Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sarah Palin?

The choice has received nearly universal acclaim from conservative talking heads, but I suspect that is due more to the fact that the choice of Palin meant McCain didn't choose Lieberman or Ridge. Karl Rove's response was tepid and probably more representative of campaign professionals response to McCain's choice. He said it was "pure McCain being McCain." Not exactly high praise from the Turd Blossom.

No doubt Palin has an interesting Horatio Alger story, but as Maurren Dowd pointed out on the NYT's opinion page, you might expect in more in a made for TV movie on Lifetime than you would in the midst of a national political campaign.

Putting aside whether her political experience "qualifies" her for the job, I suspect that she will very soon realize that she's out of her depth. Irrespective of the low regard we have for our permanent political class, most have acquired considerable skills in handling the challenges of 24 hour media and a grueling campaign/money raising grind. While I'm more than willing to take a wait and see approach for the moment, I confess to having serious doubts as to whether she will ultimately prove to be up for the challenge.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Cubs Win!!

Dempster's 15th win, nice recovery from yesterday's debacle. How isit that I failed to realize until today that Dempster's in a contract year.

BIden -VP

Obama names Biden, IMHO a prudent choice, a long political jacket, foreign policy cred and a clever, loquacious attack dog. The potential downside is Joe's proclivity to speak openly, and not infrequently inartfully. Senator Joe's a bright, good guy by virtually everyone in DC's estimation.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

McCain Surges

For the first time McCain leads in the national likely voters Zogby poll. Not good for Obama. Thus far, Obama has done a poor job of addressing the "readiness" issue. Admittedly, Obama was on vacation last week ceding the stage to McCain, moreover the Russia/Georgia crisis clearly cuts to McCain's advantage. McCain is also benefitting from large ad spends by his campaign. This spending is necessitated by the McCain campaign decision to accept federal campaign funds. The acceptance of the federal campaign funds comes with the imposition of spending limits. Thus, McCain is forced to spend monies in excess of the mandated limits prior to being formally named as the Republican presidential candidate.

Obama's decision to forego federal campaign money means no such limits apply to his post-nomination spending. This decision was made due to the campaign's $300 million war chest. Reports are out today that the campaign has just made a large media buy.

Despite the foregoing, Obama still enjoys an electoral vote lead based upon recent polling, but some erosion of Obama support is evident. What is clear to me is that the Obama campaign is mired in a rope-a-dope strategy and as September nears, the campaign needs to find its footing. The McCain campaign, on the other hand, will definitely be invigorated by the polling.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Obama chillin' in Hawaii, McCain flailing and searching for a theme - VP guessing game continues - yawn!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Summer 2008 Slips Away

A busy summer is all but over, school starts soon and I always seem to benefit from a burst of energy and enthusiasm. The presidential campaign is about to move into high gear, although I have to say that since McCain and Obama have gotten the nods from their respective parties, it's been a yawn fest.

The economy is weak, housing is atrocious (and not yet at a bottom despite what your local knucklehead realtor tells you), energy costs are up significantly (despite recent reversals), yet both candidates seem unwilling or unable to discuss the issues intelligently. They both offer warmed-over drivel straight from each candidates respective party archives.

The fact that Obama's lead is meager is troubling for his supporters given the pitiful state of the national Republican party. McCain benefits from the failure of the Obama campaign to present a relevant, coherent message. The body politic is uncomfortable with current circumstances. McCain is viewed as a "safe" choice and benefits from geopolitical and economic uncertainties.

That said, the Obama campaign is in much better shape from an electoral perspective (the only oe that really counts) where he enjoys sizable lead. That lead may ebb with gas prices if Obama is unable to firmly his bona fides as a ready and viable leader. Enough base populism, he must show himself able to adjust to circumstances as they presently exist. While the Bush tax cuts appear virtually certain to expire given the fact that the Democrats will enjoy significant margins in both the House and the Senate, such inaction will likely have a deleterious impact on the economy. In the same breath, the expiration of the tax cuts will likely result in increased federal revenue in 2009 as transactions are accelerated into 2009 in order to benefit from lower rates.
The other side is that revenues in 2010 and 2011 will be reduced.

The election still appears to be Obama's to lose, but at this point I am wholly uninspired by both campaigns;