Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sarah Palin – McCain Makes The Right Choice for Women and for the Nation

First, some facts: At 44, Sarah Palin is the first female governor of Alaska, and the second woman to be chosen to run on a major political party ticket as Vice-President. (The first and last woman to run on a major party ticket was Geraldine Ferraro in 1984.) As governor she passed major legislation to construct a gas pipeline and overhaul state ethics law. She is the Chair of Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission , a multi-state agency promoting conservation and efficient recovery of domestic oil and gas resources in an environmentally sound and safe manner. She serves as Chair of the National Governors Association Natural Resources Committee. She also chairs the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission – (regulates non-renewable resources).

Her public service began with the Wasilla, Alaska City Counsel, where she served two terms. She then went on to serve two terms as the mayor/manager (reduced property tax, increased services, insured a business friendly environment and drew new industry). Palin was also elected by her peers to serve as president of the Alaska Conference of Mayors. She has served one term as governor.

Born in Idaho, Palin has been a resident of the State of Alaska since 1964. She studied Communications-Journalism and Politics at the University of Idaho, and received a BS in Communications-Journalism in 1987. Married to Todd Palin, a production operator and member of the Steel Workers Union, Palin is also a mother of five: Track (enlisted in the US army – deployed Iraq), Bristol, Willow, Piper and Trig. Finally, Sarah Palin enjoys an 80% approval rating according to Hays Research as Governor of Alaska.

In her introduction to the nation, Palin indicated that she had fought “The Good Old Boy Network”, something that every woman over the age of 40 understands all too well. She came across as family oriented, yet strong in her convictions as a reformer of government. Critics were quick to jump to the conclusion that McCain chose Palin solely because she might appeal to those disenfranchised Clinton voters. Bunk.(Palin for VP blog) McCain first met Palin in February at National Governors Assn. meeting in Washington, and added her to a list of possible running mates because of her knowledge and work on energy issues. In reality, several women were mentioned in regards to the vice-presidential spot; however, this fact went largely ignored by the media. The focus was on Mitt Romney, Pawlenty and Ridge since June. It was assumed that McCain was not considering a woman – this by the same media who repeatedly ran sexist attacks on Hillary Clinton throughout her campaign. Now that same media is now expressing concern that McCain picked a woman, any woman to appeal to Clinton voters – go figure. It appears that McCain picked Palin because her ideology and accomplishements most closely align with his own.

Palin will appeal to women, but not all women. NOW has expressed dismay and outrage over the choice of Palin. Palin is pro-life, while NOW is pro-abortion. Those members of NOW equate feminism with one issue and one issue only: abortion. Feminists are not defined by one issue. The Obama campaign quickly jumped on the experience, or lack of experience, that Palin brings to the table. In reviewing her resume, Palin has served the People longer than Barrack Obama, granted in different capacities: she governed, he voted “present”. The biggest question is will she appeal to independent voters? Given the disgust for business as usual politics in Washington (Congress continues to enjoy dismally low poll numbers under the Pelosi/Reid watch), the antipathy towards the sway held over our government by special interests groups such as NOW, the out-of-control spending and pork laid out by members of both political parties - Palin may just fit that bill quite neatly.

She is perfect because she has governed, she understands the needs of the people over the needs of a political party, she has fought successfully against special interests, her own party and has refused to accept Washington pork (our taxes wasted on often frivolous and unnecessary projects) and yes, she is a woman. Is she ready to lead? Is Obama ready to lead? The question becomes rather moot when the top of the DNC ticket has less experience than the bottom of the GOP ticket.

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain - Out of the Box Perfection - Palin Running Mate

At first, hearing the name of Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate gave pause - there was definitely some concern as to reasoning of this particular choice by the Maverick. Did McCain choose Palin because she was a woman - and any woman would do? Was it to attract disgruntled Clinton supporters or to appease a base that cried out for a conservative choice. After reviewing who Sarah Palin is, the reason McCain made this choice is glaringly clear: he chose a strong person for the spot - Palin, a mother of 5, fiscal conservative, pro-life, Governor of Alaska (Well liked in a Blue State). She is the epitome of a Conservative Feminist. McCain chose for McCain - who he felt was best for the Country. Should any thing happen to prevent John McCain from performing the duties of the office of the President (should he become the President), then it would be comforting to know a strong woman would be there to step in and take the reigns of this country.

McCain VP Choice - Speculation Mounts

As the McCain V.P. Contenders are eliminated, the pool of prospects left for speculators has come down to very few choices. Both Mitt Romney and Pawlenty are said to be out, Palin is in Alaska - not Ohio. Mike Huckabee, left a statement on the HUCPAC website stating he was not the V.P. choice. (Although Fox was later reporting that Huckabee was indeed headed to Ohio).

Who's left?

Joe Lieberman is alleged to have left Long Island for Ohio (according to the Washington Post, and Matt Drudgehas posted a photo of Lieberman and McCain, above the links to "those who are no longer considered".

Apparently, there will be no leaks on this particular story and much speculation until John McCain introduces his running mate in Ohio at High Noon.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

McCain’s Choice – May Preempt Obama - Joe Lieberman?!

Politico and Matt Drudge are both hinting at a McCain campaign leak tonight at approximately 6:00 PM – John McCain’s vice-presidential choice. The leak would be timed to send news houses into a tizzy. The question: how can networks cover two major political events effectively – Obama’s speech under a triumphal arch (or Temple), and the naming of McCain's running mate - one that some sources are indicating is an “unconventional choice.” Regardless of choice, the timing of a leak is an exceptional chess move on the part of the campaign.

McCain is known as a maverick because of his ability to part ways with the Republican Party when he feels strongly about any given issue. He's done this since he first took office. Given his history, he will most likely choose the running mate he wants – not one driven by a political motive, rather one that he feels is best suited to the task and in the best interest of the country.

The possibility of Joe Lieberman running as a Vice-President (a second time) is not out of the question. Other names being bandied about are: Pawlenty (safe), Ridge (conservative – somewhat unsafe), Romney (conservative- somewhat safe), Lieberman (Independent – a maverick – actually - safe). How would a Lieberman V.P. choice affect the party? From a moderate perspective, Joe Lieberman would appeal to those moderate Democrats who were previously wed to the Clintons – the working class, non-progressive Democrats, the Reagan Democrats – and most importantly, the Independents. Lieberman may push extreme right conservatives to the wall, but in retrospect, those who are smart enough to know that an Obama presidency can not be tolerated would eventually warm to Joe. Win-Win.

It’s My Party – Clinton Delegates Move to Obama

After all the speculation, fears of rebellion (from Clinton delegates), hopes for a change (in nominees), and the final role call vote at the DNC gave Barack Obama the nomination to lead the Democrat Party. Although many Clinton supporters felt that a better candidate had been unfairly treated by their Party and the press, they are now resigning themselves to vote the party ticket. All is as it should be in any general election. Will there be those so disappointed in the Progressive takeover of a Party whose focus was once based on raising the standards of living for the lower and middle classes – a Party whose purpose was integration, resulting in a better and more perfect Union – that they will either not vote, or will vote for McCain? It is too soon to make that type of judgment call. Several Delegates released by Clinton yesterday for the roll call vote we conflicted yet – those are party members, so dedicated to a political party that they would even participate in a costly convention – it will be a matter of time before they – too – for the most part, fully back the Party’s candidate.

The same can be said for the Republican camp – those who may have been less than enthused about John McCain moved quickly to embrace the new Party leader, regardless of his more than moderate stance that leaves many ultra-conservatives cringing.

Therefore, it is safe to say that in this general election, the Independents will be the deciding factor. It is a given that most often these Independents are moderates – whoever plays the moderate best – will lead their Party for the next 4 years.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Clinton Persuasive - Obama Ho-Hum – Focus: The Twin Cities

The highlight of the Denver Convention came last evening with the much anticipated speech by Hillary Clinton. Clinton sounded – presidential. In what appeared to be a call-to-arms for Democrats to rally round the Party standard-bearer, Clinton in tone and delivery provided the evidence that she was clearly the right choice, but for the machinations of Kerry, Dean and Pelosi, the opportunity for the party to gain the White House. Regardless of what staged speech Obama delivers in whatever grand setting – it will pale in scope to that delivered by the Senator of New York. Hillary Clinton not only spoke for women, she spoke to those truly in the trenches – the middle class democrats who are not convinced Obama is the right choice. There is speculation that she is readying for 2012, and that her endorsement of Obama did not go the distance CNN - she may well be looking towards 2012, however, she did, under pressure, give the party power players exactly what they asked for. That said, after listening to her speech, supporters are convinced that the party erred in the coronation of Obama: CNN Video follows: Clinton Supporter to suggest she may not vote at all.

Further, Bill Clinton may not attend the big Obama speech (this according to CNN). He's more than likely seen enough. The reality is that there is plenty of time for Obama and Company to reach out to disenfranchised Clinton voters - will they?

During all this hoopla over Denver, the press is beginning to look towards the Republican Convention to continue the quest for ratings. Who would have though that this years Republican Convention would be even mentioned by the press?
The lead blog under politics for the Springfield, MA Republican (Oxymoron), headlines: Twin Cities Preparing for RNC. Granted one blog in one small daily paper, in one small state – but it is the State that matters – It is allegedly the Bluest State (51% of the state’s electorate is designated Unenrolled, perhaps they should pick another color?), which one would think, there would be zero mention.

What’s left? The ratings from Thursday’s DNC convention coverage and the following polls – how big a bounce Obama receives and how long it lasts with the RNC chasing will be of interest.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Divided In Denver – Clinton Roll Call Marginalized

According to the AP Obama and Clinton agreed to a water-downed vote to nominate Clinton. It is entirely possible that Clinton will even halt the vote at some point, and recommend that all delegates back Obama. The promise of a full roll-call to nominate Clinton from the floor had given hope to many Democrats who feel that they would have allowed all to participate, and ultimately prove that Clinton was the choice of the party. Of course, the nomination is in the hands of those Super-delegates, which will make any roll-call moot. Interestingly, there were only 5 that put Obama over the top, one of which was Christine Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi’s daughter. Regardless of the outcome, not allowing a full roll-call from the floor will not satisfy those who are still dedicated to the candidate who won the popular vote – Hillary Clinton.

The mood of the convention, as seen from CSPAN coverage, is a bit – bland. Some of those in attendance look bored. Perhaps it is the warning that delegates should limit consumption of alcoholic beverage while in Denver due to altitude! (New York Post), maybe that’s the reasons some Delegates will be leaving prior to Obama’s acceptance speech.

With the much anticipated Clinton Roll-Call being halted (Could it be she might actually win and embarrass Obama, Pelosi, Dean, Kerry and the crew?) at mid-point, it will be Wednesday, August 27th, when the roll-call vote is scheduled to take place, that will determine if this party is truly united, or, if there will be disappointed delegates, as well as disappointed Democrats across the country. Those 30 percent that are not “yet committed to Obama”, are being counseled by Nancy Pelosi to avoid “victim politics”. It remains to be seen how much sway Ms. Pelosi holds over the party in general and just how many of those disenfranchised democrats will vote for McCain, write in Clinton on the ballot or just stay home. These are choices that have been advocated by PUMA, an organization that is dedicated to re-organizing the DNC – bringing the party back to its original roots. It will remain to be seen how this organization and those Clinton supporters at home, will react to the nominating process and convention in total. It will show in the expected “bounce” in the polls that Obama and the party will receive coming out of the convention.

Addendum: "Supporters of Hillary Rodham Clinton are furiously circulating petitions on the floor of the Democratic National Convention tonight, hoping to stave off a plan to hold the convention's roll call at breakfast Wednesday — out of the public eye — sources inside the delegations say." Go to: Denver Post For Entire Article.

Monday, August 25, 2008

John Kerry - Desperation Over Debates!

Brigid O’Rourke, spoke model for John F. Kerry, (D-MA) has her hands full lately. Last week she was assailing Jeff Beatty,(R-MA)candidate for U.S. Senate. due to his calling John Kerry an opportunist - today it was Ed O’Reilly, (D) Kerry’s first Senate challenger in 24 years that has Brigid somewhat upset. Apparently, Ed O’Reilly is guilty of telling the truth – something that Brigid might not be used to hearing. O’Reilly noted in a television appearance that Kerry was “ducking debates” with him, to which O’Rourke replied: “O'Reilly's charges are a "cheap ploy" intended for "character assassination." Further, "You know this fella's blatant lies are getting as old as his campaign is desperate."
Brigid contends that it is O’Reilly not John Kerry who is in no hurry to debate. Understandably, the Kerry Campaign must make charges against both Beatty and O’Reilly – regardless of any basis in fact. Simply stated, the Junior Senator is under siege from both the right and the left!

The truth of the matter - Mr. O’Reilly has left a “newspaper trail” that is impressive and, from Worcester to Washington, no one is buying the fact that Kerry is willing to debate. Additionally, O'Reilly is running a campaign that is statewide - having offices out in Western Massachusetts no less. The Junior Senator doesn't even have a post office box west of Boston.

A sampling of articles supporting Mr. O’Reilly follows:

On July 29 >The Berkshire Eagle Tribune reported: “In a letter sent to Kerry, O'Reilly asked for 23 debates — a combination of public forums and television appearances — between now and the Sept. 16 primary. No schedule has been established, and with the primary closing in, O'Reilly wants to get moving."He has to come back to Massachusetts and debate the issues," O'Reilly said. Kerry, first elected in 1984, doesn't share O'Reilly's urgency. Roger Lau, his campaign manager, said the senator can't agree to a schedule until he knows when the Senate will recess. While an August recess is planned, it's possible the Senate will work into the month to finish its business.”

August 18th, News IN Brief “Kerry may not debate challenger"
WORCESTER. Sen. John Kerry says he has instructed his campaign manager to discuss the “modalities” of a debate with his re-election challenger but he’s not necessarily going to debate fellow Democrat Edward O’Reilly.
Kerry says Senate business and his own statewide campaign schedule have kept him from taking up O’Reilly’s initial challenge for 23 debates.
Now, with less than a month until the Sept. 16 primary, Kerry says his campaign manager will have to see if he can negotiate any agreement with the Gloucester attorney."

Google O’Reilly Debate Kerry and the evidence is overwhelming.The headlines say as much as the articles:

August 7 Newbury Port News: ”Kerry shouldn't shy away from debates”

And on August 19, Real Clear Politics “Why Kerry Won’t Debate” (Not particularly complementary towards the Junior Senator.)

This begs the questions: Just who is desperate?” and “Who’s guilty of character assassination?” Hopefully, O’Rourke has a mirror handy. The simple truth is that for the past month, the media has been reporting on Ed O'Reilly's calls for a debate, including the Boston Globe. Also, the NRNC has a nifty anti-Kerry ad. Suddenly, the Junior Senator is paying attention and crying foul! Could it be that once Biden got the call for V.P. (Democrats can lay that at Kerry's doorstep as well, his former campaign team now advising Obama), Kerry understood he might actually be out of job come November.

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