The Straightaway

Politics Without Pundits

Posts Tagged ‘john mccain

McCain Distorts Immigration in Mountain West

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As predicted earlier, the McCain campaign is targeting the key Mountain West states (Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico), which he hopes will put him over the top in the electoral vote count. The latest attempt is a new Spanish-language commercial airing in those three states that blames Obama for the failure of the McCain-Kennedy comprehensive immigration reform bill that sputtered in Congress this year.

This is false. Obama voted to pass this bill, despite its unpopularity.

Here is Barack Obama’s immigration plan, quoted directly from Obama’s campaign website:

Create Secure Borders

Obama wants to preserve the integrity of our borders. He supports additional personnel, infrastructure and technology on the border and at our ports of entry.

Improve Our Immigration System

Obama believes we must fix the dysfunctional immigration bureaucracy and increase the number of legal immigrants to keep families together and meet the demand for jobs that employers cannot fill.

Remove Incentives to Enter Illegally

Obama will remove incentives to enter the country illegally by cracking down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants.

Bring People Out of the Shadows

Obama supports a system that allows undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens.

Work with Mexico

Obama believes we need to do more to promote economic development in Mexico to decrease illegal immigration.

These views are in line with the bill McCain accuses Obama of killing. This ad is a clear distortion of the facts aimed at securing a key demographic in key states.

Here is the ad in Spanish. The translation is offered below.

ANNCR: Obama and his Congressional allies say they are on the side of immigrants. But are they? ”

The press reports that their efforts were ‘poison pills’ that made immigration reform fail.

“The result:

“No guest worker program.

“No path to citizenship.

“No secure borders.

“No reform.

“Is that being on our side?

“Obama and his Congressional allies ready to block immigration reform, but not ready to lead.

“JOHN MCCAIN: I’m John McCain and I approve this message.”

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RNC Wednesday Rundown: Venom without Substance

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Click on the image to see Giulianis 2008 RNC speech.

Click on the image to see Giuliani’s 2008 RNC speech.

Rudy Giuliani‘s energetic speech was filled with direct, personal attacks on Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. Giuliani kept the attacks coming all night, on anything from Obama’s experience as a community organizer to his foreign policy stances. Giuliani promoted the standard Republican line on McCain as a heroic POW war hero who is ready to lead America. Giuliani offered his own delusional foreign policy ideas, somehow managing to bring up September 11th. Again. (Surprise, Surprise!). The most effective and substantive part of Giuliani’s speech was his assertions on Obama’s flip-flopping tendences:

“They would have acted in their self-interest, and they would have changed their position in order to win an election. How many times have we seen Barack Obama do this?

Obama — Obama promised to take public financing for his campaign, until he broke his promise.

Obama — Obama was against wiretapping before he voted for it.

When speaking to a pro-Israeli group, Obama favored an undivided Jerusalem, like I favor and like John McCain favored. Well, he favored an undivided Jerusalem — don’t get too excited — for one day, until he changed his mind.

Well, I’ll tell you, if I were Joe Biden, I’d want to get that V.P. thing in writing.”

Overall, a solid, rousing speech that didn’t say much about the issues.

Click on the picture to view VP nominee Sarah Palins speech wednesday at the Republican National Convention.

Click on the picture to view VP nominee Sarah Palin's speech wednesday at the Republican National Convention.

Sarah Palin‘s vice presidential speech, written by a former Bush speechwriter, was a smashing success inside the RNC hall. Palin established herself as a small-town mother with strong family values, which is sure to excite the evangelical conservative base. She showed that she has the potential to fill the VP-Attack-Dog role well, hitting Obama constantly and very personally.

“I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities.”

and

“For a season, a gifted speaker can inspire with his words. For a lifetime, John McCain has inspired with his deeds.”

Palin gave the usual inspiring rhetoric about John McCain, etc., but overall, her speech had little, if any, substance. She constantly attacked Obama’s policies, including a woefully erroneous assertion on taxes that leads one to believe that she is either a comfortable liar, or very misinformed on the issues – either would be dangerous, the former for the Obama campaign, the latter for the American people.

Palin came off as fiery but likable – her likability might allow her to get away with a lot. However, her barbs were deep and painful, some very dishonorable in a way that really contrasts with McCain’s respectful style. However, I suppose that is vice presidential politics.

Palin’s speech will galvanize true conservatives, but will do little, perhaps even repel, the independents they need to secure. Palin is quickly becoming the Republican Hillary Clinton, in the sense that she is a polarizing figure beloved by her party but absolutely abhorred by the opposition.

Executive Experience: Does It Matter?

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During his harsh speech at the Republican National Convention (more on it later), former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani has stressed Barack Obama’s lack of executive experience.

Well, neither Barack Obama nor John McCain have any executive experience.

This leaves us with the question: does executive experience matter?

Five of the previous 43 American presidents had no executive experience: James Madison, John Quincy Adams, James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, and John F. Kennedy .

What an illustrious list! James Madison, one of the greatest early American minds, framer of the Constitution and engineer of the Bill of Rights. After serving in the Virginia legislature for only 4 years, and the Continental Congress for 3, Madison became the President and defended Washington against the British in the War of 1812. Abraham Lincoln, after only three years in the House of Representatives, became one of the most eloquent executives ever, who kept the nation together in its most dire hour (the Civil War). And who can forget John F. Kennedy, the short-lived but inspirational leader who led America into space and towards equal civil rights.

Sure, even these three great men made mistakes in office (Bay of Pigs, anyone?), but overall, they were great leaders. You can be sure that both McCain and Obama have the potential to be great executives, experience be damned.

TIME’s article on Executive Experience

RNC Tuesday Rundown

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Former Presidential hopeful Fred Thompson gave what will probably be the strongest speech all night Tuesday at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. In fact, former Senator Thompson showed more life and said more words than he probably said during his entire abysmal primary season campaign.

First, Thompson vetted VP nominee Sarah Palin, calling her a “breath of fresh air.” Thompson poked fun at  Obama, saying that he preferred Palin’s substantive experience to just hitting the Sunday morning talk shows. Thompson attacked Obama several times (though he never mentioned the Democratic nominee’s name), calling him the most liberal, inexperienced person” to ever run for President.

Thompson had very strong words in support of his friend John McCain, reiterating his heroic POW experiences and praising McCain’s “strength, courage, humility, beauty, wisdom, and honor.” Thompson stressed that McCain was a big proponent of “reform,” which has become the Republican version of the nauseating buzz word “change.” Although he bumbled through some key points, Thompson gave a pretty good speech overall.

But as for Lieberman…

The fact that Independent Democrat Joe Lieberman is speaking at the RNC at all is shocking – just eight years ago, he ran as the Democratic vice presidential nominee. Lieberman’s speech was likely supposed to accentuate McCain’s maverick reputation. However, Lieberman said very little of consequence. If anything can be taken away from the Lieberman speech, it is that John McCain is a swell guy, whether or not you agree with his policies. This kind of bland statement pales in comparison to Thompson’s points – Thompson framed McCain well, specifically mentioning free trade, taxes, judge picking, abortion, and other issues.

Lieberman’s bland speech and bland facial expression failed to wow the convention hall, which was fairly empty in the upper levels. Compared to the DNC’s Tuesday night – featuring an electrifying speech by Senator Hillary Clinton – the RNC has not been able to produce the same energy as its Democratic counterpart.

Coming up Wednesday: the highly anticipated speech by VP nominee Sarah Palin. Considering the buzz around her, it is almost certain that things will pick up for her speech. But will it be enough to energize the conservative Republican base and put McCain/Palin over the top? We’ll have to wait and see.

Babygate: Sarahpalooza Continued

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The Palin media circus continues – word has broken out that Sarah Palin’s 17-year old daughter, Bristol Palin, is pregnant. If John McCain wanted to steal the spotlight from Barack Obama with his VP pick, well, he sure is getting his wish.

Obama has already made it clear that family is off-limits in this campaign, especially Bristol and her baby. Luckily, his campaign won’t have to make it an issue – the media and everyday people are already all over it.

Really, this situation is an interesting case of broad platform policy affecting the lives of the candidates themselves. Sarah Palin, a staunch pro-life supporter, has done well to raise her daughter with her values – Bristol is keeping the baby, and will marry the father of the baby. Many socially-conservative evangelicals have been impressed by this inspiring stand of beliefs, poised to join the McCain ranks as they had declined to before.

However, this situation might very well show the failure of one of Palin’s policy stances: abstinence-only sex education. Many might take this situation to point out that if Palin’s own daughter couldn’t avoid this unplanned pregnancy and subsequent shotgun marriage, then who’s to say that the abstinence-only education works at all.

Normally, family news such as this should be kept out of politics. However, given that it so directly affects a key policy issue in this campaign, it might be alright for the media to keep dissecting this issue (as long as it is in a tasteful, constructive manner. Obviously, any personal attacks based on this would be unfair.) The fact that the story involves a key figure in the election is just an unfortunate coincidence.

The old, tired cliche says that there is no such thing as bad publicity. All this might not be bad publicity,  but it might certainly be overexposure. Remember when people were polled as saying they were tired of hearing about Obama? Well, there must be more than a few people who tired of hearing about Sarah Palin right now.