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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Philly Students for Obama Event

Disclaimer: Drexel Dems have not endorsed any candidate in the primaries, and offer support to all Democratic campaigns equally.


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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Quick Update

I've been pretty busy this week, so I haven't had time to blog much, but that doesn't mean nothing is happening. First, we have a general body meeting tonight (Sunday the 24th) at 5:00 pm, on the third floor of Ross Commons.

We've got a lot of work to do this week, and we need volunteers to man tables for our voter registration drive all this week, I need people to help put up flyers for an awesome Philly Students for Barack Obama kickoff party this thursday evening (Save the date- We'll send out an email soon with details).

Also, we have some work for any creative types out there, so please come on out!

I put some funny political youtube clips to try to make up for my lack of blogging this week. Enjoy!


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Monday, February 18, 2008


These people don't stay home on election day. Why should you?.


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Friday, February 15, 2008

Christine Flowers is a Hack

Christine Flowers has an Op-Ed in the Daily News today where she joins in the longtime hack tradition of asking a candidate a series of "hard" questions and declaring that the candidate can't answer them. Of course, like all hacks, the question becomes "Lying or stupid?"

Will Bunch does a great job of directing Flowers to the answers, and suggests that she learn to use the google before sitting down to make an ass out of herself in front of the entire city of Philadelphia. Frankly, I think that Flowers was genuinly ignorant of the abundance of policy papers and proposals that have been producded by the Obama campaign. Anyone familiar with even their existence, let alone their substance, would be too embarrassed to write the column that she did.

I want to discuss this phenomena a little more broadly than just as it pertains to the shameful Christine Flowers. I have heard more than once that because Obama is an inspiring speaker but an empty suit. In fact, in our debate with the College Republicans, Mulgrew kept whining "Where are his ideas? Democrats have no plans!"

As I pointed out to Mulgrew, just name the issue and it takes all of 0.04 seconds to google the information you're looking for. Or better yet, go to the candidates websites, and click the buttons that say "issues." I mentioned this in the debate, but if you go to Barack Obama's website and click on the Energy page, a topic important to me personally, you see a detailed overview of his plan. Sen. Obama has an 11 page pdf that you can download that highlights the points of his plan is significant detail. Similarly for the environment page, which offers an 8 page pdf plan.

When you click over to McCain's page, you can find only a single page that covers both energy and the environment, and it is indeed filled with empty platitudes. It contains five short paragraphs that offer no specifics, only vague generalities about protecting the environment and becoming energy independent. I ask you, who is the more serious candidate with the serious plans?

Of course, Mulgrew ignorantly snorted that you "shouldn't use candidates websites for research" (about where the candidates stand? Can someone explain that to me? Mulgrew? wtf?)

Even allowing for Mulgrew's virulent ignorance, I've heard this basic sentiment expressed before. I've even whined about it before on this blog. The bottom line is that when you whine that a candidate doesn't offer enough specifics in a particular speech, you sound like an idiot for not doing some basic research to discover what the candidates positions are. Sen. Obama has a 64 page "Blueprint for Change" that outlines his major policy proposals available to download right there on his website. In fact, here, download it now.

So please, don't let me catch you saying that Obama (or Hillary, but I havn't heard anyone say that) is long on rhetoric but short on details. It only betrays ignorance, and if I catch you, I will call you out! Right Will?

P.S.- I noticed that at the bottom of all of Christine Flowers' op-eds it says "Christine M. Flowers is a lawyer." Does anyone else remember SNL when Tracy Morgan would play Star Jones on The View? "Did I mention I'm a lawyer?!"

Click "There's more..." and I'll explain why that's such an infuriatingly ignorant sentiment.


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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Early Screening of "Taxi to the Dark Side"

As we mentioned in our latest email, Sean and I have a limited number of free tickets to an early screening of "Taxi to the Dark Side," a documentary about how the United States came to torture detainees. It has been critically acclaimed, and is supposedly as good as "No End In Sight."

The showing is Wednesday, Feb. 20th at 7:30 pm. Supplies are limited, so if you want tickets email us soon at drexeldems@gmail.

Check out the trailer.


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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Fired Up.

These boots were made for winning.

As you've surely heard (this really isn't a "breaking news" kind of blog) Obama has swept the Potomac primary of D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. This follows his weekend routs in Maine, Nebraska, Washington, and Louisiana. Of course, states don't matter at this point, delegates do. The benchmark that I've been using to evaluate whether Obama's been winning big or just winning are the delegate predictions that the Obama campaign put out (accidently, supposedly) last week.

The Obama campaigns projections had him winning some states, losing others, between Super Tuesday and the convention, and overall predicted a lead of 24 pledged delegates over Clinton by the convention. Comparing the projected totals to the actual totals tells us if the campaign is ahead or behind of its own schedule, and right now Obama is way ahead of schedule.

Here is the Obama campaign's projection of the post-super tuesday races.

So let's look at his projected numbers versus the actual results since last Tuesday. I compared vote totals rather than delegates because most of the delegates have not been awarded yet. However, the delegates will roughly follow the patterns of the votes.

Vote %
Vote %
in Spread


In every single race since last Tuesday Obama's margin of vistory was at least 11 points larger than projected, and often much bigger (I didn't even include the Virgin Islands, where he won 90% of the vote and all three delegates, compared to a projected 2:1 split). I haven't tried to compare delegate totals yet, becuase the actual totals aren't entirely determined yet. Furthermore, only 80% of the vote is in in Maryland, so those numbers may change slightly.

The pattern is clear, however. Sen. Obama has been winning these states by such wide margins that his delegate lead is becoming substantial (substantial, of course, is a relative term in this remarkable primary). CNN's delegate projection has Obama by 25 delegates even if you include super delegates, who are unpledged and amongst whom Sen. Clinton has an advantage. Sen. Obama leads the pledged delegates 1059 to 956. That 103 delegate margin has crossed the important 100 delegate threshhold, where superdelegates would be hard pressed overturn. Sen. Clinton is now in a very precarious position, where she must not only win Texas and Ohio, but with 60% or more of the vote.

You all know I'm an Obama backer, but I want to say a few words regarding my admiration for Sen. Clinton. I'm an admirer of Clinton, and if Obama had not been running, she would have had my vote; an empty pledge, but it's true. I think that she has been an excellent senator, disappointing me only in as far as she has been a cautious leader in anticipation of her presidential run. I wish Sen. Clinton well and hope that she sees Obama's succes not as a rejection of her but as an acceptance of his message. My dream ticket is Obama for President and Clinton for Senate Majority Leader, another position waiting for a female trailblazer.

Oftentimes I only know how I really feel about a decision after it's run its course. When Sen. Clinton lost Iowa I was excited with Obama's win, but I was disappointed for her, personally. However, when Obama lost New Hampshire I felt no personal sympathy for him. Instead, I felt disappointmed for me. That's when I knew I had made the right decision.

Ready to go.

Click "There's more..." to see exactly how meaningful Obama's wins have been.


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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Making Progress

Finally, some political progress in Iraq.

It's a little crass, but hey, it's The Onion. It's important to remember everytime McCain or some C-list wingnut touts all the "success" of the surge in Iraq that though violence has abated to 2005 levels (which is still more than one dead American soldier a day, and countless Iraqi civilians), the Iraqi state is no closer to being a viable functioning Democracy than a year ago when Bush announced the surge.

If you're a College Republican chickenhawk who thinks that this war is an epic clash of civilizations worth trillions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives, I'd like to remind you that it's easy to sign up.


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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Night of Suspense

(Our next general body meeting is Sunday, February 10th, at 5pm in the Meyers Hall multipurpose room. Don't miss it!)

Well last night was fun, even though we all went home before we really knew what it all "meant." The results have become a lot clearer in the light of day, however, and here is where the race stands. Or, more accurately, here is where the race stands in the opinion of a bunch of bloggers and pundits whose judgment I respect.

First, it's important to retain perspective on the race. Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama emerged from Super Tuesday with extraordinarily close delegate counts. NBC News is projecting that last night Obama won 840-849 delegates, while Clinton won 829-839. TPM Election central has a round up of the different media organizations different methods of adding up the delegates, but NBC's numbers are being widely circulated as a solid projection, which means that Obama won the delegates last night.

Remember, going into the contest, Obama's team was trying not to lose. They wanted to lose by fewer than 100 delegates, and hopefully win one or more of some key states, including NJ, CA, MA, or MO. Well, it was a mixed bag. Obama lost MA, CA, and NJ by double digits, although this was inline with most of the polling ahead of time. He did manage to squeeze out the narrowest of victories in MO though. Also, he won CT and DE, both east coast states that were going for Clinton not too long ago. The big story for Obama was that he won most of the other states; 13 in all, and 14 if Clinton's 115 vote lead (out of ~130,000 total) in New Mexico can't hold up to the absentee ballots. Clinton, meanwhile, won 8, 9 if she holds onto NM.

Furthermore, Obama won his states by much bigger margins than Clinton won her's, and in our proportional system that's important. Obama had 60% or more in 8 states, including 70% or more in 3 states. Clinton won only Arkansas, her home state, buy more than 60%. This was what allowed Obama to actually win the delegate count despits losing by double digits in CA, NJ, and MA.

Overall, this was probably a very big night for Obama, although that's a testament to how close this race is. Super Tuesday was a favorable landscape for Clinton to knock out Obama early, and he managed to hang around and stretch out the race, even emerging with more delegates.

The good news for Sen. Clinton was that she won pretty solidly in CA, and that her leads amongst women and hispanic voters are holding. She will need that coalition to remain strong in the race, and if she had bled much support from either of those demographics she would have had a REALLY bad night.

Going forward now, things get interesting. Obama has some favorable states ahead in February, and then on March 4th Ohio and Texas vote with their large delegate counts. Clinton has been leading in both states since the race began, but it all depends on how the race plays out. Does Obama rack up a bunch of wins in February and roll through March 4th (mini super tuesday) with the momentum of a freight train? Or does Clinton win some important victories in Wisconsin, Virginia, and Maryland and blunt his attack. We'll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, it's worth pointing out that Clinton raised only $13.5 million in January, while Obama raised $32 million, which will allow him to advertise and campaign much more aggressively than her in the upcoming states. On top of that, today it was announced that she will loan her campaign $5 million dollars, which is a move that doesn't exactly telegraph strength.

Here is a quick roundup of blog-o-sphere thought on the state of the race. Check these out, they're worth a read, and I had to read a lot of analysis to distill the entire internet into these few links.

Kos says it wasn't a tie, and that the Clinton campaign is "reeling."

Chris has the total delegate breakdown for all the states that have voted so far, including pre-super Tuesday. He doesn't include the projected totals in the chart, only confirmed delegates, but does offer that "It look like Obama will win Super Tuesday by a handful of pledged delegates, and maintain an overall lead of about 20-25."

Booman is taking a very optimistic view for Obama, and lays out how he thinks it will go down. This is more optimistic than I would be, but Booman has been a consistently thoughtful voice, not prone to hyperbole or exaggeration.

Back at OpenLeft again, Chris has tempered his fears about a brokered convention. If you've been wondering how this will all play out with superdelegates and Michigan/Florida, this is a must read.

You can keep track of the final results as they trickle in at the CNN Election Center, but keep in mind how they are allocating delegates.

Oh yeah, I forgot about the Republicans. I guess I would write more, but it doesn't really matter who won last night. After all, does anyone remember which states Bob Dole won on Super Tuesday? Nobody will care about McCain's gains last night either once he loses to the Democrat in November.

Click "There's more..." for the rest of the post.


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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Tuesday Expectations Headquarters

There's been plenty of good pre-super tuesday analysis out there on the intertubes, and the emerging consensus is that it will be a fairly even split in delegates, and that the more important aspect is the media coverage afterword. Who "won" and "lost" is largely a product of the expectations and what suprises we see.

This post is a non-comprehensive collection of some important Super Tuesday pieces that will help you digest the information tsunami about to come your way. Keep these predictions in mind as you watch the results.


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Monday, February 04, 2008

Obama in Wilmington

Yesterday my brother and I drove down to Wilmington to see Barack Obama in person. The 20,000 person rally in Rodney Square was pretty exciting, about twice the size of the crowd that Kerry drew to Hill Field in 2004. There were plenty of great photos from the event, some showing the crowd size, some featuring Obama, but I thought this one was perhaps the most telling.

Obama was speaking in a somewhate sunken area, as the square was lower than most of the surrounding streets that he was facing. People were climbing on everything they could to see him, including these port-o-potties. The thing that struck me the most, however, was the father that had his little girl on top of the port-o-pottie. There were so many little kids there that I got a sense that parents really wanted their kids to experience it, even if they were far too young to appreciate it. They want their kids to be able to say "I was there." It's probably how their parents probably talked of Kennedy

The other striking thing about the rally for me was the innovative organizing technique the campaign employed. When my brother and I got through security, there were Obama volunteers handing everyone a piece of paper. It wasn't a fact sheet or a supporter sign up card. Rather, it had a name, a phone number, and a polling place.

As the 5-10 thousand people inside the secure area waited for Obama, a couple organizers took the stage and explained to everyone that the names on the papers were registered democrats who have voted in the last two general elections but not in the primary. They told everyone to take out their cell phones and make one call for Obama.

It was brilliant. A 10,000 call phone bank in 2 minutes. It would have taken 100 dedicated volunteers at least 2 hours to accomplish the same thing. I've never heard of this, and it struck me as a really innovative field technique. Of course, my voter hung up on me, but all through the crowd there were positive anecdotes. He probably earned a few hundred extra votes there, at least. Furthermore, it made everyone at the rally instantly feel like they were a part of the movement, not just a spectator.

Has anyone ever heard of this technique before? I certainly don't remember Kerry doing anything like this.

Click There's more..." for the rest of the post.