Archive for August 19th, 2008

August 19, 2008

Obama’s lead shrinks again

UPDATED & BUMPED: L.A. Times:

Overall, Obama holds a narrow edge over the Arizona senator, 45% to 43%, which falls within the poll’s margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. In June, Obama was ahead by 12 points. Other polls at that time showed him with a narrower lead.More striking than the head-to-head matchup, however, is the drop in Obama’s favorable rating in the run-up to his selection of a running mate and the Democratic National Convention next week in Denver.
Obama’s favorable rating has sunk to 48% from 59% since the last Times/Bloomberg poll in June. At the same time, his negative rating has risen to 35% from 27%.

PREVIOUSLY:
Gallup: Obama 45%, McCain 44%
Rasmussen: Obama 47%, McCain 45%
Quinnipiac: Obama 47%, McCain 42%

Relatively minor shifts in tracking numbers from day to day don’t mean much — “statistical noise” — but by measuring at longer periods, trends emerge. If you look at the Gallup chart, you see that Obama’s average lead has been 1 point over the past five days (Aug. 14-18), whereas during the previous five days (Aug. 9-13) Obama’s average lead was 4.4 points.

Extend the Gallup timeline farther back, and you see the race previously tightened to a dead heat July 30-Aug. 2, after Obama’s European trip began with a big bounce that saw him average a 7.2-point lead during the 5-day period July 24-28. That earlier bounce peaked at a 9-point lead for Obama July 26, whereas his most recent bounce peaked at a 6-point lead Aug. 12.

As the campaign wears on, Obama’s upward bounces seem to be shrinking, and McCain’s numbers are slightly improving. Since McCain brought in Rove protege Steve Schmidt and went over on the attack, this has increased negative perceptions of Obama among independents and “soft” Democratic-leaning voters. So when Obama has a good week, his numbers don’t bounce up near 50% quite as easily as they did in July.

Everybody says they had negative campaigns and “attack” ads, but let’s face it: That stuff works. In the past 10 days, the Obama campaign has unleashed a steady stream of attacks on McCain, but Maverick’s strong performance at the Saddleback forum is an independent variable that should boost his numbers over the coming week — at least until Obama gets another poll bounce from his VP announcement and the Democratic convention.

UPDATE: Reinforcing the general trend of a tightening race, six weeks ago, Quinnipiac had Obama +9 — 50% to McCain’s 41% — compared to their latest national poll at +5.

August 19, 2008

Obama: I’m a victim!

L.A. Times:

“I have never suggested that Sen. McCain picks his positions on national security based on politics or personal ambition,” Obama told an audience of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. “I have not suggested it because I believe that he genuinely wants to serve America’s national interest. Now it’s time for him to acknowledge that I want to do the same.”

But, senator, it was your own wife who said she’d never been proud of America before. It was you who consorted with Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers and Rev. Jeremiah “God Damn America” Wright.

You, sir, are the one who has stubbornly insisted on an unconditional U.S. surrender in Iraq, who originally predicted the surge would fail and has since refused to acknowledge its success. You were the one who went to Berlin and spoke to your fellow “citizens of the world.”

Senator Obama, if your patriotism is less self-evident than that of a former Navy fighter pilot, whose fault is that? I mean, if you could get into Harvard Law School, surely you could have gotten into the Navy, right?

If Americans didn’t want to hear this kind of whiny pathetic self-pity from John Kerry, what makes you think they want to hear it from you?

August 19, 2008

Republican ticket from Hell

UPDATED & BUMPED: Rush Limbaugh is threatening mutiny if Maverick picks Rudy, and and Allah takes it to DefCon2. But K-Lo sez:

I still think this is all a headfake so pro-lifers will be grateful when the worst doesn’t happen.

Either that, or token gestures to lure the MSM away from going 24/7 with the constant who-will-Obama-pick? All the smart money is on Pawlenty, and RNC sources assure Fox News the veep pick will be pro-life.

PREVIOUSLY: Coming soon to a Republican convention near you: McRudy? This follows on the heels of Team Maverick’s idiotic floating of the Tom Ridge trial balloon.

Message to Team Maverick:

There are no votes to be gained by such a move, not even in trial-balloon mode. Whoever it is that is telling you that there is some pool of uncommitted voters to be won over to the GOP side by flirting with pro-abortion candidates is sadly misinformed. This issue only plays one way. Pro-choice voters always have other reasons for voting against Republicans, and cannot be won over by such gestures. Being perceived as “soft” on right-to-life will cost you far more support than you’ll ever make up by gaining godless babykiller votes.

I don’t know why I bother. If they don’t get the basic political calculus already, they’re so irretrievably dense as to be beyond hope.

Giuliani as running mate puts this one out of “Get Drunk and Vote for McCain” range. But go right ahead, Maverick: Bob Barr will be grateful.

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey says:

In the primaries, I thought Rudy Giuliani would give Republicans their best shot
at victory …. against Hillary Clinton.

That’s just plain crazy, Ed. It’s very important, when evaluating candidates, to get outside your own preferences and try to assess them in the same superficial way that idiot independent swing voters evaluate them. AllahPundit points out that, issue-wise, Giuliani has the same strengths as McCain — post-9/11 national security hawks — but fails to note that they both have the same weakness: They’re bald.

This was always the best argument for Romney. Whatever his record or his ideology, you couldn’t argue with his hair. Dude had some amazingly presidential hair. Also, Romney’s tall. Ceteris parabus, when it comes down to picking presidents, a tall guy with good hair always wins.

The only reason 2004 was so close was that Kerry was a tall guy with good hair. Independent idiot voters are extremely superficial. Ask yourself: Where would Obama be, if he didn’t remind swing voters of that guy in the Allstate ads?

August 19, 2008

Olympic fat chicks

Just walked past the TV and caught the last 22 seconds of the Olympic women’s water polo match between Netherlands and Hungary. That Dutch team — man, talk about your fat-bottomed girls who make the rockin’ world go round . . .

Anyway, the pleasantly plump Dutch chicks won, and will take on the U.S. for the gold medal in water polo. Looking at the U.S. team, I see a couple of hefty honeys, but they’re sucking in their guts for the photos. Wait until they let it all hang out in the pool tomorrow.

This sport looks like a BBW-lover’s Olympic dream.

August 19, 2008

SEBELIUS?

Never mind what’s the matter with Kansas. What’s the matter with Team Obama that they would even consider this? It’s crazy. The PUMAs will go crazy. OK, the PUMAs are already crazy, but you get the idea.

August 19, 2008

Crooked cop = DNC security

Slip the man a $20, and you’re in like Flynn:

The Democratic National Convention Committee has hired a disgraced former Denver police lieutenant to coordinate security at the Colorado Convention Center during the convention.But the committee isn’t talking about why they hired Gary Lauricella or if they knew about his background when they hired him. . . .
Several current Denver police officers who spoke on the condition their names not be used expressed surprise that the DNCC would hire Lauricella as a top security consultant, given his spotty background.

One might think that the DNCC would take security more seriously than to put it in the hands of someone who apparently cheated Denver’s taxpayers for his own personal gain.

Frankly, I find this encouraging news. When I’m trying to sneak past security with bogus credentials, it’s always nice to have advance notice that the guards are amenable to bribery.

UPDATE: VodkaPundit: “Credentials? We don’t need no stinkin’ credentials.”

As I explained to some friends earlier, before departing for Denver, my plan is to stop by Kinko’s and run off a couple dozen of these and put them on cheap lanyards. Then, while covering the protest scene outside the Pepsi Center, if I encounter any truly obnoxious Code Pink protesters, I’ll give them one: “See? It says right here, ‘Total Access.’ With one of these, they have to let you in.” Then enjoy the fun of seeing them tasered and dragged away in flexi-cuffs when they try to get past Secret Service.

August 19, 2008

TicketGate: Hope for sale

Team Obama depicted the Invesco Field speech as an “open convention” — a typical faux-populist gesture — and then the truth is discovered:

Barack Obama’s big-money donors are being offered premier seats to his acceptance speech at Invesco Field at Mile High, according to information obtained by The Denver Post.
Top fundraisers for the “Obama Victory Fund” were offered club-level seats through the end of Monday for $1,000 apiece. Also, the biggest donors to the Democratic National Convention’s host committee and select VIPs are getting ultra-plush suites at Invesco.
The Obama campaign and its partners at the Democratic National Convention Committee have 8,300 club-level seats. If all were purchased, it could mean a cash infusion of $8.3 million.

Change. Not small change, either.

UPDATE: $8.3 million will go a long way toward providing “street money” in Philadelphia, I suppose.

August 19, 2008

John Drescher’s resignation?

There is no excuse for a newspaper missing a scoop in its backyard:

About 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11, former Sen. Edwards reached me on my office phone.
Earlier that day, while campaigning in South Carolina, Edwards denied a report in The National Enquirer that he had an affair with an unnamed woman who once worked in his campaign.
In the newsroom, we debated whether to run Edwards’ comments about the Enquirer story in the next day’s print edition.

Debate? What’s to debate? True or false, the Enquirer story was important. If it was false, then your state’s former senator was the object of a disgusting smear. If it was true, well … But Edwards’ denial was news, either way. Listen to the pathetic reasoning of Charlotte News & Observer editor John Drescher:

By the time Edwards called, we had decided not to publish the story in the Friday paper. But Edwards didn’t know that. I wanted to hear what he had to say. We still could have reversed our decision. . . .
He said The N&O was the paper that arrived on his doorstep every day, the one read by friends of him and his wife, Elizabeth.
He said he’d never called before to complain or state his case. Given Elizabeth’s health — she has cancer — he said it was especially important to him that the story not run in The N&O.
He was calling from an airport, and we spoke only a few minutes. I made no promises.
Edwards’ comments were off the record. Because he has acknowledged he lied, I feel free to report them.

My God. The man was running for President of the United States and is by definition a public figure. You’re going to let him pressure you not even to report that he has denied an accusation? And you only feel you can report this now “because he has acknowledged he lied”?

The man lied, period. The Enquirer’s story was right, and your decision not to publish the denial was wrong. In fact, allowing yourself to be scooped by a supermarket tabloid on a major scandal involving a local politician is a scandal in its own right, and an indictment of the news judgment of Drescher and his staff.

August 19, 2008

Why I call him ‘Crazy Cousin John’

Supporting abortion is a losing position. The numbers of abortion has been declining for several years. The fanatical pro-choice position is most common among a certain segment of Baby Boomer liberals, while the fanatical pro-life position is held by most faithful Catholics.

Any Republican candidate who embraces pro-choice politics will automatically lose support among faithful Catholics, while gaining practically nothing in return, because the liberals who care most about the abortion issue are almost 100% Democrats.

Dismay and astonishment, then, are the only possible reaction to this news from National Review:

NR has learned that the McCain campaign has been calling key state GOP officials around the country the last couple of days and sounding them out about the consequences of a pro-choice VP pick. The campaign is asking about the reaction of conservative grass-roots activists to such a pick and whether a pro-choicer can be sold to them. This is an indication that the McCain campaign is serious about the possibility of a pro-choice VP nominee and that McCain leaving the door open to Tom Ridge last week may not have been merely a friendly nod to a longtime supporter.

Even to suggest that Ridge would be considered for VP is a political blunder by the McCain campaign. What, exactly, does Ridge add to the McCain ticket? Are they afraid of losing the “boring old guy” vote?

McCain brings enough seniority and national-security cred for the ticket. What he needs is a fresh, energetic, popular domestic-policy guy — Pawlenty or Jindal. It’s important for McCain to have a young CONSERVATIVE running mate, to reassure conservatives about the future of the Republican Party in the post-McCain era.

Floating Ridge’s name with state party officials is attempted political suicide.

August 19, 2008

1 in 5 women childless

New York Times:

Twenty percent of women ages 40 to 44 have no children, double the level of 30 years ago, the report said; and women in that age bracket who do have children have fewer than ever — an average of 1.9 children, compared with the median of 3.1 children in 1976. . . .
Suzanne Bianchi, chairwoman of the sociology department at the University of Maryland [said:] “The interesting question is, has it stopped? Is this it, or
will we see even higher rates of childlessness among future generations?”

(Via Hot Air Headlines. Full report is here.) Well, obviously, Dr. Bianchi, the trend will continue, and demographers estimate that by the time today’s 18-year-olds reach their mid-40s, 1-in-4 will be childless. The cause of the trend is not mysterious: Fertility delayed is fertility denied.

Let me quote a 1997 study:

Median age at first birth increased from 21.3 to 24.4 between 1969 and 1994, and the proportion of first-time mothers who were age 30 or older increased from 4.1% to 21.2%.

What demographers refer to as prime childbearing age is 18-to-24. Fertility begins to decline by age 25, and by age 35, the likelihood of pregnancy is only a fraction of what it was at 18. By the mid-1990s, more than 20% of U.S. women were waiting until their 30s to try to have children.

The 1997 study found that 21.2% of first-time mothers were over 30 — but it doesn’t tell us what percentage of women tried to have children after age 30 and found they couldn’t.

In reporting the Census Bureau data, the New York Times pretends as if the increase in childlessness were entirely voluntary. It’s not. Advanced age is highly implicated in infertility, as are sexually transmitted infections (including chlamydia) that cause scarring of the fallopian tubes. The Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute has recently published Sense & Sexuality, a pamphlet by Dr. Miram Grossman that addresses some of the related health issues.