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April 08, 2008

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he may have been underprepared for the fall campaign by his charmed life as a national press favorite.

The implication is that he won't be leading the charmed life of a national press favoite in the general election, and I'll believe that when I see it.

So much wrong.

To say that Obama has not been prepared for the fall campaign is ludicrous. No of the remaining candidates has been treated as harshly as he has.

And once again, I wish people would stop saying he promised to take public financing. He never did.

Concernong McCain, I think he is the weakest presidential candidate since Dukakis. In fact, he may be even worse than that.

I think we have to hope that McCain got lucky in the primaries as you suggest. My concern is that his success has more to do with the well-crystallized image the American public has of him than anything else.

He was terrible in the GOP debates. Absolutely terrible. I wouldn't expect much better in the presidential debates. The concern is that it might not matter, because people are going to see and hear what they want to with McCain. Sadly, low-information voters constitute a significant portion of the electorate.

Just as a personal thing, I'd prefer see someone else than Kaus getting credit for good ideas. Kaus is a vile liar and spreader of completelty untested gossip, and I find it hard to believe he ever has a uniquely true insight. Were I tempted to quote him, I'd search to find someone less malevolent and destructive making the same point.

Just to repeat a point that rea made. Obama never promised to take public financing. He promised to discuss taking public financing if the reThug did as well, and as long as they agreed to a level playing field. Given the gazillions of $$ going to RW 527s, Obama agreeing to public financing at this point would be tantamount to surrender.

And, on a larger point, have we ever seen a candidate who was more publically financed, with small dollar donors, than Obama?

We all know that you can't elect someone President who is prone to troubling gaffes and is a terrible speaker. You must be misunderestimating the Americun pipple. Of course, merely not getting the most votes doesn't mean you won't get to be President.

OT—
“A bar association that disbars Matthew Diaz and leaves Yoo and Haynes free to practice is fundamentally corrupt.”
From Scott Horton today. (h/t Atrios)
Anything stirring in the legal world around this?

No matter how often it is repeated Obama can't seem to get ahead of mccain's lies on the whole "campaign public financing" thing. Obama needs to come out now and say firmly "John McCain has gamed public financing in such a way as to make a joke out of the entire system. He's taken public money under false pretenses or he's taken private money and used the promise of public money as a phony line of credit. He's trampled on the rules and spat in the faces of taxpayers. He's in no position to dictate to me how I finance my run for the presidency. If he and the press are interested, however, the millions of small donors and everyday people who have chosen me to fight for their interests *are* public financing at its best. I don't need to dip into taxpayer funds because I'll have enough to fight for taxpayers without gouging them." Lather, rinse, repeat. Obama can't squelch the repeated media invocation of the imaginary pledge but he can use the momentary platform the "obama responds" thing gives him to hammer mccain and make him look bad.

aimai

I read an article yesterday that said that mccain does best among those who know the least about him. The ones who know his history -- fought in vietnam, pow -- and little else. They may or may not have heard he is a "maverick" but don't really know what that means. The more you know of mccain the less attractive he is. That's why I want the general to start, so the mccain exposure will increase.


Just as a personal thing, I'd prefer see someone else than Kaus getting credit for good ideas. Kaus is a vile liar and spreader of completelty untested gossip, and I find it hard to believe he ever has a uniquely true insight. Were I tempted to quote him, I'd search to find someone less malevolent and destructive making the same point.

I'd like to echo this comment of Bruce's in the strongest possible terms. If Kaus is the only source you can find for some juicy piece of political gossip, then take the high road and let it go. Kaus quite literally makes my skin crawl with revulsion - which doesn't automatically make anything he says wrong, it just means that if it is right you should be able to find a better source.

He married rich like Kerry. Used his service to trade for a job in Congress and won't leave.

He was tortured because his dad was in th army or whatever too.

He is a government employee and that is how he makes money.

publius: "the $4 million is particularly crappy given that it includes direct mail."

The $4 million, and any other money he raises before the Democratic primary race is finalized, is gravy for him, unlike Clinton and Obama who will continue to spend all their money hand over fist in the open primaries, McCain gets to keep what he raises for the head-to-head presidential race. And when that starts, it's neive to assume won't be able to raise enough to compete.

Jake: "Sadly, low-information voters constitute a significant portion of the electorate."

Ah, another voice of righteous elitism.

Chaos Theory tells us the more information you add to a system, the more unstable and unreliable it becomes… In other words, smart-asses tend to make more mistakes than dumb-asses. The Obama geek-flaw in action.

john miller: " Concernong McCain, I think he is the weakest presidential candidate since Dukakis."

Actually, Obama is the most Dukakis-like presidential candidate since Dukakis: Zorba the Clerk = Obama the Wonk. Dukakis in a military helmut in a tank = Obama in a muslim robe and turban in Kenya. In the general election, Dukakas 'sweeps' Hawaii and Rhode Island = Obama projection: ditto. Overall Dukakis got creamed = Obama, most likely the same.

Unless some momentous unexpected event occurs, Obama will stroll to the White House. The ongoing nomination battle should be manna from heaven for McCain, but so far he has completely failed to take advantage of the opportunity to define himself, define his opposition, or shore up his own organisation, base and fund raising. He's simply a poor candidate. Not surprising really, as imploding parties in power in any country tend to put up a lousy candidate.

People admire and sympathise with McCain, but that will make little difference when he's put up against Obama. Obama won't go negative, so people won't feel bad about not voting for the aging war hero who's clearly out of date, deluded on Iraq, and not offering answers to economic problems.

In a change election, the aging crank loses, end of story. The democratic nomination battle is so intense because it really looks like it is the presidential election.

aimai: "Obama can't squelch the repeated media invocation of the imaginary pledge..."

Obama's own 'imagination' was certainly in favor of it back in Feb, 2007...

Here...

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 - Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, issued an unusual challenge to his rivals on Wednesday. He proposed a voluntary agreement between the two major party nominees that would limit their fund-raising and spending for the general election.

And here...

"But Mr. Obama, campaigning on pledges to clean up politics, argued in his filing with the commission that the public financing system had insulated candidates from a corrupting dependence on big donors. He asserted that the system could be preserved for the general election through bipartisan agreement if party nominees returned early contributions."

And in his own words... here, in his filing to the Federal Election Commission on Feb 1, 2007:

"Should both major party nominees elect to receive public funding, this would preserve the public financing system, now in danger of collapse, and facilitate the conduct of campaigns freed from any dependence on private fund-raising,"

In other words, Mr. Morality was in favor of a spending 'truce' before the big bucks started to roll in.

"In a change election, the aging crank loses, end of story."

It's way too soon to gauge the outcome. Current polls show McCain is competitive in all the important swing states.

The lack of fund raising by the Republicans is another sign that they will shortly become irrelevant to the political process.

The better question is what will the U.S. be like as a one party state with the Democratic primary being the only real election. Will the Democrats move their congressional primaries to August or September who there will not be anymore replays of Albert Wynn leaving office six months early instead of being a lame duck for a year.

In other words, Mr. Morality was in favor of a spending 'truce' before the big bucks started to roll in.

Exactly! He has always been in favor of working with his opponent to craft an agreement that will make public financing work fairly. He has never promised, as Kaus implied, to accept public financing without such an agreement.

"The lack of fund raising by the Republicans is another sign that they will shortly become irrelevant to the political process."

We'll see. Right now there is no pressing need for McCain to raise a bunch of money, nor for conservatives to open their wallets. When the eventual Democratic nominee and conservative nominee go head to head we'll know better what kind of monetary support McCain (and the Democratic nominee) will enjoy.

Should both major party nominees elect to receive public funding

Jay can't even understand his own post. This says that one party is NOT constrained if the other party choses not to receive public funding. Only if McCain choses public funding would Obama be bound by this statement.

Heh! JJ's chaos theory comment almost made me sputter organic soda all over the upholstry of my Prius (don't worry, I'm not driving at the moment).

And yes, Obama is exactly like Dukakis, Jay. Low-information, indeed!

Thanks for the advice, but I'll be siding with the smartasses on this one. At my peril, I'm sure.

To say that Obama has not been prepared for the fall campaign is ludicrous. No of the remaining candidates has been treated as harshly as he has.

Not even close. The hatchet job that's been done on Hillary Clinton has been incredible. McCain's gotten the kidliest of kid gloves, and Obama has taken his lumps, but Clinton has been under a constant barrage of sexism and misogyny in the press for the last year at least. It's amazing she's as close as she is.

Media darling was spot on. How else do you completely neglect the fact that McCain's purported strength is really a weakness. Time and again he has demonstrated his complete ignorance of the situation on the ground in Iraq, all the while uttering empty Bushian platitudes about staying until the job is done. His conflation of AQI with Iran was glossed over as a senior moment by George Will. What was completely igniored was how he demonstrated it again by yapping about supporting democracy in Iraq as a buffer from Iran. Considering just about every Shia faction in Iraq's government has been reaching out to Iran, some accepting ordinance and assistance from Quds, Johnnie's Senior moments are the rule and not the exception. Time to face the fact that Bush not only opened the door to AQI but eliminated the one true buffer from Iranian influence. it will be interesting to see what new spawn of Iraqi style extremism rises out of the ashes of this disaster and that John McCain will extend it should he come to power.

Chaos Theory tells us the more information you add to a system, the more unstable and unreliable it becomes…
I know, Gromit. Love your work with W btw.
JJ, while frequently confused, I seem to be less so than yourself here. Throwing memes around without knowing how to handle them works against pretensions to mastery.

Incertus: Do you regard her campaign as well-run? If so, to what do you ascribe its apparent lapses? And if not, do you see Sen. Clinton as not implicated in mismanagement and poor judgment?
And if you care to; I’m sure it would raise some interesting issues were you to compare and contrast your assessment of the the conduct characterizing the two campaigns.

felix,
No, I don't see her campaign as having been particularly well run, but that's irrelevant here. I'm talking about the constant drumbeat of misogynistic coverage that's come from cable news, particularly from Fox (which one would expect) and from MSNBC, which one would expect given that Chris Matthews has such influence there. Clinton's been called a she-devil on one of their Sunday talk shows, for crying out loud, and had horns put on her head. I thought that sort of thing only happened on The Simpsons. And that's just one example off the top of my head.

So the coduct of her campaign, how well run it is, all of that is really irrelevant to this discussion. The media has not bashed either McCain or Obama to the degree they've gone after her, and it's not even close. The little amount of flap Obama got for Jeremiah Wright doesn't come close to evening the score.

Ditto Incertus's comments, with the addition that Obama is currently the antiHillary, and once (if) she's gone, the press will turn on him like rabid wolverines. McCain could win this thing, easily.

I disagree with the latter part of your comment Geoduck. Yes, Obama will come in for some greater criticism, but the media won't be able to go whole-hog on him because they're more sensitive to charges of racial bias than they are gender discrimination. Plus, no matter how much the press tries to fluff McCain, in the end he's still a continuation of Bush, and people aren't being fooled into thinking otherwise. The war alone is going to make him lose. Two years ago I was saying that the winner of this election will be the candidate who can convince the largest number of people that the withdrawal will begin Jan. 21, 2009, and I stand by that prediction.

Incertus: I won’t hesitate to agree on that point, the Fox/Matthews axis of deplorable scorn. What people are talking about when they speak the word entertainment with a sneer.
I’d add a plus in front of yours, as a second point of three. I think, I certainly hope, that he simply is pretty unstained, and imagine the main attack will be on his freshness and lack of preparation for the challenges ahead. It will take a brilliance he hasn’t yet shown— and I don’t mean an intellectual or rhetorical brilliance— a brilliance in reaching even further beyond boundaries still in place; of which race appears to be the most challenging.

Effectively smearing Obama will be quite a juggling act since most lines of attack are mutually exclusive ("don't vote for that anti-semitic jewish, islamic Hindu, that is remote-controlled by a fringe Christian preacher" is unlikely to fly with too many in swing states.). The trick will be to keep the contradictory memes separate for the different target audiences.
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What's the bet that there will be uncorroborated (i.e. whole cloth) stories about Obama having extramarital affairs (given that there were already some trial balloons to accuse him of being a child molester)?

Effectively smearing Obama will be quite a juggling act since most lines of attack are mutually exclusive

RNC 2004: several thousand Republicans who would have complained on a kneejerk about damned lefties attacking Vietnam veterans, all wearing "purple heart bandaids" to mock a decorated Vietnam veteran for his service, and no one in the mainstream media in the US points out the shiny, shiny irony.

I really don't think that the contradictory attacks on Obama are going to be much of a problem.

This is whey I wish Hillary Clinton would withdraw now that she's basically mathematically eliminated. August to November is not enough time to change the story about McCain. The Dems need to attack him NOW.

Obama is trying, with no help at all from Clinton, but he can't fight a two-front war.

Oh please, trilobite. Two weeks is enough to change the story about McCain if the story is good enough. August to November is more than enough time given the raw material we have to work with.

Obama is certainly more successful at attacking Clinton than attacking McCain. But when he attacks Clinton, he has the whole of the mainstream media on his side and half the liberal blogosphere as well as all the right-wing blogosphere. When he attacks McCain, he's only got the liberal blogosphere on his side.

If he can't run a successful campaign against McCain on those terms, then he never will be able to. Since it will be exactly the same for him if/when he becomes the candidate, only worse, because Clinton won't be available as a stalking-goat: he'll be faced with all the enemies who preferred to attack Clinton.

It's possible that negative campaigning against McCain is not the way to go, if Obama's just not that good at it and yet comes across well when taking on the kind of Swiftboating that we know the Republican campaign will have in store for him.

This is a different kettle of fish.
A very accomplished McCain commercial. With this kind of thing, his winning is not a stretch. Horning in effectively on the message that Obama has owned.

That ad made me sick to my stomach, and if Sullivan actually believes that that ad is an indication that McCain's campaign or his surrogates won't be pulling a Rove in October, then he's even more simple-minded than I took him for, and that's a high bar to clear.

I thought it was a lousy ad. Far too wordy, and the words sounded like the announcer swallowed a thesaurus. Also, it rambled. Also, it sounded like an answer to something, and I have no idea to what, since nobody was attacking McCain. Also, it's gonna make McCain look even stupider when they play it intercut with his next on-camera explosion.

Feeling better about the general election right now.

At the very least, that ad was four times longer than it could possibly get away with, and felt like it was twelve times longer than that.

At thirty seconds, and with less sugar, a revised version might do... something or other. I'm not really sure what, to be sure, but it wouldn't drive people away, screaming, and that would be an improvement, it seems to me.

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