Monday, June 30

OUTLYING PRECINCTS

One view -- which usually comes from moderates and conservatives, like those in the once-influential Democratic Leadership Council -- argues the trick is to move to the political center to lure wavering Soccer Moms and Reagan Democrats. The other side, coming from the party's more liberal/left wing, believes the winning formula is to hold firm on a solidly progressive agenda, and mobilize more voters who embrace that agenda -- like young voters and African-Americans. The Chicago Tribune today gives ammunition to the progressives, showing that even modest gains in youth and African-American voter turnout could turn nine swing states Democratic in 2008 -- including three in the South: If Obama could inspire just 10 percent more Democratic voters under 30 to go to the polls than did four years ago, that alone could be enough to switch Iowa and New Mexico from red to blue, the analysis suggests. Just a 10 percent increase in turnout among blacks would make up more than 40 percent of George W. Bush's 2004 victory margin in Ohio and more than 20 percent of the Republicans' 2004 victory margin in Florida. Turnout increases of 10 percent of young voters and African-Americans could virtually eliminate the Republicans' 2004 victory margin in Ohio and go a long way toward closing the gap in Colorado, Nevada, Missouri, Virginia and -- a bit more of a stretch -- possibly North Carolina. Facing South

Gen. Wesley Clark, acting as a surrogate for Barack Obama’s campaign, invoked John McCain’s military service against him in one of the more personal attacks on the Republican presidential nominee this election cycle. Clark said that McCain lacked the executive experience necessary to be president, calling him "untested and untried" on CBS’ "Face the Nation." And in saying so, he took a few swipes at McCain’s military service. After saying, "I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands and millions of others in the armed forces, as a prisoner of war," he added that these experiences in no way qualify McCain to be president in his view: "He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee. And he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn't held executive responsibility. That large squadron in the Navy that he commanded - that wasn't a wartime squadron," Clark said. Politico

Taegan Goddard, Political Insider The centrist Democratic Leadership Council holds its national meeting in Chicago -- just a block away from Sen. Barack Obama's campaign headquarters. However, Obama will not attend. Even though the Illinois senator has moved to the center on so many issues in recent weeks, he's not willing to incur the wrath of liberal Democrats by speaking at the convention of the group described by many as "Republican-lite." With none of the Democratic presidential candidates in attendance at last year's meeting either, it's fair to say the DLC has officially lost it's mojo.

To some, even the contents of Obama's iPod, recently revealed to Rolling Stone, smacked of political calculation, combining as it did Baby Boomer classics (Stones, Springsteen, Dylan) with highbrow jazz (Coltrane, Miles Davis) mindless top 40 pop (Sheryl Crow) and edgy-but-not-too-edgy hip hop (Jay-Z, Ludacris). Perhaps this playlist should be titled 'Majority Coalition'. Guardian UK