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Battling for Netroots Support

Trying to figure out the preferred presidential candidate of the so-called netroots is a difficult proposition.

The quick growth of this loose conglomeration of online progressive activists has made it a powerful interest group within Democratic politics but, unlike 2004 when the vast majority of its leaders and footsoldiers were behind former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, the support of the netroots is less unified this time around.

Let's take a look at a few measures of netroots energy and support to see if a trend emerges.

* Act Blue: The netroots blogosphere rejects the idea that it is simply an ATM for political candidates. But following the habits of small-dollar donors -- who are the lifeblood of the netroots -- is one way of divining which candidate is gaining traction with the netroots. On Act Blue, one of the premier online bundlers of contributions to Democratic candidates, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) is far and away the first choice. He has received more than 8,000 contributions totaling $900,000. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (N.M.) has taken in $287,000, while a draft effort for Sen. Barack Obama (lll.) contributed $17,0000. (Obama entered the race later than some of his competitors, which may explain the relatively low amount of cash he collected.) It's also worth nothing that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) had received a single contribution for $1 at the end of January. Since then $40 more dollars have come in.

* MySpace Friends: A new website -- Tech President -- monitors the number of people who have signed on as "friends" on the popular social networking site. Here Obama far outdistances the competition with more than 50,000 friends as of this writing. Clinton is second with just over 25,000 friends, and Edwards boasts almost 12,000 friends. If you needed a reminder that the number of friends on MySpace doesn't track with public opinion polls, take a look at the Republican results. The leader? No, not Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani or event former Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.). Who's number one? Little known Rep. Ron Paul.

* DailyKos Monthly Poll: Unscientific but important, Kos -- one of the primary netroots players -- conducts a monthly survey aimed at taking the temperature of his vast readership on the 2008 candidates. The last poll, which was done Feb. 6 and elicited 25,514 responses, put Edwards in first place with 26 percent, followed by Obama with 25 percent. Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who has yet to make a decision about 2008, placed third with 14 percent, while "other" took eight percent. Richardson was at six percent, while Clinton received four percent. The one candidate who regularly challenged Edwards for the lead in Kos' poll -- Sen. Russ Feingold (Wisc.) -- removed himself from the race late last year.

In our three crude measures of netroots support, Edwards is the clear winner -- placing in the top three in each. Obama clearly has significant potential -- both financially and organizationally -- among the online community and is likely to use the energy surrounding his candidacy to match the establishment strength of Clinton's candidacy. Speaking of Clinton, it's not terribly surprising that in two of the three categories she was nowhere to be seen. Why? One reason could be her refusal to apologize for her vote against the 2002 use of force resolution against Iraq. While much (if not most) of the Democratic party is opposed to the war, the netroots have long been the leading edge of opposition to the conflict in Iraq.

It's hard to tell just how much impact Edwards' current status as the "it" boy of the netroots will matter in the long slog toward the nomination. Dean clearly was the choice of the netroots in 2004 (and had hundreds of volunteers) on the ground in Iowa but came up well short of the nomination. Edwards, Obama and the other candidates have surely studied Dean's successes and, more importantly, his failures to find out how to best harness online energy and turn it into actual votes at the ballot box.

We'll be monitoring these three measures of online support on an occasional basis throughout the nominating contest in hopes of better understanding how the netroots are shaping the political landscape.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 26, 2007; 8:55 AM ET
Categories:  Democratic Party  
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Next: Romney's Great Expectations


Putting aside the fact that the Democrats' rising star Barack Hussein Obama has very little experience to be President, let's take a look at his voting record.

National Journal ranked lawmakers on how they vote relative to each other on a conservative-to-liberal scale. In 2006, Obama ranked in the Top 10 for most liberal Senators. He ranked slightly more liberal than John Kerry, Carl Levin, and Russ Feingold. He was much farther to the left than Diane Feinstein, Charles Schumer, and Hillary Clinton. Maybe that's why Hollywood loves Obama so much?

Put another way, Obama is more liberal than Mitch McConnell, Trent Lott, and Kay Bailey Hutchinson are conservative.

Here's just a sample of Obama on the issues:
- Supports raising taxes
- Supports affirmative action
- Supports increasing illegal immigration
- Supports unions
- Pro choice

- Opposes gay marriage (I wonder if Hollywood knows?)

When Obama is more liberal than these six leftists, that may help him in the primary, but will give him NO CHANCE in the general election.

This is why we

Posted by: VA Patriot | March 4, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I agree with JD and Dmitri. Ron Paul is someone worth looking into. He has numerous speeches and articles on the internet, and videos available on google and youtube. Whether you are Democrat, Republican or Indy, Ron Paul is worth a look. The Elite will hate him, but that's the point. He's for returning America to her roots of Constitutional limits on Government and Individual Liberty. The same things that made us the greatest nation on the face of the Earth.

Posted by: Mike | February 28, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I'd just like to second that post by JD, and I wonder if more people, Democrat and Republican, knew about Ron Paul, how many would really like him. I've actually found someone I want to vote FOR instead of voting against the other candidate.

Posted by: Dmitri | February 28, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

The only candidate I find acceptable running on the Republican ticket is Ron Paul. The rest have proven themselves unworthy crooks. He's the only candidate that has consistently voted for what the Republican party has promised for the last 27 years. The Republican party has become a joke because it refuses to minimize the size of government, refuses to lower spending, refuses to secure liberty, and has consistently failed to uphold the Constitution. And before you assume I'm a liberal, I am certainly not. The Democrats are just as deplorable as the Republicans. I stand on my values and the ideals of the founding fathers and I vote my conscience. I am not swayed by fear, for no terrorists can ever rob me of as much as my government has. And my conscience KNOWS that "voting the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil."

Posted by: JD Hill | February 28, 2007 5:08 AM | Report abuse

I must say that I'm pretty impressed with how Clark is learning to use the internet. He's not just using it as a platform for a presidential campaign, which he in fact is not conducting. He's actually using the Net to work on issues and causes -- like warning people about the danger of being led into war with Iran - www stopiranwar com -, like standing up for our soliders, like working to get veterans and deserving Democrats elected.

Posted by: Gale | February 27, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

The Post just published an article title, Democrats Offer Up Chairmen for Donors (2/24). Nancy Pelosi made no apologies for blatantly selling influence for money. The Democrats should be worrying about this outrageous slap in the face of the voters who gave them the majority. Plus the mounting Democratic party scandals in our daily headlines will be broadcast across the internet, further eroding their support.

Clarence Norman Jr., leader of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, the biggest Democratic organization east of Chicago, since 1990, was convicted 2/23/07 of coercion, grand larceny by extortion and attempted grand larceny by extortion in what prosecutors said was a scheme to shake down judicial candidates in exchange for party support. This was Norman's third similar conviction. After his first conviction, Mr. Norman was stripped of his Assembly seat, which he had held for 23 years, and his leadership of one of the largest Democratic Party organizations in the country.

Posted by: tarheel | February 27, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Edwards is only on top because the two real -IT- boys, have not announsed yet. Al Gore and Wes Clark.

They are bouth enormously popular in the netroots and do well in all netroots polls. You can read in mots blogs that they both far outrank Obama and Edwards.

Maybe because they both spoke out against the war already in 2002. And they both have loads upon loads of national security experience.

Gore-Clark in 08!

Posted by: J. Henriksen | February 27, 2007 6:31 AM | Report abuse

I would have thought all of this would be proof of the overstated self importance of the netroots. Hillary Clinton falls way behind adn yet....she is the favourite to win the nomination. She is actually in the lead by a considerable margin nationally. She will have plenty of money etc. As for not getting enough money from the internet this time around....

from the appealt hat Clinton has sent out I believe they have raised over $600000 so far. And you can bet your bottom dollar that if they haven't raised that $1 million goal they will probably raise about $50 million by the end of the first quarter.

The support of the netroots is great to have but it's overstated.

oh and one more thing if anyone can confirm this for me. I seem to recall reading that dailykos consider being against gun control to be totally compatible with being a liberal. That's a fair bit of pragmatism there isn't it?

and as far as I'm concerned you are no liberal if you don't believe in gun control.

Posted by: Thomas | February 27, 2007 12:55 AM | Report abuse

bobby says: "I have yet to have anyone shut me down in a one to one discussion on the issue when you discuss it with honesty."

a couple things: 1, politics is not a one-on-one discussion. 2, this is not an issue which can be proven right or wrong - depends on the mindset of the people with whom you are speaking, and if they really disagree, there is little or nothing you can say to change their minds. you can, however, go quite a ways to turning them off even further. 3, you need to get out more. everyone loses arguments sometimes.

to adopt an unwinnable position, refuse to budge from it, and then to not understand why you don't get things your way is silly. a wise man once said "don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." would you really give up the chance of progress on issues like health care, alternative fuels, tax fairness, a more reasonable foreign policy, etc. etc. just so you can unsuccessfully force this issue on americans who aren't and will never be comfortable with it? fo you in fact want to make some progress, or do you want to pout?

Posted by: meuphys | February 26, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

No, you're part of the bigger problem. You refuse to support candidates who generally agree with you because they don't agree with you enough. Instead, you end up electing people who completely disagree with you. So you're screwing yourself, and the rest of the country, to spite the Democrats.

Posted by: Blarg | February 26, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

you need to read this-

and this

gays rights is endemic of the bigger problem

I will no longer accept the position as chief house servant because I am treated better than the field slave.

The democrats need to learn to treat all Americans as equals or learn what it is to never hold the White House again.

Somos Capitanes - no somos marineros

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | February 26, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I saw what happened when Democrats stayed home the last two elections. And I don't like it. That's why I want Democrats to vote this election, so we don't have another terrible Republican president. Apparently you disagree. You'd rather have a Republican president who completely opposes gay rights than a Democratic president who doesn't completely support gay rights.

And that's idiotic. You need to learn to compromise. No, civil unions aren't as good as gay marriage. But they're a step in the right direction. And then in a few years people will start saying "Hey, we allowed gay civil unions and nothing bad happened. Why not allow gay marriage?" Accept a compromise now, and you might eventually get what you want. Refuse to compromise and you'll never get anything.

Posted by: Blarg | February 26, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

If you understand the art of polling then you know there is not an ounce of support for your position as to Democrats and center to left leaning Independents -

The gay thing make people uncomfortable for sure - but in private they don't care one way or the other -

years in 1987 a poll was done on gay sodomy - depending on how you asked the question a majotity was either for it or against it.

You cannot poll this issue - people just do not feel comfortable discussing the issue with strangers on the phone - so please no polls for your defense

be honest - I have yet to have anyone shut me down in a one to one discussion on the issue when you discuss it with honesty - oops there I go again using honest in the context of a politician

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | February 26, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

bobby, while i respect your desire to be able to use the word 'marriage,' i really think you gotta pick your battles. i'm sorry, but gay marriage is a non-starter for a majority of americans, and if any candidate were to identify himself as strongly in support of it, that would be all you'd hear about that candidate for the remainder of the election cycle.

would you rather have a presidential candidate who was not in support, but did not consider it a 'sin' and actually did back a form of legal commitment, or one who (in your words) 'drank the koolaid' and was soundly defeated? (after also, probably, turning off a good portion of the country on the issue? remember single-payer health care - people supported it, but hillary - and that stupid ad campaign paid for by big pharma - killed it, at least for almost 16 years.)

i'm from massachusetts, and the sky has not fallen now that gays can marry here - but former gov. romney is using the issue effectively (at least in the red states) to campaign, and it's making him money / earning him (some) votes.

the fact is that a majority of americans aren't comfortable with it, and if you force them to associate it with a candidate, that candidate will lose. i think it's more important that we have a successful candidate than that the candidate we choose clears each of the hurdles set by each element of a diverse constituency.

Posted by: meuphys | February 26, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Separate but equal is not equal - argue all you want - there is a growing population of Democrats demanding a clear platform position of pure equality - Obama is unwilling to adopt the platform position of pure equality because he is afraid that if he says "I support gay marriage" he will loose -

everyone knows the poop on this scoop

I am one Democrat staying home for a 3rd time - I note those of us who stayed home the last two times are still being ignored - and look at what happened.

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | February 26, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I still don't understand the problem. Are you complaining that Obama supports civil unions instead of full-fledged gay marriage? And that somehow means he's practicing "the politics of hate and division"? Because that doesn't make any sense at all.

Obama is hardly alone on supporting civil unions; it's a much more common position than supporting gay marriage. And why would that make him lose to a Republican who's against gay marriage entirely? (Any Republican who wants the nomination has to be anti-gay.)

Posted by: Blarg | February 26, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

To be clear Obama has come out against allowing me as a gay man to use the word marriage to refer to my committed relationship with another man - If Unions and marriage are the same then all we are regulating is a WORD - this is indefensible which is why when Obama was asked to defend his position he fumbled like a drunk quarterback

At the time of the American Revolution according to Blackstone "marriage was the sole province of the churches and to be treated as like any other contract" paraphrase -

Now Obama like so many other allegedly origin intent Republicans want to take marriage out of the hands of the churches and put it into the hands of government regulators - this is not conservative - it is not American - it is the Politics of hate and division - and any Obama supporter who cannot confess judgment on this issue is a phony -

I do not play politics with basic human rights - Obama, while a victim of HRC and Bidens respective "Brain Farts" (Bill Marh's term not mine) on the issue of gay marriage Obama has committed his own Brain Fart. If he cannot be honest and forthright on such a basic issue of freedom of association - how can he be frank an honest about anything else -

kool aid anyone

How about HRC, Biden, or Obama showing leadership on the issue and being honest with the people and say - WE ARE ARGUING OVER A WORD PEOPLE - the marriages are happening everyday whether we like it or not.

Oh, sorry - politician - honesty - how silly of me

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Brain Fart Democratics deliver victory to Giulliani

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | February 26, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Daily Kos latest straw poll includes Al Gore in a hypothetical race among non-candidates with Howard Dean and Russ Feingold.

With the Oscar, the Nobel Peace Prize nomination and his upcoming testimony on the Hill in March, he's running as a good an undeclared insurgent campaign as we've seen in many cycles. I wish he could some how make it onto CC's radar screen (or does he not get that channel?). For all of the excitement that Howard Dean captured among the netroots, the Al Gore buzz would be in another stratosphere were he to, sometime later on this spring, declare his interest in "thinking about" the race.
How about Gore/Obama?

Posted by: Pdoggie | February 26, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

US President Tim Kalemkarian, US Senate Tim Kalemkarian, US House Tim Kalemkarian: best major candidate.

Posted by: anonymous | February 26, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

lylepink: You're beginning to sound like Tina. "...choice of the majority of dems"?

At least you have a legitimate candidate to support.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | February 26, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Say what you will about any of the pols announced or not, Hillary is the choice of the majority of dems and, IMO, will be the next POTUS. This netroots thing is fairly new to me and I cannot see where it will help very much for those who are pretty well know. The ones that will be helped is the ones that have ZERO chance of winning anything on a national level.

Posted by: lylepink | February 26, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

There's a lot to like about Al Gore. He hasn't gotten into arguments with other candidates. He doesn't need to suck up to big-name donors. Nobody can complain about his lack of detailed policy proposals. There aren't YouTube videos of him saying something stupid at a campaign rally. He hasn't made a fool out of himself on Sunday morning talk shows. I could continue, but you get the idea.

Gore isn't running for president, at least not yet. The best way to look good in a campaign is to not be involved. By not conducting a campaign, he's immune to a lot of criticism. The minute he throws his hat into the ring, that disappears. I think a lot of the enthusiasm for Gore would wane once other candidates start attacking him and once he actually has to do the same things his opponents are criticized for.

I'm not knocking Gore. I'd love to see him run. I think he'd be the best candidate in the race. Everything I said above could be equally applied to Gingrich on the Republican side. It's easy to support someone who isn't running, because they don't make mistakes. If Gore were to run, I think a lot of his current supporters would find reasons not to like him any more.

Posted by: Blarg | February 26, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Drindl - Maybe the shirt collar was too tight. Looked to me like he's been taking advantage of the sales on Ben & Jerry's.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | February 26, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Most commenters here, especially drindl, are correct - Gore will be the darling of the netroots (I hate that term) if/when he runs. Just about every Dem I talk to says the exact same thing "Oh yeah, I'd get behind him, definitely. But he's not going to run." That says just about everything anyone needs to know - IF Gore got in, he'd shoot straight to the frontrunner position, as he'd syphon votes from Clinton, Obama, and Edwards. He'd get my donation and my vote. (And so what if the guy's put on the little weight! Look around America, you aren't exactly svelte yourself!)

Posted by: corbett | February 26, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Most commenters here, especially drindl, are correct - Gore will be the darling of the netroots (I hate that term) if/when he runs. Just about every Dem I talk to says the exact same thing "Oh yeah, I'd get behind him, definitely. But he's not going to run." That says just about everything anyone needs to know - IF Gore got in, he'd shoot straight to the frontrunner position, as he'd syphon votes from Clinton, Obama, and Edwards. He'd get my donation and my vote. (And so what if the guy's put on the little weight! Look around America, you aren't exactly svet yourself!)

Posted by: corbett | February 26, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

'Howard Dean is associated with the netroots because they were his only supporters'

that's nonsense. He had a very big base. But the media decided to destroy him, and that was that.

'Also, looking at Gore last night, it looks as if Al's been taking up a number of offers for dinner.'

I thought he looked great. Healthy and strong... what do you want for president, paris hilton or some other loony anorexic?

Posted by: drindl | February 26, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"It sounds like the net roots get more criticism for when they fail than credit for when they succeed."

Golgi, for me the problem is that the netroots take credit for success as if the success is all due to them, and them alone.

The reality is that there are so many variables in any campaign, that there is no way to actually know what effect the netroots had!

Why do politicians pay attention to the netroots in the first place? Because they found that the Internet was a way to raise a lot of money easily. The roots' political ideas are secondary.

The politicians have a new cookie jar and will exploit it as long as they can.

The roots people shouldn't delude themselves as to why they are being given attention. They are the "new tool" in the game.

Also, looking at Gore last night, it looks as if Al's been taking up a number of offers for dinner.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | February 26, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

What about the issues of global poverty and extreme hunger? Where do the candidates mention these? I like Obama's call for new politics but I need something more concrete from all the candidates addressing the Millennium Development Goals. Ask the candidates how they feel about this important issue!

Posted by: KatieL | February 26, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Well, it depends whether the candidate can get support from anyone else. Webb and Tester may have gotten initial support from online groups, but they won the election by appealing to a larger group. Candidates who succeed aren't seen as "netroots candidates" because they get a wider audience. Howard Dean is associated with the netroots because they were his only supporters.

The Lieberman/Lamont issue is more complicated. Lamont was surprisingly successful; he defeated a long-time senator in the primary, and almost won the general election. He lost for some weird reasons, primarily Lieberman's decision to run as an independent and the RNC's decision to ditch their own candidate and informally support Lieberman. And very few establishment Democrats supported Lamont, because they didn't want to alienate Lieberman.

Posted by: Blarg | February 26, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

"golgi, early netroots support got a lot of dem candidates in the race [like jim webb and jon testor] who might not otherwise have run."


It sounds like the net roots get more criticism for when they fail than credit for when they succeed.

Posted by: Golgi | February 26, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Crystal Dueker.... Too long, get a blog site.

Ah, the numbers on the net.... I think there are milling tens of millions of voters still looking for The One.

A strong The One for the Dems would be Gore. His entry into the race would make me very happy.

And, don't forget about Newt G who may come in as The One for the conservatives who aren't happy with their choices either, although his personal history is a problem for him.

Ironically, the only front-running GOP candidate who hasn't had multiple wives is..... Mormon Romney. You can't make this stuff up.

Posted by: Truth Hunter | February 26, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

'love our country (which I am sure they do, but don't we all)' --I'm not -- not at all sure either cheney or bush loves this country, or much of anything else except money.

I remember once, when jenna was in the hospital with an emergency appendectomy that bush went fishing wiht his dad rather than visit here. There's something oddly inhuman and coldblooded about both Boy and Shooter.

andy, I wasn't really referring to myspace or those sorts of things particularly, but the more serious political blogs.

golgi, early netroots support got a lot of dem candidates in the race [like jim webb and jon testor] who might not otherwise have run. The only big netroots loser was ned lamont, but he was an incredibly longshot to begin with, and did much better than anyone really expected - he did win the primary.

Unfortunately connecticut voters allowed themselves to be suckered by Liarman once more, after he promised during the primaries he would use his influence to stop the war. Of course, as you know, immediately after the election he immediately became dick cheney's personal toady and poodle again.

Posted by: drindl | February 26, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

crystal, I am uninterested in ANYTHING that is said on FOX, which is a government propaganda organ. Especaily about the professional failure that is condi rice, who is not, I repeat, not, running for anything.

Also, you do not seem to know how to internet... please try practicing at home before you venture out again. Posting personal info is idiotic.

Posted by: drindl | February 26, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Drindl, I appreciate the ability of the Netroots to organize people and get likeminded folks togethor, but Friendster and MySpace are a joke. Now if you show me that Edwards has 50,000 people signed up on then that is something. Because these people actually meet to talk about how to help the campaign. But someone sending you an email that says "Put Barack Obama on your friends list" does not equal real support IMO.

And Pierre that was exactly my point. It takes a special type of ego to want to be president. I just don't think Al Gore thinks like that anymore. And don't for one second think that most of these politicians run for president because they love our country (which I am sure they do, but don't we all). They do it to feed their tremendous egos.

Posted by: Andy R | February 26, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

hello again, I found an interesting story on the Washington Post.....about Secretary of State Condi Rice.

Mr. Cillizza, are you planning on attending the CPAC convention this week?
The National Director of will be in DC for the event and I will be with him.
call me at 701 306 8388
or email at

Now back to the Washington Post story:
Rice: Obama's Run Shows Black Progress
The Associated Press
Monday, February 26, 2007; 9:15 AM

WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice finds Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama appealing and says it won't be much longer before race isn't a barrier to becoming president.

Obama is a top-tier contender among Democrats and his wide support early in the 2008 race "just shows that we've come a very long way," Rice said Sunday. She and the Illinois senator are black.

A woman holds up a flag of Kenya as Democratic presidential hopeful, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., greets supporters during a rally in Austin, Texas, Friday, Feb. 23, 2007. (AP Photo/LM Otero) (Lm Otero - AP)

Soldiers with the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division patrol in central Baghdad as Shiite militiamen, blamed for much violence, appear to be keeping a low profile. (Khalid Mohammed -- AP)



In Today's A Section
• Baghdad Plan Has Elusive Targets
• Teens Can Multitask, But What Are Costs?
• Building a Career Path Where There Was Just a Dead End
• Sharpton's Ancestor Was Owned by Thurmond's
• And the Winners Are . . .

» More in Today's Print Edition

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"I do think we've come a long way in overcoming stereotypes, role stereotypes about African-Americans. I will say race is still a factor. When a person walks into a room, I still think people still see race," Rice said.

"But it's less and less of a barrier to believing that that person can be your doctor or your lawyer or a professor in your university or the CEO of a company. And it will not be long, I think, before it's no longer a barrier to being president of the United States," Rice said.

Rice, a Republican, has said repeatedly she will not run for president despite high popularity ratings and measurable support in opinion polls.

She noted that if she were to continue as secretary of state through the end of President Bush's term in January 2009, "we will not have had a white male secretary of state for 12 years _ a white woman, black man and a black woman. That says something about how far our country has come, even though we can't deceive ourselves. Race is still a factor in this country."

Her most recent predecessors at the State Department were Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright. Powell was secretary of state from 2001 to 2005; Albright from 1997 to 2001.

Rice discussed race in the United States when asked about Obama's candidacy. Obama, a first-term senator, is considered among the early front-runners for the Democratic nomination with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and 2004 vice presidential nominee John Edwards.

Rice noted that Obama is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where the secretary often testifies.

"I think he's very appealing and a great person. He's on my committee. And we've always had good exchanges. I think he's an extraordinary person," she said.

Rice declined to say whether she thought he had enough experience, especially in foreign policy, to be president.

"Oh, I'm not going to make that choice. The American people are going to make that choice," she said.

Rice was interviewed on "Fox News Sunday."

Posted by: Crystal Dueker | February 26, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone provide some examples of candidates running on net roots who won?

Posted by: Golgi | February 26, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

"These people are going to detonate a nuclear device inside the United States ... and we're going to have no one to blame but ourselves." -- Michael Scheuer, former head of the C.I.A.'s bin Laden unit, to MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, February 19, 2007'

You know why he's the FORMER head of the bin Ladin unit? Because cheney/bush disbanded it, because they didn't want to bother chasing bin Ladin anymore. Distracts from going after Iraq and Iran's oil.

But now, a great many anri-terrorism officials and former officials are warning that bin Ladin is in Pakistan [Pakistanis acknowledge this] -- and that he's strengthened his hand and might well have acquired nuclear weapons -- which is easy enough in Pakistan, because the gov't is half controlled by tribalists with loyalties elsewhere.

and where is bush -- why riding his bike, or playing gameboy or watching his favorite cartoons...

Posted by: drindl | February 26, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone checked out Senator Clinton's week long million dollar challenge? It is falling way way beneath the goal. This might be an indication of her lack of grassroots support. I expect thet have been working the phones hard trying to get FOB&H to donate.

Posted by: AnnS | February 26, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

first of all, bobby, i haven't heard obama say much of anything with regard to gay rights. i would suspect given his beliefs on equality and civil rights that he is at the least opposed to discrimination in hiring, etc. and i think he said he was for civil unions...?
i agree with the sentiment expressed bu several people that al gore is the candidate most democrats want. he's the candidate i'd be happiest with too, as the leader of a gore/obama ticket. his farseeing environmental AND foreign policy positions in the '90s are even more crucial/relevant now than they were then. is there a site to persuade gore to run?

Posted by: meuphys | February 26, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I've been blogging for 7 years [before their were 'blogs', actually] and I can tell you that Al Gore is the hands-down, sweep everyone else away favorite on the netroots. I personally love him -- what a pleasure it would be to have an intelligent, thoughtful, accompllished president, someone who could make you feel proud of our country again, someone who isn't a clown and an embarrasment every time he opens his mouth.

I still hold out hope that he will run because I believes he loves this country and he would make that sacrifice becuase if we don't get a sane administration this time, we won't have a future.

As far as people signing up, Andy, it makes a lot of difference. The Web gives you tremendous organizing ability and you can very often get those people not only to donate, but to volunteer, to go door-to-door, to give rides to voters, all kinds of things. But perhaps most importantly, you can get younger people TO CARE, to get involved, to vote.

Btw, a lot of the reason Edwards has such big support is that Elizabeth has been online for years and is very accessible. She has posted a lot of diaries on Daily Kos and will engage with readers -- she's a very decent and real person, very human and likable.

Posted by: drindl | February 26, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Dunno Pierre - I think Al Gore is a born-again ex-politician.

Sometimes those who have sunk the farthest into an addictive "vice" (ha! ha!) are the ones who find the most joy in experiencing life outside.

Well - We'll see!

Posted by: Golgi | February 26, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

"Why would he want to take a thankless job, that pays squat for the work you put in, and eats 10 years off your life for each term."

Because nothing compares to his job. If he had to, Bill Clinton would crawl to get back to the White House, even as a First Buddy.
Power is a drug you can hardly get over.

Posted by: Pierre | February 26, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Did you guys watch the Oscars? Al Gore is not going to run. Period. He is going to win the Noble Prize and use that clout to follow in Jimmy Carter's footsteps as a philanthropist.

Why would he want to take a thankless job, that pays squat for the work you put in, and eats 10 years off your life for each term.
I don't give a rats bu&& about who signed up to some friendster or Myspace list. The real sign is in how much money people are giving. In that case I think it is another sign that Bill Richardson is looking stronger and stronger. I have beleived for a while that Richardson is the growing Dark Horse that nobody wants to talk about. The only thing he needs to do is Quit talking about his credentials. It is getting somewhat repetative.

Posted by: Andy R | February 26, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"I love Al Gore too. He's thoughtful, polite, good looking and has passed the school of hard knocks with flying colors. Here are some kisses for him. XXXXX

Al, you are invited over for dinner any time! You are the best!

But he isn't running."

Yes he is, Golgi. We'll see...

Posted by: Pierre | February 26, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I love Al Gore too. He's thoughtful, polite, good looking and has passed the school of hard knocks with flying colors. Here are some kisses for him. XXXXX

Al, you are invited over for dinner any time! You are the best!

But he isn't running.

Posted by: Golgi | February 26, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please go to:

The "scramble for Hollywood:" the Democratic Party and entertainment industry liberals

By David Walsh
24 February 2007

The squabble that erupted this week between the camps of Democratic Party senators and presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois might best be described as a skirmish in the "scramble for Hollywood."

The dispute brought to the foreground a sordid reality of contemporary American politics: the general hustling for cash from corporate contributors and wealthy donors that dominates US election campaigns, and the role, in particular, of studio executives and other major figures in Hollywood in funneling tens of millions of dollars to the Democratic Party.

Clinton and Obama, along with the other Democrats, are presently battling over Hollywood's treasure trove of campaign funds.

As everyone in America knows and the media brazenly acknowledges, winning the presidential nomination of one of the two major parties depends in large measure on collecting more money than any of your rivals. Success in fund-raising is the principal indication that you are a "serious" candidate. It both confirms that you have the backing of powerful corporate and financial figures, the people who count, and encourages further support from these circles.

American politicians spend the bulk of their time raising cash for their campaigns. The chairman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) predicted in December that the 2008 presidential race would cost $1 billion. FEC Chairman Michael E. Toner told the Washington Times, "The 2008 presidential election will be the longest and most expensive in United States history."

Toner told the newspaper that the "entry level" for getting into the presidential nomination campaign as a serious contender would be $100 million by the end of 2007. "A candidate who hasn't raised that much by then will not be taken seriously by potential major donors or by the press," he said.

During the Presidents' Day recess of Congress this week, many politicians found themselves fund-raising in southern California. Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, Senator Barbara Boxer of California, Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois and Senator Joseph Biden, another presidential hopeful, were among those who held one or more events in the Los Angeles area.

Obama's campaign grabbed the spotlight by organizing a $2,300-per-ticket Beverly Hills reception Tuesday evening, the most significant event this month, attended by film stars, studio executives and others. The affair raised some $1.3 million.

Jennifer Aniston, Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Morgan Freeman, George Clooney, Barbra Streisand, Ron Howard and Dixie Chicks' lead singer Natalie Maines were reportedly among those who attended. Obama, according to press reports, told the mostly film industry crowd, "Don't sell yourself short. You are the storytellers of our age."

The Hillary Clinton-Obama dispute broke out the following day after remarks made by the host of the event, film and recording mogul David Geffen (along with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, one of the founders of DreamWorks SKG), appeared in Maureen Dowd's column in the New York Times. Geffen, who raised $18 million for Bill Clinton during his presidency, has thrown his support and considerable influence behind the Illinois junior senator and rival of Hillary Clinton. Geffen asserted that Hillary Clinton was "overproduced and overscripted," according to Dowd. He criticized her for not apologizing for her 2002 vote in support of the Iraq war.

For the rest please go to:

Posted by: che | February 26, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, I am just so stunned by the Facebook group that I have to repeat that.

One out of every one thousand Americans is a member of a self-sign-up Internet networking group.

The purpose of that group is to support a Democratic primary candidate for a ticket more than a year away.

That number - currently at one out of every one thousand Americans - is growing exponentially.

This is a singular phenomenon.

Posted by: Golgi | February 26, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

How about the Facebook group, "One Million Strong for Barack"?

Apparently that group started in January 2007, was at 100,000 members at the beginning of February 2007, and is over 300,000 members today (end of February 2007).

The MySpace numbers are impressive, but even they pale in comparison.

Posted by: Golgi | February 26, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

MySpace friends don't track opinion polls, granted.

But they do flag interest by very young voters, who don't have a good track record of showing up in typical elections.

Fall 2006 was the YouTube election. Perhaps enough young new voters will show up at the polls in 2008 to make it the MySpace election.

Posted by: Golgi | February 26, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

What did Barack Obama say about gay rights? I don't remember hearing about that.

If you abandon every candidate who says one thing you don't like, then you won't vote for anyone ever again.

Posted by: Blarg | February 26, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

You're right, David. Where's Al Gore? He is the sleeping giant of the Dem netroots. No one wnat to jinx anything or get too excited talking about a Gore run, but that's what the dream of. He just might do it, too.

Posted by: mp | February 26, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

You leave out the favorite of the netroots, Al Gore. If he were included in Kos' poll, he'd leave the other candidates in the dust.

Posted by: David | February 26, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

The Clark numbers are the most telling - they tell us people are unhappy with the choices - he is my choice - I abandoned Barak for the same reasons I would never vote for HRC or Biden - how you reason why some should or should not be entitled to equal rights is a function of your intellect -

I would put Obama's comments on gay rights at the level of Biden's "brain fart" Quoting Bill Marh

Brain Fart Democrats will give Giuliani the victory in 2008

Bobby Wighhtman-Cervantes

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | February 26, 2007 9:42 AM | Report abuse

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