Sunday, July 27, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
TF: During the past eight years we've seen the
Senator Obama: As I have said from the beginning it was a mistake to go into
We have to work with other nations instead of alienating them, we have common interests and we have to respect them and we have to learn how to work with other nations. We cannot be sloppy and cut corners. The Bush administration has been undermining the virtues of America that will I plan to lead America by.
TF: So you will stop the imprisonments?
Senator Obama: The Supreme Court has ruled that what the current administration is doing is illegal. It is a shameful chapter in American history when people are picked up in battle and imprisoned without access to legal representation. This has not happened before in American history. I intend to restore respect for the law and for human rights. That should always be the end-goal in all
TF: Senator Obama, the people of
Senator Obama: We must continue to remind the current administration that war is not the solution.
We must not be afraid of diplomacy, not just with
TF: Senator Obama, the issue of reparations will need to be addressed. As you know this is a key issue for America and a sensitive one. How do you plan to address the issue? America owes a great deal to the victims of slavery and what should be done?
Senator Obama: It is an important matter and it has been ignored for too long. American history is filled with tragic moments and it needs to be acknowledged. What has happened to African-Americans has shaped the nation we live in now and its not always good. I do feel the American should offer a gesture of remorse but also policies that make sure we do not repeat the mistakes of the past.
TF: Should America pay money to the victims of American policy?
Senator Obama: That is on the table. There should be some form of compensation and I hope to gather a panel to discuss it. We need a national discussion on it, some real soul searching. We can do something with tax reform and make sure that those who are at the bottom of the ladder get help from those on top. If you're making 200,000 or 400,000 dollars a year you can give something back to your community and not be affected. But you can affect other people's lives by helping them.
TF: Economic and social justice will clearly be a guiding principal of your administration. Can you speak a little about that?
Senator Obama: Yes, as you know the current regime as implemented policies, namely, tax-cuts for the wealthy while leaving the majority of the people struggling. I intend to see to it that the people have more equal access to wealth and they should not be denied basic services such as health care. The problem is that private companies and greed get between the people and their needs and rights and I would like to see government put an end to those barriers.
TF: You’re going to be leaving soon for a trip to the
Senator Obama: I want to send a message of hope and reassure people that
And like the American people they want change. They do not want to see another four years of what the Bush administration has been doing.
TF: No they don't. I know your time is valuable and before we end here I want to thank you again for inviting me onto your campaign. It is truly an honor to work for you.
Senator Obama: I appreciate your help and time. It never hurts to have a good teacher around.
TF: Speaking of which, my students – many of whom are actively campaigning for you now – were absolutely delighted when I told them that I would be an advisor to your campaign. During the past year you have been the most popular topic of discussion.
Senator Obama: Thank you for sharing that with me. That’s probably the best thing about this campaign, seeing the hope and excitement on the faces of our youth.
TF: What are your expectations between now and November?
Senator Obama: This is extraordinary interest of the American people in this election. There is a hunger for change in the country. And there's an understanding that we've got many decisions that have to be made. Not just on the war, but on health care, energy, education, choices that we can't put off any longer.
I think we’re in a pleasant surprise because the promise and hope for change is hard to resist.
TF: Senator Obama, thank you for your time.
Senator Obama: My pleasure.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
TF: Good morning, Senator Obama and thank you again for your time.
Senator Obama: You're welcome.
TF: We first met back in 1995 at the Million Man March in
Senator Obama: It is. The march was a formative moment for African-Africans everywhere and I think it reminded many of us that we did have the power to make a difference. Our lives didn't have to be guided by events and forces beyond our control. And here we are today.
TF: And the next year you were elected to the Illinois State Senate.
Senator Obama: Yes. I felt I had a responsibility to make a difference. I didn't just want to maintain an office but to improve lives. That's why I focused on legislation that would health
insurance for struggling people and worked to pass bills to increase funding for AIDS prevention and care programs.
TF: How important is Minister Farrakhan in your life today?Senator Obama: Very important. He's in Chicago so he can't be ignored. He's an important leader in the community, especially for African-Americans. I don't always agree with him but I respect him for his intelligence and he brings us a point a view that can be harsh at times, but he gets to the point and he's honest. Not many people could bring a million people together like he did.
TF: What has surprised you most about American politics during this race?
Senator Obama: That’s a hard question…there’s no one thing to specify because the American political world is so large and complex. I knew that going in but once you are actually part of it you discover it’s much bigger, more complex than you first expect. The key thing for me was these are just people we’re dealing with. As long as you keep that in mind you won’t forget that we’re here to serve the people. I'm more confident now that we really do need change.
TF: Senator Obama, I know your time is valuable and I would like to ask you about the current campaign. There's no question that you are the favorite to win in November. What concerns you most about this campaign as it will evolve in the coming months?
"I want to restore people's confidence in their government and not do anything to hurt their sense of hope".
Senator Obama: As President Roosevelt once said, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself and I think my opponents, not John McCain himself necessarily but the more Conservative elements in his party will try stir up fear to cloud the promise of change –
TF: They question your faith, allegiance –
Senator Obama: Yes. And these are mere distractions from the issues that matter to the people. It is silly that a flag pin would matter to anyone. It's just a flag, it doesn't really mean anything. I do not have to show that I love my country. What I have to do is make things better and get things done. People want change because the current administration has failed them. They want people to be scared of me when they're not. The Republicans are scared of me.
TF: We saw the devastation after Katrina. What will your administration do to tend to the needs of the victims and to make sure such a thing never happens again?
Senator Obama: We saw a complete failure on almost every level. People were not warned and people were not moved to safer locations. They were not given adequate shelter and care. We almost show a complete indifference to suffering from the federal government and I never want to see that again.
The reckless war in
TF: Do you feel a special destiny as the first American President of African heritage? For a long time many people have felt they have not been represented, their interests not respected and their voices denied. You represent a truly historic moment.
Senator Obama: It will be something. I can’t claim to know exactly what will happen but yes
Senator Obama: I want to restore people's confidence in their government and not do anything to hurt their sense of hope. That's very important to me because if I don't have the confidence of the American people and if they do not have hope we'll have a much more difficult time in getting things done.
As you know, we're in the process of selecting potential members of my administration and I'll be choosing a running mate to serve as vice president. Once that is done I want to start laying down a more specific agenda for 2009.
Part II of my interview with Senator Obama will be posted later
Monday, July 07, 2008
Each day that brings Barrack Obama closer to the American Presidency brings us closer to the matter of reparations. America owes
How much should
After the European powers concluded their First World War they made
Keep in mind that all of the territory that comprises the
It may take generations but I hope that a President Obama will start the process and will correct the wrongs of