After a long weekend of not feeling well and spotty internet service, as Indiana and North Carolina vote in the latest episode of this never-ending primary…
Here’s some quick highlights:
In his spare time in between campaigning, Mr. Obama is trying to broker a peace deal in the Niger Delta:
Rebels who have stepped up attacks on Nigeria’s oil industry in the last month said on Sunday they were considering a ceasefire appeal by U.S. presidential hopeful Barack Obama.
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has launched five attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta since it resumed a campaign of violence in April, forcing Royal Dutch Shell to shut more than 164,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd).
“The MEND command is seriously considering a temporary ceasefire appeal by Senator Barack Obama. Obama is someone we respect and hold in high esteem,” the militant group said in an e-mailed statement.
Andrew Sullivan has come around to the idea of an Obama-Clinton ticket:
The old political adage that you should keep your friends close but your enemies closer therefore seems appropriate. Clinton will not be running for president in 2012 if she is vice-president in 2009. The same could not be said if she were consigned back to the Senate to lick her wounds and plot her future…
There’s also a way for Obama to explain this choice in a way that does not violate — and in fact strengthens — his core message. His model in this should be Abraham Lincoln. What Lincoln did, as Doris Kearns Goodwin explained in her brilliant book, “Team Of Rivals,” was to bring his most bitter opponents into his cabinet in order to maintain national and party unity at a time of crisis. Obama — who is a green legislator from Illinois, just as Lincoln was — could signal to his own supporters in picking Clinton that he isn’t capitulating to old politics, he is demonstrating his capacity to reach out and engage and co-opt his rivals and opponents. Done deftly, picking Clinton could even resonate with Obama’s supporters as a statesmanlike gesture, a sign of the kind of reconciliation he wants to achieve at home and abroad and energize his own party for the fall. It is consonant with his core message: that he can unify the country in a way few other politicians can. It would even help heal the gulf that has opened up between the Clintons and black voters in this campaign. It’s win-win all round.
And the Empire Strikes Barack: