Tag Archives: George Bush

Sarah Palin Interview Watch

The way we learn about candidates and their preparedness to deal with difficult issues is through their records and interviews.  Sarah Palin has no record on foreign and defense policy and, despite her speech to the RNC, her views are virtually unknown to the American people. 

By contrast, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and John McCain have been forced to give answers in split seconds to difficult questions — without scripts.  That’s the least we should expect from someone seeking national office.

Sarah Palin is not giving interviews.  The McCain campaign’s defense to the decision to keep her away from difficult questions is as pathetic as anything I’ve ever seen.  Via Swampland:

The American people don’t care to know what their potential president knows about national security, foreign policy, the economy or anything else? Of course not.  We’re only at war in two different countries, facing a resurgent Russia, multiple crises around the world and living with an economy which is deteriorating by the day.

Now we learn that not only will Palin not be available for interviews with the election two months off, she’s leaving the campaign trial and going back to Alaska.

This is a simple cost/benefit analysis by the McCain campaign.  The calculus is this: The campaign loses more if Palin gives an interview in which she looks foolish and unprepared for the vice presidency or presidency than it loses by simply enduring the critisim and suspicison it knows for certain it will face by locking her away. 

The campaign can only have concluded that it is better to face speculation that she’s hiding from interviews solely because she doesn’t know the answers to difficult questions than it is to let her give one and confirm it.  That’s the only reason to take the enormous risk of keeping her stowed away.  

A very good friend’s frequent references to Abraham Lincoln sums it up: “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”  And this is the kind of removal of all doubt the McCain campaign is trying to avoid (I can’t find the video, but you get the idea):

Texas Gov. George W. Bush is enduring sharp criticism for being unable to name the leaders of four current world hot spots, but President Bill Clinton says Bush “should, and probably will, pick up” those names. 

The front-runner for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination faltered Thursday in an international affairs pop quiz posed by Andy Hiller, a political reporter for WHDH-TV in Boston.

Hiller asked Bush to name the leaders of Chechnya, Taiwan, India and Pakistan. Bush was only able to give a partial response to the query on the leader of Taiwan, referring to Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui simply as “Lee.” He could not name the others.

Bush gave that interview in November 1999.  The 2000 election didn’t happen until a full year later.  Between the interview and November 2000, he had time to learn the issues.  He hired Condoleezza Rice and studied as hard as could.  Look how well that turned out.  

Sarah Palin has 60 days.

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Filed under 2008 Election, Barack Obama, John McCain, media, Politics, Sarah Palin

My Interview With Rick Noriega

Rick Noriega is the Democratic candidate for Senate in Texas.  His opponent is incumbent Republican Bush clone John Cornyn. 

This is a steep, uphill battle for Rick.  Texas hasn’t elected a Democrat to statewide office since 1994.  But a lot of Democrats believe that this is our year and Rick is the candidate to do it. 

They may be right.  Noriega’s resume is impressive: Representitive in the Texas House since 1998, Soldier since 1979, and graduate of the Harvard School of Government (where he was an editor of the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy).   He’s a fourth generation Houstonian, campaigns hard and does not hold back in going after Cornyn’s sad devotion to George Bush. 

Unfortunately, I only had about five minutes with him. If you’re looking for a longer interview, Charles Kuffner talked to him back in February (audio only). 

Sorry the video is shaky.  Now go contribute.

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Filed under 2008 Election, Politics, Texas Politics

The DNC Has Its Shit Together

McCain = Bush.  That’s all this election is about, and the DNC nails it.

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John McCain Served in Vietnam?

John McCain served honorably in Vietnam.  He cites that service whenever he’s questioned about an issue for which he doesn’t have a good answer.  Instead of describing any particular policy or his twenty six year record in Washington, his convention has been a three day description McCain’s military record.  Expect to hear even more about it in his acceptance speech tonight.

Remember that just a couple of weeks ago, McCain was criticized for his inability to remember how many many houses he owns.  At the Democratic convention, Joe Biden said that McCain couldn’t understand kitchen table issues because he would first have to decide over which kitchen table he would discuss them. McCain ultimately formulated this non-sequitur of a response:

I spent five and a half years in a prison cell, I didn’t have a house, I didn’t have a kitchen table, I didn’t have a table, I didn’t have a chair,” said McCain, citing his history as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. “I spent those five and half years not because I wanted to get a house when I got back home.”

Subject changed.  No longer was the issue McCain’s age, forgetfulness, or inability to identify with the difficulties facing average Americans. 

Intimidated, the media let him off the hook: How can you question a war hero and former POW about whether his memory is what it used to be or whether he understands what life is like for other Americans?  So they didn’t.

When John Kerry ran for president in 2004, Republicans savaged his service in Vietnam.  Republican delegates, in a particularly unpatriotic display, wore purple Band-Aids at their convention to mock what they claimed were exaggerated or falsified descriptions of the circumstances under which he was wounded in battle. 

Swift Boat Vets for Truth, a Bush front group, was vicious.  They alleged that accounts of Kerry’s bravery in combat were exaggerated or even fabricated.  In short, they lied about him

Democrats, by contrast, have gone out of their way to honor McCain’s service, and rightfully so. 

But in ’04, Kerry didn’t help.  His references to his experience in war — like McCain’s — were overbearing and frequently came off as self-serving.  I recall hearing conservative bloviators suggest that he went to Vietnam simply so that he could use it as a resume-booster thirty five years later in a run for president. 

Throughout the ’04 campaign, James Taranto, who writes for OpinionJournal, referred to Kerry as the “haughty, French-looking Massachusetts Democrat, who by the way served in Vietnam.”  It’s a great line and effectively mocked Kerry’s incessant references to his service.  It turned Kerry’s frequent references to his service into a joke. 

Kerry’s service itself became a liability.  He was seen as a limp-wristed pansy who didn’t know how to fight a war.  Meanwhile, Bush, who avoided Vietnam and skipped out on his National Guard unit, became a steely-eyed warrior with the fortitude to defend America. 

It was completely absurd.  So where are the mainstream editorialists mocking John McCain for pulling out his service every time he can’t think of a better answer?

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Filed under 2008 Election, Barack Obama, John McCain, Politics

Bush at the RNC Via Satellite

Wow.  Bush gave a horrible speech.  First, it was entirely political and given from the White House.  Unseemly.

Second, and more substantively, he said nothing about out of control gas prices.  Nothing about the mortgage crisis.  He promised that McCain would make tax cuts for the rich — the ones McCain opposed — permanent.

And now CNN is interviewing Texas delegates.  They’re all wearing read shirts and cowboy hats.  Yikes. One of them commended George Bush because he has “done so much for the pro-life movement and the pro-family movement.”  Exactly.  Most Americans are pro-choice and don’t despise gays.  So more like this, please.

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Who Said it?

Who do you think said this?

When a President makes life and death decisions he should draw strength and wisdom from the broad and deep experience with the reasons for and the risks of committing our children to our defense. For no matter how many others are involved in the decision, the President is a lonely man in a dark room when the casualty reports come in.

(Emphasis mine.)

That was John McCain announcing his candidacy for president in 1999.  His comments were aimed directly at George Bush’s lack of foreign policy experience.  At the time, Bush had been governor of Texas twice as long as Sarah Palin has been governor of Alaska.  And by the way, Texas has nearly 42 times Alaska’s population. 

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New Obama Ad: “Same”

Well done and on point: McCain=Bush.

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Filed under 2008 Election, John McCain, media, Politics