a curious Yankee in Europe's court

blog about living in Europe, and Italy

(3rd) Occasional U.S. news media round-up on presidential race

Posted on the July 15th, 2008

Who’s running the campaign?

They’re helping Obama make the day-to-day decisions about his campaign, they’re the team known as his brain trust. They’re all profiled in another long, informative Rolling Stone article offering a close-up look inside the Democratic Party Presidential nominee’s campaign (“Obama’s Brain Trust” by Tim Dickinson, July 10, 2008)

Talking about Iran and a couple of other things

Last week when Iran officials sent out saber-rattling photos of test launches of their missiles, the U.S. media immediately asked Obama for his reaction. See summary and seven-minute video of Obama’s response here (“Obama’s Iran TV Show Tour: More Diplomacy” The Huffington Post, July 9, 2008).

What is “outrage activism” and why is it so popular now?

Activist and Presidential race blogger Al Giordano harshly criticizes the “outrage activism” now so popular in the U.S. (“The Sky Didn’t Fall” The Field, July 10, 2008).

Getting out of Iraq

In yesterday’s New York Times, Obama wrote an op-ed about his proposed timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq (“My Plan for Iraq” by Barack Obama, July 14, 2008).

You can please some of the people…*

In the past couple of weeks, Obama drew a lot of criticism from supporters and critics alike for some recent policy decisions. In this commentary piece from the Oxford University Press blog, a political science scholar offers his views on Obama’s new “flip flopping” (“The Anti-Intellectual Candidates” by Elvin Lim, July 14, 2008).

English only not a good thing

We should have every child speaking more than one language, Obama said during a campaign speech last week.

“It’s embarrassing when Europeans come over here. They all speak English, they speak French, they speak German, and then we go over to Europe and all we can say is Merci beaucoup.”

The Democratic Party nominee won a laugh but he was serious. Watch short short video here.

“Yes We Can” global style

Featuring one hundred people, and twenty-three languages, this video below offers tribute to Obama’s famous Yes We Can speech and to the original, megahit tribute video by will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas:

(See here for previous round-up)

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Obama’s democratic version of the Midas touch

Posted on the July 2nd, 2008

Barack Obama continues to raise money for his U.S. Presidential campaign in ever-astounding, record-busting, supersized numbers. How exactly he does this and, just as important, how the techies and entrepreneurs of the Silicon Valley are playing the key role in helping him are topics explored in an article last month in The Atlantic magazine (“The Amazing Money Machine” by Joshua Green, June, 2008).

What is the exact amount of the money that Obama and his team of supporters are bringing in from donors? For the month of last February alone, the figure reached was “the staggering $55 million—nearly $2 million a day,” according to the article.

As is pointed out, however, in the last sentence of this paragraph from the report, another theme of Obama’s campaign is equally revolutionary:

In a sense, Obama represents a triumph of campaign-finance reform. He has not, of course, gotten the money out of politics, as many proponents of reform may have wished, and he will likely forgo public financing if he becomes the nominee. But he has realized the reformers’ other big goal of ending the system whereby a handful of rich donors control the political process. He has done this not by limiting money but by adding much, much more of it—democratizing the system by flooding it with so many new contributors that their combined effect dilutes the old guard to the point that it scarcely poses any threat. Goren­berg says he’s still often asked who the biggest fund-raisers are. He replies that it is no longer possible to tell. “Any one of them could wind up being huge,” he says, “because it no longer matters how big a check you can write; it matters how motivated you are to reach out to others.”

UPDATE: Questo post in italiano

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