NDN

Unpublished
n/a

It's a Brand New Era. Deal With It.

The NBC-Wall Street Journal survey released yesterday is chock-full of numbers indicating that the public overwhelmingly likes President Barack Obama and approves of his efforts to once again set America on the right track. More than two-thirds (68%) have a favorable opinion of the President; nearly half (47%) are "very positive." Two-thirds (67%) also "feel hopeful" about his leadership and nearly as many (60%) approve of his job performance. But, perhaps to appear "unbiased" and find something negative to say, NBC's Chuck Todd says that Obama is more popular personally than are his policies.

Technically that's true: "only" 54-percent say that the President has the "right goals and policies for the country." But in minimizing public support for the administration's policy goals, NBC and Todd are misinterpreting their own data and missing the movement of the United States to a new political and economic era that occurred with the election and inauguration of Barack Obama. That makeover or realignment substantially changed the way in which the American people perceive the role of government and the outcomes they want and expect from federal economic policy. A clear majority of Americans (58%) now favors a government that actively tries to resolve the problems facing society and the economy and almost as many (53%) want government to ensure that everyone has a basic standard of living and level of income, even if that increases government spending. Clearly, the era announced by Ronald Reagan nearly three decades ago, in which government is the problem and not the solution, has ended.

This shift in underlying political attitudes is reflected in the approval given the recently enacted Economic Recovery Act in the NBC-WSJ survey. Nearly a six-in-ten majority supports the "stimulus" package (57%) while barely a third (34%) oppose it. NBC says this reflects soft attitudes toward a key administration policy. However, support at that level for an act that is so big, substantially different from any economic policy since the 1930s, and almost completely opposed by the opposition party is actually quite remarkable. No president since Lyndon Johnson, or perhaps even Franklin D. Roosevelt, has been able to accomplish something so comprehensive with so little watering down in so little time. The first Obama budget, which even the Republican congressional leadership concedes it will not likely stop or even change significantly, will lead to even greater change in the direction of governmental policy.

But, perhaps the most remarkable finding in the NBC survey is the large increase in the number of Americans believing that the country is now moving in a positive direction. Forty-one percent of the public now says the nation is on the right track. That's up from 26 percent in the last month of the Bush administration. Given that Americans still believe the worst is yet to come on the economy (76% say the economy has not yet bottomed out), the increased optimism of the public can only be a result of its regard for Barack Obama and his approach that clearly reflects the movement of the United States to a new civic era of governmental activism.

Don't Mess With Census 2010

The announcement last week that Congressional Black Caucus members plan to press President Barack Obama to keep the 2010 census under White House supervision, even if the former Democratic Governor of Washington, Gary Locke, is confirmed as Commerce Secretary, brought back memories of a movie I’d seen before — a bad movie.

The statement came from U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., the caucus’ leading voice on the census, and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform panel, which has jurisdiction over the decennial count. His assertion that the White House needs “to be hands-on, very much involved in selecting the new census director as well as being actively involved and interested in the full and accurate count,” suggests that the partisan gap about what the census should accomplish is no closer to being closed than it was 10 years ago when we last undertook the constitutionally mandated exercise in counting everyone living in America. The gap was so big last time that it helped bring about the complete shutdown of the United States government.

When Newt Gingrich became speaker of the House, he decided, in his own paranoid way, that Bill Clinton and the Democrats would use their executive authority to produce a biased census whose over-count of minorities would shift, in his opinion, 24 House seats from the Republicans to the Democrats after the 2000 census. Of course, it was ludicrous to think such an outcome would occur, since legislative boundaries are drawn by the party in power in each state. Whatever numbers the census produces in our decennial exercise can be manipulated to produce any outcome each state’s ruling party desires, as U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay and his Texas Republican cronies proved a few years ago. Nevertheless, Gingrich was determined to use the Congressional appropriations process to undercut any attempt by the Democrats to overstate minority populations in the several states.

The method by which this nefarious plot was to be carried out, in the Republican Party’s opinion, was by the use of a large sample of Americans to be surveyed at the same time as the actual count, or enumeration, required by the Constitution, was taking place. In response to concerns about previous census inaccuracies — both overcounts and undercounts — the National Academy of Sciences had recommended that the Census Bureau use survey sampling techniques to validate not just the overall count but the individual demographic sub-groups that the census’s enumeration process would identify. But this was a hugely expensive undertaking. To gain statistical accuracy, about 1.3 million Americans would have to respond to a lengthy survey that would cost about a half a billion dollars to execute. And it was this expenditure that Gingrich refused to appropriate. When he and Clinton came to the ultimate showdown on funding the government, Gingrich blinked.

As part of the budget settlement that reopened the government after the shutdown, Clinton forced him to reinstate funding for the sample survey. But despite having established the primacy of the White House in the conduct of the census, matters actually got worse for awhile. When I became Director of the National Partnership for Reinventing Government (NPR) under Vice President Al Gore, I was asked to monitor the implementation of the census to be sure it was done as effectively and as efficiently as possible. But the first idea on how to accomplish that came straight out of the same White House partisan playbook that is now being invoked by the Congressional Black Caucus.

In order to assure that the process was “bi-partisan,” it was suggested that a commission be established made up of equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats who would oversee the activity on behalf of the Congress. Since the commission was to be equally divided, the Clinton White House wanted to make sure that only the most partisan Democrats — those who would never concede an inch to their Republican counterparts on issues such as funding and methodology — were selected. Names like Harold Ickes, Supervisor Gloria Molina, and Congresswoman Maxine Waters were discussed as representative of the type of Democrat who would make sure the use of sampling to confirm the accuracy of the count was preserved. Fortunately, thanks to the eloquence of Rob Shapiro, the Under Secretary for the Department of Commerce who had the actual authority to supervise the Census, cooler heads in the Vice President’s office were able to prevail over their White House counterparts, and the Commission notion was abandoned.

But that didn’t stop the two parties from continuing their warfare over the value of a sample supplemented census vs. a straight enumeration. Republicans sued the Census Bureau in federal court, demanding that only the actual count of residents as provided in the Constitution be used for any congressional redistricting by the states. The Federal Appeals court dismissed the Republican lawsuit as none of the Court’s business. Foreshadowing the outcome of Gore v. Bush in 2000, the Supreme Court surprisingly took up the case and overturned the Appeals court ruling. As a result, all subsequent redistricting efforts have used only the enumeration count from the 2000 census. On the other hand, formulas used to allocate federal funds based on population characteristics were unaffected by the ruling and could have used the sampling process, had it not met an untimely and unnecessary death.

As soon as George W. Bush was elected and the incredibly professional Director of the Census Bureau, Ken Prewitt, was removed from office, the Commerce Department’s new partisan Secretary, Donald Evans, determined that the sample that had been prepared over the strong objections of congressional Republicans was not usable. Sampling, as originally conceived, was never implemented, and the country ended up relying on a very strong effort to count households and those living in them for its 2000 census. This method tends to overcount families with two houses, who respond to the census form at both of their addresses, and college students who generally answer the form from their dorm room while their parents report them as still in their household back home. And, of course, it tends to undercount less affluent populations with fewer physical ties to a specific dwelling, particularly Native Americans, and to some degree Hispanics and African Americans.

Despite these problems, a sampling approach could not be used to help correct inaccuracies in this year’s census, even if Rahm Emanuel himself were to oversee it. We are too far along in the process to recreate it. There is, however, a substitute available that should alleviate the concerns of all but the most stubborn partisans on both sides of the issue. Under the Gore reinvention initiative, the Census Bureau conceived of a concept now known as the American Community Survey. It was designed to survey a vast quantity of households over time to acquire the kind of detailed demographic data that was usually obtained from the subset of the population, about one in 10, who were asked to complete the “long form” of the census questionnaire every 10 years. Republicans hated this form and the type of questions it asked; they saw it as an unlawful intrusion on the privacy of families by the federal government. Those of us in charge of reinventing the federal government thought the ACS could be a much more scientific and efficient way of collecting this essential data, but our challenge was to keep it from becoming a political football in the partisan warfare over the census.

Finally, it was agreed that the Clinton Administration budget proposals would include a continuing increase in funds for the ACS. In order to garner Republican support, ACS would be justified as a way to eliminate the long form by 2010. The budget request was forwarded by the head of ACS directly to the Vice President’s office, which made it a priority each year, but which never publicly acknowledged any interest in the concept. The ruse worked and the project became a reality. The long form will not be used in the upcoming census because the ACS has gathered, over time, sufficient data on the demographic details of America’s population as to make it unnecessary.

Given the existence of the ACS, those now waging a battle over sampling vs. enumeration are truly guilty of fighting today’s war with yesterday’s weapons. In this new era, those who have a legitimate interest in as complete and accurate a census as possible should instead direct their efforts to the neighborhoods where the accuracy of the count will actually be determined. During the last count, the Census Bureau formed hundreds of thousands of partnerships with community groups interested in making sure that everyone they knew got counted. Today, these programs, as well as projects such as former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer’s “Nosy Neighbors” campaign, are the best way to ensure an accurate outcome.

The responsibility for America’s next census does not and should not rest with the White House. But President Obama’s experience does offer some direction: neighborhood organizing is key. Let’s hope that community leaders will follow the advice to ‘pick yourself up and dust yourself off’… and undertake the huge task of ensuring that every person is present and accounted for in America’s next census.

Cross-posted at New Geography.

Weekly Update on Immigration: Making the Case for Immigration Reform

On February 19, NDN convened a public forum that made the case for why Congress should pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform this year.  Joining NDN 's Simon Rosenberg were  Rick Johnson of Lake Research, Pete Brodnitz of Benenson Strategy Group, Janet Murguia of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), and Frank Sharry of America's Voice.  

It was a powerful event. For those of you who were unable to watch the video live, or review the compelling package of data and presentations that were part of the event, I encourage you to visit:

"Making the Case for Passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform This Year,"
Simon Rosenberg, NDN, 2/19/09

"Immigration08: National Survey and Swing District Polling on Immigration ," 
Lake Research Partners,11/13/08
Polling sponsored by America's Voice and Immigraiton08 found - yet again - that a large majority of voters broadly support Comprehensive Immigration Reform.  The data here demonstrates how voters understand that common sense solutions that help the economy and fix the broken immigration system are a win-win. 

"Attitudes Towards Immigration Reform in Swing Districts,"
Benenson Strategy Group, Updated: 1/27/09
This polling performed in congressional swing districts found that support of a comprehensive approach to immigration reform both increases a candidate's ballot support and improves the public perception of him or her on key qualities and attributes. It's telling that candidates associated with support for comprehensive reform were perceived more favorably than candidates supporting enforcement-only.

"NDN Statewide Polls on Immigration,"
NDN and Bendixen & Associates, 9/10/2008
Similar to the polling done in swing districts, this poll conducted in four battleground states - CO, NM, NV, and FL- found overwhelming support for comprehensive immigration reform. The data here also shows that while the anti-immigrant minority may be loud, it remains a very small minority, with most voters blaming the U.S. government for the broken immigration system - not the undocumented immigrants. 

Taken together, these presentations and reports are essential reading for anyone working on this issue.

We cannot forget that we also have a moral imperative to pass national immigration reform.  Click here to read more about the perfect storm that is being fostered by the consistent immigration debate at local and state levels, leading to dramatic increases in the number of hate crimes and hate groups.  

Monday Buzz: Presidential Polling, Budgetary Blogging, and the Man in the Empty Suit (?)

It was a busy week for NDN in the media. First off, Simon was the lead quote in a big USA Today piece on the release of their new opinion polling, which found broad public support for spending to help people but very little for spending to rescue financial institutions. From the article:

"Look, the American people are pleased with the direction Barack Obama is taking, but there are still parts of the economic recovery plan that people are not sure about," says Simon Rosenberg of NDN, a Democratic-leaning think tank. "He has to make it very clear that his focus is on the struggle of everyday people, and not on those with means."

The poll also generated coverage in AHN and Presna Latina.

Simon's analysis of President Obama's speech was also featured in the Washington Times:

The speech was a critical moment in Mr. Obama's "evolution" from candidate to president, said Simon Rosenberg of liberal think tank NDN.

Mr. Rosenberg, who worked in the Clinton White House, said before the speech that the night was an opportunity for Mr. Obama to detail point by point how he will lead them during a time of crisis.

"The American people are willing to give him time, but he needs to make sure they walk away with a clear sense of what he wants to do for them and that they think that it's actually possible for him to pull it off," Mr. Rosenberg said.

My favorite of the many inane / insane comments about this article from the Washington Times site, by "Woody":

"Still a man in an empty suit."

(Think about it)

Rob was featured in the Associated Press, the Huffington Post, and the Wall Street Journal talking about Obama's budget proposal. From the Associated Press piece by Tom Raum:

Is it possible that the White House will be right and the economy will recover along the time line projected in Obama's budget?

"Yes, it's possible. Do I think it's probable? No I don't. But I don't think anybody's forecast is probable," said Rob Shapiro, head of the globalization program at NDN, a Democratic think tank, and chairman of Sonecon, an economic-consulting firm.

"No one has called this cycle correctly," Shapiro said. "Because it is so unlike any other downturn, economists are legitimately more uncertain about what its course will be."

And from the Huffington Post piece by Sam Stein:

The president's plan would raise the tax rate on capital gains and dividends to 20 percent from the 15 percent levels imposed by the Bush administration. In a climate in which few people are actually making capital gains earnings, raising the rate, economists say, shouldn't dry up market activity much, if any. On the flip side, the Obama budget team projects that it could help decrease the deficit by more than $1 billion in fiscal year 2010, $5.4 billion in 2011, $12.2 billion in 2014 and $19.9 billion in 2019.

"This increase will not just have no severe effect on the economy but have almost no effect except higher revenues," said Robert Shapiro, the deputy commerce secretary under Bill Clinton and an occasional adviser to president's economic staff. "It is basically a freebie. So why not do it?"

Rob also discussed the stimulus on the Fox News Channel:

NDN fellow Morley Winograd was quoted in the Los Angeles Times on how the recession is affecting Millennials:

But Morley Winograd, coauthor of "Millennial Makeover: MySpace, YouTube and the Future of American Politics," has no such concerns. "This is not an embittered and cynical generation," he said. "Although they did tend to be protected as children, they were also taught to compete and to perform. This will only make them more determined."

Finally, Michael Moynihan was quoted about the stimulus in the Charlotte Observer.

A Perfect Storm?

Today, MSNBC featured a story on the growth in hate groups and increas in hate crimes.  Since the year 2000, the number of hate groups has increased by 54%, adding up to 926 such groups across the country.  The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) contends that this growth is due almost entirely to the exploitation of the immigration issue by these groups.  Statistics show that these groups are mainly targeting Latinos.  The piece states that the combination of an economic crisis, a rapidly changing demography (it is estimated that by 2042 most of the U.S. population will be of a "minority", and this will happen by 2023 among 18-year olds), and the first black President have served to stir the storm of hate crimes and hate groups - a storm that "only knowledge and understanding" can eliminate.  Let's hope this small percentage of our population starts becoming more informed, and more accepting of the demographic reality of 21st century America.  See the video, with coments by John Amaya from MALDEF and the SPLC, dedicated to tracking such groups.

Thursday New Tools Feature: Twitter Not Just "For The Birds"

There's been a lot of buzz in the media over the last few days about the popular micro-blogging service Twitter. On Monday, Politico published a list of D.C.'s top 10 most influential Twitterers, a story which was promptly picked up by MSNBC. Then, on Tuesday, ABC News partnered with Twitter for their live coverage of President Obama's pseudo-State-of-the-Union, even as members of both parties tweeted their reactions to the speech on the floor as Obama spoke.

It's fast becoming clear that Twitter is not just a fad; it's here to stay, or at least as much as any net-based service can be (we should probably not be thinking about Facebook or MySpace as truly permanent institutions either, but their importance in our society now is unquestionable).

I'm a little ambivalent about the ascendance of Twitter. Don't get me wrong; Twitter has a lot of great potential for politics (see the Twitter Vote Project) and is a convenient way to keep up with your friends and their whereabouts. And of course, NDN's Twitter feed is totally great and you should start following us today.

Yet at the same time, I actually do wonder what effects a 140-character limit might have on us as a society. Dana Milbank of the Washington Post wrote about this yesterday, noting that:

...to view the hodgepodge of text messages sent from the House floor during the speech, it seemed as if Obama were presiding over a support group for adults with attention-deficit disorder.

Or, see this recent report from a top neuroscientist finding that social networking sites may harm children's brains:

Social networking websites are causing alarming changes in the brains of young users, an eminent scientist has warned.

Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Bebo are said to shorten attention spans, encourage instant gratification and make young people more self-centred.

While I usually find stories and reports decrying the dangers of technology to be reactionary and sensationalist, playing to our collective resistance to societal change and fear of the unknown, I think Mr. Milbank may have a point. And it makes a certain amount of sense; the idea that everyone wants to know what you're doing all the time, the basic premise of Twitter, seems an inherently egocentric one. It's hard to say much of value in 140 characters (of course, my papers in college were always twice the maximum length so maybe I'm just not that into the whole brevity thing). Here are the first 140 characters of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech:

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Loses something, doesn't it?

For good or ill, Twitter has become part of the core technology set necessary for 21st century political communication. So, in conclusion, you should definitely use Twitter. But make sure to read a book once in a while, too, just in case. 

UPDATE: Once again, Jon Stewart and I are on the same page:

NDN/NPI Event, Tuesday, March 10 -- A Conversation with Joe Rospars, New Media Director for the Obama Presidential Campaign

On Tuesday, March 10, at 12 p.m., NDN and the New Politics Institute will be holding a special event here at the our offices in DC -- a luncheon conversation with Joe Rospars, the new media director of the Obama presidential campaign and founder of Blue State Digital, one of the nation's leading new media consulting firms.

There is little argument now that the way the 2008 Obama campaign used new media and the Internet has changed politics here, and around the world, forever. Joe was the director of this historic effort, and we are very pleased that he will be taking the time to reflect on their remarkable campaign, and offer some thoughts on what we might expect in this space in the years to come.

The conversation with Joe will take place at the NDN offices at 729 15th St., NW, between H Street and New York Avenue. Lunch will be served. Seating is limited and will be first come first serve -- please click here to RSVP.

For those not able to attend the event here in our offices, be sure to watch it live on our new high-end Web casting system. Just go to ndnblog.org/livecast -- the stream will begin at 12:15 p.m. ET.

Joe's full bio follows:

A Blue State Digital founding partner, Joe served as the New Media Director for Barack Obama's presidential campaign, where he oversaw all online aspects of the unprecedented fundraising, communications and grassroots mobilization effort.

Joe led a wide-ranging program that integrated design and branding, web and video content, mass email, text messaging, and online advertising, organizing and fundraising.

Prior to the Obama campaign, Joe led BSD's work with Gov. Howard Dean at the Democratic National Committee; during Dean's campaign for party chairman; and at Democracy for America. Joe was a writer and strategist in New Media for Dean's 2004 Presidential campaign.

He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the George Washington University.

Weekly Update on Immigration: Event Recap, The Deportation Era, and It's All About Juan

I. "Making the Case for Passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform This Year" - And our message is going global.  NDN, America's Voice, NCLR, and experts from Lake Research Partners and Benenson Strategy Group teamed up last week to articulate the arguments as to why President Barack Obama and Congress need to pass immigration reform legislation (CIR)this year.  Reporters from around the world were able to participate in our event via live webcast, and a prominent Mexican periodical, El Financiero, covered our event.  Click here to check out the speakers' presentations. The full video will be on our blog this Wednesday.

II. The Deportation Era - There was ample news coverage over the week of the report published by the Migration Policy Center, demonstrating that after seeing its budget soar to $218 million last year, the federal program responsible for tracking down and finding "criminal aliens" yielded 72,000 arrests, 73% of which had no criminal record.   The New York Times published an Editorial this weekend on this pervasive inefficiency (and racial overtones) in enforcement:


Of all the noncitizen Latinos sentenced last year, the vast majority - 81 percent - were convicted for unlawfully entering or remaining in the country, neither of which is a criminal offense.  The country is filling the federal courts and prisons with nonviolent offenders. It is diverting immense law-enforcement resources from pursuing serious criminals - violent thugs, financial scammers - to an immense, self-defeating campaign to hunt down ... workers.

III. Speaking of Enforcement Gone Bad - This Times Editorial also mentions the issue of severely overburdened immigration judges.  As it stands, judges simply are not equipped to properly deal with this "immigration crackdown" and inaction with respect to the rest of the broken immigration system, as reported by Jennifer Ludden.

As it stands, racial profiling is apparently encouraged as a part of "enforcement." One law proposed in Montana would apparently encourage average citizens to file claims against employers they "believed" were employing undocumenteds.  Here in the D.C. area - in Baltimore - a group of ICE officers who were behind their "mandated" quotas of arrests thought it would be ok to just scout a 7-11 for Hispanics and call it a day:

New Tools and Bad Enforcement - In case you hadn't seen this, Texas sheriffs have erected a series of surveillance cameras along the Rio Grande and connected them to the Internet so that your average Joe can be a "virtual Deputy." John Burnett reports on NPR:

Thousands of people are now virtual Border Patrol agents - and they're on the lookout for drug smugglers and illegal immigrants..... Robert Fahrenkamp, a truck driver in South Texas, is one of them. After a long haul behind the wheel of a Peterbilt tractor-trailer, he comes home, sets his 6-foot-6-inch, 250-pound frame in front of his computer, pops a Red Bull, turns on some Black Sabbath or Steppenwolf, logs in to www.blueservo.net - and starts protecting his country.   "This gives me a little edge feeling," Fahrenkamp says, "like I'm doing something for law enforcement as well as for our own country."


With hate crimes already rising against Hispanics at record levels, this "program" really does not help bring communities together to solve crime, or anything else.  It is to be expected that this site will invite extremists to participate in virtual man-hunts.  The people logging in are no "border agents," they undergo no background or criminal check, no psychological profile exams, no training. And to top it off, the website provides no detailed or intelligent information.   A typical description of "what to watch for," includes: "During the day watch for subjects on foot carrying large bags. During the night time hours watch for activity involving lights."  This is no description of drug traffickers, it could be a Mexican just coming home from visiting family, or crossing illegally, but let's not hide his program behind the guise of "fighting border crime".  Let's call a spade a spade - this is a case of Texas sheriffs wanting help in keeping the "illegals" out, not criminals.  If the intent were to keep criminal activity away, then we should begin by re-visiting Texas gun laws, the laws that allow guns to flood into Mexico and play a role in all that "border crime." 

The New Political Economy of Immigration - In this interesting piece written by Tom Barry of the Americas Program, Center for International Policy (CIP), he analyzes the political and economic reasons behind the change in the narrative on immigrants and immigration since September 11.  First, by being depicted as more "dangerous," second, by discussing immigration in a vacuum, rather than addressing it as the complex socio-economic issue that it is, there are market forces that have become invigorated due to the immigrant "crackdown," and he argues they have "given rise to an unregulated complex of jails, detention centers, and prisons that create profit from the immigrant crackdown."

IV. Gallup Briefing focuses on Mexico - Click here to review Gallup's latest analysis of escalating violence in Mexico related to the drug trade and public opinion.

V. The Real Economics of Immigration Reform - Workers are workers, are workers.  In case you missed it, check out this piece by Cristina Jimenez, which breaks down the "bottom line" on how the economics of immigration should reframe the debate on the policy in this area.

VI. Obama Continues to Reach out to Hispanics - During this interview with El Piolin, the radio show with the most audience nationally, Obama explained his economic policy to Spanish-speaking listeners, and reiterated his commitment on other fronts, such as immigration reform.

VII. Watch out for the Wolf in Sheep's Clothing - If you look at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) "Morning News," it looks pretty harmless, just a series of clips from major newspapers.  Is it intended to throw off those people who don't happen to know that it is a member of the hate network founded by John Tanton?

VIII. Census Offers a Look at the Make-up of the Nation's Immigrants - This New York Times piece by Sam Roberts provides a broad overview of the Census findings released last week.

IX. It's All About Juan - If you've ever wondered why immigration advocates work so tirelessly on this difficult issue, just look at Juan.  No, not a "Juan Perez" a real Juan - Juan is a Georgetown University student who deserves CIR.  Read his story, featured in the Washington Post.

Monday Buzz: Twittering Twits, Canoli Calamity, More

It was another great week for NDN in the media. First off, our tech event last Tuesday, "New Tools for a New Era," was picked up by Jose Antonio Vargas in the Washington Post in a story about the GOP's effort to catch up technologically. From the Post piece:

And the GOP will be rebuilding itself at a time when the Democratic Party continues to make inroads in using technology to reach a diverse set of constituents with their message. Today, the New Politics Institute, an arm of the liberal think-tank New Democrat Network, will hold one of its many lunches for Democratic Hill staffers and advocacy folks. The title of the event: "New Tools for a New Era." Simon Rosenberg, founder of NDN, said the lunch is a part of his group's ongoing New Tools series, which tout the use of cell phones, social networks and micro-targeting, among others, in campaigning. NPI was created in 2005.

"Look, the Republican Party is at least two presidential cycles behind. They didn't get what Howard Dean was doing. They dismissed what Barack Obama was doing," Rosenberg said. "But one of the things they have going for them is, they can learn from years of trial and error and investment by us Democrats. Eventually, they're going to catch up. But they can't just combine new tools with old politics."

Simon's tech analysis was also featured in a big AFP story about the State Department's embrace of new tools. From the story:

Simon Rosenberg, president of NDN, a progressive think-tank based in Washington, said Clinton's embrace of the Internet is going to be imitated by others in the Obama administration.

"It's going to be all the cabinet officials, all the major agencies and departments," Rosenberg told AFP. "They're going to be under pressure to use these tools to bring themselves closer to the American people and the people of the world.

"It's going to become imbued throughout the entire government," he said. "If you want to give a shiny apple to your boss and your boss is Barack Obama one of the shiny apples you can give him is a great YouTube video that reaches millions of people about a subject that he cares about."

On a different note, Simon was featured in a great story by Ron Brownstein and David Wasserman in the National Journal about Democrats' huge gains in the nation's better-educated counties:

Republican leaders have strained their relations with voters across the Diploma Belt by appearing at times to allow their religious views to trump science (on issues such as embryonic-stem-cell research) and to prefer small-town perspectives to cosmopolitan views. "These are [voters] who use the Internet and modern telecommunications," says Simon Rosenberg, president of NDN, a Democratic group that studies electoral trends. "And Obama felt like he was living in the same world as they are. And the Republicans had drifted from them and been deeply disappointing in their actual governance."

Our immigration event last Thursday, "Making the Case for Passing Immigration Reform This Year," was picked up in several Spanish-language papers, including El Sendero de Peje and El Financiero.

NDN Fellows Morley Winograd and Mike Hais had their essay, "New Attitudes for a New Era," featured on the Huffington Post politics page.

Lastly, Simon made an appearance on Fox News this week to (allegedly) discuss the stimulus. Check it out below:

Syndicate content