Monday, August 04, 2008

A Monday Dose Of Obama-Rama Wankery

On a scale of pissant pundits, John Harwood of the New York Times isn’t too bad, but he still served up some choice items in this column about the presidential campaign that deserve a response…

Establishment candidates typically use risk arguments to fend off dashing insurgents promising change. It didn’t work for President Jimmy Carter against Ronald Reagan in 1980; it did for Walter F. Mondale against Gary Hart in Democratic primaries four years later.
This is a minor point, but it really should be noted that Carter was elected against Gerald Ford in 1976 as an “insurgent promising change,” if you will, in light of Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon for the Watergate scandal, as well as some of Ford’s presidential gaffes, including his statement that, at the time, Poland “did not consider itself to be under Soviet domination,” though it most certainly was (compared to Dubya, though, Ford looks like a scholar, even though he helped launch the political careers of two Repug operatives named Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney).

Returning to Harwood…

Bitter feelings remain (allegedly, between Obama and Hillary). In a Washington Post interview over the weekend, Mr. Clinton offered cursory praise for his party’s presumed nominee; the Obama team has made it clear that Mrs. Clinton isn’t likely to become his running mate.
I don’t know what article Harwood is referring to; I searched the WaPo for last weekend’s columns related to the Clintons and found two by Anne Kornblut and one by Jonathan Weisman, as well as a bunch of AP reports. However, in yesterday’s Kornblut column, the topic was the dynamic of the Obama campaign (which, since it is emblematic of a Dem presidential candidate leading in many polls, must be fraught with secrecy, intrigue and deception – I mean, he couldn’t possibly be doing well because he’s actually running a good campaign, can he?), and there was no “cursory praise” offered from Hillary Clinton, and there was no declaration as to who Obama’s VP nominee was likely to be, whether it’s HRC or anyone else.

However, there IS a note of three senior women campaign advisers brought on by the Obama campaign: Stephanie Cutter, a former operative for Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) who is Michelle Obama’s chief of staff; Sarah Hurwitz, who joins Patti Solis Doyle as another Hillary-ite working for Obama; and Christina Reynolds, a former operative for the John Edwards campaign.

If there are “bitter feelings” remaining between Obama and the other former Dem presidential nominees, then you really can’t see that in the makeup of Obama’s campaign staff then, can you?

Once again, back to Harwood…

…McCain advisers paid close attention to the strong finish of a Clinton primary campaign that fell just short of defeating Mr. Obama. “The most important thing we learned is this: Hillary Clinton won 8 of the last 13 primaries,” said Steve Schmidt, Mr. McCain’s top strategist. “He is beatable.”
Dream on.

Comparing tired, mistake-prone John W. McBush (with his moments of utter befuddlement) to a political pro like Hillary Clinton is to laugh.

And by the way, speaking of that “straight-talking maverick,” this Times story by Harwood’s colleague Michael Cooper tells us…

Asked about affirmative action, (McBush) said that “affirmative action is in the eye of the beholder” and praised the United States military as the nation’s greatest equal opportunity employer.
Gee, would it have been too much trouble for Cooper to point out that McBush opposes affirmative action, instead of letting him off the hook with that stupid “eye of the beholder” quote?


To some degree, Republicans feel compelled by public opinion to adopt an aggressive stance. The electorate’s desire for change is robust enough, polls indicate, that questions about Mr. Obama may represent the principal barrier to Democratic victory in November.
Translated: The only “strategy” the Repugs have is to throw mud because they’ve made such a hash of this country under their “governance” and have no solutions to our most urgent issues (none that are any good, anyway).

Also, get a load of this…

Obama advisers say their task lies partly in reassuring voters that he can handle the presidency. But another part lies in redoubling their efforts, interrupted by his overseas trip, to move Mr. Obama out from behind speechmaking lecterns and to convey his on-the-ground understanding of voters’ economic struggles. He will try to do so this week in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, among other places. Mr. McCain will hit Michigan and Ohio as well as Pennsylvania, with an appearance at the Sturgis, S.D., motorcycle rally to underscore his blue-collar sensibilities.
Is it possible that somehow Harwood missed the news that Obama “moved out from behind speechmaking lecterns” to travel halfway around the world a couple of weeks ago, visiting Iraq, Israel and France and making a speech in Berlin, as noted here?

And it is a continual source of amusement for your humble narrator to read language from a pundit implying that a U.S. senator who has “served” for decades, owns his own jet, and married into the fortune of a beer heiress with whom he conducted an affair while still married to his wife and mother of his children actually has “blue-collar sensibilities.”

Well, at least Harwood didn’t say McBush had “pundit” sensibilities. Now THAT would truly be an insult.


Anonymous said...

(Posting under anonymous, not to be confused with other anonymous but tried to use google ID name and kept getting incorrect password.)

Were any "blue collar" voters listening when McCain was asked if he knew how much it cost to fill the tank of his SUV and he said he couldn't speak about that because he "hasn't filled the tank for himself in a long while".

You know how it is when you have "people". Oops, sorry, guess you don't know. Neither do I.

I think Bob Herbert of the NYT has the take on the repugs accurate.

I believe it condemns the voters when the ugly campaign succeeds. They are making fools of those who believe the lies. Fools.

doomsy said...

I'll take just about any "anon" I can get - someone would truly have to be dumb as a rock to think McCain has any take on the "common man" (though I would argue that some politicians "get it" better than others).