Obama's campaign book: part Iowa

So back to the '08 election books for the second part (the first part is here) of the primary season: Iowa.

In ATW, page 106. Its mid-October '07 and Clinton has peaked too early, though few could tell at the time, and it seemed she "could do no wrong" but Plouffe points at two mis-steps that leveled the field in Iowa. Clinton's flip-flopping about whether illegal immigrants should have driver licenses which put her into the penalty box among the national press, and what he calls "Plantgate" which was about Clinton staffers putting questions into the Iowan crowds, which hurt her authenticity. This second one really got to the heart of the oppositional push by Obama's campaign. It was a very patient operation; one that waited for openings and then maximized them when they occurred. Edwards paying $300 for a haircut in Iowa & Clinton's staffers putting up softball questions both served to undermine the character of the opposition, with the particular angle that Obama was emphasizing in himself: authentic hope for change.

A whole book could be written on the Democratic caucus in Iowa in 2008. I've got some great books on Iowa that cover the '70's and '80's caucus events. And the '92 & '96 caucuses were non-events. Starting with Gore vs Bradley in '00, then the '04 race between Gephardt, Edwards, Kerry & Dean; and then the '08 contest, which I believe is one of the greatest nominating events of all-time, there's a historical book calling out to be written. The section on Iowa is the most revealing part of Plouffe's book (the second being the VP selection process), but it deserves even more than what Plouffe has laid out.

Back to our timeline. When the opening emerged in November, Obama, at the JJ dinner, found a message to differentiate himself from Clinton, Plouffe tells us Obama said:

This is not about issue differences, other than Iraq," he summarized. "Its about leadership qualities and vision. that's what we have to punch through at the J-J."
I think that pretty well sums up what Obama's appeal was to his unique coalition. Its very transformative-based, instead of issue-based. When I had been reading polling done in '05 and '06 in Iowa, I picked up on the same consistent thread of post-partisanship appeal (though it is, given the current nature of Republicans in DC, a pony ride express).

This distinction between the two candidates is driven home by Plouffe:

When at last Hillary took the stage... the main thrust of her speech was that she was tough enough to take on the republicans. She asked the crowd, "And when the republicans engage in fearmongering, and saber rattling, and talk about WW III, what do we do with them? And her supporters... shouted out... "Turn up the heat!" Plouffe, in Chicago watching it on TV with his wife, remarks:"That just seems awful," I said to her as Hillary riled up the crowd. "Even for a Democratic Party dinner it's awfully political and partisan."In contrast, Obama hit a "Fucking home run" in the words of Axlerod.

So it was with the distinct coalition of Iowan voters, new voters and not that partisan, that coalesced around Obama. When they brought Oprah into Iowa in Dec, it broadened their tent-- 30,000 people attended. That's amazing.

By December '07, when Clinton talks about her experience and ability "to take on the Republican machine" Plouffe says the campaign was "all over this as a prime example of that was wrong with Washington and the current state of politics."

This seemed at the time, nothing but a fairy tail, and readding what I wrote in mid-Feb, it drove home the only distinction I could find meaningful for the primary:

I happened to have noticed that the Clinton and Obama voting record are nearly identical... In that light, that they are the same as far as policy goes, or more or less, I happen to have made up my mind based on which of them is more likely to kick the Republicans in the balls, rather than give them a helping hand back to the table.It might be what's wrong, but its also the reality.

Obama's effective appeal to a slew of new caucus-goers for Iowa was that we'd hold hands in DC. Part if this is, to be sure, is how he could win through positioning. By the end, Plouffe says he had 60K 1's and 30K 2's heading into the caucus. The final DR poll was very accurate on the spread, showing Obama 32, Clinton 25, Edwards 24.

In a revealing passage, Plouffe goes into the John Kerry endorsement, which he tipped them off about a few days prior to the Iowa caucus. It was definitely a good call to hold off on it, because Kerry didn't reflect their message in Iowa as a closing argument. Not many candidates would recognize that as the right call.

By January 2008, in a cool scene, Plouffe describes the coalition of voters in the caucus outside Des Moines in a suburban high school in Ankeny at 6:15 pm, just before they closed the doors to caucus while Obama pounded for a few more votes:

Right there, in front of our eyes on caucus night, we were seeing the coalition of voeters we had set out to build: high school kids; republicans who said they were switching their registration to caucus for Barack; Iowa residents atteing MI and WI colleges who had stayed home a few extra days to caucus; an older couple who said they had not participated since '68; when they volunteered for Bobby Kennedy. And my favorite, a man dressed like Gandalf from The Lord of the Rights, holding a staff with an iPod attached at the top and a little speaker playing Obama's speeches on repeat.I have an image of the Obama campaign as I was driving through Iowa diring the waning days of the primary. Signs saying "Hope" in blue, on a white background, posted in snowy corners of the towns throughout Iowa. Even down to the meshing the campaign slogan-speak with the holiday spirit, the Obama Iowa campaign nailed it.

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Campaign Updates and Media Headlines 8/3/08

Campaign Updates and Media Headlines 8/3/08

Last Gallup: dead heat (Not Your Sweetie)

A bit of history is offered: [F]our years ago [Friday], John Kerry led George W. Bush by four points (49% to 45%) and by five with leaners (51% to 46%). That matched his best day ever and was the last time he enjoyed such a sizable lead. At this point four years ago, the Democratic National Convention had already been held.
Update as of Saturday, August 2, "Gallup Daily: McCain, Obama Remain Tied"
Update as of Sunday, August 3, "Gallup Daily: Obama 45%, McCain 44%"--Caro


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Hillary supporters to demonstrate at DNC meeting

I received a forwarded email from the group that is behind the Women Count Pac .  They are organizing a demonstration at the May 31 meeting of the DNC Rules Committee.

Here is the text of the email:

From: "Susie Buell" Date: May 21, 2008 10:45:34 AM PDT
Subject: Join us for a Rally on May 31st in Washington

Dear Fellow Hillary Supporters,
If you believe that the DNC must honor our core democratic principles and enfranchise the people of MI and FL and their respective delegations,
If you believe that Hillary Clinton is best for our party, most likely to win in November and best for our country,
If you believe the contest for the democratic nomination must not end before all of the votes from each State and US Territory have been cast and counted and that nominating conventions, not candidates (or the media), declare the nominee,
If you believe that the media and DNC have underestimated the passion, strength, intensity and determination of Hillary supporters and the power of the women's vote,

Then Join a group of Hillary supporters who are planning to visit Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 31st to attend the meeting of the DNC Rules Committee and rally outside the DNC headquarters in support of Michigan and Florida;
....the DNC Rules Committee is meeting that day to make a determination with respect to MI and FL and we think it is essential to convene in Washington to support our cherished democratic principles, help enfranchise MI and FL and to show that Hillary has equally high numbers of passionate, devoted supporters who believe fervently that she will be the better general candidate and best president.  
Our purpose is not to divide the party or attack the DNC or Senator Obama.  At the same time, Hillary's strong support cannot be dismissed in DNC efforts to unify the party.

Please let us know if you will be able to join us.

The Office of Susie Tompkins Buell


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Lots of good numbers for Hillary

I know that the Obama paid bloggers and volunteers are all over here saying the race is over, but it's not.  So here are some interesting numbers for all of us to chew on.

Tonight should be very interesting.  I hear there is same day registration to vote?  I wonder how many people will register and vote today?

I also hear that MI has reached an agreement with the Democratic party and it will be announced soon.  That could just be rumor.

From the hub

By the Numbers: A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that more than six in 10 Democrats 64 percent say Clinton should remain in the race.A USA Today Poll also shows a majority of Democrats want Hillary to continue.

On the Air: In a new radio ad, Hillary encourages West Virginians to get out and vote: We can pick a president.  After all, no Democrat has been elected president without winning West Virginia for almost a hundred years.  

Clinton Fever Hits Bowling Green  Clinton fever has come to Bowling Green . Kentucky for Hillary opened a new office and held an open house Monday. Crowds turned out to show support for their favorite candidate. A candidate they hope will stand out in Kentucky next week "The woman has a lot of purpose, said Barbara Burns, a Clinton supporter. "She wants to serve our country as best she can, and I believe she can do that as president.

SD Endorsement Watch: Yesterday, 41 former South Dakota state legislators and constitutional officers endorsed Hillary for President. With over 330 years of combined experience, they believe that South Dakotans need a President who will stand with them.  Former State Representative Al Waltman said, Hillary Clinton has real solutions to our economic problems and she has the experience and resolve to make those plans a reality. Read more

On Tap: This Friday and Saturday, Hillary returns to the Beaver State , where she will meet with Oregonians from across the state.

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Bingo! Malicious YouTube Hoaxsters Exposed

Front paged at Larry's site, No Quarter.

(Folks, I didn't plan on posting a 4th diary on this, but since it now has exposure elsewhere, I figure I should.)

The Internet was ablaze with You Tube videos early Friday (5/1/08) showing footage from The War Room, Part 9, a documentary about Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign, that supposedly depicted Clinton aide Mickey Kantor referring to folks in Indiana as “shit.”  More outrageous versions were spawned later that also claimed that Kantor called people “white nig**rs.”  

None of it was true. By late Friday, it had been completely debunked, and Mickey Kantor vowed to take legal action against the culprits. (For background, check out D. Cupples’ earlier story here.)

Based on my research, I recommend that Kantor’s legal team immediately contact Jamal Brown of Venice, CA (Brown owns a small business that specializes in videos); Dietrich Cusseaux of Spring, TX; JedReport.com out of Las Vegas; Markos Moulitsas, owner of Daily Kos; and the Barack Obama campaign.  

CRITICAL SIDE NOTE: Six hours ago, Jamal Brown posted another YouTube video: “Hillary Clinton is trying to get Barack Obama killed!.” (No Quarter plans to address this abhorrent video in a separate story.)

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