"Base to Bush: It's Over"

Conservative author and commentator Byron York weighs in today with a true must read.  It starts:

Let's say you're a Republican president, a bit more than midway through your second term. You're scrambling to salvage what you can of a deeply unpopular war, you're facing a line of subpoenas from Democrats in Congress and your poll ratings are in the basement. What do you do?

You estrange the very Republicans whose backing you need the most.

That's precisely what President Bush has managed to accomplish during the two big political developments of recent weeks: the commutation of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's prison sentence and the defeat of comprehensive immigration reform. But the president's problems with the GOP base go beyond those awkward headlines. Republicans aren't mad at Bush for the same reasons that Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and the devotees of MoveOn.org are; there's no new anti-Bush consensus among left and right. No, conservatives are unhappy because the president allied himself with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) over an immigration deal that leaned too far toward amnesty for illegal immigrants. They're unhappy because Bush has shown little interest in fiscal responsibility and limited government. And they're unhappy, above all, because he hasn't won the war in Iraq.

All of this has left Republicans saying, at least among themselves, something blunt and devastating: It's over.

"Bush fatigue has set in," declares one plugged-in GOP activist.

"We're ready for a new president," says a former state Republican Party official in the South.

"There was affection," opines a conservative strategist based well beyond the Beltway, "but now they're in divorce court."

Read the rest here in today's Post. 

Our broken politics

The Bush era has done great damage to Washington's ability to meet important challenges.  We know the story - big mistakes, challenges not met, extraordinary betrayal of the public trust.  In 2006 voters asked for a new chapter in the American story.  What we now know well into 2007 that this new chapter will not come quickly.  It will take years and a great deal of work to move past this disapointing and damaging era of politics. 

There are many examples of how Bushism will be with us for years to come.  The right-leaning Roberts court.  The continued erosion of American support for globalization and trade liberalization.  A Middle East more difficult than before.  But to me the most graphic example of our hard it is going to be bring the parties and the American people together to solve our common problems is what happened with the immigration bill last week. 

We have written about this often so I wont repeat other than to say that if anything was to pass in this Congress it was the immigration bill.  It had broad and deep bi-partisan support.  It passed the Republican controlled Senate last year.  It had a remarkable coalition behind it, including leaders of labor, the Catholic Church, business and immigrant rights groups.  It was supported by the most powerful leaders in Washington including the President, John McCain, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.  And yet it still didnt pass. 

For progressives, we have several tasks ahead.  First to stay focused on solving problems not playing politics.  We need to get things done that improve the lives of average Americans.  Second, and perhaps most importantly, is that we cannot let these disapointing years cause us to doubt the power and goodness of the American experiment itself.  We have overcome much greater challenges before.  And though the array of challenges in front of us are great, and urgent, at our very core we must believe that they can met and tackled with the same sense of can-do optimism as this remarkable nation has met similar times of trial and trouble in our past.  This is no time for retreat, for withdrawal, for accepting the limited and cramped vision of the Bush era.   Our task now must be to re-imagine the goodness, and greatness, of America, and apply our creed and values to the newly emergent challenges of this new century. 

It is not the day that it is dark.  It has been our response to it.  And that we have the power to change.  But it is not going to be quick, easy, inexpensive and clean.  We have years of hard work ahead of us to move America beyond the broken politics of the Bush era.

Yahoo testing new one to one ad service

Advertising takes another leap forward.  From the Times today:

Yahoo will announce new tools for online advertising today that could pull the company ahead in the race for what is called “behavioral targeting,” that is, the ability to better tailor online advertisements to the people most likely to buy.

The product, Yahoo SmartAds, would help marketers create custom advertisements on the fly, using information on individual buyers and information on real prices and availability from the vendors. For example, a person who had recently searched for information about blenders might see an ad from Target that gives the prices for the blenders that are on the shelves in the store closest to that person’s home.

The Internet has long promised this kind of one-to-one marketing, but it has often been difficult for advertisers to customize display advertisements with a broad reach.

“Ad agencies have been really struggling with how to scale the value proposition of the Internet,” said Todd Teresi, senior vice president of display marketplaces at Yahoo. “We now can get scaleable one-to-one marketing.”

The announcement of SmartAds also comes while Yahoo is recovering from an extensive reshuffling in the executive offices, including the departure of its chief executive, Terry S. Semel, and Wenda Harris Millard, the company’s longtime chief sales officer. Yahoo has struggled to catch up with Google in search advertising and has disappointed investors with its ad sales the past few quarters.

SmartAds is one attempt to catch up. Although the technology is complex, the goal of SmartAds is simple: show the right advertisement to the right person at just the moment that he is about to pull out his wallet to make a purchase.

SmartAds is being tested on Yahoo’s network of sites — which includes local newspapers as well as its own portal — by two major airlines, although Mr. Teresi would not name them. He said the system will be offered to other industries in the coming months, including automobile companies and retailers in the fall.

The technology will also be applied for free across advertisements bought on Right Media, the online ad exchange that Yahoo purchased this spring (although the deal is still pending). The new feature may give Right Media a competitive advantage over other exchanges — like a new one created by DoubleClick, the online company that Google agreed to purchase for $3.1 billion in April. (The Google-DoubleClick merger is pending an antitrust review by the Federal Trade Commission.)

This is how Yahoo’s new system works: the advertiser (or its agency) would provide Yahoo with the components of its display ads — including the logos, tag lines and images. The retailer would share information from its inventory databases that track the items on the shelves in each of its stores. Next, Yahoo would combine that data with the information it has about its users’ demographics and actions online to create a product-specific advertisement....

Read the rest of the piece here.

Quick '08 Update

- Scott Maxwell offers his opinion on how the democratic candidates did at this past weekend's NALEO Forum. (Note: adding to the Spanish-language credentials of the Democratic field, Maxwell notes that Dennis Kucinich closed his speech in Spanish. Well done, Congressman!)

- Chris Cillizza takes a brief break from vacation to offer his thoughts on Barack Obama's fundraising report on his blog, The Fix.

- In his first visit to New Orleans as a candidate, Rudy Giuliani linked border security to terrorism saying, "if you don't end illegal immigration, almost nothing is possible, because no matter what you do, things are going to get worse." That's interesting, given his past comments on immigration.

- Hillary Clinton launched a new feature, HillCam. The service allows people to sign up to receive video reports from the Clintons as they travel across Iowa.

- On a lighter note, the New York Times profiled Cindy McCain, the charitable wife of John McCain.

- Joe Biden wrote an op-ed in today's Miami Herald on the recent opinions of the Supreme Court.

- The Des Moines Register offered an overview of the forum held jointly by Iowans for Tax Relief and the Iowa Christian Alliance this past weekend. One of the better performances of the forum went to Mike Huckabee, who comes across well in this video from a speech he gave in New Hampshire:

For more information on NDN's coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, click here.

Dodd interviewed in Spanish at NALEO Forum

I'll be posting more on the 2008 race as the day progresses, but I wanted to give the video below particular emphasis. It shows Chris Dodd being interviewed in Spanish by Univision in his green room at this past weekend's NALEO Presidential Forum. This short video helps show how versatile certain candidates are, and also helps underscore how incredibly beneficial the skill of speaking in spanish can be at a time like this.

For more information on NDN's coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, click here.

More on the Bush Presidency

Lots of stories these last few days on the further weakening of the Bush Presidency.  This morning Peter Baker of the Post publishes the most interesting analysis so far. 

For more on this topic from NDN visit the Meeting the Conservative Challenge section of our web site, www.ndn.org.

Gore and the climate change pledge

Al Gore has a strongly worded op-ed in the Times today on climate change.  It also previews the Live Earth concerts next week, and the pledge we will be asked to take:

Next Saturday, on all seven continents, the Live Earth concert will ask for the attention of humankind to begin a three-year campaign to make everyone on our planet aware of how we can solve the climate crisis in time to avoid catastrophe. Individuals must be a part of the solution. In the words of Buckminster Fuller, “If the success or failure of this planet, and of human beings, depended on how I am and what I do, how would I be? What would I do?”

Live Earth will offer an answer to this question by asking everyone who attends or listens to the concerts to sign a personal pledge to take specific steps to combat climate change. (More details about the pledge are available at algore.com.)

Post on mobile use in politics

In today's Post Jose Vargas takes a deep look at how folks in politics are using mobile telephony and media this cycle.  The story features NPI Fellow Tim Chambers, and our his recent report for NPI.  You can find Tim's report at www.newpolitics.net

DVR Alert: All American Presidential Forum tonight at 9 PM EST on PBS

Just a reminder to tune into tonight's Democratic presidential debate, the All American Presidential Forum at Howard University, being hosted by Tavis Smiley at 9 PM ET on PBS.

Post series on Cheney: a must read

We will be talking about this new Post series on Cheney for a long time.  The 2nd installment runs today.  There is so much in here that it defies a quick am blog post, and is both informative and tragic at the same time.

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