Obama in Oregon

Today, the presidential campaign of Barack Obama comes to Oregon. He will be traveling the state from north to south, from Portland to Salem to Eugene to Medford.

Did you attend an event? What did you think? If you were undecided before, have you decided now? Share your reactions to today's events in Oregon.

Update: Here's the video of Bill Richardson's endorsement.

Discuss.

Comments

  • KMG (unverified)
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    Any idea if this is going to be on TV live?

  • SamIam (unverified)
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    Gosh wouldn't that be cool if it was on live tv? The tv audience would be larger than the audience for a Ducks game! Or would it? Probably not.

    I'm going to go to the Obama rally at Mac Court. I'll probably ride my bike down there at around 4:30, just to see what's shakin'. I expect there will be a long line of people waiting to get in, probably starting around 2:00. That place holds 9,000 people. How long of a line is 9,000 people?

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    KATU's going to have a live feed, Blogtown reports. It's on their website.

  • Rep Chip Shields (unverified)
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    There's only one thing that could keep me away...and that was the birth of my daughter on 3/7, who I am proudly now watching over as I type while her Obama Mama, Shelda, gets some much needed rest. Welling up with pride as I watch Portlanders flock to my district for this historic moment! You can see the growing list of elected endorsers from a previous post here.

    As I look at my sleeping daughter, I am hopeful for her future...as we turn the page on the dreadful Bush era of war, torture and an economy that games the many for the benefit of the few. Fired up...ready to go.

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    Congratulations! Luckily you can watch it on KATU.

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    I'm getting cell phone disptaches via email from Paul Gronke, who's at the event. If I get anything more, I may bump it up to a full post. But for now, here's his latest dispatch:

    My reaction at 9:40 is that the campaign in Oregon is not quite organized. Or maybe the advance teams for a presidential contest don't like to let local politicians on the stage,but this feels like a missed opportunity. Earl spoke about 20 minutes ago and gave a fine speech, but this crowd is ready to rock. Where is the red meat? more speakers? Even the Jefferson dancers? Let's keep the energy level up. For the last half hour, nothing has been happening.
  • kmg (unverified)
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    It is also on KGW.

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    The tickets for the Medford event were gone in a flash. An overflow area with big screen TV's was instantly created for 1,000 people. Two of the 3 major TV channels will air the speech live in this media market.

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    "Gosh wouldn't that be cool if it was on live tv? The tv audience would be larger than the audience for a Ducks game! "

    It's running on KGW live right now! Big and spirited crowd! Est. 13,000.

  • Lani (unverified)
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    You can listen here:

    http://www.620kpoj.com/main.html

  • Carole (unverified)
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    In regards to Obama Oregon being organized, please see my e-mail to the campaign below:

    Thank You for your e-mail regarding Washington County.

    My experience to date with the Obama Campaign has been so profoundly disturbing that I will not be volunteering, a first for me, and may not vote for the Senator.

    To put this matter into perspective I offer the following:

    I was contacted by Lee on Monday and was thrilled that Obama had opened his headquarters in Portland. I said yes, I would enthusiatically volunteer my time and I had a great deal of experience to offer, having run assembly seat campaigns and initiative campaigns, successfully, in California . I would do whatever the campaign needed most and also offered family members. I told Lee I would have between 40-60 hours per month to offer.

    On Tuesday I was contacted by Aaron. I signed up through Aaron to work at the Obama Rally in Portland on the 21st and was assured I didn't require a ticket as I was a volunteer. That evening I went on line to register for tickets for the Rally for colleagues, as I have registered over 30 former, and many lifelong, Republicans in my workplace. There is a stack of pre-stamped voter registration forms on my desk. Many of these people have donated to the Senators campaign on-line. I recieved no e-mail response with tickets so on Wednesday went to Divivision Street and stood in line for forty minutes.

    On Wednesday, after standing in line and getting the number of tickets my associates required, I sought out Aaron and confirmed I was signed up to volunteer and got details about when to show up for training and the event and confirmed I did not require a ticket.

    On Thursday, went into work at 4am, so I could take time for Fridays event. Drove 45 minutes to the Coliseum, spent $10. to park, blocks away, and then was told the was a "mix-up" and not only was I not signed up to volunteer, but no tickets were available. Although a man approached the woman calling out names and told her to take another fifty volunteers above the ones on the roster, I was not offered one of those spots. However, they were really sorry.

    So after forty dollars worth of gas, several hours to get tickets and being turned away from the Coliseum and ten dollars for parking, and returning to my car soaked to the skin and driving another forty minutes while wet, you might say I am a bit pissed off.

    I am disappointed because one of the hallmarks of his campaign in other states was his ability to organize. This has been so haphazard, amateurish, and deeply offensive, as to make me re-think my vote.

    Prior to your arrival I was working for you, now you have just made me feel foolish and ridiculous for my efforts.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    As someone still not convinced of Obama's independence from special interests, I am impressed with his ability to inspire and bring large numbers of new people into the political process. Much of what is wrong with this nation can be righted if young people, poor people, marginalized people pay attention and demand that their values and interests be served. If Obama is for real, he can be the " once-in-a-lifetime leader" Bill Richardson has called him.

  • Jack E (unverified)
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    Question to Obama PDX attendees: How were your "tickets" checked? Did they give priority to ticket holders? How? My Medford tics are just a return e-mail from obamaoregon that say only "this is your ticket" and SEATING IS FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED.***

    In other words, not really a ticket, did PDX'rs get something else, and what's to prevent someone from flashing a any old piece of paper?

    Trying to figure out how useful my tickets will be and if they'll save me and family from having to get to the medford event hours before starting time

    Thanks

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    Great speech by Richardson and Obama. Obama wove in the themes of the Tues "More Perfect Union" in the end. Addressed the "old habits" of division We are all "complicit." Refers to Wright. The divisions are a distraction, and keep us from addressing the real problems. Not this time!

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    As someone still not convinced of Obama's independence from special interests, I am impressed with his ability to inspire and bring large numbers of new people into the political process. Much of what is wrong with this nation can be righted if young people, poor people, marginalized people pay attention and demand that their values and interests be served. If Obama is for real, he can be the " once-in-a-lifetime leader" Bill Richardson has called him.

    I'll second that. I also have some reservations about Richardson, but there is a potential they could make a very good team. Considering the alternatives, this looks like the best we can hope for.

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    Carole, Sorry you were so frustrated and disappointed trying to get involved. I hope after you cool down a bit, you will make your voting decisions based on issues and good candidates who will support restoring America and doing what's best for all of us. Please don't base your vote on the logistical failings of the local campaign. Maybe you can channel your frustration into something positive, take a deep breath, and offer to help the Obama Oregon team fix some of their problems. Lend a hand and the next event will be much less frustrating for others, and it will be because of YOUR GOOD WORK! Have a good weekend, Glen

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    Regarding campaign volunteering.. it's a messy business. A primary season is a roving circus. They are just getting started here in Oregon. The election is two months off so part of the reason for the visit is to generate interest and volunteers. Back in '92 when I volunteered for Bill Clinton it was a similar scenario.

    <hr/>

    The media narrative on this primary season is beginning to change toward the reality of an Obama victory. They like to paint it as a close horse race. Even Politico, which has not been favorable to Obama now is saying this today.

    <hr/>

    http://www.politico.com/...

    One big fact has largely been lost in the recent coverage of the Democratic presidential race: Hillary Rodham Clinton has virtually no chance of winning.
    
    Her own campaign acknowledges there is no way that she will finish ahead in pledged delegates. That means the only way she wins is if Democratic superdelegates are ready to risk a backlash of historic proportions from the party’s most reliable constituency.
    
    Unless Clinton is able to at least win the primary popular vote — which also would take nothing less than an electoral miracle — and use that achievement to pressure superdelegates, she has only one scenario for victory. An African-American opponent and his backers would be told that, even though he won the contest with voters, the prize is going to someone else.
    
    People who think that scenario is even remotely likely are living on another planet.
    
    As it happens, many people inside Clinton’s campaign live right here on Earth. One important Clinton adviser estimated to Politico privately that she has no more than a 10 percent chance of winning her race against Barack Obama, an appraisal that was echoed by other operatives.
    
    In other words: The notion of the Democratic contest being a dramatic cliffhanger is a game of make-believe.
    

    This story keeps going, making claims like this:

    even some of Clinton’s own advisers now concede that she cannot win unless Obama is hit by a political meteor.
    
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    The event was awesome. On top of everything else that will be quoted and shown on YouTube, I have to say thanks to Senator Obama and Governor Richardson for starting ON TIME. To me, that shows a lot of respect for working stiffs like me. I once waited for three hours in the rain to see a former Democratic president who shall remain nameless... We all wanted to leave but Secret Service wouldn't let us.

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    I love that Richardson announced in Portland--partly because I always think of Little Beirut as playing an outsized role in Presidential politics, but also because his style is very Portland-ish--but wouldn't it have been nice if he'd done it in El Paso before the Texas primary?

    Still, I have to agree with his conclusion: Obama is a good guy!

  • Sid Anderson (unverified)
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    I really wanted to go and practically wept when I couldn't get tickets (and I whined in the comments on this site), but then again I'm probably not the best person to be there because I can't volunteer (16 month old at home along with running my business) and I'm guessing that's what one of the goals of this event was: to get things going on the ground here by getting attendees all psyched up to organize and volunteer. The only volunteering that I've done is to convince some of my friends who have been on the fence to vote for Obama when they get their ballots in the mail, and I convinced my mom who lives in WA state to attend her caucus and she convinced her neighbors to go with her (seven people total.)

    And I really hope there were a lot of people there who hadn't quite made up their minds yet, but are now firmly in the Obama camp.

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    Over at Hillary Clinton's main website events page, no mention yet of a visit anywhere within 250 miles of the Portland area. I'm not feelin' the love.

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    Carol,

    Sorry that you got screwed over by the mechanics of the event. Your desire to help should be better appreciated. Having said that you should be aware that the staff arrived in town on Monday and did not know until they got here that a decision had been made for Obama to come on Friday and hold four rallies across the state. They were just overwhelmed. Starting next week they will have a chance to get better organized. Hopefully you will then be offered the apology you deserve.

  • anonymous (unverified)
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    My God! I was there. What a thrill!

    The crowd was fantastic. Cheering, standing, flashbulbs going off throughout.

    People yelling out spontaneously "Bring them home!" "We love you!"

  • anonymous (unverified)
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    Both Merkley and Novick supporters were working the crowds. Noticed many "I'm hooked on Novick Tshirts". Merkley supporters were walking up and down the line as we waited to get in, handing out lit and asking for support.

    Women - when I got there I saw for the first time that "No Bags Allowed" signs were everywhere. Then other signs "No Large Bags". They searched my purse which was fine with me and I could bring it in. Just keep that in mind.

    There was a lot of security. Metal detectors to get in. Security on the roofs all around. Lots of police and dogs.

  • MarkDaMan (unverified)
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    I echo Carole's concerns. I have been sitting on the fence, seriously, between Clinton and Obama. After Obama's "More Perfect Union" speech I feel solidly in his favor. What a magnificent speech!

    Anyway, I got a breaking news bulletin right before I left work on Tuesday that Obama was coming to town. I checked all the blogs, local news websites, his campaign website...all night long. I did the rounds every half and hour.

    Eventually they were up and running and taking MY information for tickets on or.barackobama.com. I quickly signed up and also a friend. I went the bed LATE Tuesday night excited to get my tickets in the morning. Well, Wednesday morning there were no tickets. I couldn't leave work to go to the local HQ to pick up tickets so I tried to find a contact e-mail or number for the local Oregon group.

    I know Obama received my information because I started to receive the blast e-mails touting whatever theme he was going after for the day.

    So, I tried to call the national campaign. No luck, I just kept getting a message to try again later. I e-mailed the campaign, several time, nothing.

    So here I sit Friday, watching the excitement of the people lined up outside the coliseum this morning. Frustrated! Angry that I am at work instead of going to this rally. Angry that I am getting his campaign e-mails, but not my tickets to see the event. Angry that the campaign still wants my money but won't give me a chance to meet the candidate. And ANGRY that for the first time in my life, I clicked the box to volunteer after this guy moved me with his speeches and presence, and nobody cared to even acknowledge my offer with a "we've put you on a list."

    Now I know I shouldn't be mad at the man, but government is a lot bigger than this campaign. Hopefully he will be better at arranging assistance after another Katrina, than quickly organizing a campaign rally.

    My balloon is deflated, hopefully I can get in to see Clinton and maybe she can pull me back.

  • Carole (unverified)
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    To: Glen HD28...This is a bigger and broader issue than one person being offended and inconvenienced. I have run volunteers for years, actually organized all the volunteers for 2004 DPO Coventon in Portland, and understand the dynamic. I was not the only one turned away or offended.

    It DOES relate to good management within a campaign. It is better to waive someone off and delay a visit than have an event be any less than stellar. These type of glitches DO relate to how the candidate is viewed and thier capacity to oversee. While I do understand short timelines, knowing the staff was so new in town, they should have sent in some "aces" to help them establish procedures and protocols to make this seemless, or at the very least drawn on the volunteer resources of the DPO for some support.

    I found your response to be condecending and patronizing.

  • Brienne (unverified)
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    Sargent: I have to say thanks to Senator Obama and Governor Richardson for starting ON TIME. To me, that shows a lot of respect for working stiffs like me.

    I'm not sure of what you're talking about. Obama was 40 minutes late! In fact, KGW reported while they were waiting that his campaign is known for being late to events around the country.

    Besides that, his speech was genuinely nice. I gave my ticket to my husband and he said the energy of the audience was electrifying.

    I'm still a Clinton supporter, though.

  • Curtis Taylor (unverified)
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    I'm going to the event here in Eugene to pass out leaflets for Hillary for President!

    I've been working hard for Hillary in Eugene because Hillary Clinton has spent the past 35 years fighting for American families and she has real solutions to tackle the tough issues we're facing. I'm supporting Hillary because she has a record that I know we can depend on.

    GO HILLARY!

  • BCM (unverified)
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    There was a great showing of support for Obama this morning. His speech touched on a lot of different issues and was particularly persuasive in redefining the 'experience' question given Gov Bill Richardson's endorsement.

  • MCT (unverified)
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    I was so moved, and so glad to see some specifics as to how the Change will come about...and how some of it will be funded. As I've said before Obama's best attribute is the ability to move and convince and unite across our self-built walls, for the greater good. Among other things POTUS must be a sales person. Anyone in sales knows you sell yourself first. Can't wait to see that talent planted in DC, bringing factions together and overcoming all objections.

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    Jack E:

    Most of us there at the event had similar e-mail ticketss to yours (a small number had tickets they got at the office).

    There were volunteers before every door checking to see if you had a ticket. No ticket, you couldn't get past them and into the door.

  • Spine (unverified)
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    I was there and had a great time. It always amazes me how comfortable Obama seems. I bet his heart rate rarely cracks 60 beats a minute.

    Richardson gave a good speech. Obviously he'd like to be Obama's #2. Seems to me that it would be a pretty good match.

  • Anon (unverified)
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    Great event... amazing! FYI, Nobody checked my ticket, and I just basically ambled onto the floor. I don't know if they were keen on filling it up or if the Coliseum people were just overwhelmed. I had it in my hand, but it really could have been any piece of paper. So I don't know if that's a thing or what.

  • A. Skywatcher (unverified)
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    I apologize for getting a little off topic-(I am so thrilled with the happy turn of events in the Obama campaign and proud of Portland being picked as the place to welcome the Richardson endorsement) I have another concern and dont know how new threads are started on this board. I am increasingly concerned about the increasingly brutal & repressive crackdown in Tibet as well as the desperate Darfur situation, both of which are either directly or indirectly caused by the Chinese government. I feel that on the brink of the Olympics in Beijing this is a uniquely powerful time to expose and put pressure on the Chinese government's unacceptable tactics and policies while the whole world is watching so that they are pressured out of fear of loss of face from world-wide condemnation or perhaps even boycott of the games. My question today is, is there a Chinese Embassy or Consulate in Portland where we can maintain a presence of protestors and demonstrators to keep the fates of the Tibetans and people in Darfur in the news on a daily basis? Is there a website for a group in Portland that lists when such protests will take place for purposes of mobilization? I am so saddened & frustrated with these situations, I am going crazy here sitting on my hands right now. Let's get active on behalf of our brothers and sisters who need our help in Tibet and Darfur!! Let's join in the protests on this that are sweeping the planet right now. There is power in the people and power in our numbers! I hope someone can help me here. Thanks!

  • Melinda (unverified)
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    IT WAS SO UNORGANIZED!! Awful.

    I had a similiar (yet definitely not as personally hurtful) as Carole! I am so sorry to hear about what happened to you. I am also reconsidering my support for Obama. I must admit that I have been reconsidering it for a couple weeks now. It’s no secret that the Obama campaign is in political hot water given the news stories of the last few weeks.

    I am thinking about voting for Hillary. I think she makes a better case...but I'm still undecided. I hope she comes to Oregon so that I can see her and weigh my final decision before I vote.

  • anonymous (unverified)
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    Curtis, how would you feel if someone handed you an Obama flyer at a Clinton rally?

    I thought the event started pretty much on-time and everything looked very smooth and organized to me. The crowd was FIRED UP! It was a blast.

  • gf (unverified)
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    Carole,

    Clearly they didn't realize how important YOU are. Next time, grab a microphone and shout: DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM!

    Because they should really accomodate the really important people, if they know what's good for them.

    Or you could threaten a Secret Service agent...aka "I'll have your badge before the day is out!" If that doesn't work, try self-immolation. It worked for the Buddhist monks in Vietnam (for about 3 minutes each, until done).

  • BCM (unverified)
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    I think she makes a better case

    Cliché alert!

  • anonymous (unverified)
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    Tickets:

    I went to the webiste. I filled out a form. My ticket was emailed to me instantly. I printed it.

    That took about 2 minutes. I waited in no lines to obtain a ticket. My ticket worked fine to get me in this morning.

    Sounds like you have a knack for making things difficult when they are not.

  • BCM (unverified)
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    Sounds like you have a knack for making things difficult when they are not.

    I second that. The process was simple, the ticket said 'this ticket doesn't guarantee entry' on it, and since you check BO you should have had a heads up before everyone else about how it was all going to work.

  • JHL (unverified)
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    (Wow... Looks like the Hillary people are noticing this post.)

    Melinda, I don't know what you're talking about saying that the event was disorganized.

    If you mean that people would often burst into applause at unplanned moments, then yes.

    If you mean that it was so tense and exciting before Obama came out that the entire Coliseum started doing "the Wave," but the sixth go-around was kind of weak and uncoordinated, then yes.

    If you mean that random people were so excited that they started milling about instantly making friends with people they'd never met before, then yes.

    If you mean what the heck was that beard on Richardson all about, then yes.

    So to paraphrase a line from the West Wing, I'm going to vote for a campaign that is animated as opposed to animatronic.

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    Once more in defense of the local Obama team.

    Jim got in last weekend with orders to find an HQ, furnish and staff it, and get things going. It was only later in the week, with virtually no pros on hand and volunteer recruitment just beginning, that he leared that he was to be the advance man for four events and a canvass.

    As others have counseled, please cut 'em all a little slack, and they'll be on their feet with the "A" game as soon as they get through this impromptu visit.

    I'm still glad that Obama came in early. Even with the pockets of confusion, it's still a real show of respect by the campaign for Oregon voters, and we all gripe about that all the time in this forum.

  • A.Skywatcher (unverified)
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    Hey GF!

    RE: <carole, clearly="" they="" didn't="" realize="" how="" important="" you="" are.="" next="" time,="" grab="" a="" microphone="" and="" shout:="" do="" you="" know="" who="" i="" am!...="">

    Excellent post! Made me laugh today and I really needed a laugh! Keep it coming!

  • LiberalIncarnate (unverified)
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    I am continually amazed at the psydeo-Obama supporters... those folks that say, "I was for Obama, but not now... blah, blah, blah..." If your support was that weak, then you are simply weak-willed. If you are hanging around waiting for some shoe to drop that will knock him out of the race, then you are NOT a supporter... and you never will be. If you get turned off on Obama because you lacked the will to get your own tickets... as simple as click and print out, then you are a dork. If you are willing to sacrifice your vote to McCain instead of Obama, then you are really screwed up.

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    You know these concern trolls tell stories that don't add up. And they feel compelled to tell us all about their "concerns" because it's so important.

  • julie w (unverified)
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    I really enjoyed it - nice to be involved in a part of history. A minor critique - there were quite a few empty seats in the coliseum that could have been filled if the mandatory tickets thing could have been modified a little bit. Such a good day for Obama - first Richardson, then the Politico article saying she's basically toast, the WAPO fact check on the Bosnia trip giving her four pinocchios, even Fox News commentators walking off shows because they are sick of "Obama bashing" - wow.

  • joedanwalls (unverified)
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    I went and took my 6th grader. Practical civics lesson, I figured. He has always been engaged about what goes on in our society, and seeing Obama today got him asking more and talking more. On that note, he asked me what I would do if Clinton wins the nomination, and I responded clearly and emphatically that although I preferred Obama, I would vote for Clinton if she is on the ballot in November.

    Apropos Clinton, as far as I recall, Obama mentioned Clinton only once, more or less in passing, near the end of his speech, and not in a particularly critical way. And Richardson in his opening remarks talked about how Democrats were fortunate to have two such strong candidates as Obama and Clinton.

  • A. Skywatcher (unverified)
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    Re: the Obama passport breach story. Very, very interesting now how Sean McCormick, State Dept spokesman changed his tone, demeanor and story 180 degrees from last night when he seemed genuinely concerned and chagrined over this incident! Yes, I am wearing a tinfoil hat right now! This is truly Orwellian---creating a phony story today to minimize the truly sinister aspects of what looks like a conspiracy against Obama to dig up dirt on him to further derail his campaign--watering down the alarm over this via the pretense that it happened to McCain & Clinton, too and so was no big deal. This is so scary and sinister that the government is covering up what they are doing to the benefit of Clinton & Mc Cain and to the determent of Obama so that people no longer believe it was directly solely at him. It smacks of Watergate. This confirms my worst fears that the Bush admin has groomed BOTH Clinton & McCain to be their successors to carry on their evil administration for a 3rd & 4th terms and that either one will do! I cant believe that the stupid media--every Air America has taken the bait and is now spewing this new propaganda line. Long story short, I dont believe the state depts BS cover-story for one second and I hope you dont either! I certainly fear for Obama's safety, as I have from day one.

  • joeldanwalls (unverified)
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    A video clip of Richardson's intro comments and endorsement of Obama is here.

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    Obama town hall in Salem live now: 2:19 Pm

    http://www.kgw.com/video/?nvid=57406&live=yes

  • anonymous (unverified)
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    I am signed up on the Obama email blast list. I receive an email once every week or 10 days - not every day. You sound like you are confused.

    Also, tickets were free. No donation, fee, charge, etc. Absolutely free.

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    unorganized? so what

    have any of you been involved with anything like this before? there is not weeks of planning before rolling into town; there is just the rolling into town. it pretty much happens tsunami style: boom. the campaign had local volunteers find the HQ, and that moved things forward, but they still have to do all the basics, including get supplies, have the internet & phone set up, etc.

    a presidential campaign never has time or enough people to call up everyone in the first week and say thanks. it's not like your cousin's wedding. it's a behemoth that crushes everything in its path, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the candidate. it's all about the nature of a campaign that is national in scope and running 24/7.

    the reason other states got a jump on things is either the campaign had lots of time to prep or the volunteers on the ground were themselves organized. the latter was the case in Texas and definitely not the case in Oregon, at least not in Portland. the desire to be part of the campaign is pretty new for the most part, and most people are asking "when's the campaign coming?" very few people have said, "here's what we are doing." a handful of us have been doing that since last summer, but it's a literal handful, one small group. no one else has organized much of anything else until the past couple of months, and that's still a small number of people.

    never, ever wait for someone else to organize for you. you support Obama? then you do something for Obama (or whoever you support)? the website has plenty of options, and anyone with some imagination can figure out something to do. Sid, you can phone bank from home during naptime (i know, free-time with a 16-month-old is precious, but it's an option). hold a house party. get with a couple of friends and do a small fundraiser. if the campaign isn't showing the love, then go spread your own love.

    and as someone else said, don't judge the candidate by the campaign. most of this is beyond any candidate's control. it's the pros doing an unbelievably difficult job under immense pressure, and with nothing more at stake than the future of the country and the world.

    do your own campaign. the big machine will get to you soon enough.

  • tekel (unverified)
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    Curtis: good luck with that.

  • Barbara (unverified)
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    I really enjoyed the event, too! It was great to see Bill Richardson's endorsement, and I was very impressed with Obama's presence / presence-of-mind, his use of the stage, his calm.

    And I too noticed a fair number of empty seats, mainly in the upper reaches of the Coliseum. I was in the neighborhood and stopped by the new campaign office Wednesday afternoon, and the staff there were pretty clearly overwhelmed -- they were already out of tickets, at least temporarily, with quite a few people and it looked like all the local news crews milling around, and all the staff seemed to be able to do was to note they were out of tickets and to ask people to sign up on their volunteer lists, end of conversation.

    I'd think at least a few central and southern Oregonians will be admitted to the events there without "tickets"

  • holycow (unverified)
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    I fainted. Twice.

  • tekel (unverified)
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    And btw, the sun is out in Eugene right now, weather is gorgeous. I'm wondering if there is a line yet at Mac Court.

  • Brienne (unverified)
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    Re: t.a. barnhart, "and as someone else said, don't judge the candidate by the campaign..."

    I think this goes for both of our wonderful Dem candidates. Campaigns can get some real doozies volunteering for them, but those few shouldn't ruin what the candidate stands for.

  • MarkDaMan (unverified)
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    Bill R, and some of the others on BO here with comments, your being kinda nasty.

    I'm TOTALLY stoked about our 2008 election. I'm under 30, far left, embarrassed by Bush, and hopeful there is a strong future for my country, and inadvertently me. I'm taking this vote as seriously as if I was a super-delegate. Even though I have one vote, I'm agonizing over the choice. I'm studying both their platforms, watching their speeches on C-SPAN, analyzing every off-scripted word in debates.

    I wish every under 30 person would be as serious about this election as I seem to be taking it. This will define our future!

    In any case, maybe it was easy to go online and request tickets and maybe an e-mail came right through for the majority, it didn't happen that way for me. Not sure what happened, but with how quickly the tickets went, by the time I became concerned, the thing was filled. This could have been my only shot to see him before I vote. I'm hoping to get a chance to see Clinton too, even if I am solidly behind Obama at that time. (I'd go see McCain also ). So with all the excitement over the past year, finally coming down to a decision, and then getting a chance to see him in person. How cool is that? That's why the disappointment is there from me, and probably people like Carole too.

    But, hopefully he will be back before May, his campaign will get set up and contact me to volunteer, and he'll take the nomination!

    Glad everyone that went seem so inspired too!

  • MarkDaMan (unverified)
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    I am signed up on the Obama email blast list. I receive an email once every week or 10 days - not every day. You sound like you are confused.

    well, I signed up on Tuesday and have received an e-mail every day since. No biggie, but maybe that isn't normal?

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    Markdaman: "Not sure what happened, but with how quickly the tickets went, by the time I became concerned, the thing was filled. This could have been my only shot to see him before I vote. I'm hoping to get a chance to see Clinton too, even if I am solidly behind Obama at that time. (I'd go see McCain also ). So with all the excitement over the past year, finally coming down to a decision, and then getting a chance to see him in person. How cool is that? That's why the disappointment is there from me, and probably people like Carole too. But, hopefully he will be back before May, his campaign will get set up and contact me to volunteer, and he'll take the nomination!"

    Markdaman, I'm sorry about your disappointment. Same thing happened to me. I tried for tickets in Portland and Salem, onine and in person.. no luck. It's a symptom that there's a lot of people out there stoked. Not everyone got a ticket.. not enough room..too many people... that's reality. But no reason to diss a candidate.

    Try again next time, check out video speeches, go to the livefeeds. There's one going on right now in Salem, there will be another in Eugene this evening. But the election is too important to let the fact of not getting a ticket be an obstacle to being an informed voter and advocate for a candidate you believe in. I've been politically active since 1968, a tragic year for our country. I have volunteered for two presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. I helped them get elected and to make a difference. I worked for Michael Dukakis. It's important to get involved and do what you can for the future of our country. This election is the most important one of my lifetime. I apologize for a cranky tone, I guess it's my age showing. Be well! Be encouraged!

  • david (unverified)
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    In Eugene, the line was fairly large at Mac around 11. I am unable to find out how to get to the place, I got a ticket while trying to buy a parking pass, which they said might not mean I'd get parking, no extra transport is up, I would take a cab but the street closures have not been announced. I really want to go. The info is so limited and the Reg-Guard says basically it is there and free, but hard to actually reach. I am a bit disabled and not 22. I am amazed that there is just a call to line up whenever and try to get in. Simply getting to my seat once inside would be a challege in itself, so the notion of spending many hours and then maybe getting to try to climb up is daunting. If anyone who knows Eugene better has any advice, I'll check here later. It does seem more of a student event or a media event than a time to speak to voters the way it is being worked. Some of us are interested and devoted Democrats who are just not as springy as others. I'm trying not to snark here, but it is in fact not cool. It is in fact, while perhaps unintended, discrimatory against many people who are just not able to do a marathon, but still vote. I have yet to make up my mind and this will be a factor. So if anyone knows how to get there smoothly without walking more than a mile, let me know. I would get up take a pill and go.

  • trishka (unverified)
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    i dunno, i don't know any good way when demand so greatly exceeds supply the way this situation does.

    i mean, i'm disappointed at not getting to see him today as well, but i recognize that it is what it is. kind of like tickets to see "the police" reunion tour. not everyone who wants to go is going to get to go.

    and i'm glad that at least they didn't make it about money.

  • bean (unverified)
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    I give it a two word review. Shit Sandwich.

  • Douglas K. (unverified)
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    I noticed the empty seats too. There were a quite a lot of them, scattered all around the upper levels. I don't know what kind of restrictions the campaign was working under, but unless they were bumping up against restrictions imposed by Coliseum management, the Secret Service, or the Fire Marshall, they should have been able to just admit unticketed people in groups of a hundred or so until the seats were filled. Either that, or issue a lot more tickets up front. I know this is a brand new campaign organization, but seriously: people waiting + several hundred empty seats? It doesn't take an astrophysicist to work out that equation.

    The guy behind me in line had bought his ticket on Craigslist for $25. That irritated me -- some sleazebucket grabbed a free ticket that an actual supporter could have used and scalped it at (effectively) an infinite percent profit.

  • david (unverified)
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    Trishka- the thing is it is not about tickets or the amount of people it is about information and acess. Some people do have special needs, at least when it comes to standing for 6 hours when 2 would have worked and walking many miles to reach a venue. I could get in the door, if I could get TO the door, and I would love to do so. For many people, just a bit of information can make it possible to attend. And without it impossible. Thought I'd try here to see if anyone could solve my riddle, the campaign can not, nor the University, the local papers nor the police. I asked everyone I could think of.

  • CJ (unverified)
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    I was at the Portland rally this morning, along with my husband and 80 year old mother. We got up at 5:00am so we could take the MAX in and secure a place in line so we could be assured of decent seats.

    We arrived at the Coliseum about 6:30 and there were already many hundreds of people lined up, but fortunately there seemed to be a line behind every door, so it was manageable. They actually opened the doors at 7:00 instead of 7:30, and after that it probably only took us about 15 minutes to get in from where we were in line. The security screening went smoothly and everyone was very professional.

    We found some good seats and hunkered down for the two+ hour wait. Earl Blumenaur gave a rousing speech and then it was dead time, which I found odd. Obama and Bill Richardson came on stage together around 9:45 (approx 15 minutes late - not a big deal) and Richardson gave his endorsement of Obama, which resulted in a huge eruption from the crowd.

    Obama then spoke for about an hour and delivered the high caliber of speech that you would expect.

    Overall, I'm very pleased that I was able to get the morning off of work so I could go. It was a great experience to share with my husband and my mom. My only two (minor criticisms) of the event:

    1) There were definitely empty seats in the upper reaches of the Coliseum. I would think that the campaign would have set up ticketing like the airlines do -- "overselling" the venue by a certain percentage knowing that some people won't show up. But it appears that people were denied tickets when there was clearly space available - why?

    2) As mentioned before - the break between Blumenaur's speech and Richardson's was awkward. It would have been so great for Earl to introduce Governor Richardson but instead he just ran off the stage and then ... nothing.

    Lastly, to those who complained about the campaign being unorganized ... welcome to the world of volunteerism!!! I've volunteered with an animal shelter and my homeowner's association for years now and despite everyone's good intentions, things can get confused sometimes and fall through the cracks. Most people who volunteer also have day jobs and other responsibilities and don't always have the bandwidth to do everything perfect 100% of the time. They also likely report to volunteer coordinators who are volunteers themselves and don't have a lot of authority. But at least they are out there giving of themselves, which is more than can be said for most people.

    If a bad experience with a local campaign office keeps you from voting for the best serious Presidential candidate in decades, the Presidential candidate who knows what needs to be done to heal our country and has the experience and vision to do it, well ... maybe you just vote McCain and get four more years of Bush.

  • SDG (unverified)
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    1. People were waiting to get in because there were metal detectors and purse searches. Security is necessary at an event like this, and it takes a bit of time per person.

    2. I was about 175 people back in line when I arrived at 8:30 - I was in line outside the Coliseum for about 10 or 12 minutes. The line moved smoothly forward, and security was thorough but quick and professional. Well done.

    There were a few rows of empty seats in the 4 or 5 of the top sections. Out of 14,000 people - you have got to expect that some wouldn't be able to make it at the last minute even though they had a ticket. Stuff happens.

  • sDG (unverified)
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    Keep in mind that in other cities, lines to get in stretched for miles. That did not happen here - approx. 14,000 people entered the venue quickly. That has to be a testament to the excellent staff at the Coliseum, law enforcement working the event, and the campaign staffers and volunteers. Again, well done.

  • SDG (unverified)
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    Don't wait for the campaign to contact you to volunteer - who are you, a member of the royal family? Monitor the websites for the Multnomah County Dems and the DPO - those sites will have all the information you need to tell you where to go and when to phone bank, canvass, train, etc. The ticket fairy is not going to come and staple a ticket to your forehead. You have to take the initiative and be diligent.

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    I have to echo TA and Pat Ryan. Yes, the event was a bit hastily thrown together, but please keep in mind that, as far as everyone knew, Oregon was not going to matter just two weeks ago.

    Suddenly they have to staff up and organize an event for 15,000 people in just two days?

    If anyone should be blamed, it should be the national campaign for not realizing what a phenomenal draw this candidate is, and what kind of enthusiasm he would draw in Portland.

    My main gripes would be these: 1) I think they should have held back a lot more tickets for handout at the office. That line generated excitement, crowds, volunteers. 2) I think they should have let more people in. They could have handled an extra 2000 people in the Coliseum. 3) MORE RED MEAT! I thought Earl was fine, but we sat for 30 minutes waiting after that. Where was Ben Cannon, Kate Brown, Erik Sten, anyone who can fire up th crowd. Hey, even a few red/white/blue balloons to bounce around.

    But it all washed away when the candidate spoke. Richardson started things off well, but the ability of Sen. Obama to make 15,0000 people feel like he's talking right to them is amazing.

    And to Earl and Bill R.--this guy SCHOOLED you two! When you hold a crowd in your hands like that, GET THEM FIRED UP! His ability to start slow and build toward a crescendo is amazing.

    Glad to hear the Senator finally start to use some tough rhetoric on Bush, Cheney, and Mccain.

    Last point: I believe that "More Perfect Union" theme is so powerful that it will take over "Yes We Can" as the them of this campaign. It is the perfect foil, in my opinion, to the divisiveness of the GOP party line.

  • mamabigdog (unverified)
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    We attended the event in Salem today with our teenage daughters. Arrived at 8:30A, was one of the first 50 people in line, with free parking right on site, easy & flat access for those with mobility issues. The GOTV people were there, and the volunteers on the list were pulled from the line to assist with set up inside the venue.

    They let us in to the Salem Armory at 11:30A as promised. The TSA was there checking all bags and being very, very thourough. I was even wanded. Once inside, the naer-capacity crowd waited for a genial 2.5 hours until Earl Blumenauer came out to introduce Obama. Earl gave a great speech, but the place went nuts when Obama took the stage. He spoke for at least 40 minutes before taking questions from the audience for about 30 minutes. After that, my girls and I made a beeline for the stage, and we all got to shake Obama's hand and talk to him directly for a moment.

    I told him about the struggles my mom is having due to the economy and foreclosure, and he completely stopped in the line to talk to me about the situation. He offered suggestions on how to get her help locally, and he was encouraging. He really listened, and cared about what was happening in my family. It was a remarkable experience. He held my hand the entire time.

    When my oldest daughter followed up with a question about Darfur and Chad, he treated her with respect and answered directly and effectively. Handshakes all around. My youngest simply thanked him for running, and he said "You're very welcome".

    That's what it comes down to with Obama. We're all welcome in his campaign, there are no "others". There were people of all stripes there today in Salem, and it was electric.

    Definitely the height of my political junkie career today...

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    Wow. What an amazing event! I attended both the early morning fundraiser and the rally after and hands down, the Memorial Coliseum was a lot more fun. Still, any $2300 a pop fundraiser with a wait list is a kind of a beautiful thing itself.

    A few thoughts:

    1) Barack and Richardson clearly do well together on stage. It was pretty remarkable to see how at ease they were given this was their first joint appearance since Richardson exited the race. A lot of great VP choices out there, but an Obama/Richardson ticket could be really powerful.

    2) Candidates elevate their performance over time, and Barack was as good as I've ever seen him. I thought his connection with the crowd was considerably stronger than in September, and the event itself had a better flow.

    3) Tickets: Obama clearly takes Oregon very seriously, as evidenced by the time he's investing here and in the northwest. If you didn't get a ticket, please know that Obama will be back. Opening up tickets to first come, first serve seemed like the most open and democratic process. Still, not being able to get in is disappointing. Especially if you're looking to get involved, the campaign very much could use your help to contact voters, walk precincts and make phone calls. Sign up to volunteer at dpo.org and you will be put to work.

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    Sorry, here's a direct link to sign up and get involved: Democratic Party of Oregon.

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    Charlie:

    I agree, it would be an excellent ticket. I've always had a lot of respect for Richardson. When I first began looking at candidates, he was my first choice; however, it was immediately evident his campaign was (unfortunately) not viable.

    An idea being pushed around has been Richardson for VP, Edwards for AG.

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    Thanks for all the first hand accounts! Quite informative and expressive. Seeing a presidential campaign and a candidate, especially one like Obama, close up, is quite an experience. I am especially touched by mamabigdog's account of the personal interaction.

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    i need to apologize for the tone of my earlier post. it was unnecessarily harsh and obstructed what my intended message was:

    be your own campaign.

    whoever you support, whatever your issue (passion): don't wait for the campaign to come to you. don't wait for the website, the phone banks, the canvass to get organized. figure out something you can do. become a precinct person, hold a party, print flyers and hand them out, make a sign and stand on a street corner. if anyone was part of the Dean campaign in 2003, they know it was a do-it-yourself affair. the national campaign got most of its best ideas from us (read Joe Trippi's book).

    if you really believe in something, you have to make it a reality. no one else can do it for you. i started 2 Obama websites because it was something i could do. i write as much as i can. i carry little flyers to hand to people on the bus. i do go to the organized events — but i've also helped organize a number of those events. and i've shown up at even more just to be there.

    you have a passion? some brains in your head? that's about all you really need. be the campaign yourself.

    (i hope that came across less strident than this afternoon!)

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    This was one of the better exchanges in the Salem Town Hall. Obama responds to a question to summarize the primary differences between himself as a president and HRC. Good question, good answer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qUoN-fjvLY

  • Chuck G (unverified)
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    Just got finished watching him do Eugene live on KEZI.

    It really would be great if he could get the troops out of Iraq in 2009. That would be positively Eisenhowerian.

  • Jason Skelton (unverified)
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    At the risk of sounding like a jerk: to those that may not vote for Obama because the poor organization of this event caused them some inconvenience, should consider why they are volunteering and what they hope to add to this campaign or any other.

    A volunteer is supposed to add value to a campaign, not cause it heartache or trouble. Poor organization means they could use your help more than ever. Volunteers are there to serve the cause, not be served by it.

    Something like that.

  • Taylor M (unverified)
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    Great event in Eugene. The turnout was incredible; I got inside early so I can't say if anybody was turned away.

    One of the best parts was how earnestly our local pols took this event. I stood in the pit with the press, and Earl Blumenauer (who earlier gave a speech) was on the court floor next to all the students as Obama talked. UO President Dave Frohnmayer made an appearance but rarely clapped; and I shook hands with Jeff Merkley and his wife beforehand, but they were dead tired and were headed home.

    David Axlerod = awesome, by the way. He was dressed down, in a leather jacket and slacks, looked almost like almost like Toby Ziegler or a JC lit professor. He was very gracious when my wife and I asked for a picture.

    All in all- a great event. The energy and enthusiasm made me certain that Obama will take the primary and general election in Oregon.

  • (Show?)
    I am especially touched by mamabigdog's account of the personal interaction.

    Others must have thought so too; it's #1 recommended at Kos right now, her story.

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    I echo Jason's sentiment. Let's give the Obama campaign a huge hand for organizing this only days after opening up their Oregon office. When I walked in there on Tuesday morning, they were setting up their very first table, and then on Friday, they had to help organize a series of huge events all over the state. Considering the scope of their task, they really did an outstanding job. If there was something that rubbed people the wrong way, let's give them a little slack and re-double our efforts to help what must be a very tired group of folks.

  • Iris (unverified)
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    I am happy a good time was had by most. Now reality check:

    Since taking office in January 2005 Obama has voted to approve every war appropriation the Republicans have put forward, totaling over $300 billion.

    He also voted to confirm Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State despite her complicity in the Bush Administration's various false justifications for going to war in Iraq. Why would he vote to make one of the architects of "Operation Iraqi Liberation" the head of US foreign policy? Curiously, he lacked the courage of 13 of his colleagues who voted against her confirmation.

    And though he often cites his background as a civil rights lawyer, Obama voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act in July 2005, easily the worse attack on civil liberties in the last half-century. It allows for wholesale eavesdropping on American citizens under the guise of anti-terrorism efforts.

    And in March 2006, Obama went out of his way to travel to Connecticut to campaign for Senator Joseph Lieberman who faced a tough challenge by anti-war candidate Ned Lamont. At a Democratic Party dinner attended by Lamont, Obama called Lieberman "his mentor" and urged those in attendance to vote and give financial contributions to him. This is the same Lieberman who Alexander Cockburn called "Bush's closest Democratic ally on the Iraq War." Why would Obama have done that if he was truly against the war?

    Recently, with anti-war sentiment on the rise, Obama declared he will get our combat troops out of Iraq in 2009. But Obama isn't actually saying he wants to get all of our troops out of Iraq. At a September 2007 debate before the New Hampshire primary, moderated by Tim Russert, Obama refused to commit to getting our troops out of Iraq by January 2013 and, on the campaign trail, he has repeatedly stated his desire to add 100,000 combat troops to the military.

    ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS! Think long and hard before you commit to someone with the above record! The Dems have voted for the lesser of two evils for decades now. Is'nt it getting old yet?

  • SDG (unverified)
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    Now the reality check:

    We're getting tired of the Hillary campaign instructing people to come here and spam the blogs to try to make it look "grass roots" - when in fact it is all directed by campaign operatives.

  • CJ (unverified)
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    Way to call it SDG! "Iris" posted the exact same thing on another thread as NO DEM.

    I guess it is to be expected, but it's sad. Don't we want to all see the same result here - a Democrat in the Presidency? And doesn't the fact that right-wing Republicans shilling for Hillary tell you something - that they are SCARED TO DEATH of Obama?

    When are people going to wake up?

  • Jennifer (unverified)
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    Voting for Hillary to end the war is like putting Kraft Foods in charge of school lunch programs to improve nutrition.

  • Lani (unverified)
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    SDG>I wonder how many Democratic blogs the Hillary Camp is posting the same tired arguments on? It's mostly a hit 'n run strategy following the same scripts.

    It's always the same: I'm <blank> and sympathize with you. Obama can't win because <blank> and then finish up with all the persuasion the cap's lock key can provide.

    Bill Richardson's speech was one of the best I've heard from him and Obama's was great.

    The Richardson endorsement is a remarkable event. The opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference. So many Clinton supporters are smearing the web, comparing Richardson to Judas (and Hillary to Jesus), that I can't begin to describe how offensive I find that.

    The Clinton campaign has sunk to lows I couldn't imagine before but the comparison of Hillary to Christ for the Easter Holiday has to be one of the worst I've seen.

  • Iris No Dem (unverified)
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    What difference does it make if a dem or repub is in the white house, as long as the votes on crucial issues such as occupation, civil liberties are the same? Remember 2006? Where did that get us? I think nowhere. Looking at his voting record why do you all think Obama will be the saviour? I don't mean to rain on your parade folks, but I don't need to have the wool pulled over my eyes again! Also, not everyone who comments on the hysterical Obama craze is a Hillary supporter!

  • Lani (unverified)
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    Obviously some are Republicans.

  • Carol (unverified)
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    In Response to Jason Skelton;

    The idea of volunteering is that you give of your time, resources and self to support a cause which you feel to be valuable. It does not make you more important than the cause. It is not the job of a volunteer to show up and appoint themselves "guerilla managers".

    However, to be a positive relationship, meaning volunteers will show up reliably and devote resources(contributions, etc.) they need to be, at least, somewhat honored for giving of themselves. That means their time is wisely used and not wasted, either waiting for someone to direct them or sent home because the organization miscalculated its' requirements. Also, that all tools required are organized and well thought. When an organization honors its' volunteers in these ways they feel that both they and their time is valued and that thier contribution has value. That is how you recruit more and organize more effectively. Without that you will lose people and the perceived value of your cause or candidate will deminish.

    Unorganized people don't win anything, elections or in business.

  • Harry Kershner (unverified)
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    Why are the responses to truthful comments like those of Iris/Iris No Dem never directed toward the facts presented?

    Some people really are progressives, rather than Obama or Clinton supporters. You regressives need to do some reading. Obama's record on foreign policy is a disaster for anyone to the left of his mentor, Joe Lieberman, and calling attention to that fact does not make one either a Republican or a Hillary (whose record is even worse) supporter.

    You people had a chance to nominate someone acceptable to the international center. You chose instead to select two "moderates", i.e., warmongers to the international community, who want to increase militarism rather than decrease it. And your response to those of us who tell it like it is is that we should be silent because we're misrepresenting our affiliations. Shame on you. You deserve Hillary or Obama or McCain, even if the rest of us don't.

  • Lani (unverified)
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    While others are Nader supporters or Hillary supporters.

    It doesn't matter. The negativity is causing great harm to the Democratic party.

    It would be a tragedy for this country if we snatched defeat from the jaws of victory because of all this bickering and infighting.

    If Hillary wants to keep her dignity intact, she should withdraw. That won't happen so the Republicans can sit back, laugh, and watch the Clinton campaign do their dirty work for them.

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