MoveOn To Close Its 527 In Response To Obama’s Candidacy

•June 20, 2008 • Leave a Comment

By Greg Sargent
June 20, 2008
Talking Points Memo

MoveOn, the advocacy group supporting Barack Obama, has decided to permanently shutter its 527 operation, partly in response to the Illinois Senator’s insistence that such groups should not spend on his behalf during the general election, I’ve learned from the group’s spokesperson.

MoveOn’s decision, which will dramatically impact the way it raises money on Obama’s behalf, is yet another sign of how rapidly Obama is taking control of the apparatus that’s gearing up on his behalf.

By shuttering its 527, MoveOn is effectively killing its ability to raise money in huge chunks from labor unions, foundations, and big donors who would give over $5,000. The decision doesn’t mean MoveOn will stop spending on Obama’s behalf. Instead it will raise money exclusively with its political action committee, whose average donation is below $50 and will even be raising money with things like bake sales starting this weekend.

To put this in perspective, MoveOn’s 527 raised $20 million for the general election in 2004 — and at least half of that came from donations over $5,000.

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Obama Opting Out of Public Financing: Video and an analysis

•June 19, 2008 • Leave a Comment

By Daniel Nichanian
June 19, 2008

In a video message released to his supporters on his website this morning, Barack Obama announced he is opting out of public financing. He will be the first candidate ever to rely on private donations to finance his general election campaign, a not unanticipated but controversial move that will give him an enormous advantage over John McCain beginning in August when the general election finance rules take effect. In accepting public financing, the McCain campaign alone — not the Republican party and not special interest groups or so-called 527s — will be limited to spending $85 million between the convention and Election Day. The Obama campaign, by rejecting public financing, will be able to spend as much money as it can raise — and some estimates put that figure as high as $300 million.

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Waiting For Obama: The First Global Election

•June 18, 2008 • Leave a Comment

By Derek Shearer
June 18, 2008

Nothing could be more accurate today than the political chant from Chicago in 1968: “The Whole World is Watching.” The level of interest in the upcoming U.S. presidential contest is incredibly high, greater than at any time in post-Cold War history. This is due to the rapid decline of America’s reputation abroad during the Bush administration and to the hope that Democratic candidate Senator Barack Obama will restore America’s image not with public relations, but with new internationalist policies.

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Angry Clinton Women ♥ McCain?

•June 15, 2008 • Leave a Comment

By Frank Rich
June 15, 2008
The New York Times

TEN years ago John McCain had to apologize for regaling a Republican audience with a crude sexual joke about Hillary and Chelsea Clinton and Janet Reno. Last year he had to explain why he didn’t so much as flinch when a supporter asked him on camera, “How do we beat the bitch?” But these days Mr. McCain just loves the women.

In his televised address on Barack Obama’s victory night of June 3, he dismissed Mr. Obama in a single patronizing line but devoted four fulsome sentences to praising Mrs. Clinton for “inspiring millions of women.” The McCain Web site is showcasing a new blogger who crooned of the “genuine affection” for Mrs. Clinton “here at McCain HQ” after she lost. One of the few visible women in the McCain campaign hierarchy, Carly Fiorina, has declared herself “enormously proud” of Mrs. Clinton and is barnstorming to win over Democratic women to her guy’s cause.

How heartwarming. You’d never guess that Mr. McCain is a fierce foe of abortion rights or that he voted to terminate the federal family-planning program that provides breast-cancer screenings. You’d never know that his new campaign blogger, recruited from The Weekly Standard, had shown his genuine affection for Mrs. Clinton earlier this year by portraying her as a liar and whiner and by piling on with a locker-room jeer after she’d been called a monster. “Tell us something we don’t know,” he wrote.

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Obama Internet site confronts rumors: Web page repeats innuendo, explains where it comes from, debunks it

•June 12, 2008 • Leave a Comment

June 12, 2008
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Democrat Barack Obama’s campaign said Thursday that Michelle Obama never used the word “whitey” in a speech from the church pulpit.

The campaign launched an Internet site to debunk that rumor and others about about himself and his wife.

The rumor that Michelle Obama railed against “whitey” in a diatribe at Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ has circulated on conservative Republican blogs for weeks and was repeated by radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. The rumor included claims of a videotape of the speech that would be used to bring down Obama’s candidacy this fall.

“No such tape exists,” the campaign responds on the site, “Michelle Obama has not spoken from the pulpit at Trinity and has not used that word.”

The site is a response to the realities of a brave new world, where information travels 24 hours a day on blogs and voters are increasingly turning to the Internet for information. It’s a particular problem for Obama, a relative newcomer to national politics who is still unknown to many voters and has been the target of persistent misinformation campaigns online.

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Sen. Menendez: McCain Has Taken Sides With Hardliners And Anti-Immigrants

•June 12, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Sam Stein
June 12, 2008
The Huffington Post

One of Congress’ most influential Hispanic members says that John McCain “walked away” from the Latino community and is not a “person of principle” on immigration reform — a perception that could haunt the Arizona Republican in the general election.

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Sen. Robert Menendez offered a scathing rebuke of McCain, painting him as a candidate who sold his political soul to secure his party’s presidential nomination.

“In my mind, he has dramatically shifted. He has really taken a Republican tact,” said the New Jersey Democrat. “It seems to me, and it is out there in the community, that he walked away at a critical time. And when you take that view, which shows that he is not the person of principle that he would like to show himself being, and you wear the Republican mantle that is so negative and anti-immigrant… I think it is very hard for John McCain to make hay with Latinos at the end of the day.”

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Southern Baptists remain wary of McCain; Survey finds 10 percent of evangelicals plan to sit out election

•June 11, 2008 • Leave a Comment

June 11, 2008
The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS – Four years ago, the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign hosted a reception for Southern Baptist pastors at a hotel across the street from their annual meeting.

The country is electing a president again, the Baptists are meeting again and John McCain’s campaign is nowhere to be seen at a gathering of 7,200 people, most of them staunch Republicans.

The absence has some Southern Baptists wondering whether the Arizona senator wants their vote. Others are more sympathetic to a campaign still gearing up, a candidate not known for talking about his faith, and reticence McCain might feel over his recent rejection of two endorsements by high-profile, evangelical pastors.

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