SUNDAY, 11 MAY 2008

Remedy for debate fatigue

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Substance and gravity.

Two candidates, and no network moderators.

Barack Obama’s campaign is considering a suggestion from John McCain’s campaign for the two presidential hopefuls to participate in joint town meetings and debates around the country starting this summer, Obama’s chief strategist said Sunday…

Asked about the suggestion and how seriously it was being considered, David Axelrod, Obama’s chief campaign strategist said: “Very seriously.”

“We believe that is the most significant election we’ve faced in a long time,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“We’re at war. Our economy is in turmoil. And we’ve got so many challenges that the people of this country deserve a serious discourse, and it shouldn’t be limited necessarily to three kind of very regimented debates in the fall,” he added, referring to those sanctioned by a presidential commission.

Let the people ask the questions they’re most concerned… click here to read whole article and make comments


SUNDAY, 11 MAY 2008

Did Obama quietly slip over the top today?

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Or is it a media-driven effort to push Hillary Clinton out, finally? Something did change today, whether it was perception or reality.

The headlines have been turning over rapidly all day, but they’re all variations on this one. It started a couple of days after the North Carolina/Indiana primaries, picked up momentum Friday when Obama began picking up more declared superdelegates, and turned a corner today.

Barack Obama has taken the lead in superdelegate endorsements for the first time, marking a potential turning point in the endgame of the Democratic primary.

Obama picked up five superdelegates Saturday, after rounding up nine such endorsements the day before. The gains erased Hillary Clinton’s once-imposing lead among the party officials and insiders who play a key part in selecting the nominee.

Now there seems to be a rush to get in line behind the presumptive nominee, which Obama appears to be… click here to read whole article and make comments



So this is a joke…right?

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I wonder what the term “fat chance” really means.

It comes to mind in reading this:

This could be the Supreme Court term, one court watcher joked recently, that Justice John Paul Stevens remembers he is a Republican.

It’s interesting speculation, given that most of what’s predicted about Stevens these days centers on when he will step down and which president will get to replace him with hiw (or her) nominee.

It’s a surprise for a lot of people to even recall that Stevens was appointed by a Republican.

A 1975 appointee of President Gerald Ford, Stevens is regarded as the anchor of the court’s liberal wing. But he has joined with his more conservative colleagues in three high-profile cases that defied predictions they would showcase deep ideological divisions on the court.

This court is harder to handicap than before, thankfully.… click here to read whole article and make comments


FRIDAY, 9 MAY 2008

But the question is…do parties reflect their supporters?

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This year’s presidential election has broken molds and busted myths about politics as the candidates find their way forward in new ways. Republicans the party of ’fat cats’ and Democrats of ‘the little guy’?

This little item on the Acton Institute’s blog looks at an interesting demographic trend and wonders what it may mean, going forward.

The gravamen is that Democratic presidential candidates in the current election have exhibited a whopping advantage among all kinds of elite groups, identified by professional, financial, or educational status. Meanwhile, Republicans garnered more support from plumbers, truckers, and janitors.

What a switch, if conventional wisdom prevailed. But there’s little to no conventional wisdom left in this campaign year. So follow the trending data. Which the National Review article Kevin Schmiesing is analyzing here does, but doesn’t explain that well.

Confused? The plumbers, truckers and janitors support for Republicans is “a phenomenon” that the… click here to read whole article and make comments



Nothing new to say about the campaigns?

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The news networks all have blogs that carry on political campaign chatter beyond their regular televised coverage. For those who can never get enough.

Here’s buzz from the team at MSNBC.

The big question if Clinton stays in the race is this: Just how will she campaign? Yesterday, there were no negative TV ads or attack mailers. But Clinton did stress that she can win the general, implying that Obama might not be able to.

Now this is interesting:

It’s comments like that one that might drive more supers toward Obama pretty quickly. Why?  Because they know the math, but they don’t want her to spend three weeks making a case that Obama can’t win. It will only weaken him. Here’s what Obama backer Chris Dodd said yesterday, per NBC’s Ken Strickland. “You’re going to be asking a bunch of people [in West Virginia] to vote against somebody… click here to read whole article and make comments



Are we there yet?

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So Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton split the two state primaries Tuesday. Sort of.

Obama was expected to win North Carolina, but won much bigger than expected. Clinton was expected to win Indiana, but eked out a very narrow victory. By early evening as the results were coming in, some commentators and Democratic leaders among them, were saying it’s time for Clinton to drop out of the race. She is not. But Tuesday’s primary results finally gave the evening a new, pivotal feel. After all this time, it seems like the race has turned the corner and may be coming down the stretch.

Here’s some buzz…

There is considerable discussion about what would happen the Florida and Michigan primary results could be counted; there is the debate about whether Obama is electable, and there is an extended conversation about one paragraph in [a] story, which said, “A Clinton adviser said the… click here to read whole article and make comments



It’s about the economy, the war, health care, immigration, social issues…

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And more than people generally think, it’s about the judges. John McCain is focusing squarely on the importance of judges.

Here are two takes on his speech today. This from the AP.

Republican John McCain criticized Democratic rival Barack Obama for voting against John Roberts as U.S. chief justice, reaching out to the Christian right on one of their chief concerns: the proper role of judges in government.

Conservatives contend that federal judges have upset the constitutional balance of power among the courts, the Congress and the presidency by making far-reaching decisions, such as one in 2005 that let cities seize people’s homes to make way for shopping malls.

“My nominees will understand that there are clear limits to the scope of judicial power, and clear limits to the scope of federal power,” McCain said Tuesday in a speech at Wake Forest University.

McCain, the eventual GOP… click here to read whole article and make comments


MONDAY, 5 MAY 2008

Michelle Obama’s America

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What a candidate’s spouse says in a campaign is an insight into what may be the view from the White House in the near future.

Michelle Obama has given another revealing talk that reflects her view of America. It is not inspiring.

By her husband’s logic, Michelle Obama must be a heavily armed xenophobic religious zealot, because boy is she bitter. This C-SPAN video of a speech delivered by Mrs. Obama in North Carolina last Friday is characteristic of her peculiar recent performances on the stump. It is an hour-long talk to supporters who just want something to cheer about, and who get some opportunities at the outset, but then find themselves treated to a profoundly and relentlessly negative vision of American life.

There’s a lot in these talks about victimhood. And oppression.

In Michelle Obama’s America, everybody’s suffering, no one has time to make… click here to read whole article and make comments


SUNDAY, 4 MAY 2008

When a campaign is based on personality

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Without ideas and principles and policies clearly presented to the American people, ideas that provide the ballast to keep their boat sailing, even a most attractive and popular candidate will start to sink at some point. Especially if their popularity was based on images and ideals.

Peter Wehner likens Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama to make the point.

Obama, as much as any national politician I can recall, has made his presidential candidacy personality-based. Its success depends on the public’s sense of who he is — and that puts added importance on the public having confidence in Obama’s character and values, his judgment and his integrity. Many of us were attracted to Obama precisely because of how he came across: reasonable, thoughtful, measured, a person who was attempting to transcend racial divisions. We found his liberalism troubling — but we found him to be personally impressive.


click here to read whole article and make comments



Smoke and mirrors politics

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You can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Sen. Obama has come pretty close, but now the sleight is getting out of hand.

Mark Steyn says the “rhetorical magic” isn’t working so well anymore.

Oddly enough, the shrewdest appraisal of the Senator’s speechifying “magic” came from Jeremiah Wright himself. “He’s a politician,” said the Reverend. “He says what he has to say as a politician… He does what politicians do.”

The notion that the Amazing Obama might be just another politician doing what politicians do seems to have affronted the senator more than any of the stuff about America being no different from al-Qaeda and the government inventing AIDs to kill black people.

This has been a major turning point for Obama, to state the obvious. But it’s just been in the past day or so that news analysts and pollsters actually question his… click here to read whole article and make comments


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Sheila Reports promises a perspective here that you may not be getting in mainstream media and the politically charged blogosphere. Don’t expect political correctness, because politics doesn’t determine what’s correct. This space is grounded in the natural law and moral order. And it expects civility, goodwill and an openness to truth and reason.

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