Verdict: Gore Endorsement Speech Gets an A+ for Delivery, But Did the Speech Really Deserve A Passing Grade?

Gore gave a rousing endorsement of Obama

My previous post announcing Gore’s endorsement of Obama speculated as to which Gore we would see this evening when he gave his endorsement speech… the milquetoast “Bruce Banner” Gore or Incredible Hulk Gore! Refer to Gore Endorses Obama, Finally! What this Means for Obama!

The Verdict: The Hulk, but with caveats.

The Good: Gore went on the attack! He gave a great speech, equally inspiring and biting!

Best Point: Gore got in this brilliant, although overly verbose counter attack neutralizing the chief critique of Obama as inexperienced.

Nevertheless, the other party seems to think that age and experience are factors that will work in their favor during this campaign. But our shared — our shared experience as a nation tells us otherwise. I remember when one prominent Republican wondered out loud whether the Democratic nominee, and I quote, “really is grown up enough to be president.” Another used the phrase, quote, “naive and inexperienced.” Yet another said, quote, “the United States cannot afford to risk the future of the free world with inexperience and immaturity in the White House,” end quote.

Who are they talking about? Every single one of those quotations came from the campaign of 1960, when the Republicans attacked John Fitzgerald Kennedy for allegedly lacking the age and experience necessary to be president. Richard Nixon’s slogan in that campaign was “experience counts,” to which John F. Kennedy responded, and I quote, “to exclude from positions of trust and command all those below the age of 44, would have kept Jefferson from writing the Declaration of Independence, Washington from commanding the Continental Army, Madison from fathering the Constitution, and Christopher Columbus from even discovering America

Right on Target?: No statement was right on target. Fact is, not once in the speech did Gore directly attack John McCain. This is a critical and epidemic error of the Democratic party that has spelled its demise for the last two elections and even though this election seems practically a slam dunk with everything skewing Democrat, it must be corrected post haste or I’ll say it… McCain will win.

Do I Hear An Echo?: This speech had moments with eerie structural and rhetorical similarities to both Bill Clinton’s 1992 convention speech (both recollect boyhood memories of JFK) as well as Clinton’s 1992 stump speech which reiterated the iconic line “We Need a Change.” The major difference, Clinton’s speech critiquing the economic climate of 1992 was a direct assault on the policies of an incumbent, whereas this time around, the Democrats are undertaking a high wire expending much unnecessary effort trying to link McCain to Bush in order for these attacks to work.

What He Should Have Said: For as masterful as Gore’s speech was, it didn’t have any “Oh my god, he really nailed him” moments such that the speech could have legs in the TV news and talk radio circuit.

Fact is, Gore has gained mega-capital as the grand Swami and pre-eminent Guru of environmental policy – and has the Nobel Peace Prize hardware to prove it.

While I’ll give Gore the let that perhaps he was saving this play for later in the campaign, Gore needs to come out and use that Nobel Peace Prize for the weapon that it is by bludgeoning McCain’s environmental.

All he needed to say was one high value shock statement like “I’ll wager my Nobel Peace prize if McCain is elected…” and then take your pick… Gas will be $10 a gallon? Manhattan will be underwater in under 30 years? Oil company profits will sky rocket even more? Take your pick. Point is, Gore has that hunk of medal, why doesn’t he put it to good use by dominating the news cycle for a week with a highly charged statement?

As I said predicted in my earlier post, Gore glossed over the opportunity to provide rapid response support by using his big stage to take McCain to task for his earlier in the day proposal to increase drilling. Purists may object saying “well it was such a pretty speech, he didn’t need to dirty it up with attacks,” but then elections aren’t generally won with “pretty.” Ask Gore, ask Dukakis, ask Kerry.

Where Was His Editor Moment: In a “Gore the statesman” moment, he praised McCain. Not only did it receive “Boo’s” from the crowd, and not only did it give credit where its hardly due, but it could possibly serve as truncated-statement ammunition by the Republican’s at a later date.

As the general election begins, let us remember our obligation to honor the highest values of our democracy and conduct this campaign in a spirit of respect for the Republican nominee. No, no. In that case, I’m glad I brought it up because, as Senator Barack Obama has said, John McCain is deserving of that respect. He has demonstrated bravery in war and as a prisoner of war, and has served in the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate for many years. Moreover, he has demonstrated a willingness to debate some critical issues, including the climate crisis that many Republicans have refused to discuss at all.

This is precisely the attitude that will lose the election for the Democrats.

Favorite Moment: I’ll let this interlude speak for itself…

If you think the next appointments to our Supreme Court are important, you know that elections matter. If you live in the city of New Orleans, you know that elections matter. If you or a member of your family are serving in the active military, the National Guard or reserve, you know that elections matter. If you’re a wounded veteran, you know that elections matter. If you lost your job, if you’re struggling with your mortgage, you know that elections matter. If you care about a clean environment, if you want a government that protects you instead of special interests, you know that elections matter. If you care about food safety, if you like a “T” on your B.L.T., you know that elections matter. If you bought poisoned, lead-filled toys from China or adulterated medicine made in China, if you bought tainted pet food made in China, you know that elections matter. After the last eight years, even our dogs and cats have learned that elections matter.

Something massively cathardic in hearing Gore basically subtly suggest to everyone “If you elected me in the first place, all this wouldn’t have happened.” (Full disclosure: The Hatchet Man worked on the Gore-Lieberman Benedict Arnold campaign for two years.)

Biggest Failing: Gore’s biggest failing was assuming that his brilliant dismantling the Republican “impotence, neglect, and failure” of the last four years would be understood as foreshadowing what’s to come under McCain. While he’s entirely correct, this was too intellectual of a parallel for most voters to reliably draw and resulted from Democratic myopia which assumes everyone sees McCain as the logical extension of Republican ideology that he is. The themes of 1992, when Clinton-Gore ran against an incumbent riding out the 12th year of Republican failings, are less analogous to non-incumbent McCain because the theme “we need a change,” was a direct attack in 1992, but is only an indirect attack in 2008.

Complete text of the speech available here.

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Back in the Hunt, No More Vacation, McCain Watch Your Back

I have returned to resume my assault on McCain and fight for truth, justice, and the Democratic way. Look for daily updates until election day (as currently planned) and look for McCain to wet himself through his depends!

Rasmussen Reports: We’re beating McCain – barely

Just before the weekend, Rasmussen Reports has produced its Electoral College update.  If the election were held today, Democrats would lead Republicans in the electoral college 260 to 240 with 38 electoral votes categorized as toss ups – in other words, margins that would justify Diebold and voting machine manufactures to conveniently deliver this election for McBush.  

The breakdown is as follows: 

 

Safely Democratic: California (55), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), District of Columbia (3), Hawaii (4), Illinois (21), Maine (4), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (12), New York (31), Rhode Island (4), and Vermont (3).

Likely Democratic: Minnesota (10), New Jersey (15), Oregon (7), and Washington (11).

Leans Democratic: Iowa (7), Michigan (17), New Mexico (5), Pennsylvania (21) and Wisconsin (10).

Toss-Up: Colorado (9), Nevada (5), New Hampshire (4), and Ohio (20).

Leans Republican: Florida (27), Missouri (11), Virginia (13).

Likely Republican: Arkansas (6) and North Carolina (15).

Safely Republican: Alabama (9), Alaska (3), Arizona (10), Georgia (15), Idaho (4), Indiana (11), Kansas (6), Kentucky (8), Louisiana (9), Mississippi (6), Montana (3), Nebraska (5), North Dakota (3), Oklahoma (7), South Carolina (8), South Dakota (3), Tennessee (11), Texas (34), Utah (5), West Virginia (5) and Wyoming (3).

Interestingly enough, “the polling data used for each state is based upon an average of the results for Barack Obama vs. John McCain and Hillary Clinton vs. John McCain.”

The number suggest if the election were held today, the Democrats would win, but it would be a close call. But then we still have a little over five months to go – and amazingly, McCain escaped his primary barely bloodied.

The long time rule of thumb in elections, is that the candidate who emerges from the primaries most bloodied tends to improve upon his mid-May numbers so long as he or she gets the full support of the party.

Obama certainly proved his pound for pound mettle in the most grueling of political boxing matches against Hillary Clinton, and should they resolve the primary in short order, which the results of Saturday’s Rules Committee meeting indicates may happen sooner than later, expect these numbers to skew upward for Obama.
 

Why attack when the LA Times will do it for me? The McCain exposé of the week

Its nice to see traditional media doing their job this election year and putting both candidates under the microscope – unlike the pass they seemed to give Bush in 2000.   

Today’s McCain exposé is courtesy of the LA Times.  

McCain found his land of opportunity in Arizona: The Republican’s first race would set the tone for his career.

Its starts out juicy:

in the Valley of the Sun nearly three decades ago, he was weighed down with enough negatives to sink most budding politicians.

Some Arizonans dismissed him as a carpetbagger shopping for an available House seat — and a future in Washington politics. Others were annoyed that he had left the wife who waited valiantly for his return from a Hanoi prison, and that he had then married a much younger bride. His political opponents derided his marriage into Arizona’s Hensley beer distributor fortune as a “money-in-law” arrangement to boost his campaign coffers.

Ultimately, the story settles into the kid gloves expected if the LA Times ever wants Republican’s to renew their subscriptions, but it does give quite a few zingers…

Some quick highlights:

The candidate also was aided by his friendship with Arizona Republic Publisher Darrow “Duke” Tully, who touted himself as a war hero and was eager to spread McCain’s story across his pages. The two were so close that Tully was named godfather to John and Cindy McCain’s first child.

(Tully resigned from the paper after it was learned that he had fabricated his war achievements; it turned out he had never served in the military.)

Another influential friend was financier Charles H. Keating Jr. The Phoenix resident raised more than $100,000 for McCain. (Keating went to prison in the 1990s for his role in the failure of Lincoln Savings & Loan.)

And reminding us about that temper and definitively un-Presidential attitude of McCain’s…

At one point, [state Senator Jim] Mack reportedly tried to maneuver around the celebrity candidate by reaching out to McCain’s first wife, Carol, in search of anything that might sink him. But Carol alerted McCain and, at the next debate, he unloaded.

“If you ever try to hurt anyone in my family again,” McCain said he warned Mack, “I will personally beat the [expletive] out of you.”

Interesting read for anyone who wants to learn more about McCain’s true colors – all of which are ugly.

Is This the 1968 Election That Hillary Clinton Was Referring To?

First the Quote:

Clinton: …people have been trying to push me out…

Q: Why?

Clinton: I don’t know, I don’t know. I find it curious, because it is unheard of in history. I don’t understand it. And you know, between my opponent and his camp and some in the media, there has been this urgency to end this. And, you know, historically that makes no sense. So, I find it a bit of a mystery.

Q: You don’t buy the party unity argument?

Clinton: I don’t. Because, again, I’ve been around long enough – you know, my husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June. Right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. You know, I just – I don’t understand it, and, you know, there’s a lot of speculation about why it is…

(Interview text from “Hillary Implies Obama Might Get Shot”)

Regardless of the whether Hillary is or is not envisioning Obama getting shot…

A couple of other details about her point related to protracted campaigns worth mentioning.

Partly due to a fractured party in 1968, The convention was a disaster…

And Nixon (a war hawk Republican campaigning pro-war during an unpopular war) won an election he had no business winning…

Deja Vu all over again?

So What Exactly WAS Your Point Hillary??? What’s the Point of Your Entire Candidacy?

Hillary, get out now!

(Review More Pictures of the Debacle that was the 1968 convention here )

McCain to Meet Prospective VPs AKA The Guy You’re Really Voting For

Vice President of the United States, Or in the Case of John McCain, the On Deck Circle

John McCain is to meet with three potential replacements running mates at his home in Arizona.

The International Herald Tribune reports that the short list includes:

Charlie Crist, Governor of Florida

Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana

Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts

All three will meet with McCain over the weekend, should the septuagenarian make it that long.

The timing is particularly interesting as McCain is expected to finally hand over his medical records to reporters. (see McCain Medical Records To Be Released Friday, Will He Make It Till Then?)

Hmmm, could it be that McCain is coinciding the release of his medical records with the naming of his future replacement running mate?

I can see the press conference now “The bad news, the melanoma is spreading and my brain is rotting from Alzheimer’s, the good news, I got young hot shot Bobby Jindal as back up, and at just 37, he’ll outlive Obama!”

What are in those medical files?? I’m willing to bet that this is not coincidental.

The timing is a little too perfect – right as a new round of questions about whether McCain will make it through the week is in good health… BAM, Republican strategists bolster his campaign with the Veep announcement – thereby sending the not so subtle message, “Nevermind the health problems, lets ride out the the last couple of good months left in McCain! Meanwhile, one of these young guys will get on the job training and be ready to take over in no time!”  Fear appeasement through decent replacement!

Stay tuned for a Veepstakes blog analyzing tweedle dee, tweedle dum, and tweedle mittevil. (should be this weekend)

Our Prayers Are With You Mr. Kennedy

Even though I’m supposedly a Godless Liberal, I must take a moment to send my prayers to Senator Edward Kennedy. Its a sad day when such a great intellect (and long time warrior for progressive causes) is stricken with as terrible disease as malignant brain cancer. My heart is with the family and while the prognosis is decidedly bad, I hope that the senior Senator has many more great years ahead – at least long enough to see a President Obama!

Full story from ABC News available Here.