NDN Blog

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...."

Bush's Poll Numbers Drop to (Latest) New Low

Flippant title aside, these numbers from the Washington Post are shocking. 

  • Respondents trust Congressional Democrats to handle the war better than President Bush by a 2-1 margin, 60% to 33%
  • 65% of Americans oppose the McCain-Bush escalation plan, up from 61% when the President announced the plan January 10th
  • Only two Presidents have had lower approval ratings (President Bush's is 33%) Truman right after firing General MacArthur and Nixon in the middle of the Watergate scandal

Read the whole poll here and the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll that backs up the Post's numbers.

Clinton, Obama and a new era of 21st century tools for politics

Be sure to check out the e-mail below from our NPI director, Peter Leyden. With so many people employing new tools (such as video) in politics lately, NPI's message has been resonating. Where we go from here is going to be interesting, for sure....


Let the New Politics begin! In the first few weeks of the nascent 2008 campaign, we've already seen innovations that are changing the game for everyone working in politics.

The New Politics Institute has been championing these changes for the last 18 months and we are well-positioned to help progressives of all stripes and all levels of politics take advantage of the new tools and new strategies, with insightful research and analysis on a broad range of topics:

Progressives are stepping into the void left by a decade of failed conservative leadership and showing great promise in offering solutions to the unique challenges of governing in the 21st century. But being right on the issues is not always enough.

In the 2008 cycle and beyond, progressives must continue to innovate and communicate our ideas in ever more compelling ways. We must adopt new tools that allow citizens to connect and contribute to our efforts in politics and government. The New Politics Institute will be there to bring the best minds in the media, tech, and political worlds together to help drive that innovation and spread the adoption of the new tools.

It’s going to be fun. Stay tuned....


34 Years of Roe v Wade

On this 34th anniversary of the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, we celebrate how Roe v. Wade has improved and protected the lives and health of women and their families.  Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi released a statement today calling for the 110th Congress to put an end to the destructive policies of the past that allowed politics to trump science.  At the same time that we applaud the Speaker’s statement and celebrate that most American women continue to have access to safe, legal abortions, we are reminded that the fight to protect women’s health and safety is not over.  

Bill Richardson Anuncia para la Presidencia de EEUU

Bill Richardson isn't the first candidate to announce he's running for President by posting an online video announcement, but he is the first to do it in English and Spanish.  It's worth thinking about how his appeal to Spanish-speaking voters might impact the Democratic primary campaign.  As we've written about many time before, Hispanics are the fastest growing demographic group in the country and are increasingly disaffected with conservatives in the wake of the ongoing battle over immigration reform.

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