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Obamarama - Facebook, tricks and poll numbers

Monday, Jan 29, 2007

Last Thursday, Adam Conner made note of the explosive growth of a new Facebook group called “Barack Obama (One Million Strong for Barack).” [Facebook registration required]

The group was started January 16th - 13 days ago - by what appears to be political amateurs, and hopes to have signed up a million members by February 5th. It seemed impossible, but the group has really taken off.

Conner noted last Thursday that the group had grown by “23,364 members in less then 24 Hours,” and had jumped about a thousand members from the time he started writing his post until he was finished.

Clearly, something is happening here. But are growth rates like this possibly sustainable?

They are. In fact, because of the way that Facebook is structured, the more people join the group the more people are aware of it.

Since late Thursday afternoon, the Facebrook group - which hit 100,000 members a day before the group leaders had hoped to hit 10,000 - has grown from 90,094 members to 157,725 members at 9:10 this morning.

On another topic, Political Insider chastises the media for falling for one of the oldest tricks in the political playbook.

Until April 1st, there’s only one game that matters in the battle for the Democratic Presidential nomination — the donor’s game. The contest to put up the biggest first quarter fundraising number possible is intense and is prone to misinformation and stunts.

Hence, James Carville talks talks and talks some more about Al Gore getting into the race. Let’s boil this down to reality:

* Carville supports Hillary Clinton
* Obama is making a hard and fast play for Hollywood money
* An Al Gore entry into the race is the only thing preventing Obama from running the table on that money in this quarter.

End of story.

And Media Matters takes on the same subject.

A January 28 New York Times article by reporter Jodi Kantor included a quote by Ron Klain, former chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore, saying that Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) “style of leadership” might be better suited to running the Harvard Law Review, of which Obama was the first black president, than to “running a country.” […]

But the article did not note that Klain has reportedly signed on with Sen. Joseph R. Biden (D-DE) and said he would support Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) if Biden “chooses not to run.”

Which makes me wonder about New Yorker Al Sharpton’s recent negative comments about Obama and his friendliness to a Hillary Clinton campaign.

Laura Washington has a different take on that particular subject.

For America’s black leadership, Barack Obama is both an enigma and a pain in the posterior. Just ask the Reverends Jesse L. Jackson and Al Sharpton and Charles Rangel, Maxine Waters, Andrew Young, Donna Brazile and Julian Bond.

They don’t know what to do with him.

Finally, the Daily Herald has some poll results that show a quarter of the American public would be “angry or upset” if a woman was elected president.

Respondents were asked how many out of a list of five statements made them angry. The topics were rising gas prices, pro athletes making millions, requiring seat-belt use, large companies polluting the environment and a woman serving as president.

The survey found 26 percent said they’d be angry or upset about a female president. The surprise was that the level of unease at a female leader cut across gender, income, geographical and education lines.

“We expected to find people were lying (in past polls). And we also expected to find some groups lied more than others. But that really wasn’t the case,” Streb said.

While the survey didn’t ask the related question of whether people would be angry about a black man as president, Streb suggests “the same theory applies.”

I’ll post the full results if I can find them.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 9:30 am:

    I’ll just warn you right off the bat that if you run in here and mindlessly post talking points that have little or no relation to the topic at hand, you’re probably gonna get deleted.

  2. - anon - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 9:40 am:

    I was up in New Hampshire this weekend on non-political business and when I mentioned I was from Illinois the conversation was directed to what I thought about Obama. The average “guy on the street” is really interested in him, and seemed very open to him as a candidate.

  3. - ZC - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 9:52 am:

    It looks like the Deaniacs are mobilizing around Obama. They got their man in third in Iowa last primary. On the other hand, they have a much better horse to ride this time around.

    My take on the African-American civil rights leadership is that they will be behind Obama, but they want him to kiss their rings first. He will have to make a lot of trips to praise them and their contributions to the civil rights movement and African-Americans in America, and basically cast himself as the loyal son carrying out their dreams. If he does all that, he will get their support, but it won’t be a quick process. If he does it skillfully, he can do all that without alienating himself from the broader electorate he needs. If he doesn’t want to make those pilgrimages, many of them may yet back Hillary.

  4. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 9:53 am:

    Naturally there is a lot of interest in Obama nationally. There has been nonstop coverage of him for months. If he can get some of the Hollywood rich on board, then we can have a national campaign with legs.

    Is this how future campaigns will run? Write a few books about yourself; do media runs to promote them. Say fluffy things so no one is offended; then find the sugar daddies?

    As to experience on the Democratic field:

    Candidates Ranked by Executive Experience:
    Clark: 35 years – US Military
    Richardson: 10 years – Governor, US Cabinet, Ambassador
    Clinton: 20 years – First Lady US, Arkansas
    Vilsack: 8 years – Governor
    Kerry: 2 years – Lt. Governor Massachusetts
    Kucinich: 2 years – Mayor, Cleveland OH

    Candidates with NO Executive Experience:
    Biden: 0
    Dodd: 0
    Gravel: 0
    Edwards: 0
    Obama: 0
    Sharpton: 0

    Candidates Ranked by Legislative Experience:
    Biden: 35 years – US Senate
    Dodd: 34 years – US Senate
    Kerry: 23 years – US Senate
    Richardson: 14 years – US House
    Gravel: 16 years – 12/US Senate, 4/State
    Kucinich: 10 years – US House
    Clinton: 8 years – US Senate
    Edwards: 6 years – US Senate
    Obama: 12 years –4/US Senate, 8/State
    Vilsack: 2 years – State

    Candidates with NO Legislative Experience:
    Clark: 0
    Sharpton: 0

    If anyone cares - there are plenty of better experienced candidates out there than our junior senator. Sooner or later, this needs to be addressed concretely.

  5. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 9:57 am:

    Update: Kerry is out since I did my research.

    The candidates with executive and legislative experiences are:
    Kucinich too, but his mayoral years were horrific.

  6. - Leroy - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 11:01 am:

    Will the USA finally get its first president from the ‘Facebook Generation’ in the guise of Barack Obama?

    Baby boomers better hold on to their pensions and their Medicare benefits if young people start voting.

    If Generation Facebook takes a page from the ‘Me’ generation, they are going to make the ‘Me’ generation seem like a bunch of altruistic humanitarians.

  7. - So-Called "Austin Mayor" - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 11:33 am:


    Time as “First Lady” counts as “executive experience”?

    If so, then the experienced Nancy Reagan (First Lady US, California) should be considered “highly qualified” to be president?

    – SCAM

  8. - Fan of the Game - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 11:35 am:

    Of the people who said that a woman being elected as president would make them angry, I wonder how many of them were thinking of a particular woman and not just a woman in general?

  9. - Bubs - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 12:28 pm:

    Gore could be a far more formidable national candidate than many think (Nixon followed nearly the same path - VP for two terms, lose a close one, then return years later as “party statesman” to get the nomination - and won in 1968), but with Obama in the race, Al is rapidly running out of time to jump in and raise money, and there is all of that weight to be lost. I strongly suspect that he will decline to take on Obamamania.

  10. - ZC - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 12:29 pm:

    Obama is not in the Facebook generation. He’s in the blurry patch between Baby Boomer and Generation X. Technically, I think most demographers _would_ put him in the Baby Boom, at the very tail end, but a lot of those born in the early 1960s don’t identify with that label. And then of course due to all his time spent overseas, his experiences differ.

    But clearly a lot of Baby Boomers identify with Obama. One of the less well-understood features of the blogging / Deaniac movement was that while it certainly included plenty of young folks, it also included plenty of veterans of the 1960s / 1970s protests. They were just doing from their keyboards, in 2004, what they used to do from the streets. I suspect those voters (and their wallets) to be a significant backer for Obama, and so I don’t expend him to launch any broadsides against these peoples’ impending retirement paychecks.

  11. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 12:55 pm:

    Hillary Clinton as First Lady does indeed count as Executive experience. Unlike Pat Nixon, Ms. Clinton had been an executive within her husband’s administrations. She was charged with a number of policy initiative, had a staff, and sold programs to voters on her own. While you may not want to consider what some First Ladies do within the Office, we have had a few First Ladies that were executives. Clinton, both Roosevelts, Taft, Hoover, Polk, and Wilson had powerful executive First Ladies. Pat Nixon was an economist, Bess Truman was a athlete, and their time within the Office didn’t.

    It is their choice, isn’t it. Clinton’s time as First Lady does qualify as executive experience.

  12. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 1:09 pm:

    SCAM, I would take Nancy Reagan, then or now, in a heartbeat over some of those nimrods. (Obama excluded.)


  13. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 1:11 pm:

    Why would anyone care what time Barak Obama was born? Why does it matter?

    How did we go from palm reading, phrenology, and tea leaves to Generational Marketing Beliefs? Is this what happened to myths based on Zodiac signs? Instead of wondering what planets were placed where on the day he was born, we have “marketing research” comparing him to the year he was born?

    Attributing personality and decision making traits for an individual based on the year they were born is such a silly idea full of holes, it shouldn’t even be discussed.

    The whole Boomer Thing is so amateur and silly. As is Generation X, Y and other marketing fallacies. Let’s listen to what a person says and do, not debate who they are based on what year they were born.

  14. - NW burbs - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 2:04 pm:


    President of the Harvard Law Review doesn’t count as qualified experience under your parameters?

    I’d be interested to see you prepare a similar list for GOP front-runners.

    From your suburban Daily Herald, While the survey didn’t ask the related question of whether people would be angry about a black man as president, Streb suggests “the same theory applies.”

    I have a strong hunch that a lot of the baloney the conservatives are pumping out about Obama is simple dog-whistle politics among the conservative base (the word “base” having a double-entendre here I s’pose).

    “Barack Obama’s pastor is a black supremacist/reverse racist” and the “But his middle name is Hussein and his grandfather/father/stepfather was Muslim” would all raise the neck hairs of any overt or closeted racist (as evidenced on various conservative blogs in Illinois and elsewhere).

  15. - zatoichi - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 2:20 pm:

    What kind and how much experience is supposedly required or acceptable for the job? Couple runs as Governor, 3 terms a senator, judge, rep for 10 years, politcs for 12, or just a nice smile that works well on TV? Seems the current top dogs have extensive experience with multiple administrations, terms as governor/President, other Fed Secretary posts, huge international companies and look at the problems created! The guys who created the tariffs back in the 30’s were smart, experienced people who just about ruined the country when the Depression kicked in from what they did. Go listen to all the eloquent arguements about the need for isolationism before Pearl Harbor happened. Has the world changed? Technology has made it flat like Friedman talks about, but the politicians still jockey for position like they did in Rome, Egypt, and hundreds of other places to get support.

    Is Obama a contender? He sure seems to have thrown a rock into the plans of 20 some people who think they have a shot at the Pres chair. Suddenly this guy rockets out of “nowhere” to at least the upper tier of contention. Some need to revamp their plans and others see him as just another obstacle to slice to ribbons if they can. Obama seems to have a message that resonates with the voters right now while the applecart is getting knocked over. I hope he can out last the “scandal” that will surely develop whether it is true or made up. He seems bright enough not do do anything really stupid, but how much bending and accomodating he will have to do to develop/maintain a strong following. Man, that is a fine line to walk.

  16. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 3:18 pm:

    President of the Harvard Law Review doesn’t count as qualified experience under your parameters?

    No. It is important, but no.
    Also, why is it “my parameters”?
    We can all count, can’t we?
    We all know what we are talking about.
    If you want to embrace Obama at this time - great. Don’t throw rocks at those of us still considering our options. We still have about 600 days before this election. Let’s not fight. I voted for Barak twice, but I am not a lemming.

    I am working on the Republican side at this time. Since we have two of our own running, (Clinton and Obama), I started with the Democratic side. It is exciting to have three Illinoians running for president, (Cox is a very minor Republican).

    That said, please don’t get all defensive. We want the best, right? If it is our junior senator - wonderful.

  17. - cermak_rd - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 4:13 pm:

    I wouldn’t call Clinton one of our own. She hasn’t ever represented us or even really done anything to keep up her ties.

    I guess my beef with her is that I don’t like the fact that she’s where she is based on who she married. I thought feminism was to get us beyond the point where women had to ride men’s coattails. If she wins the primary, I’ll back her in the general, but Obama and Vilsak both appeal more to me in the primary.

  18. - Way Northsider - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 6:08 pm:

    VM - Endless time in the military (Clark) does not count as experience in my book. Being successful in the military is exactly backwards to what it takes to run a country. I, for one, am unwilling to line up and take orders. That is nothing personal against Clark. He is doing plenty of good things. But I cannot vote for him for President on the basis of his military experience.

    Another general point - I think the basic assumption many people seem to have about a technological/sociological divide between the baby boom and younger people is incorrect. I am in my mid 40’s and use the internet extensively. Many virtual groups I belong to cover a huge age range - late teens through the ’70’s. The common factor is an interest in politics. As someone pointed out the average Deaniac is not young. Many remember earlier protests and have been politically engaged for many years. Many are equally active in the “real” political world and the virtual political world.

  19. - The Conservative - Monday, Jan 29, 07 @ 10:33 pm:

    Why would anyone vote for Obama, he has no record to run on. He is so far to the Left he will make Ted Kennedy look like a conservative.

  20. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Jan 30, 07 @ 11:42 am:

    Your anti-military bigotry is a blemish on your intellect. You need to strongly reconsider your understanding of history, leadership and philosophy. Your bias reflects a naive view of life.

    By your own thinking, George Washington is disqualified. So is Dwight Eisenhower. Military experience is a life-death leadership environment. Making real decisions is a daily task. Individuals capable of mastering this environment are important US citizens.

    You sound like you prefer Care Bears to Grizzly Bears. Sounds like you should stay in the nursery and let the adults make the decisions you run from.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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