What Karl Rove isn't saying about Hillary's unfavorable poll numbers

It's Karl vs Hillary

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Sam Nunn - Independent Bid?

Democrat Sam Nunn has been making sounds that he will run in the 2008 general as an independent.  He is a moderate, a skilled populist.  A generally cool headed individual.

IMHO Sam is a different sort of centrist, that Joe Lieberman. Although both senators have crossed party lines on several occasions, Nunn has accomplished much in his career regarding National Security. So much so, in fact, that he was often discussed as a potential 2004 running mate for John Kerry, before John Edwards proved that "objects in the rearview mirror are closer than they appear".

Nunn is likely to change the political landscape of the south if the 2008 season starts up with him on the ticket as an independent. I am not sure how. But it will be different. He is popular in the red states.  He's got a senate record spanning 24 years, he's a strongly independent voice and he's on the record being critical of the Bush administration - a stance that now plays widely.  What do you think would happen if this Democrat, throws his name in the hat? Would it change the political landscape of the south?

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Richardson Dark Horse

I lived in New Mexico when I got out of college and in that twilight between college and grad school. In my chosen field that meant no money and even less exposure to the world at large. I had just spent the last three years of my life (a car accident laid me up in my freshman year)  at the library.

The first thing that struck me about New Mexico, during Bill Richardson's tenure there, was that it truly seemed to be going places. Things just worked.  The trains, for lack of a better expression, ran on time. We are not the most political animals fresh out of college (Jon Singer excluded) and so my introduction to politics came mostly from a small community on a high mesa.  Being that my volvo kind of .. died.. there, I did alot of walking. In fact, I walked to Taos, NM. once.  I got to walk past Indian Reservations. There are alot of intensely creative people in Santa Fe, Angel Fire and Taos. They don't always expect someone to walk up out of the desert and say hi.   And where I was walking, you would meet the entire spectrum all the way down from the poorest of the poor to the most interesting artists, the most gentle  and wonderful people and also I will be damned if not the most dangerous. There's something about the desert that really attracts the ... ahem.. where was I.. So of course, I used all of this political knowledge to lobby for a bike trail in my neighborhood here in Atlanta. (hey, it boosted my home value up like, 100 percent). So thats my political background in a nutshell.

Oh and while we're on the subject, I'm too lazy to listen to any campaign manager. These guys do send me mails, and have been sending me mail even some personally for the past six years but I tend to search out the mails written by members of the opposite sex then put the mail from the campaign manager off to the side there and "get around" to reading them. As in. Never.

And just so we're straight, in my home the term 'bush republican' is synonymous with the word 'bozo'.

And by that I don't mean republican, or conservative. After all, I'm writing from the perspective of a small businessman, broadcasting to you straight from the land of the conservative white man. Cobb County Georgia, USA. The place that brought you Bob Barr, Newt Gingrich, and Phil Gingrey. And the pajama clad bloggers that launched "Memogate" and ended the career of Dan Rather (as if). Phil was there at the cookout at my stables a month or so ago, and my horse didn't seem to mind him being there at all. So just so you know, my motto is. If it doesn't scare my horse. Then it doesn't scare me. In my six years of blogging, the one place that I appreciate most is MyDD. (boot licking toady comment follows). MyDD is +the+ most objective, cleanest political blog in the entire blogosphere and my absolute favorite place to hang out during +any+ election. This place doesn't reduce it all down to bullet lists.  Being selected to author here on Thursday for what in my view,  for the  progressive candidate in the list this year,  is a great honor, - and I'd like to thank all the people that I bludgeoned to near death, to make this possible. They say the bleeding stops in about two hours. I hereby warrant that no animals or young republicans were (permanently) harmed in the writing of this blog post.  

Now, the reason I know Bill is the Progressive Candidate is that I have seen this four-time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, DNC Chair, Bill Richardson in action. New Mexico, under Governor Richardson - prospered. This is a personal statement for me as well. So I made my way down the torturously long list of candidates in this race (Clinton, Obama, Richardson, and Edwards) (did I miss anyone?)  ...  and I short listed Richardson from pure genetic memory.  

Now part of it all for me is also First Debate. This is where the hunt begins. Sure enough, in the first real debate - the Moveon.org Town Hall -  Richardson skies it. He blows past the field and leaps out of his startup tier. Thats what a dark horse does.  At that debate I learned Richardson had the nerve to go for a complete withdrawal plan. No other candidate had that initiative. This was a moment for me. Its on youtube as well. It reminded me of that famous line - "What I want to know is, why are so many Democrats supporting George Bush's war in Iraq".  Do you remember that one? That line changed American politics.

I call these types of moments "Black Swans". Moments you don't expect. It communicates to you tha the guy knows where he's going. It speaks of not only executive but diplomatic experience, the same kind that helped get North Korean nuclear talks back on track.    Richardson locked me from that moment on. I think up until that point I was for a guy whose name began with the letter "O".. can't remember ... the memory is fading..

Now there are contrasts to Dean's insurgent campaign. The most apparent of which is that Richardson's politica ads are the best of the entire year. Actually in my view, the past ten years (I just don't go for pictures of wolves roaming around in the forest - you get a different perspective when you meet them there yourself). If you want to see any of these things, or for that matter, anything the Governor has been up to lately - just youtube "Bill Richardson".  IMHO they're clever. They don't burn you out. Iowans like them. This is important if you want to get elected, and Richardson is precisely where John Kerry was in '04 in Iowa right now - the primary is front loaded in a way that is unprecedented (this is by design, to try to keep insurgents out)and thanks to candidates like Richardson and Edwards, its an open contest. We are so early in the season anything can happen amongst the top four.

In Bill Richardson, we have someone who has the experience, is willing to take a gutsy stand.  He's got the right team to handle the media machine. So, thats the conclusion of this post. I am trying to state my assumptions and definitions here. All in all,  I would call Bill Richardson the very definition of a dark horse candidate. What I really want to know is what you think about the governor. I am a kind of border collie watchdog. I will head out there and bring stuff back for you. Maybe more than you want. I plan to  write about Bill's parallel to JFK (there are quite a few) and resume. But also the man. We seem to have a lot of "anti war" candidates this year - do we have any, "end the war" candidates? What do you think ?

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No diversity in Hillary's world, apparently.

Seeing Hillary's ad today pissed me off.  On its face, the ad was very effective.  It struck the right chord and pushed all the right buttons and had the perfect tone for a just-out-of-the-gate ad.  Her voice was great and she looked wonderful in it.  Overall, an A+ ad...until.  Until you consider, which I later did, that it had NO diversity in it.  I liked the ad all day long and then watched it again and then it hit me.  The ad made the world in which Hillary campaigns look like no black, no Asian, nor Hispanic people live there.  Here we are in the year 2007 and we have the frontrunning candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination run her very very first ad and paid absolutely ZERO attention to diversity.  How ironic that the campaign named this ad, "Invisibles", because, as a Hispanic, I feel like I'm invisible in Hillary's world.
Here's the ad:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3xepwid_ sY&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fblogs%2Eusatoda y%2Ecom%2Fonpolitics%2F2007%2F08%2Fregis ter%2Dclinto%2Ehtml

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They talk big, but will candidates deliver the fundraising transparency we need?

Last night, Presidential hopeful Barack Obama reiterated once more that he does not take money from lobbyists:

OLBERMANN: Thirty seconds. Senator Obama, I know you and Senator Edwards have taken a firm stand against accepting money from lobbyists, yet you allow them to raise money for you and, as the phrase goes, "Bundle it." What's the difference between those things?
OBAMA: No, no. I do not have federal registered lobbyists bundling for me, just like I don't take PAC money.  (APPLAUSE) And the reason that's important is because the people in this stadium need to know who we are going to fight for. And I want to be absolutely clear that the reason I'm in public  life, the reason I came to Chicago, the reason I started working with  unions, the reason I march on picket lines, the reason that I'm  running for president is because of you... (APPLAUSE) ... not because of the folks who are writing big checks. And that's a clear message that has to be sent, I think, by every candidate.

Click here for full transcript. 

While Obama's assertion is reality-based, he is dancing on a technicality, since several of his bundlers have recent histories that include lobbying. In April, Alex Bolton reported in The Hill that:

Three of Obama's top fundraisers, who each have raised more than $50,000 for his campaign since January, were registered as lobbyists last year, according to reports filed with the Senate Office of Public Records. In 2006, Alan Solomont of Solomont Bailis Ventures earned $90,000 in lobbying income; Tom Reed, of Kirkland & Ellis, lobbied for the Seismological Society of America, the Nanobusiness Alliance, and the Airport Minority Advisory Council; and Scott Harris, of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis, represented Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Dell and Sprint-Nextel.

All three Obama fundraisers have said they are no longer lobbyists, although the public records office has not posted contract termination reports for any of them.

Several other major Obama fundraisers also have histories of lobbying government officials for a living. Thomas Perrelli was a lobbyist for Jenner & Block as recently as 2005. Until 2003, when Obama was a member of the Illinois Senate, Peter Bynoe was a registered state lobbyist representing Boeing and other corporate interests, according to the Illinois secretary of state. They have both raised at least $50,000 for Obama's presidential bid, according to his campaign.

The full article is here.

In fact, at least five of Obama's disclosed bundlers have registered in the past with the Senate Office of Public Records. Three of them hadn't filed the normal paperwork indicating termination of their lobbying contracts, though Alan Solomont, Tom Reed and Scott Harris all told they Hill they had stopped lobbying.

(You can confirm the lobbying IDs with the Secretary of the Senate's lobbying database. For example: Alan Solomont; Tom Reed; Scott Harris. One of them, Thomas Perelli, of Jenner and Block, lobbied for victims of the August 1998 Africa embassy bombings. Which raises the point that many have made in comments that not all lobbyists are alike.)

The article went on to point out that some fundraisers for Obama are corporate officers of companies that hire lobbyists. At least 10 other major bundlers work for companies that have lobbied the federal government, including Bill Kennard of the Carlyle Group.

And late last week, the Los Angeles Times noted that Obama has taken in more than $1.4 million from firms with partners registered to lobby the federal government.

That total likely includes money brought in by two federal lobbyists who don't appear on Obama's "official" fundraising list. John Corrigan and Sanford Stein both had their personal donations to Obama returned, the LA Times reported. They also were asked not to help with fundraising, but not until after they had sent out emails for a fundraiser that helped Obama bring in $190,000 from Illinois donors between June 6 and June 11th. Did Obama return the money Corrigan and Stein helped to bring in? He hasn't said.

As today's Tom Paine article on the candidates' "Secret Santas" describes, the candidates are actually ALL being less-than-forthcoming about the details of their fundraising operations.  

Public Citizen sent letters today to all of them calling on them to "put their mouths where their money is" and come clean on their bundling operations. It's a sad day when the Democratic hopefuls are disclosing less campaign finance information than did masters of secrecy Bush and Cheney in 2004.

You can find out what we do know about the presidential candidates' bundlers at www.WhiteHouseforSale.org and collect tips on bird-dogging the candidates on their poor disclosure of bundlers here.

Public Citizen, among others, is calling for a law to require disclosure of all bundling activity (and not merely by lobbyists, as in the recently passed lobbying and ethics bill). Relying on voluntary disclosure of information about bundlers makes us all too dependent on the whims of candidates.

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