It was a once in a lifetime year of highlights but to me the single most electric moment happened one year ago today - and to the hour. That was the release of the final Ann Selzer poll of Iowa for the Des Moines Register on December 31, 2007 at about 9PM CST that showed Obama up by 7 over Clinton and 8 over Edwards. It was nearly a year's worth of work to get to that point and the actual caucus three days later almost seemed like a formality.
While New Yorkers continue to debate the merits of Paterson choosing Caroline Kennedy to fill HRC's soon to be vacated Senate Seat (thumbs up, you cannot manufacture star power), current Lieutenant Governor (but soon to be Governor when Blago resigns next week) Pat Quinn is beginning to be bombarded with fresh ideas to fill Obama's Senate Seat.
One name being floated is 45 year old and early Obama supporter Chris Kennedy, the eighth child of Bobby and Ethel Kennedy.
A Kennedy in Chicago you say? Chris Kennedy (a Northwestern University MBA and therefore having impeccable qualifications for anything) has lived in the Chicago area since 1986 and is the current President of Merchandise Mart Properties (one of the most distinctive buildings in Chicago, the Merchandise Mart was the largest building in the world when it was built in 1930 and was purchased by Joe Kennedy in 1945; it was also previously managed by Sargent Shriver) and the current treasurer of the Joseph P. Kennedy Trust (please no Gloria Swanson, gin running or appeasement jokes). Chris Kennedy is also involved with numerous not-for-profit boards in the Chicago area.
Obama lets it be known that he prefers Valerie Jarrett. Blago wants something in return (ambassadorship, head of HHS, whatever). Obama tells him to go to hell.
Blago then starts talking to Jesse Jackson Jr. and tries to shake him down (for fundraising assistance). Jackson may have taped his conversations with Blago (they talked yesterday). Fitz arrests Blago this morning. It fits together.
of The Los Angeles Times as a national newspaper is sad. This is a paper that had clawed it's way up to preeminence with The New York Times, The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. Today, it has the fastest declining circulation of any of the top 10 newspapers in the country (from 1.1 million to .739 million). This decline started before the Sam Zell reign. It lacks a distinctive national voice and web page (supplanted by huffingtonpost.com which is LA and salon.com which is SF and IMO, the best overall web site around) although it still is a good California paper. The recent ownerships have nearly emaculated it down to the level of The Chicago Tribune.
have you seen a good link/source for who is funding this National Republican Trust PAC and its history? Is it grassroots (contributions are capped at $5,000?) or primariy one of these shadowy billionaire right wing nutballs (usually based in Texas, sorry Texas - you know the type that show up in an Oliver Stone movie or the kind you find being incubated at Pepperdine). The more sunlight on these cockroaches the better.
It seems that there would be a niche blogging opportunity for someone on the left to become an expert on these carcinogens and constantly expose, radicalize and marginalize them and anyone who funds, is associated with or benefits from their poison.
because her Presidential ambitions will always be hanging in the air and Bill is uncontrollable. And obviously, the press will have their radar turned up high.
But she has strong incentive to follow the White House in policy, tone and style. If Obama has a successful Presidency and foreign policy, she will partially own it. That would be powerful in 2016 and/or to her personal legacy. If she crosses Obama, that would be a big black mark going into 2016. This does not mean she has to acquiesce to Obama because he wants her strong personality and opinions. Hopefully, troublemakers like Fox News commentator Howard Wolfson and comedian Lanny Davis will fall out of the HRC loop.
This has nothing to do with anything, but there was a spectacular photo of HRC in New York Magazine:
don't reflect the approximate 5% national swing toward McCain in the last week that R2K showed (more like a 1% swing assuming that Obama was up by about 10% on 10/26 per R2K):
Decided in last week (10% of total vote)- O-48, M-48
Decided in last 3 days (7% of total vote)- O-49, M-48
Not enough people decided in the last week and decisively enough to McCain to move the national numbers by 5% in the last week.
Having said that, a 5% final poll result was probably the most accurate and it was the ground game that squeezed out the last 2% to get it to actual final 7%.
Latino turnout was a significant miss by R2K. This could be because TX and CA were not competitive and Obama had minimal ground game in these two States. And/or, we have not figured out how to maximize outreach and GOTV to this community.
The 60+ age cohort comprised 23% of the total vote per the Edison Mitofsky exit polls (which admittedly might be off). The 65+ age cohort comprised 16% of the total vote, leaving the 60 to 65 cohort at 7% of the total vote.
Few care, but there appears to be an anomaly with the 60 to 65 vote. Obama lost the 60+ vote by 4 and the 65+ vote by 8 (70% of the 60+ vote). This would mean that Obama won the 60 to 65 vote (30% of the 60+ vote) by 12. That seems odd and I'm still trying to figure out how that happened, if it is true. The 60 to 65 age cohort is interesting to keep an eye on because it represents the first wave of Baby Boomers. The Boomers will continue to have a disproportionate effect on elections for at least the next 20 years.
Obama to HRC: "Would you be interested in being SoS?"
HRC to Obama: "Yes, but give me a couple days to think about it."
That's not a job offer but remember we are talking about a bunch of lawyers here. They live to parse.
Now it's about deciding how much of Bill's past eight years they want to seriously vet/disclose and what restrictions they put on him in the future - and what he will agree to.
This is speculation on my part but Judge Abner Mikva's comments last night are telling. Few people know both Obama and the Clintons as well as Mikva. I think Mikva (a father figure to Obama) is trying to protect Obama by giving him an out if Bill Clinton doesn't fully play ball. Though not official (but maybe OK'd by Obama), Mikva (read Obama) is telling Bill Clinton (through the press) that he better cooperate fully or the whole thing is off.
From Ben Smith's summary of the NYT story:
It's not just what he does or says -- it's the fact that the foundation is involved with foreign countries, some of which might well be in conflict with U.S. policy," Mikva told the Times. "It's more than a legal problem -- there are ethical problems and appearance problems."
A Democrat who saw the quotes suggested Mikva's words were Obama's way of walking back the suggestion that Senator Clinton could serve as secretary of state.
Barack Obama resigned today as the junior Senator from Illinois. This is the letter he has written to the people of Ilinois. It is being published in newspapers throughout the State.
BY PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA
Today, I am ending one journey to begin another. After serving the people of Illinois in the United States Senate -- one of the highest honors and privileges of my life -- I am stepping down as senator to prepare for the responsibilities I will assume as our nation's next president. But I will never forget, and will forever be grateful, to the men and women of this great state who made my life in public service possible.
More than two decades ago, I arrived in Illinois as a young man eager to do my part in building a better America. On the South Side of Chicago, I worked with families who had lost jobs and lost hope when the local steel plant closed. It wasn't easy, but we slowly rebuilt those neighborhoods one block at a time, and in the process I received the best education I ever had. It's an education that led me to organize a voter registration project in Chicago, stand up for the rights of Illinois families as an attorney and eventually run for the Illinois state Senate.
It was in Springfield, in the heartland of America, where I saw all that is America converge -- farmers and teachers, businessmen and laborers, all of them with a story to tell, all of them seeking a seat at the table, all of them clamoring to be heard. It was there that I learned to disagree without being disagreeable; to seek compromise while holding fast to those principles that can never be compromised, and to always assume the best in people instead of the worst. Later, when I made the decision to run for the United States Senate, the core decency and generosity of the American people is exactly what I saw as I traveled across our great state -- from Chicago to Cairo; from Decatur to Quincy.
I still remember the young woman in East St. Louis who had the grades, the drive and the will but not the money to go to college. I remember the young men and women I met at VFW halls across the state who serve our nation bravely in Iraq and Afghanistan. And I will never forget the workers in Galesburg who faced the closing of a plant they had given their lives to, who wondered how they would provide health care to their sick children with no job and little savings.
Stories like these are why I came to Illinois all those years ago, and they will stay with me when I go to the White House in January. The challenges we face as a nation are now more numerous and difficult than when I first arrived in Chicago, but I have no doubt that we can meet them. For throughout my years in Illinois, I have heard hope as often as I have heard heartache. Where I have seen struggle, I have seen great strength. And in a state as broad and diverse in background and belief as any in our nation, I have found a spirit of unity and purpose that can steer us through the most troubled waters.
It was long ago that another son of Illinois left for Washington. A greater man who spoke to a nation far more divided, Abraham Lincoln, said of his home, "To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything." Today, I feel the same, and like Lincoln, I ask for your support, your prayers, and for us to "confidently hope that all will yet be well."
With your help, along with the service and sacrifice of Americans across the nation who are hungry for change and ready to bring it about, I have faith that all will in fact be well. And it is with that faith, and the high hopes I have for the enduring power of the American idea, that I offer the people of my beloved home a very affectionate thanks.