NDN Blog

Obama's waffles take the cake

I know everyone was eager for a round up, but I'm going to justify not doing one after seeing this story - linked by the Philadelphia Inquirer - from the Scranton Times-Tribune:

After a flood of calls to Glider Diner, Sen. Barack Obama's waffles are now off eBay.

John Oakes, of Chinchilla, said the negative calls diner owner Charles LeStrange received wasn't worth the publicity and money that could be possibly raised. Even though it had reached $20,100 in a day.

"It had nothing to do with him (Mr. LeStrange), but everyone was blaming him. So we took it down," said Mr. Oakes.

Mr. LeStrange gave Mr. Obama's leftover waffles and sausage, along with a plate and silverware to Mr. Oakes, whom he called a loyal customer.

Mr. Oakes, who supports Sen. Hillary Clinton for president, put the waffles up and said the money raised from the sale of Mr. Obama's breakfast would "go to Hillary for President!!!! Haha."

"We put it up there because we figured people are nuts and they might go crazy with it. And guess what? They did," Mr. Oakes said.

But he said the funds would not have gone to just Mrs. Clinton's campaign.

The auction money would have been donated to either the Democratic Party or be split between both the Clinton and Obama campaigns.

The auction was put up Monday afternoon and had solicited 36 bids by 2:45 p.m. today, the highest at $20,100. It was taken down about 15 minutes later.

Mr. Oakes said he isn't sure what he will do with the leftovers now.

Millennial Makeover in the Chronicle, NYT, and Wired

As many of you know, we've been promoting a fascinating new book by Morley Winograd and Mike Hais called Millennial Makeover. We've been encouraging people to check it out because we want more people to learn about the fascinating millennial generation. But don't just take our advice. The book has been well received in the press and on the blogosphere. The latest mentions include Carla Marinucci's front-page article from the San Francisco Chronicle, Michiko Kakutani's review in the New York Times, and Sarah Lai Stirland's piece in Wired.

To catch Millennial Makeover's coauthors in action, come to our event in NYC on April 28 or watch the video of them below from our March 12 Forum. You can also learn more about Millennials at our May 9 event, New Tools, New Audiences.

PA polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

I'll be doing my big round-up tomorrow for Pennsylvania's Primary, but I wanted to quickly post the polling times. According to The Patriot News, the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Voters in line at 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote. And if you're from my home town of York, or a nearby area, here's justification for why you better vote!

(Amazing aside: if you're a PA local, you'll agree that you could easy sing the phrase 'Pennsylvania Primary' to the classic Pennsylvania Lottery jingle.)

NDN round up: In the news, around the blogs

Another quick round-up of stories and posts that have featured NDN commentary:

- Once again, John Whitesides takes a realistic look at the race in his latest Reuters piece, Obama rolling as Clinton running out of time. In it, Simon lays out the narrative of the race to date: It doesn't seem like [Senator Clinton] has the power to alter the dynamic of the race anymore. (4/18/08) (The story was heavily picked up and was featured on sites like Kenya's Majimbo and Hillary Clinton Club.)

- Holly Yeager from the Washington Independent applies Whitesides' article to tomorrow's Pennsylvania primary in A Win, But No Victory and takes Simon's quote to a new level: “She doesn’t have a lot of tools left,” said Simon Rosenberg, president of NDN, a progressive think tank and advocacy group. “Sen. Clinton has done everything she can to alter the dynamics of the race, and everything she has done has failed.” (04/21/08)

- Robert J. Shapiro, Chair of NDN's Globalization Initiative and author of Futurecast, was once again quoted in a New York Magazine piece. This time, John Heilemann, who recently spoke at our March 12 Forum, quoted Dr. Shapiro on Barack Obama's economic argument. Entitled Econobamanomic Theory, Heilemann shows how Obama needs to borrow a page from Bill Clinton's play book in order to chart a future for Democrats that is aligned with his message of change and hope. (04/21/08) (FYI: Dr. Shapiro will expand upon this in a video to be blogged later this evening.)

- NDN's New Politics Institute was featured in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. In the article, Matt Wilson cites NPI Director Peter Leyden to show how the GOP needs to get with the times if it wants to compete - that the Democrats hold the advantage when it comes to using new tools like web video and viral video in general. (04/21/08) Learn more about this at two upcoming NDN events: Reimagine Video on April 24 and New Tools, New Audiences on May 9. Both are in DC and open to all.

In NDN-related news, Morley Winograd and Mike Hais, coauthors of Millennial Makeover, a book we've been promoting to our family, have themselves been featured in numerous stories:

- The San Francisco Chronicle's Carla Marinucci features Winograd and Hais in her piece, 'Millennial Generation' set to rock the vote. (Related aside: the Millennial Makeover coauthors were interviewed for the Chronicle story around an NDN event promoting their book in San Francisco!) (04/20/08)

- News Blaze lets us know about a neat conference taking place in a few weeks at USC's Marshall School of Business, where one of the keynote speakers on "The Millennial Generation: Revolutionizing the Enterprise Workplace?" is none other than Morley Winograd. (04/21/08)

- Amber Arellano shows Winograd and Hais, a Michigander and local professor respectively, some home town appreciation in her piece in the Detroit News, Bring on the next civic generation, the Millennials. (04/21/08)

- Christine Sparta of New Jersey's Home News Tribune relates the civic engagement of Millennials to the campus of Rutgers University, then takes a broader look at student engagement in the world in her piece, Demonstrators voice their protests with ageless enthusiasm. (04/19/08)

Pope reaffirms Church's position on immigration

As we've noted, the Catholic Church has been a strong ally for comprehensive immigration reform. So when Pope Benedict XVI affirmed his position on immigration, it wasn't too much of a shock. From the NY Times:

Even as he was flying to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of protecting immigrant families, not dividing them.

He raised the issue again in a meeting on Wednesday with President Bush, and later that day spoke in Spanish to the church's "many immigrant children." And when he ends his visit to New York on Sunday, he will be sent off by a throng of the faithful, showing off the ethnic diversity of American Catholicism.

The choreography underscores the importance to the church here of its growing diversity - especially its increasing Hispanic membership.

Of the nation's 65 million Roman Catholics, 18 million are Latino, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, and they account for more than two-thirds of the new Catholics in the country since 1960.

It should be noted that while the pope met with President Bush to discuss a humane solution that protects immigrants and their families, more than 300 immigrants were arrested by federal agents in raids. To learn more about our work in fixing our broken immigration system, visit our website.

4 candidates, 1 endorsement?

Was the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Mike Wereschagin correct? Is there an Edwards endorsement looming? Perhaps at tonight's Colbert Report? I think we would have heard by now. But that doesn't mean the show won't be entertaining. It's line-up is chock-full of current and former candidates: Senator Clinton, former Senator Edwards, Senator Obama, and of course Colbert himself. Be sure to tune in. (Shout out to Ajay for the head's up.)

NDN round up: In the news, around the blogs

We've been discussing a wide range of issues so I wanted to give you a quick summary of stories and blog posts that have featured our commentary:

- The National Journal's Ron Brownstein adopts a similar argument to our virtuous cycle of participation to show how this election has produced The First 21st-Century Campaign (4/19/08). (It continues a theme presented in a prior piece from Rolling Stone that featured NDN and still gets picked up often, The Machinery of Hope. You can hear Joe Trippi discuss how campaigns have changed in this video from our event, The Uncharted Political Terrain of Campaign '08.)

- Simon injects some reality into McCain's relationship with Hispanics in Hans Nichols' piece from Bloomberg entitled, McCain Plea to Hispanics Dismays Anti-Immigration Republicans. (4/15/08)

- Inside US Trade covered Simon's letter to the President on the U.S.-Colombia FTA in their piece, New Dem Group Sees Bush Using Colombia FTA To Get Florida Votes. (4/11/08)

- John Whitesides creates a new narrative on the presidential trail in his Reuters piece, Obama closing superdelegates gap. In it, Simon shows how the migration of the superdelegates follows Obama's success in fundraising and winning the popular vote. (4/11/08) (The narrative in the piece is spreading virally thanks to blogs like Cheeky Monkey.)

- Simon's answer is among A Whole Slew of Interesting Videos from Progressives on what the next President should do on day one in this post from DailyKos. (4/9/08)

- Future Majority touched on the Culture Clash at the New New Deal Conference. (4/9/08)

- Commenting on the ability of Democrats to manage and execute a modern campaign, Simon weighs in with the Politico's Ben Smith on how Obama readies plan to reshape the electorate. (4/2/08) To learn more about the tools available in this new campaign environment, check out the New Tools Campaign of our New Politics Institute. (To learn more about all this, come to our Reimagine Video event on April 24, or our New Tools, New Audiences event on May 9.)

- After highlighting the power of Latinos over the course of the 2008 election, a subject we've documented quite a bit ourselves, the Politico's Gebe Martinez quotes NDN's Andres Ramirez on how Latinos more likey to be colorblind in the 2008 election than some may think. (4/1/08)

NDN was also featured on the BBC in two different pieces.

- On BBC Newshour, Simon previews the Philadelphia debate with James Coomarasamy:

- On BBC Radio 4, Simon highlights Gordon Brown's trip to the U.S.

To check the past articles in which NDN is mentioned, check our website's news section.

New WaPo/ABC poll consistent with Daily Tracks

On the whole, the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll bodes well for Senator Obama. The poll, which was conducted as Obama's "bitter" comments were made,
remains mostly consistent with the Gallup and Rasmussen daily tracks:

Sen. Barack Obama holds a 10-point lead over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton when Democrats are asked whom they would prefer to see emerge as the party's presidential nominee, but there is little public pressure to bring the long and increasingly heated contest to an end, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. 

The fierce battle, however, appears to have taken a toll on the image of Clinton, who was once seen as the favorite. And Obama has widened his lead since early February on several key qualities that voters are looking for in a candidate and has narrowed sizable advantages for Clinton on others.

He now has a 2-to-1 edge on who is considered more electable in a general contest -- a major reversal from the last poll -- and has dramatically reduced a large Clinton lead on which of the two is the "stronger leader."

While Clinton retains a big edge over Obama on experience, public impressions of her have taken a sharply negative turn. Today, more Americans have an unfavorable view of her than at any time since The Post and ABC began asking the question, in 1992. Impressions of her husband, former president Bill Clinton, also have grown negative by a small margin.

As the Post article notes, while it has taken a hit, Obama's favorability remains more positive than negative. So things might get interesting in Philadelphia. For the second time. Then again, with the Flyers doing well who knows how much attention this will get.

Either way, be sure to tune into ABC at 8 p.m. EST to watch it all. ABC's Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos are the moderators.

Sarukhan sets the stage for Cancún

The World Economic Forum on Latin America takes place today and tomorrow in Cancún, Mexico. The event, which Simon is attending, will "bring together over 500 top global leaders from business, politics, government, academia, civil society and the media from 46 countries." The theme of the meeting, which the Government of Mexico is co-hosting, is "Securing a Place in an Uncertain Economic Landscape." Since most of us will not be able to attend, I figured I'd post a video of Arturo Sarukhan, Ambassador of Mexico to the United States, who recently spoke at NDN's forum on U.S.-Mexican relations.

The event was the first in the Latin American Policy Initiative, a series that will give policy makers and stakeholders an opportunity to discuss relations between the U.S. and the various countries in Latin America. The Ambassador was joined by Senator Bob Menendez in discussing the current relations and priorities between the United States and Mexico. Check out his remarks below:

Obama conducts the Superdelegate Waltz

The view that superdelegates were going to be the deciding factor in the Democratic nomination is perhaps being replaced by the view that their backing will be the final factor in deciding who will be the nominee. Their support will swing towards the candidate with the popular vote, etc. Barack Obama has won the popular vote argument, and according to a major Reuters piece from John Whitesides, the Senator from Illinois is getting closer and closer to winning the superdelegate argument as well. Simon puts it into perspective:

In a danger sign for Clinton, Obama over the past few months has sharply cut her lead among superdelegates -- nearly 800 elected officials and party leaders free to back any candidate.

"Obama has won more delegates, he's won more votes, he's raised more money, and now you see it happening with superdelegates too," said Simon Rosenberg, head of the Democratic advocacy group NDN.

(Perhaps the superdelegates are attracted to the candidate who is ahead in what we call the virtuous cycle of participation.)

While the Clinton campaign is failing to contain the superdelegate shift, where it may be finding the most difficulty, and what could prove more dangerous, is in maintaining the argument that the holding pattern of the superdelegates is justifying their place in the race. Simon explains this in reacting to a quote from Phil Singer, Clinton's spokesman:

"Most superdelegates are in a holding pattern. They're waiting to see what happens in Pennsylvania and down the road before they make any decisions," Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said.

Rosenberg said the recent string of superdelegate endorsements for Obama made that argument hard to swallow. "A substantial number have moved -- and most are moving to Obama," he said.

This just adds to the good news the Obama campaign has generated for itself. Check out a prior post on the effectiveness of the campaign's general election strategy.

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