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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Barack Obama

Democrats plan Obama watch

Loyal Washington Democrats who didn't get to go to Charlotte for their National Convention, but are dying to watch President Obama accept the nomination and make a speech Thursday, are planning parties around the state to make it a shared experience anyway.

Some will have special guests, like Gov. Chris Gregoire, who will be at a Seattle pizza parlor with U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott.

In Spokane, the setting is more business-like. They'll meet at the party Field Office, 239 W. Main, at 6 p.m. Congressional candidate Rich Cowan will be the special guest.

Judge’s ruling on Obama ballot challenge

OLYMPIA — Here's Thurston County Superior Court Judge Thomas McPhee's ruling on the challenge to Barack Obama's eligibility to be on the ballot that's mentioned in Sunday's Spin Control column.


Documents:

Judge dismisses birther challenge to Obama

OLYMPIA — A trial judge quickly rejected an effort to keep President Barack Obama off Washington's general election ballot, saying such “birther” allegations have been around for years, and rejected for years as well.

Thurston County Superior Court Judge Thomas McPhee dismissed the challenge brought Monday by Linda Jordan of Seattle, who tried to block Secretary of State Sam Reed from putting Obama on the ballot, in part because she challenged the validity of his birth certificate. Jordan claimed Obama wasn't a “natural born citizen” as required by the U.S. Constitution.

McPhee devoted six pages of his opinion to dismantling Jordan's claims based on findings in other courts that rejected similar challenges. “I do not usually devote so much time quoting the decisions of other courts in other cases. I do so here to make the point that just as all thhe so-called evidcence offered by (Jordan) has been in the blogosphere for years, in one form or another, so too has all the law rejecting plaintiff's allegations. I can conceive of no reason why this lawsuit was brought, except to join the chorus of noise in that blogosphere.”

‘Birther’ claim challenges Obama spot on WA ballot

OLYMPIA — Barack Obama makes jokes about people who question his birth certificate, and his campaign even is selling a coffee mug with the presidential face on one side and a reproduction of the certificate on the other.

Mitt Romney tried to make a joke about birth certificates in Michigan last week. Some people laughed, some people didn't.

But Linda Jordan of Seattle apparently is not joking in court action filed this week in Thurston County Superior Court against the Washington secretary of state, asking the court to keep Obama off the November ballot because, she contends, his birth certificate is forged and he is not a “natural born citizen.”

The state Attorney General's office was also serious in its reply today that Jordan's lawsuit is flawed for several reasons, all of which could lead to its dismissal: It doesn't name Obama as a plaintiff; it's a federal issue, involving the U.S. Constitution; the secretary of state doesn't have the authority to check on the eligibility of candidates and toss one off if he or she doesn't measure up.

Beyond that, Deputy Solicitor General Jeff Even says in a court filing, Jordan doesn't provide any proof that Obama isn't a natural born citizen. “She merely claims to have offered evidence of a forged birth certificate — a birth certificate that has never been requested by or submitted to, the secretary of state — and to have offered additional suspicions regarding a social security number.”

Hearing tomorrow afternoon before Superior Court Judge Thomas McPhee. Some pertinent documents are “submitted for your approval,” as Rod Serling used to say.


Documents:

Today’s fun video: Romney is his hero

This is a very unusual political video.

It's pro-Romney, although not from the Romney campaign. In fact, the Obama campaign might send it out on their Twitter feed for a few grins.

But the guy really likes Romney, and really doesn't like Obama. That, and he seems to be standing in the middle of a stream while playing his keyboard…

Another big Seattle payday for Obama?

President Barack Obama is scheduled to stop in Seattle next week, the third time in seven months he will visit the state's largest city to raise money.
His re-election campaign hasn't released many details of the trip yet. It’s a stop with two campaign fundraisers at the end of a Western swing that includes Nevada, California and Portland, Ore., then heads for New Orleans.
But if the pattern of previous trips holds, he can expect to rake in more than $1 million . . 

To read the rest of this post, or to comment, click here to go inside the blog.

Today’s fun Web site: Obama or Romney?

A poll purports to be able to tell whether you're likely to support Barack Obama or Mitt Romney by your preferences to things like movies, cars or pets.

Of course, it could just ask who you plan to vote for. But that wouldn't  be any fun, would it?

Click here to see the list of questions.

Obama on the Obamacare decision

President Obama looked pretty happy when he took to the microphone earlier this morning to comment on the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision that upheld the Affordable Care Act.

For those who didn't see that, but wonder what he had to say, a transcript is inside the blog.

Obama: Move forward, don’t go back

SEATTLE — Barack Obama acknowledged he hasn't been a perfect president as he asked some , supporters to help him win another term and ask themselves a different question than the tradition standard an incument faces of “are you better off than you were four years ago?”

The question he wants to frame the election: “Will we be better off if we keep moving forward?”

In a half-hour speech regularly interrupted by the partisan audience, Obama sought to paint Republicans as the group that wants to go back to policies that didn't work in the last decade and Democrats as the party trying to move forward.

Some of the loudest cheers came whenever he mentioned something involving gay rights, and he worked that theme into many areas of the speech just a day after he said he personally supports the rights of same-sex couples to marry, although the issue should be decided by each state.

“If you're willing to work hard, you should be able to find a job…give your kids a chance to do better…no matter what your last  name is, where you come from… no matter who you love,” he said.

To read the rest of this post, or to comment, click here to go inside the blog.

Crowds gathering outside Paramount

McClain, left, and Brotski outside the Paramount Theater.

SEATTLE — President Obama's supporters are lining up outside the Paramount Theater and filling the blocked off street in advance of his second fund-raiser of the day in this city.

Obama arrived shortly before noon at Boeing Field, where he was greeted by Gov. Chris Gregoire, Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Jay Inslee and other local Democrats, a pool report said. The motorcade then took Obama to a home overlooking Lake Washington, where about 70 people were gathered for a $17,900 per ticket meet and greet.

Outside the estate, a small child had a sign that thanked Obama for “standing up for my mommies,” the pool report said.

Downtown near the Paramount were also fans of Obama's announcement Wednesday that he personally supports same-sex marriage.

Mary Beth Brotski and Teri McClain wore a pair of sandwich signs, which read on the front “Thanks for Evolving on Same Sex Marriage” and had a picture of a chimpanzee on one side and Obama on the other.

McClain, who said she tries to attend every Obama appearance in the Seattle area, said she created the signs this morning. The response was mostly positive, although one person did criticize her choice of picturing Obama and a chimp.

“I didn't have time to draw the whole evolutionary chart,” said McClain.

Neither were surprised by his announcement. “I think it was inevitable,” Brotski said.

“It's time,” McClain said. “He's all about change.

Obama headed for Seattle

President Barack Obama is headed for Seattle today, to raise campaign money and tie up traffic.

Make that tie up traffic even worse than normal in the city.

He's due into Boeing Field about 11:45 a.m., has a high-ticket private fundraiser in the city ($17,900 per ticket) for about 70 folks at a private residence, then a “more affordable” event for the masses — $1,000 per — at the Paramount Theater downtown.

At least for $1,000, folks will get to hear Dave Matthews.

Spin Control will be there, and the campaign says there will be Wi-Fi, so if they're right, we'll be live blogging the event.

Stay tuned.

Obama gay marriage support fuels state politicians

OLYMPIA — In a state that recently went through a legislative battle over same-sex marriage and faces a potential ballot fight over the issue, President Barack Obama's comments supporting gay marriage drew quick response.

He'll likely hear some of it in person Thursday, when he stops by for a pair of re-election campaign fundraisers.

Gov. Chris Gregoire, who offered similar reasoning late last year for her switch in support of gay marriage, praised Obama for a “courageous and heartfelt act.”

Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, an openly gay legislator and sponsor of the bill that could ultimately allow Washington state to recognize same-sex marriages, thanked Obama for “his courage in taking a strong position in support of equality for all Americans.”

But the National Organization for Marriage, a national group helping to gather signatures to place Washington's same-sex marriage law on the ballot and calling for a boycott of Starbuck's for its support of the legislation, predicted Obama's comments would cost him re-election. Although Obama said he personallly supports gay marriage but believes states should decide the issue, “that is completely disingenuous,” NOM President Brian Brown said.

In an interview with ABC, Obama said he had hoped that civil unions for same-sex couples would be enough, but that hasn't proved true. He also mentioned that his daughters have friends whose parents are same-sex couples and whom they wouldn't expect to be treated differently, and that helped prompt his change in thinking.

Within hours, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, as chairwoman of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, sent out an e-mail to party supporters, asking them to sign an on-line petition to “stand with President Obama in support of marriage equality.”

That closely parallels Gregoire's comments in December, when she called for the change in state law and said her opinion had also evolved from supporting civil unions to marriage for same-sex couples. At that time, she mentioned the her views had evolved from talking with her daughters, whose generation is much more accepting of same-sex unions, and that children who are being raised by two parents of the same sex deserve to have their families recognized the same way as their classmates in more traditional families.

Gregoire and Obama may have a chance to discuss the issue Thursday. The president will make a campaign stop in Seattle, with a fundraiser at the Paramont Theater in downtown; Gregoire will be there, her office said.

The comments could also cause a ripple into the governor's race, which could share the ballot with a referendum seeking to block the same-sex marriage law that is on the books but currently on  hold. The leading Democratic candidate, former U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, has said  he supports the new law. The leading Republican candidate, Attorney General Rob McKenna, has said he supports civil unions but not marriage for same-sex couples, adding his stance on the issue was essentially the same as Obama's. Until today, that description was accurate, but it is now obsolete.

Opponents of same-sex marriage are gathering signatures on Referendum 74, which would give voters the final say on whether the law takes effect. A representative of Preserve Marriage Washington, the main sponsor of the referendum, told the Associated Press Wednesday they had about 70,000 of the more than 120,000 signatures needed to place the measure on the November ballot.

Today’s fun video: Dog days in the presidential campaign

 

OK, so the argument over whether Mitt Romney is less dog friendly for strapping a canine cage to his car roof than Barack Obama is for eating dog meat when he was a child in Indonesia is admittedly the stupidest conversation of the Presidential campaign thus far.

But this video is still pretty funny.

Obama to visit Boeing on Friday

President Obama has added a stop at the Boeing factory in Everett as part of his Wasington state visit on Friday.

Word from the Obama re-election campaign says it's part of the campaign theme of “an economy built to last based on American manufacturing and the importance of promoting American exports.”

But may also be an effort to answer the criticism that Obama tends to use Washington state as an ATM, stopping in for expensive fund-raisers with high rollers, jetting in and out on Air Force One and not seeing any ordinary folks as he's whisked up and down I-5. AF1 is landing at Paine Field in Everett, so Seattle to Everett commuters on Friday be warned.

He still has two big-ticket fund-raisers after the Boeing speech: a $17,900 per ticket brunch at the Medina home of a co-founder of Costco, and a $1,000 per ticket lunch at a Bellevue hotel (which also has a $5,000 option for a photo reception for those who want a pic with the prez.)

You read that right, brunch is almost 18 times more expensive than lunch. We're thinking brunch must be the all-you-can eat buffet spread, like they used to put on at the old Patsy Clark's restaurant on Sundays. Lunch must be more modest fare.

Of course in these instances, it's not so much about the bread you break, but with whom you break it.

Today’s fun video: Who is this ad really for?

If  you weren't up getting another beer  or more chips for the quacamole during half time Sunday, you might've seen this commercial featuring Clint Eastwood, who declared it was “half time in America.”

The ad is, on its face, a push for the cars made in Detroit.

But the imagery, and the closeness to the 1984 Ronald Reagan message of “morning in America”, suggests it has legs in the political arena.

When Barack Obama's campaign saw it, they probably said, “Make my day.”

White House card not Christmas-y enough? Oh, please

The 2011 White House card. Inside message: “From our family to yours, may your holidays shine with the light of the season.”

Former Gov. Sarah Palin is in a snit about the official White House Christmas card, saying that it just doesn't emphasize good American values like family, faith and freedom. In fact, it doesn't even say Christmas.

“A bit odd,” was one of her comments to FOX News Radio.

Actually, it's not odd at all. Presidential Christmas cards, which go out to thousands of friends, supporters and perfect strangers, often offer “holiday greetings,” or “joy of the season” and avoid any mention of Christmas (or Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, Saturnalia, Yule…) That was true for Republicans like Ronald Reagan and the Bushes as well as Democrats like Bill Clinton.

They often picture an interior or exterior shot from the White House. Sometimes the feature a tree, like last year's Obama card did; sometimes they don't.

For a link to a slide show of White House Christmas cards since 1967, compiled by Lonnell Johnson of the Columbus Christian Spiritual Examiner, click here.

Today’s fun video: Obama channeling Reagan

 

You can do almost anything with the right collection of video clips, including making Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan seem like they were philosophically separated at birth.

At least that's what Think Progress, a liberal organization, did with this video.

McKenna stays in health care suit; Dems step up criticism

OLYMPIA – Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna won’t withdraw from a multi-state lawsuit against federal health care reform, even though the other states are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to do something McKenna says he doesn’t want.
Throw out the entire law.
Washington Democrats contend McKenna, the likely GOP nominee for governor next year, should be held responsible if the Supreme Court scraps the law and leaves thousands of state residents without health care…



J
To read the rest of this item, go inside the blog.

WSU in NYT: The Anti-Christ in politics

Not sure how often this happens, but over the weekend, a guest column by a Washington State University professor was featured in the New York Times.

Matthew Sutton, an associate professor of history at WSU, writes about the prospect that the apocalyptic beliefs of some fundamentalist Christians might help knock Barack Obama out of the White House and elect the GOP nominee.

It's called “Why the Anti-Christ Matters in Politics.”

It's an interesting premise, whether you ultimately believe it or not.

Obama in Seattle: Hard to spot without cash

OLYMPIA — If you're coming to Seattle for the weekend and hoping to catch President Obama, who'll be there for just over three hours on Sunday, bring cash. Not much chance of seeing him in the flesh without it.

Obama has two campaign stops on this visit to the Puget Sound environs. He'll attend one fund-raiser at the Paramount Theater in downtown Seattle. Tickets start at $100, they're expecting as many as 400 people. The Robert Cray band is playing, so if Obama's a little late — good bet, considering he's coming from another gig — there will be something to keep the crowd occupied.

First on the agenda is brunch at the Medina home of Jon Shirley, a retired Microsoft board member,  where tickets go for $35,800 per couple. (Not clear if there's a discount if you go solo.) They expect 100 folks at that, so if they're all coupled up, the event would raise just under $2 million. But the campaign has to split the take with the Democratic National Committee, and actually gets the short end of the stick: Campaign rules limit an individual contribution to $5,000 per election, so the Obama campaign gets the first 5 Gs, from each person, and the DNC gets the rest,  up to $30,800, which is the maximum donation allowed to a campaign committee.

So Obama could come away from Seattle with a chunk of change for the campaign. If you go to Seattle for the something other than a campaign event — like, say, the Seahawks game — you could come away with a bit of a headache for the traffic delays. They'll briefly shut down traffic between Boeing Field and Medina, and from Medina to downtown Seattle, and then from downtown to Boeing Field, to get the motorcade through. Throw that into the mix with Seahawks traffic and the fact that some stretches of road are closed or restricted for repairs, and Seattle media are already warning people of long delays and asking anyone who doesn't have to go anywhere to stay home.

It's not quite car-mageddon. Yet.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

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