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In a late night rally in Kissimmee, Central Florida – a strategic area in the Sunshine State, in the so-called I-4 corridor, filled with still undecided voters – former President Bill Clinton, extremely popular in Florida, forcefully exposed the merits of Barack Obama as the best candidate for the Presidency. Obama returned the compliment, showering praise on the 42nd President and making the huge crowd dream of the golden years of the 1990s. Obama’s stump speech though does not take any chances, less than a week before the election. Obama equates McCain with Bush and does not get into details on how he will implement most of his promises.

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Why I support the REAL News
(a short message from a member)

PETER SHEPPARD, REAL NEWS MEMBER: There are no sponsors. The people who keep it going are those of us who watch it. It means taking a little money out of our pockets, but it’s a small price to pay, really.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: They talk about redistributing the wealth. They just presided over the biggest redistribution of wealth upward since the 1920s, and we all know how that ended.

Bill sells Barack
Pepe Escobar, Kissimmee, Florida

PEPE ESCOBAR, SENIOR ANALYST, TRNN: The election is only a few days away. You’re leading. All the polls are saying that you’re leading, or it may be too close to call, or you haven’t convinced all the independents that you needed to convince. So what are you going to do? You call the fixer.

CLINTON: The four things that really matter in a president are, number one, the philosophy; number two, the policies; number three, the ability to make a decision; and number four, the ability to execute that decision and make changes in people’s lives. Has there ever been a campaign that involved so many people, that made so much use of the Internet, that thought about how to solve problems, that gave people so much opportunity to give their money, to give their time, to express their opinions, to do things? He has executed this campaign in a way that is different from modern and forward thinking, something no one else ever could have done. He can be the chief executor of good intentions as president. —you ought to vote for Barack Obama. He’s got the best philosophy, he’s got the best positions, he definitely has the decision-making ability, and he is a great executor.

ESCOBAR: The executor’s now turning the heavy artillery towards John McCain, who’s saying that government-inspired redistribution of wealth is Marxist. Obama responds: he wants to undo the Bush damage to the Clinton years.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Lately they’ve been calling me a socialist, and they found evidence that when I was in kindergarten I used to share my toys, and when I was in fourth grade I split my peanut butter sandwich and gave it to my friend, and they said, “Look—he’s a redistributionist.” My Bible tells me that, you know, there’s nothing wrong with looking out for other people, that we want to treat others the way we want to be treated, that I am my brother’s keeper and I am my sister’s keeper.

ESCOBAR: Obama’s not taking any chances, but he’s keeping dreams alive. In an economy ravaged by casino capitalism, he dreams of being a new Clinton.

OBAMA: Quick show of hands: how many people make less than a quarter of a million dollars a year? Raise your hand. That seems to be the majority. For small businesses, we’re going to lower taxes. On small businesses, we’re going to eliminate capital gains taxes for startups that are creating the jobs of the future. And, by the way, 98 percent of small businesses make less than a quarter of a million dollars a year, and 99.9 percent of plumbers make less than a quarter of a million dollars a year. I will end this war in Iraq responsibly.

ESCOBAR: Could “responsibly” mean the US keeping military bases in Iraq? And, for that matter, will the surge in Afghanistan turn into a war on Pakistan?

OBAMA: Go after Osama bin Laden and those who killed 3,000 Americans.

ESCOBAR: Bill Clinton making the sale is one thing; Barack Obama appealing to America’s better angels in America’s nature, and changing the country, and changing the world as he promised at the end of his speech, it’s a completely different story.


Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.

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Pepe Escobar, born in Brazil is the roving correspondent for Asia Times and an analyst for The Real News Network. He's been a foreign correspondent since 1985, based in London, Milan, Los Angeles, Paris, Singapore, and Bangkok. Since the late 1990s, he has specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central Asia, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has made frequent visits to Iran and is the author of Globalistan and also Red Zone Blues: A Snapshot of Baghdad During the Surge both published by Nimble Books in 2007.