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Old 02-09-2007, 12:02 PM   #1
BlueStar
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Default The Barack Obama thread

Undoing Obama: Inside the Coming Effort to Dismantle a Candidate
By: Mike Allen
February 9, 2007 10:56 AM EST
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0207/2694.html

Barack Obama’s free ride is ending.

The charismatic Illinois senator has enjoyed a lifetime of hagiography, starting with an 800-word story in The New York Times the day after his election as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review.

Now, Obama’s about to endure a going-over that would make a proctologist blush. Why has he sometimes said his name is Arabic, and other times Swahili? Why did he make up names in his first book, as the introduction acknowledges? Why did he say two years ago that he would “absolutely” serve out his Senate term, which sends in 2011, and that the idea of him running for president this cycle was “silly” and hype “that’s been a little overblown”?

In interviews, strategists in both parties pointed to four big vulnerabilities: Obama’s inexperience, the thinness of his policy record, his frank liberalism in a time when the party needs centrist voters, and the wealth of targets that are provided by the personal recollections in his first book, from past drug use to conversations that cannot be documented.

Beginning with his announcement for president on Saturday, the long knives will be out for Obama from three directions: Reporters, perpetuating the boom and bust cycle of a ravenous media culture, will try to make up for the fawning coverage of the past. Democratic rivals see him as the easiest mark among the major contenders, and want to get him out of the way. And some top Republicans think the party would have a better chance with Sen. Hillary Clinton as the nominee, since she is a known quantity while Obama can try to define himself as anything he wants.

Officials at the top of both parties calculate that Obama has risen too fast to sustain his popularity in the cauldron of a presidential campaign. Democrats talk of “vapid platitudes” that could produce a “soufflé effect” – an implosion as journalists and activists begin probing for substance behind Obama’s appealing promise of “a different kind of politics” and “a new kind of politics.”

“With a couple of pinpricks here and there, the whole thing could fall apart,” said a Democratic strategist familiar with the plans of Obama’s rival campaigns.

Says another top Democrat: "Once the shooting war starts, he's not going to be able to get away with these grand pronouncements.”

Obama’s friend Donna Brazile, who has known him since 2002 because of their work together on children’s issues, is staying neutral in the Democratic contest but says he’s ready for the onslaught, contending that his press has already become more mixed. “He’s laying a foundation and a framework,” he said. “People are responding to his message and are tuning out all the polarization.”

Even his name offers fodder for the critics. When he was growing up, his family, friends and teachers called him “Barry.” Then as a young man, he started insisting on “Barack,” explaining in his a memoir published in 1995 that his grandfather was a Muslim and that it means “blessed” in Arabic. His dad, who was Kenyan, had gone by “Barry” -- probably trying to fit in when he came to the states, his son figured. On the campaign trail during his 1994 Senate race, he told reporters that “Barack” was Swahili for “blessed by God.”

Whatever its origins, the exotic, multicultural name – so open to interpretation that some Irish folks he ran into assumed “O’Bama” must be one of theirs – is just one of the tools Obama has used to create a captivating narrative about himself as a post-partisan messiah for a nation weary of Potomac combat. The idea of Obama has created dizzying expectations for a senator who draws the largest spontaneous crowds of any American public figure since Colin Powell went on book tour. A cartoon doctor in The New Yorker even diagnoses a patient with “Obamania.”

Obama was the crowd favorite at the Democratic National Committee meeting in Washington last weekend, offering remarks so lofty that most of them could have come from either party. “Our rivals won't be one another,” Obama said as part of the parade of presidential hopefuls that spoke to the crowd. “And I would assert it won't even be the other party. It's going to be cynicism that we're fighting against.”

But that is surely wishful thinking, because his rivals are getting ready to dig into him at public debates and forums, beginning with a labor-sponsored session in Carson City, Nev., on Feb. 21. Obama has said he’ll leave Nevada just before the event.

Obama, whose two massive books (both New York Times bestsellers) make it clear he is wise beyond his 45 years, knows what’s coming. He writes presciently in the one published last year, “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream”: “”Precisely because I’ve watched the press cast me in a light that can be hard to live up to, I am mindful of how rapidly that process can work in reverse.” He recalls President Bush warning him privately during their first meeting in the White House: “When you get a lot of attention like you’ve been getting, people start gunnin’ for ya.”

Here’s a capsulized look at the opponents’ plans for undoing Obama:

1. Inexperience

It was only about two years ago, during a meeting with reporters at his Illinois campaign headquarters after his election to the U.S. Senate, that he ridiculed as “a silly question” whether he would run for president or vice president before his term ends in 2011. “I’ve never worked in Washington,” he said. “I can unequivocally say I will not be running for national office in four years, and my entire focus is making sure that I’m the best possible senator on behalf of the people of Illinois.”

As he told NBC’s Tim Russert on “Meet the Press” after his election in 2004, “I don’t know where the restrooms are in the Senate.” Then last October, on the same show, he backed away from the pledge, saying it reflected his “thinking at the time” but that he had not thought about the idea “with the seriousness and depth that I think it required.”

Asked on ABC’s “Good Morning America” last month if his lack of foreign policy experience would hurt him in his White House bid, Obama replied: “My experience in foreign policy is probably more diverse than most others in the field. I mean, I'm somebody who has actually lived overseas, somebody who has studied overseas. You know, I majored in international relations.”

Jim Wallis, the progressive theologian who founded Sojourners/Call to Renewal, says the senator has “a different kind of experience” than a typical candidate, and said he has listened to Obama talk knowledgably and passionately about youth, the arts, politics, religion and business in small-group settings since he was an Illinois state senator and few people knew who he was. “There’s an intellectual depth and personal depth and moral depth,” Wallis said. “He’s didn’t say, ‘Let me try these ideas.’ He’s been talking about them since he was the least famous person in the room.”

2. Anemic Policy Record

At the DNC meeting, Obama surprised some in the audience by seeming to scoff at the intricacy of public policy. "There are those who don't believe in talking about hope," he said. "They say, well, we want specifics, we want details, we want white papers, we want plans. We've had a lot of plans, Democrats. What we've had is a shortage of hope."

A former Democratic official in close touch with several of the campaigns said: "Downplaying the importance of specific plans and ideas seems like a really strange strategy from somebody who is clearly very smart, policy-wise, but hasn't established that with the broader public yet."

Aides to Obama say that his weekend’s three-day announcement tour in Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire – including town-hall meetings, rallies and a house party – will focus on the broad, uplifting themes that were a hit at the DNC meeting. He has said the nation must have “the will to pass health care for all by the end of the first term of the very next president of the United States,” and that is likely to be among his early proposals.

“Audacity of Hope,” named for a sermon Obama heard back when he owned only one suit, sketches a possible health-care overhaul designed to save money through lower administrative and malpractice costs so that a subsidy could be offered to low-income families. Immediate coverage would be mandated for uninsured children. The senator has also talked about an energy plan to “wean ourselves off Middle Eastern oil,” which could be an early proposal.

3. Liberalism

The senator is unabashedly more liberal than the centrist path charted by President Bill Clinton. Back in 1996, a Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter that Obama – then the Democratic nominee from his state Senate district – sighed when asked about the fall election. “Bill Clinton?” Obama was quoted as asking. “Well, his campaign's fascinating to a student of politics. It's disturbing to someone who cares about certain issues. But politically, it seems to be working."

“Audacity of Hope” advocates civil unions for gay people, declaring tartly that Obama is not “willing to accept a reading of the Bible that considers an obscure line in Romans to be more defining of Christianity than the Sermon on the Mount.” He says he doesn’t “believe we strengthen the family by bullying or coercing people into the relationships we think are best for them – or by punishing those who fail to meet our standards of sexual propriety.”

He writes Bill Clinton and conservatives turned out to be “right about welfare as it was previously structured.” He adds, ““But we also need to admit that work alone does not ensure that people can rise out of poverty.”

4. Disclosures in His Books

A little-noticed disclaimer at the front of his 442-page memoir of his youth, “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance” says: “For the sake of compression, some of the characters that appear are composites of people that I’ve known, and some events appear out of precise chronology. With the exception of my family and a handful of public figures, the names of most characters have been changed for the sake of their privacy.”

The disclosure calls into question the pages and pages of years-old dialogue that Obama recalled when he was writing the book, a frank and searching account of his effort to come to terms with issues of race in America, at age 33. Lynn Sweet, the dogged Washington reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, spotted the disclaimer in 2004 and wrote one of the few critical stories every printed about Obama. “I say in the book it is my remembrances of what happened,” he told her in an interview. “I don’t set it out as reportage … read the book for what it is worth.”

It is immensely valuable as a Rosetta Stone to a man who wants to lead the free world, and wrote rawly about his shame when he had referred to a Beaver-Cleaver-like, argyle-sweater wearing black friend as an Uncle Tom in order to try to ingratiate himself to more radical friends. But Obama, who would start his career in politics as a community organizer in Chicago, wrote that he also found solace in the autobiography of Malcolm X, with his “unadorned insistence on respect.”

The book also contains the admission about his youth: “Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it.” He also uses a slang term to refer to casual sex, and quotes a vulgar term from a bull session about Malcolm X. His campaign says voters will appreciate the honesty and support him. The challenge for Obama will be to survive long enough for voters to have that chance.

 
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Old 02-09-2007, 12:04 PM   #2
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Obama Will Skip First Debate
Sen. Barack Obama "is skipping a forum for Democratic presidential candidates in Nevada this month -- his first opportunity to share a platform with his rivals for the 2008 nomination," the AP reports.

Seven other announced or expected Democratic candidates -- including Sen. Hillary Clinton and John Edwards -- "have told organizers they will participate in the Feb. 21 forum in Carson City, Nev. It's the first such candidates forum of the 2008 presidential campaign."

Political Insider: "The Obama campaign's decision to skip the first Presidential debate will undoubtedly add fuel to the argument that the first-term Illinois Senator is not ready for prime time.

 
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Old 02-09-2007, 12:15 PM   #3
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Supposed RNC press release...

THE DEM DODGER

Obama Bubble Tightens As Candidate Dodges

First Primary Forum

Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) Dodges First Dem Primary Forum:

“Sen. Barack Obama Won't Join Democratic Presidential Candidates At A Feb. 21 Forum In Carson City Later This Month, Although He Plans To Be In Southern Nevada Just Before The Event, His Campaign Said Thursday.” (Kathleen Hennessey, “Obama Passes On Northern Nevada Presidential Forum,” The Associated Press, 2/8/07)

* Other Top Democrats Are Attending The Forum. “Obama’s top rivals for the nomination, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and former vice presidential candidate John Edwards, agreed to attend to the forum earlier this week . . . Sens. Joe Biden and Chris Dodd, former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel also have accepted invitations to the event.” (Kathleen Hennessey, “Obama Passes On Northern Nevada Presidential Forum,” The Associated Press, 2/8/07)

Earlier This Week, An Adviser Dared Organizers To Hold Forum Without Obama. “‘The two people who can blow up the debates are [Obama and Clinton],’ an adviser to the Obama campaign told me. ‘All they have to do is say: ‘Debate without me. Go ahead.’’” (Roger Simon, “Obama, Clinton May Skip Early Debates,” The Politico, 2/6/07)

Forum Flight Reinforces Obama’s Tight Bubble:

Obama “Already Has A Bubble Around Him.” “But it turns out that Obama, riding an astonishing wave of glowing publicity for a candidate 21 months from an election, already has a bubble around him that is tighter than the one that surrounded Texas Gov. George W. Bush, who spent long hours of the fledgling days of his candidacy in bull sessions with reporters.” (Mike Allen, “For Obama, No News Is Good News,” The Politico, 2/5/07)

* Obama: “You Can Walk With Me. That Doesn’t Mean You Can Ask Questions.” “As Obama left the hotel reception, smiling and saying, ‘Thank you AGAIN,’ I introduced myself and said, ‘Good evening, Senator, may I walk with you?’ He replied, ‘You can walk with me. That doesn’t mean you can ask questions.’ I chuckled, thinking he was kidding. ‘But you can certainly walk with me,’ he added. The Senator then underscored, ‘I’m sorry. I’m not answering questions.’” (Mike Allen, “For Obama, No News Is Good News,” The Politico, 2/5/07)

Suspicions Are Growing That Obama “Doesn’t Have Much To Say”:

Obama Has “To Put Some Policy Meat On The Bones Of That Compelling Personality, Lest He Feed The Suspicion That He Doesn’t Have Much To Say.” “People listened intently [to Obama’s DNC speech], but at some point, the man from Illinois is going to have to put some policy meat on the bones of that compelling personality, lest he feed the suspicion that he doesn’t have much to say.” (David Broder, Op-Ed, “The Other Democrats Weigh In,” The Washington Post, 2/6/07)

“For Instance, At The Democratic National Committee's Winter Meeting In Washington Last Week, Some Of Obama's Speech Appeared To Endorse Rhetoric Over Substance.” (Bill Lambrecht, “Obama: Full Of Hope On A Tough Road,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2/9/07)

 
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Old 02-09-2007, 01:18 PM   #4
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oh geez.

 
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Old 02-09-2007, 01:35 PM   #5
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He's got about the same chance as becoming the next president as I do.

 
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Old 02-09-2007, 01:40 PM   #6
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Since I posted the Edwards one, might has well post the Obama one...

MyDD Interview with Barack Obama
by Jonathan Singer, Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 11:00:49 AM EST
http://www.mydd.com/story/2007/2/8/14032/52579#readmore

On Friday afternoon I was able to speak over the telephone with Sen. Barack Obama, candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, while he was driving from a rally to the airport to catch a flight home.

Jonathan Singer: Hi, how are you doing?

Barack Obama: So did Schumer tell you all his trade secrets?

Singer: He tried to give me as much as he could. He's got a lot in that mind -

Obama: He does.

Singer: - that he keeps to himself. He's got a lot of trade secrets he doesn't want to get out.

[Laughter]

Singer: You talked today about battling against cynicism within the electorate, trying to get people more involved. We were talking yesterday briefly about one process reform we have in Oregon, vote-by-mail. I was wondering if you think that there can be process reforms to get people more involved or there needs to be a more systematic change as well?

Obama: I think all of the above. I cut my teeth on organizing, first in the community and then when I came back from law school and organized a voter registration project called Project Hope that registered about 150,000 new voters. But it was painstaking. The barriers that we still have in place for people getting involved just in exercising enfranchisement is still significant. We need to tear those down.

This week, Schumer and I introduced a bill dealing with deceptive practices, some of the nonsense that we saw in 2006, people calling up and saying that their polling place has been moved or that if you have a parking ticket you can't vote, spreading disinformation. We need to have a Justice Department that actually is prosecuting that stuff. And if it's not our bill, what it does, it allows a private right of action so the voter himself can take that to court and challenge it before it's too late for them to vote.

I personally think that we should seriously consider, on a state-by-state basis, moving away from partisan gerrymandering because I think it discourages the kind of robust debate that we need to have. If people feel like this is a 90 percent Democratic district or a 90 percent Republican district, then at a certain point folks start opting out of the process.

So those are all procedural forms that could make a difference. Now ultimately, though, elected officials and candidates themselves need to break down some of these barriers. I think the internet has been an invaluable tool to help connect candidates to potential supporters.

But I think there is still a hesitancy on the part of a lot of campaigns because they want to control the process themselves. I'm leaving George Mason University where a group called Students for Barack Obama just organized a 3,000-person rally. We had nothing to do with it. There's no way we could have given the time constraints we were under to organize something that good. But if candidates are willing to loosen the reins a little bit then that encourages people - especially young people - who will have other opportunities for public service to get involved.

And then the final aspect of it is message. I don't care how open your process is. If politics are timid, people aren't going to be excited, they're not going to get involved.

Singer: One of the things you spoke about today was getting universal healthcare - and quickly. Learning what you have over the past two plus years in the Senate as well as your time in the legislature down in Spingfield, what do you think you'll need to do as President to get that done so that people don't just think it's a candidate saying, "I'm going to do it"?

Obama: I think a new President has to... Let me put it this way: First the candidate would have to describe this commitment with some specificity, which isn't to say you've got the whole plan worked out perfectly ahead of time or that there's not going to be any compromise or modifications. But you have to run on the notion that by the end of your first term you're going to have healthcare for all.

That then would give you, should you win, a mandate. And you have to use that mandate. Quickly - in the first 100 days before the corrosive process of Washington starts setting in.

There are going to have to be compromises. There is a powerful -

[Phone cuts out]

Obama: That's my fault, Jonathan. That's probably a sign that I was talking too much.

[Laughter]

Singer: No, no worries whatsoever. Another source, I think, of cynicism, not just within young people but among the 60 to 70 percent of people in polls and the 55 percent of people who voted Democratic in 2006, is that the President is moving in exact opposite direction on the issue of Iraq - and not just on Iraq but on Iran as well - than the majority of Americans seem to want. What can be done, both in the next two years, and what can you do as President to restore Americans' faith that the President is indeed responsive, particularly on an issue as important as the war?

Obama: This week I introduced a very specific plan in the form of a bill - legislation - that would begin a phased withdrawal with the target of having all our combat forces out of Iraq by March 31 of next year. And that is what I would do right now if I were President and it's consistent with what my position has been throughout, which is we shouldn't have gone in in the first place, once we were in we had some responsibility and a national security interest in stabilizing the situation, but that stability is only going to come about if there is significant political compromise between the various Iraqi factions. It can't be imposed militarily.

So I'm hoping to get a vote on this bill. There are other strategies that have been presented. Russ Feingold has a bill. He's been consistent as I have in our oppositions to the President's misguided policies. I think Chris Dodd has a cap, at least on the surge. And Senator Biden has the non-binding resolution, which at least sends a message that the majority of the Senate is opposed to the President's policy. But I guess my point is that opposing the escalation is a distraction from the larger issue, which is that we need to deescalate.

Now in terms of the future, I think the next President is going to be cleaning up this mess for some time to come. And what citizens can do is essentially make sure that they're keeping the pressure on. Sooner or later the political system responds, and I think the November elections fundamentally changed the political climate in a way that puts more political pressure on the President.

Singer: Now for the people who feel like they're undergoing deja vu all over again, as Yogi Berra put it, in terms of American policy towards Iran...

Obama: I think the major difference is that there will not be any tolerance, I think, on the part of this Congress for unilateral action by the United States against Iran. You're not going to get the kind of authorization language that you got for Iraq. And that provided the President, frankly, a lot of cover for a long time. And it boxed a lot of folks in Congress into a policy that wasn't going to work, and made it made it more difficult to oppose these subsequent moves.

Listen, Jonathan, I'm actually about to get on a plane.

Singer: I appreciate your time.

Obama: I hope that was helpful.

Singer: As a fellow SCIAC person - I went to Pomona, one of your rivals...

Obama: Those are nice schools. Nice, small liberal arts colleges, schools. They were good. I hope I get the chance to see you again, Jonathan.

Singer: Have a safe flight.

[THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.]

 
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Old 02-09-2007, 01:48 PM   #7
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why you gotta be such racist bluestar.

also your posting style of only articles without any personal input is annoying as hell.

 
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Old 02-09-2007, 02:38 PM   #8
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Obama recently came out and said (after Edwards said this - and Edwards has done this his entire political career) that he would not take any money from lobbyists or PACs for his presidential run, but...

Money Obama now spurns helped launch White House bid
http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2007...ow_s.html#more

PACs helped launch bid

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) used campaign donations generated by PACs and lobbyists to bankroll the birth of his White House bid -- though he's banning that money for his presidential 2008 race.

Obama's conversion to a laudable higher standard does not negate that money from sources he now disdains helped paved the way for his kickoff in Springfield on Saturday.

Obama has been raising campaign cash for two political pots -- Obama 2010 Inc., his Senate re-election committee, and the Hopefund, another war chest. Obama, until his recent conversion on the eve of his presidential run, took more than $1 million from political action committees.

An examination of disbursements from the two funds reveals how Obama was able to use legal loopholes commonly used by other presidential contenders to pay for White House testing-of-the-water expenses:

• • $3,214.95 on Dec. 20 to the political consulting firm of Hildebrand Tewes. Steve Hildebrand starting helping Obama last year in Iowa, the state with the crucial leadoff presidential vote. Paul Tewes is now Obama's Iowa campaign manager and Hildebrand will be an important adviser.

• • More than $100,000 in consulting fees in 2005 and 2006 to the Chicago-based AKP Message and Media firm. Firm founder David Axelrod is one of Obama's most influential strategists; he will make his ads and shape his message. Obama's AKP partner David Plouffe is Obama's campaign manager. Obama worked out of the AKP Washington offices -- as did other Obama presidential staff -- after announcing his exploratory bid a few weeks ago.

• • $1,590 in December for hotels and food for staffers who helped stage Obama's December visit to Manchester, New Hampshire -- the state with the first-in-the nation primary. He also made a $2,500 donation to the New Hampshire Democratic party.

• • $51,000 last August to Obama polling firm Harstad Strategic Research for a "Survey on Health Care Reform." Harstad will share polling duties for Obama's presidential bid. Obama is making health care coverage a key White House theme.

• • Thousands of dollars in 2005 and 2006 to pay the salary of professional fund-raisers who will be transferred to the presidential payroll.

Bill Burton, an Obama spokesman, said, "taking the highly selective view of any finance report would allow you to make any conclusion you would like to make." Burton said Obama made the decision to ban the special interest money recently, just as presidential fund-raising was beginning.

• • A side note, the records also show that Obama paid his publisher, Random House, $24,162 for copies of his book Audacity of Hope to give as gifts.

 
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Old 02-09-2007, 03:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueStar
Obama Will Skip First Debate
Sen. Barack Obama "is skipping a forum for Democratic presidential candidates in Nevada this month -- his first opportunity to share a platform with his rivals for the 2008 nomination," the AP reports.

Seven other announced or expected Democratic candidates -- including Sen. Hillary Clinton and John Edwards -- "have told organizers they will participate in the Feb. 21 forum in Carson City, Nev. It's the first such candidates forum of the 2008 presidential campaign."

Political Insider: "The Obama campaign's decision to skip the first Presidential debate will undoubtedly add fuel to the argument that the first-term Illinois Senator is not ready for prime time.
he shouldn't participate. this debate is too early. doesn't hillary have more important things going on as a senator? i don't like a 2 year campaigning cycle. this is stupid. as for edwards, he has nothing better to do so i'm unimpressed. the dems are idiotic to give more fodder to be picked apart by the gop. things will change by next year and the flip flop issue will come to the front. the democrats are so freaking stupid sometimes. major media is talking about anna nicole smith. who is this large body of interested people who are going to care for more than a minute about a debate for the presidency this month? how out of touch can these people be?

 
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Old 02-09-2007, 03:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TuralyonW3
why you gotta be such racist bluestar.

also your posting style of only articles without any personal input is annoying as hell.
.

 
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Old 02-09-2007, 03:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homechicago
the dems are idiotic to give more fodder to be picked apart by the gop. things will change by next year and the flip flop issue will come to the front. the democrats are so freaking stupid sometimes. major media is talking about anna nicole smith. who is this large body of interested people who are going to care for more than a minute about a debate for the presidency this month? how out of touch can these people be?
The debate is not something that is going to be broadcast across the U.S. and the Repub candidates are not involved. And any Dem candidate worth anything won't flip flop on the issues. This debate is all about 1) Nevada, 2) union support, and 3) health care. Nevada is the #2 primary in the current primary schedule. There has not been a primary this early in NV before and NV is a caucus (which is a whole different animal than your typical election). Therefore, it is quite important to engage Nevada voters early and often. Unions are what it is all about in NV. This debate is sponsored by a union and union members will be there in full force. You don't have the backing of union members (which can be/often is different than an endorsement from the union), you aren't going to win NV. And, of course, with NV being #2, all the candidates need to well in NV. And thirdly, this debate is specifically about health care. Health care is going to be one of the top 3 issues in this election.

And again, you have to understand the primary system and the primary voters. People who show up to vote in a primary, particularly a caucus (in '04 IA had one of the largest turnouts ever at their caucus and that turnout was still just 32%). These are the engaged voters that do care this far in advance. And it is not just about getting votes and getting media attention, it is about getting foot soldiers. Again, going back to the fact that NV has never been this early or this significant, there is not a great, built-in network of active grassroots volunteers in NV. So, this is way of finding them, reaching out to them, and getting to them start volunteering on your behalf. This campaign is unlike anything we've seen. It's starting earlier and shit is mattering earlier. With the primaries being packed in like they are, NV is of HUGE importance and the groudwork needed to win needed to have started yesterday.

There are really only two reasons why Obama would skip this debate: 1) He doesn't have any plans for anything (which is true - as of right now, he has not released a detailed plan on anything and he has not given any speeches that contained actual policies) and he doesn't have enough time to come up with plans, and/or 2) He will not meet the fundraising expectations and, thus, is prioritizing where he is going to play and is seriously considering skipping NV.

In the end, skipping this debate will not harm him in the long run. However, in the short run, he will suffer some serious blows for not being there.

 
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Old 02-09-2007, 04:14 PM   #12
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kerry won an upset in the iowa caucus i thought. iowa went for w.

 
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Old 02-09-2007, 04:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homechicago
kerry won an upset in the iowa caucus i thought. iowa went for w.
Right, but what does that have to do with anything?

 
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Old 02-09-2007, 05:33 PM   #14
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what i've recently been thinking about is the futility of it all.

by the time the dnc and rnc have their conventions, there isn't anything interesting to tune into.

really, what do these things matter? why don't people who are running for the presidency of the united states visit state capitals and deliver their message? why is a potluck dinner in some small new hampshire or iowa town so important? the least amount of people see the candidate live.

personally, i think our political process is antiquated, full of red tape inefficiencies, and the voting process is equally pathetic.

admittedly, i don't know enough about the intricacies of the whole process, but given our nation's voting record/attendance, it would seem to me that streamlining the process would make it more enticing to the casual voter. maybe i'll pick up a book about australia's voting process. i think it's probably better, but i'll have to read to find out.

this is rambling. sorry.

 
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:00 PM   #15
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As someone who works on campaigns and has been through three Iowa caucuses, I love our primary system. I love the tradition of it. However, what I think is so great about it is that it is dependent on grassroots/field organization, not money or media. All the tv ads and millions of dollars won't win you Iowa. It is the phone calls, door knocking, and house parties that will win you Iowa. Same goes for New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. After that, the states are too close together and it, sadly, becomes mostly all about the money and the media. Of course, I have to admit that I am a field, that's what I do - so, naturally, I am all about field and believe that field should be what dominates campaigns. However, also being a field person, I have studied field activities and strategies in depth and I can without a single doubt tell you that the #1 thing that gets votes is door knocking and the #2 thing is phone calling. It is the personal voter contact. And that is why I am all for spaced out primaries where time and staffing actually allow for personal voter contact in all the states. And it really is through personal voter contact, and not sound bites and campaign slogans plastered on the tv and direct mail pieces, that voters truly get to learn about the candidates and make the best decision possible. The further apart the primaries, the more people that get to see the candidate live in person. I love that Iowa and New Hampshire (and Nevada and South Carolina) are such that the voters there actually get to have that experience. And it is so entrenched in Iowa and New Hampshire - there's a saying among campaign staff: "Sorry, I can't vote for him, he only knocked on my door once" (said by a voter in reference to a candidate). But, back to the whole Iowa and Kerry thing. This is why I dislike the media horserace and the early polls so much. Those of us on the ground working on these campaigns knew in November that Kerry and Edwards would be the ones doing well in the caucuses and that Dean would be nothing. But, all the media and all the polls, even a week before the January caucuses, had Dean winning. It doesn't matter what the media and the polls say, it matters what the voters say. The results were not shocking or an upset to any of the campaign staffers, we knew, or knew at least as best as you can know, how things would stack up come caucus night. There is just so much more thought and strategy and actual talk about the policies in the potluck dinners in someone's home in Greenfield, Iowa than there is or ever will be in campaign tv ads.

Ok, now I'm rambling.

 
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:19 PM   #16
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Dear Samantha,

I work for Senator Barack Obama, and together, with you, we're about to start something incredible.

Right now I'm writing to ask you to take a moment and watch this important announcement from Senator Obama:

http://www.barackobama.com/preview

I'm also writing to let you know that Senator Obama will be making a speech about his plans for the future in Springfield, Illinois on Saturday morning.

It will be cold, but thousands will brave sub-freezing temperatures to be part of something historic.

Can't join us in person? No problem.

You can watch a live video feed of the event on BarackObama.com, which will be a brand new site in the morning. Here are the details:

Live Video Feed from Springfield, Illinois
10:55 AM Eastern / 9:55 AM Central / 8:55 AM Mountain / 7:55 AM Pacific
http://www.barackobama.com

Please pass this along to anyone you think might interested.

That's all for now...but this is just the beginning.

Thank you,
David

David Plouffe
Obama Exploratory Committee

 
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:44 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueStar
It will be cold, but thousands will brave sub-freezing temperatures to be part of something historic.
MAN do I love rhetoric. seriously.

 
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Old 02-09-2007, 09:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sppunk
He's got about the same chance as becoming the next president as I do.


I'd never vote for your lazy ass, sppunk.

 
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Old 02-09-2007, 10:34 PM   #19
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Barack Obama rocks yo mama on the back of a lama and oh, whatever.

 
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:09 PM   #20
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it's official, Obama is in.

what i definitely like about him is the sense of hope and possibility that things can get better. now the trashing begins.

 
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Old 02-10-2007, 06:12 PM   #21
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I'm watching Obama's speech, a little past halfway through. I want to vote for this guy more than any of the other Democrats now. I really hope he's the next sitting President. It's gonna be an uphill battle for him if he gets the nomination though.

 
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Old 02-10-2007, 06:32 PM   #22
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the "experience" question will be there, but i think it's pretty easy to point to past presidents like w who had no world experience (for which we pay dearly now) and lincoln had less experience than obama, and he's one of our nation's greatest presidents.

our forefathers didn't have an "experience" requirement because even they knew that nothing is a sure fire path to being a good president. experience doesn't equal success. a lot will change over the next two years, but i think obama is sharp, like bill clinton comes from a humble past (not oil field money), and he seems to authentically care about the state of the nation and he wants america to be an economic powerhouse using science and green concepts so people will be put to work with jobs that pay the bills. he seems to get it.

 
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Old 02-10-2007, 08:15 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homechicago
what i definitely like about him is the sense of hope and possibility that things can get better. now the trashing begins.
Hope isn't going to solve all the problems, though. I'm still waiting for him to actually release details for any policy on anything. And he's a complete ass in real life (for example, going off on a staff assistant for not holding the door open for him). And there's no way he can win the nomination (at least at this point in time) - he's black, he won't be able to overcome the "inexperienced" label, he doesn't actually stand for anything concrete, he's not perceived as "electable", and the primary schedule is stacked against him.

 
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Old 02-10-2007, 10:08 PM   #24
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he's against the war, and always has been. he wants to bring the troops home in 2008 instead of wading through murky rhetoric that says nothing about the state of affairs. you obviously like edwards. he seems like a good guy, but president? edwards short stint in politics didn't give him the power or experience to make good choices (for the war). you say he's such a good choice, but based on what can he form a policy for ending our occupation in a foreign country? he hasn't established himself as a foreign policy man. being against poverty is great, but i don't know anyone who wants him for president.

people don't want experienced washington elitists because they've been drinking the kool aid too long. my friends in other states are changing from hilary to obama.

if you think obama is a guy who sits around talking about dreams and doing nothing concrete you don't know much about him. he's a born leader, and i have no reason to doubt his word.

w said he was a uniter not a divider, he lied about that. w said he was against nation building when clinton was in office, yet he does that now. w talks about being independent from foreign oil, but hasn't made a move or persuaded anyone to take action on those empty words. at this time, hilary and rudy don't stand for much either, other than electability and fundraising. dodd, biden, romney, all wasting time.

right now, obama is the man i see repairing alliances in the world, getting people to agree and compromise. when he went to kenya, thousands of people showed up to see him. he's relatable, intelligent, and he has always worked to better the lives of hard working americans. he knows how to build bi-partisan coalitions, and what this country needs is someone who recognizes that a president needs to work for all americans, not just the ones who follow his every command. in the state legislature republicans worked with him. if this country needs anything coming off the decider's presidency it's someone who will listen and not shut out half the country.

 
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Old 02-10-2007, 10:43 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homechicago
he's against the war, and always has been. he wants to bring the troops home in 2008 instead of wading through murky rhetoric that says nothing about the state of affairs. you obviously like edwards. he seems like a good guy, but president? edwards short stint in politics didn't give him the power or experience to make good choices (for the war). you say he's such a good choice, but based on what can he form a policy for ending our occupation in a foreign country? he hasn't established himself as a foreign policy man.

if you think obama is a guy who sits around talking about dreams and doing nothing concrete you don't know much about him. he's a born leader, and i have no reason to doubt his word.

right now, obama is the man i see repairing alliances in the world, getting people to agree and compromise. he's relatable, intelligent, and he has always worked to better the lives of hard working americans. he knows how to build bi-partisan coalitions, and what this country needs is someone who recognizes that a president needs to work for all americans, not just the ones who follow his every command.
It's very easy to be against the war when you aren't actually in Congress receiving the information (which later turned out to be false, but no one knew that then) and don't have to make a decision on how to vote. And Edwards wants to the bring the troops home yesterday.

There's more to politics than just being an elected official. You can gain political experience and leadership experience in other ways that just being an elected official. Edwards has more foreign policy experience than Obama does. And, frankly, most presidents have little to none foreign policy experience when they are elected.

The problem is that I do know him. I've worked with him. And I do not see him as a good person and I find him to be rather hypocritical at times. I've worked with and for lots of politicians over the years and Edwards is without a doubt the most sincere and genuine. I don't get that feeling from Obama. (Among the presidential candidates, I have worked with Edwards, Hillary, Obama, Richardson, Kucinich, McCain, and Giuliani.) Where does Obama stand on anything? What legislation is he going to try to get introduced in Congress if he is president? And what are the details of that legislation? And how he is going to pay for all of it? I need to have answers to those questions and Obama isn't offering any answers. Right now, all I'm getting from Obama is fluff and no substance.

All those things apply to Edwards too. (I am trying to resist the urge to post Edwards' In Defense of Optimisim speech from '03.)

 
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Old 02-11-2007, 02:05 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueStar
Hope isn't going to solve all the problems, though. I'm still waiting for him to actually release details for any policy on anything. And he's a complete ass in real life (for example, going off on a staff assistant for not holding the door open for him). And there's no way he can win the nomination (at least at this point in time) - he's black, he won't be able to overcome the "inexperienced" label, he doesn't actually stand for anything concrete, he's not perceived as "electable", and the primary schedule is stacked against him.
So who do you like? I don't say this to be offensive but you seem to have a problem with everyone. You've said that Hillary is an automatic loss, and now Obama has no details on policy among other things. On the other hand, you go pretty easy on Edwards. I don't really know if he has a chance, though.

 
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Old 02-11-2007, 03:10 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Effloresce
So who do you like? I don't say this to be offensive but you seem to have a problem with everyone. You've said that Hillary is an automatic loss, and now Obama has no details on policy among other things. On the other hand, you go pretty easy on Edwards. I don't really know if he has a chance, though.
I think Obama is an automatic loss too if he is the Dem nominee. Like I've said numerous times, though, it is still way early and everything I say pertains primarily to the here and now and that could no longer hold true months from now. I don't see a minority or woman as being electable. History tells us that a white, Southern male is the best shot in the general. And the way the primary calendar is set up, Edwards (at this point in time) is the most likely to emerge as the winner as he is favored to win Iowa, Nevada, and South Carolina (whoever wins the three of the first four will have the most momentum and money going forward to the other primaries). The primary calendar is against Obama. Add to that the fact that he has no answers for when voters at a house party in Iowa stand up and ask "what are you going to do to lower the cost of prescription meds?". Maybe Obama will get his shit together and will become a more attractive candidate to the types of people that will be voting in the earliest primaries. But, as of right now, I see him dropping out in mid-Feb.

 
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Old 02-11-2007, 04:45 PM   #28
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I'm hoping for obama. Great speaker. His book is great. Like his views. Like his background. Not much that I don't like. That's pretty hard to find these days.

 
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Old 02-11-2007, 05:19 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dudehitscar
I'm hoping for obama. Great speaker. His book is great. Like his views. Like his background. Not much that I don't like. That's pretty hard to find these days.
I love his cocaine use................

 
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Old 02-11-2007, 05:52 PM   #30
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http://www.angehr.com/images/bush-cocaine.jpg

 
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