Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Congressman Joe Sestak on the Colbert Report

This is pretty funny stuff... lasers mounted on dolphins...what type of naval ship would each candidate be?...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Well, that was an exciting 6 weeks or so. . .

And after a hard-fought battle, Hillary has pulled out the win. As everyone has been saying, it will come down to spin. Obama is focusing on the fact that he closed the gap--and in the long-term, that's definitely true:

But Hillary's got the stronger argument, I think. Considering how much money Obama has spent in PA in recent weeks (with an acceleration in the last few days), it's remarkable that Hillary was able to maintain basically the same lead. She'll be able to play the underdog card that she used so effectively post-New Hampshire.

As for the bigger picture? No way in hell she drops out now. Even though her chances of grabbing the primary are negligible--her victory tonight won't get her more than a handful of delegates--I'd be shocked to see her out of the race until after Indiana and North Carolina, which are on May 6th. For the good of the party, hopefully a strong performance from Obama will convince her that the Democrats are going to need unity against McCain.

Monday, April 21, 2008

VOTE on April 22nd!!

Please vote on April 22nd. The Haverford College Student Political Network will provide transportation to the polls. There is no excuse not to vote if you are registered in Pennsylvania.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Videos of Clinton's Visit

The local Philadelphia ABC News station has a video on Clinton's visit to Haverford. Check it out.

Also, check out this youtube video of the event. The camera is a bit shaky, but the video gives a good perspective of the event inside of Founders Hall.

The Haverblog also has some great pictures of the event with Hillary.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hillary Clinton Visits Haverford!

Hillary Clinton Speaks in Founders Hall, Photographed by Scott Schnur

Senator Hillary Clinton held a town hall style question and answer session in Founders Hall at Haverford today. The event was only open to students, faculty and community members who had received an invitation. However, the event was broadcast on a large screen outside on Founders Green. Hillary fielded questions with topics including immigration, education, and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She wants Americans to see the election as an extensive job interview and asks voters to decide which candidate can do better against Senator John McCain in the general election.

Haverford students on Founders Green, watching Hillary on the big screen

There were some complaints by Haverford students about the limited amount of people allowed into the event. However, when the event was over, Hillary came outside and spoke to students on the green. She then greeted Haverford students at the rope line, signing autographs and taking pictures with Haverford students. Overall, the event seemed very successful. Many students and community members came to Founders Green to watch Hillary on the big screen.

Hillary Clinton talking to Haverford students after the event

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Michelle Obama Speaks at Haverford

Michelle Obama at Haverford College, photographed by Scott Schnur

During a campaign rally for Barack Obama at Haverford College, Michelle Obama spoke to an audience of over two thousand students, faculty, and community members about Barack's candidacy and the status of what she calls "normal folk." She stressed that at the beginning of Obama's campaign, the media portrayed Obama as an underdog, someone who could not raise money, create a strong support base of volunteers, or win primaries. As Barack exceeded everyone's expectations, the bar was set higher and expectations were raised. No matter what he did, it was never good enough.

Michelle Obama then related Barack's story to the story of everyday Americans, struggling to reach a bar that keeps moving away from them. She discussed Barack's upbringing as the son of a single mother. At the conclusion of her speech, Michelle Obama told the audience that change will be difficult, but Barack Obama is the president that we need to bring about this vital change.

Compared to Michelle Obama's speech at Villanova last month, her Haverford speech focused more on defending Barack against claims that he is elitist and "out of touch." She claimed that Barack “didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth.” She also discussed how she currently sees the world through her working-class upbringing, rather than through the eyes of a former Princeton and Harvard student.

There is a good description of her statements on elitism at the New York Times Politics Blog.

Edit: There is another article about Michelle Obama's visit from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Monday, April 14, 2008

No One Knows What's Going On In PA

Differences in polls aren't exactly unprecedented. But the flurry of seemingly contradictory polls of Democratic primary opinions in PA in recent days has been a bit ridiculous. If you haven't been following this, you have to see for yourself. I mean, Clinton's up by 4! Actually, 18! Now it's tied! And the most recent poll has her up by 20. Sheesh.

It's probably safe to say, however, that Clinton is in the lead; the question is by how much. It's still definitely a long shot for Obama to win the state, but a single-digit loss, considering where the polls were a few weeks ago, can be framed as a win.

The 20 point disparity is probably a gut reaction to Obama's comments on the working class last weekend that was trumpeted as elitist by the Clinton campaign. We'll have to see when the next set of polls comes out whether Clinton really got that considerable bump.

One thing is for sure about the primary in PA: Michelle Obama is going to be speaking at the Alumni Fieldhouse at Haverford tomorrow! Hopefully you grabbed a ticket.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Michelle Obama Rally at Haverford!

Michelle Obama is coming to Haverford College on Tuesday April 13th for a rally in the Alumni Fieldhouse. The event will be free and open to the public. Doors open at 2:30pm and the event will start at 3:30pm.

A ticket is required to attend this event. To find out how to obtain a ticket, follow this link:

Congressman Sestak at Haverford

Today, Congressman Joe Sestak came to Haverford to answer questions from Haverford students. Topics included gay marriage, why the congressman supports Hillary Clinton for president, and the congressman's experiences as Vice Admiral of the United States Navy.

Congressman Sestak at Haverford College, Photographed by Scott Schnur

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Congressman Joe Sestak is Coming to Haverford!

The Haverford College Democrats are hosting Congressman Joe Sestak for a speech, followed by a question and answer session, on Sunday April 13th at 5:00pm in Sharpless Auditorium.

Before he was elected to represent Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district, Congressman Sestak served in the United States Navy, where he reached the rank of Vice Admiral. In congress, he serves as the vice-chairman of the Small Business Committee and is also a member of the Education and Labor and Armed Services committees. Congressman Sestak will be answering questions from Haverford students, discussing current issues, and sharing his point of view on the Pennsylvania Democratic Primary and the 2008 election.

This event is free and open to all members of the Tri-College community. Please contact cbischak(at)haverford(dot)edu with any questions regarding the event.

Congressman Sestak Speaks in Congress about the Iraq War

Monday, April 07, 2008

Maybe Senior Campaign Officials Should Think Before They Act . . .

As has been a common theme this primary season, another campaign managed to shoot itself in the foot. Mark Penn, longtime Clintonite and Chief Strategist for Hillary's campaign, has stepped down after continuing to negotiate and lobby for a U.S. trade treaty with Colombia --a treaty Hillary opposes. WHOOPS. Quote from the NYT:

Mr. Penn, long a divisive figure within the Clinton camp, lost his pre-eminent position after revelations that he met with Colombia’s ambassador to the United States last Monday in his role as head of Burson-Marsteller. The Colombian government hired the lobbying firm last year under a $300,000 one-year contract to help secure passage of a bilateral trade treaty with the United States.

Mrs. Clinton strongly opposes the treaty, as do many Democrats in Congress and many American trade unions, who believe the treaty is unfair to American workers. Mrs. Clinton has also cited the Colombian government’s history of suppressing the labor union movement in that country.

It's worth noting, however, that Penn is not completely gone from the campaign: His firm will continue to do some polling and strategizing. Still, I guess it shows that, fundamentally, politics is not far removed from business.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

2003 Torture Memo Released

The NYT and WaPo report today on the public release of a 2003 Department of Justice memo giving military interrogators authority to torture (erm . . . " engage in harsh interrogation". . . ). Written by Office of Legal Counsel official John C. Yoo, the document was finally released after a Freedom of Information Act request from the ACLU. Of course, it provides an extremely narrow definition of what constitutes legal torture. Money quote from the NYT:

“The victim must experience intense pain or suffering of the kind that is equivalent to the pain that would be associated with serious physical injury so severe that death, organ failure or permanent damage resulting in a loss of significant body functions will likely result,” Mr. Yoo wrote.

Georgetown Prof Marty Lederman provides some additional solid analysis over at his blog. Key point: This is in many ways a new frontier for the imperial, unchecked executive power under President Bush.