Over the past week, citizen journalists at GroundReport.com have reported on the challenges they see the Obama campaign grappling with in Indiana.
Attending an April 25th Obama press conference in Indianapolis, the candidate struggled to distinguish his proposed policies from those of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton:
During a live video broadcast today, hosted by the Indy Star, a journalist asked for policy differences to convince Hoosiers to vote for Obama over Clinton. Senator Obama could only come up with one example, itself not a true difference but an alleged case with Obama was the "first" to come up with the proposed middle class tax cut, which was adopted by Clinton three months later.
In response to the question Obama replied that, "It's tough, because a lot of our differences get blurred during the campaigns." He conceded that there is "not a huge ideological difference between myself and Senator Clinton," and that even regarding their much-debated health plans, "95% of our plans are the same. We have both talked about setting up a government plan that is optional that people can buy into if they don't have health insurance."
In his opening remarks, Obama joked that he was "still here, not voted off the island yet."
On April 28th, David Mintzes considered Obama's much-debated relationship with Reverend Jeremiah Wright, wondering if perhapsReverend Wright wasn't a closet Republican:
Is Jeremiah Wright, a closet Republican and a McCain supporter? Absurd, right. Well, maybe not. It's obvious that Rev. Wright does not want his former congregant, Barack Obama, to be the Democratic nominee and perhaps, the next President. It's obvious to me anyway, because the Reverend just can't seem to keep his mouth closed. He must give speeches, like he did yesterday in Detroit, and as did today in Washington, that serve to worry those millions of white voters who are still somewhat nervous about Mr. Obama because of his former relationship with Rev. Wright.
Jeremiah Wright is not a fool, so he must realize that he is doing this - making the white folks nervous -- every time he opens his mouth and makes those fiery statements and speeches for which he has become famous. So why does he do it? Why, if he really wants Mr. Obama to become President one day - hopefully this November - does he keep saying and doing things that prevent people from forgetting the controversy he first stirred up a couple of months back? Why, unless he is really a closet McCain supporter, can't he control himself and just stay out of the limelight for a while, 'cause every time he opens his mouth, he just reminds people of his relationship with Obama. He is making sure that no one forgets, that no one will ever allow Obama to distance himself from Wright and his divisive rhetoric.
For continued citizen journalism coverage of the 2008 elections and political issues around the world, see GroundReport.com.