Patterico's Pontifications


Bill Whittle: Proud of the GOP

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 10:57 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Bill Whittle writes about John McCain and Sarah Palin at NRO.


Parenting and Politics

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 8:57 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Earlier today I read about an interview between Laura Ingraham and attorney Howard Gutman, an Obama National Finance Committee member, in which Gutman criticized Palin’s parenting:

“Your responsibility is to put your family first,” [said Gutman].

“So you’re saying she’s not putting family first,” Ingraham said.

“Absolutely not,” Gutman said. “If you take a daughter who’s got this emotional strife and subject her to the most intense scrutiny of the world at this time in her life, I think you’ve put your career above your family.”

Obama spokesman Bill Burton, asked to respond to Gutman’s remarks, said “Obviously these comments do not reflect our frequently stated views that families of the candidates should be off limits.”

Several times during the interview, Ingraham expressed bewilderment that the Obama campaign would attack Palin’s parenting. Gutman said, “I don’t give you talking points, Laura, I give you Howard points.”

Despite his disclaimer that this (being a clueless sexist) is one of Gutman’s personal talking points, I agree with Ingraham that this was a planned moment by the Obama campaign. It can hurl inflammatory criticism, denounce it and look principled.

In fact, one of the few tactics that seems to be working for Barack Obama occurs when someone on his behalf says something that he can then denounce. This tactic made Obama look principled … until he did it so many times that now it just makes him look like a hapless chief executive who can’t control a reckless staff and surrogates.

Gutman has now emailed ABC to say he “went too far” and that he was taken out of context. Jake Tapper is not convinced. If Gutman made a mistake, it was a doozy. If it was a planned moment, it was downright stupid.


Republican National Convention Reportedly the Most Watched Per Day in History (Updated)

Filed under: 2008 Election,Media Bias — DRJ @ 7:21 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Republican Convention averaged more viewers per day than the Democratic Convention:

“This week’s ratings, with an average of 34.5 million viewers watching the GOP convention over three days, proved people are becoming more interested in what the Republicans have to say. The Democrats had an average audience of 30.2 million over four days, Nielsen said.”

In addition, John McCain drew as many viewers as Barack Obama:

“As a television draw, John McCain was every bit the equal of Barack Obama.

The GOP presidential candidate attracted roughly the same number of viewers to his convention acceptance speech Thursday as Obama did before the Democrats last week, according to Nielsen Media Research.”

No one knows for sure what the exact ratings are because PBS reports estimates based on sampling, but reports suggest that 42.4 million viewers watched both Obama’s and McCain’s speeches Obama and McCain each had 42.4 million viewers. McCain’s speech was carried on 4 fewer commercial networks than Obama’s.

UPDATE: John McCain and Sarah Palin are drawing Obama-like crowds, the biggest crowds of his campaign:

“Beginning with her [Palin’s] announcement last Friday in Dayton, Ohio, McCain has drawn more enthusiasm and packed in more people to his events than at any time during his campaign.

The two events Friday both drew about 10,000 people, comparable numbers to what the newly-formed ticket saw last weekend.”

Some of this could be due to the fact that it’s the last 60 days and people are more focused on the election. It could be that … but I doubt it. The change in interest is too sudden and pronounced.

Nobody doesn’t love Sarah L. Nobody doesn’t like Sarah P.


Tasergate Update

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:39 pm

The trooper admits tasering his 10-year-old stepson — good thing, since he was already found to have done it — but says he only did it a little bit.

Great! Probably we can rest assured that he would only beat defenseless suspects a little bit, too.

Why in the world did Sarah Palin want him dismissed entirely??

McCain Now Possesses A Significant Campaign Finance Advantage

Filed under: General — WLS @ 4:24 pm

Posted by WLS:

In three posts here, here, and here, I raised questions about the fundraising totals reported by the Obama campaign for June and July, pointing out that IMO, while the numbers were impressive, they were not enough to fund the vast campaign apparatus they were creating. I argued that McCain acceptance of public financing, which would be available to him the first day of the general election campaign – today – combined with the fundraising advantage the RNC had over the DNC, would put McCain in a seriously advantageous position at the start of the campaign.


Newsweek Has An Intriguing Article On Its Website About How Detroit’s Mayor’s Problems Portend Big Michigan Problems For Obama

Filed under: General — WLS @ 3:49 pm

Posted by WLS:

This Newsweek article by Keith Naughton paints a grim picture – notwithstanding the efforts at spin by the Obama campaign – of Obama’s task in trying to carry Michigan. It’s like the “Perfect Storm” of difficulties in what may be a “must win” state in a close election.

I earlier suggested that Romney as VP would give McCain a good shot to carry Michigan given his popularity in the state. If McCain were to carry Michigan, Obama would have to win Pennsylvania and Ohio to have any shot at a winning electoral college outcome.

The Newsweek article covers the impact of the decision yesterday by Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to plead guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice, resign from office, and serve 4 months in jail. This followed closely on the heels of Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s decision to convene a commission to look into removing Kilpatrick from office over his misconduct.

Lets catalogue the problems Obama has with Michigan:


A Miss From Charles Krauthammer in his Column Today

Filed under: 2008 Election — WLS @ 3:12 pm

Posted by WLS:

This column today by normally reliable Charles Krauthammer suffers from the same malady as most pundits when evaluating a living breathing campaign – he fails to see that it’s a dynamic event, not a static one. In considering McCain’s decision to pick Palin, Krauthammer laments the “fatal” loss of McCain’s attack on Obama – experience:

“Obama was sagging because of missteps that reflected the fundamental weakness of his candidacy. Which suggested McCain’s strategy: Make this a referendum on Obama, surely the least experienced, least qualified, least prepared presidential nominee in living memory.

Palin fatally undermines this entire line of attack. This is through no fault of her own. It is simply a function of her rookie status. The vice president’s only constitutional duty of any significance is to become president at a moment’s notice. Palin is not ready. Nor is Obama. But with Palin, the case against Obama evaporates.”

Charles, like others in the pundit class, continue to see only two dimensions in this three-dimensional campaign. What he’s missing is that the McCain campaign got all the mileage it needed out of the “experience” angle – it has tattooed “inexperience” across Obama’s forehead and he’s not going to be able to take it off in the next 60 days, thus the selection of Biden as his running mate.

McCain won that battle, Obama surrendered. Continuing to pound away with that as emphasis for the next 60 days would be the same as if Washington has hung around Yorktown for a few extra days to shoot British corpses.

McCain’s campaign has moved on from “experience” and they are now co-opting Obama’s “change” message by repackaging it as “reform.” McCain’s got sterling credentials in this regard but to emphasize his intentions, he picks Palin who is not only an outsider, she’s an elected politician who tackled corruption in her own state. If there were an doubts about her willingness to confront it head-on, the corrupt politicians she took on were at the top of her own party.

He’s juxtaposing his/her real accomplishments at reform against Obama’s fake claims. For good measure, he’s tagging Obama as an out-of-touch liberal elitist.

Obama is already identified as “inexperienced” in the polling. That’s not going to change between now and election day. McCain needed a second and third act in this campaign, not an endless reprise of Act 1.

Let the Media Rehabilitation Begin

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 2:04 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The media has taken hits this week. There were already questions about MSNBC’s coverage in favor of Obama, and many sources questioned how the media covered McCain’s announcement of his VP pick, Sarah Palin. Polls now show 51% of Americans think the media is biased and US Weekly reportedly had thousands of subscriptions canceled after its “Babies, Lies and Scandals” cover piece on Sarah Palin.

So it’s not surprising that some in the media might feel a need to rehabilitate their image with stories that humanize and encourage us to smile with reporters. Accordingly, I give you Exhibit “A” — one of the top stories at the Washington Post’s political blog, The Trail:

“Andrea Mitchell vs. the Balloons”

Does that make you feel all warm and fuzzy about reporters and especially MSNBC?


Update on Texas FLDS Custody Cases

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Law — DRJ @ 2:04 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Presidential election is 60 days away and most of us, including me, are primarily interested in that. However, for those who are also interested in other stories, I’ve updated the status of the Texas FLDS child custody cases below.


Heartless: Wilson Sisters Send Cease and Desist Letter to McCain Campaign Over Use of “Barracuda”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:26 pm

Last night, after we watched McCain’s speech, my wife asked me: how do you think the Wilson sisters feel about the Republicans using that song? I said: oh, I’m sure they’ll be suing any day now.

The first step has already been taken.

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