Monthly Archives: October 2008

Thank you, Studs!


4 Days Out: Confidence and Caution

I get two messages today, four days before election day. First, it brings a smile to my face to see Obama going back on air in Arizona. He has narrowed the gap in Arizona and david Plouffe seems to think Obama has a chance in McCain’s home state. The symbolism of putting McCain back on his heels is obvious. The symbolism of finally going for the kill against this vicious red-meat republican campaign is the cause for my smile.

Now for the caution, although the polls show Obama with a narrow double digit lead in Pennsylvania, I just came from a Joe Biden rally in Newark, DE. All the volunteers had clipboards with sign up sheets to get volunteers to go to and around Philadelphia every day from now until Tuesday.  Buses are leaving every morning from UD as well as from the Biden HQ in Wilmington. The point here is that PA may be closer than we think; If you follow these resources to Philly that much is obvious. McCain cannot win if he doesn’t win PA. But if he squeaks by in PA, the election will be much closer than folks now think.  Bottom line, as Biden said today; it is all about turnout.

Joe Biden compares Barack to JFK at UD speech

 Joe Biden spoke this morning at the University of Delaware his alma mater.  UD is where he met Jill. He was also here when he first learned of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and JFK’s assassination in ’63.  I flinched when Joe spoke of exactly where he was when on November 22, he heard that JFK had been shot. So did others in the crowd.

The parallels between 1960 and 2008 are too real, and so perhaps drawing this comparison was deliberate, not so much to recall how the New frontier ended, but rather, how and why it began.  UD held the grounds of Joe Biden’s formative experience, and during his time here, the early to mid 1960s, JFK was clearly Biden’s role model.  Thus the poignancy behind today’s speech: the location and timing in the waning days of the campaign as the country stands on the precipice of a new era.

Joe told the crowd of mostly young people that Barack Obama reminds him of JFK, the man who inspired him to get into politics, and that JFK was his Barack Obama.  A pretty cool thing to hear 4 days before the election.


Passing the Torch: Clinton and Obama in Florida

I just saw a clip of Bill Clinton’s joint appearance in Florida with Barack Obama, and I saw something I didn’t see when he similarly appeared with John Kerry the week before the ’04 election. I saw the master clinton at the top of his game giving his closing argument for Obama. Clinton’s speech was coming from a place where few others come: experience.  Bill was there; he knows what it takes, and Obama has what it takes: philosophy, policy, ability to make decisions, and ability to see those decisions are executed. 

Beyond that, the speech conveyed the real feeling of a torch being passed from one democratic president to the next.  I felt it in the way Clinton’s voice brought the crowd along and to the way Obama sat on his stool looking at Clinton and nodding.  Barack’s body language told me he was no longer nervous about what Bill might say. They are finally on the same page.  Watching this was a real moment for me, and for all the crap Bill has put many of us through over the past many months, this finally seemed genuine and inspiring.



Worth the wait? Let’s see how Florida votes next Tuesday.

Olbermann and Maddow Deserve Our Thanks

One of Baltimore’s more talented media critics, David Zurawik got it wrong yesterday when he criticized MSNBC with the same broad brush that he uses to criticize FOXnews. We all know that Fox is right wing propaganda, where Murdoch and Roger Ailes feeds anchors republican talking points as their news headlines of the day.

MSNBC doesn’t work that way. Unlike Fox where the entire news division is in the tank for republicans, MSNBC relies on NBC news for their “fact-based” journalism. NBC news is as objective as any mainstream press unit (in my estimation not so objective, but that’s for another day).  Moreover, Zurawik directed his criticism at Keith Olbermann, who he sees as engagaing in the same propaganda techniques as Fox and rachel Maddow, who he sees as more pleasant than Olbermann but a propagandist nonetheless. 

I think he is flat out wrong and here’s why.

1) Zurawik seems to miss the big point that Olbermann and maddow are commentators, not news anchors, and that their shows are in fact opinion generated.

2) he condenses all of Olbermann to its last 15-20 minutes, where Keith indeed engages in more of his silly over the top special comments and best and worst persons in the world. Zurowik misses the first 35 minutes of Countdown which indeed is critical but highlights news stories that the mainstream press ignortes and deliberately chooses not to highlight. Most of these stories involve illegal and unethical shenanigans in the Bush Administration and Mccain campaign. So to that extent there is political biaqs. But they reporting of these stories are fact-based. Zurowik misses this essential point.

For the first 7 years of the bush Administration, the mainstream news ignored important stories that if reported would have kept Bush to a one term failure. it is not propaganda to focus on valerie plame, US Attorneys firing, unitary executive theory, and so forth. It is critical reporting and crucial for a democracy to survive.

The mainstream press in all its zurowikian objectivity, failed to notice these actions were subverting the constituion and destroying democracy.

Rachel Maddow is a recent addition, but i would challenge zurowik or anyone to document stories that fabricate facts or exagerate the truth. that’s just not what she does.  All the while, this is almost all that Fox does. The differences couldnt be greater.

Congratulations to the Phillies!


Phillies 2008 World Series Champs

Phillies 2008 World Series Champs

Obama Infomercial Sells Me On Pennsylvania

For the past several days I have been bothered by the fact that McCain seems to think he could win the state. The polls give Obama 9-11 point lead, and Rendell and Nutter have their organizations working around the clock for Barack. Still, altho the Pennsylvania weather forced McCain out of the rain yesterday, the Republican standard bearer keeps chuckling that he is going to win Pa. Seems he knows something i don;t know.  Obama is a terrorist, Muslim, Socialist commie, PLO (PLO!?) lover stuff is working in south philly. who knows. But no.  It’s just a political death chuckle.

Obama’s infomercial, where every second had his campaign’s intent embedded in it, highlighted colorado, missouri, ohio, new mexico, but no pennsylvania.

The message: Pennsylvania is safe. McCain knows nothing we don’t know, and simply has no where else to go…