Election 2008 – After the Conventions: What Now?

by WALTER ANDERSON September 10, 2008
Convention Hangover
 
The past two weeks have been anything but dull in the political world of Election 2008, what with the Democrat and Republican conventions, countless words of promise, and countless reasons why one candidate is better than the other.
 
I am both surprised and dismayed that more “campaign attacks” and less substance on the issues. The Democrat speakers, especially Joe Biden and Barack Obama, were more direct in their negative comments in my opinion than the Republicans were. I don’t mean that the Republicans didn’t take their own shots at Obama and Biden, but they managed to do it in a more humorous manner.
 
I thought Hillary Clinton’s keynote address was well done. It was meant to portray the Democrat candidates as the best possible choice against McCain’s inadequate policies and, if McCain is elected, Americans would get “another George Bush Presidency.” Clinton also had to convey the message of the need for party unity, and she made the case. Later, though, when Bill Clinton gave his speech, I saw in his words and actions the old Bill – the “it’s still about me” Bill Clinton.
 
Rudy Giuliani entertained Republicans as he built up McCain and Palin and he taking direct shots at Obama and Biden, making those at the convention fill the hall with laughter. According to news accounts the next day, everyone but the Democrats agreed he was the toast of the town.
 
Joe Biden was short, to the point, and in attack mode (which is par for the course for VP candidates), saying that when it comes to policy, “McCain just doesn’t get it!” And Obama’s acceptance speech at Invesco Field mentioned his proposals for energy, tax cuts, education, new jobs, and how his Presidency would differ from George Bush’s and John McCain’s. While it was well received, I personally think the speech he gave in 2004 at the convention was much better than this was.
 
In what turned out to be a surprise to many, Sarah Palin took down the rafters in the auditorium. She coupled a firm but friendly delivery with humor as she explained who she was and why she would be a good Vice President with John McCain. Out of all the speeches I had a chance to hear during both conventions, this was the best one. And the following night, McCain’s acceptance speech was full of conviction and feeling. In addition to the “meat and potatoes,” he stressed patriotism and that we must fight for what we want and for our country.
 
The Next Ronald Reagan?
 
That is what some have said about Sarah Palin, including Reagan’s son, Michael: “Wednesday night I watched the Republican National Convention on television and there, before my very eyes, I saw my dad reborn; only this time he's a she.” John McCain caught a lot of people off guard with her choice as his running mate – even those who knew she was on the list of consideration. Calling herself a “pit-bull with lipstick,” this self-described “Hockey Mom” has held a number of public offices, including city council, mayor of her hometown, and currently Governor of Alaska. Her performance energized everyone at the convention, knocked the opposition into crisis mode, and scored a bulls-eye with the American people. She and her Middle America ways even won the praise of some Democrats! As Sarah Palin and John McCain continue close the gap with Obama, this race will now be even closer than previously thought.
 
The Democrats seem frightened of the McCain ticket ever since Sarah Palin was added to the mix. As ugly rumors fly and negative commentary flows, for example, it has been pointed out she “only” has a bachelor’s degree. Does that mean a person has to have a law degree from a fancy eastern University in order to lead in our Government? If that is so, how did Harry Truman do so well? How about Abe Lincoln who was a self-educated lawyer? In fact, nine of our Presidents did not attend college.
 
Quick Notes
 
  • We all know that Barack Obama was rated the most liberal senator by the National Journal in 2007, but how many of us realized that Joe Biden was rated the third most liberal senator? Only Sheldon Whitehouse separates them.
  • In the CQ Politics study of Senate (they also did House members) members vote records during the seven and one-half years since President Bush took office, the following showed up that I believe is interesting and telling on where a Senator’s loyalty lies and points to the partisanship that is the underlying cause for the current Congress being called the “do nothing Congress”: Joe Biden voted with his party 93% and supported the President 52%; John McCain voted with his party 81% and supported the President 90%; Barack Obama voted with his party 96% and supported of the President 40%.
  • There has been a lot of negative discussion regarding the pregnancy of Sarah Palin’s 17-year-old single daughter in the blogosphere and some news outlets. To the credit of both Barack Obama and Joe Biden, they both said “hands of the children of the candidates.” The McCain camp said “life happens.” I agree! A situation such as this can happen to and in any family. However, if the wife or an adult family member of a candidate, any candidate, enters the political ring by making speeches and campaigning, they are fair game for discussion, both pro and con.
  • There was considerable contrast between the setting where Barack Obama gave his acceptance speech (in a football stadium on a stage adorned with fake Greek coliseum columns) and where John McCain gave his acceptance speech (the convention center, set up like a town hall meeting with an American Flag backdrop). Somehow, the simple stage with the American flag seemed more appropriate to me. And even though Obama’s crowd was much larger than McCain’s, both were charged up by their respective candidate. Speaking of spectators, It’s been reported that Sarah Palin’s speech last week had over 40 million television viewers, while only 37.2 million tuned into Obama. I guess there is a new “Rock Star” in town!
  • Two hurricanes had an effect on the Republican Convention. One was named Gustav and the other was named Sarah, as she took the convention by storm and changed the direction of the campaign for both political parties.
  • I have just about completed reading the controversial book by Jerome Corsi titled The Obama Nation. As indicated by the title, this is not a complimentary tome. I found it interesting and generally on point, although some of the passages show Corsi taking a bit of “journalistic license.” The book is an easy read and well documented with over 700 footnotes leading to credible information sources. The index is excellent and the book’s content is chronological.
  • I call this The Audacity of Oprah! She has refused to interview Sarah Palin on her show until after the election. It was first noted on the Drudge Report, while Newsbusters and other websites followed up with more detail. ABC news also posted a long article that is highly critical and questions Oprah’s bias in the matter! This is one story that has stirred up a lot of talk and controversy. While it’s Oprah’s right to have whatever guests she chooses on her show, a lot of her viewers feel she is doing a disservice to women, the people she purports to uplift and inspire. I don’t think it’s a controversy that will go away any time soon.
  • There has been a “rumor” that Joe Biden “stiffed” his accountant for $15,000 for work he did on Biden’s campaign accounting. If you go to the link above, you can get the scoop on what the truth of the matter is.
  • Finally, political junkies will enjoy this website, as it involves virtually all things presidential.
 
Until next time...
 
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Walter Anderson has an extensive background in business, served in the Marine Corps, and is experienced in grassroots political activism. Feedback: editorialdirector@familysecuritymatters.org.

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