Politics

We are and always will be the United States

I didn’t care for the first Obama girl video, but this one tickles me. Fish and live bait, heh. And that chorus is really catching. “Red states… and blue states.” That could be a hit.

Politics aside, it is an incredible day for the country, in that so many say they didn’t think they’d live to see this day. Yet here it is. So movies can no longer signal that they take place in the future by having a black president.

But despite all of that, politics as usual will resume in 3.. 2.. ?

Me likey bouncey

Gallup’s 3-day tracking poll for today shows that the R’s have halved the D’s advantage from an 8-point high 3 days ago to 4 points today. The 3-day released September 2 had Obama on top by 50-42% while today’s has it at 48-44. Since the polling for today’s release was conducted Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, the new numbers only reflect roughly 1/3 of any bounce from Palin’s speech on Wednesday night, and not much from McCain’s speech last night. (Some of the polling on each day could have occurred after that same night’s speech, presumably for folks further west.)

Pretty decent numbers for McCain-Palin. We won’t see the full effect of any RNC bounce in this poll until Monday, but that’ll include 2 weekend days which tend to skew results. So in theory we’d need to wait until Thursday, but by then of course there will be new things happening which will likely affect the results.

Rasmussen’s 3-day, with the same 3-day caveats, has a statistical tie with Obama over McCain, 46-45. It’s 48-46 with leaners.

More interesting perhaps is Rasmussen’s attitude survey.

Palin’s favorability is at 58% (Obama and McCain are tied at 57, Biden is at 48). This, I think, is a significant factoid:

Among unaffiliated voters, favorable opinions of McCain have increased by eleven percentage points in a week—from 54% before the Palin announcement to 65% today.

That’s a big jump. And the following graf has a certain bombshell quality about it:

However, following the Wednesday night speech, voters are fairly evenly divided as to whether Palin or Obama has the better experience to be President. Forty-four percent (44%) of voters say Palin has the better experience while 48% say Obama has the edge. Among unaffiliated voters, 45% say Obama has better experience while 42% say Palin.

Obama leads among unaffiliated voters on this question by 3%. That’s comparing the top of one ticket to the bottom of the other!

I’m looking forward to the next Quinnipiac for Ohio. I think Palin’s going to be a big hit here.

McCain’s day

OK, the first two-thirds of that speech: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

McCain’s just never going to be anywhere nearly as good an orator as Obama, and everyone knows that. I did actually agree with many of the cultural/political positions he laid out, which was good. It’s a reminder that even if the right disagrees with John McCain on several controversial issues, there’s still a lot of reasons for the right to prefer him to the collectivized Democratic Party candidates. I’ll never completely get over McCain-Feingold though.

His own telling of the Hanoi Hilton years was quite strong- better than Fred Thompson’s telling of it. I do think they need to give that story a rest, however. Then the very end with the whole Country First bit was also very strong. I loved the ending with McCain’s exhortations to “fight, fight!” right through the crowd’s cheers.

I missed Cindy McCain. After watching speeches for two weeks, I’ve become exhausted from listening to them, so I wanted to save myself for John McCain’s speech. I like Lindsay Graham, but he’s no speechifier. He doesn’t seem to have the gravitas to hold a crowd at all.

What was the deal with Keith Olbermann cutting off Tom Brokaw in order to apologize on behalf of MSNBC for showing the RNC’s 9/11 video? Apparently, according to Keith, no television network should ever show any events from that day. He didn’t even say that the problem was the Repub’s politicizing of it- an objection which I would understand, if not agree with- the problem was showing anything at all, assuming he meant what he said.

I know the lefty mindset on the matter is that 9/11 footage makes Americans angry and gets them into a “Let’s roll!” spirit and that everything must be done to avoid that. It’s just weird for a media person to be so blatant about it. Meanwhile, footage of dead bodies floating in Katrina flooding- no problem. The RNC video didn’t have anything nearly that graphic.

Palin’s big speech

That was about as momentous as I thought it would be. As expected, she’s drowned out- for the time being, at least- a lot of the flood-the-zone smears and sexist remarks the blogging left has been engaged in. I distinguish that sort of thing from proper criticism. I don’t want to use the term “red meat”, but Gov. Palin certainly delivered it, as is traditional for the VP candidate. I haven’t heard so many cutting remarks about Sen. Obama in one speech before. And funny ones, too. The best one, in part due to its subtlety: “The American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of personal discovery.” I liked the building reaction from the delegates as the zing! sunk in.

Good reviews from the right blogs. Ben Keeler (surprise!):

Powerful, spectacular speech. Just the right note was hit. Attacked with a scalpel. Went right after Obama’s biggest weakness - what has this guy done exactly to be elected President of the United States?

Buckeye RINO:

If the American people get the opportunity to view the Palin speech without commentary, it’ll resonate. The media, I predict, is going to run interference with the Palin message, and it remains to be seen whether the American people can see through the smoke and mirrors.

Lots of criticism from Democratic bloggers. One trial balloon that’s getting a lot of play in the Ohiosphere is that criticism of community organizers is racist:

The highlight of the evening? The introduction of the newest code phrase for “uppity negro,” Community Organizer! This is the hook to rural voters who don’t understand Midnight Basketball, Block Clubs, and Community Development Organizations.

For a while now I’ve been thinking, “what exactly is a community organizer, anyway?” But now I see that I’m a likely racist.

Here’s a short and simple post from Eric at Plunderbund: “She’s the new kid at school talking shit.” Heh. This from the same blog that was pushing the fake pregnancy smear. Rich.

Giuliani was good too. His is the only speech from the 2004 RNC that I can recall at all. Many pundits here and there have been criticizing his speech for being a bit herky-jerky, but that’s his just style. It works for him.

Huckabee and Romney aren’t for me- their speeches were kind of meh.

Sick-day ballot to be withdrawn

From ProgressOhio:

Ohioans for Healthy Families, the state wide coalition that has sought enactment of a paid sick day law in the Buckeye state, announced today that it will ask that the Ohio Healthy Families Act not appear on the November ballot.

You might call this the Thomas Eagleton of ballot initiatives.

The group that filed the ballot request will formally request of the SOS later that the initiative not appear on the ballot. Apparently Gov. Ted Strickland was involved in getting them to retract it.

My question is, since they’ve already submitted the petition, with 240,000 signatures, to Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, by what reasoning should they be able to unilaterally retract it? I mean, nearly a quarter million people signed up to put it on the Ohio ballot. Does the group that submitted the petition have the authority to speak on behalf of all those people when the group changes its mind? Did a quarter million people also change their minds?
It might be legal, but it doesn’t seem ethical. Those folks signed up to get the initiative on the ballot, not to pledge their allegiance to whatever Ohioans for Healthy Families decided to do next.

Heartfelt concern for Sarah Palin’s family

There have been many angles of attack on Sarah Palin and her daughter coming out of the left over the last few days. Nick D at BSB expresses one that’s now making the rounds to see if anyone salutes:

Okay, so riddle me this, BSB readers: if you knew your 17-year-old daughter was pregnant, why in the hell would you accept your parties’ Vice Presidental slot, knowing that your daughter’s name is about to be dragged through the mud as a symbol of how “abstinence education” has been an utter failure? Don’t you think your priority should be helping your daughter prepare for this child’s entry into the world, knowing full well that a 17 year old won’t be able to handle the responsibility on their own?

I saw the perfect characterization of this in a comment on Althouse yesterday: “How dare Palin accept the nomination and expose her daughter to hateful attacks by assholes like me?”

Just about sums it up, doesn’t it? CNN was the best MSM example of this yesterday. When a reporter was told by an Alaska delegate to the RNC that essentially the issue is a private family matter, she agreed that it was, ideally, but “the reality is” that the media couldn’t pass it up as an issue, and then she proceeded to plow on with the questions about it. In other words, yes it is a family matter, but assholes like me and my colleagues won’t respect that.

Also, I don’t know that many men would be expected to put their careers on hold due to a pregnant teenage daughter- I think there’s a sexist element to this. You see it applied to newborn Trig too- how can a mother with a 4 month-old Down’s syndrome child have a job- she should be at home caring for him. Wow, how far feminism has come! The selective sexism of some on the left is simply breathtaking. Of course, there’s nothing new about Obama supporters spewing sexist remarks.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden will be in Dublin at Dublin Coffman High School tomorrow, starting at 4:30.

VP: It’s Sarah Palin

CNN has it. No link yet. In your face, Keeler! :)

She’s been my McCain VP prediction, and my preferred choice, for months now. I think it’s a good move. If you’re keeping score, I predicted John Edwards for Obama- man, was I way off! After that little fiasco, I moved on to Clinton. That didn’t work out either. I like Joe Biden, so I’ll be fine, thanks.

For those that never heard of her, she’s the governor of Alaska, relatively new to the political scene. Her bio will soon be all over the place, but for now, here’s her wiki page.

This is supposed to be officially announced later in Dayton, Ohio.

Here’s that CNN link.

Here’s an interesting pro and con from Jonah Goldberg at The Corner.

LisaRenee at Glass City Jungle:

In talking to quite a few people recently, especially moderate to conservative women who had voted for Clinton, the idea of a Palin pick was appealing to them for a variety of reasons. One of which of course is that she is a woman, another was even while dubbed conservative she has demonstrated the ability to stand up to political corruption.

Yes.

Here’s the official announcement site, via The Corner.

Clips & Comment has NBC video, along with some hope that a connection to Ted Stevens, the indicted Alaska Republican senator, can be found.

One thing about this pick, it puts the maximum breaks possible on the Obama convention bounce. If McCain had picked Romney or Pawlenty, it would’ve generated news of course, but the Palin pick generates something more than that. Pro or con, I think people will be having a more passionate response to this choice- and that’s something the McCain campaign was missing. It may or may not pay off in November, but the effect is certainly helpful now, the day after the Dem convention ended. Obama’s speech will barely have 24 hours in the news cycle.

Jill Miller Zimon at Writes Like She Talks:

…this is a HUGE miscalculation based on thinking that women chose Clinton because she’s a woman. That voter did it because she’s a pro-choice woman, not because she’s female. The campaigns have a lot to learn and accept about how women choose. Sexism is really going to sting them - because we just do not vote that way. As proven by Obama’s win.

Some women will vote for a woman because she’s a woman. (Nothing wrong with that when it’s for a first.) And why were so many Democratic women so strongly for Clinton? It’s not because she’s stronger than Obama on abortion rights. But there is a point there. Pro-life women were probably already on board with McCain. On the other hand, a lot of people, even many women, are not single-issue voters on abortion.

Buckblog: “It smacks of pandering.”

Plunderbund:

With his VP pick of Sarah Palin, John McCain has just thrown away one of the only reasonable attacks he had against Barack Obama: lack of experience.

Yeah, it was reasonable now that he can’t use it anymore. Heh. But that is a valid point. As I wrote in comments at Ben Keeler’s Ohio Politics blog:

Interesting that Obama’s pick tends to undermine one of his arguments against McCain, Washington business as usual, while McCain’s pick would tend undermine McCain’s argument against Obama, inexperience. Though out of all four people on both tickets, she’s got the most executive experience, i.e., some.

Americans have preferred former governors as their presidents since Jimmy Carter.

More round-up by Eric at Plunderbund. Some lefty lowlights include Tim Russo at Blogger Interrupted:

McCain thinks that because Sarach Quayle Palin has vaginal tubes, women who supported Hillary will suddenly flock to him.

Vaginal tubes. Classy as ever, Tim. Also Chuck at the Chief Source:

Now John has a new trophy around. As we should all be aware, John left his swimsuit model first wife when she started gaining weight and shrinking as a result of a car accident. He left her for Cindy, who was much younger and prettier….and had a lot of money to help him run for office.

But Cindy is now old and frail, so she must be concerned that very attractive Palin is going to steal her man.

I’m not overly familiar with that blog, but that strikes me as beneath that writer. It’s just sexist stereotyping, isn’t it? (It’s ok when liberals do it.)

Less disagreeably, here’s De Magno Opere: “Brilliant choice - if you want to stamp out the Obama flame for a day or two - and want to lose.” I had a similar thought. The greatest payoff for the Palin pick might just be today and maybe tomorrow, for squelching the Democrat convention bounce, which is already at 8 points according to Gallup- more than my humble prediction- and that mostly doesn’t include Obama’s speech last night. Michael also links to this story on the investigation into Palin’s “controversial firing of former state Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.”

Obama’s day

The big speech had me a little underwhelmed. It was kind of a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation for Barack Obama: if he kept the speech all airy and dreamy and inspirational like many of his previous speeches, he’d be criticized for repeating the same empty platitudes that enrapture Democratic audiences, but- you know- where’s the beef? And when he does what he does last night, which is to offer a SOTU-like laundry list speech, the rap is- hey, where’s the inspirational Obama of the new politics? One thing that’s clear- to me, at least- is that that promise of a different kind of politics that won Obama the Dem primary is gone. That speech was virtually a straight up old-line liberal series of promises and program proposals. Much more Ted Kennedy than Bill Clinton- which I consider a step backwards. Obama was pitching them as new ideas, but there was very little new in there.

One new thing that I liked- new for Dems- was his support for nukes and “tapping” natural gas. I’m not getting his claim- more like a smear, I think- that Republicans think drilling for oil alone is a fix to the energy issue. Is that the position of any Republican? I think the “all of the above” pov is what they’re calling for. It took some time and pressure (which also makes oil) to get Obama and Pelosi to finally come around to the Paris Hilton position, which is where many Republicans, including John McCain, already are.

And Obama’s call that we’ll be free from dependence on Middle East oil in ten years seems a bit gimmicky to me. As the Dems frequently point out themselves, there’s just one global oil market. If the US stops buying oil from there, the Euros, Chinese, and Japanese will be buying more. That won’t help us because the people in the ME that we hate will still be getting all those petrodollars (or petroeuros), and any stresses on that supply will just cause those buyers to buy more from our suppliers- there’s no protection from price shocks there. You only reduce our dependence on ME oil by reducing our dependence on oil full-stop. That ain’t going to happen in ten years. But as I said, I liked the support for nukes and gas.

One other thing I liked was his promise to cut federal programs that don’t work- the 20th century bureaucracy killing- but I don’t have much expectation that that would ever come to anything. And what the average Dem thinks doesn’t work and what I think doesn’t work are going to be very different. Obama also promised more early childhood education, for instance, which I think is just a cover for government day care. I’d get rid of kindergarten if I were the king.

The other main thing Obama (and the Dems in general) have going for them is health care. While the current system isn’t acceptable, I’m not sure the command and control euro-style solution is the answer. Prices get higher when the customer isn’t the one who’s paying- and this applies whether it’s the government paying or an insurance company. But I don’t have an easy answer.

I had thought that the big stadium venue was going to work against Obama, like in Berlin, but I think it ended up undermining slightly the pedestrian nature of the speech. I suspect that the decision to ratchet down the rhetoric came after the decision to go to Mile High. So it’ll be a wash. But what was the deal with that music that opened and closed the speech? Terrible choice. I would have preferred Fleetwood Mac.

Finally, it is historic that a black man is now the presidential nominee of a major US party. Obama barely referenced that. Compare to Hillary Clinton who never stops talking about being a woman. Interesting difference there. But Obama’s already got nearly all of the black vote, and just about all of the white voters who’ll vote for him on the basis of him being black- there are no more votes to be mined there. This speech was aimed at Reagan Democrats- a big chunk of the Hillaryites- as was the selection of Joe Biden for VP. I think the speech will be somewhat effective on that score. Say, a 5 or 6 point bounce.

OH-15 ads

Steve Stivers is running an ad now. His Democratic opponent Mary Jo Kilroy has already had several. Though I notice her negative ad isn’t posted to her site. Strange, that. More at The Daily Briefing.

UPDATE: Oops. That negative ad wasn’t put out by the Kilroy camp- it’s a Democratic committee ad. So that explains that.

Ohio: Obama up by 1

New poll from Quinnipiac. It’s 44-43, Obama, a statistical tie, as they say.

Likely voters in three critical swing states want to see a Democrat elected President this year, but Illinois Sen. Barack Obama begins the Democratic Convention trailing Arizona Sen. John McCain in Florida; tying him in Ohio and leading by seven percentage points in Pennsylvania, according to simultaneous Quinnipiac University Swing State polls released today.

Waitin for that bounce. (Via PolitickerOH.)

Dem convention, night 1

So I watched the big political show last night. Some thoughts:

It was good to see Ted Kennedy again, and looking surprisingly healthy. I was half afraid he’d come out on stage looking all skinny. That would have been bad. Nothing fantastic about his speech but it was perfectly serviceable. But doesn’t making that huge Kennedy sailboat the centerpiece of that video undermine a bit the whole John McCain seven houses thing? And then the first person interviewed in the clip was John Kerry. Hah.

Michelle Obama’s speech left me a bit cold. Most of the TV pundits seemed to rave about it, I thought it was just meh. The introductory video narrated by her mother was far more effective. The video had her deliver the line, roughly, “My children are the first thing I think about when I get up in the morning, and the last thing I think about before I go to bed.” Then she repeated the line word-for-word in the speech. That jarred. And it’s too long to be a catch phrase.

But will her speech accomplish that big job that everyone claims was its purpose: to make her seem a bit less Angela Davis-y (per the New Yorker). Probably, some. Not a home run though. One thing that intrigued me was her use of the conceit regarding “The world as it should be.” Here’s a graf from her speech:

Barack stood up that day, and spoke words that have stayed with me ever since. He talked about “The world as it is” and “The world as it should be.” And he said that all too often, we accept the distance between the two, and settle for the world as it is - even when it doesn’t reflect our values and aspirations. But he reminded us that we know what our world should look like. We know what fairness and justice and opportunity look like. And he urged us to believe in ourselves - to find the strength within ourselves to strive for the world as it should be. And isn’t that the great American story?

I think she means the country when she says “the world,” but that doesn’t fit with her purpose of playing down the “I’ve never been really proud of my country” bit. I mean, people don’t generally talk about “fairness and justice and opportunity” in terms of the world- they say it about America. It’s almost as if someone did a search and replace on the text to avoid those Michelle problem areas. Note, there’s nothing wrong of course with saying that America can and should be better- it’s just a problem for her.

Naturally, the kids were great, though the Barack video feed seemed tacked on and pointless. It was like he was holding that family hostage in order to take over their house.

Apparently it was attack Pat Buchanan night on MSNBC. He noted that Michelle didn’t mention religion in her talk about her family life and he wondered why. I think he thought that she was being a secular Democrat, but of course the Obamas will have a difficult time now discussing how big a part their church played in their lives. Anyway, Chris Matthews’s shoot-down was hilarious: We don’t have a religious test in this country, Pat, thanks to Thomas Jefferson. Cut down on the coffee, Chris. And I thought Rachel Maddow (now with her own show!) was going to hit him when she was discussing Pat’s somewhat infamous 1992 RNC speech in Houston.

Juan Williams’s reaction to the Michelle speech was very moving, but unfortunately, I agreed with Bill Kristol, who poured cold water over everything.

Ohio: McCain up by 1

The Dispatch released its first presidential poll results yesterday:

Republican John McCain holds a 1-point edge, 42 to 41 percent, in the first Dispatch Poll of the general election campaign. The Arizona senator’s lead is well within the poll’s margin of sampling error, plus or minus 2.2 percentage points. That means McCain could be ahead by as much as 5 points or Obama could be up by 3.

The poll was conducted before Joe Biden was named the VP nominee, so if there’s a bounce, it’s not reflected here. I’m doubtful there is one though.

Previous Ohio poll post here.

“Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland was greeted like a rock star in Denver at 5:30 p.m. eastern time Sunday when he arrived….” Hah. Politics is weird. (Link.)

Strickland comes out against sick-day initiative

“While we would hope that all Ohio businesses would make paid sick days available to their employees whenever possible, we believe that this initiative is unworkable, unwieldy and would be detrimental to Ohio’s economy, and we will be opposing it and asking Ohioans to oppose it as a result,” said Strickland and Fisher in a statement.

Against labor? Interesting. Here’s the rest at Openers.

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Jan 29, 2015 9:44 am

Ohio’s Own: Pierogi Mountain

You might know Pierogi Mountain from its ongoing gig at Café Bourbon Street. It doesn’t just do the regular ol’ cheese and potato version of the....

The Walker Evans Effect

Jan 29, 2015 9:11 am

Film Review: Two Days, One Night

A woman wakes from a nap due to a phone call. She’s baking for the kids. It seems like a lovely way to spend your afternoon, really, drowsy and....

The Walker Evans Effect

Jan 29, 2015 9:09 am

Boline Apothecary Opening Tonic Club in Clintonville

Boline Apothecary is moving shop down the street from 4764 North High to 15 West Dunedin Road. The official move will take place February 1st, with....

The Walker Evans Effect

Jan 29, 2015 7:00 am

Morning Roundup: Best (and worst) vehicles for driver deaths, Sherrod Brown

In today's roundup: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's best and worst vehicles for driver deaths, Sherrod Brown shoots down any speculation....

Business First of Columbus

Jan 29, 2015 6:31 am

Plan Calls for Wide Range of Fixes for Short North Parking Woes

The City of Columbus is hopeful that a multi-faceted approach will satisfy the many residents, employees, business owners and visitors to the Short....

The Walker Evans Effect

Jan 29, 2015 6:30 am

National Roundup: McDonald's not lovin' CEO's performance (Vide

McDonald's CEO Don Thompson will retire and be replaced by chief global brand officer Steve Easterbrook on March 1. The move comes as McDonald's....

Business First of Columbus

Jan 29, 2015 6:27 am

Honda puts 2 on list of vehicles with lowest death rates

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released a new report detailing the best and worst vehicles for driver deaths in traffic....

Business First of Columbus

Jan 29, 2015 6:25 am

New Bus Rapid Transit Service Will Almost Get You To IKEA in 2017, But Not

When the news broke on Monday evening that Columbus would be getting an IKEA in 2017, there was much rejoicing by local fans of the store across....

The Walker Evans Effect

Jan 29, 2015 6:00 am

16-Bit Bar+Arcade

16-Bit Bar+Arcade has been open for a while now in Columbus, but I have not had an opportunity to go there until a few Sundays ago. I saw this....

the 270

Jan 28, 2015 10:11 pm

NHL All-Star Game in Columbus a TV ratings dud

The NHL All-Star Game was well-received in Columbus, but not many outsiders tuned in for NBCSN's broadcast. Sunday evening's game garnered 1.2....

Business First of Columbus

Jan 28, 2015 4:42 pm

OSU says ebb in donations not tied to Jon Waters firing

Donations to Ohio State University fell by 12 percent over the last six months of 2014, but school officials say they see no signs that donors....

Business First of Columbus

Jan 28, 2015 4:33 pm

Nashville officials eager to host 2016 NHL All-Star Game after visiting Col

Columbus earned overwhelmingly positive reviews as NHL All-Star weekend host ( except for the Blue Jackets' cannon), including from next year's host....

Business First of Columbus

Jan 28, 2015 3:30 pm

Dublin attracts Top Gun youth football camp and its $4M economic impact

Football Univertsity's Top Gun youth football camp will return to Dublin for a third year, bringing 1,500 high school-aged and younger players from....

Business First of Columbus

Jan 28, 2015 2:43 pm