Showing posts from November, 2008

George and Barack, BFF

Obama certainly has hit the ground running, but as he pointed out himself, we only have one President at a time. That's why Obama did not attend the G20 summit last week, for example. Still, it seems that the media is trying to paint a picture of a co-presidency anyway. This story is long on the speculation but short on teh evidence: America has never seen anything quite like this: The president and president-elect acting like co-presidents, consulting and cooperating on the day's biggest crises. "It's pretty unusual," said George Edwards , a presidential expert at Texas A&M University, in College Station . What Princeton University professor Julian Zelizer calls "the split-screen presidency" is the result of several historic forces converging this fall: — The 24-7 nature of the global economy, which demands timely reaction. — Incoming and outgoing presidents who have personal and political reasons to show that they can manage a crisis. —

The Obama New Deal

Paul Krugman writes about the prospect of Obama doing a grand FDR-style New Deal to stimulate the economy, then does some back of the envelope calculations on his blog, and frets that an Obama stimulus package might be too small (by design), and explains why that's a bad thing. In a nutshell, you don't want to lowball a stimulus - you need to err on the side of caution by being bold. As Krugman notes, you need about $600 billion to close a 7% output gap, but the Obama people seem ot be leaning towards a stimulus package half that size.

Howard Dean for Health and Human Services

This is a ridiculous argument : Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean is not a serious contender to be secretary of health and human services in the new Obama administration, sources said. Dean’s name has appeared on short lists for the Cabinet post circulating throughout Washington, based largely on his party chairmanship and career as a doctor. Dean also passed health care reforms while governor of Vermont. And his allies said the Obama transition team has had some informal discussions with him about the job. But the chief attributes President-elect Barack Obama is seeking in his HHS secretary will be an ability to work with members of Congress and shepherd reform legislation through the House and Senate. That job description has turned out to be a particularly ill-suited one for Dean, given his partisan background and lack of congressional experience, sources inside and outside the transition offices say. Dean never served in Congress and spent his Washington career try

Dean done at DNC - whither the 50 state strategy?

While this news has already made its way around the liberal blogsphere, it's worth making a note of it here for posterity's sake, given this blog's origins and history. Howard Dean's tenure at the DNC is drawing to a close , and the future of the 50-state strategy seems to be in doubt . Chris Bowers has been following the story at OpenLeft and summarizes: People inside the DNC are telling me that the program is not dead. This doesn't surprise me, because it is a popular program and I imagine that many of the remaining staffers at the DNC are committed to the program. At the same time, all of the organizers--who were chosen by local state parties--have been fired . That effectively kills the program, no matter the messaging and commitment of the remaining staffers. The best bet is that the remaining staff at the DNC will try to push for a continuation of the program once the new administration is in place. In the meantime, many of the large donors who always want

Obama's private election night photos - on Flickr

Obama's private election night photos - up on Flickr for all to share. Truly, Campaign 2.0. I love this sequence of photos:

Obama's mandate: center-left nation

North Carolina makes nine red states flipped to blue. And Texas is on track for 2012 . With the axiom that the popular vote is the best metric for gauging the existence of a mandate, I look at the numbers and conclude that Obama has a clearer mandate from the people than any President in recent history. However something that the far left will need to understand is that the mandate is for Obama, not them . The liberal leftist netroots are self-described as "progressive" - which is unabashedly NOT "center-left". The netroots played a major role in Obama's victory but in another sense, they were also irrelevant, since Obama created his online base virtually from scratch (the netroots are, however, much more directly responsible for the Congressional downballot successes). So, expectations of a "progressive" agenda are probably going to be met with disappointment, as Obama's instincts are soldily centrist. The netroots know it too - look at this by

Texas Blue 2012

Charles Kuffner takes a look at the Bug Urban and Suburban counties in Texas and sees positive trends that bode well for 2012: The first thing to notice is that what had been an 800,000 vote deficit for John Kerry was this year a 75,000 vote deficit for Barack Obama. McCain lost 80,000 votes from Bush's total, while Obama won 645,000 more votes than Kerry. This 725,000 vote gain by Obama accounts for nearly the entire amount of the pickup from 2004. Maybe you're not ready to call Texas a swing state just yet, but this is a huge step in that direction. The big urbans led the way on this. What had been a 240,000 vote surplus for Bush (I goofed on the math when I first did this) became a 267,000 vote deficit for McCain, or a total turnaround of over a half million votes. Dallas was a 115,000-vote blowout for Obama, who won with 57.5% there. Both Travis and El Paso were at around 65% for Obama, with Travis' margin for Obama (117,000) the biggest of them all, and both Harris

transcript: Joe Biden speech on Iran policy (March 2002)

In March 2002, Joe Biden gave the following speech to the American-Iranian Council, outlining a five-point plan for Iran policy . Given Biden's new role as Vice President-elect, I think (and hope) that these remarks provide a preview of the policy the Obama Administration will pursue towards Iran. Remarks by Joseph R. Biden, Jr. "Prospects for Progress: America and Iran After 9-11" It is an honor to be invited to speak before such a distinguished gathering. The number of accomplished individuals in the audience today is a testament to the extraordinary achievements of the thriving Iranian-American community. You have enriched the United States with your many talents, and your cultural traditions have strengthened the diversity of our country. You also have a critical role to play in serving as a bridge between Iran and the United States. Today, I would like to share with you my views on United States policy toward Iran and the kind of relationship I believe Ira

Obama's victory speech: word cloud and transcript

I generated a word cloud of Obama's victory speech tonight at Grant Park. I edited the transcript so the phrase "Yes We Can" appears as a single word, for better visibility: Full transcript of the speech: Remarks of President-Elect Barack Obama--as prepared for delivery Election Night Tuesday, November 4th, 2008 Chicago, Illinois If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer. It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference. It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Repub

Election projection: Obama 305, McCain 233

Happy election day! (Some crazy towns in New Hampshire started voting at midnight). Courtesy of Nate Silver's simulations, here's how McCain might win . The most plausible (but still improbable) scenario: Obama takes all the Gore and Kerry states, and McCain takes everything else. Everything else in this case includes states like Colorado (9 EV), where Obama's lead is the widest it's ever been and early voting favors Obama heavily. In other words: not gonna happen. Also, Virginia (13 EV) is looking very, very good for Obama, too. However, continuing the scenario, if McCain can pick up Pennsylvania (21 EV), then he can compensate for VA and CO and win the election. This is probably Obama's worst-case, leaving him at 265, just shy of victory. However, despite McCain's late surge and heavy focus on PA, Obama still has a healthy lead . In fact, I think Obama will take PA, in part because of early voting, heavy turnout ( weather in PA today is high 40s - low 50s