Take Another Look - political analyst Jamal Simmons

Jamal Simmons, is the president of New Future Communications. He is an experienced media consultant of and one of the new and diverse voices of political analysis on CNN. At the age of 37, his list of accomplishments reads as one of a man twice his age.

He has handled media issues on five continents for the U.S. government, political organizations, non-profits and corporations. He has worked as a senior aide to several Democratic political candidates serving as traveling press secretary to 2004 presidential candidates Sen. Bob Graham and Retired Gen. Wesley Clark. During the 2000 presidential campaign, Mr. Simmons managed media relations in 40 states for Al Gore before spending four weeks in West Palm Beach as a Gore spokesman during the Florida recount effort.

Prior to that, he served as chief of staff to U.S. Congresswoman and current Congressional Black Caucus Chair Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI) and as a political appointee in the Clinton Administration under U.S. Trade Representative and Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor. Mr. Simmons got his start in politics and communications by managing logistics for dozens of national reporters while traveling with President Bill Clinton during his successful 1992 presidential campaign.

With confetti at our feet, and the smoke and smell of gunpowder from fireworks still in the air, I talked with Jamal about a variety of topics immediately following Sen. Barack Obama’s historic acceptance speech on Aug. 28, 2008 at INVESCO Field in Denver.

Regarding Sen. Obama’s speech Jamal said, “It was a beautiful speech, there were beautiful images here and what people saw today is somebody who wants to lead America in a new direction, to make sure that we defend ourselves against our enemies and that we talk very directly to people whether we agree with them or not. We saw somebody who wants to have health care and education,” said Mr. Simmons.

“In America people have realized for awhile that we’ve got real big issues that we have to face. They want a president that is going to focus on those big issues and stop being so consumed with all the petty politics going on. If that wasn’t the case, we would never have had a Barack Obama to even get to this point to be the nominee. People are so ready to deal with the big issues, they are willing to look past their own personal issues and invest in someone who is new on the scene that they think is going to take the country in the direction that it needs to go.”

Addressing the apparent changing of the guard within the Black community as it relates to Black leadership, he was forthright with his answer.

“I think we are at a position in Black America where we want to make sure we have leaders who are actually going to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. You’re seeing that all over the country with the kind of solid leadership that is being produced. It may not make a lot of people happy in some of the older generations” he said.

Jamal believes that it is an oversimplification to say that Sen. Barack Obama’s overwhelming support from Blacks is simply because he is Black.

“People say African Americans are voting for Barack Obama because he is Black, but that’s not necessarily the case, because you can see we’ve had other Black candidates and people didn’t rally around them the same way. People are voting for Barack Obama because they think he is capable and competent and he is going to lead the country in another direction.”

As a political analyst, who is often younger than his colleagues in “The Situation Room” on CNN, Jamal says he tries to keep his analysis very simple so that everyone listening and viewing can understand.

“My objective is to make sure that whatever I say is kept plain and is kept to the point where people can understand the point that I am trying to make. I think a lot of times, people are trying to make politics more complicated than it really is. Politics is really very simple. People just want to know "Can I trust you when you’re sitting in that room by yourself when nobody is looking?" and "can I trust you to look out for me and my family?’" Everything else other than that is really just rhetoric.”

(For more information about Jamal Simmons, go to www.jamalsimmons.com)

Take Another Look - actress and singer Tatyana Ali

I spoke with the beautiful actress, singer and Obama supporter Tatyana Ali at INVESCO Field on Aug.28 at Sen. Barack Obama's speech. She said she plans to vote she is confident that many young people will turn out for the Nov. 4th 2008 election. Tatyana has been traveling the country on behalf of the Obama campaign to college campuses encouraging voter registration.

“I think young people have showed up in great numbers during the primary and I think they are going to do it again because the issues that are really important in this election are really important to young people like bringing our friends and loved ones back home from Iraq and taking care of them once they are back, like education and making sure it is affordable, health care, and the environment,” she said.
When asked if America was ready to Sen. Obama as president, Tatyana said, "I think America is ready to elect a brilliant president, a president who actually understands what change really means. It comes from the bottom up and it takes people to be inspired. I think America does not want any more of what we've experienced with George W. Bush."

Tatyana Ali is very well spoken, very dignified, and has an excellent mind.

That little girl who played Ashley on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" is 29-years old now!

(For more information about Tatyana Ali, visit http://www.tatyanaalionline.com/)


Some images from INVESCO

Jeff Johnson interviews Farnsworth Bentley at INVESCO Field.

Michelle O. talks to reporters before her husband's acceptance speech.

The energy is crazy at INVESCO Field!

Invesco Field is jumping!

Things are happening so fast, its hard to keep up.
Here is Michelle Obama after an interview with ABC at about 3P. The people love her. Whenever she is seen loud cheers are heard from the crowd. Video is about 20 seconds.


Denver police get a chance to use their weapons

I just got word that there was a major riot outside of the Pepsi Center while we were in here.
The police got a chance to use their sophisticated weaponry tonight. Check out this video shot on August 26 in Denver, CO. Basically the police gave a complete rundown of their advanced weaponry and body armor.

The militarization of police departments across the entire nation is almost complete.
This is a must see video, and you should send it to others. I want to hear your thoughts.

It's Official! Obama for President!

Just a few minutes ago, I watched history being made.

Sen. Hillary Clinton actually delivered the delegates from the State of New York which put him over the top by saying "Barack Obama is our candidate and he will be our president!"

And she did not proceed with the threatened and possibly divisive roll call.

Sen. Barack Obama is now officially the Democratic nominee for the presidency of the United States of America.

This is something that has never been seen before. It is something that may and may never see again.

Just to update you on a few of the recent happenings here in Denver, earlier this morning, The Black Caucus held a meeting at the Colorado Convention Center which featured brief comments by the lady that everyone is talking about - Michelle Obama.

Copies of the September 2008 Ebony Magazine featuring her image and her story on the front cover were distributed, as well as the new report by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies titled "Blacks & The 2008 Democratic National Convention."

Just two hours ago, Sen. Hillary Clinton in a message to several hundred of her delegates at the Colorado Convention Center's Korbel Ballroom, she released her delegates. When she said she was releasing them, the crowd shouted "No!" She said that she'd cast her vote for Barack Obama.
By the way, the funniest t-shirt I have seen (and it seems like there are thousands) said "Barack in the Day" and has this real old picture of Barack Obama with a teeny afro.

Not what she had in mind…but

She wasn’t speaking on the day she had in mind because that day would have been August 28, however, clearly, in the prime time spot, Barack Obama’s vanquished Democratic primary opponent Hillary Clinton spoke to the close to 20,000 inside of the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO.

As I sat in the press area in the arena. Tonight, I was sitting next to a colleague covering the convention from a news agency in Japan. Blue Obama signs and White Hillary signs waved as we watched a 5 minute video on the Diamond Vision screen of the arena detailing her aspects of her life and presidential campaign, she walked in after a very brief interdiction by her daughter, Chelsea. After a 7 minute standing ovation by the crowd chanting “Hillary! Hillary!” She graciously announced her support for Sen. Barack Obama.

“No way. No how. No McCain,” she said as the crowd wildly cheered. “Barack Obama is my candidate, and he must be our president,” she added.
No silent protests, no boos or insults, the invocation of the spirit of Harriet Tubman and even kind words from Hillary about Michelle. At least outwardly and at least for the moment—it appears as if within the Democratic Party unity has been established.


CBS 4 Denver reports an alleged plot to assasinate Obama

Three men have been arrested by Denver police related to a possible plot to assassinate Sen. Barack Obama at his acceptance speech at Invesco Field on Thursday, Aug.28.

According to CBS4 Denver, and law enforcement officials, the potential plot began to unravel when on Sunday, Aug.24, police arrested 28 year old Tharin Gartrell after he was stopped by Aurora police in a routine traffic stop as he drove a rented truck. When they searched the vehicle, they found a bulletproof vest, two rifles with ammo, walkie talkies and drugs, two wigs, a rifle scope, fake ids and camouflage gear.

Based on information obtained, police then went after another individual, 33-year old Shaun Robert Adolph who as police closed in, jumped from the 6th floor window of a Glendale, Colorado hotel in an effort to flee. Authorities said he wore a ring with a swastika on his hand when arrested. he was staying at attempting to evade arrest, however, he was eventually apprehended.

32-year old Nathan Johnson, also one of the suspects currently being held at the Denver Jail told CBS4 that said his friends did not want Sen. Obama to be president and "did not believe Blacks belong in office."


Today's American Muslim Democratic Caucus

Today at the American Muslim Democratic Caucus, I had the opportunity to interview Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and former U.S. Army Chaplain James Yee, both of whom are strong supporters of Barack Obama’s candidacy for president.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick - from the south side of Chicago - spoke to the members of the American Muslim Democratic Caucus in Arabic and they were appreciative of his efforts. He had lived 3 years in Darfur, Sudan and picked up some of the language while living there.
“You are an important part of the Democratic family,” said Gov. Patrick addressing approximately 150 Muslims from across the country in the Majestic Ballroom of Denver’s Sheraton Hotel Downtown. “I think there are occasions where you have acutely felt that our national party was not as open as you wanted it to be. You are a part of this party and we are a part of you. We are stronger as a party and a nation when we make room,” Gov. Patrick added calling Sen. Barack Obama “a once in a generation nominee” that can “help us find our way back to each other in common cause.”

You can feel it in the air!

Of course, everyone is eagerly awaiting the speech to be delivered by the woman who could very well be the next First Lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama. A highly placed source told me that Sen. Obama will be delivering a short message via satellite after his wife's speech ends. The crowd is waiting for an excuse to go crazy and that will be it!

You can feel it in the air. They are ready to just burst out in cheers when they see him and hear the song "Signed,Sealed,Delivered."

Sen.Obama's historic campaign has drawn people from all over the globe. One brother came from Nigeria just for the convention - and he can't even vote in the U.S. elections - but that just shows how Sen. Obama's candidacy has captured the world's attention.

There have been one or two Ron Paul supporters walking around, but not much from the supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton. There is buzz that they are planning something very big for Tuesday August 26 which is the day she is scheduled to speak or perhaps even Thursday August 28 at INVESCO Field.

A very important caucus was held today. It was the American Muslim Democratic Caucus (AMDC).

Photo from Day 1 of the "Recreate '68" Rally

(L-R) stic.Man of Dead Prez, hip hop activist and Green Party presidential candidate Rosa Clemente, Emory law professor and legendary Black Panther Party activist Kathleen Cleaver, and M1 of Dead Prez after Day 1 of the "Recreate '68" Rally.

Police in Denver - Rolling thick through the streets.

As you can see clearly from this picture that I took, the police were rolling thick through the streets of Denver with their paramilitary gear and weapons. You probably won't see this shot on the news!


Recreate '68 - Not a Recreation of '68

The first day of the "Recreate 68" rally went without a replay of the events that took place during the 1968 DNCC in Chicago, IL where many protesters, journalists and some innocent bystanders were beaten by Chicago police officers.

People are EVERYWHERE here in Denver, Colorado. There is a very strong police presence, I have some pictures that will be posted later this evening.

At the rally, I had some good talks with many activists and I conducted some interviews with a few notables. I interviewed Ward Churchill, Kathleen Cleaver and I had a real good talk with M1 and stic.Man of Dead Prez. Again, pictures will be posted later this evening.


Delaware Sen. Joe Biden is Obama's VP pick

The speculation is now over, and it is now official. I received a text message at 2:37AM from Sen. Barack Obama's campaign informing me that Delaware Sen. Joe Biden has been picked as his VP running mate.


A formal introduction

Consider this the introduction and official launch of the Take Another Look blog.
Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to interact with you.
Some of you may already be acquainted with some of my writings and that may be one of the reasons you are visiting this blog. For others, this is the perfect opportunity for me to share some of my thoughts with you and it is the perfect forum for me to hear some of your thoughts.
If there are any questions you may have for any political leaders, activists, commentators, hip hop artists, or other entertainers who will be there with me in Denver, let me know. I will be sure to get answers when I see them at the convention and other related events around the city and I will report their answers to you via the blog.
My colleagues and I will be in Denver, Colorado August 25-28 bringing you the sights and sounds of the 2008 DNCC in a way that only The Final Call can.