21 June 2008

A logo to know

It consists of 2 large circles, the outer containing text, with an olive branch and arrow clutching bald eagle in the centre.

No, it's not the US Presidential seal...it's the Obama for America logo.

Obviously there are some differences, such as the outer wording: "Obama for America" and "www.barackobama.com" and in place of a shield over the eagle's chest, there is the trademark Obama "O".

But, the most impressive difference (as a lover of the latin language) is the motto: "vero possumus" - and I'm sure you can guess the translation.

Though, following the amount of nominees, work, debate, and votes cast during the months of the primary season, it may be said that Obama's logo could adopt the motto from the US Presidential logo "e pluribus unum" - "Out of many, one"

...but, who knows what will happen at the convention!

Oh, and the "vero possumus" translation:
"Yes we can"

20 June 2008

John Edwards on Obamas VP List

It emerged on Friday that former Presidential candidate and 2004 VP nominee John Edwards is on Barack Obamas list of potential vice presidential candidates

The former North Carolina Senator is included in a list of approximately 20 other names being considered by Senator Obama and his campaign team.

This may surprise some as Edwards has previously ruled out running as Vice President for a second time. What’s more, Edwards was not regarded by many to have been a particularly effective vice presidential candidate in 2004.

What I find particularly interesting about the details of a meeting held between Obama’s campaign team and Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick of Michigan is that in response to her mention of Al Gore as a possible VP pick - the two members of Obama's team simply smiled.

Wishful thinking or do they know something we don’t?

18 June 2008

Obamas in US Weekly Magazine

Continuing the blurring of the line between politics and entertainment, the Obamas have landed a six page spread in American tabloid gossip magazine, US Weekly (think Heat on steriods).

Of course Barack Obama is no stranger the pages of US magazine after having a holiday snap of him in his swimming shorts published earlier in the year and famously refusing to answer whether he was a boxer or briefs man in an interview in February 2008.

Whatever next? Perhaps John & Cindy McCain in Martha Stewart Living magazine?

Show Me The Money...

With all indications showing that the Obama campaign intends to play to win in states not typically targeted by the Democrats and John McCain touting his appeal to independent voters across the country, I think it will be interesting to see where the money flows in 08.

I recently stumbled across this useful map which shows how presidential and vice presidential visits and money spent were distributed across the 50 states in the 2004 Presidential election.

It gives such a clear view of how concentrated money and resources are in an election.

So how different will the 2008 map look? Certainly we can expect to see Virginia far more saturated that it was in 2004. Additionally, I think Michigan will look as flooded in 2008 as Florida was in 2004. The Obama campaign has also suggested it envisages a route to 270 Electoral College votes passing through Georgia and Montana.

Following Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, will Louisiana abandon the Republican party and mobilise behind Barack Obama – possible with the large African American population in and around New Orleans.

McCain’s campaign staff have suggested that the Senator will not be afraid to play ball in typically Democratic states such as California – although I am somewhat sceptical that he would have enough resources to throw at the state to even make it vaguely competitive.

John McCain to Withdraw From Presidential Race

I know that in the blogosphere people write things to be deliberately controversial and to start a debate.

But what a saw on the Huffington Post blog yesterday really did make me chuckle...

Steve Rosenbaum
When McCain Drops Out

When the Republicans choose their candidate on September 4th, there is a very real chance that they could throw the election into an unexpected chaos as they pull a genuine September Surprise.

I think there is every reason to believe John McCain won't be the nominee. Ok, let me say that again. McCain will not be the Republican candidate in November.

The article then goes on to list the following Republicans as those who could potentially step into John McCains vacated shows:

Condoleezza Rice (Secretary of State)
Colin Powell (fmr Sec. of State)
Marilyn Musgrave (Colorado Congresswoman)
Mitt Romney (fmr Massachusetts Governor)
Mike Huckabee (fmr Governor of Arkansas)
Charlie Crist (Florida Governor)
Tim Pawlenty (Minnesota Governor)
Bobby Jindal (Louisiana Governor)
Mark Sanford: (Governor of South Carolina)
John Thune (Senator from South Dakota)
Dick Lugar (Senator from Indiana)
Chuck Hagel (Senator from Nebraska)
MIchael Bloomberg (NYC Mayor)

It summarises helpfully by saying: McCain won't be the nominee.

You can read the full article here.


Clinton & Obama To Make Joint Appearance Next Week!

So it’s happening! Just a week after I predicted it would happen.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are to make a joint public appearance next week – the first time the two have shared a stage since Senator Clinton formally ended her bid for the White House.

The rally is scheduled to take place on Tuesday June 26th in Washington DC. Clinton's national finance director, Jonathan Mantz, sent top donors an invitation Tuesday for the meeting featuring both former rivals. Mantz also asked Clinton donors to show unity by giving Obama $2,300, the maximum donation allowable under federal campaign finance laws.

He added that Clinton "will do everything she can to unify the party and to elect Barack Obama the next President of the United States."

NB: Will be interesting to see if the respective Senator’s spouses will attend the event with them.

President Forever + Primaries 2008

If you are an American politics junky (and lets face it, why wouldn’t you be!?), then I think you will probably enjoy this game.

President Forever allows you to run as any candidate – Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green, and Independent. Then, from fund raising to grass root building, through the primaries and caucuses, the bargaining for endorsements and then right through until November you must steer your candidate to election victory.

You have to make key speeches in states that matter, deal with unexpected scandals and campaign gaffes as well as use your finite budget to un-do your rival’s efforts.

It’s fairly reasonably priced at about £8, and I think it is well worth the investment.

P.S. I’m not being sponsored to plug this site. I just think it’s a great game!

Nail in Clinton’s VP Coffin?

Barack Obama has made his first appointment of a former Clinton staffer to his campaign.

Patti Solis Doyle, who was infamously and unceremoniously fired from her position as Clinton’s campaign manager in February has been selected by Obama to be the campaign chief of staff to his, as yet, unnamed running mate.

It is to be expected that Clinton campaign staff will gradually move over to the Obama camp – after all, they are all Democrats who want to see John McCain defeated in November, and they offert are a huge talent pool that Obamas camp will be keen to utilise.

What is interesting though s that several blogs and news sites are interpreting this move as a deliberate shun to Senator Clinton and the clearest sign yet that Obama has little intention of making her his Vice Presidential candidate.

CNN’s Jessica Yellin reported Monday that the Clinton campaign is angry about the hire. Solis Doyle left the campaign in February after a string of disappointing primary results and rumours surfaced before Clinton even bowed out that Solis Doyle would join the Obama campaign.

What’s more, the bitterness between Solis Doyle and Clinton is apparently still simmering, with the two reportedly no longer on speaking terms.

A top Democrat close to Solis Doyle told Yellin that Solis Doyle would not have accepted the job if she believed Clinton would be Obama's choice for vice president.

16 June 2008

Breaking News: Al Gore To Endorse Barack Obama On Monday

Al Gore will endorse presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama on Monday night.

The former Vice President and 2000 Presidential nominee has remained steadfastly neutral during the nominating contest - some say angling to be a party power broker, with the more cynical pundits saying he was waiting to be called upon to break a potential deadlock by becoming the candidate himself through a convention second ballot.

However, Gore will break his long silence on Monday night in Michigan at a joint campaign rally appearance with Senator Obama.

In a statement on Monday afternoon, Gore stated that "A few hours from now I will step on stage in Detroit, Michigan to announce my support for Senator Barack Obama."

He added that "From now through Election Day, I intend to do whatever I can to make sure he is elected President of the United States."

Interestingly, the announcement comes on the same day as reports that Obama’s campaign team see his route to the vital 270 electoral college votes as more reliant on Michigan than the traditional path of winning either Ohio or Florida.

2004 Vice Presidential nominee and 2008 presidential candidate, John Edwards chose Michigan as the venue to endorse Obama in May.

15 June 2008

Hillary Clinton: AWOL?

For the previous 17 months/16 years, we have been used to Hillary Clinton's every step being captured by a legion of cameramen and a press corps of journalists from around the world.

But since her emotional concession speech last week she has been nowhere to be seen - causing an eruption of Washington speculation about exactly where the New York senator has gone.

What's more, members of her formal presidential campaign and her Senate staff aren't saying.

"She's enjoying some much-needed time with her family," said a staff member for her former campaign who asked not to be identified.

The two-term senator has a day job to return to, though no public events have yet to be scheduled and Clinton's Senate office is giving few clues on when she might return to the Hill.

"She'll be back before you know it," Philippe Reines, a senior adviser to Clinton said.

Laying low after a hard-fought presidential campaign is not exactly out of the ordinary.

After the 2000 presidential election, former Vice President Al Gore largely dodged the public eye, only to emerge six months later with a full beard. In 2004, John Kerry too took some down time after his loss to President Bush, though the Massachusetts Democrat was back in the Senate just over a week later.

Meanwhile, Bill Clinton on Thursday made his first public appearance since his wife formally dropped her presidential bid, speaking at the eighth grade graduation of his nephew in Torrance, California.

According to the local paper, the Daily Breeze, the former president spoke for about 10 minutes and avoided any mention of the presidential campaign.