Quote of the Day “It’s not so important who starts the game as who finishes it.“ —John Wooden
In college basketball, sixty-four teams have a theoretical shot to win the national championship by winning the tournament held at the end of the season. Other than seeding, going undefeated until the first game of the tournament gains you nothing. What often occurs, is a team goes on an extended winning streak in the middle of the year, winning smaller tournaments, their league title or even a conference tournament championship, only to lose in the early rounds of the national championship tournament. They peak too early. The most successful teams manage to let their seasons build gradually, saving their best play for the last six games.
TB warned the Obama campaign back in early June about the risk of peaking too early in the “Advice for Obama” post. It seemed like he tried to lay low for a couple of months so as not to keep the energy from his primary campaign crowds at a fever pitch for too long. I think that was wise, but now he has the difficult task of regaining the momentum. His speech in Denver was one of the best I’ve seen and really doesn’t even belong in the same discussion with Sarah Palin’s, much less McCain’s. But in the same discussion it is. Obama is a long way from regaining his peak form. His best hope is the primary excitement will come to seem like last “season” for voters and he can repeat the performance in this new “season.” He actually may have benefitted from the Palin hoopla toning down his “early season” victory by suffering an unexpected “loss.”
On the other hand, McCain’s campaign has been remarkable to this point. In many ways, his nomination was even more unlikely than Obama’s. Just over a year ago he was being written off as a viable candidate after his campaign went broke and laid off almost the entire staff. Then, by process of elimination, he found himself virtually unopposed and the winner of his party’s nomination. Because it was less what he did and more how others screwed up, he did not have to peak to get that far. He was slow and steady. After closing the gap and lying low during Obama’s coronation, he sandbagged all of us by selecting Palin as his running mate. The media has gone nuts for her because they love a new story, much like they had gone nuts for Obama a year ago. He’s suddenly on a winning streak.
Now, McCain finds himself in the lead for the first time. But has he peaked? My guess is the love affair with Palin will not endure for two reasons: one, I just don’t believe she’s as smart or charismatic as she is being portrayed, though we won’t really know until she’s off the leash and allowed to speak for herself; two, in the coming weeks, the focus will return to Obama and McCain. But that doesn’t exactly answer my own question, does it? The fact is I can’t answer it. Eight weeks is an eternity in politics. There is no historical American race that compares with this one. Is it a new era? Will all those new Obama voters remain excited and continue his unprecedented turnout? Have I underestimated the Palin effect on single issue women voters and/or a reenergized fundamentalist base? I’ll be anxiously and eagerly waiting to find out which side can perform best now that its time to play for the championship.
The democrats are really making huge mistakes by trying to attack and smear Palin. The South Carolina democratic chairman said today that Palin’s sole qualification was “not having an abortion”. Forgetting the offensive nature of the comment, the guy should be excommunicated from that party for stupidity.
To my knowledge, and politics was a hobby of mine, not a single presidential election was ever significantly impacted by the VP selection. The dems should stop engaging on that topic and start talking about the presidential candidates. Say things like “she is a fresh face we need to learn more about but we know McCain is wrong for the country blah blah blah. Frankly, the refusal to do so is evidence that Obama is not really capable of leading a large organization much less the country. There has been zero discipline on this subject by Obama, Biden, or anyone else in the campaign. I bring this up since he cites to his campaign as a qualification.
I am the classic swing voter and I have made my mind up for McCain. It will be interesting to see if I am a good bellweather.
Another example of lack of discipline:
Admitting Hillary would have been better than him will not help the wounded Hillary supporters come around to the guy that picked the wrong guy.
He is a walking gaffe machine.
Almost any democrat in America would win this thing by 10 points. Bredeson in TN would have been a great choice.
TB, i have been following the political season,
it is like watching a good WWE plot, i try to catch
a couple of cable news shows a night after the
kids go to bed. I watch H@C because I think
both make good points and both have funny
come backs on each other even though H has
run the the Rev W. and Bill A. thing in the ground.
As for the the other show i watch Cnn (AC)does not have a clue in my opinion he just goes with
whatever is popular on his blog. The reason
i say that is through his whole show he promotes
it. What i find funny is that on the Palin issues,
CNN says she has not made herself avaliable to the media, but there there doing a Reveled special
on her this weekend. I guess they have learn
everything in a week, must have great reporters.
As for MSNBC i think the Countdown show is the
most Bias of them all, even thought most comments on are true . I would be interested in
your comments on the shows i mentioned above
maybe start another blog on what shows others watch to get there Politcal Soap Opera fix each night.
Countdown is totally biased, but doesn’t try to disguise the fact. They are also the most accurate. CNN I find unwatchable, which is not to say I don’t tune in sometimes. Fox is a joke. Of course, these are just my opinions. I get most of my news off the net these days.
Adam, which Dems have you supported? I don’t want you to feel pressure to make public something that you are entitled to keep private, but if you don’t mind, please share. I am surprised that you are a swing voter is all. I agree with your assertion that the VP will be minimally important in the final analysis and that the Obama camp has given her too much attention. I also find her to be the most unqualified candidate for such high office in history, though I admit I don’t know them all.
I disagree that Obama is unqualified. He seems to me one of the most intelligent, well educated candidates we’ve seen in a long time. I find his speeches inspiring and I’m a huge cynic on political speeches. I didn’t vote for him in the primary because I think our country still has too many people who will vote solely on race (maybe 10%). As for McCain’s qualifications, I’ll cite Thad Cochran’s view–it sends a chill down his spine. That’s an even stronger view against McCain than I have. And his choice of Palin is further evidence of his judgment. She may help him win, but she will not help him govern. I believe the opposite is true of Biden.
Thanks for weighing in guys. Wouldn’t it be cool if McCain and Obama had to go back and forth in the same way? And Adam, if you will vote for Jim Kitchens I’ll never again question your independent credentials.
I can’t stand the conventions. They act as if they are at Crue concert or something. They are just a little too excited about themselves. Neither candidate will compromise with the other side. Mccain maybe would have at one time. Now he just wants to be president at any cost. Obama’s a big mistake. His policies have never worked anywhere and never will. I would vote for a democrat but they won’t put a good up. Someone like Gene Taylor would get my vote in a heartbeat. There needs to be a third party candidate that gets equal coverage, money, debate time, etc. I know it will never happen. But the country is middleground. That is also where most of the solutions to most of the problems are; in the middle. It’s that simple. Take some points from one side and some from the other side. Then come to a compromise that both sides can live with. That’s how you solve problems. They all think they are smarter than all the people. However, they squash all concept of a third party because they know they’d have trouble with one. Oh yeah, I hope your not insinuating Palin is not as smart as they say because she’s a woman. Are you?
Some of this we have talked about:
I voted for Clinton the first time; figured 12 years was enough so give the other guys a shot. He ran as and had a record as a moderate
I voted for Kerry (hard to admit because I disagree with just about everything he stands for). Basis of vote was Iraq debacle. At that point I thought Bush was going to hang onto Rummy forever. It was hurting the country. Not really the point of this post, but I should clarify that the screw ups post invasion were the tipping point. I do not get that hung up on the invasion itself although I was opposed because it looked so risky. (Ben you are a witness to my opposition)The real bad screw ups have been dealt with. I give McCain huge credit for supporting the surge when just about everyone was ready to give up. Pulling out like that would have been a disaster for western civilization and he got that.
Breaux and J. Bennett Johnson can’t recall who he ran them.
I may have voted for Taylor I can’t recall if I did or who he ran against.
They do not have primaries for elections so this requires explanation. When Buddy Roemer was running for relection with Edwin Edwards and David Duke (nice slate of candidates there an idiot, a felon, and a klansman) I voted as follows:
1. Roemer who was a democrat then became a republican (I can’t recall his party at election time he was an idiot no matter the party) in the first election and Edwin “the felon Edwards” in the run off with Duke.
In MS: none
There have been many others when you throw in local elections but I do not recall them well.
I can and will vote for democrats, I am usually registered as an independant, and after watching this election there is no chance that I would vote for Obama. He does not inspire me.
I have always liked McCain. I agree that Palin is light on qualifications. The caveat to that being that her qualifications are slightly better than Obama’s. I said that before she did in her speech.
A first term Sen. that was a state representative for a term should not get into arguing the qualifications of a first term governer that was the mayor of a small city that, for Alaska, is not small. All that said, the experience thing is overrated. I want the guy/gal that is going to make the tough call. As I said before, my concerns about Obama are being justified by his response to Palin. Also, McCain is more moderate than Obama. I will take the right leaning moderate over the radical lefty.
Adam, you are a true swing voter… I never knew.
As for qualifications, I’d take an Obama in the prime of life over an aging puppet like McCain. I don’t even believe arguing qualifications against Palin is worthy of the time.
I value Obama’s constitutional knowledge and respect, and think we are in an era where that is critical. I know that won’t resonate with voters, but it makes it no less important. Obama was near the top of his class at Harvard Law and editor of the Law Journal, while McCain was 4th from the bottom at the Naval Academy. He climbed the political ladder from the most modest of backgrounds while McCain bought into power via his heiress wife and the Keating 5 scandal. McCain has had to sell out to the Bushies and Roves in order to make a winning run for the White House. He’s sold out his earlier correct positions on torture, wartime taxes, even earmarks for Wasilla AK at their bidding. He will install their people at FDA, EPA, the Supreme and lesser courts, and on down the line. Obama may not have an experience argument against McCain, but he has a completely valid qualifications case.
It is true Obama is pretty far left compared to recent candidates and I applaud that. But far left? I don’t see it. I also think McCain has become far right, like all Republican candidates are forced to be. His rhetoric is already further right than Bush’s when Bush first ran. But as soon as Bush hit office, he put radical right wingers in place throughout government and judiciary.
As I’ve mentioned to you before, there is no way to accurately predict what these guys will actually do when they are in office and it is possible the more liberal approach will not work. But it is verifiable fact that the right’s approach has been awful. The Republicans need to be punished by losing now, and then perhaps they will return to their former focus on fiscal discipline.
I just wish we’d have elected McCain 8 years ago when he still had some vitality. We’d all be better off now. I hope he proves me wrong.
I think McCain has plenty of vitality left in his life, his mother is pushing 100 and still looks pretty spry. I agree he would be a better choice 8 years ago though.
My biggest problem with Obama (or any Dem) would be the amount of power Nancy Pelosi would hold, she’s out there IMO.
Stick to football TKH–what do you know??
Just kidding, I’m always glad to have more people join the discussion, even Auburn grads. And I know I’m tilting at windmills with most of you guys. Your concern over the Dems having the Executive, House and Senate are valid. The Congress, no matter which party is in the White House desperately needs to realize its role as a check against executive power rather than a tool of it.
I do not see it Ben. No way to call Obama qualified. The guy has never been in charge of anything. Nothing ever. I did not much like the Law Journal guys at Ole Miss. I really doubt I would like the ones at Harvard. The guy is smart but so is McCain and I honestly have pity for people that underestimate Palin.
Going after McCain’s class rank at the Naval Academy goes nowhere with me. My experience in law school teaches me to not put too much into class rank. I know some pretty bright people that were not in the top 20%.
Here is the wikipedia entry about his class rank. I get from that source for convenience only. It comports with my understanding of his biography from better sources:
Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, McCain entered the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. There, he was a friend and informal leader for many of his classmates, and sometimes stood up for people who were being bullied. He also became a lightweight boxer. McCain came into conflict with higher-ranking personnel, he did not always obey the rules, and that contributed to a low class rank (894 of 899) despite a strong intelligence. He did well in academic subjects that interested him, such as literature and history, but studied only enough to pass subjects he struggled with, such as mathematics.
Did well in lit and history and struggled in math. That sounds like you and me. I take he stood up to people and other stuff like that with a grain of salt.
As a Naval Officer his service was apparently nothing but excellent. He had a difficult and dangerous job and never used the fact that his grandfather and father were admirals to stay out of harms way. He lost 5 years of his life because of that. He then worked his tail off so he could get back on active duty after his release. He ended up in commend of a squadran after being a POW. That is pretty uncommon. I think the guy deserves the benefit of the doubt as to his inclination to put the interests of the country ahead of his own.
A lot of presidential elections are about who do you think would be better in a time of crisis.
Opinions can differ but I am going with the guy that has actually dealt with crisis and handled it well.
You read a lot. My reading tells me that nobody knows how they will handle combat. What they will do when they see the Elephant for the first time. http://wesclark.com/jw/elephant.html
Obama has never seen the Elephant. By that I mean combat or any other large crisis. In these times, I’ll take the guy that has seen the elephant.
I understand how some can consider military experience a good qualification. I do not think it is determinative one way or the other.
My basis–John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Monroe, Madison, and more recently Reagan, the godfather of the modern right. Also, our greatest two war presidents, Abraham Lincoln and FDR.
Contrast this with the disastrous presidency of war hero US Grant and the tepid one of Eisenhower, perhaps two of our three greatest military heroes.
Ex-military presidents who achieved greatness were Washington and T. Roosevelt, both of whom had extensive civilian backgrounds to augment and in the case of T.R. overwhelm their military service, unlike McCain.
I credit McCain with great toughness and courage, and I think anyone should take those traits into account.
Ole Miss and Harvard belong in the same sentence only in a joke.
Stoner, You make some excellent points about Obama, Palin and McCain (Biden is a nonfactor), but your admission that you voted for Kerry hinders my ability henceforth to take you seriously. TB, can you summon your powers as TB website webmaster and delete that “Kerry” portion of Stoner’s post so that he may regain some dignity?
As for the conventions, I don’t watch them anymore as I did in my youth. I vote on a candidate based upon his/her experience, positions on the issues, judgment and my gut feeling of whether or not I trust them to do what’s right for the country. I don’t need fancy speeches that, in the end, are totally meaningless.
I am just glad to see some new voices (BR, sEan and TKH) make themselves heard on political issues on TB’s site as I was growing weary of reading TB and Supercynic lather mutual admiration upon one another in celebration of their common hatred of “neocons”—a term for which I have no definition at this time.
Sorry Madd Dawg,
I felt I was left with the classic choice between a turd burger and douche sandwich. Maybe I should have just stayed home.
I am not sure how much experience you have with Harvard law graduates.
I have plenty, including two partners. As Professor Cochrine said in class one day, “they are not any smarter than you guys.”
Do not tell me Obama went to Harvard and expect me to be impressed. I know some smart people with that education and I have experienced some fools. What really impresses me about Harvard graduates is, with some significant exceptions, just how arrogant and out of touch they can be. They are the type of people that make presidential seals before they are president and have president sewn into their chairs on their campaign planes prior to victory. (classic chalk ups)
On your presidents list: Ike was a fine president. It was a very difficult time. Truman served in WWI as an officer and histroy looks on him with favor although he left office with Bush like approval ratings. JFK was a Naval officer and the cuban missle crisis proves he was a great president and I think being an officer that got his ass shot to pieces probably helped him in that crisis.
I like the idea that people that tell people to go kill people and get shot at know what it is like to kill people and get shot at.
I have some opinions on Regan. I love Regan but his decisions on the military (Lebennon as an example) probably could have and would have been better with military experience.
I haven’t even entered this fray and yet I’m getting swift boated by Madd Dawg. You friggin’ neo-cons never let up. That’s a joke.
Re McCain, if you read my blog (www.supercynic.wordpress.com, tell them I sent you and you’ll get a free hot dog), you’ll see that I’ve consistently labeled McCain as McCain ’00 and McCain ’08. McCain ’00 I liked. McCain ’00 was my choice for the Republican nomination in 2000. Bush defeating McCain ’00 was the reason I declared I could never be called a Republican — if Bush could be called one and win the nomination, then I wasn’t one.
McCain ’08 is Bush III. TB beat me to the list of everything that McCain ’08 has flip flopped on. And his picking Palin, a grossly incompetent pick and I’m not even talking about experience, only strengthens my belief that this is not McCain ’00 we’re watching. She’s a gift to all the folks who are wrong in the Republican Party. She’s Bush in a beehive, but I wouldn’t want to have a beer with her. In other words, she is what Rovian characters tell her to be.
Put simply, McCain ’08 is another four years of the disastrous policies we’ve just lived through for the last 8 years — unless you’re a hotshot CEO and then the last 8 years were dandy.
Re Obama, he wasn’t my 1st or 2nd choice for President. But he’s my current choice b/c of the McCain discussion above. I like the notion of having a president who’s smart. I like the notion of a president who will listen to people with varying opinions. And he’s not liberal just because Hannity, Limbaugh, and McCain ’08 says he is. He got bashed by Clinton throughout the primaries because he’s too conservative. He has a market-based approach to economics and healthcare. He was/is to the right of many Republicans on the subprime mortgage implosion. One of the reasons I no longer call myself a Republican is because I noticed that every Democratic nominee for President was “the most liberal Democrat ever.” After a while that rings hollow. JFK wasn’t the most experienced candidate, but he was contemplative, smart, introspective, and wanted to do what was right, which was getting Marilyn Monroe early and often. Obama is like that. I think he will surround himself with smart people who will give him different perspectives. He’s chosen a very capable economics advisor from the U. of Chicago — that conservative economics school. He chose Biden for VP who knows as much if not more than anyone about foreign policy and governing. It’s interesting that Obama chose a man who he didn’t necessarily agree with and who was his harshest critic on the campaign trail. To me, that shows that he’s willing to listen to many different viewpoints.
What really gets my goat is that I’m fiscally conservative, I don’t like big government, I believe in making your own way in life while helping those who can’t (not won’t but can’t), and I don’t have a political party that I feel completely comfortable with. And here we are talking about the most powerful elected position on the planet, and the only stories I can read about are pigs and lipstick comments and other various irrelevant, mind-numbing minutiae. I’m mad at the American people for rewarding bullshit campaign antics and far too many media outlets failing to fact check all the lies and hypocrisy going on.
It’s enough to make one super cynical.
That comment was far too long for me to avoid typos. Don’t let the typos detract from my otherwise cogent and irrefutable positions.
Sorry for the Anita Hill-like lowball blindside tactics, but I missed your commentary. Therefore, I was forced to attack you on the Big Board in order to draw you out from the considerable shadows of the TB site. I don’t believe that it is necessary for me to to apologize for the collateral attack on TB as this is his blog, and the blog meister has a implied standing invitation to attack upon him/her at will.
I love that some people continue to underestimate Palin. My gut (see criteria #4 above) tells me that she’s going to do just fine as VP. I am considering chalking it up…..
MB — I have a Google alert set up so that as soon as someone types supercynic, my bat phone goes off.
I don’t underestimate Palin at all. I think I have a very good handle on what she is and what she will be. That’s what scares me. And I’m also sad to admit that you’re right — we are going to see what a VP Palin will act like. I’m off to a candlelight vigil for McCain’s health and a seance to resurrect McCain ’00.
Yea that Obama is a real Harvard certified A-1 genius.
Attack a guy for not being able to use a computer when, if you could use a computer, you would have figured out he can’t use his because he was tortured as a POW.
Again the guy cites to his campaign as his qualification but falls on his face when the pressure rises.
Nice to see you SC. Hey RMac, little help???
Stone…let me summarize my feelings on McCain’s inability to use the computer because he was tortured: Baaaaahaaaaaaa. Dude, that’s spin and you know it. The sumbitch has bragged about his technological inadequacies, now its a disability? Has he tried voice recognition software? Weak dude. Besides, I thought he’d flip flopped on what torture was?
Not the point.
The point is you ought to goggle that before running your attack add. Not smart. Not something supposed geniuses and their geniuses advisors should do.
I have never seen McCain flip flop on torture. I do not get that.
Here is some research from Time magazine/CNN on that.
But on this latest piece of legislation, which arose during the heat of the primary campaign and may surface again later this month, McCain sided with Bush in opposing a further restriction of CIA techniques. Despite the claims of some partisans, McCain’s decision was not a flip-flop, but rather the continuation of a position he took in 2005 when he first championed a bill to restrict the Bush Administration’s ability to mistreat detainees.
link to full article: http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1729891,00.html
The idea that he flipped on that is a partisan hit job so says Time. From what I have seen the entire line of old v. new McCain is largely a fiction created by partisans to destroy McCain’s appeal to independents.
That is my final political word for a long while as I do not intend to high jack your blog.
TB, you beat me to it again. Of course, it is your blog. This election is now about some dimwit in Obama’s campaign making some 8th grade level comment about McCain’s computer skills?
I guess that’s what it needs to be about if you want McCain to win considering he’s lied about Obama’s sex education program. He’s lied about Obama’s use of the ages-old lipstick on a pig comment — as if this lie even if true really mattered.
Palin has lied about the Bridge To Nowhere. She had to ask what the VP does, she thinks living next to Russia gives her national security experience (I guess that makes Haley Barbour an expert on Cuba), she shotgunned her daughter’s boyfriend into a marriage at 17 to prove her “family values,” she believes Iraq had something to do with 9/11 (which even Bush has now denied) and we’re talking about pigs wearing lipstick and now a computer skills smear.
Stone, I know you weren’t posting that link as the end all be all of why you’re not supporting Obama. My question is why is this minor, irrelevant, immature type of crack even newsworthy when we’re weeks away from yet another historic, all-important presidential election. This is 2000 all over again in terms of the monumental differences between the candidates.
I’ll see your link and raise you two.
I must say, I appreciate an argument that cites sources and I check them. I also take no position here that can’t be backed up, which I’m sure surprises you not at all.
It is about time for this thread to end, especially considering the original post was pretty non-partisan. However, I’ll add some political content once a week or so and hope you and MD and TKH and everybody else will weigh in. I’m thinking of adding an issues page and taking the ones that matter to me, as blogmeiseter, one by one leading up to the election. That way, the folks who really can’t stand this political business can avoid our bluster a bit easier, and enjoy the wit and wisdom that TB is so happy to impart.
Finally, as papa bear says, I’ll give you (or MD) the last word. (depending on what that word happens to be.)
Ok, I have to say one more thing because Stone’s last comment came up as I was typing mine. (By the way, while I’m convicted in my beliefs and strident in how I present them, they’re offered in good nature. I’m not over here seething at my computer screen.)
I’m not a partisan. I was for McCain in ’00. I don’t form my opinion based on what Time, Newsweek, or any other news outlet tells me to think. McCain flip flopped on the Bush tax cuts, he pandered to religious fundamentalists in ’08 after calling them “agents of intolerance” in ’00, he did flip flop on torture — it was before 2005, which is the date mentioned in that article, he flip flopped on the justice system — in ’00, he talked about how he didn’t like trial lawyers, but they were the only ones who would hold corporations accountable b/c Congress sure wouldn’t and now in ’08 he has ads talking about the need for “legal reform.”
It is simply untrue to call McCain ’08 “the Maverick” that we saw in ’00. The Maverick died in South Carolina in 2000 thanks to Karl Rove’s slimy schemes. Now we have McCain ’08, who scares me less than Bush, but still far too much to get my vote.
My basic reason for not voting for Obama because:
1. he promises to raise my taxes;
2. he basically a socialist and I am not; and
3. I think his foreign policy ideas are dangerous.
I think that Obama will be worse for the country that Carter.
I would have considered Hillary although I really really like McCain as a candidate.
Obama was selected by the far left of the democratic party and is simply unacceptable. Again, why can’t the dems select someone like Phil Bredeson? I would vote for him for sure and he would win this election by 15%.
The answer to the above question is because the people that selected Obama are left wing types that want to redistribute wealth.
It is simple as that.
I cited to the above article not for what is said. That is just politics and that game has been played for 100’s of years. The ad was fine and the response to it was fine also. My point is that Obama steps in it over and over again. His only experience is this campaign and he runs it like crap.
Baen: I will readily admit you “sound” more informed on the candidates as me. So informed in fact that it is scary, I wonder where you get all this time dude. Point blank though, how can you vote for a who has the most liberal voting record in the worst seate ever, along with his running mate who was the second most or was it vice versa? McCain partied hard in college like us then proceeded to serve his country to the fullest I think we can all agree in Vietnam, then come home and serve as a patriotic congressman who for the most part has always stuck to his guns, not flip flopped when it became the PC thing to do, and not be ashamed of his Country’s flag or national anthem.Can you imagine what some of McCain’s POW buddies would like to do to Obama’s “scared to offend other countries” ass. Obama’s patriotism or lack thereof is all I need to know.
This is a topic that is close to my heart… Best wishes!
Where are your contact details though?