Experience alone does not a president make

by lestro

After a day of celebration, relaxation and pride (remember the day after the 2004 election?  What a difference around the world, eh?), it is time to get back to the hard work of political punditry and that, of course, means post mortems on the campaigns.

The big game today seems to be “what went wrong” for John McCain and Newsweek goes right for the jugular, asking if the McCampaign was “the worst ever.”

It is tough to say it was the worst campaign ever, but it certainly ranks among them. According to Newsweek, the reason it is the worst comes down to two words: Sarah Palin.

… Team McCain ran a campaign that ranks on the bottom of this list. This was an aimless and chaotic operation made worse by poor choices at key moments. Their first mistake was picking Gov. Sarah Palin.

Actually, this was NOT their “first mistake.” However, Palin was the Gateway Meme, the first look behind the curtain that allowed the general public to see how everything Johnny Mac said was like a turd in the punchbowl that cannot be denied.

It was clear by September 3, 2008, before Charles GibsonKatie Couric and Tina Fey pulled on the thread that would eventually unravel the campaign, what Newsweek now describes:

By picking Palin, McCain simultaneously eliminated his own best argument against Senator Obama—the limited experience of his opponent—while compounding his own most negative image, that of someone who was erratic and out of control. The pick also fueled the feeling that grew throughout September and October that the Republican candidate was willing to take any step necessary to win the campaign. The Palin pick made every decision that followed seem purely political.

Like Katrina pulled back the curtain on the Bush administration, Sarah Palin revealed McCain as willing to do or say anything to get elected, all with little to no forethought.

And that’s no way to run a campaign, let alone a government. Read more of this post

the wheels on the bus

by twit

go round and round…

Even McCain can’t help but campaign for Obama:

From his interview to air tonight on Larry King Live. …

KING: You don’t believe Barack Obama is a socialist do you?

MCCAIN: “No”

while rumor has it, Palin is no longer welcome on the Straight Talk Express:

I’ve heard from one well-placed source that McCain has snubbed her on one long bus ride aboard the Straight Talk Express, to the embarrassment of those sitting nearby.

and the mad scramble is on in the McCain campaign to blame Palin for everything:

John McCain’s campaign is looking for a scapegoat. It is looking for someone to blame if McCain loses on Tuesday.

And it has decided on Sarah Palin.

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Liberal media, my ass

by lestro

This time it hits home because it is coming from one of my very favorite newspapers, The Philadelphia Inquirer (as reported in the NY Times):

Over the weekend, the Philadelphia Inquirer joined the many newspapers that have endorsed Senator Barack Obama for president rather than Senator John McCain, contributing to the 3-to-1 advantage that Mr. Obama already has in newspaper support, according to Editor & Publisher.

Yet the Philadelphia Inquirer also endorsed Senator McCain. That’s not a typo.

On the same page that the newspaper published a 901-word editorial supporting Mr. Obama, it ran just beneath it a 391-word dissent in support of Mr. McCain.

Seriously. They actually did that. What the fuck? Officially, of course, nothing happened:

Brian Tierney, chief executive of the company that owns The Inquirer, Philadelphia Media Holdings, and who sits on the newspaper’s editorial board, would not say. In an interview on Tuesday, Mr. Tierney would only say, “We don’t talk about what goes on on the editorial page.”

But the Times has its ways:

But another member of the Editorial Board, who asked not to be identified because of possible repercussions, said that it was Mr. Tierney who pressed the case for Mr. McCain. After arriving at the meeting, the board member said, “we went around the room” and Mr. Obama was the “overwhelming winner.”

At that point, the person said, “Tierney weighed in and made the case for McCain.”

Mr. Tierney, an advertising executive who in the past had been involved in Republican politics, was among a number of business executives who bought the Inquirer and its sister paper, the Philadelphia Daily News, from the McClatchy Company in 2006 for $562 million.

So let me get this straight: It was actually the REPUBLICAN forcing his view on the newsroom and using his power and influence to try and sway an election?

Read more of this post

“either astoundingly ignorant or downright Orwellian”

by twit

The de ja vu is uncanny:

via leapsecond

Delusions of the McCain campaign

by twit

via TPM, the Times Online reports:

Inside John McCain’s campaign the expectation is growing that there will be a popularity boosting pre-election wedding in Alaska between Bristol Palin, 17, and Levi Johnston, 18, her schoolmate and father of her baby.

“It would be fantastic,” said a McCain insider. “You would have every TV camera there. The entire country would be watching. It would shut down the race for a week.”

hmm… could it be that the McCain campaign believes that this election is not about the issues facing this country?  at least if they expect to win?

The McCain campaign realizes that the more time voters have to look at the McCain/Palin debacle, the worse their chances are.  They appear to want anything that will “shut down the race” and divert attention away from the issues at stake in the election.

Read more of this post

Stop being so mean to Sarah Palin!

by twit

She’s not qualified to run for vice president, stop treating her like she is!

Shame on the press, trying to do its job!

Ms. Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee, is scheduled to meet Tuesday in New York with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia, and former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger.

But the McCain-Palin campaign’s sharp limitations on coverage of the meetings have sparked a mini-revolt – and a threatened boycott — among the press corps.

Read more of this post

Be Nice to Sarah Palin!

by twit

She can’t handle a real debate:

McCain advisers said they had been concerned that a loose format could leave Ms. Palin, a relatively inexperienced debater, at a disadvantage and largely on the defensive.

… McCain advisers said they were only somewhat concerned about Ms. Palin’s debating skills compared with those of Mr. Biden, who has served six terms in the Senate, or about his chances of tripping her up. Instead, they say, they wanted Ms. Palin to have opportunities to present Mr. McCain’s positions, rather than spending time talking about her experience or playing defense.

We surely can’t have her talking about her experience.  That just wouldn’t be fair considering she has so little to talk about…

But we should be nice to Sarah Palin, because she can’t even inspire confidence in the McCain campaign over her ability to speak in public without a script:

… the commission unanimously rejected a proposal sought by advisers to Ms. Palin and Senator John McCain of Arizona, the Republican presidential nominee, to have the moderator ask questions and the candidates answer, with no time for unfettered exchanges.

Read more of this post

It is nice to see journalists – and Matt Lauer – doing their job

by lestro

Even Matt Lauer is following the lead of the actual journalists, but still:

On NBC’s “Today” show, Matt Lauer, from the floor of the New York Stock exchange, described Monday’s 500-point drop as a “bloodbath” and asked Mr. McCain how he could say that “the fundamentals of our economy are strong” while his campaign released an ad saying that the economy is in crisis.

“Clarify this for me,’’ Mr. Lauer said. “It doesn’t seem as if both things can be true.’’

Mr. McCain replied by saying that when he spoke about the fundamentals of the economy, he was referring to the workers – which is different from how he has described the term before.

Nice to see journalists – and Matt Lauer – doing their job.

It’s led the McCain to start swinging even harder at the media, even directly, as this morning on Joe Scarborough’s show (Not to be confused with Joey Scarbury, who wrote and sang “Believe it or Not,” The “Greatest American Hero” theme).

Ms. Brzezinski had brought up Mr. Obama’s campaign ad highlighting Mr. McCain’s statement that the “fundamentals of our economy are strong.” Mr. McCain side-stepped the question of whether that ad was fair and said: “I still say to you – and I know you’re a supporter of Senator Obama – if you would urge him to come and do town hall meetings with me, as I’ve asked him to do time after time, the whole tenor of the campaign would change.”

Ms. Brzezinski bristled at the comment, saying: “Supporter of Senator Obama? I’m not sure I would characterize myself that way.”

Unfortunately, Scarborough himself is an unabashed McCain apologist and supporter, as is his cohost, apparently:

Later, she repeated her objection and reminded viewers that her brother, Ian Brzezinski, is working on Mr. McCain’s campaign.

“Take care of my brother,” she said to Mr. McCain. “Say hi to Ian for me.”

Seems like a conflict of interest to me, especially since the host is now going out of her way to say without saying that she is a McCain backer. (Note that these two Brzezinkis should not to be confused with Zbigniew Brzezinski, the respected foreign policy expert who is an Obama supporter).

Objective? you be the judge.

Read more of this post

McCain means no more special interest giveaways

by lestro

Both campaigns are responding to this weekend’s fiscal crisis.

The Obama camp is reminding folks that John McCain has supported the president’s economic policies since they failed the first time around as Reagan’s economic policies and cost the current president’s dear old dad the big job.

(For the record, George H. W. Bush was not a party ideologue and actually tried to fix the economy instead of further pushing the country along the Reaganomic, trickle-down path, which he himself had dubbed “voodoo economics” in his campaign against the Gipper. Since Reagan’s spend spend spend ways had finally caught up, Bush was forced to raise taxes to help balance the budget, a unforgivable no-no among party ideologues.)

Meanwhile, the McCain camp is making sure that everyone knows that now that his friends are taken care of, there will be no more help for anyone:

The McCain-Palin campaign quickly released a new advertisement this morning, titled “Crisis” that focused on the troubled economy, citing foreclosures and job losses. It also repeated the candidate’s pronouncement that there would be no “special interest giveaways,” were the Republicans elected, as the site of Lehman Brothers in downtown Manhattan flashed upon the screen. In the ad, he promised to shore up protections for voters’ savings.

What friends? Why, the top-level Fannie and Freddie lobbyists he has working for him, of course. Now that their business has been saved by the government, screw these other folks.

Read more of this post

an encyclopedia of McCain/Palin lies and distortion

by twit

There are so many it is getting hard to keep track.  This is a beginning of a list, and it will be updated as additional reports are collected.  Please feel free to leave additional links in the comments.

To begin, here’s a video that outlines some of the latest lies and distortions from the McCain campaign:

Read more of this post

The Bridge to Sarah Palin’s lies

by twit

This “Bridge to Nowhere” issue seemed kind of boring until Sarah Palin started lying about it.

via TPM, here is Chris Matthews going to town on Palin’s claims about the “Bridge to Nowhere” and the stunning spectacle of the misleading statements continuing to be told, even after the media did the most basic investigation and found Palin’s story to be misleading and untrue:

TPM has details:

Read more of this post

The difference between the KKK and Sarah Palin?

by twit

Might actually be lipstick…

You may have heard by now that Sarah Palin has been accused of being an “open racist.”

According to Charley James, writing in LA Progressive, interviews of Alaska residents have dished up a series of allegations related to racism in Alaska, as well as allegations that Governor Palin isn’t shy about expressing contempt and mockery of people who don’t happen to be white.

What we are likely to see steadfastly denied in this week’s news cycle is this:

“So Sambo beat the bitch!”

This is how Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin described Barack Obama’s win over Hillary Clinton to political colleagues in a restaurant a few days after Obama locked up the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

According to Lucille, the waitress serving her table at the time and who asked that her last name not be used, Gov. Palin was eating lunch with five or six people when the subject of the Democrat’s primary battle came up. The governor, seemingly not caring that people at nearby tables would likely hear her, uttered the slur and then laughed loudly as her meal mates joined in appreciatively.

and yes, there’s more:

Read more of this post

John McCain vs. John McCain

by lestro

Back in the beginning of August, back when John McCain was still telling us experience mattered, before he and his ilk were so infatuated with Sarah Palin that they tossed away a year’s worth of message-building on an attractive pander, McCain spent most of his time calling his opponent an empty suit, saying he gave speeches with no substance and gave his take on what would be the important markers in this election:

“I know, by the way, and you know, that Senator Obama will give a great speech at their convention before 75,000 people in Denver, and I don’t expect to match up to that,’’ Mr. McCain told a crowd at a fund-raiser at the Wakonda Club here. “And in the debates, I expect him to do extremely well in the debates. He’s very, very good. But I think it’s going to be substance that matters.’

Then, of course, prodded on by the “liberal media,” Obama delivered a tremendous speech packed with the soaring oratory for which he is known as well as specific points and proposals for change.

The next day, John McCain selected a neophyte unknown as his running mate and had to alter his entire campaign.

Which led his campaign manager to tell the Washington Post this week:

This election is not about issues,” said Davis. “This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates.”

Make up your damn minds, guys.

Read more of this post

McCain was once a poor hobo

by twit

He even had to take a flight on a regular plane

John McCain’s diet of humble pie in the summer of 2007 might have been the best thing that happened to his campaign.

And he had to carry his own bags!

Republicans lugged money, fame and promise into their race for the presidential nomination. One of them carried his own bags, tooled around New Hampshire with a few volunteers, flew commercial and won.

He’s come so far from such humble beginnings:

Just over a year ago, McCain was laying off more than 50 campaign workers, cutting pay and seeing his poll numbers mired in single digits in some of the big early states.

He had no money and those were the good old days:

Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, who has known the Arizona senator for 25 years, said the crisis was oddly liberating.

“All he could do was go up to New Hampshire and be John McCain,” he said. “It was a streak of good fortune that he ran out of money and went up there and was himself. That’s what people love – that he is himself, not some sort of synthetic character trying to figure out who he is.”

Read more of this post

postcards from the internets

by twit

Banksy! Perhaps his identity has been revealed? The twit’s not convinced, but this:

Banksy's painting on Israel's security barrier

Asked by the paper whether Gunningham was Banksy, he replied: “Well, he wasn’t then”.

Gunningham’s father Peter said he did not recognise the person in the photograph, while his mother Pamela maintained she had never even had a son.

does seem like something that a mother of an artist would say…

They are the experts: Just because it’s a stone thrown in a glass house doesn’t mean it’s not true:

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said: “McCain’s crude remark on the indiscriminate killing of the Iranian nation not only testifies to his disturbed state of mind, but also to his warmongering approach to foreign policy.”

The Ron Paul Army: Laugh if you must, but these folks may swing the election away from McCain and the Hillary Avengers:

Read more of this post

McCain 2008: Everything is fine, shut up, you’re the crazy one

by twit

The McCain camp wants us to know that this recession thing, it’s all mental:

Former Sen. Phil Gramm, a top economic adviser to presumptive GOP nominee John McCain, referred to the economic slowdown as “a mental recession” and called the United States “a nation of whiners.”

The comments, in an interview with The Washington Times, could hurt the campaign’s efforts to convince working-class Americans that McCain feels their pain.

The comments, in an interview with The Washington Times, could hurt the campaign’s efforts to convince Americans from all backgrounds that McCain is not a crazy old man.

The Times quoted [Gramm] as saying: “You’ve heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession. … We have sort of become a nation of whiners. …

“You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline. … We’ve never been more dominant; we’ve never had more natural advantages than we have today.”

Read more of this post

John McCain craps on Iowa flood victims

by twit

The Governor of Iowa says, hey, we’re in the middle of a disaster here, could you please cancel your campaign appearance because we just don’t have the resources to host you at this time.

nope

McCain says, fuck you, we’re coming whether you like it or not, and since we’re providing “most” of our own security you better get your ass in gear and get your local law enforcement on over here to provide the rest.

From the Associated Press on June 20, 2008:

An aide to Gov. Chet Culver said Thursday that Republican presidential candidate John McCain ignored the governor’s request to cancel a campaign visit amid a massive flood recovery effort in the state.

… Patrick Dillon, Culver’s chief of staff, said the governor was concerned that McCain’s trip would divert local law enforcement from the flood recovery effort to provide security for McCain.

Read more of this post

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