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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

911, Joe McCain and looking back at the campaign...

This looks to be a funny site, aside from the actual emergencies, of course. I wonder if Joe McCain's infamous traffic call is on here?

I didn't even know about thisJoe McCain traffic call incident until today, even though articles are dated October 24, 2008. This and things like it make me think about how both presidential candidates conducted their campaigns this year. McCain or his "people" really hammered Obama in stump speeches, robocalls, emails, TV ads, etc on a handful of "associations" (insinuating bad judgment), whether or not there was any real substance and well after it was proven the claims were false or misleading. Obama and his people had plenty of opportunity to stoop to that level with Bush having competed against McCain in recent history, the Republican primary race having dragged out some dirt, etc, but there are alot of associations of McCain's that I didn't hear a mention of in an Obama ad or Obama or Biden stump speech (yes, I know we did hear some).

McCain associations:
Negative campaigning, focus on Obama issues/connections proven false or misleading
Choosing Palin as VP, though unqualified
McCain's associates profited from the Abramoff scandal
Keating five
G. Gordon Liddy, McCain even visited his radio show
1980's ties to Contras
Oliver North
Cindy McCain's money, jet scrutiny by FEC
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act
Various lobbyist connections- Rick Davis, Charles Black, Merk McKinnon, Tom Loeffler
Rev. Hagee- on the radical fringe; McCain sought his endorsement for a year; said things like God sent Hitler to force the Jews back to Israel and Hurricane Katrina was sent because of Gay Pride events in Louisiana.
Rod Parsley
Palin's secessionist ties
Palin's Troopergate
Bob Jones University

And these from :
"But as long as we're on the subject, McCain's associations continue to be increasingly interesting as well. We've known for a while that McCain has befriended a convicted felon who advised his supporters on how best to shoot federal officials, used the money of a convicted criminal to help buy a house, befriended a radical anti-Catholic televangelist, befriended a radical anti-American televangelist, was a long-time associate of Charles Keating, and hired for his campaign the publisher of a Confederate nostalgia magazine who has described Nelson Mandela as a "terrorist." This week, we also learned about McCain serving on the board of the extremist U.S. Council for World Freedom, where he worked alongside Iran-Contra figures, and a eugenics researcher studying "white superiority." … Leonore Annenberg- of Obama/Ayers fame; Oregon Citizens' Alliance, a right wing hate group"

Anyway, I was for the most part happy that Obama delivered on not stooping and spiraling into a negative campaign tit for tat. He stayed calm and collected and really appeared to stay above the fray, as one would expect a leader to do. I hope he can deliver on what he promised. Presidents disappoint, but one can still hope...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The morning after

Newsweek special election edition- behind the scenes- hope the best parts aren’t written here, otherwise it could be disappointing. It could be interesting. I think I have to see it.

I suppose we should save pins, memorobelia from this campaign and put it in a time capsule or otherwise protect it so that we can take it on Antiques Roadshow when we’re 100 and tell about how we saw the first (biracial) African American president elected. I have thought about doing this for several big events in my short life, but never have actually done it.

It really is an exciting event. I was all caught up in how much I didn’t want McCain and Palin to take over from W and the relief that Obama will be the president. For reasons I have already stated, he’s the best for the job. Now, I am thinking about the historic nature of this whole thing.

Top Campaign Ads

Cabinet picks
I hope to take a look at these, preferably before Obama picks them (!):

Chief of Staff
Rahm Emanuel
Jon Podesta
Tom Daschle

Attorney General
Janet Napolitano
Eric Holder

Secretary of State
Richard Lugar
Sen. John Kerry, former U.N. Ambassador Dick Holbrooke, current foreign policy adviser Susan Rice and Greg Craig, another top Obama foreign policy adviser

Treasury Secretary
Paul Volcker
Warren Buffet
Michael Bloomberg

Defense Secretary
Keep Robert Gates
Sens. Chuck Hagel and Lugar, as well as Democrats like Sen. Jack Reed - a strong congressional voice on foreign policy - Holbrooke and Richard Danzig

Secretary Of Agriculture
Tom Vilsack

Secretary Of Energy
Dan Reicher
Ed Rendell
Jason Grument
Steve Westly

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Pete Domenici
James Woolsey

Secretary Of Education
Joel Klein
Caroline Kennedy

White House Counsel
Mark Alexander
Robert Bauer

Secretary Of Defense
Colin Powell

Attorney General
Deval Patrick

Treasury Secretary
Tim Geithner
Larry Summers

EPA Head
Robert Sussman

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day and goodbye political ads!

Happy Election Day! Now, go vote! And pick up your free Starbuck's coffee and Ben & Jerry's ice cream while you're at it.

I was going to leave it at that, but with the candidates stumping today, why not say a little more?

Elizabeth Dole vs Kay Hagan has gotten a bit ridiculous. Those rocking chair ads are quite corny; this ad is not so much funny ha-ha...oh, but, maybe it is.
I mean, if Dole wanted to go there, she really should have spliced some words together that Hagan actually said. The fake voice was unbelievable!

Speaking of "going there"... McCain has repeatedly stated that he's not going to pursue the Rev. Wright angle. He didn't say something like off limits, so perhaps he was speaking in code to GOP affiliated groups to have at it. And that they did.
McCain isn't exactly clear of crazy, extreme, fringe religious fanatics and shady types, so it's a bit risky for him to allow groups to do this in his name... George Bush, Sarah Palin, Alan Cranston, Dennis DeConcini, Donald Riegle, Michael Bowers, Charles Keating, Jim Hensley, Vicki Iseman, Ileane Ros-Lehtinen, Peter King, Richard Quinn, Fred Malek, G. Gordon Liddy, John Hagee, Rod Parsley, Rick Davis, Bill Cunningham... maybe not so risky as it will all be over today.

And a bit of the super corny and funny. A musical with candidate heads superimposed on dancers. A bit I think, so conservatives beware.
My Friends, the musical:

Monday, November 3, 2008

McCain email

I signed up for McCain campaign updates to see what's going on from the other point of view.
See a piece from an Obama one below this one.

The McCain campaign certainly has an interesting take on the final hours of the election...

There's Rick Davis, still at the helm. And they want people to be nervous about Obama's very few negative "connections".
Another interesting tidbit is that their campaign offices are called Victory Offices.
You've gotta love the use of the words surge, victory, etc. I another email they talk about the volunteer army, fighting for McCain.
They make it sound like the media and everyone has written them off. That's pretty crazy since polls before elections are generally made up of people who will and won't go out and fill out the ballots. As has been said before, the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day.

To:Interested Parties
From:Rick Davis, Campaign Manager
Date: October 31, 2008
RE: The Final Push

The State of the Campaign

If your television is tuned to cable news as frequently as ours are here at campaign headquarters, you have seen the pundits say John McCain and his campaign are done. And, if you've followed this race since the beginning, this is clearly a song you've heard before. I wanted to take some time today to give you some insight on the state of the race as we see it.

An AP poll released this morning revealed a very telling fact: ONE out of every SEVEN voters is undecided. That means, if 130 million voters turn out on Tuesday, 18.5 million of them have yet to make up their mind. With that many votes on the table and the tremendous movement we've seen in this race, I believe we are in a very competitive campaign.

Here's why:

All the major polls have shown a tightening in the race and a significant narrowing of the numbers. In John McCain's typical pattern, he is closing strong and surprising the pundits. We believe this race is winnable, and if the trajectory continues, we will surpass the 270 Electoral votes needed on Election Night.
  • National Polls: Major polls last week showed John McCain trailing by double-digit margins - but by the middle of this week, we were within the margin of error on four national tracking surveys. In fact, the Gallup national tracking survey showed the race in a virtual tie 2 days this week.

  • State Polls:

    Iowa - Our numbers in Iowa have seen a tremendous surge in the past 10 days. We took Obama's lead from the double digits to a very close race. That is why you see Barack Obama visiting the state in the final days, trying to stem his losses. It is too little, too late. Like many other Midwestern states, Iowa is moving swiftly into McCain's column.

    The Southwest - It is no secret that Republican candidates in the Southwest have to focus on winning over enough Latino and Hispanic voters in Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado to carry them to victory. John McCain has overcome challenges Republicans face, and has made up tremendous ground in these states with these voters. For these voters, the choice has become clear, and you have seen a big change in the numbers. John McCain is now winning enough voters to perform within the margin of error - putting these states within reach.

    Colorado - Barack Obama tried to outspend our campaign in Colorado during the early weeks of October and finish off our candidate in Colorado. However, after our visit early this week, we saw a tremendous rebound in our poll position, and Colorado is back on the map.

    Ohio and Pennsylvania - Everyone knows that vote rich Ohio and Pennsylvania will be key battlegrounds for this election. Between the two: 41 electoral votes and no candidate has gotten to the White House without Ohio. Senator McCain and Governor Palin have been campaigning non-stop in these key battleground states and tonight Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has pumped up our campaign at a rally in Columbus. Our position in these states is strong and undecided voters continue to have a very favorable impression of our candidate.
Obama campaign faces tremendous structural challenges in the final days of this campaign

(Funny they should say this when McCain and Palin appeared to be butting heads at various points on various issues...)
  • Obama has a challenge hitting 50%: Barack Obama has not reached the 50% threshold in almost any the battleground state. He consistently is performing in the 45-48% range. When we look closely at the primary votes, we see a history of a candidate whose Election Day performance is often at or behind his final polling numbers. If this is true, our surge will leave Obama with even or under 50% of the vote on Election Day.
  • (This seems like awfully strange logic; he has in fact hit above 50% at various times/polls)

  • Early Vote: The Obama campaign has promised that their early vote and absentee efforts will change the composition of the electorate. They have sold the press on a story that first time voters will turn out in droves this election cycle. Again, the facts undermine their argument. In our analysis of early voting and absentee votes to date: The composition of the electorate has not changed significantly and most folks who have voted early are high propensity voters who would have voted regardless of the high interest in this campaign.
  • (Who can say what this means? I think the public and media alike are waiting to see the impact of early voting since more people seem to have taken advantage of it this year. No one's sold on anything, as far as I've heard, and I hear a considerable amount of news.)

  • Expanding the Field: Obama is running out of states if you follow out a traditional model. Today, he expanded his buy into North Dakota, Georgia and Arizona in an attempt to widen the playing field and find his 270 Electoral Votes. This is a very tall order and trying to expand into new states in the final hours shows he doesn't have the votes to win.
  • (Doesn't have the votes?! I've seen a ton of scenarios based on polls, etc and none had McCain with the 270 and most had Obama with over 300. I don't think this is media bias- the polls show it. Of course the maps and polls to date don't matter unless these people actually vote and vote the way they polled.)
The Final Barnstorm
  • On Monday, we will have a 14 state rally with our candidates crisscrossing the country trying to turn out our voters and sway the final undecided voters. Governor Palin will hit Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada and Alaska in the final day of campaigning, while Senator McCain will travel from Tampa, Florida, to Virginia, then Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Mexico, Nevada and finish the night in Prescott, Arizona. The enthusiasm and excitement we generate on Monday will be the electricity that powers our "Get Out the Vote" efforts on Tuesday.
On the Ground
  • Our field organization has tremendous energy and is out-performing the Bush campaign at the same time in 2004. This week our field organization crossed a huge threshold and began reaching more than one million voters per day, and by week's end will have contacted more than 5 million voters. Our phone centers are full and our rate of voter contact is significantly out-pacing the Bush campaign in 2004. We have the resources to do the voter contact necessary to support the surge we are seeing in our polling with old fashioned grassroots outreach.
On the Airwaves
  • In the final days of the campaign, our television presence will be bigger and broader than the Obama campaign's presence. The full Republican effort - the RNC's Independent Expenditure and the McCain campaign will out-buy Barack Obama and the Democrats by just about 10 million dollars.
  • (??)
In short: the McCain campaign is surging in the final 72 hours. Our grassroots campaign is vibrant and communicating to voters in a very powerful way. Our television presence is strong. And, we have a secret ingredient - A candidate who will never quit and who will never stop fighting for you and for your families.

In these final hours, Senator McCain and Governor Palin are counting on you - they are counting on you to knock on doors, to make turnout calls, to contact your friends and neighbors. Get our voters to the polls and help John McCain fight for your and for our country. This is our last mission on behalf of John McCain and I have no doubt I can count on your effort and energy to carry us across the line to victory.

In an Obama email:

When this campaign began, we weren't given much of a chance by the pollsters or the pundits. But tomorrow, we can make history."

Everyone's an underdog!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

McCain'stax lies persist, despite fact checking

Two highly fact checked and misleading to false statements are still in the McCain/Palin speeches. Their message has been all over the place, but this quirk has remained consistent. This type of thing reminds me of Bush and gives me a bad feeling about them. I guess it might fall under the category of character or gut feeling. Bush stuck by bad intel and just plain false reasoning and statements. Maybe he was duped, but I have a hard time believing he was THAT na├»ve. McCain/Palin show this same resistance to a change in message even though what they’re saying is factually incorrect. This gives me the feeling that they also would have no problem leading the nation into another unnecessary and costly war in terms of lives and money.

McCain’s statement:
First he said people making less than 250,000 dollars would benefit from his plan, then this weekend he announced in an ad that if you're a family making less than 200,000 dollars you'll benefit — but yesterday, right here in Pennsylvania, Senator Biden said tax relief should only go to "middle class people — people making under 150,000 dollars a year." It's interesting how their definition of rich has a way of creeping down.

Tax chart-who will see increases and decreases?

Different McCain tax numbers- the middle class isn’t creeping down, he just keeps citing different numbers in the same plan that Obama has been talking about for some time.

Per the Tax Policy Center, here is how Obama's tax plan breaks down for individuals:
$0-$18,891 = $567 tax cut
$18,982-$37,595 = $892 tax cut
$37,596-$66,354 = $1,118 tax cut
$66,355-$111,645 = $1,264 tax cut
$111,646-$160,972 = $2,135 tax cut
$160,973-$226,918 = $2,796 tax cut
$226,919-$603,402 = $121 tax increase
$603,403-$2.87 million = $93,709 tax increase
$2.87 million-plus = $542,882 tax increase

$150,000 number: *** UPDATE *** An Obama aide points out to First Read that the $150,000 figure Biden was citing was simply an example of what someone making that amount would get under Obama's tax plan. Indeed, Biden's $150,000 remark came after he referred to someone making $1.4 million.

$42,000 number:

+++ +++ +++ +++ +++
Both McCain and Palin have stuck by this whopper, even though it has been thoroughly fact checked:

"Senator Obama has voted 94 times to either increase your taxes or against tax cuts."
This is simply not true. I think it was heavily fact checked after debate #1, and we still hear it in McCain/Palin speeches.


Small business - McCain also is continuing to mislead on this one - and people are buying it.