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Walter Reed Hospischool

Friday, September 05, 2008 by Michael Reynolds

Come on, that's funny.

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We Should Know Soon

by Michael Reynolds

I think we'll know by Monday or Tuesday. The Republican convention will have settled into people's minds by then. The pollsters will have taken their samples entirely post-convention.

If Obama's up by 5 or more, he's going to win. If McCain is up by 7 or 8 coming off the RNC then he'll win. (McCain's bounce should be fresher hence the disparity.) Anything less definitive and we have a long hard fight ahead.

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McCain Jumps the Maverick

by Michael Reynolds

There is nothing that is so inherently moving that it can't be beaten to death by endless repetition.  

The effectiveness of John McCain's biography reached the tipping point a couple of nights ago.  And then it just kept going.  And going.   McCain has jumped the Hanoi shark.   Fred, Rudi, Sarah, Lindsay, Joe, on and on and on, the drumbeat:  he was a POW, he's a maverick, and . . . and now?  Now what, exactly?

What will McCain do to make a better future for the American people?  He won't give in to the North Vietnamese.  Plus he'll veto marginal chickenshit projects that added together amount to the national government's popcorn money.  Fight the Cong, veto the small stuff and . . . and . . .

And nothing.  

Boil the speech down and it amounted to "Screw the Republican party and all it's leadership:  I'm going to give them exactly what they want."  

GOP boilerplate interrupted by loud assertions of maverickhood and marinated in ancient history. 

A semi-serious question: is McCain trying to throw this race?  

(As always, my Tuscan caveat:  I'm six hours off EST and watching these events later, on-line, over morning coffee.  So my TV experience may not match yours.)

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The Palin Speech

Thursday, September 04, 2008 by Michael Reynolds

Democrats should not kid themselves:  she kicked ass.  She gave a great speech, full of killer lines.  She did McCain a lot of good, and she did Obama some serious damage.  She had just the right tone for attacking Obama:  bemused.  Feminine ridicule.  

She did nothing to convince me that she should be anywhere near the White House.   She came across as a slightly absurd figure.  Still a stunt.  But an effective stunt for the moment.

But one-on-one with Biden she will slap him around the stage.  And she will shoot past Biden to hit Obama.  Not that all that will matter as much as we sometimes imagine.  In the end voters will choose Obama or McCain, not Biden or Palin.  A fact for which the Democrats should be grateful.

The biggest drawback (one that Amba noticed, too) were the audience reaction shots.  The GOP convention looks like a sort of whites only AARP meeting.  Seriously, if you're in need of some old white people I know where you can find some.

(As always, my Tuscan caveat:  I'm six hours off EST and watching these events later, on-line, over morning coffee.  So my TV experience may not match yours.)

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Palin. Yay?

Monday, September 01, 2008 by Michael Reynolds

Well, this whole Sarah Palin thing is going really well, eh?

Another week, another Frank Luntz/AARP focus group of undecided voters--this one in Minneapolis and with some bad news for John McCain: they don't like the choice of Sarah Palin for vice president. Only one person said Palin made him more likely to vote for McCain; about half the 25-member group raised their hands when asked if Palin made them less likely to vote for McCain.

They had a negative impression of Palin by a 2-1 margin...a fact that was reinforced when they were given hand-dials and asked to react to Palin's speech at her first appearance with McCain on Friday---the dials remained totally neutral as Palin went through her heart-warming(?) biography, and only blipped upwards when she said she opposed the Bridge to Nowhere--which wasn't quite the truth, as we now know . . .
Huge surprise. Gosh, who'd have guessed that women voters wouldn't just automatically flock to any candidate with a vagina? Who'd have guessed Hillary voters wouldn't leap to support a woman who thinks that if you're raped you should be forced by the state to have that rapist's baby?

This must be a terrible shock to McCain's people. Who knew women had, like, brains and all?

Turns out Palin did not oppose the "bridge to nowhere." She ran on support of it. Until the political winds changed. The bridge to flip flop.

Turns out rather than being a Simon-pure crusader for virtue she was on the board of a 527 that supported corrupt Alaska Senator Ted "Pimp My Vacation Home" Stevens. Until 2005. And then, in 2006, she made an ad supporting him. Did we know Stevens was an earmarking, bacon-bringing, patronage-machine and all-around slimeball in 2006? Even my dogs knew.

And then there's an issue I think will bubble beneath the surface: Palin has a 4 month old baby. And she has decided to take on one of the most grueling jobs in the world: national candidate. Four month old baby, 18 hour a day job that has mom and baby dragging through every Travelodge and Super 8 in the swing states and adhering to a schedule set not by the baby's needs but by the news cycle.

Not a job she has to take to make ends meet. That I would understand. This is just about ambition.

Now, if you follow the news you may be surprised at what I'm not writing about. It's a fine line, a fine distinction maybe, but putting a 4 month old second to your political ambitions is a problem for me. One I'll opine away on. That's about Palin's current choices. But, having done your best as a parent and then nevertheless having some family issues? That's on the other side of the line for me. I don't expect any parent to necessarily succeed. I do expect them to try.

Besides, Sarah's the only Palin running.

Between hurricane Gustav and this unprepared, unqualified Veep candidate I'd feel sorry for McCain. But he's the one who made this rash, silly, impetuous choice. He's the one who was so out of touch he actually believed this silly stunt would work.

Putting the country first? Not on this you didn't, Senator. On this you were just kind of a jerk.

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