The Democratic March

There is a big difference between the Democratic “big tent” and the Chicago Circus of the Ridiculous.

The Democratic “big tent” consists of proven, experienced leaders, progressives, moderates, women, African-Americans, seniors, young people, gays, organized labor, working and middle-class Americans, and others, struggling together for a “more perfect union”. The Democratic “big tent” is a movement of people based on issues and interests and a vision for a better America. The Democratic “big tent” is not a campground for worshippers of a self-promoting inexperienced flim-flam artist.

The Chicago Circus of the Ridiculous has only a self-absorbed carnival barker, a huge smoke producing publicity machine, a few hoochie koochie googlers, and several freakish side shows.

Hillary Clinton is running a Democratic “big tent” campaign. Although Hillary is ahead in the polls and winning all year long only now is the full massive power of members of the Democratic “big tent” coming into play.

The Chicago Circus of the Ridiculous mocks the Democratic “big tent” as “special interests”. Hillary knows that women and workers, students and seniors, minorities and progessives, and others in the Democratic “big tent” are not “special interests” they are what makes America. Teachers, students, seniors, gay and straight families, working and middle class Americans, must be listened to and Hillary not only listens she fights for our values.

On November 18, we stated that EMILY’s List and AFSCME are just now beginning their efforts in Iowa on behalf of Hillary. That was then. Today Hillary allies and surrogates are on the march to make Hillary the 44th president Рour president.

They are the basic chores that can make or break a political candidate: identifying likely supporters, getting them excited and making sure they turn out when it’s time to vote.

And as the Democratic presidential campaigns focus on the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, Hillary Rodham Clinton has a major advantage: Three organizations outside her campaign are lending a big helping hand with those difficult and expensive tasks, pouring more than $2 million and an army of fresh troops into the last-minute push. The outside effort, much larger than any being mounted on behalf of a rival campaign, is led in large part by EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest political action committee and a significant force in Democratic politics. Allied with it are the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the American Federation of Teachers.

The unions are supporting pro-Clinton radio and television advertising and direct mail contacts with targeted voting groups. Separately, AFSCME has dispatched more than 200 paid workers to Iowa. The fly-in gives Clinton about twice as many such workers in the state as rival Barack Obama, officials of his campaign say.

EMILY’s List also is trying a new technique developed with the help of Google to reach female voters there, especially those who are unsure how to navigate the state’s complex caucus system. Whenever someone in Iowa searches online for “recipe,” “stocking stuffer” or “yoga,” for instance, a banner will pop up inviting the searcher to visit a website supporting Clinton.

The Chicago Circus of the Ridiculous is whining and only now beginning to understand the full power of the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party:

How much effect the last-minute infusion of money and other resources will have is unclear, but the effort has stirred concern in the Obama campaign. “When you are in a tight race like this, any- and everything matters,” said Obama’s field director, Steve Hildebrand.

The effort by EMILY’s List and the two unions reflects the increasing importance of so-called independent expenditures, in which groups officially independent of a particular campaign pay for advertising, consulting fees and other expenses that might otherwise be covered by the candidate. Such spending is on the rise in both Republican and Democratic campaigns.

And such groups can accept more in donations than a candidate can. Individuals may give no more than $2,300 to a candidate per election, but they can give $5,000 to independent political action committees like EMILY’s List. So long as the outside groups avoid “coordinating” their efforts with the favored campaign, federal rules permit the groups to advocate for the candidate by name.

Just how close the ties can be between an independent group and a campaign is illustrated by EMILY’s List. The group previously steered clear of presidential politics and concentrated on electing women at the state and congressional levels who support abortion rights. But it backed Clinton as soon as she announced her candidacy.

Ellen Malcolm, president of the feminist PAC, is a national co-chair of Clinton’s campaign; she says she has stayed away from the independent spending by EMILY’s List for Clinton. Federal rules prohibit coordination of independent spending with a candidate’s campaign.

Former President Clinton signed a fundraising pitch for the PAC in October, in advance of the group’s independent campaign.

Other Democratic presidential candidates also are benefiting from independent expenditures, on a smaller scale. Branches of the Carpenters Union and the Service Employees International Union will spend $1.4 million on behalf of former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards. A firefighters’ union has spent $158,000 backing Connecticut Sen. Christopher J. Dodd.

A California-based group has spent $38,000 for Illinois Sen. Obama.

The Chicago Circus of the Ridiculous and other candidates are whining about Democrats supporting Democrats (when that Democrat is Hillary). However, the Chicago Circus of the Ridiculous has not rejected, indeed has courted and implored money and support from these Democratic allies – to no effect.

No candidate attracts as much support as Hillary from the Democratic Wing – the Democratic “Big Tent” – because no other candidate has worked so hard, for so long:

But no candidate has attracted as much independent money as New York Sen. Clinton, who is also the target of $360,000 in such spending opposing her candidacy.

The high-tech, and high-price, campaign innovations employed in Iowa by EMILY’s List reflect the unique place the group occupies in American politics.

Its name is an acronym for the slogan “Early Money Is Like Yeast” (“it helps the dough rise”). It raised $46 million for candidates in the 2006 election. It trained campaign personnel. And it has been a source of early cash for female Democratic candidates across the country who support abortion rights.

In addition to its own spending on Clinton’s behalf in Iowa, the group has bundled hundreds of contributions directly to her campaign. It also has begun a separate effort encouraging New Hampshire women to support Clinton when their state votes Jan. 8.

Female voters are crucial to Clinton’s success, but her relationship with them is complicated. She draws her strongest support from younger, blue-collar women who view her as a champion. Wealthier, college-educated women, surveys show, are drawn more to Obama.

The Web-based effort by EMILY’s List got its start earlier this year, after research showed that more than half of those who caucused in Iowa in 2004 were women and that their numbers could soar in 2008.

All the campaigns have been targeting women — it’s one reason Obama campaigned with Oprah Winfrey. But Clinton strategists found that their candidate did particularly well among women who were unsure whether they would participate in a caucus.

The most common reason women said they were hesitant to attend caucuses was that they didn’t know what would happen. EMILY’s List launched a website called You Go Girl — the one linked in banner ads on the Iowa Google searches — to educate voters.

Another reason some women said they might not attend caucus sessions was family obligations such as providing dinner. So the website offers “caucus-night recipes,” including chicken-noodle and taco casseroles.

Other campaigns are buying Google ads, but typically they are linked to political search terms, not consumer preferences.

“We wanted to find women where they live online,” said the technology guru at EMILY’s List, Maren Hesla. “If we can increase caucus attendance by just 5,000 statewide, that could make the difference in a race like this.”

One ad displays a picture of a Cedar Rapids mother, Sarah Jankwietz, and a quote: “I want to caucus for Hillary but don’t know how.”

Jankwietz, 45, is a stay-at-home mother of two. Photos of her 10-year-old son in his soccer uniform adorn her refrigerator. Anna, a month shy of 18, is heading to college next year.

Clinton’s positions on the issues are in sync with what matters to Jankwietz and her daughter — the war, and “families and children, women’s issues.” So she agreed to help with ads.

A mailer featuring Jankwietz and her daughter arrived in her mailbox last week. She answered the phone the other day and heard her own voice explaining why she is supporting Clinton. Friends call and e-mail her telling her when they hear her on the radio or receive mailings.

Jankwietz has always voted. But as she says on the mailers, “I’ve never been to the caucus.” That will change Jan. 3. “This is the first year my daughter, Anna, can vote, and I want to be a good role model,” she says on the mailer. Both will be supporting Clinton on caucus night.

The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, not Ripublicans will determine the Democratic Party nominee:

Third party groups supporting Hillary plunked down an astonishing sum of nearly $300,000 in political spending in one day yesterday, a cash outlay that will almost all fund mailings and phone-bank calls.

FEC filings show that the pro-choice group Emily’s List shelled out nearly $190,000 yesterday for mailers and phone banks, while the American Federation of Teachers spent nearly $95,000 yesterday, all on direct mail. The filings show the dates of the expenditures, but not necessarily when the mailings will be sent or the calls will be made.

The nearly $300,000 is a big one-day buy that will almost certainly unleash a wave of mailings in the next few days, most likely in Iowa and perhaps in New Hampshire.

The Chicago Circus of the Ridiculous is whining because Democrats will determine the Democratic future:

“Right now groups supporting Hillary Clinton and John Edwards are flooding Iowa and the other early states with millions of dollars in paid ads, phone calls, and mailings. Some of it is negative and even deceptive, and a lot of it is paid for by huge, unregulated contributions from special interests. Taking on these groups isn’t just a matter of setting the record straight about me or my positions. It’s about proving that a new kind of campaign – funded by ordinary people who want something better for all of us – can defeat the same tired, old political textbook that so many Americans just don’t trust anymore.”
So who is Obama talking about?

The whine, the complaints are directed at the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party. Obama wants what he calls “Obama Republicans” to select the Democratic Party nominee. We won’t let that happen. Democrats will select the Democratic Party nominee.

The Democratic “Big Tent” is filled, energized and standing – ready to march.

The Democratic March for Hillary is about to begin.