Friday
Aug202010

Finale  

By William Rabbe on 11/10/2008

Renegade is moving into the White House. At least that's how Barack Obama will be known to the secret service -- by his code name. For President-elect Obama, who received criticism for being a "secret muslim," and a "secret socialist," (read: un-American) the literal meaning of the name renegade couldn't be more ironic. The word Renegade, as defined by the Oxford American Dictionary, means "a person who betrays an organization, country, or a set of principles" or "a person who abandons religion."

Maybe those in the secret service have a wry sense of humor but what has come to pass in this country is truly remarkable. In the final weeks of the election many on the far right came to distrust the polls. Some were relying on the idea of the "Bradley effect," or the notion that voters would lie to pollsters in favor of an African American candidate, but would cast their ballots for the other guy in private. The idea of the Bradley effect itself is a belief that America harbors a sort of latent racism, which could only become suddenly apparent after voters had gone to the polls. The idea was faulty.

The candidate who was supposedly handicapped by his race won a Democratic landslide. Not only did he break a racial barrier but he broke down a barrier that had increasingly impeded the modern Democratic party: slim margins of victory. In the last 50 years the three biggest landslides have all been Republican: Nixon in '72 and Reagan in '80 and '84. Since 1964, no Democrat has won with more than 300 electoral votes without the help of a third party candidate (Perot got 19% of the vote in 1992 and even 8% in 1996, helping Clinton win more electoral votes).

States that had not voted for a Democratic President since '64 also turned this time around: Virginia and Indiana. Obama won both the symbolic swing states of Ohio and Florida, the breadwinners of the electoral college. Western states like New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada all went blue -- and even North Carolina jumped the bandwagon, encroaching on the "solid south," the Republican stronghold.

But with Obama's historic election come huge expectations, expectations that even "the one" will find difficult to meet. How will Renegade fare?

Friday
Aug202010

ELECTION DAY: What to Watch  

By William Rabbe on 11/03/2008

After two years of non-stop campaigning, a remarkable field of candidates and a fierce battle in the home stretch, we're on the eve of election day. While Barack Obama leads in all the national polls and in most battleground polls, it isn't over until one of the candidates reaches the magic number of electoral votes: 270. Here's a summary of what to watch for as the results begin to come in:

Indiana: While it's a mid-west state, its polls close early so we should see the results report at 6PM (EST), before many of the eastern states. A traditional red state, Indiana has been extremely close and may be the first indicator of how election night will play out. While an Obama win will likely mean big victory nationwide, if Obama is blown out it may indicate a late McCain surge. Same rule applies for Missouri (but it doesn't report until 8). But since a narrow McCain win won't change the game either way, we should also be looking at the big electoral states of Ohio and Florida early on in the evening.

Ohio and Florida: Polls have shown a dead heat. McCain needs these states to remain competitive, since a win for Obama in either will likely guarantee victory for the Obama camp. If Obama loses narrowly, he will need to hold onto Pennsylvania and win Virginia. Florida reports at 7PM, Ohio at 7:30.

Pennsylvania: While Obama has led against McCain in this state since last April, the McCain campaign is putting down the chips -- Mark Salter and McCain's strategists see PA as the gateway to 270 and the Senator has kept his schedule full of events in the state. So, what do they know that we don't? Well, they tell us that their internal polling shows a closer race than many thought. In fact, Pennsylvania might be particularly difficult to poll, remember, Obama was only down 5 points before he was blown out by Clinton by a margin of 10.

If McCain is, in fact, competitive in PA, we may have a longer night than expected and Obama would have to make up the electoral loss by winning either Ohio or Florida, or 3 of the 3 western states of New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada in addition to... Virginia, which is seen as an Obama stronghold.

Virginia: Obama has maintained a clear lead in this state for weeks, even above the margin of error in many polls. Once a solid Red state, it hasn't voted for a Democratic President since LBJ in 1964. In 2004 John Kerry pulled his campaign out in August, but this year Barack Obama never counted VA out and his efforts in the state have paid off -- most pundits have marked the state as a sure bet for Obama. Watch Obama run up the numbers in this new blue state. While McCain is unlikely to win, if McCain's turnout is larger than expected and Obama's margin is diminished, it may indicate a surprise turn in the electorate. If Obama loses PA, he will need this state and three of the western states to win. Virginia results will come in with Florida -- at 7PM.

Western Toss-Ups: New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada are Barack Obama's firewall. If he loses PA or VA in the east, the entire focus of the election will turn to these three states as he will have to make up the numbers.

Take a look at the electoral vote calculator to see the possible outcomes. Predictions?

 

Friday
Aug202010

Obama LOVES this trading market...  

By William Rabbe on 10/08/2008

While the stock market is infuriating most Americans right now, there IS a market that Obama can be happy about.

Really? Youbetcha!

The Intrade bid for Obama following last nights debate is higher than ever -- at 74 points today.

Yes, that means that people investing in the outcome of this election are betting that Obama wins... a 74% chance.

 

Friday
Aug202010

The Palin Affair?  

By William Rabbe on 09/27/2008

Conservative columnist, Kathleen Parker, of the National Review has called for Sarah Palin to withdraw from the Republican ticket.

Nearly a month after the Sarah Palin's triumphant speech at the RNC, several rather embarrassing moments have called her qualifications into question -- big time. Most of this buzz can be attributed to her interview with Katie Couric of on September 25th, described in TIME as "downright looney" and, "pathetic" by CNN's Jack Cafferty. If you search "Palin Couric" and total the number views on Youtube of various excerpts of the interview it is over 3 million so far.

Maybe Palin is "out of her league," as Parker states, but does this really mean that she should withdraw or that McCain should dump her? Speaking in terms of presidential politics: absolutely not. 1972 Democratic nominee George McGovern might have set the gold standard of bad political moves by doing just that in his race against Richard Nixon and it cost him dearly.

The late ex-vice presidential Candidate, Tom Eagleton, was dropped from the ticket after it was discovered that he has received electro-shock treatment for "fatigue" twice. Quite controversial at the time (although Geraldine Ferraro said in our interview that, "there have probably been a couple of Vice Presidents who have mental health problems and we just haven't found out about it..." -- who was she referring to?).

McGovern did not extensively vet his selection and the resulting "Eagleton Affair" was a disaster -- the move was seen by the public as overtly political, especially after he had publicly declared that he was behind Eagleton "1,000 percent."

For better or worse, McCain and Palin are stuck with eachother -- but if it's as bad as Kathleen Parker asserts, the campaign can take comfort that the Democrats probably won't attack Palin directly, just look at Michael Dukakis' 1988 campaign for President -- he ran ads against George H. W. Bush's "careless" choice of Dan Qualye, opening with narration stating that "the most powerful man in the world is mortal" (really?!?).

A lot of good that did him, Dukakis lost in a landslide. That ad was decidedly not a game changer, it was a distraction.

The truth is that people vote for the person on the top of the ticket. This conventional wisdom will probably hold true in 2008.

Nevertheless, what would it take for a "Palin Affair" to still happen? She would have to make a statement to exceed all bounds of absurdity, revealing herself to be an undeniable liability in the eyes of the American public. Like maybe if she said the moon was made of cheese...

This week will prove to be the ultimate test of Palin's cred -- the third and final part of the Katie Couric interview is set to air (perhaps they saved the best for last?) and the most anticipated vice presidential debate of all time will take place on Thursday. That means a lot of opportunity for gaffes. If Palin survives this week, Kathleen Parker can be assured that she's on the ticket for good.

Friday
Aug202010

Guilt by Association?  

By William Rabbe on 09/19/2008

Barack Obama may have stretched the truth in tying Rush Limbaugh to John McCain on immigration. 
In truth, the two generally do not agree on the issue, but in this political climate, getting away with as much as you can seems to be the name of the game... (Limbaugh's explaination here)

Maybe Obama will next link McCain and the right wing of the Republican party to Ann Coulter, who advocated to take away a woman's right to vote:

If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democrat president. It's kind of a pipe dream, it's a personal fantasy of mine, but I don't think it's going to happen. And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women.

Pop quiz: who was the first first lady-to-be who got to vote for her husband for President?

Click here for the answer.

Friday
Aug202010

A Chicken in Every Pot  

By William Rabbe on 09/18/2008

Herbert McCain? There's been a lot of chatter about John McCain's quote that "the fundamentals of the economy are strong" and that, ironically, the very same sentence was uttered by Herbert Hoover just prior to the great depression. Harry Reid first made the comparison, to McCain's detriment -- Hoover, of course, was blamed for the largest economic downturn in history and was defeated overwhelmingly by Franklin Roosevelt in 1932.

McCain quickly corrected his statement, first saying that he was referring to "American workers" or the "spirit of innovation," then saying that the fundamentals are "strong" but "threatened."

His inadvertent historical reference is not helpful, but luckily, not many Americans: 1. remember Herbert Hoover, 2. study history that closely.

So, for anyone interested, here is a glimpse of the man -- clips from Herbert Hoover's campaigns in '28 and '32:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKwkT4Mh87M&feature=player_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rhqa739ZVxo&feature=player_embedded

Also, this isn't the first time John McCain has been compared to Herbert Hoover -- Hillary Clinton criticized him in March for sounding "remarkably like Herbert Hoover" when he espoused his views against Government interference in the housing crisis, saying "it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers." Perhaps an equally regrettable statement in hindsight considering the necessity of AIG's bailout? This bailout was no "reward" to a financial institution that would have broken the economy's back had it been allowed to fail.

Look for McCain's position on the economy to further merge with Barack Obama's in the coming weeks. Economic populism is suddenly the trend in this election...

Friday
Aug202010

The Obama Strikes Back  

By William Rabbe on 08/21/2008

Having been lambasted by the McCain camp as an out of touch, race-card-playing celebu-tante, Barack Obama is fighting back this week -- and pragmatic Democrats who worried that Obama's "above the fray" non-responsive approach would doom his candidacy are sighing with relief.

The cardinal rule of negative campaigning is: "when attacked, attack back," -- or perhaps better summarized by veteran democratic strategist, Paul Begala: "it's hard for your opponent to say bad things about you when your fist is in his mouth."

The most classic victims of "refuse-to-fight-back-syndrome" are Michael Dukakis in 1988 and John Kerry in 2004. Both democratic candidates did not want to dignify their opponents attacks with a response and both paid a high price as a result. Somehow more democrats fail to learn this lesson than republicans...

So, is Obama's fist in McCain's mouth?

Well, Obama's first new ad hits McCain hard on taxes and his purported connection to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

It's pretty good, but won't rouse as much attention as McCain's ad featuring Brittney and Paris... (Although, the injury to McCain was compounded when Rea Hederman Jr., of the conservative Heritage Foundation, said that the middle class would pay less taxes under an Obama administration.)

In a more devastating negative ad, Obama's portrays McCain as too aloof and too wealthy to be able to understand the consequences of the foreclosure crisis for everyday Americans.

So, it seems Obama has learned the lessons that have beleaguered so many of his democratic predecessors with an effective negative ad campaign... but will it stick? For Obama to be successful, he must construct a believable narrative for his opponent that confirms the suspicions that American's have of John McCain... so, while these ads may come a little late, this is an effective start.

Friday
Aug202010

On Foreign Policy  

By William Rabbe on 08/12/2008

Whatever happened to "speak softly and carry a big stick?" Our voice is clearly audible and our stick is stuck in the mud...

In the wake of Russia's flagrant use of power, the foreign policy challenge of our next President will be to effectively move away from the neoconservative ideology of the last eight years and toward the application of "realpolitik" -- a pragmatic approach to foreign policy balancing power with the national interest.

Russia's invasion of former Soviet satellite state Georgia has prompted many to wonder why the United States and Western world have not been able to better influence the unfortunate course of events over the last several days. Despite Georgian President Saakashvili's attempt to encourage the US to take a bigger role at his side, America has largely been ineffective in curtailing Russian aggression, the scope and swiftness of which has shocked the international community. So why couldn't we do more to avert or cease this conflict earlier?

The answer to this question may lie in the doctrinal application of neoconservatism to American foreign policy. The idea of neoconservatism is confusing -- it has been used pejoratively to describe George Bush's brand of "Cowboy Diplomacy," military pre-emption in the name of security and even American zionism -- but those interpretations aside, at the core of the neoconservative movement is an idealism that democracy can easily flourish worldwide and that the United States is the missionary of that Democracy -- a philosophy that has put more emphasis on confrontation than on compromise. In fact, Robert Kagan described neoconservatism's ultimate goal as "benevolent hegemony."

As applied over the last seven or eight years, our over-eagerness to export democracy has tied up our military and resources, lost us favor with friendly nations and has increased our deficit. This has left us more vulnerable and less credible on the world stage.

In the late 1960's, a costly war in Vietnam coupled with increased spending was referred to as "guns and butter" by critics of the Johnson administration. Now the comparison the LBJ's administration may be more appropriate since Russia has acted so flagrantly: in August of 1968, during the Lyndon Johnson's lame duck term and on the eve of the Presidential election, the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia -- the US, with it's hands full, was unable to roll back the tanks.

Vladimir Putin is most certainly aware that this month marks the 40th anniversary of the Czechoslovakia invasion and, conveniently for him, just as in '68, the US doesn't have much leverage -- even after having had prior knowledge of Russia's plan. Putin foresaw a narrow window of opportunity and used it.

Encouraging former Soviet states to continue on their democratic trajectory is certainly in the national interest, while Iraq appears less and less to have been the "imminent threat" it was portrayed to be. Despite Bush's outward confidence in Putin (having famously looked into his eyes and having "seen his soul"), it appears the United States somehow underestimated Russia's prowess. It is clear that we can no longer assume that Russia is the same disorganized, weakened nation it was ten years ago and ignore it on the world stage -- Vladimir Putin proved long ago that he was no Boris Yeltsin and as Prime Minister it appears he has a heavier hand.

The next president will be faced with the challenge of returning to "Realpolitik," an approach to diplomacy that has eluded this Administration -- one that will allow for a more flexible response to crises of this nature the military might to back up critical rhetoric. Realpolitik ("the politics of reality" in German) is defined as "policies based on hard, practical considerations rather than on moral or idealistic concerns."

So, this being an election year, which candidate will be better suited to respond to problems of this type on the world stage? Neither John McCain nor Barack Obama are neocons, but who would be more effective? There are arguments on both sides. John McCain would not likely put ideology before practicality, as shown by his great regard for the decisions of the generals on the ground in Iraq. And Barack Obama would likely gain more leverage among more countries, as he plans to cultivate allies and recoup our military.

Henry Kissinger once summarized that, "a statesman's test is whether he can discern from the swirl of tactical decisions the true long term interests of his country and devise an appropriate strategy for achieving them." This still rings true...

Friday
Aug202010

Too Far?  

By William Rabbe on 07/30/2008

OMG! The new John McCain ad features Barack Obama amongst celebrities Britney Spears and Paris Hilton!

That's hot.

But by tapping into popular resentment of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, is McCain's camp grabbing at straws or could this approach be effective (albeit still slightly ridiculous)?

Probably both. As the underdog, John McCain can afford some flexibility in shifting tactics -- he's trying nearly every approach to find out what works and what doesn't before the critical post-convention stretch. In this case, he's making a play for free publicity by cooking up a controversial ad that will be much talked about by the pundits. Obvi!

But also, he may be fortifying the doubts amongst some Americans that Barack Obama is less an effective leader as much as a rock-star-esque self-promoter. Or a celebutante.

But wait! Isn't this coming from the same candidate who gladly touted his endorsement from The Hill's star, Heidi Montag?

Friday
Aug202010

McCain is Turning up the Heat  

By William Rabbe on 07/25/2008

Over the last three weeks or so, candidate McCain has been making the point that Barack Obama would, "rather lose a war than a political campaign." The statement was criticized by TIME columnist Joe Klein, who said: "I can't remember a more scurrilous statement by a major party candidate. It smacks of desperation." Nevertheless, McCain believes this point might be working, as he has continued making it...

But I expect that this is just the beginning. Political strategy is all about making the debate about your opponent, and this week many have noted that McCain is focusing on Obama's character and fitness for the office of the Presidency...

The latest? McCain's new TV ad. Expect more to come.

Friday
Aug202010

The 12 Worst Gaffes of the 2008 Election  

By William Rabbe on 07/15/2008

Filed under: Lists

By Sarah Scully and William Rabbe

Every candidate makes mistakes every election cycle -- but in 2008, with the popularization of online video, they're more noticeable. The following is a list of the top 12 worst gaffes of 2008 (so far).

12. Lightning Strikes Rudy Giuliani While Former Candidate Rudy Giuliani was explaining his pro-choice position on abortion, lightning strikes, disrupting the audio from his microphone. The lesson? Candidates should remember that God is always watching.

11. Barack Obama's Botches Tornado Death Toll Numbers Barack Obama vastly over-stated the number of deaths resulting from tornados in Kansas, saying 10,000 people died. The reality: 12.

10. John McCain's Sunni/ Shi'ite Mixup One of a few McCain gaffes, the candidate mixed up the two major sects of Islam in claiming that Shiite Iran was training the Sunni Al Queda-- but thank goodness for Joe Lieberman!

9. Obama's Presumptuous Logo Obama came under fire for using a logo that closely resembled the Presidential Seal -- not a smart move -- he was quickly accused of measuring the drapery in the White House...

8. Joe Biden's Comments on "Clean" Obama Yikes, Joe Biden attempts to praise Barack Obama but mistakenly calls him "clean and articulate" -- seen as a racially insensitive move.

7. Mike Huckabee's NRA Speech Huckabee tries to be funny but instead draws criticism when giving a speech at the NRA -- uttering that somebody off camera had "pointed a gun at Barack Obama."

6. Hillary Clinton's RFK Comment Hillary Clinton appeared to be hoping for the worst when she described June as the month when "anything can happen" -- in this case, she referenced that in 1968 Democratic frontrunner Robert Kennedy was assassinated. Not a politic thing to say, especially when her rival, Barack Obama has been compared to RFK countless times and when many shared the growing perception that Clinton would do anything to win.

5. Michelle Obama's "Proud" Remarks Michelle Obama learned that she needed to be careful while on the stump -- her comments that "for the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country," implied to many that she hadn't been proud of America until only recently. Careful careful!!

4. McCain's 100 Years Comment The downside to being a "straight-talker" is that sometimes you can make remarks that may be exaggeratedly harsh -- to make his point on Iraq, John McCain said there might be a military presence in Iraq for 100 years. Democratic groups leapt on the comments, which proved to be immensely unpopular as Americans grow more war-weary.

3. McCain's Economic Confessions "I know a lot less about economics that I know about military and foreign policy issues" were perhaps the worst remarks John McCain could have said, as the economy has become the #1 issue in this election. Again, "straight talk" can get you in trouble!!

2. Obama's San Francisco "Bitter" Remarks Probably the last thing Obama should have uttered about small-town voters, especially while at a San Francisco fundraiser, he said "it's not surprising that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them." The comment gave Clinton much ammunition and McCain allies may ressurect the quote for the general election.

1. Clinton's Bosnia Adventure The number one biggest gaffe of the 2008 Presidential election was Hillary Clinton's dramatic exaggeration of her landing in Bosnia in 1996, "under sniper fire." Was it an attempt to bolster her "experience" claim? Or was it a legitimate "misstatement"? We may never know for sure, but the video of the actual event sure did contradict much of her very descriptive story.

Friday
Aug202010

Where Were You During the Summer of Love?  

By William Rabbe on 07/08/2008

The ad wars continue: "Don't hope for a better life -- vote for one" [emphasis added] is the message of John McCain's new TV spot.

 As a very well edited piece, it is likely to be effective -- it combines elements of McCain's biography with a rebuttal of Barack Obama's message.

But it also equates the counterculture and the 1967 "Summer of Love" with Obama's campaign themes of "hope" and "change". Is it a problem is that at age 46, Obama was only 6 years old at the time?

Friday
Aug202010

Axelrod on Rove: "The Only One Making Snide Remarks is him"  

By William Rabbe on 06/24/2008

Many have been talking about Karl Rove's recent quote depicting Obama as a Country Club Elitist -- but it's actually derived from an older Rove quote from an interview with the Times of UK from April 26th:

"You have probably seen this kind of guy at London parties, trailing ash from a fashionable cigarette into the carpet and making snide remarks about someone 'being an abominable bore'."

Somehow, I had a hard time imagining that this image would "stick" to Obama the way that it did against John Kerry in 2004 -- especially since Rove described Obama with the vivid imagery that William Thackary would have used to depict a character from Barry Lyndon -- and so I brought this up with Obama Chief Strategist David Axelrod in Indiana in late April:

Aside from my tripping over the word "abominable" (as in snowman) (and Ax mistakenly calling Rove a college Democrat), Axelrod issues a harsh rebuke of Rove and the Bush/ Rove strategy of 2000 and 2004, saying, "the only one making snide remarks is him" and goes on to dismiss the portrayal of Obama as Rove, "madly pushing buttons that he's familiar with."

A pretty strong push-back to Rove's attempt to portray Obama as an elitist (a job that Hillary Clinton started in Pennsylvania) and it reveals a campaign that takes a hands on approach of calling out potentially damaging tactics so that they cannot be used as effectively.

In other news, McCain's new ad, will more likely work to define Obama if people don't buy into the whole "fashionable cigarette country club thing."

Clove anyone?

Friday
Aug202010

A McCain "Doh" Moment  

By William Rabbe on 06/24/2008

Lightning rod Chief Strategist, Charlie Black, made a political faux-pas yesterday: he talked about the political gains of a terrorist attack on America, saying that such attack would "be a big advantage to [Presidential Candidate McCain]."

This is nothing new for pundits to debate on FOX, CNN or MSNBC -- but since it came from the Senior Advisor of the McCain campaign it sent a shock-wave through the blogosphere and raised alarm-bells for candidate McCain, who promptly disavowed the comment, saying " I can't imagine why he would say it."

So, while impolitic, are these comments that bad? Many know that the hypothetical case Black described is true -- so, is this the classic Washington Gaffe, which Howard Dean would repetitively describe in 2004 as, "saying the truth when you shouldn't have"?

Probably. But if the McCain camp keeps it up, it will cost him dearly -- the perception that a candidate is insensitive to a potential terror attack would raise just the sort of doubt about McCain in the eyes of the voting public that would effectively undermine his strong-suit.

Friday
Aug202010

Is There Really Such Thing As a 50 State Strategy?  

By William Rabbe on 06/19/2008

The concept of a 50 State Campaign Strategy has attracted much praise and disdain throughout the last several election cycles. The concept is that a campaign should, in effect, be able to campaign nationwide in all 50 states, as opposed to disproportionately targeting specific states that might swing from red to blue or vice versa. The Democrats have touted this strategy in 2008 -- and Obama's team has stated that they plan to run everywhere, even where they have no chance of winning.

We all know that the elections of 2000 and 2004 boiled down to a handful of voters in Florida and Ohio, so it's difficult to imagine a Presidential election where these two states don't play a vital role -- it therefore makes sense to dedicate more resources to these swing states at the expense of, say, Oklahoma, which has voted Republican since 1964. So, in 2008 is the 50 State Strategy just a high-minded ideal? A lofty talking point? Or is it a strategic tactic?

Richard Nixon was the first candidates to implement a 50 State Strategy in 1960 and it may well have led to his defeat. Insisting to visit every state and take no vote for granted, he nearly fell short of his vow just 3 days before the November election. With the electoral-vote-heavy state of California essentially tied up, he needed another crucial state to seal the deal against John F. Kennedy -- either Michigan or Pennsylvania -- and where did he go? Alaska. Why? Because it was the last state in which he hadn't campaigned. Whoops.

In recent times, a candidate would be crazy to pay any attention to Alaska in the final stretch of the election (sorry Mike Gravel), but while Obama's strategy would never be so pig-headed, should Democrats fear that resources will be allocated in areas of the country where they will have no effect?

When you take a look at the political realities on the ground, it is unlikely that many red (Republican) or blue (Democratic) states will easily cross over -- but targeting states that your opponent believes to have "locked up" might serve to diminish their overall resources at the very least. In a year where the Democrats have out-fundraised the Republicans by double, this could help Obama immeasurably.

In fact, the spread between Obama and McCain in most states is dramatically closer now than in 2004 -- even in the reddest of states. Mississippi, Montana, Georgia, Texas -- all supposedly "safe" McCain states -- each show much smaller margins between Obama/McCain than in the Kerry/ Bush race. If these numbers closed to within 7 or 8 points, it would prove frustrating to the McCain camp, who would have to re-allocate his resources to keep several red-states red in 2008.

So while there may not be such thing as a "true" 50 State Strategy like Nixon had proposed, Obama's use of the concept as a strategic tactic may very well cause McCain to campaign in his own backyard, keeping him in a defensive posture.

Friday
Aug202010

Clinton's Veep Gambit  

By William Rabbe on 06/05/2008

One of the more telling moments for me at Clinton's Tuesday event was when Lanny Davis mistakenly slipped a word into our interview, he said: "... when I think about her running for Vice President..."

Hmmm... wait a second. For Vice President?

I asked if he really meant: if she gets to run as Vice President -- he explained that he was tired and yes, he didn't mean to say that she would run for the office but that he felt she would be a good candidate if she were picked (and is petitioning Obama for just that -- supposedly despite her wishes on the matter).

Was this a freudian slip? Did he just reveal the new Clinton strategy? The implicit difference between the two statements is significant -- if she were to pursue the Vice Presidency, it could mean trouble for the Democratic party. But as many are reporting, her chances of getting on the ticket are waning... she even put out a statement today disavowing efforts to get her on the ticket. Perhaps to Obama's relief.

Friday
Aug202010

Anticipation  

By William Rabbe on 06/03/2008

There has been a barrage of conflicting reports on what is going to happen at the Clinton event this evening:

1. AP: "Hillary Rodham Clinton will concede Tuesday night that Barack Obama has the delegates to secure the Democratic nomination, campaign officials said, effectively ending her bid to be the nation's first female president."

2. Then Clinton said AP was incorrect...

3. Or maybe she'll only concede the delegate race and keep the campaign rolling??

UPDATED:

The AP is reporting as of 1:40 PM that Obama has clinched the nomination.

 

Friday
Aug202010

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS ALMOST OVER  

By William Rabbe on 05/27/2008

She comes out with the the PROJECT T-Shirt contest

50 States, 3 territories, hundreds of delegates, millions of votes and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt?

 

Friday
Aug202010

Obama Press Conference x2  

By William Rabbe on 04/25/2008

Senator Obama left Chicago this morning for campaign events in the increasingly important Primary state of Indiana -- and IFC had the opportunity to join up with him and the traveling press. The big happening for the corps is that after 12 days without a single press conference, the Senator has held 2 in the 3 days since the Pennsylvania Primary.

As the Democratic Primary race approaches its 5th month, it is more apparent than ever that Obama is in a two front war -- both his opponents, McCain and Clinton, have targeted him exclusively. But to combat this sniper fire, it seems that Obama is renewing his message as a Washington outsider -- a smart contrast to make since the term "insider" could be applied to either opponent. In portraying this difference he consistently referred to "the remaining candidates" rather than to mention either Clinton or McCain by name, effectively streamlining his approach...

And when asked about being "elitist," he joked: "I don't want go out of my way to sort of prove my 'street cred'," but he does have a basketball event later tonight, so he might just do that...

Friday
Aug202010

Bomb, Bomb, Bomb vs. Nuke, Nuke, Nuke...  

By William Rabbe on 04/23/2008

Hillary Clinton on Iran: "In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them." [Emphasis added]

Last time I checked, the Republican candidate hasn't even used language this strong -- and certainly McCain facetiously chirping "bomb bomb Iran" is nothing like using the term "obliterate". "Obliterate" has nuclear implications, whereas "bomb" does not.

Expect to see an escalation of rhetoric against Iran....

Maybe this is John McCain's opportunity to seek retribution for what the Democrats did to Barry Goldwater in 1964.