Tag Archives: Obama running mate

Joe Biden on Fire

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It’s official: Obama and Biden

from Radio Netherlands Worldwide

by  Reinout van Wagtendonk

Barack Obama is officially the Democratic Party’s candidate for the US presidency. On the third day of the Democratic convention in Denver his defeated rival, Hillary Clinton, submitted a motion to elect Obama the winner by acclamation, and in his speech her husband Bill Clinton expressed his unconditional support for Obama. Later in the day, Joe Biden was officially elected as Barack Obama’s running mate for the vice-presidency.

Bill Clinton salutes the crowdA roll call like this, coming forward state by state to vote for the presidential candidate, is largely just a tradition. The result is known in advance. This time too Barack Obama had for months been the unofficial Democratic candidate. But the long and bitter battle with Hillary Clinton for that nomination had left wounds. That’s why the tradition had to take a dramatic turn. Orchestrated drama, of course, since it had been negotiated in advance and arranged precisely so it could be shown live in the half-hour around mealtime when the big three TV networks have their evening news.

Acclamation
Hillary Clinton interrupted the voting ritual with a motion calling for Obama to be elected by acclamation as a united party’s candidate to face the final battle against John McCain:

“I move Senator Barack Obama of Illinois be selected of this Convention by acclamation as the nominee of the Democratic Party for President of the United States.”

With a rapid blow of her gavel, convention chairwoman Nancy Pelosi ensured that whatever opposition remained would not be heard. The convention now belonged to Barack Obama. Most of Hillary’s supporters resigned themselves to the situation.

Ovation for Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton showed no trace of disappointment or resentment whatever. The former president’s speech was received by the Democrats with a lengthy ovation. Until recently Clinton seemed inclined to undermine Obama’s campaign. But on Wednesday evening he said he was convinced that Obama has what it takes to be the leader of the United States:

“My fellow democrats, I say to you, Barack Obama is ready to lead America and to restore American leadership in the world.”Clinton referred to his own presidential campaign in 1992, when the Republicans tried to write him off as an inexperienced lightweight, just as they are doing with Obama today. Clinton didn’t do too badly, as he modestly pointed out. So that should work again in 2008. The speech was the perfect launching pad for vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden and for Barack Obama’s acceptance speech which will round off the convention on Thursday evening.

Obama appears briefly
Obama appeared briefly in the convention hall on Wednesday night, following Joe Biden’s speech. He explained that he would be holding his speech in a huge stadium, before an audience of 80.000 people, because they are the people who will help him to bring about change in America:

“Change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things, and so we want to open up this Convention to make sure that everybody who wants to come can join in the party and join in the effort to take America back.”

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Sen. Joe Biden Addresses the DNC

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Obama’s 2.9 million texts create online frenzy

from the Christian Science Monitor’s The Vote Blog

By Jimmy Orr

Obama’s now-legendary text message announcing the selection of vice presidential candidate Joe Biden has been discussed ad nauseum — including here.

Why bring it up again? We know now just how many text messages were sent out.

The folks over at Nielsen tell us that 2.9 million texts were sent out. It sounds impressive. And according to Nielsen, it is:

“The V.P. message was sent in the late hours of Friday night and is, by many accounts, the single largest mobile marketing event in the U.S. to date,” a release from Nielsen read. “While much has been said of the timing and the scoop by news outlets, Obama’s V.P. text-message still ranks as one of the most important text messages ever sent and one of the most successful brand engagements using mobile media.”

Online political pundits agree. This was a success. And if you signed up, get ready for more says the Obama campaign. Nick Shapiro, a spokesman at the Obama campaign told ABC News:

“Moving forward, we’re going to continue to keep our supporters engaged with our valuable two-way communication tool,” he said

This valuable two-way communications tool spawned an enormous amount of media coverage, not to mention the viral conversation it started.

The Obama text underground…

The text event generated a life of its own. Enter “Obama text message” into Google and 983,000 results pop up. It’s a lot of reading but, in short, there are forums, web pages, articles, and even videos discussing the issue.

One of the most entertaining is an account of a fictitious lawsuit against the Obama campaign from an unemployed bricklayer named Manley Scott. In the fictitious (repeated for emphasis) account, Scott didn’t receive the text and filed suit. The article comes complete with fictitious quotes from Senator McCain and FOX News anchor Sean Hannity:

“First he says he’ll send Manley a text message, then he changes his mind and doesn’t,” said Sean Hannity of Fox News, “this kind of flip flopping is proof Obama is not ready to be President.”

“Textgate is a classic example of why Obama is not fit to be commander in chief,” said John McCain from one of his many houses. “When we should be bombing Iran, he would be fiddling with one of those new fangled cell phones, trying to order some arugula.”

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Tech & the convention – now Obama’s got Biden emailing

from The Christian Science Moniter

By Jimmy Orr | 08.24.08

Barack Obama’s new running mate has joined the online campaign by sending out his own email today which links to a “personal” video from the Senator thanking supporters and giving them a chance to know who he is.

“Hi, this is Joe Biden,” he says.  “I want to thank you for the way you’ve welcomed me into the campaign.  I’m deeply honored to join Barack and the millions of supporters like you in this movement you’ve put together.”

Biden’s email, the video, and of course, the much-discussed text from Obama are part of an online campaign that is getting a lot of attention.

The “old media”

Never before – at least in the U.S. – has there been a more talked-about text message.  On Friday night, when the vice presidential speculation had hit a frenzy, some bloggers seemed to be laughing at the mainstream media’s struggle to keep up.

Marc Ambinder, a political blogger at The Atlantic posted a message entitled “Triumph of New Media over Old Media” that simply stated, “Wolf Blitzer on the Situation Room begging viewers to stay tuned so CNN can bring them coverage of a text message.”

Well,  as it turned out, the mainstream media was able to get the scoop on Obama’s selection before the actual text went out.  But only by a couple hours.  (Obama’s vice presidential selection “cone of silence,” however,  was more impressive than Rick Warren’s).

This was, after all, the first time a presidential campaign choose to deliver the announcement via the “new media” (texting and emails to supporters) rather than going to the mainstream media first – regardless of how it played out.

There have been complaints by some people who say they didn’t receive the text until late yesterday.  Some are saying they haven’t received it at all.  But the Obama campaign is saying the distribution of the text message went very well.

Just how many people signed up anyway?  They aren’t telling.  But the number “three million” is bandied about often.

It ain’t the text, it’s the contact info

If you are focused on the text message itself, say online strategists, you are missing the boat.  Andrew Rasiej, the co-founder of techpresident.com, a web site which tracks how the presidential candidates are using the web, says getting contact information of supporters was of paramount importance.

The text campaign “was very effective in achieving its primary goal which was to build up Obama’s already massive database of supporters and develop yet another way they can be reached and mobilized during the final run up to the election,” Rasiej said.

What will the Obama campaign do with these cell numbers?

“[They] can start to mash all the data they have collected from multiple places, such as their e-mail list, their … contributors, their donors, and now these cell phone numbers, with voter files and … give themselves the potential to identify key activists who might volunteer to make calls, canvas, or help with GOTV (Get out the vote),” Rajeiv said.  “This info will also help them identify people who are still making up their minds or haven’t fully committed, and the campaign can redouble its efforts to make the final sale.”

The 3:00 am call

What about the fact that the text message came in the middle of the night?  Did it lose a personal touch?

Phil Noble, the director of Politics Online, said he doubted there were many people who stayed up staring at their cell phones waiting for the text.

“I don’t think folks expected that Barack himself keyed in the message on his Blackberry and sent it out,” Noble said.  “But signing up for the alert and then getting the word directly to your own mobile is a lot more personal than seeing it in a newspaper some kid threw up on your front porch. Beside, many of the younger text generation don’t read newspapers anyway.”

Noble said the text campaign was part symbolic and part substance.  It signaled – and delivered – a new way of communicating with people that will pay dividends far past the initial text message.

“Obama’s use of the new tools is not like a single silver bullet that has one big impact,” Noble said.  “Instead, what they are doing is using the new media to reach a whole new generation the way they want to communicate, over and over again. Every time the Obama campaign touches these folks in the new media and they respond back, it’s another strand of connectedness that eventually forms a strong web of connectedness and activism, and that is very powerful.”

What’s next?  The word is Senator Biden will be challenging John McCain’s yet-unannounced running mate to a duel in World of Warcraft instead of a vice presidential debate.  But that’s just an email that’s going around…

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ObamaBiden08.org in History

From the Moderate Voice

Early (?) Vice-Presidential Picks Predictions

August 23rd, 2008 by DORIAN DE WIND

With the Obama-Biden Democratic ticket now set in stone, it is interesting to investigate who predicted such a pairing the earliest.

I came across a web site, ObamaBiden08.org, that published an article on January 14, 2008, titled “Congratulations President Obama and VP Biden!” The article originally appeared on InnocentEnglish.com and was dated January 4, 2008.

This is, in part, what it said:

Let me be the first to congratulate President elect Barack Obama and Vice President elect Senator Joseph Biden. Since it is January 4th 2008 tonight, some of you might be a bit sceptical (sic). But just remember, you heard it here first.

and concludes,

So, on January 4th 2008, I’d like to be the first to congratulate Obama and Biden for their victory and for becoming the next President and Vice President of the United States.

Now, the writer is skipping ahead to the general elections and predicting an Obama-Biden win, but, of course, for that to happen, Obama had to first pick Biden to be his running mate—which the author did predict.

There are other predictions about the results of the primaries by the writer that have come true, including: “So McCain and Obama will be an interesting match up…”

And about McCain’s running mate:

… but McCain (with Romney as VP) just won’t be able to compete with the swelling of grass roots support and impassioned backing of Obama.

We’ll soon find out if the writer was right on his prediction for McCain’s running mate.

If he is right on this second one, too, who knows, he may also have the third prediction right. Hope, hope!

Any other earlier predictions?

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Biden and McCain, Rivals Again

from the Washingtonpost.com

By Michael D. Shear, Paul Kane and Jonathan Weisman
By selecting Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate, Barack Obama has picked a Senate colleague who has a long and friendly rivalry with Obama’s Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain.

From their perches on the leading foreign policy committees, Biden and McCain have shadowboxed across the globe, building reputations as experts in their respective parties on war and peace.

But their clash over the direction of the war in Iraq — and now the prospect of a high-stakes political campaign this fall — has strained that collegial relationship, leaving both men more than willing to do battle with the other.

“He has respect for McCain but he’ll be the first to angered by the sort of cheap shots they’re throwing at Obama now,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who predicted that Biden will relish the role of playing a lead attack dog on McCain.

Over the years, Biden and McCain have traveled broadly, often returning from war zones to spar with each other on the Sunday morning talk shows. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs committee, Biden visited Iraq more than 7 times; McCain has returned to Iraq eight times as the senior Republican on the Armed Services committee.

The result was a rivalry — and a friendship — built on respect, people in both parties said. In 2005, Biden told comedian Jon Stewart that “John McCain is a personal friend, a great friend. I would be honored to run with or against John McCain because I think the country
would be better off.”

Asked in 1999 what he would do on the first day of his presidency, McCain said he would “call in Joe Biden and John Kerry and Zbigniew Brzezinski and Carl Levin and like-minded Republicans” for a frank discussion about the need for a bipartisan foreign policy.

“They actually have a long and good relationship. They’re friends,” a senior Biden aide said Saturday morning.

McCain called his colleague early Saturday morning to congratulate him, aides said. In his first speech as Obama’s running mate, Biden acknowledged that McCain is “genuinely a friend of mine” before proceeding to blast his friend for being a wholehearted backer of the Bush-McCain policies that Biden said threaten the future.

That friendship dates back decades, to the time that a young John McCain served as a staffer to senators like Biden. It was then, McCain has said, that he first wanted to become a member of Congress.

In a biography of McCain, author Robert Timberg wrote that “McCain was much in demand for overseas escort duty…He was fun to be around, his wit appealing, his natural exuberance infectious. In an Athens taverna he danced on a table with Senator Joseph Biden’s wife, Jill, a red bandanna clenched in his teeth.”

Later, as senators, the pair sometimes joined forces, especially on military and foreign policy matters. In 1999, a “McCain-Biden” bill would have authorized President Bill Clinton to use “all necessary force,” including ground troops, in Yugoslavia.

Democrats and the Republican Senate leadership opposed the bill as too broad and too open-ended, and rejected it, but the partnership was an example of their willingness to work collaboratively.

Biden and McCain both have sons in the military, giving each a personal connection to the war they see so differently. McCain’s son, Jimmy is a Marine who served in Iraq until Feburuary. Biden’s son, Beau, a reserve officer who is the Attorney General of Delaware, reports to Iraq in October.

They are also both shaped by tragedy. McCain spent five-and-a-half years in a Vietnamese prison after being captured when his plane was shot down. Biden’s wife and infant daughter were killed in an auto accident shortly after his first election.

On a lighter note, both Biden and McCain were among the most frequent guests on Don Imus’ radio show, often heaping praise on each other. During one show in 2006, Biden was effusive about McCain’s efforts to stop the Bush Administration’s torture policy.

“You know, I mean, thank God for John McCain in saying, whoa, what are you guys talking about?,” Biden told Imus.

But that friendship is likely to be strained further during the
upcoming election, as Biden is tasked by Obama to attack McCain. It is a task he had already begun even before being picked.

In April, Biden gave a speech at Georgetown University in which he said there is “no daylight between John McCain and George Bush. They are joined at the hip.”

In the speech, he called McCain “a man I greatly admire, a man I consider a personal and close friend.” But he went on to slam what he called a “myopic” view of foreign policy and said that “fundamental change” will require “more than a great soldier. It’s going to require a wise leader.”

Last month, in another speech, Biden accused McCain of “profound confusion” and “twisted logic” on the fight against terrorism and urged him to “study history” on the subject.

It is on terrorism and Iraq that there are likely to be the greatest clashes.

Both supported the authorization for war in Iraq, though Biden argues he was trying to give Bush the strongest hand possible force United Nations weapons inspectors back in. After the invasion, Biden preceded McCain in arguing for additional troops.

But in 2006, the two broke irrevocably. With sectarian violence spiraling, Biden argued that 500,000 troops wouldn’t bring peace if the Iraqis couldn’t reconcile.

Since then, they have traveled separately and returned with
opposite conclusions. About the time McCain earned criticism walking around a Baghdad Market in a flak jacket and offering a rosy assessment, Biden was marooned in Fallujah in a sand storm. Stuck in a room with Iraqi politicians, he was struck by the discord and lack of
will to reconcile.

Staff researchers Alice Crites and Lucy Shackelford contributed to this report.

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