Friday, October 31, 2008
It's tempting to begin taking the likelihood of Obama's victory just a bit for granted. The polls look good. McCain and Palin are flailing, and Ted Stevens is headed for jail. The Republicans have started their blame game.
But it's dangerous to assume that the election is over, or to settle for a narrow margin. Here are four reasons to keep doing all we can to keep working (and get our procrastinating friends to finally donate and volunteer) so we can create broadest possible mandate for Obama and his Democratic allies.
A MANDATE FOR CHANGE: It matters hugely whether Obama wins. It also matters whether he wins by one percent or eight percent, and by 5 electoral votes or 105. Because the crises our country faces are too grave for tinkering around the edges, we're going to need major legislation or action on a host of critical issues, from the economy to health care, Iraq and global climate change. Republicans are going to resist most of these initiatives, so the more votes Obama has, the more leverage he has to argue that his election represents a mandate and convince the wavering couple of swing Senators he'll may need that if they don't respond, they could lose their seats next round. And of course the more House and Senate seats the Democrats can take, the more ability they'll have to overcome Republican filibusters and pass the most progressive possible versions of key legislation. The wider the margin in all of these cases, the more Obama can deal with America's multitude of unaddressed festering crises.
But we can't take even a narrow victory for granted, for three reasons. And since the actions we need to take are the same as to increase the Democratic mandate, it's wisest to assume a neck-and-neck race where a few hundred votes could determine the outcome, as they did in Florida and New Mexico in 2000, and in a 129-vote Washington State governor's race in 2004. Here's why we need to work for the widest possible margin of victory:
VOTER SUPPRESSION: Though they've hit some setbacks, Republican Secretaries of State and officials in state after key state are doing their best to eliminate as many newly registered voters from the rolls as possible. They're purging them for administrative typos (like misspelled names), for not checking redundant boxes, and for failing to respond to registered letters from the local Republican party. They're implementing restrictive ID rules and stirring up alarm about non-existent fraudulent voters. Since we don't know how many voters they'll succeed in deleting or deterring, we need to turn out as many Democratic supporters to the polls as possible, and arm them with the best possible information to ensure their vote will count.
A VOLATILE ELECTORATE: Palin may be dissuading moderates and independents, but she's still turning out a sizable Republican base. Obama's base is larger, but his margin lies primarily in the record numbers of new voters who support him, particularly young, African American, and Latino voters. Because they're unused to turning out at the polls, their participation is more uncertain. The more we remind them and help them navigate the obstacles, the more likely they'll turn out.
OCTOBER SURPRISES: There's still the possibility of Republicans conjuring up a last minute pseudo crisis to stoke the fears of the electorate. They've done that before, manufacturing last minute Soviet threats, Al Qaida threats, even Nicaraguan threats, that melt away the moment the votes are in. Al Qaida has recently come out saying they'd prefer a McCain presidency--there's even some chance they could launch a terrorist attack in support of that end. And of course there's the Bush administration helicopter attack that killed eight people in Syria--had Syria retaliated in kind, we might have had a major Middle East confrontation. That doesn't count the remaining barrage of attack ads, with the chance that some might unexpectedly work. We can avoid all this by working to turn out voters now, particularly with early voting and widespread mail voting, and then continue to do so until the final polls close..
Our grassroots efforts really do matter. I've seen my own help tip Senate and Gubernatorial races of astoundingly small margins. But to help create the maximum possible political shifts, we all have to do our part.
History doesn't stop on November 4th. We'll need to continue working to push the Senate and Congress and push Obama to do all that's needed for our country. The more we do now, the more favorable the likely political landscape from that point forward.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
darcyburner08, video (09:45):
Congressional Challenger Darcy Burner, backing the Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq and talking about why this plan is so important at the Take America Back Conference.Howie P.S.: H/t to Dan Kirkdorffer.
Eastern: 8:00:00 thru 8:30:00
Central: 7:00:00 thru 7:30:00
Mountain: 7:00:00 thru 7:30:00
Pacific: 8:00:00 thru 8:30:00
Eastern: 8:00:00 PM thru 8:30:00 PM
Central: 7:00:00 PM thru 7:30:00 PM
Mountain: 7:00:00 PM thru 7:30:00 PM or Immediately following World Series Game 6 (if necessary)
Pacific: 8:00:00 PM thru 8:30:00 PM or Immediately following World Series Game 6 (if necessary)
Eastern: 8:00:00 PM thru 8:30:00 PM
Central: 7:00:00 PM thru 7:30:00 PM
Mountain: 6:00:00 PM thru 6:30:00 PM
Pacific: 5:00:00 PM thru 5:30:00 PM
Senator Obama will also appear on the Daily Show on Comedy Central at 11 pm in your time zone.Howie P.S.: This New York Times story previews tonight's broadcast:"Obama Infomercial, a Closing Argument to the Everyman".
H/t to Karen Russell.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
It's not just John McCain -- Sarah Palin is a socialist too! Hendrik Hertzberg notes (emphasis added):Howie P.S.: I am sick and tired of everything Palin, but couldn't resist posting this delicious tidbit.
A few weeks before she was nominated for Vice-President, she told a visiting journalist--Philip Gourevitch, of this magazine--that "we're set up, unlike other states in the union, where it's collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs."
In short, the financial crisis and particularly Obama’s steadier reaction to it in relation to McCain’s were clearly a turning point in the media coverage. That more positive coverage was then reflected in the polls, which in turn were reinforced in the horse race coverage that played off those polls. In that sense, the data show, Obama was the beneficiary of the tactical, strategic bias of the press.Howie P.S.: Full report here.
Air America, videos:
My fellow Air Americans, you're the best people on Earth, but as for our 10 finalists in the Air America Ad Competition? They are bester. $500 dollars on the line. Game on. Vote in the below right-hand column.Howie P.S.: You are free to vote your conscience, but #6 is from Seattle.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Ben Smith with video from fghkln12367, (01:02):
In an interview on the Colorado Springs station KOAA yesterday, Obama addressed what's emerged as a central Republican argument: The threat of single-party control.
Obama said he plans to work with Republicans, and he didn't anticipate any "sudden lurches to the left" or any "crazy things."
In the clip above, he's asked about "the possibility of one party control in the executive and legislative."
Here's his full response:
Well, look, I think that my main concern right now is just making a case for why we need to change the economic policies that have gotten us into such a mess over the last eight years. I want to collaborate with Democrats and Republicans in getting that done. And you know, there are a lot of Democrats who may be elected who’ve made a commitment to their constituents to be centrist, I don’t think they’re gonna want to have sudden lurches to the left.Barack Obama
I think what we need to do is to create a responsive enough government that we’re dealing with our heath care crisis, dealing with energy in a serious way, pushing through a more balanced tax program so that middle class families are benefitting and responsibly ending the war in Iraq. Those things are going to take up a huge amount of time, you know when we’re also trying to stabilize the financial market.
I don’t think we’re going to have time to engage in a bunch of crazy things that people, the McCain campaign specifically, has suggested we might.
Awesome demonstration of Girl Power today in Bellevue, WA, battleground of a tight WA-08 pick opportunity by Darcy Burner, and a tight gubernatorial race for Christine Gregoire.H/t to Chad Lupkes.
In front of a BCC auditorium filled with activists ready to go canvass the area, Darcy and Chris received an all-ladies support from Maria Cantwell & Patty Murray, our 2 WA Senators, and Janet Napolitano & Kathleen Sebelius, the well known Governors of Arizona and Kansas.
- cyrilb's diary :: ::
Check-out my pics, and see if you recognize them all :)
Hillary would be proud of our glass-shattering team, here. Where was she, btw?... ;)
Then, all the audience was invited to go canvass the area, my neighborhood :). I'm back from my 60 houses (and follow-up data-entry) to post these pics and diary. A good day for Chris and Darcy, I hope. They both need all the help we can muster.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Ari Melber, with video (01:34):
The only thing more damaging to John McCain than Keating Economics is Bush Economics.Barack Obama
That's the idea behind a devastating new attack ad that the DNC launched Sunday. To kick off the last full week before the election, Democrats are stressing McCain's firm support for Bush's economic policies with a web ad featuring a fleet of senior McCain surrogates. Some took to the TV studios to tout McCain's Bush-like approach to taxes and growth, while others are shown, cornered and empty-handed, when asked to name a single economic issue on which McCain disagrees with the President. "McCain's own surrogates have repeatedly said that John McCain would continue President Bush's economic policies," explains the DNC, so the video just brought all the documentary footage together in one spot.
The ad's ending is priceless, as Gov. Mark Sanford flails and fails to offer a single contrast between McCain and Bush on the economy. Briefly and meekly, he floats NAFTA, but then concedes that example is more about "consistency." You almost feel for him, unless you recall that he only looks bad because he is awkwardly, consciously dissembling without a scrap of evidence. Just like his candidate.
SNL,video: "Sen. Obama plays it safe and musical..." (03:54).
Howie P.S.: To preserve my reputation for being completely "fair and balanced," here's "Colbert Report: The McCain Campaign Reaches Out To The Middle Class" (video).
Saturday, October 25, 2008
School friends remember his love for comic books, basketball and teasing the girls. A former boss recalls him as a young man running a community project in Chicago. A fellow senator remembers being beaten by him at poker. Gifted student, quiet persuader, charismatic speaker, loyal friend... We speak to the people who knew Barack Obama best, revealing an intimate, often touching, portrait of a man on the brink of greatness. Full article here.Barack Obama
AKRON, Ohio, Oct. 24 -- Michelle Obama is nearing the finish line of a race that has become her quest as much as her husband's. Once, scant dozens of people filed in to meet her in small Iowa towns. She now routinely draws thousands: in Gainesville, Fla., 11,000; in Pensacola, 7,000.Barack Obama
"Can we do this?" Obama called repeatedly to growing roars of yes. "All right, let's change the world!"
Friday, October 24, 2008
Howie P.S.: I already posted on this yesterday, but Neiwert did such a great job and, as a bonus, he brought in a reference to one of my favorite local assholes, Dori Monson. How could I resist?
It stands to reason that Darcy Burner's opponent, Republican Rep. Dave Reichert of Washington's 8th District, would be getting desperate about now. After all, the most recent polling consistently shows him trailing Burner by about four points.In the meantime, the rest of us can go to Blue America and donate to Darcy. With the media in the tank for Reichert, it's obvious she'll need all the help she can get.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Yesterday, via Matt Stoller at OpenLeft, we learned that the Seattle Times ran a factually-wrong hit piece on Democratic candidate Darcy Burner, who is running in Washington's Eighth Congressional District. Matt single-handedly debunked the premise of the piece, which claimed Darcy didn't have a degree in economics from Harvard -- in fact, she does. (And, after Matt's criticism, the paper has already changed its headline.)
A fake last-minute story to bring down the Democratic candidate is no surprise, The Seattle Times is the conservative paper in that city. Coincidentally (or not), a SurveyUSA poll yesterday showed Darcy had moved into the lead in this very hard fought race by 50% - 46% margin. Over the past month, Darcy reversed a 10-point lead by her opponent.
Darcy Burner is a true progressive. She'll be an even better Democrat. And, the Republicans are unloading on this race. If you can help her fight back -- and win -- we've got an ActBlue page for Darcy, please donate. 100% of your donation goes to Darcy and it's 100% secure
GregPalastOffice, video (08:55):
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on the Rachel Maddow Show October 21, 2008.
Discussing the Rolling Stone article and the Steal Back Your Vote! Investigative Comic book Rachel Maddow calls "Really Cool."
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
tpmtv, video (01:51):
Howie P.S.: For an obsessive like me, this fulfills my appetite without making me nauseous.
bravenewfilms, video (05:49):
In recent weeks, the McCain campaign has been attacking ACORN, a widely respected voter registration organization, claiming ACORN knowingly participated in "voter fraud." In reality, this is just another calculated attempt by the McCain campaign and the RNC to suppress new and marginalized voters.Howie P.S.: I was particularly struck by Andrew Sullivan's comment that the attack on ACORN is a preemptive attack on the results of the election.
You can help spread the truth about ACORN by hosting a house party. Have your friends over and make new friends while watching ACORN's video and Brave New Films' REAL McCain series to keep the dialogue going about these issues.
H/t to Donn Cook.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
BarackObamadotcom, video (03:55):
Barack Obama joined volunteers at the Obama headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri to call some folks to make sure they get out and vote. October 17, 2008.Howie P.S.: If you want a long read about Obama from Sunday's New York Times Magazine by Matt Bai, here's "Working for the Working-Class Vote." The last paragraph:
Normally, in political campaigns, you hope people get to know you and then decide to vote for you; Obama now believed that perhaps only the inverse was possible. Once, he might have thought that if he could only win a bunch of red states and pile up 350 electoral votes, he could obliterate the red-blue paralysis of the last decade and wield his mandate like a machete against the culture warriors in Washington. Now, it seemed, he understood that even a Reaganesque triumph wouldn’t suddenly erase the effect of 40 years of exploiting peoples’ darkest fears or ignoring their legitimate anxieties, the twisted and bipartisan legacy of a lost political generation. If he won, Obama would likely start out as a 50-plus-1 president, no matter what the map had in store. And then the campaign would begin again.Barack Obama
ABC News' Matthew Jaffe Reports: Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., on Sunday guaranteed that if elected, Sen. Barack Obama., D-Ill., will be tested by an international crisis within his first six months in power and he will need supporters to stand by him as he makes tough, and possibly unpopular, decisions.Howie P.S.: Press is not usually present at fundraisers, so Biden might have been caught off guard.
"Mark my words," the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."
"I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate," Biden said to Emerald City supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. "And he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you - not financially to help him - we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."
Not only will the next administration have to deal with foreign affairs issues, Biden warned, but also with the current economic crisis.
"Gird your loins," Biden told the crowd. "We're gonna win with your help, God willing, we're gonna win, but this is not gonna be an easy ride. This president, the next president, is gonna be left with the most significant task. It's like cleaning the Augean stables, man. This is more than just, this is more than – think about it, literally, think about it – this is more than just a capital crisis, this is more than just markets. This is a systemic problem we have with this economy."
The Delaware lawmaker managed to rake in an estimated $1 million total from his two money hauls at the downtown Sheraton, the same hotel where four years ago Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., clinched the Democratic nomination. Despite warning about the difficulties the next administration will face, Biden said the Democratic ticket is equipped to meet the challenges head on.
"I've forgotten more about foreign policy than most of my colleagues know, so I'm not being falsely humble with you. I think I can be value added, but this guy has it," the Senate Foreign Relations chairman said of Obama. "This guy has it. But he's gonna need your help. Because I promise you, you all are gonna be sitting here a year from now going, 'Oh my God, why are they there in the polls? Why is the polling so down? Why is this thing so tough?' We're gonna have to make some incredibly tough decisions in the first two years. So I'm asking you now, I'm asking you now, be prepared to stick with us. Remember the faith you had at this point because you're going to have to reinforce us."
"There are gonna be a lot of you who want to go, 'Whoa, wait a minute, yo, whoa, whoa, I don't know about that decision'," Biden continued. "Because if you think the decision is sound when they're made, which I believe you will when they're made, they're not likely to be as popular as they are sound. Because if they're popular, they're probably not sound."
Biden emphasized that the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border is of particular concern, with Osama bin Laden "alive and well" and Pakistan "bristling with nuclear weapons."
"You literally can see what these kids are up against, our kids in that region," Biden said in recalling when his helicopter was forced down due to a snowstorm there. "The place is crawling with al Qaeda. And it's real."
"We do not have the military capacity, nor have we ever, quite frankly, in the last 20 years, to dictate outcomes," he cautioned. "It's so much more important than that. It's so much more complicated than that. And Barack gets it."
After speaking for just over a quarter of an hour, Biden noticed the media presence in the back of the small ballroom.
"I probably shouldn't have said all this because it dawned on me that the press is here," he joked.
"All kidding aside, these guys have left us in a God-awful place," he then said of the Bush regime, promptly wrapping up his remarks. "We have the ability to straighten it out. It's gonna take a little bit of time, so I ask you to stay with us. Stay with us."
Sunday, October 19, 2008
SNL, video (05:15):. And she and Mr. Palin also make a short appearance on "Weekend Update." It's like a car crash, you can't help but look.
Howie P.S.: That "other one" pals around with Alec Baldwin, while he reads the cue cards. Ben Smith stayed up late to give us "Obama's SNL spot" (video, 0030).
NetMovement, video (04:19):
Ari Melber and Ron Christie debate Sen. John McCain's latest economic proposals on MSNBC.Howie P.S.: I wonder if Ari's been listening to the Rolling Stones lately.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
GQ has some striking new images from the campaign trail, snapped by photographer Jeff Riedel over the past nine months.
A GQ staffer tells me they were going for the feel of Richard Avedon’s famous 1976 bicentennial portfolio — the iconic shots…
The shots accompany interviews with campaign newsmakers. One is of MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, who assesses her new role at the cable network. “I do not feel that I’m of the media world, even though I’m taking part in it,” she says. “Maybe four years from now, I’ll be the ultimate insider, but right now I feel like I’m the kid who’s like, ‘Wowwwwwww, this is amazing…and that guy’s a tool!’”
Asked about his famous, withering criticism of Hillary Rodham Clinton during the primary, mogul David Geffen, a supporter of Sen. Barack Obama, recalled the dust up: “I was shocked that it got so much attention. It certainly wasn’t because of me; it had a big impact because it said what most people thought but were afraid to say. They [the Clintons] are vindictive, and people were afraid of being excluded. They’re tough. I think it’s part of the reason they lost. You want to love people, not be afraid of them.”There are definitely some people aiming for “lovable” in the portfolio
Friday, October 17, 2008
DailyKosTV, video (00:46):
Joe Biden responds to Sarah Palin's boast that she enjoys campaigning in the "pro-American" part of this country.Howie P.S.: Joe Biden will be at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Sunday October 19 (Doors Open: 12:00 p.m. Program Begins: 2:00 p.m.) RSVP and details here.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
The idea that Democrats try to win elections by arranging for hordes of nonexistent people with improbable names to vote for them has long been a favorite theme of Rove-era Republicans. Now it’s become a desperate obsession.hardly ever wrong.”And take it from Sarah Palin: the Times is “Howie P.S.: I'm already sick and tired of pushing back against the lies of the opposition, but feel it is my obligation to do so.
"'Joe the plumber' isn’t licensed"--Toledo Blade.
H/t to Ben Smith.
Al Giordano, with video (01;03) from TechPresident:
With the passing of the final debate (one which only confirmed the trajectory - toward Obama - of the past month) now in the past, it remains to be seen whether the commercial news media will discover the real story of the 2008 campaign: the ground game.Howie P.S.: Great post, great video but I could do without the majestic soundtrack music on the video.
While the commercial media obsesses over an alleged Ohio plumber (who apparently might neither be registered to vote nor licensed to practice that trade) the real everyman and everywoman - the ones that don't generally make more than a quarter-million dollars a year - can be found in the real towns and cities of America, on the front lines of the community organizing renaissance.The top story of 2008 doesn't end on November 4. It is - it must be - that this was the year that the Community Organizing Renaissance began.
We're going to move heaven and earth to make sure that it continues. Stay tuned for some important announcements about how, together, we're going to take up that challenge.
Jed L with video (00:57):
We don't know much about Joe The Plumber, but we do know this: he made up his mind who he was voting for before last night's debate.Bottom-line: it's not entirely clear what the real story of Joe The Plumber is. But it is entirely clear that he's not just some undecided voter. He supports McCain, and the McCain campaign sure seems to support him.
This wouldn't be a story worth mentioning if the media wasn't so excited to put him on all the morning shows, but since they are, they have a responsibility to get the story right. So far, there's little indication that they will.