I’m going to put my time where my mouth is

On politics…

Well since I last wrote, Obama held his own on Super Tuesday and has completely dominated since, now becoming the Democratic frontrunner who has an opportunity to deliver a lethal blow to Clinton’s candidacy on March 4th in Texas and Ohio.  Fantastic!


One of the reasons that Obama still has the Big Mo(memtum) is because of his substantial win in my beloved home state of Wisconsin, where he won by 17 (or so) points.  Wisconsin has a small black population (Milwaukee’s northside in very large part) and a large working class population, and the outcomes before Wisconsin suggested that this sort of population gave a substantial edge to Clinton.  As it turns out, my Badger brethren came through in the clutch and went all playmaker on Clinton.  Obama was able to siphon a considerable amount of working class support from Clinton, as Wisconsin residents showed their intelligence and thoughtfulness when given the opportunity to be heard and talked to on a national stage.  I’m very proud of my state!

For anyone interested in seeing the numbers in more detail, here’s how Wisconsin voted by county (link, jsonline).  Generally speaking, Milwaukee is a large city of working class Democrats, Madison is very liberal, and La Crosse is as well (if Wisconsin is your right hand with your palm facing you, Milwaukee-Madison-La Crosse make a straight line from right to left towards the bottom).  These three locations provide a very large percentage of the state population, and particularly provide a much larger percentage of the state’s liberal population.

To see how the districts in Milwaukee voted (ahem . . . overwhelmingly in Obama’s favor!), here’s the map (link, jsonline).


Now, the Clinton campaign really knows what it’s doing.  It knows how to present its candidate to the public, it knows how to influence the media and so forth.  But, as we can see, it sure becomes hard to keep spinning after 11 consecutive losses.  For a (to me) hilarious (but serious and honest) look at the progress of Clinton’s spin and how powerfully absurd it becomes when seen in the larger context of the whole campaign season and not just the last few days, check out this article (link, time.com).

The recent generation of Clinton spin, as I’m sure you’ve seen, is criticizing Obama for lifting a few lines from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.  Immediately after the mostly friendly debate in Texas, the headlines of that debate were dominated by Clinton’s “change you can Xerox” line.  This concerned me, as I watched the debate and felt that it was a draw at worst, an outcome that favors Obama as the frontrunner.  Fortunately, by the next morning, these headlines were replaced with more even and accurate ones, and then I saw the Obama campaign brilliantly fight back on the plagiarism front. 

It seems that two of Clinton’s statements during her closing, “New Hampshire without the tears” (my phrase) emotional speech were lifted from her husband and from John Edwards (link, cnn.com).  I can only assume that this oppo research came from the Obama campaign, and to me it completely neutralizes the whole issue.  It was a minor issue to begin with, but Clinton is getting increasingly desperate and she just doesn’t have any powerful cards left to play.  She’s going to have to look elsewhere to try and end the losing streak.

Now, I’ve been a huge Obama supporter for awhile now.  I’ve kept a close eye on him since a little before the famous 2004 convention speech, and I’ve kept an even closer eye on him since he decided to run for president.  I decided to try and be as open-minded as I could about who to support, but it didn’t take long to discover that I’ve been an Obama-guy the whole time.  I’ve put my money where my mouth is by being one of those small donors we keep hearing about, giving generally $25 every one month or so.  And while I’m proud of that, I’ve been feeling pretty guilty about not volunteering for the campaign up to this point.  So, I’m going to put my time where my mouth is, and Jess and I will be driving to Cincinnati, Ohio on the weekend before the March 4th primary there to volunteer in whatever way that we can.  I’m really excited!

On random stuff…

-I formerly got accepted into SPEA, the School of Public and Environmental Affairs here at Indiana (link, usnews.com).  I’ve heard that IU law students generally don’t have a problem getting accepted, so I’m not trying to brag here.  Nonetheless, I’m very excited about going over to SPEA, where I will focus on public management.  I plan to take this knowledge back to Milwaukee when I graduate.

-I’ve been trying to pay as much attention to the going-ons of Milwaukee as possible.  Recently, I decided to plan to return there once I graduate, which was a pretty big decision.  There were a variety of reasons, including hometown pride, unique opportunities, and a general learned dislike (but great respect) for the life of a Washington D.C bureaucrat.  Anyways, I’ve subscribed to a great number of city-related websites, covering a wide variety of local issues such as politics generally, city policy, community activism, and localized news.  I can only do so much while in Indiana, but I plan on hitting the ground running in the summer of 2010 when I make my valiant return to my city!

-The above is a part of my strategy to shift my focus from being concerned about grades and schoolwork, which kinda sorta prepares me for the life of a generic lawyer, to being concerned about it what it is that I actually will be doing in a few years.  These foci occasionally converge, but mostly don’t (though they will much more when I’m in SPEA, hence the excitement).  This is me taking back control of my life.

-Badgers are still rolling, coming up with a very nice last second win at Indiana.  When I decided to come here, I thought that I’d be able to make Indiana my second favorite college sports school, but that hasn’t been easy.  Being surrounded by Hoosiers has really brought out the Badger pride, and I derived a lot of pleasure from this most recent victory.  But, I do plan on rooting for the Hoosiers during March Madness.  A part of the reason is I feel sorry for them.  Not because they suck, because they only suck when they play the Badgers.  No, it’s because their freshman star is just taking a one year vacation in Bloomington before jetting for the NBA, their center will also be gone, their corrupt coach got canned, current players will transfer, and they might have to sacrifice more scholarships and/or a postseason or something, due to embarassing improprieties.  It’s not a good situation for them.


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