The Barack Obama Inauguration



Today’s the day.

Follow the Inauguration Online

Live streaming video, Silverlight-powered stream here

Blake Rutherford live in Washington D.C.: Twitter, Think Tank Blog, Facebook, Flickr; ‘People waiting in line for more than an hour to get in …’

Rep. Steve Harrelson liveblogs at Under the Dome (includes live video)

Kristin Fisher live in Washington D.C. for WUSA: Twitter, Twitter photos; WUSA video

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Jennifer Godwin Blogs 44

Obama Girl! (via Kinkade, of course)

Bush has left the building, Arkansas Times

A line at the first D.C. checkpoint

Fisher via Twitpic: A line at the first D.C. checkpoint


Tumblr-ing the Inaugural, updates, including photos and more, here

Is Obama President? The countdown is underway

YouTube on the Inaugural

Flickr’s Inauguration Photo Pool

Obama Inaugural Committee’s Twitter feed

All Twitter inauguration tweets via Hashtag

The White House, official Web site

A view askew: Ana Marie Cox Twitters


Schedule of the events; NYT’s inaugural guide, maps

The chart: Washington D.C.’s new power structure

Where to watch

How the change-over will work

Today's Tribune

Today's Tribune

Inauguration front pages


Politico: Complete coverageHuffingtonpost’s Inauguration PageWSJ’s Inauguration PageDrudge …

AP: Crowds pack the mall in frigid temperatures

Most of Little Rock 9 Attending the Inauguration

WSJ: A preview of Obama’s inauguration speech

NYT: The nation awaits 44

This morning: Perino says goodbye

Broadcast, cable spend millions to cover the inauguration

Rick Warren readies prayer

Suffering in celebration … the crowds, the lines, the cattle calls

‘Feels like 12 degrees outside with wind chill …’

Cell phone jam …

The inauguration will be Youtubed, Video’d, Photosynth’d, Googled …


Barack Obama @




The Youth Vote: Will It Finally Matter?

Lots being made about this year being the year that the youth vote gets out and really matters in a presidential election. And of course the conventional wisdom is that the youth vote will benefit Democrat Barack Obama.

“Today’s THV” is doing a segment on the youth vote tonight at 5 p.m., based on today’s panel discussion at the Clinton School of Public Service, featuring five Clinton School students discuss their perspectives on the 2008 race. You can read more about the THV piece here. It appears to focus on what’s driving the youth vote this year.

I’m wondering to what extent the youth vote will show up this year. A Gallup Poll survey on Friday reported — surprise — little evidence of a surge in the youth vote:

Gallup polling in October finds little evidence of a surge in young voter turnout beyond what it was in 2004. While young voter registration may be up slightly over 2004, the reported level of interest in the election and intention to vote among those under 30 are no higher than they were that year.

What’s more, 18- to 29-year-olds continue to lag behind Americans aged 30 and older on these important turnout indicators.

As a result, 18- to 29-year-olds now constitute 12% of Gallup’s traditional likely voter sample, basically the same as the estimate in the final 2004 pre-election poll (13%). Gallup’s expanded likely voter model, which defines likely voters differently (on the basis of current voting intentions only), estimates a slightly higher proportion of young voters in the electorate (14%). However, even if the share of the youth vote were adjusted upward, doing so has little or no impact on the overall Obama-McCain horse-race numbers using either likely voter model.

The story notes that it’s still possible that “the 18- to 29-year-old share of the likely voter electorate will grow in the final days of the election.” The so-called “ground game” currently taking place in many of the toss-up states (our neighbor to the north, Missouri, among them), might be a big driver in that regard. We simply won’t until the votes are counted.

But there’s some clues here in Arkansas. This, from the Harrison newspaper today:

As of 4 p.m. Saturday, 7,379 people had voted early in Boone County, representing some 34 percent of all registered voters and shattering the record of 5,726 who voted early in 2004. And early voting continues through today.

Of those votes, 1,042, or 14 percent, have been cast by voters in the age range of 18 to 35.

For comparison, in Baxter County where about 8,700 early votes had been recorded Saturday afternoon, only 663, or about 8 percent, were cast by voters in the 18 to 35 age range.

In Pulaski County, some 22 percent of about 67,000 early voters by Saturday afternoon were in that same age group.

Maybe the kids are alright after all.


Students get involved in presidential elections [ASU Herald]


Be sure to watch Jeff Hankins and I Tuesday night, as joins with Today’s THV for live coverage of the presidential race.

(A version of this post also appears on The Ladder and

Watching the Markets The Week of the Presidential Election

Given how volatile the stock markets have been in recent months, it’ll be interesting to see what happens this week, the week of a presidential election.

And this just isn’t any presidential election — it is a historic one. On Tuesday, we’ll break barriers for either African-Americans or women. Beyond that, we’ll select either the Democratic or the Republican party to deal with the biggest financial crisis the country as seen since the Great Depression. And we’ll also chart a course for two wars the U.S. is fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So while the markets are already reeling, how will they handle the presidential news Wednesday morning, whatever it might be?

Whoever wins, investors will of course make snap judgments about what kind of general economic policies the markets are in for. Democrats traditionally offer more regulation than Republicans. And Republicans are traditionally seen as friendlier to big business.

Our current economic climate might mitigate those stereotypes. More regulation is likely coming in the wake of this crisis no matter who wins. And the severity of the crisis has tossed the usual party philosophies about bailouts, nationalization and government investment in private firms out the window.

But, according to this Reuters story today, it’s not so much who wins that will have an affect on the market, but whether someone wins decisively:

Paul Nolte, director of investments at Hinsdale Associates in Hinsdale, Illinois, said as long as the election was decisive, stock markets will likely react positively, regardless who wins.

Thomson Reuters data shows that on average the 60 days preceding a new presidential term yield positive returns, suggesting that the lack of uncertainty after elections usually gives the market a boost.

“Once we know what the balance of power will look like, investors can factor that into the equation. The market may not like who wins, but it will like knowing,” said Christopher Zook, chairman and chief investment officer of CAZ Investments in Houston.

It’s that classic rule of the stock market: investors dislike uncertainty. Barring any kind of Bush vs. Gore-like election debacle this week (polls and pundits so far suggest that isn’t likely), history shows that the next 60 days might see relatively better times for the stock market, at least in the short term.

Of course, every election is different, and rules are made to be broken. In the end, we are in extraordinary economic times. By the time this Friday rolls around, we’re likely to see the biggest drop in monthly employment numbers since March 2003. And who knows what the next few months hold until President Obama or President McCain take office. As usual, we’ll take it one day at time.


Be sure to watch Jeff Hankins and I Tuesday night, as joins with Today’s THV for live coverage of the presidential race.

(A version of this post also appears on the Scanner.)

Tonight: Our Election Night Coverage on

Jeff Hankins and I are joining Today’s THV tonight for live local election coverage on THV’s broadcast channel at 7 p.m., and for three hours live on and Comcast Ch. 233. After the jump, more places to watch throughout the state.

Also: Send us you comments and tips via Twitter. I’ll be updating my Twitter feed with news and analysis all night here. Today’s THV’s feed is here.

And in the Arkansas blogosphere, Blake Rutherford has Operation Think Tank up and running here. And here’s hoping David Kinkade updates tonight here at the Arkansas Project.

Continue reading

Barack Obama’s Text Message Campaign for the White House

We’ve written about this before.

Now Slate takes notice of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama’s use of text messaging to mobilize voters to the polls in the final weeks of the campaign.

Compare this method to robocalls and other, formerly “high-tech” ways to influence the electorate, and you can see how many light years ahead the Obama campaign is in getting supporters to help the Democrats capture the White House.

Texting someone is a convenient, targeted, and noticeable reminder for them to schedule their Election Day activities with a block of time set aside for going to the polling place.” In a post-election survey, [scholars] asked voters whether they found the text messages helpful; 59 percent said yes.

Obama’s campaign seems to know these lessons well. During the primaries, the campaign sent out multiple messages to supporters during Election Day; they’ll do the same next week. There’s some question about whether text messages will continue to be effective beyond this election—if telemarketing companies can get ahold of our cell numbers and we get barraged by political spam, text-based mobilization efforts may eventually become as useless as robo-calls. At the moment, though, we’re in thrall to our cell phones—and when Obama texts you next Tuesday, you’ll have a hard time saying no.

Like Slate writer Farhad Manjoo, I signed up for all manner of stuff from the Obama campaign (and the McCain campaign), including text messaging and e-newsletters. Where almost all e-newsletter are deleted with barely a glance from my inbox, it’s the text messages (and Twitter alerts) that catch my attention.

And, like Manjoo, I’ve noted those text messages to be highly targeted and relevant to what’s going on in my state. As state voting registration deadlines approached, I got Obama reminders. As early voting began, Obama text messages told me when I could start casting my ballot. I expect the messages to continue up through — and possibly even after — Election Day.


Gizmodo on other ways the candidates engaged supporters in this first (real) Internet election.

Drudge Asks the Question

Always the contrarian

Always the contrarian

Well, can they? Do the polls have it wrong?

Also: I’ll be on “Today’s THV at Noon” today to talk about the final week of the election. Send you questions and comments to, or leave them in comments below. Hopefully, we can read them on the air.

Watch us live at at noon. We hope to point you to some last-minute online election resources, too.

McCain Goes on Offense in Final Debate with Obama

Ana Marie Cox, via Twitter

Ana Marie Cox, via Twitter

John McCain definitely kept Barack Obama on the ropes last night in their final scheduled presidential debate. McCain needed to make a splash, both to satisfy his base and somehow slow Obama’s momentum. He won some exchanges, and the “I’m not President Bush” line was solid.

Obama kept his cool, which was all he needed to do (he’s in the lead, after all), and even refused to take the bait on moderator Bob Schieffer’s question about whether the candidates’ respective vice presidential picks are qualified to be president. In fact, Obama might have a little too cool. Even on the point of Bill Ayers, which did come up, he didn’t strike back as forcefully as perhaps he should have.

And then there was Joe the Plumber. His full name is Joe Wurzelbacher, and yes, he’s a plumber from Toledo, Ohio. And his business is about to boom, thanks to this debate. Can Joe vote for both candidates? Just this once?

So who won? Vote below.

Say it’s Alright, Joe

Joe the Plumber to guest on ‘Huckabee’ (no kidding!) [The Arkansas Project]

Joe the Plumber: Obama plan ‘infuriates me’ [ABC News]

Ohio plumber becomes the focus [AP via Yahoo!]

Joe the Plumber: A Profile [BBC News]

America, meet Joe the Plumber [Chicago Tribune]

Joe the Plumber’s Story Could Change The Race [Janet Daley, DT]

What Joe the Plumber Can’t Fix [E.J. Dionne, Washington Post]

McCain plumbs the depths with the Joe the plumber [The Age]

Joe’s new social networking site: Plumbr?

In Arkansas

McCain ‘one of the worst debaters of the modern era’ [Blake’s Think Tank]

The morning after [Max Brantley, Arkansas Times]

The Debate

Edgy McCain sheds no new light [Politico]

McCain comes out swinging, but no game-changer [CNN]

Aggressive Underdog vs. Cool Counterpuncher [Dan Balz, Washington Post]\

The Best Debate By Far [The Economist]

McCain Fails, Obama Not Rattled [Roger Simon, The Politico]

McCain’s Shot at a Late Game Win [Dick Morris & Eileen McGann, NY Post]

That’s It for McCain [Joan Vennochi, Boston Globe]

Obama Hasn’t Closed the Sale [Karl Rove, Wall Street Journal]

Fact Check

Warped facts in final debate [Associated Press]

McCain on ACORN, Obama on McCain’s health care plan, more []

Fact-checking the last debate [CBS News]