Thursday, May 29, 2008

McClellan: How Do You Say "President Obama" Boys and Girls?

In every election cycle there is generally one "major" earth-moving event that occurs and forever shapes the outcome of said election. The recent tell-all book, released by former White House Press Secretary, Scott McClellan, just may be that event for the Presidential 2008 election.

McClellan, whose powerful mother was a significant donor to W's campaigns; and his brother, Mark, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services appointee; and of course he himself, have been widely touted as being an integral part of President Bush's inner circle dating way back to Texas. As a result of those relationships, it won't be very hard for the regular Joe Blows in bread basket America to believe McClellan's revelations about W's run up to war, Rove and Scooter Libby's less than honest claims regarding the Valerie Plame outing incident, and his verbal indictments against Cheney, Rice and Rumsfeld. And all the bad mouthing by White House (and former White House) surrogates will fall on deaf ears.

What McClellan's book does is pour icy cold water on Senator John McCain's strongest political argument for the duration of the campaign: the Iraq war was and is neccessary for America to continue engagement. His book gives those independent voters who may have voted for McCain in the Fall, a reason to pause and re-examine Senator Barack Obama (whose political mantra continues to be his judgment to oppose the Iraq war from the beginning).

Not only does McClellan's memoir throw McCain's presidential chances into a downward spin... but GOP incumbents running for offices across the country (who had a steep uphill climb ahead anyway) will have to answer the question that will now be on the minds of Mr. and Mrs. John Doe: "Why Mr./Mrs elected official did you vote for this war without pressing the President for more information?" In addition, Fox News/Karl Rove's attempt at rebranding himself as a legitimate, credible voice on issues of the day has now been seriously compromised, wiped-out... dissed to the 3rd power.

What a difference a day makes in politics. One man, one book has possibly altered the landscape "big-time" for the upcoming general election.

As the world stands today, it should be much easier now for Senator Obama to pull a win out of this McClellan god-send. Heck, anytime any question on the Iraq war is pitched toward Senator Obama from now through November, all he needs to say is: "go read McClellan's book. End of conversation". How do you say "President Obama" boys and girls?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Take A Chill Pill and Lay Off Hill!

The recent misrepresentation by the national media of Hillary Clinton's RFK assassination misspeak has given a new meaning to the term "media distortion fed by anti-Hillary forces". After having re-read and replayed Senator Clinton's comments to the South Dakota editorial board, I have to agree with Hillary on this point: it doesn't matter what she says or does. It appears that those in the media–––who are gunning for her... and who are trying to get her out of the race–– are going to misconstrue, spin to the negative... or to be more direct–– blow her words out of proportion.

Careful examination of what Hillary said really boils down to this––as I paraphrase: "Long election cycles are no big deal. If people remember, Bill Clinton was still in the thick of it... as his bid for the nomination didn't end until the middle of June. And, Bobby Kennedy was campaigning for the Democratic primary spot in June, as the world remembers how he was killed during that time."

Now granted, Hillary Clinton has the reputation of being ruthless. And... by her own account she is a whiskey drinking, gun shooting (as a wee girl), brawler. But, how anyone could take the comments in question out of context (to mean Clinton was saying she remains in the race because she hoped somehow that Obama would be assassinated) is outrageous!

I think everybody needs to step back and take a breath for a minute. Assassination talk is too serious for to be used for political purposes. Let's just take Clinton at her word: that she was merely constructing a timeline reference to justify her argument for remaining in the race through June.

As news consumers, it is our responsibility to hold the main line media pundits to a higher standard. When the media fans nonsensical stories such as this, we the public must boycott their stations, send e-mails and faxes, and remind them that their job is to REPORT the news, not give opinions and insert innuendo into the public discourse.

My advice: Why don't we all just take a chill pill and lay off Hill!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day: A Time to Reflect

As we pause to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this country, we trust you take the time to remember. Please remember our men and women who lost their lives in battle and are buried on foreign soil. And, we must never forget the valiant men and women who gave of themselves, unselfishly, that we may enjoy the freedoms we now enjoy. (photo: Entrance to SURESNES AMERICAN CEMETERY AND MEMORIAL in Paris France • by Commissioner Chester Berryhill, Jr.; American Battles Monuments Commission)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

McCain Unleashes Bunker-Buster-Bomb on Obama

In a battle, it's considered 'fair game' to throw a rock back when a rock has been thrown at you. Or to return gunfire on an opponent who directs gunfire at you. But to reciprocate with a nuclear bomb when the battle only calls for a small arms gun, is way over the top. Such is the case of presumptive Republican Presidential nominee, John McCain.

This latest round started when Senator Barack Obama called McCain out on the floor of the U.S. Senate for his opposition to Virginia Senator Webb's 21st century GI Bill.

Obama said, "I respect Sen. John McCain's service to our country. He is one of those heroes of which I speak. But I can't understand why he would line up behind the president in opposition to this GI Bill. I can't believe why he believes it is too generous to our veterans. I could not disagree with him and the president more on this issue. There are many issues that lend themselves to partisan posturing, but giving our veterans the chance to go to college should not be one of them."

That statement would be equal to rock throwing or BB gun shooting in my neighborhood. Heck, it's not like Obama talked about McCain's mama or something. But the Illinois Senator obviously hit a raw nerve, as McCain skipped past the verbal shotgun or hand grenade in his oratorical arsenal... and instead whipped out a 'suitcase nuke' in an effort to over-kill Obama.

It wasn't just me... but those in the political world took a big gasp of breath at McCain's immediate response to Obama's rub: “I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did,” he said.

Now, that statement–– lethal as it was, should have been enough to emphasize his point to Obama that he wasn't going to take 'no stuff off of him". But, McCain took it even further. He took it to the bunker-buster-bomb level––here in round one–– delivering a chilling, mortal blow to Obama with this stinging follow up:

“I admire and respect Sen. Obama. For a young man with very little experience, he’s done very well. I appreciate his very great lack of experience and knowledge of the issues. He’s been very successful. ...Don’t get me wrong, I admire and respect Sen. Obama. But he does not have the knowledge, background or judgment to lead this nation in these difficult and challenging times. And I do. And I will keep this nation prosperous and secure.”

Wow! Now watch what he said... he 'admired and respected' Obama in one breath, yet turned around and blew him to 'smithereens' in the next. If this is what McCain calls "admiring and respecting" an individual... I would hate to see how he dresses-down those who "dislikes and has disdain" for.

No, I'm afraid McCain went a bit too far in this gunfight. But moreover, I'm afraid to even wonder what statements would have come out of his mouth had he begun the rebuke of Obama with his well-known acidic term, "My Friend". Time will tell!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Barack Obama... Man Up and Close the Deal!!

To find a credible conclusion to any perplexing problem, conventional wisdom dictates finding practical answers to the following questions: WHAT... WHERE... WHEN... WHY... and HOW.

To that end, I am applying those five questions to the following question that continues to echo across the nation: "What is wrong with Barack Obama that he can't close the deal???"

How is he raising all this money via the internet by common folks who are excited about his campaign? Money which allows him to saturate the airwaves and appeal to voters, but at the end of the day, the primary results and all these new donors (and new voters he is supposedly signing up) don't jibe. HOW: can Senator Obama––with a straight face–– claim the title/victory as the Democratic nominee after allowing Senator Hillary Clinton to unmercifully beat him in the recent primaries of Ohio, Pennsylvania, W. Virginia, Indiana (his back yard) and Kentucky? Surely he knows he can't be perceived as a winner if he keeps losing!

Why didn't Senator Obama roll up his sleeves, throw on some jeans, and go into the Appalachian area (Kentucky and W. Virginia) to meet the people and ask for their support? What an embarrassing defeat--especially for a presumptive front-runner. Why would he cede these white, rural, blue collar voters to Clinton? Was he afraid of them? Unable to relate to them? Thinks he won't need them to win in the General? I don't get it...

When will he stop the Mr. Nice-Guy shtick and understand this is "street ball" politics and his opponents are the Clintons––who have no problem tearing his achilles tendon, kneecaping him, and leaving him for dead... all in the name of winning? President Clinton wasn't joshing when he said: "If You Don't Want To Play, Keep Your Uniform Off". (Apr 17, 2008) That's how the Clinton's roll.

Where ...and what day will Obama end this? He needs to "man up"! Call it OVER ALREADY!!! To put forth the effort and stage the big "full-circle" Iowa event last night, then come out and present a nuanced speech to claim victory... but NOT really claim victory ...made him look weak. If Senator Obama allows Senator Clinton to end this race when she gets ready, then he will limp into the Fall election against Senator McCain and the Republicans as the lesser, as a "punk" ... being whispered about in the shadows as one who couldn't even close the deal against a woman! Trust me... Republicans are watching and will follow Senator Clinton's lead––– treating him like a 'punk' all the way to November. And finally, the real bottom line question...

What Mr. Senator Obama is your next move to close this? Wait for the Super Delegates to anoint you in August? Endure another shameful blow-out in Puerto Rico? Let the Clintons drag this on, and on, and on... culminating in a blood bath on the Convention floor? WHAT?!?

Mr. Obama... if you want Americans to believe you to be a leader, one who can meet with Chevez, Putin, Ahmadinejad, Castro and the likes, to close global deals which will keep Americans safe...then demonstrate my brother. Close this deal!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Hold Your Nose and Pick the Best of the Worst

As the 2008 U.S. Presidential primaries finally come to an end, this election cycle––for sure ––will be one that historians, college civic classes, and just everyday people will talk about, dissect and re-examine for years to come. The obvious reason is that whichever candidate advances to the coveted 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue address will represent a "first" in American history. In Clinton... the opportunity for the "first woman president"; in McCain the most "senior-aged" American president; and in Obama... the real "first" African American president.

But realistically, while the historic aspect is nostalgic... we don't have much to pick from this year. As we examine each of the three who remain in the running, I challenge you to take off the rose-colored glasses, and take a look at who they are ...and what they each bring to the table.

Hillary Clinton, 60 years old, understands that it is win it now or... it is probably the end-of-the-road for her. She knows that although McCain can run 'as a man' in his 70's ... and it's okay. But a woman––in her mid-60's, (which she will be in 2012) may not have that same electability argument, or the same luxury.

Clinton has demonstrated that she is a relentless fighter who does not have a "quit", "off", "lose", "give in", or "stop" button anywhere in her mind, heart, or body. It's either that, or she and her ruthless investigative team, have some damaging information on Barack Obama that she knows will rock his very political foundation as her reason for remaining in this race.

She has been able to pull together a coalition of "die-hard" Clinton voters: Women, blue-collar Americans, Latinos, a surprising number of young people, and the Whites-who-will-never-vote-for-a-Black-person (not because of race, as they will tell you "some of their dear friends are Black"), but they would rather vote for one of their own. And their rationale... Blacks vote for their own.

These key voting blocks that Clinton has amassed, are the bedrock of any Democrat being elected to the White House... but...without the Black vote, she cannot win.

Candidate Barack Obama, 46, has shown himself to be a prolific orator, and a quick study. The man, who can electrify the masses with his soulful, rhythmic word presentations...typifies the meaning of an "African" (as his father hailed from the Motherland) "American" (he, and his mother, who was white, were born Americans).

Obama's supporters include a whopping 90+% of the African American registered voters in this country, a large portion of young, idealistic first-time voters, and the Star-bucks coffee drinking, upper middle-class "let's-get-over-this-race-thing-because-Barack-is-not-the-typical-Black-man-and-ain't-he-cute ...white person.

While these Obama voters are the bread and butter of the Democratic party (without which the party will die on the vine) he cannot win without the Bubba vote. And, the main line media can wish all day long that the following is not accurate, but, here is the reality: very few of these certain Whites and Latino voters ...and probably only half of the Clintonite women supporters, will EVER vote for Obama in the November election.

No, the gamble is too big for Obama that he can win the White House with just those from the groups he already has in his corner. The numbers don't add up. Perhaps that's why he is hedging on proclaiming his party's victory on May 20th as he had previously announced. (Either that, or he knows that Clinton has some damaging information on him that will rock his very political foundation).

And now, John McCain ...who at 72-years-old is the designated test driver of the prevailing age theory which declares: today's 50 is the new 30... and that 70 is the new 50. Well, we shall see. And I'll bet that the old schoolers of the world are rooting for him.

McCain, the wise old fox who––not only wrote the book on how to play the game of politics to win––is looking to take on the young buck, Obama, on the national political playground... so he can show him––and all the Baby boomer naysayers, that he still has enough life in him to whip-Obama's- tail. Can we say "win one more... one last time... for the Gipper'?

McCain's presidential-bid coalition will consist of the GOP base, many of the cast-aways from Clinton's group (should she not be the nominee or at least on the ticket as the #2), a sizeable portion of Independents and Latinos... and a great number of Veterans (who support their own through thick or thin).

But, aside from this being a rotten year for the GOP... McCain does not have a rock solid base established to date, as many in the Republican party will be hard pressed to vote for him because of some of his positions in the past. And without the majority of his GOP base turning out in the Fall, he cannot win. Plus... McCain hasn't been able to raise any major money!

I'm sorry... the presidential pickings this year are not stellar by a long shot. But it is looking more likely that we will find ourselves in the position of having to hold our nose and pick the best of the worst!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Obama In Appeasement Brawl Now 'Til the Last Dog Dies

President George W. Bush has never been guilty of running away from––nor for that matter afraid of "starting"–– a good fight. Well... as the 'cowboy' president winds down the final months of his eight year presidency, he has initiated a confabulatory brawl that is sure to leave carnage all along the road until the end of the 2008 presidential election in November.

During his visit to Israel and while delivering one of the most important speeches of this historic moment, President Bush said, “Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along...” He went on to say, “We have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.”

The Democratic presumptive nominee, Senator Barack Obama, took umbrage at these remarks and immediately retaliated with a blunt response. "It is sad that President Bush would use a speech to the Knesset on the 60th anniversary of Israel's independence to launch a false political attack," said Obama.

Out of all the people in the world, how did Senator Obama come to the conclusion that he was the "some" that the president was referring to? It would appear to most Americans that President Bush was taking a swipe at former President Jimmy Carter, as they were both occupants of the Oval office...thus in the same league. It's Presidents Carter and Bush who are on the same rung of life's ladder. Consequently, it would seem that Bush was attempting a veiled chastisement of his peer: Carter.

And, if you notice, President Carter is 'mum' on the swipe. No response... nada...nothing! Obama should have done likewise.

Let's really think about this. What would make Illinois Senator, Mr. Obama, who was just a state senator four years ago... and who hasn't even completed his first term in the U.S. Congress yet, think that the leader of the free world would elevate him to the level of calling him out on the world stage. He is not that important...yet. No, me thinks he may think more highly of himself than he ought.

The real problem now for Mr. Obama: his initial counter punch has made him appear testy, jumpy, and a bit paranoid. And... now that he, and his surrogates, have taken Bush's bait and jumped in this fight with both feet, he must now own this fight, and will be forced to scrap until the last dog dies.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hmmm... GOP in Hemorrhage Mode

Say what you will about former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, but when it comes to having a finger on the pulse for modern-day politics... they don't get any better than him.

Talking heads, pundits, and some GOP leaders were highly critical of Mr. Gingrich last week as he warned that the Republican party could witness "decisive losses this November” if they didn't change course immediately. Proving once again that he was "spot-on"... the Republicans lost yet another Congressional seat that had long been an established Republican seat. And this loss is so significant because it happened in north Mississippi.

What? With $1.3 million dollars spent by the national Republican Congressional Committee on negative advertisements on behalf of the GOP contender; endorsements by Mississippi's senior Senator Thad Cochran, and Mississippi's governor and former RNC Chairman Haley Barbour ... plus a drop-in visit to north Mississippi by Vice President Dick Cheney to inspire the party faithful. It is obvious that the Republican message ain't working.

According to Mr. Gingrich, "... the Republican brand has been so badly damaged that if Republicans try to run an anti-Obama, anti-Rev. Wright or, if Sen. Clinton wins, anti-Clinton campaign, they are simply going to fail. This model has already been tested with disastrous results."

Republicans are in hemorrhage mode... and need better find a way to broaden the GOP tent; shape a message that tells the American people "what's good about the Republican candidate as opposed to what's bad about their opponent"; and, lastly... get to raising money, money, and more money––quick!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Election '08: Japanese Arithmetic Numbers In the Equation

The buzz-phrase in the final days of the 2008 Democratic primary that Obama will win because he has the numbers on his side, is catchy––and to some extent true. But remember... these numbers only matter in the Primary.

While talking to a group of grassroot African Americans recently, it became apparent that there are still too many people who are not familiar with how the Presidential election process works in this country. While it's a fact that Obama has won the most votes in states like Iowa, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana... in the Primary... but, Obama has only completed half the battle. The real "war" to determine whose-finger-will-rest-on-the-nuclear-button-in-America... is set to begin as soon as someone puts Hillary "The Filly" Clinton to sleep. ( 05/07/08)

It will take an act of God, an act of Congress––or some Japanese arithmetic numbers to somehow be injected into the Electoral College equation––for Obama to win many of those States he has won in the primary...come November.

Without a doubt, the African American presumptive nominee, Obama, has done a super job getting African American votes to date: 90%+ on average. But realistically, it is the Electoral College votes that determines the occupant of the Oval Office. And to that end, it is in the General Election where the "numbers game" really matters. Unfortunately in America, the numbers game hasn't always proven to be lucky for African Americans on the State-wide and national playing field, as historically, whites (and other ethnic groups) have been hesitant to vote in large numbers for African American candidates.

The below referenced numbers show a dismal reflection of the number of national and State-held offices by African Americans in 2008.

How many elected African American U.S. Senators: 1 out of 100 total
How many elected African American U.S. Congressmen: 42 out of 439
How many sitting African American U.S. Governors: 2 out of 50 (only 1 Governor was elected; the other ascended to office by default).

So, if I were to use those numbers of Blacks elected by whites, hispanics, and other ethnic groups to national or State-wide offices to gauge Obama's electability to the highest office in the land this Fall, I would say: "Obama... keep your day job".

Friday, May 9, 2008

McCain vs Obama: 180-Day Verbal Beat-down

Even though the McCain and Obama presidential camps have pledged to the American public to keep the 2008 White House race clean, issues-focused and will represent the highest gentlemanly conduct toward one another, the opening salvos between the two... reflects anything but.

If the May 8th negative tit-for-tat (where McCain repeated in a news feed the Hamas leader's recent glowing adulation of Obama; and Obama referring to McCain as "losing his bearings"--a perceived reference to McCain being old or senile) is what either of these president-wanna-bes call a clean race... well, we are in for a 180-day "verbal beat-down" that is going to be ugly.

What would make anyone believe them––knowing that McCain and Obama already have a turbulent history of documented terse communications. Everyone remembers the nasty "Flak Jacket" memo-swap between the two Senators. If not, you owe it to yourself to read what Mark Silva wrote here:

And, the very public Obama McCain Ethics Reform collaboration debacle that ended after only a week. See Paul Kane's account here:

No... my hunch is that the next 6-months is going to be brutal. The prevailing wisdom: suggests there remains bad blood from the Ethics Reform break-down and the Flak Jacket heated exchange. And any promise by these two of rising above the usual divisive, negative, detrimentally damaging politics of destruction was just the same-old-same-old Washington, DC political posturing in an effort to look noble!

The eyes of the nation now watches...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Newt Gingrich Speaks:

“The Republican loss in the special election for Louisiana’s 6th Congressional District last Saturday should be a sharp wake-up call for Republicans,” Gingrich wrote. “Either congressional Republicans are going to chart a bold course of real change or they are going to suffer decisive losses this November.” (from My Plea to Republicans: It's Time for Real Change to Avoid Real Disaster - Newt Gingrich; )
this warning is from the man who crafted the "Contract With America".

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Hillary The Filly

As the nation watched the recent results of the IN and NC primaries between Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, many dreams and expectations for what began as a promising season, were finally dashed.

The similarities between the end of this Democratic race and the recent Kentucky Derby race are stark in their realities.

In the Kentucky Derby race, you had a field of powerful male stallions and one filly, vying for the top prize. Likewise, in the Democratic primaries... in what began 15 months ago with a crowded field of male stallions and one lone filly––all vying for the top prize: the Democratic nomination.

Without a doubt, during the Kentucky Derby the philly showed unusual strength, and bested the bulk of the stallions in the pack. She demonstrated that she could run with the big boys and not miss her stride. Indeed in this Democratic race, in the last leg coming into the home stretch, the lone filly (Hillary) was able to intimidate––and yes almost overtake the stallion who eventually won: Big Brown (Obama).

While all the world watched, hoping she could prove that a female/filly had what it takes to challenge and beat the male/stallion, unfortunately in the end with all the best effort she put forth, Eight Belle, like Hillary, was only able to come in a close second.

So as the nation watched the Indiana and North Carolina primary results, the Kentucky Derby race was again revisited in our subconscious and right before our very eyes. And like the end results of the 2008 Derby, the voters... the grieving, hurting fans in the stands are begging the Super Delegates to bring this tragedy to an end by euthanizing the lone filly.

A painful and awful sight though it was––especially that the euthanizing had to be done in front of the whole world to see––someone had to do it!

The real irony of the story is that while Big Brown Obama did indeed win the prize... his victory lap is at best bittersweet. Because just like the 2008 Kentucky Derby, how many will remember that Big Brown won... but rather will remember and forever talk about the horror of the killing of the filly!