Big Wall Climbers for Obama

I knocked on the modest condominium door with my Voter Registration clipboard in hand, and a very fit looking and elderly gentleman answered the knock. “Good afternoon, sir, I’m volunteering with Organizing For America updating voter registrations today.” I offered. “Please come on in” the gentleman replied, and I entered his living room where he sat down on the sofa. He looked worried and tired.

“I just don’t understand how anyone in their right mind could ever vote for Romney”, he began after I had affirmed that he and his wife were currently registered. “He has no integrity other than his greed, and his behavior in the debate this week was so disrespectful to the audience, the moderator, and the President – I’ve never witnessed anything like it in my life!” “I’ve been depressed ever since that debate the other night, I know the President has to have had so many other things on his mind that we don’t know about, maybe a war breaking out in Turkey, who knows? But it was so hard to watch Romney lie to everyone and the President just not responding….”

“I know” I replied. “I haven’t been much of a prize fighting fan in my life”, I said, “but I was a big fan of Muhammad Ali in his day…and that Rope-A-Dope was really hard to watch as Liston would just pummel him on the ropes and you wish he’d take a swing back but he wouldn’t do it. And in the end Liston had punched himself out.”

“God, I hope you’re right”, said the gentleman. “I can’t imagine what our country would become under Romney and the Republicans.”

We talked a bit about my work with the campaign, that this is how I put the frustration and fear to work. We talked about what sort of responses I was getting from people as I worked, and I told him that as a now aging technical climber from the 70’s I am fairly recognizable around town, many of my close friends are the local mountaineers and guides, we go back 40+ years now. “Probably nobody will take a swing at me when I knock on the door supporting the President even though there’s a significant and rather obnoxious Tea Party faction in town.” The gentleman looked suddenly more intent and a gleam came into his eyes.

“I used to be a climber around here, back in the day”, he said as he looked into my eyes with intensity that I had not seen before. “I used to climb around here with a young man named Layton Kor.”  I felt like someone had slapped me in the face – I was stunned. Layton Kor was one of the most legendary of all the pioneers of big wall technical climbing in America. “Excuse me sir,” I stammered, “but please tell me your name.”

I instantly realized who this gentleman was, this man who had invited me into his home to talk the politics of today. He is one of my climbing heroes, a man who in his time was at the very forefront of the courageous climbers who broke down the barriers of big wall climbing in North America, a man who established numerous first ascents of the vertical, blank granite walls of the Colorado Front Range. A man of unquestioned courage, honor, and achievement.

“Sir, it’s a true honor to meet you, I had no idea”, I said as I stood to shake his hand. The handshake was long and firm, the sort of handshake between two mountaineers who were to join forces and climb together. It was a handshake that established our common bond. We talked together as two old climbers for another hour or so. He told me stories of his introduction to and climbs with Layton Kor and others, about his pioneering the first technical climbs of The Diamond on Long’s Peak. I spoke of his original routes which I had admired and marveled at over the years. But soon it was time for me to leave.

“My friend”, I said as I stood to leave, “we’re at the crux of this (political) climb together, and it’s a really tough spot. But what have we always done at the crux of the climbs? We’re not gonna back off, we’re not gonna rappel down and try another time. We’re gonna surmount this problem and we’re gonna finish this climb together! “I’ll be knocking on your door again soon, and we’ll get this thing done.” He smiled warmly, his tired and concerned demeanor had now changed. The parting handshake lingered, and the hand which gripped mine was steady and strong. “You’re right”, he said, “come back anytime”. And I will come back soon, sir, because you are my new climbing partner.  

Would you go tehnical climbing with Mitt Romney?

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Did Romney just officially kill his chances with veterans?

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

The RNC based their entire convention on a manipulated misquote by Obama. Now the DNC will demolish Romney for a real quote.

Contrary to right-leaning opinion, the initial criticism of Romney’s deliberate omission of deployed troops in his RNC acceptance speech came from a prominent CONSERVATIVE columnist, Bill Kristol. Since that column, that criticism has been growing against the GOP for not even mentioning veterans and the military in their entire convention…a serious mistake pounced on by Democrats who made sure their real contributions to military families and veteran issues were at the forefront of their convention.

Undeterred, Romney was given a chance to respond to this contemptuous snub of America’s bravest warriors.

His answer? “They’re not important.”

Let me give it to you in text form:

   BAIER: To hear several speakers in Charlotte … they were essentially saying that you don’t care about the U.S. military because you didn’t mention U.S. troops and the war in Afghanistan in your nomination acceptance speech. … Do you regret opening up this line of attack, now a recurring attack, by leaving out that issue in the speech?

   ROMNEY: I only regret you’re repeating it day in and day out. When you give a speech you don’t go through a laundry list, you talk about the things that you think are important and I described in my speech, my commitment to a strong military unlike the president’s decision to cut our military. And I didn’t use the word troops, I used the word military. I think they refer to the same thing.  

Folks, this is not a carefully manipulated distortion of a speech – the GOP Candidate for president specifically stated that the men and women fighting overseas are “not important.”

And despite his unchecked weaseling on a friendly media network, Romney did not even talk about “the military.” He specifically and deliberately excluded mentioning men and women risking their live for their country, and those who have already done so and come home.

Bill Kristol called him on that –

The United States has some 68,000 troops fighting in Afghanistan. Over two thousand Americans have died in the more than ten years of that war, a war Mitt Romney has supported. Yet in his speech accepting his party’s nomination to be commander in chief, Mitt Romney said not a word about the war in Afghanistan. Nor did he utter a word of appreciation to the troops fighting there, or to those who have fought there. Nor for that matter were there thanks for those who fought in Iraq, another conflict that went unmentioned.

Leave aside the question of the political wisdom of Romney’s silence, and the opportunities it opens up for President Obama next week. What about the civic propriety of a presidential nominee failing even to mention, in his acceptance speech, a war we’re fighting and our young men and women who are fighting it? Has it ever happened that we’ve been at war and a presidential nominee has ignored, in this kind of major and formal speech, the war and our warriors?…

This seems to be the ironclad proof of what I’ve always know – that the Republican’t Party and it’s erstwhile Presidential nominee could give a shit about about the men and women who fight, bleed and die for this nation.

“National Security” only matters when we stuff the Defense budget so full it collapses our economy….the actual brave Americans who carry out the missions are so many “assets” to ignore and discard once their usefulness in campaign ads expires.

This is not a “gaffe.” This is not a “mistake.” This was THE illuminating moment that shows this aloof, out-of-touch Millionaire is incapable and unworthy to hold the highest office of this great nation.

Repubs, it’s OVER. Once this honest admission gets the full scrutiny it deserves, the veteran vote walks away en masse and takes many Independents and moderate Republicans with them.  

A Voter Suppression Double-Standard?

Thoma’s Edsall in the New York Times writes that President Obama’s attacks are intended to keep certain constituencies from voting.

Criticizing the experience Mitt Romney claims qualifies him for the presidency is not okay, yet requiring every voter to present a photo ID-which would disproportionately affect Democrats-is fine?

I recognize that there are shades of grey in the Romney’s alleged accomplishments, as well as criticisms levied against him. Nonetheless, it’s a bit of stretch (if not a double standard) to suggest that questioning and criticizing-fairly or not-your opponent is really an effort to keep certain constituencies from voting.    

The Romneybots are coming! Run from the Young Guns Women!

Even though registered Republicans are a majority in Colorado (no thanks to Scott Gessler’s pathetic and clearly partisan attempt at voter suppression) it appears that Mitt Romney may be worried that Colorado Republicans, particularly women, may not be falling into a neat, ordered line behind him. Of course, it’s not entirely his fault. Much of the blame lies with the extremists within the GOP. Too bad Mitt is too weak to stand up to them. He couldn’t even defend his hiring of Ric Grenell. Faced with a terrorist threat, he’d probably wet his pants.

Although the Unite Against the War on Women march last Saturday received almost NO press coverage… it still happened and cannot be refuted. Women are ANGRY with the GOP. We are ANGRY about the laws targeting our reproductive freedom. And we VOTE.

In case Republican or Independent women–and the men who love them–have actually been watching President Obama’s ads, particularly the one that points out Romney’s horrible anti-women statements such as, “Planned Parenthood? We’ll get rid of that.” (Yes, that is working out really well for Texas, isn’t it? Way to go, denying healthcare to thousands of women, simply to pander to a bunch of noisy, whiny, misogynistic teabaggers), not only the Romneybots are coming to Colorado, but the truly terrifying Young Guns Women.

Mitt Romney was quoted as saying, “we need to get the independents and we need to get the women.” I don’t know what the Republicans are going to do about the independents but the Young Gun Network has ridden in to deal with the women challenge and is busy orchestrating a shoot-out between the misunderstood, beleaguered, and besieged conservative woman and the feminist harridan, who is clearly set on destroying the family, family values, and America.

“Woman Up,” you know like “man-up bro,” only it’s “woman up sistah,” is the Young Gun Network’s million-dollar, multimedia blitz to woo the women’s vote.


But I don’t think that Coloradans will be fooled by these master manipulators. Even though mainstream media is not covering the anti-women news as it should, the blogosphere, Twitter, and liberal media make up the slack.

it’s gotten to the point that they, Republicans, can’t introduce, sponsor, co-sponsor, or pass any kind of anti-choice and other ALEC flavored legislation without EVERYBODY KNOWING through a weekly, even daily, deluge of emails, phone calls, and petitions from very angry human beings.

(same source as above)

We are organized, and we have targeted the anti-women politicians in the Colorado legislature, particularly those with ALEC ties. We are spreading the word that a Romney presidency would be TERRIBLE for women’s health, and our daughters’ futures. No matter how much Mitt flip-flops, we will not forget his pandering to the extremist right. The extremists are a minority. Women are the majority. And we will remember in November.


President Santorum?

Lately Dems have been chortling at the thought of Santorum possibly beating Romney for the GOP nomination – the thought being that Obama would wipe the floor with Santorum (sorry) in November.

But as a Democrat, I’m concerned.

What do you think?

My concern is that we are beginning to hear reports of extremely high gasoline prices – maybe reaching $5 a gallon – coming over the summer. As an average American fortunate enough to have a stable job, I’m not directly affected by unemployment rates. But I do find myself affected – in a mental health kind of way – by gas prices. When they’re high, I feel worse and more pessimistic about our economy and our current leadership. When they’re low, I feel better.

And again: I’m a Democrat. Republicans or independents will feel even worse about our incumbent President if the economy sours between now and November.

A President Romney would be bad enough, but my hope is that perhaps he would end up being at least somewhat close to the “Massachusetts Moderate” that his opponents have been painting him as. He at least has a track record of being somewhat responsible when in office.

Rick Santorum, on the other hand, is a 100% ideologue – and I shudder to think of him appointing Supreme Court justices, directing our nation’s foreign policy, and sabotaging our existing laws that protect the environment and civil rights.

I’m concerned that the economic good news may be peaking too soon, and between now and November, either gas prices or problems in Europe could deal another blow to our national psyche – with Obama being the victim.

So count me, for one, as a moderate citizen NOT happy at the prospect of a Santorum candidacy. He’s just too dangerous. (The same goes for Gingrich.) What do you think?    

Would a Santorum GOP nomination be good for Obama?

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The KXL — UPDATE: KXL Deferred

Update: President Obama has announced that he will not make any decision on the pipeline until after the 2012 election. It’s a crafty way to keep the prospect of the pipeline live, without alienating enviros… it ensures the greens are thinking about the possibility of the pipeline issue coming back, and abouth where they’d be w/ a Republican in the oval office, even as they’re disappointed with the current admin.


Today over 10,000–the NRDC reports about 12,000–people from across the country formed a human circle around the White House, to pressure President Obama to deny the presidential permit which TransCanada will need to build across our national border.

Special interests! #kxl on Twitpic

This follows on a day-by-day protest back in September in which 1253 people including James Hansen and Bill McKibben were arrested, in a small thoughtful group of citizens each day, protesting outside the White House.

In the interim between the 1253 arrests and the 12,000 person circle, some other key things have happened:

For one, 20 congressmen have written a letter to Obama stressing that the State Department’s vetting process for the pipeline is badly tainted by fox-guarding-the-henhouse style “independent” reviews by companies with strong financial interests in the pipeline.

For another, small local protests have visited dozens of OFA offices across the country, and been there to greet President Obama at basically every public event he’s held since September–with road-side protests outside many private ones. For one example, there were protesters outside, and inside, President Obama’s speech at CU Denver.  

Oglalla Lakota Vice President Tom Poor Bear was ejected from the event. You can read his remarks on the pipeline here.

For another example, 20+ protesters were, um, highly visible at Obama’s visit to Lincoln High here in Denver. (I wasn’t able to attend, but helped organize this protest, so although one small event of many, I may be partial.)

More examples here, here, and I trust you know how to use Google.

These events have demonstrated groundswell opposition to the pipeline across the country, including in key battleground states such as CO, so one could hope the approval process will be reviewed, and the pipeline stopped.

The pipeline has (some would say “of course!”) attracted condemnations from the usual enviro leaders–you know, Al Gore, Robert Redford, and so on.

But add in that Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, his Holiness the Dalai Llama, some six other Nobel Peace Prize winners, two governors, and 618,000 petition-signers had opposed the pipeline as of September, and now ask–do these people know something you don’t?

If you’re one of those who care about atmospheric parts per million, maybe James Hansen’s comment that, if built, the pipeline would be “basically game over” for the climate is the one that will get you moving.

Or maybe you’re more moved by photos of the most massive strip-mines of any kind in the world. (sorry, can’t seem to embed).

So, if you haven’t yet, will you tell President Obama you would like him to please not authorize the pipeline?

Start here:

Will you send President Obama a message about the pipeline?

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Is Represenative Bachmann trying to lose?

The latest gaffe from the Congresswoman involves a claim that Hurricane Irene is a sign Congress needs to change. See:…

I don’t like the Congressional infighting any more than anyone else does–If I could have my way both parties would act like adults and find a way to compromise in meaningful way.  

Nearly every presidential candidate has made a gaffe or misstatement at some point or another: it’s difficult to completely avoid when you’re in the spotlight constantly. Nonetheless suggesting  that the residents of the South, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and other affected areas are nothing more than collateral damage is downright insensitive, and ultimately counterproductive. Remarks like these won’t be easy–though they won’t be impossible–to walk away from.  

The Congresswoman’s rhetoric is almost reminiscent of of what Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson said about the September 11th attacks.


Breaking 2012 Presidential Election News (Sort Of)

(Longtime Polster has an important announcement, so spit out that gum and listen up! – promoted by Aristotle)

After a long period of soul searching, I, Go Raiders*, have decided today that I need to back away from my intention to seek the presidency in 2012.  This has been a very difficult decision for myself, my family and my team to come to, but it is with the utmost faith in a higher power, and the stupid rules of TV, that I have had to back away from this opportunity.  

Once I became aware of the ramifications of the news that Donald Trump would not be able to continue his role on whatever TV show he is on during a run for the presidency, I was forced to consider that due to my Screen Name, the TV coverage of the Oakland Raiders would be unnecessarily interrupted, thus depriving the fans of the Denver Broncos the opportunity to continue to view their team receive the beatings they so richly deserve.

This really was a decision that I had to arrive to in order to continue my long standing policy of putting the workers first.  I could not jeopardize the opportunity for the team’s owners, coaches, and players to miss out on the income that they receive from the network broadcasters.  Doing so would be uncivilized, and I would lose my status as a “man of the people”.  Additionally, I believe it would have lended credibility to Adrian Peterson’s argument that NFL players today are really modern day slaves, and I just could not live with the fact that I personally may have deprived him from the opportunity of earning ten million dollars this year as a “slave”.

A further review of my polling also contributed in a small way to my ultimate decision:

My national security plan entitled “So, you think you can kick My Ass?” was generally well received in the non-veteran voting population between the ages of 55 and 75.  I have done no additional studies to correlate what that means,  I just enjoyed the fact that it was well received.  The veteran voting population seemed to have some discontent with my plan as they felt it might sound like a challenge to other nations.  I suspect my interview where I had stated, “Tell those Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys to bring it on” may have set back our relations with certain Froggish governments.

Upon further consideration, my economic plan entitled “Fuck You, I got Mine!” didn’t score particularly high with the voting population, and should have been known to be controversial in naming standards.   However, the plan was generally well received by large corporations with low tax liabilities.  For some reason, my plan resonated with them.  Fortunately, as with all things interesting or controversial, the Disney Corporation has given a tender offer to trademark my plan name for their future usage.

My Health Plan, entitled “Let’s Move America” seemed to score particularly high with the physically fit voting population.  Unfortunately, the moving vans and deportation orders for the not so physically fit didn’t score well.  In retrospect, I should have articulated my plan to move the unfit to third world nations as a dietary reduction method a little better.  I am certain if I had not hired Shady Mike’s PR service, we might have done better.  I guess that is the price you pay when selecting the cut-rate PR firm out of the Phone Book.  I am here to tell you, Dex doesn’t know squat.

My government spending plan was well received by members of congress and potential future members of my administration, but did not score well with the US Taxpayer.  I don’t think it is out of bounds for a president to be paid the average pay of the top ten CEO’s of fortune 500 corporations.  The truth be told, if you want to attract top talent, you have to let them be able to make a few bucks.  Members of Congress and the US Senate seemed to enjoy the fact that they would be receiving treasury options, however what they failed to realize is that even though my plan was to pay them a million dollars a year, in options, they would not be able to collect until interest rates exceeded 13%.  

My plan for the national debt, “Fuck China”, seemed to be my strongest polling point with the voting population.  There were not any specifics to this plan that I had come up with so far, though I am certain it would have all worked out and not caused any international tensions.

Finally, as with all campaigns, I still have some outstanding debts that I must repay. (Would you believe what I am supposed to reimburse myself for mileage these days?)   So if you can spare 240,000.00, I would greatly appreciate it.  I put a lot of miles on my Ferrari this past year, and with gas prices these days the expense was astronomical.



Would you have voted for Go Raiders*

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Palin Confirms Presidential Interest, Alaska’s Senator Re-Elect Lashes Out

Full Article

In an article that will be published in this weekend’s issue of the New York Times, Robert Draper quotes Sarah Palin confirming that she is interested in a run for President, which is more than she’s given any other reporter.

I am. I’m engaged in the internal deliberations candidly, and having that discussion with my family, because my family is the most important consideration here.

Palin also said that there aren’t meaningful differences in policy among the field of G.O.P. hopefuls, and that she’s evaluating whether she can “bring unique qualities to the table.” I would say that “unique qualities” is something she has plenty of, but are they the kind that get you elected President?

More about the in-depth inteview with Pain and those close to her after the jump. I’ve done my best to summarize and comment on the 7 page article, but it’s still a long post, nonetheless.

(Check it out, there’s some really good stuff in there.)

Palin World

The article examines those close to Palin who have served as her guides and advisors since hitting the national stage so suddenly two years ago.

Andrew Davis, one of her advisers, describes a cult-like environment driven by “personal devotion to Palin rather than the furtherance of her political career”, and where people don’t have titles or specific jobs and rarely know what they will be doing from one day to the next. It’s “the way things always operated in Palin World.”

Hm, interesting.

Davis is also the person who screened the candidates for Palin to endorse or not by trying to determine whether they met certain base-line standards (like being anti-abortion, pro-A.N.W.R. drilling and anti-stimulus). Palin would then make the final decisions. As you will see at the end of this article, she had more misses than hits.

Lessons from ’08 and Media Aversion

Draper also asked Palin about the 2008 campaign. Her answer is very interesting.

Palin said that her experience as John McCain’s running mate was for the most part “amazing, wonderful, do it again in a heartbeat.” But she added, “What Todd and I learned was that the view inside the bus was much better than underneath it, and we knew we got thrown under it by certain aides who weren’t principled” and that “the experience taught us, yes, to be on guard and be very discerning about who we can and can’t trust in the political arena.”

She went on: “I know that a hurdle I would have to cross, that some other potential candidates wouldn’t have to cross right out of the chute, is proving my record. That’s the most frustrating thing for me – the warped and perverted description of my record and what I’ve accomplished over the last two decades. It’s been much more perplexing to me than where the lamestream media has wanted to go about my personal life. And other candidates haven’t faced these criticisms the way I have.”

I asked her if by avoiding the national press, she didn’t bear at least some responsibility for the way the public viewed her. “I’m on television nearly every single day with reporters,” she shot back. “Now granted, that’s mainly through my job at Fox News, and I’m very proud to be associated with them, but I’m not avoiding anything or anybody. I’m on Facebook and Twitter. I’m out there. I want to talk about my record, though.” Palin was referring to “getting in there and cleaning up corruption, taking on the oil companies and the good old boys in the party, things like the natural-gas pipeline” and “getting things out of the government’s hands, like the state-owned dairy creamery in Alaska.” Asked if she believed in 2008 that these accomplishments made her at least as qualified as Barack Obama to be president, her response was immediate: “Absolutely. If I had any doubt in my ability or administrative experience that would’ve been put to good use in a McCain administration, then I never would have accepted the nomination.”

One has to wonder if she is genuinely dilusional in thinking that her limited experience qualifies her to be President, or whether it is simply her experience as a sportcaster and journalism major telling her to fake it and hope no one notices. She also said the media’s “unfairness” toward her makes her “fear for our democracy”, which is especially humorous coming from a person of the salary of Fox News.

Later on in the article, she shows how paranoid she is about anyone who has been in politics very long, describing them as “unprincipled people who are in it for power, money and job titles.” So maybe that’s why she doesn’t want to do the time and work her way up through the system like everyone else. Maybe she’s worried that she’ll become like them.

Ignoring Advice and Rejecting Help

The article highlights how Palin has ignored those tradition political manuevers, for better or worse, and disregarded the advice of the seasoned political operatives.

One afternoon in June 2009, Gov. Sarah Palin was sitting in the Washington office of her friend Fred Malek, whom she met through McCain during the 2008 campaign. She was listening to the former White House aide to Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford map out logical next steps to her political career. Focus on amassing a good record as governor, he advised her. Run for a second term. Develop some policy expertise. Do some extensive overseas travel. Generate some good will by campaigning for fellow Republicans.

Malek said that Palin was visably displeased with that advice and told him that she wasn’t willing to stay in office as Governor where all of her mistakes would be public knowledge and easily exploited. “Under the laws of Alaska, anybody can file suit or an ethics charge against me, and I have to defend it on my own. I’m going into debt.”

So, in other words, she resigned the Governor’s seat to escape transparancy or critical review of her work as the cheif executive officer of the state of Alaska. Hm, well she’s gonna be in for a surprise if she does find a way to the Oval Office, where she and every member of her staff will be subjected to constant scrutany.

Malek also said that he hosted a foreign-policy lunch discussion with Palin, where Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution, received an appreciative grin from Palin when he told her that he himself had seen Russia from an island off the coast of Alaska – “I defended you on that.”

Just… wow.

Three weeks after the series of meetings with Malik, Palin resigned as Governor.

Palin’s New Media

On the topic of her self-driven media explosian, Robert Gates, the White House Press Secretary, talks about his frustration with the Palin phenomenon…

If I would have told you that I could open up a Facebook account or a Twitter account, simply post quotes, and have the White House asked about those, and to have the entire White House press corps focused on your quote of the day on Facebook – that’s Sarah Palin. She tweets one thing, and all of a sudden you’ve got a room full of people that want to know. . . .

Gibbs shook his head and continued: “Now, I could say, ‘You know what? I’m not going to deal with that.’ And big headline: Palin Accuses Obama of X. The White House had no comment.

Palin’s Lawyer Thomas Van Flein, who helped her get through Troopergate, says she doesn’t consult anyone before she posts her tweets and facebook statuses, and that he struggles to keep up with her, especially since her moments of “inspiration” could come at any time of the day. Said Palin about her tweets, “that’s just the way I roll.”

Loss of Bi-Partisnship

Bill McAllistar, former Communications Director for Palin, says that she used to be far less partisan than she is now and recalls a time when, “while editing a speech she was about to give, the vice-presidential candidate crossed out a disparaging reference to liberals, telling an aide, ‘We want liberals to vote for us, too.'” But when the election was over, supposedly, the democrats in her state were more interested in attacking her than working together to govern, which she gives as another reason for leaving her position there.

And y’know what, I’m sure that she’s right. If she had stayed in the Governor’s seat, every single issue in Alaska would be a national headline in no time and Democrats in the state would surely use it to garner press for themselves. When all is said and done, resigning the Governorship was probably the best thing Palin could have done for the state, even if it is going to kill her if she tries to run for President. She will be plagued with statements like “Palin didn’t honor her commitment to the people of Alaska by serving her full term. Instead, she decided to resign and go make millions with her book deal, Fox News job, and reality TV show. It’s seems like she is more interested in being a rich celebrity than serving the voters. So why should we trust her to do anything different as President?”

Good Article

Overall, this article shows a picture of Palin that hasn’t really been seen before. It shows her method of strategizing (which sometimes consists of asking for advice and then dismissing it) is very intentional and at least moderately organized, while still somehow being chaotic. I fully recommend reading the whole thing.

Toward the end, it gets much more relaxed and almost settles into just being a conversation bewteen Palin and Draper.

The Missing Story: Palin’s Endorsements and Senator Murkowski

One issue that is only touched on breifly, however, is her relationship (or lack thereof) with Alaska’s Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, who the AP just now announced is the first person to win a write-in campaign for the US Senate in over 50 years.

Palin, however, supported Murkowski’s opponent, Joe Miller and helped him defeat Murkowski in the GOP Primary. But Murkowski decided to continue her campaign anyway, not wanting to leave Alaskans a choice between “an extremist and a Democrat” (sound familiar, Colorado?), and managed to defeat not only Miller, but Democrat Scott McAdams as well. The relationship between Palin and Murkowski has been strained since Murkowski was appointed to replace the late Senator Ted Stevens. And after Palin endorsed Miller, Murkowski fired back, saying “Well, perhaps it’s time they met one Republican woman who won’t quit on Alaska,” And she didn’t quit.

Much of her campaign focused on simply helping people remember how to spell her name correctly and making sure they new how to properly cast a write-in vote. Supporters even passed out blue rubber wrist bands with voting instructions for people to wear to the polls on election. Those bands eventually became a show of solidarity for those who supported her. Maybe she should have just switched to the American Constitution Party instead.

So now, Palin has to contend with a female Republican Senator from her own state who is out to get her. And you better believe that Senator Murkowski will be using some air-time to get a few blows in. When asked whether she would support Obama and Palin for President in an interview with Katie Couric on Monday, Murkowski said

I just do not think that she has those leadership qualities, that intellectual curiosity that allows for building good and great policies. You know, she was my governor for two years, and I don’t think that she enjoyed governing.

I will tell you, I am not one of those who wants Obama to fail. If he does well, that means the country’s doing well. We don’t have time as a nation to spend all of what we do blocking. We have got to figure out how we get to a point where we can be sitting around the table and talking about these difficult problems and advancing some solutions.

If nothing else, Murkoiwski’s election should serve as a bit of a blow to Palin’s confidence about her influence, even within her own state. While she was able to boost the Tea Party backed Miller to the GOP nomination, he wasn’t able to actually win the election. Though the Washington Post reports that the results were typical.

Of the 11 Governor candidates she supported, only 5 won.

Of the 33 US House candidates she supported, 18 won, possibly 19.(New York’s 25th District is still counting, but the Palin-endorsed candidate seems to be winning)

Of the 13 candidates for Senate that she endorsed, only 6 will be in the Senate next year. (and one of them is John McCain)

That’s 25 out of 54, less than 50%. In a Republican “wave” year, most people could have picked more winners by simply flipping a coin.

So hopefully she, or at least one of her advisors, is quickly learning that there is a difference between being popular and being influential. And she is going to need both is she hopes to win in 2012.

Is it time to stop underestimating Sarah Palin ?

September 24, 2009

Palin Speaks to Investors in Hong Kong


HONG KONG – Sarah Palin, in what was billed as her first speech overseas, spoke on Wednesday to Asian bankers, investors and fund managers.

A number of people who heard the speech in a packed hotel ballroom, which was closed to the media, said Mrs. Palin spoke from notes for 90 minutes and that she was articulate, well-prepared and even compelling.

“The speech was wide-ranging, very balanced, and she beat all expectations,” said Doug A. Coulter, head of private equity in the Asia-Pacific region for LGT Capital Partners.

“She didn’t sound at all like a far-right-wing conservative. She seemed to be positioning herself as a libertarian or a small-c conservative,” he said,…

Mrs. Palin said she was speaking as “someone from Main Street U.S.A.,” and she touched on her concerns about oversized federal bailouts and the unsustainable American government deficit. …

Cameron Sinclair, another speaker at the event, said Mrs. Palin emphasized the need for a grassroots rebirth of the Republican Party driven by party leaders outside Washington.

A number of attendees thought Mrs. Palin, the former vice presidential candidate, was using the speech to begin to broaden her foreign policy credentials before making a run for the presidency in 2012.

“She’s definitely a serious future presidential candidate, and I understand why she plays so well in middle America,” said Mr. Coulter, a Canadian.

Mr. Coulter said CLSA has a history of inviting keynote speakers who are “newsworthy and potentially controversial.” Other previous speakers at the conference have included Al Gore, Alan Greenspan, Bono and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Mrs. Palin’s speech took place at the Grand Hyatt on the Victoria Harbor waterfront and amid the soaring towers of corporate giants like AIG, HSBC and the Bank of China. Some attendees saw Hong Kong as an auspicious place for her first major international appearance.

Melvin Goodé, a regional marketing consultant, thought Mrs. Palin chose Hong Kong because, he said, it was “a place where things happen and where freedom can be expanded upon.”

“It’s not Beijing or Shanghai,” said Mr. Goodé . “She also mentioned Tibet, Burma and North Korea in the same breath as places where China should be more sensitive and careful about how people are treated. She said it on a human-rights level.”

Mr. Goodé, an African-American who said he did some campaign polling for President Obama, said Mrs. Palin mentioned President Obama three times on Wednesday.

“And there was nothing derogatory in it, no sleight of hand, and believe me, I was listening for that,” he said, adding that Mrs. Palin referred to Mr. Obama as “our president,” with the emphasis on “our.”

Mr. Goodé, a New Yorker who said he would never vote for Mrs. Palin, said she acquitted herself well.

“They really prepared her well,” he said. “She was articulate and she held her own. I give her credit. They’ve tried to categorize her as not being bright. She’s bright.”…

Is it time to stop underestimating Sarah Palin

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2012 Presidential Election

Which Republicans will run to take down Obama. Will it be the same candidates from 2008, a whole new slot of guys, or some were in the middle? People are talking about 2010 already, so why not 2012?

Which Republican(s) will run for President in 2012?

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The Presidential Race in Colorado by County

(We’ve said it over and over, but can we please stop saying that “you need the Western Slope to win a statewide election?” Because you don’t. – promoted by Colorado Pols)

It is interesting (at least to me) to see how close or lopsided the vote was in various Colorado counties in the presidential election.

The five most Republican counties by percentage of the vote are not huge surprises. They’re all rural with a voting turn out of under 4,000 in total. And all but one, Rio Blanco, is on the eastern plains.

Cheyenne 80.11% (890)

Washington 77.77% (1935)

Rio Blanco 77.38% (2425)

Kiowa 76.27% (630)

Lincoln 74.27% (1683)

The five most Democratic counties by percentage of the presidential vote are a little more surprising. Tiny San Miguel County was the most Democratic in the state with 77.06% of its votes going to Obama. Then Denver, a usual suspect, but then two more smallish counties. And then the one that people might have picked out as number one, Boulder.

San Miguel 77.06% (3,345)

Denver 75.29% (195,499)

Costilla 73.40% (1,236)

Pitkin 73.74% (7,260)

Boulder 72.33% (115,339)

But, wait, I have more.

The two closest counties by percentage were both won by McCain. Chaffee County, a mountain county southwest of Park County, went for him by 49.09% to 49.04%, or just 5 votes out of 9,483. Likewise Garfield County north of Grand Junction wanted McCain, but only by 85 votes out of 22123, 49.41% to 49.03%.

The five counties with the fewest votes all went to the Republican, except for the very smallest in turn out San Juan County.

San Juan 496 votes 53.23% Obama

Hinsdale 613 55.95% McCain

Mineral 622 53.70% McCain

Kiowa 826 76.27% McCain

Jackson 914 68.27% McCain

There are no surprises in the five largest counties by voter turn out, all but El Paso went for the Democratic candidate. I am not sure why Denver is not the largest, but I suspect it would be the higher percentage of residents who are not US citizens as well as poor neighborhoods that did not turn out. But it is interesting to note that by this metric both Denver and Boulder are much more Democratic than El Paso County is Republican.

Jefferson 283,468 votes 54.69% Obama

El Paso 264,407 votes 58.97% McCain

Denver 259,647 votes 75.29% Obama

Arapahoe 232,167 55.29% Obama

Boulder 159,469 72.33% Obama

Next Five Largest Counties

Larimer 156,085 54.11% Obama

Adams 155,406 57.99% Obama

Douglas 126,377 57.94% McCain

Weld 104,584 53.46% McCain

Mesa 68,165 64.06% McCain

The five more Democratic counties in terms of how many more voters went for the Democratic Candidate than the Republican are:

Denver 135,233

Boulder 73,695

Jefferson 31,729

Arapahoe 27,957

Adams 27,792

The converse five Republican counties are:

El Paso 51,244

Douglas 21,412

Mesa 20,199

Weld 9,269

Fremont 5,794

Third Party Candidates did best in:

Hinsdale 5.06% (31)

Baca 3.09% (67)

Kiowa 2.91% (24)

Mineral 2.89% (18)

Gilpin 2.86% (94)

I don’t think it is a coincidence that they did best in small population counties. Third party candidates failed to break 2% as a group in any county with a voting population of more than 20,000. Of large counties they did best in Weld and Adams.

Third Party Candidates did worst in:

Douglas 1.06% (1,339)

Phillips 1.18% (2,125)

Rio Grande 1.20% (5,408)

Eagle 1.31% (282)

Pitkin 1.39% (137)

I’ll get around to the Senate Race sometime soon. Number were taken from the Denver Post elections results website:…

Edited to add five more large counties.

Did the Results Surprise You?

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Palin Claims Media is Violating her “First Amendment” Rights

(Doesn’t the First Amendment give you the right to call your elected officials morons? – promoted by Colorado Pols)

This is almost too stupid to be believed. Sarah Palin is actually claiming that the press – by criticizing her negative campaigning – is violating her First Amendment rights. Source and more after the jump.…

ABC News reports that in an interview with a conservative radio station, Palin criticized the media for chilling her First Amendment rights:

Palin told WMAL-AM her criticism of Obama’s associations, like those with 1960s radical Bill Ayers and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, should not be considered negative attacks.  Rather, for reporters or columnists to suggest that it is going negative may constitute an attack that threatens a candidate’s free speech rights under the Constitution, Palin said.

“If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations,” Palin told host Chris Plante, “then I don’t know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media.”

There’s much more on Palin’s latest gaffe here:…

It’s really quite stunningly ignorant for a candidate for the second-highest office of the land to think that politicians have First Amendment rights to be protected against criticism by media – “mainstream” or otherwise.

Why, it’s almost like thinking that the Vice President is “in charge of” the Senate.

I would really love to see any of the pro-Palin commenters on this blog defend this latest idiotic comment by Gov. Palin.

Anchorage Daily News: Obama for President

The Anchorage Daily News issued an almost brutally honest endorsement today, for Sen. Obama.  They, rightly, write more about the difference between the candidates than Palin, they were not kind to McCain.

Sen. McCain describes himself as a maverick, by which he seems to mean that he spent 25 years trying unsuccessfully to persuade his own party to follow his bipartisan, centrist lead. Sadly, maverick John McCain didn’t show up for the campaign. Instead we have candidate McCain, who embraces the extreme Republican orthodoxy he once resisted and cynically asks Americans to buy for another four years.

It is Sen. Obama who truly promises fundamental change in Washington. You need look no further than the guilt-by-association lies and sound-bite distortions of the degenerating McCain campaign to see how readily he embraces the divisive, fear-mongering tactics of Karl Rove.

Palin was covered at the beginning and the end.  In the beginning they were nicer, stating that she wasn’t the problem, the problem is McCain, but at the end they were more unfavorable.

Yet despite her formidable gifts, few who have worked closely with the governor would argue she is truly ready to assume command of the most important, powerful nation on earth. To step in and juggle the demands of an economic meltdown, two deadly wars and a deteriorating climate crisis would stretch the governor beyond her range. Like picking Sen. McCain for president, putting her one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time.

All in all it’s a good piece, but it doesn’t really focus on Obama much, more about how McCain is not so good for the nation right now.  I was also thinking that it is a little strange that Palin had five of thirteen paragraphs, but I’ll let it slide because she’s a neighborhood girl.…

Which Polling Outfit is the Most Accurate?

Somebody asked about which of the polling outfits is the most accurate, I thought it was an interesting question and took a look.  Only considering outfits that had numbers in both elections, I used the numbers from today’s date until the election and decided that it’s, oddly, CBS.  They called Kerry’s loss by the correct margin around this time.  Fortunately the difficulty of deciding what poll would be considered correct in 2000 (tied, or either candidate being up by 1%) doesn’t have to be decided at all, almost every poll had Bush up by a significant margin at the end, but a few had a tie around this time.  No outfit had the margin right here and at the end, but CBS was one of three groups, that had numbers in both elections, right at the end.  The other two groups were Harris and Fox News (not far off either year, but predicted Democrat wins both times).

There’s a handy site that collects data from most sources, so feel free to double check my work, or just click around.  Here are the final numbers from


.  I’m only posting a summary from today on, even the limited numbers collectively fill around 600 lines in Excel.


CBS – tied or Bush significantly ahead, right at the end

CNN – Bush way to high leading up, end had him up by 2%

Marist – one poll, had Bush up by way too much

Newsweek – had Bush up by way too much

TIPP – Bush way to high leading up, end had him up by 2%

NBC – had Bush up by too much

ABC – Consistently had Bush up by too much

Harris – one poll, but correct

ICR – had Bush up by too much

PEW – had Bush up by too much

Democracy Corps – not bad for so far out, but my polls stopped at the end of Oct.

FOX News – had Bush up by 3% on Oct 19, right at the end


Marist – too close with Kerry in the lead

TIPP – right on for a large part of the time

CBS – right on for a large part of the time

FOX News – all over the place, usually with Kerry winning by Bush’s margin, otherwise tied

Democracy Corps Poll – had Kerry winning by Bush’s margin, or tied

The Harris Poll – picked Bush, but by too much

CNN – all over the place, but right very close to the election

NBC – had Bush up by 1%

ABC News Tracking Poll and Washington Post – largely predicted a tie

Pew Research Center for the People & the Press – right on for two of three

Newsweek – picked Bush, but by too much

ICR/International Communications Research – only off by 1%

CNN/USA Today/Gallup – 1 right on, the other Bush by too much

For what it’s worth, CBS

currently has Obama up by 13%
.  Of course polls aren’t votes, I just thought it was interesting.

Zogby: Obama Nears Double-Digit Lead

According to Zogby (we got this in an email, so find your own link), Barack Obama now leads John McCain 51.6% to 42% in nationwide polling:

Democrat Barack Obama moved very close to a double-digit lead over Republican John McCain in the national horserace for President, continuing his slow push forward above the 50% mark, gaining 1.3 points in the last day.

McCain is slowly losing ground, having lost another 0.4 points in this latest report on the Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby daily tracking poll.

Pollster John Zogby: “Three big days for Obama. Anything can happen, but time is running short for McCain. These numbers, if they hold, are blowout numbers. They fit the 1980 model with Reagan’s victory over Carter — but they are happening 12 days before Reagan blasted ahead. If Obama wins like this we can be talking not only victory but realignment: he leads by 27 points among Independents, 27 points among those who have already voted, 16 among newly registered voters, 31 among Hispanics, 93%-2% among African Americans, 16 among women, 27 among those 18-29, 5 among 30-49 year olds, 8 among 50-64s, 4 among those over 65, 25 among Moderates, and 12 among Catholics (which is better than Bill Clinton’s 10-point victory among Catholics in 1996). He leads with men by 2 points, and is down among whites by only 6 points, down 2 in armed forces households, 3 among investors, and is tied among NASCAR fans.”

Who will Colin Powell endorse ?

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

It looks like Powell is going to make a formal endorsement soon, and he’s not tipping his hand one way or the other.

I still like Colin Powell.  Yes, his standing went way down after his WMD show at the UN (rightly so), but the guy has a boatload of experience, and he can make his way back into respectability over the next few years.

Who will he endorse though ?  I am guessing since it is even a question that it will be Obama.  That gives him a big opportunity to hit back in public at the party that basically screwed him after he did everything he was asked.

How much bearing will his endorsement have anyway ?

Story from CNN is here:

Powell ready to endorse?

Posted: 11:20 AM ET

From CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Colin Powell might finally announce which candidate he supports on NBC’s Meet the Press this weekend.

(CNN) – Is Colin Powell set to make a long-anticipated endorsement?

The former Secretary of State under President Bush, who has been coy about who he will support this November, will appear on NBC’s Meet the Press this weekend, the network has announced.

Rumors have long swirled that Powell, the first African-American Secretary of State, is leaning toward backing Obama.

NBC is staying mum on what Powell will say: “[He] will break his recent silence and share his views on a variety of important issues,” the network said.

A source close to Powell wouldn’t say if an endorsement would come Sunday.

“Stay tuned,” the source said.

Powell suggested last month he had yet to make up his mind.

The election of an African-American president “would be electrifying,” Powell told a George Washington University audience, “but at the same time [I have to] make a judgment here on which would be best for America.

“I have been watching both individuals, I know them both extremely well, and I have not decided who I am going to vote for. And I’m interested to see what the debates are going to be like because we have to get off of this ‘lipstick on a pig’ stuff and get into issues,” he said

Who will Colin Powell endorse for President ?

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Sarah Palin: Terrorist Sympathizer?

What are we to make of a mainstream candidate who inspires people to shout the following statements about her ticket’s opponent:

“Kill him!”



And who does absolutely NOTHING to discourage or condemn such comments?

Does anyone think for a moment that John McCain – despite his intense dislike of Obama – would allow such comments to be spoken with no challenge?

But McCain has lost control of Palin and her handlers. Things have gotten to the point where Palin is publicly second-guessing McCain’s decisions not to focus on Ayers, Wright, etc. Palin really IS a pit bull with lipstick.

Palin’s “palling around with terrorists” shtick is actually intended to inspire hatred of Obama to the point of her supporters trying to take matters into their own hands to prevent “treason” from occurring. Harsh? Yes. But what other reasonable explanation is there?

Is Palin trying to encourage someone to “kill” the treasonous “terrorist” Obama? It seems almost unbelievable – but consider the following.

Let’s look at Palin’s Ayers charges for a minute. The truth is that Obama attended one “meet the candidate” forum at Ayers’ house over ten years ago, about the time that Ayers had been awarded a Chicago Citizen of the Year award by a mainstream group.

Obama isn’t “pals” with Ayers – he hardly even knows the guy.

Palin and her handlers know this, of course: but they don’t care. They are instead deliberately trying to argue that Obama himself is a “pal” of terrorists: a secret terrorist sympathizer who, if elected, will surrender America to Al Qaeda. That is the only explanation for what they are trying to do with this line of attack.

The ends justify the means. And taking those tactics to their logical extension…

That is really scary.

This is truly remarkable. Sarah Palin is allowing blatant threats to kill the opposing candidate to be made, loudly and in her presence, and is doing NOTHING either during or even after her campaign stops to condemn them.

What can we make of this? Is it overstating the case to conclude that Sarah Palin is herself a terrorist sympathizer? Is she trying to get some nut to do what the GOP campaign is unable to do: prevent Obama from becoming the next President of the U.S.?

Project Vote & ACORN Complete Historic 1.3 Million Card Voter Registration Drive

Over 1.3 million new low-income, minority, and young Americans registered nationwide!

Yesterday, as voter registration deadlines passed in most states, Project Vote, the nation’s leading nonpartisan voter participation organization, and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), the country’s largest community organization, held a news conference to announce the completion of a joint nonpartisan voter registration drive, which has succeeded in helping over 1.3 million Americans register to vote. To listen to the conference in its entirety, please click here

The joint effort, which Project Vote Executive Director Michael Slater described as “the largest and most comprehensive drive in the history of our two organizations”, was conducted in a total of 21 states, with the largest efforts focusing on 16 states, including AZ, CA, CO, CT, Fl, KY, LA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NM, OH, PA, TX, and WI. While final numbers were still being tallied, Slater said that the largest state-by state successes included:

–over 148,000 in Pennsylvania,

–152,000 registrations in Florida,

–over 217,000 in Michigan, and

–over 238,000 in Ohio.

The goal of the nonpartisan voter registration drive-estimated to cost $18 million-was to help close the existing gaps in the American electorate, particularly among low-income Americans, minorities, and youth, all of whom have historically been underrepresented at the polls.

According to Bertha Lewis, Interim Chief Organizer of ACORN, the majority of the 1.3 million registrants are low- to-moderate income people, 60-70 percent are African American or Latino, and over half are under the age of 30. Lewis said the ultimate goal was to change the face of the electorate and permanently empower the Americans who are most affected by policy decisions.

“We think it is important that the voices in our community get heard,” said Lewis. “This isn’t just about going into the voting booth, but it’s actually about strengthening democracy and instilling an ongoing commitment to effect real change.”

This Election Day is expected to see record turnout at the polls, and ACORN board member Carmen Arias, a longtime voting rights advocate, confirmed that the energy and enthusiasm this year is at an all-time high.

“In 2004 we were met with apathy,” Arias said. “We had to convince people to register to vote. This year we were met with excitement: people are excited to have an opportunity to have a say in solving the foreclosure crisis, and the healthcare crisis. They’re eager to have politicians listen to them.”

Slater and Lewis both agreed that empowering voters to have their voices heard by their political leaders is what it’s all about. “Our belief, fundamentally, is that by expanding the electorate, by changing its profile, we will get candidates who will start to appeal to those new voters,” said Slater. “The idea isn’t to assist, whether overtly or covertly, the election of any single candidate, but to force candidates to take into account the interests of Americans who have not historically participated in as high rates as others and to start pursuing policies and programs that are more responsive to their needs.”

Responding to questions, Lewis rejected the suggestion that the nonpartisan voter registration drive had a hidden partisan agenda, and emphasized the importance of empowering low-income communities and working families that have too long been ignored or taken for granted by both political parties.

“All of these politicians, I don’t care who they are-republicans, democrats, all of them-they need to compete for our vote and they need to be accountable,” Lewis said. “Because after the election, whoever gets in there has to deal with us.”

Project Vote also announced that they are conducting efforts to make sure that everyone who attempted to register actually gets on the rolls. Project Vote lead counsel Brian Mellor explained that the organization took a random sampling of ACORN registrations in nine states, covering 14 counties, and checked to make sure the applicants had in fact been added to the voter lists.

“We were happy to find that it appears that most applicants that ACORN submitted and verified appeared to be getting on the rolls,” said Mellor. “However, we do still see systematic problems,” particularly with state database matching requirements. “There is lots of evidence out there that database matching produces a lot of false negatives, with people who are legitimate voters not getting matched.”

“There are still thousands of Americans who believe they have completed a voter registration application and are registered to vote, but in fact are not,” said Mellor, who explained that many registrations are rejected due to incomplete information, confusing application forms, or address problems. Many would-be voters, in fact, may not discover they have been rejected until they arrive at the voting booth.

To give applicants an opportunity to repair their registrations in time to cast a ballot on November 4, Project Vote is conducting a program to acquire lists of rejected applications from boards of election and then to contact the voters by mail or by phone to inform them of their need to re-register.

To assist in this effort, Project Vote has launched a website,, which provides lists of voters in several states for people to check and see if they or their friends and neighbors have been left off the voter rolls due to common registration problems.

In his opening remarks Slater pointed out that the American system of voter registration-with few federal standards, and in which the burden of registration is placed on individuals-has often been used to disenfranchise voters.

“It wasn’t until the civil rights era that restrictive voter registration laws, challenged by protestors risking physical violence and even death, began to fall,” said Slater. “Today, the attacks on voter registration drives are more rhetorical than physical, but the point of contention is the same: the ability of Americans of color to cast a ballot.

“The work of Project Vote and ACORN continues a tradition of ensuring that all Americans can vote,” Slater said.

For more information on this and on the various Election Protection and voting rights work going on in the run-up to the election please contact:

Lacy MacAuley,, for Project Vote

Charles Jackson,, for ACORN

Obama Outspending McCain 3-1

From “The Fix”:

Barack Obama is outspending John McCain at nearly a three-to-one clip on television time in the final weeks of the presidential election, according to ad buy information obtained by The Fix, a financial edge that is almost certainly contributing to the momentum for the Illinois senator in key battleground states.

From Sept. 30 to Oct. 6, Obama spent more than $20 million on television ads in 17 states including more than $3 million in Pennsylvania and more than $2 million each in Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania. McCain in that same time frame spent just $7.2 million in 15 states. Even when the Republican National Committee’s independent expenditure spending in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin is factored in (a total of $5.3 million), Obama still outspent the combined GOP forces by roughly $8 million in the last week alone.

More after the jump…

The spending edge enjoyed by Obama has been used almost exclusively to hammer McCain as both a clone of the current president and someone who is out of touch on key domestic issues — most notably the economy. The assertion of Obama’s spending edge has coincided with the collapse of the financial industry and a refocusing by voters on the economy to turn the election from a toss up to one in which the Democratic candidate has moved into a discernible lead.

While the struggles of McCain and his party over the Wall Street bailout bill that passed Congress last week after much sturm und drang have been well documented, the practical political impact of Obama’s decision to forego public financing for the general election and McCain’s choice to accept the $84 million in public funds has not been as fully explored.

Obama’s fundraising machine has continued to churn in recent months — bringing in $67.5 million in August alone and ending that month with more than $77 million on hand. (Reports for September are not due at the Federal Election Commission until Oct. 20.)

Obama’s ad spending strategy has been based on the idea of stretching McCain to the limit in a series of non-traditional battlegrounds (Indiana, North Carolina, Colorado, Virginia), knowing that such an approach would force the cash-poorer Republican’s hand at some point. [Pols emphasis]

That decision paid off last week when McCain pulled down his television ads in Michigan, a move due in large part to the prohibitive cost of continuing to run commercials in the Wolverine State. A look at advertising in the last week in Michigan showed Obama dropping nearly $2.2 million as compared to $642,000 for McCain and just over $1 million by the RNC — a difference of nearly $600,000 in favor of the Illinois senator.

A detailed look at campaign spending on ads over the last week shows clearly how Obama is using his financial edge over McCain. In 13 of the 15 states where both candidates were on television, Obama outspent McCain — in some states, drastically.

Obama Opens Up Eight Point Lead In Gallup Daily

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

For the third time this election, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) has garnered the support of 50% of registered voters according to the Gallup daily tracking poll. 42% said they would vote for Obama’s opponent, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

Historically this is significant, as Brain Schaffner of notes:

Using Gallup’s compendium of presidential trial heat polling since 1936, I counted 16 candidates who received 50% support or higher in an October Gallup poll. Hitting the 50% mark was a very good predictor of victory. Of those 16 candidates, just two failed to win the general election–Al Gore and Thomas Dewey.

Obama’s jump in the polls is widely seen as a reaction by voters to the current financial crisis.

In the daily tracking poll done by Gallup’s rival, Rasmussen, Obama has been enjoying a similarly solid lead. For the past nine days Senator Obama has been at 50-51% with McCain six points behind.

Of course, National polls get a good idea of the country’s overall sentiment regarding the candidates, but they don’t give us a clear Electoral College picture. For that we turn to


According to RCP’s estimation, Obama has 264 electoral votes to John McCain’s 163. This estimate leaves out the toss-up states of Nevada, Colorado, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. Assuming all of the states that are currently leaning Democratic stay that way, that means McCain would have to win every single toss-up state.

This may be quite sobering for some Republicans, but the light at the end of the tunnel is three-fold:

1. John McCain beat the odds, overcame a campaign that was on the verge on collapse, and won the primary/caucus contests to become the GOP nominee.

2. All of the states that RCP considers toss-ups voted for George W. Bush in the 2004 election.

3. It is not impossible, at this point, to chip away at Obama’s lead one day at a time. So far the campaign hasn’t exactly been friendly, but one of Obama’s biggest weaknesses–Reverend Jeremiah Wright–has not yet been used in attack ads by the McCain campaign. For many voters who considered themselves likely to vote for Sen. Obama in the primaries, it was enough to steer them to Hillary Clinton, and kept her in the race until the very end.

It wouldn’t be close if the election was held today, but McCain and Palin have 30 days to get their act together.

Coloradans share what Social Security means to them

From the Colorado for Obama blog:

There are around 557,000 people who receive Social Security benefits in the state of Colorado. That is 12% of the population. Ninety-one percent of those recipients are seniors.

Last Wednesday, two of those recipients joined Governor Ritter and Paul Teske, a professor of public affairs, for a panel discussion about Social Security. They shared with a room of around 100 Coloradans why Social Security plays a crucial role in their lives.

Vivian became dependent on Social Security after she suffered an accident at work. She talked about why it was important to her that Social Security remain a government program and not be privatized.

She said:

Years ago, I put money in a company that some of you may remember, Silverado. I first lost money then. And then in 1998 thinking things would get better, I did it again. A lot of us who worked for government agencies at the time, we lost thousands of dollars. So I did not have that money. Privatizing social security, believe me, is not the answer, I found out the hard way.

No way can we privatize it. No matter what terminology you want to use, privatizing or personal accounts — it is the same thing. It is just unstable, you cannot depend on it. My social security is my primary income right now… if it wasn’t for social security I would not have the quality of life I have now, I would not be able to survive on a day-to-day basis.

And that is one of the many reasons why I support Barack Obama. Because he does understand exactly what we as everyday workers, everyday individuals, have to go through. I hope no one ever has to go through what I went through but unfortunately I have met too many people in Colorado and across the states that their only income is social security — that is all they have, they do not qualify for other programs. If they did not have social security they would not be able to survive. Barack Obama is the one who understands that need.

Harriet talked about how four generations of her family rely on Social Security.

Here’s a video of her sharing her story:

As president, Barack Obama will help people like Vivian and Harriet by completely eliminating income taxes for 65,000 seniors and eliminate the need for 316,000 seniors to file a tax return here in Colorado. Senator John McCain has proposed a tax cut that would leave the middle class behind, failing to cut taxes for 1.69 million households in Colorado including 480,000 seniors.

Will the debate go off or won’t it?

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: CNN breaking news ticker reports “Sen. John McCain will participate in tonight’s presidential debate.” Presumably that means deal or no deal, a significant capitulation for McCain.

From CNN this morning:

OXFORD, Mississippi (CNN) — University of Mississippi Chancellor Robert Khayat said Friday morning that if GOP nominee McCain does not show for the first presidential debate at the school in Oxford, the format may include members of the audience to submit questions to the moderator, Jim Lehrer.

Workers put the finishing touches on the debate stage at the University of Mississippi on Thursday.

Lehrer would then pose the questions to Obama. It would take on a kind of town hall format, according to Khayat.

Khayat said he will recommend that to the Debate Commission, which would make the final decision.

So Obama will be there…but will McCain?

Will McCain make it to the debate tonight?

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Born Alive Truth

Without causing a huge fight, I’m just curious how people would stand on this one.

Would you vote for or against protections for babies born alive after botched abortions?

I brought up bigotry on another thread, but didn’t get much response.  Bob was really the only one who posted.

I admit that this is one of those things I just can’t tolerate at all.  I can’t stand the thought of someone in our highest office who would not vote for protecting these babies, but he did so four times.

Four times he voted against legislation that would eliminate loopholes in the current law and help these miracle babies born during a botched late term abortion.

I’m sure some of the BO Faithful will have lots of good reasons.  I’ll be interested to see how you can justify this.

Would you vote for or against a bill that would require medical attention to be given to babies born from botched abortions, rather than allowing them to die?

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