Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hey Baby, Why Don’t You Come Sit on Grandpa’s Lap?

I don’t think anyone can avoid noting the fact that John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate kept him well within his comfort zone of preferring to associate with younger “beauty queen” type women.

It was as if he was told by his handlers after Barack Obama chose Joe Biden that he "had to take a woman" in order to poach some disgruntled Hillary supporters, and he thought to himself:
“I can take someone with a notable history of public service accomplishments, like Kay Bailey Hutchison or Margaret Spellings, or I can take someone with an understanding of how to succeed in a complex economy, like Carly Fiorina or Meg Whitman, or (heh, heh heh!) I can get me some eye candy!”
Meanwhile, the supposed “game changing” pick leaves the game exactly where it was following Barack Obama’s brilliant convention speech in which he forcefully made the remaining race about judgment and temperament!

[Update 1] If you think the image I’m invoking is a bit too harsh, let me just add, without further comment, this quote from top McCain aide and lobbyist, Charlie Black:
“She’s going to learn national security at the foot of the master for the next four years, and most doctors think that he’ll be around at least that long”
[Update 2] OK, just one more comment! Does this mean that Monica Lewinsky is qualified to be Commander in Chief?

Friday, August 29, 2008

It’s Sarah Palin (Yawn!) And How About That Obama Speech?

Really, after last night’s speech, there wasn’t anything McCain could do to preempt the buzz that will follow what was quite possibly the best organized, best written, and best delivered political speech in American history!

I guess the Republicans won’t be spending next week’s RNC trying to tear down Obama over a lack of experience! In fact, Palin’s lack of experience on both foreign and domestic issues immediately pulls McCain’s age front and center, even for Republicans!

They will probably still try to hit Obama for being "too popular," but only because he drew more people to watch his convention speech than the combined total who voted in both party primaries in the State where his new running mate is Governor. By a factor of 4!

Among the few discernable advantages of selecting Palin (aside from the fact that all the other choices were deeply flawed and Palin is merely deeply unknown) is that in the VP debate, Joe Biden will have to be careful not to look like he’s beating up a woman. The choice also keeps alive the charade that disgruntled Hillary supporters might provide McCain with a margin of victory!

But perhaps the best reason for selecting the former beauty queen as his running mate, is that if McCain decides it’s a show stopping political disadvantage to own seven houses, he can always use his pretty new VP choice to make his rich, older, “make-up caked trollop” wife jealous enough to leave him!

Or maybe, after Obama’s speech, McCain realized that since he’s been cut off from Vicki Iseman, the only thing he’s likely to get out of this presidential run is one last chance to spend a few months campaigning with a pretty young woman, instead of Mitt Romney!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Few Quick Thoughts On Obama's Speech

First of all, it was brilliant, making me alternately cry, cheer and yell "Take that, McCain" while raising my middle finger.

It seems Obama decided to make sure earlier convention speakers kept a relatively positive tone, even if it meant hearing calls to get tougher for three days, so that he could come out and show that he doesn't need anyone else to be his "attack dog." And yet, he still did it with class and dignified respect (unlike me and my middle finger!)

I can already see the only possible Republican response starting to form among the talking heads: "The speech was so perfect, it could only be fiction written by Aaron Sorkin!"

McCain's congratulatory ad that was immediately released after the speech is the most hollow sounding compliment I've ever heard.

Michelle Bernard, who I'm watching analyze the speech right now on MSNBC, has the best legs of anyone I've seen in recent memory, other than Ms Seenos, of course!

Please Senator McCain, Make Mitt Your Sidekick!

(I guess, according to Bob Casey, that would make him a “sidesidekick” to George W. Bush!)

Boy would I love to see Mitt Romney be the one debating Joe Biden on October 2nd. I’ve written repeatedly about what a bumbling fool Romney is, but it seems he just found a way to surpass his previous high water mark for political ineptitude:
Speaking to reporters at a lunch sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, Romney said that while McCain deserved his houses because of the "hard work" of himself and his family, "Barack Obama got a special deal from a convicted felon."
Following Obama’s choice of Biden as his running mate, McCain is in the position of desperately needing a partner who can help him on the economy, which he has admitted he knows nothing about. Romney was supposed to be that guy (if only because his personal wealth is greater than the economies of many small countries!)

But shoring up the economic front is not going to be easy for McCain. So far, his primary options appear to be: a) selecting Meg Whitman, and running on the dream of fending off another Great Depression by having everyone get rich selling their used shit on Ebay; or b) selecting Romney, who apparently believes that adultery for the purpose of trading in a disfigured wife for a rich one is honorable and deserving work!

Even McCain says the reason he can’t count the houses is because they belong to his wife. You think Joe Biden would be able to pick up on that interesting bit of irony if it came up in a debate?
Asked whether he was ready to debate Joe Biden, Romney said it might be a challenge, calling the Democratic vice presidential nominee "an impenetrable thicket of words."
How could Biden be soooooo unreasonable as to debate using words? I guess in Mittworld, debates must be conducted with an impenetrable wad of money! Memo to Mitt: One man’s “impenetrable thicket of words” just might be another man’s inspirational wisdom!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Careful What You Pray For!

When Stuart Shepard of Focus On the Family made his "funny" little video asking people to pray for rain on Obama's acceptance speech in Denver on Thursday - I don't think he fully realized the power of prayer. Those who took his advice obviously weren't precise with what they asked for.

Now there's a potential Category 3 Hurricane heading towards the gulf (track it here) that may just hit New Orleans the first day of the Republican Convention. This would obviously bring into focus - one of the Bush Administrations' worst episodes and their complete disregard for the people of that region.

Oh and where was McCain?

Heck-of-a job - Stuart!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Stick That in Your PUMA and Smoke it!

So this is what it looks like when Hillary gets Mark Penn’s fat, grubby paws off of her message and speaks from her heart and mind!

After Mark Warner’s ponderous keynote speech, I made an offhand comment to Ms Seenos that there’s nobody else who can give a speech like Barack . . . except Michelle!

And then Hillary came out and proved me wrong!

Brian Schweitzer was a great lead in, because his infectious enthusiasm got the crowd loose and ready to rock.

And for most of the speech, Hillary kept it going, but with an exceptional level of substance and sophistication and purpose that should leave no doubt that any future media reports of discord among her supporters is merely Republican hype, or psychotic ideation worthy of a visit from the Secret Service.

Oh, and will someone in the media please, please, please do your job and go interview Deborah Bartoshevich to see if she watched Hillary’s speech, and make her explain whether she's still going to defy Hillary’s wishes by supporting John McCain?

Nah, screw the media! How great would it be if the Democrats could convince her to make an ad saying that Hillary's speech convinced her to change her mind and support Obama?

Live Blogging HIllary Speech Thread

Direct from my Left-Over couch.

Warner speech was awful. I'm so glad the networks weren't showing it.

Schweitzer was great. He should have been the keynote - although his time slot was better anyway.

Hillary up next.

Wow is that suit orange!!!

Time to count the bill cut-aways.

Bill mouthing "I love you...I love you. That should be cool but was just plain weird!

She seems to be hitting the points that need to be hit - but still seems not to be connected to the words she is speaking. But she has always seemed that way to me - just emotionally disconnected.

Michelle looks a little scared about what might come out of Hillary's mouth next.

OK time to hit McCain already!

Love the line about McCain and Bush meeting in the Twin Cities!

Not so sure all of the references to freeing slaves is helpful here. Bet the right is going to seize on that.

KO calls it a grand slam of a speech! Mathews calls it uplifting and a compact with her voters!

Good night!

No Way - No How - No McCain!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Could a Small Number of Supporters Make Hillary Look Like a Political Arsonist?

It’s no big surprise that both the traditional media and the GOP are obsessed with the idea that a significant number of disgruntled Hillary supporters might end up voting for John McCain over Barack Obama.

While I don’t share their apparent “optimism” over the possibility that this will actually occur, I suppose it’s notable at least because the McCain campaign was able to find one who was willing to put herself in a McCain ad claiming to support him.

Of course, I’m counting on the vast majority of Hillary backers to realize that voting for McCain won’t do anything to help Hillary, or the issues she has championed. In fact, if they think Ralph Nader was blasted into political oblivion after his supporters’ provided the margin for Bush to beat Gore in 2000, just wait and see what happens to Hillary if her supporters provide the winning margin for McCain!

Hillary took a calculated gamble that she could try to win the Democratic nomination by demonizing Obama, and then walk it back if necessary by throwing her support to him. If she is now unable to control the flames she stoked in her supporters, she is going to be convicted, in the court of public opinion, of burning down the Democratic Party!

[Update] As I was writing this post, I had a bit of a chill run down my spine as it hit me that McCain’s ad could be a very strong hint that the Rovian wing of the GOP are going to try to steal this election and blame it on Hillary supporters voting for McCain, while counting on the traditional media to cement their version of the story!

Read the last line again slowly.

If they could pull it off, the GOP would get the double win of keeping the White House and destroying the political future of the Clintons! They don’t even need Clinton supporters to vote for McCain. They just need the media to create the appearance that it’s happening and keeping the race close, while they rig the vote in order to win another nailbiter.

I certainly hope I’m wrong, but if I was a Clinton supporter, I’d be making absolutely certain that I’m not going to be used in this way . . . by letting the traditional media hear loud and clear that supporting Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee is, at this point, the same as supporting Hillary Clinton!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Biden Bonus!

Sure, Joe Biden makes the ticket stronger on foreign policy, but perhaps the biggest advantage of Obama’s choice of running mate is that Biden reinforces the ability to make this election about the economy. Biden is one of the most senior members of the Senate, and yet his yet worth is closer than any other Senator to that of ordinary Americans.

This gives Obama-Biden the ability to establish as one of their primary campaign themes the goal of ending The Politics of Personal Enrichment!TM Biden, as the poster child for selfless public service, makes John McCain look even more craven and opportunistic in his own Senatorial career.

McCain-SomeOtherRichWhiteGuy will be such a sharp contrast to Obama-Biden, and so clearly the heir apparent to the Bush brand of lobbyist driven cronyism, that McCain will have no choice but to absorb some of the voters’ current disgust with the direction of the country under Bush.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I Guess this Means Mitt’s off the Short List

The walking, talking disaster that is John McCain stepped in its largest crap pile of the campaign, as he followed his admission to the belief that one has to make $5 million a year to be considered “rich,” with an even more out-of-touch admission that he can’t remember how many homes he owns!

As Barack Obama, his surrogates, and the entire liberal blogosphere jump on the opportunity to remind voters of how little McCain understands about ordinary people actually live, perhaps the biggest loser of all is Mitt Romney, whose reputation for business acumen (as measured by his net worth) has kept him on the GOP short list.

I’m a little disappointed, however, because aside from Joe Lieberman, who makes McCain’s speaking style seem dynamic and inspiring, Romney has been my preferred choice. The man a gaffe machine, who is completely oblivious to the fact that he’s not nearly as charming as he thinks he is (think Sam Malone without funny scriptwriters!)

Rather than explain why Romney can’t be the guy, I’ll just let a couple of graphs tell the story. Here’s McCain’s perception of “rich” on a spectrum that includes annual income quintiles, and other potential definitions of "rich" (courtesy of Ezra Klein):

(Click to enlarge)

And here’s a reprise of a chart showing Romney’s net worth relative to that of McCain and the other presidential candidates:

(Click to enlarge)

Clearly, if McCain is going to put the brakes on his growing out-of-touch, elitism problem, Romney won’t be the guy to help him do it. On the other hand, McCain may find himself in the position where he has absolutely no choice but to go with it:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Three Card VP Monty?

Last Saturday as the Wesley Clark VP talk was beginning to fill the tubes - Steve Clemons wrote this post with the headline - "Obama to General Wesley Clark: Your Services Not Needed" which just as quickly threw water on the Internet fire. It seemed odd to me at the time. It's just not Obama's m.o. to publicly disrespect anyone - let alone someone of Clark's stature.

Now Clemons has just posted a new piece calling on Obama to reconsider and invite Clark to participate at the convention and in his potential administration.

And once again his post seems fishy to me. Might Clemons be being used here - a la Drudge? Might he be a participant in the Obama Campaign's game of three card VP monty? First he threw us off the scent quoting inside Clark sources. Now he is calling on Obama to do the right thing by reconsidering Clark's role. This new post may reignite the smoldering Clark VP fire.

I don't know what's going on here but its interesting. I guess we'll all know soon!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Word for Today is “McCainery!”

As I was posting my comments a few days ago on Pastor Rick Warren’s forum with Obama and McCain, I instinctively made up a word, “McCainery,” which I think needs to be developed further. As a part of due diligence, I’ll admit up front that I’m not the first to use this term, as I’ve discovered you can find two alternative definitions at this website.

However, I think my definition has the potential to stick because of its direct parallel to the word most similar in sound and usage.

Here’s a definition I found at Your
Chicanery: the use of clever but tricky talk or action to deceive, evade, etc., as in legal dealings.
And here’s my definition:
McCainery: the use of blatantly simple-minded platitudes to fool the extremely gullible, as in contemporary GOP politics.
When John McCain starts talking about “chasing Osama Bin Laden to the gates of Hell” . . . McCainery!

When he starts prattling on about how “we’re winning in Iraq” . . . McCainery!

When he keeps calling to fix the recession with an “economic surge” . . . Classic McCainery!

And here’s how it could stick, besides me using it as often as I can on our little-read blog (or, of course, getting Stephen Colbert to push it as the new “Truthiness!”)

All it would take would be for Barack Obama to wait until the right moment in his first debate - at the point when McCain has gotten frustrated and started to sound petulant and dismissive toward Obama, allowing it to be seen a “defensive” maneuver. At that point, he could jokingly suggest that his opponent is engaging in more “McCainery.”

Such a response from Obama would certainly become the headline of every newspaper in the country. TV pundits would be scrambling to offer their opinions on what Obama meant by it. Endless possible examples would be discussed and debated 24/7. Obama surrogates and, of course, the progressive netroots, could fill in the details to seal the definition in the public consciousness.

With Obama’s charm and delivery, it could even become the new “There you go again!

Once the term is out there, stuck in peoples’ heads, they won’t be able to help but see it, as McCain repeatedly has to cover up his lack of ideas or specific policy plans with more and more McCainery!

And if they see it, and they still decided to vote for John McCain? Well, then I guess they’re just determined to keep on hunting with Cheney!

Monday, August 18, 2008

All the Networks Should Take the Rick Davis Challenge!

Apparently Rick Davis, Campaign Manager for John McCain, is hot after NBC News President Steve Capus over Andrea Mitchell’s comments pointing out that McCain wasn’t really in a “Cone of Silence” as Pastor Rick Warren interviewed Barack Obama, leading some to wonder if McCain cheated by knowing the questions in advance.

Here are Mitchell’s comments:
The Obama people must feel that he didn't do quite as well as they might have wanted to in that context, because that — what they're putting out privately is that McCain may not have been in the cone of silence and may have had some ability to overhear what the questions were to Obama.... He seemed so well-prepared.
And here's what I consider to be the money quote from Davis’ angry letter to Capus (who incidentally is the same guy who suspended David Shuster after a similar letter from Hillary Clinton)
Make no mistake: This is a serious charge. Andrea Mitchell is repeating, uncritically, a completely unsubstantiated Obama campaign claim that John McCain somehow cheated in last night's forum at Saddleback Church. Instead of trying to substantiate this blatant falsehood in any way, Andrea Mitchell felt that she needed to repeat it on air to millions of "Meet the Press" viewers with no indication that . . . there's not one shred of evidence that it's true (my emphasis)
I think the perfect response to Davis’ whining would be for all the networks to take a pledge that they will not repeat either campaign’s claims - without critically evaluating the evidence to determine if the claims can be substantiated, or whether they are blatant falsehoods with not one shred of evidence.

And then, they should report what they find!

By the way, Davis claims McCain was “in his motorcade on the way to the church” while Obama was being interviewed by Warren, but that he didn’t cheat. If he was traveling in his campaign bus, and the networks were to critically evaluate the evidence, this is what they would find:

I’d guess that TV on the bus gets CNN, wouldn’t you?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Few Thoughts on the Civil Forum

Pastor Rick Warren (C), introduces US presidential candidates as Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) waves to the audience and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) indicates the size of the fish story he's planning to tell. California, August 16, 2008.

In general, if this format demonstrated one thing very clearly, it’s that Barack Obama can listen to tough questions and answer in a thoughtful and authentic way, even when he knows he’s got to give a partly unwelcome answer; while John McCain can’t open his mouth without:

a) Spouting simplistic platitudes that he’s memorized. ("I'll follow Bin Laden to the gates of hell!")

b) Filibustering with stories of being a POW ("Being a Christian to me means that once in the prison camp someone traced a cross in the dirt, and I knew we were two Christians.")


c) Accidentally giving Obama perfect campaign ad material ("I will be a pro-life President!)

Here are a few more of my favorite moments of classic McCainery:

• Admitting that the failure of his first marriage was his greatest moral failure. (Of course, a follow-up question on what was immoral about it would have been nice!)

• Saying he’s proud of President Bush for nominating Alito and Roberts, and then looking down awkwardly as if he suddenly realized he’d been repeatedly warned not to praise Bush.

• Responding to a request for an example of a dramatic change in his position with a stump-speech rally cry to “drill here, drill now,” apparently right in the Saddleback Church!

• Pandering to the Flat Earth Society by referring to the “four corners of the world.”

• And, of course, admitting that he thinks the line separating the middle class from the wealthy is an annual income of $5 million per year.

Meanwhile, Al Giordano thinks the candidates’ answers during the Forum will be less lasting than the idea that bringing them together in a respectful exchange will help offset GOP attempts to dehumanize Obama and give credence to his message of post-partisanship for independent minded voters.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Picture of the Day

Crisis in the world - must be time for a vacation! I think even Barney is disgusted.

President Bush, carrying his dog Barney, salutes as he arrives at TSTC airfield in Waco, Texas, Friday Aug. 15, 2008, to begin his summer vacation at his ranch near Crawford Texas.(AP Photo/Rod Aydelotte)

Young Elvis or Fat Elvis?

A couple of days ago, I suggested that John McCain was using the Georgia Russia conflict to try to invoke a resumption of the Cold War, in the hope that this would make people yearn for the return of an old president (i.e.: Ronald Reagan).

While discussing his decision, unprecedented for a presidential candidate, to send Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman as his emissaries to a war zone, McCain seemed to confirm my guess, while showing that he doesn’t do “subtle.”
Asked about his tough rhetoric on the ongoing conflict in Georgia, McCain began: "If I may be so bold, there was another president . . ."

He caught himself and started again: "At one time, there was a president named Ronald Reagan who spoke very strongly about America's advocacy for democracy and freedom."
So McCain obviously wants us to think he’s the new Reagan, prepared to fight the new Cold War.

Of course, I’m also guessing that he wants to be seen as Charming Reagan; but with his frequent gaffes, the American people are more likely to worry that his election would be the equivalent of starting a presidential term with Senile Reagan!

Baracky II

Thursday, August 14, 2008

No Class!

You think he might want to let his injured wife into the car first.

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., center, arrives in Gypsum, Colo. with his wife Cindy, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008.(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Where’s Condi?

(click to enlarge)

After doing nothing noteworthy as Secretary of State, and doing less than nothing as National Security Advisor, I was going to suggest that the current situation in Georgia was a perfect time for Condoleezza Rice to step up and prove that she’s worth more than the gum stuck to the bottom of her Ferragamos? After all, she did get her PhD and build her entire academic career as an “expert” in the region then controlled by the Soviet Union!

It seemed odd that she would stay on vacation during a conflict in the one place she should be expected to understand better than she seems to understand, say, the Middle East!

But now it turns out that she met with President Saakashvili of Georgia, and was the person whose advice could have left a clear impression that invading South Ossetia and antagonizing Russia would not be supported by the United States! But she didn’t, which leads me to believe that 1) she knows more about former Soviet relations than I gave her credit for, and 2) the world would have been better off if she’d gotten a double major in Soviet Studies and Ethics!

If I had to guess, I’d say the Bush Administration decided to manipulate the Republic of Georgia in order to get them to instigate a conflict in which they knew Russia would engage. This, in turn, could be followed by bellicose posturing and characterizing by John McCain as a resumption of the Cold War, presumably in the hope that the American people would decide that the return of an old conflict requires the return to an old president!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

McCain's VP Pick?

Its got a ring to it! What do you think?

Or how about this one?

A Brilliant Chess Move by the Obama Campaign?

Yesterday’s announcement that the theme for the VP speech during the Democratic National Convention, “Securing America’s Future,” is also the name of Wesley Clark’s PAC led to a flurry of speculation that Clark will be Obama’s choice as a running mate.

I don’t know whether this is true or not, but I will say that if Obama selects Clark, I’ll be convinced that Clark’s supposed blunder in stating that he didn’t think “riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president” was one of the most brilliant chess moves ever!

Think about it:

Immediately after Obama clinched the nomination, Clark was probably the most obvious pick as the perfect running mate against John McCain, because he would undercut McCain’s ability to score political points with claims like “I know how to win wars!” In addition, he has name recognition, a devoted support base, and he wouldn’t have to vacate a post currently held by the Democrats.

But it’s hard to keep building excitement and momentum when you pick they guy everyone was suggesting from day one. So what do you do to get him off the short list?

Have him state the obvious about McCain, and then stand by his statement while the corporate media goes apoplectic about how he “has just taken himself off of the short list!” In other words, play the media and their eagerness to seize any reason to keep their heads firmly planted in John McCain’s ass!

Suddenly, the obvious, predictable, pick is a surprisingly stunning reach from outside the conventional wisdom short list!

The earlier comments by Clark are unlikely to hurt him with any of Obama’s targeted voter base. Progressives, activists, and the Netroots probably respect Clark even more for his “straight talk” about McCain’s qualifications. And he still has the military credentials to appeal to Independents and moderate Republicans who are primarily concerned about national security. In fact, it’s possible that the only vote Obama would lose directly from Clark’s comments might be that of Bob Scheiffer!

When Clark made his original “blunder,” I suspected that it was actually a purposeful remark, in order to get the idea out that McCain’s vaunted military experience was no more adequate preparation for Commander in Chief, than Bush’s business experience was at making him “The First CEO President!”

We’ll never know for sure, but if Obama selects Wesley Clark, I’ll consider it reasonable proof that the Obama team played the corporate media like the suckers they are!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Picture of the Day

Hey George - you enjoying the O-lym-pics?
Hey George - what have you accomplished as President?

U.S. President George Bush (C), first lady Laura Bush (L) and their daughter Barbara (R) gesture as they watch the swimming events at the National Aquatics Center during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, August 11, 2008. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach (CHINA)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

What the Hell is an “Economic Surge?”

John McCain thinks he’s got a winner in the “surge” concept, so he’s going to use it over and over. His newest is a call to fix the growing recession with an “Economic Surge!”

Huh? Please, please, please, will someone ask him to define what the hell he’s talking about? Does he mean a sudden, dramatic, increase in the number of economists? Or business owners? Or is he calling for an immediate wave of consumer binge spending? What?

The fact is that he has no friggin’ clue what he’s talking about? “Economic Surge” makes about as much sense as fixing Social Security with a “Retirement Happiness Surge,” or fixing the climate crisis with a “Global Cooling Surge!”

Next, he’ll be talking about a “Joblessness Time Horizon!”

I’m not sure who the biggest idiots are in this: McCain, the people writing his campaign messaging, or the voters they are targeting with the suggestion that every problem can be fixed simply by throwing a “surge” at it!

Maybe he should just choose this guy as his running mate:

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Back From the Grave!

Do you remember this scene from the 1976 film, “Carrie,” where mellow music plays as a young girl visits Carrie White’s grave as the credits are about to roll, only to have a bloody hand suddenly shoot up from the ground and grab the girl’s arm? I think when it was released in the theaters, that scene alone rivaled excessive alcohol consumption as the leading cause of adult public urination!

So why does that scene pop into my mind when I hear Hillary Clinton’s comments about the benefits of letting her delegates vote for her, rather than for the presumptive candidate she endorsed, at the Democratic National Convention?
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is seeking a way for her delegates to be heard at the Democratic National Convention, telling supporters such a step would help unify a party that split between her and Sen. Barack Obama during their hard-fought nominating contest.

"I happen to believe that we will come out stronger if people feel that their voices were heard and their views respected. I think that is a very big part of how we actually come out unified
"Because I know from just what I'm hearing that there's incredible pent-up desire, and I think that people want to feel like, 'OK, it's a catharsis, we're here, we did it, and then everybody get behind Sen. Obama.' That is what most people believe is the best way to go"

A bit disingenuous, methinks, coming just 3 days after Obama’s latest move regarding Michigan and Florida delegates:
On the heels of his trip to Michigan, Obama sent a letter to the DNC Credentials Committee just yesterday asking them to allow the delegates from Michigan and Florida to be allowed to cast full votes - rather than the half votes ruled during May's DNC meeting - at the Democratic National Convention.

"I believe Party unity calls for the delegates from Florida and Michigan to be able to participate fully alongside the delegates from the other states and territories," wrote Obama.
And even more so, considering that Hillary is now the star of John McCain’s latest lying sack of marketing slime attempting to show that Democrats on the hill like McCain, and have reservations about Obama!

So far, most of the other Dems in the ad have forcefully clarified that they don’t like the 2008 version of McCain! And Hillary? She still thinks her delegates need the “catharsis” of voting for her!

An opposing viewpoint is offered here by Al Giordano, who thinks this is all just manufactured drama to keep media interest during Obama’s vacation, and leading up to the convention. He may be right, but I still like being able to use the “Carrie” reference!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Who's the Biggest Bore? You Can't Make This Sh%# Up!

Republican US presidential candidate Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and his wife Cindy McCain (C) look at "Freight Train" the winning boar of the Big Boar contest during a campaign stop at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa August 8, 2008. REUTERS/Stephen Mally (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008 (USA)

How Should Obama Respond?

As McCain’s Campaign continues to go negative – using outright lies to paint Obama as an elitist, media celebrity – the question continues – how should Obama respond?

Obama has a difficult task to maintain his message of hope and change – while not allowing him self to be kicked around.

Yesterday on Hardball an Obama surrogate made a statement that caught my attention – and sparked an idea. He said, and a paraphrase – Obama is going to run a positive campaign. There is a lot of time – but do not be mistaken – as we get closer to the election if Obama needs to – he will cut off McCain’s head!

So here is what I think Obama should do. Continue with his positive message. Winning this way will allow Obama to actually have the moral authority to govern once elected. Diving into the weeds with McCain would still prove victorious – but make getting things done, once elected, much more difficult.

But - Obama can respond in a strong way and here is how. Give the go ahead to his ad team to produce all the negative McCain ads that they can make. Tell them to have fun and be creative. Hit McCain low and hard!

Then dispatch all of his surrogates to the cable shows to say that Obama wants to run a positive campaign about the issues of importance to the American people. But then add that McCain has so much that they can attack and Obama is prepared to do it. They could even say that many spots are already in the can. But, Obama will only run them if he is forced to do so.

His surrogates need to repeat this over and over and over. Until the media begins to ask the questions – what might these ads say? What could they attack McCain on? What are McCain’s weaknesses? Who is the real McCain? The cable shows would have a field day with this. They love this kind of stuff.

This strategy is a total win win for Obama. He doesn’t even have to run the ads but gets the media focused on McCain while at the same time making Obama look tough - but fair. Kind of – “Obama is a nice guy…………………… but you don’t want to piss him off”!

I think this could work and best of all its totally honest!

What do you think?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

From a “Third Bush Term “to “John McCheney!”

When he first started his presidential campaign, John McCain seemed like a dutiful extension of Bush’s policies on Iraq, tax cuts, social security, offshore drilling, and most other issues.

However, with his recent turn toward exclusively negative campaigning, McCain has adopted a pattern of having his aides serve up any sort of slime they can think of; and when he’s questioned about it, replying essentially with:
I stand by what I said and I’m proud of my campaign, so go f**k yourself!
Well, the last part comes in the form of a sly smile, but as the campaign progresses, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear him just come right out and say it.

This has me thinking about the original comparisons of McCain to Bush. Really, McCain isn’t just an ignorant puppet who wants to be president so he can pretend he’s “The Decider.” McCain’s been around for a long, long time, and likely has a personal agenda, formed out of past disappointments, grudges and resentments, which he would only be able to bring to fruition if he gets into the White House.

Past comments about “hating gooks,” or wanting to kick Russia out of the G-8 for “not being a democracy,” have led to articles questioning McCain’s psychological makeup, much as other articles have questioned Dick Cheney's mental state. Some have wondered whether McCain is still living out memories of Vietnam or the Cold War.

I think an unspoken agenda is why McCain is so willing to say anything, no matter how dishonest or underhanded, in order to win. He’s been waiting for his chance for decades, having been thwarted many times before, and now he’s finally close enough to taste it. If he wins the presidency, all his secret desires for the country, perhaps even the world, will seem to him like they are “his due!

In that sense, he’s much more like Cheney than he is like Bush, and frankly he’s beginning to act more like Cheney! Although he likes to campaign in “town hall” style meetings that trumpet his “straight talk,” he rarely ever reveals specific details of his intentions, as if he expects people to accept his judgment based on vague platitudes and the promise that “he has the details back at the office” or some such nonsense.

So the next time you hear someone comparing McCain to Mr. 27 Percent Approval Rating, keep in mind that they are probably giving him a bit more credit than he deserves. He really belongs down in the teens, because the arc of his campaign suggests he could turn out to be the second coming of Dick Cheney.

The McCain campaign wants you to view this election as being entirely about whether or not you are comfortable voting for Barack Obama. However, the real question you should be asking yourself is:

Are you comfortable voting for another sneering, dismissive, out-of-touch, leader, whose deep-rooted agenda is based on outdated perceptions of the world, and who doesn’t want to give you any details about it?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Here’s the Ad I’d Love to See During the Olympics!

With Barack Obama having made a $5 million national ad buy for the Beijing Olympics, and John McCain recently upping the ante by purchasing $6 million, here’s what I think could make Obama the Michael Phelps of the political ad wars (Unfortunately, I don’t have the video editing skills to produce this for YouTube, but I think it would be very simple and effective.)

(Booming voiceover)

First, they mocked Al Gore for supporting policies enabling the technological innovation that created the Internet . . .

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Then, they mocked John Kerry for being wounded during his military service . . .

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Now, they are mocking Barack Obama for promoting conservation and fuel efficiency . . .

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The Republicans:

Are They Too Childish to Lead?

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Bonus # 1:: This is hilarious!

Bonus # 2: Here's my Countdown "Quote of the Evening." While commenting on McCain's bizarre suggestion that he volunteered his wife to participate in a raunchy biker beauty pageant during his appearance in Sturgis, SD, Rachel Maddow had to break her train of thought to tell Keith that the background video of bikini clad biker chicks dancing on a balcony was "really distracting!" (Of course, I'm just jealous that she wouldn't have been equally distracted if I had been dancing on the balcony!)

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Could Montana be the Clincher?

Several weeks ago, Left-Over stuck his neck out and predicted that Montana Senator Jon Tester would be Barack Obama’s running mate.

I decided to revisit this prediction, after seeing Friday’s post by Kos in which he highlights the graph from Pollster shown above. It divides the states into “Strong Obama” and “Strong McCain,” with Obama leading 231 to 104. After adding “Leaning Obama,” and “Leaning McCain” states, Obama’s lead increases to 284 to 147. There are 107 electoral votes in states considered “toss ups.”

Based on this breakdown, all Obama has to do is maintain the states where he already has the lead, since he already has more than the 270 votes he needs to win the presidency. In other words, he doesn’t need a huge geographical boost from his VP choice, but only to pad his lead with a few more electoral votes from the toss-up states.

So how does this relate to the so-called “short list” of Obama’s VP candidates? Here’s the same graph with the electoral votes listed, and most of VP short-listers plotted by their home state. I’ve also included Tester and fellow Montanan, Governor Brian Schweitzer (who is a favorite of Nate Silver, aka Poblano, at, whose work probably inspired this analysis).

Clearly, it’s easy to see why Kaine, Bayh, and McCaskill are on the list, with Virginia’s 13, Indiana’s 11, and Missouri’s 11 electoral votes in the toss-up category. It’s also easy to see why Tester and Schweitzer, with Montana’s mere 3 electoral votes are considered extreme longshots. Oh, and clearly there just aren’t any suitable candidates who would help in Florida (as much as I wish Robert Wexler could fill the bill).

At this point, I’m going to offer a premise that I think is reasonably sound, which is that people who live in more populated areas feel connected to others within a much narrower radius than people who live in rural areas. Local politics rule, but for people who live in rural areas, “local” can extend quite far, based more on a similar lifestyle than on a similar locality.

Accepting this premise, I’ve categorized the toss-up states into a couple of additional categories relative to each VP candidate, with the idea of assessing the influence that each potential candidate might have on electoral votes in the toss-up states. The categories are “adjacent,” which is self explanatory, “similar,” which is influenced by the relative population density of the nearby states, and “both,” which covers similar, adjacent states.

Because of the rural nature of large portions of most of the western toss-up states, I consider South Dakota, Colorado, and Nevada to be similar to Montana. Although Virginia and North Carolina are adjacent, I do not consider them similar because of higher population density (as well as demographic differences). None of the other states are considered similar to any of the other toss-up states, as the higher populations suggest they are likely to have their own local issues.

Next, I created a “Toss-Up Influence Index,” by assuming that each potential VP candidate would have a 100% influence on their home state. Spillover influence would also be 100% for any state that is both adjacent and similar, 50% for any state that is similar, and 25% for any state that is adjacent. This is admittedly a crude estimation, but it highlights the point that influence can extend beyond one’s home state, and extend further when states are similar.

The following chart shows the Toss-Up Influence Index for each of the potential VP candidates:

Kaine seems to have the most potential influence, which is consistent with the attention he’s been getting from the Obama campaign and the media in recent days. Of course, there is also the issue of his less than stellar approval ratings in his home state, and the fact that he may have hurt his chances with premature public statements about his vetting process.

After Kaine, the two choices from Montana don’t seem so unlikely, particularly since both Tester and Schweitzer are immensely popular in their state. They appear capable of influencing more toss-up state electoral votes than any of the other potential VP choices, with Bayh and McCaskill close behind, and Sebelius and Biden far behind.

To summarize, when you look at the map of toss-up states, evaluate the VP options, and consider what Obama needs to give him a workable cushion toward getting 270 electoral votes, the chance to lock up Montana and several surrounding states might just be what it takes to clinch the presidency!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Holy Flip Flop Batman! [Updated]

OK - so I was busy at work all day and just sat down with my dessert to catch up on the daily political news. To my surprise - today's big story is that Obama is no longer a secret, evil, Muslim, mole. He is now the second coming of Moses or some sort of Christ-like savior who has come to forgive our sins and then raise our taxes.

Now that's a flip flop!

As it seems that many in the media are finally calling McCain out for his sophomoric tactics - I have to point out that we wouldn't need a "savior" if George Bush hadn't fucked everything up so bad. And, wasn't Bush the
one who claimed God had chosen him to be president? Didn't God tell him to invade Iraq?

Obviously McCain's campaign is desperate - in its last throes, if you will. And many in the MSM seem to have had just about enough. I think its time for Obama to appear at one of McCain's "town halls" and call him out directly and in person on this bullshit!

McCain said he would follow Bin Laden to the gates of hell - maybe this is his plan to get there!

OH MY WORD! Got to go now - I think I see Obama's face in the crust of my apple pie!

[Update by seenos] At the risk of killing the humor in this post, I'd like to direct readers to this related post, which essentially suggests his new ad, "The One," shows that to avoid losing an election, John McCain is willing to make this campaign the central front in the war against radical evangelical terrorism!

I'm also compelled to add that this line of attack against Obama is the direct descendent of attacks started by Hillary Clinton during the primaries, so she bears at least partial responsibility for how despicable John McCain has become.