And across America, wingnut heads will explode upon hearing him utter “Hussein.” It’s gonna be beautiful.
Posing with a cardboard cutout of a future SecState could be a possible source of embarrassment to you, your family, or the President-Elect
Admittedly, I don’t see what the big deal is regarding Jon Favreau’s photos with the Hillary Clinton cardboard cutout. All these people are calling for his head, and whatever, and he apologized to Hillary for the whole thing. Perhaps it is a generational thing. This is what young people do these days. We take photos with cardboard political figures and put them on the internets instead of burning down ROTC buildings, putting flowers in our hair, and doing other assorted stupid hippie things.
In the interest of full disclosure, I will share one such photo with you. Here is my own never before seen photo in which I am feeling former President John F. Kennedy’s amazing washboard abs at a GW College Democrats and College Republicans 2002 election night party:
Mr. President, I apologize profusely for any harm this photo may have caused you or your family. Also, I HAVE NO IDEA what Liz is doing to you in that photo.
The night before election day, myself and several friends attended Obama’s final rally in Manassas, VA. With all the traffic on 66, it took us about 2.5 hours to get from Arlington to Manassas (around 30 miles). We ended up parking in some random neighborhood and followed the mass of people heading towards the Prince William County fairgrounds. I was amazed at how many people had shown up to hear Obama speak. Estimates of the crowd range from 80,000-90,000. We stood around for a few hours, listening to the same five songs played over and over, as well as a few local politicians trying to rile up the crowd, until we saw the blue and red flashing lights announcing the arrival of Obama’s motorcade shortly before 10:30pm. The crowd went wild. I had never seen Obama speak in person and was impressed at how he engaged the crowd, and how stoic he was, even after learning that his grandmother had just passed away. After telling a story from the early days of his campaign, he ended his speech by leading the crowd in a chant of “Fired up! Ready to go!” As the crowd exited the fairgrounds, we lined up along the side of the road and cheered as his motorcade drove by. I think that the general feeling amongst all the attendees was that Virginia would go blue, and Obama would win the Presidency, and we were excited to have been at that historic speech.
We were all the way in the back, near the “Vote for Change” sign.
We got back to Arlington around 1am or so, but still had a few hours of work ahead of us. Nick had picked up a couple hundred signs from the Obama headquarters and we were tasked with setting them up (or more like pounding them into the ground) at eight or nine polling locations around South Arlington. I finally got back to my apartment around 3:30am and slept for two hours. At 5:45am I walked to my polling location which, thankfully, was located in a building that was only a two minute walk from mine. I thought I would beat the crowd by showing up first thing in the morning, but was surprised to see that there were already 150+ people in line. I waited a little over an hour and a half to cast my vote, but it was well worth it.
Monday night, Barack Obama came full circle.
On a perfect autumn evening in this growing suburb of Washington, on the eve of an election he is favored to win, the Illinois senator and Democratic presidential candidate brought a crowd of 80,000 to cheers with a story of a long-ago rally attended by 20 hardy souls.
In his last campaign stop, Obama concluded his remarks with a story that was a staple of his amazing run-up to his pivotal Iowa victory the first week of January. It was the story prompted by a promise to a female state legislator from Greenwood, S.C., who said she’d consider an endorsement if he would make a trip to her small city. Though Obama and his staff drove out of their way on a rainy morning in late 2007 to attend a small gathering in the remote town, the trip turned out to be a useful diversion.
Obama’s efforts to work the small room that day, he says, were no match for a small, boisterous old woman who “stole his thunder” by leading five minutes’ chanting of “Fired up!” and “Ready to go!” Obama returned to this story to remind people how “one voice can change a room” and how that change can cascade to change a city, then a state, then a country and, eventually, the world. He closed his final speech by leading the massive crowd of supporters, many of whom had battled hours of traffic to stand outside for five hours to see him, in those same trademark chants.
Yet the overall mood in Manassas was strangely subdued. It’s not that the crowd at the Prince William County Fairgrounds was reluctant or bored. You don’t battle rush-hour traffic on I-66 to then stand shoulder to shoulder for hours — and, for most, so far away that you can’t see Obama without binoculars — unless you are committed. It was, rather, the weight of the moment that hung heavy over the proceedings, the culmination of the longest presidential campaign in history.
To be sure, there will be parties Tuesday night and, presuming the polls are correct, again during inauguration week. But tonight brought a journey to an end — for Obama loyalists, for the media members who have seen him up close and the millions around America who watched him from afar. And so it was for the candidate himself, who regularly speaks of how the campaign has both humbled and inspired him.
“In this campaign, I’ve had the privilege to witness what is best in America — in the stories, in the faces of men and women that I’ve met in countless rallies, town hall meetings, VFW halls, living rooms, diners,” Obama said toward the end of his remarks Monday night, setting up the transition to his story about the fateful trek to Greenwood. “All across America, men and women shared with me their stories, spoke of their struggles. But they also spoke of their hopes and their dreams, their love for their children, their sense of obligations and debts to be paid to earlier generations.” He spoke just hours after learning that his own grandmother had died.
The Greenwood episode brought Obama’s message to a logical Election Eve conclusion, something Axelrod mentioned when I approached him just moments after Obama had delivered the last speech of his candidacy. “I think our closing message was very much our opening message,” said Axelrod. “That’s one of the strengths of this candidacy. We’ve been consistent, so I think people know [Obama] says what he means and means what he says. That’s something people want in their president.”
Asked if he could point to any one thing that worries him most on the eve of the election, Axelrod cited complacency. “I think people are being told we have a lead, but that doesn’t mean anything if people don’t vote.” But you must feel pretty good, right? “I do feel good,” he said. “How can you not feel good in a crowd like this?”
Afterward, the attendees marched back to their cars. Police on motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles worked diligently to keep State Road 234 clear so the campaign caravan of cars, security vans and media buses could make its way toward Dulles airport and the flight waiting to take Obama and his entourage to Chicago. People walked in two orderly streams on opposite sides of the road.
Because the remote section of 234 near the fairgrounds has no street lamps, the red and blue flashing police lights combined with a soft evening fog to blanket the road in an eerie, Technicolor mist. As Obama’s noisy caravan approached from behind, people stopped, turned and broke into applause. It was a presidential moment worthy of a Lawrence O’Donnell script.
I realize the election was over a month ago, but I had to do a quick post on my experience with the Obama campaign in Northern Virginia.
When I moved across the river to Arlington, I finally decided to stop absentee voting in California and register to vote in Virginia, which was up for grabs in the 2008 election. Unlike California, when you register to vote in Virginia you don’t declare a party. As a newly registered voter with an unknown party affiliation and no past voting history in this state, I was one of those people targeted by the Obama campaign. (I received nothing from the McCain campaign. Did they have any campaign presence in NoVA whatsoever, or were all his supporters just sitting at home bitching on their blogs about how Obama the Muslim socialist terrorist is going to turn the United States into a Soviet Socialist Republic?) This was quite a change from California, where no one really gives a damn about your vote. Over the month of October, I was called three times, my door was knocked on three times, and I received a mountain of literature that was either sent by mail or pushed under my door.
This is just the lit I received the week before the election. Yes, there was more.
I actually received one of the phone calls from an Obama volunteer while I myself was doing some canvassing.
“Hi, is Lindsay Fincher there?”
“This is Lindsay.”
“Oh, hi, Lindsay. This is so and so from the Obama/Warner campaign in Virginia. Do you mind me asking if you’ve decided who you will be voting for in the upcoming election?”
“Dude, I’m actually canvassing for Obama in Annandale right now. You can go ahead and mark me down as a ’1′ all the way.”
(When canvassing or phone banking you are given several sheets with voter information, i.e. name, address, phone number, and next to this is a row of number 1-5, with a “1″ representing a definite Obama vote.)
Admittedly, I was a bit of a latecomer to Obama. I am no fan of Hillary, but I didn’t see why everyone was making such a big deal about Obama. I’ve had a serious case of political malaise for the past four years and didn’t really pay much attention to the campaign until the end of this summer, when McCain picked Palin as his running mate. That was really a “WTF? Is this dude serious?” moment for me. I felt like I had to do something productive, instead of just ranting on this blog, or to my parents and friends. A lot of them were volunteering for Obama in Virginia, so I decided to join them. I volunteered for a few days in the two weeks leading up to the election and was amazed at how smoothly the campaign operated. Simply put, I’d never seen anything like it. We met at the headquarters in Falls Church where we were given directions to a supporter’s house. Rather than run everything out of the Falls Church office, the campaign had setup satellite locations at various houses throughout the area. There, you would pick up several packets, canvass those, then return to the house for more. It was really quite efficient. The house I worked out of in Annandale had over 75 volunteers that day, and actually ran out of packets by early afternoon (we later learned that the campaign had so many volunteers that this was happening all over NoVA).
As for the canvassing itself, it was the complete opposite of 2000, when I canvassed many of the same areas for Gore and kept encountering Bush voter after Bush voter. This time, though, out of all the people I talked to, only THREE were voting for McCain (and two of them were some incredibly argumentative Catholic priests who thought Biden should be excommunicated from the Church. Ah, so glad I no longer go to church). The rest were for firmly for Obama, and they would invite you into their homes so you could tell their entire family how to vote early, or just talk about Obama. So, while I was the one who was supposed to be convincing them to get out and vote, in the end, it was really their enthusiasm that was affecting me.
Good. It was a ridiculously dumb idea, anyways.
I also wish he would stop e-mailing me and asking for money. Dude, the election was a month ago, and you still haven’t sent me my “limited edition” t-shirt (what, too busy picking your cabinet members or whatev?).
The “limited edition” Obama coffee mug is kinda tempting, though.
London School of Economics is well represented among Obama’s buddies
The dreaming spires of Oxford had better wake up if they want to continue to play in the major leagues of American government, as long was the case courtesy of the Rhodes scholarship and never more so than when Bill Clinton became the first Oxonian president.
Of the first 15 cabinet and White House appointments announced by president-elect Barack Obama, none put in time by the banks of the Cherwell, but three earned degrees from the nondescript buildings off the Strand that house the London School of Economics.
The selections of Peter Orszag as budget director and Pete Rouse and Mona Sutphen to the senior White House staff means the LSE only has two less graduates than Harvard in team Obama.
LSE currently has one more than traditional American powerhouse universities Princeton (Michelle Obama’s alma mater); Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Michigan Law School. Mighty Yale can boast only one graduate, Gregory Craig, the next presidential legal counsel, though Hillary Clinton and James Steinberg will triple the score if they end up at the state department.
Doubtless LSE will lose its standing as more selections are made, but its early emergence illustrates a broader point about the new regime’s composition. Mr Obama has his own collection of close friends and advisers on whom he has always relied.
This is true of all presidents to a degree. Ronald Reagan brought in his West Coast buddies, George W. Bush his tight Texas mafia, Jimmy Carter his good ol’ southern boys and Bill Clinton his Little Rock crew from Arkansas. Some thrive in Washington; some don’t.
The unanswerable question is whether they will conquer Washington, as the Reagan team mostly did, or be eaten alive by it, the fate of the Carter crew. Of course, there are plenty of other American LSE graduates on hand to help.
A friend told me about this flash game a few weeks ago, but I completely forgot about it until Andrew Sullivan posted a link to it.
It’s well made, and pretty hilarious. You can play various levels, including “A series of tubes” and “The Real America” where you run into enemies like Ted Stevens, burning piles of books, and hockey moms.
Rent your car. Traffic will be hell, but Californians are used to that. Just make sure to offer better rates than rental companies—which shouldn’t be hard. Another option: Reserve a bunch of Zipcars now (you can reserve up to a year in advance) and sublet them during inauguration week.
Run shuttles to the city. Public transportation will be a mess, too. Plane tickets are almost gone, and coach buses are disappearing fast. Even if there are tickets left in January, prices will be stratospheric. So borrow your mom’s van or your dad’s SUV and offer rides from nearby cities to D.C. The drive to and from Philly shouldn’t cost more than $100 in gas. From Pittsburgh, a little more. Charge $60 a seat, and you’re flush. If that’s too much work, drive people back and forth from Dulles airport.
Name drinks after Obama. In Denver during the DNC, every bar had an Obama-themed beverage, even if it was secretly Bud Light. Advertise outside your establishment that you’re serving Irish Car Obamas, Change-tinis, and Barack and Cokes, and brace yourself for business. Ice cream shops, go with “Yes, Pecan.”
I’d be willing to shuttle people back and forth from Dulles in my XTerra for some extra cash. With gas prices as low as they are, I’d pull in a nice profit.
White is currently the mayor of Houston, but in the early 1990s he served as Clinton’s Deputy Secretary of Energy. As DepSec, he played an important role in formulating Clinton’s Caspian region policy, which, as we all know, was infinitely better than George W. Bush’s practically non-existent Caspian policy. After leaving the Clinton Administration, White went on to work in the oil industry, chair the Texas Democratic Party, and do various other things before he decided that he wanted to run the fourth largest, and most humid, city in the United States. However, since everyone who works in the oil industry is evil (obviously) this would likely make White unpalatable to the greens who expect Obama to outlaw fossil fuels and run all of our vehicles on wind energy upon taking office. Oh, but White does have some big plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and focus on energy efficiency. He is also the only person in Houston who drives a Prius instead of a Ford F-850 truck. That probably counts for something.
Anyways, he would be much better than any of the other names being thrown around. Rendell? Markey? Seriously? If either get the job my brain may just explode.
Nationally-syndicated talk show host Michael Savage is set to interview former German member of the Hitler Youth, Hilmar von Campe this Tuesday, November 18.
The program will focus on similarities, which von Campe sees between the rise of totalitarianism under Hitler and the current social and political trends inside the United States.
“Every day brings this nation closer to a Nazi-style totalitarian abyss,” writes von Campe, now a U.S. citizen, and author of “Defeating the Totalitarian Lie: A Former Hitler Youth Warns America.”
“Today in America we are witnessing a repeat performance of the tragedy of 1933 when an entire nation let itself be led like a lamb to the Socialist slaughterhouse. This time, the end of freedom is inevitable unless America rises to her mission and destiny.”
Hilmar points to events surrounding the election of Barack Hussein Obama as reminiscent of the way the Nazi regime came to power.