Happy Leap Day! Because we are given an extra day this year, I would like to spend it in a good old fashioned Bush-bash. Maybe it's because everyone's focused on the election, or maybe the entire country just doesn't want to think about President Bush anymore, but I feel that he hasn't been getting the attention he deserves of late. And what better way to spend the extra day we get this leap year?
Archive of Articles for February, 2008
A strange thing is going on in the flow of money into Washington politicians' coffers these days -- most of it is going to the Democrats. While Democrats and Republicans alike have noticed this effect (to their respective joy and horror), nobody ever points out that the system itself is designed around a fundamentally flawed principle: positive feedback. This may be part of the inherent nature of the system, meaning any proposals to fix it are going to be a radical re-thinking of the whole campaign donation system. But the process itself needs more attention, I think.
While everyone else is having fun determining who "won" or "lost" the Democratic debate last night, I would like to revisit an important topic: Iraq. Because while the national news media (fickle as they are) have lost almost all interest in the situation in Iraq, it is still going to be a large issue in the November presidential election. Which means we should be paying attention to it now.
I have a piece of advice for both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for tonight's debate: take the high road and start trying to outdo each other on who can best take on the Republicans. In other words, both of them should start speaking as if the Democratic nomination is already theirs, and preview their general election campaign to the voters.
Because watching a televised debate is really the only chance most voters have to see the candidates answer questions and have to think on their feet in a live format. Which means that the more debates that happen, the more people get to see the candidates. And that is indeed a good thing, because it informs the electorate about the candidates to a certain degree.
Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have, of late, been inserting Populist themes into their speeches, in an effort to (depending on who you listen to) win votes in Ohio and Pennsylvania, or court John Edwards' endorsement. Since this may be the last time I will address talking points to both campaigns, I thought I'd run through a few handy Neo-Populist positions for either Hillary or Barack to insert into their speeches.
I personally graduated high school and went to college during Ronald Reagan's regime. And while I can think of no policy or position of his which I supported or agreed with, even I would occasionally get sucked in when he was speaking on television. Because he sounded so sincere and looked like everyone's grandfather to boot. Not for nothing was he called "The Great Communicator."
Since Republicans have all but anointed John McCain as their presidential nominee, it's about time to start speculating on who he's going to choose to fill out his ticket. Most of this speculation has so far centered around the possibilities of McCain giving the nod to one of his primary opponents (Huckabee or Romney), in order to shore up his support among this GOP faction, or that right-wing interest group. Going further afield, there have been some guesses about Republican officeholders who may help a McCain ticket in other ways. But there's one name I haven't heard mentioned yet, one which should worry Democrats: Condoleezza Rice.
There are two different aspects of voter demographics and the media worth commenting on in the presidential race this year. The first, about the Republicans, the media has so far largely ignored (but may pick up on later); and the second, about the Democrats, where the media itself seems to be the problem.
Professional pundits like conventional wisdom. It's comfortable for them to say what "everyone knows" with the voice of authority. But, seeing how often this so-called "wisdom" has been wrong already this year, one can't help but wonder about yet another pillar of political wisdom: that there are only so many "battleground" states in play this year, and that the red/blue electoral map from the last two elections will generally stay the same this time around. Because there is a good chance that this may be wrong, too.