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.


Sweet Home Gore Obama

June 23, 2007

The Elephant in the Room– good news for Progressives

May 7, 2007

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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…..


Obama announces….

February 11, 2007

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For anyone who didn’t see it, I highly recommend watching Obama’s speech. Here’s his site which has the whole video. I’m sure there are others…. Here’s a link to the whole text from The New York Times.

He may be a better speaker than the master himself, Bill Clinton. His language reminds me of Clinton with a dash of Kennedy. Here are some snippets (remember, he wrote this himself, not like GW who never writes his own material…..):

The genius of our founders is that they designed a system of government that can be changed. And we should take heart, because we’ve changed this country before. In the face of tyranny, a band of patriots brought an Empire to its knees. In the face of secession, we unified a nation and set the captives free. In the face of Depression, we put people back to work and lifted millions out of poverty. We welcomed immigrants to our shores, we opened railroads to the west, we landed a man on the moon, and we heard a King’s call to let justice roll down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

and, here where he doesn’t exactly stick his finger in the wind about Iraq:

….. We can work together to track terrorists down with a stronger military, we can tighten the net around their finances, and we can improve our intelligence capabilities. But let us also understand that ultimate victory against our enemies will come only by rebuilding our alliances and exporting those ideals that bring hope and opportunity to millions around the globe. But all of this cannot come to pass until we bring an end to this war in Iraq. Most of you know I opposed this war from the start. I thought it was a tragic mistake. Today we grieve for the families who have lost loved ones, the hearts that have been broken, and the young lives that could have been. America, it’s time to start bringing our troops home. It’s time to admit that no amount of American lives can resolve the political disagreement that lies at the heart of someone else’s civil war. That’s why I have a plan that will bring our combat troops home by March of 2008.

you can hear his cadence when you read this: (this was the closing)

That is why this campaign can’t only be about me. It must be about us – it must be about what we can do together. This campaign must be the occasion, the vehicle, of your hopes, and your dreams. It will take your time, your energy, and your advice – to push us forward when we’re doing right, and to let us know when we’re not. This campaign has to be about reclaiming the meaning of citizenship, restoring our sense of common purpose, and realizing that few obstacles can withstand the power of millions of voices calling for change.By ourselves, this change will not happen. Divided, we are bound to fail.

take us home:

But the life of a tall, gangly, self-made Springfield lawyer tells us that a different future is possible.
He tells us that there is power in words.
He tells us that there is power in conviction.
That beneath all the differences of race and region, faith and station, we are one people.
He tells us that there is power in hope.
As Lincoln organized the forces arrayed against slavery, he was heard to say: “Of strange, discordant, and even hostile elements, we gathered from the four winds, and formed and fought to battle through.”
That is our purpose here today.
That’s why I’m in this race.
Not just to hold an office, but to gather with you to transform a nation.
I want to win that next battle – for justice and opportunity.
I want to win that next battle – for better schools, and better jobs, and health care for all.
I want us to take up the unfinished business of perfecting our union, and building a better America.
And if you will join me in this improbable quest, if you feel destiny calling, and see as I see, a future of endless possibility stretching before us; if you sense, as I sense, that the time is now to shake off our slumber, and slough off our fear, and make good on the debt we owe past and future generations, then I’m ready to take up the cause, and march with you, and work with you. Together, starting today, let us finish the work that needs to be done, and usher in a new birth of freedom on this Earth.

My ticket is still Gore-Obama, but if Gore sits it out, I think I know who my candidate is…….


And the name of the game is…

February 8, 2007

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The Fix, washingtonpost.com’s political blog, analyzed a recent Gallup poll of voters’ impressions of the three early leading Democratic candidates in ’08 — Clinton, Obama, and Edwards (sorry, Kucinich). To sum up the results:

We’re simplifying here, but it seems to suggest that the “head” of Democratic voters is with Clinton while the “heart” is on Obama’s side. Voters like Obama better but believe Clinton is the stronger candidate due to her deeper — and broader — resume.

That is, those polled generally like Obama more but feel that Clinton is more electable.

As The Fix points out, and as I remember all too keenly, Democratic voters experienced a similar dichotomy in 2004, and the head — Kerry — won. I was in New Hampshire that winter working for Dean’s campaign, and I remember the disappointment of realizing that NH’s voters are not as idealistic as I’d hoped. It didn’t work out so well then; Kerry was a bit too cerebral (read: dull) for most of America. However, I’m not sure that the solution can be found by ceding to the heart’s more subjective judgment. The Democratic Party must instead find a candidate who appeals to the whole voter, maybe with some young idealism thrown in as a vice presidential bonus. And so we return to the Democrats’ future, as decided over drinks in December — even more appealing than Captain Planet himself, Gore-Obama ’08.

As if Ellen isn’t reason enough to watch the Oscars.


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.