NDN Blog

The Hillary effect on campaign finance

The Washington Post has an interesting article on how Sen. Hillary Clinton's bid for the White House is changing the public financing system.

For more information on NDN's coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, click here.

Scooter Libby's Lawyer Goes After Karl Rove

From the AP:

Attorney Theodore Wells, in the opening statements of I. Lewis Libby's perjury trial, said Libby went to Vice President Dick Cheney in 2003 and complained that the White House was subtly blaming him for leaking Valerie Plame's identity to columnist Robert Novak.

"They're trying to set me up. They want me to be the sacrificial lamb,'' Wells said, recalling the conversation between Libby and Cheney. "I will not be sacrificed so Karl Rove can be protected.''

Firedoglake is liveblogging the trial

Hillary TV

Last night, Sen. Clinton (who also supports the Chicago Bears) held the first of three conversations with voters who were able to ask her questions and see her answers live. The video of the webcast is available on her website. You can also read the transcript here.

For more information on NDN's coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, click here.

There's a New Game in Town

You've seen their ads in the Metro, heard the buzz, and now The Politico a new publication committed to "covering the politics of Capitol Hill and of the presidential campaign, and the business of Washington lobbying and advocacy with enterprise, style, and impact" is up on the web.  Their layout is excellent and blogs look like they're going to be fun.  On the negative side, I am a little disappointed that they wrote the normal boilerplate about "maverick" Senator John McCain, and let him off the hook so easily for this massive flip-flop:

With his presidential hopes tied to an administration whose Iraq policy he supports but cannot control, John McCain for the first time blamed Vice President Cheney for what McCain calls the "witch's brew" of a "terribly mishandled" war in which U.S. forces are on the verge of defeat...

...in July 2004 at a campaign rally in Lansing, Mich., McCain said he had "known and admired" Cheney for more than 20 years and described him as "one of the most capable, experienced, intelligent and steady vice presidents this country has ever had.''

But that was then and this is now, and now McCain is making clear his frustrations with the Bush administration...

Would John Kerry, or any other politician, get a free pass like that?

Nobody loves you, when you're down and out...

President Bush woke up today to 28% approval ratings - somewhere Richard Nixon is giving a sigh of relief.  Now, news that new DC Mayor Adrian Fenty is snubbing the President's invitation and sitting with Speaker Pelosi, not the first lady.

Minimum Wage Increase Goes to the Senate

After passing the House with overwhelming bipartisan support, it's now the Senate's turn.  Passage of the minimum wage hike in the Senate is more complicated, and there are concerns that the bill will have to be amended to include billions in small business tax cuts, in order to avoid a fillibuster.  House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel is not impressed:

“Why do you need a tax break to do the right thing?..Maybe [Senator Baucus] doesn’t have a strong feel for the depth of support that this bill has…I strongly disagree that this thing would be filibustered.”

The Tipping Point for Web Video

“The Tipping Point” is the name of Malcolm Gladwell’s bestselling book that studies when social phenomena move from outsider status to mass happenings. Though Gladwell draws on all kinds of science and research, the bottom line is that these flips are unpredictable. They just kind of happen, leaving many experts scratching their heads, trying to explain why.

We appear to have crossed a tipping point in the use of web video in politics, and it happened this past week. A lot of  groundwork had been laid before now, but all the pieces seemed to come together in the space of a few days. Some of that groundwork came from pioneers in the medium who labored for a long time in obscurity. And some came from the presidential campaigns that readied themselves for their recent tech kickoffs. For whatever reasons, it’s coming together now.

The icing on the cake is the validation from the mainstream media. Many pieces and TV news segments are coming out of this, but the Washington Post did a particularly good job in giving an overview and analysis. Here’s one excerpt:   

If last year was the year of the rogue videographers, the already-underway 2008 presidential campaign is likely to be remembered as the point where Web video became central to the communications strategy of every serious presidential candidate.

Playing defense is only one use of Web video. Equally important, the candidates and their staffs see Web-based video as an inexpensive and potentially significant tool for telling their campaign story without the filters of the traditional media.

Call it the YouTube effect, and it is only growing.


Peter Leyden

NDN Buzz

Check out Simon in this AP story where he discusses party discipline.  His quote is below:

"Instilling party discipline in our party is simply harder than in the Republican Party," said Simon Rosenberg, head of the New Democrat Network. "We are a more diverse party than they are."

Al Gore, Movie Star

Congratulations to Vice President Al Gore, whose documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” received two Oscar nominations this morning. It is heartening to see the academy recognize Gore’s achievement: transforming a presentation on global warming into an entertaining and vitally important documentary. 

Republicans: "Abandon ship!"

From the Post tonight:

"Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), the former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, yesterday endorsed a new resolution opposing President Bush's buildup of troops in Baghdad, as even some of the most loyal Republicans scrambled to register their concerns and distance themselves from an unpopular policy.

The resolution, unveiled the day before the president's State of the Union address, is expected to garner the support of many Senate Republicans -- especially those facing reelection next year. The measure appeals to many rank-and-file Republicans because it allows them to voice their differences with the administration without embracing the highly critical language of another bipartisan resolution co-sponsored by Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), one of the sharpest critics of the administration's Iraq policy.

By last night, Warner had already met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and the two camps were negotiating a single resolution likely to be approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday...."

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