Obama, Tearful, Finishes Campaign In Iowa, Where It Started

This was President Obama’s last campaign speech ever

(Start at 12:00 point to see the president’s speech.)

The Huffington Post

As sentimentality goes, President Barack Obama hosting the last campaign event of his political career in Des Moines, Iowa, is hard to top. The  Hawkeye State launched the then-junior senator from Illinois to national prominence. And there is a movie script-like quality to having such a historic political trajectory emerge out of the frosty cornfields.

Speaking just steps from his 2008 caucus headquarters on Monday evening, it seemed at times as if the magic hadn’t faded.

“I came back to ask you to help us finish what we started because this is where our movement for change began,” Obama declared. “To all of you who’ve lived and breathed the hard work of change: I want to thank you. You took this campaign and made it your own … starting a movement that spread across the country.

“When the cynics said we couldn’t, you said yes we can. You said yes we can and we did. Against all odds, we did,” he said.

Wiping the occasional tear from his eye, and looking over a crowd of 20,000, Obama concluded with the same story that he told on the last day of his ’08 campaign: about the origins of his signature “fired-up-ready-to-go” chant. The arc of his first term in office was seemingly complete.

But if anything, the late night rally in Des Moines underscored how different Obama’s first and second White House runs have been. For all its poignant undertones, Monday night marked the end of a campaign that had little of the emotional appeal of four years ago. There was no sweeping “hope” narrative, no history-making proposition, no shadows of the Bush years to escape. Instead there was a business-like approach to a daunting task: how to re-elect a president with a slate of accomplishments, but with reduced popularity, a poor economy and no novelty.

“The biggest difference between 2008 and 2012 is that the sense of the mission changed,” said one Obama campaign adviser who, like nearly everyone, would discuss the campaign’s inner workings only on condition of anonymity. “In 2008, there was the sense of optimism and hope around the mission -– of changing the world. In 2012, the mission is as much the clear-eyed recognition of how important stopping the other side is. It is a grimmer, more realistic sense of mission.”

How Obama’s aides traversed this path is a story that will be told in greater detail in the election post-mortems. But months of conversations. And it shows a team that, while lacking the heartstrings of 2008, stayed true to other guiding principles: data-driven decision-making and solid execution.

“There has always been a laser-like focus on the part of the campaign on how to get where they need to be,” explained Hari Sevugan, who served as a spokesman for the 2008 campaign. “It was about delegates in 2008 and pathways to 270 [Electoral College votes] in 2012. “The formula, then and now, was always inspiration and energy at 30,000 feet and a no-nonsense attitude toward numbers and mechanics on the ground.”

Continued here…

Mic Check! This is what democracy looks like! – Occupy Song for Occupy Wall St. & Occupy Boston

Caveat: I had my speakers on “3” and the video was still very loud.


Occupy Christie, Occupy Gingrich

Dave Weigel – Slate

In the space of two hours, the actual GOP frontrunner and the man dreamers wanted to be the GOP frontrunner were both mic-checked by Occupiers. Chris Christie got the treatment at an event at the Kum n Go headquarters in Des Moines. I’ve freeze-framed the moment of the mic-checking.

Christie handles it well, with his usual self-aggrandizement about how well he handles things. “You’re so angry, aren’t you?” he scoffs. “Work it all out for yourselves.”

And Mother Jones brings us the video of the mic-checking of a Gingrich fundraiser at the Willard hotel in downtown D.C. Clever Occupiers used a room in the hotel as a staging ground to get inside the event.

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Romney: I’m Not Looking To Put Money In People’s Pockets

Governor Mitt Romney of MA
Image via Wikipedia

The following video shows Romney claiming that he wants to relieve the tax burden of middle-income Americans by lowering their tax rates.  But…is that his priority?  Watch his rambling statement below…

Think Progress

Part of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R) plan to boost economic growth, he says, is a tax cut that comes in the form of repealing certain taxes on investments for the middle class. As ThinkProgress has noted, however, those cuts won’t actually benefit most middle-class individuals. Romney may now be aware of that fact, as he told one local resident in Des Moines, Iowa today that he isn’t “trying to put money in people’s pockets. That’s the other party.”

Watch it:

Despite what he says, Romney is indeed trying “to reduce the tax burden…that’s paid by the top one percent.” His tax plan, in fact, gives a $6.6 billion tax cut to corporations and the wealthiest Americans.

Sarah Palin releases Iowa ad to make sure you’re still paying attention to her

Daily Kos

Oh for the love of…

No, I don’t think Sarah Palin is going to run for president. And even if she was, she’s too late to gain any traction, because all the people who would support her would likely keep supporting Bachmann, Cain, Perry, or any of the other nuts that do what Palin does, only better.

But Palin’s entire public existence relies on people thinking she might one day again be a relevant political contender. If people don’t think that, the money stops rolling in, and she may have to start looking for a real job rather than having people pay her to take extended “vacations” in a bus with her name plastered on the side.

Why are we paying attention, you ask? Because it’s just so damn fun, of course! Nothing’s better than watching Palin snipe from the sidelines as she travels around the country staging events to step on every other Republican’s big day. She’s like a photobombing prairie dog of patriotism.

Judging the commercial as a commercial: Hmm. We’ve got carnival rides, pigs, corn, butter on a stick, tractors, the Constitution printed on a t-shirt, and a fisheye lens effect to give everything a creepy, possibly-breathing-in-toxic-bus-fumes sort of vibe, while everyday people and national media figures give their opinions on JUST HOW FREAKING GREAT SARAH PALIN IS SO PAY ATTENTION TO ME DAMN IT. And then we cap the whole thing off with a roaring bear. Is the bear meant to represent Palin? Is it supposed to represent the various threats to America, like gay people or Sharia law? Is the roar simply meant to provide counterpoint to Palin’s own speeches in the commercial, to wit: “Yeah, I may say incomprehensible, angry-sounding things, but check out this bear! It’s also loud and pissed off, but it can’t even speak English! Don’t I look pretty presidential compared to that?

Please keep not-running for not-president, Sarah Palin. We’ll miss you when you’re gone… eventually… someday.

Sarah Palin tour comes to abrupt halt

No surprise there.  Anyone with half a brain could have figured out her motive: attention!


After just four days on the road, Sarah Palin’s bus tour is going dormant again.

In a note posted on her Facebook page Monday, Palin said she’s headed “back to Alaska for the start of the school year.”

What’s next for the former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential nominee? “While kids crack open their school books, I look forward to continuing my own writing and research on strategies and plans to help move our country forward,” she wrote.

Palin noted that she’ll be back on the road before long — she’s scheduled to keynote a Sept. 3 tea party rally in Waukee, Iowa, near Des Moines.

Her Facebook note didn’t mention it, but she’s also scheduled to headline an Oct. 7 rally with Glenn Beck in St. Charles, Mo., according to a local conservative talk-radio station’s announcement Monday.

The leg of Palin’s “One Nation” bus tour that’s now ending lasted four days, beginning midday Friday, when Palin appeared at the Iowa State Fair — just in time for her to catch the attention of the assembled national political media mob in town for the Ames Straw Poll.

On Saturday, she visited Ronald Reagan’s childhood home in Dixon, Ill., and his nearby alma mater of Eureka College. She was in Eureka when the straw poll results were released, and NBC News asked her what she thought of the results.

“The prediction was that it would either be Ron Paul or Michele Bachmann because they spent a lot of time and energy to make sure they had delegates there who would cast those votes — so not really a surprise,” Palin told NBC, the only major news outlet following her in Illinois.

Continue reading here… 

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Palin Inches Toward 2012 in Iowa, Nevada

Some say that Sarah Palin will not try to run for the 2012 Presidency.  I strongly believe she will.  You see, it all works out according to prophecy.  The Mayans say that the world as we know it will cease to exist on 12/21/12.   Another prediction shows up in a dramatic video detailing what would happen when/if Palin is elected.

Ok, so my sense of humor leaves a lot to be desired.  

The fact of the matter is that our own “Caribou Barbie” will not only run, but has a statistical chance of winning…

The New York Times

Sarah Palin may be inching toward a presidential run in 2012 as she heads next week to Nevada for two speeches and her advisers quietly begin talking to Republican activists in Iowa.

Both states will be key to winning the Republican nomination, and Ms. Palin’s advisers are determined to do the groundwork necessary should she decide to jump into the campaign.

The informal conversations in Iowa, reported by the Web site Real Clear Politics, are the first baby steps in what would have to become a much more elaborate turnout effort if Ms. Palin, the former Alaska governor, decides to run.

And her speeches in Nevada to two outdoors groups — including one on the same night that President Obama delivers his State of the Union speech in Washington — give her a platform to talk about hunting and guns in the wake of the shootings in Arizona this month.

Representative Michele Bachman of Minnesota is scheduled to arrive in Des Moines this weekend to headline the annual reception for Iowans for Tax Relief. And Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, is set to give a talk to the Iowa Renewable Fuel Association’s annual meeting in Des Moines a week later.

Taken together, the steps by Ms. Palin and the others suggest that the 2012 campaign for president is beginning to pick up some steam.

But advisers to several of the politicians have said they would like to push back any official announcements as far as they can. Forming an exploratory committee and becoming an official candidate trigger costly legal requirements that require sophisticated fund-raising efforts to support.     More…

Sarah Palin may run, but it’s not clear how

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on June 2, 2007.
Image via Wikipedia

Nothing is ever clear-cut with Palin.  We shall see…


DES MOINES – Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin came to the cradle of America’s Republican establishment to deliver a tribute to “renegades going rogue.”

Palin made clear she is considering running for president, but showed no sign that she plans to engage in the painstaking, humbling contest that will begin here in Iowa later this year.

Palin’s Iowa speech and her approach to the first state in the Republican presidential march elevated her as a leader of the national party, but did nothing to resolve the question of how she will do it if she decides to run.

“I don’t know how the machine works. I don’t really know who they are up in that hierarchy in the GOP machine,” Palin told the Des Moines audience during her call for party unity and a “great awakening of America.”

But Palin was speaking to the machine. The traditional route to the presidency runs through the Iowa caucuses and victory in the caucuses begin with kowtowing to state Republican leaders in Des Moines, and then devolves to kowtowing to county leaders, town leaders, and precinct captains. The crowd was full of men and women with warm memories of a long line of Republican candidates who have made the journey here.

Palin did endorse the Iowa Establishment’s favorite for governor, Terry Branstad on June 3 — but even that nod toward traditional politicking came with a signal that she wouldn’t be playing by the usual rules.

Continue reading…