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Blakeman Leaves Freedom's Watch

Later today, Bradley Blakeman will step aside as president of Freedom's Watch, an independent conservative organization expected to play a major role in the 2008 election.

"I will stay through transition and then I will go back to my consulting business," Blakeman said in a brief interview today. "I resigned, they didn't ask for my resignation."

Blakeman spent several years earlier this decade serving in the administration of President George W. Bush.

Freedom's Watch, which is widely regarded in Republican circles as the conservative answer to, has experienced a series of high-level staff departures in recent months. Communications director Matt David, who had done stints with Sen. John McCain's presidential bid and the 2006 re-election race of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, left Freedom's Watch for a job as deputy chief of staff to the Governator. Robert Terra, who manned McCain's war room operation before leaving the campaign in August, also recently left Freedom's Watch and will join Schwarzenegger's staff.

What those departures mean for a group expected to serve as the main vehicle for conservative spending in the coming election is not immediately clear. The group debuted on the political scene last fall with a multi-million dollar ad campaign seeking to drum up congressional support for the war in Iraq. In late 2007 the group sponsored an ad in an Ohio special election that hit the Democratic nominee on her immigration stance.

Since then, however, Freedom's Watch has been very quiet -- perhaps evidence of the group trying to better understand its mission and prepare itself for the fall campaign to come.

Earlier today Blakeman sent out a farewell on the Freedom's Watch blog.

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 7, 2008; 11:27 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Hate to stray from this invigorating discussion of Freedom Watch, but how come the winner of the two-step predictions hasn't been announced yet?

Posted by: AlaninMissoula | March 8, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Obama's efforts to connect to the Republican Party, specifically Bush, and Dick Chaney, of the Halliburton Company, dates back to the Presidents Grandfather, Prescott Bush, and indeed Chaney was once an executive officer of Halliburton.

The American military pounds Iraq with Artillary, bombs, and the like, destroying large sections of cities, and infra-structures, then Halliburton comes in to rebuild. Halliburton and Halliburton associated companies have raked in ten's of billions.

Obama is just like the BIG HALIBURTAN. Haliburton has contracted to build detention centers in the U.S. similiar to the one in Quantanammo Bay, Cuba. Halliburton does nothing to earn the Two Dollars for each meal an American Serviceman in Iraq eats.

Halliburton was scheduled to take control of the Dubai Ports in The United Arab Emiirate. The deal was canceled when Bush was unable to affect the transfer of the American Ports.

Now we see what some might suspect as similiar financial escapading from the Democrats.

Two years ago, Iraq's Ministry of Electricity gave a $50 million contract to a start-up security company - Companion- owned by now-indicted businessman (TONY REZKO) Tony Rezko and a onetime Chicago cop, Daniel T. Frawley, to train Iraqi power-plant guards in the United States. An Iraqi leadership change left the deal in limbo. Now the company, Companion Security, is working to revive its contract.
Involved along with Antoin "Tony" Rezco, long time friend and neighbor of Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama, and former cop Daniel T. Frawley, is Aiham Alsammarae. Alsammarae was accused of financial corruption by Iraqi authorities and jailed in Iraq last year before escaping and returning here.

Recently, Obama's campaign staff have been vetted by the IRS to disclose his connection to the criminal money generating underworld. Besides, his connections to the REZCO MAFIA types, his up-coming tax fraud charges -- Obama needs to disclose why he is a MUSLIM "PATWANG-FWEEE" and disclose Obama's MUSLIM Farrakhan mob connection to Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ. Its minister, and Obama's spiritual adviser, is the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. In 1982, the church launched Trumpet Newsmagazine; Wright's daughters serve as publisher and executive editor. Every year, the magazine makes awards in various categories. Last year, it gave the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award to a man it said "truly epitomized greatness." That man is Louis Farrakhan. Farrakhan and Chicago's Trinity United Church are trumpeting Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama as the second coming of the messiah. Obama should stop suppoting our intervention in IRAQ. It's time to introduce this false, fake Xerox - X box Obama and invite the self-indicting thief plagiarizing pipsqueke "GLORK" Xerox - X box to meet the Buffalo "GAZOWNT-GAZIKKA" Police Department Buffalo Creek. He is MAD!!! --


"GLORK" Obama looks like Alfred E. Newman: "Tales Calculated To Drive You." He is a MUSLIM "Glork" He's MAD!!! Alfred E. Neuman is the fictional mascot of Mad. The face had drifted through American pictography for decades before being claimed by Mad editor Harvey Kurtzman after he spotted it on the bulletin board in the office of Ballantine Books editor Bernard Shir-Cliff, later a contributor to various magazines created by Kurtzman.
Obama needs to disclose why he is a MUSLIM "PATWANG-FWEEE" and stop suppoting our intervention in IRAQ. It's time to introduce this false, fake "GLORK" Xerox - X box Obama and invite the self-indicting thief plagiarizing pipsqueke Xerox - X box to meet the Buffalo "GAZOWNT-GAZIKKA" Police Department Buffalo Creek.

Michelle Obama should be ashamed.

"GLORK" Michelle Obama should be ashamed of her separatist-racist connection to Farrakhan and Chicago's Trinity United Church trumpeting Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama as the second coming of the messiah. If Michelle Obama new what her husband -- the Hope-A-Dope, Fonster Monster -- Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama did in Harlem, she would wash her wide-open, Hus-suey loving MUSILM mouth out, with twenty-four (24) mule-team double-cross X-boX-BorraX. He is a MUSLIM "Glork" It's time to introduce this false, fake "GLORK" Xerox - X box Obama and invite the self-indicting thief plagiarizing pipsqueke Xerox - X box to meet the Buffalo "GAZOWNT-GAZIKKA" Police Department Buffalo Creek. He's MAD!!!

Posted by: jreno8 | March 8, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Freedom's Watch has been quiet because its main purpose was to stand at the ready to fund conservative primary challenges to any Republican Congressman who might dare to break with Bush, especially on the war. It has been very effective at that.

Posted by: gregorino2003 | March 8, 2008 5:38 AM | Report abuse

Freedom's Watch? What did they do? Watch Freedom go down the tube? Have they tried to get on an Airplane these days? Cross a border? Make an untapped phone call? Send an unmonitored e-mail?

They stood by and supported George Bush and the Republican party as they dragged America's name, Foreign policy and economy down the tubes. They ought to hide their heads in Shame!

Posted by: thebobbob | March 7, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

What does the inability for Freedom Watch to energize its base mean to the Republican Party?


Posted by: PollM | March 7, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

My only fear as a Democrat is that it will be as bloody (politically speaking) as the Battle of Gettysburg.


On the other hand, Gettysburg was the turning point in the war. A war which Abe ultimately won.
Obama must prove himself on the field or give way.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 7, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Obama's dilemma - Momentum or math.

I come at this as a fervent Obama supporter. I think too much is being made of his "insurmountable" lead. That's the math argument. The trouble with the math argument is two-fold: first, the super-delegates have the right to vote their conscience. They are free agents within some constraints of their constituencies. Second is timing. the 7 weeks we wait until Pennsylvania is an eternity. Assuming Clinton wins decisively, she will be able to claim both momentum and strength in the big states with big electoral prizes.

Obama may still have the better of the math argument with more pledged delegates and more popular vote, but by the time we get to May, June and beyond, it will be easy to discount as an anomaly to be wisely ignored by the super delegates.

The irony of ironies is that the states who made the mad rush to the front of the primary calendar will have been ignored in favor of those who stayed put.

So, my advice to the Obama camp is to ignore their math argument. It will grow dim over time. They must fight to regain momentum. Momentum is the language that will be persuasive to the super delegates.

I think his cool, above the fray, approach to campaigning may not be enough to turn the tide once again. Right now, the sense is that Hillary wants it more, and that argument was persuasive in Ohio and Texas. Yet Obama seems insistent not to go negative. If so, he at least needs to take every opportunity to illuminate the blunders and misstatements of the Clinton campaign. They don't seem to be able to modulate their attacks in their zest for power. That may very well be their undoing if the Obama campaign can continue to show the unseemliness of the Clinton methods.

The other advice I would give both campaigns is to treat the race for delegates as if the score now was 0 to 0. It's a new chapter, a new inning and the two teams are evenly matched and the outcome is in doubt. Pennsylvania is the new New Hampshire. This contest will be won on the ground. There is plenty of time to implement strategies and hone tactics. Advantage goes to Clinton, but 7 weeks is a long time to defend the terrain and the momentum against a formidable challenger, especially one with a well-funded, bottom up organization.

My only fear as a Democrat is that it will be as bloody (politically speaking) as the Battle of Gettysburg.

Posted by: optimyst | March 7, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Clinton represents old-style Dems as well as a very strong female demographic, not just the older, wealthier baby boomerettes, but the lower and middle class women. It's an extremely healthy counter-balance to Obama's more cerebral stance.

The point is that IF Obama really is serious about reaching across the aisle, the very first aisle is to Dems like Hillary before the aisle with Repubs.

A politician must incorporate some of the old with the new if success is the desired outcome. It's a political truth throughout human history....compromise is the lifeblood of a healthy society.

As Ben Franklin said, "Join [together] or Die."

Separately, both Hillary and Obama are vulnerable to the Rove machine, largely because huge numbers of their supporters will simply stay home, but together, they are nearly impregnable.

What puzles me is why Hillary continues to try to destroy Obama...he is her best hope for November success, just as she is his best hope.

Horribly short-sighted both their parts. Hers I think because of arrogance and ambition, his because of arrogance and pride.

Neither are looking to the greater good. Egos must be put aside.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 7, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

"A Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton ticket can restore it."

I'm not sure what you think Clinton adds to either of those tickets, if one's goal is to regain the middle.

Posted by: bsimon | March 7, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Chris, you lied about Obama and NAFTA. Now that the truth is out about Nafta and the Clinton people, it was them that kissed up to the Canadains, are you going to correct your Lie?

Probably not, I'm a 70 year old Demo. Up yours..

Posted by: frluke | March 7, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

LOL. What do you expect? For them to call themselves "Freedom Killers"?

The only effective way to undercut the right-wing is for the "left" or the "liberals" to clean up their own act. Moderate/Middle class is America. Civil Unions, yes. Gay Marriage, no. Loan regulation, yes, stimulus checks, no. Imposing democracy/torture, no, strong defense, yes.

republicans/conservatives/religious right do well because democrats/liberals/religious left lose sight of the middle. and vice versa.

We are losing the middle.

A Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton ticket can restore it.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 7, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

2) refer to his own 'fully vetted' tax returns, real estate transactions & investment returns

Posted by: bsimon | March 7, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Mark, you covered the biggest one, in my opinion. Obama needs to point out that Hillary's claims of experience and readiness aren't based on anything. He needs to forcefully say that she has less electoral experience than him, and has never been through a serious campaign. He needs to show that there's no reason to think Hillary would be "ready on Day 1" or more trustworthy on national security, because she's claiming her husband's experience on her own.

I was disappointed in Obama's response to the 3 a.m. ad, because he didn't do that. He didn't point out that he claims of superior experience and judgment are based on the fact that she lived in the White House and was married to the president. (Instead he focused on her Iraq war vote, which seemed tangential to me.) Obama likes to talk about how he has superior judgment; it's time for him to show that Hillary's claims of superior experience are a lie.

Posted by: Blarg | March 7, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Blarg posted:

"Where's that promised post about Obama's campaign strategies?"

Blarg, I suggest we engage in that thread right here. I will begin.

1] Always refer to her "six years of experience".

Your turn.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 7, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

When they say "freedom watch" do they mean watching freedom abroad while punishing freedom on all fronts in the United States? Because that's what they endorse...

Posted by: thecrisis | March 7, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

So, how much weight have you lost on your diet?
Oh, negative ten pounds or so.

Posted by: Spectator2 | March 7, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Another question might be.... why so many joining the Governator.

Have you ever noticed that the most rabid, right-winger organizations use names like "Freedom Watch," hiding their narrow power-driven agenda behind the flag and family.

And, have you noticed the media swing toward Clinton? Billary must be calling in their chips....

Posted by: Truth_Hunter | March 7, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

drindl - "you're right, Dave, that would be a very appropriate name for the members of 'Freedom's Watch'"

Heard they tried to get it but it was already reserved by the DNC.

Posted by: dave | March 7, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse


you're right, Dave, that would be a very appropriate name for the members of 'Freedom's Watch'

Posted by: drindl | March 7, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"Freedom's Watch, which is widely regarded in Republican circles as the conservative answer to"

Never heard of it. Apparently a very quiet answer to MoveOn. Answer to MoveOn - Hah! Freedom's Watch - that is supposed to be a name to equal MoveOn? To be a true answer to MoveOn, they would have to be named

Posted by: dave | March 7, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Where's that promised post about Obama's campaign strategies? You posted a Clinton press release yesterday (not for the first time) and promised something similar for Obama, but four posts later it hasn't materialized. How strange.

Posted by: Blarg | March 7, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

They're probably holed up in the mountains of Pakistan, planning future terrorist attacks.

Posted by: drindl | March 7, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

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