Tag Archives: debate

It Isn’t About Leadership. It’s About Perception.

I’ve spent the past 15 hours or so, when not sleeping, watching the talking heads. I’ve even tuned in to Fox news just to make sure their eyeballs haven’t exploded trying to work their poor abused heads around the idea that capitalism is what got us into this mess. Rest assured; Fox News has learned nothing from the current crisis.

It’s been an instructive 15 hours (aside from the sleeping bit).  The pundits all seem to be focusing on

a. Whether or not “The Bailout* ” is a good thing and

b. Whether John McCain rushing back to Washington and suspending his campaign is a gambit or concern.

None of them seem to be able to answer A, and the jury is hung on B. Only one person, The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, got it right. Last night while discussing the move by McCain to suspend his campaign and the debate, Chris said “Anyone who thinks that anything a candidate does this close to an election isn’t about politics, doesn’t know much about politics.” And the truth shall set you free.

Don’t think it’s true? Well, let’s take a look at what’s being said by the McCain camp. This morning, John McCain’s spokeswoman Nicole Wallace actually sidestepped the question to both Joe Scarborough and Matt Lauer. She told Scarborough “Is that what you thought? I think the American people will remember the bipartisan message coming from both candidates.” Really, Ms Wallace? Is that why John McCain rushed out to make the first statement? So that everyone would remember the joint statement that came later? Way to underestimate the intelligence of the American people. The reason for that was fairly transparent, and we all know it. It was politics, pure and simple. Ms. Wallace’s remarks to Matt Lauer here. In both cases, she seems reluctant to actually answer the question put to her, namely: “If the joint message about fixing the problem was what was important, what was your guy doing if it wasn’t upstaging?” I’m more than a little annoyed that two seasoned journalists were unable to force an answer to that question and let it go at a ridiculous hand waving justification.

Neither Sen. McCain nor Sen. Obama are part of the committee attempting to solve this economic crisis. At this point, the Repugs are dragging their feet against passing anything in order to correct the situation, and there’s no foreseeable solution. If no one blinks, what then? We put the election on hold, too?

Sen. Jim Demint just said that “new thinking” is needed on the issue, and he “trusts the free market.” Okay, Sen. Demint; isn’t that WHAT GOT US INTO THE PROBLEM IN THE FIRST PLACE?!  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said infusing presidential politics in the situation will only muddy the waters. Chuck Hagel said last night that everyone in Washington knows the meetings in the Oval Office isn’t where the work gets done; it’s the breakaway meetings AFTER those meetings that actually accomplishes something.

Which leads us right back to: Why the hell are we ONLY focusing on this crisis? We also have TWOT (the war on terror) going on. Should we put government on hold until Sen. McCain comes up with a solution for that as well? And….WHO has a messiah complex again, please?

Ladies and gentlemen, let us buy a clue, if necessary. We cannot simply keep putting things on hold because something comes up. We deserve to know who will be leading us, regardless of which candidate is chosen. It IS our country, after all. We’re the ones making the decision. We deserve to have all the data we can get before we make what may well be the most important choice of our lives.

Senator McCain, step up. Heroes do not run from a challenge, sir.

*I think it’s deserving of Caps. In 75 years, school kids are going to learn about the Great Globalization Crisis of ’08. They’re gonna want to know why we were so stoopid.

McCain Calls for Suspense of Debate; Concern or Calculated Ploy?

So, once again, I’m sitting here watching MSNBC, and they’re talking about how Barack Obama now has a 9% lead in the polls over John McCain. And as they say it, they receive a notice saying that John McCain now wants to put the debate on hold until the crisis is solved, and Barack Obama needs to “come back to Washington to help fix it.”

I must say, it was a brilliant stroke. McCain has been looking for a way to stop the bleeding and get back in front since this crisis broke. I watched Sen. McCain, and am now watching Sen. Obama, who is saying that Sen. Tom Colvin suggested to both candidates that they reach out to each other and make a joint statement. Which I find interesting. He’s now going over his four point demands for the bill, which include that Wall Street execs not get “golden parachutes” for their reckless greed.

Both men seem to be earnest in their sincerity. My question is: How much of it is pandering, and how much is honest concern for making sure this issue gets solved?

Post speeches edit: I think it’s interesting to note that Sen. McCain did not open the floor to any questions whatsoever, and when Sen. Obama opened for questions and was asked about the debate, he said “I think it’s important that we go on with it….the next president is going to have to be able to do more than one thing, and it’s important for the American people to see that.”

Will the RNC accept Sarah Palin?

Whether John McCain is aware of it or not, he has painted himself and the RNC into a corner with his choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

On the face of it, the choice in and of itself makes no political sense beyond “get the women voters.” But Hillary Clinton supporters who may have swung McCain (other than those who were Republican to begin with) will likely find little in common between Clinton and Palin other than their gender. Obama will not be afraid to use Hillary to point that out.  Nor will they take much convincing, if this morning’s USA Today poll is anything to go by.

John McCain is 72 years old. This is a concern, and one that the RNC has worked hard to keep voters from focusing on too hard. Do Republicans really want the “one heart beat away” person to be a 44 year old beauty queen whose experience consists of two years of governing a low population state with next to no foreign policy experience? After making such a case about Obama’s lack of the same?

It smacks of pandering and gimmicky politics. The Republicans are trying to win this race on substance, saying that Obama is nothing more than flash. How can they possibly spin the Sarah Palin choice as anything but all style no substance?

It was  a rush choice to counteract Biden. Sen. McCain’s “vetting process” consisted of a phone call last Sunday afternoon and a two hour interview with Palin in person on Thursday, then announcing on Friday morning. He knows little more about her than we do. He obviously wasn’t aware of “Troopergate”, as it’s now being called (and for the love of all that’s holy….can we PLEASE drop the “gate” off every scandal that comes along? It originated because it was the second half of a hotel name, not a ‘gate’ to a scandal!), because if he did, I’m not sure he would’ve made the choice he did make. It seems as though it was a rush to get SOMEONE on the ticket before the RNC and to counteract the big noise made by Joe Biden.

If all of these points lead the RNC to reject Sarah Palin as a viable candidate for VP…McCain will be forced to recant his nom and choose someone more appropriate. This will hurt both the party and his electability. John McCain has taken a huge gamble on his VP pick.