June 14, 2008


What’s new: Obama launches “fight the smears,” picks up support from groups he lost in primaries

New today: Democrat Barack Obama is winning groups he had trouble persuading in primaries against Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Here’s MSNBC’s report on a new NBC-Wall Street Journal poll that shows Obama leading Republican John McCain among women, Hispanics, Catholics, blue-collar voters and Clinton voters. He has an overall lead of 47%-41% over McCain.

Also today: Our reporting in USA TODAY on two large polls showing Obama with a post-primary bump from women. He’s nearly tripled his margin over McCain among women in a Gallup Poll since the Democratic contest ended last week, from 5 percentage points to 13. Pollster Scott Rasmussen tells us this morning that Obama had even more of a jump in his poll — from a 3-point lead over McCain on June 1-3 to 13 points June 8-10.

Politico reports on a group that isn’t rushing to Obama: some centrist and conservative Democrats on Capitol Hill. And then there are those public officials who did rush to him, and could be rewarded. And thirdly there are the Republicans who say they won’t endorse McCain. The Hill has that story.

Time magazine reports on a new Obama website called Fight the Smears. The first three it takes on: that there’s a tape of Michelle Obama talking about “whitey,” that Obama is a Muslim and that Obama won’t say the Pledge of Allegiance or put his hand over his heart. All are false, the site says. Update at 11:15 a.m. ET: The AP is on the story, too.

USA TODAY’s David Jackson writes today about the furor sparked by McCain’s remark that it’s “not too important” when U.S. troops come home from Iraq, that casualties are more important.

The Wall Street Journal compares the McCain and Obama tax plans and finds both would balloon the deficit, McCain’s plan by more. The full article is available only to subscribers, but here’s the bottom line for families: Under Sen. McCain, those in the middle — making between $66,354 and $111,645 — would see their after-tax income increase by 0.7%. The biggest benefit would flow to those in the top 0.1% — those with incomes above $2.8 million — who would see their after-tax income increase by 4.4%. Sen. Obama skews his tax cuts toward the lower- and middle-end of the income scale. Those in the middle would see their after-tax income increase by 2.4% , or $1,042. Americans with incomes above $2.8 million would see their after-tax income decrease by 11.5%.

(Update at 2:20 p.m. ET: Read the full Tax Policy Center report here)

Unions protest hiring of new Obama economic adviser Jason Furman, saying he’s too associated with Wall Street interests and Bill Clinton’s centrist brand of economics. The New York Times has the story.

A day after a similar Los Angeles Times story, the Chicago Tribune takes a look at Michelle Obama as “enticing target” for conservatives and what she plans to do about it. Another name in the news: Joe Lieberman. The Los Angeles Times discusses the friction the former Democrat is creating with his support for McCain.

Lots of coverage today of the resignation of Jim Johnson, head of Obama’s vice-presidential search operation, “to try to silence a growing furor over his business activities,” as The New York Times puts it. For The Times take click here. The Washington Post says Obama has lost a “consummate insider.” The Los Angeles Times says Johnson’s presence contradicted Obama’s message. And here’s the report from the Wall Street Journal, which started the whole furor with an article on Johnson’s business ties on Saturday.

Posted by Jill Lawrence at 08:22 AM/ET, June 12, 2008 in Looking ahead | Permalink
Comments: (284)Showing:

Nosoundbites wrote: 11h 31m ago mearshome/

Nosoundbites wrote: 11h 33m ago
Meanwhile, in real news.

Senator McCain has flip-flopped on nearly every issue.

He has betrayed nearly every principle he has ever had.

No one knows where he really stands on any of the issues.

The two perfect examples are torture and immigration. Senator McCain had been against torture his whole life, for very good reason, until recently when he voted to allow the CIA to torture detainees. He was for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers, until he said he would vote against his own bill on that issue.

Obama ’08

akhajawall wrote: 23h 40m ago
Dear American Voters,

Hon. Senator McCain and Obama, besides each having many attributes and characteristics. The critical differences between the two of these presidential presumptive nominees are as under:

1. Presidential “Temperament and Composer”.
2. Little Washington “insider Versus outsider” experience.
3. “Vision and mission” for our nation future rather than past.
4. American policies, ” first U.S.A Centric” than any other country [ ies ] centric.

In my professional opinion Senator Obama leads in all above qualities.

The need of our next movement and generation is a change. The Change in ” past Washington and its Leadership”. A change we can believe in and not the seductive, deceptive, and confusing slogan of “leader we can believe in” [? Effexor ?”.

Our Greatgrand Nation has to address many present and future challenges and start with new clean “Slate and Senator”.

God Bless America. its diverse people, and our Greatgrand Nation.

Our Greatgrand Nation is needs the CHANGE at every level and for long time.

I am sure Senator Obama with the help of Senator Clinton and her supporters, can deliver that CHANGE.

Please stay involved, stay engaged, and stay informed. Please do not allow any seduction, deception, and or confusion by some partisan media and leaders effect your vote [ Psychological Terrorism ]..

Yours truly,

COL. [retd] A.M.Khajawall
Disabled American Veteran
Forensic psychiatrist, Las Vegas

PS: It is about that we confront deception, seduction, confusion and psychological terrorism.

© Copyright 2007 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.


May 14, 2008


Saturday, May 03, 2008(FROM LOS ANGELES TIMES)
Republican Ron Paul Predicts a President Obama Come January! Rep. Ron Paul, the House member from Texas who technically remains in the race for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination against Sen. John McCain, predicts that Democratic Sen. Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States. According to the campus newspaper of Maryland’s Goucher College, the 72-year-old Paul made the surprising statement during campaign remarks Thursday at a school presidential forum. Politics and Election Humor
“How about that presidential race? Hillary Clinton just won’t quit. Can you believe that, ladies and gentlemen? You have to admire somebody who, against all odds, just won’t quit. I mean, right now she has absolutely no chance whatsoever of being president, but she just won’t quit. And they’re running out of money. Hillary Clinton, God bless her, is running out of money. And today she was wearing a certified pre-owned pantsuit.”
–David Letterman

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May 9, 2008


John Eskow

Flawed Messengers and Wooden Soldiers: Why Obama Beat Clinton — and Why He’ll Beat McCain, Too
Posted May 8, 2008 | 10:48 PM (EST)

Despite the endless pontificating on TV, in the end it didn’t come down to sideshow jive like the Reverend Wright Imbroglio or the Great Sniper Fire Lie. It didn’t come down to micro-demographics, or gas prices, or the war in Iraq. Incredibly enough, it didn’t even come down to the issues of race and gender. No — in the end, I believe, it all came down to a hard-to-pinpoint, rarely discussed, but desperately important matter: the personal authenticity of two human beings.

Let me digress for a second, though it’s not really digressing. The impetus for this piece actually came this morning, as I tried to keep my eyes open watching John McCain on TV. I do not recommend this as a morning regimen. Try it. You’ll feel an overwhelming desire to crawl back under the covers. To the degree that you can force yourself to watch him sleepwalking around the dais and spouting empty syllables, you’ll find yourself wondering about peripheral issues. Like: why does a man who seems to be simmering with rage use the phrase “my friends” so compulsively? What’s the real skinny on that lacquered blond lobbyist? And how did they finesse the payoff he got from the Keating Five? Somehow, the man himself is just…not there.

He’s a Wooden Soldier.

But that’s the thing about McCain. It’s not just that his so-called “straight talk” is obviously badly-bent nonsense. Stylistically as well as politically, he’s everything wrong, everything wooden, everything false. Like Clinton, he seems to be missing a core, and that lack of authenticity makes every word he says immediately forgettable (unless it’s so dumb as to lodge sideways in the mind, like the Hundred Years War threat or his Bomb Iran joke.)

Unfortunately for Clinton, she campaigned as a Wooden Soldier, too.

By the seventeenth time she claimed to have found, or re-found, or re-re-found her true “voice” — first she was the Imperious and Inevitable One, then she was the nice-nice I’m-So-Honored One, followed (a day later!) by the Hateful Vicious Shame-On-You One, and still later the Weirdly Sarcastic The Skies-Will-Open One, and then the Shot-and-a-Beer Working-Class One, so dang down-home that you expected the next photo-op to show her smoking crystal meth in a trailer park — until finally, with the Gas-Tax-Holiday Fake Populist One, she exhausted all the possibilities — and exhausted the patience of America, too.

Meanwhile, Obama remained Obama. Quiet when called for, inspiring when given the chance, and once in a while a little obnoxious (remember when he told Hillary “you’re likable enough?” I mean, admittedly she kind of asked for it, but it was pretty gratuitous.) In short: a human being. For me, a pivotal moment–unremarked-on by the robotic pundits on TV — came in Obama’s second Reverend Wright speech. I’m paraphrasing here, but he said it was crucial to remember the core meaning of his campaign, “even if the messenger is flawed.”

Even if the messenger is flawed.

Here’s a game that’s zany fun for the whole family: try to imagine Senator Clinton saying such a thing.

That’s right: never happen — unless…

Unless Mark Penn told her that polling showed there was some kind of Flawed-Messenger Demographic out there yet to be milked for votes.

And here’s zany family game #2: try to imagine Obama getting in front of the TV cameras on a night that gutted his entire campaign, pasting a transparently phony smile on his face, and crowing “it’s on to the White House!” as Michelle and the kids fought off tears on the podium behind him…


I think people relate deeply to the concept of The Flawed Messenger, because who among us is not one–in our family-life, our work, our spiritual pursuits? Being a Flawed Messenger is innately heroic (the Messenger part) but also deeply humbling (the Flawed part) — all in all, a perfectly respectable thing to be. And I believe that on some psychic level, people torn between Clinton and Obama felt more comfortable voting for a man who confessed to being a Flawed Messenger — not just in the speech, but in the way he carried himself.

Clinton’s ultimate gift, among many, to Obama was obviously the Gas Tax Holiday. It nailed down her credentials as a Wooden Soldier — the epitome of the old-fashioned, say-anything, 20th-century politician. She went once too often to the voters-are-dullards well, and it finally pissed them off.

It’s a mistake McCain will make, too, because like Clinton he just can’t help it. Part of it is generational. Clinton and McCain came of age in a Nixonian universe — and there has never been a more Wooden Soldier than Nixon. (In my own personal dictionary, when you look up Wooden Soldier, there’s a photo of Nixon doing his ghoulish two-handed V-For-Victory salute.) And part of it is a choice, based on an outmoded belief that voters want an Impregnable Persona instead of a genuine human being.

But, in the early part of the 21st Century, that choice is dead wrong. The Democratic runoff proved it — and (you heard it here, folks!) it will be proved once again, thank God, in November, when Obama defeats John McCain and becomes our next president.

NOTE: An earlier version of this piece contained a description of McCain’s unique microphone-style that a few readers took as a reference to his war-related injuries. While obviously that was not my intent, and I would never do such a thing, I’ve removed it anyway–Flawed-Messenger style–because I don’t want to derail the real conversation. Some remaining comments below may refer to the earlier version.

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