Saturday, January 20, 2007

Hillary: I was raised in a middle class family in the middle of the Country

Today, Hillary Rodham Clinton officially entered the fray of Presidential politics. You should watch the video below. It's well made, she looks comfortable, the message isn't bad, and her timing is fantastic. Expect to hear a great deal about it in the next couple of days.

I'm excited about her candidacy. The mere fact that she's running is historic. But, it's got the potential to be of massive historic proportions. That alone is enough to get excited about, so this isn't an endorsement.

You can be sure that this is a decision she didn't make without careful consideration. Neither Hillary, nor Bill Clinton are big fans of losing. She's in it to win. I think she can.

To earn victory, Clinton will have to get in the trenches of Iowa, NH, Nevada, and SC. She will have to show the voters that she wants it, that she's got a vision for America, that she's willing to work for it, and that she's got what it takes to be Commander in Chief. Given her incredible discipline and talented inner-circle, I think she can do all those things. Will she?

American Research Group released a poll in December showing Hillary leading in all four early Primary and Caucus States. Click here and scroll down a little to see a graph of all possible Democratic candidates and how they fared in Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

Should Hillary be successful in earning the Democratic Party's nomination, she will also be a formidable candidate in the General Election. She's got 100% name ID and she's at 47% both positive and negative name ID. That means she's got about 6% to work with. I think that's great news. If somebody hasn't already formed a negative opinion of her, they just might not. Those numbers are better than John Kerry ended up with at the conclusion of the 2004 campaign. Let's also not forget that her husband is the best campaigner in our lifetimes. He will not be hidden from the public as he was in 2000 or sidelined by health problems as he was in 2004. You can expect him, maybe even Chelsea, to be out on the trail for her early and often.

This will be a very interesting campaign. All political hacks will relish the opportunity to observe and analyze the most diverse Democratic Primary for President in history. We may very well end up with a woman, an African American, a Hispanic, and a Southern Democrat.

I look forward to watching this campaign play out over the next year.

Edwards: "It's time for Americans to be patriotic about something other than war."

I just watched this video, which contains excerpts from John Edwards' speech at Riverside Church in New York City on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It's the same pulpit from which Dr. King delivered an inspirational speech opposing the Vietnam War a year before his tragic death.

Edwards delivers an eloquent and thoughtful speech. He looks comfortable speaking to a largely African American church. His message is moving. His politics are on point. It's nine minutes long, but worth listening to when you have the time. The line that stood out for me, in the title of this post, comes at around 8 minutes and 30 seconds. That's the kind of message that will truly resonate with so much of America.

White House Vales (some) Life

The White House has declared tomorrow "National Sanctity of Life Day." But they don't really meant it.

This sure is a great concept. Unfortunately, The Karl Roves of the world have hijacked the phrase for the sole use of the right wing nuts. We should value all life, right? George Bush and his the right wing only seem to value the life of the unborn. Heck, although I'm pro-choice through and through, I value the future people of the world too.

Here's the hypocrisy: George Bush has just ordered more than 20,000 American troops to join around 150,000 troops already in Iraq. Since the war began, we've lost more than 3,000 American soldiers and nearly 30,000 have been wounded. Nearly 60,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed as well. This is in a war that yields no positive benefits for the United States. So far, it's produced a Civil War for the Iraqi people, with many more deaths to follow.

If George Bush wants to value the "Sanctity of Life," then he should do just that and not pick and choose based on right wing ideology or right wing politics.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Democrats: Guilty of Honesty

Below, I'm posting a video of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Chair of the Rules Committee, who took the floor of the House of Representatives to admit to committing an act of honesty. It is in response to Republicans whining about not having any imput about cutting off federal subsidies to the oil companies that have had record profits for the past two years. Instead, Democrats are putting the money towards alternative energy research and production.

Anyway, it is refreshing to be in charge and be able to do the right thing. Kudos to Chairwoman Slaughter for not backing down. Yay.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Time For Offense

Democrats around the country need to learn to go on the offense and stay there. We've been playing defense for far too long. We may never again have the factors that contributed to our victories in 2006. So, we've got to learn to play hard and play smart.

Here are TWO ideas that State Parties should adopt. They are applicable to both Blue and Red States.

FIRST, all State Parties should attack any Republican House Member who does NOT support every aspect of the House Democrats' First 100 Hours agenda. Not only do each of these issues have widespread public support, but Republicans are voting in droves with the Dems. State Parties should make extra, strong attacks on any vulnerable Republican who is not voting for these issues. These Republicans should face questions from their local press as often as possible about their opposition. It will slowly build a body of unfavorable press coverage that will come in handy come 2008.

On the flip side, the State Party organizations should work to promote their Democratic Members that are supporting the agenda. This is particularly important for new Members. The DCCC cannot be expected to support our incumbent protection efforts alone. We need engagement at the State and Local level.

SECOND, in early Primary States, there is an opportunity to gain favorable coverage by using the Iraq War. The Republican Presidential candidates will be travelling often to these States. This will give State and Local Party leaders the opportunity to push for hardened opposition to escalating the war. The more we can get them on the record for supporting it, the harder we can hit them for their lack of responsiveness to public opinion. For State and Local Republican Party Leaders that support 'pro-escalation' candidates, they CAN and SHOULD be called to task for supporting this policy by way of their endorsement. Even in Red States, we can continue to drive public opinion in opposition to the War in Iraq.

We should also continue to press Democratic candidates for President on this issue. There is NO room for a Democratic Presidential candidate that supports the failed policies of President Bush.

By utilizing this strategy, we can not only control the debate, but win it. By attacking State and Local officials for their Presidential endorsement of pro-escalation candidates, we can also make inroads in non-Federal elections in those States.

Please urge your party Leaders to have an agenda and be aggressive about it. We must NOT let Republicans get away with the failed policies of the past or not supporting the initiatives the public has clearly asked for.

Here is how you can reach the Early Primary and Caucus State Parties. There should also be links to local parties within the State websites. Click here for the DNC's interactive map of State Parties for other contact information.

Iowa Democratic Party
5661 Fleur Dr
Des Moines, IA 50321
515-244-5051 (fax)
Chair: Scott Brennan; Vice Chair: Sarah Swisher; Executive Director: Mike Milligan

New Hampshire Democratic Party
2 1/2 Beacon Street
Concord, NH 03301
603-225-6797 (fax)
Chair: Kathleen Sullivan; Vice Chair: Raymond Buckley; Executive Director: Nick Clemons

Nevada Democratic Party
1325 E. Vegas Valley, Suite C
Las Vegas, NV 89109
702-735-2700 (fax)
Chair: Hon. Tom Collins; Vice Chair: Teresa Benitez-Thompson; Executive Director: Alison Schwartz

South Carolina Democratic Party
1529 Hampton Street, Suite 200
Columbia, SC 29201
800-765-1692 (toll free)
803-799-7798 (local)
803-765-1692 (fax)
Chair: Joe Erwin; Vice Chair: Carol Khare Fowler; Executive Director: Lachlan McIntosh

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

McCain Picks up Key Endorsement, College Republicans Off-Base

In an earlier post, I specualted that Senator John McCain might be announcing for President in South Carolina today. That was based on an email being circulated by the College Republican President at the College of Charleston. The email is below and was sent with the subject line "HUGE NEWS."

Dear College Republicans,

Are you interested in not only witnessing, but also participating in the creation of modern history? Senator John McCain will be making a key public announcement on Tuesday, January 16 at 1:00 in North Charleston.

As a member of his Presidential Exploratory Campaign and as the President of College Republicans, I invite each of you to attend, and encourage you to bring your roommates, your friends, family and fellow students. Furthermore, if you are interested in participating in his campaign, we would love to welcome you on board (just e-mail me).

Let's show Senator John McCain a warm Charleston welcome! Please RSVP to me by Monday, January 15 by 12:00 noon, and if you need transportation, we can arrange it!

Turns out, McCain's primary reason for the trip was to line up more support for his upcoming Presidential Campaign. The College Republicans were just full of hype.

Today, he scored the endorsement of South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell. This rounds out nearly every major Republican in the State. The only defection from the lot is U.S. Senator Jim Demint, who has jumped on Mitt Romney's bandwagon.

Since McCain has locked up the support of nearly every influential Republican in South Carolina, he will enter the primary there in an excellent position. No Republican in recent history has won the party's nomination without winning the South Carolina Republican Primary. Should McCain make it through Iowa and New Hampshire, he would be poised to clench the nomination with a win in South Carolina.

Given his continued tone deafness on the Iraq War, this is great news for the Left.