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Keeping Obama Plugged In

CHICAGO: While visiting the Windy City for the Yearly Kos blogapalooza, we stopped by Sen. Barack Obama's headquarters to meet his new media team. It's young, like most of the rest of Obama's jean-wearing, T-shirt clad, mostly casually dressed staff. Joe Rospars, the team's boss, is 26 and directs a staff of more than a dozen. But it's also quite experienced. Rospars was part of Howard Dean's Internet team and served as online director for the Democratic National Committee.


One of Rospars' deputies is Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook, the popular networking site. Hughes oversees MyBarackObama.com, Obama's very own soc-net (social networking sites), and you can see the similarities between Facebook's design and feel and MyBarackObama. Another deputy is Scott Goodstein, who keeps track of Obama's presence on soc-nets such as MySpace. In addition, Goodstein looks after the campaign's text messaging plans. If you found yourself lost in Chicago -- it's a big town -- over the weekend for Yearly Kos, you could text YKOS to OBAMA and ask for directions. (Yes, there's actually a staffer, a veritable Googling monkey, whose job it was to answer each text. We met him. He's normal.)

What's most striking about Obama's new media team has been its success in marrying online enthusiasm with offline activism. An example of this is a feature on Obama's site, rolled out just a few days ago, called South Carolina headquarters. Supporters in South Carolina can fill out an online form -- e-mail address, phone number, zip code -- then a field organizer in South Carolina will subsequently contact you. An online connection turns into offline action.

"That's really the goal. If there's one word that describes our site, it would be 'transparent,'" Rospars, who's one of the online political operatives we profiled earlier this year, told us. "There's a lot of stuff going on, and we try to put different hooks out there for folks to latch on."

-- Jose Antonio Vargas

Posted at 4:25 PM ET on Aug 7, 2007  | Category:  New Media
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Mr. Obama is an impressive debater. He caused Billary to blow her cool and expose her rotten underbelly, but amazing to me no one hardly takes umbrage. Her comment about lobbyists should disqualify her from running as a democrat. Her increasing popularity shows just how stupid the average voter is, I'm sorry to assert. All voters should be required to pass political literacy test or we are going to continue to fill the white house with incompetents, as I believe we have going back to and including Johnson. (Tongue in cheek joke) A new book that offers a look at what an ideal democracy should be is Parity Democracy. It should be required reading. It can be found on the major online book stores.

Posted by: e_wode | August 9, 2007 1:00 PM

The Medium is the message, online or off... Obama's the One!
Ronald V. Murray, Midschool Educator; Major, US Marine Corps (Retired)

Posted by: makeadif | August 8, 2007 9:41 PM

It's disturbing to see Obama's support for IGCC - coal gasification. Despite his Illinois coal backers, this unfounded support of IGCC will hurt him politically. His support shows he's not keeping track of the status of the various projects across the country == IGCC has been dealt serious blows, primarily because it's not ready for commercial use and is only a DOE demonstration level, and second, that it does not offer a substantively improved emissions profile. Another problem is that though it COULD capture CO2, arguably, it doesn't, the projects proposed are only "capture ready" and not actually doing it. CO2 capture is commercially available at 30% or less of that generated (with huge MW loss due to loss of efficiency), but there's no utility scale (5.4 million tons for 600MW) commercial storage yet and it's a long way off, per the DOE in its Gilberton coal-to-liquids EIS addendum. And then there's cost, at well over $2 billion for 600MW, or $3,593/MW, and wholesale price ranging from $90-104/MWhr, with this nominal capture, add another $50/MWhr, and if it captured 90+%, transported it by pipeline at 2,000+psi for hundreds of miles and stored it PERMANENTLY at a suitable site, well, it'd be way more than any PUC could authorize as a reasonable and prudent expenditure! Obama needs to set his minions to work on this and set a position that's founded in reality of IGCC=coal gasification.

Carol A. Overland
www.legalectric.org
Attorney for mncoalgasplant.com, intervenor in Excelsior Energy IGCC docket at MN PUC

Posted by: overland | August 8, 2007 11:14 AM

Well said Mr.Connally! I look forward to casting my vote for Barack Obama.

Posted by: tjfrmla | August 8, 2007 11:12 AM

It is so refreshing to see Senator Barack Obama as the democratic candidate for the Presidency of the United States. A neo-intellectual of the democratic political persuasion, who understands the political process as well as the historical ramifications of the political process, Senator Obama is a man with great courage, fortitude, and spiritual insight, willing to take a stand even if his position seems on the surface, an unpopular one. He is a candidate who is willing to truly represent "all of the people, all of the time."

He is truly the Presidential candidate who offers America the greatest hope in this dismal age in which we live. Sadly, it is a time when corruption in politics is so rampant that it is the norm, and those corrupted don't even know they are corrupted. It's a time when fear has gripped our society and the freedoms of our society are fleetingly becoming things of the past. Senator Obama brings a fresh aroma to the political process and helps rid America of the rancid odor of traditional politics.

Further, the nations of the world are watching to see if America, with all of its propaganda for democracy and equality can live up to its own creed and elect someone obviously capable of being President of the United States and quite capable of dealing with the leaders of the world who are not of European descent as well as those who are. We definitely need a rapid departure from the politics of the traditional ruling class and that includes Hillary Clinton.

It is time that the historical America, with its historical attitudes, renounce those attitudes and embrace the best and brightest of American political will, regardless of their race and get back on track to being the America we were are capable of being.

Yes, Senator Obama does offer hope to the American political process. It is my hope that America avails itself of that hope.

John Connally

Posted by: john_c_connallly | August 7, 2007 8:42 PM

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