Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Next Vice President of the United States

I'd be willing to take bets that some Democrats in Chicago were having an "oh sh*t" moment when Ms. Sarah was introduced.

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Friday, August 29, 2008


When I heard the news about John McCain's Vice Presidential choice today, I really wanted to do a backflip-he hit a Grand Slam. She's pro-life, has five children, and she came to power as Governor of Alaska on a platform of tough ethics reform proposals. Her political career went into overdrive when she-a Republican appointee to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission-led an ethics investigation into the activities of the State Republican Chairman, who was said to have had ties too close to the oil industry to serve on the Commission.

That investigation forced Alaska GOP Chair Randy Reudrich to resign from that body, and it made Sarah Palin a party outsider. She became a respected moral compass in the State's politics-and won the Republican nomination for Governor.

Sarah Palin certainly fits John McCain's image as the maverick who is unafraid to challenge party authority or orthodoxy, but her strong pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, and low-tax credentials make her a darling for conservatives, and many of those seem energized today:

"Sarah Palin is a pleasant surprise for those of us who had hoped that Senator McCain would pick a principled and authentic conservative pro-life leader," former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said.
We know that Sarah Palin is the real deal, and that is why so many of us are thrilled with this choice. As John McCain said this morning, here is a woman who, because of her interest in and her concern for her community, went from being the PTA president, to being a small-town mayor, to running for Lieutenant Governor, to becoming Governor of Alaska. Now the mother of five children will, with the help of God, become the Vice President of the United States.

In the weeks ahead, many will ask if she is experienced enough and they will decry her lack of time in office-the same people who would make a Daley Machine politician and one-term Senator with no significant legislative accomplishments our 44th President. While Barack Obama was compiling the most liberal voting record in the Senate, Sarah Palin was leading a crusade for ethics in government in her home State, and she knows that protecting the life of the unborn isn't above her pay grade.

It will be asked in the days ahead if Sarah Palin can serve as President of the United States.

Let us paraphrase our opponent: YES SHE CAN!

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Cheek for Office


FROM YESTERDAY: Former Johnson City, TN Mayor and 2006 First District Republican Congressional Candidate Vance Cheek, Jr. (R) discusses the 2006 and 2008 Congressional races, and being considered for the Tennessee Supreme Court. Vance and I also discuss his political future, and he makes his predictions about the 2008 General Election.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

The New Messianic Fervor

The speech was just as any of us who understand political theater thought it would be. Bill Clinton would make a "ringing" endorsement of Barack Obama-and he did. The former President made no mention at all of his personal investment in the project of Obama's defeat. Hillary got in on the act by moving Obama's nomination by acclamation.

Yet, the last two nights were all about the Clintons. Does anyone really believe that Hillary Clinton is a reborn enthusiastic Obama supporter? Senator Clinton believes that Barack Obama will lose, and when he does, the Clintons-loyal soldiers that they are pretending to be-will appear as the Democratic Party's only hope.

MSNBC is busy being their usual selves, declaring the historic nature of Barack Obama's nomination and proclaiming his cause with an almost messianic fervor. This is now the normal chain of events, and since we know that an overwhelming majority of Americans think the press is biased toward Barack Obama, one also has to wonder if the perception of this bias will backfire for Obama.

Barack Obama will make his acceptance speech tonight not before the convention that nominated him yesterday, but before a stadium filled with adoring fans. Barack Obama doesn't seem to be launching an election campaign. Instead, he and his staff are behaving more like they are trying to win a celebrity popularity contest.

"If you want to vote for Barry O, dial 1-800-MESSIAH."

Obama is treating this election like it is a personal lovefest instead of a political process. Whether he intends it or not, his conduct shows little respect for the American political process. Instead, he seems to insist that the process bow to his will.

Before he's done, we may even have a new national anthem:

(Hat Tip: Adam Graham)

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Speech and the Love Affair

Some in the press are already swooning over Hillary Clinton's speech to the Democratic National Convention last night, saying that she "delivered" and will "bring unity" to the fractured Democratic Party. The truth of the matter, of course, is that Hillary did what she had to do to insure the backing of the party brass for another White House bid in 2012-no more, and no less.

Expect President Clinton to do much the same in his address to the delegates tonight, and in doing so, he and his wife will further cement their status as the real leaders of the Democratic Party-the attempt here is to show that regardless of what happens in November, Democrats need the Clintons. There is also the issue of 2012-Hillary must look like a good soldier, but she has to be hoping that Barack Obama loses in the fall. She wouldn't be able to defeat an incumbent in the Democratic primaries in four years, and by 2016, her political time may very well have passed. Four years from now could be the last shot Hillary Clinton has at the White House.

Meanwhile, the press' love affair with Barack Obama continues, as John Fund said in The Wall Street Journal's Political Diary e-mail from yesterday:

Following Michelle Obama's speech praising her husband, Mr. Olbermann simply said, "Ye-a-h-h-h. Case closed." Mr. Matthews responded with a guttural "uh-h-h-h." Taking that as a cue to continue, Mr. Olbermann, declared: "That could not have done better from them," then repeated the phrase and praised the evening as "terrific." He noted: "There were tears throughout [the hall] among the women." Finally, in the middle of his rhetorical power dive, he pulled up: "There was just a -- I know, I'm beginning to sound borderline sycophantic on this. So I'll stop."

The conduct of the press-especially NBC News and its cable and internet affiliates-has been biased in a way that is incredibly unprofessional. It has often been said that conservatives and Republicans complain about media bias all the time, to the point where these cries of unfairness become like The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Though I often believe there is genuine truth to the accusation that the mainstream press has a built-in bias against conservatives, I also think we must be careful when blaming that bias for negative public perceptions.

However, in this case, NBC and MSNBC have become so enamored with Barack Obama that it is clear that they are attempting to use their media voice to directly influence the outcome of the General Election. As I have written here before, using the power of the press to influence an election goes with the territory of a free press. Newspapers have been trying to directly impact electoral outcomes in this country since the 1790's-and in the days of yore there was no pretence of journalistic objectivity, authors used newsprint to let 'er rip on their political opponents.

If this is what MSNBC is attempting to do for the Obama campaign, they are well within their constitutional rights. If anyone at Rockefeller Plaza cares about their personal and professional integrity, however, they will at least publicly admit that the network favors Obama, so that we know precisely where they are coming from.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Facade

For those of you in the party opposite who are operating under the illusion that the divisions are done away with in the Democratic Party, I give you Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell on Sunday:

"Ladies and gentleman, the coverage of Barack Obama was embarrassing," said Rendell, in the ballroom at Denver's Brown Palace Hotel. "It was embarrassing."

Rendell, an ardent Hillary Rodham Clinton supporter during the primaries, now backs Obama in the general election. Brokaw and Rendell began debating campaign coverage, including the on-air comments by Lee Cowan, and when MSNBC came up, Rendell went after the cable network.

“MSNBC was the official network of the Obama campaign," Rendell said, who called their coverage "absolutely embarrassing."

Chris Matthews, Rendell said, "loses his impartiality when he talks about the Clintons.”

The sad part about Ed Rendell's remarks is that they are essentially the truth (and I should point out that MSNBC has long been my favorite network for political coverage). The news division at NBC has such an obvious bias for Barack Obama that their objectivity is a matter of serious question. When not only the liberal Keith Olbermann but Brian Williams begins to declare Obama's problems erased after one night of a convention, clearly there is an attempt to create that reality in the press-whether there is original truth to it or not.

The feeling among both Clinton supporters and many Republicans that the press has endorsed and aided Obama in an unfair way is still raw, and in many ways it is reflected in Denver.

NBC News is certainly entitled to endorse whatever candidate or candidates it may choose, but just as John Chancellor used to give his nightly commentaries, NBC must admit their endorsement. As for the Democrats, as we shall see soon enough, their unity is a facade that shall become extremely difficult to maintain.


Monday, August 25, 2008

And We Shall All Be Reminded

Today, the Democratic National Convention begins in Denver. It will be, by some accounts, a wanton festival of open debauchery, mockery of tradition, and a promotion of "alternative" lifestyles. It will almost certainly involve plenty of infighting and celebrating Clintonism at a time when the party opposite is trying to free itself from Clinton poison-or at least replace that poison with an entirely different toxic political elixir.

There will be no God in Denver this week, but there will be plenty of pot.

Once again, the Democrats' quadrennial gathering will remind people in Middle America why it is they don't vote Democratic in a presidential election.

Tell it like it is, Merle.

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As the Map Turns August 25

This week's electoral college map takes a decided turn in John McCain's direction.

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If you happened to see yesterday's episode of Meet the Press, you saw the numbers that show John McCain leading by six points in New Mexico and four in Nevada, less than a week after polls in both States showed it was a toss-up.

Now, Obama's biggest Western lead is Colorado, where he only leads by three points-and that is within the margin of error. Barack Obama is counting on these three critical States in the Rockies to turn his way. If John McCain can carry two of these three States and hold Ohio and Virginia, he can win the presidency.

Barack Obama has got to be hoping that the Democrats' presence in Denver this week boost his poll ratings in Colorado and New Mexico. As recent elections have shown, holding a convention in a given State does not mean you'll carry that State.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Immaculate Mary

This wonderful hymn to Our Lady is sung here by an English choir, and sung in the English style. It is worth remembering that before Henry VIII wrecked Catholic England so that he could persist in adultery against his lawful wife-and hence gave rise to Protestantism on a widespread scale in the English-speaking world-England was known as the Dowry of Mary.

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