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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Quick Hits on Presidential Politics

After a much needed week off, I'm back to recap the week that was.

Love Triangle: Conservatives, John McCain, and Vicki Iseman
Famously, the New York Times "broke" a story last week that implicated John McCain as having improper romantic relations with Vicki Iseman, a Washington lobbyist, before his run at the 2000 Republican nomination. The story was published with anonymous sources. A hard connection was never made. McCain blasted the story as disingenuous and bad journalism, which it was. Eventually even the New York Times Ombudsmen considered the story unfair and irresponsible.

Ultimately, the questionable relationship was lost as a story and no one is talking about it anymore. However, the process story had two tangible effects, both positive for McCain.

1. Conservatives had two sides to choose when the story hit. They could defend the New York Times or they could defend John McCain. After all their big talk about McCain being a Republican In Name Only, they took his side against their arch enemy of the print industry. From "Some of the loudest voices of the modern conservative movement -- Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Gary Bauer, -- flogged the Times while hardly pausing to consider the underlying facts of the story. Immediately, almost reflexively, these commentators assumed the worst motives and behavior by The Times and accepted McCain’s bland yet broad denials." It was one of the earliest steps of the inevitable McCain-conservative media healing process before they get unite nearly 100% for the general election.

2. Similarly, John McCain uses conservative venom for The New York Times to have his greatest fundraising request since becoming the presumptive nominee. Recent reports have this being a successful financial week for McCain.

Hillary Clinton's Schizophrenia
Talk about desperate. (More on this tomorrow.)

Barack Obama's Steadiness
Talk about confident. (More on this tomorrow.)

Mike Huckabee Lampoons Mike HuckabeeIf you missed it, Mike Huckabee caricatured himself on SNL, poking fun of his "I don't know math but I do know miracles" shtick, as well as his maintained stance of staying in the race until McCain officially has the majority of delegates. He probably has no shot to be the Vice-Presidential nominee now that McCain will not need his delegates. Therefore, Huckabee is playing the "career-after" card, hoping to become famous enough to live off of television appearances and the speech circuit until he retires.

Ralph Nader Declares
Stop the presses! Ralph Nader is running for President... for the third time in three elections. Unfortunately for Nader, he can never hope to top his 2.88 million votes, which was 2.7% of the vote from 2000, when liberal Democrats forgot what a close election was like. Although the media and most Democrats blow Nader's impact out of proportion (on a list of ranked reasons why Gore lost that election, Nader would not be in the top 5), it is difficult to argue against this simple statement: If Nader was not on the Florida ballot, Gore would have taken the state and the election.

Since then, Nader has been a punching bag for both parties, which probably explains why he could care less about affecting the general election. If 2004 (465,000 votes; .38% of the vote) was any cue for 2008, Democrats have learned their lesson and Nader will not earn many votes, especially in swing states.

Still, everyone should lay off Nader in 2000. Everyone has the right to run. Gore stole votes from Nader, too.

Pundits Discuss John McCain's VP PossibilitiesJohn McCain is still waiting on earning the majority of delegates before finalizing (or revealing) his choice for the Republican Vice-Presidential nomination. All media outlets are on the speculating daily, apparently unaware that I beat them to it on Valentine's Day.

Clinton Slipping in All Polls
Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, nationally. All polls. (More on this tomorrow, too.)

The Democrats Debate
The 21st and probably final Democratic debate was the biggest blowout of them all. (Tomorrow, I say! Tomorrow! See you then.)


Eric said...

Good to have you back

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