Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bye-Bye John and Rudy

Yesterday, I promised to blog about Hispanic voters. I'll get back to that. There was too much news today to ignore.

John Edwards drops out. Something about this bothers me. As conservative as I am about some things, I have always liked John Edwards. I think he would make a fine President. When he ran for Vice President, one reason I wanted Kerry to win was to have Edwards in the Presidential loop. This time, his candidacy was doomed from the start. Talk about bad match-ups.....Hillary AND Obama. What's a liberal white male to do? He gave it a shot, the press ignored him, the voters ignored him, and surely he was running out of money. His leaving the race really helps Hillary. It guarantees a first ballot nomination, and avoids a rancorous brokered convention. I don't expect him to endorse Hillary or Obama, just pledge to support the nominee. This is the smart move, and he's smart.

Rudy drops out. He'd have had a better shot if he'd switched parties and run for the Democratic nomination. I can't fault his Florida strategy. The fact is, had he campaigned earlier, he would have lost in Iowa and New Hampshire, and he knew it. Those races went as well as they could have for him, but he was never going to gain traction with most Republicans. I don't know if McCain would take him as Vice President, but I will say this....he's got to consider it. I'd also say that, looking at McCain, his VP choice will be heavily weighed by the voters. He didn't look too hot in the debate least in the four minutes I could stomach watching. His jaw looked so tight, I expected him to say


Next post, a discussion of the anticipated courting of the Hispanic vote.

Hasta la vista.

Monday, January 28, 2008

What is "Electability" Anyway?

Yesterday I posited that Hillary would like to make Obama's electability an issue. She just has to figure out HOW to do it.

"These things have to be

Lest anyone think this is only about race, or only about the Democrats, I will also say that for the Republicans, Huckabee is not electable either. After he won Iowa, he created some worry. Many Republicans like him, but realistically, he can't beat Hillary.

Pollsters run head to head comparisons, and surely the candidates do it too. Lets run some combinations and permutations....

Hillary - McCain
Hillary - Romney
Hillary - Giuliani
Hillary - Huckabee

Obama - McCain
Obama - Romney
Obama - Giuliani
Obama - Huckabee

The way I see it.....
Hillary against McCain is the most likely result, and would be close.
Hillary against Romney or Giuliani is a dogfight.
Hillary against Huckabee is a romp for Hillary (Huckabee lacks electablility against Hillary)

Obama v Huckabee would be fun, and I will grant they have electability against each other.
Obama v Romney or Giuliani......Obama loses but it's a contest.....maybe
Obama v McCain is a romp for McCain (Obama lacks electability against McCain)

The more McCain strengthens, the less electable Obama appears, and conflicted Democrats are less likely to vote for him. It should be taken as a given that African American Democrats will vote overwhelmingly for Obama, and with a high turnout. He is a strong candidate, and actually electable, in four or eight years. Is fear of McCain enough to spur a strong white turnout for Hillary? He's such an odd candidate that many nominal Democrats will vote for him in the general election. Hillary better hope that white Democrats don't turn out and vote for Obama, in a backhanded assist for McCain. Oops, did I actually say that? and why the Hispanic vote will ultimately decide the election.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The "E" Word

Poor Hillary. She should be getting the nomination easily, but it's not happening that way.

Ironically, the best analogy for her situation comes from the world of sports. Sometimes in sports, one team seems much stronger than the other, but for some reason the weaker team presents a "bad match-up". The strong team could roll over anyone else in the league, even teams way stronger than the bad match-up team, but THAT team gives the strong team fits.

Why is Obama such a bad match-up for Hillary?

It's starts with a basic premiss. The Democrats are the ultimate party of political correctness. It's what much of the country hates about them. When you value political correctness, you de-value genuine-ness. You seem like a POLITICIAN. Note to the Clintons....this is not a good thing.

Obama is a bad match-up for Hillary because it is politically incorrect to critisize him. She knows this, she has known it from the start. And every time she tries, it bites her back double. It's probably politically incorrect for me to even say these things, but hey, I'm not a politician. Nor am I a Democrat, though I am registered that way. I've voted for lots of Democrats too, and lots of Republicans. If I cannot be labeled, I'm proud. I am also proud to be an American who despises political correctness.

There is something even more politically incorrect, something about the match-up, that Hillary knows. A card she wants to play, the BIG explosive card, the one everyone knows but they are not talking about.....yet. She is going to play this card, it is the winning card, unless she plays it wrong. The card is the "E" word.








I'm not worried about being politically incorrect, so I'll just say it.

Obama is not ELECTABLE.

That is the big card. This is the thing that most Democrats know, but are afraid to say. It's what Hillary wants and needs them to say, but she can't say it. Bill can't say it either, not publicly. But the card WILL be played. Democratic voters on Super Tuesday will be thinking about this, and maybe whispering about this, and ultimately, will vote this way. They will vote with the realization that Obama is not electable, and Hillary will get the nomination. If they stay politically correct in the voting booth, and are worried about how it will look if they reject Obama and his "message of change" or whatever, the Democrats will be hoisted on their own petard (I always wanted to say that.....I researched the reference )

Hoisted how? Be honest. How will McCain/Obama turn out?

Tomorrow.....more about the big "E"

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Alternate Universe

Did you know we are frequently interacting with an alternate universe?

I'm talking about "hip-hop" or "rap" or whatever title is given to the culture/lifestyle that exists unto itself. I am not judging it, not the music (I was tempted to type that as "music", but that would be judgmental), not the promotion and manipulation, not the individual participants.

The vast majority of society is remotely aware that there is this "thing", that has something to do with a style of music that most people reject and ignore. That is a right, and most will accept the rights of others to accept and reject as they please. Most also respect the rights of others to participate and enjoy, and so an alternate universe grows. An alternate universe also grows as it is spurned, rejected or ignored by the majority. Was the growth of rock music and the 60's counterculture any different? Perhaps, and I will address the similarities and differences in a future post.

What I'm referring to is knowing more about what we don't know, and being aware when the alternate universe is interacting.

What I'm talking about here is Souljah Boy, and the song Crank Dat. Don't know it? If you go to any Bar or Bat Mitzvah, or any junior high or high school dance, you have heard it. There is a dance that goes with it. The tune is kinda catchy, it gets in your head. There's something in the song about Superman, but the words are hard to understand.

I asked Rebecca (my 14 year old daughter) if the song is about "bitches and ho's". She said she didn't know, and I suspect she did not know, as she doesn't listen to rap (her choice, and she has told me there are songs she likes, but it's not her interest musically). I googled for it, and as a public service I print the time you are at a party you can think about them as you watch your pre-teen daughters dancing and laughing to it....

I like the part where he "super soaks that hoe", but hey....maybe the song is about gardening, or something.

Here's a bonus link....

Have fun at the Bar Mitzvahs, and hey, remember to never ask your kids about the alternate universe.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rudy and the Strategy

He's sitting it out until Florida.
I heard some "pundits" say, authoritatively, that Rudy has made a huge mistake, since "no Republican has ever won without participating in Iowa and New Hampshire". I can't agree, as they say in Latin....."logicus non convinsus"

Rudy took a calculated gamble that may work. It would not have made sense to blow his war chest in these small States. He would not have jumped out to a huge lead no matter what, and if he had campaigned and finished second or third, the press would have pronounced him "in trouble". If he shows strongly in Florida, and then on Super Tuesday, he's right in the thick of it, and he has not wasted his money too early.

The early results were optimal for Rudy. Huckabee gets into the race and beats Romney in Iowa. McCain beats Romney in New Hampshire. Romney wins in Michigan, where he should, but at least McCain is not on a roll. Rudy is taking the long view, he wants to be in serious contention at the convention, he wants to preserve money as the campaign wears on, he wants to be the candidate gaining momentum rather than losing it.

When Rudy is involved, things are more interesting.

Personally, I think he should not talk about 9/11. Everyone knows he showed extraordinary LEADERSHIP. It goes without saying, and he should not let the others paint him as "the guy who talks about 9/11". Most New Yorkers know he was a great mayor before 9/11. I know my liberal friends will say he was "insensitive" and "heavy handed". He may be, but he was elected to lead a City in big trouble, and he took decisive actions, and led the City to unprecedented improvement. He did this despite being a Republican mayor in a Democrat controlled City. The City Counsel and the Borough Presidents were Democrats. The fact is, he was able to impose his will and move the City forward.

As I recall, the first memorable thing Rudy did was arrest all the squeegee men. It seems silly now, but at the time it was a big deal. New Yorkers all know this, but here's the way it happened........when driving into Manhattan, cars were besieged by squeegee men, who would wash your windshield with a dirty rag, and then demand money. Drivers hated this, but it was a growing phenomenon, and what people hated even more than squeegeeing, was the perceived government condonement, and a concern for "squeegiers rights". Within a few days of becoming Mayor of NYC, Rudy Giuliani solved the problem. He had ALL the squeegie men ARRESTED, and stated that we were no longer going to tolerate these assaults on quality of life, we were no longer going to tolerate things that were a blight on the City. The squeegie men never came back.

Can any other Presidential candidate point to a concrete accomplishment like that?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Reconsidering McCain

I hate when this happens. Yesterday I started a post about John McCain, but then I did some Democratic "backstory" and tabled McCain until today. Of course, all the buzz in the national media today was about McCain. Well, I WAS gonna break the story first, and here's my take on it.....

We all have our little cliched ideas about John McCain. The patriotic POW/hero who is a "loose canon". He even looks kinda whacked out sometimes. Here's page one of his own website Yipes!!!!

Another thing he is known for is being "not your typical Republican". This alone warrants a second look. Here is the "issues" page from his website
If you looked it over, you may feel like I do.....I don't agree with all of it. Do you need a candidate who agrees with you on everything? Do you want a candidate whose moves you can predict based on an ideology? I have my own little cliche....I like someone who "will stand up for what he thinks is right".

OK.......maybe I've become a one issue guy, that issue being Immigration. I have posted about this a few times. Congress, and all the candidates (Republican & Democrat), acted disgracefully. Except John McCain. What did they do that got my goat?
1. The Country had a serious problem that should have been addressed with a comprehensive law.
2. The issues are complicated, and the only way to solve them was with fair compromise, non-partisanship, and creativity.
3. A bill was proposed that had plenty of meat on it, and addressed ALL the issues.
4. The Republicans railed against the bill as an "amnesty" bill. However, they never addressed what to do about the 12 million people here without legal status, most of whom contribute to our economy, want to be a legal part of our society, and want to pay their fair share of taxes. They did their work so in-artfully that the bill was never seriously debated, and the Democrats never even had to state their positions on it. Actually, virtually no Democrats stated their position, and the fact is, if they had, most would have opposed the bill for being too strict.
5. Seems to me that a bill which is tough for both sides to swallow is probably a good compromise, and had the details been allowed to be worked out, OUR COUNTRY WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER OFF.

That defeated bill was the Kennedy-McCain bill. Here's a rundown from the Daily Kos Doesn't look like an amnesty bill to me!!

In the early Republican debates, the candidates spewed their anti-amnesty rhetoric. McCain stood alone and essentially took it. Not the place to actually TALK about it. It would have been easy for McCain to stay out of the immigration fray, as ALL the other candidates did. Surely he realized that politically it could hurt him......I mean, he sponsored the bill with Ted Kennedy!! He took a novel and unprecedented path. Political considerations came second. Patriotism and the desire to help our country came first.

In my view, that is why many people are reconsidering McCain.....rightly so.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Talkin' Presidential Politics

I'm undecided.

When things are as interesting as they are right now, I'm comfortable with my decision to decide later. I want to hear more. I want to think about it. At some point, I might even get staunchly behind a candidate.

The Democrats are pretty easy.....

Obama....blah blah blah, nice speeches, but seems like a lot of talk, and I can't see him actually getting the nomination, much less winning. He's a player on the scene, but not for all the marbles this year.

Hillary....found her voice by crying. I have serious doubts about her, BUT she has to be considered because she IS the likely nominee. This is one of the things that makes the Republican side so fascinating. Whoever they nominate will be running against Hillary.

Edwards....the press has dropped the ball on his story in both Iowa and New Hampshire. In Iowa, it should have been a huge story that he finished second and ahead of Hillary. But he got lost in the Obama glow. In New Hampshire he fared poorly, but that has not been a big story. Sometimes when you watch him speak, he's like a poor man's JFK....maybe that's the problem. He also strikes people as "trial lawyerly", and sometimes I enjoy that, but sometimes its downright offensive.

They'll joust it out, and I'll go on the limb (sorta) and state for the record.....Hillary

Now, on the other side, it's much harder. To all my solidly Democratic friends who will smugly reject all the Republicans and jump on the Hillary careful....smugness led us to 8 years of the worst President in modern times. Most Republican conservatives know this, though they won't say so. The thing is, ALL of the Republican contenders (Huckabee, Romney, McCain, Giuliani) are way more attractive candidates than GWB. They also have a certain status that only Hillary has on the other side...All of them are ELECTABLE. If that worries real Democrats, it should.

I have found 8 years of GWB embarrassing and offensive, but hey, our countrymen voted him in twice......yeah, I know, they "stole it" the first time, but how could it have even been that close? THAT is what died in the wool Democrats should have been asking.

As many of my blog readers know, I think immigration reform should be a major issue in the campaign. The Democrats barely talk about it.......Gutless.

When the Republicans debate, they play a "can you top this" of racist fear-mongering about immigration, talking about the "amnesty bill" that they proudly defeated. They talk about amnesty as if they have some other viable solution, like deporting 12 million people. Sometimes they attack John McCain, co-sponsor of the ill-fated legislation.

That one position, TRYING as a Senator to draft and pass a compromise immigration bill, that had CONDITIONAL amnesty provisions, is enough to warrant serious consideration of his candidacy.

Tomorrow.....Reconsidering McCain