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Evangelical pastor says he loves ‘gays and straights,’ met Melissa Ethridge
LONG BEACH, Calif. – The first openly gay member of Congress said Sunday it was a mistake for President-elect Barack Obama to invite evangelical pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration.
“Mr. Warren compared same-sex couples to incest. I found that deeply offensive and unfair,” Rep. Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, said in a broadcast interview.
“If he was inviting the Rev. Warren to participate in a forum and to make a speech, that would be a good thing,” Frank said. “But being singled out to give the prayer at the inauguration is a high honor. It has traditionally given as a mark of great respect. And, yes, I think it was wrong to single him out for this mark of respect.”
Under fire for opposing gay marriage, influential evangelical pastor Warren said Saturday that he loves Muslims, people of other religions, Republicans and Democrats, and he also loves “gays and straights.”
Says it’s OK to disagree
The 54-year-old pastor and founder of Saddleback Church in Southern California told the crowd of 500 that it’s unrealistic to expect everyone to agree on everything all the time.
“You don’t have to see eye to eye to walk hand in hand,” said Warren.
Warren also defended President-elect Barack Obama’s invitation that he give the invocation at the Jan. 20 inauguration in the keynote speech he delivered at the Muslim Public Affairs Council’s annual convention in Long Beach.
Obama’s choice of Warren earlier this week sparked outcry from gay rights and other liberal groups, who said choosing such an outspoken opponent of gay marriage was tantamount to endorsing bigotry.
“Three years ago I took enormous heat for inviting Barack Obama to my church because some of his views don’t agree (with mine),” he said. “Now he’s invited me.”
Warren said he prays for the same things for Obama that he prays for himself: integrity, humility and generosity.
Obama defends ‘wide range of view points’
Obama defended his choice on Thursday, saying that he has also invited Joseph Lowery, a Methodist minister and civil rights leader who supports same-sex marriage and gay rights, to deliver the benediction.
Read more …
It seems McCain could see what we all saw – Palin is no where near qualified and some of her ideas are borderline reckless.
In an interview with ABC’s “This Week,” Senator John McCain refused to endorse his former running mate Governor Sarah Palin for the Republican nomination in 2012.
When the network’s George Stephanopoulos asked McCain whether he hoped that Palin would become the Republican Party’s standard bearer in 2012, he refused to endorse her. “I can say something like that,” McCain said.
Stephanopoulos then pushed McCain by asking whether it was not strange that he endorsed Palin for vice president.
“Now we’re in a whole new election cycle,” McCain said. “My corpse is still warm.”
He went on to explain that there are a lot of other Republican governors who could play a vital role in the party.
Stephanopoulos was right to point out that McCain’s answer was strange in so far that he only endorsed Palin for vp weeks ago. He wanted her to become America’s president if something would happen to him. As such, it would make sense for him to speak positively about Palin for 2012.
McCain supporters could, of course, argue that the senator is right in so far that 2012 is four years off, and that someone else may win the nomination of his party then. Who knows, perhaps Palin will fall off the national stage pretty soon.
True, but he should have praised her nonetheless and indicated full support for her no matter what career path she chooses nonetheless. His reaction gives many the impression that he does indeed blame Palin to a considerable degree for his defeat which hurts both him and Palin.
McCain’s refusal to truly stand by Palin is an indication of his attempt to recreate a centrist image for himself, an image he had for decades, but which was destroyed during the Republican primaries and, especially, the national election. The ‘Maverick’ Senator from Arizona realizes that he lost the election partially due to the destruction of his centrist image and is, it seems, determined to get back that which he lost. One also notices that he has spent considerable time recently defending president-elect Barack Obama on a wide range of issues, especially on the Blagojevich corruption scandal.
The above all fits perfectly into the notion that McCain is trying to salvage his reputation as a centrist Republican, willing to reach across the aisle. Endorsing Palin would hamper this attempt somewhat due to her reputation as a hardliner, a true card carrying member of the Republican Party’s Christian conservative base.
As such, his reaction to Stephanopoulous should be interpreted as nothing more, or less, than an attempt of a man who lost the presidential election to restore his image and to continue being relevant in Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON — Despite attracting millions of new contributors to his campaign, President-elect Barack Obama received about the same percentage of his total political funds from small donors as President Bush did in 2004, according to a study released today by the non-partisan Campaign Finance Institute.
The analysis undercuts Obama’s claim that his supporters “changed the way campaigns are funded” by reducing the influence of special-interest givers.
“The myth is that money from small donors dominated Barack Obama’s finances,” said Michael Malbin, the institute’s executive director. “The reality of Obama’s fundraising was impressive, but the reality does not match the myth.”
About $156 million, or a quarter of Obama’s record-shattering campaign account, came from donors of $200 or less, according to the institute’s analysis of federal election reports through Oct. 15. That compares with $205 million, or about a third, from those who gave between $2,300 and $4,600, the maximum allowed by law.
Forty-eight percent of Obama’s total take came from donors of $1,000 or more, compared with 56% for John Kerry and 60% for both Bush and John McCain, the analysis found.
The small-donor percentage is lower than figures previously reported in news stories because the institute’s analysis accounted for people who gave several small donations over the course of the election that added up to a larger sum, Malbin said.
Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said in an e-mail that the campaign had more than 3.95 million donors, and “91% of our contributions were in amounts of $100 or less. … There’s no doubt that small-dollar contributors played a critical and unprecedented role” in Obama’s victory.
The study said Obama brought in a total $638 million, the most ever raised in a political campaign, compared with $206 million by McCain, who accepted $84.1 million in taxpayer financing for the general election. Obama reported 580,000 donors who gave more than $200.
Donors giving $200 or less need not be disclosed, but by the Obama campaign’s count, there were nearly 3 million of them.
McCain reported 170,000 donors of $200 or more.
Obama opted out of public financing, raising private money through November and significantly outspending McCain in battleground states.
When Obama announced in June that he would forgo public financing, he told supporters in a video message that “instead of forcing us to rely on millions from Washington lobbyists and special-interest PACs, you’ve fueled this campaign with donations of $5, $10, $20, whatever you can afford. … You’ve already changed the way campaigns are funded, because you know that’s the only way we can truly change how Washington works.”
Meredith McGehee, a campaign-finance reform advocate at the non-partisan Campaign Legal Center, said Obama cannot claim “this election somehow created an alternative system for public finance. … The data doesn’t show that.”
Obama did not accept contributions from political action committees or registered federal lobbyists, but many of his top fundraisers have keen economic interests in federal policies.
Source: USA Today
In the wake of the Republican defeat, there has been much recrimination and finger-pointing over tactics and strategy. Was the Sarah Palin choice fatal? Should John McCain have suspended his campaign during the financial crisis?
But the larger issue is whether 2008 was a “realigning election” that went deeper than the candidates or the current issues. The jury is still out as to whether Democrats can turn one sweeping victory into a generation-long dominance of the White House. A key element in a possible structural shift favoring Democrats is the changing demographics of the electorate. The U.S. is growing bigger, increasingly diverse and more cosmopolitan — and the GOP seems on the wrong side of all these trends.
The United States is the only developed country that is projected to add lots of new residents by mid-century. In 2006, the nation’s population reached 300 million. The Census Bureau estimates that the U.S. will get to 400 million by 2039. To put this growth in perspective, consider that even China (yes, China) will not add 100 million people by that date. The U.S. will gain more new residents in the next three decades than the current population of Germany — the largest European Union nation.
With each decade, more than 22 million potential new voters will enter the electorate. Parties that fix on a strategy may find that it is unworkable in just a few cycles. The Republican Party’s idea of stoking its base to gain office assumes a somewhat static voting public, which, given the dynamic nature of American demographics, is a faulty notion.
So who are most of these new people? The quick answer is both recent immigrants and their American-born offspring. By 2043, the U.S. may be a majority minority nation. Another scenario is that a high rate of intermarriage among whites and minorities may open to question the whole notion of who is “majority.” The bottom line for Republicans is that no matter how this population is defined, an increasing number of current minorities are voting for Democrats.
Republicans can, of course, switch their strategy and make more direct appeals to minority voters. As recently as 2004, President George W. Bush almost won the Latino vote. But at the moment, the Republicans seem branded as the party of white people. Furthermore, much of the Republican base — especially those listening to talk radio — believe the U.S. is being flooded with immigrants (legal and illegal). It may be hard to pivot and embrace diversity without alienating the GOP base. By contrast, many whites in the Democratic Party are comfortable with diversity and now form a transracial coalition with minority voters.
As the U.S. expands and diversifies, it is becoming more urban. The Census finds that 83 percent of Americans live in metropolitan areas and that well over half live in regions with more than 1 million residents. By other calculations, two-thirds of people added by 2040 will settle in just 20 megapolitan areas — massive urban complexes that contain more than 5 million residents.
Were just the big metro areas to vote, the presidential race would be a rout every time. The Democrats dominate major urban regions. An analysis by the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech found that Barack Obama won the votes in the nation’s top 50 metro areas — often by double-digit margins.
Worse for Republicans, in 2006 and 2008, Democrats significantly expanded the areas of the metros they won. Their electoral dominance has spilled out of cities and close-in suburbs and now reaches into the kinds of sprawling subdivisions that were once reliably Republican. The suburbs in key swing states such as Colorado, North Carolina and Virginia played a particularly decisive role in delivering the presidency to Democrats.
Republicans must adjust to the demographic shifts sweeping America or risk being politically marginalized. Most significantly, the party needs to recognize that there are simply not enough rural white voters to balance the growing number of minority voters and cosmopolitan whites living in big metro areas. If Republicans think 2008 went badly, try running the same kind of small-town-flavored campaign in 2020. At that point, the vastly expanded and racially diverse metro areas in Texas and Georgia could tip those once reliably red states to the Democrats.
Robert E. Lang is co-director of the Alexandria, Va.-based Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech and an associate professor in urban affairs and planning at Virginia Tech’s School of Planning and International Affairs.
WASHINGTON — Sen. Joe Lieberman will keep his chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security Committee despite hard feelings over his support for GOP nominee John McCain during the presidential campaign.
The Connecticut independent will lose a minor panel post as punishment for criticizing Obama this fall.
Lieberman’s colleagues in the Democratic caucus voted 42-13 Tuesday on a resolution condemning statements made by Lieberman during the campaign but allowing him to keep the Homeland Security Committee gavel. He loses an Environment and Public Works panel subcommittee chairmanship, however.
Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he was very angry by Lieberman’s actions but that “we’re looking forward, we’re not looking back.”
Added Reid: “Is this a time when we walk out of here and say, ‘Boy, did we get even?'” said Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
Lieberman’s grasp on his chairmanship has gotten stronger since President-elect Barack Obama signaled to Democratic leaders that he’s not interested in punishing Lieberman for boosting McCain and criticizing Obama during the long campaign.
“This is the beginning of a new chapter, and I know that my colleagues in the Senate Democratic Caucus were moved not only by the kind words that Senator Reid said about my longtime record, but by the appeal from President-elect Obama himself that the nation now unite to confront our very serious problems,” Lieberman said after the vote.
Anger toward Lieberman seems to have softened since Election Day, and Democrats didn’t want to drive him from the Democratic caucus by taking away his chairmanship and send the wrong signals as Obama takes office on a pledge to unite the country. Lieberman had indicated it would be unacceptable for him to lose his chairmanship.
Lieberman, who was Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore’s running mate in 2000, was re-elected in 2006 as an independent after losing his state’s Democratic primary. He remains a registered Democrat and aligns with the party inside the Senate.
“It’s time to unite our country,” said Lieberman supporter Ken Salazar, D-Colo.
On the other side were senators who feel that one requirement to be installed in a leadership position is party loyalty.
“To reward Senator Lieberman with a major committee chairmanship would be a slap in the face of millions of Americans who worked tirelessly for Barack Obama and who want to see real change in our country,” Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said in a statement Friday. “Appointing someone to a major post who led the opposition to everything we are fighting for is not ‘change we can believe in.'”
It was likely that Barack Obama genuinely believed that he would take or have to take public financing. But when the primary was unexpectedly extended, the Obama team saw their money raising potential – and more they knew they were going to need fist fulls of it – if they were going to have any real chance of defeating the Republican election machine. With Al Gore’s loss in 2000 and Kerry’s Swift-Boating back in 2004 – they concluded that public financing would place serious limits on their ability to act. And they were right. John McCain promised to run an honorable campaign, and without adequate finance – Obama would likely not be President-elect – as was McCain’s plan. It is doubtful that in 2012 the Republicans will allow themselves to be hamstrung by public financing either. They might be moaning right now – but they are also learning. It was just a little TKO!
President-elect Barack Obama and vanquished rival John McCain talked Monday about reforming parts of the political process, but they skipped a good governance issue of mutual interest over which they sparred bitterly during their campaign: fixing the public financing system.
Obama this summer said he was “firmly committed to reforming the system as president,” even as his reversal of a pledge to participate in it drew fire from McCain, editorial boards and campaign finance reform advocates, all of whom accused Obama of virtually killing the system.
Stephanie Cutter, a spokeswoman for the Obama transition team, said Obama and McCain “share a common belief that the system needs to be reformed,” but she said “they didn’t speak about it today.”
Instead, a different Obama aide said, the discussion focused on “a common sense of reform being needed” on government spending, earmarks, military procurement, corporate welfare, climate change, immigration and Guantanamo Bay, among other areas.
McCain’s Senate and campaign staffers did not respond to questions about why campaign finance reform wasn’t discussed, but it clearly is a sore point for the Arizona senator and his team. They believe Obama was never held to account for his public funding flip-flop, which put him at a huge cash advantage over McCain in the final months of the campaign.
McCain did participate in the system, which limits candidates to spending only the amount of a taxpayer-funded grant. This year, the grant was $84 million for the general election. Meanwhile, Obama’s historic fundraising effort pulled in well more than $640 million for the primary and the general, allowing him to dramatically outspend McCain on ads, offices and get-out-the-vote efforts.
In the closing weeks of the campaign, McCain blamed Obama’s rejection of public financing and his prolific fundraising for “completely breaking whatever idea we had after Watergate to keep the costs and spending on campaigns under control.”
McCain told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace in October that Obama had “unleashed now in presidential campaigns a new flood of spending that will then cause a scandal and then we will fix it again. But Sen. Obama has broken it. And he broke his word to me and the American people when he signed a piece of paper, when he was a long-shot candidate, that he would take public financing if I would.”
That was a reference to a questionnaire Obama submitted last year to a coalition of non-profit groups advocating a reduction in the role of money in politics.
The questionnaire, from the Midwest Democracy Network, asked, “If you are nominated for president in 2008 and your major opponents agree to forgo private funding in the general election campaign, will you participate in the presidential public financing system?”
Obama answered “Yes.” Then, in the space provided for comments, he wrote: “I have been a long-time advocate for public financing of campaigns combined with free television and radio time as a way to reduce the influence of moneyed special interests.”
In response to another question, Obama wrote that he supported strengthening the public financing system, which was enacted after Watergate to minimize the corrupting influence of money on electoral politics.
Obama’s policy advisors still consider it a priority to revamp the public financing system, according to David Donnelly, director of Campaign Money Watch, a non-profit group that pushes for stricter campaign finance rules.
Obama’s “priorities Nos. 1, 2 and 3 are the economy, but I don’t think his commitment to (public financing) has changed,” said Donnelly. Still, Donnelly added “it’s important for him to take up this issue and show that he’s willing to follow through on his commitment.”
If Obama does champion campaign finance reform from the White House, McCain could be a key ally in Senate, predicted Donnelly, whose group during the campaign accused McCain of backing away from the issue.
McCain’s seminal legislative accomplishment was a 2002 overhaul of the campaign finance system, and for years before and after that, he sponsored legislation to revamp the public funding system. But Donnelly and other McCain critics accused McCain of shying away from campaign reform as he positioned himself for his 2008 campaign for the GOP presidential nomination.
Interview by DEBORAH SOLOMON
Do you see the election results as a repudiation of your politics?
Our new president-elect won one and a half points more than George W. Bush won in 2004, and he did so, in great respect, by adopting the methods of the Bush campaign and conducting a vast army of persuasion to identify and get out the vote.
I never said permanent. Durable.
Do you think John McCain attacked too much or not enough?
Dissecting the campaign that way is not helpful.
Have you met Barack Obama?
Yes, I know him. He was a member of the Senate while I was at the White House and we shared a mutual friend, Ken Mehlman, his law-school classmate. When Obama came to the White House, we would talk about our mutual friend.
Did you have lunch together? Talk in the hall?
We sat in the meeting room and chatted before the meeting. He had a habit of showing up early, which is a good courtesy.
Are you going to send him a little note congratulating him?
I already have. I sent it to his office. I sent him a handwritten note with funny stamps on the outside.
What kind of funny stamps?
Do you have any advice for him? You already criticized Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s new chief of staff, as a sharply partisan choice.
I raised a question as to whether this would be the best use of Rahm Emanuel’s talents. If you’re trying to work through a big legislative priority, it is sort of hard if you have a guy who has a reputation as a tough, hard, take-no-prisoners, head-in-your-face, scream-and-shout, send-them-a-dead-fish partisan.
What about you? You were always seen as very partisan.
I wasn’t the chief of staff. And you’d be surprised by the Democrats I actually met, got to know and worked with.
Do you like Joe Biden?
I think he has an odd combination of longevity and long-windedness that passes for wisdom in Washington.
Do you regret anything that happened in the White House during your tenure?
You’ve been booed off stages recently.
No, I haven’t. I’ve been booed on stages. I’m a little bit tougher than to walk off a stage because someone says something ugly.
Do you think the era of negative politics is over?
Do you see yourself as being associated with it in any way?
Look, in 1800 the sainted Thomas Jefferson arranged to hire a notorious slanderer named James Callender, who worked as a writer at a Republican newspaper in Richmond, Va. Read some of what he wrote about John Adams. This was a personal slander.
What did he say?
He said he lacked the spine of a man and the character of a woman. Negative politics have always been around.
Do you think you’re negative?
You’ve never repudiated President Bush.
No. And I never will. He did the right things.
What about Iraq and the economy?
The world is a better place with Saddam Hussein gone.
Do you have any advice for him at this point?
With all due respect, I don’t need you to transmit what I want to say to my friend of 35 years.
Remember, attack politics are out. It’s a new age of civilized discourse.
You’re the one who hurt my feelings by saying you didn’t trust me.
Did I say that?
Yes, you did. I’ve got it on tape. I’m going to transcribe this and send it to you.
“On Monday, President-elect Barack Obama and Senator John McCain will meet in Chicago at transition headquarters,” Obama Transition spox Stephanie Cutter just announced. “It’s well known that they share an important belief that Americans want and deserve a more effective and efficient government, and will discuss ways to work together to make that a reality.”
McCain ally Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, and Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., Obama’s incoming White House chief of staff, will be there. Graham and Emanuel worked well together on negotiating the presidential debates.
In May, Obama alluded to putting McCain in his Cabinet when discussing how former President Abraham Lincoln put rivals in his Cabinet.
“Lincoln basically pulled in all the people who had been running against him into his Cabinet because whatever personal feelings there were, the issue was how can we get this country through this time of crisis,” Obama said. “And I think that has to be the approach that one takes, whether it’s vice president or Cabinet, whoever, and by the way that does not exclude Republicans either. You know my attitude is – is that whoever is the best person for the job is the person I want.”
Obama had been answering a question about naming Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, as his running mate, but he added, “if I really thought that John McCain was the absolute best person for the Department of the Homeland Security, I would put him in there. I would, if I thought that he was the best. Now, I’m not saying I do. I’m just saying, that’s got to be the approach that you take because part of, part of the change that I’m looking for is — is to make sure that we, we’re reminded of what we have in common as Americans. We spend so much time, our politics is all built around trying to divide us.”
There is no indication Obama intends to offer McCain a position in his Cabinet, or that McCain would accept, but the two are expected to discuss areas where they can work together — the environment and national service, for instance.
Opposing view: Lieberman Must Go
A look back: Joe Lieberman Attacks Barack Obama, Democratic Party
McCain’s appearance, which was tied to Veteran’s Day and follows two days of televised interviews with his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was to air later Tuesday night on NBC stations.
In keeping with the Veteran’s Day creed of remaining a “good soldier,” McCain refused to place any blame for his loss on Palin and offered several familiar refrains about his running mate and the campaign.
“The one thing I think Americans don’t want is a sore loser,” he noted after Leno tried several times to corner him about Palin’s reported problematic behavior, the media’s perceived tilt toward Obama and other issues that plagued his run for the White House. “I’m a fighter,” he said, with a laugh. “I knew I had a headwind. I can read the polls. They tried to keep them away from me. But I knew we had a real headwind.”
McCain said that since the election ended he’s been “sleeping like a baby — I sleep two hours, wake up and cry, sleep two hours. . . .” He seemed relaxed and comfortable, happy to be rid of the Secret Service protection that guarded him 24/7 as a candidate and amused at all the post-mortems that have filled the papers and cable news shows after the race ended.
Asked the main reason he lost, he joshed that it was because of his “personality — maybe too many people saw me on the Jay Leno show.” The late night host did prod him about the dichotomy of his personality during the campaign, however, and how the amusing and friendly McCain seen on Saturday Night Live and the Al Smith dinner contrasted so sharply with his often gruff and angry posture on the stump. “These are tough times,” McCain replied. “People didn’t want a stand-up comic.”
Among other subjects discussed during The Tonight Show appearance:
*Anonymous McCain campaign aides critical of Palin:
“I think I have at least a thousand quote top advisers. [It’s always] ‘a top adviser said. . . ‘ [They’re probably] people that I’ve never even heard of, much less a top advisor or a high-ranking Republican official. These things go on in campaigns and you just move on. I’m just very proud to have had Sarah Palin and her family, a wonderful family [join the campaign.]”
*Joe Lieberman’s future in Congress:
“One of the finest, most wonderful men I’ve ever known in my life. . . . I obviously don’t know what’s going to happen. On national security issues, he’s really really good. . . I think that Joe will remain what he is: an independent who stands up for what he believes in. And we need more people like that. “
*Joe the Plumber:
“I loved him, a great guy. I got to know him a bit. He’s the classic American trying to get ahead, trying to make it. I’m not kidding you, because we took polls all the time, that guy went from zero to 70% in name ID in 48 hours. It was amazing, amazing.”
*Running again in 2012:
“I wouldn’t think so, my friend. It’s been a great experience and we’re going to have another generation of leaders come along.”
*The GOP’s future: “Our party has a lot of work to do. We just got back from the woodshed.”
His focused effort to target a group that had heavily favored Republicans paid off, an exit poll shows.
As he vaulted into national acclaim with his 2004 Democratic convention speech, Barack Obama directly took on the assumption that his party should cede religious voters to the Republicans.
“We worship an awesome God in the blue states,” he said, pointedly adopting words from a song familiar to churchgoers, particularly younger ones.
The four-year effort by Obama, who is Christian, to narrow the gap between Democratic and Republican support among religious voters paid off last week when he won the race for the White House.
Exit polls showed the dramatic effect: Obama won 43% of voters who said they attend church weekly, eight percentage points higher than 2004 Democratic nominee John F. Kerry. Among occasional worshipers, Obama won 57%, 11 percentage points higher than Kerry, according to the National Election Pool exit survey.
When looking at how members of different faiths voted, the movement among Catholics is striking. They sided 52% to 47% with President Bush in 2004. But this year, they went 54% to 45% for Obama. That means Obama had more support among Catholics than did Kerry, himself a Catholic, by seven percentage points.
“Obama did better than Kerry among pretty much every religious group,” said Greg Smith, a research fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life who analyzed the poll results.
Even among voters who describe themselves as born-again Christians or evangelicals, a group that tends to vote Republican, Obama improved on Kerry’s standing — although he came in a distant second to GOP nominee John McCain. Kerry had won 21% of evangelical voters; Obama won 26%.
The shift by religious voters may have resulted partly from changes in the electorate — voter participation by blacks and Latinos grew, and both groups tend to be regular churchgoers. Yet there is no doubt that secular voters were more supportive of Obama than religious ones, according to the exit poll.
The Obama campaign, however, made sure to court religious voters and took advantage of his connections to influential Christian leaders.
Nearly two years ago, when voters knew little about him, the Illinois senator stood alongside nationally known author and Pastor Rick Warren at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest for a televised AIDS conference. Earlier, Obama had asked Warren to review a chapter of his book “The Audacity of Hope.”
Obama again gained the attention of Christian voters in July when he pledged to expand a controversial White House program to give federal grants to churches and small community groups. The proposal, which would build on efforts by the Bush administration to direct government money to church groups, was announced in Zanesville, Ohio, a hotly contested state that Obama won on election day.
And at the Democratic National Convention in August, which held its first-ever interfaith prayer gathering, the party platform endorsed by Obama — while not backing away from its support for abortion rights — emphatically reached out to women with children who rely on programs meant to ease their struggle.
Obama’s ease in talking about his religion also helped him win over religious voters. During a presidential forum held in August at Saddleback Church, where he and McCain were interviewed separately by church leader Warren, Obama spoke about “walking humbly with our God” and quoted from the Gospel of Matthew. His acceptance speech Tuesday night echoed in parts the church-inspired speeches of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
“He uses the faith language very well,” said Clyde Wilcox, a Georgetown University professor of government who has studied the subject. And that, he said, inspired trust.
“How do you know whether to trust him or not?” Wilcox said. “If you are a deeply religious person, you want to see that he has a grounding. That authenticity is really important. It reassures people.”
Religion, for a time, became a thorn for Obama during the presidential race. He was harshly criticized for his association with the now-retired Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., whose incendiary sermons about white America caused an uproar and led Obama to part ways with his longtime pastor, and endured a viral e-mail campaign falsely asserting that he is Muslim.
But “there was a broad recognition that he was a sincerely religious man,” Wilcox said of Obama. “And I think that did come through.”
The Obama campaign reached out to evangelicals and other religious communities, aware of the opportunity to peel away some voters.
Douglas W. Kmiec, a Pepperdine law professor, caused a stir last spring when he publicly endorsed Obama. One month later, at a Catholic Mass to which he was invited, Kmiec was denounced from the pulpit and denied communion because of his endorsement.
Kmiec said that although Obama’s support for abortion rights contradicts official Catholic doctrine, his broader approach aligns well with the church’s beliefs on issues such as the economy, healthcare and the environment.
“I was attracted out of my Republican-ness to Sen. Obama’s side largely because I could hear, in the way he was articulating economic issues and social issues, the social gospel of the Catholic Church,” Kmiec said.
From September through election day, Kmiec traveled to key states including Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania, meeting with groups of people at churches on Obama’s behalf. The election’s focus on the economy was “providential,” Kmiec said. Without the usual single-issue debate about abortion rights among Christian voters, the Obama campaign had the opportunity to make its case on other fronts.
“It moderated, it seemed to me, the amount of time that was devoted to these divisive conversations,” he said.
The election results returned Catholics to their historical Democratic moorings, which many had fled for the GOP during the Reagan years.
“That is opening a door that had been closed for a while,” Kmiec said. But whether it stays open may be determined by whether Obama’s actions match what he promised — and also by what larger political environment defines the 2012 presidential race.
“At some level, if he’s a good president, that will affect evangelicals and non-evangelicals, Catholics,” said Wilcox of Georgetown University. It is too soon, he said, to know whether Obama’s improvements among religious voters indicate a new alignment for Democrats, or were simply a verdict on the 2008 candidates.
“I would want to see this over time,” Wilcox said.
That whole anti-American, friend-to-the-terrorists thing about President-elect Barack Obama? Never mind.
Just a few weeks ago, at the height of the campaign, Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota told Chris Matthews of MSNBC that, when it came to Mr. Obama, “I’m very concerned that he may have anti-American views.”
But there she was on Wednesday, after narrowly escaping defeat because of those comments, saying she was “extremely grateful that we have an African-American who has won this year.” Ms. Bachmann, a Republican, called Mr. Obama’s victory, which included her state, “a tremendous signal we sent.”
And it was not too long ago that Senator John McCain’s running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, accused Mr. Obama of “palling around with terrorists.”
But she took an entirely different tone on Thursday, when she chastised reporters for asking her questions about her war with some staff members in the McCain campaign at such a heady time. “Barack Obama has been elected president,” Ms. Palin said. “Let us, let us — let him — be able to kind of savor this moment, one, and not let the pettiness of maybe internal workings of the campaign erode any of the recognition of this historic moment that we’re in. And God bless Barack Obama and his beautiful family.”
There is a great tradition of paint-peeling political hyperbole during presidential campaign years. And there is an equally great tradition of backing off from it all afterward, though with varying degrees of deftness.
But given the intensity of some of the charges that have been made in the past few months, and the historic nature of Mr. Obama’s election, the exercise this year has been particularly whiplash-inducing, with its extreme before-and-after contrasts.
The shift in tone follows the magnanimous concession speech from Mr. McCain, of Arizona, who referred to Mr. Obama’s victory Tuesday night as “a historic election” and hailed the “special pride” it held for African-Americans. That led the vice president-elect, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., to get into the act. During the campaign, Mr. Biden said he no longer recognized Mr. McCain, an old friend. Now, he says, “We’re still friends.” President Bush, in turn, also hailed Mr. Obama’s victory, saying his arrival at the White House would be “a stirring sight.”
Whether it all heralds a new era of cooperation in Washington remains to be seen, and it may be downright doubtful. But for now, at least, it would seem to be part of an apparent rush to join what has emerged as a real moment in American history.
The presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin said she was hard-pressed to find a similar moment when the tone had changed so drastically, and so quickly, among so many people of such prominence.
“I don’t think that’s happened very often,” Ms. Goodwin said. “The best answer I can give you is they don’t want to be on the wrong side of history, and they recognize how the country saw this election, and how people feel that they’re living in a time of great historic moment.”
Others in the professional political class were not so sure. Some wondered whether simple pragmatism was the explanation.
“My experience is, it’s less an epiphany and more a political reality,” said Chris Lehane, a former Democratic strategist who worked on the presidential campaign of Al Gore. “I’m thinking they will continue in this direction so long as the polls indicate it’s a smart place to be.”
There are notable exceptions: Rush Limbaugh has given no quarter. And while his fellow conservative radio hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham have noted the significance of his victory — on Wednesday, Ms. Ingraham said “Obama did make history” and “It’s not the time to vilify him” — they seem to be in line with Bill O’Reilly of Fox News. Relishing his new role in the opposition camp, Mr. O’Reilly said, “The guy is still a mystery, so our oversight will be intense.”
Some lawmakers also do not appear inclined to give up the fight. Representative John A. Boehner, the House minority leader, has already criticized Mr. Obama’s choice of Representative Rahm Emanuel, Democrat of Illinois, as his chief of staff.
But other people who opposed Mr. Obama, like Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, have good reason to try to make up with the winning ticket. As an ardent backer of Mr. McCain, Mr. Lieberman angered the Democrats, who in 2000 nominated him as their vice-presidential candidate. After losing a Democratic primary challenge in 2006 and then winning as an independent, he still continued to caucus with the Democrats.
Attending an event with Mr. McCain in York, Pa., in August, Mr. Lieberman said the race was “between one candidate, John McCain, who has always put the country first, worked across party lines to get things done, and one candidate who has not.”
As a speaker at the Republican National Convention, Mr. Lieberman went further than Democrats expected by criticizing Mr. Obama for “voting to cut off funding for our troops on the ground.” (Mr. Obama voted for bills that included plans for withdrawal from Iraq and against others that did not.)
This week Mr. Lieberman, who has been asked by the Democratic Senate leadership to consider giving up his position as the chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, released a statement congratulating Mr. Obama for “his historic and impressive victory.” It continued, “The American people are a people of extraordinary fairness.”
Marshall Wittmann, a spokesman for Mr. Lieberman, said that as far as the senator was concerned, “It’s over, and it’s genuinely time to find unity and move forward behind the new president.”
And what about that whole bit about Mr. Obama not always putting his country first? “He believes that President-elect Obama — and, then, Senator Obama — is a genuine patriot and loves his country,” Mr. Wittmann said. “The only point he was making in his campaign was about partisanship.”
Mr. Obama is apparently ready to bury the hatchet with his new fans. “President-elect Obama has made it clear that he wants to put partisanship behind and work together to solve the many challenges confronting the country,” said Stephanie Cutter, a spokeswoman for the Obama transition team. “We’re pleased that others do as well.”
The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, who will help decide Mr. Lieberman’s committee assignment, sounded less ready to forgive, at least when it came Mr. Lieberman’s support for Mr. McCain. “Joe Lieberman has done something that I think was improper, wrong, and I’d like — if we weren’t on television, I’d use a stronger word of describing what he did,” he said on CNN Friday.
It’s been widely reported that Gov. Palin fought hard to give her own concession speech after the election had been decided on Tuesday night. However, McCain adviser Steve Schmidt wisely made sure Palin was not allowed to speak to the nation. But now we’ve found out Caribou Barbie had gone as far as to write up what she planned to say on that historic evening. Here is her much-anticipated concession speech…
Last night, American voters proved themselves to be very different than what most of the world had assumed. Since 2000, the world was certain that the majority of Americans were of such low intelligence that we needed constant care. Last night, we sent out a message loud and clear: “Despite our decisions as an electorate for the past eight years, we, as a people, are actually not severely retarded. Sorry for the misunderstanding and, um, those wars.”
Based on McCain’s campaign, no one bought into this assumption of our mental deficiency more than the GOP. Strategists for the McCain campaign clearly decided that any voting population that could elect George Bush twice obviously has some severe developmental disabilities and should be catered to as such. Yesterday, we proved them wrong.
Here are just a few intelligence tests that we passed with flying colors yesterday:
In electing Barack Obama, we proved that…
We can tell women apart – The GOP saw that many Democrats were big supporters of Hillary Clinton, who is a female. So someone decided, “They want a woman. Let’s give them one of those.” Someone else most likely asked, “Which woman should we get?” to which Steve Schmidt replied, “Who cares? They’ll never know the difference.”
We knew the difference.
We are aware that racism isn’t the answer to everything – If the McCain campaign had one, overriding message, it could be summarized as, “The only way to solve all the problems facing this country is to vote against a black person.” While the message appealed to many Americans, far more of us responded with, “Normally, I’d agree with you. But this time, racism just might not be the way to go.” We took the gamble and won.
We can tell catchy three-word chants apart – A lot of stuff got chanted this election, because chants are fun and everyone should join in on one if they get the chance. But yesterday we proved that while all men are created equal, that’s not the case with catchy three-word chants. Thus did 63 million Americans go into voting booths yesterday and declare that “Yes We Can” is a way better chant than “Drill Baby Drill.”
We know that old people don’t wanna change a goddamn thing – Americans have been around old people long enough to know that they don’t like to change stuff. So when an old person started telling us about all the stuff he plans to change, we knew he was lying, and we responded the way we did when our grandfather went into that home. We ignored him.
We know not to do everything our plumber tells us to do – Actually, that’s an overstatement. 63 million Americans know not to do everything our plumber tells us to do. For 55.8 million of us, however, when a plumber says jump we say how high. Still a good, not-that-retarded margin.
We know that when something might cause a global apocalypse, we should find another way – This, ultimately, was the true demonstration of our nation’s level of intelligence. Each of us went into the booth thinking, “I can either vote for Obama, or the entire world will be reduced to ash and cinders before next Easter.” Again, 55.8 million of us opted for the annihilation of Earth. But the other 63 million? That’s right. Not retarded.
You’re welcome, planet. Now take us to McDonalds.
‘Sarah Palin Didn’t Really Wear Well’
‘They Had a 50-State Strategy’
‘It’s Kind of a Paradox’
Not ‘Enough Strategic Thinking’
‘Really Reach Out to the Other Side’
11:00 pm So farewell then, Grosvenor Square US Embassy. Here we are, standing in line late at night in the November drizzle outside of Eero Sarienen’s unloved Modernist expression of US imperial self-assurance (what would a new Embassy in Battersea commissioned under an Obama administration look like? An environmentally-sound yurt?) when we could be tucked up on the sofa watching the election returns with Jeremy and a milky drink. But no, we’ve been unable to resist the lure of mingling with the movers-and-shakers.
The streets are even more barricaded than usual. There are several lines to go through the airport-style metal detectors, two for people without handbags, the others for handbag carriers. “There’s the Shadow Education Secretary”, a well-dressed young person, who must be a Parliamentary junior aide or researcher, exclaims (bite back the excitement!). As we finally gain admittance to the building, we hear the unmistakable tones of Janet Street-Porter.
The front of the Embassy has a huge projection of stars enlivening it. A Dixieland band plays partygoers in, and a co-ed squad of teenage cheerleaders performs intermittently on the front portico.
It’s a far cry from 2004, when, under the austere former Ambassador William Farish, there were no decorations, no bands, and really not much effort to appear welcoming. Similarly, in 2004 the Embassy was filled with Marines in camouflage battle dress standing stock still on the edge of the room, like military-themed living statues. Tonight if there’s a military presence, it’s invisible.
The first floor lobby is absolutely rammed. And at certain bottlenecks, it’s worse than the tube at rush hour. Silent screens above our heads project the latest from America’s CBS, MSNBC, and Fox networks, as well as the BBC. But the polls haven’t closed so all everyone’s doing now is vamping till ready.
It’s slim pickings on the celeb front. Josh Hartnett is the only sighting so far, unless you want to count Jonathan Dimbleby. There are several former significant political figures – Charles Clarke, David Davis, Alistair Campbell – but current Westminster stars are thin on the ground, unless you want to count Lembit Opik.
Bars serving California wines, bourbon, and Jack Daniels (though most people want water) are staffed with friendly volunteers and waiters circulate with foie gras puffs and lamb on bread squares. Sober, business-like dress is the order of the day, enlivened here and there with an Uncle Sam hat or Statue of Liberty crown. One glamourous party, however, didn’t get the memo. Four women in killer heels, tight dresses, lavish furs, and eye-blinding jewelry waft through the crowd, in which they are as exotic as Berbers.
Purely out of self-interest, I’m hoping for Obama victories in Indiana, Virginia, and North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania. These polls will be closed by 1:30, and if he takes three out of five, it’s over and I can go home at a reasonable hour.
Downstairs in the basement there’s a large rather grim room with acoutic-tiles on the ceiling. Here a country and western band and later Glen Tillbrook, late of Squeeze, entertain the crowd. The air is thick with the smell of grease from the Burger King stand.
There’s also a theatre with a large screen showing CNN’s election night coverage. Every seat is filled as are the aisles. This is an audience fascinated by arcane in-depth breakdowns of key counties in Virginia.
The energy is strangely subdued. But the Democrats have been here before. In 2004, buoyed by the exit polls, the atmosphere in the early hours of the Embassy’s election night party was exuberant. No one could believe Bush would get in twice. But then, as we moved towards 2 am and it became clear that despite Iraq, despite Abu Ghraib, despite My Pet Goat, despite everything, the American electorate were going to come back for seconds, the festive spirit slowly deflated, like the air leaving a balloon. So no one’s getting too excited just yet. It’s as if everyone is collectively holding their breath.
The crowd seems evenly divided between the parties, although expatriate Americans tend to be disproportionately Democrats (expatriate Republicans are atypical of the breed because they have passports and are not afraid to eat furrin food.) They may have come from small-town “real” (in Palin-speak) America originally, but now have the kind of jobs that have relocated them to Britain, so presumably at some point they moved to the big (Democratic) city. Or else they left the real America as fast as they could of their own volition and just kept going.
12:30 am Indiana is too close to call. This is usually a rock-ribbed Republican state. A harbinger of things to come?
1:00 am Now things are starting to get interesting. Obama has won New Hampshire. McCain has won Georgia. Virginia is too close to call. And the Brits are all leaving so it’s now possible to get seats in the theatre. You have to feel for outgoing Ambassador Robert Tuttle. A genial Reagan Republican although appointed by W, he has to listen as all these freeloaders who’ve been scoffing down his food and drink cheer whenever a state is called for Obama and groan when it goes for his party.
1:30 am Tension you could cut with a knife. McCain is on 34 electoral votes, Obama on 74. North Carolina too close to call. These are all states that Bush won in 2004 and that Obama has a chance in.
1:45 am Look, there’s the Embassy party on the BBC screen as the heads of Democrats Abroad and Republicans Abroad are interviewed
2:00 am The loudest cheering of the night as Obama takes Pennsylvania. Obama supporters start to let out their breath and feel happy. Florida still too close to call.
3:00 am Ohio is called for Obama. Blinking, those of us wearing Obama buttons finally start to believe we’ve won, as predicted. Our long national nightmare is over. The junta has been deposed. Time to head for the coat check.
Says McCain’s mom no longer cares about election, and that McCain may die, but at least he’ll be president.
A grueling and bitter campaign has taken its toll on family morale, John McCain’s aunt, Rowena Willis, told The Daily Beast today in an exclusive interview.
According to the 96 year-old Willis, her twin sister, Roberta McCain, the candidate’s mother, has become resigned to her son’s electoral fate.
“She really doesn’t care,” Willis said of her 96-year old twin sister, who has campaigned for her son and recorded TV ads with him. “‘Let these bastards get in,’ she says, ‘I don’t give a damn anymore. If these people want to buy votes and get their people in office, let them suffer for it in the way of high taxes.’”
“I’m hoping he wins, for the country’s sake,” McCain’s aunt said. “I figure it will kill him, but he’s going to die one day anyway, so he might as well do it there.”
“I’m hoping he wins, for the country’s sake,” McCain’s aunt said. “I figure it will kill him, but he’s going to die one day anyway, so he might as well do it there.”
Willis has done her part for her nephew’s campaign, donating the maximum $2,300 to the candidate in June. Today she joined two nieces at 6:30 a.m. to go vote at a precinct on Larchmont Blvd. in Los Angeles, California, where she said turnout was unusually high.
“I waited an hour at least,” she said. “I’ve lived here 65 years and I’ve never seen lines like this.”
She said she had little patience for voters who complained about long lines at early voting stations that were open throughout the week in various states.
“I sat in line more than an hour today and I’m nearly 100. We should have one day of voting and if these people are too weak to vote, too bad,” she said.
In an interview earlier this month with The Daily Beast, Willis told me that McCain was losing. McCain’s mother told supporters at the time to “pray for a miracle,” and Willis said she was still praying for a victory for her beloved nephew, whom she described as “honest” and incorruptible.
“I sat in line more than an hour today and I’m nearly 100. We should have one day of voting and if these people are too weak to vote, too bad,” she said.
“I’m hoping he wins, for the country’s sake. I figure it will kill him, but he’s going to die one day anyway, so he might as well do it there,” she said, “But that man is honest—he has all the money in the world, he could do whatever he wants, even without his wife’s money, which he does not have; they keep it separate. He has a good pension from the Navy and my father was very rich.”
Sarah Palin also won high praise from Willis: “I think she’s marvelous. I don’t care how inexperienced she is or anything else—she’s been through a lot. She did vote against her party and she has cancelled a lot of those pork barrel requests in Alaska.”
As a mother of five, Willis said she was most concerned about how the election would impact the younger generations in her family.
“They will be broke with the Democrats in, with the number of people they will have to pay who have never paid a dollar of income tax in their life,” she said. “Our children will suffer.”
Source: The Daily Beast
Barack Obama saved his biggest Virginia rally for last — a jam-packed event in Manassas with 90,000 people reportedly in attendance. For his conclusion, he “reached back to the roots of his campaign to tell an inspirational story that had long ago fallen from his routine.”
The story is about a long drive, a rainy day and how one person can make a difference. It was inspired by a woman he met during a visit to a small South Carolina town in 2007 and became a favorite during his Iowa caucus campaign.
It ends with Obama leading a cheer of “Fired up, Ready to Go!”
Obama ended the event on Tuesday by telling the crowd: “In 21 hours, if you are willing to endure rainfall, to take the person who was not going to vote to the polls, if you will stand with me in a fight with me, I know that your voice will matter. I have one question for you, Virginia. Are you fired up? Are you ready to go? Fired up? Ready to go? Fired up! Ready to go! Virginia, let’s go change the world!”
Meanwhile, a fired-up John McCain told supporters to “be strong and fight” in an election eve rally Monday, his last before voters in swing state Nevada weigh in.
“My opponent is measuring the drapes in the White House. They may not know it, but the Mac is back! And we’re going to win this election,” McCain said to the screaming crowd. “Don’t give up hope! Be strong and fight!”
The Arizona senator’s evening rally at the Henderson Pavilion was the final leg of daylong, multistate campaign blitz. The candidate appeared surprised and energized by a crowd that greeted him with loud chants of “USA!” and “American hero!”
More than 10,000 people attended the event, according to facility manager Dianne Mizelle. The number makes it McCain largest in the state to date.
In Senator Obama’s opinion it appears the arts have become essential to reengage our standing in the world. According to an article in Bloomberg, he is the first White House contender to include a far- reaching arts-plank in his platform. Quoting Robert Lynch, president and chief executive officer of “Americans for the Arts” a highly respected Washington based arts advocacy group, “no presidential candidate in recent times has addressed cultural issues in such detail.” As early as the spring of 2007 Obama brought together a committee of arts and arts professionals including such luminaries as Hollywood producer George Stevens, novelist Michael Chabon, Broadway director Hal Prince, Museum of Modern Art president emerita Agnes Gund, to focus on this issue.
By contrast the article advises that John McCain has consistently voted for cuts in the National Endowment for the Arts (the NEA) budget, saying that funding for the arts is a local matter.
Darth Cheney appeared our of the darkness of his undisclosed location – to endorse the new Sith Lord McCain who he hoped would be his loyal successor and work to expand the Dark Empire he worked hard to create.
Looking out onto the Kingdom Sith McCain and Darth Cheney – the two agreed that his Empire should continue – under the directive of the war without end doctrine – in order to bring all the known world and its important resources under their control ~ nothing they thought could stop them now.
There were no limitations on their desire for power and control by – war baby war – success was at hand. But their plan was missing one thing they had to unite the world, around their dark vision and they needed one person – an Obama Skywalker.
Meantime dark ideas had already infiltrated the Senate – and the plan to take it over and to undermine democracy – in the name of restoring order and maintaining security was complete.
The very powers of the Senate – through deception – were used to steal democracy. And no one could stop it.
And a new power – the power of the dark side – was soon unleashed.
The world looked very different as there would be no peace for 100 years.
All was well in the outer-lands – but little known to Obama Skywalker – he was about to enter the battle and restore order to the force. His first encounter with the Dark Lord McCain was at hand – after his home was destroyed – he began his Jedi training.
Trust your feelings Barack, said his sage trainer – in the ways of the force.
As the Emperor’s forces drew closer and destruction seemed complete Obama Skywalker went into training with one of the greatest sages of all.
“Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”
Obama learned that the restoration of the good side of the force lay with him.
Later in the cave – Obama Skywalker was tested.
“Will he finish what he begins?”
“I won’t fail you. I’m not afraid.”
“Oh, you will be. You will be.“
Sith McCain was so confident in his vision – he tried to get in Barack the Jedi to join with him on the dark side.
Lord McCain said something like ‘ I am your father ‘
Naturally Obama Skywalker said that this was impossible and that he would never join him – that he would never move to the dark side. And the fight for Skywalker’s surrender began.
Realizing that the force was strong with Obama Skywalker and he would be a threat to the Empire – if he would not come over to the dark side – Darth Cheney – sought to teach – this insignificant one – a lesson.
In the end with his last shred of humanity, seeing that his own son would be destroyed, he took on Darth Cheney and saved Obama Skywalker, saying something like ‘ tell the voters you were right ‘ ‘ you were right.’
Once order was restored – there was music and celebrations throughout all the lands – as the battle for the good and the betterment of mankind and over the dark side’s war without end for control of power and resourses – had been won.
Sarah Palin says she’ll be back! Will she try to wink and charm her way to the White House again? And what happened to that Alaskan separatist group her and husband Todd had links to – their old AIP friends must feel totally betrayed by her new moose ambition.
“I want to make sure she’s holding on to that Sarah outfit. Because she’s gonna need it in the next four years.”
– Gov. Sarah Palin offering “a little advice to Tina Fey” as quoted in The New York Times’ The Caucus blog. Clearly, Palin’s suggesting she plans to remain active on the national stage and, we imagine, as a late-night comedy figure.
See Sen. John McCain on SNL here, and Ben Affleck’s Keith Olbermann show from the same episode here.
Source: E! Online
So Joe Plumber does the thinking – now?
McCain nor Palin would say directly Obama is a socialist – but they will say Joe the Plumber said Obama’s tax plan ‘sounds like’ socialism. Cleverly manipulating their masses to think any way they want them to.
A few weeks ago Obama was a terrorist [palling around with] – now we have moved from this smear to the Socialist/Marxist one – something that McCain nor Palin would be draw to state outright. They just need people to think – it.
All this so the corporations can have a tax cut – instead of cutting taxes for the good people in McCain’s audience – who will leaving his speeches believing that a tax cut for corporations – making record profits [Exxon $14.5bn/3 months] is good for them and a tax cut for their own families – is socialist, country destroying and bad for them.
Exxon Mobil gets a tax cut – but Joe Plumber gets naught. Under Bill Clinton with the Obama tax raise for the wealthiest 5% – the economy expanded more than it has ever done in US history. While both Bush’s brought us economic turmoil an – new debt clocks – as the debt spirals out of control each time they were in power – where Clinton left us with a surplus.
Fmr. Reagan Chief-Of-Staff Slams McCain For Picking Palin
McCain Thinks Palin Is America’s Top Energy Expert
McCain’s Crazy Laughter: Viva La Barracuda!
Electoral College: Obama 349 McCain 189
Senate Seats: 58 Democrats 40 Republicans
House Seats: 261 Democrats 174 Republicans
Electoral College: Obama 338 McCain 200
Senate Seats: 57 Democrats 41 Republicans
House Seats: 250 Democrats 185 Republicans
Electoral College: Obama 378 McCain 160
Senate Seats: 57 Democrats 41 Republicans
House Seats: 254 Democrats 181 Republicans
Electoral College: Obama 343
Senate Seats: 59 Democrats 39 Republicans
House Seats: 262 Democrats 173 Republicans
Electoral College: Obama 353 McCain 185
Senate Seats: 58 Democrats (59 if there’s a run-off in Georgia) Republicans 40
House Seats: Democrats 264 Republicans 171
Electoral College: Obama 338 McCain 200
Senate Seats: 56 Democrats 42 Republicans
House Seats: 264 Democrats 171 Republicans
Electoral College: Obama 347 McCain 191
Senate Seats: 57 Democrats 41 Republicans
House Seats: 258 Democrats 177 Republicans
Electoral College: 312 McCain 226
Senate Seats: 57 Democrats 41 Republicans
House Seats: 266 Democrats 169 Republicans
Electoral College: Obama 318 McCain 220
Senate Seats: 58 Democrats 40 Republicans
House Seats: 254 Democrats 181 Republicans
Electoral College: Obama 252 McCain 286
Senate Seats: 55 Democrats 43 Republicans
House Seats: 255 Democrats 180 Republicans
Electoral College: Obama 349 McCain 189
Senate Seats: 58 Democrats 40 Republicans
House Seats: 265 Democrats 170 Republicans
Electoral College: Obama 390 McCain 148
Senate Seats: 58 Democrats 40 Republicans
House Seats: 268 Democrats 167 Republicans
Electoral College: Obama 353 McCain 185
Senate Seats: 57 Democrats 41 Republicans
House Seats: 249 Democrats 186 Republicans
Electoral College: Obama 325 McCain 213
Senate Seats: 58 Democrats 40 Republicans
Electoral College: Obama 330 McCain 208
Senate Seats: 60 Democrats 38 Republicans
Readers of CQ Politics’ Trail Mix
Electoral College: Obama 345 McCain 193
Liberals have long laughed off any suggestion of liberal media bias, but this week, Politico.com reveals that the perceived media slant against McCain is absolutely real. They cite a study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism that shows that over the last six weeks, John McCain got four times as many negative stories as positive ones while Barack Obama received more than twice as much positive coverage as McCain. Why? The McCain campaign is a shambles. It has failed to achieve any of its goals and its steady collapse may spell trouble for the future of the GOP. No reasonable person would disagree. Yet, is that any reason for such negative coverage? The media’s continued insistence on reporting the facts about the disgraceful McCain campaign is liberal bias, pure and simple.
And it’s not just politics. Liberal media bias is everywhere. For example, let’s take a look at coverage of the new movie, Saw V. As of this writing, Metacritic.com, which aggregates music and film reviews and assigns them a weighted score based on the severity of criticism, currently gives the film a score of 20 out of 100. A similar site, RottenTomatoes.com, reports that Saw V has received negative reviews from 86 percent of critics. What gives? Just because the movie is by all accounts a ponderous, contrived mess, is that any reason for the press to so blatantly showcase its bias? It’s this kind of treatment that links the Saw V and the McCain campaign. Sure, one is a disappointing and gruesome spectacle filled with blood-spattered bodies and shocking images that force viewers to turn away in disgust, and the other is a bad film. But they have more in common than you might think.
Similarly, consider the case of the Idaho child molester whose probation was revoked after he gained access to the Internet. The media’s attitude toward this sexual deviant has been almost uniformly negative. Whatever happened to telling both sides of the story? Isn’t that the media’s job? Instead, we get a completely lopsided account that makes this convicted sex offended look like a monster, simply because the facts of the story bear that out.
Remember that the next time you read another smear piece about how infighting, mismanagement and bad decision making put John McCain’s presidential dreams in the toilet. Just because it’s true is no reason to ignore the other, untrue side of the story. We urge the media, for once, please stop doing your jobs, and let’s get back to the kind of evenhanded-at-any-cost journalism we all enjoy.
From CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand
And the Republican nominee continues to lose ground in reliably-red areas, as North Dakota moves from “lean McCain” to “toss-up” – meaning three electoral votes that had been counted for McCain are now considered up for grabs.
But there’s some good news for McCain down south: Louisiana has moved from “lean McCain” to “safe McCain.” And the movement on the map is far from done.
Barack Obama now leads McCain by 131 electoral votes, up from his 128-vote lead yesterday. CNN now estimates that if the presidential election were held today, Obama would win 291 electoral votes and John McCain 160. There are 87 electoral votes up for grabs. Again, 270 electoral votes are needed to win the White House.
The CNN Electoral Map is based on analysis from the CNN Political Unit and takes into account a number of factors, including polling, state voting trends, ad spending patterns, candidate visits, and guidance from the campaigns, parties, and political strategists. The list will be updated regularly as the campaign develops over time.
Source: CNN Politics
Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 10/28-30. Likely voters. MoE 4% (No trend lines)
McCain (R) 48
Obama (D) 47
Early voters (17 percent of sample)
McCain (R) 42
Obama (D) 54
I can’t believe we may actually win Arizona. And I have a bonus treat for you guys:
If the 2010 election for U.S. Senate were held today for whom would you vote for if the choices were between Janet Napolitano the Democrat and John McCain the Republican?
McCain (R) 45
Napolitano (D) 53
Obama Going Up On The Air In Georgia, North Dakota, And … Arizona!
On a conference call with reporters just now, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said that the campaign is going up on the air in the final stretch in three states: Georgia, North Dakota, and … McCain’s home state of Arizona.
Plouffe said that yesterday’s “rear view mirror” ad attacking McSame would go up in Georgia and North Dakota, and the positive closing spot, which features the endorsements of Warren Buffett and Colin Powell, would go up in Arizona.
The campaign had previously run ads in Georgia and North Dakota but had gone dark after McCain seemed to be holding on in those states.
The Arizona gambit, obviously, is an entirely new move.
View both ads here.
“Rearview Mirror” Ad
Late Update: Plouffe adds that one reason for entering Arizona is that the Obama camp thinks they’re doing very well with the state’s hispanic and suburban voters.
Late Late Update: Two other interesting points from Plouffe. First, he said that the campaign is very pleased with where they stand with independent voters in the West, predicting that they are key to the campaign’s chances in Colorado and could conceivably help tip Arizona Obama’s way.
Also, Plouffe pushed back hard on the notion — heavily promoted of late by the McCain team — that undecideds will break heavily to McCain. He said internal data belies this and has left the campaign happy with the way Obama is perceived by undecideds both personally and on the issues. He added that get out the vote efforts would make Obama very competitive with the last-minute deciders.
The McCain campaign has been throwing around so much mud and smears in recent weeks that it’s easy to miss just how ugly and shameful their character assassination of Rashid Khalidi is. This is an entirely respectable, highly respected scholar. To go further into making a case for him would only be to enable and indulge McCain’s sordid appeal to racism. For McCain, personally, to compare Khalidi to a neo-nazi, it’s just an offense McCain should never be forgiven for. It’s right down in the gutter with Joe McCarthy and the worst of the worst. Khalidi is in this new McCain set piece for one reason — as a generic Arab, to spur the idea that Obama is foreign, friendly with terrorists and possibly Muslim.
Here’s a video John Judis did at The New Republic on McCain’s latest low …
Joe, Joe, Jooe…
A new poll from Arizona State University finds John McCain just two points ahead of Barack Obama in his home state.
The results would likely be dismissed if not for the reputation of Bruce Merrill, the poll director, whose work is considered a gold standard in Arizona polling.
Republican John McCain leads Democrat Barack Obama by two points (46 percent to 44 percent) in Arizona, a margin that makes the race too close to call, according to a new Cronkite/Eight Poll. The poll of 1,019 registered voters in Arizona was conducted Oct. 23-26 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
According to poll director Dr. Bruce Merrill, “The race in Arizona is very close. Supporters of both candidates are highly committed to their candidates, with 94 percent of Obama’s supporters and 93 percent of McCain’s supporters indicating that they are firmly committed and won’t change their mind before Election Day. In addition, the undecided vote is very low, which means that there are few people remaining to be persuaded during the last week of the campaign. Obama has been closing the gap by attracting independents and women to his campaign. McCain does well among conservative Democrats and evangelicals. Still, a week is a long time in a political campaign and anything can happen. Who wins will be determined by which candidate gets their supporters out to the polls on Election Day.”
The previous Arizona State University, taken last month, had McCain leading 45 percent to 38 percent
From the ABC/Washington Post tracking poll:
More than twelve million voters have already cast ballots in the presidential contest, according to one estimate, and new data from the Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll shows these voters breaking Democratic by a wide margin.
Among those who said they have already voted at an early voting location or sent in an absentee ballot, Barack Obama picked up 60 percent of the vote in the new poll to John McCain’s 39 percent.
These voters make up 9 percent of “likely” voters in the track.
The senator from Illinois has a similar lead, 58 to 39 percent, among those who plan to vote early but have not yet. (Those who plan to vote on Election Day also go for Obama, but by a narrower, 51 to 45 percent.)
The voter preferences of the group of 1,430 individuals who have already voted and who were interviewed by Gallup between Oct. 17 and Oct. 27 show a 53% to 43% Obama over McCain tilt.
Among the group of those who say they have not yet voted, but will before Election Day, the skew towards Obama is more pronounced, at 54% to 40%. By comparison, those who are going to wait to vote on Nov. 4 manifest a narrower 50% to 44% Obama over McCain candidate preference. (Across all registered voters over this time period, Obama leads McCain by a 51% to 43% margin).
Some analysis of early trends from Nate Silver:
According to Michael McDonald’s terrific website, there are three states in which early voting has already exceeded its totals from 2004. These are Georgia, where early voting is already at 180 percent of its 2004 total, Louisiana (169 percent), and North Carolina (129 percent).
Hmm … can anybody think of something that those three states have in common?
The African-American population share is the key determinant of early voting behavior. In states where there are a lot of black voters, early voting is way, way up. In states with fewer African-Americans, the rates of early voting are relatively normal.
This works at the county level too. In Cuyahoga County, Ohio (Cleveland), which about 30 percent black, twice as many people have already voted early as in all of 2004. In Franklin County (Columbus), which is about 18 percent black and also has tons of students, early voting is already about 3x its 2004 total.
Early voting is currently at over 75% of 2004 levels with one week to go.
Democrats currently outnumber Republicans in early voting, albeit by a slim margin – 38.6% of all early voters, to 37.9% Republicans
“Across Dallas County and into the outer suburbs, thousands of people continue to stream into polling places, dwarfing early-voting records and raising questions about what the preliminary tallies mean for candidates and political parties.”
In this critical swing state, early voters already make up 27% of total 2004 numbers (in 2004, early voters constituted 36% of total votes).
Dems outnumber Republicans so far, 44.7% to 40%.
Early voting is already 33% higher than 2004 numbers, and is equivalent to 31% of all votes cast in Georgia in 2004.
Of early voters, 35% are African-American, compared to 25% of the total voting population in 2004.
Also, nearly 56% of early voters are women, another excellent sign for Democrats.
“Among those in Ohio who told WHIO-TV/SurveyUSA that they have already voted, Barack Obama leads by 13 points. When the two populations are combined, the data is as here reported: Obama 49%, McCain 45%. Compared to an identical WHIO-TV/SurveyUSA poll released two weeks ago, Obama is down 1 point; McCain is flat.”
60,000 votes have already been cast in the Tenth Congressional District.
Of those, 58% were cast by registered Democrats, compared to 25% for Republicans.
Obama should win the district and state in a landslide, but these numbers bode especially well for IL-10 Democratic candidate Dan Seals.
Registered Democrats have a 20-point advantage in early voting over Republicans in Iowa.
Early voting is near double 2004 levels. Of early voters, registered Democrats have a huge edge, 57.9% to 29.4%.
34% of early voters are African-American.
Democrats lead 54.4% to 29.1% among early voters. Early voters constituted 59.4% of all voters in 2004; this year, early voting to this point is equivalent to 44% of all 2004 numbers.
The proportion of black voters among all early voters has leveled off – they constitute 28% of all voters now – but still exceeds black registration in the state.
Early voting has far outstripped 2004 levels, and Democrats are turning out disproportionately.
Here Karl Rove was left defending his own ethics ~ possibly evidence of a conscience?
Here’s when someone thought they would go up and arrest Rove – all on the same day!
Brian Williams: Is an abortion clinic bomber a terrorist under this definition?
Sarah Palin: (Exasperated sigh.) There’s no question that Bill Ayers by his own admittance was one who thought to destroy our U.S. Capitol and our Pentagon. That is a domestic terrorist. There is no question there. Now others who would want to engage in harming innocent Americans or facilities that it would be unacceptable to, I don’t know if you’re gonna use the word “terrorist” there.
Here’s what Brian Williams is refering to:
John McCain’s Domestic Terrorism Problem
Under the pre-Patriot Act definition of the law, William Ayers and many of his compatriots in the Weather Underground certainly qualify as terrorists. Unlike the abortion clinic bombers and assassins, however, subsequent to the townhouse explosion in which three Weathermen blew themselves up in March 1970, the Weathermen gave advance warnings of their attacks.
The anti-choice terrorists didn’t warn Dr. Barnett Slepian and Robert Sanderson (killed in 1998) or Dr. Jack Fainman and another unnamed physician (wounded in 1997) or Dr. Hugh Short (wounded in 1995) or Dr. John Bayard Britton, James H. Barrett, Shannon Lowney and Leanne Nichols (killed in 1994) or Dr. Garson Romalis and five others (wounded in 1994) or Dr. David Gunn (killed in 1993) or Dr. George Tiller (wounded in 1993).
Nor did they give warnings in most of the more than 200 clinic bombings and arsons since 1993, the most recent an unsolved case in Albuquerque, N.M., in December 2007.
During the interview, as you can see above, John McCain sits with his hands folded. So does he agree with Palin? Does he interrupt and say anti-choice assassins and bombers are definitely terrorists? No. Can he not use the word “terrorist” when it comes to these murderers? No. Which should come as no surprise, because, 15 years ago, when he was still supposedly a maverick, he twice voted against a law to prohibit blockades, bombings and arsons at abortion clinics.
Shortly after her glamorous debut at the Republican National Convention, Sarah Palin began proving herself to be John McCain’s sick joke on the nation. But she long ago substituted funny for disgraceful. And now she’s entered the realm of the despicable.
Many Americans oppose abortion and want Roe v. Wade overturned. They have pursued lawful means to obtain their ends. Extremists have pursued other means, willingly murdering and maiming in their crusade to crush women’s reproductive rights. Most law-abiding anti-choice Americans have condemned these extremists. But neither Sarah Palin nor John McCain will call them what they are. Palin is, in effect, giving these terrorists a wink and a nod. Pro-life, my ass.
Source: Daily Kos
Unclassified doc. detailing meeting took place here pdf.
John McCain, who has harshly criticized the idea of sitting down with dictators without pre-conditions, appears to have done just that. In 1985, McCain traveled to Chile for a friendly meeting with Chile’s military ruler, General Augusto Pinochet, one of the world’s most notorious violators of human rights credited with killing more than 3,000 civilians and jailing tens of thousands of others.
The private meeting between McCain and dictator Pinochet has gone previously un-reported anywhere.
According to a declassified U.S. Embassy cable about the meeting secured by The Huffington Post, McCain described the meeting with Pinochet “as friendly and at times warm, but noted that Pinochet does seem obsessed with the threat of communism.” McCain, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee at the time, made no public or private statements critical of the dictatorship, nor did he meet with members of the democratic opposition, as far as could be determined from a thorough check of U.S. and Chilean newspaper records and interviews with top opposition leaders.
At the time of the meeting, in the late afternoon of December 30, the U.S. Justice Department was seeking the extradition of two close Pinochet associates for an act of terrorism in Washington DC, the 1976 assassination of former ambassador to the US and former Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier. The car bombing on Sheridan Circle in the U.S. capital was widely described at the time as the most egregious act of international terrorism perpetrated on U.S. soil by a foreign power.
McCain’s visit with Pinochet took place at a moment when the Chilean strongman held virtually unrestricted dictatorial power and those involved in public, democratic opposition were exposed to great risk.
At the time of McCain’s meeting with Pinochet, Chile’s democratic opposition was desperately seeking support from democratic leaders around the world in an attempt to pressure Pinochet to allow a return to democracy and force a peaceful end to the dictatorship, already in its 12th year. Other U.S. congressional leaders who visited Chile made public statements against the dictatorship and in support of a return to democracy, at times becoming the target of violent pro-Pinochet demonstrations.
Senator Edward Kennedy arrived only 12 days after McCain in a highly public show of support for democracy. Demonstrators pelted his entourage with eggs and blocked the road from the airport, so that the Senator had to be transported by helicopter to the city, where he met with Catholic church and human rights leaders and large groups of opposition activists.
Mark Schneider, a foreign policy aide and former State Department human rights official who organized Kennedy’s trip, said he had no idea McCain had been there only days before. “It would be very surprising and disappointing if Senator McCain went to Chile to meet with a dictator and did not forcefully demand a return to democracy and then to publicly call for a return to democracy,” Schneider said.
Senator Edward Kennedy arrived only 12 days after McCain in a highly public show of support for democracy. Demonstrators pelted his entourage with eggs and blocked the road from the airport
McCain’s visit with Pinochet took place at a moment when the Chilean strongman held virtually unrestricted dictatorial power and those involved in public, democratic opposition were exposed to great risk.
McCain’s presence in Chile was apparently kept as quiet as possible. He and his wife Cindy arrived December 27 and traveled immediately to the scenic Puyehue area of southern Chile to spend several days as the guest of a prominent Pinochet backer, Marco Cariola, who later was elected senator for the conservative UDI party.
The trip was arranged by Chile’s ambassador to the United States, Hernan Felipe Errazuriz. According to a contemporary government document obtained from Chile, Errazuriz arranged for a special government liaison to help McCain while in Chile for the “strictly private” visit, and described him as “one of the conservative congressmen who is closest to our embassy.”
Errazuriz also arranged the invitation for the McCains to stay at the farm of his wealthy friend, Marco Cariola, according to Cariola, who did not know McCain previously. The McCains spent the three and a half days fishing for salmon and trout and riding horses. The area is one of Chile’s most beautiful tourist attractions, with dozens of crystal clear lakes and rivers surrounded by luxurious estates such as the Cariola farm where the McCains were staying.
On December 30, McCain traveled back to Santiago for a 5 pm meeting with dictator Pinochet, followed by a meeting with Admiral Jose Toribio Merino, a member of the country’s ruling military junta.
Read it all…
Revived an old ad !!
This ad came out before the financial collapse ~ likely no one knew just how much of a bee sting the Bush/McCain policies would be!
Oct. 23 (Bloomberg) — The presidential campaign yesterday came down to a contest of “Joe the Plumber” versus “Joe the Hedge-Fund Manager.”
Republican John McCain continued to invoke the Ohio man, known now as Joe the Plumber, to charge that Democrat Barack Obama would raise taxes on American workers. Obama countered that his plan would cut taxes for the Toledo-area plumber while McCain’s proposals favor the wealthiest Americans.
“Thanks to him, we’ve finally learned what Senator Obama’s economic goal is. As he told Joe, Barack Obama wants to, quote, `spread the wealth around,”’ McCain said in New Hampshire, referring to Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, who questioned Obama about his tax plan while the candidate was touring his neighborhood.
At a rally in Richmond, Virginia, Obama responded by saying, McCain “isn’t fighting for Joe the Plumber; he’s fighting for Joe the Hedge-Fund Manager.”
As stocks slump worldwide and a credit crunch burdens businesses and consumers, both candidates are focusing on the economy with the race in its final 12 days. Early voting already has begun in more than two dozen states, including the battlegrounds of Virginia, Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina.
Obama has an average national lead of 7 percentage points, according to data compiled by Realclearpolitics.com. That includes several polls that illustrate the volatility of the electorate. An Associated Press-GfK survey taken Oct. 16-20 showed Obama with 44 percent support to McCain’s 43 percent, well within the margin of error, while a Pew Research Center poll conducted Oct. 16-19 showed Obama with a 14-point lead. A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll put Obama’s margin at 10 points.
Obama, who spent yesterday in Virginia, is taking a break from the campaign after an event this morning in Indiana to visit his ailing grandmother in Hawaii. McCain is heading to Florida, where polls show the two candidates in a close race.
McCain has been hammering Obama on taxes using the example of Joe the plumber, who told the Democratic nominee that he wanted to buy the two-person business where he works and was concerned that Obama’s plan would raise his taxes.
McCain, an Arizona senator, advocates extending the tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush, which are set to expire at the end of 2010. Obama, a senator from Illinois, says he would reduce taxes for families making less than $250,000 a year. Rates for households with taxable incomes of more than $250,000 would return to levels in the 1990s, going to 36 percent and 39.6 percent from the current 33 percent.
McCain accused Obama of seeking “redistribution of wealth.” His running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, has said the Democrat’s plan “sounds more like socialism.”
Obama noted that McCain opposed Bush’s tax cut plan when he was seeking the Republican nomination in 2000 and voted against them in the Senate.
“Was John McCain a socialist back in 2000?” Obama asked at a news conference.
Keeping with his theme, McCain’s campaign released a new television advertisement featuring Obama’s driveway encounter with Wurzelbacher, in which Obama tells him, “I think when you spread the wealth around it’s good for everybody.” The ad then shows a series of men and women saying “I am Joe the Plumber.” At the end, an announcer intones, “Barack Obama. Higher Taxes. More Spending. Not Ready.” The campaign says it will run in “key states” that it didn’t identify.
Obama also sought to confront McCain on national security, tying it to economic concerns.
“Our economy supports our military power; it increases our diplomatic leverage, and it is a foundation of America’s leadership in the world,” Obama said in Richmond.
On both security and the economy, Obama sought to tie McCain to Bush, whose approval ratings are at all-time lows.
McCain “would continue the policies that have put our economy into crisis and endangered our national security,” Obama, 47, said.
McCain repeated a line he used in their final debate: “I am not George Bush. If Senator Obama wants to run against George Bush, he should have run for president four years ago.”
Both candidates also addressed a controversy over remarks last weekend by Obama’s running mate, Delaware Senator Joe Biden, who said that if the Democrat is elected an international crisis will “test the mettle of this guy.”
McCain cited the statement for the third straight day to make his case that he is better prepared to take office.
`Cannot Invite Testing’
“The next president won’t have time to get used to the office,” McCain, 72, said. “He cannot invite testing from the world.”
Obama said Biden was trying to say that the transition to a new leader always brings the risk that U.S. adversaries will try to gain an advantage. He rejected the idea that his election is more likely to provoke an incident.
“We have to be mindful that as we pass the baton in this democracy that others don’t take advantage of it,” he said.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, in an interview Oct. 21, said there is a risk that terrorists may view the transition as an opportunity to strike, no matter whether it is Obama or McCain who wins on Nov. 4.
Unbelievable ~ incredible ~ that McCain is so hard up for cash that has to go and ask for money from a country – he has practically declared the enemy –
McCain has gotten himself caught in his own net ~ through his deregulation tinkering ~ in an area he doesn’t understand – the economy ~ he has left his Wall Street buddies who would have helped him out hard up for cash ~ in addition he has pissed half of them off with his angry rant at the start of the financial crisis. So that many would not support him on princple.
On Russia ~ between himself and Palin – have gone out of their way to demonize that country ~ so much so that when a Russian diplomat receives a confidential letter – signed by John McCain requesting funds for his haranguing campaign – it’s not in Russia’s interest to keep the matter confidential.
So much for Georgia !!
Question is how many other foreign diplomats and embassies has the McCain camp solicited funds from?
And what is more ~ is although Russia is developing a market economy – it is still very much a Socialist run state.
This is beyond desperate!!
“I’ve done nine presidential campaigns and this is the first time this has ever happened to me. I was even allowed — I won’t say welcomed — on the Clinton plane in the summer of 1996 after I was revealed as the author of Primary Colors.”
— Joe Klein, quoted by Politico, on being banned from Sen. John McCain’s campaign plane.
Source: Political Wire
John McCain was particularly animated at the final presidential debate. Here’s a look at his wide range of facial expressions.
US Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) reacts to almost heading the wrong way off the stage after shaking hands with Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) at the conclusion of the final presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, October 15, 2008.
REUTERS/Jim Bourg (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008
‘I Ain’t Bush,’ says McCain
‘Oh Yes Yer Are’ says Obama (and McCain?)
With three weeks to go in the election, the current, most influential narrative is that the crowds at John McCain events have become so vitriolic as to represent an electoral liability.
In response, the McCain camp has spent several days defending itself from what the Senator deemed the “fringe” elements of his rallies. On CNN this Monday, McCain claimed that Obama crowds had called him a terrorist as well.
The frame, however, seems difficult for McCain to move, in part because it is backed by documentary evidence. On Tuesday, Brave New Films and Color of Change (one of the nation’s most influential Black American political organizations) put out a veritable greatest (really, worst) hits of the past week in McCain-Palin rallies.
The video leaves out the Senator’s town hall last Friday, where he corrected two audience members who expressed concerns about Obama. But the spot is effective in reinforcing the notion that McCain-Palin is the ticket of at best, fear and at worse, xenophobia and bigotry.
Color for Change accompanied the release by sending members an open letter to McCain; part of which reads:
“In the last few weeks, Senator McCain and Governor Palin, rhetoric at your campaign events has taken an increasingly dangerous tone that seems to ignore the precarious state of our progress when it comes to race and ethnicity…
… For the most part, you have stood by in silence. In addition, you have also repeatedly made statements that somehow connect Senator Obama with terrorism; surrogates of yours have emphasized his middle name. This is problematic and dangerous, and I believe helps create the conditions that have given rise to these incidents of violent rhetoric from some of your supporters.”
See here where McCain is clearly in denial –
The state of the McCain campaign is drawing fire from its own ostensible allies. At the head of the line of Republicans looking to be the first to flick dirt on McCain’s grave is Bill Kristol, who says in today’s New York Times, that if “the race continues over the next three weeks to be a conventional one, McCain is doomed.” Since that’s coming from a guy who, through his own bad advice, has contributed mightily to the grave McCain is measuring, it makes sense that he be given the first shovel of dirt.
“We have him right where we want him.” McCain’s moves to the “denial” stage of grief.
But didn’t Kristol get the message? Today, the key line of John McCain’s rebooted stump speech is directed at his rival, Barack Obama, and it goes a little something like, “We have him right where we want him.” That was the plan, all along, you see! Be down double digits in the polls, possessed of the necessity of campaigning in West Virginia, and in need of tempering your supporters’ passions because they have suddenly veered wildly in the direction of psychosis. I love it when a plan comes together, even if that plan is only indicative of the fact that McCain’s moved to the “denial” stage of grief. Brace yourself, because anger and depression are still to come!
Amid this turmoil, McCain’s attempts to relaunch his campaign have encountered a new obstacle: his fellow Republicans, who, like Kristol, are prepping themselves for an old-fashioned circular firing squad. Over the weekend, the New York Times noted that party leaders “were worried Mr. McCain was heading for defeat unless he brought stability to his presidential candidacy and settled on a clear message” for his campaign. And in today’s edition of The Hill, a chorus of disapproval weighs in on McCain’s muffed punt of the Paulson bailout package.
But leading that particular pack of wolves is Kristol, who says that the “McCain campaign, once merely problematic, is now close to being out-and-out dysfunctional. Its combination of strategic incoherence and operational incompetence has become toxic.”
Of course, a smart observer might have suggested that the incompetence-slash-incoherence was extant at the moment McCain selected Sarah Palin (inexperienced, embroiled in abuse-of-power scandal, earmark lover) as his running mate, and the toxicity was apparent after a week of all-Ayers-all-the-time campaigning. And we’d remind you that both the Palin selection and the Ayers-bashing had few supporters as frenzied as Kristol. But hey! If the Times was interested in good sense or accountability or even intellectual consistency from their columnists, they wouldn’t have hired Kristol in the first place.
Kristol, “worried Mr. McCain was heading for defeat” — “McCain campaign, once merely problematic, is now close to being out-and-out dysfunctional.”
Naturally, McCain’s responded through Nancy Pfotenhauer, who’s accused Kristol of “buying into the Obama campaign’s party line.” These sentiments were similarly voiced by the ubiquitous Tucker Bounds later in the day:
So what’s the new party line from John McCain? In the first place, McCain is now saying, “What America needs in this hour is a fighter.” Doesn’t that mess up Sarah Palin’s constant contention that McCain being “the only man in the race who has ever really fought for you” was something that she had to say because McCain was too modest to admit it? More to the point, doesn’t this mess up the Sarah Palin Stump Speech Drinking Game? Ever since she dropped the “I sold it on eBay” line I’ve been practically teetotaling!
McCain is now saying, “What America needs in this hour is a fighter.” — “I come from a long line of McCains”
But the crux of McCain’s case seems to be this line:
I come from a long line of McCains who believed that to love America is to fight for her.
So there you have it! Vote for McCain! He’s the McCainiest!
John McCain gives a thumbs-up to supporters before a speech at a Republican rally
According to Time, McCain campaign staffers in Virginia are teaching volunteers to see Barack Obama as having terrorist ‘friends,’ and then providing these volunteers with arguments for persuading voters that Sen. Obama, like Osama Bin Laden, shares responsibility for bombings of the Pentagon.
The report from inside the McCain campaign brings to light an alarming fact: while McCain tells his supporters publicly to refrain from violent rhetoric, he continues to teach his volunteers rhetoric designed to elicit violent responses.
In the article, Time’s Karen Tumulty recounts her visit to a campaign training session in Gainesville, VA, a strategic center for the McCain ground game in Prince William County. What Tumulty describes is a training session hosted by by Virginia’s state GOP Chairman Jeffrey M. Frederick in which volunteers were being trained to see Barack Obama as a terrorist. Tumulty writes:
- The McCain campaign invited me to visit Frederick and the Gainesville operation on Saturday morning, to get a first-hand glimpse of its ground game in Prince William County, Virginia, a fast-growing area about 30 miles from Washington, D.C.With so much at stake, and time running short, Frederick did not feel he had the luxury of subtlety. He climbed atop a folding chair to give 30 campaign volunteers who were about to go canvassing door to door their talking points — for instance, the connection between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden: “Both have friends that bombed the Pentagon,” he said. “That is scary.” It is also not exactly true — though that distorted reference to Obama’s controversial association with William Ayers, a former 60s radical, was enough to get the volunteers stoked. “And he won’t salute the flag,” one woman added, repeating another myth about Obama. She was quickly topped by a man who called out, “We don’t even know where Senator Obama was really born.” Actually, we do; it’s Hawaii. (link)
The report from inside the McCain campaign is disturbing on several levels. While McCain has begun chiding his supporters at public rallies for using violent rhetoric, his campaign has taken the opposite tack behind closed doors. Despite the public image of a campaign not responsible for the violent outbursts of a few followers, the Time report reveals a ground operation actually training its volunteers to elicit violent responses in voters–specifically by making false claims about Barack Obama’s connection to terrorist attacks on U.S. military buildings.
The report confirms that the McCain campaign has staked its chances of winning the Presidency on convincing the public that Barack Obama is on the wrong side of the ‘War on Terror’ and, therefore, his victory in the Presidential election would put the power of the White House in the hands of terrorists.
When supporters of a Presidential candidate view the opposing candidate as merely an election threat, they call for his defeat. But when they view the opposing candidate as a national security threat–as they are being taught by the McCain campaign–they call for that threat to be eradicated.
Tumulty’s report raises serious questions about whether or not John McCain is using campaign rhetoric that not only depart from recognized moral boundaries, but risk igniting actual violence.
In particular, by teaching his volunteers to see Barack Obama as similar to Osama Bin Laden–and by training his volunteers to convince voters of the same–McCain is using his presidential campaign to tie Sen. Obama to the mass murders of September 11, 2001. In this way, McCain is effectively teaching his supporters to believe that Sen. Obama is not only connected to terrorists, but that Sen. Obama deserves the same punishment as terrorists.
In other words, by bringing to light the rhetoric being taught to his campaign volunteers, Time Magazine has provided the explanation for why attendees at McCain and Palin rallies have called for the death of Sen. Obama rather than just his defeat, which would be the norm in such events. When supporters of a Presidential candidate view the opposing candidate as merely an election threat, they call for his defeat. But when they view the opposing candidate as a national security threat–as they are being taught by the McCain campaign–they call for that threat to be eradicated.
Anybody who has ever worked on eBay – knows this is a bad idea – disastrous might be putting it mildly. Bad, bad decision! EBay’s stock is losing value – independently of the credit crisis – it’s plummeting on its own. Meg Whitman should be better know as Mickey Mouse Meg! She is no Steve Jobs and I would even venture to say that Carly Fiorina – former HP boss – might have did a better job that she did at eBay.
At the debate, John McCain says he favors ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman for Secretary of the Treasury. Which would make Whitman the first Treasury Secretary in history to administer financial, economic and PayPal policy. Since McCain promises smaller government, no new taxes and the private sector assuming government functions, he would no doubt encourage Secretary Whitman to combine her new place of business and her old one into one big on-line government service: TreasuryBay.
Here’s what she’ll most likely be selling
Imagine if the Obamas had hooked up with a violently anti-American group in league with the government of Iran.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, at a rally in Vienna, Ohio, on Sept. 16, 2008.
Oct. 7, 2008 | “My government is my worst enemy. I’m going to fight them with any means at hand.”
This was former revolutionary terrorist Bill Ayers back in his old Weather Underground days, right? Imagine what Sarah Palin is going to do with this incendiary quote as she tears into Barack Obama this week.
Only one problem. The quote is from Joe Vogler, the raging anti-American who founded the Alaska Independence Party. Inconveniently for Palin, that’s the very same secessionist party that her husband, Todd, belonged to for seven years and that she sent a shout-out to as Alaska governor earlier this year.
(“Keep up the good work,” Palin told AIP members. “And God bless you.”)
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AIP chairwoman Lynette Clark told me recently that Sarah Palin is her kind of gal. “She’s Alaskan to the bone … she sounds just like Joe Vogler.”
So who are these America-haters that the Palins are pallin’ around with?
Before his strange murder in 1993, party founder Vogler preached armed insurrection against the United States of America. Vogler, who always carried a Magnum with him, was fond of saying, “When the [federal] bureaucrats come after me, I suggest they wear red coats. They make better targets. In the federal government are the biggest liars in the United States, and I hate them with a passion. They think they own [Alaska]. There comes a time when people will choose to die with honor rather than live with dishonor. That time may be coming here. Our goal is ultimate independence by peaceful means under a minimal government fully responsive to the people. I hope we don’t have to take human life, but if they go on tramping on our property rights, look out, we’re ready to die.”
This quote is from “Coming Into the Country,” by John McPhee, who traipsed around Alaska’s remote gold mining country with Vogler for his 1991 book. The violent-tempered secessionist vowed to McPhee that if any federal official tried to stop him from polluting Alaska’s rivers with his earth-moving equipment, he would “run over him with a Cat and turn mosquitoes loose on him while he dies.”
Vogler wasn’t just a blowhard either. He put his secessionist ideas into action, working to build AIP membership to 20,000 — an impressive figure by Alaska standards — and to elect party member Walter Hickel as governor in 1990.
Vogler’s greatest moment of glory was to be his 1993 appearance before the United Nations to denounce United States “tyranny” before the entire world and to demand Alaska’s freedom. The Alaska secessionist had persuaded the government of Iran to sponsor his anti-American harangue.
That’s right … Iran. The Islamic dictatorship. The taker of American hostages. The rogue nation that McCain and Palin have excoriated Obama for suggesting we diplomatically engage. That Iran.
AIP leaders allege that Vogler, who was murdered that year by a fellow secessionist, was taken out by powerful forces in the U.S. before he could reach his U.N. platform. “The United States government would have been deeply embarrassed,” by Vogler’s U.N. speech, darkly suggests Clark. “And we can’t have that, can we?”
The Republican ticket is working hard this week to make Barack Obama’s tenuous connection to graying, ’60s revolutionary Bill Ayers a major campaign issue. But the Palins’ connection to anti-American extremism is much more central to their political biographies.
Imagine the uproar if Michelle Obama was revealed to have joined a black nationalist party whose founder preached armed secession from the United States and who enlisted the government of Iran in his cause? The Obama campaign would probably not have survived such an explosive revelation. Particularly if Barack Obama himself was videotaped giving the anti-American secessionists his wholehearted support just months ago.
Where’s the outrage, Sarah Palin has been asking this week, in her attacks on Obama’s fuzzy ties to Ayers? The question is more appropriate when applied to her own disturbing associations.
Like leader – like follower. Many of those following the John McCain campaign are angry – with an added touch of Palin spitefulness – versus the Obama supporter who shows another frame of mind – with Obama its work hard – know what’s against you – whereas the McCain supporter which seems to be dependent on an old order and the assumption that this base of support will automatically be in place – and now we see the violent/angry reaction when it is not.
It is evident from the way Mr. McCain debates – that he is heavily reliant on this power-support or on a sense of supremacy – and when he stands alone in front of the world – with Barack Obama it appears he is reaching for it. The Republican Convention was a little like McCain at the Puerto Rican Craps table – where he becomes untouchable – because of who ‘I am’ – a former POW, and a Senator for 20 odd years. This is the kind of power-framework which he has placed himself in – and therefore he becomes untouchable by Barack Obama, and through that he wins the election – in his own mind.
While McCain is attached to past glories – we have a catastrophic economic crisis – not since the Great Depression and maybe never – as its fallout is not complete – this while McCain is trying to lock everyone into his frame of mind – which is – more than what I will do for you – its what I have done for you – or what I have did – that’s more important – so he’s running on past glories – but what he is offering and expects you to accept – is more of the same – almost the same as what Bush offered – tax cuts for the wealthy who don’t need them as much as the less well off especially in these times – and he is expecting you to accept this – not because they are rational choices – but purely because he was a war hero – and because he has been a Senator for more years than Obama.
With the information age – we can look at his military record (reckless/maverick/lucky), we can look at what he did and didn’t do in the Senate – and we can put that with his plan for the future – and we can look at the current economic state – and say we are going to need more than a touching story about a man who survived the horrors of being a POW. People have children to feed – and a tax cut for the top 5% of the wealthiest people in America – along with benefits for corporations – is not going to help my family – or most of the people I know.
Mr. McCain’s image is his world – it is what he looks at the world through – and when it is challenged, threatened or slighted in anyway – he defends it with his anger. By being behind in the polls – more than anything he sees it as a rejection of his image – of the POW who fought for his country, like so many others and the senator who served – senators make good and bad decisions – so therefore by rejecting his image – he turns to his anger in an attack directed at Obama’s image. But attacking a man who cares less about image – likely will not produce the results that were hoped for.
What we are seeing is a man leading people with this misplaced anger – and its no wonder his crowd is angry – as they also believe people should see McCain’s image. And no matter what he says or what he believes or what he is offering – the image of Mr. McCain should trump everything.
McCain’s image – like Palin’s image of a moose-hunting, polar bear-despising, extreme-anti-abortionist drill-baby-drill final-solution locks her appeal into too narrow a group – has not managed to multiply the women’s vote as expected – by putting a negative, dirty and hateful spin on it – will drive people away from their limited vision faster – and worst you’ll get the wrong types of people being attracted. Unfortunately that’s what has happened – Palin/McCain rallies are turning into Iran – Death to Obama – Obama’s the Great Evil – and WWII Country First/more Country Űber Alle. Signs of this emerged during the GOP convention – and now it is being played out on the stump. At one rally a black camera man was insulted (Palin’s husband and children are part Eskimo) – versus Barack Obama’s DNC Convention – which he not only said but you could see – this was one America – this is not a Black America or a White America this is the united States of America.
With McCain as President – we could expect a leader – who executes his power through his anger – not healthy. A leader who looks backwards – with an over reliance on an image – that has a place – but is no longer as relevant. With Obama as president – we could expect a healing – a thoughtful approach to the environment, to issues which concern women and families, both Wall Street and Main Street, and a forward lookingness to face some of the technological challenges America will face in the near future.
After referring to the various proposals that comprise his domestic policy agenda, John McCain offered an absolute head-scratcher of a line during a campaign speech on Wednesday.
“Across this country this is the agenda I have set before my fellow prisoners,” he declared. In the prepared remarks he was supposed to say “fellow citizens.”
McCain didn’t skip a beat, lambasting Obama for, of all things, being “less clear” about his vision for the country. “The same standards of clarity and candor must now be applied to my opponent,” he declared.
The remark came during the Senator’s campaign stop in Pennsylvania in what was already a controversial appearance. An hour before McCain took the stage, an introductory speaker revved up the crowd by referring to Barack “Hussein” Obama twice. McCain’s campaign has distanced themselves from the remark.
That One was raised by a single mother and his grandparents. They didn’t have much money, but they taught him values from the Kansas heartland where they grew up. He took out loans to put himself through school. After college, he worked for Christian churches in Chicago, helping communities devastated when steel plants closed. That One turned down lucrative job oﬀers after law school to return to Chicago, leading a successful voter registration drive. He joined a small law ﬁrm, taught constitutional law and, guided by his Christian faith, stayed active in his community. That One and his wife Michelle are proud parents of two daughters, Sasha and Malia.
More at thatone08.com
Watch full debate here
A good debate, McCain tried his usual lines of attack but Obama was prepared. What we could most take from it – was the differences between the two men. The McCain style is to attack almost without looking and the Obama style – to gather the facts and make a solid advance given a broad view of factors.
McCain was undoubtedly more respectful to Obama – bar a couple of incidents most notable – when he referred to Obama as ‘that one’. It seems to be slowly sinking in that Obama is for real – and not only is he there as McCain’s challenger – but also what Obama says and thinks has gravity with the American public.
I thought McCain got off the a running start and looked for a moment like – he was 40 years younger (maybe thirty yrs) – but that soon dried up – and I was honestly worried about McCain’s health – he appeared pent up – shaken and sometimes out of breath – that it really brought home his frailty – but more it had the effect of making him look desperate and even begging.
Obama clearly wants to take America along another vein – and it is not at all clear that McCain wants to do the same – instead he seems to be a man who is bolstering himself on what he knows already – and where he has been – and added to this McCain seems to be ignoring – the atmosphere of change – that is sweeping the world – in the environment, foreign relations to name a few. Where McCain seems to be looking to put the old puzzle together better – Obama seems to be gathering the pieces to put together a new puzzle. That’s change – whereas what McCain seems to talking about is an alteration.
Obama is saying it may be necessary to use aggression – but under his administration – he would use every effort – including diplomacy and gathering the support of our allies – to avert ever having to use such force. When Obama talks about aggression – McCain attempts to make it look as though he is being reckless – not only has Obama’s ideas been copied by the Bush administration – both making cross border attacks into Pakistan’s lawless border – and in dealing with Iran.
Obama used his segments wisely – to clearly lay out a broad a plan as possible – over scoring points – he seemed to be more focused on relaying his message in the most positive and direct way as he could. McCain was also clear on many points – but this was lessened by the fact that he was maybe looking for a punch up or a dust up – in the end McCain did not show himself at all superior. And that matters in a debate.
As for scoring points – Obama comes across as being more measured – and through this his brilliance comes out. He starts off his segments – kind of like the water that comes onto the shore – first the water is by your feet and next you know – it’s up to your knees. That’s Obama’s style. And one of the best examples of this was when he talked about energy and the need to come together – to effect change.
McCain’s style seems very – us and them – and then ‘them’ is made in to a target – them could be Barack Obama and them could be Russia – but it is almost as if he still flying the plane – as a naval bomber – and has to solve the problem via bombing. And he portrays himself almost as the man who knows how to bomb – but more there is a phantom army in support of his efforts. He has been in the Senate for many years – and he says I know how to catch Bin Laden – and another thing he frequently says is I know how to win a war. And what is Russia, for McCain – it’s the KGB – over an evolving nation – that most in Europe would attest to. And how he plans to deal with it – in his short answer – it seems would be like going back to the good old days – or pure aggression between the two nations – US and the
USSR, over the reality of a far more open Russia that looks very different today.
With McCain’s shaky health – and Palin’s pursuit of trigger happiness – I would be worried about this line of attempt to deal with the problems we face with Russia.
Another part of the debate focused on healthcare and taxes. On taxes McCain seems to have switched direction on that one – telling Obama – in gambling man’s style – that maybe he would not lower taxes for the rich /those making over $250,000/yr. That’s when Obama retorted – that the Straight Talk Express has lost its wheel. If McCain has changed his mind here – then he agrees with Biden – in this economic environment that kind of expenditure on the rich – is unpatriotic – as it is the poorer people who need money more in tougher times. And goes directly in the face of what Palin has been yelling on the stump.
All in all it was clear that Obama – has become more adapt at debating McCain – one of the highlights was when he said – McCain keeps saying I don’t understand – yes I don’t understand how we could have gone to war – in Iraq when Al-Qaeda was in Afghanistan.
At the vice presidential debate in St. Louis, the McCain campaign rented out a stadium to re-energize the conservative base in light of Sarah Palin’s recent gaffes. Despite the revival feel, zeal for Palin isn’t translating in the polls. While some would argue Palin exceeded expectations, unregistered voters seem unimpressed.
Control your dog?
John Aravosis at AmericaBlog writes:
McCain was speaking today in New Mexico, doing his usual personal attack on Barack Obama, as the stock market plummeted (you can see the ticker next to McCain on the screen, an apt reminder of what McCain and his fellow Republicans represent), and McCain asked the crowd “who is Barack Obama?” Immediately you hear someone yell “terrorist.” McCain pauses, the audience laughs, and McCain continues on, not acknowledging, not chastising, not correcting. Oh, but McCain does say in the next sentence that he’s upset about all the “angry barrage of insults.”
Judging by McCain’s slightly startled reaction, he clearly didn’t anticipate that reaction, and McCain’s in no way responsible for the utterances of anybody in his audience. But he must have some idea of how deeply this fear/outsider/other meme has spread. A tripartite strategy isn’t needed.
UPDATE: The Washington Post reports on a similar moment at a Palin rally today:
“Now it turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers,” Palin said.
“Boooo!” said the crowd.
“And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, ‘launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,'” she continued.
“Boooo!” the crowd repeated.
“Kill him!” proposed one man in the audience.
And Dana Milbank highlights another incident from Tuesday:
Worse, Palin’s routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric’s questions for her “less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media.” At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, “Sit down, boy.”
More at KeatingEconomics.com
Tasked with defending John McCain’s past involvement in the “Keating Five” scandal, the Senator’s legal representative tried to dismiss the entire significance of what occurred some two decades ago.
Speaking to reporters on a conference call, John Dowd, a partner at the powerhouse lobbying/consulting firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, painted the Keating investigation as a “political smear job” led by Democrats who needed to make the issue a bipartisan embarrassment rather than own it themselves.
“He was the only Republican in that hearing and so it had some political overtones given that Democrats were in deep trouble,” said Dowd. “John was the only senator who essentially threw Charles Keating out of his office and he did that before there were any allegations of impropriety.”
As John Aravosis and Ben Smith both noted, in making such an assertion, Dowd is contradicting none other than McCain himself. The Senator has previously called the Keating scandal “the worst moment in my life,” implicitly acknowledging that while his activities may not have been criminal, they were unacceptable.
“The appearance of it was wrong,” McCain declared in retrospect. “It’s a wrong appearance when a group of senators appear in a meeting with a group of regulators, because it conveys the impression of undue and improper influence. And it was the wrong thing to do.”
Dowd, by contrast, suggested on Monday that McCain’s role in the affair was entirely innocent. He said McCain was not only within bounds for reimbursing Keating for airplane rides that went unreported, but that the Senator took an unprecedented step towards ethical purity in making those payments. As for his relationship with Keating, Dowd insisted that McCain knew him as a constituent primarily, and ended their connection when it became clear that political favors were being sought.
“I thought his conduct was perfectly appropriate,” he even declared at one point.
Dowd is, it should be noted, an interesting voice for the McCain camp to turn to. He was McCain’s lawyer during the Keating scandal, and he supported the Arizona Republican when he ran for president in 2000. But earlier this cycle, the longtime defense attorney expressed disappointment with the Senator, saying he couldn’t even recognize his longtime friend.
“I am very sorry to see what’s happened to John,” Dowd said. “I don’t think his campaign is being well run. It’s been over-managed. He blew through $8 1/2 million. It’s a difficult thing to leave a friend and go to another friend. But we lost the John McCain I knew.”
As Dowd played the good soldier on Monday, the Obama campaign put out a 13-minute documentary detailing the history of McCain’s involvement in the affair. The film details how, at Keating’s request, McCain wrote several letters and supported a bill to push back a direct investment bill. Dowd painted his as a regrettable mistake done on behalf of a constituent. But the Obama campaign argues that it provides a direct window into how McCain would handle the current economic crisis.
“The Keating scandal is eerily similar to today’s credit crisis,” read the campaign’s new website, KeatingEconomics.com, “where a lack of regulation and cozy relationships between the financial industry and Congress has allowed banks to make risky loans and profit by bending the rules. And in both cases, John McCain’s judgment and values have placed him on the wrong side of history.”
When the McCain campaign announced this weekend that it would start attacking Sen. Barack Obama via guilt by association, peddling smears about people he barely knows, I thought the tack would lead to the Keating Five. But I didn’t know it would happen this quickly.
Obama’s campaign has never pushed the Keating button before, so this attack carries an original punch-and is clearly salient given the current financial crisis. Because the scandal involved McCain’s actions in public service, it is more likely to arise during the remaining two debates.
McCain’s dredging up of Bill Ayers, in contrast, is not only old news but has no link to anything Obama has done in public life. Patrick Ruffini, a Republican operative who worked on Bush’s reelection campaign, said today that McCain’s Ayers attacks are so old that airing them now “appears desperate.”
McCain’s course correction reflects a growing case of nerves within his high command as the electoral map has shifted significantly in Obama’s favor in the past two weeks.
“It’s a dangerous road, but we have no choice,” a top McCain strategist told the Daily News. “If we keep talking about the economic crisis, we’re going to lose.”
Perpetually fretting Democrats will not want to accept it. The campaigns themselves can’t afford to believe it. Many journalists know it but can’t say it. And there will certainly be some twists and turns along the way. But take it to a well capitalized bank: Bill Ayers isn’t going to save John McCain. The race is over.
John McCain’s candidacy is as much a casualty of Wall Street as Lehman or Merrill. Like those once vibrant institutions, McCain’s collapse was stunning and quick. One minute you are a well-respected brand. The next you are yelling at the messengers of your demise as all around you the numbers start blinking red and stop adding up.
McCain’s road was difficult to begin with: the President of his party has had record-low approval ratings for two years and the number of Americans who say the country is heading in the wrong direction is stratospheric. He also had the misfortune to be pitted against an exceptional candidate running an extremely well-executed campaign.
Still, before Wall Street’s collapse Senator McCain was ahead. His approval ratings remained high, his VP pick had generated excitement and interest, and his campaign operatives were capable, on any given day, of winning news cycles and giving their opponents fits. And then the underpinnings of American capitalism begin to sink — and with them sunk McCain.
An election dominated at its inception by the war in Iraq is now overwhelmingly focused on the economy. More than half of voters in polls say that the economy is their top concern and Senator Obama enjoys double digit leads among voters asked who can better fix our economic mess. Put simply, there is no way Senator McCain can win if he continues to trail Senator Obama by double digits on the top concern of more than half of voters.
State polls are beginning to reflect this. If the election were tomorrow, Obama would win all of the states John Kerry carried and add Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia, Nevada, Ohio and Florida. Barack Obama is campaigning in Indiana, which last went for a Democrat in 1964 and North Carolina, which has gone for a Democrat only once in thirty-four years. At the same time John McCain has pulled out of Michigan and Sarah Palin has been forced to visit Nebraska.
This dynamic is very unlikely to change. John McCain’s goal in the first debate was to discredit Senator Obama as a credible Commander in Chief and elevate the issue of foreign policy and national security. He didn’t come close. Absent a domestic terror attack the economy will remain the number one issue in the race, and there is little Senator McCain can do to make up his gap with Senator Obama on it. Oh, Senator McCain will try to make issues of Bill Ayers and Tony Rezko and Rev. Wright, and that might hurt Senator Obama around the margins — but it will not prevent him from winning. The economy is simply bigger than the rogues gallery that John McCain is conjuring up.
Why is this? Why won’t the swiftboat tactics work this year?
Its easy to lose sight of it in the day to day coverage, but the collapse of Wall Street in the last weeks was a seminal event in the history of our nation and our politics. To put the crisis in perspective, Americans have lost a combined 1 trillion dollars in net worth in just the last four weeks alone. Just as President Bush’s failures in Iraq undermined his party’s historic advantage on national security issues, the financial calamity has shown the ruinous implications of the Republican mania for deregulation and slavish devotion to totally unfettered markets.
Republicans and Democrats have been arguing over the proper role of government for a century. In 1980 voters sided with Ronald Reagan and Republicans that government had become too big and intrusive. Then the economy worked in the Republicans’ favor. Today the pendulum has swung in our direction. Republican philosophies have been discredited by events. Voters understand this. This is a big election about big issues. McCain’s smallball will not work. This race will not be decided by lipsticked pigs. And John McCain can not escape that reality. The only unknowns are the size of the margin and the breadth of the Democratic advantage in the next Congress.
Source: The New Republic
One could mention – that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones – but I don’t think Sarah Palin would listen.
While Palin digs into – Barack Obama’s “palling” around with Vietnam protesting terrorists – others look at her relationship and seeming support for an Alaska secessionist group and her patriotism.
Palin’s Attack On Obama’s Patriotism Legitimizes Questions About The Palins’ Association With Group Founded By America-Hating Secessionist
Sarah Palin attacked Obama’s patriotism today over his association with former Weatherman Bill Ayers — a move that makes it perfectly legitimate to raise questions about the Palins’ associations with a group founded by an Alaska secessionist who once professed his “hatred for the American government” and cursed our “damn flag.”
In Colorado today, Palin seized on the big front-page New York Times story about Ayers and Obama, which concludes that the two men “do not appear to have been close,” to launch her most vicious attack yet on the Illinois Senator — a harbinger of what’s to come.
“This is not a man who sees America as you and I do — as the greatest force for good in the world,” Palin said. “This is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country.”
If Palin is going to say this, it is now perfectly legitimate to point out that she repeatedly courted a secessionist group founded by someone who openly professed hatred of the American government, cursed our flag, and wanted to secede from the Union. Sarah’s husband, Todd Palin, was a member of this group, which continues to venerate that founder to this day, for years.
As you already know, the group is the Alaska Independence Party, which sees as its ultimate goal seceding from the union. Todd was a member, with a brief exception, from 1995 until 2002, according to the Division of Elections in Alaska.
And though Sarah Palin herself was apparently not a member of this group, there’s no doubt that she repeatedly courted this secessionist organization over the years. In 1994, Palin attended the group’s annual convention, according to witnesses who spoke to ABC News’ Jake Tapper. The McCain campaign has confirmed she visited the group’s 2000 convention, and she addressed its convention this year, as an incumbent governor whose oath of office includes upholding the Constitution of the United States.
Sarah Palin addresses the Alaska Independence Party (AIP) convention.
The founder of the AIP was a man named Joe Vogler. Here’s what he had to say in a 1991 interview, only a few years before Palin attended its convention: “The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government.”
He also said this: “And I won’t be buried under their damn flag. I’ll be buried in Dawson. And when Alaska is an independent nation they can bring my bones home.”
Vogler has also said: “I’m an Alaskan, not an American. I’ve got no use for America or her damned institutions.”
McCain apologists will argue that Sarah Palin was not a member of this group. But Obama wasn’t a member of any Ayers anti-American group, either. And again, Palin repeatedly courted the AIP, and her husband was a member for years.
The main takeaway from today’s Times story is that Obama’s ties to Ayers are, if anything, less substantial than commonly alleged. So if the Ayers association means Obama “palled around” with “terrorists,” as Palin put it today, surely Palin can be said to have “palled around” with a secessionist party whose founder openly professed hatred of America.
If Palin is going to directly question Obama’s patriotism over his association Ayers, surely all these facts are now fair game and freshly relevant
Find out more at The Real John McCain
McCain we hear is more that partial to a game of craps – but where’s the gambling man’s winnings and losses – accounted for on his tax returns? Is McCain being dishonest? Has McCain acted legally?
Senator John McCain is a gambler. If I’d known that right away I would have immediately seen what was wrong with his tax returns.
I am a tax attorney, so a tax return means more to me than it would to most. I reviewed McCain’s tax returns as a basic check on the candidates. You can look at McCain’s 2006 and 2007 tax returns for yourself. The tax returns are below a lot of verbiage about his charitable activities.
According to a New York Times article of September 27, 2008 “For McCain and Team, a Host of Ties to Gambling,” reported by Jo Becker and Don VanNatta Jr., McCain gambled at the MGM Grand in May 2007.
Apparently McCain is a habitual gambler; he usually plays craps. He even says, “I am a gambling man.”
Gambling has tax implications. According to IRS Publication 17, “Your Federal Income Tax”, 2007 edition, page 89 “Gambling Winnings. You must include your gambling winnings in income on Form 1040, line 21. If you itemize your deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040), you can deduct gambling losses you had during the year, but only up to the amount of your winnings.” In other words, you can’t subtract your losses from your winnings and just not report. You have to report the winnings, and then claim the losses.
But McCain’s tax returns say nothing about gambling winnings or losses.
As a casino gambler, McCain is likely to have lost more than he won. But by not reporting his winnings, the different percentage calculations built into the tax calculation are thrown off, and if he gambled much at all, he has underpaid his tax. The amount of understatement of tax may be minimal, but that’s not the point.
The real purpose of preparing his tax return and omitting the gambling winnings is so that people would not know how much he gambled. If he won $200,000 playing craps in Las Vegas, it would make a difference in the way voters viewed his suitability as a presidential candidate.
There are circumstances under which the tax returns could be correct, such as McCain gambled once in 2007, not at all in 2006, and lost everything the one time he gambled. Such an explanation is unlikely in light of McCain’s alleged long history of gambling.
I think we are looking at tax returns calculated to hide an aspect of the candidate. My 35 years of experience in taxes tells me these tax returns are wrong, and we do not know the true scope of McCain’s gambling or of his potential obligations to gambling enterprises.
McCain plans to go after Obama hard in the coming weeks – but what can he say that he has not already said. McCain’s best chance is to make this election about personalities – like – Palin looks great – vote for me !! But with the financial crisis – piled on top of 1 million home foreclosures – and almost 800,000 jobs lost this year alone – McCain is going to have a difficult time stirring this election back round to a personality contest!
Anyway McCain says he plans to let it all out – to remove the gloves – NEXT TUESDAY !!
Set your clocks folks for the Straight Talk Showdown!
Sen. John McCain and his Republican allies are readying a newly aggressive assault on Sen. Barack Obama’s character, believing that to win in November they must shift the conversation back to questions about the Democrat’s judgment, honesty and personal associations, several top Republicans said.
With just a month to go until Election Day, McCain’s team has decided that its emphasis on the senator’s biography as a war hero, experienced lawmaker and straight-talking maverick is insufficient to close a growing gap with Obama. The Arizonan’s campaign is also eager to move the conversation away from the economy, an issue that strongly favors Obama and has helped him to a lead in many recent polls.
“We’re going to get a little tougher,” a senior Republican operative said, indicating that a fresh batch of television ads is coming. “We’ve got to question this guy’s associations. Very soon. There’s no question that we have to change the subject here,” said the operative, who was not authorized to discuss strategy and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Being so aggressive has risks for McCain if it angers swing voters, who often say they are looking for candidates who offer a positive message about what they will do. That could be especially true this year, when frustration with Washington politics is acute and a desire for specifics on how to fix the economy and fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is strong.
Robert Gibbs, a top Obama adviser, dismissed the new McCain strategy. “This isn’t 1988,” he said. “I don’t think the country is going to be distracted by the trivial.” He added that Obama will continue to focus on the economy, saying that Americans will remain concerned about the country’s economic troubles even as the Wall Street crisis eases somewhat.
Moments after the House of Representatives approved a bailout package for Wall Street on Friday afternoon, the McCain campaign released a television ad that challenges Obama’s honesty and asks, “Who is Barack Obama?” The ad alleges that “Senator Obama voted 94 times for higher taxes. Ninety-four times. He’s not truthful on taxes.” The charge that Obama voted 94 times for higher taxes has been called misleading by independent fact-checkers, who have noted that the majority of those votes were on nonbinding budget resolutions.
A senior campaign official called the ad “just the beginning” of commercials that will “strike the new tone” in the campaign’s final days. The official said the “aggressive tone” will center on the question of “whether this guy is ready to be president.”
McCain’s only positive commercial, called “Original Mavericks,” has largely been taken off the air, according to Evan Tracey of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political ads.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s performance at Thursday night’s debate embodied the new approach, as she used every opportunity to question Obama’s honesty and fitness to serve as president. At one point she said, “Barack Obama voted against funding troops [in Iraq] after promising that he would not do so.”
Palin kept up the attack yesterday, saying in an interview on Fox News that Obama is “reckless” and that some of what he has said, “in my world, disqualifies someone from consideration as the next commander in chief.”
McCain hinted Thursday that a change is imminent, perhaps as soon as next week’s debate. Asked at a Colorado town hall, “When are you going to take the gloves off?” the candidate grinned and replied, “How about Tuesday night?”
Yesterday in Pueblo, Colo., McCain made clear that he intends to press Obama on a variety of familiar GOP themes during the debate, as he accused the Democrat once again of getting ready to raise taxes and increase government spending.
“I guarantee you, you’re going to learn a lot about who’s the liberal and who’s the conservative and who wants to raise your taxes and who wants to lower them,” McCain said.
A senior aide said the campaign will wait until after Tuesday’s debate to decide how and when to release new commercials, adding that McCain and his surrogates will continue to cast Obama as a big spender, a high taxer and someone who talks about working across the aisle but doesn’t deliver.
Two other top Republicans said the new ads are likely to hammer the senator from Illinois on his connections to convicted Chicago developer Antoin “Tony” Rezko and former radical William Ayres, whom the McCain campaign regularly calls a domestic terrorist because of his acts of violence against the U.S. government in the 1960s.
The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. appears to be off limits after McCain condemned the North Carolina Republican Party in April for an ad that linked Obama to his former pastor, saying, “Unfortunately, all I can do is, in as visible a way as possible, disassociate myself from that kind of campaigning.”
McCain advisers said the new approach is in part a reaction to Obama, whose rhetoric on the stump and in commercials has also become far harsher and more aggressive.
They noted that Obama has run television commercials for months linking McCain to lobbyists and hinting at a lack of personal ethics — an allegation that particularly rankles McCain, aides said.
Campaigning in Abington, Pa., yesterday, Obama continued to focus on the economy, even as he lashed out at McCain.
“He’s now going around saying, ‘I’m going to crack down on Wall Street’ . . . but the truth is he’s been saying ‘I’m all for deregulation’ for 26 years,” Obama said. “He hasn’t been getting tough on CEOs. He hasn’t been getting tough on Wall Street. . . . Suddenly a crisis comes and the polls change, and suddenly he’s out there talking like Jesse Jackson.”
Obama highlighted a new report showing a reduction of more than 159,000 jobs last month, and he linked the bad economic news to McCain and Palin.
“Governor Palin said to Joe Biden that our plan to get our economy out of the ditch was somehow a job-killing plan; that’s what she said,” Obama told a crowd of thousands. “I wonder if she turned on the news this morning. . . . When Senator McCain and his running mate talk about job killing, that’s something they know a thing or two about, because the policies they’ve supported and are supporting are killing jobs in America every single day.”
Before the bailout crisis, aides said, McCain was succeeding in focusing attention on Obama’s record and character. Now, they say, he must return to those subjects.
“We are looking for a very aggressive last 30 days,” said Greg Strimple, one of McCain’s top advisers. “We are looking forward to turning a page on this financial crisis and getting back to discussing Mr. Obama’s aggressively liberal record and how he will be too risky for Americans.”
I Killed A Moose and I liked it!
Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. lost the most jobs in five years in September and earnings rose less than forecast as the credit crisis deepened the economic slowdown.
Payrolls fell by 159,000, more than anticipated, after a 73,000 decline in August, the Labor Department said today in Washington. The jobless rate, the last one reported before the presidential election, remained at 6.1 percent. Hours worked reached the lowest level since records began in 1964.
The world’s largest economy may be headed for bigger job losses as the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression causes consumers and companies to retrench. A sinking labor market and rising borrowing costs raise the odds Federal Reserve policy makers will cut interest rates by their Oct. 29 meeting.
“The financial panic is a body blow to business confidence, and companies are now battening down the hatches,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said before the report. “We’re in store for very sizable job losses across many industries. A rate cut by the Fed could come before the next meeting.”
Revisions added 4,000 to payroll figures previously reported for August and July. The Labor Department said it was “unlikely” that Hurricane Ike, which struck the Gulf Coast last month, “had substantial effects” on payrolls figures.
After today, the total decline in payrolls so far this year has reached 760,000. The economy created 1.1 million jobs in 2007. […]
The jobless rate is up 1.4 percentage points from September 2007. Since World War II, the rate has risen only twice during similar periods before presidential elections. In both cases — when Bill Clinton defeated George H. W. Bush in 1992 and when Ronald Reagan beat Jimmy Carter in 1980 — the incumbent party lost the election.
Americans will go to the polls on Nov. 4 and the October jobs report is due Nov. 7.
“Voters are extremely angry, and they want someone to blame,” said Scott Anderson, senior economist at Wells Fargo & Co. in Minneapolis.
Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has opened up a lead over Republican rival John McCain in the aftermath of their first debate and amid growing concerns about the economy, according to a Pew Research Center survey taken Sept. 27 to Sept. 29. A mid-September poll from Washington-based Pew had shown the candidates were in a statistical dead heat.
Earlier in September, a Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll showed more respondents said Obama would do a better job handling the financial crisis than McCain, and almost half of the voters believed he had better ideas to strengthen the economy than his rival.
NEW YORK — Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin enters her debate Thursday with Joe Biden needing to make a strong positive impression on voters, many of whom are expressing serious doubts about her readiness.
A new AP-Gfk poll released Wednesday found that just 25 percent of likely voters believe Palin has the right experience to be president. That’s down from 41 percent just after the GOP convention, when the Alaska governor made her well-received debut on the national stage.
Thursday night’s debate in St. Louis gives her a chance to overcome the doubts in a 90-minute showcase, the first time most Americans outside Alaska will see her in a lengthy give-and-take session.
On the other hand, a poor performance against Biden, the Delaware senator, could cement a negative image for the rest of the campaign.
Palin has been preparing at Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s retreat in Sedona, Ariz
Source: Washington Post
Barely Political: The REAL Sarah Palin!