UPDATE: A special thanks to Mike Keliher – of the one l variety – for pointing out my misspelling of Margaret Anderson Kelliher – of the two l variety. I shall not make the same mistake again.
Gubernatorial (dontcha just love that word) politics and NASCAR had a meet up on Reusse and Company on AM 1500 KSTP in the Twin Cities yesterday. I’m sure it’s happens all the time during campaign season, but Wednesday’s interview of Margaret Anderson Keliher - Speaker of the House in Minnesota and one of more than a dozen hoping to represent the DFL in November’s election – is one that made me stop what I was doing so I could listen more closely. What struck me about the exchange came and went as fast as a lap at Daytona, but it got me thinking about how far politicians go to get all their talking points across.
If you’ve ever watched an interview with a NASCAR driver, they are magicians at working sponsor names into their answers. Jeff Gordon can’t go a sentence without mentioning his DuPont Chevrolet. Considering the mega bucks sponsors plop down for the privilege of having their logo speed along at over 100 mph, it makes sense to mention those names as often as possible. Keliher took a page from the NASCAR driver handbook and used the interview to inject all the necessary references to prove her Minnesota creds.
In no particular order she dropped in 4H, hockey, public schools, ice fishing and dairy princess in less than 30 seconds. A truly impressive performance. Now some will call me cynical for thinking Keliher was using well rehearsed talking points, but listen and you’ll hear her back track to clarify that her kids go to public school and, when asked when she last went ice fishing she deftly avoids answering the question. I am cynical, but I’m not drawing any conclusions…yet.
Here’s hoping her handlers haven’t told her she needs to sprinkle ice fishing and hockey references into every interview. If that’s the case, it will be a long campaign season.
Unless you’ve been in a coma lately, you’ve seen, read, or heard at least one of the thousands of reports about the heath care town hall meetings being held across the country. More specifically, the ones at which protesters have made their presence known. I have no doubt you’ve also been exposed to the reaction of politicians and activists on both sides of the issue. The MSM has done a good job of reporting the goings on. That said, however, I believe there is one area in which the MSM has gone MIA, and in doing so has added more dents to its already damaged reputation.
While the raucous behavior and responses are well established, the MSM is missing an opportunity to provide a compare and contrast between the heathcare town hall uprisings and those that followed W for much of his time in office.
Before people get up in arms about posters portraying President Obama as Adolf Hitler – a ridiculous comparison for him or any POTUS, repeat any, POTUS – this is not the first time this tactic has been rolled out. Here is page one of a Google image search of Bushitler.
In a USA Today commentary, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D California) told us that “drowning out opposing views is simplu un-American”. But we all know is a well-worn tactic of the Left to shout down conservative lecturers on the nation’s college campuses. In many cases lectures have been cut short due to violence perpetrated by some of Speaker Pelosi’s ideological soul-mates.
What I see unfolding is right-of-center people have an issue that is driving them to take up the tactics of those who stand in polar opposition, those who’ve made a science of organizing and protesting, and they are not happy to have their playbook co-opted. One of the great ironies is the protesters are targeting the policies of a president who has on his resume the title of “Community Organizer”.
There is a very interesting story to be told here, I hope someone in the media will figure it out and take it up.
OK, I’ve had a chance to hear both McCain’s and Obama’s statements regarding the pending monetary meltdown. McCain wants both suspend their campaigns, postpone Friday’s debate and head back to DC to find a way out of this mess.
Obama’s plan is to continue the campaign, keep his date with the debate – because the American People want to see the two of them duking it out – and will head back to DC if his presence is needed.
Personally, I think either tactic – and let’s face it their decisions are tactical – is perfectly fine and both stated their cases well, but both also blew an opportunity to show real leadership. You decide for yourself who blew it worst.
First McCain:His call to return to DC is noble on the surface. The US and, by extension, the world are facing a potential financial disaster and leadership is needed. It only makes sense that the two men hoping to be the next president should be in DC with the bailout plan floundering as it is. After all, in less than 4 months one of these guy is going to be at the helm and the problems we’re facing damn sure won’t be over. Under the surface it is a brilliant tactical move. Not long ago he took an unpopular stance in favor of the surge in Iraq saying he would rather lose and election in order to win a war. This is the economic equivalent. He is apparently willing to lose the debate and potentially the election in order to do what he can to shore up the economy and prevent a catastrophe the likes of which haven’t been seen since the Great Depression. This is all well and good, but he blew it when he called for a postponement of the debate. We, the people, have been waiting for this debate and he and Obama can certainly take time out to debate as planned. I think he overplayed the leadership hand here. I don’t believe, like many of the Obama supporters I’ve been following, that it’s a sign of weakness or a lack of confidence. That kind of talk is partisan nonsense. But it did open the door for Obama to take a shot at McCain saying a president has to be able to manage multiple crisis at one time – how true that is.
Now Obama:Obama is correct that the debate should go on, to miss this opportunity to go before the American people is unwise. Others have reminded us that, before Obama claimed the nomination last summer, McCain offered, and Obama accepted, a plan to do 10 town hall meetings. Had Obama not backed out, we would have seen quite a bit of the two by now. That said, Obama blew it when he said during his press conference that he would be available to go to DC if he is needed. Bad move. I know he’s not supposed to agree with McCain on anything, but here is an opportunity to step to the fore and show America, and the world, his capacity to lead. He swung and missed at this one. Following McCain’s lead and going back to DC is a no-brainer. He’ll get more TV face-time – one on one – than he will on the stump and he’ll be able to claim he was part of the fix. Instead, while McCain is in DC doing the heavy lifting, Obama will be on the road, consulting with his advisers and Secretary Paulson, and waiting for the Obamaphone to ring. With the bailout leading every newscast, The action is in DC and his decision to stay on the road is not a sound one.
My take:Leaving the stump is a good idea – strategically speaking – but it’s not necessary to completely suspend the campaigns. Obama and McCain each have surrogates – not to mention VP candidates – who can continue to travel the country ginning up votes. Obama should take heed and go back to DC. Although with Obama’s VPC, Biden, being a Senator as well, that could be problematic. Going back to DC to be part of the discussion and negotiation is a winning move for both. Unfortunately in politics that won’t work because the two have to be in constant conflict, or so they think. The debate has got to go on. If McCain doesn’t show it’ll be a sign of weakness. I personally think he’d clean Obama’s clock on foreign policy, the theme of Friday’s showdown, but that doesn’t matter. It’ll be spun as weakness and weakness it’ll be. McCain, get thee to Mississippi.
The bottom line: McCain wins this round, but if he doesn’t show up in Mississippi on Friday night, he could lose a lot more than he won.
Full disclosure: I’m voting for McCain/Palin based on ideology. Warts and all, he’s my guy in 2008. I am a conservative – don’t know that I’d stipulate to being a Republican anymore.
Let me state at the outset: I love Twitter. I launch TweetDeck every morning and, when the spirit moves me, add to the conversations or start my own. But following the conversations surrounding the presidential campaign is enough to make me want to ask for a complete and total Twitter shut down until after election day.
Having followed the Twitter streams for several weeks, I’ve come to the conclusion that we, each and every one of us, the entirety of the voting public are rubes, bumpkins, blind-as-bat, I’ll-follow-my-guy-to-the-ends-of-the-earth fools. C’mon people, divorce yourself from your ideology and you’ll see it clear as day. Y
You, me, we, have all been duped.
First I’ll stipulate to the obvious: There is a tremendous difference in ideology between McCain and Obama. But the elephant, or donkey, in the room that nobody wants to address, or admit is that both McCain and Obama are politicians. And, as politicians, their only goal is to win (don’t care what McCain said in the past he wants this bad).
Accepting this as fact, I ask you why we spend so much time denigrating the opposition while ignoring our own candidates shortcomings? Why do we pretend our guy is pure and the other is dirty, even evil?
I’m done being an apologist for my candidate. If he or she lies, so be it. If they eat small children for breakfast, oh well. I’m driven by ideology and nothing else.
SIDEBAR: I was fortunate to watch Kirby Puckett play his entire career for my hometown Minnesota Twins. He played the game the way it should be played. He gave back to the community through his foundation and when he could have signed with another team for a lot more money, he decided to stay in the Twin Cities. Great guy.
Glaucoma forced him to retire early and, shortly after, the facade began to crack. The stories womanizing were followed by a divorce, allegations of abuse (never proved), an allegation of sexual assaults (he was acquitted). He fell from grace, hard.
I decided then and there that all athletes were amoral. All that matters is how they play the game.
The same now goes for politicians. Every politician will do whatever it takes to win an election or get their legislation passed. The are all dirty, slimy, backstabbing, and in the pocket of special interests – oil, pharmaceuticals, teachers and labor unions, trial lawyers.
I don’t care who they “fight for” or how, the bottom line is all of them answer to a power higher than the citizens. They answer to the ones who line their campaign coffers with cash.
Period, end of sentence.
Damn, but that was liberating.
Obama voters, won’t you join me? It’s OK, you can do it.
Admit that Barack Obama is more than casual neighbors with Bill Ayers – Terrorist Extraordinaire.
Tell the world, “I don’t care of Obama tried to kill the “Born Alive Infant Protection Act.”
Shout out, “I know Obama is part of the Chicago Machine, but it doesn’t matter because I agree with his ideology.”
Put it on the table, get it in the open. I promise you’ll feel better.
Let’s agree that both guys are daemons so we can stop demonizing them and start debating the issues.
Obama and McCain, McCain and Obama – Ideology aside – both are as dirty as pigs in mud.
Man, I haven’t felt this good in years.