Barack Obama

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President Obama’s Re-Election Honeymoon (on Social Media) Continues, But For How Long?

One reaction on social media to President Obama’s re-election can be summed up by the popular meme at right.

(You’ve probably seen the president’s celebratory “Four More Years” photo everywhere on Facebook and Twitter. With more than four million “Likes,” it’s Facebook’s most-Liked photo ever. It’s been re-tweeted more than 790,000 times, the most RTs ever.)

Of course, President Obama was a social media star even before he was re-elected, and he’ll probably continue to generate a flood of Likes and RTs through the rest of his term. The Oxford Internet Institute found that the president would have defeated Mitt Romney handily if the election had been based on Twitter references. And on Thursday, the word “Obama” had been used in more than one million Tweets, according to the social search website Topsy.  Also trending Thursday on Twitter in the U.S. – “Karl Rove” and “GOP.” But not really in a good way.

But since the election, another term that’s probably more of a concern to the president has started to make its way onto social media:

Fiscal cliff.Continue reading

Live Blog Preview: Obama vs. Romney; Final Swing State Polls

Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama at the first presidential debate.

STF/AFP/GettyImages

Tonight we’ll be live blogging presidential results,  U.S. Senate races, hotly contested House seats in California, propositions, select State Assembly results, and local  contests around the Bay Area. A look at the presidential picture, below. Also see 9 Key Senate Races.

The other day one of our reporters who drew the assignment of gathering local reaction to the presidential election asked the practical question, “Should I go out on the streets or go into the bars?”

The answer, of course: depends who wins. If it’s Obama, I say our reporter should head for the celebrations in the street. If it’s Romney, hit the drinking establishments and home in on the sad sacks throwing down double bourbons like a bereft Humphrey Bogart trying his best to forget Ingrid Bergman. And don’t forget to keep your ears open for mumbling about “moving to Canada” and “goddamn Ohio.”

Meaning, of course, it’s no secret who a sizable majority of the people within the sound of KQED’s radio signal will be rooting for. The Bay Area is sort of the home field for the Democratic team, which you can confirm either by looking out your window at the political signs, checking your Facebook friends’ status updates, or browsing the 2008 election results by California county; Obama’s majority ranged from 63.5 percent in Solano to 84 percent in San Francisco. Because the left-of-left constituency here may grumble about the Democratic squad during the season, but when it comes to the World Series, everyone’s wearing the correct hat. Continue reading

Obama, Romney Race to Reach Every Voter in Battleground States

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The White House the prize, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney raced through a final full day of campaigning on Monday through Ohio and other battleground states holding the keys to victory in a tight race. Both promised brighter days ahead for a nation still struggling with a sluggish economy and high joblessness.

“Our work is not done yet,” Obama told a cheering crowd of nearly 20,000 in chilly Madison, Wis., imploring his audience to give him another four years.

Romney projected optimism as he neared the end of his six-year quest for the presidency. “If you believe we can do better. If you believe America should be on a better course. If you’re tired of being tired … then I ask you to vote for real change,” he said in a Virginia suburb of the nation’s capital. With many of the late polls in key states tilting slightly against him, he decided to campaign on Election Day in Ohio and Pennsylvania, where he and Republicans made a big, late push.

The presidency aside, there are 33 Senate seats on the ballot Tuesday, and according to one Republican official, a growing sense of resignation among his party’s rank and file that Democrats will hold their majority. Continue reading

Obama, Romney Debate Foreign Policy in Final Debate

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. (Rick Wilking-Pool/Getty Images)

BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — President Barack Obama sharply challenged Mitt Romney on foreign policy in their final campaign debate Monday night, saying, “Every time you’ve offered an opinion you’ve been wrong.” The Republican coolly responded, “Attacking me is not an agenda” for dealing with a dangerous world.

Romney took the offensive, too. When Obama said the U.S. and its allies have imposed crippling sanctions on Iran to halt nuclear weapons development, the Republican challenger responded that the U.S. should have done more. He declared repeatedly, “We’re four years closer to a nuclear Iran.”

Despite the debate’s stated focus on foreign affairs, time after time the rivals turned the discussion back to the slowly recovering U.S. economy, which polls show is the No. 1 issue for most voters.

They found little agreement on that, but the president and his rival found accord on at least one international topic with domestic political overtones — Israel’s security — as they sat at close quarters 15 days before the end of an impossibly close election campaign. Each stressed unequivocal support for Israel when asked how he would respond if the Jewish state were attacked by Iran.

“If Israel is attacked, we have their back,” said Romney — moments after Obama vowed, “I will stand with Israel if Israel is attacked.”

Both also said they oppose direct U.S. military involvement in the efforts to topple Syrian President Bashir Assad. Continue reading

Presidential Debate: Webcast, Chat, Fact Check and Live Blogs

In case you’ve been on Mars for the last week (where the SF Association of Realtors wants to send SF Board of Supes candidate Eric Mar, but I digress), by most accounts Barack Obama came in second in the initial presidential debate against Mitt Romney. Tonight is the second of three mano-a-manos; this one held as a town hall with 80 undecided voters, as selected by the Gallup Organization. The debate starts at 6 p.m. PT

The Commission on Presidential Debates says that people will ask questions on foreign or domestic issues. Each candidate will have two minutes to respond, then moderator Candy Crowley of CNN will have an additional minute to “facilitate a discussion.”

Here’s the NewsHour Live Stream:

Debate chat from NPR:

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Presidential Debate: Watch Live Online, List of Live Blogs

posted by Lisa Aliferis and Jon Brooks

Kennedy-Nixon, the first televised debate. (Courtesy National Park Service)

After months of campaigning — and days of surrogates’ efforts to lower expectations of their guy’s performance — it’s finally time for the first presidential debate. The political duel is being held at the University of Denver.

While there are many, many relevant sites we can steer you to around this event, we’ve chosen to put WNYC’s Interactive debate bingo front and center. You can thank us later, after the 25th time one or both candidates have used the phrase “make no mistake” before looking into the camera and gravely declaring just how the other guy is going to ruin the country if we make the awful mistake of electing him.

And if you’re at the point where you can only truly experience any big event on your computer,click here for our list of live blogs.

Here’s what looks to be a curated list of debate tweeters by Twitter, running the political gamut from Ann Coulter to David Axelrod, plus many in-betweens.

You can watch the debate online via PBS NewsHour:

You can also watch ABC News/Yahoo coverage live online on YouTube

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‘Honeymoon’ with Obama Turns to Reality of Married Life for Black Supporters

By Caitlin Esch

Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson addresses Obama faithful at Everett and Jones restaurant in Oakland. (Photo: Caitlin Esch)

Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson addresses Obama faithful at Everett and Jones restaurant in Oakland. (Photo: Caitlin Esch)

NAACP volunteer Gayle Akins pitches a table and spreads out voter registration forms at an anti-violence rally outside Oakland City Hall. She’s capitalizing on the support that President Barack Obama inspires locally: many new voters are registering simply to cast a vote for him.

Sometimes they act like, ‘I don’t know if my vote counts,’ but they know a lot about what’s going on,” Akins says. “If we can convince them — register to vote — and actually get out to vote … it’s a really good thing.”

Still, many African-American voters are frustrated. Four years ago, Oakland resident William Edwards says he was thrilled when Obama won. But Edwards has fallen on hard times; his home is in foreclosure, and he doesn’t think Obama is paying attention to the concerns of his community — things like too few jobs and too many African American men in prison.

“It’s almost like dating. You date someone and they show their great side, and you get married and it’s like ‘oh, they don’t pick up their socks.'”

“He’s got probably 95 percent of the black vote, but it’s nice to vote and support him,” Edwards says. “But, what are we gonna get for it? Everybody else has an agenda of what they wanna get. So what’s in it for us?”

Oakland Civil rights attorney Eva Paterson has had her own disappointments over the past four years, but she says the black community’s romance with the president has given way to something else. Continue reading

NPR, KQED, PBS NewsHour — and More — Cover the 2012 Democratic National Convention

The 2012 Democratic National Convention to formally renominate Barack Obama as the party’s presidential candidate and Joe Biden as vice-president officially begins Tuesday evening in Charlotte, North Carolina. It runs through Thursday night.

PBS NewsHour has complete online coverage and analysis.

NPR provides highlights of each day’s speakers, profiles, news and features as well as live radio coverage starting Tuesday at 6pm PT.

KQED’s Forum hosted an hour-long discussion about the Democratic convention with Representative Barbara Lee, Democratic political consultant Chris Lehane, John Perez, speaker of the California Assembly and Robin Abcarian, reporter for the Los Angeles Times.

Listen to Forum here:

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First Up on KQED’s Election 2012 Road Trip: The Inland Empire

Scott Shafer reporting in the Inland Empire

The California Report’s Scott Shafer just returned from the first stop on a statewide “listening tour” to take the pulse of California voters this election year.

The November election is shaping up to be a referendum on government… “How much government do we want? And who’s going to pay for it?” So we’re framing our election coverage with the question “What’s Government For?”

In Riverside and San Bernardino counties, Shafer heard some surprising answers, such as Republicans feeding the poor and asking government to do more. And he found that the region’s elected officials don’t yet reflect the changing political complexion of its current population.

In the presidential lounge at Riverside’s Mission Inn hang portraits of the presidents who have visited over the years. All but one are Republicans. And the Inland Empire has long been a bastion of the GOP. Four years ago, though, voters went for Barack Obama.

Shafer found that many of the new Democratic voters are transplants from coastal cities like Los Angeles. And many of them are Latinos. But low voter turnout prevents them from having the political clout they could. Shafer met some folks who are trying to change that.

Take a listen:

 

California’s Inland Empire

So what is the Inland Empire?

MAJOR CITIES: Riverside, San Bernardino, Fontana, Moreno Valley, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, Corona, Victorville, Murrietta, Temecula

POPULATION: 4.2 million (grew by almost one-third over past decade)

RACE and ETHNICITY: Latino 47%, White 37%, Black 7%, Asian American 6%

MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Warehousing/logistics, service sector, manufacturing, agriculture (once-booming construction and real estate/finance jobs dried up with the mortgage meltdown)

ECONOMIC INDICATORS: 13% unemployment, second highest home foreclosure rate in California, highest poverty rate in California for a metro area larger than 2 million people