Patterico's Pontifications


TIME/CNN Poll: Obama 49, McCain 48

Filed under: General — WLS @ 11:53 pm

Posted by WLS:

Survey taken 8/29-8/31 — first poll taken after both tickets were known.

And the GOP hasn’t had its convention yet.

McCain is going to be ahead 5-6 points next Sunday.

Which will make Jim Vandehei and John Harris look pretty stupid for having written this article based on their own knee jerk reaction to Palin’s selection:

The selection of a running mate is among the most consequential and the most defining decisions a presidential nominee can make. John McCain’s pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says a lot about his decision-making — and some of it is downright breathtaking…

1. He’s desperate. Let’s stop pretending this race is as close as national polling suggests. [I guess that explains why all the electoral map projections show McCain closing ground on Obama — just as he’s closed ground in the national polls — WLS]  The truth is McCain is essentially tied or trailing in every swing state that matters…. On top of that, voters seem very inclined to elect Democrats in general this election — and very sick of the Bush years. 

McCain could easily lose in an electoral landslide. That is the private view of Democrats and Republicans alike. 

2. He’s willing to gamble — bigtime. Let’s face it: This is not the pick of a self-confident candidate. It is the political equivalent of a trick play or, as some Democrats called it, a Hail Mary pass in football. [How about its a candidate making tactical and strategic decisions that give him the best opportunity to prevail.  Obama thought Biden did that for him, so as the “change” candidate he picked a guy who came to the Senate before Watergate, and who has twice been resounding rejected by his own party as “CinC” material.  Yep – that’s really “self-confident” on Obama’s part. — WLS]

He is smart enough to know it could work, at least politically. Many Republicans see this pick as a brilliant stroke, because it will be difficult for Democrats to run hard against a woman in the wake of the Hillary Clinton drama. Will this push those disgruntled Hillary voters McCain’s way? Perhaps. But this is hardly aimed at them: It is directed at the huge bloc of independent women who could decide this election — especially those who do not see abortion as a make-or-break issue. 

3. He’s worried about the political implications of his age. Like a driver overcorrecting out of a swerve, he chooses someone who is two years younger than the youthful Obama and 28 years younger than he is. (He turned 72 on Friday.) The father-daughter comparison was inevitable when they appeared next to each other.

4. He’s not worried about the actuarial implications of his age. He thinks he’s in fine fettle and Palin wouldn’t be performing the main constitutional duty of a vice president, which is standing by in case a president dies or becomes incapacitated. If he were really concerned about an inexperienced person sitting in the Oval Office, we would be writing about vice presidential nominee Mitt Romney or Tom Ridge or Condoleezza Rice.

Nor can McCain argue that he was looking for someone he could trust as a close adviser.

McCain has made a mockery out of his campaign’s longtime contention that Barack Obama is too dangerously inexperienced to be commander in chief. 

The McCain campaign has made a calculation that most voters don’t really care about the national experience or credentials of a vice president, and that Palin’s ebullient personality and reputation as a reformer who took on cesspool politics in Alaska matters more. [The truth is that the McCain campaign has done as much damage to Obama on the experience/celebrity issue as he is going to be able to do.  They’ve made that question central to Obama — its already established the narrative on that subject.  There is no need to bludgeon the public with it for another 10 weeks.  They’re going to move on to what an extreme liberal he is now. — WLS]

5. He’s worried about his conservative base. If he had room to maneuver, there were lots of people McCain could have selected who would have represented a break from Washington politics as usual. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman comes to mind (and it certainly came to McCain’s throughout the process). He had no such room. GOP stalwarts were furious over trial balloons about the possibility of choosing a supporter of abortion rights, including the possibility that he would reach out to his friend. 

6. At the end of the day, McCain is still McCain. People may find him a refreshing maverick or an erratic egotist. In either event, he marches to his own beat. 

I’ve got a lot of respect for these two guys as political writers.  Maybe they were working on deadline, and this was the best they could come up with.  But this is ham-handed and deserves to be mocked.  I think they’ll come to regret their snap judgments.

Random Palin Thoughts and Links

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 11:40 pm

There’s too much out there, and if I do a separate post for each thought, with each post coming five minutes after the last, I’ll look too much like Excitable Andrew Sullivan. Minus the rumor-mongering, hypocrisy, and hysteria, that is. So I’m bundling it all in this post.

Yes I Have

I love this from commenter MartyH, comparing Palin to Obama:

Every time Obama says “I will” she can say “I have”

Lead a government-check
Reform a government-check
Review a budget line by line and cut pork-check
Visit wounded troops in Germany-check
Bring hope and change-check
Unite people-check

Plus she can fly a float plane and gut a moose. You can’t get more real than that.

L.A. Times Columnist Suggests She Slept Her Way to the Veep Spot

From the Andrew Sullivan school of Ridiculous Comments About Palin, here’s James Rainey of the L.A. Times:

Before noon Friday — just after McCain grinned woodenly through Palin’s coming-out rally in Ohio (Why did he keep fiddling with his fingers and wedding ring?) — some of the nation’s biggest news organizations had reporters winging to Anchorage and nearby Wasilla, the town Palin led as mayor just a couple of years ago.

So, what are you saying, James Rainey? She slept her way to the Number Two spot?

You liberals. I love that respect for women that you have!

Goldstein Does What He Does Best

Jeff Goldstein has an excellent roundup of leftist insanity on Palin here.

Fee Fi Fo Frum: Boy Did I Say Something Dumb

David Frum:

If anything were to happen to a President McCain, the destiny of the free world would be placed in the hands of a woman who until the day before Friday was a small-town mayor.

Well, he didn’t say which Friday.

(To be fair, Frum does acknowledge, two paragraphs earlier, that Palin is the Governor of Alaska. So why this stupid line?)

“Troopergate” Facts

I’m way overdue on linking this Flopping Aces post from guest poster “MataHarley,” setting forth some of the facts on the “Troopergate” thing. (I hate using that term, since it sounds like a big nothing, but it’s the quickest way to say it and have you understand.)

UPDATE: Also, I’d just go to Beldar’s place and keep scrolling. The last time we saw an unconventional pick of a female for a significant post, where many people claimed she was underqualified, the female was Harriet Miers, and Beldar and I ended up on opposite sides of the issue. It’s very pleasant and more comfortable to be on the same side as Beldar in this fight.

Andrew Sullivan: “The Job of a Blogger Is to Get Facts Straight”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:45 pm

I just sent this e-mail to Andrew Sullivan:

Mr. Sullivan,

Today, you wrote: “[T]he job of a blogger is to get facts straight.”

You wouldn’t know it by reading your blog.

This is my third request in six days for a correction to your post which asserted that Ted Sampley, who has been attacking John McCain’s military credentials, is a member of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Quite clearly, Mr. Sampley is no such thing. I wrote you about this on August 26, and again yesterday, August 30. The e-mails are copied below.

My post on your error was linked by Instapundit and visited by thousands of readers. It is possible that two separate e-mails, together with a post from one of the most prominent bloggers on the Internet (Instapundit) mocking your error, has all escaped your attention?

It has now been six days since I e-mailed you about this, and you haven’t lifted a finger to correct your error — although you have found plenty of time for dozens of posts about Sarah Palin. These posts, by the way, have ranged in tone from condescending and sexist (such as your post where you quoted an e-mail suggesting Palin is a “bad mother” for pursuing the Vice-Presidency) to simply unhinged (such as your post where you describe as “good faith questions” the bizarre theory that Sarah Palin’s latest child is actually her grandchild). Yet, in this flurry of hysterical posting, you have not found time to 1) respond to my e-mail, 2) update your original post, or 3) issue a new post with a correction.

I am sending a copy of this e-mail to a friend of mine who is an avid reader of your blog. He is a staunch supporter of Democrats, and whenever I speak with him, he mentions some item he saw on your blog. It will be interesting to see whether this growing pattern of disregard for the truth has any effect on his respect for you.

If you think I’m going to let this drop, sir, then you’re clearly not familiar with me. I’ll be posting a copy of this e-mail on my site.

Yours truly,

Patrick Frey

After the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” post and this nonsense about Palin’s son really being her grandson, I actually started to write a post satirically “airing the theory” that Sullivan is suffering from a mental illness. After drafting several paragraphs, I see that Ace already published almost the exact same post. Ace’s approach and tone are different than mine would have been — mine began with a concerned e-mail from a Sullivan reader (“A reader writes . . .”), but the theme is exactly the same. I guess great minds think alike, and sometimes, so does mine.

Anyway, even Sullivan is starting to get embarrassed. Since I started drafting this post, he has started publishing evidence of Palin’s pregnancy.

UPDATE: As I was finishing this post, the following e-mail came in:

i’m sorry i missed this. it’s been pretty crazy this past week.
i will post

Did he mean “I’ve been” instead of “it’s been”?

This all may seem a little harsh, but here’s some unsolicited advice for Sullivan: next time, take some time off from the feverish “airing” of every ridiculous theory from every idiot posting on Daily Kos, and get your house in order. Correct your facts before — better still, instead of — posting wild moronic Internet rumors.

Trust me, your reputation would be better off if you followed my advice.

UPDATE x2: Here is the correction.

P.S. By the way, it was my third request in six days, but it’s been only five days since I e-mailed him, not six as I said in my e-mail. Hey look! A quick correction — and nobody even had to hassle me for it!

Palin Meltdown Watch

Filed under: 2008 Election,Media Bias — DRJ @ 9:18 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The media is melting-down over Sarah Palin. Michelle Cottle at The New Republic must need a shower after writing a screed called Biden’s Girl Trouble that includes this gem:

“Let’s traffic in some gender/political stereotypes for a moment: Obviously, Palin is a risky pick for McCain because she is approximately as qualified to serve as commander-in-chief as my Great Aunt Ruby (who has, full disclosure, been dead for several years now.)”

And this one:

“In head-to-head match ups, [Biden] will need to dismantle Palin completely, yet avoid triggering all those stupid, gut-level, subconscious, knee-jerk instincts that would lead voters to feel protective of her. This is particularly important in light of the remaining Hillary Issue. God forbid a meaningful chunk of Hillary dead-enders got it into their heads that, not only had Obama disrepected their gal, but now his number-two was dissing another sister.”

With any luck, Michelle Cottle will be required reading for every Hillary supporter and woman in America.


Quote of the Day

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 8:47 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Alan Wolfe, professor of political science and director of Boston College’s Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life, as quoted in the Washington Post on the reaction of evangelicals to Sarah Palin:

“These are people who have been beat up and beat up by their Republican allies time and time again. Their gratitude is actually unseemly. They have leapt up to embrace her without knowing much about her.”

For comparison purposes, here’s Prof. Wolfe’s take on Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright:

“But I do think that when we address race, we ought to do it, not by running endless videos of people, black or white, who have said outrageous things but by finally having the honest conversation about race we keep promising ourselves–and keep postponing. Agree or disagree with Obama, I ask people who are less inspired by him that I am, but at least acknowledge that in this presidential candidate, we have a man of honor–and an honest man.”

Hope and Change, Professor.


New Orleans Ready for Gustav

Filed under: Current Events — DRJ @ 8:04 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports New Orleans’ residents are jittery but ready as Hurricane Gustav nears the coast. It’s restrengthened to a Category 3 hurricane but is edging west in a move that may spare New Orleans from the storm surge.

Most of the businesses have closed but a few restaurants in the French Quarter stayed open to the delight of patrons. At some places it was described as a normal night for business.

Perhaps the patrons include network TV anchors who are reportedly descending on New Orleans:

“Anchors Katie Couric, Charles Gibson, Brian Williams, Anderson Cooper and Shepard Smith were all going to the New Orleans area for the storm instead of being with Republicans in St. Paul, Minn.”

As of 10 PM CST the hurricane was centered 220 miles southeast of New Orleans moving northwest at 16 mph with 115 mph sustained winds. Here’s a link to the latest tracking and projected path.


Monday at the Republican Convention

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 7:45 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times provides a list of the headliners for Monday’s Republican National Convention that will not be speaking because of Hurricane Gustav:

President George W. Bush
Vice President Richard B. Cheney
First Lady Laura Bush
Gov. Tim Pawlenty (Minn.)
Gov. Rick Perry (Texas)
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (Calif.)

The Convention will conduct “essential Party business” in an abbreviated session, including approval of the platform.

Click *More* for the full non-schedule.


Palin Images

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 7:37 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Sarah Palin as pictured in the August 2006 Alaska Report after defeating former Governor Frank Murkowski …

She looks familiar, don’t you think?

She has great shoes, too.


Republican Convention Delayed due to Gustav

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 4:17 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

John McCain has delayed the opening events of the GOP Convention because of Hurricane Gustav:

“John McCain tore up the script for his Republican National Convention on Sunday, canceling most opening-day activities and positioning himself as above mere politics as Hurricane Gustav churned toward New Orleans.

“This is a time when we have to do away with our party politics and we have to act as Americans,” he said as fellow Republicans converged on their convention city to nominate him for the White House.”

McCain aides chartered a jet to return Gulf State delegates to their home states, and President Bush and VP Cheney canceled their plans to attend the Convention.

McCain also told NBC that “it was possible he would make his acceptance speech not from the convention podium but via satellite from the Gulf Coast region.”


The Market vs Good Intentions

Filed under: Economics,Environment — DRJ @ 4:05 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Conservatives typically believe capitalism, the market, and individual self-interest work best to solve economic problems like global warming aka climate change. Liberals like Al Gore generally favor government solutions coupled with voluntary self-denial for the greater environmental good.

Which works best: Self-interest or self-denial?

Let’s ask rap star and hip hop record producer Sean Combs aka P. Diddy:

“The 38-year-old entrepreneur, a successful US rap star who owns his own record label, clothing and perfume line, has said he will only fly with commercial airlines until the price of oil has come down.

Combs claims that two round-trips between Los Angeles and New York on board his personal jet now costs him around $200,000 (£108,000).”

Combs is reported to be worth $346 million.


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