Thursday, December 28, 2006

Edwards Announces, Will Be in Reno Tomorrow Night

John Edwards has announced his intention to run for President in New Orleans' 9th Ward which was devastated by hurricane Katrina last year. This was not really a big surprise since his plans have been public for more than a week now. It would have been a bigger surprise had he announced his withdrawal from the race.

Edwards will follow his announcement by a tour of the first primary and caucus states, including a stop in Reno on Friday night. You can get tickets for his townhall meeting at the Grand Sierra Resort here.

If you're an Edwards supporter you might also be interested in the interactive features of his website. The Edwards campaign has launched a Daily Kos style blog where you can register and write your own diaries. You can also register with a "One Corps" chapter in Nevada. Seems like Edwards has now raised the standard for campaign websites. It will be interesting to see what other candidates will have to offer once they announce.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Edwards for Christmas

Reportedly, former Senator John Edwards is ready to announce he's going to run for President - after spending almost two years in Iowa. According to these reports he will announce in New Orleans around Christmas and then tour the first primary and caucus states, including Nevada. So watch out for the Senator while returning your Christmas gifts.

Obama's Ready

Kucinich in, Bayh and Daschle out

It seems like the presidential field, at least on the Democratic side, will be pretty much set by the beginning of the year. In the last couple of weeks there were several developments.

2004 presidential candidate and former Cleveland mayor, Congressman Dennis Kucinich declared his intention to run for President again in 2008. What's different this time around? He's married now. That would be the cynical answer. What's also changed is the sentiment about the war in Iraq. Kucinich voted against the war, against the PATRIOT Act and has proposed a Department for Peace.

Meanwhile it was quite obvious that the campaigns of former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and former Governor and now Senator Evan Bayh were going nowhere. They both declared they would not run. Bayh did so only a couple of days after being in New Hamphshire on the same day as Senator Barack Obama. While Obama's events were standing room only and still sold out, Bayh drew not much more than 100 people interested in his campaign. There was hardly a newscast not mentioning this while reporting about Obama. This unfortunate timing turned Bayh's campaign into something like a joke.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Can Barack Obama Avoid the Senatorial Curse?

Being a United States Senator is probably not the best of career choices if you're aiming for the top job. While almost all of the 100 members of the Senate think of themselves as a better President than the one sitting in the Oval Office (with the current occupant they might actually not be all that wrong about it), hardly any of them ever gets elected. The last one being JFK.

Everyone is aware of this, of course. So, it seems very odd when people advise Senator Barack Obama to get more experience for the Presidency by sitting in the Senate for a while longer while doing exactly that might seriously damage any hope of ever getting elected in the first place.

The Washington Post has noticed this predicament and runs with the headline "Time in Senate May Be Irrelevant if Obama Runs":
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) might be well advised to stay in the Senate several more years before running for president, as many strategists have suggested. But there are at least 40 reasons to challenge that advice.

That is the number of senators who have tried, and failed, to reach the White House since Sen. John F. Kennedy (D-Mass.) accomplished the feat in 1960. Nearly all of them had more Senate experience than Obama, underscoring the light regard that American voters show for senatorial longevity and expertise in presidential elections.

The new primary calendar seems to favour Obama. It will be hard for anyone, including Sen. Clinton, to beat him in the South Carolina primary and he might do reasonably well in the Nevada Caucus as well since his appeal transcends widely beyond African-American voters.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

John Edwards to Stop in Nevada on Book Tour

The Associated Press reports that John Edwards has a new book out called "Home" which features essays by John Glenn, Bob Dole, Steven Spielberg and others. His book tour to promote the book and probably his chances as a presidential candidate include stops in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, according to the AP.

While all the first three states are all listed on Sen. Edward's book tour list over at One America PAC, a stop in Nevada seems to be not yet scheduled, at least it's not listed yet. The last scheduled stop is on December 4th. I'd say it's likely we'll hear from him after that concerning whether he'll run or not.

Up until then: where will ya stop in Nevada, Senator?

Russ Feingold Rules Out Run for President in 2008

Russ Feingold sent out a newsletter via his Progressive Patriot's Fund PAC last night saying he won't run for President. Here's the letter:

Dear Friends and Supporters,

On Sunday, November 12th in Racine, I will hold my 1000th Listening Session with the people of Wisconsin. Before reaching that milestone, I want you to know that I've decided to continue my role as Wisconsin's Junior Senator in the U.S. Senate and not to seek the Democratic nomination for President in 2008.

Like many Americans, I am excited by the results of the November 7th election. My fourteen years in the Senate have been the greatest privilege of my life and I am extremely pleased with what we have accomplished. During so much of that time, however, we Democrats have not only been in the minority but have often been so deeply mired there that my role has often been to block bad ideas or to simply dissent. That is a very important role but I relish the thought that in this new Congress we can start, not only to undo much of the damage that one-party rule has done to America, we can actually advance progressive solutions to such major issues as guaranteed healthcare, dependence on oil, and our unbalanced trade policies. The Senate of the 110th Congress could also well be a place of greater bi-partisan opportunities for change; something I am very proud to have been effective at in both Republican and Democratic Senates.

I hope all of you know how much I have appreciated the incredible response you have given me and the efforts of our Progressive Patriots Fund since January, 2005. In addition to all of our work in Wisconsin and D.C., I have traveled to seventeen states trying to promote the election of progressive Democrats in all states. At every stop from Birmingham, Alabama to Burlington, Vermont, to Ft. Dodge, Iowa, to Las Vegas, Nevada, people have agreed with my view that we need to stand up for a strong, principled Democratic party that is willing to replace timidity with taking the risks of promoting a platform of bold solutions to our nation's problems. Unfailingly, people responded well to my positions: opposition to the Iraq war; calling for a timeline to redeploy our troops from Iraq so we can focus on those who attacked us on September 11th, 2001; my opposition to the flawed provisions of the USA Patriot Act that threaten the freedoms of law-abiding Americans; my call for accountability for the Administration's arrogant disregard for the law especially with regard to illegal wiretapping; fighting for fiscal responsibility including tough common sense budget rules that will help end the reckless policies that have heaped a mountain of debt on our children and grandchildren; as well as my strong belief in guaranteed healthcare for all Americans and substantial investment in alternative energy sources and technologies.

Yet, while I've certainly enjoyed the repeated comments or buttons saying, "Run Russ Run", or "Russ in '08", I often felt that if a piece of Wisconsin swiss cheese had taken the same positions I've taken, it would have elicited the same standing ovations. This is because the hunger for progressive change we feel is obviously not about me but about the desire for a genuinely different Democratic Party that is ready to begin to reverse the 25 years of growing extremism we have endured.

I'm sure a campaign for President would have been a great adventure and helpful in advancing a progressive agenda. At this time, however, I believe I can best advance that progressive agenda as a Senator with significant seniority in the new Senate serving on the Foreign Relations, Intelligence, Judiciary and Budget Committees. Although I have given it a lot of thought, I cannot muster the same enthusiasm for a race for President while I am trying simultaneously to advance our agenda in the Senate. In other words, if I really wanted to run for President, regardless of the odds or other possible candidates, I would do so. However, to put my family and all of my friends and supporters through such a process without having a very strong desire to run, seems inappropriate to me. And, yes, while I would strongly prefer that our nominee in 2008 be someone who had the judgment to oppose the Iraq war from the beginning, I am prepared to work as hard as I can through the Progressive Patriots Fund, and consistent with my duties in the Senate, to maintain or increase our gains from November 7 in the Congress and, of course, to elect a Democrat as President in 2008.

Most important, I want to continue my work as a Senator from this wonderful State of Wisconsin. Our fourteen year ongoing conversation that has taken place in hundreds of communities in Wisconsin in the form of open Listening Sessions is the principal reason I have been perceived as "ahead of the curve" on many key issues. Simply listening to the reasoning and passions of Wisconsinites remains the best source of good ideas and common sense I've ever encountered.

I love this country very much and am so lucky to be able to serve it in the United States Senate. My heartfelt thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement.


Russ Feingold
Middleton, Wisconsin

Russ Feingold has also published a diary at Daily Kos.

Welcome to Nevada Caucus 2008

The midterm elections seem to become a distant memory as one potential candidate after another declares his intentions on whether or not he/she will run for President of the United States in 2008.

This blog (which is NOT affiliated with the Democratic Party or any candidate) will focus on news surrounding the Nevada Caucus of the Democratic Party which will be of importance for the first time since it has been moved up in the calendar and will now take place on January 19, 2008 - five days after the Iowa Caucus and three days before the New Hampshire Primary.

Up until now two potential candidates have declared that they will not run for President. Former Governor Mark Warner of Virginia did so before the midterms, Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin announced today that he will concentrate on his work in the Senate, now that the Democratic Party is in the majority, and will not run for President in 2008.

In the summer former Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska announced his intention to run for President and has filed papers with the Federal Election Commission. On Thursday, Governor Tom Vilsack of Iowa has announced that he will form an exploratory committee and file papers with the FEC.

There are of course many more potential candidates out there. Up until they will announce either way they will be listed as potential candidates on the sidebar. Only those who have filed papers with the FEC will be listed as Democratic Candidates running for President.

As for the links:

All potential candidates are linked to their respective Political Action Committees (PAC). Should they not have a PAC or a PAC website, I have linked to their official office sites. In the case of Al Gore I have linked to the "Inconvenient Truth" website.

I have also linked to the most important liberal/progressive and independt blogs in Nevada and the main Nevada newspapers.

This blog is a spin-off of my local blog Turn Tahoe Blue. There you can find more on Nevada and California politics as it relates to the region surrounding Lake Tahoe.

I hope you'll enjoy Nevada Caucus 2008!