Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ohio Debate Analysis

Monday, February 25, 2008


What happened to the Hillary Clinton from last Thursday night? You know, the one who was "honored" to be on stage with Barack Obama? Her tune changed over the weekend, as she let loose cries of "Shame on you, Barack Obama!"
Meanwhile, her campaign is scrambling to circulate a photo of Barack Obama's meeting with a Somali Elder during his visit to Wajir, a rural area in northeastern Kenya. The photo was taken on his five-country tour of Africa. Despite the fact that Obama is wearing khakis, a polo shirt, and watch in the picture, the Clinton campaign would have us believe that the photo calls his Christian faith into question his Christian faith.

A year ago, I had a world of respect for the Clintons. But these last few months have taught me just how willing they are to play classic Washington politics to win an election. If Hillary wants to attack Barack Obama, then let her. But what she shouldn't do is stand up at a debate and pretend like she's the great healer in this campaign, only to then go and slander him at every subsequent rally.

Worse yet, the circulation of this photograph reeks of the worst kind of fear mongering, trying to stoke the flames of xenophobia and distrust toward Muslims.
For someone who attacks the Bush administration every chance she gets, Hillary sure is fond of Bush politics, especially when her chances of winning the nomination are looking grim.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Barack Obama in Edinburg, TX

Here is a brief clip from Barack Obama's appearance in Edinburg, TX. Nik Casey, a diligent Obama supporter and frequent BlogObama contributer, volunteered at the event. Hopefully, she'll have a chance to share more about the big day in the Rio Grande Valley.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Obama Wins Texas Debate

Barack Obama maintained his front runner status tonight in a cordial, upbeat debate with Hillary Clinton.

After winning 10 states in a row, Barack Obama had nothing to gain by going on the offensive. Clinton's campaign is on such tenuous ground that she could not afford to go on the offensive. As a result, the tone of the debate was in stark contrast with previous encounters. The candidates praised each other routinely, acknowledging similarities in their policies while also trying to highlight their differences on immigration, health care, and Iraq.

Both candidates showed signs of fatigue, with Obama suffering from nasal congestion and Clinton simply looking dog tired. Despite the exhaustion of criss-crossing Texas for days, neither candidate stumbled, and in the event of a draw, you have to give this one to Obama. This was one of Hillary Clinton's only opportunities to revive her campaign, and in that sense, she failed to capitalize.

In Hillary's uncharacteristically generous comments toward Barack Obama near the end of the debate, I couldn't help but feel like she was trying to make up for the nastiness of her earlier campaign. Unfortunately, she cannot sweet talk her opponent at debates only to slander him on the stump. Fortunately, most viewers will realize that when she takes the stage at her next event tomorrow, she'll be back to ripping on Obama.

One final note: Cheers to Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos for his excellent questions tonight. His direct, straightforward questions on Cuba, immigration, and Iraq were highlights of the debate. I hope we see him more often in future debates.

Lone Star Showdown!

Tune in tonight at 8 p.m. EST for the 19th democratic debate! Visit Trailhead at for live analysis.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Aloha Spirit

Not to let Wisconsin steal the show, here is a dispatch from the Hawaii caucuses.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

We Need You, Texas.

Barack Obama wins Wisconsin, his ninth state in a row. Up next, Texas and Ohio--two key states that can seal the deal in what has been an historic primary season.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


One week ago, heading into Super Tuesday, few people could have predicted where the Obama campaign would stand today. The momentum has even taken even some campaign insiders by surprise. Barack Obama has won the last eight primaries. And he hasn't just won, he's won by incredible margins.

The results speak for themselves. We are experiencing a political groundswell, the likes of which only comes once a generation.

I must express my sincere gratitude to the supporters who are doing the hard work on the ground, canvassing, getting the word out door to door. While I blog from the comfort of my own home, I know that thousands of supporters brave the elements to help cleanse and restore our democracy by putting political power back where it belongs--in the hands of the people.

For the rest of us, let us be cautious not to let this overwhelming momentum lead to complacency. Challenges await. The Clintons are mounting a last stand, and are unafraid to go to court to unlock the Florida and Michigan delegate seats. In addition, a small but vocal group of racists persist in spreading opinions about Barack Obama that border on hate speech. For a taste of this, browse the comments from the last few BlogObama08 posts. As Obama's momentum gains, his detractors become more insideous.

After Super Tuesday, Barack Obama called on the help of those voters who are still on the fence, who have been trained to be cynical about presidential politics. I for one know that it can be tough, especially after the debacle in 2000, to believe in the power of democracy. It's all to easy to resign one's self to the idea that the entire game is rigged, that we have to wait around for change. But Obama expressed it best when he spoke: "We are the people we have been waiting for."

For anyone sitting on the fence, waiting for the moment to act, that moment is now. Let's make the final push. No more waiting. Phone a friend. Send an email. Do just one thing tomorrow to share your enthusiasm for Barack Obama. One person's hope can make all the difference.

In 21 states, it already has.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sunday, February 10, 2008

UPDATE: Obama Wins Maine, Clinton Camp Changes Manager

Barack Obama is winning Maine by 18 points.

Hillary Clinton is switching her campaign manager from Patti Solis Doyle to longtime aide Maggie Williams. Seems a little late in the game for such a big shuffle, but you know what they say about desparate times.

John Edwards is meeting this week with both Clinton and Obama to discuss his endorsement. No choice has been made yet, but Edwards will likely choose the candidate who he feels best qualified to carry his campaign messages through to the general election. He obviously wants to play the role of Kingmaker. In this blogger's opinion, endorsing Clinton is incredibly risky, given her recent change in management.

Read more here.

And now, a word from Mike Gravel...

As we Obama supporters celebrate an amazing week, I want to take a moment to share the words of a candidate whose fearlessnes and straight-talk I found refreshing in the early stages of this election. While it is a thrill to see Barack Obama take Hillary Clinton head on in the race for the white house, let's not forget some of the other voices who shaped this race. Mike Gravel may have had all the charm of an angry Grizzly Bear, but he also had some prescient reminders for us.


Loisiana - 57%
Nebraksa - 68%
Washington - 68%
Virgin Islands - 90%
Momentum prevails as Barack Obama takes three states and the Virgin Islands on Saturday. I would like to take this moment to congratulate the residents of the Virgin Islands for their keen judgement on this matter.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Louisiana, Nebraska, Washington, and the Virgin Islands Decide Today!

Barack Obama tests his momentum in three states and the Virgin Islands today, with 158 delegates at stake in a race that is too close to call. Both candidates have been campaigning hard since Super Tuesday, while the three states and the Virgin Islands enjoy some unexpected attention. Most people figured the race would be decided by now. But most people didn't count on Barack Obama giving the Clinton machine a run for its money, no pun intended.

While the Clintons had to tap into $5 million of their personal assets to fund their efforts, the Obama campaign raised more than $6 million from small donors in the first 24 hours following Super Tuesday. With the Republican nomination firmly in the hands of John McCain, voters will decide today who is ready to challenge Republicans for the White House.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

No, it WASN'T a draw.

Most media outlets would have you believe that Super Tuesday was a draw, a tie or a dead heat. That's because they are only looking at what happened yesterday. I'm more interested in what didn't happen: Clinton didn't manage to beat Obama, even on a day when all of her stars seemed to be aligned.

Consider the two candidates. One started out with what may well have been an unprecedented level of name recognition, with tremendous early money and early campaign infrastructure, and -- most importantly -- with a primary schedule that was literally designed to hand her the nomination.

The other started out with little more than a bunch of charisma and a bunch of question marks: he was charming and smooth, and he could work a crowd, but did he have enough experience? Would he make a crucial mistake? And, of course, would people actually vote for a black man?

The fact that Obama managed to overcome Clinton's early advantages and match her delegate-for-delegate in the early going was impressive enough, but the early primaries and caucuses were spread out enough and highly-anticipated enough that Clinton's advertising and organizational advantages were somewhat nullified by free media coverage and high overall turnout. The small population of many of the states, as well as the greater amount of time between primaries, also allowed more voters to see Obama in person, which clearly was to his benefit.

But Super Tuesday was an entirely different animal. The outcome was expected to be determined by Clinton-friendly factors such as large ad-buys in expensive markets and large-scale get-out-the-vote efforts, rather than by Obama-friendly factors such as rallies and, of course, national media coverage of those rallies. Still, Clinton couldn't capitalize.

The fact that Obama managed to tie Clinton in both the early going, when her advantages were largest, and on Super Tuesday, which was all but designed to favor her advantages, bodes well for the future: Hillary's advantages are all but gone now, even as the questions about Obama have begun to fade into the background. Obama raised $32 million in the last fund-raising period, while Hillary only managed to raise $13.5 million; Hillary's campaign is so desperate for cash that she was forced to loan herself $5 million just to scrape together half of what Obama raised. Hillary's infrastructure advantage, if indeed she has one at this point, has been more than nullified by the sheer enthusiasm Obama generates among voters. And nobody expects Obama to make a mistake anymore, and they certainly can't question whether or not America would vote for him.

But the schedule is Obama's biggest advantage at this point, and not only because things will slow down considerably relative to Super Tuesday. Saturday's major events, in Washington and Louisiana, should both give Obama a boost. That will be especially important because by then the media will have worn out the "They tied!" storyline, and will be ready to pounce on a fresh, "Apparently, Obama won Super Tuesday after all!" storyline. And that bodes well heading into next Tuesday's events, which are more likely to go down to the wire.

California Count Highlights Obama's Challenges

The Super Tuesday winner changes depending on which campaign you ask. Both the Obama and Clinton campaigns claim the delegate lead, underscoring the lack of transparency in this arhaic primary process. After following the primaries for more than a month now, I'm still baffled at how every news organization can present a completely different delegate count.

What is clear is that it's anybody's race at this point. Both campaigns had their share of upsets and disappointments Tuesday, and in the end, they are neck and neck. If there is any advantage at this point, it would go to Obama, who seems better funded at this point, heading into what promises to be an expensive month ahead.

Despite Obama's runaway success in many states, there is much to learn from his losses, most notably, California. His ten-point defeat there is essentially a direct result of two major gaps in his campaign. He struggles to appeal to minorities other than African-Americans, and he struggles to appeal to working-class voters.

The disappointing turnout from the Latino and Asian-American vote seems counterintuitive. Obama should be able to leverage his status as the only minority candidate to garner support from Latinos and Asian-Americans, yet his refusal to make race an issue in this campaign has ultimately cost his minority votes.
Before anyone jumps down my throat, I'm not saying that Latinos and Asian-Americans will vote for him just because he's a minority. However, I do find it curious that his campaign message, which hinges on unity and hope and creating opportunity for all Americans, struggles to appeal to minorities. If nothing else, it underscores the complex racial mileu in America, one favors white candidates in more ways that is commonly understood. As a white candidate, Hillary Clinton can reach out to minority communities aggressively and without question. When Obama tries the same, he is branded as a "minority" candidate who can't appeal to white voters.

More troublesome is that in California, it wasn't even close. Latinos voted 2 to 1 for Clinton. Asian-Americans 3-1. I'll leave it to BlogObama readers to hash out why this is so, but ultimately, it's a mystery to me.

An even bigger issue for the Obama campaign s that voters earning less than $50,000 a year tend to lean Clinton. Does Obama's high-minded rhetoric alienate him from the American working class? Is Clinton leveraging her position on health care? How can Obama push those points of his message to communicate to the working-class American that he is the choice for them?

Super Tuesday has left me with more questions than answers, but in the end, this race is much closer than anyone would have expected nearly a year ago when Obama first declared his candidacy.

So, looking foward, how does the Obama campaign address these challenges?


When the dust settled on Super Tuesday, Barack Obama claimed the delegate lead 845-836!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008



Barack Obama surpassed all expectations tonight, winning 13 states on Super Tuesday, including big wins in the south and in rural America. Winning in states across the nation, Obama proved himself capable of carrying the Democratic Party in the general election in every region of the country.

While Hillary Clinton did manage some big wins in Massachusets, New Jersey, and of course, California, it is important to note that 71% of California Democrats would still be satisfied with Barack Obama as their nominee.

The delegate picture will remain cloudy until tomorrow. For now, the one clear result of Super Tuesday is that the race for the Democratic nomination will grow even more heated in the coming weeks.

Congratulations to the fervent Obama supporters who contributed to 13 historic wins tonight. For those of you on the west coast, enjoy the continuing coverage. I'm going to hit the sack and tune in early tomorrow.

  • Click here for live audio from NPR.
  • Click here for live results from CNN.
  • Click here for an interactive map of states voting on Super Tuesday.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

"Join" Super Bowl Ad

Super Tuesday promises to be just as exciting as Super Sunday!