Monday, December 31, 2007
UPDATE: New Iowa Poll: Obama widens lead over Clinton---Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has widened his lead in Iowa over Hillary Clinton and John Edwards heading into Thursday's nominating caucuses, according to The Des Moines Register's final Iowa Poll before the 2008 nominating contests.
Obama's rise is the result in part of a dramatic influx of first-time caucusgoers, including a sizable bloc of political independents. Both groups prefer the Illinois senator in what has been a very competitive campaign.
Howie P.S.: icebergslim's diary on Kos starts the Obama celebration tonight.
I am waiting for the final pre-caucus Iowa Poll results from the Des Moines Register. This poll is reputedly the most accurate predictor of what place each candidate will finish, but not necessarily the margins between them. It will be available online here after 9pm CST, which I believe is 7pm PST. I should still be functional at that hour and will post and distribute.
Barack Obama is drawing huge crowds in his final swing through Iowa, while his field organizers are ramping up what could be the largest mobilization program in the history of the caucuses.Barack Obama
All year, we've been working hard to make sure that the Democratic nominee is progressive. With the Iowa caucus on Thursday and the New Hampshire primary only a few days later, there's no better time to find out how the DFA Unite for a Progressive President campaign is working on the ground in Iowa.This will be a fun call on the eve of the first election of 2008. This is what a national community is all about. I hope you can join us. Barack Obama
Thank you for everything you do.
Cantwell is 10th Senator To Back Hillary; By Far, More Senators Support Clinton Than Any Other Democratic Candidate
Hillary Clinton picked up her 10th U.S. Senate endorsement today, by far the most of any Democratic presidential candidate.
Washington Senator Maria Cantwell was the latest to announce her support for Hillary, citing her ability to deliver real solutions to America’s problems.
Clinton has 77 congressional endorsements, more than double any other presidential candidate. They include some of the most vocal opponents of the Iraq war.
In an instant, a world in which everything seemed right suddenly seemed all wrong. John and Elizabeth Edwards’s 16-year-old son, Wade, their first-born, was dead, with nothing to blame but the gust of wind that had flipped his car off a wide-open road.
They wrote their own vows, describing what they meant to each other, how fused their lives had become. As Mr. Edwards started to speak his, he had to stop, overwhelmed with emotion. He paused for a long time, never taking his eyes off his wife.
Chris Cillizza (WaPo's The Fix), with video (01:49):
INDIANOLA, Iowa -- Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) directly confronted the idea -- pushed by former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) -- that he is "too nice" to bring about change in Washington, dismissing what he called "hot air" and "rhetoric."
The question is whether that anger aimed at the Bush Administration has fundamentally altered the thinking of members of the Democratic base. Do they want someone who offers a raised fist or someone who offers a handshake? The answer will be clearer by the end of Thursday night.
Is the candidate electable come November? That's the prime question as the courtship phase ends and the time to commit nears.--KNOXVILLE, IOWA — As the front-running Democratic presidential hopefuls barnstorm this snowy state in the final days before the caucuses, Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Edwards agree on at least one thing: Voters should choose the candidate who will be most electable in November.Barack Obama
He added: "It's important to have somebody that's able to win."
Benazir Bhutto was no angel, but she was a believer in democracy who gave her life for her country, retuning to Pakistan knowing she would probably give her life for her country.Howie P.S.: The USA is not Pakistan and Al Gore is not Benazir Bhutto, and that is not meant as a criticism of the Goreacle. Not all Democrats are triangulating, poll-driven, cautious careerists. But still, one wishes there was a little patriotic idealism in our political life.
By contrast, Democrats in Washington have a life crisis, consult an army of pollsters, and have trouble taking clear leadership stands on war and peace because members of a Congress with record unpopularity might lose another point or two in the polls.
Good-bye, Benazir. You may be gone, but you will be remembered and honored. Perhaps some day in the land that gave us Washington and Lincoln, some heroic leader will emerge once again, inspired by your courage and your example, and rise above the mediocrity and timidity of our times, as you did in yours.
Politically engaged college students are forgoing their coveted winter breaks to brave the frigid terrain of Iowa.Young people enthusiastic about their candidate, or in some cases just the democratic process generally, are descending on Iowa in droves to volunteer and observe.Barack Obama
Jane Fleming Kleeb, Young Voter PAC’s executive director, said she was disappointed that very few students took them up on their offer at first. But, noting college students’ famous tendency to procrastinate, she said it is encouraging that most of the 84 applications have come in since Friday, suggesting that many more may soon follow.
Fmr. Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) is in a close race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Bob Schieffer speaks with Edwards about his campaign and the recent assassination of Benazir Bhutto.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Think On These Things, video:
- Watch the clip where Obama outlines why he is prepared to lead the country here.
- Watch the clip where Obama discusses the situation in Pakistan and its influence on America here.
NASHUA, N.H. -- Like many New Hampshire voters, Dave Montgomery considers himself a dyed-in-the-wool independent -- which in this state means he can vote in either the Republican or Democratic presidential primary when he goes to the polls Jan. 8.Howie P.S.: H/t to Mr. Smith.
This year, the semi-retired school bus driver from Milford finds himself torn between two candidates, one from each party: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).
She said she devoured Obama's book, "The Audacity of Hope," as she had McCain's autobiography -- and found similarities between the two. "I like their character; they're not big-government people," she said.
Though she was not budging from Obama, she added that, when the New Hampshire primary is over, "if it comes down to McCain versus a different Democrat, I'm back with McCain."
Senator Clinton today (12/26) launched her campaign's closing argument based on the theme "Big Challenges, Real Solutions: Time to Pick a President." Her message is that only she has the experience and the readiness to lead on Day One. Senators Joe Biden and Chris Dodd and Governor Bill Richardson could justifiably take issue with this message.At a critical moment, when America needs to show new policies and a new face to the world, who better than Barack Obama's? Barack Obama
The silence is deafening. So many prominent politicians, particularly Democrats, have refrained from endorsing a presidential candidate. Are they drowning in a sea of good options, or terrified of making the wrong call?
Either way, the absence of these major voices is one of the more remarkable features of the 2008 campaign and may be contributing to the closely contested battles on both sides in Iowa, with the caucuses less than a week away.
Among the missing . . .
The truly torn
Rep. Rahm Emanuel: He worked for President Clinton, but Barack Obama is a close friend and a fellow Chicagoan. What's an Illinois Democrat to do? Flee to Brazil until mid-January and pray it's over when you return. Seriously.
Democratic hopeful John Edwards is turning his sprint to the finish line into a marathon. Beginning January 1st Edwards will campaign for 36 hours straight leading up to the Iowa caucuses on January 3rd.
"I’m looking forward to meeting with Iowans across the state over the 36 hours who are as restless as I am for change," said Edwards.
The 36-hour push is being billed as the "Marathon for the Middle Class," where Edwards is scheduled to outline 36 ideas to strengthen the middle class.
Edwards will stop in 15 counties and wind up his epic all nighter with a rally in Des Moines with singer and supporter John Mellencamp.
Chris Cillizza's "The Fix" (WaPo):
For much of the last week, Barack Obama has alleged that the series of independent organizations spending money on behalf of his main Democratic rivals in Iowa raise real questions about those candidates' commitment to serious reform of the political process.The Swamp (Chicago Tribune's political blog):
Obama and his campaign team have proved us wrong before and, if he winds up on top on Jan. 3, they'll have done it again.
Obama questions Edwards' credibility as a populist--KEOKUK, Iowa—In the closing weeks of the campaign, Barack Obama has concentrated more on winning over voters wavering between him and John Edwards. On Saturday, Obama grew more pointed in criticism of Edwards as the Illinois senator argued he is the best-equipped agent of change in rallies in small towns across southeastern Iowa.First Read (MSNBC):
"The truth is, in his six years as a U.S. Senator, John Edwards did not propose or accomplish a single thing to reduce the power of lobbyists while Barack Obama passed the most sweeping lobbying reform since Watergate."
Obama says he's the most electable Democrat--FORT MADISON, IA -- Obama pushed his electability argument a step further at his second stop here today, highlighting Clinton's unfavorable ratings -- while claiming that he could win enough Republican support to create a coalition for governing if he were to win the presidency.Barack Obama
In talking about the power of hope, Obama also stepped outside of himself to take a look at his own candidacy in which his race could be a handicap if he were to run as the first African-American president.
"I'm a black guy running for president named Barack Obama. I must be hopeful."
Paul Loeb (Huffington Post):
I know Kucinich supporters don't like Hillary Clinton. When I write about her, they respond, again and again. "She's a bought and paid corporatist." "She backed the Iraq war from the beginning." "She supported the regressive bankruptcy bill." In fact, many say, "If she's nominated I'm staying home." Or. "If Hillary gets the nomination, I'll change my registration to Independent and vote third party."Barack Obama
Over the next six weeks you're going to have a choice. You can vote for Kucinich in your primaries and caucuses, make a symbolic point, and maybe give him a shade more clout to stay in the race. But whether he gets 1% or 5%, his presence when they're done is going to be minimal, and his coverage negligible as well. Your other choice is to do what you can to try to make Edwards or Obama the nominee, and potentially help tip the balance in who ends up president. To me, that's the greater political impact.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
With only six days left before the Iowa caucuses and the race to the Democratic nomination well under way, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton is leading in the important battle for the so-called "super delegates."Barack Obama
Throughout the year states jockeyed fiercely to position their primaries and caucuses earlier in the year to play a more significant role in the nominating process.
But even with a bunched-up early primary season, a candidate still needs to accumulate delegates to win the Democratic nomination.
In order to win the Democratic nomination, a candidate needs to secure 2,026 delegates out of a total of 4,050.
As of today, Clinton has amassed 69 more delegates than her nearest competitor, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, according to an ABC News survey of Democratic super delegates.
Clinton has support from 158 super delegates, Obama has 89 and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards comes in with 26. (Full chart last page).