Tag Archives: McCain

The Future for John McCain

by: Lance Thibert

We all know that John McCain lost the 2008 election rather badly, 365 to 173 electoral votes, and 53% to 46% popular vote wise. John McCain, with Sarah Palin, ran one of the most confused, mismanaged and off-message campaigns in recent history. Combined with the unpopularity of President Bush and the general damage to the GOP brand, McCain’s chances were always slim.

 

Like the other presidential candidate from Arizona Barry Goldwater, John McCain will return to the Senate for the rest of his natural life. John McCain has made comebacks from political death before, and he seems on track to rehabilitate himself once again. His role seems veering toward that of a deal-broker once again. Without the need to appease the GOP’s hard right base, McCain can return to being a “mavrick”, (but for real this time). McCain and Obama’s meeting earlier last month showed a defeating looking McCain agreeing to work with a President Obama. John McCain has two choices, he can either keep with his new image as the old man of the Republican party (complete with lost election), or he can actually become Obama’s republican ally in the Senate. Sounds werid doesn’t it?

“Fred Davis, the ad man who served as McCain’s lead media consultant during the presidential bid, said the Arizona Senator would win[d] up as a “dealmaker” and “peacemaker” during the Obama presidency.”

McCain will run for reelection to the Senate in 2010. Janet Napolitano, Governor of Arizona was floated as a candidate to seize John McCain’s seat in the Senate, however it appears she will be tapped for Homeland Secuirty Secretary. After his dismal presidential run, and the Democratic gains in Arizona, John McCain seems vulernable for the first time in a long while. Democrats seem reluctant however, to seriously attempt to remove McCain from the Senate, as he often acts as a deal-broker in the Senate, often to the benifit of Democrats. For conservatives, McCain acts a RINO straw man that they can use against moderates in their own party. McCain will rebound, thats for sure, but he seems intent on going back to his roots. He will not make an attempt for the 2012 nomination (for obvious reasons), and will have to come to terms with the fact he will never fufill his lifelong ambition of being president. As for Republicans, they can look forward to more tough Senate fights in 2010, and the unenviable task of choosing someone to run against an Incumbent Barack Obama.

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Filed under McCain, Republican

I Told You So

By Stephen Noriega

I posted the blog on September 15th, 2008. It was right after the GOP convention, when everyone loved her. I said this was the worst pick for the John McCain campaign. Now I get to say, “I told you so” with pride, annoying volume and belligerent indignation.

sarahpalin21

Photo by The National Inquirer, distributed 2008

It came to pass quickly, Senator McCain, that your only path to winning an election was doing things that may damage you further than this campaign. Governor Palin took John McCain places that he will regret. In the heat of this contest, with veneers of anger shrouding the obvious, McCain fell into the Palin trap of off-message rants and poisonous speeches designed to illicit fear and xenophobia, not optimism or hope©.

Governor Palin made it quite clear that she wished to be an active, policy-making Vice President. This is simply a continuation of a modern trend. Starting with Richard Nixon and his ambassadorial skills, the Vice President has slowly become more important. Al Gore was often criticized for taking an excessive role in helping Clinton with policy issues. Dick Cheney took the office to a whole new level, holding secret meetings, being in charge of entire policy realms and showing a true disdain for Congress and even the voters.

Did McCain really want a powerful vice president with whom he could barely get along? Sarah Palin did not answer the third grader’s question incorrectly. She meant that she wanted to have power and influence over the Senate. Perhaps Sarah Palin is not ignorant about constitutional issues, at least compared to most other people. Sarah Palin has been an executive of larger and larger offices and she saw this as a path to even more political clout. She will certainly not be another Thomas R. Marshall (considered the laziest Vice President under Woodrow Wilson). She wanted to be another Dick Cheney. Perhaps she knows painfully little about the Constitution. This is even more frightening than a politician’s ambition. With the clothing scandal, she may end up being another Spiro Agnew, constantly messing with McCain’s authority like Agnew did with Nixon until being pulled asunder by a petty transgression. (http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oew-edwards-lichtman5-2008sep05,0,5935217.story)

It is not just Palin’s eye on power that had McCain in a bad way because of her. Palin is a politician, and politicians seek power. That is what they do. But Palin couldn’t even follow the talking points of the campaign. McCain must have developed serious reservations about how she will follow policy talking points once comfortably in Washington, D.C. When the issue of Palin’s clothes emerged as a thorn in the campaign, everyone tried to stifle the nano-scandal and move on. Not Governor Palin. She continued to defend the $150,000.00+ makeover.

Even people in the McCain campaign revolted. Anonymous rats, stinging with bitterness of being in the wrong campaign, started to take shots at the candidate with the anxious ears of the press wide open.

“She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone… She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else. Also she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: divas trust only unto themselves as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom.” (CNN – 10/2008)

Palin has shown sides of this in the media view. Instead acting humble, especially after some disastrous interviews with infamous soft-ball-throwers like Katie Couric, Palin went on the offense. She spewed venom at rallies that incited the lunatic fringe of her party with never a speck of clarification or apology. When McCain saw the potential destructive nature of this, he voiced his disapproval of the personal hatred campaign, something an honorable person does. Palin apparently never got the memo.

With each bumble, misunderstanding of history, petty scandal and word of aggression, Governor Sarah Palin demonstrated how she was the worst pick the McCain campaign could have made. This is not about gender. This is not about politics or political agendas. This is about a person who did not deserve, because of a lack of competence, any consideration of such an importance office.

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Filed under American Electorate, McCain, Palin, Republican, Vice-President

Why HOPE Rings True

By Alicia Long

It seems HOPE is the keyword this election.  In a year where the economy is in a downward spiral, America is looked down upon within the international community, people are losing not only their pensions and 401Ks but their homes, HOPE is the only thing that some have left.

Obama’s campaign slogan, “Change we can believe in” gets right to what Americans want.  This tagline encompasses the feelings of frustration people have with the current administration, yet encourages HOPE with the ability to BELIEVE.  Having lasted through eight years of fear-mongering and the dumbing-down of the American public, people are desperately looking for some light at the end of the tunnel.  They are looking for something to get excited about.  Obama didn’t have to portray himself as a rock star – people were LOOKING for a rock star.

McCain has had a little more trouble gaining traction in this election, and I think it has a lot to do with HOPE.  His first big campaign tagline was “A leader we can believe in.”  This instills HOPE in the same way that Obama’s tagline does, with HOPE being a necessary part in BELIEVING.  However, what we find ourselves hoping for with McCain is a “leader.”  I think the country saw a “leader” in Bush.  We voted for a strong-willed compassionate conservative who wasn’t afraid to make “tough decisions” – but look what we got. Yes, the country is looking for a strong leader in the 2008 election, but this is not what inspires us.

“Country First” was McCain’s next and current slogan.  The success of this tagline frames the belief that the current administration and/or Obama put their interests over the interests of the country.  In other words, country comes second or last.  McCain wants to put the country first.  This makes sense in every logical sense, because who would want a president that didn’t put the “country first?”  Again, however, he doesn’t inspire HOPE with this message.  Candidate after candidate has promised to do what is in the best interest of the country.  It’s a tired message and the last thing McCain wants voters to do is to associate him with old, tried messaging.

A relatively new tagline McCain has used at the end of his television commercials spikes more interest in me.  At the end of his latest ads he uses his familiar McCain-Palin symbol, but instead of their names he puts “Change is coming.”  This is what I believe he should have been framing his campaign on from the beginning.  This tagline instills HOPE in the voter by subtly suggesting that Obama is not the change he claims to be, and that McCain is marching valiantly towards the Whitehouse to save the country from itself.  He’s coming… he’ll be here any minute.  He’s coming… he’s the one to lift our country out of its sad state.  He’s coming to rescue us.

This entire election is about HOPE.  Obama didn’t invent this – he simply recognized it faster than McCain or any of the other Democratic candidates.  McCain finally figured this out, but sadly Obama already branded himself as the “HOPE” candidate.  Through his taglines and his framing of the campaign, Obama (intentionally or by accident) has successfully unlocked what America wants.  2008 was all about the correct message, and that message is HOPE.

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Filed under McCain, Obama

Joe the plumber

By Leonid Balaban

I think that we’re going to hear a new line in schools after this debate. “Joe, who do you want to be when you grow up? A Joe plumber!!!”

This is from DailyKos:

Michael Grunwald: I’ll tell you one thing: joe the plumber is laying some pipe tonight. Tonight is definitely going to be sacred for mrs. Wurtzelfarfegnugen.

Update 10/16/2008 11.45am

Well, Well, Well

It looks like Joe the Plumber doesn’t like paying his taxes literally.

[T]here is some dispute as to whether or not Wurzelbacher was being accurate with his critique of Obama. His business, as ABC reports, would almost certainly get a tax cut under Obama’s plan, given that he does not expect to make anywhere close to $250,000 in profits.

Moreover, for someone worried about his taxes, Wurzelbacher doesn’t — it appears – always pay them. A filing with the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas shows that he has had state tax liens filed against him, meaning he was either delinquent or didn’t fully cover taxes that he owed.

A representative at the court explained that Wurzelbacher had not paid $1,182.98 of personal income tax. The state filed a lien on January 26, 2007, and the payment remains outstanding. But the court rep also cautioned that this all may have occurred without Wurzelbacher’s knowledge.

Update #2 10/16/2008 12.30pm

This story is getting better and better by minute.

From Politico:

Purging Joe the plumber?

Would Joe be thrown off the rolls if he registered in Ohio today?

The Toledo Blade reported today that “Joe the Plumber’s” name appears on Ohio voter registration rolls with a slight misspelling — as Worzelbacher, not Wurzelbacher.

And that sort of data-entry error might be enough — were Joe a new registrant — to have him disqualified from voting in Ohio, Florida, or Wisconsin this year, depending on the outcome of ongoing litigation.

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Filed under McCain, Obama

The Last Month of Dirt, aka What Will Stick?

By: Jet Peterson
Now that we have reached the last month of the campaign season, the mud-slinging is increased.  The old claims and the old relations are being dug up to create a guilt by association. Barack Obama has been in associations with the domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. John McCain has associations with Keating. Both are old relations with loose validity and both are being used to create an association to the candidate and the bad guy.  John McCain is being associated with financial corruption and the down fall of the financial system currently. Barack Obama is being associated with domestic terrorism and the dangers in the world. These are the last efforts to go to our deepest fears, and that the candidates are the demons that are ruining our fears.  The only thing that we can actually do is be rational and pick out what we really want out of a candidate, not what they’ve done in the past or who they have met with.  This is not a time for fear mongering but for deep discussion on who we want to lead the country for the next 4 years. The following are the videos each campaign has been slinging at each other with hopes that they will stick and scare us into voting the other way.  Its important to evaluate each of them, but not be stuck in the rhetoric 
The Obama campaign put out the following video describing the relation of John McCain with Charles Keating.
Here is CNN’s truth squad giving its fact checking on the video and the overall campaign opinion on it. It found that overall the Obama campaign was truthful in describing McCain’s involvement in the Keating scandal of the 1980’s.
It is fair to note that John McCain was involved only slightly, and was accquited of any illegal activity, and was only repramanded for his poor judgement on pushing that legislation that held back the regulations on the Savings and Loan group. 
Here is the video of the American Issues Committee defining Obama’s relationship with Ayers, and Ayers’ involvement in terrorism.
Here is CNN’s Truth squad giving its evaluation on Obama and his involvement with Ayers or the actions that Ayers took place in. They found that the claims were false.
Fox News presented another count of his involvement with Ayers in the Chicago School group.  It shows more clearly what happened with Obama and Ayers in that group, and how they are related. Here is that video on Fox with Stanley Kurtz.
Its fair to note that the relationship that Ayers and Obama has is mostly political due to the highly left politics in South Chicago.  Left politics in South Chicago is far left, and the machine is focused on Ayers and Wright. 
The last bit of bad past relationships that are being dragged up is the relationships of the Republican Vice Presidential nominee, Sarah Palin. Here is the Special Comment by Keith Olbermann on MSNBC. Keith brings up Sarah Palin’s association with the Alaskan Independence party, and a guest Minister at her Alaskan church known for leading a Witch Hunt in Kenya.
This kind of mud-slinging will only worsen politics for this last month before election day. When these sort of ideas are dug up just to deface the opponent it only hurts us as citizens that will live under this individual for four years. Making it so that we can’t trust out leaders doesn’t do anything to help us when they are elected. In crises trust is needed in our leaders not finger pointing and over developed allegations. So I am hoping that Americans will look past all of the dirt and elect the next president not on the dirt, but on actual beliefs that the person they picked is the person that is best for America.

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Filed under McCain, Media, Negative Campaigning, Obama, Palin, Vice-President

Attack the Policies McCain!

By Matt Knipple

 

So the first two presidential debates are over as well as a vice presidential debate and ever since the post-Republican National Convention and selecting Sarah Palin as the vice presidential nominee bumps Obama’s lead in the polls have widened a little for various reasons.  So what should John McCain begin to do to regain his position in the polls now?  People have suggested that he should continue to attack Barack Obama’s character but that is not the answer anymore, if it ever was.  The answer isn’t even to attack his inexperience because McCain picked a very inexperienced vice presidential candidate in Palin.  He needs to attack Barack Obama’s policy stances.  He needs to make the race between him and Barack Obama, not McCain and Palin against Barack Obama (I rarely hear Joe Biden’s name ever).

 

Obama’s campaign has branded his future as a president with the term “change”.  Not many people know what change is though with Barack Obama.  He is relatively inexperienced in the Senate and there is not much of a record with him.  With the budget deficit growing and the economy being in shambles right now, McCain should attack Barack Obama’s spending plans. Here are the priciest parts of Obama’s spending plan:

 

  • A $65 billion-a-year health plan
  • $15 billion in green energy spending
  • $85 billion in tax cuts and credits
  • A $25 billion-a-year increase in foreign aid
  • $18 billion a year in education spending
  • $3.5 billion for a national service plan

 

What this all amounts to is a spending plan around $200 billion, which equates to $800 billion over four years. 

 

Another issue that should be near and dear to McCain’s heart is defense spending.  With all of the spending Barack Obama does want to spend on, he wants to cut spending in defense during a very vulnerable time in America’s history.  Here is a short video of Obama talking about the Iraq war and defense spending, the part I want to point out is :07-:30:

 

 

Is there really a point of cutting defense spending right now?  We are very vulnerable economically and as a percentage of GDP defense spending right now is at 4%, well below the 45 year average of 5.5% which in the end will leave America even more vulnerable.  Here is a graph:

 

 

So, in short, McCain needs to start attacking some of the spending policies and defense cutting of Obama.  His term of Maverick (who voted with Bush 90% of the time) against Obama’s slogan of “change” is going to be a losing argument for McCain.  Attack what the “change” is!  Is change cutting defense spending and weakening our military in a time of uncertainty at home and overseas?  Is change adding billions of dollars into new entitlement programs that will push us more into a recession and add to our record deficit?

 

With Democrats almost certainly going to gain seats in the Senate and in the House, McCain needs to pull a miracle out of his hat in order to keep the systems of checks and balances in place.  Democrats do not need to control everything, throw us a bone here!

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Filed under Democratic Party, McCain, Obama, Republican

My Friends, My Friends, My Friends

By Alicia Long

There were high hopes for last night’s debate between Senator Obama and Senator McCain.  With Obama widening his lead in the polls (his current lead is around 4-9 points nationally), McCain really needed this debate to help him turn the trend back into his favor.

The high hopes that McCain fans had for this second debate were justified.  Late last year, McCain had all been counted out in the race for the Republican ticket.  Some blogs even had reader polls as to when McCain would drop out (The Right’s Field had the longest running poll on this topic).  But McCain fought his way back using town hall-style meetings with thousands of New Hampshire residents all across the Granite State, and ultimately winning the January primary and rocketing his way to the Republican nomination.

Town hall meetings are McCain’s favorite way of communicating with voters, and he typically does very well in this format.  Many politicos felt that since the second presidential debate was a town hall, McCain had a good opportunity to reignite his campaign.  Unfortunately, he did not succeed.

I’m not saying McCain didn’t do well.  In fact, both Obama and McCain did well in this debate.  The popular opinion amongst the talking heads was that McCain needed this debate to be a game changer –  he needed to make a strong, new attack against Obama, or Obama needed to make a big gaffe – neither of which happened.  Both candidates stuck to their tried and true tactics and nothing really happened that made the performance of either candidate stick out.

This is not good for McCain.  This debate retained the status quo for voters, so one could argue that Obama “won” the debate.  Not because he did anything special or made better points than McCain, but simply because he came out of this debate the same way he came in… ahead in the polls.

CNN analysts thoroughly picked apart the debate last night.  This group is informative because it is compromised of Democratic and Republican analysts, as well as non-partisan journalists.  Overall, they rated Obama with a “B” and McCain with a “C.”  You can read more about their individual grades and opinions HERE (you can also give your personal grades through CNN’s online poll).

Just to mix things up a bit, I created tag clouds of Obama and McCain during the debate.  These tag clouds visually represent the 40 most frequently used words, with the biggest words being used the most frequently.

OBAMA TOWN HALL TAG CLOUD:

Visually, Obama definitely kept to the issues that are strong for him.  Health care, energy, and change were among the topics he kept bringing up.  Amusingly, the word he used most was “going.”

McCAIN TOWN HALL TAG CLOUD:

One thing I am not surprised to see in McCain’s cloud is the word “friends.”  I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say “my friends” so many times in 90 minutes.  This is something he says frequently in his town halls, and last night was no different.  However this came off as less of a personable remark and just became annoying after the first half hour.

Thanks for reading my post, my friends.

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Filed under McCain, Obama