Stories by Moe Lane

Posted at 6:36pm on Jul. 11, 2008 Dueling June Obama fundraising claims?

Seems like there's an easy enough way to settle this.

By Moe Lane

To walk you through this: today there was a Wall Street Journal article discussing yesterday's fundraising announcement by the McCain campaign. Said article noted in passing (via Political Punch):

Meanwhile, June fund-raising for Sen. Obama appears to be falling below the expectations of some supporters. The campaign hasn't released its June numbers, but people close to the fund-raising operation say the total will likely be just over $30 million. While this isn't a poor showing, it is an underwhelming haul for a campaign that has ballooned in recent months, has promised a true, 50-state electioneering effort and has told its biggest fund-raisers that it wants to collect $300 million in general-election cash by mid-October.

The reason for the lower-than-expected numbers for Sen. Obama, fund-raisers said, was his continuing difficulty in getting former supporters of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton to open their purses for him, following a protracted, bitter primary battle. Sen. Obama has also tacked to the middle on some recent policy issues, annoying many in the left wing of the Democratic Party. These more liberal-leaning supporters make up a large proportion of his small-donor cadre. The campaign says that some 1.7 million people have given $200 or less, making up 45% of Sen. Obama's total.

A bit of an eye-opener, that. And subject to what is ostensibly a swift pushback (Read on)...

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Posted at 9:12am on Jul. 11, 2008 Blue-on-Blue Watch: NYT versus Charlie Rangel.

Although there's a subtext, here. There usually is, with these things.

By Moe Lane

Let's say that you're a news/media organization, and you have yourself a problem. There's this guy running for President. You loved that the guy was running for President. You got totally into fact that the guy was running, to the point where you pretty much gushed and cooed and did all sorts of really, really embarrassing things on your front page in support of the guy. You did everything that you could to get the guy the Democratic nomination, and lo! - he did.

And then the guy abandoned public financing for the election.

You loved public financing. It was like a starving puppy that you found in a storm drain during a blizzard, all whimpering and scared and alone. You took public financing home and kept it alive, cleaning its sores and giving it its worm medicine, making sure that it had all its shots and got housebroken. And the guy? When he came over, he made you think that he loved public financing just as much as you did... up until the moment where he took a rock and did his level best to bash its brains in. And when you came home to discover what he had done, he shrugged at you. He actually shrugged.

So what do you do?

Well, if you're the Washington Post, you tell your editors to take off the filter that gives the guy his halo. If you're the LA Times, you let your house blogger know that it's no longer Be Kind To The Guy Millenium. If you're ABC News, hey, Jake Tapper suddenly sees himself on TV more often. But if you're the New York Times, maybe you don't have those options. Direct action is going to get squashed before it starts. The people who control your paper don't care about public financing, really. They're still entranced by the guy. So, you can't go after him directly.

But that's actually OK: he has friends.

Read on.

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Posted at 12:59am on Jul. 11, 2008 Obama/... DODD?

Clearly, I am in some sort of benevolent version of the Truman Show.

By Moe Lane

It's like this entire election season was created to make me laugh like a loon on a regular basis.

Obama seeks info on Dodd in vice president search
By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer 57 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Barack Obama's presidential campaign has requested information from Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd as part of its search for a possible vice presidential candidate.

The former White House hopeful and Connecticut lawmaker indicated Wednesday that he has been approached by the campaign. "There's been some inquiries, yeah," Dodd said. "They ask for a lot of stuff. I'll leave it there."

Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton and Dodd's Senate office declined comment Thursday.

Probably wise of both. Free hint to the Obama campaign: when the AP, on looking over a potential VP candidate's recent history, decides to go with the "may be implicated in mortgage kickback scandal" bit over the "sorta-kinda fought to derail the FISA bill" bit... yeah, maybe this was a bit of a time-waster for you. But don't let me stop you from picking the man. All I ask is that you wait for my air-popper to finish the latest bowl of popcorn.

Because you can't put BACON SALT* on microwave popcorn, of course.

Moe Lane

*It's even kosher! No, really.

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Posted at 2:24pm on Jul. 10, 2008 Breaking: McCain campaign reports 22 million raised, 94.5 million combined cash on hand. [UPDATED]

Plus 8 million more in State Victory Parties.

By Moe Lane

[Note: this information comes from a conference call conducted today by Rick Davis of the McCain campaign. - Moe Lane]

That's about 10 million more than last month, and after large amounts of spending from advertising. 26.7 million cash on hand for McCain, 67.8 million cash on hand for the RNC: it looks like a net negative 5 million for McCain (the aforementioned advertising buys) and a net plus 15 million for the RNC (I've got a call out for their raw numbers).

Obama's turn. 22 million sounds really easy to beat, Barry...

More later.

(Later after the fold...)

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Posted at 12:43pm on Jul. 10, 2008 Video from Obama's Unity Gaffe.

Normally I'd just update, but this is prime stuff.

By Moe Lane

Via AoSHQ, via Ed Morrissey, watch this video from the gaffe I mentioned earlier. Remember, this is for a event specifically designed for Unity:

Contra Ed, I'll call the MSNBC coverage a wash: fawning introduction, yes, but they were also kind of mean in their commentary while watching the clip in question. Not that I blame them for not resisting temptation: that was such a dumb error to make. We expect a certain professionalism from our professional politicians, yes?

Moe Lane

PS: Given that Obama is telling his people that fundraising efforts are going a "little slow" right now, and that Clinton's campaign debt needs to go away, just why is he being so sloppy?

Actually, the real question there is whether anybody knows the answer to that.

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Posted at 10:14am on Jul. 10, 2008 Yeah. He's *Really* into this entire Unity thing.

It shows.

By Moe Lane

Call me nuts, but when you throw together an event explicitly designed to try to convince your supporters to give money to retire a former opponent's debt - isn't it a good idea to not forget to put that request in your actual speech?

Apparently not:

Obama briefly forgets to urge help for Clinton
By BETH FOUHY – 11 hours ago

NEW YORK - It was all part of a careful arrangement: Democrat Barack Obama would get fundraising help from his erstwhile rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton, in exchange for his help retiring about $10 million of her campaign debt.

But Obama momentarily forgot his part of the deal at a major New York fundraiser Wednesday night, forcing him to retake the stage after he had concluded the event and said goodnight to the audience.

The Illinois senator spoke to about 1,000 donors in a Manhattan ballroom, all of whom had paid at least $1,000 to attend. Many were Clinton supporters until she dropped out of the race last month.

Read on.

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Posted at 3:05pm on Jul. 9, 2008 They're winding up FISA now in the Senate.

Took 'em long enough.

By Moe Lane

[UPDATE and bump]: Final vote is 69 Ayes, 28 Nays. A look at the final apostate list in a moment, but I'd just like to note something. There were two Senators who were serious Democratic Presidential candidates, and they both voted on FISA. One of them voted against telecom immunity - a matter of extreme importance to the netroots - all the way down the line (and despite the fact that Democrats in Congress have assessed the public mood, and have clearly decided that the bill must be passed). The other voted against it... except for the final vote, which is the only one that the population will actually care about. In other words, we have a case of actual integrity versus equivocation.

“The funny part is that the netroots went with the equivocator. Barack Obama brazenly lied to them, and they support him anyway.”

The funny part is that the netroots went with the equivocator. Barack Obama brazenly lied to them about his intent to filibuster FISA, and they support him anyway. And now they have to go give him some more money, so that he can lie to them some more. Funny, I don't recall Hillary Clinton being nearly as bad in that regard this election cycle.

Have a nice day.


Senator Bond is finishing up his commentary, and we'll be seeing the start of the process of watching the amendments go down in flames any minute now. (Ooh, he just kicked the netroots!)

While we're all waiting for the inevitable, check out Jake Tapper's piece on the subject. Especially the bits about Obama's flip-flops on FISA.

[UPDATE]: Below is the approved list of Netroots-Acceptable Democratic Ideological Purity. To stay on it, all the Democratic Senators have to do is vote Aye on all three amendments, and Nay on the vote itself. Shouldn't be too hard, right?

Akaka Baucus Bayh Biden Bingaman Boxer Brown Byrd Cantwell Cardin Carper Casey Clinton Conrad Dodd Dorgan Durbin Feingold Feinstein Harkin Inouye Johnson Kennedy* Kerry Klobuchar Kohl Landrieu Lautenberg Leahy Levin Lieberman Lincoln McCaskill Menendez Mikulski Murray Nelson Nelson Obama Pryor Reed Reid Rockefeller Salazar Sanders Schumer Stabenow Tester Webb Whitehouse Wyden

*I think that he may not be present. Which would explain why McCain's not there, either.

On Dodd/Feingold: 32 Ayes, 66 Nays. Embarrassingly bad, that.
On Specter: 37 Ayes, 61 Nays. Not quite as bad. Not quite.
On Bingaman: 42 Ayes, 56 Nays. I guess that I got this wrong: the pro-FISA people clearly didn't need much in the way of cover at all.

...And Reid is recessing, in order to let the GOP go have its (delayed by the Helms funeral) lunch. Isn't he just the best, most biddable Democratic Senate Majority Leader that the GOP could wish for?

[UPDATE] Well, we're back, and I believe that this is the cloture vote (yup, it is). Bit garbled, but I heard 26 Nays; it clearly passed. Final vote - finally, the freaking final vote - coming up next.

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Posted at 1:45am on Jul. 9, 2008 Did anybody... *talk* to anybody else before they decided on this Obama stadium thing?

Or was this just one of those "Hey, let's get a blimp!" moments, and nobody was there to say no?

By Moe Lane

Because I don't think that this is what the Democratic Party (note noun) wanted:

Networks may limit convention coverage

Obama’s decision “makes it enormously more expensive,” said Paul Friedman, senior vice president at CBS News. “It does add to the overall question of how the networks should cover what is a non-news event.”

Major television networks are considering curtailing coverage of the Democratic National Convention after Monday’s announcement that Barack Obama will accept his party's nomination in a Denver stadium.

According to several broadcast executives, the networks will still cover all the major speeches. But beyond that, all options are open as they look for savings to balance out the anticipated costs surrounding the stadium event. The acceptance event is an unexpected departure from the traditional convention hall format for which they have spent months planning.

Network executives expect Obama’s relatively late-breaking decision to speak at Invesco Field at Mile High, a 76,000-seat football stadium, could add hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs to already cash-strapped news divisions. Each network has budgeted millions to cover the political conventions, but that spending is already accounted for in specific costs ranging from hotel rooms to staffing to building convention platforms.

For most networks, any additional outlays for the convention would come out of their 2008 campaign budget.

The article goes on to discuss various ways that the networks are thinking of saving cash at this late a date - and reading between the lines, they're actually already inclined to find any handy excuse to cut back convention coverage, probably because these things are usually as dull as dishwater. Unfortunately for the Democrats, the networks want to cut back coverage as being not a good ROI: cutting back because they don't have enough to cover sudden expenses inflicted upon them by a third party is about as aggravating to them as it would be to you, me, or anybody else reading this.

As witnessed by the pull-quote above. Allow me to clue in the Obama campaign: when somebody at Paul Friedman's level permits his name to be linked to a comment like that, it's a subtle hint. Paul Friedman would like somebody from the Obama campaign to give him a call. Somebody who is not an intern.

And he'd like to be getting that call first thing in the morning, thanks.

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Posted at 7:10pm on Jul. 8, 2008 Now the fun starts.

Game on.

By Moe Lane

Expect the Democrats to howl about this one:

(H/T: Hot Air)

...and expect the Republicans to smile nastily and murmur "100 years, boychiks. 100 years." Not that the situation's the same, of course. The Democrats twisted McCain's position into a pretzel, but we can't do that to the Iraq position of the junior Senator from Illinois.

Obama himself beat us to it.

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Posted at 10:23am on Jul. 8, 2008 Bob Herbert freeloads his disillusionment.

Silly op-ed writer!

By Moe Lane

Bob Herbert is subbing for David Brooks today in the NYT Op-Ed, and his plaintive lament for the way that Senator Barack Obama's running away from his base is well worth the perusal (H/T: Hot Air). It's also meaningless, for the simple reason that the only way that Obama's going to even remotely care about Blue-on-Blue criticism is if it's accompanied with a torn-up check; and as near as I can tell, Bob Herbert's never given any money to Barack Obama at all.

Of course, people who have already given the maximum to the junior Senator from Illinois are (oddly enough) pretty much in the same boat as Mr. Herbert. Ah, the perils of premature infatuation...

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