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October 9, 2008

Let’s hold the election right now

It’s only going to continue to go downhill. McCain’s going to get more distracted and muddled. Palin‘s just going to get nastier and nastier.

From here to November, the McCain campaign’s got nothing left except personal attacks. It’s bad for our democracy. We know everything we need to know to make up our minds. Let’s just vote now.

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September 30, 2008

Letting the FOX count the hens

Sounds at the end like the room may be laughing at the reporter…

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September 29, 2008

Sarah Palin plays the age card

I’m a little confused by Sarah Palin’s joshing that she’s been listening to Biden’s speeches in the Senate since she was in second grade, especially with John “26 Years in the Senate” McCain standing right next to her.

What’s next, comb-over jokes?

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September 27, 2008

Where “leading” means “fighting”

I hope every independent voter watches the ad the McCain campaign released even before the last radio waves of the debate escaped earth orbit:

So, McCain believes in crossing partisan lines, but when his opponent agrees with him, he takes it as a sign of weakness. Wow.

Obama could not be more clear or explicit about what he thinks leadership is and the way forward for this country: Find common ground, discuss the differences.

McCain couldn’t even look at Obama, much less acknowledge the values they share as Americans.


My hat is off to Jim Lehrer. Well done!

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September 26, 2008

Country first? Hahaha.

So, as far as I can tell, the story so far is:

McCain sees an opportunity to look presidential and experienced. He announces he’s suspending his campaign so he can rush to DC, although he in fact takes 22 hours to get there and manages to squeeze in some interviews, a speech at Pres. Clinton’s event, and a nice dinner. Plus, his surrogates stay out on the trail bashing Obama, and McCain continues his ad campaign. Other than that, the campaign is completely suspended.

Then, to show that he is not a marginalized Senator on the fringes of economic discussion, he encourages conservative Republicans to back out of the deal the two parties had brokered in a genuine spirit of bi-partisanship so that McCain can spearhead some alternate proposal. Why? Well, since McCain’s original comments — in which he tacitly accepted Obama’s statement of principles — seemed to go along with the deal the two sides had worked out, I can only conclude that McCain would have disrupted any agreement so that he can be perceived as coming up with the new one.

The Democrats are pretty much boxed in. If they make any concessions at all to McCain’s new proposal, McCain will trumpet that he’s the one who saved the economy by wringing changes from the Dems (while ignoring that the original deal before McCain stepped in to “save” us had been bi-partisan).

So, clever move by McCain. Too bad it’s a clever move motivated by McCain’s ambitions rather than by what’s best for the country. For example, today’s economic slide is directly due to McCain’s self-centered disruption of the process.

Nice, John. See you at the debate.

Or not.

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Chat during the debate?

On Friday at 9pm EDT (-5 GMT), if you want to talk, cheer, and snark together about the debate, feel free to join irc.freenode.net/#debatejoho. We had lively and enjoyable chat sessions during the Democratic convention, so maybe we will again.

Note that this is an old fashioned IRC chat, requiring some type of chat client. (I use chatzilla, a Firefox add-in.)

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September 25, 2008

2% chance of a debate and falling?

Whatever happens with the budget agreement, I can’t imagine that McCain’s going to agree to debate on Friday after taking himself out of three days of debate prep.

Well, we’ll see.

And if McCain is a no-show, don’t we hope and assume that Obama will take questions from the audience (at home and in the venue) for the full span of the debate?[Tags: ]

That Friday: I was wrong. I didn’t think McCain would so blatantly change his conditions. Foolish me.

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Is McCain looking for his 9-11 moment? Some cheap, armchair psychologizing…

McCain’s suspending of his campaign is so very odd that I find myself looking for psychological, and not just political, explanations. So, try on this armchair psychoanalysis, keeping in mind that I’m just making this stuff up:

First, assume that McCain is desperate. When Fox puts you at 39%, desperation becomes reality-based thinking. Second — and this is the unpleasant part — imagine that McCain has had the thought that many of us had had: A terrorist attack in October would shake up the entire electoral chessboard, and might well favor the Republicans. (Yeah, yeah, I don’t think it should it, either.)

Now, no one wants a terrorist attack (except, um, the terrorists), including John McCain, of course. But we’re talking psychology here. So, could it be that McCain is reacting to the financial meltdown as if it were a large-scale terrorist attack because deep within him, he’s waiting for the crisis that saves him, the crisis that lets the aging warrior put on his flight suit one more time?

After all, the subtext of his “putting country first” trope isn’t patriotism but heroism. Heroes need crises. McCain’s brand of heroism consists of sacrifice: He gave up 5 years of his life in North Vietnam, and now he’s willing to give up campaigning.

McCain’s political problem is that in this case, his self-sacrifice seems unnecessary and can be taken as panic or cowardice. It seems like sacrifice for sacrifice’s sake. He thus runs the risk of voters turning away from the hero-without-a-cause to the leader who has one.

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September 24, 2008

Open up the debate

Here’s an idea I’m taking from a mailing list. I’ll check with the guy who posted it [Later: It was John Laprise] to see if I can credit him, but I’m sure he’s ok with the idea itself being circulated:

Obama ought to counter-propose that instead of postponing the debate, it ought to be changed to a debate on the economy, and opened up to public questions, as a way for the candidates to address the concerns of citizens.

Nice idea.

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Two press conferences

Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times has blogged transcripts of press conferences given by the two candidates yesterday:

Barack Obama

John McCain

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