Patterico's Pontifications


Next Up: McCain’s VP Choice

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 8:51 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Democratic National Convention is over and the McCain campaign hopes to dampen its after-effects with a VP pick on Friday. The most recent reports suggest it will be Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

Pawlenty is a safe pick but I wonder if he will come across as a lightweight in his debate with Joe Biden just as Dan Quayle suffered in comparison to Lloyd Bentsen. It’s possible Biden will commit some gaffe (it’s happened before) but he will certainly do everything possible to avoid it and he only has to do so for one debate.

McCain bills himself as a maverick and he is when it comes to challenging the Republican Party. But at a time when McCain needs to shake up this election with a bold pick, I doubt he will. I don’t mean he should select a Democrat like Joe Lieberman or a pro-choice candidate like Tom Ridge but he needs a younger, energetic Fred or Fredette Thompson who can articulate conservative values and satisfy the public’s yearning for something new.

Pawlenty may be the closest we’ll get.

As for me, I’ll accept any choice as long as it’s not Lindsey Graham.


Consider This — If Obama served 8 years as PRESIDENT, it would be the longest period of full-time employment in the same job in his entire life.

Filed under: General — WLS @ 8:08 pm

Posted by WLS:

After Columbia he spent a year in a New York business, a year in a NY non-profit, and then headed to Chicago where he spent 3 years as a “community organizer.”

Then he went to law school, returning to Chicago in 1991.  He did some community organizing, then was an associate for a Chicago law firm for three years.  After that he was to the State Senate – a part time legislature — and served as a lecturer at the Univ. of Chicago law school — another part-time gig.  He was involved in a variety of community organizations during this period.

His Senate seat is the first full-time job he has had since his law firm days — but he’s only been in that job for 4 years.

So, serving 8 years at POTUS would be his longest stint in any position of full-time employment in his life.

Barack Obama’s Acceptance Speech

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 5:03 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

This is an open thread on Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention.

Obama’s speech is scheduled to begin in an hour. Here is a link to the complete Thursday schedule that concludes with a performance by Stevie Wonder, former Vice President Al Gore’s speech, a performance by Michael McDonald, and then Barack Obama’s acceptance speech.

That sounds pretty entertaining.

NOTE @ 5:32 PM PST: The Politico has posted these excerpts from the text of Obama’s speech.


Can an unplanned pregnancy ever be described as ‘inflicting great bodily injury’ as a matter of law?

Filed under: Abortion,Law — Justin Levine @ 4:18 pm

The Supreme Court of California takes on the interesting issue here [PDF].

Be sure to read Justice Corrigan’s concurrance as well.

– Justin Levine

National Enquirer Scoops The Rest Of The Media Again [O.J. Alert]

Filed under: Scum — Justin Levine @ 2:22 pm

But I’m sure critics will say that this is either not true, or somehow not ‘newsworthy’ because its in the Enquirer.

Takes cognitive dissonance to a new level for these people.

– Justin Levine

L.A. Times Policy: Report Crime, But Withhold Useful Information That Would Actually Allow Readers To Help Police Identify The Suspects

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer — Justin Levine @ 1:42 pm

L.A. Observed has the details.

– Justin Levine

Justin’s Laws Of Interpreting Political Polling

Filed under: Politics — Justin Levine @ 1:15 pm

[by Justin Levine]

These should be obvious, but still bear repeating:

1.  Any single poll won’t be of much use. Many polls showing the same trend is more helpful.

2.  Polls of “registered voters” are useless. Only concentrate on the polls of “likely voters”.

3.  Naturally, the bigger the sample, the better the results – but never forget law # 2.  A smaller sample of “likely voters” polled will still likely yield more accurate results than a larger sample of “registered voters”.

4. Be extra suspicious of polls conducted by media organizations as opposed to organizations that concentrate exclsuively on polling full time. [An L.A. Times poll on the election?? Bwahahaha!  Stick with Zogby, Gallup, Rasmussen, etc.] Even when such media organizations “partner” with professional poll takers, the results still tend not to be as accurate as when the pros do it exclusively by themselves.

Now go forth with your newfound enlightenment, and draw your own conclusions.

– Justin Levine


Filed under: 2008 Election — WLS @ 12:07 pm

[Posted by WLS]

How else do you describe this:


On Annenberg, Arrogance and Obama’s Acceptance Speech

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 12:05 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

On Tuesday, the University of Illinois at Chicago released more than 1,000 files from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge that some, including National Review’s Stanley Kurtz, believe will shed light on connections between Barack Obama and Bill Ayers. (Read this City Journal article for more on why Bill Ayers matters.)

Kurtz and National Review have actively pursued the connections between Obama-Ayers while Obama’s campaign has worked to limit these efforts, including organizing supporters to confront WGN-AM radio in Chicago for giving Kurtz air-time. The Obama campaign’s rapid and strong response suggests it learned a lesson from John Kerry’s experience with the Swift Boat Vets 4 years ago.

I wonder how journalists and media sources view these actions by the Obama campaign? Even those that support Obama must be concerned at the campaign’s efforts to manipulate or intimidate the media. (Perhaps it even explains, at least in part, the growing number of major media articles on Obama’s arrogance, such as this and this.) We’ll soon see what role the media plays from this point forward but I think the Annenberg story and the Obama campaign’s response contributes to the increasing pressure on old and new media sources to break stories, including pressure from bloggers and fringe media like the National Enquirer.

I expect Barack Obama will give an impressive speech tonight on this anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech.” It will be a powerful moment for Barack Obama and for America, and I’m proud most Americans are now blind to the color of a man’s skin as King dreamed we would be.

I also believe this could be the nadir zenith of Obama’s campaign. Over the next two months, the American public will learn more about Obama’s liberal voting record and questionable connections. In addition, Obama and McCain will debate three times, forums I expect both candidates will be prepared for but that neither can control.

It’s important to be a good closer in politics and neither the Obama campaign nor its candidate showed that ability in the primary against Hillary. And as WLS has shown, the Obama campaign may have miscalculated money and that will only add to its problems.


“A significant number of Senator Clinton’s fund-raisers remain … unwilling to work for Obama, a nettlesome problem that appears to be contributing to the campaign’s failure to keep pace with fund-raising goals it set for the general election.” WLS?? No, NYT.

Filed under: 2008 Election — WLS @ 2:18 am

[Posted by WLS]

I have written three posts that questioned whether the fundraising totals announced by the Obama campaign, records though they might well be, nevertheless fell short of what the Obama campaign itself planned on raising, and how a shortfall against their expectations would impact their campaign strategy.

Well, along comes the NYT yesterday and validates my very thesis. Among the quotes from the piece are the following:

When Mr. Obama decided in June to bypass the $84 million in public financing for the general election, campaign officials calculated that to make it worth the additional time he would need to devote off the campaign trail to fund-raising, they needed to raise two to three times the $84 million.

They set out a goal of raising $300 million for the campaign and $180 million for the Democratic Party, several fund-raisers said, or about $100 million a month.

The targets hewed closely with what Obama advisers also cited in interviews as their anticipated budget for the general election, but a spokesman for the campaign insisted on Tuesday that its fund-raising was on target and denied that $100 million a month was ever a real goal, or that the campaign was having problems recruiting Clinton donors.

In July, Mr. Obama and the Democratic National Committee took in about $77 million. That swamped the $53 million Mr. McCain and the Republican National Committee collected. But it was for a second straight month significantly off the pace Obama officials had set.

In June, when Mrs. Clinton suspended her campaign, Clinton and Obama officials estimated they might be able to collect $50 million to $75 million or more from Clinton donors. They appear to be nowhere near that.

Indeed, a New York Times analysis of Federal Election Committee records found that Clinton donors contributed roughly $2 million to the Obama campaign in July, similar to what they gave in June. The amount is not insubstantial, but it appears to fall short of targets originally envisioned by Obama fund-raisers.

I said that to meet the fundraising goals that the Obama campaign announced or itself, Obama alone needed to raise about $65 million a month. Every month he fell short meant the months to follow had to be even higher.

We know that Obama has a paid campaign staff roughly 4x bigger than the Bush re-election staff in 2004, and that his burn rate in July was $2 million a day. We also know that Obama canceled paid advertising in 7 GOP states that his campaign claimed it was going to compete in.

I don’t see anything at the convention that will lead big money Clinton donors to be any more generous than they have. Obama is going to have to settle for having less cash, or he’s going to have to spend more time than planned on fundraising in Sept. and October.

And, I’ll make the same point I’ve made before — in 10 days John McCain is going to have a campaign warchest of about $175 million. Obama will have around $100 million — maybe less.

With that kind of funding advantage, McCain is going to be much better situated to dominate paid media in the opening weeks of the campaign, which will give him an opportunity to establish the narrative of the campaign.

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