February 10, 2007

Everyone was there

Though it was rumored that Obama supporters George Clooney and Oprah Winfrey were in town for the Obama announcement, if they were, they surely would have gotten in touch with me, so I'm dubious.

But let's see. Who else did I bump into.....


Illinois Senate President and the man Obama has called his "Political Godfather", Emil Jones sporting a snappy Obama announcement tee-shirt.

Dan Balz's Washington post article on the announcement quotes David Axelrod, the Chicago political heavyweight and Obama's chief strategist.

I'd just spoken to Axelrod earlier in the day as he left for the announcement and he was in the hotel lounge along with his lovely wife and dozens of other campaign and press figures the previous night.

There's a crush of press attention to Axelrod lately trying to get a handle on what strategy the Obama campaign intends to follow. Axelrod is focusing on a mobilization effort to bring in disenchanted voters and others who perhaps aren't normally involved in campaigns, along with utilizing online assets, a stategy which, accurately or not, is being likened to Howard Dean's insurgent campaign in 2000.

Axelrod is the real deal, very committed, smart, experienced, and down to earth. He's known to be a person who is idealistic and committed to progressive policies and vision, but atypically without the cynical and mercenary attitude more common among other top-flite campaign honchos. I expect he'll serve Obama very well.

Here's a comprehensive piece on Axelrod which originally appeared in "The Nation".

And there was former Newsweek writer and now Time magazine columnist Joe Klien.

Klein apparently had a fur-bearing mammal camped on his head.

Klein is the author of "Primary Colors, a Novel of Politics", a fictionalized account of Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign, published, interestingly enough in light of critics here, anonymously. Klein finally admited authorship only after it had spent 9 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and after he'd suggested that others may have written it.

"Primary Colors" was later made into a Mike Nichols movie starring John Travolta as the Clinton character, Emma Thompson as the Hillary character, and in a bit of natural casting, Billie Bob Thornton played the Carville character.

Klein also wrote "The Natural", which dealt with the Clinton presidency, as well as the more recent "Politics Lost: How American Democracy Was Trivialized By People Who Think You're Stupid". He's previously authored a book on Woody Guthrie, and a sequel to "Primary Colors", "The Running Mate".

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