Ambivalent? Am I the only one?

August 27, 2007

I wonder if there are others here who feel like I do about 2008. I want a Democrat to win the White House more than just about anything right now in my life. I want it even more than I wanted it in 2000 or 2004, more than I wanted us to take back the Congress in 2006. My problem is, I don’t love any of our candidates…..

I wonder if there are others here who feel like I do about 2008. I want a Democrat to win the White House more than just about anything right now in my life. I want it even more than I wanted it in 2000 or 2004, more than I wanted us to take back the Congress in 2006. My problem is, I don’t love any of our candidates…..

Don’t get me wrong. I would be thrilled if Obama beat whoever the Republicans throw at us. I’d be ecstatic if Edwards blew out Giuliani next November. I’d be thrilled if Hillary toppled the Right Wing machine.

But I don’t have the fire for any of three yet. I just don’t feel it. I don’t feel it like I did in 2000 for Gore, or in 2004 at this point for Dean. (I came around to Kerry, but Dean was where my passion was).

I worry too much about Obama, Edwards, and Hillary. Obama’s passion inspires me, but can he stand the onslaught that Rove et al would unleash? Will the media like tearing him down as much as they built him up? I admire the work Edwards has done these last 3 years, but do I completely trust him? Are the positions he holds politically convenient or true in his heart? Hillary would represent something historic, but her turn from liberalism towards centrism and “strength” really rubs me the wrong way. Do we want more triangulation, or do we want someone who will stand up and say, “This is what I believe. Whether you agree with me or not, at least you know where I stand.”

I’m not looking for diatribes from the respective camps for each candidate. That’s not my point. My point is to find out if there are others here who feel as I do.

I wake up every day and check the web to see if there are any Gore inklings. I pray every night that Gore decides to get into the race. He is someone I would have passion for. I would be volunteering for him now. I would be donating now. I would be passionate now.

The others, I’m not so sure about. I will fight like hell once one of them grabs the nomination, should Gore not get in. But I just don’t feel it for them yet….

Please Al, Please Run!!!

Cross Posted at Daily Kos.

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Gore Op-Ed in NY Times: Moving Beyond Kytoto

July 2, 2007

Is here

Two snippets:

WE — the human species — have arrived at a moment of decision. It is unprecedented and even laughable for us to imagine that we could actually make a conscious choice as a species, but that is nevertheless the challenge that is before us.
Our home — Earth — is in danger. What is at risk of being destroyed is not the planet itself, but the conditions that have made it hospitable for human beings.

Without realizing the consequences of our actions, we have begun to put so much carbon dioxide into the thin shell of air surrounding our world that we have literally changed the heat balance between Earth and the Sun. If we don’t stop doing this pretty quickly, the average temperature will increase to levels humans have never known and put an end to the favorable climate balance on which our civilization depends.

and this in closing (read the whole article):

Our children have a right to hold us to a higher standard when their future — indeed, the future of all human civilization — is hanging in the balance. They deserve better than a government that censors the best scientific evidence and harasses honest scientists who try to warn us about looming catastrophe. They deserve better than politicians who sit on their hands and do nothing to confront the greatest challenge that humankind has ever faced — even as the danger bears down on us.

We should focus instead on the opportunities that are part of this challenge. Certainly, there will be new jobs and new profits as corporations move aggressively to capture the enormous economic opportunities offered by a clean energy future.

But there’s something even more precious to be gained if we do the right thing. The climate crisis offers us the chance to experience what few generations in history have had the privilege of experiencing: a generational mission; a compelling moral purpose; a shared cause; and the thrill of being forced by circumstances to put aside the pettiness and conflict of politics and to embrace a genuine moral and spiritual challenge.

Like poetry. Run Al, Run. Please. With 52% of the electorate saying they would NEVER vote for Hillary, we need another option…..


The Elephant in the Room– good news for Progressives

May 7, 2007

Elephant
As Bush Hits an All-Time Low, there is tons of good news in this recent Newsweek article.

EVERY TOP TIER DEMOCRAT NOW BEATS ALL 3 TOP REPUBLICANS NATIONALLY!!!

That’s right. Edwards beats Rudy, beats Romney, beats McCain. Obama beats all three. Hillary beats all three. 60% of Republicans are unhappy with their candidates. Dems are overall pleased….

A few snippets:

The last president to be this unpopular was Jimmy Carter who also scored a 28 percent approval in 1979. This remarkably low rating seems to be casting a dark shadow over the GOP’s chances for victory in ’08. The NEWSWEEK Poll finds each of the leading Democratic contenders beating the Republican frontrunners in head-to-head matchups.

I love Jimmy, but Bush can’t be pleased about that comparison. And this:

Like Obama, Edwards defeats the Republicans by larger margins than Clinton does: the former Democratic vice-presidential nominee outdistances Giuliani by six points, McCain by 10 and Romney by 37, the largest lead in any of the head-to-head matchups. Meanwhile, Sen. Clinton wins 49 percent to 46 percent against Giuliani, well within the poll’s margin of error; 50 to 44 against McCain; and 57 to 35 against Romney.

Yes, it’s early, but I’m much happier being a Democrat now than I would be as a Republican.

But, I do still want Gore in the race. Does anyone doubt that this isn’t a means to gather names for a netroots appeal once he’s in?

Buy his book, The Assault on Reason, out in 2 weeks. This book tour has to be the opening salvo. Do the tour, lay low, then hit the media again for the Live Earth concerts, win the Nobel Prize, then get in to the race in the early fall…..


HRC: Hillary’s Recent Centrism – promising a seat at the table but forgetting the chair

March 15, 2007

Gay Pride Donkey

Several days after speaking with the Human Rights Campaign and pledging a partnership, HRC took a no comment approach to an ABCNews’ question about General Peter Pace’s comments about gays in the military and his statement that homosexuality was immoral.

HRC said: “That is for others to decide.”

Partnership or exploitation? A subsequent press release isn’t quite going to do it for me.

For some reason HRC’s campaign believes she can conduct a 50 state strategy (ala Arnold Vinick’s campaign in West Wing). I hope a staffer reads this post because she can’t win that way. She won’t even get the nomination.

It is remarkable that Democrats still feel that they have to play the left and then move to the center to win. In a field that is still shaping up, the right wing of the Republican party that put W. in the White House twice, is not excited about any candidate wearing a red state badge. It would be prudent for a Democratic candidate (especially one like HRC who has been anything but a lefty) to move toward our base. Talk about universal healthcare, environmental responsibility, and most of all privacy rights. Sound familiar?

It should, because right now its only John Edwards.


Substance, Style, Medium & Message

January 22, 2007

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Marshall McLuhan famously wrote that “the media is the message” and I wanted to analyze the exploratory announcements of some of the presidential contenders. What I’m looking at is the manner in which they announced rather than what they said:

Barack Obama announced here that he was running and what is noticeable about this announcement is almost more how it didn’t happen than how it did. Several days before, Obama spoke at Ebeneezer Church where Martin Luther King preached on the national holiday in his name, and many political insiders believed that this would be where he would announce to the country his presidential plans. Obama instead said that this was not an appropriate time to make such an announcement. It can be argued that Obama does not want to be seen as simply the “black” candidate, and while there would be something symbolic about an MLK day announcement, it would be equally limiting in its national exposure. While Obama will not downplay his race, I believe he will talk about transcending race and culture to bring America together.

Obama’s use of the internet to make the announcement is also important. He wants to portray himself as the youthful and envigorating candidate. Howard Dean began the use of the internet with his phenomenal fundraising efforts in 2003-2004, but 2006 and youtube (Macaca anyone?) has placed a newfound importance on viral video and the internet. By making such an important speech purely online, Obama is riding the new political wave for all it is worth.

Hillary Clinton’s notification of her presidential aspirations began here. Similar to Obama the announcement is done online but rather than a closeup shot of the candidate as done with Obama, Clinton’s pronouncement is done with far softer lighting and on a floral couch. I think this is clearly done to “soften” the admittedly hard or polarizing image. While her gender will also play a role in the campaign, this annonucement (its’ language eerily similar to Obama’s) is meant not to focus on being a woman, but to focus on being an approachable human being. In a direct dichotomy to President Bush who everyone wanted to have a beer with, Clinton may be seen as too professional and too smart and thus unapproachable. The timing of her announcement is also interesting…something anoodle and I discussed here.

The final announcement I wanted to briefly mention was that of Sen Chris Dodd. He announced in a slightly more traditional way although Don Imus is a weird radio host (both outside the mainstream Washington Beltway and yet respected enough to garner interviews with candidates on both sides of the aisle. To the national community, Dodd has very little name recognition and the fact that he appeared on such a (forgive me) 20th century media doesn’t help expose his face to a national audience. What is also interesting is the decision to not form an exploratory committee but rather just jump straight into the political fray. There is something refreshing about someone ignoring political precedent (and bullshit in all honesty) and simply saying they want to be president.

This will be a year with more concern placed on image and appeal than ever, and it would be a wise idea for us to watch every image that the campaigns want us to see (and those that they don’t want us to see) to examine candidates control the media.


Bad News for McCain…and for others too?

January 19, 2007

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The Boston Herald is reporting that recent polling in New Hampshire shows that John McCain has lost the support of Independents in the Granite State. McCain, “the maverick” always contended that he he was a better candidate because he appealed to broader audiences than more culturally conservative candidates. Not anymore.

John McCain is tanking,” says ARG president Dick Bennett. “That’s the big thing [we’re finding]. In New Hampshire a year ago he got 49 percent among independent voters. That number’s way down, to 29 percent now.”

“It’s significant that McCain is going down rather than up at this critical juncture in the early maneuvering,” comments Larry Sabato, who chairs the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “It suggests that, contrary to conventional wisdom, John McCain may not be secure as the GOP front-runner. But a lot can change.”

On the Republican side this bodes well for candidate who will have the easiest time deflecting themselves from comparisons to President Bush: governors mostly. Look for guys like Romney (though i doubt the NH independents like him) and Huckabee to build steam in NH, NV, and others…

But I believe this trend can hold for Democrats as well. New Hampshire is supposed to be the stronghold for Hillary Rodham Clinton, and of all the Democratic contenders, she has distanced herself the least from her initial vote to sanction the war in Iraq. Edwards has already repudiated it and Obama has never been in favor of it, so I believe that we could see a significant decline in Hillary’s polling data amongst Independents and Democrats if she does not do a better job of clarifying her Iraq position and opposing the McCain Doctrine.


HRC Playbook: Agree with the ‘surge’ but not too much

January 17, 2007

HRC

Today, in trying to re-assert her perceived front-runner status in the Democratic primary race, HRC announced a plan to not vote against the troop surge proposed by the President but call for a cap and require troops be sent to Afghanistan.

She appeared on all the morning shows to make this very important policy announcement (read: sarcasm).

Is this really the type of candidate we want to run in a general? Is this the best she can come up with to re-assert herself? This goes to anoodle’s comment in the post about Obama’s announcement of the formation of his exploratory committee.