Archive for August, 2008

Cynical Choice of Sarah

Maureen Dowd (only my favorite columnist ever) imagines Sarah Palin in a chick-flick where, naturally, McCain chokes on a pretzel and dies on day one:

The movie ends with the former beauty queen shaking out her pinned-up hair, taking off her glasses, slipping on ruby red peep-toe platform heels that reveal a pink French-style pedicure, and facing down Vladimir Putin in an island in the Bering Strait. Putting away her breast pump, she points her rifle and informs him frostily that she has some expertise in Russia because it’s close to Alaska. “Back off, Commie dude,” she says. “I’m a much better shot than Cheney.”

Then she takes off in her seaplane and lands on the White House lawn, near the new ice fishing hole and hockey rink. The “First Dude,” as she calls the hunky Eskimo in the East Wing, waits on his snowmobile with the kids — Track (named after high school track meets), Bristol (after Bristol Bay where they did commercial fishing), Willow (after a community in Alaska), Piper (just a cool name) and Trig (Norse for “strength.”)

“The P.T.A. is great preparation for dealing with the K.G.B.,” President Palin murmurs to Todd, as they kiss in the final scene while she changes Trig’s diaper. “Now that Georgia’s safe, how ’bout I cook you up some caribou hot dogs and moose stew for dinner, babe?”

Sarah Palin for VP? Are you kidding me?

Is it just me or does John McCain seem to be grasping at straws here?  He chooses a 44 year old governor of Alaska that hasn’t had any national or international political experience as his Number Two?  As a matter of fact, she has not even seen two years in office as Governor!  John McCain has bashed Barack Obama for his lack of experience yet would leave the fate of the country in the hands of a novice if he fell ill?  I find it an interesting gamble for McCain… an opportunity to court the female Hillary Clinton supporter but her stance on the issues is the exact opposite of Hillary: she is against a woman’s right to choose an abortion, she is pro-death penalty, and she opposes same sex marriages (while claiming to have gay friends) enough to support a constitutional amendment barring benefits for same sex couples, and she supports the war in Iraq.  An interesting insight from colleague and State Senate President Lyda Green, a Republican who has often feuded with Palin, remarked, “She’s not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president?”  Would a woman vote for her just because she is a woman… even if she disagreed with her politics?

Fight Club Show Off

Matt H. consider yourself on notice.

First Rule of Holes (or Nation Building Starts at Home)

When are we going to stop digging?

After having spent the last three weeks in Beijing, I was delighted to read Thomas Friedman’s column in today’s NYT.  He observes that 7 years ago China began building the infrastructure for the Olympic games.  While 7 years ago the US embarked on the War on Terror.  China now has gleaming new airports, roads and parks not to mention the Bird’s Nest, Aquatic Cube, CCTV tower and other amazing feats of architecture.  What return will we see on our investment in Iraq?  Better metal detectors, armored Humvees and pilotless drones?

Like Friedman, I was impressed by what I saw in Beijing and I can’t agree more with him that Obama needs to focus on nation building at home – not in Iraq, not in Afganistan, not in Georgia, but in America.

Who is Barack Obama?

  From today’s NPR story on “Who is Barack Obama?” the discussion goes beyond the talking points and the policy positions, where guests describe the personality and character of the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.  He is described as a kind, thoughtful, and principled individual.  The guests include:

Dan Rutherford, Illinois state senator who worked on legislation with Obama when he was a state senator

Lisa Hay, classmate of Obama at Harvard Law School and a member of the Harvard Law Review when Obama was its president

David Mendell, wrote about politics and urban issues for the Chicago Tribune and author of Obama: From Promise to Power

The God Delusion vs. Audacity of Hope

Candidates can’t ignore values-based voters

“This much is clear: Presidential candidates ignore the importance of the values-based vote at their peril.”

“[In 2000] White voters identifying with the “religious right” grew from 14 to 17 percent of the total electorate. At the same time, the GOP’s share of the white religious right vote jumped 15 percent: from 65 percent in 1996 to 80 percent.”

“[In 2004] …although the war in Iraq dominated the headlines, it didn’t dominate at the polls. A small plurality of voters cited ‘moral values’ as the most important issue in the campaign; Bush crushed Sen. John Kerry among these voters by a whopping 62-percent margin, 80 percent to 18 percent.”

“‘If white evangelicals had not voted in 2004, Kerry would have beaten Bush by a 53 to 45 percent margin nationwide…'”

And, as such, their first opportunity to share the stage in a “forum” (not debate) will be in a mega-church.

The Digital Divide Between McCain And Obama…

There was a great NPR story the other day on the digital divide between McCain and ObamaMcCain has his RAZR phone, no Blackberry/smartphone, does not get onto the Internet, and does not send email – Obama on the other hand has multiple phones, is connected with his Blackberry, and has over a million friends on Facebook.  Does how a candidate embraces new technology provide insight into how they will deal with new situations, new generations, or new opportunities?  Or is this gadget geek reading too much into things?


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