Maria Shriver For Obama

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I was at the Caroline Kennedy/Oprah/Michelle Obama event at UCLA, which was pretty outstanding as it was and already laden with surprise guests (2 words: Stevie Wonder) but then after Michelle Obama made a really powerful speech, she announces they have one more surprise for us..."no, it's not Barack, he's somewhere else." She starts describing Maria Shriver without actually identifying her and you could tell everyone was wracking their brains to figure out who it could possibly be and then when she announced Shriver's name the whole place went nuts. It really sent a bolt of lightning through the room. And it wasn't just because she's a celebrity or the first lady of California; it wasn't just because she's Caroline's cousin and hence yet another member of the Kennedy clan adding her name to the list of candidate supporters. There were a couple things about her genuinely heartfelt expression of support for Barack Obama that made it actually a really special moment.

First was the sort of lack of calculation surrounding the appearance. Shriver explained that she was riding horses with her daughter this morning and she just felt this overpowering sense that, as she put it, "I needed to be at UCLA today." She said she told her daughter that and she said "Mom, if you think you can change just one person's mind, you have to go..." That idea that she woke up this morning not planning to be there today is actually pretty powerful; you know if it was planned they would have shouted it from every mountain.

Now, I will say, at first, while I couldn't help but assume her mere presence in that room today meant she was backing Obama, her speech actually made me question that assumption for a bit; she started talking generically about how much she respects all the spouses of the candidates for all the sacrifices they're making (as she said, she knows how it is when your husband decides one day to run for office...) and asked the crowd to give shout outs to not only the spouses of the candidates but to the candidates themselves. Briefly I thought to myself, is she here as a sort of non-partisan envoy, as a representative of the state to talk about our civic duty to vote? Nope. Then came the "but..." She said something to the effect of "I'm not here because I'm married to the governor...or because my cousin is here...or because one of my best friends is here...I'm here because I want to be here."

The place went crazy again, as you can imagine. It was at this moment that it became clear that she not only will be voting for Obama on Tuesday but wants the world to know it. I thought it was notable that she didn't actually say the words "I endorse Barack Obama," but it makes sense, her appearance there today didn't actually feel political at all, it was personal, which made it, I thought, perhaps even more meaningful than the typical "endorsements" we're used to from politicians and celebrities.

But honestly, something else occured to me as I watched her speech, just the idea that she sort of embodies the perfect world that Barack Obama's candidacy promises, the idea that Republicans and Democrats can co-exist in harmony, literally under the same roof as in Shriver's case, but obviously on a larger scale. I mean, here was the Democratic wife (famously so) of the Republican governor, who himself has been the target of partisan ire from the left (deservedly so) and who actually represents the false political bi-partisanship we've been fighting against; but Shriver's presence there was I guess a reminder of what transcending partisanship actually means in real world terms, in Barack Obama terms. As you know, I'm a big fan of political partisanship and not a big fan of the idea that we should somehow give up the political fight, and Shriver's speech certainly didn't change my mind about that, but there was just something that felt very right about her supporting Obama today.

A few minutes into Shriver's speech this guy passed by where were were standing and sort of muttered "we just won California." He was expressing what I think a lot of people in that room were feeling about the significance of the moment. We'll see if it plays out that way.

Tags: 2008 Presidential election, Barack Obama, Democratic nomination, maria shriver (all tags)



Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

You lucky so-and-so.  You were there.  Shucks.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-02-03 03:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

i am wishing i could be at the dead show....

by aiko 2008-02-03 06:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

Tell me about it.  So are a lot of other people, the tickets apparently sold out in four minutes.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-02-03 06:32PM | 0 recs
Sure we can co-exist

but will the GOP refuse to vote for any health care plan again like they did in 1993?

What makes anyone think the elephant is any different today than yesterday?

by molly bloom 2008-02-03 03:36PM | 0 recs
BREAKING NEWS: Kennedy Clan Adopts Obama!

Since they lost JFK jr they have been looking to fill the slot with an heir apparent. I wonder if he gets in on the Kennedy trust fund...but first he must take some sailing lessons.

by demwords 2008-02-03 03:36PM | 0 recs
Re: BREAKING NEWS: Kennedy Clan Adopts Obama!

The sailing is pretty easy when you are running before the wind.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-02-03 03:38PM | 0 recs
Re: BREAKING NEWS: Kennedy Clan Adopts Obama!

Obama is now Ted Kennedy's adopted son.  He much have promised Ted that when he's president the wind mill for green power will not be in front of his beach house.  Clinton has been working to push the wind mill project.  And Ted is not very happy with to have the gigantic wind mill in front of his luxurious beach house.

by JoeySky18 2008-02-03 03:53PM | 0 recs
the Nuclear oBoma
One of Obama's biggest contributers is Exelon Energy...
...which is interested in building new nuke power plants. Obama was the only dem that was in favor of building new nukes. I guess Teddy is also guaranteed that none of those nukes will be sited in Hyannisport.
by demwords 2008-02-03 04:53PM | 0 recs
Thanks for the post

Again, it is much better to hear it from the ground.

by Coldblue 2008-02-03 03:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

This is going to be HUGE in CA if just for the media it will generate all the way until Tuesday.

by Socks The Cat 2008-02-03 03:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

You know that the most solid state for Clinton at this point is Massachusetts. (Even more so the NY)

I am not sure what that says about the Kennedy's but it can't be anything positive.

by kristoph 2008-02-03 07:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

The institutional strength of Hillary's support, not only in CA but all over the nation, will shine through on Tuesday.  Although, if one woman, Mareeeah Shriver, believes she can sway the fate of a nominating process by jumping off a horse and rushing right over, on/2008/02/breaking-news-m.html

she's as full of hot air as her story has any truth to it.  James Carville said on MTP this morning that if Clinton loses CA, it would be devastating--i.e. the death knell to her candidacy.  I am forced to believe him, but I've been on the Clinton roller coaster throughout this whole process, and I'm not jumping off now because things get a little bumpy.  Bumpy is what being a president is all about.  God bless Hillary!

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-02-03 03:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

The wrath of sour grapes.

by Drummond 2008-02-03 03:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

Si se puede!

by Shaun Appleby 2008-02-03 05:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

Well...  Not so sure, though it would be a major blow.  He would be unable to be the insurgent underdog any longer.  And the Clintons with their backs to the wall are notoriously fierce.  A loss in this primary would be an ignominious and unexpected end of a long road for her, for both of them.  Texas and Ohio.  That's the Holy Grail post-Tsunami and both teams can count noses.

I would, frankly, love to see Obama with a full hand playing this out against a desperate and ferocious Clinton campaign.  I'm glad he lost New Hampshire because, as much as I wanted it, the 'perfect wave' would not have left him as well prepared for the general election as we might have hoped in our urgency to nominate him.

Let this play out the way the die is cast, I have loyally supported Senator Obama since day one from belief in him.  Having watched every nuanced move of this campaign I now have confidence in him and every one of the people he has capably enlisted in his candidacy.  We are a pretty impressive crew these days, and getting better all the time.  Battle the Clintons for another two months while McCain consolidates his campaign?  So be it.  Si se puede.  We are getting stronger every day, let the fire glow white.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-02-03 08:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

He wouldn't need it.  He's be the messiah.  If I have one concern about his candidacy, that's it.

by Drummond 2008-02-04 08:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

Are there any more Kennedy's left?  Every day there seems to be one more Kennedy coming out. The way media has been portraying this is pathetic.  Lets have a Kennedy count..

by Opandora 2008-02-03 03:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

No, but Bill Richardson is watching the Super Bowl with Bubba.

by shlenny 2008-02-03 03:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

What about "Kennedy" that used to be a VJ on MTV ( when they had music) in the 90's. Even though I think she is actually a wingnut. But what the heck she's a Kennedy...and wasn't there a game show host in ancient times named "Tom Kennedy?" Have the Obamabots polled him?

by demwords 2008-02-03 04:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

Jamie Kennedy's endorsement could seal up Malibu

by Dr Octagon 2008-02-04 09:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

I had the same feeling in the beginning of the speech, not sure if it was a real endorsement.  But by the end she was exhorting everyone to call 5 people and get them to vote.  All 3 of them - Caroline, Oprah, and Maria - were a very powerful presentation of women stepping forward out of their spheres of comfort to volunteer, to try to make a difference.

And Michelle, now that is a speaker.  They call her the closer and I didn't need any closing - I've been closed on Obama since I first contributed to his exploratory committee way back last January, and then marched for change in the Spring, and then phonebanked since September.  But there I was and I got closed all again.  What really strikes me about her speech is how she downplays her life story, how what she stresses about her blue-collar upbringing is how regular it was, how normal.  How her father worked so hard to send his kids to college so they could have a better life and that wasn't special.  That was how life was, and should be, and yet that is a near impossibility today.  She is so grounded in the common reality of what is America.  We need to get that into the White House, into our Government, and into our politics.  

by Piuma 2008-02-03 03:43PM | 0 recs
As a lifetime Californian and Angeleno...

I just don't see an endorsement from Maria Shriver as swaying any of the undecideds. She doesn't have a high political profile in California on her own merit. I think we all know her as a friend of Oprah's and a sometime journalist. - oh yeah, and being the wife of a republican.  

Besides, as a woman, I prefer to support a strong woman for President(Hillary Clinton)rather than being influenced by other strong women backing a man. Most of my female friends feel the same way. Yep, I'm a sexist. :-)

Maria's support will be all over the news, but the media already loves Obama so I'm not sure what kind of impact it will have.

by Dari 2008-02-03 03:51PM | 0 recs
Re: As a lifetime Californian and Angeleno...

Yeah, I saw James Carville fawning all over Obama this morning on MTP and Hillary with her boy George on ABC.

by shlenny 2008-02-03 03:53PM | 0 recs
Re: As a lifetime Californian and Angeleno...

Are you kidding me?  Carville repeatedly said that he was for Hillary.  He was pushing the Clinton message all morning (not that I'm angry about it, Carville is entitled to his opinion and entitled to say what he wants on MTP).  If you think Carville was fawning over Obama you are off the deep end.

by MNDem 2008-02-03 04:39PM | 0 recs
Re: As a lifetime Californian and Angeleno...

Dude....mellow out...that was my point.

by shlenny 2008-02-03 05:45PM | 0 recs
Re: As a lifetime Californian and Angeleno...

Oh Dari you are so wrong about the effect Maria will have by this endoreseemnt and her power in CA. You really have no idea. I'm not surprised Maria did this; I knew she would. This picture of these htree women will move many, and I am totally depressed about it. It was Maria and Oprah that really was the deciding factor in arnie's successful first run. Also Maria is the one who ha been behind the scenes in Arnie's successful 2nd bid. It was she who had him hire a Dem in his cabinet. Many other things; such as setting up some woman's coalition out there that got big donors and big name memebrs participating. Do not make the mistake of trying to downplay this. You'll be disappointed. I hope and pray Hillary pulls this off, but like the SuperBowl I'm watching ....

by India 2008-02-03 04:40PM | 0 recs
Re: As a lifetime Californian and Angeleno...

First off, today was Super Bowl Sunday, so it's highly suspect how many here in CA actually know about Maria endorsing Obama. I'm a news junkie, but if I hadn't been looking, this wouldn't even show up on the radar screen.

Second, if Arnie and Maria REALLY had that much influence in this state, all the ballot initiatives they've supported would've passed by a decent margin instead of crashing and burning. Arnie only gets things done because he cuts deals with the Dems, not because they fear him. (The unions certainly don't trust him.)

Lastly, who would I rather have endorsing me in this state - Hillary's line-up that was on display Saturday or Obama's surrogates? No contest. Hillary's. The Latino vote will provide the margin of victory.

by SoCalHillMan 2008-02-03 07:15PM | 0 recs
Re: As a lifetime Californian and Angeleno...

Enormous in California.

by Drummond 2008-02-04 08:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

WOW.....this can really happen!

by DemoDan 2008-02-03 03:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

Todd, would you please stop spinning for Clinton.  This used to be such a good site, but now you all keep shilling for Clinton.  Everything has to be anti-Obama...blah blah blah blah

by rcipw 2008-02-03 03:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

How is this Todd spinning for Clinton?  His post seems like pretty good reporting to me and I'm supporting Obama.  Perhaps you're confusing his posts for Jerome's?  That's where you'll find the spinning for Clinton if you are looking for it.

by geothenes 2008-02-03 04:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

Really. How is this anti-Obama? I think Todd's best posts are his man-on-the scene recaps, because he captures the emotional highs and lows of an event in a way that allows us to vicariously be there too. Considering he supports Clinton more than Obama, I find his coverage fair and balanced [cough]...well, let's just say fair.

by wolff109 2008-02-03 04:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

Gimme a break!  I was being sarcastic.  I think all three on this site are very fair and all the criticism is ridiculous.  Todd's post is a perfect example.

by rcipw 2008-02-03 04:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

I didn't catch your sarcasm because their was a tinge of truth in your remark.  This site has become something of Clinton spin outfit lately.

by geothenes 2008-02-03 04:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

That's the point of the sarcasm.  It's just total bs.

by rcipw 2008-02-03 05:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

I still have faith that the media and celebrity endorsers will not hijack and determine this election.  The people who vote on Tuesday will!

by musicpvm 2008-02-03 03:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

Now that would be GREAT. I mean, can you imagine how great it would be if everyone actually took the time to research their candidate's voting record and stand on issues rather than deciding based on TV ads, pundits or endorsements? I doubt it will happen, but one can hope!

Oh wait, I used the word "hope" - I must be less immune to the media machine that I thought. :-)

by Dari 2008-02-03 04:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

this is why  Obama rating went up.  We will see after Tuesday.

by JoeySky18 2008-02-03 04:03PM | 0 recs
My favorite Michelle line

and the one which brought down the house:

 "I am what an investment in public education looks like."

by Piuma 2008-02-03 04:05PM | 0 recs
one more interesting Michelle line today...

"...we are just three years out of paying our educational debt."

by mboehm 2008-02-03 05:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

>A few minutes into Shriver's speech this guy passed by where were were standing and sort of muttered "we just won California." He was expressing what I think a lot of people in that room were feeling about the significance of the moment.

Well it is no surprise that Obama supporters would feel that way. Find me some evidence undecideds agree.

by tdraicer 2008-02-03 04:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

The nomination was hijacked by the media and the Kennedy family. I think Obama fans are WAY overconfident not just about the nomination but the general election as well

by rossinatl 2008-02-03 05:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

Overconfident?  Well over a thousand people took home sheets of voters to call to get out the vote.  No one is taking anything for granted.

by Piuma 2008-02-03 05:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

Maria Shriver? Nobody in California gives a damn. Seriously. Would you?

by OrangeFur 2008-02-03 06:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

I'm so dizzy from watching all of the spinning here.

Will Maria Shriver sway votes?  Probably not too many. But what it will do is push all of Bill's appearances in CA on Sunday to the inside of the paper and the end of the news.  It has a way of sucking the oxygen out of any Clinton news in the state. She will add to the idea of momentum.  

I have no clue what will happen on Tuesday but neither does anyone else, no matter what they tell you.

by cswartout 2008-02-03 06:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

I thought it was notable that she didn't actually say the words "I endorse Barack Obama," . . . which made it, I thought, perhaps even more meaningful than the typical "endorsements" we're used to from politicians and celebrities.

Bit of a stretch, no?

by Trickster 2008-02-03 06:53PM | 0 recs
Arnold told her to.

Arnold is such a misogynist that I always found it peculiar that Maria stayed by him.  then it struck me that her independence and assertiveness was always an act.  Now with this announcement, it didn't damage that conclusion, it strengthened it.  

You see, Arnold, in order to keep his career as a Republican had to go with a Repug, so he went with McCain.  But he figured if he had his wife go with Obama, it might more than cancel his going with McCain.

And this way, Maria can continue her act as the strong willed independent that she has been cast at, and Arnold can further his career better.  So Arnold told Maria that he would go with McCain, and she would go with Barack.  And she said yes dear.

Seems to me, Arnold has a better chance of getting a high powered job in an Obama administration than in a McCain one.

Win win.

by prius04 2008-02-03 07:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

I was there, and the Maria Shriver things was a total surprise to everyone. What a great moment to be a part of!

I have to say that this was my first time seeing Michelle speak and I actually found Michelle's speech even better than Barack's. Not quite as uplifting and inspirational, but more real and cutting and focused at the substantive level. She is a dynamite part of his whole team. I believe will serve us all very well as First Lady.

I must also make a bit of a comment on your comment on Schwartzenegger being the kind of bipartisanship that we don't need. Arnie is hated by the conservatives in the Republican Party. He regularly goes against the Republican caucus in Sacramento, and he has signed major legislation and supported ballot initiatives for lots of Democratic causes such as infrastructure rebuilding ($42 billion), anti-global warming laws, clean air laws, universal health care, etc. All of these were passed based on Democratic votes in the legislature only, and Schwartzenegger's support in the governor's mansion. He has not campaigned for any wedge issues, such as the anti-immigrant stuff that that last Republican governors tried to get through.

Are you really saying that you'd prefer he'd govern as a partisan Republican, in which case the bureaucracy would've been anti-everything we believe in, and nothing positive would've have been accomplished by the progressive Democratic legislature because of his veto pen? That's just the kind of impractical partisanship for its own sake that we really need to get past if we want to actually solve problems and move forward in this country.

by dmc2 2008-02-03 07:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

MoveOn has now sent the Yes We Can video to over 180,000 people.  They started today with a goal of 150,000 and already have raised that to 250,000.  Yes We Can.

by Piuma 2008-02-03 07:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

Man, I love that arc...  That arc that bends:

He quoted Martin Luther King Jr., who said, "The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice.' An arc that bends toward justice," he said. "That is the essence of hope."

by Shaun Appleby 2008-02-03 08:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

Yeah, I remember when this site was less spin and not a Clinton machine site.  Regardless, I think the Shriver endorsement is solid and WILL have an affect on Californians, especially the independents.

Everytime an endorsement comes out for Obama, someone on MYDD (from the Clinton Spin) comes and tries to downplay it. This is big.  

Now, as an admitted Obama fan, I can agree that  Bill Richardson endorsement of Clinton would be a big coup for the Clintons.  To try to deny it's significance would be hogwash.  And, knowing the Clintons political keen, I KNOW they have something up their sleeve for tomorrow in terms of endorsements.  It was strangely quiet, other than the mention that Bubba was watching the Superbowl with BillL Richardson.  

by shoeshine boy 2008-02-03 09:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

Ahoy! I see a New Hampshire style contrarian wave possibly coming ashore just off the coast of California.

About the whole Oprah, Michelle, Caroline, Maria coffee klatch, it looked, well, shall we say a little too self-satisfied. There was a brief moment when the four women  all huddled together on stage in a little well-heeled scrum, laughing and talking excitedly among themselves and briefly ignoring the audience. If you weren't a student or member of the Napa wine track set, say you were a struggling soon to be foreclosed person, what would you think about the utter lack of the "fierce urgency of now" for your life, which was on display on that stage? There was something a little self-congratulatory and smug about the whole performance I thought. If Obama gets in it will be a limousine liberal coup of the first order, we may not get universal healthcare, but dammit we'll be able to travel to Europe without being mocked about George Bush!

by superetendar 2008-02-04 06:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Maria Shriver For Obama

Yes, I was out riding with my daughter this morning, on our palominos escorted at a discreet distance by our security detail, and as the sun rose higher in the sky over our estate I had, I don't know, a sort of epiphany.  The history of our nation and my personal history share a trajectory, and as when two planets align, there is a synergy that creates as it signals, a new era.  

I have a responsibility, as well as a right, to claim this insight and share in the bright light that results from this alignment.  As Elton says it so well, "When stars collide, like you and I, no shadow blocks the, you're the one."

Plus, fuck Caroline.  I'm so sick of her mealy-mouthed humble act and then shyly taking center stage to "Sweet Caroline." Yick.  Hey Caroline, try this on: "Maria, I just met a girl named Maria...who had her own careeah and made her husband governa and doesn't try to live off a father she can't really rememba!!  Maria..."  

by Thaddeus 2008-02-04 07:33AM | 0 recs


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