Sunday, March 09, 2008

Obama Widely Underestimated

tv pundits and newspaper columnists have been going go on and on with their knee-jerk reacting about how obama isn't tough enough, isn't fending off clinton's attacks, but i believe he's being widely underestimated. here's why:

1) he's playing by his rules, not hers.

2) he knows and has known that it's all about the delegates. that means that each state, even the itty bitty ones, matter.

3) he's been building momentum and his grass roots organization for more than a year now. its roots are deep. and obama's supporters know how to caucus.

4) at no time has clinton truly been ahead. sure, she won ohio and rhode island but who really won texas? who has popular vote? who's won the most states? who has gained 12 superdelegates since march 4?

5) obama's got patience, even though that's been tough for some of his supporters. this isn't a day at the races, it's a fight for the highest office in the nation.

6) he's not playing the media's game either. the media goes on and on... can he take a punch? can he throw one back?... he's lost his momentum, he's got it back....

obama's got everyone outsmarted. he doesn't need to punch back to get ahead. he's already ahead.

organizing in pennsylvania, where unlike obama, it's a must-win for clinton:

philly inquirer: So Obama's organization has begun pushing full-bore here, recruiting volunteers and - most important in Pennsylvania's closed primary system - registering as many Democratic voters as possible before the March 24 deadline.

Sean Smith, 37, the Connecticut political communications specialist brought in by the Obama campaign to be its Pennsylvania press secretary, was undaunted.

Smith said that in the last week Obama had opened five campaign offices in Pennsylvania - in Philadelphia, Doylestown, Bethlehem, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh - and that more would follow.

Smith said he was among 20 paid campaign staffers in Pennsylvania but "we'll probably get 100 more this weekend, and this might just be the beginning."

Over the weekend, Obama campaign staffers trained 2,000 Pennsylvania volunteers to help in telephone fund-raising and voter registration, which Smith said was where the campaign was now focusing its efforts.

Because of Pennsylvania's closed primary, only voters who are registered Democrats by the March 24 deadline can vote to nominate Obama, 46, of Chicago, or Clinton, 60, of New York, as the Democratic presidential candidate.

Smith said that 47,000 Pennsylvanians had switched parties to register as Democrats and that he believed the "vast majority" of them did so to vote for Obama.

"We can win with the people who are Democrats right now, but we just want to get everybody who does want to vote the opportunity to do that," Smith added.

Pennsylvania's voter rolls show 3.89 million registered Democrats, 3.25 million Republicans, and 984,349 independents and other-party voters. It is this latter group, Smith said, that Obama's volunteers will be pursuing over the next two weeks.

Smith noted that even before Obama began establishing his formal campaign organization here this week, volunteers had already achieved much. He said Obama's volunteers, including 25 Pennsylvania college campus chapters, had helped the candidate obtain 21,000 valid signatures in three weeks and more than 50,000 overall - just 2,000 were needed - to get Obama and a full slate of delegates on the primary more
Note: pennsylvanians have until march 24 to register to vote in the april 22 primary. only voters registered with a party can vote in that party's primary.

and in mississippi:

The more than 1,000 free tickets available for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's town hall-style meeting Monday at Mississippi University for Women are gone.

Mississippi's 33 delegates are at stake Tuesday, and Democratic candidates for United States president continue last minute campaign efforts.

Speaking on behalf of his wife, presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, former President Bill Clinton Friday visited Tupelo.

And Obama will visit Columbus Monday for a town hall-style meeting at Pohl/Stark Recreation Center on the Mississippi University for Women campus.

But all available tickets, which are required for the free event, were claimed by Saturday afternoon.

Doors open at 9:30 a.m. for the event; more than 1,000 people are expected to attend.

“We're working with local and state agencies to prepare security,” said Columbus Police Chief Joe St. John. “I don't know how many offices will be involved; we're still working on plans. But we are working with them diligently and we're going to give all the assistance we can to make sure things are safe and secure.”

Meanwhile, neighborhood by neighborhood, dozens of Barack Obama campaign volunteers fanned out across the Golden Triangle today to blanket each home with campaign literature and urge voters to vote for Obama in Tuesday's Democratic presidential primary.

“We knocked on probably 70 houses this morning,” said Obama campaign volunteer Cheikh Taylor, of Starkville, Saturday afternoon, as he and childhood friend Carlos Harris picked up more door hangers and brochures at the Starkville Obama headquarters on Main Street at Level III. The two had been to the Rosedale neighborhood and were headed out to the Hancock Street neighborhood, Taylor's boyhood home.

“This is a real close-knit community,” he said after taking time out to visit with Darlene Spivey, who remembers back when Taylor and Harris were growing up several doors away.

Obama is expected to do well in Mississippi and likely beat Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, who is coming off of wins in Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island in the March 4 contests. According to The New York Times delegate count, Clinton picked up 188 delegates that day and Obama trailed lightly picking up 182 delegates. He also won the Wyoming caucus Saturday. Mississippi is the only state with Presidential primary contests Tuesday.

Back on Hancock Circle, you could say that the warm welcome greeting Taylor and Harris - and by extension, Obama - is because these men know nearly everyone on the block. But even in the Rosedale neighborhood, where these volunteers were virtually unknown, the response to the Illinois senator has been overwhelmingly supportive.

“The response is that ‘he has my vote,'” said Taylor after canvassing in the morning.
Obama: the Un-Beholden President
Bogus Big States Argument
Obama’s Pennsylvania Strategy
Superdelegates, Superdelegates, Superdelegates
General Election Map and Calculator