Obama sees an America I want to see (Guest Blog)

My sister was able to attend Barack Obama's visit to Denver yesterday. What follows, is her guest entry about the experience.

Walking into the Richie Center today was unlike any ordinary day I've experienced at DU. I awoke to cheering, but thought nothing of it. When I looked out my window though, I was shocked! The whole sidewalk leading into the Arena was crowded with people! I hurried to get ready and ran to stand in line. Before I knew it, I was filled with the excitement of the people around me. All I could think was, "Obama. Wow!" The people around me were quite diverse, but they were all here for the same purpose, a purpose they believe in, that they can find with Obama as President.

All of the Richie Center was full; Magness arena was filled to the top, no chair was empty! Even the overflow gym and the lacrosse field - which I practice on everyday - was being used to host the overflow audience. Throughout the crowd, people chanted rhythmically, "O-BA-MA". The excitement and enthusiasm coursed through the audience.

As a few well-known celebrities began the event, the intensity of the audience grew. The wave began circling the gymnasium, and chants overpowered the speakers. Then, finally, Obama walked in. The crowd went wild. He looked so calm and relaxed as he shook hands and took pictures with what seemed like everyone around him. His speech was so moving, filled with inspiration, hope, and a refreshing whim of change. He responded very well to the audience. He spoke with his heart and with a sincere intent to follow through with what he was saying.

The crowd quieted during his speech, and the enthusiasm did not even seem to fade after it was over. We were so motivated, not only to elect him as President, but also to tell our friends about him. To start change ourselves.

I believe Obama sees an America that I want to see, he shares a dream with each and every on of us. Most of all, Obama wants that change. He wants people to help people. He is ready to change the world we are living in, and it seems that nothing can stop him from doing so.

The time for this change is now, and like the repetitive cheer I heard throughout the event, "Yes, We Can" bring that change.


John Edwards dropping out

What?! John Edwards is dropping out of the race today. I couldn't believe it when I saw the news. If you're interested, you can visit the 2008 Democratic Convention Watch's post titled "Edwards out" for a great summary of what happens with his delegate counts.

I'm posting Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama's statements about this news below. I find it rather interesting that Clinton never had such nice things to say about John when he was running against her. You can watch the video I've included below to see for yourself.

Hillary Clinton:
"John Edwards ended his campaign today in the same way he started it - by standing with the people who are too often left behind and nearly always left out of our national debate.

John ran with compassion and conviction and lifted this campaign with his deep concern for the daily lives of the American people. That is what this election is about - it's about our people. And John is one of the greatest champions the American people could ask for.

I wish John and Elizabeth all the best. They have my great personal respect and gratitude. And I know they will continue to fight passionately for the country and the people they love so deeply."

Barack Obama:
"John Edwards has spent a lifetime fighting to give voice to the voiceless and hope to the struggling, even when it wasn’t popular to do or covered in the news. At a time when our politics is too focused on who’s up and who’s down, he made a nation focus again on who matters – the New Orleans child without a home, the West Virginia miner without a job, the families who live in that other America that is not seen or heard or talked about by our leaders in Washington. John and Elizabeth Edwards have always believed deeply that we can change this – that two Americas can become one, and that our country can rally around this common purpose. So while his campaign may end today, the cause of their lives endures for all of us who still believe that we can achieve that dream of one America."

It's always interesting to see what the remaining candidates have to say about someone when they leave, but I find it more educational to hear what the candidate leaving thinks about those who remain. With that in mind, the video belows shows what John Edwards had to say about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama when he was running alongside them both.

Direct link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hUW27EJFL4

McCain wins all delegates in Florida

It appears that John McCain has taken all available delegates in Florida. Remember, Florida was penalized by both the Democrats and Republicans for moving the date of their primary before February 5th. The penalty from the Democrats was completely ignoring their delegates, the penalty from the Republicans was allowing only half of Florida's delegates (normally 114, now 57).

Well, John McCain won ALL 57 delegates by beating Romney in popular votes by 5%! That puts the Republican standings as follows:

John McCain: 93
Mitt Romney: 59
Mike Huckabee: 40
Ron Paul: 4

And Rudy Giuliani? Well, he's decided to drop out of the race. (A sad day for witch-hunting oil-bedeviled fear-mongers everywhere.)

Next on my agenda? Barack Obama is at Magness Arena on the University of Denver's campus today! I wish I could be down there myself, but I'm not too upset about it since my sister goes to school there. Hopefully, she'll be willing to tell me about it - maybe even provide me with a guest blog entry of sorts.


Blogging for the blind

For as long as I have been designing web sites, I've always had a focus on accessibility. To quote the Level Triple-A Conformance for my website, making "Web content accessible to people with disabilities. Conformance to these Guidelines will help make the Web more accessible to users with disabilities and will benefit all users."

In that spirit, I've now added a feature to my blog (provided by VozMe) which allows visitors to listen to a spoken-word version of my blog entries. Now, it is a rather speedy computerized voice, but I believe that it's a step in the right direction for web content.

You can test the feature yourself by visiting this very post ("Blogging for the Blind") and clicking on the "Hear this post link" found beneath the content.

I'll soon be adding the same feature to the INDY website as well.


Current delegate standings for the 2008 primaries

EDIT: For further updates on the current standings of the 2008 Primaries, go to my post titled "2008 Primaries Current Standings"

I'm very busy during this time of year, so it's become increasingly difficult to find time to post notes about on-going events. Be that as it may, I wanted to briefly point out the delegate standings for Barack Obama and the other remaining candidates.

Unfortunately, I was able to watch the results as they came in for Nevada or South Carolina, but I was quite pleased to see that Obama won the most pledged delegates of any of the democratic candidates in both states (13 in Nevada and 25 in South Carolina).

You can find a great layout of the election stats here: http://news.yahoo.com/election/2008/dashboard/

Here are the current standings of the remaining candidates in the primaries:
(Remember, it's the delegates that matter, as I pointed out in my previous post titled "Clinton's New Hampshire victory not enough to tie Obama with pledged delegates")

Barack Obama: 63
Hillary Clinton: 48
John Edwards: 26

Mitt Romney: 59
Mike Huckabee: 40
John McCain: 36
Ron Paul: 4

Next up on the calendar is Florida, but it's one of the states in violation of the election rules of both parties, so it may end up having no delegates for the Democrats and only half for the Republicans. After Florida comes Super Tuesday, when all the remaining states will makes their voices heard.

And, readers, your voices better be among them!


Barack Obama's Plan for America: "The Blueprint for Change"

My family and I recently attended an event hosted in support of Barack Obama. While at the event, I found a booklet that cleanly laid out Barack's hopes and goals for America. The document is titled "The Blueprint for Change - Barack Obama's Plan for America". Here is a link to the PDF of "The Blueprint for Change"

I would like to encourage you to read over the document and note the amount of specific detail put into it by Obama. This is a candidate we can hold to their word and one of the few major candidates (from both the Democrats and the Republicans) with a consistently strong approval rating throughout their career [source].

Additionally, Barack Obama has drawn the respect and the eager eyes of people in countries all over the world. Internationally, Barack's competitors seem merely to be the same flawed and manufactured product of a dilapidated system, while Obama might just be the glimmer of hope that brings the USA back out of our fear-driven Dark Age.

It makes sense to me that someone who has consistently stood honestly for the people of Illinois will also stand honestly for the people of the nation.

No matter what your political party or what hope you may have lost in what was once a beautiful democracy, I implore you to take a few minutes to see what Barack Obama wants to GIVE BACK to the UNITED States of America. For Barack is truly a man who acts on the inaugural words of former President John F. Kennedy: "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."


Clinton's New Hampshire victory not enough to tie Obama with pledged delegates

Yesterday's race was not nearly as invigorating as the Iowa caucus, it was, however, very enlightening. As of a few minutes ago, 100% of the New Hampshire precincts/townships have reported in their results. And Hillary Clinton has ended up holding the 2-3% lead she's had since the results first began coming in, giving her the win of the popular vote in New Hampshire.

As Obama said last night, it was a well fought victory for her. Still it's not a true victory - as I will explain in this post - there is a key to the New Hampshire primaries that was not awarded to either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama: the number of convention delegates.

You see, as with the general presidential election, it's not the popular vote that directly matters. The popular vote decides how many pledged delegates the candidates will have at the National Convention for the party.

This year in Iowa, Obama won 16 delegates, Clinton 15, and Edwards 14. This meant that in order to truly beat Obama, Clinton would have had to gain at least 2 more delegates than Obama in New Hampshire. However, a 2-3% difference in popular vote was not enough to separate the two by even one delegate. Both Hillary and Barack won 9 delegates while Edwards won the remaining 4.

This puts the number pledged delegates for the candidates at the following totals: Obama 25, Clinton 24, Edwards 18.

There remains a 1 delegate difference between Obama and Clinton. So, while Hillary won the popular vote in NH, she did not change her standing amid the delegates who will be responsible for selecting the actual Democratic candidate.

So now, let's turn our eyes and our thoughts toward Nevada (who has 33 delegates for the Democrats). Michigan is next on the calendar, however they're in violation of party rules leaving their delegates (157!) unable to vote! (More on that explained in the "February 5 controversy" section of the wikipedia article linked later in this post.)

Let's keep the momentum and keep hope alive! Barack Obama 2008! "Still fired up and ready to go!"

Read more about how the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries work.


Barack Obama's speech following the Iowa caucus

Senator Barack Obama delivered an electrifying speech following the results of the Iowa caucus last night. I highly recommend that you take 15 minutes out of your day (if even in parts) to listen to what Obama has to say.

If you are unable to see the video embedded within this post, please follow this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqoFwZUp5vc

Please remember, the coming election needs to be about respect and unity; LEARN about the people you are voting for and then VOTE for who you believe will act as you would like them to! It is critical that America chooses the next president based on ability and leadership and NOT party-line loyalty and lobbyist rhetoric.



OBAMA WINS IOWA*! I hope that this trend and momentum will keep with the rest of the nation!

* If you do not already know the significance of the Iowa Caucus, here's an excerpt from the Wikipedia article on the subject to help you understand:

"The Iowa caucus is an electoral event in which residents of the U.S. state of Iowa elect delegates to the county convention to which their precinct belongs in a caucus. There are 99 counties in Iowa and thus 99 conventions. These county conventions then select delegates for both Iowa's Congressional District Convention and the State Convention, which eventually choose the delegates for the presidential nominating conventions (the national conventions).

The Iowa caucus is noteworthy for the amount of media attention it receives during U.S. presidential election years: Since 1972, the Iowa caucus has been the first major electoral event of the nominating process for President of the United States. Although only about one percent of the nation's delegates are chosen by the Iowa state convention, the initial caucus has served as an early indication of which candidates for President might win the nomination of their political party at that party's national convention." (Wikipedia: Iowa caucus)