• Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 47 other followers

  • February 2019
    S M T W T F S
    « Jan    
  • Recent Bookmarks:

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Advertisements

Stone on Palin

Via Drudge, Roger Stone writes:

It was 1962. Richard Nixon had had enough. Enough of being called “Tricky Dick, the man no one would buy a used car from.” Enough of the elitist derision that had come his way since the Hiss case. He had had enough of the liberal media who consistently held him to a higher standard than his Democratic opponents and poked fun at his lack of sophistication – he being the son of a grocer. So Nixon blew. He announced the end of his career in seeking elective office; “You won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.” Six years later he was inaugurated as President of the United States.

This moment came last week for Sarah Palin and her husband Todd. Sick of the derision of the media for her unsophisticated country ways, her plain speaking and consistently being held to a higher standard than her critics, Palin had had enough. Palin resigned as Governor and, like Nixon, did not reveal her future plans. A follow-up FACEBOOK posting for her legions of admirers was clearly written in her own hand as it is plain-spoken and blunt.

Watching the Washington chattering class pan the Palin moves shows the moronic level of political analysis in the media today. Switch-hitter Dave Gergen, Ed Rollins who bolted his Party to go destroy the candidacy of Ross Perot and then trashed Perot, and Upper West Side reform Democrat Dick Morris who toiled for Ohio lefty, Howard Metzenbaum and Clinton but is today a born again Christian and right-winger, all panned the Palin move. Fools.

In fact, resignation as Governor was necessary to preserve any prospect that Palin could be nominated and elected in 2012 or beyond.

Palin could accomplish nothing more as Governor to burnish her “experience” credentials. Nuisance lawsuits and ethics complaints from garden variety left-wing nuts were costing her hundreds of thousands of dollars and paralyzing state government. Palin’s accomplishments as Governor in boom times where behind her. The lot of a Governor today is painful cuts and delivering bad news for the next 18 months. Who needs it?
Like Nixon, Palin needs some rehabilitation to her political image caused by the relentless attacks of the elitist media, the knife-work of the relatively talentless Republican Party pros like Steve Schmidt and her own self-inflicted wounds from the post election period that were born out of inexperience at this level of political combat. Like Nixon, Palin can re-make herself in the controlled environment of television.
The “New Palin” is crucial to the expansion beyond her base of true believers to be a viable presidential candidate. The obvious place for Palin to re-tool her political image is FOX television. FOX’s viewers are Palin’s potential voters. It is ironic that FOX president Roger Ailes is the genius TV producer who erased candidate Nixon’s flaws in a controlled environment and facilitated the greatest political comeback in American history, is at the helm at FOX.

There are some important differences between Nixon and Palin that Stone doesn’t talk about. Nixon had been Vice President. He had been a Senator. He had been a Congressman. He had been a presidential candidate and nearly won his national election (and graciously refused to make a fight over some of the results in areas where voter fraud may have played a part in the results).

Palin was governor of one of the least populous states in the Union for about three quarters of one term. Nixon was from California and won statewide in California on 1950 and in his Presidential run in 1960.

There’s a huge resume difference between Palin and Nixon.

If I were running a campaign against Palin, I would be relentless in pointing out she couldn’t finish a term as Governor in Alaska, she quit when things got tough.

I hope Stone is right, that Palin will make the national circuit, earn up those political IOUs, get a war chest of funds and change her image in the media. Can she do all that in 2 years? Nixon took six.

(note: long blockquote was necessary because Mr. Stone doesn’t have permalinks)



So sayeth the lord:

Obama Says USA will rebuild and emerge stronger…
Obama vows to increase number of soldiers…
Obama vows to seek cure for cancer ‘in our time’…
Obama says bank bailout may cost more than expected…
Obama promises universal EDUCATION THROUGH COLLEGE…
Obama promises universal health care… *

My problems are over, it’s time to stop blogging, it’s Heaven on Earth!

*Via DrudgeReport’s Homepage

The Little Things

It was amusing to watch President Obama’s first couple of weeks in office. Some of his moves were predictable. Changing the government policy of abortion funding and retiring the Gitmo prison were quite expected. Obama picking a fight with Rush Limbaugh, an unelected entertainer, quite unexpected.

What was most amusing was when he reportedly told Republicans to play ball because “I won.”

Simply put, winning an election isn’t the same as pushing policy. Winning elections is a prerequisite to moving policy but it is by no means a cartes  blancheto the legislative process. Barack Obama might be treating the Presidency as if it were an extension of the legislature (as is the case in most parliamentary systems) but this doesn’t mean he actually has real power over the stubborn leaders and disparate interests found within the halls of the capitol.

Elections tend to capture the attention and interest of even the most apathetic citizen, but the real battle happens in the legislative process. An illuminating epic in this arena was the fight between Ronald Reagan and Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill. Reagan got the better of Speaker O’Neill (whose book “All Politics is Local” is a must read for politicos) but O’Neill’s ten year run as the leader of the House was filled with legislative victories.

Passing legislation isn’t a right bestowed upon electoral victors. Passing legislation is earned through hard work, compromise and a thousand little battles fought everyday. Working in the legislature is a marathon of pain. Only those willing to work harder than the next guy can hope to succeed.

The president should be accustomed to these rules. He was a legislator for a decade before he started running for president. I guess it’s possible Chicago style politics have given Obama a tinted view of the political world, which might make Obama’s learning curve as president especially tough.

Relying on a single victory to move your agenda is one of the big mistakes neophyte politicians make. Can’t say I’m all that surprised Obama tried to make it work though. The nature of Obama’s presidency is far from a decided matter but he’s going to need a better line to get cooperation from the House of Representatives.

Outside of the elite circles of Washington D.C., the long term reality of the legislative process can also empower the active citizen. While many people get involved in politics during the campaign season, the few who do so during legislative sessions wield far more sway over what really counts, moving policy.

Writing, petitioning, calling and lobbying can have a powerful effect over elected officials. An article I once read in the Minnesota Daily many years ago chronicled the legislative life of a Freshman member of the MN State House. He was a U of M alumni, a DFLer and unsurprisingly liberal. Yet, over the course of about a week, relentless pressure by some veterans’ groups successfully lobbied him to vote for a flag protection bill; despite his firm liberal belief in the first amendment. It was a meaningless and politically charged bill but the hard work of his constitutients was able to shift the vote of a “decided” legislator through the great game changer in politics, hard work.

So, for the citizen out there who wants to do something, the lesson is clear: The little things matter. Communicate and communicate often. Just because it’s not election season doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to make meaningful changes.

And for Barack Obama there’s an even greater message: Work hard, charisma and a pretty face only takes you so far.

Liveblogging the Last Presidential Debate

I’ll be liveblogging the Prez debates today, and all are invited to join the discussion. Click below to access the liveblog when the debate starts or sooner to receive an emailed reminder

Update: The liveblog was a lot of fun, thanks to Sequel and Kermit from the Anti-Strib for making me look like a thoughtful, contemplative moderate. Also, Thanks to Spurringrl and “SvE” for their contributions (and several other anonymous commenters).

Click Here

Update: Results of the liveblog after the jump
Continue reading

Liveblogging the Prez Debates

If there are even going to be any Presidential debates today.

Debates start 8pm CDT

During the liveblog you can make comments or ask questions.

Click below, I’ll try to start it up a few minutes early in case there’s anyone so enthused they want to start sending in questions and comments early. Also, I’ll have the “political hack” hat on, not the “ideological purist” hat. You can click below and get an emailed reminder. I’ll also probably do a gabcast podcast after the debate with my final thoughts.

Click Here

Update: Did not know “Miracle at St. Anna” was a three hour movie, and I should have checked. So, I didn’t get back in time to start the liveblog. So I’m starting it now and it will run it for a couple of hours as I watch the debate finish up and watch the first part of the re-run.

Update: Final results of the most pathetic attempt to liveblog ever are after the jump.

Continue reading

From the Notebook: Obama’s Acceptance Speech

I have several pages of notes from a lot of events over the last week, so we’re just going to go through them in order

-This speech is like any other Dem speech, liberalism is the free lunch, they are Santa Claus and rich people are the elves which make the magic happen. To argue with a liberal is to argue with someone who is trying to do good things and give away stuff to suffering people at the expense of others. It doesn’t matter is there’s no such thing as free energy, it doesn’t matter the negative consequences of such proposals almost always outweigh the benefits, comfort is a right damnit.

-Healthcare, college, tax cuts for “95%” of Americans, less red tape for small business and no more war. Not to mention national “redemption”. If elected, my prediction is Obama won’t get past the first proposal.

-He’s good though, man does he give a good rousing speech.

-I have simply given up on rhetoric. I don’t care what candidates say. I don’t want to read platforms, I don’t want to know what’s “in a candidate’s heart” and I really don’t care about their latest advertisement. All I want to know is what did the candidate do, what is their track record, and try to gauge from their record what they will do in the future. (Anecdotally, my method has so far been very successful). Obama’s record is not one of a moderate, not one of someone who has ever had to compromise and it’s not one of someone I’d like to see in the White House.

-It doesn’t matter either. If Obama is put into the White House, there will be such a large Democrat majority in the legislature there will be no necessity to compromise nor any opportunity for moderation.

-Some parts of this speech really had me cringing. Maybe it’s the fact I’m reading through Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism.” Or maybe it’s the fact I’ve seen countless videos of charismatic Latin Marxist dictators who sound almost exactly the same. I’m not saying Obama will be a Marxist dictator, but he could easily become another Woodrow Wilson.

-Doesn’t anyone know what a glittering generality is?

-The speech lived up to the hype, unfortunately.

The Evidence

It was my theory that the Biden pick was a misstep and was hishandled by the Obama campaign. It’s difficult to test the veracity of such claims, but this poll (via Gary Gross, who really needs to learn how to properly use the phrase “begs the question”) appears to show the electorate was unmoved by the selection of Senator Joe Biden:

This results in Biden potentially having a net positive impact on voter support for the Democratic ticket of +7 percentage points — small by comparison with other recent vice presidential selections.

• A net 17% of nationwide registered voters said they were more likely to vote for John Kerry in 2004 on the basis of his selection of John Edwards as his running mate (24% more likely and 7% less likely).

• A net 12% of voters reported being more likely to vote for Al Gore in 2000 on account of his choosing Joe Lieberman (16% more likely and 4% less likely).

• A net 18% of voters indicated they were more likely to vote for Bob Dole in 1996 on the basis of his choice of Jack Kemp to complete the ticket (26% more likely and 8% less likely).

• A net 25% of voters were more likely to vote for Bill Clinton in 1992 on account of Al Gore (33% more likely and 8% less likely).

The only recent vice presidential choices to spark less voter reaction than Biden were Dick Cheney in 2000 (net 4%, with 14% more likely and 10% less likely) and Dan Quayle in 1988 (net score of 0, with 10% more likely and 10% less likely).

The mechanism of the voter reaction can’t be known. I think the Obama campaign didn’t properly use the potential earned media from their VP pick announcement to maximum effect. It might simply be the fact nobody really knows who Biden is. It might even be demographics, Biden might not be helping Obama where he really needs it (shockingly enough, Obama probably has the east coast elite crowd locked up already).

This isn’t a huge blunder on Obama’s part, the Convention will give him a healthy bounce anyway. However, it might be indicative of the campaign to come.

The Collapse of Campaign Security

Last week Wednesday it was pretty clear Biden was going to be Obama’s pick. By Thursday night I told my liberal co-worker friend Biden was going to be the pick. Friday is when the media began hounding the Obama Campaign about the VP pick and Friday night they were camped out anywhere Biden might be, to the point where I even heard about media people tracking airplane flights via radar.

Drudge reported Secret Service agents had taken over Biden’s security late Friday night and by about 1am NBC (might have been 1:30, I’m a little hazy in my memory) reported Biden was the pick on their live Olympics coverage. It wasn’t until 3am that people got their text messages from Obama on their phones.

The debacle is a classic example of when the operational security of a campaign collapses. Political campaigns are about carefully managing the message and trying to control the conversation on your terms. The media can explode on a story to either disastrous or positive effect. Controlling when information leaks out and how it leaks out allows the savvy campaign manager to predict not only the media reaction but also the reaction of the opposition party.

In a presidential campaign there are predictable events which will cause explosions of media. Concessions, VP announcements, debates, new polling data, conventions. These happen every presidential campaign and any political hack worth their salt will have plans dealing with these events. The VP announcement is perhaps the one event a campaign has the most control over.

As long as they can keep the secret long enough to take advantage of the media cycle.

Ideally, the candidate makes his decision (along with a few select advisers) and within 24 hours they have all their press kits ready to go and go public in the middle of the week where they’ll dominate the 24 hour news networks and prevent the opposition campaign from having prepared material to dampen the positive media exposure.

By being unable to keep the secret and releasing the VP pick in the middle of the night Saturday morning the Obama campaign has allowed the Republicans to rain on what should have been very positive media coverage parade.

Firstly, for the next 24 hours there is no major media cycle to speak of. The next “big important” political media coverage cycle are the Sunday talk shows. The McCain campaign thus has a full day to make plans for 1) TV ads 2) web viral videos 3) opposition research on Biden 4) the next media cycle. If Obama properly times his announcement for midweek, McCain spokespeople and supporters will be brought on the 24 hour news networks without a lot of prep time. They will be forced to speak on Biden without a “campaign message” about Biden and the various reactions could put the McCain campaign at a disadvantage. Now, however, the McCain campaign can pick and choose what their overall media theme will be in response to Biden. (BTW, that theme appears to be “Biden is the mentor” and I’m not sure how good that will be)

Secondly, McCain could decide to announce his VP pick on a Sunday talk show and take away all the potential media coverage Obama was expecting. No matter what, the Sunday talk shows will be giving equal time to the McCain campaign’s planned response and the Biden announcement will be old news by Monday, when the real media cycle begins.

All of this is important because the Obama campaign has thrown away millions of dollars in free media exposure. Not only have they given away tons of free media, they have actually given a great deal of free media to the GOP.

Thirdly, this makes the Obama campaign look immature and ineffective. The messed up their own VP media blitz. They couldn’t handle the pressure. They weren’t ready with a national message to go along with the Biden pick. This will create an opening for opposition criticism. How competent can we expect Obama’s administration to be when his campaign couldn’t even send those text messages in a timely manner?

In the next week the Dems will get a lot of positive media attention thanks to their National Convention. But they have allowed that positive attention to be isolated. This Sunday, the Biden announcement will face heavy criticism amongst the media in the talk show circuit. The next Sunday could be spent talking about the Convention, however, I think McCain could soften up that media coverage by announcing his VP pick on the Sunday talk shows and destroy the momentum Obama should be enjoying after the convention. Then, the RNC will bring more media attention to their ticket and dominate the media cycle for a solid 11 days. I don’t know if McCain will do it this way, but if he did I think it could give him a better convention bounce.

But let the lesson be clear, maintaining campaign informational intelligence (or security, depends on what Karl Rove training camp you’ve been through) is paramount to controlling the kind of earned media a campaign recieves.

Biden, eh?

When in doubt, when running a presidential campaign let the news of your VP choice come out 2am (east coast) on a Friday night so no one can ask any questions until we’ve all had our coffee Monday morning. This way, when those questions come out you can say “oh, that’s old news. Time to move on.”

So, I’ll ask a few questions:

Will the questions about McCain’s age stop now that Obama has an old man on the ticket? (Biden is 65)

Can Biden clarify his statement dealing with Obama’s qualifications to be president? (Biden suggested Obama is unqualified)

Why isn’t Biden on top of the ticket and the pretty face rookie on the bottom?

Is it change or is it politics as usual for Senator Biden? (Change is a big deal to Obama but Biden has been in the Senate since the Vietnam war.)

Who will plagiarize more, Biden or Obama?

Seriously, 2AM?

How much pork is Biden responsible for?

How long will his speech at the DNC be?

Will we have to hear him often?

Will steroids become an issue in the campaign?

Is Biden really one of the ones we’ve been waiting for? Really?

Captain Bogs Adds: Will Biden and Obama share notes on plastic surgeons?

Tactics Which Won’t Work (For Long)

Being a conservative can be a difficult prospect. It doesn’t matter how many times you tell the American voters some things, they’ll never believe it. American voters weren’t concerned with Hillary when they voted for Bill in 1992. And, the voters don’t care about who Barack Obama had as a pastor for the last two decades. And it doesn’t matter how often we tell them, it’s not going to be a factor.

Some tactics, some talking points, simply don’t work. The voters aren’t interested in the personal affiliations of the candidates anymore. Bringing questions about Michelle Obama, Rev. Wright or anyone else Barack shares a relationship with will be a major folly for the Republicans this year. The voters simply don’t care what type of men Barack fraternizes with, they care what kind of things Barack will do as president.

As long as this campaign remains superficial, barrack wins. Race, funny names, crazy priests, military service, domineering wife, ChicagoPolitik, all of these topics will be brushed aside by voters. Either the GOP, its candidates, pundits and John McCain decide to discuss real issues, or big GOP losses will become a GOP slaughter.

The same message applies to the Senate race here in Minnesota. Right now, the voters are unsure of Al Franken due to his previous work as a comedian. It’s understandable; comedians are an opposition researcher’s dream. Unfortunately, these revelations will be short lived. If Franken bypasses his critics and talks directly to voters about the progressive values Minnesotans are known for and how he holds those same values, they’ll ignore his past work history.

The way to ensure Coleman a victory is to not discredit Franken for the work he did, but to focus on ideas, solutions, actions. You know, the issues. Not doing so will open an avenue for Franken to steal the election from Coleman.