. This is the thing I like about Senator Obama, he seems to see things on a deeper level than most of us do. Take his 2002 speech against the war in Iraq. EVERYTHING he said would happen, happened! This kind of vision is a gift and very unique. McCain, Bush, and Hillary did not look beyond their votes for the war. There was NO plan for after Saddam went down!! Had Bush and company listened to Senator Obama's speech, perhaps they would have taken heed and we would not be where we are today.

So all of you who are so eager to have Senator Obama destroyed by three corrupt and Washington entrenched old fogies, keep on keeping your heads in the sand. Maybe one day you will pull your heads out of the sand and awaken to a changed and prosperous America under the leadership of Senator Obama, and maybe one day you'll regret being such bigots and racists. And maybe one day, you, too, will benefit from a brighter and better America---unless you prefer to stick your heads back in the sand. Think about it.

Michelle and Obama attended party for Auchi at Rezko's mansion!
Oh my! if Obama is involved with Saddam's bagman - and that money helped Obama buy his home - oh wow!

Such a stupid lack of judgment for a sitting senator!

Please God - save us from Oblahma!
Obama and Wright are wrong for America!
Go Hillary!

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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.
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