Browsing the archives for the John McCain tag.

The Irresistible Allure of Iowa

Politics, Presidential Elections, US Elections, US Politics

What is it about the Hawkeye State that keeps drawing the McCain-Palin campaign back again and again? Is it the state’s renowned culinary delicacies? The tantalizing aroma of industrial pig farms? The seemingly limitless expanses of nothing? Maybe it’s all of the above, because it can’t be because John McCain has the faintest chance of beating Barack Obama when Iowans go to the polls on November 4.

that pretty much sums it up

Iowa, pigs, and corn: that pretty much sums it up

McCain was in Iowa on Sunday. When Tom Brokaw of Meet the Press mentioned that he was trailing Obama by 11 points in the latest Iowa poll, McCain, speaking by satellite from Waterloo, remarked: “Those polls have consistently shown me much further behind than we actually are.” That, in fact, has been something of the conventional wisdom regarding McCain’s baffling attraction to Iowa. His internal polls must show a tighter race, the pundits all pundicize, otherwise his appearances in the state, especially at this late stage of the contest, make absolutely no sense.

And indeed, on the surface, there isn’t much logic in the McCain campaign’s Iowa visits. A brief rundown of the GOP candidates’ appearances since the Republican convention reinforces that view:

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Whither Racists?

Presidential Elections, US Elections, US Politics

Ben Smith shares an email he received from an Obama volunteer who canvassed in a white, working-class area of Philadelphia:

“What’s crazy is this,” he writes. “I was blown away by the outright racism, but these folks are f***ing undecided. They would call him a n—-r and mention how they don’t know what to do because of the economy.

Around here, political yard signs are often grouped together by party — a McCain sign will often stand right next to signs for Republicans running for congress, judge, etc. The other day I passed a yard that had one of those Republican groupings, but there was no McCain sign in the crowd. Instead, there was a sign that said the following:




Is this guy really going to vote for Obama? Or is he just being provocative (and not a little obscure)? Why this instead of a McCain sign?

What I’m curious about is how many of these people will stay home rather than vote for McCain — or even, maybe, just go ahead and vote for the black guy.

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“That One”

Debates, Uncategorized, US Elections, US Politics

Seems to be the big moment from the debate. I’m seeing reference to it everywhere and just saw it on CNN.

It doesn’t seem that horrible to me but is definitely of a piece with the disdain/ condescension takeaway from the first debate (when McCain couldn’t manage to make eye contact with Obama).

Not good for McCain.


Notes From a Battleground State: Junior Edition

Presidential Elections, Uncategorized, US Elections

A classmate of my daughter’s told her (yes, even second-graders are talking politics) that his neighbor has a McCain/ Palin sign in his yard, with a twist. The neighbor likes McCain but hates Palin, so crossed out her name from the sign. Heh.

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Notes From a Battleground State: Bruuuuuuuce!

Presidential Elections, Uncategorized, US Elections, US Politics

Sometimes, it’s awfully nice to live in a battleground state.

AP/ Terry Gilliam

AP/ Terry Gilliam

Barack Obama has paid us a call here in Columbus, Ohio several times already and I’m sure he’ll be back again before election day. And yesterday, Bruce Springsteen came to town to give a free concert and get out the vote.

It was a gorgeous fall day — sunny but cool, with blue-blue skies and leaves just beginning to turn. My daughter was excited about going to her first real concert. (“Rock star” is currently her career goal.) I expected a madhouse but the crowds descended upon the Oval at OSU in a relaxed, strolling way. Lots of smiles.

No tickets were required for the concert, but tickets existed — they could be picked up at various Obama field offices. I didn’t bother. As we were walking, a young guy asked me if I had a ticket. I said “no…” fearing that the rules had changed or I’d misunderstood something. He said “here” and thrust a ticket at me. Uh, thanks!

Then a guy next to him looked at my daughter and asked if we needed another ticket. Well… He handed his over. Wow, thanks!

So, red tickets in hand (indicating that we were Brian and Sam, respectively), we worked our way towards the SPECIAL entrance (closer-up!) for ticket holders.

There were a bazillion people (evidently 10,000 total!) and this took awhile, with much winding and meandering of lines, even though everything moved pretty fast.

There were a small pack of protestors — about five — waving McCain/ Palin signs. I caught the eye of one guy who was smiling fixedly and walked straight towards him instead of diverting around their patch of turf. His eyes widened a bit and he got out of my way. A woman took his place and waved her “NOBAMA!” sign at me. I said, pleasantly, “Why do you support them?”

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The McCain Brand

Politics, Presidential Elections, US Elections, US Politics

Is John McCain’s reputation permanently damaged?

Josh Marshall says:

I’ve been thinking over the last few days that if John McCain loses this election he will have lost much more than the presidency. His reputation as an honest and honorable politician will be wrecked, I suspect, for good — particularly among centrist and independent voters and the centrist commentator class in New York and Washington.

I know what he means, and I have been having similar thoughts. Since I have thought that the media has been fawning over McCain for, well, years, the recent change has been welcome. A democracy needs a critical, assertive press to function properly. (Note, not a rabid pack of snarling dogs, just regular fact-checking and journalism.)

But my first thought when I read the above was Hillary Clinton.

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