But now the combustible issue ofBarack Obama's racial identity has been thrust squarely into the heated political battle of the 2008 race. Obama Wednesday warned voters thatJohn McCainor his allies would try to "scare" them with his race, and McCain campaign manager Rick Davis responded furiously on Thursday, accusing Obama of playing the race card.
Obama’s aim, in the view of the McCain camp: "to delegitimize any line of attack against him," said McCain aideSteve Schmidt. He said he saw that potential trap being sprung when Obama predicted in Missouri Wednesday that theGOP nominee would attack the Democrat because he "doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills."
"‘The most negative, abhorrent, nasty, vicious comment made in this race was the insinuation by Barack Obama that John McCain was going to run a racist campaign,’ Steve Schmidt, McCain's chief strategist, said in an interview. ‘The McCain campaign will not stand for it. There is no evidence of it. It's not true, and we will rebut it.’
I am thoroughly disappointed in the Obama campaign for playing the race card, which he clearly did. I have previously written in this space that while I do not agree with Obama's political views and will not support him, I admired the fact that his campaign has not attempted to manipulate "white guilt" in a Jesse Jacksonesque fashion. It made me think we were moving on to something new where this kind of talk wasn't going to be a part of our political dialogue. Apparently, I spoke and wrote too soon. Barack Obama plans to play the race card and manipulate white guilt-he'll just wait to do so until he thinks it benefits him.
Let's get something straight: Anytime race is THE topic du jour in the campaign, it's a bad day for Obama. Period. There are a lot of voters out there who don't want to have their vote judged through the prism of race. (If somehow a swing voter in Ohio, Pennsylvania or Michigan is made to feel that voting against Obama will make them a racist, they'll be resentful.) While today's papers are filled with "who played the race card first?" allegations between the two campaigns, know this fact: The Obama campaign doesn't want the race issue to become an overarching theme of the campaign.
It is shameful that Barack Obama would use race as leverage, especially when the swing voters he needs may turn tail and run on him if they think Obama is in any way saying that they won't vote for him because they are racists.
However, it is just plain sad that Barack Obama's disgusting sudden willingness to use his race as an issue will result in political advantage for John McCain.
Today might be a day when John McCain ought to simply forget to read the news clippings, turn off the cable TV, and not browse The Google. The editorials that are blasting his new Britney-Paris ad and other attacks against Obama are piling up.
After making a career of placating the press and singing Kumbuya with the Democrats, John McCain is slowly figuring out that Republicans and conservatives do not win elections by doing things that please the mainstream media. When the GOP adopts a "do things that get positive press all the time" strategy, this tends to demoralize the conservative base of the party because it appears as though the candidate or candidates are failing to find and expose the negatives of the other candidate, and that they are not placing doubt in the minds of the voters.
Put bluntly, the mainstream media outlets are not-and never have been-our friends. I believe very strongly in the freedom of the press, but that freedom means having many voices that are not part of the major media, and have the ability to counter the press' normally favorable coverage of liberals and Democrats. While I personally may admire the work of individual journalists (the late Tim Russert, for example), I have little trust for the mainstream press as a whole, and that is a widely shared opinion among conservatives.
In the years that Republicans have attempted to do things to placate the press, they have usually lost. Recent history shows that it was the years the GOP eessentially told the press to go to Hell (without actually saying so) that they won-1980, 1984, 1988, 2000, and 2004. Base conservative voters will turn out in numbers when it appears that the news media hates their candidate, because if the mainstream press hates our nominee they must be doing something right.
"I do not support and I cannot justify this large an increase (in property taxes)," Palmieri stated in a letter to Commission Chair Phillip Kindred and Finance Director Mike Long. "This levies a heavy impact on our residents, especially the elderly, those on fixed incomes, and the poor."
If you live in Jefferson County, you know there are a lot of people here on fixed incomes. While it is understandable that many locales have had to make budget choices the regretfully include a tax increase because of fuel prices (White Pine is a good example), most local municipal authorities have tried to keep these increases to the absolute minimum. It is clear that the Jefferson County Commission has no intention of doing that, and Mayor Palmieri was very right to veto the budget under these circumstances.
The proposed increase is 22 cents on the hundred, a tax hike so massive that some people on fixed incomes may not be able to survive it. As we've already seen this year, the Jefferson County Commission isn't exactly the brightest bunch in the political firmament. As the Mayor points out, these bean bags can't even follow procedure correctly:
"Proper procedures have not been followed," he said. "It is improper to close out a previous year's budget without having approved (those) budget amendments."
In other words, these people closed out a budget year without approving the necessary amendments for the previous budget year.
Now the County Commission is threatening to override the Mayor's veto. They don't care about the people this oppressive and inhumane tax increase will impact. We need to make them care.
County Commission needs to know that we the citizens expect them to do more with less, and that while we are willing to make sacrifices to insure that basic services are rendered, we are unwilling to break our own backs because County Commission doesn't know how to budget more responsibly.
Write or call your Jefferson County Commissioners, and let them know that you support Mayor Palmieri's stand for fiscal responsibility. Let's tell the Commission that we want the budget reworked to ease the people's suffering, and we support Mayor Palmieri's veto of the current version of the budget. These folks all need to be reminded that they are up for election in two years, and the people will remember.
This week I'm serving as "Boss Blog" for Adam Graham while he's away, and I join several prominent conservative bloggers from around the country in performing guest blogging duties for the present-in-spirit Adam (he is away at a writers' conference).
Finally, we see in its lastest ad, which will air in the key battleground States of Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Northern Virginia, and Wisconsin, that the John McCain campaign really does have the ability to take the fight to Barack Obama.
The biggest question that can be asked is: What took so long? So far, McCain has been a real softie when it comes to hitting Obama where it hurts. Finally, someone in the campaign hit on the reality that popularity and celebrity not only do not equate to experience, they just don't make a person a leader.
Now, can we expect to see more of this from John McCain?
As has been written here in recent days, it would be unwise for Barack Obama to put Hillary Clinton on the Democratic ticket because her negative numbers are so high. Many of the votes that she was able to garner during the Democratic Primary were votes of opposition to Senator Obama, not votes of support for her. Senator Clinton is not well thought of in the country, and even in some quarters of the Democratic Party she is persona non grata. Instead, Obama needs to look for a running mate that could help him carry a State that he might not otherwise carry.
Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine has told close associates that he has had "very serious" conversations with Sen. Barack Obama about joining the Democratic presidential ticket and has provided documents to the campaign as it combs through his background, according to several sources close to Kaine.
Picking Kaine would seem to satisfy many considerations Obama has recently laid out. During an interview with Tom Brokaw on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, the presumptive Democratic nominee said he was looking for someone who shares his desire to change Washington politics.
The choice of Tim Kaine could take Virginia from the category of a Republican-leaning toss-up State to one that goes for the Democrats. This could also cause the electoral map to favor Obama merely because it would make a dent in the Solid South that John McCain needs to insure victory. To win the General Election without Virginia, McCain must carry New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Colorado to make up for it-and that presumes that McCain carries Ohio. If John McCain fails to carry Ohio after losing Virginia for the presence of its Governor on the Obama ticket, it would be virtually impossible for him to win the election.
Barack Obama is taking a hard look at the map to see what he needs to reach 270.
Today we look at how John McCain could win a narrow victory in the electoral college:
&amp;lt;p&amp;gt;&amp;lt;strong&amp;gt;&amp;gt;&amp;lt;a href='http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/interactives/campaign08/electoral-college/'&amp;gt;Electoral College Prediction Map&amp;lt;/a&amp;gt;&amp;lt;/strong&amp;gt; - Predict the winner of the general election. Use the map to experiment with winning combinations of states. Save your prediction and send it to friends.&amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;
If McCain can keep the South solid, he can then concentrate on Ohio and the West. Despite his best efforts, there are a lot of people who just don't trust Barack Obama, and John McCain would do well to play on that, and it could have an impact in November.
In a narrow victory for McCain, what States could swing the election in his favor? New Hampshire is a State where he enjoys an unusual popularity even among conservative Republicans. If the same people who voted for him in that State's January Primary turn out for him in November, he could pick up New Hampshire's four Electoral Votes.
Between Colorado and Iowa, one of these two States could wrap up a victory for John McCain. If one of them is going to move into the McCain column, it is most likely to be Colorado. The Rocky Mountain State is one rich with pro-family organizations, and is home to the United States Air Force Academy-a place filled with young cadets who, if any vote locally, are most likely to cast their votes for a Republican. Like West Point and Annapolis, the Air Force Academy-while officially non-political-is a practical bastion of the Republican Party. Between the religious conservative vote and the military vote, Colorado could be the State that insures a Republican victory in November.
Next Week: The unlikely event of a McCain landslide
A conservative journal of social, cultural, and ecclesiatical affairs grounded in a realistic Catholic Christian worldview. It is my hope that this site will be a reflection of Christ,the teachings of His Holy Church, and of the basic vision of a Christian social morality.