Monday, November 24, 2008

White House Counsel

White House Counsel
Name: Gregory B. Craig
Hometown: Norfolk, Va.
Current City: Washington, D.C.
Job at time of appointment: Advisor for 2008 Obama campaign, lawyer
Age: 63

A well-known Washington lawyer, Greg Craig was an early supporter and aide to Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign, and will now serve as White House Counsel.

Having known both Bill and Hillary Clinton from their days at Yale Law School and directed former President Clinton's defense team during his impeachment trial, in addition to serving as a State Department official during Clinton's term, Craig's Obama endorsement was a surprise to many in Washington.

Craig boasts an impressive resume, being a partner at a top Washington firm, Williams & Connolly, LLP, representing several public figures and acting as foreign policy advisor to Sen. Edward Kennedy, and is expected to bring a depth of foreign policy knowledge and negotiation experience to the Obama presidency.

Photo from Free Republic

Obama's Senior Advisors

Senior Advisors
Name: David Axelrod
Hometown: Manhattan
Current City: Chicago
Job at time of Appointment: Chief strategist for 2008 Obama campaign, AXP&D consultant
Age: 52

Hailed as the mastermind of the extremely successful Obama campaign, David Axelrod is graduating from his post as chief strategist for the campaign and moving on to become one of the new president's senior advisors.

Credited for some of the Obama campaign trademarks, such as "hope" and "change," Axelrod has also served on campaigns for Sens. Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Chris Dodd.

A consultant for AXP&D Message and Media, Axelrod was a top political reporter before leaving the Chicago Tribune in 1984. As a consultant, he is known for being an "advertising guy" and a "postideological approach."

Photo from USA Today

Name: Valerie Jarrett
Hometown: Shiraz, Iran
Current City: Chicago
Job at time of appointment: Strategist for the 2008 Obama Campaign, President and CEO of The Habitat Co.
Age: 52

A longtime mentor for both Barack and Michelle Obama, Valerie Jarrett was the chief of staff for former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley when she hired Michelle for a job in his office.

Prior to becoming the chief of staff for the mayor's office and then the city-planning commissioner, Jarrett was a corporate lawyer in a large Chicago firm. In 1995, she left city government to work for The Habitat Co., a for-profit-real-estate firm, rising to become President and CEO. The firm has been accused of mismanagement of some of its properties, which include range from public housing to luxury condos, according to the Boston Globe.

Her longstanding relationship with the Obamas has led to a strew of nicknames, including "First Friend," "big sister" and "the other half of Obama's brain." Jarrett has been co-chair of the Obama transition team and will be become a top White House advisor, taking her name out of contention as a Senate replacement for the president-elect.

Photo from The University of Chicago Chronicle

Name: Pete Rouse
Hometown: New Haven
Current City: Washington, D.C. and Chicago
Job at time of appointment: Barack Obama's chief of staff in the Senate
Age: 62

Having spent three decades on Capitol Hill, Peter Rouse's job as Barack Obama's Senate office chief of staff was to introduce Obama to the workings of Washington, being, as The Washington Post called him, "The Outsider's Insider."

Prior to becoming Obama's chief of staff, co-chairman of the transition team and future senior advisor, Rouse served as the chief of staff to former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle (D - SD) for 19 years, holding the same position for Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) when he was in the House and for former Lt. Gov. Terry Miller of Alaska.

Known as "The 101st Senator" during his long tenure with Daschle, Obama picked up Rouse as his chief of staff following Daschle's loss in 2004. Since then, Rouse has strategically steered Obama in the right political direction to become president, and is expected to continue to use his insider knowledge of Washington to aide the new president-elect.

Photo from The Washington Post

WH Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel

Chief of Staff
Name: Rahm Emanuel
Hometown: Chicago
Job at time of appointment: Congressman, Chicago representative
Political Party: Democratic
Age: 48

Barack Obama chose a fellow Chicago congressman to be his White House chief of staff, bringing in the No. 4 Democrat in the House of Representatives and a former senior Clinton advisor.

In the House since 2003, Rahm has served on the important House Ways and Means Committee and was elected to be the Democratic Caucus Chair in 2007, making him the fourth highest ranked member of the House Democrats.

Nicknamed Rahmbo for his tough, combative style in the Clinton administration, Rahm had a successful venture in the world of investment banking before moving into Congress.

Rahm graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a liberal arts degree, and went to Northwestern University for a masters degree in speech and communication.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Youngest Candidate

For those of you who want to avoid the crush of Twilight fans (pale is the new tan btw) at the local movie theater this weekend....check out The Youngest Candidate! The film will be released soon so check out the trailer and spread the word!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

President-elect Obama promises “new chapter” on climate change
Tuesday, November 18, 2008 09:54am EST /
More than 600 climate change leaders from across the country and around the world convened in Los Angeles today for the opening sessions of the Global Climate Summit, a 2-day event arranged by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to break gridlock on the issue ahead of next month's United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poznan, Poland.

Watch President-Elect Obama's latest video on the Global Climate Summit. MORE

If I Were President

What would you do if you were president? Check out this video from and (in our comments box) tell us what you would do if you were president.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What now for the Party of Hope and Ideas?

"Hopefully, in the future, another crazy, independent child of a politician will also draw back the curtain on a journey that so few people get the chance to see up close, and not adhere to an image that is long overdue for change."

Megan McCain wrote these words in her latest blog entry, which remains her final post on The Blogette. The 24 year old was the
face of young Republicans for her father, Senator McCain's, campaign. Her blog chronicled the campaign through pictures, video, and stories (and of course a song of the day), showing McCain not as a seasoned politician, but a father and war hero.

Despite this attempt to connect with young people, Barack Obama overwhelmingly won the youth vote, 66% to McCain's 33%. Considering Bush's
approval rating is hovering around 27%, we can probably assume most American kids and teens, highly influenced by their parents and peers, probably don't hold the highest opinion of the current president either and will likely lean Democratic when they turn 18.

So what will become of the Republican Party? Where are all the Young Republicans? They are going online! A group of under 40 Republicans have built a site called Rebuild the Party in response to the lack of youth support in the Republican party and to the grassroots efforts of the Obama campaign that led to his victory.

"The time is now to set in motion the changes needed to rebuild our party from the grassroots up, modernize the way we run campaigns, and attract different, energetic, and younger candidates at all levels," the site says.

Rebuild the Party is attempting to start a dialogue with young Republicans, requesting their opinions and ideas through a Feedback Forum like this one: This tool allows you to submit ideas for the direction of the Republican National Committee and vote on the ideas others have posted. The suggestion currently in the lead? Reach Out to Ron Paul and the Campaign for Freedom.

"The younger generation is overwhelmingly turning away from the social conservative platform perpetuated by what they see as "old, grumpy, white guys" Instead they are turning by the thousands to people such as Ron Paul and his Campaign for Freedom to give them fresh perspective and a new outlook on the way a government should be run."

The Republican National Committee has also launched a new website that they are terming grassroots called Republican For a Reason. While the site is less of a conversation than Rebuild the Party, although it is yet to be fully developed, they have released this video. The video is meant to inspire young Republicans and remind them that the Republican Party is the Party of hope and the Party of ideas.

So where do you think the Republican Party will be in 4 years? 8 years? How did this video affect you?

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Birth of Generation WE!

In 1996, 14.5 million young people came to the polls. In 2000, the number rose to 16.2%. In 2004, 19.4 million young people voted. 

And now... the exciting news: according to new estimates by CIRCLE, 23 million young people cast their ballots in the 2008 General Election!

In the states where both candidates (not to mention the Declare Yourself Street Teams!) did the most campaigning, youth turnout averaged 59%! These numbers are still rising furiously in states with strong absentee voting campaigns, since many of the late returns are being tallied up while you read this!

So, I double dog dare the media to call us the "Slacker Generation" one more time... The Millennials are coming of age and voting by the millions. As 18% of the voting bloc, WE make the difference.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

HOW DID WE DO? Tell us!

The election is over. The results are in.

The youth vote (that means YOU!) was a major determining factor in this election. In fact, experts say that without the youth vote, Barack Obama would have lost the election.

Your vote is your voice. But remember, you can't vote unless you register

Looking forward to 2012, Declare Yourself wants to make the registration process as easy as possible for new voters.  Please help us by taking a SHORT SURVEY (only 6 questions!) on about your voter registration experience!

Congratulations to the estimated 22 million young people who voted on November 4th!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

You(th) Vote

Young voters diverged sharply from the population as a whole, preferring Obama/Biden over McCain/Palin by 68% to 30% in the exit polls. This is by far the highest share of the youth vote obtained by any candidate since exit polls began reporting results by age categories in 1976.

About 21.6-23.9 million younger voters went to the polls yesterday, 2.2 million more than in 2004! Preliminary CIRCLE projections show the turnout for young Americans (ages 18-29) is higher than in 2004, a year of significant increase, and is much higher than it was in 2000 and 1996. Like us here at Declare Yourself, the media is waiting to here the official youth turnout numbers!

Monday, November 3, 2008

More bang for your vote

Who knew voting was such a big deal? Sure, Tuesday's election has been purported as being one of the most groundbreaking elections in U.S. history. But more than just civic participation for your country, casting a vote can score you some free goodies and set you up with some awesome discounts -- and all you need to do is show your "I voted" sticker.

Check out the list below for some of the hot election day deals.

  • Starbucks: Free tall cup of coffee for voters with vote sticker
  • Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream: Free scoop of ice cream for everyone from 5pm-8pm on Nov. 4th
  • Krispy Kreme: The donut master will be handing out free, star-shaped goodies to celebrate election day.
  • O!Burger: The West Hollywood organic fast food stop will give you a free order of fries and organic cookies if you purchase a good ole' fashion American burger after heading to the polls.
  • Colorodo Wine Co.: Say "cheers" to democracy. The Pasadena wine shop will be giving voters 50% percent off select wines.
  • Amoeba: Rock out on election day; Amoeba music will be handing out $2-off coupons good toward all merchandise at all of its locations.
  • Tart: Head on over to Tart on Fairfax in Los Angeles to enjoy a free dessert as you watch the election results pour in.
  • Critophe Salon: Like her or not, Sarah Palin's do is in. Visit this Beverly Hill's salon for 50% off coupons, and get your own version of the vice presidential hopeful's hairdo.
  • O'Neill Flagship: Who could forget those pictures of Obama hanging out at the beach that plastered magazine covers last spring? Get your own beach look at O'Neill, and check out the 25% off clothing racks.
  • American Apparel: Get 15% off and free shipping for online orders of $75 or more at American Apparel's online store for taking its voting quiz.

Photos from the Why Wait Street Team!

With only one day left to vote early, the Why Wait Street Team is still working hard!

On forty campuses across America, the street team is circulating handpasses with information on how to vote early!

Great job, team! And remember to vote! Visit for information on how to vote early in your county!

24% of Americans Voted Early!

According to a recent Gallup Poll, 24% of Americans have already voted!

Jason Pollock has been traveling across the swing states (thanks to Zune), showing his movie The Youngest Candidate, and helping young people vote early. Here is a piece from his latest blog post:

The tour has been going really well and I know that we are getting students excited to vote in this important election and that is a great thing for America! It has been so exciting to be on the front lines of the election cycle. We have been in MI, OH, TN, NC, FL, and now VA. The battleground states are electrified with election fever and you can feel it wherever you go.

Today is the last day to vote early! If you plan on voting tomorrow, the official election day, you can find your polling place at Don't forget a picture I.D. and be prepared to wait in line. It will all be worth it when you get that sticker!