NDN Blog

Revver

Met a very interesting guy this morning, Steven Starr, the founder and CEO of Revver.  What is Revver? Check it out.  A good place to start is the now famous Extreme Diet Coke and Memtos Experiment.  More on this exciting new idea soon.

Monday morning roundup

Most important piece I saw today was an op-ed from Arlen Specter defending his new bill to grant FISA the authority to declare an eavesdropping practice legal and constitutional. I don't always agree with Specter, but he is a smart man. On this one he doesn't really persuade me. Many newspapers had a related story about growing concerns that the President is remaking laws passed by Congress as he sees fit.

The Post has an indepth look at the fall elections today. And the Times has an interesting look at María Celeste Arrarás, a Spanish-accented Telemundo anchor who has been filling in for Katie Couric.

In the gee, this governing thing is hard category, we have three morning entrees: Pakistan ramps up its nuclear program; surprise, it is hard to recruit folks into the Iraqi police; and our tactics in fighting the Iraqi insurgency probably made it worse.

And if you haven't read it, check out the memo summarizing our new poll of Hispanics that has gotten so much attention.

Broder writes about our poll in his nationally syndicated column today

Even Republican Senator Mel Martinez agrees with our findings - the Republicans have been very seriously damaged in the Hispanic community this year. 

You can read his important column here.  For more on our poll visit www.ndn.org/hispanic

Not so much blogging this weekend

Am off on a trip with my family this weekend, so not too much blogging. 

More Monday. 

Friday Morning - the national landscape is changing

As inevitably happens, the national landscape of an election year in the spring gives way to a new and changed landscape by summer and fall.  The success of a political party or national campaign often comes from the ability to sense the change and get ahead of the other side.  It feels like we are in such a moment now. 

In the old landscape the Democrats had the wind at their back.  Iraq, Katrina, an economy not working for most, corruption, etc had produced an environment very favorable for Democrats.  My sense is that backdrop, that environment, and all the message plans, the polling, the strategies for media is about to change.  There is mounting evidence of an economic slow down, possibly making the governing party's economic positioning - always critical - even worse.  But how is the security environment going to change?  Not entirely clear.  But what is clear is it is very possible that the events of the world will make this conversation much more than about our failures in Iraq - the question for both parties is are they ready to adapt, to change, to anticipate, to improvise their way into the final fall messaging wave?

To me it is clear that the centrality of Iraq to the whole progressive enterprise is about to give way to a very different - and more complex - conversation about the Middle East, the use of force and the goals of American foreign policy.  Are we ready for this? Intellectually? Politically?

In the summer of 2002 Bush and Rove nationalized the election around Iraq and taxes.  It was around this time that they clarified their approach, went on the political offensive and defined the election.  The response from Daschle and Gephardt, I believe, cost Democrats the election.  They failed to adapt to the redefinition of the race, arguing that all the campaigns would be won on local issues, and did not offer any kind of national engagement on the two issues that defined every race in the country.  They held on to their spring plan.  The game changed. And Democrats got beat. 

4 years ago Bush and Rove ran a national campaign on the two most important issues of every election - peace and prosperity - war and taxes - that came together late in the summer.  Are Democrats ready to leave their spring gameplan behind and build a new one as the game is changed, knowing what happened the last time around?

Whether and how Democrats adapt - and how this changes their public stances and paid media strategies - will determine what happens this fall. 

Thursday Morning Roundup

Released a new poll memo yesterday looking at Spanish speaking Hispanic voters, and it had dramatic and unexpected results.  The degree of Bush's of fall with this group that voted 48% for him in 2004. and had always held him in high esteem, suprised all of us.  It seems clear now that immigrant Hispanics are holding him personally accountable for the tone and tenor of the immigration debate.  They have been become disapointed with a leader they believed held great promise, while also concluding that Republican government is not producing the results they hope to see.  You can find the poll and the companion PowerPoint presentation at www.ndn.org/hispanic

Hard to add to the saturation coverage of what is happening in Lebanon by all the major news outlets, other than to point out a very good piece in the Times today about how the Shiite-led government in Iraq is reacting to the global community's efforts to eradicate Hezbollah. 

With violence escalating, the Post offers a good piece on how Congressional Republicans are backing off their optimistic assessments of the "progress" in Iraq.  This one follows a must read piece yesterday about the growing disenchantment of the right with the failures of Bush's foreign policy.

And the Post offers another good one on how with Ralph Reed's loss in Georgia the rampant Washington scandals may effect the fall elections. 

A coalition of progressive think tanks and the DGA, led by the DLC, released an exciting new proposal yesterday to "Help the U.S. and the Middle Class Get Ahead By Producing One Million More College Graduates by 2015."  NDN is proud to be part of this coalition, and look forward to the a much bigger report to be released this weekend.   

Time has an interesting piece on how soldiers in Iraq are using YouTube to send video messages back home. 

Look forward to seeing many of you at our NPI lunch today at noon.....it has been a busy week, but a very productive one. 

Wednesday Morning Roundup

Not a full roundup today, as we are off to a press conference to release a new poll we've just completed of Hispanics.  Lots of interesting stuff in there, look for it later today.  If you want to read something in advance of our release, check out a new poll from Roberto Suro and the Pew Hispanic Center.  It tracks a lot of what we will be saying, but with a different sample, also has some noticable differences.  They poll all Hispanics, we focus on just Spanish-speaking voters. 

Lots of news coming from the Middle East today.  My one quick thought is no matter what happens now the the Iraq-centric foreign policy debate of this year is ceding to what will be something else.  For the two parties, there is both opportunity and peril in these developments.  But what we now know is that the fall elections will not be fought on the President's failed Iraq policy alone. 

Tuesday night check in

Big week this week.  We release a new Hispanic poll tomorrow, and announce a new stage of our mas que un partido media campaign.  Thursday we have another great NPI event.  Next week I'm off to California for a few days, and we will be releasing a study about globalization.  But as promised, here is a roundup from the last few days....

Harold Ford introduced a very sensible bill this week, one that would make all future “off-budget” items – like the hundreds of billions needed for Iraq – to be in the budget itself. 

Bush, in a moment of candor, tells Vincente Fox that immigration reform is not going to happen this year.  In his other great moment with a head of state recently, we link to the great mouthful of sh---. 

Sebastian Mallaby has a very good piece in the Post called “Fighters and the Freeloaders.”  Thomas Mann has a compelling piece about how Democrats will take Congress this fall.  It begins:

"There's probably no way congressional Republicans can lose this fall, no matter how unpopular President Bush is or how unhappy the voters are with the war in Iraq. That's the prevailing view in Washington today.

But it's wrong.

If history is any guide, we're heading into a major political storm. And that means we could see a national tide in November that will sweep the Democrats back into the majority.

Virtually every public opinion measure points to a Category 4 or 5 hurricane gathering. Bush's job-approval rating is below 40 percent, and congressional job approval is more than 10 percentage points lower. Only a quarter of the electorate thinks the country is moving in the right direction, and voters are unhappy with the economy under Bush. Finally, Democrats hold a double-digit lead as the party the public trusts to do a better job of tackling the nation's problems and the party it would like to see controlling Congress."

Glenn Greenwald has a remarkable post about the extremism of the right-wing blogosphere, aided by research from Media Matters. 

And today, the Attorney General admits it was the President blocked any inquiry into the White House domestic spying program.  This and other fun tidbits in a good Times piece.   

Received my new Mas Que Un Partido t-shirts last night.  My kids were fired up, as was my wife Caitlin.  They look cool! You too can order some of our own at www.ndnfutbol.org.  Thanks to our friends at www.goodstorm.com for making it possible. 

For those in DC don’t forget to drop by our NPI event, lunch, on Thursday. 

Missed this morning's roundup

Sorry friends.  Will have a real good one tomorrow.  

And did not get picked for jury duty.   While I've enjoyed my past service on a jury, the timing on this one was not so good with our upcoming NPI event this week, and lots of other things going on. 

More tomorrow. 

Monday morning roundup

Am blogging here from the Courts in DC, as I wait to see if I get to serve on a jury trial.

Didnt get to do my normal scan of the news today, but the most interesting pieces I found came from the Times, and report on the growing regional fear in the Middle East of Iran and its Shiite allies. From the first piece:

"With the battle between Israel and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah raging, key Arab governments have taken the rare step of blaming Hezbollah, underscoring in part their growing fear of influence by the group’s main sponsor, Iran. Saudi Arabia, with Jordan, Egypt and several Persian Gulf states, chastised Hezbollah for “unexpected, inappropriate and irresponsible acts” at an emergency Arab League summit meeting in Cairo on Saturday."

From the second piece: "As sectarian violence soars, many Sunni Arab political and religious leaders once staunchly opposed to the American presence here are now saying they need American troops to protect them from the rampages of Shiite militias and Shiite-run government forces.

The pleas from the Sunni Arab leaders have been growing in intensity since an eruption of sectarian bloodletting in February, but they have reached a new pitch in recent days as Shiite militiamen have brazenly shot dead groups of Sunni civilians in broad daylight in Baghdad and other mixed areas of central Iraq."

While there is much to be debated about American foreign policy these days, there is growing global concern about the rise of Iran, the main sponsors of Hezbollah. I offered some additional thoughts on Iran on Saturday.

 

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