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Hillary’s back, neither gone nor forgotten

Hillary Clinton will be making her first big Bay Area appearance since dropping out of the race for the Democratic nomination this Thursday morning, as she addresses the national convention of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. (Al Gore is speaking there Wednesday, but that’s completely closed to the press – what gives?)

Later Thursday, she’ll be feted at a private “unity” fundraiser in Los Altos Hills, organized through Barack Obama‘s campaign and aimed at retiring her campaign debt; the requested contribution is $500. Former Menlo Park Mayor Gail Slocum had this to say in announcing the fundraiser on Obama’s blog:

“I was originally an Edwards supporter/fundraiser, and I’m keeping the big picture strategy in mind here for electing Barack: The RNC and McCain have about a $40 million advantage over our side’s combined funds on hand as of the end of June. Without the strongest possible enthusiastic support from Hillary’s and all the candidates’ fundraising and organizing leaders over the next 3 1/2 months, we will not realistically be able to run a winning 50-state Presidential campaign (as well as widen Dem margins in Congress). I am also mindful that Hillary’s debt is owed to many small business people who provided campaign services. Finally, Hillary has kept her promise to support Barack and urge her supporters to do so too, and this is a concrete way to say thank you. We need unity now to win and show McCain that they can’t divide us this time.

Plus, on a more personal level, I plan to bring our 9 year old daughter to meet Hillary and witness personally the remarkable leader who made women’s history this year and has already influenced our daughter’s perspectives greatly “Mommy, WHEN I’m President, I’ll…”).

Posted on Monday, July 28th, 2008
Under: Barack Obama, Elections, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards | No Comments »

Obama leads statewide student mock vote

Preliminary results of the 2008 MyVote California student mock election — involving more than 240,000 students from 450 middle and high schools across the state — show Barack Obama and John McCain are the picks of the next generation of voters.

Launched in November by Secretary of State Debra Bowen and Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell, MyVote California is a hands-on civic engagement project for high school students that culminated in the statewide mock election, held this week.

bowen.gif“The MyVote mock election wasn’t just about taking the political pulse of California students; it was about engaging them in our democracy,” Bowen said in a news release. “I wanted to see how students would feel about issues that would directly affect their lives and their wallets, which is why MyVote included three simulated ballot initiatives dealing with issues that legislators are actually grappling with today.”

Students received one ballot that listed all 48 of the candidates certified for this election; the students then chose only one candidate. Students had the option of voting for a candidate in any of the state’s six recognized political parties, and apparently tilted heavily toward the Democratic side.

Barack Obama got 35.1 percent of the total presidential vote (27,845 votes, which is 55.6 percent of those who voted Democratic); Hillary Clinton got 22.5 percent of the total (17,813, or 35.6 percent of Democratic voters); and John Edwards got 3.7 percent of the total (2,945, or 5.9 percent of the Democratic voters).

John McCain got 4.8 percent of the total vote (3,773 votes, or 29.9 percent of those voting Republican); Mike Huckabee got 3.6 percent of the total (2,822 votes, or 20.1 percent of the Republican voters); and Rudy Giuliani got 3.0 percent of the total (2,345 votes, or 15.2 percent of the Republican voters).

The first ballot measure asked, “Should the registration fee that every car or truck owner is required to pay each year be based, in part, on the amount of pollution the vehicle emits?” The results: 45 percent (28,341) said yes, while 55 percent (34,665) said no.

The second ballot measure asked, “Should every eligible citizen be required to vote?” The results: 40.4 percent (25,232) said yes, while 59.6 percent (37,204) said no.

And the third ballot measure asked, “Should people who use e-mail, instant messaging, text messaging and the social networks to bully or harass others be allowed to do so as part of their constitutionally protected right to free speech?” The results: 41.4 percent (26,474) said yes, while 58.6 percent (37,529) said no.

“Some California high school seniors will cast their first ballots next week and many more students will become voters by the November general election,” Bowen said. “The MyVote mock election gives the next generation of California voters hands-on exposure to our democracy, and I hope they’re inspired to make voting the habit of a lifetime.’’

These preliminary results are based on returns from 280 of the 450 schools participating in MyVote. Complete Mock Election results are available on the Secretary of State’s MyVote California Web site, and will be updated as schools report their results.

Posted on Friday, February 1st, 2008
Under: Barack Obama, Debra Bowen, Elections, General, Hillary Clinton, Jack O'Connell, John Edwards, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani | 1 Comment »

Edwards fans should flock to Clinton, Dellums says

Supporters of John Edwards seeking a new candidate following his withdrawal from the presidential race today should look to Hillary Clinton “based on substance and merit,” Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums said this morning.

Dellums, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Fullerton Mayor Sharon Quirk spent Thursday barnstorming Oakland, Sacramento and Los Angeles on Clinton’s behalf. They started the day at Merritt College, where they were briefed on a green jobs training program before addressing the press.

dellums.jpgDellums said he was impressed in 2004 by Edwards’ “courageous” and “articulate” focus on narrowing the divide between America’s haves and have-nots, “and it is my view that Senator Clinton has done exactly the same thing.” By embracing the ideas and recognizing the needs of America’s mayors, as well as by deeming “untenable, unconscionable and un-American” the continued racial disparities in education, ecomomic opportunity and other areas, Clinton has distinguished herself “based on merit, based on substance, based on clear ideas,” he said.

“Too much of this campaign has been about issues that are not issues,” he said.

Newsom said the mayors chose to highlight the green jobs training program Monday because it’s working to better working families’ lives, protect the environment and conserve energy, and “that’s the spirit of the Clinton campaign… She understands the importance of taking these ideals and working together to make progress.”

Dellums chimed in that “jobs are the byproduct of a society’s commitment to solve other problems,” be it environmental protection and energy conservation, or crumbling infrastructure, or inadequate health care, or affordable housing. “And guess what: You can’t export these jobs. They all have to be done in the United States.”

Clinton in October named Dellums chairman of her campaign’s urban policy committee.

Villaraigosa was asked why Latinos should support Clinton when only Obama has expressed support for granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. He replied that Clinton “has a strong record in support of immigration reform” which would include a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, but that Latinos “don’t define ourselves by just one issue… We make decisions based on the totality of issues and experiences.”

Posted on Wednesday, January 30th, 2008
Under: Barack Obama, Elections, Gavin Newsom, General, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Oakland, Ron Dellums | 20 Comments »

John Edwards withdraws, too

This just in from CNN:

edwards.jpgFormer Sen. John Edwards is dropping out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, CNN has learned.

Edwards has told top advisers about his decision. It is expected he will announce it at a speech in New Orleans, Louisiana, at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Edwards had amassed 26 delegates in the race for the Democratic nomination.

New Orleans is the same city in which Edwards declared his run to be the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee.

Edwards’ campaign Web site said he was to deliver an address on poverty and work on a Habitat for Humanity project in New Orleans on Wednesday.

Edwards has trailed former first lady Hillary Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in the early primaries, including a third-place finish in Tuesday’s Florida primary, with 14 percent of the votes. He also came in third in key races in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

An Edwards aide said that he does not plan to endorse either Clinton or Obama, at this time, but he may do so in the future.

And then there were two. Well, three if you count Mike Gravel.

Posted on Wednesday, January 30th, 2008
Under: Barack Obama, Elections, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Mike Gravel | 2 Comments »

Campaigns heat up in California

One week to go… and here they all come!

Former U.S. Senator and 2000 Democratic presidential primary candidate Bill Bradley is stopping by Barack Obama‘s San Francisco campaign office this afternoon to rally the troops.

Hillary Clinton got an endorsement today from Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles, a notable boost from someone with the credibility to blunt accusations of racial politics lingering from South Carolina. Clinton also is launching a new Spanish language television ad in markets up and down the state today. (UPDATE @ 2:54 P.M. TUESDAY: Obama has a new Spanish-language ad, too.)

John McCain today rolled out his California leadership team, headed up by former Secretary of State Bill Jones and including GOP VIPs such as Fresno Mayor Alan Autry; Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca; former state Senate Republican Leader Jim Brulte; Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Gold River; former Reps. Doug Ose and Steve Kuykendall; and others. McCain will be in California on Thursday raising funds: a $1,000-a-plate breakfast at the Omni Hotel in San Francisco, and a $2,300-a-head evening reception in Los Angeles.

Mike Huckabee will address the Commonwealth Club of California at noon Thursday in San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel.

John Edwards will be in Los Angeles on Friday, joining striking Writers Guild members on a picket line at midday before taking part (with Clinton and Obama, of course) in the CNN/LA Times/ Democratic candidates’ debate that evening. And at 9:45 a.m. Friday, he’ll hold a “special community event” at San Jose State University’s Barret Ballroom.

Posted on Tuesday, January 29th, 2008
Under: Barack Obama, Elections, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, John McCain, Mike Huckabee | 14 Comments »

Brace yourselves for the next four weeks…

…because you’re gonna be phone-banked, direct-mailed, door-knocked, robo-called and television-advertised like never before until our Feb. 5 presidential primary election.

Democrat Hillary Clinton‘s win over Barack Obama (39 percent to 36 percent, with John Edwards a distant third at 17 percent) in New Hampshire last night — unexpected by all the polls conducted in recent days — along with Republican John McCain‘s more predictable foreseeable victory means this race is wide open, with the Nevada caucuses coming Jan. 19, the South Carolina primary Jan. 26, the Florida primary Jan. 29 and the nearly two dozen states holding elections Feb. 5. And the spin is in full tilt-a-whirl mode now.

“Coming off an impressive win in Iowa and taking the once inevitable frontrunner down to the wire in her firewall state, it is clear that Obama is well-positioned to become the next President of the United States,” Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said this morning.

“Momentum is clearly in our side,” said Clinton national campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe. “Voters across the country are going to see what New Hampshire voters saw.”

How’s it stacking up? Nevada’s polls, now way out of date, showed Clinton way ahead, but Obama today picked up the endorsement of the state’s Service Employees International Union and later today might get the nod from the more politically powerful Culinary Workers Union in Las Vegas — endorsements which could be key in getting voters out to the caucus sites. Those same outdated polls showed Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney — neither of whom did well in Iowa or New Hampshire — in a dead heat, but don’t bet on that being the case when the votes are counted.

In South Carolina, recent polls have shown Obama leading Clinton with Edwards a distant third — but so did New Hampshire’s. You’ve gotta wonder if the Bradley effect — the idea that white voters are quicker to say they’ll vote for a non-white candidate than to actually cast the ballot — will play an even more profound role in South Carolina than in New Hampshire. On the GOP side, polls show Mike Huckabee doing well there (perhaps on the strength of that state’s concentration of evangelical Christian voters) but watch for McCain, buoyed by New Hampshire, to stage a surge here.

Then comes Florida, where Clinton and Rudy Giuliani seem to rule their roosts. And after that: Feb. 5, when California, New York and Illinois will lead a slew of other states in effectively picking the nominees.

So we’re gonna get all that attention we craved, in spades. The Obama campaign will be holding a news conference outside San Francisco City Hall later today to announce a new list of endorsements, including House Education & Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, D-Martinez. Meanwhile, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will be out working the Mission District for Clinton. Game on!

Posted on Wednesday, January 9th, 2008
Under: Barack Obama, Elections, General, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani | No Comments »

Obama, Clinton, Edwards faithful mobilize

Feel that chill? That’s the icy breath of New Hampshire whistling past as we hurtle toward California’s own “Tsunami Tuesday” presidential primary, just four weeks from today. And for the Democratic frontrunners, California — particularly the concentrated cache of Democratic votes the Bay Area provides — is looking like a sumptuous buffet now more than ever.

So as the Granite State counts its votes tonight, Obama‘s, Clinton‘s and Edwards‘ Golden State faithful will be gathering to watch the returns while reaching out to their friends and neighbors.

obama.jpgObama supporters will gather at 4:30 p.m. in the Oakland campaign office, 436 14th St. just off Broadway — one of four such gatherings statewide — to phone voters throughout the state and urge them to vote for the junior U.S. Senator from Illinois come Feb. 5. Tomorrow at noon, there’ll be four “California Counts” rallies across the state, including one at San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza, at McAllister & Polk streets. You’ve gotta figure these’ll be pretty exuberant events, given Obama’s performance in the past week.

senatorclinton.jpgClinton supporters across California are phone-banking tonight as well, holding Bring Your Own Phone house parties in cities including Oakland, Foster City and Milpitas; if you want to attend, call the Clinton campaign’s Bay Area HQ at 415-255-7431 for specific times and locations. Just as Obama’s events are likely to be giddy, I’d say Clinton’s will be tense: She long has led in California polls, but her defeat in Iowa and her projected defeat in New Hampshire means Feb. 5 could be her Waterloo (no, not Waterloo, Iowa — she already had that) and it’s not yet clear if she’ll be Wellington or Napoleon.

edwards.jpgAnd Edwards supporters will be scribbling tonight: Supporters are invited to go watch the New Hampshire returns while writing “Dear Friend” postcards to Bay Area voters; those who complete the most cards between 6:30 and 9 p.m. will win prizes. The gatherings are at 15 Quintara St. at 10th Avenue in San Francisco, and at 31 Chicory Lane in San Carlos; participants are encouraged to bring food to share, and as many stamps as they can muster.

Posted on Tuesday, January 8th, 2008
Under: Barack Obama, Elections, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards | No Comments »

Iowa caucus ripples reach California

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland — the only California member of Congress to endorse Barack Obama for president — released this statement today:

“The record turnout for the Iowa Caucus is a win for Democrats and for change. I want to congratulate Senator Barack Obama, whom I previously endorsed, for his exceptional first place finish.

“Voters in Iowa, and all over this nation, are hungry for change and recognized last night – and will continue to recognize – that Senator Obama is the true agent of change in this race.

“This nation needs his leadership, vision and commitment at this defining moment in history, and I will continue to do all I can to ensure he is elected President.”

Meanwhile, staffers for Hillary Clinton ushered reporters in California and elsewhere onto a conference call within the past hour with campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; and the New Hampshire and Nevada campaign chairs to stress how strong Clinton’s ground operations are in those states. They’re predicting wins in New Hampshire next Tuesday and in Nevada on Jan. 19; the most recent polls show Clinton ahead in both those states, but those polls were, of course, pre-Iowa…

UPDATE @ 6:50 P.M. FRIDAY: Tribune reporter Kelly Rayburn spoke this afternoon with Assemblyman Sandre Swanson, D-Oakland; here are his thoughts on the Iowa caucus:

Assemblymember Sandré Swanson, D-Oakland, didn’t get what he wanted Thursday night when U.S. Sen. Barack Obama trounced former Sen. John Edwards and Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Iowa caucuses.

But Swanson, a Clinton supporter, didn’t consider Iowa a complete loss either.

“It’s an exciting time to be a Democrat,” he said. “I’m supporting Hillary Clinton, but I’m excited about the fact that new people are getting involved in the process.”

Problem is those “new people,” young voters particularly, were key in delivering Obama his victory.

Swanson said Clinton can rebound.

“She’s in it for the long-haul,” he said. “This is an exciting race.”

If she loses?

“Whoever the nominee is, we have to ensure they win in November,” Swanson said. “I don’t think we can afford another four or eight years of Republican leadership.”

And that’s why Swanson was happy to see young voters participating.

“Whatever brings them to the polls,” he said. “I just think the fact they’re interested now gives us a larger majority in the fall.”

Posted on Friday, January 4th, 2008
Under: Barack Obama, Barbara Lee, Elections, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards | No Comments »

Presidential campaign Christmas ad roundup

Republican Mike Huckabee:

Democrat John Edwards:

Two from Republican Rudy Giuliani:

Democrat Barack Obama:

Republican Ron Paul:

Democrat Hillary Clinton:

Republican John McCain:

Posted on Monday, December 24th, 2007
Under: Barack Obama, Elections, General, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani | No Comments »

Barbara Lee endorses Barack Obama

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, will announce her endorsement of Barack Obama in an 11:30 a.m. conference call. Rationale and details to follow after the call, but I’m guessing it has a lot to do with Iraq.

The announcement comes as Obama heads for Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles this evening for a Generation Obama concert fundraiser, wherein thousands will pay $25 or $50 to see the likes of the Goo Goo Dolls, Ne-Yo, Jessica Biel, Mehcad Brooks, Taye Diggs, Hill Harper, Scarlett Johansson, Kal Penn, Ryan Reynolds, Kate Walsh, Olivia Wilde, Will-I-Am… oh, yeah, and Obama himself.

Today’s endorsement marks a difference of opinion between Lee and some of her closest Oakland political allies. Lee had spoken briefly at Obama’s big St. Patrick’s Day rally in Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza, but also had appeared at Hillary Clinton’s big downtown Oakland rally Sept. 30. She made it clear at each event that she had not yet endorsed anyone, but Clinton on Oct. 1 collected the endorsement of Lee’s political mentor, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums; Clinton also has the endorsement of another Dellums protege and her own former chief of staff, Assemblyman Sandre Swanson, D-Oakland.

A nationwide Associated Press-Ipsos poll conducted Dec. 3-5 found U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton in the lead, backed by 45 percent of Democrats, followed by Obama at 23 percent, John Edwards at 12 percent and Bill Richardson at 4 percent, with a 4.5-percentage point margin of error. In California, a SurveyUSA poll conducted Nov. 30-Dec. 2 for several television stations found Clinton at 50 percent, Obama at 24 percent and Edwards at 16 percent, with a 3.6-percentage point margin of error.

UPDATE @ 12:30 MONDAY: Get the whole story here.

Posted on Monday, December 10th, 2007
Under: Barack Obama, Barbara Lee, Bill Richardson, Elections, General, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Oakland, Ron Dellums, Sandre Swanson, U.S. House | 6 Comments »