Live Bloggin’ at P+P on the Final Presidential Debate

Check out Pop + Politics site. Yours truly was live bloggin’ about the final presidential debate. The staff and readers were able to comment on the candidates, the issues, and just joke on the whole thing. What fun!

-The Caramel Bella




Reality TV Star, Omarosa, talks presidential politics with the Caramel Bella

She’s no Sarah Palin, but in the reality television world Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth can also be described as tough, dogged and a fearsome competitor. I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Omarosa, who first appeared on Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice” show. Some of you may remember her from season one, in which many viewers felt she stabbed fellow African-American competitor, Kwame Jackson, in the back during the final round. Omarosa, who has appeared on two seasons of “The Apprentice,” VH1’s “Surreal Life” and on “I Love New York” was very clear with me about the three most important issues to consider in this presidential election. Let’s listen to her dish.

Interview: Brooke-Sidney Gavins
Multimedia Producer: Sharifa Johka
Video editing: Brooke-Sidney Gavins




Caramel Bella @ The DNC: Are Hillary Dems Just Misunderstood?

After a chance encounter with Cory F. Heitmeier, a district-level Louisiana delegate, at the Convention Center recently, I asked the following question: Do we really understand Hillary Rodham Clinton Democrats and their position on Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy?

Since Barack Obama became the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, the media has done a good job of painting Hillary Democrats as bitter, middle-aged women. Well, Mr. Heitmeier was neither bitter, middle-aged nor a woman. In fact, he was a die-hard Hillary supporter, but also optimistic and excited about Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy.

“I do believe on Thursday the outdoor auditorium will be full to capacity,” said Heitmeier. “It will be a historic event that we are going to see a black man accept the nomination of my party. So, how could I not be proud to be an American and to be a Democrat?”

There is also big talk by some political analysts that scorned Hillary democrats are going to vote for McCain. Not only was Heitmeier completely against the idea of voting for McCain but any Republican.

“I am a yellow-dog democrat,” he said. “I will vote for a yellow dog before I ever vote for a republican. So it doesn’t matter who the nominee is at the end of the day. I will support Sen. Obama 100 percent because anything is better than four more years of failed Bush policy.”

He further added that voting for McCain just seemed like a crazy thing to do.

As a Hillary pledged delegate, Heitmeier is committed to vote for Clinton at the DNC. Therefore during role call, he will cast his vote for Senator Clinton. However, when it is time to vote during the November 2008 presidential election, he said, “I will proudly vote for Barack Obama.”

And in terms of Democrat party disunity, Heitmeier disagreed.

“The best thing for the Democrat party was George W. Bush,” said the Louisiana delegate. “We couldn’t have asked for a better person to unify our party.”

Heitmeier said he could understand why the youth is so connected to Obama because he spoke to their younger generation.

“Hillary Clinton was my Obama from a previous generation. She could relate to the people of Louisiana and the youth of earlier generations,” he said.

So, perhaps not all Hillary Democrats are women, planning to vote for McCain, upset about Obama, and creating party disunity.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it all you 24 hour newscycle peeps.

(Also posted at PopandPolitics.com)




Caramel Bella @ DNC: Michelle Obama’s Speech “Just like Mom”

Last night I attended the opening night of the Democratic National Convention and heard Michelle Obama speak. And I caught myself feeling as though I was listening to someone’s sister or mother, or even my own.

Although Mrs. Obama’s speech was written to garner political support for her husband’s presidential candidacy, I believe her speech last night was devised for a greater goal. Michelle Obama’s words were part of the campaign’s strategy to soften and re-make her image and the importance of family.

The criticism of Mrs. Obama seemed to begin after her comments at a Milwaukee, Wisconsin campaign stop in February, in which she said:

“For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. And I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction.”

Although Mrs. Obama contends that her words were taking out of context, and that she has always been proud of her country, her critics call her unpatriotic. Mrs. Obama has also been caricaturized as the “Angry Black Woman” and rumors have circulated that she calls people “whiteys.”

A New York Times article quoted Michelle Obama as saying that her calling anyone “whitey” couldn’t be further from the truth.

“You are amazed sometimes at how deep the lies can be,” she says in an interview. Referring to a character in a 1970s sitcom, she adds: “I mean, ‘whitey’? That’s something that George Jefferson would say. Anyone who says that doesn’t know me. They don’t know the life I’ve lived. They don’t know anything about me.”

So, it wasn’t surprising to me that Mrs. Obama’s speech on the first night of the Democratic National Convention would seek to discredit these rumors and alleged misunderstandings of her. Mrs. Obama wants the world to understand the real Michelle Obama: a mother, a wife, and a daughter. She wants us to feel as though she is one of us, and that family is most important.

In her speech, Michelle Obama says: “I come here tonight as a sister blessed with a brother who is my mentor, my protector and lifelong friend. I come here as a wife who loves my husband and believes he will be an extraordinary husband. I come here as a mom whose girls are the heart of my heart and the center.”

To further drive the importance of family home, Mrs. Obama was introduced by her brother, Craig, and began her speech with several mentions to her relationship with her father, who she can feel looking down on her.

In addition to trying to soften her image, Mrs. Obama sought to paint a picture of herself and Obama as two kids from working class families, who have overcome obstacles to achieve the American dream. Mrs. Obama firmly believes that through hard work and faith, anything is possible.

Michelle Obama speech was used to tell the American people that the Obama family is just like yours. We have “common values and a common purpose” – a new theme now used by the Obama campaign. Their values include “your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them and even if you don’t agree with them.”

And I believe Mrs. Obama’s DNC speech sought to dispel the July 21, 2008 cover of The New Yorker magazine, which depicted Mrs. Obama as an angry, militant black woman, and Obama as a Muslim terrorist.

I think Mrs. Obama hoped that Americans watching and listening to her speech could maybe, just maybe, close their eyes and simply hear the words of a mother, a sister or wife of someone they knew.




Caramel Bella @The DNC: Celeb sightings at African American Leadership Celebration

Well, after landing safely in Denver, I headed straight to the Democratic National Convention events with multimedia producer, Sharifa Johka. Our first stop was Mezcal restaurant for the African American Leadership celebration sponsored by The Creative Coalition, The National Black of State Legislators and Eli Lilly. The event featured several celebrities such as Spike Lee, the event’s honoree, Tonya Lewis Lee (Spike Lee’s wife), Lynn Whitfield, Alfre Woodard, Judge Mathis, Omarosa, the Rza of WuTang, Bob Johnson, the founder of BET and Charlotte Bobcats owner. The beautiful actress Kerry Washington and handsome Matthew Modine were also in attendance. Their goal was to raise awareness of the arts and support Barack Obama’s campaign to become president.

During the evening, I had the pleasure of interviewing Bob Johnson, the Rza, Omarosa, Bob Johnson and Matthew Modine. I also caught up with some young reporters from the Children’s Press Line. Check out my pictures below.

Kerry Washington & Brooke-Sidney Gavins

Actress Kerry Washington & Brooke-Sidney Gavins

Sharifa & Kerry Washington

Sharifa Johka & Actress Kerry Washington

Sharifa & the Rza

Sharifa Johka & the Rza of WuTang

Matthew Modine

Actor Matthew Modine




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  • profileCARAMEL BELLA: This is my place to write about my adventures and mis-adventures in this thing called life. I discuss my passions: the environment, politics, art & culture, writing as well as yoga, health and spirituality. The one thing you can expect from this blog is that it is not what you expected. Thanks for reading! To reach me email thecaramelbella at gmail.

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