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Author Topic: The 2008 Presidential Race  (Read 168593 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #350 on: January 22, 2008, 05:11:19 PM »

Not that I agree, but Fred Barnes makes the case for McCain.  I am intrigued though that he has gotten Jack Kemp and Phil Gramm on board.  Both of these men have my respect.
------------------

Now McCain Must Convince The Right
By FRED BARNES
WSJ
January 22, 2008; Page A19

John McCain has a problem. After winning South Carolina's primary last Saturday, he should be the overwhelming favorite to capture the Republican presidential nomination. He's not, at least not yet, and the reason is that he's alienated so many conservatives over the past eight years.

Mr. McCain may become the Republican nominee anyway -- in spite of thunderous opposition by conservatives including radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, former Sen. Rick Santorum, and American Conservative Union (ACU) head David Keene. Even then, to win the general election, he must find a way to reconcile with conservatives and unify the Republican Party.

Mr. McCain will have to take the initiative to repair the relationship, and he appears ready to do just that.

His victory speech in South Carolina marked a new step. Rather than dwell on the hardy perennials of his campaign message, national security and patriotism, Mr. McCain spoke more broadly about his conservative goals. "We want government to do its job, not your job," he said, "and to do it with less of your money." He praised "free markets, low taxes and small government."

Moreover, Mr. McCain intends to go beyond conservative boilerplate and actually campaign as a conservative. His congressional voting record is predominantly conservative (ACU rating 82.3%), qualifying him to do so. He's already stepped outside his comfort zone on taxes, endorsing a cut in the corporate tax rate to 25% from 35%.

If he echoes the talking points dispatched to his surrogates over the weekend, he'll be fine. Besides touting Mr. McCain's ability to step in as "commander in chief on Day One," they were urged to emphasize what an ally calls a "Kemp-Gramm mishmash" of tax and spending cuts. Another point to stress: "Winning in November" is crucial to putting conservative judges on the Supreme Court.

It's worth noting the presence of supply-sider Jack Kemp and spending foe Phil Gramm on the McCain team. In fact, the Arizona senator has attracted an impressive array of conservative supporters, including Republican Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Trent Lott of Mississippi, former Gov. Frank Keating of Oklahoma, and ex-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Still, Mr. McCain's ties to liberal Democratic senators, and his difficulty suppressing his maverick streak, are a problem. In a televised debate two weeks ago, he said pharmaceutical companies are "bad guys" and called for importing drugs from Canada. Mr. McCain also endorsed a bipartisan commission to reform Social Security, which many conservatives see as a scheme for raising taxes.

When Mr. McCain strays from conservative orthodoxy, it's often the result of impulse. Before running for president in 2000, he rarely jumped ship. But in his campaign against George W. Bush, he enthralled the media with his "straight talk," which consisted mostly of tweaking conservatives and Republicans.

Since then, he's joined with Democrats to enact campaign-finance reform, push for bills allowing illegal immigrants to stay in this country, and impose a national cap on greenhouse gas emissions. All this has estranged many conservatives. Mr. Limbaugh declared last week that the nomination of John McCain or Mike Huckabee would "destroy the Republican Party . . . change it forever, be the end of it." Former Sen. Santorum and ex-House majority leader Tom DeLay insist they won't vote for Mr. McCain, even if his Democratic opponent is Hillary Clinton.

The McCain campaign claims that it's only a handful of conservative luminaries who oppose him. Not true. Complaints about him are rife among grassroots Republicans, and exit polls from the two primaries he won provide unmistakable evidence. He split self-identified Republicans with Mr. Huckabee in South Carolina and Mitt Romney in New Hampshire. But he barely won "somewhat conservative" voters in those states, and lost lopsidedly with "very conservative" voters.

Mr. McCain won both primaries because of his appeal to moderates and independents, indicating that he'd be a strong general election candidate. But he's got to take the Republican nomination first. That means winning without independents in more states with Republican-only primaries.

Spotlighting his conservative positions is a start. A few gestures bound to gain national attention would help. Appearing at today's March for Life demonstration in Washington would underscore his anti-abortion voting record. As Mr. McCain campaigns in Florida before next Tuesday's primary, a visit to Rush Limbaugh's home in Palm Beach to discuss conservative issues makes sense.

Ultimately, Mr. McCain doesn't have to make conservatives adore him. But he'll never be president unless he persuades them he's the most conservative candidate available with a credible chance of winning the White House. That shouldn't be too hard a sell.

Mr. Barnes is executive editor of the Weekly Standard and co-host of "The Beltway Boys" on Fox News Channel.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #351 on: January 23, 2008, 10:00:49 AM »

John McCain's Gun Control Problem
by John Velleco
Director of Federal Affairs

In 2000, Andrew McKelvey, the billionaire founder of monster.com, threw a sizable chunk of his fortune into the gun control debate.

It was shortly after the Columbine school shooting. Bill Clinton was in the White House and gun control was daily front-page news. McKelvey wanted in.

He started out contributing to Handgun Control Inc., which had since been renamed the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. But while he agreed with their gun banning goals, McKelvey thought the way they packaged their message was too polarizing.

"I told them that Handgun Control was the wrong name. I thought what they were doing was great but I thought it could be done differently," McKelvey said.

So McKelvey struck out on his own and formed Americans for Gun Safety. Although AGS shared almost identical public policy goals as other anti-gun groups, McKelvey portrayed the group as in the 'middle' on the issue and attempted to lure pro-gun advocates into his fold.

To pull it off, he needed a bipartisan coalition with credibility on both sides of the gun debate. On the anti-gun side, the task was easy. Most of the Democrats and a small but vocal minority of Republicans supported President Clinton's gun control agenda.

Finding someone who could stake a claim as a pro-gunner and yet be willing to join McKelvey was not so easy. Enter Senator John McCain.

McCain's star was already falling with conservatives. He had carved out a niche as a 'maverick' as the author of so-called Campaign Finance Reform (more aptly named the incumbent protection act), which was anathema to conservatives but made him a darling of the mainstream media.

Gun owners were outraged over CFR, but McCain still maintained some credibility on the gun issue.

Earlier in his career, McCain had voted against the Clinton crime bill (which contained a ban on so-called assault weapons), and he did not join the 16 Senate Republicans who voted for the Brady bill, which required a five-day waiting period for the purchase of a handgun.

But as he ramped up for his presidential run in 2000, McCain, expanding on the 'maverick' theme, staked out a position on guns far to the left of his primary opponent, George W. Bush.

McCain began speaking out against small, inexpensive handguns and he entertained the idea of supporting the 'assault weapons' ban. His flirtation with anti-Second Amendment legislation quickly led to a political marriage of convenience with McKelvey.

Within months of the formation of AGS, McCain was featured in radio and television ads in Colorado and Oregon supporting initiatives to severely regulate gun shows and register gun buyers. Anti-gunners were ecstatic to get McCain on board.

Political consultant Scott Reed, who managed Bob Dole's presidential campaign in 1996, hoped McCain would "bring a conservative perspective to the gun debate."

The ads not only pushed the anti-gun show measure in those two states, they also served to undermine the efforts of gun rights activists who were furiously lobbying against the same type of bill in Congress.

"I think that if the Congress won't act, the least I can do is support the initiative in states where it's on the ballot," McCain said in an interview.

At the time still a newcomer to the gun control debate, McCain said, "I do believe my view has evolved."

McCain continued to pursue his anti-gun agenda even after his presidential run ended, and the next year he and McKelvey made it to the big screen.

As moviegoers flocked to see Pearl Harbor, they were treated to an anti-gun trailer ad featuring McCain. This time the Senator was pushing legislation to force people to keep firearms locked up in the home.

"We owe it to our children to be responsible by keeping our guns locked up," McCain told viewers.

Economist and author John Lott, Jr., noted, "No mention was ever made by McCain about using guns for self-defense or that gunlocks might make it difficult to stop intruders who break into your home. And research indicates that McCain's push for gunlocks is far more likely to lead to more deaths than it saves."

Also in 2001, McCain went from being a supporter of anti-gun bills to being a lead sponsor.

Pro-gun allies in Congress who were holding off gun show legislation -- which would at best register gun owners and at worst close down the shows entirely -- were angered when McCain teamed up with Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and introduced a "compromise" bill to give the issue momentum.

"There is a lot of frustration. He has got his own agenda," one Republican Senator told Roll Call.

After September 11, 2001, McKelvey and McCain, now joined by Lieberman, had a new angle to push gun control.

"Terrorists are exploiting the gun show loophole," AGS ads hyped. McCain and Lieberman hit the airwaves again in a series of radio and TV spots, thanks to McKelvey's multi-million dollar investment.

A Cox News Service article noted that, "The ads first focused on gun safety but switched to terrorism after Sept. 11. Americans for Gun Safety said the switch is legitimate."

However, Second Amendment expert Dave Kopel pointed out that, "the McCain-Lieberman bill is loaded with poison pills which would allow a single appointed official to prevent any gun show, anywhere in the United States from operating."

Ultimately, the anti-gun legislation was killed in the Congress and AGS fizzled out and disappeared altogether. The issues for which McKelvey spent over $10 million are still in play, however, and John McCain remains a supporter of those causes. In fact, as recently as 2004, McCain was able to force a vote on a gun show amendment.

In the post-Columbine and post-9/11 environments, the Second Amendment was under attack as never before. Pro-gun patriotic Americans who stood as a bulwark to keep the Congress from eviscerating the Constitution were dismayed to look across the battle lines only to see Senator McCain working with the enemy.

John McCain tried running for president in 2000 as an anti-gunner. This year it appears he is seeking to "come home" to the pro-gun community, but the wounds are deep and memories long.

angry

http://gunowners.org/pres08/mccain.htm
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #352 on: January 24, 2008, 11:33:22 AM »

This columnist for the NY Slimes may be onto something  cheesy

Editing Hillary’s Story
  By GAIL COLLINS
Published: January 24, 2008
Last summer, I asked Hillary Clinton if she had any reservations about using her husband in her campaign. She said no, that having Bill on the team was “a great gift. I have always believed you should get the very best people to advise you.”

I never really made use of the interview. At the time, it was hard to complain about the former president’s role. Publicly, he was limited to the occasional stump speech, telling crowds what a good senator his wife was, and how she had helped a small businessman market his fishing poles to Scandinavia. He had a peculiar line about how he had told her back at Yale Law School that he’d met all the great minds of their generation and hers was the finest. Even if that seemed a tad over the top, supportive spouse is a role that provides latitude for excessive enthusiasm. After all, Laura Bush always used to assure people that her George was up to the job.

But now Bill is all over the place — campaign guru, surrogate candidate, one-man first response team. By next week, he’ll be designing the bumper stickers.

The Democratic elders are wringing their hands about the ex-president’s rants at Barack Obama, worrying that he’ll alienate black voters. That doesn’t seem all that likely. African-Americans have stuck with the Democrats through a lot worse than a fight over who said what about Ronald Reagan’s legacy.

And you can’t deny the Clintons’ double-teaming is throwing Barack off his game. “I can’t tell who I’m running against sometimes,” he complained during Monday’s debate.

But in the process, they’re ruining the central selling point of her campaign, the story that explains why she’s the one a dispirited country should trust to make things better.

Every candidacy has one. Barack’s is about the child of a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya whose very lineage makes him the vehicle for a transcendent national unity. Hillary’s isn’t how the smart girl from Illinois who overcame every obstacle fate could throw at her to become the first woman president. Instead, it’s a version of the story we love best of all, about second chances and the American capacity to turn failure into redemption.

She admits she messed up during her early first lady years. The health care plan was a disaster. Travelgate is still too embarrassing to go near. “Oh, we made so many mistakes,” she said last summer, waving away the woes of 1993 and 1994 in one fell swoop, all the while referring to the first Clinton presidency in the first person plural.

Her biggest error was taking a major policy role in her husband’s administration. During the 1992 campaign many people, including me, were offended when the public seemed to want to limit Hillary to the adoring gaze and cookie-baking role. But the public was onto something. It wasn’t Hillary’s gender that was the problem, it was her status as spouse.

It’s almost never a good idea for the boss to bring a husband/wife into management. It muddies up the lines of authority, and it lets personal relationships contaminate the professional ones. As every sentient being on the planet knows, the Clintons have an extremely complicated marriage, and sticking it smack in the middle of the chain of command caused chaos.

The implicit promise of Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy was that she had learned from Clinton I. In her, Americans would have a candidate who had been in the very center of White House decision-making. And the very fact that so much had gone wrong was added value. She is nothing if not a good learner, and — the story went — she had discovered at great price where all the landmines lay, both in the presidency and her own character. And she had forged a separate political identity in seven years in the Senate. During an era when the challenges to a new president could be sudden and overwhelming — and here Hillary isn’t ashamed to play the terror card — she was uniquely prepared to hit the ground running and achieve the greatest do-over in American history.

Now, Bill’s role as Chief Attack Dog undermines all that. If he’s all over her campaign, he’s going to be all over her administration. Instead of the original promise of the thoroughly educated Hillary, we’re being offered the worst-case scenario — that the pair of them are going to return to Pennsylvania Avenue and recreate the old Clinton chaos.

A lot of people are O.K. with that. (After all, we’ve lived for seven years with a disciplined Oval Office that runs like clockwork while it spreads chaos everywhere else.) Only it’s not change, it’s not a breakthrough moment in American history. It’s just a nervous decision that we’d rather go back than risk going forward.

It’s a story, all right, with Bill at the center. If Hillary expects anybody to get misty-eyed about the first woman president at the inauguration, she’s got to send him home and go back to the original plotline.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #353 on: January 24, 2008, 11:42:01 AM »

More feminine musings from the NY Slimes:

Two Against One
             By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: January 23, 2008
GREENVILLE, S.C.


Blogrunner: Reactions From Around the WebIf Bill Clinton has to trash his legacy to protect his legacy, so be it. If he has to put a dagger through the heart of hope to give Hillary hope, so be it.

If he has to preside in this state as the former first black president stopping the would-be first black president, so be it.

The Clintons — or “the 2-headed monster,” as the The New York Post dubbed the tag team that clawed out wins in New Hampshire and Nevada — always go where they need to go, no matter the collateral damage. Even if the damage is to themselves and their party.

Bill’s transition from elder statesman, leader of his party and bipartisan ambassador to ward heeler and hatchet man has been seamless — and seamy.

After Bill’s success trolling the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, Hillary handed off South Carolina and flew to California and other Super Tuesday states. The Big Dog relished playing the candidate again, wearing a Technicolor orange tie and sweeping across the state with the mute Chelsea.

He tried to convey the impression that they were running against The Man, and with classic Clintonian self-pity, grumbled that Barack Obama had all the advantages.

When he was asked yesterday if he would feel bad standing in the way of the first black president, he said no. “I’m not standing in his way,” he said. “I think Hillary would be a better president” who’s “ready to do the job on the first day.” He added: “No one has a right to be president, including Hillary. Keep in mind, in the last two primaries, we ran as an underdog.” He rewrote the facts, saying that “no one thought she could win” in New Hampshire, even though she originally had had a substantial lead.

He said of Obama: “I hope I get a chance to vote for him some day.” And that day, of course, would be after Hillary’s eight years; it’s her turn now because Bill owes her. “I think it would be just as much a change, and some people think more, to have the first woman president as to have the first African-American president,” he said.

Bad Bill had been roughing up Obama so much that Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina suggested that he might want to “chill.” On a conference call with reporters yesterday, the former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, a national co-chairman of the Obama campaign, tut-tutted that the “incredible distortions” of the political beast were “not keeping with the image of a former president.”

Jonathan Alter reported in Newsweek that Senator Edward Kennedy and Rahm Emanuel, the Illinois congressman and former Clinton aide, have heatedly told Bill “that he needs to change his tone and stop attacking Senator Barack Obama.”

In the Myrtle Beach debate Monday night, Obama was fed up with being double-teamed by the Clintons. He finally used attack lines that his strategists had urged him to use against Hillary for months. “It was as though all the e-mails were backed up,” said one.

When Hillary tried once more to take Obama’s remarks about Ronald Reagan out of context, making it seem as though Obama had praised Reagan’s policies, he turned sarcastic about getting two distortionists for the price of one.

“I can’t tell who I’m running against sometimes,” he snapped at Hillary, obviously entrapped and psyched-out by the Clinton duo.

On a conference call with reporters yesterday morning, Obama did not back off from his more aggressive, if defensive, stance. The Clintons, he said “spent the last month attacking me in ways that are not accurate. At some point, it’s important for me to answer.” Recalling that Hillary had called mixing it up the “fun” part of politics, he said: “I don’t think it’s the fun part to fudge the truth.”

Bill has merged with his wife totally now, talking about “we” and “us.” “I never did anything major without discussing it with her,” he told a crowd here. “We’ve been having this conversation since we first met in 1971, and I don’t think we’ll stop now.” He suggested as First Lad that “I can help to sell the domestic program.”

It’s odd that the first woman with a shot at becoming president is so openly dependent on her husband to drag her over the finish line. She handed over South Carolina to him, knowing that her support here is largely derivative.

At the Greenville event, Bill brought up Obama’s joking reference to him in the debate, about how Obama would have to see whether Bill was a good dancer before deciding whether he was the first black president.

Bill, naturally, turned it into a competition. “I would be willing to engage in a dancing competition with him, even though he’s much younger and thinner than I am,” he said. “If I’m going to get in one of these brother contests,” he added, “at least I should be entitled to an age allowance.”

He said, “I kind of like seeing Barack and Hillary fighting.”

“How great is this?” he said. “Neither of them has to be a little wind-up doll who’s supposed to behave in a certain way. They’re real people, flesh and blood people. They have differences.”

And if he has anything to say about it, and he will, they’ll be fighting till the last dog dies.

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G M
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« Reply #354 on: January 25, 2008, 10:06:11 AM »

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?print=yes&id=24650

Newt: A GOP Dark Horse?
by Michael Reagan (more by this author)
Posted 01/25/2008 ET


Fred Thompson's gone. Duncan Hunter's gone. All these people are gone. Huckabee could become Huckabeen -- gone by next Tuesday. So could Rudy after next's Tuesday's Florida primary.
 
All of a sudden you've got this Republican primary coming down to McCain, Romney and Ron Paul. With all this uncertainty, just where can a conservative go? All of a sudden radio talk show hosts, who reflect the opinions of grass-roots conservative voters, are all over the lot hammering on Rudy, hammering on Romney, hammering on McCain and hammering on Paul.
 
Listening to them you get an idea who they want or don't want. They don't like McCain. Most probably they support either Huckabee or Romney. Although they think Rudy is gone, he could come back if he wins in Florida next Tuesday.
 
If Huckabee is finished, I think they go to Romney, who is somewhat more conservative than the rest. At any rate, conservatives could be faced with backing either McCain, or Romney, or Huckabee or even Rudy.
 
Or they could end up backing none of them.
 
Who, then, could conservatives end up backing? Well, who recently has come out with a new book? Who's doing all the shows talking about his new book? Who is advocating common-sense solutions to the most pressing problems America faces?
 
Newt Gingrich, that's who. He was out of the race for a long time, he toyed with the idea of running until Fred Thompson entered the race, and then he more or less pulled back.
 
Why Newt? Ask yourself why Ronald Reagan won. He won because he was able to excite a group of people in America that the liberal wing of the Republican party has never excited -- the grass roots.
 
Newt Gingrich is the last Republican to have done that -- to reach out to the grass roots, to all those conservative Republicans and Reagan Democrats. Remember, it was Newt who engineered the miraculous Republican take-over of Congress in 1994 -- something that was deemed impossible two years after Bill Clinton won the White House.
 
I wouldn't be surprised if he was out there quietly working the phones and hoping for a wide-open convention where the delegates -- not the primaries that selected many of them -- decide for themselves who they want to carry the GOP banner in the presidential election in November.
 
If Newt throws his hat in the ring he knows that in the blink of an eye he will have the grass roots behind him. 
 
Look at what happened Saturday in South Carolina. McCain won with 33 percent of the vote, which means 67 percent of the voters said we don't want McCain; only 30 percent said yes to Huckabee, which means that 70 percent said no to him. About 15 percent went for Thompson, a mere 14 percent went for Romney and 2 percent went for Giuliani.
 
So basically the voters said a resounding “No” to all of the above.
 
So who can electrify the base and get them to come out from their bunkers and ignite a groundswell? On the record, the only person capable of doing that is Newt Gingrich.
 
Covering all the issues that concern the grass roots: Romney represents the Reagan economic approach; McCain, the national security issues; Giuliani represents the hard-line-on-crime position; and Huckabee covers the religious position. Everybody has a piece.
 
Newt Gingrich covers all of those issues, and in the eyes of the grass roots, he covers them brilliantly. Just as his Contract with America dealt with many of the issues that concerned the grass roots and won Congress for the GOP, his agenda goes right to the heart of our current problems. He's offering concrete solutions to all the concrete problems and that's what the grass roots crave.
 
As a result, if the nomination gets thrown open in a brokered convention, the person who comes out of the struggle the winner will most likely be Newt Gingrich.
 
If I'm right I'll back him to the hilt. If I'm wrong I'll follow my dad's lead and support the nominee no matter who he is.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #355 on: January 25, 2008, 10:57:54 AM »

I have a dream!
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ccp
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« Reply #356 on: January 27, 2008, 09:21:53 AM »

I am no longer a fan of Ann Coulter after witnessing her insult all Jews on Donny Deutch.  That said I think she may be on to something when she points out that the Crats are praising McCain because they think he would lose against the Clintons.  Here is B. S. Clinton talking highly of McCain as though he is promoting him:

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/01/25/bill-clinton-john-mccain-and-hillary-are-very-close/

Here is Coulter pointing that the Clintons and the liberal media are doing this because they think *Romney* would be the Repubs strongest candidate.   One thing is for sure.  There is no doubt that the greatest rallying factor to get the Republicans to come out and vote en mass will be to keep the Clintons out.  I will be first on line.  These two pathological characters need to be put to pasture.  I am thinking of registering as a Crat just to vote for Obama:

http://www.anncoulter.com/cgi-local/article.cgi?article=230
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SkinnyDevil
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« Reply #357 on: January 27, 2008, 12:53:50 PM »

  I am thinking of registering as a Crat just to vote for Obama

Hahahaha!!!!

Nice!
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G M
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« Reply #358 on: January 27, 2008, 06:31:13 PM »

I'm thinking Obama will be our next president.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #359 on: January 27, 2008, 10:02:15 PM »

I know the conventional wisdom is that the Reps will lose, but the Dems have a lot of weak chinks in their armor that the Reps will hit only after the candidates are nominated.  Until then, the Dems are flower in a hot house of Democrat activists, Moveon.org, George Soros $ and others of such ilk.

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G M
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« Reply #360 on: January 27, 2008, 10:54:18 PM »

I wish we could transplant Newt's brain into Mitt's body.....
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #361 on: January 28, 2008, 10:43:33 AM »

I bet Newt does too.  cheesy
===========

The Clinton Race Gambit
January 28, 2008; Page A14
WSJ
About Bill Clinton, what can you say? Even before the polls closed in South Carolina on Saturday, the former President was diminishing Barack Obama's victory and trying to boost his wife in the next primaries by playing the race card.

Asked by a reporter why it took "two" Clintons to beat Mr. Obama, Mr. Clinton replied that "Jesse Jackson won South Carolina" in 1984 and 1988. And he added that both Rev. Jackson and Mr. Obama had run "a good campaign here." Hmmm. The reporter hadn't mentioned Jesse Jackson, but Mr. Clinton somehow felt it apposite to refer to him anyway. He thus associated Mr. Obama's landslide victory with that of a black candidate who never did win the Democratic nomination, much less the Presidency, and who had run overtly as an African-American candidate in contrast to Mr. Obama's explicit campaign theme of transcending race.

 
Anyone who thinks this was accidental has spent too much time with Sid Blumenthal. While Mr. Obama won a respectable 24% of white voters, according to Saturday's exit polls, Mrs. Clinton still won 36% and John Edwards 39% of the white vote. Mr. Obama won 78% of the black vote.

The Clintons are now eager to make Mr. Obama into a Rev. Jackson-style "black candidate" as they contest primaries with a larger share of white and Hispanic voters than there were in South Carolina. The Clintons want to portray Mr. Obama as a candidate with a narrowly racial appeal, both to undermine his larger and inspirational message of "unity," and also to play to whatever doubts still exist about an African-American candidate among Democratic voters.

It's going to be fascinating to see if Democrats and the press let the Clintons get away with this. Imagine if Mitt Romney had made the Jesse Jackson comparison. Democrats would have immediately denounced the remarks as "racist," or as a part of some Republican "Southern strategy."

This primary contest has been a rolling revelation for many Democrats and the media, as they've been shocked to see the Clinton brand of divisive politics played against one of their own. Liberal columnists who long idolized the Clintons are even writing more-in-sorrow-than-anger pieces asking how Bill and Hillary could descend to such deceptive tactics. Allow us to answer that lament this way: Our readers aren't surprised.
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #362 on: January 30, 2008, 05:31:37 AM »

Bye! Bye! Rudy!
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #363 on: January 30, 2008, 08:08:00 AM »

This from the NY Slimes, which often butted heads with Rudy when he was mayor.  Definitely caveat lector!
=============

Perhaps he was living an illusion all along.


Rudolph W. Giuliani’s campaign for the Republican nomination for president took impressive wing last year, as the former mayor wove the pain experienced by his city on Sept. 11, 2001, and his leadership that followed into national celebrity. Like a best-selling author, he basked in praise for his narrative and issued ominous and often-repeated warnings about the terrorist strike next time.

Voters seemed to embrace a man so comfortable wielding power, and his poll numbers edged higher to where he held a broad lead over his opponents last summer. Just three months ago, Anthony V. Carbonetti, Mr. Giuliani’s affable senior policy adviser, surveyed that field and told The New York Observer: “I don’t believe this can be taken from us. Now that I have that locked up, I can go do battle elsewhere.”

In fact, Mr. Giuliani’s campaign was about to begin a free fall so precipitous as to be breathtaking. Mr. Giuliani finished third in the Florida primary on Tuesday night; only a few months earlier, he had talked about the state as his leaping-off point to winning the nomination.

As Mr. Giuliani ponders his political mortality, many advisers and political observers point to the hubris and strategic miscalculations that plagued his campaign. He allowed a tight coterie of New York aides, none with national political experience, to run much of his campaign.

He accumulated a fat war chest — he had $16.6 million on hand at the end of September, more than Mitt Romney ($9.5 million) or Senator John McCain ($3.2 million) — but spent vast sums on direct mail instead of building strong organizations on the ground in South Carolina and New Hampshire.

Indeed, his fourth-place finish in New Hampshire, a state where he was once considered competitive, provided an early indication of his vulnerability.

And, curiously, this man with the pugnacious past declined to toss more than light punches at his Republican opponents.

In interviews Tuesday, even before he gave a concession speech in which he spoke of his campaign in the past tense, Mr. Giuliani described his strategic mistakes, suggesting that his opponents had built up too much momentum in earlier primaries. But this is a rhetorical sleight of hand; he in fact competed hard in New Hampshire, to remarkably poor effect.

Perhaps a simpler dynamic was at work: The more that Republican voters saw of him, the less they wanted to vote for him.

Mr. Giuliani was a temple-throbbing Italian-American New Yorker who ruled a cacophonous city seen as the very definition of liberalism. He was somewhat liberal on social issues — notably immigration and abortion — where Republican candidates are invariably conservative. And he possessed a complicated family life: he has been thrice-married and has two adult children who rarely speak to him. At the beginning of his campaign last spring, he sat for a celebrity photo shoot smooching with his third wife, who snuggled in his lap.

“It bordered on science fiction to think that someone as liberal on as many issues as Rudy Giuliani could become the Republican nominee,” said Nelson Warfield, a Republican consultant who has been a longtime critic of the former mayor. “Rudy didn’t even care enough about conservatives to lie to us. The problem wasn’t the calendar; it was the candidate.”

Several of Mr. Giuliani’s campaign aides acknowledged as much Tuesday. They say he tried to tack right without ever really convincing voters that he had experienced a change of heart. And an adviser who has known Mr. Giuliani since the early 1990s and spoke on condition of anonymity said the mayor’s early poll numbers struck him as ephemeral.

“His numbers were built on name recognition and celebrity,” this adviser said. “He had so many of his old friends around him, sometimes it was like he was running for president of Staten Island.”

In his concession speech Mr. Giuliani acknowledged, jokingly, how out of place he often seemed among conservative Republicans. “We’re a big party and we’re getting bigger,” he said. “I’m even in this party.”

After his third-place finish, Republican officials said Mr. Giuliani was expected to drop out of the race and endorse Mr. McCain, possibly as early as Wednesday.

In the beginning, few cracks were evident in the Giuliani campaign machine. He led the Republican field in polls conducted by The New York Times and CBS News throughout the summer, as his support peaked in August at 38 percent nationally in a four-way fight with Mr. McCain, Mr. Romney and Fred D. Thompson. That put him 20 points ahead of his next closest competitor, Mr. Thompson, who has since dropped out of the race.
=========
Page 2 of 3)



Mr. Giuliani often played to large crowds in New Hampshire and through the Deep South; everyone seemed to love his tough talk on terrorism. When Mr. McCain’s campaign nearly flat-lined last summer, as he ran low on money, Mr. Giuliani seemed poised to take advantage.


No candidate last summer sent out as many direct-mail appeals in New Hampshire as Mr. Giuliani. Last fall, the campaign also broadcast its first television commercials there, ultimately spending more than $3 million on advertisements, and dispatched Mr. Giuliani there for lots of retail campaigning in a state where voters tend to worry more about taxes and the military than conservative social issues. And he seemed at peace with this choice.

“It is not inconceivable that you could, if you won Florida, turn the whole thing around,” Mr. Giuliani told The Washington Post in late November on a bus trip through New Hampshire. “I’d rather not do it that way. That would create ulcers for my entire staff and for me.”

But Mr. Giuliani’s campaign was stumbling, even if it was not immediately evident. He leaned on friendly executives who would let him speak to employees in company cafeterias. Mr. Romney and Mr. McCain, by contrast, compiled lists of undecided Republican voters and invited them — sometimes weeks in advance — to town-hall-style meetings.

“Rudy Giuliani had a tremendous opportunity in New Hampshire that his campaign never embraced,” said Fergus Cullen, the state Republican chairman. “They vacillated between being half committed and three-quarters committed, and that doesn’t work up here.”

Mr. Giuliani also relied on a New York-style approach to photo-friendly crowds. “Rudy went very heavy on Potemkin Village stops, working what I call ‘hostage audiences,’ “ Mr. Cullen said. “It looked like he was campaigning, but he didn’t know who he was talking to.”

A curious new vulnerability also arose. As mayor, Mr. Giuliani took much joy in crawling through the weeds of policy debate, flashing his issue mastery. But as a presidential candidate, he as often seemed ill at ease.

Mr. Giuliani once embraced gun control, gay rights and abortion rights; he knew that all of these issues would be a tough sell to Republicans. While he never shifted positions as sharply as Mr. Romney — who renounced his former support of abortion and gay rights — he as often occupied a muddled middle ground that pleased no one.

This became most evident in the first Republican debate. Asked about repealing Roe v. Wade, he was equivocal. “It would be O.K. to repeal,” he said. “Or it would be O.K. also if a strict constructionist judge viewed it as precedent, and I think a judge has to make that decision.”

Later, he said that the decision on abortion should be left to women — but that he would appoint strict constructionist judges of the type who had favored overturning Roe v. Wade.

“Give him credit — he sort of stuck to his positions,” Mr. Warfield said. “It made him a man of principle, but it won’t make him the Republican nominee.”

Storm clouds swept over the Giuliani campaign in October and November. A federal prosecutor indicted his friend and former police commissioner, Bernard B. Kerik. And a report indicated that Mr. Giuliani had spent city money to visit his girlfriend, now his wife, in the Hamptons; the police also provided some security for his new love.

Cause and effect is difficult to chart in a presidential campaign. Mr. Giuliani’s poll numbers did not fall off the table, but the news gave newly wary voters another reason to reconsider him.

By late fall, Mr. Giuliani’s poll numbers were fading in New Hampshire, and he trailed Mr. Romney and Mr. McCain. He began a curious two-step, saying he would compete in but probably not win in New Hampshire.

Weeks earlier, he had executed a similar tactical retreat in South Carolina — he and his campaign strategist, Mike DuHaime, said that they hoped voters would cast ballots for him, but that they did not necessarily expect to win the state.

That was a tough pitch in states where voters pride themselves on being taken seriously by candidates.
===========

“DuHaime comes out and says it’s all about delegates, rather than winning the state,” Mr. Cullen said. “It was amazing. It was the talk of every Dunkin’ Donuts and rotary club.”


By late December, Mr. Giuliani made a fateful decision. He formally abandoned plans to run hard in and perhaps win New Hampshire or Michigan. Instead, he made sporadic appearances in those states and retreated to Florida, where he would make something of a final stand.

This was a deeply controversial move; no one had won an election by essentially skipping the first four or five caucuses and primaries. With this decision, he consigned himself to the media shadows during weeks of intensive coverage. But Mr. DuHaime, who had run President Bush’s effort in the Northeast in a past election, signed off on it, as did Mr. Giuliani’s other top campaign aides.

In the end, Mr. Giuliani and his advisers treated supporters as if they were so many serried lines of troops. If they tell a pollster in November that they are going to vote for you, this indicates they are forever in your camp, their thinking went.

But politics does not march to a military beat; it is a business of shifting loyalties. By Tuesday night, even those voters who rated terrorism as the most important issue were as likely to vote for Mr. Romney or Mr. McCain as for Mr. Giuliani. And those who had voted early for Mr. Giuliani now felt a sense of irrelevance.

“I’ve already voted; I voted for Mr. Giuliani,” David Brown, 70, said in Sun City Center, Fla. “I wish I’d voted for Mr. Romney.”

So Mr. Giuliani confronts the hardest of choices, as he finished far behind two other candidates in a state he had vowed to win. Some of his former aides, particularly those who hail from his days at City Hall, have urged him to slog on to New York, New Jersey and California on Feb. 5.

But there, too, the ground is shifting. Only weeks ago, Mr. DuHaime spoke in a call about the former mayor’s strong lead in those states. “Some of these leads are momentum-proof at this point,” he said.

Mr. Giuliani now trails or is at best tied in polls in all of those states. And soon after that phone call, reporters received a memorable e-mail rebuttal from Mr. Romney’s spokesman, Kevin Madden.

“Mayor Giuliani’s momentum-proof national polling lead, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny all walk into a bar,” it began. “You’re right. None of them exist.”
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« Reply #364 on: January 30, 2008, 09:21:51 AM »

McCain is an American hero. Having said that, I weep for the republican party and this nation if he's our nominee.

The only thing that makes me smile right now is Dr. Crazy's 3% in Florida.
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« Reply #365 on: January 30, 2008, 09:31:35 AM »

It looks like Silky Pony is going back to hair care and ambulance chasing full time.  evil
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« Reply #366 on: January 30, 2008, 05:27:19 PM »

There is much to strongly dislike about McCain, but at least he is clear that we are in a war and that we need to win it.

Also, I am somewhat heartened by the fact that he has Phil Gramm and Jack Kemp giving him economic advice.

I certainly prefer him to Lady Evita or BO-- and unlike Romney, currently he leads them in the polls.
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« Reply #367 on: January 30, 2008, 10:07:56 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/01/28/mccains-campaign-boasts-another-open-borders-zealot/

This is my biggest issue with McAmnesty.
=================

McCain’s campaign boasts another open borders zealotposted at 10:22 am on January 28, 2008 by Bryan
Send to a Friend | printer-friendly His name is Jerry Perenchio, and he’s a national finance co-chair of the McCain campaign. You can find him listed on McCain’s website. Perenchio has a long history of thwarting the people’s will when it comes to border security.
Jerry Perenchio is the man who poured millions of dollars into fighting the California movement to teach schoolchildren English. Does John McCain share Perenchio’s zealous opposition to pro-English immersion initiatives? If he doesn’t, why does he have the nation’s leading opponent of pro-English immersion initiatives serving in the prestigious position of national campaign finance co-chair?
Perenchio aggressively bankrolled opposition to Prop. 227, which dismantled “bilingual education”–the oxymoronic program that holds foreign-language-speaking students hostage and forces them to maintain their native tongues instead of transitioning to English as quickly as possible–in 1998. He donated millions directly to the opponents and also donated millions of dollars in anti-227 “public service announcements” on Univision railing that “The dreams of millions of Hispanic families are being destroyed.” Despite Perenchio’s massive campaign to prop up language segregationism, the pro-English Prop. 227 won in a landslide.
It’s bad enough that McCain has Juan Hernandez as his Hispanic Outreach Director. McCain claims that Hernandez is on the campaign because he agrees with McCain’s policies. But it’s something else entirely to find that McCain is backed by Perenchio. Perenchio isn’t just an open borders advocate; he’s also a global warming crusader and major contributor to Planned Parenthood. Michelle has all the details. McCain is looking more and more like a creature of the radical side of a couple of issues that put him at odds with the vast majority of the GOP base and, in the case of border security, with the general public as well. Personnel is policy, and the personnel on McCain’s campaign offer a strong hint about which policies he would take with him if he’s elected president.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2008, 12:21:15 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #368 on: January 31, 2008, 07:42:27 AM »

"He was too New York, too Italian, and he had too many wives."
DOROTHY KALIADES, of Queens, on the problems with Rudolph W. Giuliani’s presidential quest.

================
GM:

Looks like McCain is going to be endorsed by our Dem in Rep clothing governor too , , ,
===========

WSJ

Hillary's Smear Campaign
By MICHAEL ZELDIN
January 31, 2008; Page A17

Beginning with the South Carolina debate, and continuing as an applause line in many stump speeches thereafter, Hillary Clinton has accused Barack Obama of representing an inner-city slum lord while practicing law in Chicago. Of all people, Sen. Clinton should know better.

During the Whitewater investigation, Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr investigated the legal work performed by Mrs. Clinton, then a partner in the Rose law firm, on behalf of Jim McDougal and his bank, Madison Guaranty. Mr. Starr believed that Mrs. Clinton helped orchestrate the fraudulent land deal known as Castle Grande. He subpoenaed her billing records, hauled her before a grand jury, and relentlessly pursued her.

 
In her defense, Mrs. Clinton and her attorneys asserted that her involvement in the matter was de minimus. As one of independent counsels who preceded Mr. Starr, I was interviewed repeatedly on the subject. I wholeheartedly defended Mrs. Clinton.

I believed that the evidence revealed that Mrs. Clinton, who spent a total of only 60 hours of work on the case over a 15-month period, was not substantially involved in the matter and did nothing improper in her work on behalf of Madison Guaranty. In the end, no charges were brought against Mrs. Clinton because there was insufficient evidence to prove that she knowingly assisted anyone in the perpetration of a fraud.

Yet, when an opportunity presented itself in the debate, Mrs. Clinton, without so much as a blink of an eye or the slightest blush, denounced Sen. Obama for representing "Tony Rezko in his slum landlord business in inner-city Chicago." Her accusation invites scrutiny. Not so much for the truth of the accusation (the facts are quite straightforward and completely benign) but as a window into Mrs. Clinton's character and as a lens with which to see whether a Clinton presidency will be a vehicle for change.

The facts are well documented: Upon graduation from Harvard Law School in 1991, Mr. Obama, the first African-American president of the Harvard Law review, could have named his job at any law firm or corporate legal department in America. Instead, he selected a boutique civil rights law firm, Miner Barnhill & Galland, where he represented community organizers, discrimination victims and black voters trying to force a redrawing of city ward boundaries.

During his tenure at Miner Barnhill, the firm accepted the representation of the Woodlawn Preservation and Investment Corp., a nonprofit group that redeveloped a run-down property on Chicago's South Side. Mr. Rezko, not the client of the firm, was assisting Woodland with City housing redevelopment projects. As a junior associate, Mr. Obama was asked by his supervising attorney, William Miceli, to do about five hours of basic due diligence and document review. That began and ended his involvement in the case.

No one who has ever practiced law, let alone Mrs. Clinton, could argue, with a clear conscience, that these five hours on behalf of a church group that partnered with a man who at a later point in time would be alleged to be a scoundrel equated to knowingly representing a Chicago slumlord. Yet she could not resist leveling the accusation.

I suggest that this provides a window into Mrs. Clinton's character because notwithstanding the enormous suffering she had to endure when accused of wrongful conduct in her representation of Madison Guaranty -- a representation that appears to have been no more than a routine business transaction -- she is willing to behave no differently than did her Whitewater accusers if she can gain politically. She appears to have learned no lessons from the Starr investigation.

Mrs. Clinton's willingness to ignore the truth for short-term political advantage is exactly what breeds the partisanship that's paralyzed Washington for too many years, and the cynicism felt by so many Americans, especially the young. Getting ahead by any means possible is the strategy. Once elected, the candidate falsely believes that he or she will be able to set things right and govern differently. All that was said in the campaign is rationalized -- it will be forgiven and forgotten as part of the hyperbole of the election process.

Sadly, it just isn't so. No one forgets and no one forgives in Washington. (Ask John Kerry if he has gotten over the Swift boat smear campaign.) How you get elected defines who you will be once in power. Mrs. Clinton has shown us with this one simple, baseless accusation why it will be hard for her candidacy to represent a change. She appears too comfortable with the politics of personal destruction if she can gain a political advantage.

Mr. Zeldin is a former independent counsel and federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C. He has volunteered for Barack Obama in the Democratic primary campaign.
--------------------

What McCain's Got
January 31, 2008; Page A16
Orlando, Fla.

In a time of Republican confusion, Sen. John McCain, reviled as an unreliable maverick, has won three GOP primaries. Florida showed why he's winning.

In the age of modern media, it is possible for anyone with access to Google to learn almost everything there is to know about a presidential campaign -- polls, strategies, stump speeches, background papers, bottomless punditry. What more does one need to know? If the day comes that campaigns are run only with Web videos, that is indeed all you'll need to know. But they're not. They are still worked town by town, from diners to bagel shops and in places like Sun City, Fla., where several hundred retirees gathered Saturday to hear John McCain.

 
John McCain beat Mitt Romney by 5.5 points in New Hampshire and by five again in Florida. Three months ago, Mr. McCain was a 10% cipher in Florida, with no organization and no donors. This week one saw why John McCain is basically five points better than Mitt Romney, or Rudy Giuliani, at the most fundamental job in politics -- connecting.

When Mr. McCain took the stage in Sun City, the applause was polite. When he finished, he got a standing ovation. He has been at this game a long time, and his ability to sense and ride the emotional flow of an audience is astonishing.

It discomfits some, including me, that Mr. McCain seems like a live, capped volcano. But in front of an audience like this, and before a younger group two days later at the Tampa Convention Center, he stood with that tight, little upper body of coiled electricity and plugged his message of honor, commitment and threat straight into the guts of his listeners.

Rudy Giuliani's antiterror message has been strong and credible, but it was almost an abstraction compared to the meat and potatoes of the McCain presentation.

He asks veterans to stand. About 70 men rise, to great applause. He's talking about the "transcendent threat of radical Islamic extremism" and from there to homicidal doctors in Scotland and arrests in Germany. "Al Qaeda is on the run, but they're not defeated!" He wraps himself, justifiably, in the "Petraeus" surge. And then, "My friends, doesn't the president deserve credit that there hasn't been another attack on the U.S.?" They are going nuts. It wasn't demagogic. He does it with tone and timing. You can almost see his eyes calibrating.

Retail politics still matter, and in an era of terror, war and loss of national self-esteem, John McCain is a retail politics powerhouse.

Some strengths and weaknesses emerged in the Sun City Q&A. The first question was about "our borders," and Mr. McCain brought down the house with, "Thank you, sir, and this meeting is over." The volcano then gets into a gratuitously testy exchange with an anti-immigrant speaker who was already being hooted by the audience. On Social Security, he reverted to the Greenspan Commission. That was back in 1982, and it produced a tax increase.

Mr. McCain is hapless on economics. The answer to why he nonetheless beat Mr. Romney by eight points with economic voters is in large part his effective denunciations of the Bush-GOP spending surge in the first veto-less term. There's nothing "maverick" about that. That spending is the main thing that drove the GOP base into its famous funk.

If Mitt Romney were capable of sadness, he should be depressed. He's very good. That famous, equivocal stiff on the debate stage isn't the same person who pitched himself to about 150 people Monday on the tarmac at the Fort Myers airport. This was an almost nothing stop, but he acted as if it were the first week of the campaign. He came across as energetic, alive, young, smart, informed and ready to work his tail off to "fix Washington." (His remark that Mr. McCain "will say anything to get elected" did have a few reporters exchanging glances.) He spent a long time after the speech immersed in the audience, chatting. He didn't have to do that. He may be unnaturally smooth, but Mitt's a heavy-hitter.

So why is he losing? McCain endorsements by Gov. Charlie Crist and Sen. Mel Martinez mattered in Florida. But an aide explained after the speech that in New Hampshire and Michigan they watched Mr. McCain rise almost in sync with Rudy's sudden decline. Indeed, the Romney candidacy may ultimately fall victim to the catastrophic Giuliani all-Florida decision.

Tuesday night, at the Giuliani wake in the Portofino Hotel in Orlando, a high official with the campaign said their internal polls had Rudy as the "preferred" candidate for many voters. But naturally, he said, most voters don't want to cast a likely losing vote. It is enraging some conservatives that marginally more of these Giuliani votes are migrating to John McCain. Mitt needed Rudy in the race.

Rudy just doesn't have McCain's national campaign skills, or desire. He arrived at the Fort Myers tarmac in the afternoon after Mitt Romney (Mitt was early, Rudy late). Gave a terrific stump speech -- terror, tax cuts, even threw in the Everglades. Rudy Giuliani didn't have supporters; he had fans. This clutch of fans was separated from him by a red felt rope, as you would see outside clubs in New York.

After the speech, he stepped off the small stage, took off his suit jacket, folded it for an aide and then, staying on his side of the rope with Judith, attached to him like Cling Wrap, he autographed "Rudy Country" signs. And never said a single word. Not a word, save one guy who forced a conversation. All they got from Rudy was an autograph and a grin, which never fell from his face. It was weird.

This will ever be a mysterious candidacy. You can say there was Rudy baggage yet to fall, that the success of the Iraq surge flowed to John McCain, that the half-baked Driving Miss Judy stories hurt, that he was low on money.

Still. He could have competed for a second or third in New Hampshire. Instead he decamped and settled for humiliation, finishing behind a Mike Huckabee whose public life is a dot compared to the Giuliani legacy in New York City. Rudy ran on that legacy, and one suspects came to realize New York was the peak. Running for president requires fire in the belly. But you have to show it on both sides of the velvet rope.
WSJ
« Last Edit: January 31, 2008, 08:56:45 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #369 on: January 31, 2008, 09:10:42 AM »

Crafty,

I could be wrong, but I think running a "democrat-lite" candidate is the path to ruin.
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« Reply #370 on: January 31, 2008, 09:19:43 AM »

I agree, but here's the problem: I like Romney's positions better than McCain's. I doubt his ability to debate either of Lady Evita or BO.  I agree with his immigration policies, but worry he has not accompanied them with word and deed that will enable the Reps to maintain competitiveness with the Dems for the Latino vote.  As hard line as I am on illegals, I am also clear that good immigration is good and necessary for the US-- and Romney has not really paired this point with his properly hardline comments on illegals. 
We saw this happen in California over an initiatitive some years back-- and now CA is a solidly Dem state.  I doubt his ability to not get buttf*cked by a Dem congress and the Dem controlled MSM into compromising on just about everything.  Current polls have McC beating both Lady Evita and BO, and Romney losing to both.

What to do?

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« Reply #371 on: January 31, 2008, 09:35:01 AM »

I think this is a "rebuilding year". Let the dems wins the white house and really FCUK things up. We can then get a good candidate in 2012.
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« Reply #372 on: January 31, 2008, 12:15:48 PM »

 ***Current polls have McC beating both Lady Evita and BO, and Romney losing to both.***

I am not sure I trust those polls.

The Dems seem very happy running against McCain to me.

I wonder what the secret "internal" polling shows.

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« Reply #373 on: January 31, 2008, 03:55:13 PM »

Nominating McAmnesty removes the most powerful wedge issue we have. Illegal immigration. Lose that and indeed we've lost.
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« Reply #374 on: January 31, 2008, 04:26:20 PM »

Unfortunately not nominating him means we've lost the most effective advocate for winning the war in Iraq, preventing Iran's nuke program, and fighting Islamic Fascism.
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« Reply #375 on: January 31, 2008, 07:53:40 PM »

When it comes to Iran's nuclear program, it's probably already too late. If it's not, by jan. 2009 it certainly will be. If we are going to move against Iran, President Bush will have to be the trigger puller.

As far as the war against the global jihad, it'll still be there in 2012. We may have a few more 9/11's under our belt by then, but let the dems shut down Gitmo and defang us globally. Much of the casualties CONUS will be in those densely populated blue states. We'll see how reality shapes future politics.
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« Reply #376 on: February 01, 2008, 10:20:24 AM »

A nicely made point on another forum:
=======

I was intrigued by the reason the Witch gave last night for being against driving licenses for illegal immigrants.

From the transcript

"I do not think that it is either appropriate to give a driver's license to someone who is here undocumented, putting them, frankly, at risk, because that is clear evidence that they are not here legally"

"If you want to round up into four (million) people, how many tens of thousands of federal law enforcement officials would that take ... And how much authority would they have to be given to knock on every door of every business and every home? I don't think Americans would stand for that."

Lets read between the lines. Registration is bad for illegal immigrants as Republicans would use it as a database to round them up.

Now lets go back to 2000 where The Witch said:

"We license drivers before they get behind the wheel to make sure they can drive safely. We register cars to make sure someone is responsible for every vehicle on the road. But we don't do the same for deadly weapons,"

So we need to register guns but don't worry registration will not lead to confiscation. We should not register illegal immigrants as that will lead to deportation... Now how can someone be prepared to swear to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" when they have no regard for the 2nd amendment but will twist the rules to keep illegals here?
__________________
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« Reply #377 on: February 01, 2008, 12:15:15 PM »

Someone who isn't McCain could hammer Hillary for statements like that in the general election.
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« Reply #378 on: February 01, 2008, 05:26:09 PM »

Kerry:  "McCain approached me in 2004 about being my VP candidate"
http://mydd.com/story/2007/4/3/11936/97033
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« Reply #379 on: February 01, 2008, 08:36:59 PM »

Two post copied from another forum:
==========================================

John McCain: The Democrats' Favorite Republican I got this email today and thought that I'd share the info with you guy's. I haven't had a chance to read all of the links, but I thought that some of you might be interested anyway.


John McCain: The Democrats' Favorite Republican (Video) (1min)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGrWt-XICHc

John McCain is a Liberal


"I believe my party has gone astray. I think the Democratic Party is a fine party, and I have no problems with it, in their views and their philosophy." - John McCain

McCain Calls Conservative Leaders 'Agents of Intolerance' (The Wall Street Journal)
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB9517...?mod=googlewsj

"Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether ... on the left, or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right." - John McCain

McCain's Age (Townhall)
http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/T...24/mccains_age

Age: 71

- McCain graduated 894th out of 899 in his class at the United States Naval Academy

Betrayal, deceit, corruption and John McCain (The U.S. Veteran Dispatch)
http://www.usvetdsp.com/nov07/mccain_deceit.htm

"While still married to Carol, McCain began an adulterous relationship with

Cindy. He married Cindy in May 1980 - just a month after dumping his

crippled wife and securing a divorce."

John McCain: The Geraldo Rivera Republican (Human Events)
http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=24621

McCain: I'll Respect Hillary (NewsMax)
http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/m.../18/50422.html

"I Have No Doubt That Senator Clinton Would Make A Good President." - John McCain

The Real McCain Record (National Review Online)
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q...Y5NTZiOGNhOGQ=

Abortion:

John McCain Supports Embryonic Stem Cell Research (Audio)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvl3sDW8T9c

McCain Softens Abortion Stand (The Washington Post)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv...cain082499.htm

"But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations." - John McCain

Anger Issues:

Andy Card: I Have Seen John McCain's Anger (NewsMax)
http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/...1/110824.shtml

John McCain: I Have Anger Issues (NewsMax)
http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/...8/113442.shtml

John McCain's Temper Preceded Vietnam (NewsMax)
http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/...0/123006.shtml

McCain Goes Nuts Near Senate Floor (NewsMax)
http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/...9/210233.shtml

McCain's Out-of-Control Anger: Does He Have the Temperament to Be President? (NewsMax)
http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/.../5/00548.shtml

Vanity Fair Tiptoes Around McCain's Explosive Temper (NewsMax)
http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/...0/182118.shtml

Endorsements:

Juan Hernandez, Open borders Advocate Endorses McCain (HotAir)
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/01/2...cain-campaign/

Republicans for Al Gore (Environmental Protection) Endorses McCain (Press Release)http://www.rep.org/opinions/press_re...ase08-1-8.html

The New York Times Endorses John McCain and Clinton (Reuters)
http://www.reuters.com/article/vcCan...29487020080125

Foreign Policy:

McCain considers setting benchmarks for Iraqis (Arizona Daily Star)
http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/byauthor/166271

McCain falls asleep during the State of the Union Address (Video)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkkTFVIxMQs

McCain: No 'Torture' for 9/11 Mastermind (NewsMax)
http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/...6/113204.shtml

McCain to Close Gitmo: "The first day I am President" (Video)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5Co7x3A12s

McCain: Torture Worked on Me (NewsMax)
http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/...9/100012.shtml

Global Warming:

McCain and Lieberman Push for New Anti-Global Warming Legislation (The National Center for Public Policy Research)
http://www.nationalcenter.org/TSR1803.html

Senators McCain and Lieberman Propose Energy Tax (The National Center for Public Policy Research)http://www.nationalcenter.org/TSR102103.html

"No drilling in ANWR, nor in the Everglades, nor off the coast of Florida ... To think that drilling in ANWR is the solution to our incredible energy needs is frankly, is not keeping in the reality of what's there, and what it would take to get it out." - John McCain

"I always have a glass of ethanol before breakfast every morning" - John McCain

Illegal Immigration:

McCain Would Sign Amnesty Bill as President (Video)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLWRW4GoGHY

John McCain gets a 'D' on his Immigration Voting Report Card (Americans for Better Immigration)http://grades.betterimmigration.com/...ct=AZ&VIPID=33

- McCain favors business lobbyists’ desires for foreign workers vs. protecting American workers’ wages and jobs

- McCain’s hopes of giving millions amnesty will saddle American taxpayers with huge costs of $20,000 per illegal per year

- McCain has taken the pro-amnesty position in nearly two dozen votes

- McCain only promises to make 2 million of the 12-20 million illegal aliens go home

John McCain Praises Pro-illegal Protests (NewsMax)
http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/...2/120003.shtml

McCain aide touts 'Mexico first' policy (WorldNetDaily)
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/ar...TICLE_ID=59890

McCain: "Americans Will Not Pick Lettuce for $50 an Hour" (AFL-CIO)
http://blog.aflcio.org/2006/04/05/50...ttuce-you-bet/

McCain called plan 'amnesty' in 2003 (WorldNetDaily)
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/ar...TICLE_ID=59567

"I think we can set up a program where amnesty is extended to a certain number of people, Amnesty has to be an important part..." - John McCain, 2003

McCain: U.S. Should Welcome Illegal Immigrants (FOXNews)
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,123844,00.html

Michigan Crowd Boos McCain On Illegal Immigration (Video) (1min)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-nVJGsTdKU
 

------------------------

Endorsements:

Juan Hernandez, Open borders Advocate Endorses McCain (HotAir)
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/01/2...cain-campaign/

Republicans for Al Gore (Environmental Protection) Endorses McCain (Press Release)http://www.rep.org/opinions/press_re...ase08-1-8.html

The New York Times Endorses John McCain and Clinton (Reuters)
http://www.reuters.com/article/vcCan...29487020080125

Foreign Policy:

McCain considers setting benchmarks for Iraqis (Arizona Daily Star)
http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/byauthor/166271

McCain falls asleep during the State of the Union Address (Video)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkkTFVIxMQs

McCain: No 'Torture' for 9/11 Mastermind (NewsMax)
http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/...6/113204.shtml

McCain to Close Gitmo: "The first day I am President" (Video)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5Co7x3A12s

McCain: Torture Worked on Me (NewsMax)
http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/...9/100012.shtml

Global Warming:

McCain and Lieberman Push for New Anti-Global Warming Legislation (The National Center for Public Policy Research)
http://www.nationalcenter.org/TSR1803.html

Senators McCain and Lieberman Propose Energy Tax (The National Center for Public Policy Research)http://www.nationalcenter.org/TSR102103.html

"No drilling in ANWR, nor in the Everglades, nor off the coast of Florida ... To think that drilling in ANWR is the solution to our incredible energy needs is frankly, is not keeping in the reality of what's there, and what it would take to get it out." - John McCain

"I always have a glass of ethanol before breakfast every morning" - John McCain

Illegal Immigration:

McCain Would Sign Amnesty Bill as President (Video)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLWRW4GoGHY

John McCain gets a 'D' on his Immigration Voting Report Card (Americans for Better Immigration)http://grades.betterimmigration.com/...ct=AZ&VIPID=33

- McCain favors business lobbyists’ desires for foreign workers vs. protecting American workers’ wages and jobs

- McCain’s hopes of giving millions amnesty will saddle American taxpayers with huge costs of $20,000 per illegal per year

- McCain has taken the pro-amnesty position in nearly two dozen votes

- McCain only promises to make 2 million of the 12-20 million illegal aliens go home

John McCain Praises Pro-illegal Protests (NewsMax)
http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/...2/120003.shtml

McCain aide touts 'Mexico first' policy (WorldNetDaily)
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/ar...TICLE_ID=59890

McCain: "Americans Will Not Pick Lettuce for $50 an Hour" (AFL-CIO)
http://blog.aflcio.org/2006/04/05/50...ttuce-you-bet/

McCain called plan 'amnesty' in 2003 (WorldNetDaily)
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/ar...TICLE_ID=59567

"I think we can set up a program where amnesty is extended to a certain number of people, Amnesty has to be an important part..." - John McCain, 2003

McCain: U.S. Should Welcome Illegal Immigrants (FOXNews)
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,123844,00.html

Michigan Crowd Boos McCain On Illegal Immigration (Video) (1min)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-nVJGsTdKU

Open borders advocate Juan Hernandez has joined the McCain campaign (HotAir)http://hotair.com/archives/2008/01/2...cain-campaign/

- Juan Hernandez, McCain Advisor: Mexico First! (Video) (4min)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1i7dyp_nK_Q

U.S. Border Patrol Agents Angry with McCain (NewsMax)
http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/...902.shtml?s=et

Marriage:

Christian Leader James Dobson says 'no way' to McCain candidacy (WorldNetDaily)http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/ar...TICLE_ID=53743

"I think that gay marriage should be allowed if there's a ceremony kind of thing, if you wanna call it that. I don't have any problem with that." - John McCain

McCain: Same-sex marriage ban is un-Republican (CNN)
http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/...cain.marriage/

Taxes:

"I'm going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated." - John McCain

McCain: For and Against Tax Cuts (Video)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StZcJWpmKwk

McCain Boasts That He Voted Against The Bush Tax Cuts (Video)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUDBV6RhQho

McCain Would Vote Against Tax Cuts Again (The Club for Growth)
http://www.clubforgrowth.org/2007/12...gainst_tax.php

- McCain sponsored and voted for an enormous 282% tax increase on cigarettes in 1998

- McCain was one of only two Republican to vote against the $1.35 trillion tax cut in 2001

- McCain was one of only two Republicans to twice vote against permanent repeal of the death tax in 2002

- McCain was one of only three Republican to twice vote against the $350 billion tax cut in 2003

McCain’s Costly Tax on Energy (National Review Online)
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q...FhNTRlZTM5YzU=

- The EPA Estimates Sen. McCain's Plan Would Hike Gas Taxes By 68 Cents Per Gallon

- The EPA Estimates Sen. McCain's Plan Would Reduce United States GDP By As Much As $5.2 Trillion

McCain Rejects Anti-Tax Pledge (CNSNews)
http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewPolitics....20080107b.html

Veterans:

McCain Can't Buy His Way Out of Votes Against Funding for Veterans
http://www.buzzflash.com/articles/alerts/226

- McCain Voted Against $19 Billion for Military Hospitals

- McCain Voted Against Amendment to Provide $2.8 Billion For Veterans' Medical Care

- McCain Voted Against 2005 Amendment to Provide Guaranteed Funding Stream for Veterans' Health Care

- McCain Voted Against Establishing $1 Billion Trust Fund to Provide Improvements to Military and Veterans' Health Facilities

- McCain Voted Against Adding $1.5 billion to Veterans' Medical Services in FY 2007 by Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes

- McCain Voted Against Mandatory Funding of $6.9 Billion in FY 2007 and $104 Billion Over Five Years for Veterans' Health Care
 
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prentice crawford
Power User
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Posts: 784


« Reply #380 on: February 02, 2008, 10:08:57 AM »

Woof,
 The problem with McCain and other so called moderate Republicans is that they have gotten tons of support from the core leadership of the Republican Party and access to contributions from Conservatives at the same time that the more Conservative members of the party have been left out to dry. Because of this, I no longer contribute to the RNC; now I directly contribute only to individual candidates that are Conservatives. Frankly, I think it's time to consider forming a Conservative Party. There is no scenario in which I could bring myself to vote for a John McCain but my party has the balls to say to me that if you don't then a liberal will win the White House and it will be your fault. That's B.S., it will be the Republican Party's fault for creating this warn and fuzzy environment where the McCains of the political soup can float to the top. I'm backing Romney now and if enough conservatives see the light and start holding the Republican leadership accountable and stop sending in their nickles and dimes, we might still avoid a Liberal being the next President.
                                   P.C.
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G M
Power User
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Posts: 12169


« Reply #381 on: February 03, 2008, 09:19:52 AM »

http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/new-mayor-rudy-1971979-republican-war

Saturday, February 2, 2008
Mark Steyn: It's a shame one of them has to win

MARK STEYN
Syndicated columnist


President McCain? Or Queen Hillary? Henry Kissinger said about the Iran/Iraq war in the '80s that it's a shame they both can't lose. Conservatives have a slightly different problem: It's a shame that neither of them will lose – that, regardless of who takes the oath come next January, the harmonious McCain-Clinton consensus policies on illegal immigration and Big Government solutions to global warming will prevail. Where's Neither-of-the-Above when you need him?
Alas, the only Neither-of-the-Above in the offing is New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose candidacy would shake things up only insofar as we'd all suddenly be demanding: OK, where's None-of-the-Above when you need him? Mayor Bloomberg is a former Democrat, former Republican, and current Independent, if by "Independent" you mean "Man who agrees with the conventional wisdom on illegal immigration, global warming, health care and everything else."
Democracies get the political leaders they deserve, and that's particularly true in the United States, where the primary system allows rank-and-file citizens to choose not merely which party to vote for (as in Britain, Canada and Europe) but also which individuals will be the candidates of those parties. True, it helps to be wealthy – up to a point. But it wasn't enough for John Edwards, the curiously unconvincing "angry populist" muttering darkly that "they" would never stop him telling the truth about 9-year-old girls shivering without a winter coat because daddy had been laid off at the mill. "They" didn't need to stop him. The champion of America's mythical Coatless Girl laid himself off last week. High on a hill, the Lonely Coatherd suddenly realized he was yodeling to himself.
Yet Sen. Edwards can't even claim the consolation prize of Most Inept Candidate of 2008. The Rudy Giuliani campaign went from national front-runner to total collapse so spectacularly that they'll be teaching it in Candidate School as a cautionary tale for decades to come. As each state's date with destiny loomed, Giuliani retreated, declining to compete in Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada, South Carolina. "America's Mayor" turned out to be Hizzoner of a phantom jurisdiction – a national front-runner but a single-digit asterisk in any state where any actual voters were actually voting.
Giuliani's fate unnerves me because, unlike the Coatless One, Rudy had the support of a lot of my columnar confreres: John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary; Andy McCarthy and Lisa Schiffren at National Review; and David Frum, author of the new book "Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again." Yet he backed a candidate who took off and barely cleared the runway before nose-diving into the sod.
Rudy's views on abortion were always going to be a deal-breaker for a key segment of the Republican base. And his views on gun control were likewise beyond the pale for another big faction. That didn't leave much except his cleanup of New York (whose problems were blessedly alien to Iowa and New Hampshire) and, more recently, his "war on terror" credentials, which boils down to his marvelous performance on 9/11, barreling through the dust-choked streets of Lower Manhattan and showing leadership amidst the chaos – plus a splendid coda a couple of weeks later when he told some unsavory Saudi prince to take his gazillion-dollar donation and shove it. Every malign check from the House of Saud ought to meet the same fate: perhaps we could have a constitutional amendment to that effect.
As for his performance on Sept. 11, well, yes, he was good, and he was effective on a day when so many agencies of government, at least at the federal level, had failed spectacularly – FAA, INS, FBI, CIA, all the fancy-pants money-no-object acronyms, none of whose mediocrities paid any political price for their failures.
In 2000, Rudy had been in full public meltdown. His wife learned she was heading for divorcee status from a mayoral news conference. But, unlike so many officials on 9/11, in his rendezvous with history, Rudy Giuliani rose to the occasion. You would hope that would not be so exceptional, but apparently it is.
In contrast to the moral clarity Rudy showed in returning the Saudi check, the repugnant mayor of London, after the 2005 Tube bombings, artfully attempted to draw a distinction between Muslim terrorists blowing up his own public transit (which he didn't approve of) and Muslim terrorists blowing up Israeli public transit (which he was inclined to be sympathetic to).
In contrast with Giuliani's take-charge attitude, the boob presiding over New Orleans, Ray Nagin, raged as wildly as Katrina: "To those who would criticize, where the hell were you?" roared Mayor Culpa, pointing the finger in all directions. "Where the hell were you?" We were in a town you're not the mayor of, happily.
If Rudy's performance was "exceptional," that's less a reflection on him than on the general standards of officialdom. It seems odd to me that so many experts would expect the "America's Mayor" pitch to outpunch abortion and guns with the Republican base: 9/11 will be seven years old by Election Day 2008. A lot of voters have moved on, including a lot of Republican voters. And many of those Republican voters who still regard the forces unleashed that day as an ongoing threat want something different from the Orange Alert remove-your-shoes security-state approach. If this is a "long war," as the administration took to calling it, "America's Mayor" seemed in large part to embody an early phase that has already receded into history.
Another colleague of mine, Michael Ledeen, suggests that the rise of McCain through New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida indicates that for many voters "the war" is still the issue, because, after all, what else has the senator got going for him? Surely, it's not his global-warming hysteria or illegal-immigration amnesty or demonization of capitalism. It's because he's Mister Surge.
Well, maybe.
The senator is an eloquent defender of the U.S. armed forces. A President McCain will not permit a military defeat in Iraq. But it's not clear to me he has much of a strategic vision for the ideological struggle, for the real long-term battlefield in the mosques and madrassahs of Pakistan and Indonesia and Western Europe. McCain's lead is no evidence of popular commitment to "the long war," and, absent any surprising developments, this will not be a war election.
The Clintons are nothing if not lucky, and Hillary must occasionally be enjoying a luxury-length cackle at the thought of being pitted against a 71-year-old "maverick" whose record seems designed to antagonize just enough of the base into staying home on Election Day. In the 2000 campaign season, running in a desultory fashion for the New York Senate seat, Rudy Giuliani waged a brief half-hearted campaign just long enough to leave the Republican Party with no one to run against Hillary except a candidate who wasn't up to the job.
Has he managed to do the same this time round?
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ccp
Power User
***
Posts: 4213


« Reply #382 on: February 03, 2008, 09:54:00 AM »

I think Obama is the stronger of the two since Hillary has such high negatives.
If Obama maintains his composure I think he will win.  Although it is also hard to know what backroom deals are happening with the Clintons, the unions, other endorsements, election shenanigans etc.

I think Romney still has a chance if he can only come accross with more emotional attachment to his ideals....
For the general election if he gets into it, he will have to reach out to some of voters the populists target because there are so many of them. IMHACO.  (In my humble armchair opinion)

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G M
Power User
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Posts: 12169


« Reply #383 on: February 03, 2008, 04:20:33 PM »

http://formerspook.blogspot.com/

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 01, 2008

Leading for Patriotism or Lust?

John McCain scored the most memorable soundbite in the recent GOP debate, repeatedly telling rival Mitt Romney that "led for patriotism, not profit." The Arizona Senator was referring to his tour as executive officer (and later, commander) of a Navy Replacement Air Group in Jacksonville, Florida during the late 1970s, contrasting that experience with Mitt Romney's career in the business world.

There is a slight irony in McCain citing that assignment as proof of his leadership abilities. While he was, by most accounts, an effective commander, the Jacksonville assignment also marked a dark chapter in McCain's personal life, a period marked by serial philandering and the end of his first marriage.

Those events are described--delicately--in Robert Timberg's The Nightingale's Song, a best-selling chronicle of the U.S. Naval Academy, as viewed through the lives (and military service) of five graduates: McCain; Virginia Senator Jim Webb; former National Security Advisers Robert McFarlane and John Poindexter, and Iran-Contra figure-turned-media personality Oliver North.

Of the five, Timberg provides the most flattering potraits of Webb and McCain; Poindexter and McFarlane receive less laudatory treatment and the author can barely contain his contempt for Ollie North. While acknowledging the personal--and professional--problems of his subjects during their military careers, Timberg offers a (slightly) charitable explanation for the poor personal conduct that plagued McCain's assignment as group commander.

There was a dark side to the Jacksonville tour. The storybook marriage that had survived separation, pain and prison began to fray. Off-duty, usually on routine, cross-country flights to Yuma and El Centro, John began carousing and running around with women. To make matters worse, some of the women to whom he was linked by rumor were his subordinates. In some ways, the rumors were an extension of the John McCain stories that had swirled in his way since Academy days--some true, some with an element of truth, some patently absurd. Asked about them, he admitted to a series of dalliances during this period, but flatly denied any with females, officer or enlisted, under his command.

Though officially frowned upon, romantic relationships between officers of different grades are not uncommon and for the most part, free of a superior-subordinate element. Many have led to marriage. But fraternization between officers and enlisted members is considered over the line, not because of caste discrimination, but because the color of authority is too vivid, almost impossible to soften.

At the time, the rumors were so widespread that, true or not, they became part of the McCain persona, impossible not to take note of. What is true is that a number of POWs, in those first few years after their release, often acted erratically, their lives pockmarked by by drastic mood swings and uncharacteristic behavior before achieving a more mellow equilibrium.

More troubling, sad beyond words, was the failure of the marriage. If there was one couple that deserved to make it, it was John and Carol McCain. They endured nearly six years of unspeakable trauma with courage and grace. In the end, it was not enough. They won the war, but lost the peace.

To his credit, McCain has admitted his indiscretions during this period. And, Carol McCain has refused to publicly criticize her former husband, or discuss the end of their marriage in detail. She told Robert Timberg that "I attribute it more to John turning 40 and wanting to be 25 again than I do anything else." So, chalk it up as another middle-aged man suffering a mid-life crisis.

But we'd say the Jacksonville tour raises questions about McCain's judgment and leadership, issues that have never been fully explained. True, John McCain wasn't the first fighter jock to lose a marriage due to extra-curricular activities. It's also true that he had a reputation as a wild man, dating back to his time at the Academy and early tours as an attack pilot.

Still, the John McCain who led a naval training group wasn't the same junior aviator of the early 1960s. As the unit commander, McCain was supposed to set the example, both on and off-duty. Military regulations on adultery, fraternization and improper relationships don't differentiate between those that begin in the workplace, or in the Officers' Club. And, as one of the Navy's best-known officers (thanks to his heroism as a POW), you could argue that McCain had a special responsiblity to uphold standards.

If Timberg's description is correct--and McCain has never disputed it--then the Senator was potentially guilty of multiple violations of military law as a senior officer. Yet, there is no account of Captain McCain being investigated on accusations of adultery and fraternization, despite those "widespread rumors" that became a part of the McCain persona. Did he get a pass because of his POW status or family ties, as the son and grandson of Navy admirals? That's another question that has never been answered.

Obviously, no one is demanding that McCain be court-martialed for events that happened 30 years ago. But his misconduct in Jacksonville is relevant to McCain's subsequent political campaign. Those extra-marital "dalliances" reflect faulty judgment and poor choices, traits that have been evident in the Senator's subsequent legislative record. Anyone remember the Keating 5? McCain-Feingold? McCain-Leiberman? McCain-Kennedy? Voting against the Bush tax cuts on more than one occasion? Blocking conservative judicial nominees as part of the "Gang of Fourteen?"

That's why the Senator's repeated references to his Jacksonville tour struck us as a bit puzzling. If command of that group represented John McCain at his best (as a leader), then it highlighted some of his worst personal qualities as well. That's the "rest" of the Jacksonville story, which should provide some campaign grist for the Democratic attack mill.

We also wonder if McCain's reputation in Jacksonville is one reason that the area rejected him overwhelmingly in last week's Florida primary. Of the state's four major military regions, Jacksonville (the third-largest Navy town in the United States) was the only one that McCain lost, and by double-digit margins.

***

ADDENDUM: We disagree with Timberg's explanation that McCain's conduct was "typical" of erratic behavior among former POWs in the late 1970s. During the early stages of our military service, we had the opportunity to meet--and know--several men who had been held in the Hanoi Hilton. While most suffered re-adjustment problems (to varying degrees), all the POWs we knew remained faithful to their wives.
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Crafty_Dog
Administrator
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Posts: 31831


BO
« Reply #384 on: February 04, 2008, 06:15:35 AM »

Sorry, I don't have a URL for this, but it seems legit.


When residents in Illinois voiced outrage two years ago upon learning that the Exelon Corporation had not disclosed radioactive leaks at one of its nuclear plants, the state’s freshman senator, Barack Obama, took up their cause.


John W. Rowe, chairman of Exelon and also of the Nuclear Energy Institute, a lobbying group, has been an Obama donor.


Mr. Obama scolded Exelon and federal regulators for inaction and introduced a bill to require all plant owners to notify state and local authorities immediately of even small leaks. He has boasted of it on the campaign trail, telling a crowd in Iowa in December that it was “the only nuclear legislation that I’ve passed.”

“I just did that last year,” he said, to murmurs of approval.

A close look at the path his legislation took tells a very different story. While he initially fought to advance his bill, even holding up a presidential nomination to try to force a hearing on it, Mr. Obama eventually rewrote it to reflect changes sought by Senate Republicans, Exelon and nuclear regulators. The new bill removed language mandating prompt reporting and simply offered guidance to regulators, whom it charged with addressing the issue of unreported leaks.

Those revisions propelled the bill through a crucial committee. But, contrary to Mr. Obama’s comments in Iowa, it ultimately died amid parliamentary wrangling in the full Senate.

“Senator Obama’s staff was sending us copies of the bill to review, and we could see it weakening with each successive draft,” said Joe Cosgrove, a park district director in Will County, Ill., where low-level radioactive runoff had turned up in groundwater. “The teeth were just taken out of it.”

The history of the bill shows Mr. Obama navigating a home-state controversy that pitted two important constituencies against each other and tested his skills as a legislative infighter. On one side were neighbors of several nuclear plants upset that low-level radioactive leaks had gone unreported for years; on the other was Exelon, the country’s largest nuclear plant operator and one of Mr. Obama’s largest sources of campaign money.

Since 2003, executives and employees of Exelon, which is based in Illinois, have contributed at least $227,000 to Mr. Obama’s campaigns for the United States Senate and for president. Two top Exelon officials, Frank M. Clark, executive vice president, and John W. Rogers Jr., a director, are among his largest fund-raisers.

Another Obama donor, John W. Rowe, chairman of Exelon, is also chairman of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the nuclear power industry’s lobbying group, based in Washington. Exelon’s support for Mr. Obama far exceeds its support for any other presidential candidate.

In addition, Mr. Obama’s chief political strategist, David Axelrod, has worked as a consultant to Exelon. A spokeswoman for Exelon said Mr. Axelrod’s company had helped an Exelon subsidiary, Commonwealth Edison, with communications strategy periodically since 2002, but had no involvement in the leak controversy or other nuclear issues.

The Obama campaign said in written responses to questions that Mr. Obama “never discussed this issue or this bill” with Mr. Axelrod. The campaign acknowledged that Exelon executives had met with Mr. Obama’s staff about the bill, as had concerned residents, environmentalists and regulators. It said the revisions resulted not from any influence by Exelon, but as a necessary response to a legislative roadblock put up by Republicans, who controlled the Senate at the time.

“If Senator Obama had listened to industry demands, he wouldn’t have repeatedly criticized Exelon in the press, introduced the bill and then fought for months to get action on it,” the campaign said. “Since he has over a decade of legislative experience, Senator Obama knows that it’s very difficult to pass a perfect bill.”

Asked why Mr. Obama had cited it as an accomplishment while campaigning for president, the campaign noted that after the senator introduced his bill, nuclear plants started making such reports on a voluntary basis. The campaign did not directly address the question of why Mr. Obama had told Iowa voters that the legislation had passed.

Nuclear safety advocates are divided on whether Mr. Obama’s efforts yielded any lasting benefits. David A. Lochbaum of the Union of Concerned Scientists agreed that “it took the introduction of the bill in the first place to get a reaction from the industry.”

“But of course because it is all voluntary,” Mr. Lochbaum said, “who’s to say where things will be a few years from now?”

Page 2 of 2)


Others say that turning the whole matter over to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as Mr. Obama’s revised bill would have done, played into the hands of the nuclear power industry, which they say has little to fear from the regulators. Mr. Obama seemed to share those concerns when he told a New Hampshire newspaper last year that the commission “is a moribund agency that needs to be revamped and has become a captive of the industry it regulates.”

Paul Gunter, an activist based in Maryland who assisted neighbors of the Exelon plants, said he was “disappointed in Senator Obama’s lack of follow-through,” which he said weakened the original bill. “The new legislation falls short” by failing to provide for mandatory reporting, said Mr. Gunter, whose group, Beyond Nuclear, opposes nuclear energy.
The episode that prompted Mr. Obama’s legislation began on Dec. 1, 2005, when Exelon issued a news release saying it had discovered tritium, a radioactive byproduct of nuclear power, in monitoring wells at its Braidwood plant, about 60 miles southwest of Chicago. A few days later, tritium was detected in a drinking water well at a home near the plant, although the levels did not exceed federal safety standards.

At least as disturbing for local residents was the revelation that Exelon believed the tritium came from millions of gallons of water that had leaked from the plant years earlier but went unreported at the time. Under nuclear commission rules, plants are required to tell state and local authorities only about radioactive discharges that rise to the level of an emergency.

On March 1, Mr. Obama introduced a bill known as the Nuclear Release Notice Act of 2006. It stated flatly that nuclear plants “shall immediately” notify federal, state and local officials of any accidental release of radioactive material that exceeded “allowable limits for normal operation.”

To flag systematic problems, it would also have required reporting of repeated accidental leaks that fell below those limits. Illinois’ senior senator, Richard J. Durbin, a fellow Democrat, was a co-sponsor, and three other senators, including Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York, later signed on. But Mr. Obama remained its primary champion.

In public statements, Mr. Obama dismissed the nuclear lobby’s arguments that the tritium leaks posed no health threat.

“This legislation is not about whether tritium is safe, or at what concentration or level it poses a threat,” he said. “This legislation is about ensuring that nearby residents know whether they may have been exposed to any level of radiation generated at a nuclear power plant as a result of an unplanned, accidental or unintentional incident.”

Almost immediately, the nuclear power industry and federal regulators raised objections to the bill.

The Nuclear Energy Institute jumped out in front by announcing its voluntary initiative for plant operators to report even small leaks. An Exelon representative told an industry newsletter, Inside N.R.C., that Exelon was “working with Senator Obama’s office to address some technical issues that will allow us to support the legislation.”

Last week, an Exelon spokesman, Craig Nesbit, said the company sought, among other things, new language to specify what types of leaks should be reported, and assurance that enforcement authority remained with the nuclear commission and not state or local governments.

“We were looking for technical clarity,” Mr. Nesbit said.

Meanwhile, the nuclear commission told Mr. Obama’s staff that the bill would have forced the unnecessary disclosure of leaks that were not serious. “Unplanned releases below the level of an emergency present a substantially smaller risk to the public,” the agency said in a memorandum to senators, which ticked off about a half-dozen specific concerns about the bill.

Senate correspondence shows that the environment committee chairman at the time, Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma who is a strong supporter of industry in battles over energy and environmental legislation, agreed with many of those points and held up the bill. Mr. Obama pushed back, at one point temporarily blocking approval of President Bush’s nominee to the nuclear commission, Dale E. Klein, who met with Mr. Obama to discuss the leaks.

But eventually, Mr. Obama agreed to rewrite the bill, and when the environment committee approved it in September 2006, he and his co-sponsors hailed it as a victory.

In interviews over the past two weeks, Obama aides insisted that the revisions did not substantively alter the bill. In fact, it was left drastically different.

In place of the straightforward reporting requirements was new language giving the nuclear commission two years to come up with its own regulations. The bill said that the commission “shall consider” — not require — immediate public notification, and also take into account the findings of a task force it set up to study the tritium leaks.

By then, the task force had already concluded that “existing reporting requirements for abnormal spills and leaks are at a level that is risk-informed and appropriate.”

The rewritten bill also contained the new wording sought by Exelon making it clear that state and local authorities would have no regulatory oversight of nuclear power plants.

In interviews last week, representatives of Exelon and the nuclear commission said they were satisfied with the revised bill. The Nuclear Energy Institute said it no longer opposed it but wanted additional changes.

The revised bill was never taken up in the full Senate, where partisan parliamentary maneuvering resulted in a number of bills being shelved before the 2006 session ended.

Still, the legislation has come in handy on the campaign trail. Last May, in response to questions about his ties to Exelon, Mr. Obama wrote a letter to a Nevada newspaper citing the bill as evidence that he stands up to powerful interests.

“When I learned that radioactive tritium had leaked out of an Exelon nuclear plant in Illinois,” he wrote, “I led an effort in the Senate to require utilities to notify the public of any unplanned release of radioactive substances.”

Last October, Mr. Obama reintroduced the bill, in its rewritten form.
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« Reply #385 on: February 04, 2008, 06:39:28 AM »

Second post of the AM on BO-- here some pro BO Dems say why they are for him:
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« Reply #386 on: February 04, 2008, 08:51:36 AM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/02/02/video-the-disturbingly-cool-yes-we-can-video/

I sense a viral video that may well prove to be a historic tipping point.
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« Reply #387 on: February 04, 2008, 08:28:30 PM »

More BO-- this one on his economics.  Its from a liberal website, so linear clarity of thought tends to be fleeting:

http://www.salon.com/tech/htww/index.html
-------------------

The economics of Barack Obama
Writing in the Guardian, Daniel Koffler offers a provocative analysis of the economics of Barack Obama, arguing that the senator and his chief economic advisor, Austan Goolsbee, have put together a platform that is "orthogonal to the traditional liberal-conservative axis." (Thanks to Trade Diversion for the link.)


If this approach needs a name, call it left-libertarianism. Advancements in behavioral economics, public and rational choice theory, and game theory provide us with an opportunity to attend to inequality without crippling the economy, enhancing the coercive power of the state, or infringing on personal liberty (at least not to any extent greater than the welfare state already does; and as much as my libertarian friends might wish otherwise, the welfare state isn't going anywhere). The cost -- higher marginal tax rates -- is real, but eminently justified by the benefits.


On healthcare and on trade, argues Koffler, Obama is "moving more and more in the direction of economic freedom, competition and individual choice." This reflects the influence of Goolsbee, "who agrees with the liberal consensus on the need to address concerns such as income inequality, disparate educational opportunities and, of course, disparate access to healthcare, but breaks sharply from liberal orthodoxy on both the causes of these social ills and the optimal strategy for ameliorating them."


Instead of recommending traditional welfare-state liberalism as a solvent for socioeconomic inequalities and dislocations, Goolsbee promotes programs to essentially democratize the market, protecting and where possible expanding freedom of choice, while simultaneously creating rational, self-interested incentives for individuals to participate in solving collective problems.


In a recent forum for candidate economic advisors sponsored by the New American Foundation, Goolsbee offered an example of what he called Obama's "sleek and easy to use iPod version of government." Suppose the goal is to get Americans to save more by diverting some portion of their income into investment accounts. "The research is very clear," said Goolsbee. The way to get people to start doing that is to "default them into automatic enrollment." So, a worker starts a new job, and 3 percent of his or her paycheck is automatically deposited into an investment account. But if the workers wanted to opt out of such a program, said Goolsbee, they could easily do so.

The proposal manages to include elements of the "nanny-state" approach (we'll pass a law that automatically forces citizens to save more) and yet at the same time tells people that they don't have to participate if they don't want to. Technocratic: yes. Inspiring: maybe not.

Buzzwords like "economic freedom" and "individual choice" make it easy for strategists for other campaigns to attempt to portray Obama as Republican-lite, not to mention open up room for attacks from the left such as those relentlessly delivered by Paul Krugman. But when Goolsbee spoke at the NAF forum, he noted that the critical problem at the heart of the American economy is the growing disparity in income distribution between the richest Americans and the poor and middle class. Over the last six years, said Goolsbee, "the typical worker had not seen income grow hardly at all, while the cost of education, health care and energy have all gone up."

It hardly needs stressing that concerns about income inequality do not generally fall into the category "Republican-lite." But it is also true that Obama appears to be pushing a relatively market-friendly agenda that does not map neatly onto liberal Democratic traditions.

Of course, no one on the left ever accused Bill or Hillary Clinton of being raving liberals. It is one of the many peculiarities of this campaign season that Hillary Clinton's campaign strategists have decided that there is an advantage to be gained in attempting to position her as the progressive candidate, in comparison to Obama. Both candidates are much closer to the center than they are to, say, Ralph Nader. So as California and 20-odd other states get ready for, as Keith Olbermann likes to say, the biggest day of primaries in the history of the universe, should the decisive factor in choosing one or the other be the differences in the tactics they espouse, or how one estimates their chances of winning a general election, and getting the opportunity to execute their plans.

-- Andrew Leonard

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« Reply #388 on: February 05, 2008, 07:52:58 AM »

Ron Paul’s Immigration Pledge

February 4th, 2008 by Dan McCarthy Ron Paul has signed the Numbers USA pledge to oppose amnesty for illegal aliens and protect America’s borders. Here’s the text of the pledge:
NUMBERS USA Pledge
I pledge to oppose amnesty or any other special path to citizenship for the millions of foreign nationals unlawfully present in the United States. As President, I will fully implement enforcement measures that, over time, will lead to the attrition of our illegal immigrant population. I also pledge to make security of our borders a top priority of my administration.
Numbers USA includes six points of understanding as to what the pledge means and what it entails:
1. The 12 million illegal aliens now here will have to go home.
2. They will not get any legal status while here that allows them to remain long-term.
3. Once in their home countries, they may apply for re-admittance to the U.S. as immigrants, visitors or temporary workers through normal channels.
4. But they will not receive any special privileges on the basis of their having been in the U.S. illegally, such as being put to the front of a line.
5. There will be no new categories or programs through which they may re-enter.
6. There will not be an expansion of green cards in any existing categories that will speed up their movement to the front of the line.
-------------

from RonPaul2008.com

The talk must stop. We must secure our borders now. A nation without secure borders is no nation at all. It makes no sense to fight terrorists abroad when our own front door is left unlocked. This is my six point plan:
Physically secure our borders and coastlines. We must do whatever it takes to control entry into our country before we undertake complicated immigration reform proposals.
Enforce visa rules. Immigration officials must track visa holders and deport anyone who overstays their visa or otherwise violates U.S. law. This is especially important when we recall that a number of 9/11 terrorists had expired visas.
No amnesty. Estimates suggest that 10 to 20 million people are in our country illegally. That’s a lot of people to reward for breaking our laws.
No welfare for illegal aliens. Americans have welcomed immigrants who seek opportunity, work hard, and play by the rules. But taxpayers should not pay for illegal immigrants who use hospitals, clinics, schools, roads, and social services.
End birthright citizenship. As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be citizens, the incentive to enter the U.S. illegally will remain strong.
Pass true immigration reform. The current system is incoherent and unfair. But current reform proposals would allow up to 60 million more immigrants into our country, according to the Heritage Foundation. This is insanity. Legal immigrants from all countries should face the same rules and waiting periods.
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« Reply #389 on: February 05, 2008, 08:21:11 AM »

We all expected this.  Just when it becomes more likely you will lose to the guy come out with the final last ditch play before your gal goes down:  offer him the VP on *your* ticket.  From the global crossing multimillionaire (how come I couldn't get in early? wink):

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/02/04/clinton-chairman-obama-would-be-good-running-mate/
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« Reply #390 on: February 05, 2008, 10:46:06 AM »

I'm shocked, absolutely shocked!  cheesy

It is really beginning to look like BO could win.  Today is HUGE.
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« Reply #391 on: February 06, 2008, 07:52:17 AM »

Maureen is my idea of , , , well, nevermind.  Regardless, although she usually is to be utterly ignored, I find her interesting to read in this moment to see how the other side sees its intramural contest.
================================================
NYTimes
Darkness and Light

Hillary Clinton denounced Dick Cheney as Darth Vader, but she did not absorb the ultimate lesson of the destructive vice president:

Don’t become so paranoid that you let yourself be overwhelmed by a dark vision.

I think Hillary truly believes that she and Bill are the only ones tough enough to get to the White House. Jack Nicholson endorsed her as “the best man for the job,” and she told David Letterman that “in my White House, we’ll know who wears the pantsuits.” But her pitch is the color of pitch: Because she has absorbed all the hate and body blows from nasty Republicans over the years, she is the best person to absorb more hate and body blows from nasty Republicans.

Darkness seeking darkness. It’s an exhausting specter, and the reason that Tom Daschle, Ted Kennedy, Claire McCaskill and so many other Democrats are dashing for daylight and trying to break away from the pathological Clinton path.

“I think we should never be derisive about somebody who has the ability to inspire,” Senator McCaskill told David Gregory on MSNBC on Tuesday. “You know, we’ve had some dark days in this democracy over the last seven years, and today the sun is out. It is shining brightly. I watch these kids, these old and young, these black and white, 20,000 of them, pour into our dome in St. Louis Saturday night, and they feel good about being an American right now. And I think that’s something that we have to capture.”

Tuesday’s voting showed only that the voters, like moviegoers, don’t want a pat ending. Even though Hillary reasserted her strength, corraling New York, California and Kennedy country Massachusetts, she and Obama will battle on in chiaroscuro. Her argument to the Democratic base has gone from a subtext of “You owe me,” or more precisely, “Bill owes me and you owe him,” to a subtext of “Obambi will fold at the first punch from the right.”

Hillary’s strategist Mark Penn argued last week that because the voters have “very limited information” about Obama, the Republican attack machine would tear him down and he would lose the support of independents. Then Penn tried to point the way to negative information on Obama, just to show that Obama wouldn’t be able to survive Republicans pointing the way to negative information.

As she talked Sunday to George Stephanopoulos, a former director of the formidable Clinton war room, Hillary’s case boiled down to the fact that she can be Trouble, as they say about hard-boiled dames in film noir, when Republicans make trouble.

“I have been through these Republican attacks over and over and over again, and I believe that I’ve demonstrated that much to the dismay of the Republicans, I not only can survive, but thrive,” she said.

And on Tuesday night she told supporters, “Let me be clear: I won’t let anyone Swift-boat this country’s future.”

Better the devil you know than the diffident debutante you don’t. Better to go with the Clintons, with all their dysfunction and chaos — the same kind that fueled the Republican hate machine — than to risk the chance that Obama would be mauled like a chew toy in the general election. Better to blow off all the inspiration and the young voters, the independents and the Republicans that Obama is attracting than to take a chance on something as ephemeral as hope. Now that’s Cheney-level paranoia.

Bill is propelled by Cheneyesque paranoia, as well. His visceral reaction to Obama — from the “fairy tale” line to the inappropriate Jesse Jackson comparison — is rooted less in his need to see his wife elected than in his need to see Obama lose, so that Bill’s legacy is protected. If Obama wins, he’ll be seen as the closest thing to J. F. K. since J. F. K. And J. F. K. is Bill’s hero.

For much of the campaign, when matched against Hillary in debates, the Illinois senator seemed out of his weight class. But he has moved up to heavyweight, even while losing five pounds as he has raced around the country. The big question is: Can he go from laconic to iconic to bionic? Will he have the muscle to take on the opposition, from Billary to the Republican hate machine to the terrorists overseas?

“I try to explain to people, I may be skinny but I’m tough,” he told a crowd of more than 15,000 in Hartford the other night, with the Kennedys looking on. “I’m from Chicago.”

The relentless Hillary has been the reticent Obama’s tutor in the Political School for Scandal. He is learning how to take a punch and give one back. When she presents her mythic narrative, the dragon she has slain is the Republican attack machine. Obama told me he doesn’t think about mythic narratives, and Tuesday night in Chicago he was reaching up for “a hymn that will heal this nation and repair the world.”

But, if he wants to be president, he will still have to slay the dragon. And his dragon is the Clinton attack machine, which emerged Tuesday night, not invincible but breathing fire.
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« Reply #392 on: February 06, 2008, 08:58:00 AM »

One can only wonder what kind of backroom bribery, and other means goes on for the fight for delegates.  Obviously it ain't going to be "let the best man win".  Not with the Clintons anyway:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0208/8358.html
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« Reply #393 on: February 06, 2008, 09:12:17 AM »

Good find!
==============
Obama claims delegate lead

By: Mike Allen
Feb 6, 2008 08:24 AM EST
Updated: February 6, 2008 09:47 AM EST
 
 
   
 
 
In a surprise twist after a chaotic Super Tuesday, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) passed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in network tallies of the number of delegates the candidates racked up last night.

The Obama camp projects topping Clinton by nine delegates, 845 to 836.

NBC News, which is projecting delegates based on the Democratic Party's complex formula, figures Obama will wind up with 840 to 849 delegates, versus 829 to 838 for Clinton.

Clinton was portrayed in many news accounts as the night’s big winner, but Obama’s campaign says he wound up with a higher total where it really counts — the delegates who will choose the party’s nominee at this summer’s Democratic convention.

With the delegate count still under way, NBC News said Obama appears to have won around 840 delegates in yesterday’s contests, while Clinton earned about 830 — “give or take a few,” Tim Russert, the network’s Washington bureau chief, said on the “Today” show.

The running totals for the two, which includes previous contests and the party officials known as “superdelegates,” are only about 70 delegates apart, Russert said.

The bottom line is that the two are virtually tied.



Obama won 13 states, some of them smaller, and Clinton won eight.

On Wednesday morning, the battle was on to shape public perceptions about Tuesday.

The Clinton campaign said it was crunching its delegate numbers but was not sure it was correct that Obama got more.

The Obama campaign sent an e-mailed statement titled: “Obama wins Super Tuesday by winning more states and more delegates.”

Campaign Manager David Plouffe said: “By winning a majority of delegates and a majority of the states, Barack Obama won an important Super Tuesday victory over Sen. Clinton in the closest thing we have to a national primary.”

“From Colorado and Utah in the West to Georgia and Alabama in the South to Sen. Clinton’s backyard in Connecticut, Obama showed that he can win the support of Americans of every race, gender and political party in every region of the country,” Plouffe said. “That’s why he’s on track to win Democratic nomination, and that’s why he’s the best candidate to defeat John McCain in November.”

The Obama campaign attached an Excel spreadsheet containing “state-by-state estimates of the pledged delegates we won last night, which total 845 for Obama and 836 for Clinton — bringing the to-date total of delegates to 908 for Obama, 884 for Clinton.”

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0208/8358.html



==============



Dems head for messy nomination process
By: Roger Simon
February 6, 2008 12:54 AM EST
 
 
   
 
 
The Democrats may be heading for a fine mess.

Because of party reforms in the past and a close race for delegates this year, a nightmare scenario is building for the Democratic National Convention in August: It is easy to imagine that Barack Obama could get to Denver with more pledged delegates than Hillary Clinton, but that she could get the nomination based on the votes of the superdelegates.

“And that,” a senior Obama aide told me Tuesday night, “would create havoc.”

Pledged delegates are those won in primaries and cacucuses. Superdelegates are party big-shots.

The Associated Press, CNN, CBS and a website called 2008 Democratic Convention Watch all disagree on exactly how the superdelegates are currently split.

But they all agree that Clinton has more of them than Obama, with hundreds still up for grabs.

Being a superdelegate is usually just a way of getting to go to the convention, cast a meaningless vote and have a good time.

But that could change this year.

And that’s because superdelegates make up one-fifth of all the delegates at the convention, and this year they could determine the nominee.

Why?

As Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson puts it: “The process is designed really to avoid picking a nominee rather than pick one.”

In other words, by banning winner-take-all contests and by awarding delegates on a proportional basis, the Democrats draw out the process.

They do this to be “fair” and to protect underdog candidates.

Usually it doesn’t matter. But this time it could because the pledged delegate race could be so close.

“We have a 15 pledged delegate lead going into tonight,” David Plouffe, Obama’s campaign manager, said on Super Tuesday evening.

(The number, with California still being counted, would grow to 43 according to the Obama campaign.)

“And with the superdelegates, we have made real progress. Before Iowa, Sen. Clinton had a lead over 100 to 120 and we have whittled that down to 55 by our count. A lot of [superdelegates] who chose Sen. Clinton, chose her last year. We think we will continue to do well.”

The system of superdelegates was invented not just to reward party fatcats, but to make sure “fairness” did not get out of hand.

=============



 
   
 
 
Page 2


Superdelegates are designed to protect front-runners and make sure dark horses don’t run away with things.  Superdelegates grow in number as the party gets more successful: They include all Democratic members of Congress, members of the Democratic National Committee, Democratic governors.  They also are the party warhorses and include “all former Democratic presidents, all former Democratic vice presidents, all former Democratic leaders of the U.S. Senate, all former Democratic speakers of the U.S. House of Representatives and Democratic minority leaders, as applicable, and all former chairs of the Democratic National Committee.”

This means that not only Bill Clinton, but Terry McAuliffe, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, are superdelegates. And their votes count just as much as the delegates chosen by actual primary voters.

But what happens if the margin of victory at the convention is the superdelegates. Is that the the way the party really will choose a nominee? By letting the big-shots pick the winner?

Instead, there could be a huge floor flight. The convention can make whatever rules it wants, and I am guessing there would be a fight to bar the superdelegates and accept the votes of only the pledged delegates.

And then there is the problem of Florida and Michigan, whose delegates, both pledged and superdelegates, are currently banned.

The Clinton campaign has announced it wants them to count.

“There is a role for superdelegates as per the rules of our party, and they are not rules that we set,” Wolfson of the Clinton campaign said. “We will play under rules we are given. [But] we believe the delegates from Michigan and Florida ought to be seated.

But how do you really do that? In Michigan, Hillary Clinton was the only name on the Democratic ballot. In Florida, Democratic candidates were banned from campaigning.   Are the Democrats really going to seat them if they could make the difference in who wins and who loses?

As I said, a fine mess. Which, quite possibly, could lead to something we are not used to: a convention that is more than just a TV show whose ending we know in advance.


http://www.politico.com/rogersimon/
 



 
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« Reply #394 on: February 07, 2008, 07:44:31 AM »

The Democrat delegate process.  Tell me the Clintons are not bribing delgates as we speak.  Some key points

***Pledged delegates are those won in primaries and cacucuses. Superdelegates are party big-shots.***

Party bigshots???

***Being a superdelegate is usually just a way of getting to go to the convention, cast a meaningless vote and have a good time.***

***But that could change this year.***

***And that’s because superdelegates make up one-fifth of all the delegates at the convention, and this year they could determine the nominee.***

***As Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson puts it: “The process is designed really to avoid picking a nominee rather than pick one.”***

And there you have it - right from the horses mouth!!!!!!!!

***The system of superdelegates was invented not just to reward party fatcats, but to make sure “fairness” did not get out of hand.***

Open up the dictionary and look up fatcat - who do you find?  The Clintons and their team!

That may be one reason the Clinton's want to avoid a spectacle of the true depth of the corrupted process. If Clinton gets the nomination in a really close race it will be Florida all over again.  So what to do?  Make Obama your VP and queit down the "disenfranchised".

 
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« Reply #395 on: February 07, 2008, 08:02:03 AM »

How many people know this:

Included on the list are Harold Ickes and none other then Terry MaCuliffe.  Also is John Zogby?  Does he announce his potentail conflict of interest with the announcement ofl his pol results that he also happens to be a superdelegate for the Democratic convention/party?!?!?

Talk about conflict of interests.

http://superdelegates.org/SuperDelegates
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« Reply #396 on: February 07, 2008, 08:15:19 AM »

You know the Clintons have been working the superdelegate process for years.  This is crazy.   

http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_rob_kall_080114_superdelegates____ba.htm
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« Reply #397 on: February 07, 2008, 09:23:29 AM »

Stealing my wisdom from something I heard Newt say last night  cheesy the Super Delegates are simply Super Politicians-- if BO has more support, I suspect most of them will go with BO.

Anyway, here's a piece in support of McCain:
===============================

McCain or the Wilderness
February 7, 2008; Page A18
Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham aren't the only conservatives in agony over John McCain. The base is bummed. At the Portofino Hotel in Orlando, Fla., where Rudy Giuliani went down with a graceful valedictory concession, an energetic Rudy guy in dark glasses and slicked black hair -- hours before ebulliently cheering up anyone who would talk to him -- ran up to a reporter waiting for a car. "My wife just heard. Rudy's gonna endorse McCain! S---!!!!"

 
Wonder Land Columnist Daniel Henninger says it's time conservatives play the hand they've been dealt.
Conservatives can't catch a break. Taxes, judges, the culture -- somewhere a conservative is always getting shafted. The party broke up on the rocks of the 2006 election. Its 2008 presidential nomination has been contested by men claiming the mantle of Ronald Reagan but who in fact are: John McMaverick, a New York City mayor on his third marriage, the moderate governor of liberal Massachusetts, and the funniest governor ever from Hope, Ark.

There are murmurs of heading into the political wilderness. Sit this one out. Rather than sell the party's soul to John McCain, let Hillary have it, or Barack. Go into opposition for four years while the party gets its head together and comes up with an authentic conservative candidate. If this sourness takes hold at the margin, say among GOP anti-immigrant voters, it might happen.

The wilderness is a good place to find yourself, if you're a prophet. There are reasons, though, why a principled political retreat won't make conservative prospects better. The point of a principled retreat would be to rediscover coherence amid doctrinal confusion. The exact opposite is likely to happen.

Conservatives, like everyone else, live in a new political space. It's a 24/7 world of blogs, Web sites and talk shows. It's feisty and maybe even democratic. But consensus? This milieu makes consensus harder than ever.

The Web is an engine of constant complaint, not idea formation. The vaunted, take-no-prisoners style of the left-wing netroots came a cropper with John Edwards plateauing at 18% of the Democratic vote. In four years, conservatives will be more confused, incoherent and madder at each other than they are now.

In this world, ideological cohesion that voters can recognize is going to require a large, stabilizing force, like the office of the presidency. Newt Gingrich as House speaker gave a glimpse of how to use another such institution to organize ideas. The promise of the new technologies as intellectual drivers in politics has proven false. They mainly ensure that a big cost of being out of power will be endless intraparty warfare. Evangelicals especially could suffer.

 
The planets and vapors of politics have put Mr. McCain in this place. He is not Ronald Reagan, who arrived at his moment with decades of thinking about his beliefs. But the next president will have an opportunity to shape his party in ways rarely given to political figures.

This has become an unusual presidential election. If the gods have willed that Barack Obama should suddenly stir the electorate into a state of grand expectation -- another 1960 or 1980 -- then you shouldn't want to be on the losing side when the winning wave breaks in November. Gerald Ford losing to Jimmy Carter in 1976 was no big deal. This one will be a big deal. The energy exploding out of both parties' primaries, producing record turnout, makes that clear. This isn't just about "change" anymore. It's tectonic. Ask the Clintons. In such a time, many voters' allegiances are on offer. But one has to compete for them.

Conservatives, for whom any glass is always half full, have sold themselves short. Notwithstanding the moderate pedigrees of the three major GOP candidates on entry, all emerged from the debates as Reagan conservatives on what matters: taxes, spending, regulation and national defense. Most of the worrisome moderate positions were in the past.

When Reaganomics appeared in the late 1970s, the Republican establishment mocked it. Voodoo economics, someone said. Today for a Republican presidential candidate, it's gospel.

This is an achievement.

Some will say the debate promises were just politics. As opposed to what? Presumably moving people toward one's position is the point of all this daily political heavy-lifting. To now call a candidate's embrace of your ideas unacceptable is churlish and self-defeating. Conservatives won a decades-long debate in their party. Bank it. The demand now that Sen. McCain repudiate that old vote on the Bush tax cuts is an attempt at public humiliation. Ain't gonna happen. If life doesn't work for you without public penance, join a monastery.

Most of the distrust of the McCain candidacy is rooted in personal ill will. He's a hard case, and activists are often brittle. The fear is that one of the strongest impulses in a McCain presidency will be payback, and that he might sell out conservatives on taxes and the judiciary. That is possible, though by now it would require an act of deep duplicity by Mr. McCain. Here again, the conservatives should show more self-confidence.

The big lesson of the failed Harriet Miers nomination is that a real establishment on judicial nominations exists now in Washington. Throwing another David Souter over the transom and onto the Court is nearly impossible. A participant in this process who has discussed it with Sen. McCain tells me that he says his advisers on major judicial nominations will include Ted Olson, Sam Brownback and Jon Kyl. Miguel Estrada, a victim of the Gang of 14 senators on the judicial filibuster, has endorsed Mr. McCain.

Sen. McCain's capos on economics and taxes are Phil Gramm, the probable Treasury nominee, and Steve Forbes, a GOP Hall of Famer who in the 1996 and 2000 campaigns kept Reaganomics alive. By now, the coming sellout is reaching Himalayan proportions. One may still assume the worst. Conservatives always do, not without reason. It is politically obstinate, though, to ignore the presence of this ballast. (For those who still insist on sitting it out over immigration, global warming or stem cells, there is no hope.)

The idea of a concession on national security by conservatives is especially troubling. After six years of blood and treasure, and with the counterinsurgency working, to consciously turn over Iraq to Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama . . . words fail.

This isn't an apologia for the senator. Unlike Reagan, he is too self-preoccupied. There is a danger his presidency would be mainly about legacy, and therefore disorganized. This is a call to play the cards on the table. Conservatives are not in the wilderness. They should get back in the game.
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« Reply #398 on: February 08, 2008, 12:19:13 AM »

Romney's concessison speech today.

IMHO if he had given speeches like this when he was running, he might be the nominee. 
==================

Governor Mitt Romney Addresses CPAC
PRINT EMAIL DIGG DEL.ICIO.US FACEBOOK Email this Page To:
Multiple addresses seperated by commas From:
 Subject:
 Message :
  Thursday, Feb 07, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Kevin Madden (857) 288-6390

Washington, D.C. – Today, addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Governor Romney announced that he was suspending his presidential campaign for the sake of Republican unity and the future of our country. In 2008, Republicans must stand united if we are to prevent Senators Clinton and Obama from taking the White House. As a nation at war and facing uncertain economic times, the American people cannot afford the Democrats and their agenda for retreat and economic slowdown. With today's speech, Governor Romney outlined the significance of this election and the need for the Republican Party to remain strong.

Governor Romney's Address To CPAC (As Prepared For Delivery):

"I want to begin by saying thank you. It's great to be with you again. And I look forward to joining with you many more times in the future.

"Last year, CPAC gave me the sendoff I needed. I was in single digits in the polls, and I was facing household Republican names. As of today, more than 4 million people have given me their vote for President, less than Senator McCain's 4.7 million, but quite a statement nonetheless. Eleven states have given me their nod, compared to his 13. Of course, because size does matter, he's doing quite a bit better with his number of delegates.

"To all of you, thank you for caring enough about the future of America to show up, stand up and speak up for conservative principles.

"As I said to you last year, conservative principles are needed now more than ever. We face a new generation of challenges, challenges which threaten our prosperity, our security and our future. I am convinced that unless America changes course, we will become the France of the 21st century – still a great nation, but no longer the leader of the world, no longer the superpower. And to me, that is unthinkable. Simon Peres, in a visit to Boston, was asked what he thought about the war in Iraq. 'First,' he said, 'I must put something in context. America is unique in the history of the world. In the history of the world, whenever there has been conflict, the nation that wins takes land from the nation that loses. One nation in history, and this during the last century, laid down hundreds of thousands of lives and took no land. No land from Germany, no land from Japan, no land from Korea. America is unique in the sacrifice it has made for liberty, for itself and for freedom loving people around the world.' The best ally peace has ever known, and will ever know, is a strong America.

"And that is why we must rise to the occasion, as we have always done before, to confront the challenges ahead. Perhaps the most fundamental of these is the attack on the American culture.

"Over the years, my business has taken me to many countries. I have been struck by the enormous differences in the wealth and well-being of people of different nations. I have read a number of scholarly explanations for the disparities. I found the most convincing was that written by David Landes, a professor emeritus from Harvard University. I presume he's a liberal – I guess that's redundant. His work traces the coming and going of great civilizations throughout history. After hundreds of pages of analysis, he concludes with this:

"If we learn anything from the history of economic development, it is that culture makes all the difference. Culture makes all the difference.

"What is it about American culture that has led us to become the most powerful nation in the history of the world? We believe in hard work and education. We love opportunity: almost all of us are immigrants or descendants of immigrants who came here for opportunity – opportunity is in our DNA. Americans love God, and those who don't have faith, typically believe in something greater than themselves – a 'Purpose Driven Life.' And we sacrifice everything we have, even our lives, for our families, our freedoms and our country. The values and beliefs of the free American people are the source of our nation's strength and they always will be.

"The threat to our culture comes from within. The 1960's welfare programs created a culture of poverty. Some think we won that battle when we reformed welfare, but the liberals haven't given up. At every turn, they try to substitute government largesse for individual responsibility. They fight to strip work requirements from welfare, to put more people on Medicaid, and to remove more and more people from having to pay any income tax whatsoever. Dependency is death to initiative, risk-taking and opportunity. Dependency is a culture-killing drug. We have got to fight it like the poison it is.

"The attack on faith and religion is no less relentless. And tolerance for pornography – even celebration of it – and sexual promiscuity, combined with the twisted incentives of government welfare programs have led to today's grim realities: 68% of African American children are born out-of-wedlock, 45% of Hispanic children, and 25% of White children. How much harder it is for these children to succeed in school and in life. A nation built on the principles of the Founding Fathers cannot long stand when its children are raised without fathers in the home.

"The development of a child is enhanced by having a mother and father. Such a family is the ideal for the future of the child and for the strength of a nation. I wonder how it is that unelected judges, like some in my state of Massachusetts, are so unaware of this reality, so oblivious to the millennia of recorded history. It is time for the people of America to fortify marriage through Constitutional amendment, so that liberal judges cannot continue to attack it.

"Europe is facing a demographic disaster. That is the inevitable product of weakened faith in the Creator, failed families, disrespect for the sanctity of human life and eroded morality. Some reason that culture is merely an accessory to America's vitality; we know that it is the source of our strength. And we are not dissuaded by the snickers and knowing glances when we stand up for family values, and morality, and culture. We will always be honored to stand on principle and to stand for principle.

"The attack on our culture is not our sole challenge. We face economic competition unlike anything we have ever known before. China and Asia are emerging from centuries of poverty. Their people are plentiful, innovative and ambitious. If we do not change course, Asia or China will pass us by as the economic superpower, just as we passed England and France during the last century. The prosperity and security of our children and grandchildren depend on us.

"Our prosperity and security also depend on finally acting to become energy secure. Oil producing states like Russia and Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Iran are siphoning over $400 billion per year from our economy – that's almost what we spend annually for defense. It is past time for us to invest in energy technology, nuclear power, clean coal, liquid coal, renewable sources and energy efficiency. America must never be held hostage by the likes of Putin, Chavez, and Ahmadinejad.

"And our economy is also burdened by the inexorable ramping of government spending. Don't focus on the pork alone – even though it is indeed irritating and shameful. Look at the entitlements. They make up 60% of federal spending today. By the end of the next President's second term, they will total 70%. Any conservative plan for the future has to include entitlement reform that solves the problem, not just acknowledges it.

"Most politicians don't seem to understand the connection between our ability to compete and our national wealth, and the wealth of our families. They act as if money just happens – that it's just there. But every dollar represents a good or service produced in the private sector. Depress the private sector and you depress the well-being of Americans.

"That's exactly what happens with high taxes, over-regulation, tort windfalls, mandates, and overfed, over-spending government. Did you see that today, government workers make more money than people who work in the private sector? Can you imagine what happens to an economy where the best opportunities are for bureaucrats?

"It's high time to lower taxes, including corporate taxes, to take a weed-whacker to government regulations, to reform entitlements, and to stand up to the increasingly voracious appetite of the unions in our government.

"And finally, let's consider the greatest challenge facing America – and facing the entire civilized world: the threat of violent, radical Jihad. In one wing of the world of Islam, there is a conviction that all governments should be destroyed and replaced by a religious caliphate. These Jihadists will battle any form of democracy. To them, democracy is blasphemous for it says that citizens, not God shape the law. They find the idea of human equality to be offensive. They hate everything we believe about freedom just as we hate everything they believe about radical Jihad.

"To battle this threat, we have sent the most courageous and brave soldiers in the world. But their numbers have been depleted by the Clinton years when troops were reduced by 500,000, when 80 ships were retired from the Navy, and when our human intelligence was slashed by 25%. We were told that we were getting a peace dividend. We got the dividend, but we didn't get the peace. In the face of evil in radical Jihad and given the inevitable military ambitions of China, we must act to rebuild our military might – raise military spending to 4% of our GDP, purchase the most modern armament, re-shape our fighting forces for the asymmetric demands we now face, and give the veterans the care they deserve.

"Soon, the face of liberalism in America will have a new name. Whether it is Barack or Hillary, the result would be the same if they were to win the Presidency. The opponents of American culture would push the throttle, devising new justifications for judges to depart from the Constitution. Economic neophytes would layer heavier and heavier burdens on employers and families, slowing our economy and opening the way for foreign competition to further erode our lead.

"Even though we face an uphill fight, I know that many in this room are fully behind my campaign. You are with me all the way to the convention. Fight on, just like Ronald Reagan did in 1976. But there is an important difference from 1976: today, we are a nation at war.

"And Barack and Hillary have made their intentions clear regarding Iraq and the war on terror. They would retreat and declare defeat. And the consequence of that would be devastating. It would mean attacks on America, launched from safe havens that make Afghanistan under the Taliban look like child's play. About this, I have no doubt.

"I disagree with Senator McCain on a number of issues, as you know. But I agree with him on doing whatever it takes to be successful in Iraq, on finding and executing Osama bin Laden, and on eliminating Al Qaeda and terror. If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.

"This is not an easy decision for me. I hate to lose. My family, my friends and our supporters – many of you right here in this room – have given a great deal to get me where I have a shot at becoming President. If this were only about me, I would go on. But I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, I feel I must now stand aside, for our party and for our country.

"I will continue to stand for conservative principles. I will fight alongside you for all the things we believe in. And one of those things is that we cannot allow the next President of the United States to retreat in the face evil extremism.

"It is the common task of each generation – and the burden of liberty – to preserve this country, expand its freedoms and renew its spirit so that its noble past is prologue to its glorious future.

"To this task, accepting this burden, we are all dedicated, and I firmly believe, by the providence of the Almighty, that we will succeed beyond our fondest hope. America must remain, as it has always been, the hope of the Earth.

"Thank you, and God bless America."
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #399 on: February 08, 2008, 06:39:54 PM »

Can Mrs. Clinton Lose?
By PEGGY NOONAN
February 8, 2008

If Hillary Clinton loses, does she know how to lose? What will that be, if she loses? Will she just say, "I concede" and go on vacation at a friend's house on an island, and then go back to the Senate and wait?

Is it possible she could be so normal? Politicians lose battles, it's part of what they do, win and lose. But she does not know how to lose. Can she lose with grace? But she does grace the way George W. Bush does nuance.

She often talks about how tough she is. She has fought "the Republican attack machine" that has tried to "stop" her, "end" her, and she knows "how to fight them." She is preoccupied to an unusual degree with toughness. A man so preoccupied would seem weak. But a woman obsessed with how tough she is just may be lethal.

Does her sense of toughness mean that every battle in which she engages must be fought tooth and claw, door to door? Can she recognize the line between burly combat and destructive, never-say-die warfare? I wonder if she is thinking: What will it mean if I win ugly? What if I lose ugly? What will be the implications for my future, the party's future? What will black America, having seen what we did in South Carolina, think forever of me and the party if I do low things to stop this guy on the way to victory? Can I stop, see the lay of the land, imitate grace, withdraw, wait, come back with a roar down the road? Life is long. I am not old. Or is that a reverie she could never have? What does it mean if she could never have it?

We know she is smart. Is she wise? If it comes to it, down the road, can she give a nice speech, thank her supporters, wish Barack Obama well, and vow to campaign for him?

It either gets very ugly now, or we will see unanticipated--and I suspect professionally saving--grace.

I ruminate in this way because something is happening. Mrs. Clinton is losing this thing. It's not one big primary, it's a rolling loss, a daily one, an inch-by-inch deflation. The trends and indices are not in her favor. She is having trouble raising big money, she's funding her campaign with her own wealth, her moral standing within her own party and among her own followers has been dragged down, and the legacy of Clintonism tarnished by what Bill Clinton did in South Carolina. Unfavorable primaries lie ahead. She doesn't have the excitement, the great whoosh of feeling that accompanies a winning campaign. The guy from Chicago who was unknown a year ago continues to gain purchase, to move forward. For a soft little innocent, he's played a tough and knowing inside/outside game.

The day she admitted she'd written herself a check for $5 million, Obama's people crowed they'd just raised $3 million. But then his staff is happy. They're all getting paid.

Political professionals are leery of saying, publicly, that she is losing, because they said it before New Hampshire and turned out to be wrong. Some of them signaled their personal weariness with Clintonism at that time, and fear now, as they report, to look as if they are carrying an agenda. One part of the Clinton mystique maintains: Deep down journalists think she's a political Rasputin who will not be dispatched. Prince Yusupov served him cupcakes laced with cyanide, emptied a revolver, clubbed him, tied him up and threw him in a frozen river. When he floated to the surface they found he'd tried to claw his way from under the ice. That is how reporters see Hillary.

And that is a grim and over-the-top analogy, which I must withdraw. What I really mean is they see her as the Glenn Close character in "Fatal Attraction": "I won't be ignored, Dan!"

* * *

Mr. Obama's achievement on Super Tuesday was solid and reinforced trend lines. The popular vote was a draw, the delegate count a rough draw, but he won 13 states, and when you look at the map he captured the middle of the country from Illinois straight across to Idaho, with a second band, in the northern Midwest, of Minnesota and North Dakota. He won Missouri and Connecticut, in Mrs. Clinton's backyard. He won the Democrats of the red states.

On the wires Wednesday her staff was all but conceding she is not going to win the next primaries. Her superdelegates are coming under pressure that is about to become unrelenting. It was easy for party hacks to cleave to Mrs Clinton when she was inevitable. Now Mr. Obama's people are reportedly calling them saying, Your state voted for me and so did your congressional district. Are you going to jeopardize your career and buck the wishes of the people back home?

Mrs. Clinton is stoking the idea that Mr. Obama is too soft to withstand the dread Republican attack machine. (I nod in tribute to all Democrats who have succeeded in removing the phrase "Republican and Democratic attack machines" from the political lexicon. Both parties have them.) But Mr. Obama will not be easy for Republicans to attack. He will be hard to get at, hard to address. There are many reasons, but a primary one is that the fact of his race will freeze them. No one, no candidate, no party, no heavy-breathing consultant, will want to cross any line--lines that have never been drawn, that are sure to be shifting and not always visible--in approaching the first major-party African-American nominee for president of the United States.

* * *

He is the brilliant young black man as American dream. No consultant, no matter how opportunistic and hungry, will think it easy--or professionally desirable--to take him down in a low manner. If anything, they've learned from the Clintons in South Carolina what that gets you. (I add that yes, there are always freelance mental cases, who exist on both sides and are empowered by modern technology. They'll make their YouTubes. But the mad are ever with us, and this year their work will likely stay subterranean.)

 
With Mr. Obama the campaign will be about issues. "He'll raise your taxes." He will, and I suspect Americans may vote for him anyway. But the race won't go low.

Mrs. Clinton would be easier for Republicans. With her cavalcade of scandals, they'd be delighted to go at her. They'd get medals for it. Consultants would get rich on it.

The Democrats have it exactly wrong. Hillary is the easier candidate, Mr. Obama the tougher. Hillary brings negative; it's fair to hit her back with negative. Mr. Obama brings hope, and speaks of a better way. He's not Bambi, he's bulletproof.

The biggest problem for the Republicans will be that no matter what they say that is not issue oriented--"He's too young, he's never run anything, he's not fully baked"--the mainstream media will tag them as dealing in racial overtones, or undertones. You can bet on this. Go to the bank on it.

The Democrats continue not to recognize what they have in this guy. Believe me, Republican professionals know. They can tell.
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