Obama responds to attacks from Clinton and McCain

During a fundraiser in San Francisco, Senator Barack Obama said

“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,” Obama, an Illinois senator, said.

“And it’s not surprising then 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,” he said.

Both Hillary Clinton and John McCain criticized Obama, saying that he “looks down” on Pennsylvania voters, which showed that he was “out of touch with average Americans.”

Obama responds:

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Meet Barack’s mom

Time tells The Story of Barack Obama’s Mother, her depth as well as her growth. She certainly sounds like a rare individual indeed, an interesting woman with a pioneering spirit.

Ann’s most lasting professional legacy was to help build the microfinance program in Indonesia, which she did from 1988 to ’92—before the practice of granting tiny loans to credit-poor entrepreneurs was an established success story. Her anthropological research into how real people worked helped inform the policies set by the Bank Rakyat Indonesia, says Patten, an economist who worked there. “I would say her work had a lot to do with the success of the program,” he says. Today Indonesia’s microfinance program is No. 1 in the world in terms of savers, with 31 million members, according to Microfinance Information eXchange Inc., a microfinance-tracking outfit.

While his mother was helping poor people in Indonesia, Obama was trying to do something similar 7,000 miles (about 11,300 km) away in Chicago, as a community organizer. Ann’s friends say she was delighted by his career move and started every conversation with an update of her children’s lives. “All of us knew where Barack was going to school. All of us knew how brilliant he was,” remembers Ann’s friend Georgia McCauley.

Colin Powell praises Obama

In an interview with Diane Sawyer, General Colin Powell talks about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the merits of boycotting the Olympic opening ceremonies, as well as the presidential candidates (though he hasn’t decided for whom he’ll vote). Though Powell condemned Wright’s controversial remarks, he considered the broader picture.

“Rev. Wright is also somebody who has made enormous contributions in his community and has turned a lot of lives around,” Powell said, “And so, I have to put that in context with these very offensive comments that he made, which I reject out of hand.”

Powell added that he does not know Wright, and praised Obama’s response.

“I think that Sen. Obama handled the issue well . . . he didn’t look the other way. He didn’t wait for the, for the, you know, for the storm to go over. He went on television, and I thought, gave a very, very thoughtful, direct speech. And he didn’t abandon the minister who brought him closer to his faith,” Powell told Sawyer.

Powell, who has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate in almost every election since he retired from military service and public life, expressed admiration for Obama.

“It was a good (speech),” Powell said. “I admired him for giving it. And I agreed with much of what he said.”

Yes, We Can International

A video of people from all over the world who are inspired by Obama’s message of hope, change, and unity (inspired by will.i.am’s Yes, We Can)

Obama: What is the definition of success in Iraq?

During the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings, Senator Obama questioned General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker about the situation in Iraq. Obama was clear in his assessment that the US needed to apply measured, but increased pressure on the Iraqis. Thanks to Talking Points Memo videos and analysis.

‘A More Perfect Union’ Tribute Song

Kip Kelly, a production guy for WABC/New York put together this tribute, featuring music from the Goo Goo Dolls.

Obama makes 3 pointer!

The senator got skillz!