The Nation Endorses Senator Obama

In an article appropriately titled "The Choice," the Nation endorsed Barack Obama for President.  Without question, the piece raises questions about both candidates that will be familair to anyone that hangs around this site or has been paying any attention to the campaign thus far.  But in the final analysis, they decided Obama is the better bet for the progressive movement.

Here's my favorite quote:

Part of what tantalizes and frustrates about Obama is that he seems to have the potential to be such a messenger and yet shies away from speaking in ideological terms. When he invokes union organizers facing Pinkerton thugs to give us our forty-hour week, or says we are bound to one another as "our brother's keeper...our sister's keeper," he is articulating the deepest progressive values: solidarity and community and collective action. But he places more rhetorical emphasis on a politics of "unity" that, read uncharitably, seems to fetishize bipartisanship as an end in itself and reinforce lame and deceptive myths that the parties are equally responsible for the "bickering" and "divisiveness" in Washington. It appears sometimes that his diagnosis of what's wrong with politics is the way it is conducted rather than for whom. 

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Bill Bradley To Endorse Obama

Apparently Bill Bradley is set to endorse Senator Obama in New Hampshire.

http://politicalwire.com/archives/2008/0 1/06/bradley_to_back_obama.html

I confess, I don't have a read on whether or not this will make much difference.  But as someone who admires Senator Bradley, I'm thrilled to see him endorse another the current anti-establishment candidate in NH.  

Anyone have a sense as to whether this endorsement will actually matter, in NH or otherwise?  

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Edwards Accepting Public Financing?

It looks like Edwards has committed to accepting public financing for both the primaries and the general election.  According to the above-cited report, Senator Edwards is framing the decision as a matter of principle and is challenging Senators Clinton and Obama to take the same action.

http://politicalwire.com/archives/2007/0 9/27/edwards_to_accept_public_funds.html

Although I supported Edwards in 2004 and would be happy to see him as President now (although I prefer Obama), this strikes me as a very bad sign for his candidacy.  The third quarter is generally the most difficult for fundraising and this rather clearly seems to indicate that he simply can't keep up with the ridiculous pace set by both Clinton and Obama.

Given that fundraising this cycle seems like it should actually provide an ADVANTAGE for the democratic party, I think agreeing to accept public funds in the general is a non-starter.  Although I agree that public funding is a good thing, unilateral disarmament against Rudy, Thompson, or Romney would be a huge mistake.

Thoughts?

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Barack Obama & Social Security

Matt recently questioned whether Barack Obama supports core Democratic principles because Jeff Liebman, a Harvard economist who has supported some form of Social Security privatization in the past, is part of his economic team.  In particular, Matt implied that Obama has been unclear on this issue.  

The POLITICO, which seems to exist purely to bash progressive politicians, is running with the same theme even though there is literally no ambiguity on this question.  Essentially, the blog post in question implies that Senator Obama is open to privatization b/c he wants to strengthen SS.  It makes this argument despite the fact that Obama has explicitly rejected privatization plans in his book, the audacity of hope, and in numerous public statements.  The money quote, from page 179 of his book, is below the break:

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Lieberman Supports A Republican For Senate...How Shocking

Not that this is a huge surprise, but "loyal lifelong Democrat" Joe Lieberman is officially supporting Susan Collins for reelection in Maine.  According to the Politico (I know they suck, but still this is confirmed), he has donated $5,000 to her reelection campaign.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/thecrypt/

Honestly, I can't wait till we increase our Senate majority in 2008 so we can officially strip this guy of all his seniority.  Connecticut voters should be ashamed right now.  

UPDATE: Interestingly, the Maine Democratic party seems to think Lieberman endorsing will actually HELP them take her down. http://hotlineblog.nationaljournal.com/archives/2007/04/from_congressda.html#more Considering how unpopular the war is right now and the extent to which Lieberman is now tied to that war, that may actually make some sense. Regardless though, it is waaay past time to get rid of Joe. This is just ridiculous.

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Is Joe Making it Official? Lieberman to become a Republican?

Joe Klein apparently believes that Lieberman will switch parties later this year so that the GOP will control the Senate.  

http://politicalinsider.com/2007/02/sund ay_talk_roundup.html

Although the prospect of Joe officially becoming a Republican isn't really surprising to those of us who know that he already is one at heart, the timing here is interesting to me.  The first thing I thought when I heard this was that Joe is trying to position himself as McCain's running mate in 2008.  I doubt that ultimately happens, because of a lack of interest by McCain, but a party switch late in 2007 followed by his joining the GOP ticket would produce a ton of publicity.    

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Begala Apologizes (Sort of) For 50 State Criticism

Paul Begala offered up an apology of sorts on the Huffington Post for his flippant criticism of the DNC's 50 State Strategy, although he also renewed his more general criticism of the DNC's current burn rate under Howard Dean's leadership.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-begal a/bringing-a-knife-to-a-gun_b_21275.html

On the plus side, Begala actually offered affirmative support for a 50 State Strategy, noting that:

<It turns out I was wrong when I fingered the DNC's State Party subsidy program, wherein Washington pays for state party organizers, for this disparity. After a little checking, I've learned from reliable sources that the State Party program costs about $8 million>

However, Begala also noted that he doesn't understand where the remainder of the $74 Million that the DNC has raised has gone.  

This last point actually strikes me as a valid question, as the amount that the DNC has spent to date really does far exceed historic spending levels.  If this money is simply being pumped into long-ignored political infrastructure, then I don't have any problem with the DNC's actions.  If, however, the cash has gone to and expanded DNC beurocracy and increased consultant spending (as Begala implies) then I think Howard Dean does have some questions to answer.  

I'd be curious to here what others think about this.

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