The Republican Veep

What’s up with Sarah Palin?  The Democrats did not pick Tim Kaine in part because his electoral experience was Richmond City Council, Mayor of Richmond and not quite 3 years as governor of Virginia.  Sound a lot like Palin’s resume.  This is the woman that John McCain picked – at age 72 – to sit a hearbeat away fromt the Presidency?  At least Tim speaks Spanish and has lived in Latin America.

This reminds me a lot of the Dan Quayle pick.  Of course, maybe I don’t want to think about that too much as that worked – or at least didn’t hurt the Republicans.  And reports are that she’s on tape saying she really didn’t want to be vice president because she didn’t know what a vice president did (!).  She also under investigation for corrpution in Alaska.

I think this is a cynical move to curry favor with the religious right and maybe some Clinton supporters.  I hope the Bill and Hillary have made it clear enough that John McCain and now Sara Palin stand in opposition for everything Hillary was fighting for during the primaries.

The Last Night of the Convention

I was just too tired last night to write anything and having overslept a little this morning had to haul myself to work.  But Barak Obama’s speech was all anyone could ask for.  Tough, full of specifics and Presidential.  The policy parts reminded me of a state of the union address.  And he went right back at John McCain.

I had been one of the skeptics about using a stadium.  Was it over the top?  Would it be partially empty?  No on both counts.  I disagree with some critics that the ordinary people who came out and spoke about their problems and why they are supporting Obama were too much like a telethon.  The best line was “I’m Barney Smith, not Smith Barney.”  The only grip I had was the lack of close-ups of the Obama family and then of the united Obama-Biden family at the end.  They seems really far awy on TV.

It is time to get to work to get Obama elected.

Can we win?

Day 3 is over.  Can I be hopeful now?  The parade of veterans: the first African American Sergeant Major, a retired Admiral, a retired general and Tammy Duckworth.  Joe Biden – and the clear endorsement of a former President who has been there.   In my mind, Bill Clinton has redeemed himself and reminded me why I campaigned and voted for him.

It is really hard to take in the fact that we have nominated a mixed heritage, African American to be President.  I was 16 and sitting with my feet in the reflecting pool when I heard Martin Luther King (to be honest I was move impressed that day by John Lewis) talk about his dream.  And now it is coming true.

Life is good – and the Red Sox beat the Yankees.

Hillary’s Three Point Shot

The game is tied.  The clock is ticking down.  Hillary Clinton has the ball.  She shoots.  Yes!  Three points!

All the talk and speculation can end now. “No way. No how. No McCain.”  She also asked her supporters if they were in it for just for her or for who she stands for.  After her speech any of her supporter who does not support Obama is either not a Democrat or has a mental illness.  Hilliary gave the speech of her life on Women’s Equality Day.  She was not known for making the “big speech”, but there was nothing awkward or forced last night.  She was forceful and clear about who she supported and why.  You go, Girl!  Bill and Joe have a lot to live up to tonight.

And on to other convention news:  Mitt Romney was evidently on the floor duing Deval Patricks’s speech.  No one can tell me that it was accidental.  The absentee governor trying, unsuccessfully, to take the spotlight from the first Massachusetts governor in a dozen years who is actually governing.  Romney is the governor who went out of state and made fun of the state of which he was the elected governor.  Will he actually be McCain’s pick?  Can’t wait for more “dog on the roof of the car” jokes and more tape of his illegal immigrants working in his yard.

Media Coverage

I noticed an interesting statistic in Frank Rich’s column on Sunday http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/24/opinion/24rich.html?_r=1&oref=slogin which I just got around to reading last night.

But as Geroge Mason University’s Center for Media and Public Affairs documented in its study of six weeks of TV new reports this summer, Obamas’s coverage was 28 percent positive and 72 percent negative. (For McCain, the split was 43/57.))

I think this is in part because the TV continually reports on McCain’s advertisments which are increasingly negative. (Hey, John. What happened to your positive campaign?)  The pundits also fail to point out McCain’s falsehoods and flip-flops.  As I have written before when is the mainstream media going to report on Cindy McCain’s money and lies about her family?  (someone other than the New York Times, that is. ) I guess the humanitarian trip to Georgia is supposed to soften her image somehow.

Eric Alterman has some good things to say on this subject in The Nation. http://www.thenation.com/blogs/campaignmatters/348595

I keep hoping the media coverage of the Obama/Biden ticket will take a positive turn which will, I trust, lift the polls.

Michelle Obama

I’m with Keith Oberman on this one.  Wow!   So, Cindy McCain, what do you say now?  (I know Mrs. McCain is on a humanitarian trip to Georgia.  I’d love to know if she has ever done anything like this before.)

The biographies of both Michelle and Barak are so compelling and seeing her on stage with the two girls talking to their father who was appearing by remote television was just wonderful.  The girls are cute and bright and obviously in love with their parents.  I loved Shasha taking the mike and saying, “What city are you in, Daddy?”

I just don’t understand why people, ordinary Americans, might not elect this man and this familiy to the White House.  How could anyone have looked at the stage last might and wondered if they were American enough, ordinary enough to relate?

We have a Ticket

The wait is finally over and Joe Biden is the man.  While I’m disappointed that the pick wasn’t either Bill Richardson or my old friend, Tim Kaine, I understand exactly why Obama picked Biden.  Yesterday all the buzz both at the office and socializing after was about the pick.  I said that I was sure that it was going to be Biden.  I thought Evan Bayh was too conservative and Tim Kaine too inexperienced and that Hillary had too much baggage.  Too bad I didn’t place any bets. 

Watching the Springfield rally today, I realized Biden could play the role that Obama can’t play and still appear “Presidential”.  Biden can go on the attack and link McCain to W and and the wrong direction of the country.  I’m not sure any of the other potentials could do this with the same experience base, the same familiarity with McCain. I think he shores up the Democratic base but I’m still not sure that he can bring along white voters who can’t bring themselves to vote for a black man. 

I know there are a lot of questions about whether Biden can “stay on message” with his history of rambling and putting his foot in his mouth.  I heard one comment (sorry can’t remember who but it on one thousand panelists on MSMBC – maybe John Harwood) that remarks like the Biden’s about not being able to go into a convenience store without hearing an Indian accent might solicit a nod of agreement among those who don’t worry about being politically correct, that they might look at it as just a statement of fact.

But in my neighborhood things are hopping.  I was doing voter registration at the local supermarket this morning.  We were careful to remain neutral, but folks registering and people just passing by expressed many times that they had registered or were registering because of the importance of the election.  We even recruited one of the store workers to help up round up the unregistered.  He said that everyone had to vote because this was a “very important election”.  Lots of people said that they were for Obama and were taking registration cards home to friends and family.  We even had one fellow changing his address because is had been a Biden supporter during the primary and now wanted to be sure he could vote for him.

I think with Barak Obama, the inspirational leader, and Joe Biden, the experienced plain talker, we may have a winning team.

Future First Ladies

Regardless of what the McCain camp thinks, they are getting favored treatment.  Imagine if Michelle Obama had lied about her siblings.  Imagine the uproar.  Now look at the NPR story about Cindy McCain:  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93708729

Cindy evidently has half siblings she has never mentioned and, along with her father, has decided to pretend do not exist.  She can say all she wants that she isn’t a “into” politics and that she is not running for office.  Both probably true statements.  But Mrs. Mcain, your husband is running which means that if he gets elected, you will have no choice but to live under a microscope.

 I’m waiting for the media other than public radio to pick up on this.  Thank you, Kathleen Portalski for stepping forward.  And thank you NPR for running the story.

Clinton, Obama and Race

I’ve been reading this morning about Mark Penn.  Colbert I. King has an excellent column in today’s Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/15/AR2008081502825.html?hpid=opinionsbox1  King dissects the Penn memo on using race and points out that the content could be a conversation between Klan members.

 I started out as a Bill Richardson supporter, but because I’m a political junkie was following all the campaigns.  The more I read about the staff supporting Hillary Clinton, the more I understand how poorly she was served and why she lost.  I have no idea how people like Penn were hired for her campaign, but I suspect they were FOB (Friends of Bill).  The nomination was hers to win and, with the help of her “advisors” hers to lose.  I would have loved to see a woman run for the nomination, but never supported Hillary.  I’m now beginning to understand why I felt uneasy about her. I understand that part of politics in winning, but the idea that someone on her campaign actually thought about using race against Obama makes me feel slightly ill. 

And now the Republicans are making fun of Obama’s vacation and his having been raised in Hawaii as being somehow unAmerican.  Haven’t they noticed that Hawaii is a state?

Catching Up

So, I changed the title of the blog to FortLeft – Bob is FortRight so mine probably reflects my political views more than his which mostly reflects that he thinks he is right 99% of the time.

The Red Sox are hanging in for the wild card and we still have no VP announcement.  Hillary Clinton’s name will be placed in nomination after which she will urge her delegates to move to Obama.  Will this be another embarrassing moment for the Democratic Party?

I got a poll call the other night about local races.  Do I think Deval Patrick is going a good job? Yes.  Am I going to vote for Dianne Wilkerson? Yes.  Will I change my mind? No.  I know that Dianne has had problems with finances, both campaign and personal. But she is so good on the issues.  A leader in the fight to legalize gay marriage and then to repeal the 1913 law I wrote about in an earlier entry.  A big supporter 10 years ago when we were establishing the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women – and I could go on. And she is still interested in very local ideas.  It will be an interesting discussion at the Ward 11 Democratic Committee endorsement meeting.  Sonja Chang Diaz is a would be member of the committee and I don’t know what the protocol is, but I need to find out.  It would be extremely extremely awkward if she is in the room.

Things are finally picking up here in the Obama world.  There is an organizing meeting for Roxbury next week which I will be attending.  We need to coordinate Ward 11 activities – we will be supporting him as the nominee – and the campaign’s activities.  Should be interesting.