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Aug 032013
 

Photo by Alo Ceballos/FilmMagic/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Anthony Weiner’s New York City mayoral campaign has confirmed the appointment of Camille Joseph as campaign manager, thus filling the spot vacated when Danny Kedem quit as campaign manager a week ago.

Joseph, a former aide to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., was formerly the campaign’s political director.

The move comes as Weiner seeks to put to rest questions about the sexting scandal that continues to dog him on the campaign trail. To that end, the embattled former congressman fielded questions from several New York media outlets at his campaign headquarters early Friday afternoon.

“I guess what I can’t dispute for a minute is that days and days and days of headlines about my personal life isn’t helpful,” he told ABC News affiliate WABC, admitting that questions about his past conduct were hurting his ability to connect with voters.

Weiner, 48, said he was staying in the race, but could not rule out additional embarrassing communications or pictures from his past resurfacing.

“These things are behind me 100 percent,” he told WABC.  “I still can’t say that someone else might not have something from two years ago or last year.”

The latest disclosures have cost him his front-runner status in the Democratic primary race.

He also added in a separate interview with WNBC that he had deleted all the records associated with his past lewd conduct. “I don’t have any of the records,” he said. “I deleted everything.”

Weiner also denied reports that the Clinton family is upset about his remaining in the race and said he had not spoken recently with the Clintons.

“I have no reason to believe that she [Hillary Clinton] is annoyed,” Weiner told WNBC.

The New York City primary election is Sept. 10.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Dec 222012
 

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic(WASHINGTON) — Ben Affleck has been an increasingly popular presence in the political realm as of late. Earlier this week, he testified on Capitol Hill about security in the Democratic Republic of Congo and recently his name has come up as a possible contender in the impending Massachusetts special election to fill the seat to be vacated by John Kerry’s appointment as secretary of state.  Affleck, 40, grew up in Cambridge, Mass.

But it turns out running for political office might be a stretch too far for the actor and activist.

In an interview with GQ, Affleck had some pretty harsh words for the American political system, including “toxic,” “poisonous” and “inappropriate” (laced with expletives before them).

“I have gotten myself involved with politics, actually fairly in a pretty deep way, only to find that it really just took the wind out of my sails,” he said. “You know, it was much more interesting from the outside than from the inside.”

It’s worth noting that Affleck appears to dance around the question: “Have you ever had serious considerations” about running for office?

“I have never had a serious conversation. Not really,” he said. “I could tell you but then I can’t say what it is.”

For those hoping for a Ben Affleck vs. Scott Brown showdown this summer, don’t abandon all hope yet.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Nov 102012
 

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The name for Project ORCA, the Romney campaign’s much-vaunted, digital voter turnout and poll monitoring system, started out as something of a joke.

ORCA was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek rejoinder to an advanced data-gathering effort put together by the Obama campaign called Project Narwhal. The Romney team’s conceit: An orca is a natural predator of the narwhal, a tusked-whale that lives in the Arctic.

In an interview with ABC News on Friday, the Romney campaign’s digital director Zac Moffatt responded to critical online commentaries.

“Was it flawless? No,” Moffatt said. “Without a doubt, ORCA had its challenges.”

He acknowledged that technical issues began early and continued sporadically throughout the day. The system crashed entirely for about 90-minutes in the late morning on Tuesday — a problem the campaign attributed to an overload of the data servers in the TD Garden in Boston, the site of the campaign’s Election Day “war room.”

“So much data was coming in, the system thought it was under attack,” a campaign official said.

After going dark for an hour-and-a-half, ORCA re-booted and the campaign says it did deliver information to the legions of war room volunteers, headed by Romney campaign political director Rich Beeson. By the end of the night, according to the Romney campaign:

–91 percent of all counties that they decided to track reported data into the system

–14.3 million voters were identified and counted as having voting

–5,397 incidents of ballot box issues (none of them major) were identified that allowed the campaign’s legal team to respond in real time

“You can’t have a system that’s not working and still get those numbers,” Moffatt said. Still he said he understood the frustrations of those who had problems using it who expected a presidential campaign to “fire on all cylinders all the time.”

The system had been tested before Election Day — but not extensively. And the campaign did not know how it would interact with the TD Garden’s data infrastructure until Tuesday morning.

However, Moffatt added that had ORCA functioned flawlessly, it still would not have turned Mitt Romney’s loss into a win: “None of us feel this was election determinative,” Moffatt said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Nov 082012
 

Win McNamee/Getty Images(CHICAGO) — The morning after he won re-election, an emotional President Barack Obama credited his youthful staff of several hundred with running a campaign that will “go on in the annals of history.”

“What you guys have accomplished will go on in the annals of history and they will read about it and they’ll marvel about it,” Obama told his team Wednesday morning inside the Chicago campaign headquarters, tears streaming down his face.

“The most important thing you need to know is that your journey’s just beginning. You’re just starting. And whatever good we do over the next four years will pale in comparison to whatever you guys end up accomplishing in the years and years to come,” he said.

The moment, captured by the Obama campaign’s cameras and posted online, offers a rare glimpse at the president unplugged and emotional. During the first four years of his presidency, Obama has never been seen publicly crying.

He first came to Chicago, he told the campaign staff, “knowing that somehow I wanted to make sure that my life attached itself to helping kids get a great education or helping people living in poverty to get decent jobs and be able to work and have dignity. And to make sure that people didn’t have to go to the emergency room to get health care.”

“The work that I did in those communities changed me much more than I changed those communities because it taught me the hopes and aspirations and the grit and resilience of ordinary people,” he said, as senior strategist David Axelrod and campaign manager Jim Messina looked on. “And it taught me the fact that under the surface differences, we all have common hopes and we all have common dreams. And it taught me something about how I handle disappointment and what it meant to work hard on a common endeavor, and I grew up.”

“So when I come here and I look at all of you, what comes to mind is, it’s not that you guys remind me of myself, it’s the fact that you are so much better than I was in so many ways. You’re smarter, you’re so better organized, you’re more effective,” he said.

Obama said he expected many of those who helped to re-elect him will assume new roles in progressive politics, calling that prospect a “source of my strength and inspiration.”

Senior campaign officials said Thursday that the Obama campaign infrastructure — the field offices and network of hundreds of thousands of volunteers — would undergo a period of transition in the coming weeks to determine how to remain sustainable and influential.

“We have remarkable staff, and the campaign that Jim [Messina] put together, you know, is the best in history,” said senior Obama adviser David Plouffe. “But the reason those people got involved was because they believed in Barack Obama. It was the relationship between them and our candidate.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Nov 082012
 

Win McNamee/Getty Images(CHICAGO) — The morning after he won re-election, an emotional President Barack Obama credited his youthful staff of several hundred with running a campaign that will “go on in the annals of history.”

“What you guys have accomplished will go on in the annals of history and they will read about it and they’ll marvel about it,” Obama told his team Wednesday morning inside the Chicago campaign headquarters, tears streaming down his face.

“The most important thing you need to know is that your journey’s just beginning. You’re just starting. And whatever good we do over the next four years will pale in comparison to whatever you guys end up accomplishing in the years and years to come,” he said.

The moment, captured by the Obama campaign’s cameras and posted online, offers a rare glimpse at the president unplugged and emotional. During the first four years of his presidency, Obama has never been seen publicly crying.

He first came to Chicago, he told the campaign staff, “knowing that somehow I wanted to make sure that my life attached itself to helping kids get a great education or helping people living in poverty to get decent jobs and be able to work and have dignity. And to make sure that people didn’t have to go to the emergency room to get health care.”

“The work that I did in those communities changed me much more than I changed those communities because it taught me the hopes and aspirations and the grit and resilience of ordinary people,” he said, as senior strategist David Axelrod and campaign manager Jim Messina looked on. “And it taught me the fact that under the surface differences, we all have common hopes and we all have common dreams. And it taught me something about how I handle disappointment and what it meant to work hard on a common endeavor, and I grew up.”

“So when I come here and I look at all of you, what comes to mind is, it’s not that you guys remind me of myself, it’s the fact that you are so much better than I was in so many ways. You’re smarter, you’re so better organized, you’re more effective,” he said.

Obama said he expected many of those who helped to re-elect him will assume new roles in progressive politics, calling that prospect a “source of my strength and inspiration.”

Senior campaign officials said Thursday that the Obama campaign infrastructure — the field offices and network of hundreds of thousands of volunteers — would undergo a period of transition in the coming weeks to determine how to remain sustainable and influential.

“We have remarkable staff, and the campaign that Jim [Messina] put together, you know, is the best in history,” said senior Obama adviser David Plouffe. “But the reason those people got involved was because they believed in Barack Obama. It was the relationship between them and our candidate.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio