Friday, November 07, 2008
North Carolina was called for Obama on Thursday, almost completing the electoral map. There's still that white space--one district with one electoral vote in Nebraska, that apportions them that way--which looks like it too will be Obama's. Missouri, colored pink, has votes still to count. Even so, Obama won in every region, including the battlegrounds of Florida and Ohio, Pennsylvania and Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, and the formerly very Republican states of Virginia and Indiana. Meanwhile, Democrats picked up another Senate seat with a close election in Oregon just decided. Senate elections still to be determined in Minnesota, Alaska and Georgia. There's suspicion of vote counting irregularities in Alaska and Georgia, definitely affecting the Senate races, but in the case of Georgia, maybe the presidential, too. So far the electoral vote count is Obama 364, McCain 178. Obama has more than 52% of the popular vote, to McCain's 46%, but the total number will change as votes continue to be counted. Update: The Omaha, Nebraska electoral vote has been called for Obama. His total is now 365.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Of all the videos I've seen during this campaign, this is my favorite. I love how the music starts a little uncertain, a little off the beat, but builds as ordinary people talk about why they got involved in the Obama campaign. It's the last two and a half minutes I will watch and listen to before I head to the polls today to cast the proudest vote of my life.
On his last full day of campaigning, Barack Obama spoke before thousands in Jacksonville, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina; and before 90 to 100,000 in Manassas, Virginia. He will speak in Indiana on Election Day, while hundreds of thousands of Obama volunteers, financed by three million Americans, work one more long, hard day to get out the vote. Because the polls don't elect anybody. Every vote counts.
There are several Obama music videos around that make use of that great old song, La Bamba. This one is my favorite--with a great guitar solo. This should get you dancing out of the house and down to the polls. If you're still uncertain where you are supposed to vote, go to the vote for change site and find out.
In many ways, this is the music video that showed the world that something special was happening here: the will i. am YES WE CAN. If you need inspiration for what might be long lines at the polls, see it again--and get out there and vote.
Monday, November 03, 2008
While neighbors paid their respects in Hawaii, Barack Obama spoke briefly of his grandmother at a campaign event in North Carolina. While she did not live to see the votes counted, late in the day officials in Hawaii announced that her absentee ballot had been filed correctly, and it will be counted. Barack Obama took two days off the campaign trail last week to be with his grandmother one last time.
Madelyn Dunham, Barack Obama's maternal grandmother who helped raise him, died of cancer in Hawaii this morning. Barack just spoke movingly of her in North Carolina as a "quiet hero." That's her on the far right, with Barack's grandfather (you can see the resemblance) and the girl who would become his mother. His grandfather served with Patton in World War II while his grandmother worked on a bomber assembly line. She later went to college and worked her way up to become a vice-president in a bank. Sadly, she died one day before the election that may well make her grandson the President of the United States.
You know this one, from will i. am.
Today's bonus Obama music video, a danceable final argument in Spanish, with English subtitles. The rhythm requires no translation. Let's dedicate it to all those Republican mamas who are going to cast a vote for Obama.
I haven't forgotten it in my recent concentration on Barack Obama and the presidential campaign. The peril is even more pronounced. The World Wildlife Fund (now calling itself just WWF) issued a new report which says that the Climate Crisis is happening faster and is stronger than previously predicted by, for example, the 2007 IPCC report. Carbon is building up in the atmosphere faster than predicted.
The next president can begin building a new green economy for America, which has many crucial benefits, including addressing the causes (the Stop It part) and the effects (the Fix It part) of the Climate Crisis. Though both candidates have talked about this, only Barack Obama has made it his first priority, talked about how he would do and why it is important.
But that won't be enough. As Bill McKibben points out, the U.S. must also be part of international agreements to address the global Climate Crisis. That's partly because there really isn't time left for the U.S. to go it alone and expect its green economy to influence other nations--when it comes to the planet as well as the nation, we're all in this together.
As McKibben says, "the world's governments are now nearing a real deadline: December 2009, when a negotiation session in Copenhagen is supposed to produce a new climate treaty, the successor to the Kyoto protocol." Again, McCain has paid lip service to the issue of global heating, but his general approach doesn't give me confidence that he will constructively negotiate and enter into a real climate treaty. I believe Barack Obama will, and I highly doubt that Al Gore would be supporting Obama and campaigning for him if he thought Obama won't.
Obama talks with credibility about returning to a respect for science, for the intellectual process in general, and a return to values of empathy and community. We're all in this together, as he often says.
John McCain is beholden to extreme right wing ideologues who won't let him lead on these issues. His VP candidate either doesn't think climate change is the result of human activity, or doesn't think it's relevant. What does that tell you about what the next four years would be like with McCain-Palin?
We all know that the world is waiting for Obama to be President. The international surveys make that clear, and Obama's short overseas tour this past summer showed that leaders are eager to work with him. America will get instant good will when he is elected, and that can mean a great deal in many areas of international importance, including the Climate Crisis and related environmental threats that require international cooperation to address.
Barack Obama has demonstrated the intelligence, grasp of issues, the temperament and the ability to inspire--all of which are necessary to addressing a crisis that is so large, so grave, so complex, so interwoven with other factors, and which will play out over so long a time.
While I have to admit I dreamed up a Barack Obama at least a decade ago, as recently as a year ago I didn't see a realistic chance that we would find such a leader in time. Well, we have found one who gives us a fighting chance, and that's all we can ask. And he's called on us to fight the good fight with him, to change the country and change the world. To me that really means, to try to save the world.
Lately, Obama has added this line to his stump speech, which has been heard by hundreds of thousands in the past few days: " We have to work like our future depends on it in these last few days, because it does."
We have to vote on Tuesday like our future depends on it, because it does.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
The Obamas before huge crowds in Colorado, Nevada and Missouri Saturday. Barack chides McCain for his endorsement by Dick Cheney. Get out the vote efforts go into high gear everywhere. Expect our call! Election day is TUESDAY.