Tag Archive: Yale on the Trail: Democrats

  1. Obama attracts international press

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    MUNCIE, Indiana, 7:45 p.m. — Today was exhausting (*wipes forehead*). Doing nothing is indeed hard work…and now I sound like a politician…but onward, ho…

    Minutes ago, I decided to search for a summer job. (YIKES!) I opened up Firefox, and the main page of Berliner Morgenpost, a first-tier German newspaper, popped up. Yes, it’s my homepage. I like being different.

    I intended to go straight on to Google, but I noticed a picture in the top left corner: a man in silhouette in front of an American flag. The name “Barack Obama” accompanied the photograph.

    Being the curious young lad I am, I clicked on the photo. Seconds later, I was looking at Senator Obama giving a speech, or answering a question, or doing whatever else presidential candidates do.

    That was one picture. There were 13 more.

    The 14 photographs ranged across Obama’s life: the young Barack with his father; Obama’s parents, together (sidenote: Obama’s parents divorced in his youth); Obama’s high-school class in Hawaii; Obama’s senior-year high-school yearbook; Obama teaching law at the University of Chicago; and it goes on.

    The captions for the pictures are equally interesting. The caption accompanying photograph 13 in the series, which shows Obama dancing with wife Michelle, tranlates to, “He is popular and has a good chance to become the Democratic presidential candidate…”

    Obama is international news. Media outlets around the globe recognize Obama’s momentum and its implications for them come Jan. 20, 2009. Despite international discontent with U.S. foreign policy and leadership over the past several years, the president of the United States remains the most influential head of state in the modern world.

    The next president’s policies will have international repercussions. People the world over are watching to see what those policies could mean for them.

    News organizations in the People’s Republic of China are closely following developments in the U.S. presidential race. People’s Daily, based in Beijing, has scores of online articles devoted to the race. The most recent carries the title, “Obama, Clinton in dead heat.” It is dated today, Jan. 7.

    People everywhere care who wins. Right now, they care about Barack.

    Chris Young

  2. In Oklahoma, Boren ’63 to host bipartisan forum featuring Michael Bloomberg

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    NORMAN, Oklahoma, 5:25 p.m. — David Boren ’63 is no stranger to notable political figures. In the past year, the former Oklahoma senator and governor — an affable man popular in this state — has hosted Colin Powell, Al Gore, George H.W. Bush ’48 and Mitt Romney in his role as president of the University of Oklahoma.

    But tomorrow Boren, also a former Yale Corporation trustee, will join nearly a dozen well known, like-minded moderates, including several of his former colleagues from the Senate, in a bipartisan political forum that has been billed as an attempt to encourage national political leaders to bring an end to partisanship and polarization.

    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s presence has many political analysts speculating that the forum will be a further opportunity for Bloomberg to flirt with an independent presidential run. But Bloomberg has denied the rumor, saying the forum is strictly intended to find an independent alternative for government.

    No matter what happens at this meeting of centrists in the geographic center of the nation, the Yale Daily News will be there. Look forward to an exclusive online update tomorrow afternoon.

    -June Torbati

  3. From Boston, five quick reactions to the Dem debate

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    Obama supporter excites crowds in Iowa

    BOSTON, Mass., 4:05 a.m. — 1) Maybe it’s time to stop trying to make these debates hip and tech-savvy. What did Facebook’s “sponsorship” add to the debate other than some pretty lame polls? Couldn’t they have at least done something fun to add the “Facebook touch” on the dry proceedings? Maybe they could have let each candidate write in a status? (“Bill Richardson is wondering what he is doing here.”)

    2) I really liked the banter between Hil and Obama throughout the night. Except when Obama said “You are likable enough” to Hilary, I was confused. Was this earnest? Was it an underhanded insult? Was it one of those things you say without really knowing what it means but just because it sort of sounds like the right thing to say in the moment? Was I thinking about the whole thing too much?

    3) I don’t think I will be forgetting anytime soon how many years of experience Hillary Clinton has since she managed to mention her THIRTY-FIVE years of experience about thirty-five times.

    4) My favorite question was, “What is something you said in a previous debate that you wish you hadn’t said?” Seriously?! Did he expect anyone to actually answer that?! These are politicians! It’s like asking someone on a first date, “So, how did you mess up your past relationships?”

    5) There was this wonderful moment when they all started talking at once in response to one of the five thousand questions about “change” when Edwards cracked a smile and – just for a second – I felt like maybe, just maybe, he was realizing just how strange and ridiculous these debates are. Or maybe he was just smiling. It was hard to tell.

    —Josh Duboff

  4. Upcoming: Interviews with Axelrod, Penn, Elizabeth Edwards

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    MANCHESTER, N.H., 11:35 p.m. — Democratic advisers are out in force in the spin room right now. Reporters are beginning to decamp from Saint Anselm, and the News will leave soon, too.

    But check back — among the spinners we caught up with are Elizabeth Edwards; David Axelrod, the chief Obama stategist; Mark Penn, the chief Clinton strategist; Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina; Gov. Deval Patrick, Mitt Romney’s successor in Massachusetts; and Mark McKinnon, the McCain media consultant and the architect of President Bush’s media blitzes.

    Oh, and we saved the best for last —now that the debate is over, the Internet in the spin room is working flawlessly.

    — Thomas Kaplan

  5. PoliSci professor Hancock still undecided after Iowa

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    NORMAN, Oklahoma, 6:20 p.m. — For assistant professor in Political Science Ange-Marie Hancock, Barack Obama’s resounding win over third-place Hillary Clinton LAW ’73 in Iowa last night is big news — it is a historical moment, she says — but it hasn’t made her decision as a voter any easier.

    “Honestly, right now I am square in the middle between Obama and Clinton,” she says with a laugh during a phone interview.


  6. In West Des Moines, backers of unviable candidates flock to Obama

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    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa, 7:27 p.m. — The library at Hillside Elementary School in West Des Moines was packed. Outside the door, bright-eyed women wore bandoliers of Hillary stickers and handed out cookies to caucus-goers.

    “Are you supporting Hillary? Supporting Hillary? That corner in the back, that’s where we are.”

    The Iowa caucuses began at 7:00 o’clock tonight across the Hawkeye state, ending months of media and inside-the-Beltway speculation about which Democratic and Republican candidates would win the first voting of the year. In West Des Moines, however, Iowans acted as though they had simply gathered to chat about the neighborhood.


  7. After poll, Gaddis Smith recalls the Republican Yale of 1936

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    OLYMPIA, Wash., 9:45 p.m. — While constant polling may drive newspaper circulation, for Yale historian and professor emeritus Gaddis Smith, the horse race is, well, a complete bore.

    My calling him over winter break to comment on the paper’s recent presidential poll therefore only added to his unwanted numerical inundation that is increasing on the eve of the Iowa caucuses.

    Still, Smith could not help but note Yale’s dramatic political transformation over the past century.


  8. Ally Fields ’11: Crossing rivers for Obama

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    DAVENPORT, Iowa — During a break from Route 80 adventures earlier this evening, Ryan and I ate dinner at Cracker Barrel with Ally Fields ‘11, a resident of Rock Island, Ill., and a supporter of Barack Obama.

    Fields has been keeping busy during the winter break: She crosses the Mississippi River almost daily to volunteer for Obama’s Davenport office.

    Fields ‘11

    Ally Fields ’11 has spent her winter break campaigning for Barack Obama.


  9. Bill Clinton woos voters with reminiscence about 1990s

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    Bill ClintonAMANA, Iowa, 4:26 p.m. — Bill Clinton is 26 minutes late. He was supposed to arrive in Amana at 4 o’clock to address a crowd of bundled-up Iowans at this small outpost 10 miles off I-80. So now we’re sitting in this corrugated metal structure that gets a degree colder every time someone opens the door. A cluster of twenty-something Hillary staffers stand in the corner in ankle-length coats, clutching clipboards and looking around nervously. One of them clearly looks like D.C., but a couple others are wearing enough Carhartt to pass for native Iowans.

    Finally a voice breaks through an ambient Fleetwood Mac tune and announces the arrival of Chrissie Vilsack — the wife of former Governor Tom Vilsack — and President Clinton. The crowd rises to its feet.

    “I was watching the football games on the way over,” the former president begins. “And I was watching this kicker in the fourth quarter of the game and thinking, ‘That’s how the Iowa caucus-goers are going to feel on Thursday.’ On caucus night, the whole future of the world is on your shoulders — don’t feel any pressure at all.”


  10. In morph from stylist to general, Edwards rallies his ‘fighters’

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    Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards called attention to the growing divide between moneyed corporate interests and working man’s values at a rally in Sioux City Sunday night

    SIOUX CITY, Iowa, 9:43 p.m. — Tom Petty must have been proud. And Bruce Springsteen. And John Mellencamp and John Fogerty.

    Elizabeth Edwards’ introduction of her husband was almost superfluous after the battery of American classic-rock anthems that preceded it – the crowd got the message: John Edwards stands for you. And America.

    The former senator from North Carolina held the floor of the Sioux City Convention Center for almost an hour Sunday night, preaching classic themes of right and wrong, good and evil and the working man against the corporation.

    “My belief is that corporate greed has infected every part of the government,” Edwards said. “When you go to caucus on Thursday night, you better send a fighter into that arena.”

    Edwards claims to be just that fighter. Drawing on his 20 years as a trial lawyer in North Carolina, Edwards touched on health care, college tuition fees and pork-barrel spending in his denouncement of moneyed corporate interests that he said “have a stranglehold on your democracy.”

    The crowd loved it. Edwards was interrupted with applause time and time again — once by a standing ovation in the middle of his prepared remarks.

    “I thought he was truthful and honest,” Sioux City resident Gary Turbes said at the end of the event. “He’s got a vision for the future.”

    Zack Abrahamson

  11. For Dodd, a struggle to matter

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    LE MARS, Iowa, 12:29 p.m. “This has to be about something more than celebrity,” Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd told a crowd of 30 as he stood atop two stacked forklift palletes. “This has to be about something deeper, much deeper – about substance and about who has the ability to lead this country.”

    This week is likely to make or break the campaign for dark horse Dodd, who has lagged in polls in Iowa and nationally since the announcement of his candidacy in January. At the 4 Brothers restaurant in Le Mars, Dodd asked Iowans to look past his relative obscurity and “prove the national pundits wrong.”

    A third-place finish here would be an impressive victory for the veteran Connecticut legislator, although Dodd left himself room in the expectations game to finish fourth, telling those in attendance that “Iowans could punch three, even four tickets out of this state.”

    Harold Schaitberger thinks he can make that happen. The general president of the International Association of Fire Fighters union has been on board with the Dodd campaign since August. He has traveled to all 40 local firefighter unions across Iowa, urging members to support Dodd and lending “firepower” to a campaign that Dodd admits has few celebrity allies.

    Dodd - Dec. 30

    Chris Dodd at an event in Le Mars, IA at the 4 Brothers Restaurant. Dodd discussed his experiences in the Senate, the need for substance over celebrity in this year’s election, and made a passionate appeal for Iowa voters to believe in his underdog crusade for the nomination.