I've been interested to watch the reaction of the Obama campaign to Sarah Palin. If anyone wondered if McCain was feisty enough, at his 'advanced age', to be President, this teakettle-turning choice should quell any doubts.
After the brilliant success of attacking her level of experience - and drawing uncomfortable attention to that of the Democratic nominee - the Axelrod Allies have decided to train their sights on McCain instead.
Showing him with Clark Rockefeller glasses, and some images of disco balls and 80's kitsch, the Omniscient Voice intones that McCain has been in the Senate since...1982! The Pleistocene!!
But at least McCain had somebody older and wiser to guide him in the dark, long-ago days. After all, Joe Biden was elected in 1972....
In New Hampshire the McCain theme song was Johnny Be Good. But the injection of Sarah “oooh Barracuda” Palin has brought some “fire and nice” to the musical backdrops of the McCain Palin ticket. While Johnny Be Good was a great crowd pleaser it did not exactly fit the maverick spirit of the campaign. So tonight country music star John Rich, (Big & Rich), released his the new campaign theme song “Raisin McCain.”
The real music in the ears of the delegates at the convention and hopefully the people at home came from Sen. John McCain’s speech. There was not a lot that was new in the speech. After two decades of straight talk it is hard to repackage the truth and McCain did not try. He did say, “I do not believe that I have come to save my country, I believe my country saved me.” McCain laid out that ambition was not his goal in running for president, but “serving a cause greater than [him]self.” He talked about helping people, by lowering taxes, giving parents in education, making the conditions right for job growth, and protecting American security. John McCain is no great orator. He is a man of judgment and action. Some may say that Sarah Palin outshined John McCain. I say every ray that shines from Sarah reflects on the intuitive judgment and courage and decisive action of John McCain.
Mavericks McCain and Palin were not the only ones “raisin’ McCain last night.” The Massachusetts delegation had Grand Old Parties fro the last night in the twin cities and one of the best was at the Warehouse where Rich played both “Raisin’ McCain”, but also “Save a horse ride a cowboy”. Today I head home, but I hope I come back soon to a place where everyone is “Minnesota nice.”
Gov Sarah Palin - poised, proud, and plain-speaking - showed the country last night that she is the voice for real change in the White House. It was the most anticipated speech of the night for sure - everyone made a point to be in their seats when she stepped out onto center stage to formally introduce herself to her party and the people.
If voters weren't sure about her before, they now have a full menu of reasons to vote for her in November. She's smart, experienced, confident, funny, and best of all - we can relate to her.
In speaking with surrounding delegates in Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, Maine - all are saying the same thing - she's real, she's like us. Ok, so we all don't live in Alaska or have 5 children. That isn't the unifying quality we're picking up on. Instead we like Sarah Palin because she isn't talking down to us or telling us how we need 'change' or more 'hope' to make the world a better place. She doesn't know better than us, she wants better FOR us.
My enthusiasm is only tempered by the immediate onslaught of criticism and attacks she is now receiving. Democrats don't know what to do with a capable woman that isn't on their own ticket. Pregnant daughter didn't derail the Palin Movement (that backfired as America declared it a family matter) - now we're on to questioning her experience. Appropriate, and that should be a good discussion - perhaps we'll get to return the same pointed questions to Obama? I have no doubt Sarah will pass with flying colors. Obama may have to consult with a special council or something first.
Massachusetts had quite the spotlight as well - Mitt Romney spoke, MA's own Jean Inman did the roll call in her role as Secretary of the Convention, and MassGOP Chairman Peter Torkildsen and Kerry Healey took to the microphone to cast our delegation votes unanamously for John McCain! In true Boston spirit, atop the Massachusetts sign was a Boston Red Sox cap. Having a great time alongside my fellow State Committeemembers and MA legislators, especially Betty Poirier and Jay Barrows from my hometown area.
Tonight - John McCain is in the house. Standing room only.
The official theme of the day for the Republican convention may have been ‘Prosperity’, but for me a different motif emerged quickly, getting stronger during the day.
At our Mass. delegation breakfast this morning, we listened to Frank Donatelli, the Deputy Chair of the Republican National Committee, who reminded me of something that I knew but had forgotten. The Republican Party was the party of women’s suffrage as well as abolition, as Susan B. Anthony was a strong Republican and worked to get state laws passed that allowed women to vote long before suffrage passed in 1920.
All day long, even though we had some powerful speakers on the convention floor in Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, that buzz and the anxiety all centered on Sarah Palin. Was she the real deal? Most of us wanted to see her, to be able to check our own guts instead of being told what we think by sundry pundits.
Sarah Palin delivered. She was smart, sassy, comfortable and bright as a new penny. Personally, I was delighted with her matter-of-fact ideas on energy independence based on her experience in administering the largest fuel reserves in the nation. A collective sigh of relief and delight resonated through the Xcel Center and the cheering and applause were sincere.
I’m an older feminist who has always been annoyed that the movement for women’s rights and responsibilities has always been for one sort of woman – and not any conservative ones. Hillary Clinton, not Elizabeth Dole, was the ‘ground breaking’ candidacy. But one line resonated with all us fighters for women’s equality in her speech at the Democratic Convention – “My mother was born before women could vote. My daughter was able to vote for me for President.”
I thought of that line as I watched Palin’s small daughter, delighted with the attention but a little overwhelmed and tentative in front of over 5,000 people. As charming as Obama’s small daughters were, it somehow meant more to see Palin’s daughter look up at her mom with wonderment as the center of all this attention. Palin herself stood there with her baby on her hip, evoking a frontier wife who had casually shot a deer for dinner while plowing the field and running the ranch while her husband was away on a cattle drive – that same sort of matter-of-fact competence and femininity.
Meanwhile, in the audience was Margaret Heckler, the last Congresswoman from Mass. before Nikki Tsongas was recently elected. Congresswoman Heckler was a tough and experienced politician, and she was delighted with Sarah Palin and with McCain’s choice. It was a treat to hear her talk about winning this election, when her own election was one of the first cracks of that glass ceiling in Mass.
From the Grande Dame of Mass. GOP politics, to the first GOP woman nominated for Vice President, to the little girl seeing how far a woman can go, it was a great night to be a Republican woman and a feminist.
Sarah Palin is going to stand up for herself in a few minutes, and will answer her detractors.
But it's still important to ask:
Are any Democrats willing to publically speak out against the shameful treatment of Sarah Palin, and address the blatant double standard with which she and her family are being attacked?
Is anyone on the Left ready to say that if Sarah Palin's husband's 22-year old DUI arrest is relevant, than Barack Obama's drug use is at least as relevant?
"I got high [to] push questions of who I was out of my mind..." said Obama. “Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it."
What if Sarah Palin had spoken those words? Or John McCain? Or Todd Palin?
Does any member of the Leftosphere who is suddenly so interested in the pregnancy of a 17-year old who is not running for anything, any of those who see scandal in the strength of a woman Republican vice presidential candidate who dares to happily and energetically raise five children have any interest in asking a vice presidential candidate about something that really matters to our quest for political integrity? If so, that person could ask Joe Biden why he plagiarized a speech when he was running for president?
You say Todd Palin was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party? This is news? Does anyone who thinks this is news have any interest in knowing more about why Barack Obama chaired the multi-million Annenberg foundation for a terrorist named William Ayers?
Do any liberal members of the media or blogosphere have any interest in answering any of these questions? I'm just wondering.
Last night, Fred Thompson, a former Presidential candidate himself, came to the RNC to speak about John McCain's service to this country. What John McCain went through as a POW at the Hanoi Hilton is truly unimaginable.
With two broken arms and a broken leg, John McCain was held prisoner and left to die. He didn't, and when he didn't, he was tortured and tempted to betray the United States and his fellow soldiers - fellow POWs. He didn't, and when he didn't, he was placed in solitary confinement - for years. He was offered the opportunity to get out, if only he cooperated with the Vietnamese, and still he did not.
As Sen. Thompson pointed out so eloquently last night, this is a true testament to John McCain's character. Faith in God, his family and his country got him through, but not without an amazing will, loyalty and personal integrity.
This morning at breakfast, we heard from former RNC Chair, Jim Nicholson, who shared with us a story from many years ago. After campaigning all day long for a fellow Republican candidate (not himself) in Colorado and driving from Denver to Pueblo and back, John McCain made a special request and a special trip to the local VA hospital in Denver to visit with some Veterans. This was a late night trip, with no press and no political purpose. John McCain made this trip simply out of true care and concern.
It's true that his time as a POW and his military service alone do not qualify someone to be President, but it's also true that the character that John McCain has shown is certainly a quality desired in a President.
What's also true, and one of the reasons that I feel so strongly about needing Senator McCain now, is his understanding and compassion for fellow Veterans. This is a time when we are creating a whole new generation of Veterans. We NEED someone who can relate to them and the struggles they face when they come home from war. John McCain is that someone.
Last night Joe Lieberman spoke in front of a crowd of thousands of people who eight years ago had Sore/Loserman bumper stickers on their cars. That man was a class act. I first met Joe while he was campaigning for John McCain in the same Keene, NH coffee shop where he had campaigned for Al Gore. Anyone who watched Joe, in the 2000 race or in this one, knows that he is a tireless advocate for putting Country First and doing what he thinks is the right thing even if it is not politically expedient.
I think Massachusetts Democrats who put Country First will give a lot of thought to supporting Sen. McCain just like they did Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984. Some already are. On the floor with us last night was former Democrat Massachusetts State Rep. Brian Golden who is fully behind Senator John McCain. It was an honor to sit with a veteran of Iraq like Brian. I remember thinking to myself during the Denver convention, what are all those Democrats crying about. I have to admit with the tributes last night to vets of Iraq and Afghanistan as well as President Gerald Ford there were a few moist eyes at the Excel Center.
Country First was the message last night and today we will live it as members of the MA delegation put care boxes together for hurricane victims and our soldiers overseas.
Last night, the country was reminded what is so terrific about Fred Thompson. He gave a fantastic speech that had the people on their feet, delegates yelling out in support - the electricity was fierce in the convention hall. It was about time and exactly what we needed.
Thompson words articulated and surmised the conversations that have been taking place here and likely around kitchen tables across the country -- Obama simply isn't ready to lead, we can't afford his policies.
Thompson also brought the national political conversation (hopefully) back to the issues and the candidates (not the candidates' families).
If Thompson 'laid down the law" with a delightful fire and brimstone delivery, Joe Lieberman could be viewed as restoring order. Quietly and with great resolve, Lieberman outlined the very simple and obvious reasons that he - a respected Democrat- even agrees that at this moment in history, given our economy, national security - we just can't take the chance on Obama.
Today, Massachusetts delegates will return early to the Xcel Center to assemble hurricane relief kits for gulf coast residents before heading into the hall to hear what is the most anticipated speech this week - Gov. Sarah Palin.
I arrived in Minneapolis yesterday for the convention. Smooth flight, easy shuttles, and very friendly people both here in our host cities and from around the country. Those watching the convention coverage at home already You've likely heard about Gov Palin's daughter and her circumstances. The feeling here is that this is a family matter and not deserving of the media grilling it is getting. You also know that First Lady Laura Bush and soon-to-be-first-lady Cindy McCain made great speeches. You also know that the RNC decided to cancel the evenings actitivies in light of the gulf coast crisis. So instead, how about a sneak peak at to what happens behind the scenes what things are like in and around the convention?
Protestors - not as many as they might make it seem like on TV. There were a few small groups scattered on a few street corners, but there was only one Ron Paul group that became particularly violent and force had to be used. Local police were prepared and in good force. In fact, some young demonstrators were actually asking delegates where the parties were.
Organization - very well done by the RNC and by our own State Party led by Peter Torkildsen and Rob Willington. We're meeting as a delegation each morning, arriving together and on time for the sessions.
Venue - Xcel Energy Center - perhaps a bit smaller than some previous venues, but simple, impressive stage and good seating for all. Easy to get around and we're all having fun meeting people from other states. A fellow delegate and I went around to our native states of NJ and PA and met the party chairmans and even former Gov. Tom Kean who has MA roots!
Host City - Minneapolis and St Paul are indeed the twin cities located across the river from one another but learning they distinct in their own right. Both however are clean, very metropolitan in terms of restaurants and tourist attractions. Haven't explored them all just yet, but impressed with our welcome so far.
In lieu of the convention activities for the evening, we attended a reception for the American Red Cross that benefited those along the gulf coast. We thought that was a fitting way to spend our time. No matter how caught up in the political activities of the day,we still remember as the convention theme reminds us "Country First."
I ran into Rep. Jay Barrows at a reception tonight benefiting the American Red Cross. Jay is a great legislator who truly took up Senator McCain's request that we as a convention serve a cause greater than ourselves. Many Republicans from Massachusetts attended this and other charitable events tonight in light of hurricane Gustav in the gulf coast region. I encourage you to all join our efforts. Here is a list of reputable relief agencies that will accept your help for the targeted region:
Governor's Emergency Relief Fund
(877) 273 - 5018
Florida Disaster Fund
Hurricane Gustav Relief and Recovery Fund
Mississippi Hurricane Recovery Fund
To donate by phone:
The Aidmatrix Foundation at (866) 881-8882
In a few minutes, we will head out to the Xcel Energy Center to officially open the 2008 Republican National Convention. So far today it's confirmed that we will continue on with the required official business of the convention, although the political activities - speeches, entertainment, etc. - will be scaled down and more likely cancelled altogether.
This is as a result of the potential damage that Hurricane Gustav may produce on the Gulf Coast. Here in Minnesota, the sky is clear and the sun is out. It's a beautiful day. We watch the effects that the Gustav is having on Louisiana, and it's hard to grasp how devastating this storm might be. Our hearts are with those affected by this storm.
Back here in Minnesota, we wait in anticipation of what will come next both in the Gulf and in the coming hours in Saint Paul as we begin the convention.
There is excitement in the air. We just came from the Mass GOP's welcoming brunch which was teeming with media - print, tv and radio. This was also the first time we were all together as a delegation. What a group - state representatives, sheriffs, city councilors, state committee members and hardworking grassroots activists. It's fantastic to come together as we begin the official part of this journey!
One of the few events that was not canceled for the Republican convention welcoming agenda was a screening of David Zuker’s new movie An American Carol. This Leslie Nielsen style comedy hits theaters October 3rd. It was the story of Michael Moorelan (Kevin Farley) a documentary filmmaker who hates the 4th of July and how the Ghost of George Patten (Kelsey Grammer) takes him back through history and shows him what the world would be like without the efforts of American Service members like George Washington (John Voight). Now I must admit I am not a fan of the spoof genre, but I thought it was a little over the top. While I dislike America hating documentary filmmakers as much as the next guy, I prefer the way Fred Thompson deals with them. Just search Fred Thompson and Sicko on Youtube and you will see what I mean.
If you looking for a good movie that will reinforce conservative values, I would skip An American Carol and go see Traitor with Don Cheadle. You will never question the Patriot Act again.
I've been reading a lot of criticism about the GOP holding its convention with Gustav bearing down on New Orleans. I've also read about how McCain fiendishly stole Obama's limelight by announcing his VP pick, and turning attention from ObamAdulation to the Other Party.
Let's keep in mind WHY we all have this unusual schedule of back to back conventions late in the summer. Howard Dean was trying to be clever again.
The party which does NOT hold the White House gets to declare is convention date first, and the incumbent paryy musy hold theirs afterward. Last year, Dean saw a plethora of GOP candidates, and hoped they'd savage one another while Hillary ascended to a peaceful nomination and could campaign all summer while Republicans bickered. We all know how that turned out. I don't know if Dean was unable to follow this idea through to its logical conclusion, but as soon as he announced that late August date, it was inevitable that the GOP pick would be made right after the end of their convention, thus 'stealing' their limelight.
The GOP convention is being held Labor Day week for the same reason it cannot be postponed. In many states, there are legal requirements for ballots and candidates to be posted a certain time before the election. Dean forced us into almost the last possible dates to hold the convention and nominate our candidate and still be able to appear on the ballot in November.
Set aside the hotel, airplane, vacation time arrangements, etc., for 45,000 people. We are already getting bulletins about changes in speaking schedules, events, etc. Our convention will be curtailed out of respect for the situation in LA. The President and Vice President will not be able to attend, and WE are really disappointed!
But really, we aren't ready to postpone or eliminate our convention just so Obama can appear alone on the ballot in November. Better luck with the timing next time, Mr. Dean.
As the gulf coast is about to be hit by hurricane Gustav, the twin cities of Minnesota are facing a hurricane of liberal media. The Dakota Best Western in Eagan where I have been staying is mostly populated by the staff and crew of NBC and MSNBC. . I was appalled by the conversations I overheard standing in the lobby. Laughing and joking, they were genuinely gleeful about the possibility that the Republican Convention might be impacted by the natural disaster likely to strike the south east on the opening night of the convention. One joked, “Its God’s revenge against George Bush.” Instead of concern for the tens of thousands of people whose lives and property are in serious jeopardy, they were more annoyed at how it might inconvenience them if Senator McCain chose to change the schedule in light of events.
Tonight my thoughts and prayers will be with Republican governor’s Christ (FL), Jindal (LA), Perry (TX), Barbour (MS) and Bob Riley (AL) as well as the people from every party and no party at all who live on the gulf coast. One thing both Republicans and Democrats can agree on is that we should never again let a foreseeable natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina risk the lives of people who because of poverty could not escape the path of the storm. I believe that most Americans do not share the calloused sentiments of the NBC/MSNBC and they will be hoping the best for the people of the gulf and not the worst for Republicans.
All week, we've heard about Barack Obama and his plan for change.
Barack Obama and his plan for hope in America.
We've heard him say, "eight years is enough," as he blames the Republican leadership in Washington for all of our nation's woes.
We've heard Michelle Obama talk about the difference he made on the south side of Chicago.
What Barack Obama, the Democratic Presidential nominee, has not told us is that since he's become the US Senator for Illinois, the unemployment rate in that same south side of Chicago neighborhood has risen.
He hasn't told us how the crime rate in that same south side of Chicago neighborhood has risen -- 18% it's risen!
So has homelessness. So has poverty.
I think maybe it's time we listen to the people who know him best, the people left behind in that south side of Chicago neighborhood. See for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jc6Z807cRFI
One of the best things about the Convention is taking in the local culture. In Minnesota that is the Mall of America and the State Fair. At the Minnesota State Fair you quickly learn that Garrison Keillor is right about the folks from Lake Woebegone: “The women are strong, the men are good looking and all the children are above average.” This second largest State Fair boasts, bacon on a stick, an all the milk you can drink for a $1 booth and the giant slide. Truly it was amazing large, about four times the size of the Big E.
The state fair also has its share of politics. Sure there were a lot of McCain and Obama buttons out, but the real race highlighted at the state fair was the Minnesota US Senate race between incumbent Republican Norm Coleman the former mayor of St. Paul and failed Air America radio personality Al Franken (You probably know him best as Stewart Smalley). I got to see both candidates up close and get a good look at one of the closest races in the country.
Norm Coleman a Twins fan who took exception to my Red Sox hat, made the case for energy independence in the United States and consoled Minnesotans who had hoped Gov. Pawlenty would be in the #2 spot on the Republican ticket. He reminded them that it was Minnesota values that put the first woman on a national ticket when Walter Mondale picked Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and now 24 years later, it was a Minnesota convention that would nominate Sarah Palin who would be the first female candidate to actually win the Vice Presidency.
Later at the Franken booth he gave a stirring speech about the need to improve American education and invest research and development to spur the US economy. In true Stuart Smalley fashion, he joked, “The most recent poll has me with a commanding 1% lead and I see no reason why I can’t double that.” Franken continued, “We need a governing majority in the Senate. Right now we hold the majority by the skin of Joe Lieberman’s teeth.” He also urged people to get involved saying, “I need you to put a bumper sticker on the back of your car and not cut anyone off for the next 67 days. Franken drivers are going to be the most polite drivers on the road.” Franken drew big crowd, but I wonder how much was celebrity and how much was enthusiasm.
Franken calls it the Wellstone seat, and is campaigning on that tragic legacy. In the end though, Minnesotans may just stick with Norm. Why? Because he’s good enough, he’s smart enough and dog gone it people like him. One thing is for sure, this is a race I will be watching on November.
The DNC almost made my head explode. In his landmark speech designed to shake the world, Barack Obama found room on his priority list to include an admonition to keep our toys safe.
And here I am thinking that a terrorist-delivered nuclear device triggering an electro-magnetic pulse that wipes out our entire national electric grid, communications systems, and transportation infrastructure, not to mention our food supply, was more important. How silly to have worried.
Back to Obama. Having reassured the nation of the beneficence of his oversight, with about 150 days in session in the senate on his resume, and no executive experience at all, his campaign rolls down the trail one day later, decrying the VP choice of John McCain as short on experience. (Heads up: she's the Governor of our most energy-strategic state, her trajectory has included almost entirely executive experience, and she has already cleaned up a garbage dump of corruption in her own party...the kind of corruption Sen. Obama simply glanced away from and whistled past in Chicago on his path to political prominence.)
Sarah Palin is inexperienced? No, she's impressive, accomplished, smart, and threatening to every Democrat who didn't expect McCain to play such an ace. And it may be too counterintuitive for them to notice, but when the Obama campaign goes after her for "inexperience," even though their analysis is weak, aren't they actually legitimizing the same criticism of Obama?
Whatever the case, I am sure of this: John McCain, after being tortured for years and locked, bones broken, in dungeons by hideous captors who used every inhuman tactic imaginable to destroy his spirit and crush his dignity, survived with his mind and spirit strong. And then he emerged magnanimous and ready to serve for the next 30 years and more. He would never entertain a grand vision of American greatness that has room on its priority list for that transformative aspiration to "keep our...toys safe.”
What he will entertain, and not over tea with mad dictators, is a successful execution of the security, war, and economic challenges of this perilous moment.
Think about that, as you tuck in your toys.
Breath deep my friends, some real change just blew in. We were all surprised at McCain's pick yesterday of Gov Sarah Palin of Alaska. I mean most of us here in Massachusetts, including myself, were pulling for Gov Mitt Romney to get the nod. I'm not worried about Mitt his credentials and leadership skills are timeless and I suspect we'll see him again.
Palin was a bold choice and she's getting a very warm reception across the country. Sadly, already the media has engaged slings and arrows. If it isn't the media's candidate, boy, they get ugly. Let's give this woman some credit before we tear her apart, shall we:
- she's worked at many levels of government and will bring a thorough understanding of what the Average Joe is suffering these days in terms of jobs and the economy. In fact she doesn't just understand it, she's practically living it. Child with disabilities, mother of 5, hard-working, blue collar husband, two working parents. Washington insiders are pretty insulated from the day to day - her's is a voice we need.
- she's a woman. Why not have the other half of our country equally representive in our highest executive branch? The Democrats haven't cornered the market on making history.
- above all else - she has executive experience. Even if in a shorter dose than some other VP contenders, she has held he title of 'the buck stops here." That's a claim that neither McCain, Obama, or Biden can make.
That's a candidate I'll take "in a heartbeat" any day!
So, welcome Gov. Sarah Palin to the Republican ticket!
I have to admit, I was getting a little down after watching four nights of superbly executed political theatre at the DNC,
I watched Sarah Palin give her debut speech as John McCain's running mate.
I can't get to Saint Paul fast enough.
This is not a woman who brings nothing to the table except her femininity. This is a strong, experienced woman who has been a City Councilor, a Mayor and a Governor. This is a woman who has fought against wasteful spending, against corruption and for energy independence. She hasn't been afraid to and, in fact, feels it's her duty to challenge the status quo. Her leadership is the kind we need at the White House.
So Gov. Sarah Palin will be the Vice Presidential choice. Full disclosure - I'm a little disappointed, as I had backed Gov. Romney for President, let alone Vice President, and I had met Gov. Pawlenty when he came to Boston earlier this year for a Middlesex Club dinner (which was held for 300 on the same night the Globe said the GOP was dead here...). I don't know as much about her, but I'm looking forward to learning.
A few quick thoughts - The Democrats will have a hard time branding her as too inexperienced without calling attention to the experience quotient at the top of their OWN ticket. They'll have trouble branding her as Governor of a state represented by corrupt Republicans in Congress, as she backed the reformer in the GOP Congresional primary - and I'm not sure who won that, as there were only a few votes difference between Don Young and his challanger.
And I'm delighted that a woman will be on the ticket. All the coverage about Sen. Clinton as unique and groundbreaking irked me somewhat, as Sen. Elizabeth Dole had run in 2000 with far better qualifications (2 different Cabinet posts in 2 administrations, national head of the Red Cross, elected Senator in her own right - SHE was the important one when she married Bob Dole!) . Now, the National Federation of Republican Women (there is no similar group for Democratic women) has one of our own at the top of a national ticket.
We'll see if Gov. Palin can slip through one of those millions of cracks in the glass ceiling - or at least get as much attention as Geraldine Ferraro did when she was a Democratic nominee some 24 years ago.
We've left Denver and now have entered Sherwood Forest. Are you kidding me? In watching Obama's speech last night, I just kept asking myself - how? and who's going to pay for all these promises? Was his speech riviting? Sure. Eloquently delivered? Of course. But it would seem that the battle cry is now "steal from the rich,middle class and give to the poor" because there is no way that he can pay for all those promises without raising our taxes.
How in the world will he deliver 95% of working families a tax break? What he didn't say is that most of us will not likely qualify under the Barack definition of "working family."
His socialist slip was also showing last night - telling the world how the government needs to take better care of people. Aaarrgh. The government needs to get OUT of the nanny-state mentality. We already have thousands of people we cannot afford and far too many that need assistance. Lovely thought, Obama, but you got this one wrong.
Also, you claimed that our country's leaders were "distracted" by dealing with the war and the terrorists. Seriously? I'd say that's EXACTLY what our leaders should be doing - defending the people of this nation against countries and people that resent America's prosperity and would see us otherwise destroyed. What would Obama have done - have tea and cookies with the people that were out to kill Americans?
The bottom line is that Obama made change sound good. The problem is that sounding good and doing good are two different things. Being President isn't a scripted show like this convention. In this next term, our President will be charged with getting our country back on track - not making us feel good. Experience, strength, fiscal stewardship and ideas for economic growth will be the requirements for this job.
Those qualities will be on display next week in Minnesota.
Barack Obama gave an impressive speech last night. He spoke about a lot of principles which will help him win moderate independent, blue collar industrial state, and even some Republican votes. His speech was right on target for where he needed to go. Obama is giving Americans hope. Americans want hope. They want optimism. It is why we in Massachusetts voted for both Ronald Reagan and Deval Patrick.
As I watched Obama in front of the Greek Columns, I couldn’t help but think I was actually watching the opening scene of classical Greek tragedy. What all the rhetoric ignores is the practicality of Washington DC. I am sure voters in battleground states will be happy to hear Obama’s call for more natural gas, more clean-coal and more safe nuclear technology investments, tax cuts, higher standards and more accountability in education and the elimination of wasteful programs. The only problem is Obama can not do it by himself, he needs the legislature. There is no way, liberal San Francisco Speaker Nancy Pelosi is going to support these programs. So in the end Obama will not be able to get it done. I’ve seen it before. Here in Massachusetts Deval Patrick campaigned on the same hopeful message including lowering property taxes. Once he took office, Therese Murray and Sal DiMasi blocked every major reform he promised and now Deval Patrick is talking about raising taxes to pay for his programs.
You don’t have to be clairvoyant to see the same thing happening to a very inexperienced junior Senator. While the Clinton enemies list and the outside of Washington sentiment gave Obama the nomination, he can not govern on it. And while Biden will be more help to Obama than Tim Murray is to Patrick. The fact remains, Obama will have a hard time working around Pelosi because he has no experience of working across party lines.
As I look at the ginormous Roman Temple (Or is it the Lincoln Monument? Or the Brandenburg Gate? Or the Goa'uld Temple from Stargate SG-1?) that has been built for Obama in Mile High Stadium, I wondered about its imagery. As long as Barack doesn't show up in a gold laurel wreath, he may be able to use its classical ambiance to enhance his persona - it augurs well, as the saying goes.
But had he been an ancient Roman, a few doves and astrologers would have had something to say. So, I checked to see what Obama's reading is for today, courtesy of Astrology.com:
Obama is a Leo, and his advice for the day is this:
You should continue on your quest to be more mindful of other people, today, by letting someone else in on the perks you have -- share something of yours that is deemed valuable by a coworker or friend, and make sure to do it in a casual way. This is not about them being blown away by how generous you are! It's about you making them understand just how important they are in your life. When you show warmth to someone unexpectedly, it can solidify important bonds between the two of you.
So Barack - be nice to Hillary! The pay-off might surprise you!
What of John McCain? Well, HIS big day, and birthday, are tomorrow, and here's his advice for that day:
When you feel a jolt of social electricity hit you today, go with it. Don't be too rigid and try to figure out why you're feeling this burst of outgoingness, just enjoy it! You're starting to see someone in a whole new light, and chances are that they're starting to see you in a new light as well -- isn't it time that you two planned some alone time together? Go out for coffee or lunch, keeping it light and casual. You're ready to find out what makes them tick
Hmm....things may be looking up for Mitt after all!
The Republican Platform Committee finished a more principled, readable and forward looking platform in-time to let the Delegates watch Bill Clinton at the Democrat Convention. I was amazed about how Bill’s speech seemed to be more about himself and Hillary than Obama. Most notably, Bill pointed out how Republicans ran against him saying he was too inexperienced and not ready to be Commander-in-chief.
He is right, we did. We did because he was. I hope everyone remembers that the first two-years of the Clinton administration were so bad that we elected a Republican majority in congress for the first time in over 40 years. From Somalia to the attacks on the WTC, from the bombings of US embassies in Africa to the attack on the USS Cole Bill Clinton repeatedly failed to take adequate actions as Commander-in-chief to end the threat of terrorism in the United States. The Clinton year’s policies lead us to the horrific attacks of September 11th 2001.
Is Obama ready? No, neither was Bill Clinton.
In Minneapolis, Republican Leader (and future Speaker of the House) John Boehner (OH) came into to talk with the members of the Platform Committee just after we finished our work on the energy section of the platform . We created a tremendous document embracing “all of the above” solutions. By contrast the Democrat platform only references drilling in the United States by talking about where we can not drill. Rep. Boehner told the crowd about the rest of the energy policy coming out of Denver. He reported that Democrat delegates to the Denver convention, worried about American Energy independence, asked San Francisco Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi why Democrats don’t embrace off-shore drilling in the United States. Her response “Why don’t we drill your heads.” Many of my colleagues were aghast at her remarks. I understood Pelosi’s concern; after all you would have to have a lobotomy to embrace her do nothing approach to high energy prices.
After Hillary Clinton’s robust speech last night, I listened to the talking heads for a while, wondering if they heard the same speech. Kristol, Krauthammer, et al felt it was subdued – which I think is nonsense. Over on CNN, a cornpone Jim Carville enthused, “There’s levels to political ability, and you jes’ saw a real, Sandy Koufax major league fastball!” I thought that closer to the mark. He went on to say, “This is a baaad night to be a Republican!”
Actually, it could have been worse – she could have been speaking as a nominee instead of as a failed candidate. Last spring, I wrote, “I loathe Hillary Clinton’s ideas. But everything she says about sexism in politics is true.” The Republicans are capitalizing on this by holding a party in Denver for Hillary supporters. One angry attendee said, “The Obama people haven’t reached out to us at all…THEY should be the ones holding this party!” But the Obama campaign is so staffed with sore winners that they are backtracking on allowing Clinton to have her full due at the convention.
According to the Denver Post, the Obama campaign was trying to get delegates to vote at the delegate hotels instead of on the convention hall floor after Clinton’s name would be formally placed in nomination. Kelly Jacobs, a Mississippi delegate, immediately began a petiton which needs 800 signatures to succeed, to have a formal vote. "That's not what we learned in civics class," Jacobs said. "I could have voted from home...She is our captain. We don't want to see her disrespected." Another Texas delegate, called ‘visibly angry’ by the Post, said, "I came out here by God to vote for her, and I'm going to do it." Indeed, I wouldn’t want to be the staffer telling a woman like Senate President Murray that she’d be clandestinely casting a vote for Hillary so she could lose quietly in order to present a faux display of unanimity of the floor.
Really, it doesn’t matter if this effort is successful or not. The fact that the effort was made is alienating enough. Sen. Clinton upheld her part of the bargain last night, and gave a vivid speech endorsing Obama. It remains to be seen if any courtesy will be returned.
Our Platform Committee Chairman Representative McCarthy-CA explained the Republican platform process by saying, “The best answers are not in Washington, they are out with the people.” He is so right. Before we began our deliberations, we watched dozens of the Youtube videos that were sent in to the committee from all over the country. While we watched videos from prominent Republican thinkers like Michael Steele, Newt Gingrich and Grover Norquist, the best video were from Americans who had never before been on the national stage.
My favorites included videos with great catch phrases. One Youtube contributor who opposed the death tax called for “No taxation without respiration.” We did not forget him when we passed the section on taxes in the economy. Another Youtube contributor concerned about America’s dependence on foreign oil called for us to “move from a green energy policy to a red, white and blue energy policy.” I am sure he will be on our mind when we take up the Energy section this morning.
After twelve hours of deliberations we completed the first two sections of the Republican Platform on the economy and on crime/values. Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour introduced the economy section with an antidote about an Old Miss business professor who told him that our businesses hade three choices; they must “innovate, emigrate or evaporate.” For my part I was able to get through an amendment in the crime and values section. My amendment added language in support of drug education and prevention programs. I was also able to add a friendly amendment in support of adoptive parents. I couldn’t help thinking about my own family and millions of others like ours who struggle with drug addiction and celebrate adoption.
That's what Obama is saying right about now. She just upstaged him and delivered more about his plans for this country than he's told us in the last year. Yikes, and Bill still has yet to take the stage.
It's Christmas for Republicans right now - first Joe Biden as VP pick (is there really anyone out there who thinks he is worth the 3 electoral votes and plagerism rep?) and now yet another contrast, within the Democratic party, of just how little substance Barack Hussain Obama offers to become President...and we still have 2 days to go!
More local, no doctor necessary to confirm Deval Patrick's case of Potomic fever - primetime slot, rumors he's lobbying for Attorney General in Obama administration - bet he's ordering drapes already. Terrific. Ah, together we can.
Michelle Obama certainly gave a rousing speech last night. She spoke of working hard to get ahead and her love of this country. These are sentiments most Americans share.
The speech was undoubtedly written as damage control for her comments months back stating that this was the first time she had ever been "proud" of her country.
Her delivery last night clearly moved the convention goers, but did it move voters?
The first day of Republican Platform deliberations was impressive. The Committee on Resolutions is co-chaired by Representative Kevin McCarthy (CA) and Senator Richard Burr (NC). While it is too early to discuss the substance of the platform, what is clear is that the style will change in order to make this a more readable document. While the last platform was over 41,000 words and 90 pages long, this platform is likely to be half that size. Our goal is to make a shorter, more principled, forward looking document. While we won’t get to the one page document approved by the first Republican Platform Committee, we will make real progress.
I will have a front row seat to the deliberations in the full committee, so look for me on CSPAN. Unlikely to be on CSPAN are the subcommittee proceedings where the hard work is completed. My Subcommittee on Government Reform is chaired by Mark Burkhalter the Speaker Pro Tempore of the Georgia legislature. The dozen subcommittee members are being supported by two great staff members Neil Bradley the policy director for Minority Whip Roy Blount and Bill Gibbon. Bill Gibbon is especially impressive. He has been the chief writer on every Republican Platform since 1980. Bill emphasized how important the platform is saying that while most people do not read the whole platform, millions read sections of the platform in their union halls, in chamber of commerce news letters and in church bulletins. We are what Bill calls “the conscience of the Republican Party.”
The difference between how the Republicans and the Democrats do this is very telling. While the Democrats said they would follow the Republican model and allow online submissions, they never did. To have any input as a grassroots activist in the Democrat party you had to go to one of their regional listening tour stops. When you made your point you never knew if anyone else every heard your concern. The truth is they didn’t, Governor Janet Napolitano who chairs the Democrat Platform Committee turned in the platform before the listening tour was even over. I think most people will be very happy about how the ideas they submitted to the Republican Platform has been incorporated. Especially notable is language about limited government based on constitutional powers which should excite Ron Paul supporters and energize them to work for Sen. John McCain.
I watched the speeches tonight, and will let the Democrats offer their perspective on them. They are proud of their speechmaking. Sen. Kennedy was his inimitable self, always who he is, which made the soft Michele Obama seem off, sort of like Hillary in her headband sixteen years ago - polished and appealing, but not exactly herself.
I noticed a smaller event, which will be overshadowed by the coverage of the opening day. Early on, Michigan and Florida delegates had their full voting rights restored. As political junkies know, both parties threatened sanctions on states who moved their primaries earlier than their chosen cut-off date (which makes no sense to me - why should parties dictate to soverign states, until THEY foot the bill for the elections?). Michigan and Florida, swing states, broke that deadline.
The Democrats were always more draconian in their threats - they threated to also sanction candidates who campaigned in those states, or had their names on the ballot. The GOP did neither. Clinton guessed that the DNC would fold on the campaign sanctions, and they did, so hers was the only name on the Michigan ballot. She and Obama were both on the ballot in Florida.
The GOP immediately decided to sanction the states by cutting the delegates in half. After dithering for months, the Democrats eventually reached the same solution - one half value in Florida. Their problem was the Clinton was the only one on the Michigan ballot, although Michigan primary voters could vote 'None of the Above', and many did. In May, the DNC had a formal meeting to deal with the delegate issue. Since Obama wasn't on the ballot, they decided to apportion the delegates, and actually gave Obama more votes than he could have earned had he appeared on the ballot, more than if he had gotten every undecided vote cast - poor John Edwards and the others were never even considered. The party of 'count every vote' legislated away actual ballot numbers in favor of popularity poll numbers. By eliminating those crucial delegates, they effectively handed Obama the nomination.
The PUMA movement was born in the angry voices of the women in that room.
Today, the DNC quietly restored the full value of those delegates, now that it's too late for Clinton. In the same spirit that created the SuperDelegate class, to ensure that the pesky electorate wouldn't be able to nominate the 'wrong' person, they have now established the precedent of disregarding ballot results in favor of committee opinion.
This election is a historic one – but not for the racial and gender reasons usually cited by reporters. For the first time in fifty-odd years, there was no heir apparent in the form of a President seeking reelection or a Vice President seeking to move up. Both parties fielded ten actual candidates, as well as others that didn’t materialize, and it’s the non-starters that say the most. Condi Rice, Al Gore, Newt Gingrich, Colin Powell – the persistent rumors that they would run which lasted so long says a lot about how people on both sides weren’t satisfied with the candidates that did emerge. But this time, nobody can say they had no choices.
I’ve never been to a National Convention, even though I’ve been active politically for decades. My fondest memory is being a Republican observer in Worcester when the ballot boxes were opened and the votes were laboriously hand counted- for Ronald Reagan. This year, Massachusetts has its best chance of going Republican again, and I’m really looking forward to being part of the process that makes this happen.
This is my first blog entry...EVER.
It's also the first time I will attend a Republican National Convention as a delegate. (I went to Philadelphia in 2000 as a volunteer for the Republican Governor's Association.)
I'm looking forward to both experiences -- blogging during the 2008 conventions AND actually attending the RNC in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Tomorrow, the Democratic National Convention begins in Denver. I'll be watching as much as I can, but I have a feeling my mind will be busy preparing for a week away.
FINALLY this election cycle will be heading into the home stretch.
Still, in a way, it feels as though it's just beginning with Obama picking Biden (Really, Biden?? What happened to "change?") and McCain still not having chosen a VP.
In politics, two weeks is a lifetime. Can't wait to see what happens next!
I leave on Monday for the first night of meetings of the Republican Committee on Resolutions, commonly called the Platform Committee. While democrats are offering mile-high promises in Denver, I and other Republicans will be ironing out an agenda for real change in America. The platform committee is made up of one man and one woman elected by the delegation of every state and territory. National Committee Woman Jody Dow of Brookline and I represent Massachusetts.
While we may be approving the final draft of the platform, building it has been a grassroots exercise. For three months Americans sent over 10,000 video and text submissions to our committee on www.gopplatform2008.com. The delegates serving on the Platform Committee are divided up to work on different pieces of the platform. For example, I am assigned to serve on the subcommittee on “Reforming Government to Serve the People.” This subcommittee is responsible for government reform and spending, including fiscal responsibility and the federal budget, limited government, entitlement reform, domestic disaster response, and related issues. I can’t wait to get started.