Massive Obama waterfront rally: Largest in Oregon history

Charlie Burr

Portland75kri5

As Obama said when he first took the stage, wow.

With a little more than 48 hours to go until Oregon's primary, the Oregon Obama campaign held a picture perfect rally this afternoon at McCall Waterfront Park attracting the largest crowd of the campaign yet. On hand were some of the tens of thousands of young voters, Republicans, Independents and others Obama's bottom-up campaign has drawn into the political process. Conservative estimates put the attendance at 75,000 strong.

From NBC:

Per the Obama campaign, 75,000 people (60,000 in the gates and 15,000 outside of them) turned out in Portland to hear Obama speak there this afternoon -- making it the largest Obama crowd to date.

Duane Bray, the battalion chief with Portland Fire and Rescue, validated that crowd estimate, the campaign says.

*** UPDATE *** Here's the dispatch from NBC/NJ's Athena Jones... Some 75,000 people flocked to Portland’s waterfront Sunday to watch Barack Obama speak, making it the biggest rally the campaign has held to date. Thousands stood on the lawn, dozens watched from boats and from the bridge stretching across the Willamette River. A few kayakers held their paddles and tried to keep their kayaks straight as they watched the candidate, who stood on a makeshift platform.

Obama hailed Clinton as a “formidable candidate," saying she "has been smart and tough and determined and she has worked as hard as she can and she has run an extraordinary campaign."

Were you there? What did you think?

Discuss.

[Update: This YouTube clip below gives you a decent sense of the crowd.]

Comments

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Better photos here, here, and here. (Seriously, that thumbnail doesn't do it any justice.)

    [CB: Agreed. I've put the YouTube clip up as replacement for the photo.]

  • Deward Bowles (unverified)
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsKQOFAbcW0

    Hows that for unity 75,000.

    Astounding. I can't think of a politician that draws these kinds of crowds.

    Obama in 08

  • (Show?)

    it was cool to have an hour of The Decemberists to kick things off, i gotta say that. great to sde his family, too, although my hope that Michelle would speak went unanswered. and while it was standard stump speech, the context was everything: huge crowd, gorgeous day, a great candidate and the state that in 2 days will secure the nomination for Barack Obama. for the first time in my life, the first time in 9 presidential elections, i have finally got to vote for a candidate who truly excited me (that would have been even more true for Dean in 2004, but alas).

    this was the topper for this great campaign. it's not the most exciting event i've ever attended, but it is special and i'll remember that i was here for years to come.

    i was glad to share it with 75,000 of my good friends.

  • (Show?)

    I was in the sardine can in front of the stage.:)

    This is the first rally like this I've ever attended. I think I was walking around with my mouth hanging open as I was leaving, realizing how immense the crowd really was. I'm glad I picked a good one to go to for the first!

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Sorry if my first post sounded a little negative, I just really wanted people to know how amazing that crowd was!

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Here's another good photo.

    [CB: Keep em coming. I saw this one before the post went live; the problem is it also comes up as a thumbnail shot when I attach it via TypePad. The shot I have up there now is slightly better because it's pulled Flickr, not another Web site.]

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    I heard the crowd applauding when Obama spoke about Clinton. However, a cynical part of me still expects some of the more inflamed bits of the pro-Clinton, anti-Obama blogosphere to spin this as another Obama attack.

  • (Show?)

    Not at all, James. We're mostly an Obama crowd here and we understood what you were saying and why.

    :-)

  • (Show?)

    A-M-A-Z-I-N-G !!! Took the whole family. Parked 2 blocks up from OMSI at 12:00. Walked across the Hawthorne and had to walk in a maze like fashion up past PSU. Never made it in. Had to stop on Naito at 3:00 ish and heard most of the speech. Great day. Great people. Had to giggle a little bit when I heard there was a handful of people protesting Obama calling the reporter "sweetie". The pics posted above were fantastic to look at. Hard to have perspective of the scene when you are in the thick of the crowd.

    After dinner, I'll dial more numbers for Obama !

  • Jefferson Smith (unverified)
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    Historic. My advice for the general: do stadium shows -- baseball and football arenas. Have some lead time, and go really big.

    Set a goal of having 3,000,000+ people seeing Obama live. That's doable...it's a bit over 65,000/State. (Of course, it'd actually require 200,000+ in some states.)

    Why do this? Sorta obvious maybe, but here're four reasons: 1. Plays to strength.: Obama can daw crowds, and crowds leave with more energy than they had when they arrived. That's an asset to leverage and maximize. 2. Wow factor.: Even nonbelievers have to say "wow" when record setting rallies roll through town. And that gets press, and its gets people talking. And friends/neighbors talking to friends/neighbors is the most persuasive politicking there is. 3. Capacity growth: the volunteer and donor capacity it adds would be significant. And the volunteers leveraged to execute the events would also make the pie higher. 4. History: Done right, this could mean that at the end of the campaign, ~1% of the US population will have seen Obama live. That's a lot of "I remember..."

    Logistical Questions: -- What sorta places? Mega where possible. Huge otherwise. Bg where necessary. For example, Michigan: Mega is The Big House in Ann Arbor (huge: 110,000+ -- where the Wolverines play tackle football). Huge is Tiger Stadium (50,000, where the Tigers used to play baseball). Big is the Palace at Auburn Hills (where the Pistons play: 22,000+) -- Price and Cost? Still always free to attend? (Bonus thought: Maybe have a suggested donation of $1 to $5 -- could raise $2-10 million...not determinative, but still maybe helpful...and would pay for the events.) -- Access? Some ownership group might not say yes, but sufficient venues could be found. -- Security? Probably easier to keep secure in a stadium than on a waterfront.

    This campaign is historic. Let's etch the marble a bit deeper.

  • (Show?)

    Put another way...

    McCall Waterfront Park was the 7th largest city in Oregon today.

  • naschkatzehussein (unverified)
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    Jealous as all get out here in Bend. I hope Portland started something that will happen in big cities all over the country after Labor Day. Love you guys! What a response from Oregon to the racism of West Virginia. That's the significance of this thing, I think.

  • (Show?)

    This Eugenean (moi) got that, another video and a link to great slideshow at OregonLive at American Street.

    Good going up there, folks. Not as fun as the Blues Festival, but pretty amazing.

  • Chris #12 (unverified)
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    A truly impressive crowd, but I was quite disappointed to hear Obama endorse Bush's pre-emptive war policy. Hopefully someone else can provide the exact quote, but it was something along the lines of "I am willing to attack anyone who WOULD do us harm." The Bush administration has set a dangerous precedent, and Obama seems to be pledging more of the same. Other than that, it seemed like a good speech--he said good things on trade, labor, and civil liberties. But the end of the speech, he seemed to be a little off his game. It's too bad about his hawkish comments, because I almost became a believer. But I think he lost my vote.

  • Larry (unverified)
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    Yes, Portland showed those bigots in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio a thing or two. Portland is the best because we love Obama, and we are tolerant and progressive. Portland is irrelevant no more. Portland rocks!

  • Gil Johnson (unverified)
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    What's with Obama being on time? Having sweltered for several hours through the Kerry rally in 2004 an heard that Obama was usually late for these rallies, I started biking across the Hawthorne Bridge around 3:30, an hour after the time posted in the media. And, of course, met hordes of people coming from the rally.

    Probably wouldn't have gotten close, anyway, though I'm pretty good at finagling my way up front.

    Oh well, I hope he comes back in the fall.

  • (Show?)

    Took my daughter who doesn't like crowds to a play at Winningstad Theater (across from Schnitz). Was astonished, at 1:45, to find the line for admission to the rally stretched all the way west from the Waterfront to SW 9th (Park Blocks) then turned south for blocks and blocks more. Line was more or less 4 abreast, width of sidewalk.

    Chris #12, there is a distinction between pre-emptive war, which is permitted under international law, and "preventive war," which is what Bush originally called what he did.

    Pre-emptive war is quite narrowly defined and refers to response to an imminent threat of attack, e.g. massing of troops on a border, full-scale mobilization etc.

    Bush doctine was war to prevent a country that is not a threat from becoming one. In essence this could justify any aggression. Given the history of the U.S. since 1898, any country in the world could justify attacking us on this basis, because every country in the world has a legitimate concern that the U.S. might decide to attack them at some point.

    After the initial phase, Bush has tried to obscure this distinction and give the color of legitimate (under international law) defensive pre-emptive war to his aggression.

    It does sound like Obama was vague about that. It is worrisome in the sense that many Democrats in effect accepted the "preventive war" theory by giving Bush his war powers, although possibly without really thought it through in those terms. But Obama's foreign policy and military people are not neocons, coming rather from the self-annointed "realist" school, & included folks like Zbigniew Brzezinski, who explicitly opposed the Iraq invasion on the grounds that its "justifications" could be applied by other countries to any other aggression.

    I'm not holding up Brzezinski as an ideal, but Bush's war was made possible by a network of securocrats from Cheney and Rumsfeld on down, and Obama simply hasn't surrounded himself with people likely to do what you fear.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Chris, he's used that formulation since at least New Hampshire, and the phrase is usually "I won't hesitate to strike against those who would do us harm." He chooses "would" rather than "will," which indicates a condition. Given his consistent position on Iraq, I would believe that condition is "were that to occur" rather than "were that a theoretical possibility."

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Thanks to Chris Lowe for saying something I was going to try to say to Chris #12, but didn't have the words for. There's a third condition, that of preemption as it has historically been defined, which is justifiable. But it's very different from what Bush argues it to be.

  • David Dorn (unverified)
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    Dear Barack Obama: Thank you so much for entering this presidential race at the time we needed you the most. You have given me hope when I was on the verge of giving up. I proudly cast my vote for you and personally dropped my ballot in a drop box to be sure it would count. I made my way to Waterfront Park today to show my support. I followed the crowds a full 3/4 mile away from the stage where you would make your speech and took my place in line. I stood in the hot sun and waited. The line seemed to go on forever, snakeing North, South, East & West like a parade route through the city. When I finally arrived at the park I was relieved to smell the grass and feel the cool breeze coming from the river. I smiled as I looked around and saw bright, hopeful faces. Then a volunteer from your campaign approached me and said in a cold voice "I'm confiscating your sign". What? Are you serious?? The sign was made by my wife (who is a talented graphic designer). It had a background of the state of Oregon in dark green. The letter "O" was done in yellow and was the shape of the Oregon Ducks "O". That was followed by white "bama". "All it says is Obama", I protested. "How is that offensive or objectionable?" I'm sure he thought his reply was funny, but I found it infuriating. "Because I'm a Beaver fan" he said, as he took my sign. Wow I am so surprised that I would be treated that way after standing in line for so long. I geuss free speech really is dead and even your campaign is willing to squelch any voice that has not been prescreened and preapproved. How sad.

  • (Show?)

    Charlie, I updated your post with a full-size photo that seems to do the crowd justice. Holy cow.

  • Perspective (unverified)
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    Come on guys. A little perspective here. George W. Bush drew larger crowds than 75k, albiet in the form of protestors when he visit Portland. Also, weren't the anti-war protests drawing crowds well over 120k?

    The cult of anti-war protestors is greater than the cult of the presidency.

    Just saying.

  • John F. Bradach, Sr. (unverified)
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    OBAMARAMA!!!!

    I stayed at the gate to watch the crowd, as it exited the Portland Waterfront Park. At the end, slowly, moved hundreds of smiling people on crutches, in wheelchairs and on scooters, who despite a very hot day, long lines, and infirmities of age, disease and injury, had come and seen a man of destiny, and history in the making.

  • John F. Bradach, Sr. (unverified)
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    OBAMARAMA!!!!

    I stayed at the gate to watch the crowd, as it exited the Portland Waterfront Park. At the end, slowly, moved hundreds of smiling people on crutches, in wheelchairs and on scooters, who despite a very hot day, long lines, and infirmities of age, disease and injury, had come and seen a man of destiny, and history in the making.

  • (Show?)

    This was the second Obama event I missed, and this time because of a prior conflict. For days in anticipation, I've been wondering if it was going to match Kerry's crowd in '04, which was, I believe, the largest crowd to see him that year. Such a cool thing that Oregonians are so into politics.

    And what's really amazing is that Kerry came in August, after the convention, as the general election candidate. Obama's still in the primary. Kick ass.

  • NEPDXGal (unverified)
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    Mr. Dorn, They could have & should have explained it nicer to you. The secret service is required to take those signs. A sign can hide weapons. I know we all had to get in "airport style" but they have their security regulations, & other procedures. They handed out signs after they got the "all clear". I hope that the volunteer doesn't sway you for good. It sounds like a lot of heart went into your sign, & I think it would have been awesome to see.

  • (Show?)

    the flip-side of Jefferson's "go big" program is one he knows very well, which is person-to-person. the reason Obama's drawing power does more than attract wow-worthy croweds is because many of those going "wow" are also going door-to-door and phone banking. Obama's at this point of having the nomination almost wrapped up (stating it that way out of respect for the Clintonites who have not conceded anything) because he not only can draw the big crowds but because his supporters are willing to do the grunt work of political campaigns.

    if they get even 1% of those attending to volunteer Monday & Tuesday, that'll be an amazing influx of volunteers. the campaign power of drawing power.

  • (Show?)

    No, there were never that many protestors when George Bush showed up. Seriously -- the Secret Service wouldn't land the plane if there 10% of that many protestors.

    As for anti-war rallies... no, there was never an anti-war rally with 75,000 people.

    I'm sure there have been larger crowds in Oregon, but not for a political rally.

  • Chris #12 (unverified)
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    Chris Lowe and others: thanks for the clarifications on pre-emptive vs. preventive war. But am still very uncomfortable with Obama's language. It's vague. "Would" could mean all kinds of things, and he should be more specific. Does anyone have more specifics on this? What would justify an attack by an Obama administration? I assume crappy intelligence on WMD's would not qualify, but hasn't he made some pretty serious threats against Iran?

    Anyway, I voted for the the most progressive candidate (Obama) on my primary ballot. I will do the same in November--which probably means I'll be voting for someone else.

    And perspective--I believe the anti-Bush crowds were 5,000 tops, and the biggest peace march was around 40,000. The May Day march in 2006 was also around 40,000. I guess we can still say that the biggest marches in Portland were against the war and for immigrants' rights.

  • Red (unverified)
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    So...65,000 to 75,000 starry-eyed Obamamaniacs heard nothing but the " Hope and Change " rhetoric.... but again Sen. Obama has not accomplished anything in his short three and half years in DC.... Keep drinking the Kool-ade....

  • John F. Bradach, Sr. (unverified)
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    According to Wikipedia:

    "***The highest attendance at Autzen was 59,379 on November 3, 2007, when the Ducks beat the Arizona State Sun Devils 35-23. This also set the record for attendance for a single event in the state of Oregon."

    I think there are Rose Festival Parade crowds that are much larger, but those are different animals.

    Today's Waterfront Bowl Rally was BIG!!!

  • orexpat (unverified)
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    Chris#12,

    I can respect a principled position. However we all saw the outcome that principled people who chose to vote for Nader brought us. You comfortable with that?

    And about that rally- awesome!

  • William Neuhauser (unverified)
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    Personal photos from the rally here.

  • David Dorn (unverified)
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    Red- I'm geussing you are a Hillary supporter or a Mccain supporter. Either way, you are the one drinking Kool-ade if you think the MCCain/Clinton "gas tax holiday" is going to solve anything!

  • (Show?)

    a video of his entire speech is available here, though it's a bit tiny.

  • DanOregon (unverified)
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    Largest gathering for a political campaign since.....when? Parked across the river, immediately regretted not bringing my canoe, saw the lawn while crossing the river and thought, not bad. Get to foot of bridge and just kept following the line, following the line, following the line, until I got to the end up in the Park blocks near PSU. I figured, no way am I getting close. But it wasn't bad because there was shade and the line kept moving and the people I was around were very nice. I figured at the very least, I'd have a story to tell. The line kept moving, shook Macpherson's hand, shook Novick's hand and began hearing Obama's speech from a few blocks away. Gradually got close enough to hear clearly and moved south and worked my way around the crowd where I could see a speck moving arms on the stage from my spot just in front of the far treeline. Good enough for me.

  • DanOregon (unverified)
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    The Trailblazers victory rally in 1977 drew an estimated 250,000 to Portland.

  • Chris #12 (unverified)
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    So, orexpat, are you saying that I should vote with no principles?

    Look, I'm going to vote for the most progressive candidates. Blame me all you want, but that's how I'm voting. Me, I lay the blame at the Democratic Party for moving to the right for the last few decades and failing to nominate candidates worthy of my vote.

    Unless Obama pledges to have a much less hawkish foreign policy, he won't get my vote in the general.

    And seriously, that whole blaming Nader thing is so boring...

  • Rose Wilde (unverified)
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    The other great thing about "going big" is the emotional boost of shared passion. It helps if you are watching an inspirational speaker, but even a so-so football team can move crowds to epiphany if the music/cheerleading/marching band had got "it" right.

    I read a little about ritual in my cultural anthropology classes back in the 90s and I remember studies about how mass rituals (like football games or political rallies, not just "religion") can have a measurable physical and emotional effect on people -- something far beyond what the same person would experience if watching the same events, but all alone. If everyone around us is screaming with delight, most of us actually feel delighted (brain research now has documented mirror neurons, which make our brains fire the same neurons as the person we are observing-- even though we are just watching them jump for joy, we feel their joy -- spooky, but cool!).

    As for the personal touch, it just takes empowering and supporting more smart, personable leaders. There are tons of likable, fun, and smart people out there who rub off a little of the "obama" feeling, then transfer it to the next level of volunteers. Plus, it only takes a minute for Obama to pose for a photo, make eye contact, and say something that sounds inspirational (in the context).

    So, by all means, use the Billy Graham playbook (and he wasn't the first, I'm sure). Just remember to work on media reform and civic education, so our masses have a chance to think and analyze once the rallies are over.

  • orexpat (unverified)
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    "That whole blaming Nader thing is getting so boring."

    Billions of dollars wasted, thousands of lives lost, eight years squandered.

    Yep. Reality is boring but oh so real.

  • Chris #12 (unverified)
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    One more thing about Obama's fuzzy language: "I won't hesitate to strike against those who would do us harm" could have been used to justify attacking Iraq in 2003.

  • Snarkmatic 9000 (unverified)
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    And seriously, that whole blaming Nader thing is so boring...

    Not to any families with sons or daughters serving in Iraq it's not. Why don't you call one of them up and see if you can comfort them with your pristine principles?

  • James X. (unverified)
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    <h1>12, of course no one can tell you what to do, but I would suggest that electing the most progressive candidate possible is more productive than voting for the most progressive candidate possible, and while sometimes that person is different candidate, that person is not nearly as different as the candidate who would be elected otherwise. As for me, I'm not just satisfied with Obama, I'm excited about him. And as for that line in Obama's speech, I think of Obama's campaign rallies as delivering the flavor of his message. For the nutritional facts, consider these sources:</h1>

    His 2002 speech on Iraq:

    But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history. I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al Qaeda. I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars.

    Or this bit about Iran:

    Obama also cautioned against a US intervention in Iran, saying he was skeptical of reports by the Bush administration that Iran is helping to supply weapons to insurgents in Iraq. "I don't doubt that there are some weapons coming over from Iran into Iraq. I have no doubt Iran has a history of sponsoring terrorism and doing mischief," Obama said. But "I am less persuaded by what we're seeing over the last couple of weeks, and that is that the intervention of Iran into Iraq somehow justifies what seems to be a mounting case for intervention or even forays into Iran," he said, drawing applause.

    Or this from 60 Minutes:

    KROFT: Would you talk to Iran or Syria? OBAMA: Yes. I think that the notion that this administration has -- that not talking to our enemies is effective punishment -- is wrong. It flies in the face of our experiences during the Cold War. Ronald Reagan understood that it may be an evil empire, but it's worthwhile for us to periodically meet to see are there areas of common interest. And most importantly, those conversations allow the possibility that our ideas and our values gain greater exposure in these countries. The fact of the matter is that Iran currently is governed by an oppressive regime, one that I think is a threat to the region and to our allies, but there are a lot of people in Iran who potentially would like to be part of this broader community of nations. For us not to be in a conversation with them doesn't make sense. Now I don't think that that conversation should be conditioned on our accepting their support of terrorism or their building nuclear capacity and potentially sparking an arms race in the Middle East, any more than our conversations with the Kremlin presumed that we approved of their aggression around the world. You know, we can have a robust strategy of blocking and containing aggressive actions by hostile or rogue states, but still open up the possibility that over time those relationships may evolve and they may change. And there may be opportunities for us to resolve some of our differences, not all of them, but some of them in a constructive way. KROFT: Would you advocate the use of military force to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons? OBAMA: I think we should keep all options on the table, but I think that our first step should be a much more aggressive approach to diplomacy than we've displayed thus far. And I think this is an example of where our blundering in Iraq has cost us dearly. Iran's the big winner from the Iraq War. They have gained immeasurable strength in the Middle East, and because of the strains that it's placed on our alliances and our leverage with other countries around the world, it's made it more difficult for us to be able to mobilize international pressure to get them to stand down from what I believe is a process of developing nuclear weapons.

    What I take away from this is that Obama is highly unlikely to start any wars unless some dictator's finger is an inch a way from a big red button. And he'll work his ass off to keep that finger from ever being lifted.

  • Katy (unverified)
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    Okay, so it looks like I'm just gonna go ahead and post this on every thread on bo today (sorry). To me I guess it's just too important for anyone to miss.

    http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2008/04/14/obama_supporters/index.html

  • Matthew Sutton (unverified)
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    David Dorn, sorry about your sign.

    But I am pretty sure it was security purposes. The announcements for Obama events usuallly say "no signs", that's how it was in Medford. It helps the secret service have a better view of the crowd.

    Thanks for your understanding.

  • (Show?)

    A few kayakers held their paddles and tried to keep their kayaks straight as they watched the candidate, who stood on a makeshift platform.

    My fella and I were there in kayaks. Not only were we trying to keep them straight, but we had to keep backing up because the current was pushing us toward the sheriff's deputies' boat. It was awesome to watch the rally from the river, and the crowd was as amazing a sight as the speaker. We could see which applause lines got the most energetic response -- alternative energy, art and music in schools, etc. It felt like a historic day.

  • (Show?)

    What makes you think that a Democrat would not have bowed to pressure and invaded Iraq?

    Every single Democrat in the Senate and more than half of them in the House supported the war resolution, and there is not a single Democratic leader in either branch of congress, or in the race for the White House, who is seriously talking about cutting America's defense budget, which accounts for half of total global military spending and is bankrupting this country.

    And, lest we forget, it was Bill Clinton who signed DOMA, NAFTA, GATT, and WTO into law.

    It's all well and good to elect Democrats. Either of the Democratic candidates for President would be preferable to McCain, but let's not forget that we elect these people because we expect them to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us as we fight for the things that we believe in.

    As for Nader...

    I think of Ralph Nader every time I get into my car and realize that without Nader, that car would not have air bags; shoulder safety belts; a steering wheel that is designed to crumple rather than spear me in the chest; etc.

    I also think of Nader when my flight is cancelled and the airline is required to issue me a voucher for another flight.

    He was also directly responsible for legislation that gave us: The EPA, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, the Consumer Product Safety Act, OSHA, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Freedom of Information Act, etc.

    Whatever you think of the man's ill-advised bids for the White House, let's not pretend for a minute that the Democratic candidates were not equally to blame, nor hat Ralph Nader's sole legacy is the Bush Presidency.

  • All Facts Support My Positions (unverified)
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    What a great day for the Democratic Party. Don't let it go to your heads though. There is still enough retarded lemmings to do the same thing for Insane McCainMcBush. Just watch the GOP pull out all the stops to fill some stadium somewhere just for the photos. They will have to after this.

    Now it is time to get to work. I won't rest until President Obabma is sworn in. I know all to well that there are millions of Republiconvicts hiding in their caves, and they only come out ever two years to vote dead red. Remember, who would have thought the lying shrub would get reelected.

    Fundraising, doorknocking, phone calling, putting up signs. You name it. People in blue states still need to fundraise to offset the corporate cash that will fill the GOP coffers.

    We can't stop until ever single drop of power is removed from the constitution hating GOP, and Insane McCain.

  • Chris #12 (unverified)
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    You guys are just pushing me further away from voting for Obama with this bullshit about blaming me and my pristine values for the war. I did lots of work to oppose the war. I really did. Probably thousands and thousands of hours worth of organizing, lobbying, protesting, etc. I don't know what you all did, other than take ten seconds to vote for Kerry o Gore. Hopefully you did a little more than that. Becuase if that's all you did, then you probably deserve much more of the blame than someone who voted for Nader in a state that was a safe bet for both Kerry and Gore.

    I'll concede that Nader may have been a factor in the elections, but only one of many. Other factors were the shitty candidates, the Supreme Court, the millions of non-voters, possibly some election rigging, and much more. Gore was a shitty candidate--he could not even win his own state. Kerry was a shitty candidate who also failed to inspire people. Sure, some people voted for Nader that might have voted for one of those Democrats. But that assumes a great deal.

    But my original point was that all of this is boring--not because the war is not important, but because we've been through this Nader thing ad nauseum.

    I'm done with it, and I wish others were. But if folks like you try to pull the same slimy shit to keep progressive third party candidates off the ballot again in 2008, you will lose me for good. I voted for Obama last week, and I'm open to doing it again in November if someone can convince me that he truly does have a progessive foreign policy. But if the Democratic Party works to take away people's right to vote for someone like Cynthia McKinney, I think that would be a big mistake.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    What, beyond what I wrote, are you looking for, #12?

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    "To me I guess it's just too important for anyone to miss."

    It's important we know that a lot of women can't see how poorly Clinton has behaved in this primary, and are blaming sexism instead?

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    bdunn-

    Is that you I saw in the pictures in one of the front row areas?

    <hr/>

    Wish I could have been there, but I've become more and more claustrophobic the older I get, and I have to stay away from these crowds. Just getting out of Memorial Coliseum I was on the verge on a panic attack. No way I could have handled today.

  • Quinn (unverified)
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    Go big, go big, go big. This MUST be Obama's strategy for public appearances.

    One item to consider (in case David Plouffe is perusing Jefferson's comment and subsequent additions) is timing. Obama should map out a stream of punctuated enormous appearances (interspersed with regular average-sized campaign stops of course) that flow in increasing order of attendance. 20,000 - 40,000 - 65,000 - 100,000 - maybe even 110,000 at the Big House? Maybe we even get six figures in Portland in September or October.

    Records = buzz. A record in a given state will generate buzz for a few days locally but if the campaign is careful to keep topping itself (rather than blowing a record in July when no one's watching), then it's a national story each time it happens. Play those cards right and you could get four or five "Obama sets new presidential campaign crowd record" stories between June and November.

    And just BTW, if Obama starts filling stadiums then ESPN and sports fans of all political stripes will be engaged and impressed. A political story on SportsCenter is a huge win.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Katy, I agree, every time I see references to a pantsuit or the novelty nutcracker or the like, I cringe. It's pathetic that women are still ridiculed for stepping an inch outside the gender norm. And it's embarrassing that gender-specific insults are seen as acceptible to people who understand why epithets specific to one's race or sexual orientation aren't. And it's disappointing that racism vs. sexism has become some sort of parallel contest to Obama vs. Clinton, so that when a sexist (or racist) remark is called out, it's defended as though conceding the presence of sexism (or racism) is like conceding the superiority of the other candidate. I wish this weren't so. There's clearly a lot more work to do. For my part, I call out sexist language when I see it, and try to explain why it's wrong. But this is a struggle that will have to be continued whoever the nominee is. I support Obama, but that doesn't mean I support sexism. I consider myself a feminist. (But you can call me pro-feminist if you like.) Any guy who's been teased/mocked/beaten for straying outside the male gender norm should see how this is a problem that affects all of us.

    PS: Contrary to the article's premise, it's not just men who are using sexist attacks against Clinton. Even Clinton's own campaign engages in them. Heck, McAuliffe owns one of those nutcrackers, and Carville can't think of any better way to express a woman's strength than to assert that she has three testicles. Clearly, some people have some hang-ups.

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    Portland's Obama rally was a defining moment in the campaign. I'm so proud of Oregon right now. The pictures offer irrefutable proof of what is going on, and we're a huge international news story. To think, it easily could have been raining. Though it just happened a few short hours ago, it already seems mythical. I'll never forget seeing the line up by 6th and thinking, "Great, there must be another event downtown today besides the rally." Maybe one of those walkathons or whatever. Suddenly I realized that no, this was the rally. Amazing.

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    Every single Democrat in the Senate and more than half of them in the House supported the war resolution,

    This is just blatantly false, although I hear it quoted by any number of people -- mostly Republicans -- to bolster their claims of overwhelming support for the war.

    The vote in the Senate for the Iraq AUMF was 77-23. One Republican, one Independent, and twenty-one Democrats were in the "nay" category. The other twenty-nine Democrats in the Senate voted for the AUMF.

    In the House, the overall vote was 296-133; among Democrats it was 81-126. In reality, fewer than 40% of the Democrats in the House supported the Iraq AUMF.

    Put together, a solid majority of Democrats in Congress voted against the AUMF: 110-147. That's 57% of Democrats in both houses voting against the war. Regrettably, much of the party leadership -- the "serious" people who got on the TV talk shows and made up the bulk of the candidates for president this past couple of election cycles -- voted with the Republicans and George W. Bush on that issue.

    I don't buy into the "blame Nader for the war" fantasy. Even at 40%, far too many people like Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John Kerry, John Edwards, Chris Dodd, and others voted to give authorization to George W. Bush (of all people) to go to war without ever seeing any evidence that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or that Iraq was a threat. They voted against the majority of their party's congressional delegation. They voted against the opinions of most Democrats at the time. They even voted against the majorities of Democratic members of groups like the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Armed Services Committee, which had slim majorities of Democrats voting aginst the AUMF.

    To claim that "Every single Democrat in the Senate and more than half of them in the House" voted the same way is to ignore reality (and easily verified reality, at that). Not only that, the Democrats who did vote for the AUMF fared worse at the polls in subsequent elections than the Democrats who voted against it. No Democrat who voted against the AUMF has lost a general election, in either house of Congress. Three senators and nine representatives who voted for the AUMF lost elections in 2002 and 2004.

  • OldCoastie (unverified)
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    I worry about Obama's support of the Cheney energy bill. This will take away local control of the LNG terminals (giving it to the US gov't instead) and allow Cheney's gas pipelines to come from Wyoming to Oregon to transport gas for California.

    That doesn't seem right.

  • Melanie (unverified)
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    Posted by: Larry | May 18, 2008 7:27:03 PM

    Yes, Portland showed those bigots in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio a thing or two. Portland is the best because we love Obama, and we are tolerant and progressive. Portland is irrelevant no more. Portland rocks!

    What an utterly insulting, repugnant, foolish thing to say? Has it occurred to you that some people are voting their issues, like jobs, education, clean energy.

  • Melanie (unverified)
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    Obama didn't vote against a war. He was a state leg at the time.

  • Howard (unverified)
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    Melanie - I've never seen anyone claim that Obama voted against the war, only that he spoke out against it at the time.

  • Melanie (unverified)
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    He spoke out for three minutes at an anti-war rally when he was running in a primary where all of his opponents had already loudly, clearly spoken out. Hey, look, kudos to him, but it doesn't give you much insight into his FP. I spoke out too. Hillary spoke out against pre-emption herself. Bush had all the tools to finish inspections and avoid war.

  • torridjoe (unverified)
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    Melanie, the governor of PA admitted (as a way to pump up Hillary, sadly) that many white people in his state just wouldn't vote for a black guy. Why is it not fair to refer to those bigoted voters?

  • Melanie (unverified)
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    I really don't care what Rendell said. It's not about him. Wilder won the Appalachia voters. It's quite rude to assume voters are against Obama because he is black, rather than for Hillary. I could make the same argument, by the way. I could say many upper income white men are rather sexist, and won't vote for a strong woman. People in West Virginia largely voted on issues like jobs and the economy. Disparaging the voters for not voting for your candidate is in bad taste. Case in point, Deval Patrick is black and he won MA in a historic landslide. Hillary won the state's primary over Obama in a landslide. Blaming the voters is never a good idea.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Katy sez: Okay, so it looks like I'm just gonna go ahead and post this on every thread on bo today (sorry). To me I guess it's just too important for anyone to miss.

    http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2008/04/14/obama_supporters/index.html

    Folks, this is an interesting article. (I had already read it before Katy's posting.) It deals with feminists upset at some Obama supporters. OK. The fundamental problem with this article is that the author slides down that slippery slope of taking a few bits of anecdotal evidence and drawing a sweeping conclusion. The particular sweeping conclusion is that "Obama supporters", in some generic way, and especially if they are men, are just addicted to harsh, sexist language about Hillary Clinton.

    I'm sorry, Katy, but generalizing from anecdotes simply does not cut it. And as applied in the linked article, it turns into yet one more guilt-by-association trip.

    If you want to generalize from anecdotal evidence, why not generalize instead from me? I'm someone who prefers Obama (note the word "prefer", not "adore", "worship", etc.). I also think pretty highly of Senator Clinton. I happen to think she ran a lousy campaign, and that if she had run a smart campaign, she would now be the nominee.

    By the way, it was my wife who, in part, persuaded me to support Obama rather than Clinton when the race had come down to the two of them.

    Does any of this make me a misogynist jerk?

    Nobody likes being taken for granted and tossed into a category.

  • Melanie (unverified)
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    "Nobody likes being taken for granted and tossed into a category."--joel

    Exactly. Well said.

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    Melanie and Katy, please keep posting your information. I am sure you are changing the hearts and minds of voters as we speak.

  • Melanie (unverified)
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    Excuse me, DH, what did I say that offends you? That it's not appropriate to assume anyone who supports Hillary is some kind of racist?

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    "Disparaging the voters for not voting for your candidate is in bad taste."

    That makes Rendell's comments hard to explain, since they DID vote for his candidate.

    Yes, Wilder may have won Appalaicha, although there isn't much of it in Virginia. But two months later someone at a party asked my wife, "So, whaddyall think of that nigger governor you got now?"

    Overall it's not bigotry, however. It's Hillary. People just aren't that into her.

  • Melanie (unverified)
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    Over half of the registered Democrats and half of the primary voters have voted for Hillary, so apparently lots of people are pretty into her. As for Rendell, well, ok, then you must also believe that women in NH who brought Hill her victory did so because she is white because that's what a number of Obama surrogates claimed. He's not running against a white man. If we are going to assume Hillary's voters are primarily racist than let's assume Obama's voters are primarily sexist. Do you think that's fair?

  • Roger Veritas (unverified)
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    Ask Obama or his staff to respond to the allegations Larry Sinclair has been making.

    Larry has claimed that Barack Obama's drug practices are much more recent than he claims.

    Larry has also subpoenaed Barack Obama, David Axelrod, and the campaign for phone records in connection with an execution-style murder of Donald Young.

    § Donald Young was the choirmaster of Obama's much maligned Trinity church.

    § Donald Young had been in contact with Larry until his death.

    It turns out that Donald was also gay.

    Parties unknown executed Donald and several other members of Chicago’s gay community.

    Why is Larry doing this?

    http://larrysinclair0926.wordpress.com/

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    "Over half of the registered Democrats and half of the primary voters have voted for Hillary"

    In what country? Not this one. Obama is ahead by hundreds of thousands of votes, has won twice as many election contests, and leads by 200 delegates.

    Who said they assumed Hillary's voters are primarily racist? The charge was made to bigots in PA/OH/WV, which Hillary's supporters have acknowledged and used as a suggestion not to vote for him either.

  • Melanie (unverified)
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    I said REGISTERED Democrats, and she's ahead by about six points. But, no, you are wrong, Hillary has about half the vote depending on whether or not you include estimates of a few of the caucuses. He's ahead less than 85k votes if you include them. She's ahead by 50k if you don't.

  • Melanie (unverified)
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    "The charge was made to bigots in PA/OH/WV, which Hillary's supporters have acknowledged and used as a suggestion not to vote for him either."

    Again, calling Hillary's voters bigots in unwise and offensive.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    OK then...Hillary's voters are uptight, arrogant, pushy, and stubborn. They all act as if they have a chip on thier collective shoulders when there isn;t really one to begin with. Who wants that in a world office?

    Not me.

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    Melanie, you did not offend me. I find it all fascinating and can't wait to read the general analysis of this primary 20 years from now. I am sure we will all have learned lessons. At the end of the day, the VAST majority of voters in this country don't vote on policy. They vote on gut feels. We can talk around this and about this for many a thread and I am sure some great debates would be had and learned from.

    Torrid joe hit the nail on the head. A lot of people just aren't that in to her. That's not to say many aren't . Clearly, she has some very devoted followers. But most aren't.

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    "Again, calling Hillary's voters bigots in unwise and offensive. "

    I'm simply quoting one of Hillary's most ardent supporters. Are you saying he's being unwise and offensive?

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    "He's ahead less than 85k votes if you include them. She's ahead by 50k if you don't."

    I'm sorry, either you are high or are counting election contests that do not count in this nominating process, while not counting others. Obama's lead is about half a million votes.

  • Tired of Canards (unverified)
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    Old Coastie wrote: I worry about Obama's support of the Cheney energy bill. This will take away local control of the LNG terminals (giving it to the US gov't instead) and allow Cheney's gas pipelines to come from Wyoming to Oregon to transport gas for California.

    That doesn't seem right.

    THE TRUTH IS: Obama is a cosponsor of the act (Along with Wyden, Clinton and Dodd) to restore LNG siting decision-making authority to the states. see http://www.dailyastorian.info/main.asp?SectionID=23&SubSectionID=392&ArticleID=51348&TM=4775.085

  • David Dorn (unverified)
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    Voters in West Virginia aren't racist? Fully 20% of white voters said race was a factor in their decision in the official exit polls. The artice is right here. Please read it and then wake up!

  • Melanie (unverified)
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    Howard Dean has admitted those votes in elections certified by those states indeed have nothing to do with sanctioning delegates and should be included in popular vote reporting. Duh. Real people went to the polls an exercised their right to participate.

  • David Dorn (unverified)
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    Whoops....here is the article:

    http://abcnews.go.com/PollingUnit/Politics/story?id=4844868

  • Melanie (unverified)
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    David, as I said, exit polls are not the most reliable source of voter intent. Why is it important to disparage Hillary's voters? I don't understand that.

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    Melanie, unfortunately, many ( certainly not the majority) of the voters in OH, IN and WV, said it quite plainly themselves. They couldn't vote for a black man. They couldn't vote for a Muslim. They couldn't vote for someone with the name "Hussein. They couldn't vote for someone who went to Harvard because of AF. The list goes on. Racism and sexism are both reduced by education. Certainly not eliminated but reduced. HC won the least educated voters in those primaries. In print, on tv, and online. FWIW, it always bothered me that HC was always referred to by first name. The crying episode earlier in the primary season was completely bungled by the mostly men MSM. I hated to see her seem to believe that she had to throw back shots and have Terry McCauliffe go around and brag that she could drink McCain under the table.

    The onus is on her and her campaign now to prove to people that she can end this with dignity and grace. The onus is on her to prove to the public that she believes it is more important to not have a third term of Bush.

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    "Real people went to the polls an exercised their right to participate."

    That's great--but their votes are meaningless. No one campaigned in FL, and Obama wasn't even ON THE BALLOT in MI. They were beauty contests that don't come close to resembling an actual election.

  • David Dorn (unverified)
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    Exit polls are not super reliable when it comes to race- that is definately true. We all know that people vote their racial prejudices but usually will deny it to the pollsters. That factor would only lend MORE weight to the 20%. Are you saying that people who DIDN"T vote against Obama because of his race lied and told pollsters they DID?? That is the only way the number would be artificially high.

  • hlr (unverified)
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    David Dorn: Fully 20% of white voters said race was a factor in their decision in the official exit polls. The artice is right here. Please read it and then wake up!

    And? 19% of Obama's voters said gender of their candidate was important. What's your point?

  • lambert strether (unverified)
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    Obama's not going to crown himself 5/20. What a shame.

    I'd say it's because he can't close the deal again, but what would I know? I'm a racist.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    "The onus is on her and her campaign now to prove to people that she can end this with dignity and grace."

    Add to that - Quit being stubborn. Lose the non-existant chip on your shoulder and the uptight candor. This attitude could hurt the D's in November.

    Just give her a fork to put into herself. It's the only way now...

  • hlr (unverified)
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    I mean, if Portlanders are going to pat themselves on the back for 'nullification' of WV-PA-OH, y'all should at least be equal opportunity about it.

  • David Dorn (unverified)
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    Wow Lambert the way you can distort the positions of others you would make a great republican! Did anybody say all or even most Hillary supporters are racist? All I was saying is that race was a factor in WV. The exit polls proved it and people under-report voting their racial prejudices, they don't over-report it!

  • david Dorn (unverified)
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    "And? 19% of Obama's voters said gender of their candidate was important. What's your point?"

    I provided an article to back my number. Where is your source? What's the matter? The factsa aren't on your side?

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    "And? 19% of Obama's voters said gender of their candidate was important. What's your point?"

    Was this in WV ? I truly hadn't heard that. It has been found repeatedly, ironically, that people are more upfront about their sexism than racism. It was just a few years ago that Walmart boughed to pressure to remove a t-shirt that said " Someday a woman will be President"

    Many HC supporters seem to want to pin her catastrophic campaign on sexism. Unfortunately for them, there is so much figurative and illustrative evidence to suggest a horribly run campaign, that they just come off as...dare I say it...bitter.

  • head out of the clouds (unverified)
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    Hate to tell you this, but it was a big show, a free rock concert so to speak on a beautiful day and a lot of non-voters, Republicans, Hillary supporters were there to see the spectacle. I have talked to several undecided voters who are still leaning Hillary after attending the event. And several who were frightened into solid Hillary support by the mind-mush Obamaton-mania.

  • Melanie (unverified)
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    She hasn't had a catastrophic campiagn. She had a poor caucus strategy. She's outperformed Obama for the past two months. Some front-runner.

    "Are you saying he's being unwise and offensive?" Absolutely. Look, if you are for BO, or against HRC, fine. But calling her supporters racist is not wise. I fail to see how you think BO can win a GE if all these Democrats are such racists. Really, do yourself a favor, stop patting yourself on the back, and accept that some voters are more attracted to her message, and some are more attracted to Obama's.

  • David Dorn (unverified)
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    "There was just an AP article posted that found how Senator Obama's support among working _ hardworking Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how the, you know, whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."

    Hillary Clinton said that! You were saying, Melanie????

  • Melanie (unverified)
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    Clumsy but factual.

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    "Absolutely. Look, if you are for BO, or against HRC, fine. But calling her supporters racist is not wise."

    Tell it to Hillary's people then; they're calling their own supporters racist.

    On what basis has Hillary outperformed him in the last two months? On what metric? Most classless displays? Most ugly and divisive comments? Biggest kiss on McCain's ass? Most money borrowed? Worst political spouse?

  • david Dorn (unverified)
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    Wow! Days before a primary in WV where we now know AT LEAST 20% of white voters considered race an important factor she said that and you have the nerve to criticixe bama supporters for simply pointing out that racism is a factor in WV! Wow!!

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    "Some front-runner"

    Pins the unintentional hilarity meter!

  • Melanie (unverified)
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    On what basis has Hillary outperformed him in the last two months?

    Most wins, most votes.

  • j_luthergoober (unverified)
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    There's Swahili saying - "Polie polie ndio menedo" that sums up Baracks campaign beautifully; Slow and steady wins the race. Americans need to understand that politics and governance are not fast-food drive thrus; democracy is a huge meandering system that serves a quarter billion people. American democracy was never pegged to some sort of post Super-Tuesday coronation...

    America doesn't need any more fighters, we have plenty of those both here and abroad; what we do need is a reverent thinker.

  • David Dorn (unverified)
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    Melanie: If Obama went to NC and said in an interview that college educated white voters and African Americans were supporting him, what would you think of that? But Obama wouldn't do that. He doesn't divide people the way HRC does.

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    "On what basis has Hillary outperformed him in the last two months?

    Most wins, most votes."

    Well, technically since March 18 that's correct, since there weren't any races from late March to late April.

    Obama has won more contests and won more delegates from March 4th on, or since March 8th as well if you prefer.

  • hlr (unverified)
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    DH: Was this in WV ?

    No, sorry, MS, a big blow-out state for BO. I just went back and double-checked ... 19.32% (% who said that gender was a factor * Obama % share).

    My source is the actual exit poll.

    Both race and gender have been factors that the candidates have both benefited from and been hurt by. I still don't understand why nullification of possible racial bias is proactive while gender bias is considered 'excuse-making.'

  • Mary (unverified)
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    At this point, I am so sick of the hate-filled remarks and slander from Hillary supporters at BlueOregon that I could vomit.

    I will never vote for Hillary. She has demonstrated by her rovian campaign that she is unfit.

  • Daaaaave (unverified)
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    Hi,

    Salon has been shit since Joan Walsh took over as editor.

    Chris #12 can gtf. No one cares about your parsing "will" vs "would". Vote however you want. Lots of idiots will.

    Melanie, I'll take a meaningless speech against war over "speaking up against pre-emption" and a vote for war any day. You are also pretty shit at made up metrics and numbers that don't mean anything.

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    Thank you Melanie for the source. I think the difference has been in presentation. When HC supporters , a small number granted, make a big deal of words like "sweetie" and when you have spokespeople like Ferraro, Wolfson and McCauliffe, it just diminishes the quality of discussion and real womens issues. People read, see or hear that and it just makes them seem rather silly.

    For the record, while I may not agree with all of your assertions, you have at least not appeared hysterical.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    FWIW, it always bothered me that HC was always referred to by first name.

    DITTO. Talk about infantilizing a woman. Is it necessary to point out that this usage was adopted by Senator Clinton herself? And by her supporters?

    Re: Portland May 18:Hate to tell you this, but it was a big show, a free rock concert so to speak on a beautiful day and a lot of non-voters, Republicans, Hillary supporters were there to see the spectacle. I have talked to several undecided voters who are still leaning Hillary after attending the event. And several who were frightened into solid Hillary support by the mind-mush Obamaton-mania.

    I don't follow the "hate to tell you" rigamarole. Why assume that everyone who attended was a rapid Obama supporter? Yo, I happen to support Obama, and I went to see Hillary Clinton speak in Hillsboro back in May. Try to wrap your mind around the idea that intelligent voters actually try to collect information and hear the candidates. And give me a break about people being "frightened into" support Clinton by "Obamaton-mania". Obama supporters are looking at the choices and making a rational decision, just as you are.

    do yourself a favor, stop patting yourself on the back, and accept that some voters are more attracted to [Clinton's] message, and some are more attracted to Obama's.

    OF COURSE.

    Geez Louise, folks, this is the closest contest for the Democratic Party nomination for decades. It's damn near a 50/50 split. STOP BULLYING EACH OTHER.

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    53%-47% in total delegates, actually.

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    I see that Hartmann was in the tank with me on the Senate Majority Leader/Supreme Court Justice idea. We did disagree on the VP idea, but I'm not adamant about that one. If both of the principals like it, I wouldn't oppose...though I still like the Webb idea.

    Did anyone see the Jonathan Tilove article in the Sunday O?

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Ok, here's a map of where Hillary won greater than 65% of the vote. Here's a map of Appalachia. Here's what Appalachians have been saying to reporters that we haven't been hearing elsewhere:

    AP Video:

    I guess because he is another race. It — I'm sort of scared of the other race because we have so much conflict with them.

    WaPo:

    One Pittsburgh union organizer told her he would not vote for Obama because he is black, and a white voter, she said, offered this frank reason for not backing Obama: "White people look out for white people, and black people look out for black people." One caller, Switzer remembers, said he couldn't possibly vote for Obama and concluded: "Hang that darky from a tree!" At Scranton's annual Saint Patrick's Day parade, some of the green Obama signs distributed by staffers were burned along the parade route. According to Seifert, the woman pointed to Obama's face on Seifert's T-shirt and said: "He's a half-breed and he's a Muslim. How can you trust that?" On Election Day in Kokomo, a group of black high school students were holding up Obama signs along U.S. 31, a major thoroughfare. As drivers cruised by, a number of them rolled down their windows and yelled out a common racial slur for African Americans, according to Obama campaign staffers.

    There are many more examples where those came from. Now, I'm sorry, but people just are not burning Obama signs on people's lawns, yelling the n-word at children on the street, etc., in Oregon. Of course there are racist people here, too, but there is clearly something different happening in Appalachia.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Also, Melanie, Clinton has performed better in the last couple months by the slimmest of margins, not because she's doing better nationally — national polls show Obama higher than at any point before — but because there have been late contests in Appalachia. PA and WV are where Clinton has received the bulk of her votes lately. There's no shift to Clinton in the national dynamics, Clinton is just getting the late Appalachian contests. She'll do quite well in KY, too, and, gee, that just happens to be another Appalachian state.

    Also, when you say we shouldn't point out the greater presence of racism in Appalachian society so as not to disparage Clinton voters, you seem a lot like the people I was telling Katy about, those who won't acknowledge sexism or racism because of which candidate they support.

  • tl (unverified)
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    Claiming the other side is "racist" or "sexist" may make one feel morally superior but it accomplishes nothing positive. Those who actually are motivated by racism or sexism will likely not see themselves in your claim or they won't even care. Those who are not motivated by race or sex will be insulted and further inflamed by the guilt-by-association. And those who are undecided will likely be turned off by the whole conversation and simply choose to disengage not to vote for either side.

    Have there been racist and sexist remarks? Yes. Does it make sense to call them out when they occur? Yes. But to generalize the characteristics of an individual, a group, or even a whole state and claim it is descriptive of most or all of the people who voted the same way in my mind approaches becoming that which you condemn.

    Convince me to support your candidate/platform by its merits, by facts, and thoughtful discussion. Please refrain from attacking the platform or candidate you oppose. Remember that good, thoughtful, and decent people can arrive at different conclusions.

    -tl

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Wow, I'm quite careful with my tags, and I remember closing that one, but maybe I erred. Let's try this.

    Anyway, I wasn't trying to say that most or all Appalachians are racist, I was pointing out that they (a) vote very differently, and that they (b) live in a much different racial environment than we do — not in terms of racial makeup, but in terms of racial attitudes. And I do beleive the environment one is exposed to has an effect on one's attitudes and opinions — and that is not code for "you're racist because your neighbor is." Rather, that's a statement that has certainly been as true for me as I know it is for others. And I do believe that if we want to understand, anthropologically or strategically, what factors contribute to the fact that KY and OR voters of the same race, age, education and income levels will be voting much differently, we should examine some screamingly obvious cultural differences.

  • david Dorn (unverified)
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    "There was just an AP article posted that found how Senator Obama's support among working _ hardworking Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how the, you know, whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."

    -Hillary Rodham Clinton

    Sure, lets ignore the fact that racism is going on. Even though HRC herself was out there race-baiting says before the WV primary!

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    Just as it's becoming old to talk about all Clinton supporters as racist (I don't believe that they all are) am becoming very, very weary of Obama supporters being painted as sexist.

    Obama has won the women's vote in more states than Clinton has. He will also win the women's vote in Oregon.

    I am a former staffer at NOW and currently serve on a national NOW committee. I am an Obama supporter. The head of NOW's Mothers and Caregivers Economic Rights Committee, Judith Statman Tucker, is a key leader of the Obama campaign in New Hampshire. The lead writer of Activistas, a mother's activism group in Portland, is an Obama supporter. Several of NOW's chapters have endorsed Obama. And of course, hundreds and hundreds of female superdelegates have endorsed Obama.

    I am not supporting Obama in spite of my feminism, I am supporting him because of it.

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    Melanie,

    I agree with your general position -- it's not true and rude and just stupid to attribute the bad or problematic motives of a minority of supporters of one candidate to all of them. I firmly believe that a large majority of Hillary's supporters are her supporters because they believe she'd make the best president.

    However, that cuts both ways. The very good and interesting article that Katy cites (in which btw most of the women having troubling experiences with some male Obama supporters are still voting for Obama), the widespread press misogyny etc. do not mean that Obama supporters are supporting him because they are anti-woman, can't deal with strong women etc.

    Likewise with accusations that somehow Obama supporters are less rational or more emotional in their attachment to their candidate than Clinton supporters. In fact both candidates inspire strong emotional loyalty, some of which unfortunately has gotten misdirected into attacks on supporters of the other or smears of the candidates.

    But Melanie, I do hope you are making the same arguments to Hillary supporters who are invoking "electability" arguments based on claims that pro-Hillary voters in states she's been winning are voting against Obama because of his race, rather than positively voting for her. And I wish you would actually call those people out around here, when they make that argument. Because they are also doing just what you rightly reject. And their doing so contributes to the false generalizations which some Obama supporters make.

    Thanks James X. and darrelplant for some great comments.

    Reality Check, what darrel wrote on the votes is spot on. Further, you seem to be under the impression that Congress force the war powers resolution on Bush. He asked for those powers. What is your argument that a Democratic president would have asked for them?

    He was also directly responsible for legislation that gave us: The EPA, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, the Consumer Product Safety Act, OSHA, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Freedom of Information Act, etc.

    This is highly exaggerated. Except for the Consumer Product Safety Act, the rest of these originate in much broader social movements in which Nader played a role, sometimes a significant one, but in which it wouldn't be true to say he was the main leader, and in some cases debatable whether he was even a main leader.

    The thing which both pro- and anti-Nader people ignore that I see as an important legacy that will outlast him regardless of the presidential stuff is the organizations he built. Public Citizen, e.g., exists independently of Nader. His building it to be that way is the best argument against the ego accusations. It's not the only one he built.

  • Anon (unverified)
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    FYI, If anyone lost a ten-dollar-bill at the event... just so you know it's been donated to the Obama campaign.

  • david Dorn (unverified)
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    Kristin: You made some excellent points in your post, but NOBODY "talk(ed) about all Clinton supporters as racist" Myself and others have pointed out that race was a significant factor in recent elections. The exit polls proved that. 20% of white voters in WV admitted race was a factor in their vote. And HRC proved she was not above exploiting that fact when she made her crass & offensive quote that I referenced in my previous post.

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    David -- you're right-- bad choice of words.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    Is it me, or do I see (reading this thread) that Clinton supporters are just a little bit too uptight, pushy, and seem to have some chip on thier shoulder (like thier leader)?

  • Red (unverified)
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    FYI Kool Ade drinkers ... Barry Obama has lost in nearly all of the big electoral states.... Popular vote does not win the White House

  • Harry Kershner (unverified)
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    Chris Lowe said, "But Obama's foreign policy and military people are not neocons, coming rather from the self-annointed 'realist' school."

    You apparently have allowed some facts to escape down the memory hole:

    The founder of the "realist school" was the despicable war criminal, Henry Kissinger. "Realists" believe that mankind is self-centered and competitive, in contrast to the approach of liberalism, for example. Further, "realists" believe that states are inherently aggressive and that territorial expansion is only constrained by military or economic domination. Ask the Chileans or the Viet Namese or the Nicaraguans or the Cambodians, or...

    So the difference between the neocons and the realists is not so apparent, is it? Like the difference between Obama, Clinton and McCain.

  • Garrett (unverified)
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    David Dorn: Wow I am so surprised that I would be treated that way after standing in line for so long. I geuss free speech really is dead and even your campaign is willing to squelch any voice that has not been prescreened and preapproved. How sad.

    Did you miss the event notice that said specifically that you couldn't bring signs? You can't be mad at them for taking something away that they told you not to bring.

    Red:FYI Kool Ade drinkers ... Barry Obama has lost in nearly all of the big electoral states.... Popular vote does not win the White House

    Are we Obama supporters really the Kool Aid drinkers? Last I checked Barack is winning in delegate total which is how a primary is won. This isn't the general election bud. You seem to be the one drinking the Kool Aid.

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    Eric,

    Yeah, I think it's just you. Actually, as somebody who's already voted for Obama, it really bugs me that you talk about Hillary Clinton that way.

    I don't think it's true. I think "pushy" in particular is grossly offensive.

    Also, I think it's really, really stupid, if you really do support Obama -- not that you are in general, but that to say these things is.

    The fact of the matter is that either of our candidates will need the large majority of supporters of the other to beat McCain.

    Insulting the other candidate doesn't help with that. Nor does insulting his or her supporters. You're doing both. Are you a troll, or just not thinking?

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    "Are we Obama supporters really the Kool Aid drinkers? Last I checked Barack is winning in delegate total which is how a primary is won. This isn't the general election bud. You seem to be the one drinking the Kool Aid."

    Every day, Clinton seems to add even more sweetner to the already sugary Kool-Aid she has seemed to shower down the throats of her very-willing, over-enthusiastic, and uptight followers.

    I would not be suprised if she started to wear the robes that go with that Kool-Aid soon.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    For what it's worth, it is virtually impossible to identify trolls, a fact that ought to serve as a cautionary warning to those with thin skins. The postings that wind up inflaming readers might well be INTENDED for that purpose. Think about it.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    For what it's worth, it is virtually impossible to identify trolls, a fact that ought to serve as a cautionary warning to those with thin skins. The postings that wind up inflaming readers might well be INTENDED for that purpose. Think about it.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Red: Obama is way ahead of McCain in NY, CA, MA, NJ, etc. Those are the easy states.

  • Harry Kershner (unverified)
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    Kudos to Reality Check and Chris #12.

    The reason there is no democratic party among the two corporate defined and controlled entities is that Democrats continuously find means to keep not only progressive third party candidates off the ballots and out of debates, but also their own progressive membership. Ask Kucinich.

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    Gallup National Daily Poll 5/18/08 of D voters and likely D voters:

    O:55 C:39

  • david Dorn (unverified)
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    Garrett: actualli yes I did miss that notice about the signs. I didn't know about the rally until someone mentioned it to me the day before the event, and I just showed up. Somone did approach me while I was in line way back in the park blocks and said they were only allowing signs that were made at the sign painting party and they might take mine. But he told me the main reason for the rule was to make sure everyone stays "on message" And since mine didn't say anything controversial, it might be allowed. What does that mean?? We have had an administration for the last eight years that was very "on message". Is controlling peoples' speech really the way we as democrats want to go? Also I think it was very rude of the guy who took my sign to taunt me with the "I'm a Beaver fan" remark. Was THAT on message??

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    Harry Kershner,

    No, I disagree. There is an apparent difference between the so-called realists (an ideological term of art for old-fashioned machtpolitik -- Kissinger wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on Metternicht, whom he admired) and the neocons, which is that the "realists" acknowledge that the U.S. too is constrained by power. As a result they are somewhat less likely to engage in adventurist aggression like the Iraq invasion, particularly on that scale with concommitantly large potential unintended consequences. It's enough of a difference to make a difference to me. (And of course they don't all agree.)

    But let's review. McCain, Clinton and Obama aren't so very different in the big picture you say. So voting for one or another of them won't make a difference worth thinking about. And also, casting an abstention protest vote for McKinney, Nader, Eugene V. Debs or my old dead cat Rutherford B. Hayes won't make a difference either, since one of the first three is going to get elected anyway.

    What could make a difference? Well, maybe a mass popular movement. I'm curious, do you live in the Portland area? Are you involved in organizing? Or do you just advocate abstention voting?

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    Beaver fans aren't noted for being very cooth ! JK.

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    "I don't think it's true. I think "pushy" in particular is grossly offensive. "

    She's not pushy? Come on. She's been out of the race since March 4th, and has been primarily lying about her status and leaning on superdelegates since then (to almost zero effect). That's not pushy? Just because someone wants to build a gender frame around that word, I'd call any candidate of either sex pushy for this behavior.

    Pushy is as pushy does. When she stops disgracing herself and the party by finally admitting defeat, we can stop calling her out for such pathetic behavior.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Dorn, it really is pretty common for homemade signs to be confiscated because of security, and not just by the Obama campaign. I suspect the person you talked to had just figured on his own why the signs were confiscated, or had talked to someone else who had done the same. As you said, your sign wasn't controversial. It wasn't about the message. It could have said "CHANGE WE CAN BELIVE IN" and still have been taken.

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    Ok, here's a map of where Hillary won greater than 65% of the vote. Here's a map of Appalachia.

    Wow. Maybe we should just make Appalachia its own state. They could have two US Senators - and we'd have progressive majorities in all states that used to include Appalachia.

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    "I don't think it's true. I think "pushy" in particular is grossly offensive. "

    She's not pushy? Come on. She's been out of the race since March 4th, and has been primarily lying about her status and leaning on superdelegates since then (to almost zero effect).

    Not surprised that Chris Lowe's point is lost on you TJ.

    For the rest of us, try this:

    Select an adjective to describe Clinton. Apply it to a male candidate. If it sounds goofy when applied to a male, but right on target when applied to Clinton, you're probably using sexist language, and we don't need that crap at this time of heightened sensitivity.

    It serves no constructive purpose, and is likely to alienate people that you need to have on your side throughout the summer and fall.

  • Katy (unverified)
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    Thank you Chris and Pat! I really have had a hard time throughout this election, I'm so tired of hearing my supposedly progressive male friends constantly referring to Clinton as a "bitch," etc. I really don't care who anyone votes for in the primary, I just wish that some of the language from the beginning hadn't been as harsh and sexist. It makes me feel like we're not as progressive as I thought we were out here in Oregon. Would anyone ever call Obama pushy? Of course not.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    What I said was not sexist, Pat...

    "Select an adjective to describe Clinton. Apply it to a male candidate. If it sounds goofy when applied to a male.."

    Sam Adams, Randy Leonard, and Mannix are also extremely pushy and very uptight. Along with Clinton, they really need to calm down and have stress management counciling.

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    boy, that salesguy at circuit city sure was pushy, wasn't he?

    Passes the test, looks like!

    Does anyone really think calling Cheney a dickhead is sexist? No one would call Hillary that, surely, because it means unpleasant man. Bitch means unpleasant woman. Not too hard to parse, really, and there's a difference between gender specific and sexist.

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    Chris Lowe said:

    Further, you seem to be under the impression that Congress force the war powers resolution on Bush. He asked for those powers. What is your argument that a Democratic president would have asked for them?

    Damn, and right after Chris thanked me for the stats on the AUMF vote.

    While Further got the vote figures entirely wrong, I have to agree with Further that I think it's entirely possible that a Gore/Lieberman White House might have gone to war in Iraq, particularly if the 9/11 plan -- which had been planned and under way before the 2000 election -- had still be successful, which it could easily have been.

    There were and awful lot of people pulling for a war with Iraq, and there had been since 1998 when Congress overwhelmingly (even Dennis Kucinich!) voted for a bill calling for the ouster of Saddam Hussein and providing funding to Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress. Lieberman had been jumpy and berating his colleagues about attacking Iraq in 1998; one of the reasons I wasn't particularly happy about Gore's selection of him as VP candidate.

    There were plenty of ways for crappy intelligence to make it to the world stage, and they didn't need George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to necessarily make the case. There would have been plenty of Republicans pressing the issue, and if they'd managed to turn it into an off-year election issue -- as it was in 2002 -- what we might have seen was something similar to the caving-in of the 40% of the Democrats who did vote for the AUMF.

    Even George McGovern was persuaded by party leadership to support the Gulf of Tonkin resolution by an argument that LBJ needed it to beat Barry Goldwater. If a (then-)DEmocratic hawk like Lieberman had been pushing for an Iraq invasion as vice president, an Iraq AUMF might have looked more like the overwhelming GoT vote.

    Despite the majority of Democrats in Congress who voted against the AUMF, an awful lot of them -- including the party leadership -- voted for it, without any evidence. It might have come down to Gore being able to withstand the political pressure put on him to take out Saddam from Republicans in Congress, his handpicked VP, and supposed Democratic foreign policy experts like Joe Biden who wanted to jut their jaws out and look strong for their next presidential run. Oh, and don't forget the DLC consultants who told John Edwards and others they should support it or the Republicans would get all the glory of the big Iraq win.

  • SHAWN (unverified)
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    WITH OBAMA BEING OUR NEXT PREISDENT HE WOULD CHANGE THE WORLD THANKS PORTLAND FOR SHOWING THOSE RACIST STATES LIKE WEST VIRGINIA WHATS UP I HAVE BEING THERE TO WEST VIRGINIA AND ITS NOT PRETTY THOSE FOLK CANT HARDLY READ MOST LESS VOTE FOR THE CORRECT PERSON FOR PRESIDENT TOO MUCH INBREEDING THEY REALLY DO LOOK FUNNY LIKE THE HAPSBURG ( A ROYAL FAMILY BACK IN THE 1700S WHO COULD ONLY MARRY PEOPLE WITH THE ROYAL BLOOD AND MOST OF THE TIMES IT WAS THERE SISTER) NASTY NASTY

  • Harry Kershner (unverified)
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    darrelplant argues well that Gore was certainly capable of attacking Iraq. I would add this Gore gem from one of the Bush/Gore debates in 2000:

    Bush/Gore debate on Iraq "I was one of the few members of my political party to support former President Bush in the Persian Gulf War resolution, and at the end of that war, for whatever reason, it was not finished in a way that removed Saddam Hussein from power. I know there are all kinds of circumstances and explanations. But the fact is that that's the situation that was left when I got there. And we have maintained the sanctions. Now I want to go further." (Notice his pride in having maintained the sanctions.)

    Chris Lowe: You said the realists "are somewhat less likely to engage in adventurist aggression like the Iraq invasion", but Kissinger, the father of the realists, was as capable of advising slaughter, torture and domination as any of the Bush neocons. Perhaps you're referring to some technical philosophical difference.

    I object to your calling my active engagement in the Nader campaign "an abstention protest vote". In my opinion, a vote for your old dead cat Rutherford B. Hayes is better spent than a vote for a corporate dominated hegemonist. In answer to your sarcasm, I live in Portland and I do more than just abstain from voting for corporatists.

  • dori (unverified)
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    Chris #12 - Obama got me a little panty-ruffled talking about the war, too - but he still got my vote on the other stuff... i'll be thrilled if he can get at least an eighth of al his ambitious goals accomplished and hope to see the guy in the white house. BLACK house!

  • Valerie (unverified)
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    Wow! OREGON is different from the rest of the nation, we know that. Obama was projected to win and he did by 17%. At the same time, Hillary Clinton won 35% margin in Kentucky, but the media overshadowed that because they do have an agenda. It is Pro Obama. But lets’ get real about rallies and events. People from both sides go to listen and hear what may possibly be new, or those that were undecided to help make their choice. But the truth behind the Portland “CONCERT” is that it was a free concert and that he “Obama” wisely capitalized on the timing and that the media once again distorted the truth. Take a look for yourself and read the truth.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/robert-knight/2008/05/20/free-concert-popular-band-preceded-obama-s-big-rally

    I know what to expect with John McCain as President. But with Barack Obama – it is a mystery. I’m all for Hope but I need substance. All the talk about CHANGE doesn’t amount to anything without action. Explain this: Obama says he didn’t vote for the Iraq war and that has been a big part of his platform. But honestly he didn’t become Senator until 2004 and the war was voted on and started in 2003. Lends to credibility from the get go. Words do matter. Too many times he wants his actions or words dismissed but holds others accountable down to the letter.

    I know what to expect with Hillary Clinton (She gives specifics and has a plan for Oregon and our specific needs - http://www.hillaryclinton.com/hq/oregon/compact/compact.aspx). You can also see what she has actually accomplished in out of the Senate as well as so many things for children.

    HILLARY CLINTON OUR NEXT PRESIDENT - SHE STANDS UP AND FIGHTS FOR ALL PEOPLE!

    That’s one reason Hillary Clinton has my support. By the way, I love people of all nationalities (my family is very colorful) and I’m proud to be an American.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    As I mentioned in the other thread...Valerie...would you, could you, please cut your daily dosage of that extra sweet Clinton Kool-Aid you have been enthusiastically guzzling. It's distorting the common sense areas of your brain.

    The vote is over now here in Oregon. Live with it and go bother the waiting sheep in Montana.

  • Valerie (unverified)
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    Eric, Yes you must be a true Obamamite - No substance in any argument, just whining and meaningless content. Obviously you are familiar with “Jimmy Jones” and have already drunk the “purple juice” of Obama and are his uneducated and uniformed minion. The game is not over, but I will leave this blog where you must be some interesting wing of the Democratic Party who forgot about being open minded. That is the same spirit that I have found from several other Obama followers. Shredding signs and scaring people from voting. So, is your hatefulness and arrogance a representation of your fearless leader, or is that just who you are? GOD save America if that is the case.

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    Valerie, sweetie, you really are a kick.

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