I've been meaning to get this video up since election night, but we never got around to uploading it until recently. Barack, post-election victory:
A key argument for Palin, in essence, is this: Washington and Wall Street are serving their own interests rather than those of the broad whole of the country, and the moment requires a vice president who will, Cincinnatus-like, help a new president come to the rescue. The problem with the argument is that Cincinnatus knew things. Palin sometimes seems an odd combination of Chauncey Gardiner from "Being There" and Marge from "Fargo."
Is this an elitist point of view? Perhaps, though it seems only reasonable and patriotic to hold candidates for high office to high standards. Elitism in this sense is not about educational or class credentials, not about where you went to school or whether you use "summer" as a verb. It is, rather, about the pursuit of excellence no matter where you started out in life. Jackson, Lincoln, Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and Clinton were born to ordinary families, but they spent their lives doing extraordinary things, demonstrating an interest in, and a curiosity about, the world around them. This is much less evident in Palin's case.
It's a shame that his opponents frame Barack's "pursuit of excellence" as "elitist".
It wasn’t always thus with McCain. In February he loudly disassociated himself from a speaker who brayed “Barack Hussein Obama” when introducing him at a rally in Ohio. Now McCain either backpedals with tardy, pro forma expressions of respect for his opponent or lets second-tier campaign underlings release boilerplate disavowals after ugly incidents like the chilling Jim Crow-era flashback last week when a Florida sheriff ranted about “Barack Hussein Obama” at a Palin rally while in full uniform.
A well written, scary op-ed piece. Check it out. What's truly scary and down-right abominable is that the McCain camp is plainly invoking murderous rants:
No less disconcerting was a still-unexplained passage of Palin’s convention speech: Her use of an unattributed quote praising small-town America (as opposed to, say, Chicago and its community organizers) from Westbrook Pegler, the mid-century Hearst columnist famous for his anti-Semitism, racism and violent rhetorical excess. After an assassin tried to kill F.D.R. at a Florida rally and murdered Chicago’s mayor instead in 1933, Pegler wrote that it was “regrettable that Giuseppe Zangara shot the wrong man.” In the ’60s, Pegler had a wish for Bobby Kennedy: “Some white patriot of the Southern tier will spatter his spoonful of brains in public premises before the snow falls.”
This is the writer who found his way into a speech by a potential vice president at a national political convention. It’s astonishing there’s been no demand for a public accounting from the McCain campaign. Imagine if Obama had quoted a Black Panther or Louis Farrakhan — or William Ayers — in Denver.
An excellent analysis by the University of Virginia's Larry J. Sabato:
On the morning after Pennsylvania, she insisted that she had taken a narrow popular-vote lead, about 15.12 million to nearly 15 million for Obama. But this is classic "new math", where the numerical answer obtained is often less important than the agile mental gymnastics used to get there.
Clinton's total relies on two very dubious assumptions. First, one must incorporate the primary results from Florida and Michigan, two January contests excluded by the Democratic National Committee for violating the scheduling rules set by the party. This is no minor sum of votes - 2,344,318, to be exact.
But no even-handed person would contend that Michigan, whose primary occurred on 15 January, should be part of the equation. Barack Obama's name was not even on the ballot.
The vote total cited by Clinton conveniently excludes three caucus states won by Obama, in Iowa, Maine, and Washington. (Nevada, won by Clinton, is also left out of the tally.) No-one knows the exact number of votes cast for each candidate in these four states since the state parties, by tradition, refuse to release the data.
Eliminating Michigan, the Obama-Clinton match-up shows an Obama edge of a couple hundred thousand votes. Striking Florida brings it to about a half-million-vote Obama plurality. And the unknown caucus results would add at least 100,000 to his lead.
I would suggest reading the entire piece. The explanation he provides is both concise and very informative.
Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign intends to go after delegates whom Barack Obama has already won in the caucuses and primaries if she needs them to win the nomination.
This strategy was confirmed to me by a high-ranking Clinton official on Monday. And I am not talking about superdelegates, those 795 party big shots who are not pledged to anybody. I am talking about getting pledged delegates to switch sides.
What? Isn’t that impossible? A pledged delegate is pledged to a particular candidate and cannot switch, right?
It makes more sense why Hillary is fighting this out until the end. I suppose the Clinton campaign's hope is that they win enough big states and shift momentum to get the pledged Obama delegates to reconsider. This could get a lot messier after April 22nd if Clinton takes Pennsylvania like she is supposed to.
It has been a while since Marc Andreessen has posted. So, this morning when my feeds indicated that my Andreessen folder had a new post, I clicked right away.
Marc was kind enough to recap a meeting he had with Barack Obama prior to the start of the campaign season in early 2007. He recaps the meeting and his perceptions of Senator Obama. Again, anyone who knows me well, knows how I feel about each of these gentlemen- as inspirations, as leaders, and most importantly as men that break molds. So, I was excited as I have been in a while to read Marc's perception of Senator Obama. The salient points:
First, this is a normal guy.
I've spent time with a lot of politicians in the last 15 years. Most of them talk at you. Listening is not their strong suit -- in fact, many of them aren't even very good at faking it.
Senator Obama, in contrast, comes across as a normal human being, with a normal interaction style, and a normal level of interest in the people he's with and the world around him.
Normal and Smart:
Second, this is a smart guy.
I bring this up for two reasons. One, Senator Obama's political opponents tend to try to paint him as some kind of lightweight, which he most definitely is not. Two, I think he's at or near the top of the scale of intelligence of anyone in political life today.
You can see how smart he is in his background -- for example, lecturer in constitutional law at University of Chicago; before that, president of the Harvard Law Review.
But it's also apparent when you interact with him that you're dealing with one of the intellectually smartest national politicians in recent times, at least since Bill Clinton. He's crisp, lucid, analytical, and clearly assimilates and synthesizes a very large amount of information -- smart.
I don't know what's worse, using a picture as a scare tactic, or the ignorance of those that let obvious manipulations determine their voting direction:
The photograph published on Monday shows Mr Obama - whose father came from Kenya - wearing a white turban and a white robe presented to him by elders in the north-east of the country.
The Drudge Report said the image had been circulated by "Clinton staffers".
I remember the post-New Hampshire speech having a similar effect on me. I know that all the cynics would love to paint Barack with the simple stroke of orator. As a supporter, though, I happen to believe the words (especially his words) are a precursor to great change for our country.
Barack has history on his side. This country (and in fact, this world) was built by leaders that used the power of the pen and mouth to inspire movements, revolutions, and effectuate change. I don't need to, but I will, mention speeches by such visionaries as Lincoln, Kennedy, and King. To trivialize what Obama speaks as mere words is to trivialize the history of this nation. All great change is effectuated by a vision, and in between vision and execution are words.
Mitt Romney, the former CEO, has bowed out of the presidential race. So, it would seem that at this point, it is down to the Democratic nominee versus McCain in November.
I am still not convinced that there isn't a dark horse lurking in the wings (no, I don't mean this guy) by the name of Bloomberg. It almost seems too perfect: the nominee that no Republican wants to see as president, versus a minority male, and/or a female. I have a distinct feeling that Mayor Bloomberg has been paying special attention to how all of this has played out and his exploratory committee will announce something real soon. He has the financial clout, the backing of the business world, and renounced his party ties for just this moment. It's going to be exciting to see what happens.
...Favs, as everyone calls him, looks every bit his age, with a baby face and closely shorn stubble. And he leads a team of two other young speechwriters: 26-year-old Adam Frankel, who worked with John F. Kennedy’s adviser and speechwriter Theodore C. Sorensen on his memoirs, and Ben Rhodes, who, at 30, calls himself the “elder statesman” of the group and who helped write the Iraq Study Group report as an assistant to Lee H. Hamilton.
Together they are working for a politician who not only is known for his speaking ability but also wrote two best-selling books and gave the much-lauded keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
“You’re like Ted Williams’s batting coach,” Mr. Favreau said.
For the most part, this Time article is typical wannabe punditry. I don't care too much for the author's analysis about the break in the democratic party's foundation. Perhaps, I am jaded by the New Hampshire prognoses and the actual result. Nevertheless, the piece does provide a nice synopsis of the tiff:
The mess began —as these things almost always do — in a normal tit for tat between the candidates. After Obama was poised to surge past Clinton after Iowa, Clinton charged that Obama was raising "false hopes" with his soaring rhetoric that emphasized ends over means. Obama skewered Clinton right back in New Hampshire, asking where the nation would be if both JFK — in making a manned mission to the moon a goal — or Martin Luther King Jr. (in his 1963 Lincoln Memorial speech) had instead shut down their visions and told America they were simply too hard to achieve. Delivered with humor and always to soaring applause, Obama's was a devastating rejoinder.
But then Clinton came back and, far less artfully, said that King's visions were great, but it took an experienced politician like Lyndon Johnson to get them enacted. At the very least, Clinton had equated the sometimes crass master of the legislative backroom with one of America's patron saints. (The real problem is that Clinton seemed to put LBJ on a pedestal higher than King's.) That was probably not her intention, but neither was this her best example in the deeds-not-words crusade she was on. In any case, at that point, things began to unravel.
Of course, the tiff ended this morning. Perhaps, there is something to be said about party-unity. Although, the skeptic in me believes this is just smart campaigning.
This one stings a bit. Especially, given all the early projections indicating that this was a sure win for Barack. As much as Barack looks at himself as an underdog, I believe he too was shocked. His speech, his choice of music, his reactions all indicated that they were expecting to take New Hampshire.
It will be interesting to see how his campaign reacts in South Carolina and Nevada. I wonder if this stinging defeat was a case of not adjusting appropriately to New Hampshire voters, or rather a case of Hillary being close to her power base and tweaking her campaign to be more "emotional." I suppose we will know very soon. But, this was not a good night.
This seems like a huge jump because I could have sworn Hillary and Barack were dead even less than 24 hours ago. Apparently Barack has built up a 13-point lead in New Hampshire. Hopefully, he can leverage this momentum ahead of the final results.