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Obama launches mobile app

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App5It is a digital age and there are few campaigns as tech savvy as Obama for America. The president’s re-election team has taken that effort to new heights with the launch of a new mobile phone application that will put volunteer coordination and campaign spin in the hands of anyone interested.

“We designed our new app to help break down the distinction between online and offline organizing,” said Stephanie Cutter, the Deputy Campaign Manager. “Giving every supporter the same opportunities to get involved that they would find in a field office.”

App3The app is already available for iPhone on the Obama website. The site says that an andrioid version will be available soon. The app features simple navigation among 5 different tabs. Each tab offers an Obama supporter specific information about campaign activities and the candidate’s stance on the most important issues of the day. Within each category the app offers more options depending on what the voter is interested in. For instance on this “Issues” tab a prospective voter can get detailed information about the most talked about topics of the campaign. It also sets the record straight on what the campaign considers misconceptions about the Obama record.

App2For volunteers looking to get heavily involved in the campaign the app provides up to the minute information about canvassing opportunities, phone banks and other ways to get the vote out. Like most mobile apps, the software can determine your exact location. That feature allows the app to tailor GOTV efforts to wherever the user may be.

It also allows the person to RSVP to the events with one click.

The app though is not confined to itself. It syncs directly to a variety of social media and digital communication tools like facebook, twitter email and SMS.

Among the features the campaign is touting:

  • Find and RSVP for events using a full, detailed map that makes it easy to share with friends;
  • Connect to hotlines for reporting voting issues and abuse when we get near Election Day – a tool that will be especially helpful for people in states with new voter ID laws;
  • Join Dashboard, the campaign’s other cutting-edge organizing tool that connects folks neighborhood by neighborhood;
  • Access information on issues as they speak with voters, including localized information on how President Obama’s policies have benefited families in their state;
  • Canvass their neighborhood, entering feedback and responses in real time; and
  • Access direct links to donate to the campaign

Of course volunteer opportunities and campaign spin is helpful, but money drives the machine App4 and there is a place to contribute as well. One click of the donor button brings you to a page that can quickly accept your donation of just about any level.

The campaign is expected to go full launch with the application this week. They already have a page set up on their web site which includes a “how-to” video and links directly to the app store of your choice to download it directly to your phone.

The download is free.

The Romney campaign already has two mobile applications. One is designed to track the candidate’s search for a running mate the other is a photo app called “With Mitt“. The latter caused the campaign a bit of a problem a few weeks ago because one of the images on the app misspelled “America”.


Apparently when I came across the Romney VP app last night it hadn’t “officially” been launched. This morning several stories about it’s features are out as both campaigns battle for the mobile digital space.

Written by Ryan Nobles

July 31, 2012 at 6:00 am

McDonnell and Jindal in Iowa

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Governor Bob McDonnell makes calls on behalf of Mitt Romney in Iowa. He is joined by a fellow VP prospect, LA Governor Bobby Jindal.
(from the Governor’s facebook page)

Written by Ryan Nobles

July 26, 2012 at 9:47 pm

The “build that” battle heats up

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Governor Bob McDonnell still won’t talk about his prospects, but Wednesday he started a two day run on behalf of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

McDonnell joined two local business owners to keep up a chorus of attacks over a line in President Barack Obama‘s speech in Roanoke earlier in the month.  The attacks have been so fierce that the president himself responded to them directly in a TV ad.

At a local small business, McDonnell was joined by two local business owners who claimed they were offended by the comments.

But the Obama campaign is not just allowing the attacks to go unanswered.

Here is my report for NBC12:

  It was one line in a speech delivered by president obama here in Virginia and it has quickly become a key battle point in the presidential election.

 The president was talking about the importance of the government’s role in creating and helping businesses survive. But his remarks have offended some small business owners and the Romney campaign is seizing on the opportunity.

 It was one line that has transformed into a campaign slogan for Mitt Romney.

 “If you got a business,” Obama said in Roanoke.  “You didn’t build that.”

You didn’t build that, has become “we did build it” and on a banner behind a Governor Bob McDonnell at a Romney event in Richmond. 

“This is a president and an administration that is out of touch, out of ideas and as far as I am concerned out of time,” McDonnell said.

The president has personally responded to the attack line with a new campaign ad.

“Those ads taking my words about small business out of context;” Obama says speaking directly to the camera, “They’re flat out wrong.”

But, local business owner Melissa Ball, said reading the entire speech, made her even more upset.

“The one phrase wasn’t even as bad as the whole together,” she said.  

Democrats counter that Ball is the perfect example of a business owner who has directly benefited from government help.

“The recovery act helped some small business get access to capital,” among other things, pointed out Obama supporter Del. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond)

read and see the full story on NBC12.com

 Meanwhile, McDonnell heads to Iowa tomorrow along with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Both are considered contenders in the VP stakes.

Written by Ryan Nobles

July 25, 2012 at 11:17 pm

McDonnell won’t talk about VP prospects

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Despite my best efforts, Governor Bob McDonnell refused to entertain any notion of his prospects as a potential running mate for Mitt Romney.

The Governor was hosting an event Wednesday for Romney at a Richmond small business. He is headed to Iowa on Romney’s behalf on Thursday.

He did make a few jokes, perhaps hinted at a future presidential run, but flatly refused to talk about any role he may play on the GOP 2012 ticket.

Here is our exchange:

But we did learn that he thinks Iowa has nice cows this time of year.

Written by Ryan Nobles

July 25, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Buying A Voice: Restore our Future

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Many of the ads you see supporting republican candidate for president Mitt Romney or hammering president Barack Obama come from committees that raise big bucks, but aren’t officially part of the campaign.

One of them is the group “Restore our Future”. They have already spent close to $54 million dollars in 2012.

One of their ads running in Virginia picks up on a claim President Obama made during a White House briefing. The president said the private sector was “doing fine”. It accuses the president of being out of touch, for claiming the private sector did not need help.

You can see the ad below:

So who is “Restore Our Future?”

They are a “Super Pac” with the ability to raise and spend unlimited amounts of cash in support of candidates legally. Something they have done incredibly well to this point.

“Restore Our Future” has spent a little more than $53 million, all to help the presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

The bulk of their spending, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, has been to hit republicans. They have spent more than $39 million used to attack Romney’s primary opponents.

Now they are focused on the president, investing close to $7.5 million on ads like the “doing fine” ad, attacking his record.

“Restore Our Future” has picked up big donations. From a relatively small group of donors, among them is Las Vegas tycoon billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miram.  According to the NY Times the two have collectively they have invested $10 million dollars in “Restore Our Future”.

But that is actual a small part of the Adelson’s contribution to the 2012 campaign. Up until Romney secured the primary the two invested heavily in his opponent Newt Gingrich. Their total spending has been a whopping $35 million dollars, so far.

Adelson is not the only big money donor. Restore Our Future has also picked up checks of $3 million dollars from Texas housing billionaire Bob Perry, and $1 million from New York hedge fund manager John Paulson.

All told, Restore Our Future’s piggy bank has raked in close to $60 million dollars, and there is still three months to go before Election Day.


Here is where we got our information:

*The Center for Responsive Politics has the list of Restore our Future’s known donors.

*The Center for Responsive Politics has a breakdown of how Restore Our Future has spent it’s cash.

*The NY Times reports on the donation given by the Adelson family.

*Restore Our Future’s web site can be found here.

Written by Ryan Nobles

July 25, 2012 at 6:08 pm

McDonnell to Iowa for Romney

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In a trip that will certainly re-ignite his fading VP prospects, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell will travel to Iowa on Thursday to stump on behalf of Mitt Romney.

McDonnell will visit the Hawkeye state with fellow governor and VP prospect Bobby Jindal from Louisiana.

According to McDonnell’s office, the governor will hold a late morning event in Davenport and then visit a Victory Center in Coralville in the early afternoon. He will be with Jindal at the event in Coralville.

The governor will leave Richmond early Thursday morning by plane and return to Virginia that evening.

McDonnell will also serve as a surrogate for Romney Wednesday in a press event with local business leaders in Richmond, where they will continue the attack against President Barack Obama‘s “you didn’t build that” line from his speech in Roanoke.

Written by Ryan Nobles

July 24, 2012 at 8:50 pm

As Obama defends “build that” comments, McDonnell to go on the attack

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It was just a quick phrase, mentioned in President Barack Obama‘s stump speech in Roanoke early this month.

In case you missed it, here is what he said:

“If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.  The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.” - President Barack Obama July 13, 2012 Roanoke, VA

The GOP has seized on the first part of that section of the speech, specifically “you didn’t build that”.  They have held conference calls, cut web ads and pushed out TV commericals accusing the president of being out of touch with small business owners.

The Obama team has argued that the president’s words were taken out of context and that the American people understand that businesses are built and are successful with help from the government. But despite the spin from Chicago, there must be concern that the attacks are having an impact. Tuesday the campaign released an ad responding to the attacks, featuring the president himself speaking to voters directly.

In the ad Obama says “Those ads taking my words about small business out of context; they’re flat out wrong.”

Here is a look at the full ad which is expected to run in a number of swing states:


But don’t expect republicans to just accept the president’s explanation. They will continue to turn up the heat with an event Wednesday featuring Virginia’s highest profile Romney surrogate, Gov. Bob McDonnell.

McDonnell will join with two Richmond small business owners to respond to what they call the president’s “insulting” claim. McDonnell is still considered a contender as Romney’s running mate, but his stock has fallen quite a bit by many who track the Veepstakes progress.

It is debatable how much resonance the Obama comment has had on the race here in Virginia, but there is no question the race is tightening up. The Real Clear Politics average of polls in Virginia has the race within two points, but with a slight edge to Obama.

Written by Ryan Nobles

July 24, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Board of Elections tells voters to ignore false registration e-mail

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By: Ryan Nobles – bio | email

With 106 days to go until the election the silliness has begun. The Virginia Board of Elections is warning that a mass e-mail is going on telling voters that if they haven’t voted since the 2008 presidential election that they must register again or be turned away this November.

The BOE said there is no truth to the e-mail.

It is pretty simple, if you were registered to vote before, and you haven’t moved you are still registered. There is nothing more to do before casting your ballot on election day. 

In Virginia your voter registration never expires, even if you choose to never vote. So even if the presidential election was the last time you made it to your polling place, you are still set to go for this November.

The only exception is if you have moved outside of your voting precinct since the last time you cast your ballot. In that case you do need to update your address with the BOE because you may have changed congressional districts or polling places.

If you are worried that you may not be registered correctly, it is a simple one stop check.  The Board of Elections has set up a handy web site where you can just fill out your information and it tells you your registration status, where you go to vote and who will be on the ballot when you get there.

The Board of Elections registration web site can be found clicking here.

Written by Ryan Nobles

July 23, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Michelle Obama visit to Virginia set

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First Lady Michelle Obama returns to Virginia this Friday for a two-part stop. The First Lady will headline campaign events in Charlottesville and Fredricksburg.

Mrs. Obama was in Richmond earlier this year for a White House event at VCU. She also worked in two fundraisers for Obama For America.  She also made an official visit to Caroline County back in July of 2009.

The First Lady, as many of her predecessors, actually has higher approval ratings than her husband and is known for drawing pretty big crowds herself. She has become a powerful spokesperson for woman’s rights, which is a key cog and in the Obama campaign re-election strategy. Her remarks on Friday are expected to center around the Obama administration’s successful passage the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act from 2009, a law the White House attempted to build upon this year unsuccessfully. In fact, Mrs. Obama’s visit to Charlottesville coincides with OFA’s “Women Vote 2012 Summit Tour” which is designed to highlight those issues.

Both events are free and open to the public, but tickets are required because of limited space.

The full details on how to acquire those tickets is below:

These events are free and open to the public. Tickets are required due to limited space, and will be available to the public starting on a first come, first serve basis at the following Organizing for America pick-up locations below.


Tickets are available starting on a first come, first serve basis at the following locations and times:


Tickets will be available starting Wednesday at 11:00 AM EDT.

Organizing For America–Charlottesville

407 East Main Street
Charlottesville, VA 22902


Tickets will be available starting Wednesday at 11:00 AM EDT.

Organizing for America–Fredericksburg

1281 Central Park Blvd
Fredericksburg, VA 22401

Culpeper Democrats HQ
102 North Main Street, Suite 201
Culpeper, VA 22701

The actual event details are as follows:


WHAT:          First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks at a Women’s Vote 2012 Event

WHEN:          1:40 PM EDT  Friday, July 20, 2012

WHERE:       Main Street Arena,  230 West Main Street,  Charlottesville VA 22902

Press/Public Access:  11:00 AM EDT


WHAT:          First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks to Fredericksburg Grassroots Supporters

WHEN:          6:00 PM EDT, Friday, July 20, 2012

WHERE:       Goolrick Hall Gymnasium at the University of Mary Washington, 1301 College Avenue, Fredericksburg, VA 22401

Press/Public Access: 2:30 PM EDT

Written by Ryan Nobles

July 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Obama attempts to take the tax issue away from the GOP

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As the crowd of roughly 900 people gathered at the Walkerton Tavern in Henrico, the air was thick and it was sunny and hot. That didn’t last too long. Shortly after the crowd took their spots to see Barack Obama, the rain began to fall and it stayed like that on and off until long after he was finished.

It wasn’t the first time a candidate has ever given a passionate speech in the rain, it’s not even the first time Obama has, but the picture of a soaking wet president selling his message of fighting for the middle class provided his campaign excellent optics. While they couldn’t plan something like this, they took advantage of the situation and it served as a dramatic backdrop for the president to make the case that his tax plan is the best plan for America.

Here is my report for NBC12:

GLEN ALLEN, VA (WWBT- For the seventh time since being elected president of the United States, President Barack Obama made a stop here in Central Virginia. The president spoke to an outdoor crowd, in the middle of a rain storm at the Walkerton Tavern in Glen Allen.

Through the pouring rain, which drenched everyone, including the leader of the free world, Barack Obama made a direct pitch to the middle class, and he used an issue that is normally strong with republicans, taxes.

It came early, and stayed from almost the entire event, a soaking rain that was impossible to escape, even for the most powerful man on the planet.

“Everybody is wet already,” the president said at one point. “So it doesn’t matter.”

Obama, dressed in a shirt so wet that his undershirt was visible, didn’t seem to mind. He launched into a passionate defense of his plan to raise taxes on the wealthy, and cut them for the middle class.

“We need someone who believes in a “middle out” economics, a “bottom up” economics,” he said. “Someone who will fight for you and working class people across Virginia.”

It was a message sent to Henrico voters, in one of the most important swing counties in America. Tracey Snyderman is one of the voters, and agrees.

“I feel that the people in the top two percent won’t feel the difference,” Snyderman said. “For people lower down on the scale, it makes a big difference.”

But the president didn’t convince everyone. Matt Walton is a teacher and a Romney supporter. He came to hear the president speak, but is not convinced that higher taxes of any kind will help.

“You have the top two percent of the country paying roughly 78 percent of the American taxes,” he said. “That is just a huge burden right there.”

read and see the rest of the story on NBC12.com

The Romney campaign responded to the Obama visit with the following statement:

President Obama admitted today that our country isn’t on the right track, yet he is offering more of the same as he seeks a second term. Americans are tired of the same old broken promises and dishonest attacks – they want a leader who keeps his word and is more focused on fixing the economy than telling stories. As president, Mitt Romney will turn around the upside-down Obama economy and finally get America back on the right track.” – Curt Cashour, Virginia Communications Director, Romney for President

Written by Ryan Nobles

July 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm


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