Posts Tagged ‘Clinton’

Deck chairs on the Titanic

May 27th, 2008

I just received this email from Chelsea Clinton:

We need your help to make a critical decision — our next official campaign t-shirt.

I couldn’t believe the incredible response to our t-shirt design contest. We got thousands of great entries. They were creative, inspirational, funny, and beautiful. It was amazing to see the devotion to my mom’s campaign come through in each t-shirt. Thank you to everyone who submitted a design!

It wasn’t easy to narrow it down, but we’ve chosen five we think are particularly great, and now we need your help in making our final decision. Please vote for your favorite design — the winning shirt will go on sale in our online campaign store.

Please click here to see the finalists and vote for your favorite.

Thanks again for everything you’re doing to help my mom!

Go Hillary!

Sounds a little like re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic, doesn’t it?

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On Texas and Ohio

March 6th, 2008

As an Obama supporter, I was disappointed that Barack did not seal the deal yesterday. I have been reflecting on the delegate stalemate and the PR loss, and I have a few thoughts.

1) Identity politics: Obama has made massive progress in demonstrating that equality for all is a powerful message for whites and blacks. I am surprised that he wasn’t able to carry that message to the Hispanic communities in Texas. I dislike Clinton’s direct approach at appealing to women, and I don’t think it is working well with younger women. I much prefer Obama’s President for all Americans message and policies.

2) Generational warfare: Clinton is for old people and Obama is for young people. The candidates appeals are *not* personality-based but policy-based . Clinton wants to mandate that young people pay more money into health care in order to pay for more benefits for older people. Obama wants to lower health care costs–which may very well end up in less health care services for old people. Again, I think Obama has to devise a message of equality for all and policies that support it. But the worst is this aweful “experience” debate. It’s really just a thinly veiled ageist argument that anyone born after the baby boom can’t be President. Hasn’t 8 years of Bush/Cheney proven that ‘adult’ supervision isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be?

3) Tired solutions vs Fresh Solutions: Hillary I think has a slight advantage framing the election as solutions vs. rhetoric. For awhile, I favor a direct defensive maneuver by Obama: publishing policy papers, holding smaller events, etc. But now I think that is wrong. Obama has plans that are just as detailed as Clinton. It is really a battle of “tired solutions” versus “fresh solutions.” I mean she is just re-treading past political battles, whereas Obama wants to move us forward.

Well, that’s it for now. If you want more great Obama commentary, check out Marc Andreseen’s excellent endorsement of Barack Obama.

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Jack is for Hillary

March 3rd, 2008

Jack Nicholson has made this short video ad for Hillary. It’s pretty good: it draws on short clips from some of his best movies to help raise Hillary’s issues:

But Hillary’s video still doesn’t hold a candle to Huckabee’s classic spot from a month or so ago. I think the difference: Huckabee demonstrates a sense of humor by describing Chuck Norris, whereas Clinton’s own messages are purely serious. To be fair, I suppose they had different goals with their videos. Huckabee’s video is a tour de force and a truly funny 30 seconds of entertainment. Enjoy:

I suppose Obama could counter Hillary’s ad with a clip from the Shining: “All work and no play makes Hillary a dull girl. Red rum! Red rum!”

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Hillary supporters to “Swift Boat” Obama

February 21st, 2008

This report by the Washington Post is disturbing. About 100 contributers have started a 527 PAC called “American Leadership Project” to air attack ads on Obama. At the moment that the Obama campaign has crossed 1 million contributors, 100 ultra-wealthy people are attempting to hijack the primary with $10mm of cynical attack ads.

Here is how the Obama campaign describes the group:

“Here we have a committee that springs up on the eve of an election, promotes a specific candidate, and has no history or apparent purpose of lobbying specific issues outside the benefit to the candidate of these communications,” the memo states. “Its ‘major purpose’ is no mystery.”

And here’s how the spokesperson for the American Leadership Project responds:

“We want to communicate to people where they’re paying the most attention right now. Right now, that’s Ohio and Texas,” he said. “Senator Clinton is a recognized champion of these issues, and we support her positions on health care, the mortgage crisis, the economy, and we say so in the spots. These are positive ads that serve to raise awareness about the issues.”

You can decide which explanation is more plausible for yourself. In my opinion, this proves beyond any doubt that team Clinton (1) is entrenched in money politics and (2) will do anything to get elected. I really hope this backfires.

Here’s a Swift Boat ad to remind you how shameless this tactic really is:

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It’s better than voting with ‘invisible ink’

February 8th, 2008

invisible I had a minor voting problem on Super Tuesday in California. Unbeknownst to me, my precinct was turned into a “mail-only” precinct. According to the San Mateo County election department, our precinct was too small (less than 200 people) so we were giving the “opportunity to vote by mail.” I replied, “actually, everyone in California has the opportunity to vote by mail. My precinct is denied the opportunity to vote at a local polling place on election day that almost every other CA resident enjoys.” Two additional points: isn’t the silly election board that draws the precincts in the first place? And if we are so small, wouldn’t it be easy to accommodate the small number of us at our usual polling place, which by the way, is still open?

So, there was no information of what to do on the board of elections web site. I got conflicting advice from the poll workers. One said, go get your mail-in ballot. When I pointed out that it was non-partisan, and did not have the democratic presidential candidates, another worker helpfully suggested that I vote provisionally. I was annoyed at that decision, because it means that my vote will take up to 28 days to be counted.

But then I heard the poll worker say: hey, we are running out of provisional ballots. Steer people away from using them so that we don’t run out! I made the hasty decision to take one of the few remaining ballots (11am!!) so I could vote.

These problems are a BIG deal. More than 1 in 5 voters in the democratic primary in CA are like me as ‘Decline-to-state’ voters, and these voters split better than 2 to 1 in favor of Obama over Clinton. That’s hundreds of thousands of votes. Read this story about the “double bubble trouble” in LA county.

But here’s the worst story so far: Chicago voters were told that broken voting pens were actually ‘invisible ink.’ Wow. We’ve really taken to heart the lessons of the 2000 election, haven’t we?

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The politics of parsing

November 5th, 2007

I found this short video interesting for two reasons: one, it is a good example of viral campaign ads and two, it expresses a concern that I have about Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. But viral videos are primarily only sent and viewed by those who already are disposed to agree with the sentiment. So, will this genre promote what Cass Sunstein calls “cyber-cascades” and fragmentation? In terms of the substance, is this a fair critique or could you plausibly make this kind of video about any serious politician? Here’s the video for your enjoyment:

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Anything you can do, I can do better…

September 5th, 2007

Not the best satire ever, but the best one I’ve found today. Enjoy Obama vs. Clinton:


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