How To Reach Thousands of Voters in One Day

I have been a volunteer for the Obama campaign during the primary and during the general election in two states. I have been active in canvassing, phone banking, voter registration, and data entry. Anything I can do for getting Senator Obama elected president. When canvassing, a list of 50 houses usually takes about 1.5-2 hours, depending on how many people are home and how long you talk to them. However, I have also been involved in writing letters to local/national newspapers. Since the middle of August, I have had two letters published, the most recent one on labor day.

Below, I wrote some tips on how to write letters, the use of tools to send them, and copies of my published letters.

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Downsizing Newspapers and Pretending to Improve Quality

Newspaper owners have already "maximized profits" by low salaries and minimal benefits, giving veteran reporters "involuntary terminations," significantly reduced employee education programs, cut the number of pages, reduced the page size, and increased the use of material provided by syndicates rather than local news staff. And now they wonder why no one wants to read their newspapers.

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Florida Front Page response to Candidates Visits: Sunday Update

Cross-posted atThe October Protocol.

Yesterday was a big day for the Sunshine State. Both candidates were campaigning in Florida with Sen. Obama visiting the Bay Area and Sen. McCain in Orlando. Sen. Obama was heckled at his town hall meeting in St. Petersberg by members of the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement, a pan-African Socialist group. (The Obama campaign responded by thanking the group and blasting undecided voters inboxes with a memo titled, "Jesse's not the only one: More lefty black folks that hate me.") Meanwhile, McCain yukked it up with National Urban League in an attempt to cut into Obama's base.

The visits also happened to coincide with a report that Florida is in a recession for the first time in 16 years.

Ambinder speculated about whether today's Florida headlines would focus on economics or race and that a move in one direction would indicate whether the "race card" attack was taking hold.

Let's take a look at today's (8/2) front pages of the top five Florida newspapers (by circulation).

St. Petersburg Times circ. 422,410.

The Times leads with "Obama open to drilling" with a large picture of him smiling among supporters. The picture of Obama dominates a smaller picture of McCain joking with National Urban League President Marc Morial. With economics front and center particularly Obama's move toward drilling, an issue that the McCain campaign wanted to wedge between the two candidates, this front page is favorable to the Democrat. Papers commonly give favorable coverage to any visiting candidate and that phenomenon is borne out by the contrasting front pages of the St. Pete Times and the Orlando Sentinel. Obama's visit focused on the Bay Area and McCain's centered on Orlando. ADVANTAGE OBAMA.

Miami Herald circ. 390,171.

The Herald provides equal visual coverage under the headline "Florida Showdown." In the article, however, the body starts with racial issues, hecklers included, and this after a lede that set up the economy before the racial issues ("...offering contrasting fixes for the economy while confronting racial issues"). That subtle mismatch smacks of an editor flipping the body paragraphs before going to press. Burying the economic news after the jump equals ADVANTAGE MCCAIN.

Orlando Sentinel circ. 341,025.

The Sentinel headlines with "MCCAIN: OBAMA NOT BEST PICK FOR BLACKS," and a picture of Sen. McCain and National Urban League President Marc Morial having a good ole time onstage. If a picture is worth 1000 words, then this one is repeating "Playing the race card? Me? John McCain? How could I?" about a hundred times. Again, the soft coverage of McCain could be due to the fact that he was the candidate with a higher profile local visit. ADVANTAGE MCCAIN.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel circ. 339,728.

The Sun-Sentinel had nothing on the front page about the candidates save for a small photo of McCain at the bottom in the Daily Digest referring to reader mail about his rejected NYT editorial. Above the fold they ran a story on the aforementioned recession. They were the only paper on this list with that story on the front page and the only paper with no front-page story on the candidates. ADVANTAGE OBAMA.

Tampa Tribune and Times circ. 309,916.

The Tampa Tribune focuses on the battle and gives equal coverage to both candidates. There is no mention of race and the text highlights the main theme of each candidate's visit: Obama's economic stimulus plan and McCain's school vouchers strategy. While the issues and the economy trump race on this page the coverage seems even-handed. NO ADVANTAGE.

Sooooo, that's two for Obama and two for McCain with one tie. Looks like both campaigns are getting their message out in equal measure. Keep an eye on those Sunday papers to see if there is any movement toward race or economics.

The Protocol always buries the lede below the fold.

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End our 50-year national nightmare: Vote Obama!

(Here's a letter-to-the-editor that will be printed in my local paper here in North Carolina. Permission hereby granted to use any part or all of it in letters to your hometown papers.)

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Hillary Receives RAVE Reviews For Pa. Debate

Reports from across the nation and from leading newspapers and network affiliates are giving Hilary Clinton rave reviews for her dominant performance in last night's debate from Philadelphia. Not only did she impress the media, but she also won over many undecided voters because of her debate performance.

Here is what many are saying about her performance last night:

Hillary dominates Philadelphia focus group. "NYDIA HAN: The real take away is this. We now know who won the debate according to our focus group. Take a look. Senator Clinton is the debate winner, at least according to our focus group. 23% believe Senator Obama won while 50% believed Senator Clinton won." [WPVI Post-Debate Analysis, 4/16/08]

ABC News' Rick Klein - 'Clinton is back to the strong presence we saw early in the cycle.' [ABC News Political Radar, 4/16/08]

NBC News' Chuck Todd - Obama `did not have a good night.' [MSNBC Post-Debate Analysis, 4/16/08]

NBC News' Chuck Todd--Obama's answer on Ayers and the flag `were simply weak.' "His answer on Ayers and the flag question were simply weak; He seemed unprepared for them; Kinda surprising because he normally has a decent rant against "old politics" and yet "old politics" questions seemed to stump him." [NBC First Read, 4/16/08]

The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder - [T]here's no way Obama could fared worse. [The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder, 4/16/08]

Washington Post' Chris Cillizza-- Obama `struggled quite a bit' when asked about Rev. Wright. "...He struggled quite a bit more when asked to answer for Wright, his former pastor." [Washington Post, The Fix, 4/16/08]

New York Times' Katharine Seeyle: Hillary's `in her element as she goes into details.' "She's becoming expansive, seemingly in her element as she goes into details; Mr. Obama does not look as thrilled to be still standing there." [New York Times, The Caucus, 4/16/08]

Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall - Hillary `certainly seems more self-assured.' "She certainly seems more self-assured on the Iran question than Obama did. The question of extending an American security umbrella to Israel is very dicey. And he could clearly see he was on delicate territory." [Talking Points Memo, 4/16/08]

Philadelphia Inquirer blog - `Obama is again less certain, and rambles a bit.' "Obama is again less certain, and rambles a bit when asked about the Washington D.C. gun ban. Gibson asks him to deny that he has ever advocated a complete ban on hand guns in 1996. Obama says no. But whatever the truth, no other answer is possible." [Philadelphia Inquirer Blog, 4/16/08]

NBC News' Matthew Berger - Obama `tried to have it both ways' with Israel. "Obama's answer on an Iranian attack on Israel tried to seem to have it both ways: highlight his support for Israel but not lock him into treating an attack on Israel like an attack on the U.S. But it may have looked more like a no because it wasn't a firm yes. Clinton's answer seemed more direct." [NBC First Read, 4/16/08] se/view/?id=7137



THE DAILY PENNSYLVANIAN ENDORSES HILLARY media/storage/paper882/news/2008/04/17/O pinion/Editorial.Our.Primary.Picks.Clint on.And.Mccain-3331885.shtml

UPDATE: It just dawned on me that in last night's debate, Obama was asked whether he believed that his paster the Rev. Wright loved America, and was a patriot. At first Obama beat around the bush about his answer, and so they posed the question once again. He then answered in the affirmative, "Yes he loves this country". OK, Maybe someone else can pick up on this, but didn't the Rev. Wright use the slogan,'GOD DAMN AMERICA' in one or more of his sermons. That doesn't sound like someone who loves their country like Obama confessed to last night. I am waiting for him to respond to that statement once again, but he is refusing to answer questions today about his ties with these radicals.

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