Barack Obama speaks to UNITY Journalists of Color Convention [RAW NOTES]

This is a reporter's notebook in the real sense-- raw notes, to be turned into an article next time I have Internet.

 

[Basic impressions:  I wish Chicago community had been invited in-- tacked on after most people had booked flights, the room was not full and less interested.  I was disturbed he felt the need to emphasize the re-invade Afghanistan idea into a full-fledged platform plank it seemed.  And very impressed that he talked essentially about universal policies with a disproportionate racial impact, in sociological terms, and doing what is right for everyone to make up for the blatant screwing of some groups, in layman's terms (he put it better) -- but why can't he bring that up, without prompting, at an event like this?  To be fair it was all interview / Q&A format. ]

 

NABJ

NAJA

AAJA

NAHA

 

 

First appearance in U.S. after overseas trip

 

repeated invitations to McCain but unable to attend due to scheduling c

 

'not express your political views'

 

 

not enough sleep

 

camera shot from behind

 

 

highlights from the trip

 

Our troops are doing extraordinary work

 

[Fia points out: wearing his flag pin]

 

violence is down in Iraq

work of our troops has 

Al Quaeda marginalized in Sunni areas

Shia militias have stood down

setting timeline

 

in Afghanistan though things are worsening

nine killed in [attack on US base?]

combination of drug trafficking

 

need more troops in Afghanistan

need more cooperation from Pakistan 

 

world [is waiting for]

sustained American engagement

 

 

[Just like Ted Rall says, he speaks very slowly off-the-cuff]

 

lack of energy [security] here at home and [uncoordinated policy at home]

 

Need more effective partnerships with our allies and others overseas

and they are ready for it

 

while I was travelling

I am glad we have finally passed the housing bill

and 

 

floor 

 

[my impression is that it's largely a bailout of the big banks?]

 

Economy has worsened enough that we need a

 

call my economic team togother, Buffut, Rubin

 

and structural problems

 

they came to greet me at the airport

which never happens

usually I have to beg to

 

3 1/2 years ago were 

 

 

 

 

8 days overseas doesn't make anyone a foreign policy expert

 

uh

if you ask the people I talked with they think I am 

 

make certain we project ourselves on teh world stage with a sense of humility, a sense we are listening to others

 

 

is there an are that's a priority for you?

We have to get Afghanistan right

training camps just inside Pakistan border

those folks are in a position to plot how to kill Americans

 

get entire world united

 

big carrots and big sticks to present to the Iranians

we cannot afford a nuclear arms race in the Middle East

 

danger of nuclear proliferation including to non-state actors

 

 

During the election you criticized 

 

commander in chief has to be willing to acknowledge errors in judgement

 

i have not heard anyone ask John McCain if he thinks his 

 

what are the strategic 

 

I strongly believe the

 

distracted us from finishing the job in Afghanistan

 

I do believe that putting more troops in there helped to 

 

I continue to believe that the only way to stabilize the situation in Iraq

 

any time you put 20-30,000 U.S. troops anywhere in the world, they will 

 

the question is whether that military action alone will be enough

 

if there was still a civil war, military solutions would not have been sufficient

 

job our troops did great work

and terrific tactical work by General Petraus and 

 

 

timeline for redeployment

I think my timeline is still realistic

 

 

We can't keep spending $10B a month in Iraq

 

including taking care of veterants

 

 

WQ: the audacity - president of the world

 

I basically met with the same folks John McCain did 

 

[applause]

 

that's part of the job I'm applying for

 

[laughter]

 

I admit we did it really well

 

[applause]

 

I don't know the political effect of this

people are worried about gas prices, job security, their retirement fund as the stock market goes down

 

I don't think a week oversees translates into higher poll numbers in the United States

 

but as far as me being an effective president, [important] established relationships and level of trust

 

 

 

questions from journalists

 

Ryan Boll (?), 

Australian minister apologized for 

[applause, but held a bit because 

 

Personally I want to see the tragic elements of our history acknowledged 

 

Native Americans

as well as other persons of 

 

sad and difficult things to account for

 

what an official apology would look like and how it would be shaped

 

 

as sovereign nations they have a whole host of other issues

 

said to tribal leaders, i want to set up an annual meeting

 

I've consistently believed that 

 

reparations

 

 

 

 

that I think is the best strategy

 

dealing with the legacy of discrimination is going to cost billions of dollars

 

we aren't going to have that kind of resource allocation

 

how do we get every child to learn

health care

job

senior 

 

if everyone has health care, that disproportionately

 

every child able to go 

 

often times our children who cannot afford to go to college

 

 

chairwoman -  Immigration - almost as many % as historic high a century ago

should we have more or less, and where should people come from?

 

 

We are a nation 

 

Europeans have the opposite problem-- because they don't have a history of assimilating 

 

people want to come, that's all good

 

the problem is when we have the legal immigration system running in parallel with illegal immigration system

 

cracking down on 

 

serious border security

 

pathway to citizenship to those here, put down works

pay fine, learn English, go to the back of the line -- 

 

legal system with a realistic approach

10 year waiting lists for family reunification pushes people to illegal

 

where are various immigrants coming from?

 

underrepresented - much harder for Asians

 

we keep on jacking up the cost of immigration, and that skews it so it is harder for ambitious

 

and makes it much easier for Mick Jagger to immigrate

and i'm not sure that's the kind of system

 

[Junior ] 

do you feel you have gone too far 

answering these questions without challenging the inherent

 

 

this is a classic example of a no-win situation

 

I have

 

[me: say them again]

 

I just don't like the idea of someone falsely identifying my religion

if you are Muslim and someone falsely identified you as a Christian you would want it corrected

 

I think your 

 

I talked about discrimination against Arab Americans in 2004

 

[actually, Bush did-- the one decent thing I recall]

 

I would like to be treated as other candidates 

in terms of my record, I have been at the forefront of fights against

 

QM: No win follow-up.  Do you think you could have come this far if you were a Muslim?

 

Americans more open-minded and tolerant than pundits give them credit for?  I think if p

 

"I think I will have their support" 

 

[I?  question was for a Muslim]

 

QA:  Affirmative action

Ward Connelly

 

if the U.S.

 

Look:  I am a strong supporter of affirmative action when appropriately structured.

 

Not just a quota-- taking into account hardships and difficulties

and speaks to the value of diversity

 

I've also said that affirmative action is not going to be the long-term solution to the problem of race in America

 

if you have 50% of African American

[where is it that high?]

 

Affirmative action has been [used] as a short cut

and make sure some of our children who are advantaged are not put ahead of a white kid who has struggled more

 

a university should be able to take into account race, but also class and hardship

 

I am disappointed that John McCain flipped 

in the past he had opposed as divisive

and he is right

designed to drive a wedge between people

one of our greatest strengths is we come from so many different places yet they are still Americans

 

Iraquis and Afghans impressed with our military

 

main commanding officer now in Iraq is an African American

 

we should not either lose that or see that as a source of division

source of pride

and affirmative action can be part of that

 

 

are you 'black enough'?

 

now I'm too black

 

[applause]

 

It does point--  there is this sense of going back and forth

work as hard as we can around 

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