US Elections


Dschwen.Following Barack Obama‘s Saturday morning text-announcement of Joe Biden‘s vice presidential candidacy, a rally was held in Springfield, Illinois, at 3:00pm (UTC-5).

The rally was held on the steps of the Old State Capitol building in Springfield. In a email sent out to supporters of Obama who signed up on the Obama campaign website, Obama said that “Joe and I will appear for the first time as running mates this afternoon in Springfield, Illinois—the same place this campaign began more than 19 months ago.”

The rally was broadcast at the official Obama campaign site, starting at 3pm (UTC-5), and carried by major cable news networks.

Springfield owns a piece of presidential history, having been the home of former President Abraham Lincoln after he moved there in 1837. He lived there for 17 years, before taking presidential office in 1861.

Source : wikinews

United States Congress.On August 11, US Senator and 2008 presidential republican candidate John McCain gave a speech regarding the crisis between Georgia and Russia. Following the speech, a regular Wikipedia editor noticed that his speech was very similar to an article on Wikipedia also regarding the crisis, in what could be considered plagiarism. Wikinews was able to talk to that editor about how he found out about the similarities and what he did in response. Wikinews also took a deeper look at the claim and investigated further.

McCain gave his speech in Erie, Pennsylvania and was speaking to citizens, giving a warning to Russia stating, “Russian President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin must understand the severe, long-term negative consequences that their government’s actions will have for Russia’s relationship with the U.S. and Europe.”

McCain continued his speech saying, “Georgia is an ancient country, at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and one of the world’s first nations to adopt Christianity as an official religion. After a brief period of independence following the Russian revolution, the Red Army forced Georgia to join the Soviet Union in 1922. As the Soviet Union crumbled at the end of the Cold War, Georgia regained its independence in 1991, but its early years were marked by instability, corruption, and economic crises.”

While reading the first few paragraphs, the Wikipedia editor Killing Vector, who wishes to be called by his contributor name in fear of retribution for coming forward with the claim, noticed a striking similarity to McCain’s speech and the Wikipedia article on the country of Georgia. Not only did he notice the similarities, but after reading through the article’s edit history, ‘Killing Vector’ noticed that his speech might have been lifted from Wikipedia, with some of the material in McCain’s speech dating prior to the start of the Georgian and Russian crisis.

“I began reading the text of McCain’s address on the Georgia crisis, and as I was browsing it the irregularity jumped out almost immediately. The paragraphs which discussed the history of Georgia simply didn’t fit with the rest of the speech; the rhetorical style was jarringly different. I figured, “where’s someone in a hurry going to get basic information on the Republic of Georgia?” I opened up Wikipedia, went to the article, picked a recent but not current revision more or less at random (July 24th), and hit gold on the first try; McCain’s speech and the Wikipedia article had significant strings of words in common, emphasized the same events, made largely the same word choices,” said Vector to Wikinews.

Although other media outlets reported the alleged plagiarism, the two passages below were dated at least one week prior to the Georgian and Russian crisis. The first two paragraphs of McCain’s speech appear to resemble the Wikipedia article in the history dated July 24, 2008.

“Two paragraphs, about an eighth of the full speech, contain material directly copied from Wikipedia or superficially modified from its text. Those two paragraphs constitute the entire factual background of the speech, though — the rest is reaction and proposed policy,” added Vector.

Example:

  • Wikipedia – ….one of the first countries in the world to adopt Christianity as an official religion.
  • McCain – ….one of the world’s first nations to adopt Christianity as an official religion.
  • Wikipedia – After the Russian Revolution of 1917, Georgia had a brief period of independence as a Democratic Republic (1918-1921), which was terminated by the Red Army invasion of Georgia. Georgia became part of the Soviet Union in 1922 and regained its independence in 1991. Early post-Soviet years was marked by a civil unrest and economic crisis.
  • McCain – After a brief period of independence following the Russian revolution, the Red Army forced Georgia to join the Soviet Union in 1922. As the Soviet Union crumbled at the end of the Cold War, Georgia regained its independence in 1991, but its early years were marked by instability, corruption, and economic crises.
Wikinews investigates claim McCain plagiarized speech from Wikipedia
We did not copy Wikipedia in Sen. McCain’s remarks. There are only so many ways to state basic historical facts and dates and that any similarities to Wikipedia were only coincidental.
Wikinews investigates claim McCain plagiarized speech from Wikipedia

—Brian Rogers, McCain campaign spokesman

McCain’s campaign denies they plagiarized Wikipedia, but also didn’t state whether they used it as a source for his speech.

“We did not copy Wikipedia in Sen. McCain’s remarks. There are only so many ways to state basic historical facts and dates and that any similarities to Wikipedia were only coincidental,” said a spokesman for the McCain campaign, Brian Rogers to The Politico. Wikinews contacted McCain’s campaign, but has yet to receive a response.

Wikinews e-mailed Jay Walsh, the director of communications for the Wikimedia Foundation to see what they thought of the situation, and what if anything they planned to do about it.

“We aren’t particularly concerned with this,” said Walsh who also added that “I’m only aware of this situation through media coverage I’ve seen, nor do we or I have any in-depth detail about the situation.”

“I would say it’s a good practice to attribute text or content whenever possible. Obviously when it’s a matter of copyright then there are legal considerations, but the Foundation is not able to examine individual cases,” added Walsh. Wikinews attempted to contact Mike Godwin, the legal counsel for the Foundation, but has yet to receive a response.

Vector stands by his claim and also notes what he calls ‘dishonesty’ on the part of McCain’s campaign.

“What concerns me more, as a voter, is the ethical issue. Plagiarism comes from dishonesty and intellectual laziness on the part of an individual, but McCain’s campaign’s later denial adopts that individual’s dishonesty,” stated Vector.

source : wikinews

Senator Barack Obama from Illinois, the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, announced Joe Biden as his Vice Presidential running mate. The announcement came via text message early Saturday morning, to people who had signed up to receive the announcement on the official Barack Obama campaign website.

Obama and Biden after the announcement on August 23rd

Obama and Biden after the announcement on August 23rd

Friday afternoon, several campaign officials had informed the media that the text message announcement would be distributed Saturday morning. Reportedly, the announcement would come a few hours ahead of a scheduled rally at the Old State Capitol State Historic Site in Springfield, Illinois, where Obama and and whoever the VP candidate would be would appear together for the first time as the Democratic ticket.

On August 19th, Biden while leaving his house reportedly said to some reporters, “Hey guys, I’m not the guy.”

Biden had been one of the top choices for being the VP candidate according to Rasmussen polls. Following his trip to Georgia, from August 17th through the 18th, he was surrounded by a lot of speculation that he would in fact be the candidate.

On Thursday, Barack Obama announced that he had already made his decision, but wasn’t yet stating who the VP candidate would be. On August 20th the Obama campaign reportedly sent a email to select news agency with the subject being “Vice presidential…”. However, the contents of the email did not state who he had picked, but instead the first line of the email was “just kidding.”

Joe Biden

Joe Biden

Prior to the announcement of Biden being the VP candidate, Evan Bayh, Hillary Clinton, Chet Edwards, Tim Kaine, Bill Richardson, and Kathleen Sebelius had all been reported as being on the short list.

Obama has been reportedly calling the potential VP candidates and informing them that they had not been picked. Sources said that Governor Tim Kaine and Senator Evan Bayh had been told they were no longer considered. None of the other choices had stated whether or not they had been called, though Representative Edwards specifically stated that he had not been contacted.

The 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado begins on August 25, 2008. Biden will reportedly speak on the third night of the convention.

Republican candidate John McCain of Arizona has not yet announced who his running mate will be. The 2008 Republican National Convention begins September 1, 2008 in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Biden, a Senator from Delaware, is currently the committee chair for the foreign relations committee. Biden has served in the Senate since 1973, and was the head of the judiciary committee from 1987 through 1995.

Source : wikinews

US Congress.

United States (U.S.) Senator Joe Lieberman is scheduled to speak at the Republican party convention, according to a member of the McCain campaign who wishes to remain anonymous. Lieberman, who was the Democratic vice presidential candidate in the 2000 presidential election, has been one of Republican party candidate, John McCain‘s, staunchest supporters.

The official who informed the press of this announcement stated that Lieberman is slated to speak on the second day, a Monday, of the convention. There has been a lot of speculation in the past months that Lieberman would speak at the convention. In a interview with David Brody of CBN, Lieberman stated in response to the question about the possibility of him being at the convention that, “well, it’s not clear yet but you might just see me there.”

Lieberman is currently in Georgia, with Senator Lindsey Graham, responded when asked if he would be speaking at the convention that “it’s quite possible, but I’ll let them announce it.” Lieberman’s office has not commented on this announcement.

Lieberman has been recently considered a possible candidate for the Republican vice presidential seat. The convention will be held in St. Paul, Minnesota from September 1 through the 4th. He is currently a Independent Senator in Connecticut, who caucuses with the Democratic party. Lieberman was the Democratic vice presidential candidate back in 2000, when he ran with Al Gore.

Source : wikinews

Pastor Rick Warren

United States Presidential candidates Senators Barack Obama and John McCain each participated in a live forum broadcast from Saddleback Church in Lake Forest. The forum, moderated by pastor Rick Warren, was scheduled to showcase the candidates to an evangelical segment of the population, who account for 26.3% of the American public.

During the forum the candidates were each individually asked a series of identical questions by the pastor, with Senator Barack Obama going first and Senator John McCain taking his turn after being held in a soundproof room as Obama was interviewed. On some questions the candidates differed in their interpretations.

When asked whom they believed were the three wisest people to rely on as president, Obama answered that his wife and grandmother were at the top of his list along with a mix of Republican and Democratic Senators. McCain comprised his list of a range of people: the architect of the troop surge in Iraq, General David Petraeus; Democratic Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis; and the former CEO of eBay, Meg Whitman.

In response to being questioned about their toughest decisions in life, Obama answered that deciding to oppose the Iraq War in 2002 was his toughest, while McCain cited his refusal to leave his men behind in a POW camp in Vietnam when given the chance.

On some philosophical questions the candidates differed in their moral stances. When asked when they believed individuals should be given human rights, Obama responded that the question was “above [his] pay grade” while McCain decisively replied that he believed it should occur “at the moment of conception.” On the concept of evil, Obama related it to the situation in Darfur and on America’s streets. McCain related it to radical Islamic extremism relaying that he believed evil should be “defeated.” He then promised that as president he would hunt Osama bin Laden to the “gates of hell.”

On a few questions the candidates had similar responses. They both answered that the biggest moral dilemmas in their lives were personal mistakes they had made when they were younger. For Obama, it was his drug use, for McCain it was his failed first marriage.

Both candidates were on the stage together briefly between the interviews and shook hands and hugged in a moment symbolic of Warren’s call for civility at the beginning and end of the forum.

Source : wikinews

The primaries are over… the general election is on.

Over million voters read Senator Barrack Obama’s web site daily.  His list of donors has reached almost unmanageable proportions.Quadrennial pomp and pageantry to pamper the voter will begin in Denver next week at the Democratic Party Convention. It does not get more scripted than this. No insider free-for-alls are expected like in the sixties. The 47 year old Barrack Obama would become the first Black candidate in US history to be made the party nominee. The animus of a hard fought primary may finally vanish as Hillary Clinton gets prime time spot. Spotlight will shine on Obama as he makes his acceptance speech to a 76,000 cheering crowd at the Mile High stadium. The speech would be one of the best ever, most predict.

Media hordes would telecast at least one hour of prime time broadcasts every day in over 100 TV channels during the convention. Wooing a multiplicity of voting blocks is like a tight rope walk. Hispanics, Asians, Blacks, Whites, , Catholics, Evangelicals and Academic liberals-to name a few of the power groups- will either be won or lost by what Obama has to say

Conventions were do or die battles in the sixties when the delegates tried to nominate their favorite candidate over and over gain calling for one more roll call. Delegate leaders from each of the fifty States announced their choice one by one until the required number of delegates for victory was achieved. There will most likely be one roll call and Hillary Clinton’s name may also be in it.

This year, the election battle is very close with Obama showing a slender lead. Stakes are high as about fifteen states are considered battle ground areas: .Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico, South and North Carolina and Virginia may be some of those states

US voters have an unenviable task of picking one candidate out of a myriad of images projected on TV screens, media outlets and advertisements. A photo of Obama not wearing a lapel pin may be construed as unpatriotic behavior. McCain pondering about keeping troops in Iraq for 100 years could become fodder to the opposing side. Politics is very much local and personal nowadays. Character and personality are the norms for judging how good a candidate is. An old time protector of America versus an untried new-comer is how the debate is defined by the Republicans. Democrats paint McCain as a clone of George W. Bush.

The convention next week will bring a glorious opportunity to Obama to highlight and contrast his style of campaigning and drive home the image that McCain is anachronistic and generates little excitement. Republicans have made Obama the issue calling him a vacuous opportunist with an empty rhetoric and little to offer. His father’s Muslim heritage is often made an issue. Caricature is now the accepted norm in politics.

Conventions still serve a purpose. A bump in the polls would be expected for Obama after next week. It is estimated that about ten percent of the voters may be influenced by Conventions. The fifty states are sliced and diced as the campaigns target different voting blocks. Conventions offer a chance to address all of them under one roof.

Obama’s campaign Chief David Plouffe is renowned for his fiercely competitive style. He has so far handled the fundraising, field organization and media projection with an expert touch. Obama’s foot soldiery is unprecedented. Even in the Republican pocket borough of Alaska there are field workers canvassing for Obama. They are also doing that in McCain’s home state of Arizona. Over million voters read Obama’s web site daily. His list of donors has reached almost unmanageable proportions. Plouffe is offering the best convention ever. It is no doubted best funded, organized and presented. People are eager to se how it works out.

Source – Asian Tribune –

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