Archive for the ‘Election 2008 – Presidential’ Category

Personal Obama

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

As I have said before, some of my favorite things about Obama are the realistic traits that come out.  Some of these come out in this video, whether it be him talking about his apartment in DC, his car when dating Michelle (I encourage my father to skip to that part at about 5:30 in the video), or him just wanting to take a walk.  If you have 15 minutes that you are seeking to use to avoid productivity, take some time to watch the Obama 60 minutes interview that focuses on the Personal Transition.

Watch CBS Videos Online

Also my favorite Obama “being a dad” video.  Skip ahead to 6:20, they talk about getting a dog.

Newsweek’s Election 2008

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

Newsweek for the past few cycles has devotes a special issue to going over the presidential campaigns of that year.  In my procrastination of taking my POL 502 midterm, I read it this afternoon while doing laundry.  While some of the more juicy or interesting items have received attention on the web.  Here are three tid bits I found a bit interesting.

Frustrated by reporters fishing for trivial “gaffes,” Obama did not like coming back to the plane to talk to the press. As he trudged back from time to time to deal with the reporters’ incessant questions, he looked like a suburban dad, slump-shouldered after a long day at the office, taking out the trash.

This is probably one of my favorite things about Obama, and my initial reaction is to consider these thoughts cliche.  However he seems quite real.  He is an extremely ambitious fellow, but he almost wants politics to be he day job and not his life.  In the last week of the campaign, there were reports that he was upset with reporters for not giving him time alone to trick or treat with his daughters, or take a solemn walk in Hawaii when visiting his grandmother.  In the Newsweek piece, it discussed how he was somewhat surprised he would not be able to go home on the weekends early on in the campaign.  On election night, he had dinner at his house with his immediate family.  Maybe it is just an image the Obama machine is cultivating, but he legitimately seems like a person who will treat the Presidency as a job and not a person who see themself as President.

For a couple of geekier excerpts

He had wanted to go back to the state of his first great triumph to give a speech unofficially kicking off the fall campaign, even though Clinton officially was still in the race. “That’s an interesting belt buckle,” he said to Michelle, mischievously. She feigned offense and said, “I am interesting, next to you. Surprise, surprise, a blue suit, a white shirt and a tie.” Obama grinned and bent down until he was almost at eye level with her waist. He jabbed a playful finger toward her belt buckle, and let loose his inner nerd. “The lithium crystals! Beam me up, Scotty!” Obama squeaked, laughing at his own lame joke as Michelle rolled her eyes.

So, Obama the treky?

And a hat tip to the Obama new media team…

At the end of August, as Hurricane Gustav threatened the coast of Texas, the Obama campaign called the Red Cross to say it would be routing donations to it via the Red Cross home page. Get your servers ready—our guys can be pretty nuts, Team Obama said. Sure, sure, whatever, the Red Cross responded. We’ve been through 9/11, Katrina, we can handle it. The surge of Obama dollars crashed the Red Cross Web site in less than 15 minutes.

You can read the 7 chapter Newsweek article here.

Get by with a little help…

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

In Missouri, there is a contested Democratic Primary for Attorney General.  There are three candidates, Chris Koster (former Republican as of a year ago), Jeff Harris (Minority Leader of House), and Margaret Donnelley.

Jeff Harris released this video the other day.  For those non-Missourians Matt Blunt (Republican Governor of Missouri), is the gentleman joining Ashcroft and Bush.

Has some Jib Jab quality to it.

Two Obama Posts in a Row

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

I simply found this image pretty neat (it is even better in the paper version of Politico)


Sunday, May 25th, 2008


Thoughts on Election 2008

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

Steve got bored of studying, so he decided to write something reflecting on the election. Only recently, I was able to get my thoughts into two basic points.

First, Obama beat Edwards in the first quarter of 2007 Fundraising, and second, Hillary’s lack of attention to caucuses did her in. Both of these have been mentioned by the media many times while they were happening, but few seem to be pointing to these items as being the reason Hillary (will likely) lose.

The Edwards and Obama point came after hearing a complaint from an Edwards person that the media seemed to favor and love Obama. Edwards and Obama have a lot of similarities and offered somewhat similar messages, so why the lovefest? Because he was new? Maybe. But Obama was the answer to the question that lingered in people’s heads leading up to 2008.

The question everyone asked themselves about the 2008 election was who would be the Anti-Hillary. In 2006, everyone knew that Hillary was the front-runner, but who was her rival. The field was full of heavy hitters, it was hard to figure out. Richardson and Biden in 2004 would have been some of the strongest candidates, but in this field they never left the second tier. Edwards was the reigning VP Nominee, and Obama had given a great speech in 2004 that rocketed him to stardom.

Fundraising provided the answer. In the first quarter of 2007, Hillary raised $26 million. Obama $25 Million. Edwards $14 Million. Edwards’ number was nothing to sneeze at (it was twice what he raised in ’03 for the same period). But the stunner was that Obama was able to almost match Hillary. Obama then became the more viable candidate. Edwards looked a little ‘bit like a loser. This may have allowed for the media to treat Obama with a little more gusto than Edwards.

Obama then won Iowa, and his position as the anti-Hillary was sealed.

So how did he beat Hillary?

The topic that seems to get surprisingly little attention now is the caucuses versus primary states. The talking heads say that Obama does better in caucus states and because he continually won them, it was an uninteresting story. While I don’t have any insider knowledge on how much organization there was for Hillary in these states, but it seems to be that the lack of effort in these states is what did her in.

Yes, she lost Iowa, but remember she did well in Nevada. In these two states where she established an organization, she faired alright.

After some quick Google searches, I was a little stunned to see the lack of emphasis on this very basic point. To figure out how many delegates Obama won in caucus versus primary states, I actually had to whip out Excel myself and add it up.

Here are some rough numbers (Sources are RealClearPolitics and CNN, in actuality Obama has not even won delegates from some caucus states. For example, Iowa doesn’t officially choose until June 14th so many of these numbers are estimates).

Caucus Delegates

Obama: 324
Clinton: 178

Now lets look at
Primary Delegates
Obama: 1277
Clinton: 1266

That’s only an 11 delegate lead for Obama in primary states. Hillary (as the dead candidate) overall right now is only down 157 in pledged delegates. 146 of this comes from Obama’s caucus edge. To an extent an argument could be made that Obama’s greater viability generated by his caucus victories increased his later primary gains. For example in Super Tuesday Primaries, Hillary wins by 60 delegates. In Super Tuesday Caucuses, Obama wins by 72.

Some may respond that Obama did not invest as much into primary states because he went with more of a caucus strategy. Also, we have no idea how much some of the later primaries or caucuses may have changed based on the influence of early victories or delegate leads. Nonetheless it is simply interesting to note that all but of 11 of Obama’s pledged delegate lead is attributable to caucuses. Many of which Hillary did not contest strongly.

Was it a simple oversight that delivered the Clinton’s their first electoral defeat in over 25 years? Perhaps.

Two other little observations about the Clinton campaign. I always wondered why she went with the “Hillary” brand instead of the “Clinton” brand (on her signs for example). Can anyone name a presidential candidate that ever went with this approach? I am sure it was poll tested to the extreme, but it was always interesting to me.

The second observation is something that Tim Russert struck on the night of Indiana and North Carolina. It was bolstered by a comment by Hillary when she won West Virginia. I think Hillary is staying in for women. There are many women who are inclined to vote for Hillary because she is a woman. My mother even phrased it as that she could not pass up the opportunity to vote for a woman for President. There have been women candidates before, but none with the chance that Hillary had. When Hillary invoked the 19th Amendment and mentioned that woman in South Dakota on Tuesday, it at least said to me that she was staying in it for women. I am an Obama supporter, and I have absolutely no problem with her staying in the race if that is the case. Since honestly and sadly, I really do not know when we will have another woman who can challenge for the presidency.

Okay, back to studying (it is sad that this is what I use as a break)

Props to Hillary for this

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

Don’t know how to embed this video, but props to Hillary