Tag Archives: John McCain

Is the McCain Campaign Just Plain Snakebit?

The McCain campaign can’t seem to do anything right.

Whether it’s microphones not working at a recent town hall meeting, to a reported flat tire on his campaign bus, “The Straight Talk Express,’ to money troubles, to needling Barack Obama to visit Iraq, then whining about the subsequent lack of media attention as a result of the trip, John McCain can’t seem to do anything right. And the conseqeunces are beginning to take their toll.

John McCain’s negative attacks on Barack Obama haven’t resulted in any traction whatsoever, so now his campaign has resorted to just making things up.

McCain’s latest charge is that that Obama is responsible for high fuel prices at the pump. Yet that snake venom is evident once again, as prices started dropping almost the day McCain made the remarks.

Maybe the McCain campaign is running out of gas.

All of this has resulted in a lack of media coverage for John McCain. In fact, major news stories about Obama outpace McCain by a margin of 4 to 1!  At least McCain is complaining for a good reason.

This was bolstered by Obama’s favorable media coverage of his trip to Europe and the Middle East, where he looked presidential as he rubbed elbows with world leaders and dignitaries, as if he had already won the presidency.

Meanwhile, back on the ranch, McCain landed in New Hampshire and was met at the airport by a lone reporter.

That qualifies as a bad sign, I think.

McCain is whining that the media is ignoring him, but the fact of the matter is that his talking points are flawed and somewhat flat. Why would anybody want to pay attention? Maybe the media, and in fact the country, is finally realizing that that McCain and the Republican Party, have nothing new to offer, except more of the same.

Bad luck and blunders have a way of draining the life out of any campaign. McCain should thank his lucky stars that the media is still covering him at all! Even McCain’s major gaffes are ignored at this point. For example, the media has not called McCain out on his major foreign policy errors, including his belief that there is an Iraq-Pakistan border? CBS News edited out part of his interview with Katie Couric when McCain bungled the Anbar timeline. He also thinks Czechoslovakia still exists. Then there was the McCain’s trip abroad, when he didn’t know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite.

Whew.

A piece of advice for the McCain campaign: Sometimes you need to change what you are doing in order to manufacture some of your own good luck, and the media will follow. Stop trying to pick a philosophical fight about who has the most experience. McCain may be older and wiser, but Obama is winning the battle on who has better judgment. 

At this point, the only person the media likes less than McCain is Bush, and that’s not saying much. 

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Filed under Democratic Party, Election 2008, Foreign Policy, George Bush, Politics, Republican Party

Vanity Fair Parodies the Obamas New Yorker Cover

The controversial New Yorker cover of the Obamas has created heated debate on this blog in two different posts (Obama is ‘All Class’ in Response to New Yorker Cover and Tom Toles on Obama New Yorker Cover)
by Matthew. I have already commented in the first post while not outraged per say it was in incredibly poor taste to portray our future President as a Muslim terrorist even in if it was a satirical statement about the conservative media. The New Yorker should have not used it as a cover (inserted inside) and/or had a article to go along with the image. As it stands, the cover only helped reinforce stereotypes about Obama among the uninformed who casually scan the magazine rack.

It was only a matter of time before we had parodies done about the now (in)famous cover. Vanity Fair has poked fun at The New Yorker with a parody of the cover featuring the McCains

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John McCain’s New York Times Op-Ed That Never Was

Conservatives are up in arms over the New York Times’ decision to pull an op-ed piece that John McCain wrote in response to Barack Obama’s op-ed regarding, Iraq.

Here is the text:

In January 2007, when General David Petraeus took command in Iraq, he called the situation “hard” but not “hopeless.” Today, 18 months later, violence has fallen by up to 80 percent to the lowest levels in four years, and Sunni and Shiite terrorists are reeling from a string of defeats. The situation now is full of hope, but considerable hard work remains to consolidate our fragile gains.

Progress has been due primarily to an increase in the number of troops and a change in their strategy. I was an early advocate of the surge at a time when it had few supporters in Washington. Senator Barack Obama was an equally vocal opponent. “I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there,” he said on January 10, 2007. “In fact, I think it will do the reverse.”

Now Senator Obama has been forced to acknowledge that “our troops have performed brilliantly in lowering the level of violence.” But he still denies that any political progress has resulted.

Perhaps he is unaware that the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has recently certified that, as one news article put it, “Iraq has met all but three of 18 original benchmarks set by Congress last year to measure security, political and economic progress.” Even more heartening has been progress that’s not measured by the benchmarks. More than 90,000 Iraqis, many of them Sunnis who once fought against the government, have signed up as Sons of Iraq to fight against the terrorists. Nor do they measure Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s new-found willingness to crack down on Shiite extremists in Basra and Sadr City — actions that have done much to dispel suspicions of sectarianism.

The success of the surge has not changed Senator Obama’s determination to pull out all of our combat troops. All that has changed is his rationale. In a New York Times op-ed and a speech this week, he offered his “plan for Iraq” in advance of his first “fact finding” trip to that country in more than three years. It consisted of the same old proposal to pull all of our troops out within 16 months. In 2007 he wanted to withdraw because he thought the war was lost. If we had taken his advice, it would have been. Now he wants to withdraw because he thinks Iraqis no longer need our assistance.

To make this point, he mangles the evidence. He makes it sound as if Prime Minister Maliki has endorsed the Obama timetable, when all he has said is that he would like a plan for the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops at some unspecified point in the future.

Senator Obama is also misleading on the Iraqi military’s readiness. The Iraqi Army will be equipped and trained by the middle of next year, but this does not, as Senator Obama suggests, mean that they will then be ready to secure their country without a good deal of help. The Iraqi Air Force, for one, still lags behind, and no modern army can operate without air cover. The Iraqis are also still learning how to conduct planning, logistics, command and control, communications, and other complicated functions needed to support frontline troops.

No one favors a permanent U.S. presence, as Senator Obama charges. A partial withdrawal has already occurred with the departure of five “surge” brigades, and more withdrawals can take place as the security situation improves. As we draw down in Iraq, we can beef up our presence on other battlefields, such as Afghanistan, without fear of leaving a failed state behind. I have said that I expect to welcome home most of our troops from Iraq by the end of my first term in office, in 2013.

But I have also said that any draw-downs must be based on a realistic assessment of conditions on the ground, not on an artificial timetable crafted for domestic political reasons. This is the crux of my disagreement with Senator Obama.

Senator Obama has said that he would consult our commanders on the ground and Iraqi leaders, but he did no such thing before releasing his “plan for Iraq.” Perhaps that’s because he doesn’t want to hear what they have to say. During the course of eight visits to Iraq, I have heard many times from our troops what Major General Jeffrey Hammond, commander of coalition forces in Baghdad, recently said: that leaving based on a timetable would be “very dangerous.”

The danger is that extremists supported by Al Qaeda and Iran could stage a comeback, as they have in the past when we’ve had too few troops in Iraq. Senator Obama seems to have learned nothing from recent history. I find it ironic that he is emulating the worst mistake of the Bush administration by waving the “Mission Accomplished” banner prematurely.

I am also dismayed that he never talks about winning the war — only of ending it. But if we don’t win the war, our enemies will. A triumph for the terrorists would be a disaster for us. That is something I will not allow to happen as president. Instead I will continue implementing a proven counterinsurgency strategy not only in Iraq but also in Afghanistan with the goal of creating stable, secure, self-sustaining democratic allies.

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John McCain is ‘More of the Same’ on the Economy

The U.S. economy lost jobs for a sixth straight month in June. Current estimates indicate 62,000 non-farm jobs were lost, as the economy continues to slow down. Unemployment is still at 5.5 percent.

“Unemployment is still on a rising trend, payrolls are falling, and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel here, so the tax rebates may have pushed up consumer spending, but it doesn’t seem to have improved the labor market yet,” said Ian Morris, chief US economist at HSBC North America.

Job losses were particularly heavy in the goods-producing, construction, manufacturing and service sectors last month.

These job losses come at a  time when the housing market slump shows no signs of going away, a credit squeeze, a sharp downturn on Wall Street and rocketing oil prices that have now exceeded 146 dollars a barrel today.

HSBC’s Morris said the “continued rate of deterioration” in the job market could see the unemployment rate peak above six percent in coming months. Some say the U.S. economy must create 100,000 jobs every month to absorb new labor market entrants.

Good luck.

So there’s the bad news.

This isn’t what upsets me though. What upsets me is the rhetoric I’m hearing from John McCain and the conservative pundits who are pushing his empty agenda.

Obama is blaming everything on Bush and the war. 

Okay. We know Bush is an idiot, and the war is foolish, but it won’t be ending until late next year, if that soon, so what to do in the mean time?

Here’s what Obama had to say… (source) Continue reading

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Filed under Democratic Party, Economy, Election 2008, Energy, Politics, Republican Party, War in Iraq

Obama Did the Right by Letting Jim Johnson Go

If you are going to “talk the Talk” you must “walk the walk.” A bit cliche to be certain, but its the best way to explain why the Obama campaign parted ways with longtime Washington insider Jim Johnson.

Johnson was leading Obama’s VP search committee.

Officially, Johnson stepped down, but inside sources seem to believe he was asked to go.

Johnson has ties to troubled mortgage lender Countrywide Home Loans and it is being reported that he cut sweetheart deals for Countrywide CEO’s. Johnson also helped former Democratic presidential candidates Walter Mondale and Sen. John Kerry pick their running mates. He is also the former CEO of Fannie Mae. 

Of course the McCain Campaign wasted no time jumping on this.

 “It’s preposterous for Sen. Obama to claim that the leader of his VP selection committee isn’t working for him. Barack Obama has castigated Countrywide Financial, but now that Jim Johnson has been exposed for taking sweetheart deals from Countrywide’s CEO  – Obama is in a state of denial. It’s that brand of weak leadership and hypocrisy that shows why Barack Obama has no record of taking courageous stands or making change in Washington.”

Look, Obama has said repeatedly that he will not be part of Washington inside politics, and that he will not play ball with fat cat lobbyists. In what I believe is a move, consistent with this policy, Johnson is now a “former” member of Obama’s staff.

As for the McCain campaign, they should focus less on hammering Obama, and more on purging their own lobbyist baggage including Vicki Iseman, Rick Davis, and Charlie Black. They may want to consider offing the dozens of Bush campaign insiders that now occupy positions as top staffers for McCain.

Obama’s judgement is flawed because of Johnson. McCain’s entire staff is an exercise in Washington and big business corruption politics.

Read more on Jim Johnson here… 

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Mid-Day Discussion – McCain and the Age Factor

Do you John McCain’s age should be a determining factor in the 2008 presidential election? Why or why not?

 

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Mid-Day Open Thread – Religion in America

Do you believe religious zealots are hurting America?

Related article on our sister blog Ideas and Revolution …

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