Tag Archives: mccain

Senior prom politics

Allrightythen, make it official.  The 2008 presidential election has morphed completely into a really bad episode of “90210”.

Here’s the plotline:  the handsome high-school quarterback dumps his head-cheerleader girlfriend for a pretty new exchange student, who will now be his prom date.  Meanwhile, an earnest, popular fellow student of theirs wants to organize a killer “After-Prom Party” at Mom and Dad’s beach house, and invites everybody who’s anybody.  However, the jilted cheerleader will be damned if she’ll spend one minute in the same house with that tramp from some faraway place she never heard of, and her sizable social circle looks like it may also stay away out of solidarity.  The party organizer, panicked at the possibility of the event collapsing, tries to compromise by inviting other people famous for hating the quarterback’s new love, but it only offers the prospect of more awkwardness, and the cheerleader’s social circle is solidifying its boycott.  The poor would-be host is left with few options but to cancel the party or disinvite everyone involved with this metastasizing spat.

This is the essential storyline of a political catfight involving Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and a scheduled rally on Monday in New York to protest Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to the city to address the U.N. General Assembly.

Like sands in the hourglass, details are below the break.

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DNC member endorses McCain over “elitist”

From CNN’s Political Ticker blog:

Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a prominent Hillary Clinton supporter and member of the Democratic National Committee’s Platform Committee, will endorse John McCain for president on Wednesday, her spokesman tells CNN…

“This is a hard decision for me personally because frankly I don’t like him,” she said of Obama in an interview with CNN’s Joe Johns. “I feel like he is an elitist. I feel like he has not given me reason to trust him.”

“Elitist!” Dang, I left out that recent entry in the list of forbidden racist code words, which apparently is joined by “out-of-touch,” and also “hard-working” (when used to describe voters with whom the aggrieved candidate is allegedly “out-of-touch”).

Lock up your dictionaries somewhere secure, people.  If language isn’t safe, what is?

What’s racist code for “racist code word?” UPDATE: She’s back! (Or is she?)

I’m a few days behind the news curve with this post, so forgive me.  I wasn’t going to post on this subject, but it’s been nagging at me, and it’s just too important to let go this far.  (And I did say at the beginning that I’d be posting on language, didn’t I?  Warts and all, I suppose.)

The McCain campaign released an advertisement recently in response to the Obama-Biden campaign’s reaction to the naming of Sarah Palin to the GOP ticket, focusing on nastiness funneled in her direction since the announcement that she was joining the ticket:

David Kurtz at Talking Points Memo wasted no time posting down his nose at the ad, but his “rebuttal” had nothing to do with Palin.  Instead, what had drawn Kurtz’s sneering disdain was the ad’s use of the word disrespectful to describe the Obama campaign’s behavior toward the Alaska governor.  Kurtz seethed about the “contempt” inherent in the word “disrespectful.”  Now, he’s probably got a point, as far as it goes; I doubt the ad was meant to lionize Sen. Obama.  But then Kurtz takes it a step (or two, or ten, or twenty…) further:  characterizing the use of the word “disrespectful” as:

“The sort of old-fashioned contempt that whites often held blacks in (and obviously still do).”

According to David Kurtz of TPM, “disrespectful” is the latest addition to that infamous glossary known in the grievance trade as racist code words.

Gory details of the most recent incarnations and perversions of this phenomenon below the break.

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We’ll break you (though we never made you)

I’m sorry, but this column by CBS’s Jon Friedman just left me bug-eyed, slack-jawed, and at a loss for words.  (Wow, I think I feel this blog’s very first rant coming on…)

Below commenceth the Gospel According to Friedman, boiled down to its essential elements:

  1. Sarah Palin is skyrocketing in popularity and boosting the McCain-Palin ticket because the news media have made it so.
  2. Palin’s rise follows a familiar pattern; namely, that of the news media building up new and interesting public figures “to mythic levels” only to knock them down again.
  3. When the inevitable knocking-down comes around, according to the headline, “The Sarah Palin phenomenon is doomed.”
  4. There is nothing Palin, McCain, or anyone else can do about it.
  5. Oh, by the way, Charlie Gibson is not a complete tool, didn’t deliberately misquote Palin’s Alaska address on Iraq, and actually does have a clue what the “Bush Doctrine” is (despite what the man who actually coined the phrase says to the contrary).

The obvious question that leaps to mind:  where the heck was I when any news network was ever “building up” Sarah Palin to any level, let alone “mythic” ones?

Further pertinent questions below the break.

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Swing states swinging the other way

Rasmussen has released a series of five new polls detailing presidential ballot questions in the five most sought-after swing states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, and Colorado.  The results are not at all good for Obama, but no reason for McCain to take any great joy, either.

The last time these five states were polled, the candidates came away with an equal number of states in their column:  Obama held PA and CO, McCain led in OH and VA, and FL was tied.  This time around, PA and VA have moved into the push column, FL has tipped to McCain, and CO has flipped to McCain, who hasn’t lost any states to Obama in return.  In short, the McCain-Obama-Tossup count among the swing states has gone from 2-2-1 to 3-0-2.

Numbers, trends, and analysis below the break.

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New What, now?

Polls of New York State by Siena and New Jersey by Marist (via New York Post) show that McCain has been hacking away at Obama’s leads in both states, turning both races from double-digit leads for Obama into statistically insignificant pluralities.

Among New Jersey likely voters, Marist College finds that McCain now trails Obama by only three points, 48% to 45%.  Another pollster, Fairleigh-Dickinson, had Obama ahead by 14 points among LVs less than two months ago.

Siena, which has been polling a McCain/Obama ballot in New York State roughly monthly since last November, shows McCain trailing there by five points, 46% to 41%.  The gap was eight points in August, and 18 points in July.  (Note: the above New York Siena polls were released in terms of the looser, more Democratic-leaning standard of “registered voters.”)  Analysis after the break.

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Minne-what, now?

Two polls out from Minnesota, one from the Star-Tribune and one from SurveyUSA, show that the state is now more competitive than it ever has been.  The only state in the nation to deny Ronald Reagan its electoral votes twice appears to be giving serious consideration to the prospect of President McCain and Vice President Palin.  (Hat tip for the Strib poll: Power Line.)

In addition, the latest national tracking polls from Gallup and Rasmussen both show McCain slightly ahead; Rasmussen shows him breaking the 50% barrier against Obama for the first time.

Analysis after the break.

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