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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Election Roundup

posted by on October 9 at 13:06 PM

Three things that seem important today in the electing-a-president business:

First is this Huffington Post story about the transition teams being assembled by Obama and McCain:

As the 2008 campaign nears its conclusion, the presidential transition efforts of the two major candidates have become a study in contrasts: Sen. Barack Obama has organized an elaborate well-staffed network to prepare for his possible ascension to the White House, while Sen. John McCain has all but put off such work until after the election.

The Democratic nominee has enlisted the assistance of dozens of individuals — divided into working groups for particular federal agencies — to produce policy agendas and lists of recommended appointees. As evidence of their advanced preparations, officials provided a copy of the strict ethics guidelines that individuals working on the transition effort are required to sign.

John McCain, by contrast, has done little.

Second is this ARG poll that shows Obama up by 8 percent…in West motherfucking Virginia. It might be an aberration, but it’s a beautiful aberration.

Third is this video from a McCain rally, featuring an angry white man (how novel!) pushing at McCain to become even more vicious in his attacks on Democrats in general and Obama in particular. This is interesting for a lot of reasons, but I think most important is it illustrates the corner McCain’s painted himself into: His base wants him to stay on the attack and keep pushing at things like the Ayers issue, but that’s only scaring the undecideds away. If McCain tries to go softer in his campaign, he’ll lose his conservative base and probably won’t win the undecideds, either, because he’ll look erratic. I love the way the audience goes nuts for pissed-off white guy talking about fighting socialists (U!S!A!) but politely applauds McCain when he talks about bipartisanism.

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We should send Charles to that angry man's house with some nice red cookies...

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | October 9, 2008 1:14 PM

The Ayers stuff needs to be slapped back more than what Obama has to date.. We are starting to look like the hare against the tortoise. Not that the public believes it, but that the voters expect leaders to fight for themselves as well as them.

That said, this guy's shrill screed on socialism is attacking all the stuff McCain just voted for to bail out Wall Street.

Posted by StrangerDanger | October 9, 2008 1:15 PM

I watch video like this and I wonder when someone's going to say to McCain "you know, we could just blame the Jews. It's worked before with crowds like this..."

Then I start sweating really, really hard.

Posted by It's worked before... | October 9, 2008 1:22 PM

"The Democrats are in the majority for the last 2 years; have you seen any improvement?"

Yeah, can you believe they just let the Republicans filibuster and veto every dang bill they pass? What a bunch of pussies!

Posted by Levislade | October 9, 2008 1:31 PM

I have to admire people on the right for managing to stay absolutely furious at the left even at times that they have been in charge of all three branches of the government.

Posted by yuiop | October 9, 2008 1:36 PM

Ditto @3.

If this is 1929:The Sequel, there will be a LOT of angry people in the streets; angry, homeless, hungry people looking for a saviour and a scapegoat.

We are about one Reichstag fire away from this. Except now it's called 'terrorism'.

Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber | October 9, 2008 1:45 PM

He didn't say "under god" after indivisible. What kind of libtard is this guy?

Posted by Chris in Tampa | October 9, 2008 1:49 PM

Gee, that guy seems a little bitter and clingy to me.

Posted by Mike in Renton | October 9, 2008 1:50 PM

When I hear McCain try to go from that foaming at the mouth rant to some kind of call for bipartisanship I see a man that really WANTS to be honorable...
but not quite as much as he wants what he's decided he's entitle to by birth and circumstance.

Posted by Beguine | October 9, 2008 2:50 PM

MCCain knows he is going back to the Senate which is why he is beginning to sound bipartisan. If he doesn't watch it he'll get shut out completely.

Posted by inkweary | October 9, 2008 2:50 PM

when was the last time you heard "excuuuuuuse me"? what, 1986?

Posted by jon c | October 9, 2008 2:52 PM

Nice disrespect...
"Let me finish, please".

McCain should have poked a finger in his chest and said "Do you know who the fuck I am?"

Posted by P to the J | October 9, 2008 3:11 PM

I bet that guy was a plant.

Posted by Bub | October 9, 2008 3:46 PM

Perhaps an angry ficus?

Posted by Sad Comment | October 9, 2008 4:19 PM

I didn't know McCain was holding rallies at wrestling events. After the U-S-A! chants, I half expected Hulk Hogan to come out from backstage and rip off his shirt.

I also think that dude's question was better suited for Palin, as it wasn't really a question and made no sense at all. That's her turf.

Posted by Sir Vic | October 9, 2008 4:37 PM

While I was searching to hear more of this speech, I found the most frightening website.

The Republican base is clearly riled up, and they'll vote even though its apparent that they not too happy with McCain.

You can laugh all you want about how this is Wakesha WI, but I've been there. There's good people in Waukesha. These people are clearly mistaking the Democrats for Marxists, and they see the bailout as a big piece of that. But seriously, this could get very ugly. The folks in Sconni have guns and I think they're not afraid to use them.

My own opinion is that McCain and Palin have fueled some of this, which is the most frightening part of all.

Posted by apttitle | October 9, 2008 6:44 PM


10 points for the Hulk Hogan visual.

Posted by tabletop_joe | October 9, 2008 7:11 PM

As an atheist, I love appropriate bible quotes for ass-tards like McCain:

As you sow, so shall you reap. (Galatians VI)

Posted by emma's bee | October 9, 2008 7:13 PM

@7 ... point of information. Some conservatives don't say the "Under God" part because it wasn't part of the original pledge of allegiance, but added during the Cold War in 1954, as a slap at 'godless Communism.' Ain't sayin' it's right or wrong, just sayin'.

As for the rest ... "[Mr McCain's] base wants him to stay on the attack and keep pushing at things like the Ayers issue, but thatís only scaring the undecideds away. If McCain tries to go softer in his campaign, heíll lose his conservative base and probably wonít win the undecideds, either, because heíll look erratic."

This is part of the myth of the 'undecided voter.' by which I mean not that they don't exist, but that politicians live and die by energising their supporters and enlarging their numbers. That isn't done by offering to dilute your views and renege on your positions. It's done by attracting people with good, stong (or at least good, strong-sounding) views and positions. Trying to appeal to people who waver is a waste of time, because if they waver to you one day they could just as easily waver away the next. I give Democrats props for recognising this better than Republicans.

Mr McCain isn't going to "lose his conservative base" because they're not going to turn around and vote for Mr Obama instead. Anyone who does that is by definition not part of his "base." The very closeness of U.S. presidential elections in the past twenty years proves my point. If there were great numbers of "undecideds" who were scared away by one side and attracted by the other, recent elections would have all been landslides. But the closeness of the elections shows that what in fact happens with these waffling voters is that they each waffle one way, then another, and on Election Day if they do vote, each votes on whatever way they happen to waffle that day. Those who advise Mr McCain (or any other politician) to 'reach out' to the undecideds, to be 'bipartisan,' is really calling upon that politician to do two things: lay himself open to charges of indecisiveness, and waste his or her time and energy doing something very like trying to herd cats.

Posted by Seajay | October 9, 2008 9:05 PM

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