2008 Campaign

Obama Won the Iowa Caucuses 10 Years Ago

Chris Liddell-Westefeld: “How did one of the whitest states in the union propel the first African-American president to the nomination? What about him captured Iowans’ imaginations? What compelled hundreds of young people to uproot their lives and join a movement considered so unlikely in its nascent stages? What was unique about his organization that future candidates, aides, volunteers, and activists can learn from?”

“I spent a year looking for answers to these questions… The Obama campaign billed itself as an organic effort whose success would be built upon bringing new voters into a caucus process that discouraged broad participation. I wanted to tell that story from the perspective of the bit players history usually forgets.”

Melania Trump Plagiarized Michelle Obama

“Melania Trump earned praise for her speech on Monday at the opening night of the Republican National Convention, but her remarks almost immediately came under scrutiny when striking similarities were discovered between her speech and one delivered by Michelle Obama at the Democratic convention in 2008,” the New York Times reports.

CNN: “Side-by-side comparisons of the transcripts show the text in Trump’s address following, nearly to the word, the first lady’s own from the first night of the Democratic convention in Denver nearly eight years ago.”

Said a campaign spokesman: “In writing her beautiful speech, Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking. Melania’s immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it a success.”

Trump Once Said Clinton Would Be a Good President

Donald Trump said in 2008 that Hillary Clinton would “make a good president,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“His kind words for Mrs. Clinton came in a previously unreported clip from ‘Trumped!,’ a syndicated radio feature that aired from 2004 to 2008 and consisted of a daily commentary of about 60 seconds from the real-estate mogul.”

“A frequent topic of the radio broadcasts was sex and women. In one segment, Mr. Trump advised men to do more chores around the house because psychological research showed they would get more sex from their wives.”

Clinton Didn’t Concede Immediately Either

It actually took Hillary Clinton four days to concede the Democratic nomination after Barack Obama secured the necessary delegates in 2008.

As NBC News reported at the time:

“Advisers indicated earlier Tuesday that the former first lady would publicly acknowledge in her speech that Obama had crossed the delegate threshold. But she changed her mind and refused to do so … Her advisers said they considered the delegate numbers to be unreliable, even as the AP estimated Obama had several more than the 2,118 needed to nominate.”

Democratic Unity Should Be Easier Than 2008

Alan Abramowitz: “Perhaps the key lesson that we can learn from the results of the 2008 battle between Clinton and Obama is that Sanders supporters probably do not have to love Clinton in order to vote for her in the general election. They merely have to like her as well or better than Trump, and that should be a very easy bar to clear.”

“Trump has far less appeal to Democratic voters in 2016 than McCain had in 2008. According to the 2008 ANES data, McCain was viewed favorably by 23% of all Democratic identifiers and leaners and unfavorably by 58%. In contrast, according to four recent national polls… Donald Trump is viewed favorably by only 5% to 12% of Democratic voters and unfavorably by 82% to 89%. And while these polls did not provide data on Trump favorability among Clinton and Sanders supporters, it seems unlikely that he is viewed more favorably by Sanders voters, who tend to be, if anything, further to the left and more suspicious of billionaires than Clinton supporters.”

Clinton Refused to Quit In 2008 Too

“In the wake of her victories in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut and Delaware, some of Hillary Clinton’s top operatives are ready for Bernie Sanders to call it quits. But Clinton’s own refusal to give up in 2008, even after she had no real path forward, remains an obstacle to ramping up that pressure,” Politico reports.

“Indeed, some veterans of Clinton’s 2008 campaign are urging empathy and space for Sanders, emphasizing that the decision to slog on is not about having a viable path forward — it’s about feeling that you’ve gone as far as you can go.”

Sanders Doesn’t Have a Revolution Yet

The Lid: “There’s absolutely no question that he’s built a formidable coalition that’s making him a real threat to the establishment. But if ‘revolution’ by involving a massive amount of new people in the political process is the goal, the two nominating contests in the books already aren’t slam-dunk advertisements for the plan so far. Democratic turnout in BOTH Iowa and New Hampshire was DOWN from 2008. New participants made up 44% of the electorate in this year’s Democratic contest in Iowa, down from 57% eight years ago. In New Hampshire, newcomers participated at about the same rate as in 2008.”

“Yes, he’s raising massive amounts of money from small donors, which is an important data point here too. And yes, we’re only talking about the first two states, and there’s a lot of politicking left to come. But we’ll have to see some more raw vote totals — and an expansion of Sanders’ coalition in more diverse states — to be convinced that his movement is surpassing the scale of what Obama put together eight years ago.”

Clinton Banks on Sanders Not Being Obama

“Clinton campaign officials tell NBC News that two key factors propelled Obama to victory over Clinton in 2008: 1) Obama’s ability to galvanize the African-American vote after winning the Iowa caucuses; and 2) Obama’s domination of the caucus contests.”

“But the Clinton campaign – while acknowledging the possibility they could lose Iowa – argues that Sanders will be unable to capitalize on either factor that benefitted Obama.”

Extra Bonus Quote of the Day

“Well, it takes a team to win, so it takes a team to lose. I was part of a team that came in second outta two. So, yes, yeah, I mean, semantics, okay, words matter. You either win or you lose. We lost. That makes you not a winner. At that time.”

— Sarah Palin, quoted by CBS News, when asked if she was to blame for John McCain’s defeat in the 2008 presidential election.

Revisiting the ‘Kill Hillary’ Strategy

Ryan Lizza: “The conventional wisdom is that Obama inspired voters with an uplifting message and out-organized Clinton in Iowa and elsewhere. And while it’s true that he had a superior organization and an optimistic message, the real beginning of the end for Hillary Clinton was when Obama attacked her greatest vulnerability: her character.”

“The kill-Hillary strategy began with an October memo that was written by several top Obama officials, including Axelrod, Grisolano, Pfeiffer, the campaign manager David Plouffe, and Joel Benenson, Obama’s pollster.”

Trump Says He Handled Question Better Than McCain

“In front of several hundred evangelical Christians on Saturday, Trump took a dig at Senator McCain for a well-known incident in which Mr. McCain took away a microphone from a woman to correct her after she said that Barack Obama was an Arab,” the Washington Post reports.

“Mr. Trump compared that episode to his own response on Thursday, when a man accused Mr. Obama of being a Muslim and not an American. Mr. Trump was widely criticized for not correcting the man, but he told the Iowa crowd that if he had, he would have been attacked for violating the man’s right to free speech.”