Friday, August 29, 2008

From Borowitz Report: Obama Lacks Experience Running 5,000-Person Town in Alaska

McCain: Obama Lacks Experience Running 5,000-Person Town in Alaska
Extolls Veep Pick’s Qualifications

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) used the announcement of his vice-presidential pick, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, to blast the experience of his Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill), arguing that Sen. Obama has never been the mayor of a 5,000-person town.

"The Presidency of the United States of America is the toughest job on the planet," Sen. McCain said. "And my friends, the best testing ground for that job is being the mayor of a 5,000-person town in Alaska."

Sen. McCain unleashed a savage attack on Sen. Obama, claiming that his Democratic opponent would be "at a loss" when faced with the challenges of running a 5000-person municipality in Alaska.

"Let's say a constituent calls you and says that a caribou has wandered onto his front lawn," he said. "My friends, Barack Obama wouldn't know what to do."

He used the hypothetical situation to draw a sharp contrast with his vice-presidential choice: "Sarah Palin would take out her gun and shoot the caribou."

Mr. McCain said that an understanding of foreign affairs, Congress, and other issues that a president has to deal with is "overrated," adding, "That's what ‘Presidency for Dummies' is for."

While saying that her "vast experience" was the main reason he selected Gov. Palin, Sen. McCain said that she also had the other three qualifications he was looking for in a vice president: "She is pro-life, pro-drilling, and willing to housesit."

My Hunch - Republicans Don't Know How To React Yet

So, I just went on the Republican party website and right now there is not even a breaking news on the Palin pick almost an hour after the news has broken. However, they have a feature called "Not Ready 08" that discusses how Obama is not ready. My prediction  - this will change immediately as soon as the party accepts McCain's nomination. My hunch here is that McCain shocked even his own party with this pick. If I were John McCain, I would not go hunting with Dick Cheney this weekend...or anytime soon.

Is Gov. Sarah Palin Ready to be President on Day One?

I can already see what the line of attack by the Democrats will be and that will be, Is Gov. Sarah Palin ready to be President on Day One?

I am still scratching my head on this one. This past month, the McCain campaign has been ruthlessly efficient in attacking Obama as not ready to be president on Day One. I still don't get this one, may be it will become clearer as the days go, but for now, I am totally stunned. Does Palin have a secret power that we don't know? Is she superwoman?! I mean, McCain had a great opportunity, he got to pick last after Obama already picked, he had the luxury of picking a VP nominee that would have the Obama camp reeling in pain, but I bet you the Obama people are scratching their head on this one and saying, "can you believe our good luck?!"

Quick Fact: CNN just confirmed for me, Palin is the second woman to be picked for vice president on a major party and only the second woman after Mondale picked Geraldine Ferraro in I think 1984.

Why Would McCain Pick Palin?

The obvious answer is that he wants to get the disaffected female voters that supported Hillary Clinton and independents. But for the love of me, I can't understand why a 72 year old will pick someone who has only been Governor only two years in a state called Alaska (no offense taken Alaska). If he really wanted to pick a woman, he should have gone with someone who has more experience than Obama you would think.

For months now, the McCain campaign has been arguing that Sen. Obama who has travelled the world, is in the Senate Foreign Committee, has been Senator for almost four years, was a State Senator for ten years, is not ready to be president. To be honest, it was their greatest argument. How can they make that argument now with Palin as the VP nod? I think this was a political miscalculation by Johm McCain. He should have picked Mitt Romney.

Romney - Could have easily won the state of Michigan where is Dad had been a popular Governor. He could have brought a lot of experience on the economy, although some of that would have been fodder for the Democrats. Romney would have been a better and more effective  attack-dog for John McCain. Pawlenty and Rob Portman could also have been better picks.

My gut feeling tells me a lot of conservatives are wondering WTF did McCain just do. Eventually, they will come around and support her and highlight her positives, but I dont see how they can be excited that McCain who will be the oldest president ever elected to a first term would pick someone with such little national and foreign policy experience. I bet you the Obama campaign after the euphoric night yesterday is breathing a huge sigh of relief!

Breaking News: McCain Picks Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

She has been Governor for only two years. She is 44 years old, not well known on the national stage. So what does that do to the Republican's argument that Barack Obama is not ready to be president?

Actually, this is a surprise for most people, myself included. I actually thought it was going to be Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty. Why did John McCain pick her? To appeal to women? I don't know. Is that enough to get Hillary Clinton supporters to switch to McCain? I don't know. If McCain wanted a strong female candidate, I think he should have gone with someone like Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson. Anyways, have to check my history books, but this might be the first time the Republican ticket has nominated  a woman to be vice president.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barack Obama's Acceptance Speech - August 28, 2008

Transcript - From New York Times via CQ Transcripts

Immediate Reaction

Obama Takes Aim at Bush and McCain With a Forceful Call to ‘Change America’ - New York Times

Obama tells huge Dem crowd he'll fix Washington - Associated Press

Obama Claims Historic Nomination - Washington Post

Obama: I'm ready to face John McCain - CNN

Obama blasts Bush’s ‘failed presidency’ - MSNBC

David Gergen says Obama's speech was a 'masterpiece!"

Well, personally, I wasn't sure Barack Obama could step up to the plate, but once again, he proved me wrong. So, no analysis needed here. David Gergen, veteran adviser to both democratic and Republican presidents says as a political speech, it was a "masterpiece!" That about sums it up for now.

Will post transcript and video as soon as I find it.

Obama on Stage Speaking Now..

More than 30 minutes into the speech, I believe he has hit all the points he needed to. After the speech, I ll wait for the "pundits" to tell me whether it was a great speech or not...

The View from Invesco Field:A Prelude to Obama's Big Day.

Yeah right, I wish I were there! The only view am getting is that from CNN.

The journalists, pundits are still talking, analyzing and every now and then breaking into a dance routine that makes it look like I actually took dance classes. All day, the media has noted that today is the 45th year anniversary when Martin Luther King Jr. gave what has been one of the most moving and inspiring speeches ever. I am a little nervous that Obama may not meet the high expectations set for him. If I were his campaign staffers, I would have spent all week downplaying the expectations. Anyways, it is still going to be a great night. More than 80,000 people are expected to show up to witness history in the making. (Sheryl Crow is performing...why do I know some of her songs? Darn car radio and bad traffic!) Everyone looks excited to be there. Now the media is not talking so much about the so-called Obama vs Clinton supporters rift, the new story-line today is can Barack Obama match Martin Luther King, Jr? My answer is no, no one can, Barack Obama should focus on what he needs to do. Obama is trying to win an election, Martin Luther King was trying to make sure one day Barack Obama the son of a Kenyan father and Kansas mother could have the audacity to one day stand before a crowd of 80,000 and seek the highest office in America. Obama can only build on MLK's legacy and dream, he cannot match it!

Somewhere George Washington, Martin Luther King Jr, Thomas Jefferson, Frederick Douglass, etc. are looking down and smiling (I wonder what they are saying? Probably wondering why there are so many funny looking hats? No, of course I know they are proud of America too but you can't help noticing those funny looking hats!)

Why Do Political Parties Now Feel the Need to Respond to the Otherside’s Convention?

I am Nostalgic for the old days of bipartisanship and respect in Washington.

Ok, I admit I am a sucker for a good political debate or any debate about ideas be it on climate, poverty, the best movie this summer (Note: It was Iron Man!) or anything. I usually don’t’ care what people’s ideologies or political parties are. Lately though, at least in the past decade or so, it has been hard to see that kind of atmosphere coming out of Washington. It has gotten so partisan that I am certain if a Democrat were to say he believes in God, a religious Republican would feel compelled to immediately become an atheist just so they can disagree. I am not one of those peaceniks that believe we should all hold hands together and sing Kumbayah, but I miss the old days of Washington, at least of what I have heard, when Democrats and Republicans fought each other on the floor of Congress but grabbed a beer together afterwards. Partisanship works for some, but in the end it hurts us more than it helps. The more time we spend attacking each other on trivial issues, the less time we spend finding constructive solutions to real problems like the economy, healthcare, social security and all.

As a fan of politics, no time is more exciting than the conventions. I watched each party’s with the same zeal and enthusiasm. In the past, I believe the candidates always respected each other during the other’s convention. So when it was the Democrats convention, the Republican nominee would lay low and cede the spotlight, vice versa. Yet this year, in which we have seen mediocre ads featuring Paris and Britney Spears, things are different. John McCain has refused to lay low during the Democrats’ party in Denver, he has made public appearances everyday and you can't watch the convention without attack ads by McCain. His campaign attacked Obama’s VP pick the same night he was named and now news is leaking that McCain will name his VP late tonight right after Obama’s acceptance speech. I have to turn off the TV after the convention because I do not want to hear “the other side” respond. Respond? This is not a debate, you don’t respond to a convention! The conventions should be a sacred time for each party to celebrate before the "real" election begins. Anyways, I expect the Democrats will return the favor to John McCain next week in St. Paul. Who can blame them? There seems to be a total lack of respect in Washington for differing opinions and that attitude seeps into mainstream society. We could segway to a totally new debate on how that affects policy decisions from foreign affairs to domestic issues, but I ll save it for another day.

Fortunately, I believe as the younger less partisan generation comes of age, the partisanship will finally die away, but I wish I did not have to wait so long to once again enjoy the conventions. Today, Barack Obama gives his long awaited speech, I ll be watching. When John McCain gives his speech next week, I ll also be watching, but I ll be sure to change the channel as soon as some talking head that claims to be from the “other” party comes on to tell me why each speech wasn’t so great. Talk about being a party pooper, please save it for the post-debate spins!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

From Borowitz Report: New McCain Ad Attacks Obama Kids

This guy has got to be the funniest political satirist around today... after Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert!

Check him out at Borowitz Report!

New McCain Ad Attacks Obama Kids
Cute, Not Ready to Lead, Ad Claims

In what might be his most controversial attack ad in a campaign dominated by them, presumptive G.O.P. presidential nominee John McCain today launched a new TV spot attacking Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill)'s two children.

According to political insiders, a negative ad targeting a rival's offspring is highly unorthodox, especially when the children in question are under the age of ten.

But after the two Obama kids scored in their performance on national television last night at the Democratic convention, "we had to do something to give the American people some straight talk on those two brats," Sen. McCain said today.

In the ad, which is being broadcast in key swing states, an announcer intones, "They're the cutest children in the world - but are they ready to lead?"

The spot uses visuals to link the two Obama kids to other famously cute kids, such as the young Drew Barrymore and the Cabbage Patch dolls.

The commercial goes on to blast the Obama children for "smiling and giggling but refusing to state their position on offshore oil drilling."

While some critics questioned how well the ad would play in living rooms across America, Sen. McCain defended it, telling reporters, "It played very well in all of my living rooms."

Big Surprise... Barack Obama just showed up at the Convention!!!!

Biden was in the middle of his speech, when CNN news flashed across the TV screen announcing Barack Obama is in the house and will make a surprise appearance after Biden's speech. Obama is speaking now - praising Joe Biden and his family, thanking his wife Michelle, Hillary Clinton, President Clinton. The crowd is going bananas!

Wednesday nite at the DNC Convention: Obama is officially nominated, Clinton just spoke, Beau Biden has the crowd crying and cheering...

Ok, quick post. I am watching Beau Biden, Delaware State Attorney General and Son of Sen. Biden introduce his dad and so far he has got the crowd crying with the powerful life story of Joe Biden. I always knew Joe Biden as a Senator but never knew he had such a powerful and touching life story. Ok, Biden is about to speak now.

Earlier, Barack Obama got nominated as the first African American  for president of the United States in what was an historic and another tear jerking moment for so many. Hillary Clinton gave a ringing endorsement of Obama last nite. Bill Clinton did the same tonite  (Will try to do a recap of the whole week later.)

On Reverend Wright, the Obama family, the Biden pick and Hillary Clinton

Question: I am curious what your opinions are concerning: 1) “The Reverend”..specifically refer to a question of his faith. 2) His relationship with his wife and kids.. 3) His pick for VP…how does Biden compares to Hillary? - Chika

Hey Chika-

I ll start with your first question about Obama’s pastor which I am sure you are referring to Reverend Wright. A lot of people like to look at this as a bad thing for Obama, but I believe it may have helped him a little bit. First of all, it is hard to argue that someone is a Muslim if you are also claiming his “pastor” is racist. I think it was unfortunate Reverend Wright said those things, he obviously comes from a different generation than Barack Obama. It was a blessing this came out during the primaries and not in the general election. I think Obama should have cut ties with him sooner than he did especially when the Reverend Wright came out and did the media circus thing. It had me wondering if he really wanted Obama to lose just so he could say “see I told you, America is not ready for a black president!” The other thing that has helped neutralize the Rev. Wright issue (at least for now), is that John McCain himself in trying to woo the Christian right has aligned himself to the same people he once denounced as “agents of intolerance” way back in 2000. So it is hard to criticize Obama on Rev. Wright when someone like Pastor Hagee who has made derogatory remarks towards the Catholic church and other groups actually endorsed McCain. Finally, the controversy gave Barack Obama a chance to give one of the more memorable speeches on a difficult and sensitive issue in America - race. I believe like most people, Barack Obama's faith is not tied to a particular pastor or person but to the higher power he believes in.

Secondly, I cannot think of anyone who can look at the Obamas as a family and find anything to criticize. Not since the Kennedys has there been a more picture-perfect family so ready to move into the White House. They are intelligent, photogenic and just plain glamorous. But beyond the aesthetics, you have to give a lot of credit to Barack and Michelle. Here you have a kid who grew up all over the world, without a father or a real place to call home. When you look at the family they have created in Chicago, I believe it is a direct response to his childhood - he wants stability. As intelligent middle class lawyers, I believe the Obamas are a role model not just to African-American families but to all Americans. When I look at the Obama kids, they remind me of how the Clintons were able to raise Chelsea and give her a normal childhood amid living life in the public. I believe if the Obamas make it to the White House, they will continue to be great parents first and public figures second.

Finally, the VP pick. Well, I was one of those that really believed he was going to surprise us all by picking Hillary Clinton to be his Vice President. I know a lot of people did not want him to do that, but I thought it would have been the politically prudent decision given her performance in the primaries. No matter what you think of Clinton’s attack on Obama during the last few months of the primary season, she would have given him the firepower he needed and would have excited her women supporters. After seeing her speak last night, I still think she would have been a good choice. Now in comparision to Joe Biden, I must admit I am glad I did not bet any money on Obama’s pick! This is how I ranked my VP picks - Clinton, Bayh, Warner and Biden as a long shot. But after following the coverage of the Biden selection, I can’t help but marvel at the decision-making process of the Obama campaign. The consensus in Washington is that Biden is exactly what Obama needs in all areas. Biden is a guy everyone (including myself) likes. He is known to speak his mind (in Washington that is not a good thing, but the media and voters love that!). As chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, he brings a wealth of foreign policy experience to the ticket. His background complements and reinforces the so called “exotic” one of Obama. He was born in Pennsylvania to a working class family. He works in Washington, but still goes home everyday to his family in Delaware. He will be able to appeal to the same blue collar voters that Hillary Clinton had so much success with during the primaries. He was elected to the Senate at the age of 29 and has been in Washington since. Obama can talk about change all he wants, but most people who know Washington also know you can’t change the place without having someone on the inside to show you the ropes. So in hindsight, I think that my VP picks should have been Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. If there was any candidate who could placate the Clinton supporters (apart from Clinton herself), it is definitely Biden. Still, Barack Obama and Joe Biden do have a lot of work to do in bringing the staunchest Hillary supporters back to the Democratic tent….Clinton’s speech last night did a lot to heal the wounds...but it also reminded people of what could have been...

Additional readings:

A Strained Wright-Obama Bond Finally Snaps (New York Times; 5/1/08)

McCain Cuts Ties to Pastors Whose Talks Drew Fire (New York Times; 5/23/08)

Charisma and a Search for Self in Obama’s Hawaii Childhood (New York Times; 3/12/07)

Though Obama Had to Leave to Find Himself, It Is Hawaii That Made His Rise Possible (Washington Post; 8/22/08)

Barack and Michelle Obama Marriage Profile (

Obama's Hawaiian Vacation - Photos (Huffington Post; 8/13/08)

The Obamas: Portrait of an American Family (Essence Magazine; September 2008) Essence Magazine Cover Photo

Obama Chooses Biden as Running Mate (New York Times; 8/24/08)

Obama's choice of Biden raises stakes for McCain (Washington Post; 8/25/08)

Clinton Delivers Emphatic Plea for Unity (New York Times; 8/27/08)

Let's Get This Party Started!!!

I get questions from friends all the time about politics - Sunday who do you think is going to win? What is a caucus?  Is Barack Obama better at bowling or basketball? How many pantsuits does Hillary Clinton own? Is John McCain's social security number really eight? I am tempted sometimes to just say, hey why don’t you spend all your free time watching the news? then I remember other people have lives besides keeping up with the latest political happenings. So I usually give them my answers and analysis, and if I can’t find it, I research it. By no means would I consider myself a seasoned political commentator but if you’ve watched cable TV lately, anyone can be a talking head these days! Anyways, truth is I enjoy the questions and look forward to even more. Here is to hoping I can continue that tradition on the blogosphere! Please post your questions in the comments section or email it to me at (Include first name, city and state)


- Sunday