Exclusive: Friday, August 29
by PRESIDENTIAL WATCH
August 29, 2008
View a very funny Obama video RIGHT HERE.
See Linda Eddy's "McTube" cartoon! GO HERE.
Torch passed to the radicals
Wesley Pruden, Washington Times.com
Not with a bang but a whimper, the Clinton era ended. An angry and frustrated Bill Clinton could only watch as Hillary's pitifully shrunken delegate numbers were posted on the counting board. It was enough to make a devoted husband wish his wife had clung to her own name.
With the vote, the last vestige of the "old" Democratic Party was swept away. No more "the middle way," no more of the relative moderation of the Clinton years. The sea of black, female, gay (but not necessarily cheerful) and radical faces at this convention testify to the celebration of the spirit of the '60s, the most squalid decade of a grim and contentious century.
Tonight it's the Anointed One taking center stage, the stage moved to the Denver Broncos football stadium so he can make the speech of his life against the backdrop of a facade of plaster columns worthy of the righteous wrath of Samson. They're calling this one the Temple of Obama. But facades are fragile. We know what happened to Samson.
The Obama camp, if not the senator himself, is nevertheless growing increasingly nervous that they haven't put up enough mirrors or conjured enough smoke. He ought to be already getting his poll bounce, padding what he expected to be a comfortable lead. But neither the emotional accolades of Teddy Kennedy nor the oaths of loyalty from Hillary, manufactured overnight of high-impact plastic, have moved the needle.
On the eve of what should be the biggest night of the nominee's career, the campaign dispatched its legion of lawyers to attempt to suppress the First Amendment in pursuit of squelching a television commercial asking inconvenient questions about Mr. Obama's friendship and association with two violent and unrepentant '60s radicals. Read article.
Obama's Friend, America's Enemy
The Editors, NRO.com
Have you ever been a friend or business associate of a terrorist? Not someone who, to your shock and horror, turned out secretly to have bombed government buildings. No, the question is whether you've ever befriended an unreconstructed radical whose past was well known to you when you entered his orbit and walked through doors he opened for you. Have you been chummy with an unapologetic terrorist who, years after you'd known and worked closely with him, was still telling the New York Times he regretted only failing to carry out more attacks - and that America still "makes me want to puke"?
Barack Obama has.
An organization called the American Issues Project, backed by Dallas investor Harold Simmons, is running a campaign ad which highlights Obama's troubling relationship with William Ayers. Ayers is a former member of the Weathermen terrorist organization that bombed the Pentagon, the U.S. Capitol, various police headquarters, and other targets in the early 1970s.
The Obama campaign's rejoinder is three-pronged: The first shot was an Obama response ad, which fails to offer any substantive explanation of why Obama maintains ties to Ayers. Obama's second move was to launch a heavy-handed effort to pressure television stations into rejecting the ad by promising financial retaliation against the stations and their advertisers - which effort has apparently succeeded in intimidating Fox and CNN. The capper is a desperate call for the Justice Department to muzzle political speech through the prospect of a criminal investigation - a demand that provides a disturbing sneak peak into what life would be like under an Obama Justice Department. Read article.
Changing of the Guard
W. James Antle III, Spectator.org
Ted Kennedy's speech to the Democratic National Convention, complete with an introduction by Caroline Kennedy and a tribute video by Ken Burns, may as well have been called the liberal lion in winter. Except in this version, there is little doubt as to who he wants to inherit the throne: Barack Obama.
After hours of rumor and will-he-or-won't he speculation, Kennedy walked slowly to the podium to drape the 2008 Democratic nominee in the mantle of Camelot. The point was twofold. The first part of his message was aimed squarely at the liberal base, reminding Hillary Clinton dead-enders in the audience whose legacy they would be letting down if Obama lost the election. The second was intended to restore liberalism to its lost glory, when it was at its moral apogee and perceived as the politics of the common man.
Can liberalism go home again? It is doubtful. Even Kennedy's rousing call for a united "America of high principle and bold endeavor" seems to exclude those who take seriously his own church's teachings on social issues. Obama's 2004 Democratic National Convention speech was inspiring and unfailingly patriotic, yet four years later many of his countrymen don't feel he shares their values.
Ted Kennedy has always been a symbol of the highs and lows of American liberalism, from civil rights to quotas, from decency to decadence and depravity, from Camelot to the counterculture and Chappaquiddick. Read article.
High Anxiety in the Mile High City
Maureen Dowd, NY Times.com
This Democratic convention has a vibe so weird and jittery, so at odds with the early thrilling, fairy dust feel of the Obama revolution, that I had to consult Mike Murphy, the peppery Republican strategist and former McCain guru.
"What is that feeling in the air?" I asked him.
"Submerged hate," he promptly replied.
There were a lot of bitter Clinton associates, fund-raisers and supporters wandering the halls, spewing vindictiveness, complaining of slights, scheming about Hillary's roll call and plotting trouble, with some in the Clinton coterie dissing Obama by planning early departures, before the nominee even speaks.
At a press conference with New York reporters on Monday, Hillary looked as if she were straining at the bit to announce her 2012 exploratory committee.
"Remember, 18 million people voted for me, 18 million people, give or take, voted for Barack," she said, while making a faux pro-Obama point. She keeps acting as if her delegates are out of her control, when she's been privately egging on people to keep her dream alive as long as possible, no matter what the cost to Obama. Read article.
Statement of Purpose
We are a grassroots organization committed to supporting Senator John McCain's Presidential campaign in the event that Senator Clinton does not become the Democratic Party's nominee by the time of the November election. We feel very strongly that Barack Obama is by far, the lesser choice of the three remaining candidates, and we would rather see Senator John McCain in the Oval office if this nation cannot have Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as its President.
We would like to be clear about our motivation. It is not out of bitterness that we make this commitment, nor is not out of any sense of racial or gender prejudice. As much as we may not want to see another Republican administration, we would rather see John McCain in the Oval Office than Barack Obama. This is about character, this is about honesty, this is about patriotism, this is about the economy, this is about what we believe to be best for the country and for the world. To borrow a phrase from Manuel L. Quezon, our loyalty to the party ends where our loyalty to the country begins. GO HERE.
Hillary Supporters for McCain - West Virginia Democrats aren't warming up to Obama.
Salena Zito, Weekly Standard.com
West Virginia's registered Democrats, like their cousins in western Pennsylvania and eastern and southern Ohio, are having a hard time fitting anywhere within Barack Obama's vision of the Democratic party.
"Obama and his message just do not gel with me," said Mark Lamp as he climbed into his utility truck. Lamp, 47, from neighboring Weirton, is a registered Democrat who voted for Clinton in the May primary.
"My first problem with him is taxes, the second is experience," he explained.
Lamp has worked in construction all of his life, and the company he works for builds houses in the tri-state area. "We have been busy all year." He sees very few signs of the economy or gas prices hurting him, and they are not what drives his vote.
"I vote leadership. That is why I voted for Hillary and why I will vote McCain."
Al Gore failed to connect with West Virginia voters in 2000--the state had gone Democratic since Reagan's 1984 reelection campaign. John Kerry carried that tradition forward by only getting 43 percent of the vote in 2004.
All signs are pointing to Obama facing similar numbers. Read article.
Bouncy, Bouncy - What Goes Up Must Come Down
Review & Outlook, Online WSJ.com
Maybe important, maybe not. That's the verdict on "bounces," those polling surges that presidential candidates try to jigger up for themselves as a result of splashy veep announcements and political conventions.
The American Enterprise Institute's Karlyn Bowman says one for the record books was Bill Clinton's 16-point bounce following the 1992 convention. But don't expect Barack Obama to pull off a similar feat this year. "It's very unlikely," she tells us. Then again, "if Obama wows them and the party looks unified, he might get a bigger bounce than usual. The mood is not dissimilar from 1992."
A new study by Ms. Bowman finds that, generally, bounces have "tended in the past to evaporate very quickly." Even more discouraging, Barry Goldwater, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis all had higher bounces than their opponents but ended up losing in November. Jimmy Carter had a higher bounce than Ronald Reagan in 1980. He lost. Read article.
Dubya Made Obama Possible - No climate of fear.
Seth Swirsky, NRO.com
People in America feel safe, and President Bush - thanks to his advocacy of tough FISA laws, winning in Iraq, taking on the Taliban in Afghanistan, etc. - deserves the credit. Therefore, Bush also deserves the credit for making the Obama candidacy palatable.
Why? Because Americans simply will not elect a liberal when they feel fear. Without Bush's success against terror, a leftist newcomer with little experience - like Barack Obama - would never be considered for the presidency.
Similarly, Americans could only elect Jimmy Carter because they felt safe. The chill between America and the former Soviet Union had thawed considerably by 1976. The countries collaborated on the immensely successful Apollo-Soyuz space missions, signed a nuclear agreement (the SALT Treaty), and entered a period of détente.
It's the same story with another liberal, Bill Clinton. If the Soviet Union hadn't come apart, no one would have considered the young, unknown governor of Arkansas for the top job in 1992. It's only because Ronald Reagan brilliantly managed the end of the Cold War, and George H. W. Bush defanged (at the time) Saddam Hussein in Gulf War I, that our country would even contemplate such a thing. Read article.
For McCains, a Public Path but Private Wealth
David M. Halbfinger, NY Times.com
When Senator John McCain is in Washington, he lives in a luxury high-rise condominium in Arlington, Va., owned by his wife, Cindy Hensley McCain. Mrs. McCain also owns their condos in Phoenix, San Diego and Coronado, Calif., and their vacation compound near Sedona, Ariz. And it is the beer business, Hensley & Company, she inherited from her father that is the source of the McCain family fortune.
That fortune makes Mr. McCain one of the richest members of the Senate. Yet barely a sliver of it is in his name.
Democrats have increasingly highlighted Mr. McCain's wealth. Senator Barack Obama ridiculed him on Thursday for being unable to say how many homes he owned, saying it showed that Mr. McCain was out of touch with ordinary Americans. But with the McCains' money in Cindy McCain's name, as dictated by a prenuptial agreement, the senator's finances are more difficult to assess and scrutinize than those of many other political candidates. Read article.
The pathology of presidentialism
David Sirota, Seattle Times.com
You have to hand it to John McCain - his campaign ads are (inadvertently) the most incisive commentary on the death of Jeffersonian democracy ever broadcast.
Superficially, they lambaste Barack Obama's worshipful crowds and messianic promises that a heavenly "light will shine down" on his candidacy. But what the ads really lampoon is what Vanderbilt Professor Dana Nelson calls presidentialism: our paternalistic view that presidents are godlike saviors - and therefore democracy's only important figures.
"The once-every-four-years hope for the lever pull sensation of democratic power blinds people to the opportunities for democratic representation, deliberation, activism and change that surrounds us in local elections," she writes in her new book, "Bad for Democracy: How the Presidency Undermines the Power of the People."
In a country whose anti-royalist founders constitutionally constrained executive authority, what explains the metastatic growth of presidentialism? The evisceration of journalism and social movements.
The media's Watergate triumph sired the current Age of Stenography. With personal glory the new priority, correspondents figured out that transcribing White House prognostication is a far easier way to gain notoriety than Woodward and Bernstein's shoe-leather investigations. The result is journalism run by grotesque sloth and vapid speculation. Read article.
Exactly How Biased is the American Media?
JB Williams, NMJ.us
The average American voter is starting to come to grips with the fact that those who control the flow of their information, "the media," are neither independent nor unbiased.
In a September 2007 Gallup survey of American voters, 45% said the media is too liberal, compared to only 18% who said the media is too conservative and 35% who said the media is about right.
The results of that survey demonstrate how far left 18% of Americans are today, and how uninformed another 35% are. Only 45% have a good sense of just how biased the media really is, before they follow the money and confirm their suspicions.
It's the information age, so the media is made up of several sectors today. American thought patterns and political sentiments are influenced almost entirely by a combination of all of these sectors, collectively referred to as the media. Read article.
Obama disguising ties to radical leftist group?
Aaron Klein, WND.com
Did Sen. Barack Obama's campaign attempt to hide a paid working relationship with a radical leftist organization that has admitted to major financial improprieties and has been convicted in numerous major voter fraud scandals?
That question is being openly asked by the Republican National Committee after it was disclosed Obama's campaign paid more than $800,000 in services to Citizen Services Inc. (CSI), a nonprofit organization that is an offshoot of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN.
ACORN is the nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families. It has held violent, disruptive protests, seeks to regulate banks, supports left-leaning education policies, is accused of working on urging partisan voter turnout for elections, and seems to promote driving businesses from cities.
CSI is headquartered in New Orleans in the same building as ACORN. The three directors of CSI are also top leaders of ACORN. The two groups have close financial ties.
The Obama campaign's payments to CSI - first reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - raise questions about the nature of Obama's current relationship with ACORN. Obama has been closely linked with the radical group and may have even helped drive large amount of money to the organization. Read article.
Keep it Simple and Truthful
Michael Bergin, American Thinker.com
"Freedom is never more than one government away from extinction"
When it came to defeating the Soviets and Communism via the cold war Ronald Reagan made it simple.
"We win, they lose"
Now more than ever our nation needs "Simple and Truthful" political platforms that allow us to make an informed decision; one the mainstream media will not be allowed hide or spin.
We do not need, nor do we want a "politician."
We need and want a leader, and McCain can and should pronounce himself a "leader" while at the same time labeling Obama a "politician".
Ronald Reagan did not want to tell us what to think.
Rather, he wanted to show us how to think.
Think simple and truthful! Read article.