October 5, 2008
John McCain’s campaign has accused Barack Obama of consorting with terrorists, the first shot in a calculated programme of character assassination designed to revive his flagging presidential prospects.
The Republican candidate’s running mate Sarah Palin attacked Mr Obama for his links to Bill Ayres, the former terrorist-turned-education professor, whose Weather Underground group bombed the Pentagon in the 1960s, and with whom Mr Obama worked on community projects in the mid-1990s.
Mrs Palin said: “This is not a man who sees America as you see America and as I see America. Our opponent is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country. Americans need to know this.”
Her comments, at a fundraiser in Colorado, marked the first time the McCain campaign itself, rather than his allies in the wider conservative community, have questioned Mr Obama’s patriotism.
Mrs Palin was echoed by McCain ally Mike Huckabee, the former presidential candidate, who said: “If you hang out with somebody who has never apologised for bombing the Pentagon and the Capitol and is proud of something he should have been ashamed of, then it calls into question your judgment.”
They spoke out after the New York Times ran an article saying Mr Obama had “played down” his links with Mr Ayres.
A spokesman for Mr Obama camp condemned what they called Mrs Palin’s “shameless attack” and pointed out that the same story concluded that Mr Obama “is not close to Bill Ayres, much less pals and that he string condemned the despicable acts Ayres committed 40 years ago when Obama was eight.”
The move comes amid growing panic in the McCain campaign and signs that Mr McCain’s closest aides do not believe he can win the race for the White House in a “fair fight”.
The Sunday Telegraph knows of at least three occasions in the past month when members of his inner circle have said they fear he is doomed. Voters have flocked to Mr Obama in the economic crisis, and Mr McCain has lost the lead in several key swing states that he must win if he is to have any chance of victory in November.
A former McCain strategist, familiar with the senator’s tactical discussions, told The Sunday Telegraph he would pursue the “nuclear option”, attacking Mr Obama personally in the campaign’s last four weeks.
He said: “We were doing well when this election was all about Obama. The last two weeks have been more about John and we need to shift the focus back. There are real questions for Obama to answer. Also, it’s the only way we win. It’s the nuclear option but votes are firming up. It’s now or never.”
In the second presidential debate on Tuesday, Mr McCain will “take the gloves off”, seeking to brand Mr Obama as an old fashioned tax-and-spend liberal.
Greg Strimple, a senior adviser to Mr McCain, confirmed the change of direction. “We’re looking for a very aggressive last 30 days. We’re turning the page on this financial crisis and getting back to discussing Mr Obama’s liberal record and how he will be too risky for Americans.”
Mr Obama has a six-point national poll lead and has moved ahead in Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Colorado, North Carolina and Missouri, all won by George Bush in 2004.
Behind the scenes a mood of grim pessimism has gripped McCain staff. Mrs Palin’s perky television debate performance was the one bright spot of Mr McCain’s week, but polls show her folksy charm did little to win over floating voters. The strategist said: “Everyone’s saying she stopped the bleeding. But you’ve got to do more than stop the bleeding when your leg’s already fallen off.”
But the onslaught against Mr Obama’s patriotism, a move Mr McCain said he would never countenance, will revive claims that his campaign is a series of impulsive outbursts by an increasingly desperate man.
McCain biographer Matt Welch said: “McCain’s all over the map. What we see from McCain is anger and incoherence and publicity stunts.”
September 24, 2008
With today’s kerfuffle over the media being kept away from Sarah Palin’s meetings with foreign leaders — like there was a risk she’d answer their shouted questions? — I’ve been mulling over Colby’s post about the Hannity-Palin “100 percent pure infomercial” interview. I watched both nights, then read the transcripts, and I think the interview hasn’t gotten nearly the attention it deserved. While I agree with Colby’s assessment that the audience was “treated to a political advertisement aimed at serving the interests of the Republican presidential ticket,” I think the Hannity love-fest offered a valuable look at Palin, perhaps more revealing because she was on such friendly territory. For all the softballs Hannity tossed her way, Palin did not come off very well, in my view. If this was a political commercial, I wasn’t buying the product.
The way she answers questions brings to mind — I have Alaska on the brain, admittedly — the image of a polar bear, jumping from rhetorical ice floe to ice floe, drifting some but eventually managing to get safely to dry land. No flubs, but you get the sense that she could plunge into the icy water at any moment. Palin has an odd tendency to use the same word twice in a sentence, as in, “The people of American realize that inherently all political power is inherent in the people,” or, about John McCain, “He can surpass the partisanship that must be surpassed to deal with an issue like this.” Or, combining word repetition with another Palin verbal tic, word dropping, this about the economic meltdown: “Well, you know, first Fannie and Freddie, different because quasi-government agencies there where government had to step in because the adverse impact all across our nation, especially with homeowners, is just too impacting.”
Ok, not everyone is Daniel Webster. Palin isn’t the first politician to dwell in the land of anodyne clichés such as, “We sort of have a do-nothing Senate right now where nobody is really wanting to pick up the ball and run with it.” Yet I always got the sense listening to George W. Bush tying himself up in rhetorical knots that his problem was more in the nature of getting the words to come out of his mouth correctly, not so much that he didn’t know what to say. Palin — I’m not so sure.
An Alaska friend tells me that Palin has always benefited from being underestimated. Maybe I’m doing that. Maybe I’ve been around polished politicians too long to appreciate the unvarnished authenticity that obviously appeals to many voters. But there’s no Palin interview I’ve listened to, before or after her selection, that gave me the sense that she had anything but a millimeter-thin understanding of the issues facing the country she hopes to help lead.
Consider this exchange.
Hannity: What is our role as a country as it relates to national security?
Palin: Yes. That’s a great question, and being an optimist I see our role in the world as one of being a force for good, and one of being the leader of the world when it comes to the values that — it seems that just human kind embraces the values that — encompass life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that’s just — not just in America, that is in our world.
And America is in a position because we care for so many people to be able to lead and to be able to have a strong diplomacy and a strong military also at the same time to defend not only our freedoms, but to help these rising smaller democratic countries that are just — you know, they’re putting themselves on the map right now, and they’re going to be looking to America as that leader.
We being used as a force for good is how I see our country.
Whew. Made it to the other side of that one.
Can’t wait for the debate. I bet it will be impacting.
September 14, 2008
Siurce: Atmore Advance
Over a week since Sarah Palin’s superb performance at the Republican National Convention sent shock waves through the political establishment and turned conventional wisdom on its head, Senator Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign is struggling to find an adequate response.
The Obama campaign’s first reaction was to attack Palin as too inexperienced to be placed a “heartbeat away from the Presidency.” But once the Obama campaign realized Palin’s resume can fill up multiple lines on a standard job application, Obama’s forces pulled back, concluding that a battle over experience is not in their best interest.
Throughout the Republican Convention, Obama avoided directly attacking Palin, and in the convention’s immediate aftermath he tried to refocus the nation’s attention on the Democrats. After that strategy failed, Obama planned to send female Democrats – such as Hillary Clinton – on the campaign trail against Palin. However, Hillary has yet to level an effective strike against Senator McCain’s runningmate, and other prominent Democratic women have avoided the national scene since Palin’s announcement.
Therefore, Obama has been forced to do his own dirty work, and he has leveled a number of blistering criticisms against Palin this week. Such tactics are unprecedented in modern campaign history: the Presidential nominees of both parties typically stick to running against one another and avoid attacking their opponent’s runningmates.
Worse, many of Obama’s criticism’s have been hypocritical, if not blatantly untrue. Obama has repeatedly mocked Palin’s image as a reformer and accused her of misleading the public about terminating Alaska’s infamous “bridge to nowhere.” Several different agencies, including Alaska’s Democratic Party, dispute that assertion and give Palin credit for being an anti-earmark advocate. While Alaska has received many earmarks since Palin became Governor, those earmarks were secured by Alaska’s powerful and corrupt congressional delegation. Alaska’s earmarks pale in comparison to the earmarks Senators Obama and Biden have requested for their states, and most of the earmarks Palin herself has requested have been spent on maintaining programs implemented before she was ever elected.
Now, the Obama campaign is openly depending on the media to discredit Palin’s image, because the media and Obama’s campaign jointly recognize Palin as a charismatic threat to their liberal agenda and Obama’s election. Obama’s campaign has sent a team of 30 lawyers and support personnel to Alaska to dig up smears on Palin, and liberal elements in the media have been questioning Palin’s former church because some of its members occasionally speak in tongues. Ironically, those same liberals refused to question Barack Obama’s relationship with his pastor, who substituted tongues with anti-American and anti-Semitic hate.
By latching on to anything in Palin’s past with the potential to hurt her campaign, liberals have embarked on a disgraceful campaign to deceive the American people. Their goal is to sling enough mud at Palin that some of it will stick, even if the mud they are slinging is a gross mischaracterization. The Obama campaign, specifically, is hoping that Americans well say, “Well, she may have indeed stopped those earmarks. But there are so many questions about her she just cannot be trusted with the Vice Presidency.”
Yet, she can be trusted with the Vice Presidency. Sarah Palin has spent two years as Governor of Alaska, running the government of our country’s largest state. Alaska also has more energy resources than most other states combined, giving Governor Palin a unique insight into the most important issue of this election. Governor Palin may not have spent her entire public career running for President, but she has had experience in small business, in the fishing industry, and in local government. That experience gives her insight into the needs of our country; insight that cannot be gained from community organizing and Presidential campaigns.
In fact, Palin is more qualified to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency than Barack Obama is to be inaugurated to the Presidency. In time, Obama’s chauvinistic assault on Palin will cost him. It might cost him the election.
September 13, 2008
WASHINGTON – Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin says she thinks Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama regrets not making Hillary Rodham Clinton his running mate.
Palin praised Clinton’s “determination, and grit and even grace” during the Democratic primaries, sounding an altogether different note than when she suggested earlier this year that the New York senator was whining about negative media coverage and campaigning in a way that was not advancing the cause of women in politics.
“I think he’s regretting not picking her now,” Palin told ABC News on Friday, referring to Obama.
Palin’s highly anticipated first televised interview since joining the race was airing this week as Americans seek to learn more about her since Republican presidential candidate John McCain chose her two weeks ago. She has been Alaska’s governor for less than two years and before that was a small-town mayor.
Although she was not widely known in the U.S. before getting the nod, Palin has energized the Republican party’s conservative base, pulling many of them closer to a presidential candidate they had initially eyed with wariness.
Obama has called Palin a “phenomenon” and acknowledged she has given the Republican ticket a boost. But his aides say McCain is vulnerable to new criticisms because he has stretched the truth in recent comments and ads, and because Palin was shaky on foreign policy in the ABC News interview.
Belittling McCain as a relic of the disco age, Obama pushed his campaign to a new level of counter-punching “on the issues that matter” and directed his running mate to be tougher on their Republican opponents.
The changes come as national polls find McCain and Palin pulling ahead of Obama and his running mate Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, prompting some jittery Democrats to implore them to fight back harder, and Obama’s camp to pledge “speed and ferocity” in that effort.
“You know, I’m not going to be making up lies about John McCain,” Obama told undecided voters in Dover, New Hampshire on Friday. But he dipped into history, citing the oft-repeated phrase: “If you don’t stop lying about me, I’m going to have to start telling the truth about you.”
“That’s what we’re going to do,” Obama said.
But Obama had to tone down his counterattack Saturday because of the devastation caused by Hurricane Ike in Texas.
Obama canceled plans to crack jokes on the season premiere of the NBC comedy show “Saturday Night Live. The campaign also decided to scale back an outdoor rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, announcing that Biden would not join Obama as originally scheduled. Obama told Houston Mayor Bill White on Friday that he would do whatever he can do to help, including using his campaign Web site to raise funds for relief efforts.
After returning to Alaska for the TV interview, Palin was scheduled to make her first solo campaign appearance without McCain on Saturday in Carson City, Nevada, a Western battleground state where polls show a tight race.
Palin’s entry in the race has also drawn support from many white women, and the McCain campaign hopes in particular that she can pull Clinton’s supporters away from Obama. It was in that spirit that she heaped praise on Obama’s defeated rival, even though Democrats emphasize that she disagrees with Clinton on most major women’s issues including abortion rights.
“What determination, and grit, and even grace through some tough shots that were fired her way — she handled those well,” Palin said.
Those comments contrasted with Palin’s words last March when she was asked about coverage of Clinton at a Newsweek forum, and said: “Fair or unfair, I think she does herself a disservice to even mention it, really. I mean, you gotta plow through that. You have to know what you’re getting into … when I hear a statement like that coming from a woman candidate with any kind of perceived whine about that excess criticism, or you know maybe a sharper microscope put on her, I think, ‘That doesn’t do us any good — women in politics.”
Her comment brought a sharp rejoinder from Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, on behalf of the Obama campaign: “Sarah Palin should spare us the phony sentiment and respect. Governor Palin accused Senator Clinton of whining.”
Clinton bowed out of the contest in June after a close race with Obama for the Democratic nomination. Obama chose the veteran senator Biden as his running mate, and has been working to win over Clinton’s supporters, many of them women. Clinton has urged her backers to support Obama and Biden.
The Palin interview also touched on two claims that have been a staple of her reputation since joining the ticket: that she was opposed to federal earmarks, even though her request for such special spending projects for 2009 was the highest per capita figure in the nation; and that she opposed the $398 million Bridge to Nowhere linking Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport.
Palin actually turned against the bridge project only after it became a national symbol of wasteful spending and Congress had pulled money for it.
Palin told ABC’s Charles Gibson that since she took office, the state had “drastically” reduced its efforts to secure earmarks and would continue to do so while she was governor.
“What I’ve been telling Alaskans for these years that I’ve been in office, is, no more,” Palin said.
On the Bridge to Nowhere, Palin said she had supported a link from the mainland to the airport but not necessarily the costly bridge project.
“We killed the Bridge to Nowhere,” Palin said flatly, despite evidence she had supported the project in its early stages.
Palin’s comments came after McCain sat for a feisty grilling Friday on morning TV talk show “The View,” where he claimed erroneously that his running mate had not sought money for such pet projects.
“Not as governor she didn’t,” McCain said, ignoring the record.
The panel of female hosts also pressed McCain on Palin’s religious views, his position on abortion rights and whether he had traded in his maverick ways to placate conservatives.
A new survey released Friday has McCain barely ahead of Obama thanks to strong support from suburban and working-class whites and a huge edge in how people rate each candidate’s experience. The AP-GfK poll has McCain leading 48 to 44 percent, and has a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points among likely voters.
Obama has called Palin a “phenomenon” and acknowledged she has given her ticket a boost. But his aides say McCain is vulnerable to new criticisms because he has stretched the truth in recent comments and ads, and because Palin was shaky on foreign policy in a previously released part of the ABC News interview.
“You know, I’m not going to be making up lies about John McCain,” Obama told undecided voters in Dover.
Obama’s newest TV ad makes a none-too-subtle dig at McCain’s age. It shows McCain at a hearing in the early 1980s, wearing giant glasses and an out-of-style suit. Other images include a disco ball, clunky phone, outdated computer and Rubik’s Cube. “Things have changed in the last 26 years,” the announcer says, “but McCain hasn’t.”
The ads follow several from the McCain campaign, one which said Obama favored comprehensive sex education for kindergarten students and another that suggested Obama had called Palin a pig. Both are factually inaccurate. McCain stood by them during his appearance on “The View.”
Meanwhile, Alaska state lawmakers looking into allegations that Palin fired Walt Monegan, the state’s director of public safety, because he refused to dismiss a state trooper who had a messy divorce from the governor’s sister, voted to subpoena Palin’s husband.
The Senate committee acted at the request of investigator Stephen Branchflower, who is gathering evidence on whether Palin abused her power in the firing. Palin says Monegan was let go because of a budget dispute.
Branchflower said Todd Palin is “such a central figure. … I think one (a subpoena) should be issued for him.” – AP
September 12, 2008
More absurdity in John McCain’s presidential campaign with a manufactured controversy over Barack Obama using the term “lipstick on a pig” in a speech [news story, Sept. 10, “Palin’s Popularity Throws Off Dems”].
The McCain camp immediately raised a furor over Obama’s use of the expression, saying it denigrated Sarah Palin. (Remember her convention speech in which she said the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull is lipstick?) What short memories they have.
Several months ago, McCain was speaking about Hillary Clinton’s health care proposals and said, “You can’t put lipstick on that pig.”
When will the electorate wake up and realize that McCain is wearing his former prisoner-of-war status as a Teflon shield the same way the neocons use the American flag?
Please, whichever side you choose, do your duty as an American: Study, compare, register and vote. Make your voice heard on Nov. 4.
Barack Obama says his “lipstick on a pig” comment was not aimed at Sarah Palin, and the response from the right is “phony outrage.” He is either not telling the truth or is unintentionally admitting to, at best, startlingly poor judgment.
Obama’s party trumpets its supposed sensitivity toward women, and he is lauded for his nuance. Both seem utterly lacking in this instance. If he did not get that this reference to pigs and lipstick dovetails with Palin’s speech, and has apparently been interpreted as such by many of his own adherents, he is out of touch with reality.
There was something akin to phony outrage expressed in his statement Wednesday. Obama denied there could be any valid reason to interpret his statement as a slur against Palin. Had he said, “I understand how my words may have been perceived negatively, but that was not my intention,” it would have gone a long way toward limiting the damage this error will cause.
The damage? A loss of some votes, mostly among women who will remember that Obama can be perceived to have called Palin a pig, and then said, in effect, that anyone who had come to an opinion different from that of the Democratic National Committee and MSNBC was some kind of partisan prig.
In a tight race, the loss of these votes might be enough to cause a loss for his party. This episode negates the concept that superior judgment makes Obama’s limited experience unimportant enough to discount.
September 12, 2008
Source: Seattle Times
Alaska. Gov. Sarah Palin appears on the cover of “Newsweek” this week, toting a shotgun, in an opus called “Palintology.” She stirs huge crowds of conservatives everywhere she and Sen. John McCain go. She, not he, is the talk of the 2008 presidential campaign. And polls show voters are charged up for once about the Republican ticket.
No wonder Barack Obama’s supporters are feeling a little verklempt, as in, out of sorts, clenched — OK, rattled.
Everybody expected a post-convention bounce for McCain, similar to one enjoyed by Obama after his knockout convention speech. But a legitimate worry is about female voters, a group Obama needs to win, and which has swung pretty dramatically in recent days from strongly pro-Obama to a narrower lead — if you believe the polls, and in some ways I don’t. (The swing is even bigger among white women voters.)
Much of the volatility among female voters stems from the fact that women feel tugged in a lot of different directions. Palin offers the chance to smash the glass ceiling, if smashing the glass ceiling is the most important thing.
Palin is the kind of brash, good-looking, in-your-face candidate who connects with working-class women. She’s more like everymoms than Obama. Yes, sure, he was raised by a single mother and grandparents, but in the end, he went to Harvard.
Somehow, an election supposedly about issues has devolved into a campaign about personal narrative, and that is how McCain wants it.
I suspect the Palin effect will fade in the days and weeks ahead. She is one deer-in-the-headlights answer away from scaring the very same people currently embracing her.
All the enthusiasm and rooting for this woman will give way to a realization that she has too much on her plate. She is being asked to manage a steep learning curve on national and international issues and still be a mom in a family with five kids, including a special-needs baby and a pregnant daughter.
Why won’t the McCain campaign let her answer normal press questions? If she wants to be vice president, one heartbeat away, shouldn’t the media and public have a chance to hear Sarah Unplugged? Isn’t it sexist to say Palin can’t answer questions right now because, well, give her a break.
Palin made a difficult decision when she learned she was carrying a Down syndrome baby. But by her politics, she would not allow the rest of us to make our own choice. Palin opposes abortion in all cases, including rape and incest, except to save the life of the mother.
I know most voters do not select politicians on one issue alone, especially choice, but here we have a tough-talking Westerner ready to shake up the government who would tell others how to live their lives. How does that resonate in the libertarian West?
Palin connects with women voters because they see a hardworking woman, with little pretense, managing it all from the governor’s mansion.
But there is an undercurrent of angst among other women voters, who may turn on her when they add up the available time for her to brush up on national and foreign affairs.
I respectfully disagree with feminists who say no one would ever ask such a question of Obama. He has two kids. Is it sexist not to wonder why he isn’t responsible for his children?
As a working mom with two kids, I can say five kids is a different equation than two. I know many amazing single dads and working dads who take beautiful care of their children, without their wives, or dads who are first-rate prime parents. Yes to all of that.
But there are plenty of women voters who know somewhere deep in their stomachs that some children — dare I say prematurely pregnant, 17-year-olds — need their mom if they can possibly have her.
The New York Times reported this week that Palin kept her latest pregnancy a secret from friends and part of her family for many months. She didn’t want critics to think she wasn’t doing her job.
My favorite senior citizen who was voting for McCain switched after the Palin pick. Poor judgment, she said. Palin does not have time to prep to be vice president or president.
But here we all go. The only way Obama can win is if he gets this campaign back to the issues. Eighty percent of the American public thinks the country is on the wrong track.
You can’t be on the right track with McCain — remember him? — who has voted so often with President Bush.
For the moment, McCain and Palin have turned the election into a campaign about personal narrative. I say the voters are smarter than that. If they really favor change, they will have to get over the illusory excitement about Sarah Palin.
September 11, 2008
If only it had been Hillary…Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard argues that Sen. Barack Obama would be better off right now if he’d only chosen Sen. Hillary Clinton as his running mate instead of Sen. Joseph Biden. “Obama had his reasons,” Barnes writes, “particularly his discomfort with her as his actual vice president if he’s elected. Still, Obama sacrificed a stronger ticket by rejecting Clinton.” The first thing a Hillary pick might have done is prevented Sen. John McCain from picking the rock-star-like Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.
“Okay, McCain might have picked her anyway. He was looking for a running mate who would help him shake up the campaign. And Palin has delivered spectacularly on that. But choosing her would have seemed far less of a game-changer had Obama picked Clinton.” Biden, in contrast to Palin, has “generated no enthusiasm or excitement.” A Clinton pick, Barnes says, also would have produced more party unity, would have attracted some Republican women, would have put away the big states of Ohio and Pennsylvania for Obama, and would have brought Arkansas into play.
The Washington Post’s David Broder sets the scene of the first few days of the general election, saying “an exaggerated optimism has swept through Republican ranks and an equally exaggerated gloom has infected the Democrats.” Sarah Palin has caused all sorts of excitement and the polls are showing a tied race. And while Republicans are prematurely rejoicing, what the polls really show “is that the race is still to be won, with events in the next eight weeks, including the debates, likely to determine the outcome,” Broder writes.
“The curiosity about all four is intense, which means that the learning process may go relatively quickly. But because voters know that they have until Nov. 4 to figure out their choice, those who are less partisan and more independent will take their time. They will search carefully for clues that can give them confidence that they are making the right choice. Those clues may come in displays of character, in policy promises or in endorsements by trusted sources. Informal conversations among friends and family will be as important as TV ads or the candidates’ speeches. Multiply these factors by the political geography of this 51-part election, with nearly a dozen plausible tossup states, and the uncertainty of the outcome is overwhelming. We may go well into October and not know who will be succeeding George W. Bush.”
So now, in a close race, the youth vote really does become key for Obama. Slate’s Christopher Beam looks at whether those notoriously fickle young voters really will turn out this year—and finds reasons to think they will. Among them: Voters aged 18 to 29 did show up for primaries this year. “Youth turnout in the primaries saw a huge jump over previous years. In 2000, it was roughly 9 percent of the total vote. This year, it was 17 percent.” They also showed up in greater numbers in 2006’s mid-term election. “Participation jumped 4 percent from 2002 to 2006, to the mid-20 percent range—pretty high for a midterm, especially when most young people don’t know their congressman from Ernest Borgnine.” There’s also been a big bump up in young-voter registrations among young voters this year, thanks in large measure to the Obama campaign. Oh, and there’s the Internet. “If Obama merely pokes all his Facebook friends on Election Day, for example—well, that’s 1.2 million pokes right there.”
The candidates are – supposedly – set to take a break today and come together at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City for the anniversary of 9/11. Time.com’s Michael Duffy writes about the cease-fire, saying, “Above all, call it temporary — and there’s still a chance that it won’t happen at all. (In fact, if you were in a betting mood, you might want to throw some money at the won’t-happen-at-all option.)” Still, the plan is for Obama and McCain to present a united front. Neither of them is scheduled to speak. “Perhaps this little timeout is just what everybody needs, to reassess the campaign’s trajectory — maybe even restore some class to the operation. But should peace break out between the principals, its impact would be muted unless the campaigns muzzle their packs of opposition bloodhounds, counter-punchers and surrogates who produce round-the-clock emails to supporters and reporters about their rivals’ many shortcomings,” Duffy notes. “Now there’s a proposition with long odds.”
The advert was made in response to a remark made by the Democratic candidate in which he appeared to compare Sarah Palin, Mr McCain’s running mate, to a lipstick-wearing pig.
It features a brief quote from CBS news presenter Katie Couric attacking the “continued and accepted role of sexism in American life”.
The placing of the extract appears to imply that Couric was referring to Mr Obama’s jibe, when the clip was actually taken from a discussion recorded several weeks ago about the coverage of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
The video has now been taken down by YouTube, which is owned by Google, after complaints from CBS.
Users clicking on the link are met with the message: “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by CBS Interactive Inc.”
The advert, which ends with a picture of Mr Obama and the words “Ready to lead? No. Ready to smear? Yes”, is still prominent on the official McCain campaign website, and duplicates have been uploaded onto YouTube by other users despite the CBS complaint.
Mr Obama has denied that his “lipstick pig” comment was a reference to Mrs Palin.
A CBS spokesman said: “CBS News does not endorse any candidate in the presidential race.
“Any use of CBS personnel in political advertising that suggests the contrary is misleading.”
September 10, 2008
Source: Kansas City
Governor Palin said the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull is you can put lipstick on a hockey mom.
Obama, ridiculing the McCain/Palin’s new “change” mantra, said,
“You can put lipstick on a pig. “It’s still a pig.You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It’s still gonna stink.”
And the Republicans cried foul, saying Obama was calling Palin a pig. Or maybe a fish.
Say what? Sarah Palin says she’s like a pit bull but with lipstick, but don’t dare compare her to a pig?
Of course, Obama didn’t put the lipstick on Palin but on the opponent’s campaign slogan.
Whatever. The uproar made me wonder when the pigs, pit bulls and fish are gonna take offense.
“Hey,” Porky says, “Don’t even think about putting me in the same sentence with a pit bull. This is an affront to porkers everywhere.”
“Speaking of Washington lobbyists,” the pit bull says, “the porkers have practically ruined this country. You can put lipstick on a lobbyist and some congressman will ask it for a date.”
“How offensive,” Porky replies. “Lots of lobbyists look really nice in lipstick. And who’d want to date a pit bull, even one with lipstick. Anyway, don’t you dare compare me to a Washington lobbyist.”
“Now you’ve crossed the line, Porky. I know a pit bull with five kids, and people are standing in line to get to see her.”
“Don’t call me Fishface! Unless you mean like a dolphin ‘cause they’re cute. And don’t mix your metaphors.”
“You probably mean don’t confound the similes, you illiterate slime dog.”
“Well, lipstick on your collar tells a tale on you.”
“Huh? What does that mean?”
“If you can’t figure that out, you’re dumb as a post.”
“Don’t you dare call me a post.”
“Oh, never mind.”
And this is what we call political discourse.
September 10, 2008
The Republican campaign called Obama’s analogy a “disgusting” and sexist comment clearly aimed at vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
But the Obama campaign lobbed back accusations of dishonesty and a “phony lecture on gender sensitivity” seeing as presidential hopeful John McCain had used the same expression when describing Hillary Clinton’s healthcare proposal last year.
The row began when Obama told a rally: “The other side, suddenly, they’re saying ‘we’re for change too.’ Now think about it, these are the same folks that have been in charge for the last eight years.
“You can put lipstick on a pig. It’s still a pig. You can wrap up an old fish in a piece of paper and call it change. It’s still going to stink after eight years. We’ve had enough,” he exclaimed to a standing ovation.
In accepting the party’s vice presidential nomination, Alaska Governor Palin joked at the Republican convention last week that the only difference between a hockey mom like herself and a pitbull was “lipstick.”
The McCain campaign said this was “just the latest in a series” of offensive comments the Obama campaign has lobbed at Palin.
Obama uttered what “I can only deem to be disgusting comments, comparing our vice presidential nominee, Governor Palin, to a pig,” former Massachusetts governor Jane Swift said in a conference call with reporters.
Swift, chair of the newly-formed Palin Truth Squad, demanded Obama apologize for the comment which she likened to childish name-calling.
But Obama campaign senior advisor Anita Dunn said: “Enough is enough. The McCain campaign’s attack tonight is a pathetic attempt to play the gender card about the use of a common analogy,
“This phony lecture on gender sensitivity is the height of cynicism and lays bare the increasingly dishonorable campaign John McCain has chosen to run.”
When asked why she was so certain that the comment was aimed at Palin – it is an expression so common it is the title of a book by a former Pentagon spokeswoman –Swift said it was an obvious reference to Palin’s much-quoted line that the only difference between hockey moms and pitbulls was the lipstick.
“It seemed to me a gendered comment. There’s only one woman in the race,” an incensed Swift told reporters.
“As far as I know, she’s the only one of the four – the presidential and vice presidential candidates – who wears lipstick.”
Swift said she hoped Obama would have learned “how to respectfully engage in a debate” during his contentious primary fight with Hillary Clinton and listed several offensive comments issued by members of the Obama campaign.
She noted that Democratic vice presidential pick Joe Biden had called Palin “good looking,” strategist David Axelrod had said Palin knew how to do what she’s told and that a member of Obama’s finance committee had questioned whether she was capable of being vice president given that she had five children, one of who has Down’s Syndrome.
A Chicago Tribune article dated October 12 2007 quoted McCain as saying “I think they put some lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig,” McCain of Clinton’s healthcare proposal.