Yesterday, I participate in a forum at my school at the University of Florida and I had a chance to ask Bob Graham a few questions afterwards. First, we had two knowledgeable participants: the former strategist for John Edwards, Joe Trippi, and Matt Bai, a journalist for the New York Times. The conversation centered on the role of the internet in this election cycle. Joe Trippi talked glowingly about the Dean’s revolution and was in awe at the Obama campaign.
On the role of the internet, Joe Trippi thinks that the Obama campaign is a continuation of the Dean’s revolution. He talked how the bottom-up campaign Obama has waged allowed him to out-organized Hillary in the caucus states and out-raised her. He talked about the power of the netroots and how we force the media to cover stories and used the outrage after the ABC debate as a powerful example of this power. He recounted how hard it was for John Edwards to breakthrough because he was running against two celebrity candidates. John Edwards was so frustrated at the media for not covering his campaign that at one point he asked "what should I do so they can cover me... Should I put myself on fire?" a line which draws huge laughers in the room.
He had some though words for his counterpart, Mark Penn. He said Mark Penn believes, I am paraphrasing here, the internet is a "bunch of tubes" in the words of Ted Stevens and this lack of understanding of the internet has a lot to do with Hillary’s current predicament. It was incredulous to him how Hillary allowed Barack Obama and John Edwards to brand her as the status quo candidate when, as a serious female candidate, she could have run as " the change" candidate. Instead, she decided to take money from lobbyists and even defended them, as she did at Yearly Kos.
I talked to Joe after the forum and I asked him Why John hasn’t endorsed when on caucus night he said "change" has won and had repeatedly called Hillary the "status quo"candidate during the course of the campaign. He told me John disagrees with Obama’s healthcare plan and doesn’t think his endorsement is necessary since Obama’s winning anyway.
Finally, I also talked to Bob Graham and I asked him should we believe Hillary when she said her vote was not a vote for war and did his reading of the NIE really convinced him to vote against the war? He replies "it was clear to everyone that a vote for the resolution was a vote for war. In politics, there is no yellow light", he said. And yes, his reading of the NIE convinced him that he should vote against the war because the argument before reading the NIE was whether Iraq presented a greater threat to the United States than Afghanistan since he did not believe we had the capabilities to fight two wars at the same time. After reading the NIE, he realized the administration has grossly overstated the threat and that the NIE was actually raising doubts about those claims of WMD’s coming from the Bush administration.
Folks, I just learned Hillary can still win this thing. Watch this