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Posts Tagged ‘2008 Vote

IAC’s ELC 2008 — Sunday night: political analyst Charlie Cook

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I have mentioned that I’m down at ACT/IAC’s Executive Leadership Conference 2008 through Tuesday. The lead-off speaker tonight was Charlie Cook, a political analyst and the name behind the Cook Political Report.

In general, Cook said that the election was close — until September’s financial crash. The October surprise ended up being a September surprise — and it completely altered the nature of the campaign. At this point, he said, the campaign is 100 percent about the economy.

Cook

Cook

Some interesting points and/or quotes.

  • The presidential race is over, save a huge event, Cook predicted. “Put a fork in it. This is done,” he said.
  • Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was having a difficult time anyway — an unpopular president, an almostunprecedented desire for change, an unpopular war, and then… the economy.
  • After September and the economy became the issue, national security — McCain’s cornerstone issue — almost evaporated.
  • Going in to September, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) had the lead, but there were still questions — was the lead enough. After the financial mess, that questions has been largely answered… it will be enough.
  • This will be a “train wreck” election for Republicans. That happens — to both parties. But this is the second train wreck election in a row for the Republican party. The GOP could lose anywhere from 7-10 Senate seats… and as high as 30 House seats.
  • Regarding Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, the nomination gave a “short of B-12 for the old guy,” but in the end, the question being asked is whether the section was a “stroke of genius, or just a stroke.” The Palin appointment also undercut McCain’s “experience” argument.
  • All of that being said, the two candidates face very difficult issues come Jan. 20. “Does the winner win? Or does the loser win?” Cook asked.

Cook had other good stories, including one about McCain’s mother, Roberta, who is well in her 90s. When she was 93, she traveled to Paris. Unfortunately they wouldn’t let her rent a car — so she bought a Mercedes so she could tour Europe. She eventually had it shipped to the United States and she picked it up on the East Coast and was driving back to Arizona and, on the trip back, she got a ticket for driving 100-miles-per-hour. That is a strong constitution.

More on the official ELC agenda tomorrow. In addition to sessions, there are keynotes from David Walker, the former comptroller general, and from CNN political analyst Amy Holmes.

I’ll live blog here… and try and post to my Twitter feed too. And I’ll be reporting what has been happening on Federal News Radio’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris on Monday afternoon. (I’m rushing to get back to be on Tuesday’s show.)

Written by cdorobek

October 27, 2008 at 1:12 AM

Posted in 2008 Vote, Circuit

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Recommended read: 8 ways tech shaped the 2008 vote

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I mentioned that I’m going down to Williamsburg, VA on Sunday for the Industry Advisory Council’s 2008 Executive Leadership Conference — one of the big government IT conferences of the year… and that I’m going to be part of a panel that gets to question the representatives of the presidential campaigns. (I’ve had a few suggestions for questions sent to me, but… send ‘em along or, even better, post them here.)

But I came across this story in Network World: 8 ways technology has shaped the ’08 elections.

Technology has played a particularly prominent role in the 2008 elections — and it isn’t just the typical silliness over whether a candidate really claimed to have invented a key piece of technology. Throughout the year we’ve seen technological advances used both for good, such as using Short Message Service to announce a vice presidential pick, and for bad, such as hacking into another vice presidential pick’s private e-mail account. In this story, we’ll take a look at the eight techiest moments of the 2008 presidential race, including YouTube debates, viral videos and e-voting controversies.

And they highlight the CNN/YouTube debates… tech luminaries making endorsements…

I think writer Brad Reed missed the biggest one, however — how technology has been ingrained into the presidential race. Check out the campaign Web sites — they are creating social networks around their campaigns and their issues. And I think that is really going to impact how this next administration will manage — and how agencies will have to work.

Yesterday, on Federal News Radio’s InDepth with Francis Rose mid-day show, Rose had two former CIOs on — Microsoft’s Kim Nelson, formerly the EPA CIO, and consultant John Gilligan, the former Air Force CIO. The program is definitely worth a listen. [MP3] They spend some time talking about the role of the CIO in light of the OMB CIO memo, but… at the end of the program, Nelson says what I say above — the new administration, regardless of which side comes in, is going to want to use these tools to help them get their jobs done. They used it to win an election, and they believe that they can use them to run agencies.

T-minus 11 days until election day… 88 days until the inauguration

Written by cdorobek

October 24, 2008 at 10:19 AM

Posted in 2008 Vote, EGov, Management, strategy

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Google’s Schmidt as the Obama administration’s CTO?

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Let the CTO speculation begin.

I told you earlier this week that BusinessWeek mentioned some names for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama’s proposed CTO post.

And then came this announcement today:

Google CEO Eric Schmidt Backs Obama; Will Hit Campaign Trail [WSJ.com, registration required; see also CNet's story]

Mountain View, Calif. — Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, has announced that he will back Sen. Barack Obama in the race for president, planning to join him on the campaign trail starting with an event in Florida on Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported. “I’m doing this personally,” Schmidt told The Journal, adding that “Google is officially neutral” in the campaign. To this point, Schmidt has not donated money to either campaign, although Google staffers have contributed $487, 355 to Obama and $20,600 to Sen. John McCain. Schmidt has been unofficially advising the Obama campaign on technology and energy issues. The Journal cited “some tech and media executives” who speculate that Schmidt may be interested in a role in a potential Obama administration, such as the chief technology officer post that Obama has considered creating.

That spurred Wired Epicenter blog to speculate that Schmidt might be up for the CTO slot. And they also requested some other ideas.

Schmidt may be a good fit, especially in light of Google’s interests in Washington, but this is not a Googlopoly. We’re taking nominations (after the jump). Who do you think should be Obama’s CTO?

Among Wired readers ideas — serious and non-serious:

* Star Trek TNG’s Gordi LaForge
* Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies
* Ed Lazowski from the Bill and Melina Gates Foundation

Other ideas?

Written by cdorobek

October 21, 2008 at 9:24 PM

Posted in CIOs, Executive, OMB, Policy

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Who might be the government’s CIO… er, CTO?

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BusinessWeek today has a piece, headlined, “The Short List for U.S. Chief Technology Officer: Barack Obama has pledged to name a cabinet-level CTO to oversee a job-creating national broadband buildout if he’s elected. Big names abound.”

Among the names are Vint Cerf, Steve Ballmer, Jeff Bezos, and Ed Felten, a prominent professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama has proposed the creation of a CTO in government.

Bring Government into the 21st Century: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will use technology to reform government and improve the exchange of information between the federal government and citizens while ensuring the security of our networks. Obama and Biden believe in the American people and in their intelligence, expertise, and ability and willingness to give and to give back to make government work better. Obama will appoint the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to ensure that our government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services for the 21st century. The CTO will ensure the safety of our networks and will lead an interagency effort, working with chief technology and chief information officers of each of the federal agencies, to ensure that they use best-in-class technologies and share best practices.

Unfortunately we simply don’t know much more about what the CTO will do other then what it says above.

The BusinessWeek piece had these thoughts:

A White House CTO would be expected to help create incentive programs to expand broadband’s reach, particularly tax credits for smaller carriers. But the tech czar would almost certainly be deeply involved in overseeing a federally-backed $50 billion venture capital fund that Obama has proposed to develop more environmentally friendly technology.

Again, just not much there. That’s largely because I’m not sure Team Obama has thought about it.

To be fair, there isn’t much more of a plan on the other side. Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain’s technology plan have the same platitudes about making more information available online… and then there is this line:

Since 2001, he has called for an Office of Electronic Government to set a strategic vision for implementation of electronic government.

Somebody might want to let the campaign know that Karen Evans is, in fact, OMB’s Administrator of E-Government and Information Technology. So, I’m all for fighting the good fight, but… if he is still fighting for that office to be created, he can let it go. He won!

Written by cdorobek

October 20, 2008 at 10:03 AM

DorobekInsider: Questions the presidential candidates should debate

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What questions should the presidential candidates debate? It is a great questions — and an apt one for feds, whose lives, of course, will be touched by the new administration — regardless of who wins.

The Partnership for Public Service Wednesday released its “Road map to Reform,” which consists of a series of proposals for the next President when it comes to managing the government. Federal News Radio’s Max Cacas was at the briefing at the National Press Club and was on the Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris with his first look. [Hear the conversation here .mp3; Check federalnewsradio.com for the full story on Thursday.]

One part of that road map: Questions that the presidential candidates should be asked during debates. And they are pretty good.

One of the questions: “How will you measure your success in running our government?”

Read all of them.. after the break.
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by cdorobek

October 2, 2008 at 12:26 AM

DorobekInsider.com: Report urges candidates to focus on innovation

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Regular readers know that I’m fascinated about innovation, particularly in the rhelm of science and technology. It is an issue getting a lot of attention these days. In fact, it is largely the basis of NYT columnist Thomas J. Friedman’s new book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution–and How It Can Renew America.

The Center for the Study of the Presidency — to be honest, a group that I had never heard of before — has put out a report focusing on presidential leadership in the areas of science and technology. (I found the study — and the group — through an article in New Scientist headlined, McCain vs Obama: Who will end the war on science. And yes, I will read just about any magazine!)

CSP Releases Report on Presidential Leadership to Ensure Science and Technology in the Service of National Needs

The role of science and technology assets is often overlooked as an element of national power. Many of the major policy challenges confronting the next President—energy resources, nuclear proliferation, climate change, environment, health-care, food and water, security, and economic prosperity—require scientific advice or guidance for successful strategic resolutions. The Center’s issue group on Presidential science and technology assets has released a new report urging both Presidential candidates to beginpre -election planning to ensure science and technology governance assets for cohesive and informed policies and effective policy implementation.

Read the report here [.pdf]

To be honest, I haven’t had a chance to read the report. (I don’t often recommend reports or books that I haven’t read — well, I try not to.)

I have been racing through another book on innovation because this afternoon on Federal News Radio’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris [3-7p ET on 1500 AM in DC or anywhere at FederalNewsRadio.com ] we will be talking to the author of a book on innovation. The book is Closing the Innovation Gap: Reigniting the Spark of Creativity in a Global Economy, by Judy Estrin.

I’ve been racing through the book so I can be prepared for the interview. Estrin actually was part of Vint Cerf’s research team that literally invented the Internet. Talk about innovation.

The book is not about government’s role specifically, of course, but she does talk about the role of DARPA and makes a case for long-term thinking that can spur innovation.

Estrin will be on early — in the 3p ET hour — and then the interview will be posted online.

I’m also working to get the folks from the Center for the Study of the Presidency on… to continue the theme.

As they say, stay tuned.

Written by cdorobek

September 16, 2008 at 10:07 AM

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