First ad on Obama and Kilpatrick

Freedom's Defense Fund has produced an ad linking Obama and Kilpatrick.  In the ad Sen. Obama is speaking about all the great things Mayor Kilpatrick is and will do and that he is glad to call Kilpatrick a friend.  The video comes from Obama's speech at the Detroit Economic Club in May 2007.  FDF's press release says the ad is already running in Macomb.

The ad starts with Obama speaking and proceeds to a still photo of the two side by side and then rolls Obama's speech as a voice over while the Kilpatrick's rap sheet scrolls over the mayor's mug shot before returning to the two side-by-side and the kicker: "Do you know who Barack Obama's friends are?"

According to Todd Zirkle, Executive Director for FDF, the ad is set for a "saturated one-week schedule on cable news networks in Macomb County, Michigan."

Zinkle explains their startegy, as if it was not obvious:

"We chose Macomb County for very strategic reasons," explained Zirkle. "We believe it is difficult for liberal Democrats to win Michigan without Macomb County and we know it is extremely difficult for a Democrat to win the White House without carrying Michigan. We plan to extend this buy as resources and donations permit."

The press release:

The ad: 2008/09/05/freedoms-defense-fund-ad-do-y ou-know-who-barack-obamas-friends-are/

Sorry I did not do the video embed trick.

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Calling YOU out

This brief diary reflects an honest effort to gather in one place a record of community members' intentions for the election in November.

Impressionistically, it appears many people have declared `if Sen. Obama wins, I am voting for McCain/Nader/Not voting' while others say similar things about the prospect of a victory by Sen. Clinton.  There is a recommended diary today expressing such sentiments.  Initially my plan was to use only a poll to gauge in an unscientific way the sentiments of reader/posters on MYDD.  But I think a little more transparency and accountability is in order.

Imagine it is 7:00 am on 4 November 2008 where you vote.

I am inviting regular MYDD readers, from regular to rare posters, to openly declare their intentions in the event your current preferred choice failed to secure the nomination.  I want to record these intentions in an open and archived diary where we can all see people's intentions.  Most people are anonymous on this site, so there is no significant risk of individual exposure for those unwilling to be personally identified.

After stating your unambiguous intentions, feel free to provide reasons for your preferences and, if you must, proceed to engage in the all-too-typical vitriol that characterizes so many exchanges on this question, here and elsewhere.  But I am not interested in that.  I am only interested in putting individuals on record about their current intentions.  I will not criticize or challenge anyone for their choice; indeed, I think it unlikely I will comment at all.  This is only an effort in information gathering.  Well, that, and my hope the occasion to comment in this way will prompt people to reflect (again) on their intentions.  For the purposes of this exercise, imagine the assessment is made solely on the basis of the top of the ticket, ignoring currently unanswerable questions about the VP, McCain's VP, whether Nader gets on the ballot in your state, etc.

So, please indicate (1) the state in which you vote, (2) your current choice, and (3) whether or not you plan on voting for the other Democratic candidate if your choice fails to secure the nomination.

For starters, let me declare my intentions:  

(1) I vote in Michigan
(2) I hope Sen. Clinton secures the nomination
(3) I will happily support Sen. Obama with my time, my advocacy, my (very limited) resources, and my vote

"The deadliest bullsh*t is odorless and transparent" - William Gibson

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Just Say No to Nuclear

There is some discussion on this and other political blogs about the wisdom of Obama's embrace of nuclear power, at least in principle.  For instance, enviro posted a diary earlier today highlighting Senator Obama's close ties to the nuclear power industry ( 6/1916).

If accurate, those ties greatly trouble me, at least if they demonstrate President Obama would increase nuclear power, but that is not the point of this diary.  Instead, this diary is an appeal to progressives to avoid being suckered by nuclear power.

Some folks argue nuclear power deserves another look by progressives and environmentalists because of the undeniable risks of climate catastrophe.  My strong view is that we must not let very legitimate concerns about warming provide cover for revitalizing a corrupt and dangerous industry.  Turning to nuclear power is the energy equivalent of shooting heroin to solve marijuana addiction.

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Social desirability bias & Clinton's electability

Social desirability bias is not a myth.   A great challenge in making surveys more scientific is developing designs that avoid social desirability bias.

A number of persons have wondered whether or not Obama would suffer from the "Wilder Effect" or the "Dinkins Effect", particularly in the closest states where every vote will make the difference.  That is the explicit point of areyouready's diary.

Recent research indicates there may be an ever larger "gender effect".  Poll respondents in significant numbers may disguise their unwillingness and dislike of a female candidate for President.  If these findings are valid, then a portion of those declaring a willingness to vote for Senator Clinton are lying.

UPDATE: One of the authors of the study provided me a link to the version of their report to appear in POQ: Streb, Burrell, et al., Social Desirability Effects and Support for a Female American President. He says that POQ has a backlog of articles and he is hoping this research is published in the fall issue. I have a meeting so I have not yet read the paper but I thought I would post a link here for those of you who are interested.

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Part II: Mark Penn - Mis-reading the progressive public for profit

This diary continues an argument I began developing here.

The responses to the earlier diary concluded, as I do, that it is not appropriate for Democratic campaigns to associate with known union-busting companies.  It is counterproductive to realizing the progressive agenda.  It directly undermines a - I argue the - key constituency of the Democratic Party.

Obviously the topic of consultants and the progressive agenda has been beaten to death on sites such as this.  My objective are not to replicate tired debates but to take them a step further.

A secondary objective is to make the case the Clinton campaign should distance itself from Mark Penn and they should do it today.  That association enriches and legitimizes a clear enemy of the progressive agenda and the key union constituency.  Mark Penn is no typical `anti-progressive' consultant.  We will all benefit if Mark Penn and the Clinton campaign understand we do not support their association.

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Campaign consultants and the progressive agenda

Jonathan Sayles' incomparable movie Matewan tells story of a union organizing effort in West Virginia coal country.  In the hands of America's most provocative and skilled director, we encounter a powerful but nuanced exploration of class, race, ethnicity, and gender in worker struggles, illustrating their intersections in the central social conflicts of American life.  The miners understood the message expressed in Joe Hill's "There's power in a Union", echoed decades later in a Billy Bragg song of the same title.  These songs and their message have a relevance today I think too many so-called progressives fail to fully appreciate.

A report in the Washington Post revealing the Edward's campaign use of a media buy firm that shares an office and CEO with another working on an anti-union campaign affords an opportunity revisit these issues.  However one feels about the substance and impact of the charges of hypocrisy and double-dealing, I think the issue merits serious debate and close consideration for two key reasons: Achieving the progressive agenda and electing Democrats. I hope we have some serious questions in the debate about the future of organized labor in this country.  A question to the candidates about how they view their obligations to build the progressive infrastructure in the course of running their campaign would be very interesting.

These are the questions I intend to explore, or at least stimulate some discussion about, in a series of diaries over the next several days.

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Political Zombies

This is my first diary and I hope it is up to the generally high standards observed at MYDD.  I guess this is what is called a "meta" diary.

I want to discuss a trend that I find disturbing here and elsewhere in the progressive blogosphere.  A trend that if perhaps understandable, I believe undermines our capacity to realize together our shared progressive agenda.  The trend?

The proliferation of the political zombie.

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