Obama - ahead of Clinton Machine AND the mighty Blogosphere

Mydd had an article where it explained the Obama movement
http://mydd.com/story/2008/1/5/223227/67 68
"A careful observer of the Obama and Clinton campaigns' youth turnout efforts could have seen the results coming. Hillary's team were told to invite young people over for a night of watching TV shows like Gray's Anatomy or The Office, and use that opportunity to engage them in a conversation on the issues. Obama's team went about finding its cadre of supporters by using their website, built off of the FaceBook operating system or platform, in tune with Millennial's social networking habits. Once they found potential supporters, Obama's team didn't ask them to watch television, something Millennials do infrequently, unless it's on their laptop with shows downloaded from the Net, but to hang out at the local bar. There Michelle Obama, or "the closer" as her husband calls her, asked them to come out on caucus night and change America's politics forever." end quote

To which I add - Obama got these new voters while Edwards who was the last one in internet activity in 2004, merely cultivated his old "netroots" (from Kerry campaign and a few other old venues - by pumping advertising money  Kos, Democratic Underground et al and surrogate posts and mostly - trying to craft for himself a persona to fit those blogs and forums demands (way different than the 2004 candidate).
But this is 2008 - and new people vote today, people who don't give a damn about Kos, DU, but somehow discovered Obama and were inspired by him and brought into the political process.
Sorry, "netroots" - the word itself is antiquated already...

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Can We Recover?

We are days out for the NH primary and I find myself reading the comments on here, and worse find myself making comments on here, that speak to a huge division in our community if not the entire Democratic Party. We had a great year in 2006 and for the most part I would like to believe we came together. We have been winning, as a team, because the overall message of our Party is what the country needs right now AND because the Republicans have destroyed their own credibility and done untold damage to our society and our nation. My fear is that we are throwing this all away with our bickering.

I believe that we should have a contested primary and I believe that we should have a lively debate within our Party. What I don't understand is how it has boiled down to petty hatred as quickly as it has. We have three top tier candidates who would all make excellent, though vastly different, Presidents. They are also all amazing candidates who can surely do what is necessary to beat whichever lightweight the R's throw at us in November (the only possibly exception is McCain, who still seems to enjoy a strange popularity, but I think even he is quite beatable.)

My fear is that it is all going to get thrown away because of we are going to tear ourselves apart. I don't mean the candidates either. They will all survive to be good Democrats and to fight another day regardless of what happens. But what about us? I have seen things, and I fear said things, in these discussions that are far worse than anything we would say to, or about, our opponents. We are all, I thought, on the same team here. Or at least I think we were, I am not sure there is any going back to that now.

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Debate and Blogosphere self interest

As an attendee to the Las Vegas debate, what struck me most from the debate was not what was said but what was not said.  When introduced, Howard Dean had the biggest applause, over that of the introduction of the candidates.  People recognize the effort he has put into transforming the party, from a good ole boy network to an honest to god grassroots organization.

I understand that the old guard of the Party in Nevada in favor of Hillary, I was dismayed by the booing of the candidates, but encouraged by the booing of the commentators when they tried to insert their right wing spin.

From this came the thought that left bloggers make up an interest group.  We have common goals, just as corporations, churches, unions, and business have goals and support their candidates.  Unfortunately, the blogosphere has pretty much conceded using its advocacy position in the interest of avoiding an internal flame war.  I would argue that the blogosphere would be wise to establish some ground issues or points that a candidate needs to answer (correctly, I hope) for our support of candidates.   Yes, a litmus test of sorts, one that recognizes that we have an agenda and interests we want.  We are submerging our own interests in interest of not showing a conflict in primary season.  But if the wrong person is selected, will we not be harmed anyway?   What do I want to ask a candidate? Look below the fold.

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Ill Communication: Progressive Youth and the Netroots

At Open Left, Matt Stoller is picking a fight with the Young Democrats.  At issue is a letter sent by YDA to its membership, thanking the Democratic Congress for achieving progress on many issues of concern to young voters (as cataloged in a report by Speaker Pelosi).   Stoller's issue is that the letter was sent at the same time that the Democratic Senate was Sista-Soujaing MoveOn (and by proxy, the anti-war movement) for an ad it published leading up to testimony by General Petraeus.  

Stoller's beef is that this demonstrates a lack of coherent strategy on the part of YDA, and that their "letter to congress" represents an unhealthily sycophantic allegiance to the Democratic Party.  In a pretty over-the-top move, he's calling for their funding to get cut.  That's a huge overreaction and Stoller's argument is narrow in that it is limited to this one event and misses the fact that, while many YDA members are against the war, YDA as an organization has different goals and objectives that only partially overlap with those of MoveOn.

The Young Democrats main objective is not to carry water for MoveOn, but rather to engage young people in Democratic politics, keep those members excited and engaged, and to push the Democratic Party to pay attention to young people.  This has been unphill battle for YDA, and for many youth institutions.  It's hip and popular to talk about the power of Millennials and the civic engagement of young voters these days, but even a year ago most Democratic Party insiders were extremely skeptical as to the value and reliability of the youth vote.  Despite our contributions and gains in 2006, that is still the case in some areas where YDA chapters fight with the local parties.  

Earlier today, I spoke with Tony Cani, the Political Director for the Young Democrats about the issue.  

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Richardson Blog Round Up for Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hands down, Governor Richardson's plan for Iraq is the most intelligent, responsible, practical, moral, and detailed plan on the subject.  In Part I of his summary and analysis of all Democratic candidates' policy platforms on the war in Iraq, Chris Weigant appreciates Governor Richardson's consistency, thoroughness, and clarity on this important issue:
With the most important debate of the whole year (and possibly the whole war) teed up and ready to begin in Congress in the next few weeks, I thought it would be a good time to do a summary and analysis of what all the Democratic candidates have to say on the subject of Iraq...

Bill Richardson is one of the most consistent voices in the Democratic campaign on Iraq. He not only wants to begin withdrawing troops, he wants them all out in six months. All of them. This is significant because many of the other candidates refuse to give an honest answer to the question: How many troops would you leave behind, and for how long? Richardson does so admirably.

He lays out his 7 point plan on his website, in an attempt to answer every question about how exactly we should get out of Iraq. This is also significant, because many of the candidates' websites are severely lacking in details, instead merely hitting broad generalities. Richardson tells you exactly what he wants to do on Iraq, in enough detail to answer your questions but not with so much minutiæ that your eyes glaze over. He seems to have struck a perfect balance on how to address the issue.

Governor Richardson spoke with Wolf Blitzer this past Sunday on CNN's "Late Edition" about the current situation in Iraq and the governor's strategy on how we should move forward.  To watch Governor Richardson on Late Edition, click here.

You can learn more about Governor Richardson's plan for the future of Iraq here.  And if you have any questions about the governor's policy platform on Iraq or any other issue, don't forget you can Ask Bill yourself right here.

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Diaries

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