Saturday, October 18, 2008

Thoughts on the state of the race

Another day and more good news. This news is coming in incrementally, with polls showing small changes almost daily now in a very clear pattern: the good guys are making their move.

This is reflected in the Gallup poll which not only, for the third straight day, showed the race a statistical dead heat according to their longstanding methodology but Obama's lead cut by a full third in their newly designed, "expanded" polling.

I think that McCain hurt himself with his first two debate performances (although I believe he won them based on his grasp of the facts, Obama polling better perhaps, because of his looks) when he played to the stereotypes of being "mean" by not looking at Obama in the first one and by just being lethargic (old) in the second. In the final debate McCain was strong, forceful and landed a good number of blows directly to Obama's chin, my favorite being when he turned to the camera and said something to the effect of "allow me to point out my opponent's 'eloquence.' Notice he didn't say we WOULD drill, only that he would 'look into it.'"

I think McCain let Obama win one important battle in that debate by bringing up Obama's ties to the terrorist William Ayers but not challenging Obama's half-truths and outright lies in defense of that relationship. Missed opportunity but not disastrous for the reason I'll discuss in a moment.

McCain's next several days also worked to his advantage when a bold and vigorous McCain landed hysterical blows against Obama at the Alfred Smith dinner. McCain was not only more fun than Obama, but his material hit Obama hard. Loved the line about Obama running back to Washington to handle the crisis should the economy become good again.

That was followed by the funny, sincere, lovable McCain on Letterman. The audience's response -- applause and affection -- should scare the hell out of Obama since Letterman's crowd is Obama's crowd.

None of these things alone are game-changing. But only two or four or even six points down, with Obama a candidate that rightly scares a lot of people, McCain reemerging as the guy at Saddleback Forum is clearly showing itself in the polls.

And then there was Joe the Plumber and Obama's slip about his socialist intentions. This came at just the right time (and, let's face it, Joe has just the right look) and Obama's thuggish efforts to destroy this hardworking man who did nothing other than offer a simple question to the candidate is only exacerbating the fears Americans have about a pretty candidate who somehow rapidly rose through the most corrupt system in America (Richard Daley's Chicago) to win two uncontested elections (where his opponents were forced off the ballot through Obama's chicanery) who has become filthy rich while cavorting with terrorists, mobsters, hate-mongers like his mentor Jeremiah Wright and the thugs at ACORN.

So long as McCain continues to show himself in the best light the numbers will continue to move incrementally to his side. This, in turn, will see only more and more of the type of attacks that Obama (and his allies in the leftist media) are becoming more and more known for only doubling down on HIS image as a thug to be rightly feared.

Tonight's appearance by Governor Palin, another good American treated to the thuggery of the Obama campaign and those who get sexual thrills from looking at him like Chris Matthews, on Saturday Night Live. If she's any kind of good that will be just one bump in favor of the good guys.

There may not be any game-changers left in this campaign. I'm feeling pretty good about the game we're playing. The Anointed One who, by all accounts should have been thirty-five points ahead by now, is struggling to hold onto a statistically insignificant lead with EVERYTHING now going against him.


Anonymous said...

Democrats eye the finish line
Guy Rundle
October 19, 2008
Page 1 of 6 | Single Page View

Eye on the prize.

IN THE past fortnight, John McCain has repeatedly misconstructed Barack Obama's professional relationship with an education professor who, 40 years ago, set bombs in Washington, DC; has stood by while associates have talked about Barack Hussein Obama; failed to quell crowd calls of "terrorist" and "kill him!"; and used air quotes while talking of "the health of the mother" during a discussion of abortion, adding that "pro-abortionists have stretched that definition so wide".

Yet for all that and more it was hard to watch John McCain squirming and mugging to the camera on Thursday on the David Letterman show, where he received the sort of grilling that he — or any candidate — should be getting from the media.

Having famously skipped on an earlier episode, he had effectively given Letterman carte blanche to perform the demolition job that his left-liberal heart desired. And so the hapless candidate got a full five minutes about Sarah Palin, how she was chosen, how well he knew her, and seven straight questions about whether, "in another 9/11", he would really feel comfortable with her in charge, Letterman ratcheting it up as McCain blustered.

Then Letterman turned it round to dubious personal connections, and asked him about the fund-raisers McCain had attended with Gordon Liddy, the Watergate heavy who had enthusiastically advocated the assassination of American left-wingers.

In the warm setting of a tonight show, it was hard not to look beyond the tight bundle of anger that is John McCain and see an old man, powers failing, life's ambition slipping away, becoming an easy figure of fun.

Should, as seems likely, McCain lose to Obama on November 4, many Democrats will turn a more friendly face to him, remembering a man somewhat more capable of a reasoned approach and a degree of self-deprecation than the angry, fizzing smearer that he has turned himself into these past weeks.

Whether Republicans will be as charitable remains to be seen. With just over two weeks to go, Obama leads by an average of 7% across all polls, has turned every marginal Democratic state into a solid one and a dozen Republican states into battlegrounds.

Anonymous said...

Oct 17, 2008
Bill Ayers, Meet G. Gordon Liddy
Posted by: Cory Heidelberger - 10/17/2008 8:16 AM (politics)

Hat tip to, of all people, David Letterman....

Voting issue: a fact, policy, or moral position (or a set of several such things) that distinguish one candidate or position from another and thus can justify, singly or in concert with other issues, voting for one candidate or position over the other.

A number of my commenters have been treating Senator Barack Obama's association with William Ayers as a voting issue, a reason to vote against Obama and for Senator John McCain. Last night, that voting issue was negated by David Letterman, who reminded America of Senator McCain's own relationship with convicted felon G. Gordon Liddy:

"Did you not have a relationship with Gordon Liddy?" Letterman asked about Watergate burglar G. Gordon Liddy.

McCain said he knew him. Then, after a commercial break, McCain said, "I know Gordon Liddy. He paid his debt, he went to prison ... I'm not in any way embarrassed to know Gordon Liddy."

"You understand the same case could be made of your relationship with him as is being made with William Ayers?" Letterman said.

McCain said he has been completely open about his relationship with Liddy [David Bauder, "McCain Tries to Make Peace with Letterman," AP via Yahoo News, 2008.10.16].

McCain's association with Liddy isn't news. The Chicago Tribune covered it back in May, when the Clinton campaign was roadtesting the McCain campaign's tactics. Let's compare:

Bill Ayers participated in bombing a statue, the New York Police headquarters, the U.S. Capitol, and the Pentagon. G. Gordon Liddy participated in a White house plot to subvert the Constitution.
Ayers has never been convicted or served prison time. Liddy was convicted of conspiracy, burglary, and illegal wire-tapping, was senteced to 20 years, and served 5.5 until President Carter commuted his sentence.
Ayers is now a professor of education. Liddy is a conservative talk radio host.

Ayers has said "we didn't do enough" to stop the Vietnam War, a statement interpreted by some to mean he thinks he should have set off more bombs in the early 1970s. In 1994, after the feds stormed the branch Davidian compound in Waco, Liddy said on his radio program, [sorry, rough language coming] "Now if the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms comes to disarm you and they are bearing arms, resist them with arms. Go for a head shot; they're going to be wearing bulletproof vests. ... Kill the sons of bitches." (And as for Liddy on Hitler....)

Ayers and his wife hosted a campaign event at his house for Obama in 1995. Liddy hosted a campaign event for McCain in 1998.
Ayers donated $200 to Obama in 2001. Liddy has given at least $5,000 to McCain over the years, including $1,000 this year.
Senator Obama has called Ayers' terrorist acts "despicable" and condemned them. Senator McCain appeared on Liddy's radio show last November and said, "I'm proud of you, I'm proud of your family.... It's always a pleasure for me to come on your program, Gordon, and congratulations on your continued success and adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great."
I'm not going to bother with quantifying the sins of Ayers and Liddy. And please note, I offer no defense of Ayers here. Go ahead, assume the worst of both men, and you can say, as does Chapman, that each man "back in the 1970s, extolled violence and committed crimes in the name of a radical ideology -- and... has never shown remorse or admitted error."

It's simple: if you think Ayers is a voting issue, then you must think Liddy is a voting issue. Have fun voting for Barr or Nader.

Anonymous said...

John McCain: Better Off Losing

It's been painted as a reconciliation, but McCain's appearance on Letterman last night was a sorry spectacle. Letterman spent half the interview talking to McCain like he talks to Paris Hilton—an object of obvious scorn—and half of it trying quite hard to get McCain to admit that the Ayers line is useless bullshit and that Sarah Palin is an embarrassment. McCain squirmed. He hasn't done The Daily Show in a while, either, presumably for fear of a similar line of questioning. Which is sad! Because McCain loved doing those shows! He loved being the funny, charming, lovable, funny old man of the Senate! Watching him at the Al Smith dinner, you see the obvious joy he took in just getting laughs in a friendly room again. Which is exactly why McCan needs to lose this race.

We're not going to argue about the security of this country, about McCain's sense of "honor," about the toxic atmosphere of the campaign, no—we're just talking about McCain's simple enjoyment of his own privileged life.

McCain's humor has always been caustic, mean, sarcastic, and cruel—"thanks for the question, you little jerk" is hardly an example of wit, funny though it is—and it is sometimes a window into a dark, deep embitterment. It doesn't work politically, in the way the Reagan's genial old wisecracks worked. A president needs, to a certain extent, to be somewhat humorless. McCain's sense of humor is dark enough to make that need doubly true in his case.

And it's clear McCain hates the grab-and-grin aspect of the race. He's never cared for the idiot rabble of "the base," and they've never cared for him. He's energized by the Sunday Morning Shows, not by a rally crying for blood. He took the mic away from that crazy lady because she was embarrassing him. Those aren't his people. He's not enjoying himself.

And McCain palling around with Jon Stewart and Dave Letterman was certainly more fun to watch before this miserable race. It's easy to say that all McCain wants in this world is to be president, but honestly it sometimes seems like all he wants is to already have been president. Who wouldn't want to be Bill Clinton before he embarrassed himself during this campaign? Or Bush Senior after everyone forgot his miserable single term in office? Should McCain lose, he can hopefully look forward to a happy post-election media good will tour, and all his sins will be again forgotten. Maybe he can crack wise on Palin and Ayers. We'll happily let him go back to the way things were, with only a minimum of chastising those who take him back—as long as he promises never to run for president again.

Anonymous said...

Gallup: Obama Swept All 3 Debates

By Tommy Christopher

Oct 18th 2008 1:38PM

After every debate comes the inevitable spin from both sides, plus a mainstream media invested in keeping things close. Wednesday's final presidential debate was no exception, with some astute observers declaring Barack Obama the clear winner, and others pushing a romp for McCain.

The real test of a debate winner, however, is in the eye of the beholder, and a new Gallup poll shows that Obama spent the third debate making sure that John McCain's timekeeping device was immaculate.

How badly did Obama clean McCain's clock? With a 26 point margin of victory, I'd say that thing was sterilized.

This completes a sweep for Obama, who won the other two debates by 12 and 33 points, respectively, according to Gallup.

Anonymous said...

Florida GOP: Red With Dismay
By Arian Campo-Flores | NEWSWEEK
Published Oct 18, 2008
From the magazine issue dated Oct 27, 2008

Tom Slade, a former Florida GOP chair, was getting about five calls a day last week from fellow Republicans saying the same thing: "Do something." The source of their alarm was the seemingly perilous condition of Sen. John McCain's campaign in the state. After leading for months in Florida, recent polls show him trailing Sen. Barack Obama by about five points. Much of the reversal, no doubt, stems from the economic crisis. But part of the blame lies with the McCain team itself, according to numerous Florida Republicans. Slade says he's hearing complaints that the campaign isn't coordinating volunteers well and its state director, Arlene DiBenigno, is ineffective. Others say its voter-turnout operation is lagging. (A Florida spokesman for McCain declined to respond to these assertions.) "The campaign is kind of on the ropes," says one GOP strategist who requested anonymity to give a candid assessment. McCain "could lose Florida now, and if he does, it's game over."

Tension has reportedly been mounting between the campaign and state Republicans. Several weeks ago, Florida GOP chair Jim Greer convened a private meeting with both camps to discuss the darkening outlook. News of the gathering, which apparently grew tense, leaked to media. Greer denies any discord, telling NEWSWEEK the point was to "make sure that the ship was on its right course." But a McCain loyalist who was present and also requested anonymity says Greer was just looking out for himself— either by appearing to save the day or "forewarning of a crisis so he couldn't be blamed."

Then there's Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, whose enthusiasm for McCain, some say, has waned since he was passed over as a veep pick. He recently told reporters that "his foremost responsibility" is governing his state and that he was eager to help the Arizona senator "when I have time." Then about a week ago, he went to Disney World instead of a McCain rally. Crist tells NEWSWEEK that worries about his commitment are unfounded. "I couldn't be more enthusiastic," he says. "I love John McCain, and I'm doing all I can" to help him. Last Friday, he joined the candidate at rallies in Miami and Melbourne. Unfortunately, another distraction emerged that day: one of McCain's top fundraisers in the state, Harry Sargeant III, was accused of overcharging the government for fuel deliveries in Iraq by his contracting company. (A lawyer for Sargeant has denied the allegations.)

Not all Florida Republicans are despairing, though. The GOP chairs of some counties along the critical Interstate 4 corridor, including Pinellas, home to St. Petersburg, say their troops are fired up and have all the resources they need. The recent flurry of complaints were "a little bit of preliminary finger-pointing," says Brian Ballard, McCain's Florida finance chair. "I think everybody now gets the point that we've got to work together."

karin said...

Poor Evan; no sooner does he post one of his deluded diatribes than half a dozen news stories are posted showing how crazy the poor guy is.

Anonymous said...

Joe the Plumber's attack on Obama goes down plughole

By Leonard Doyle in New York
Sunday, 19 October 2008

John McCain is still hoping that "Joe the Plumber" can rescue the ailing Republican campaign for the White House, even though the man who confronted his opponent, Barack Obama, in the key state of Ohio has turned out to be neither a qualified plumber nor even to have Joe as his first name.

Campaigning to hold on to once solidly Republican North Carolina yesterday, Mr McCain declared: "The real winner this week was Joe the Plumber. Joe won, because he's the only person to get a real answer out of Senator Obama about his plans for our country. Congratulations, Joe. That is an impressive achievement."

Samuel J Wurzelbacher, a burly and balding everyman from Toledo, was seized upon by the Republican campaign after cameras captured him questioning Mr Obama about his tax policies. Introducing himself as a plumber named Joe, he complained that he would be paying more tax if the Democrat won the White House, damaging his ability to live the American dream and buy his own business.

With just over two weeks to go, and the Republican campaign losing altitude rapidly, Mr McCain apparently believes that Mr Obama's reply to "Joe the Plumber" – that he wanted to "spread the wealth around" by raising taxes on those earning more than $250,000 (£144,000) – is his best chance of convincing voters that the Democrat is a tax-raiser, practically a socialist, and definitely out of touch with regular Americans.

Even though it emerged that "Joe" does not have a licence to operate as a plumber, is behind on his taxes, and would actually enjoy a tax cut of about $500 under the Democrat's plans, because his real income is much lower than he claimed, Mr Wurzelbacher is still being courted by the Republicans.

According to Newsweek magazine, he was invited to a McCain rally today, but declined – because he is being flown to New York for an interview on the Fox TV network.

Whether that will be more or less damaging than an appearance by Mr McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, on the Saturday Night Live comedy show remains to be seen. But as one commentator cruelly wrote of the Republican campaign after the final presidential debate last week: "Sometimes the leak is so bad that even a plumber can't fix it."

Anonymous said...

Will Powell Endorse Obama?

Howard Fineman

Is Gen. Colin Powell getting ready to endorse Sen. Barack Obama on "Meet the Press" this Sunday?

Two sources close to Powell, speaking on the condition of anonymity, predict that he will. On the record, a third, Ken Duberstein, a Washington lobbyist and former White House chief of staff, didn't flatly deny it. "You can say what you want," he told me, "but I didn't tell you that and neither did Powell."

OK, true enough.

If Powell does endorse Obama, racial pride will have something to do with it, which is understandable. Powell has been a trailblazer himself, and he admires Obama's unflappability and skill in rising so quickly through the ranks of American politics.

While Powell is personally close to McCain, and has been for many years, he seems to have taken a special interest in making himself available, behind the scenes and from time to time, to discuss foreign policy and defense issues with the novice Illinois senator. I believe Powell feels a responsibility to help Obama out, almost as if a member of the family were taking on a tough new job.

However, if Powell does endorse, it will have less to do with American sociology than world affairs. Powell simply has no use anymore--if he ever had any--for the neo-con cowboys he thinks misled the country (and him) into a mistaken and costly war in Iraq.

Powell has been careful in public not to criticize his colleagues in the Bush administration nor bluntly call the war a mistake. He came close to saying that at the Aspen Institute's Ideas Conference last summer, but remained droll and elliptical.

An endorsement of Obama would be an indirect but powerful way of expressing his resentments and regrets: refusing to support a fellow Republican who has very Bush-like ideas about how to make America more secure in a world of terror.

"It's not so much about race as it is about foreign policy," a friend of Powell's told me. "He thinks Obama has a lot to learn, but that he has the capacity."

Anonymous said...

October 19, 2008

Barack Obama lines up a cabinet of stars as John McCain struggles on

The Democrat may recruit some big names, including Republicans, to see America through the crisisSarah Baxter in Roanoke, Virginia
With the economy on the brink of recession and the country in the midst of two foreign wars, Barack Obama is considering appointing a cabinet of stars to steer America through potentially its worst crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s if he wins the presidency on November 4.

Obama has a well-regarded, close-knit team of domestic and foreign policy advisers who would follow him into the White House and key administration posts. But he is also being urged to make some high-profile appointments who would command the confidence of the country at such a troubled time.

“It’s important to send a signal,” an Obama adviser said. “With a comparatively new person in office and the awful mess we’re in, these appointments are going to resonate around the world.” Obama, 47, has been warning his supporters that the election is not over yet. “Don’t underestimate our ability to screw it up,” he said last week. But should Obama win, he will not be short of big names to choose for his administration.

A host of well-known figures, including some Republicans, have indicated they would be willing to serve in some capacity as Obama begins to acquire a winner’s glow. From Senator John Kerry, the 2004 presidential candidate with hopes of becoming secretary of state, to Larry Summers, a former US Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton, and Chuck Hagel, the Republican senator who has been tipped as defence secretary, there are plenty who have signalled their availability.

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Obama is thought likely to cherry-pick a few high-profile names, while rewarding the loyalty and discretion of advisers such as his foreign policy expert Susan Rice who have served him so well throughout the campaign.

“He has no patience whatsoever with prima donnas,” said one leading Democrat policy adviser. “He’s surrounded himself with people who are pretty smooth in dealing with each other.” All eyes were on Colin Powell, the former secretary of state under President George W Bush, to see if he would declare his support for Obama in an interview on Meet the Press, the flagship political television programme, today.

Powell is unlikely to return to the cabinet after the mauling he received over the Iraq war, but could serve as a special envoy abroad. He is regularly consulted by Obama on foreign policy and military matters, and said last year: “I always keep my eyes open and my ears open to requests for service.”

In last week’s debate against John McCain, his Republican opponent, Obama indicated that he would adopt a bipartisan approach to government, citing the Republican senator Richard Lugar, who worked with him on a bill to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation, and General Jim Jones, the former Nato commander, as figures he admired.

“Those are the people, Democrat and Republican, who have shaped my ideas and who will be surrounding me in the White House,” Obama said.

If the Democrats win sweeping majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate as well as the White House, conservative voters could feel alienated from every branch of government. The McCain campaign is already playing up fears of a Democratic landslide to persuade Republicans and independents to back their man.

An editorial in The Wall Street Journal last week warned of a coming “liberal super-majority”. It is possible Democrats could win a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the Senate, enabling them to pass whatever legislation they wanted, from higher taxes to greater union rights.

“Though we doubt most Americans realise it, this would be one of the most profound political and ideological shifts in US history. Liberals would dominate the entire government in a way they haven’t since 1965 or 1933,” the newspaper commented.

William Galston, a former White House policy adviser under Bill Clinton, said: “I don’t think Obama is going to give Republicans much on substance, so he would be well advised to give them some satisfaction on personnel.”

Some leading supporters, such as Kerry, may end up disappointed, even though he launched the then unknown Illinois politician’s career at the 2004 Democratic national convention. “Frankly, how many senators do you want in the cabinet?” wondered one Obama adviser. If he wins the presidency, Obama has to beware of countering his message of “change” on the campaign stump by appointing too many Washington insiders.

Republicans hope the wall-to-wall coverage of the attack by the baldheaded Sam “Joe the plumber” Wurzelbacher on Obama’s plans to increase taxes for those earning more than $250,000 a year has halted the Democrat’s momentum. Some polls have tightened in favour of McCain, 72, but Obama retains an average lead of nearly seven points.

David Plouffe, Obama’s coolly efficient campaign manager, believes his candidate is disproportionately strong in former Republican strongholds such as Virginia and Colorado. This could give Obama enough electoral college votes to push him past the winner’s post, even if he loses the traditional battle-ground states of Florida and Ohio to McCain. The polls suggest that Obama leads by eight points in Virginia, a state that George W Bush won by the same margin in 2004.

In a show of confidence that rattled Republicans, Obama travelled on Friday to Roanoke on the edge of the Appalachian mountains in southwestern Virginia in search of the white, working-class voters who eluded him in the primary campaign against Hillary Clinton.

McCain, in contrast, was fighting a rearguard, defensive action in the northern tip of the state yesterday to shore up his support among the high-tech, white-collar, suburban voters who have been deserting his party.

The youth vote and black vote have been mobilised to an unprecedented degree by the Obama campaign, which has raised $454m – nearly double McCain’s $230m – enabling it to spend on saturation advertising and organisation in areas that were once thought to be unwinnable. It is expected to announce a record-breaking haul of more than $100m in September.

The Democratic voter registration effort has reached far and wide. Althea Patterson, 40, an African-American insurance worker from Roanoke, said: “I’ve got friends who went out and got their criminal records expunged so they could vote for Obama.” Former felons are barred from voting without a judge’s dispensation.

Senator Jim Webb, the Virginia Democrat and former marine who served as navy secretary in President Ronald Reagan’s administration, personally vouched for Obama’s integrity. “You can trust me and I trust him,” he told the rally in Roanoke. He cited the refrain from a country and western song to disparage McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate: “I know what I was doing but what was I thinking?”

With little more than two weeks until polling day, some leading Republicans suspect McCain is doomed. Peter Wehner, a senior White House official under Bush, said: “The Obama campaign is terrific. They’ve got boatloads of money and they’re using it well. I don’t think the race is over, but I always thought Obama would win. I’m a realist and I can read the polls and the electoral map as well as the next guy.” A persistent question for Obama is how to make the most of Hillary Clinton’s talents in government after she has helped to swing women and blue-collar workers behind him. Last week the New York senator put her chances of running again for president at “probably close to zero”, leaving just a little wiggle room in case Obama loses in a fortnight’s time and there is a vacancy.

Clinton added: “There’s an old saying: bloom where you’re planted.” In the event of an Obama victory, she hopes to inherit the mantle of lion of the Senate from Edward Kennedy and steer universal healthcare legislation through Congress.

However, members of Obama’s inner circle believe she would be tempted to accept an offer to become health secretary, which would give her the historic opportunity to devise and implement the policy. “That’s very possible. Senator Clinton would be terrific as health secretary,” said Congressman Patrick Murphy, a leading Obama supporter.

Sorting out the economy is going to be the biggest test of Obama’s presidency. “He’s got to do something bold and a lot of it will be psychological,” one of his advisers said. One of the names in the frame for Treasury secretary is Paul Volcker, the chairman of the Federal Reserve under President Ronald Reagan, who brought inflation under control in the early 1980s.

Admirers admit his age is against him – Volcker is 81 – but suggest he could oversee a financial rescue package before passing on the baton. Glenn Hubbard, the former head of the Council of Economic Advisers under Bush, said: “I can’t think of anyone else with the same stature.”

Volcker endorsed Obama back in January when Clinton was still the Democratic front-runner. “He would provide the confidence necessary to stabilise the markets and put together an economic plan to get the country moving again,” an Obama adviser said. “This is the man who solved the last economic crisis.”

Another leading candidate for the Treasury is Summers, who has been guiding Obama through the Wall Street melt-down. Summers was forced to quit as president of Harvard University in 2006 after suggesting controversially that men had a greater aptitude for science and engineering than women.

At a conference at Harvard Business School last week, Summers defended Obama’s plans to tax the wealthy by pointing to the huge rise in inequality over the past 30 years between the earnings of the top 1% and bottom 80% of the country. “It is immense compared to any discussion of changing the tax system here or there,” he said.

Obama may also want to reward Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F Kennedy, for overseeing his vice-presidential selection and bringing the coveted family name to his campaign. She has been variously tipped as ambassador to the United Nations, the Vatican and even Britain – her grandfather Joseph Kennedy was sent packing from the same job in 1940 after saying democracy was finished. However, she may wish to remain in America and build on her experience as an education reformer in New York.

As Obama ponders his choice of cabinet, he may recall that there is a precedent for appointing well-established “stars” to shore up a relatively inexperienced president. George W Bush brought the powerful triumvirate of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Powell into his cabinet – and all were heavily criticised for their performance.

Wehner has learnt from experience inside the White House that voters can soon tire of distinguished names if they are unhappy with the results. “There will be a lot of talk about bipartisanship and a honeymoon period, but that will disappear if the economy is stagnating or gets worse,” he said. “The public is very pragmatic and will make its judgment on results rather than optics. The acid test is how the country is doing.”

Anonymous said...

McCain draws bipartisan criticism for 'robo calls'
1 hour ago

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Senators in opposing political parties asked Republican presidential candidate John McCain to stop the automated phone calls that link Democratic candidate Barack Obama to a 1960s radical.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, Sen. Norm Coleman, a Minnesota Republican and Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, made separate appeals to McCain on Friday. Collins faces a tough race for re-election and serves as a co-chairwoman of his Maine campaign.

"These kind of tactics have no place in Maine politics," Collins spokesman Kevin Kelley said. "Sen. Collins urges the McCain campaign to stop these calls immediately."

Coleman, in a tight re-election campaign, said he hoped all candidates and outside groups would stop their attacks.

In Nevada, a four-page campaign flier mailed this week by the state Republican Party also focused on Obama's past relationship with former Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers, calling the college professor a "terrorist, radical, friend of Obama" and featuring several images of Obama and Ayers.

Reid told reporters at a news conference in Las Vegas that he's surprised at the "scummy" tactics employed by McCain's presidential campaign and "can't believe John McCain knows what's going on."

The McCain campaign says the calls are warranted because Obama's connection to Ayers — the two met many years after Ayers' anti-Vietnam War activities had ended — raises questions about the Democrat's judgment and record.

"This is an association that is highly questionable and not out of bounds," McCain spokesman Rick Gorka said.

The automated calls in Maine, Nevada and other states — they are commonly known as "robo calls" — say Obama "has worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, whose organization bombed the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, a judge's home and killed Americans." The charge is misleading: The bombings, which took place more than 35 years ago, didn't result in fatalities and the group didn't claim responsibility for the attack on the judge's home.

Obama has condemned Ayers' radical activities, which took place in the late 1960s and the 1970s, when Obama was a child. In the debate Wednesday with McCain, Obama said Ayers played no role in his presidential campaign.

Ayers, an education professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, lives in Obama's neighborhood in Chicago. In 1995, he hosted a meet-the-candidate session at his home as the young Harvard Law School graduate prepared to run for the Illinois Senate. The two also worked with two nonprofit charitable organizations in Chicago.

Anonymous said...

Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama. Heh!

John said...

These tools--while attacking the credibility of Joe the Plumber-- have been shouting from the rooftops: "Obama obviously won the last debate, no question, no question! Everybody saw that! Everyone knows it! It's over!"


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrat Barack Obama's lead over Republican John McCain in the presidential race has dropped to 3 points, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Sunday.

Obama leads McCain by 48 to 45 percent among likely U.S. voters, down 1 percentage point from Saturday. The four-day tracking poll, which has a margin of error of 2.9 points.

"Pollster John Zogby said the numbers were good news for McCain, and probably reflected a bump following his appearance in the third and final presidential debate on Wednesday.

'For the first time in the polling McCain is up above 45 percent. There is no question something has happened,' Zogby said."

brettmcs said...

Yep, people who say they are going to vote for McCain are going to vote for McCain, no question. There is no sache in saying you are voting for McCain.

However, a lot of people who say they are going to vote for Obama are responding to peer/media pressure, and will not, in the end, vote that way.

If Obama's lead in the polls is only single digits he will not win. It's as simple as that.

brettmcs said...

May I suggest that the obvious spam posts above be either deleted or "edited to make the poster look (even more) foolish"?

John said...

Palin was great last night.

Brought to mind Jim Morrison's poem:

"She dances in a ring of fire,
And throws off the challenge with a shrug."

Meanwhile, she made the SNL team--with the exception of Michaels, and Baldwin's gallantry at the end--look like shallow, petty, cheap-shotting, and whining third-raters (and third graders) who weren't even funny.

What the left doesn't get is that--outside of their circle-jerk and among a fairly-sizable (I grant) population of mindless sheep who are easily manipulated by the subliminal or explicit messaging of big screen propaganda (e.g. time-targeting movies like "Hancock," "The Express," and "W"), and are influenced by the opinion of celebrities (many of whom barely graduated high school and some of whom come out of the very trailer park culture they accuse the generic Red State conservative as coming out of-- and still showing when they make it big and become elitists who think that they're actually elite)-- they turn off and repulse people by their god-awful personalities, their demented senses of humor, and obvious hatefulness.

Some of the more aware apparatchiks figured that out and take on an objective, rational air when making their case, but they can't help but betray the underlying subjective and irrational impetus which drives every lefty and manifests itself in slips and outbursts, however subtle because they think that they're pulling off a convincing job of sounding sensible (and likable), and are flying under the radar, and don't understand how they get shot out of the sky every time they saddle up and go out for a bombing run.

Evan Sayet said...

It never ceases to amaze me how the leftists who pride themselves on their "nuance" are so incapable of seeing differences that are stunningly obvious.

So, they cannot tell the difference between knowing a guy like G. Gordon Liddy and an unrepentant murderer who said he'd not only do it again but that he wish he had murdered more people. They can't tell the difference between being in church one day when a guest speaker says something disagreeable and being the protege of a hate-monger for one's entire adult life.

The purpose of the Modern Liberal's "intellect" is not to study the facts and seek the truth but to use any line of rhetorical trickery to defend their guy no matter how evil -- and Barack Obama IS evil -- he is.

Anonymous said...

Colin Powell endorses Obama

Sunday, 19 October 2008


The endorsement from Powell could do much to undercut Republican opponent John McCain's argument that Obama is not ready to be the U.S. military commander in chief

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Democrat Barack Obama won the endorsement of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Republican and fellow African-American who served as the country's top diplomat in the first George W. Bush administration. He called the Illinois senator a "transformational figure."

The politically powerful endorsement from Powell, a retired general and former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, could do much to undercut Republican opponent John McCain's argument that Obama is not ready and too risky to serve as the U.S. military commander in chief.

McCain's strongest campaign credentials are his long background in military and national security affairs, and he is a hero of the Vietnam war, during which he was held prisoner for 5 1/2 years. He said he was not surprised by the Powell endorsement of Obama, but noted he was backed by four other former secretaries of state and scores of past and present military leaders.

Obama, meanwhile, reported on Sunday raising more than $150 million in September, an unprecedented outpouring of private political donations that further widened his financial advantage over McCain, who has been likening his opponent to European socialists.

The September haul boosted Obama's fundraising total to $605 million, a campaign war chest far larger than any seen in U.S. presidential contests. The Illinois senator's September donations alone were nearly double the $84 million McCain had available in federal funding for the final two months before the Nov. 4 election. McCain chose to participate in the public financing system; Obama opted out, leaving him able to raise and spend unlimited money from the public.

McCain, the 72-year-old four-term Arizona senator, said on Fox News on Sunday that Obama had been able to raise that money after reneging on a promise to join him in public financing, a move that he said invited political corruption.

"History shows us where unlimited amounts of money are allowed in political campaigns scandals inevitably follow," McCain said, referring to the public financing law that was passed after President Richard Nixon resigned in the midst of the Watergate scandal.

He has accused Obama of proposing a tax plan that he claims would redistribute wealth — a concept deeply at odds with the fundamentals of American capitalism as promoted by his Republican party, which has sought over recent decades to shrink the size of the national government.

"I think his plans are for redistribution of wealth. That's one of the tenets of socialism," McCain told Fox, claiming it was a historic position of liberal Democrats.

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said the campaign had added 632,000 new donors in September, for a total of 3.1 million contributors to the campaign. The average donation was $86, he said in a Sunday morning e-mail to supporters.

The Democratic National Committee, moments later, announced that it had raised $49.9 million in September and had $27.5 million in the bank at the start of October. The party has been raising money through joint fundraising events with Obama and can use the money to assist his candidacy.

Obama's September take was 2.3 times the $65 million he raked in during August, his previous monthly best.

Obama had initially promised to accept public financing if McCain did, but changed his mind after setting primary fundraising records. The extraordinary outpouring of public giving could doom the taxpayer-paid system. Many Republicans have begun to second-guess McCain's decision to participate in the program.

With his vast bankroll and increasing public anxiety over the economy, Obama has secured his foothold in states that have voted for Democratic presidential candidates in the past. But he has also been able to expand the contest to reliably Republican states, forcing McCain and the Republican Party to spend their money defensively.

The presidential contest is not decided by the nationwide popular vote, but is instead a state-by-state contest to win electors who are apportioned according to state population. An Associated Press analysis shows Obama with the advantage in states representing 264 electoral votes — just shy of the 270 needed for victory. McCain is favored in states representing 185 votes, with six states totaling 80 electoral votes up in the air.

Plouffe said the campaign now is spending resources in West Virginia, where polls show the race tightening. Obama's running mate Joe Biden was scheduled to campaign in the state capital on Friday and the campaign will advertise on television there for the next two weeks, according to ad data obtained by AP. Plouffe hinted at further expansion, noting that public opinion polls show Obama gaining ground in Georgia and North Dakota. Only recently, all three of those states were widely expected to go to McCain by wide margins.

As much as Obama raised, he needed a big fundraising month to justify his decision to bypass the public finance system. Financially, he has been competing not only against McCain, but against the Republican Party, which raised $66 million in September.

But the combined Obama and Democratic Party totals for September give Obama a distinct financial advantage with the election just 16 days away.

The candidates' itineraries underscored McCain's mounting problems in states that traditionally have been safe for Republicans.

Obama spent Saturday in Missouri, a bellwether state that voted for President George W. Bush in 2004. Campaign aides, citing local police, estimated 100,000 people turned out to hear him at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, and later 75,000 turned out for a speech at dusk across the state in Kansas City.

Only once since 1904 has the Midwestern state failed to vote for the ultimate presidential election winner.

McCain campaigned in North Carolina and Virginia, a pair of traditionally Republican states he is struggling to hold.

The last Democratic candidate to win North Carolina was Southerner Jimmy Carter in 1976, when the Republicans were reeling from President Richard Nixon's resignation following the Watergate scandal. Virginia has not voted for a Democratic nominee since President Lyndon Johnson's landslide victory in 1964.

Dan Kurt said...

Dear Mr. Sayet,

Your Blog, more than any of others I read occasionally or regularly, attracts the most attacking mindless liberals (leftists) of any. You should be commended by the fact.

Please read this essay published today:
The Mendacity of Hope By Paul Shlichta in today's American Thinker [].

Don't miss the comments to the essay by:
1) Zach Jones as well as Mr. Jones' web page today: Zach Jones Is Home [://];
2) Carlos Garcia.

arms akimbo, she said...

How could a good and great man like Colin Powell endorse Obama??????????????????

...he is evil, he is just sooooooo soooooo evil. He just izzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!


in utta amazement, she said...

It just NEVAH ceases to amaze me how they can fail to see the diffunce between casually knowing a guy like Ayers who, ages ago, as a youth in a radical period, committed radical acts, and being in lock step with the greatest mass murderer in US history, GW Bush.

McCain is just evil...he rilly rilly just izzzzzzzzzzzz!

He is soooooooooooo icky!!

Then there is Sarah Palin who is a member of one of the most violent minded and insanely radical, Dominionist churches in the world AND is married to a guy who wants to destroy the union!!!