I don't get the hype.  

Posted by Jessica in

The hype about Obama. Don't get it. I want a candidate who can talk about more than hope and change.

See this article, Obama: The Audacity Of Hype, for a good rundown of my feelings. Here is a sample:

"Obama's skywriting about there being neither Democratic nor Republican solutions -- just American solutions -- is a great way to say nothing. When he comes down to earth with an actual policy prescription, the product is less impressive."

I want substance. I want someone who will fight for Americans. I want John Edwards for President.

Merry Christmas from New England!  

Posted by Jessica in ,

Since I arrived on my mini vaca, the weather has been close to 50 degrees and sunny! As much as I was hoping for a White Christmas, the warmer weather is a nice change from the bitter cold of New Hampshire.

Today I drove from Seekonk through Portsmouth (not to be confused with Portsmouth, New Hampshire) to Newport, then to Goat Island, Jamestown, and through Providence back to Seekonk. It was gorgeous and I crossed a lot of bridges, which is always a little scary for me.
It was fun but I couldn't find one place of business open, which isn't a big shock, but I thought I would find one restaurant open, but nope.

Tomorrow I head back to New Hampshire and back to full working. My time in New Hampshire is wrapping up, so I hope to take advantage of the next 2 weeks.

I got a hug from Obama.  

Posted by Jessica in ,

Enjoy the picture as much as I enjoyed the hug.

Vote Edwards!

Greetings from Rhode Island!  

Posted by Jessica in , ,

Okay, not really, but I am less than 2 miles from the border. I got a great deal on a hotel via Priceline for Seekonk, Massachusetts, so I am technically in Mass.

Things have been going great since I started my mini vaca, though I have some work to do tonight and tomorrow, well today, since it is 3am.

I am going to try to find a Catholic Church so I can attend Midnight Mass tomorrow, and boy, did it really just hit me that I will be celebrating the holidays alone, I mean it really did hit me. No pity parties though. My friend, Liz, reminded me through a text that this is the price I pay for being so "adventurous."

I have met all of the presidential candidates, most of whom multiple times. I am on the front lines of the primary process and I live in one of the most beautiful states in this country, I feel truly grateful that my job has afforded me the opportunity to live out my dream and to allow my friends, family, and associates to live vicariously through me.

So, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and enjoy your time with your loved ones.

The West Wing  

Posted by Jessica

My mom and step-dad got me the entire series of The West Wing. I just finished the episode with this scene.

Too much to say, little desire to write.  

Posted by Jessica in ,

There is so much I could've written about the last few days, but I couldn't just get myself to write anything down. I saw Obama again, which I will post about later today (got a hug from him). We got a big storm, which I used as an excuse to not drive to go see Hillary and Bill Clinton (they were doing an event over an hour away). I was going to see Hillary yesterday but my sleep schedule is way off and I overslept.

I pretty much finished my Christmas shopping today. Shipped my mom, step-dad, and brother's gifts via UPS. They wanted $87 to do 5 day shipping. Ugh. I went with ground for $13.09. I plan on sending another package soon with some other things.

Tonight I bought my step-mom a box of chocolates made by a local candy store, some New Hampshire maple syrup, and two books for my dad (including a New Hampshire book), as well as some New Hampshire salt water taffy. Rather than buy typical gifts, I am trying to take advantage of my current location by sending yummy gifts. In fact, today I sampled some Vermont cheddar cheese and would love to ship some home. I should really look into that--shipping home a refrigerated item.

I'll be heading to Seekonk, Mass. on Sunday evening. I was hoping to stay right in Providence, RI, but I couldn't find something cheap enough, so I am about 5 miles away in Providence. I'll be there until the 26th and am hoping to make a trip to Connecticut.

I Met Chuck Norris!  

Posted by Jessica in ,

He was very kind! Excuse the quality, it was taken on my cell phone!

The experts agree, Edwards wins the last debate before the Iowa caucus.  

Posted by Jessica in ,


Focus Group of Iowa Voters Declares Edwards the Winner.

Fox News’ focus group of Democrats in Iowa watching the debate declared Edwards the winner of the debate. Luntz: “I want you to raise your hands if you walked in here with John Edwards as your first choice. One, two of you. How many of you thought John Edwards won the debate? [Majority of crowd raises hand.] What was it about John Edwards – you didn’t pick him – but what was it about John Edwards you thought stood out?” Democratic voter: “I had John Edwards coming in number three, and he was very believable, he didn’t beat around the bush, he talked about the strong interest groups that he’s been fighting for all the time, and he has a plan. He came in there with answers.” [Fox News, 12/13/07]

Mark Halperin’s Debate Grades:

Edwards A-

Obama A-

Clinton B+

Richardson B+

Biden B-

Dodd C


ABC’s Rick Klein: “Edwards Though Wins On My Scorecards.” “3:25 pm ET: Edwards though wins on my scorecards -- he was relentlessly on message, sounding strong, and making a very good case to keep this a three-person race.”


Des Moines Register: “He’s Good;” Praised Edwards’ Answer on New Year’s Resolution. Edwards' strength Posted 12/13/2007 2:19 PM CST “‘Somewhere in America tonight, a child will go to bed hungry.’ said Edwards. ‘Somewhere in America today...a father will lose his job.’ All of us are going to be just fine, he said of fellow candidates. ‘What's at stake is whether America is going to be just fine.’ He's good.”


Fox News’ Major Garrett: “Edwards: Looks Crisp and Confident and Has Clearly Honed His Populist Message.” “Edwards: Looks crisp and confident and has clearly honed his populist message about the role of corporate influence on American political life, his line ‘corporate power and greed have literally taken over the government,’ will stand as one of the punchiest of the day and crystallizes his campaign theme. His fumbling of his desire that this generation leave the nation in better shape than it was found left a humanizing and humorous feeling in the air.”


ABC’s Rick Klein: “Edwards Is ‘Driven in [His] Gut.’ Once Again, He Brings It Back to a Clear, Concise Message.” “3:22 pm ET: Edwards is ‘driven in [his] gut.’ Once again, he brings it back to a clear, concise message.”


Marc Ambinder: “But Who Did Best?... On Balance, Clinton and Edwards.” “But who did best?... On balance, Clinton and Edwards.... Why them, and not Obama? Because Clinton and Edwards repeatedly wove their answers into a larger argument…. Almost every other phrase out of John Edwards’s mouth contained the words “corporate power..” or “entrenched interests.” And Edwards wasn’t aggressive.”


Fred Barnes: I Thought One Person Did Well: John Edwards. “I thought one person actually did well, and that’s John Edwards and you know why? Because he relentlessly stuck to the same point. He got it across- that the biggest problem in America is corporate power and greed.” [Fox News, 12/13/07]

ABC’s Rick Klein: Fox Dialers Love Edwards’ Message “Join Together to Take This Democracy and Take This Country Back.” “3:02 pm ET: Here's Edwards shooting broad once again – ‘join together to take this democracy and take this country back.’ At least the fourth time he's sounded that theme -- if you're an angry Iowan, you've got to love that message. And the Fox dialers certainly do.”


NBC/NJ's Carrie Dann: “He Knows His Iowa Audience.” 2:43 PM “Edwards named the closing of the Maytag plant in Newton as the ultimate illustration of how corporate America is hurting the middle class. It was an emotional and much-publicized event for plant workers here in Iowa, prompting cathartic displays such as the public demolition of a washing machine. Edwards visited Newton, Iowa, the week of the plant's closing. The crowd hit hardest by the factory buyout is the one with which Edwards' anti-corporate populism resonates the most. He knows his Iowa audience.”


ABC’s Rick Klein: Fox Dialers “Have Been Friendly to Edwards.” “2:53 pm ET: Two-thirds of the way through now, roughly, I don't see this contributing significantly to the campaign's storylines. The Fox dial tests have been friendly to Edwards and Obama, if that means anything.”


TAPPED’s Dana Goldstein: “Edwards Is Great On Education.” “Edwards Is Great On Education:” “I'm always impressed with John Edwards' discussions of education policy during these debates. He begins with the importance of early childhood interventions, he criticizes NCLB while holding out hope it can be reformed, and he highlights the privileges suburban schools enjoy that rural and inner city schools lack. He circles back to discuss free college tuition for qualified high school graduates.”


ABC’s Rick Klein: Edwards “Quite Literally off the Charts with That Answer About the Tax System Being Rigged.” “2:11 pm ET: Fox News is doing running dial-testing -- and John Edwards is quite literally off the charts with that answer about the tax system being rigged.”


ABC’s Rick Klein: “Edwards Is Looking Strong Today.” “2:25 pm ET: Edwards: ‘What makes America America is at risk.’ ‘We need to take them on.’ Edwards is looking strong today.”


New York Times’ Katharine Q. Seelye: Edwards’ Catchy Line: Americans “Should Be Patriotic About Something Other Than War.” “2:44 p.m. Catchy Line Mr. Edwards has a nice line that he uses all the time, but it’s still catchy: that Americans ‘should be patriotic about something other than war.’”


ABC’s Rick Klein: “Edwards is Making Just About Every Response About His Fight-the-Establishment Message.” “2:41 pm ET: Edwards is making just about every response about his fight-the-establishment message. He's good at hitting a message over and over -- often what you need to do in a debate that doesn't have major highlights.”


CNN Focus Group Declared Edwards the Winner. A CNN focus group of 23 undecided registered Democrats in Iowa who watched the debate declared John Edwards the winner of the debate. CNN’s Mary Snow: “Twenty-three registered Democrats came in here undecided. We asked them who they felt performed the best in this debate and they concluded they felt that John Edwards performed the best, with Senator Clinton right behind him. Now of course, this is unscientific, but also the other question posed to them. If the election were held today, who would you vote for? And in that question, John Edwards came in first, Senator Barack Obama second, and Senator Clinton came in third.” Those participating in the CNN dial group said they would vote for Edwards. “If you were going to vote today, for whom would you vote?”: Edwards 39%, Obama 26%, Clinton 22%. [CNN, 12/13/07]

CNN: Edwards’ Answer on Education Was One of Debate’s Strongest Moments. CNN’s Mary Snow: “Also when the candidates were talking about education, that really resonated with the people here in this room, 23 registered democrats who are undecided. Take a look at how they responded when John Edwards was talking about his education plans.” Video of Edwards: “We need to radically change No Child Left Behind. And if that doesn’t work, we should get rid of it.” Snow: “Those were two of the strongest moments.” [CNN, 12/13/07]

NBC's Chuck Todd: “Edwards Seemed To Do a Good Job of Talking to Iowans Specifically.” “Edwards seemed to do a good job of talking to Iowans specifically; he strikes me as being the John Edwards of late 2003; Could he be on a similar comeback trail that he experienced in '03 in Iowa? Time will tell.”


TIME’s Mark Halperin: Edwards “displayed with mechanized efficiency the same confidence and warm populism that he has nearly perfected on the campaign trail. Grade: A-”


CBS’ Vaughn Ververs: “If There Was a Winner, It May Have Been Edwards.” “If there was a winner, it may have been Edwards. His answers to almost every question hewed to his populist themes of sticking up for the disadvantaged and sticking it to corporate America. That should play well among Democrats in Iowa.”


Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza: “One of the Most Gifted (if Not the Most Gifted) Debater on Any Stage.”


“John Edwards (First 45 minutes): Edwards is, without question, one of the most gifted (if not the most gifted) debater on any stage. And, for the first 45 minutes of the debate his populist ‘us versus them’ message really hit home. ‘Corporate power and greed have literally taken over the government,’ he said at one point; ‘You have to be willing to fight....I have been fighting these people and winning my entire life,’ he said at another.”

Bleeding Heartland Blog: “Edwards Did Indeed Win the Debate.” Chris Woods wrote, “I'm going to argue that John Edwards did indeed win the debate. He articulated a coherent message that blamed corruption, greed, and entrenched interests for the problems America faces. He also clearly told viewers that the only way to enact the policies and proposals that the candidates have promised is to elect a president that will unite America to stand up and fight back against these people. His criticisms were constant, his answers honest, and his leadership potential was clear. He told us how he is fighting for the middle class, and how he's the candidate to truly enact change.”


Focus Group of Iowa Voters Declares Edwards the Winner.
Frank Luntz: “I want you to raise your hands if you walked in here with John Edwards as your first choice. One, two of you. How many of you thought John Edwards won the debate? [Majority of crowd raises hand.] What was it about John Edwards – you didn’t pick him – but what was it about John Edwards you thought stood out?”

“Very believable…He came in there with answers”: Democratic voter #1: “I had John Edwards coming in number three, and he was very believable, he didn’t beat around the bush, he talked about the strong interest groups that he’s been fighting for all the time, and he has a plan. He came in there with answers.”

“Refreshingly authentic…I was very moved”: Democratic voter #2: “I thought he was refreshingly authentic. I didn’t expect it and I was very moved by many of his words.”
“I was really moved”: Frank Luntz: “Susan, you weren’t an Edwards person when you walked in…” Democratic voter, Susan: “Edwards was my third choice when I walked in.” Luntz: “And yet you thought he won.” “He was concise, he got to the point, he answered the questions without beating around the bush, and I was really moved when he talked about how he has worked all his life like David v. Goliath. That impressed me.”

“He was my third choice, now he is my first”: Democratic voter #4: “That was my line exactly. Authenticity, number one. I think he would go after the corporations that are causing much of the trouble in the world today. He was my third choice, now he is my first.” [Fox News, 12/13/07]

Iowa Focus Group Gave Edwards’ Answers Two of Their Best Scores. Frank Luntz said about a focus group of Iowa voters watching the debate: “Well, the Democrats, and this has been consistent from when we started, the Democrats are happier with their candidates today than the Republicans were with their candidates yesterday, and so it's very tough to choose the top dial scores - John Edwards had two of them.”

Edwards’ Answer on Education Was a “Homerun, But It Goes Even Higher When He Gets Specific.” Luntz: “Remember that our yellow lines, our gold lines, those are [liberals], the blue lines are moderates – the higher the lines go the more favorable the reaction. Edwards had begun this clip talking about education and it was a homerun, but it goes even higher when he gets specific, let's take a look. [JRE answer] He is off the charts.”

“When He Is Talking About Health Care, Middle-Class Tax Cuts. ..These Lines, at Certain Points, They Can't Get Higher Than That.” Luntz: “When he is talking about health care, middle-class tax cuts. ..these lines, at certain points, they can't get higher than that. John Edwards also did a clip on education; let's roll that second clip. Again, it was not just the generalities and the principles. When Edwards talked about exactly what he was going to do, it scored as well as anything we have tested in the debates. [JRE answer] Once again, he’s off the charts. The Edwards language was very effective today on all these issues, because he had passion, he had focus, and as our participants said, he had a beginning, middle and an end. Very impressive.” [Fox News, 12/13/07]

Texting with my mama.  

Posted by Jessica in

Me: "rush limbaugh is such a piece of crap."

Mama: "Tell me something i don't already know."

That's my mama.

Edwards is the most electable running.  

Posted by Jessica in , ,

Courtesy of Matthew Yglesias here. CNN Poll.

Oprah and Obama in New Hampshire! (pictures)  

Posted by Jessica in , ,

<cross posted at Red State Rebels> -pictures at the bottom of post.

As I'm sure you all know, New Hampshire was privileged with a visit from the one and only Oprah Winfrey and Presidential hopeful, Barack Obama. Being the lucky and blessed person that I am, I was able to snag a ticket before they were all gone. Although I am voting for John Edwards, I try to still catch other candidates when they have appearances in this state because I like all of the Democrats and am trying to take advantage of the wonderful opportunity I have to see them.

So it has been with much anticipation that I have waited to go to this event, though I was most excited to see Oprah since I love and adore her and she is a personal hero of mine.

The doors to the Verizon Arena were to open at 6pm for a 7:30pm start time. I arrived at about 3:15 and was towards the front of the line. People were excited for Oprah and Obama and by the time 5:00pm rolled around, thousands of people were congregated outside waiting for the doors to open to get the closest possible seat!

Doors opened, madness ensued as people navigated the arena securing seats. The Governor of New Hampshire, a Democrat, who is not endorsing in the Primary, came out and spoke for a few moments, then Michelle Obama, an impressive woman, came out and the crowd cheered! Her speech was relatively short and nothing noteworthy was said and then she introduced Oprah and the place erupted!

It was surreal being in the same room as Oprah, and really only being less than 100 feet away. She has a larger than life presence and spoke with power and conviction as she detailed why she was coming out of the box (meaning tv box) to endorse a candidate now. She stated that now is the time we need Barack, that he is the one who can bring our country together and lead the United States back to where we could and should be. It was a moving speech and one could tell and feel that her support of Barack is profound and meaningful.

She introduced Obama who rose to the occasion with a passionate speech explaining the need for change and all that can be changed. He spoke of offering health insurance to every American, ending the war, engaging in dialogue with our enemies, and more. Being in the crowd, it felt as if the crowd was loudest when he spoke of the need to end the war.

It was a powerful evening and I will be proud to support Barack Obama if he gets the nomination. If you would like to read more about the event, check out the blog at Obama's website here and look for video of the event, as I highly recommend seeing it!

Oprah and Obama in New Hampshire TONIGHT!  

Posted by Jessica in ,

Thankfully I got a ticket before they were all gone. I anticipate getting there early and still sitting way in the back. :(

I will be sure and write a post about it afterwards.

Fighting for Edwards!  

Posted by Jessica in , ,

There have been some interesting comments in response to a post at Red State Rebels. One commenter, a state representative in Idaho, criticized Edwards. His comments will be in regular font, between quotation marks, mine bolded (since this is my blog!):

"I would be reluctant to support Edwards again for a couple of reasons. First, in 2004, he was a moderate candidate, but has departed that approach in favor of an attempt to appeal to the liberal base. As you all know, I am a pretty moderate guy. While I have progressive tendencies in some areas (i.e. social justice, education, etc.) and conservative tendencies in others I believe that the party that will represent America best and the one that will unite our country is the one that doesn't let the extremes dictate its agenda."

Geez Brandon, if Edwards is just blowing smoke up our asses, he has sure spent a hell of a lot of time and energy developing thoughtful policies. In fact, I recently picked up his 70 page policy book his campaign is distributing.

"The second reason I would have a difficult time supporting him again is because I feel like he may be the type that will do and say anything to get elected. Trustworthiness is one of my most valued qualities in any politician, especially a candidate for the President of the United States. That is one of the reasons I like Joe Biden so much. Even if you disagree with him on policy, no one can say anything bad about his honesty and integrity. These are the same convictions I try to see done in my own life, both politically and personally."

I find Edwards to be immensely trustworthy. I've met him several times and I have attended at least 10 of his events and 3 events for his wife. So my judgement isn't just based on what I see on tv, or read in the newspaper. Until he is proven to be untrustworthy, I don't dare accuse him of that, it isn't fair to him, or me.

I also find it ridiculous that people think he is just trying to appease the liberal base. As if no one ever progresses to the left without some ulterior motive. Sorry, I have more faith in him, and others, to not give him the benefit of the doubt.

He has spent his adult life fighting for those unable to fight for themselves. I have complete faith he will continue the fight in the White House.

Christmas plans...  

Posted by Jessica in

So I have been thinking that if I do get Christmas Eve and Christmas off, where should I go? It will be my last hoorah in this area and I want to go somewhere...so one state that has been on my radar is....RHODE ISLAND! I mean, how many people get to go to Rhode Island? I've been to most of the other states out here, aside from Connecticut. 2 days isn't enough time to explore NYC, so I think I am going to go to Providence, Rhode Island. It's only about 2 hours away and the other options I had were Portsmouth, NH (been there lots, just yesterday in fact) and Quebec, but Quebec is 5 hours away.

Cross your fingers that I get some time off...

John Edwards for President (part 1).  

Posted by Jessica in , ,

Editors Note: This is part 1 of many, which details why I support John Edwards for President.

I can't pinpoint when it all changed for me. When I went from a simple admirer of John Edwards to a die hard supporter. I have always liked all of our choices for President, and I know his electabilty, likeability, and work with poverty made him stand out more than the others.

But I suppose it all started changing when some of my Republican friends in Idaho (Republican enough to vote for Tom Luna over Jana Jones, but open-minded enough to vote for Jerry Brady over Butch Otter) started telling me that the only Democrat they would consider voting for is John Edwards. This was important because it was yet another testament to his electability and likeability. Something about him screams moderate even though his rhetoric is everything but!

I know that his Senate voting record leaves much to be desired, but I, more than a lot of other people, understand that a Democratic Senator in a red state is more conservative than I would like them to be and that not every Democrat has progressive views on important issues. I understand that a politician has obligations to their constituency.

Still, his Senate record is the one big hangup I have with my support of him. However, I believe in redemption and I trust John Edwards.

So much of my support is grounded in this trust. So much of my support is grounded in these feelings I have when I hear him speak. Words can't explain, sentences can't convey, and posts can't truly communicate my profound support. A support so strong, I cannot even bear to imagine a general election without John Edwards as our nominee.

I've been incredibly lucky as I've been able to see all of our nominees speak and interact with Americans. You catch what the cameras fail to, you see what the media doesn't report, and you feel what cannot be felt through a computer monitor or television screen.

Lest you think all of my John Edwards for President series posts will be all touchy feely, relax, they won't. I intend to detail his positions and platform but wanted to first explain a few things.

90% of my life is work.  

Posted by Jessica in , ,

Good thing I love my job and I have great bosses and co-workers. After a 16 hour day today, I got to thinking. I haven't had a day off since September 6th, my last day in Pocatello. Since my job changed, the promised weekend off and Thanksgiving Holiday off didn't happen. Christmas day and Christmas Eve I MIGHT get off, but I won't know for sure until those days come.

I was reading another blog where the blogger wrote about having a pizza and movie day. I got so jealous! I haven't had a day where I could just be lazy like that since the end of June and even during the last two weeks of June I was madly packing, moving things into storage and selling off furniture.

I was able to have a few weeks off during summer and got so bored with free time it was maddening. So I like working, I like my job, I like being able to move every few months/weeks, but I do miss having time off. I mean truly having time off. I've had really slow days where only a report or two is due, but I would just love to have an entire day with no reports due, no research needing to be done, nothing work related. Of course I will still make my daily visits to political blogs and websites, but because I want to, not because I have to.

I would love to be in Seattle, on the couch or lazyboy, cuddling with my dog, hearing my cat try to get upstairs via the basement door, and watching Elf on Christmas with my family but nope, not gonna happen. I'm not sure where I will be for Christmas. Even if I have to work, I can still stay in a number of desirable locations that aren't too far from a work location.

That's the great thing, among many, about the New England area-everything is so much closer. 5 hours from NYC, 2 from Rhode Island, 1 from Boston, 1 from Maine, 1 from Vermont. But still, I don't want to be further than an hour or two from central New Hampshire.

Well, I'm tired but not sleepy, so I'm going to pop in a DVD on my portable DVD player that has SAVED MY LIFE! No tv, except sometimes I have time to watch a tv show or two online, but I get a lot of use out of my dvd player!

Why a part of me hearts McCain.  

Posted by Jessica

As liberal as I am, there are times when McCain gets me all teary because on some issues, he is right on.

Torture is one of them. Anytime he speaks about it, and believe me he speaks with a power and conviction unmatched on the stump, it is incredibly moving and a continual reminder that torturing someone, anyone, no matter what they did or what they are accused of, is never okay.

Shame on you, Mitt Romney, for supporting torture.