Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Live from Austin, TX :: CNN Democratic Debate

Consider these three things before we dive right in:
  1. I’m new to the political scene. Decided to vote in my college days (actually voted on the uber-conservative Texas A&M campus) since George W. lived in Midland and hello, I had to support my West Texas neighbor since I was raised in the “City of Contrasts” about 25 miles away. Needless to say, after a week at my previous job at GSD&M Idea City, President Clinton stopped by to promote his efforts in Africa and I was awed by his presence.

  2. I now regret that vote and have not watched a single recent debate thus far with one exception of flipping channels seeing the heavy makeup on both leading Democratic candidates at my boyfriend’s house (since I don’t like or have cable).

  3. According to a Pew Internet & American Life study, 72% of bloggers look online for news or information on politics and by contrast, only 58% of all internet users do so. So now that I am a blogger, this topic seems appropriate. By no means is it a type of endorsement.

Considering the above, my routine of listening to NPR daily and the state of our country, I decided it was time to start paying attention. Furthermore, who could resist when we have a Democrat Primary debate here in Austin tomorrow (2/21/08)? Not to mention re-routing what roads I take, I want to be in on the action especially when it’s happening in my city.

One thing I do find peculiar is that several states were rushing to bump their primary elections up and now that the election is so between the candidates, Texas and Ohio hold a larger emphasis.

THE DEBATE (in Austin):
Clinton and Obama will be in Texas tomorrow (2/21) to debate each other live on CNN at 8 p.m. ET and early voting already began on Tuesday. Today, the Texas Democratic Party notified 100 people that they had won the lottery to attend the debate. Around 43,000 people entered the contest. This may not seem too extraordinary but considering only 4,000 Austin Democrats voted in the 2004 primary – it’s big. Since the debate is on campus, 400 UT students will also learn today if their name was picked – oh, and 18,000 applied.

Since tickets seem scarcer than SXSW, tune in or ride your bike down to campus. If you already know who you prefer, take a look at both Obama’s and Clinton’s websites and find local events to participate in. Both of their websites are easy to navigate and let you enter in your zip to find local events in your area. Hint: you don’t have to enter your email address and zip when you visit either candidate’s websites – simply look below the fold.
Here are two events going on in Austin (or you can search your area):


“We need all Hillary supporters from all corners to come and help us with visibility for the CNN/Univision Debate on the University of Texas campus. Check in begins at 3pm at the Red River Cafe. Come to collect your sign, learn cheers, and get your debate after party ticket before heading over to the visibility pen.”

Meet at Scholz Garden, which is two blocks south of the campus. Texans for Obama will hold a pre-debate rally and also watch the debate on the projection screen in the outside patio garden at Scholz.

Political pranks are normally unknown to campaign leaders and have been occurring for longer than one would expect. On this weekend, they reported that when you type (versus .org) you are actually directed to the Republican Party of Texas. It’s true! In South Carolina, Christmas cards were sent out to evangelists allegedly from Mitt Romney highlighting his Mormon faith. A local Austin restaurant that is well-known for it's comical marquee, welcomes the Clinton's to Austin in style:

Want to show your interest in the campaign by sporting some election gear? Whether you are a Clinton or Obama supporter, visit for some digs:

Some might also find it entertaining to check out the “Yes I Can” YouTube video (along with numerous Hollywood celebrities) that mashes up an Obama speech with lyrics of the Black-Eyed Peas. At 12:19pm CDT, the video had 4,579,590 views. According to UT student, Sarah T., the video is spreading like wildfire across campus.

So, from my perspective, take the time to learn more about the issues and where the candidates stand. The promotion of candidates, delivery of campaigns and media is evolving now in front of us and shame on me to just beginning to really take notice. I encourage you to take this “Select a Candidate” online quiz to kick off the learning process:

Cheers to learning more, voting and getting involved!

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