the case for

John and Sarah

Your crotchety grandfather and your cool aunt.
They make the party more interesting.
But do you really want them running the family?

And yet, I am cautiously optimistic about Sarah Palin. She’s a gamble, but McCain strikes me as a high risk / high reward kind of guy. Time will tell if she has the gravitas to be VP or if she’s a lightweight in the Dan Quayle mold. Either way, I am suddenly looking forward to the Vice Presidential debate with her and Biden.


Not the Best Week Ever

With the announcement of Joe Biden as his running mate (which I correctly predicted by the way), I am sure Barack Obama is breathing a sigh of relief. Last week was not a good week for him, and I bet he’s looking forward to the convention this week. Let’s recap the week that was for Obama:

Last Saturday was the Saddleback Forum. He did well, but McCain did fabulously. A lot of undecided McCain voters made their decision.

As the Sunday shows dissected the Saddleback Forum, Obama’s performance at Saddleback got panned. He seemed to avoid hard questions (“that’s above my pay grade”) while McCain came off as principled and precise. And, by criticizing Clarence Thomas, he opened himself up more to questions of his own experience.

The bad news continued when Vanity Fair published a story about Obama’s brother George, living in a shack in Kenya. So much for all that “least of these” talk at the Saddleback Forum.

The week went on with lots of bad press about the Saddleback Forum, his brother, and falling poll numbers. On Wednesday, news came that Obama was close to or had already chosen his running mate. He was going to send out a text message making the announcement.

When would that happen? Wednesday? No. Thursday? No. Friday? No. Any of these days would have stopped the wave of bad news and changed the subject. Instead, the bad press continued. And it was joined by the stories about how Obama dissed Hillary and her 18 million voters.

Finally, he made his announcement (which got leaked to the press before the text message went out) on Saturday morning as the Olympics were ending. People don’t pay attention to the news on Saturday. And they don’t pay attention to the news when the Olympics are much more interesting.

The week ended with McCain holding a 5 point lead in the polls.

Obama hopes that the convention will mean change for his campaign. But half of the convention is dominated by the Clintons. His hope might be a little audacious.


Bad Branding

As the Democrats begin their convention, a theme has emerged. They are going to try to paint a McCain presidency as a third term of George W. Bush. While this is an understandable strategy, I think it is bound to fail. Anyone who has paid even a little bit of attention to American politics in the last 10 years knows that there is a stark difference in the approach and policies of Bush and McCain. Beyond that, it’s not a secret that the two of them don’t even really like each other personally. McCain is not Bush, and it’s a big mistake for Democrats to sell Americans short by not being more honest about their opponent. There are reasons not to vote for John McCain. This is not one of them.


Undecided No More?

Since the day Rudy dropped out of the race for president, I have been officially undecided. It has been a strange place for me to be. But I have honestly been on the fence about Senators Obama and McCain. I think Rick Warren’s fantastic forum on CNN tonight has tipped me off the fence.

I’m sure I’ll have a lot more to write about this, but for tonight, let me just say, Thanks, Rick. You’re the man.

Backhanded Compliments Are the New Negative

I am kind of a sarcastic guy. Sarcasm makes me laugh. That’s why John McCain’s new web-ads are cracking me up.

When we think negative political ads, we think of the grainy black and white shot that makes the opponent look like he was just caught in a compromising position with a goat. When we think of negative political ads, we don’t typically think of highlighting the opponent’s immense popularity. But that is exactly what John McCain’s new ads do.

One refers to Barack Obama as the biggest celebrity in the world. The other portrays Obama in a neo-messianic light. They are both designed to capitalize on the impending backlash over the media’s continuous Obamagasm. And while he’s been criticized for them, they made me like John McCain a little more than a did a week ago.

I don’t know if this passive aggressive style is going to last through the campaign, but it has kept me interested during the dog days of July. That can’t be all bad, right?

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