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Barack Obama is mounting an unprecedented push for the votes of tens of thousands of UK-based Americans, who his campaign believes could have a decisive impact on the US presidential election.

The Democratic Party has been quietly deploying the full machinery of electioneering here, ranging from telephone canvassing to on-the-street campaigning by volunteers around the UK.

Dozens of wealthy expat Americans are paying $10,000 (£5,500) a head to attend an Obama fundraising lunch in Whitehall today. Among those breaking bread will be actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Hudson, the former US presidential candidate Al Gore, the River Cafe chef Ruth Rogers and Joshua Berger, president of Warner Brothers UK. Rogers will hold a more intimate dinner at her home later tonight, where diners have been asked for "suggested contributions" of $2,500 (£1,350). read more…

QUESTION: Is it appropriate for presidential campaigns to raise money and stage events outside the US?

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principia wrote:
Sep. 25th, 2008 11:05 pm (UTC)
QUESTION: Is it appropriate for presidential campaigns to raise money and stage events outside the US?

The number of Americans living in the UK alone is about half the population of the state of Wyoming. I don't see why they shouldn't receive attention from the presidential campaigns.

As the McCain camp points out, they essentially get campaigned for at no cost to them within the military constituency, so I think it's more than appropriate for Barack Obama to campaign and even fundraise among American civilians living overseas.
kayjayuu wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 03:44 pm (UTC)
Yay! So he closed his offices in North Dakota to campaign overseas! :/

/sarcasm

What he did was what every politician does, go where the money is.

"A" for effort thought, at least he did have offices here for a while, and I was polled more this year than I have in my entire life elsewhere.
ubiquitous_a wrote:
Sep. 25th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC)
So long as it is legal, and those being "campaigned to" are legally able to vote in the U.S., I sure don't see any problem with it. Actually, I think it's pretty darn smart.
lindito wrote:
Sep. 25th, 2008 11:40 pm (UTC)
THIS.

i live in south africa.

that said, i'm registered in the district of columbia [it's safe to say that this will go for obama]. i should have registered where my mother lives [pennsylvania] but i haven't lived there since 1994.

i really don't hang out with americans here [or wherever i've lived abroad], but i suspect they are more obama-friendly than mccain-friendly.
(no subject) - ubiquitous_a - Sep. 26th, 2008 12:41 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - kwsapphire - Sep. 26th, 2008 10:12 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - ubiquitous_a - Sep. 26th, 2008 01:21 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - kwsapphire - Sep. 26th, 2008 02:31 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - ubiquitous_a - Sep. 26th, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - kwsapphire - Sep. 26th, 2008 10:10 am (UTC) Expand
dignam wrote:
Sep. 25th, 2008 11:22 pm (UTC)
Of course. Every single one of those Americans abroad has more foreign-relations experience than Sarah Palin.
theducks wrote:
Sep. 25th, 2008 11:43 pm (UTC)
Haha.. so true.

And yes, go for it!
(no subject) - blujay_ - Sep. 26th, 2008 12:24 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - silentinflames - Sep. 26th, 2008 08:27 am (UTC) Expand
tyskkvinna wrote:
Sep. 25th, 2008 11:30 pm (UTC)
Just because you don't live in the US and are an American doesn't mean you should be ignored. If there happens to be a large portion of Americans in a particular area and in that area it is legal for the campaigning, then the parties should definitely consider it. As a dual citizen I often feel perpetually stuck between two countries - do I care about the politics of one over the other? No, I don't - but I can't live in two places at once (especially if there's an ocean in the middle). So this idea is very appealing to me.
ubiquitous_a wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 01:24 pm (UTC)
The more I think about it, the more smart it seems to me that they are making that effort. I have to imagine that Americans living outside of the U.S. (with the exception perhaps of active duty military) are often not focused on in political campaigns. I think it's quite enterprising that the Obama folks are putting effort into that block of voters.
(no subject) - silentinflames - Sep. 26th, 2008 02:55 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - ubiquitous_a - Sep. 26th, 2008 03:43 pm (UTC) Expand
sakurakessho wrote:
Sep. 25th, 2008 11:43 pm (UTC)
Oh heck yeah. A lot of the time I think that those who don't live in teh US but are US citizens get shafted by the attention they don't get in the elections. So its good for them to get some attention.
amanda_now wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 12:01 am (UTC)
It sounds like an excuse for rich people to get together and pat themselves on the back, like any other political get-together (regardless of party affiliation).

Is it appropriate? To me it seems like a waste. "Tens of thousands" of people doesn't even sound like the population of a suburban city here in the US. Their vote still only counts as one, so to me it seems like a waste of money (and jet fuel) to fly out there when the same thing can be accomplished digitally (phone, email, websites, etc).
xiv_gemina wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 12:53 am (UTC)
What do you mean by 'only' "tens of thousands"?
Did you miss the part of the article where it pointed out that, in 2000, Bush won Florida by just five hundred and thirty seven votes?

537 is smaller than the population of a rural English village, let alone that of a suburban US city.

In the context of the effect that those 537 votes had on the outcome of the 2000 election for POTUS, and in an era of falling voter turnouts, for either Party to ignore a voter-base that is (according to the article) a quarter of a million would be - in plain language - absolutely, indefensibly, stupid.
agilesreader wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 02:14 am (UTC)
They are only allowed to accept money from US citizens, which is what it sounds like they are doing.
luis_mw wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 02:16 am (UTC)
I can speak only as a Brit married to an American living over here in the UK. Yes, it is entirely appropriate for those people - who have a vote - to have their voices heard, to raise funds for the party of their choice, and to be involved directly in the process. Just because they are over here, does not mean that aren't affected by the outcome of the election.
emmyjag wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 02:17 am (UTC)
Not only is it appropriate, I think they should do it more often.

Having served in the US military and been stationed overseas, all we got on the political process was limited information filtered by our host country's politics. I'd have liked a chance to meet candidates face to face and hear their plans personally. Not all Americans live in America, for various reasons, but they still have the right and duty to vote.
silver_chipmunk wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 03:00 am (UTC)
I think it's odd to even ask the question. They're American citizens, so of course it's appropriate for them to be included in the political process.
anastashial wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 03:56 am (UTC)
It's fine, as long as not one penny of those funds come from non-American citizens or corporations. I don't want any money going to any candidate in a US election from any non-American source and I recall reading in the past that it was happening.
charliemc wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 04:13 am (UTC)
Yes, it certainly is. I can't see a valid reason for opposing this.
femzombie wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 04:48 am (UTC)
I think this is a very bright move on Obama's part. First off, of course it's appropriate for him to go overseas to speak with people working over the pond. Even if their numbers are great, it can still influence those of us who witness these actions. At the start of this whole process, I have been very torn over who to vote for, and moment after moment, Obama looks that much better. This action is just one of those actions. Even though I live in the US his move to go speak with Americans in the UK says a lot to me. So who knows, maybe doing this gives him a few votes on this continent. Second, people living in other countries as an American citizen are still affected by the laws and policies that past in America. For example, if they ever have to deal with something that would involve an American embassy. Plus, people try to put Obama down for his lack of foreign relations, well, he's working on it and that I can't attack him for.
wendybt7 wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 08:15 am (UTC)
It's a smart campaigning move. UK based Americans should be able to support their candidate and raise funds if they wish.
silentinflames wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 08:26 am (UTC)
US politics have such an immense effect on other countries that I even wish I had a vote on Nov. 4. ;)

Seriously, yes I think it should be possible for people outside the US to take *some* influence even if it is just supporting their preferred candidate with money.

Also, as long as it is legal both by US and the respective country's law, I don't have an issue with that.
ubiquitous_a wrote:
Sep. 26th, 2008 01:28 pm (UTC)
I agree. Love your icon, btw. :)
(no subject) - silentinflames - Sep. 26th, 2008 02:54 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - ubiquitous_a - Sep. 26th, 2008 03:59 pm (UTC) Expand
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