Archive for the ‘Election2008’ Category

The Audacity to Win

I’m about halfway through David Plouffe’s new book The Audacity to Win: The Inside Story and Lessons of Barack Obama’s Historic Victory, and I’m so jump-up-and-down excited about it that I have to share.

The book has me reliving my own experience volunteering with the Obama campaign. I am enjoying comparing my experiences with the campaign’s strategy and the perspective of volunteers in other states.

I’m about as far into the book as the Texas-Ohio primary date, and having the voice of David Plouffe in the year and a half up to that point is already remarkable. (The Obama campaign started its revolutionary grassroots efforts early in 2007, so there’s quite a bit of story up to this point.) What is actually most striking to me is how much of the book’s details are already familiar, because the Obama campaign staff made a habit of frequent contact to its volunteers with no sugar-coating. Both the overall strategy and the moment-by-moment tactics of the Obama campaign were shared with volunteers around the nation, and big news from the campaign was told to volunteers first.

Ordinary people getting up off their couches and getting organized were the driving force of the Obama campaign. In fact, so many Obama voters and volunteers were completely new to the process. The typical story of primaries beyond the first handful was that the campaign staff would land in the next state(s) to find an already-running, self-organized group of volunteers who got together on As far as I know, this is totally new and unique in American politics, partly due to the available technology and partly due to the unorthodox campaign strategy of giving volunteers a great deal of flexibility and autonomy. Fired up, ready to go!

I believe that we should remember, especially these days with the teabaggers having a field day in the media, that Obama was the outside candidate, the no-more-politics-as-usual candidate, the non-establishment candidate; Hillary Clinton was the Democratic Party establishment candidate. Obama’s core strategy required bringing new voters into the primary process, and he was very successful at that. Obama wanted to change the tone, and he did. Change we can believe in.

Now, with a health care bill finally on the Senate floor for debate, we are only a couple of months away from enacting a major Obama campaign promise — a pillar of his domestic policy — roughly a year into his first term. Yes we can!

Obama has the audacity to hope and to win, and also to do what the voters sent him there to do.

Lubbock Democratic Party: A Look Back at 2008

As the year winds down, I think it’s worth taking some time to reflect on some of the achievements of the Lubbock County Democratic Party in 2008:

  • At least 16 new people have come forward to be precinct chairs. Precinct Chair is the most important job in the Party, if you ask me. They are all movers and shakers, people who turn out the votes and — even in the off-season — make the party run. Moreover, we basically have 50% more precinct chairs than we did at this time last year. That’s real growth!
  • Regular HQ volunteers have been putting in great work. Democratic Party HQ is open weekdays and saturdays. These volunteers are also performing one of the most important tasks we have: data entry.
  • Record Primary and Convention Turnout. In Lubbock County in 2008, more people voted in the Democratic Party Primary than the Republican Party Primary. This has never happened in my lifetime. We had correspondingly huge turnouts at our Precinct, County, and State Conventions. (The TX State Convention had more delegates than the national convention, FYI.)
  • At least 150 people were directly involved in the election process by phone banking, putting up signs, serving on the Signature Verification Committee and Ballot Board, and becoming poll watchers.
  • Lubbock Democrats were very visible in 2008. We distributed about 1,500 Obama/Biden signs, participated in 4th on Broadway, the Fiesta parade, and had a TDW / Democratic Party booth at the South Plains Fair. We also hosted local and state candidates with meet-and-greet events.
  • Four Debate Watch Parties! These debate watch parties are legendary enough to get their own mention on the list. We hosted a party for each Presidential Debate and the VP debate, filling Murphy’s Pub to capacity each time.
  • We also hosted an election night party, attended by over 450 people with live coverage on two television channels.

Fellow Democrats, let’s take a moment to reflect and celebrate.

Ahhh. Nice!

Inaugural Ball: Early Warning

I know it’s two months away, but clear your calendars now!

The Juneteenth Committee is sponsoring a swanky awesome ball on Tuesday, January 20th: the evening of Barack Obama’s Inauguration. It will be held at the Civic Center Ballroom. The event will feature cocktails from 6-7, and dinner+dancing from 7-11. Four local bands will perform, including the TTU String Quartet, Element, and the jazz band that plays Thursday nights at Jazz (the restaurant).

Tickets are $25 or $40 for couples. All are welcome to attend.

I’ll get contact info for purchasing tickets up as soon as I know it.

For now, save the date, and I’ll see you there!

Pictures Galore!

I’m overdue in posting a heap of wonderful pictures. Thanks to my buddy Kirk for taking these wonderful photos while staying involved!

First, on Friday a panel from the Texas Democratic Party held a public hearing about the Texas primary/caucus system here in Lubbock. I regret being unable to attend this public hearing, because I think preserving our hybrid primary/caucus system is an important fight in our Party. Having both methods in play allows for the popular voice to be heard while recruiting a new generation of activists into the Party — and yes, I think this mean that we must continue to allocate some national delegates purely from the caucus process as well. There are obviously opportunities for improving our system, but the fundamental idea of it is solid.

Next, how about a ton of Election Night Victory Party photos?

Kirk has a whole public gallery of 100 or so election night images online. This gallery may be my #2 favorite way to cheer myself up on a bad day, right after the adorable puppy webcam.

Also, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal has a Spotted Gallery of Election Night photos available as well. I think you can tell which pics are from the Republican party and which are from the Democratic party.

One thing’s for sure: we will have plenty of happy memories to look back on as we build our Party for the 2010 election and beyond!

Lubbock Business Flys Upside-Down American Flag

Local ABC affiliate KAMC-28 covers the story of a local business flying an American flag upside down. A poster at the LubbockOnline forums claims to have seen a second business on 82nd st flying an upside-down American flag as well.

These businesses have every right to fly a flag upside down if they wish. However, I think it’s an overreaction to do so when your candidate of choice loses.

Also, I have to speculate: what would happen if the situation were flipped? What if McCain won and a pro-Obama business flew an upside-down American flag? I doubt we would be discussing it calmly.

The theme of the political right these days seems to be overreaction and hyperbole. In the past two days I’ve heard everything from “we are doomed to socialism” to “Obama is the antichrist.”

I sincerely hope that reality will break through the layers of propaganda encasing people who say things like that.

As for me and my business, I think I will leave my Obama sign up for a little while longer.

Post-Election Thoughts

Just want to get some thoughts down as the afterglow of Election Night wears off.

(By the way — the Lubbock Democrats victory party was definitely the best place to be last night we had 200+ people of all races laughing, crying, hugging, dancing, and having a great time!)

Two things weigh heavily on my mind amid the joy of the Obama/Biden victory.

First, every single anti-gay ballot initiative in this election passed, even California’s prop 8. This is terrible. We have a long way to go in terms of gay rights in this country.

Second, our local and statewide Democratic candidates did not do as well as I had hoped. At the county level, we kept our one Democratic seat on the Commissioners Court, and that’s it. We failed to unseat Congressman Randy Neugebauer, a Bush Republican who bears some responsibility for our financial crisis. We didn’t elect Rick Noriega to the Senate, although we did make John Cornyn sweat a little.

Reigionally, we kept Joe Heflin — a real rising star in Texas politics — in his TX-85 House seat. He will continue to do his district proud.

In the meantime, I look forward to having a President I can be proud of and a spirit of progress that we can feel in our hearts.

Congratulations, President-Elect Obama, and good luck on picking out that puppy!

Election Night Victory Party

The Lubbock County Democratic Party will host an election night victory party downtown at the Baker Building, which is on 13th street between Ave K and Ave L.  The party gets started around 8pm, and we’ll be watching the returns from all over the USA as well as our local results.

See you there!

Dancing and Robots

About all the energy I can spare for blogging goes to sharing this youtube mashup I made:

Where’s Joe the Plumber

…and getting the word out about the McCain ROBOT ATTACK:

EV Totals, Four Horsemen Endorsements

As with many of you, this election has sent my regular routine out the window.

So, let me offer two brief bits:

1) As of this morning at about 9:00am, Lubbock County has voted over 50,000 voters in-person for early voting. This means we may bust the 60,000 mark by the end of early voting!

2) The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse give their endorsements to McCain/Palin.

Daily Election Totals

The Lubbock County Elections Office has done something really cool this election — they are offering unofficial early voting totals, broken down by location and by precinct, to the public. Totals from each day of early voting will be available the following day on the website.

As usual, SW Lubbock is where most of the voting is happening. The numbers at North and East Lubbock locations and precincts are higher than usual, but still low by comparison.

We are already looking at 20,000+ voters after only 3 days of early voting. Any way you look at that, it’s an amazing turnout.

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