Monday, June 30, 2008

Today's Popular Quotes from the Campaign Trail

“I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands and millions of others in the armed forces, as a prisoner of war. He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee and he has traveled all over the world, but he hasn’t held executive responsibility. That large squadron in the Navy that he commanded – that wasn’t a wartime squadron.” – Retired General Wesley Clark commenting that military service does not automatically qualify one to be president.

“We need a president who's ready to be Commander-in-Chief on day one. Senator McCain is - incidentally, Senator Clinton said that over and over again and she was right.
She was ready to be president on day one. Why? Because our enemies will test the new president early. Remember that the truck bombing at the World Trade Center happened in the first year of the Clinton administration. 9/11 happened in the first year of the Bush administration. John McCain is ready to take the reins on January 20, 2009. He doesn't need any training.” – Senator Joseph Lieberman discussing John McCain’s readiness to be President, especially in the wake of a terrorist attack, which he predicts will occur soon.

“Barack and I don’t have interesting lives, never did. We’re basically family people. When we go on a date, it’s either dinner or a movie because we can’t stay awake for both.” – Michelle Obama commenting on date nights with her husband Barack Obama
“We are cool and groovy…I tell you we are down with it also. He [McCain] loves to tool around on the Internet, he especially loves the videos that get produced that usually poke fun at him.” – McCain campaign manager Rick Davis rejecting the notion that John McCain does not know how to use the Internet.

“We are not going to be back in the majority in the Senate next year. The numbers make that impossible.” – Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) giving a bleak outlook on the prospects for a Republican-led Senate in 2009.

Sources: CNN, Huffington Post, New York Times, USA Today

Friday, June 27, 2008

Today's Top Stories

1) Barack Obama wrote a personal check to Hilary Clinton for $2,300 to ease the debt she incurred from her Presidential run. It was characterized as a "good-will gesture" intended to "nudge" his top donors to help alleviate Senator Clinton's debt, encouraging unity between Clinton and Obama supporters for the good of the Democratic Party. Source: The New York Times

2) John McCain will release an ad, hoping to gain supporters in key battleground states, called "Purpose." The spot publicizes Mr. McCain's energy plan, highlighting key proposals he announced over the past few weeks. The Senator's energy plan includes lifting the ban on offshore drilling and developing alternative fuels. Source: The New York Times

3) On Tuesday, evangelical leader James C. Dobson attacked Barack Obama claiming he has a "fruitcake interpretation of the constitution." He went on to say, “I think he’s deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own world view, his own confused theology." However, Barack Obama was not the sole recipient of harsh words from the evangelical leader; Mr. Dobson once stated that he would rather stay at home than cast a vote for Senator McCain. He criticized Mr. McCain for not vehemently opposing same sex marriage, and noted that both candidates "don’t give a hoot about the family." Source: New York Times

4) John McCain referred to former President Carter as a "lousy" President. He noted, "This is the same guy who kissed Brezhnev," referring to the moment when President Carter kissed Soviet Union leader Leonid Brezhnev after signing the SALT II treaty in 1979. Source: CNN

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Miss. Virginia International 2008 Supports Declare Yourself!

Tina Montgomery, Miss Virginia International 2008, is more than just a pretty face. Her platform at the Miss International pageant was Your Voice, Your Vote. Born in Germany, Miss. Montgomery remembers celebrating the fall of Communism as it had a profound impact on her dedication to democracy and civil liberties. She believes that voting is crucial to the preservation of democracy, and it is our right as citizens to vote.

Partnering with Kids Voting USA and Democracy Matters, Miss. Montgomery is helping to engage college students in the election and political process by teaching students at an early age the importance of voting. She targets students from kindergarten to senior year in hopes of increasing the number of active citizens. Miss. Montgomery shared her values and beliefs with Declare Yourself, and we are thrilled about her involvement in getting out the vote!

Here she is posing in Washington D.C with our "VOTE" t-shirt on!

Get Your American Eagle "Vote" Shirts Today!

It's the last week to purchase Declare Yourself's "VOTE" t-shirts exclusively at American Eagle! The shirts, in black and white for both men and women, cost $11.95, and $5 of each purchase will be donated to Declare Yourself. Help encourage every 18-year-old to register and vote!

Buy shirts at

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Great American Voter Trek!

We work hard everyday trying to get every 18 year old American to register and vote...but The Great American Voter Trek is putting blood, SWEAT, and tears into it! In an effort to highlight the importance of voting, 6 students from Vermont's leading colleges and university's are biking across the country to register as many voter's as possible for the 2008 election.

Today they are biking from Buffalo, NY to Harborcreek, PA. Support them in their effort by registering to vote, following their trek online, or visiting their stops along the way! See if they are coming to your town! Click here!

McCain: Create a Better Car Battery and Win $300 million

Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain has put forward a less conventional idea on how to deal with rising gas prices: a cash prize! Last week, John McCain alienated some environmentalists by labeling environmental conservation a “moral luxury” and calling for intensified offshore drilling. This week, however, McCain is promoting a more environmentally-friendly platform including intensified fuel economy standards. The Republican Nominee also said he would offer a $300 million prize for the “development of a battery package that has the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars.” This unusual proposition provides a free market response to heightened environmental concerns.

Terrorist Remarks Stay with McCain

After Charlie Black, a McCain campaign senior adviser, commented in Fortune magazine that a terrorist attack on American soil between now and the election would be a “big advantage” for Senator John McCain, Richard Ben-Veniste, a member of the September 11 Commission, shot back stating that Mr. Black’s comments provided a “very disappointing glimpse into the thinking of one of McCain’s closest advisers.” Mr. Black highlighted Barack Obama’s lack of military experience, as opposed to John McCain’s lifetime of experience. Although more explicit than other comments made on behalf of the McCain campaign, these comments fall in line with using fear to influence voters. The hypothetical situation is set up: if a terrorist attack were to occur, it would be Annapolis graduate, Vietnam War veteran President McCain the people would want in office to effectively handle a military response, not President Obama.

Mr. Ben-Viniste went on to state that he thinks, “the remarks were so out of place that they call for some recalibration in the thinking and perhaps a greater adherence to principle here in staying away from the politics of fear.” On Monday, both Mr. Black and Senator McCain apologized for the comments; however, Senator Obama continues to address the larger issue at hand. He declared that the view of another terrorist attack benefiting one candidate or another relates back to President Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign when themes of fear surrounded the discussion on national security.

While Mr. Black has neither been let go nor resigned, Senator McCain has distanced himself from the remarks, stating, "I cannot imagine why he would say it. It's not true. I've worked tirelessly since 9/11 to prevent another attack on the United States of America."

Source: The New York Times, CNN

Monday, June 23, 2008

Today's Top Stories

1) Since Barack Obama delivered a speech in Iowa endorsing ethanol as an alternative fuel, the Senator has been questioned about his close links with the ethanol industry. Mr. Obama argued that embracing ethanol “ultimately helps our national security, because right now we’re sending billions of dollars to some of the most hostile nations on earth.” Mr. Obama is running as a reformer, who seeks to limit the influence of special interest groups. Source: The New York Times

A recent Gallup poll reveals that 61% of Democrats are more enthusiastic than usual about voting in this election, whereas just 35% of Republicans said the same. Source: MSNBC

3) At the California State University, Fresno, Senator John McCain stated, “I further propose we inspire the ingenuity and resolve of the American people by offering a $300 million prize for the development of a battery package that has the size, capacity, cost and power to leapfrog the commercially available plug-in hybrids or electric cars.” Speaking on the topic of energy efficiency, Mr. McCain spoke out against subsidies for ethanol and reiterated his support for lifting the ban on offshore drilling. Source: The New York Times

Obama campaign strategists have targeted African American voters with the prospect of electing the nation’s first African American President, while carefully making sure not to alienate white voters. A significant percentage of African Americans living in Southern states, previously not mobilized to vote, may take part in the election as a result of the Senator’s candidacy. This could bring in new Democratic voters in five battleground states. Source: The Los Angeles Times

With allegations that Senator Barack Obama is a Muslim and married a woman who refers to whites as “whitey,” Mr. Obama launched a site to fight back against unfounded attacks. However, some Muslims have criticized Mr. Obama’s site nothing that being called a Muslim is not a slur. The website says, “Smear: Barack Obama is a Muslim... Truth: Sen. Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised as a Muslim and is a committed Christian." Source: Huffington Post

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Publically Funded Elections: Good or Bad?

Presumptive Democratic Nominee Barack Obama announced today over a video message on his website that he would not participate in the “broken” public financing system during his bid for the White House, making him the first major party candidate to decline public financing since the system was established in 1976. Had he accepted, the US Treasury would have allocated $84.1 million to Mr. Obama, but, in exchange, would have forbid him from accepting private donations and spending more than that $84.1 million. John McCain is a longtime supporter of the public funding of elections and is expected to accept the government funds.

Mr. Obama had previously stated an interest in pursuing “an agreement with the Republican nominee” to establish a reasonable procedure for a publically-financed election. His latest decision to privately fund his campaign, however, has been seen by John McCain as just “one of a number of reversals” by the Democratic Senator. Obama defend his choice by asserting that the McCain campaign were “masters of gaming” the public financing system due to the Republican Party’s unofficial relationships with the special interest “527” groups, who put forward some of the elections dirtiest smear campaigns without officially affiliating themselves with a candidate.

It is widely believed that Senator Obama would be able to out raise McCain as well as the $84.1 million cap he would be issued if his campaign was publically financed. Obama was able to win the Democratic primary through a grass roots movement based around donations of $100 or less.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

John McCain and President Bush: One and the Same?

When Democrats announce that electing John McCain to the White House would be a continuation of the Bush administration, it’s not meant as a compliment. It’s not difficult to find similarities between the current President and Republican presidential hopeful, especially on the hot topics of the day. However, Senator McCain has distinguished himself as an independent thinker on other issues, often coming into conflict with the Bush administration.

George W. Bush revamped traditional notions of conservatism and imparted a new system leading people to ask, “Are you a Republican, or are you a Bush Republican?” Do you stand for small government and state’s rights? Or do you believe in more federal control though constitutional amendments and increased governmental spending for the import of democracy? With that said, where does presumptive Republican candidate John McCain stand?

With a 25- year record in the House and Senate as evidence, John McCain reveals that on major campaign issues, such as the economy, Iraq, and health care, his positions are close to the sitting President’s. Mr. McCain’s views mirror Bush’s on abortion and appointment of conservative judges to the Supreme Court. However, on the environment, torture, immigration, American diplomacy, and nuclear proliferation, McCain has distinctly different views that Mr. Bush.


  • Like President Bush, Mr. McCain argues for the limitation of the rights of terrorism suspects imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay.
  • While John McCain supports the continuation of the war in Iraq, he criticized the conception and administering of the war. However, he stands by Mr. Bush’s adamancy that toppling Saddam Hussein’s regime was crucial to national security, and refuses to set a timetable for troop withdrawal.
  • John McCain announced his agreement with Mr. Bush’s authorization of wiretaps without monitor for the safety of the American people.
  • The Senator and President have asked Congress to lift the ban on offshore drilling to combat rising gas prices.
  • While John McCain once held significantly different beliefs than Mr. Bush on the economy, he now supports making permanent the large Bush tax cuts he once opposed. He also has proposed four major new tax cuts.
  • In terms of health care, like Mr. Bush, Mr. McCain emphasizes insurance bought by individuals, rather than provided by employers, and he would offer a tax benefit for families to do so.
  • Mr. McCain is opposed to abortion like Mr. Bush. In 2007, John McCain declared that Roe V. Wade “should be overturned,” whereas President Bush showed opposition to the Supreme Court decision by emphasizing a “culture of life.”


  • While Senator McCain favors drilling for oil in deep water off American coasts like President Bush, he deviates from the Republican mainstream in his opposition of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
  • During George W. Bush’s re-election campaign in 2004, the religious right supported the incumbent President with full force, often assisting in campaign strategy. However, Mr. McCain has a difficult time garnering support from the religious right. Evangelical Christians believe that John McCain betrayed them after courting and ultimately rejecting endorsements from Reverends Hagee and Parsley.
  • On gay rights, John McCain voted against President Bush’s proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Rather, he believes the issue should be up to individual states; however, in his own state of Arizona, Mr. McCain appeared in a television commercial to support banning gay marriage.
  • Unlike President Bush who worries that addressing climate change would further hurt the economy, Mr. McCain seeks to institute mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions. He also supports a “cap and trade system in which power plants and other polluters could meet limits on heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide by either reducing emissions on their own or by buying credits from more efficient producers.”
  • John McCain does not favor American unilateralism like President Bush demonstrated in the war in Iraq.
  • Senator McCain seeks a legally-binding accord with Russia to limit nuclear proliferation, eliminate tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, and encourage talks with China. President Bush’s nuclear security policy drastically differs.

Source: New York Times

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Nanette Lepore and Kerry Washington Host "Fashion Votes"

Fashion designer Nanette Lepore and actress Kerry Washington hosted the event “Fashion Votes” at Lepore’s new boutique on Melrose Avenue last night. Lepore, teamed with the Creative Coalition, believes strongly in the power of voting, and thus used last night’s boutique opening as a venue to encourage voter registration. The designer gave a series of interviews revealing the importance of being involved in the political process. Upon request by Lepore, Declare Yourself joined the effort by registering people to vote at the opening. Celebrity guests included Kerry Washington, Timberland, AnnaLynne McCord from Nip/Tuck, Amerie, Tom Arnold, Laurence Bender, Perrey Reeves, Kristin Renton and many more. Partygoers received Lepore’s VOTE bag, which decorates voting fashionably, thereby making politics trendy.

How to Solve the Gas Problem: McCain vs. Obama

With an increased international demand, national gas prices now topping four dollars a gallon, and no hints of a slowdown, America’s commuters want plans and solutions.

McCain Plans to Increase Domestic Production

Presumptive Republican nominee John McCain has stated that America’s history of environmental conservation, a century-old campaign begun by Teddy Roosevelt, has become a “moral luxury’’ and “personal virtue’’ that is no longer compatible with the current economic climate. The Republican nominee, if elected, plans to lift a federal ban on offshore oil and gas drilling as well as build new refineries in order to increase domestic supply. With the country’s unexplored oil reserves containing at least 21 billion barrels of oil, McCain emphasized the importance of increasing self-sufficiency and escaping dependence on Middle East reserves. This economic autonomy from outside interests and increased oil supply would theoretically, McCain asserts, generate a decrease in gas price. McCain is also known to be a firm supporter of renewing Nuclear Power.

Obama Pushes to Tax Oil Companies’ Record Profits

With his race for the Democratic nomination now over, Barack Obama has turned towards criticizing John McCain’s plan to increase offshore drilling. Obama had previously been critical of Hillary Clinton’s endorsement of a summertime break from the gas tax, which was estimated to save Americans 30 cents a day. Now he is asserting that McCain’s plan to invest in offshore drilling would take a decade to produce “any oil at all,” and, seeing as America only holds three percent of the world’s oil, would not make America a self-sustaining energy provider.

Instead, Obama is pushing for a “windfall tax” on oil companies’ profits, rather than the physical oil itself. This would allow Americans to benefit directly from the corporations' increased profits. He is also advocating for an investment of 150 billion dollars over 10 years into renewable and green energies to decrease dependence on oil in general, as opposed to decreasing dependence on oil outside the US.


Hopes for an Obama/ Clinton Ticket Halted

Presumptive Democratic candidate for President Barack Obama appointed Patti Sollis Doyle as "chief of staff to the vice presidential candidate." We don't know who that vice presidential candidate will be yet, but what we do know is that Patti Solis Doyle was Hilary Clinton's former campaign manager. Clinton let Sollis Doyle go for poor campaign and financial management, and reports indicate that the two have not spoken in months. Washington insiders view Obama's selection of Sollis Doyle as indication that Clinton is not favored for the VP slot.

New York Observer columnist Jason Horowitz reported that, "A former bundler to Hillary Clinton just called in" and the bundler said, "Either one of two things happen, Hillary is selected as vice president and they fire Patti, or Hillary is not going to be the vice president."

Sources: Huffington Post

Monday, June 16, 2008

Down to the Issues: Health Care

The presidential candidates' main disagreements on health care revolve around conservative ideals of small government and liberal ideals of state assistance to the entirety of the population. The current system would change the least under a Republican administration; they generally prefer tax breaks to help people afford insurance. Changes would be administered on a state-to-state basis. Most Democrats would make more drastic changes to the current system, expanding coverage and driving down costs by regulating the health insurance market.

On May 29, 2007, in Iowa, Barack Obama stated that, “We now face an opportunity — and an obligation — to turn the page on the failed politics of yesterday's health care debates… My plan begins by covering every American. If you already have health insurance, the only thing that will change for you under this plan is the amount of money you will spend on premiums. That will be less. If you are one of the 45 million Americans who don't have health insurance, you will have it after this plan becomes law. No one will be turned away because of a preexisting condition or illness.” On his website, Obama characterizes his health care package as one similar to that offered through Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), the plan that members of Congress have. People will be offered affordable premiums, co-pays, and deductibles, as well as income-related federal subsidies to those individuals and families who do not qualify for Medicaid or SCHIP but still need financial assistance. Furthermore, the Obama plan will create a National Health Insurance Exchange to help individuals who wish to purchase a private insurance plan. On his website, Obama also requires that insurers issue every applicant a policy, and employers that do not offer or make a meaningful contribution to the cost of quality health coverage for their employees will be required to contribute a percentage of payroll towards the costs of a national plan. Moreover, the Obama plan calls for mandatory coverage for children; young people up to the age of 25 are allowed to continue coverage through their parents’ plans. He seeks to reimburse employer health plans for a portion of the costs they will incur, support disease management programs, and coordinate and integrate care. Obama’s plan also plans to fight AIDS worldwide, support Americans with disabilities, support Americans with Autism, and improve mental healthcare.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain states on his website that, “We can and must provide health care for every American,” but that he believes “the key to health care reform is to restore control to the patients themselves.” One aspect of John McCain’s plan is to use competition to improve the quality of health insurance with greater variety to match people’s needs. McCain believes that people should be able to purchase health insurance nationwide, across state lines. Furthermore, McCain calls for tax code reform as a means of offering choice beyond employer-based health insurance coverage. McCain’s website notes that in addition to employer-based coverage, every family will receive a direct refundable tax credit of $2,500 in cash for individuals and $5,000 for families to offset the cost of insurance. Like Obama, McCain seeks to make insurance more portable, meaning that insurance will follow Americans from job to job. Moreover, McCain encourages the expansion of the benefits of Health Savings Account (HSAs) for families; he believes that being informed about medical choices allows families to be better in charge of their health plan. McCain will establish a Guaranteed Access Plan, in which he will work with governors to develop a best practice model that states can follow. There would be reasonable limits on premiums, and assistance would be available for Americans below a certain income level. Lastly, McCain hopes to lower drug prices by bringing more competition to our drug market, providing quality and cheaper care for people with chronic diseases, coordinating care, and promoting 21st century technology to reduce costs by allowing doctors to practice across state lines.


The End of Ron Paul’s 2008 Campaign

Ron Paul officially ended his run for the 2008 White House today, according to a personal letter on his website ( Paul had originally run for the Republican nomination and after failing to clinch it, determined he would run as an independent. Paul most notably had been able to stir up passionate interest from a small portion of the youth vote through his uncompromising campaign against raising taxes and expanding federal control. Anything but a conventional Republican candidate, Ron Paul proudly noted that he voted against both the Patriot Act and the Iraq War, while asserting that Roe v. Wade should not be overturned by the Supreme Court.

However, Paul has decided to end his bid after 17 months of campaigning. Asserting that the momentum from his campaign must now be channeled into “long-term efforts” instead of a fight for the 2008 Presidency, Dr. Paul stated that the American people “don’t have to live” in the world that the two major parties “have in store for us.” It seems Ron Paul has no plans to silence himself.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

What would you do if you were President?

Lifetime Networks, CosmoGIRL! and Declare Yourself launched the 2008 Future Frontrunners contest offering 16 lucky winners the once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet the country’s top women in politics at a Future Frontrunners summit during the Democratic National Convention in Denver or the Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, MN.

To enter, contestants must submit either a written or video entry at answering the question, “What would you do if you were president?” Winning entries will be selected by a distinguished panel of judges.

Find out more!

Watch Ashlee Simpson discuss the contest!

Some Declare Yourself Reading Material!

We here at Declare Yourself really want you to understand what a privilege it is to get out there and vote. It is easy to associate the struggle for universal suffrage with the past. Voting can appear boring or even trivial. But in the wake of the recent violence in Zimbabwe concerning a disputed democratic election, we can still see today (like, right now!) that people are fighting for the ballot.

In Declare Yourself: Speak. Connect. Act. Vote., some of America’s most famous and interesting celebrities tell you about their first voting experiences and discuss the importance of voting. Read some of the excerpts below, get inspired to vote, or even buy the book. Most importantly, remember to register to VOTE.

Amber Tamblyn

“In 2000 I was seventeen years old. I missed the presidential election by a few months and took it like a dodgeball to the stomach. To me, voting was the ultimate choice. It wasn’t so much my history teacher in high school or my relatives who made me interested in the Art of Voting. (Yeah, I said ART. Deal with it.) It was the sense that I was becoming a part of something that was bigger than I am—a rare opportunity for someone who has been acting since the age of nine and has learned how to live vicariously through herself. I was ready to go beyond all that. I wanted so badly to be a new tooth in the mouth of my country, helping to grind into the term democracy, by really becoming a part of the nutritional value of it: US. The people. The nine-to-fivers who take thirty-minute intermissions on an Election Day to be sincere. To mean what we say.”

Hayden Panettiere

“When I turned eighteen this past year, my first stop that morning was to the Declare Yourself office in Los Angeles to register to vote. It only took a couple of minutes to fill out the form on my laptop. But the feeling of going through a special rite of passage stayed with me all day—I could actually vote and exercise my right to pick who’s running the country.”

“Many of my friends and peers think of getting their driver’s license or taking their first drink as their big rites of passage. People need to know, though, just how powerful and important it is to vote for the first time. It’s not just your vote that matters, but your vote when it is counted along with all the other votes cast by young people around the country.”

“You may not know it, but we are the fastest growing group of voters. It’s a big group, getting bigger every day. Did you know that four million Americans turn eighteen every year? The people in Washington will have no choice but to listen to us—but only if we speak up; only if we exercise our voting rights and don’t silence ourselves.”

What About the Green Party?

Small but ever-strong, the Green Party is pushing forward into the 2008 General Election. The party has, in recent years, successfully forced the two major party candidates to talk about issues that might have otherwise been ignored. Already on the ballot in at least 22 states, the Green Party will again surely be a force in 2008. So, with their nominating convention just around the corner, what issues are the candidates pushing?

1. The Public Financing of Elections – With the disorganization of the 2000 Presidential Election still sour to many, the Green Party says no polling places should be privately-financed. They allege that a publically-financed and simplified polling place would enfranchise many people.
2. Freely Organized Unions and Living Wage – The Green Party strongly believes that a worker’s economic standing will not budge unless pushed. Workers must be allowed to unionize so as to better their standing and the government must raise the minimum wage until it becomes a living wage.
3. Environmental Protection Policy & Carbon Neutrality – The environment must be protected by the Government against big business exploitation. The price of gas can only be curbed by decreasing our dependence on oil through investigation into alternative energy sources.
4. A “Universal Access, Single-Payer, Health Care System” – Every sick American-- regardless of race, age, ethnicity—deserves to be treated.
5. Decreasing Funding to the Pentagon and the Military - The Pentagon cannot balance its books and admits to having "lost" $2.3 trillion. The Military does not need as much money as it receives.
6. End the War on Drugs and Prison for Profit – The war on drugs and national prisons are industries that rely on constant incarceration. The Green Party alleges that both of these industries promote de facto racism due to the fact that a disproportionate of the arrested are minorities.
7. An End to Militarism Abroad – The Green Party is against the war in Iraq, but they are also against the US Military’s influence over the entire globe.

Courting the Evangelical Vote

As evangelical voters become more and more disaffected with GOP leadership, their votes are seemingly left up for grabs. It's no secret that John McCain runs into issues with the religious vote. Michael Farris, who heads the organization Generation Joshua, notes that, "We don't feel invested in his candidacy and he clearly doesn't feel invested in us." In 2004, Farris was knee-deep in presidential politics, developing swing state strategy for the GOP; however, in this election, Farris has no plans to assist the GOP.

McCain attempted to secure backing from controversial Reverends John Hagee and Rod Parsley, but when the two endorsed McCain, media frenzy ensued. In 2006, Hagee referred to a "homosexual parade" held on the date the hurricane struck and this was "proof" of the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans. Parsley attacked Islam, claiming that Muhammad was "the mouthpiece of a conspiracy of spiritual evil." McCain rejected both pastors' endorsements and each rescinded his support. Among the evangelical community, many felt a sense of betrayal from McCain. James Dobson, a key member of the religious right, stated, "I would not vote for John McCain under any circumstances," Dobson said in January 2007, adding, "I pray that we won't get stuck with him."

Democrats view McCain's tension with the religious right as an opening for newfound correspondence between the two groups. The Matthew 25 PAC, a chapter of moderate and liberal Christians seeking to attract financial support moderate evangelicals, Catholics, Protestants and Hispanic Catholics committed to electing Sen. Barack Obama president, held a fundraising event Tuesday night in Washington D.C. David Brody, a political correspondent for the Christian Broadcasting Network, stated that, "I think Obama has a great opportunity still, with the Jeremiah Wright controversy behind him, to re-introduce himself with the American people, especially with his spiritual walk." However, the Democrats have a long way to go if they want to solidify evangelical support.

Sources: CNN, Huffington Post

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Down to the Issues: Iraq

One of the greatest fault lines between Barack Obama and John McCain is whether we should continue the war in Iraq or begin withdrawing our troops. Obama cites no feasible military solution to ethnic tension and devastating troop losses as evidence for withdrawal. McCain emphasizes creating a stable Iraq and remaining in the region until we win.


“But conventional thinking in Washington lined up for war. The pundits judged the political winds to be blowing in the direction of the President. Despite - or perhaps because of how much experience they had in Washington, too many politicians feared looking weak and failed to ask hard questions. Too many took the President at his word instead of reading the intelligence for themselves. Congress gave the President the authority to go to war. Our only opportunity to stop the war was lost." - Barack Obama, Iowa, September 12, 2007
- In 2006, Obama called for a timetable to remove troops, and in 2007 introduced legislation in the Senate to remove all US combat troops from Iraq by March 2008.
- Obama's Iraq plan calls for the removal of one to two combat brigades each month and a complete withdrawal of our combat brigades within 16 months.
- Obama seeks a new accord on Iraqi's constitution and governance with representatives on all levels.
- Obama believes that the Iraqi humanitarian crisis must be addressed by the United States, and thus he will provide $2 billion for the creation of an international working group to address the crisis.


- On his website, John McCain notes that, "It would be a grave mistake to leave before Al Qaeda in Iraq is defeated and before a competent, trained, and capable Iraqi security force is in place and operating effectively. We must help the Government of Iraq battle those who provoke sectarian tensions and promote a civil war that could destabilize the Middle East. Iraq must not become a failed state, a haven for terrorists, or a pawn of Iran. These likely consequences of America's failure in Iraq almost certainly would either require us to return or draw us into a wider and far costlier war."
- McCain advocates sending reinforcements to Iraq to implement a classic insurgency strategy of securing the population.
- McCain pushes for political reconciliation and good government within Iraq.
- McCain believes that economic progress is essential to sustaining security gains in Iraq, and thus the international community should bolster proven microfinance programs to spur local-level entrepreneurship throughout the country.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

McCain & Obama: Different Ideas on How to Salvage the Economy

John McCain and Barack Obama have begun to debate what will surely be the single-largest issue of the 2008 election campaign: The US Economy. Their strikingly divergent plans and ideas are indicative of how much this Presidential election will shape the economic direction of our country for the next four years.

John McCain’s Early Economic Platform

- A health care plan that allows for affordable, portable health care - Employees could take the plan with them from job to job.
- A “simpler, a flatter, and a fair tax code” - All people would be taxed at the same rate, regardless of total income.
- Keep the ‘Capital Gains Tax’ Low – Investors would keep more of their profits and invest them back into more business ventures.
- Keep ‘Estate Taxes’ Low – When a family member passes away, a low estate tax would keep the government from taking away a substantial portion of the family’s inheritance.
- Phase Out the Alternative Minimum Tax – The AMT, which was originally meant to tax only the nation’s largest incomes, now taxes a larger proportion of the populace than originally intended. McCain says he could save middle-class families $2000 a year by depleting it.
- Keep NAFTA as is – McCain vows to not “undo the gains” of NAFTA during “a time of uncertainty” for American workers.
- Greater Government Intervention for Homeowners – McCain’s most striking economic disagreement with George W. Bush concerns his more-leftist belief that the government should take direct action against mass-scale foreclosures.

Barack Obama’s Early Economic Platform

- $50 Billion Economic Stimulus Package – This is a traditional stimulus package to keep demand high and avoid a positive feedback loop of a descending profits and subsequent job losses.
- Relief for Homeowners Facing Foreclosure – Similar to McCain’s belief that the government should step in to help struggling homeowners.
- Keep Social Security in Government Hands – Obama would require higher payments from the wealthy in order to avoid privitizing the Social Security industry.
- Expansion of Unemployment Benefits – Obama believes that in this period of economic “crisis” the unemployed must be directly assisted by the government.
- Tax Cuts for Middle-Income Families and Retirees – More middle-class money means intensified consumer demand.
- Repeal Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy – An increase in taxes here would compensate for cuts in other places.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Youth Voters Make History as Turnout Shatters Records in 2008 U.S. Presidential Primaries

The 2008 primary season witnessed a surge of youth voters! We found that more than six million people under thirty voted, more than double the amount of voters, defined as 18-29 year olds, in 2000 and 2004. Compared to 2004, the youth vote tripled in Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Mississippi, Texas, and Iowa, even quadrupling in Tennessee.

According to preliminary estimates by CIRCLE, over 2 million young people participated in the Super Tuesday Democratic contests compared to roughly 900,000 in the Republican contests. In California, the democratic youth vote increased from 11% in 2004 to 16% in 2008; in 2008, more than 250,000 young people participated in the Republican primary and 700,000 in the Democratic primary. Ohio’s democratic youth represented 16% in 2008 as opposed to the 9% in 2004. Interestingly, statistics and data revealing youth turnout in 2004 was scarce, whereas top news stations paid special attention to the youth in the 2008 primary season.

Check out our press release!

Friday, June 6, 2008

U.S. Campaign for Burma

Listen to Declare Yourself founder, Norman Lear, on how you can help Burma.

Majority of Democrats Want Obama-Clinton Ticket

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll reported today that fifty-four percent of registered Democrats think Barack Obama should name Hilary Clinton as his running mate. However, while sxity percent of Democratic women believe Clinton should join the Obama ticket, only forty-six percent of men agreed. The poll, conducted June 4 and 5, with 921 registered voters, found that the economy remains the top issue in the minds of myriad Americans. Forty-two percent of those polls claimed that the economy will be the most important issue to influence their vote in November. According to CNN, the sampling error for most results is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Time for the Candidates to Begin Choosing Veeps!

With the long and drawn-out Democratic Primaries all but officially over, it is becoming time for the Presidential Nominees to begin assessing potential running-mates:


In the Democratic camp, much of the early buzz has surrounded the woman that was, until a few days ago, fighting for the nomination. Many believe Hillary Clinton’s experience in Washington could counterbalance an Obama campaign that has been criticized for placing rhetoric above reality. Others have quickly disagreed, arguing that having four more years of the Clintons in the White House is not friendly with the Obama campaign platform of “change.”

Some have hoped that John Edwards would again emerge as the Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee, but that no longer seems an option. Although he has officially endorsed Senator Obama, Edwards stated today that the Vice Presidency is “just not something [he is] interested in.” John Edwards was John Kerry’s running-mate in 2004.


The Republican Party has been more hushed in recent weeks on who will prevail as John McCain’s running-mate. On May 21, McCain invited early front-runners Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts to his Sedona-based Ranch for a “social weekend.” McCain’s camp has said that the potential candidate’s personal chemistry with McCain would be “a key consideration.” Steve Schmidt, a senior adviser, said that the McCain campaign will not discuss the details of the selection process with the press. Condoleezza Rice and Mike Huckabee have also been mentioned as potential Vice-Presidential candidates.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fashion and Politics!

DECLARE YOURSELF launched the very fierce American Eagle Outfitters VOTE shirts on May 23rd in West Hollywood! And who better to host the party than the winner of Project Runway, Christian Siriano, and actress (and recent Ugly Betty guest star) Gabrielle Union! Check out the video footage below form Young Hollywood!

You can purchase your shirt at any American Eagle Outfitters store or online at!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Volunteer for Declare Yourself and go to Vans' Warped Tour for free!

Declare Yourself is on tour with the Vans Warped Tour and we need volunteers to help us out! You get a free ticket to the show, a tee shirt, and early entrance. This offer is available at any and all Warped Tour Concerts this summer. All you have to do is man the booth for awhile and walk around and register people to vote. If you are interested, email and say what city you want to volunteer in. For a list of cities and dates, please visit

Monday, June 2, 2008

You Choose 08'

Check out the recently launched You Choose 08' site on You Tube! The site contains candidate interviews, up to date campaign news, and debate recaps. Issues discussed by the candidates on the site include: global poverty, the economy, healthcare, education, energy, and immigration. It's a great way to keep up during the campaign season!