NDN Blog

New Politics Triumphs

In the video below, Barack Obama takes an important step in the conversation about what a 21st Century politics, a new politics, could look like - a conversation that NDN has been convening for quite some time. In it, Sen. Obama explains why he has chosen to opt-out of the public financing system. (The script is below the video.)

Hi, this is Barack Obama.

I have an important announcement and I wanted all of you - the people who built this movement from the bottom-up - to hear it first. We've made the decision not to participate in the public-financing system for the general election. This means we'll be forgoing more than $80 million in public funds during the final months of this election.

It's not an easy decision, and especially because I support a robust system of public financing of elections. But the public financing of presidential elections as it exists today is broken, and we face opponents who've become masters at gaming this broken system. John McCain's campaign and the Republican National Committee are fueled by contributions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs. And we've already seen that he's not going to stop the smears and attacks from his allies running so-called 527 groups, who will spend millions and millions of dollars in unlimited donations.

From the very beginning of this campaign, I have asked my supporters to avoid that kind of unregulated activity and join us in building a new kind of politics - and you have. Instead of forcing us to rely on millions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs, you've fueled this campaign with donations of $5, $10, $20, whatever you can afford. And because you did, we've built a grassroots movement of over 1.5 million Americans. We've won the Democratic nomination by relying on ordinary people coming together to achieve extraordinary things.

You've already changed the way campaigns are funded because you know that's the only way we can truly change how Washington works. And that's the path we will continue in this general election. I'm asking you to try to do something that's never been done before. Declare our independence from a broken system, and run the type of campaign that reflects the grassroots values that have already changed our politics and brought us this far.

If we don't stand together, the broken system we have now, a system where special interests drown out the voices of the American people will continue to erode our politics and prevent the possibility of real change. That's why we must act. The stakes are higher than ever, and people are counting on us.

Every American who is desperate for a fair economy and affordable healthcare, who wants to bring our troops back from Iraq. Who hopes for a better education and future for his or her child, these people are relying on us. You and me. This is our moment and our country is depending on us. So join me, and declare your independence from this broken system and let's build the first general election campaign that's truly funded by the American people. With this decision this campaign is in your hands in a way that no campaign has ever been before. Now is the time to act. Thank you so much.

Quick '08 Update

This is going to be a quick post since we've got our LAPI event today, but here are a few things worth mentioning:

- As my Mom just reminded me, Michelle Obama is about to be a guest co-host on ABC's The View, an appearance that should do well to counter Pew numbers reported on CNN:

In the latest Pew research poll conducted June 13 through 16, 78
percent have heard a least a little bit about the wife of Barack Obama,
but up to 26 percent of those said the coverage of Michelle Obama has
been mostly negative. In contrast, 54 percent of those surveyed claim
to know a little bit about Cindy McCain and of those polled 31 percent
say the coverage they have seen has been mostly positive, while only 7
percent felt she has been represented negatively.

- Rudy Giuliani is back with his favorite subject: terrorism. As Josh Marshall points out, Rudy is now a surrogate for the McCain campaign on terrorism.

- Barack Obama has over one million supporters on Facebook. In comparison, John McCain has about 147,000 supporters. (Let's not get started on the RNC Facebook numbers...)

- Continuing along a theme that Simon has been covering, the New York Times has a really fascinating article on the Obama effect on the consciousness of France's black population. (It would've been really interesting to see what Césaire would've written about Obama...)


Here's the video of Al Gore's endorsement. The best part: Reinforcing that "elections do matter", Gore touches upon food safety, noting, "If you like a 'T' on your 'BLT', you know that elections matter." Classic. (Thanks to Jake for the clever title of this post.)

Finally, Gore Jumps In

Al Gore is endorsing Barack Obama. From his website:

A few hours from now I will step on stage in Detroit, Michigan to announce my support for Senator Barack Obama. From now through Election Day, I intend to do whatever I can to make sure he is elected President of the United States.

Over the next four years, we are going to face many difficult challenges -- including bringing our troops home from Iraq, fixing our economy, and solving the climate crisis. Barack Obama is clearly the candidate best able to solve these problems and bring change to America.

I've never asked members of AlGore.com to contribute to a political campaign before, but this moment and this election are too important to let pass without taking action.

That's why I am asking you to join me today in showing your support for Barack Obama by making a contribution to his campaign today:

Over the past 18 months, Barack Obama has united a movement. He knows change does not come from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue or Capitol Hill. It begins when people stand up and take action.

With the help of millions of supporters like you, Barack Obama will bring the change we so desperately need in order to solve our country's most pressing problems.

If you've already contributed to Barack Obama's campaign, I ask that you consider making another contribution. If you haven't, please join the movement right now:

On the issues that matter most, Barack Obama is clearly the right choice to lead our nation.

We have a lot of work to do in the next few months to elect Barack Obama president and it begins by making a contribution to his campaign today.

(Thanks to Jake for the head's up.)

Remembering Tim Russert

There have been plenty of stories written, statements given, and videos captured expressing sorrow over Tim Russert's shocking death. It is obvious from the type of people who have expressed their grief over his passing that Russert leaves an indelible mark on his field. Yet what makes that mark even more permanent - especially to me - is his character, which I think seems so well reflected in the video below. In it, Russert tells Larry King how he measures himself as a Father.

As Zuraya says below, our prayers are with your family.

Fox Bumps Hill

E.D. Hill - the Fox News anchor who suggested that Barack Obama's celebratory "pound" was a terrorist fist jab - has lost her show. According to the Guardian:

Fox News anchor ED Hill has lost her show a week after suggesting Barack Obama and his wife Michelle's on-stage victory gesture could be seen as a "terrorist fist jab".


According to US media reports Hill, who has been with Fox News Channel since 1998, has now lost her show although she is to stay with the network in an as yet undetermined capacity.

Blog Update!

I don't want to take up too much time or space, but we've added two buttons on the right hand side to help you with our blog. The first is just a more visually appealing way of guiding you to our RSS feeds. The second, however, takes you to a new landing page that explains important information about us.

From the about page you can check out our various sites on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr. You can also go to our help page, which aims to help answer questions about registration, commenting etc. You can also go to our contact page, which gives you our address, has a Google map to help you get directions if you are driving/walking, as well as a link to WMATA if you're using public transportation!

If you have anything else you'd like me to add, or just have general feedback, leave it in the comments section. Don't know how to comment? Check out the help page!

(Shout out to Will, our veteran Summer intern who made these buttons.)

Simon and Kos talk politics

Thanks to our friends at FORA.tv, we now have video from last week's event in San Francisco with Daily Kos founder, Markos Moulitsas. Check it out below:

Not a terrorist fist jab

Not that I even know if one exists or what it looks like, but contrary to what Fox News may believe, what my friend Kyle called "dap" and what I refer to as "respect" or "pound" is not a terrorist fist jab. If that were the case, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison would be a guilty culprit, seen recently on CNN's Late Edition with Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

(Via Yeas & Nays)

Update: Reacting to E.D. Hill's comments, Media Matters wonders if Fox News thinks notables like Sen. Joe Lieberman and former President George H. W. Bush are terrorists.

Push Global Communications: iPhone G3

I just watched the video of Steve Jobs' keynote presentation at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco. In it, he unveiled Apple's widely anticipated iPhone G3. Now while I am an unabashed Apple fan, unlike Tim Chambers and Jed Alpert I'm not an expert on mobile media. So some of the specifics of the presentation flew over my head.

But what was obvious was that the product on display is very likely to continue a theme we at NDN and NPI have thoroughly discussed. As Simon recently described in his post, aptly titled "The power of mobile", the role of mobile media in the global communications network cannot be ignored.

Surely that point was on display in San Francisco this afternoon.

Now the iPhone will not have the ability to impact everyone as the price of it alone is a barrier. But after seeing some of the initial applications developed for it, it's obvious that it has extraordinary capability to impact many sectors. Politics is of course no exception. Take for example the applications by TypePad, which allows seamless blogging from your iPhone, and the Associated Press, which lets you both consume and report news.

Pair that potential with the fact that the iPhone 3G will be available in seventy countries and you'll understand why Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers helped launch the iFund. If only every country was able to become connected - through the iPhone or some other device - imagine what that would look like. If nothing else, it would give former Vice President Gore, who was in the audience, another reason to be a proud Board member of Apple.

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