Al Franken's New Ads

Minnesotans have a history of responding to quirky political ads so why shouldn't Al Franken give it a shot.

Mrs. Molin

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The Bradley Effect-As in Bill Bradley

The polarizing debate about race and gender in recent weeks between the two Democratic front runners has obscured an even bigger divide among the Democratic electorate

From Marie Cocco at Real Clear Politics

The deepest division in the Democratic primary campaign until now has not been between blacks and whites, though we are likely to see stark evidence of that in the upcoming South Carolina primary. A fault line already is visible between upper-income, educated whites and those with lower incomes and less education. The upscale voters have gone with Obama, the downscale with Clinton.

Obama's major difference with previous "wine-track" candidates is the strong support he's getting from African Americans - Gary Hart managed in 1984 to get 0% of black voters - which in alliance with professionals and the more highly educated primary voters might be enough to win the nomination. But in the general election, winning back low-income and working class nonblack Democratic voters will be key -- and that means he will need to develop a more populist, "bread and butter" platform before November.

Obama's soaring rhetoric and appeal for "hope" mean a lot less to (working -class voters) than solid campaign proposals that address their day-to-day concerns. Bill Clinton faced media ridicule for his numbingly detailed plans. But voters didn't get the joke. They saw practical solutions they liked. This is a big reason Hillary Clinton now mimics the approach.

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Clinton's Tough Night in Michigan

The big news of the night from the Wolverine State is Romney's tossing the entire GOP race into the spin dry cycle, but there are some interesting numbers from the Democratic side courtsey of Politico.

In Wayne County, the state's biggest county and home of Detroit, Clinton is currently leading "uncommited" by only 8,000 votes.

In Washtenaw, home of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan, she is cuurently losing to uncommitted.

So far, she is having a tought time getting black, youth and professional votes even though she is the only leading candidate on the ballot. For someone running to be the nominee of the Democratic Party, this can't be good news.  

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Scene at Metro Detroit Polling Places

The Detroit Free Press and Michigan Messenger have liveblogs of the primary, interesting to get constantly updated on-the-ground reports. Also, check in with Michigan Liberal for local blog coverage. - Todd

According to intial reports from the Detroit Free Press, the scene at polling places in Metro Detroit is, well, underwhelming.

No line early in Canton

THE PLACE: Tonda Elementary on Warren in Canton

THE TIME: 7:20 a.m.

THE SCENE: So empty you would have thought it was a school board election in the dead of summer. Line? Nope. Underwhelmed election workers? Yup. One person was voting for Precinct 19. Two people had arrived for Precinct 11. The count in the ol' 11 at the time: Four people had taken Republican ballots. The Democrats were sleeping in.

This looks good for Romney as it seems -- at least in Detroit -- the McCainiacs are sleeping in.

Richard Cohen Trys to Keep The Racial Flames Burning

At a moment when it looks like the Clinton and Obama camps are agreeing to pull back from the increasingly racialized fight between the two candidates, Richard Cohen at the Washington Post decides to dump a big gallon of gasoline on the fading fire.

Barack Obama is a member of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ. Its minister, and Obama's spiritual adviser, is the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. In 1982, the church launched Trumpet Newsmagazine; Wright's daughters serve as publisher and executive editor. Every year, the magazine makes awards in various categories. Last year, it gave the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award to a man it said "truly epitomized greatness." That man is Louis Farrakhan.

Uh-oh. Being this is Cohen's lede, one would think he is acccusing Obama of being big Farrakhan supporter too, right?

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John Edwards: Still the Business Elite's Worst Nightmare

John Edwards may be running third in the polls, but he still corporate America's worst nighmare according to the Guardian.

Ask corporate lobbyists which presidential contender is most feared by their clients and the answer is almost always the same -- Democrat John Edwards...But beyond his profession, Edwards' tone and language on the campaign trail have increased business antipathy toward him. His stump speeches are peppered with attacks on "corporate greed" and warnings of "the destruction of the middle class."
He accuses lobbyists of "corrupting the government" and says Americans lack universal health care because of "drug companies, insurance companies and their lobbyists."

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Unity 08 Folding Up Shop?

Just as Michael Bloomberg seems to be getting more serious about a potential third-party presidential bid, Unity 08 -- which looked to be the natural vehicle for a bid by the NYC Mayor -- is scaling down it's operations.

"At the current moment, we don't have enough members or enough money to take the next step toward achieving ballot access in 50 states, reaching the goal of establishing our online convention, and nominating a Unity ticket for president and vice president this coming fall."

The full letter from Unity 08's board of directors follows below.

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UNITE-HERE Endorses Obama

Obama now has two national unions backing him: the plumbers and UNITE-HERE.

"The Executive Committee of UNITE HERE has voted to endorse Senator Barack Obama for President. On behalf of nearly one million members and retirees, the union announced that it will be supporting the campaign in primaries and caucuses throughout the nation."

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Obama secretive about fund-raisers he will be attending

LEBANON, N.H.--With two presidential votes behind him, Democratic frontrunner Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)) starts a new round of fund-raisers in New York, Boston and Chicago as the candidate who is making transparency a centerpiece of his White House bid continues to with-hold details of his higher-end fund-raising operation.

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Labor Beat: Peru Trade Agreement Action at Obama HQ - Chicago

Chicago Members of the Chicago Trade with Justice Working Group paid a visit to the Obama for America headquarters in Chicago on Dec. 15, 2007. They wanted to tell Senator Barack Obama that they are concerned with his failure to appear at the recent Senate vote on the US-Peru "Free Trade" Agreement. They left a statement for Obama, a current candidate for U.S. President, and expressed their disappointment that he skipped the vote on the Peru trade pact. They were even more concerned that Obama, along with Sen Hillary Clinton, made public statements supporting the Peru Trade deal and that Illinois Senator from Illinois, Dick Durbin, voted in favor of it.

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