Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Let's not forget Guam! Media roundup

With all the excitement about Indiana and North Carolina, let's remember that Guam votes first, on May 3. Like Senator Clinton, I believe that all Democratic votes matter, so here's some coverage from Guam itself, and some from the south Pacific more generally.

Senator Clinton has a particular plan for Guam's role once she becomes President. Coverage from Micronesia. Guamians display tremendous interest in the upcoming caucus - and in Senator Clinton's candidacy. Some nitty-gritty details about the caucus process in Guam. Superdelegates from Guam weigh in. And finally, an editorial endorsing Senator Clinton from the Marianas Variety, a Micronesian news organization.

Truly, this could be the most important day of your life

Why of your life? Because Senator Clinton can win the Presidency and take our somewhat beleaguered country and restore it to the United States of America at its best. Along the way, each and every one of us will benefit: including you.

Go here, and give what you can! Ask a friend to do the same.

All money that reaches Senator Clinton's campaign by midnight Eastern time today April 30 will have particular impact on the race going forward. So whether it is five dollars or fifty dollars, you get more bang for your buck if you donate by midnight tonight.

A few reasons why a donation today means more than a donation tomorrow:
  • Candidates report their donation totals per month. Senator Clinton now needs to demonstrate to Democratic party superdelegates, future donors, and future primary voters that her supporters are willing to put their money where their mouth is!
  • This is especially important with regard to Oregon, a large state where money donated now will enable the Clinton campaign to run as competitively as possible.
  • The campaign will be able to announce its April donation totals right before the N.C. and Indiana primaries, and a large total will galvanize voters in these key states to pull the lever for Senator Clinton!

Go here, and give what you can! Ask a friend to do the same.

In the words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr.:
It isn't sufficient just to want - you've got to ask yourself what you are going to do to get the things you want.

Tom In Paine: PUTTING OBAMA OUT TO PASTOR

Tom In Paine: PUTTING OBAMA OUT TO PASTOR: "on day 6,205 of their relationship."

If the D.N.C. does not drive me over the edge, surely The New York Times will

I understand. I understand that The New York Times must sell papers at time when newspapers' circulation spirals to the bottom.

I also understand that people seem to want to read about Senator Obama and his "break" with his pastor.

But I still do not understand the front page of today's The New York Times' national print edition. I do not understand the outsized photograph Senator Obama nor the uncritical reporting of his "break". This is the paper that broke the story of the Pentagon Papers?

I am not suggesting that The New York Times forgo coverage of the current Obama-Wright drama. But here is what I cannot understand at all: Where is the picture and story covering North Carolina's Governor Easely's endorsement of Senator Clinton, and her remarks at the endorsement event, where she spoke forcefully about improving education in this country?

I do not understand how The New York Times could fail to put on its front page the news that the Governor of a critical state in the remaining primaries endorsed Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Above the fold, below the fold, alongside the coverage of Obama-Wright, somewhere. There was room: the Times didn't need to use its space for that outsize photo. Or perhaps they could have bumped the (genuinely) interesting story about athletes and genetic testing for next-day coverage or even just inside the paper. If the editors could not bear not to run today the story about fertilizer, perhaps they might have spared reporting the obvious: "Bush Says Pain From Economy Defies Easy Fix."

Oh and just for good measure, that fertilizer story: part of a series on the food chain an important issue, one which Senator Clinton has been addressing when she details plans for fixing problems with our food supply.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Working for fellow Democrats and for the Democratic Party: Not just coattails, but collegiality

Now that Hillary Rodham Clinton is running for President it is easy to forget that she has already demonstrated her commitment not only to the citizens of this country but to her fellow Democrats. Starting from her first days in the Senate, Senator Clinton made it clear she was there to work with her fellow Senators, not ride roughshod over them. She worked hard for John Kerry and for Al Gore. When Joe Lieberman left the Party, Senator Clinton made clear her commitment to the Democratic Party again: she would, and did, support the Democratic nominee for the Senate seat in Connecticut.

These measures - and they are just the tip of the iceberg - reveal that Senator Clinton genuinely appreciates that the Democratic Party is not about one politician: it is an institution that aspires to help all Americans. Being loyal to the D.N.C. and to her colleagues is not a matter of "old politics". It is a sign of political wisdom.

OREGON! News Round-up: President Clinton stumps

President Bill Clinton's campaigning for Senator Clinton has been focused on Oregon, as Senator Clinton concentrates slightly more on Indiana and North Carolina. First from Coos Bay, a lighter moment. Next up, an axcellent read from Willamette. Coverage from in McMinnville. Finally, coverage and voters' voices from Albany (Albany, Oregon!).

The importance of being the nominee of The Democratic National Party: Revisiting Candidates and Coattails

On April 8, I wrote the following:

Right now, when people think of November 4th, most think of who will be elected the 44th president of the United States of America. Remember, though, that in presidential election years the large voter turnout affects the "downstream" candidates, that is, the candidates running for office at the state and local level. Whatever your views about the future direction of the country, you should bear in mind that state legislatures and the federal congress will make a huge difference in steering us one way or another.

There is a connection between who heads a party's ticket and who gets elected downstream. If voters have confidence in the person who heads the ticket, they are more likely to vote "the party line" - that is, to vote in all or most of the Democrats (or Republicans) on the ballot with the party's presidential nominee. Also, if people opt not to go to the polls because they are dissatisfied with the party or with the candidate heading the ticket, the downstream candidates lose any chance of picking up those votes.
In that post, I went on to discuss Leslie Byrne, a progressive candidate running in Virginia. I used Byrne's situation as a hypothetical illustration of how a downstream candidate can be affected by who heads the Party's ticket. Now, sadly, I don't need a hypothetical any more. In Mississippi, in a Congressional special election, the relationship between different members of the Party - even if they do not know each other, even if a Democrat is unfairly attacked - is making news.

I hate the type of ad that the Republican candidate ran against his opponent. I deplore the fact that such ads have become a fact of American political life (the scary music, the Darth Vader voice, the innuendo). But the news coverage of the ad makes the point: a political Party is an institution whose members influence one another's prospects, for better or for worse.


More Math: May 31st D.N.C. Rules Committee Meeting to Figure Out Florida and Michigan

At this point, the Democratic National Party leadership must be in a bit of a twist. In the opinion of many rank and file Democrats, the Party has shown inappropriate partisanship toward Senator Obama. More troubling, the Party has, to date, failed in its main mission: keeping Democrats focused, developing the infrastructure and mentality needed to secure a win in November, whichever candidate becomes the Democratic contender.

The next formal opportunity for the D.N.C. to restore its prestige and credibility will be at a meeting scheduled for May 31. The Rules Committee will take up the matter of seating Michigan and Florida's elected delegates and, it now has been made clear, the seating of Florida's superdelegates. The seating of the superdelegates raises different issues under party rules because superdelegates' right to vote for a candidate does not depend on primary results. The party has a separate process for selecting superdelegates.

The two seemingly simple matters before the Rules Committee:
  • Under what terms, if any, will Michigan and Florida's elected delegations be seated?
  • Will the Michigan and Florida superdelegates be seated?
What makes these questions complicated is the way they have been framed. As the Washington Post reports, "Under the challenges, all superdelegates from both states would get to vote. The pledged delegates would only count for half votes."

On the superdelegate question, this proposal is fair enough. But on the pledged delegates question it is not. It is Senator Obama's campaign that has pushed for the dilution by one half of the votes of rank and file Democrats in Michigan and Florida, voters who had nothing to do with the timing of their states' contests, voters who turned out to be heard.

Senator Obama's reluctance to have the pledged delegates seated as they voted is about as straightforward as it gets. Right now, Senator Obama leads Senator Clinton by 154 pledged delegates. If Michigan and Florida are seated as the voters voted, Senator Clinton would pick up 178 delegates, and Senator Obama would pick up 67 delegates. 55 delegates would remain uncommitted.

Calculation:
178 (delegates who would be pledged to Clinton) - 67 (delegates who would be pledged to Obama) = 111 pledged delegates for Senator Clinton.

Calculation:
154 (Obama's current lead in pledged delegates) - 111 (figure from previous calculation) = 43 (the number that would then separate Obama and Clinton in pledged delegates.)

Crucial point:

Were all 55 Michigan uncommitteds to vote for Senator Clinton, and if the nomination vote were held immediately, Senator Clinton would lead in the pledged delegate count, by 12 pledged delegates.

We do not know whether all the uncommitted pledged delegates in Michigan would vote for Senator Clinton, but the bottom line remains the same: if the Rules committee seats Michigan and Florida as they voted, and that happened today, Senator Clinton could be heading into May 6 with a lead in in pledged delegates.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Money, Again

Campaign Finance: Be Careful What You Wish For [bumped, updated, and crossposted here!]

Regardless of whether you prefer Senator Clinton or Senator Obama, if you do not want to see John McCain elected, WATCH OUT. Senator Obama seems willing to give Senator McCain a license to print money to support the Republican's bid for the presidency.

Earlier this month two articles, one a column in the Wall Street Journal, and the other an article filed from Dallas by Reuters puts the Democratic Party on notice that if its nominee does not play by the letter and spirit of Federal Election Commission campaign finance rules, neither will John McCain. The Washington Post has related coverage.

Now, Senator Obama's campaign is making it fairly clear that if he is the party's nominee, Senator Obama intends to privately finance his bid for the White House. Saying that one is interested in public funding but only if third-party party spending is limited is tantamount to saying that one is not interested in public funding. There is no feasible, Constitutionally permissible way for anybody to limit such spending. (Senator Clinton has not rejected the option of private funding should she become the Democratic nominee, but she is taking a wait-and-see approach.)

To opt out of the public funding system in the general election would be an unprecedented choice: no major presidential candidate, from either party, has done so since the 1976 inception of the current Congressionally created system.

In the abstract, the choice between privately funding one’s candidacy versus accepting public funds might legitimately be a close call. But when a Democrat presidential candidate faces a Republican opponent willing to publicly pledge to accept the limits on spending that come with accepting public fund, no Democrat should tempt that Republican to back away from such a pledge.

Here are the basics of the problem from a Democrat's perspective (disregarding one's preferred Democratic presidential nominee): current campaign finance laws try to limit the influence of big money on general elections. Supreme Court rulings disallow direct caps on donations to a candidate in a general election; based on First Amendment free speech principles the Court struck down legislation that would impose such limits directly.

So, Congress adopted another approach. For years, candidates who have qualified have accepted matching funds from the federal government, from the Congressionally established Presidential Election Fund (you may have noticed the option to allocate some of your tax dollars to this fund while preparing your income taxes). According to the legislation, the quid pro quo for accepting matching funds is that a candidate agrees to limit his or her own spending. Thus, individuals may donate as much as they want. But, if a candidate accepts public funds, candidates themselves must self-regulate their spending.

While a far-from-perfect approach to campaign finance law, this was an effort by Congress to make elections a matter of votes, not cash. And the law systematically favors Democratic candidates because Democratic candidates tend not to get the loads of money generated by the Republican fundraising machine. So, if, in the general election, John McCain declines public financing because his opponent does (which Senator McCain might reasonably do, not wanting to subject himself to self-limitation if the other candidate does not), that Republican fundraising machine can put the full force of its effectiveness to work directly for the support of electing Senator McCain to the presidency.

It is, of course, an empirical question whether a Democrat can raise enough money in a general election to sidestep self-limitation without getting mauled by massive funds fueling the Republican's candidacy. But it is not an experiment I would recommend.

Labels: , ,

Smart Talk about Why Now is When to Give

My father, Jack gave me a unique perspective on politics that has always stuck with me. He was treasurer of the Onondaga County Democratic Party for more than ten years.... [He taught me]: If you want to organize, if you want to put up posters all over town, you first have to raise the money to pay for it.
-- Terry McAuliffe, What a Party!, p. 20 [emphasis added]
Senator Clinton wants to organize in Oregon, in Kentucky, in North Carolina, in Indiana, in Puerto Rico and the rest. So let's raise the money to pay for it!

Monday morning media roundup

Senator Clinton is definitely reaching the hearts and minds of Indianians.

A new twist on Senator Obama's continuing refusal to debate.

Local coverage from Senator Clinton's weekend appearance in Wilmington, North Carolina. Pictures.

While in Wilmington, Senator Clinton discussed the idea of a gas tax holiday.
She has said she would replace the revenue with a tax on windfall profits made by the oil companies: details on Senator Clinton's approach to gas prices.

Labels: ,

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The actual Lincoln-Douglas debates: Why They Matter Just Now


Senator Clinton has challenged Senator Obama to "Lincoln-Douglas "style debates.The framing of the challenge is meant to convey the format of the proposed debates: unmoderated but governed by rules agreed upon beforehand by the two parties.

But the history and context of the actual Lincoln-Douglas debates makes the idea of debates in that style particularly appropriate now, as Democrats today are closely divided in their preference between the two remaining contenders for the Democratic Party nomination.

In 1858, Abraham Lincoln was running against Stephen Douglas to become one of Illinois' two Senators in Washington. The election occurred at a dramatic moment in U.S. history, just as the national split over states' rights and slavery was coming to a head. You can read the texts of each debate. Some issues will seem alien, part of another era; others will sound strangely modern.

The significance of the actual Lincoln-Douglas debates for today's Democrats lies in the fact that the two candidates for the Senate seat for Illinois agreed to let the people of their entire state hear them interact. Remember: 1858 meant no television or radio. So, Lincoln and Douglas scheduled seven debates, starting in the third week of August and ending in the middle of October, each one held in different part of the state. The candidates had to travel - not by car or plane for sure - to make each date but this was the way all the voters could hear what they had to say.

These original Lincoln-Douglas debates were hard fought, with the candidates engaged in fierce verbal jousting. But the debates were also notable for their civility and the honorable conduct of both Lincoln and Douglas. When it came to policing time, each candidate moderated himself, and at times the audience. The point was for both candidates to be heard, on a fair basis, to allow themselves to be judged by those whose votes were being sought.

Abraham Lincoln did not win this election against Stephen Douglas. But the debates made him famous. He arose to national prominence and was shortly elected to the Presidency of the United States. The rest is history.

Labels: , ,

Cash flow and campaigning

Many people feel like this primary season is simply never ending. We've had many state contests so far and there are nine to go, with South Dakota holding its primary on June 3.

In reality, June 3 is soon. But what comes sooner are the last opportunities for campaigns to develop and place ads and to buy airtime. Early voting begins May 1 in Oregon (a winnable and important state for Senator Clinton); ads must be run there then. At the same time, radio spots - at least - must be purchased in Indiana and North Carolina in the final days prior to their primaries on May 3.

The bottom line: if you are going to donate to Senator Clinton, now truly is the time. Indiana cannot be won if Senator Clinton is outspent 3 to 1: the race is too close for that. Max out (you can donate up to $2300 to Senator Clinton's primary campaign) or give five dollars.

When the chips are down, Senator Clinton's supporters have to put in some more chips!

Labels: ,

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Respect Shown by Someone! (And a touch of media roundup)

The Clinton campaign website draws attention to a high powered rally Senator Clinton held in East Chicago, Indiana.

To my mind, the most important part of the article appears at the very end.

The senator was escorted into the restaurant [at another campaign stop] by Gary Mayor Rudy Clay, the Lake County Democratic chairman who has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama.

"I thought it was appropriate to give her the respect," Clay said. "This presidential campaign is like nothing I've seen in my lifetime, and I don't think I'll see anything like it again." [emphasis mine]
Campaign coverage from Southern Indiana, with video of Chelsea Clinton.

The Boston Globe covers the readiness of Indiana Republicans to vote for Senator Clinton in the general election.

Senator Clinton made an early morning appearance in Fort Wayne today. Enjoy.

Tom In Paine: HOW OBAMA SHOULD RESOLVE FLORIDA AND MICHIGAN RIGHT NOW AND WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT HIM THAT HE WONT.

Funding a Candidacy for the General Election: Be Careful What You Wish For

Regardless of whether you prefer Senator Clinton or Senator Obama, if you do not want to see John McCain elected, WATCH OUT. Senator Obama seems willing to give Senator McCain a license to print money to support the Republican's bid for the presidency.

Earlier this month two articles, one a column in the Wall Street Journal, and the other an article filed from Dallas by Reuters puts the Democratic Party on notice that if its nominee does not play by the letter and spirit of Federal Election Commission campaign finance rules, neither will John McCain. The Washington Post has related coverage. Now, Senator Obama's campaign is making it fairly clear that if he is the party's nominee, Senator Obama intends to privately finance his bid for the White House. Senator Clinton has not rejected this option should she become the Democratic nominee, but she is taking a wait-and-see approach.

To opt out of the public funding system in the general election would be an unprecedented choice: no major presidential candidate, from either party, has done so since the 1976 inception of the current Congressionally created system.

In the abstract, the choice between privately funding one’s candidacy versus accepting public funds might legitimately be a close call. But when a Democrat presidential candidate faces a Republican opponent willing to publicly pledge to accept the limits on spending that come with accepting public fund, no Democrat should tempt that Republican to back away from such a pledge.

Here are the basics of the problem from a Democrat's perspective (disregarding one's preferred Democratic presidential nominee): current campaign finance laws try to limit the influence of big money on general elections. Supreme Court rulings disallow direct caps on donations to a candidate in a general election; based on First Amendment free speech principles the Court struck down legislation that would impose such limits directly.

So, Congress adopted another approach. For years, candidates who have qualified have accepted matching funds from the federal government, from the Congressionally established Presidential Election Fund (you may have noticed the option to allocate some of your tax dollars to this fund while preparing your income taxes). According to the legislation, the quid pro quo for accepting matching funds is that a candidate agrees to limit his or her own spending. Thus, individuals may donate as much as they want. But, if a candidate accepts public funds, candidates themselves must self-regulate their spending.

While a far-from-perfect approach to campaign finance law, this was an effort by Congress to make elections a matter of votes, not cash. And the law systematically favors Democratic candidates because Democratic candidates tend not to get the loads of money generated by the Republican fundraising machine. So, if, in the general election, John McCain declines public financing because his opponent does (which Senator McCain might reasonably do, not wanting to subject himself to self-limitation if the other candidate does not), that Republican fundraising machine can put the full force of its effectiveness to work directly for the support of electing Senator McCain to the presidency.

It is, of course, an empirical question whether a Democrat can raise enough money in a general election to sidestep self-limitation without getting mauled by massive funds fueling the Republican's candidacy. But it is not an experiment I would recommend!

Still unclear whether the RCB will be hearing the Florida superdelegates' challenge

Yesterday, after an action alert to contact the Democratic National Party, the D.N.C. Rules committee released a memo announcing a meeting to address two complaints. It is not clear from the memo whether the Florida superdelegates' complaint is one of the two to be addressed. The RCB meeting is scheduled for May 31.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Democratic Party Nomination Process Explained


Of primaries and presidential nominees

1. The end of winner-takes-all primaries

The 1968 Democratic Party Convention in Chicago was extremely contentious. George McGovern narrowly lost the nomination to Hubert Humphrey, who in turn, narrowly lost the general election to Richard Nixon.

As a direct result, McGovern led a commission to change the Democratic National Party’s approach to allocating delegates elected in state contests. The Party adopted the McGovern commission recommendations, abandoned a winner takes all approach to the state contests, and permitted states to allocate delegates according to a variety of formulas, each chosen by state parties themselves.

The McGovern commission claimed the change would ensure greater representation of diverse voices in the nomination process. A more cynical take: by implementing this change, McGovern helped to ensure his nomination as the party’s nominee in 1972.

With McGovern as the 1972 nominee, the Democratic Party suffered a catastrophe. Richard Nixon won all but one state, Massachusetts. Nixon even won McGovern's home state, South Dakota. Nixon's 60.7% of the popular vote was the highest percentage ever won by a Republican candidate. Nixon won 521 electoral votes versus McGovern's 17.

2. The introduction of “superdelegates”

Whatever the intentions of the McGovern commission, the result was to create a process that made it more likely that the Democrat’s presidential nominee would be to the left of the party’s base and that meant being far to the left of most American voters.

Rather than return to the pre-Govern commission winner-takes-all approach, however, the party decided to introduce a different kind of check on its process. Balancing the legitimate concern of maintaining diversity of voice in state contests, the party introduced superdelegates, who were meant to block self-defeating nominees (e.g. McGovern, who simply never had a chance against Nixon). Note: this sort of check and balance system to produce good representation is what is used in the U.S. Constitution and individual state constitutions.

3. Who the “superdelegates” are

Superdelegates are not elites or backroom bigshots. While they include elected officials, some who hold high state office, they also include a large number of rank-and-file Democrats who work on behalf of the Party to make sure that its infrastructure and daily operations remain in place between presidential election years.

This pool – elected officials and dedicated Party members – was thought to be able to add a pragmatic and somewhat broader or longer-term perspective to the nominating process. In short, the point of having superdelegates is to make sure that the party does not run nominees who are highly unlikely to win in the general election, or put slightly differently, to consider a candidate’s appeal to the broader voting population that participates in the general election.

[note from Heidi Li: I wrote this post originally for www.taylormarsh.com; Taylor Marsh graciously encouraged me to post it over here on my "mini-blog"]

A very specific action alert!

[April 26 - UPDATE: Yesterday, after this action alert was posted, the RCB released a memo announcing a meeting to address two complaints. It is not clear from the memo whether the Florida superdelegates' complaint is one of the two to be addressed. The RCB meeting is scheduled for May 31.]

For some reason, the Democratic National Committee seems unwilling to act on its own rules.

Yesterday, at a strategy session I attended in Washington, DC, Clinton campaign director Terry McAuliffe alerted those present that two superdelegates from Florida had filed a formal complaint with Party's rules committee board, which is refusing to count them. Regardless of the status of the seating of the Florida delegation, it is a violation of DNC rules to refuse to seat the Florida's superdelegates (superdelegates are not chosen by primary). Guess what Howard Dean is doing? Refusing to refer the complaint to the rules committee. Terry urged everybody in the room and everybody we know to contact the DNC and specifically ask that the RCB address the complaint filed by the two Florida delegates. The telephone number for the D.N.C. is 202-863-8000. Call and simply say that you want to make sure that the Party's rules committee addresses the Florida superdelegates' recently filed complaint immediately.

Please call today and if you cannot do so today, the D.N.C. is open tomorrow, Saturday!

Phone calls
are the preferred method of contact because they get the most attention, but I did post a comment with Howard Dean's email address.

Another media roundup: focus on local media


While you are here, please note the current match - look to the upper right!


Indianians still want a debate. Senator Clinton is willing, Senator Obama is not. An editorial from Indianopolis.

Opinion from Oregon, the Clinton campaign reaches out to small towns. And, Oregonians, interested in Senator Clinton's compact for Oregon also want to hear the candidates debate.
Oregon's Governor spoke in Medford.

A brief story on Senator Clinton's speech yesterday in Asheville, NC. Coverage from her appearance in Fayetteville, near Fort Bragg.

An interesting perspective on Pennsylvania and change from columnist Ellen Goodman.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Think!

Read this. Think about which states can possibly go Democratic in the general election. Consider the states Clinton has won and is likely to win. If the goal is, as it must be, to defeat John McCain, the choice for the Democratic party is obvious.

Just as she's campaigning like crazy, Senator Clinton fights for women's wage equality


Senator Clinton seems to have boundless energy. Yesterday she made sure her voice was heard in the Senate, as Republicans once again stood in the way of equal pay for women. Ann Lewis's take:

Paging all New Jerseyans! Here's a chance to meet Bill Clinton and support Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton

I grew up in New Jersey: Brendan Byrne is the first governor of the state I can remember from my childhood.

Now that I am stateless (resident in D.C.), I thought I would lend a hand to an event in New Jersey. Here's the link to the invitation:
Note that even if you cannot donate the full amount required to attend the event, you can still contribute in support of Senator Clinton and all of the New Jerseyans who back her - including superdelegate Governor Brendan Byrne!

On to North Carolina and Indiana: news from local media and some international perspectives

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is determined to win votes in Indiana and North Carolina. She's not writing off either state, although Senator Obama enjoys a large advantage in North Carolina and currently Senator Obama is so confident about the state he has no further events scheduled there. Senator Clinton, in contrast, will be in Asheville, with General Hugh Shelton, today.

Excellent coverage from the Mercury News in California.

Coverage from India; more from India. And a great story about support for Senator Clinton from South Asians living in North Carolina.

Informative reading from England. Coverage from Edmonton, Canada.

Meanwhile Senator Obama is taking a day off, while Senator Clinton goes all out in Indiana and North Carolina.

Gov. Kulongoski is First Signer Of Online Petition Urging Sen. Obama to Debate In Oregon

Civil society - and some blue and some purple for a friend

This primary season is tiring. And wearing. It can put pressure on friendships and family ties. But that's part of civic life: we get to disagree with each other without killing one another. A real achievement, and one we should never take for granted.

BLUE BLUE blue
purpole purple Purple

Labels: ,

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

One smart letter

I have been struggling to articulate the downright craziness of suggestions that Senator Clinton "step aside" for the "good of the party." My own view has been, and still is, that there is no such thing as bad publicity, and with two candidates with large followings, let the race go on - fairly, please, Dr. Dean - right to the convention. But since it has largely been Obama supporters making the "step aside" argument, I have been trying to find a way to point out that if one really believes such a step is necessary they should be asking their own preferred candidate to do so, not the person he is running against. Let me repeat: personally, I see no reason for either candidate to step aside. Eventually, as in all political contests, votes - by rank and file Democrates, elected delegates, and superdelegates - will decide which person should remain in the larger raise against Senator McCain, and which person should make way. One would hope that she or he who does not win will then focus all of his or her energies on seeing that the Demoncratic nominee wins in November. That is part of what it means to seek the Democratic nomination, in my opinion.

Then, today I received, via a reliable source, a copy of the following letter today, written by New York State Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, to Howard Dean, head of the Democratic National Party. It does not persuade me that Senator Obama should step aside for the good of the party, because I favor letting the process run its course. But the letter demonstrates wonderfully well the adage that sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. And it definitely makes one think....

April 23, 2008

Gov. Howard Dean, Chair
Democratic National Committee

Washington, DC 20005

Dear Gov. Dean,

For many weeks, pundits and prominent Obama supporters have repeatedly suggested that Senator Clinton step aside, because without the vote of the super delegates, she cannot obtain sufficient delegates to secure the nomination. However, it is equally true for Senator Obama. That means that the super delegates will have to decide who will be the best standard bearer for our party.

Yesterday’s victory in the Pennsylvania primary makes it clear to me and that it is now time for Senator Obama to step aside. Senator Obama and his supporters must recognize that he has been beaten in most of the major states and that his victory in states that are highly unlikely to vote [D]emocratic in the fall makes Senator Clinton our strongest candidate in the general election.

Despite Senator Obama outspending Senator Clinton two to one and three to one in most of these large states, he repeatedly loses. For Democrats dedicated to winning the White House in November, this is all the more concerning because primary battles are races that typically draw from the more liberal wing of our party. The energy and enthusiasm this hotly contested campaign season has generated will aid the Democratic Party in November, if we choose the strongest candidate to confront the Republican nominee.

I believe that candidate is Hillary Clinton and it is time for the Senator Obama and his supporters to begin the healing that will unite the party. His ability to articulate a message of healing will best serve the party by his choosing to step aside now, and begin that process of uniting the party. Senator Obama has spoken of our need to do things differently and there can be no bigger change in our country than electing the first woman President. If the party doesn’t support this woman at this time in our history, when will we and how do you ask women to support a party that doesn’t support them?

I ask you to bring the party together, by carrying this message to Senator Obama.


Sincerely,

Deborah Glick (NYS assemblywoman)

Labels: , ,

Notes from today's phone call with Senator Clinton: Landmarks Reached, Landmarks that Must Be Reached


Over 3100 people, including me, just participated in a conference call with Senator Clinton. Also on were Terry McAuliffe campaign director and Jonathan Mantz, chief finance director. This was the largest conference call the campaign has held to date, and Senator Clinton spoke for most of the time, sounding happy, focused, determined and realistic. She really took charge of the entire call, emphasizing the human dimension of the campaign, telling us details about the rally she had just completed in Indianopolis. She urged everybody to get out to an event or to go to a state and campaign. As Senator Clinton explained (and I have learned from traveling to Texas and Pennsylvania) you get suddenly immersed in a state you may never have visited, and like Senator Clinton, you meet incredible individuals there who support her campaign. Their stories keep Senator Clinton going, especially because what "we can't match with media, we match with shoe leather," Senator Clinton said. Between Senator Clinton, President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, they have already visited Indiana 50 times!

Selected highlights from the call

  • Since last night, the campaign has raised 10 million dollars online, with 60,000 new donors.
  • Funds are needed for the upcoming May primaries (Guam, Indiana, North Carolina). It is crucial to donate as soon as possible - right now, in April - to bring down the disparity in funds.
  • Because many Indianans get their news from Chicago media outlets , the Clinton campaign needs to be able to advertise via the Chicago outlets.
  • Senator Clinton has won all the states that traditionally go Democratic in the general election; and she has won all the make-or-break swing states. If you add up the electoral votes from the states Senator Clinton has won in the primary, the total is 285 (270 are needed to win in the general election) versus Senator Obama' approximately 189.
  • Senator Clinton said to us: If you have not maxed out ($2300 per person), now is the time to match whatever donation you made before. If you can max out, now is the moment. If you can bring one new donor on board, it makes a difference.
  • The race is close. Neither Senator Obama nor Senator Clinton will be able to close out the contest before the convention. With 9 contest to go, fewer than 200 elected delegates separate the candidates and there are over 600 delegates still up for grabs. So far, 120,000 more people have cast ballots for Senator Clinton than for Senator Obama (this number includes voters in Florida and Michigan).

County by County




Pretty decisive, eh?




The Morning After: Front Page news from PA and beyond


Front Page:
New York Times:
Quotation of the Day
"Some people counted me out and said to drop out, but the American people don’t quit, and they deserve a president who doesn’t quit either."
SENATOR HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, after her victory in the Pennsylvania primary.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A win!

News. News from abroad.

While you are here, please consider a donation to Senator Clinton.
May I suggest five dollars?

Amazing video of 4 Pennsylvanians at the polls today. Coverage of Senator Clinton's perspective on race from the L.A. Times. A view from England, with a great picture of Senator Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton.

More substantively: Senator Clinton on Iran and deterrence. Report from San Francisco on the topic. From the Baltimore Sun, comments from Senator Clinton on that issue and others.

Labels: ,

PA Primary Day Media Roundup

Watch Senator Clinton rally the voters in Pittsburgh. Last night, she did likewise in Philadelphia.
Senator Clinton posted a message to Pennsylvanians on the Philadelphia Inquirer's website.

Mayor Nutter and Governor Rendell introduce Chelsea Clinton
at the Philadelphia rally. Fun coverage from the Washington Post. A student perspective on the event from The Daily Pennsylvnian (look for the video at the end of the article).

Bill Clinton speaking in Pennsylvania.
As usual, President Clinton is a pip.

Photographs from throughout Pennsylvania, as Senator Clinton and President Clinton campaigned.

The frustration of not being able to vote

Today, as I await the results of the Pennsylvania Primary, I will be wishing I could just go up there and cast one of the winning ballots for Senator Clinton.

Instead, I will have to take other measures. More about these in a moment. First, a few words about what it means to be unable to vote or to be underrepresented or disenfranchised.

I live in Washington D.C. Although we have representative to Congress, she cannot actually vote. Eleanor Holmes Norton has held the post for years, accomplishing amazing things considering this handicap. She works tirelessly for the cause of D.C. Voting Rights. In the Senate, those of us who live in D.C remain wholly unrepresented.

So, I know the frustrations of disenfranchisement: I am literally taxed without representation.

For residents of D.C., it matters especially who become President of the U.S. The person who lives in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is my neighbor. Washington is small city, so the occupant of the White House lives less than a mile from the other residents of the city.

Usually, you cannot pick your neighbors, and usually that's a good thing (there's an ugly history of attempts at excluding members of various ethnic and racial groups from neighborhoods). But when it comes to choosing a President, I can - and did - vote in the Democratic Primary, and I can - and happily anticipate doing so- cast my vote for Senator Clinton in the general election.

The residents of Florida and Michigan went to the polls this primary season and cast their ballots. Yet to date the D.N.C. will not do them the simple courtesy of giving their delegates a true voice at the Party's Convention. I know how they feel: like their delegates are the Eleanor Holmes Nortons of the Democratic Party.

One measure I can take today is to remind people to contact the D.N.C. about the inequity of the treatment of the Michigan and Florida delegations. Send emails, call, write a postcard. And sign this petition.

If I could, today I would donate funds to Senator Clinton's campaign, to help her reach out to those whose ballots still have meaning, at least to her, if not to the D.N.C. Senator Clinton has committed to remaining in the race, to give millions of people a chance to cast their ballot for their candidate of choice. That chance means more when Senator Clinton has the funds to stump and organize in those voters' states or territories.

By law I cannot donate directly to Senator Clinton today, because I have donated the maximum amount an individual is allowed by law. There is another measure I can take though. I can motivate other people to donate to the Clinton campaign. For how I am going to do that, please see the upper right of this blog. Or simply donate here.

Let's clarify the meaning of donations as a show of support

It makes no sense to simply equate amount of money raised with the support either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama has earned with regard to winning the votes of superdelegates. This must be emphasized because I keep reading that the amount of money a candidate raises is a signal to superdelegates.

Remember, superdelegates are supposed to vote according to what they regard as the best interests of the Democratic Party as a whole.

A candidate who keeps winning primaries even while being outspent might very well be the best choice to top the ticket for the Democratic Party in November. Such a candidate will have proven her ability to make the most of every dollar donated: this strongly suggests that even if the Republicans have more money, she can defeat their candidate in the general election.

In short, sheer volume of money is not necessarily telling. More revealing is how well a candidate puts dollars to work.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Indiana: one place Senator Clinton is definitely going

The media circus soap opera approach to tomorrow's primary in Pennsylvania makes it seem as though Senator Clinton will not be running - let alone running competitively - in Indiana, whatever the result in Pennsylvania.

The facts say otherwise. Donations from Hoosiers to Senator Clinton and to Senator Obama are neck and neck. Senator Clinton will be in Indiana Wednesday and Friday, touring Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, among other stops. Chelsea Clinton was in Fort Wayne this past Friday. Supporter Ted Danson spoke eloquently to a reporter in Indiana, while there yesterday campaigning for Senator Clinton. Definitely listen to Danson as well as read about his stop at the Green Fog Inn in Fort Wayne.

News roundup: polls and analysis in Pennsylvania...but rememember, it is the actual vote that matters

Sampling biases riddle many polls. But for what they are worth, here are three trying to indicate the weekend trend in Pennsylvania. More polling news. Some discussion of Pennsylvania's demographics and how they relate to possible voting patterns, from the Christian Science Monitor online. Somewhat related to the demographics issue, a good read from the BBC.

From Allentown, P.A., the Morning Call's opinion writers make the most important point: it does not matter what polls say or who has endorsed which candidate. The vote's the thing.* Pennsylvanians, who registered in record numbers, now must turn out and give us results.

I, for one, agree with Senator Clinton. She "will win" in the general election once she becomes the party's nominee in Denver.

Some other coverage: from Pittsburgh.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Is it possible that the D.N.C. could drive me over the edge? You decide.

I really am annoyed at the "party chiefs" and the beyond-hapless D.N.C. now announcing that they are in a twist about a "lengthy nomination fight." First, I truly believe there's no such thing as bad publicity. It is good for the public to see how engaged and energized Dems are. By November, McCain will have run so many negative ads, nobody will even remember negative ads run by Clinton or Obama now. Second, if Dr. Dean, Speaker Pelosi, and the rest are they are so concerned, they should ask Obama to step down, since it is clear he cannot win the swing states the Dems need in the general election.

Labels: ,

Further notes on Lancaster Day 2: focus on the campaign office

The Lancaster office is headed by Michelle Bensignor, a wonderful organizer and relatively recent graduate of the very fine University of Pennsylvania (where the Clintons will be hosting a Primary Eve rally). From the moment I volunteered to go to Lancaster, Michelle followed up with a polite, enthusiastic, and informative email. When I entered headquarters, the vibe was great. Michelle and her staffers were totally organized and welcoming. Lists of calls made and to be made were posted high on the walls; tables for canvassers, out-of-state volunteers, and other kinds of workers were clearly indicated. Even better, the first thing any of the folks manning the office offered was a drink or a snack - even a recommendation of where an out-of-towner could grab a quick lunch.

Every staffer I met was inspiring. One woman had come from Utah to spend two weeks working in the office. Her comment: "Well, there just aren't any Democrats in Utah."

Today, as I was turning in my canvassing sheets, the young woman in charge seemed fresh as could be. I told her I had encountered somebody who I thought would be a great caller on behalf of Hillary. This young woman said, "Well, I'm phoning her right now, to get her on board." Not an opportunity overlooked, not a beat missed. Reminds me of Senator Clinton herself.

A Virginian who had come into Lancaster to help with canvassing came back to tell Michelle and the others about an assisted care facility where canvassing wasn't possible but where people who wanted to vote for Senator Clinton lived. The office workers assured her that they would look into rides to the polls and other ways of reaching out.

When I asked if the office was getting much foot traffic, Michelle told me that just today - Sunday before the PA primary - an unexpected slew of people arrived from Baltimore, all there to canvass for Senator Clinton. Clearly that made her day. I hope another slew of folks turn up tomorrow!

Thank you, Michelle and company. You wowed me!

Notes from Lancaster - 2nd day, Part I - meeting Scooter's owner

Today I headed out early, stopped at Lancaster headquarters, picked up a map route and hit the streets to canvass for Senator Clinton. Canvassing can be thankless: lots of doors unanswered, much walking in not the most comfortable weather (muggy here today). But the highlight of my gig came after I stepped onto the porch of somebody's house and a dog appeared behind the screen door barking like crazy.

Dogs, not my favorite. Barking dogs, definitely not a favorite. Strange barking dogs...well, you get the point. Canvassing takes persistence, though, so I awaited the barking dog's owner. She came to the door and I shouted over the din that I was canvassing for Senator Clinton and wanted to know if she planned to vote for Hillary on Tuesday. The woman tried repeatedly to get the dog to calm down while simultaneously telling me that she was a Clinton supporter. She seemed worried that the dog was inconveniencing me, like she was giving permission to move along. I said that I would be happy to provide her with more information about Senator Clinton, to share with her friends. She stepped onto the porch, leaving dog to continue to bark from inside.

We had one terrific conversation. Scooter (said dog) even quite barking. This woman was a salt-of-the-earth, commensensical supporter of Senator Clinton. The first thing she said to me was that Senator Clinton is really the only candidate who cares about the middle class. Then she told me how much she approves of Senator Clinton's proposals for education (e.g. ditching "leave no child behind"). By this time, I was telling her that she should be out canvassing.

We continued to chat for a few more minutes. The woman told me that she enjoys teasing her sister and brother-in-law, McCain supporters, about Senator Clinton beating him in the general election. I responded that I certainly thought the Senator capable of that, and of course, gaining the nomination. I pointed out the strong support for Senator Clinton in Puerto Rico, with its 26 delegates. A smile came over the woman's face. Then she said, "I had no idea. Nobody talks about that." My reply, "Well, not only was this conversation fun, but now you have something else to tell people about how Senator Clinton can win the nomination, as well as the reasons she should." We shook hand shortly thereafter.

And I realized why I had trekked all through a neighborhood northeast of downtown Lancaster, faced the barking dog, knocked on many doors, and spoke with many people: I had put at least one person in a better position to convince her friends and neighbors that their vote for Senator Clinton would have tangible meaning with consequences beyond Pennsylvania.

I am pretty tired from the day, so it was great to wrap up canvassing and discover this. And this.

Local media roundup: The world is watching Pennsylvania

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Just a dash of media coverage from Pennsylvania

Great coverage from Reading. Photos from a stop in Berks. Video from West Chester. Coverage from York.

Lancaster - midtrip bulletin - focus on Franklin and Marshall University



The Signature Pin, mentioned below.

Spent all day today in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, chatting with potential Clinton voters, especially on and around the campus of Franklin and Marshall, 13th oldest institution of higher education in the U.S. (fun fact learned today). I focused on younger people, out of habit, I think (I am a professor, although for law and graduate students, not undergrads).

When I began walking the campus, I expected to see many more Obama fliers than Clinton ones, but they were about half and half. I was wearing a Hillary signature pin, and that caught people's eye, and got conversations going. Students asked good questions and were especially interested in:
  • Senator Clinton's plan to reintroduce federally backed low-interest loans for college, with debt-forgiveness for students who perform a post-graduation stint in a public service job - e.g., teaching, police, firefighting.
  • Senator Clinton's emphasis on creating a green-collar economy, one that would provide jobs for basic science and research and development related to reducing carbon footprints and reinvigorating industries like the automobile one. Students quickly spotted the connection between environmentalism, job creation, and better economic opportunities for them and their friends.
Speaking of students, the out-of-state volunteer coordinator at Lancaster headquarter plans to become one again this fall, when he starts law school. Accepted at 16 (yes, 16) law schools, including some of the best in the country, this young man has not had time to think about where he will end up because he has been that busy working for Senator Clinton. He attended an excellent undergraduate institution, has completed a master's degree, and is interested in human rights work.

I learned all this while signing up for more formal canvassing shifts tomorrow. My loyal husband - whose strong support for Senator Clinton can be summed up by his statement of months ago: "It is completely obvious she is the best qualified for the job. How can she NOT win?" - had displayed his usual reserve about meeting people when we arrived at the Clinton office. He did not want to step inside. But he got over it, with a touch of encouragement from me. Once inside he found himself moving some cartons for the women keeping the office organized. Next thing I knew, he was back at my side, offering the out-of-state-volunteer-coordinator and would-be law student our guestroom, so the young fellow can check out Georgetown University Law Center, where he has been accepted and where I am on the faculty. This sort of bonhomie is quite unlikely for my husband, who had already made it clear to the women for whom he moved the cartons that he would most definitely not be canvassing. I mean, that would involve talking to strangers! Apparently, bright about-to-be-students volunteering for Senator Clinton are another matter altogether - they are practically family, and are offered a stay at our house. This primary season is definitely changing people....

Meanwhile, three good souls have donated to Senator Clinton in celebration of Maya Angelou's birthday; and the tally of donations in support of journalist Taylor Marsh is slowly nudging toward $2500. Please help if you can.

Must sleep now. More after tomorrow's fun!

Media roundup: North Carolina - Maya Angelou and more

Senator Clinton does not expect to win North Carolina. But she will still work for every last vote in that state, because Senator Clinton wants all states, and all Democratic voters, to be have a full say in this nomination contest. Somewhat more balanced coverage has started to emerge with regard to the joint appearance Senator Clinton made with Dr. Maya Angelou, whose 80th birthday is being recognized by Winston-Salem, home of Wake Forest University, where the event was held. Dr. Angelou's actual birthday was earlier this month, but she has an an all-too-interesting reason for preferring celebrations on different dates.

Elsewhere in North Carolina, the Clinton campaign has been opening offices. Here is what local media says matters to N.C. voters.

Meanwhile, Senator McCain is being rather weird about releasing his and his wife's tax returns. And Senator Obama is blitzing Pennslyvanians with $2 million advertising dollars this weekend.

Today especially, please give Dr. Angelou a birthday gift - and Senator Clinton a lift. Donate to Senator Clinton's campaign! How about $8.00 - or $80 - in recognition of Maya Angelous's 80th.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, April 18, 2008

Oregon, again, where Senator Clinton earns yet another Governor's support

And after Senator Clinton becomes President, she'll keep fighting...

As Senator Clinton herself points out, she is not only tough enough to stand up to John McCain, she is most certainly tough enough - and experienced at - standing up to special interests. She is the only candidate in the race willing to stand up to the nation's powerful health insurance industry and demand universal health care. Today, in response to an important question at an event in N.C., she spoke eloquently and intelligently about how to deal with Big Oil. As she has noted before, Senator Clinton highlighted her commitment to energy independence, and pointed out that of course nothing would happen on that front until "these two oil men get out of the White House." Senator Clinton was in Winston-Salem, North Carolina at Wake-Forest University for an appearance with her supporter Dr. Maya Angelou. Not surprisingly the first press coverage of the event - whether appearing online or on televison - seem to be in keeping with the bias and the tendency toward fascination with the irrelevant that so many of us find so annoying in the press coverage this Democratic Primary season. Although at least one report points out the dignity with which Senator Clinton handled an awkward, but trivial moment.

Although CNN streamed the event live, I can't find any video clips. So, if you attended the event and care to post a comment about the substance of the conversation between Dr. Angelou and Senator Clinton or your impressions of the audience reaction, please do!

Meanwhile, Senator Obama is, apparently, done with debates.

Labels: , , , , ,

Why Senator Clinton will beat Senator McCain: Because She Is Already Defying the Odds

Regardless of the state of the economy, regardless of the disarray of U.S. foreign relations, do not doubt for one moment that it will be tough for a Democrat to beat John McCain this November. Senator McCain will be well-funded and he will get "unofficial" media support by the same Republican machine that swift-boated John Kerry. Senator McCain's biography, particularly his military service, will play well with many voters. Then, there's the continuing misperception of McCain as a "different" or more tolerant Republican because of his success in perpetuating the idea that he's a "maverick". (Most people asked do not even realize that Senator McCain is anti-choice on abortion.)

Here's one way to gauge who has the chops to beat McCain. Consider who has had the chops to remain competitive in the primaries, despite being comparatively disadvantaged. That would be Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

(Follow-up one post up!)

Whatever has been thrown at her, she has not been thrown. There is the proven press bias and straight-out hate speech from some quarters. There's the enormous financial mechanism that allows Senator Obama to buy far more TV and radio airtime. There are the bizarre efforts of the hapless D.N.C. to force Senator Clinton out of the race.

How has Senator Clinton responded? By showing that she simply refuses to lose. She's won big states and small states, conservative and progressive states, states the D.N.C takes for granted and states the D.N.C. has favored. Negative ads do not affect her standing. She won in Ohio and in Texas despite being outspent 3 to 1 by Senator Obama.

A simple refusal to lose: Hillary Rodham Clinton will beat John McCain, whatever the odds.

Labels: , , ,

Have a laugh ... or many!

Media roundup: Oregon

The primary campaigns heat up in Oregon, where Senator Obama is spending money on TV and radio ads already and Senator Clinton just opened five field offices.

Voter registration skyrocketing. Chelsea Clinton goes over bigtime. A columnist says Senator Clinton "gets it" when it comes to access to college. And three commentators note the same old sexism in Oregon.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Today, a phone call with Senator Clinton...and 500 other people, but still...

As a pretty active volunteer for Senator Clinton's campaign, I had the opportunity to participate in a conference call today, with updates from Terry McAuliffe (who participated from the Greensboro, N.C. Clinton field office) and q-and-a with Senator Clinton herself.

Here are some notes from the call:

Terry McAuliffe sounded absolutely electric. He had arrived in North Carolina at 1 a.m., coming from Oregon, where the campaign has just opened five field offices. As of 5 p.m., Mr. McAuliffe had already been in nine cities in N.C. McAuliffe's motto: You sleep when you're dead.

A heartfelt plea to keep helping with fundraising:
Senator Obama continues to outspend Senator Clinton by 5 to 1 and 4 to 1. Senator Clinton won Ohio and Michigan when that margin was cut to 3 to 1 in those states. So we have to equalize. No excuses. As McAuliffe said: There are 330 million in America, don't say you can't find anybody else to donate.

Senator Clinton, who joined the call later, remarked, "I want as many people as possible to participate." She emphasized that five, ten, and fifteen dollar contributions are seriously meaningful. She also repeatedly thanked the people on the call, not overdoing it while making it clear that she understood what they had already done on her behalf and appreciated the effort.
  • Early voting began today in N.C., which will be playing a significant role in selecting the Democratic presidential nominee for the first time since 1976. As of today, 1500 hundred women have committed to work for the campaign in N.C., along with 500 community organizers.
  • Pennsylvania: "Governor Rendell is running the campaign in Pennsylvania - down to determining where the cars get parked!" McAuliffe told us. He also complimented the skill and dedication of Mayor Nutter of Philadelphia.
  • Indiana: Evan Bayh "working day in and day out."
Senator Clinton, who spoke while en route from Haverford, P.A. to Philadelphia, told us she had been extremely well received everywhere she went in Pennsylvania today. Although clearly pressed for time, Senator Clinton took several questions. One came from a Floridian who says it is almost embarrassing to be a Democrat from Florida. This caller was very emotional: she's been doing everything she can to ensure that the DNC does not ignore Florida's votes. Senator Clinton responded: first, she's indignant on the caller's behalf; second, it is Senator Obama's campaign that is standing in the way of Florida and Michigan's votes being counted; third, she recommended that the caller just keep bombarding the DNC. The DNC cannot ignore Florida. Later in the call Terry McAuliffe remarked, "Credentials and hotel rooms after the fact mean nothing, and are even somewhat insulting." [sidenote from me: to help, sign this petition, an easy way to help grassroots efforts to ensure fair and prudent treatment for Michigan and Florida.]

Not only money is needed. Volunteers are crucial. Head to Pennsylvania
(Terry: for cheesesteaks), then to North Carolina (for barbecue)!

Labels: , ,

Editorial from University of Pennsylvania's student newspaper

As a professor (not at Penn, but still), this makes me so proud of today's students, I had to print it in its entirety. Read below or at The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Editorial | Our Primary picks: Clinton and McCain

By: Opinion Board

Posted: 4/17/0

Hillary Clinton has the experience necessary to achieve her vision

Pennsylvania Democrats are confronted with a tragedy of riches: two incredibly appealing candidates for their Party's nomination.

We want to believe that Sen. Barack Obama can accomplish all he promises. His soaring rhetoric and compelling vision have inspired us and many other students.

But while Obama's charisma far outshines that of Sen. Hillary Clinton, her public service, political experience and tenacity tell us not only "Yes we can" but also "How we can." As such, we endorse Clinton for the Democratic Party's nomination for president.

Our endorsement is not a rejection of Obama's leadership qualities. But choosing the president of the United States is too important a decision to make based on hope alone. After finishing his term in the Senate and better showing us what he can do for the American people, Obama could one day be a remarkable president.

Clinton, on the other hand, is ready to lead this nation now. A successful champion for change, her experience in the Senate and as first lady gives her a better understanding of how Washington works. She has the ability to turn policy into reality. And her mastery of causes central to the Democratic Party's platform makes her better suited to challenge presumptive Republican nominee John McCain.

Take her leadership on health-care issues. In 1993, then-first lady Clinton urged America to embrace universal health care during her keynote speech at Penn's commencement. Unfortunately, she was far ahead of the times. Her proposal was met with fierce resistance and ultimately rejected.

Refusing to give up, Clinton helped to expand children's health insurance in the late 90's instead. More than a decade later, her new policies - and the concept of universal health care itself - enjoy wider support because of her past work. Indeed, of all the candidates still in the race, she offers the most comprehensive health care proposal. And as with most of her plans, she also has a way to fund it.

Some doubt Clinton's ability to bring the country together. But, in New York, her senatorial campaigns united a surprisingly wide coalition of supporters across political and socioeconomic boundaries. She can do the same this November.

Others are concerned with her support for the Iraq War Resolution. But since then, she has pressed the Bush administration for accountability and demanded a responsible end to the war. She also has far more exposure to national security and foreign policy.

Ultimately, we are confident in Clinton's ability to implement her agenda. It's this quality that has brought leaders like Mayor Michael Nutter and Governor Ed Rendell to her side. And it's this quality that convinces us to support her as well.

Who is a progressive?

Who is a progressive?

A progressive is someone who is idealistic enough to believe that things can be better and pragmatic enough to get it done.
Last night, lifelong progressive Hillary Rodham Clinton said:

And it goes to this larger set of concerns about, you know, how we are going to run against John McCain. You know, I wish the Republicans would apologize for the disaster of the Bush-Cheney years and not run anybody, just say that it's time for the Democrats to go back into the White House. (Laughter, applause.)

Unfortunately, they don't seem to be willing to do that. So we know that they're going to be out there, full force.

Humor and realism: hallmarks of the most effective progressive politicians.

But politicians cannot bring about progressive change alone. They need more than a movement based on their own personalities or their own lives or even their own achievements. Behind them there must be organizations that research, educate, advocate, and act on behalf of progressivism, at home and abroad.

As noted in the sidebar of the blog, I will match funds donated to Senator Clinton here to the Center for American Progress , up to $1000. The donation will be made in honor of Taylor Marsh and her loyal audience, because the Center works to make sure people like Taylor can get heard. Here's some of Taylor's best recent work. If you already enjoy Taylor's blog, participating in the match will signal to the Center that you'd like to see them broadcast her, via the Center's inhouse radio facility

I have sponsored several matches during the primary campaign (I am "maxed-out" to Senator Clinton, and this is a way to give people a chance to double the value of their contributions). The donations come quicker when the organization or the cause is better known. But I'm sticking with this match - which so far has raised about $100 - because it is in keeping with the ideals of The Center and of Senator Clinton to use even a small podium to educate people about issues, causes, and institutions they might not otherwise know about. Consider the past year's media coverage of the Democratic presidential candidates and Senator Clinton in particular. During this election cycle we have seen and will see press bias against progressive candidates, particularly a woman running for the Presidency. But the problem is not limited to just this election cycle or coverage of Senator Clinton. Nor is it that any particular media outlet has a particular tilt. The problem is systematic and institutional. There are simply not enough self-proclaimed progressives with a medium for communicating. For example, try to find a progressive talk radio show. There are a few. Now, try to find a conservative one. They are all over the dial. Correcting the disparity is a priority for the Center for American Progress.

The Center for American Progress devotes time and effort to an amazing range of causes and initiatives. There's no other institution I know of that is quite like it. Take a look. If you like what you see, join the match.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More local media coverage

Senator Clinton's pre-debate frame of mind as reported from Philadelpha. A terrific column, also from Philadelephia, about the blatant chauvinism and misogyn still displayed on mainstream radio. Voices from rural North Carolina.

And, one clip that does not qualify as local media coverage, presents video of Senator Clinton's address yesterday to national newspaper executives. Read about audience reaction. Senator Clinton kept the focus on what she will accomplish as president, especially with regard to fixing the mess left by the W administration. Check out coverage of the speech at U.S. News and World Report.

Labels: , ,

All politics is local - media roundup

In a small town in Pennsylvania, watch and read Chelsea stay focused on important issues. In Coatesville, PA, Bill Clinton connects. Young women listened to Senator Clinton and Governor Ed Rendell in suburban Bucks County. Thoughtful younger voters comment from Altoona. And finally, some really interesting coverage of Pennsylvanians' reaction to the "faith forum."

I hope somebody at the D.N.C. is paying attention....

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Big money, small money ... money, money money

All politicians running for office seek and collect money. Senator McCain does it. Senator Clinton does it. Senator Obama does it. Money and politics do mix, all too well.

Relatedly, a view from Philadelphia on public financing.

Meanwhile, in typical W. Bush administration fashion the agency charged with monitoring and advising candidates regarding fundraising is MIA because W hates properly staffing agencies meant to serve the public good. W has hamstrung the Federal Election Commission (FEC).


Here's an impartial source for all sorts of information about which candidates are getting what type of contributions and other matters related to candidates, parties, and money.

Labels: , ,