NDN: Week In Review

There's always a lot happening here at NDN, so in case you missed anything, here's what we've been up to in the last week:

The New Politics of the Obama Age - Using a whole array of 21st century tech and media tools, the Obama campaign created a new model of a people-powered politics that will be emulated by candidates, governments and non-profit organizations in America and throughout the world. Joining with our sister organization, the New Politics Institute, NDN brought together an excellent group of experts in a special forum last week to take an in-depth look at how we expect the lessons of this historic campaign to shape governing, advocacy and campaigns in the 21st century. To learn more about some of the issues addressed at the forum, please check out:

  • This recent CosmicLog report by MSNBC.com Science Editor Alan Boyle, The Wired White House, which extensively quotes Simon and our forum panelist Scott Goodstein, the former External Online Director for Obama for America.
  • This piece by Jose Antonio Vargas of the Washington Post, Obama Raised Half a Billion Online, which quotes Goodstein as well.
  • NDN's recent video on the President-elect's use of new tools and media, Obama to Reinvent the Presidency.
  • The New Politics Institute's powerful set of work explaining how to best use the new tools of the emerging politics.
  • Video of our event at the Democratic National Convention, Two Million Strong, and Growing, with Simon, Joe Trippi, Google's Peter Greenberger and Obama for America Deputy Media Director Macon Phillips.

Clean Infrastructure Goes First - Last Tuesday, NDN hosted a Capitol Hill forum entitled, "A Vision for a Modernized Electric Grid: Clean Infrastructure for a 21st Century Economy," with U.S. Reps. Jay Inslee and Earl Blumenauer, FERC Commissioner Wellinghoff, and other energy experts. The forum built on a number of NDN recommendations for clean infrastructure investment, starting with the upcoming economic stimulus package.

Momentum has been building behind NDN’s recommendation for a green stimulus. Last Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that President-elect Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff-designee Rahm Emanuel "...promised that a major economic stimulus would be 'the first order of business’ for Mr. Obama when he takes office Jan. 20. The focus of spending will be on infrastructure, specifically 'green infrastructure.'" For NDN’s take on Emanuel’s statement, click here.

NDN to Host December 11 Forum on Latin America and the Economic Crisis - NDN is proud to host the Honorable Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank and former Ambassador of Colombia to the United States, to discuss "The Current Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Latin America." This briefing will take place on Thursday, December 11, at 3 p.m. at NDN, 729 15th St., NW, 1st Floor.

Please RSVP as soon as possible. The event is open, but space is limited. Refreshments will be served. Please visit our Web site to view past events with the Ambassadors of Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, and the Vice President of Panama.

Considering the Big Three Bailout - As Congress sent CEO’s of the Big Three auto companies back to Detroit with the word that they needed to come back with a plan, NDN Globalization Initiative Chair Dr. Robert Shapiro considered the economic necessity of a bailout, coming to this conclusion:

The American auto industry now faces a kind of life-or-near-death moment, and if the President and Congress turn their backs, the results could drive down the economy much further. That's the only reason to countenance a bailout for an old industry that doggedly resists modernizing itself -- but under the current circumstances, it's a compelling one...

...Since the Bush Administration is at least partly responsible for what now faces the auto industry -- and now faces the rest of us, too - they should put their weight behind new help for automakers and auto workers. But the bailout shouldn't be a handout. The industry needs both a shake-up and a technological shift, and strings tied to the federal assistance can help make both happen.

Click here to read his whole analysis.

More Post-Election Analysis from NDN: The Long Road Back and More Millennial Makeover - As Simon wrote in the first in his new series of essays on a post-2008 GOP recovery:

"Absent huge Democratic mistakes in the next few years, the Republican Party's road back could very well be a long one. They just suffered their worst Presidential defeat in 44 years, and have now suffered crushing defeats two elections in a row, a rarity in American history. The Democrats have more ideological control of Washington than any time since the mid- 1960s. The Democrats themselves have thoroughly modernized in the past few years, building a very 21st century and potentially durable coalition, discovering the first new electoral map of this new century, employing the very latest and very potent tools to speak to and engage the American people, and have become fully focused on the big issues the American people now face. The center-left movement is also regenerating, and has created an investment and entrepreneurial capacity that has a very good chance of building a truly powerful and modern ideological movement to complement the modernizing Democrats. And of course, the Democrats are led by a thoroughly modern man, America's first true leader of this new century, Barack Obama, who so far has shown uncommon leadership potential for a man so young and so new to the national stage."

Read the full text of the essay, which was featured on Daily Kos, here.

New NDN Fellows Morley Winograd and Mike Hais, authors of the groundbreaking book, Millennial Makeover: MySpace, YouTube, & The Future of American Politics, also made it clear that the Republicans are going to have to find a new path. In their most recent essay, Morley and Mike wrote:

"The 2008 election not only marked the election of America's first African-American president, it also saw the strong and clear political emergence of a new, large and dynamic generation and the realignment of American politics for the next 40 years.

The first large wave of the Millennial Generation, about one third of the young Americans born from 1982-2003, entered the electorate to decisively support President-elect Barack Obama. Young voters preferred Obama over John McCain by a greater than 2:1 margin (66% vs. 32%). This is well above the margin given by young voters to any presidential candidate for at least three decades, if not at any time in U.S. history. In 2004, young voters preferred John Kerry to George W. Bush by a far more narrow 10 percentage points (55% to 45%). Moreover, the support of young people for Obama crossed all ethnic lines: he won the votes of a majority of African-American (95%), Latino (76%), and white (54%) young people.

Dispelling the myth that young people never vote, Millennials cast ballots in larger numbers than young voters had in any recent presidential election. About 23 million young people, an increase of 3.4 million over 2004, accounted for almost two-thirds of the overall 5.4 million increase in voter turnout. Their participation increased at a rate greater than older generations. As a result, young voters increased their overall share of the vote from 17 percent in 2004 to 18 percent in 2008. In contrast to previous recent presidential elections, a majority of young people voted in 2008 (53%), and in the competitive battleground states, youth turnout was even higher (59%). This was significantly above the 1996 (37%), 2000 (41%), and 2004 (48%) levels. In the earlier elections, "young people" were primarily members of Generation X, an alienated and socially uninvolved cohort; by contrast, the young voters of 2008 were mostly members of the civic-oriented Millennial Generation."

Read the full analysis here.

New Tools Feature - In this week’s New Tools Feature, I offered a preview of NDN’s upcoming white paper on Web video and the 2008 election by Dewey Digital and Divinity Metrics. A few key take-aways from the report:

  • The Obama campaign produced 2,000 official Web videos over the course of the election, compared to 376 from the McCain campaign.
  • There were 123,000 non-Campaign Obama videos, compared to less than 70,000 for McCain.
  • Videos by or about Obama received more than 1 billion views over the course of the election, compared to 613 million for McCain.

As NDN and our affiliate, the New Politics Institute, have argued for some time, Web video has very quickly become an essential component of successful political campaigns, and is now becoming a powerful tool for governing as well (see this recent post about President-elect Obama's first weekly YouTube address). To learn more about how Web video has permanently altered the political landscape, and for tips on how to use it effectively, check out our New Politics Institute paper, Reimagine Video, and be sure to stay tuned for our upcoming white paper!

Weekly Immigration Update - To find out what's new in the world of immigration reform, be sure to check out Zuraya Tapia-Alfaro's weekly immigration update. In this weekly feature, she comprehensively catalogs all the latest immigration-related developments.

Daily Roundup - The NDN blog’s newest regular feature is a daily roundup of economic and political news. Posted each morning by Sam duPont, the roundup includes the best analysis and latest news from mainstream and new media around the Web. Be sure to check it out!

Reminder: The NDN blog will be on holiday hours from November 26 to December 1.

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