Archive for the ‘Election News’ Category

Clinton Calls It Quits, Joins McCain Ticket for ‘08

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

In a surprise move, campaign officials for democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton are to announce April 1 that the New York Senator is withdrawing from the Democratic presidential primaries and is joining Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s ticket as his running mate. Political insiders and beltway pundits alike were surprised at the timing of the announcement, but not altogether shocked by this latest development. Clinton has been running second place to Democratic rival Barack Obama for months now, her campaign war chest is running low on funds, contributors to her campaign are tapped out, and many long time political allies have been leaving the campaign in droves. 

CAMPAIGN OFFICIAL CONFIRMS RUMORS

According to an anonymous Clinton campaign official, Mrs. Clinton feels she has a better chance of realizing her lifelong dream to become president of the United States by switching parties now. Once the pre-ordained Democratic nominee, a string of primary losses to Obama have put the Clinton campaign into a downward spiral. 

“She sees the writing on the wall. Clearly, this isn’t her husband’s Democratic Party anymore,” said the campaign official. “If we’ve learned anything over the past few years, it’s that sometimes experienced politicians have to do courageous things in order to continue to help America. Joe Lieberman did it in 2006. Hillary is doing it now.”

SUPPORTERS STAND FIRM, OPPONENTS INDIFFERENT

Some Clinton supporters think the move is brilliant, and will continue to support Hillary no matter what ticket she’s on.  

“I think it’s brilliant, “ said Nancy Bigbee of Westchester, Vermont. “McCain’s like, what, 75 years old or something? She’ll probably be president in no time this way.”

And that nugget may well hold some gold in it. McCain’s health hasn’t been much of an issue in this campaign, but he is 70 years old, and would be the oldest president ever sworn in to a first term if elected. A bitter Democratic primary season has battered Mrs. Clinton among her former party, making it a long shot for her to get the nomination at this point. This is likely her best shot now at getting back into the White House. Obama supporters have mixed feelings about the announcement, being somewhat happy that the bitter in-fighting will finally end, but mostly being indifferent, having stopped listening to Clinton months ago.  

WEEKS IN THE MAKING

Rumors of a possible Clinton party switch have been circling Washington recently following Sen. Clinton’s media appearances with Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and Richard Mellon Scaife, a vociferously staunch opponent of Mrs. Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, for years. Even Ann Coulter loves her. Democrats have been not so quietly rumbling about what they saw as her attempts to cozy up to the “vast right wing conspiracy” she once railed against. Senator Clinton’s own recent comments also seem to have been quietly laying the groundwork for just such a tactic. Earlier last month she repeated on several talk shows that both she and Senator McCain had the lifetime of dedicated experience needed to run this country, something her former Democratic opponent Barack Obama didn’t have. In fact, up until today’s announcement, Senator Clinton had been Senator McCain’s best campaigner, with her repeated attempts to derail the Obama campaign.  

“All of the dirty tricks of the last few weeks, from the NAFTA frame-up against Obama in Ohio to the subtly drawn out race issues and Reverend Wright associations to the sublimation of the primary rules in Florida and Michigan- all these things and more have been part of the Clinton campaign’s efforts to divide the Democratic party and bring some votes over to a McCain-Clinton ticket,” said the unnamed Clinton campaign official.

When asked about the timing of the announcement, coming on the heels of Senator Clinton’s steadfast refusal to leave the Democratic race before the end of the primary season, this same official noted that, “April is clearly the time to strike. We know what we’re doing here. We’re not a bunch of fools.” 

WIN-WIN FOR GOP?

But what does a McCain-Clinton ticket hold for Republicans?  For starters, Hillary Clinton began her political life as a Barry Goldwater disciple, the former Arizona Republican and presidential candidate in 1964. Long embraced by the more conservative Republicans, Hillary’s early associations with Goldwater’s brand of politics probably runs deep in her own political psyche, proving her to be a Republican at heart. It’s not just coincidence that McCain also hails from Arizona.

But more than just her conservative underpinnings, Clinton brings to the GOP ticket that tough, but feminine touch that’s been missing all these years- like Margaret Thatcher did for Britain’s Conservative party in the 1980’s. Conventional wisdom holds that Republicans, especially women, wouldn’t vote for Clinton come hell or high water, but that truth probably won’t hold at the ballot box. During her husband’s Oval Office infidelities, Mrs. Clinton stood by her man to the end. While derided at the time for by many women’s groups, then First-Lady Clinton unknowingly started a trend that has been seen all too often these last seven years during GOP prominence. For every Congressman convicted of taking bribes there’s been a wife by their side. For every GOP sex scandal (from cruising for page boys to soliciting in the airport bathroom) there’s been a tightly smiling GOP wife by her man. These women credit Hillary for their strength almost as much as they do their faith. Clearly Clinton can hold her own with this demographic at the polls. And that’s one area McCain clearly needs help with. Hillary also shows promise that she is willing to carry on with some of the more popular Bush policies like the War in Iraq, by giving life to the falsehood that she had to dodge sniper fire on a trip to Bosnia while serving as First Lady.  Such inspired untruth telling shows she’s not only ready, but also willing to say anything to get her point across. This is the kind of trait Republicans love in there politicians-the power to change reality to fit the situation at hand.  Both Clinton and McCain bill themselves as Bi-Partisan leaders and they’ve proven this much. Both reached across the aisle to support the Iraq War. Both supported the Illegal Alien Amnesty bill brought forth by Senator McCain and Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) before they opposed it. Both supported Bush’s No Child Left Behind program too, and still support it generally despite its high costs to states, narrowed curriculum geared towards testing, and less than stellar results. In these and many other issues, Hillary Clinton and John McCain seem to make the perfect political couplet in generations. 

LAST, BEST SHOT AT WHITE HOUSE

But the bottom line is that Hillary Clinton has had her sights set on the presidency for decades. It is her life long dream and from her point of view, this year was supposed to be “her” year. She’d hoped to take the prize under the Democrats banner, if only to tie the double-shot secured by the Bush clan. But with Barack Obama clearly the popular choice among registered Democratic voters, and among many Independents too, Mrs. Clinton is realist enough to know that her only ride back to Pennsylvania Avenue is in the back seat of John McCain’s limo- and faced with the prospect of losing it all, a short stint as VP looks pretty good to her now.

The announcement, scheduled for release on April 1, 2008, also noted that both Senators McCain and Clinton would be unreachable for comment for most of the day, as they will be coordinating their campaign strategies for the next phase of the campaign.

 

(Cross posted at Common Sense)

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Grab a Cigar and Head for the Back Room

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

Come on, Dean, do your stuff. I know I’m tired of this, and I think we’ve shredded ourselves enough for one cycle. Harry Reid, speaking on 3/24 to the Las Vegas Journal:

Q: Do you still think the Democratic race can be resolved before the convention?

Reid: Easy.

Q: How is that?

Reid: It will be done.

Q: It just will?

Reid: Yep.

Q: Magically?

Reid: No, it will be done. I had a conversation with Governor Dean (Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean) today. Things are being done.

I hope so. We’ve gone from fielding a deep, accomplished and intelligent slate of candidates to high level infighting. I’m ready to send the whole lot of them to bed without supper. Let’s move on.

Hat Tip to Taegan Goddard’s Political WireChild health insurance
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In Other News, Snowballs Thrive in Hell

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

shaaa-and-monkeys-might-fly.bmp 

God in Heaven, I found myself agreeing… with David Brooks. Pigs, aloft as far as the eye can see, are vying for airspace with monkeys recently launched from, er… I’ll spare you the details.

 David Freaking Brooks. I’ve read him in the Grey Lady, and watched David Brooks on Jim Lehrer’s News Hour for years. I’ve laughed at him, mocked him, and thrown balled up socks at his smarmy visage. I consider him a boot licker of first order. He inspires hope in me, as his positions are ususally holey and under-supported. If this was what progressives were up against, prevailing was the only option.

It would take a miracle for Brooks and me to align our stars. That, or a village.

Hillary, the village idiot, put together what my husband, lifelong Republican, could not. Brooks and I are joined at the hip, at least temporarily, because of the selfish, blindly self serving, machiavellian, ego-centric, destructive and defectively conceived Clinton campaign. Did I leave anything out? Not according to me and my new BFF Brooks:

Last week, an important Clinton adviser told Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen (also of Politico) that Clinton had no more than a 10 percent chance of getting the nomination. Now, she’s probably down to a 5 percent chance.

Five percent.

Let’s take a look at what she’s going to put her party through for the sake of that 5 percent chance: The Democratic Party is probably going to have to endure another three months of daily sniping. For another three months, we’ll have the Carvilles likening the Obamaites to Judas and former generals accusing Clintonites of McCarthyism. For three months, we’ll have the daily round of résumé padding and sulfurous conference calls. We’ll have campaign aides blurting “blue dress” and only-because-he’s-black references as they let slip their private contempt. — David Brooks

This crap is in full swing at this point, and the irony of me bashing Hill in this post is not lost on me. You won’t, however, ever hear me get into anything about Monica’s dress. That wasn’t her fault, and frankly, I felt sorry for her that her husband couldn’t keep his pants on while spotlit as President and embarrassed her publically. That said, I will get all down her case for having him give interviews during her campaign to Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. WTF? It’s a new low every day, with more to come.

For three more months (maybe more!) the campaign will proceed along in its Verdun-like pattern. There will be a steady rifle fire of character assassination from the underlings, interrupted by the occasional firestorm of artillery when the contest touches upon race, gender or patriotism. The policy debates between the two have been long exhausted, so the only way to get the public really engaged is by poking some raw national wound.

For the sake of that 5 percent, this will be the sourest spring. About a fifth of Clinton and Obama supporters now say they wouldn’t vote for the other candidate in the general election. Meanwhile, on the other side, voters get an unobstructed view of the Republican nominee. John McCain’s approval ratings have soared 11 points. He is now viewed positively by 67 percent of Americans. A month ago, McCain was losing to Obama among independents by double digits in a general election matchup. Now McCain has a lead among this group.

For three more months, Clinton is likely to hurt Obama even more against McCain, without hurting him against herself. And all this is happening so she can preserve that 5 percent chance.

When you step back and think about it, she is amazing. She possesses the audacity of hopelessness. — David Brooks

I choose hope over hopelessness. I choose clear thinking over Hail Mary passes. I choose leadership over vindictiveness. I choose love of country over love of self. I choose Obama.

Oh, and David, Baby. Call me! Mwah!

Stand Up To Telecom Lobby, Get Swiftboated

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

It had to happen. When Boozo the Clown doesn’t get his way, tantrums will follow. He wants retroactive immunity for telecom executives and he wants it now. He said NOW!! He’s gonna thrust out his lower lip, stamp his foot and hold his breath until Congress bends over for him. Or until a group of rightwing millionaires steps in to purchase the democratic process (I thought they already did).

A group of his fellow wingtards calling themselves Defense of Democracies has sprung to the rescue. They’ve raised $2 million (so far) for the defeat of fifteen Democrats who had this wacky idea about telecom VIPs being subject to the same laws as the rest of us.

Here is a YouTube video of one of their ads. It’s hilarious. If it was a skit on Saturday Night Live or the Daily Show, it would have you in stitches. But it becomes less funny when you realize: there are millions of cerebrally-challenged knuckledraggers out there who actually believe this shit.

Here is some more information about this illustrious group, including their membership. If you’re at all familiar with the Project For A New American Century (PNAC), the personnel from Defense of Democracies will be “déjà vu all over again.”

Pay no attention to the same fifteen wingnuts behind every curtain.

The River Rafting Of Barack Obama

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

It was only a matter of time before backroom GOP operatives would capitalize on the controversy surrounding the incendiary comments of Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s pastor. A newly launched YouTube video appears to be the first swiftboating salvo in a campaign that is likely to see many more. The video demonstrates the growing impact of the internet as well as the expanding ability to distribute stealth attacks upon one’s opponent.

The video is listed on YouTube as being produced by a professional-sounding group called “NHaleMedia,” but there is no such entity.

Rather; the incendiary video — which also includes footage of Malcolm X, the U.S. Olympians who raised their hand in the black power salute and the song “Fight the Power” — is in part the amateur work of Lee Habeeb.

A former producer of “The Laura Ingraham Show,” Habeeb is the director of strategic content at Salem Radio Network, the conservative talk radio powerhouse that airs programs hosted by figures such as Bill Bennett and Hugh Hewitt.

Habeeb declined to reveal the identity of his co-producers, but did say that they are “conservatives who happen to be in the media world” and are not working for any campaign. One, he said, works in film and the other is involved in crafting ads.

I debated whether to include the video in this posting but I decided it was important for Democrats to see what they can expect as we approach the November election. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of these efforts backfire. This one is particularly offensive in its attempt to link Senator Obama with numerous negative images and stereotypes.

Those still wondering if the GOP would again use gays and gay marriage as their signature issue need not spend another moment contemplating the question. After watching the video, it should be abundantly clear that race will be the crown jewel in the GOP’s armada. Should Obama be the Democratic nominee, I expect the meme to mimic a GOP favorite used to assail gays…the militant homosexual agenda.

In Obama’s case, this effective meme will be modified to portray him as secretly promoting “the militant black agenda”…one that denigrates patriotism and seeks to install a Marxist inspired version of socialism. Take a moment to do a Google search with the term “Obama Socialist Marxist agenda”. If that doesn’t convince you, Google “Obama Marxist Posters” and you’ll note the efforts to connect Obama to Che Guevara.

It makes perfect sense for a party that has found fear to be a formidable tool in building its current coalition. Truth be told, it is so effective that many of those who vote GOP do so despite the fact that it is detrimental to their own self-interest. Race appears to be poised to replace (or augment) terrorism and gay marriage as the big bad bogeyman in 2008.

Yes, Senator McCain has suspended a staff member who was found to be distributing the video. Unfortunately, the GOP has refined the tactic of disseminating fear and falsehoods while maintaining the deniability of their candidates. The fact that 13 percent of Americans believe Obama to be a Muslim demonstrates the success of these unsubstantiated smears. One needn’t be a sophisticated statistician or an astute tactician to predict that the vast majority of this 13 percent won’t be voting for Senator Obama.

On that somber note, the video follows as does my own satirical graphic on “The River Rafting of Barack Obama”.

SwiftBoatingBarackObama.jpg

Cross-posted at Thought Theater


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