Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Frank Rich Keeps the Myth Alive

October 10, 2010

The New York Times’ Frank Rich writes the following in his Saturday column (October 9, 2010):

“it was the miracle of social networking that helped enable Barack Obama’s small donors to overwhelm Hillary Clinton’s fat cats, and his online activists to out-organize her fearsome establishment pros.”

Not exactly. Take it away Richard Wolffe (not exactly an anti-Obama character):

“How did they do it? Contrary to their own carefully cultivated image, the money did not grow at the grass roots. ‘It wasn’t the Internet,’ said Pritzker. ‘We tapped everybody and did every event we could. He’d do seven events in New York, back-to-back-to-back-to-back.’ Internet donations totaled less than 15 percent of Obama’s fund-raising through 2007. Money only started to cascade through the Web after Iowa in early January 2008, and it would take another several months, as the primaries dragged on, for the grass roots to represent half the campaign’s fund-raising.”

Richard Wolffe – Renegade. The Making of Barack Obama (p. 74).

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Campaign Poetry: Cultivated Image

May 4, 2010

“How did they do it? Contrary to their own carefully cultivated image, the money did not grow at the grass roots. ‘It wasn’t the Internet,’ said Pritzker. ‘We tapped everybody and did every event we could. He’d do seven events in New York, back-to-back-to-back-to-back.’ Internet donations totaled less than 15 percent of Obama’s fund-raising through 2007. Money only started to cascade through the Web after Iowa in early January 2008, and it would take another several months, as the primaries dragged on, for the grass roots to represent half the campaign’s fund-raising.”

Richard Wolffe – Renegade. The Making of Barack Obama (p. 74).

Campaign Poetry: Hardened

May 2, 2010

“Obama’s ambivalence and detachment could be a strength in politics and even in his personal life. It hardened him against failure, protecting him from the pain of defeat, or an absent father. But it also served to isolate him, pushing away those who could sustain him, as he strove to succeed. The price of political success seemed a certain sum of personal failure.”

Richard Wolffe – Renegade. The Making of Barack Obama (p. 123).

Campaign Poetry: Self-conscious staging

April 30, 2010

“Were the stories and the scenes less genuine for all the cameras and the self-conscious staging? Maybe so. But there was no way to win as a renegade without mastering a campaign’s language and look, its conventions and protocols. They were taking enough risks by running against the Clintons; anything else was beyond their powers of self-control and team discipline. For any other insurgent candidate, there would have been no press, no public, and no money for TV ads. That would have forced him to take more risks and create more opportunities. But even six months before the first votes of the 2008 election, there was no free-wheeling phase for Obama. His campaign was a magic lantern show, projecting something once real, and now sometimes hidden, onto a large blank screen.”

Richard Wolffe – Renegade. The Making of Barack Obama (p. 79).

Campaign Poetry: The new adage

April 28, 2010

“When I was coming up in politics, the saying was, Don’t put anything on paper you don’t want to see on the front page of the New York Times. The new adage should be, Don’t say anything you don’t want posted on YouTube and whipped around the Internet at warp speed. We were spared to an extent in that there was no video of his comments in California, and the audio recording was not great quality. The words were still replayed incessantly, but because online video is now king, the clip didn’t get the play it might have.”

David Plouffe – The Audacity to Win (p. 217).

Campaign Poetry: Late Night with Kent Conrad

April 27, 2010

“Obama was planning to do the national morning shows on Wednesday so it would not look like we were hiding in defeat. I decided to travel with him for a few days, so I had to be up early to meet him at the tapings. Sometime after 3:00 a.m. I had finally dozed off, and I was suffering through some fitful sleep when the hotel fire alarm started blaring. Dazed, I lurched into the hallway, where I ran into North Dakota senator Kent Conrad, who had endorsed Obama right before Iowa (our first senator outside of Illinois) and had been in New Hampshire campaigning for us. Standing in my boxers in a hotel hallway in the middle of the night with Kent Conrad, I suddenly experienced an overwhelming urge to get the hell out of New Hampshire.”

David Plouffe – The Audacity to Win (p. 152).

The House passes the Senate Health Care Bill

March 22, 2010

On Motion to Concur in Senate Amendments (H R 3590): 219-212

On Passage of Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H R 4872): 220-211

In the end, the Democrats not only got 216 votes, but 219 (and 220). This way, no single Democrat can be accused by his or her opponent in the upcoming midterm elections of having been the single vote who tipped the tally in the favor of the Democrats.

Official White House photographer Pete Souza took this picture of President Obama in the Roosevelt Room during the passage of the bill (with a picture of FDR – who passed Social Security – on the wall to the left):

In his remarks following the passage of the bill, President Obama stated that:

Tonight’s vote is not a victory for any one party. It’s a victory for them. It’s a victory for the American people, and it’s a victory for common sense. … We proved that we are still a people capable of doing big things. … We proved that this government — a government of the people and by the people — still works for the people.

Politico writes that the passage of the bill provides President Obama with an immense and immediate boost, while calling it a split decision for House Democrats. Townhall, on the other hand, writes that:

Strict partisanship has carried the day, and our health care system will never be the same.

Finally, take the time to watch House Minority Leader John Boehner’s remarks on the House floor:

We have failed to listen to America. And We have failed to reflect the will of our constituents.

Even if you disagree with the content of the health care reform awaiting the signature of President Obama, the fact remains: History was made today.

Read more here: Washington Post, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Roll Call, Washington Examiner, The New Republic.

(Official White House photo by Pete Souza)


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