*Taken from the Daily Mail.
This is the astonishing moment a book was apparently hurled at the head of President Barack Obama during a campaign rally in Philadelphia.
The flying missile narrowly missed hitting the President yesterday.
It is not clear what the book was, where it came from in the crowd, or why it was thrown at Mr Obama – who did not appear to notice the danger.
But it is expected that there will be fallout from the security breach as the Secret Service investigates how close the President came to danger.
The rally was clearly an eventful one – other images showed a naked man being led away in handcuffs by police.
It is not clear if the man was involved in the book-throwing incident – or why he was not wearing any clothes.
The bizarre incident recalled the moment in 2008 when an angry Iraqi journalist hurled a shoe at then-U.S. President George Bush during a press conference in Baghdad.
The surprisingly nimble Mr Bush ducked the shoe – and the moment became immortalised with online parodies and internet video games.
But the incident was also marked with controversy as U.S. media questioned why the Secret Service – whose members are supposed to be willing to take a bullet for the President – were not close enough to Mr Bush to deflect the attack.
It is expected that the same questions will be asked about yesterday’s incident.
It came as Mr Obama tried to rally voters in Phildelphia to use to three weeks left before congressional elections to go to the polls.
The president relied on an oft-used speech as he addressed the crowd in the city’s Germantown community with the driving cadences that swept him into the White House two years ago.
He and the Democratic party know, however, that this year finds Democrats imperiled because of what has become known as the ‘enthusiasm gap’, with party voters expected to stay away from the polls.
That could be disastrous in a nationwide vote that was widely believed to hand the majority in the House of Representatives and, perhaps, the Senate to Republicans.
There are ample reasons for Republican optimism. Poll after poll shows deep voter discontent and even anger at Mr Obama’s and congressional Democrats’ leadership. Mr Obama and his fellow Democrats are being blamed for the slow economic recovery and continuing high unemployment.
On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics – in the last major economic news before the November elections – delivered another painful blow to Democrats: The U.S. lost 95,000 jobs in September and unemployment remained stubbornly stuck at 9.6 per cent.
In another complication for Democrats, the government is expected to announce this week that more than 58 million Social Security recipients will go through another year without a cost-of-living increase in their monthly benefits.
It would mark only the second year without an increase since automatic adjustments for inflation were adopted in 1975. The first year was this year.
‘I think the pundits are wrong. I think we’re going to win. But you’ve got to prove them wrong,’ Mr Obama said, jabbing his finger toward the audience.
‘They’re counting on you staying home. If that happens they win.’
Vice President Joe Biden joined Obama at the rally.
It was the second of four large rallies designed to recapture some of the big-stage excitement that Mr Obama created in 2008 with stirring speeches to thousands of young and first-time voters.
The President spoke to more than 17,000 people last week in Madison, Wisconsin, where many more thousands watched on screens in an overflow area.
Democrats are desperate to fire up their base and win back independent voters against the likelihood that Republicans will grab the majority on November 2 and create a more hostile Congress that could cripple Mr Obama’s efforts to implement his agenda in the last two years of his term.
The President sometimes sounds wistful when noting the differences between this year and 2008, an he remarked again on Sunday about the extraordinary political high that he and his supporters felt after his victory.
First Lady Michelle Obama recently told Democratic supporters that the big-stadium events of 2008 were ‘very exciting, and people should know that those rallies invigorate Barack as well’.
‘It’s time for us to re-engage that energy,’ said the First Lady, who plans to campaign with her husband later this month.
Republicans need to pick up 40 seats to win power in the House and would need to gain 10 seats in the Senate to take control from the Democrats.
Governing parties typically lose seats in U.S. midterm elections, which take place in the middle of a president’s four-year term. But polls indicate that Democratic losses are likely to be particularly severe.
*Taken from Yahoo News.
PHILADEPHIA – President Barack Obama tried to recapture some of the big-stage excitement of his 2008 campaign Sunday, imploring voters not to reward what he called Republican cynicism and incompetence by sitting out the Nov. 2 elections.
The president delivered one of his most stinging indictments yet of the GOP record to several thousand people under blue skies in Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood.
Obama acknowledged that many Americans are frustrated, especially about the economy. He said Republicans have decided “to ride that frustration and anger” without providing solutions. And he said congressional Republicans deliberately opposed his administration and the Democratic majority on almost every issue, in hopes that stalemate would depress Democratic turnout in the midterm elections.
“If I said there were fish in the sea, they said ‘no,’” the president said. “They figured ‘if Obama fails, then we win.’”
Reminding voters of their enthusiasm for his presidential campaign, the president said, “we need you as fired up as you were in 2008.”
Obama’s 28-minute speech was the second of four planned large rallies designed to spur Democratic turnout to dampen what many expect to be big GOP victories in House,Senate and gubernatorial elections.
Sunday’s event, before a mostly black audience, was somewhat smaller and less ebullient than last week’s rally on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison. Still, organizers said more than 18,000 people turned out, including those in overflow lots who listened on speakers.
Obama repeated many of his familiar themes, such as the claim that Republicans drove the economy into a ditch before he took office, and then they refused to help Democrats extract it.
But he dwelt on the topic at some length. “The Republicans messed up so bad, left such a big mess,” he said. “The hole we’re climbing out of is so deep.”
Obama said about 8 million Americans had lost jobs before his economic policies could start taking effect. “It’s going to take us a while to get out of this hole,” he said.
Republicans want to increase the debt to continue a major tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, he said, yet they “lecture us on fiscal responsibility.”
Vice President Joe Biden, who was born in Scranton, Pa., introduced Obama with a three-minute speech. Democratic Senate nominee Joe Sestak also spoke briefly.
It’s unclear whether the president can stir up enough Democratic passion to avert a GOPtakeover of the House, which would require a net pickup of 40 seats.
Democrats confront not only listless voters who feel this year’s elections are not nearly as exciting and meaningful as his record-breaking election was. They also must cope with liberals who feel Obama and congressional Democrats have let them down.
John Duda, 46, a Veterans Administration physician who attended Sunday’s rally, said he thinks liberals are somewhat disenchanted that Obama had to make compromises on major issues such as energy and health care. Duda said he saw no reason for dropping a government-run health insurance option that would compete with private insurers.
“We’re probably better off,” Duda said, “but there wasn’t this sea-change” that people had expected from anObama presidency.
*Taken from the Weekly Standard.
If billionaire Alki David is an honest man, the man who streaked in front of Barack Obama at the president’s rally today in Philadelphia will be paid $1 million for his stunt. The man who performed today’s stunt, which captured the attention of the Drudge Report and an Associated Press photographer, is 24-year-old Juan James Rodriguez, THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned.
David is a billionaire shipping and bottling magnate who is known to carry out stunts, mainly by paying others to perform them. As theThe Sun reported on August 17: “A WACKY billionaire has offered $1million (£638,700) to the first person who streaks in front of US President Barack Obama. Loaded Alki David has promised to pay out the cash — providing the streaker writes the name of his website ‘Battlecam’ across their chest.”
“When I see the video and it’s confirmed…it won’t be check [that he sends], it will be cash,” David, reached by phone tonight, told THE WEEKLY STANDARD.
The requirements of the streaking stunt, David told me, are that the streaker must have been within “eye-shot and ear shot of the president, they have to scream the name ‘battlecam.com’ six times, and they have to be nude.”
Two men involved in the stunt, Glen Zolar and Joey “Boots” Bassolino, assured THE WEEKLY STANDARD that Rodriguez met the requirements.
Zolar, who spoke with me on the phone earlier tonight, is a moderator on battlecam.com. Zolar was cruising the website when Rodriguez contacted him and asked whether he’d be able to facilitate this stunt. Seeking personal gain – primarily, monetary gain – Zolar agreed.
When asked how much he would get paid from Rodriguez’s payout, Zolar said, “I’d rather not disclose the figure, but it would definitely be more than $5,000 … and less than $25,000.”
Zolar says he has done freelance producing for the Howard Stern Show. Bassolino is a frequent guest on the show, which is well-known for conducting stunts just like the one carried out today in Philadelphia. Zolar asked Bassolino to film the stunt this evening. The two say it has been recorded but has not yet been broadcast on the website. No payment has yet been made, and though it has not yet been given David’s approval, it appears Rodriguez met all of David’s requirements.
“I am on the record as saying that it needed to be done in a place where it’s legal to be nude,” David said. But “it’s a suggestion, not a rule.”
In that case, the requirements appear to have been met. Here’s a photo of Rodriguez performing his stunt:
The battlecam.com website carries live-streaming videos from people around the world. Other viewers vote upon the videos, and successful video-streamers are given priority, while unpopular video-streamers are banned.
Rodriguez, I learned from his associates, is not available for comment. He is currently still being held by authorities in Philadelphia.
“Won’t this go down in the history books?” Zolar asked me. “As what?” I wondered. “As the first person to streak Obama.” Maybe it will.
Boots and Zolar say the stunt wasn’t done to protest the president. In fact, both say they voted for Obama in the 2008 election.