Saturday, October 25, 2008

It's About the Future

10 Days to Change: Go With Obama

In the spirit of Saturday night party time, this tune by the Abbsynia Roots Collective has a great beat, catchy lyric and some nice musical touches: a little Sting, a little Steve Miller with a reggae beat. "Let go of the drama, go with Obama."

10 Days to Change: A Snapshot in Time

"For the last 21 months, she has followed the odyssey of his presidential campaign like a spectator on a faraway balcony. She underwent a corneal transplant to see him on television. She reluctantly agreed to film a political advertisement when he urgently needed to reassure voters about his distinctive American roots. She told him during one of their frequent telephone conversations that it might not hurt if he smiled a bit more.

And on Friday, Senator Barack Obama spent the day here saying goodbye."--

the lead to a fine story in the New York Times, about Obama's visit to his grandmother in Hawaii, probably for the last time.

On Friday, VP candidate Palin was also off the campaign trail, being deposed by the Alaska state government, investigating whether she violated ethics laws or other laws as governor. She also gave a speech advocating funding new programs for special-needs children by cutting earmarks, such as federal support for "fruit fly research." However, that precise research led to new insights into autism which may lead to more effective treatments.

It also became known on Friday that the highest paid person in the McCain-Palin campaign this month was Palin's make-up artist, who made more than McCain foreign policy advisor.

On Friday, Barack Obama had majority of 50% or more in all 6 daily tracking polls.

Newsweek poll: Obama 53% McCain 41%. Obama is viewed favorably by 62%. He leads among all age groups, including seniors, and among white working class men.

Obama is "positioned to win the largest share of white voters of any Democrat in more than three decades."

Friday, October 24, 2008

11 Days to Change: Future in the Balance

"Hyperbole is the currency of presidential campaigns, but this year the nation’s future truly hangs in the balance." So says the New York Times editorial board this morning in endorsing Barack Obama for President. With eleven days until election day, four new polls give Obama a double digit lead in Pennsylvania. So in recognition of PA, here's another song from the primaries, and it's one of my favorites--very catchy. Lots of PA towns are mentioned, including where I lived, where my grandparents lived, where I recorded my own "hit" record... Obama winning everywhere in PA didn't work out so well in April, but this time--yes, we can.

How Low Can They Get?

Barack Obama has left the campaign trail to fly more than 8 hours to Hawaii to be with his grandmother, who is gravely ill and probably dying.

In 1960, when Richard Nixon was hospitalized for a few days due to an injury, John F. Kennedy voluntarily stopped his campaigning until Nixon was able to resume campaigning, as a gesture of fairness.

Those days are gone. John McCain is using Obama's absense to step up his attacks on Obama during a bus tour in Florida.

Not only that, one of his surrogates went on television to express outrage that Obama was "taking a 767 campaign plane to go visit grandma." He said Obama should be "humping his bags on a commercial plane."

Let's leave aside the fact that the Secret Service would not allow Obama to take a commercial flight, which would turn out to be much more expensive because of all the security measures necessary.

Let's just look at what kind of a campaign sends somebody on television to speak in disparaging terms of a candidate who is sacrificing two days of campaigning at a crucial time to be with the grandmother who helped raise him, in what are probably among her last days.

The McShame campaign--how low can they get? This low.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

12 Days to Change: Voted Yet?

Early voting is underway in 32 states, so depending on where you are, you can vote right now. Here's a link to a site that provides information on early voting wherever it occurs. The states voting now include Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas and Indiana. Not California, though.

I'd like to say vote now and avoid the rush, but several states are experiencing so many early voters that there are long lines, particularly in Florida where Republicans restricted the number of sites and hours they are open.

28 states accept vote by mail. But if you're a first time voter or haven't voted in awhile, it's best to go in person to make sure there's nothing wrong with your registration. Republican vote suppression efforts are underway everywhere.

Still, if early voting indicates the high level of interest and participation this year, election day may see long lines, too. In Michigan, 98% of those eligible to register are registered to vote.

But many voters are undeterred. The numbers are record-breaking. Here's the latest article on early voting, and here's a summary of how the voting is going so far in some key states. Given the high participation of Democrats, African Americans and women, it's very good for Obama, who has been urging voters to vote early. Some of the stories are very moving.

12 Days to Change: Viva Obama!

This song is from the primaries, introducing Obama to Latinos in Texas. So in honor of early voting in Texas, here it is again!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

13 Days to Change: The Future We Build Together

Obama in Richmond, Virginia today.

13 Days to Change: Oui, On Peut!

I'm counting down the days to the election with a different Obama music video each day. Check in and get inspired, get down and dance your anxieties away! This is some Zydeco to mark the start of early voting in Louisiana.

13 Days to Change: Obama Widens Lead

Ipso.McClatchy: Obama expands lead to 50-42. (Likely voters.)

Fox poll: Obama by nine points among likely voters.

Pew Research: Obama 52% McCain 38%.
Questions about McCain's judgment in picking Palin, his erratic behavior and negative campaign. Increasing confidence in Obama from the debates. Last Pew poll had Obama up by 10, 50-40.

NBC/Wall Street Journal: Obama 52% McCain 42%
Seniors moving to Obama. Last NBC poll had Obama up by 6.

CNN Poll of Polls (Tuesday): Obama up by 9.

New York Times/CBS: "Mr. Obama’s favorability is the highest for a presidential candidate running for a first term in the last 28 years of Times/CBS polls."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Jobs, Baby, Jobs

Hillary Clinton appeared with Barack Obama before 50,000 in Orlando, Florida as that state began early voting--and Floridians lined up for hours to vote. Clinton told the crowd that the Obama campaign was all about "jobs, baby, jobs." The rally was Monday, a day after General Colin Powell endorsed Obama for President.

More Important Now

Madelyn Dunham, Barack Obama's 85 year old grandmother, is gravely ill. Obama will leave the campaign trail Thursday and Friday to fly back to Hawaii where she lives, to be with her. She was important in raising her grandson for many years. Obama spent a week's vacation this summer in Hawaii in large part to spend time with her. Our thoughts are with this remarkable woman.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Big Mo in MO

Barack Obama spoke in St. Louis Saturday to a crowd officially estimated at 100,000, the largest U.S. gathering of this campaign. (Click the second photo to enlarge, and get a sense of how many people that is.) Then (third photo) he spoke again that evening to some 75,000 in Kansas City, MO. In between, he did what Obama volunteers are doing all over the country: calling and talking to voters.

The New York Times story about these events began: "There was the feel of a political world turned upside down on Saturday as Senator John McCain found himself defending North Carolina and Virginia, while Senator Barack Obama was greeted by huge crowds in Missouri, which Republicans had also considered safe just months ago."

Update: Obama contributors got the news first: contributions in September totalled $150 million. If I remember correctly, that at least doubles the previous monthly high. More than 630,000 new donors in the month for a total of 3.1 million. Average donation was still under $100. The categories with the highest donation totals were students and retirees. But lots of everybody else, including some 30,000 fellow writers. AMAZING!