The Straightaway

Politics Without Pundits

Posts Tagged ‘cnn

Conservative Christmas Comes

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Within hours, possibly minutes, of CNN’s projection that Barack Obama had captured the presidency of the United States of America, the “alternative” (a.k.a. conservative) media began their offensive on the new President-elect. On Rush Limbaugh’s website at this very moment are the following headlines: “‘Creepy’ Obama Leaks His Thug Version of the Meeting With Bush,” “Drive-Bys Create Obamamania,” “The Obama Recession: Capitalism to be Removed from Auto Industry,” etc. Less outspoken conservative media people have followed suit, perhaps in a more subdued manner, such as Sean Hannity.

Although it might espouse that the world is coming to an end, the truth is that alternative media outlets can be nothing but overjoyed at the election of the liberal, Democratic President-elect Obama. These outlets barely scrape by when the Republicans are in power, because there is simply less for them to criticize. But conservative media bodies come alive during Democratic administrations – if you will recall, the venerable conservative channel, FOX News, was launched in 1996, during the administration of Democratic President Bill Clinton.

The next four years will be like a perpetual field day for these outlets. Obama has marketed himself so far as being fairly liberal, which means FOX News and the like will have more to debate and criticize in the coming years of the Obama administration. Conservatives and liberals alike will flock to these bodies – the conservatives because they will love what is being said, the liberals because they can’t wait to hate what they will say next (the Howard Stern/Bill O’Reilly Syndrome). Media, after all, is a business, and for the next few years it is likely that conservative media will boom.

I can almost imagine Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdock in a backroom, secretly toasting President Barack Obama – with new, solid-gold goblets.

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Obama Crosses 270 Electoral Vote Line

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CNN is reporting on its Electoral Map Calculator that, if the election were held today, Obama would have 277 guaranteed electoral votes, putting him over the 270 threshold needed to secure the presidency. Obama was catapulted over the virtual 270 line by new poll numbers in Virginia, which shows Obama leading McCain by 9 percentage points.

Those poll numbers look too good to be true, so naturally, don’t believe that they are true. Obama is gaining nationally and in the battleground states, but never count John McCain out – his presidential campaign was virtually finished last summer, and yet he managed to rally and win the New Hampshire Republican primary and continue on to his party’s nomination.

After tonight’s debate, we come to that 19-day home stretch of the election season. Pundits across the board have been relying on the addage “a week in politics is like a year in real life.” If that’s really the case, then we still have two and a half “years” until the election. John McCain has resurrected a campaign in less time than that.

Written by acs2008

October 15, 2008 at 11:30 pm

Sarah Palooza

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Republican presidential nominee John McCain set off a media frenzy today by choosing Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate. News of the Palin Decision led 95 percent of America to ask – Sarah Who?

Sarah Palin, currently the governor of Alaska, is a 44-year old former beauty queen and mayor of a small town in Alaska. She had been casually mentioned as a possible VP choice for McCain, but was thought to be well behind other hopefuls in the running, such as Independent/Democrat Joe Lieberman, Mitt Romney, and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Is this dark horse a good pick for McCain? I think Ed Rollins of CNN said it best – the choice is “brilliant but risky.”

Choosing Palin has started a media circus that has been successful in taking away a lot of the buzz from Barack Obama’s monumental acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday. She’s a fresh face, much like Obama was, and will be severely scrutinized coming into next week’s Republican National Convention in Minnesota.

Palin is young – just 44 – evening out the aged McCain ticket. She is also a woman (a likeable one) that may very well steal away some Hillary supporters who were already thinking about voting for McCain. Ingeniously, McCain has subdued Obama’s History Train. Now, whoever wins this fall will surely make history, putting either the first African-American or woman president/vice president in power.

Palin has been described as both “maverick” and “very conservative,” two terms that usually don’t go together. However, they fit here, much like the “maverick” yet “very liberal” tag might fit Obama – Palin is a Washington outsider who is not afraid to lock horns with the Republican establishment. However, she is also staunchly pro-life, which may lure many social conservatives who have been weary about McCain into actually casting a ballot for him this fall.

Now, the risky side of Palin: she is even greener than Obama. She has been governor less than two years, has no experience at the national domestic level and on foreign policy issues. When asked earlier if she would like to be vice president, she answered that she wasn’t even really sure what responsibilities the vice president held. Any “inexperience” knives that the McCain camp tries to throw at Obama now can be deflected and returned, perhaps in greater force.

Obama has accused the Republicans constantly of resorting to the “politics of fear” to steer people away from voting from Obama. The Democrats have potentially been handed their own fear-mongering “gift issue” if the dare us it. Imagine this revised version of the 3 AM Red Phone Call Ad:

It’s dark. 3 AM. The red phone is ringing. The executive must make a crucial security choice. But John McCain isn’t there to answer it – he has been incapacitated. It is up to young Vice President Palin to answer the call and save America. Do you trust her, if need be, to answer the 3 AM call? Do you trust her enough to put America in her hands?

It would be a despicable move, something that might tarnish the reputation of the Democratic machine forever. But it just might work, drawing away the centrist blue-collar folks in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Ohio away from this attractive new McCain-Palin ticket and into the comforting arms of Obama-Biden. And it’s not an entirely fantastical situation – often in American history, for one reason or another, the vice president has had to take over the president’s duty, either on a temporary or permanent basis. (Vice President Dick Cheney had presidential power vested in him at least once during this term, when President George W. Bush was undergoing a medical procedure).

McCain has made a shrewd choice, dampening Obamamania a bit while adding a little fanfare to his ticket at the same time. It will either turn out to be a brilliant strategic move, or an irreparable blunder.

We’ve got 68 days ’til we find out which one it will be.

Written by acs2008

August 30, 2008 at 4:40 am