2008 Election - President Archive:

Friday, November 11, 2005

An Early Poll on 2008

Posted by DavidNYC

I usually don't like posting uber-early polls, especially for something like a presidential election. Imagine the polls in late 2001 - Howard Dean's name wasn't even a glimmer. But I sorta like this WSJ poll because of the inverse question it asks. Right now, you can find the poll at the top of Polling Report's (free) Election 2008 page, or on p. 12-13 of this PDF. Here, take a look:

Democratic Primary

Hillary Clinton 41
John Edwards 14
Al Gore 12
John Kerry 10
Joe Biden 5
Wesley Clark 4
Bill Richardson 3
Other (vol.) 1
None (vol.) 4
Unsure 6

"Are there any candidates on this list for whom you would definitely NOT vote for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination?"

Al Gore 17
John Kerry 14
Hillary Clinton 13
Wesley Clark 9
Joe Biden 6
Bill Richardson 4
John Edwards 3
None (vol.) 31
Unsure 13

Republican Primary

Rudy Giuliani 34
John McCain 31
Newt Gingrich 8
Bill Frist 5
Mitt Romney 3
George Allen 3
Sam Brownback 1
Other (vol.) 2
None (vol.) 2
Unsure 11

"Are there any candidates on this list for whom you would definitely NOT vote for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination?"

Newt Gingrich 21
John McCain 19
Rudy Giuliani 8
Bill Frist 5
Mitt Romney 3
Sam Brownback 2
George Allen 1
None (vol.) 26
Unsure 17

Hmm. That's the funny thing about blogging - you can change your mind in the middle of writing a post. I realized something about the methdology that actually makes me dislike this poll. I had thought that this poll would give an interesting window into the negative side of this campaign - ie, who's really disliked. And it does, but only a bit.

The problem is that for the "whom would you vote for" questions, respondents were only allowed to name one person. But for the "whom would you NOT vote for" questions, survey subjects were permitted to name as many people as they liked. That makes the two sets of numbers basically impossible to compare.

I actually think that the multiple-choice method is better, this far out, so I'd like to see it applied to the positive question, too - that is, let people name as many candidates as they'd consider voting for. And if you want greater granularity, the pollster could divide up answer based on intensity of preference - in other words, ask people how strongly they feel about the people they say they might vote for.

Anyhow, I'd like to let WSJ/NBC take a mulligan on this one and come back with some better answers next time. How 'bout it?

Posted at 06:34 PM in 2008 Election - President | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, October 14, 2005

Denver is the Perfect Spot for the Dem Convention

Posted by DavidNYC

The other day, Bob wrote about the idea of a "Western Primary," to give this fast-growing region a bigger voice in choosing our party's presidential candidate. I think it's a great idea, and one way to capitalize on it would be to have our convention out west. Fortunately, some folks out in Colorado are trying to make this happen.

Denver came very close to hosting the convention in 2000 - hopefully it can be our site in 2008. If nothing else, I have to imagine the summer weather in Denver's mountain air is about a million times more pleasant than the sultry heat you'll find in the northeast.

Posted at 11:53 AM in 2008 Election - President, Colorado, Democrats | Comments (19) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

Monday, October 10, 2005

2008: Western Primary

Posted by Bob Brigham

Swing State Project has written before of the need to let western states be involved with Presidental politics. However, tomorrow's breaking announcement about a 2008 "Western States" presidential primary could change everyone's calculations.

There is a DNC Commission that wants to let two states front-load with Iowa and New Hampshire. But what if instead of two "states" -- it were two elections, including a Western States Primary.

In discussing the new plan to diffuse the early strength, Jerome Armstrong suggests:

So I'd bet that the states that will be added in between, and if I had to guess, I'd go with New Mexico and Nevada as being the two states leading for the southwestern slot, and South Carolina and Alabama for the southern slot.

Solid analysis, but what if the "southwestern spot" was actually one big Western Primary?

Something to think about considerring the following announcement (via email):

Governor Richardson, Utah Governor Huntsman to Make Announcement Concerning Western Primary TUESDAY

SANTA FE – New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Utah Governor Jon Huntsman will hold a press conference at 11:30 am, Tuesday, October 11th, in the Governor’s cabinet room to discuss bipartisan Western Governor’s support for creating a “Western States” Presidential Primary in 2008.

Governor Huntsman is leading a bipartisan delegation of Utah legislators and party leaders to Santa Fe. Accompanying Governor Huntsman are Utah Senate President John Valentine, Utah Senate Minority Leader Mike Dmitrich, Utah House Majority Leader Jeff Alexander, Utah House Minority Leader Ralph Becker, Utah Democratic Party Chair Wayne Holland, Utah Republican Party Chair Joe Cannon.

The Utah delegation will meet with their New Mexico counterparts to discuss the Western Primary and immigration issues.

The Utah delegation will depart Santa Fe in the afternoon.

These two events could come together in a way that would turn conventional wisdom about presidential primaries on it's head.

I'm a big fan of some the Western Strategy: straight talk, bold action, populist, and authentic. In short, four qualities we were missing in 2004.

Could a western primary help bridge this gap? What about the talk of a western 2008 Democratic National Convention? What about both?

Posted at 04:38 PM in 2008 Election - President, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Utah | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Dems 2008: Governor Brian Schweitzer

Posted by Bob Brigham

As Bowers noted, I showed Governor Schweitzer the MyDD straw poll on Tuesday. He said people who voted for him were "smoking pinecones."

Yet in the first 1,000 votes, Schweitzer did better than Biden, Bayh, and Vilsack -- combined.

This talk had better come to an abrupt end before we run out of pinecones.

Posted at 04:54 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, Montana | Comments (3) | Technorati

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Dems 2008: DLC Scandal Dogs HRC in WaPo

Posted by Bob Brigham

Hillary clinton al from dlc democratic leadership council Right now, there is amazing organizing going on in OH-02, preparation for Tuesday's Special Election. But the Democratic Leadership Council has been suspiciously absent. They met just 2 hours away and people asked and asked for DLC'ers to come and help -- but they were to busy with their cocktail coronations.

This is an important lesson for politicians. The DLC is fundamentally unable to deliver in a post McCain-Feingold world -- they are too lazy to walk and too few create a scalable fundraising system. Yet look what you can do by staying true and raising money $50 a head online. And choosing the DLC over the netroots comes with a price, like this Washington Post story:

The most pointed critique of Clinton came in one of the most influential blogs on the left, Daily Kos out of Berkeley, Calif., which called Clinton's speech "truly disappointing" and said she should not provide cover for an organization that often has instigated conflict within the party.

"If she wanted to give a speech to a centrist organization truly interested in bringing the various factions of the party together, she could've worked with NDN," the blog said in a reference to the New Democrat Network, with which Daily Kos's Markos Moulitsas is associated. "Instead, she plans on working with the DLC to come up with some common party message yadda yadda yadda. Well, that effort is dead on arrival. The DLC is not a credible vehicle for such an effort. Period."

Anyone who supports the DLC is fair game, even Hillary. And Hillary fucked up big time with Democrats:

Roger Hickey, co-director of the liberal Campaign for America's Future, said Clinton had badly miscalculated the current politics inside the Democratic Party and argued that she could pay a price for her DLC association if she runs for president in 2008.

"There has been an activist resurgence in the Democratic Party in recent years, and Hillary risks ensuring that there's a candidate to her left appealing to those activists who don't much like the DLC," he said.

Not only is Hillary losing netroots and grassroots support by aligning herself with Al From and the DLC, but she is failing to change the dynamics.

If there were a text-book, Hillary Clinton would be breaking every rule.

Oh wait, there is a text-book. By cognitive scientist George Lakoff, and yes, Hillary is doing everything wrong. Total FUBAR.

Don't think of Al From:

Fallacy: Progressives can gain more voters by moving to the Right.

There is a myth that voters are lined up in a left-to-right line, and that to gain the support of swing voters, you must move to the center. When progressives move to the right, they lose in two ways, setting up a self-defeating double-whammy:

1. Moving to the right alienates your progressive base.

2. It actually helps conservatives because it activates their model in swing voters.

Notice that conservatives do not gain more voters by moving to the Left. What they do is stick to their strict ideology to activate their model in swing voters by being clear and consistent in policies and messages framed in terms of conservative values.

Moral: Voters are not on a left-to-right line. Stick with your ideals, frame what you believe effectively, and say what you believe. Say it well, strongly, and with moral conviction.

Did you get that, the DLC model is what cognitive scientists call a fallacy.

Clinton is getting really bad advice from Al From and her handlers. One week ago she was a Senator and the beloved former First Lady. Now she is just another member of the Democratic Losers Club trying desperately not to offend anyone on the right.

Clinton's DLC membership is sinking her potential. It is sad to watch.

Steve Gilliard has more on the Hillary's political insticts failing her.

Posted at 10:57 AM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, 2008 President - Democrats, Democrats, Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

Friday, July 22, 2005

DLC and the Political 11th Commandment

Posted by Bob Brigham

Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment was, "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican." Reagan understood that it was counter-productive to triangulate against members of one's own Party.

This cap is lifted when a Democrat triangulates against fellow Democrats. Associating with the DLC, lifts the cap. The DLC is only relevant to the extent they attack Democrats, water-down message, and break solidarity. Smart politicians are fleeing the DLC but those who remain are fair game.

Kos says:

Three presidential contenders are trekking to the DLC's annual conference in Ohio, giving the organization a boost of legitimacy at a time when it faces increasing irrelevance in the political scene.

Evan Bayh, Hillary Clinton, and Tom Vilsack are all dutifully trecking to Ohio to worship at the altar of the "vital center" -- that elusive moving target that has conspired to rob Democrats of all conviction. Every time you hear a Democrat talk about how Democrats don't stand for anything? That's the DLC, as they urge Democrats to chase after a "center" that gets constantly redefined rightward by an ideologically principled Republican party.

As we strive to find our core convictions, and define who we are and what we stand for as a party, the DLC is one of the roadblocks -- a divisive, fundamentalist organization willing to sell any and all progressive ideals to the altar of big business. And anything that threatens their dominance has met with their ire -- be it Howard Dean, the netroots, or regular people suddenly interested in transforming and reforming the Democratic Party.

Democrats have a choice to make -- stand with the DLC, or stand with the grassroots and netroots of the party.
(emphasis mine)

Remember what wrote last month...

The DLC is in debt for the hatchet job against (now DNC Chairman) Howard Dean and in 2007 the bill will come due. Under the turnabout is fair play rule this is certainly valid and the score will not only be settled, but settled with interest. Bayh, Vilsack, Clinton...it doesn't really matter who, for the result is the same when one lies down with dogs.

As Kos continues:

It's interesting that Democrats with a strong sense of self -- those who truly know what they stand for and are unafraid to say so -- are those least interested in the DLC's snake oil. Obama twice had to demand the DLC take him off their list. California's Phil Angelides -- the next governor of the Golden State given Ahnold's spectacular collapse -- also demanded to be taken off their list. Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, who's anti-war floor speech made the internet rounds last year, also demanded to be taken off their list. Western Democrats in Montana -- blood red territory -- have shown no interest in cozying up with the DLC.

The choice seems clear.

Posted at 01:48 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, Democrats, Netroots | Comments (3) | Technorati

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Democrats Winning Star Wars Metaphors

Posted by Bob Brigham

From a Press Release:

DAGOBAH (AP) - At an impromptu news conference held in front of his hut, Yoda, the famed Jedi Master, formally announced he would seek the Democratic nomination for the Presidency in 2008.

"Disbanded the Jedi Council young Skywalker has. Find new work I must," joked Master Yoda.

Master Yoda has hundreds of years of experience as a Jedi Master. Already, Master Yoda has received key endorsements from Senators Bail Organa (D-Alderaan) and Mon Mothma (D-Chandrila), who compared tactics the current Bush administration uses to undermine civil liberties to those of Emperor Palpatine.

Posted at 04:14 PM in 2008 Election - President, Nuclear Option | Technorati

Monday, May 09, 2005

VA-Gov: Kaine Supporters' Misguided Agenda

Posted by Bob Brigham

I was reading a misguided praise for the DLC because Blair didn't do that much worse than expected, when I stumbled across something that told me my gut was right in rejecting Tim Kaine. Don't get me wrong, I understand you campaign for the state you're running in, but there is an important difference between that and running a triangulation campaign against Democrats as part of a scheme to let the extreme right-wing take over the Democratic Party as they have the GOP. From Raising Kaine:

First we create a New Centrist Democrat success model in Virginia, then we extend it to the rest of America in 2008.

Now I don't feel bad at all about checking Kaine when he's been out of line. Like here, here, and here. Who says blogs don't influence who people support in elections, this blog post has convinced me that the Kaine supporters are more concerned about the long-term message implications of running a rightwinger for the Democrats -- so I shall be equally concerned.

Posted at 12:40 AM in 2005 Elections, 2008 Election - President, Democrats, Netroots, Virginia | Technorati

Friday, April 29, 2005

2008 President: Insider's Choices for Nominees

Posted by Bob Brigham

Via, MyDD, Political Wire has the scoop:

A National Journal poll to be released tomorrow of "congressional and political insiders" finds Sen. George Allen (R-VA) ranked first among 2008 GOP presidential candidates and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) ranked first among Democrats. Each of 215 insiders were asked to rank their top five choices.

Democratic Party
388 pts - Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY)
192 pts - former Senator John Edwards
166 pts - Governor Mark Warner (D-VA)
125 pts - Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN)
90 pts - Senator John Kerry (D-MA)

Republican Party
229 pts - Senator George Allen (R-VA)
217 pts - Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
184 pts - Senator Bill Frist (R-TN)
127 pts - former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani
109 pts - Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA)

What do the insiders know?

I'm still waiting to see if the Democrats will get behind a pro-choice, red-state Governor, who says what he means and means what he says. Bonus points for a western state candidate, double bonus points for speaking Arabic. Triple bonus points for a dog named Jag.

Or I guess we could let the insiders settle on Hillary.

Posted at 01:09 AM in 2008 Election - President | Comments (3) | Technorati

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

08-Dem: Governor Brian Schweitzer for Campaign Manager

Posted by Bob Brigham

While Kos wants Schweitzer for President, I'd be happy to have him manage the campaign. In a must read Salon interview, Montana's Governor Brian Schweitzer offers the following advice:

And how do you persuade the most conservative voters -- the ones for whom abortion and gay marriage are be-all, end-all issues -- that they should think about education and healthcare as important "moral values" too?

The most conservative voters? The beauty is that I only need about 50 percent to win. The most conservative voters will not even give me a shot. I don't need 100 percent of the vote. Just do the right thing, for God's sake. And if that means I'm only going to be governor for the next three and a half years, so be it. Just tell 'em who are you are, tell 'em what you believe in, and tell 'em in a way that they're gonna believe you.

Schweitzer on standing up:

"You know who the most successful Democrats have been through history?" he asks. "Democrats who've led with their hearts, not their heads. Harry Truman, he led with his heart. Jack Kennedy led with his heart. Bill Clinton, well, he led with his heart, but it dropped about 2 feet lower in his anatomy later on.

"We are the folks who represent the families. Talk like you care. Act like you care. When you're talking about issues that touch families, it's OK to make it look like you care. It's OK to have policies that demonstrate that you'll make their lives better -- and talk about it in a way that they understand. Too many Democrats -- the policy's just fine, but they can't talk about it in a way that anybody else understands."

That sounds like a not-so-veiled criticism of John Kerry.

Oh, Washington, D.C. The problem is, they get to Washington, they drink that water, they get Washington-speak. This is not a criticism of John Kerry. It's the reason that people keep saying, "Oh, [the next Democratic president is] likely to be a governor." It's because governors are faced with this all the time: Their language has to be the language that is clear enough for Joe or Mary Six-Pack to understand. When you speak on the Senate floor or on the House floor or in a Cabinet meeting, you don't even have to use the words that we use. It's a new language -- you know, "budget reconciliation, blah blah blah blah."

No. When you're out visiting with folks in a way that touches their heart, you tell them, "We're going to find the money to do the right thing." Well, when a senator stands on the Senate floor, it'd take him two hours to explain that.

It isn't about policy stances:

You need to have good solid policy -- that's important. But you've got to touch people. They've got to know you; they've got to know that you believe in what you're saying. And that's probably more important when people vote than your policies. Because how the hell are they going to raise their families, maybe work two jobs, go hunting on the weekend, bowl and drink beer with the boys on Tuesday night, and still have enough time to figure out who's telling the truth about the budget, about healthcare, about education?

So it's about the candidate himself -- about coming across as authentic and as someone voters will say is "one of us"?

They look up there and say, "That guy's a straight shooter. If I wasn't so busy bowling and working and fishing, and if I had time to spend on these issues, I bet I'd come to the same conclusions that that guy would. But it's a good thing that he's doing all that studying and stuff, because I'm busy fishing and bowling."

On consultants:

What happened was -- consultants. "Oh, this issue, that issue, some other issue." They're all talking about the issues. And I just kept pushing them in the Senate race: "Why don't we just run the gun ad and nothing else?" And they said, "No, no we've got all these issues."

So this time around, when we started shooting ads, they had some polling data, and they knew what pushed the buttons of the people in Montana. And I said, "No. This is the way this campaign is going to work: The more times that we run ads with me on a horse or carrying a gun -- it's better if I'm doing both -- the more likely it is that we'll call me a governor at the end of the day. Because what those ads said is, "I'm a real Montanan."

Talk is cheap...

A whole lot of it's visual. I heard somebody say, very early in the last presidential campaign, that they turned the volume off on their television and just watched the two candidates, and they said, "Bush is going to win." You know, when Bush walked in the room, he'd say, "Oh, hey, how ya doin' there?" giving somebody a high-five right there, giving somebody a thumbs up. When Kerry walked in, he found his way to the podium, and he described in painful detail -- with big words, in a strong way -- all the things that he was going to make right for the American people. [...]

Look, I started this out by saying that Democrats can win if they lead with their hearts. Let people feel you! Don't try to verbalize. Let them feel you first. If you're not a passionate person -- I happen to be. If I'm for something, you're gonna know it pretty quick. And if I'm agin it, you're gonna know it too. I'm straight about those things. Some people can't do that. Maybe they've had a lot of time in politics, or they're lawyers, or it's just their makeup. And they have all these highfalutin pollsters and media people, and they say, "Well, there's this demographic that kind of bleeds into this demographic, and you don't want to lose these over here because you were on this." I don't believe any of it. I think most people will support you if they know that you'll stand your ground.

Even if they don't stand on the same ground?

That's right.

On electability:

And then it was "electability." Democrats were thinking, "Oh gosh, we've just got to win. Let's get somebody that's electable." And they thought, "This guy Kerry, he's a smart guy, a senator; he served in the war, so they can't ding him for that; he voted for the war." So they started making it into a thinking thing rather than using the heart. Now, Kerry may have been the best candidate, but he wasn't selected because he was the best candidate from the heart. He was selected because in Iowa and New Hampshire people intellectualized it. They said -- and remember, this wasn't Joe and Mary Six-Pack making this decision -- "I love Howard Dean, but I think I'll marry John Kerry because Mom and Dad are going to like him better."

Schweitzer's first 100 days in office were a huge success. If we don't let the DLC water down our populist message, this can be the playbook for historic wins across the west during the 2006 backlash.

Posted at 01:05 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, Democrats | Technorati

Thursday, April 14, 2005

2008 President: Ask Dr. Bill Frist

Posted by Bob Brigham

If you are interested in more information on the 2008 Presidential bid of Senator Bill Frist, I recommend you visit Ask Doctor Frist.

Thanks Atrios!

Posted at 11:04 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Republicans | Technorati

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Senator Hillary Clinton presidential ambitions attacked

Posted by Bob Brigham

The problem with being the early mainstream media frontrunner for the 2008 Democratic Party presidential nomination is that everyone wants to tear you down. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton will certainly understand this dynamic in the coming years.

From the AP:

ALBANY, N.Y. - Claiming Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is running for the White House, New York's GOP chairman has kicked off a national "STOP HILLARY NOW!" fund-raising effort to thwart her 2006 Senate re-election bid.

"Stopping Hillary Rodham Clinton is the most important thing you and I can do as Republicans in the next two years," says the fund-raising appeal sent out by Stephen Minarik. "You could say it's our duty as Republicans."

Minarik's fund-raising letter, dated Friday, promises a Republican "truth squad" that will "monitor Hillary's appearances and expose her lies."

While Minarik has sent out similar missives to New York Republicans, Friday's appeal — a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press — is his first to the potentially more lucrative national anti-Clinton audience.

Clinton, who has said she is not looking beyond her Senate re-election effort, has countered with fund-raising appeals of her own, including a March 31 e-mail warning supporters she is "the No. 1 target for the right-wing attack machine."

And now this from drudge:

The project being billed as "Hillary in the Raw", like you've never seen her before, is set to drop in September by liberal Ed Klein, former NYT MAGAZINE editor, VANITY FAIR, PARADE contributor and author of multiple works on the Kennedys.

"The revelations in it should sink her candidacy," a source close to Klein warns the DRUDGE REPORT.


Last week, Clinton stalwart Ann Lewis fired off an email to supporters warning of the 'Swift Boat' tactics coming against the former first lady turned senator.

Now the coming sales pitch for ' THE TRUTH ABOUT HILLARY What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She’ll Go to Become President' reads: 'Just as the swift boat veterans convinced millions of voters that John Kerry lacked the character to be president, Klein’s book will influence everyone who is sizing up the character of Hillary Clinton...

'Despite more than a dozen years in the national spotlight and more than a dozen unauthorized books about her, she has managed to keep many secrets from the public -- especially about her turbulent marriage and its impact on her career. There have been plenty of rumors about what Hillary and Bill Clinton did behind closed doors, but never a definitive book that exposes the truth. Bestselling author Edward Klein draws on rare access to inside sources to reveal what Hillary knew and when she knew it during her years as first lady. Klein’s book, embargoed until publication, will break news about the choices and calculations she has made over the years.'

Yes, the 2008 presidential campaign has already begun.

Posted at 08:45 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, New York | Comments (1) | Technorati

Schweitzer for President?

Posted by Bob Brigham

Opinion Journal

Not only had the citizens of the nation's fourth largest state elected a Democratic candidate as governor for the first time in 20 years, they'd also rolled back GOP dominance to a 50-50 split in the state House, taken a 27-23 majority in the Senate, filled virtually every position of real authority in the state's higher offices with Democrats, and defeated referendums on re-allowing cyanide leaching in mining (despite millions of dollars of industry lobbying money promoting the idea) while approving of the medical use of marijuana. [...]

Red, blue or purple--color-coding Montana's patterns of voting is just too simplistic, and Brian Schweitzer fits the non-conformist mold to a T. A prosperous farmer/rancher from the area of Whitefish in the tony Flathead Valley country, Mr. Schweitzer cultivates a well-spoken, gun-owning, dog-loving, native-ritual-doing, shot-of-whiskey-drinking true-west style somewhere between that of Jeanette Rankin (a famously antiwar liberal Republican elected to the U.S. Congress before women's suffrage was passed) and Mike Mansfield (the conservative Democrat senator and former ambassador to Japan whose voting record, taken as a whole, was more liberal than that of George McGovern).

Schweitzer for President?

How all this sorts itself out over the short term is anybody's guess, but Mount St. Schweitzer is certainly stirring things up--from driving himself around the state with his pet dog, Jag, to flying the tribal flags of the seven Native American Indian reservations in Montana in rotation above the rotunda in the capital, a unique symbol of the governor's maverick streak.

That streak came to the fore at the annual state governors' meeting at the White House, where Mr. Schweitzer upbraided both President Bush and Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt. He likened the president to a bad cattle auctioneer and Mr. Leavitt to a cowpoke "riding for the brand." National Democrats swooned at the audacity of the freshman governor from the Mountain West. And some even started to whisper a number: 2008.

Tribal flags at the White House? There's always a first time.

UPDATE: Find out more about the story behind:


Posted at 12:52 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, Montana | Comments (2) | Technorati

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Lord have mercy on the Democratic Party

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the Sioux Falls Argus Leader:

Did Daschle give a campaign speech?

They came to Vermillion on Tuesday to praise Tom Daschle, but after he spoke, it seemed clear this was not his political eulogy.

Many of the nearly 1,000 people who heard the former senator at the Farber Forum thought his remarks sounded like a campaign speech. [...]

Daschle staffers have said he does not miss the Senate, so people shouldn’t anticipate another bid for that job. Others suggested his address sounded like a presidential campaign speech.

For some reason, disgraced Democrats have a personal need to be publically thrashed in the Democratic Party presidential nomination process. Last time it was Lieberman who needed to be taught that his failed tactics of old have no place in post-modern politics. Next time, it looks like Tom Daschle is begging to be taught the same lesson.

A Dakota Democrat who can't even win his own state? At least we'll have some comic relief in the 2008 presidential primaries.

Posted at 03:22 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats | Technorati

Monday, April 04, 2005

Feingold raising money

Posted by Bob Brigham

Associated Press:

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, whose name has become synonymous with campaign finance reform, is raising both his profile and thousands of dollars with his new leadership political action committee.

Feingold, D-Wis., is using the PAC to fund political travel, like his high-profile trip to Alabama last week, and to make contributions to fellow Democrats as he tries to help the party regain the Senate next year.

The PAC, the Progressive Patriots Fund, is also likely to pay political dividends for Feingold, especially if he decides to run for president in 2008, as some are urging him to do. The travel is getting him exposure among voters and media outside Wisconsin, and the PAC's contributions will earn him gratitude from influential Democrats.

"After the election, I got a tremendous amount of input from people saying, 'How do we turn this thing around in the Senate, the House and the presidency,' and asking me to help," Feingold said in a telephone interview. "So this is an opportunity where you can have a fund that allows you to do that sort of thing."

I took a look at Feingold's first blog post and Tim has gone in-depth here and here. We will be following the 2008 Presidential Election with info on Democratic nomination and Republican nomination.

Posted at 03:04 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, Wisconsin | Comments (1) | Technorati

Anti-Sam Brownback

Posted by Bob Brigham

In the comments, our friend KansasNate gives us a heads-up about his new blog, which is dedicated, "to the Savaging of Sam Brownback" (R-KS).

The Anti-Sam

Posted at 02:27 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Republicans, Activism | Comments (1) | Technorati

Sunday, April 03, 2005

2008 Presidential Campaign

Posted by Bob Brigham


WASHINGTON - Politicians invariably answer the question about presidential ambitions by saying it's too early. Or they're too busy to be thinking about running. Or they're too focused on being re-elected senator or House member or governor. Don't believe them.

While sidestepping the question, they're often hiring consultants and visiting places like Iowa and New Hampshire.

No one has announced his or her candidacy for the White House in 2008, but there's plenty of speculation about who might run. Of course, no potential presidential candidates let on that they're after the top job. [...]

Some politicians don't bother to try to quash rumors that they might run.

"One of the issues is whether saying that you're in the running for the White House compromises your current position," said political scientist Charles Franklin of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "For some, it doesn't matter."

So, for example, when Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., was asked by a TV reporter early this year if he would "rule out" running for president in 2008, he responded, "Why rule it out?"

So who is running for President in 2008?

It is hard to tell, but we might as well start keeping score. Here are some names I've heard, please add in the comments anyone who should be included who I've left out. Since we have around 1,000 days until most people start paying attention, we'll have plenty of time to examine them all.

2008 Presidential candidates - Democrats;

  • Evan Bayh
  • Joe Biden
  • Barbara Boxer
  • Wesley Clark
  • Hillary Clinton
  • John Edwards
  • Russ Feingold
  • Al Gore
  • John Kerry
  • Gavin Newsom
  • Barack Obama
  • Bill Richardson
  • Brian Schweitzer
  • Tom Vilsack
  • Mark Warner

2008 Presidential candidates - Republicans:

  • George Allen
  • Haley Barbour
  • Jeb Bush
  • Dick Cheney
  • Bill Frist
  • Newt Gingrich
  • Rudy Giuliani
  • Mike Huckabee
  • Chuck Hagel
  • John McCain
  • Bill Owens
  • George Pataki
  • Condoleezza Rice
  • Mitt Romney
  • Rich Santorum
  • Randall Terry

Posted at 03:13 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, 2008 President - Republicans | Comments (4) | Technorati

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Russ Feingold, Alabama kiss and make up

Posted by Bob Brigham

Feingold made up with Greenville.

Tim has more on Feingold for President, 2008.

Posted at 10:51 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, Alabama, Wisconsin | Comments (2) | Technorati

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Push to Revoke Frist's Medical License

Posted by Bob Brigham

They play hardball at the Liberal Oasis:

You may recall that last December, LiberalOasis encouraged readers to contact the Nashville Academy of Medicine and request that Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist have his medical license revoked.

That was because he violated the AMA Code of Medical Ethics by spreading misinformation about HIV transmission and condom use.

Now once again, he has violated his pledge to be honest in all professional interactions, advance scientific knowledge and maintain a commitment to medical education by claiming to make a superior diagnosis than Terri Schiavos doctors by watching a few video clips.

Since LOs earlier Frist post, LO has obtained the official Nashville Academy of Medicine grievance form from the academys executive director.

To file an ethics complaint, download the form, follow the directions, have it notarized, and return it to the address at the bottom of the form.

Feel free to roll all of Frist's ethical violations into one comprehensive complaint.

Posted at 02:37 PM in 2008 Election - President, Activism, Tennessee | Technorati

Monday, March 21, 2005

GOP Overextended

Posted by Bob Brigham

New Polling Numbers:

New polling numbers on the Schiavo case have been released by ABC News. Here are some highlights:

- 70% of Americans say it is inappropriate for Congress to involve itself in the Schiavo case.

- 67% of Americans “think the elected officials trying to keep Schiavo alive are doing so more for political advantage than out of concern for her or for the principles involved.” (Just 19% believe the elected officials are acting out of concern for her or their principles.)

- 58% of Republicans, 61% of independents and 63% of Democrats oppose federal government intervention in the case.

- 50% of evangelicals oppose federal government intervention in the case, just 44% approve of the intervention.

- 63% of Catholics and a plurality of evangelicals believe Schiavo’s feeding tube should be removed.

Posted at 03:05 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Republicans | Comments (1) | Technorati

Monday, March 14, 2005

Gavin Newsom wins on Gay Marriage

Posted by Bob Brigham

SF Chronicle:

A judge ruled Monday that California can no longer justify limiting marriage to a man and a woman, a legal milestone that if upheld on appeal would pave the way for the nation's most populous state to follow Massachusetts in allowing same-sex couples to wed. In an opinion that had been awaited because of San Francisco's historical role as a gay rights battleground, San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer said that withholding marriage licenses from gays and lesbians is unconstitutional.

"It appears that no rational purpose exists for limiting marriage in this state to opposite-sex partners," Kramer wrote.

Eric Jaye, Newsom's political consultant, has an important strategy memo on Gay Marriage that I posted earlier. Big day for Newsom.

Posted at 03:46 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, Activism, California | Technorati

West Coast Offense

Posted by Bob Brigham

The thing about leadership is that, inherently, you must be a leader. Unfortunately, the poll-hacks think there is a magic formula of stances that equals victory. Total horse-shit.

To lead requires standing up for beliefs, not backing down…running and hiding.

Polls don’t tell us what issues to choose, they tell us how well we are doing in the fight for each issue. If an issue Democrats care about polls poorly, it means our leaders aren’t leading enough -- we aren’t doing a good enough job. Leaders drive polls, they don’t follow.

But, before a voter looks at any issue, they will decide whether or not they respect the politician. Poll-driven candidates appear shallow. People respect action, people respect leaders who stand-up and fight for their values. Even if people disagree, they will still respect the politician. Cowards are the doormats of post-modern politics.

Gavin Newsom showed us how a Democrat can grab a difficult issue by the horns and fight.

Friday, Eric Jaye (Newsom’s political consultant), published an important piece in the subscription-only Hotline.

Here’s what he had to say:

A Democratic Strategy on Gay Marriage
by Eric Jaye
Last year the Democrats had numerous opportunities to stand on principle -- and in doing so show they had the courage to stand for something. No opportunity was greater than the raging debate over gay marriage.

Facing an evenly divided electorate, Republican strategists surmised that victory in 2004 lay in driving turnout among their base voters. That's why they placed attacks on gay marriage on state ballots in swing states. They believed that such a debate would drive turnout, particularly among low-turnout Christian evangelical voters.

What did the Democrats do? By and large they ducked, with poll-crafted drivel that made them seem like typical politicians, not courageous leaders.

Most voters do not yet support gay marriage - although support for equal matrimonial rights has risen dramatically in the past decade. Polls show a sharp generational divide, with the majority of voters under 40 in support of gay marriage and the majority of voters over 60 strongly opposed.

But in this day and age, most swing voters reserve more venom for vacillating politicians than they do for two gay people deciding to adopt the bourgeois convention of lifetime commitment and matrimony.

It is this disdain for vacillating politicians that allows President George Bush to take so many controversial stands yet still win elections for himself and his party. It's called leadership and voters reward it.

On a woman's right to choice, Iraq, environmental protection, outsourcing and Social Security - Bush is 'wrong' from a pollsters' perspective. Yet, why does he still seem so right to so many voters?

Bush wins by being "wrong" because his controversial positions resonate as authentic. American voters don't agree with him on key issues -- but they tend to believe he "stands up for what he believes." In a political landscape in which character matters more than ideology, Bush wins by seeming "real" to voters.

So while Bush seems authentic at the very moment he is pursuing a political ploy to excite his right-wing base - Democrats seem weak and untrustworthy - not just to their base supporters, but to the broad mass of swing voters.

With a few exceptions, most Democrats simply lack credibility when they say they oppose gay marriage. We have the honor of belonging to a party that has been on the forefront of the civil rights movement for more than 50 years. Most voters, in most states, expect us to stand for civil rights - even when these very same voters are taking a go-slow approach.

So who do we think we are fooling when we mumble finely nuanced positions on gay marriage? The truth is we are only fooling ourselves.

We have now survived an entire generation of poll-tested politicians and incremental politics. Finely crafted "agreement" messages, once an innovation, are now an invitation to ridicule. Not just late at night on television, but at almost any hour, we can all enjoy a good laugh at the expense of a politician who is merely reading from a poll-tested script.

So what's the right answer when Democrats are asked, "Do you support gay marriage?" The right answer, in almost every case, is the truth. And in most cases, the truth is "Yes."

First and foremost - by saying "Yes" we are standing for something, even when the majority of voters don't yet support our position. And telling the truth makes us sound like real people, not like robo politicians. But more than this - by saying "Yes" we can seize political terrain that allows us to drive the debate, not duck it.

And we are finding that when we take the offensive on the issue of gay rights and gay marriage, we can make real progress. At the very least, we have a fighting chance when we stop ducking the issue of gay rights and start debating it with clear and concise language.

Along with a team of top-notch consultants, we worked on the successful campaign in 2004 to repeal Article 12 of the Cincinnati City Charter, which allowed discrimination against lesbian and gays. Just this month we helped defeat the Topeka City Question in Topeka, Kansas that would have allowed discrimination against gays. Both campaigns were played out in the context over the debate on gay marriage.

Last year, as former consultants to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, we were closely involved in presenting the "winter of love" gay marriages to the public. We were also part of the unsuccessful effort in Oregon in 2004 to defeat the attack on gay marriage.

We took away from those successes, and that failure, the belief that when it comes to gay marriage the simple truth is better than a complicated lie.

But more than that - in the long run we can't win if we don't debate. And let's not fool ourselves, this debate is not going away. The Republicans put it on the agenda, and they will keep it there, particularly so long as we refuse to even articulate our own position.

Cautious Democrats should face the fact that no position on gay marriage is the weakest possible stance. Silence is read as support for gay marriage. And your silence is seen as political at best, cowardice at worst. As a party, we might not have chosen this fight. But it is here. Unilateral surrender is not a workable strategy.

And to my fellow consultants I would offer this hard-learned lesson. Anti-gay marriage amendments are being fought on the basis of gay marriage -- not some "hidden flaw" or "costly consequence." These measures are not analogous to some down-ballot initiative that we can define. Voters know what they are about -- gay marriage.

In California, we found during the San Francisco gay marriage insurrection that support for gay marriage increased slightly across the state, and support for civil unions increased dramatically, after we captured the airwaves with images of couples who were absolutely unremarkable in any way other than in their desire to profess life-long love and responsibility for each other.

First in Cincinnati, and then in Topeka, we won campaigns against discrimination in part by seizing the language of morality, rather than ceding it to our opponents.

We crafted mail pieces entitled "Not Just on Sunday," and "Daily Bread," that took up the language of the Lord's Prayer in defense of tolerance and equal rights every day.

We didn't hide from the issue. We didn't run from the moral debate. We embraced it - and won. Democrats around the country have nothing to lose, and so much to gain, from doing likewise.

Posted at 06:42 AM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, Activism | Technorati

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Senator Feingold

Posted by Bob Brigham

As featured on CNN's Inside Politics, Senator Russ Feingold posted on MyDD today.

Senator Feingold cross-posted on DailyKos, I especially like what he wrote in his Tip Jar comment (yes, he had a Tip Jar comment):


to everyone who has taken time out today to read my first blog and post a message. It is a great experience to enter into this new avenue of democracy. I think there are some excellent points being made on both mydd and dailykos.

Today, I have been splitting my time between the floor debate and votes on the (horrible) Bankruptcy Bill and an all day Budget Committee mark-up on the (irresponsible) 2006 Budget Resolution, so I will not be able to respond to each comment. But I have been trying to keep up with the messages posted today in response to my diary. I am grateful for all the thoughtful responses ranging from the proper use of toasters to some serious constitutional questions.

In particular, I think the discussion about the definition of "blogger" is particularly interesting. It is really helpful to me to read the comments of people who know a lot more than I do about blogging. I value the input.

As a senator from Wisconsin, I visit each one of Wisconsin's 72 counties every year and hold a town hall meeting or "Listening Session." I've done over 800 of them up to now, and this has been a great help in my work. I hope this discussion today will be the beginning of another way for me to listen to people's views and do my best to be an effective U.S. Senator.

I can assure everyone that while this may have been my first endeavor into the blogging community, it will not be my last. Again, thanks for your views.

I tipped him. But he already had Trusted User Status...

The post-modern era is flourishing.

Posted at 05:28 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, Netroots, Wisconsin | Technorati

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Senator Feingold Interview

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Is done...

Well, it turns out that I am second-to-last blogger to ask a question; chances are anything I have thought out will have been covered at that point. That's fine--I am just happy to be there. So. . .

Put your questions/comments in this entry. I will keep the screen open while the Q&A is going on, crossing off questions as we move along. If something is left by my turn, I will fire it out there.

Also, feel free to trackback people from your sites--I will do my best to blog the exchange as it happens, just like we did with Donnie Fowler's interview.

Overview: The first question I asked was about veterans and "supporting the troops." I got so pissed while thinking about 250,000 vets a year waiting in line for care, people I know personally who have died in Iraq, and Republicans waving their purple fingers at the SOTU, that I stuttered and stammered through the whole question.

The second question I asked was about the Senator's quote in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

"If at some point people say, 'Hey, we think you ought to run for president' (and) it's a serious thing, I'm going to listen. I would only run if I honestly believed that I was the guy that really could win, that I was the person who was the best candidate to run"

That one, I managed to get out without making myself sound like a smitten fifth grader. Extended entry...

5:52 P.M.

I am about to call in right now. I am a bit frustrated because on Tuesday night where I work--there is Irish dancing classes that go on upstairs. It sounds like a train is running through the building. I hope the conference is taken on mute for all callers, otherwise I will have to go outside to my car and take the call. If that happens, I will post a full update when its over.

6:02 P.M.

Gotta take the call outside. Will update when it's over. Sorry folks.

7:05 P.M. (Recap)

Right off the bat we got into 2008. Markos asked about other potential candidates for president wooing Washington insiders to bolster future runs.

The Senator countered with a refrain he repeated throughout the Q&A. Locking down insiders right now is a losing strategy. We don't even know what the world is going to look like in two years and it would almost be irresponsible (my word) to make a decision on 2008 right now, and start agressively moving towards it.

I gotta be honest--I had to take the conversation in my car (not running), so I was freezing and not able to take many notes. However, I think detailing the following is important:

He acknowledged a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party is taking place. He stressed that if there is a WINNER of that battle, and we divide ourselves in the process, the party is in trouble. I agree, sort of...

In my mind, Tim Roemer has little place in the future of "my" Democratic Party. See Mercatus. Congressmen like Martin Frost who run television ads claiming their Republican opponent isn't Republican enough. . . Umm, not palatable to me either. I understand that in some areas of the country you gotta do what you gotta do to win. But there is a line where personal principles have gotta come to the fore--and "Who supported President Bush?" "Speaker Hastert, and Martin Frost" "Kay Hutchinson and Martin Frost." Umm, no thanks.

But I think what most of SSP readers want to know is whether or not we got any clues as to whether or not Feingold is running in 2008. I came away from the interview unsure. It is obvious that he is seriously thinking about; waiting to see how things play out in D.C. and across the country before comitting to anything.

Were it Final Jeopardy, I would guess that he will be the progressive option on the ballot in Iowa, New Hampshire, or whatever states come first in the next cycle.

At the end of the interview, Chris Bowers asked him whether or not he was aware that in most online polls for 2008, he leads--almost exclusively.

Hopefully that translates at some point into him realizing that people are saying, "Hey, we think you ought to run for president."

Cause he "oughta."


Posted at 03:00 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, Activism, General, Wisconsin | Technorati

Monday, February 07, 2005

Russ Feingold Interview

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Tomorrow night, I, along with several other bloggers, have the opportunity to ask a question of Senator Russ Feingold. So I have decided to turn to SSP's readers; what question do you think I should ask? Whether it be an actual question, or a topic you would like to see asked about, drop a comment below.

Personally, I am inclined to support a Feingold candidacy if and when he decides to run. Whether it was the informal poll on Kos this weekend, or previous polls on MyDD, it appears I would have a lot of company.

In the interim, take a moment to read the senator's op-ed in today's Christian Science Monitor. Here is a brief snip I appreciated on engaging the Middle East through dialogue, diplomacy and aid, as opposed to the current short-sighted policies of the Bush Administration.

But if we want a less threatening future, we Americans need to get in the game, increase our diplomatic presence, listen to the people on the ground, and combine widespread, quick-impact development projects with long-term investments in fighting corruption and promoting the rule of law. This has to be done in Mali and across the developing world. Most of all, we need to stop thinking solely in terms of how the world will look next year, and start thinking about how it will look in 50 years [...]

It is time to plan again for a generational effort, to commit to a policy of engagement, and to plant a new crop of wisdom. The US must engage with Muslim communities, and offer tangible support to struggling nations.

Without that sustained, consistent effort, our talk of partnership in the fight against terrorism will be seen for what it is: an empty gesture, and an empty-handed one at that.

Posted at 11:15 AM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, Netroots | Comments (4) | Technorati

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Is Feingold the "Best Candidate to Win?"

Posted by Tim Tagaris

With almost four years to go until the next presidential election, I don’t know the answer to that. Apparently, neither does Senator Russ Feingold; but he is traveling the country to figure it out.

One of President Bush's most vocal opponents in the Senate is weighing a 2008 run for the presidency.

U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., told the Tiger Bay Club of Volusia County on Friday that he'll decide whether to run after "going around the country" working to return a Democrat to the White House.

Let's assume for a moment that the 2008 primary process will be the same. As a Midwesterner, Feingold would seem to be in good position to place well in the caucuses. He would probably even do better in New Hampshire a state that often favors the non-establishment "maverick-type" candidates. Chris Bowers spoke last month about Feingold's perception as an outsider:

Feingold is in an odd position. Even though he has won three terms in the US Senate, he actually is still known as a "reformer" and an "outsider," due in no small part to the constant repetition of the "McCain-Feingold" legislation in the national media.

I agree. The label of outsider is a well-deserved one for Feingold, and for more than just his role in the McCain/Feingold Campaign Finance Reform legislation.

As most people know by now, Senator Feingold was the lone voice of opposition to the USA PATRIOT Act. In his dissent a mere weeks after the unpopular vote (at the time), Feingold cited respect for the Constitution and protecting Arab Americans. He continued in the same speech:

The Founders who wrote our Constitution and Bill of Rights exercised that vigilance even though they had recently fought and won the Revolutionary War. They did not live in comfortable and easy times of hypothetical enemies. They wrote a Constitution of limited powers and an explicit Bill of Rights to protect liberty in times of war, as well as in times of peace.

There have been periods in our nation’s history when civil liberties have taken a back seat to what appeared at the time to be the legitimate exigencies of war.

Our national consciousness still bears the stain and the scars of those events: The Alien and Sedition Acts, the suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War, the internment of Japanese-Americans, German-Americans, and Italian-Americans during World War II, the blacklisting of supposed communist sympathizers during the McCarthy era, and the surveillance and harassment of antiwar protesters, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., during the Vietnam War. We must not allow these pieces of our past to become prologue.

It's the "straight talk express" v.2.0. In my mind, that is the most appealing aspect to a potential Feingold candidacy. His matter-of-fact style of speaking and positions on the issues is one that has the potential to cross over to the other side of the aisle. For the same reasons John McCain is popular, Russ Feingold would be equally as popular. What is ironic about that, is that while McCain truly is a bit of a moderate, Feingold actually represents to the positions pretty left on the political spectrum.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

How will this go over in the conservative South? I don't think very well; quite frankly, I think we win in the Midwest and West. Either way, Feingold is taking his show on the road, his first stop, "playing golf" in Alabama.

"On Nov. 2, I was fortunate enough to be elected by the people of Wisconsin to a third term in the U.S. Senate. Right after the election, I confess I immediately went looking for a warm place to golf. So I piled into a van with some friends in Milwaukee and drove from Wisconsin to Alabama."

Suffice to say, not everyone believes that the good Senator from Wisconsin traveled by van across the country to brush up on his short game.

Keep a lookout for Sen. Russ Feingold , the second half of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance duo, who just won a third term from Wisconsin voters. He's on a nationwide mission to test out his progressive message that's liberal on some issues, like universal healthcare, and conservative on others, like the deficit.

Fans think he can bridge the blue-state-red-state divide, making him not just a voice for a changing Democratic Party but a possible '08 presidential candidate. He's not the only one: Republicans are keeping an eye on Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney , who's on his own message tour.

So now the speculation is over--the Senator is the first candidate officially testing the waters for 2008. But can he win? First of all, we know that he will do quite well in the Midwest.

In Wisconsin, Feingold received more total votes than John Kerry, crushing his opponent in a state John Kerry carried by the slimmest of margins - 50% to 49%

2004 US Senate Results for Wisconsin:

Russ D. Feingold (D) 1,632,562 55%
Tim Michels (R) 1,301,305 44%
Other 14,977 1%

No question about it, Feingold has some serious support in the netroots/grassroots as well.

Whether it is was MyDD poll that had Feingold clearly leading the way before an orchestrated "freeping" by General Clark fans -- or an ever growing Feingold for President Yahoo Group -- there is a growing buzz.

But the grassroots is one thing, national support on a ballot is another. So far, "mainstream" America has not caught Feingold fever. An Ipsos-Public Affairs poll (Dec. 17-19, 2004. Nationwide) had Feingold placed 7th, with a mere 1% of the vote. Even the popular tradesports.com has listed Feingold as a potential candidate, but he isn't getting much love there either.

It's early, but the question is officially on the table: "Is Feingold the best candidate to win?"

For more on Senator Russ Feingold:

US Senate Website

Feingold on the Issues

2004 US Senate Campaign Site

Posted at 04:14 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, 2008 President - Democrats, Wisconsin | Comments (3) | Technorati

Feingold Offically Weighing Run

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Officially ending the speculation about the speculation.

U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., told the Tiger Bay Club of Volusia County [Florida] on Friday that he'll decide whether to run after "going around the country" working to return a Democrat to the White House.

More later (I am at work). For now, your thoughts on the article and/or a Feingold run?

Posted at 02:31 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats | Comments (3) | Technorati

Friday, January 21, 2005

The Small Blog as the Small Donor of 2006/2008

Posted by Tim Tagaris

You couldn't escape it. During the 2004 election cycle, Internet fundraising was all the rage. From Howard Dean's $40 million, DailyKos and ActBlue, to Terry McAuliffe receiving credit, some of it undeserved, for leveraging the small donor to pull even with GOP fundraising efforts.

That's great - for whatever the real reasons - the Democratic Party did a terrific job of using the Internet to raise money in small amounts as a counter to a traditional GOP advantage. But guess what? The Republican (Noise) Machine will learn, and we had best get ahead of the curve.

If the small donor was the phenomenon of the 2004 election cycle, the small blogger might very well be the next great hope for the Democrats.

The online financial contributions had implications for finance (and comm.) staffs working campaigns across the country. Leveraging the small blogger is predominantly a technological offshoot for traditional field programs (and comm). And as many of us know, the field organization is where is gets done in a grassroots effort. They are the group that will put in hours of tedious study to pull every last vote out of each precinct in a candidate's universe.

Much like everything else in the field plan, organizing the small blogger is laborious and requires a commitment often unmatched by other parts of traditional campaigns. The good news is, so much of netroots outreach crosses formerly compartmentalized groups within a campaign structure; so you can share the burden. What fun!

Let's begin.

If you listen to the pundits, why was the GOP finally able to effectively counter the Democrat's field operation? I have heard it a million times, you probably have as well, it was "the neighbor to neighbor strategy." Ken Mehlman and Karl Rove crafted a plan that had people convincing others in their communities to vote for President Bush. By most accounts, it worked terrifically.

We can accomplish the same thing using our netroots. The beautiful thing about this plan is that we have all the resources necessary to accomplish it without some sort of direction from the powers-that-be. But let's take it back into the campaign setting, because that is the reason I started writing this. Rest assured however, the blogosphere has every resource it needs to make this happen without direction.

Think about the characteristics of the small blog. Many of us run our own. You know the blog your friends, co-workers, and maybe your parents read? The same one you link to in your Kos diaries to boost your visibility? Yes, that one.

It's the blog that generally gets the same 15 people, most within same community you are targeting, reading it a few times a week/month. Maybe you see where I am heading now?

I propose that we take that personal neighbor to neighbor strategy and lead it in a technological direction.

Let's assume you are working on a campaign that has a very clear message. You are part of a functional effort that sends out consistent press releases, talking points, and uses the Internet to foster participation within your congressional district, legislative district, or even statewide.

Step 1: Start collecting each and every single blog that exists within the universe your campaign is operating in. Find them out, email them directly, then introduce yourself and your campaign.

Step 2: Give your supporters the tools to create their own blogs. And do it your website. Heck, it takes 3 minutes to start a blog - walk them through it on your homepage or get involved page. Get a volunteer in the office whose task it is to take people through it step by step over the phone if necessary.

Step 3: If a blog, even a small blog, asks for an interview, grant it! If it gets to be too much, then schedule a weekly/bi-weekly half hour conference call with all the bloggers who want to participate.

Step 4: Back to the press releases and talking points. Send them to bloggers. Send them in the same mass email that you are sending out to the traditional media outlets. Give them the same opportunity to ask questions of the campaign.

Step 5: Invite bloggers to attend your events, just like the press. Make your press conferences and events wi-fi when possible.

Step 6: Nurture the relationship. Rinse and repeat. Bloggers love the inside scoop before the newspapers can get it in print the next day or the news broadcasts it a few hours later

And this plan holds for medium sized blogs as well. The ones that candidates and their staffs would have never dared to enter before because there weren't enough ATM cards found on a consistent basis.

There are some great medium sized blogs out there on both sides of the aisle. There are quite a few of those smaller blogs that have HUGE POTENTIAL in the state I am working now; they include: Young Philly Politics and Philly Future. Pittsburgh Webloggers is also a great source.

The way that traditional communication directors compile lists of newspapers, reporters, journalists, and their contact information - that is the way they need to start with bloggers, especially the small bloggers within their universe.

Finally, cross your fingers and hope they remember you when they go big! Until then, just be content as you work with them to spread your information to their families, co-workers and friends in the district which you are running.

Posted at 02:18 PM in 2005 Elections, 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, 2006 Elections - State, 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, 2008 President - Republicans, Activism, General, Netroots | Comments (1) | Technorati

Friday, January 14, 2005

No thanks. My feet are clean already

Posted by Tim Tagaris

And you thought Rick Santorum running for president in 2008 was as bad as it can get. How about Senator Sam Brownback? From CNN's Inside Politics

Checking the "Political Bytes" on this Thursday, add the name of Kansas Senator Sam Brownback to the list of Republicans who may be considering a run for the White House. Brownback's home state newspaper, "The Kansas City Star," notes the senator has made what it calls repeated trips to Iowa, as well as several stops in South Carolina, home to an early primary.
As a Democrat, I am not afraid of Christianity influencing our democracy. In fact, I believe Jesus's message of taking up for the poor and suffering happens to be spot on.

I am however afraid of a theocracy taking over our democracy.

From Time Magazine: Now this, is extremist.

A man who takes his faith so seriously that he once washed a departing staff member's feet as a gesture of thanks, Brownback has an idea about what his constituents are praying for these days:

Or how about this? From the AP.

Six members of Congress live in a million-dollar Capitol Hill townhouse that is subsidized by a secretive religious organization, tax records show.

The lawmakers, all of whom are Christian, pay low rent to live in the stately red brick, three-story house on C Street, two blocks from the Capitol. It is maintained by a group, alternately known as the ''Fellowship'' and the ''Foundation,'' that brings together world leaders and elected officials through religion.

Yes. Brownback is one of them.

Posted at 06:38 PM in 2008 Election - President | Comments (3) | Technorati

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Statement from Senator Barbara Boxer

Posted by Bob Brigham



Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., signed a challenge mounted by House Democrats to Ohio's 20 electoral votes, which put Bush over the top.

Asked about her historic vote to stand up for the people, the Office of US Senator Barbara Boxer may have released the following statement:

"I exercise my right to express when I feel it's time. I say to fight, you take it as I'mma whip someone's ass."

"Come along follow me as I lead through the darkness, as I provide just enough spark that we need to proceed. Carry on, give me hope, give me strength -- come with me and I won't steer you wrong."

"Put your faith and your trust as I guide us through the fog to the light at the end of the tunnel."

"Now this is our final hour, let me be the voice in your strength and your choice. Let me simplify the rhyme just to amplify the noise. Try to amplify the times it, and multiply by six. Teen million people are equal at this high pitch."

"If we don't serve our own country, we're patronizing a hero. Look in his eyes its all lies."

Posted at 11:32 AM in 2006 Elections, 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats, Activism, California, Ohio | Technorati

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Feingold 2008?

Posted by Tim Tagaris


From Washington Whispers (thanks to Kos for finding it)

Keep a lookout for Sen. Russ Feingold, the second half of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance duo, who just won a third term from Wisconsin voters. He's on a nationwide mission to test out his progressive message that's liberal on some issues, like universal healthcare, and conservative on others, like the deficit. Fans think he can bridge the blue-state-red-state divide, making him not just a voice for a changing Democratic Party but a possible '08 presidential candidate.

Keep your eyes peeled for Draft Feingold sites, they should start going like hotcakes. In fact, I bought mine a few weeks ago (just wish I had it ready - if anyone wants to help Bob & I get it started?).

Some other links:

Feingold's Senate site
Great campaign comerrcial. Quicktime / Windows Media
Feingold speech on opposition to PATRIOT ACT (10/12/2001)
Feingold's 2004 campaign website.
Speech on Senate floor: Condaleeza Rice as the next Sec. of State.

The administration's record of the past four years suggests a foreign policy careening out of control, driven by ideologues who want to test their theories in the laboratory of the Middle East one minute, by domestic political considerations the next, and by spiteful attempts to punish those who disagree with their methods the next.

Where is this going? Who is in charge? Who knows? No one ever seems to be held accountable for the blunders, the failures, the wildly inaccurate presentations and projections or the painfully ineffective initiatives.

Congress cannot simply accept more of the same, keep our heads down and hope that somehow we will muddle through. The stakes are far too high. Our national security, the stability of the world that our children will inherit, our troops - even our country's honor - are on the line. Congress has an obligation not to oppose every administration effort, but to reassert our role in helping to steer the ship of state wisely rather than recklessly. I look at our foreign policy over the past four years, and I know that America is so much better than this.

I personally am a big fan. Although I know there is some dissent among those that blame him personally for allowing the confirmation of John Ashcroft. What are your thoughts? Could you get behind a Russ Feingold candidacy?

Posted at 04:45 PM in 2008 Election - President, 2008 President - Democrats | Comments (12) | Technorati

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