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Attorney, Private Practice 2000-present Former Senate Legal Counsel 1994-2000, Northern Marianas Commonwealth Legislature Chief Consultant, 1985 Northern Marianas Constitutional Convention

Friday, January 25, 2008

Grassroots politics ... growing a movement

I thought I'd share with you excerpts from an email I received from Barack Obama today (no, not a personal email -- a campaign email) and especially some videos on, as Barack says, "what hope looks like."

Barack writes:

"In less than 24 hours, voters in South Carolina will head to the polls.

Before they do, I wanted to show you a bit about what kind of campaign we're running here.

When Michelle and I talked about my running for president, one of the core goals we both had for this campaign was to leave the political process better off than we found it.

Here in South Carolina, a state with a history of some pretty divisive politics, ordinary people have challenged conventional thinking about the process and built a statewide organization based on local community organizing and neighbor-to-neighbor contacts.

Our supporters -- men and women of all ages, races, religions, and backgrounds -- have come together around the idea that we are one people, invested in each other and in our common future."

* * *
"In communities across this state, people who have never been involved in politics before -- or who had given up on what they saw as a broken system -- have built something special.

No matter what the outcome tomorrow, our work here will have a lasting impact on those communities and on the Democratic Party for a long time to come.

We're seeing the same story play out across the country as grassroots supporters in 22 states prepare to cast their votes or turn out to caucus on February 5th."
* * *
"[After the South Carolina primary,] the spirit of the grassroots organizing we have done here -- of ordinary people taking back the political process -- will be apparent in thousands of communities across the country.

I believe more strongly than ever that this movement for change can do more than just win an election. Together, we can transform this country."

Here's one video of organizing in South Carolina:

You will find many more here, providing a sense of what the Obama campaign has built in South Carolina and all worth watching.

Ann Coulter hates John McCain

This is an interesting read ... Ann Coulter attacking a Republican. Ann writes:

"John McCain is Bob Dole minus the charm, conservatism and youth. Like McCain, pollsters assured us that Dole was the most "electable" Republican. Unlike McCain, Dole didn't lie all the time while claiming to engage in Straight Talk."

And it goes downhill from there. So head on over to the Republican Townhall.com for your daily dose of vitriol and learn why Ann Coulter hates John McCain.

If Hillary gets the nomination this way . . .

She'll lose the general election. That seems an awfully high price to pay just to be the first female presidential candidate of a major political party. And that she would also be the first former First Lady presidential candidate will only diminish the value an already hollow and pyric prize.

Many in the Democratic Party establishment are becoming concerned about the way that Bill and Hillary Clinton are engaging in distortions, dirty tricks, and race and gender politics in their struggle to win the nomination for Hillary.

There is fear within the party that if Obama becomes the nominee, he might emerge from this fracas personally battered and politically compromised. Hillary and Bill then would have done much of the Republicans' job for them. Moreover, if Hillary is the nominee, the Clintons' tactics could alienate blacks from the party or at least its presidential ticket.

And make no mistake about it, Hillary and Bill have resorted to the most cutthroat kind of politics. The Clintons are airing a radio ad in South Carolina attacking Senator Obama's comments about Ronald Reagan made in a Reno, Nevada interview. They are continuing this attack despite the fact that every analyst that has compared the charges advanced by Bill and Hillary with Obama's actual words has concluded that this is deceptive campaigning.

In other words, it is, as Dick Harpootlian, a former chairman of the Democratic Party in South Carolina, called it: the "politics of deception."

Here's the truth. Here is the interview, with Obama's actual words:

As you will note, nowhere in here does he say anything about supporting Reaganite ideas of the type listed, scornfully, by Hillary:

"I don't think it's a better idea to privatize Social Security. I don't think it's a better idea to try to eliminate the minimum wage. I don't think it's a better idea to undercut health benefits and to give drug companies the right to make billions of dollars by providing prescription drugs to Medicare recipients. I don't think it's a better idea to shut down the government, to drive us into debt."

Yet that is precisely what the Clintons' attack ad suggests of Obama.

Incidentally, Senators Obama and Clinton both voted last year to name February 6, 2007 “Ronald Reagan Day.”

Thursday, January 24, 2008

It's the economy, stupid!

Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post likes real world tests for political candidates. She says the latest, "and perhaps most revealing," of these tests is the candidates competing plans for an economic stimulus.

Who got the best grade? Well, Ms. Marcus began with President Bush because he's the President and that means "he sets the curve." She gave President Bush's plan a B-minus.

The best grade went to Barack Obama with an A-minus.

John Edwards managed a B-minus, tied with President Bush.

Hillary Clinton mustered only a C-plus.

John McCain led the Republicans with a D-plus, followed by Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee with D's. Rudy Guiliani did not complete the assignment.

Read her complete analysis here.

Clinton, Obama Clash at SC Democratic Debate

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Every candidate is following . . . Obama!

Mitt Romney finally got a win. In Michigan, duh!

How did he do it? Aw, shucks, you guessed it.

He did it by doing what every candidate seems to be doing since Iowa . . . by adapting his campaign theme to mirror Obama's.

Sure, Hillary Clinton admonished Obama for giving people "false hopes" . . . and at the same time made her theme more hopeful. Give me some time and I'll edit this to post something demonstrating this point.

Now, let's look at Romney. The Washington Post reports that Romney sharpened his campaign message in recent days to emphasize "the need for dramatic change in the way politics is practiced."

In his victory speech, he proclaimed a "victory of optimism over Washington-style pessimism." Sounds an awful lot like hope to me.

Guess what else? He "promised to carry his new theme into the rest of the primary states."

There's more. Obama long has been talking about "you" ... meaning the people ... his supporters ... everybody. He told us "your voice can change the world." Next it was Hillary, doing her pale imitation of the same. And now it's Romney. Here's a link to his speech (opens in new window).

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Whose hopes were false?

Here's Obama's response to Hillary Clinton's contention he has been giving people "false hopes."

Notice she said something about galvanizing people.

Stand by for the results . . . .

At the cusp in New Hampshire

Here are some last minute glimpses of the campaign and candidates on the eve of the New Hampshire polls, starting with a revealing look at Hillary Clinton as she responds to a question from an empathic supporter who asked how Hillary remained so upbeat and "wonderful" in the face of the grueling campaign pace and bruising competition:

Sorry, looks like I have to do this the awkward way.
(click here to view the video in a new window)

Here's a report on Obama's last rally before the primary:

Use of these WashingtonPost.com videos is frustrating. It appears only the first
instance on the page will work properly. The others will not complete loading
the player. In IE 7.0, the non-loading players are in some kind of annoying,
clicking loop that potentially can freeze up the browser, the tab, the
window, or perhaps even the machine. Sheesh! Click here to see
this video in a separate window.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Your voice can change the world . . .

This post on my Unity Movement CNMI blog is well worth a look. Go ahead. Barack Obama has got it right . . . he's an inspiration, a beacon of hope, a promise for America's future.