Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. President,

Regarding healthcare reform.

We're a bit tired of fighting AGAINST "death panels" and "pulling the plug on Grandma".  Please, please can you give us something to fight FOR, so we can come out and organize and show them yet again the awesome power of what you kindled in our hearts.

Sincerely,
The Majority Of Americans Who Voted For You The Last Time

P.S. How's Bo?

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Funny funny funny: "The Great Schlep"

Sorry for posting a tiny little diary, but just wanted to share with all of you something that made me laugh so much I almost lost my lunch.

Watch the video of comedian Sarah Silverman explaining how to convince Jewish grandparents in Florida to vote for Obama:

http://thegreatschlep.com/site/index.htm l

Really, really funny!

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Hillary Clinton for VP

It seems now that Obama is facing a tougher general election fight than many people thought.  Conventional wisdom dictated that whoever wins the Democratic primary will be well poised for a decisive win in November.  No one disputed it-- with high energy prices, the mortgage meltdown, a really really dumb asshole in the White House, the War, and a Republican candidate who admits to not knowing much about the economy, while appearing very trigger happy and excited to fight other wars.

Obama is in a funk.  The recent Saddleback faux debate exposes the weakness of our Democratic nominee.  While we all agree that he is more nuanced and thoughtful, low information idiot undecided voters like black-and-white distinctions and declarative sentences.  The problem with being "cerebral" (and I hate that being cerebral is ever a problem, having a Ph.D. myself, thinking for a living) is that the kind of passion that it involves isn't the visceral type.  Like Kerry before him, and Gore before him, his ability to see grey and to be intellectually honest isn't winning the sectors that the Democrats need to go over the top.

Obama needs help.  Apart from African Americans and the liberal base, no other group seems genuinely excited about Obama.  In fairness, McCain ain't doing well among the traditional Republican interest groups either.  But what will ultimately hurt us is the weakened support for the Democratic nominee among older women and among women in general:

Of special concern are women, particularly older ones, whom in the past could be counted on to vote for whatever Democrat was running for president. Many remain scandalized by the sexist attacks on Clinton during the recent campaign. A stubborn 18 percent of Clinton's female voters vow to back McCain, according to a poll for Lifetime television networks. Another 6 percent plan to support neither major-party candidate.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/article s/2008/08/its_no_longer_just_about_hilla .html

In close races, this shift can prove to be decisive for the Republican.

We need a boost of excitement in the Democratic ticket.  In a poll of Democratic delegates, Hillary Clinton's name has come up far more often than any other name as their choice for the VP:

More than a third of Democratic delegates offered no opinion about who they want Mr. Obama to choose as his vice-presidential nominee. But among those who did state a preference, Senator Clinton was the overwhelming favorite, with 28 percent of Democratic delegates (including about as many men as women) saying they would like her to be on the ticket.

Senator Joe Biden, Democrat of Delaware, placed a distant second, with 6 percent of those surveyed backing him. No one else garnered more than 5 percent support; Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico and former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina (presumably in interviews conducted before his public acknowledgment of an extra-marital affair) were each named by 4 percent of delegates. Other mentions included Senator Jim Webb of Virginia (3 percent), Gov. Tim Kaine (2 percent) of Virginia and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (2 percent) of Kansas.

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/19/poll-of-democratic-delegates-on-vp-picks/#more-5916

Sebelius?  Kaine?  Webb?  Bayh?  If Obama picks these lightweights, there shall be no change in the level of vigor and excitement.  And if things continue to be the way they are, we should say goodbye to Ohio, Florida, Missouri, and Virginia.  And oh, by the way, the White House too.

Hillary Clinton is a fighter.  She is the roll-up-your-sleeves problem solver that we like, a tireless advocate, an inspiration to many women and men.  She can also sling mud with the best of them.  Republicans fear her.  She is single minded in a fight, and you betcha she'll be the toughest person on John McCain than anyone else. She's very effective when talking about our economic anxieties. She gets it. More importantly, she appears to get it.  She will bring back those disaffected Democrats, the older women who passionately voted for her in the primaries.  The Democratic party will begin to restore their reputation among women, which if left languishing in its current state, will be the most damaging effect of this election that will reverberate in many election cycles to come.

Clinton baggage?  Bill Clinton?  Paradoxically, the best way to solve Obama's "Clinton problem" is to name Hillary as her partner.  This will galvanize the Clintons and their ardent supporters and fundraisers to work for the ticket, thereby turning off any real and perceived divisions among factions and among personalities.

We need a united party to win in November.  What's the best way to achieve this?  I challenge you to come up with a better solution.  I believe that naming Hillary Clinton as VP will instantly change the dynamics of the race, and will heal the rifts that have torn our party apart much faster than any other act.  Victory will follow the Obama/Clinton ticket.

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The RFK fiasco, and further division: have we had enough?

What happened yesterday has, in my opinion, certainly decimated what little effort has been made toward unity within the Democratic party.  The wounds are undoubtedly deep on both sides, for sure, but I now see how little it takes to tear off the scab, and I'm genuinely worried about our chances come November, no matter who the candidate is.

I'm a Clinton supporter, and I admit that I'm readier to give Hillary the benefit of the doubt than I am Obama.  This reflects a human weakness on my part, some misguided overzealousness, a fierce loyalty that can slowly devolve into hate.  Many times I've had to check my feelings and reflect on the cause of my disgust or outrage, and I'm sure I share with many here the same icky feeling that creeps in whenever I post a biting comment or wise-ass reply-- that "oh sh*t, I wish I could take that back" feeling.  It leaves me dirtied and a lesser person.  It leaves the better issues undiscussed.  It demoralizes the people we need to help us push towards a big win in November.

The Obama campaign, seemingly the victor in this fight according to many opinion-makers, may not be ready to mend the torn fabric of party unity just yet.  There was a rapid response by campaign spokesman Bill Burton "Sen. Clinton's statement before the Argus Leader editorial board was unfortunate and has no place in this campaign." I saw it as an unambiguous signal to resharpen the knives, that it's alright with the Obama campaign for partisans to read from Hillary's gaffe the worst thing you could ever imagine.  And so certainly the blogs overflowed with such convoluted logic and insinuations, followed closely by the soulless, profit-driven media.  We're back in the boiling cauldron.

Because Hillary is so smart and so cool and calculating (like all successful women, right?), she could not have made such a mistake (they're not allowed to make them), and therefore she really meant to bring up the specter of assassination as a surefire way to attack Obama and advance the cause of her candidacy.  At least that's how the prevalent logic goes.  Thus, what began as a gaffe (at worst) became another definite instance of the evil, calculating, demonic Clintonian strategy to either (a) scare superdelegates into thinking that "anything can happen" (which is so obviously true-- that, truly, anything can happen, ostensibly so), or worse (b) somehow stoke up the fire within her white supremacist supporters (in Appalachia, I'm guessing) to find a way to assassinate Obama before the convention.

I'm at a loss as to how to begin to untangle this mess, as I'm sure you are.  The back and forth on this site is a back and forth common in school playgrounds across the country, as many have observed. Months from now, as we're stewing in yet another tumultuous loss (perhaps), we'd look back to moments like this and understand that we had it coming all along.

Then of course Axelrod and Co. have since "defended" Hillary on some TV programs that I still refuse to watch, but only because the damage has already been done, and magnanimity and honor can once again flow from the victor's cup.  This has certainly been a hard-fought campaign, and the wounds are still raw, thus the tendency to continue the fight remains overpowering.  Maturity and generosity are now needed to once again form a unified party, and the best example ought to come from Barack Obama himself.  If he's really certain of his victory, he ought to rise above this silliness and publicly rebuke those who are still bent on further crucifying the Clintons for all the sins of the Democratic party.  He needs the Clintons to regain their stature as party leaders-- only then can Hillary's most fervent supporters find their way back to the fold and work actively towards a win in November.  It's the tactically correct move, and it's also compassionate and kind.

I'm a Democrat, and I'll vote for Barack Obama come November (if he is the nominee), but it will take some active bridge-building and lots of healing to make me push and campaign as actively as I had been for Gore in 2000 and for Kerry in 2004.

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CNN Mississippi exit poll: a divided party?

Mississippi exit polling from today's Democratic primary trickling in as the evening approaches. I took these from Blitzer's Situation Room on TV:

Obama voters: satisfied if Clinton wins nomination?  44% Yes, 55% No

Clinton voters: satisfied if Obama wins nomination?  26% Yes, 72% No.

Vote by age:
17-29 :  Obama 67%, Clinton 32%
65+  :  Obama 44%, Clinton 56%

Opinion of John McCain:  37% favorable, 59% unfavorable

Of course CNN is NOT releasing race and gender participation yet-- this should be the most revealing of all subcategories polled.

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Obama steals NV, TX, MO

Spin cycle:  take a look at the map of Obama wins in his campaign website.  You'll see that rising "O" symbol stamped like cattle brand on those states that Obama allegedly won, bathing them in the kind of celestial light normally reserved for depictions of holy images and saints.

According to that map (look for it in the BO.com website), he won 27 out of 41 states, including Texas, Nevada and Missouri.  But just like the foundation of his candidacy, this is one big, fat lie.

MR. OBAMA, YOU DID NOT WIN TEXAS.  You lost the popular vote.  Nevermind that you're walking away with more delegates.  You got more delegates because of those caucuses, which are fundamentally undemocratic.  We don't want to hear that kind of talk, after we Democrats suffered through the same judgment in 2000, when our candidate Gore won the national popular vote but Renquist and Scalia stole it for Bush.  The will of the popular vote must be upheld.

MR. OBAMA, YOU DID NOT WIN NEVADA.  Like Texas, you lost the popular vote.  You may have walked away with one more delegate, but a majority of Nevadans chose Hillary Clinton to be the next president over you.  This is indisputable.

But you seem to love that pledged delegate argument in pushing the fairy tale that you won both Texas and Nevada.  If this is so, then you should be consistent with MISSOURI.  While you won the popular vote count by the tiniest margin (1%) in that state, both Hillary and you walked away with the same number of 36 pledged delegates.  By this count, and by your perverted measure of victory, you didn't win Missouri.  You tied Hillary in pledged delegates.

Stop the fuzzy math.

The press is also noticing this fantastic claim:

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/ 2008/03/obama-website-c.html

Is this how Obama will win our nomination?  By claiming fake victories, and fudging the math?

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Gallup: Hillary back in the lead

Interesting stuff:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/104788/Gallup -Daily-Clinton-48-Obama-44.aspx

Hillary Clinton has moved ahead of Barack Obama in national Democratic nomination preferences, 48% to 44%, in polling conducted Sunday through Tuesday.

The latest three-day average primarily reflects Democratic attitudes before the outcomes of Tuesday night's primaries were known. National Democratic preferences began to shift in Clinton's favor on Sunday, gained momentum on Monday, and remained favorable to her on Tuesday. Any impact her success in Tuesday night's elections may have on national preferences will be reflected in tomorrow's Gallup Poll Daily election tracking report.

Looks like a Hillary surge!  The daily tracking poll in the coming days will show just how big this resurgence is. This is also the first time that Hillary takes a statistically significant lead in more than a month (Gallup's margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points). This is big!

UPDATED: Hillary supporters, let's keep the momentum going. Contribute! The Clinton campaign has a challenge to raise $3M in 24 hours. Let's do our part.

http://hillaryclinton.com/home/

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The scrutiny begins

On today's World News Tonight on ABC, after an extended piece at the top of the broadcast about the Rezko corruption affair and the "contentious" Obama press conference today that focused on Rezko and the NAFTA/Canada-gate, George Stephanopoulos, in conversation with Charlie Gibson, said:

"If Senator Clinton does well tomorrow, people will look back and say, how much do we really know about this guy, and the scrutiny will intensify in the days going forward."
How much do we really know about this guy?  This is the question that will guide the narrative in the days and weeks to come.  Aided by the MSM, the Republican attack machine will certainly work on Rezko and NAFTA-gate, along with the tiniest piece of dirt that they could find or make up.

The mainstream for-profit media is now looking for the next "selling" story.  They have done their work on Hillary, and it seems they're turning their gaze ever so slowly onto Obama.  Just in time to prepare the way for the "maverick" and the "principled" John McCain, who every pundit and talking head on MSNBC adores.

How much do we know about this guy?  Already, Obama is being hounded by questions, and he's leaving them unanswered.  The great rookie, the wunderkind, is now being tested on the grand stage, and we're not really sure how he'll weather the media and Republican savaging.

Firstread says in an article titled "Obama Tangles with the Press":

Led by the Chicago press corps that has covered Obama for years, the candidate today faced a barrage of questions in what turned out to be a contentious news conference.

Questions centered on why his campaign had denied that a meeting occurred between his chief economic advisor and Canadian officials as well as questions on his relationship with Tony Rezko, a Chicago land developer and fast food magnate, now on trial for corruption charges ...

When did the (Canadian embassy) meeting take place? Why did the Canadian officials reach out? Did Goolsbee not come forward right away and admit the meeting to Campaign Manager David Plouffe and Obama when both denied it last week? These are questions that went unanswered as the press conference was cut short.

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2 008/03/03/726268.aspx

How much do we know about this guy?  Obama is now "tangling" with the press.  And he's leaving questions unanswered.  Is the honeymoon over?  Are we now witnessing how the Republican playbook on Obama will unfold?

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Obama missed more senate votes than Clinton, but McCain tops them all as the most absent senator

Percent of votes MISSED:

John McCain: 55.7%  (second only to Tim Johnson, who has a valid excuse-- he's been hospitalized for a brain hemmorhage)

Barack Obama: 38.8%

Hillary Clinton: 27.1%

http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congr ess/110/senate/vote-missers/

Thoughts?

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Hillary wins New Mexico

Just saw the chair of the Democratic Party in New Mexico on CNN ... Clinton got about 73,000+ while Obama got 71,000+.

A win is a win.

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Diaries

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