March 2007

Whether you were offended or intrigued by the 1984 Obama/Hillary ad, I think you might be interested in hearing from the maker, Phil De Vellis, directly. At the very least, I think it pretty clearly removes any doubt of the ad being an orchestrated conspiracy.

Here are two different but equally interesting interviews (thanks to MyDD)…

From an interview with YouTube…

And from PoliticsTV

Obama’s Community Roots
The Nation. – New York,NY,USA
In 1985, freshly graduated from Columbia University and working for a New York business consultant, Barack Obama decided to become a community organizer.

Obama’s organizing history may give few clues about what policies he would pursue as President, but Obama the presidential candidate still shows his roots–a faith in ordinary citizens, a quest for common ground and a pragmatic inclination toward defining issues in winnable ways. Even when Obama was an organizer, Augustine-Herron told him he would be the nation’s first black President. Now the Rev. Alvin Love, whom Obama recruited to DCP, looks at his candidacy and says, "Everything I see reflects that community organizing experience. I see the consensus-building, his connection to people and listening to their needs and trying to find common ground. I think at his heart Barack is a community organizer. I think what he’s doing now is that. It’s just a larger community to be organized."

Obama hits Chicago during ‘Council Wars’
Chicago Tribune

The path to his party’s nomination, though, runs through Democratic primary voters still chafing from years of conservative Republican rule. And what Obama highlights as an eagerness to plow common ground with political opposites, some voters may view as a sign that he lacks firm principles or an ability to stake and hold his ground.

Obama firmly rejected that notion. "There are a set of principles that I care about. And there are people I’m fighting for in this campaign," he said in a recent interview. If any Republican, or Democrat for that matter, opposes those principles, Obama vowed to "go after them with everything that I’ve got."

Obama’s heritage a boon to blackness
Yahoo! News – USA
Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record), D-Ill., black enough to earn the support of African-Americans in his quest to become president of the United States

Jesse Jackson Endorses Barack Obama
CBS News – New York City,NY,USA
(AP) Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said Thursday he’s backing Democrat Barack Obama in his presidential bid, giving his support to a new generation of

Barack Obama Talks About Gay Marriage and Immorality – Fort Lauderdale,FL,USA
Barack Obama appeared on CNN’s Situation Room yesterday where he talked to Wolf Blitzer about his view on gay marriage and about what happened following the

Obama’s Hawai’i supporters open homes for meetings
Honolulu Advertiser – Honolulu,HI,USA
"Barack Obama believes this campaign is about everyday Americans and the discussions that take place in living rooms, coffee shops and community centers,"

Spanish edition of Obama’s ‘Audacity of Hope’ to come out in June
WQAD – Moline,IL,USA
NEW YORK US Senator Barack Obama’s (ber-AHK’ oh-BAH’-muhz) book "The Audacity of Hope" is already a million seller in English, and now it will be coming out

Barack Obama attempts to sell his 2008 presidential campaign
University of Central Oklahoma Vista – Edmond,OK,USA
If Illinois senator Barack Obama isn’t sworn in as President come January 2009, it won’t be because of his public speaking abilities, which were prominently

Fox Goes After Barack Obama Again
News Hounds – Newport Beach,CA,USA
Scott then gave Malek an example where Barack Obama had said his parents had gotten together because of what happened in Selma, Alabama.

Before I get to the links, I just wanted to mention that this has been a sad week for political reporting on Barack Obama. But, it has also been inspiring to see the impressive work being done by Glenn Greenwald, Greg Sargent, Media Matters, Will Bunch, Obamarama, Steve Benen and many others who’ve gone to bat for Obama to push back on the inanity.

Regardless of who these folks support for president, at least they recognize that these kinds of Gore 2000-like smears and innuendo are deeply injurious to the goals of all Democrats and progressives.

But, here’s one thing to ponder. After the mini Edwards BloggerGate from earlier this year, the folks at MyDD used their considerable clout and energy to push back against the Noise Machine, mobilizing people through the MyDD site, Daily Kos, and BlogPac.

But, for Obama? Near complete silence.

OK, now the Link Party…

Obama’s K Street project
The Hill – Washington,DC,USA
Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is benefiting from the support of well-connected Washington lobbyists even though he has prohibited his campaign from accepting

Obama prepares to show the money
Chicago Tribune – Chicago,IL,USA
Preparing his supporters for his own report, Barack Obama is trying to lower expectations. He’s telling backers not to get caught up as the "press and

Ian McMillan on US presidential candidate Barack Obama’s poetry
Guardian Unlimited – UK
This week two poems by Barack Obama, published in a student magazine when he was 19, came to light. So did the US presidential candidate miss his true

Obama to hold Portsmouth meeting on health care
Foster’s Daily Democrat – Dover,NH,USA
PORTSMOUTH — Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is hosting a forum on health care in the Port City next week, but tickets to the event are

BET Co-Founder Endorses Obama’s Campaign
Washington Post – Washington,DC,USA
NEW YORK — Democrat Barack Obama has picked up the endorsement of Sheila C. Johnson, the ex-wife of media pioneer Robert Johnson who is backing rival Sen.

Gauging Obama’s YouTube Numbers
New York Times – New York,NY,USA
The folks over at techPresident, a blog run by a think tank that studies the internet’s impact on politics, noticed some numbers on Senator Barack Obama’s

The Barack Obama Surge
Black Star News – New York,NY,USA
Every Sunday the Independent Party’s political director Jacqueline Salit and strategist and philosopher Fred Newman watch the political talk shows and

Morton Kondracke: Can Barack Obama deliver the real deal?
Pasadena Star-News – Pasadena,CA,USA
Barack Obama, D-Ill. There are reasons to think that he’s the real deal – a "post-partisan" reformer who can free politics from the zero-sum ideological

Obama, Clinton: Watch Out For Republican Attack Dogs
Black Star News – New York,NY,USA
Correspondents covering President Hilary Clinton or Barack Obama would write about how sex and/or race impacts certain decisions.

I’ve been a big fan of Kathy Sierra’s Creating Passionate Users blog for quite some time.

Like Zack Exley in the political world, she writes about exactly the kinds of things I’m interested in — using the power of technology to create new relationships between institutions and their supporters. To move beyond the top-down vs. bottom-up arguments to create a new kind of synthesis that works to the benefit of both.

Like her recent series, How to Build a User Community (Part One and Part Two), she offers fantastic ideas on how to do this.

So, it was very disturbing to learn of the truly weird attacks being waged against her.

And it is causing a very profound ripple effect on the many thought leaders of this whole movement — as it exposes the darkness of human nature which clearly exists in both the real and the virtual.

The BBC has more

And since Vermont’s own political blogosphere hasn’t been immune to semi-anonymous, rather vicious and aggressive behavior in the past nine months, this is an important story to keep on eye on.

Keep the faith, Kathy.

 Dear Supporter,

Here’s how it usually works. As we approach March 31st, when campaigns have to file their quarterly fundraising reports, the press and pundits start to obsess over the chase for money.

They value dollars more than people, and bottom lines more than ideas.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Like every campaign, this one needs the resources to compete.

But while others may set goals based on raising tens of millions of dollars, we’re going to reveal two numbers that say more about what kind of campaign we’re running:

  • the number of people donating to the cause
  • the number of donations we’ve received from them

And we’re not going to talk about the dollars raised until the reporting period is over.

It’s simple: get more people involved, more deeply than ever before. Those are our goals for the end of the quarter, and for the rest of this campaign. Whether you’ve given before or this will be your first time, you can make a statement that people count.

I’m asking you to stand up and be counted — will you make a donation now?

So why these two figures?

The number of people giving shows the wide breadth of support for a campaign that seeks a new kind of politics.

The number of donations reveals the depth of people’s commitment, because so many people give small amounts again and again.

If we really hope to meet the challenges of our time, we have to change what our politics is about, and that means changing what campaigns are about — not just dollar amounts and million-dollar goals, but millions of people working for a cause bigger than themselves.

That’s why we’re not accepting contributions from Washington lobbyists or political action committees.

So who are our donors? See for yourself. Election law requires that we ask every donor to the campaign for their occupation and their employer. That information will be made public in the quarterly report filed on March 31st.

Just this week we’ve gotten donations from the following people:

  • a salesperson in Alabama
  • a nurse in North Carolina
  • a truck driver in Minnesota
  • a firefighter/paramedic in Texas
  • a homeless shelter director in Virginia
  • a special education teacher in Florida
  • a bartender in Colorado
  • a minister in New York

The two most common occupations of our donors this week? "Student" and "Retired" — and we’ve got thousands in between.

Will you be the next person to be counted?

There’s serious work ahead for our next president, and the process of choosing him or her should not descend into an insider game of who can better manipulate the "conventional wisdom" in Washington.

We have an opportunity to use this fundraising deadline to turn the story of money and politics on its head.

You can show the pundits covering this presidential race that a grassroots movement for change can trump all the money and influence in Washington.

Give them something to talk about — be counted now:

For six years we’ve had a president out of touch, on the wrong track, and increasingly unwilling to even pretend to care about the concerns of ordinary Americans.

The process of choosing our next one should focus on mobilizing and energizing the people.

As we approach this fundraising deadline on March 31st, you have an opportunity to send a message by participating in a different kind of fundraising drive:

In a democracy, it’s the people that count.

Thank you,

Barack Obama

And, it’s all Newt Gingrich’s fault.

From UVM’s student newspaper, the Vermont Cynic

The College Republicans club was derecognized by the Student Government Association (SGA) on Tuesday, after failing to repay year old debts.

The group owed $6,548 from a $7,000 loan they took out in Oct. 2005. The loan was initially taken out in order to pay Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, to speak at UVM.

When the club failed to pay at the first deadline in Nov. 2005, their account was frozen and they were reminded of the consequences if they were unable to pay. The club proceeded to ask for two more separate deadline extensions, and was given one in Dec. and one in Feb.

According to the College Republicans president, senior Heather Baldyga, the club had been warned twice of a possible derecognition should they fail to repay their loan.

Now that the club has been derecognized SGA will repossess their budget, which will cover the debt the College Republicans owe, according to senior Jessica Banks, SGA treasurer.

If the club is rerecognized it will be on their own terms, and financially “they’ll be back at ground zero,” said Banks. They will be treated like any other new club.

College Republicans expected the profits from Newt Gingrich’s presentation to help cover the loan, but there was a smaller turn out than they had expected.

“We were not able to pay back SGA because there was little or no effort to fundraise in the past few semesters. It is also difficult to fundraise for a Republican organization around here, because we don’t have many fans in this area,” Baldyga said.

Thompson Tied with Clinton, Trails Obama

The first Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey involving Thompson shows the former Senator from Tennessee essentially tied with the Democratic frontrunner, Senator Hillary Clinton. It’s Thompson 44% Clinton 43%.

However, Thompson trails another leading Democrat, Illinois Senator Barack Obama by twelve percentage points, 49% to 37%. When matched against Thompson, Obama outperforms Clinton among men, women, white voters, and unaffiliated voters. He even attracts more crossover support from the GOP.

Barack Obama calls for war’s end in South Florida fundraising stop – Fort Lauderdale,FL,USA

New Then and now: Obama’s views on gay rights
Chicago Daily Herald – Chicago,IL,USA
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama took a bit of heat from gay supporters last week for being initially reluctant to say whether he agreed with

Candidates turn focus to technologically savvy donors in California
Boston Globe – Boston,MA,USA
And it has shaped the appeal of Senator Barack Obama of Illinois to a new generation of young, tech-savvy donors. "It’s just a totally different model" for

On Barack Obama’s Church and its Senior Pastor
BlogHer – San Jose,CA,USA
And to be sure, there are those who vehemently disagree with the way TUCC and Barack Obama proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

JP operative hits the road for Obama
Boston Globe – Boston,MA,USA
As the new director of special events for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, Fisk is part of a parade of Bay State politicos who have given Massachusetts

Race for ’08: Multiple messages attract Obama’s crowds
Sacramento Bee – Sacramento,CA,USA
It was a St. Patrick’s Day celebration in this heavily African American city, and the rally for presidential candidate Barack Obama hopped to a

For Clinton and Obama, a Common Ideological Touchstone
Washington Post – Washington,DC,USA
Saul D. Alinsky, the Chicago community organizer whose ideas intrigued and influenced Hillary Rodham and Barack Obama as they began their careers.

Southwest residents organize state campaign for Obama
Minneapolis Southwest Journal – Minneapolis,MN,USA
“I hadn’t felt motivated enough about a candidate to get up off the couch and do anything until Barack Obama,” he said. Provost said he thinks Obama can

Star Magazine Cover ~ 1942
High School Magazine Cover by Dad ~ 1942

Don’t sell Barack ‘Obambi’ short
Los Angeles Times – CA,USA
BARACK OBAMA is learning — the hard way — that no good deed goes unpunished. Hillary Clinton’s campaign has already gone after him with charges of negative

With its efforts to paint Obama as a negative campaigner showing so little promise, the Clinton campaign is shifting to a new tack. Now it is going after Obama for having tried to be polite about an issue that’s become one of Clinton’s greatest liabilities.

That would be her October 2002 vote to authorize the use of force in Iraq. That vote — and her continued refusal to call it a mistake — has many Democrats wondering just why she was so very wrong about the Bush administration’s case for war when a political newcomer like Obama was so very right.

Obama wasn’t in the Senate in 2002. But he made his views crystal clear in a speech on the same day that Clinton and 28 other Senate Democrats voted to authorize the use of force against Iraq: "I don’t oppose war in all circumstances…. What I do oppose is a dumb war…. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics."

Today, Obama’s speech looks prescient. He got it right on everything: Saddam Hussein’s lack of WMD; the costs in lives and money of an indefinite occupation; the likelihood that war in Iraq would divert resources from Afghanistan and "fan the flames of the Middle East … and strengthen … Al Qaeda."

Adding insult to injury, Obama still seems to be getting it right, nearly five years later. Congressional Democrats have coalesced around a version of Obama’s proposed Iraq plan. Clinton, meanwhile, finds herself in the galling position of watching Obama, a political babe in arms, emerge as the new standard-bearer for the Democratic Party.

Obama fights back on Iraq charges

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama pushed back yesterday against accusations by Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign that his oft-repeated opposition to the Iraq war was not borne out by his Senate record.

In a conference call with reporters, Obama sought to squelch the charges by saying his Senate votes to continue funding the conflict don’t contradict his long-standing opposition to it.
"Once we were in, we were going to have some responsibility to try to make it work as best we can. More importantly, you make sure the troops are supported," the Illinois senator said. "I don’t think there’s any contradiction there whatsoever. We should not get in, once we were in we had to make the best of a bad situation."

Obama’s church asks reporters to play by the rules
Chicago Tribune – Chicago,IL,USA
Barack Obama’s decision to ask his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, not to deliver the benediction at his announcement to run for president in February.

Obama gaining steam in Ohio
Cleveland Plain Dealer – Cleveland,OH,USA
There’s good news for Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy: The senator from Illinois is getting more popular in Ohio, while Democratic rival Sen.

There’s good news for Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy: The senator from Illinois is getting more popular in Ohio, while Democratic rival Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York is holding steady at best.

Clinton still leads Obama by 10 points, however, 32 percent to 22 percent, in a poll released this morning by Quinnipiac University. So if the Ohio primary were held today, Clinton would win.

That presumes a lot. The dynamics of the primary race could change dramatically in the next year. They’ve already changed dramatically since January, when Quinnipiac put Clinton at 38 and a lesser-known Obama at only 13.

OFF THE BLOCK: The First Black President – Los Angeles,CA,USA
Barack Obama is the man and the time has finally come where, as Dr. King prophesied that a black person could be exclusively judged by the content of his

Obama’s background boasts an unprecedented pedigree new to American presidential aspirants and his personal genetic makeup and early schooling is the epitome of cultural diversity and globalism. Obama’s potential as leader of the free world gives a whole new meaning to the term “The New World Order” given the changing circumstances in Asia, South America and Africa. Let us share his “audacity of hope” in believing that he can go all the way. His election as the first black president of the United States of America will validate the hopes and dreams of our ancestors while at the same time give our people, our country and even possibly the world the best chance to avert total planetary catastrophe that we have had since the presidential candidacy of Bobby Kennedy.

To help inspire all you Vermonters to create or attend an Obama house party on March 31st — and to join the Vermonters for Obama group at the official Obama site, here’s an email I just got from Obama Campaign Manager, David Plouffe…

Dear Supporter,

The largest grassroots event in the very short history of this campaign will happen in a few days. And I am hoping you will be participating from your home or apartment.

We’re asking you, one of our strongest supporters and most dedicated volunteers, to consider throwing a get-together with a few of your family, friends, and neighbors for Barack Obama on March 31.

This is the easiest way you can help our grassroots campaign reach out to people across the country with our message of hope and change.

This is all you have to do:

  • Bring a few of your friends together on March 31 in your living room to talk about the challenges we are facing as a community; as a country.
  • Use your computer or phone to listen to Barack live in Iowa.
  • Watch the DVD we’ll send you with a special message from Barack to help your friends learn more about him and what our grassroots campaign is all about.
  • Talk about what you can do as a community to be a part of this campaign.

We want you to bring people together to learn more about this campaign and, ultimately, to go out and share Barack’s message with others in your community.

We’ve set up several resources to help you along the way.

Click here and register your get-together now

Once you register at, you will receive a packet of information including:

  • A Barack Obama DVD presenting Barack’s story, message, and positions, which you can show at your get-together.
  • Information about a live webcast that will allow you and your friends to converse with Senator Obama, live, at a similar event in Iowa.
  • Suggested actions that people can take after the party to organize and spread Barack’s message.
  • Resources that will enable your group to not only send in contributions, but suggestions and ideas discussed — so that this campaign can continue to be about you.

There are already events happening in all 50 states, but we want to make sure that you get a chance to be a leader in your community and participate in this historic campaign.

People keep asking us, “What Can I Do to Help?” Well, this is it. Be a part of this day. Be a leader of this campaign. Be a host of an event and reach out to people around you to learn about how we are changing politics in this country. Sign up today:

With your help, this will be our biggest day yet. 


David Plouffe 

Campaign Manager 

Next Page »