05/18/2008 - 1:10pm
Arnold Schwarzenegger would probably be the GOP Presidential nominee were it not for the fact that his birth in Austria makes it unconstitutional for him to hold the office. Holding the potential to swing California to his party would have made the party apparatus fall into line on his behalf.

Arnold has some advice for his party on something he knows a great deal about - climbing to the top and staying there. While conservatives will find the notion of what Arnold is suggesting appalling, the reality is that if winning is the goal (which conservatives will challenge), he's absolutely right:

"The Republican idea is a great idea, but we can't go and get stuck with just the right wing," Schwarzenegger said. "Let's let the party come all the way to the center. Let those people be heard as much as the right. Let it be the big tent we've talked about.

"Let's invade and let's cross over that (political) center," he said. "The issues that they're talking about? Let them be our issues, and let the party be known for that."

Arnold treats politics like his previous career - it's all about selling tickets. He wants to be number one at the box office. And this is how presidential politics works in our country. That's why those we elect so rarely pay any attention to their campaign promises once in power. They read the scripts their number crunchers hand them to attract the groups of voters they need to win the electoral chess game.

McCain followed this philosophy when he spent last week showing the country that he was 'right' on Global Warming. Not right policy-wise, but right politically - the GW movement is a powerful wave that McCain can gain some energy from. The issue allows him to differentiate himself from the Bush administration, which is vital, and it takes away the opportunity for Obama to own the movement outright.
The answer for GOP presidential candidate John McCain: take a page out of the Schwarzenegger playbook and sell a product that is "counter" to the current GOP brand on issues like global warming, spending and even immigration reform.
GOP Congressman Tom Davis of Virginia, who is retiring rather than make a run for the Senate, recently issued a 21 page analysis of the party's prospects for the fall, and he made a similar argument:
The loss of three straight special elections, in once solidly Republican districts cannot be explained simply by “bad candidates”, or by being out-organized. They are canaries in the coal mine, warning of far greater losses in the fall, if steps are not taken to remedy the current climate.
McCain can't win by following the Bush model of attracting traditional values voters, says Davis:
2008 is different. Demographically, the nation is more diverse and more urbanized than in 2004. The Iraq war has proved to be the ultimate cultural issue, fueling and giving oxygen to the cultural left, as well as planting doubts in many swing voters minds about the direction of the country. The economy is softening and gas prices are skyrocketing, giving Obama an opening to court conservative value voters who are hurting economically.
McCain understands all this, as demonstrated this week when he painted a picture for what America would look like after his first term:

On the policy front, McCain said that by 2013, the end of his first term, he envisions most U.S. troops coming home from Iraq "in victory," as well as delivering health care and restoring "economic confidence."

And, acknowledging a White House criticized as too partisan and insular, McCain said that as president he'll ask Democrats to serve in his administration and vowed to "set a new standard for transparency and accountability. ... When we make errors, I'll confess them willingly."

As Dick Morris so aptly described yesterday, Barack is the unelectable candidate, but McCain is in the party that can't win. There's lots of work to do before we know which side can redefine the structural problems blocking the path to victory.
05/17/2008 - 1:59pm
Dick Morris nicely sums up the McCain/Obama race like this:

A candidate who cannot get elected is being nominated by a party that cannot be defeated, while a candidate who is eminently electable is running as the nominee of a party doomed to defeat.

It's as simple as that, which is why this race is so confusing. Barack is entirely unelectable, as is the generic republican nominee. This takes the lesser of two evils into complicated territory. Morris says McCain can still win despite the awful hand he's been dealt:
...a tanking economy, an unpopular war, a Republican incumbent whose approval ratings are at their all-time low and a gloomy national mood, with 82 percent of Americans saying in a Washington Post-ABC News poll last week that the country is on the wrong track. Political scientists add all that up and predict that the Democrats are destined to win the White House.
The key for McCain, according to Dick, is to keep to the center because the GOP base doesn't need to be coaxed to vote for him thanks to Pastor Wright.
The growing fear of Obama, who remains something of an unknown, will drag every last white Republican male off the golf course to vote for McCain, and he will need no further laying-on of hands from either evangelical Christians or fiscal conservatives.
McCain needs to play to his maverick image and attack things like corporate greed, congressional earmarks and the poison of Hollywood, and he must nullify Barack on Iraq by revealing Barack's big lie (my words) on removing troops on a 16 month timetable:

The solution is to draw Obama out -- to ask the untested senator what he would do if al-Qaeda in Iraq took over the country . . . or if Iran did . . . or if the Iraqis who backed the U.S. mission were being slaughtered by the thousands . . . or if Islamist terrorists seized control of the country's oil wealth.

Obama, not wanting to appear weak, would no doubt rise to the bait and agree that he might need to send troops back in under certain conditions. He would assure us that sufficient forces would be available at nearby bases to get the job done. To avoid coming across as indecisive and timid, he would put on a sufficiently hawkish face to reassure the voters. And in doing so, he would blur the war issue vis-a-vis McCain.
By following the Morris template, Dick says a McCain win can be achieved:
The American public will not ultimately doubt Obama's patriotism; that is a bridge too far. But we will come to think less of his credibility and strength as he fumbles his way through awkward denials. Obama's ex-pastor may have faded in the primary fight with Clinton, but Wright will loom larger in the general election. McCain is in an excellent position to exploit the openings that Obama will offer -- if, and only if, he moves to the center.
05/17/2008 - 1:09pm
The dangers of being a quick witted politician were revealed Friday when Mike Huckabee was speaking to the NRA. Sometimes, in the search for a punch line, a guy can shoot himself in the foot, which the former Arkansas governor did while trying to have a laugh at the expense of Barack:

How long do you think it will take for race obsessed liberals, in their lust for a return to their coming of age decade of the 1960's, to start kvetching over how this bad taste humor is something much more ominous than a "botched joke?" It didn't take Huckabee long to figure it out:

Republican Mike Huckabee responded to an offstage noise during his speech to the National Rifle Association by suggesting it was Barack Obama diving to the floor because someone had aimed a gun at him.

Late Friday, Huckabee apologized: "I made an offhand remark that was in no way intended to offend or disparage Senator Obama."

Meanwhile, John McCain, who hasn't always followed the NRA party line, made it clear to his pro-gun audience that he's their best protection against Hillary or Barack:
"If either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama is elected president, the rights of law-abiding gun owners will be at risk, my friends, and have no doubt about it," he said at an NRA convention in Louisville, Ky.
McCain isn't expected to get a nomination out of the group according to some insiders.
05/16/2008 - 8:45pm
It was humorous watching Matt Lauer go after John Edwards today on whether he was a possible VP nominee, commenting on how the two of them, (Barack and Edwards), looked so good on stage together the other night.

Can you imagine a more ridiculous combination? Let's see, Edwards spent about 4 years in the U.S. Senate before running for higher office, and Barack spent about a year there before his presidential run, so between them they'd have 5 years experience in national politics.
However, he did leave open the possibility of becoming attorney general, saying merely, "I don't want to get involved in that kind of speculation. Right now, we've got to focus on getting Barack Obama elected president of the United States, and then we'll worry about those things."
Meanwhile, the New Kids on the Block also appeared on the Today show today, giving their first concert in 15 years, meaning they've been broken up for 3 times as long as Edwards and Barack have been at the millstone doing the hard work of gaining the requisite experience to lead the free world.
05/16/2008 - 12:51pm
Sometimes you look at the words of the world's smartest people and you wonder - are they stupid or just corrupt?

The New York Times has an editorial attacking McCain's speech yesterday in which he outlined his vision for where we'll be at the end of his first term. The following observation is included:
Mr. McCain said he would achieve victory in Iraq by 2013, for instance, without a glimmer about how he would do it. The Democratic candidates know that the next president’s task will be to extricate the United States from an unwinnable situation as cleanly as possible, not to hold out for an impossible final victory.
Is it possible they're so constitutionally offended by the notion of American power that they can't see that a president elected on a promise of withdrawing troops on a predetermined, arbitrary schedule has effectively rendered his own plan unworkable? That a commitment to weakness, no matter how appealing the notion may seem, does not hold the promise of being allowed to withdraw from the fight? That John McCain is dramatically better positioned to bring things to a close, and successfully, than is Obama?

It's likely that the Times' editorial board is blinded by emotion, that their insistence on an end to the war in Iraq by turning and running has not been thought through and is a conclusion arrived at out of sheer petulance. But it is also possible that they are lying to their readers, just as Barack is lying to voters when he promises a timetable, simply to sell newspapers.

'Extricate the United States - An unwinnable situation - Impossible final victory.' Why does the language of defeat so warm the hearts of liberals?
05/15/2008 - 10:01pm
Not all the news is bad for Republicans.

For example, California reared its ugly head today, as the state supreme court did its best Massachusetts imitation and said that gay marriage is a guaranteed right under the state constitution:
“In view of the substance and significance of the fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship,” Chief Justice Ronald M. George wrote of marriage for the majority, “the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples.”
Why is this good for the GOP? Well, Barack Obama doesn't have a position on gay marriage. Or, more accurately, he holds every position one can hold. Its confusing, which is where Barack wants to position himself on all important topics:
Obama says that he personally believes that "marriage is between a man and a woman" but also says that "equality is a moral imperative" for gay and lesbian Americans. He advocates the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) because "federal law should not discriminate in any way against gay and lesbian couples, which is precisely what DOMA does." He supports granting civil unions for gay couples, and in 2006 he opposed a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. In March 2007, Obama initially avoided answering questions about a controversial statement by a U.S. general that "homosexual acts" are "immoral," but Obama later told CNN's Larry King, "I don't think that homosexuals are immoral any more than I think heterosexuals are immoral."
Either he will anger all parties, or please all of them, or something in between. Which will ultimately help to reveal him for who he is, a politician who will slice and dice any issue faster than a Vegimatic if it will get him elected, rather than the Messiah that democrats believe him to be.

John McCain is more in line with mainstream America on the abortion question:
McCain says marriage should be between a man and a woman and should be regulated by the states. He opposed a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage because "it usurps from the states a fundamental authority they have always possessed." McCain endorsed a 2006 Arizona ballot initiative to limit marriage to be between a man and a woman and said, "I'm proud to have led an effort in my home state to change our state constitution and to protect the sanctity of marriage as between a man and woman." He also supported the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which banned federal recognition of gay marriage and domestic partnerships. He supports the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy and says that to "even reopen the issue" would be a "terrific mistake."
This is a topic that energizes the base for the GOP, and helps McCain remind folks that he does hold some conservative positions.
05/15/2008 - 7:51pm
Like most democrats, and all liberals, Barack has no patience for the little people. But he is also hostile toward women:
Sen. Barack Obama, who is edging toward the Democratic presidential nomination, offhandedly called a Detroit television reporter "sweetie" during a tour Wednesday of Chrysler's Sterling Stamping Plant in Sterling Heights after she hurled a question at him: "Senator, what are you going to do to help American autoworkers?" The incident got picked up by the national news media, and the video, which shows Obama saying, "Hold on one second, sweetie, we'll do a press avail," to WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) reporter Peggy Agar, is playing on YouTube.com.

Given all the time he spent being mentored by Reverend Wright, there was no reason to think that Barack's bigotry was reserved solely for white people. Perhaps this is why Barack was a bit testy - he was touring an auto plant that, as you'll see in the video, was packed with middle aged white guys!

Several hours later, Obama left a message on Agar's cell phone, apologizing.

"It's a bad habit of mine," he said in the voice mail, which is on the TV station's Web site. "I mean no disrespect, so I am duly chastened on that front."

Given the zero tolerance that democrats are supposed to require for misogynists and bigots, it's a wonder that Barack can write off his hatred as "a bad habit" and think for a second that he can get away with this.

Surely, the drafting of demands for his withdrawal from the race is going on now in the offices of liberal leaders around the country?

Lucky for the party that this scandal occurred before Hillary had been driven from the race. Now they're going to have to kiss her feet as they beg her to save them!
05/15/2008 - 12:03pm
There was a big endorsement yesterday in the presidential race - and, there was also the John Edwards endorsement.

The big one was NARAL, the abortion rights organization that has been closely aligned with Hillary. Their decision to endorse Barack now is curious considering her long devotion to the group, but also highlights something few Americans have thought much about - what Barack believes.
"Pro-choice Americans have been fortunate to have two strong pro-choice candidates in Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton, both of whom have inspired millions of new voters to participate in this historic presidential race," NARAL president Nancy Keenan said in a statement.
Obama is an old-fashioned abortion trumps everything liberal who will require his full powers of equivocation to keep voters confused about what he supports legislatively regarding things like partial birth abortion, which he claims to oppose while voting regularly against bans on the procedure.
In 1997, Obama voted against SB 230, which would have turned doctors into felons by banning so-called partial-birth abortion, & against a 2000 bill banning state funding. Although these bills included an exception to save the life of the mother, they didn't include anything about abortions necessary to protect the health of the mother.
In a debate in April of 2007, Barack revealed his nuanced thinking on the matter, which demonstrates why its so difficult for him to actually support specific policies:
Now, when you describe a specific procedure that accounts for less than 1% of the abortions that take place, then naturally, people get concerned, and I think legitimately so. But the broader issue here is: Do women have the right to make these profoundly difficult decisions? And I trust them to do it. There is a broader issue: Can we move past some of the debates around which we disagree and can we start talking about the things we do agree on? Reducing teen pregnancy; making it less likely for women to find themselves in these circumstances.
How do you make teen pregnancy less likely? This is when trusting people goes out the window:
U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) today introduced the Communities of Color Teen Pregnancy Prevention Act of 2007, which would help prevent teen pregnancies in minority communities. This legislation would strengthen community-based intervention efforts for teen pregnancy services; establish a comprehensive national database to provide culturally and linguistically sensitive information on teen pregnancy reduction; and support research on teen pregnancy in communities of color.
Did you get that? Sex is, apparently, uniquely appealing to minority teens, who require their own database on teen pregnancy reduction which is "culturally and linguistically sensitive?" Does this mean he wants videos on how to put the banana into the condom to be performed in Ebonics?

Perhaps this is what actor Sean Penn had in mind when he explained why he hasn't endorsed Barack:

"I don't have a candidate I'm supporting and I'm certainly interested and excited by the hope that Barack Obama is inspiring,” he said, but went on to accuse him of a “phenomenally inhuman and unconstitutional” voting record.
Wow. Barack's voting record - "phenomenally inhuman and unconstitutional." Finally, a statement from Sean that you can't argue with.
05/15/2008 - 1:02am
In case Barack's personal Mafia isn't scary enough for you, the usual suspects are lining up to join his team. John Edwards, the phoniest twirp in all of politics is now on the team.
It's perfect, and not accidental timing, for the freshman senator as it will shift the political conversation away from Sen. Hillary Clinton's lopsided victory in West Virginia Tuesday.
The major shift, actually, takes place in our stomachs. The only surprise would have been if he had endorsed Hillary. Had he done that, there'd be some grudging respect due.
05/14/2008 - 11:26pm
Proving he is just like all the politicians that democrats love to hate, Barack Obama is using the same techniques that democrats claim to hate. There's nothing wrong with them, of course, but the willingness of the campaign of Hope to stoop to the cornball, contrived and even the malicious is a wonder to behold.
In Kentucky, he is making a direct appeal to Evangelicals with flyers that mention his conversion experience and they highlight a big old cross. Remember Mike Huckabee’s supposed subliminal cross in his Christmas campaign ad? Well, the Obama campaign ditches the subliminal and goes for the in your face cross.
This is a good way to combat suspicions about Barack - that he is Muslim, or that he doesn't like America much. And it could be the motivation for the McCain campaign taking seriously the idea of Mike Huckabee for a running mate - or at least for leaking that they're seriously considering it.
U.S. News and World Report got things started with a story about an unnamed John McCain fundraiser who reportedly spilled the beans that Huckabee wasn't just a contender for the No. 2 spot on the GOP ticket, but that he was at the top of McCain's list of potential vice-presidential nominees. The fundraiser was reported to have received his information from those who are in McCain's inner circle.

As luck would have it, Bob Novak reported the same day in his syndicated column that as Team McCain tries to make nice with the Evangelical Christians, the campaign is unsure if Huckabee would be more of a help or a hindrance to the base-sewing-up effort. The uneasiness stems from questions surrounding Huckabee's potential to be less concerned with McCain's chances in 2008 and more focused on mounting his own comeback in 2012.
Huckabee is too much the gadfly to be a serious contender for the spot though, isn't he? And not at all the image that McCain needs, as likable as some may find him.

McCain needs someone who Americans can look at and say, "ya, he'd make a good President" as his running mate. In his 50's, popular with conservatives, and without the plastic quality of Mitt Romney.

Any ideas?
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