Archive for the ‘South Carolina’ Category

More from Columbia, SC
July 28, 2007

Yesterday was a very intense day in the political world. Barack Obama spoke to hundreds of College Democrats at the annual convention held here in South Carolina. Appealing to the common desire for change Obama said:

“Its time for a new generation in Washington… It’s time to get past the old debates that have divided us. Talks about the health care plan. If you graduate and you can’t get a job right away, you’re going to be able to stay on your plans insurance into your 25. I can’t problem that they’ll let you live at home until that age, but I can assure you you’ll have access to health insurance.”

“I want to ask you to return to your college campus and register 10, 15 new voters. Let’s show America that you do make a difference, that you’re vote counts. This our chance to show them wrong. Now in this election, it’s our turn. let’s right that next chapter, let’s turn that new page. Let’s change America.”

The State writer Brad Warthen wrote this.

Keep reading!


Live from Columbia, SC . . .
July 26, 2007

The heat outside can’t compete with the intensity inside the Russell House on the campus of the University of South Carolina. This weekend, USC’s campus will be the center of the political world as candidates come prepared to get their messages out to the students. Pulling into campus, I immediately noticed the massive Obama posters all over the place–and inside it gets even better. Students for Barack Obama and Obama for America have put together a first class presentation. I even ran into some folks from Rock with Barack and kept them pumped about our fall voter registration efforts! It looks like it’s going to be a good weekend.

I’ll keep you posted about the details and let you know how the Senators speech goes!

Until then…Rock with Barack!

Youth, voting, and the Iraq war
June 19, 2007

by Nathan Lean

Harvard’s Institute of Politics recently reported that when it comes to the ever-chased “youth vote,” Sen. Barack Obama leads the field of Democrats along with Republican Presidential nominee Rudy Giuliani. As I read, and then re-read the report, I was struck with a strange sensation of fear and utter concern. The juxtaposition of these two candidates with particular regard to the youth vote may as well be compared to the juxtaposition of peanut butter and Italian salad dressing. Before you balk at my statement, hear me out.

Hungry for change and direct involvement with the hijacked political process, youth have begun to turn out to the polls more than ever in the last few years. Stats show that the 52% of 18-29 year olds that showed up to vote in 1992 is well within reach this election season. Not only is that number well within reach, the results of the 2006 midterm elections prove that youth are unsettled and untrusting of a war-hungry Republican administration. In nearly every crucial run-off, the pro-war Republicans lost their seats as the voices of the people rang loud and clear.

Do you think there is a correlation between the youth vote and the ’06 results?

This brings me back to Obama and Giuliani. Sure—I recognize that term youth has no underlying connection to progressivism or the Democratic Party for that matter, but doesn’t it seem odd that Giuliani, who so fervently sides with the Bush administration on Iraq war policy, is leading among youth? If people are tired of the Bush administration’s failed policies, why support a protégé of the President. Perhaps it’s time to point out the major difference in the two—that which I just mentioned: the war. “The worst thing to do is show them weakness,” “I’m afraid that Democrats haven’t learned that,” Giuliani said. In my mind, weakness is not admitting your faults, and continuing down the same path, getting the same results without fail. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck –why in the world should we call it a chicken? We have accomplished nothing in Iraq.

The war was what the Democrats won 2006 on and it will still be fresh on their minds in 2008.

I hope the youth today realize that Barack Obama—though a fledgling politician at the time, had more foresight than any other candidate on the platform today. It’s as if he looked into the future, saw the mess we are in today, and said no—absolutely not.

If there is one good thing about Giuliani having the backing of Republican youth, it’s an indicator that the vote will be more “left” in 2008. I simply hope that youth recognize the failed policy of our current Presidential administration and heed that notion when they cast their vote.

I also invite those undecided voters to consider the following statement: “ We must understand that the might of our military must be matched by the strength of our diplomacy.” –Barack Obama.

Rock with Barack refines its message!
May 16, 2007

As I began my usual morning activities of surfing the Obama website, watching the YouTube videos of speeches and promos for hours on end, losing track of time after having read blogs and new articles related to the Senator, and missed my afternoon classes as a result, a certain image kept coming back to my mind. It was of Barack Obama, standing in the middle of a crowded café, sleeves rolled up, collar loosened, and a bit of sweat on his brow. The people in the café are silently watching, gazing with an awe-struck look of inspiration, listening to every word as if it tasted like a sweet desert that they hated to come to the end of. The image was a still shot of a video where Barack is explaining his background, and at this moment, when the flash went off, Obama is telling the crowd about his efforts as a community organizer and a grassroots activist.

Barack Obama led efforts to register over 150,000 new voters in Chicago.

I was already inspired by the man, but at after working with the board of directors for Rock with Barack in an attempt to refine our message and goal, it became clear that we should model our efforts at the grassroots level after those of the man we so fervently support.

I want to tell you about an upcoming project that Rock with Barack is leading. We have decided to focus our volunteer efforts on voter registration in the state of South Carolina. By December 30 2007, we want to register 10,000 new primary voters in the state. Certainly it’s an ambitious goal, but we have a certain audacity of hope that leads us to believe that we can accomplish this.

South Carolina is so important to the primary elections. The voter registration procedures are more difficult than most states, meaning that the number of people registering themselves may be lower than in other areas. We can help them, and I hope you will join our efforts.

Right now, under the direction of Obama for America staff members and the South Carolina Election Commission, we are assembling what we call an “army of volunteers.” The idea is to get as many people on board, interested in helping in the Fall, signed up to sit at tables, go door-to-door, and whatever else we need to do to get this done. We want to work with surrounding states too, hoping to combine resources of other grassroots groups to create something substantial in the Fall. Once our “army” is in place and we are certain we have made a good deal of contacts that want to go out into the communities, things will begin to start. For now, we are recruiting, and like Uncle Sam, we want YOU.

I leave you with this charge: If you think you can help, please do. Let’s combine our ideas and efforts to help take the vision of Senator Obama to the White House. Senator Obama once said, “The best education I received was working with people in the community on a grassroots basis because what it taught me was that ordinary people, when they are working together, can do extraordinary things.”

I know we have the ability to do extraordinary things.

E-mail me if you are interested or have questions:

Nathan Lean
Director, Rock with Barack