Tag Archives: barack obama

Follow the bouncing ball: Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address

Tonight’s State of the Union, aside from promising 2014 will be a “year of action,” is almost guaranteed to be a snoozer. But for those of you as foolhardy as I am to watch the address nonetheless, I wrote a handy guide to SOTU cliches that may pop up.

Par example:

“This is not about politics.” — “This is obviously about politics.”

“This isn’t a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. This is an American issue.” — “This is an impossibly vague idea on which to legislate.”

“New efforts” — The same efforts as last year, only this time we really mean it.

“Bipartisan support” — Senate Democrats and Pat Toomey.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the two mojitos I’ve already drank tonight.

Why is the latest Obama ad set in Madison?

At 0:52 of the Obama campaign’s latest ad, in which youngsters-on-the-street incredulously read a statement from Mitt Romney about his Bain Capital days, I noticed a familiar landmark: the Majestic Theater in Madison, Wisconsin. Scrutinizing the footage of the other interviewees (it’s unclear whether the readers are laymen or campaign workers) I noticed the storefronts and sidewalks of State Street, a hotel off the Capitol square, and one interviewee’s Madison Area Technical College polo shirt.

This is all to say the Obama campaign is hardly bludgeoning viewers with Midwestern scenery in the same way as, say, Clint Eastwood’s Super Bowl ad. The Obama ad conveniently avoids shots of the Wisconsin State Capitol, which has come to symbolize state Democrats’ viciously fought but ultimately failed effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker. It’s easy to speculate this ad is the first of many to target young voters, many of whom turned out for Obama in record numbers in college towns like Madison. One thing’s a safe bet: If the Walker recall effort had been successful, Team Obama would be milking Dairy State iconography for all it’s worth. More soon.

Reaping campaign donations from the faculty lounge

Click to download the full PDF version of the chart.

For my final story in The Chronicle, I dredged thousands of lines of data in Excel by hand, culling the useful information to discern where academics are putting their money in the 2012 presidential election. It’s no surprise that pointy-headed intellectuals are contributing decidedly more to President Obama’s re-election campaign — fully 81 percent — compared to Mitt Romney’s campaign.

What has changed since 2008, however, is the concurrent rise of the for-profit university and outside campaign spending through so-called Super PACs. The story is locked behind a paywall, but the link above should give access to the whole story for the next few days. You can find more of my clips from The Chronicle and elsewhere here.

To come: My summer to-do list for exploring D.C. and beyond, complete with a healthy dose of cynicism about adult kickball leagues.