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Mayhill Fowler

Mayhill Fowler

Posted: April 11, 2008 08:20 PM

Obama Exclusive (Audio): On V.P And Foreign Policy, Courting the Working Class, and Hard-Pressed Pennsylvanians


Here is the full audio from Senator Barack Obama's fundraiser hosted at a home in Pacific Heights in San Francisco on Sunday, April 6, 2008. Sheila Jackson Lee makes the introduction.

Some highlights - Obama responds to Krugman toward the end of the audio (46:20); Obama discloses his trip to Pakistan (40:17); Obama discusses fundraising successes (15 min); Obama discusses energy, fuel efficient cars (18 min); "When people tell me they've all stressed about racial discord, well, you know, try slavery for a while." (26:02).


Some of the quotes from this speech include:

"I would like somebody who knows about a bunch of stuff that I'm not as expert on. I think a lot of people assume that might be some sort of military thing to make me look more Commander-in-Chief-like. Ironically, this is an area--foreign policy is the area where I am probably most confident that I know more and understand the world better than Senator Clinton or Senator McCain."
"It's ironic because this is supposedly the place where experience is most needed to be Commander-in-Chief. Experience in Washington is not knowledge of the world. This I know. When Senator Clinton brags 'I've met leaders from eighty countries'--I know what those trips are like! I've been on them. You go from the airport to the embassy. There's a group of children who do native dance. You meet with the CIA station chief and the embassy and they give you a briefing. You go take a tour of a plant that [with] the assistance of USAID has started something. And then--you go."
"You do that in eighty countries--you don't know those eighty countries. So when I speak about having lived in Indonesia for four years, having family that is impoverished in small villages in Africa--knowing the leaders is not important--what I know is the people. . . ."
"I traveled to Pakistan when I was in college--I knew what Sunni and Shia was [sic] before I joined the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. . . ."
"Nobody is entirely prepared for being Commander-in-Chief. The question is when the 3 AM phone call comes do you have somebody who has the judgment, the temperament to ask the right questions, to weigh the costs and benefits of military action, who insists on good intelligence, who is not going to be swayed by the short-term politics. By most criteria, I've passed those tests and my two opponents have not."
"People are misunderstanding the way the demographics in this contest are broken up the way they are. Because everybody just ascribes it to white working class don't want to vote for the black guy. There were intimations of this in an article in the Sunday New York Times today--kind of implies it's sort of a race thing. That's not what it is."
"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. 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."

I reported on parts of his speech in "Obama: No Need For Foreign Policy Help From V.P." (4/7/08), "Obama Courts Working Class Through 'Future Generations''" (4/10/08), and "Obama: No Surprise That Hard-Pressed Pennsylvanians Turn Bitter" (4/11/08).