Posts Tagged ‘John McCain’

Thought you would all love this. I heard about the blog last week and never had a chance to post a link.

A couple of my favorite things that are younger than John McCain:

1). The Golden Gate Bridge

2). Penicillin

3). Minimum Wage

John McCain is Older than Penicillin


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Count Florida So I Can Be Vice PresidentSenator Hillary Clinton has hinted that she will keep her fight going until the convention, placating potential Florida and Michigan voters and in turn, bolstering her populist stance for a shot at VP.  

On the same day that the Obama camp is whispering to the press that he has moved on and has begun his search for a running mate, Clinton has declared publicly that she is willing to stay in as long as it takes.  Under the guise of counting Florida and Michigan’s primary votes, she is keeping herself relevant in the race and claiming, in no uncertain terms, that Obama is thinking prematurely about Veep candidates before her campaign has drawn its last breath.

You may think differently, but I’m still sold on the idea that Hillary’s camp is making these statements to preserve the overture that she is the only candidate that can begin the healing of the Dems if her name is next to Obama’s on the ballot.  Her immediate shift in messaging, on the same day as Obama’s ‘confidential search’ for a V.P. got underway is what clues us in on her thought process.

On the other side of the Democratic primary fight (you know, the one with the ‘potential nominee’ attacking the ‘presumptive nominee’?) Senator Barack Obama is now taking Sen. John McCain to task on ethics lapses. In so doing, Obama is also tipping his hand on what his strategy is going to look like in the fall.

Employing the Karl Rove tactic whereby a candidate should attack his opponents on issues where they are strong, Obama is going to attempt to get some miles out of questioning McCain’s (seemingly) stellar ethics record. The junior Senator from Illinois is calling McCain out for having lobbyists on his campaign staff, being caught for it and ultimately (and embarassingly) dismissing them.

And though I think that it is good strategy for Obama, and it fits well with his overarching message about McCain being ‘politics as usual’, I have to give credit to McCain’s staffers in their response to these charges. Mr. Obama, they said, still has not disclosed whether his campaign associates might also be lobbyists, which should raise questions about what the Senator might be hiding.

Kudos to you, McCain camp. You’ve properly dismissed the baggage you would carry into the General Election, admitted to it, let yourself be attacked on it but still maintained the moral high ground by essentially saying ‘if we’re willing to fire our lobbyists, why isn’t Obama doing the same thing?’

I hate to admit it. I like what Obama did here, but I like the McCain response better. The Obama strategists and messaging folks might take a good lesson out of this exchange – before you attack, you’d better be able to defend against a similar counter-attack.  


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Senator John McCain has launched a new TV spot advertising his new funeral home business. It shows him wheeling out the corpse of his one thousand year old mother to chat with him about his birth during the French and Indian War.

If your reading this Senator McCain (or if any of your campaign staff are tuned in) let me give you some free (and excellent) political advice. If you’re trying not to reinforce the negative stereotype about your age, you’d better not put your white-haired self in front of a camera next your blue-haired mother. Perhaps your intention was to look young next to the woman who so kindly gave birth to you, but I look at this ad and I immediately see two half-dead senior citizens reminiscing about Life Magazine in the crumbling library of a nursing home.

Senator, it might be time that you accepted your age as a disadvantage and stopped trying to remind us that, compared to your mom, you’re as healthy as a horse. Voters overlook things like age if you’ve got a solid message, proven skills and an unimpeachable character. Which you have in spades.

And you’re a war hero. And not just any war hero. One that was continuously tortured for years and as a result, can’t fully use your arms because of the trauma you’ve sustained. If there’s a contrast between your age and Obama’s youth, there’s an even better one between your awesomeness and Obama’s complete inexperience.

Look, if you’re ever going to look young in your ads, this isn’t the way to do it. The only way you can ever achieve that is if you eat nails or shoulder-press a live tiger.

I don’t see that happening. In fact, that scenario is the opposite of what your Mother’s Day commercial is. And that’s my point. If you’re not willing to go to one extreme to pedal your youth, don’t go to the other. Having your mother make speeches introducing you at campaign stops is one thing, but having her appear in commercials seen by millions of voters is quite another. I hope for your sake, your campaign staff has learned their lesson.

And, of course, Happy Mother’s Day.

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NBC’s Sunday morning juggernaut and ABC’s less successful little brother have finally achieved some relevance outside the Beltway. The Boston Globe, Washington Post and New York Times are all referring to the cross-network debate that Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama held between themselves on NBC’s Meet the Press and ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopolous just prior to the primary showdown this Tuesday. Opinions about suspending the gas tax dominated the jabs Clinton and Obama threw at one another and made the network execs happy when they woke up Monday morning to the front page news about the sparring on their shows.

To the average American these programs are on the channels they flip through on their way to cartoons for the kids. The only audience that they really attract are journalists, wonks and of course, campaign staffers. Perhaps this is why the candidates took pains to throw out indirect questions about the other’s competence in handling public affairs; it allowed them to score hits with the live viewers and facilitate a carry over into print the next day (where average Americans will actually see it).

A good strategy for both camps and an especially economical way to get a cadre of reporters talking about you when you’ve only done one TV interview. Playing these two shows at the same time and obliquely engaging in an unchoreographed debate is a shotgun blast that achieves some good print attention on issues you want voters to think about before going to the polls in Indiana and North Carolina.

Hillary wants to get her populist message accross so that voters will think about the price of gas when driving to their polling location. She wants them to think about her electability and if she can handle other  crisis’s around the world . Not a bad tactical move for her messaging and by attacking Obama, she maintains the offense that could win her one (or both) of these states.

Seizing the opportunity with Tim Russert, Obama came out Sunday to put to bed his relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and made a further plea to the American people that Clinton’s gas tax was simply Washingtonspeak. He knows that his back is against the wall and if Hillary is scoring points with a plan to immediately reduce the burden on America’s wallets, he had better have a quick quip to cut her down.

I’m starting to doubt his effectiveness in these past few days and am growing less confident that Indiana and North Carolina are going to pan out according to Obama’s designs. Sure, Clinton is still trailing overall (and badly, I might add) but thus far his jabs have had soft landings since the Rev. Wright debacle. Obama seems wobbly on his feet and isn’t snapping off hard punches like he was in the early rounds. I think Hillary has rattled him and it might take some time after these next two primaries for him to get back into his former fighting shape.

Can I keep the boxing metaphor alive any longer? I’ll stop here, but I will say that I can’t wait for the results tomorrow night. Boxing, boxing, boxing.

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Much has happened since the last update to the Delegate Trackers. Obama has swept the Chesapeake Primary and made himself the front-runner in one night. Counting superdelegates, he has placed himself in the lead according to CNN, ABC, NBC and the Associated Press (all of which are cited below).

This is great news for Obama. He is showing that his message is getting to voters in such a way that a healthy plurality of them are turning out at the polls. On a winning streak, the Obama victories in every state has made the all-important political momentum shift in his favor. He is also winning in the money primary, though Hillary is quick to meet nearly all of his benchmarks (with her own money or with larger and larger fundraising efforts).

Basking in his victories and the incredibly positive press he is getting, Senator Obama can expect the rest of February to look similar for him. Though I would caution that Hillary’s campaign is still the coiled cobra – ready to strike fiercely at her opponent in the next round of March and April primaries, where the demographics of states like Ohio, Texas, Mississippi and Pennsylvania appear more in line with her Democratic traditionalism.

On the Republican side, McCain had a narrow victory in Virginia and Mike Huckabee is quickly looking like the spoiler of this GOP nominating process, rather than the serious candidate he is hoping to be taken as.  Huckabee’s tactics look to be a play for the Vice Presidency, but on a more practical note, he is an ordained Baptist pastor and one very much answerable to the evangelical wing that lifted him to victory in Iowa and the southern states. Staying in makes him the evangelical favorite and boosts the GOP recognition of that demographic as an important group to please if there is any hope of another Republican revival.



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We are at a furious pace to update the 2008 horse race. Nearly everywhere you look, the media outlets are attempting to portray momentum for Obama and a Clinton sinking into despair. I don’t think that this is true just yet (and will have further posts describing why not) but for now, let’s look at the numbers.

Clinton is coming off a bad weekend where she has tried to temper Obama’s momentum by claiming that his wins were expected in Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington. True or not, the Junior Senator from Illinois is closing the gap quickly, and may even take the lead when Virginia, Maryland and DC vote this Tuesday. Clinton clearly has a Barack Problem and his late surge has her organization scrambling to stop him at the March 4th primaries in Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont where 444 delegates are at stake. She can hope to split those counts with him and battle for the 188 remaining in Pennsylvania on April 22nd. I think we might see a spring equinox before we see an Democratic nominee.

I’ve also moved Romney to the bottom rung in the GOP tracker given his drop-out status (and unbelievable robotic concession speech) from last week. This does not make Huckabee a threat to McCain, but quite simply a hold-out until McCain can eventually clean up the messy nomination process and focus his efforts on November.

Lastly, I’m keeping Edwards and Romney on these lists only because they have not chosen to endorse anyone yet, and when they do decide to make their choices public, their delegate counts could give the recipient a boost. Huckabee stands to benefit the most in this situation, but if Edwards were to endorse Obama, both anectdotal endorsement and his delegate count could shoot Barack’s momentum into the stratosphere.

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The results are in from Super Tuesday, but the news media is still undecided about what margin of victory one candidate can claim over the other.

Interestingly, NBC News has Obama edging Clinton by 4 delegates to put him in the lead among Democrats, though the other outlets have Hillary with sizeable (nearly 100 point) leads. My last update to the GOP Tracker showed that each news source agreed on what the delegate count was as of the end of January, but with the Super Tuesday results they are clearly bouncing around the mark.

I’ve been working hard on campaign related issues leading up to Super Tuesday and the posts have fallen a bit behind my regular schedule. I’ll be re-doubling my efforts in the next few days to get my non-award winning analysis out to you in a more timely and reliable fashion. For now, here’s the starting point for the next week or so of digesting just what’s going in the battleground that is the American Political Landscape.


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