• comment on a post Will Lieberman Ever Pay A Price? over 5 years ago

    I was hoping Lieberman would lose his chairmanship, but I disagree that committee chairmanships are the place to punish wayward Democrats. The appropriate way would be to withhold DSCC funds or surrogates, though of course it's too late for that.

    Lieberman will pay the price when he tries to form consensuses in his committee and on the floor. What first-term Democrat is going to follow Lieberman in an unpopular direction? And for the senior generation, it's looking harder and harder to come to Joe's defense.

    It's funny that I was just watching season one of The Sopranos. Tony just threw his support publicly to Uncle Junior, but below the surface, he took more power for himself and shoved his uncle to the side. I have to think that Obama's support came with a price for Joe to pay-- and his power may be fading as fast as his relevance.

    I took a quick look at what the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs actually does (http://hsgac.senate.gov/public/index.cfm ?Fuseaction=About.Jurisdiction) and it became clear to me that Henry Waxman's ascendancy is far bigger than Lieberman's stagnancy.

    I anticipate a major shift in the organization of the Dept of Homeland Security. The Senate Committee's jurisdiction over DHS is already limited (e.g. it has no jurisdiction over the Coast Guard, TSA, Secret Service, INS and Border Patrol) and I'll bet FEMA is removed from DHS in the next year or two.

    On the Government Affairs side, it's Carl Levin's subcommittee that gets to conduct investigations (you know, what Waxman used to do on the House side).

    So my guess is that in lieu of a punishment for Mr. Lieberman's Uncle Junior moments, Obama and the Democrats will just shrink his little territory and let him fade into obscurity until he retires.

  • comment on a post Confessions of a Deaniac over 6 years ago

    Jacob, I felt very similar to you in 2004. I hated the Kerry campaign so much I heckled him at an event during the primaries. It took me a while, but I got over my resentment and actually went to work as a canvass organizer for Kerry.

    I actually think it was harder for us to support the nominee than it is for the Hillary people now because the gulf was so huge between Dean and Kerry. Dean was against the war and the war was the biggest issue for most of us. It was really hard to fall in line with a pro-war nominee.

    There were two things that ultimately won me over. First was Bush and the Republicans and their arrogance. The war and the Patriot Act and Abu Ghraib were unconscionable, so Bush was easy to fight against.

    Second was Howard himself. His decision to keep the troops together and lead us on to fight for Democrats up and down the ticket was a major influence on me. In fact, I was one of the folks that took up the DFA banner in Los Angeles from hard workers like Jacob. Dean wasn't half-assed about it either, he worked really hard, which was why I was willing to work later on to help get him the chairmanship of the DNC.

    One thing that made a big difference was channeling my bitterness away from the presidential race. Until the fall, I decided to volunteer for other Democratic candidates. I ran voter registration drives.  I worked on congressional races, senate races, state assembly races, and later on city council and mayoral races. That way I didn't have to help a candidate who I didn't believe in, but I wasn't working at cross-purposes.

    If I may, I suggest to the Hillary devotees who aren't yet comfortable with Obama, go out and find a local candidate who inspires you, someone who endorsed Hillary in the primary, and volunteer for that candidate. You'll be glad you did.

  • on a comment on Confessions of a Deaniac over 6 years ago

    So I suppose that's why you're advocating the guy who opposed the Martin Luther King holiday and opposes a woman's right to choose?

  • comment on a post SC-02: Viable Dem Miller Could Challenge Wilson over 6 years ago

    "Probably merits an explanation..."

    Yeah, especially the part about never meeting Rumsfeld but reporting directly to him. Sounds like this joker's a sycophant and an apologist. I don't want want to judge, but...

  • on a comment on The Transformational Primary over 6 years ago

    As a non-handwringing Obama supporter, I too am feeling a little insulted these days by the charactizations of us coming from this blog. There was plenty of handwringing among non-Obama supporters too.

    I also don't really see what it has to do with the 50 state strategy; you can be in favor of a united 50 state strategy and still think a divisive primary isn't a good idea.

    For what it's worth coming from an Obama supporter, I think the drawn out process is good, if for no other reason than it keeps Democrats in the news. I'm really proud of what Dean has accomplished as head of the DNC, and what we've accomplished by helping him get there.

    But I am sick of the Obama supporter bashing. Something has changed at this this blog.

  • on a comment on PA on the verge over 6 years ago

    And Philly's an Obama city. Mark my words. He's got several offices in town and my Mom got her GOTV door knock just today.

    She also mentioned she was outside gardening a couple weeks ago and a Hillary person came through and couldn't answer any of her questions. She said it must've been a street money guy.

    My mom is a white person over 60 who lives in a mostly black, middle class neighborhood. She was undecided until Obama's race speech. The white liberal is often the swing voter in Philly- people who voted for Katz in '01 and Street in '05.

    I see that group breaking for Obama, and in a big way because of his organization. It won't be enough to put him over the top, but could be enough to surprise us.

  • comment on a post Campaigning Means Something over 6 years ago

    I wouldn't be so hard on the press for saying Obama's gaining on Clinton. It's unlikely that this particular headline writer meant to convey that Clinton voters were flipping. The polls aren't misleading unless you're trying to read too much into them.

    Polls are a snapshot in time. Most of them are meant to measure how likely voters would behave if the election were held at the moment the pollster called. So not only do they ignore the behavior of unlikely voters as IVR Polls points out above, but they they also ignore the fact that people change their minds.

    One trick when looking at lists of polls is to start from the right. When the undecided numbers are higher, you can surmise that the pollsters are specifically mentioning undecided as an option. If they don't do that, people are more likely to blurt out a candidate they don't fully support. Comparing polls with high undecideds to polls with low undecideds is a good way to gauge soft support or "leaners."

    But the biggest thing to remember when looking at these things is that most people don't pay attention until the last month or even the last week. Early polls are always going to favor the known quantity, and the newcomer is always going to gain as the campaign wears on, all things being equal.

    Excellent comparison. It really bears out the idea that spending time in a state makes a big difference.

  • My impression is that pollster.com comes out with a more conservative line because because outliers are weighted far less than those closer to the midpoint. So the dots that are farther away from the line (polls that look really great for one candidate) count less than the ones closer to it (polls that more closely resemble other polls).

    The long and the short of it is that both kinds of plots should be looked at with the understanding that pollster.com gives a more conservative picture of the candidates' movement.

  • Obama is a liberal because of his voting record. Funny you should ask, because today's WaPo has a pretty good piece on Obama's liberalism. It pegs Barack to the left of Hillary on Social Security and driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants. It also points out that she took him to task for his liberal state senate record.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con tent/article/2008/03/25/AR2008032503082. html?hpid=topnews

    What doesn't pass the smell test is voting for the war in Iraq and then saying it was a vote for diplomacy. If HRC's vote for war in Iraq was a vote for diplomacy then why did she vote against the Levin amendment that called for diplomacy?

    Why does HRC take a page out of the Republican playbook by including mandates in her healthcare package? Who else supports mandates? Mitt Romney and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Does that pass your smell test, Betsy?

    The reason Barack is winning over the 3% of Republicans who are actually reasonable is that he respects their point of view. That's a lesson we can all take. From a real liberal.

    But don't take it from me. Here are some of the ratings, with a few other pols thrown in for perspective:

    League of Conservation Voters lifetime environmental scores:
    Obama: 96
    Clinton: 90
    Edwards: 59
    http://presidentialprofiles2008.org/vote rguide/voterguide.pdf

    National Journal composite liberal scores 2006
    Obama 86
    Clinton 70.2
    Lieberman  67.5
    Specter 52.5
    http://nationaljournal.com/voteratings/s en/lib.htm

    National Journal composite liberal scores lifetime average:
    Obama 84.3
    Clinton 78.8
    Dodd 79.2
    Biden 76.8
    http://nationaljournal.com/voteratings/p df/06democrats.pdf

    Americans for Democratic Action
    2005:
    Obama 100
    Clinton 100
    http://www.adaction.org/ADATodayVR2005.p df

    2006:
    Obama 95
    Clinton 95
    http://www.adaction.org/ADATodayVR2006.p df

    ADA 2008 guide to presidential candidates:

    Clinton
    Iraq 66%
    Healthcare 100%
    Energy & Environment 100%
    Economy & Working families 100%
    Civil Rights 100%
    Lifetime voting average: 95.83%

    Obama
    Iraq 100%
    Healthcare 100%
    Energy and environment 100%
    Economy & Working families 100%
    Civil Rights 100%
    Lifetime voting average: 97.5%

    Edwards
    Iraq 33%
    Healthcare 100%
    Energy & Environment 100%
    Economy & Working families 100%
    Civil Rights 100%
    Lifetime voting average: 77.5%

    http://www.adaction.org/democrats2008.pd f

    Please feel free to copy and paste this anywhere and everywhere.

  • No, I'm finishing my masters in DC-- and looking for a job...

    I grew up in Philly and I have supported Patrick Murphy, Allyson Schwartz, and Anne Dicker. Also worked on the '04 presidential there.

  • Well, just to add to the anecdotal evidence, I stood in front of the Mt. Airy Wawa in northwest Philadelphia and registered about 13-15 Democrats last week. Some were first timers, two had been independents and one was a Republican convert.

    The Republican convert saw my Obama sticker and said, I'm a Republican, but in November I'm voting for your guy. I gave him my Democrat-for-a-day spiel and he signed right up.

    The guy running the northwest Philly office told me they had registered like 400 Democrats the day before, just in Germantown, Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill. That's 400 Democrats who aren't on the voter rolls yet and 400 Democrats the Obama campaign now knows how to contact. In one day. From one office.

    Nobody's head's exploding, we just know what the Obama campaign's doing, we know what the numbers look like and what the trends are. These new Democrats will vote overwhelmingly for Barack. I'm quite sure a couple will vote for Hillary, but come on, people.

  • comment on a post Sunday Follies over 6 years ago

    "- A look at the Pennsylvania marriage amendment that's coming up for a vote."

    Don't look now, but Ann Dicker's running for Vince Fumo's PA Senate seat in a crowded field of big names and big wigs.

    Not that Fumo or any of the rest of them are raging anti-gay (I actually have no idea), but I guarantee no one will fight harder for marriage equality than Ann Dicker. She surprised everyone with her second place showing against two machine candidates for the House a couple years ago, and she did it on shoeleather and a shoestring.  Maybe this thing will rally her some support and put her over the top.

  • on a comment on On Going After Pledged Delegates over 6 years ago

    Hey Upstate,
    Obama has a more liberal voting record that Hillary Clinton according to the National Journal AND Americans for Democratic Action. League of Conservation Voters scored Obama 100% in 2006 whereas Clinton only got 71%.

    If middle of the road Democrats, independents, and Republicans are supporting the most liberal Democrat in the Senate, how is that a bad thing? If the new voters that he brings in aren't dyed in the wool liberals, you don't want them?

    It is those voters and that support that are going to beat John McCain and put a Democrat in the White House.

  • on a comment on On Going After Pledged Delegates over 6 years ago

    Hey Walt,
    I want to correct you on your statement that the campaigns choose their delegates. The campaigns do not choose their delegates.

    I ran to be a  delegate pledged to Howard Dean in 2003/2004 and the Dean campaign didn't have the resources to set foot in California except for fundraisers. There's no way they could have picked the delegates in every congressional district in CA, let alone all 50 states.

    I'm sure it's different in every state, but the way it worked was a Dean supporter in the district convened a meeting where every registered Democrat was eligible to come in and vote for the Dean delegate. The winners (not me) were the ones who got the most people to show up and vote.

    Your general point that they are the most ardent supporters is probably true On the other hand, the party regulars are the ones who know how to win these things and I would argue that they're the most susceptible to arm-twisting.  

  • on a comment on On Going After Pledged Delegates over 6 years ago

    I went to the Congressional Black Caucus conference and, while I didn't see any pressuring going on, I did see a lot of work being done by Obama volunteers. Although Hillary had her share of supporters among the conference goers, Obama had a platoon of volunteers with clipboards taking names and handing out stickers. I didn't see a single Hillary volunteer away from her table.

    What leverage does Barack have to pressure CBC members with that Hillary doesn't have? I've been at several events now where Barack had many volunteers and Hillary had none. His support in the CBC and elsewhere comes from hard work, not behind the scenes wrangling.

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