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Obama Is In... Now Is California Ready?

by: Andrew Davey (atdleft)

Sun Feb 11, 2007 at 08:59:50 AM PST

(Now cross-posted at MyDD and Daily Kos... Enjoy! : ) - promoted by atdleft)

Yesterday, Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) formally announced his Presidential campaign. And no, I was not surprised by this. However, what did pleasantly surprise me was how he was able to turn his greatest liability into an attractive asset, all in a few choice words:

[T]hat is why, in the shadow of the Old State Capitol, where Lincoln once called on a divided house to stand together, where common hopes and common dreams still, I stand before you today to announce my candidacy for President of the United States.

I recognize there is a certain presumptuousness - a certain audacity - to this announcement. I know I haven't spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I've been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change.

Again, this just amazes me. After all, the DC Beltway Conventional Wisdom holds that Obama is not seasoned enough, and does not have enough "experience" to be President just yet. However I've been thinking about it, and I am quickly coming to the conclusion that Obama already may have the right stuff to win the White House in 2008...
And we California Democrats may be in just the right position to help him out.

Would you like to find out how? Well, follow me after the flip for more...

Andrew Davey (atdleft) :: Obama Is In... Now Is California Ready?
Remember when George W. Bush was the "MBA President" who had all the right "experience" from the business world? Remember the George W. Bush who had a "great resume" as Governor of Texas? Well, after eight years of the horrifying experience that has been President George W. Bush, perhaps we as Americans want something, and SOMEONE, new. Perhaps, we are sick of the same old game of playing politics with everything from climate change to Iraq... To all the nonsense over flags and queers and Terri Schiavo. Perhaps, we are ready for someone who will move us beyond the old political games of the past and start getting things done for the good of the nation:

All of us know what those challenges are today - a war with no end, a dependence on oil that threatens our future, schools where too many children aren't learning, and families struggling paycheck to paycheck despite working as hard as they can. We know the challenges. We've heard them. We've talked about them for years.

What's stopped us from meeting these challenges is not the absence of sound policies and sensible plans. What's stopped us is the failure of leadership, the smallness of our politics - the ease with which we're distracted by the petty and trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our preference for scoring cheap political points instead of rolling up our sleeves and building a working consensus to tackle big problems.

OK, so Barack Obama does not have much real Beltway experience. However, he has fast been gaining experience on dealing with tough issues that aren't always considered "sexy" by the Beltway Pundits. For instance, Obama has worked with Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) on nuclear non-proliferation. He's also worked on lobbying reform and ethics oversight. And let's not forget what he's done on energy security, trying to make our nation safer AND stop climate change by reducing American dependence on fossil fuels.

And you know what? These are all issues that matter to Americans, and issues that Californians care about. I know that I want a safer nation, and that I don't want complete nuclear annihilation. I know that I want a more ethical government, and an end to the same old culture of corruption. I know that I want to stop climate change, and for America to break free from its dependence upon fossil fuels. Obama has been coming up with practical solutions to these serious problems. And yes, he has been able to reach across the aisle without selling out his progressive soul.

Perhaps this is what interests me the most about Obama. He has been able to craft progressive legislation that is also practical. He can take important issues that are often ignored and bring them to the forefront. And yes, he is a fresh face with a fresh perspective and fresh ideas. He's something new, and that may help him here in California.

Californians want an end to the Iraq War. Californians want real action to be taken on climate change. Californians want a safer nation, and a safer planet. Californians want practical solutions to tough problems. And yes, perhaps we really do want something new as well. After all, we are ready for some "maverick, non-traditional Democratic politics" for a change.

And yes, I have heard all the conventional wisdom about Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) being the undisputed front runner in the Golden State. Hillary probably does have an early edge here, especially considering her sizable war chest that's ready to be spent on California ad buys. However, I don't think Hillary is a lock here. Perhaps if she can genuinely connect with California voters, and present to us a clear message on such issues as getting out of Iraq and doing something about climate change, then she may very well win here easily. But so far, Hillary has been reverting to the old politics of the past. And yes, I think Californians are getting tired of the old politics of the past.

California Democrats may very well be looking for something new next February, and perhaps we may be ready for the audacity of Barack Obama's candidacy.

(Side Note: No, I'm not committed to any candidate yet. Yes, I'm so far liking what I see with Obama. No, I don't think he's perfect. And yes, I'll be writing about the other candidates very soon.)

So who's your pick so far for the Presidential Primary?


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So how 'bout that Obama? (0.00 / 0)
Are thinking about supporting him for President? If so, why? If not, why not? And do you think he has what it takes to win California?

Go ahead. Make my day. Fire away!

: )

Had enough of the "red county" right-wing crazy-talk bulls***? Well, then come and visit us at The Liberal OC! Yes, there ARE liberals in The OC! : )

Obama (8.00 / 1)
He didn't go all Exley, which was too bad, but he does have Joe Rospars who is one of the smartest strategists around when it comes to 21st century campaigning.

Twitter: @BobBrigham

[ Parent ]
Well, I do like the website... (0.00 / 0)

It looks good, and so far is quite user friendly. I must admit that I even like the community page. Perhaps he isn't yet as internet-savvy as we all hope for him to be, but so fat he seem to be more internet-savvy than the rest of the Dem pack.

: )

Had enough of the "red county" right-wing crazy-talk bulls***? Well, then come and visit us at The Liberal OC! Yes, there ARE liberals in The OC! : )

[ Parent ]
the website looks great (0.00 / 0)
They deserve props.

Twitter: @BobBrigham

[ Parent ]
Westly & Harris endorse Obama (8.00 / 1)
Even as Obama prepares to make his official campaign announcement on Feb. 10 in Springfield, Ill., the first-term senator is lining up some well-known endorsers in California -- home of the country's richest political contributors.

Among them: Steve Westly, the former state controller who is now a venture capitalist with offices in the powerhouse Menlo Park firm of Kleiner Perkins, and San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, the state's first African American female district attorney.

"I've been with the guy on the stump", Westly said of his decision to back Obama.

Westly, who ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for governor last year, said Obama is "not only an extremely bright, capable person, but someone with vision and a new face. People are looking for candidates who are going to bring new approaches to government."
SF Chron 2-1-07

(-8.50/-7.44) Progressive Blue, An Oasis

Yep, Obama's starting to pick up steam in California... (8.00 / 1)
Yes, Westly and Harris can be a big help to him in NorCal...


While Geffen and Katzenberg raise the big bucks for Obama in SoCal.

Yep, Hillary ain't the clear front runner here anymore.

: )

Had enough of the "red county" right-wing crazy-talk bulls***? Well, then come and visit us at The Liberal OC! Yes, there ARE liberals in The OC! : )

[ Parent ]
Add another Westly operative to Obama's campaign (8.00 / 1)
Jude Barry founded Catapult Strategies, Inc., in 2001 and serves as chief executive officer. Currently, he also serves as the campaign manager for the Westly For Governor campaign. (CA Majority Report)

Barry, from San Jose, and has created this PAC for Obama:


Agree that especially in California, Obama dents Hillary the hardest,of the pack that is.

(-8.50/-7.44) Progressive Blue, An Oasis

[ Parent ]
And he can work well with others to achieve great progressive goals! (0.00 / 0)
He can work with evangelical leaders like Orange County's own Rick Warren to fight AIDS...

AND work with George Clooney to save Darfur...

He's someone who can find common ground with other folks, AND still win them over to the progressive cause! He may be just the type of bridge-builder who can actually bring progressive values back into the White House in 2008.

: )

Had enough of the "red county" right-wing crazy-talk bulls***? Well, then come and visit us at The Liberal OC! Yes, there ARE liberals in The OC! : )

[ Parent ]
I hope Obama is truly Progressive (8.00 / 1)
I've had my doubts. I like Obama enough that he's tied for second place on my list, but, Edwards is first. I can tell you that Hillary ranks wayyy low.
So, needless to say in your Poll I voted for John Edwards. You know... the candidate Steve Westly didn't endorse (eyes roll...yes, snark).LOL

(-8.50/-7.44) Progressive Blue, An Oasis

[ Parent ]
? (0.00 / 0)
And we California Democrats may be in just the right position to help him out.



Good Question! (8.00 / 1)
If you're for Obama, then go to his web site and find out what you can do in your community for him.


If he wins California, then he'll probably be in a VERY GOOD POSITION to win the nomination.

: )

Had enough of the "red county" right-wing crazy-talk bulls***? Well, then come and visit us at The Liberal OC! Yes, there ARE liberals in The OC! : )

[ Parent ]
There is a strong parallel between Obama and (5.00 / 1)
Schwarzenegger.  Both like to run as political outsiders with some star power.  Both claim to be post-partisan and talk about the need to work across the aisle.  And Obama just joined Schwarzenegger in refusal to participate in debates

One of Obama's main talking points is his the need to talk and listen, the need for debate and discussion. Although I do not believe this is a time for bi-partisanship but rather a time to stand for our ideals, I do strongly agree with the need to talk and listen, debate and discuss. That is why I refuse to vote during the primaries for any candidate who passes on the opportunity for discussion and debate.  It seems hypocritical to me that he skip the first opportunity for the American people to hear the candidates truly exchange their ideas and values, to compare the candidates side by side. Any candidate who includes dialogue as one of their ideals has my respect but only if they walk the walk after talking the talk.

If February 21 passes and any candidate fails to attend, regardless of who it is, I will be incapable to voting for them in the primary.

Not sure this is the same thing... (8.00 / 1)
Schwarzenegger stonewalled on debating in a General Election against his Democratic challenger, finally allowing just one debate with a format in his favor.  The dynamics of Obama's not participating in the upcoming Nevada forum are a little different.

The February 21st forum in Carson City is just the first of four candidate forums/debates in Nevada alone.  There are already debates on the books in New Hampshire and South Carolina, as well...and those are just the ones I know of.

There's another candidate showdown of some sort in Nevada next month and the first New Hampshire event is in the beginning of April.  That's three meetings of the candidates with nine months to go before the first vote is cast.

Would I like to see every candidate at every forum?  Of course.  But, I won't rule any one out on lack of participation in one of what may be a dozen (or more) such events.

[ Parent ]
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