Thursday, January 31, 2008
There has been such an enormous outpouring of support for the Obama campaign recently. Looking to build on its recent success, the campaign is currently trying to reach the 250,000 donor mark for January by midnight tonight. Click below to donate today! Anything you can spare would be very helpful - $10, $25, $100 or more. Yes, we can!
Update: Yes, we did! 253,000 people donated to Obama's campaign in January. Let's keep it up - he needs our support!
Sure to boost Obama's economic bona fides, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker today endorsed Barack Obama.
“After 30 years in government, serving under five Presidents of both parties and chairing two non-partisan commissions on the Public Service, I have been reluctant to engage in political campaigns. The time has come to overcome that reluctance,” Mr. Volcker said in a statement today. “However, it is not the current turmoil in markets or the economic uncertainties that have impelled my decision. Rather, it is the breadth and depth of challenges that face our nation at home and abroad. Those challenges demand a new leadership and a fresh approach.”
He concluded: “It is only Barack Obama, in his person, in his ideas, in his ability to understand and to articulate both our needs and our hopes that provide the potential for strong and fresh leadership. That leadership must begin here in America but it can also restore needed confidence in our vision, our strength, and our purposes right around the world.”
Read More: Volcker: I Endorse Obama
Posted by Metavirus at 1/31/2008 04:37:00 PM
More great news for Obama. In addition to the Gallup poll posted yesterday, Obama is climbing in the national polls according to a new Pollster poll (click for a larger image):
Read More: Pollster.com via Andrew Sullivan
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
As some of you have seen, I have started up a petition to urge Senator Clinton to stop her push to have the Florida and Michigan delegates seated (which would obviously, given the non-contested results, favor her). Please consider signing the petition and forwarding it to all of your family and friends!
Here are some of the comments to the petition thus far from people who have signed:
Moana - Hillary said, after the Iowa caucuses, that "Florida and Michigan don't count for anything". Now she is holding rallies in Florida and declaring "victory". You can't change the rules in the middle of the game, and her tactics do nothing but show her true character - she'll do anything to win, even if it means splitting the party in half...
Sara - Senator Clinton, As a young feminist, I am more than thrilled that so early in my voting career, I could help elect the first woman to the Oval Office. However, I would be ashamed to see her get there by dirty, underhanded tactics, which is precisely what you would be proposing if you carry this plan through. If you do carry out this plan, rest assured it will be at the expense of my vote, and many others'. I look to you for inspiration, Sara...
Lisa - While I am still very angry at the DNC for stripping Florida and Michigan of its delegates, it would be completely unfair to seat the delegates for Clinton at this point. Also, to set the record straight--I don't know about the situation in Michigan, but it was our REPUBLICAN legislature here is Florida that forced through the early primary date. Shame on the DNC for allowign this to happen, and SHAME ON YOU FELLOW DEMOCRATS who say that we in Florida and Michigan 'deserve' this!! Aren't we all supposed to be on one team?? Hillary Clinton and fellow democrats should have stood up for their Michigan and Florida constituents months ago. Too late now.
Send the petition to your friends and family!
Posted by Metavirus at 1/30/2008 09:45:00 PM
Martha Raddatz of ABC news on Charlie Rose said that every soldier she spoke to is for Obama. They all feel that Obama will give America the strongest foreign standing because of his leadership ability. Former Bush adviser also confirms that his son in military also are supporting Obama.
Hours after former Senator John Edwards announced his exit from the presidential race, one of his most prominent Jewish fundraisers is backing Senator Barack Obama.
“They are the two candidates who represent real change,” Berger said. “I will be supporting Barack Obama.”
In 2004, Berger was the national finance co-chairman of Senator Joseph Lieberman’s failed presidential bid. He said that he has heard from a number of fellow Edwards supporters by phone and email today and, after reeling off a half-dozen names of fellow donors who had joined the Obama campaign, predicted the “vast majority” of Edwards’s supporters would follow suit.
Clinton's lead in the three-day average is now 42% to Obama's 36%. John Edwards, who dropped out of the race Wednesday after Gallup conducted these interviews, ended his quest for the presidency with 12% support. Wednesday night's interviewing will reflect the distribution of the vote choice of former Edwards' supporters as well as the impact, if any, of Hillary Clinton's popular vote win in Florida on Tuesday.
These national numbers are a critically important indicator of the political environment when voters in more than 20 states go to the polls next Tuesday. At the moment, Obama has the momentum among Democrats nationally.
Read More: Gallup Daily: Tracking Election 2008 via Andrew Sullivan
I try to keep this blog positive where possible but Hillary's attempt to subvert the nominating process is absolutely infuriating for its underhandedness and sheer mendacity. Here is a great article from the Washington Post that shows her "victory" in Florida's no-delegate primary for what it is (i.e., a victory only if you choose to spin it as such):
Cheering supporters? Check. Election returns on the projection screen? Check. Andrea Mitchell and Candy Crowley doing stand-ups? Check and check.
In a political stunt worthy of the late Evel Knievel, the Clinton campaign decided to put on an ersatz victory party that, it hoped, would erase memories of Obama's actual victory Saturday night in South Carolina's Democratic primary. "Thank you, Florida Democrats!" Clinton shouted to the cheering throng. "I am thrilled to have this vote of confidence."
It was a perfect reproduction of an actual victory speech, delivered at a perfectly ersatz celebration at a perfectly pretend location: a faux Italianate palace with lion sculptures, indoor fountains and a commanding view of Interstate 595.
"Thank you, thank you for this tremendous victory tonight," Clinton shouted.
Well, at least a tremendous victory party.
Read More: Much Ado About Not Much
Earlier: Sign to petition to urge Senator Clinton to stop seeking to seat delegates for Michigan and Florida
John Edwards will drop out of the race today. I wonder how this is going to help and hurt each candidate.
John Edwards will end his presidential bid today, a source close to the Edwards campaign confirmed, effectively narrowing the Democratic field to two contenders less than a week before the Super Tuesday round of primaries.
According to aides, Edwards will not endorse either Clinton or Obama today and has no plans to weigh in for either candidate in the immediate future.
Read More: John Edwards to Quit Presidential Race
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
I have been incensed by Hillary trying to steal the Democratic nomination by changing the rules in the middle of the game. Please sign the petition I just created and speak out on this outrage!
Here is the petition:
Dear Senator Clinton:
We, the undersigned, are concerned Americans and have been dismayed to learn recently that your campaign has chosen to push to change the rules while the Democratic nominating process is already underway.
We were shocked to learn that your campaign is advocating for the seating of Michigan and Florida delegates after the Democratic National Committee stripped both states of their delegates in response to each state's decision to move up their primary date.
As Josh Marshall noted, it is inappropriate to "Change the rules in midstream to favor one candidate or another." As Joe Gandelman points out, you yourself made that very argument months ago.
We are concerned that your attempt to seat delegates from states in which you and your opponents explicitly pledged to not campaign will have disastrous implications for the Democratic Party and the Democratic nomination process. As Ezra Klein warns, "This is the sort of decision that has the potential to tear the party apart."
As a result, we strongly urge you, in the interest of the Democratic Party and the millions of Americans who have a strong interest in avoiding a fractious, divisive Democratic National Convention, to abide by the rules set down months ago and explicitly agreed to by your campaign and abandon your push to have the Michigan and Florida delegates seated in the upcoming Democratic National Convention.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Concerned Americans for a Fair Nomination Process
As was widely expected over the last few days, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius (the woman that delivered the Democratic rebuttal to Bush's State of the Union speech last night) endorsed Obama:
"I think he represents the kind of leader that we need for the future of the country," Sebelius told The Associated Press. "I think he brings the hope and optimism that we really need to restore our place in the world, as well as to bring this country together and really tackle the challenges that we have."
Read More: AP: Obama Wins Backing of Kansas Governor
Check out this op-ed by the New York Times' David Brooks:
Something fundamental has shifted in the Democratic Party... The Kennedys and Obama hit the same contrasts again and again in their speeches: the high road versus the low road; inspiration versus calculation; future versus the past; and most of all, service versus selfishness.
“With Barack Obama, we will turn the page on the old politics of misrepresentation and distortion,” Senator Kennedy declared. “With Barack Obama, there is a new national leader who has given America a different kind of campaign — a campaign not just about himself, but about all of us,” he said. The Clintons started this fight, and in his grand and graceful way, Kennedy returned the volley with added speed.
Read More: The Kennedy Mystique
Posted by Metavirus at 1/29/2008 01:20:00 PM
Monday, January 28, 2008
Check out this mashup of a variety of today's glowing news coverage of the Kennedys' endorsement of Obama:
Posted by Metavirus at 1/28/2008 11:00:00 PM
Here is a great article from a conservative Republican commentator on Beliefnet. This echoes what we Obama supporters have been saying for months. He thinks Obama will "win in a landslide" if he wins the Democratic nomination:
If I were a Republican, I'd be very, very afraid. Oh wait, I am a Republican. Dang. Lord have mercy, I wish that man were a conservative. Because there's no doubt in my mind about what he can accomplish for liberalism if he's elected. You've heard of Reagan Democrats? Barack Obama is the Democrats' Reagan.
Read More: Obama is the Democrats' Reagan via Andrew Sullivan
Earlier: Conservative Talk Show Hosts Defend Obama; Why Republicans Fear Obama; Obama and Conservatives; "Electability": Red Staters Flock to Obama
Posted by Metavirus at 1/28/2008 02:05:00 PM
Wow, Ted Kennedy just gave a great endorsement speech at an Obama rally at American University. The video and transcript are below. Money Quote:
"There was another time, when another young candidate was running for president and challenging America to cross a New Frontier." Kennedy says JFK also faced criticism from Democrats about his lack of experience.Update: Here's a video with the highlights of Kennedy's and Obama's speeches:
"Harry Truman said we needed 'someone with greater experience' -- and added: 'May I urge you to be patient,'" Kennedy will say. "And John Kennedy replied: 'The world is changing. The old ways will not do... It is time for a new generation of leadership.' So it is with Barack Obama."
Update: Here's a video of the entire event:
Read More: Kennedy: It's time for a new generation
Go Here for a full transcript of Ted Kennedy's speech. Here are some highlights:
Every time I’ve been asked over the past year who I would support in the Democratic Primary, my answer has always been the same: I’ll support the candidate who inspires me, who inspires all of us, who can lift our vision and summon our hopes and renew our belief that our country’s best days are still to come.
[Barack Obama] will be a president who refuses to be trapped in the patterns of the past. He is a leader who sees the world clearly without being cynical. He is a fighter who cares passionately about the causes he believes in, without demonizing those who hold a different view.
He is tough-minded, but he also has an uncommon capacity to appeal to “the better angels of our nature.”
We know the true record of Barack Obama. There is the courage he showed when so many others were silent or simply went along. From the beginning, he opposed the war in Iraq.
And let no one deny that truth.
Now, with Barack Obama, there is a new national leader who has given America a different kind of campaign—a campaign not just about himself, but about all of us. A campaign about the country we will become, if we can rise above the old politics that parses us into separate groups and puts us at odds with one another.
They realized that when they asked what they could do for their country, they could change the world.
I sense the same kind of yearning today, the same kind of hunger to move on and move America forward. I see it not just in young people, but in all our people.
And in Barack Obama, I see not just the audacity, but the possibility of hope for the America that is yet to be.
What counts in our leadership is not the length of years in Washington, but the reach of our vision, the strength of our beliefs, and that rare quality of mind and spirit that can call forth the best in our country and our people.
With Barack Obama, we will turn the page on the old politics of misrepresentation and distortion.
With Barack Obama, we will close the book on the old politics of race against race, gender against gender, ethnic group against ethnic group, and straight against gay.
So let us reject the counsels of doubt and calculation.
Let us remember that when Franklin Roosevelt envisioned Social Security, he didn’t decide—no, it was too ambitious, too big a dream, too hard.
I am convinced we can reach our goals only if we are “not petty when our cause is so great”-- only if we find a way past the stale ideas and stalemate of our times – only if we replace the politics of fear with the politics of hope – and only if we have the courage to choose change.
Barack Obama is the one person running for President who can bring us that change.
Barack Obama is the one person running for President who can be that change.
I know that he’s ready to be President on day one. And when he raises his hand on Inauguration Day, at that very moment, we will lift the spirits of our nation and begin to restore America’s standing in the world.
There was another time, when another young candidate was running for President and challenging America to cross a New Frontier. He faced public criticism from the preceding Democratic President, who was widely respected in the party. Harry Truman said we needed “someone with greater experience”—and added: “May I urge you to be patient.” And John Kennedy replied: “The world is changing. The old ways will not do…It is time for a new generation of leadership.”
It is time again for a new generation of leadership.
It is time now for Barack Obama.
Posted by Metavirus at 1/28/2008 01:27:00 PM
In her first Presidential endorsement, Toni Morrison, the writer who labeled Bill Clinton as the "first black president", endorsed Barack Obama today. Befitting her profession, her words were especially clear and emphatic in a letter she wrote to Obama:
"In addition to keen intelligence, integrity and a rare authenticity, you exhibit something that has nothing to do with age, experience, race or gender and something I don't see in other candidates," Morrison wrote. "That something is a creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom. It is too bad if we associate it only with gray hair and old age. Or if we call searing vision naivete. Or if we believe cunning is insight. Or if we settle for finessing cures tailored for each ravaged tree in the forest while ignoring the poisonous landscape that feeds and surrounds it.
Read More: Morrison Endorses Obama for President
The American political system needs a period of reprieve and renewal... It craves a reprieve from the politics of bloodsport that prize clever calculation over courage, winning over principle, party label over national interest.
Clinton... has shown the sharp elbows that evoke the ugly underside of the Clinton years, and the (Karl Rove inspired) Bush years that succeeded them: the reflex to scorch the Earth, to do what is necessary to vanquish political adversaries ... all is justified if you are left standing at the end.
Of all the candidates who talk about change, Barack Obama has made the case most forcefully and most convincingly. He gets our endorsement for the Democratic nomination.
Read More: The Democrats' choice: Barack Obama
Posted by Metavirus at 1/28/2008 10:30:00 AM
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Here are a few ways you can learn more, get the latest news, and share information with friends:
Watch a brief video and learn about Barack's early years, his education, his work as a community organizer and civil rights attorney, and his years in the Illinois and U.S. Senate. This is a great introduction to share with your friends:
OFFICIAL CAMPAIGN BLOG
Catch up on the latest news, photos, and videos from the campaign trail and share your thoughts on our official campaign blog:
Learn more about Barack's positions on a variety of issues, from his opposition to the war in Iraq to his plan for universal health care:
FACTCHECK ACTION CENTER
Barack Obama stands for a new kind of politics -- without the smear tactics that we're all fed up with. You can help push back against negative attacks and distortions right now by telling people about Barack and his background. The truth is only as strong as your voice:
Watch a few of the more than 500 videos from the campaign trail on our YouTube channel:
Our movement is ready to go wherever you are. Text HOPE to 62262 (OBAMA) to receive text updates on your mobile phone and advance notice about local Obama events:
Barack Obama got his start as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, and since he declared his candidacy in 2007, a nationwide network of supporters have taken this campaign into their own hands, organizing online and their local communities. Here are some ways to get involved:
LOCAL GROUPS AND EVENTS
My.BarackObama is an organizing tool that empowers you to take this campaign into your own hands. Connect with other supporters in your area and find out about local events, or create your own organizing group and schedule your own events:
SPREAD THE WORD
Introduce your friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers to Barack Obama. Let them know why you support Barack and encourage them to join our movement for change:
There are more than 25,000 supporter created blogs on My.BarackObama where they chronicle their campaign experience and interact with other supporters. Find one for your community or launch your own today:
NATIONAL CALL TEAM
More than 200,000 phone calls have been made by volunteers using our online calling tool. Sign up for our National Call Team and you can reach out to supporters all over the country from your home:
POSTERS, FLYERS, AND ORGANIZING RESOURCES
Print your own posters, flyers, fact sheets, supporter cards, and dozens of other resources from our online resource library:
Women for Obama and People of Fatih for Obama are just two of the many communities large and small supporting Barack Obama. Explore a few of them them here:
Barack Obama does not accept donations from Washington lobbyists or special interest groups. Instead, we depend on a network of grassroots supporters giving whatever they can afford.
PERSONAL FUNDRAISING PAGE
Take the fundraising process into your own hands. Help support the campaign by reaching out to people you know and asking them to give through your personal fundraising page:
MATCH SOMEONE'S DONATION
This campaign has always been about reaching as many people as possible and bringing them into the political process. When you make a matching donation you'll learn the name and hometown of the person whose gift you match, and even exchange a note with them through our unique system:
Let everyone in your community know that you support Barack. All purchases through our online store go to support our campaign and are considered political donations. Show your support in style:
The Democratic primary process is in full swing, and a strong grassroots network will be crucial to our success.
Take a moment to visit www.BarackObama.com and get involved today.
I just read an article that said that after Obama's South Carolina triumph, the campaign has been receiving a new wave of donations. I've donated over $1,000 so far and have raised another $1,000 or so from friends and family. Please consider donating to the campaign (or volunteering your time) -- Super Tuesday will soon be upon us!
Posted by Metavirus at 1/27/2008 05:58:00 PM
I always thought she'd be a bit more subtle than this but Hillary Clinton today affirmatively broke her word and went back on her pledge (signed together with every other Democrat), not to actively campaign in Florida because of Florida's decision to move up its primary.
I don't see how anyone doesn't realize that she is a liar and will do and say anything to get elected. What is she going to do in office when she agrees to a treaty with Country X only to later go back on her word when County Y objects?
Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton said Sunday she will go to Florida to assure Democrats that “their voices are heard” and to underscore her commitment to seeing the state’s delegation seated at the national convention.
Read More: Clinton Heads to Florida, Hopes to Undue DNC Penalty on State Delegates and Hillary: On To Florida
Check out this great post from Joe Klein on South Carolina's stunning rejection of the Clintons last night.
Make no mistake: What happened in South Carolina today was a moral reprimand delivered to Bill and Hillary Clinton by a united Democratic Party--but especially by the African-American segment of that party.
Read More | Digg Story
Here's a must-read op-ed in the New York Times that makes a strong case against nominating Hillary. In sum, should Hillary get elected, it would give the Republicans a significant chance of winning in November:
IN the wake of George W. Bush, even a miracle might not be enough for the Republicans to hold on to the White House in 2008. But what about two miracles? The new year’s twin resurrections of Bill Clinton and John McCain, should they not evaporate, at last give the G.O.P. a highly plausible route to victory.
If Mr. Obama doesn’t fight, no one else will. Few national Democratic leaders have the courage to stand up to the Clintons. Even in defeat, Mr. Obama may at least help wake up a party slipping into denial. Any Democrat who seriously thinks that Bill will fade away if Hillary wins the nomination — let alone that the Clintons will escape being fully vetted — is a Democrat who, as the man said, believes in fairy tales.
Read More: The Billary Road to Republican Victory
Breaking news: Ted Kennedy plans to endorse Obama on Monday.
Read More: Ted Kennedy to Endorse Obama
ABC News' Rick Klein Reports: Senator Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., will endorse Barack Obama's presidential bid on Monday in Washington, a source close to Kennedy tells ABC News.
The endorsement gives Obama a boost in the eyes of the Washington establishment, and comes after some prominent Democrats criticized Senator Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and former president Bill Clinton for their campaign tactics before Obama's landslide victory in South Carolina.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
This is one of the most powerful speeches I've heard Obama give. As Andrew Sullivan put it:
Tonight was, in my judgment, the best. He was able to frame the attacks on him as a reason to vote for him. He was able to frame his foes as the status quo - beyond the Clintons or the Bushes, Democrats or Republicans. He was able to cast his candidacy as a rebuke to the Balkanization of the American public, a response to the abuse of religion for political purposes, a repudiation of the cynicism that makes all political commentary a function of horse-races and spin. It was an appeal to Democrats, Republicans and Independents to say goodbye to all that. It was a burial of Rove and Morris. And it was better than his previous speeches because he kept bringing it back to policy specifics, to the economy and healthcare and, movingly, to this misbegotten war. The diverse coalition he has assembled - including an ornery small-government conservative like me - is a reflection of the future of this country, its potential and its irreplaceable, dynamic cultural and social mix.
Posted by Metavirus at 1/26/2008 11:30:00 PM
Wow, this is the most impressive endorsement op-ed I've ever seen. Read Caroline Kennedy's amazing endorsement of Obama entitled "A President Like My Father":
Sometimes it takes a while to recognize that someone has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things. In those rare moments, when such a person comes along, we need to put aside our plans and reach for what we know is possible.
We have that kind of opportunity with Senator Obama. It isn’t that the other candidates are not experienced or knowledgeable. But this year, that may not be enough. We need a change in the leadership of this country — just as we did in 1960....
I want a president who understands that his responsibility is to articulate a vision and encourage others to achieve it; who holds himself, and those around him, to the highest ethical standards; who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal; and who can lift our spirits, and make us believe again that our country needs every one of us to get involved.
I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.
Read Her Endorsement: A President Like My Father (unfortunately you have to do a short free registration to view the article)
Even after South Carolina's stunning rejection of Bill Clinton's race-baiting over the last two weeks, Bill just stuck another huge foot in his mouth by dismissing Obama's win by likening it to Jesse Jackson's wins in the 80's. As Ben Smith points out:
[A] reporter asked what it said about Obama that it “took two people to beat him.” Clinton again passed. “That’s just bait, too. Jesse Jackson won South Carolina twice, in '84 and '88. And he ran a good campaign. Senator Obama's run a good campaign here, he’s run a good campaign everywhere.”
Read More: Bill on Jesse
Posted by Metavirus at 1/26/2008 09:14:00 PM
Breaking news! According to MSNBC, Caroline Kennedy will endorse Barack Obama in tomorrow's New York Times. This will be huge.
Obama attracted all segments of the population in South Carolina, including the young, the old, whites, blacks, women and men. Here a great quote from Politico:
“We have the largest percentage of Americans we've ever had who are literally aching to live in a post-racial future,” he said in Spartanburg, S.C., Friday. People's backgrounds are important, he said, and we "celebrate them but believe that our common humanity matters more."and
Exit polls showed about half of those who voted said Clinton’s campaign tactics were very important to their choice — though whether the former president’s behavior was a net plus or minus for his wife was not immediately clear. [Really? Do the math - the writing is on the wall. The people rejected his bile and venom.]
Read More: Obama wins South Carolina on Politico.com
CNN just called the South Carolina primary for Obama in what Wolf Blitzer called a "strong victory".
7:10: I'm sure the news organizations are upset but it doesn't look like a race war is breaking out any time soon. Obama received a "healthy 24%" of the white vote and captured 28% of the white male vote. I hope they'll shut up about the incessant "racial divide".
7:22: CNN is showing the numbers now and Obama is leading the pack with 70%! Holy crap!
7:30: Wow, this is a serious blow-out for Obama. Bear in mind an article I just read on CBS News: that 57% of South Carolina Democratic primary voters said that Bill Clinton’s campaigning was important in their vote. Judging by Obama's huge victory, guess what people thought of Bill's rabid campaigning?
7:32: The numbers are narrowing but Obama still has a huge 30-point lead. Wow.
8:02: Obama is scheduled to speak at 9:00 pm.
8:04: Clinton sent in a short concession statement and Keith Olberman is wondering if she'll even bother to make a speech.
8:05: I've been flipping back and forth between CNN and MSNBC and the commentary thus far has been SCATHING about the Clintons campaign and methods.
8:08: Ouch. Exit poll numbers on the question of "Top Quality: Cares about people", Obama got 40%, Edwards got 42% and Hillary got 17%!
8:13: Wow, shady Hillary doesn't stop for a second. Her written statement she sent in said "We will now turn our attention to the millions of Americans who will make their voices heard in Florida and the 22 states and American Samoa who will vote on February 5th." Note my earlier post on this issue: Outrage: Clinton Calls for MI and FL Delegates to be Seated. Her gambit in trying to change the rules in mid-game is truly despicable.
8:19: Tim Russert summarized the vote in SC as telling Bill's to STFU.
8:38: Wow, on the CNN ticker it just said that Caroline Kennedy is going to come out and endorse Obama in tomorrow's New York Times.
The Clintonians like to describe their bosses as complementary figures who act as “force multipliers”. But in the 1990s what actually got multiplied was confusion... All this will be material for the Republican attack machine. By most reckonings the Republicans should be doomed. But the Clintons' tactics are alienating blacks and young people. The Clintons are in the process of doing the impossible: making the 2008 election a referendum on them, rather than on the Republicans. And the Republicans are inching towards nominating their one candidate, Mr McCain, who has broad popular appeal. If what ought to be a stroll in the park in November becomes a real fight, then the Democrats will know who to blame.
Read More: Off the leash: Democratic politics is all about Bill—again via Andrew Sullivan
Posted by Metavirus at 1/26/2008 04:33:00 PM
As Andrew Sullivan puts it:
The Rasmussen tracking poll shows a sharp tightening of the national race, with Obama within 3 points of Clinton. It's one day and it's Rasmussen - so the usual caveats. But I wonder: is Bill provoking a backlash?
See: Rasmussen Tracking Poll Results
The local paper endorsements keep flowing in for Obama. The Philadelphia Inquirer today endorsed Obama in what I thought was an excellent op-ed:
But in an election where change is the operative word, would the former first lady represent that? After two Bush presidencies, many Americans don't see change in a Clinton dynasty. Hillary's high negatives in polls may have more to do with her husband's behavior as president than anything she has done since. But those negatives suggest she could be a catalyst for division when the nation longs for unity.
Given that, BARACK OBAMA is the best Democrat to lead this nation past the nasty, partisan, Washington-as-usual politics that have blocked consensus on Iraq; politics that never blinked at the greedy, subprime mortgage schemes that could spawn a recession; politics that have greatly diminished our country's stature in the world.
Obama inspires people to action. And while inspiration alone isn't enough to get a job done, it's a necessary ingredient to begin the hard work... [T]he Illinois senator has shown on the campaign trail that he offers more than pretty words. In debates and speeches, he has provided details of a White House program that, with adjustments, could produce the outcomes this nation needs.
Read More: Inquirer’s Democratic endorsement for president: Obama
On Good Morning America, Obama said that the press has been "manically focused on race". After watching Tim Russert earlier this morning, in which some smarmy pundit just couldn't let up on the issue, I completely agree:
"I think it'd be hard to argue that I have been marginalized, when I won Iowa, which was 94 percent white. We were almost tied in New Hampshire, a state that has an all-white population. And in Nevada, I was able to win, actually, the biggest votes, uh, margins, in those northern areas … that are predominantly white, rural, conservative areas"
Read More: Press 'Manically Focused on Race'
Obama is on the rise in Arizona:
Clinton had 37 percent to Obama's 27 percent, compared with a similar November poll that had Clinton with 44 percent to Obama's 14 percent. Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina had 15 percent in the new poll.
Read More: Poll: Clinton's big lead over Obama shrinking
Hillary has called for the delegates that were stripped from Michigan and Florida to be seated at the convention, even after signing a pledge to support the decision. She really will try and do absolutely anything to get elected. Is anyone listening out there? Does anyone care about her character and how similar it is to our current scorched-earth commander-in-chief?
The Clinton camp really needs to be shut down on this new gambit of theirs to muscle the party and the other candidates into seating the Michigan and Florida delegate slates.
And let me be very clear about what I mean. It was very debatable decision whether the DNC should have punished Florida and Michigan with the loss of their delegates slates because they broke the rules the party had set down for scheduling their primaries. By 'debatable' I don't mean it was right or wrong, only that it was a pretty draconian move and I know there was a lot of discussion about whether or not it was the right thing to do.
But that was the decision -- one that each of the candidates at least implicitly agreed to. Indeed, each agreed not to campaign in either of these states, again implicitly agreeing to the decision not to seat the delegates.
The Clinton camp is just pushing to seat these delegates now because the contingencies of the moment mean that the decision would favor Hillary. She was the only one whose name was on the ballot in Michigan, thus insuring her win. She has a wide lead in every Florida poll taken this month.
Read More at TPM: No Way
Update, See Also CLINTON TRIES TO REINSTATE MICHIGAN AND FLORIDA'S DELEGATES for:
This is the sort of decision that has the potential to tear the party apart. In an attempt to retain some control over the process and keep the various states from accelerating their primaries into last Summer, the Democratic National Committee warned Michigan and Florida that if they insisted on advancing their primary debates, their delegates wouldn't be seated and the campaigns would be asked not to participate in their primaries. This was agreed to by all parties (save, of course, the states themselves).
With no one campaigning, Clinton, of course, won Michigan -- she was the only Democrat to be on the ballot, as I understand it, which is testament to the other campaign's beliefs that the contest wouldn't count -- and will likely win Florida. And because the race for delegates is likely to be close, she wants those wins to matter. So she's fighting the DNC's decision, and asking her delegates -- those she's already won, and those she will win -- to overturn it at the convention. She's doing so right before Florida, to intensify her good press in the state, where Obama is also on the ballot. And since this is a complicated, internal-party matter that sounds weird to those not versed in it (of course Michigan and Florida should count!), she's adding a public challenge that, if the other Democrats deny, will make them seem anti-Michigan and Florida.
But if this pushes her over the edge, the Obama camp, and their supporters, really will feel that she stole her victory. They didn't contest those states because they weren't going to count, not because they were so committed to the DNC's procedural arguments that they were willing to sacrifice dozens of delegates to support it. It's as hard as hardball gets, and the end could be unimaginably acrimonious. Imagine if African-American voters feel the rules were changed to prevent Obama's victory, if young voters feel the delegate counts were shifted to block their candidate.
See the video below for an impressive lineup of Latino California politicians endorsing Obama.
Posted by Metavirus at 1/26/2008 09:52:00 AM
Obama needs our help! He is going to need a ton of funding from normal, working people like us to keep his campaign going through the next month and all the way through to the convention. Please click below and donate to the campaign today!
Friday, January 25, 2008
John Kerry gave a good interview recently on National Journal On Air, where he discussed the campaign and the many reasons he supports Obama:
Barack Obama offers a better opportunity to pull America together than any other candidate in the race. If you look at the fact that the governor of Arizona, a red state, Gov. Janet Napolitano, has endorsed Barack Obama, former governor and now senator, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, red state, has endorsed Barack Obama. The two senators from North Dakota and South Dakota, the Democratic senators, have endorsed Barack Obama. Claire McCaskill, the senator from Missouri, Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia, was asked the question, "Can a Democrat carry Virginia?" And his answer was, "the right Democrat," and then he endorsed Barack Obama.
Barack Obama has more legislative experience than either of his two opponents. He served eight years in the Illinois legislature and now several in the United States Senate, in total, he has more legislative years. And if you look back in history, Abraham Lincoln had only two years in the United States Congress, and then he lost. He was sent back to Illinois in shame, ran for the United States Senate, lost his race for the Senate, then was nominated to be the leader of his party. And he became, arguably, our greatest president in history. So I think you have to look at the breadth of experience, and the type of experience.
Read More: Transcript: John Kerry On Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton And More
Posted by Metavirus at 1/25/2008 05:37:00 PM
In case you missed it last night, here's a video of Obama on the Late Show doing the Top Ten. My favorite? He promised to put Regis on the nickel.
The numbers keep pouring in:
Barack Obama is stronger than Hillary Clinton against the viable Republican candidates. He beats all four, and his margins are better for three of the four. Hillary fares better against only Mitt Romney, and by a mere three points. She actually loses to John McCain, while Obama is currently tied with the senator from AZ.
Read More: Poll via KillHillBlog
Thursday, January 24, 2008
There is some small measure of justice in the world. After just one day of radio play in South Carolina, Clinton's roundly discredited radio ad attacking Obama over his Reagan remarks has been pulled off the air:
Clinton campaign officials said the ad was pulled ahead of Saturday’s South Carolina primary because it had run its rotation. But campaign ads rarely air for just one day, as this one did.
Read More: Amid Criticism, Clinton Camp Pulls Negative Obama Ad from South Carolina Airwaves
Update, See Also: Washington Post Sets the Record Straight: There You Go Again
Ben Smith pointed out in a recent blog entry how conservative radio talk show hosts are defending Obama against the rehashed lies du jour coming out of the "other candidate's" camp. I'm sure your typical far-lefties will fall all over themselves at such news but this is another example of why the Republicans don't know what to do with Obama. Like I've always said about his cross-party appeal, his candidacy would usher in a Democratic landslide the likes of which we haven't seen in recent memory:
"I'm seeing right-wing talk show hosts defend Barack Obama, myself included," Mike Gallagher said on the Mike Gallagher Show this morning, and sure enough, an hour or two later I heard Rush Limbaugh express his shock and horror that the Clintons would attack an African-American candidate.
Galllagher played large sections of Obama's interview with Beliefnet, in which Obama discussed his relationship with his Chicago church and the smears directed at his religion.
Then -- to my surprise -- Gallagher approvingly accepted Obama's arguments.
Read More: Right-wing talkers for Obama
Posted by Metavirus at 1/24/2008 03:05:00 PM
M.J. Rosenberg sums up my greatest fear in the coming election. If Hillary smears her way to the White House by tearing down one of the most promising political candidates to come along in a generation, she won't stand a chance against the Republicans in November.
Her lying and distorting of Obama's record and positions on issues is going to leave a HUGE portion of the Democratic Party beaten and demoralized -- and many of them won't come out to vote. Couple that with the hatred that the Republicans have for her and, well, who would've thought that a Democrat would be responsible for electing a Republican to office in this most advantageous political environment, but:
I didn't think that there was a way Democrats could fail to win the Presidency in 2008. But I underestimated us. We not only can lose the election; at this point, I think we will.
[V]irtually the entire campaign against [Obama] has been smear and innuendo with a racial subtext. It better stop, but I expect it won't. It won't stop because after Iowa it was decided that Obama could not be defeated fair and square. So fair and square went out the window.The result?
A Republican victory especially if McCain is the nominee and pledges to serve only one term.
That shouldn't happen. Democrats should be able to pull together and defeat any Republican. But we won't if some of us (especially African-Americans and young voters) come to feel that the nomination contest was decided not on the merits but on smear, fear, and race.
Read More: Smear Campaign Against Obama Will Elect McCain or Romney
Following up on my earlier NH posts (here and here), here's a clip from local TV news that explores more fully the rifts in the NH Democratic Party caused by the Clinton campaign's patently false 11th hour mailer:
Via Think on These Things
Earlier: Why Lorna Brett Howard Switched to Become an Obama Supporter
Earlier: NH Women Apologize for Misrepresenting Obama’s Record on Clinton’s Behalf
Posted by Metavirus at 1/24/2008 10:14:00 AM
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Watch this video to see a telling example of why Lorna Brett Howard, the former president of Chicago NOW, switched her support from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama over honesty issues.
Earlier Post: NH Women Apologize for Misrepresenting Obama’s Record on Clinton’s Behalf
Update: See also the below video with further reaction to Hillary's distortions of Obama's 100% pro-choice record:
Via Think on These Things
Posted by Metavirus at 1/23/2008 09:47:00 PM
The Washington Post graded all of the candidates' economic stimulus plans and Obama was the only one to receive an A, Democrat or Republican!
Barack Obama: A-minus. I criticized his previous tax plan, but Obama is at the head of the class with an intelligently designed, $120 billion stimulus plan. He would speed a $250 tax credit to most workers, followed by another $250, triggered automatically, if the economy continues on its sour path. Obama would direct a similar rebate to low- and middle-income seniors, who are also apt to spend and could get checks quickly. One demerit: Obama omits any increase in food stamp benefits, which Moody’s estimates would have the greatest bang for the buck, $1.73 for every dollar spent.
John Edwards: B-minus. Edwards gets points for handing in his paper early — in December, he issued a $25 billion stimulus proposal (plus $75 billion more if needed), including important help to states to avoid cutting Medicaid rolls. But like Hillary Clinton (see below), he would spend too much money on programs — investing in “green collar” jobs, for instance — with too long a lag time to make them an effective stimulus. Edwards’s grade goes down because he also hasn’t explained how the $75 billion would be spent.
Hillary Clinton: C-plus. Clinton, too, raised the issue early, then turned in a faulty first draft with a $70 billion stimulus plan that didn’t provide much immediate stimulation. It included a $25 billion increase in the program to help low-income Americans with heating costs — an excessive amount (the current program is under $3 billion) that probably wouldn’t kick in until next winter. Even worse was her housing plan, including a five-year freeze on subprime mortgage rates that could produce higher interest rates and reduce liquidity.
Four days later, Clinton said she would immediately implement a $40 billion tax rebate plan she had put in reserve in her first draft. Fine, but overall, the Obama plan devotes a far greater percentage to spending that is more likely to jump-start the economy.
Read More: Whose Stimulus Makes the Grade? via KillHillBlog
Although the media is currently obsessed with pointing out Obama's climbing support in the black community in South Carolina (subtle race-baiting Hillary must be loving that), the little-reported anecdote is that he's also leading among nearly every other demographic as well (save geriatrics):
Obama led consistently among almost all sub-groups, including men, women, liberals, conservatives, young voters, low-income voters, high-income voters and union households.
The media just loves to have their "black/white", "male/female", etc. shtick to rely on.
Read More: Obama leads Clinton in South Carolina: poll
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Have you wondered what a "superdelegate" is? As it turns out, they're politically-connected individuals who simply decide which candidate to endorse! As a result, you can help by contacting the superdelegates in your state and asking them to endorse Obama. Even if a superdelegate has already endorsed another candidate, they can switch their endorsement anytime before the convention!
There is a blog that tracks who the superdelegates are. Go to the Superdelegate List and find your local superdelegates. Here is a list of unpledged superdelegates. Contact your superdelegate today!
Here is a sample letter that you might consider using:
Dear Mr./Mrs. [X],
I am deeply interested in the outcome of the upcoming presidential election. I believe we have reached a turning point in our history and deeply feel that we need a truly transformational candidate that can bridge the partisan divides of the recent past.
In my humble opinion, I believe the best candidate for the job is Barack Obama. I hope you will consider joining me and my fellow [New Yorkers/etc.] in supporting this truly capable, experienced and inspirational candidate and endorse his candidacy in your capacity as a superdelegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
Thank you very much for your consideration.
[NAME], [CITY], [STATE]
Find your Superdelegates here.
I just got an email update blast from the Obama campaign. According to the email:
This year, the attacks are already starting. Some of you may have heard about the disgusting lies about Barack Obama that are being circulated by email. These attacks smear Barack's Christian faith and deep patriotism, and they distort his record of more than two decades of public service. They are nothing short of "Swiftboat" style anonymous attacks.
The Obama campaign has created a place where you can find the truth you'll need to push back on these smears and a way to spread the truth to all of your address book.
Take action here: http://my.barackobama.com/factcheckaction
Go to the Fact Check Action Center and fight against the lies!
I suspected something like this would come up. I just read a reader comment over on Ben Smith's blog from an Obama supporter whose Clinton-supporting friends are starting to feel uncomfortable with Hillary due to Bill's prominent place in the campaign over the last couple of weeks. I always suspected that Billary's gambit might provoke a female backlash due in large part to perceptions that she is letting herself be eclipsed into by a "Yeah, let's vote her in because then we get Bill" vote:
[S]omething funny has happened the last couple of days that was crystallized amongst those watching highlights of last night's debate. Around the office today, a number of women who were definitely in the Hillary camp are starting to feel a little sick to their stomach about the role Bill Clinton's is playing. One remarked that she thought she would be voting for the first women president, not a trojan horse for Bill Clinton's overactive ambition. Another friend I thought last week would definitely vote for Hillary labeled them the "Dynastic Duo" this morning and said she may switch to Obama. And finally, my best friend, who already sent in her absentee ballot says, she's got serious "buyer's remorse" saying she thought she had voted for the first women president, but now she's not so sure she's advanced or hurt women everywhere by voting for Hillary.
Read More: Dissent of the Day: Bill's role
In an article entitled "Obama most likely Democrat to unify America", The State, South Carolina's most influential newspaper, today endorsed Obama:
The restoration of the Clintons to the White House would trigger a new wave of all-out political warfare. That is not all Bill and Hillary’s fault - but it exists, whomever you blame, and cannot be ignored. Hillary Clinton doesn’t pretend that it won’t happen; she simply vows to persevere, in the hope that her side can win...
From terrorism and climate change to runaway federal entitlement spending, there are big challenges to be faced. Sen. Obama is the only Democrat who plausibly can say that he wants to work with Americans across the political spectrum to address such subjects - and he has the integrity and the skills of persuasion that make him the best-qualified among the remaining Democratic hopefuls to address these challenges.
Read More: Obama most likely Democrat to unify America via Ben Smith
Karen Russell has written up a very thorough list of falsehoods and rebuttals to the Clinton campaign's two-week mischaracterization bonanza. She links to a bunch of excellent sources and is a must-read for anyone trying to keep track of which lies we need to rebut today. For example:
We are supposed to believe that as Obama gained ground on Clinton that it's just mere coincidence that Clinton surrogates painted Obama as a risky "shucking and jiving", "roll of the dice", "cocaine-loving", "drug-dealing", "Reagan-loving", "closet-Muslim" , "fairytale-living", "establishment", "less black than President Clinton" "rookie"? ...
It started with Clinton trashing Obama on the war. When a red-faced and angry Clinton twisted Obama's anti-war record calling it a "fairytale". However, according to the New York Times, "a review of Mr. Obama's statements on Iraq since 2002 shows that he has opposed the war against Saddam Hussein consistently, calling it ''dumb'' and ''rash.''
Why is Team Billary twisting the facts on Senator Obama? They are playing to win, truth be damned. Campaigning for his wife is one thing but continuing to trash Obama with misrepresentations is frankly disappointing. Daddy Bush didn't trash John McCain when McCain was running against Shrub. Clinton needs to rein it in. If Hillary can't control Bill or her surrogates, why do we believe she's ready to lead on day one?
Read More: Zip It, Bill!
When will the Democrat base realize what the Republicans are coming to realize?
I went to Barack Obama’s rally here, on Sunday night, with a Republican friend who had never seen the Illinois senator in action before. Watching the crowd of more than 3,000 fill up the convention center, watching the people send up waves of energy to Obama, and watching him play off that energy in a speech that was one of the best political performances anyone has seen this year, my Republican friend said, simply, “Oh, s—t.” He recalled the scene from Jaws, in which the small seaside town’s sheriff realizes how big the shark he’s tracking truly is, and says, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” What my friend didn’t have to say was that he was deeply worried that Republicans just don’t have a bigger boat.
Read More: Why Republicans Fear Obama via Andrew Sullivan
I just read a translation of a great article in a German newspaper that discusses why Obama is such an amazing candidate for our country in these trying times. I think this article, and articles like it, are the tip of the iceberg in what we'll see from the international press when we nominate Obama:
The best stories often come from America, and there is seldom a more inspiring one as the one that is taking place in front of the world on these January-days of the New Year. Forty years after the death of Martin Luther King, a young black man from Hawaii, Indonesia and Chicago is making his almost inexorable way to the White House. There is not, even in this Hollywood-sculpted country, any better material, any bigger American Dream nor a more successful Happy Ending after eight painful years in the basement of the contemporary history.
He does not only fulfill the desire for a fresh start but also for more warmth in politics, something heroic, with a superlative and glamorous style. He has a pretty wife, two cute little children, an ideal family and he has a real laugh; a radiant laugh. He fulfills the simplest of all longings of a torn nation: To be good again.
It is still a long way off to an electoral victory in November, but those who experience America these days, those who see the tears of the elderly, the radiant eyes of the young, those who hear the enthusiasm of the reporters, the hymns of the columnists, can hardly imagine that this epochal, ancient American story would find another ending other than a furiously Happy Ending.
Read More: Barack Obama: The Most American of All Dreams at One Million Strong
I just read an amazing article on The Huffington Post by Miles Mogulescu that you absolutely have to read. He goes through each specious assertion by Hillary during/before last night's South Carolina debate and points out a slew of factual inaccuracies and shady tactics. For example:
Read More: Winning Ugly: Are the Hil and Bill Winning the Primary Battle and Losing the General Election War?
One of the elements that may have helped Hillary Clinton achieve her 7,500 vote New Hampshire win, in which thousands of women rallied to her cause, was an attack mailer from the Clinton campaign questioning Obama's pro-choice credentials by citing 7 "present" votes in the Illinois state Legislature.
In fact, pro-choice leaders in Illinois asked pro-choice legislators to vote "present" because the anti-abortion bills were a cheap election-year stunt by "pro-life" politicians. Pam Sutherland, the head of Illinois Planned Parenthood told ABC News that "We worked with him [Obama] specifically on this strategy." Contrary to the implications of the Clinton flyer, Obama had a 100% positive pro-choice voting record according to Planned Parenthood.
I have a good mix of conflicting emotions about last night's South Carolina debate. On the one hand, I thought Obama kept his cool and was justified in bringing up all the lies and distortions coming out of the Clinton camp. Their comments about what he said about Reagan are 100% unequivocally and demonstrably false (see also here). Unfortunately, my main emotion coming out of the debate was anger at how readily and effortlessly the Clintons lie and mischaracterize.
I just hope Americans CARE that they lie! After the lies of the last 8 years, I just can't imagine, in my heart of hearts, that we would vote in a better liar. As a fellow blogger puts it:
The ease with which the Clintons lie is so disturbing. A lot of people take them at their word because of their status and for them to abuse that trust is just pretty low.
I don’t know what polls Hillary Clinton is referring to where she beats the Republicans more than Obama. If that were the case, so many red state Democrats would not be endorsing Barack Obama. They’d be endorsing her. But you should look for yourself at the Real Clear Politics poll numbers and see who does better. It certainly isn’t Hillary. Why does she insist on misleading people?
Read More: ABC News Reporter Calls Out Clintons for Consistent Lies about Barack Obama via Think on These Things
Update: Additional good quote:
I know he wants his wife to beat Obama. And it seems that unleashing the Big Dog seems to be working for the Clinton campaign.
Perhaps some voters are even touched by his passion.
But let's be clear -- Bill Clinton is spreading demonstrably false information.
There's winning ugly, and there's winning with honor.
Does it matter? Or is all fair in politics and war?
Posted by Metavirus at 1/22/2008 09:59:00 AM
Monday, January 21, 2008
I just read a great article written by a public health researcher that touts Obama's ability to effectively push through health care reform:
The New Republic's Jonathan Cohn recently described Obama's "talent to achieve consensus on a good compromise and then push it through." Through hard bargaining with health insurers and others, Obama was able to fight for what he and the reformers thought mattered most: bringing insurance to a great many more people. And they won, prevailing over resistant conservatives. "He could not be accused of partisan aggression... but he got his way."
Read More: Obama, Public Health, and the Real Case for Health Reform
Andrew Sullivan highlights a good article on The New Republic Blog today that discusses Obama's obvious general election advantage:
[T]he available data here [are] not very ambiguous. Hillary Clinton is a highly unpopular figure. In the last Gallup survey, 50% of respondents have a favorable view of her, and 46% negative. Sometimes her averages goes higher, but sometimes it veers into negative territory. Obama has very high ratings. In the most recent poll, 59% view him favorably, 32% negatively. The difference between plus 4 and plus 27 is enormous--a Detroit Lions v. New England Patriots-size gap.
On top of that, independents who vote in the primaries and caucuses have shown a very strong preference for Obama over Clinton. That is the closest available approximation of a swing voter. (Some Clinton supporters have pointed to her strength among lower-income Democrats in the primary, but a low-income Democratic primary voter is not the same thing as a working class swing voter.)
Read More: Electability! via Andrew Sullivan ("But it looks as if, once again, the Republicans will rescue victory from the pit of doom and overcome their own issues and the Democrats will throw away their most compelling candidate since Kennedy to protect a dynasty's prerogatives.")