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James Boyce

James Boyce

Posted: August 15, 2008 03:58 PM

Why The Evan Bayh VP Reverse Draft Matters


Four years ago, on the day before the VP Selection, I sat at The Four Seasons in a room with John Edwards, Fred Baron and Cam Kerry. The process was near the end and it had been a very tightly guarded process and despite being asked a million times, I had no idea who John Kerry was going to pick -- and in fact, no one did till we found out what name was going on the plane.

Four years ago, the Democratic base, those outside the inner circle of the campaign- didn't really have a voice or means to express and organize- but the events of the past four days show how far the world has changed, for the better I believe.

Barack Obama has been willing and quite smart in his use of new technologies but the same technologies that have enabled him to raise hundreds of millions of dollars have also this week given momentum and voice to Democrats who do not want Evan Bayh to be the Vice Presidential Nominee.

I feel our concerns are valid.

Choosing Evan Bayh would damage the message of change that Senator Obama was been pounding on America for over a year now. Choosing Evan Bayh, not only a supporter of the war but a leading proponent of the war, would diminish the ticket's stance on Iraq.

In years past, thousands of Democrats, isolated in their homes or offices, would have expressed frustration with the potential of a Bayh choice, but this week, we saw what technology can do.

Four years ago, the Huffington Post didn't exist.

Earlier this week, I wrote a post here "The Irony Of Evan Bayh's Name Texted To My Phone."

Other bloggers, at the same time or even earlier started to write as well. Ari Melber, Steve Clemons and more -- together, our voice started to grow.

Max Bernstein, our political director here at Common Sense NMS, put up a Facebook Group, another tool that was a non-factor in 2004- - 100,000 Strong Against Evan Bayh For VP.

That group was launched on Tuesday, hitting 1,000 people in the first day. Another 1,000 yesterday and is now over 3,000. 3,000 people willing to show their name and face and send a message to Senator Obama.

At this point, the narrative moved to what some circles would consider more traditional outlets.
The New York Times picked it up.

The Washington Post picked it up.

And finally, the tone of the conversation changed, as the title of this article from the San Francisco Chronicle's web site clearly shows: Will Obama Wave Bye to Bayh?

Add to that three radio appearances, two by Max yesterday and one by me, on
The Mario Solis Marich Show. And you have a narrative forming.

The question is now, what happens? We've seen more talk about Joe Biden, Wes Clark and even Al Gore over the past 24 hours then we've seen in the last few weeks.

Clearly, the decision remains, and always was Senator Obama's. But now instead of hearing from only those close to him, only those inside the beltway, he now has heard from thousands of people outside that circle. The question is, will he listen.

We'll find out next week.

P.S. This and many more topics like it will be the subject of some great panels that are happening at The Starz Green Room in Denver during the week of the Convention. I am on a panel with Will I Am, Adam Conner from Facebook, and more called "Viral Videos And Social Networks: How Campaigning Has Changed Forever. Click here to learn more.

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