Barack Obama could make major gains in at least nine states the Democratic ticket lost in 2004 if he can achieve a relatively modest increase in turnout among young and African-American voters, a Tribune analysis of voting data suggests.
That potential helps explain why the Obama campaign chose to forgo federal funding and also why it is engaged in a massive voter registration drive. With its unprecedented resources, the campaign can fund an array of specific targeting operations, and Obama exploited early versions of those to great success during the primary campaign.
Turnout increases of 10 percent of young voters and African-Americans could virtually eliminate the Republicans' 2004 victory margin in Ohio and go a long way toward closing the gap in Colorado, Nevada, Missouri, Virginia and—a bit more of a stretch—possibly North Carolina.
The campaign dispatched an advance guard to the likely battlefields of the November election more than a month before Obama had even locked up the nomination. Its mission: to begin work on an ambitious national voter registration drive that advisers say is a key part of the campaign's strategy.
With the Illinois senator's enthusiastic following and organizational resources from his campaign's fundraising successes, his campaign sees a chance to reshape the electorate this fall to the Democrats' advantage, possibly for several elections.
winning the White House won't be his only goal, deputy campaign manager Steve Hildebrand told Politico: In an unusual move, Obama's campaign will also devote some resources to states it's unlikely to win, with the goal of influencing specific local contests in places such as Texas and Wyoming.
Hildebrand's plans underscore the unusual scope and ambition of Obama's campaign, which can relatively cheaply extend its massive volunteer and technological resources into states which won't necessarily produce electoral votes.
Looking past November:
it shows that Obama cares about a lot more than being elected. If he's already looking at the size of his congressional majority in 2009 and 2010 (and after, given that he's also targeting state legislatures which will control the next round of redistricting) that reflects a deep desire to push for big changes that require a big majority in Congress (something both LBJ and FDR had when they pushed through big progressive reforms).
David Plouffe gave a press conference and outlined the campaign's strategy. Read all about it here and here.
Skocpol criticizes Obama campaign:
Although Obama seems to be "up" in current national polls, McCain is actually doing a much better job of shaping the agenda to his advantage. He has used strong symbols (it does not matter if they are "gimmicks") to portray himself as activist on gas prices and the environment and put apparent distance between himself and Bush. And he has managed to paint Obama as an ordinary schemer on campaign finance. Abetted by the media's proclivity for dramatic gestures and horse race analysis, the McCain camp has done what it needs to portray their man as a fighting underdog focused on real-world issues. Meanwhile, Obama's "economic tour" has gone little noticed -- and his campaign seems not to understand how very difficult it will be to get the media to convey the economic stakes in this election to ordinary voters.
Overall, it has the feel so far that the Obama camp thinks it can use its primary tactics to shape and win the general election. This is misplaced hubris and poor thinking. It will not work, though the media will cooperate every step of the way: crowning him prematurely, mocking his overconfidence, reporting on Hollywood events and magazine covers, and focusing on side-debates and foreign policy, with taxes as the only economic issue getting any visibility. The message-control dangers for any reform Democrat are actually just as great in this election as they have been for the past two decades. Obama can easily lose.
respective base problems
A MoDo flowchart
Bill Clinton "miffed?:"
A Democrat who has spoken directly to Clinton about his feelings said that the former president remains "miffed" for two reasons. One is that he feels that Obama's candidacy was essentially an anti-Clinton candidacy; that Obama ran against Clinton's presidential record at times, implying that it was timeworn, divisive, and damaging to the party while adopting policy positions that seemed to flow directly from the Clinton oeuvre. Why should Clinton embrace a guy who spent the past twelve months bashing him and his accomplishments?
Two: Clinton is convinced that the Obama campaign went out of its way to portray the former president as a racist. Clinton wants a private meeting with Obama to sort these things out; he has reconciled himself to the reality of Obama's nomination and does not want to sit on the sidelines.
Nat'l Journal examines the VP vetting process
Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader accused Sen. Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic Party nominee, of downplaying poverty issues, trying to "talk white" and appealing to "white guilt" during his run for the White House.
"There's only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate. He's half African-American," Nader said. "Whether that will make any difference, I don't know. I haven't heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What's keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white? He doesn't want to appear like Jesse Jackson? We'll see all that play out in the next few months and if he gets elected afterwards."
"I mean, first of all, the number one thing that a black American politician aspiring to the presidency should be is to candidly describe the plight of the poor, especially in the inner cities and the rural areas, and have a very detailed platform about how the poor is going to be defended by the law, is going to be protected by the law, and is going to be liberated by the law," Nader said. "Haven't heard a thing."
There is so much that needs to be said about this but I don't feel like writing a long diatribe at the moment. I'll just let BO speak for himself...
Nader said he is not impressed with Obama and that he does not see him campaigning often enough in low-income, predominantly minority communities where there is a "shocking" amount of economic exploitation.
He pointed to issues like predatory lending, shortages of health care and municipal resources, environmental issues and others.
"He wants to show that he is not a threatening . . . another politically threatening African-American politician," Nader said. "He wants to appeal to white guilt. You appeal to white guilt not by coming on as black is beautiful, black is powerful. Basically he's coming on as someone who is not going to threaten the white power structure, whether it's corporate or whether it's simply oligarchic. And they love it. Whites just eat it up."
"Ralph Nader hadn't been paying attention to my speeches, because all the issues that he talked about -- whether it be predatory lending, the housing foreclosure crisis . . . I've devoted multiple speeches," Obama said. "Ralph Nader is trying to get attention. I think it's a shame because if you look at his legacy in terms of consumer protections, its an extraordinary one."
But now, Obama said, "He's someone . . . whose campaign hasn't gotten any traction. So what better way to get some traction than to make an inflammatory statement like the one that he made? It is what it is."
"People think that he's a maverick and that must mean that he's a moderate," Keenan says. "And they come to the conclusion that if you're a moderate, you must be pro-choice."
In essence, while the G.O.P. has largely tried to keep its base quietly comforted, Democrats have seemed compelled to make public shows of allegiance to pro-choice activists. The result is that pro-choice voters hear little from Republican candidates to upset them, even as pro-life voters have their differences with the Democratic Party's abortion stance highlighted for all to see.
Bob Dylan. Yo-Yo Ma. Sheryl Crow. Jay-Z. These aren't musical acts in a summer concert series: They're artists featured on Barack Obama's iPod.
"I have pretty eclectic tastes," the Democratic presidential contender said in an interview to be published in Friday's issue of Rolling Stone.
Growing up in the '70s, Obama said, he listened to the Rolling Stones, Elton John and Earth, Wind & Fire. Stevie Wonder is his musical hero from the era. The Stones' "Gimme Shelter" tops his favorites from the band.
The Illinois senator's playlist contains these musicians, along with about 30 songs from Dylan and the singer's "Blood on the Tracks" album. Jazz legends Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Charlie Parker are also in the mix.
"Actually, one of my favorites during the political season is 'Maggie's Farm,'" Obama said of one of Dylan's tracks. "It speaks to me as I listen to some of the political rhetoric."
In the song, Dylan sings about trying be himself, "but everybody wants you to be just like them."
Did you know that Pensacola Christian College forbids "optical intercourse?" Fuck!
LOTS more fun...