|November 10, 2008||Obama Goes Face to Face in White House While McCain Deals With the Notion That he Out-Mavericked ...||1 comments|
|October 27, 2008||The Nervous Week Ahead||no comments|
|October 03, 2008||Palin Sells Herself, Biden Solidifies Obama Ticket in Debate||no comments|
|September 19, 2008||McCain’s Sexism Defense of Palin as Sexist as it Gets||6 comments|
|September 05, 2008||McCain Shows Respect in Speech, RNC Closes With Same Stale Ideals||1 comments|
|September 03, 2008||GOP Suffering Identity Crisis With Palin Pick||3 comments|
|August 30, 2008||Obama Speaks in Denver Not as a Politician, But as an American||3 comments|
|August 28, 2008||Hillary Out-Does What She Did the Night Before||no comments|
|August 27, 2008||No Red Meat and Maybe That's Good||1 comments|
|August 27, 2008||Hillary Brings the Thunder, Democrats Asked to Evaluate What They Support||1 comments|
HOTCHKISS, Colo. – It’s one week after Election Day 2008 and President-Elect Barack Obama made his first visit to the slightly-used home he is renting for the next four years. He was greeted by a seemingly pleasant President George W. Bush, who gave him a first-class tour of the White House on Monday.
Together they sat in cushy lounge chairs in the rear of the Oval Office discussing the Rose Garden’s flora or perhaps even the lumpy mattress in the Lincoln Bedroom. Face to face, as different as they could be. Bush, who has grayed a bit, is leaving the country in shambles. With his rich-kid mentality he took the country and its monetary surpluses left to him by President Clinton and turned it into a war-ridden, economic-slumping country and he can’t get out the front door of the White House fast enough.
Bush is certainly leaving a legacy. A legacy that no other president in the history of the United States has ever accomplished: An approval rating of an unprecedented 27 percent. Perhaps that is why he seems so welcoming to Obama and his family? He can’t wait to get out of that house and back down to Texas. Back to baseball maybe? Something. Something other than leading this dreadful country into a bottomless black hole.
And to Bush’s right, sits Obama with a smile. He has all the pleasantries of a man who had just overwhelmingly won the country over in one of the most divisive and decisive elections in the history of democracy. He was sitting in his new office graciously listening to the man who had basically won him the presidency. Hey, the truth hurts sometimes.
While they chatted like old chums drinking rum, Obama has already set in motion his plans for a number of executive orders he plans to carry out when he takes office early next year. Among them are reversing limits on stem-cell research and possibly overturning Bush’s previous ruling on vehicle efficiency regulations, which was a slap in the face to those who are trying to breathe in California.
Face to face the men chatted. Bush knowing that he was the main reason for John McCain’s campaign demise. Obama knowing that in two months he is going to change everything this man had done wrong to the country and as quickly as possible. What a pleasant day in the Oval Office.
But hey, since last Tuesday evening when McCain was quick to give his concession speech, I have had an affinity for the old chap Mr. Bush. He is heading into retirement. His job for getting the rich richer and the poor nothing has worked. Eight years of hard, hard work. I have never liked this guy so much as I like him now. Silent and on his way out the door. It’s time for America to prosper again. But how long until we see the sun again?
As if the mountain weren’t tall enough for Obama to conquer the election into the White House as an African-American Democrat, now that he has won, he finds himself at the base of an even taller mountain – this ridiculous and scary fucking nightmare our economy can’t seem to wake from.
Every day there seems to be more foundation corporations looking for a bailout. Just today, AIG asked for more bailout money. They got it. American Express has just changed their corporate title to “bank” so they can receive bailout money. Circuit City, just before the holidays, has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection. Things are dark, as dark as they have been in America’s economy for quite some time. Who will it be tomorrow? The U.S.’s car manufacturers Ford and GM are in the shits and they are about to ask for bailout money too. It’s too bad they are so behind the times in fuel-efficient vehicles that (Europe and China have products people want to buy) they might have a product us Americans would like to buy. Instead, we all are coming to believe that the environment is really not a political talking point and we all want a Prius. I will take my money to Japan. Whoa…How did I get on that tangent? Shit. Where was I?
Oh yes, Obama is facing an enormous challenge ahead of him. He has to steer this sinking ship to the nearest shore for repairs so that it might once again sail with prosperity. The real question here is the boat reparable? Is our country so far in the dumps that a full recovery is years, even decades away? Is it time to jump ship? Do we have life jackets?
On the other hand, we are living in a paradox. As dark as things may seem, President-Elect Obama is shedding a new light on this country. Never before, accept maybe the 1960s and the writing of the Declaration of Independence, has there been so much hope and forward-thinking in our government. We might actually try to tackle the things, like energy independence and global warming, we have left on the shelf for the past eight years. We might make progress in the world like we once did when we were forced to during the Cold War. There is so much promise in the air and I for one, even in our shitty economy, am excited to have a president I can look up to once again.
Most importantly Obama comes off as a man of compassion – something that has sorely been lost since Cheney and friends have taken rule.
What Happened to the McCain/Palin Ticket?
John McCain’s loss was known among their party for the last two months. He had his concession speech written two weeks before election night. Perhaps the only one who didn’t get the memo was Gov. Sarah Palin, who continues to give awkward and ill-spoken interviews to any sucker newsman who can stand the company she keeps.
John McCain’s loss can be summed up with this simple recipe: One-part George W. Bush, one-part Palin and one part losing his once-likable identity. Mix together and you get a train-wreck of a campaign resulting in the hiring of Karl Rove and later it ends in total embarrassment for the campaign and the Republican Party. Even Rove is walking away from this one shaking his head.
John McCain had a shot at beating Obama. He had a shot until he picked Palin. After the honeymoon of that selection was over and the nation realized that McCain was testing our intelligence with his less-than sufficient pick for vice president. How stupid did he really think we were? She has a wonderful degree in journalism (which took seven years to get) but still couldn’t seem to speak English when it counted most. She should have gone for geography minor at least.
Anyways, lets say that McCain picked a serious running mate. Somebody with some brains and has had some sort of education besides a bachelor’s in journalism. He would have certainly had a shot at winning. He would have really had a shot if he would have stuck to his old self. The one who was rebelling against the Republican stronghold of Bush and Co. in the 2004 primaries.
Remember the time when John McCain was a left-leaning Republican who cared about the environment and was that “Maverick” that he said he was? If he could have kept himself in that costume this election, he may have won. He would have won the independent voters and the unsure voters who declared themselves Democrats. All the while he would have kept his right-leaning Republican base because for them, he was still the best candidate against Obama. He would have won if he would have kept his Maverick self. Instead, he Mavericked himself out of himself and the presidency.
TELLURIDE – As the two candidates begin their last week of stumping in the battleground states around the nation, it goes without saying that I am jittery nervous. Not nervous because I am afraid the Sen. Barack Obama has a sizable lead right now in every national poll might somehow lose it with some last minute mistake. Or that Sen. John McCain might prove to be the better man in the next seven days – he can’t. No, what I am afraid of is the Republican Party’s desperate attempt to keep White House control and they will stop at nothing to get it – legally or illegally.
The feeling that everything is in order for an Obama victory is strong. In the past few months, he has been the leader we need. Cool, calm and calculating and very understandable. When the man speaks, I understand. He has proven, over and over, that he is the best leader for our fledgling country.
McCain, on the other hand, has been losing. Losing his cool, losing his sense of leadership and losing the race. He has been on the attack 90 percent of the time because he is behind and badly losing. We know what McCain thinks of Obama, but he has left all wondering if he will act as erratic as he has recently if he were to win. He has lost but his party has not lost…yet. And that is why I am worried.
According to Pollster.com on Monday, Oct. 27, is holding the lead of five plus points in 23 states containing 286 electoral votes. That’s 16 more than he needs to clinch the Electoral Collage. Obama, in seven other states with 92 electoral votes, is holding smaller leads. In any democratic country but our own, this game would be over. Finished. McCain has lost.
But, if history can tell us anything (2000 election), we know that this game is not yet over, no matter what side of political fence you are standing. This year’s ballot in Colorado is the longest ballot voters have had to read through since the 1920s and I have heard that there is a handful of other states that are similar. For those who have voted early or chose to mail their ballots in, the decision is a smart one because the lines on Tuesday are going to be long.
With the long lines and the mayhem that could ensue, I can already hear the losing Republican Right on Tuesday afternoon blowing the whistle because “some” people weren’t able to vote. There will be some sort of inaccuracy allegation. Something will come from under their sleeve. Then the fun will begin over processes and who is actually going to be elected. It will be Republican shenanigans at its best.
If that were to happen, which is why I am nervous, we may not have a decided winner by Christmas. (That is certainly what this economy needs, that is for sure.) This is how bad the Republicans want to win. It’s a cheaters paradise and we already know they can win in anyway but the right way. If the Republicans find a way to the presidency after losing, again, democracy for America is over. Over for the second time.
If, for some reason, McCain wins, it will be a great, great reflection of what this country is and stands for. All of this hope and momentum to change the status of our country in the world will be set back. We will stand for stupidity. For poor decisions. For a constant trend to ignore the lessons of the past. For bigotry in some instances. My, what a day it will be for this country if John McCain wins next week.
Certainly the most sickening and scary thing I have learned during the past two years is that racism, no matter how enlightened we think this country has become, is alive well on main street USA. Racism and ignorance breed racism and ignorance. YouTube has captured my computer screen lately and some of the things I have heard are simply unbearable like the two elementary school girls in Denver acting like monkeys in protest to Sen. Obama. Their parents just smiled and laughed. Or will we ever forget the lady during the John McCain rally who said she was scared because Obama “is and Arab” because of his middle name.
I guess I have always known that racism is alive, but I have never seen it peak like I have recently.
Colon Powell put it best last weekend on NBC’s Meet the Press when he said Obama was not Muslim. But so what if he was? This country was once founded by people who were seeking religious freedom. Have we changed so much since then? Is this not the country or fathers and their fathers before them have fought for? These are all questions Americans need to be asking themselves. This country, all presidential politics aside, is at a crossroads right now – a more defined crossroads than what the 1960s were. That may be why I have been so nervous lately. We need a new type of leadership and we need it now. For the good of the country and the world.
HOTCHKISS, Colo. – Having missed the first Presidential debate a week ago, I, like the rest of the country was very eager to watch the Vice Presidential debate last night. The VP debate in itself is a very peculiar thing. Does the VP candidate debate to sell him/herself or sell the presidential candidate? Or maybe even both? Last night’s 90-minute debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden was an example on who they were actually selling.
After last weeks embarrassing debacle with CBS’s Katie Couric, Palin had to spend the 90 minutes selling Palin to America. Not John McCain. Democrats, Republicans and independents across the country tuned in to see how well Palin had been trained over the past week to react, in an intelligent way mind you, to moderator Gwen Ifill’s questions.
I would say from what I heard during my two-hour drive to Hotchkiss during the debate is that she hung in there at best. She didn’t make a complete fool of herself and John McCain the way she had done in the days leading up to the debate. With that, she didn’t wow anybody either and the polls are already showing that the McCain camp isn’t really gaining any ground after her performance.
And when she couldn’t answer a question. She didn’t answer the question. Simple as that. No tiptoeing around the subject, she left the subject alone…usually returning to the topic of “good green, clean energy.” That was a bit frustrating. But I was listening on the radio mind you. I wasn’t viewing her cutesy little nose scrunches or the batting eyelashes. She didn’t have the power of her allure through the squelching sounds coming through my radio speakers. All I had was audio and I heard nothing good from her. Who knows, maybe my perception would have been different if I was watching her on stage. Sexist? Probably so. But then so is McCain’s whole campaign.
Anyways, back to the subject here. She had the tendency to not answer a number of questions. Here is a great example of Biden in his most gentlemanly fashion (because he had to) pointing this out during the debate.
“Gwen, the governor did not answer the question about deregulation, did not answer the question of defending John McCain about not going along with the deregulation, letting Wall Street run wild. He did support deregulation almost across the board. That’s why we got into so much trouble.”
Gwen: “Would you like to have an opportunity to answer that before we move on?” She said to Palin.
“I’m still on the tax thing because I want to correct you on that again. And I want to let you know what I did as a mayor and as a governor. And I may not answer the questions that either the moderator or you want to hear, but I’m going to talk to the American people and let them know my track record also.”
This statement hit home. She was defeated already and this was no more than 20 minutes into the thing. What she really said was, “Lets go back to something I can talk about – me. Alaska. Wasilla. Because that is the only America I know. And if you don’t like my answer. Too Bad. Because that’s all I have. My strait talk to America is that I don’t know what I am talking about.”
Sounds about right, doesn’t it? Now I could go on for days about Palin, as I already have in this attempt at a political blog. She and her supporters are so fascinating to me. Half the time during the debate she played this “team of mavericks” card that the McCain/Palin ticket is the ticket of change in America, bashing the decisions of her party’s leadership a number of times. The other half of her senseless oratory was that the country needs McCain and Palin because they have a track record that is outstanding. If I were a Republican I would be totally fucking confused. This woman is bashing my party, yet I am expected to support her. What the hell do I do?
But the most fascinating thing is those who remain on the sinking S.S. McPalin. I have yet to understand how even the most staunch Republicans could support this ticket. I understand Republican values. I don’t understand McCain’s change-maverick-anti Bush-pro-Bush-anti big oil-pro Exxon values he is touting in this election. At least as a Democrat, I have a feeling of where my candidates stand. What a mess those Republicans have made for themselves. When all else fails, I guess, confuse the hell out of them.
Now here is what I really got out of Thursday night’s debate. A true respect for Senator Biden. He showed compassion in not tearing Palin apart in the debate. He gave good, astute answers when asked. Even when asked a tough question like the one about what your Achilles Heel is politically, he gave a political answer. At least tried to answer it. Palin, I am not, as are others, even sure she knew what the term “Achilles Heel” even means. (Does she read? She doesn’t know.) But in her answer, she said she didn’t have one. I think here Achilles Heel is ignorance. Not that I am smarter than her. I am sure she is an intelligent woman. But for this job, she is in way over her head. It takes some intelligence to know when you have it that point. Know your own intellectual boundaries. Other than that, she has none. Shit. Here I go again on Palin.
Before Barack Obama selected Biden as his running mate, I admit I didn’t know much about him. He has a long record and experience in the Senate. I learned at the DNC that he is a family man and puts his family before anything else. Last night’s debate taught me more. He is intelligent and he knows what is going on in Washington. His Senate experience is what we need in a vice president. He wants to bring the VP seat back to where it belongs, away from what Dick Cheney has made it out to be. I had almost forgotten, until last night’s debate, that the VP is an Executive Branch position, not legislative like Cheney believes and has directed. Biden really hit home with this notion.
“Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we’ve had probably in American history,” Biden said. “The idea he doesn’t realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the Executive Branch. He works in the Executive Branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that.
And the primary role of the vice president of the United States of America is to support the president of the United States of America, give that president his or her best judgment when sought, and as vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote. The Constitution is explicit.”
Thanks for reminding us of this Joe, I appreciate it. Under the last administration, this simple fact seems to have been forgotten. And who would be a better, more qualified VP than Biden who has spent so much time in the Senate? Not Palin.
Thursday’s debate solidified the Obama campaign. There is a line drawn and Obama and Biden knows which side of the line they stand on.
TELLURIDE – As the McCain/Palin show…no wait, the Palin/McCain show continues to bring the best lip service possible to mankind, I am continually frustrated with the spotlight that Palin is getting for simply the most abnormal presidential candidate in United States history – and I am not talking about her gender.
She has little experience in foreign affairs. In fact, she has admitted that she has never met a foreign head of state – something she says is normal for a vice presidential candidate. She has no idea that there is a financial crisis as big and debilitating as the Great Depression going on right now on Wall Street. This is proven when she agreeably nods her head when her boss McCain says that economy is fundamentally sound. Really? Common sense anyone?
I don’t agree with her views on safe-sex education. I don’t agree with Palin on a lot of things. But what really gets me is her lack of doing one-on-one interviews with the media.
Of course, any media attack on Palin, whether truthful or spun, the McCain campaign’s statement afterwards is almost always that the attacker is being sexist. That is how he has defended her from the beginning. Is that really why McCain chose Palin? A candidate who can’t be attacked because she is a woman? In my eyes, it’s McCain being sexist every time he plays the sexism defense card. Don’t hurt my poor, poor V.P. pick, she has a family. Give me a break man.
The Obama campaign and the media could learn a few things from my hard-ass high school rugby coach. We were in the Colorado High School State Championship Game and our opposing team wound up with a few injuries. Their few options led to them having to complete their side with two or three female players. All were very good and could play rugby with the best of them.
Now this was a big game (biggest in the state) and our coach gave us some advice before the game.
“Look out there,” he said pointing to the three female players. “Do you see women out there, or do you see rugby players out there? I want you to hit them as hard as you would hit any other man out there. It’s not fair for us and for them to treat them like anything other than a player on the field.”
So that’s what we did, we hit them as hard as anyone else on the field and they stood up and played like any other player on the field. Not rocket science here. They were players on the field, not female players substituted into a man’s game.
Taking this lesson from my dwindling memory into this heated election makes me hate John McCain even more. I know hate is a strong word but… Not only was his selection of Palin so cynical to women across the country, it is sexist if he keeps playing the sexist card when defending her.
Obama and the media: Treat Palin like any other player in this election. She is not a woman running for vice president. She is a politician running for office – just like McCain, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden. I say attack her like you would attack anyone else because she deserves being treated like any other candidate. Loose the hounds on her like you would loose the hounds on McCain.
If she can handle the heat, more power to her. She is playing the game. As Hunter Thompson once said, “Buy the ticket, take the ride.” If she can’t handle it, she loses the game. Either way, she is being treated equal. With that, it’s also time for Palin to go ahead and act like a vice presidential candidate and start doing some interviews by herself – and not just by entertainment pundits like Charles Gibson on ABC.
At least her counterpart in the election, Biden, is putting himself out there for the media. In the weeks after Palin was selected by McCain, Biden had already done 54 interviews and press conferences with the media. How many did Palin have? Zip, zilch, zero.
Really, what does she have to hide? Ok, she accepts the ABC interview in her hometown – like some celebrity would, I might add. She is doing Couric. Great. Did that ABC interview get put across all news networks like any other interview would have? No. Only a select number of sound bytes were sent out.
The fact of the matter is, the Republican Party is trying to keep her in the closet as long as they can until the election. Keep her from getting attacked from the media and the Obama campaign. Just put her in front of a podium with a prepared speech with McCain behind her showing his compete support of her incompetence and keep it at that. Election won.
I have heard that there is a one-in-three chance that McCain could have some serious health problems during his presidency if he wins. Simple odds. What will become of this country when Palin is put in charge? She just can’t read prepared statements forever. She will have to face the nation, not as a woman, but as a president. Can she handle it? Can the country handle it? For her sake, I hope that God can handle it for her.
Palin Speaks at Wasilla Assembly of God Part 1
Palin Speaks at Wasilla Assembly of God Part 2
“Dudes have a million ways of peeing on what they claim as just their own,”
– Chuck Palahniuk, Snuff
TELLURIDE – It took me one full bottle of wine to swallow Thursday evening’s main event at the Republican National Convention. It was John McCain’s big night in St. Paul and from what I understand, he had a pretty tough job ahead of him.
Still suffering from a serious identity crisis, McCain had to address the crowd as a maverick and a reformer of the Republican Party. He also has to come off supporting the conservative Christian right. He also says he represents change. He was the left of the right. His he still? What is John McCain?
McCain is a Republican being stretched in eight different ideological directions but wants to continue in is “strait talk” fashion that nobody seems to be able to keep up any more. McCain wants to (and already has with Sarah Palin) shake up the Republican Party. But at the same time he needs to keep hold of all those George W. supporters in his pocket while distancing himself from the disgraceful president. Is it possible? Well, on Thursday evening, McCain tried in is 40-minute acceptance speech.
After hearing the whole thing, maybe it was the bottle of wine, but I had to appreciate McCain’s speech in a few ways. Nothing about his time at the Hanoi Hilton moved me – I was moved by that four years ago. It was the fact that he showed some respect to Barack Obama and the campaign he is running.
McCain, by design I am sure, didn’t come out and get nasty like every other Republican speaker had previously done at the convention. He came out, gave some props to Obama, and then spoke about himself and about the things he wants to do with the country.
“We will go at it,” McCain said of the race against Obama. “There are big differences. You have my respect. We are Americans and it means more to me than anything else.” Ok, that was nice of him. He actually is an adult like the rest of the world and was able to say something respectable. For once, McCain actually sounded like a human rather than a Republican drill monger.
In a masked sort of way, McCain did try to distance himself from the Bush presidency and all the problems of it. “I am going to make the country work for you again,” he said. “I know these times are tough and…” McCain was cut off by the Republican-frenzied crowd cheering “U-S-A, U-S-A.” This seemed weird to me. McCain was trying to get at a serious point that things aren’t quite right and he was going to describe it. He was admitting, in my eyes, that the last eight years under Republican rule have screwed many aspects of the country. Instead, he was interrupted by the political orgy going on just in front of him. I am sure McCain was taken back but continued his delicate separation from Bush later in his tirade.
“We have lost the trust of the American people when some Republicans gave in to corruption…but now,” McCain said. “We are going to get back to basics.”
All and all, McCain’s speech was not as infuriating as the previous speeches by Palin, Thompson, Romney, and especially Rudi Giuliani. Palin has taken Republicans on a new ride – something they all say they are very excited about. She seems down to earth. She’s very glamorous, almost celebrity like. She, like here peers in her party, also has the ability to divide when she goes on the Democrat attack. This notion was certainly seen in her speech on Wednesday evening.
“And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that [my] experience, let me explain to them what the job involves,” Palin said. “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities.”
For me, as others too, this portion of Palin’s speech was the most infuriating. She just disenfranchised or bashed all community organizers across the nation. What she really said was, “Volunteers, or people that work to make communities better, don’t matter. My two years as governor matter.” Community organizers and volunteers are the foundation of humanity in my eyes. I hope everyone who leads community initiatives heard that.
To continue on this Palin rant, McCain himself on Thursday told the American people to get out and get involved in community governments, volunteer, help your community’s cause. No thanks John, Palin already made me believe that it doesn’t matter.
Shit, how did I get off on this tangent? Back to what McCain said and didn’t say in his speech.
He said he doesn’t want to lose the war like his opponent Obama does to a roar of Republican cheers. What he didn’t say or explain how he was going to pay for continuing the war until a “win” occurs. He didn’t say how he was going to replenish the troops that are already there and worn out, some of them on their third of fourth tour. Those were the things he forgot to mention. He still brought those that were there what they wanted to hear.
By the way, did anyone see the sign some delegate was holding in the air? It was brief but it read:
Terrorists Beware of Sarah
Just ask Obama
What? Obama a terrorist? What planet was this convention held on? Just dirty. But, believe it or not, there were other signs that made some sense to me.
You can’t win an occupation! and McCain Votes Against Vets
The brave souls who flashed those in that pen were escorted out immediately, but they made sense to me at least.
What really made sense is that this “changed” Republican ticket is really just the same old leadership that we have had. Nothing new came out of this convention at all. The ambiance of the convention carried the same old stale feeling the one four years ago had. There’s nothing like a Republican pounding his fist saying, “We will drill new wells offshore and on and we will drill them now. We will drill them now!” to liven up the RNC.
Obama couldn’t have put it better on Friday morning when he said, “They may have some new faces, but they are saying the same old thing.”
And that right there was the crux of the RNC in St. Paul.
TELLURIDE – The news of hit me early Friday morning, the day after Sen. Barack Obama’s more-than-memorable acceptance speech in Mile High. John McCain has chosen Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be is running mate this November.
Who the hell is Sarah Palin? I said to myself as I waited in line for a strong coffee and a Danish at a Downtown Denver Bookstore. This decision certainly didn’t seem like the GOP to me. After all, she’s young, she has hair on her head and well, she’s a woman – a big difference from the old white man stereotype I am used to. I really didn’t know what to think when I first heard McCain’s surprise decision.
Now, six days later and after the second day of the Republican National Convention, I know more about Palin and her background but am still surrounded in a whirlwind of uncertainty as what her role will be in this monumental election.
She’s a conservative Christian. She is anti-abortion. She likes hunting and guns and is a member of the NRA. She has a large, young family. It could be said, and has been said by John McCain, that she is a maverick for standing up to Republican bullshit in Alaska. And here’s the kicker for me at least: She has two years experience governing the state of Alaska. Two.
Now normally I wouldn’t have a problem with this at all. But two years, at least for the McCain campaign, equals inexperience. Inexperience was the foundation, the only point of McCain’s anti-Obama riff. So what does McCain do, he picks an inexperienced Vice President. In other words, he made a political move rather than, as in his words, “put the country first.” If I was a McCain supporter I would have been pissed at this. Here I am, standing with McCain chanting over and over again that this country needs experience. And then, then he selects Palin. McCain just made me, a staunch supporter look like a babbling asshole for the last six months. Let us not forget that McCain would be the oldest President elected at age 72. I think some experience is needed at the VP level.
Well, I am glad I am not in that camp right now. What a shake up.
What is McCain thinking? Is he really thinking that Palin is the absolute best candidate for the position? Or is she the best candidate to help him win the election. That really is the handle of his selection.
Did McCain watch last week’s Democrat convention in Denver with awe and said to himself, “Shit, what a history-making spectacle. People are excited. Maybe I need to shake things up too?” Just maybe McCain’s choice of VP was a popularity decision. I don’t know. I certainly think it was a last-minute decision.
I do know it was an absolute cynical decision if he thinks that putting a woman on the ticket will simply win over women in general. A woman VP is a great idea, but let’s have some qualifications people. I am comfortable with Obama. How can anyone be comfortable with Palin? And don’t think the Hillary supporters are going to jump the Democrat ship so easy and switch sides because McCain is shaking up the GOP with a maverick vice president who is a conservative Christian and does not agree that safe sex education should be taught along side abstinence. Give me a break McCain.
But I guess it doesn’t matter what I think, I wouldn’t have voted for McCain even he had chosen Superman as his running mate. But what have other McCain supporters thought of the his choice?
Well, I couldn’t stay away from the radio as I traveled back over the continental divide. One longtime Republican woman said she almost “spit her latte out” when she heard Palin was chosen. This was a reaction of utter surprise and disgust. On the radio she was hot against his decision.
Back in Telluride, while shopping at the market in Mountain Village for kitty litter and artichokes last Sunday, I spoke to a real in person Republican who likes to get me all worked up with his close-minded conservative views.
“What do you think of McCain’s choice for running mate?” I said to the man as I checked out.
“I think it is a great choice,” he said. “She is exactly what we were looking for in the next Vice President.”
“Jesus,” I said to myself as I carried my groceries out to the car. “Even this guy doesn’t even know what to think. He is spoken like a true republican. Just go with it, even if you don’t have a clue what has just happened.”
I found myself later in the week at a women’s luncheon in Telluride. Palin was brought up.
“You think you can just strap on boobs on a candidate and women will simply vote for her,” one woman said. “It is absolutely cynical. I can’t believe the nerve.”
Well, if McCain wanted to mix up his party a huge bit, he certainly got it. All the speakers at the GOP convention the past few nights have been are all for her, but you can tell it in their eyes that they aren’t really sure why or what they are saying. Just robots working the Republican machine.
During all the media frenzy to learn more about Palin, we have found out that she has a 17-year-old pregnant daughter. I, like Obama, don’t really want to get into that. Once again, the Democrats and Obama took the high road.
“People’s families are off limits,” Obama said after hearing of Palin’s pregnant daughter. “Especially kids.” And that was that. Obama said no more. Do you think the Republicans would have done the same? Shit no.
What we have here is a private family matter that could include terms like statutory rape. When President Bill Clinton had some private family issues with Ms. Lewinski. Did the Republicans leave him alone in that private family matter? Shit no. They made it count.
Right now, I guess even the Republicans are having a serious identity crisis and it can be seen during the GOP’s convention. Look at the lack of enthusiasm and the half-filled arena everybody holding signs that say “service.” Nobody wants to go.
And who would, really? Same old talk. President Bush with his “strong and principled” talk about Palin. Fred Thompson’s lack-luster eye-bagged speech. Boring. No, really boring. If I were a GOP member right now I would be worried. The ship is sinking. Will a controversial governor from Alaska plug that sinking ship’s hole?
We shall find out tonight when we all get to meet her at the GOP convention. What a ride this election as turned out to be.
DENVER – It was an evening of loud roars, tears, great music, and poignant speeches. It was Barack Obama’s night at Mile High and he, as well as everybody else in and around that stadium, was a mile high in Denver.
Carlos, Anne, Plum TV’s Jeb Berrier, and I started our journey toward mile high early in the day. In the previous three days of the convention in Denver there had been a lot going on in the streets. Protesters, vendors, screaming activists, voter registration groups had all swarmed the Denver streets all week, but on Thursday the streets were even more hectic than what they had been. I think they even shut down the free 16th Street Mall Ride down around noon on Thursday because there were just too many people down there. Excitement was in the air, history was about to be made at the home of the Denver Broncos.
The line of people to get into the stadium was outrageous. Close to 75,000 people had gathered to enter into venue where everyone must go through strict security screenings. (And I thought the lines at DIA were long.) Jeb and Anne were set to sit in a different section than Carlos and I, so we took our separate ways to find a seat for the seven-or-so-hour-long historic and political show, where even a good number of fat-cat Republicans couldn’t turn their carp-like eyes away from.
Yonder Mountain String Band opened the day’s performances up. They gave me the nostalgic feeling of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and here they were to play for the most talked about Presidential candidate of my time. Stevie Wonder. Another great (maybe even better than the first) speech by Vice Presidential Candidate Joe Biden. Al Gore, who didn’t just harp on climate change, pounded out another great speech for the convention. He looked and sounded as good behind the podium as he ever has. He seemed angry from the last election – angry that the country is in downhill slide in every subject. Like James Brown, he was mad.
“Today, we face essentially the same choice we faced in 2000, though it may be even more obvious now, because John McCain, a man who has earned our respect on many levels, is now openly endorsing the policies of the Bush-Cheney White House and promising to actually continue them,” Gore said. “Hey, I believe in recycling, but that’s ridiculous.” It is ridiculous, for sure. I still can’t believe so many young people haven’t opened their eyes to this notion yet. Ridiculous.
Gore, now a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, was perfectly cynical against the Republican machine that is killing the troops of this nation along with the planet and the economy. The evening and excitement wore on.
Six speeches by everyday Americans that made some people sitting near us cry – and sometimes cry with a good bit of laughter. No, these weren’t celebrities telling us what they think we should know. They were pet shop owners from the East Coast. Plant workers. The real thread of America. They were former republicans who voted for Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II and have now changed sides because they have seen the destruction. They were there to support what I see is good over the money-grubbing evil.
Obama Takes the Stage, Not as Celebrity But as a Man of the People
Finally, our celebrity (since when did a celebrity become a bad thing McCain? Give me a break.) of the evening, the man we were all so grateful to see the night before at Biden’s speech, Obama hit the stage and hit the audience and America with a natural, easy spoken speech that will defiantly be talked about for decades to come. (Anybody ever remember George W.’s acceptance speech? Right. I don’t either.)
He spoke to us not as a celebrity as McCain has said in the past. Obama spoke to us as equals. As someone who really cares. He knows what the people want and are feeling. He knows what people are feeling. McCain, he doesn’t even know what a middle-American makes in a year along with how many homes he owns.
This evening was all Obama. I watched an elderly black man get his picture taken in front of me. He kept stopping the photographer because he couldn’t keep is eyes dry enough to take the photo with the stage behind him. After about three takes, the man was able to hold is emotions long enough to be photographed – probably the most touching moment I had seen that evening.
And I liked the way Obama laid out his platform is a very simple way. He spoke to us all like fellow Americans. Republicans speak to Republicans.
“Let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am president,” he said.
“I will eliminate capitol gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high tech jobs of tomorrow…
“I will cut taxes – cut taxes – for 95 percent of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class…
“I will set a clear goal as President, in 10 years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.”
He spoke clearly and decisively. I have never heard this kind of speech from the other winning politicians. This man is setting forth lofty goals to win the Presidency and is doing so with a sense of certainty that has and will be unmatched by McCain. He wants to make America better. I also like his humility and ability to at least look at compromise.
“We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country…
“The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang violence in Cleveland, but don’t tell me we can’t uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals.”
I mean really, finally someone that gets it. There is no one answer on these highly debatable issues, but compromise – compromise that makes a difference – isn’t just a lip service.
When the Obama family and the Biden family were joined together on stage after the speech, I could see American people again. They weren’t warmongers, oil executives, pharmaceutical lobbyists or downright criminals like Cheney and Karl Rove, they were Americans, just like the 75,000 people that were there with tears in their eyes. There is a light at the end of this dark time in America and it is so, so important to keep the snakes from the Republican Party out of the White House, no matter what political shenanigans they decide to pull.
As I said before going into this convention and looking at it with a bit of retrospect, I was going in uncertain if I was ready to take that leap of faith and support Barack Obama. His experience had me worried when he faced Hillary Clinton. Now, four days later, Obama, and those who spoke on his behalf, have taken that leap of faith fear away. He is experienced and he does embody the change this country needs. Like I said before, I know which way Dick Cheney…uhh…I mean John McCain wants to go. It’s nowhere. He is settled with the way things are right now. I, for one (and I think 75,000 people can agree), am tired of stupidity and The Man running this country.
I am also so, so excited that McCain decided to shake up the GOP with his choice for Vice President in some last-minute desperate act to save his party. Yes, he hit a homerun for the Democrats with this one…but that will be for another time.
DENVER – It was going to be a day of formalities on the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Denver with the formal roll call of each state delegation to cast their votes to nominate a Democratic candidate to run for President of the United States.
The evening before, Hillary Clinton did her best to end the division among Democrats with her boisterous and impressive speech. The question remained, as the delegates filled the floor Wednesday afternoon inside the Pepsi Center, Was she able to unify the party and persuade all of her dedicated supporters to move over into the Barack Obama camp? The upcoming roll call of the delegations would certainly reveal it had, in fact, worked.
My day at the Pepsi Center began when I entered the venue just behind Karl Rove. I looked, was that really him? I didn’t think his type would be allowed inside. As I pondered that a mid-aged woman ran up behind me.
“What’s that asshole doing here, he can’t go in there. He’s not allowed,” she said as he slipped through the door in front of me. “Stop him.”
By the time she had said that, Rove was through the gates and already headed into some dark corner of the convention. I pass through to the escalator. Rove’s entrance had put a scare into those who were hubbubing near the entrance. “Jesus, did I just see who I think I saw?” One man exclaimed. Nobody could believe it. The ghost of Karl Rove had made it in.
Roll call on the floor had just started. I knew the most exciting and dramatic stuff was to come later in the evening when Bill Clinton, John Kerry and Joe Biden were to take the stage but I wanted to see the delegations in action.
It was 4 p.m. and the buzz was definitely on the floor and with the delegates. Roll call was the reason these delegates had traveled across the country and some (American Samoa and Guam) around the world. Each state was certainly excited to be involved in the process with a chance to be put up onto the big screen.
With excitement, Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar announced the Colorado delegation’s support for Obama, who received 55 delegates to Clinton’s 15. For the most part each state represented a margin similar to Colorado’s. Some states, where delegates were100 percent in favor of Obama, received the highest applause and cheer from everyone in the crowd.
This process, although seemingly pointless and very formal, was the best I been able witness to since arriving in Denver. There were some very proud people there that day. Delegates were so, so proud of the people they were representing as Democrats, even if they remained in the Hillary camp when voting.
I was caught up in the excitement as the process moved alphabetically through the states and territories. I made my way to the rear portion of the floor near the speech teleprompter. My head was on a swivel trying to keep up with the action as speeches from state representatives moved around the room. Somehow I had crossed into a secure area where people with floor passes, no matter who the were, weren’t allowed in. The presence of the Secret Service became more and more a reality at that point. I had heard that Hillary might make it onto the floor for New York’s portion of the roll call to release her supporting delegates to favor Obama.
I stood in the aisle with anticipation. If she is going to be coming out of that tunnel, I thought, I will be in the forefront, ready to take some paparazzi-style photos. More S.S. officers moved onto the floor. I heard the tall one in front of me say “two minutes, OK two minutes.” They are an impressive bunch. They were certainly in control.
New Mexico just finished up and I could see a pack of officers move onto the floor for even more security. And, then, there she was out onto the floor in her pants suit, coming to unify the party by halting the roll call to nominate Obama by acclimation to a roar of cheers and tears.
“Thank you Jesus. Thank you Jesus,” said a delegate from Georgia after Clinton’s from-the-floor motion was passed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to suspend the convention rules and nominate Barack Obama the Democratic candidate for president. “And thank you Hillary. I love you Hillary. Oh my God. This is so great. What a way to do it. Thank you Jesus.”
The delegates on the floor, the city of Denver, the Democratic Party had just voted the first African-American to become a major nominee. What I had just witnessed was indescribable. It was a feeling of jubilation, of relief. The Hillary/Barack drama had been building throughout the convention. It came to a climax when Hillary marched onto that floor in the most dramatic and triumphant fashion and made her motion. She did the right thing.
For me, the Democrat division was over. I looked around to see if I could find any irate Hillary supporting delegates whose vote had just been taken away by her motion but all I could find was celebration and thankfulness. With that, Mrs. Clinton walked off the floor and out of the presidential spotlight … for now. I walked away with a new political addiction … and stern warning for keeping my floor pass way past my allotted hour time limit. It was certainly the most dramatic and exciting part of the convention I had seen.
Before the convention started yesterday, Gus and I sat in the media pavilion outside the Pepsi Center watching the pundits on CNN. While previewing keynote speaker and former Virginia Governor Mark Warner and Hillary Clinton, the talking heads predicted that both Warner and Clinton not only would, but needed to draw blood. One ventured that “the Republicans had won round one” with their series of negative advertisements, and the Democrats needed to respond in kind, and attack the McCain-Bush machine.
Warner came first, and I felt he was a little flat. Previous convention keynote speakers had made a strong impression. Obama, for one, first came to national prominence as the keynoter at the 2004 convention. So there were high hopes for Warner. As the convention’s keynote speaker, many had settled their bloodthirsty yearnings in his speech. He took a few of the same old jabs at McCain; he spoke of unity and change; but mostly, he spoke of moving forward. Really I think he accomplished what he had to, well aware that although he bore the title of the convention’s keynote speaker, he wasn’t even last night’s headliner. He simply set the stage, he spoke of “the race for the future,” one that he seems quite intent on being a part of.
A few speakers later Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer came out in a pair of blue jeans and a bolo tie, and energized the Pepsi Center crowd. But again Schweitzer failed to offer the red meat that CNN had insisted on. Like Warner, he emphasized change over partisan politics. Instead of taking personal shots at John McCain, Schweitzer touched upon something far more urgent, and far more powerful.
“Can we afford four more years of the same?” Schweitzer offered to the crowd, returned with an overwhelming chorus of, “NO.”
“Is it time for a change?”
“When do we need it?”
“And who do we need as the next President of the United States of America?”
“That’s right. Barack Obama is the change we need!”
Maybe the pundits are right. As McCain runs ad after ad attacking Barack Obama, equating him with the Paris Hiltons of the world, maybe high-road politics just won’t work. But I think what the Democrats are banking on in this convention is that the last eight years have spoken for themselves, that Americans across the country are fed up and don’t need more reasons to hate McCain and Bush; they just need an alternative to believe in.
Then, finally, came Hillary Clinton. The podium sunk into the floor and the arena darkened. A video played with highlights of Hillary’s recent primary campaign, the same campaign that threatens to tear this current one apart. Again, blue signs rippled through the crowd, “HILLARY” on one side, and “UNITY” on the other.
I had never seen Hillary in person before, and I had never understood her particular pull. But as she walked onto the stage I watched the master at her craft. She covered every corner of the stage, even stopping to look up and Gus and me off in our nosebleed corner, then after waiting some time for the crowd to die down, she began.
She took her shots, commenting on the fittingness of the upcoming Republican National Convention being held in Minneapolis, bringing the twins (McCain and Bush) together in the twin cities. But her point of emphasis was unity. She used the political clout that she had mustered throughout the long primary season, and with all her might, she tried to put it behind Barack Obama. Again, she let the status quo speak for itself. She minimized the attacks on McCain, and let the Bush administration speak for itself. “Those are the reasons I ran for president,” she said, after reciting all the policies that need to change, “and those are the reasons I support Barack Obama for president.”
For me this signals a brighter day in American politics. Despite being predicted as a day of bloodshed, it was a day of hope and unity. It took the positive over the negative. And that’s really what this campaign is about, appealing to the best in people, and calling for a day where hope and unity can overcome the past.
DENVER – To save the Democratic Party and to save the country from another four years of the Republican machine, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in last night’s 20-plus minute speech at the Democratic National Convention did everything she could do to stitch up the tear in her party that was brutally ripped apart during her run for the Democratic nomination. Could Hillary really send the message that her supporters are now in the Obama camp and it’s time to bury the hatchet?
To thundering applause Mrs. Clinton took the podium before an audience in the Pepsi Center, of which only a little less than half were supporters of her campaign to become the first female president of the United States. It was her turn to unite her party and everything it stands for.
“Whether you voted for me or voted for Barack, it’s time to unite for a single purpose,” Clinton said with her unabashed powerful speaking authority. “It’s time to unite for a single purpose…Barack Obama is my candidate. And he needs to be our next President.”
Hillary’s task at hand to mend the divided party was in no way going to be an easy one. Several hours earlier on the delegate floor, I was witness to a large number of Hillary supporters who weren’t afraid to show that they were there for Hillary – no two ways about it.
“I am here to pledge my vote for Hillary,” said Marvin Wells, a young, African-American delegate from Washington State. “I like Hillary. I am not sold yet on Obama. I represent tens of thousands of people who support Hillary and I am here to voice their opinion. My vote is not for sale.”
Standing next to him, clad in a Hillary shirt with a large number of Support Hillary buttons, was 18-year-old Colton Crawford, a delegate from McCleary, Wash. He too is there to vote for Clinton.
“I am really excited that she is going to speak tonight but I am not sure she is getting everything she deserves,” Crawford said. “I don’t know if she will be able to bring everyone together as one.” Crawford, taking the same stance as the McCain campaign, said he is “not comfortable” with Obama’s lack of experience.
Hillary, later that evening at the podium, didn’t simply give support Obama lip service, she asked every one of those Democrats in the room to evaluate themselves. To figure out why they supported her – if they supported Hillary or the Democratic Party’s ideals for the future.
“Were you in it just for me?” She asked. To me, this was the nut of her speech. Why were all of us card-carrying Democrats gathered in Denver this week? Are we there to support a person or a party – this “family of Democrats. Hillary told us to support the party and for many, I think, it sunk in.
“Senator Obama is the strongest candidate in the race for the President,” said Jeremy Zellner, a delegate from Buffalo, N.Y. He wore a button displaying the message that he was for Hillary, but is now for Obama. “I really think that we will all be united.”
After Hillary brought down the house Tuesday night, there was a sense of resolve. The party was moving forward with a mended heart. What those of us have who where in Hillary’s camp since the beginning of her campaign were asked to do is check ourselves. Were we really in it for Hillary or for the party? Which comes first? We are forced to look at the bigger picture.
Not that I don’t think it’s noble and a part of the Democratic process to show up to the convention and vote for your beliefs. The bigger picture must be looked at though. The Republican machine is powerful enough. The blue party cannot afford to be divided any longer.
As Clinton put it last night: “We don’t need four more years of the last eight years.”
She’s goddamn right.