Joe Trippi is one of the most sought-after political strategists and an enduring figure on the presidential campaign circuit. He worked for Ted Kennedy, Walter Mondale and Gary Hart and turned Howard Dean into an unlikely front runner in 2004. A former Silicon Valley consultant, Trippi was the first political operative to appreciate and then realize the potential of the internet, and as such the strategy, tactics and tools he created in 2004 have become the foundation for the many of the successful campaigns of today and tomorrow.

12 November 2010 ~ 7 Comments

Kucinich blasts Issa’s claim on stimulus

Good to see someone calling out the Republicans on another total mischaracterization of the stimulus:

Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich harshly scolded Rep. Darrell Issa this week, questioning the California Republican’s criticisms of the stimulus.

In a sharply-worded letter, the liberal Democrat said he was “disappointed” that the incoming chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform committee called the $787 billion stimulus package “walking around money.” He demanded that Issa prove it, or retract the statement.

“While one may quarrel with the use to which the economic stimulus has been put, or even whether fiscal stimulus is an appropriate governmental response to the worse economic recession since the Great Depression, it is not possible to argue that the economic stimulus resembles ‘walking around money,’” Kucinich wrote. “There is no evidence with which I am familiar which substantiates your claim, and much which refutes it.”

Prove it or retract it – if only that happened more in Washington. You can read the full article here and support Rep. Kucinich by joining him online here.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Dennis is a good friend of mine and I also advise him on new media and online communications.

11 November 2010 ~ 7 Comments

Supporting the Troops

A little more than a week after one of the most contentious elections in recent memory, it’s good to see that on this day people can put their personal political and ideological views aside and come together to support our Veterans.

It doesn’t matter if you opposed or supported our country going to war in Iraq and Afghanistan – those who put themselves in harm’s way on the orders of our nation’s Commander in Chief should have the support and gratitude of all Americans.

More than 2 million American troops have served in Iraq and Afghanistan since the start of those wars. And though combat operations may have ended in Iraq this year, the battle is far from over for the vets returning home with physical and mental injuries that will stick with them the rest of their lives.

Over the last several years, there has really been one organization that has given those veterans a voice – the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). They’ve managed to bring attention to the challenges facing our vets that would otherwise go unnoticed and unreported – and today I hope you’ll join me in showing support for their work.

Join IAVA’s online march:

Read an email from IAVA’s founder Paul Reickhoff about the march below:

Dear Joe,

Right now, thousands of IAVA Member Veterans are marching in parades across the country. Here in New York, I’m making my way up Fifth Avenue in the New York City Veterans Day Parade – the largest in the nation – with over 400 Iraq and Afghanistan vets from all across America.

Will you march online with us now and help remind America what today is all about?

Veterans Day is an incredibly important holiday and we want every American to stand with the newest generation of veterans. Click here to join the march on Facebook and Twitter – it will only take a minute, but it’s a powerful way to show your support.

Thanks for having our backs, and for making this such a historic Veterans Day.


Paul Rieckhoff
Executive Director & Founder
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)

11 November 2010 ~ 7 Comments

Person of the Year

Last night, I got to take part in TIME’s annual Person of the Year debate along with Wyclef Jean and Meghan McCain. It was a tough task to make a recommendation for the world’s most influential person in a year that has included some truly historic and groundbreaking events.

But in the end, one person stands front and center as the person of the year – Nancy Pelosi.

Love her policies or hate them, she has proven herself to be one of the most effective Speakers in history. The 111th Congress has been the most productive in modern history, passing sweeping health care and financial reform, just to name a few of the bills Pelosi helped push through. And she didn’t back down even when others in her own party didn’t think it could be done. Case in point, when the President was willing to throw in the towel on Health Care it was Pelosi who went to him and convinced him it could still be passed and then proved herself correct by passing it.

Her actions drove the nation’s policy as well as the politics that exploded with the worst defeat either party has suffered in 50 years in the House. So, based on influencing a President, setting policy and in igniting the political forces of 2010 general election the choice for 2010’s Person of the Year is clear.

You can vote on your pick for Person of the Year on TIME’s website. So far Julian Assange is leading in the readers choice ratings:,28804,2028734_2029036_2029037,00.html

09 November 2010 ~ 5 Comments

1994 vs 2010 – Why Dems Lost This Time

Guest post by Paul Blank

If you haven’t you should check out the bi-partisan poll released today by Greenberg Quinlan and Ayers, McHenry & Associates.

I know the point of this poll is to illustrate the parallel to 1994…and it’s pretty insightful.  But, there was one other thing that really struck me.  Despite everyone saying the Dems have lost the argument…the evidence in this poll suggests that’s not true. The public still agrees 52% to 40% that Washington should fight corporate special interests and work for the middle class vs rein in gov’t spending and stop higher taxes (among swing voters 61% to 30%).  And, it’s 67% to 28% for cut the deficit but make investments vs just cut the deficit and stop all spending.

So, what do the numbers mean?  How are we winning the core themes but losing the election?  Really simple.  No narrative and a tone-deaf leadership that isn’t listening to the people.

03 November 2010 ~ 29 Comments


I wrote yesterday about a few races this year that are very important to me personally.  In a night that had some crushing defeats across the country – these races were thankfully a few, much-needed bright spots.

I wish I could have been in Oakland last night as Jerry Brown took the stage at the Fox Theater, telling the crowd that he was headed back to Sacramento 28 years after leaving the Governor’s office.  It was a stunning comeback and I am humbled to have been a part of it.  It took a great team effort to defeat Meg Whitman despite her spending $163 million against us.

And in Pennsylvania, Tim Holden — whose races I’ve worked on the last 5 cycles and who I am honored to count as a friend — was one of just 10 Democrats in districts carried by John McCain to hold onto their seats.  The other 75% of members in that situation lost last night.  The win was a testament to Tim’s tireless work for the people in his district and the many sleepless nights his team put into the campaign.

Another great win last night was Prop B in Missouri — which will help shut down the inhumane puppy mill industry in that state.  You might ask, who can say no to puppies?  But it was a tough fight, and one that we thankfully won in the end.  I’m happy to congratulate the Humane Society team — who I worked with on this campaign — on a great win.

02 November 2010 ~ 32 Comments

Pulling for Dennis and Kitz

Two other people I’m really pulling for personally tonight: Dennis Kucinich and John Kitzhaber.

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Dennis Kucinich for a long time.  He’s one of the few true progressive leaders out there who stands up for his principles and calls things like he sees them.  He’s as passionate and as much of a true believer as I am.  I do some consulting work for Dennis, and I really hope he pulls it out tonight.

The other is John Kitzhaber or Kitz as those of us who know him affectionately call him.  John is one of the most caring, smartest people I’ve met in politics.  He’s a true leader on health care reform.  And, as one of the two former governors I’ve worked for in the past who’s running again, I really care about this race and will be rooting for him.  Note: I did not do his campaign this time around.

02 November 2010 ~ 274 Comments

The Long Road to Election Day 2010

I know it’s been a tough year for Democrats, and there are lots of good ones in the fight of their lives today (like one of my personal heroes Russ Feingold).  I’ll be rooting for all of them.  But, there are several candidates and a proposition on the ballot this election that really mean a lot to me personally.  I’ll start with two of them and then add a few more in my next post.

I’ve been close to Attorney General Jerry Brown and Congressman Tim Holden for years.  In the case of Jerry, I’ve been producing TV ads for him for almost two decades and have known him personally even longer.  He is always unconventional, has always challenged the status quo and is exactly what California needs right now to fix the mess it’s in.  I believe Jerry will win tonight and make history in doing so.  And, believe me, it wasn’t easy – many people criticized our strategy, Whitman spent over $163 million and this isn’t a year you wanted to be a Democrat running for anything – but this team has been incredible and I am very proud to be a part of it.

Tim Holden and I became close in the 2002 election.  That was the year that Karl Rove tried to increase Republican numbers by redistricting a bunch of seats.  Holden was one of 5 districts where two incumbent members of congress were pitted against each other.  Keep in mind this is a +6 Republican district (according to Charlie Cook’s performance #’s).  I had the honor of sleeping on his couch, making his TV ads, working with his amazing campaign team, and we were the only one of the 5 Democrats to win that night.  It looks like Tim is going to win this year, in spite of the Republican wave, and it’s a testament to a great strategy and the hard work of Tim and his team.

Everyone who knows me knows I care passionately about animals.  My wife and I care for many of them on our farm and I am proud to work with the Humane Society.  They have a ballot in Missouri (Prop B), which we worked on with them, providing them social media and internet strategy as well as advice on everything we could, and I hope we win this one for the puppies!

P.S. Check back later for a few more candidates that really mean a lot to me personally.