CHICAGO Gov. Rod Blagojevich backs Illinois’ Barack Obama, but he said Thursday that it is a mistake for fellow Democrats to discount GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s experience as Alaska governor.
CHICAGO Gov. Rod Blagojevich backs Illinois’ Barack Obama, but he said Thursday that it is a mistake for fellow Democrats to discount GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s experience as Alaska governor. The executive job of governor is like the presidency because the officeholder has to make decisions, Blagojevich said. Lawmakers do different things like "debate and…pass their bills back and forth," he said. Obama, the Democratic nominee for president, was a state senator before being elected to the U.S. Senate from Illinois. "But governors make decisions, and I think it’s a tactical mistake for the Democrats to question Gov. Palin’s experience when she’s been a governor of a state," Blagojevich said on WGN-AM’s "Spike O’Dell Show." Palin has also been the mayor of a small town in Alaska. Her running mate, Republican presidential nominee John McCain, has never served as a governor. He has spent two decades as a U.S. Senator. Obama’s campaign did not comment on Blagojevich’s statements. But during a recent interview with MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, Obama ducked when asked whether he believed Palin had enough experience to be president. "I’ll let Gov. Palin answer that," Obama said with a smile. "I’m sure she’ll be appearing on your show." Blagojevich said to help Obama win, Democrats should focus on why President Bush’s policies need to change. "I’m for Obama, and I think Barack Obama is gonna do great things for America, and he’s gonna change things," Blagojevich said. AP ______ Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech
President Barack Obama makes his final farewell speech in his hometown of Chicago. Arriving at O'hare airport on Airforce One Tuesday, early evening was First Lady Michelle Obama, daughter Malia and Vice President Joe Biden along with wife, Jill Biden.
Making a final journey as the 44th President of the United States, expressways and local South Side streets were cleared as traffic stood at a complete when the 20-vehicle caravan made its way to Valois Restaurant in Hyde Park. There, President Obama conducted a one-on-one interview with NBC anchorman, Lester Holt before proceeding to give his farewell speech at McCormick Place.
Nearly 20,000 attendees packed the nearly standing-room only space in the East wing of the McCormick Place as VIP attendees sat upfront to hang onto the President's every word. There were various groups that traveled from far and near to be a part of history including celebrity sightings from Sharon Stone to Empire's Jussie Smollett--local and state dignitaries. Opening up the ceremony was a special performance by Hip hop/R&B singer, BJ the Chicago Kid showcasing belting out the national anthem is a smart blue suit.
Once President Obama hit the stage, the electric energy of emotions ran throughout the audience. At times, the crowd's applause was so loud that it impossible to hear him but there were moments that silence rippled throughout the venue--knowing this would be his last time addressing his hometown as Chief of Staff.
In his signature style of class, poise and honor--he addressed the various strides that he and his administration has made over the last eight years in protecting America's democracy. His emotions got the best of him when he addressed his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama and daughter Malia who sat in the front row along with Vice President Joe Biden, wife Jill and his mother-in-law--Marian Shields Robinson.
<p class="p1"><span class="s1">“Malia and Sasha, under the strangest of circumstances, you have become two amazing young women, smart and beautiful, but more importantly, kind and thoughtful and full of passion. You wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily. Of all that I’ve done in my life, I’m most proud to be your dad.”</span></p>
<p class="p1">After the speech, the Obama family took time out to walk along the barricades, greeting and shaking hands with supporters and friends. The scene was definitely historic and we knew it was the end of an era of class that will not be duplicated in the White House for a very long time.</p>
<p class="p1"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/globalmixx">Follow Mary L. Datcher on Twitter</a></p>
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