You have to admire how these guys can find away around the silly bullcrap that passes for “running for president” from the establishment types….how rad is this? Of course, I’ve been no stranger to the On Notice Board on the More Popular Blog…And, just for laughs, here’s a video that seems to indicate that perhaps there’s a virus that infects the Clintons when it comes to straight talk. I keep forgetting that this kind of nonsense is somehow better than the liar we have in office NOW:
Remember that zany primary we held a few months ago for the Democratic presidential nomination? Yeah, that one. You probably thought “I voted and that’s that” but you’d be incorrect. Now comes the arduous task of selecting the actual delegates who will go to the convention in Denver and actually vote for Clinton or Obama.
These seemingly dull events can get quite heated, as people this time rillyrillyrilly wanna go to the convention as an Obama or Clinton delegate and more people are involved than ever before on both campaigns.
I’ve been getting all sorts of pleas from folks to vote for them on Sunday – but I can’t vote for ’em as I do not live in Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s district, I live in Rep. Speier’s district (CD12). So while I can send ’em my good wishes, and hope that the delegate slate isn’t dominated by politicians, I can’t help ’em out here in SF. Both campaigns are using union halls for their respective gang initiation rites (Clinton is at the Plumber’s Union on Market Street, while Obama’s is at the SEIU office. Both are easy to get to, and find.
However, those of us in the 12th Congressional District have two rather odd/interesting choices, as the district stretches from western SF all the way through San Mateo County. The end results were a bit interesting, mostly to Peninsula natives such as myself. So let’s run down the pros, cons and the wtfs? of each locale….because you really would rather be reading this than working on this sunny Friday, right?
File this in the no-you-can’t-make-stuff-up-like-this file: It seems that legendary actor and writer John Cleese, he of the Monty Python/Fawlty Towers fame, has offered to help Barack Obama’s presidential speechwriting efforts should he become the nominee this summer.
I really don’t know what to say….if I’d made something like this up, it wouldn’t even come close to being as teh awesome as this…does this mean a Department of Silly Walks is in the Obama cabinet in 2009? PS: Don’t forget to vote for Jackie Speier today if you live in the 12th CD. If you’re not sure where you vote, follow this link and find your polling place.
Remember, if enough of us vote, we can send Jackie to Congress immediately. If we don’t, we have to listen to the inane prattling of the Green Party and an assortment of no-names who will lose anyway – but we won’t have Jackie in Congress fighting for us on critical issues facing the House. So go vote!
Many people don’t realize that there’s an honest to goodness Special Election on April 8th. There’s been some campaign activity, to be sure, but even with all the nice pieces of mail from the Elections Department, et al, it’s easy to forget. Heck, I forgot to apply for an absentee ballot this time around, and now have to go vote in person!
As I noted on my way more popular blog on all things MUNI, right now we don’t have anyone in Congress representing the 12th CD (which includes part of San Francisco and San Mateo County) due to the death of longtime Rep. Tom Lantos. Now, if 50%+1 of the good people of the 12th CD vote for Jackie Speier, we can send her to Congress immediately (she doesn’t have to pass “GO” and doesn’t need to collect $200), and we can have one of the most effective members of the Legislature (yes, we’ve had a few and she was one of them) be representing us on some pretty important issues right now.
If, however, we don’t vote, and she doesn’t make the threshold, there’ll be a “Special General” election, that will coincide with the June Primary. However, she’ll win that one for sure, but we will not have anyone in Congress representing us. Besides, put it to you another way – how many of the current crop of candidates kicked ass on privacy issues and have a train named after them? Hint: Just one, and isn’t some hippie-dippie Green candidate.
Today (Sunday, April 6th) there’s an event for Jackie at the Machinists Hall down in Burlingame. For a mere $10 donation, you can enjoy a fine spaghetti dinner and meet the candidate and her many supporters. It’s an easy commute for those of you in San Francisco – you can take BART or Caltrain to Millbrae, and walk a few blocks to the union hall.
Whatever you do today, be sure to vote on April 8th! We can all talk big in San Francisco, but now it’s time to do something about all that big talk, and send an effective legislator to Congress who can shake things up. Go Jackie!
Normally, I’d be headed to a state Democratic Convention in Northern California, because just as artistic folks go to Burning Man, and my comics/anime/film friends go to Comic-Con, folks like me go to these things because you can get your political geek on, in the company of friends and strangers and not feel weird.
In fact, when I re-launched my blog in 2006 I did so armed with a press pass at the CDP convention, which was rather fun (and cheap – Sacramento affords many hotel deals, it seems) and went to the 2003 and 2004 conventions as well
This time around, I didn’t think I was going to be in town this weekend so I didn’t make any plans, but had a trip pushed back at the last minute. By then, any decent rates on hotels were not to be found, and I couldn’t get a press pass in time. Ah well. Probably for the best, as I have tons of other work to do, both for work and for my 15 minutes of Internet fame thanks to the awesome folks at io9.com. (Note to self: never allow yourself to be filmed unless you’re dressed to impress, you never know where that video might end up, along with your improv skillz).
However, if you’re looking for blogger coverage, fret not, for many of San Francisco’s “A-List” Bloggers&trade will be on the case. The gang from Calitics.com will be there, as will Sweet Melissa and Beth Spotswood, and plenty of others (whom I’ll add to the list as I discover ’em online). The party itself will stream live video at their site, but as we all know the real fun and drama goes on in the many caucuses, after hours parties, and whatnot at these things.
The funniest thing about this convention is the lack of drama in the Presidential race since we had this stupid idea that moving our primary “ahead” would make us more “relevant” and whatnot. Oddly enough, if California had simply kept all its primaries in June as God and Man Intended, California would literally be the king-maker in the race as one of the last primaries with a sizeable cache of delegates, super or not.
As it stands, most of the drama will be in races for state Assembly and Senate where term limits have created open seats, and of course there’s the Migden/Leno/Nation drama-fest as well. Not nearly as much fun as having a host of presidential show up at your convention, but for us Political Nerds it’ll be fun.
So, um, yeah, like these folks like….Barack Obama!
Truth be told…would some insider consultant have come up with something that resonates with,um, pop culture?
Of course not. Most political consultants disdain pop culture and the zeitgeist because the are so f*cking smart. Too bad in San Francisco and elsewhere they get paid to fail….all beause they ignore, well, reality and that cultural reality that we live in.
Hoarding gets such a bad rap these days. I mean, sure, if you hoard every edition of the newspaper for 50 years along with your 20 cats and assorted random bottlecaps, that could be cause for alarm (or at least a fire hazard). But in politics, saving all those assorted pieces of detritus seem like a pile of junk in the present, but become oddly helpful in recollecting days of old later on.
Today’s nostalgia trip is the “DNC Annual Report,” of which I’ve scanned in two pages. The first is the cover with President Bill and Vice President Al, and everyone was aglow over the fact that Old Man Bush had been sent packing, and new Members of Congress, like Sens. Boxer & Feinstein and many more, were now in office. “Change” it seems, was in the air. National Health Care was on the way, thanks to Co-President Hillary, and Democrats, it seemed would be in the drivers seat for some time.
Well we all know how that worked out. 1994 anyone? Speaker Newt? Majority Leader Dole. Senator Santorum?!?
But today I would like to focus on one piece of the “DNC Annual Report” – the section that talks about the DNC “grassroots campaign” to support the “Health Care Plan” for Presidents Clinton and Clinton. If you don’t remember any of this, don’t worry – that’s because in the pre-Internet, pre-blog, political world, efforts like this cost a fortune and didn’t really do so great, no matter how hard people tried.
When the cost of disseminating information and organizing people nationally is high and is led from the “top” down, the chances of igniting a movement to change something as big as the health care system is really difficult. Entrenched interests fought back with those f*cking “Harry and Louise” ads, and well, the rest is history (often revised, Soviet-style on the campaign trail, it seems).
Today, however, there are many ways for people to talk amongst themselves, and link up with like-minded folks around the country (and world), rather easily. Movements can take a life of their own, and evolve (as MoveOn did from the late 90s) and today, we have the prospect of a presidential candidate who is able to be competitive with a well-financed, Washington insider because he can activate over a million active donors (most of whom are giving in small amounts.)
It’s interesting to see how much has changed in technology, communications, and organizing in the last 15 years. It’s also interesting to see how little has changed in the mentality of the well-paid pundit and consulting class in Washington DC who seem to know how to make lots of money, but not how to get anything done. They do know, however, how to complain and whine about “blogs and the internet” and urge a nostalgia for something that never really existed. Funny, that.
I was going through some old files this evening and found one of my many stashes of direct mail I’ve kept over the years for various reasons. Somehow, in all the moving and whatnot over the years, this piece, from the first Clinton campaign in 1991-1992 got misfiled in a batch of 2003 SF Mayoral mail (!) which I was looking up because…well, you know.
Anyway, click on the images for a larger version of the covers and the inside spread. You can tell this is probably one of the first brochures the campaign made, most likely in 1991 when Clinton’s campaign began, but before James Carville and Paul Begala joined the campaign (in 1991 they were busy winning an impossible bid for US Senate for Harris Wofford). Design notes, and a clip from “Mad Men” after the jump! Read on!
I wish I hadn’t given to Barack Obama’s campaign last night – I wish I’d done so today instead. That’s because you’ll get a limited edition T Shirt that celebrates the fact that they are just a few thousand folks away from having ONE MILLION donors to the campaign.
One million people giving everything from a dollar to 2,300. That’s stunning.
It’s not just about the money, either – people who give once to a campaign will inevitably give again, and they’re more likely to come out and volunteer as well.
Obama didn’t need government cheese for his campaign (like McCain took) and he didn’t need fancy gimmicks to compete against Bill and Hillary’s made-for-the-90s political machine. Instead he’s built what people are calling the first successful viral-marketing political campaign, which combines grass-roots organizing with the technology to easily activate and inform a huge base of support.
Meanwhile, the best Hillary Clinton can do is an angry, whining, negative campaign, all the while she continues to slip in the polls. I don’t know that is going to be particularly successful – after all, people are kind of tired of the ephemeral bullsh*t in American politics we’ve grown accustomed to over the past 10 years. But who knows? Maybe if she screams and yells and kicks and claws and attacks and gets as shrill as possible, she’ll win.
Whatever. Obama’s got a million folks watching his back, and they’re not going to be swayed by 1990s style attack ads. After all, they gave some of their hard earned money to the campaign, and they’re gonna see it through to the end. PS: For some added fun, check out this story that details HOW the campaigns are spending their money. It’s pretty dramatic…if you give to Hillary Clinton, it’s most likely your money will go to well paid staff and consultants (including one that’s business partners with…McCain’s manager!) and overhead. Obama’s campaign puts more of its money into, um, campaigning, and has way more cash on hand for emergencies. KTHXBAI.