The Jaker

Mostly rational politics, with occasional rants about how a few crazy Republicans are ruining the country.

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Monday, February 25, 2008
Am I the only one...
... who does NOT think spending $1,200 at Dunkin Donuts in one month is ridiculous for a national presidential campaign? That's only $40 a day, and for how many people???

The real ridiculous expenditure is Mark Penn collecting millions of dollars in fees for a terribly run campaign that is always 3 or 4 moves behind their "less experienced" competition.
posted by CB @ 12:52 PM   0 comments
Friday, February 08, 2008
Peggy Noonan says it best
It's not often that I give a shoutout to a Republican pundit writing in the Wall Street Journal, but Peggy Noonan gets it exactly right on Hillary versus Obama.

It's the last paragraph that really makes me worried that we might screw this up:

The Democrats continue not to recognize what they have in this guy. Believe me, Republican professionals know. They can tell.

The full section:

He is the brilliant young black man as American dream. No consultant, no matter how opportunistic and hungry, will think it easy--or professionally desirable--to take him down in a low manner. If anything, they've learned from the Clintons in South Carolina what that gets you. (I add that yes, there are always freelance mental cases, who exist on both sides and are empowered by modern technology. They'll make their YouTubes. But the mad are ever with us, and this year their work will likely stay subterranean.)

With Mr. Obama the campaign will be about issues. "He'll raise your taxes." He will, and I suspect Americans may vote for him anyway. But the race won't go low.

Mrs. Clinton would be easier for Republicans. With her cavalcade of scandals, they'd be delighted to go at her. They'd get medals for it. Consultants would get rich on it.

The Democrats have it exactly wrong. Hillary is the easier candidate, Mr. Obama the tougher. Hillary brings negative; it's fair to hit her back with negative. Mr. Obama brings hope, and speaks of a better way. He's not Bambi, he's bulletproof.

The biggest problem for the Republicans will be that no matter what they say that is not issue oriented--"He's too young, he's never run anything, he's not fully baked"--the mainstream media will tag them as dealing in racial overtones, or undertones. You can bet on this. Go to the bank on it.

The Democrats continue not to recognize what they have in this guy. Believe me, Republican professionals know. They can tell.
posted by CB @ 1:16 PM   1 comments
Friday, February 01, 2008
Debate Review
Here are my takeaways from last night's Clinton-Obama debate:

1. It was great for the Party. Watching a Democratic debate so soon after a Republican debate, it is so striking to me that the Democrats are the adults in the political landscape, talking about the real issues facing the country, and having substantive arguments on policy and vision, rather than sniping about people's records, etc. Last night both candidates showed they can talk smartly about policy. And gave the GOP nothing that can be used against them in the general.

2. I went in thinking Obama needed to do really well, and hope for some Clintonian ugliness, to really capture the momentum going into Tuesday. I think he did quite well - perhaps just slightly missing a few opportunities to be really likeable and Presidential - and Hillary was also good, not giving Obama many openings. So all in all it probably doesn't change much, but I think Obama should be helped by this performance.

3. I actually thought Obama won the argument on a number of issues: on healthcare, i think he hammered home a couple times that Clinton hasn't said (and still didn't say) how she would punish those who don't buy coverage. I think he very clearly won the Iraq issue, saying he would be "right from Day One", and Wolf helped him out by pressing Clinton to admit her vote was a mistake. And I thoguht he did excellently with the Obama/Clinton Clinton/Obama question.

4. Obama may suffer from the way he frames issues. He tends to not resort to the old talking points, instead framing things in a new way and putting a different spin on issues. That may be effective for the very educated and well-read Democrats, but those who don't spend as much time following the race may react better to the traditional party talking points that Hillary is much more likely to espouse.

5. Obama seems to me to already be articulating very good general election arguments against McCain. So not only does it seem to me that Obama's record and personality stack up much better against McCain, but he also seems to have already very adeptly crafted the message. The Straight Talk Express has lost some wheels remark was great. This shows he's no political novice.

6. I think there's a chance some people will vote for Clinton in hopes that she puts Obama on her ticket.

Going into Super Tuedsay, as I see it right now Hillary is ahead. But it seems clear that it's not going to be decided on Tuesday. Obama should hope to get 45-50% delegates to her 50-55%, and have that be spun as a major win having come from so far behind in many of the states.
posted by CB @ 8:00 AM   0 comments

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