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.


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.”


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.


Clinton punches Giuliani in the face!

No, not really. But wouldn’t it be something?

That’s what the folks at Cellufun must’ve thought as they rolled out “The Mobile Ring,” a downloadable cell-phone game in which you can choose a candidate to face off against another candidate in the boxing ring, and slug it out for the title.

From their site:

hillary-vs-rudy.gifYou can choose to play as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, or a slew of other contenders. Aside from being an exercise in catharsis, there is a populist strain in the Mobile Ring game. You can help your favorite long shot candidates by uploading your high scores to us, and we’ll adjust those candidates’ performances in the game.

The initial release of the Mobile Ring game will give each candidate a rating based on their current real-life poll position. Our frequently released updates will take into account not only the real-life poll numbers, but actual in-game performance by YOU, our players, and which candidates got more wins/losses in the field.

Also, don’t forget to cast your vote now! In the poll to the right, you can vote on other characters for us to include in future releases; either dark-horse candidates, cable television pundits or perhaps currently elected white house officials (ahem).

The Mobile Ring release marks not only the first political boxing game available for free on your mobile phone, but the first mobile action game whose character’s strength changes based upon real world events. So get playing!

I predict this game will be overrun by Ron Paul fans within a few weeks…


Stay away from my kid, all of you.

A recent telephone poll conducted by Parents magazine asked, among other things, which presidential candidates people would most likely trust and not trust to baby-sit their kids. And in yet another example of Hillary Clinton‘s ability to polarize the electorate, she topped both lists.

“Which one of the 2008 presidential candidates would you trust most to babysit your children?”
• Hillary Rodham Clinton: 26%
• None: 19%
Barack Obama: 13%
• Don’t know: 12%
Rudy Giuliani: 9%
Fred Thompson: 6%
John Edwards: 5%
Mitt Romney: 5%
John McCain: 4%
• Refused: 2%

“Which one of the 2008 presidential candidates would you trust least to babysit your children?”
• Hillary Rodham Clinton: 25%
• Don’t know: 19%
• None: 13%
• Rudy Giuliani: 13%
• John McCain: 7%
• Barack Obama: 6%
• Fred Thompson: 6%
• John Edwards: 5%
• Mitt Romney: 4%
• Refused: 2%

What, no Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel or Ron Paul? C’mon, they’re not THAT scary. (Tom Tancredo, however: too scary.)

The poll also found that more than 75% of parents say that the government is not doing enough to address the key problems that modern families face. This telephone survey was of about 1,000 parents of children under 12 found that “What Keeps Parents Up at Night” is a variety of issues, including affordable health care, lack of positive role models in the government and the media’s influence on children.