Obama's Long Tail

To understand Obama’s success, it is more appropriate to look at product marketing models like I-Tunes rather than to earlier political campaigns. His phenomenal success on Internet enabled him to ignore public financing spending limits (no candidate since Richard Nixon has done that), grab the nomination out from under Hillary Clinton and probably win the presidency of the United States. How’d he do that?

In retrospect we should have seen it coming. John McCain and Howard Dean pioneered Internet fundraising, but never really figured it out because they were still prisoners of the old message centric paradigm and they ignored the “long tails” of the population distribution. The Obama campaign, in contrast, is personality centric and more importantly understands that Internet makes it possible to drill down into the population in a way that was unprofitable just a few years ago.

The personality centric approach is obvious. Obama’s message differed very little from Hillary Clinton’s. His good looks, soothing voice and professionally choreographed events put him on top of her. Beyond that, Hillary is correct to some extent that she was the victim of subtle sexism. Obama, the cool man, trumps Hillary, the smart woman, when competing in a cool, personality centric contest.

But the personality centric approach would not have beaten Hillary’s money machine had the Obama team not had the input from the Internet. Here we have to look to the long tail. Although Obama still raises most of his money from old fashioned big donors & bundlers, he has tapped the long tails for thousands of small donors. Tapping the long tail also allows the involvement of the less committed. There is no reason to believe the small donors are poor; they are just not giving very much. The ease of using the Internet makes it more likely.

Think of the Obama machine like I-Tunes. I-Tunes feature millions of offerings. No store could possible carry this kind of selection and if they did nobody would be able to find anything. Most of the products don’t sell much. It would not be worth it to market to such small customer bases. But Internet means there is almost no marginal cost. Suddenly it becomes profitable and possible to reach the long tails. It is still true that the most popular songs on I-Tunes (or the biggest donors for Obama) are worth much more than anything on the tails, but the mass of little sales is worth as much or more than the big individuals in the middle.

The long tail Internet strategy can be duplicated by other candidates and we can expect that it will be de rigour in 2010 and beyond. Unlike the case with I-Tunes or eBay, a political candidate cannot lock up the market by creating permanent relationships. Each election is a new game, with limited carryover from the last time.

I expect the next election will feature the new Internet paradigm with a more substantial issue based offering. This election cycle, the new marketing power was enough and Dems could offer a good looking guy w/o much substance. Next time, this will not be enough.

The analogy comes from Internet marketing during the dot.com craze of the late 1990s. Lots of people made piles of money in dot.coms w/o really having products. For a couple of years, it was enough to have a cool website and a hare-brained marketing plan. But as people became more sophisticated, they saw that the various emperors had no clothes and they demanded substance. Most of the dot.coms went bust. Those that survived had something people wanted to buy.

I regret to say that I believe there is a good chance Obama will win in November, chiefly because of the new use of the Internet. W/o that, he is NOT wildly popular. Hillary almost beat him in the end and she won most of the states where people actually voted, often by big margins – DESPITE Obama's heavy coin. I think the county will survive Obama's steep learning curve, but it will cost us. (Dare we say it is similar to that good lookin' experienced challenged big money guy from Texas a few years back) This learning experience will be a lot like the dot.com craze of the 1990s. We survived that too, but it tanked the economy for two years. If he doesn’t screw up Iraq too bad, we can live with it.

Posted by Jack at June 21, 2008 2:30 PM
Comments
Comment #256298

Jack I think you’re wrong. But first…

There are lots of really smart people who spend time on here. I’m amazed when I check in here once a week or so how much back and forth there is. I’m not amazed by the back and forth….I’m amazed at how small the group of posters is. Its the same people poking each other back and forth.

And let me admit that I’m not a smart man. Just a simple dude with a five year old laptop.

But back to Jack…I think you’re general point may be right - but your conclusion is definitely wrong.

The fleeting nature of the internet is not going to produce enough deep roots to carry this election. Just like the people who post here probably think they are “participating” well they are participating - but it is to such a narrow group as it’s just a big SO WHAT. The web may be good at raising money broadly and reaching out….but it is partly a mirage. He’s an inch thick and many miles wide. That does not inspire confidence. I just don’t believe a president will be elected like the winner of American Idol.

That beings said, now that he is the Dem candidate I think he deserves the shot to be scrutinized by all and if deemed to be the best choice then elected to run the country.

Sadly, that ain’t gonna happen. When it comes down to brass tacks and its time to pull the lever all alone in the privacy of the cubicle there is no way that he wins. The good ole boys down south, the union guys in the midwest, and the far right minded (though left hearted possible) just aint gonna pull the lever on barack HUSSEIN obama….aint gonna happen. The internet is not going to overcome the deep in the gut feelings…not yet anyway.

Forrest Gump

“Stupid is as stupid does.”

Posted by: Forrest Gump at June 21, 2008 4:23 PM
Comment #256301

Poll —————————- Date —————— Sample —- Obama (D) — McCain (R) — Spread
RCP Average ————- 06/12 - 06/20 —— ?? ———- 47.5 ——— 41.9 ———- Obama +5.6
USA Today/Gallup ——- 06/15 - 06/19 —- 1310 LV —- 50 ———— 44 ———— Obama +6.0
Newsweek ——————- 06/18 - 06/19 —- 896 RV —— 51 ———- 36 ———- Obama +15.0
FOX News ——————- 06/17 - 06/18 —- 900 RV —— 45 ———— 41 ———- Obama +4.0
Gallup Tracking ———— 06/17 - 06/20 —- 2640 RV —- 46 ———— 44 ———- Obama +2.0
Rasmussen Tracking —- 06/18 - 06/20 —- 3000 LV —- 48 ———— 43 ———- Obama +5.0
Reuters/Zogby ———— 06/12 - 06/14 —- 1113 LV —- 47 ———— 42 ———- Obama +5.0
ABC News/Wash Post — 06/12 - 06/15 —- ?? ———- 49 ———— 45 ———— Obama +4.0
Cook/RT Strategies —- 06/12 - 06/15 —- 880 RV —— 44 ———— 40 ———- Obama +4.0
Ipsos ————————- 06/05 - 06/11 —- ?? ———— 50 ———— 43 ———- Obama +7.0
NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl- 06/06 - 06/09 —- 1000 RV —- 47 ———— 41 ——— Obama +6.0
Hotline/FD —————— 06/05 - 06/08 —- 806 RV —— 44 ———— 42 ———- Obama +2.0
IBD/TIPP ——————- 06/02 - 06/08 —- 916 RV —— 43 ———— 40 ———- Obama +3.0
CNN ————————— 06/04 - 06/05 —- 921 RV —— 49 ———— 46 ———- Obama +3.0
CBS News ——————- 05/30 - 06/03 —- 930 RV —— 48 ———— 42 ———- Obama +6.0

Contributions (as of 3-JUN-2008):
Candidate — # $200+ — % $200 or less — # $2,300+ — % $2,300+ — # $4,600 — % $4,600
Nader ————— 733 ——- 51% ———————- 50 ———- 18% —————- 2 ———- 2%
Obama ——— 141,658 ——- 45% —————- 28,315 ———- 28% ———- 2,652 ———- 5%
McCain ——— 52,564 ——- 24% ——————15,953 ———- 46% ———- 1,386 ———- 8%

It was interesting that FOX News showed a +4.0 lead for Obama while CNN showed a +3.0 lead for Obama.
I was expecting to see a bigger difference.
Both were less than Rasmussen’s +5.0 lead for Obama.
All show Obama has a lead, but Newsweek’s poll (showing +15.0 lead for Obama) doesn’t appear to have much credibility.
The numbers don’t look good for McCain.

Posted by: d.a.n at June 21, 2008 5:22 PM
Comment #256305

Forrest Gump, you assume a lot. Allow me to correct your assumption with some hard data. In the last 7 days there have been an average of 800 visits to this site, per day, and 2,400 page reads, or 3 page reads per visit. Subtract perhaps 30 of the same commenters visiting several times a day, and you can reduce those visits from 800 to an average of 730 per day.

Vastly more persons visit and read this site than leave comments or engage in the debate. Hence, WatchBlog does indeed fulfill its stated purpose located at the top right corner of the Front Page of the Web Site.

Some of the writers and passages found here are also quoted or linked to for discussions on other debate web sites, as if WatchBlog had a modicum of authority, which it does.

These facts do give some of us writers the hope and faith that our efforts are more important than, how did you put it: “well they are participating - but it is to such a narrow group as it’s just a big SO WHAT.”

I have watched perhaps a hundred or more writers come to WatchBlog, post one to a couple of articles, and disappear. It is not nearly as easy as many folks think to repetitively produce informed, sourced, thought out and reasoned written perspectives on the wide range of political topics, as it appears to some. The drop out rate amongst writers is testament to that.

There is a distinct difference between the comments to articles and the articles themselves. Anyone with fingers and a brain can leave their opinion or thoughts in the comments. It is quite something else to craft a perpspective, or informative article that evokes thoughtful and controversial responses on many sides of the issue contained in the article. And something again to create articles that give readers an “AhA! experience, seeing something in a different and relevant way.

OK. I am done stumping for WatchBlog’s writers. They are a relevant lot even if their audience is only 730 people per day in this last week. BTW, that number will be well over 2,000 per day in October. 14,000 readers per week seeking clarity from WatchBlog before the election is no frivolous act of debate between 30 or so who take the time and effort to participate and contribute to the discussion.

Multiply that by thousands and thousands of blogs and political debate and comment sites, and you have a public forum and activity that moves elections. It is a mistake of the grossest kind to interpret the commentors here at WB as being unrepresentative of an internet grass roots movement and revolution in American politics. WB is but a strand in a vast web of political activity and debate participated in by 10’s of millions of Americans, even if that participation is passive in the form of reading and becoming better informed.

My mother is 74 and is surfing political blogs this week. Anecdote, for sure. But, you can’t judge a revolution by WatchBlog’s cover.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 21, 2008 9:28 PM
Comment #256308

Jack said: “Obama’s message differed very little from Hillary Clinton’s.”

On many issues, Jack, that is true. But, on a couple, the difference was enormous. Hillary kept telling folks what she would do for them. Obama kept telling folks we have to do what needs done together. It is a monumental difference that plays to the psychology of American voters.

Hillary relied on PAC and Lobbyist contributions while dissing special interests. Obama dissed special interest influence and refused PAC and Lobbyist contributions. Monumental difference.

Hillary told us she knew the answers and would be ready with those answers on Day 1. Obama said the answers have to change with the circumstances though the questions may remain constant. He never professed to know all the answers, but, reiterated again and again that problems are best solved by gathering all the available information and expertise and charting the most effective solution from there and then. The difference was one of ideology vs. pragmatism. It was an enormous difference.

Just because the media and pundits did not pick up on these differences and give them the coverage their consequence may have deserved, does not mean these differences were lost on the voters. These differences are even more pronounced between McCain and Obama, as McCain professes to have the right answers based on vast experience, even as he errs again and again in his facts, data, and information. Obama continues to often say, it will depend on the circumstances and facts available at the time the decision needs to be made.

These differences are registering in the polls as d.a.n’s posting demonstrates. Spoke with my nephew, a young IT analyst, who said he was leaning toward Obama even though he likes most of McCain’s positions.

Think about that. My nephew has a very high IQ, is self taught in the computer world, and very logical in his approach to things. Think about what it means in light of what he said about the two candidates.

It means Obama instills more confidence in the process of leadership, even though he may not score as well in objectives. People believe, and not without merit, that if you approach problems in the correct way, you will solve more of them, and generally, in a better way.

Ideology says there is only one goal and one way to resolve a situation. (GW Bush’s ‘My Way or No Way”). Process says there are many ways to any end, and the quality of the outcome will usually depend on the way it is achieved. (Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent revolution).

These are fundamental differences, and subtle to the intellectual mind, but, they nonetheless register with the common sense and subconscious reaction to the candidates, and with demonstrable polling difference results.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 21, 2008 9:55 PM
Comment #256320

72% of Obama’s donations were given by those giving less than the maximum. While it’s true that not everybody can afford to give $200, many will gladly give five or ten, and not be unusual for it.

Additionally, those who have not reached their limit can give again within the same period, so the implications of such a broad approach are that his base can recharge his finances repeatedly over the next several months, simply by giving the same amounts as before. Obama’s approach means that the donors of this 45% have extra reserves. McCain’s 46% comes from people who have essentially given their limit to him as a general election candidate.

So, the distributed nature of this set up means that millions of small donors can add up to a large proportion of his fundraising (nearly half), and still have the money left over beneath that limit so that Obama can return to their well again and again. It’s not merely a gimmick, it’s a part of his success. It keeps his options open.

Let me reiterate: millions of small donors. You say thousands, but that’s not at all accurate. Only about 140 thousand gave more than 200.

The thing to keep in mind about his approach is that he appealled and still does appeal to many people because of the way he’s situated himself in relation to the direction folks are going. Instead of trying to straddle the fence, and try to sell people on the status quo, he’s committed himself to the public’s direction. It’s easier to appeal to people when you’re not trying to convince people that they’re naive or unqualified to think for themselves.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 21, 2008 11:40 PM
Comment #256321

David, those are mostly character issues and in no way indicative of better decision making.

I have little doubt about Obama’s character relative to other politicians, but it is a tenuous connection that you draw between his abilities to approach problems and solve them.

You suggest,

People believe, and not without merit, if you approach problems in the correct way, you will solve more of them, and generally, in a better way.

I do not believe that Obama has shown himself capable of approaching problems in “the correct way.” Even if we were to ignore his lack of experience, his rhetoric has failed to explain with specifics what exactly he can do for America.

Posted by: Zeek at June 22, 2008 12:10 AM
Comment #256322

Jack

I see you are still searching for ways to reason what has happened to your party. I feel I should say that jealousy and whining do not become you. You are a sharp guy. I would think you might be capable of analyzing the simplicities of these campaign anomalies you are struggling with.

It can not be denied that the internet has been a useful and practical tool for Obama. However to imply that if it were not for the internet the man of no substance would still be just another senator from Il is rather short sided on your part. Once again your issues with cool good looking people are coming to the surface.

I have thought about this some, and with the help of some thoughts from one of David Remer’s remarks, I can now see more clearly where our differences in opinion of Obama lie.

You can not understand how it is that a junior senator of little accomplishment in comparison to his more senior counterparts can hold so much credibility with such a large portion of the population. It really is quite simple. We have been without respectable capable leadership in this country for so long that we are literally starving for anyone who might possibly be capable of taking intelligent, thoughtful and reasoned approaches to our nations concerns. We are looking for a leader Jack. A person with the passion and heart to do what is right by the people of this country.

McCain has a past. A past in keeping with what currently ails this country. The same with Clinton. They both have established ties with all those shady unscrupulous people of influence who might just want to take advantage of our system. That type is not seen as good leaders. They are seen as managers who serve those who do not necessarily have our best interests in mind. As of yet, maybe because of lack of experience, Obama fails to fit into that mold. Experience does not necessarily make one a good leader. Sometimes it just comes down to recognition, communication, organizational ability and a cool calm demeanor in the face of adversity. Obama’s extremely successful campaign strategies to date have shown that he has all those leadership abilities and much more. It really is that simple. Not all things in life are as complicated as you would prefer them to be.

And if you haven’t noticed our economy is currently in the tank. And whether or not Iraq is as important and consequential as you think is truly just a matter of opinion at this point in time.

Posted by: RickIL at June 22, 2008 12:13 AM
Comment #256323

Zeek,

“Even if we were to ignore his lack of experience, his rhetoric has failed to explain with specifics what exactly he can do for America.”

If he only helps to change the dialogue so that we might work together, instead of against each other, he has done more than any President has done in quite a long time.

Posted by: Rocky at June 22, 2008 1:17 AM
Comment #256325

Real change begins within, I believe whoever wins the heart and mind of the blue collar wins.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 22, 2008 2:17 AM
Comment #256326

Zeek said: “I do not believe that Obama has shown himself capable of approaching problems in “the correct way.”

Far be it from me to try divorce a person from their beliefs.

The facts remain. When Iraq and fighting terrorism were Bush’s last polling stronghold, Obama was touting a different course, the course the majority of Americans came around to on their own.

The fact remains he has turned the status quo campaign finance world on its ear and slapped the PAC’s and Wealthy Lobbyist Contributors in the face - WHILE running for President. Something most Americans today would love to do.

The fact remains, when it came to the debate between McCain’s foreign policy advisor and Obama’s, there was little difference save for priorities of process. MaCain’s was to dictate to other nations from a position of strength. Obama’s was to rebuild a position of strength, and discuss the options with our adversaries, pressing for solutions with reasonable content and benefit for both sides. If the adversary refuses to discuss, refuses solutions, refuses reasonable options, it creates a climate of empathy with the U.S. and distrust of the adversary, positioning the U.S. to lead a multi-national effort to first nudge, then push, and then force the adversary to a reasonable solution for all, if necessary.

McCain’s advisor failed to recognize or acknowledge that America’s situation in fighting a 2 front war with a contracting economic rate of growth, is a weak position from which to unilaterally deal with Iran. Obama’s advisor readily recognized that we must rebuild our position of strength and military with a plan for recovery from Iraq, turning over Iraq’s security and problems to the Iraqis, and focusing like a laser on finally dealing with the sources of 9/11 in Afghanistan and Pakistan, beefing up the multi-national support and effort there.

It is a process approach that strengthens our position. The invasion of Iraq, a dictating from a position of strength, as with McCain’s approach to Iran, weakens our position also by demonstrating aggression and a might makes right value system that undermines America’s leadership among nations.

The fact remains that McCain’s economics is cut spending and cut taxes at the same time, and deficits will be erased. The American people have heard this from every Republican President for decades and each and everyone left office with a higher national debt. With rising demands on federal outlays, Mccain’s math doesn’t add up - it is a prescription for harm for millions of Americans.

The fact remains that Obama’s plan calls for increasing taxes on those capable of withstanding the increase without loss of quality of life, and like McCain, reducing the costs of health care, but not by depriving people of it as is the consequence of McCain’s privatization plans.

Perhaps Zeek, you are not aware of the Obama specifics, because you do not seek them out. I hasten to add, however, that he does not have specifics on all questions or future potentials. Having answers before a situation arises lends one to having the right answer, ONLY if the reality matches the answer. If not, the answer is imposed but doesn’t match the problem that actually arises. Iraq was a case in point.

It is a common phenomena of many in an election year to favor one over another without being informed of the other. Labels suffice for such folks, detail and facts are irrelevant. You do not appear to be one of those persons as your reasoned remarks would indicate.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 22, 2008 2:26 AM
Comment #256327
If he only helps to change the dialogue so that we might work together, instead of against each other, he has done more than any President has done in quite a long time.

Except he isn’t doing that, now is he?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2008 2:31 AM
Comment #256329

David,
Well said. You articulate some of Obama’s fundamental draws, especially in contrast with Hillary Clinton. It spells out some of what I have been thinking about Obama, and what has me more excited and interested in a particular candidate than I have been in a long time. It’s not his stand on any particular issue. Really, his platform resembles Hillary’s platform, it’s fairly standard liberal boilerplate with a dollop of common sense, and there are even similarties on a few issues between Obama and McCain. And I don’t agree with every stand Obama takes. I don’t expect that. I find the willingness to forge any kind of compromise on FISA and telecomm immunity absolutely excructiating. Rights are inablianable. The principle behind the 4th amendment is quite clear, and it is there for a good reason… but before I go any further sideways… What I like about Obama is more fundamental than any particular platform. It’s his approach to leadership, and the potential to form a concensus, and inspire.

Also, David, best wishes to your nephew.

Jack,
Obama’s use of the internet is noteworthy. Gravel did some great stuff too. But after all is said and done, no amount of internet savvy will make a political campaign by itself. It is the person that makes the campaign. And despite his chosen vocation of politician, Obama comes across as a fundamentally decent person.

Posted by: phx8 at June 22, 2008 3:07 AM
Comment #256333

Gump

Do you mean you disagree with me that Obama will probably win the election or with the analysis of how he will do it?

Stephen & David

I think the model I talk about did work for Obama and I am pretty sure Hillary would have won w/o it.

There are many ways of looking at the same information. Sometimes they are all valid. It is true that most of Obama’s donators are small guys.


David conveniently provided links to Factcheck.org. In Obam’s Lame Claims About McCain’s Money, factcheck points out that only 0.7% of McCain’s money came from lobbyists. It is also true that Obama gets most of his money from big donors or bundlers.

I tried to explain how all these things can be true at the same time. One more time. What is the average of 10 +20 +100 + 2000? Got the answer? Now, do most of the donors give 100 or yes. Got that answer? Where does MOST of the money come from?

RickIl

At this time I am actually more interested (from the scientific point of view) in trying to figure out how Obama beat HILLARY. I think that is the analysis that needs to be done. That way you don’t have to figure in the partisan angle.

McCain is actually doing remarkably well given the general malaise you correctly identify. I believe that Obama is the front runner and the odd-on favorites, but McCain still has a chance and that is remarkable given the media and public climate.

Phx8

I agree that it is the person and in this case the personality. Obama is has the right characteristics for this year. He is a good speaker, attractive and w/o significant experience that can be attacked. It is actually very similar to the Jimmy Carter race in 1976, where the outsider can actually sell what is he is NOT. Obama’s mixed race heritage is also a great advantage, despite all the gnashing of teeth you hear about. It is a perfect storm.

I would not mind so much if he were no so darned liberal and inexperienced.

Posted by: Jack at June 22, 2008 4:12 AM
Comment #256339

Jack, While I’m not quite sure what to make of this article, I’ll give you my impressions.

Frankly, I had never heard of the concept of the long tail, for that I thank you. I’m not quite sure of the logical leap you take from this concept to the dot.com bust. It wasn’t their long tails that that bankrupted them.

Beyond that flaw, I’m not sure how you get to where any of the candidates had a more normal distribution than Obama. They all have long tails, but Obama may be more effective in reaching his segment.

But none of that is what made me read your post. It was the headline. As I read it, I could see how you derived the headline. Given that this is a politcal blog and pretty much anything goes, it isn’t surprising what anyone will do here.

Given that I know you are very intelligent, and that you reside in Virginia, when not globe trotting, I’m sure you realize anyone would do a double take on the headline.

You didn’t call Obama a porch monkey, in fact you made no racist allusions at all. Except you did. I can imagine you snorkling up your sleeve as you typed it. Like a school boy engaging in a prank, the smirk gives you away.

Smart, slick people can get away with things. Should we let them? I don’t intend to. The civilized world has changed. Obama is proof of that. He will be even more substantive proof when elected. The breed of racist morons that stoop to innuendo and baser instincts is waning. Thanks for reminding us of that.

Posted by: googlumpus at June 22, 2008 7:53 AM
Comment #256342

Jack-
Obama refused lobbyist’s money, period. He refused PAC Money, period. If it’s such a small proportion of his money, why doesn’t he take the slight hit and give it up?

Maybe it would offend his friends. Friends who do his bundling for him. You talk about Obama’s bundlers, what about yours? You’ve got more lobbyists working as bundlers than anybody in the campaign, and if that wasn’t enough, leaders in his campaign, like Charlie Black and Rick Davis are themselves lobbyists. He may not get a bunch of money from lobbyists, relative to his total take, but he is getting plenty through them, and they are leading his campaign.

Obama has not been so generous with them, and he doesn’t have McCain’s reformer reputation to uphold. The fact remains that 46% of your candidate’s money is coming from those who give the maximum. Now, you can quibble about the likelihood of the average person being able to give $100 dollars, but I can certainly say that it’s very unlikely that McCain is getting that 46% mainly from the Middle Class.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 22, 2008 8:30 AM
Comment #256345

Jack

At this time I am actually more interested (from the scientific point of view) in trying to figure out how Obama beat HILLARY.

I believe I understand what it is you are after. Maybe this is beyond me, but I can not imagine how one would break down human behavior into equations. It is simply too random and unpredictable to attain an absolute conclusion. My 56 years of participation in human behavior says that a large part of Hillary’s downfall had more to do with a lack of genuine presence of conviction than substance on issues. Of course I can not say with certainty that she is not a person of as much conviction as Obama. There is something in her style, presence and manner of speaking that lacks that perception of honest heartfelt conviction. And I will add that the same applies to McCain when I am watching him try to present his case. I simply do not feel it. That coupled with a circumspect past parlays into a jumble of mixed emotions which do not equate to completely credible individuals. Or at least not as credible as Obama.

Posted by: RickIL at June 22, 2008 10:06 AM
Comment #256347

Jack

I felt I should add to the above that I think in order for one to present conviction well they must truly have it. It is a very difficult thing for one who does not hold a particular conviction to convince seasoned humans that they are genuine in a particular belief. Anyone who has been around for a while will see right through it, or at the very least it will raise a reasonable doubt. Myself and apparently millions of others have reason to believe that Obama’s message is heartfelt and genuine, or at the very least much more so than his counterparts.

Posted by: RickIL at June 22, 2008 10:19 AM
Comment #256350

Google

I did use the “long tail” title as an attention grabber, as I often do with my titles. I honestly did not think of any racial angle. I don’t really think of Obama as black. He is kind of post-racial, like Tiger Woods. That is one thing I like about him.

When I read your comment, I thought of changing it so as not to appear racist, but that would REALLY be racist. Isn’t it more racist to see racism everywhere.

In my earlier post, I thought of writing that Obama’s pants were on fire or nose was as long as telephone wire (you know, from the kid’s saying). I decided not to do it because it didn’t sound good. But I suppose somebody would have found a racist undertone in that too.

So I think people should just lighten up and get over it. It is easy to interpret and misinterpret anything. Talking about Obama’s long tail is amusing. It is not racist AND it applies to the article. I didn’t use any racial intent. Anybody who thinks I did can just go jump in the lake. I just don’t care.

Re Virginia – I live in Fairfax County, among the most diverse places in the U.S. My kids had friends from all over the world and all racial groups. One day I saw the kids making fun of the hair of somebody I thought was a black kid. I told the kids they shouldn’t do that and to my surprise the kids told me that I was just being silly. They didn’t see any real significance in it any more than somebody in our older generation might make between a guys with blond hair and a guy with red hair.

Virginia was part of the old South, but there have been lots of developments since then. I don’t think in those old racial terms anymore. My experience tells me they are stupid. You guys should abandon them too.

BTW – I use the term “long tail” a lot. It is a marketing/communication term. Now that you mention it, I expect lots of people I talk to don’t really know what I am talking about. Most don’t admit it, however. Another term I am familiar with is the “curse of knowledge”. That means that when you know something, you think everybody else does too and so you might have trouble explaining things. I will keep that in mind.

Stephen

As I recall the figures YOUR candidate gets more than 50% of his money from contributors giving the individual maximum of $2300. There is not a significant difference. Money is money. He has lots of small donors. Good. It doesn’t take away from the significance of bundlers. If a guy bundles a 1000 checks for $100, HE gets the credit for contributing 100,000.00.

Obama is using money to buy the election. Whether is money is cleaner or not, he is USING it the way a money politician always does.

RickIl

Hillary had it almost locked. She controlled the levers and the money. She also won more total votes than Obama. It is very interesting how he beat her. I don’t really think we will come with answers here. The long tail is one explanation.

BTW – I don’t see Obama as honest as you do. I think he is largely a hollow man upon whom people have been able to hang their hopes and aspirations, precisely because he doesn’t have any real history to contradict them.

The hope I hold out for winning the elections is that as Obama defines his position, he will be less everyman and more a plain old man.

Posted by: Jack at June 22, 2008 10:55 AM
Comment #256351
I use the term “long tail” a lot. It is a marketing/communication term.

How fitting it is of Jack to use a marketing term in order to sell the same old Rightwing garbage: that any candidate Democrats nominate is automatically slick, without substance, and unworthy of becoming president.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 22, 2008 11:32 AM
Comment #256352

Rocky,

Well, I suppose if changing the rhetoric is really that high on your priority list then Obama is the way to go. However, it is my belief that trading more tangible results for the sake of political atmosphere is a mistake.

David,

The facts remain. When Iraq and fighting terrorism were Bush’s last polling stronghold, Obama was touting a different course, the course the majority of Americans came around to on their own.

I do not think “better than Bush” is a particularly good benchmark to set yourself upon. I admire his conviction and willingness to endanger his political career, but he was not the only person who realized invading Iraq was a bad idea. Such a thing proves him neither more intelligent nor more capable of making the right decisions now that we have invaded Iraq.
I seem to recall him saying in April of last year that we should add some sixty-five thousand troops to the armed forces and twenty-seven thousand to the marines. He has also stated he would not take military action against Iran off the table. Diplomacy is great, but if you always fall back on your guns I do not see that it matters that you did some window dressing talks at the start.

As for his “specifics,” I did not mean to imply he had never been specific on anything. He has plenty of specifics but they are all things the normal Democratic candidate would run on. When looking for what specifically makes him different from say Hillary, is not so clear to me.

Now do not misunderstand, I think he is closer by a considerable margin to being a reasonable candidate than McCain is. But then, I would vote for many people over McCain. I am only being critical of Obama because I do not want to vote for him with false expectations of certain outcomes.


Posted by: Zeek at June 22, 2008 11:44 AM
Comment #256353

Stephen:

You’ve got more lobbyists working as bundlers than anybody in the campaign, and if that wasn’t enough, leaders in his campaign, like Charlie Black and Rick Davis are themselves lobbyists. He may not get a bunch of money from lobbyists, relative to his total take, but he is getting plenty through them, and they are leading his campaign.

Here’s the latest news on the lobbyists McCain is surrounded by, courtesy of Michael Isikoff at Newsweek:

One of John McCain’s most celebrated achievements in recent years was his crusade to block a Pentagon contract with Boeing for a new fleet of midair refueling tankers. Incensed over what he denounced as a taxpayer “rip-off,” McCain launched a Senate probe that uncovered cozy relations between top Air Force officials and Boeing execs. A top Air Force officer and Boeing’s CFO ended up in prison. Most significantly, the Air Force was forced to cancel the contract—saving taxpayers more than $6 billion, McCain asserted.

But last week, McCain’s subsequent effort to redo the tanker deal was dealt a setback. Government auditors ruled that the Air Force made “significant errors” when it rebid the contract and awarded the $35 billion project to Boeing’s chief rival, partners European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. (or EADS) and Northrop Grumman. It’s likely the Air Force will have to redo the bid yet again, which analysts say will delay the replacement of the fleet’s 1950s-era refueling tankers. The auditors’ ruling has also cast light on an overlooked aspect of McCain’s crusade: five of his campaign’s top advisers and fund-raisers—including Tom Loeffler, who resigned last month as his finance co-chairman, and Susan Nelson, his finance director—were registered lobbyists for EADS.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 22, 2008 11:53 AM
Comment #256354

VV,

Factcheck has already ‘debunked’ the suggestion by Obama’s campaign (and Obama himself) that McCain’s campaign is ‘fueled by lobbyists’.

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/obamas_lame_claim_about_mccains_money.html

You might want to keep up.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2008 12:01 PM
Comment #256355

And given the choice, who do you want having access to a candidate. Registered Washington people who we can identify and track or unnamed powerful financial fundraisers who are given special access to a candidate based upon who much they can raise, with no way of knowing what their agendas are…

Well, I suppose we already know your preference. I just seemed to remember something about transparency before being discussed…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2008 12:08 PM
Comment #256357

Rhinehold:

Factcheck has already ‘debunked’ the suggestion by Obama’s campaign (and Obama himself) that McCain’s campaign is ‘fueled by lobbyists’.

Too bad Factcheck can’t debunk the fact that McCain’s campaign is being run by lobbyists who have been lobbying for so many shady and shameful things, and who have gotten rich as a result of McCain’s crusades in government.

You might want to keep up.

Likewise.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 22, 2008 12:15 PM
Comment #256362

On Virginia, the history of the construction of the Pentagon is very interesting. It was provided with segregated facilities, which was the law in VA, but after FDR visited, the signs were apparently never put up.

On McLaughlin yesterday, they were talking about this year being the first billion dollar presidential election. What a waste of money. It’s really put me off of ever going back to the Pritzker Pavilion here.

The Honolulu hoper and Chicago changer is back on the air bragging about his Kansas middle American roots again. I guess his grandmother was Dorothy Gale and Hawaii is Oz.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 22, 2008 1:11 PM
Comment #256363

VV

There is nothing wrong with being a lobbyist, anymore than being a trial lawyer or hollywood actor. It depends on what they are doing.

If “lobbyists” as some kind of union or group are pushing something, it might be a good idea to be against it. But lobbyists come in all sorts. Lots of lobbyists are employed by labor unions, environmental groups and small business. My forestry group has a lobbyist, who warns us when some silly piece of legislation is going to screw us out of some of our land management rights. I like the guy.

Lobbyists tend to know how Washington works. Obama is inexperienced enough not to have the knowledge. Of course he makes up for it with his insider status in Chicago politics, always known for its openess and honest dealing.

Posted by: Jack at June 22, 2008 1:47 PM
Comment #256366

Jack-
Check your figures and sources again. The figures for those giving $2300 or more is 28%. The rest fall somewhere inbetween $200 and $2300.

Fact remains, 45% of his campaigns intake comes from people giving less than $200 dollars. 46% of your candidate’s intake comes from those giving $2300 or more.

As for buying elections? Give me a break. Why can’t John McCain do what Obama’s doing with small donors? Why can’t he give up lobbyists and PACs, as symbolic as they seem to be?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 22, 2008 2:01 PM
Comment #256371

Jack,

“If “lobbyists” as some kind of union or group are pushing something, it might be a good idea to be against it.”

From Merriam-Webster online;

Main Entry: 2lobby
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): lob·bied; lob·by·ing
Date: 1837
intransitive verb
: to conduct activities aimed at influencing public officials and especially members of a legislative body on legislation
transitive verb
1 : to promote (as a project) or secure the passage of (as legislation) by influencing public officials
2 : to attempt to influence or sway (as a public official) toward a desired action


All lobbyists are pushing “something” Jack.
If they are not pushing someones agenda they aren’t truly doing what they get paid to do, and if your “friend” isn’t pushing the agenda of your forestry group, I would suggest that you demand your money back.

Posted by: Rocky at June 22, 2008 2:34 PM
Comment #256372

Jack:

There is nothing wrong with being a lobbyist, anymore than being a trial lawyer or hollywood actor. It depends on what they are doing.

It does indeed, and the lobbyists running McCain’s campaign have been doing a whole lot of the shady and shameful sort of lobbying.

Lobbyists tend to know how Washington works.

No sh*t Sherlock. In fact they know so much about how it works, they’ve been dictating their own legislation and writing presidential policy, and are currently running the Republican nominee’s presidential campaign.

Obama is inexperienced enough not to have the knowledge.

Yet experienced enough to know that too much of their influence is lethal poison to American democracy.

Of course he makes up for it with his insider status in Chicago politics, always known for its openess and honest dealing.

Enormous Pot. Kettle. Black. Look at the meltdown that is happening to your party — which is due directly what is now known by the American people regarding the openness, honesty, and dealings of the GOP.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 22, 2008 2:49 PM
Comment #256373
Why can’t he give up lobbyists and PACs, as symbolic as they seem to be?

Why can’t Obama give up his unregistered lobbyists? Why does he insist on giving special access to those who raise the most money?

I am confused, I had thought that the answer to ‘special access’ to political powerbrokers was to use public funds. Now, all of a sudden, public funds aren’t the way to go. When the candidate is fundraising more than the opponent it is all ok, isn’t it?

This is what I am trying to point out about, it’s all ok to do when it helps you out, that is being a politician, something Obama really needs to admit to being, rather than get upset and cut off support for his past friends when they accuse him of being one, even after saying he would never do that.

In fact, I keep seeing Obama going back on things he said he would never do, and his supporters continuing to support that behavior.

*shrug*

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 22, 2008 2:51 PM
Comment #256377

Jack,
Having been here and reading your columns for a while, I doubt you are a racist. I didn’t make that accusation. You have frequently demonstrated a tin ear, however. To me that explains a mindset and perhaps myopia, that comes with many conservatives. It explains to me why conservatives often think acknowledging racism is racism. Yet, somehow, when the shoe is switched to the other foot, they never stop whining about reverse discrimination, lest we forget that their pig is the one now gored.

While I have only been to Virginia in passing, I’m sure racism is alive and well there. I agree Fairfax and the sections of Virginia near DC are not like the rest of the state.

I accept your explanation, but still suggest the title is less than smart and detracts from your point, as lame as it is.

Posted by: Googlupugus at June 22, 2008 3:02 PM
Comment #256385

Google

I refuse to recognize racism where none exists. We are far too sensitive to that. Indeed, I do have a tin ear to lots of things. I developed it on purpose years ago. I just do not accept delivery of insults. It works for me.

We should lighten up. My father was Polish. I heard all the jokes w/o it never bothering me. Sometimes I would just call attention to the sources.

I am against racism. You should not get or be denied a job because of race. The same goes for schools, public acccomdations etc. I don’t believe in offending anybody, but if some people are looking to be offended by ordinary statements they can go … themselves. I will give them something to be upset about and I will never be PC.

Rocky

I meant if lobbyists as a group, like a lobbyist union where they represented THEIR class interests.

Stephen

If 45% of Obama’s money comes from people giving less than $200, that means 55% comes from those giving more. And if McCain is getting 46% of his money from those giving more than $2300, it doesn’t sound so different.

Besides, there is no particular virtue in small time donors. Obama still has plenty of big ones and some of those are bundling the little guys. See the article Joel wrote and I linked.

Posted by: Jack at June 22, 2008 4:21 PM
Comment #256391

Yes Jack - I’m saying obama is going to lose. It will be a stunner. He’ll lead in all the “polls” up to the end. And then lose by a 4% - 6% margin in the popular vote. The upper midwest will be the surprise - the reagan democrats will tip the scale to mccain and they don’t poll well by phone.

Forrest

“My name is Forrest Gump. You can call me Forrest Gump”

Posted by: Forrest Gump at June 22, 2008 5:09 PM
Comment #256394

Rhinehold-
McCain’s money may not necessarily come from lobbyists, but he’s got plenty of them fundraising and bundling for him, more in fact than Giuliani or Clinton had, combined. Factcheck truthfully relates the low percentage of those funds, but as often happens, they leave alone the grey areas of who’s arranging those funds for him. Rhetorically, it works either way, whether much of his money is coming through lobbyists giving to his campaign, or lobbyists working to recruite rich donors to give to the McCain campaign. Either way, they can say: you helped me, now do me favors.

The fact of the matter, you’re engaging her in sophistry because you don’t have a rational, provable argument that says that McCain’s purer on his merits. You can’t say he’s raising more from small donors, obviously. You can’t say he’s rejecting money from lobbyists, or from PAC’s. All you can say is that he might accept public financing for his campaign, but even then, that was tarnished when he secured a bank loan on the promise that the taxpayer’s money would serve as collateral if he lost and couldn’t raise more funds.

Instead, you argue about the transparency of Bundlers. Here you go. Let me tell you a few facts about the Bundlers of Both the Obama and McCain Campaign.

Obama has 358 bundlers working for his campaign, of which he has acknowledged 354. 14 of these were registered Lobbyists, which is to say, they registered as lobbyists at some time since 1998. Nearly all of them work in law firms, and out of the lobbyists, who are required to re-register as lobbyists every six months as long as they are active, all made their last report in 2006 or earlier, most earlier in fact. These bundlers represent only 4% of Obama’s total.

McCain has 507 bundlers working for him, of which 40 remain unacknowledged as such. That includes his senior advisor, Charlie Black, who was operating his lobbying firm from inside the Straight Talk Express Bus. None of Obama’s registered lobbyists were part of an purpose made Lobbying firm. That is not true for McCain’s registered lobbyists, of which McCain has 70 (14%, or one out of every seven of his Bundlers). 48 of these bundlers were active during the course of his campaign, and may still be active. Of the 70, McCain has not disclosed 28 of these bundlers themselves, and they comprise three quarters of the bundlers that the McCain Campaign hasn’t admitted to.

As to your question, what is an unregistered Lobbyist? Obama’s basically said he will not accept money from federally registered lobbyists. That is to say anybody who makes it their literal business to talk to high-level officials either in Congress or in the Executive branch.

The real question here, though, is how can Obama do without active lobbyists on his campaign, and how McCain can’t. McCain is employing people who have an actual lobbying report on file for this year. Obama isn’t perfect, but here as elsewhere, he’s consistently beating McCain’s record, as to disclosure, as to numbers, as to the nature of his financing.

As for what he can admit to? Obama’s backed himself into the corner of having to represent general interests. That’s a corner I’d like him to stay in. Special access means less when you have to compete with millions of small donations. He can tell you to go to hell, and those millions of donors might just reward him for doing so with a money bomb (a large online donation drive). That’s what I like most about his fundraising: he can take more risks.

As for cutting off support for a friend? As I recall it, that friend didn’t act all that friendly towards the end. If somebody was accusing you of being dishonest and cynical, would you admit to that, whether or not you actually were? Or if you actually weren’t?

The funny thing here is that you’re defending dishonest and cynical behavior. I get the distinct pleasure of defending better behavior than that. I’m realistic about politics, and don’t expect him to be squeaky clean, but on balance, I enjoy the fact that I can make unqualified points on his moral superiority, and where I can’t, I can point to my candidate’s lesser entanglement. Absolute purity is best, but I’ll take relative purity and bootstrap up from there- it’ll still be an improvement.

Jack-
I never said there was anything wrong with being a lobbyist. I just want them competing on more even ground with the rest of the Public. The constitution enshrines a universal right to petition for redress of grievances. It sets up no conditional necessity upon that of that right going to the highest bidder.

As for the different brackets of fundraising, let me put it to you logically: the person who is donating $2300-4600 has almost no chance of being middle class or poor. Those who fall within the less than $200 bracket could be anybody.

It may not sound too much different to you, but that last fact means that Obama’s small contribution are much more likely to be economically egalitarian, since the working class man that contributes ten bucks can fall within that group. McCain’s 46% almost has to be wall to wall rich folks.

There is a particular virtue in small-donor based finance: you don’t have to have a few thousand in disposable income to contribute to the bulk of that person’s campaign. It’s more economically accessible to the vast majority of Americans who aren’t in that top one percent of earners.

To paraphrase that vulgar saying, it’s not the size of the donors that matter, it’s what you do with them. McCain neglects them for the sake of the wealthier donors. Obama’s made them the foundation of his campaign’s finance.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 22, 2008 5:26 PM
Comment #256425

Stephen

I think we are looking at different things. Nobody can find any indication that either McCain or Obama has done anything in direct response to contributions. So we have nothing re the sources that matters.

I worry more about the destination. Money in politics corrupts the system by allowing candidates to essentially buy elections.

If Obama had said that he was going to not take public money BUT he would abide by campaign finance limits, he would have been a great man. But he said he is taking the money AND will spend beyond the limits, making him a Nixon like figure.

I know Obama is not a crook, but his actions are not honest.

Posted by: Jack at June 23, 2008 2:13 AM
Comment #256458

Jack said:

I refuse to recognize racism where none exists.

Where is that? La la land, or only in your imagination? What a load.

What that statement says to me, is racism, smacism who really cares? Clearly not you. While you may not see your attitude as racist, it clearly denies fact and history. A problem among many conservatives, who seek to preserve old customs like bigotry.

Posted by: googlumpugus at June 23, 2008 11:13 AM
Comment #256498

google

People’s view of the world is a confession of their own character. Maybe that is why you see racism in a internet/marketing paradigm. Do you see Obama like that? I do not.

You evidently want me to appologize for YOUR racist interpretation. I just don’t do those sorts of things.

You may have noticed and perhaps lamented that I don’t really care what people think of me. I write because it is fun. I don’t need to impress anybody. I get no money. I work for nobody. This will never become a career for me. I don’t expect to become famous or even known and I don’t need to pander. I am a free man. I don’t have to play the PC game and I don’t. I am free to break the rules of this silly orthodoxy with impunity. Maybe you will achieve this kind of thing some day.

Let me refine my statement. I care very much what REASONABLE people think about my opinons.

Posted by: Jack at June 23, 2008 4:15 PM
Comment #256499

Jack-
The issue is priorities. A person who gets 45% of their money from 1.5 million people knows that if he wants to get that money again, he has to make those people happy. He has to remain populist, remain in tune with his constituents on a broader scale.

A person who gets 46% of their money from 15, 953 people capable of giving $2300 apiece has a narrower group that he has to satisfy to get that money once more. With this fundraising model, he has to seek more and more of the same people, because campaign finance limits what one can give to the candidate.

Obama’s approach represents a true demographic shift. It’s like the Model T compared to previous model cars. Maybe not everybody can afford to give up to the limit of the bracket, but more can afford something within it, as opposed to previous models, which relied on wealthier individuals to pay for them. Instead of relying on a large margin multiplied a few times, he relies on a small margin multiplied many times.

But if that was all, this would be a short campaign. Here’s why Obama may very well win: not because he bought the election, but because he’s running an effective campaign that works in a mutual feedback loop with the returned ascendance of populist politics in America. He’s caught the wave, and he’s surfing it. It’s an open question of whether he can ride this one into shore, but one thing for sure, it’s better to be surfing a wave like this than to be swimming underneath it.

The problem with the Republicans at this point is not that they can’t buy the election themselves. You can’t merely ask who has more money, you have to ask why, and be brutally honest with yourself. The Republicans are on the outs with the American people. As prices reach ridiculous highs and bubbles burst for ridiculous lows, they no longer trust that the market’s invisible hand. They feel, and rightly so, that the market is being manipulated on purpose in a way that leaves it unrepresentative of actual costs. A few are getting rich basically crippling the rest of the economy, and the Republicans look to be doing nothing but helping them. However you slice McCain’s stance on the war, he’s still saying stay when the rest of the country is saying go. When people ask what can be done to take care of a wealth of problems, the only answers the Republicans seem capable of give the cold comfort of ideological smugness. You tell the folks suffering out there that this is really for the best, that what’s happening out there is no more than they deserve, and that there are no alternatives.

That kind of talk pretty much was what lost you guys the majority for the better part of the Twentieth Century. To put it plainly, you folks have not learned from your mistakes, or from the mistakes of the past. You’ve clung to a political strategy and an ideology that once Americans were willing to try out of dissatisfaction with late 70’s liberalism, but which now seems to them as out of touch and hung up on ideological concerns as that bygone approach was.

Americans are not satisfied with your performance, or sympathetic to your politics any longer. You have some work to do at the very least, if not a complete reassessment, concerning how your politic relates to the average person in modern America, because the Republicans have done a lot of damage to their reputation and to the country trying to keep unearned dominance of its politics.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 23, 2008 4:28 PM
Comment #256515

Jack-
Arguments are either correct or incorrect. Political correctness isn’t necessarily relevant to that. However, an argument based mainly on prejudices or broad, unexamined assumptions is generally as argumentatively incorrect as it is politically so.

Taking pride in the politically incorrect nature of an argument has often been a means by which Republicans stave off having to actually argue many such arguments on the merits. It’s part of the Republican armor against skeptical inquiry, which they see either as a means for liberals to discredit their ideas and ideology, or a Trojan Horse for liberals to threaten their traditions and closely held notions of the world.

All in all, it’s one of those many things Republicans should give up, to be frank. As much as you may have enjoyed using your various methods of throwing wrenches in the discourse to keep your arguments unquestioned, all that has done is make Republicans soft in the rhetorical and policy departments.

The Republicans must improve their grip on reality if they want to return to America’s good graces, and that’s not going to happen as long as they rely on practices like PC-baiting to try and stall questioning of their authority and their right to authority.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 23, 2008 5:53 PM
Comment #256614

Jack,

I agree that people’s view of the world is a confession of character. What I see is obstinance and an unwillingness to admit error in some. They become so embued with their own success and advantage, that they no longer can see the plight of others.

I rarely see poor conservatives. Those that are, usually are either bigoted morons or deranged.

Jack, I don’t need a phony apology from you. I want a change in your blindness. I want an admission of your participation in subtle character assassination, especially when made aware of it, and continued participation in it.

I want your rational mind to overcome your idealism and partisanship, but given your stance I hardly expect it. What I expect is more blind rants and blaming others for your mistakes.

Posted by: googlumpugus at June 24, 2008 12:10 PM
Comment #256645

Google

I was making fun of Obama. Yes. It is what I do. I have seen much worse re McCain or Bush. Or is it just Obama who is above criticism?

I was NOT making fun of him in a racial way, which would have been wrong. It never even occured to me because that is not the way I think. Do you think I should appologize for making fun of a candidate? If so, you and many others will be in a long line appologizing to Republicans.

Re conservatives being rich, they are demographically a lot like other Americans in terms of income. Many of the super rich are the most liberal. If you look at red and blue counties, you find the richest counties are also liberal.

Good conservative habits will probably prevent you from becoming poor, but they don’t necessarily make you rich.

I was conservative when I made almost no money. Actually, I probably have become more liberal (not much) as I got more money. My taxes are higher now as a % of my income, but I care less.

Stephen

There is no indication that any candidate, Obama, McCain or Hillary, has been unduly influenced by individuals making a $2300 contribution. I have given that much money (although I am not super rich, I thought it was important) and the only thing anybody has ever asked me for was more money and the only thing they ever promised me was to send me a picture of the candidate. The idea that anybody would sell favors for that kind of money is absurd.

What matters with the money is how it is used, not where it comes from. YOu have no trouble with a candidate buying the election, as long as that candidate is a Dem.

Think of it like this. Less than 1% of Americans give money to any candidate. That is a very small and elite group no matter how you slice it. In Obama’s case, he managed to get 0.5% of the people to give him money. Big by contribution standards; small by any other. Does his “broad” donor base of 0.5% justify his massive big spending to market himself, attack his opponents and buy the election?

He is the first guy since Nixon not to abide by spending limits. This is the key. Not the source of that spending.

Posted by: Jack at June 24, 2008 2:40 PM
Comment #256651

Will Jack be attending the Googlumpugus School of Re-education for Unrepentant Rpblcns? Will Mr. O’Daughertie start reading his own posts and realize what they sound like? (“he’s running an effective campaign that works in a mutual feedback loop with the returned ascendance of populist politics”) Huh???

On the polls way up in the thread somewhere, people with experience know that the ethnic politics of this country are such that many people answer in favor of a candidate, and those favorables never appear in the voting on election day. People might like the idea of BHO, but that may not actually translate into electing him. His negatives don’t show, because people don’t want to appear prejudiced. Some people who have a lot more contact with ethnic minorities, have fewer qualms about criticism than others who have less contact with people superficially unlike themselves.

The only question on this subject that I would like answered is whether or not Blackwater and such companies exist to provide a security detail which is less ethnic than would be provided by the United States Military.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 24, 2008 3:35 PM
Comment #257013


OBAMA’S ARTISTRY OF THE AMBIGUOUS - It is not his lack of experience that will work against him.

Obama would be well served by his hired help if it could move him to specifics on numerous critical fronts.

Voters are looking for definitive action while they battle overwhelming increases in costs on all fronts.

http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/2008/06/obamas-artistry-of-ambiguous.html


Posted by: PacificGatePost at June 28, 2008 3:24 PM
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