Saturday, February 23, 2008

Obama reaching out; voters reaching back.

The Democratic superdelegates are starting to follow the voters — straight to Barack Obama.
In just the past two weeks, more than two dozen of them have climbed aboard his presidential campaign, according to a survey by The Associated Press. At the same time, Hillary Rodham Clinton's are beginning to jump ship, abandoning her for Obama or deciding they now are undecided.
The result: He's narrowing her once-commanding lead among these "superdelegates," the Democratic office holders and party officials who automatically attend the national convention and can vote for whomever they choose.
As Obama has reeled off 11 straight primary victories, some of the superdelegates are having second — or third — thoughts about their public commitments.
Obama has been helped by recent endorsements from several labor unions, including the Teamsters on Wednesday, 20 February 2008.
"He's our guy," said Sonny Nardi, an Ohio superdelegate and the president of Teamsters Local 416 in Cleveland.

Let's take a closer look at who's really qualified and or who's
really working for the good of all of all Americans in the Senate: Obama or Clinton.
Records of these two candidates should be scrutinized in order to make an
informed decision.

First, let’s look at Senator Hillary Clinton.
Senator Clinton, who has served only one full term - 6 yrs. - and
another year campaigning, has managed to author and pass into law -
20 - twenty pieces of legislation in her first six years.

These bills can be found on the website of the Library of Congress, and some are posted here for you.

1. Establish the Kate Mullany National Historic Site.
2. Support the goals and ideals of Better Hearing and Speech Month.
3. Recognize the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
4. Name courthouse after Thurgood Marshall.
5. Name courthouse after James L. Watson.
6. Name post office after Jonn A. O'Shea.
7. Designate Aug. 7, 2003, as National Purple Heart Recognition Day.

8. Support the goals and ideals of National Purple Heart Recognition
9. Honor the life and legacy of Alexander Hamilton on the
bicentennial of his death.
10. Congratulate the Syracuse Univ. Orange Men's Lacrosse Team on
winning the championship.
11. Congratulate the Le Moyne College Dolphins Men's Lacrosse Team
on winning the championship.
12. Establish the 225th Anniversary of the American Revolution
Commemorative Program.
13. Name post office after Sergeant Riayan A. Tejeda.
14. Honor Shirley Chisholm for her service to the nation and express
condolences on her death.
15. Honor John J. Downing, Brian Fahey, and Harry Ford, firefighters
who lost their lives on duty. Only five of Clinton's bills are, more
substantive. 16. Extend period of unemployment assistance to victims
of 9/11.
17.Pay for city projects in response to 9/11 18. Assist land mine
victims in other countries.
19. Assist family caregivers in accessing affordable respite care.
20. Designate part of the National Forest System in Puerto Rico's
protected in the wilderness preservation system.

There you have it, the fact's straight from the Senate Record.

Now, let’s look at Senator Barack Obama.
Now, I would post those of Obama's, but the list is too substantive,
so I'll mainly categorize. During the first - 8 - eight years of
his elected service he sponsored over 820 bills. He introduced:

233 regarding health care reform,
125 on poverty and public assistance,
112 crime fighting bills,
97 economic bills,
60 human rights and anti-discrimination bills,
21 ethics reform bills,
15 gun control,
6 veterans affairs and many others.

His first year in the U.S. Senate, he authored 152 bills and
cosponsored another 427. These included **the Coburn-Obama
Government Transparency Act of 2006 - became law, **The Lugar-Obama
Nuclear Nonproliferation and Conventional Weapons Threat Reduction
Act, - became law, **The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act,
passed the Senate, **The 2007 Government Ethics Bill, - became law,
**The Protection Against Excessive Executive Compensation Bill, In
committee, and many more.

In all, since entering the U.S. Senate, Senator Obama has written
890 bills and cosponsored another 1096. An impressive record
, for
someone who supposedly has no record according to some who would
prefer that this comparison not be made public. He's not just a
talker. He's a doer.

Democrats say Clinton, whose central theme is her readiness to be president, also made blunder after blunder. She chose an inexperienced campaign manager, crafted a message that didn't match the moment, fielded poor organizations in key states, and built a budget that ran dry when she needed money most.
"She got outmaneuvered," said Mark Mellman, a Democratic strategist who isn't aligned with this year's candidates. "Her campaign allowed her to be outmaneuvered on several fronts."

Clinton ran most of last year on her experience, at one point surrounding herself with party icons from the past, such as former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
The strategy was designed for wartime, presenting her as a tough, experienced leader in the mold of Margaret Thatcher, someone who could be trusted to keep the country safe.
But that made her look rooted in the past, even part of the status quo, as Obama cast himself as the voice of a new generation. Young people surged to his rallies, and helped give him his first big victory, in Iowa.
"Everybody has known for a year at least that if you trade experience for change, people want change over experience 2-1. Why they put themselves on the short end of that, I don't know," said one Democrat who worked on Sen. John Kerry's 2004 campaign. "It was a bad choice."
Although she later answered Obama's rise in the polls by changing her message to say she had the experience to deliver change, this Democrat called it "too little, too late."

Clinton could not go before Democratic primary voters and assail Obama for being too far to the left. Instead, she insinuated moral turpitude by asserting that Obama had not been "vetted." When that backfired, she claimed plagiarism by Obama in lifting a paragraph from a speech by his friend and supporter Deval Patrick, the Massachusetts governor

I last Wednesday's news media conference calls by Clinton campaign managers Mark Penn and Harold Ickes in the wake of her Wisconsin defeat she made the same plagiarism charge that had just proved ineffective. She also raised the bogus issue again at Thursday night's debate in Austin, Texas and was rewarded with boos from the Democratic audience.

Many of Clinton's TV ads featured her talking about the issues, standard fare.
But the ads struck one Democratic consultant as a mistake, since Obama's ads also feature excerpts from his speeches. Airing the similar ads invites a comparison of the two candidates' speaking styles at the very time she's been trying to downplay her disadvantage.
"They suck," the consultant said. "The truth is he's a better speaker. He has a better speech. They don't want a side-by-side comparison, but they're making it."



Blogger ichbinalj said...

Barack Obama's ascendancy comes with a popular affirmation: "Yes we can." Maybe it should be "Yes we click," as his presidential campaign takes online politics to new levels.
Obama became the front-runner for the Democratic nomination this month (Feb'08) after a string of primary and caucus victories, and his inspirational appeal and effective campaign organization are getting most of the credit for his stunning success.
But there is another major factor: smart use of new technology, from record-breaking fundraising to Facebook widgets attracting new supporters and mass texting to keep his backers connected.
While every candidate in this year's presidential contest has used the Internet far more effectively than anyone who ran in 2004, Obama is so far ahead of other candidates in Web traffic, social networking and user-generated video that he's in a class by himself.
"Barack Obama is successful because he is Barack Obama, and his message is spot-on with Democrats," said David All, a Republican strategist specializing in new media. "But he is leveraging that with the most effective, comprehensive online strategy of any campaign. He's using the tools that help you find and mobilize new voters."
Andrew Rasiej, a leading analyst of online politics, said the Obama campaign "has come the closest to achieving the Holy Grail of politics on the Internet - converting online enthusiasm to offline action."

3:50 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

The extent of Obama's online fundraising prowess - $28 million in January, with signs that total will be exceeded this month - has outstripped all competitors and stunned many political analysts. About 90 percent of that money came in donations of $100 or less, allowing donors to give again every few weeks - up to the limit of $2,300 each for the primary and general elections.
GOP strategist All said he knew Obama was onto something during a summer visit last year to a friend in Ohio who planned to contribute $10 or $15 a month to Obama. "That campaign understood ahead of everyone else that you don't need to rely on megabucks and bundlers, and I'm afraid some Republicans still don't get that," All said.
Obama's huge donor base, now approaching 1 million, allowed a long-shot campaign to grow into a national force, outspending Clinton in state after state. And it freed up Obama to campaign while Clinton had to spend time with fundraising events.
"This is a wonderful, new development," said Zephyr Teachout, a leader of the Howard Dean campaign in 2004, which raised a total of $27 million online over many months. "Instead of calling rich people for money, you can concentrate on your campaign."
The campaign invested early in Internet infrastructure, spending $2 million in 2007 on software and hardware. Some of Obama's new-media leaders, such as Joe Rospars, came from the Dean campaign and Blue State Digital, a consulting firm.

3:52 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

The Obama campaign has gone beyond fundraising in its use of other new technologies. The goal is to foster a community that does more than give money - writing e-mails and letters to superdelegates, attending house parties and other events, making phone calls and going door to door.
It helps that many supporters are younger voters who are digital natives. They helped make Obama speech clips and a "Yes We Can" music video as popular as Britney Spears on YouTube. Internet activists were also attracted to Obama's early support for the free use of video content such as TV networks' campaign debate clips.
"Friends" of Obama on Facebook get automatic news feeds from the campaign sent to their profiles, which are then seen by other friends. The campaign mass-texts news updates ("CNN just projected Obama wins Wisconsin") and reminders of where to vote in upcoming primaries.
"The use of texting is a big thing, a very effective way to communicate and give people a way to take action," said Julie Germany, director of the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet.
A survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project last month found 27 percent of those under 30 had received campaign news through social-networking sites. Rasiej and All said many campaigns are just discovering the value of social networks.
"A primary means of political persuasion has always been people talking to each other - at the dinner table, over the water cooler," Rasiej said. "Now with these tools it's like having conversations on steroids."

3:54 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

The Obama campaign Web site,, has attracted more traffic than others, according to several surveys, and makes an effort to keep supporters engaged.
Amy Fried, a political science professor at the University of Maine, conducted an experiment last year, signing up with the Obama and Clinton campaigns online. "There was a higher volume of messages from the Obama campaign, and they were doing more," Fried said.
That's a reflection of the Obama campaign's efforts at meshing online and offline activities. A quick survey by Micah Sifry, Rasiej's colleague at the techPresident Web site (, showed there were many more locally organized house parties and other events for Obama than the other two Democrats. One example from mid-January: 189 in San Francisco for Obama, 29 for Edwards and nine for Clinton.

3:56 AM  

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