Why do they continue to say these things about a roll call?

As a lurker on some anti-Obama sites run by purported Democrats, I've noticed that they are still claiming that Dean and others have not committed to having a roll call vote.  This is the source of great outrage, as the same people who thought a primary ballot without Obama on it was just fine, now say that this would be undemocratic.

However, there's a big problem with this claim -- Howard Dean says that of course there will be a roll call vote.  And in the roll call, any delegate can vote for any candidate -- just like always.

Here's what Dean said a few weeks ago:

http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?dia ryId=7006
"When asked about the ads criticizing him and Speaker Pelosi for Clinton supposedly not being on the ballot at the convention, he scoffed. Clinton will be on the ballot at the convention, and will be speaking there. Dean indicated that the rules were so clear on this matter, that the groups running these ads and spreading these rumors must be associated with the other internet rumors going around, such as Obama being a Muslim. He also speculated that McCain supporters might be behind these rumors."

So why are folks repeating this?  Have they not heard the news? Are they confusing a roll call with having one's name placed in nomination (something Dean has no say over)? Or what?

Any insight you have would be most appreciated.

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This election - and this website - is not about you

Last week we had a series of diaries about what people thought of this web site.

This week we have a series of diaries decrying or defending individuals who diary and post here.

Here's my two cents -- this election is not about you.  And it sure isn't about this website and what you or anyone else have said.

If you thought that politics is about yourfeelings with respect to what's been said about the primary or your diary or posting, well, think about the feelings of:

- The parents who were up all night with their young child who may have an ear infection.  The child has been crying and pulling at her ear and has been difficult to comfort. A fever has been creeping up. But the family doesn't have health insurance and doesn't want to take the child to an emergency room, wait for hours, and then have a huge bill to pay.

- The spouse of a soldier who is on her or his third tour in Iraq. You thought this would be over years ago and maybe you really supported the war at the start. But once you realized that the American people had been lied into the war, you knew you wanted your love home. It's tearing you apart and you've long been scared that she will come home deeply injured or killed.

- The woman who found out she is pregnant and it is a pregnancy that was not planned nor wanted. Perhaps the woman is more a girl than a woman and didn't use birth control effectively because the sex education she got only talked about abstinence or she was just a typical teenager who thought it would never happen to her. Or maybe she's a woman whose family has huge economic challenges and another mouth to feed just won't help them deal with them. Or maybe the woman has a medical condition that makes the pregnancy especially dangerous.

- The parents of a child who just graduated from high school and plans on going to college, but the money looks really impossible right now.  They saved some money but the stock market has plunged. And in any case, the loan market has become more difficult. They remembered the very low interest loans they had available, but these are just not there for middle-class people anymore.

I could go on and on, but keep this in mind - this election is not about who said what to whom on this little website.

Politics is about making choices about things that matter. One of two people will be our next president. We know that these two people have very different views about what to say to those people who are worried. One thinks they are whiners, wants to keep the war going, cares nothing about access to higher education, and would like to restrict choice.  The other wants to promote national security by caring about economic security and by changing our foreign policy.

If you want to do something that matters, then get off line sometime. Go and volunteer. And if writing truly is your thing, put your smarts to work by writing letters to your local paper that are aimed at helping elect someone who will change the course of this country -- unless you think things are really going well under Republican rule and that the sorts of folks I've written about don't deserve a change.

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$1.2 million versus $11,000

As we see on this site and on other sites, there are some Clinton supporters who are not going to support the presumptive nominee, Barack Obama. Some even say they'll vote for McCain.

But how common is that?  Polls cast some light on that, but so do fundraising figures.  And in June, the pattern was stark.

Thousands of Hillary Clinton's donors gave at least $1.2 million to Democrat Barack Obama in June, accelerating a migration from her presidential campaign that began months ago.

Republican John McCain collected about $11,000 from that group in the same period, according to an Arizona Republic analysis of Federal Election Commission records.

The numbers suggest no widespread defections from the Democratic Party after its hard-fought primary season between Clinton and Obama ended the first week of June. McCain has hoped that many of Clinton's supporters would join him in an anti-Obama backlash.
http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic /news/articles/2008/07/28/20080728prezmo ney0726.html

In other words, of the $1,211,000 donated by Clinton supporters in June to either Obama or McCain, over 99% went to Obama and less than 1% went to McCain.

That's what Democratic donors are doing, folks - They're donating to Senator Obama.  Keep these realities in mind when you read diaries and posts from those Democrats who aren't supporting Obama.

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Reed: congressional delegation visited troops, Iraq hospital

On Face the Nation, Jack Reed tells the world that Obama and the other Senators did visit troops - while they were traveling as a congressional delegation.

Reed: Senator Hagel, Senator Obama and I visited the combat support hospital at Baghdad to thank those nurses, those doctors, to see patients that were there, to bring a bit of greetings from home and profound thanks. That should be in the ad that Senator McCain is running. I think Senator Obama made a very wise choice. Any suggestion that a visit to a military hospital would be political, he made the wise choice not to go. But when you were in Baghdad we made a point at the end of a very exhausting day to go in and see these magnificent young Americans and those doctors and nurses that give such tremendous care without a lot of fanfare, just to say thanks. He did it-the same thing. We went-we didn't stay in Kabul. We went to Jalalabad to see the soldiers of the 173rd. We stopped in Basra to see our soldiers down there. We went into Anbar province to see soldiers there. That is a completely distorted, and, I think, inappropriate advertisement.

And Hagel agrees that the ad was flat out wrong.

CHUCK HAGEL: Let me add to that. As you know, Bob, the congressional delegation that you referred to ended when we parted in Jordan. At that point, it was a political trip for Senator Obama. I think it would have been inappropriate for him and certainly he would have been criticized by the McCain people and the press and probably should have been if on a political trip in Europe paid for by political funds-not the taxpayers-to go, essentially, then and be accused of using our wounded men and women as props for his campaign. I think the judgment there-and I don't know the facts by the way. I know what you've just read. No one has asked me about it other than what you've just asked about. But I think it would be totally inappropriate for him on a campaign trip to go to a military hospital and use those soldiers as props. So I think he probably, based on what I know, he did the right thing. We saw troops everywhere we went on the congressional delegation. We went out of our way to see those troops. We wanted to see those troops. And that's part of our job to see those troops, by the way, and listen to those troops, Bob. And we did.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Do you think that ad was appropriate?

CHUCK HAGEL: I do not think it was appropriate.

BOB SCHIEFFER: You do not.

CHUCK HAGEL: I do not.
http://thepage.time.com/transcript-excer pt-from-face-the-nation/

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Pentagon stopped Obama hospital visit

Andrea Mitchell is now reporting that the Pentagon told the Obama campaign that they didn't want them to visit the hospital in Germany.

Why?  Because Obama was accompanied by campaign staff not congressional staff.  They only want visits that are part of a visit by a congressional delegation.  

The Obama campaign did NOT say they needed to go with an entourage. They explicitly said that Obama could go on their own. But the Pentagon still said "no."

And the Obama campaign thinks that the McCain folks may have pulled some connections in the Pentagon to have this standard applied.

This looks like political interference by the Pentagon. They were trying to undermine Obama, to create a story that hurts his campaign. The Obama folks wanted to visit the wounded soldiers. The Pentagon stopped them.

This was on Morning Joe - I'll post a transcript and/or video when I can find it.

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How a candidate is placed in nomination

With the heated claims about whether the DNC/Howard Dean might prevent Clinton's name from being placed in nomination, it's time to review some basic rules that will be followed at the convention.

A name is placed in nomination if there are

  1. signatures from 300 delegates
   2. those delegates have to be geographically representative
   3. the nominee signs off on being placed in nomination

NONE of that is up to Howard Dean -- it's up to delegates and a candidate.

Do those agitating about Clinton's name being placed in nomination have 300 delegates on a nominating petition, from the different areas, and Senator Clinton's signature?

That's what you need.  If you do have that, Clinton's name will be in nomination. If not, it won't.  

And keep in mind that delegates can vote for whoever they want on the roll call - the person doesn't have to be placed in nomination. Delegates have voted for all sorts of folks.  

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How big a deal is Obama's international trip? Discuss

Barack Obama is going on a big international trip next week where he'll speak with foreign leaders, talk to public audiences, and get huge press coverage there and at home.

But how big a deal is it?  McCain went to Europe, Israel and Iraq and it wasn't all that huge.

I think Obama's trip will be a bigger deal and so do the networks.  They're sending some of their top folks who will be interviewing Obama along the way.  According to The Page and the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz, "NBC's Brian Williams, ABC's Charlie Gibson and CBS' Katie Couric will meet up with Obama on his swing through Europe and the Middle East next week."

"Sources in both television and politics confirmed that the Williams, Gibson and Couric interviews will be parceled out on successive nights in different countries. That means the Obama camp will have drawn the anchors halfway around the world by offering access. (Correspondents could have done the interviews instead, but a certain competitiveness sets in once one or two anchors agree to go."
http://thepage.time.com/2008/07/16/netwo rk-anchors-pack-their-bags/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con tent/article/2008/07/16/AR2008071600758_ pf.html

What do you think?  Might this have a big effect on the race?  Is it a sign of media savvy or too much risk-taking on behalf of the Obama campaign?

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Folks with pro-choice t-shirts not let in to see McCain

For anyone who has ANY doubt about McCain's position on abortion, check this out.

He and his campaign are so anti-choice -- and so want to impress the Republican base that he has no chance of changing his lifetime position on abortion and reproductive rights -- that they wouldn't let people with pro-choice t-shirts into a campaign event.

Heather Brewer, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice New Mexico, said today that three pro-choice New Mexicans wearing NARAL Pro-Choice New Mexico T-shirts were denied access to Sen. John McCainâ?Ts town hall meeting at the Hotel Albuquerque on Tuesday even though they had tickets to the event.

"Our folks had tickets, followed the rules and were waiting in line just like everyone else," Brewer said. "I can only assume that it was their NARAL Pro-Choice New Mexico T-shirts that inspired security to single them out from the hundreds of other people there and to threaten them with arrest. If Sen. McCain has a problem with women accessing birth control, he should state that publicly. His voting record makes it clear that he does not support access to birth control, so why is he ducking the issue at his own town hall meeting?"
http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0 708/Naral_Prochoice_tshirtwearers_barred _from_McCain_event.html

Thanks for making it clear, McCain --

You're going to follow Bush in trying to keep out folks who don't agree with you.

You're so committed to curtailing reproductive rights that you don't want people with pro-choice t-shirts at your events.

We got a choice, people -- between a candidate with a zero percent rating from NARAL and Planned Parenthood and one with a 100% lifetime rating.

Keep your eyes on the prize - and work your hearts out to put a Democratic, pro-choice person in the White House.

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Another big lead for Obama +12 LA Times poll

The Newsweek poll with the 15 point Obama lead looked like an outlier. But now here's another poll with a double digit Obama lead.

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la- na-poll25-2008jun25,0,5763707.story
In a two-man race between the major party candidates, registered voters chose Obama over McCain by 49% to 37% in the national poll conducted last weekend.

And if Bob Barr and Ralph Nadar are included, the lead grows to 15 points.

Furthermore, there are relatively few defections from Clinton supporters.

Only 11% of Clinton voters have defected to McCain.

And, like other polls, there's a big enthusiasm gap. McCain voters are not that excited about him.

Even among voters who say they do plan to vote for McCain, more than half say they are "not enthusiastic" about their chosen candidate; only 45% say they are enthusiastic. By contrast, 81% of Obama voters say they are enthusiastic, and almost half call themselves "very enthusiastic," a level of zeal that only 13% of McCain's supporters display.

Folks, we have a long way to go - and I think there's still work to do to fully unify.  But this is good news that should encourage us to get out and work our states.

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Obama's not perfect. So what?

With the FISA bill and other issues that have arisen (vp vetting, public financing), some folks have been quick to jump on Obama. The anti-Obama folks have said, oh my, you see, he isn't perfect. Others have been very critical.

Now, there's absolutely nothing wrong with criticizing our Democratic leader. In fact, raising our voices is a fundamental way of showing our patriotism.

Those who are anti-Obama seem to think that Obama's imperfections somehow mar what Obama supporters saw as his flawless nature.  But I never did see him as perfect and I never expected any politician or person to be perfect.

We are all perfectly right to express ourselves.  But let's not fall into the purity mold which led some to vote for Nader in 2000 and get W. into office.

One of my favorite expressions in policy circles is "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."

My vote decision comes down to the policies they'd pursue. They both have track records. McCain's lifetime rating on abortion rights from Planned Parenthood is ZERO, Obama's is 100.  And of course there are many other differences, on health care, environment, the war, taxes, etc.

Again, no politician is perfect. I've voted for plenty of people with whom I had disagreements. Bill Clinton was more moderate than I liked and certainly had his issues but I voted for him twice. I'm just not into needing a pure candidate.

So, let's keep our critical edge but also keep in mind that there are two clear options and one is clearly superior.  And let's work our hearts out to make Senator Barack Obama our next president.

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