Give us the skinny from inside the box - from during the primary run. Did the netroots lose its pull on East Wacker Drive the day you left? The day they blew the fundraising doors off? Once we won Iowa? How did a candidate for President who was in the original "Dean's Dozen" from DFA (before Howard went to the DNC) end up bringing the best-known war enabler (Sen. Clinton) even onto the SHORT LIST for State, let alone the name that's out there? Is this the folks from HillBilly land planting a can't-deny-it or is this something we all need to understand about President Obama? Is this his version of a Third Way? Is it "keep your friends close and your enemies closer?"
Give us the skinny from your view - and email me. I need to tell you my obamabiden.com story.
Go to your town's fireworks show - if it's today. Wear or carry an American flag. Pass out flyers for a rally for the candidate of your choice. Talk up how amazingly fortunate we are to be Americans. Take the time in your heart to say thank you to Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Adams, Washington - all of the Founding Fathers (warts and all) that they came together and fashioned such an amazing experiment. Thank them for believing that humans could govern themselves, without needing oversight from hereditary monarchs. Reflect how hereditary leaders have led, throughout history, to the greatest corruptions of the will of the people. Remember how we have a President right now who got his job through appointment, not by being elected. Pause to consider that the idea of handing down the Presidency, of it being held by a select group of families, is explicitly un-American. Get angry that such a nothing President, the worst ever, can smirk and describe himself and his followers as patriots, as they find new ways to take Americans' freedom and liberty. Remember those who died to obtain and preserve that liberty. Remember those who followed orders, who went to Iraq to die for a war of ignorance, dishonesty and personal grudge. Consider those who have gotten away, those who actually murdered Americans in New York, Pennsylvania and DC, while their Commander In Chief took our army's eye off the ball in Afghanistan and instead took out Bad Guy #21 on the list. Remember those who have fought for things like habeas corpus, the right to trial by jury and the right to be free from unreasonable searches, and how those very American rights have been taken from us by the Attorney General, the President and, now, by the Supreme Court. Remember what it means to be an actual American. How many actual Americans began life in another country. How much richer we are as a people, in so many ways, by those who have brought their best to our shores, and how many still want to come to the land of freedom and opportunty. And remember - we are the true patriots. Don't let those bastards have it. Be proud that you are an American. Again. We need you. Our children need you.
Then head to that fireworks show, fly that flag, distribute flyers for the candidate of your choice...
Excuse me? If not pandering to the let's-just-shoot-more-A-rabs crowd is hurting us in NV, then TFB. One thing the 50-state solution has uncovered is - surprise! - there are plenty of folks even(!) in NV who get it. The Wild West ain't no more, at least outside of a shrinking handful of yahoos that thankfully are starting to get drowned out.
Hurting us in Nevada? Try bringing Nevada - with key help from Nevadans - into the post-Bush mindset.
I LOVE how easy it is for still-new Members - all politicians, really - to sound all fiscally responsible by banging on architects for cost overruns on public projects. As an architect myself who has designed public buildings at all levels of government...give it a rest.
Respectfully, as is so often the case in these situations, the still-relatively-newly-minted Representative from Florida needs to do her homework next time.
My understanding, from people who should know, is that the difference between what Congress first told the AOC to do, their scope of work, and what it ultimately became is...about $400 million worth. Remember, the Capitol Visitors Center was programmed and initially budgeted before 9/11. Do you REALLY want a pre-9/11 security design in your front yard, Congresswoman?
Also, read the aforementioned original and final scopes of work and tell me if adding significant new functions and huge additional spaces to an underground complex (i.e. already premium cost to do it in the first place) is going to run up the tab or not.
This will sound bizarre to folks outside the design or construction professions, but 600 large for that much space, built underground, with the kinds of finishes that something that is the public entrance to the US Capitol merits, not to mention the hardened (anti-blast) construction, and with the typical triple markup that ANY Federal work gets (because of heinous regulations, burdensome stipulations for the participation by every subgroup imaginable, draconian accounting, delayed payment and extraordinary what we call "general conditions") and it's...about where it ought to be. This ain't a Taco Bell, people.
Congresswoman, please stop cheap grandstanding at the expense of dedicated professionals who give their lives and careers to enhancing a building you will only visit, on average, for less than a decade.
Adam, I certainly hope you're flattered by what you've engendered. I've never seen so much effort expended to win one person's vote. And since you're in IL like me, that won't happen until Super Duper Tuesday, by which time Edwards will already be done.
I too look forward to Barack's plan to get us to universal health care. What I like, what I trust, is his process. He's not saying "single payer uber alles" - as with every issue, he looks at it as itself. Since loads of people, starting with his wife who works for the U of C Hospitals, have advice for him, I'm sure he'll get the full spectrum of possibilities.
In the meantime, enjoy the ride. I hope once you've seen his plan you decide to support him.
Maybe the best comment above is that Barack won't be a 51% president. What we need is transformational change and to do that you need someone people can truly, in their gut, rally around. I hear an intellectual argument, a policy equation, a mathematical exercise.
What I don't hear is passion, at least not about the person you currently support. You may not understand it or feel it's justified, but it's the only way we get to transformation. The election will not be won in Excel.
Again, I hope you'll give your best information and perspectives to the campaign. My impression of the smart people he's hired so far is that the majority of them understand that no one has a monopoly on good ideas.
Just don't expect it in March or April. It's still VERY early and Edwards has been running for, well, four years.
Nice to see national numbers. Meaningless, but nice.
These are the four instances of actual voting that will happen before Super Duper Tuesday:
I don't see Hillary getting any higher than third in Iowa - and fourth at this point (Edwards, who basically lives there now, Obama and Vilsack beat her).
Obama probably ties Richardson in NV.
Hillary wins NH if she's third in IA - after Bill changes his residency again and campaigns there full time for six months. If she's fourth in IA and therefore doesn't win NH she's done.
Obama also wins SC - at which point Edwards (Mr. I Can Win in the South) is done.
That leaves Hil and Barack heading into the Mother of all Primaries, and the "frontrunner", Mrs. Clinton, has lost three of the first four primaries or caucuses.
When Barack wins the Democratic primaries in Illinois (of course), MO, NC, CA and Florida.
The the Republicans, too stupid to actually nominate McCain, get to watch as the silver-spoon weirdo Mitt Romney gets the a*s-kicking he so richly deserves.
Out of Iraq by March of next year. Only major candidate to stipulate an end date. Non-right-wing enough for you?
And stay tuned for specifics on his universal healthcare plan - a year is an eternity in politics. I expect it will come up.
But if you have a specific path to single-payer you want to promote - please do. The campaign is still very new, we have a long way to go, and some very smart people are listening. If you know Joe Rospars from the Dean campaign, for example, you can reach him on the Obama blog. The Obama campaign knows a lot about the roots-empowering methods; it's been taken a few steps further.
I can also tell you as a DFA organizer - DFA was the first national group to endorse him VERY early in the Senate primaries - that he's up to speed on most of the major approaches. But as his law students will tell you, he's excellent at listening. Post there!
Healing the country. Making the United States great again.
America is broken. Congress didn't do its job corralling the Worst. President. Ever. Barack arrived too late to apply the brakes - so part of why he's doing it is to fix the Presidency and thereby fix the country, get us back on the right track.
There's a reason Barack was a civil rights lawyer. There's a reason he was a lecturer in Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago. There's a reason he chose the Judiciary Committee in the IL Senate.
Another law professor the other day was quoted saying Barack might be the President who knows the most about the Constitution ever. While I would contend that, say, James Madison (you know, the "Father of the Constitution") might give my friend Barack a run for his money, I can tell you that one thing he cares passionately about is the United States and what it's supposed to be about.
George Bush (and Karl Rove and Tom DeLay and Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly and Rick Santorum and...) have hurt this country. They and their ilk have made us less than the founding fathers intended us to be.
There is a reason Barack spoke about getting back to perfecting the union.
That is not a small thing. That is a great thing. That is not a nebulous thing. That is the essential thing. Without regaining that, none of the rest of it - beating poverty, universal healthcare, responsible energy policy (well, alright ANY energy policy would be a upgrade at this point) happens. None of it happens if we don't get back to being the United States of America.
That means ending the warrantless wiretapping. That means no more signing statements. That means erasing all the damage that Bush and his serial enabler Alberto Gonzales had inflicted.
What Barack DOES have above all this, over any other candidate running including Bill Richardson or Joe Biden, I would submit, is a fundamental understanding of the larger world and our place in it. That can't be learned with eight - or eighteen - more years in the US Senate. Live as a foreign, mixed-race kid in the streets of Jakarta awhile and see if you don't have a better perspective about the dynamic between that and what the US means - or used to mean - in the world.
The United States is supposed to be the leader of the free world. We haven't been acting like it lately. Do you think, for example, that it will take more than, say, five minutes for Commander In Chief Obama to do the right thing in Darfur? Would there conceivably be any Presidential candidate with greater moral authority to end the genocide? Won't you be proud(er) to be an American again when he does?
Sure John Edwards can talk about poverty. I'm glad he is. I'm glad he's taken on the issue in his stump speeches. I'm glad he's joined the cause. Welcome to the party. We're glad you're here. The more the merrier.
But my wife and I first met Barack seventeen years ago, when we lived on the south side of Chicago, on the sketchy side of Hyde Park, (a neighbor kid, who walked his dog with us, was gunned down on our block in a gang shooting) - and now we live three blocks from (and go to church in) the west side. Any cop here will tell you the west side is worse. Barack has worked it, been with the people, not only seen it but lived it with them, worked hand in hand - long before there were any cameras - to make things better, one life at a time.
Do you think he forgot how? Do you really think he's somehow less able to understand and deal with it than the son of the meee-l worker?
Barack is way smarter than the people who are covering him. He also understands the reality. He has to win first before he can do those things. And the reality is that in the United States today, a black man - even though he truly is a progressive to the core - has to run as at least something of a moderate to win.
Imagine a United States with Barack Obama as President. Imagine the joy in people's hearts, in the hood and around the world, at what that means.
Imagine what he can do. I submit that the magnitude of greatness - for all of us - that he can achieve is not even on the same scale as any of the other candidates.
Barack Obama - by campaigning about a better politics, about an America that conducts itself as it was meant to - can start to fix a broken country. Is he going to hit back? You bet your ass. But is he going to swift-boat in response to Hillary's subversions (she'll change cabs a couple of times but they'll mainly come from her camp)? Not gonna happen. He'll follow the line about if my opponent doesn't stop lying about me I'm going to start telling the truth about him. Or her.
I think that was from another lanky one-term member of Congress who came from Illinois.
Count me in on this list. I think she sits in a room by herself and then calls Harry Reid to accept his earlier offer to step out if he steps aside and she becomes Senate Majority Leader. Then in eight years - she's young enough - she runs against Barack's veep to succeed him. In the meantime, she leads the charge on the issues she cares about, still gets tons of power and acclimation yet without getting shelled every single hour of every day of her life for deciding to continue breathing.
I think she saw Barack at the DNC in 2004 and (the look in her eyes when they cut to her made me thing she) realized that she gets to be Ted Kennedy. Senior lion of the party, champion of the old left, for labor and healthcare.
Which is also part of why he's doing this now. We'll all get to learn that David Axelrod is a heck of a lot better at this than Joe Trippi was.
By getting in now, another aspect of the timing is that the first round of 'Bama bashing will run its course. At the end of that he still survives, giving a stronger answer to the "is he tough enough, has he been tested enough" gauntlet he needs to run. It also brings more of the garbage out of the closet earlier.
Plus, that sound you hear in the background is all of the first-tier politicals and activist, previously committed to someone else, squirming in their chairs. People are falling out of other nascent campaigns in droves all of a sudden. These are experienced people who know that at the end of the day it's all about the character of the candidate.
Surviving the extended barrage of an earlier-than-Dean-even announcement is an incredibly shrewd way of proving you're up to the task. And in Sen. Obama's case, I can tell you from having known him for over a decade, he's up to it. This is going to be fun.
So...anyone up for a quick game of Who Should Barack Pick as His Veep?
"Senators Kerry, Edwards, and Biden have all headlined events in the past 6 months and showed zero interest in reaching out to the local netroots."
it is my understanding that Sen. Edwards has done a fundraiser for Democracy for New Hampshire. DFA as a national organization is nothing if not a netroots group.
That said, it's not like he, well, hired Jerome or anything.
I have to say I'm just...adrift. I'd signed on as the IL State Director for the draft movement (draftmarkwarner.com), had been to a couple of events and met him a few times. My hope for 2008 is gone at this point - noting that at this point neither Gore nor Obama are viewed as in - and I'm left to hope that this Warner unseats that Warner in 2008 and then, after Hillary loses and his kids are old enough and his situation with his parents is in a more manageable place that he can try again.
For now, I think we're looking at an extension of nuclear winter. Either McCain or Romney beats whoever we have in the drawer - again except maybe Gore or Obama (Gore Obama dot com is already taken btw, by a Connecticut Ave. activist).
Warner was - is - the real thing and I'm completely adrift. It's the word that keeps coming to mind.
If we're going to take back the White House it has to be about the future. Gore's made himself about the future now but he's still also about the past of course. Barack ain't runnin'. This time. Kerry (no means no). Edwards (results still matter). Biden (um...no). Richardson (too many skeletons). Clark (he's done what exactly for the last four years?). Bayh (great res but still makes Gore look like a professional comedian).
Which leaves Hillary and electoral catastrophe. Warner was our last best hope. A living version of the American dream - like Franklin he did well AND did good, with no silver spoon.