Archive for ‘veepstakes’

August 29, 2008

GOP veepstakes; UPDATED: PALIN!

11:10 a.m. ET: Just spoke to my wife who tells me that my Ohio in-laws, Erica and Donovan Powers, are at the McCain rally in Dayton with their genius baby, Keegan.

10:52 a.m. ET: The Great One likes Palin.

10:45 a.m. ET: Hillary supporter Big Tent Democrat:

First and foremost, it would stop Obama’s Media train in its tracks today. . . .
Second, it revives the Hillary melodramas. And at this point, Obama does not need that.

Got to hand it to Team Maverick on this one: (a) Palin gives the Clinton supporters just the excuse they need to bolt on Obama, and (b) she gives McCain an excuse to say, “Screw the caribou — drill ANWR!”

BUMPED 10:34 a.m. ET: Carl Cameron on Fox: CONFIRMED! PALIN!

10:18 a.m. ET Jimmie at Sundries Shack:

She’s in favor of increased domestic drilling. She holds to at least the big conservative beliefs, which will help offset McCain’s left-leaning past on free speech, immigration, and taxes. She’s a solid pick and I think she’ll help from the first day she’s on the ticket.

DRILLING! Yes! Who better to cover a McCain shift on drilling ANWR than an Alaskan?
BUMPED 10:10 a.m. ET: Palin? A 44-year-old pro-life mother of four. Yeah. I think the base would be OK with that. And notice that the speculation about Lieberman and Ridge (both pro-choice) makes this a “thank goodness” relief for the Right, despite Palin’s relative inexperience. If it’s Palin, ABC News just got fooled by a huge head fake.
10 a.m. ET: Michelle Malkin also has a thread going. She got an early start, even if she missed last night’s blogger bash, where VodkaPundit insisted on staying until closing time.
9:55 a.m. ET: Ed Morrissey and Allahpundit have a thread going at Hot Air, including a link to this tantalizing news.
9:50 a.m. ET: Now watching MSNBC, which says it’s not Lieberman. Please God, let the Palin rumor be true. Otherwise, it’s Ridge and … hello, President Obama.
9:45 a.m. ET: Just realized that my times are still Eastern, even though I’m in Denver. That’s because I don’t reset the computer clock when I travel. Don’t reset my watch, either. If I need to know local time, I either do the math or look at my cell phone. The reason: My editors and my family back home are still on Eastern time.
9:28 a.m. (ET): Woke up this morning, turned on the TV, and Fox News was saying that Romney and Pawlenty have been eliminated. Sarah Palin? Will update as I get some coffee and learn more.

August 24, 2008

Biden: Chicks don’t dig him

Of course, Obama’s got enough surplus sexy to cover Joe’s deficit, but still:

Women are notably less enthusiastic than men — 33% of women say Biden was the right choice while 27% disagreed. Men, by a 46% to 24% margin, said that Obama made the right choice. . . . He earns favorable reviews from 52% of men and 45% of women.
Just 16% of women have a Very Favorable opinion of Biden while 19% have a Very Unfavorable view. . . .
Not surprisingly, Democrats were more supportive of Obama’s decision than anybody else — 52% of those in his party agreed with his pick while 19% disagreed. However, just 43% of Democratic women said the presumptive nominee made the best pick while 23% disagreed.

So even if Biden’s no Tom Eagleton, he doesn’t seem to be the kind of unalloyed asset Obama needed. Maybe chicks don’t dig Joe because he’s such an overbearing braggart?

At any rate: Feel the burn, PUMAs!

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey on the poll:

Not only has Biden not helped Obama, it looks like he’s actually damaging the ticket with his addition. He certainly hasn’t added any enthusiasm to the Democratic offering. Did Team Obama do any serious research on Biden and his effect before making this selection?

Also not digging Joe? Free-weeders:

Biden has sponsored more damaging drug war legislation than any Democrat in Congress. Hate the way federal prosecutors use RICO laws to take aim at drug offenders? Thank Biden. How about the abomination that is federal asset forfeiture laws? Thank Biden. Think federal prosecutors have too much power in drug cases? Thank Biden. Think the title of a “Drug Czar” is sanctimonious and silly? Thank Biden, who helped create the position (and still considers it an accomplishment worth boasting about).

And Tommy Chong says Biden’s a narc, man.

8/23: Bidenfreude?
8/23: D Minus-2: Gonzo on Veeps

August 23, 2008


Bidenfreude (n.) The joy Republicans feel at Democratic despondency over Obama’s vice presidential choice.

Anita Thompson is a wonderful person. I should feel no pleasure at her glum reaction to Old Pluggy as Barack Obama’s running-mate pick. Then again, I recall no sympathy from my liberal friends when Maverick somehow foisted himself on the GOP.

Besides, as Philip Klein reports from Denver, many Democrats in the Hyatt Bar think Joe’s just dandy:

I struck up a conversation with an Obama volunteer from Portland, Oregon, and told him who I write for. After the speech, he came over and confidently said, “you guys are in trouble.”
Though he acknowledged that Biden could be a “loose cannon,” he thinks he’s a known quantity who will bring experience to the ticket.
He was also convinced that Obama was not going to be like John Kerry, but would be prepared to fight back against Republican attacks — especially because he took on the Clinton Machine. “That’s like taking on the frickin’ mafia,” he exclaimed.

So cheer up, Anita: Obama’s disciples believe the Messiah can do no wrong, including picking a veep candidate who comes complete with an extensive GOP oppo-research dossier.

August 23, 2008

D Minus-2: Gonzo on Veeps

I had been without sleep for two or three days at the time, and my temper was close to the surface. Beyond that, I had spent the past five or six days brooding angrily over the list of vice-presidential possibilities that McGovern had floated in the New York Times several days before the convention even started. I recall telling Mankiewicz in the coffee shop on Friday night that I had never seen so many bums and hacks listed in a single paragraph in any publication for any reason. . . .
But Frank assured me that my wrath was premature. “Don’t worry,” he said. “I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.” . . .
So there was nothing personal in my loud objections to Eagleton a week later. It struck me as a cheap and unncessary concession to the pieced-off ward-heeler syndrom that McGovern had been fighting all along. Tom Eagleton was exactly the kind of VP candidate that Muskie or Humphrey would have chosen: a harmless, Catholic, neo-liberal Rotarian nebbish from one of the border states who presumably wouldn’t make any waves.
Hunter S. Thompson,
Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72

For some reason, the late Dr. G0nzo’s words keep haunting me this year. While so many of the circumstances in this year’s election are unprecedented (“vuja de,” as George Carlin would say), Team Obama keeps making moves that recall the absurd overconfidence of the McGovern campaign in 1972, when Mankiewicz, Hart & Co. seriously believed that the unpopularity of Nixon and the Vietnam war would guarantee the election of whoever won the Democratic Party nomination.

Obama’s choice of Joe Biden strikes me as eerily similar to McGovern’s pick of Tom Eagleton 36 years ago. Unlike Eagleton — a young nobody in ’72 when he was tapped for the No. 2 spot — Biden is a known quantity, and all of Biden’s scandals are old news. While there may be some undiscovered conflict-of-interest scandal lurking in Joe’s closet, we’re unlikely to be shocked (pardon the pun) by any revelation of secret treatment for mental illness.

Yet Biden is definitely a concession to the Old Guard, “the Ultimate Washington Insider,” as Patrick Ruffini says, and exactly the sort of Establishment figure that HST would have denounced as a “bum” and a “hack.”

Beyond that, naming the choice in the wee hours Saturday completely undercuts the obstensible purpose of the text-message announcement idea. When this idea was originally announced, you could see its brilliance: About 11 a.m. on a weekday, for instance, the text message would go out, everybody would get it on their cellphones or Blackberries, and the name of the nominee would spread via word-of-mouth buzz in the workplace. Supporters would have the exciting memory of one of those “I remember exactly where I was” moments.

Instead, the campaign dawdled so long that (a) there could not possibly be any word-of-mouth factor, and (b) the MSM beat them to the punch. As Ed Morrissey says:

I’m not sure a political campaign could possibly screw up a running-mate announcement as badly as Team Obama.

Well, it could be done, Ed: McGovern waited until 4 p.m. on the Thursday of the convention before making the call to Eagleton. Still, as in ’72, the disappointment of many on the Left is palpable, especially among Hillary’s supporters like Jeralyn Merritt (who is “underwhelmed and greatly disappointed”) and Big Tent Democrat, who says, “Hell of a rollout. Not.”

Enough of that. My flight for Denver leaves tomorrow, and between now and then I’ve got two articles to write, including about 1,400 words of print-only reporting that will require me to transcribe audio (my least favorite job in the world). So I’ve got to stop blogging and start writing, and you can’t expect many updates from me until I’ve at least made some headway on that stuff.

UPDATE: 350 words into writing the first of two pieces, I take a break to note Michael Goldfarb’s observation:

But what’s with holding the text message until 3 a.m. for Joe Biden? The only explanation that makes any sense is that Team Obama just couldn’t resist one last dig at Hillary.

Allahpundit disagrees:

A likelier explanation: They meant to send it out this morning, but the networks scooped them by confirming the pick around midnight so they had to push it out ahead of schedule to save as much face as possible.

Either way, they’ve pushed it into the Saturday news cycle and blown whatever word-of-mouth buzz factor they might have gotten by sending the message in the middle of a weekday.

UPDATE II: Linked by Memorandum, Jeralyn Merritt at TalkLeft, Moe Lane at Red State, and Stephen Green at Vodka Pundit. Thanks all. And hey, Tommy Chong says Joe Biden’s a narc — pass it on, man!

UPDATE III: Ed Driscoll links with “The Enharshening of the Mellow.” Wow. Heavy, man.

August 23, 2008


The text message heard ’round the world.

Why did they wait until after midnight? What was the thinking there?

PJM has a quick rundown of blog reaction. I’ll add more after I drink a cup of coffee.

UPDATE: OK, the straight news from Associated Press:

Barack Obama named Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware as his vice presidential running mate early Saturday, balancing his ticket with a seasoned congressional veteran well-versed in foreign policy and defense issues.
Obama announced the pick on his Web site with a photo of the two men and an appeal for donations. A text message went out shortly afterward that said, “Barack has chosen Senator Joe Biden to be our VP nominee.”
Biden, 65, has twice sought the White House, and is a Catholic with blue-collar roots, a generally liberal voting record and a reputation as a long-winded orator.

You can say that again. And again.

UPDATE II: Man, that was quick:

UPDATE II: Something tells me the graphics department at Obama HQ wasn’t very excited about having to work late Friday night on this announcement.

VodkaPundit‘s got the slogan:

Change you can believe in — because it’s been in Washington since 1973 already.

Yeah. That works.

UPDATE III: Michelle Malkin dubs it the “Smarmy & Smirky” ticket, probably because “Ren & Stimpy” was already taken.

Linking the story of Biden’s notorious plagiarism, Ed Morrissey says:

Now Obama, who supposedly represents a new brand of politics, has instead hitched his wagon to an old-time pol who has trouble coming up with his own words when he campaigns. That’s desperation, and what’s more, it’s obvious desperation. And in politics, just as in dating, desperation is not an aphrodisiac.

Bridget Johnson of the Rocky Mountain News:

Joe Biden, change?? Biden, the sixth-longest-serving and notoriously long-winded senator? Biden, who was named a Face for the Future by Time magazine in his freshman senatorial year — in 1974, before I was even born? Biden, who withdrew from the 1988 presidential race after speech-plagiarizing and school-grade-exaggerating scandals? Biden, who snagged a whopping 1% of Iowa delegates in January?

But, but, but … Biden is so beloved by the “progressive netroots community”!

UPDATE IV: Gonzo on Veeps.

UPDATE IV: Linked by Fausta. Thanks.

UPDATE V: Linked by Dad29, who offers what is likely to be a common reaction of Catholic traditionalists to Obama’s pick of a pro-choice “Catholic.”

August 23, 2008

Still no Obama veep?

I took my family to a baseball game (the home team lost 6-1) and came home expecting that Obama would have announced his veep. Instead, nothing but rumors.

Everybody’s hearing Biden. John McCormack at the Weekly Standard hears it’s Biden. NBC says it’s Biden.

Meanwhile, Hot Air found a story out of Kansas City that Obama-Bayh ’08 bumper stickers were already being printed. But that fizzled and Team Obama says the announcement will come Saturday morning. Then CNN noticed a “flurry of activity” at the Biden residence. I think Allah nailed the general reaction:

Is that really happening? After a week of excruciating suspense, the big revelation is Joe Hairplugs?

Exactly. I mean, after all the wild speculation (hey, what happened to the Chet Edwards bubble?) now it comes down to a guy who made his first White House bid in 1988? Anti-climatic in the extreme. The oddly delayed announcement drew this reaction from Ed Morrisey:

In fact, one has to wonder whether Obama really had made up his mind, or whether his first or even second choice didn’t turn him down. That would explain the delays in the announcement, and the apparent disorganization of Team Obama in handling an event that should have underscored the seriousness of their candidate. After all, they set the expectation that the running mate announcement would come this week, and they missed their own target.

Is it still too late for Obama-Eagleton?

UPDATE 11:35 p.m.: Clinched?

The United States Secret Service has dispatched a protective detail to assume the immediate protection of Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., a source tells ABC News, indicating in all likelihood that Biden has been officially notified that Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, has selected him to be his running mate.
Sources also tell ABC News that two others said to be finalists for the position of Obama’s running mate — Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., and Virginia Gov Tim Kaine — have been told they have not been selected for the vice presidential slot.

So says Jake Tapper, whose original claim to fame was having once dated Monica Lewinsky.

UPDATE 11:45 p.m.: Seems kind of obvious by now, but Hillary has been informed she’s not the running mate. Meanwhile, given Biden’s reputation for “clean and articulate”-type quotes, Dan Riehl says:

Secret Service enroute to protect Joe Biden? Better hurry before he shoots himself in the foot before the official announcement. That is, if his foot isn’t already in his mouth, of course!

This promises 10 weeks of non-stop gaffes, clarifications, damage control and apologies.

UPDATE 12:20 a.m. Saturday: Politico:

As it now stands, his announcement will land on a weekend and bleed right into the nominating convention — a time when a nominee can already expect to be nominating national attention.
What’s more, by keeping expectations hanging for so long, Obama makes it harder to deliver on all the anticipation. A weeks-long strip tease, ending with a naked Joe Biden or Evan Bayh — or some other safe but unsexy choice — might prove deflating.

The thing is, Joe is old news. Very old news. And he’s got no executive experience. To jerk around the national press for a full week, only to deliver Joe Biden — this is a disappointment. Imagine the reactions of those poor saps getting their text messages: “WTF? Dude. Joe Biden?”

August 22, 2008


Sorry, just a joke. Quick, text all your friends:

By the time Barack Obama is ready to announce his vice presidential pick, will anyone believe him?
In recent days, as speculation and anticipation has mounted, so too have phony text messages declaring Obama’s supposed running mate — from Evan Bayh and Hillary Rodham Clinton to Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps.
It’s a cruel twist in a prolonged game of guessing that has put political junkies and Democratic supporters on edge since the campaign announced last week that it would disclose Obama’s choice through text messaging, which is expected to happen by Saturday.
In the absence of real information, pranksters have filled the gap with guidance from the website Wonkette.

Cruel, cruel summer.

August 22, 2008



Sen. Barack Obama called some people on his short-list for the vice presidential slot Thursday night to tell them he had not selected them as running mate, a highly placed Democratic party source told CNN. The source did not say which people got the call.


Obama getting ready to announce his decision, with Democratic sources continuing to say “Watch Biden.”
2 Republican sources say McCain has apparently settled on Romney as his pick, but no offer has been made.

Will update as further anonymous speculation becomes available . . .

August 20, 2008

I repeat: It’s Kaine

For the third consecutive day, I’m telling you that Obama’s vice presidential pick is obviously Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine — even though this poll shows Biden with 31% to Kaine’s 10%.

Ambinder notes Thursday as the likely announcement day, and Obama is scheduled to be in Richmond on Thursday. I don’t know how it could possibly be more obvious.

Kaine. Kaine. Kaine Kaine Kaine.

August 20, 2008

‘Stop me before I speculate again’

Allahpundit gets in touch with his inner veepstakes junkie. After spending Sunday and Monday in a frenzy of veepmania, I tried to give it a rest yesterday (while working on my Spectator column). But really, if it’s Joe Biden, who cares? Tim Kaine and Evan Bayh would be fresh-faced news, but Biden? Yawn.

Team Maverick is serving red herring with a side order of will o’ the wisp, just trying to generate enough interest to keep Obama from dominating the news speculation cycle. Lieberman? I don’t believe it for a minute. That’s like the Giuliani boomlet. Everybody knows it’s really Pawlenty, but they have to pretend otherwise.

Oh, yeah: And my money’s still on Obama picking Kaine. In the drawing room. With a lead pipe.

UPDATE: Karl Rove tortures PUMAs by saying Obama should pick Hillary. Maybe he should, but he won’t. (Does it burn PUMAs? C’mon, tell me how much it burns.)