Barack Hussein Obama 2008 Presidential campaign
Senator Barack Hussein Obama began his candidacy for President of the United States on February 10, 2007, in Springfield, Illinois. His announcement speech largely avoided specific campaign issues and focused on his general political message of hope for the future. It also attempted to strongly invoke the memory of Abraham Lincoln and his "House Divided" speech.
Obama's campaign has been financed largely by leftist donors opposed to the war and to the American military in general. Obama has encouraged this by refusing to wear the customary flag on his lapel during appearances (asserting that he would prefer his patriotism to be represented through his actions rather than an arbitrary symbol) and by other less-than-patriotic gestures and symbols, such as declining to put his hand over his heart during a patriotic recitation.
By early April 2007, his campaign generated over $25 million from over 100,000 contributors. $23.5 million of that money will be available for the Democratic Primary. After the first Democratic presidential debate in Columbia, South Carolina, Obama's image as an "articulate" spokesman came into question after his failure to state right away that he would retaliate in case of further terrorist strikes against the United States.
During a fund raising event in Virginia in May 2007 Obama told donors,
|“||This week there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people died. An entire town destroyed.||”|
In reality, the tornado which touched down in Kansas cost the lives of nine people in the town of Greensburg, and twelve overall in Kansas.
Speaking regarding his knowledge of the Afghanistan conflict, Obama points the finger at U.S. troops and American policy "...just airraiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous problems there."  See Video
By August it appeared Obama was running to be left off the ticket completely rather than the much ballyhooed Hillary/Obama ticket the mainstream media was pushing. After a series of ill-advised foreign policy statements, Obama was openly criticized as a lightweight even by liberals, in much the same vein as John Edwards and Dan Quayle had been depicted. First, Obama said he would have face-to-face meetings with two of Florida's most feared enemies, Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. Florida is a key state to any presidential ambitions. Then Obama claimed that he would be willing to invade the sovereign territory of a U.S. ally without prior consultation. Finally, Obama broke the cardinal rule of declaring he would not use nuclear weapons, removing the element of bluff U.S. Presidents had vitally depended upon throughout the Cold War era. The incidents all added up to a picture of a candidate ill-prepared and ill-advised, lacking in a basic understanding of the office of the Presidency, and failing to surround himself with appointees able to make up for his deficiencies. However, Obama won the Iowa Democratic caucuses, pushing Hillary Clinton into third place, and went on to become the unofficial Democratic nominee.
At a campaign event in Elkhart, Indiana, a seven-year-old girl asked Barack Obama why he wants to be President. He replies, "America is …, uh, is no longer, uh … what it could be, what it once was. And I say to myself, I don’t want that future for my children." 
Obama became the presumptive Democratic nominee on June 3rd after receiving a majority of pledged delegates and superdelegates. His only remaining primary opponent, Hillary Clinton, conceded the race on June 7th. On August 23, Joe Biden was announced as Obama's vice-presidential nominee. Obama became the official Democratic nominee on August 27 at the Democratic National Convention, when Hillary Clinton's motion to end the roll call vote of the states and select Obama by acclamation was passed.
On June 5th, Obama spoke at Briston, Virginia- Healthcare Town Hall forum regarding Political Action Committees and his campaign. "Well, we’re here today because we know that if we’re going to make real progress, this time must be different. Throughout my career, in Illinois and the United States senate, I’ve worked to reduce the power of the special interests by leading the fight for ethics reform. I’ve sent a strong signal in this campaign by refusing the contributions of registered federal lobbyists and PACs. And today, I’m announcing that going forward, the Democratic National Committee will uphold the same standard and won’t take another dime from Washington lobbyists or special interest PACs. They do not fund my campaign. They will not fund our party. And they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I’m President of the United States."
The rules are well-established for lobbyist donations to the DNC and for the Presidential nominee. Obama does accept money from lobbyists who do not do business with the federal government and he also accepts money from spouses and family members of lobbyists. And the DNC ban is also not retroactive, which means the DNC will keep lobbyist and PAC contributions it received earlier in the election cycle. Retroactive period being the date Barack Obama started his campaign, February 10, 2007. The DNC possibly the day after the November 2006 Congressional elections until June 5th, 2008. In addition, Barack Obama's ban does not apply to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee nor to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Unlike John McCain, Barack Obama has not disclosed the lobbyists working in his campaign.
Senator Obama visited U.S. troops in Iraq in 2006 and in Afghanistan and Kuwait in 2008
Obama's tax plan calls for increasing taxes on the wealthiest 1% of Americans, while cutting taxes for the middle class. According to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, most Americans would pay less taxes than under Senator McCain's plan. According to another non-partisan group, Americans for Tax Reform, tax-payers would clearly be burdened by an Obama Presidency.
During the campaign Obama repeatedly claimed he would “cut taxes for no less than 95% of "working families."”. The Wall Street Journal asked, “how does he conjure this miracle, especially since more than a third of all Americans already pay no income taxes at all?”  In truth, Obama was calling government handouts “tax credits” and counting those as tax cuts. The Wall Street Journal wondered why McCain “allowed Mr. Obama's 95% illusion to go unanswered”.
Obama is the first presidential candidate to reject public financing. He broke his promise to accept it in the hope that his powerful fund-raising machine would generate far more money than the $84.1 million McCain is getting in public funding. Indeed, on August 14th, the Obama campaign announced it had received donations from 2 million individuals, setting new records. Obama raised $272 million for the primaries and expects to raise $300 million for the general election. However the Republican National Committee has been raising much more than the Democratic National Committee and each candidate had about $100 million in cash on September 1. Each expects to spend about $300 million by November. However, Obama is obliged to devote much of his time to fund raising among supporters rather than campaigning among undecided voters. Among his backers is homosexual pornography baron Terrence Bean.
According to Opensecrets.org, of the 671,269 contributions to Obama between 2003 and 2008, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley are among the Top 20 biggest money donors to Obama's campaigns.  All four subsequently recieved approximately $70 billion in taxpayer assisted bailout money from the TARP program. UBS AG, a foreign bank and the 13th largest donor to Obama, was fined $780 billion in February 2009 in a U.S. Federal Court on charges it helped thousands of wealthy Americans evade taxes.
The Democratic party feels it necessary to keep all questions about Obama at a safe distance. It is an unprecedented move to keep secrets about a presidential candidate. The following questions remain sealed from the public.
- Certified copy of original birth certificate (see certificate controversy below)
- Columbia University transcripts
- Columbia thesis paper
- Campaign donor analysis requested by 7 major watchdog groups
- Harvard University transcripts
- Illinois State Senate records
- Illinois State Senate schedule
- Law practice client list and billing records/summary
- Locations and names of all half-siblings and step-mothers
- Medical records (only the one page summary released so far)
- Occidental College Transcripts
- Parent's marriage Certificate
- Record of baptism
- Selective Service registration records
- Schedules for trips outside of the United States before 2007
- Scholarly articles
- Access to his grandmother (Obama's grandmother has since passed away from cancer )
- List of all campaign workers that are lobbyists
Obama keeps donations secret by exploiting a loophole that allows campaigns to refuse to divulge donations under $200.00. This is useful to the candidate because many of his contributions are from dubious foreign or illegal sources. It is described as the "largest pool of unidentified money that has ever flooded into the U.S. election system, before or after the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reforms of 2002." 
Obama hired Robert Malley as a senior foreign policy adviser. Malley told the Times of London that he had been in regular contact with the terrorist organization Hamas. In April 2008 Hamas made its endoresement of Obama for President. Malley is the son of a key member of the Eygptian Communist Party.
Many observers have criticized Obama's campaign for its incivility. For instance, John McCain's wife Cindy noted that Obama is running "the dirtiest campaign in American history."
Obama's smears usually fall into two categories: race-baiting and distortions. On October 10, 2008, Obama surrogate Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) typified the campaign by comparing Sen. McCain to racial segregationists and Klansmen. "Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division," Lewis exclaimed before comparing Sen. McCain to segregationist Democrat George Wallace, further noting that he, "...never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged [the attacks in which] four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama."  This is particularly harsh to Sen. McCain because he fondly admires Lewis. 
As for the distortions and personal attacks, Obama mocks Sen. McCain for his age and Gov. Palin for being a woman and an outsider. For instance, Obama responded with a subtle reference to Alzheimer's disease when Sen. McCain criticized his foreign policy in May 2008, alleging that Sen. McCain "lost his bearings" . Senior Adviser Mark Salter noted, "He used the words 'losing his bearings' intentionally, a not particularly clever way of raising John McCain's age as an issue. This is typical of the Obama style of campaigning." . In reference to Gov. Palin, Obama was caught for his quiet hiring of Winner & Associates to disseminate a sexist smear video against her.  Some argue this is a FEC violation because it lacked obligatory label denoting it was sponsored by the Obama Campaign (Ethan Winner has made a claim that he alone produced the video)  One of the biggest distortions by Obama is that 95% of all taxpayers will get a tax cut.  Without the distortion, Obama is proposing income re-distribution because those families that pay no taxes, one-third, will get money from the wealthy top 5%.
Another feature of the Obama campaign is the unruly audience. CNN reported in October of 2008 , that people are calling John McCain a terrorist at these events. According to Sen. McCain, "I've heard the [label terrorist], unfortunately, at Senator Obama's rallies being said about me. There's always a fringe element." Other eyewitness reports are harsher.
Obama's Campaign paid over $800,000 to ACORN for Get-Out-The-Vote efforts, but "mistakenly misrepresented" their work to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). According to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review,
|“||U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign paid more than $800,000 to an offshoot of the liberal Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now for services the Democrat's campaign says it mistakenly misrepresented in federal reports. An Obama spokesman said Federal Election Commission reports would be amended to show Citizens Services Inc. -- a subsidiary of ACORN -- worked in 'get-out-the-vote' projects, instead of activities such as polling, advance work and staging major events as stated in FEC finance reports filed during the primary."||”|
Condemnatiobn from Afrixcan-American leaders
On April 11, 2007, staff writers of The Boston Globe reported the criticisms of several black commentators regarding Obama's apparent hesitation to join the race to condemn acclaimed radio personality Don Imus, who made a racially insensitive remark on the air during the April 4 broadcast. Obama did not comment on Imus's remarks until well after prominent civil rights leaders Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson had called Imus to account and after Imus was suspended by MSNBC and CBS Radio. Obama later weighed in on April 10 by saying, "The comments of Don Imus were divisive, hurtful, and offensive to Americans of all backgrounds."
The Globe reported that Obama's perceived delay in addressing Don Imus's remarks was described by Melissa Harris Lacewell, a professor of politics and African-American studies at Princeton University, as "miss[ing] an opportunity to prove himself to blacks and white liberals who would have wanted Obama take the lead in denouncing Imus."
Relationship with millionaire slumlord
In June 2007 the Chicago Sun-Times reported Obama had actually received nearly three times more campaign cash from indicted slum landlord Tony Rezko and his associates than Obama has publicly acknowledged.
Aunt is in the United States Illegally
At the end of October 2008 it came to light that Obama's aunt is in the United States illegally and has been since 2004 when her request for asylum was turned down. She has been living in public tax payer funded housing in Boston. This may have some bearing on Obama's immigration policy given that a member of his own family is in violation of current US immigration law. There are also questions about how much Obama knew about this. The Obama campaign issued a statement to the effect that they had no knowledge of this situation and returned the donation she made to his campaign; in the United States it is illegal to accept campaign contributions from people who are not currently citizens or legal residents of the United States. 
Senator Obama won the 2008 Presidential election, with over 52% of the popular vote. He carried every state that John Kerry won in 2004, in addition to Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Florida, and Indiana. Of the 127 million votes cast, Obama beat John McCain by 8 million total votes. See county breakdown map 
In the weeks leading up to the election, MSNBC reported the FBI was looking into ACORN voter fraud in several states. Obama's staff worked to delay investigations into Obama's former employer. In this way, hundreds of thousands, if not many more, votes may have been overcounted. 
- "Obama declares he's running for President" 11 February 2007, www.CNN.com
- 4 Weathermen terrorists declare support for Obama By Aaron Klein, [[WorldNetDaily, Call for 'grassroots effort' to help boost campaign, October 02, 2008.
- Obama Shows His Strength in a Fund-Raising Feat on Par With Clinton, 4 April 2007, Jeff Zeleny and Patrick Healy, The New York Times
- Clinton Campaign Tries to Keep Heat on Obama Over Debate Response, Dan Balz, Washington Post April 28, 2007.
- Chicago Sun-Times, 'I was a little nervous' at debate', Lynn Sweet, April 29, 2007,
- Transcript: 'Special Report with Brit Hume,' May 9, 2007, retrieved from FOX News, 06/13/07.
- Barack Obama Caught on Tape Accusing U.S. Troops of 'Killing Civilians' Fox News, August 15, 2007
- Media Mostly MIA on Obama's 'America No Longer What It Once Was' Downer Delivered to 7 Year-Old Newsbusters.org, August 9, 2008
- Obama visits troops and officials in Afghanistan and Kuwait
- An Updated Analysis of the 2008 Presidential Candidates' Tax Plans: Updated September 12, 2008
- see Andrew Romano, "Was Obama Right to Opt Out of Public Financing?," Newsweek (Sept. 9, 2008) online
- Beneficiary Banks, New York Times. 2008-10-14.
- UBS fined $780 million in tax evasion scandal, Investment News, February 19, 2009.
- WND: Obama: Where have all his records gone?
- Who sent Obama? Why has he refused to release these basic documents? ObamaWTF.blogspot.com
- Hamas terrorists make 2008 U.S. presidential pick, WolrdNetDaily.com, April 14, 2008.
- Special Olympics chief responds to Obama gaffe, Stacy St Clair, Chicago Tribune, March 20, 2009]
- Obama's 95% Illusion Wall Steet Journal, October 13, 2008
- David M. Brown, Obama To Amend Report On $800,000 In Spending, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 8/22/08.
- Obama's silence on Imus alarms some blacks, Rick Klein and Joseph Williams, The Boston Globe, April 11, 2007.
- Obama's silence on Imus alarms some blacks, Rick Klein and Joseph Williams, The Boston Globe, April 11, 2007.
- Obama, Race, and The Election, Real Clear Politics.com
- , http://www.gopusa.com/news/2008/may/0514_nra_mccain.shtml, NRA chief stresses common ground with McCain, Associated Press, May 14, 2008
- Barack Obama and his slumlord patron, Tim Novak, Chicago Sun-Times, April 23, 2007.
- Rezko cash triple what Obama says, Chris Fusco and Tim Novak, Chicago Sun-Times, June 18, 2007.
- Obama's Aunt Living in US Illegally