New York Hosts Barack Obama - September 27th 2007

This is from the Obama for America campaign:

Dear Zenophon, Join Barack in NYC

We're planning a big rally in New York City, and I was hoping you could help organize it.

We've launched a powerful new tool on My.BarackObama that lets you make phone calls from home on behalf of the campaign.

Will you make a few calls to folks in and around New York to tell them about the rally? It's easy, and you can get started right here:

We've had these rallies across the country, and it's not just the number of supporters who turn out that's inspiring. It's the individual people and stories behind those numbers.

They're young and old, black and white, Latino, Asian, and Native American. They're Democrats and Independents and more than a few Republicans. Many are showing up to the very first political event of their lifetime.

You could be the one to let fellow supporters know about the rally that they'll remember for a long time. Just click here to start making phone calls:

With My.BarackObama, you have the power to organize from home and make an impact anywhere in the country.

I hope you'll give the new system a try -- we're counting on you to turn people out in New York.

Thank you,


David Plouffe
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

P.S. -- If you're going to be in the New York area on September 27th, consider joining us. You can RSVP and spread the word about the rally here:

For event updates: Text NYC to OBAMA (62262).


President Barack Obama Appoints Iron Man As Defense Secretary

Senator Barack Obama Wow's SEIU Crowd Today - The Atlantic

At SEIU, Obama "Rocked The House"
17 Sep 2007 07:29 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C -- A charged-up Sen. Barack Obama begged politically active members of the Service Employees union to join his “movement” to reform the Democratic Party.

“The question I ask SEIU members is, not "Who is talking about your agenda?" but "Who can change politics in Washington to make that a reality,” Obama said. “Change starts by making sure a Democrat is in the White House. Change doesn’t end just because a Democrat is in the White House. It’s time to turn the page on the old way of doing business.”
In many ways, it was the longest sustained encapsulation of Obama’s complex, primary argument that a Washington, D.C. audience has heard. It was heavy on passion and sloganeering and comparatively free of the nuance that marks that Obama’s regular stump speech.

SEIU's members are temperamentally suited to Obama; he is a longtime friend of Chicago's SEIU Local 880 and worked closely with the union as an organizer and later as a state legislator.
Obama entered the ballroom to cheers, but he left to a sustained chorus of chants: “Obama!, Obama!” The SEIU president, Andy Stern, had to calm his members: ““Everybody take your seats, please. We have other candidates.”
One of them, Sen. John Edwards, is lobbying hard for the SEIU's endorsement. The SEIU members gave Edwards, who spoke several hours after Obama, an equally rapturous reception. "I intend to be the best union president in the history of the United States," he said.

Hillary Clinton was greeted politely, and applause came from the red meat lines she threw at the crowd. Significantly, there were no catcalls when Clinton talked about Iraq. Equally as significantly, the audience did not scream her name in unison when she left.

Obama has generally shrugged off the interest-group glad-handling that is generally required of Democratic presidential candidates, but the energy with which he spoke today made clear that he is eager to associate himself with the SEIU. But not solely for its political clout: he wants SEIU members to ratify his biography – they are an organizing union and he began his career as an organizer – and to ratify his argument that Hillary Clinton is too polarizing, too calculating and too change-averse to pursue transformative policies. If any union – actually, if any coherent part of the Democratic Party – is capable of being drafted into Obama’s movement, it’s the Service Employees. In this vein, the Service Employees executive committee would not dare lend its endorsement to John Edwards if the membership seemed to be supporting Obama.
Obama seems more popular with SEIU members than he does with SEIU executives, many of whom are said to favor Edwards. A senior SEIU official acknowledged that Obama "rocked the house" but noted that a larger-than-usual contingent of Illinois members attended the event, giving Obama somewhat of a home-state advantage here.

Obama’s swipes at Clinton were oblique, and it took his audience a few tries for them to understand what he was getting at. The audience didn’t quite get this: “It’s time we had a Democratic nominee who, after the primary, doesn’t choke saying the word union.”

But they got this:

“The problem is that too many people in this town see politics as a game and so if you think politics is a game then you start evaluating your candidates to see who can play the game best,” Obama said. “The question is: who can actually bring an end to the game plan. It has to be, who can put an end to the division… who can stand up to the lobbyists and the corporate interests … and [say that] American’s interests come first. “
Noting that Clinton had dropped her health care reform policy a few hours before, Obama allowed that it had some “good ideas,” but suggested the messenger – Sen. Clinton – could not be trusted to lead on the issue as president and evoked the secrecy that surrounded her failed 1994 reform attempt. “But the real key in passing universal health care is the ability to bring people together in a process that is open and transparent and builds real consensus, and I’ve got a track record of doing that.”

Obama implied that Edwards was a Johnny-come-lately.

“I’ve spent my entire adult life working with SEIU. I’m not a newcomer to this,” Obama said. “I didn’t suddenly discover SEIU on the campaign trail. Oh, y’all organize. You wear purple, do you?” he said, referring to the spirit color the SEIU has chosen.
But Edwards has spent the past four years courting the SEIU, local-by-local. SEIU officials estimated that a majority of the crowd had previously met him in person. They swarmed him as he entered and exited.