Saturday, August 16, 2008

Kerry as Obama V.P. – Seriously

The speculation over V.P. pics has reached a feverish pitch; as pundits and beltway experts weigh in on a multitude of possibilities for both McCain and Obama – one must keep in mind that, although a great way to pass the time, guessing who the V.P. will be is akin to buying a lottery ticket and hoping one wins. That said, those weighing in will have another week or so to continue to choose for the nominees – with one or two possibly getting it right.

The latest V.P. pic bandied about is Massachusetts Junior Senator, John Kerry. The case for Kerry’s V.P. is made by Jon Keller, of WBZ Boston. Keller’s Blog outlines the pro’s of a Kerry V.P. choice, so well, apparently, that Matt Drudge has made it a two day headline (August 15 & August 16). That said, other sources in Massachusetts have indicated there may be something to this, adding: “According to state law, Kerry can run for Senator and for Vice President simultaneously.”

Would Kerry fit the bill? Yes, he may even be the most logical choice. He is close to Obama. It was Kerry who chose Obama as the keynote speaker for the 2004 convention; he also campaigned for Obama in Illinois (while campaigning for president). Kerry has spent more time campaigning and fundraising for Obama than paying attention to his own Senatorial race. Additionally, as previously noted in other posts, Kerry’s 2004 campaign staff is working for Obama. Obama lacks experience; Kerry has experience and is national party leader. He is also an astounding political opportunist.

“Yes he can” run for Senator and V.P. simultaneously, however, polls indicate that the V.P. slot may be more likely than a re-election. Polls: Suffolk University polls have indicated that 51% of the respondents preferred Kerry not retain his seat (no other candidates were mentioned in this particular poll). Ed O’Reilly, Democrat for Senate managed to get on the ballot despite the best efforts of the Kerry camp to squelch O’Reilly’s ambitions. Additionally, Jeff Beatty, republican has begun to close the gap in the Massachusetts Senate polls – gaining approximately 20 points in the most recent polls, which coincides with the percentage of those polled as “having no opinion” (not knowing about) of the candidate, dropping from 60% to 40%.
O’Reilly and Beatty have grassroots campaigns, which Kerry cannot generate, preferring to meet with City and State politicians on the campaign trail rather than actual voters. The most interesting indicator is the Bay State press. Recent articles are showing caution: the word “if” has been inserted before “John Kerry wins the primary”. One needs only to "Google" Kerry and Massachusetts Campaign to find Obama's name in the majority of the results - this may be leading pundits to believe Kerry is considering the V.P. slot, or alternately, aggressively seeking the same.

With McCain and Obama now tied in the daily Rasmussen Polls (44 – 44), the Obama campaign must be seriously looking for a way to generate buzz. The logical step would be to go where they believe they have a shot. With Kerry’s popularity in Massachusetts questionable at best, and the Republican Candidate, Beatty mounting an increasingly effective campaign – Kerry might feel more comfortable in the national spotlight.

A Kerry VP pick in Denver? Yes, anything is possible, however, perhaps the campaign should poll in Massachusetts (specifically independents or unenrolleds who make up 50% plus of the electorate) prior to making any definitive decisions.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Democrat Convention – This Should Be Reality Television at Its Best

The fact that Hillary Clinton’s roll in the upcoming conventions has been greatly expanded to include a nomination has many a pundit nonplused! Some are calling the nomination of Clinton “symbolic”, an appeasement process to bring Clinton supporters to Obama’s side. Other’s are a bit unnerved over the Clinton’s involvement in the process. Dick Morris, in a recent Fox News appearance, sees it a bit differently. Morris, who is not a fan of the Clintons and has a less than stellar track record of predicating the outcome of any given race, made an interesting point nonetheless: Obama caved into Hillary Clinton. How? By allowing her far too much time at the convention, and an opportunity to upstage Obama. The question: "How’s that for leadership on the part of Obama?" Morris went on to ponder; if Obama cannot control Hillary Clinton, how can he be trusted to control critical situations? (Issues of import to the security of the nation.)

That’s a valid question. However, can one place the blame entirely on Obama? Yes and no - it depends on who is chosing his advisors. That is not entirely clear. The one term senator from Illinois whose mentor, John Kerry, Democrat Massachusetts, brought to national attention in 2004 at the DNC convention, has hired members from Kerry's old campaign team. Those advisors, although well-intentioned, may not have the best track records.

John Kerry campaign staff from his failed 2004 presidential bid that are working for Obama include:
Heather Higginbottom, Obama’s policy advisor, Stephanie Cutter, senior advisor to Obama and chief of staff for wife, Michelle and Jim Margolis leads the commercial production and daily message team. Additionally, Tom Daschle is a national co-chair of the Obama campaign.

The Obama camp is hoping that the “symbolic” nomination and multiple appearances by the Clinton’s during the convention will mollify the 18,000,000 Democrats who voted in the primary’s – bringing them over to the side of the “magnanimous Obama.” This remains to be seen. One can bet the house that the ratings for the Denver Convention will be through the roof – not necessarily because Obama will be on the stage, along with a yet to be announced running mate – it is the drama. This year’s DNC party will be the best of Realty TV. It remains to be seen how much control Obama and his staff will have over those delegates on the floor who are there for one reason and one reason only – to nominate Hillary Clinton as their party’s standard bearer. Comments on the original news release from the ABC Blog are an interesting read with a common theme – disarray. What types of message will this sending to the average voter?

To recap: Obama’s surrounded himself with campaign advisors who have major political failures under their belt and Hillary Clinton will have a huge percentage of air time at the Convention. Republicans, who were destined to lose every election this year, are looking more likely to retain the White House and those Daschle-like, DNC “Obamafiles” (Pelosi and Kerry come to mind), may end up on the outside looking in.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hillary Clinton – Vindicated – Nominated - Party in Denver

According to ABC News a deal has been worked out between the rival Democrat camps that places Hillary Clintons name in nomination at the Denver convention. The question now arises: “What if?”. Should the DNC be paying attention to the winds of change – the polls show Obama and McCain in a dead heat for weeks. Today’s Rasmussen Poll has a 1 point difference between the two, with Clinton voters likely included in that mix. The more Progressive Arm of the party (Pelosi, Reid, Kerry and may be in for a rocky mountain ride, while moderates scramble to salvage what should have been a run-away for the “chosen one”. However, at this stage of the game, introducing Clinton as the front-runner (should that occur), may not leave enough time for the DNC to recover. That said it is the true Democrats in the party that have forced the Progressives to kneel, giving Clinton the opportunity to salvage the party in 2012.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

John Kerry – The Obama Factor

John Kerry, Junior Senator from Massachusetts is facing a challenger from within his own party for the first time since he took his seat 24 years ago. Gloucester attorney, Ed O’Reilly, who garnered more than enough votes at the Lowell Democrat convention, despite alleged efforts by Kerry’s camp to derail him, has challenged the Senator to a series of debates (AP). To date, no definitive answer has come from the Kerry campaign. Perhaps the Senator is far too busy campaigning for Barack Obama - Kerry, who has become a mentor to Obama, chose the young Illinois Senator to be the Keynote Speaker at the 2004 convention . With that in mind, is it any wonder he also was among the first to endorse Barrack Obama over the wishes of Kerry’s Massachusetts Constituents? Alternately the Senator may not wish to engage O’Reilly on the issues in a public forum, specifically if that forum may be televised. Kerry has an interesting style of debate – one that seems to resonate with his core group of supporters.

Why the Clinton Factor? Between Kerry and his 2004 running mate, John Edwards, the stage was set to replace the acknowledged front runner with an inexperienced two term senator from Illinois, through whatever means necessary. Clinton faced a barrage of attacks on everything but that what was relevant – policy. She was also advised, by these same men who had prior ties to Obama, to “give up the race”. Kerry, ever the opportunist, perhaps fancied himself as a “king-maker”. All well and good for the Democrat Party, should it be a party of exclusion. However, some Democrats are taking exception to that particular line of reasoning.

DNC Reform a group that has formed in opposition to those who would exclude the “majority minority” (otherwise known as women), is taking the Senator (as well as others who endorsed against the will of the voters) to task. Maureen Dowd, an avowed “Obamafile”, in her op-ed today, has implied that the Clintons are doing everything in their power to undermine Obama. Maureen could not be further off-base. Obama’s problems do not stem from Clinton supporters (the same cannot be said of sitting Senators, Congressmen and the like who ignored the will of their constituents), rather, his problem stem from exposure – to the American public. The more people get to know him, the more his poll numbers stay the same. Obama is becoming as charming as John Kerry and everyone knows what happened in 2004. Not only did John Kerry not win the presidency, Tom Daschle did not win re-election to the senate. Those at DNC Reform, along with 51% of the voters (Suffolk University Poll, June), in Massachusetts feel it is time for Kerry to seek employment elsewhere. Perhaps he can become an MSNBC commentator.

You tube videos from DNC Reform shown below.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Obama's Response to Russian Agression: Consult the UN

In Barack Obama’s initial statement regarding Russia’s invasion of sovereign Georgia, he boldly stated "All sides should enter into direct talks on behalf of stability in Georgia, and the United States, the United Nations Security Council, and the international community should fully support a peaceful resolution to this crisis,". Every citizen should feel safer now that Barrack Obama has called upon that august body. The United Nations Security Council is composed of the following countries: China, France, The United States, the UK, and the Russian Federation (permanent members) – joined by ten other nations that include Belgium, Viet Nam, South Africa, Costa Rica, Croatia, Burkina Faso, Indonesia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, and Panama. “Yes We Can” - stick our heads in the sand.

From the Boston Globe, to the San Francisco Chronicle praise for the “wise” Obama is noted. Yet, not everyone is enamored of the wisdom of young Obama. An opinion piece from the LA Times by Jonah Goldberg entitled “Obama without his script”, opens with the observation “Judging by his reaction to the Georgia-Russia crisis, Obama's make-believe presidency isn't ready for prime time.” Point taken.

McCain, to his credit, immediately issued a harsh statement, going so far as to beat George Bush to the punch (so to speak). A recent post on ageism from the blog A Boomer Speaks is worth a read. Although not endorsing either candidate, the author does question age as criteria to lead.

In a world that is based on aggression, from old regimes to new, the leader of the United States must be ready and able to deal with each international crisis based upon a unique American perspective, which is often at odds with the perspective of the UN Security Council.

Perhaps a refresher is in order. It’s 3 AM – who do you want to answer the phone in the White House? Now that the candidate who raised that all important question has been pushed out of the race – it is still valid. Should that candidate be someone who must consult 300 advisors and call the United Nations prior to making a decision?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Putin’s Georgian Aggression Comes as No Surprise

Vladimir Putin , President of Russia (2000-2008), brought up through the ranks of the KGB, is still holding onto power in the Russian state, despite, Medvedev, Putins’s protégé, election in March of this year. The imperialistic Soviet Union, perfected the spread of its power at times when it was politically expedient to do so – in the 1940’s The Soviet Union annexed bordering nations, with little to no resistance from world leaders – the US has just reelected FDR in 1944 and was busy rebuilding after the effects of World War II – it was politically expedient for the Soviet Union to take advantage. Again, in 1968 The Soviet Union reasserted its position Czechoslovakia, in August. At that time, the United States was going through a general election – former President Lyndon Johnson was not running for re-election – Robert Kennedy was assassinated and Hubert Humphrey, Johnson's Vice President lost the election to Richard Nixon. American politics and policies were in a chaotic state. There was the war in Viet Nam, escalated under Johnson, the assassination of a populist leader of an American royal family (Kennedy), and in August of that year, uncertainty on the world stage as to the direction in which the U.S. would turn.

Putin understands history. As the people of Georgia
call on NATO and the US to aid them,
anyone watching form a World View sees the U.S. in political chaos and opportunities abound – at the least until November. The US. is currently engaged in Iraq, and depending upon the outcome of the U.S.General Election, opportunities for Putin and Company could continue through 2012 (should a world-view US president be elected.) Further cause for concern,Progressive Democrats of America , the socialist arm of the Democrat Party, continue to mull over new ways to insert themselves further into an American political party – all of which, Putin, and other aggressive minded world leaders will watch expectantly. Of course, should McCain take the General, there would be a shift in progressive, aggressive nation building - there is an old Austrian Saying "Just because there is snow on the roof, it does not mean the fire is out".

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