View Full Version : All You Need to Know About Politics in 20 Minutes Flat

05-20-2008, 08:16 AM

05-20-2008, 12:20 PM
That didn't quite satisfy my Bloggingheads need, Bob. Throw me one with Garance and Ann, k?

05-20-2008, 12:37 PM
That didn't quite satisfy my Bloggingheads need, Bob. Throw me one with Garance and Ann, k?
Are you kidding, Abdicate? That was an excellent display of political prowess and vigor.

05-20-2008, 12:47 PM
Florida and Michigan votes will count, somewhere. The consensus among the bright folks who tell Americans what to think and say is clearly that the voters have absolutely no role to play in determining the nominee for the Democratic Party.

This is a good thing.

I fully expect Dems to send out the coke-snorter irrespective of the will of the voters. But it's great fun listening to the fabled story of change in an election where the votes cast count least.

The assignment of 'pledged delegates' who are/aren't bound to stay faithful to either candidate and the insider dealings over how many of the Florida/Michigan votes are actually going to be counted makes mockery of any suggestion that the will of the people matters a fig.

Most amusing!

I dedicate this link to you, ks:


I understand that you are put off by the ruthless efficiency of the Obama machine, and it creeps me out, too. But do you worry about things like McCain threatening to kick Russia out of the G8?


05-20-2008, 01:36 PM

Obama’s national finance chairwoman, Chicago hotel mogul Penny Pritzker, told supporters at a national finance committee meeting in Indianapolis May 2, and in other conversations, not to give money to the groups, people familiar with her comments said.

“From the beginning of this race Obama has told supporters that if they want to help his effort, they should do so through his campaign,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton, who confirmed that Pritzker has told donors not to give to the groups. “And he means exactly what he says.”
Donors and Democratic activists have been quietly debating Obama’s motives: Is he simply interested in keeping his Democratic efforts within his campaign, which is so well funded he doesn’t need outside help? Or is he, as some believe, cutting off funds to groups whose leaders — Brock and Podesta — some Obama aides view as too tightly linked to Clinton?

In either case, Pritzker’s words are the latest in Obama’s remarkably swift and complete consolidation of Democratic Party power. It’s an unprecedented seizure of control that has built him, over the course of a year, the most powerful field organization and the largest financial network in American politics, leaving many existing structures — traditional party organizations in many states, the Clintons’ long-nurtured national network — in the dust.

Just last summer, Matt Bai’s widely accepted analysis identified the “billionaires” and the “bloggers” as the key, emergent players in the Democratic Party’s infrastructure. But Obama has marginalized both groups. Pritzker’s words are part of a move to keep Obama’s grip on the sole important funnel of Democratic money this year. And his campaign has largely ignored the existing network of liberal bloggers, and actively opposes their embrace of fierce partisanship.

“Obama has created a number of significant infrastructure pieces through his campaign, displacing traditional groups the way he promised he would by signaling the end of the old politics of division and partisanship,” the blogger Matt Stoller wrote recently of Obama’s “consolidation of the party,” which he called “stunning.”

Many of the figures Obama has shut out have, sometimes grudgingly, embraced the sheer effectiveness of his organization, and his potential to create a lasting new Democratic majority. The open question is whether Obama’s movement is about something more than the candidate, and whether it will cohere after he wins or loses in November.

“Will the Obama movement be a real movement that pushes its leader to keep his promises?” Micah Sifry wrote recently on the blog TechPresident. “Or will it be more of a personalized movement of followers attracted to a charismatic star?”
Martin Frost, the president of America Votes, also suggested that the Obama campaign stance had had more impact on media groups than on ones focused on turnout.

“We’re continguing with our fundraising and things have been going well for us,” he said. “You really need to ask someone who’s dealing with the media aspect.”

But Democrats who support the work of the media 527s say Obama’s making a mistake. Progressive Media USA has aired anti-McCain television ads and developed a website intended to be a hub for negative information about McCain.

“Obama needs a bass line to the melody of his positive message,” said a Democratic strategist who backs the group’s aims.

05-20-2008, 01:51 PM
Money: MyBarackObama.com: With 1.5 million donors, this campaign has blown away anything we've ever seen in terms of grassroots fundraising. The technology is all centralized, so Obama knows the name, address, giving patterns, and occupation of every donor out there, as well as social networking information, like who the best raisers are. He has bypassed Actblue, and will probably end up building in a Congressional slate feature to further party build while keeping control of the data.

One email from Moveon to their full list can bring in between $100k to $1M for a candidate, with $1M being the very top end of the range. With one good email to his list, in a few months, Obama will probably be able to bring in $1-3M for a Senate candidate under attack or split that among several. 10-20% of the money going to Senate candidates this cycle might come from Barack Obama's internet operation. Stunning.

Field: MyBarackObama.com (MyBO): MyBarackObama.com is the cornerstone of the campaign, and it will have between 10-15 million opt-in members by election day. This group can be used for lobbying on legislation, GOTV, and donations. It's a cross between Moveon.org and the DNC, and with the White House, it can transform progressive politics and further amplify the power of the Presidency. As coordinated campaigns pick up, and the top of the ticket brings coattails, organizing power is going to further flow to the Obama campaign.

Message and Politics: MyBarackObama.com: Obama used youtube to push back on Reverend Wright, something he will continue to do to move beyond sound bite politics. He has a good press shop and a way to push message out to the web. The campaign has also, despite thousands of interviews with a huge number of outlets, refused to have Obama interact on progressive blogs. The Fox News situation, where Obama went on Fox News and mismanaged communications, drew criticism from Moveon because taking down Fox News has been a key strategic goal of that organization; nevertheless, the group supported him because of overwhelming adulation from their membership.

This is a far different strategy than the McCain campaign, who, though he hates blogs, talks to them, or the Clinton campaign, who invites them on her calls. This is NOT a criticism, by the way, it's obviously worked as a strategy to centralize messaging power around the Obama shop while neutering a potentially off-message rowdy group. That has its downsides, which I'll get into, but it is a strategy.


05-21-2008, 05:01 PM
Just simply: these guys are great, sweetly concise, and knowing, and smart, saying in a 1/3 of the time what others drone on and on about!