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Archive for Saturday, September 6, 2008

Simons: After strong conventions, GOP, Democrats ready to battle

September 6, 2008

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The race is on.

After two weeks of presidential conventions, the race for the White House now moves into high gear with the John McCain/Sarah Palin Republican ticket facing off against the Barack Obama/Joe Biden Democratic candidacy.

Democrats staged a well-orchestrated gathering in Denver topped off with Obama delivering his address before a crowd of up to 89,000 wildly enthusiastic supporters in Denver's Invesco Field football stadium.

Chances are a high percentage of Democrats, those in Denver as well as throughout the country, thought their quest for the White House was a fairly good bet, considering how the Bush administration had been beaten up over the past eight years, the war and more than 4,000 servicemen and women being killed, high gas prices, the housing situation and a 72-year-old opponent who likely would end up picking a relatively lackluster, old-time GOP officeholder as his running mate.

Added to this favorable situation, the liberal television and print media were doing all they could to tout Obama as a superstar who could do no wrong.

As Republican delegates were packing their bags to travel to the Twin Cities for their convention, Hurricane Gustav was headed toward the Gulf Coast.

No one knew where the hurricane, once classified as a possible category four or five killer storm, would make landfall, but officials started to issue mandatory evacuation orders for millions of those living in New Orleans and other Gulf Coast cities.

GOP officials faced the option of going ahead with the convention, scheduled to open Monday, or possibly delaying the planned four-day gathering for one or more days.

In addition to trying to stage a convention to match what the Democrats had produced in Denver, Republican leaders faced the challenge of squeezing a planned four-day event into a three-day program with many of the main speakers unable to attend.

Added to this was the bombshell dropped by McCain when he announced a relatively unknown Alaska governor, Palin, would be his running mate.

The delay also took away what had been considered an ideal day, Labor Day, which had the potential to help attract millions of television viewers.

There was the added bombshell when it became known Palin's unmarried daughter was five months pregnant.

Everything seemed to be working against McCain and his fellow Republicans.

Four days later, however, Republican hopes were sky high as Palin became an overnight star. From the time she was introduced by McCain at an Ohio gathering prior to the convention until she finished her speech at the national convention, new life, optimism, enthusiasm and excitement had been injected into the convention and the Republican Party. Also, many inner party rifts were healed.

Democrats had Obama, the first African-American to be nominated for the presidency, and the Republicans had Palin, the first Republican woman to be nominated for the vice presidency.

Most of the major GOP speakers at the St. Paul convention did far better in their presentations than many had expected. Palin hit a home run with her words as well as her manner, poise and comfort level in making such an important speech.

The liberal television media, which already was pulling out all guns to try to belittle McCain and Palin, went into a feeding frenzy picturing the Alaska governor as untested and lacking experience.

The viciousness and meanness of these attacks caused many to wonder if this was due to Democratic leaders suddenly waking up to the possibility that the McCain/Palin ticket could be a serious threat. Therefore, Obama, Biden and senior Democratic leaders called on their liberal media friends to go to war against the GOP team.

Whatever the case, Republicans left St. Paul pumped up by the performance of McCain and Palin, confident they could come through with a victory in November.

Clearly any cockiness, arrogance or manners of superiority had been knocked out of those in the Democratic Party who thought the election would be a slam-dunk. As one observer noted, "the bloom has been knocked off of Obama."

"Country First" was the overall theme of the GOP convention with reform, accountability and the promise of a genuine shakeup in the Washington-as-usual scenario among the major points. Republicans also made a strong case that Palin was equally, if not far better, qualified in the "experience" category.

Whereas Obama had been presented as a magnificent savior-type individual and a glorious, gifted speaker, Republicans came across as relatively ordinary, you-get-what-you-see individuals. Unfortunately, some of the elite media crowd went so far as to try to suggest Palin could be looked upon as "trailer trash."

One of the dangerous aspects of the convention was the manner many in the very liberal media fraternity worked. Time and time again they talked about how much fun and exciting the upcoming campaign is going to be and how much they were looking forward to it. They gave the impression that for them it was merely an opportunity to have fun, stir things up and a chance to preach and deliver their wisdom to the uninformed.

Again, the race is on. Hopefully those who vote will be knowledgeable about the various issues and positions taken by the candidates and will be able to separate promises, pledges and grandstanding from reality.

Comments

duplenty 5 years, 7 months ago

Dolph invokes the "liberal media" four times, but can't manage to specify one specific instance?Hmmmm.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

"These entities created the housing bubble - they need to, they deserve to collapse."Only problem is that they are very big cards in the house of cards that is the modern world economy. Sure, we should move away from such stupidity in our economic policies, but China holds lots of Fannie and Freddie chits-- if they lose confidence in those chits, then they can make the whole house of cards fall down, which would not be a pretty sight.My bet is that Obama/Biden would move ever so slightly away from the policies that created this house of cards, while McCain/Palin will merely stack more cards on top.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 7 months ago

"... the Bush administration had been beaten up over the past eight years,the war and more than 4,000 servicemen and women being killed...."Tho' I'm sure it's been observed before, it certainly would seem to bear repeating... in the 21st Century, Republican administration policies have resulted in the loss of more American lives than the domestic terrorismwhich those policies were designed to address?

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jayhawklawrence 5 years, 7 months ago

I think we can predict that we are nearing the end of the usefulness of the term "liberal media". The only people that still believe this foolishness are the same ones who subscribe to the Limbaugh letter. It is amazing to me that a man who represents one of the finest newspapers in the United States and has done such an excellent job would still use a term that was designed and used to undermine the credibility of the very industry he is a part of.

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Godot 5 years, 7 months ago

You are arguing about stupid stuff when the sh*t is hitting the fan as far as our banking system and economy are concerned. Paulson to Take Over and Restructure Fannie, Freddie http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601068&sid=aISsw9oIzHOg&refer=home"The Treasury plans to put Fannie and Freddie into a so- called conservatorship and pump capital into the companies, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank said in an interview after being briefed by Paulson. The government would make periodic injections of funds by buying convertible preferred shares or warrants in the companies as needed, avoiding large up- front taxpayer costs, according to a person briefed on the plan. This is no bailout, particularly for the shareholders,'' Frank said. The federal governmentwill be senior to all shareholders, preferred and common.'' Our government was blackmailed."The decision to rescue Fannie and Freddie follows Paulson's repeated comments to lawmakers in July that he wasn't likely to use taxpayer funds to prop up the companies. The shares of both companies have slid since Paulson won powers to inject unlimited funds in the companies, and their borrowing costs rose. Pacific Investment Management Co., manager of the world's biggest bond fund, and other large investors may put in their own money once the Treasury decides to inject government funds, Bill Gross, co-chief investment officer at Newport Beach, California- based Pimco, said yesterday in a Bloomberg Television interview. They have to open their wallet,'' Gross said. About 61 percent of Gross's holdings were mortgage-backed securities as of June 30, mostly debt guaranteed by Fannie, Freddie or government agency Ginnie Mae, according to data on Pimco's Web site."Gross bought the majority of his share in this debt since the beginning of the year, and he knew the debt was bad. He bought it at pennies on the dollar, even if it was billions of dollars. Now he is blackmailing the Treasury to bail out him and his rich investors.Obama and McCain are rolling over for it. ""Obama and McCain gave their support for federal action to rescue Fannie and Freddie while saying steps must be taken to ensure the companies don't keep passing losses off to taxpayers.These entities are so big and they are so tied into the housing market that it's probably true that we have to take steps to make sure that they don't just collapse,'' Obama said today while campaigning in Terre Haute, Indiana. "These entities created the housing bubble - they need to, they deserve to collapse.

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i_tching 5 years, 7 months ago

McCain is a forgetful doddering old man. Palin is a political monster who raised taxes on homeowners, drove her previously-debt-free little town of 8,000 into a $22 million hole, and she herself has big-time pastor problems.If this is the best that the Republicans can come up with, then their party is over.Dead. Bumped off the running boards of existence. Goneroo. Kaput. Taking a dirt nap. Pooched. Iced. Six feet under. Offed. Taken care of. Up in smoke. Whipped like the family dog.

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JohnBrown 5 years, 7 months ago

I'd just like to know if Sarah Palin can tell the truth.My problem with Sarah is I don't know, and can't tell, when she's telling the truth and when she's spinning some more Alaskan yarn.Take the Alaskan State's luxury jet. Did she sell it on e-Bay or not? Did she sell it for a profit or a loss? Or the Bridge to Nowhere: was she for it before she was against it? Or was she always against it? Did she take the earmark money and just spend it on something else, or did she return that money to the US taxpayers? What does she REALLY think about the Iraqi war, is it sound national policy or part of "God's war"? Did she really do all that Canadian pipeline negotiations or was it in the works before she became gov and she just finished it up? And why was she at this year's Alaskan Independent Party's convention if she believes in putting 'country first'? And what does "putting country first" and "service" mean to her if she's willing to demean the tens of thousands of people who participate in community service by helping economically displaced people?Finally, I'd like to hear her opinions on "choice" or "right to life". Is she really against a woman's right to choose if she's pregnant from a rape? Is she really FOR a would-be rapist's right to choose the mother of his offspring?I know it's cold in Alaska a lot of the time, but down here in the lower 48, we need less yarn spinning and more straight talk. When will she give us that?

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LiberalDude 5 years, 7 months ago

I guess Dolph is a part of the "conservative media". Next thing you know he'll be endorsing Brownback for Governor.

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nugget 5 years, 7 months ago

Elite media. Often quoted, never defined. It's a weak buzzword for "I don't like what people say". Does that include Fox News? Their "no-spin" zone. Is it CNN, NPR? Cable news networks? Or is it that favorite conservative quote, "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it?"Sheesh. This sort of trashy writing you expect in a personal blog, but not as an editorial by a newspaper owner. Plain nutty.

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Godot 5 years, 7 months ago

The announcement late yesterday that the Treasury is putting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into receivership is extremely serious, and could be the ringing of the death knell for the world economy. It could spur economic warfare.This bailout of the the world's two largest hedge funds, which is all Freddie and Fannie are, will bring $5 Trillion dollars of bad debt onto the backs of the American taxpayers All of us must demand that both presidential candidates explain how they allowed this to happen, how they voted on H.B. 3221, why they voted that way, and what they intend to do to unwind it. They must explain why they have not already put the wheels in motion to put the management team of Feddie and Fannie, plusTreasury Secretary Paulson and Fed Chairman Bernanke, on trial.This issue is more important than Iraq, Afghanistan, Georgia, health care, combined.Forget about football, movies, and the hurricanes this weekend. Get active and call your congresspeople and your candidates and get them to put a stop to this.

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Richard Heckler 5 years, 7 months ago

Three themes emerge from data. First, Obama succeeded in bolstering his image as a tough, strong leader who Americans can imagine as their president.Second, Obama's efforts to "spell out exactly" what changes he would make as president had the desired effect.Third, CBS News found half of its sample (50 percent) saying that Obama "has made it clear what he would do as president," a 9-point increase (from 41 percent) since before the convention.=====================================Latest Gallup Poll: Obama's support firms upBy Yael T. Abouhalkah, Kansas City Star Editorial Page columnistAmerica's "swing" voters are turning to support Barack Obama at a faster clip than to John McCain, according to the latest Gallup Poll. Overall, Obama still leads McCain by a 49-43 margin.But the big news is that support for the Democratic nominee is firming up.Gallup says the registered voters saying they "are certain to vote for Obama" went up 6 percentage points -- from 36 percent before the Democratic convention to 42 percent after it.==============================Democrats Posting Large Gains in Voter RegistrationCLAIRTON, Pa. (Map, News) - Five days a week, Linda Graham trolls tattered neighborhoods of this once thriving steel city outside Pittsburgh for unregistered voters she can sign up as Democrats - one of thousands of unknown volunteers whose work outside the limelight has already altered the basic arithmetic of the November election.The epic nomination battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton helped put millions more Democrats on the voter rolls while Republican registration declined. Now Graham, 45, has taken three months of unpaid leave from her job at Pittsburgh's Central Blood Bank in the hope of adding to those gains before the presidential vote.She's encouraged by the response here. "They're all feeling the crunch" of lost jobs and a sagging economy, Graham said. "But people are feeling empowered. They're feeling like, you know what, I hold a little bit of power in this."

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HMcMellon 5 years, 7 months ago

All this talk about the "liberal" media. Sounds like Dolph is wearing a tin foil hat and is seeing black helicopters again. Further, I'm never sure what he means when he talks about "liberals." As a Republican, it seems to me that McCain's support of many of the policies of the present administration are pretty darn liberal.McCain and Bush are definitely liberals when in comes to fiscal responsibility. McCain has gone along with all the deficits and has a tax and spending plan that is so full of holes that deficits will obviously continue and probably increase in size. Bush and McCain are also liberals when it comes to big government. We Republicans used to stand for limited government, but government has grown at at all time rate during the past eight years. I didn't hear much in McCain's speech about changing that trend.Bush has been a liberal when it comes to being pro-communist, having made America basically owned by Communist China and other countries that are enemies of democracy by borrowing nearly $2 trillion to support his big-government liberal policies. I didn't hear anything in McCain's speech to indicate that he is concerned about this.Bush has also been a liberal when it comes to welfare, having created the largest corporate welfare state in the history of the world. Unfortunately, most of the money he borrowed from China ended up in the hands of of the military-industrial complex and much of it went for waste, fraud and a needless war based on lies. McCain supported that war and continues to support it and hints at even more wars he wants to start. Eisenhower warned us that liberals like McCain would let the United States become owned by the military-industrial complex, and McCain has done more in his 25 years in Washington to ignore Ike's warning than anyone else in government. It is ironic that Hurricane Ike is about ready to hit the United States on the heals of the GOP Convention. Is Ike trying to tell us something? And what's this nonsense about the "liberal media" beating up on Sarah Palin? Quite frankly, I'm very concerned about what would happen if McCain dies in office. Sure, McCain is has been and continues to be an agent for the military-industrial complex, but at least he's been around long enough to be somewhat independent in his judgment. President Palin would easily become a pawn to very evil elements in our country. Much has been made of her 18 months of experience as a governor, but considering that Alaska has only twice as much population as Wichita, that's not saying much.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

The headline was very misleading-- instead we got another whiny editorial about the "libral media."

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