05/31/2008 - 6:16am
How did Barack manage to snatch the nomination away from Hillary? Was it just inspirational rhetoric? Nope.
Obama's campaign mastered some of the most arcane rules in politics, and then used them to foil a front-runner who seemed to have every advantage—money, fame and a husband who had essentially run the Democratic Party for eight years as president.
The overconfident Clinton just figured she was going to win, and left the door open for Barack's people to outmaneuver her.
Obama used the Democrats' system of awarding delegates to limit his losses in states won by Clinton while maximizing gains in states he carried. Clinton, meanwhile, conserved her resources by essentially conceding states that favored Obama, including many states that held caucuses instead of primaries.
When her shock and awe campaign failed, the groundwork hadn't been done to give her the ability to win in hand to hand combat.

The system enables strong second-place candidates to stay competitive and extend the race—as long as they don't run out of campaign money.

"For people who want a campaign to end quickly, proportional allocation is a bad system," Devine said. "For people who want a system that is fair and reflective of the voters, it's a much better system."

One of the systemic quirks that worked to Barack's favor is the idea that congressional districts that usually vote for democrats over republicans get more delegates than ones that vote republican.

"Black districts always have a large number of delegates because they are the highest performers for the Democratic Party," said Elaine Kamarck, a Harvard University professor who is writing a book about the Democratic nominating process.

"Once you had a black candidate you knew that he would be winning large numbers of delegates because of this phenomenon," said Kamarck, who is also a superdelegate supporting Clinton.

So, the smart folks running Hillary's campaign were so brimming with confidence that they didn't think it was necessary to do the legwork necessary to fill the cracks in the system that made them vulnerable. Or, they just didn't see the vulnerability.

05/31/2008 - 3:16am
Here we go again with the Hollywood promises to leave the country if the democrat doesn't win. Remember Alec Baldwin's commitment to move overseas if Al Gore didn't win in 2000. You just can't trust an actor - Bush beat Gore, and Baldwin stayed.

But if you're looking for motivation to let go of your reservations and vote for McCain, here's a good one:
SUSAN SARANDON, who appeared in three films last year and won kudos for her TV movie "Bernard and Doris," is still not a contented soul. She says if John McCain gets elected, she will move to Italy or Canada. She adds, "It's a critical time, but I have faith in the American people."
I find the choices to be curious. Italy - the land of great restaurants and great romance, where the true religion is extracting as much pleasure as possible, or Canada. It wouldn't be a tough decision for me.

I don't like the idea of Sarandon only exiling herself to Canada. It's too close, and they make too many films there. Go for the pasta, Sue.

Why isn't she for Hillary?
"I thought the whole point of feminism is that you're not supposed to be defined by gender."
Explain your logic please, Susan, to black voters who've been going 90% for Barack.
05/30/2008 - 12:11pm
It's a cliche now, I know, and I hate to make use of it.

But that line on the economy that James Carville had hanging over his desk in Clinton campaign headquarters in 1992 was there because he knew it was the issue that would decide the election.

For John McCain, the sign in HQ should read, "It's the Hatred, Stupid."

The great, untapped gift to John McCain from Barack's past is not Reverend Wright. It's what Reverend Wright represents. It's hatred of white people and of American society, and the premise for victim hood that allows the black underclass to be held in place in perpetuity. That's what Barack was part of for 20 years. That's what Michelle has been indoctrinated with that made it possible to calmly mention in a speech that she's never been proud of this country before, and then use the line again in another speech, without thinking that this might be a sentiment that the country could have some trouble relating to.

Let's welcome Rev. Michael Pfleger to Trinity Baptist Church. Thanks to Pfleger,
the hatred is back.
Barack Obama moved to distance himself from another preacher at Trinity United Church of Christ on Thursday after controversial comments by the Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina Catholic Church in Chicago, were circulated online.
Apparently, Pfleger didn't get the memo - no more hate speech until we get Barack elected president. Or maybe he got the memo, but didn't think Reverend Wright should get all the glory.
"Don't hold me responsible for what my ancestors did, but you have enjoyed the benefits of what your ancestors did," Pfleger said from the pulpit of Trinity on Sunday. ". . . Unless you are willing to give up the benefits, you must be responsible for what was done in your ancestors' generation. We must be honest enough to expose white entitlement and supremacy wherever it raises his head. "

There it is - in one shot - the rationale for blaming any white person walking around today for everything that's happened to blacks in this country, including slavery.
"When Hillary was crying, people said that was put on. I really don't believe it was put on. I really believe she just always thought this is mine. I'm Bill's wife. I'm white, and this is mine! I just got to get up and step up to the plate. Then, out of nowhere, came Barack Obama! And she said oh, damn, where did you come from. "
While Barack is likely not a hater himself, he must be comfortable with the premise upon which the hate is built. Otherwise, what was he doing there all those years?
"I'm white, I'm entitled, there's a black man stealing my show," he continued, feigning tears. "She wasn't the only one crying -- there were a whole lot of white people crying. . . I'm sorry, I don't want to get you in any more trouble."
Now that we're hearing it from a second source at Barack's church, exposing the fact that this is Barack's world has been made easier. It will be harder now for the "zero tolerance" crowd to blame the problem on Pastor Wright. The fact is, this attitude is a movement, and as Barack points out in his impotent response, a tradition in the black community.
"As I have traveled this country, I've been impressed not by what divides us, but by all that unites us. That is why I am deeply disappointed in Father Pfleger's divisive, backward-looking rhetoric, which doesn't reflect the country I see or the desire of people across America to come together in common cause," Obama's statement said.
Truer words have never been spoken. Regular Americans have no interest in this crap. Fortunately for John McCain and the country, Barack Obama sat there and listened to it for 20 years. Last year, Barack and Michelle gave $26,270 to Trinity to help spread the hate.

No wonder democrats go nuts when you correctly link Barack to these people and their beliefs. "Stop the personal attacks," they cry. "Talk about issues!" There is no bigger issue than what is at the core of a leader's heart. And you know a man's heart by looking at who he gives his $26,270 to.

It's the hatred.

05/30/2008 - 4:11am
Have watched some interviews of Scott promoting the book, but haven't read it yet. He is bending over backwards to be nice to President Bush. Assuming the book is no more hard hitting than the interviews, this is not a collection of BLOCKBUSTER revelations, despite the frantic coverage over the past couple of days.

His argument boils down to this - President Bush and the staff went to Washington with a goal of changing the way business was done. Instead of succeeding, they got dragged into the permanent election cycle that was the way business was done in the Clinton White House. This Scott finds disappointing.

On Iraq, there was no lying he says, but the administration, again being swept away by the need to win the game of politics, played up the news that was good and ignored the news that was bad. President Bush was sincere in his desire to change the middle east by spreading freedom, and that was the primary goal for going in.

Over all, pretty tame stuff. The fact that he vouches for Bush's sincerity in wanting to help the middle east flies in the face of the standard democratic hate speech about the President - just there to steal oil and such - is good news for the White House.

McClellan is clearly mad at Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, both of whom set him up, he thinks, by telling him that they weren't involved in the Valerie Plame thing when it was later revealed they were. Again, he doesn't blame the President - he thinks they lied to him too.
05/29/2008 - 9:08pm
Ah, let's see. Where to start.

Scott McClellan is a shit. How better to describe someone who writes a book blasting the guy he used to work for when that guy is still in office? Memoirs should wait until after the president has left office, thank you very much.

But if Scott had some insights and news into the Bush White House that was so vital and urgent that it couldn't wait another 7 months, then he should have told us about it upon leaving his job, not after holding it all this time while he wrote a book. By writing the book, he reveals he's willing to put America second in order to maximize his sales. Which means he can't be trusted to do the right thing. Which means there's no reason for us to believe that he wouldn't bend the truth to create market excitement over his memoirs. The little shit.

On the specifics, though, there is nothing much in the excerpts to support the mad media frenzy:
In a broad indictment of the culture of Washington and national politics, McClellan said deception "permeates our national political discourse" and has "become an accepted way of winning the partisan wars for public opinion."
A problem that McClellan is looking to exacerbate, it seems.
He wrote that he had placed "great hope" in Bush to change that culture: "He chose not to do so. . . . Instead, his own White House became embroiled in political maneuvering that was equally unsavory, if not worse" than that of the Clinton White House.
It is sad to think of the Bush administration being as ruthless as Clinton's, but it's hardly an earth shattering accusation.
"The president had promised himself that he would accomplish what his father had failed to do by winning a second term. . . . And that meant operating continually in campaign mode: never explaining, never apologizing, never retreating. Unfortunately, that strategy also had less justifiable repercussions: never reflecting, never reconsidering, never compromising. Especially not where Iraq was concerned."
Well, so what? He doesn't like to look back. Scott says he was mislead by Libby and Rove, but so was the president. The administration used propaganda to launch the war - what President hasn't? He says that Bush is a decent man who, knowing what he knows now,
"...would never have made the decision to invade, despite what he might say or feel he has to say publicly today."
Which makes this whole frenzy much ado about nothing.
05/29/2008 - 1:57pm
Does Barack hire lobbyists to work on his campaign? Nope. They're too insidious to have around! They could corrupt the campaign!
The co-director of Barack Obama's presidential campaign in Puerto Rico is a Washington-based federal lobbyist for the government of Puerto Rico. Ethics watchdogs said that the high-profile role of Francisco J. Pavía appears to contradict the Obama campaign's ethics guidelines, which forbid federal lobbyists from working on staff.
Well, then. That's simple enough. Just let the New Kinda Politics People know about the mistake and it will be remedied.
But Obama spokesman Bill Burton said Pavía is an "active volunteer" -- not a paid staffer -- and can hold the job without running afoul of the campaign's rules.
Huh? You mean Mister Clean isn't sincere in his desire to keep lobbyists away from his organization? It's just a campaign ploy? It seems if you're a lobbyist, all you have to do to circumvent the ban is work for the campaign for free while collecting your lobbying paycheck, or take a leave of absence from your job while getting paid by the campaign.

Pavía is not on leave from his law firm, Winston & Strawn, according to the managing partner of its Washington office, Thomas L. Mills.

But he has been an important part of the Obama campaign in Puerto Rico, which holds its Democratic primary Sunday. Obama wrote to Puerto Rico's State Elections Commission in March to designate Pavía and Andres Lopez as "our local representatives" to the commission. In May, Pavía and Lopez signed a posting on Obama's campaign Web site that identified them as co-directors of the Puerto Rico effort and solicited volunteers.

Pavía has been a registered lobbyist for various arms of the Puerto Rican government since 2001, according to disclosure reports filed with the U.S. Senate. His firm's total compensation for lobbying for the commonwealth over that period was more than $3 million.

On the other hand...

Moses Mercado, a lobbyist for Ogilvy Government Relations in Washington, said in an interview that he was told by the Obama campaign that he must take an unpaid leave from his firm before working as a get-out-the-vote volunteer earlier this year.

"It was pretty clear," Mercado said. "It was so clear that I made sure I wrote a letter to our office manager saying that on these days I'm taking a leave of absence."

Later, after he said he received a call from Burton, Mercado said he had not been asked to take a leave.

Is the man from Hope not on the up and up?
"It sounds like a conflict with Obama's policy," said Melanie Sloan of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "They need to provide an explanation."
Ya think?
Burton said that Pavía's role with the campaign was permissible but that the rules were not airtight. "This is not a perfect solution to the influence of special interests in Washington," he said. "But it is a symbol of the effort that Senator Obama is going to make to decrease the influence that the special interests do have."
So Barack's whole lobbyist thing is confessed campaign fraud. He can't be held to any particular standard because the system is too corrupt, but he gets to hold McCain to an arbitrary standard that he creates - one that he says is only symbolic. Nice.
05/29/2008 - 12:24pm
The Republican National Committee is highlighting Barack's failure to visit Iraq in nearly two and a half years as more evidence of his lack of readiness to handle foreign policy, joining an argument that McCain stumbled on a few days ago. Chairman Mike Duncan writes on the GOP website:
Barack Obama has only visited Iraq once – and that was 871 days ago. Despite lacking the experience and leadership to be Commander-in-Chief, Obama has done shockingly little to educate himself firsthand about the war in Iraq. Instead, he displays an arrogant certainty gained on the campaign trail.
That's the sort of factoid that arguments are built around in campaigns. This guy is the big anti-war candidate, why does he ignore the positive changes since the surge? Is it because he has preconceived notions that are impenetrable by reality? Is he naive?
Why does Obama readily agree to one-on-one negotiations with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but decline one-on-one briefings in Baghdad with our military leaders? Obama’s failure to visit Iraq, listen and learn firsthand, and witness the surge’s progress demonstrates weak leadership that disqualifies him from being Commander in Chief.
McCain's invitation that they travel together to Iraq so that he could educate Barack was turned down by the democrat, but his campaign says it is considering a trip there this summer:
Sen. Barack Obama is considering a visit to Iraq this summer, his first since becoming a presidential candidate.

Republican rival John McCain has criticized him for failing to visit Iraq since 2006. Obama also declined McCain's invitation for a joint trip, saying he didn't want "to be involved in a political stunt," according to a report Wednesday on The New York Times Web site.

While Obama is right to respond, his response proves the resonance of the issue, and it puts him perpetually on the defensive. Whenever the trip is covered, it will include a mention that it was done in response to the McCain taunting.
McCain, who campaigned Wednesday in Nevada, has been criticizing him for not returning, and the Republican Party joined the attack Wednesday by launching an online clock to count the days since Obama last visited.
05/28/2008 - 11:05pm
Gallup did a little research to see if Hillary is right. In the 20 states that she won this primary season, she beats John McCain 50% to 43%.
In those same states, Barack Obama is about tied with McCain among national registered voters, 45% to 46%.
On the other hand, Clinton does just as well against McCain in the states that Barack beat her:
...in the 28 states and the District of Columbia where Obama has won a higher share of the popular vote against Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primaries and caucuses, there is essentially no difference in how Obama and Clinton each fare against McCain. Both Democrats are statistically tied with him for the fall election.
Who would you nominate. And if you're Barack, who would you select as your VP?
05/28/2008 - 6:49pm
It's unclear if this is a coordinated effort - yesterday, Fidel Castro endorsed Barack, and today comes a similar vote of confidence from Chuck D!
Speaking to NME.COM, Chuck D said: "I think Barack Obama is the right man for the job, but maybe in the wrong country right about now that will be able to treat it right and give him the pressures that will not allow him to do the job."
It's hard to know for sure, but we think that means he's supporting Barack but he thinks that because he's black, the country won't cooperate with him and his leadership will be a failure.
He also explained his doubts about Obama's rival, Hillary Clinton, saying: "I did originally think they were going to be a dream team together but Hillary has put so much foot in her mouth it makes that a rather difficult thing to look at."
Whatever. It's still another democratic leader jumping on the the Barack bandwagon.
05/28/2008 - 6:42pm
Even thought this is not a year for Republicans, McCain can win this election. That's the report from GOP strategists, who envision the GOP losing congressional elections but holding the presidency:
They believe that concerns among small town and rural voters about Mr Obama's ethnic background and lack of experience would result in a decisive amount of "split ticket" voting in November's general election.
But McCain's made some mistakes.

Karl Rove, Mr Bush's former right-hand man, told Fox News: "John McCain needs a clear image of what he is going to do over the next four years ... he doesn't have that yet."

Other senior Republicans expressed fears that he had failed to exploit the drawn out contest for the Democratic nomination between Mr Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton.

The effect of Barack's big black vote is overplayed, as even John Kerry received 88% of the black vote:
Chip Felkel, a Republican consultant in South Carolina, which Mr Obama won by a landslide with the help of the black vote, said: "The African American vote makes more states interesting but doesn't really bring them into play. That's probably true for my state, North Carolina and Georgia."
Democrats figure Barack can use his money advantage to hold McCain off.
Privately, Democratic strategists concede the validity of the scenario, but stress that Mr Obama has time to overcome voters' doubts, and will be vastly better funded than Mr McCain.
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