The jet carrying Barack Obama had a near fatal malfunction to its controls

Sabotage?

This was not Obama’s regular campaign plane, which is being overhauled. It was a loaner, having previously been used by Sen. Hillary Clinton. — ABC News 07/08/08

The FAA has launched an investigation.

Someone has a bout of high anxiety tonight. An emergency slide discharged from the plane.

What are the odds?

UPDATE: 08/15/08

It is reported that rescue crews were on alert for a crash landing of Obama’s plane. This was a serious incident.

The airplane carrying Barack Obama made a safe, unscheduled and precautionary landing in St. Louis today after a flight control problem arose en route from Chicago to Charlotte, N.C.

The plane experienced a problem maintaining the proper pitch, or control over keeping the nose at the necessary angle, as it was taking off from Chicago, the pilot said.

“I just thought we’d spice things up a little bit today,” Obama said, smiling and joking.

The Illinois senator and a small entourage eventually left the plane and the tarmac to wait out the maintenance at a local hotel; the North Carolina trip was postponed until a future date.

Upon takeoff from Chicago, passengers had felt the plane dip briefly, causing a stomach-rolling sensation as if being in a roller coaster, but the unexpected movement did not cause visible alarm for the frequent fliers on the plane.

About an hour later, reporters among the 44 passengers on board were made aware of the problem. A flight attendant, who was clearing the aisles, told reporters the plane wasn’t heading to North Carolina as planned.

Minutes later, Obama spokeswoman Linda Douglass came to the back of the plane to inform reporters of a “minor little problem with the airplane” and said the plane would make a precautionary landing in St. Louis.

Then, the pilot came on the overhead speaker and provided more details.

“We detected a little bit of controllability issue in terms of our ability to control the aircraft in the pitch, which is the nose up and nose down mode,” announced the pilot, whose name was not released in accordance with Midwest policy.

“Anytime a pilot says something’s not working the way it’s supposed to, then you make sure you tighten your seat belt,” Obama said. “Everything seemed under control. The pilots knew what they were doing.”

Obama’s campaign charter hasn’t made a precautionary landing before.

“This is a first,” he said, and then returned to the front of the plane to confer with staffers. The passengers were told to get into the “brace position” meaning sitting with a pillow on top of their head with the head between their legs.

What was that Hillary said about anything could happen before the convention?


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The Vampierus Lives! Obama Splits Texas. The Best Little Caucus in Texas.

How many pantsuits does Hillary have in her wardrobe? The cases of extra pantsuits must add up to the amount of trunks in the Barnum and Bailey Circus. What is Hilary’s carbon footprint on her travels and luggage the past six months? Let’s start at least start a pantsuit count. I haven’t seen her wear the same ugly, ’70s pantsuit twice. I start the count at 61, her age.

Hillary Pantsuit Count: Day 61

Mick Gregory

I voted for Obama tonight and helped pick delegates. In our voting district Obama won 7 delegates to Hillary’s 4. Knowing Hillary’s instructions, “take control of the secretary position…” I nominated a nice young woman named CJ, who had an Obama badge on her coat and was sitting at an Obama table at the middle school library.

I also talked a neighbor into being a delegate. The people spoke. We shut down the Clinton machine in our neighborhood anyway.

After all the hype and fawning over the pantsuited presidential candidate, Obama actually won more delegates in Texas. Did you read anything about that in the New York Times, Houston Chronicle or Dallas Morning News?

This was far down a story in today’s WSJ.
On Tuesday, Sen. Clinton won primaries in Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island, while Sen. Obama took Vermont and Texas’s separate caucuses. The Associated Press said Sen. Clinton won at least 185 delegates to Sen. Obama’s 173, for a net gain of just 12 delegates — a total that will shrink as remaining delegates are allocated. Obama campaign manager David Plouffe predicted Sen. Clinton would net between four and 10 delegates, fewer “than we netted out of the state of Idaho.”

The Obama campaign said Sen. Obama emerged from Texas’s unique primary-and-caucus system with at least five more delegates than Sen. Clinton, even though she won the popular vote. That anomaly reflects the party’s rules for allocating delegates proportionate to the candidates’ votes in certain districts.

The fact that Tuesday’s four-state, 370-delegate sweepstakes effectively yielded a draw underscored how difficult it will be for Sen. Clinton to catch Sen. Obama with just over 600 more pledged delegates to be won. That’s why the biggest remaining contest is for superdelegates — or automatic delegates, as the Clinton camp calls them.