Archive for October 29th, 2008

October 29, 2008

Obama: Rev. Wright ‘is a wonderful man’

October 29, 2008

Photos: Palin rally

A few more photos from yesterday’s Sarah Palin rally at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.

The guy in the biege overcoatwith the “Latinos for McPalin” sign is Carl Rodriguez, youth ministry director for the Seventh-Day Adventist church and a buddy of mine.

This guy said his baby is voting Republican. A neglected political fact — babies tend to be hard-core pro-lifers.

Country singer Sarah Marince, who performed before the rally, poses for a picture with some ugly old dude.

“First dude” Todd Palin shakes hands at the “overflow” event after the main rally.

At the “overflow” event, Sarah Palin wore a T-shirt with the slogan “Ship Happens” — an unofficial Shippensburg University motto of sorts.

October 29, 2008

Chicago, USA

Daleyism going nationwide:

Obama’s campaign has exhibited a disturbing and consistent tendency to squash dissent, rough up his critics, conceal records (medical and state senate voting records, for starters), enlist police powers for political ends, aid and abet in voter registration fraud, and pull the race card. This is worse than the old politics, which was a code word for “Clinton-Bush politics.” The closest analogy I can think of is Richard Nixon.
The danger, therefore, is not that Obama will be a recycled, cynical liberal. It is that, given the latitude afforded by a compliant media and a Democratic Congress, the temptation to abuse power will be overwhelming. It’s the Chicago Way, after all.

The Clintons elevated such masterful practicioners of Chicago-style politics as Rahm Emanuel, John Podesta and Sidney Blumenthal. Now, the Chicago crowd will run the whole show.

October 29, 2008

‘Hype: The Obama Effect’

New DVD from Citizens United, $19.95:

October 29, 2008

So much for the ‘secret’ part

When you read about it in the Politico, it’s not “secret”:

Two days after next week’s election, top conservatives will gather at the Virginia weekend home of one of the movement’s most prominent members to begin a conversation about their role in the GOP and how best to revive a party that may be out of power at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue next year.
The meeting will include a “who’s who of conservative leaders — economic, national security and social,” said one attendee, who shared initial word of the secret session only on the basis of anonymity and with some details about the host and location redacted.

The planned “secret” session is also mentioned in this New York Times article — naming the names of the Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell and the Leadership Institute’s Morton Blackwell among those who see Sarah Palin as a focal point of conservative revival. (Clever idea.) Of course, the “secret” session is only for “top conservatives,” so the rest of us poor slobs will just have to await orders from on high, I suppose. A grassroots movement organized on a top-down basis — this should be fun to watch.

(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)

October 29, 2008

‘Stand up and fight!’

My latest American Spectator article:

“Fight!…Fight!…Fight!” The word punctuated John McCain’s peroration to thousands of Pennsylvanians who turned out in Hershey on a cold, drizzly morning to cheer him and running mate Sarah Palin.
“Fight for the ideals and character of a free people,” McCain urged, as he neared the end of his speech. “Fight for our children’s future. Fight for justice and opportunity for all.”
The crowd inside the Giant Center at Hershey Park was cheering so loudly as to drown out most of the Republican candidate’s words, so that all they heard was “fight!” That was enough, however, for Republicans like Joe the Recording Engineer. Joe Trojcak owns a sound studio near Hershey and says he’s been a Republican activist since 1992. “I got tired of yelling at my TV,” explains Trojcak, 44, who worked as a volunteer at yesterday’s “Road to Victory” rally.
Small businessmen like Trojcak have become Republican heroes ever since the Oct. 12 chance encounter between Barack Obama and “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher in Ohio.

Please read the whole thing. One of the things I enjoy most about covering a campaign is the chance to talk to the people who attend these rallies — some of the nicest people in the world. All that chatter a couple weeks ago about episodes of ugliness at McCain rallies was a complete misrepresentation of the overwhelming majority of people I’ve talked to at events this year — and that’s true of Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians.

Attending a campaign event is an act of civic engagement, and civic engagement tends to correlate with good personal qualities. So the delegates at the Democratic convention in Denver were nice people, and so were the people who attended the Hillary rallies and McCain rallies I’ve covered.

BTW, here’s video of McCain’s peroration:

October 29, 2008

Obama: Always late

Bill Clinton is notorious for running late, but it looks like Obama may excel him in that habit.

October 29, 2008

What I won’t watch tonight

Obama’s disinformercial, live on all four networks at 8 p.m. ET:

“We’ve seen over the last eight years how decisions by a president can have a profound effect on the course of history and on American lives; much that’s wrong with our country goes back even farther than that.”
Then, while standing before a stately desk and an American flag, Mr. Obama, in a suit, says: “We’ve been talking about the same problems for decades and nothing is ever done to solve them. For the past 20 months, I’ve traveled the length of this country, and Michelle and I have met so many Americans who are looking for real and lasting change that makes a difference in their lives.”

This is not a logical argument, but the Obama campaign is not about logic. Obama has no track record on which the voter can evaluate him or his policies. This is what annoys me when I hear people talk about Obama’s tax plan as if it were a piece of legislation now being debated on the Senate floor. There is at least a 50% chance that Obama will never actually propose that plan to Congress, and certainly no guarantee that Congree would pass it, as now written. Washington doesn’t work that way.

If you want to understand the wide gap between a presidential candidate’s stated intentions and his actual policies in office, you ought to read David Stockman’s The Triumph of Politics (about the Reagan administration) and William Greider’s Who Will Tell the People (about the Clinton administration). Reagan really wanted to cut the federal budget; he just couldn’t get the votes. Clinton really wanted to implement his promise of a middle-class tax cut, but his economic advisers told him it couldn’t be done.

Whether you vote for Obama or McCain, we’ll be electing our first president since Gerald Ford who hasn’t previously been a governor. There’s no record of either man in executive office, but at least John McCain has some meaningful record in Washington. Obama is a shot in the dark, and no one — no one — can predict what he’d actually do as president.

We know, however, that Obama is a left-wing Democrat. His most influential policy advisers will likely share the same outlook. So we’ll have unfettered liberalism of a kind that we haven’t seen since 1993-94. There is a reason Obama’s strongest support comes from people under 30 — they don’t really remember that two-year period when Clinton had a Democratic majority in Congress. It was a freak show, an embarrassment. And you can expect even worse of an embarrassment if Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are in charge.

Obamaphiles may enjoy the $3 million infomercial. And it might sway voters with short memories or insufficient judgment. But I won’t watch it. God bless Michelle Malkin for volunteering to watch it for us.

October 29, 2008

Whose party is it, anyway?

Driving back from Pennsylvania tonight, I kept thinking about those thousands of people I saw standing in line — and I mean, they stood in line for hours — waiting to see Sarah Palin at Shippensburg University.

Buddy, it was cold. Maybe 40 degrees, cloudy skies and a stiff wind. I walked the length of that line. It stretched on and on, around the corner, and on and on some more. It was amazing. The doors opened more than two hours before the rally, and still they couldn’t get everybody through the metal detectors in time.

After the rally was over, the media handler grabbed a bunch of reporters and took us out the back door to another building. I was thinking “press conference,” but I was wrong. Instead, we found ourselves in the performing arts center, where about 500 people were waiting — people who hadn’t made it through the line in time to get into the rally. Sarah Palin and her husband Todd came out on stage. Sarah gave a little speech, and then she and Todd shook hands and signed autographs for 15 minutes. It was something they didn’t have to do, but they did it for the people who had stood in line in the cold.

Driving home, I thought about the people who stood in that long line and asked myself, “Who were those people?”

The Republican Party, that’s who. And they love Sarah Palin. So exactly who the hell is Christopher Buckley? Who the hell is Ken Adelman? Who the hell is Kathleen Parker?

Screw them. It’s not their party. The party belongs to the people. And the people love Sarah Palin. So I wrote a post at the American Spectator blog:

If somehow John McCain pulls off a miracle Nov. 4, it will be in no small measure due to the excitement that Palin has brought to the ticket. Let the cynics attend a Palin event and try to imagine those crowds turning out for, inter alia, Tim Pawlenty.
And if Obama wins on Nov. 4, Palin immediately becomes the GOP front-runner for 2012. She’ll be the No. 1 Republican fundraiser no matter what happens, and she’ll be the star attraction at state-party events.
John McCain might have made dozens of mistakes in this campaign, but picking Sarah Palin was not one of them. If you don’t like it, just go to a Palin rally and tell that to the people — they’ll tell you where to go from there.

Anyway, that got linked at Instapundit and Hot Air, and I might as well link it, too, because it’s right. There is no substitute in politics for popularity, and if Palin’s poll numbers were hurt by all the negative media, so what? The Republican grassroots are crazy about her and four years from now, all that negativity will be a distant memory.

I love Bobby Jindal, but Sarah’s been through the fire. She took some of the dirtiest smears the MSM could lay on her and came out smiling. The people are with her. It’s her party, and anybody who thinks they’re going to take it away from her has got another think coming.

UPDATE: This internecine sniping — the who’s leaking what to whom stuff — is typical of the professional political operative class. Most of it is coming from third- and fourth-echelon people, who are trying to (a) curry favor with people in the upper echelons, (b) exact some sort of petty vengeance on a perceived rival, and/or (c) make sure they don’t get blamed for anything. The organizational dynamics of the official GOP are so catastrophically poisonous, it’s a miracle they ever win anything.

Daniel Larison and James Poulos give me down-in-the-country, and I won’t complain. I’m just trying to warn you guys: The choices in 2012 are likely to come down to Jeb Bush vs. Please God Not Jeb Bush. I’m thinking Palin is the strongest PGNJB candidate available.

UPDATE II: To show you what I’m talking about with the line to see Palin, here is a photo taken from the head of the line:

You see that building at the upper left? I went around on the other side of that building, turned on my video camera, and started walking toward the end of the line:


Hear the noise that wind made? That was a cold, cold wind, my friend. And I didn’t even make it all the way to the end of the line. This was about 4 p.m. — the doors opened at 2:15, which means that they’d already been admitting people for nearly 2 hours and the line still stretched more than a half-mile.

UPDATE III: Great minds think alike, I guess. Just noticed this article in The New York Times mentioning Morton Blackwell and Brent Bozell as among those who see Palin in similar terms.