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June 14, 2008

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Baobama114 Peter Culshaw reports on the first creative class election in The Telegraph:

According to American sociologist Richard Florida, it was the "creative class" that swung victory for Barack Obama in the recent US Democratic nominations.  In Florida's definition, the "creative class" includes people working in the media, advertising, online, music and film industries, as well as designers, artists. and other, often freelance, creative workers who overwhelmingly supported Obama ... We are witnessing the first creative-class election in American history," he says. "The creative class is an online class; it's YouTube, its MySpace, it's music. And no one has caught fire with this class like Obama."

While pundits have looked endlessly at how the Democratic race was split along race, gender or education lines, Florida, a professor at the University of Toronto who has written a bestselling book The Rise Of the Creative Class, was more interested in "looking into how creative-class people were voting in this primary season. On issue after issue, they preferred Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton or John McCain by wide margins".

The benefit for Obama of having this creative class onside is almost inestimable. For a start, there were high profile music videos like Will.i.am's star-studded Yes We Can - a YouTube sensation, watched online by more than eight million viewers -- and I got a crush on Obama by a singer calling herself Obama Girl, both of which generated reams of free coverage for Obama.
Hundreds of less well-known videos also worked in his favour, reaching out to a wide variety of voters, from the hip-hop Representin Obama and the self-explanatory salsa song Latinos for Barack Obama, to scores of indie, country, and folk tunes. The small number of Clinton and McCain videos were outnumbered and looked clunky, embarrassing and patronising in comparison. An even more important key to Obama's victory was his success in using the web to fundraise, attracting more than a million small donors. While the policy differences between Clinton and Obama were not that huge, the idea of a candidate not in the pocket of corporate lobbyists added to Obama's appeal among the online community, creating a virtuous circle of support.


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Dave Reid

Just to add to how the Obama campaign is "getting" the creative class and social networks. They emailed supporters who'd listed themselves and programmers with information regarding working for the campaign as "LAMP" developers... They just get it...

Whitney Gunderson

Why I'm Still Not A Barack Obama Fan

1. DNC officials are $15 million short for the August convention in Denver. After Obama acquired enough delegates to claim the nomination, he ordered the DNC to stop taking money from federal lobbyists, making a $15 million deficit more difficult to make-up. This could have been done after Obama won the election in November, and nobody would have noticed.


2. Also after Obama claimed the nomination, he ordered DNC headquarters to relocate its headquarters from Washington to Chicago. This puts more DNC emphasis on the presidential race alone and less emphasis on races for the House and Senate. Even though there maybe synergy from Obama's campaign staff and DNC staff working together, this introduces the confusion of a move into the equation of organizing a convention and electing Democrats in 2008. Democrats have never worked well with ambiguity.


3. Polls show Obama ahead of McCain by four or five points. Obama received a two or three point bump up when Hillary Clinton suspended her campaign. But wait a minute.... Only four or five points over McCain? Only a two or three point bump after claiming the nomination? Something isn't right here. This election should be a blow-out. The United States shouldn't even have to have an election. McCain smells this opportunity as acutely as anyone; he knows there's politics to be done. That's why McCain has been going after Obama's committee to select a vice-president, and so far McCain has forced one resignation. McCain's making Obama look incompetent and taking pleasure in it.


We can all cheer for Obama as loudly as we want, but it's alarming when serious problems like these are overlooked in the name of party unity. In fact, that sounds familiar to what Bush 43 said the country should do for the Iraq War.... unify. That's why I call Barack Obama a George W. Bush reactionary liberal. The opportunity for a Hillary Clinton comeback or a successful third party Ross Perot- like candidacy has never been greater.


I am so relieved that Hillary is out of our lives, and thrilled that Barak will be the nominee. An interesting (yes, a little far out) article in the San Francisco Chronicle descibes Obama as a "lightworker".
There is no doubt that the creative class loves him and that he will be a breath of fresh air in musty old Washington.

Whitney Gunderson

Here's more reason for Democrats to be nervous about Presidential election in November. A majority of people say that they "believe" Obama will win the fall election in a recent Gallup poll.

But, another story details how the Obama campaign believes they can win the general election without the electoral votes of Ohio and Florida. Obama's campaign believes that voter turnout and wins in other Southern states will make up for losses in the traditional battle ground states of Ohio and Florida. In this sense, Obama wants to redraw the electoral map because the current one doesn't work for him. When Obama's campaign sloughs off the importance of Ohio and Florida, they open the floodgates for McCain supporters to rally. McCain has always been underestimated. Don't let his age fool you, this could happen. Furthermore, McCain doesn't have to redraw the electoral map to win. He just has to win Ohio and Florida, and maybe another swing state, like Iowa. Why do people believe Obama will win the general election when his loss in key swing states has almost been acknowledged by his own campaign?

My point is that even if people believe that Obama will win the election this fall, which many do, it is difficult for him to do so without winning key swing states like Ohio and Florida, even if he does win Michigan, New Hampshire and Virginia, which have fewer electoral votes. One thing that I am particularly alarmed by is the disconnect between the places that Obama enjoys large support in and the places known for enjoying the presence of the creative class. Even though Obama is regarded as the "creative class candidate" he lost the states with creative class cities: San Diego and San Francisco in CA, Austin, Dallas and Houston in TX, Boston in MA, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in PA and New York City in NY.... a real whopper. As important as the creative class is, it does not make up 50% of the electorate. Moreover, all creative class members are not Democrats, regrettably. Some live in Canada, like Richard Florida who had the good sense to elope.

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